Even though pot is more demonized in the media than the word liberal; even though enforcing stringent anti-marijuana laws have cost taxpayers $10 billion annually and all we have to show for it is that photo of Michael Phelps and the eggs commercial; even though some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use; even though more than 30 percent of the U.S. population lives under some form of marijuana decriminalization, and according to government and academic studies, these laws have not contributed to an increase in marijuana consumption nor negatively impacted adolescent attitudes toward drug use; even though 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning and roughly 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking–marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose–and even though regulation and taxation of marijuana would give state, local and national governments the ability to raise unlimited revenues to spend on pork-barrel pet projects, the Federal Government is still living in he 1950s and refuses to decriminalize and legalize the wonderful drug.
Despite the fact that the cool and hip president and his administration adamantly oppose legalizing marijuana and view medical marijuana dubiously, fifty percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according to a new Gallup poll. Such a marked change in opinion the drug that gave us the best literature, music and comedy (I’d know) could have major implications on the state and national level.
Republican Presidential candidate (or president of the internet candidate) Ron Paul, being a civil libertarian and averse to a nanny state, has consistently shown his support for legalization of the drug. Earlier this year, I wrote an article that had to do with the legislation introduced by Reps Ron Paul and Barney Frank to finally legalize marijuana. Even though the documentary turned out being a total Fox News style edited puff piece that made Reefer Madness look mild, I appeared in Nat Geo’s documentary on marijuana where I attempted to illustrate the medicinal effects the drug produces.
Support has spiked in the past five years, with 40 percent of respondents favoring legalization in 2009 before numbers jumped another 10 percent, according to the annual crime survey conducted Oct. 6-9, with majorities of men, liberals and 18-29 year-olds currently support legalizing cannabis.(Source: Huffington Post)
With medical marijuana dispensaries being raided at all time highs (no pun intended), this new poll couldn’t come at a better time.
” The latest poll results point to the absurdity and even venality of persisting with harsh prohibitionist policies,” said Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement on Monday.
“No other law is enforced so harshly and pervasively yet deemed unnecessary by so many Americans. Spending billions of dollars and arresting over 800,000 people annually for violating marijuana laws now represents not just foolish public policy but also an inappropriate and indecent use of police powers to favor one side of a cultural and political debate.”
Obama may want to rethink his extremely harsh positions on marijuana if he wishes to once again capture the hearts and minds of the youth vote. If Ron Paul somehow beats the carefully scripted, Fox News packaged Republicans, he will undoubtedly crush Obama on the issue of marijuana.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you photos of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.