If the spread of marriage equality wasn't enough good news for you, recreational use of marijuana by those 21 and older now is legal in the states of Washington and Colorado. So far, they seem to be surviving quite well. Perhaps these two beautiful states have concluded that the war on drugs is, for the most part, a racket, and they want to be on the right side of history as this new century rolls out.
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Many of us don't think of marijuana and its psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC), as anything particularly dangerous, at least not more harmful than having too much to drink. The Drug Enforcement Administration sees things quite differently, however.
The DEA, started in 1973 by everyone's favorite, Richard Nixon, has five "schedules" of classification for certain drugs. The higher the number, the less the potential for abuse. Schedule I substances include heroin, LSD, ecstasy and marijuana. That might not mean much to you, but when you drop down to Schedule II, it gets a little harder to wrap your head around, as, amazingly, that's where you find cocaine, meth and oxycodone! By the time you get to Schedule V, it's Robitussin AC and Lyrica. Looks like the DEA has some hatred for the weed.
The DEA answers to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Washington and Colorado's legalization of recreational marijuana use is in opposition to federal law. At the time of this writing, Holder had not weighed in and former DEA heads were urging him to come down on this pronto. This makes for a fascinating bit of state-versus-federal friction.
I don't think the two states can hold up the 10th Amendment to protect them. Holder can't stay quiet on this forever. I can't see his boss, the president, being cool about legalizing marijuana in any state.
It could get very complicated when you consider that jails might have to release convicts who would be innocent retroactively.
But for now, Washington and Colorado potentially can look forward to millions in revenue, and pizza places will be hiring. The gun stores will see sales jump as nervous citizens arm themselves to the teeth in anticipation of placid zombie stoners sitting around, not getting anything done (like Congress), or walking the streets like hordes of Lebowski acolytes ... abiding, man.