half of 18-25 year olds in CO binge drink. Second, we don't know over time whether legalization makes usage go up. In CO, the data show use by high school kids has declined from 2009 thru 2013 as they've legalized use, and was lower than the national average despite the permissive laws over that time period. In 2014, the data show use did go up for all ages, but we don't know if that will continue or if large numbers will use a little bit and then use trends back down.
I'm not sure I'd characterize decades of total failure, especially with pot, as bumps in the road. It's cheap everywhere and available to anyone with a phone, everywhere. Seriously - what even small skirmish has been won? And in the meantime we have the largest population of prisoners on the planet, in raw numbers and per capita. Seems worth considering whether that money can be better spent in treatment, education, etc.I don't think we should give up on the war on drugs just because we've hit some bumps in the road. Anyone who compares it to the prohibition era is overstating the problem. Drug use in this country is not nearly as rampant or widespread as alcohol use was during that time, and that's because we send a clear message about its effects on health.
And the parallels with prohibition are accurate - basically, especially with pot, the population doesn't respect laws against sale or use, which is why we're on a train to legalization or decriminalization nationwide. Most people know drugs aren't good for you, but they also know that pot is no worse than liquor or wine, which kill 88,000 per year versus almost none for pot.
The problem is there is just no data that show legalization will cause more kids to smoke pot. I cited the study in CO above. This study looked at medical marijuana laws elsewhere - no change in teen use. Which isn't that surprising because pot is simply easily available everywhere, and it's not regulated at all, so ALL sellers will sell to anyone with the money.At the end of the day, to me, it's about kids. If the only people smoking weed were old hippies from the Tommy Chong era, I wouldn't have any problem with that. To those people, I say toke up man, you earned it. But I'm not for anything that encourages, or imparts an air of permissiveness toward weed smoking among people under the age of 30.
I guess I don't see why not. Pot is a drug, alcohol is a drug..... Roughly 40,000 die each year just from alcohol USE - the health effects. Another 50,000 die in accidents, drunk driving, etc. Pot is objectively far lower on both counts - roughly zero die from use alone. Objectively it's impossible for me to make a case against legal use by adults for any reason.I think I could get behind legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, although I'm on the fence there. For recreational purposes to anyone over 18.... hell no.