Reid Backs Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Image: Reid Backs Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Friday, 17 Jan 2014 08:27 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the latest politician to back the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.

The Nevada Democratic said in an interview Thursday that his position on the issue has changed over time.

"If you'd asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer—I would have said no, because [marijuana] leads to other stuff. But I can't say that anymore," he told the Las Vegas Sun.

"I think we need to take a real close look at this. I think there's some medical reasons for marijuana," Reid added.

He explained the reasons for his evolving view, citing CNN and National Public Radio reports about people suffering from conditions with no other treatment. Reid also pointed to the case of an elected official's son who had severe kidney failure while in college and could not eat.

"He was so skinny and doing so poorly and somebody told him and his mom, you know, you should smoke some marijuana, because one of the side effects is…you get the munchies, you get extremely hungry," Reid said.

"He tried it and sure enough, he was able to eat for the first time, he got hungry. So I thought, you know there might be some medical reasons for taking another look at this."

Nevada legalized marijuana for medical use in 2000, but Las Vegas and several other cities in the state have recently placed moratoriums on the creation of new marijuana dispensaries while they try to determine how to regulate the industry, according to the Sun.

At least 20 states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of medical use, while Colorado and Washington have legalized the medical and recreational use of marijuana.

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