Study: Majority Of Americans Say Marijuana Use Should Be Legal

Fifty-six percent of Americans say that “marijuana use should be legal,” according to the results of a nationwide poll commissioned by CBS News. The percentage is the highest ever reported by the news media agency.

Only 36 percent of respondents said that they opposed legalization.

Seventy-one percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said that marijuana use ought to be legal, an increase of 10 percent since CBS posed the question last year. Among those ages 35 to 64, 57 percent of respondents backed legalization, while only 31 percent of those age 65 or older did so.

Men (59 percent) were more likely than women (54 percent) to support making marijuana use legal. Democrats (63 percent) and Independents (58 percent) were far more likely to support legalization compared to Republicans (44 percent).

In response to a separate polling question, 51 percent of Americans admitted having consumed cannabis, up from 34 percent in 1997.

The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- four percent.

The CBS survey results are similar to those of other recent national polls, such as those by reported by Gallup and Pew, finding that a majority of Americans now support ending marijuana prohibition.

Survey Proves the Best Jobs in America Sound Really Boring But Pay Really Well

Money, which isn’t actually real but is generally required to subsist in this cruel and unusual existence, remains a source of contention for both those without it and those practically drowning in the stuff. Misguided career advice aside, what’s the best job-related path to proper stacks of cash?

The newest edition of the Glassdoor-crafted list of the Best Jobs in America says that data scientists are currently flexing in terms of money and general happiness, Mashable reports. With more than 1,700 current job openings, a data scientist is gifted with a median base salary of “just over” $116,000 which may or may not be a lot of money. Though $116,000 is certainly nothing to scoff at, the largest salary on Glassdoor‘s list belongs to software development managers with a median base salary of $135,000.

Peep the top ten below, a list decided upon via factors like earning potential and advancement opportunities, then ponder the true value of modern currency before dissolving into a fit of existential angst:

1. Data Scientist

2. Tax Manager

3. Solutions Architect

4. Engagement Manager

5. Mobile Developer

6. HR Manager

7. Physician Assistant

8. Product Manager

9. Software Engineer

10. Audit Manager

Americans, Especially Millenials, Are Moving Away From Religion

We’re losing our religion. At least, Americans and millenials are. A new poll shows that way less Americans say they believe in God, pray daily or attend church, and that percentage is steadily declining.

Among the findings:

The share of Americans who say they are “absolutely certain” that God exists has dropped 8 percentage points, from 71 percent to 63 percent, since 2007, when the last comparable study was made.

The percentage of adults who describe themselves as “religiously affiliated” has shrunk 6 points since 2007, from 83 percent to 77 percent.

The shares of the U.S. adult population who consider religion “very important” to them, pray daily and attend services at least once a month have declined between 3 and 4 percentage points over the past eight years.

According to NPR, “the shift is small but statistically significant, according to the authors, given that the changes have taken place in a relatively short period of time, and the survey sample is large enough (about 35,000 U.S. adults) to be considered reliable.”

Millenials are even more skeptical. The Pew study found that not even a quarter of “millennials” (born between 1981 and 1996) go to church, compared with over half of U.S. adults born before 1946. Only about 4 in 10 millennials say religion matters to them, compared with more than half of those who are older, including two-thirds of those born before 1946.

“The oldest Millennials, now in their late 20s and early 30s, are generally less observant than they were seven years ago,” the authors write. “If these trends continue American society is likely to grow less religious even if those who are adults today maintain their current levels of religious commitment.”

The increase in religiously unaffiliated people is largely benefiting Democrats, because “nones” are now the single largest religious constituency for them. Evangelicals, at the same time, constitute the biggest religious group in the Republican Party, and the number of evangelicals who identify with the Republicans has increased since 2007.

Apparently, when it comes to the lord, it’s all or nothing.

Where Does Polk Rank Amongst The Most Racist Places in America? New Study Shows Us

A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE (via Wonkblog) has analyzed Google search data to determine the most racist places in America.

More than that, the study shows that living among racists could actually affect black residents’ health and lead to an 8.2 percent higher death rate.

For the study, scientists analyzed the number of searches of the N-word and it’s variations, filtering out instances of the word ending in “a,” and factoring in that not all searches for the N-word are inherently racist, Wonkblog explains.

While Internet searches might not make for a perfect measure of racism, the technique is probably better than traditional surveys, where people are likely to either lie about being racist or simply not realize their subconsciously racist attitudes, the study notes.

People’s Google searches, on the other hand, tend to be unfiltered.

The study showed an above average amount of racist searches clustered in the rural northeast and southeast, especially along the Appalachians, the Gulf Coast and Ohio. The racist searches tapered off as you head west.

The craziest part of this study though, is that black people who live in these racist climates actually live shorter lives, according to the data.

“Results from our study indicate that living in an area characterized by a one standard deviation greater proportion of racist Google searches is associated with an 8.2% increase in the all-cause mortality rate among Blacks,” the study says.

Obviously,  racist Google searches aren’t literally killing black people, but as the study explains, racial discrimination can impact people’s health through segregation and geographic isolation into bad neighborhoods (which can literally affect health), and job discrimination can lead to financial strain, which also affects health.

Marijuana Industry Could Be Worth $35 Billion In 2020, If All States And Feds Legalize It

If all 50 states legalized marijuana and the federal government ended prohibition of the plant, the marijuana industry in the United States would be worth $35 billion just six years from now.

That’s according to a new report from GreenWave Advisors, a research and advisory firm that serves the emerging marijuana industry in the U.S., which found that if all 50 states and the federal government legalized cannabis, combined sales for both medical and retail marijuana could balloon to $35 billion a year by 2020.

If the federal government doesn’t end prohibition and the trajectory of state legalization continues on its current path, with more, but not all, states legalizing marijuana in some form, the industry in 2020 would still be worth $21 billion, GreenWave projects.

In its $21 billion 2020 model, GreenWave predicts 12 states plus the District of Columbia to have legalized recreational marijuana (besides Colorado and Washington, which legalized it in 2012). Those states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, according to data GreenWave provided to The Huffington Post from the full report. By that same year, the model assumes, 37 states will have legalized medical marijuana. To date, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use.

“Our road map for the progression of states to legalize is very detailed –- our assumptions are largely predicated on whether a particular state has legislation in progress,” Matt Karnes, founder and managing partner of GreenWave as well as author of the report, told HuffPost. “We assume that once legalization occurs, it will take a little over a year to implement a program and have product available for sale. So for example, for Florida, we expect the ballot measure to pass [this year] yet our sales forecast starts in year 2016. We think the time frame will lessen as new states to legalize will benefit from best practices.”

As Karnes noted, some of these states are already considering legalization this November — voters in Oregon, Alaska and D.C. are considering measures to legalize recreational marijuana, while Florida voters will weigh in on medical marijuana legalization.

GreenWave isn’t the first group to suggest the federal government may end its decadeslong prohibition of marijuana. One congressman has even predicted that before the end of the decade, the federal government will legalize weed. And as outlandish as it may sound, it’s already possible to observe significant shifts in federal policy toward pot.

The federal government allowed Colorado’s and Washington’s historic marijuana laws to take effect last year. President Barack Obama signed the 2014 farm bill, which legalized industrial hemp production for research purposes in the states that permit it, and the first hemp crops in U.S. soil in decades are already growing. And in May, the U.S. House passed measures attempting to limit Drug Enforcement Administration crackdowns on medical marijuana shops when they’re legal in a state.

The GreenWave report also projects a substantial shift in the marijuana marketplace — the merging of the medical and recreational markets in states that have both.

“In the state of Colorado, we are beginning to see the sales impact — i.e., cannibalization of medical marijuana sales by the adult-use market — when the two markets co-exist,” Karnes said. “We expect a similar dynamic to unfold in those states that will implement a dual marijuana market.”

Beginning in July, recreational marijuana sales in Colorado began to outpace medical for the first time, according to state Department of Revenue data.

Karnes writes in the executive summary that just what the marijuana industry will look like in 2020 will largely depend on how the industry is regulated and how it is taxed by that time.

“Since ‘chronic pain’ is the most common ailment among medical marijuana users, it is likely that recreational users can already purchase marijuana without great difficulty in states where medicinal use is legal,” the report reads. “Accordingly, it can be argued that a merged market already exists in medical marijuana states. Less currently popular, but arguably providing more economic stimulus, would be a regulatory regime providing for only adult recreational use.”

Source: Greener Culture (Part of the TwinStar Media Network)