Results from a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that more than half of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. We have definitely seen a shift in the way Americans view marijuana over the last couple decades — could this mean a shift in the war on drugs? Maybe.
Since the war on drugs started, it has landed millions of people in jail. The benefit of the war on drugs has not been worth the cost, according to more than half of the people polled. The next question is when will Washington catch up to the shift and what will it mean for the war on drugs and the future of our criminal system?
According to Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard University, the shift is a result of a generation change. Today's youth is used to making their own decisions when it comes to life and drugs. Because of this, more and more young people have tried marijuana and are forming their own opinions about it, rather than jumping on the bandwagon that smoking marijuana is a moral issue.
According to the Pew study, 48 percent of Americans say they have smoked marijuana at some point. This is up 10 percent from a decade ago. But, it seems that even those who choose not try it or not to smoke it regularly tend to be more supportive of others having choices.
The shift has come rather quickly, and is not limited to liberals. So, is it time for a change in the war on drugs and our criminal justice system in general? We will see.