It's Time to Legalize Marijuana. It's What Majorities of Democrats and Republicans Want | Opinion
- Newsweek · Sep 14, 2023
The majority of Americans now support marijuana legalization, seeing it as a waste of law enforcement resources and recognizing its medical benefits.
Marijuana legalization is also seen as a matter of personal freedom and choice, as long as it does not harm others.
Despite this public support, marijuana possession arrests continue to occur, with extreme racial disparities in enforcement.
While President Biden has taken some steps to address the issue, comprehensive legislation is needed to end federal prohibition on marijuana, including descheduling and expunging past convictions.
In 1961, Harry J. Anslinger, America's first drug czar, published a book explaining why 24 years earlier, he successfully pushed Congress to pass legislation effectively criminalizing marijuana. "A sixteen-year-old kills his entire family of five in Florida, a man in Minnesota puts a bullet through the head of a stranger on the road; in Colorado [a] husband tries to shoot his wife, kills her grandmother instead and then kills himself. Every one of these crimes had been [preceded] by the smoking of one or more marijuana 'reefers'."
Today, we look back at this reasoning as silly. We know that consuming marijuana does not make a person want to kill. Yet our federal laws are still largely based on these misconceptions from more than 85 years ago.
We live during an interesting moment in American history on the issue of marijuana…