Want To Know Why Pot Is Still Illegal? Ask Your Governor

I'd like to give you seven specific reasons why the use of cannabis by adults remains a crime in America.

Marijuana law reformers, myself included, have spilled volumes of ink commenting on the numerous reasons and vested interests responsible for the continued prohibition of cannabis. But while these lengthy writings may be worthwhile intellectual exercises, I fear that they overlook the obvious.

That’s why, right now, I’d like to give you seven specific reasons why the use of cannabis by adults -- including seriously ill patients -- remains a crime in America. Ready? Here they are:

Governor Donald Carcieri (R-Rhode Island)

Governor James Douglas (R-Vermont)

Governor Linda Lingle (R-Hawaii)

Governor John Lynch (D-New Hampshire)

Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-Minnesota)

Governor Jodi Rell (R-Connecticut)

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-California)

Each of these Governors have single-handedly opted to kill marijuana law reform legislation in their states — either by the stroke of a pen (Carcieri, Lingle, Rell, Schwarzenegger) or by applying enough legislative pressure to abruptly halt ‘pro-pot’ proposals from ever reaching their desk. (In fairness to Gov. Douglas, he has allowed both medical marijuana and hemp law reform bills to become law without his signature.) Governors Carcieri and Schwarzenegger are multiple offenders — having combined to veto half a dozen marijuana-law reform bills in recent years.

Want to know why pot remains illegal in America? You can start by asking your Governor.
Paul Armentano is the senior policy analyst for the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC.