As our long-time readers know, we have been advocating for the full legalization of marijuana for more than 25 years.
Despite the large number of states where marijuana is sold legally (38, including medical use-only states), the federal government still labels marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the same category as heroin and other truly dangerous substances.
But as we now know thanks to the release of White House tapes, the Schedule I listing of marijuana in 1970 had no basis in fact or science. The Nixon administration placed marijuana into the Schedule I category solely to use it as a means for prosecuting Black and minority communities and handing out lengthy sentences even for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Thanks to the real-time experience of fully-legalized marijuana for the past 10 years when Colorado became the first state to do so in 2012, we now know that marijuana is as benign a substance as exists and has many significant medical uses.
In addition, marijuana legalization has not led to an increase in use among young people as some had feared.
The U.S. House recently passed a bill that would legalize marijuana nationwide. We hope that the Senate can take up the legislation soon and make this common-sense measure a reality.