Marijuana debate may be closer than we think...

 

Brad Pitt as Floyd in True RomanceEveryone has had that one stoner friend who would get stoned and ramble on and on about how this was the time man... when the Man would finally free the weed man, and like, yea...

Well, this time, my friends, that stoner might not be so out of his brain the next time you hear it.  Marijuana legalization might be for real this time folks.


Paul Armentano of NORML"We are actually talking about historic highs when it comes to public support of taxing and regulating marijuana for adult consumption," says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to the Christian Science Monitor, "[But] the most difficult task is how you convert public sentiment into public policy."


Thirteen states have already approved marijuana for medicinal use, with many more having very mild legal ramifications for possessing and consuming marijuana.  Last Wednesday, a Zogby poll was released claiming that 52% of Americans favor the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana.  This result is in line with a poll released last month by ABC News/the Washington Post which stated that 46% OF Americans supported the end of marijuana prohibition in the United States.  California and Massachusetts both are set to vote on Bills which would allow marijuana to be a taxed and regulated commodity (which would allow it to be bought like alcohol).  How's that for change we can believe in.


Future President Obama puffin' on a spliff back in the day...The Federal Government is also looking like it might be willing to change its policies on Mary Jane.  While publicly President Obama has said that he does not agree with the legalization of marijuana, his administration has shown otherwise.  US Attorney General Eric Holder has publicly stated that the DEA will no longer raid the medical marijuana dispensaries in California (which they have been doing since they opened in 1996), perhaps signaling that while the Federal Government may not be willing to out and out legalize the controversial plant it might be willing to respect the will of the individual states and their policies on Marijuana.


With more and more people finding the idea of marijuana legalization palatable, the chances of pot coming out of the shadows of illegality and into the warm glow of the free market seem more and more like a reality.  And it all seems to make sense to Paul Armentano.  "It's hard to say that using marijuana will ruin your life when the last three American presidents are admitted marijuana users."

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