[ View the story "High stakes for marijuana" on Storify] High stakes for marijuana As public opinion shifts, should the US reconsider marijuana laws?
The Stream· Wed, Apr 17 2013 11:53:24
in the United States in the 1900s. In 1969 a
Gallu p Poll
showed only 12% of Americans surveyed were in favour of legalisation.
The video below was made in 1951, and captures popular sentiment of the time that people who use marijuana were 'immoral':
Marijuana & Heroin: "The Terrible Truth" 1951 Sid Davis ProductionsJeff Quitney
by the Pew Research Center, however, shows a major change in public opinion: 52% of respondents favour of marijuana legalisation.
Currently 18 US states and the District of Columbia allow some medical marijuana use. In November 2012, the US states of Washington and Colorado
marijuana for recreational purposes for adults aged 21 and over, contravening federal law.
The video below shows celebrations in Washington state following the vote to legalise marijuana.
Legalized Marijuana in Washington - Seattle gets high under the Space Needlehdcineman
Washington's and Colorado's violation of federal law, known as the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), raised questions about how such a law could be passed:
So Washington & Colorado legalize marijuana (even for recreational use) BUT it's still federally illegal...how does that work?????MΛC ΤΗΞ DΘULΘS
@AJStream yes it should be the decision of each state to legalize it for recreational use.On a federal level,don't think it will ever happenIván Роблес
In 2011, under the CSA, US government authorities arrested over 1.5 million people for drug abuse violations. 43% of those arrests were for marijuana possession, according to the
FBI's 2011 crime report
@AJStream #marijuana should not be criminally treated the same as heroin,both considered schedule 1 drugs in the Controlled Substances Act.Xavier Guillaume
@AJStream Yes. War on drugs has been a dismal failure ($2.5trn & 500k prisoners in US). Decriminalizing in Portugal has been a success.Mohamed Harrath
@AJStream Stop wasting people's lives in jail & prison for a forbidden plant.Maggi Carter
The Obama Administration has not officially responded to the laws enacted by Washington and Colorado.
Attorney General Eric Holder still has not given any indication of the administration's response to the laws and has remained silent since testifying at a Senate hearing in March that "we’ve had good communication (with Colorado and Washington) … I expect that we will have an ability to announce what our policy is going to be relatively soon."pewstates.org
In considering marijuana legalisation, many point to its health benefits:
Health Benefits of Marijuanathedanwriter1
Some netizens have chosen to highlight the economic benefits the plant can provide:
@AJStream Legalisation can boost the economy by generating tax revenue. Sales tax will bring billion$ same as alcohol & tobacco industries.TS∑DAY ፀደይ
Opponents of marijuana legalisation point to the health dangers. The effects of marijuana abuse can be found on the website of the
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person's existing problems worse. In fact, heavy marijuana users generally report lower life satisfaction, poorer mental and physical health, relationship problems, and less academic and career success compared to their peers who came from similar backgrounds.drugabuse.gov
@AJStream No first there is many health hazards to this drug and second think of how eazy it is for children to receive it it ruins lifesArab spring mar25
The Stream asked our community whether marijuana should be legal in the US.
@AJStream Polls show majority support for legalizing marijuana in U.S. Time for politicians to catch up with people. #Democracytomangell
@AJStream why should it be illegal? There is no real good reason for it to be prohibited, is there? #marijuana #legalizationMatthias Kunz