The Pro-Pot Minority?

Dec 4 2012 @ 1:40pm

Kleiman reads opinion polls on marijuana differently than I do. He argues that a minority of Americans support full marijuana legalization and commercialization:

There’s no doubt opinions have shifted strongly in the pro-pot direction over the past five or ten years. And the Colorado and Washington votes demonstrate that, with sufficient resources and skill, voting majorities for the full Monty can be established in some states. If attitudes continue to shift, support for full legalization may become the majority view nationally, especially if Colorado and Washington are allowed to proceed and no disaster follows.

But support for full legalization is not the majority view today. So advocates need to be cautious about triumphalist claims that legal pot is the "will of the people."

Agreed. That's a dumb argument, compared to all the smart ones being deployed. What the anti-prohibition movement confronts is what the marriage equality movement has long dealt with: a balance between irrational exuberance and angry victimology. My view is that triumphalism is utterly unwarranted, that good cheer after an epochal shift in attitudes is justified, but what matters most is making good arguments to reasonable people, and making them again and again and again until you're bored silly, but they get it. My experience in the marriage movement has been that democracy works, once you frame the discussion on your terms and make arguments that make sense. Then patience, patience … and more argument. Today, the arc of history seems to be shortening, like everything else.