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I didn't say anything about licking batteries

I am not a pot smoker (nor an alcohol drinker, nor a glue sniffer) but i do think it should be legal.

Matthew Yglesias says that if marijuana were legal, it would be incredibly cheap (he uses this as a starting point to say that there's a lot of margin to place a hefty sin tax on it).

This would make pot far and away the cheapest intoxicant on the market, absolutely blowing beer and liquor out of the water. Joints would be about as cheap as things that are often treated as free. Splenda packets, for example, cost 2 or 3 cents each when purchased in bulk.

In my younger, wilder, ZMag days, i seem to remember the conspiracy theory being that the fact that it was so cheap was the reason that the alcohol companies got together with the government to make pot illegal. But Kevin Drum points out that our laws come from a UN treaty.

Probably nobody cares about this, but there's a reason marijuana isn't legal anywhere in the world: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, an international treaty adopted in 1961. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug under this treaty, which means it's flatly, totally forbidden. Countries can decriminalize marijuana use, but no signatory to the treaty can legalize either use or cultivation.

So it's not just a matter of getting either Congress or a state legislature on board for legalization. You'd have to get the United States to withdraw from the 1961 treaty, and that just isn't in the cards. Decriminalization and wink-wink-nudge-nudge lack of enforcement are about the best we can hope for anytime in the near future.

Getting marijuana decriminalized already seems like an insurmountable hurdle, even after having several former pot smokers in the White House. Revoking/revising a UN treaty just seems impossible. So the war on drugs continues...

By fnord12 | July 19, 2012, 4:42 PM | Liberal Outrage