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.