The legalization debate in the US

While in the Netherlands certain moralistic politicians want to close the coffeeshops and turn cannabis into an illegal drug, more and more Americans are in favor of legalizing the herb. Although the debate over decriminalizing marijuana has been going on for decades, only with the recent financial crisis have politicians started to reconsider the issue. Because let's face it: the war on cannabis is extremely costly, while regulating and taxing the good herb would generate an enormous amount of money that could significantly benefit the economy.

Two recent polls show that more and more American citizens are in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. According to a Washington Post / ABC News poll 46 percent of all respondents said they supported legalizing "possession of small amounts for personal use." While 52 percent remain opposed, that's down from 75 percent in the late 1990s and 78 percent in 1986.

The more recent Zogby poll showed a decisive majority of 52 percent in favor with 37 percent opposed and 11 percent not sure.

Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, stated: "All those ideas of creating extra revenues, I'm always for an open debate on it." And certainly a lot of debating is going on. Every day news stations like CNBC, CNN and even Fox are inviting experts to discuss the issue.

Will cannabis, 72 years after the ban, become decriminalized again?