Okay, this article is about a former U.S. President and Vice-President – but isn’t it still groovy?
Former President Jimmy Carter is almost pushing 90, but he’s still supporting an end to penalties for using marijuana – a campaign he started while in office more than 30 years ago.
CNN broadcast an interview with President Carter on Tuesday, during which the former head of state said he approved of the legalization of recreational marijuana recently passed in Washington and Colorado.
Here’s the video:
I am in favor of it. I think it’s okay.
President Carter also reflected on his long-held belief that people shouldn’t face heavier penalties for possessing marijuana than the harm actually caused by smoking it, which is virtually the equivalent of saying, “Weed is harmless so let’s stop pretending it’s a Schedule I narcotic.” The former commander-in-chief also made the point that after Portugal decriminalized most drug use, replacing penalties with therapy, drug use by the Portuguese decreased.
Carter was definitely ahead of his time politically. Back in 1979, then sitting President Carter said he favored the decriminalization of marijuana, and wanted to put a stop to imprisoning people for smoking a “marijuana cigarette.”
I support a change in law to end federal criminal penalties for up to one ounce of marijuana.
On to VP support of the natural remedy: former Vice-President Al Gore apparently was once an “enthusiastic recreational user, smoking sometimes as often as three or four times a week,” according to several of his friends. One friend told a Gore biographer: “We’d get stoned and talk about what we would do if we were president.”
Like father, like son: Albert Gore III has twice been arrested for marijuana possession, once in 2003, when he was too stoned to remember to turn on his headlights at night, and again in 2007.
While Al Gore may no longer partake (or does he?), he said back in 2008 that we now have a “better understanding” about marijuana that seems to be leading to a reduction in “draconian penalties” for possession. The former Presidential candidate also said he supports letting the residents of each state decide whether to legalize the drug:
I think states ought to have the ability to come up with regulations that reflect the attitude in those states.
With respected political leaders such as these backing marijuana decriminalization, and the majority of the pubic in favor of legalizing it, penalty-free recreational use of marijuana seems to be just around the corner.