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What Does Rising Support for Legalizing Both Marijuana and Same-Sex Marriage Mean?

Notions of individual autonomy may be increasingly important to the American public, says new study.

MarijuanaSameSexSergeiBachlakovDreamstimeSergei Bachlakov/DreamstimeA new study, "Should Mary and Jane Be Legal?," in Public Opinion Quarterly traces the changes in American attitudes toward both legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage from 1988 to 2014. The Indiana University researchers use data from the General Social Survey to see how views changed over time. The researchers point out, "Because support for marijuana and same-sex marriage legalization have not been explicitly compared, we do not know exactly how attitudes toward these issues have moved together over time, whether people who support marijuana are the same people who support marriage, nor what might predict someone supporting one issue but not the other." So they compared four groups of people: (1) those who support neither; (2) those who support marijuana but not same-sex marriage legalization; (3) those who support marriage but not marijuana legalization; and (4) those who support both.

They found that ...

...support for marijuana legalization more than doubled from 1988 (17.7 percent) to 2006 (38.4 percent). Support for same-sex marriage legalization almost tripled from 1988 (12.1 percent) to 2006 (35.6 percent). In 2012, slightly more than half of all Americans supported marijuana legalization (50.3 percent) and same-sex marriage legalization (50.6 percent). By 2014, almost three out of every five Americans supported marijuana legalization (57.4 percent) and marriage legalization (57.8 percent).

Basically, support for both the legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage increased as opposition to both fell. In other words, over the last three decades Americans have been adopting a more libertarian attitude toward both. GSSMarijuanaSameSexGSSSchnabel & Sevell

The researchers speculate:

Why are seemingly disparate issues evoking similar ideological responses? Both marijuana and same-sex marriage legalization are related to individual liberty and what the government should and should not regulate, and therefore our findings may reflect a broader shift in the public's support for maximizing individual freedom—or autonomy—and not regulating behavior that does not affect others. Our findings speak to the possibility of a wider liberalization (or maybe just libertarianization) of American attitudes that should be examined in future research.

In 1988, most Americans wanted the government to regulate these issues, but in 2014 Americans want people to be able to choose for themselves whether these behaviors are right for them. ... Policy legitimation justify and reinforce the redefinition of marijuana and same-sex marriage from behaviors to regulate to issues of individual autonomy that, in the views of many, do not have much effect beyond the individual.

I think that their findings do reflect a broadening of public support for maximizing individual freedom.

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  • __Warren__||

    Smokin' ass-sex!

  • ||

    How do you bake a gay pot cake? Is it mandatory?

  • __Warren__||

    It's not forbidden, therefore it's wo/mandatory.

  • ||

    It absolutely is forbidden in the state in which I live. Not the gay part, the pot part. They legalized medical cannabis here a couple of years ago and then nothing happened and no one knows anything about it.

  • Eman||

    Massachussets? Totally their m.o.

  • Ted S.||

    With Mexicans.

  • ||

    It means that ze Sheriff Sessions gonna have a field day with them homo dopers!

  • Citizen X||

    Gon' butt-chug a pot reefer!

  • __Warren__||

    Put a dong in your bong!

  • R C Dean||

    Both marijuana and same-sex marriage legalization are related to individual liberty and what the government should and should not regulate, and therefore our findings may reflect a broader shift in the public's support for maximizing individual freedom—or autonomy—and not regulating behavior that does not affect others.

    Two data points does not a trend make. I can think of one other, possibly - gun rights. Of course, the "does not affect others" is a highly debatable point, especially with gay marriage, which was desired precisely because the status of being legally married does affect others.

    But then there are a whole stack of countervailing data points, as the regulatory state continues to metastasize.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Yeah, I was wondering how

    "I think that their findings do reflect a broadening of public support for maximizing individual freedom."

    squares with the acceptance or cheering of Leviathan's every growing presence in people's lives (vape ban!!! you left a kid alone for more than 10 seconds, call the cops!!! you can't do nails without 1000 hours of training!!!! zoning!!!! rent control!!!! lets make it harder for people to use cars!!!!)

  • ||

    Because the Cosmos actually think that there are liberals in this country, outside of libertarians (there's not) and that those so called 'liberals' have to support a package, not individual thoughts. Therefore, you cannot be for legal weed unless you're also for gay marriage. Don't get me wrong, I think most people here support both of those things, but libertarians are definitely not the herd animals that cosmos and 'faux liberals' are.

  • ||

    "I think that their findings do reflect a broadening of public support for maximizing individual freedom."

    squares with the acceptance or cheering of Leviathan's every growing presence in people's lives (vape ban!!! you left a kid alone for more than 10 seconds, call the cops!!! you can't do nails without 1000 hours of training!!!! zoning!!!! rent control!!!! lets make it harder for people to use cars!!!!)

    If you inject Ronal'd Beilij with Botox, give him some pannicular, droopy Moobs, gouge out his Malenkij Bejlinki and make a Sarlacc-esque snatch for him, and bestow upon him the last name, "Pelosi," it all makes perfect sense, Swiss.

    Because *THAT* was Rep. "We must pass it to find out what's in it"'s *EXACT* argument for ObamneyCare.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    I hope you don't actually think you're funny.

  • ||

    Nope. Not one iota. Fact stands, Ronal'd is one of those people that does see expanded areas of government that benefits his near & dear to his hear single issue(s) as increasing his freedom, aided by technology as a conveyance of convenience (and mistaking that for a net increase in freedom), overall. Its conflation is not unlike Pelosi's rationalisations.

    Pelosi said, ObamneyCare, would, and I quote:

    "And just think, that you could be a photographer or writer," Pelosi said, "start your own business, be self-employed, as well as change jobs or start a business and not have to be constrained by whether you had affordable and accessible quality health care.

    "That's what this legislation does," she said.

    Pelosi often has praised Obamacare in this way, saying it enables Americans to quit their jobs and become artists.

    "We see it as an entrepreneurial bill," Pelosi said in May 2010. "A bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care."

    I don't think that's very funny at all.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    I see it's much worse. You think you're smart and funny.

  • ||

    Blistering riposte.

  • Sam Haysom||

    I'd say 75% of the "data" behind each trumpeted libertarian moment is the product of this conflation of freedom and convenience.

    Additionally if you were to distill libertarianism down to a list of ideas and attitudes and run a regression analysis on a 2000 person sample I'd say support for gay marriage and legalized pot would be at or near the very bottom in terms of correlation to other libertarian beliefs. If I were a libertarian I think I'd at least be skeptical about the fact that all the supposed libertarian victories of the past twenty years have for the most part been on issues with wide spread support from the left wing cultural and political institutions.

  • Robert||

    Got time? Take your own telephone poll. Just phone strangers & ask them a few of those questions, and do that regression analysis. Better yet, get a statistical package that lets you do cluster analysis to see which attitudes tend to go together. Or look at the Times-Mirror-WhoeverDoesItNow survey of the American electorate, and you'll get some approximation of what you want, though not exactly of course. Nor do they cover other countries. Lots of room for research there, and all it takes is time, no fancy equipment. Helps if you have a good phone manner & don't mind getting hung up on a lot; if so, it can be fun.

  • ScareCroWoodChippeRepair||

    expanded areas of government that benefits his near & dear to his hear single issue(s)

    So the government no longer restricting something is an expansion of government power?

    I don't see your point. Maybe mellow a bit and try again.

  • ||

    So the government no longer restricting something is an expansion of government power?

    1) The pot mantra of, "Legalise, Regulate, and Tax," to gain legitimacy with those who otherwise would not jump on the, "Legalise, decriminalise," bandwagon;

    2) So-called (alleged) Man-Made Global Warming regs, especially Carbon Taxes/Fees, and emissions standards;

    3) His quest for Immortality (he honestly doesn't care who provides it - government bodies like the NIH or NHS; or crony consortiums like Big Pharma, nor anyone else who might get a special research carve out).

    4) As John points out below, Gay Marriage was foisted via courts (ostensibly on Equal Protection Grounds, which the legal reasoning is shaky at best), not because of sweeping changes in public opinion as Ronal'd claims.

    5) The mass acceptance of Driveless Cars with necessarily require much local, state, and federal intervention to become a thing, and Ronal'd has no problems with AI mandates to achieve this goal.

  • Threedoor||

    It's always a tax thing for the left. A libertarian would say, nope, sales tax only. A lefty says, man it's good for the state and then progresses to set up a vat on it like Washington state.

  • Robert||

    Leviathan's every growing presence in people's lives (vape ban!!! you left a kid alone for more than 10 seconds, call the cops!!! you can't do nails without 1000 hours of training!!!! zoning!!!! rent control!!!! lets make it harder for people to use cars!!!!)


    There may just be the appearance of such a growing presence because of the stories you seek out. From our extreme POV, everything else looks extreme the opposite way. We pick a lot of nits. I don't think Leviathan is actually increasing, it just looks like it's getting bigger as you turn up the magnif'n on the microscope, even as it shrinks.

  • R C Dean||

    By what measure is Leviathan not increasing?

  • Robert||

    How many times do I have to keep listing them? This comes up periodically, and it seems everyone forgets what I write. I write about the freedoms we've been gaining, & then it's like, oh, yeah, forgot about all those. Then they forget until next time.

  • Robert||

    OK, here's a few I might not have raised in recent yrs. Think of all the health care professions that, years ago, would've required a medical or dental license to do for $ legally. Now there are a lot more options: nurse practitioners, physicians' assistants, nurse midwives, hygienists, even faith healing.

    How about the various kinds of animals people are allowed to keep in many places that would've outlawed them as pets previously? Or the places that used to require licenses for dogs & various pets that don't any more?

    How about interstate milk sales? How about dietary supplements that would've been counted as drugs in the past?

    Why did Jim Rogers conclude that [Red] China was good for biz? Or look at S. Korea. Or even Vietnam.

  • Ron Bailey||

    RCD: Gallup Poll reports that support for stricter gun control fell from 78 percent in 1990 to 44 percent in 2012 and bounced up 55 percent in 2015. Still the trend has been toward a more libertarian attitude with respect to gun rights.

  • John Titor||

    I think that their findings do reflect a broadening of public support for maximizing individual freedom that I personally approve of or at least tolerate.

    The bolded, is, of course, the part that Reason always ignores when they make statements like this. There isn't a broadening of public support for maximizing individual freedom, there is a broadening of public support for behaviours that traditionally were seen as negative or unacceptable but are now more accepted or commonplace.

    Poll the same people on legalized meth use or incest. Or business regulations and healthcare choice. See how many are in favour of maximizing individual freedom.

  • ||

    And the bolded part is the most relevant part. Sure, Democrats might be ok with you having gay sex or an abortion, but they'd like to see your arse locked up for taking advantage of your 2nd amendment rights. Sure, conservotards support your right to have your gun, but they'd like to see you in a rape cage for smoking a plant.

  • John Titor||

    In fact, if you want a good marker for a 'libertarian moment'? Determine an activity or action that absolutely disgusts a person (and is not a NAP violation), then ask if they're fine with other people engaging in whatever it is, without government regulation. You get the majority of people to agree to that, then that's a libertarian moment.

  • ||

    I can't even count the number of times that I've heard conservatives go on a tirade about liberty and how the government is doing all sort of things they shouldn't be doing and the government needs to get out of our daily lives. Yet their number 1 reason for not voting Democrat is 'They want to legalize dope!'. You cannot make this shit up. This is why any hope for restoring liberty in this country is completely fucked.

  • aelhues||

    That is a frustration of mine. I'm probably more conservative than most here, but vastly more libertarian then most people I know. It's baffling to me when people don't understand that I don't want others punished for doing things that I think are wrong, or harmful to no one but the person choosing the action. Pot is certainly an excellent example of this (though many I know are coming around).

  • Sam Haysom||

    This is an example of where your understanding of pot laws is less sophisticated and knowledagable than those conservatives (many of whom lived through the horrific crime spike of the late sixties and seventies). As much as I despise pot heads and roll my eyes at the instance by pot heads of all the fascinating things and value created by supposed regular pot users, I don't want people going to jail for smoking weed. And thankfully in this country the chances of you going to jail for simple possession are almost non-existent. You are far more likely to go to jail for alimony non payment than you are simple possession. That said one thing the weed laws in this country do allow for is for arresting quite a few vicious criminals who would otherwise be impossible to arrest. I don't expect you to agree with this reasoning but the argument that conservatives just want to harsh your buzz is ridiculous and a complete mischaracterization

  • Sam Haysom||

    I'm sorry I don't believe for a second you know more than one person like this. For such a salient issue supposedly it barely registered as an issue in any exit polling.

  • Swiss Servator||

    SugarFree fic WITHOUT a warning label?!?!?!?!?!

  • SIV||

    Cockfighting, for example

  • SugarFree||

    Zip it up, cuck.

  • John Titor||

    Funny that you should use meth (well not really because I used it, but there was a point to it). I grew up in a shitty rural area surrounded by the Canadian version of rednecks. And there was a ton of rampant alcohol and drug abuse, including some incredibly depressing meth addicts. I saw kids in school who were completely neglected by their meth-addicted parents, and I saw people who after school threw years away on the meth train (including a particularly depressing case of a high school friend who effectively became a whore for it). Meth use absolutely disgusts me, I've seen it rot away normal people into shells of their former selves.

    I'm not 'ok with meth' but I recognize that ultimately it's a stupid, stupid personal decision and not something that can be solved by the drug war. Government action is not a solution to the problem no matter how much I dislike it.

  • dschwar||

    I have to disagree. There is a wide range of stuff that I don't care for but that I know other people do (like Jell-O, say). I don't believe my emotional, irrational hatred of those pieces of inedible plastic should control whether other people who, through some genetic mutation find it palatable, be allowed to derive pleasure from eating it.

    Just because I don't want the laws reflecting my emotional slants doesn't mean I won't have emotional slants.

  • Threedoor||

    Ranch dressing. I hate it and so should you.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Of course this false equivalence requires you to pretend to believe that possession or consumption of weed on its on in this country consistently leads to jail time.

  • GILMORE™||

    Exactly.

    I was going to make a similar point myself.

    Poll the same people on legalized meth use or incest. Or business regulations and healthcare choice. See how many are in favour of maximizing individual freedom.

    Better = show a chart reflecting people's tolerance of "Tobacco use" between the 1980s and now.

    which would give the lie to the claim that Americans are developing "more libertarian attitudes". Its not that they're getting more libertarian. Its just that the 'overton window' of public-acceptability has shifted slightly.

    Some things have been added, and other things have been removed; but both are being treated with exactly the same mindset which treats Alcohol as a substance demanding strict regulation and requiring multiple layers of law circumscribing behaviors.

    There's absolutely zero evidence of an 'increasingly libertarian attitude'. If there were, i'd expect to see it not in areas like "increased willingness to "legalize" (read: write lots of new laws about) weed"....

    ....but rather, "increased willingness to *liberalize* existing laws = like making the drinking age 18, or getting rid of open-container laws, or getting rid of smoking bans in public-housing, or loosening the FDA barriers on letting experiemental drugs come to market"... and on and on and on.

    Merely adding new behaviors to the list of "illiberally regulated" things isn't a sign of any libertarian trend.

  • ||

    You're right. We're less free today than we've ever been in the history of the nation. And we're getting less free by the moment. And all appearances are that most people are just fine with that.

  • R C Dean||

    I could quibble with "in the history of the nation", because slavery.

    I think there's an argument for placing the high water mark of freedom in the mid-'60s; Jim Crow was killed off, although new federal infringements on freedom of association and contract were put in place, so there's a dark cloud with that silver lining.

    Regardless, for at least 50 years freedom has been under an unrelenting and successful assault, with the occasional successful rearguard actions (defeat of the ERA) and tactical counterattacks (airline dereg) notable as lonely counterexamples.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Look RC, how the hell else are you going to judge a pitcher's effectiveness?

    - P.S. This is a joke as I am of the persuasion that ERA is the single worst stat for predicting anything closely followed by Batting Average. No sarc/

  • Robert||

    Not just slavery. Not just airline dereg.

    The draft. Gold prohib'n. Fuckin' hitchhiking prohib'n, fer cryin' out loud! No choice in phone or electricity service. Far fewer shall-issue states. Homosex actitvity was illegal. The amount of porn treated as obscene. And a ton of other stuff. The USA & the world in general have gotten much freer over my lifetime (b. 1954).

  • Robert||

    for at least 50 years freedom has been under an unrelenting and successful assault,


    Yeah, at least 50 yrs...about 5 billion...ever since the 2nd living thing tried to kill the 1st living thing, freedom's been under assault...but not successfully. We're freer than 50 yrs. ago, 500 yrs. ago, 5,000, 50,000, or 500,000 yrs. ago, I'm sure.

  • John Titor||

    We're freer than 50 yrs. ago, 500 yrs. ago, 5,000, 50,000, or 500,000 yrs. ago, I'm sure.

    More complicated than that, and depends on the situation. A man in Colorado territory in 1870? Vastly more free than a man in Denver in 2016. The 'we're more freer now' argument tends to avoid the fact that there used to be places that you could escape to. Now? The world gets smaller and smaller, and those fringes are becoming harder and harder to find.

  • Robert||

    I meant free to interact w other persons, not just to run to where nobody else can find you & be alone.

  • John Titor||

    Not the case either. Free to form communities, and freedom from general oversight of those in power. Denver 1870 has significantly less rules, taxes and surveillance than Denver 2016.

  • aelhues||

    Regulation of behaviors while driving is seemingly supported by the majority. The idea that people should be punished for actually doing something harmful to others instead of behaviors that are considered too risky isn't acceptable because....roads will become more dangerous!!

    I always try to counter with the suggestion that actual serious punishment for actual damages from wrecks (not accidents) due to whatever reason, will do a better job then petty little fines for bullshit risky behaviors most people do anyway. Usually falls on deaf ears.

  • ||

    Because revenue. No one obeys any traffic laws here, including texting while driving. I don't think people should text and drive, I almost got hit head on by an idiot texting. The only way I didn't was that it was in a place with a very wide shoulder and I had to get all the way off the road. But no law is going to stop idiots from doing this. I see just as many people doing it as before. And the authorities know no one is going to stop doing it, and that's the plan. Revenue, that's all any of it is about. If they thought a law would actually stop everyone from doing something, the law would never get passed. 99% of the laws we have are either unnecessary or unconstitutional or both. We probably had all the laws we'll ever need 200 years ago. Everything else is just for the sole purpose of more control over people or more revenue generation. Congress should meet once a year to pass a budget, or repeal some useless unconstitutional bullshit and then go home, no pay.

  • Citizen X||

    Necessary rules:
    1. Don't hurt people.
    2. Don't take or damage their stuff.

  • aelhues||

    Oh, I get it. It just irritates me when people not benefiting directly from the revenue support that kind of bullshit.

  • Sam Haysom||

    If they thought a law would actually stop everyone from doing something, the law would never get passed.

    This is just another just so story that libertarians tell themselves. You have no idea either way whether or not this is true. Does this logic apply to rape and murder as well?

  • kbolino||

    If they thought a law would actually stop everyone from doing something, the law would never get passed.

    What? That doesn't make any sense.

  • aelhues||

    I can't figure out what the second part means either.

    But, just guessing: No, rape and murder laws are not there just for revenue....suggesting that that might be what Hyp meant just makes you sound like an idiot.

  • Sam Haysom||

    It's copy and pasted from the comment above.

  • kbolino||

    Some kind of formatting, even just quotation marks, would be helpful to indicate that fact.

  • kbolino||

    If they thought a law would actually stop everyone from doing something, the law would never get passed.

    Commenting on this line, in context with Sam Haysom's statement above:

    A lot of people

    1. Don't realize what the maximal consequences of violating the law are
    2. Don't expect to face the maximal consequences for one reason or another,
    3. Think it's "best" that the state act like a parent to them
    4. Don't participate in the behavior in question even if they have other vices, and so see the law targeting other people, not themselves

    That's enough qualifications/perceptions to get a majority.

  • GILMORE™||

    I think there are better examples than "cars". people routinely kill each other by accident with cars. which maybe justifies some regulations which less-fatal things do not.

    People also kill themselves by accident more often with, say, Acetaminophen overdose, than heroin. But when confronted with those details, people typically think the answer is to "increase regulation of Tylenol"

    I think the areas that scream the opposite of any libertarian moment are how people increasingly demand rules for things that have been liberal for decades, yet don't actually show any sign of being a problem. e.g. Tobacco use is actually in secular decline for the last 20 years. Yet the amount of anti-tobacco animus and money-spent on prevention, etc. has never been higher.

  • aelhues||

    The point with regard to driving regulation wasn't to suggest there should be none, but that making things like texting illegal is unnecessarily complex, and necessarily ineffective. Especially when you can cause an actual wreck through inattentiveness, sleepiness, or whatever, and receive no punishment. After all, it was just an accident. But if you caused that wreck and someone saw you texting...holly hell...

  • GILMORE™||

    The point with regard to driving regulation wasn't to suggest there should be none, but that making things like texting illegal is unnecessarily complex, and necessarily ineffective

    agreed.

  • Sam Haysom||

    This is why libertarianism is going to always be a limited political movement. Most people do not drink and drive- why do libertarians suffer from such a prediliction to project. Driving is a privilege with privileges come basic responsibilities. You can drink and drive on your own land to your hearts content. Also most people not suffering from aspergers consider throwing a guy in jail after he plows into station wagon killing a mom and her three kids a pretty wretched resolution. Just about everyone on earth would much rather the incident ended with the drunk pulled over for a DUI.

  • aelhues||

    If you're driving poorly enough that you get pulled over for drunk driving, you should be punished. It's difficult to make reckless/erratic driving stick without breaking some specific additional rule, and in that case I'd be fine with egregious risky (drunk/high) behavior. It's just very difficult to find the appropriate lines. I happen to think that if a normal, reasonable person can do it without harming others, it should be allowed, which certainly includes texting while driving.

  • kbolino||

    Every law can be defended in some fashion or another. But who answers for the unintended consequences? DUI sounds great until someone's life is ruined at a "sobriety checkpoint" for having one drink because, even though BAC is not a good proxy for intoxication, it can be measured and prosecuted easily, or the cops are messing with somebody who's sleeping it off in a running car but was never going to drive it while intoxicated, because who's going to stop them?

    Law is a grant of power to the state. That is a price. Sometimes the price is worth it. Sometimes it's not. And a lot of the time, it is a mixed bag.

  • Sam Haysom||

    I'm curious when do actions have consequences and when do they not. Lots of choices improve and hinder our success in life it seems weird to me that for libertarians when it comes to getting fucked up well the consequences need to just be put on hold.

    The best way to not ruin your life is to not drink and then drive. I mean why'd we have to ruin those poor Mendenez brothers' lives just because they didn't want to wait for their inheritance. Yes that's an exaggeration, but so is the idea that your life is ruined by a DUI. Yes the penalties are harsh, but no one's life is ruined by a DUI.

  • kbolino||

    Yes the penalties are harsh, but no one's life is ruined by a DUI.

    The first clause doesn't quite negate the second clause but makes it pretty damn difficult to justify as a universal qualification.

    And if it takes 10 years to recover, that might not be your entire life ruined but it's hardly a minor imposition, either.

    The point is that the behavior is not always and everywhere proved to be dangerous. Only that it meets an arbitrary definition or threshold. The penalty being appropriate for some offense does not prove that it is justified for this offense. DUI is not, as presently defined and enforced, a positive filter for bad behavior.

  • Robert||

    There's absolutely zero evidence of an 'increasingly libertarian attitude'. If there were, i'd expect to see it not in areas like "increased willingness to "legalize" (read: write lots of new laws about) weed"....

    ....but rather, "increased willingness to *liberalize* existing laws = like making the drinking age 18, or getting rid of open-container laws, or getting rid of smoking bans in public-housing, or loosening the FDA barriers on letting experiemental drugs come to market"... and on and on and on.

    Merely adding new behaviors to the list of "illiberally regulated" things isn't a sign of any libertarian trend.


    Yes it is, if everything else stays the same. You have to add everything up to make this determination, but moving from total prohibition to permission under certain conditions is definitely an advance in liberty. You'd be pointlessly oppositional to think otherwise. Expanding the conditions under which it's legal is also an advance in liberty. They both count.

  • Robert||

    All of that is true, but what about the trend over time? If yesterday 90% wanted something illegal, and today only 80%, that's an advance, if the percentages of other things they want illegal stayed the same. Everything's relative.

  • John Titor||

    Except that assumes that the trend is going only one way. As Gilmore points out, let's see who's in favour of complete tobacco bans in comparison to decades past before we equate tolerance for socially accepted vices as a sudden net increase.

  • Robert||

    Of course you have to measure everything, but Gilmore seems not to be interested in putting it all on the table.

  • John Titor||

    The problem is that Bailey sees it as 'a broadening of public support for maximizing individual freedom' when it's not. It's not about maximizing individual freedom, it's about a tolerance for certain behaviour that is still contextualized within a statist framework of control.

    Caesar tolerates your actions, citizen, provided you of course register with him and he taxes your vice.

  • Robert||

    Bailey is picking cherries, but so is Gilmore.

    And isn't it better that Caesar tolerate your actions, rather than not tolerating any actions? Or even giving no advance notice as to what he'll tolerate?

  • John Titor||

    This isn't a utilitarian argument about what is better, this is an argument about what is freedom. And you are not more free because it means Caesar controls you and your behaviour. He's not allowing you to be free, he's allowing you to act in a pre-approved manner that provides a benefit to him through either control or monetary gain. To ask and receive permission to do something (provided, of course, that you do so in the guidelines set up) is not freedom, it's social control that gives you an illusion of freedom. You're just looking at the shadows on the cave wall and calling it reality.

  • Robert||

    The freedom can't exist as long as there's more than 1 sentient being w agency. The other always might fuck w the one.

  • GILMORE™||

    Gilmore seems not to be interested in putting it all on the table.

    I absolutely am. And i don't think the net-net of cultural change - even if it includes a few things that were 'unthinkable' 20 years ago - is actually in a more-libertarian-direction.

    I think it might be in a more 'liberal' direction (as in 'more left, culturally') but by no means more-libertarian.

    a friendlier attitude towards gays doesn't compensate for greater proscription of everyone's behavior, across the board.

    My 'litmus test' for freedom has been stuff like = can you drink a beer on a public beach?

    Much more boring, every-day freedom is *lost* every year than is gained.

    when i look at stuff like the Patriot Act, and see almost no one really trying to repeal its measures.... i don't feel like we're more libertarian than the 1980s, when "Papers Please"-behavior by authorities would have been seen as Soviet-level impositions.

  • Robert||

    I don't see much change in the beer-on-beach case over my lifetime...but now you can legally brew your own. And there are even public clothing-optional beaches now.

    How many people are actually affected, as opposed to theoretically could-be affected, by the Patriot Act? If its provisions actually affected large #s, then they would be repealed. And by "actually affected", it doesn't count if you don't know that you've been affected, because all value is subjective. If someone finds out your secrets, but you never find out that that someone has found them out, then you have not been harmed, because the only potential hurt would be to your feelings, and what you don't know you can't feel.

  • GILMORE™||

    I don't see much change in the beer-on-beach case over my lifetime..

    Robert = you're also a New Yorker, if i recall.

    The basis for that point was basically "jones beach & fire island" (and maybe coney to a lesser degree).

    When i was in HS, and then later in college, it was a thing for my friends to occasionally find someone with a car (or cars) and go out to the shore = and when there, drink beer and play sports on the beach.

    in the 1990s they passed all sorts of rules forbidding both those things. Now you get tickets if you throw a frisbee around in the wrong place. Alcohol is pretty much vertbotten anywhere (although if you go through contortions you can still sneak booze onto the beach, but you shouldn't have to)

    The reason i cite those things is because they were standard practice when i was a kid, and kids today can't do those things. Its a net loss.

    And there are even public clothing-optional beaches now

    Sorry, fire-island had its nude-section even in the 1980s. No one ever went there because of the horrible mosquitoes. its not a good example.

    How many people are actually affected, as opposed to theoretically could-be affected, by the Patriot Act?

    I was myself on the terror-watch list/special selection for 4 years. Because of mistaken identity.

  • Robert||

    I'm a Jerseyite now.

    Sure, the 1980s, but my memory goes back farther, to before there were nude beaches or a lot of other freedoms that we now have.

  • __Warren__||

    I guess this libertarian moment is not exciting enough for people.

  • MarconiDarwin||

    For libertarians, yes. For reason.com conservatives pretending to be libertarians, it is positively nightmarish

  • ||

    A bunch of high fags?

  • ||

    I'm getting an inspiration for a modern day urban Western film 'High Fag Grifter'.

  • Crying Zelda Morning Link||

    I think it means that people trust their own experiences more than they trust what they're told. If only drop outs smoked pot, if all gay guys just fucked around without commitment, and if Uber was slower than ordinary taxis, I don't think people would support pot, gay marriage, and Uber like they do. But we know successful people who blaze, gay brothers who are committed, and Ubers that can be anywhere within ten minutes. It's more about freedom that works than freedom, but it's better than nothing.

  • R C Dean||

    It's more about freedom that works than freedom

    Two thoughts:

    (1) Much of the regulation and restrictions on freedom are incremental reductions of freedom that has, in fact, worked for quite some time. Hasn't stopped "freedom that works" from being smothered.

    (2) You aren't free unless you are free to be wrong.

  • Crying Zelda Morning Link||

    I think that's right. It depends on what people see and know. How many people know someone who carries a handgun for personal protection? If feminists started open carrying as an experiment in empowerment, I have no doubts that gun support among progressives would go up. Also, personal liberties are easier to see than economic ones, and they matter more to people who have time to kill but no family to feed.

    Everyone's in a bubble. I was reading something about how generic AirBNB has become. A global market reach hasn't created global diversity; it's just created a global network for the same upper middle class traveller to feel at home. I have confidence that people who have a variety of experiences will be more tolerant, but I don't know if they'll seek them out.

  • R C Dean||

    I have confidence that people who have a variety of experiences will be more tolerant

    Depends on the experiences. I haven't met a veteran of our Mideast adventures yet who is more tolerant of Muslim fundies, having experienced them directly.

  • Citizen X||

    My brother came back from Iraq hating EVERYBODY.

  • Threedoor||

    Count me in this lot. Plenty of nice people going about their business over there. As many or more that want the west to burn.

  • R C Dean||

    Sorry, clicked too soon.

    What's notable about pot and gay marriage is that they are exceptions. There is no broad trend toward freedom; the broad trend is the other way, IMO. Are they exceptions that point to a turning tide? I see no reason to believe so, but I've got confirmation bias like anyone else.

  • ||

    When cannabis is finally legalized nationwide, all it means is that it will have to be replaced with something else that is just as fun and profitable for government bureaucracies. 'We already have 2 legal drugs in this country, we don't need a 3rd, think of the children!' *barf*

  • SIV||

    I believe the US population is more pro-gun than they used to be. W/o looking it up I'd guess the percentage who support the right to own a gun for self defense is at least up their with weed and gay marriage.

  • ||

    I'll believe it when I see all the bullshit unconstitutional regulations on the 2nd repealed. When I was growing up, you could walk into Walmart and buy all the guns and ammo you could carry, no questions asked.

  • Robert||

    You need them all repealed before you'll believe it? Like you need the sun to be at zenith before you believe it's daytime?

  • Robert||

    There are some things going the other way, but I think more is going towards freedom than away from it. Even the communist countries aren't as communist as they used to be!

    Remember the Fairness Doctrine? Or when biz entities were very restricted as to how many b'cast stns. they could own? When there was only 1 phone co.? And the # of countries in which that was a gov't-owned telco?

    I see states privatizing or at least contemplating privatizing their liquor biz. Do you see any states where they're trying to convert from private to gov't ownership of the liquor biz?

    Look at all the places in the USA you can gamble legally now. And that's besides the gov't ops.

    Even common fireworks are legal in more states now than when I was a child. And they exempted model rocketry from the fireworks laws.

    Home schooling is less & less restricted as time goes on.

    You can even travel legally from the US to Cuba now. I expect some day soon the reverse'll be true too.

  • Libertarian||

    You have a point. But I think it's important to remember that if things don't work, then there's not much of a market for them in the first place.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Ok but an infestimal percent of gays are married. And the percent of gays living in monogamous, exclusive relationships is a tiny tiny minority of gays overall. So if anything this suggests to me that this is based a lot less on their own personal experiences (the majority of people aren't close to someone who is gay married) than it is based on pop culture depictions of gay couples. The gay couple people "know" best is probally the one on Modern Family. Same thing with weed if Hollywood started portraying weed as something non-atheletic high school versions smoked. Then attitudes on weed would shift drastically. It's almost like the arc of history bends exactly in the direction Hollywood is aiming it.

  • kbolino||

    It's almost like the arc of history bends exactly in the direction Hollywood is aiming it.

    Does the tail wag the dog? Hollywood depicts what people want to see.

  • Sam Haysom||

    This is highly naive. 8 anti-Iraq war big studio releases none of which made their budget back is a pretty good illustration or this fact. Do you not find it strange that in a country that is 70 percent Christian you have to stretch your memory to find one positive depiction of a minister or priest in the past decade.

  • kbolino||

    This is highly naive.

    It is not naive. But it probably requires some qualification. Hollywood depicts what some people want to see. Even on network TV, "good" ratings are something like 10 million viewers. Never mind cable where 1 million viewers can make for a successful show. It's hard to figure out how many people go to see a blockbuster movie because of repeat ticket sales but those numbers are probably in the 30–50 million range over the movie's theatrical lifetime. That's a quarter of the adult population. The only form of entertainment that actually gets watched by anything close to a majority of adult Americans is the Super Bowl.

  • kbolino||

    Do you not find it strange that in a country that is 70 percent Christian you have to stretch your memory to find one positive depiction of a minister or priest in the past decade.

    There are a lot of reasons why this is not so strange as you make it out to be. One of them is that less than 40% of Americans attend church regularly. Their consumption of media is not likely to be more religious than they themselves are. Another reason is that people have to want to see it. Why watch a movie about an upstanding minister or priest when you see one such individual every Sunday? A movie portraying priests as pedophiles, or ministers as moneygrubbers, or what have you, might appear to have a commanding media presence but will only be seen by less than 5% of the population. Finally, media suffers from a problem of diffuse tastes. There are lots of positive depictions of priests (EWTN) and ministers (various gospel shows on TV and radio) in media, but their audience is much more spread out than the audience for a blockbuster movie.

    I don't deny that there's a bias in "popular" media. But what gets defined as popular is just a subset of what exists, and doesn't even cover a majority of people, only various and changing pluralities.

  • kbolino||

    8 anti-Iraq war big studio releases none of which made their budget back is a pretty good illustration or this fact.

    If you take the most literal reading of what I wrote and remove it from the context of what you said, sure.

    But in context, it illustrates the opposite. Movies can be made that people don't want to see. And people won't see them. Pet projects are as old as media itself. That doesn't mean they drive what people want.

  • JayU||

    That "supports both" line is really strange in how it shoots up.

    I don't exactly believe that's an accurate representation of peoples' changing opinions. More like somewhere along the line they changed how they got their polling results.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    I hate skeletons. All skeletons must die. And Orcs.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I didn't know you were a Fuccboi-American.

    I'll be more sensitive next time.

  • ||

    Fuccboi is a worldwide pestilence, HM. We, the Calcium Blessed, The Ossified Chosen, shall prevail. They *ALL* become skeltal in the end...

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That is quite true.

    Memento mori. All is vanity.

  • SIV||

  • ||

    "All skeletons must die."

    Have you looked in your closet lately? Those motherfuckers never die.

  • Sonoran Desert Rat||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Matsiyahu has reinvented himself once again, I see.

  • ||

    All of the Palestinians are moving to Dogdick, shreek. You should be able to take in about 300 of them all on your own.

  • Gene||

    ENB rocks!

  • Entelechy||

    File and forget under Libertarians For Liberace

  • The Fusionist||

    "In 1988, most Americans wanted the government to regulate these issues, but in 2014 Americans want people to be able to choose for themselves whether these behaviors are right for them"

    Ha ha ha, don't let it ever be said that libertarians don't have a sense of humor.

    Yeah, Americans don't want the government to regulate gay marriage, they simply want to force opponents of gay marriage to make cakes, T-shirts, etc. for gay weddings, not to mention forcing private employers to extend marriage benefits on equal terms to straight and gay couples.

  • ||

    Also, back in the 70s, weed was illegal, but I never heard of the law actually being enforced, let alone goon squads busting down people's doors at 3am and burning up kids with grenades.

  • GILMORE™||

    back in the 70s, weed was illegal, but I never heard of the law actually being enforced

    A chart depicting the increased "Liberalization" of marijuana from the 1970s to the 2000s

    *note = i first encountered the stuff in the 'medieval' environment of the early 1990s, so unlike our enlightened period today

  • ||

    The Clinton admin was when American started rapidly becoming a police state and it's been downhill all the way since then. We're practically back to the Salem Witch Trials, only with a few million more potential witches.

  • R C Dean||

    not to mention forcing private employers to extend marriage benefits on equal terms to straight and gay couples, while maintaining "domestic partner" benefits for unmarried couples, as long as they are gay.

    Seriously, why are domestic partner anything still around now that gay marriage is legal?

  • ||

    Equal is not equal, some animals are more equal than others.

  • american socialist||

    "What Does Rising Support for Legalizing Both Marijuana and Same-Sex Marriage Mean?"

    Is the answer...

    A.) Social Signalling by guilty White liberals?
    B.) An inconsequential issue that diverts us from praising tax cheats like the Bundy family?
    C.) An example of where social conservatives in the Republican Party have supported us all along?
    D.) All of the above?

  • kbolino||

    tax cheats

    I thought it was good and noble to deprive the powerful of money?

  • american socialist||

    Me too. He should take his war-ending, gay-marriage-legalizing, marijuana-decriminalizing, DADT-ending, Saul Alinskyizing asshole back to Hawaii or Illinois or whatever prosperous, progressive, educated hellhole he came from. The world needs more idiotic American wars and generalized backwardness to laugh at. Having a U.S. Leader that is generally more intelligent, competent and sane than its European and Canadian counterparts is surely an unsettling historical anomaly. Thank god we're bringing back the war and stupid party!

  • Libertarian||

    Um, number one: 700 Chicago murders. Number two: Libya.

  • kbolino||

    war-ending*

    * = No actual wars were ended and a few were started

  • Hank Phillips||

    Observe the nationalsocialist guilt-overcorrection for past genocides by praising the Kenyan. After George Waffen Bush asset-forfeiture confiscations wrecked the economist, even FDR could have been elected instead of another ku-kluxer. But that does not make FDR or the Kenyan smart or ethical.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Observe the nationalsocialist guilt-overcorrection for past genocides by praising the Kenyan. After George Waffen Bush asset-forfeiture confiscations wrecked the economist, even FDR could have been elected instead of another ku-kluxer. But that does not make FDR or the Kenyan smart or ethical.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I want to hear more about this Mary and Jane. Are they hot?

  • The Fusionist||

    I dunno, how stoned are you?

  • Libertarian||

    Lena Dunham-Clinton?

  • MarconiDarwin||

    Melania - KellyAnn

  • Pro Libertate||

    More freedom? More like more ghafla.

  • John||

    Gay marriage has nothing to do with individual autonomy. The autonomy part is the ability to call yourself married and live as such. Getting a government license and the ability to force other people to recognize your marriage has nothing to do with personal autonomy. That is at best about equal protection.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There is nothing disparate about it. Superstition is being replaced by reason as the Grim Reaper carries off superannuated victims of mindless brainwashing. The newer generation, protected somewhat from the dinning threats of torture, Hellfire and Damnation (plus jail, fines, imprisonment, asset forfeiture, tax sales and being shot n the back by ku-klux dry killers)--ain't buying it. With the possible exception of the Saracen Berserker (pumped up by the Military-industrial complex as a Replacement Threat), organized mysticism is headed for extinction. Much of this is thanks to Ayn Rand and the young and vigorous Libertarian Party that changed so many laws in the 1970s. The gerontocracy of mystical faith--including communism--is crawling into the dustbin of History where it belongs. Rolling queers and jailing hippies were up there with wearing sheets and burning crosses. Now only the Tea and Consta2shun parties hold out for Gimme dat Old Tyme Religion.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Notions of individual autonomy may be increasingly important to the American public, says new study.

    Bake me a cake.
    The power of Government compels you! The power of Government compels you! The power of Government compels you!

    Libertarian Moment.

  • MarconiDarwin||

    It means that last set of wingnuts are only to be found in the GOP. Once they die (repeal Obamacare now, for hastening that) at least a lot of the bigotry will die with them.

    Good riddance.

  • Tionico||

    There is a HUGE difference between the "legalisation" of both marijuana and sodomy. The former never should have been declared ILLEGAL in the first place, as it is a natural herb that has a long and safe track record, and does provide some benificial uses. The reason it was outlawed was because of the money and influence of an industry trying to reduce competion for a fledgeling product, said elimination of the competition for that new product assuring strong success. On the other hand, sodomy has no real benefit and many accute dangers, it flies in the face of God's creation order and plan for human life as He established it, it destroys and destabilises society, but even in the face of all that, FedGov still have NO AUTHORITY to make either one of them illegal... though individual states do have the authority to outlaw both.

    FedGov need to butt OUT of both marijuana (and all other drugs, including all pharmaceuticals, whether prescription or otherwise) and sodomy/marriage. Since they were not charged wiht meddling in either of those, they can't.. under the Constitution. and the sooner they've left both alone the better for us all.

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