Marijuana Unites Ron Paul and Aaron Paul, William F. Buckley and Willie Nelson

A new website, Marijuana Majority, keeps track of prominent people who are "speaking out in favor of changing marijuana laws." The range of opinion represented by the assembled quotes is wide, from criticizing an overemphasis on criminal justice in dealing with drug problems (e.g., New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie) to advocating the general repeal of drug prohibition (e.g., Fox Business Network host John Stossel). Looking just at marijuana policy, the views include sympathy for medical use (a position shared by about four-fifths of Americans), opposition to arresting pot smokers (also a majority view), and support for treating marijuana like alcohol (which recent polls suggest half or more of Americans favor). Much of the drug policy criticism comes from familar sources such as leftish entertainers, journalists, and politicians (including Jimmy Carter, who has been advocating marijuana decriminalization since he was president), libertarians (including Milton Friedman, Ron Paul, and three Reason editors), and National Review (which has been dissenting from the war on drugs for three decades). But there are also some notable and perhaps surprising recent additions to the list of drug policy critics (most of which have been mentioned here at Hit & Run by Mike Riggs and others), including Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson, former President Bill Clinton, New York Daily News owner Mortimer Zuckerman, conservative columnists George WillKathleen Parker, and Mona Charen, and two legislators once known as zealous drug warriors, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.). Even former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly (no one's idea of a drug legalizer) get credit for suggesting that police might have better things to do than bust pot smokers.

Marijuana Majority aims to encourage dissent as well as document it, starting with several celebrities who might be expected to disagree with the current approach to marijuana but have not publicly done so yet. The site includes Twitter links so you can urge people such as Mark Cuban, Rihanna, Kanye West, Ben Affleck, and Bill Nye "the Science Guy" to take a stand.

More on George Will's criticism of the drug war, which falls short of advocating legalization, here and here. I discuss Charles Rangel's conversion here.

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  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Farced.

  • Proprietist||

    Yo, just legalize it. BITCH!
    /Jesse Pinkman voice

  • deified||

    George Will called medical marijuana a "mendacious," "strategy." That's a hell of a way to refer to the lived reality of people with Multiple Sclerosis trying to stave off spasticity or glaucoma patients who are seeking to prevent blindness (google "Robert Randall").

    George Will is a good writer and increasingly libertarian over the years (he used to write books with titles like "Statecraft as Soulcraft" and "Men on Base), but that was a heartless thing to say.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    On some level, it is. We don't want to just legalize it for sick people, we want a Trojan horse to get marijuana legalized altogether. Every time we decide to emphasize the cancer patients and downplay the ""insomnia"" and ""back pain"" cases, we're making the rhetorical choice to force them to face the most unpleasant part of prohibition. That can't be that's more dishonest than wanting to hide it away.

  • Big 'Orra||

    George Will called medical marijuana a "mendacious," "strategy."

    While that is way too strong to call all supporters of medical MJ liars, there are many who try to justify ALL drugs by pointing out the worst sufferers of pain.

    That said, just change the law already and stop jailing folks who ain't harming anybody but themselves!!!!!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • SIV||

    (including Jimmy Carter, who has been advocating marijuana decriminalization since he was president

    Carter was against marijuana as President. His administration sprayed herbicides on the Mexican crop that were (then) believed to be highly toxic to users. Jimmy Carter suupported poisoning much of the nations marijuana supply.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "Carter was against marijuana as President."

    He was against it, yes. And, he is and always has been a classic autocratic establishment type. However, Carter did support decriminalization of cannabis- fining rather than criminalizing the recreational toker. Not the most broad-minded position, but certainly more so than his contemporaries before and after.

    Also, the revolting spraying assaults on all sorts of plant-based drugs the world over has been a tactic used by this government since the 60's- long before Carter became pres.

  • SIV||

    Carter supported decrim BEFORE he was elected. What did he do to attempt decriminalization at the federal level?

    NOTHING.

  • johnl||

    It's bad terminology to call fines and harassment "decriminalization".

  • Big 'Orra||

    ^^THIS!!!

    It honestly means that government takes NO position whatsoever.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Medicinal marijuana makes me nervous. I've yet to see a clear vector from this type of marijuana use to recreational use which is exactly why the miserable DEA is feverishly developing a pharma weed. Once that becomes widely available to the med weed crowd why should the drug war stop on recreational use? The incentive to leave the back porch self-pleasuring toker alone just isn't there at the federal level.

  • SIV||

    Maybe, one day, medical marijuana will be as easy to get as medical morphine.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I didn't realize medical morphine was that easy to get.

  • SIV||

    It isn't. That's my point.

  • Brian from Texas||

    I remember hearing Pat Robertson's opinion on the radio. I don't think he's so much an advocate for decriminalization. I just think he is smart enough to realize there are far more serious issues this country needs to deal with.

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