More Progress: The National Push for Marijuana Has a Surprising New Major Ally

Statue-of-420Just in these past couple years we’ve seen the first two states (Colorado and Washington) in the United States legalize recreational marijuana possession and use.  This is of course a huge deal because until this point marijuana was illegal (except for specific medical purposes in specific states) and still does remain illegal on the federal level.

I’m a realist and I see where this will lead to — full-on legalization nationally.  It’s the same thing I say for same-sex marriage.  It’s no longer a question of if it will become legal, but when.  

What the rest of the country will do now is sit back and see how it plays out in both of these states (with several other states sure to follow soon) and if all goes well (as most pro-marijuana advocates believe that it will) you’ll begin to see a domino effect spread across the country of states legalizing the substance.

Then there will eventually come a time where it will have to be handled on the federal level.  Well, if a majority of your states begin to legalize marijuana, it’s foolish to continue to keep it illegal on a national level.  In fact, it wouldn’t even make sense.

Well, the fight to legalize marijuana has gained an unexpected ally (even if he states only for medical purposes) in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Reid recently said:

“If you’d asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer – I would have said no, because (marijuana) leads to other stuff.  But I can’t say that anymore.  I think we need to take a real close look at this.  I think that there’s some medical reasons for marijuana.”

He then went on to tell a story about a boy who was suffering from both of his kidneys failing, skinny and unwilling to eat, who was aided by the “munchies” that smoking marijuana is known to cause.  The intense feeling of hunger the substance gave to the sick boy compelled him to eat, which then saw him finally put on some weight.

Reid was, however, asked about the idea of Nevada following Colorado’s lead.  Reid said, “I don’t know about that.  I just think that we need to look at the medical aspects of it.”

As I’ve said before, change often comes slowly.  But at least his stance on the issue seems headed in the right direction.  Especially with his comments about the prosecution of marijuana users: “I guarantee you one thing—we waste a lot of time and law enforcement going after these guys that are smoking marijuana.”

Millions of Americans — including myself — have been saying the same thing for quite a while.  We waste far too much money going after people for smoking weed.

So while this isn’t his endorsement of full legalization for recreational use, it’s clear by his evolution on the medical aspect and his comments about the time and money wasted on “going after these guys that are smoking marijuana” that it’s only a matter of time before that next big step is taken concerning the legalization of marijuana.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

Comments

Facebook comments

  • Jim Bean

    The Left has taken us from the ‘medical marijuana’ Trojan horse to legal recreational use in record breaking time. That’s why gun owners are so wise to resist their calls for ‘sensible’ gun laws.

    • Jessica Strunk Cannon

      Marijuana isn’t a tool designed for the soul purpose of killing. Guns are. Marijuana can’t put a hole into a child’s head. Guns can. Marijuana can’t mow down a theater. Guns can. We do need sensible gun laws. Guns are weapons of death. It’s their only purpose.

      • Jim Bean

        Guns are also weapons of avoiding death and oppression. 115,000 dead Syrians would wish they had had more weapons.

      • Pipercat

        Then there could have been 230,000 dead Syrians!

      • strayaway

        Our frustrated President is providing guns to Syrian rebels now since the British parliament and the Pope disapproved of bombing Syria. I think there is a pause in providing weapons to the rebels since Al-queda types seized many of the weapons Obama sent to his favorite Syrian rebel faction who has since fled Syria. Al-Queda no doubt will figure out what to do with them. Providing weapons to rebels was like giving automatic weapons to Mexican drug lords but worse.

      • Jim Bean

        True. In the end, the only one truly committed to, and most likely capable of, preserving your life is you.

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        What President isn’t frustrated? People think that the elected President is going to be some fucking wizard riding a Unicorn with AMAZING POWERS OF RAINBOWS AND KITTENS! And the reality is, all they are is a talking head that can only do what congress and senate says is ok. Then like, talk about it on TV.

      • strayaway

        Jessica, you are so right on. The Federal Reserve’s printing press is a wizard sort of thing though for politicians riding around on their imaginary unicorns tossing $75M/mo to the happy 1%ers. Federal job funding for marijuana farms, an infrastructure program, ought to pay off. Its an easier program to administer than NASA was or big websites anyway. On a downer note: I really wish we had a president (Bush included) who would only do what Congress and Constitution authorizes.

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        Fuck no! I don’t want a president that only does what this current congress says! They are SHIT!!!

      • strayaway

        Ah, well then the alternative to doing what Congress says is a dictator at least until the next election. Maybe a dictator mounted on a flying unicorn to better suit this thread.

        Along those lines, how’s this?

        ““We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need,” “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions” -Dear Leader Obama 1/14/14

        See, no need for Congress, legislation, or even an enabling act. They just get in the way.

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        Obama is better than any of the shitty shitty bang bang Republitards. That DON’T do anything to help the people. That say no to things that would. That cut benefits for vets. That cut programs to help the poor. Oh… But I’m talking to no doubt a guy that has no qualms with being banged up the ass by these guys, while they are pointing to the other guys saying “No… It’s not me who is actually raping you doing it! It’s, uh… That guy! And I know you are stupid enough to believe it, so yay for me!”. So dialog is over here, because yeah… You are that stupid. As that you are so stupid as to have your head so far up there, you apparently have no comprehension of the history of presidents, and that Obama has made way less in the way of executive orders than Bush Jr., Clinton, Bush Sr. or Reagen. Reagen made more than all of them, but I bet he is some holy hero to you. pfffftttt….

      • strayaway

        I guess that was a “yes”that you would prefer Obama to rule as a dictator rather than have to deal with Republicans or as you delicately put it “shitty shitty bang bang Republitards.” So sweet. Dave expressed in interest in exterminating Republicans on another thread this afternoon and you are fantasizing about rapes. (?) Two more reasons not to put progressives into power I suppose. I don’t approve of Bush’s executive orders either. You are even failing at assumptions. Don’t forget that last week, Republicans tried to restore the cuts to vets by funding it with welfare money intended for illegal aliens, Democrats would have none of that. They voted with the illegal aliens and against the vets.

        The people are suffering because of big smothering repressive government, not because they don’t have enough smothering repressive government. Establishment Republicans are responsible for much of this mess too. I just read that the highest percentage of millionaires of any state live in Maryland. That’s the lobbyists, contractors, and politicians your heroes in D.C. helped. During the Obama administration, the 1%have gotten richer at a faster rate than during the Bush administration while the bottom 95% and especially blacks have reduced incomes.

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        Uh… That isn’t Obama’s doing. That would be the Republican Congress. Again, you seem to think that the president is a magical wizard. If CONGRESS says no, it’s no. The president can’t get much done if congress does not back decisions. Dear lord, basic effing understanding of government. Most lack it. Congress appropriates funds. And no. You DO NOT hold something hostage to get your way. So no shit, they were told to go fuck themselves… Again… For holding vets benefits hostage. You don’t reward fucking terrorists.

      • strayaway

        You ignore this president’s picking and choosing which laws to enforce and his increasing willingness to go around Congress. When he issued an executive order allowing Mexican truck drivers to replace Teamsters, for instance, he actually overturned an act of Congress. He conducted war against Libya without the consent of Congress and in violation of the war Powers Act. He not only ignores immigration laws, he legislates new ones by executive order. So yes, in theory and according to the Constitution, a president only has the power to execute the acts of Congress but we have seen several examples of this President violating his oath of office. Granted, Congress should have warned and later impeached Obama a while ago.

        Regarding the vet benefits. Republicans authored a bill to restore the vet benefits and funding them with money now appropriated to providing illegal aliens with welfare benefits. Democrats in Congress, however, prioritized illegal aliens over US veterans and refused to re-fund the vets. i can’t blame the President for that.

      • massvocals

        you best wake up red president is working the war power act and your press says nothing he reduce nukes to 1500 we now have less the USSR and china

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        Ah ha ha… Look up Somalia.

      • Jim Bean

        Oh, Yeah? google ‘school shooter smoked marijuana.’

      • Michael Scott Witty

        They ate beef and drank milk as well…….your point?

      • Mo Reno

        Also, “shooter” is the operating term here. No one was killed by marijuana. They were killed with a gun. This guy is making a point against his point. Derp.

      • Charles Vincent

        They were killed by a person weilding a weapon the key part of this equation is and always will be the person just like its a person that has an addiction problem not the fault of the drug they choose to abuse.

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        And maybe I should google if they watched TV, too. In the end, they shot someone. With a gun. The only way to shoot someone with a gun, is with a gun. Maybe I should see if they had a computer… A bed… Shoes…

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        Also, ya know what comes up a lot more than shooters who smoked MJ? Parents that have accidentally shot their kids. Kids that have shot themselves because parents didn’t put the guns way properly.

      • Jim Bean

        You know what come up way more than that? Kids drowning is swimming pools, and kids being poisoned to death by household chemicals, and kids running out in the street and being killed by cars because they’re parents weren’t watching them closely enough. I say the solution is to take the kids away from the parents. That way, we’ve got it all covered.

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        So. Your stupidity in said comment about pot is starting to sink in, huh?

      • …or violent video games and television and movies. It’s easy to find a scapegoat in something when you disagree with it, even if the correlation truly doesn’t imply causation. Most of the time, these events are entirely too complex to wrap up in simply mental health, or simply culture, or simply guns, or simply drugs. It’s does a disservice to everyone.

      • Pipercat

        … then Google, logical fallacy.

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        Then google irony, bud. 🙂

      • Pipercat

        I hate how these Disqus thread run sometimes. Tough to get the full effect.

      • Charles Vincent

        You mean the full Monte???

      • Pipercat

        Monty…

      • Charles Vincent

        Yes that’s it wasn’t sure which way to spell it. I failed /cry

      • Pipercat

        No worries, last I checked, your guys were winning. Mine come up in a little over an hour! I will be distracted for some time to come!!

      • Charles Vincent

        Good luck to your guys.

      • Charles Vincent

        OK I pissed my self a little when I watched this…Enjoy the guffaw.
        http://www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=hHRb_t053SQ#t=55

      • Pipercat

        Speaking of somebody whose had a few munchies…

      • Charles Vincent

        Here is the sensible gun law its called when people kill someone you charge the person that killed with murder case closed.

      • massvocals

        we have good gun law we need good people not restrictive gun laws

    • Pipercat

      Wow, I didn’t think of that, I better set up my mortars and howitzers to protect me from those roving bands of munchie zombies who are obviously after my stash of Ruffles, M&Ms, Twinkies and Pizza Rolls!!

      • Jim Bean

        While you’re making preparations for the future, you might want to review your dietary choices.

      • Pipercat

        Yes, thank you! I’ll copy your recipe for Red Herring Nicoise that you so gloriously posted!

      • Jim Bean

        So what do you think of my original point – that liberals often say they want one thing when they’re really after something else and, therefore, cannot be trusted at their word? Was I right on that? Is the marijuana thing a good example? And if giving legal access to marijuana to everyone is the solution to people obtaining it illegally, doesn’t it follow that the solution to people obtaining guns illegally is to give everyone legal access to them? And if our liberal position is that people don’t ‘need’ guns to survive mustn’t we be consistent and say people don’t ‘need’ marijuana to survive? Its not like marijuana has any redeeming social benefit, you know.

      • Pipercat

        No, it’s just a shitty red herring. Followed by an even shittier straw man.

      • Ryan

        More guns = More dead people
        More pot = More high people
        Pretty hard to murder someone with a dimebag.
        Also, why the hell do you people have to inject guns into everything?

      • Jim Bean

        More pot also equals less food and clothing for their children.

      • Pipercat

        More guns equals less Metamucil and foods rich in dietary fiber. Perhaps you could sell a couple or yours; you’d feel less full and more relieved about things in general.

      • Jennifer Allen

        Grow your own. It’s easy and free.

      • Charles Vincent

        Spill the secrets to the green thumb…

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        Yeah… Because the majority of users {Rich college kids, kids in their earlier twenties.} TOTALLY have families to worry about. And while you’re at it, you up for prohibition for alcohol again? That’s the drug of choice for middle aged folks. Because, you know. That went over so well the first time. What I think is funny, is you are more against an agent that is organic, and can’t kill a person than you are against a weapon constructed specifically to cause death.

      • Jim Bean

        It can kill people. Google ht tp://w ww. calmca. org/crime/ (I’d post the link for you but they never stick. Take out the spaces.)

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        Guns kill more than Marijuana. As a matter of fact, all you have linked is a biased site with no solid facts full of opinion just saying people were on pot at the time. I’m sure they were wearing shoes. Sober people kill with guns. People on legal meds kill with guns. People on meth kill with guns. The one thing that is an absolute? The guns. So the GUNS are the problem. Because clearly, no matter what condition people are in, they need to kill with them.

      • Jim Bean

        I live in an area with large Amish settlements. They all have guns. No murders. No shootings. No armed robberies. In the scientific community, that’s what would called the ‘control group.’ At the end of the experiment, the scientists would unanimously conclude that there is no causal correlation between the availability of a gun and the impulse to commit an act of violence with it. In the Liberal community, that would be called, ‘not the answer that makes us feel good.’ (And, btw, my mother would have washed your mouth out with soap. Have you no dignity?)

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        Ha! That’s all you can come up with for swearing. Of course I have fucking dignity. The shit? The fuck does dignity have to do with swearing? You’re the one defending weapons of death over pot. And the Amish? They have rifles. They are also not a bunch of entitled, scared little twats like the vast majority of gun owners. If someone starts acting up, they take privileges like gun handling away. There ya are. Gun regulation. BAM. And yeah. Guns make DEATH in violence easier. Like that retired swat asshole that killed that man in FL for tossing popcorn at him. I bet ya, that shithead would not have beaten him to death with his fists if he didn’t have a gun. Guns give cowards a false sense of power. They are ITCHING to kill people. They want any excuse. Guns make killing much easier than knives, hammers, just about anything. Because people have a much better chance to defend themselves. Guns are for cowards that can’t handle actual confrontation. They are scared, terrible little people. It’s the perpetuated fear mongering that tells people they need more guns. There was a time where it was a LAST resort. And you were seen as a coward if you resorted to it in a situation that should be fisticuffs. But here you are… Trying to blame something that has such a small ratio of statistical backing. Yeah… Oh! And just for you… FUCK.

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        And statistically MORE people do that while sober then while on pot… OH MY FUCKING GOD! BEING SOBER IS BAD!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Dear fucking lord, and lol.

      • Charles Vincent

        In Co you can have 6 plants for personal consumption with out any licensing. Plant them right next to your tomatoes and cucumbers. :~)

      • Mo Reno

        I guess that’s why conservatives are hell-bent on restricting voting rights. All of those states that passed medical marijuana laws did it by voter turnout. Democracy in action, and that just galls conservatives because it shows how outnumbered you are.

      • Jessica Strunk Cannon

        It’s better than alcohol, and actually from the magic of SCIENCE! it has been shown to carry beneficial properties. I know… That science. Some wacky stuff.

      • Charles Vincent

        I R in ur base stealing ur twinkies…all ur twinkies r belonging to me.

      • Pipercat

        Hey, don’t you reside in that “State” of Experimentation?

      • Charles Vincent

        Yes and I voted yeah on the ballot initiative. Crap I am on a watch list now thanks a lot.

      • Pipercat

        Rut ro! Delivered by Bradley himself at Porter Hospital. Been a lot of years, but I’m going to imbibe when I visit family up there; because, I can!!!!!

    • Shane Patrick

      because school children keep getting killed by stoners armed with marijuana??

  • Rick Lafferty

    The federal government will never pass a law legalizing marijuana because of the huge budgets given to the DEA and other “Law” enforcement agancies because of their, so-called, “War On Drugs”. If the federal government spent 1/1oth of the money on their War on Poverty as they do on incarcerating otherwise law abiding citizens, we wouldn’t have one hungry mouth in this country!!!!

    • Shane Patrick

      never is a really, really long time…and times do change…have faith.

    • Chuck1

      The war on drugs will intensify on cocaine, heroin and, other illegal drugs since there will be little reason for the drug cartels to produce marijuana so it shouldn’t change anything funding wise.

    • massvocals

      I guess then we will have to attack the federal government and dismantle it , its about time the federal reserved and IRS and DEA all of them and if they resist hold them for treason simple ,, the people rule not the federal government and there is no constitutional law amen they makes drugs illegal therefore considering alcohol they had to have constitutional amen to legalize and for prohibition cannabis is benefit in more ways then one if it allows us to rid our republic of the thugs there we win 2 fold to arms To arms

    • If anything, I could see the budgets remaining steady (the lobby is as powerful as ever) and those resources refocused toward drugs like heroin.

  • Shane Patrick

    One would think the business community would be salivating over the potential profits to be made from legalization of MJ and would be pushing the effort…where are they?

    • Charles Vincent

      Depends on the regulatory barrier to the market.

  • Jesse Markham

    The real Reefer Madness has been this obscene racist prohibition that’s wrought havoc in this country for more than three generations. I’m just hoping I live long enough to see the madness end once and for all.