Meghan McCain, the daughter of Senator John McCain, has come out in support of legalizing marijuana in her new book, America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom. From Daily Beast:
Let me put it right out there. Yes, I have smoked marijuana a few times in the past. The first time was on a trip to Amsterdam in college and I was surprised by how mild of an experience marijuana was (and in my experience still is). It is a plant that makes me mellow and giggly and, quite frankly, tired. Yet, depending on where you are in the United States, smoking is possession, and that is either a misdemeanor or a felony. Split that hair however you want, it’s still a crime.
That being said, I believe that marijuana should be legalized. This is not a decision I have come to quickly or lightly. Over the course of the last four years, in discussions with friends pro and con, I believe the legal ramifications of possessing marijuana are egregious. For one reason, I think it is a substance that does no more damage than alcohol does, and second, if we legalized marijuana in this country and taxed the hell out of it, our economic problems would at least be temporarily helped a great deal. In fact, you could even use the revenue stream to pay for universal health care if you wanted.
Having the daughter of the most recent Republican presidential candidate publicly supporting the end of marijuana prohibition is another important moment in the process of legalization becoming a mainstream political issue. Polling shows Republicans tend to be much more opposed to marijuana reform than Democrats or Independents, but having a high profile young Republican speak out can help change that.
There will probably never be one definitive tipping point on this issue, but statements like Meghan’s are part of a slow snowball effect. Currently the idea of legalization is still considered rather taboo as a political topic, but the growing number of prominent individuals in politics and the media willing to say in public that the war on marijuana is a failure is changing that. Their statements give other similar individuals the political cover they need to also voice their support for legalization, which in turn makes it even less riskier for those not as courageous to follow suit.
Public support for marijuana legalization has been growing at a rapid pace for the past few years. As more high profile people publicly join the call, it should only help accelerate the trend.