One of the most striking juxtapositions of the 2016 U.S. elections is that on the same day that the nation elected to the presidency a candidate who employed openly racist language and fueled his campaign by denigrating and stoking fear of Mexicans, four U.S. states—notably including California—continued to roll back cannabis prohibition, a policy rooted in overtly racist demonization of Mexicans and black Americans in the early 20th Century. With over 20 percent of Americans now living in states that have voted to regulate rather than ban cannabis, the United States is in no position to slam the brakes on similar reform efforts abroad. The U.S. government has championed global cannabis prohibition for decades, but within the United States a shift is clearly underway towards a more humane and reasonable approach, opening the door for other countries to explore their own regulatory alternatives to the disastrously failed strategy of prohibition.

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Thomas Hawk