|Illustration: Mladifilozof, Wikimedia Commons|
|Yes we cannabis.|
The good thing about a free marketplace of ideas is, despite the best efforts of prohibitionists and their fear-mongering propaganda, the truth eventually prevails.
That’s what we’re witnessing right now, with the tidal change in public perception of marijuana — both as a medicine and palliative, and as a recreational drug.
Within the past months, more and more of the once seemingly insurmountable barriers to widespread acceptance of cannabis have been looking mighty shaky. Nationwide polls show that more and more Americans support legalization across the board.
The latest Gallup poll on the subject found 44 percent approve full legalization of pot, representing a 13-point rise in the past nine years. According to Gallup, if public support continues growing at the present rate of 1 or 2 percent per year, “the majority of Americans could favor legalization of the drug in as little as four years.”
Toke of the Town tends to think majority support could happen even more quickly than that, as more “closet” supporters are emboldened by an increasingly public shift in opinion.
On the West Coast, we’ve already reached that point; the Gallup survey shows a 53 percent majority favoring legalization. As those kinds of numbers spread eastward, you can bet that politicians will get the idea.
Legalizing pot for medical use already enjoys majority support almost everywhere. Medical marijuana is already legal in thirteen states, with some national polls showing 2-to-1 support. A ballot initiative to establish state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine, which had already legalized medical pot a few years ago, passed with an overwhelming 60 percent of the vote.
The American Medical Association (AMA), after years of officially supporting the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical value, this month reversed its position. In a move considered historic by medical marijuana supporters, the AMA voted to affirm the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, calling for further research.
The California Medical Association went even farther last week, endorsing a resolution stating that the criminal prohibition of marijuana is a “failed public health policy.”
|Photo: Drug Policy Alliance|
|Ethan Nadelmann: “Public opinion is changing very, very rapidly.”|
”This issue is breaking out in a remarkably rapid way now,” Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told the Washington Post. “Public opinion is changing very, very rapidly.”
Everyone who has personal experience with weed knows it isn’t at all what the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will tell you. Everyone who has a family member or acquaintance who has used or is using medical marijuana knows that the herb works wonders in improving the quality of life for seriously ill people.
People who know the truth about marijuana are chipping away at the wall of denial, of misinformation, of fear and prejudice and superstition that has held us back for so long. Vive la revolution!