State legislatures' decisions to rescind alcohol prohibition helped pave the way for the 18th Amendment to be repealed by Congress, but there were also holdouts among states in the Union that maintained prohibition laws on the books decades after its repeal on the federal level.
With California first allowing the sale of medical marijuana to chronically ill patients in the 1990s, and now Colorado and Washington fully legalizing the drug, marijuana legalization advocates are understandably hopeful that history is repeating itself.
For starters, before the 18th Amendment was repealed, it was only irregularly enforced and, in its twilight years, practically ignored altogether. Although the even-handedness of marijuana arrests and prosecutions could certainly be called into question, marijuana drug enforcement has been a centerpiece of the ongoing war on drugs initially waged by the Controlled Substances Act. As Reason Magazine reports, the DEA issued the following statement after the Election Day result: