The thought of people sitting in the back of a squad car or in a jail cell because of marijuana makes me sick to my stomach. I simply can’t understand how anyone could think that making someone a criminal because they want to make the safer choice is OK. It’s completely inhumane. Marijuana is not harmful. Marijuana prohibition is.
Fortunately attitudes are changing across the globe. That’s not to say that there aren’t areas of the world that are still scary for marijuana consumers, because there absolutely are places that are very scary. The Philippines is one place that comes to mind. People are being slaughtered there for using marijuana. But in places like Australia attitudes are warming towards marijuana reform. A recent survey found that more people support marijuana decriminalization in Australia than oppose it, which is something that couldn’t be said just a handful of years ago. Per The Sydney Morning Herald:
There has been a significant shift in sentiment around marijuana use since 2013, research has found, with experts pinpointing two critical factors: the legalisation push sweeping the United States and official acceptance by federal and state governments that cannabis has a part to play in pain relief for sufferers of disease.
The Australian National University’s 30-year election study found a sharp switch from 2013 when 44 per cent of those surveyed said the use of marijuana should remain a criminal offence compared to 34 per cent who supported legalisation and the remainder, 22 per cent, undecided.
By 2016, that had flipped to 43 per cent backing legalisation and just 32 per cent support for the criminal status quo.
The article speculates that the rise of medical cannabis in Australia and reform victories in America have contributed largely to the change in public perception towards cannabis policy in Australia. Decriminalization is not as good as legalization, but it’s still undeniably better than prohibition. Marijuana reform is sweeping across Europe, North and South America, and Australia. Hopefully momentum continues to build and reform efforts pick up across the rest of the globe as well.
image via Cannabis Culture