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Photo of a sign for a medical marijuana dispensary showing that the business is open
Washington is one of several states where marijuana use has been legalized, decriminalized, or approved for medical use. (Photo courtesy of Dominic Simpson/flickr)

Twenty-three states in the United States have passed measures legalizing marijuana in some form; the majority of these states approve only medical use of marijuana, but fourteen states have decriminalized marijuana use, and four states approve recreational use as well. Washington state legalized recreational use in 2012, and in the 2014 midterm elections, voters in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington DC supported ballot measures to allow recreational use in their states as well (Governing 2014). Florida’s 2014 medical marijuana proposal fell just short of the 60 percent needed to pass (CBS News 2014).

The Pew Research Center found that a majority of people in the United States (52 percent) now favor legalizing marijuana. This 2013 finding was the first time that a majority of survey respondents supported making marijuana legal. A question about marijuana’s legal status was first asked in a 1969 Gallup poll, and only 12 percent of U.S. adults favored legalization at that time. Pew also found that 76 percent of those surveyed currently do not favor jail time for individuals convicted of minor possession of marijuana (Motel 2014).

Even though many people favor legalization, 45 percent do not agree (Motel 2014). Legalization of marijuana in any form remains controversial and is actively opposed; Citizen’s Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM) is one of the largest political action committees (PACs) working to prevent or repeal legalization measures. As in many aspects of sociology, there are no absolute answers about deviance. What people agree is deviant differs in various societies and subcultures, and it may change over time.

Tattoos, vegan lifestyles, single parenthood, breast implants, and even jogging were once considered deviant but are now widely accepted. The change process usually takes some time and may be accompanied by significant disagreement, especially for social norms that are viewed as essential. For example, divorce affects the social institution of family, and so divorce carried a deviant and stigmatized status at one time. Marijuana use was once seen as deviant and criminal, but U.S. social norms on this issue are changing.

References

CBS News. 2014. “Marijuana Advocates Eye New Targets After Election Wins.” Associated Press, November 5. Retrieved November 5, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

Governing. 2014. “Governing Data: State Marijuana Laws Map.” Governing: The States and Localities, November 5. Retrieved November 5, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

Pew Research Center. 2013. “Partisans Disagree on Legalization of Marijuana, but Agree on Law Enforcement Policies.” Pew Research Center, April 30. Retrieved November 2, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

Motel, Seth. 2014. “6 Facts About Marijuana.” Pew Research Center: FactTank: News in the Numbers, November 5. Retrieved ( (External Link) ).

Questions & Answers

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S.S encourages upward mobility to the undermined class
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Max Webber is a German Conflict Theorist, who appreciated the works of Karl Marx and made some additionals in some of K.Marx's theories
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Discuss the scientific nature of sociology: The best way in which we can discuss the scientific nature of sociology is by taking a look at the definitions of science and sociology, also the history or origin of sociology. Science can be defined as the systematic study of the structure and behaviour
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Auguste Comte, the founder of sociology century, called it The Queen of the sciences because he thought that it was the ultimate science as it was the science of people. Not long ago it was believed that human behavior was all to do with 'fate' and if you were destined to behave badly then you would
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is a standard, model or pattern and also it can be a situation and type of behaviour that is expected and considered to be typical.
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acceptable pattern and behaviour of society.
MUHAMMAD
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Durkheim is a Functionalist
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his full name Is Emile Durkheim
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Emile Durkheim Founding Father (1858-1917) • Division of Labor • Sociological Method • Suicide • Religion
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political revolution, industrial revolution, urbanisation, rise of capitalism, socialism,feminism,
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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