Voting Trends Across Age Groups Regarding Marijuana Legislation
Marijuana is amongst the world’s most used recreational substances. It usage can be traced to centuries ago but it is not until recently that legalization became subject for political debate. While many regular users have rallied for years, emphasizing the benefits and harmlessness of the plant, most were dismissed as rebellious hippies and very often as criminals. However, with the admittance of usage of prominent political and social figures such as President Barrack Obama, Comedian Bill Maher, and even Steve Jobs, many while against or not, have begun to view it as a topic worthy of discourse and debate; particularly because of the medical benefits of the drug and the benefits that it may present to the U.S. economy. In fact, nearly 30 states have an active bill focused on reforming Marijuana legislation (NORML).
Although the social stigma that accompanies the drug is still prevalent across the United States, it is hard to ignore that as of 2009, 16.7 million people, ages 12 and over, admitted to being past month users (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2009). So much is the social pressure, that many states have legalized the use of medical marijuana while others, although unsuccessful as of yet, have proposed the decriminalization of the substance in order to cut the costs of imprisoning recreational users whom most believe are not a threat to society. A perfect example is the recent Proposition 19 in the state of California that included decriminalization of possession up to a certain amount and even permitted local governments to impose and collect cannabis-related fees and taxes. The aforementioned was the most controversial of this kind of legislation and many believed that it would be successful. However, despite its popularity in polls, it failed to get a majority vote to pass.
II. Research Question
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