(NaturalNews) With both Colorado and Washington having recently made history by legalizing the sale of recreational cannabis, the race is on for the rest of the country to see which states will either follow in their footsteps and reap unprecedented economic rewards or flounder on the wrong side of history by continuing the disastrous and failed policy of prohibition.
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida is one of a growing number of U.S. politicians who are coming out in support of cannabis. He recently told the Tampa Bay Times during an interview that cannabis is a powerful medicine used by many people in desperate situations. In his view, the plant should be fully legalized everywhere and no longer treated as an illicit drug with no justifiable use.
"Marijuana used as a medical relief for people that are desperate, I agree that ought to be legal," stated Sen. Nelson, as quoted by Marijuana Majority.
Other legislators and politicians that have recently come forward to vocalize their support for ending cannabis prohibition include Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Federal Judge Richard Posner, Colorado Congressman Jared Polis, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, among many others.
"I think it really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana," stated Judge Posner during a recent speech at Elmhurst College in Illinois.
Putting an end to cannabis prohibition is duly supported by the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), which believes federal law needs to be changed to stop criminalizing the possession, use and sale of cannabis. The group has also openly called on the President to rethink the categorization of cannabis as a controlled substance, a policy that has led to the needless arrest and incarceration of millions of people over the years.
"[E]nforcing the costly and ineffective prohibition on marijuana drains limited resources that could be better spent on programs that more effectively serve the public and keep our cities safe from serious and violent crime," reads an official resolution issued by USCM. "[T]he United States Conference of Mayors believes that federal laws, including the Controlled Substance Act, should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana policies without federal interference."
Sen. Nelson urging public to view cannabis outside realm of 'street mentality'
Speaking before a crowd of 30 to 40 people at a town hall meeting in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, late last year, Sen. Nelson emphasized many of the same points. A firm believer in the vast economic potential of ending cannabis prohibition, Sen. Nelson has been working to introduce legislation in his own state that would vastly reduce the penalties for crimes involving cannabis and potentially even legalize it altogether in the future.
"If we don't move soon, we will miss that rising economic wave as it relates to the policy, the legalization of marijuana, ganja, weed," stated Nelson at the meeting. "We need not be afraid of saying these words. We just need to understand that, take it away from that street mentality. Let's take it to the corporate mentality."
For a full list of all the big names in politics, entertainment, law enforcement, journalism and business that have made public statements in support of ending cannabis prohibition, be sure to visit Marijuana Majority: http://marijuanamajority.com.