When it comes to the topic of marijuana legalization, the unspoken rule among the most Ivy League campuses has always been to avoid the issue like the plague and deny any and all involvement with this mostly illicit substance. However, a new report indicates that the negative attitude toward the cannabis culture has experienced a significant shift over the course of the past few years, with the majority of Harvard freshmen now openly willing to admit support for the legalization of cannabis.
The Harvard Crimson’s annual survey of the incoming freshmen class found a slight majority of those that have been deemed the Class of 2020 is in favor of the legalization of marijuana.
Fifty-one percent of the respondents said they believed marijuana should be made legal, while another 17 percent argued that a continued prohibitionary standard would be best for the nation.
But it should be noted that this mostly positive responsive with respect to the reform of the nation’s marijuana laws does not appear to be indicative of use.
The survey also found that a heaping majority of the Class of 2020 -- nearly 76 percent -- has never tried marijuana. In fact, only about a quarter of the incoming freshmen told pollsters that they have at least experimented with the herb at some point in their lives.
To provide some contrast, over 60 percent of the respondents said they have tried alcohol – almost 40 percent said they have not.
Perhaps one of the most interesting details in the report is that more young adults who attended private school before Harvard were around four percent more likely to admit to smoking marijuana than their counterparts in the public school system – suggesting that marijuana is finding its way into lungs of Americans no matter where their education is obtained in the formative years.
Marijuana advocates say the results of this study suggest that the long-term effects of government propaganda are coming to an end.
“Support for ending marijuana prohibition is pretty strong among the youngest voters, and it will likely grow stronger as they continue to learn more about the subject,” Masson Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, told MERRY JANE.
“We tend to see the most support among the youngest voters because they have spent the least amount of time exposed to a one-sided debate dominated by anti-marijuana propaganda,“ he continued. “Folks in their 50s, 60s, and 70s spent decades hearing only negative things about marijuana, whereas those in their teens or 20s have heard an ongoing debate and are now seeing states adopt alternative policies.”
The results of the latest Crimson survey, which consisted of contacting 1,657 students via email, are fairly consistent with the data produced over the past three years.