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Legalizing Marijuana

June 12, 2009 • Volume 19, Issue 22
Should pot be treated like alcohol and taxed?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

Cheryl Aichele (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Cheryl Aichele, a marijuana activist in Los Angeles who smokes pot to relieve chronic back pain, protests on Feb. 5 against the arrest of medical-marijuana dispensary operators in California. In March the Obama administration said it would de-escalate the Bush campaign against state-authorized dispensaries in California and 13 other states. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

From statehouses to the White House, attitudes toward marijuana laws are changing. California's top tax collector is endorsing proposed state legislation to legalize and tax pot, and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he'd like the idea debated. More than a dozen other states have enacted or are considering laws to permit medical-marijuana use or remove criminal penalties for possession. In Congress, Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia — a hard-nosed Marine combat veteran — wants marijuana legalization considered in a top-to-bottom review of sentencing and drug laws. Full-scale, nationwide legalization still seems distant, but the Obama administration has declared a hands-off approach toward California's medical-marijuana outlets, unless the state-sanctioned sites are determined to be trafficking operations. Opponents of marijuana legalization object on moral and health grounds, but the opposition appears to be weakening, especially in a time when the economic crisis is cutting into police and prison budgets nationwide.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Drug Abuse and Trafficking
May 02, 2014  Treating Addiction
Jun. 03, 2011  Teen Drug Use
Jun. 12, 2009  Legalizing MarijuanaUpdated
Dec. 12, 2008  Mexico's Drug War
Feb. 09, 2007  Combating Addiction
Jun. 02, 2006  War on Drugs
Jul. 15, 2005  Methamphetamine
Jul. 28, 2000  Drug-Policy Debate
Nov. 20, 1998  Drug Testing
Jan. 06, 1995  Treating Addiction
Mar. 19, 1993  War on Drugs
Feb. 23, 1990  Does the War on Drugs Need a New Strategy?
May 20, 1988  The Business of Illicit Drugs
Jan. 23, 1987  Experimental Drugs
Feb. 08, 1985  The Fight Against Drug Smuggling
Aug. 27, 1982  Cocaine: Drug of the Eighties
Jun. 11, 1982  Prescription-Drug Abuse
Jan. 23, 1976  Changing U.S. Drug Policy
Dec. 13, 1972  World Drug Traffic
May 27, 1970  Heroin Addiction
Jan. 27, 1965  Psychotoxic Drugs
Jul. 18, 1962  Narcotics Addiction: Punishment or Treatment
Sep. 05, 1956  Control of Drug Addiction
Mar. 28, 1951  Drug Addiction
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Drug Abuse
Marijuana Legalization
Substance Abuse
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