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I thought I'd give this a go - interesting topic, and seemingly all of you debating this are American. I'm not, I'm from northern Europe.

I find the marijuana debate here very interesting - it doesn't differ much from the that which takes place in my country at all, nor does it really from any European country I'm familiar with, apart from one point. I find this point quite interesting, and it's simply that the ban on marijuana, and all illegal drugs for that matter, originate in the US (Anslinger & Co) and was thereafter imposed on the rest of the world by questionable diplomatic means. By the latter I mean the first drug related resolutions, and subsequently making it the UN's business what drugs are legal and not, and the enforcing of this.

Now, my personal opinion on the matter is that all drugs should be legal. This is founded on the libertarian John Stuart Mill-derived principle of harm - what only harms yourself is only your business. I know there is a fiscal side to it with society having to make up for the harm - but in all contemporary democracies the public spending is so questionable to make this very little part of the party completely neglible.

Back to marijuana. The fact that certain states in the US are finally making the right decisions on what has been a complete catastrophe - first racist, now just plain irresponsible for both public health and the credibility of any politician pretty much worldwide - is a reason to rejoice. The role of the US can be described in many ways internationally, but no one can disagree that it is a trendsetter. That the trend it is setting is retracting what it once produced of flawed policy is even better, though I doubt anyone is expecting an apology.

The debate about weed is so often mucked up by the two armies, one who has a relative with a marijuana related nightmare, and the other who has had the full on benefit of medical marijuana, or simply enjoys a spliff. I sure know it takes a pretty steady hand to distance oneself from one's emotions enough to see past these personal experiences, but if one were to succeed, one would see that the personal anecdote can't justify any of the two stances in the policymaking - legal or illegal. The only thing that can justify the rule that everyone has to abide is that of firstly science and secondly common sense, and ever since the prohibition was first imposed and possibly much before that even both these have pointed towards banning marijuana as madness.

So it is with great pleasure I congratulate the pioneer states in the US, and that I hope the conflict between statal and federal law will not impede the progress in what is truly the making of great policy. At the same time I find it appropriate to nod in the direction of Uruguay, who are the only ones in the entire world audacious enough to face off with one of the most persistent prejudices, and thusly have fully legalised marijuana.

My two cents.
 
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