Smart Republicans could leap ahead of the story and make it their progressive issue. They would finally be doing something to accept the inevitable and not appear to be in the way of progress.
Savvy Republicans could frame the marijuana-reform issue as one about personal freedom. They could also tout its tax-revenue-producing potential, so maybe other taxes could go down. They might even say out loud that it would be smart for government to make the most benign drugs more accessible, in a legal sense, than the most dangerous drugs. But they won’t do it.
In a party that only looks backward, today's Republicans don't seem to have the luxury of straying from the party line, to focus on the future.
So Democrats will be left to get the marijuana-reform thing done slowly, state-by-state, over the next decade. And, some poor fool will be the last guy to go to jail for weed possession.
In 1966 at boot camp (Great Lakes, IL): Robitussin (obtained from sick bay) mixed with a 7 Up was the preferred cocktail. Don’t remember drinking it but I can’t say I didn‘t. In the Navy I heard guys say they had caught a buzz from drinking something they extracted from shoe polish. Never known anybody who admitted to drinking hair tonic, but I’ve come upon the telltale evidence of it in an apartment house hallway.
No doubt, some people will do almost anything to escape their haunts, or at least round off the edges of what hurts the most. Then there are the legal but potentially lethal mood medicines people buy at pharmacies and liquor stores.
So, regardless of their legal status, what do you want from your medicinal substance?
Maybe pot isn’t your cup of tea, but when it comes to real harm-to-society and honest-risk-to-the-user, from what I’ve seen there’s no more benign buzz available than a righteous marijuana high.
This isn't something that needs presidential leadership. Every state should have marijuana legalization bills before their legislatures in 2014. Virginia?
This change is long overdue.