The pot question

A new poll today shows apparent support for legalization of marijuana. Poll: 41 percent support pot legalization (CBS). (Psst: 52 percent still oppose it)

Why the emphasis on the minority? Because the poll has shifted by 10 percent. Just a few months ago, another CBS poll showed only 31 percent favored legalizing marijuana.

But polls on the question tend to vary widely. In May, a Zogby poll claimed 52 percent of Americans favored legalization.

  • There’s a very strong generation gap in polling on Marijuana, so I wouldn’t be surprised if these numbers continued to grow in my lifetime as older americans who have used marijuana replace current 55-70 year olds who haven’t. (more analysis:

    I’d like to say that I think this means that weed will be legal in my lifetime (I’m 22), but with “War on Drugs” policies being a free merit badge for politicians, I don’t know if I’m so optimistic.

  • DNA

    In the words of the Late Great Terence McKenna we shall consider:


    A drug policy respectful of democratic values would aim to educate people to make informed

    choices based on their own needs and ideals. Such a simple prescription is necessary and sadly


    A master plan for seriously seeking to come to terms with America’s drug problems might

    explore a number of options, including the following.

    1. A 200 percent federal tax should be imposed on tobacco and alcohol. All government

    subsidies for tobacco production should be ended. Warnings on packaging should be

    strengthened. A 20 percent federal sales tax should be levied on sugar and sugar substitutes,

    and all supports for sugar production should be ended. Sugar packages should also carry

    warnings, and sugar should be a mandatory topic in school nutrition curricula.

    2. All forms of cannabis should be legalized and a 200 percent federal sales tax imposed on

    cannabis products. Information as to the THC content of the product and current conclusions

    regarding its impact on health should be printed on the packaging.

    3. International Monetary Fund and World Bank lending should be withdrawn from countries

    that produce hard drugs. Only international inspection and certification that a country is in

    compliance would restore loan eligibility.

    4. Strict gun control must apply to both manufacture and possession. It is the unrestricted

    availability of firearms that has made violent crime and the drug abuse problem so intertwined.

    5. The legality of nature must be recognized, so that all plants are legal to grow and possess.

    6. Psychedelic therapy should be made legal and insurance coverage extended to include it.

    7. Currency and banking regulations need to be strengthened. Presently bank collusion with

    criminal cartels allows large-scale money laundering to take place.

    8. There is an immediate need for massive support for scientific research into all aspects of

    substance use and abuse and an equally massive commitment to public education.

    9. One year after implementation of the above, all drugs still illegal in the United States

    should be decrimi-

    nalized. The middleman is eliminated, the government can sell drugs at cost plus 200 percent,

    and those monies can be placed in a special fund to pay the social, medical, and educational

    costs of the legalization program. Money from taxes on alcohol, tobacco, sugar, and can-nabis

    can also be placed in this fund. Also following this one-year period, pardons should be given

    to all offenders in drug cases that did not involve firearms or felonious assault.

    If these proposals seem radical, it is only because we have drifted so far from the ideals that

    were originally most American. At the foundation of the American theory of social polity is

    the notion that our inalienable rights include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” To

    pretend that the right to the pursuit of happiness does not include the right to experiment with

    psychoactive plants and substances is to make an argument that is at best narrow and at worst

    ignorant and primitive. The only religions that are anything more than the traditionally

    sanctioned moral codes are religions of trance, dance ecstasy, and intoxication by

    hallucinogens. The living fact of the mystery of being is there, and it is an inalienable religious

    right to be able to approach it on one’s own terms. A civilized society would enshrine that

    principle in law.

    Terence McKenna in Food of The Gods