By PHOEBE FITZ
Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states across America — with two of those allowing recreational use — and the number is continuing to rise.
With 58 percent of Americans supporting the legalization of marijuana, this statistic is miles away from what it is was decades ago. What is contributing to this rise in acceptance?
Perhaps it is the media, as many Hollywood blockbuster movies show characters using marijuana. From Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in “50/50” using pot medicinally to ease his life with cancer, to Paul Rudd and Leslie Manns’ characters in “This is 40” eating pot cookies on a weekend getaway, marijuana use is being portrayed much differently and with much more acceptance than it was when “Reefer Madness” was released in 1936, for example.
Many TV shows depict marijuana use in this same casual way. It was an integral part of the plot of “That 70’s Show,” for example, as the show documented the main characters frequent use of it and subsequent laughs and adventures experienced because of it. Shows like this continue to influence the younger generations to see the use of marijuana as harmless and socially acceptable.
The Internet is another way support for legalization is being created. With countless websites dedicated to advocating marijuana, it is easier than ever for people to share their opinions and search for statistics, research and studies done on the subject.
For better or for worse — the general consensus is better — the media and Hollywood are fueling the fire that is marijuana legalization.