McCain: "Maybe we should legalize. We're certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned. I respect the will of the people"— Tim Steller (@senyorreporter) September 5, 2013
John McCain said that “maybe we should legalize” marijuana at a town hall meeting. The meeting consisted of many angry questions about McCain’s support for military action in Syria, but the fun thing about town halls is that they can venture into any topic. While Arizona is hardly the first state one would think of as a place for drug reform, Colorado, diagonally across on the four-state corner, voted to legalize marijuana in 2012, and neighboring California has come close a number of times to full legalization of marijuana.
McCain didn’t say that he supports marijuana legalization, but he is neutral enough on it that he “respects the will of the people.” The people have been more and more in favor of legalizing marijuana, with multiple polls indicating that a majority of Americans now supports just saying yes.
This makes sense: it is now an accepted fact that the War on Drugs has done nothing to stop drugs, and has mostly just put a lot of black men in jail. Marijuana being illegal supports powerful Mexican cartels, like the Zetas, which politically control parts of Mexico, and have a sizable army. Marijuana has directly killed exactly zero people in its history, and while it does impair drivers (for some reason it has a larger effect on irregular smokers than regular smokers), marijuana is not quite as bad as alcohol in this regard.
More and more people get that, and it seems McCain does too. He might not be ready to fully endorse marijuana legalization, but he won’t stand in the way of legalization either, and that’s a big step.