Once marijuana is legal, the drug war as we know it will need a new life breathed into it to survive. Pot accounts for the vast majority of arrests and illicit drug users. It is much easier for the federal drug warriors to whip up hysteria over “tens of millions” of Americans using illegal substances than it would be to point to a couple million and say it justifies an exorbitant national crusade. Of course, full legalization would mean far less crime, particularly in Mexico, and a much healthier atmosphere for civil liberties.
The trajectory in public opinion warrants some attention. Younger Americans tend toward liberalizing the drug laws.