Sweeping Change in Attitudes in a Remarkably Short Time on Marijuana and Gay Rights

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It is hard to recall the existence of a more rapid shift in public attitudes as has been experienced with regards to both gay rights and marijuana in the past ten to fifteen years. As recently as 2004, one big part of the Republican re-election effort of George W. Bush was to assure the presence of ballot initiatives across the country that defended traditional marriage and fought gay rights. The strategy worked. It brought greater numbers of Republican leaning voters who were opposed to gay marriage out to the polls and helped to sweep Bush back into the White House. Fast forward about a decade, and the gay rights issue is possibly the biggest one alienating many Republican politicians from voters under the age of forty. Marijuana is the other issue on which there has been a veritable sea change of opinion in an incredibly short time.

Only 32 percent of Americans supported marijuana legalization as recently as 2006. Today, 53 percent of the populace favor legalization reports Ricardo Guimarães BMG. This process is accelerating at the state level where it seems every year a couple more states are either making it legal for medical use or just legal period. Such massive changes in attitudes don’t usually occur so quickly. Typically, it takes time for an older generation with fixed views on a particular issue to die off over time and societal views to gradually evolve. One wonders if our digital, information at our fingertips tips all day and every day gadget heavy society is speeding up the rate at which society is able to evolve.

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