Why the Path to Legalising Recreational Cannabis is Similar to the Legalisation of Gay Marriage

Legalising recreational cannabis and gay marriage

Legalising recreational cannabis is similar to the legalisation of gay marriage

The Impossible Becomes Possible

Decades ago, the legalisation of marijuana and legislation permitting gay marriage would have seemed highly unlikely. Both homosexuality and the consumption of marijuana were once perceived as undesirable. In some societies, homosexuality was regarded as a mental illness.

As societies began to evolve from their harshly conservative past, many more individuals became accepting of gay marriage and marijuana consumption. These two distinct areas of social disapproval slowly but surely have become normalised and accepted, with this shift in public perception reflected in the national laws.


Advocates for the Legalisation of Cannabis. Source



Statistics on Growing Acceptance of Gay Marriage and Marijuana Consumption

The attitudes of society on subjects such as gay marriage and cannabis consumption have not always been supportive. Here are some statistics on the public opinion on these issues:

  • In 2001, the Pew Research Center recorded that Americans opposed same-sex marriage at a margin of 57% to 35%.
  • In 2000, the Pew Research Center found that only 31% of Americans supported the legalisation of marijuana for medical and recreational use.
  • In 2017, the Pew Research Centre witnessed a rise in the support of same sex marriage by members of society. The survey recorded a 62% to 32% opposition on the issue. 
  • In a survey conducted in 2018, the Pew Research Center established that six in ten Americans currently support the legalisation of marijuana. This is 62% of the population.

Many unfavourable opinions are still held in view of gay marriage and marijuana consumption. The growing support of the public, however, has aided in swaying the government to legalise both areas.

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise gay marriage. Today, gay marriage is legal in all fifty states of the United States of America. This bill was passed into law in 2015 after the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriages at all levels of state.

In the U.S, marijuana is legal for recreational and medical use in 10 states, including the country’s capital, Washington D.C.For medical use, marijuana is currently legal in 33 out of its 50 states.



Why Are the Legalisation of Gay Marriage and Marijuana Similar?

Gay marriage and marijuana consumption are very different areas, but they have experienced some similarities in their paths towards legalisation. Both gay people and cannabis consumers were often viewed as outsiders in society.

In the beginning of the journey to legalisation, both gay marriage and marijuana consumption held no political support. The mainstream media continually demonised gay marriage and marijuana consumers. Ironically, the constant conversation on the morality of gay marriage and cannabis consumption aided in the restructuring of public opinion on both matters.

In order to appeal to the public to support the legalisation of gay marriage and marijuana consumption, a re-education on both had to occur. Policies that highlighted the benefits had to be established. Legalising marijuana would provide tax revenue and weaken drug cartels. Legalising gay marriage would provide stability and validation to gay couples.

Above all, the biggest similarity between the legalisation of gay marriage and cannabis is that both feats were once deemed impossible. That many societies can move past their need to be ‘morally upright’ while considering the freedoms of their citizens is the real win where gay marriage and marijuana consumption are concerned.  

The legalisation of gay marriage and marijuana for mainstream consumption once seemed impossible. With the aid of public opinion and research, the tides were able to turn in many parts of the world – including the U.S.A.

Although very different practices, gay marriage and marijuana share a similar path to legalisation. Once frowned on by wider society, gay marriage and marijuana consumption are slowly making their way back to societies worldwide.



Sources