Gallup: Majority of Americans back pot legalization

This is, I think, one of the more dramatic reversals of public opinion of the past 30 years.

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As Gallup notes, this is the first year in which a majority of Americans polled say they support legalization of marijuana, and the clear trend line suggests that majority is likely to grow. The realities of life offer further reason to think that trend will continue. Support for legalization is lowest among those 65 and older, and highest among those ages 18-29.

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Not surprisingly, Southern Republican conservatives older than 65 are least likely to support legalization. But even among that subgroup, it looks as though roughly a third or more think marijuana should be legal. That’s roughly the same level of support that existed in the nation as a whole just a decade ago.

I’m at a loss to explain that sudden shift in sentiment, because I have no idea what outside force might be driving it. It is, you might say, a homegrown movement.

– Jay Bookman

866 comments Add your comment

Welcome to the occupation (Trotsky)

October 18th, 2011
11:07 am

Well at least Timothy Leary is happy.

Tommy Maddox

October 18th, 2011
11:09 am

Talk about a nation in decline…

Butch Cassidy

October 18th, 2011
11:11 am

Do it! Actually, I’d be for a complete course correction of this country. How about: America, The new Amsterdam. :) Seriously, have you seen how happy those people are?

Gale

October 18th, 2011
11:12 am

Cue the giggles.

Normal

October 18th, 2011
11:13 am

DUUUUUDDDDDEEEEE!!!!!

Keep Up the Good Fight!

October 18th, 2011
11:14 am

Is someone serving lunch with this blog? I am starving for some reason.

Gale

October 18th, 2011
11:16 am

I think most Americans realize we have more important things to think about than whether the neighbors are getting stoned and why aren’t they sharing.

Butch Cassidy

October 18th, 2011
11:17 am

Legalize pot eh? Hmmm….New streams of revenue, decreased crime, reduced need for law enforcement resulting in increased savings on both the state and federal level, potential for new jobs and an overall happier population.

BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Gimme my 999!

Normal

October 18th, 2011
11:19 am

Pop saved my sanity while I was in ‘Nam and when I got out. It let me sleep without the dreams, let me keep my cool when hassled and it did not make me want to rape and kill.

And I’m surprised that the 60+ demographic is not more in favor of Gods Weed.

After all, doesn’t it say in Genesis that God gave man dominion over the plants and animals in this blue marble?

ByteMe

October 18th, 2011
11:19 am

The poll was sponsored by Frito-Lay and Kraft/Nabisco.

Normal

October 18th, 2011
11:20 am

Pop=pot…I must be stoned… ;)

Jefferson

October 18th, 2011
11:22 am

It sure cost a lot of money to lose a war on your own citizens. Much like prohibition as far as the underworld goes.

Guy Incognito

October 18th, 2011
11:25 am

Hey Hey!!!!!!!! A chart that i likes!

:-) ))))))))))))

Twist it up Jay!!!!!

Butch Cassidy

October 18th, 2011
11:27 am

I feel the need, the need for weed! ;)

Guy Incognito

October 18th, 2011
11:28 am

Willie, Ron White, Woody, and George Washington all agree…….let’s grow!

Good Grief

October 18th, 2011
11:28 am

If you legalize it, you remove a percentage of the prison population who are not dangerous to the community at large. Sure, you can say that pot endangers a community because of potential negative health consequences, but if you are going to fight pot you have to also fight cigarettes and alcohol.

ty webb

October 18th, 2011
11:28 am

of course it should be legal…along with prostitution.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

October 18th, 2011
11:28 am

Now I understand Cain’s song: Imagine there’s no pizza. I toked and then I cried….

Don't Tread

October 18th, 2011
11:29 am

Why stop at pot? If you’re going to make that legal, make them all legal. And free. Let them have as much as they want (preferably all of it at the same time).

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

October 18th, 2011
11:30 am

I say turn the potheads loose and save us a ton of police and jail money. But be sure and put them away for keeps if they kill somebody while stoned.

Let’s go after a bunch of creeps that are getting a free ride right now: the hackers. There’s two kinds. One just likes to mess up somebody else’s PC for fun. The other one tries to steal from people by getting their ID and credit card and bank information. Law-abiding people are paying a fortune for virus and spyware protection. And even that doesn’t work all the time. What kind of weirdo gets his kicks from trying to ruin somebody else’s PC?

I think if we threw a hacker in for every pothead we let out of jail we’d all be safer. Besides, we’d free up space at GA Tech.

Have a good Tuesday everybody.

Butch Cassidy

October 18th, 2011
11:30 am

Good Grief – ” but if you are going to fight pot you have to also fight cigarettes and alcohol.”

Apparently you’ve never been to Utah. :)

Butch Cassidy

October 18th, 2011
11:31 am

ty webb – “of course it should be legal…along with prostitution”

Hmmmm…..Nope, got no argument there.

USinUK

October 18th, 2011
11:34 am

unfortunately, all that means is that TV will be even more crap than it already is :-(

(Teletubbies 24/7!)

Good Grief

October 18th, 2011
11:34 am

Butch – I have been to Utah. Drove in from Arizona and didn’t stop until Wyoming. You know, they say when Brigham Young was leading the Mormons they reached the Great Salt Lake and he said “We stop here…” and before he could finish his sentence these weary travelers had jumped off their wagons and started building houses. If he had been allowed to finish, the sentence would’ve gone “We stop here, so I can pee, then it’s on to sunny California!”

Guy Incognito

October 18th, 2011
11:35 am

“Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda,
smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Excellent

Granny Godzilla

October 18th, 2011
11:35 am

It’s time.

Now who’s got the Hostess cupcakes.

Guy Incognito

October 18th, 2011
11:37 am

“Pick it, pack it, fire it up, and come along, take a hit from the bong”

-The Pharcyde

Jm

October 18th, 2011
11:37 am

Americans have gotten lazy and gluttonous and indulgent according to Obama

Maybe he’s right

Butch Cassidy

October 18th, 2011
11:37 am

Good Grief – “You know, they say when Brigham Young was leading the Mormons they reached the Great Salt Lake and he said “We stop here…” and before he could finish his sentence these weary travelers had jumped off their wagons and started building houses.”

LOL, I actually grew up there, about an hour north of Salt Lake in Brigham City. Your’re joke is actually pretty accurate. When they got there, they mistook the Great Salt Lake for the Pacific Ocean, and have been making mistakes ever since. ;)

Guy Incognito

October 18th, 2011
11:37 am

GG

Another point of agreement.

USinUK

October 18th, 2011
11:38 am

sorry, I have to pull out this classic again …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye3ecDYxOkg

JKL2

October 18th, 2011
11:40 am

About time. It needs to be legalized from an industrial standpoint. Hemp is actually a wonder plant (people were incouraged to grow it for WW II). It makes better cloth than cotton, better paper than trees, and better alcohol than corn. The only issue was the feds couldn’t differentiate between the industrial stuff, and the knid you smoke.

larry

October 18th, 2011
11:40 am

larry

October 18th, 2011
11:42 am

Now who’s got the Hostess cupcakes.

And the Doritoes , dont forget the Doritoes .

Adam

October 18th, 2011
11:43 am

Next thing you know we’ll have gays marrying dogs and public sex in the streets and the homosexual agenda and the liberal agenda and…. and…. and….

Thought I’d get the hysterical emotional and misplaced moralistic arguments out of the way early.

Gale

October 18th, 2011
11:44 am

JKL2, Too true. The silliness of the law has kept many good products off the market. Perhaps now that we are trying to reduce the chemicals in the environment, we can ignore DOW Chemical and return to hemp. I would rather farmers plant that than turn good corn into fuel.

willie lynch

October 18th, 2011
11:46 am

A nation in decline? Alcohol has been legal for how long? The only time it was banned at a federal level it led to one of the greatest times of national prosperity and a crime rate that rocked the nation.

The fact is “illegal” drugs (like alcohol) also provide a strong monetary incentive for the country. Think of how many law enforcement personnel (local and federal), health and rehab centers (state run and private) would be out of work and business. There is great incentive to keep the “illegal” drug trade active.

The moral question is one that isn’t worth consideration since America sanctions things much more detrimental than drugs. The bigger consideration should be what is in our best national interest? Right across the border we see bodies dumped in the middle of busy streets because of a war on the population of our supposed ally whose citizens are victims of the American appetite for “illegal” drugs. Without the demand there would be no need for supply.

Smart policy would be to either send troops into these countries and wage war as we did in the Middle East or cripple the cartels by legalizing their products and making the need for their services take on a different dimension. Either way current American drug policy has failed.

Of the much publicized celebrity suicides the choice of drugs has always been over the counter prescription medicine. Even the majority accidental overdoses have been linked to abuse or miss use of “legal” drugs.

Legalizing pot would be a step in the right direction of correcting 40 plus years of failed policy. The sooner the better.

And remember puff puff pass..

Butch Cassidy

October 18th, 2011
11:47 am

I must warn you Gale and JKL2, if you continue making sense, you will be immediatley reported to the authorities for assimilation into the Tea Party.

Union

October 18th, 2011
11:48 am

legalize and tax it..

willie lynch

October 18th, 2011
11:48 am

JKL2

October 18th, 2011
11:40 am

The alcohol, corn and cotton industries were the reason for the demise in the support of broad use of hemp.

St Simons - we're on Island time

October 18th, 2011
11:49 am

ah, the cons worst nightmare

free the weed, free the mind

time’s almost up, conservatives

Guy Incognito

October 18th, 2011
11:49 am

willie, i hate it when they mess up the rotation

Guy Incognito

October 18th, 2011
11:50 am

“The alcohol, corn and cotton industries were the reason for the demise in the support of broad use of hemp.”

and the Paper Companies

Welcome to the occupation (Trotsky)

October 18th, 2011
11:50 am

If Barack Obama had one ounce of honor, he would do what Lyndon Johnson did. There is no excuse whatsoever for this president not stepping down and acknowledging his colossal failure.

He is a fraud.

larry

October 18th, 2011
11:50 am

I would rather farmers plant that than turn good corn into fuel.

What if we could turn hemp into fuel. Getting our cars stoned with every fill up ?

willie lynch

October 18th, 2011
11:51 am

Guy Incognito

October 18th, 2011
11:50 am

Yep.

Doggone/GA

October 18th, 2011
11:52 am

“What if we could turn hemp into fuel. Getting our cars stoned with every fill up ?”

Or better yet…getting every driver in the area stoned on the fumes!

Adam

October 18th, 2011
11:55 am

One thing I never understood is why people think the sudden introduction of marijuana as legal will somehow impeded someone in the workplace. Workplaces already have rules about smoking and alcohol while on the job, why would this be any different?

Adam

October 18th, 2011
11:55 am

USinUK

October 18th, 2011
11:56 am

“What if we could turn hemp into fuel. ”

criminey, if they could turn kudzu into fuel, the south would rise again!

willie lynch

October 18th, 2011
11:57 am

Welcome to the occupation (Trotsky)

October 18th, 2011
11:50 am
There is no excuse whatsoever for this president not stepping down and acknowledging his colossal failure.

Limbaugh-I want to see him fail.

McConnell- It is my mission to make Barack Obama a one term president.

I think the colossal failure is in those who said before the man even took office that their goal was for their country to fail. I believe your sentiments are misplaced.

godless heathen

October 18th, 2011
11:57 am

Just finished watching the PBS / Ken Burns series on Prohibition. So many parallels with the war on weed. Decriminalization is way, way, over due.

Ahmed

October 18th, 2011
11:58 am

Well Jay I’m in each of the bottom four demographic groups on your list (+65 southern GOP conservative) and I support legalization of marijuana.

They could put it behind the pharmacist counter so you’d have to sign for it, sorta like those stupid nasal decongestant tablets. And tax the living s#!t out it.

Gale

October 18th, 2011
11:59 am

Kudzu fuel? Why have they not done that yet?

Joe Mama

October 18th, 2011
12:00 pm

I’m not interested in the ganj, but I see no problem with legalizing it and taxing it. Standards and penalties could be established for driving in an impaired state, similar to DUI laws.

I do know this — a drunk might hurt you in any number of ways. And nobody except the box of pop-tarts and the bag of doritos needs to be afraid of a heavy stoner. You park those guys on the couch, turn on the Cartoon Network and feed them some finger food, and they won’t be any problem at all.

USinUK

October 18th, 2011
12:01 pm

Gale – 2 birds / 1 stone!!

Godless – 11:57 – you said it!

Plain Truther

October 18th, 2011
12:02 pm

“New analysis finds 9-9-9 plan would raise taxes for most”

If Herrman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan were in effect today, the poorest 60% of taxpayers would pay an extra $2,000 while the richest one percent would get a $210,000 break, according to an analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice.

Another analysis by Edward D. Kleinbard, a law professor at the University of Southern California, estimated that a family with wage income of $120,000 in 2010 would have paid about $541 less under Cain’s plan, while a family that earned $50,000 would have paid about $4,800 more.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-pn-999-would-raise-taxes-20111018,0,5048555.story

USinUK

October 18th, 2011
12:02 pm

“nobody except the box of pop-tarts and the bag of doritos needs to be afraid of a heavy stoner”

and the obesity epidemic escallates …

(mmmmm … strawberry pop tarts!)

Blue Man on a Red Island

October 18th, 2011
12:03 pm

Not going to happen as long as the pharmaceutical companies help control what happens in DC. No way they are going to allow something with medicinal properties that can be grown in your back yard to be made legal.

My dad was on anti-depressants and sleep aids for years until he finally retired and no longer had to worry about drug testing. Now, he smokes a bowl when he’s feeling down, anxious or can’t sleep and he no longer needs what the pharm companies are selling. He’s in TN by the way and can get it quite easily with no hassle.

Butch Cassidy

October 18th, 2011
12:03 pm

Doggone – “Or better yet…getting every driver in the area stoned on the fumes!”

Yeah, just imagine WANTING to be caught in rush hour traffic! :)

Joe Mama

October 18th, 2011
12:04 pm

USinUK — “(mmmmm … strawberry pop tarts!)”

I saw some Halloween-themed ones at Publix the other day. Got a box of the punkin ones, but I haven’t had any yet.

USinUK

October 18th, 2011
12:08 pm

Joe – we (coworkers and I) just finished the 8 – count ‘em EIGHT – boxes of Halloween Peeps my sister gave me when I was home last month :-)

Matti's Encouragement

October 18th, 2011
12:08 pm

Yes. Decriminalize it, and put our law enforcement resources to better use. (Like locking up tweekers in rehab! Those effers are dangerous!)

Instead of locking up growers sand burning the crop, the local sheriff should just issue a “fine” based on the expected yield, due to be paid within seven months. That cash could be put to good use in the community when focused on local civic improvements, like schools, roads, hospitals, and paying firefighters, teachers, and policemen a decent wage. With the current system, the laws only enhance the bottom line of the bottom-feeding lawyers, and the good-buddy private contractors who run the prisons. What a waste!!

FrankLeeDarling

October 18th, 2011
12:10 pm

Wow I have rarely seen this much agreement here.

Just remember if you are going to smoke smoke good!

uspo

October 18th, 2011
12:12 pm

Legalize pot?

Bookman: put a lid on it.

Kamchak

October 18th, 2011
12:14 pm

And nobody except the box of pop-tarts and the bag of doritos needs to be afraid of a heavy stoner.

Gonna hafta disagree there.

I was in California in 2003 when they were going through their medical marijuana debate and saw a sheriff explain that the current marijuana was not the same as the weed of the 60s and 70s. Percentage of THC had risen on average, from 1-2% to 7-10%. What he said was, “This is not the ditch-weed your parents smoked.”

That being said, I think it should be legalized if only to regulate it like they do with proofing alcohol.

TaxPayer

October 18th, 2011
12:16 pm

I think we need to lower a hemp rope down one thread for Del. He could use the chillin’ effect.

St Simons - we're on Island time

October 18th, 2011
12:16 pm

the 6 year slope (m) of the No line is -2.333
the 6 year slope of the Yes line is +2.333
y = mx + b

If you assume that politicians will acquiesce to public opinion at the 2/3 level (66.7%) you can calculate approx what year it will be legalized and make plans accordingly.

This business tip brought to you by the accountants at…..uh I forget mon…

Welcome to the occupation (Trotsky)

October 18th, 2011
12:17 pm

I just looked up Brit Hume’s real name in Wikipedia and almost split my side laughing.

Yeah, this guy’s afraid of these Wall Street protesters all right. Yea aaa buddy.

Peadawg

October 18th, 2011
12:17 pm

Off topic but too funny not to post:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2011/story/_/id/7118541/2011-world-series-senators-urge-baseball-ban-tobacco – “Senators urge baseball to ban tobacco”

Forget jobs, the economy, the housing market. Let’s concentrate on regulating tobacco in baseball. :roll:

Matti's Encouragement

October 18th, 2011
12:18 pm

USinUK,

Fun with PEEPS: Put ‘em in the microwave and take pictures! (Be sure to use a paper plate, and of course, pull them out right before they explode….) ;-)

FrankLeeDarling

October 18th, 2011
12:20 pm

I think a lot of people have held the belief that pot should be leagle for some time now
But I think it is just now getting easier to say it publicly

TaxPayer

October 18th, 2011
12:20 pm

New analysis shows that Cain’s 999 plan would raise taxes for 99% but lower taxes for one percent so the majority once again gets equal treatment from a Republican plan. Isn’t that great!!!!

Mudfoot

October 18th, 2011
12:21 pm

Never saw a stoner stomp around a bar looking for a fight, beat up his/her spouse or smoke to the point of blood poisoning. Alcohol is far, far more dangerous than pot and opens many more doors to stronger drugs like meth and prescription drugs, but their lobby in Washington has kept alcohol legal and marijuana a schedule one contraband for decades. This lobby, of course, has had substantial assistance from the ignorant masses and law enforcement (while the war on drugs is clearly a complete failure, it’s quite lucrative for law enforcement) for just as long. Legalizing pot makes much sense financially AND morally so I am quite convinced that if this does ever happen here in Ga., we will be many years or decades behind the rest of the country in implementation… right next to Florida

uspo

October 18th, 2011
12:24 pm

Y not legalize pot? Look at the severe consequence: the term “far out” will be resurrected.

‘muff said

stands for decibels

October 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

I am starving for some reason.

Funny, I’ve been starving for even a smidgeon of reason for years now, and never finding any.

USMC

October 18th, 2011
12:27 pm

“Gallup: Majority of Americans back pot legalization”

Ahhh, yes, then Jay won’t need to run over to the alley on Euclid to score some weed. :-)

(I agree with you Jay, legalization would solve MANY problems; crime for starters)

Finn McCool

October 18th, 2011
12:28 pm

It’s no more damaging to citizens than drink. I’d much rather have a person on marijuana coming toward me on a two lane road than someone on vodka. For one thing, the person on marijuana would be driving like 5 mph.

Cops would have an easy time fininding people smoking and driving cause of the slowed traffic.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

October 18th, 2011
12:28 pm

SFD, an unintentional double entendre…. but a great catch!

gadem

October 18th, 2011
12:29 pm

Imagine how much money the government could make by taxing the stuff. I am sure that the government has access to some really GREAT GRADE A Quality weed. They legalized alcohol and it does just as much damage as marijuana.

Joe Mama

October 18th, 2011
12:30 pm

USinUK — “Joe – we (coworkers and I) just finished the 8 – count ‘em EIGHT – boxes of Halloween Peeps my sister gave me when I was home last month”

Peeps?

GAG ACK BARF

I hates me some Peeps.

http://www.peepresearch.org/

This is the only way I can stand some Peeps.

http://www.oddee.com/item_97695.aspx

Paddy O

October 18th, 2011
12:30 pm

Smoking dope chronically will not increase your job prospects. However, it is a relatively minor digressions – sort of like speeding. Therefore, I would support not decriminalizing, but altering the punishment – no jail, just a series of increasing financial fines.

Mick

October 18th, 2011
12:31 pm

Isn’t it amazing how a weed has created so many undeserving criminals in this country? It is a sad fact of american life and dare I predict will finally come to an end within the next twenty years. Party on garth…

USinUK

October 18th, 2011
12:31 pm

Joe – 2 words for all you Peep haters out there:

Peep.

S’mores.

oh, yeah!!!

FrankLeeDarling

October 18th, 2011
12:33 pm

Oops shoul have read that last post before I hit submit

USMC

October 18th, 2011
12:33 pm

“Gallup: Majority of Americans back pot legalization”

For all of you “Socialists” who aren’t familiar with investing money in the stock market and capital gains, etc., this would be a great time to buy stock in Pizza Delivery chains…
AND Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream! :-)

stands for decibels

October 18th, 2011
12:36 pm

Of course, elected Republicans almost universally choose not to give a crap about what what the majority of Americans think. See also:

http://pollingreport.com/abortion2.htm

and

http://pollingreport.com/guns.htm

Granny Godzilla

October 18th, 2011
12:37 pm

Peeps are best about 2 days stale…..

stands for decibels

October 18th, 2011
12:37 pm

I find no redeeming social value to Peeps.

Paul

October 18th, 2011
12:37 pm

“I’m at a loss to explain that sudden shift in sentiment, because I have no idea what outside force might be driving it.”

I’ll guess more people are aware the billions we’ve spent on the War on Drugs has shown diddly for results.

I’d guess people think it’s time to stop spending more money on trying to prevent what they see as a low-level item, compared to hard drugs.

If Bosch would come up with a t-shirt that says “Tax the Potheads” we’d have legalization in no time.

Joe Mama

October 18th, 2011
12:38 pm

USinUK — this is my favorite Peep diorama. I think it’s from 2008, and USMC and Scout should enjoy it too, based on the subject matter. The theme for the year’s competition was Hollywood Movies, and my favorite is based on Full Metal Jacket.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/peeps-show-ii/2008/03/20/AFyo2EPD_gallery.html#photo=10

Guy Incognito

October 18th, 2011
12:38 pm

Doesn’t Ben n Jerry’s make a, “Setiva Swirl”?

stands for decibels

October 18th, 2011
12:41 pm

Aquagirl

October 18th, 2011
12:42 pm

and saw a sheriff explain that the current marijuana was not the same as the weed of the 60s and 70s. Percentage of THC had risen on average, from 1-2% to 7-10%.

And this D.A.R.E. factoid was followed by a screening of “Reefer Madness?”

I wouldn’t trust law enforcement “facts” like this any more than a forwarded e-mail. It’s pot. Geez.

If the sheriff is worried about Killer Pot, he’d be in favor of legalization. Smugglers work hard to increase the potency of drugs so they can ship more in smaller batches. Look at cocaine—for thousands of years it was a mild stimulant like coffee, people chewed the leaves and got a small dose. But who wants to smuggle 10,000 lbs of leaves? Once they extracted it, the pure stuff, like caffeine pills, is far more dangerous and deadly.

TaxPayer

October 18th, 2011
12:42 pm

Just say no to drugs and abstain from sex and be happy working for the trickle down from the one percent. It’s the Republican way. No wonder they want legalized alcohol.

Finn McCool

October 18th, 2011
12:44 pm

I think Jay made a blog about marijuana cause he is in cahoots with federal agents. He is culling the pro-pot people from the anti-pot people and will deliver the email addresses to the feds for subsequesnt arrests.

Oh no, man, It’s a conspiracy….wow, I need to slow down on this stuff

Paddy O

October 18th, 2011
12:45 pm

DARE – if you were a illegal drug user, you would probably sponsor this police program as a GREAT way to get the word out throughout the nation about the product you sell.

Granny Godzilla

October 18th, 2011
12:45 pm

“I know the Koch Brothers. The Koch Brothers helped to start to an organization called Americans for Prosperity. And I did some speaking when they were starting that organization, and I’m very proud of the relationship that I have with the Koch Brothers, as well as Americans for Prosperity. I have also attended some of their seminars and have found them very informative. So I don’t have a close relationship with the Koch Brothers, but I know them and I respect them, and they know me and respect me.”

Herman Cain yesterday

Translated to fit the topic

“Koch Brothers are my peeps”

Mick

October 18th, 2011
12:46 pm

Medicinal marijuana is probably the best way to go; I don’t want it near the kds, keep it away from schoolyards. You need a prescription, keep it controlled and let the people grow…

Kamchak

October 18th, 2011
12:46 pm

I wouldn’t trust law enforcement “facts” like this any more than a forwarded e-mail. It’s pot. Geez.

Neither would I, but it did explain what had noticed through my own experience.