Pot Prohibition Turns 75

And still going strong?

Pot Prohibition Turns 75
Courtesy of Drug Enforcement Administration

October 1 marks the 75th anniversary of U.S. pot prohibition. Will it last another 75 more?

If drug-law reformers working in three western states have any say, the answer will be a resounding no. Although voters in California and Nevada in recent years have come close neither has been able to get enough voters to the polls to get the job done.

Could this be the year?

Marijuana legalization measures next month will appear on the ballot in Colorado, Oregon and Washington – and it seems quite likely that voters in a least one of those states (reportedly, are looking pretty promising in Colorado) will take the plunge and vote to legalize pot.

Now, that doesn't mean it'll happen overnight, but certainly it could mark the beginning of the end. And, according to NORML, it couldn't come a minute too soon: Pot prohibition now leads to some 850,000 arrests per year, and has resulted in 20 million arrests since 1965.

If the majority of Americans have any say, pot prohibition may, at long last, be headed the way of the dinosaur.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Marijuana
APD (Finally) Ends Low-Level Marijuana Enforcement
APD (Finally) Ends Low-Level Marijuana Enforcement
Chief announces move, six months after Council told him to

Austin Sanders, July 2, 2020

Abbott Orders Texas Prosecutors to Enforce Marijuana Laws
Abbott Orders Texas Prosecutors to Enforce Marijuana Laws
Travis County D.A. says dismissals will continue

Kevin Curtin, July 18, 2019

More Reefer Madness
4:20 on 5/3: Rally for Pot-Law Reform
4:20 on 5/3: Rally for Pot-Law Reform
Million Marijuana March this Saturday in Austin

Jordan Smith, May 1, 2014

Justice Says Legalize It
Justice Says Legalize It
Retired Supreme Court judge weighs in on pot prohibition

Jordan Smith, April 25, 2014

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014


marijuana, Reefer Madness, drug war, marijuana prohibition, NORML

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle