The Hill: America’s New Marijuana Zeitgeist

Via The

Writing last week in, Joe Klein became the latest in a steady stream of media pundits to call for the legalization of marijuana (”Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense”). That’s right, ‘legalization’ — with an “L.”
While the notion of regulating the sale and consumption of cannabis for adults might still induce reflexive giggles from the Oval Office, the issue is no longer a laughing matter among the public.
Lawmakers in two states — California and Massachusetts –- are debating the merits of taxing pot like alcohol, and a pair of recent polls (here and here) indicate that Western voters endorse this proposal by a solid majority. According to statistician Nate Silver, national support for legalization could reach “supermajority” status in just over a decade!
Why this momentum now? Klein sums up three primary reasons.
1) Americans are spending billions in judicial resources arresting and prosecuting minor marijuana offenders; these monies could be better redirected elsewhere.
2) America is in the midst of an economic recession; taxing marijuana could redirect criminal justice costs toward more serious crimes, raise tax revenue, and greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the involvement of drug cartels in the illicit marijuana trade.
3) The use of marijuana by adults is objectively less dangerous — both to the user and to society as a whole — than the consumption of alcohol. (Case in point: Drinking alcohol, even low to moderate amounts, was recently associated with elevated incidences of cancer, particularly among women. By contrast, a study published last week in the Clinical Journal of Investigation shows that cannabis kills malignant cancer cells.) It is illogical to endorse a public policy that arbitrarily prohibits the former while embracing the latter.
Of course, Klein is hardly the only mainstream pundit as of late to jump on the marijuana ‘legalization’ bandwagon.
In the past days, leading commentators like David Sirota (The Nation), Kathleen Parker (Washington Post), Paul Jacob (, Hendrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker), Andrew Sullivan (The Atlantic), Glenn Greenwald (Salon), Debra Saunders (San Francisco Chronicle), Leonard Pitts (Miami Herald), John Richardson (Esquire), and Margery Eagan (Boston Herald), have all opined in favor of regulating cannabis. In fact, Americans’ sudden support for legalization is even beginning to draw attention from those outside the United States.
As well it should be.
American’s support for marijuana law reform is fast approaching a tipping point — a scenario made all that more remarkable when one considers that the federal government has spent nearly seven decades propagandizing against it. Mainstream America is coming to terms with marijuana, and growing more and more dissatisfied with our nation’s failing pot policies. Writes Klein: “Obviously, marijuana can be abused. But the costs of criminalization have proved to be enormous, perhaps unsustainable. Would legalization be any worse?”
He’s no longer the only one asking.

As always, please post your feedback and comments to The Hill by going here. Congress is listening; tell them what’s on your mind.

0 thoughts

  1. This is what I put on my blog on facebook when someone said MJ leads to harder drugs. Made me furious.
    I personally do not believe MJ LEADS to harder drug use anymore than I am convinced another drug, coffee does. I’m not being facetious here.
    Certainly it can be proven statistically a large percentage of those who first try coffee & liking how it makes them feel, more alert & vibrant DO go on to harder drugs such as speed that will keep them even MORE alert & vibrant. Thus, it can be proven, coffee leads to stronger drugs.
    The arguments for Marijuana & Coffee leading to harder drugs are the same. And while statistics may well prove both coffee & MJ both lead to harder drugs. I don’t believe either.
    I referred to alcohol. You no doubt agree beer, an initial alcoholic beverage, can DEFINITELY BE PROVEN TO LEAD TO ALCOHOLISM, to, is involved in murders & drunk driving accidents. Think of the people YOU HAVE KNOWN who are now DEAD as a result of an alcohol related event. Go on COUNT THEM. I want names. How many were your kin? How many were good friends? Think on this the next few days & keep up with the number as it grows. NOW add to that the… Read More number of Marijuana related deaths. Predict ahead of time. Do you think there a noticeable difference or not?
    Beer, the most often initial alcoholic drink, kills enough people- in & of itself one doesn’t HAVE to move onto harder liquor.
    Lastly the reason I am for the legalization of Marijuana is related again to alcohol. Don’t you think a country is a bit backwards in wherea drug that kills thousands is legal, one that has been known to kill very few (I can find no scientific evidence of any) is not. \
    I believe the number of traffic deaths would be GREATLY decreased each year if MJ became legal. I feel this way in that many people I know personally would RATHER smoke, but are forced to drink alcohol in lieu of smoking pot so they can keep their jobs when random drug tests are given.
    Nancy Rutland

  2. Want to know the gateway drug?
    I tell you,is the Pacifier.
    For years mostly can’t live without Pacifiers.
    And is hard to leave it.
    Toddlers cry for one.

  3. As we all know, the forces of international socialist corporatism have used the most awesome forces against the minds of the men of the west. One of those forces is television.
    With the direct action of seeding the lands with a plant of nature, to the lobbying efforts of NORML, we all have our part in the greater effort of saving mankind from the scourge of atheism, and beurocratic
    communism (that international effort to create the
    perfected man, as inspired by the god of human reason,
    The time is ripe. Activists. Do you support your local grower? ARE YOU CONTRIBUTING TO THE MESS DOWN SOUTH? Are you telling the enthusists about the effort? About its benefits? Have you lobbied your local politicos?
    I think the California model is reasonable. It dove tails with the 10th ammendment efforts by our fellow travelers, the libertarians. We all must do our part in limiting federal controls.
    PS please stop throwing your seeds in the trash can. Put them in conveinent plant beds, and flower pots instead. What is the sin of casting them into the wilds and wastelands?

  4. #53
    Religious zeal has no place here. As to Lucifer….well your like created him so go figure…as i said…no place for it here where reasonable, rational, logical people are trying to fix the damage (many) religions have caused us.

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