Ex-Gov. Weld says research key to pot legalization

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld called on President Trump to change the federal classification of marijuana so researchers can explore the drug's ability to treat diseases, including cancer.

"I think anybody who is a reasonable politician has to listen to the argument that its been proved around the world that this will cure the ailments that your constituents are suffering from," Weld said in an interview with Cheddar at the Cannabis World Congress in New York. "Do you want to look your constituents in the eye, and say, 'No ー I'm going to stand in the way of you getting the physical relief from pain and suffering that you know you can get around the corner? That's a position that makes no political sense."

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which is the same category as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. This means it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and is not accepted for medical use.

Weld, who is a member of the board of the cannabis company Acreage Holdings, said Washington has yet to catch up with the country when it comes to cannabis: 64 percent of Americans say it should be made legal, according to a Gallup Poll.

"There's a lot of old people who have pains and aches that cannabis is very useful in just making go away. They are a voting bloc," said Weld, who also said millennial voters are another large bloc in favor of legalization. "So that's a pretty good pair of bookend voting blocs for any politician that is listening."

Weld said ultimately research will make it impossible for members of Congress to vote against cannabis, once they understand more about the drugs abilities.

For the full interview, click here.