In July of this year, Virginia will become the first Southern state to legalize marijuana, marking a major milestone in the failure of the War on Drugs. Katherine Ott Walter (James Madison University) traces the racist roots of the War on Drugs and offers sensible alternatives to dealing with addiction in America. And: In the early 1970’s, Richard Bonnie (University of Virginia) became the Associate Director of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. While the Commission ultimately recommended the decriminalization of marijuana, President Nixon refused to endorse the recommendation. But that didn’t stop a handful of states from decriminalizing marijuana.

Later in the show: Today, the majority of Americans favor marijuana legalization. But back in the 1930’s the US government pumped out bogus propaganda that incited fear and linked marijuana to violence. Scott Maggard (Old Dominion University) breaks down how the media shaped attitudes towards marijuana throughout American history. Plus: Marijuana has been used medicinally and recreationally for thousands of years. But Larry Keen (Virginia State University) says the science isn’t exactly clear about it’s long term effects on the body.

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