A Man with a Flashlight

Legalization is coming
July 6, 2007, 11:55 am
Filed under: Drug Prohibition

The Agitator notes a little-commented detail of the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case: Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, and Souter cast a favorable glance at legalizing marijuana entirely. From their opinion:

…just as prohibition in the 1920’s and early 1930’s was secretly questioned by thousands of otherwise law-abiding patrons of bootleggers and speakeasies, today the actions of literally millions of otherwise law-abiding users of marijuana,9 and of the majority of voters in each of the several States that tolerate medicinal uses of the product,10 lead me to wonder whether the fear of disapproval by those in the majority is silencing opponents of the war on drugs.

Surely our national experience with alcohol should make us wary of dampening speech suggesting—however inarticulately—that it would be better to tax and regulate marijuana than to persevere in a futile effort to ban its use entirely.

Marijuana will surely be legal. It is the strength of our political system that policies based on ignorance, prejudice, and misinformation cannot be maintained.

And the fact that the court minority raised the topic of drug legalization while ruling on a first amendment case which merely happened to revolve around a poster advocating “bong hits” illustrates the broad awareness of this issue right now. It’s becoming increasingly obvious, to people in all walks of life, that the prohibition on marijuana delivers no tangible benefit, divides Americans along a trivial but highly charged fault line, and imposes a high cost to personal liberty and limited, rational government.

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