The End Of The Anti-Marijuana Generation

Kent Mao, Contributing Writer
Waking Times

Many Americans are beginning to see the benefits of policy reform

It’s no secret that public opinion on marijuana has shifted dramatically in recent years. Is this the beginning of the end for the anti-marijuana generation? Some would say so.

Advocacy of marijuana legalization is fast becoming a popular standpoint among Americans. According to Gallup polls, public support for marijuana legalization reached a record-high of 50% in 2011 and remained relatively consistent for the most part of 2012. Last November’s poll showed only a slight dip in support, from 50% to 48%.

You might be wondering just who these supporters are. Well, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to hear that Gallup found support for marijuana to be inversely proportional to age, with as much as 62% of 18-to-29 year-olds in favor of legalization, down to just 31% of those 65 and older. Indeed, the pro-marijuana movement appears to be largely driven by young voters.

Before you discredit this group for their youth, consider this. Similar surveys by CNN and Pew show that support for marijuana legalization comes from a wealthier and more highly educated demographic. Interestingly, CNN also found that whites were more likely to support legalization than non-whites, despite the fact that blacks are more likely to be arrested for drug possession.

Such high levels of support for marijuana are in stark contrast with the traditional norm. When Gallup first polled the public about marijuana legalization in 1969, only 12% of Americans were in favor. And as recently as 2005, only about a third of Americans indicated support for legalization.

What happened between 2005 and 2011 is anyone’s guess, although some explanations appear more convincing than others.

A major factor in shifting public opinion could very well be the growing number of states that have legalized medical marijuana. Between 2005 and 2011, legalization measures were passed in seven separate states as well as the District of Columbia. This brought the total number of Americans living in legal medical marijuana states to over 90 million, representing roughly 1 in 4 of the overall population.

By the time Delaware’s marijuana legislation was signed into law in mid-2011, over 1 million Americans had authorization to access medical marijuana.

Disregarding medical marijuana for a moment, national surveys show that illicit marijuana has also increased, albeit to a much smaller degree. From 2005 to 2011, the proportion of high school students that reported using marijuana at some point in their lives crept upward from 38% to 40% – perhaps explaining why support for legalization is highest among the younger demographic. Prevalence of past month marijuana use within the overall population also rose during this time.

Still, this only scratches the surface of what really undermines the anti-marijuana mindset. What many seem to overlook is the scientific momentum that marijuana has gained in recent years.

The increase in statewide legalization measures comes as a direct result of scientific evidence which finds medical marijuana to be an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions. Furthermore, long-standing public fear of marijuana’s damaging effects on the brain and lungs have been debunked time and time again by overwhelming proof of the contrary.

As anti-marijuana campaigns dwindle in their efforts, many Americans are beginning to see the benefits of policy reform.

Legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington following November’s election has strongly contributed to public awareness of the discrepancy between public opinion and federal policy. As it stands today, legalization measures in Colorado and Washington seem like only a minor indication of things to come as a nationwide pro-marijuana generation takes form.

About the Author

Kent Mao runs the excellent website, an online resource for medical marijuana facts, information and research. actively engages in the online discussion of marijuana research and policy. You can learn more by visiting

This article originally appeared on Politix.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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  • halderon

    As a former Law Enforcement person, nothing here describes the larger issue of what to do with users that drive under the influence? As a victim, I speak not only for myself, but for the countless others that will have this problem. On the way home from work,I saw this car coming st me-I drove off the road-so did the other car;I drove into a bean field-so did the other car. Realizing that I was about to be hit head-on,the only option was to relax. If I continued with the natural state of being tight,due to the effects of the adrenalin dump,bones would snap, but it is difficult to “relax in danger”. But I did the best I could. 32 years in Law Enforcement with the usual scars were transformed that night, to becoming permanently handicapped-every bone in my foot shattered,along with my knee. The only thing the other driver said was”I didn’t know that weed would make you sleepy.” Having smoked my share in college-yes! It makes you sleepy! And how are future Officers going to measure it?-what should the outcome be? We don’t answer that question-and new research indicates that in people under 25 are in jeopardy of having the developing brain rewired. Questions remain,and the answers are elusive.

    • Winston Ridge

      Sleepiness is the biggest car crash killer – regardless of intoxicant or not. Sorry for your tradgedy, but most smokers don’t drive sleepy and the statistics prove it. I’ve smoked regularly for 40 years, much less now than when young, and never been so high I couldn’t drive after a little nap. My car ins is $400/yr – never an accident. I had some close calls when I was high, but nothing I couldn’t recover and learn from. All studys point out it’s mild, not intoxicating like alcohol. No Problem. Let any problem arise first before you offer any solutions.

  • Craig Nelms

    When we look at the people’s attitude toward marijuana we are seeing the Great Awakening that is taking place (don’t trust polls, by the way). Those who believe what the govt. says believe marijuana is bad while those who have realized, or are beginning to realize, the truth about govt and corporate-ism (fascism)are also learning about the benefits, denied to us, of marijuana and hemp. But its not just about pot; we are also waking up about fluoride, soy, GMO’s, depleted uranium and a whole host of other items or issues.
    The attitude change we are seeing in relation to marijuana is a yard stick for the amount that people are waking up and thinking for themselves, rather than just believing what they are told.

  • eventually people will dissassociate from doublemindedness

    and worship of all things untrue…

    first step in the purification of the language is….

    THINK !

    • Jimmy

      one nill! lol

  • Daphne

    What do the 30 – 65 year olds have to say about this? I’m sure their numbers are way more than 50 %

  • jules

    As long as insurance companies run the show,for those who work in the corporate world toking is a no go. Be a cold day in hell before brainwashed corporate heads take cannabis off their list of forbiddens.
    Just say NO to drug testing for cannabis.

  • Will Robinson

    Excellent Article Kent!!!
    And I’m extremely glad that it is the End of The Anti-Marijuana Generation.


    My ultimate Goal is the End of the Prohibition Generation!!!


    Yess,There’s a difference.
    Yeah even though Marijuana is ending,Steriods and their trying to get Cigarettes back to Prohibition status again!!!

    The Mafia which is Jewish-Israeli-Russian has to have a income,and Prohibition is their income!!!

    The Anti-Defamation League is their lobby in Washington,right now pushing for more legistlation for their Drug Cartels to make more money.


    The Extra Police,The Special Devices and Weaponry and Specially their Prison Industrial Complex which all of it.

    I’m sick of organized crime in politics,I desire to get Organized Crime out Politics!!!


    That’s why i’m Anti-Prohibition

    • Lisa Pruitt

      All that Mafia stuff is really happening?! Wow. It’s amazing. What’s with those people anyway?
      Marijuana is such a good thing, and there’s these people out there
      stopping it from happening. It’s horrible!

    • Phil

      The problem with marijuana is not so much what it may or may not do to you physically but mentally people who smoke it and smoke a lot of it tend to not give a damn about anything and just want to get high. They do not care about the society around them as long as they are given access to their weed. It s no coincidence that the marxist/socialist movements of the 1960’s were made around smoking a joint since anyone who knows anything about the ramifications would not want to support it unless one is bribed by intoxicants. The zionist state of israel is the world leader in the exportation of psychotropic medications that are used illegally and are highly addictive and dangerous. Support for marijuania will grow and support for anything that may numb the pain of peoples seemingly misserable existance will continue to become popular. Whether that is euthanasia, pornography, drugs, alcohol, you name it.

      • Rachel

        That is not true at all. Those people who don’t give a shit never gave a shit and never will. It’s not because of marijuana. Marijuana does not numb pain. It helps people to accept their pain and go beyond it. Cocaine numbs pain (and emotions). Opiates numb pain (and emotions). Rx antidepressents and crap numb too. But not mari-j. You are ignorant about what you are talking about and are obviously basing your opinion on a few people who suck and blaming their sucking on weed.

        • Clyde W, Burnham, Ph.D.

          Totally correct, Rachel.

        • Anonymous

          Well said. Whatever substance you happen to be speaking of, it is all about the dosage. As far as it being GMO (God-Made Organic?), the big objection to Monsanto’s GMO’s are that they are about combining food with poison, and gaining control of the food supply thereby. Applying it to weed is a semantic game devoid of context. No one has a right to judge anyone else for whatever they engage in, without a demonstrated and specific harm done TO ANOTHER in the usage. That is an abuse of authority, in this case engendered by a corporate profit-motive. The long wait for legalization speaks volumes to the efficacy of media brain-entraining.

    • Winston Ridge

      I agree. We can grow poppies in Indiana. We don’t need Afghanistan! We can pump crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken fields , ending the Chinese’s cheap crude deal. With almost free crude, gasoline, diesel, and heating oil ought to be extremely cheap from now on. With Indiana’s flat lands and easy access, they should out compete Afghani opium and heroin costs so many prescription drugs should get real cheap. Who needed prohibition anyway? There never was such a thing!

  • Jimmy

    Medical grade marijuana is GMO, YA KNOW!

    • f8te

      How so? You need to put more in your comment then some random unsubstantiated claim.

      • Jimmy

        If you breed, then it pays to Know!
        you should look into, WELL FROM YOUR COMMENT,
        You already Know!
        F.U. Troll, we’re not playing that game.

        • Anonymous

          If you are getting high then it is NOT GMO

    • Tree

      Hybridization yes GMO no

    • Rachel

      WRONG. Medical Marijuana has been selectively bred for decades.

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