As A Big UN Drug Policy Summit Draws Near, Will Marijuana Activists Become Global Drug Reformers?
Published on 3/29/16
Marijuana policy reform has been a goal of advocates since the "war on drugs" started many years ago. As groups like Marijuana Majority and Marijuana Policy Project continue to achieve success, the question on their minds is, will these advocacy groups have a purpose after marijuana has become legal? Groups like Law Enforcement Against Prohibition are seeing a bigger picture that includes not just marijuana, but legalizing all drugs. While marijuana is far more popular than most other illegal drugs, drug legalization advocates are more concerned about personal freedoms and halting a broken system that creates more damage than the drugs themselves. The issue at hand is getting more support from pro-marijuana groups. Allover the country there are advocate groups fighting to take small steps towards legalizing cannabis, but pot is in the limelight and obviously the primary issue for many. Marijuana legalization has many benefits and it's easy for the general public to see that a plant less harmful than alcohol should not have such dire consequences, however when supporting policy to regulate all drugs, the "safer than alcohol" argument does not fly. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, is one of the primary advocates trying to introduce a worldwide drug policy that moves past the failed prohibition. His mission is to bring the pro-marijuana people into the future of prohibition reform and truly end the war on all drugs.
The growing push for drug law reform beyond marijuana legalization could also lead to divisions among cannabis advocates. Should the U.S. marijuana movement, which has become a political and financial force to be reckoned with, help lead the vanguard in changing drug laws around world? Or should cannabis activists and industry stakeholders stay focused on national marijuana reform, since that could be their best shot at changing the global dialogue on drugs?