The most fertile ground for sensible legalization is in the handful of states that don’t have medical marijuana, voter initiative, or private liquor stores.
1. No legal medical marijuana. Ongoing, permanent special rules for medical use make no sense under full legalization. But medical use is a box canyon, as they say out West – you can get in, but you can’t get out. Even now, Colorado and Washington are struggling with parallel untaxed distribution systems, as patients say “Don’t tax my medicine.”
2. No initiative process. Let the Legislature, not activists, write the language of the law. The Legislature is likely to come up with a sustainable plan.
3. State liquor monopoly. The 17 states that allow sales of spirits only through state-owned stores know how to control an intoxicant – limiting its use and getting revenue from it. State stores reduce the profit motive for dealing in intoxicants.
Here’s my list of the target states: