Is Marijuana Legalization More Like Gay Marriage or Abortion?

“In less than a decade, public opinion has shifted dramatically toward support for the legalization of marijuana. The temptation is to conclude that the trend in favor of marijuana legalization is similar to the flow of opinion in favor of same-sex marriage, but not all hot-button social issues are created equal … Opinion is changing, but is there a durable majority for legalization?” ask the Brookings Institution’s E.J. Dionne, Jr. and William A Galston in a May 29 infographic on “The New Politics of Marijuana Legalization.” The answer is to be determined, but the lesson is that marijuana law reforms must bring perceived net benefits, or there will be a Reagan Era-style backlash that’ll take us back to square one.

The evidence:

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