[NPR's Scott Simon] asked him if the federal government should legalize marijuana.
“Yes,” Stevens replied. “I really think that that’s another instance of public opinion [that's] changed. And recognize that the distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages is really not much of a distinction. Alcohol, the prohibition against selling and dispensing alcoholic beverages has I think been generally, there’s a general consensus that it was not worth the cost. And I think really in time that will be the general consensus with respect to this particular drug.”
Since Stevens is no longer in office he has no direct power over federal policy, but his opinions still carry significant intellectual weight among federal politicians, scholars and people in the media.
Every time another prominent person comes out in support of ending the federal prohibition against marijuana it makes it easier for others to follow suit.
Hopefully, the fact even the 94 year old Stevens realizes that it is a good thing the country is moving towards legalization may convince the first sitting Senator or Governor that it is time to endorse the idea.