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Retired Justice John Paul Stevens Backs Legal Marijuana


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Legal marijuana can count on one more ally: retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. “I really think that that’s another instance of public opinion [that’s] changed,” the 94-year-old said yesterday, when asked if he thought pot should be legal. “Recognize that the distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages is really not much of a distinction,” he said.

He compares current marijuana laws to prohibition of alcohol in the ’20s, which lasted 13 years and “was not worth the cost.” The judge said: “I think really in time that will be the general consensus with respect to this particular drug [marijuana].”

Stevens considers himself a conservative, though he was considered on the liberal side of the bench during his 35-year tenure (1975-2010). Not too long ago this kind of announcement from someone of his judicial stature might have been cause for hysteria, but these days it seems like everyone is getting on board the pro-pot bandwagon. In fact, earlier this week, a debacle at an Ohio newspaper highlights just how difficult it’s getting to find someone opposed to marijuana legalization.