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Additional resources for Going to Pot: Why the Rush to Legalize Marijuana Is Harming America
Florida voters rejected a referendum initiative that would have permitted medical marijuana. Not content with the idea of marijuana use for only medicinal purposes, four states have now gone on to fully legalize recreational use of the drug. This makes the United States only the second nation in the world with fully legalized marijuana use (Uruguay is the other). 2 Not so Washington and Colorado, where possession is now, by law, legal. The voters in Colorado enacted their recreational use law in 2012 with 55 percent of the vote; the voters in Washington passed their law the same year, with the same percentage.
The Path to Legalization Of course, given everything we know about the health consequences of smoking tobacco, most people would not vote to legalize cigarettes; now most Americans would oppose such a bill, just as most Americans used to oppose legalization of marijuana. Today that is no longer the case when it comes to marijuana. 1 This is an incredible increase in support for such a proposition, and a first since Gallup began asking such a question. In 1969, a mere 12 percent of Americans thought legalization a good idea.
As president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Gitlow also worries about the long-term impact. “If you look at marijuana, the intensity has changed. ” Dr. Christian Thurstone, who runs an addiction treatment center in Denver, agrees that there is a trend toward heavier use. He’s seen steadily higher levels of THC metabolites in clients’ urine tests when they enter his program. ”29 There is a concern that the drive for more legalization and availability will “dumb down” America and Americans.