Sunday, March 15, 2009

At a tipping point on marijuana?

I've seen wild anticipation in the drug reform community before, but maybe, just maybe, it's getting close to the time when the tide will turn. Loretta Sanchez, Congresswoman from Santa Ana, last week came right out and said it's time to experiment and California is probably the place to test the legalization of marijuana in some form or another. Of course as a federal legislator she has no control over California law. But she is chair of a subcommittee on border security of the Homeland Security Committee. Perhaps she has looked at all the violence in Mexico, spilling over into the United States, and determined, as Steve Greenhut, I and at least a few others have, that the best way to neutralize and defuse the violent cartels there is to legalize and reduce the profit margins exponentially.

Some months ago Kathy Smith and a few others of us (I think Judge Jim Gray was along) visited Loretta's district office and urged her administrative assistant to urge her to get out front on marijuana reform. We were mainly talking about halting federal raids on California medical marijuana dispensaries, but the conversation was pretty wide-ranging. I have no idea whether this visit played a role in her decision to go out front on this issue, but one can hope. At least we made the effort.

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