Gay Marriage

Smoking Pot and Tying the Knot

Familiarity is breeding tolerance of marijuana and gay marriage.

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Last Friday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed for the first time to take on the issue of gay marriage. No matter how it rules in the two cases it will hear next spring, polling data suggest it is only a matter of time before legal recognition of same-sex unions is the norm throughout the country.

Something similar is happening with marijuana, which became legal in Washington last week and in Colorado on Monday. With both pot and gay marriage, familiarity is breeding tolerance.

The cases before the Supreme Court deal with popular reactions against gay marriage: the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law that barred the federal government from recognizing state-licensed gay marriages, and Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that amended California's Constitution to eliminate same-sex couples' right to marry, which the California Supreme Court had recognized that year. But something interesting happened after those measures passed: Surveys now indicate that most Americans support gay marriage.

The turnaround was remarkably fast. A 1996 Gallup poll found that 27 percent of Americans thought same-sex marriages should be "recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages"; by last year that number had nearly doubled. Recent surveys by ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN also put support for gay marriage above 50 percent.

Striking generational differences mean these numbers will continue to rise. In a CBS News poll last month, 72 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds supported gay marriage, compared to 53 percent of 30-to-44-year-olds, 44 percent of 45-to-64-year-olds, and 33 percent of respondents who were 65 or older.

The consequences of these changing attitudes could be seen in last month's election results. For the first time ever, gay marriage was legalized by popular referendum—not in one state but in three: Maine, Maryland, and Washington. Voters in a fourth state, Minnesota, rejected an initiative that would have amended the state constitution to prohibit gay marriage (which is already banned there by statute).

On the same day, voters in Colorado and Washington approved ballot measures aimed at legalizing the cultivation, possession, and sale of marijuana for recreational use. The initiatives won by surprisingly healthy margins of about 10 points in both states, in contrast with a California legalization measure that lost by seven points two years ago.

Nationwide support for marijuana legalization, like nationwide support for gay marriage, has increased dramatically, although not quite as swiftly, rising from 12 percent in a 1969 Gallup poll to a record 50 percent last year. While support for legalization dipped a bit during the anti-pot backlash of the Just Say No era, it began rising again in the 1990s. Public Policy Polling recently put it at 58 percent, the highest level ever recorded.

With pot as with gay marriage, there are clear age-related differences, reflecting different levels of experience with marijuana. In the CBS News survey, support for legalization was 54 percent among 18-to-29-year-olds, 53 percent among 30-to-44-year-olds, 46 percent among 45-to-64-year-olds, and 30 percent among respondents of retirement age.

Just as an individual's attitude toward gay people depends to a large extent on how many he knows (or, more to the point, realizes he knows), his attitude toward pot smokers (in particular, his opinion about whether they should be treated like criminals) is apt to be influenced by his personal experience with them. Americans younger than 65, even if they have never smoked pot, probably know people who have, and that kind of firsthand knowledge provides an important reality check on the government's anti-pot propaganda.

Another clear pattern in both of these areas: Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to oppose legalizing gay marriage and marijuana. Yet Republicans are also more likely to oppose federal interference with state policy choices. In light of DOMA's disregard for state marriage laws and the Obama administration's threats to prevent Colorado and Washington from allowing marijuana sales, now is put-up-or-shut-up time for the GOP's avowed federalists. 

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60 responses to “Smoking Pot and Tying the Knot

  1. That actually looks liek it might jsut work. Wow.

    http://www.Surfit-Privacy.tk

  2. These two things are linked by coincidence. One is a refusal of state officials to expand a benefit group. The other involves armed agents of the state imprisoning people for a victimless endeavor.

  3. I wish so much that I could believe there was a growing movement for liberty in this country.

    1. Seems that I read an article here just yesterday about how young voters are more secular and free market than older voters.

      1. Ask those supposedly nubile and open-minded voters if they believe “Medical Care is a RIGHT!”

        I notice Ekins’ laziness and omission of that area of “free market” awesomeness Concern Polling continues unabated. I conjecture Reason has figured out that battle has been lost to Bleeding Heart “Libertarians” (meaning: “Pay for our medical care and the rest is libertarian sweetness-n-light!”)

        I suspect the proffered love of Free Markets(tm) by the entitled little shits starts at fun and frivolous social-issuey stuff and ends at 26 year-old childhood.

        1. Geez…you’re really getting into the whole “Slavic pessimism” thing.

          You’re bumming me out, man.

          1. Nikolai Gogol is one of my favourite writers, actually. Otherwise, my chipper and generally laid back attitude is viewed as charming and pleasant! -D

            Suthenboy, if you could add Heroic Mulatto to the list of scotch candidates please… -D

            1. Already done. Stop peeking at my list.

              1. GMTA brothah! I have been told by patients, friends, and significant others that I have startlingly accurate mind reading capabilities. -D Call it “doc intuition”.

            2. Bulgakov is one of my favorites. You’ve read “Heart of a Dog”, yes?

              1. Da, and “Master i Margarita” as well. He’s really a tragic soul, no?

        2. The poll cited “libertarian” youth and their 38-28 preference for Obama this past election.

          I was too busy to comment yesterday but the peanut gallery was wrong again as usual (in assuming they should vote for Romney).

          Young voters know of only three presidents, Clinton, Bush, and Obama so they associate the GOP with the worst president in US history. Of course they won’t run to the GOP.

          1. Which just proves Groovus’ point you idiot.

            The youth have no interest in liberty or responsibility.

            1. You are on my list too Whiterun…along with JJ and epi.
              However I think it is a no-brainer that sloopy and banjos should get it as a congrats for the new baby.

              1. Sweet, I’m finally on a list with those two that doesn’t prohibit me from coming within 500 feet of a nursing home!

              2. along with JJ and epi.

                Excellent nominees, as those two are in my Groovy Top Ten; however, keep in mind they don’t need scotch as they have their…leeeerv to keep them warm on those cold, lonely nights. -))))

                WRG’s liver is probably damn near pickled from all those Liberian Libations, SOD luv ‘im! -D

                1. Umm…no. New parents do need scotch to help them sleep. Preferably several double shots with beer chasers.

                2. I’d be put to death in your country for this, but I’ve found a source for Gorbatschow Vodka (GERMAN VODKA!). And it’s terrific!

                  It actually makes the turkish blood orange juice they import here almost tolerable.

                  1. I thought they used real blood in Liberia.

                    1. The Liberians do. Quite a bit actually, from what I understand.

                    2. I have a polaroid around here somewhere of a Liberian walking down the street in Monrovia with a fresh human heart in his hand and he is tearing a bite out of it with his teeth which are filed to points.

          2. Clinton, Bush, and Obama

            And all three expanded the Fedgov’s role in medical care to an irreparable degree.

            Bubba (and Mrs. Bubba’s FAIL’ed HillaryCare attempt casting the die); The Shrub with Medicare D and general Medicaid expansion; and how could we forget ObamneyCare?

            All this demographic knows is the slow march to Single Payer and having “BUT EUROPE AND CANADA DO IT!@@!!8!one!!” forced fed to them like ducklings being prepared for foie gras.

            If it wasn’t for Suderman and Tucille, I doubt medical care would even pop up on Reason’s radar, and I fully expect within a year from now Welch and Gillespie will be singing the praises of certain (social issuey) aspects of the law.

            1. I know two nurses. One is Canadian and the other English.

              The canadian is here in the states. She has become a gun-nut so our friendship is growing. I asked about canadian healthcare. Her reply; ” Oh my god. If you are in canada and need medical care, come to the states. We do.”

              The english one is still in england and retired. She is retired because she performed an illegal emergency surgery. There was no doc in the hospital and the patient was told to wait two weeks for surgery to repair a burst appendix.

              The evil that is being forced on us is immeasurable.

              1. She is retired because she performed an illegal emergency surgery. There was no doc in the hospital and the patient was told to wait two weeks for surgery to repair a burst appendix.

                Shit, that is the plot of The Bladerunner (not the Dick movie-adaption which has nothing to do with scaples)

                1. “Shit, that is the plot of The Bladerunner (not the Dick movie-adaption which has nothing to do with scaples)”

                  I remember a year or so ago a movie company was preparing to shoot a movie parodying the NHS in england. They intended to have a hospital that was populated 100% with administrators with no actual health care pros in it. No Docs, no nurses, just paper pushers.

                  Then they discovered that the NHS had beat them to it and there were three such hospitals in the country already.

                  So much for parody.

                1. “Seriously?”

                  Yep. The most entertaining part of the story is that she still supports socialized medicine. But then, she is a rabid greeny too and fills my email up with greeny propaganda. Fuck England.

                  I am only civil to her because she is friends with my mother.

                  1. The most entertaining part of the story is that she still supports socialized medicine.

                    Do keep in mind that Euro-landia and (I believe) Canuckistan have it written in their Constitutions that medical care is a clear, delineated right. It is extremely difficult to sway someone to free market medicine from the centralized approach even in the literal face of evidence otherwise.

                    Even my UKR colleagues here support some state-run safety net underpinnings, since they periodically have to “donate” time to the state-run system. Since I’m an tax-resident expat, I have an exception to that current requirement. If I stay here permanently, then I get sucked into it too.

                    Ultimately, most USA docs, nurses, and allied health providers will be either discrete stategov or fedgov employees.

                    1. “Ultimately, most USA docs, nurses, and allied health providers will be either discrete stategov or fedgov employees.”

                      Dammit Doc, you arent taking into account that it is morning here, not afternoon like it is there. You are driving me to drink at 8 am.

              2. I know two nurses. One is Canadian and the other English.

                I’m not surprised. I have toured three state run hospitals (two in Kiev and one in Donets’k; I got the displeasure to see firsthand the stuff you folks don’t) and it was horrifying.

                There’s a Canadian expat doc here and basically confirms what you said (Canadian docs do earn a good salary, but CHS keeps them on a very tight leash), and the NHS docs on medical invite said to me straight up the primary function of the NHS is medical research (they admittedly do excellent, cutting edge research) and if it actually matriculates to your average Brit, lovely. Otherwise, get back in queue and wait, Prole.

                Needless to say, ObamneyCare has been a never-ending source of discussion since I have been here and the cause of at least one…spirited…debate.

              3. That is a common theme among Canadian expats here, Suthenboy. Amongst ourselves the topic is typically approached cautiously- one never knows if one is talking to a True Believer in UHC. The thing is, no one is once they get here! We all like the high quality, efficiency, and lack of queues. And, shock of shocks, those who are able to are more than happy to pay for it.

            2. I fully expect within a year from now Welch and Gillespie will be singing the praises of certain (social issuey) aspects of the law.

              They already are in a sense since their support for gay marriage basically comes down to “Straight couples get a license to seek rent, so gay couples should too!” Mandatory spousal coverage is a big part of that. And really, what’s more libertarian than getting a license from the government that allows you to force ostensibly private insurance companies to cover your romantic partner (without regard to pre-existing condition, don’t forget!)

          3. I was too busy to comment yesterday but the peanut gallery was wrong again as usual (in assuming they should vote for Romney).

            Uh, you DO realize who they voted for and who they SHOULD have voted for cane be 2 different things, right?

            1. Wait, by “should” are you referring to the prediction of who they would vote for? Sorry about that, my mistake.

          4. “Young voters know of only three presidents, Clinton, Bush, and Obama so they associate the GOP with the worst president in US history. ”

            Why would you associate the GOP with Obama?

        3. Do Youth-krainians believe that healthcare is a right?

        4. The pay-for-our-medical-care part I think in the long run is inevitable. People just won’t stand for not having this risk involuntarily socialized. In an alternate hx where gov’t hadn’t grown so big by now, that could’ve been resisted, but now that people have seen it’s possible to take so much in taxes and/or mandates, they couldn’t stand its not being done for medicine to compensate for some people’s bad luck.

        5. Medical care IS a right. The problem is the government preventing a free market in medical care.

          1. If I have an infection, I shouldn’t need a $200 permission slip to buy $5 worth of antibiotics.

      2. “…young voters are more secular and free market than older voters.”

        Most people I meet who didnt grow up in the country, young or old, when the subject of guns comes up ask me ” Dont you have to have a permit for that?!”

        My answer; ” No, I dont have to suck some bureaucrat’s cock to have it. Go read the second amendment.”

        And what Groovus said. Most young people today fervently believe in positive rights.

  4. Just as an individual’s attitude toward gay people depends to a large extent on how many he knows (or, more to the point, realizes he knows)…

    I remember once chatting with my grandmother about a gay friend of mine, and she said, “I have never in my life met a homosexual.” It was all I could do to stop myself from saying, “what about your favorite niece, the most obvious lesbian that ever walked the earth?”

    1. and she said, “I have never in my life met a homosexual.”

      How does one know? Most people don’t wear their sexual preference on their sleeves. Granted, quite a few gay men and women do in this day and age. I remember a college buddy of mine whose every third word was gay this or that. I turned to him one day and said “I get it, you’re gay. Can we now move on to the other facets of your life that are infinitely more interesting?” Then we talked about Star Trek.

      1. Let me guess: mostly about Lt Broccoli and Wesley right?

  5. Nothing says liberty quite like using government force to redefine a word in the name of forced social acceptance!

    Go government!

    1. That is one of the best comments I’ve ever read on the topic. Awesome.

  6. “Nationwide support for marijuana legalization, like nationwide support for gay marriage, has increased dramatically, although not quite as swiftly, rising from 12 percent in a 1969 Gallup poll to a record 50 percent last year.”

    Polls showed both issues at the same level of support in 1996; since then, they have tracked pretty closely.

  7. In the case of pot, I suspect it’s more self interest than familiarity. Something like 2/3 of America has smoked it at least once, IIRC.

    By the way, I hate pothead and alcoholics more than almost anyone else on this planet, but I’m in favor of both marijuana and alcohol being legal. Sometimes it’s not familiarity or self interest, but just principle.

  8. “Surveys now indicate that most Americans support gay marriage.”
    Great editing there.
    I’m glad Sullen didn’t try to say, as Gillespe did previously, that this proves that the young are more “libertarian.” They support hese things because they love pot and have friedns who love gay sex. If homosexual sex and mind dimming drugs are a major part of libertarianism, worthy of cancelling out socialism, I could do without libertarianism. You don’t see them more likely to oppose prohibitions on junk food or prostitution. I would like to make another, somewhat unrelated point about “youth.”(In quotes because I really do not see myself, age 28, as a youth, nor would most of my parents generation.) White youth voted 53% for Romney, despite an overall youth vote of 60% for Obama. This is due largely to liberal sucsess in electing a new people. So keep in mind that when the subject of “youth,” comes up, a good portion of it is caused by race rather than age.

    1. If liberty is a major part of libertarianism, worthy of cancelling out socialism, I could do without libertarianism. FIFY, Mr. Stalin.

      1. Insightfull.(sarcasm)

    2. “They support hese things because they love pot and have friedns who love gay sex. If homosexual sex and mind dimming drugs are a major part of libertarianism, worthy of cancelling out socialism, I could do without libertarianism.”

      So you believe in invoking the state to restrict the freedoms of millions of people you don’t know, for no tangible benefit to you, because you disapprove of them?
      By the way, I’m 19, white, and I find both pot and gay sex fairly disgusting. But it doesn’t affect me in the least what they do. It’s not about imposing as much influence as you can on others, like socialism and big-government Republicanism, but the principle that you can run your life as you see fit.

      1. You totally misunderstood my post. I was refering to the notion, expressed by Gillespe, that support for these things is proof people are becoming more “libertarian.” If support for these thins is worth ignoring the young’s socialist tendancies, then I could go without libertarianism.

        1. The youth’s socialist tendencies? But even you said that a slight majority of *white* youth supported Romney. But I guess that’s just another moral failing, besides the depraved sexual activity and substance abuse, that’s inherent to all brown people, eh?

    3. Everything is race-based for you, isn’t it?

      1. Race, more than anything else, is the defining issue of our time.

        1. Race is the most divisive issue of our time. Are you fucking kidding me? What about the steady encroachment of Government on liberty, or the U.S. going bankrupt, or the rising influence of Communist China, or climate change, or sea level rise, or an apocalyptic mega virus, or ocean acidification resulting in a collapse of marine food stocks, or a catastrophic solar flare wiping out power grids, or a continent-crushing asteroid? In fact, racial annihilation is fairly low on my list of the biggest, most critical issues.

          1. The first two things are caused, to a very large extent, by race. Non-whites and white liberal “anti-racists” have been the major component of liberal ideology. I really don’t understand why China matters. The next four are important, certanly. The last two are stupid.

  9. merry christmas to u,thank you so much.

  10. earned that one “Sharon Levy” cares more for boot licking than the Hip sohbet odalar? & cinsel sohbet

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