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Drug War May Be a Major “Women’s Issue”

Women may be the hidden factor in the pot debate. A new Quinnipiac National Poll finds a huge gender gap on marijuana legalization, with men supporting it 59 to 36 percent but women opposing it 52 to 44 percent. On an issue basis, that may be one of the biggest gender gaps in American politics—maybe even bigger than those much-discussed “women’s issues” like “reproductive rights.” Via Tyler Cowen, Michele Martinez Campbell proffers the following explanation at her blog NarcoLaw:

NarcoLaw’s best guess (an informed guess, but a guess nevertheless) is that female opposition stems from questions about the impact legalization will have on public health, crime and the social fabric.  With the Washington state legalization initiative set to take effect tomorrow, the broader consequences of legalization remain an enormous unknown. Women, as the Quinnipiac poll suggests, remain concerned, and unpersuaded that legalization is the answer.

We don’t know if Campbell’s explanation is correct, but it’s notable that women have traditionally lead the campaign for drug and alcohol restrictions. That was the case with Prohibition, of course—the movement to outlaw the demon drink was closely connected with the movement for women’s suffrage. That tradition seems to be alive and well. Whether women’s opposition to pot legalization will be enough to slow or stop the legalization movement remains to be soon, although organized groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving had important successes in raising the drinking age nationwide. But the gap itself is fascinating, and could have greater implications for American politics than other areas in which politicians believe a gender gap exists.

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  • FriendlyGoat

    Really, the LAST thing needed in American politics is an issue this far out on the fringe driving women’s votes into the arms of Karl Rove, The Koch Brothers and Grover Norquist. It’s hard to imagine very many women actually giving high-level conservative candidates their vote merely on opposition to pot legalization, but this article TITLE, if true, is scary for the prospect of this being used in politics.

    Vote for high-end tax cuts, deregulation and bad judges to get a legislator, governor or president who promises to be against pot? Yikes.

    • Corlyss

      I hope you know a lot of people who think like you, Friend. You and they are all in for a rude shock.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Only if women are dumb as a rock.

        • f1b0nacc1

          They voted in droves for Obama, that would suggest that they may very well be that dumb.

        • Corlyss

          Since women seem to think marriage no longer matters, and raising babies with the government acting as a surrogate daddy is okay for both, and birth control is the highest expression of their freedoms, you have a point about women’s manifest stupidity. There is, however, room for hope that nobody, not even a Dim, can remain stupid forever. You ask a lot of conservatives, including women, you’ll find they are recovering liberals. As John Wayne so aptly put it, “Life is hard. It’s harder when you’re stupid.”

  • Corlyss

    Just a half-inch OT, but TTBOOK had a moving segment of their most recent show in which they talked with a black mortician in Newark NJ, Tyrone Muhammad. Since drugs are at the heart of a lot of gang activity in the black community, it seems appropriate to second the article’s conclusion and offer up Mr. Muhammad’s interview about what he sees, and does, and must say to the mothers of dead gangbangers. http://www.ttbook.org/series/death/muhammad-mortician

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