The Washington Post is running a story entitled Support for legalizing marijuana grows rapidly around U.S:
The same day they rejected a gay marriage ballot measure, residents of Maine voted overwhelmingly to allow the sale of medical marijuana over the counter at state-licensed dispensaries.
Later in the month, the American Medical Association reversed a longtime position and urged the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, which equates it with heroin.
A few days later, advocates for easing marijuana laws left their biannual strategy conference with plans to press ahead on all fronts — state law, ballot measures, and court — in a movement that for the first time in decades appeared to be gaining ground.
“This issue is breaking out in a remarkably rapid way now,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Public opinion is changing very, very rapidly.”
The shift is widely described as generational. A Gallup poll in October found 44 percent of Americans favor full legalization of marijuana — a rise of 13 points since 2000. Gallup said that if public support continues growing at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year, “the majority of Americans could favor legalization of the drug in as little as four years.”
A 53 percent majority already does so in the West, according to the survey. The finding heartens advocates collecting signatures to put the question of legalization before California voters in a 2010 initiative.
At last week’s International Drug Reform Conference, activists gamed specific proposals for taxing and regulating pot along the lines of cigarettes and alcohol, as a bill pending in the California Legislature would do. The measure is not expected to pass, but in urging its serious debate, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) gave credence to a potential revenue source that the state’s tax chief said could raise $1.3 billion in the recession, which advocates describe as a boon.
The rest of the article is much like this. The point is not that there is any major news on the subject but that this summarizes the recent trend towards increased support for legalization. Having stories such as this in major newspapers does help to make support for legalization appear more respectable and does probably help this trend continue.