One of America’s best-known travel writers and guides is lending his support to marijuana legalization as voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., consider dropping penalties for using pot.

Travel guru Rick Steves has been a longtime supporter of marijuana legalization, but has recently stepped more forcefully into public view. He was an early backer of Washington state’s legalization effort, and is now making his case with a series of highly publicized speaking events and fundraisers across Oregon.

“I figured, this is good citizenship. I’m not pro-marijuana, but I’m anti-prohibition,” Steves said from the Oregon governor’s mansion while visiting and talking pot taxes with Gov. John Kitzhaber. “Nobody needs to vote for me, nobody can fire me.”

Adults in Alaska and Oregon could buy legal marijuana — and pay taxes on it — under plans being considered in the fall election, and voters in Washington, D.C., are considering a similar measure repealing all criminal and civil possession penalties.


Marijuana legal but often scarce in Washington state

All three already permit medical marijuana use and possession, and backers of the plans, which include the New York Times, say legalization and taxation acknowledges that America’s pot prohibition is a failure. Twenty-three states and the nation’s capital permit medical marijuana, and Colorado and Washington state have legalized recreational use and sales.

“Voters are recognizing that marijuana is not as nearly harmful as they’ve …read more