With marijuana legalization (rightly) sweeping the nation, it has become too easy to think that nationwide legalization is both inevitable and imminent. But it’s not.
There are still plenty of states (Alabama, Maryland, Texas, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Indiana, and Missouri come first to mind) sticking to the same Just Say No attitude that has failed the Federal government in its war on pot. Why are these states stuck stuck in a time warp that makes them so reluctant to engage in some type of marijuana law reform? Their answers are just as bad as the Feds.
The governors of Maryland and New Hampshire allege that high rates of abuse have made them think twice about recreational legalization. The addiction statistics are of very little value right now until we have an opportunity to see what happens when pathbreaking states like Washington and Colorado proceed in their recreational programs. But on the flip side, we do have hard numbers of people incarcerated (especially of people of color) from the criminalization of marijuana and we also have hard numbers setting out the exorbitant amount of money the US spends on marijuana prohibition.
Alabama’s Governor Robert Bentley is against any type of legal reform involving either recreational or medical marijuana and at the National Governors Association meeting last week in Washington, D.C., the governors of Texas, Connecticut, Indiana, and Missouri all stated on CNN’s State of the Union broadcast that they have no interest in legalizing pot for adult use in their states.
So, if you’re in one of these seven deadly states, you can at least take heart from the fact that twenty states and Washington D.C. have fairly liberal marijuana laws on their books and many more are leaning towards full blown legalization (with Alaska and Oregon both expected to go that way this year). There is going to have to be a tipping point at which Congress will have to begin a real dialogue over federal legalization and that alone could change things in these short-sighted states.
There is a shelf-life on the failed war on drugs in all states and the sand is running down in the hourglass even in these seven deadly states.