The green wave is coming: Recreational pot becomes legal in Massachusetts on July 1
Republicans and Democrats like to talk about their hopes for red and blue waves, respectively, during the upcoming mid-term elections, but it’s a wave of a different color that’s hitting this year and in years to come — a green wave as the nation goes to pot.
Marijuana, that is.
Times have changed. In 1936, a trailer for the propaganda film “Reefer Madness” described marijuana as “the burning weed with its roots in hell.”
“The ultimate end of the marijuana addict is hopeless insanity,” it said.
But it’s clear that the stigma associated with “pot,” “weed,” “reefer,” etc. is greatly diminished.
Today medical marijuana is used effectively to relieve symptoms, especially pain, in a variety of ailments including, ironically enough, schizophrenia, according to medical marijuana companies.
All told, 29 states have approved marijuana for medical use.
Nine of them, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized it for recreational use.
Three of those states are in New England: Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont.
In all but one, Vermont, the change came at the hands of the people in referenda.
Massachusetts first legalized medical marijuana in 2012 when 63.3 percent of voters cast ballots in favor.
In Attleboro, 64.2 percent of voters approved the move.
And in 2016, Massachusetts approved the legalization of recreational marijuana when 53.7 percent of voters cast ballots in favor.
In Attleboro, 56.9 percent voted yes.
The move toward legalization grew slowly over the last 50 years.
It started small in 1969 when a Gallup poll found that just 12 percent of Americans favored legalization and 84 percent opposed it.
By 2000, the percentage of those in favor jumped to 31 percent. By 2010, those in favor were at 46 percent.
Gallup’s latest number of those in favor