Drug Decriminalization: The Third Rail

Columbia News Service just ran an article covering the guys in white hats in the War on Drug Users. There was a good quote which clearly explains the key obstacle we have to overcome if we are ever to truly overcome these draconian laws:

“Either party will use support of marijuana legalization against each other if they think it is to their advantage,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

St. Pierre cited a recent study by the Pew Research Center showing Americans are more comfortable with marijuana use than excessive drunkenness, but added that increasing public approval won’t remove the stigma against legalization.

“Even if Democrats prevail in taking over Congress this year, it is unlikely that anything substantive will occur,” said St. Pierre, a registered Republican. “It’s almost third rail. Marijuana legalization will be impaled on the altar of politics.”

1 Comment
  1. Colorado could have an intiative on the ballot this fall legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for those 21 and over.

    If successful, it would not be subject to veto by the governor or state legislature (our Republican State Attorney General, formerly head of the Department of Corrections, has already spoken out against this potential initiative). This initiative bypasses the normal legislative process of more and more laws restricting freedoms.

    Federal law would presumably still apply, but Colorado could then justifiably eliminate any resources for enforcement of contradictory federal restrictions by Colorado law enforcement authorities.

    Denver’s modest legalization initiative last fall wasn’t thought to have a chance, but in the privacy of the voting booth a majority of voters thought “What’s the harm?” and that law enforcement resources could be put to better use.

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