Pot Will Be Legal, and Soon

Julian Brookes thinks Colorado, or some other state, will take the leap

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 27, 2012 12:32 PM CDT | Updated Jul 29, 2012 11:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – This November, three states will vote on whether to legalize marijuana for old-fashioned "getting-high purposes." Colorado is the best bet—one poll has the public behind the bill by a 61-27 margin—but Oregon and/or Washington might as well, and even if all of them chicken out, Julian Brookes of Rolling Stone thinks the end of marijuana prohibition is nigh. "The status quo, people are starting to notice, is a total disaster."

The ban on marijuana "has done an impressive job of racking up racially-biased arrests, throwing people in jail, … and enriching psychotic Mexican drug lords. But it hasn't stopped Americans from smoking a ton of weed." There are costs associated with legalizing, "but it's hard to see how we could make things worse." Of course, there's a big hurdle: The federal government could still crack down on states that choose to legalize. Even President Obama—a certified "Choom Gang alumnus"—has cracked down hard on medical marijuana, and "if the president in January 2013 is zero-tolerance drug warrior Mitt Romney, run for the hills." Click for Brooks' full column.

This image provided by the Bay Area News Group shows cloned marijuana plants that are for sale at Harborside Health Center on Thursday, July 12, 2012 in Oakland, Calif.   (AP Photo/Aric Crabb, Bay Area News Group)
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Prohibition is falling apart, about the way alcohol prohibition fell apart. Legalization is eventually going to be a recognition of the facts on the ground. - Mark Kleiman, UCLA drug policy expert

There's that Talmudic principle that a law that's not obeyed is a bad law. And I think we're pretty much at that point. - Mark Kleiman, UCLA drug policy expert

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