The Denver Post brought back anti-weed paranoia with a breaking news blast about Colorado's first marijuana-related death since the state legalized recreational weed. A majority of anti-legalization Americans still think the tides are turning against prohibition, however — a new Pew Research poll released today shows that 75 percent of Americans think nationwide legalization is inevitable.
Hypervocal's Slade Sohmer first pointed out that the Post went on red alert reporting the death of a college student who died from a fall on spring break.
The coroner's office ruled the death — a guy from Wyoming who fell off a balcony — an accident, but it did list "marijuana intoxication" as a contributing condition. March has also brought a rash of drinking-related spring break accidents, but those have not gotten the BREAKING NEWS treatment on the Post's website. Of course, fear-mongering about marijuana use has a long and storied history.
Meanwhile, the Pew poll shows that majorities of anti- and pro-legalization Americans think weed will soon be legally available nationwide. This is a dramatic, quick shift — in 2004, 60 percent of Americans thought weed should be illegal. Now, only 42 percent think it should be outlawed, and a majority of those people think legalization will happen anyway.
The poll also shows that the Post is not alone in its concern for youth: a slight majority of Americans think legalized weed would cause more young people to try it. Thirty-two percent of respondents view drug abuse as a "crisis" in America right now. Just wait until they hear about that kid at the Holiday Inn.