I have mixed feelings about marijuana legalization. I used to support it for libertarian reasons,(I used to lean somewhat libertarian) but I don’t have any inherent objection to government prohibition of dangerous drugs, certainly I want the government to continue banning “hard” drugs. People say marijuana is better or not any worse than alcohol, I don’t think that’s a very good argument. It’s like saying “you’ve shot yourself in the foot, now you should shoot yourself in the hand, it’s not as bad!”
Somebody I know has a brother, call him “Steve,” who is 14 years old and is already a user of marijuana. He lives in a state where marijuana has been legalized and as a result its price has gone down. There are still many roadblocks in the way of opening and operating marijuana businesses where it is “legal” and as legalization expands and these roadblocks are removed the price should continue to go down.
Being 14 years old Steve has no job or other source of income, so his marijuana use is quite sensitive to variations in the price. Steve and his friends, now in high school, smoke during their lunch break and go back to class stoned. Interestingly enough Steve has no desire to try alcohol. And yes, libertarians, using marijuana at that age can be quite harmful.
I predict that marijuana legalization will expand to more states as my generation is solidly in favor of it and there’s no powerful ideological or interest group opposed to it. But I also predict that as it expands and the price drops a few, and only a few, notable advocates of legalization will decide they made a mistake.