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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Read Josh Harkinson on Weedmart, test your medical marijuana knowledge with our quiz, or see the full Mother Jones special report on the coming pot boom.

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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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