There is always a gap between what a political system stands for and the reality of everyday life under that system. Ours is government that ostensibly stands for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A government of, by, and for the people. Yet, when it comes to marijuana, democratic principles take a back seat to fear, ignorance, and political expediency.
Look at New York, Montana, and the federal government for recent examples of how governments ignore or actively subvert the will of the people.
In his first run for elected office, Mayor Michael Bloomberg admitted to smoking and enjoying marijuana. His exercise of liberty, his pursuit of happiness obviously did nothing to damage his chances for election--any more than it hurt the presidential candidacies of Bill Clinton (and running mate, Al Gore), George Bush, or Barack Obama.