Has Marijuana Legalization Gone Mainsteam?

May 22, 2009

(ChattahBox)—There are encouraging signs arising from our nation’s courts, the federal government, state governments and the collective will of the people, all pointing to a more relaxed attitude regarding the legalization of marijuana.

But is Washington ready for such a monumental change in the country’s long established prohibition against marijuana? Many observers don’t think so. Not yet, anyways.

Despite the many encouraging signs, and there are many, very few politicians are willing to put their political careers on the line, at this point, strongly advocating the legalization of marijuana. Imagine a Democratic lawmaker running for reelection, on a platform to legalize marijuana; Republican opponents would have a field day.

Republicans supporting the legalization of pot would be sent away to a nice quiet sanatorium for a mental health break.

And yet, a recent Zogby poll showed that 52 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana. A previous ABC News and Washington Post poll found 46 percent in support. A poll in California found 56 percent of its citizens supporting legalization.

At some point in time, Washington will catch up with public opinion, to institute some real change in the prohibition against marijuana, but political observers believe it’s a few years away. Although, the dramatic sea-change in the national conversation supporting legalization, is certainly viewed as encouraging by many legalization advocates.

Phillip S. Smith, editor of the Drug War Chronicle recently wrote a piece surveying the remarkable change in the social and political landscape favoring the legalization of marijuana. He noted that Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger even supports a “debate’ on the issue. However, Smith doesn’t believe legalization has a chance during Obama’s first term, with so many other dire issues on the table.

Thirteen states now allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes, and more states are considering the issue. The U.S. Supreme court on Monday, upheld the right of states to implement and administer their own medical marijuana laws, affirming the long held position that federal law does not preempt state medical marijuana laws.

The Obama administration announced it will no longer raid state medical marijuana dispensaries, as long as they comply with state law. The time is ripe for a change in marijuana legislation, but legalization advocates will just have to wait.

With the nation engaged in two wars, a financial meltdown of banks, a deep recession and President Obama committed to instituting universal health care during his first year in office, marijuana legislation is far down on the list of priorities.

Maybe the legalization of marijuana will have a chance during Obama’s second term.



13 Responses to “Has Marijuana Legalization Gone Mainsteam?”

  1. James L on May 22nd, 2009 12:31 pm

    Politicians are very consistent in their nature just like anyone else. They’ve been holding onto the idea of marijuana being a detriment to society for so long that they can’t seem to see any other way.
    We are gradually progressing toward a more reasoned and forward thinking government so I believe a positive change is on the way. It would be very nice to see more of the youth in this country take an active stance in political affairs. If more of voting American aged 18+ were active I believe the polls could show something closer to 65-75% in favor of legalization.
    It is the apathy of youth and stubbornness of age that has kept the war on drugs alive for so long.

  2. will on May 22nd, 2009 1:39 pm

    Of course its time to legalize.

    Think about all the ill ppl out there with serious issues… What you want them to go drink? And get another domestic disturbance?

    What about all the children who have been molested? Raped? That have not come out of the closet, and hold that in their whole lives? You know there out there.

    I personally was molested at 8 yrs of age. Im now 23. Im a very forgiving person, then again. If I ever saw the dude who did what he did to me I probly shoot him.

    Im still in pain, bc of it I have a broken jaw from fights, Ive been stabbed, and have atleast 7 broken bones in my body, lets not get to the muscle spasms just quite yet.

    Yes to Legalization. Regulate.

  3. Bryan Epis on May 22nd, 2009 6:16 pm

    Hi, I’ve created a web page that asks people to sign 8 petitions involving ending raids, dismissing pending prosecutions, and pardoning federal defendants charged with the “crime” of following state medical marijuana law, as well as ending marijuana prohibition. The whole process takes 15-20 minutes. Please see http://bestlodging.com/politics (this page isn’t linked from my http://BestLodging.com home page as I want to keep the hotel reservation site separate). While you’re there you can check out my new diet/muscle gain web site that is really free, which is located at http://bestlodging.com/diet – Thanks, Bryan Epis

  4. joey on May 23rd, 2009 1:05 am

    i think its time… marijuana has carried such negative baggage with it for so long that politicians shit their pants when the idea of legalization of weed arizes. it is effective for sick and terminal people, and has no real long term effect. people who smoke and even for that matter, people who distribute, are NOT criminals. the law says i can carry a pound of aspirin with me at anytime, and be ok. but the second im caught with a gram of marijuna, im a a criminal… is tht right? especially considering tht i, by myself, could smoke a pound of marijuana in a short period of time and be essentially ok… but can we say the same for even an ounce of asprin? or any legal drug for that matter. i dre someone to relate death to overdose of marijuana… yet people die daily from such seemingly miniscule things as caffeine… and these people arent criminals? gimme a break. i pay taxes, and i think its funy how im funding good people to be in jail for marijuana. if legalization occurs, 2 things happen. 1, you elliminate the dier need for this “drug’, adn therefore eliminte crimes associated with it…. really, when was the last time you head of ciggerette deal going wrong and someone being killed? yet, ciggarettes and tobbacco kill almost half a million people a year. ..2, you bring this fuckin economy out of the ditch where its been for years if legalization occurs. tax the shyt, and youl have loyal buyers. it just makes no sense for something like weed to be placed in a catagory of criminal substnces when there are 1000 things legal that are several times more dangerous and hazardous than it. the public needs to start speaking up about this. im not saying the US should be a pot haven, but when u legalize stuff, the tabboo nature and thrll of it i tken away, thus there is no problem. people are gonna smoke it anyways, whether legal or not. stop criminalizing good people for smoking. it doesnt make any fucking sense

  5. Wes Day on May 23rd, 2009 4:27 am

    Society has a lot of brainwashing to be reversed. Maybe if an honest debate of the issues, which would obviously end with with the legalization sided argument gleaming in victory, the people who previously stood against it would have no more ground to stand on with the public.

    Legalizing marijuana is the only rational outcome…

  6. ResponsibleAdult on May 23rd, 2009 1:00 pm

    Legalize it. Treat it like alcohol plain and simple.

    I’m so sick of the Gateway Drug Argument. Alcohol is the ULTIMATE GATEWAY DRUG. It’s probably 90% of people’s first buzz. And if they like it, the want more. None of my successful friends that smoke got into heavy drugs like coke.

    Once it’s legal it will be exciting for the first 3 months. After that, the people who smoke now, will probably smoke the same amount. And the people who won’t, simply won’t. Not much will change.

    And if treated like alcohol. Kids will have as much access to it as a 6 pack of beer.

    So legalize it. And to the folks that say NO and that have never done it, what right do they have to judge it?

  7. Brandon on May 24th, 2009 6:15 pm

    The Social Taboos of Marijuana are slowly fading away. The Government should only judge us to an extent. Marijuana should be Legal! The Legalization Of Cannabais will fix our Economy, expell the danger of the Black Market, and give the United States a new, much needed perspective on life. Marijuana rather it be Medical or casual should never be considered a criminal activity. Marijuana use has been around for thousands of Years and no Government has the right to deny a God given right! LEGALIZE!!

  8. tommy jacobs on May 25th, 2009 9:50 am

    The United States Government reminds me of a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar and don’t wanna let go. Excuse after Excuse for not legalizing a plant that god put on this Eatrh.

    The Government is out of control, and as taxpaying Americans, it is our duty to stand up with one loud voice and shout enough is enough! We need to flood our senators, goveners, and anyone elsewho has power email boxes with emails stating that it is time for change. send a letter or make a phone call to them. I personally sent President Obama a email recently stating prohibition is wrong, via Norml’s website.

    What ever happened to, “By the people for the people”? The government was established to take care of us not for us to take care of them, and that is exactly what is happening in this government.

    Marijuana does not ruin lives Careers or families, the laws set by the American government do. Its time for the American people to stand up for ourselves against a government that is out of control and is imposing unfair laws and taxeson its people. I thought this was the reason America fought the revolution to get away from england!!!!!

    Hmmmm, maybe the saying is right, “History repeats itself.”

  9. Not Some Stoner on May 25th, 2009 7:16 pm

    I recently wrote to my legislators about this issues (marijuana: prohibition, medicinal, and industrial). They are all democratic and I have heard from only 1 and I live in Wisconsin. To me, this means there are still politicians that feel this subject is STILL political suicide.

    There is so much misinformation fed to people throughout this country. I actually too my own time and researched the subject when I heard people were actually looking into legalizing marijuana because when it becomes legal I will want to know more about. Our country is slow at moving in a political sense due to the vastness of disorganization this system created. It is I believe the best system in the world for a political sense, but only in theory. Freedom to one person means something else to another.

    The only way legalizing this plant will happen will be when it is put on a ballot at a federal election level and drug ads stop misinforming the public about marijuana. Polls currently favor full legalization of marijuana in the U.S.A. It is part due to economic stress, a miserably failed “drug war”, and finally people who don’t know the difference between marijuana and heroin are dying.

    I don’t believe there should even be a debate over ending marijuana prohibition like California Gov. Schwarzenegger said. It is ethically wrong to make people feel like they are not moral for using a plant for whatever sense they will use it for. This country is based on freedoms, and the “drug war” since the 1970’s was an attack on personal freedoms.

    According to the U.S. DEA marijuana is a Schedule I substance: “Schedule I drugs are classified as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.” This means there is no distinction between marijuana and heroin in punishment and treatment.

    Tell my why 25% of the states in the U.S.A. have laws regarding it as medicinal and the U.S. Government has a patent (US Patent 6630507 – Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants)?

  10. Truth Seeker on May 31st, 2009 6:06 am

    There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.
    In 2006, the University of Pittsburgh released a more thorough study in which researchers spent 12 years tracking a group of subjects from adolescence into adulthood and documented the initiation and progression of their drug use. The researchers found that the gateway theory was not only wrong, but also harmful to properly understanding and addressing drug abuse:

    This evidence supports what’s known as the common liability model, an emerging theory that states the likelihood that someone will transition to the use of illegal drugs is determined not by the preceding use of a particular drug but instead by the user’s individual tendencies and environmental circumstances.

  11. Steve on June 11th, 2009 1:28 am

    I’m in the middle of becoming an alcoholic, because I’m not smoking pot. I’m not smoking pot, because I don’t want to break the rules. Alcohol is bad because it is physically addictive. I’ve given up pot in a heart-beat over the years, as my situation changes. I really believe that legalization of pot could prevent me from becoming an alcoholic. I really hope they change the laws, because I don’t want to break the law and I don’t want to be an alcoholic. I’m being pressured in the alcoholic direction. Some of us just don’t want to be sober and we don’t want to break the law. If I want to save my life though, I need to break the current marijuana laws.

  12. olivia on June 11th, 2009 10:43 am

    Steve – You are an alcoholic because you have the addictive gene, not because marijuana is not legalized. While I support legalization, I think that your way of thinking if a very dangerous one. If you are having problems not drinking, and are facing any negative consequences, you are not ‘on your way’ to anything, you are already there.

    As for marijuana, it IS addictive. Marijuana addiction has become one of the more common types of addiction over the last decade to be treated in rehab centers. You know the total burn outs who are unable to function, get irritable, and can’t wake up properly until they have had their bowl? They aren’t like that by choice.

    The argument isn’t against addiction from marijuana if it is legalized. It is that alcohol and tobacco are both higher addictive substance, and they both cause serious physical damage, such as cancer and liver disease. Marijuana has less serious effects (the smoke still is potentially harmful), but it is illegal, mostly due to continued propaganda, and a fear that people could grow it unregulated.

    Please don’t blame lack of availability for pot for your addiction. It won’t make it any better, you will just get hooked on something else. Get help.

  13. felicia white on November 22nd, 2010 3:24 pm

    weed should be legalized!!!!!! it helps !!!!

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