More American States Reconsider Marijuana Laws

HopeTracker| In 1969 12% of Americans believed that marijuana should be made legal; 4% said ‘no’; and 84% had ‘no opinion. By 2009 ‘no opinion’ shrank to 2%, as the lines sharpened into 44% for ‘yes’ and 54% ‘no’. (Note: the 1969 sample of 1585 adults has a +/- of 3%; and the 2009 sample of 488 adults has a +/- of 5%.)

In January 2010, an ABD News-Washington Post poll found that 81% favor the legalization of medical marijuana. Today’s USA Today article is informative, because it interviews James Gray, a former federal prosecutor and county judge who is now a ‘turncoat’ on the topic of legalizing marijuana.

“Let’s face reality,” Gray says. “Taxing and regulating marijuana will make it less available to children than it is today.”

When we think of marijuana in Europe, visions of Amsterdam cafes come to mind.

According to the 2009 annual report, entitled “The State of the Drugs Problem in Europe,” marijuana use among adults in the Netherlands is 5.4 percent compared with the European average of 6.8 percent.

Under Dutch law, citizens over 18 years of age may legally purchase and consume cannabis at licensed cafes (so-called ‘coffee-shops’) located throughout the nation. Availability doesn’t translate into abuse or overuse.

In America, over 40% of adults admit to using marijuana at some time in their lives, vs 22% among European adults. In the same study, the World Health Organization’s study of 85,000 households concludes that America has the highest drug use in the world.

With our extensive drug enforcement effort and Nancy Reagan’s ‘just so no’ approach to drugs, coupled with a chorus of Conservative and religious anti-drug admonitions, America is the drug using capital of the world.

Speaking as if America is winning the war on drugs, Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, responded to the fact that Mexico has loosened drug laws where a small amount of narcotics are involved, writing “We now have an entire country on our southern border that is a haven for drug abuse.”

“Our southwestern states will suffer first from this tragic surrender as more drug-addicted people come across the border. Then the rest of the country will feel it as they move inland,” Duke wrote. via Opposing Views


At least 14 states this year — some deeply conservative and Republican-leaning, such as Kansas — will consider legalizing pot for medical purposes or lessening the penalties for possessing small amounts for personal use. Fourteen other states and the District of Columbia already have liberalized their marijuana laws. Read on at USA Today

More reading:

States Now Assume Role for Policing Marijuana

Oakland’s Legalize Pot Movement Gains Steam

Sophisticated Hemp Goes Upmarket and Mainstream