A couple of excellent points were raised in comments on my discussion regarding Proposition 64.
Based on the title of the book she referenced, I think that Barbara was suggesting that the “War on Drugs” is worse than drugs themselves, and I have little doubt that such is the case. I suspect that the “War on Drugs” has caused infinitely more suffering and death than has drug abuse, and certainly we are doing this wrong.
I don’t have the answer, and I suspect that solution lies much closer to the legalization end of the spectrum than it does to where we are now. I think my argument yesterday was more that we need to know how to assess “responsible use” more than than it was taking a position in opposition to legalizing it.
And I'm talking about the users themselves, actually, as well as the law. It's by no means uncommon for people impaired by alcohol to insist that they are not impaired, and that phenomenon is much more pervasive in users of marijuana. We need a way to measure that impairment in order to help establish a subjective standard for users of the substance to measure themselves against.
Bruce also raises the problem of “citizen measures,” and many official ones, which are poorly worded, sometimes deliberately so. It’s not unusual to have measures so deceptively worded that a liberal position requires a “no” vote while appearing to require an affirmative one. The whole “citizen’s initiative” process in California is badly broken.