Signs of change, part 2

February 7, 2013
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bullet image In the National Conference of State Legislatures online magazine, a detailed article by Suzanne Weiss: The nation is watching closely as Colorado and Washington put new pot laws in place.

It’s a well-written article laying out the background of legalization in Colorado and Washington and essentially preparing the legislatures of other states to start thinking about regulating marijuana.

With two states blazing the trail by legalizing marijuana, and public acceptance of the drug on an upward trajectory, it’s clear state lawmakers will be grappling with the social, economic and political ramifications of cannabis for some time.

This reminds me of the fact that it wasn’t so long ago that legalization wasn’t even considered worthy of serious discussion. In 2005, Peter Reuter and David Boyum wrote a detailed analysis of the drug war for the American Enterprise Institute (my article about it here).

At that time, they said:

Nor do we explore the merits and demerits of legalizing drugs, even though legalization is perhaps the most prominent and hotly debated topic in drug policy. Our analysis takes current policy as its starting point, and the idea of repealing the nation’s drug laws has no serious support within either the Democratic or Republican Party.”

They couldn’t even imagine the notion that change would come about despite the Democratic and Republican parties.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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