Can you smell it?

Change is in the air
Rob notices it

There’s been some talk of late around the drug blogosphere, and with drug policy non-profits, that we’re reaching some sort of potential tipping point for drug policy reform. I tend to agree. You could say I’m cautiously optimistic. […] there clearly is an appetite for — if nothing else — a healthy discussion about drug policy.

And it really is true. People are actually talking about a marijuana legalization bill in California. People are actually talking about the fact that prohibition is to blame in Mexico. People are actually talking about the problems with our prison system.
And if you recall, that was the biggest part of our problem — getting people to talk about it. Once we are allowed to have the national discussion, we’ve got the science, the reason, and the truth to prevail.
As Paul notes in comments, Pat Buchanan is seeing the light, and Vox Day in World News Daily takes that opportunity to call for conservatives to re-discover their rightful opposition to the drug war.

…for nearly 30 years, conservatives have been guilty of one of the greatest abuses of American liberties in American history, and have actively abetted the growth of central government by their thoughtless support for the war on drugs. […]
There is nothing š absolutely nothing š conservative about the war on drugs. […]
The fact that the Obama administration is now citing Mexico’s narco war as an excuse to limit Second Amendment rights should suffice to prove to conservatives that the time has come to end the war on drugs. Yes, Mr. Buchanan, America must raise the white flag in the drug war.

People are talking.
The ONDCP is actually hinting off the record at a shift in policy, and the hard core drug warriors have been reduced to bragging about their success in meaningless terms like “not winning, but not really losing either” (and, of course, the people are beginning to understand that the only metric that could possibly show them ‘not losing’ is that they’re so far still receiving money to fight their war).
This is a window of opportunity. I don’t think any of us knows what could come of it, or that any of us thinks that major change will now come easily (it will still be a hard fought battle against powerful funded government inertia and self-interest), but the chance of increasing public awareness (which is the most important next step) is huge.
We need to take advantage of it.
Update: (via Radley) Former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey

Questioner: …why not just legalize drugs? …
McCaffrey: … fortunately, since I’m not in public life, I actually don’t care. I care about 6th graders through 12th graders. If you’re 40 years old, and you’re living in Oregon, and you have 12 giant pot plants in the back of your log cabin, knock yourself out. [Note: he then goes on to say stupid things, but this was interesting.]

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