Some critics go so far as to say that "illegal drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today" than ever before. This is a compelling argument and a powerful sound bite, to be sure. There's just one problem: It's not true.
Law-enforcement agencies are themselves "addicted" to drugs. They have grown dependent on the crime-fighting statistics generated by drug arrests. The employment of prison staff depends on extraordinary rates of incarceration.
This whole controversy raises questions about dominant liberal understandings of federal power. Since 1996, drug policy developments have put the lie to the federal government's reputation as a bulwark of civil liberties, humanitarian rights, and rational policy.
The president, in refusing to bow to the intimidation tactics of the drug enforcement industry, has paved the way for my state, and possibly others, to show the federal government a new way forward on marijuana policy.
This article is a plea to the citizens of Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Please do not surrender to the threats and scare tactics of the United States government, even if Eric Holder once again declares his opposition to the measure.