Just 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.