Marijuana majority: well-known liberals and conservatives advocating for legalization

Marijuana Majority is a well-designed website that has quotes from hundreds of religious leaders, political figures, law enforcement officials, celebrities, and other notable figures, all advocating for the decriminalization of cannabis. I'm happy to see that Cory and Xeni are on the list!

“I think it's about time we legalize marijuana... We either put people who are smoking marijuana behind bars or we legalize it, but this little game we are playing in the middle is not helping us, it is not helping Mexico and it is causing massive violence on our southern border... Fifty percent of the money going to these cartels is coming just from marijuana coming across our border.” -- Glenn Beck

“There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana...$7.7 billion [spent on prohibition's enforcement] is a lot of money, but that is one of the lesser evils. Our failure to successfully enforce these laws is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Colombia. I haven't even included the harm to young people. It's absolutely disgraceful to think of picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is the denial of marijuana for medical purposes.” -- Milton Friedman


  1. but but but drugs are bad mmmkay.
    er that is i mean to say nonprescription drugs are bad mmmkay… oh crap some of the states are allowing it to be prescribed!?
    ummm we have to stop drugs!!!!  They are ruining lives!!!
    Because nothing hurts more than some pothead buying all of the funions before you can have any…

    Why is it everyone but Congresscritters can see this is wasteful?
    Is the prison lobby paying out that much cash?
    Regulate and tax it, of course the street price will crash… but that is a good thing. 
    The price is only high in response to your efforts to stomp it out completely.

    1. The prison lobby isn’t just paying out that much cash, but in some sectors it *is* the economy.  It’s not just the value of the prison contracts; it’s the value of the slave labour from prisoners.  Your military, for example, is now heavily dependant on prison labour for weapon systems, vehicle refurbishment and component construction… cheap and without all that inconvenient health and safety protection.

      1. ^ he’s got it right, but even then there are still more players…. every policemans union in the country, every Corrections officers union, every allied union to them.  Millions or billions in facilities contracts and support, from building the prisons, to operating the commisary, to bringing in the food.

        lawyers, bondsmen, seizures being used to supply police departments… the list goes on. at this point  imprisoning people is one of the largest industrys we’ve got left.  

    2. I would glady give up the right to smoke if the government would take the stalk of the plant and change the world with it. The plant itself has much to give then a “high”. You can print paper on it, make clothing out of it, installation for houses that breathes, oils, the plant has omega 3’s in it (for those who don’t know, that’s brain food). The possibilities are endless for making the world a better place with it. So I say, chop off the flower (what people smoke to get high) and take the stalk to change the world. Theres better things to do with the plant then decide whether to smoke it or not.

    1.  He’s right though. Presidents who endorse a scorched earth policy on drugs despite having done them themselves are flaming hypocrites. Clinton, Bush and Obama, if policed by their own policies, would never have been president.

  2. It’s never been about a rational policy to stomp out pot-smokers and always about a rational policy to stomp out black, brown and sympathizers. And that my friends is why you will never be able to light up a doobie at a concert without the inherent paranoia of being caught by the man.

    Edit: Though I’m certainly not trying to dissuade anybody from trying to bring a rational drugs policy to the US. It needs to happen but still, fat, fucking, chance.

    1. Eh, here is Austin, the only reason we stopped smoking weed in any and all auditoriums was because smoking in general  started being banned there. Hell, you used to be able to  get a good contact high just from entering the Texas Union theater when the Saturday Morning Fun Club was on. And don’t forget Armadillo World Headquarters…

  3. What I am really confused about is – Who actually supports marijuana prohibition !?!?

    (I know, rhetorical question – it’s racists (negroes and spics smoke dope), companies invested in offering different drugs (beer and Pharma), companies that profit from incarceration (law enforcement and prisons), or groups that work aggressively to stop critical thinking (organized religion).

    I’m from Vancouver, Canada…  If Washington State legalizes it, the dominoes are going to fall…

    1. I think we’re all just waiting for those drug companies to purchase the land and seed they need to grow it themselves. The day after they’ve got the packaging design for Pfizer-brand Marijuana finished, it will be completely legal.

      1. lol  – so they’ll legalize Pfizer-brand Marijuana, and then kick in our front doors for growing legal marijana, but a copyrighted plant…  I believe in this dystopian future, man…  gotta keep justifying those big police budgets…

    2. Does have to be a wacky conspiracy? Can just be that people believe what they were raised to believe? We’ve had anti-drug education and propaganda in this country for a long time; hypocrisy aside, maybe being against recreation drugs is a part of American culture the same way (hypocrisy aside) conservative attitudes about sex are. (That is, subject to change, but slowly, and nobody’s fault but cultural inertia.)

      1.  Actually, it’s not a wacky conspiracy at all. You don’t think that public opinion is directed in any way? You don’t think that what we hear and see around us influences what we buy? Marketing is the wacky conspiracy if you want to call it that. Booze is good but weed is bad. American culture is all about profit.

  4. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the world high level police are still spouting this sort of bullshit:

    “People think it’s a soft drug, [that] it’s not all that bad. It is bad for the health, but there’s an attitude that it’s only dope, there’s nothing wrong with smoking it. There’s really no safe use of cannabis . . And it’s a driver of a lot of crime that we deal with today.”

    Actually Mr Fontana, there is a safe level of use and the only way that marijuana really drives crime in Australia (or anywhere) is that its illegality makes it a profitable crop for criminals. If we were all allowed to grow it, or if we could drop into the local liquor & weed store and buy a packet of joints along with our 6 pack of beer, things would be very, very different.

    1.  I understand that in Saudi Arabia, and some other countries in the area, they talk about alcohol in the same way, which rather confirms your point.
      Of course, alcohol is a lot more closely related to anti-social behaviour, addiction, and poor health than marijuana. Must be why one’s legal and the other isn’t.

  5. There are probably more pot smokers in California than there are registered Republicans.  Shouldn’t we just get the job done?

    On the other hand, it’s effectively legal here already.  If you don’t have a medical marijuana permit, the fine for simple possession of up to an ounce is $100, which means that the young transient hippies in the park can carry around enough to sell without being busted as dealers, while the dispensaries can provide different varietals to their “coop member” patients.  The real issue is getting the Feds to leave the decision up to the states – the Republicans are supposed to be in favor of that sort of thing, and the Democrats who aren’t worried about Republican political correctness can hide behind the medical excuse for a few more years.

    1. “States rights” does not mean what you’re thinking it means when uttered by Republicans. 

      1. I’m sure that we could heal the divide by having some states legalize marijuana growers but also legalize slavery to provide field workers.

  6. Very interesting. I was unaware that the Methodist Church and the Episcopalians actually took an official stance on this issue. I suppose I’ll have to grudgingly increase my opinion of Sarah Palin and Michael Medved, too.

  7. Look at the curiously diverse list of people who support it. Who’d think that Snoop Dog and Pat Robertson would agree on any political issue?

  8. First time poster, but I have been thinking about this issue.  If we legalize it, consider who owns and operates the existing infrastructure that is used to manufacture and distribute the vast majority of marijuana to the US?  It is, I gather, some pretty bad and ruthless guys, but these guys are not dumb.  They may be criminal now, but will the cartels not jump at the opportunity to call a truce, incorporate themselves, and reap the monetary benefits of changed US policy?  The US government isn’t going to grow the pot.  Neither the boutique farmers in California nor the guys on the slopes of the Daniel Boone N.F. can ramp up production to meet demand or do it as cheaply as the established farms outside the US.  I guess I’m asking about the future consequences of rewarding the bad (under current law, they are doing something illegal, and to suggest that tragedy cannot be laid at the feet of drug traffickers is silly….It is not policy alone.) guys.  Sure, maybe, the tax benefits will allow everyone to turn a blind eye to who we’ve contracted with, but I hate to consider how so often and easily money so usually compromises our ideals  I will wrap this up by returning to my assertion that the cartels have the infrastructure to distribute: my guess is that most casual buyers don’t consider the infrastructure through which they purchase.  The cartels, and all the awfulness represented by or attributed to them, are closer to us than we like to believe, aren’t they?  Do we want to legitimate them?  I just get bored by the constant chant of “legalize it!”  Do that, but how? Does Philip Morris have a contingency plan for legalization? Since the buyout, a whole generation of tobacco farmers have been lost; will they suddenly reappear ready to supply marijuana?

    1. Do we want to legitimate them?

      Given the alternative of putting hundreds of thousands of people through hell for no good reason, I’m not that fussed about it.

    2.  “Do we want to legitimate them? ”
      I believe the Mahatma said something about defeating your enemy by making them your friend.
      If marijuana farming is a legitimate business, and a profitable one, this may act to distance the cartels from the need for criminal activity – not that I am at all confident that it is likely to have this effect.

    3. First of all, you underestimate the power of the free market. You think production can’t be ramped up fast enough to meet demand? How long do you think it takes to grow hemp? I’m sure plenty of those ’boutique’ farmers you dismiss would be happy to lease 60 acres, or 600, if the stuff were legal and the price was right. I’d probably plant a few acres just for the hell of it as soon as it were no longer a jail risk.
      Second, it’s the violence of the cartels that makes them illegitimate, not their pot trade. Legalizing pot is not going to make anyone who is paying attention think that maybe the Zetas aren’t such bad guys after all.
      Finally, even if all your handwringing could withstand a moment’s scrutiny, it wouldn’t matter. The amount of suffering caused by the war on drugs is immense. If legalizing marijuana resulted in extended shortages of same along with every gang member in Mexico making a lot of money (two contradictory positions but w/e), it would still be a no-brainer.

    4. Cartels have nothing on organizations like Monsanto et. al. Who would take over the pot business?  It would probably be big American agricultural conglomerates.  They’ll design new strains that grow fast and in a uniform manner.  They’ll figure out how to mechanically harvest it.  They might even have dual use plants that work as hemp and marijuana, and maybe we’ll see big companies producing hash from resin they separate in a factory from the mechanically harvested plants. They’ll use what’s left of the plant as hemp. Labor costs will drop through the floor and the economy of scale will make it cost almost nothing to produce their product. They’ll blend resins from several varieties and throw in preservatives and flavorings, etc., to make products that can’t be replicated at home that focus groups like the best and they’ll pass this stuff off on the pot smoking masses like Bud Light. That’s kind of the American way. 

      Don’t underestimate American agricultural industries.  You know one of big the reasons why we have so many illegal aliens from Mexico is that Mexican farmers cannot compete with cheap products coming in from the US?  Our grain, our pork, etc., is often cheaper than what they can produce and Mexican farmers just give up and come here looking for work. Whole farming areas down there are basically ghost towns with most everyone here working.  The money they send home is all that keeps their dwindling communities afloat.

      Subsidies to US farmers cause some of this, but mainly it’s because our farmers are incredibly productive producing more food or other agricultural products per acre than American farmers could have imagined producing a hundred years ago, and they’re able to keep costs low with technology and massive economy of scale. Hate on these companies all you want, and there are good reasons to hate on them, but they have worked miracles for our farming industry, and if you don’t think they’ll take over the pot industry, you’re underestimating how powerful they’ve become. 

      We might very well see involvement from tobacco companies, maybe even alcoholic beverage companies. What we’ll end up with are companies that look a lot like those in the alcohol industry. When we legalize many other marijuana producing countries will too to participate in our market, but my bet is that the vast majority of what is consumed here will be produced here, just like in the beer business. We’ll have big producers and smaller producers like we see in the alcohol industry, with the big ones taking most of the market. Many will complain like they complain about Bud/Miller/Coors, but consumers will have lots of choices still and drug cartels will have lost their cash cow that helps them sell all their horribly addictive hard drugs through their vast marijuana distribution networks. 

      One last thing I’ll throw in here is that you need to keep in mind that while marijuana is easily the most popular illegal drug with tens of thousands of tons of it being consumed in this country every year, the market for it is limited. The majority of American adults under 65 have already tried pot, according to federal statistics. Most don’t like it all that much or a lot more would still be smoking it. It’s not a great social lubricant like alcohol. It makes a lot of people anxious/nervous rather than lowering inhibitions like alcohol. Even if it’s legal most will still view it as an unhealthy vice that isn’t that fun. The stoners at the party sitting on the couch staring at the TV with the sound turned off still won’t be cool. The guy who goes off on tangents and can’t remember what he was talking about to begin with still won’t be any good at chatting up the ladies. I firmly believe that most people who want to smoke pot are already smoking it. I also know that government estimates from around the world show that per acre production of buds is in the high hundreds of pounds per acre to over a thousand pounds per acre. Our farmers ought to be able to produce a thousand pounds an acre, if not more, because they’re good. It should only take a few tens of thousands of acres of land to produce enough to supply our entire market, nothing like the hundreds of millions of acres we use for products like corn. It would not be hard at all for American farmers to produce plenty of pot to supply our limited market.

      1. Firstly, I appreciate a lot of what you say here. Particularly the warning that when big Ag/Pharma/Tob get in on this they will fuck it up 9 ways from Tuesday.

        However, I feel it is necessary to point out that a lot of your last paragraph trotted out this straw-man of the typical burn-out stoner-hippie stereotype. I know a good many professional people who do not at all resemble this image and yet smoke a lot of really good dope. (Just not at work.) So ease up on those blanket condemnations of pot-users. In my experience most of them are just normal joes and janes that want to relax and take the edge off and not get all shit-faced in the process (alcohols true down-side is that once you hit that tipping point of lost inhibitions it usually seems like a good idea to keep drinking, keep partying and take the ugly guy/gal home at the end of the night, wake up and not remember a damn thing except that you now have a headache and are caught in the awkward social situation of wondering ‘did I have sex with that?!’ Never known a pot-head to tell me a story such as that. Now what was I talking about before I got off on this tangent…?

  9. Keep it away from big pharma. They’ll spend billions to make it addictive, and then billions more to create a product to help you kick the addiction. Decriminalize and reroute the savings to education and healthcare.

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