A new poll released on a counterculture “holiday” may be perceived as a major buzzkiller.
“Most Americans still oppose legalizing marijuana but larger majorities believe pot has medical benefits and the government should allow its use for that purpose, according to an Associated Press-CNBC poll released Tuesday,” the Associated Press reports.
The AP notes the poll showed that “only 33 percent favor legalization while 55 percent oppose it. People under 30 were the only age group favoring legalization (54 percent) and opposition increased with age, topping out at 73 percent of those 65 and older. Opposition also was prevalent among women, Republicans and those in rural and suburban areas.”
However, the AP story notes, “Americans are more accepting of medical marijuana. Sixty percent support the idea and 74 percent believe the drug has a real medical benefit for some people. Two-thirds of Democrats favor medical marijuana as do a slim majority of Republicans, 53 percent.”
In a statement issued to liberal blog Talking Points Memo, California Sen. Barbara Boxer’s campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski said the senator opposes a ballot measure that seeks to legalize and tax marijuana.
“Senator Boxer does not support this initiative because she shares the concerns of police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement officials that this measure could lead to an increase in crime, vehicle accidents and higher costs for local law enforcement agencies,” Kapolczynski said. “She supports current law in California, which allows for the use of medicinal marijuana with a doctor’s prescription.”
The marijuana legalization measure will be on the Nov. 2 ballot as well.
If California voters approve, it will be the most comprehensive reform of marijuana laws ever undertaken in the United States. While some states, such as Oregon, have relatively lax penalties for possession, no state has attempted to regulate and tax the herb before.
The measure’s chances are good: A poll taken last April found that 56 percent of Californians want to see the herb legalized and taxed.
In other related news today, at Huffington Post, Ryan Grim explores “The True Story Of How April 20 Became ‘Weed Day.'”
The Huffington Post chased the term back to its roots and was able to find it in a lost patch of cannabis in a Point Reyes, California forest. Just as interesting as its origin, it turns out, is how it spread.
It starts with the Dead.