Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 31, 2015

Harry Reid Evolves on Marijuana

Majority Leader Harry Reid’s position on legalizing medical marijuana has evolved.

The Nevada Democrat told the Las Vegas Sun’s Karoun Demirjian in an interview Thursday that his views on legalizing medical marijuana have changed.

“If you’d asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer – I would have said no, because (marijuana) leads to other stuff,” Reid told the Sun. “But I can’t say that anymore.”

“I think we need to take a real close look at this,” Reid went on. “I think that there’s some medical reasons for marijuana.”

When the topic was broached in the interview, Reid, who is a Mormon, quipped, “I’ve never tried it.”

But he described people he knew who had been helped by the drug, including the son of a Las Vegas elected official with kidney failure.

Reid demurred when asked about broader legalization.

But he questioned the value of prosecuting marijuana users.

“I guarantee you one thing,” Reid said. “We waste a lot of time and law enforcement going after these guys that are smoking marijuana.”

While Reid has evolved, not all of his colleagues agree. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ripped the Obama administration for mixed messages on enforcing the law in states like Colorado, which has legalized the drug.

“Law enforcement officers in Iowa are reporting increases in marijuana coming to Iowa from Colorado,” he said. “The Obama Administration’s decision not to prioritize the prosecution of the large-scale trafficking and sale of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado will contribute to these problems. …I appreciate the challenges facing law enforcement in dealing with the mixed messages on marijuana being sent by the Obama Administration and some states.”

  • Russell Allen Hurley For Congr

    Which country has the most people in prison?

    You might think China, with over a billion people, a restrictive government, or Soviets, still imprisoned in Russia.

    The United States has the most people in prison, by far, of any country
    in the world. With five percent of the world’s population, we have 25%
    of the world’s prisoners — 2.3 million criminals. China, with a
    population quadruple (X4) our size, is #2 with 1.600,000 million people
    in prison.

    In 1972, 350,000 Americans were in imprisoned. In 2010, this number
    had grown to 2.300,000 million. Yet from 1988 — 2008, crime rates have
    declined by 25% percent.

    Is anyone interested in why so many people are in prison when crime has dropped?

    The time to end the madness of incarcerating non violent citizens for a
    simple (non-toxic) plant. We shouldn’t wait until we have time to deal
    with it, as is the case with many fence sitters in office currently and
    candidates as well.

    The time is NOW!!! The time to end the madness of incarcerating non
    violent citizens for a simple (non-toxic) plant. We shouldn’t wait until
    we have time to deal with it, as is the case with some of my fence
    sitting friends in office currently and candidates as well. The time is
    NOW!!! Just give me TWO YEARS! I will work tirelessly to create JOBS,
    JOBS, and more JOBS through hemp and marijuana legalization at the
    federal level, This will create a TRILLION DOLLAR commodity/crop to the
    world and tens of thousands of jobs to OHIO. We will change the poor
    performing corn ethanol industry and get clean, renewable energy at the
    same time. I’ll work to double minimum wage and base military pay. These
    will make unemployment, food stamps and welfare enrollment drop to
    lower levels then seen in decades.

    I HOPE for your Ohio 2nd District endorsement.

    Please like and share my page.

  • Loretta L Mackenzie

    The real mixed message here is given by Grassley, a so-called small government fiscal conservative towards a federally aggressive liberal (Obama). I thought conservatives backed states rights, yet here he is demanding the federal government crush states rights?! If true small government, fiscal conservative constituents demanded that conservative republicans act like a small government fiscal conservative or they won’t get their votes, maybe we’d get both sides’ attention toward the Constitution of the United States, and the intention of the drafters, which is LIMITED government. I still can’t understand why no one is making an issue out of the fact that the war on drugs is socialism?

  • Immortal Illumined

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, all it took was cali, we run this planet by 20 years

    20 years behind us FEDS, sad and scary…to think you believe you run the world when you can’t get out of your own way,,,,,lol


  • Ourhy4104

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  • Socialism is Organized Evil

    In part, collectivism refers to the notion that society somehow magically exists apart from the individuals comprising it and must therefore be centrally planned and directed.

  • The Beech Bums

    Where unleashed along with the courage and industry that liberty begets, competition has been proven to best motivate genius and creativity

  • G26

    Although moral standards, civilized institutions, and better ways of doing things have improved our lot, the untamed instincts of mass action and mob violence occasionally bubble to the fore.

  • Mickey Kovars

    Since Obama now thinks that pot is no worse than alcohol, perhaps he could call off his drug warriors, who are still arresting and jailing people for possession. It’s not enough just to talk — a problem with Obama in many areas of concern.

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