Rethinking the Leaf
Rethinking the Leaf? Support for Marijuana Legalization in Uruguay, the United States and El Salvador.
Paper presented at the 9th Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP). Ghent, Belgium. May 19-22, 2015
Authors: José Miguel Cruz, Rosario Queirolo, María Fernanda Boidi.
ABSTRACT: What are the factors associated with approval for marijuana legalization? In the last three years, Uruguay and the states of Colorado and Washington in the U.S. have legalized the production, commercialization, and consumption of recreational marijuana. Such measures have opened a significant debate about legalization. Although the path of legalization and regulation have been different in Uruguay and the United States, these cases provide an excellent opportunity to explore the relationship between drug policy implementation and public opinion support for marijuana legalization in two very different contexts. Using data from the 2014 AmericasBarometer surveys conducted in Uruguay and the United States, this paper examines citizen views towards marijuana regulation and the political factors associated with the approval to legalization. It shows that although levels of public support on marijuana legalization are different in the United States and Uruguay, there are some similarities in the political variables related to approval of legalization of marijuana in both countries.