With political parties locked in mortal combat over the so-called fiscal cliff, wars and marital infidelity, there is little pressure to reform federal drug laws. While I agree with you that the nation’s marijuana laws are scrambled, your advice to leave the solution to Washington misses the point of recent state-by-state efforts (“Our View: Marijuana conflict should be fixed federally,” Nov. 17).

Federal law has structured law enforcement efforts on a misguided “War on Drugs” for decades. Based on the number of people residing in prisons across the country (the USA has more people in jail than any other country on earth, to our shame) and the prevalence of drug-related violent crime, we have lost the war.

With political parties locked in mortal combat over the so-called fiscal cliff, wars and marital infidelity, there is little pressure to reform federal drug laws.

Often, the best resolution comes from the collective efforts of individual states. Maine’s continuing efforts to modernize obsolete laws regarding marijuana use will surely become part of mainstream pressure on national leaders to revise the federal laws as well.

Mark MacLeod is a resident of Ogunquit.