President Jimmy Carter has long been considered one of the most liberal people of the modern era to hold the highest office in the land. Since up until recently, those who were for the legalization of marijuana were by and large individuals with more liberal political leanings, it was believable when pro-marijuana lobbyists started publicizing that former President Carter was a supporter of their cause. However, Carter recently met with representatives from both Washington State and Colorado, the two states that recently passed laws legalizing marijuana within their borders, in order to set the record straight about his opinion on the matter.
In fact, President Carter stated he does not agree with legalizing marijuana. He does, however, support the following:
- No imprisonment for non-violent marijuana users.
- Instead marijuana users should be arrested, given a warning, a health assessment, and a referral to treatment if necessary.
- No permanent records for marijuana use.
Former President Worries About How Legalizing Marijuana Will Affect Youth
Many of the legislators making decisions about legalizing marijuana are from the baby boomer generation who experienced the escalation of pot use during the 1960s and 1970s. They may even view the drug with some nostalgia and think that if they used it and are fine then it is not a big deal when used in moderation. What many people do not understand is that marijuana today has been bred to be five to six times stronger than just 20 years ago.
President Carter worries about the impact this more relaxed attitude towards the drug will have on kids today, especially with the increase in potency of the drug. His biggest concern is that marijuana will become attractive to young people and just like cigarettes, manufacturers will market directly to the younger crowd.
Carter stated, “I do not favor legalization. We must do everything we can to discourage marijuana use, as we do now with tobacco and excessive drinking.”
President Carter Believes the States Legalizing Marijuana Will Fail
In the meeting, the former President made it clear that he believes that the marijuana legalization experiment taken on by Washington State and Colorado will not end well. If they feel the drug should be legal, Carter wants to see aggressive legislation to make sure that the product is not advertised and that public campaigns are created to halt driving under the influence of the drug. Instead of giving a green light to citizens to use, Carter would like to have each state do research on how and why people avoid marijuana use.
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