Magazine December 31, 2020, Issue

Scaling Back the Drug War

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Proceed carefully, but proceed

The War on Drugs is fought less vigorously by the day.

As Kevin D. Williamson discusses elsewhere in this issue (“The Marijuana Majority”), several states legalized recreational marijuana in November, bringing the total number of states to have done so to 15. Oregon, where pot was already legal, further legalized the therapeutic use of “magic” mushrooms — and decriminalized the use of drugs across the board. Those caught with illegal drugs for personal use won’t face criminal penalties in the Beaver State, though they can still be fined $100 or choose treatment instead.

Especially on pot, these shifts reflect deep changes in

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