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Opening Arguments

And so it begins

Don't go getting your bongs from under the basement stairs just yet, but . . .

Attorney General Eric Holder has signaled a change in policy on medical marijuana.

The nation's top law enforcement officer has told reporters federal agents will target marijuana distributors that violate both federal and state law — a departure from the Bush administration which targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in California, even if they complied with that state's law.

Letting California proceed with its medical marijuana will encourage more states to pass similar laws. That, added to the fact that more jurisdictions are starting to ignore small amounts of non-medicinal marijuana use, will accelerate the growing acceptance ot pot. Even if the Obama administration is followed by a more drug-repressive one, there may be too much tolerance in the culture by then to turn back the clock.

I'd be OK with that. We've wasted far too much time and effort and money battling something that is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco either one and ruined a lot of lives in the process. The post hoc argument about marijuana being a gateway drug to harder stuff is increasingly unconvincing. And regulating and taxing the sin would be more profitable for the state and better for our efforts to keep the stuff out of young hands. They have an easier time now getting marijuana than they do alcohol.

Don't go looking for this case to me made on our editorial page anytime soon, by the way. This is one of those areas where my libertarianism is stronger than my conservatism, but the page is still more on the conservative side. That's OK, too. Lots of room on the right.