WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (UPI) — Support for legalizing marijuana is growing rapidly in the United States and received a push when President Barack Obama said he once smoked it, advocates said.
“This issue is breaking out in a remarkably rapid way now,” Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told The Washington Post in a story published Monday.
This month, Maine became the latest state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes and the American Medical Association is urging the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, which equates it with heroin and cocaine.
A recent Gallup poll suggested the majority of U.S. residents could favor legalization in as little as four years and 14 states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, despite opposition from drug opponents who said it would increase crime and violence.
Obama this year halted federal prosecution of medical marijuana use where permitted by state law, and he gave the legalization movement a big push, advocates said, when he became the third consecutive president to acknowledge having smoked marijuana.
“As a kid, I inhaled. That was the whole point,” Obama said last year on the campaign trail.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International