While he talked about a wide variety of topics, the issue of legalizing marijuana was brought up and McCain had some surprising words:
“Maybe we should legalize. We’re certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned. I respect the will of the people.”
Which for some reason I just never saw coming.
And while I don’t always agree with John McCain, there’s one part of his statement I do agree with and that’s “the will of the people.” Not the will of his state or party leaders—but the will of the people.
He’s absolutely right. Polls show that more Americans are supporting the end of prohibition against marijuana, and calling for it to be fully legal in the United States. Especially as it relates to medical purposes.
While states like Washington and Colorado have already passed laws which mostly decriminalize marijuana — and some other states are looking to follow their example — many other states in which citizens are beginning to favor legalization still have lawmakers who strongly oppose any such action.
Heck, even President Obama has been extremely inflexible when it comes to policy changes concerning how marijuana is handled at the federal level.
Though recently, the Department of Justice has said that they will review how they prosecute those caught with marijuana, in a sign that maybe the Federal Government is slowly beginning to do as Senator McCain alluded to—listen to the “will of the people.” Although, as many people can confirm, this is a tune the DOJ has sung before; only to backtrack and continue with their raids against medical marijuana. Only time will tell if they truly mean what they say this time.
And no matter which side of the argument you lie on — for legalization or against — it’s undeniable that the tide is definitely shifting away from staunch opposition to the legalization of marijuana. Far more Americans support legalization now than those who did 10, 20 or 30 years ago.
So while there’s still a long way to go for those who believe marijuana should be legal (a battle I’m sure they’re willing to keep fighting), unlikely comments such at those from Senator John McCain are a clear indication that sentiment towards full federal legalization is there and growing.
It’s just a matter of time before, at least in some capacity, marijuana will be legal in every state — and federal law enforcement agencies will stop wasting billions of dollars prosecuting and jailing “criminals” who choose to smoke, eat or otherwise consume a plant.
Because that’s what this really comes down to. Americans being treated as “criminals” for smoking, vaporizing or eating something that could technically be grown in their own backyards with a handful of seeds. We’re not talking about the legalization of cocaine, heroin, meth or some other chemically-infused and altered substance.
We’re talking about the legalization of a plant.