MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Yes, a new Gallup Poll indicates that a majority of Americans now support the recreational use of marijuana. This is a 10 percentage point increase since a Gallup survey last year.
Remember that this surge in backing is for the unrestricted personal use of marijuana, regardless of medical need.
As BuzzFlash at Truthout readers are aware, Colorado and Washington State have legalized individual use of marijuana through voter initiatives. Given the rising national tide of support for placing pot in the same category as alcohol, it appears possible that federal policy -- which still classifies marijuana as a narcotic -- will change in the coming years.
That may provide hope that other paradigm shifts may occur as older voters are replaced by new millenials.
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According to the Washington Post, which published the Gallup finding,
Pro-marijuana legalization groups hailed the poll as proof that public sentiment is shifting.
“The latest poll results point to the absurdity and even venality of persisting with harsh prohibitionist policies,” said Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance.
Unlike alchohol, which is the cause of many deaths through individuals that become violent when drunk and through thousands of deadly drunken driving automobile collisions -- not to mention organ damage and cancer caused by the excessive drinking of liquor, the legalization of marijuana can save lives. Thousands of US and Mexican citizens are killed each year not as a result of smoking marijuana, but as a result of getting caught in the crossfire of illegal trafficking.
As we have often mentioned, there is the additional benefit of taxing marijuana and increasing revenue into the public purse.
And then there is, of course, the job-creation that will result in the munchy snack industry. Let's not forget that economic benefit of ending prohibition.
(Photo: absolut xman)