Is there a good reason to keep marijuana illegal?

“While the use of cannabis has been illegal since the 1930s (when the name ‘marijuana’ was popularized by opponents to capitalize on anti-Mexican stereotypes), the ban – like alcohol prohibition before it – can be seen as the ultimate in intrusive government,” columnist Cathy Young wrote. “If the state’s going to tell us there are substances we’re not allowed to ingest or inhale, there had better be a very compelling reason to justify such intrusion.” Yet despite widespread public support for legalizing medical marijuana, and Colorado and Washington state voters having legalized the sale of marijuana for any purpose, few national leaders have been willing to touch this topic.