Useful Quotes

Good quotes make great letters.

“It is my considered opinion at present that marihuana is not harmful unless it is taken in enormous and excessive amounts. I believe that we are damaging this country, damaging our law enforcement situation, damaging the trust between older people and younger people by its prohibition, and this is far more serious than any damage that might be done to a few overusers.”
-Testimony of anthropologist Margaret Mead to Congress (October 27, 1969)

“I tried marijuana once or twice in England, but didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale”.
– March 10, 1992, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton

“It really puzzles me to see Marijuana connected with Narcotics – Dope and all that crap…it’s a thousand times better than whiskey – it’s an Assistant – a friend.”
– Louis Armstrong

Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
— DEA’s Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young. Source: US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, “In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition,” [Docket #86-22], (September 6, 1988), p. 57.

“Federal authorities should rescind their prohibition of the medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients and allow physicians to decide which patients to treat. The government should change marijuana’s status from that of a Schedule I [prohibited] drug … to that of a Schedule II drug … and regulate accordingly.”
— Dr. Jerome Kassirer, editor, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

“Casual drug users should be taken out and shot”.
– Daryl Gates, former LAPD Chief, before the U.S. Senate

Too many Americans have lost faith in our approach to the war on drugs
— Gary E. Johnson, Governor of New Mexico (and keynote speaker at the 2001 NORML Conference.

“For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest– but the myth–persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
— John F. Kennedy. Commencement Address at Yale University, June 11, 1962

“A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
— Abraham Lincoln, December 8, 1840

“Make the most of the help India hemp seed, sow it everywhere!”
— George Washington

“We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.”
 John Adams

“The greatest service which can be rendered any country is the add a useful plant to its culture!”
— Thomas Jefferson

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“Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use.”
— President Jimmy Carter, August 2, 1977

One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does.

  • Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night.
  • Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people.
  • Marijuana does not suppress medical research.
  • Marijuana does not peek in bedroom windows.

Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.

— Richard Cowan, Former head of NORML, Now editor of

“All laws which can be violated without doing anyone any injury are laughed at. Nay, so far are they from doing anything to control the desires and passion of man that, on the contrary, they direct and incite men’s thoughts toward those very objects; for we always strive toward what is forbidden and desire the things we are not allowed to have. And men of leisure are never deficient in the ingenuity needed to enable them to outwit laws framed to regulate things which cannot be entirely forbidden…He who tries to determine everything by law will foment crime rather than lessen it.”
— Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)