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While we all may be aware of immoral and unfair public policies or laws, we might not actively support their repeal. But keep in mind: when your tax dollars are being used to support a war, you are complicit. Whether you like it or not. The reason we stood up and said "Not in my name!" when Dubya and his folk invaded Iraq was because OUR tax dollars and OUR name was being used to perpetrate war crimes . What we saw from wikileaks is only a small taste of what happens in war, every day. The same kind of things happen in another war in Mexico, a country embroiled in narco-violence. http://stopthedrugwar.org/...

We should think carefully about the War on drugs, not because you use marijuana(OR any of the dangerous drugs like heroin or cocaine or prescription pills). Because YOUR tax dollars are being used, and YOUR NAME is being used in injustices here at home, and in Mexico. Here in America, a pot user is arrested every 45 seconds.

Scott Morgan over at drcnet.org puts marijuana legalization into terms that anyone can understand:

  1. Legalization doesn't mean that people who don't do drugs will have to start doing them.
  1. If other people are paying taxes on a product you don't buy, that just means more government services for you.

Also, I've been rebutting a lot of false arguments today in a diary that tries unsuccessfully to claim that marijuana is the same as alcohol. To summarize my thoughts on the 'marijuana is bad and addictive' subject:

Prohibition has created a monster and we may never be able to slay the beast of drug addiction. because of Prohibition, we probably will never be able to regulate hard drugs, it's simply too late. I may be wrong on this, but that's my opinion.

(earlier comment by yours truly.) This partly explains my opposition to the legalization of dangerous drugs. Remember when the anti-science right-wingers in the UK were told the truth by Professor Nutt about cannabis?
http://stash.norml.org/...

Unless we want to continue funding a Drug War in mexico that gets over half of its profits from marijuana, then we have to legalize it. Otherwise, we are partners in moral crimes at home and abroad.

When it comes to re-legalization, it seems like every irrational prohibitionist argument has been debunked. I've posted numerous diaries- here, here, here, here, and here, to name a few.

And what do I know about the drug war? A diary about my own experience with the California prison system never happened, but I did write this.

I won't link to every diary I've ever posted, but most of them address the War on Drugs. I agree with Sting, and any other celebrity, citizen, activist, politician, and doctor who says we need to re-legalize marijuana. The medical marijuana movement is growing this year, in places like South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and even individual cities like Philadelphia ,who have voted to reform cannabis laws.

This is an issue that can, if used wisely and targeted correctly, help the Democratic party. It cannot really help folks like Ron Paul, who may support legalization, but is too far to the right to really represent the future of American politics. We should not be losing voters to weird Independent movements or parties, or contributing to voter apathy amongst the youth vote because we won't address a basic civil liberty that is being trampled here. I have stated several times here that marijuana ballot initiatives will help left-leaning voter turnout, especially in the West, where a slight majority supports legalization.

It's always great when the right thing to do is aligned with the future strategies for taking this country back from the Nixons/Roves/Bushes/Palins/McCains/DEA/wingnuts. There is a lot of work to be done, but progressives should NOT be fooled into taking anti-marijuana positions. In the long run, that is a very self-sabotaging political position to stake the Democratic Party on.

[Which won't stop folks like CA gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown from doing so. But hey, if he wins this november and so does cannabis, that'd be great]

Originally posted to theytookmyblogalready on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Poll

Should cannabis be legalized?

95%93 votes
3%3 votes
1%1 votes

| 97 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

    by change the Be on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 10:55:58 AM PDT

    •  As a Californian, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      change the Be

      I support the legalization of marijuana so long as we can tax the holy hell out of it.  As a private citizen, I would rather be confronted by someone under the influence of marijuana than under the influence of alcohol.  As a Californian who lives in a beautiful city that has a large gang problem, I support the legalization of marijuana to stem the flow of incoming going to these outlaws from the illegal sale of marijuana.  As a prosecutor, I support the legalization of marijuana as I believe that it will save our county and state governments millions of tax dollars that are currently being used to enforce out of date laws on the use of marijuana. Just my opinion.  

  •  Tip'd, Rec'd and bowl packed for this thread! (11+ / 0-)

     
    Light 'em up!

     

    I will not teach a man who is not anxious to learn and will not explain to one who is not trying to make things clear to himself - Confucius

    by DiegoUK on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:00:15 AM PDT

  •  thank you for your contribution (13+ / 0-)

    the Drug War is absolutely taking place in two countries in OUR name and I, for one, am sick of it.  

    It's always great when the right thing to do is aligned with the future strategies for taking this country back from the Nixons/Roves/Bushes/Palins/McCains/DEA/wingnuts.

    absolutely agreed

    "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"

    by gravlax on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:00:21 AM PDT

  •  of course cannabis can be abused (3+ / 0-)

    Did you know that the largest cannabis dispensary in Oakland actually has a self-help counseling group for medical marijuana patients who feel they are smoking too much bud?

    I believe that prescription pills, due to the number of overdoses in this country, are a real public danger. Although the science doesn't support it, some folks here think the same thing about weed.

    Marijuana is medicine, just ask science.

    my quote from a previous diary:

    I'm still waiting for the DEA, ONDCP, and the GOP to explain to America why dozens of types of prescription pills should be outlawed, criminalized, and diverted to the black market.

    witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

    by change the Be on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:05:31 AM PDT

    •  where was that posted in this diary? (3+ / 0-)

      I don't see any reference to the inability of marijuana to be abused.  I have been accused of abusing it myself and, due to a medical condition, can now no longer toke.

      But, IMHO, I never experienced any withdrawal effects from no longer smoking marijuana.  I did have terrible withdrawal from nicotine and I have seen more than my share of struggles with alcohol, prescription pills, heroin, and cocaine.

      THIS diary is about the drug war.  Please comment about that.

      "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"

      by gravlax on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:09:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  my .02 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MA Liberal, gravlax, pantherq

    witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

    by change the Be on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:11:34 AM PDT

  •  It can help Ron Paul (5+ / 0-)

    I know quite a few people who grow and smoke organic pot who support Ron Paul for the pot reason alone.  Civil rights are their number 1 issue, and the libertarians are the only ones addressing the pot issue on a national basis.  

    Everyone I know who's been to jail for pot supports Ron Paul.  

  •  The first war we need to end? THE DRUG WAR! (11+ / 0-)

     
    Funny how the more money you put into the drug war, the more money is needed to fight it.

    Want to cut the deficit? STOP FEEDING THE DAMN BEAST!

    Put cops back to work against theft and violent crime where they belong, not busting high school students behind the gym..

    Pot smokers are not criminals until they're made to be. 99% wouldn't ever commit a crime if their favorite smoke wasn't criminalize just because it's impossible to tax (when grown at home).

     

    I will not teach a man who is not anxious to learn and will not explain to one who is not trying to make things clear to himself - Confucius

    by DiegoUK on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:19:39 AM PDT

  •  Industrial Hemp (10+ / 0-)

    The other half of this whole thing is industrial hemp.

    It would help a lot of economically depressed historically agrarian communities. Industrial hemp is a very lucrative crop.

    Hemp was a required crop in the era of our founding fathers, and a 'critical' crop to the navy in WWII.

    ...Of course, as soon as the war ended, it was straight back to reefer madness, which included banning an industrial plant with no useful THC content.

    It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

    by Gravedugger on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:22:10 AM PDT

  •  Harm reduction. (9+ / 0-)

    programs AND De-criminalize pot.

    In other countries they have had much success in making actual addictions a source of pity. Pathetic. To young people.

    "In Switzerland, the medicalisation of heroin use has helped change the image of users: from rebels to losers," Nordt said. "In the eyes of the young, they're mostly just sick people, forced to get medical help."

    and

    Nordt and Stohler's research shows that in the canton of Zurich, home to more than a fifth of Switzerland's addicts, there were 850 new heroin users in 1990 but just 150 in 2002.

    The War on drugs is just a money making machine. That is all. It kills.

    A Creative Revolution- - To revolt within society in order to make it a little better- Krishnamurti

    by pale cold on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:24:16 AM PDT

  •  I don't understand one point you're making (0+ / 0-)

    Did you write this part incorrectly, or do you mean you don't agree with drzombie?

    Also, I've been rebutting a lot of false arguments today in a diary that tries unsuccessfully to claim that marijuana is the same as alcohol.

    It seems out of place here...

    Necessity is the mother of revolution...

    by o the umanity on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:30:09 AM PDT

  •  The days when my legs hurt so much (7+ / 0-)

    that the only thing I can do is sit on the couch and count the hours until I can take another pill for the pain are the days I want to scream at the powers that be to end this pointless prohibition so I could at least try pot and see if it would help alleviate the endless pain I must live with, minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

    "We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope."

    by mydailydrunk on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:41:40 AM PDT

  •  US can't decriminalize while ignoring talk radio (0+ / 0-)

    it just won't happen. be harder than getting single payer, with those hypocritical  GOP blowhards and the blue dogs enabled by 1000 radio stations blowharding away all day, uncontested.

    the left has to picket those stations and boycott their local sponsors, then we will get change.

    US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

    by certainot on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:00:57 PM PDT

  •  Rescheduling petition advances (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, change the Be, DawnN

    Throughout these diaries, i've suggested that the next under the radar step the Administration could/should take is processing the now 8 year oldPetition to Reschedule filed by Jon Gettman of drugscience.org.

    I append his recent press release.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/petition-to-reschedule-marijuana-to-recognize-medical-benefi ts-in-final-stages-of-review-by-dea-90957944.html

    WASHINGTON, April 15

    As scientists and researchers from Israel, Brazil, Canada and the US participate in the Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, a coalition of medical marijuana advocates is calling on the Obama administration for prompt action on an eight-year-old petition to reschedule marijuana for medical use.  The petition, filed in 2002, argues that marijuana should be classified as a drug with "accepted medical use" based on growing scientific evidence and acceptance in state law.  Since the petition was filed, even more scientific studies and state laws have recognized the medical efficacy of marijuana.

    President Obama's Administration now has the opportunity to reclassify cannabis (marijuana) under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to make it consistent with state medical marijuana policies and that of its own Department of Justice. After nearly eight years of agency review, including an analysis of existing scientific evidence by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the petition is finally approaching its ultimate phase.

    A final decision on the rescheduling petition will be made by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), however DEA can not place marijuana in a more restrictive schedule than recommended by HHS.  Recently nominated DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart will make the decision on rescheduling marijuana at some point in the near future.

    Jon Gettman, a spokesperson for The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, states that, "Rescheduling marijuana is an urgent priority that needs this Administration's immediate attention.  Medical marijuana patients have waited too long for the federal government to catch up to scientific research and state laws that recognize that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe, effective, and most importantly not criminal activity.  We demand that federal policymakers recognize and accept their responsibility to regulate marijuana under the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act."

    The CSA classifies marijuana and other drugs in various schedules. Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, designating it as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

    The CSA provides a procedure to have scheduling classifications changed in response to scientific research and other relevant factors, such as recognition of a drug's accepted medical use and its dependence liability as compared to other controlled substances.  Schedule I substances include heroin, GHB and MDMA (ecstasy).  Cocaine and oxycodone are both Schedule II substances, which allows for severely restricted medical use while maintaining the assertion that its abuse may lead to severe physiological and psychological dependence.  Marinol® a synthetic form of THC (marijuana) that is widely prescribed medically is a Schedule III substance designating that it has a currently accepted medical use in the United States and that's its abuse may lead to only moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

    The case for rescheduling marijuana has been strengthened by several recent developments.  Fourteen states now recognize marijuana's medical use.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also recognized that marijuana is used medically under these state laws and directed the DEA and US Attorneys not to prosecute individuals for such use in these states.  In addition the reclassification of marijuana under the CSA is now supported by the American Medical Association.  The Iowa Pharmacy Board, using the same criteria as the CSA, has recommended rescheduling of marijuana under state law. Furthermore, recent studies by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research have documented marijuana's effectiveness in treating a variety of ailments.  Most recently, on April 16th and 17th Patients Out of Time and the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine will hold The Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI.  This accredited educational event features cannabis/cannabinoid researchers from Israel, Brazil, Canada and the US.

    The members of the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis include the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis.  Americans for Safe Access (ASA), California NORML, the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, High  Times, Iowans for Medical Marijuana, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), New Mexicans for Compassionate Use, Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, and Patients Out of Time.

    Leonhart's confirmation hearings to be permanent DEA Director will come up soon in the Senate  Judiciary Committee. If your Senator's among the Committee Democrats, ask that they grill her on her ability to "follow the science' rather than her agencies parochial interests.


    "Do your taxpayers a favor, and leave him alone." (My State Assembly Rep, Marc Pocan, to Denver's City Atty before 2008 DNC)

    by ben masel on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:03:38 PM PDT

    •  that is absolutely true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gravlax

      the reason for the dustup in the UK wasn't because they tried to set up dispensaries or legalize cannabis, but simply because the govt. took the advice of scientists and downgraded the plant into a lower drug category, a lesser offense.

      More recently, the Prof. Nutt incident created a lot of press.

      The only possible route we could hope for from the WH would be to apply science to the Controlled substances act.

      witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

      by change the Be on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:19:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The "War on Drugs," like any other war, is an (6+ / 0-)

    industry that feeds off taxpayer dollars. The people in favor of keeping MJ illegal are, for the most part, people who are also in favor of our never-ending wars and bloated defense budget, for mostly the same reasons; they're getting rich off the status quo, and they get to suppress people they don't like.

  •  Want to know who really favors (4+ / 0-)

    continued prohibition? Consider that nationwide, half of all arrests are for marijuana.

    Half.

    The legal system, from the police to the courts, prosecutors, judges, jailers, the private prison industry, and drug rehab facilities, depend on marijuana arrests as a jobs program. Not to mention all the cool military-style toys the police departments buy with the proceeds of asset forfeiture.

    All that goes away with relegalization.

    A lot of people have a vested interest in the continued operation of the Drug War. Here in MI, our recent voter-approved medical marijuana law is under attack from law enforcement and Republican elected officials as nothing but a smoke screen (heh) for those Dirty Fucking Hippies to get high with impunity. They propose to "amend" the law to allow only doctors to prescribe and pharmacists to dispense. Of course, they can't, because marijuana is a Schedule I narcotic, but that's kinda the point.

    These guys will not go down without a fight.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:44:54 PM PDT

    •  very good point and stat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper, gravlax

      some believe that marijuana arrests are only a minor portion of total.

      not true. at all.

      witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

      by change the Be on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 01:03:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If Your Stats Are True... (0+ / 0-)

      Tell me where the really high marijuana arrests rates are so I can move there and live crime free.  The areas I live and work don't have arrest rates anywhere close to 50% for marijuana.  Must be a paradise where you live.  Nothing but marijuana crime.

  •  upthread was a comment (0+ / 0-)

    about keeping independents and young voters interested; this issue could give dems in future elections a big boost, if they were to find their courage;

    if mj were to be reclassified by an administrative act, it would help greatly, and hardly even be noticed :);

    and would add to the mountain of scientific, economic, humanitarian reasons to re-legalize

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