The Times of India’s, the world’s largest English-language daily, Edit Page has endorsed legalizing marijuana in India. The editorial specifically mentioned the recently approved marijuana legalization ballot measures in Colorado and Washington State. From The Times of India:
With two US states – Washington and Colorado – voting to legalise the recreational use of marijuana, a similar liberal approach towards mild intoxicants in India is up for debate. [...]
If tobacco and alcohol can be sold over the counter and consumers expected to use their discretion regarding their use, there is no reason why the same policy cannot be adopted for marijuana. Besides, the benefits of medical marijuana are widely acknowledged, which bolsters its credentials as a mild drug. Taken together, an enlightened drug policy that legalises marijuana is needed to stop the spread of more dangerous intoxicants.
This shows the importance of the recently approves state wide ballot measure legalizing marijuana. Not only have they spark a national conversation in the United States, but they have already started to change the entire international dynamics around drug policy.
For decades the United States has been the primary force advocating for a world-wide “War on Drugs.” The United State government has put pressure on many countries, including India, to adopt tough anti-marijuana laws and has actively lobbied against efforts by other countries to liberalize their marijuana laws.
Now that two states have voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana the American government has basically lost its moral authority on the matter. Expect other countries to cite recent initiatives in Washington State and Colorado as part of a justification for moving forward with their own marijuana reformers.