Thoughts on many Americans’ changed attitudes toward marijuana

Although marijuana might continue to be viewed harshly by law enforcement bodies, legislators and courts in Georgia, areas in many other parts of the country are showing signs that reveal a progressively relaxed attitude and tolerance for marijuana possession and use.

A number of reasons underlie what some commentators are regarding as a virtual sea change of public opinion in many pockets of the country. As has been widely reported, of course, both Colorado and Washington states legalized recreational pot use recently, and other states are considering it. Many jurisdictions, too, have enacted laws or have draft bills under review regarding the use of medical marijuana.

A recent media piece in Time chronicles some of the factors that have emerged to promote a greater acceptance of many toward the idea of legalized pot.

One of those is the growing view of increasingly more Americans that the so-called “war on drugs” has been heavy-handed, not very cost-effective and, in many respects, illogical. At a minimum, it can be readily seen that millions of minor drug offenders — not violent, without prior records and not likely to reoffend — have been sent away for lengthy prison terms. Not only does that strike many people as fundamentally wrong; increasingly more polls and surveys indicate that more Americans are considering the policy as wasteful of the government’s money and resources.

Another view is also gaining traction and momentum among many widely dispersed demographics, namely, that legalizing pot — with reasonable government controls — could deal a potentially fatal blow to organized drug cartels and activity.

A recent New York Times article states that the central question concerning marijuana is no longer if it will be legalized, “but how.”

Source: Time, “How America learned to stop worrying and love marijuana,” Christopher Matthews, May 28, 2013