Marijuana Legalization May Be Unstoppable

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?people_number=&commercial_ok=&search_cat=&searchterm=marijuana+legalization&people_ethnicity=&anyorall=all&searchtermx=&color=&search_tracking_id=9DBA2C82-813E-11E2-B41D-15D171D9A14D&photographer_name=&search_source=search_form&lang=en&version=llv1&search_group=&orient=&people_gender=&show_color_wheel=1&people_age=&safesearch=1&prev_sort_method=popular&sort_method=relevance2&page=4#id=101771452&src=092A18E2-813F-11E2-949E-94BF37D0D1A0-2-7">arindambanerjee</a>/ShutterStock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


On Tuesday, US Attorney General Eric Holder told America to expect a decision “soon” on how he’ll respond to the recent legalization of pot by Colorado and Washington state. To which the rest of the country has basically said, “Whatever, dude.” The same day, legislative committees in New Mexico and Hawaii approved bills to decriminalize marijuana possession and Oregon lawmakers introduced a legalization bill. Yesterday, Rhode Island legislators held a hearing on a bill to—surprise!—legalize and tax marijuana.

In California, where Holder’s Justice Department has spent months trying to shut down respected medical-pot dispensaries, a Field Poll (PDF) released yesterday showed that 67 percent of state voters oppose the move. A 54 to 43 percent majority now backs fully legalizing the sale of cannabis and regulating and taxing it like alcohol.

Rolling Stone‘s Tim Dickinson predicts that California, Oregon, and five other states will soon follow Washington and Colorado’s lead and embrace the right to smoke up. And most American voters believe that the feds should let them. Even in the relatively conservative states of Florida, Iowa, and Kentucky, polls released in the past week have shown majority support for recently proposed medical-marijuana laws.

What’s more, national polls are increasingly showing most Americans supporting legalization on the federal scale. So maybe Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) weren’t just pipe dreaming earlier this month when they introduced bills to remove cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and impose a federal excise tax on pot sales.

All of which is to say, pity poor Eric Holder. If he caves, the GOP will call for his hide. But if he cracks down, he’ll face the wrath of the mellow masses.

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.

payment methods

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.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate