As I write this, posessing pot in most places on the planet is illegal. There are a number of states in the US considering making small amounts of pot legal to carry for personal use, but it seems unlikely that they will ever make it into law. To this day the DEA and other government organizations spread misinformation and downright lies about it. This is counterbalanced by many of the pro-pot groups doing the same, in favor of the drug. The one solid truth that I can sieze on is that it is, overall, less dangerous than our legal drug, alcohol. So why is it still illegal? In my opinion, because too many careers in law enforcement, politics, and even the underworld depend on it.
Unfortunately this creates a nasty situation. Demand for the drug is very high and will not be going anywhere any time soon. “Stepping up” the war on drugs won’t work as long as the demand is there. The latest round of commericals on TV are placing the blame for violent deaths of innocents by drug cartels on the users of the drug, but I place it on the politicians creating the insane drug laws. Make the drug legal and allow decent people to sell it out inthe open and you completely destroy the market that the government has created. That is the only way to remove the violence connected to the drugs.
So the question is, will it be legal in 10 years? I’m guessing no. Even though a massive portion of the population in the US use it regularly, there are no real signs of the current situation changing any time soon. Lets face it, for a politician seeking election taking a stand on pot use is an easy way to win votes. So many people take the misinformation they are fed by the government at face value that its an easy sell. Too many careers in law enforcement depend on it being illegal that they cry bloody murder every time someone proposes legalizing it, even when those people have been comissioned by the government to study the situation. What do they do? Ignore the bulk of the research and sieze upon the areas that lend credibility to the idea that it needs to stay illegal.
Well, you’ve sort of phrased this more like a GD, and it doesn’t have a definate, knowable answer (until 10 years have passed), so you might want to ask a mod to move it either to GD, or more likely to IMHO, since this is sort of a poll.
To answer your question, I don’t really see widespread legalization of marajuana in the US within the next 10 years. Even though it’s a hot button issue to some people, most people don’t seem to feel strongly enough about the issue either way to spur motion on it. Putting aside small groups like NORML, I don’t think there’s an active enough movement to see legalization happen.
I also don’t think that people in law enforcement are as anti-legalization as you think. Some are, of course, but I think there’s also a feeling among some cops that arresting people for small quantities of marajuana is a waste of time, ties up the court system and takes them away from doing other things.
I think the reason for this is that, unfortunately, we have a strong Puritan streak in our culture. I think the underlying attitude is, even if pot isn’t that dangerous, why should we allow something whose primary motivation is pleasure seeking, and worse, will distract people–especially children–from constructive pursuit?
I don’t agree with that ethic myself but I think that’s a big part of why pot is illegal.
Why not ask the people in S.C., California, just up the coast from me, I hear some people were giving out free pot the other day for medical use at city hall. Hmmm… Are you talking about non-medical use?
Oh, and I suppose I should answer the question posed in the OP. As I see it, legalization will come in ten to twenty years in the US. Within that time, the War on Americans Who Use Drugs will require the arrest and detention of uncomfortably large numbers of middle-class white people, and will become politically difficult to support.
To quote Charles Whitebread in his history of marijuana laws:
I just read a very amusing and interesting book called Pot Planet. The author traveled around the world examining local practices with regard to marijuana use and law enforcement. The book deals with a lot of the issues that you touch on.
I don’t see recreational pot use being legal within 10 years. “Drugs” is such an easy scapegoat. It is possible that possession of small amounts will no longer be prosecuted though. Hemp production will probably be legal–there’s money in it! Medical marijuana will probably be either legalized or decriminalized.
I think a key element will be for non-users to support legalization. I do.
Yes, it will still be illegal in 10 years, in the US as well as in Europe. Even down here in Holland, where it is condoned, it is still illegal and there aren’t any plan to make it legal. The thing is that most people see Cannabis as drugs, and drugs are bad…m’kay ?!?
The first country to legalize it will get in deep trouble with it’s neighbouring countries as drug-tourism will grow rampant. No politician will want to burn their fingers on this one.
I think the best we can hope for is that within a few years it will be condoned in most (Western) countries and states.
I mean, I can see the reationale behind “manufactured” drugs being illegal but, we’re talking about something’s as natural as a tree.
If someone figured out that rolling and smoking regular Kentucky Blue grass gave you a head rush, would they then declare that all lawns must be dug up?
It really is a little weird. Not a smoker myself but, it sure does seem contradictory.
I guess it would be just a little strange to legalize it. I mean, I’m sure there are people who think, “They should legalize it and then it can be taxed and the goverment would be pulling money hand over fist”.
The problem with that is, if it were legalized, why buy it? Just grow it in your back yard and that’s that.
You can sit in your arm chair and pound down drink after drink until you throw up on yourself. That’s ok. Just don’t drive.
I really don’t see a difference in being able to sit there in your chair chain smoking joints. Just don’t drive.
I totally agree with you, Omnipresent but I think it has to do with history. Since alcohol had been legal for quite awhile, it was impossible to make it illegal. If they make pot legal now, they will never be able to undo that. The same goes for a lot of other drugs, which aren’t half as addictive as they would want you to believe. (Except for some people who have an addictive personality).
They will just maintain the status quo and maybe allow people to smoke pot at home, but they will never allow for it to become a legitimate business.
Do you buy beer? 'Cause it’s easy enough to make, you know. Anybody can make their own, if they want to, but very few people bother because it’s too much trouble. Much easier to pop over to the grocery store and buy a six pack.
I’m sure the same situation would apply with pot. I don’t smoke anymore, but if I did, and it were legal, I know for sure that I’d be buying my joints at the store rather than going to all the trouble of growing my own. It takes a lot of work to produce high-quality pot.
I’ve never smoked dope, but I say it should be legalized. Even most anti-drug people will admit that pot isn’t really any worse than alcohol or tobacco. Only the extreme fringe put it in the same league as drugs like cocaine or LSD.