RSSCategory: Drug laws

And it’s causing senseless violence and wasting of tax dollars up here too

March 27, 2010 | By | Reply More
And it’s causing senseless violence and wasting of tax dollars up here too

Mexico is the biggest supplier of marijuana to the United States, and the illegal drug trade is tearing Mexico apart.

Mexico has been wracked by murders connected to the drug trade. Last year, it suffered more than 6,500 drug-related killings, triple the number in 2007. And 2010 looks worse. As of mid-March, more than 2,000 people have died in drug-related homicides – which puts Mexico on pace for more than 10,000 such deaths this year. That’s more than one every hour.

The linked article (from the Chicago Tribune) argues that California’s upcoming ballot initiative legalizing marijuana would be the worst nightmare of the Mexican drug cartels.

For the terrible numbers from Mexico at a glance, see here.

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Police chiefs, judges and prosecutors explain why the “war on drugs” is immoral

January 26, 2010 | By | 7 Replies More
Police chiefs, judges and prosecutors explain why the “war on drugs” is immoral

This video by LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) is well worth watching, especially by those who claim to support the “War on Drugs.” The many hundreds of law enforcement officials who belong to LEAP agree that what we have is not a “War on Drugs,” but prohibition, rampant social destruction and corruption.

But won’t people start using a lot more drugs if they are legalized? Not likely, based on the “Holland effect”: Legalizing marijuana in The Netherlands has lessened its appeal: Per-capita consumption is only half what it is in the United States. “They have succeeded in making marijuana boring,” according to James Gray, an Orange County Superior Court judge for 20 years.

Check out the 12-minute mark of the above video for shocking statistics on institutionalized racism.

As one of the police officers states, legalization is not about promoting drugs. It’s about stopping the violence. Once we legalize, then we can go about our work to discourage the destructive use of drugs, just like we did with cigarettes. 50% percent of adult smokers have given up that habit in the past ten years thanks to education. We cut the use of nicotine in half without telling our police to kick down doors and slap handcuffs onto smokers.

Judge Gray indicates that ending the “war on drugs” is the “single most important thing we could do” to improve our urban neighborhoods.

What is the war on drugs? According to one of the speakers in the above video, it’s “sixty nine billion dollars per year down the rat hole.” I agree. The “War on Drugs” should be renamed the “Inject Violence Into Neighborhoods Project.” It is immoral and senseless. And finally, there is good reason to believe that the momentum has changed (based on many things, including Denver’s legalization of marijuana). Large numbers of Americans are starting to question this insane “War.”

Judge Gray makes the point that legalizing marijuana is NOT condoning it. In the following talk (Oct 28, 2009), he gives a long litany of additional reasons for regulating and controlling marijuana. The biggest reason for legalizing is the the present system endangers children:

For much more important information, see the home page of LEAP.

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Against all odds: How marijuana was legalized in Denver

January 23, 2010 | By | 7 Replies More
Against all odds: How marijuana was legalized in Denver

If your quest were to convince the people of your city to legalize a highly demonized drug which was entirely safe, how would you run your campaign? At the recently concluded True Spin Conference in Denver, I had the opportunity to listen to an animated yet highly focused Mason Tvert describing for the audience how he and his small and not-well-funded organization (“SAFER”) convinced the people of Denver to legalize marijuana in 2005, with 51% of the people voting in favor. He also spearheaded a 2006 campaign to legalize marijuana throughout Colorado. Although that latter measure failed, an astounding 41% of the people of Colorado voted in favor.

In case you’re thinking that I’m promoting the use of marijuana, I am not, but neither would I attempt to prohibit any other adult from using it. I’ve never used marijuana (even though I once worked as a musician and the opportunities were ubiquitous. Millions of gainfully employed and otherwise law abiding people do like to use marijuana, but they are paying dearly for their attempts to feel good and seek stress relief. I am for the legalization of marijuana because that our country arrests more than 750,000 people each year for possessing or using an extremely safe drug that successfully makes people feel good. This destructive and expensive waste of government law enforcement is absolutely shameful. The number of people arrested each year is more than the entire population of South Dakota. and these users include many people you know and respect.

There is rank hypocrisy in the air, given that marijuana inexpensively offers the harmless escape that most of us seek much of the time (in one way or another), without any serious side effects and without the expense of many other methods of escape. If there were no such thing as marijuana, when it was finally invented by a pharmaceutical company, we would hail it as a miracle drug (Big Pharma wouldn’t need to lie about its efficacy or safety, as it does for many other drugs). Governments would allow it to be sold at drugs stores and they would happily tax it.

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Medical marijuana is coming to DC

December 9, 2009 | By | Reply More
Medical marijuana is coming to DC

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is reporting that Congress is giving the OK to medical marijuana in Washington DC.

Who is LEAP?

A group of police and judges who want to legalize drugs pointed to new FBI numbers released today as evidence that the “war on drugs” is a failure that can never be won. The data, from the FBI’s “Crime in the United States” report, shows that in 2008 there were 1,702,537 arrests for drug law violations, or one drug arrest every 18 seconds.

“In our current economic climate, we simply cannot afford to keep arresting more than three people every minute in the failed ‘war on drugs,'” said Jack Cole, a retired undercover narcotics detective who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “Plus, if we legalized and taxed drug sales, we could actually create new revenue in addition to the money we’d save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users.”

LEAP’s motto is that while drug use is bad, “The War on Drugs is Worse.”

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Critique of selective testing

December 8, 2009 | By | Reply More
Critique of selective testing

William Cornwall raises this worthy question:

the focus on drug and steroid testing in sports is absurd when you consider that professional athletes are tested more than Supreme Court Justices, Members of Congress, the President of the United States, and other elected officials. Additionally, despite the disproportionately high incidents of substance abuse among health care practitioners and the undeniable potential risks to their patients, there are no uniform workplace testing programs for health care practitioners that are similar to the testing programs in sports. What is it about possessing the elite athletic prowess that justifies treating a man or woman differently from others whose impact on our lives are potentially much more profound?

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Marijuana as an autism treatment

November 23, 2009 | By | Reply More
Marijuana as an autism treatment

What rational person could possibly cast blame at these parents for treating their autistic son with marijuana? This result suggests the need for further research, it would seem.

 

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Gagging the experts when discussing the war on drugs

November 3, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More
Gagging the experts when discussing the war on drugs

Jim Webb introduced a bill to “create a blue-ribbon commission to look at every aspect of our criminal justice system with an eye toward reshaping the process from top to bottom.”

How shall we proceed? A recent amendment to Webb’s bill by Republican Senator Charles Grassley would bar the commission from “considering” “legalization” of presently controlled substances. See also, this post by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Rolling Stone reports in more detail:

Enter unreconstructed drug warrior Sen. Chuck Grassley, who has released the text of an amendment that would ensure the commission not reach any conclusions that threaten 40 years of failure. The commission would be prohibited, thanks to Grassley, from examining any “policies that favor decriminalization of violations of the Controlled Substances Act or the legalization of any controlled substances.”

Here’s the text of Grassley’s proposed gag rule:

SEC. ll. RESTRICTIONS ON AUTHORITY.
The Commission shall have no authority to make findings related to current Federal, State, and local criminal justice policies and practices or reform recommendations that involve, support, or otherwise discuss the decriminalization of any offense under the Controlled Substances Act or the legalization of any controlled substance listed under the Controlled Substances Act.

Therefore . . . let’s figure out how to revamp our criminal justice system but let’s not discuss the elephant in the room: the fact that the “war on drugs” that has ruined more lives than drugs ever could have ruined. It’s important to keep in mind that some conservatives see the light on the “drug war.”

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Phelps versus Armstrong

October 23, 2009 | By | Reply More
Phelps versus Armstrong

Phelps versus Armstrong; safe marijuana v. dangerous alcohol. As David Sirota explains, it’s all a tale of deep hypocrisy when Phelps is pilloried for smoking in private while Armstrong is AOK for hawking beer in public.

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Burning American tax dollars to incarcerate Canadian seed sellers

September 29, 2009 | By | Reply More
Burning American tax dollars to incarcerate Canadian seed sellers

We’re about to spend hundreds of thousands of American dollars incarcerating a Canadian who was busted for selling marijuana seeds. He never set foot in the United States, but he’s being extradited. Who did he hurt?

“There isn’t a single victim in my case, no one who can stand up and say, ‘I was hurt by Marc Emery.’ No one.”

Here’s the conclusion of an article by Ian Mulgrew of the Vancouver Sun:

Emery is facing more jail time than corporate criminals who defraud widows and orphans and longer incarceration than violent offenders who leave their victims dead or in wheelchairs. Whatever else you may think of him — and I know he rankles many — what is happening to him today mocks our independence and our ideal of justice.

Emery’s crime is so incredibly serious that he would have spent an entire month in a Canadian prison for his crime. But, apparently, we have nothing better to do with American tax dollars than incarcerating people who sell marijuana seeds to people who want to buy them.

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