Retired Supreme Court Justice thinks marijuana should be legal

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, pictured on May 30, 2012.

AP/Danny Johnston

WASHINGTON - Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says he thinks the federal government should legalize marijuana.

The 94-year-old retired justice tells NPR that public opinion has changed on the issue.

Stevens also says that there isn't much distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages, noting that the prohibition against alcohol in the early 20th century is generally thought not to have been worth the cost. He believes that that will be how marijuana is viewed in the future.

Stevens is the author of a new book, "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution," in which he proposes banning capital punishment and limiting gun rights.

NPR will air its interview with Stevens on the program "Weekend Edition Saturday."