[P]eople with this demographic profile are somewhere around 25 or 30 percentage points more supportive of marijuana legalization than the average American. That implies that back in 2000, when only about 30 percent of Americans supported legalization, perhaps 55 or 60 percent of these people did. The margin of error on this estimate is fairly high — about 10 percent — but not enough to call into question that most people like those on the Times’ editorial board have privately supported legalization for a long time. The question is why it took them so long to take such a stance publicly.
And if you want to know why no one watches Meet The Press, check out their boomer pundit-fest above in which they could find no proponent of legalization at all, along with the familiar condescension and dated “jokes”. Nate’s too right that “there’s a particularly large gap between elite and popular opinion on marijuana policy”:
Consider that, according to The Huffington Post, none of the 50 U.S. governors or the 100 U.S. senators had endorsed fully legal recreational marijuana as of this April — even though some of them are very liberal on other issues, and even though an increasing number of them represent states where most voters support legalizing pot.
Perhaps some of this is smart politics — older Americans are less likely to support marijuana legalization and more likely to vote. But there’s also a more cynical interpretation: racial minorities, low-income Americans and young people are disproportionately more likely to be arrested for marijuana offenses than senators or newspaper editorial board members (or their sons and daughters). The elites may be setting the policy, but they’re out of touch with its effects.
Update from a reader:
Like you, I wholly believe that we shouldn’t shy away from disturbing images and videos when they’re reporting things that have actually taken place. But for God’s sake, did you have to post that horrible, terrible, terrifying, nauseating video? I’m speaking, of course, about the cadre of grey-haired idiots debating pot legalization on Meet the Press, a program I swear to God I forgot existed.
So, c’mon, trigger warning next time? Something simple, like, “Warning: this video may cause you to vomit all over yourself uncontrollably.”
You know what’s good for nausea? Another reader gets serious:
That MTP clip is unreal. If I were the father or son or spouse of one of the millions of marijuana users whose life has been irrevocably ruined by The War On Drugs and I saw those comfortable Beltway insiders having a silly pun-fest while wondering what the rush is on legalization, I would probably have thrown my laptop out the window in anger and disgust. Fuck them.