What changed public opinion regarding marijuana legalization?

Looking at chart like this: http://weedjournal.org/2015/04/14/new-pew-survey-shows-53-favor-legal-marijuana-44-oppose/

What factors changed people’s minds on the issue of marijuana decriminalization or legalization? It’s not just due to old people dying as the link above shows. Which demographic groups are most or least in favor of it?
How much overlap is there between the opposition/change in support for pot legalization and the opposition/change in support for gay marriage?

After gay marriage and pot legalization are largely settled and only subject to guerilla attacks by opponents, what might be the next “the sky will fall if we do this” reform?

I cannot speak for anybody else, but I used to be opposed to legalization, but as findings showed that medical marijuana was clearly helpful my position relaxed at least in so far as medical marijuana. As my position relaxed with respect to medical marijuana, I just stopped caring that much about it being illegal. I’m not necessarily for legalization, I just no longer opposed to it.

Never been a user myself, but I’ve always supported legalization / decriminalization.

My position with regard to marijuana was further emboldened by something a paramedic friend told me: “I’ve been on hundreds of domestic abuse calls, and not one of them involved someone smoking pot and then beating up their wife.”

It has become increasingly difficult for the government and their protected economic blocs to hide behind prohibition propaganda. Despite the comprehensive Cannabis Federal Sched_I Ban, Independent research and State legalization efforts have steadily uncovered the truth about Marijuana. The WHO endorses CBD, a primary Cannabis derivative, as a safe, effective treatment for numerous conditions. The Marijuana prohibition era will likely go down in history as one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated by a government against it’s citizens, Notwithstanding Trump.

I have long felt that all drug laws do more harm than good. Let me emphasize that I am not a drug user. I did try marijuana once (even inhaled; I was a cigarette smoker then) and it had no effect that I could see, so my feelings on drug laws is not personal. Let me try to state my reasons.

There were no drug laws in the 19th century US and the world didn’t end. As far as I can see, they were originally passed to give the DEA agents something to do after repeal of prohibition.

Still drugs weren’t a really serious problem until Nixon declared a war on drugs.

The drug laws, whatever the intent seem to be mainly used as an excuse to put blacks into prisons.

And they seem to be largely responsible for the refugee crisis. Without the US drug laws, Central American and Mexican gangs would not have formed for the purpose of smuggling drugs into the US with the lawnessness that resulted. They would be legitimate businessmen providing drugs for a legal market. As an aside I might point out that legal businesses fight each other in court; illegal ones resort to guns.

Prohibition was ultimately seen as a disaster and repealed; drug laws will ultimately go the same way. Although only by beating all lobbyists for the prison-industrial complex.

Boomers got older. The original oldsters died off.

I think one of the main sources of opposition is the idea that cigarettes and alcohol are legal and cause a lot of damage so if we add pot to the list, it’ll create as much damage as cigarettes and alcohol.

My guess is that there will largely be a replacement effect among users of alcohol/tobacco. Dim, lazy, kinda shitty people with anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness who would normally self-medicate with alcohol and become horribly abusive or complete fuckups but with pot will slightly improve to the level of being merely mediocre.

Is there data on how chronic use of alcohol changes neurology or behavior compared to chronic use of pot? I remember Robert Sapolsky saying that heavy use of alcohol is one of the most effective ways to shrink your prefontral cortex.

What do the preferred substances of homeless people tend to be? I mainly associate homelessness with alcohol, tobacco, opioids, meth and crack although that may be inaccurate. Are there many homeless people who prefer pot (or people with a preference for pot who become homeless)?

So what category would autistic and epilectic people having great success with Cannabis treatment be? Just Dim? Maybe lazy? I suppose shitty covers them all, generally speaking. :rolleyes:

I should probably add willful ignorance here. “Despite the comprehensive Cannabis Federal Sched_I Ban and alot of willful ignorance…”

Only 17% of Boomers supported legalization in 1990, that has increased to 56% today. It could be because they had much younger children back then, and being notorious helicopter parents, were terrified their children might repeat what young folks were doing in the 1960s-1970s. Maybe since they’ve moved on to opiates and lord knows what else, they realized weed is not actually all that bad.

Millennials have also increased their support from 34% in 2006 to 71% today. Many of them were probably still under the fog of government propaganda and socialized education in general in 2006. Much of what the Boomers told them does not jive with their life experience, and therefore they reject these old Puritan ideas.

One factor has to be the depiction of marijuana use in pop culture. It has changed quite a bit.

I should have phrased it more precisely and said that its main abuse-related effect on dysfunctional people will be to make steer them away from becomming horrible/fuckups with alcohol to merely mediocre with pot. I don’t think consuming pot means one is lazy and dim. I do think dim and lazy people are the most likely to be problem users but that being a problem user of pot is usually better than being a problem user of alcohol.

Gone are the days when we chose political affiliation based on our beliefs. Now we choose our beliefs based on our political affiliation. And marijuana legalization has become one of the things you’re supposed to support if you are a Democrat / Liberal.

/ Educated / Aware of the facts about what it actually does / Aware of the uses of it / Aware of the costs of banning it

Actually, a majority of Republicans support marijuana legalization.

I think the main factors driving the change are 1. All the relentless carping about nanny states and oppressive regulations just does not jibe with pot prohibition and 2. To defend pot’s status as a schedule I drug requires a policymaker to either be ignorant to the point of illiterate or else a shameless liar. People are getting sick of such obvious bullshit.

I think this has a lot to do with it. Not necessarily that their kids have moved on to opiates or dangerous drugs, but just that they witnessed their kids using marijuana (despite it being illegal, and perhaps despite their own objections) and their kids turned out ok so…they changed their mind. My own parents are pretty liberal people but they never really were into any kind of drugs, my mom never used it in her earlier days, my dad tried it a few times but mostly just preferred beer and wine to the feeling of being stoned.

They weren’t authoritarian parents but their opinion of marijuana seemed to be that it was for lazy slacker kids and should be discouraged. Lo and behold, both myself and my sister started smoking it regularly beginning in our late teens and continuing to the present day, and both of us grew up fine into functioning and productive adults, so by the time we were in our mid 20s our parents had fully embraced the idea that there was really nothing wrong with weed, and became totally cool with us smoking it around them. Today I am sure that if you asked either of them if marijuana should be legalized they would both say “YES!” even though neither of them actually use it.

What formed my opinion in the first place was seeing the results of alcohol prohibition and correlating them with the current War on Drugs. Note that I am in favour of legalising all of them - cannabis, opium, heroin, LSD, the lot.

Another factor: state excise taxes and the prospect of that money going toward schools or public health programs or treatment centers. Washington state has a 37% excise tax on marijuana sales and collected $730 million last year. I think a lot of people decided if so many people were going to smoke it anyway, the state might as well get some money off it to support good causes.

Ironically, I think if there’s anything that should be illegal, it’s alcohol. It is the most destructive drug that exists. But I know that can never happen, and it would be stupid to try. I do, however, think there should be more of an effort - from a public health and public safety standpoint - to curb excessive drinking. I do not think the culture of “social” drinking in America is a positive thing. (It’s different in other countries like Italy and France.) American drinking culture, like most aspects of American culture, promotes the idea of excess to the max, and binge drinking is way too common. There should be more propaganda (I use this term in a neutral sense, not with the negative connotations that are typically ascribed to it) directed at promoting the idea that binge drinking is bad, that it’s fucked up, that there’s nothing cool about it, that there is literally NO good reason to have more than a few drinks at once, there’s nothing cool about blacking out, there’s nothing cool about poisoning your body with alcohol, there’s nothing cool about being dehydrated and waking up with a horrific headache and nausea, there’s nothing cool about becoming tangled in bullshit social drama erupting from something someone said or did when he or she was plastered…the attitude about drinking in this country needs to change.

I have heard similar statements from the law enforcement officers I know.

In many ways, it is just an “obvious” thing. To be on Schedule 1 a drug has to have no possible medical use. The common knowledge that pot can help with glaucoma and cancer treatment nausea is decades old now.

It’s all too easy to say it’s all partisanship but there are other, sometimes stronger, drivers of opinion. It would be easy for me to say that if you choose to be Republican that means I have to also choose to oppose marijuana and say gay marriage. To do that, I have to ignore that 40% of Republicans favor it.