The Beginning Of The End Of Prohibition


A reader sends the above photo – “not great quality but it’s the best I could get from my vantage point”:

I couldn’t help but think of you when I saw this scene a few minutes ago: a line stretching all the way down the block at a medical marijuana dispensary about a half mile from my house in Denver. Sales of recreational marijuana started at licensed shops [yesterday] morning at 8 am (many of the existing medical dispensaries got recreational licenses, such as the one people are lined up for in the picture). I don’t smoke marijuana, but I voted to end prohibition in my state in 2012, and I love your coverage of the issue.

Another reader on New Year’s day:

Predictions are hard to get right, and I’m not particularly good at them.  But I think today is the beginning of the end of the drug war as we know and loathe it.  Once legal marijuana gets established in Colorado, other states will probably follow their example very quickly.  I imagine it will legal almost everywhere in the US in 10 years, and that other countries in the Americas will legalize production to help fill the demand.

It’s hard to think about any really big changes in society without coming back to marriage rights. Those changes have happened so quickly, and it’s been so profound, that it seems like you have to compare or contrast everything else to it.  I believe that the collapse of prohibition will be swift, as the expansion of marriage rights has been, for the same sort of reason.  The opposition is irrational, and once the thing is tested in the real world, the argument will be over.

The drug war is an obscenity.  It ruins lives, decimates communities, and functions as the main practical foundation of racial inequality in our country.  The drug war is the main engine behind the creation of a criminal class in the US.  It’s a profoundly destructive and immoral set of policies.  The drug war is one of the worst things about America. And today, the drug war has been dealt a death blow.