Marijuana decriminalization proponents are psyched by the words of a former president.
Bill Clinton is featured in the Morgan Freeman-narrated anti-drug-war film Breaking The Taboo, which has been circulating in the last year or so but which has seen some official New York release dates recently.
Activists say some of his words have gone unnoticed but could have major significance, given that it's rare if not unheard of to have current or former presidents going pro-marijuana (Jimmy Carter excepted):
A group called Marijuana Majority is trumpeting Clinton's use of the term “legalize” in comparing cigarettes to illicit drugs. Here's what the former prez says in the documentary:
We could have fighting and killing over cigarettes if we made it a felony to sell a cigarette or smoke one, so we legalize them. If all you do is try to find a police or a military solution to the problem, a lot of people die and it doesn't solve the problem.
No he didn't.
Well, actually, he didn't come out and say marijuana should be decriminalized. But this is close.
In a statement sent to LA Weekly and other outlets, Marijuana Majority says:
… He did use the L-word — legalize — in an unmistakably positive context in a documentary about the failure of drug prohibition. By giving an analogy about cigarettes, then saying “we legalize them” and following that up by talking about the violence that is caused by a law enforcement- and interdiction-focused response to drug problems, President Clinton is at the very least giving a serious head nod to the idea that “legalization” of other drugs is worth giving some consideration to.
This is very significant, coming from a former president who ramped up the war on drugs during his two terms.