The dramatic reversal of opinion among Americans about the legalization of pot is hardly a news story any more. At this point, blanket legalization seems inevitable, and I think that’s a good thing for our country. There is a lot of blood and treasure expended on the “war on drugs” of which marijuana is a big, if no the biggest, front. But what are we really accomplishing with the war on pot?
Not much, it seems, as the drug is more readily available and socially acceptable than ever. As you can see from these CNN poll results, people just don’t think marijuana is harmful:
More interesting, though, are these results from questions about what poll respondents do and do not find morally wrong. The only question where a strong majority of respondents found something morally wrong was abortion. Unmarried cohabitation, homosexuality, and even porn enjoyed either majority moral approval or (in the case of homosexuality) a split.
There’s a lot of talk about the decline of social conservatism, and I think much of it is accurate. Opposition to equal treatment for gays, for example, is a good way for social conservatives to find themselves pushed to the fringes of the political landscape. We may not be there yet, but it’s coming.
Moral objections to abortion, however, aren’t on the same trendline. A lot of Americans, especially in this age when unwanted pregnancy is so easily avoided, are having a hard time seeing anything moral in killing an unwanted child in the womb.
Remember, we’re talking about a poll in which majorities expressed moral approval of porn, booze and smoking pot in which a majority also expressed moral disapproval in abortion.