High Times

Marijuana's Big Break

Stoners rejoice: the economic crisis and the worsening drug war in Mexico are giving a boost to the crusade for the decriminalization of marijuana. Pot proponents argue the benefits of legalizing the drug would reach far and wide by weakening Mexican cartels that are fueled largely by marijuana use in the United States, saving the country at least $7.7 billion in law enforcement costs, and making more than $6 billion in tax revenue if it were taxed in the same manner as cigarettes and alcohol. But total legalization is unlikely, despite the fact that 13 states have legalized medicinal marijuana and as many as 50 percent of Americans and some high-profile politicians are open to its regulated sale. Opponents say legalization will lead to an increase in child users. “Legalization of marijuana, no matter how it begins, will come at the expense of our children and public safety,” a DEA document says.