Friedman praised by Schwarzenegger,
Hennessy, pot legalization group
Photo courtesy UMass
By Jason Bennert, Bay City News Service
November 16, 2006
STANFORD (BCN) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stanford
University President John Hennessy this afternoon praised Nobel
laureate Milton Friedman as one of the most influential economists
of the 20th century.
Friedman, 94, died today in San Francisco. He had been a senior
research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution since 1977, the
year after he won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences
in Memory of Alfred Nobel, commonly known as the Nobel Prize in
"Today Stanford has lost a great scholar and friend, and
our country has lost one of its leading economists,'' Hennessy
said in a statement. "Dr. Friedman's ability to explain complicated
economic theories has had a profound impact beyond the university.
We will miss his candor and intelligence, but we are quite certain
that his insights will live for generations.''
Friedman was one of the most influential economists of the postwar
era. He served as a key economic adviser to Presidents Richard
Nixon and Ronald Reagan as well as to Schwarzenegger.
"Milton was one of the great thinkers and economists of
the 20th century, and when I was first exposed to his powerful
writings about money, free markets and individual freedom, it
was like getting hit by a thunderbolt,'' Schwarzenegger said in
Friedman opposed the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes,
who supported government regulation of the economy and who provided
the theoretical foundation for Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New
Deal. Friedman argued that the free market should operate without
Friedman's won the Nobel Prize for his work on the influence
the supply of money has on economic conditions. He believed that
there was a close link between the money supply and inflation.
In addition to his work as an economist, Friedman was also politically
active. He helped end the draft in the United States with his
work on Nixon's All Volunteer Army Commission in 1969-70. He also
supported several controversial libertarian ideas, including the
legalization of marijuana.
"There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana,''
Friedman said in a 2005 Forbes magazine article. "Our failure
to successfully enforce these laws is responsible for the deaths
of thousands of people in Colombia. I haven't even included the
harm to young people. It's absolutely disgraceful to think of
picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is
the denial of marijuana for medical purposes.''
Executive Director Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project
said in a statement today, "Dr. Friedman was a lifetime dues-paying
member and a strong advocate for ending marijuana prohibition.
He understood that the government's war on marijuana users is
an assault on basic conservative values of freedom and small government.
We will miss him greatly.''
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