Most Americans Approve of Legalizing Marijuana, and Why it Will Never Happen
Pew Research Center poll just released shows that 52% of Americans favor legalizing Marijuana. 45% believe it should not. The point margin has changed by 7 points in two years. The change in attitude is driven mostly by those born in 1980 and after.
The fear that marijuana use would result in an addiction to harder drugs has nearly vanished. Many now believe that it may be less harmful than alcohol. The fact that it has certain medicinal qualities has certainly affected the consideration of its legalization.
95% of all those in American prisons are there because of drug related charges. The “war on drugs” begun by Nancy Reagan has failed miserably. “Just say no” sure hasn’t been the answer. What has happened is that the funding to fight drug use has increased every year. Pumping billions of dollars into an unwinnable war makes no sense.
The 18th amendment to the Constitution banned the sale of alcohol. Known as prohibition, what it did was to take the number of formerly legal bars and create a 300% increase and formation of illegal bars, known as “speak easies”. During the time it was in force law enforcement spent most of its resources implementing a single law. No one was happier when the 21st amendment was passé, repealing prohibition, than the authorities.
Legalizing “cannabis sativa” and putting it under similar controls as alcohol, while attaching the same taxes, would be a financial windfall for both state and federal governments.
Here’s why it won’t be legalized. The reason is simply because the American public approves of it, but our congress is not concerned with the American public. Once they get elected, they act on their own personal beliefs. They are not representative, they are self-obsessed. The majority of Republicans remain opposed, and 60% of Democrats are in favor of legalization. 2016 Presidential candidate Rand Paul, Republican Senator from Kentucky said that “people shouldn’t go to jail for non-violent drug crimes such as marijuana.” I don’t often agree with Mr. Paul, but he is making common sense.
Lobbying by religious groups and the alcohol developers and distributors will make legalization difficult. But it will be someday, just as same-sex marriage will be soon. Eventually overwhelming public opinion will win out. Fear of not being re-elected will force a “change of opinion” as it has with gay marriage.
The reality is that these “changes of opinions” were the result of losing seats in November’s election.
The consensus is that the use of marijuana would decline if legalized. Adding taxes to the cost of the product would result in a price raise. From 2005 to 2011 cigarette smoking slightly declined. The largest group of non-smokers were in the 18-25 year old group. Interviews revealed that cost increases were making the habit prohibitive.
Columnist-The Guardian Express