In what’s a clear sign that smoking marijuana is becoming increasingly acceptable in the more socially liberal parts of the United States, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Jay Leno’s show last Monday that “no one cares whether you smoke a joint or not.” The rather blunt statement came after Leno asked the outgoing governor about a bill he signed five months ago, that made possession of up to an ounce of marijuana the equivalent of a traffic ticket, rather than a serious misdemeanor. This means that it carries a penalty of no more than a $100 fine and no arrest or criminal record.
Although Proposition 19 was rejected by California voters, Governor Schwarzenegger is probably right when he says that Californians really aren’t opposed to legalizing marijuana; it’s more likely that the bill was, indeed, simply badly written. His decision to make possession of weed a minor offense, comparable to a speeding ticket is, as far as I am concerned, a major step in the right direction.
The War on Drugs has been taken too far and has carried on for too long a time. It’s time to end it; legalizing weed is a good start.