Eliot Spitzer In Favor of Legal Pot

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It’s still rare for a politician with national name recognition to come out for full legalization of marijuana. So, when former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer did so, marijuana advocates jumped on it. The website run by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) has a clip of Spitzer rendering his opinion on the comedy/discussion show, “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Spitzer’s quote, “To spend prosecutorial resources on pot is ridiculous...I'd be in favor of legalized pot. Legalizing pot is the right way to go,” has even more heft because he was a prosecutor himself. From 1998 through 2006, Spitzer was NY State Attorney General. Among his duties was overseeing the prosecution of marijuana crimes.

Complete legalization of marijuana (instead of just for medical use) is a hot button issue that few politicians will touch. They seem content to allow state legislatures to wrestle with it. Ron Paul is an exception at the national level, but he’s advocating legalization of all drugs, so marijuana is just rolled in as part of the package. Usually, the opposite is true. When a politician wants to appear as a law and order candidate, a tough stance on drugs is the usual rule.

Spitzer isn’t currently running for office, but he still has a voice in politics. He was even considered as a possible Vice Presidential candidate with Obama in 2008. Spitzer left the Governor’s office under a cloud when he was swept up in a scandal involving a prostitution ring in New York.

LEAP, the pro-legalization organization, is happy to have Spitzer on their team. The group advocates for reform based on the idea that prosecution of marijuana crimes serves no good purpose. LEAP asserts that the problems with marijuana are largely driven by the fact that it is illegal – not some innate danger with the drug itself. Having former prosecutors and law enforcement officers voices in the mix adds a bit of authority by way of “been there, done that.”

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