Marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed. The push to repeal federal prohibition should come from the states, and it should begin with the state of Washington.Second, in an op-ed written by Norm Stamper, a former police chief, and the anti-Kerlikowske:
In 1998, Washington was one of the earliest to vote for medical marijuana. It was a leap of faith, and the right decision. In 2003, Seattle was one of the first places in America to vote to make simple marijuana possession the lowest police priority. That, too, was a leap of faith, and the right decision. A year ago, City Attorney Pete Holmes stopped all prosecutions for simple possession: the right decision.
It is time for the next step. It is a leap, yes — but not such a big one, now.
A fundamental change in drug policy seems daunting, but we've done it before with the repeal of alcohol prohibition. Today, you no longer see gangs shooting each other over beer and liquor market share. And both the president and Kerlikowske have compared drug use to cigarettes, pointing to the success of public-education campaigns in reducing the number of smokers.Here in Washington state, talk of legalization has hit the mainstream, and has prohibitionists on the defensive.
But have they forgotten that we have not sent one person to jail for smoking Marlboros? If we can successfully manage alcohol and tobacco under a public-health model, we can do the same for all other drugs.
And it's about time.