Robert Rouse of Left of Centrist suggested spending some time focusing on the legalization [or, at least, the decriminalization] of marijuana. What a great idea this is--
[For the record, I favor its legalization -- but I'm a realist and I'll settle for decriminalization as a first step.]
Before prohibition of alcohol, lots of people were for the issue.
After it had been in effect for a while, when alcohol- related violent crime had risen to epic proportions, when bootleggers had taken to hanging around elementary schools trying to get ten-year-olds to try a taste, when our prison population had risen dramatically, etc. etc. many of those same people were clamoring for its repeal.
We find ourselves in the same position we were in then. The ' War on Drugs' has become a war on our citizenry.
The US has more people in prison and on probation/parole than any other country. This includes all the brutal dictatorships right on down to those countries that have taken sane attitudes toward drug use.
Completely legal clinics that dispense medical marijuana to people who have legal prescriptions for the drug are subject to being raided by S.W.A.T. teams.
Vast numbers of the people in our prisons have been incarcerated for nothing more than owning enough marijuana for their personal use. Their lives and those of their families are torn apart with children being removed from their homes, the adults losing their jobs even before they've been convicted of any crime and, often, the crisis ending in divorce simply so that the spouse left at home can maintain custody of the children.
All this has been perpetrated on our society in response to a drug that has been shown to have fewer risks than alcohol or tobacco, that is less addictive than caffeine and has several valid medicinal uses.
And it's all argued in favor of by people who claim to have our children's best interests at heart.
We would do well to question who the real beneficiaries are. The pharmaceutical and alcohol industries, perhaps?