In the ‘War on Drugs,’ signs of truce with marijuana

By Kevin McDermott 314-340-8268
Legalizing Marijuana An Education
ST. LOUIS • Marijuana, the most prevalent illicit drug in America, seems to be getting less illicit by the day.
Among recent developments that would have been unfathomable during the “War on Drugs” begun under President Ronald Reagan:
• The states of Colorado and Washington voted last fall to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the first states ever to do so. Though technically still a violation of federal law, the administration of President Barack Obama has responded with a shrug.
• The Illinois House voted last week to join the 18 states that have already legalized marijuana for medical use. The measure now moves to the Senate, which has passed it before. Gov. Pat Quinn has said he is keeping “an open mind.”
• The St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted overwhelmingly last week to establish a citywide marijuana statute that in effect reduces the penalty for minor possession to a traffic-ticket-level offense. Mayor Francis Slay is expected to sign the bill.
It’s not that the drug war is over. But people on both sides of the marijuana issue agree that pot has largely been nudged off the battlefield.
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