America’s top doctor, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, has publicly stated that it is time to stop incarcerating Americans for using cannabis.
“When it comes to decriminalization, I don’t think that there is value to individuals or to society to lock people up for marijuana use,” Murthy told CNN. “I don’t think that serves anybody well.”
Although Murthy didn’t endorse full-on cannabis legalization, his remarks do show his support for a type of federal, low-level marijuana decriminalization.
“When it comes to marijuana, I think we have to let science guide us,” Murthy said. “And we know that the science tells us that there are some benefits to marijuana from a medical perspective but there are also some harms that we have to consider—and we have to put those together as we think about the right policy.”
In 2015, Murthy noted that there is preliminary data showing that cannabis is helpful for certain medical conditions and symptoms.
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy says he doesn’t think “that there is value to individuals or to society to lock people up for marijuana use” but emphasizes the need to “let science guide our process and policymaking” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/g3gNEDEcQ8
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 18, 2021