Daniel Doherty

There's always been a social stigma attached to smoking cannabis, right? Maybe. But today, roughly four in ten Americans say smoking pot recreationally should be legal.

From Rasmussen:

Colorado on Thursday began the public sale of marijuana for recreational use, but half of voters still aren’t ready to go that far in their state. However, most approve of the sale of pot for medicinal purposes.

Forty-one percent (41%) of Likely U.S. Voters favor the legalization of recreational marijuana use in their state, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fifty percent (50%) are opposed. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Gallup discovered last year that for the first time in their firm's history, a majority of Americans (58 percent) wanted marijuana to be legal. Nonetheless, it’s still all so strange to me that in 2014, Coloradans 21-and-over can now purchase it legally in their home state. In grammar school, it was deeply instilled in us from a very early age (indeed, I remember D.A.R.E. officers visiting my second grade classroom) that pot was an oh-so-dangerous and addictive drug, far more destructive than alcohol; now it’s freely available in Colorado. Meanwhile, Washington State has legalized cannabis, too, and more states are likely to follow. It’s amazing, then, how much public opinion has shifted on this issue, even in the last couple of decades. For example, if you told me when I was a kid that smoking grass would be legal in some places in the United States during my lifetime, I would have laughed in your face.

There are many convincing reasons for and against legalizing marijuana, of course. But it does seem inevitable that, someday soon, inhaling marijuana will be about as socially acceptable as imbibing a shot of Jack.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography