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#21 [url]

Apr 3 09 10:39 AM


Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense

By Joe Klein Thursday, Apr. 02, 2009

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1889021,00.html?xid=rss-nation-cnn

For the past several years, I've been harboring a fantasy, a last political crusade for the baby-boom generation. We, who started on the path of righteousness, marching for civil rights and against the war in , need to find an appropriately high-minded approach to life's exit ramp. In this case, I mean the high-minded part literally. And so, a deal: give us drugs, after a certain age — say, 80 — all drugs, any drugs we want. In return, we will give you our driver's licenses. (I mean, can you imagine how terrifying a nation of decrepit, solipsistic 90-year-old boomers behind the wheel would be?) We'll let you proceed with your lives — much of which will be spent paying for our retirement, in any case — without having to hear us complain about our every ache and reflux. We'll be too busy exploring altered states of consciousness. I even have a slogan for the campaign: "Tune in, turn on, drop dead."

A fantasy, I suppose. But, beneath the furious roil of the economic crisis, a national conversation has quietly begun about the irrationality of our drug laws. It is going on in state legislatures, like 's, where the draconian Rockefeller drug laws are up for review; in other states, from to , various forms of marijuana decriminalization are being enacted. And it has reached the floor of Congress, where Senators Jim Webb and Arlen Specter have proposed a major prison-reform package, which would directly address drug-sentencing policy.  

There are also more puckish signs of a zeitgeist shift. A few weeks ago, the White House decided to stage a forum in which the President would answer questions submitted by the public; 92,000 people responded — and most of them seemed obsessed with the legalization of marijuana. The two most popular questions about "green jobs and energy," for example, were about pot. The President dismissed the outpouring — appropriately, I guess — as online ballot-stuffing and dismissed the legalization question with a simple: "No."  

This was a rare instance of Barack Obama reacting reflexively, without attempting to think creatively, about a serious policy question. He was, in fact, taking the traditional path of least resistance: an unexpected answer on marijuana would have launched a tabloid firestorm, diverting attention from the budget fight and all those bailouts. In fact, the default fate of any politician who publicly considers the legalization of marijuana is to be cast into the outer darkness. Such a person is assumed to be stoned all the time, unworthy of being taken seriously. Such a person would be lacerated by the assorted boozehounds and pill poppers of talk radio. The hypocrisy inherent in the American conversation about stimulants is staggering.

But there are big issues here, issues of economy and simple justice, especially on the sentencing side. As Webb pointed out in a cover story in Parade magazine, the is, by far, the most "criminal" country in the world, with 5% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners. We spend $68 billion per year on corrections, and one-third of those being corrected are serving time for nonviolent drug crimes. We spend about $150 billion on policing and courts, and 47.5% of all arrests are marijuana-related. That is an awful lot of money, most of it nonfederal, that could be spent on better schools or infrastructure — or simply returned to the public.

At the same time, there is an enormous potential windfall in the taxation of marijuana. It is estimated that pot is the largest cash crop in , with annual revenues approaching $14 billion. A 10% pot tax would yield $1.4 billion in alone. And that's probably a fraction of the revenues that would be available — and of the economic impact, with thousands of new jobs in agriculture, packaging, marketing and advertising. A veritable marijuana economic-stimulus package!

So why not do it? There are serious moral arguments, both secular and religious. There are those who believe — with some good reason — that the accretion of legalized vices is debilitating, that we are a less virtuous society since gambling spilled out from to "riverboats" and state lotteries across the country. There is a medical argument, though not a very convincing one: alcohol is more dangerous in a variety of ways, including the tendency of some drunks to get violent. One could argue that the abuse of McDonald's has a greater potential health-care cost than the abuse of marijuana. (Although it's true that with legalization, those two might not be unrelated.) Obviously, marijuana can be abused. But the costs of criminalization have proved to be enormous, perhaps unsustainable. Would legalization be any worse?

In any case, the drug-reform discussion comes just at the right moment. We boomers are getting older every day. You're not going to want us on the highways. Make us your best offer.


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#22 [url]

Apr 3 09 11:46 AM

I am surprised the Klein found the time to crawl out of Obama's rear end to write an article.  He spent an entire paragraph apologizing for him.

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#24 [url]

May 19 09 3:00 PM

Former Mexican president calls for legalizing marijuana

  • Story Highlights
  • Changes in drug policy must be done in conjunction with the U.S., Vicente Fox says
  • Former Mexico president compares drug battle to Prohibition in the 1920s
  • Call for a change prompted by surge in drug-related violence in Mexico

By Arthur Brice
CNN

Former Mexico President Vicente Fox says it's time to open the debate on legalizing marijuana.
 
 
(CNN) -- Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has joined three other ex-leaders of Latin American nations calling for the decriminalization of marijuana.

Fox, who was Mexico's president from 2000 to 2006, said the current policy is clearly not working.
"I believe it's time to open the debate over legalizing drugs," he told CNN on Tuesday. "It must be done in conjunction with the United States, but it is time to open the debate."
He pointed to how the end of Prohibition in the United States in 1933 lessened organized crime violence.
"It can't be that the only way is for the state to use force," he said. Video Watch Fox say it's time to debate legalizing drugs »
Fox was mirroring a position adopted earlier this year by his predecessor as president of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo, and the former heads of Colombia and Brazil. The three former chief executives are members of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy.
At a February meeting in Brazil, the commission called for the decriminalization of marijuana for personal use and a change in tactics in the war on drugs.
"The problem is that current policies are based on prejudices and fears and not on results," former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria said at a news conference in which the 17-member commission's recommendations were presented.
Former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil said the group called for only the decriminalization of marijuana and not other illicit drugs because "you have to start somewhere."
Zedillo was president of Mexico from 1994 to 2000. Gaviria was president of Colombia from 1990 to 1994. And Cardoso led Brazil from 1995 to 2002.

 

Fox said any change in drug laws must be accompanied by an education campaign in schools and homes. And because the United States is a large consumer of marijuana that comes from Latin America, any steps toward legalization must be supported in Washington, he said.
Gaviria said in February that the time is right to start a debate on the subject, particularly with the pragmatic openings provided by the election of President Obama.
"In many states in the United States, as is the case in California, they have begun to change federal policies with regard to tolerating marijuana for therapeutic purposes. And in Washington there's some consensus that the current policy is failing," Gaviria said.
The call for a change in strategy comes amid a horrific explosion of drug-related violence in Mexico, where officials say 10,000 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006. Calderon said in a speech earlier this year that 6,500 of those deaths occurred in 2008.
Calderon, who succeeded Fox, ramped up the battle against the nation's narcotics traffickers and brought in the army to reinforce often ineffective local and state police.
That was a change in tactics from Fox, who said he had chosen to strengthen federal police and intelligence-gathering operations and to create a secretary for public security. But now that Calderon has chosen a different approach, he must prevail, Fox said in an exclusive interview with CNN.
"If you go to war, you have to win it quickly and according to regulations," he said. "Human rights are very important."
It also is important that the United States "accept its responsibility," he said. "I would like to see some steps taken here in the United States. We see the drugs are coming across the border and are distributed in Atlanta and Washington and Chicago and all parts of the country."
Fox's comparison of the current battle to Prohibition in the United States in the 1920s was recently touted by Robert Pastor, who was a Latin America national security adviser for President Carter in the late 1970s. He called the problem in Mexico "even worse than Chicago during the Prohibition era."
Pastor said a solution similar to what ended that violence is needed now.
"What worked in the U.S. was not Eliot Ness," he said, referring to the federal agent famous for fighting gangsters in the 1920s and 19'30s. "It was the repeal of Prohibition."
 
Others are not so sure.

"This has become a world of globalization," said Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia, Mexico's executive secretary for the National System for Public Safety. "Globalization has many virtues but some errors. I can't conceive that one part of the world would decriminalize drugs because it would become a paradise for drug use. It might bring down violence, but there would be social damage."

 

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/05/13/mexico.fox.marijuana/index.html

 

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#25 [url]

May 20 09 8:53 AM

I can't believe I'm replying to this thread after what happened on Waterdog, but I just have to say that a couple of you guys have NO idea what you're talking about.

I admit I may be a little touchy about this issue, but I just want to say that it's easy to talk shit about people you've never met or things you've never experienced firsthand.  Just sayin'. 

There.  I said it.

So there.

Going away now.

Bye.

Death to the Fascist Insect that Preys Upon the People!

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#26 [url]

May 20 09 9:05 AM

Huh? Who was talking shit about who?

I'm confused. neutral


Were you listening to me and my buddy talking about how his exgirlfriend put on a bunch of weight last night?
Because if you were, you would have noticed that I was not saying anything bad, I was just laughing at what was said.
Because it was funny.
How in the world did you know we were talking about that?

Spooky. neutral

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#27 [url]

May 20 09 10:06 AM

Wha .  . . . ?  Now I'm REALLY confused . . . although it sounds like Mofo's feeling a wee bit guilty about something or other.  Watch it, dude, I have psychic eavesdropping powers and will totally bust you for laughing at fat people . . .

No, what I was referring to was some of ignorant and judgmental statements that have been made about drug addicts and drug addiction, especially the comment about "weeding out the weak."  It's really easy to say things like that when you've never lost any friends or loved ones to addiction, or if you've never experienced it yourself.  I really want to use words like "self-righteous douchebag" right now so I'll just stop here.  I don't really want to open this can of worms again. It got really ugly on Waterdog, to the point where I'm convinced a couple of those people are full-on evil.  I'd really rather not turn Mofoland into a big bummer, so I'll try to stay off this thread.

Death to the Fascist Insect that Preys Upon the People!

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#29 [url]

May 20 09 10:26 AM

Anne, they aren't self righteous. It's more about the "tough" attitude, rather than a more sophisticated approach. This sort of thing is more common in males than females. The main reason is because we have these things hanging off us called penises or "penii" to some. The fact that we have "penii" isn't always enough proof that we're men.

Some of us need to take a "tough" approach to things and will often say moronic things. I do it myself and I love to think of myself as sophisticated when it comes to social questions. I often think that homophobia and general male insecurity has been one of the principal causes in authoritarian regimes. Perhaps dudes like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Cheney etc. are just total homophobes, incapable of understanding that they would start being men the moment they dropped the tough stance.
I'm not saying being tough is a bad thing, but real men don't need that sort of reassurance and, well, most of us aren't real men I guess.

Christ I'm rambling now. Time for my medicine (a beer accompanied by a nice light joint)

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#30 [url]

May 20 09 4:44 PM

I hear ya on that, but believe me, there are plenty of women who love to talk all tough as long as they don't have to back it up.  Ever hear of Ann Coulter? 

And you're totally right on about the homophobia/sexual insecurity thing.  I think it's at the root of all kinds of horrible control freak behavior, especially fascism and fundamentalism.  I'm okay with blatant homosexuality, but not latent homosexuality, 'cuz hat's where all the trouble starts.  I mean, why would you even care what other people do in bed unless you were insecure about your own sexuality? 

Whoa, this thread is veering wayyyyyy off topic. Anyway, all's I'm saying is that it's a good idea to try to put yourself in someone else's shoes before you get all judgey and shit . . . .

Death to the Fascist Insect that Preys Upon the People!

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#31 [url]

May 20 09 10:10 PM

I hear ya on that, but believe me, there are plenty of women who love to talk all tough as long as they don't have to back it up.  Ever hear of Ann Coulter?

-annefrankenstein

I also think that one of the effects of the feminist movement has been to transmit negative male behavior to women. At least in the States. Somehow we got this whole "We are equal" thing mixed up with "We are the same".

We AREN'T the same. We have different parts, and different tendencies. But yet I have met so many women acting like absolute men. It doesn't really bother me unless I hear girls talking about things a guy can't even get away with. For example being "tough".

I happen to think a lot of it is not only a caused by marketing, but also created to assist in marketing. Think of how much money is saved when advertising to one homogeneous  group? How much money does Chevy save in advertising when it can hit both men and women in their SUV ads? How sticky does "Like a rock" become when women see themselves with the same social defects of men?

They couldn't keep us from burping and farting long enough to feminize us, so they attacked the female of the species instead.

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#32 [url]

May 21 09 7:48 AM

This conversation reminds me of the South park episode with queefing (did I spell "queefing" correctly?). It's okay for guys to make fart jokes until women start making queef jokes, queefing on each other in public for laughs, and pulling each others finger and making each other queef. Then we realize how wrong it is.  
 
Way off subject.

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#33 [url]

May 21 09 7:58 AM

Moonshine to Mexican marijuana: Family gets busted

  • Story Highlights
  • 10 people, including grandpa, son and grandson, convicted on serious drug charges
  • 83-year-old former moonshiner gets 20 years; son who led operation gets 9 years
  • Attorney: "If the father got a longer sentence, it's because he's a lousy father"
  • Authorities say case is a microcosm of what's happening across rural America
By Wayne Drash
CNN
 
TRION, Georgia (CNN) -- The Dodge Neon sped down Interstate 40 in eastern Oklahoma, its occupants heading to Phoenix, Arizona, to buy a load of dope. It was May 2005. The couple brought along methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana to help pass the time on the long journey.

Paul Faulkner, 83, and his son, Michael Smith, were convicted in a drug smuggling ring in north Georgia.

At that moment, Detective Rob Rumble had no clue that the traffic stop he was about to make would launch a years-long drug investigation stretching more than 2,000 miles, from the remote mountains of northwest Georgia all the way down to Mexico.

The investigation showed how an 83-year-old grandfather adapted to the times, morphing from old school bootlegging to dealing Mexican dope. His son acted as the ringleader of the operation. His grandson was tied in too, authorities say.

"I've seen it all. Nothing surprises me," said Rumble, a drug investigator for the district attorney's office in east-central Oklahoma.
After making that traffic stop, Rumble persuaded the nervous, lanky driver from Georgia to work with authorities and tell everything he knew. Investigators were led to a sleepy pocket of Georgia with scenic mountain views where people wave to strangers from their cars and where some homes still fly the Confederate flag.

It's the last place one might expect drugs from Mexico. But the demand for drugs is reaching even the most remote corners of America.
Their story has all the intrigue of a classic Southern novel -- three generations of a family business on the wrong side of the law, complete with an old fashioned family feud.
"When they're in that type of business, there's a reckoning day -- and apparently this is it," said Benny Perry, the 78-year-old mayor of Trion, Georgia, one of the towns where the family was operating.
Perry is a barrel-chested man and speaks in a welcoming Southern accent. "I'll say this, I was completely surprised," he said. "I felt like we had a problem here, but I wouldn't have thought it was originating in Mexico and coming here."

The drugs, mostly marijuana, were trucked from Mexico through California and Arizona and then distributed across five counties in Georgia and one in Tennessee, authorities say. They were hidden in just about anything -- furniture, roofs of big-rigs and tire wells. Once the shipments arrived, the dope was put in 50-caliber ammunition cans and buried in the woods, where buyers would pick up the stash and leave behind thousands in cash, authorities say.

At the heart of the operation was 46-year-old Michael Leon Smith, who authorities say became one of the richest men in Chattooga County, population 25,000, as he laundered his drug money by buying up dozens of pieces of property. One tract of land sits on Old Justice Road, an ironic name considering the law finally caught up with him.
Smith's 83-year-old father, Paul Leon Faulkner, was also busted. Eight others, including Faulkner's grandson (Smith's nephew), pleaded guilty to an array of charges related to the drug ring. The drugs mostly involved marijuana, but methamphetamine and cocaine were also part of the smuggling operation, authorities say.
"We love it when somebody says they can't be caught," said Del Thomasson, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who worked the case.
Faulkner, who is suffering from cancer, was handed a 20-year sentence last month and is to head to prison in August. "Twenty years, that is a death sentence," said Giles Jones, Faulkner's attorney, adding that he has appealed the sentence.

He said Faulkner was a "full-time mountain shiner" who could talk moonshine until he was "blue in the face," but knew little about the Mexican marijuana operation. Jones said the old man's son "threw his ass under the bus" to save himself.
"It's a situation where I guess you're just looking out for yourself. It's every day as every day, man," said Jones.
Not so fast, said Cathy Alterman, the defense attorney for Smith, Faulkner's son.
"Michael didn't throw his father under the bus. His father threw Michael down the drain when he was 16 years old," Alterman said. "If the father got a longer sentence, it's because he's a lousy father. ... He was never there for his son, except to be a bad example."

Smith is serving a nine-year sentence in federal prison in Montgomery, Alabama. Faulkner's grandson is also serving a nine-year sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.
Alterman said the sentences are excessive for people involved in dealing marijuana, a substance she says should be legalized.
"Michael's a wonderful family man, a Christian -- which means a lot to him, a very religious man. And I point out that in the Bible, God gave us every seed-bearing plant, and I think Michael looked at it that way. And, unfortunately, our government since 1937 has not seen it as a God-given right."
Alterman is a defense attorney in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. She says about 90 percent of her clients are accused drug dealers, "most of them out of Mexico."
Asked if Smith was dealing with people tied to Mexico's ruthless cartels, Alterman said, "Yes."
"When you're selling in quantity -- all right, and Michael was selling in quantity -- you need someone who is able to give you a regular supply at a reasonable price, and so eventually Michael did end up buying from people who were from Mexico."

The cartels are so organized, the money so great, that when an operation like this family's is taken down, it doesn't take long for others to move in. "Within 24 hours, if someone's arrested, someone else here already in the United States in the trade will take their place," Alterman said.
"America does not know that the fingers of the cartels are basically around the throat of America," she added, "and it has spread out to rural America just as much as the inner city of Detroit."
Authorities agree. Nearly every rural community is facing a similar battle, with drug dealers taking up shop in small towns where law enforcement has less of a presence and where the nation's highways make for easy transport.

"I think people should care about what happens in a rural area, because let's face it, there are more rural areas than there are cities. Our community is not the only one affected," said GBI agent Thomasson.
A Justice Department study released last year showed Mexican cartels had a presence in 230 U.S. cities, stretching from the U.S.-Mexican border to the Southeast and as far north as Alaska. The nation's rural communities are increasingly affected.

"Historically, rural America uses more alcohol and less drugs. That is changing," said Dr. H. Westley Clark, the director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
There have been few comprehensive studies over the last decade looking at the problem of drugs in rural America. According to a 2006 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the use of illicit drugs in America is nearly the same in cities and rural areas, 8.7 percent compared to 7.8 percent respectively.
Another report, in 2000 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, found that eighth-graders living in rural America were 34 percent more likely to smoke marijuana than in urban centers and 83 percent more likely to use crack cocaine.

In Trion, a town of about 2,000 people, a sign sits at the edge of the community in support of the local K-12 school. It reads, "Trion Bulldogs deserve a drug free community to live and grow!!" The words "drug free" are underlined.
Many here are shocked to hear drugs from Mexico are coming through. Most don't like to talk on the record about the case because the family was well-known, even well-liked.
"You got a guy who's a drug dealer, but you have good people in a community. I mean, they don't have a clue what's going on," Thomasson said.
The town's mayor, Perry, said it's difficult to reconcile a "cordial" local family with the serious drug convictions.
"You could talk to [them] ... and they would speak back," he said of Faulkner and Smith. "That's a big thing up here in a small town. If you speak to somebody and they don't speak back, you think, 'Well, something's wrong here.' "
Perry said local authorities are trying "to stamp out the local demand," adding, "As long as we've got a market for it, they're gonna bring it up here."
Alterman, the defense attorney, agrees.

"Americans are screaming for drugs" and there's millions to be made, she said.

"There's too much money involved."

 

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/21/drugs.rural.america/index.html

 

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#34 [url]

May 21 09 10:03 AM

This conversation reminds me of the South park episode with queefing (did I spell "queefing" correctly?). It's okay for guys to make fart jokes until women start making queef jokes, queefing on each other in public for laughs, and pulling each others finger and making each other queef. Then we realize how wrong it is.  
 
Way off subject.

-mofo

I've often wondered about that. I spell it just like that!
I would NEVER ask someone to pull my finger in the presence of a lady. I just lean onto a but cheek and let that Harley rip! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrap! Everyone's hair get's bleeched ina heartbeat!

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#36 [url]

Jun 3 09 9:09 AM


We can speculate all day, but it's really hard to argue with results.


Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?

Romano Cagnoni / Getty


Pop quiz: Which European country has the most liberal drug laws? (Hint: It's not the Netherlands.)

Although its capital is notorious among stoners and college kids for marijuana haze–filled "coffee shops," Holland has never actually legalized cannabis — the Dutch simply don't enforce their laws against the shops. The correct answer is Portugal, which in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.


At the recommendation of a national commission charged with addressing Portugal's drug problem, jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. The argument was that the fear of prison drives addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment — so why not give drug addicts health services instead? Under Portugal's new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.


The question is, does the new policy work? At the time, critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to "drug tourists" and exacerbate Portugal's drug problem; the country had some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. But the recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, suggest otherwise.


The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.


"Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does."


Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal's drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.


The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8% (although there was a slight increase in marijuana use in that age group). New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half. In addition, the number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well.


Portugal's case study is of some interest to lawmakers in the U.S., confronted now with the violent overflow of escalating drug gang wars in Mexico. The U.S. has long championed a hard-line drug policy, supporting only international agreements that enforce drug prohibition and imposing on its citizens some of the world's harshest penalties for drug possession and sales. Yet America has the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana use in the world, and while most of the E.U. (including Holland) has more liberal drug laws than the U.S., it also has less drug use.


"I think we can learn that we should stop being reflexively opposed when someone else does [decriminalize] and should take seriously the possibility that anti-user enforcement isn't having much influence on our drug consumption," says Mark Kleiman, author of the forthcoming When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment and director of the drug policy analysis program at UCLA. Kleiman does not consider Portugal a realistic model for the U.S., however, because of differences in size and culture between the two countries.


But there is a movement afoot in the U.S., in the legislatures of New York State, California and Massachusetts, to reconsider our overly punitive drug laws. Recently, Senators Jim Webb and Arlen Specter proposed that Congress create a national commission, not unlike Portugal's, to deal with prison reform and overhaul drug-sentencing policy. As Webb noted, the U.S. is home to 5% of the global population but 25% of its prisoners.



At the Cato Institute in early April, Greenwald contended that a major problem with most American drug policy debate is that it's based on "speculation and fear mongering," rather than empirical evidence on the effects of more lenient drug policies. In Portugal, the effect was to neutralize what had become the country's number one public health problem, he says.


"The impact in the life of families and our society is much lower than it was before decriminalization," says Joao Castel-Branco Goulao, Portugual's "drug czar" and president of the Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, adding that police are now able to re-focus on tracking much higher level dealers and larger quantities of drugs.


Peter Reuter, a professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Maryland, like Kleiman, is skeptical. He conceded in a presentation at the Cato Institute that "it's fair to say that decriminalization in Portugal has met its central goal. Drug use did not rise." However, he notes that Portugal is a small country and that the cyclical nature of drug epidemics — which tends to occur no matter what policies are in place — may account for the declines in heroin use and deaths.


The Cato report's author, Greenwald, hews to the first point: that the data shows that decriminalization does not result in increased drug use. Since that is what concerns the public and policymakers most about decriminalization, he says, "that is the central concession that will transform the debate."

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#37 [url]

Jun 3 09 11:26 PM

Student Arrested After Smoking Joint During Pro-Pot Essay At School

Posted: 10:43 am PDT June 2, 2009Updated: 11:23 am PDT June 2, 2009

A student presenting an essay at Peninsula High School in Purdy on Tuesday morning took out a marijuana joint, lit it, and began smoking it, police said.


According to Pierce County sheriff's detective Ed Troyer, the student smoked the joint during his essay supporting the legalization of marijuana.


He then finished his essay, sat down, finished smoking the joint and then ate the end after it was fully smoked.


The teacher of the class contacted the school resources officer, a Pierce County sheriff's deputy, who found a small residual amount of marijuana on the student, Troyer said.


The student, a 17-year-old junior with a 3.7 grade-point average, was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana by Pierce County deputies and booked into Remann Hall in Tacoma.

 
http://www.kirotv.com/news/19634608/detail.html
 
 

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#38 [url]

Jun 5 09 9:21 AM


http://www.nrc.nl/international/article2246821.ece/Netherlands_to_close_prisons_for_lack_of_criminals


Netherlands to close prisons for lack of criminals

Published: 19 May 2009


By our news desk

The Dutch justice ministry has announced it will close eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty.


During the 1990s the Netherlands faced a shortage of prison cells, but a decline in crime has since led to overcapacity in the prison system. The country now has capacity for 14,000 prisoners but only 12,000 detainees.


Deputy justice minister Nebahat Albayrak announced on Tuesday that eight prisons will be closed, resulting in the loss of 1,200 jobs. Natural redundancy and other measures should prevent any forced lay-offs, the minister said.


The overcapacity is a result of the declining crime rate, which the ministry's research department expects to continue for some time.


Belgian prisoners


Some reprieve might come from a deal with Belgium, which is facing overpopulation in its prisons. The two countries are working out an agreement to house Belgian prisoners in Dutch prisons. Some five-hundred Belgian prisoners could be transferred to the Tilburg prison by 2010.


The Netherlands would get 30 million euros in the deal, and it will allow the closing of the prisons in Rotterdam and Veenhuizen to be postponed until 2012.


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#39 [url]

Jun 5 09 3:01 PM

Student Arrested After Smoking Joint During Pro-Pot Essay At School


Posted: 10:43 am PDT June 2, 2009Updated: 11:23 am PDT June 2, 2009 PURDY, Wash. -- A student presenting an essay at Peninsula High School in Purdy on Tuesday morning took out a marijuana joint, lit it, and began smoking it, police said. According to Pierce County sheriff's detective Ed Troyer, the student smoked the joint during his essay supporting the legalization of marijuana.
He then finished his essay, sat down, finished smoking the joint and then ate the end after it was fully smoked.
The teacher of the class contacted the school resources officer, a Pierce County sheriff's deputy, who found a small residual amount of marijuana on the student, Troyer said.
The student, a 17-year-old junior with a 3.7 grade-point average, was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana by Pierce County deputies and booked into Remann Hall in Tacoma.
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-skidmoreslough

Here is his speech in written format. Absolutly a great speech, very persuasive.

Ian Barry
Persuasive essay
Napier 1st
25-May-2009


Legalize Marijuana


Can I see a show of hands how many people here have ever smoked Cannabis sativa, commonly known as marijuana? I see none of you raised your hand. Well obviously no one would want to admit to a criminal activity in front of their teacher. But why is it that smoking pot is so taboo in our society? After all numerous famous intellectuals support marijuana. Al Gore is considered by many to be the leading figure in climate change awareness and environmental preservation. But few people know that Al Gore also supports the legalization of marijuana. The famed German philosopher Freidrich Nietzche once said, “If one seeks relief from unbearable pressure one is to eat hashish”. The founding father of our nation George Washington, said, “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!” Marijuana is one of the safest medicinal substances on the planet and is supported by many acclaimed celebrity role models. Famous Hollywood actor Johnny Depp says, “I’m not a big pothead or anything like that… but weed is much, much less dangerous than alcohol”. Other well known supporters of marijuana include Snoop Dogg, all of the Marley family, Niel Young, Willie Nelson, Michael Phelps, Chris Farley, Al Gore, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Nietzche, Barack Obama, John Adams, James Madison, JFK, and of course myself. A total of 11 United States presidents either grew, smoked, or supported the legalization of Marijuana. With the support of some of the greatest thinkers and world leaders of all time it’s a wonder that marijuana is still illegal. “Government ties is really why the government lies” – Immortal Technique. Common Misconceptions about marijuana are set about by high end government officials who think only of themselves and own their prosperity. For instance few people know the history of weed and the means by which it was criminalized.


Most of you have probably seen “Reefer Madness”, the ridiculous propaganda film set about by the U.S. government to discourage the use of marijuana. The movie debuted in 1936 making arbitrary claims, calling Cannabis “The devils weed”, and stating that weed is more dangerous that cocaine or opium. This was the outlook of the government at the turn of the century, but in fact pot was smoked as early as 2700 BC, in China. In 500 AD marijuana spread to Europe and Africa where it was cultivated and smoked for its medicinal qualities. By 1545 marijuana had been introduced to the New World where it was grown as a cash crop alongside tobacco and cotton. Sold in bars throughout the Americas pot was seen as tobaccos little brother. It is reported that several of our founding fathers including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington smoked ganja out of water hookahs with Turkish emissaries shortly after the revolutionary war. After this experience both Franklin and Washington began to grow weed for themselves. At the turn of the 20th century marijuana began to gain popularity and by the 1920’s was the drug of choice for America’s youth. Historians say this popularity is what led to its prohibition. But history itself tells a different story. Whenever something be-it and idea, substance, or social behavior, becomes popular, American companies brand and market it for all it’s worth. Take for example punk rock which originally was a counterculture but through marketing was assimilated into mainstream society. So why is it that the same fate was not suffered by marijuana, why was it made illegal?


In 1937 the first official action was taken against weed, the Marihuana Tax Act. The act itself did not criminalize the possession of cannabis but levied a tax on anyone dealing the substance. This didn’t just mean the buds anything with hemp or hemp oil in it was essentially taxed out of business. A legitimate dealer was required to have a tax stamp but no stamps were ever printed. These over elaborate regulations prevented marijuana from being a profitable source of income. In reference to the International Opium Convention of 1928 Cannabis sativa was considered a drug and all state governments had some kind of laws against its consumption. Today it is generally accepted that these hearings included incorrect, excessive, and unfounded arguments. The Marijuana Tax Act was introduced to the U.S. congress by “Drug Czar” Harry Anslinger, a man who had no sense of morals and may have had NPD (narcissistic personality disorder), not to mention his pig faced features. Anslinger is where the conspiracy starts. 1937, the year the tax act was passed, was coincidentally the same year that the Decorticater Machine was invented, with this new technology the hemp industry would have been able to take over competing industries virtually overnight. “Popular Mechanics” predicted that hemp would be America’s first billion dollar crop. William Hearst, a corporate business owner, possessed enormous acreage of forest. His land and paper making company would have lost tremendous value and eventually gone bankrupt had the tax act not been passed. Hearst reportedly had strong influence in Congress and his interest in preventing hemp production is easily explained. DuPont, a chemical company that was involved in other industries, also had a hand in the conspiracy. At the time of the Marihuana Tax Act DuPont was patenting a new acid process for producing wood pulp based paper. With the boom of the hemp industry this invention would have been useless. DuPont was also in the railroad car industry. According to their own records wood pulp products accounted for 80% of all DuPont’s railroad car loadings for the 50 years prior to 1937. 80% of all their profits would have been lost with a hemp takeover. Two years earlier, in 1935, DuPont developed nylon, a substitute for hemp rope. Nylon was equal in strength and quality but with the Decorticater Machine would not have been cost effective when sold alongside hemp. Even with hemp eliminated nylon was not extremely profitable. The year after the tax was passed DuPont came out with rayon, a very cost effective fiber that would not have been able to compete with the strength and durability of hemp. Harry Anslinger, the man who proposed the Marihuana Tax Act, was also a CEO of DuPont, and would have stood to loose millions had marijuana not been driven out of business. Anslinger, who was married to Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon’s niece, was appointed to lead the FBN (Federal Bureau of Narcotics). It’s widely believed that his relationship with Mellon is what earned him the promotion. Harry Anslinger’s first action as commissioner was to pass the Marijuana Tax Act. Reasoning behind Anslinger, Hearst, and DuPont was for no moral or medical issues. They fought to criminalize marijuana to save their business and to save money. It’s simply another example of capitalist pigs taking advantage of their power and manipulating the law for personal gain. Marijuana continued to be present in society throughout the 40’s and 50’s. During this time it came to be associated with the rise of rock n’ roll. The hippi movement of the 1960’s and 70’s was largely involved in experimental drug use. Artists such as The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix experimented with drugs like acid and heroin. Their fans followed suit but Mary Jane remained America’s drug of choice. The increased support of the environmentalist movement also supported the use of weed. Hemp can be made into paper that is equivalent to paper made from trees, without destroying the rainforests. After all the first, third and final drafts of the Declaration of Independence were all written on hemp paper. At anti-Vietnam protests many people could be seen smoking pot. This fueled the idea that marijuana should be legal, and in the late 60’s the first serious calls for legalization were made.


In 1975 weed supporters around the United States celebrated a victory as Alaska decriminalized the use and possession of small amounts of Cannabis. Until, in 1990, residents voted to recriminalize the substance. During those 15 years Alaska prospered and its economy was the highest it had been in years. Calling it a “dangerous experiment” the DEA’s stated reason for the recriminalization was that “teenagers used marijuana at twice the national average”. I think it’s pretty obvious that when a substance is legalized it will be used more than when it was illegal. Had we kept the same policy throughout history alcohol should have been recriminalized shortly after the repealing of the 18th amendment due to an increase in alcohol consumption. Several other countries have attempted various forms of legalizing drugs, in the Netherlands marijuana is illegal but under certain restrictions its consumption is allowed. The coffee shops of Amsterdam are renowned worldwide as a pot-smokers Mecca. Coffee shops are allowed to sell under 5 grams of marijuana as long as it is smoked on the premises. One of the opposition’s most acclaimed arguments is that legalizing marijuana will lead to an increase in crime rates. The only way to prove this theory is through real life experience. The only domestic experience we have with legalized pot was in Alaska in the 70’s and 80’s. Government analysis showed that there was no change in the crime rate for these years. All other claims about the marijuana-crime correlation are mere speculation. The fact is that Amsterdam has a lower crime rate than any major U.S. city. One could argue that the Alaskan experiment actually benefited the crime rate. As a whole, the national crime rate went up from 1975 to 1990, while Alaska’s remained the same.


Other Cannabis antagonists look to Switzerland’s Needle Park experiment to justify marijuana’s legal status. People in Needle Park were allowed to openly purchase and use drugs without police intervention. The idea was to give addicts a “clean and safe” environment to inject heroin. To compare this with legalizing marijuana is absolutely absurd. First, in terms of classification marijuana and heroin are completely different. Heroin is a level five highly addictive drug that causes long term brain damage as well as damage to the central nervous system. A heroin addict will experience collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining, abscesses, and liver disease. Not to mention second hand use of needles often leads to full blown accounts of AIDS. Marijuana on the other hand has its own category and no proven health detriments. The results of Needle Park cannot be compared to those of legalizing marijuana. Your parents have probably told you that smoking pot causes lung cancer and brain damage. Unfortunately they were probably teenagers in the 70’s and smoked pot themselves so their very objection to weed is extremely hypocritical. The U.S. government provides facts and statistics that seem to demonstrate the pernicious nature of marijuana. Let’s take a look at the so called facts that the DEA claims are results of the habitual smoking of Cannabis sativa. First, and I quote, “Marijuana is an addictive drug”. That my friends is an outright lie. All clinical studies including those conducted by the government have concluded that marijuana contains no addictive properties. A person can become chemically dependent on the drug but that is radically different than an addiction. Another study regulated by the government studied 182 “random” fatal truck accidents. It just so happened that in these “random” accidents marijuana was present in as many of the drivers as alcohol. The National Transportation Safety Board then determined that marijuana is just as dangerous as alcohol while driving. The reasoning behind this argument has more than several flaws. First of all marijuana can stay in a persons system for more than 2 weeks, there is no way to tell that the drivers were high at the time of their accidents. Now I’m not an expert but I know that 182 is not a large enough number to be considered reliable research. To study 182 of 5 ¼ million accidents, .0034%, and make apocryphal claims based on that research shows ineptitude beyond that of any man disposed to devout his life to a hierarchy of pious infidels who understand nothing of the nature and complexity of life.


Other major concerns of consuming marijuana are lung and brain damage, as well as memory loss. According to the UCLA School of Medicine “marijuana does not impair long term memory”. Weed can cause short term memory loss but only while under the influence, the same can be said for alcohol and many over the counter sleeping medications. Brain damage that does occur is not because of any chemical property in ganja, but because the brain is deprived of oxygen for so long that brain cells are killed. For any self acclaimed pot smoker that’s an easy fix, just don’t hold your hits in for so long. One of the studies that is referred to the most was performed on monkeys in which they suffered severe brain damage. It was only until recently in careful review of the study that we discovered that the monkeys were breathing pure THC for over a minute, that lack of oxygen is what killed the brain cells, not the marijuana. The other substantial health concern is over lung function. Also according to the UCLA School of Medicine “neither the continuing nor intermittent marijuana smokers exhibited any significantly different rates of lung function as compared to those individuals who never smoked marijuana”. The study was conducted on 243 pot smokers over an 8 year period. Another of the governments’ critical expostulations against legalizing marijuana is that pharmaceutical companies have developed a synthetic THC pill called Marinol. But Marinol is substantially different than marijuana. First, it’s not real THC; there is not one part of the Cannabis sativa plant in Marinol. It’s a bunch of chemicals that some scientist mixes up in a lab. Second Marinol is only available through prescription, so it’s incontrovertibly not the same as legalizing marijuana. Not only is it very hard to obtain a prescription, the requirements exclude nearly everyone. You must either be a cancer patient who underwent chemotherapy or be an AIDS patient who has appetite loss. Both diseases have no cure and are generally fatal. So the government won’t let you take Marinol unless you have a virtual death sentence. If I have a malignant disease I’m not going to take the time to get a government prescription, I’m going to smoke the real thing. So please don’t feed me spurious claims that legal marijuana already exists.


Now that I have addressed the supposed health detriments let’s take a look at the medical benefits of Cannabis. As mentioned above marijuana has been infallibly proven to relieve the vomiting and nausea that come with chemotherapy. Many cancer patients have said that marijuana was the best treatment for their symptoms. I interviewed a cancer patient who has miraculously over come the disease, for privacy reasons I won’t reveal their name but when asked about the effects of marijuana the interviewee said, “I would not have lived if I didn’t smoke lots of marijuana”. Isn’t it interesting that cancer, one of the world’s deadliest, incurable diseases, is treated with marijuana, an illegal drug? Marijuana is also used for treating multiple sclerosis and several mood disorders. After smoking small amounts of marijuana patients are said to be relaxed and stress free. Unlike alcohol which is a depressant, Cannabis can be used to treat low level depression. Most depression is caused by stress; smoking pot relieves stress and thus relieves depression. Glaucoma is yet another disease that smoking weed will treat. Glaucoma is an optical disease that leads to permanent damage of the optic nerve endings and resultant visual fields, which can ultimately progress to blindness. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the world and doctors predict that this number will increase as longevity also increases. Symptoms of glaucoma include intraocular pressure, patches of vision loss, headaches, and pain behind the eyeball. Despite making the eyes red marijuana actually lowers intraocular pressure and can prevent as well as cure Glaucoma all together. As you can see marijuana has copious medical uses and little to no medical handicaps. For it to illegal while tobacco and alcohol are legal is absolute madness.


Like any substance marijuana can be abused, but it is impossible to overdose on. The most common problem associated with marijuana abuse is lethargic behavior, but does not cause serious health or social concerns. Overuse of alcohol will result in an inability to walk, stand, or even death, whereas overuse of weed will simply put a person to sleep. 40% of all fatal car accidents are caused by alcohol while no car accidents ever have been directly caused by marijuana. Alcohol induces violent behavior and is often attributed to wife beating and other violent behaviors. Someone under the influence of alcohol will experience fits if rage which has often led to their own demise or the death of others, while someone who got high from marijuana will stroll around pleasantly with a smile on their face in search of the nearest McDonald’s. It is as the iconoclast Bob Marley once said, “Herb is the healing of the nation, alcohol is the destruction”. Cigarettes are another legal substance that are far more dangerous than some good sensimilla. Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of lung cancer in America. Tobacco cigarettes are filled with harmful chemicals such as nicotine, rat poison, formaldehyde, ammonia, and arsenic. Both cigarettes and alcohol are immensely addictive phenomenon’s that lead to very serious health problems, predominantly cancer, and ultimately death. Marijuana is considered by many to be a dangerous substance but in reality many of our legal drugs are far more portentous.


Annual American Deaths Caused by Drugs Tobacco…………….. 400,000
Alcohol……………… 100,000
All legal drugs………. 20,000
All illegal drugs…….. 15,000
Caffeine…………….. 2,000
Aspirin……………… 500
Marijuana…………… 0


In all of recorded history going back as far as 2700 BC there has never been one single human death attributed to a health problem caused by marijuana.


Not only is marijuana a safe drug with medical benefits but it could rapidly stimulate our failing economy. At its current rate of production legal marijuana generates 35.8 billion dollars per year. Profits from marijuana exceed that of corn and wheat combined. And that’s just the legal margins. Revenue from illegal domestic marijuana is speculated at around 60 billion dollars a year. That’s a total of 95.8 billion dollars each year excluding imports. Marijuana is considered by profuse amounts of economists to already be our nation’s number one cash crop. It’s already the number 1 cash crop in 12 states including California, Alaska, and Hawaii. In Washington weed is second only to apples. In 30 other states ganja is among the top three on the list of cash crops. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country”. George Washington himself predicted that hemp would be our most valuable product. Economists estimate that if marijuana were legalized annual tax returns would be 6.2 billion dollars. That’s over 6 billion dollars in the hands of the federal government rather than in the hands of so called drug criminals. This money could be spent on combating the flow of hard, more serpentine drugs onto our streets.


If the fact that legalizing marijuana will engender enormous sums of money isn’t enough for some skeptics let’s take a look at the money that it will save. Approximately 7.7 billion dollars is spent annually on law enforcement to traverse marijuana consumption. Legalizing marijuana would eliminate 100% of these costs. Another taxpayer expense that would be emphatically reduced is prison disbursements. New FBI statistics show that one marijuana smoker is arrested every 45 seconds, by the end of my speech more than 20 people will have been incarcerated on marijuana related offenses. Since 1990 5.9 million innocent Americans have been arrested on Cannabis charges, a number greater than the population of Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming combined. 88% of all people in jail, a staggering 2 million, are there due to marijuana offenses. In the case that marijuana is legalized that number will be reduced to 440,000 people, a prodigious decline. The deprivation of operating prisons would also deteriorate dramatically. The cost of operating prisons comes directly out of taxpayers pockets. Currently a 40 billion dollar per year expenditure would be cut back to 8.8 billion dollars, still a gargantuan amount but much, much less than what it was. With this amount of savings and profits I find it amazing that our capitalist society hasn’t already demanded the legalization of pot.


Simply selling the buds is not the only way to make money off the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp fibers from the stalks have countless other uses. An entire hemp based industry will be created. Oil extracted from the seeds was used to lubricate gears and mechanisms in many of the original cars including Henry Ford’s Model T. Hemp fiber, renown for its strength, has long been used to test the durability of other fibers. When George Bush Sr. was forced to eject from his F-50 over Vietnam, the parachute that saved his life was made from 100% hemp fiber. Hemp can be made into rope, clothing, and paper. More important than the products made will be the jobs procreated by this industry. The current unemployment rate is 8.9% as of April 2009. 8.9% sounds like a small number out of 100 but 8.9% translates to over 13.7 million people without a job. I talked about tax deficits earlier but how about the decrease in taxes if all 13.7million people got off welfare and started working in the pot industry. Though legalizing marijuana won’t create all 13.7 million jobs necessary it will create some. That’s a step in the right direction to resurrect our falling economy.


A common misconception is that smoking sensimilla makes a person this lazy, unexcited, useless, crippling abrasion to society. That’s not true at all. Like most Americans, people who smoke pot pay taxes, love and support their families, and work hard to make a better life for their children. Suddenly they are arrested, jailed, and treated like criminals solely because they choose to relax in a way that is safer than tobacco or alcohol. State agencies frequently step in and declare children of marijuana smokers to be “in danger”, and many children are placed into foster homes as a result. This causes enormous pain, suffering, and financial hardship for millions of honest American families. It also engenders distrust and disrespect for the law and criminal justice system overall. If the children of marijuana smokers are in danger than the children of cigarette smokers and alcoholics are in a situation far more perilous. Responsible pot smokers present no threat or danger to America and there is no reason to treat them as criminals.


Many people also believe that marijuana is a gateway drug and will lead to other more dangerous drugs. It’s true that most people who do hard drugs didn’t immediately start out snorting cocaine or shooting heroin, but smoking pot every now and then doesn’t condemn you to be some cracked out heroin feign. As it stands right now only a small portion of sensi smokers go on to harder drugs and I’m sure that number will go down if marijuana is legalized. If kids could run down to the gas station and pick up some weed their interest in other drugs would be diminished. The only way that pot could be considered a gateway drug is if it is sold alongside hard drugs. True some pot dealers sell harder stuff but legalizing marijuana completely negates that arguement. If marijuana were legal there would be no need for side street dealers who might have hard drugs on them, it could be sold in any convenience store across the country. I know for a fact that teenagers would much rather get high legally than break the law to do so. The problem is legal highs aren’t readily available, the closest you can get is with cigarettes which not only taste disgusting but are extremely deleterious to your health and the health of others. Implying that smoking weed always leads to harder drugs is like saying that anyone who has ever stolen something will go on to armed piracy of oil tankers. The Somalians that hijacked those tankers probably did steal in their youth but that doesn’t mean everyone who steals will end up like them. Marijuana as a gateway drug is a false implication and cannot be used in a serious discussion about legalizing marijuana. Many people also insinuate that marijuana leads people to a life of crime. The only way to test this theory is to study the results when pot is legal. Amsterdam, where marijuana is legal, has a lower crime rate than any major U.S. city. I think that soundly disproves that theory and clearly shows that smoking marijuana is not a gateway to anything illegal.


I have provided you with information, facts and statistical evidence that all point towards the legalization of marijuana. But the truth is it doesn’t matter what I say until you, the people, stand up and besiege the government to re-address the litigation of marijuana. But I’m sure there are many of you thinking, “Well that’s a great speech in all but I don’t smoke pot so why should I care if it’s legal or not?” So I have come up with several reasons why everyone should support the legalizing of marijuana. If you’re politically left wing stick it to the corporal business owners who made it illegal in the first place. If your right wing, marijuana is our number 1 cash crop, legalized we can make even more money than we are now. If your Christian or adhere to the Bible, Genesis 1:29 “And God said, behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth”, according to the Bible it’s your god given right to grow and consume any plant on this earth, including marijuana. If you’re an environmentalist or at least care about the fate of our planet, you can save the 4 billion trees that are cut down every year to make paper. I assure you hemp paper is a fine substitute. Everyone should support legalizing marijuana and everyone here now understands why. The biggest problem is that people are more inclined to suffer the sufferable that to rectify changes in their lives. But with growing support the Cannabis sativa predicament will soon be rectified and the world as a whole will be a better place, in the words of Bob Marley, “Legalize it, don’t criticize it”.

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#40 [url]

Jun 9 09 1:14 PM

I say let the stoner's smoke.  With every bowl that is snapped, I move a little bit HIGHer up the hierarchy in the job market.  If it becomes legal, I will thank them for their tax dollars and their dedication to making sure my stocks in cookie dough will never go down. devil

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