Cannabis is often thought to be a cause backed by only the most liberal, left-wing participants. Recently, dozens of high-profile conservatives have outwardly supported the decriminalization as well as the legalization of cannabis.
The principles behind legalization are generally labelled as conservative issues. The issues of states’ rights, limited government, and personal sovereignty come into play with all cannabis legislation as it is a fight between state and federal government.
One prolific figure in the cannabis fight is none other than David Koch. Koch has advocated for the decriminalization of cannabis since the early 1980s. This is not highly publicized since it seemingly contradicts conservatives usual points, but it is indeed factual.
Koch was once quoted stating, “I have friends who smoke pot… It’s ridiculous to treat them as criminals.”
While many do not agree with David Koch on everything, his thoughts on cannabis seem to be spot on. Koch is not the only high-profile conservative recently associated with the decriminalization and legalization movement.
The founder of Christian Broadcasting Network & Christian Coalition, Pat Robinson was quoted saying, “I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol. I’ve never used marijuana and I don’t intend to, but it’s just one of those things that i think: this was on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.”
Here are a few more quotes from several high profile conservatives in case you didn’t see it already.
“[I]t is our judgment that the war on drugs has failed, that it is diverting intelligent energy away from how to deal with the problem of addiction, that it is wasting our resources, and that it is encouraging civil, judicial, and penal procedures associated with police states. We all agree on movement toward legalization, even though we may differ on just how far.” National Review, Editorial Board
“Yes [marijuana should be legalized federally]. Public opinion has changed… The distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages is really not much of a distinction… The prohibition against selling and dispensing alcoholic beverages has I think been generally, there’s a general consensus that it was not worth the cost. And I think really in time that will be the general consensus with respect to this particular drug [marijuana].” John Paul Stevens, Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice
“[If] you want to go somewhere where you can smoke medicinal weed, then you ought to be able to do that.” Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy
“I think it’s about time we legalize marijuana… We either put people who are smoking marijuana behind bars or we legalize it, but this little game we are playing in the middle is not helping us, it is not helping Mexico and it is causing massive violence on our southern border… Fifty percent of the money going to these cartels is coming just from marijuana coming across our border.” Glenn Beck
“I find the way people trivialize this issue to be infuriating. I hold it to be self-evident that people should be allowed to grow plants in their own gardens, regardless of what kind of plants they are… I do think the prohibition on this is outrageous… What we’re living through is a farce.” Andrew Sullivan, Conservative Blogger & Author
What the authorities should do is decriminalize pot use. You wanna do it in your house, not bother anyone? Fine.” Bill O’Reilly
“Someone has got to break the logjam. The fact is that you have the incarceration rate, particularly in African American communities for drug related crimes is off the charts… The old mindset that doesn’t address the current environment, that doesn’t deal with realities of our penal system or our sentencing system… A lot of folks are getting caught in the cross-hairs… We’ve got to reorient our priorities here when it comes to the issue of drugs in our culture.” Michael Steele, Former Chairman of Republican National Committee.
We need to prioritize our law enforcement efforts, and if somebody’s gonna smoke a joint in their house and not do anybody else any harm, then perhaps there are other things that our cops should be looking at to engage in and try to clean up some of the other problems that we have in society that are appropriate for law enforcement to do.” Sarah Palin, Former Governor of Alaska & Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee
Ask the Facebook generation whether we should put a kid in jail for the nonviolent crime of drug use and you’ll hear a resounding ‘no.’” Rand Paul, U.S. Senator
So, if liberals and conservatives see the same on this issue, how long will it take to move forward for decriminalization and legalization?