November 5, 2014

6 facts about marijuana

Attitudes about marijuana have undergone a rapid shift in public opinion, paralleled by few other trends in the U.S. Our recent data, along with historical figures from Gallup and the General Social Survey, reveal how views have shifted about the drug over time. Earlier this year, our survey found that many more Americans now favor shifting the focus of the nation’s overall drug policy. Here are six key facts about public opinion and marijuana:

1Support for marijuana legalization is rapidly outpacing oppositionA slim majority (52%) of Americans say the drug should be made legal, compared with 45% who want it to be illegal. Opinions have changed drastically since 1969, when Gallup first asked the question and found that just 12% favored legalizing marijuana use. Much of the change in opinion has occurred over the past few years — support rose 11 points between 2010 and 2013 (although it has remained unchanged in the past year). Separately, 76% in our February survey said people convicted of minor possession should not serve time in jail.

2Not all groups support legalization. Only about three-in-ten Republicans (31%) do. While most non-Hispanic whites and blacks say marijuana should be made legal, only 39% of Hispanics share that view. Among generations, 63% of Millennials say marijuana should be legal while only 27% of the Silent Generation (those 69 to 86) share that view. Baby Boomers, who were the most supportive generation in the 1970s before becoming opponents during the “Just Say No” 1980s, are now about as likely to favor (51%) as oppose (46%) legalization.

3About seven-in-ten (69%) Americans believe alcohol is more harmful to a person’s health than marijuana while 15% pick marijuana as worse (14% say both or neither). If marijuana became as widely available as alcohol, 63% still believe alcohol would be more harmful to society.

Although more support marijuana legalization, many Americans would be bothered to see it smoked in public4While support for legalizing marijuana is growing, 63% of Americans would be bothered if people did their smoking in public. More than half (54%) think that legalizing marijuana would lead to more underage people trying it. On the other hand, about six-in-ten (57%) said they would not be bothered if a store or business selling marijuana legally opened up in their neighborhood.

5Nearly half (47%) of Americans say they have tried marijuana, and 11% in the past year, which the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health says is the most commonly-used illicit drug in the U.S. The government survey showed that 18.9 million Americans 12 or older (7.3%) had used marijuana in the prior month.

Marijuana Laws in 50 States6Four states – Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska – and the District of Columbia have passed measures to legalize marijuana use, while an additional 14 states have decriminalized certain amounts of marijuana possession. Including those five locations, nearly half of U.S. states (23 plus D.C.) allow medical marijuana.

Note: This post has been updated with October 2014 survey data and November 2014 election results.

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Domestic Affairs and Policy, Drugs

  1. is a Research Analyst at the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

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86 Comments

  1. jerry2 days ago

    Funny everyone against cigarettes and smoking in general but another drug introduced legal another problem of accidents dui ect, the fall of the US . lot harder to tell if person high than drunk . Small group pushing for compared to 300million . Watch the decline of students added delinquency of society.

    Reply
  2. Vicki Enyart7 days ago

    For the past 34-years I have dedicated myself as a teacher/coach/administrator in public education. When did we decide in this country that children have the knowledge and wisdom to make decisions that will “haunt” them the rest of their lives. Are we such cowards as the older generation to set limits on the “unknown”? It appears so. We justify our approach to accountability and the bottom dollar line. Our country, and thank God I lived in a time it was valued, was built upon the principles that one’s own personal hard work and effort yields success in life. It appears now that our “adult leadership” decisions are to simply find the quickest and easiest way to pacify the voices of children so we don’t have to deal with them. I now spend at least one day a week sitting in Juvenile Court testifying to the system on how a child that doesn’t come to school, doesn’t do his/her homework, chooses not to try, can be helped. We’ve incorrectly juxtaposed “high expectations” with “anything goes tolerance”. Based upon my 34-years of experience, how in the world can we keep our “children” safe in our public schools when we keep lowering our laws. Truth be told, we can’t. We have multiple students fail the random drug testing we do every time we test. What will it be like 5-years from now. For every one student who can handle the risk, there are 10 who can’t. In 6th grade my nephew was introduced to marijuana. His MS and HS years were spent dealing with the law, in and out of juvenile, completely destroyed his family with the financial expenses. Two years ago, he owed the dealers so much money that he chose to hang himself in his closet with his own belt. Was his life so worthless that we couldn’t set higher standards for him? It appears so. Short of running for office on a platform of “Let’s Stop Being Politically Correct and Get Back To Right and Wrong” I’m at a loss as what to do as an American! God Help This Country!

    Reply
  3. Sj1 week ago

    I think that it can positive effects for medical purposes but also has lots of negative effects to me it’s their choice not mine

    Reply
  4. Mac Hoban2 weeks ago

    How can people still believe cannabis is dangerous? I have watched several friends stay baked every day for forty years, they are none the worse for it. Millions of people have had this experience. As for it leading to harder drugs, well if we force our kids to go to organized crime when they buy their weed, it’s hardly surprising if organized crime manages to recruit some of them into criminal behavior of one kind or another. No one hates legal weed more than your local dealer, it’s a disaster for them.

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  5. nth2 weeks ago

    William. I’m also against marijuana.But leme pick ur brain. Back Iin 2008 my sister was diagnosed with epilepsy she would have 3-5 grandmal seizures every day. She tried all the pill form medications they ddidn’t work. A doctor threw out the idea of marijuana. My sister was completly against the idea. In 2010, 2 years after that doctor recomendation she had no other options. She then said she will try it for 7days. 3 times a day. The first day didn’t look promising. But on day 3 of 7 she didn’t have one seizure. And for the last 4 days she only had 1 seizure. So plz don’t say there’s nothing positive about marijuana. As of today she is still using medical and hasent had a seizure in 1and a half years. So if u want to say there’s nothing positive about marijuana that’s ur opnion. But answer this. Tell me something positive about alcohol. Not trying to start anything because like I said I’m fully aginst marijuana use

    Reply
  6. William Mattingly2 weeks ago

    Why don’t you ask me? I was a DEA Agent for 20 years; never saw any benefits in the use of the stuff; can only cause more auto accidents; more hard drug use. These druggies have fallen for George Sorros’ con, that’s all. Poor ole USA! Yes, I’m a retired Agent; yes, i,m a retired Korean War Veteran. So, take your chops.

    Reply
  7. Patrick2 weeks ago

    I have yet to meet a cop who was called to a bar fight or a domestic dispute that was fueled by the use of marijuana! The same cannot be said of alcohol. If the individual states are too timid to legalize it then at least decriminalize it and avoid criminally stigmatizing a teen who wants a toke.

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  8. Dorothy Long4 weeks ago

    Percentages are not representative of all America. This is misleading. In Australia recently a group defiantly smoked cannabis in our city gardens and a few were interviewed. Of those interviewed NONE were coherent. Relaxed to the point of non-reality is dangerous. There is a risk of brain cells being destroyed over time. Only one market would benefit from cannabis promotion, a profit that would reap chaos on society, like most other dependencies.

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    1. William II4 weeks ago

      That is your opinion, and unlike many people on the internet, I will respect it. But it is in my opinion that your opinion is completely ignorant and biased. Claiming that the use of cannabis will cause chaos on society is similar to saying eating apples is bad for you.

      Reply
    2. m4 weeks ago

      “Percentages are not representative of all America. This is misleading.”
      ————————————————
      Huh? How is a statistic showing that some people are supportive while some are not not representative of the two viewpoints? What is “misleading” about it?

      Would a group of people who drank a whole lot of alcohol in your city gardens be any more coherent? If they were even conscious, that is.

      I don’t think this article suggests that using too much of ANY kind of drug is a great thinkg

      Reply
    3. Michelle Saenz4 weeks ago

      So false. , I attended college classes fully lit ,, spewing out answers . My teacher was tripped out non smokers were not as highly charged and ready to answer his questions ,,,, I enjoyed and now I’m ready for tax revenue to light up my state

      Reply
    4. Buzz Mills2 weeks ago

      I’m old and retired, taking oral chemo (a $300 pill, the side-effects of which are endless and atrocious) daily for CML leukemia, with severe cervical disc degeneration, the end product of a football injury as a 12-year old, which causes me no end of pain and complications.

      Marijuana keeps me focused on the task at hand; that task being to compile, for openers, an index to help educate Americans, for openers, on Federal and State Issues. bit.ly/1dLfO0Y

      The more we know, the better off we will be.

      Reply
  9. William J. Phillips3 months ago

    My how things have changed in much of the country! This comes from a person who received a 5 year felony conviction for the possession of two marijuana “roaches” in 2000 in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Finally, at least some states and people are realizing that we, I, are not criminals!!!

    Reply
    1. Just a+Guy2 weeks ago

      Amen. Marijuana being illegal in the first place, if it is remembered in the history books, will be one of the darkest times of our countries history. How we fell into trillions of dollars of debt by our own governments inability to retract their own veracious lies. How the lies kept going for half a century and how HALF of the public CAN STILL BELIEVE THOSE LIES with all the easily re-searchable material on the internet.

      It boggles the mind how far people will go to NOT think for themselves. “If the government says it, it must be true”. The first thing you learn in college is how to think for yourself. Taking in all information and accurately judging what is a lie and what is fact. If you believe anything on TV is “scientifically proven” to do anything, you need to learn to think for yourself. If you think marijuana kills brain cells, gives cancer, and causes gravity to stop, then you should probably learn how to think for yourself instead of eating every lie the government spoon feeds you. News stations are also heavily influenced by the government, to help credit their disgusting lies with false truths.

      I’ll say it one more time, if even 1 person reading this understands the error of their ways it was worth it. LEARN TO THINK FOR YOURSELF!

      Reply
  10. Sheila4 months ago

    Yes I think it should be legal it’s a kick back make you relax.

    Reply
  11. Guy6 months ago

    Let me first that I’d like to thank those who made medical marijuana so professional enough so that the government was even impressed with the way it’s been handled from seed to plant to patient someone really took time to take make it so professional it makes me proud of those who took the time and do it right. I think with the professionalism that this has been handled with the government will finally agree to having medical marijuana legal. I’m a Vietnam veteran who has suffered chronic pain for over 40+ years so with the speed of MM becoming legal has excited me to the possibility of having something more to get me relief I need. God bless those who have taken on the task of making this valuable medicine become a reality for us who are suffering;)

    Reply
  12. Ned Morlef7 months ago

    i want it legal b/c I have seen the sheriffs in multiple counties around NC involved in felonies like threatening murder & ruin with theft of property under color of law. It has corrupted our LE in the worse way. I didn’t believe what I saw until I saw it. The country would be shocked at what goes on in the dark .

    Reply
    1. Dusty Relic3 weeks ago

      Ned I agree with you but this is not a NC thing it is a US thing. LE has gotten totally out of control. Asset forfeiture gives them too much independence from the taxpayers that employ them and they are spinning out of control. They are doing more to ruin the American way of life than any hanky-headed terrorist could ever do.

      Reply
  13. J Fernandez7 months ago

    health.usnews.com/health-news/ar…

    enough said. To many people lack basic common sense. Making it legal will get rid of drug dealers?? Really? No it won’t. In fact seeing how they won’t be able to target adults anymore where do u think they will make up for their loss $.. people who can’t but it aka YOUR KIDS! Common sense! Please use it

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    1. Some People…7 months ago

      If marijuana were made legal drug dealers would have to rely on selling hardcore drugs to the people that are ALREADY buying them. Marijuana has this funny term people made up called “Gateway Drug” and it’s 100% true, it is a Gateway drug because it is illegal and forces people that want it to go to drug dealers who will try to sell them hardcore drugs. It being illegal is the only thing that IS wrong with marijuana, and it isn’t marijuana’s fault, it’s greedy politicians and ignorant civilians that lap up lies like a cat laps up milk from a saucer. Drug dealers would NOT start targeting children more, that would be the BEST possible outcome as finding them around schools and places children are would make catching them next to a cake walk, as kids don’t like to wander around dark alleys at night by themselves, it’s rather easy to find people targeting children.

      Reply
    2. jack4 weeks ago

      Did you even read the article you posted? There are serious limitations to that study.

      Reply
    3. Dusty Relic3 weeks ago

      Drug dealers would not start selling to children; that is just silly. For one thing I doubt that very many drug dealers could make a living just off of kids, unless they lived in a really rich area where the parents don’t pay attention to what their kids spend their parents’ money on. To the extent that they stay in business it will be by switching to another product, but with cannabis legally available they will likely have to find other lines of work. This is of course assuming that cannabis is not overtaxed which unfortunately is a troubling tendency that threatens to undermine legalization.

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    4. Educated Citizen1 week ago

      So you’re telling me that because Marijuana has contributed to 12 percent of fatal crashes in 2010 it is acceptable to keep it illegal despite the fact that alcohol has been present in FORTY, yes 40 percent of all fatal crashes? You realize that is about 10 percent of total crashes that involved marijuana? And you still think alcohol is completely safe and legal? Wake up, use some common sense, marijuana is not the problem here. I see more people driving like idiots completely sober than I have seen anyone under the influence of marijuana. I would also like to point out that just because a person had marijuana in their system at the time of a fatal crash, does NOT mean marijuana had anything to do with said crash. Correlation does not equal causation. Anti-pot heads have been using that argument for years, and Colorado’s legalization has PROVEN that fatal crashes involving marijuana are DOWN, the lowest they have been in years, since 2002. It’s easy to pick and choose which information to put out there to alter someones opinion, but you have to also recognize that there are actual facts out there that tell you you’re wrong.

      Reply
  14. Ann Price7 months ago

    I am a teacher of the baby boom era. I have occasionally smoked pot and do think it can impair a person’s ability to think clearly. Even though I know empirical data is necessary to REALLY ascertain truths in those or other issues, I offer an anecdote of an observation of a student I made in a classroom.
    The student came to class at the first period if the day, sat down and was supposed to write a short report about her weekend at her work-study job. I noticed that she was having trouble doing this but normally when she was asked to submit that regularly-required report, she’d completed it in about five minutes. I went over to her station to help. As I approached her I noticed that she wreaked of marajuana smoke to the point it was difficult to be near her and I do no have a sensitive nose at all. I noticed also that she could not manage to type a partial much less a complete sentence. She never did finish even the first two garbled sentences. So, from my observation, at least for her she was impaired and should NOT have been driving ANYTHING. And yet, that’s how she had gotten to school and with a younger sister in her car. I wouldn’t have wanted anybody I loved to have shared the roads with her.
    However, some uses of marajuana I think are ok. I have a relative who was very stressed in his job as are many people. He was alleviateing that stress with an after work, at home drink that became two or three.. It was getting to be problematic. His wife suggested a little weed in the evening and that helped a lot. And he has not increased his use at all. Granted other things might have been just as good, like exercise, but sometimes time restrains don’t make that feasible.
    I offer this with the currently popular quote “I’m just saying.”

    Reply
    1. Dog4 weeks ago

      I have to respond to you Ann Price because you’ve committed a fallacy that many anti-legalization arguments make- you assume the unusual behavior of someone who has smoked pot is strictly an effect of the drug. This is wrong. Being high is largely a blissful wonderful experience, that at times can peak into paranoia, munchies, or fits of laughing. Smoking pot puts you in a different mindset, where you perceive and understand, and respond in a way that may reflect the effects of the drug. To me there is nothing wrong with this. Where these changes in perception and feeling become dangerous are when they can land you in jail, or get you suspended from school. I can imagine that girl in your class. Probably inexperienced with marijuana, finds herself in a classroom after smoking, conscious she reeks of weed, and with a teacher watcher her and taking note of her behavior.. well i’d freak out in that situation too myself.

      TL;DR Negative effects from marijuana are compounded by intolerant views on it’s use, and arcane law and policy. Taking drugs is as human an experience as having sex, and as awkward a subject for our “educators” and “guardians” to talk about.

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    2. Ohio Person3 weeks ago

      I liked Ann Price’s comment because she gave two personal experiences with the marijuana use of others, one that was inappropriate and harmful, and another that was helpful to the user.

      I think what explains the surprisingly rapid turnaround in Americans’ views on legalization is that suddenly we are allowing ourselves—and each other—to hold opposing thoughts about it in our heads at the same time.

      Reply
  15. Benjamin Brandenburg7 months ago

    If marijuana isn’t legalized, it fills up the jails, and that’s just stupid.

    Reply
  16. Randall Burns7 months ago

    I live in Washington state where Cannabis is legal to use–but not yet legally available to buy. We also have the strange situation where police are often not tested for drug or alcohol use–even though we have lots of lawyers, cops and judges with substance issues, while some government employees have a zero tolerance policy on cannabis.
    I think with legalization we need a more sensible testing policy for all drugs. Yes there are people that become unfit to do their jobs using both cannabis or alcohol-or even some prescribed medications. We also need to revisit the fact that even though the effects on the public of drug use by folks in positions of responsibility can be far greater, those folks are rarely tested or arrested. All public officials, officers
    of publicly traded companies and licensed professionals or law enforcement officers should be subject to drug and average alcohol consumption tests. We should not put casual users in jail–but chronic users need to be kept from jobs they cannot really do effectively or safely.

    Reply
  17. Kenneth Fulford7 months ago

    I would like to use it for medical reasons. Pain and cancer don’t want to get high but the oil form will help many.
    The government knows it has medical uses. Big drug company don’t want the compaction.
    For 3000 years it was used as a medication. In the late 1930’s they were expanding the uses of it.
    I understand keeping it away from children but they can’t keep alcohol away from them.
    At least when its legal children will not be able to get it as easy as they do now.
    I can get off the narcotics that I take for pain that kills someone every 29 mins.

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  18. L. W. Fries8 months ago

    Well, it seems where you get information is WAY more important than the truth. What’s more sad is that it has been with us since 1937! The audacity of lies and lawmakers to write into treaties such dribble as our stupid drug laws. Every signer was under threat of losing millions of dollars. SAD

    So, the children shall lead! I know a bunch of “GRAYS” who indulge in secret just as they always have. All of them have medical prescriptions but fear the “LAW”.

    OH, they all started on mikl!

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  19. Richard McDowell8 months ago

    Down & down we go where it stops no one knows.

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  20. William Mattingly8 months ago

    I’m a retired DEA Special Agent. In my 20 years on the job in 7 major U.S. cities, I’ve never interviewed a heroin addict who stated that he/she started drug use on heroin. No, their first entry into the drug world was pot, then they looked for a “bigger high” and off they went. Contrary to current myths, FBN, BNDD, DEA leadership forbid we agents on working on any cases under 100 lbs. and this was Chicago circa 1958! Small cases like this we turned over to local or state police. Our targets then and now are organized crime traffickers and lab operators. States that have liberalized pot use will see an increase in major auto accidents as a result of drugged drivers. As for me, I don’t intend to drive in either state. It’s bad enough in the state where I live now with alcohol intoxicated drivers!

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    1. Williams Katherine8 months ago

      If you are a DEA agent, you have effectively demonstrated why your group has been one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer money in the history of this nation, because clearly you don’t know much about the drug you’re policing.

      The entry drugs are nicotine, alcohol and caffeine. Every study has said as much – it’s just that most addicts are as oblivious as you apparently are, that those are mind-altering substances.

      2.3 million people reported trying marijuana in 2009 – 617,000 tried cocaine and 180,000 tried heroine, in the same year. Facts are facts – marijuana is the most easily obtainable illicit drug (despite all the money wasted by our government trying to maintain a prohibition), so most people who’ve used other illicit drugs, have tried it too. That they found pot first, is in no way, shape or form, an indication that marijuana had any part in their later drug use. Some of them found LSD first – LSD isn’t the cause of their further drug use. Your attempt to suggest otherwise, is a joke – the facts overwhelming support that there is no gateway affect between marijuana and other drugs.

      States that have had medical marijuana have NOT seen an increase in major traffic accidents, because the drug that causes driving impairment, is the legal one – booze. Every legitimate study on the use of marijuana while driving, showed that for most people, it made them highly observant (i.e. paranoid) and that people drive slower and more carefully when under the influence of marijuana.

      Which is not to say that it isn’t an impairment, but if you’re in an accident involving marijuana, you are likely to be going a lot slower, and it’s less likely to be a major accident. Because unlike most other drugs, on marijuana, you are AWARE that you’re impaired, and you try to be extra cautious. Unlike with alcohol, where you imagine you’re bulletproof. There is zero correlation, between a relaxation in marijuana prohibition, in any state or nation, and an increase in major traffic accidents.

      You think your experience makes you the expert, but it demonstrates the lies that parts of the drug enforcement engine have been telling themselves for years – because they refused to call Anslinger the liar he was.

      And it he was a liar – just ask Portugal. They have proven, conclusively, that a responsible drug policy doesn’t involve jailing users. They have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that decriminalization works. And right now, 17 states are in the process of proving it too.

      But you continue to tell yourself, that the facts – that we jail a larger percentage of our population than any other nation, and that an insane amount of people serving life sentences are doing so for non-violent possession crimes affected by the BS three-strikes rule, and that while white and black people use marijuana at roughly the same rates, black people are three times more likely to be arrested for possession – are good things.

      The rest of us will rely on rational evaluation of the facts, not anecdotal stories from someone who clearly hasn’t bothered to ever research the lies he tells himself and others.

      Reply
      1. true blue4 months ago

        Couldn’t have said it better! Thank you for your writing skills & knowledge of BS. All of the info is out there to know the facts. It is amazing how many governmental & law enforcement employees only repeat the propaganda that they have been fed & never take it upon themselves to check actual facts & history. The ignorance of not checking the validity of one’s own beliefs is the cause of many of the problems in our country. I hope & pray that our citizens will really begin to be more responsible for the “info” that they pass along.

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      2. Sheila4 months ago

        Tell to them again they can give me a medical marijuana card and get me off all these pills I take for one thing but may cause something else the don’t work when you go back to the doctor he give you something else I’m tired of being a geniepig for pills .children are going to try everything out there on the market or off.It’s up to you as a parent to check you children

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    2. smorty8 months ago

      You say heroin user started with marijuana?
      What about alcohol? I believe exposure to booze is more prevalent than marijuana … and to go further, can we trace it back to Mothers milk?

      Reply
    3. Destry C.7 months ago

      GO AWAY! DEA!
      GO AWAY! DEA!
      GO AWAY! DEA!
      STOP DESTROYING PEOPLES ATTEMPTS TO START A LIFE THROUGH A PEACEFUL BUSINESS, LET THEM SELL THEIR WEED!!!

      Reply
    4. DrT Happy7 months ago

      Mr. Mattingly, You are telling us you were a DEA agent? From your comment I would guess you are telling us a little fib aren’t you? What % of the total population did you deal with, maybe 1%? Or even Less? And from that group you have made a global statement that marijuana is THE entry drug? So obvious you have no idea what you are talking about. I personally know 30 or 40 people ( and in my 71 year on this planet maybe 200) that have used it and never went to anything else. Now I do know people who are alcoholics who use MJ excessively. People who are prone to addiction will go on to other stuff. People who are not won’t. I would so much rather be around a pot smoker than an alcoholic. And be driven by one. You just do not know what you are talking about, Sorry.

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    5. Some People…7 months ago

      Your views have been so skewed by the laws you’ve been blindly enforcing for decades that I doubt even if the truth did come out, straight from the mouths that have been lying to you your entire life you would still not be able to comprehend it. It’s such a sad fate…

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    6. Gary g4 months ago

      Heroin was the first drug I ever used & even Heroin lives under propaganda. . .you do not get a habit off the first Few uses.You are just another brainwashed Dea agent trying to brainwash the public through prejudicial ignorance!

      Reply
    7. Ohio Person3 weeks ago

      Anticipated uptick in traffic accidents and overall increase in use are valid arguments against legalization—valid, but weak. The argument for legalizing is far stronger because the social costs of mass incarceration of marijuana users is quite clearly several magnitudes larger than the costs of the use itself.

      As for the ‘gateway drug’ argument, this is probably a very complicated topic unto itself, but my feeling has always been that in general people don’t just sort of drift into heavy-duty heroine/narcotics use. I think that people who end up in that dark place got there due to some deep personal issues, not just because “whee! that’s fun!” So, while it may be true that many hard core narcotics users may report having tried marijuana before their eventual hard drug choice, it does not necessarily follow that their lives would have been just peachy if they only hadn’t smoked that one joint that one time back in 10th grade. I think it’s a combination of physical predisposition and some inner turmoil or traumatic experience that compels a person to try drugs, and stick with them.

      Reply
  21. slk8 months ago

    what i’d like to know is when a cop pulls over a driver, how do you tell, whether they just smoked, or it was weeks ago???

    Reply
    1. Williams Katherine8 months ago

      They can’t, which is a concern. But there are cognitive tests that can be used, to determine if someone is incapacitate to drive. It’s just that, thanks to the breathalyzer, we stopped bothering to actually test if someone is impaired, and instead decided we could arbitrarily decide at what blood-alcohol level someone is impaired. Which was a pretty stupid path to take, in any regard.

      Reply
      1. slk8 months ago

        agree!!!

        Reply
  22. Annaemma8 months ago

    Marijuana stays in the system for up to 30 days, and daily or frequent use means that one is under the influence all of the time. A young person is dangerously affected by constant use, and since you can’t control cigarettes enough to keep them out of young people’s hands, why would you do such with marijuana? It smells, it is unpleasant to be around people who use it. Many years ago we were exposed to it, kids used it, it didn’t make sense to me. If you can’t find ways to feel good about life, without using any drug at all…..alcohol, heroin, marijuana., tobacco…..then go out and volunteer for some good cause. You will feel really, really good.
    Marijuana legalization will be a money maker bonanza for the same kinds of corporation as are behind alcohol and tobacco, so when you see the corporations are behind legalizing marijuana, you will know why. Is there anything more ugly than a display case of all the different kinds. Of course, I am 81, and never smoked and rarely drank alcohol, maybe that’s why I am smarter than all who want to escape instead of live their lives as true members of society. I know, I know, all societies have used escapist mechanisms when life is hard, but the better groups have found ways to simply use their own intellects to feel good, and perhaps then have the ability to use wisely what is available. I am adamant about legalization, and will just say, you mark my words, you will be sorry in the long run. A society that can’t get along without drugs disappears from history. This is rambling, but at my age, I am entitled. It would be interesting to see if anyone can prove that what I write here isn’t true. You want your young teen to be smoking pot, or tobacco, or drinking underage, and driving? I guess there aren’t enough people having kids these days, birth rates are way down for whites. Welcome to the doped up world, it’s on its way.

    Reply
    1. DrT Happy7 months ago

      I agree with most everything you say. And to make it a criminal offense and jail people for it is still just plain dumb. Alcohol is so much worse.

      Reply
    2. moose7 months ago

      Also, not sure if you have noticed, but weed being illegal also doesn’t keep it out of kid’s hands, so why do you think wasting billions of dollars on prohibition is a good policy? I think its completely unpleasant to be around very drunk people, but I don’t want to throw people in prison for drinking, because that would be DUMB. I also think it would likely be unpleasant to be around you. “Many years ago we were exposed to it”. We are STILL exposed to it. It is WIDELY available. It has been used by humans for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. Get a grip on reality please.

      Reply
    3. Mr. Nice Guy6 months ago

      Actually marijuana can stay in the system for really however long it takes for the body to break down the THC, which depends on the person and their weight, metabolism etc. Furthermore, I am almost 18 years old and have been immersed and around marijuana and the lifestyles of kids and teenagers today that smoke the reefer on a daily basis. Any moderately competent person with a cell phone can get weed from four different people. Weed is so widely accessible it’s a joke really. Making it legal would most definitely put restrictions on the illegal obtaining of reefer by younger kids who are choosing to get high for a few hours on the weekend with their friends trying to make an ordinary life extraordinary. We’re just young and reckless in an advancing society that is promoting the notion that to be seen as being older and more mature is the way to be cool and smoking and drinking every weekend is what makes that happen. The reality is, although getting “Turnt up” is a hell of time and they’ll probably be able to look back on these years as the best years of their lives, which I have yet to figure out is worth saying or not, marijuana itself does not affect their contribution to society in any shape or form. They have a choice to keep their lives in check and have their priorities straight while still enjoying whatever lifestyle suits them. I play hockey, go to school, take AP courses and get good grades, mind you, work a job and I still live it large whenever the opportunity presents itself. I have unparallelled personal experience in the world of drugs today by simply being a semi-popular kid in High School and through these experiences I have witnesses both the ridiculously idiotic things people have done on drugs (foolish shenanigans are 90% of the time the cause of multiple drugs and or ALCOHOL and a drug at the same time combo but ALCOHOL the main culprit) and also the harmless friendly neighborhood stoners who just want to get ripped and live life content to the fullest with nothing other than an Iced Tea and some food. Kids shouldn’t be prosecuted for doing only what is natural for teens today, it’s turning innocent smoking into an entire scandalous adventure of lies and deceit that turns sons against fathers and the people against the government. This article proves that people are beginning to accept weed as the magnificent tree it is and the amazing abilities it has.

      Reply
      1. Cassandra Garffie2 weeks ago

        huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/02/ma…
        They are just now starting to see the long term effects of chronic use. But just go ahead and keep smoking. See where you are in 25-30 years.

        Reply
    4. Violet5 months ago

      Great way of thinking that’s the same thing I say more money for the goverment and less for the people who need the money!

      Reply
    5. Dusty Relic3 weeks ago

      Just because the metabolites are detectable in your system that does NOT mean you are under the influence for 30 days, which typically peeks after a few minutes and almost completely dissipated within an hour or so. I laughed so hard when I read that; I said to myself “wow a real expert here” LOL!

      Also, we actually CAN control tobacco well enough to keep it out of kids’ hands. Since strict tobacco regulations have gone into effect combined with aggressive educational outreach teen use of tobacco is near record lows right now. It is in fact the only substance where we’ve managed to reduce rates of teen abuse. And we did it without banning them completely or criminalizing their possession or use by adults.

      Also, although I myself haven’t used cannabis in over 30 years, I still find the photos of the displays showing all the different kinds absolutely beautiful. Really really lovely.

      Also your rants about youngsters getting into hijinks after smoking cannabis don’t make sense. Don’t you read? Don’t you know that the point of moving cannabis into a regulated market is to take it OUT of the hands of kids and put it into the hands of adults? And as far “welcome” to the doped-up world, it is no more doped up now than before and it will continue to be doped-up at approximately the same rate as always. Legalization doesn’t mean its use is required, after all. There are plenty of people who choose not to drink even though alcohol is legal.

      All of this adds up to one thing: you’re wrong Annaemma!

      Reply
  23. R Tonn8 months ago

    The Federal Bureau of Narcotics was formed under the treasury Department in 1930 and Harry J. Anslinger was named director. He is more responsible than anyone else for advancing laws that made marijuana illegal. His tactic was promote racist connotations to marijuana use, suggesting that it made blacks feel equal to whites, and made white women susceptible to seduction by black men. William Randolph Hurst sensationalized these assertions and further moved criminalization legislation forward, also linking marijuana use to various forms of violence. The result was that marijuana became illegal under federal law in 1937.

    We may find these tactics laughable today, but our continuing prohibition of marijuana use can be traced to these lies and the ambition of Anslinger and the yellow journalism of Hearst.

    It’s time to reconsider, with a focus on the actual facts.

    Reply
    1. Phaedrus8 months ago

      Nice writing R Tonn. Your argument is sound and quite honestly carries more weight than any of the other comments addressing this study. I am all for nationwide legalization of marijuana. It is truly less damaging than alcohol, and though it needs control, it is truly the best choice.

      Reply
    2. Some People…7 months ago

      Smart man R Tonn, at least SOMEONE on this thread actually knows what they’re talking about. I hope this widespread ignorance gets fixed soon, I’m not sure how much more badmouthing of this wonderful plant I can take, marijuana is the jew to our governments nazi power, when will we stop the unneeded hate and wasted money…

      Reply
    3. Gary g4 months ago

      Yes, very well and factually put!

      Reply
    4. Dusty Relic3 weeks ago

      You are correct.

      Reply
  24. Cares8 months ago

    Who would want a person “stoned” or high as a “kite” on this drug, driving a car or working a complicated medical procedure?

    Reply
    1. DrT Happy7 months ago

      Who would want a person drunk doing all these things. So you would rather jail all who want to get “high” but let the alcoholics keep doing what they are doing? If you drink any alcohol you are in the same category as someone who gets high. Because you do not know there is no difference, makes you unqualified to comment. You think that your one or two beers or glass of scotch does not impair you, yet it has the same effect as one or two hits of marijuana. And that is the whole point. If you occasionally get drunk, some people occasionally get to high. Same thing. Are you responsible when you are drunk? No driving, no beating your wife? Pot smokers are the same. (Except pot smokers, not drunk pot smokers, would never beat their wives.)

      Reply
    2. moose7 months ago

      If you go to work drunk, you would get fired. Why do you think it would be any different for cannabis? Did you think this through much? Oh, and by the way, if I had to choose between someone doing a heavy night of drinking or someone doing a heavy night of smoking, it’d be the smoking 100% of the time. Alcohol can pretty much disable a person for a full 24 hours with the hangover – not so with weed. Get a grip on reality please.

      Reply
    3. Dusty Relic3 weeks ago

      Somebody needs to google “non sequitur”.

      Reply
      1. Jim2 weeks ago

        hahaha exactly what I was thinking reading these comments

        Reply
  25. dcinnovator8 months ago

    The fact that it was ever made illegal in the first place shreds the constitution and it should give you great pause. If any of you ‘firmly against’ MJ folks can actually explain the process through which MJ became illegal, I’ll be surprised. If you knew the process, or more precisely the lack of process that went into making MJ illegal in the first place in the United States of America, I think you, you the Patriot, in the land of the Free, Don’t Tread on Me, stay off my property Uncle Sam and keep the Government out of my life- you would be ashamed you ever went along with this in the first place.

    You talk about being ‘Conservative’ (which really doesn’t mean having the government tell you what to do around every corner) and living in the land of the free, but the minute the Gov makes up some silly law that creates good guys and bad guys, you roll over and take it- because inside, deep down, you’re weak and don’t think for your self.

    I’m glad we’re all finally waking up. It will be nice to have fewer tax dollars being wasted on incarcerating those who are otherwise hard-working, tax-paying citizens.

    The End.

    Reply
  26. jay8 months ago

    So many uneducated people don’t get it! Why don’t the people that don’t understand, actually do some research before spouting off with their ridiculous jargon? Seriously!

    How many of you studied biology or anatomy in college, or even went to college?

    BTW, you’re on the wrong side of history. It’s coming one way or another. Regardless if it’s this year or in 3 years. It’s coming. Don’t be the one standing on the sidelines.

    Empty the jails and stop wasting tax dollars on stupid laws.

    Reply
  27. Jody8 months ago

    The fact is, that the gov. sould just make it leagal so we can stop putting the wrong crimals in jail. I mean who would you rather see in jail sombody on the street selling drugs trying to make money or somebody stealing from your bank account, like that stupid TV show mob wives and it turns out they commited faud, which everyone knows what the mobs famous for. I mean the gov. Should be more focused on other things besides what we do with or put into our body, do they have control over you. I watched documentry on posions does anyone remember the radium girls, when the gov. Said it alright to use radium. Why do think we have a stong pill dependicty because the gov.say that alright. And that they say cigarettes kill everyday but have they done anything to shut them down, no just stupid ads that dont do anything and cost money. I remember something from a news broadcast saying that muiltvitamins were bad for you. So I dont know what to believe anymore, what I do know is people are going to do what they want to do and theres nothing you can do about it, so if they want to do drugs their going to do drugs and come up with other ways to do them so you might well make them legal. I mean its pretty bad when you see it all the on the TV shows and the news that police arrested somebody for selling marijuana. And reason they were selling it was to make money which is what everyone wants. I mean think about if could make a 1000 a week selling weed, verses working a legal job that you work 40 hours or less, making maybe 8,9,10 dollars hours, witch job would you choose.

    Reply
    1. slk8 months ago

      and when they only try to make a living off of your kids???

      Reply
      1. moose7 months ago

        Versus the unregulated, unethical drug dealers that indiscriminately sell to your children under the current failed policy of prohibition? How about the scores of people who are regularly killed as a direct result of prohibition? How about the fact that you, as a parent, should take some responsibility and actually exhibit some sort of real parenting abilities.

        Reply
    2. Melinda Lockwood8 months ago

      I would much rather see a drug dealer in jail. Making pot legal would effectively eliminate the black market. If I could make 1000 a week selling pot legally, I would do it. But the fact remains that drug dealers take advantage of our children (8, 9, 10 years old) who don’t need to be doing drugs of any sort. People who sell drugs to children (anyone under the age of 18 – sorry) should be thrown in jail. Adults should be allowed to consume whatever they choose but children do not need to use drugs. Comments like yours are ill-considered and short-sighted.

      Reply
  28. Hasan Hussein8 months ago

    I do not support legalizing Marijuana, but if this is done then it should be treated in public like “open container” for alcohol and beer.
    As for decriminalization, misdemeanors with fines, and short-term incarceration for repeat offenders (like public drunkenness. No longer make it a felony except were alcohol is likewise so treated.

    Reply
    1. Timothy Steele8 months ago

      Do you support oppression? It sounds like it.

      Reply
      1. slk8 months ago

        oppression??? how do you feel about bamacare???

        Reply
        1. Kathryn8 months ago

          Insurance if you can afford, help if you can’t, and all leading to a healthier population, which will lead to a stronger country. Healthy kids can learn better. It’s a win/win all around.

          Reply
          1. slk8 months ago

            “afford”??? young people “aren’t” signing up, 400,000 uninsured only signed!!! how many millions that signed up, were kicked off their insurance??? how many are getting freebies??? how many are getting huge discounts??? what good is pediatrics and maternity to a 62 year old man, and millions like me??? “affordable”??? what do you think the insurance companies will do, when they see the people who are supposed to pay for this, are paying pennies to what was expected??? and now there’re more uninsured then before!!! and before you say no, remember over 5 million were kicked off their ins!!! the only thing affordable is…the name!!! remember the government never gives anything for free, someone has to pay first!!! so when you or your children grow up, and make it in this world, try to think what it feels like to be punished, for those who’ll do nothing!!! fortunately, not everyone are moochers, some are down on their luck, and will climb back up, but many don’t expect to do anything, which explains why there are jobs out there, with no one to hire!!! and don’t tell me about inequality, why are middle aged people flipping burgers, with 4, 5, 6 children??? everyone should know 2+2 doesn’t equal 10!!! looking forward to your reply!!!

    2. jay8 months ago

      You’re on the wrong side of history. Just like when white people said it was “race Mixing” when white people and black people were seen together.

      Are you a medical doctor Hasan? Do you actually know the benefits of Marijuana?

      Reply
      1. slk8 months ago

        i want you to think about that, for a while, really, only “white people”??? i don’t have to say you’re on the wrong side of history, because you’re babbling!!!

        Reply
  29. Lisa Porter8 months ago

    I believe the biggest reason people have a hard time accepting marijuana is the ‘smoking’ aspect. Too many anti smoking campaigns have taken their toll. We need to educate the public on the various uses. Not only can it be turned into products, such as paper, rope, etc, it has incredible medical benefits. It can be used as an herb and added to many many dishes. It shouldn’t be that hard to regulate. Classify it with alcohol, put on age limits, with showing proof before buying and the normal no public consumption clauses with it. Farmers that currently grow tobacco can apply for a license to grow the marijuana. As for selling, it can be taken to the same warehouses as tobacco, taxed appropriately and sold to the businesses that will be using it. The amount of good it can do medically speaking is huge. Tack on the amount of revenue it can bring to a city or state, and so much more good could come out of it. Those people taught to believe it is evil and only used by evil need to be educated. This won’t happen unless they agree to read the literature and I am sorry but proclaiming it ‘toking’ or ‘smoking’ they won’t even open a link. Those of us in favor need to put our comments on the government sites where it will do the most good.

    Reply
  30. StunnedbytheIgnorance8 months ago

    IF I SHOUT DOES THAT HELP? What the heck does smoking something have to do with the question of legalization of cannabis? If cannabis is legal there is no reason to smokeb it. You can if you liked, but there aren’t many out here claiming that smoked marijuana is healthy.
    What we really have is a situation where unjust laws have forced those who would use cannabis to do so in the most efficient manner. In other words, people only smoke it ( in general) because they don’t knowany other way to consume. Once prohibitionists get out of the way real research can be done on the best way to ingest but until then most people are forced to simply smoke it. Let’s get this law changed so people can become more acquainted with safer forms of ingestion.

    Reply
  31. William Clark8 months ago

    As we review these six current political facts about marijuana, may we indulge a few in the medical, cultural, and historic realms?

    Prohibition of marijuana is a premise built upon a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new law in Michigan saves hundreds of lives every year, on the highways alone. In November of 2011 a study at the University of Colorado found that, in the thirteen states that legalized medical marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities have dropped by nearly nine percent—and nearly ten percent in Michigan–while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote cited statistics revealing that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating on a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”. Imagine the further reduction in fatalities if marijuana were legalized for all adults.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana actually encourages brain-cell growth. Research in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries has discovered that it has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. They are often useful, but typically come with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. “Cannabis” in Latin, and “kaneh bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kaneh bosm, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    What gets to me are the politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but can’t face the scientific or the historical truth about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated by most of the world’s major religions.

    Reply
    1. Dennis Johnson8 months ago

      Wasn’t cannabis first made illegal in the early 40s to protect the paper industry? There are so many uses for cannabis other than medicinal. In fact, in Colonial times you could be fined for not growing it – again for paper.

      Reply
      1. Hasan Hussein8 months ago

        In WW2, hemp was needed by the Navy for rope.

        Reply
      2. Ritchie Santor8 months ago

        Hey, Den John – Project Grow? – As mentioned above, William Randolph Hearst had his hand (and Anslinger’s) in assuring pot (and all hemp) was outlawed because of his life being wrapped up in Hearst Publishing and the lumber used to create the paper the newspapers were printed on. Harry J. Anslinger quote: “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” Ha! Sounds like all we need is a couple show tunes and we’d be ready for “…a little night music.”

        Reply
    2. true blue4 months ago

      Thank you William Clark. This information is something not many know about & usually is supressed. If only Americans would take the time to research all the oppressive lies pounded into our heads by the greedy capitalists & the political brainwashing, they would be amazed at the amount of truth covered up for the sake of money & specifically, control of the public opinion. With the continual propagation of lies it is much easier to control us & when we don’t know the actual facts & truth we stay confused & unable to see & know how to stop the fraud & the stealing us blind that the majority of those in power are accomplishing. If marijuana is legalized (which I am all for) then the “war on drugs” & those with top positions in this regime would lose billions of taxpayers money. Enough money to pay for health care for all of our country. I am very encouraged by the fact that now, because of the internet, it is becoming easier to share the truth & facts with each other. The greedy & the political & the Nancy Reagan followers into the “war” are becoming more exposed by the day. And once we are not so oppressed anymore by these kinds of people, we won’t be so sick & full of stress related diseases thereby not needing so much medicine!

      Reply
  32. Walter Heimert8 months ago

    I THOUGHT SMOKING WAS BAD FOR ONES HEALTH. BUT ARE WE NOW SAYING “SMOKING IS BAD FOR ONES HEALTH BUT NOT MARIJUANA SMOKING?

    Reply
    1. James8 months ago

      There are other ways to consume cannabis than smoking it.

      You can vape it, cook it, bake it, etc. THC is a fat soluble molecule. You can put it in salad dressing.

      Reply
    2. Dennis Johnson8 months ago

      Smoking tobacco products is bad for your health.

      Reply
    3. Jeremy Helbing8 months ago

      Are you telling us that you are incapable of understanding that smoke can be more or less harmful for you depending on what is producing it?

      Reply
    4. Randall Burns7 months ago

      Smoking anything is questionable. However some substances are more harmful per puff than others-and some substances are less likely to be used frequently. Tobacco is highly addictive and users develop a tolerance and tend to smoke frequently. Thus even if Cannabis were more dangerous per puff it might be less hazardous in typical use.

      Reply