In a post on opposingviews.com authored by the Libertarian-leaning Reason.org, the trend of Western states to legalize marijuana is compared to movements during prohibition to withdraw enforcement of the Volstead Act.
The upcoming legalization votes in Washington, Oregon and Colorado may force Democrats and Republicans alike to reconsider their stance on national drug policy. "If any of these ballot initiatives pass," the group writes, "it might be the most consequential election result this fall, forcing both major parties to confront an unjust, irrational policy that Americans increasingly oppose."
Though Oregon's measure is trending to maintain marijuana prohibition, the ballot initiatives in Washington and Colorado are looking hopeful for advocates of legalization. However, similar support was reported by polls in California's bid for legalization in 2010, but it fizzled and pot remained illegal.
The motivation for what may be the beginning of the end of the war on drugs? The realization that the constant costs of enforcement outweigh the benefits — if any — to society.
"That does not mean all these people are current marijuana consumers, eager for the lower prices, convenience, quality, and variety promised by a legal market," the group states. "But they, along with their friends and relatives, have had enough direct and indirect experience with cannabis to decide that prohibition costs more than it's worth."