This week, in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, President Bill Clinton says he believes people should not be arrested for possessing marijuana.
The self-admitted one-time marijuana smoker, who claims he did not inhale, told the magazine which hits newsstands on Friday, "I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be."
He added, "We really need a re-examination of our entire policy on imprisonment. Some people deliberately hurt other people and they out to be in jail because they can't be trusted on the streets. Some people do things that are so serious that they have to be put in jail to discourage other people from doing similar things. But a lot of people are in prison because they have drug problems or alcohol problems and too many of them are getting out, particularly out of state systems, without treatment, without education skills, without serious efforts at job placement."
"President Clinton's incredibly belated support for decriminalizing marijuana is a bittersweet moment for marijuana law reform supporters," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director. "On one hand, no less than the president of the United States supports NORML's long-held tenet that responsible adult marijuana smokers shouldn't be arrested. On the other hand, during Clinton's eight-year term in office, we witnessed the largest number of marijuana arrests in our history -- over 4,175,357 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges between 1992-99. NORML hopes that President Clinton, like former President Jimmy Carter, will commit his post-presidency to fighting for great social justice causes -- such as ending the war on marijuana smokers."
St. Pierre continued, "I wonder if Clinton's wife, Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), agrees with her husband's newly stated position on marijuana?"
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.