4/20: Celebrating Cognitive Liberty

Recent polls by Pew Research and Huffington Post/YouGov show that a majority of Americans think cannabis should be legalized, taxed, and regulated, much as alcohol is. (Washington state and Colorado are doing just that.) Whatever one thinks of cannabis, this seems to me good news for those who believe that governments should be restrained from needlessly infringing on individual freedom.

Here’s a sampling of what a few famous Americans have had to say about cannabis.

Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere! – George Washington (to his gardener)

If the words “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.  – Terence McKenna

It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics dope and all of that stuff. It is a thousand times better than whiskey. It is an assistant and a friend. – Louis Armstrong

Marijuana is one of the least toxic substances in the whole pharmacopoeia. – Professor Lester Grinspoon, Harvard Medical School

The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world. – Carl Sagan

I used to smoke marijuana. But I’ll tell you something: I would only smoke it in the late evening. Oh, occasionally the early evening, but usually the late evening – or the mid-evening. Just the early evening, mid-evening and late evening. Occasionally, early afternoon, early mid-afternoon, or perhaps the late-mid-afternoon. Oh, sometimes the early-mid-late-early morning. . . But never at dusk. – Steve Martin

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