The Austin Chronicle Guide to SXSW 2017

Justice Says Legalize It

Retired Supreme Court judge weighs in on pot prohibition

Now retired, Justice John Paul Stevens thinks feds should legalize marijuana
Now retired, Justice John Paul Stevens thinks feds should legalize marijuana

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens believes the feds should legalize marijuana.

"I really think that's another instance of public opinion has changed and recognized that the distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages, is really not much of a distinction," the 94-year-old Stevens, appointed to the Supreme Court in 1975 by former President Gerald Ford, told NPR's Scott Simon.

A clip of Stevens' interview with Simon was posted to NPR's website. The full interview is slated to run tomorrow morning, Saturday, April 26, on Weekend Edition, which can be heard from 7-9 am on KUT 90.5.

Stevens told Simon that he believes the "general consensus" is that alcohol prohibition "was not worth the cost." In time, he said, he believes that will be the consensus on marijuana as well.

Tom Angell, chair of Marijuana Majority, which, in part, catalogues pot supportive statements of influential people, was quick to praise Stevens – and to add his comments to the MM website. "Justice Stevens is right. Public opinion is shifting rapidly in favor of marijuana legalization," he said. "Polls now consistently show that a clear majority of the public supports ending prohibition and, as this trend continues, we'll start to see more prominent people and politicians saying it's time to change the laws."

More Reefer Madness
4:20 on 5/3: Rally for Pot-Law Reform
4:20 on 5/3: Rally for Pot-Law Reform
Million Marijuana March this Saturday in Austin

Jordan Smith, May 1, 2014

Texans Like Pot
Texans Like Pot
Survey results clear: reform is needed

Jordan Smith, April 20, 2014

More Marijuana
Fill a Bowl for Stickland
Fill a Bowl for Stickland
State rep's stoner past comes out in primary

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 30, 2015

High Profits: Cannabis as Pot of Gold
On the Eve of 4/20
High Profits, by Austin’s Bat Bridge Entertainment, debuts

Marjorie Baumgarten, April 19, 2015

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014


Legislature, Drug War, Reefer Madness, marijuana, courts, marijuana legalization, War on Drugs, Marijuana Majority, John Paul Stevens, prohibition

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)