The recent move by President Biden to pardon a few thousand individuals for simple possession is a watered-down empty gesture designed to placate marijuana advocates. I really don't understand why it's seen as anything else. The move does absolutely nothing to change the fact that marijuana prohibition is built on Jim Crow lies older than Joe Biden and that Congress and Presidents have doubled down on those lies while ignoring all evidence contrary of their preconceived notion for over 8 decades. Marijuana prohibition is a disgrace to the citizens and governance of The United States of America. To treat your own citizen with such disdain because of lies told and sold by authorities' state and federal is a disgrace to us all. Empty gestures from Joe Biden don't help. He also mentioned that he would look into rescheduling marijuana. That ability has been in the grasp all presidents because the Control Substances act cedes control of the scheduling of drugs to the attorney general who serves at the Presidents pleasure. The problem with rescheduling marijuana is that it would likely put every marijuana distributor in the nation under the control of the Food and Drug Administration. Does anyone really believe that would be a good thing? I think President Biden is the same drug war asshole he has always been, and this is just another act of stonewalling marijuana legalization. Randy Johnson
The present trend in the legalization of marijuana would seem to indicate that the Feds are losing the war against marijuana. With two states legalizing the drug for recreational purposes and twenty states, plus our nations Capitol, legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes and the latest Gallup poll now showing 58% of Americans favor legalization you would think so. But I am not so sure. I still think the Feds have a few cards up their sleeves. Recently Reason Magazine reported that the NSA has been sharing information with local and federal law enforcement about illegal drug activity obtained through their advanced surveillance of our internet and phone usage and then telling the law enforcement authorities not to reveal the source. This alone is disturbing, but those we elected to protect our freedom through legislation don’t seem to believe we have the right to be left alone and have any privacy and there has been very little public outcry about it. Like I have said before, they view silence as approval and that only makes them more bold. There has not been much in the news about the new laser powered molecular scanners that can tell what you had for breakfast from 50 meters away but I am sure they are being improved and made more portable. Now the IRS will have access to all of our medical records because of the affordable health care act. Privacy is becoming a thing of the past and those we have elected to represent us increasingly see everyday Americans as a threat. Remember how the Department of Homeland Security has been stockpiling ammunition. I am not sure what the intentions of this administration are but so far they seem to tell us one thing and then do another, like when President Obama said that he would leave medical marijuana alone and then escalated the raids on state legal distributors. Soon the government may have what they need to enforce the war on drugs successfully but I don’t know if people will tolerate that level of oppression. I do know that the government has a long memory and they are not very forgiving. The Gallup poll showing 58% approval of legalization does give me hope though. No matter how much the Feds want to control our lives, they still have to get re-elected.
“The House I live In” is a documentary about the war on drugs, from producers, Danny Glover, Brad Pitt, John Legend, and Russell Simmons and directed by Eugene Jarecki. It is a very informative, critical and honest assessment of the drug problem in America and shows different aspects of the war on drugs from a variety of viewpoints. This is a must see for anyone wanting to know more about the drug tragedy facing all Americans, especially the poor and people of color.
An ad promoting marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol from the Marijuana Policy Project, was aired outside the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The ad was scheduled to air 72 times but was pulled early because of pressure from the Drug Free America Foundation. It seems ironic to me that with the massive amount of alcohol served at Nascar events and the propensity for alcohol related advertising at Nascar events and alcohol related sponsors of race car teams associated with Nascar and the history of Nascar being associated with alcohol prohibition, that a pro marijuana ad would be deemed unsuitable at a family oriented event.
In an article form NYDailyNews, Calvina Fay stated,“This campaign falsely claims marijuana is safer than alcohol and promotes illicit drug use in a state where marijuana is illegal,” Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs, said in a statement. “It is irresponsible marketing and I commend Grazie Media for their swift action towards the removal of this ad,” concluded Fay.
And in rebuttal, Mason Tvert from Marijuana Policy Project, that produced the ad and purchased the air time from Grazie Media replied,
Tvert told the Daily News that Fay’s claim that marijuana is more harmful than alcohol “absolutely absurd.”
“We are absolutely baffled by the claim that marijuana is not safer than alcohol, which accompanied the announcement of the ad being pulled,” Tvert said. “If Save Our Society From Drugs truly wishes to ‘save our society from drugs,’ why on earth would they want to prevent people from learning that alcohol use is far more toxic and likely to contribute to violent behavior than marijuana? It is clear this organization is more concerned about maintaining marijuana prohibition than it is about maintaining public health and safety. We are sorry to see Grazie Media abandon its agreement with a client when confronted by such reefer madness.”
The Obama administration’s new drug policy is full of hypocrisy. First of all the basic premise is that any one who uses drugs must be ill and fixed by society whether they like it or not. Individual users will be tried in drug courts where mandatory rehabilitation will be the preferred choice of punishment with incarceration as the backup plan. The supply chain will still face the same punishment of paramilitary raids, incarceration and confiscation of property even if they are following state law as is the case for medical marijuana in the 18 states and Washington DC where medical marijuana is legal as well as Colorado and Washington, where marijuana has been legalized for recreational purposes. The will of the voting public is ignored. The White House still steadfastly refuses to consider that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol and separated from the harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and LSD, even though statistics and medical science shows that marijuana is far safer than alcohol or tobacco. Whenever the government discusses the harms from drugs to society, it is always drugs in aggregate or meth or one the harder drugs but never marijuana alone, because they know preaching about how harmful marijuana is to society is unbelievable. Most all of society knows that the reported harm to society from marijuana has been grossly overstated. Lacking in the view of White House policy is that alcohol is statistically the worst drug in America. Granted tobacco kills more people each year, but alcohol has the added stigma of social destruction in the form of violent crime and traffic fatalities that are not associated with the other drugs to such a great degree. A Department of Justice report on violence related emergency room visits shows that alcohol is the most violence related drug in America by a wide margin where the report states, “Almost all of the alcohol/drug citations on the hospital records reflected alcohol involvement. Drugs were cited on the hospital record in less than 1% of all violence-related injuries treated”.
. Yet marijuana is demonized as a horrible menace to society by keeping it listed as a schedule one drug, on par with heroin, codeine and morphine even though it is not usually associated with addiction. Marijuana users have been stripped of their second amendment rights without trial or representation even though violence is not normally associated with its use. According to a study about traffic fatalities, states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The study did not confirm the reason for the reduction in fatalities but speculated that it may be caused by people substituting marijuana for alcohol. In contrast, alcohol kills more Americans every year than all illegal drugs combined and the number of people killed by marijuana could easily be counted on one hand. Evidence that would show marijuana to be beneficial as medicine is ignored even though a plethora of evidence showing marijuana to be an effective medicine is currently available and the Federal government owns patents on medical marijuana that detail how marijuana can be an effective treatment for various ailments such as wasting, seizures and cancer. Evidence showing marijuana as a safer libation than alcohol is ignored as if it were non-existent and the harm to society from alcohol is ignored. President Obama even has a brewery in the basement of the White House where he has his own beer brewed. If people were to choose to grow their own marijuana to forego the black market, they risk loosing their home, their children, their money and their freedom. That’s quite a risk for choosing to use a safer drug than the one Obama brews in the White House. Recently the Justice Department caught HSBC in a money laundering scheme with the Mexican and Columbian drug cartels. HSBC had been laundering billions of dollars for the cartels over a 15 year period and were caught red-handed. Instead of confiscating the money and prosecuting the bank executives that were responsible, the Justice Department took 30 billion dollars and let HSBC punish the responsible banking executives by deferring their bonuses for five years. They didn’t lose their bonuses, they were just put in an interest bearing account for five years as their punishment. Nobody went to jail and the justice Department did the same thing that HSBC did, they took money to look the other way. The disparity of justice is staggering where the poor and people of color are disproportionately searched, arrested and incarcerated than the wealthy and white population. We still have people serving life sentences for possession of marijuana, and people loosing millions of dollars in property and their freedom for sales of marijuana that are legal under state law and President Obama, “an admitted pot head” is brewing a more dangerous drug in the basement of the White House. People are still having their children removed from their custody for simple possession or use of marijuana. Federal law still requires that any businesses with a contract with the government to drug test as a condition of employment and the required test doesn’t even show if the person is impaired, only that they have used recently as a way to punish people who would not otherwise be caught by denying them employment. I believe the federal government is protecting businesses such as the drug testing industry, the drug rehab industry, the prison industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the alcohol industry, the cotton industry, the timber industry, the petrochemical industry and many others from the competition or loss they would incur if free people were allowed to choose a safer alternative to alcohol. We have the largest per capita prison population on earth as a result of this failed war on drugs with special emphasis on marijuana. Our constitutional rights against illegal searches have been circumvented and we are denied the right to pursue freedom and happiness and make decisions about our own health and safety. Hateful, hurtful, hypocrisy and a total disregard for personal freedom is what I see. End the war against Americans who choose a safer drug than alcohol. Come on Barry, was marijuana use a just cause for the government ruining people’s lives when you were Chooming with your friends, riding around totally absorbed, doing roof hits and intercepts? Was it so detrimental to your life that it kept you from reaching your goal of being President and chief hypocrite in the war against marijuana?
The war on drugs has led this nation to a point where citizens should have a real fear of encounters with police. All too often innocent people are shot in their own homes in a violent raid at the hands of paramilitary police looking for drugs. All too often these raids are at the wrong address. The police typically enter the home in the wee hours of the morning when people are asleep. When startled awake by police, breaking down your door and yelling, while storming through your house with flash bang grenades, assault weapons and lights, the victims of these invasions are in real danger. For one thing the police are likely scared and are looking for anything that may be perceived as a threat and ready to respond with deadly force to make sure they are not harmed. But people do not always react the way you would expect them to, especially when startled, scared, and half awake. Many people have firearms in their homes for self-defense, others may have a bat or a golf club and we all have the right to defend our homes. But anything in your hand, like a phone, or just having your hands where the police cannot see them is likely to cause them to panic and start shooting. The justification for this type of raid seems to be that the suspect may try to destroy evidence. In my line of thinking, if they have enough evidence for a paramilitary raid on someone’s home, then why are they worried about further evidence? This type of raid puts the whole family at risk. Typically the family dog is shot, the family is herded into one room in their underwear and held at gunpoint while the house is torn apart. Sometimes family members, even children are shot by mistake. Wouldn’t it be safer to arrest the person at work or in a traffic stop, and then go search their house without the violence of a home invasion that endangers everyone involved. More and more we are treated as though we were the enemy of America instead of citizens. I think it is a pretty heavy hand in fighting a war against people who rarely ever fight back. In fact, I can’t remember a violent protest against marijuana prohibition, ever. The only violence I have seen would be from the crime syndicates who supply the drugs because our government won’t allow a legal source. Most of that violence is infighting between drug gangs that are fighting for turf to protect their market or settle disputes. All the other violence in the war on drugs is directed towards the users at the hand of law enforcement. It’s a very one-sided war, where drug users are not even allowed to own guns or ammunition by Federal Law. A right I might add, that was stripped from them without trial, representation or justification over a decade after the government declared war on them.
Police are almost never held accountable for mistakes in these raids. Accidental shootings are said to be justified if the police say they perceived a threat, even when they get the wrong house. Police have lost respect for our privacy and our rights against illegal searches and the Supreme Court has ruled that dogs may authorize searches. Some people have tried fighting back, by video taping the police’s actions as evidence of abuse, but this often brings wrath from law enforcement. People are arrested and phones or cameras are confiscated even though the Supreme Court has ruled that police can have no expectation of privacy in public law enforcement and video taping of police is legal. Congress seems to support these paramilitary raids by making military equipment and weapons available to local police either free or heavily discounted and offering grants for police departments to train for and conduct these raids. The Cato Institute tracks these raids and even has an interactive map highlighting errors made by law enforcement where innocent people are targeted by these raids and where needless deaths and injuries have occurred.
No Knock Raid preformed by Lindy (caution graphic images)
It all seems to swing on the premise that we as a society must eliminate drug use. Is it really that important to have the illusion of a drug free society that no one actually wants anyway? We all use drugs in one form or another. Anyone who claims otherwise in just not being honest. We use drugs to feel better. Most of the drugs we take are not curative, but only designed to alleviate some symptom and anyone who still believes alcohol is not a drug is delusional. We take drugs as a social catalyst, to relax, to correct sexual dysfunction, for restless legs, depression, pain relief, weight loss, to stay awake and for energy just to name a few reasons. It’s almost impossible to turn on a television without seeing an ad for some drug or a law firm wanting to represent people to sue a drug manufacturer for some unwanted side effect of a drug. Just because people use a drug, doesn’t mean they are sick or criminal, any more than you would consider that for those who use alcohol. We’re just people trying to get through life the best way we know how. What is so horrible about using marijuana that would justify a war against us?
There are a large number of our elected officials in Congress and The President who believe that they are justified in maintaining the surveillance of our electronic communications and internet searches along with our banking records and medical records. Their justification seems to swing on the premise that they are protecting us from terrorist threats. My question is what is going to protect us from them?
A majority of them seem to believe that continuing the blatantly racist and useless war against marijuana is a good idea. I’m not saying that marijuana should not be regulated, but the Federal Government has a long history of favoring rich industry in its actions and that is what I believe is the primary motivation for continuing their failed marijuana policy. I want the Federal Government out of the business of ruining people’s lives over marijuana. Let states decide how marijuana should be regulated.
There is sufficient evidence now showing that marijuana is far safer than alcohol or tobacco and it has a very promising place in future medicine, yet those we have elected to lead us regularly ignore and suppress any evidence showing marijuana to be beneficial to society. Their action only serves to protect industries that would be negatively effected by legal marijuana and hemp. Most Americans would benefit from a well-regulated marijuana and hemp market when considering how useful the marijuana plant can be. Hemp for instance is one of the best plants to make biofuel and petrochemical products and is carbon neutral. It can also be made into building products such as beams and sheathing to replace lumber and is a fine source of fiber for paper. It can also be made into clothing and hemp seeds have all the essential oils and nutrients for human health and have been used for human and animal food for thousands of years. The medicinal uses of marijuana alone should be enough of a reason to change the restrictions on marijuana use in the Controlled Substances Act, but Congress and the President seem bent on protecting the pharmaceutical industry and others. States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities, likely due to people substituting marijuana for alcohol. If marijuana was available for recreational use those traffic fatality reduction statistics would likely be even more dramatic.
Even if all this were not true, allowing adults to celebrate with a libation different from alcohol should not be illegal as long as it caused no more harm to society than alcohol. Alcohol causes far more harm to society than all illegal drugs combined and the harm from marijuana is a miniscule part of that harm to society. When the overwhelming racial bias in the prosecution of the war on drugs is factored in, I believe our freedom is in serious jeopardy. Until our government has a long history of protecting our freedom, instead of selling us out for profit, I for one want the surveillance stopped.
The war against marijuana is more about what is good and beneficial to people and society about marijuana and protecting existing industries from competition than the health risks or damage to society from its use.
Consider hemp, which is one of the best feed stocks for biofuel or ethanol production. We could grow enough hemp to rival our petroleum production and it is carbon neutral. Hemp can also be used to make fabric for clothing and does not require the vast amount of chemicals used in cotton production. Over 50% of all agricultural chemicals, such as herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer are used in cotton production. Hemp can also be made into sulfur free charcoal to be used to fire coal-fired power plants, and again it is carbon neutral. It can be made into building materials such as sheathing to replace plywood and beams to replace lumber, saving our forests that actually capture carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Henry Ford once made a car from hemp based plastic that was said to be stronger than steel when struck with a hammer and it ran on biofuel made from hemp. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential oils and nutrients that are necessary for human health and have been used as food for people and livestock for thousands of years. Hemp was so vital to the development of our nation that up until a hundred years ago we had laws mandating that farmers grow hemp and it was even legal tender for a time in our nations history.
As far as smoked marijuana or marijuana edibles, marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. It has been found to be effective in treating pain, spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, wasting, post traumatic stress, cancer and more, yet our government steadfastly ignores all of this evidence, even though they hold a patent on marijuana that describes in detail how marijuana is efficacious in treating cancer. Could they be protecting the pharmaceutical industry? States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The study did not determine the reason for this drop in traffic fatalities but speculated that it may be because people may have been substituting marijuana for alcohol. If that turns out to be the case, recreational marijuana may have an even greater effect on reducing traffic fatalities. Marijuana is far safer for individuals and society, than alcohol or tobacco from a health viewpoint and does not have the strong association with violence that alcohol has.
Based on what is currently known about marijuana, the arguments our government uses to support marijuana prohibition are baseless and just plain wrong. The only thing that makes any sense to me is that our government is protecting certain businesses from competition or loss from legal marijuana and hemp. But then again, why would you expect anything else from the corrupt government we have that believes they are above the law, the Constitution and the will of the people?
Recently there were several stories in the news of children ingesting edible marijuana products, some requiring medical treatment. The articles generally called this poisoning, yet the treatment indicated the patients were watched and after several hours of rest, they were released and were fine with no further complications. Poisoning is a pretty strong term for marijuana ingestion as it would likely be impossible to produce a life threatening condition by ingesting marijuana. DEA Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, once declared after hearing extensive testimony from doctors and patients on the efficacy of marijuana as medicine that;
15. In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death.
16. Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.” http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php
While marijuana may not harm a child by an incidental or accidental ingestion, its effect on the developing brain is not well understood and children should not have access to marijuana. Just like parents should not allow children to consume alcohol and tobacco, the use of marijuana needs to be restricted to adults. Children lack the maturity and experience to deal with intoxicating substances and the health risks to children’s developing brains is just too great a risk. Parents or grandparents that use marijuana, with children in the home should be cognizant that edible marijuana products are a strong temptation for children and their access should be restricted. You wouldn’t want your child raiding your liquor cabinet or smoking your cigarettes and the same precautions should apply to your marijuana as well.
Often marijuana prohibition advocates use the argument that marijuana needs to remain illegal to protect the children. An article by William Cooke from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, titled ” Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children – an argument for drug legalization”, highlights the errors in that argument. Among his observations are that marijuana use among children is actually lower in Holland where people can use marijuana without being arrested, because the people selling the marijuana are legitimate business people who want to preserve their business and therefore will not break the law and sell to minors. While there will always be people who will help minors gain access to marijuana just like people give alcohol and cigarettes to children. Children as a general rule cannot purchase alcohol or tobacco from the store. Legal outlets have a strong incentive to check ages of young customers to protect their business. The article also discusses the racial beginnings of anti-marijuana laws and the racial bias in todays enforcement where an inordinate number of Black and Latino families are torn apart by racial profiling and incarceration in the war on drugs. Also the article discusses the fact that most drug related violence and gangs that harm children would go away if drugs were legalized. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a fine organization of law enforcement officers, judges and others in the criminal justice system that advocate for an end to the failed war on drugs. This article at http://www.leap.cc/ is an excellent read. http://copssaylegalize.blogspot.com/2009/12/wont-somebody-please-think-of-children.html
As a desperate attempt to save their child who was experiencing epileptic seizures, sometimes up to 250 a day where he would stop breathing until the seizure was over, these parents decided to try medical marijuana to help their child. They had tried 17 different medications and treatments that didn’t work and one doctor recommended medical marijuana. A group of brothers who own a medical marijuana store in Colorado have been growing a special strain of marijuana that is very low in THC especially for him and he has been seizure free now for 9 months. These conservative, Christian parents believe marijuana has saved their child’s life.
Doug Fine, author of “Too High To Fail” wrote an article for The Washington Post titled “Five Myths About Legalizing Marijuana”.
1. In the article he presents evidence that dispels the idea that legalization would increase availability and use in adolescents, citing statistics from studies in the Netherlands and states that have legalized medical marijuana. 2. A large portion of law enforcement see the failures of including marijuana in the war on drugs. It seems that the support for the war on marijuana in the law enforcement community is driven by the vast sums of money that is funneled into law enforcement by the Federal Government. According to a new study released by the ACLU, the war against marijuana is still heavily racially biased and extremely expensive with over a trillion dollars spent so far on the failed war on marijuana. 3. Getting high would not likely be the most profitable part of marijuana legalization with legal hemp being the big money-maker. Its uses include building materials from panels and beams traditionally made of wood and hemp based plastics for auto parts and body panels. Hemp seeds and the oil derived from them are loaded with essential oils and nutrients necessary for human health. As a feedstock for biomass fuels, hemp is one of the best sources and can be grown almost anywhere making it a viable competitor for fossil fuels. 4. It is very unlikely that big tobacco on the alcohol industry would control legalized marijuana. There are just too many people who are very good at producing and cultivating strains of marijuana that have different effects on people as has been shown in the medical marijuana industry. While there will likely be a place for national branding of some marijuana strains, variety is one of the things I like most about marijuana. Different strains produce a different high, similar to the way micro-breweries have captured a large part of the beer industry. Also it will be impossible to keep people from growing their own and sharing or even selling it to their friends. 5. The political will of America is changing. The war on marijuana is steadily loosing support among voters who increasingly see the government’s stance against marijuana as not based on the truth. Our government seems to ignore any evidence that shows any benefits to people or society from legal marijuana and focus on all that is bad about the plant. When truth is ignored people notice.
Since the laws governing use and sale of marijuana have been largely ignored, our government found other ways to punish those they could not catch and prosecute. They coerce employers into bypassing the need for a warrant to search a person by mandating drug testing as a condition of employment. For the government to randomly test people for drug use, drug testing would be an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, but by the government mandating that all businesses that do business with the federal government, drug test as a condition of employment, they get away with forcing us to submit to drug testing or being punished through denied employment. Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone or want to encourage drug use on the job, but the urine test for marijuana does not determine if a person is under the influence, only that they have used marijuana in the last few days. Saliva tests for detecting marijuana are a much better determination of the tested person actually being under the influence than a urine test. The saliva test detects marijuana use from 2 to 24 hours while the urine test detects marijuana metabolites up to 30 days or more in chronic users. There is actually a urine test for alcohol that can tell if a person has had a drink in the last 80 hours, but no one seems interested in using that test, except the probation or parole authorities. I really don’t care what employers want to do as far as drug testing. Employers should be able to determine what is acceptable behavior in their employees. If they want to prohibit alcohol, drugs, tobacco use or even obesity, it is fine with me. What bothers me is for the federal government to mandate drug testing through legislation, as a way to punish those they can’t catch and prosecute. Denied employment punishes the whole family. If the only way to tell if a person has used marijuana is to send their urine to a lab, is the marijuana use really a problem?
The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice study of drug testing in the workplace, indicates that significant benefits are achieved through random and post accident drug testing of individuals such as increased productivity, lower accident rates and lower absenteeism. What is not clear from the study, is how much marijuana use influences those statistics when in aggregate with alcohol and other illicit drugs. It is also worth noting that all the people conducting the study, work in the drug testing field as professionals, although they all signed a no conflict of interest declaration. http://www.globaldrugpolicy.org/Issues/Vol%205%20Issue%204/Basic-11-22Efficacy%20Study%20Publication%20Final.pdf
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation study, Drug Testing In The Workplace by The Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work drew starkly different results. Among their conclusions are that alcohol is likely a much stronger influence on job safety than illegal drugs and there is no justification for drug testing in the workplace as a means of policing the private behavior of employees. It also points out that many factors have an impact on safety and productivity such as bad working conditions, sleeping and health problems, excessive workloads and work-related stress. It also points out the flaws in workplace drug testing such as drug testing is not an indicator of current intoxication and that empowering employers to investigate and punish private behavior is in conflict with liberal-democratic values. http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/drug-testing-workplacesummary-conclusions-independent-inquiry-drug-testing-work
While I think we can all agree that people working under the influence of drugs can be a hazard not only to themselves but also others. Tests that indicate a person being under the influence would be a much better way to police unwanted activity in the workplace.
As a parent, I can tell you there is nothing worse you could do to a person than to take away their children, especially if the offended person has not endangered or harmed their children. There is nothing about marijuana cultivation that makes it any more hazardous than growing melons or tomatoes. In fact there are a whole lot of plants that are far more dangerous than marijuana such as wisteria, castor beans, poinsettia, and hemlock yet no one is trying to keep us from planting them and certainly not taking children away because of a flower garden. This action stems from hatred of marijuana and people who choose marijuana as a medicine or a safer alternative to alcohol. There is no science to back up the claims that marijuana poses a danger to children. Homes are full of real hazards such as hot water, knives and cleaning products that are far more of a threat to children than marijuana. The only logical reason to use marijuana as a reason to take someones children is hatred. Hatred of marijuana and the people who use it. Marijuana is the safest recreational drug on the planet, yet people’s lives are being ruined and their families torn apart, not because marijuana is harmful to children but because of hatred. I do believe that one day in the not to distant future, people will remember the war against marijuana as a hate crime, driven by government propaganda and greed, with no scientific basis for their claims. Our government has hidden the truth about marijuana’s efficacy as a medicine and the fact that it is far safer than alcohol or tobacco. Greed and hatred can be the only reasons to continue this failed and unjust war against American citizens, because there is just no evidence that would show marijuana to be any more of a danger to children than to have beer in the refrigerator. Our politicians should be ashamed of supporting this horrible travesty of justice.
States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. U.S. DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young stated that marijuana is the safest therapeutically active substance known to man, far safer than many of the foods we currently consume such as potatoes. More people die drinking too much water than from marijuana use. Most products we consume have a LD50 number that lists how much of that product must be consumed to cause a lethal overdose in 50% of test animals. Salt, alcohol, and a large number of over the counter medicines such as aspirin and Tylenol have lethal dosages that can be held in one hand. Marijauana’s LD50 number would be on the order of 40,000 joints. One study that our government would flaunt several years ago was that marijuana caused brain damage. It took High Times Magazine years and a law suit to obtain the details of the study used as evidence for this blatantly false statement. The methodology of this study was extremely flawed. Another claim that I remember was that marijuana use would make mens breasts grow. Really? And then there is the gateway theory which has no study to support it. It was simply a question posed to convicts about illegal drug use and most say that the first illegal drug used was marijuana, but if you ask whether they used alcohol or tobacco before any marijuana use, you would see that alcohol and tobacco fit perfectly as gateway drugs too. I’m pretty sure you could make green beans the gateway drug if you asked the right question.The latest propaganda about marijuana states that marijuana causes schizophrenia. Actually the study states that a causal relationship is observed, but not enough evidence exists to determine if marijuana brings out latent schizophrenia or if schizophrenic people gravitate to marijuana. Also reported recently is that marijuana lowers the Intelligence Quotient in its users. I have read several studies that say this is not true. The marijuana haters will say anything and don’t care that it is not true as long as it furthers their cause of continuing this stupid war on marijuana and ruining the lives of those that get in the way. What a horrible and hateful way to treat your fellow Americans.
A new study released my the American Journal of Medicine reports that those who use marijuana are thinner than those who do not. No explanation was cited although marijuana users have a 16% lower fasting insulin level and a higher caloric intake. Some how, one of the compounds or a combination of them improve metabolism in users of marijuana. Dr. Stuart Weiss, a professor and endocrinologist at the NYU School Of Medicine said that certain compounds from marijuana could be isolated and put into a pill to eliminate the toxic nature of marijuana. Already marijuana is one of the least toxic substances people consume so I assume they want to eliminate the high (my favorite part) and the smoking part of the marijuana experience. I guess they are unfamiliar with cannabis edibles and vaporizers. Once again, our governments steadfast view that marijuana has no medicinal value, has come up short.
In their effort to forge laws governing marijuana sales in Colorado, legislators are debating about the amount of taxes that should be associated with the sale. Colorado House of Representatives wants a 15% excise tax and a 10 or 15% tax on all sales in addition to the 2.9% state sales tax and any local taxes. Other cost relayed to the consumer will include the high licensing and application fees associated with starting a marijuana distribution center. Other legislative efforts that will continue to drive up costs are the rule governing that 70% of all marijuana sold must be grown by the distributor and no more than 30% may be furnished to another distributor. Also the legislators are considering limiting the amount of marijuana that can be sold and limiting the number of distributors state-wide which could create a shortage of legally sold marijuana. Shortages of supply would tend to drive the cost to consumers higher.
With taxes on sold marijuana approaching 30 to 35% it will be difficult to keep costs low enough to discourage a black market for marijuana. Brick and mortar stores have the added cost of a building, with all of its associated cost such as mortgage or rent, electricity, water, insurance and wages paid to a staff. Citizens of Colorado are allowed to grow their own marijuana and the profits of black market sales will be just too tempting for some to pass up, especially if the legal market is unable to meet demand.
Another problem facing marijuana distributors in Colorado is the continued prohibition of marijuana at the federal level. Since marijuana is still illegal by US law, it is difficult to find banks and insurance companies to do business with the distributors, forcing them into a cash only business with elaborate security systems. I’m sure the Federal government would not allow armed security in a business selling marijuana according to the Gun Control Act. This leads to increased security risks associated with robberies and burglaries and makes it difficult to obtain financing for startup and operating expenses. In addition the Federal Government has a long history of circumventing the will of the people by raiding marijuana distributors and confiscating their assets and property and incarcerating the owners.
All of these things combined make black market marijuana more appealing and profitable while making legal marijuana more expensive and easier targets for the Feds.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, the Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled that the Colorado law preventing employers from terminating employees for activities off the job that are legal, such as the use of tobacco does not apply to medical marijuana patients. Although medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, the court determined that Federal prohibition prevents job protection under the state law. Similar problems have been addressed in other states with similar results. Arizona may be the only state that protects medical marijuana patients employment with a caveat, the protected employment must not harm the employers Federal contract or license. Federal law requires any business that does business with the Federal Government to provide a drug free workplace and have a drug testing program. The Federal law also complicates insurance agreements with employers because many insurance policies exclude claims where illegal activity is involved. Even if an employee’s job status was protected under state law, an on the job injury might not be covered by the employers insurance policy because of the Federal prohibition of marijuana.
I’m really not in favor of laws preventing employers from terminating employees for what ever reason they see fit. If I were an employer, I wouldn’t want people telling me who I could or could not hire or fire. That in itself is against the principles of freedom and is hostile to business. Isn’t the legalization of marijuana about personal freedom? Shouldn’t that freedom apply equally to everyone, including employers?
Just another good reason to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act and let states sort out the legalization of marijuana. The will of the people is being circumvented by the obstructionists in Washington, who believe we should all live by their edict.
You may think this is a wrong-headed notion but please hear me out. I am a Christian and have studied this idea for a number of years. First of all God intended for man to have free will. Without free will, love means nothing. Only when love is given freely without reservation is it of any benefit, not only to us, but also as love for God. If you could sum up the message in the New Testament, it would be to “Love God with all your heart and to love others as you love yourself”. There is no love in prohibiting marijuana. People who use it medicinally are denied relief and those who use it for other reasons face fines and incarceration, are denied employment and considered a danger to their own children. Marijuana prohibition was perpetuated with a series of lies and misinformation and that practice continues today, with our government hiding the truth about marijuana and refusing to acknowledge any benefits from the drug. Did you know the federal government owns patents on marijuana that describe in detail how marijuana is an effective drug to combat cancer and have known this for decades. They do not release this information because it doesn’t fit the agenda of protecting big business from competition or loss from marijuana and hemp. You may say that using marijuana is sin and separates us from God, but where are the scriptures to support that belief. Alcohol and marijuana are both used for roughly the same reasons, as a social catalyst, for recreation, for relaxation, as medication, for celebration and as a sacrament. Several references found throughout the Bible indicate that alcohol was used in celebration, for self medication, to ease pain and as a sacrament. The first recorded miracle by Jesus was turning water into wine at a wedding celebration. Clearly the bible says that drunkenness is a sin, but what about responsible use?
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
1 Corinthians 10:31
U.S. Government patent on marijuana http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507
Evidence is growing and statistics show that marijuana is a far safer alternative to alcohol. People want to feel better, that is the whole premise for self medication. We self medicate with over the counter medications for the most part now, but 100 years ago home remedies and patent medicines were the norm. Many of these patent medicines contained heroin, cocaine, opium, cannabis or alcohol and were readily available. Still today there is a large market for homeopathic medicines and herbs and hundreds of books written to help us find the correct dietary supplement to cure what ails us. There is little evidence that this type of self medication was harmful to society then or now. The highest estimate I have found of deaths caused by all illegal drug use per year was only 17,000 deaths. The deaths associated with alcohol are at 70,000+, not counting its association with traffic fatalities, murders and domestic violence. The deaths caused by prescription drug use, including med errors and misuse, are over 200,000 a year and tobacco kills 450,000 people a year. Overeating and lack of exercise kills 350,000 people a year. The book “Cause of Death”, lists 3 deaths cause by consumption of cannabis. Marijuana has been shown to be very promising in treating pain, spasms, wasting and even cancer. States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use have seen a 9% decrease in traffic fatalities. The fear campaign waged against hemp and marijuana was perpetuated with lies and the truth was hidden. The reported harm to individuals and to society from marijuana use, has been grossly overstated by our government and most of the harm associated with marijuana use, is a direct result of prohibition and not caused by marijuana. If God really wanted hemp and marijuana to be illegal, would he have needed to hide the truth to accomplish that mission?
Cause Of Death, edited by Jack Mingo, Erin Barrett and Lucy Autrey Wison
Marijuana, like anything else can be abused. Many of you have heard that marijuana decreases motivation and I have found that to be true when used excessively, but the same could be said for television or alcohol. Like alcohol, I believe marijuana’s use should be age appropriate and regulated by ID checks for purchase. Like alcohol use, maturity has a strong bearing on the degree of abuse. Children just aren’t that good at controlling their urges, but many adults share the same problem. Giving a source of never-ending chocolate to a child would be a bad choice as most children would eat nothing but chocolate, yet as adults purchasing our own food, we have that option, but we choose other more nutritious food for the most part. That is where maturity comes in and we all mature at different rates and to different degrees. Some people never learn to make good decisions, but as a society we let them make those choices for the most part, as long as they do no harm to others.
Education is a much better option to help others lead a better life than prohibition. Prohibition robs people of free will and creates unregulated markets and crime where none should exist. Prohibition is a perfect tool to control 3 year olds who lack the reasoning and skills necessary to be self-sufficient, but as we mature and develop our capacity for reasoning and become self-sufficient, prohibition becomes a burden and even hateful when used to deny employment, the right to raise our children or when we face incarceration and fines and property we worked and paid for is confiscated. Prohibition of marijuana makes criminals out of people for choosing a safer, less harmful drug than alcohol. With an estimated 20,000,000 Americans currently using marijuana, it is very likely someone you love uses marijuana. We shop with you and dine in restaurants with you. You see us picking up our kids at school and at games and sporting events and at the movies. We blend in because we’re just like the rest of society, working, paying our bills and trying to raise our children as best we can. All we really want is to live in peace with society, yet federal law prohibits this and Congress doles out tax money and military equipment for local law enforcement to conduct paramilitary raids on homes of people accused of selling marijuana.
I can’t say that God approves of marijuana. I simply do not know and as far as I have found in scripture, the Bible is silent on this issue. Certainly abuse of marijuana would be sinful, but so is abuse of alcohol and arguably, anything done to an excess. We all have obligations and responsibilities, to ourselves, to our families, and to society, but most importantly to God. The bible stresses that we are to love one another as ourselves. To support laws, such as the prohibition of marijuana, that are based on misinformation, and motivated by greed, racial intolerance and hatred, is in direct opposition to the message of Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether use of marijuana is sinful, prohibition is a hateful way to treat people and it denies people free will.
Marijuana’s use should be discouraged because it is a drug that has a strong likelihood of abuse, and I would say that any use of marijuana that keeps us from meeting our obligations and responsibilities, to ourselves, to society, to our family or to God as abuse and sinful. Indifference to injustice and the harm it causes others is sinful as well, and it does nothing to advance Christianity.
The war against marijuana should end immediately and here is why. The laws against marijuana use were first proposed under the guise of racial intolerance and trumped-up fear of an imaginary plague of harm to society. Horror stories were given prominence in Randolph Hearst’s national array of newspapers, largely because of his hatred of Mexicans and to protect his vast holdings of timber land for pulp and paper production from competition with hemp. The Dupont empire was also in favor of marijuana prohibition because it was competition for their newly developed synthetic fiber, Nylon. Nylon could be used as fiber in the production of explosives which was the mainstay of Dupont at that time. The cellulose fiber in explosives had previously been hemp. Also in favor of prohibition was Rockefeller and Standard Oil, because it was a competition for the new oil and gas industry as hemp oil could be replaced in most applications with petroleum products. The cotton industry also profited by the elimination of hemp as a source for fiber to make clothing. http://www.jackherer.com/thebook/chapter-four/
Newly appointed head of the Bureau of Narcotics, Harry J. Anslinger would testify before Congress of the horrors happening across the country associated with marijuana use. He would read the stories from Hearst’s newspapers aloud before Congress as testimony of the need for federal intervention. Largely unknown or ignored was the fact that cannabis patent medicines and elixirs had been a large part of the pharmacopeia in America for almost 100 years without any health problems arising from its use. If any problems were associated with cannabis they were not mentioned in the medical journals of the time. Hemp had been a mainstay for agriculture and society for thousands of years with a myriad of different uses from food and shelter to clothing. Remnants of the propaganda of that era, such as the classic film Reefer Madness can be seen at web sites like.
Fear gained traction as an unwitting public who were unfamiliar with the name marijuana were being told horrendous stories of crime and violence against white people by marijuana crazed minorities. It was an easy sell to America, which was still deeply mired in racial intolerance at the time and women had just acquired the right to vote barely two decades before. As America became entrenched in this fear of the marijuana plague, the propaganda campaign continued and even today our government refuses to acknowledge any benefits associated with marijuana use, only acknowledging the studies and anecdotal evidence that support the belief that marijuana is harmful to individuals and society. While I don’t believe that marijuana is harmless, it is certainly not as harmful as the two legal recreational drugs alcohol and tobacco. The harm to society and to individuals from marijuana use has been grossly overstated by our government which has poured over a trillion dollars into this failed and unjust war against Americans to protect big business from loss or competition with marijuana and hemp. This racially biased, unjust war against us continues today and it should end immediately. It is still supported by the same industries and now others such as the prison industry, the drug testing industry, the alcohol industry and the vast array of drug treatment centers across the country that are asking Congress to crack down on Colorado and Washington for allowing legal marijuana within their own state. And let’s not forget the DEA, with its multi-billion dollar annual budget and all the power and influence that money can buy. It is hard to surrender that much power and influence to a kinder and gentler society, after all the drug war is a very large employer. Laws that were voted in by free people are still forbidden and enforced by federal mandate.
That gets me to the next issue.
I mentioned in a previous article that all members of Congress take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Well they have failed miserably at that task. The Constitution lays the foundation for a nation of states to govern themselves under a guiding law that preserves basic freedoms and human rights. Our Declaration of Independence describes rights granted by God that are unalienable by man and the Constitution goes further to list some of our rights in the Bill of Rights. The Federal Governments job or function was to provide for common defense and regulate interstate commerce to prevent states from unfair advantage over other states. Its other function is to protect our rights as defined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic which is where they have failed. As far as marijuana prohibition is concerned, The right to self medicate and the right to celebrate life had been a legal right for thousands of years before marijuana and alcohol prohibition. While the unjust war against alcohol was wisely abandoned, the war against marijuana users and their supply continues under the guise of public safety. We have been persecuted with denied employment and government assistance for housing and education, denied the right to adopt children. We have also been prosecuted and punished by Congress with laws mandating drug testing by employers, incarceration and fines and we were stripped of our 2nd ammendment right to keep and bear arms without trial or justification. Our 4th ammendment rights against illegal searches as described in the Constitution, about a search warrant being issued by a judge of law have been circumvented to allow game wardens, housing inspectors and child welfare officers the authority to search without warrants and now the Supreme Court has given that authority to dogs. Am I the only American that finds that troubling?
What our 5th and 6th ammendment rights, the right to appear in a court of law and face our accusers and the right to a speedy trial with a jury of our peers. Our President now believes he has the authority to use drones to kill Americans without trial and to detain Americans indefinitely without trial.
How about our right to keep and bear arms. That is our 2nd amendment right and yet the Federal Government has and allowed states to make a mockery of that right. Our right to keep and bear arms should be the same in any state or territory of these United States just like our right to worship and our freedom of speech. Congress, The President and The Supreme Court should insist on the same. Another basic right that our government has failed to protect is our 5th ammendment right to own property. Never should the government be able to take property from an individual and sell it to another individual for profit in the name of eminent domain. Only real public needs such as right of ways or military needs should be secured by eminent domain laws. Taxes beyond the sale of property are a direct assault on that right as the Government believes they own the land and everything on it. Having to pay a periodical tax to continue to own property gives credence to the thought that all property belongs to the government.
What about our 4th ammendment rights of privacy, where government surveillance of our e-mail and cell phones has become common? We are on the verge of surveillance capabilities that most Americans never even dreamed of and our freedom is in serious jeopardy. Our freedom should not now or ever have been for sale to protect the profits of the rich. Marijuana prohibition is on the front lines of this war against freedom waged on Americans by our own governmnet. Lets get back to the task of preserving freedom and the Constitution.
Not long ago, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously that signals from a dog constitutes reasonable search. Traditionally that task has been the sole responsibility of judges of law by issuing a warrant. Our Constitution says that searches are only to be conducted upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and defining the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-sides-with-drug-sniffing-dog/2013/02/19/1d9f7414-7aac-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_story.html
Dogs have an amazing ability to smell things that people cannot. They can detect odors hundreds of times better than us and use that keen sense to track animals or humans, detect contraband material, and have even been known to detect cancer with surprising accuracy. But they are not human and do not have the capacity for judgement that is required, not only by our Constitution but also demanded by their task. Peoples lives hang in the balance of the decision of a dog that is mostly focused on pleasing his master. They can’t swear an oath or testify to details about what they are thinking or smelling. Molecular scanners on the other hand, exceed the potential for detection than that of dogs. They are capable of detecting similar things as good as a dog but from 50 meters away and give a printable detail of what they detected. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/07/11/new-homeland-security-laser-scanner-reads-people-at-molecular-level/
That brings us to the real moral dilemma. This type of technology will not go away. It will only get better and more portable. We may be able to slow the acceptance of this technology and surveillance, but we can’t uninvent it. Eventually it will be accepted as reasonable search without warrant and as evidence in court and will be as acceptable as fingerprints and DNA evidence. Its like the invention of gunpowder or nuclear weapons. You just can’t put the genie back in the bottle. These detectors can already tell what you ate for breakfast, whether your are armed or carrying drugs. The direction our government seems to be heading is for more surveillance and more control of our lives. If we are going to live with this close of surveillance and loss of privacy, do we really want a government that is so intrusive into how we live our lives? I would be a lot less concerned about this loss of privacy and protections from illegal searches if our government was actively trying to protect our rights, but they are not. Already our federal government has put all school children on a diet. It went so far that parents are being told what must be mandatory items in box lunches brought from home. Local governments have been banning all sorts of things from large sugary drinks and cloths lines and even home gardens. America is on the verge of financial collapse with millions of people out of work and they don’t even want us to be able to dry our cloths outdoors or plant a garden. If we don’t demand that our rights are honored, we may be in for some very dark times in the near future. We need to demand that our government protect our rights instead of taking them away
Marijuana prohibition is on the front lines of this assault on personal freedom. Is marijuana use so unacceptable that we as a society must use the power of the judicial system to either make users stop or remove them from society? Keep in mind this is not some form of tough love. Prohibition is a horrible and hateful thing to do to your fellow citizens. There is no kindness in using the judicial system to try to control unwanted behavior. It is designed solely to ruin people’s lives and cause suffering; physically, mentally and financially. If any of us resist this punishment, that resistance is met with force up to and including deadly force. And then there is the persecution associated with prohibition, being denied employment, legally separated and shunned by society and hated because of lies and misinformation sold to an unwitting public by our own government. Lives are destroyed for preferring a recreational drug that is safer than alcohol. There is no moral difference between alcohol use and that of marijuana, but we are demonized because of the propaganda campaign waged by our own government. There are dozens of common items we use or are exposed to every day that are more harmful or dangerous than marijuana use. Tobacco and alcohol are two good examples, but many over the counter medications such as Tylenol and aspirin kill more people than marijuana. So does salt and trans fats. Obesity kills more people than marijuana. More people die drinking water than from marijuana use and yet we demonize and punish this portion of society. A recent study citing government funded sources, determined that states that had legalized medical marijuana had a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities, but you won’t hear that from the federal government. Their agenda seems to be that of protecting favored businesses from competition or loss from legal hemp and marijuana, even if they have to stifle research and hide the truth. If you are an investor in these industries that profit from the war against marijuana, you may count this as a benefit of prohibition, but from a freedom stand point, we all loose.
An article written by Aaron Crowe from http://www.carinsurance.com , that I found at http://money.msn.com/ delves into the issues of automobile insurance coverage and the use of marijuana. It discusses insurance company policy toward medical marijuana and sources a study into the effects medical marijuana have had on traffic fatalities. According to the article any drugged driving conviction or loss of license involving drugged driving will result in your insurance carrier canceling your policy. When your license is restored you would not be eligible for discounted insurance but instead be put in a pool for high risk insurance at near double discounted rates. Insurance companies have little if any tolerance for DUI convictions whether they are from alcohol or other drugs.
In another article from http://money.msn.com/, Some life insurance policies will cover people who use marijuana (but not abuse) and cover them at a higher rate similar to how insurance companies charge higher premiums to those who use tobacco. I am assuming that the (but not abuse) clause would pertain to state legal medical marijuana use, but I have no way to confirm that. The article also stresses the need to be honest in the application process as the application becomes part of the policy and any dishonesty on the application constitutes fraud.
Interestingly the study cited from iza.org titled “Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption” by D. Mark Anderson and Daniel I. Rees reports that in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use, traffic fatalities have decreased by almost 9%, marijuana use among people 12 to 17 years of age decreased even though overall marijuana use increased, and alcohol consumption overall decreased. The study suggests that marijuana is used as a substitute for alcohol consumption. The decrease in traffic fatalities may be the result of decreased alcohol consumption or it may be related to the fact that most people who consume alcohol do so away from home in bars and restaurants and then drive home, while most marijuana consumption is done in private and at home. Also cited in the study were references to driving studies that indicate marijuana users tend to compensate for impairment by slowing down and taking fewer risks while alcohol users tend to not be aware of their impairment and tend to drive faster and take more risks. Either way just the act of legalizing medical marijuana has reduced traffic fatalities (9%) at rates similar to raising the drinking age to 21 years (9%) or mandatory seat belt laws (8%). The results of reducing traffic fatalities associated with alcohol are even greater at a 12% reduction for (blood alcohol content above 0) and a 14% reduction for (blood alcohol content at .10 and above). This gives credence to the idea, alcohol and marijuana are substitutes for one another and that legalizing marijuana would result in lower alcohol consumption.
Burian, Scott; Liguori, Anthony and John Robinson. 2002. “Effects of Alcohol on Risk-Taking
During Simulated Driving.”
Human Psychopharmacology 17: 141-150.
Carpenter, Christopher. 2004. “How do Zero Tolerance Drunk Driving Laws Work?”
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Carpenter, Christopher and Mark Stehr. 2008. “The Effects of Mandatory Seatbelt Laws on
Seatbelt Use, Motor Vehicle Fatalities, and Crash-Related Injuries among Youths.”
Journal of Health Economics
In an interview with publication Maclean’s of Canada, Gil Kerlikowske, The U.S. drug czar may have shed a little light on future federal policy concerning Colorado and Washington’s voters decision to legalize marijuana. Gil Kerlikowske said “You’ll continue to see enforcement against distributors and large-scale growers as the Justice Department has outlined. They will use their limited resources on those groups and not on going after individual users.” He went on to say that he did not see marijuana as a human or civil right issue, but as a public health issue. As the interview moved into prescription drug abuse and the influx of Canadian pharmaceuticals where he suggested tamper resistant medications that would not crush or gel when mixed with water. He also touted that our drug interdiction officers work closely with lawmakers to increase manpower in troubled areas. He is also in favor of mandatory drug rehab saying that people who go to rehab voluntarily or under court order have virtually the same success rate. Then he made what I believe is a stupid statement. Speaking about prescription drug abuse he said, “It continued to grow up until this last year at astronomical levels. More people dying of prescription drug abuse than heroin and cocaine combined. After marijuana, we see prescription drugs as the next most significant drug problem we have. It has covered every demographic, age, race, ethnicity, gender. And it’s a bit disproportionate in poor and rural areas.” If more people are dying from prescription drug abuse than heroin and meth combined, how is marijuana the most significant drug problem we have when virtually no one dies from marijuana use and the public health issue is grossly overstated. Where is the damage to society that justifies this heavy hand from the Justice Department against marijuana. I believe the message here is that we can expect more of the same from federal authorities. They will continue to ignore the will of the people, raid and prosecute growers and distributors and anyone who gains enough notoriety to deserve their attention. Also I would expect the harassment of property owners and property confiscations to continue, but it is unlikely that they would ever have the manpower to go after individual users of recreational or medical marijuana. Eric Holder is promising an official response soon. He might say something different but I don’t have a lot of hope. These changes need to come from Congress.