Today, speaking to a CNN panel, Former President Jimmy Carter stated that he is in favor of legalizing marijuana. On the topic of the recently passed initiatives in Washington and Colorado, President Carter said it was in the best interest of the country for those states to be allowed to proceed with the regulation of cannabis.
“I’m in favor of it. I think it’s OK, I don’t think it’s going to happen in Georgia yet, but I think we can watch and see what happens in the state of Washington, for instance around Seattle, and let the American government and let the American people see does it cause a serious problem or not.
So I think a few places around the world is good to experiment with and also just a few states in America are good to take the initiative and try something out. That’s the way our country has developed over the last 200 years. It’s about a few states being kind of experiment states. So on that basis I am in favor of it.” – Fmr. President Carter
The former president further stated that he did not think the ending of prohibition would lead to a dramatic increase in use rates. He pointed to Portugal as a model example:
“All drugs were decriminalized in Portugal a few years ago and the use of drugs has gone down dramatically and nobody has been put in prison.” – Fmr. President Carter
As President Obama and his Justice Department contemplate what, if any, action to take as a result of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, we can only hope he listens to the wisdom from those who came before him. Recently, President Bill Clinton expressed his own dissatisfaction with the war on drugs, saying the anti-drug effort “hasn’t worked” in a newly released documentary, Breaking the Taboo.
“Well obviously, if the expected results was that we would eliminate serious drug use in America and eliminate the narcotrafficking networks — it hasn’t worked.”
– Fmr. President Bill Clinton
President Obama, please take the advice from the two previous presidents from your own party. Unlike these two former presidents, you still have time to take action and end the suffering and damage caused by the war on cannabis consumers.