Politicians That Support Cannabis Legalization

The crusade to legalize marijuana continues to grow across the country while more and more prominent figures are equally throwing their weight behind the cause. Actor Morgan Freeman in 2012 was said to have spoken out in favor of decriminalizing marijuana, arguing that we should “just legalize it and tax it like we do liquor.”

While pot has many celebrity fans from, several political figures, journalists and business leaders have also gone on the record to support legalization. A couple of run down is done below on the American thought leaders who believe that marijuana should be legalized.

Some of the significant names are:

1. Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois

Over the years, I’ve been moved by the brave patients and veterans who are fighting terrible illnesses. They need and deserve pain relief. This new law will provide that relief and help eligible patients ease their suffering while making sure Illinois has the nation’s strictest safeguards to prevent abuse.” – on Illinois’ decision to legalize compassionate use of marijuana, press release.

Read: How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois

2. Nicholas Kristof, Columnist at the New York Times

“Our nearly century-long experiment in banning marijuana has failed as abysmally as Prohibition did … In contrast, legalizing and taxing marijuana would bring in substantial sums that could be used to pay for schools, libraries or early childhood education.” – New York Times

3. Barack Obama, Former President of the United States

“Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do… We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing. It’s important for [the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington] to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.” – The New Yorker

4. Richard Posner, A Federal Judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

“I think it really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana. I can’t see any difference between that and cigarettes. But also I’m skeptical about the other drug laws … The notion of using the criminal law as the primary means of dealing with a problem of addiction, of misuse, of ingesting dangerous drugs, I don’t think that’s sensible at all. That is responsible for a high percentage of our prisoners. And these punishments are often very, very severe … It’s all very expensive, and it’s a waste of a lot of high-quality legal minds, but it’s also a waste of people’s lives who could be at least moderately productive with having to spend year after year in prison. That is a serious problem.” – Lecture at Elmhurst College

5. Elizabeth Warren, senator (D-Mass.)

“You know, I held my father’s hand while he died of cancer, and it’s really painful when you do something like that up close and personal. … And it puts me in a position of saying, if there’s something a physician can prescribe that can help someone who’s suffering, I’m in favor of that. Now, I want to make sure they’ve got the right restrictions. It should be like any other prescription drug. That there’s careful control over it. But I think it’s really hard to watch somebody suffer that you love.” – Boston’s WTKK-FM

6. Bill Clinton, former president of the United States

“I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be. We really need a reexamination of our entire policy on imprisonment.” – Rolling Stone

7. Harry Reid, senator (D-Nev.)

“If you’d asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer — I would have said no, because [marijuana] leads to other stuff. But I can’t say that anymore. … I think we need to take a real close look at this. I think that there are some medical reasons for marijuana. … I guarantee you one thing. We waste a lot of time and law enforcement going after these guys that are smoking marijuana.” – Las Vegas Sun

8. Sheldon Whitehouse, senator (D-R.I.)

“We know that marijuana can provide relief for patients suffering from serious illnesses. I applaud Rhode Island’s effort to make it available for that purpose.” – on Rhode Island’s decision to decriminalize marijuana, GoLocalProv

9. Barbara Lee, congresswoman (D-Calif.)

“The people of California have made it legal for patients to have safe access to medicinal marijuana, and as a result thousands of small business owners have invested millions of dollars in building their companies, creating jobs and paying their taxes. We should be protecting and implementing the will of voters, not undermining our democracy by prosecuting small business owners who pay taxes and comply with the laws of their states in providing medicine to patients in need.” – U.S. News & World Report

10. John McCain, senator (R-Ariz.)

“Maybe we should legalize. We’re certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned. I respect the will of the people.” – Talking Points Memo

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