I (figuratively) shit on the National Review on a fairly regular basis. And for good reason! National Review has been the house organ for spineless mainstream conservatism for many decades now, and it's home to some of the dumbest commenters on the web. But everyone losing their shit over the New York Times coming out as pro-pot needs to give a little credit to National Review, which published an editorial in favor of legalization back in 1996. The Times editorial is a huge deal, and it's arriving at just the right time, but the National Review endorsement came at a time when conservatives were still big believers in the War on Drugs, and it's arguably the more courageous of the two editorials.
Their editorial was very conservative, railing against drugs from the outset.
Things being as they are, and people as they are, there is no way to prevent somebody, somewhere, from concluding that “National Review favors drugs.” We don’t; we deplore their use; we urge the stiffest feasible sentences against anyone convicted of selling a drug to a minor. But that said, it is our judgment that the war on drugs has failed, that it is diverting intelligent energy away from how to deal with the problem of addiction, that it is wasting our resources, and that it is encouraging civil, judicial, and penal procedures associated with police states. We all agree on movement toward legalization, even though we may differ on just how far.
Though they had to perform some moral backflips to fall on the side of legalization, the National Review embraced it as a conservative idea. I bring this up to demonstrate that conservatives have every reason to favor legalization. And I also bring it up to remind Washington State's fiscal conservatives that the Washington State Liquor Control Board has entirely botched the rollout of legalized marijuana in this state. Legislators out in the red counties should be hopping mad that an inept government bureaucracy is depriving the state of tens of thousands of dollars' worth of tax income. Maybe Olympia ought to make WSLCB reform a priority this fall?