During the 1992 US presidential election, it was a big deal when Bill Clinton admitted that he had tried marijuana once or twice, but never inhaled. However, this failed to trigger a serious discussion about drug policy.
Last week, former Governor Gary Johnson (R - New Mexico) announced that he was running for President. Johnson is not ashamed to admit that he used marijuana in his youth or that he used it medicinally within the last few years. He is a vocal proponent of legalizing marijuana. He does not support legalizing "hard" drugs, but does favor treating addiction to them as a health, not a criminal justice, problem.
Congressman Ron Paul (R - Texas) may also make another attempt for the Republican nomination in '12. Paul is completely opposed to the war on drugs, especially on the Federal level.
Maybe I am just overly optimistic, but it certainly seems like we are making progress.
I should note that nothing in this post should be seen as an endorsement of Johnson or Paul or the Republican party. I would welcome more Democrats stepping up and speaking out against the drug war as well.