Over at Nobody's Business, a discussion and link to a potential benefit that might actually move the ball forward on legalizing marijuana: it promises impressive tax revenue even at lower prices.
Even so, I don't think we're within a generation of legalizing drugs, or even just marijuana. The Democrats are terrified of seeming soft on crime or soft on drugs, recognizing that the Republicans will eviscerate them with that issue if they head left. That's why criminal justice rhetoric has been, with few exceptions, fairly uniform among Republicans and Democrats for decades.
The Republicans could pull it off, if they headed in a libertarian direction. At the very least they could leave the issue to the states, which would be a principled and consistent federalist stance. But as I've said before, I think the Republicans are unlikely to kick their cultural conservative base to the curb, and that base is neither libertarian nor federalist. Legalizing drugs — even marijuana — would sound libertine and alienate that base.
So, for the foreseeable future, the position of Drug Czar will not involve tax policy.
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