Monday, April 06, 2009

Age and Marijuana Legalization

Conservatism Dying Off Continued: Marijuana Legalization

The theme of the week--conservatism dying off of old age--seems to have landed in my lap and continues today as the inimitable Nate Silver looks at the numbers on marijuana legalization:

An ever-increasing fraction of Americans have used pot at some point in their lifetimes. This is a dual-peaked distribution, with one peak occurring among adults who are roughly age 50 now, and would have come of age in the 1970s, and another among adults in their early 20s.

There is not, of course, a one-to-one correspondence between having used marijuana and supporting its legalization; one can plausibly support its legalization without having ever inhaled, or vice versa. Nevertheless, I would venture that the correlation is fairly strong, and polls have generally found a fairly strong generation gap when it comes to pot legalization. As members of the Silent Generation are replaced in the electorate by younger voters, who are more likely to have either smoked marijuana themselves or been around those that have, support for legalization is likely to continue to gain momentum.

As for Peter Tosh, we used to have to play anti-drug PSAs on college radio back in the Nancy Reagan era, and I used to follow them up with this one.

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