(Stimulated in part by the insanity of this news item. Something something Mark Twain quotation.)
Completely legalized in all of the United States for all adults 21 and over (unless we want to be wink-wink hypocrites by making it nominally 21 while acknowledging that college kids starting freshman year will do it; do we want to be fucking wink-wink hypocrites or do we want to be reality-observant like Aristotle?).
The only question is how to make this happen. (The ironic part is that formulating strategy for swift-as-possible legalization would itself be aided by cannabis-induced semantic priming.)
I think there is already a basis for pot legalization in the Ninth Amendment. What would Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Locke, Sagan, Marley ("Get up, stand up..."), the Coens, Kanye, Glenn Greenwald and plain old common sense say/do? If consuming cannabis in the privacy of one's home poses no clear or present danger to the security or well-being of others or self, then prima facie we have a pre-political, nature- or God-given right to do so, which government is instituted to secure. It's plain, simple, and common sense - something we don't see enough of in the world, unfortunately. (A compromise measure would leave cannabis prohibition up to the states - a Tenth Amendment thing - but at the very least the wise tactic is to go into negotiations demanding as much as you can reasonably demand. And I rather like the appeal to Sagan and Marley on natural-rights and common-sense grounds.)
There also needs to be a common-sense plan in place for educating people about the benefits and hazards of cannabis use. (Available data indicate that it's not a good idea, in terms of cognitive development, for people in their teens to use weed - not frequently or in large amounts, anyhow.) In fact, such an educational program should be a required condition of cannabis legalization, because we don't want a big fuck-up. We don't want such legalization to go bad for no good reason, and then get blamed for problems that ensue from irresponsible use or what have you. The cognitive benefits (when used responsibly) as explained by Sagan need to be brought to the fore of the public's consciousness. (Something something semantic priming.) It's fucking Carl Sagan, man! There's no reason for anything he wrote to languish in obscurity. (Exhibit B of what's gone the hell wrong with this country.) The other health benefits are all well and good, but we have a planet to save from possible ecological collapse, and/or a technological singularity to reach ASAFP, and we need all the cognition-boosting resources at our avail to make this happen.
That, and a thorough, age-appropriate education in philosophy for as many citizens as possible, as soon as possible. (Might not happen by 4/20/2013, but the future is not determined . . .)
That's pretty much the gist of it in a nutshell.
The nice thing is that there's really no refuting any of it. (Perfectivism rearing its pretty head again....) Ah, it's neat having truth, beauty and justice on one's side. :-)
Can we as a nation get our shit together on this issue in a little over five months? If not, why not?
"Weed is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -UP, with revision from the original saying
UPDATE: Might as well make same-sex marriage the law of the land by 4/20/2013 while we're at it . . . Then
UPDATE: Wouldn't the fucking politicians just love a large-scale cannabis revolt right around April 15? "Legalize it and then we'll pay up. Deal?" (Hell yeah, that's way more than a fair bargain. Throw the other rights retained by the people in there as well, while we're at it.)
UPDATE: It had slipped my mind by the time I posted this blog entry, but the original Ninth Amendment idea planted in me quite some time ago is rightly credited to Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett. My "prima facie natural right" formulation above and Barnett's "presumption of liberty" idea amount to essentially the same thing. (Ain't integration fun? :-) / You can't refute perfectivism. :-) )