Marijuana Lights Up State Ballots

People in nine states, including California, Florida and Massachusetts, will vote Nov. 8 on ballot proposals permitting recreational or medical use of marijuana. These initiatives could give a big push to legalization, prompting the next president and Congress to overhaul the country’s failed drug laws.

Record high 60 percent of Americans back legal pot, poll finds

A record high 60 percent of American adults support legalization of marijuana, according to a new Gallup poll released three weeks before voters in nine states decide whether to expand legal access to pot. When Gallup first asked about this issue in 1969, 12 percent of Americans supported legalization. By 2000, support had increased to 31 percent and has continued climbing since then, reaching 58 percent last year.

Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined

On any given day in the United States, at least 137,000 men and women sit behind bars on simple drug possession charges, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch. Nearly two-thirds of them are in local jails. According to the report, most of these jailed inmates have not been convicted of any crime: They’re sitting in a cell, awaiting a day in court which may be months or even years off, because they can’t afford to post bail.