Video from Al Jazeera
More people in the US have been arrested for marijuana possession than for any violent crime. But a new poll shows that for the first time, more than half of Americans surveyed say they’re in favor of legalising marijuana – compared to just 12% in 1969. With the dramatic shift in American public opinion, should the US reconsider its marijuana laws?
In this episode of The Stream, we speak to:
Robert Capecchi @MarijuanaPolicy
Deputy Director of State Policies, Marijuana Policy Project
Kevin Sabet @kevinsabet
Co-Founder, Smart Approaches to Marijuana
Kristi Kelly @kleethe1andonly, Lara Okoloko, and Dustin Mahon join us via Google+ hangout.
“It’s very dangerous for teenagers” (Yeah, if they take part in a choom gang, they might become a Harvard graduate and President)
Raw Story California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday called on politicians to be honest about legalizing marijuana, claiming many lawmakers and officials secretly opposed the drug’s outlaw status.
“I am sick and tired of politicians saying one thing in private and saying another in public,” he said on HuffPost Live. “Love me or hate me, I can’t participate in that. I didn’t on gay marriage, and I watched as so many politicians, particularly in my party, said I’m with you on gay marriage, and then years went by and they were still arguing for second-class citizenship of the gay and lesbian community.”
Newsom claimed the same was true of the war on drugs, which he described as an “abject failure.” He noted that drug prohibition had been particularly harmful to racial minorities, who are imprisoned at a disproportionately high rate for drug offenses.
“It’s time for politicians of all strips to come out of the closet in this respect and say what they think on the issue, do the damn right thing on this.”
Newsom opposed Proposition 19 in 2010, which would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana in California. Last December, however, he declared he no longer supported the prohibition of cannabis.
“These laws just don’t make sense anymore,” he said.
From ABC News:
A new effort is under way in Congress to legalize marijuana.
After Colorado and Washington became the first two states to approve the sale and use of pot, marijuana advocates are turning their eye toward the federal government – something they don’t often do.
Members of Congress will introduce between eight and 10 bills to roll back federal marijuana restrictions and levy new taxes.
The first two were introduced this week by two liberal members of Congress. Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., on Monday rolled out a pair of bills that would legalize and tax marijuana at the federal level, while still allowing states to ban it. Continue reading