We can debate the virtues of economic policy based on a Keynesian approach versus one influenced by the Chicago School.
We can debate the virtues of an approach to foreign policy centered on prioritizing diplomacy versus one focused on increasing military strength.
We can debate the virtues of expanding the social safety net versus contracting it.
However, cannabis policy should be an issue that bridges the standard left-right divide.
These eleven political leaders share our hope that, in the future, the urgent need for cannabis reform will become a bipartisan issue that we can unite behind:
"When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point."Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States
"Pot is not a drug."Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former Governor (R-CA)
"Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere."George Washington, 1st President of the United States
"Congress should definitely consider decriminalizing possession of marijuana...We should concentrate on prosecuting the rapists and burglars who are a menace to society."Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States
"Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use...Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce [28g] of marijuana."Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States
"I do not believe that the federal government should treat adults who choose to smoke marijuana as criminals."Barney Frank, Former U.S. Representative (D-MA)
“It is time to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. It is time to end the arrests of so many people and the destruction of so many lives for possessing marijuana.”Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator (I-VT)
“When you actually study the beginnings of the federal war on drugs, you uncover a history of lies, bigotry, and ignorance so extensive it will leave you speechless.”Ron Paul, Former U.S. Representative (R-TX)
“There are states that have legalized, whether it’s just medical or full legalization, there has proven to be a direct correlation to a drastic reduction in opioid-related deaths in those states where people have access. If we know this, and every one of the leaders in this country are so concerned about this opioid epidemic, why hasn’t this been brought forward?”Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Representative (D-HI)
“We must come with new, intelligent, bright ideas like…legalizing the production, distribution, and consumption of drugs…We legalize consumption and then we can move out of enforcement and dedicate the money, the efforts, and the public policies to attending a health program.”Vicente Fox, 55th President of Mexico
“The main point in [our] report was to recommend decriminalization…because of the way laws are applied, which have not worked. We have applied them for decades and it’s got the prisons filled with lots of young people who sometimes come out destroyed for having half an ounce…[W]e should approach it through education [and] health issues rather than a brutal reaction…There is need for change in policy, but it has to start with debate and discussion…I think the whole approach has to be reviewed.”Kofi Annan, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations
The tireless advocacy of various nonprofits is one of the major reasons why support for cannabis reform has become a mainstream political winner. Click here to read our post about seven of our favorite nonprofits that stand on the frontlines of cannabis progress.