They Said it on Marijuana Quotable Saturday, Part IX

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (widely considered to be a “moderate”) recently made clear in an NPR interview that he sees no good reason to keep marijuana illegal. In his view (and ours too) marijuana should be treated like alcohol:

The distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages is really not much of a distinction. The prohibition against selling and distributing alcoholic beverages has, I think, been generally—there’s a general consensus that it was not worth the cost. I think in time that will be the general consensus with respect to this particular drug [marijuana].

Virtually every lawyer we know views the issue much like Stevens. Lawyers are trained to analyze and respect precedent and to balance costs against benefits. As such, the overwhelming majority of lawyers with whom we have spoken view marijuana like alcohol and believe that the two should be treated similarly. They also do not think it worth it worth the costs in time and money and jail time to criminalize something that is not harmful when used appropriately.


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