Does it seem that advocates for significant changes in how marijuana is addressed in public policy have become bolder in their pronouncements in recent months? On the national level these advocates appear encouraged by President Obama's selection to run the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Now we see that a California state legislator has introduced a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana in the same way alcohol is regulated.
"This legislation would generate much needed revenue for the state, restrict access to only those over 21, end the environmental damage to our public lands from illicit crops, and improve public safety by redirecting law enforcement efforts to more serious crimes," says state Assembly member Tom Ammiano. The Drug Policy Alliance, which supports Ammiano's proposal, says that while many local police agencies in California consider marijuana enforcement to be one of their lowest priorities, marijuana arrests still increased by nearly 18% statewide in 2007. The drug policy reform movement is not being shy about its view that marijuana should be treated more like alcohol than like an illegal drug. How do you think the addiction treatment community should respond to this, if at all?