“The soothing honeyed smell of pot hangs in a streets of San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle. People pass on a path looking stoned, wearing buttons observant ‘Turned On’ or ‘Let’s Get Naked and SMOKE.’” So LIFE Magazine described a informative impulse in that pot seemed to be holding over: straightforwardly available, speedy by renouned music, not merely a drug though a pitch of a revolution.
Some of a arguments for and opposite a legalization were not so opposite in a late 1960s than they are today. Opponents noticed a drug not usually as a open health concern, though as a dwindle a counter-culture waved in a face of center category values and consumer culture. They feared that use was already spiraling out of control and would usually boost with legalization. They envisioned a era of dropouts—from school, from family responsibilities, from multitude during large—derailed by a drug whose effects were not nonetheless entirely accepted by a medical community.
Those in preference hold pot adult opposite ethanol and tobacco, that they pronounced were no some-more harmful. They forked to low crime rates among users, aside from a laws they pennyless by partaking in a initial place. They distinguished a drug’s boost to creativity, alertness and appreciation for a world. Even a former Federal Narcotics Commissioner conceded that penalties were “unrealistically serious for childish offenders.”
These childish offenders were of pinnacle concern, and LIFE featured a organisation of “subteen-agers” (1960s pronounce for “tweens”) to uncover why. The abundant Californian kids, nothing comparison than 14, were described as “good students and normal children whose relatives suspicion they were on a picnic.” Youth arrests were on a rise, and many feared that kindly relatives and a change of comparison siblings were branch a era onto something they weren’t versed to handle.
Looking toward a future, LIFE wondered how users would fare. “It stays to be seen how socially shop-worn they will turn by vital in such undisguised defilement of both law and informative taboo.” It’s a perspective that currently feels possibly comically old-fashioned or impending as ever, depending on that side of a discuss one comes down on.