Quotations Throughout History About Cannabis

It seems that a lot of folks – some of them quite surprising – have had a lot to say about cannabis over the course of time.  Doctors, politicians, patients, caretakers and citizens – they’ve all been willing to add their two cents regarding the benefits of medical marijuana, cannabis in general, and the extreme value of the hemp industry to our country and the impact its loss had on our natural resources.


President Barack Obama

“The War on Drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws.”

President Jimmy Carter, Message to Congress 1977

Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use . . .  Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce [28g] of marijuana.”

President George Washington

“What was done with the seed saved from the India Hemp last summer? It ought, all of it, to have been sown again; that not only a stock of seed sufficient for my own purposes might have been raised, but to have disseminated the seed to others; as it is more valuable than the common Hemp.”

Henry Ford

“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?”

DEA’s Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young

“Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutic active substances known to man.”

“Estimates suggest that from 20 to 50 million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision. Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death. By contrast, aspirin, a commonly used, over-the-counter medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year.”

The Institute of Medicine 1999, Report on Medical Marijuana

“The accumulated data indicates a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.”

Professor Lester Grinspoon, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Testimony before the Crime Subcommittee, of the Judiciary Committee,

U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., October 1, 1997

“Cannabis is remarkably safe.  Although not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available.  Despite its use by millions of people over thousands of years, cannabis has never caused an overdose death.”

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

“There has never been a death directly attributed to marijuana.  It is a remarkably untoxic substance.  Doctors and nurses have seen that for many patients, cannabis is more useful, less toxic, and less expensive than the conventional medicines prescribed for diverse syndromes and symptoms, including multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, migraine headaches, severe nausea and vomiting, convulsive disorders, the AIDS wasting syndrome, chronic pain, and many others.”

Jocelyn Elders, USA Surgeon General

“Marijuana is beneficial to many patients.”

The Economist, March 28, 1992

“Medicines often produce side effects.  Sometimes they are physically unpleasant.  Cannabis too has discomforting side effects, but these are not physical – they are political!”

Dr. James Malone-Lee, Consultant, St. Pancras Hospital, London

“I’m quite impressed by what’s happened to (MS) patients who have used it.”

Kate Scannell, MD, Co-Director, Northern California Ethics Department, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center

“From working with AIDS and cancer patients, I repeatedly saw how marijuana could ameliorate a patient’s debilitating fatigue, restore appetite, diminish pain, remedy nausea, cure vomiting and curtail down-to-the-bone weight loss.”

Andrew Weil, MD, Director, Integrative Medicine Department, University of Arizona College of Medicine

“Like all medicines, marijuana has its drawbacks, particularly in smoked form. It is not a panacea. I support research into safer delivery systems such as low-temperature vaporizers or inhalers, which offer the fast action of inhaled medicine without the irritants found in smoke. Still, I have seen in my own studies that marijuana is less toxic than most pharmaceutical drugs in current use, and is certainly helpful for some patients, including those with wasting syndrome, chronic muscle spasticity and tractable nausea.

“As a physician, I am frustrated that I cannot prescribe marijuana for patients who might benefit from it. At the very least I would like to be able to refer them to a safe, reliable, quality-controlled source.”

Joe Pressley, Former Executive Director, New York AIDS Coalition (NYAC)

“Among physicians specializing in AIDS/HIV, there is a widespread acknowledgement that marijuana represents a significant treatment component for those who have advanced-state HIV symptoms, as well as for those with symptoms caused by the multiple-drug therapies used to control HIV.”

More on Medical Marijuana

History of Medical Cannabis
The Basics About Medicinal Marijuana
Synthetic Cannabis Drugs Are Available
Where Is Medical Cannabis Use Legal? – Medical Marijuana States
How Is Medical Marijuana Distributed
How Is It Used or Administered
Final Words