Changing opinions on marijuana legalization drugwarrant
It can take a lot, sometimes entire generations to dramatically shift the country’s views, and this is dramatic.
The share of Americans who favor legalizing the use of marijuana continues to increase. Today, 57% of U.S. adults say the use of marijuana should be made legal, while 37% say it should be illegal. A decade ago, opinion on legalizing marijuana was nearly the reverse – just 32% favored legalization, while 60% were opposed.
That’s incredible, and a testament to the amazing work done by so many people, who chose not to let the government and prevailing views silence them, and instead wrote letters to the editor, or talked to the local Kiwanis club, or brought up legalization at Thanksgiving dinner, or campaigned for a medical marijuana law, or made comments on internet fora.
When you look at the breakdown, there are very few demographics left to conquer.
Author John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, traces the history of America’s laws and attitudes toward cannabis in his new book,Marijuana: A Short History. He tells Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies that the recent shift in public policy is, in part, a recognition of the drug’s medicinal value, which became apparent in San Francisco during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.