In 1977, Jimmy Carter urged Americans to conserve energy, and we didn't do it. Look where our inaction led us, to continued addiction on foreign oil, global warming, and to outrageous prices for gas.
In 1977, Jimmy Carter urged Congress to decriminalize marijuana, and it hasn't been done. Look where our inaction led us, to incarceration of petty smokers, billions of dollars spent on futile law enforcement, escalation of violence among producers and distributors and federal violation of states' legal and constitutional authority. In addition, if we had taken the extra step of legalization, we would not have lost out on the billions in tax revenues and industry profits.
Apparently, we (Americans) are in the process of agreeing to $700 billion in new debt in order to bail out the financial institutions in crisis. Though it's just a drop in the bucket, it is time for the long-awaited legalization of marijuana with conservative estimates of revenue generated at $16 billion per year.