Gov. Schwarzenegger Declares “It

Press Release May 5, 2009

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger became the latest voice to weigh in on marijuana prohibition. Schwarzenegger’s response to a reporter’s question at a Davis news conference made him the highest-ranking U.S. elected official to question publicly the nation’s marijuana policies.

“It’s time for a debate” on marijuana legalization, Schwarzenegger said. “I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I’m always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs,” he added.

“What stands out about Gov. Schwarzenegger’s comment is not that he thought it, but that he said it — out loud and on the record,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “I have no doubt that other elected officials will soon follow in his footsteps as they confront the absurdity of spending billions of taxpayer dollars trying to enforce an unenforceable prohibition when they instead could be raising billions in tax revenue for impoverished state coffers.”

Since the beginning of this year, several high-profile figures have also weighed in on these issues:

“Just last week a statewide Field poll found that 56 percent of Californians support marijuana legalization,” said Stephen Gutwillig, California State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Gov. Schwarzenegger is reflecting a groundswell, a widespread sense that we are ready to end the wasteful charade of marijuana prohibition.”

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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