为什么现在这么多美国人支持大麻合法化?
Protesters rally in support of the legalization of marijuana in front of the White House in Washington,D.C.4月2日,2016.
Credit: Rena Schild/Shutterstock

American views on marijuana have shifted incredibly rapidly.Thirty years ago,marijuana legalization seemed like a lost cause.In 1988,only 24 percent of Americans supported legalization.

But steadily,国家开始实行自由化。By 2018,66 percent of U.S.居民们表示同意,trans澳门金莎官方游戏forming marijuana legalization from a libertarian fantasy into a mainstream cause.Many state laws have changed as well.Over the last quarter-century,有10个州合法化休闲大麻,while 22 states have legalized medical marijuana.

那么,为什么公众舆论发生了戏剧性的变化而赞成合法化呢?在一个研究发表于今年2月,we examined a range of possible reasons,finding that the media likely had the greatest influence.

Our studyruled out a few obvious possibilities.

For one,it's not about marijuana use.对,marijuana use has increased.数据来自National Survey on Drug Use and Healthshow that,in 2002,about 10 percent of adults reported using marijuana the previous year.By 2015,13.5%报告使用。But that increase is too small to have had much of an impact on attitudes.

And it's not about older,更保守的美国人被更熟悉大麻的年轻一代取代。Both younger and older people developed more liberal views about the legalization of marijuana at a similar pace over the last 30 years.这样的话,大麻合法化态度的变化反映了近期increases in support for LGBTQ individuals.

我们想看看那些住在非法州的人,but resided next to ones where it became legal,were more likely to have changed their views.But the rate of change has been no different in states that legalized marijuana than in others.

Likewise,各政党的变化速度相似,religions,教育水平,racial and ethnic groups and gender.As politically polarized as the country may seem,when it comes to marijuana,美国人一直在一起改变他们的态度,as a nation.

We did find that a small part of the increase in support was related to more people disaffiliating with religion.The proportion of people whodo not identify with a religionhas increased some,by2007年至2014年间约7%.People who do not have a religion tend to be more liberal than others.然而,this factor accounts for only a small proportion of the change.

So what's going on?What has likely made the biggest difference is how the media has portrayed marijuana.在新闻媒体开始将大麻列为医疗问题后不久,对合法化的支持开始增加。澳门金莎官网娱乐场

我们以《纽约时报》为案例研究,looking at the number of published articles from 1983 to 2015 about marijuana.Just before the number of Americans supporting legalization began to increase,we found a sharp increase in the proportion of articles about marijuana that discussed its medical uses.

In the 1980s,the vast majority of New York Times stories about marijuana were about drug trafficking and abuse or other Schedule I drugs.当时,《纽约时报》在讨论毒品走私时更可能将大麻与可卡因和海洛因混为一谈,形成一种不神圣的三位一体。drug dealers等等。

During the 1990s,用犯罪术语讨论大麻的故事变得不那么流行了。同时,the number of articles discussing the medical uses of marijuana slowly increased.By the late 1990s,marijuana was rarely discussed in the context of drug trafficking and drug abuse.And marijuana had lost its association with other Schedule I drugs like cocaine and heroin in the New York Times.Gradually,吸食大麻的人的老套路从一个想往上爬的麻木不仁的懒汉变成了一个寻求止痛的上了年纪的婴儿潮一代。

当然,many Americans do not read The New York Times.But analysis of 澳门金莎官网娱乐场newspapers of record,like this one,provide insight into how the 澳门金莎官网娱乐场news media has changed its framing of marijuana,尤其是在报纸仍然是主要新闻来源的时代。澳门金莎官网娱乐场

As Americans became more supportive of marijuana legalization,they also increasingly told survey researchers that the criminal justice system was too harsh.

In the late 1980s,这个“毒品战争”和量刑改革法律澳门金莎官方游戏put a large number of young men,often black and Latino,在监狱里呆了很长时间。As Americans started to feel the full social and economic effects of tough-on-crime initiatives,他们重新考虑了将大麻定为犯罪的问题。

因为对大麻合法化的支持和对刑事司法制度严厉性的关切几乎同时发生了变化,很难知道先来的是什么。对刑事司法系统严厉性的关注是否影响了对合法化的支持?反之亦然?

By contrast,从媒体对大麻的取景来看,其因果关系更加清晰。新闻媒体澳门金莎官网娱乐场对大麻的描述在公众之前不久就开始发生变化,suggesting that the media influenced support for the legalization of marijuana.

Once attitudes begin to change,很难知道是什么使动量保持移动。不管最初的动力是什么,今天的态度是非常支持的,合法化也在快速增长。

Amy Adamczyk,社会学和刑事司法教授,纽约城市大学;克里斯托弗·托马斯,刑事司法博士生,John Jay College of Criminal Justice,andJacob Felson,Associate Professor of Sociology,William Paterson University

This article is republished fromThe Conversationunder a Creative Commons license.阅读original article.