The pro medical marijuana movement has gained yet another powerful voice in favor of the Legalization Debate, allowing states to decide whether to allow patients to use marijuana to treat various diseases. In an interview with NBC’s David Gregory, former President Bill Clinton conceded that “there is a lot of evidence pointing toward the positive benefits of medical marijuana”.
The man who famously “didn’t inhale” said, “I think there are a lot of unresolved questions, but I think we should leave it to the states. This really is a time when there should be laboratories of democracy, because nobody really knows where this is going.”
Mr. Clinton is just the latest in a long line of influential people who seemingly agree that it is time to take a serious look at allowing marijuana to be used for medical purposes. During his time as president, Barack Obama has tended to agree that the decision should be left up to the states, which has led to marijuana being legalized for various purposes in multiple states. So far, only Colorado and Washington are the only states to allow marijuana use for recreational purposes. However, the Republicans have largely opposed the effort to allow marijuana to be legalized for any purpose in the Legalization Debate.
That a prominent political figure would speak in such a way about marijuana, Clinton remains active in various projects around the world, reflects the progress that has been made by supporters of the legalization movement. Marijuana is no longer the social taboo that it was just 15 years ago, and this has changed it from being a politically untouchable issue into a mainstream cause.
Medical marijuana is now approved for use in 22 of the 50 states in the United States and the District of Columbia, which is impressive considering where the movement stood just a few years ago. Although cannabis is approved for use in all these states, it does remain a Schedule 1 substance. Schedule 1 drugs include the most addictive substances on the market, and these substances are usually punishable with time in jail. The Food and Drug Administration is now reviewing this classification at the request of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
If people as prominent as Bill Clinton continue to endorse the experiments that are going on with medical marijuana, the movement is sure to continue to gain traction with voters. There hasn’t been a movement in the legalization debate like this since the controversy with alcohol in the Prohibition Era.
It’s an exciting time to be paying attention to politics and no matter what side of the fence someone stands on in relation to marijuana, it’s important to be informed about the current trends in the marijuana debate. It’s something that potentially affects everyone in the country.