In Support of Legalization: 5 Reasons Pot Is Okay With Latinos for 4/20

Happy (almost) 4/20! A recent Pew Research poll suggests that most Americans agree with the legalization of marijuana. Support for this move has increased over time, but now we see an 11% spike in approval since 2010. Even more surprising are the amount of Latinos who support the move a - a whopping 51%. Here are five reasons Latinos may be okay with the legalization of pot.

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Arrests for marijuana possession disproportionately affect Latinos:

According to a recent study by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Arrest Research Project, Blacks and Latinos account for over 85% of marijuana possession arrests in New York City. Most of the cases are for smoking pot in public. However, white/non-Hispanics are often spared from facing the same repercussions for such offenses.

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Marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes:

The substance has been scientifically proven to relief chronic pain, nausea, and muscle spasms. Many users believe that it also helps relieve stress, symptoms of depression, and has a low side effect for dependency. In select states, marijuana is legal for medicinal use including cases of cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS.

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Pot is not a ‘gateway drug,’ several studies suggests:

A study conducted last year by The University of Florida found that alcohol is more of a ‘gate-way drug’ than marijuana. Over 14,000 high school seniors were provided questionnaires to examine their drug of choice. Once collected, the data showed that students who tried alcohol first were more likely to move on to harsher substances than marijuana users.

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We are young and open-minded:

A Pew Research Center poll discovered that Latino support for the legalization of marijuana increased from 35% in 2010 to 51% in 2013. The rise in support has largely to do with our political views and young age. Since older people and Republicans have a harsher stance on the topic, Latinos fill in the other piece of the graph. Latinos make up for 22% of children less than 18 years of age in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Hispanic Center. Likewise, two-thirds of Latino registered voters consider themselves Democrats.

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We love Cheech Marin

The Cheech & Chong comedian’s nickname was influenced by the term, "cheeched,” which means “under the influence of marijuana, usually at a relatively high dose.” When asked if he ever smoked pot in real life, Marin responded, “Yeah, every once in a while. I’m Cheech!”