The Cannabis Closet Cracks Open


Marijuana is now legal in Washington state:

Today, for the first time in 89 years (Washington lawmakers initially outlawed cannabis in 1923, 14 years ahead of the enactment of federal prohibition.), an adult may possess up to one ounce cannabis (and/or up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form) for their own personal use in private — and they may do without being in violation of state law.

Sullum compares marijuana legalization and marriage equality:

Just as an individual’s attitude toward gay people depends to a large extent on how many he knows (or, more to the point, realizes he knows), his attitude toward pot smokers (in particular, his opinion about whether they should be treated like criminals) is apt to be influenced by his firsthand experience with them.

It is therefore not surprising that generational differences in opinions about marijuana legalization reflect generational differences in marijuana use. According to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, most Americans between the ages of 12 and 60 have tried marijuana, while most Americans in their 60s or older have not. The highest rates of lifetime use (around 57 percent) are among people currently in their late 20s, late 40s, and early 50s, while recent use is most common among Americans of college age, about a third of whom admitted smoking pot in the previous year. People 65 and older have the lowest rates of lifetime and past-year use (12 percent and 1 percent, respectively). People younger than that, even if they have never smoked pot, probably know people who have, and that kind of personal experience provides an important reality check on the government’s anti-pot propaganda.

Our collection of reader testimonies about their own Prohibition-necessary Cannabis Closet can be purchased here. It's quite a document on our changing times.

(Photo: A Tacoma resident rolls a joint shortly after a law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana took effect on December 6, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. By Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)