HOW IS LEGALIZATION
OF MARIJUANA DIFFERENT
FROM LEGALIZATION OF
Legalizing marijuana involves both lower stakes and less uncertainty than legalizing any of the other major illicit drugs (cocaine/crack, heroin, and meth). Not that the consequences of marijuana legalization would be small or easy to project; legalization would be a big change with unpredictable results. But the stakes are even higher and the uncertainties even greater when contemplating legalization of these other drugs.
A principal argument for legalization of drugs generally is the anticipated reduction in crime, violence, corruption, and other problems associated with black markets. However, within the U.S. borders, most of those problems stem from black markets associated with cocaine/crack, heroin, and meth, not marijuana, so legalizing marijuana would not do much to solve those problems.
Marijuana legalization would also represent a smaller change from current policy than, for example, legalizing cocaine. While no modern industrial country has legalized marijuana, quite a few jurisdictions—including some within