The NYTimes reports today that despite enforcement on both sides of the border, the Mexican marijuana trade is stronger than ever. That’s according to law enforcement officials! Anita Bartholomew looks at the price tag of the War on Drugs and concludes America can’t afford marijuana prohibition.

And Michael Phelps’ apology is still making the news rounds.

Radley Balko has a letter he’d like to see (but won’t):

Dear America,

I take it back. I don’t apologize.

Because you know what? It’s none of your…business. I work my ass off 10 months per year. It’s that hard work that gave you all those gooey feelings of patriotism last summer. If during my brief window of down time I want to relax, enjoy myself, and partake of a substance that’s a hell of a lot less bad for me than alcohol, tobacco, or, frankly, most of the prescription drugs most of you are taking, well, you can spare me the lecture.

James Joyner sees a recipe for success:

The juxtaposition of these two stories at YahooNews this morning is a tad creepy: Michael Phelps acknowledges photo using marijuana pipe and Santonio Holmes goes from drug dealer to Super Bowl MVP.

Thomas Hawk wonders, who the hell cares that Michael Phelps smoked pot?

Surely had this man been enjoying a martini instead of a bong nobody would have given a rats ass. And yet marijuana is no more harmful to your body than cigarettes and alcohol. The “war on drugs,” complete with the propaganda that Michael Phelps in this case somehow did something wrong is idiotic. At present we are spending way too much money prosecuting and incarcerating people for crimes associated with marijuana when smoking pot and getting high really is no different than downing a six pack or if you’re rich, a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon.

The criminalization of marijuana has gone on too long. It has taken a huge toll on society enforcing it and ensuring that most of the money associated with the trade goes directly to organized crime and gangsters on the streets rather than a more sensible approach where it is sold through liquor stores and taxed like other arguably less than healthy things in our society (alcohol, tobacco gasoline, etc.).

It was the Great Depression and the need for tax revenues that finally got the United States to end the prohibition on alcohol. Maybe this most recent downturn and a need for tax revenue will finally convince people that marijuana ought to be legal as well.

A change I can believe in! (In fact, it was the top vote getter.)

AND REMEMBER: Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill was arrested on marijuana possession charges last week in Atlanta. From the Post Intelligencer’s sports blog (via Slog):

Said Hill: “I am embarrassed by the incident Saturday morning and the poor judgment I showed. Please understand my actions were not consistent with the type of person I hope to become.”

Let’s suppose the allegations against Hill are true, and judging by his statement, they seem to be. If Hill smokes pot — in this case during the offseason in his hometown — do you care? If so, why? And please spare us the argument that it’s wrong because it’s against the law. Jaywalking, participating in an NCAA Tournament office pool or playing poker on the Internet are against the law, too. That doesn’t make them wrong in the minds of most reasonable people.

RELATED: From the sky, Google Earth revealed a two-acre field of weed to Swiss police.

JOE WINDISH, Technology Editor
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