Pro to the question "Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?"
"[T]he argument has been that marijuana prohibition and that the war on marijuana and the war on people who use marijuana has been a ghastly, horrific policy in America and around the world for many, many decades... almost 20 million people have been arrested for marijuana over the last 40 over 50 years...
[A] misdemeanor marijuana conviction can lead to a bar on adopting a child in 38 states, a revocation of professional license in 20 states… for non citizens it can trigger deportation… How many people have been hurt by that policy?
I'm also aware of the extraordinary racial disproportionately and racism that has permeated this war on marijuana and the broader war on drugs for all too long.
Ask why was marijuana criminalized in the first place?... There was not medical evidence being provided. There was no National Academy of Science saying that marijuana prohibition would be a better policy than marijuana legalization and regulation. What it had to do with overwhelmingly was prejudice and stigma and fear directed at Mexican American and Mexican migrants in the Southwest and western states of the country beginning with the first criminalization of marijuana in Texas and California a little over 100 years ago...
This substance is just simply not that dangerous where it’s going to cause a lot of harm in this society...The notion that we should keep it illegal and continue to impose those penalties on millions of Americans that we’ve seen over the last 10 to 20, 30, 40 years, I think would be a ghastly mistake."
Statement at The Great Marijuana Debate (sponsored by ProCon.org), video available at procon.org, Mar. 3, 2016
Experts Individuals with MDs, PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to marijuana or drug policy. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to drug, crime, or public health issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
Advisor, Global Commission on Drug Policy
Member, Advisory Board, Open Society Foundation's Global Drug Policy Project
Drug Policy Advisor to George Soros
Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance (formerly The Lindesmith Center), 1994-2017
Co-Founder, Open Society Institute's International Harm Reduction Development program, 1995
Founder, Drug Policy Alliance, 1994
Professor, Politics and Public Affairs, Princeton University, 1987-1994
Chair, Princeton Working Group on the Future of Drug Use, 1987-1994
PhD, Political Science, Harvard University
JD, Harvard University
MA, International Relations, London School of Economics