Another national Gallup poll found that 58 percent of American adults now think marijuana should be legalized -- and only 39 percent oppose it. This is a remarkable upsurge, a rapid shift in U.S. public opinion in the past generation.
As we've said before, morality constantly evolves, and snowballing acceptance of pot is a clear example.
Maybe this societal turnaround will make it possible for West Virginia's Legislature finally to authorize medical marijuana to ease the pain and nausea of cancer victims and other sufferers. It would be a compassionate step. We hope lawmakers give it serious consideration.
Across America, the tide of legalization keeps rising. Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., have approved medical usage, while two -- Colorado and Washington -- voted to allow recreational puffing. The U.S. Justice Department doesn't interfere with those state advances.
The police "war on drugs" has been a huge failure -- just as Prohibition of alcohol flopped in the 1920s. Endless prosecution merely fills prisons and jails with unlucky victims, while the flow of illicit substances never fades. It's time for a better approach.
When Colorado's pot legalization plan was on the ballot, former congressman Tom Tancredo, a conservative Republican, wrote in the Colorado Springs Gazette:
"Our nation is spending tens of billions of dollars annually in an attempt to prohibit adults from using a substance objectively less harmful than alcohol."Amen. If dangerous booze and deadly tobacco remain legal, it's absurd to continue criminalizing pot.