Most voters want marijuana to be legal, according to a new telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters. The survey found that 56% — “a solid majority of voters nationwide” — favor legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol and tobacco.
As AlterNet has pointed out, marijuana is much safer than alcohol and cigarrettes, but harsh pot laws may encourage some people who would otherwise get stoned to drink instead. Legalizing and regulating the plant may thus allow some people to make safer decisions without risking un-necessary legal consequences.
What’s more, according to the survey (conducted by Ramussen Reports), most voters do not think it should be a crime to enjoy marijuana in the privacy of one’s own home. Only 36% of voters — a much smaller minority — reportedly oppose legalizing and regulating marijuana like booze and cigarrettes.
A Colorado initiative to do exactly what we now know most voters support, “Regulate Like Marijuana Like Alcohol and Tobacco,” made the ballot this winter, and voters will have the chance to turn their support for reform into real legislation this November. That same month, voters in Washington will determine whether similar legalization legislation becomes law in their state.
The survey is significant to recent conversations surrounding the electoral influence of pro-pot voters. The recent Oregon Attorney General election, which centered around the medical marijuana issue, produced a strong pro-pot Democratic candidate’s victory over a pot-farm-busting former Interum U.S. Attorney, and was widely considered a referendum on medical marijuana. While some drug policy activists think the election will have a national impact, others are more skeptical that Oregon’s politics may affect legislation as far away as the East Coast. What is clear, however, is that politicians will eventually have to realize they are ignoring a crucial issue, as well as a solid bloc of voters accompanying it.
- Support for Pot Legalization Crosses 50 Percent, With 56 Percent of Americans Now In Favor of Treating it Like Booze (reason.com)
- Rasmussen Poll Finds More Than Half Of America Now Supports Legalizing Marijuana (mediaite.com)
- Group argues weed is safer than booze (cnn.com)
- Pro-pot attorney general candidate wins Oregon primary (rawstory.com)
- Medical Marijuana Activists Occupy the Capitol (blogs.sfweekly.com)
- Why Oregon’s Attorney General Election May Be Referendum on Medical Marijuana With National Consequences (alternet.org)
Humorist, Libertarian commentator, and “the one who talks,” Penn Jillette, launched into an epic rant about what he saw as President Obama and his administration’s hypocritical views on marijuana laws in the country.
I’m sorry, not hypocritical. Beyond hypocritical.
Speaking on his podcast Penn’s Sunday School the other day, Jillette pointed out how ridiculous it is that medical marijuana is completely legal in California but that you can still get busted by federal police. Basically, the color of the cop’s uniform determines whether or not a person is breaking the law. Jillette said this was proof that “states’ rights don’t mean jack shit” to Obama except when you’re talking about gay marriage.
To further illustrate his point, Jillette pointed out that Obama has made it clear that he used drugs in his past, and asked aloud if the President’s life would have been any better if he had been busted under his own laws.
“What troubles me about this… I think it’s beyond hypocrisy. I think it’s something to do with class. A lot of people have accused Obama of class warfare, but in the wrong direction. I believe this is Obama chortling with Jimmy Fallon about lower class people. Do we believe, even for a second, that if Obama had been busted for marijuana — under the laws that he condones — would his life have been better? If Obama had been caught with the marijuana that he says he uses, and ‘maybe a little blow’… if he had been busted under his laws, he would have done hard f*cking time. And if he had done time in prison, time in federal prison, time for his ‘weed’ and ‘a little blow,’ he would not be President of the United States of America. He would not have gone to his fancy-a** college, he would not have sold books that sold millions and millions of copies and made millions and millions of dollars, he would not have a beautiful, smart wife, he would not have a great job. He would have been in f*cking prison, and it’s not a god damn joke. People who smoke marijuana must be set free. It is insane to lock people up.”
Amen! Our drug laws in this nation are absolutely insane! This is a serious problem! We need to find a candidate who will give it the concentration it deserves! Maybe the other guy will…oh, wait.
After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, New York Supreme Court justice Gustin L. Reichbach found himself immersed in a world of pain and misery, brought on by months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
He’s spent 40 years in the law — over two decades as a judge — and thus never could have imagined that he would one day find himself turning to marijuana to quell his unbearable suffering, as he explains in his NY Times Op Ed:
Nausea and pain are constant companions. One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. Eating, one of the great pleasures of life, has now become a daily battle, with each forkful a small victory. Every drug prescribed to treat one problem leads to one or two more drugs to offset its side effects. Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation. Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised. Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive. Continue reading