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President Jimmy Carter: I’m in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director December 11, 2012

    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.

    30 Responses to “President Jimmy Carter: I’m in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana”

    1. Peter says:

      As I said on the Facebook post on this, NOBODY should be rah-rah’ing Jimmuh. When he ran for POTUS in the 70s he said almost the same exact thing, but then decided to keep up the status quo.

    2. Omar Reyes says:

      I expect more states to legalize in the next 2 years. And in the next 4 years I believe the federal will legalize

    3. Jerry says:

      Please sign and share this as much as possible. The wording makes it very difficult for them to give us lip service as its really about the legality of alcohol and tobacco according to the controlled substances act.

      https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/please-explain-american-people-why-marijuana-illegal-while-alcohol-and-tobacco-which-kill-millions/95csbdMf

    4. phrtao says:

      I think former president Carter was open to legalisation when he was in office but the public support was not quite there. People believed there must have been some truth in the propaganda of the Nixon era and we did not have the internet in those days to get the truth out. Mr Carter also appears in the excellent documentary ‘breaking the taboo’ ( http://youtu.be/8UtNF-Le2L0 ). It is hard to see how any decent person could watch ‘breaking the taboo’ and want more of the same without even considering the alternative of legalisation – especially if it is what the experts recommend.

    5. tielman says:

      Breaking the Taboo has made the failure of the War on Drugs obvious. It is time for us to look at Big Pharma and ask what their interest in keeping a Homeopathic substance that’s freely available to ALL out of our hands. Hitler popularized CHEMO-THERAPY. American Drug Cartels have simply followed suite.

    6. Joe Nickelsack says:

      Just think if we would have taken Jimmy’s advice back in 77. Of course “we” doesn’t mean “us” anymore does it?

    7. alex says:

      Jimmy Carter… what a boss. Carter 2016!

    8. JARGA says:

      HOW MANY WHITE POLITICIANS ARE SMARTER AND MORE CARING THAN OBAMA ? EVERY LEVEL MINDED PERSON UNDERSTAND BLACKS WILL BENEFIT GREATLY BEYOND JAIL POPULATION.

    9. TylerTofWA says:

      Recently watched “Breaking the Taboo”, was inspiring to see political leaders speaking openly about addiction, drug abuse, and the failure of the drug war.

    10. Galileo Galilei says:

      These guys talking about Portugal experience and saying of prohibition that “..it hasn’t worked” shows that the message of NORML et al is getting through. It just took a few decades of pounding home the message and a wasted trillion dollars.

    11. Bradson says:

      Accepting legal cannabis in all it’s forms requires a shift in consciousness in the halls of our government. Prohibition of this immensely useful plant resource is such an obvious mistake when that shift occurs, and will be a sign that human consciousness has evolved to a more enlightened state. Ironically, a puff or two of good bud would help.

    12. miles says:

      I’m almost 60 years old and remember Jimmy Carter very well. In my lifetime he is my favorite President! His recent statements on the marijuana prohibition issue only further solidifies my admiration of this great man.

      I have yet to find that kind of admiration for President Obama – but it’s not too late for him to do the right thing regarding cannabis and go down in history as a hero instead of one of the oppressors of human rights (like his vice-president Joe Biden).

    13. jeff says:

      “Of course “we” doesn’t mean “us” anymore does it?” that made me laugh ending with a sad frown

    14. mark says:

      Obama needs to be confronted in a public forum with this fact:

      The war on marijuana was designed specifically to oppress YOUR RACE (racial epithet excluded), and had you been busted as a youth for possession, YOU would have had all of your political ambitions snuffed out, and YOU like so many other people, BLACKS ESPECIALLY would have spent time in jail.

      I’m a white guy who happens NOT to be a racist, and when this war on YOUR RACE came into my life and I spent the time in jail because a cop saw my ponytail and profiled ME just to make a quota, I said FUCK THIS BULLSHIT!!!!. I AINT NO FUCKING (racial epithet excluded), I DON’T APPRECIATE BEING TREATED LIKE ONE and so, now I am an activist for the legalization of marijuana SO THAT NOBOBY HAS TO BE TREATED LIKE A (RACIAL EPITHET EXCLUDED). NOBODY!!!!!!

    15. [...] on blog.norml.org Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Categories [...]

    16. jamie says:

      I myself feel the same way. I live in Georgia and i am tired of all the bullshit. I am not ashamed to come out and say it. I smoke when ever i can. Its not all the time but i do enjoy it when i have it. I have crippling arthritis and i hurt all the time. I have to take addictive pain pills to ease the pain and still, it wont go away. When I do get to smoke i can actually begin to move around and not feel hardly any pain. The best part of smoking is for a little while i can stop taking the pills and not kill my kidneys with these harmful pills. I will not be quiet!!!! If i stay quiet I will be part of the other problem and thats not standing up for what i believe in. That is what created our country and made it strong and thats what we have to do to keep it moving in the right direction!!!! Legalize and get this war over with…

    17. tommy jay says:

      i’m all for it !

    18. Joel: the other Joel says:

      There were a lot of secret, powerful, and well organized political spin tactics against President Jimmy Carter during his administration that came from the former Nixon’s administration. Nixon’s “Watergate Scandal” was just the tip of the iceberg.
      Most of Jimmy Carter’s blunder was no accident.

      When Jimmy Carter showed some favoritism towards marijuana, he made the cover of High Times being shown in a large cartoon picture as a cocaine addict. Plastic peanut shell “Jimmy Carter roach clip” was being sold at headshops and convenient stores. Then there was the paraquat dilemma, when the federal government provided tainted marijuana and saying it was harmless. The federal government was very much involved with the spraying and distributing toxic marijuana. Many people still remembered that, including myself.

    19. Interesting test to the true American democracy
      this virtually harmless but beneficial flower
      we will get to witness the true color of our
      elected leaders ,will they continue to the crime wave
      of prohibition
      Soon they will be in the spotlight
      how will they act?

    20. Voice of the Resistance says:

      Jimmy Carter was a good president. I think he had our nation moving in the right direction, toward a peacetime ecomomy. It’s to bad that he got blindsided by the Islamic revolution in Iran. Thank you Jimmy Carter you should get a second term!

    21. Wendy says:

      sign @ We the People your voice in government enough said!

    22. Jason says:

      Amen Mark. How easy it is to look the other way when you hold political office. President Obama has said that he smoked marijuana. Very easily could his life be very different had he got busted for smoking a plant. Millions have had their dreams dashed because of a marijuana arrest – including me. Think of all the wasted potential that society could’ve benefited from had we not been made second class citizens.

    23. terry ford says:

      i’m more than willing to pay my taxes with and for it! and does anybody here wanna let me know how and why do you or anybody else have the right to tell me what i can do with my body?

    24. Derrick says:

      Uncle Sam doesn’t care about his little peons until his pocket runs dry. With Tobacco, Alcohol,Lumber, and Big Pharma stuffing their pockets, they won’t run out for a while. You want Uncle Sam’s attention? Wave mega millions in his face or you won’t get the time of day.

    25. Dave Evans says:

      Just goes to show how Obama can compartmentalize things. He has no true compassion, he’s like a robot.

    26. [...] NORML noted Barack Obama and the U.S. Justice Department would be wise to listen to the commander-in-chiefs 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. [...]

    27. American citizen says:

      If it works for pain!{yes} Is it more safe than pain pills?{ YES] Does it work for anxiety? [yes } Is it more safe than the medication for it ? {YES] ETC.. Marijuana has allot of benefits to it ! My perception on it is its a win win !!! Thin about all the taxes we can make off of it . The fast food industry would increase,more jobs. People say marijuana is a gateway drug i strongly disagree ! Example if im going to a drug dealer to get my marijuana and he or she is out and they say i dont have that but i have this drug ! You take the other drug b/c your worried about getting caught Well if it is legal then you can just keep going store to store to buy what you want because your worry free about getting in to trouble over something that grows from the ground ! Think about how much money we can save of our tax dollars when it comes to our crimnal justice system!!! We would have allot less people we pay for when it comes to houseing , feeding ,clothing, medical care,! When it comes to our police officer they would rather deal with a person is has been useing marijuana They are not viloent , maybe silly ! Their just really laid back in most cases !! With alcohol they are just loose their minds ! Alot more EMS calles ,police calls to much violence,side effects, when it come to the man made items but its more accepted in the world we live in why ? I have no idea!?!? Its just a nasty situation ! Yes giving the difference in human nature people are going to behave in all different ways no matter what ! Legalize marijuana tax it like tobacco, the regualtions like alcohol ! After a whilen people will stop growing it themselfs and just buy it from the store .We just dont have time as americans to deal with all those things it takes to grow it ! GOD BLESS!!!

    28. It’s better than them not saying anything but it does get very tiresome seeing all these EX politicians saying they support marijuana legalisation but who didn’t make much effort towards that goal when they had real influence.

    29. Gene says:

      Joel, I remember the paraquat days too, had to be careful of what we smkoed back then haha

    30. [...] leader pushing to change our country’s draconic marijuana policies. Even former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have recently criticized the War on Drugs as a failed effort, with President Carter going as far as [...]

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