Drug War is Over! (If Obama Wants It): Nick Gillespie in Daily Beast

My latest Daily Beast article argues that the war on pot is effectively over and with it, the war on drugs (it's more complicated than that, of course, but that's the gist).

Here's the opening:

Years from now, 2013 isn’t going to remembered as the year when Obamacare went down faster than a Clinton-era White House intern, President Rand Paul made a name for himself by filibustering against drone strikes and secret kill lists, or Miley Cyrus twerked onstage as sexily as a Rhesus monkey with electrodes strapped to its genitals.

No, 2013 is going to be remembered as the year the drug war died as a political issue. The headline of the latest Gallup Poll on the subject says it all: “For First Time, Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana.” Fully 58 percent of respondents agreed that “the use of marijuana should be made legal.” Not decriminalized,medicalized, or any other weasel-worded synonym to keep the squares and the cops and the addiction-industry lobbyists from getting the vapors and reaching for a legal chill pill. Legalized. This year’s figure represents a massive, 10-point bounce from last year and an even longer, stranger trip from 1969, the first year Gallup popped the question, when just 12 percent said pot ought to be sold like beer, wine, and alcohol....

For all these reasons and many more, the war on pot is over. A large majority of Americans favor legalizing it and that’s not going to change. No politician is going to ever again gain votes or win an election by talking tough about pot.

Read the whole thing.

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  • Lord Humungus||

    INTERCEPTION! *takes a toke*

  • mr simple||

    Don't sleep on Barry O.

  • sarcasmic||

    Wishful thinking.

  • sticks||

    So we will now have the war on non legal pot. Like the war on non legal taxis. Or non legal liquor. Or or non legal hair dressers. Or non legal coffin makers.

  • Zeb||

    I'll take it. We've actually seen a few positive movements on some of those fronts as well.

  • mr simple||

    As Rumsfeld often reminded us, there were dead-enders in Germany that fought for 7 years after the end of the war. I don't think the government is going to give up on something because the people want it or because it's illegal. Wasn't it a sheriff in California that said they would continue to treat marijuana as an illegal substance no matter what the outcome of the vote was?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    How do sheriffs in California get their jobs?

  • Jordan||

    Drug War is Over! (If Obama Wants It)

    In other words, it's not over.

  • Jose Chung||

    President Rand Paul? Getting ahead of ourselves, are we, Nick?

  • waffles||

    If only this article were printed in Time. Oh the comments would roast you Nick. Your optimism, I like it.

  • DWC||

    The drug war was "over" when Jimmy Carter was elected just exactly like its over now. A decade from now there will be a new push to "crack down" on the scourge of "drug abuse". Just ask chronic pain sufferers how over the drug war is a couple of years from now. Nothing is over as long as people can cash in at public expense on it.

  • Zeb||

    The war on pot may well be over, but yeah, there are still plenty of drugs whose prohibition is very popular. And restrictions on prescription pain killers look like just getting more onerous.

  • Robert||

    And I'm afraid that because of the gradualness of the end of the war on pot, there will be no momentum to end any of those other wars. So the anti-prohib'n movement will die down for a half century as the new line is drawn.

  • wareagle||

    give it a rest, Nick. Obama doesn't want the drug war over. No politician wants it over. These phony wars fuel govt growth and enrich the elected class' cronies.

  • H. ReardEn||

    Miley Cyrus twerked onstage as sexily as a Rhesus monkey with electrodes strapped to its genitals.

    Nick Gillespie - master of the simile.

  • prolefeed||

    No politician is going to ever again gain votes or win an election by talking tough about pot.

    I'm currently living in Utah, and I can assure you that except for parts of Salt Lake City, talking about legalizing weed is the kiss of death for politicians.

    I'm sure there are other parts of the nation which are similar.

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