Bob Dylan once sang, “Oh, the times they are a-changin’.” While these lyrics are not directly tied to marijuana — although Mr. Dylan has certainly written many on the subject — they are certainly apt when you consider America’s attitude toward pot. Could changing attitudes present a risk to correctional companies?
America’s mellowing out on marijuana
A recent CNN poll found that support for legalizing marijuana is soaring, with 55% of respondents supporting the legal use. This poll isn’t an outlier; the results are consistent with other marijuana-related surveys. In short, people are becoming more comfortable with marijuana usage. Matter of fact, the survey notes that in 1987, 70% of respondents viewed smoking pot as morally wrong, today that number is 35%.
It’s important to note the wording of this question. This question references the legalization of marijuana, something that has been enacted by very few legislatures. Many states have taken a mini-step: decriminalization. Although the words legalization and decriminalization sound similar, they are very different: Legalization is the formal process of making something legal; decriminalization is to punish offenses by means other than prison.