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.