Jim Webb Is Open to Legalizing Pot


Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who has been an outspoken proponent of criminal justice reform, especially related to the war on drugs, told CNN today that marijuana legalization is one of the policy changes that should be considered:

"Well, I think what we need to do is to put all of the issues on the table," Webb said this morning on CNN when asked if marijuana legalization would be part of his criminal justice reform efforts.

"If you go back to 1980 as a starting point, I think we had 40,000 people in prison on drug charges, and today, we have about 500,000 of them," the first-term Virginia lawmaker said. "And the great majority of those are nonviolent crimes—possession crimes or minor sales."

Webb is not making any promises, of course, but his attitude is a major improvement over laughing off the issue as if it were not worthy of consideration.

Last month I noted Webb's concern that "we are locking up too many people who do not belong in jail." Radley Balko praised Webb here and here.

[Thanks to Tom Angell aty LEAP for the tip.]