Legalization Needs the “Marijuana Middle” to Win

  • by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel December 15, 2014

    Legalize marijuanaThe results of a new poll recently released by Third Way, a Washington, D.C. think tank, confirms the country remains largely divided over marijuana policy, a fact also made clear from a number of previous polls, including Gallup, Pew and others. This is, of course, a positive situation for those of us who favor legalization. Only 12 percent of the public supported legalization in 1970, when NORML began challenging prohibition, and it has been a long, slow slog to win their support.

    And we can reasonably anticipate even higher levels of support in the near future, as the public become comfortable with the results of full legalization in the first few states to head in that direction. Legalization is no longer just a legal theory that people can speculate about; we finally have the opportunity to measure and analyze the results of actual legalization systems in place in several states (four and counting).

    To read the balance of this column, please go to Marijuana.com



    21 responses to “Legalization Needs the “Marijuana Middle” to Win”

    1. fireweed says:

      ironic that the support for legalization is so much smaller within the “get rid of government regulations” party. Ironic also that people would get hung up on the “cheech and chong” stereotypes and overlook that their playing out those stereotypes made them millionaires.

    2. MSimon says:

      fireweed says:
      December 15, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      ironic that the support for legalization is so much smaller within the “get rid of government regulations” party.

      Ironic also is that the “get rid of government regulations” party is into mass murder.

      The Reagan administration tried to suppress the finding that cannabis is effective against cancer. You can look it up. Of course the Democrats did nothing when they had a chance.

      Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder.

    3. Julian says:

      Some of the best cooperation against prohibition I have seen yet has been between Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). Those two are an inspiration to watch when they work together.

      A little HIGHlight from the wake of this spending bill:

      Senator John Cornyn, R- TX was faltering in front of the camera to explain the lack of support from his fellow Texas Senator Cruz’ reckless, partisan rants against Obama’s executive order for immigration stalling the Spending Bill. It even had even fellow Republicans furious as Majority Leader Reed’s last moves in office took advantage of the pointless delay and passed several nominations through that Republicans weren’t real happy with. As Cornyn studdered to come up with an explanation, Senator Corey Booker D-NJ, walked past him from behind, grinning from ear to ear and gave him a slap on the back shoulder,
      “Let me know if you need some back up, Cornyn!”


    4. RobustFlower says:

      That party isn’t really the “get rid of government regulations” party, it’s the get rid of regulations on things that we like. Things like oil and banking. When it comes to things like women’s bodies, protecting copy rights, getting on airplanes… then they love regulations.

      It goes along with the long list of contradictions among that side of the aisle. They hate “spending” and yet consistently vote to increase military spending every single year (despite it being larger than the next 13 nations combined). They hate “socialism” but use over half of all the taxes taken in to pay for that bloated military. They hate “big brother” and yet they created the Patriot Act to spy on all Americans and they militarized the police force. They love to say they honor the constitution, until it comes to issues like religious freedom or a Supreme Court decision they don’t like. They love to go on about “activist judges”, until those judges do something like rewrite the second amendment to remove that annoying part about militias. They’re the “moral” & “Christian” party, and yet they’re against paying to help the sick, the poor or immigrants but they’re for the death penalty, guns, wars and turning prisons into big business. Jesus spoke frequently about the horrors extreme wealth, guess what Republicans love?

      Listening to their backwards outdated logic sometimes is just too much to take.

    5. MSimon says:

      RobustFlower says:
      December 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      They could actually lower the cost of healing the sick by $1 trillion a year by legalizing cannabis.

      Just one example: Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year.

    6. Dave Evans says:

      MSimon, that simple isn’t true. Marijuana kills some cancer cells while making it more difficult to others to grow and multiply.

      There isn’t anything “mass murdering” about it. Fracking (lacing air and water with toxins) and lacing food with other kinds of toxins is indeed mass murder. The lack of good regulations and inspections is mass murder. Making marijuana illegal is mass incarceration–slaving people for cracker’s profits; taking away their freedom and their live’s profits and giving it to someone else that is already well off. Defacto slavery.

      And when they start lacing marijuana with toxins like they do cigarettes: Mass Murder.

    7. Evening Bud says:

      @ Robustflower,

      I wholeheartedly agree. I live in NM, a state controlled by the Dems for decades. In this last election, however, the GOP took control of the state house for the first time in 60 years. Add our Tea Party Gov., Susana Martinez, to the equation, and suddenly I’m a bit worried. I was sure recreational legalization was gonna come to my state in the non-too-distant future; now I’m having my doubts.

      The statement from the feds regarding Native American autonomy on the subject brings a little hope, on the other hand. It will be interesting to see what happens if some of the pueblos or other tribes in NM attempt recreational legalization, with the GOP now controlling the state House.

      Stay tuned.

    8. mexweed says:

      @Dave, Here are some thoughts aimed at clarification. I can’t judge MSimon’s point about curing cancer, but as regards PREVENTION: “tobacco” (mainly hot burning overdose monoxide $igarettes) is credited with nearly a half million American premature deaths a year, many of them through cancer.

      Legalized cannabis can help PREVENT THOSE DEATHS as follows:

      (a) substitute for tobacco– what if kids try cannabis and other non-addictive herbs– alfalfa, basil, chamomile, damiana, dandelion, eucalyptus etc.– instead? Give them a moderation utensil to try those alternatives easily and non-traumatically.

      (b) important: substitute VAPING for $moking– and you can vape (385F/195C) just fine with a flexdrawtube one-hitter, see the free wiki article, “12 Ways to Make Pipes from Everyday Objects”.

      (c) substitute the 25-mg single toke concept for rolling up a half gram in corporate overdose papers. Once the misnamed “Joint” is eliminated from American life a major cause of kids getting hooked on murderous “real nicotine” will vanish with it.
      Also the stereotypical stupid behavior attributed to cannabis in the tobacco-paid media is actually caused by the monoxide papers format.

      I noted the interest in Native Americans developing a cannabis industry (see other recent article), think what it will mean if Native Handwork re-emerges now in the form of several hundred million expressive 25-mg anti-monoxide utensils.

    9. Miles says:

      @fireweed – speaking of Cheech and Chong, Tommy Chong was recently on Dancing With the Stars and did great! 50 years of using cannabis and he is still more healthy and vigorous than 95% of the US Congressmen.

      By the way, I’ve known many cannabis users in my life and none of them were anything close to resembling the stereotype. They are all good intelligent hard-working people. Some people would be surprised to learn that their nice good-looking neighbors, the ones that obviously work hard and take good care of their property, are cannabis users. I’m pretty sure that I would be one of the people that would surprise my neighbors if I “came out of the closet”. However, I can’t do it because I live in Virginia and some of them just might let the cops in in my secret…

      It’s actually easier for a gay/lesbian to come out than a cannabis user in a state like Virginia. At least they don’t need to worry that the cops would be watching and preparing to break down your doors in the middle of the night, shoot your dog, terrorize your family, and haul you off as if you were some king of big cartel dealer because they found a plant growing in a closet.

    10. Bob Gnarly says:

      @Miles. ^what you just said is spot-ON my friend. It is terrible that in today’s modern age people still refuse to see beyond spoon-fed stereotypes and make their own educated decision. I’m already 30 and am just realizing how unconstitutional the federal prohibition on cannabis really is. @mexweed you have a very solid point as well. Will cannabis ever be federally rescheduled to the level of beer, liquor & tobacco? That is still unfair to the actual uses & side effects of the plant, but it would be an obvious victory to see it rescheduled. Any thoughts? I feel like 2015 is going to be a great year…