As Public Opinion Favors Pot, U.S. Policy is Rife With Contradictions


As public opinion dramatically moves toward acceptance of marijuana, the nation is rife with contradictions on the issue, reports the Associated Press. People look more kindly on marijuana even as science reveals more about its potential dangers, particularly for young people. A few states are giving the green light to the drug in direct defiance of a federal prohibition on its use. Exploration of the potential medical benefit is limited by high federal hurdles to research.

University of Virginia law Prof. Richard Bonnie, who worked for a national commission that recommended decriminalizing marijuana in 1972, sees the public taking a leap from prohibition to a more laissez-faire approach without full deliberation. He says, “As a matter of public policy, it’s a little worrisome. It’s intriguing, it’s interesting, it’s good that liberalization is occurring, but it is a little worrisome.” Says Kevin Sabet, a former drug policy adviser in the Obama administration, “We’re on this hundred-mile-an-hour freight train to legalizing a third addictive substance,” lumping marijuana with tobacco and alcohol.

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