Before last November's election, I made a grim habit out of pointing to the routine hysteria directed at California's Proposition 19 by basically all of the Golden State's newspaper editorial boards. So I'm pleasantly surprised to pass along this very good editorial in favor of full legalization by the Seattle Times. Excerpt:
Still, it is not an easy decision. We have known children who changed from brilliant students to slackers by smoking marijuana at a young age. We have also known of many users who have gone on to have responsible and successful lives. One of them is president of the United States.
Like alcohol, most people can handle marijuana. Some can't.
There is a deep urge among parents to say: "No. Don't allow it. We don't want it." We understand the feeling. We have felt it ourselves. Certainly the life of a parent would be easier if everyone had no choice but to be straight and sober all the time. But an intoxicant-free world is not the one we have, nor is it the one most adults want.
Marijuana is available now. If your child doesn't smoke it, maybe it is because your parenting works. But prohibition has not worked.
It might work in North Korea. But in America, prohibition is the pursuit of the impossible. It does impose huge costs.
Do read the whole thing, which includes the enumeration of said costs, plus discussion of some interesting-sounding legislation in Washington.
Link via Andrew Sullivan. Check out Senior Editor Brian Doherty breaking down the Proposition 19 defeat below: