Momentum for marijuana legalization builds


Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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7 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Cautiously optimistic.

    Hippies I talked to in the 90’s told me that they couldn’t believe that it was still illegal in the 70’s, let alone the 80’s, let alone the 90’s. If we’re talking about how marijuana legalization is right around the corner in 2020, I won’t be surprised.

    That said, I kind of wonder… why now?

    Here’s my theory.

    Prohibition failed, for the most part, because *EVERYBODY* got busted. Black, white, rich, poor, male, female… didn’t matter. If the cops raided, they’d arrest the folks they caught and it made great headlines.

    And, soon enough, we had a Constitutional Convention to overturn Prohibition. One wonders what would have happened had the cops only busted people in the crappy part of town without also busting people in the lower middle class part of town or the middle middle class part of town.

    We’d probably see something like what we had in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

    I think that law enforcement, in recent years, has started busting people in the people in the lower middle class part of town and the middle middle class part of town in ways that they had only been busting folks in the crappy part of town.

    And it’d going to result in something akin to a revolt at the ballot box unless something changes. The literal dozens of state ballot initatives on such things as “medical marijuana becoming legal” and “marijuana arrests should be law enforcement’s lowest priority” are our version of a Constitutional Convention, I’d think.Report

  2. Max Socol says:

    Been waiting for ages for you guys to talk about this. I just started working at MPP and wondered where the Gentlemen were on the issue. Unlike so much else it rarely seems to cross your main page.

    Jay: You have a point there (although busts are still very race-based.) But it’s at least true that the government has ratcheted up the sheer quantity of people being arrested in the past decade, to something like 800,000 arrests per year (89% for simple possession.) And while most of those people are not incarcerated, the arrest alone is life-changing, especially for young people (who are a very large part of that number) – drug arrests make it nearly impossible to get jobs, go to college, etc. It makes sense from that alone to see a growing middle-class backlash.

    You say 2020 – I say 2015. But maybe I’m just optimistic, or maybe things look better from inside the issue. Still, whatever the result I think this is going to be a Big Deal in 2010, and the League ought to get out in front of it.Report

    • Will in reply to Max Socol says:

      Are you really working at MPP, Max? I’m kind of jealous, given that I applied for a job there and they never got back to me.

      As for the League’s lack of legalization-related coverage, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we all basically agree that prohibition is self-evidently stupid. We’re certainly open to guest posts with lots of bad pot puns, however . . . .Report

  3. North says:

    The sooner the better. Oh I wish Obama would grab this. It smells like a second term sort of thing though. No politician with any eye towards reelection would talk about letting our prescious CHILDREN near drugs. Oh noes! *faints*Report