Mayors wage war on the war on drugs, starting with marijuana.

Mayors wage war on the war on drugs, starting with marijuana.

IT’S NOT news, because it’s been happening gradually, but in Las Vegas at the annual meeting of mayors the subject of marijuana and the waste of time it is for police to focus on a non-gateway drug over real criminals was front and center. Mayors know how costly it is to focus on marijuana, which should be treated like alcohol.

Three cheers for the mayor of the sprawling city where we live, William Euille, in the Beltway suburbia area of Alexandria, Virginia.

“It’s akin to the spirit in the country today relative to gays and lesbians and same-sex marriage and so forth,” says William Euille, the first African-American mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, and a co-sponsor of the resolution. “People have come to realize that we need to stop punishing people who want to live their lives a little bit differently.” [Daily Beast]

Notably absent was Mayor Michael “stop and frisk” Bloomberg.

With all the other news it’s not getting much attention, but when it comes to what mayors and states spend money on this issue matters. Even conservative and Tea Party types were joining in.

The 180 elected officials attending the annual meeting of the U.S. conference of mayors in Sin City unanimously adopted a resolution urging the federal government to let states and localities make their own marijuana policy. The bipartisan sponsors—including, along with the usual suspects, leaders like Jean Robb, the Tea Party–backed conservative mayor of Deerfield Beach, Florida—seemed to show that the war on the war on drugs is now in full sway, a process that has accelerated since voters in Colorado and Washington state embraced weed legalization at the polls last fall.

[...] The mayors stress that they are joined not in advocating any particular approach to marijuana—be it decriminalization, medicinal programs, or full legalization—but simply in calling on Washington to let local communities decide the matter for themselves. And while gay-rights advocates might bristle at the comparison (which Bill Maher makes regularly on his HBO show Real Time) of their fight for equality before the law with the push for legal pot, Euille is right about one thing: public opinion has moved sharply in favor of both causes over the past few years. Even some longtime foes who maintain that marijuana is a “gateway drug” and that its association with criminality is inextricable concede that they are swimming against the tide, and that it is only a matter of time before some form of legalized pot is a reality of urban life in America.

Marijuana snuck into the George Zimmerman trial, with defenders of this man using it too, Mark O’Mara citing Trayvon Martin having used drugs, as if marijuana would make Martin aggressive or act out. It was one of the many offensive things implied or said outright by the defense.

I’ve never seen anyone decide to beat the crap out of anyone while under the influence of marijuana alone, though I have seen this happen many times with alcohol.

Marijuana should be decriminalized and the same rules for alcohol applied, especially when operating a vehicle. That’s where this is headed and it can’t get there soon enough.

When turning to the war on drugs and our southern border, it is nothing less than a national security issue. The war on drugs is about as effective as prohibition was on alcohol, only it’s much more expensive, especially in human lives, particularly minorities.

The Department of Consumer Protection will certify between three and 10 secured marijuana growing facilities. The law requires growers to pay a $25,000 licensing fee.

[..] The lure of starting a business in the emerging, and potentially lucrative, marijuana industry is strong.

So-called marijuana entrepreneurs have expressed interest in starting grow facilities in Bridgeport, Middletown, Watertown and West Haven.

[via Boston.com - h/t CTPost - Connecticut]