Legality is not the same thing as morality: we may think something is wrong, but it may still be legal, taxed and controlled.
Legality is not the same thing as taste: our judgment and someone else’s may be different—but our freedom to do something as long as it doesn’t hurt others, or the greater good, is, or ought to be, inviolable.
And legality is certainly not the same thing as getting rid of something. We may make pot or other drugs, or speeding for that matter, illegal—but it doesn’t make it go away.
If we want to discourage something or the bad effects that something may have, the best way to do so is make it legal, often: control it, tax it, keep it safe and out in the daylight.
So why is pot illegal? I don’t smoke—the Buddhist tradition in which I was raised, and still practice, regards excessive smoking as akin to inviting “clouds of ignorance into one’s mind.” But I don’t view it as a bad thing, as something that, if I did smoke it, would hurt others.
And as we’ve seen in cities where pot is, increasingly, legal to buy (if not smoke in public), it’s a boon to the economy—and probably generally results in reduced crime and ridiculous jail sentences.
All this may be obvious to you and I—but fact is, the conventional wisdom is still such that no politician with any power would dare suggest, let alone promote, the federal decriminalization of marijuana.
May we see that change within our lifetime!