Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: Marijuana Has Medical Value and Marijuana Possession Arrests are Waste of Law Enforcement Time and Resources

Press Release January 15, 2014
Media Contact

<p>Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Bill Piper 202-669-6430</p>

In an interview today with the Las Vegas Sun, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Nevada cities should move in the direction of making medical marijuana legal.

“If you’d asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer – I would have said no, because (marijuana) leads to other stuff,” the Senate majority leader told the Sun today. “But I can’t say that anymore.”

“I think we need to take a real close look at this,” Reid went on. “I think that there’s some medical reasons for marijuana.”

When asked about legalizing marijuana like alcohol, which Colorado and Washington State have done, Reid stopped short of endorsing legalization but said, “[w]e waste a lot of time and law enforcement going after these guys that are smoking marijuana.”

Statement from Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance:

“Majority Leader Reid is right – marijuana has medical value and too much time and law enforcement recourses are wasted arresting people for marijuana. Twenty states have legalized marijuana for medical use and three-quarters of Americans support it. The 40 senators representing those states should follow Reid’s lead and support marijuana law reform. It’s time to change federal law to allow states to adopt their own marijuana policies without federal interference.”

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

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