A comment that I made at theagitator.com:
The marijuana laws exist for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is to take something normal and useful and safe (the WD40 of the drug world) and make it illegal. Its very ubiquity and utility guarantees a demand for more and more enforcement, “necessitating” harsher laws, more police, more raids, etc. ; it also serves as a backup justification for any other mistakes they make. (A raid of the wrong house magically becomes a righteous raid because, almost inevitably, some cop is going to find a joint.)
Marijuana/cannibis isn’t illegal because we need protection from it. It’s illegal because many forces within the state need it to craft a growing, authoritarian, moralistic, anti-constitutional police state. If cannabis had never existed it would be something else.
Marijuana is not the End which necessitates the Means of an aggressive police state. It is the Means by which the End of the aggressive police state is created, justified and maintained.