Study: College Educated People are More Likely to Support Marijuana Legalization

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Supporters of marijuana policy reform have long been viciously mischaracterized and stereotyped by our opposition. We are called druggies and losers. Our views are dismissed as unserious and irresponsible, fueled perhaps by excessive consumption of the drugs we want legalized. But according to Gallup Poll data, we are more likely to be college educated:
Americans with some college education -- from those who have attended at least one college course to those who have postgraduate degrees -- are somewhat more likely than those without a college degree to say marijuana should be legal in the country. Thirty-seven percent of adults with a college education support legalization, compared with 31% of those with no college education.
This makes perfect sense if one understands that opposition to the war on marijuana users emerges from a thousand perspectives: economics, public health, human rights, civil liberties, and on and on. Of course, one needn't attend college to recognize the absurdity of this massive war against otherwise law-abiding Americans, but it is important to dispel the notion that marijuana reformers are foolish or naïve. We are not. And we have degrees to prove it.

By contrast, there are many ways in which a lack of education may contribute to a belief that it is wise to criminalize vast portions of the population and attempt to uproot America's #1 cash crop. But let's not forget that the architects of the war on marijuana users are, themselves, very cunning and deliberate in their actions. They've been effective in stigmatizing their opposition as hacks and weirdos, while fostering a false belief among politicians that reform is political suicide.

The future of marijuana policy reform lies in breaking free from the stereotypes imposed on us by our oppressors and revealing our movement as the compassionate, intellectual brain trust that it has blossomed into. This may be inevitable, but in the meantime, let's all try to use proper spelling and punctuation in our blog comments (like the smart, serious people this Gallup Poll reveals us to be).
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Competent WODS?

If marijuana supporters are incompetent losers, what does that make the WODS (War On Drugs Supporters) who have a multi-billion dollar annual budget and seven decades fighting marijuana only to result in, as indicated above, marijuana being America's number one cash crop?

With all of these negative claims against us, can they provide conclusive, irrefutable evidence proving an instance of marijuana use, in and of itself, causes any harm at all? If such evidence exists, please point it out to me, because I've been looking and haven't found it yet.

spelling and puntuation?

YOUR telling me that there are some people that don't know how to spell and punctuate! Discouraging those who don't, might actually be eliminating some, very intelligent people, from your blog! Some of us can't spell worth a tinkers DAMM! (even college educated people). Does not make us unwise, stupid, ....(you fill in the word), etc. Or, is it worse to offend someone over just a few, misplaced, apostrophe's and letters? Please Mr Morgan! I am still not offended enough (not offended at all!! just a sarcastic reply) to stop fighting this crazy drug war, with you ! Go get 'em, Tiger!!

I find it sad that the numbers are not a lot higher among the educated. What would it be just amongst MD's, DO"S, or RNP's? Medical people who really know the TRUE dangers. Especially, when comparing it to ALCOHOL!!

And I always try to remember.... Its just a blog! Most people would not care what one person, like me, has to say! It can be very self-cleansing, though!

It's "Stop the Drug War" ...

... not stop the marijuana war.

Job one is for all reformers to row in the same direction.


Stereotypes are indeed an effective tool when used by the drug enforcement ‘barbarians.’ Two can play that game, but it’s an inherently flawed tactic. There are always counter-examples to contend with.

For instance, I know a former graduate student who preferred studying while stoned on marijuana. While that might not work for everyone, here is an example of a person who smoked pot while successfully completing a master’s degree in mathematics with a 3.72 GPA out of a possible 4.00. He went on to retire as a multi-millionaire real estate investor.

Obviously, the person I described above is not someone the ONDCP would choose as its poster child for the evils of marijuana. And yet, with 100-million pot smokers in the U.S., millions of successful, productive marijuana users slip through the judicial radar on any given day with no one noting anything unusual.

Dysfunctionality, as it relates to marijuana, is largely a drug warrior myth that sees Cheech & Chong as a reality show. People who’ve smoked marijuana for 10, 20 or 30 years learn to counter certain effects to function quite well, regardless of their pot intake. Ultimately, a few tokes are no more debilitating than drinking a strong cup of green tea.


Am I the only one that

Am I the only one that thinks that Gallup Poll data is a little off? I live in a very conservative part of the country, and most of the people I talk to -- even the very religious people -- think that pot should be legal. Most of them won't say so openly, but when I talk to them in private, they're fully aware that the law is doing more harm than good. I wonder if they are simply underreporting their true position, just as drug use is underreported in surveys.


I think all results can be manipulated when it comes to research. It is one of the reasons that I did not finish my master's thesis. Statistics can be used to lie. (I think there is a book about that) The polls are not the end all to the truth, as many would think. They still can have a lot of error in them, before the evidence is manipulated, to the benefit of the study!

Gallup pole

no you're not ,the Gallup which is the oldest in this country ,and the once worshipped Farmers Almanac also as old as the hills are both off center,I beleive neither and so far have been correct in doing so!

George Gallup, Jr.

The person who runs the Gallup polling business, George Gallup, Jr., is an evangelical relgious fundamentalist. His organization's polling on political and religious issues is always heavily skewed to the right.


College means nothing

This issue has nothing to do with whether you have been to college or not. Plenty of well educated politicians are extremely biased and ignorant in their opinions and stances on marijuana reform. As far as i am concerned the tariffs and laws put on marijuana in the past 60 years are above all else, unconstitutional. So as an american I can smoke cigarettes until I die a painful death from lung cancer or emphysema, or I can drink alcohol until I can't function without it, and die of liver cancer, but I can't smoke a joint. Does that make any sense at all? If any evidence was brought forth that marijuana consumption is more dangerous than tobacco or alcohol consumption, or more addictive than my stance on it being legalized might change, but no such evidence has been presented. As more studies are done on the plant, more benefits are found from its use than negative aspects. So why is this plant (not a drug as our governator recently pointed out publicly) still illegal in America? It's the stereotypes of marijuana and its users that have given smoking pot a negative, and criminal conotation. I honestly believe the solution lies in our court system. It has to be the appropriate person, and situation ( such as an arrest of a man who was in possesion of marijuana because he was giving it to his terminally ill wife). The charges against the person would have to be stiff, but if just one of these marijuana possesion cases got as high as the Supreme Court, our country might very well see a complete rewriting of this nation's drug policy.

A possible danger

I won't go into the entire article ,but a gov. study was done,and when you add all the variables...if you were to smoke continuosly 1500 pounds of pot,the accumilated thc may kill you,no lie!,....hell 1500 lbs.? all at once ! yeah that might do it . Wonder how many times its happened,generally speaking the average death caused w/weed in the equation is from that trigger happy moron cop!,sorry but its true


Well, I guess college results depend on who the student is! Certainly, college does not make one an expert in the, medical, toxic, and social effects of drugs. Politicians are, most often, lawyers. And, you know what they call the guy who graduates bottom of the class... a lawyer! They have no training, at all, in medicine (except for malpractice), yet they "know it all". I agree that drugs are a social problem. The big thing is, we are making it worse instead of better with the failed "war on drugs" for the past thirty+ years! The politicians' decisions are, often, based on emotional responses and not sound, scientific doctrine.

Some get their information from "real" doctors. But, that does not mean they are in touch with reality, either. They think many medicines are wonderful. They ignore the fact the their "alternatives" are more expensive and sometimes not as effective as the medical MJ! Marinol $1,000/month. Zofran... thousands$$ a month for terminal cancer patients! How can these doctors live in reality when their $300 (immediate care) office visit is more than many people make in a week in this country! They don't know what it is to struggle to have food on the table!

No, college alone, does not mean a person would know the truth about drugs. What it does mean is someone had the initiative an gumption to complete it and get a degree! It means something to the many of us who did complete our education. It means absolutely nothing, so far as what really needs to be known about the "war on drugs". That is why I think it should be a medically regulated "problem".

regarding spelling and punctuation

I wouldn't want someone with an comment to make about prohibition not to write because their spelling and punctuation might not be 100%. On the other hand, proofreading to check for typos, and using google to check out words you're not sure of isn't a bad idea (use Google by typing in "spell ...", if you're wrong they usually response with "did you mean ...", giving the correct spelling). Some people use misspellings as an excuse to not take ideas seriously so there's an advantage in not giving them that excuse.

I wouldn't be surprised if Gallup underestimates support for marijuana legalization. The other questions they ask in the poll can significantly affect responses to this question. I think some people in some places still don't feel free to give their opinion on this subject. Whether their poll included cell phones (younger, more sympathetic to our side) I don't know. Any poll mavens out there know the details?

I'd like to see a poll that first gives people the list of ways that alcohol is indisputably far more dangerous than marijuana: You can die of an overdose, you can die or suffer severe poor health from chronic overuse, it can be very physically addictive, and most important because it affects innocent people, it leads to all kinds of sadistic and reckless violence often against defenseless women and children and often sexual. Also fetal alcohol syndrome which has no marijuana equivalent. If the question was asked after informing people of these undeniable realities, I wonder what % would favor legalizing marijuana.

Regarding spelling and punctuation

I wouldn't want someone with a comment,since we were on the subject,!..but in reallity don't go by polls go by whats happening on wall street Big Pharmas huge profits,followed by Hearst and oil co's.all those who would see industrial hemp or pot as a threat to their billfolds,polls are for strippers and firemen!

More Reason for Aid Elimination

Congress must have known this a long time ago and that's why they passed the aid elimination penalty - if you deny student loans to people that smoke marijuana, there will be less college graduates, hence, less people that support legalization. Just when I thought Congress was stupid, they proved me wrong.

It's a lot deeper and much

It's a lot deeper and much more sinister than what you stated,think about it,''no child left behind = this child can't read,.... how about armed forces entry requirements? when I was that age a HS education was nec. what is it today? you can walk and chew gum,? sorry if I offended anyone but I'm in my 60's and I see what I see! It's called dumbing down and there's an agenda behind it ........donl

Argumentum Ad Verecundiam; Correlation != Causation

Am I the only one with the balls to point this out, or merely the only person with the knowledge to recognize this cleverly crafted logical fallacy?

Being in college or being college-bound really doesn't make you that much more likely to be an open-minded researcher in your own free time. What about that other 63%? What about all of the liberals in colleges and their facilities (there are more of them than conservatives) that by association will likely tend towards total gun control (England and Australia, Gary Kleck and John Lott Jr.) or affirmative action (common sense, here!) or stricter market regulations (theorized to be very bad by modern economics)? There is no intellectually honest reason as to why one should believe a college student more than anyone else on this type of issue. Libertarians, most economists, and philosophy majors will be the first to agree with me on this.

The logical fallacy that stems from assuming this means we should consider that this is likely right because of mere college education is called appeal to authority, or in Latin, argumentum ad verecundiam. Additionally this may also be a case of when correlation does not imply causation, or cum hoc ergo propter hoc. 31 and 37 is not enough of a gap for me to honestly fully believe this.

It looks nice for our position, but it is fallacious to assume or appeal to anything out of this. If you're going to use this as justification for anything, make sure you're doing it with a total idiot who could never recognize this logical fallacy.

yeah, but still....

---There is no intellectually honest reason as to why one should believe a college student more than anyone else on this type of issue.

No, there isn't. However, the opposition is portraying people who are pro marijuana legalization as dumb, irresposible, not thinking clearly because they're high, etc, in order to discredit us. All this article says is: "well, we have stats that prove that's not true." I don't see anything wrong with pointing that out to them.

---31 and 37 is not enough of a gap for me to honestly fully believe this.

It is enough, however (at least for me), to fully believe that we're thinking just as clearly as them. 31 and 31 would be enough.

Reason on the Defensive

A naturally rational mind, a mind prone to reason, trained or untrained, understands that the drug laws are wrong.

University training enables a competent, rational person to defend reason against those who see reason as irrelevant, as an approach that is dangerous (usually to the Establishment). 

Those who lie, cheat and steal have developed many tricks that require an alert familiarity to counter these mind scams.  It is not what one thinks, but how one thinks. Logic and reason will smash the drug warriors every time.


even this

Even if the government wouldnt legalize it but just make it the lowest class of drug and "last priority" so that police officers would go after more dangerous crimes taking place instead of sombody at home smoking a joint that would be better than it is now

Robert Shaffer M.D


Hey whazzup wid dis spellin an grammar shait u r talkin bout?
I studies for 5 years in dis university an i smoked so many doobies i dont remember shait about wat i learned.
Oh well, i got some grade? or did i get it? oh well... had a fun time :D

So if only 37% of college

So if only 37% of college educated support it and 31% of non college educated support it, that means a majority of people DON'T support whether they went to college or not. This proves that all one needs is just common sense to see legalizing access to mind altering substances isn't the answer to society's problems. Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's good for you. Rehab clinics are full of people who were enticed by this misguided thinking.

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