Posted at 01:28 PM ET, 06/02/2011

Marijuana legalization: Is the war on drugs working?


(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)
Are we winning the war on drugs? “Nope.”

While that’s not a direct quote, it seems to summarize the conclusions of a high-level commission that aims to rethink global drug policies. In a new report, the group recommends legalization of marijuana and calls for drug policies guided by health care and human rights -- not criminal justice.

The group’s conclusions are the latest challenge to America’s war on drugs. The way Global Commission on Drug Policy sees things, democracy is threatened by the corruption and violence connected with the drug trade and U.S. efforts aren’t helping things.

The debate is particularly hot in Mexico, where drug cartels selling to the American users have led increasingly brazen attacks on fellow citizens in an attempt to maintain profits and fear. Some already wonder if Mexico is a failed state.

It’s an awkward time for the war on drugs. While federal officials have maintained their stance -- under both Republican and Democratic administrations -- state governments and voters have been approving new medical marijuana laws that are at odds with federal ones.

Even the changing political tides seem to be working against the war on drugs. The rise of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tx.) and other libertarians like fellow 2012 candidate Gary Johnson reflect a portion of American society that seeks less government intervention in the lives of citizens. Did you catch Ron Paul’s take on heroin at the last GOP debate?

YOUR TAKE: Should marijuana be legalized?

What do you think? Should marijuana be legalized? What about other drugs? Is our current approach working? Tell us what you think by using #MarijuanaLaws on Twitter and we’ll post some of your responses right here.

UPDATE: Thanks for your responses. Here are just a few.

@washingtonpost #marijuanalaws It should be decriminalized, industrialized, regulated & taxed, pay 4 educ pgms, & not allowed to advertiseless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPad Favorite Retweet Reply

Alcohol is alot stronger than weed, weed should be treated the same. It's perfectly fine for responsible people. #marijuanalawsless than a minute ago via DROID Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost Legalized and heavily taxed? Possibly. Should at least be reclassified outside of being schedule 1 narcotic. #marijuanalawsless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost How much $ would be saved by not prosecuting and jailing adults for consuming small amounts of marijuana? #marijuanalawsless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Strict #marijuanalaws should continue. We need to teach pot smokers to stop harming themselves, by harming them. We do it out of love.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost look to the Constitution. Does it say we should prohibit private personal choices - no. #marijuanalawsless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost Yes, #marijuanalaws should've been reformed years ago. Keeping the drug illegal has been senselessly expensive for years.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost alcohol is a bigger evil. Marijuana should be regulated like alcohol. Going to prison for weed is ridiculous #marijuanalawsless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost bad idea. We will soon become of nation who loses ambition to progress. #marijuanalawsless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

By T.J. Ortenzi  |  01:28 PM ET, 06/02/2011

 
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