22 July 2010

Legalizing Pot Popular, Drug War Not

Low marks for the "War on Drugs" cross party lines, with 63 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Independents picking the option of failure. Just 8 percent believe the anti-drug war is a success.

The poll of 1,003 American adults, taken July 14 and 15, shows that the public is drawing a distinction between marijuana and other drugs. A total of 52 percent supported the legalization of marijuana. Just 8 percent would support legalization of heroin or powder cocaine or Methamphetamines. . . .

More than half of respondents (52%) support the legalization of marijuana. While clear majorities of Democrats (57%) and Independents (59%) agree with this course of action, only about two-in-five Republicans (38%) concur.

Via the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog.

1 comment:

Mt Sherman said...

This seems to be an issue that is in the air for some reason. Before I saw your post I was working on an essay about legalization of marijuana.

My own thought is that though there is support for legalizing cannabis it probably won't work out politically.

Advocates will yell and scream about anything less than full legalization while both politicians and voters are allergic to appearing soft on drugs so some compromise would be needed to get to a solid majority in both House and Senate. And action is needed at the federal level since a state cannot preempt federal law or prevent federal prosecution.

If I were in congress I might propose a half legalization in federal law after the midterms. Provide for the payment of a fine without jail time and automatic expunging of the record after a certain period so that it would still be technically a crime. The system could probably be allowed gradually evolve into regulation and taxation by another name. Sort of like withdrawing from a war that cannot be won without saying that we surrender.

The same could be done at the state level, but without federal action it would not be as successful since the business would still be illegal and getting the business away from organized crime would require at quasi-legalization.