– Will the legalization of marijuana by Colorado and Washington force a truce in the U.S. war on drugs? Mexicans and Central Americans, tens of thousands of whom have died in the crossfire, can only hope so. Legalization is actually better for Mexico than creeping decriminalization, which expands the U.S. market for Mexican drugs instead of supplanting it. If the U.S. lets the state laws stand, the larger challenge will be ensuring continued cooperation in the fight against more dangerous drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The U.S. can advance that cause by de-emphasizing shiny helicopters and special drug squads in favor of support for judicial and legal reforms to fight corruption. It can also get rid of the “certification” charade, which conditions U.S. assistance to countries on their willingness to help it with its drug-demand problem.
— We hope that the 51st year of the U.S. embargo against Cuba will be its last. Obama eased some restrictions in his first term — and he won half the Cuban-American vote in November. He can now encourage free-market advocates in Cuba by lifting sanctions that even most Cuban-Americans don’t think serve any purpose — the sooner the better, given the flood of Cuban emigres that new travel freedoms may begin to unleash this month.