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

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive 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.


    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:


    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.