Will the Recession Kill the War on Pot?

Maybe. Exhibit A: The Great Depression and the war on alcohol.

Celine Nadeau

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COULD THE RECESSION KILL THE WAR ON POT? That’s the theory put forward by Euan Wilson in a 2009 paper (PDF) in The Socionomist, which suggests a connection between America’s economic climate and our attitudes toward marijuana: When we’re flush, we can “afford” to focus on “black and white moral issues”; in tough times, we’re more tolerant of pot. Wilson predicts that the sluggish economy will cause a critical mass of support for legalization, just as the Great Depression soured Americans on Prohibition. More fodder for his hypothesis: In November, a ballot measure to legalize pot in cash-strapped California did surprisingly well, getting 46 percent of the vote.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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