On May 5, 2013 Luis Figueroa interviewed me at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City, Guatemala regarding the war on drugs in the United States.
The discussion addresses how the US government took steps in the last few years to roll back portions of the drug war—reducing penalties related to crack cocaine, eliminating a prohibition on US government-backed college financial aid for students with prior drug convictions, and allowing the District of Columbia to implement a medical marijuana law the US government had suppressed for years.
In the interview I also predict that the US government will increasingly back down in its war on marijuana as more states and local governments legalize marijuana for medical and recreational uses. As the process develops, I suggest a patchwork quilt of different marijuana laws will materialize around the country, with no place enforcing total prohibition.
The big leap, I explain, would be ending the drug war beyond the war on marijuana. The war on marijuana can be ended more readily because, in the US, marijuana is perceived as more similar to legal alcohol and tobacco than are other illegal drugs and because marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug.
Watch the interview here: