Who are the supporters of marijuana legalization? If you do not use the drug yourself, for medicinal or recreational purposes, you may be inclined to believe the majority of people who want cannabis legal are aging hippies or slackers just looking for their next buzz. It will surprise you to learn, however, that proponents of marijuana use (in particular those who support Proposition 19 in California) come from all walks of life. The blue collar and white collar working class, stay at home moms, elderly cancer patients, law enforcement officers, medical experts, and even politicians have gone public about why cannabis needs to be decriminalized. With the recent signing of a bill by Governor Schwarzenegger reducing the severity of punishment for possession in California, many marijuana supporters see this as one step toward the goal of making pot legal.
Reasons for legalization do vary. While one might assume people just want weed legal so they can run to the nearest drugstore and get high, marijuana supporters cite specifics. With legalization, farmers who grow the plants will no longer worry about getting arrested or having crops taken away. Marijuana can be sold in a free market, and patients who use it to reduce symptoms of nausea following chemotherapy will no longer feel stigmatized because they seek relief in this manner.
Who supports making marijuana legal? This article looks at some of the best known and most visible supporters.
Actor/comedian and political activist. Chong served time in federal prison after charged with distribution of drug paraphernalia.
Television host and activist. Maher serves on the advisory board for NORML, an organization dedicated to educating the public about the health benefits of marijuana use.
Senator Jess Ventura:
Actor turned politician. Ventura has maintained that legalization will help decrease crime and boost the economy.
Former US Surgeon General. Elders has been outspoken on a number of policies during and after her tenure, including the legalization of cannabis.
Industrialist. One of the wealthiest and most influential men in the world, Branson once stated if marijuana were to become legal he would stock it in his Virgin stores.
Author. The “King” of horror has suggested his home state of Maine could enjoy a boost in economy through marijuana cultivation.
Politican. While serving as state representative in Texas, Paul co-sponsored the States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act and has voted favorably on marijuana and hemp-related issues.