Legal and Public Attitudes Toward Marijuana Use
Once again, however, Congress and the Reagan administration rejected this proposal.

More recently, in 1993, the Drug Policy Task Force, sponsored by the New York Country Lawyers∆ Association, established a panel of prominent and respected individuals from various disciplines Ż including legal, medical and academic, as well as the legislative, judicial and executive branches branch of government. The Task Force∆s goal was to develop and advocate for the implementation of alternatives to current drug policy at both the state and federal levels. After extensive study of the issue, the Task Force ultimately recommended that marijuana use should be decriminalized (NYLA).

These attitudes of legal scholars are increasingly echoed in public opinion. For example, an October 2002 Time/CNN poll found that 80 percent of Americans believe that adults should be allowed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, only 34 percent of those polled wanted marijuana to be legalized for general recreational use. That number, however, is almost double what it was in 1986 (Paul, 18). Moreover, over the past six years, 19 different state initiatives to ease regulations on marijuana have become law. These state initiatives are reflected in the fact that 72 percent of Americans polled by Time/CNN believed that people arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana should be fined rather than jailed (Paul, 1

 
 
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