If CNN has it right, the Nevada cannabis-legalization initiative is going to pass. It’s ahead 55-43 in the lastest poll, and the proponents have half a million dollars in the bank while the opponents are struggling to get their act together. The “no” side gets another bite at the apple; to become law the proposition has to pass again in two years.

This isn’t one more “medical marijuana” propositionI; it’s flat-out legalization of use and production. (Legalization as far as state law goes, that is; cannabis would still be illegal under Federal law.)

I wouldn’t have expected this, and don’t quite know what to make of it. Nevada is always a special case; still, this may suggest that attitudes about cannabis are softening in this country, as well as abroad, as fewer and fewer voters remember a time when the weed wasn’t part of the social scene.

[For some thoughts about the substance of the question and the argugments around it, see here and here.]

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

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