What 52% of Americans Finally Realized

Weed Congress
On February 5th, 2013, House of Representatives Legislation 499 was set before the 113th Congress by Jared Polis, a Colorado representative. He spoke to the Congress about how he envisions the future of marijuana legislation in the country on a whole, as one regulated much like alcohol - a sentiment that seems to be growing it its support as the financial decline in the states blossoms into its final stages before hopeful regrowth. Legalizing marijuana offers an onslaught of benefits - it would bring with it tax revenue, possible manufacturing jobs, testing laboratories and subsequent employment. Think about it - an instant source of income generated from an industry historically always in demand. So somehow, in this context, it’s easier to understand how a country 88% against the legalization of marijuana, could, forty years later, grow to have more than half of their population think marijuana should be legal, but beyond this, that it’s consumption is morally acceptable.   According to a March survey by the Pew Research Center, of roughly 1,800 people surveyed, 52% said they would support the legalization of marijuana in the United States. While most of those who voted favorably for the drug’s legalization sat in the 18-32 category, it also was well backed by most age groups, with a specific increase in the amount of baby boomers who seem to now recall the drug of their youth fondly. Over the years, the US Drug Administration has spent a small fortune outlying the harmful effects of the drug - from images of young adults who have become addicted to marijuana, running their Model T’s into trees with a crazed look in their eyes - to competitive sports students being blamed for supporting foreign terrorism by purchasing the drug. Marijuana has been toted as the “gateway” drug, but many users of cannabis no longer seek other drugs - those lighting up now include just about every demographic imaginable. Other numbers presented by the Pew survey saw 72% supporting the idea that enforcing marijuana laws are not worth the cost, and 48% stating they had tried the drug personally.   From those who rely on the drug for relief from pain aid to those who simply believe it is part of the natural passage of college students - it seems these days everyone is getting high. And maybe, they should. In a society focused around a fear of violence, how often do we hear that an offender was high on marijuana when he or she committed a crime? According to Pew’s survey, half of the country finally realized the potential positive outcomes of legalizing marijuana are greater than the possible negative outcomes, and that, even without any benefits, a legal status for marijuana would lessen the intense issues law enforcers and makers currently face under illegal conditions. So maybe Mary Jane isn’t the highly addictive, heroin cousin she once was, but it is difficult to say just how friendly Uncle Sam is ready to be.

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