Rick Perry urges move toward marijuana decriminalization

January 23, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Thursday voiced support for softening penalties for marijuana use, and touted his work moving in the direction of decriminalization.

"After 40 years of the war on drugs, I can’t change what happened in the past. What I can do as the governor of the second largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keeps people from going to prison and destroying their lives, and that’s what we’ve done over the last decade," Perry said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Perry made the remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. While he does not favor legalization, he has supported alternate rehab and drug court programs, his spokeswoman noted.

"Gov. Perry has long supported diversionary and rehabilitative programs, like the drug courts we have in Texas that have proven results," said Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed in a statement to Post Politics.

Perry also said "states should be allowed" to decide whether to legalize marijuana.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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