Prohibition

U.S. Falls Behind in Drug Policy

"Prohibition" is the American mantra, as other countries loosen their laws

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Olympics season is upon us, and there's no shortage of news in which the United States is heralded as the global frontrunner. Beyond athletics, America tends to pride itself on being innovative and forward-thinking on many issues of law and policy, professing to set an example for the rest of the world. But when it comes to our stagnant approach to drug policy, other countries have surpassed us repeatedly by

leaps and bounds. From Portugal to Switzerland to Guatemala, it's as if the rest of the world aced a public health class that the United States skipped because it was too busy fighting a failed, costly "war on drugs."

This time, it's Uruguay outpacing us, setting a bold example by unveiling plans to introduce legislation that would create a legal, state-run marijuana industry in hopes of quelling drug cartel violence, forcing illegal dealers to close up shop and generating revenue that can be put toward drug rehabilitation programs.