Retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens: Feds Should Legalize Marijuana

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director April 24, 2014

    In an interview with NPR released today, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens came out in support for marijuana legalization.

    When asked if he believed the federal government should legalize marijuana, the 94 year old former Justice replied:

    “Yes, I really think that that’s another instance of public opinion [that’s] changed. And recognize that the distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages is really not much of a distinction. Alcohol, the prohibition against selling and dispensing alcoholic beverages has I think been generally, there’s a general consensus that it was not worth the cost. And I think really in time that will be the general consensus with respect to this particular drug.”

    You can listen to the full interview from National Public Radio here.

    Stevens joins the majority of Americans who are ready to see an end to our war on marijuana consumers and for the country to move towards a system of legalization and regulation.

    34 responses to “Retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens: Feds Should Legalize Marijuana”

    1. BOxer4ever says:

      take it off schedule 1 list, I’m having issues as a 20 year-old getting a part-time job for this summer. I live in Washington state and have a medical marijuana license, I go to college full-time and I’m still afraid i will get refused.

    2. Evening Bud says:

      Even one of the Supremes has now belatedly acknowledged the ridiculousness of this country’s drug laws.

      Even better news is the Obama admin’s apparent attempt to give some inmates clemency for past sentencing transgressions. This is GREAT news, certainly for those who may get early releases. I think it’s a further sign that this admin is recognizing the foolishness and unfairness of past sentencing practices.

      We were assured by some on this forum, that Obama would drop the hammer on Colo and Wash St for their recent legalization. So far, he’s been taking baby steps in furthering our cause. This all could change in a heartbeat, I’d be the first to concede; but so far he hasn’t been hindering us too badly.

    3. YearofAction says:

      Justice Stevens, wouldn’t you rather legalize this definition:

      The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L.

      The current definition is terrible. Can you imagine the problems caused by legalizing this definition:

      The term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber
      produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

      Why would you want such a convoluted definition to be rescheduled? How can you contemplate legalizing such an unnecessary and improper definition?

      Justice Stevens, please insist on first redefining marijuana to a form that actually shows respect for our Constitution.

    4. Laury says:

      A Great-Grandpa BUSTED by NAZI FEDS for legally growing medical marijuana in Washington State? Please Help!!! Have you seen this news article? I’m blown away. Larry Harvey, one of the “Kettle Falls Five” may lose everything, including his freedom. The feds are talking about life in prison for trying to alleviate his pain!! Any help you can muster would be appreciated.
      Thank you.

    5. Julian says:

      Spoken from a man who grew up during alcohol prohibition. This guy is so old he was 17 when the Marijuana Stamp Act passed through Congress! C’mon, just legalize some marijuana for the old man before he smokes his last holy incense in the sky…
      Sure do wish judges didnt have to retire to state their real opinion. Wait for it… … C’mon November… C’mon %50 of the U.S. Population…

    6. Weed The People says:

      Where was he 40 years ago?
      Now he comes forward. big deal.
      nothing here folks.

    7. Galileo Galilei says:

      “…the distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages is really not much of a distinction.”

      I like both alcohol and marijuana, but there is a big distinction in my opinion. Alcohol is far more dangerous and causes all kinds of bizarre behaviors in people who are high on it.

    8. someone says:

      Get a fring to pee for you and keep it warm. Before you go to give the samele tape it to your leg.

    9. d3vark says:

      was just thinking that ^

    10. phrtao says:

      A quick note on the responsibilities and restrictions of being a judge. They cannot make the law or suggest what is and is not illegal they can only enforce the law and decide on punishment (although this function has been restricted by things such as mandatory minimums). It is only once they retire that they are able to comment on what the law should be – and their experience should be valued in making these decisions.