Legal Marijuana: Support Soars to 58 Percent
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Legal Marijuana: Support Soars to 58 Percent
Posted by CN Staff on October 23, 2013 at 14:12:09 PT
By Patrik Jonsson, Staff Writer
Source: Christian Science Monitor
USA -- The Gallup polling organization is reporting an eye-popping shift of 10 points in American attitudes toward marijuana legalization in the past year alone, with even older citizens warming up to the idea of replacing government pot bans with state regulation and taxation. But what some marijuana advocates are calling a major tipping point in favor of pot legalization may not fully reflect how Americans feel about potentially having pot shops in their neighborhoods, or about marijuana smoke wafting over backyard fences.
After polling 1,028 US adults, Gallup reported Tuesday that 58 percent of Americans now support full marijuana legalization – a major shift from the 48 percent who supported it when Washington State and Colorado voters legalized pot last November. And while Americans who are 65 and older still on the whole oppose legalization, Gallup reports a 16-point swing toward lawful pot in that demographic in the past three years. Clear majorities of younger Americans support legalization, Gallup found.The poll underscores a pivotal time for a movement whose goals not long ago seemed impossible, given America’s strong evangelical streak and traditional support for the so-called war on drugs. Yet even in liberal Denver, local politicians are pushing back against the open smoking of marijuana, and smaller towns are declaring they have no interest in seeing pot shops opening anywhere close to schools or quaint neighborhoods.“There’s always a danger to assigning too much significance to a 10-point shift in public attitudes,” says Robert Mikos, a law professor and marijuana policy expert at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. “If you read the wording of the [Gallup] question, it’s all about the use of marijuana, but what about distribution of marijuana? Should we legalize pot shops? At the local level, people are still leery of legalizing the trafficking side. There’s a lot less support for that stuff than simple possession.”Nevertheless, the poll numbers are sure to further mobilize referendum activists across the United States, says Mason Tvert, communications director at the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. “The poll certainly bodes well for ongoing and upcoming efforts to change state laws,” Mr. Tvert says.States including Oregon, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Arizona, and Rhode Island are set to see major legalization efforts over the next two years. In California, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said last week that marijuana should be legal in the Golden State.The rapid shift in public opinion concerns antidrug advocates, who see the legalization movement pose dangers to American youths.“We’re concerned about the impact that we’re going to see if we allow a big marijuana industry to rise up that will literally shadow the tobacco and alcohol industries,” Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free American Foundation, told the Monitor this summer. “We already know the damage those industries have caused.”Experience with the tobacco and alcohol industries, Ms. Fay notes, suggests they know that “if you want a faithful customer, you’ve got to hook them young” – which means that “we’re not just concerned about people smoking a joint in their living room, but about a huge industry that will proactively market to our children with horrible consequences.”Oftentimes, major polling shifts precede changing laws, but part of the phenomenon of more-welcoming attitudes toward marijuana has to do with the medical marijuana movement, which began in 1996. Twenty states and the District of Columbia now allow medical marijuana dispensaries, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.Moreover, the decision by the US Department of Justice earlier this year to allow states to create regulatory frameworks for marijuana as long as they don’t allow cross-border trafficking or use by children may also have played a role in softening the public’s attitudes, says Professor Mikos of Vanderbilt.Cultural influences also have helped change opinions, or at least affirmed lingering beliefs, suggests Mr. Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project. The decision by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a well-known CNN personality, to apologize for his past opposition to medical marijuana may have moved the needle on the polling.Also, according to Gallup, 38 percent of Americans acknowledge having tried the drug.Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)Author:  Patrik Jonsson, Staff WriterPublished: October 23, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Christian Science Publishing SocietyContact: letters csmonitor.comWebsite: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by JohnOBonno on October 24, 2013 at 12:34:55 PT:
More convoluted logic.
Ms. Fay suggests that the new industry of marijuana growing and distribution will be so large that it will literally overshadow both the alcohol and tobacco industries, while at the same time need to proactively target the youth of America. That doesn't seem logical to me. If your industry is that big, what weakness do you have on the demand side which prompts you to push to youngsters for new customers? It would seem to me just inane rhetoric, taking the usual theme of doing things "to protect the children." Everything Ms. Fay said here was Just more words with no real meaning behind them. 
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Comment #3 posted by museman on October 23, 2013 at 20:33:19 PT
yep its true
“if you want a faithful customer, you’ve got to hook them young”I was a young republican but then I got high.I was a youthful patriot but then I got high.I was a adolescent redneck but then I got high.I was a decorated hippy but then I got high.And then I became a human.
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Comment #2 posted by disvet13 on October 23, 2013 at 18:55:55 PT:
living in the shadows
poor old big tobacco and big alcohol, having to live in the shadows. she forgot big pharmacy having to suffer too. better them than me. 
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on October 23, 2013 at 14:31:23 PT
Ms. Fay!
Is putting cannabis/marijuana on par with cigarettes and alcohol. How ignorant can you get?It is a FACT that 40,000 Americans die every year from 2nd hand smoke, even though they themselves don't smoke, think little children. Cannabis/marijuana does not do that, it does the opposite it makes you healthier, that's why it is medicine Ms. Fay!Cigarettes kill 50% of their users before the age of 65! I could go on. Cigarettes should not even be legal because they kill bystanders or non-users. Who has ever heard of other products doing that besides cars and their exhaust that kills us?Get a clue Ms. Fay! Do some study, it does not hurt.
Have a Hempy Day!
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