After decades of Reefer Madness propaganda and being treated like criminals, the cannabis community has suffered through a stigma that impacts every aspect of life, from criminal prosecutions to family law to employment to personal relationships. Thanks to the hard work of advocates and objective researchers, the lies perpetuated by prohibitionists have slowly but surely been exposed, and the American people are finally realizing the truth about cannabis, that legalization is a better policy than prohibition. The efforts are clearly paying off as a recent Pew Research poll shows that support for legal cannabis has reached an all-time high.
Pew has polled on cannabis legalization since 1969 when only 12% of adults favored ending prohibition and a whopping eighty-four percent supported criminalizing marijuana use. The polling agency reported its latest findings:
Two-thirds of Americans say the use of marijuana should be legal, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The share of U.S. adults who oppose legalization has fallen from 52% in 2010 to 32% today.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (91%) say marijuana should be legal either for medical and recreational use (59%) or that it should be legal just for medical use (32%). Fewer than one-in-ten (8%) prefer to keep marijuana illegal in all circumstances, according to the survey, conducted Sept. 3 to 15 on Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.
There are many activist heroes over the years. Folks like Jack Herer, Willie Nelson, and Bob Marley will come to mind to many people, while Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the scientist that first isolated THC, was certainly an influential figure. I’ve long called Oregon’s Elvy Musikka, and her fellow federal medical cannabis patients, prophets of the movement because they revealed the truth about the plant’s medicinal uses. However, we are finally winning the war that has been waged against the nonviolent cannabis community because of ordinary people spreading the truth. Keep spreading the truth and the truth shall set us all free.