Pot, could like, totally be legal in the next decade, man.
Recreational marijuana is legal in just two of the 50 states, but experts and advocates are saying that casual pot smoking will achieve the legal status it is soon to enjoy in Washington and Colorado in most states in the next decade. Hold on just a little bit longer, Willie Nelson.
“It’s clear and it has been clear now for a number of years that we are at a tipping point when it comes to a majority of Americans’ view toward the way we treat marijuana in this country,” said Paul Armentano of the pot lobby group Norml.
“Whether you are looking at Gallup or Rasmussen (polls), you’ll find more Americans are saying marijuana ought to be legalized and regulated in a manner similar to alcohol or tobacco rather than support the current policy,” he told ABC News. “I think it’s only a matter of another two or three states following suit before the federal government realizes it doesn’t have the mechanism in place to enforce prohibition, and they would most likely go ahead and leave it up to states.”
Indeed, recent statistics show that many Americans (well, half in most cases) support marijuana legalization, or are at least open to giving it a try in their state.
“We can all see that nationally, public opinion has shifted,” said Josh Mesiel, a sociology professor at the school and co-director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research. “I think people are recognizing that we need to learn more about what the potential impacts are of marijuana becoming part of the mainstream,” Meisel said. “It’s become part of the mainstream in term of public opinion.”
The fight for marijuana legalization isn’t quite out of the woods yet, and a few reports show that we’re in for a pretty awkward transition. Still, with public support and the potential for both increasing state revenue and shutting down a large portion of the drug market in the US, it’s very possible that we’ll see nationwide legalization in under 10 years.