Former President Jimmy Carter has given a "full throated endorsement" of states' efforts to legalize marijuana.
Alluding to a 1979 speech in which he called for decriminalization of marijuana, Carter said the US has gone backwards in its policies. (He called for decriminalization in 1979? How did I miss that? Oh, yeah, 1979, I … er… must not have been paying attention … for some reason.)
In an interview with CNN (video here), Carter also said that the nation's marijuana-related incarceration laws discriminate against blacks, Latinos and the mentally ill and are unnecessarily imprisoning far too many US citizens. For every person imprisoned in 1979 for marijuana, there are 8 in jail today, according to Carter.
More details, check out the CNN video, this story in the Huffington Post, or this story from ABC News. After the jump, watch the documentary Breaking the Taboo, in which Carter says the War on Drugs has failed, and the US should rethink its drug policies. (Well, duh. I'm glad a well-respected elder statesman like Carter spoke up. President Obama, the ball is in your court.)