An Open And Honest Debate

by Patrick Appel

DiA calls for one about marijuana:

These are issues worth discussing in the same way we discuss the regulation of tobacco and alcohol. Unfortunately, our politicians don't feel free to do so. At a town hall earlier this year the president blithely dismissed decriminalisation as a way to boost the economy. The audience had a good chuckle. But it's little wonder that we're now seeing law enforcement back off efforts to stop Americans from smoking, growing or buying marijuana. That was the type of thing a government could afford during boom times, but not so much in an economic slump. California is expanding its medical marijuana programme as the state scrapes for more revenue. Prisons are strapped, so there's no appetite for turning minor drug offenders into wards of the state. It would be surprising if more localities and states don't lose their appetite for the drug war for at least a little while.