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
Not too many years ago several towns or communities were known as Sundown Towns where blacks were not welcome after dark. Mostly by reputation some were even known to post signs declaring the unwelcome visitors should leave by sundown or else. One such town was Vidor, TX. Racial intolerance was so prominent that in 1993 the federal government actually moved several black families into subsidized housing in Vidor which resulted in a Ku Klux Klan demonstration. It’s kind of reminiscent of the old western movies where one cowboy would declare that there is not enough room in this town for both of us and one would leave or a shoot out in the street would ensue.
The war against marijuana is also similar in that marijuana users are not welcome in society. Although their drug of choice is far safer than the legal alternatives, they are denied gainful employment and subjected to arrest and confiscation of property and in some cases even having their children removed from their custody. The heavy disparity associated with prosecution of marijuana crimes along racial and class lines makes it a racial issue as well.
As bad as that is, the fact that this war on a peaceful class of people is perpetuated by the federal government makes the situation much worse. We can’t just get out-of-town because the federal law is valid in all states and territories and also pushed on foreign governments as well, such as Columbia and Mexico. Violence and corruption are epic in those countries that are part of the supply line in America’s hunger for marijuana. Mostly I see that prohibition is ignored and unwelcome by marijuana users, but for those unlucky few that catch the eye of authorities, the punishment is horrible, hateful and unjustified.
The biggest problem I have with prohibitionists is the adamant insistence that the only places for us in society are unemployed, homeless, in jail or forced into rehab to correct our errant behavior. Any resistance to that must be met with the force of law, up to and including a lethal response. It can’t be that there is not enough room in this country for people like me. I am an American and it’s my country too.
Lately I have been saddened by the division in our Nation. I think it has always bothered me that we have a long history of division. Like when we hated on the Indians and all but annihilated them and enslaved a portion of our society that was predominately black and further punished them with segregation and Jim Crow laws, but I had hoped we had left some of that behind. The most obvious division today is among the Haves and the Have Not’s and between those who want more government control and those who do not. Those we have elected to lead us have been putting on a pretty good show of fighting for the cause of their constituents, yet our government continues on its set course. That course being more control over its people and more information about their lives and more of their money. Obviously they are not content to just control their own citizens, but people all over the world as evidenced by the surveillance of foreigners and the constant intervention in other nations by our government. Should we be in a constant state of war without a defined enemy. The stated enemy is terrorism yet we refuse to acknowledge that it is a war with Islam where the Quran calls for the killing of non-Muslims. We also have the internal and external war on drugs where tens of thousands of people have lost their lives in a struggle to illegally provide the United States with drugs and hundreds of thousands of Americans are imprisoned and lose their property because their drug of choice is not alcohol or tobacco. These things are being used as an excuse to gather information on every citizen in this country and many abroad. Privacy in our communications, information searches, shopping habits and our medical history is gone and all that information along with our location is now available to our government. We have surrendered our individual sovereignty for the illusion of safety.
Lets consider some of the implications from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One provision is the smokers have been accessed a $3000 penalty or premium increase that cannot be subsidized with tax money. That $3000 is just an arbitrary number. What if it increases to $6000 or more and how hard would it be to say that anyone who uses an illegal drug should be charged more. You could always just not tell them but likely medical exams in the future will include toxicology exams since the government is picking up the tab. Laser powered molecular scanners will very likely find their way into medical diagnostics and drug use will be obvious, both legal and illegal. If you do not report your drug use you will be guilty of felony fraud.
The use of the Internal Revenue Service as the enforcement arm of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is also troublesome. Does anyone remember the abuse of power about awarding or withholding tax-free status to groups and individuals along party lines. The Internal Revenue Service has always been used by our elected leaders to reward those in their favor and punish those who are not. It is also being used to divide our nation. We are split between the Haves and the Have Not’s where according to CNN Money, 10% of the people pay 70% of all income taxes. Randi Rhodes once told me that it wouldn’t do any good to tax the poor because it is like squeezing blood from a turnip but I disagree. Those who do not pay income taxes ( about 47%) don’t have any skin in the game and they can vote for whatever benefits they want from government and not have to worry about how it is paid for. When we authorize our government to take away from a few to supplement others it is theft, even if it is backed by the rule of law. If everyone pays, then we could find the level of government benefits that we can agree on and pay as we go. This astronomical national debt thing has to stop if we are to leave any kind of decent future for our children and grand children.
If America wants to turn this around, it can be done, but we have to act in unison. Stop voting for lifetime politicians. Their allegiance is not to you but too their party. Demand term limits and run for office if you are dissatisfied with the selection of candidates. We need more ordinary citizens in office. Above all watch those that take office and let them know what you expect from them. Silence is seen as approval.
I’ve been hearing about jury nullification as a defense against prosecution for marijuana crimes. It is an interesting concept, where the jury just refuses to convict the defendant just because they disagree with the law or because they believe it should not be applied in a particular case. This was used extensively to stop the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act before the Civil War and the Volstead Act during the prohibition of alcohol. During prohibition, as many as 60% of the alcohol violations were nullified by juries. With greater than 50% of Americans now believing that marijuana prohibition should end, it is very likely you could get a member of your jury to vote for your acquittal. NJWeedman, Edward Forchion, a New Jersey medical marijuana patient, has used jury nullification as a way to avoid prosecution. Forchion is an outspoken critic of the war on marijuana and has some very good ideas about mounting an effective defense in court against prosecution. He spent 6 months in jail for exercising his freedom of speech when he made commercials that called for an end to marijuana prohibition, yet he still marches on as a warrior in the fight against prohibition.
The states that have moved to legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational use have also nullified Federal marijuana laws to a certain extent, by stopping the enforcement of those laws by local authorities. It has been an uphill battle where some local law enforcement have refused to honor the will of the voters in their state and enforce Federal marijuana laws anyway. Still progress is being made where a wave of acceptance for medical marijuana has swept the country and over 50% of Americans now believe marijuana prohibition should end, and that it should be regulated and taxed similar to alcohol.
Oath Keepers is an organization of active and former military, police and first responders that have vowed to uphold their oath to support and defend the Constitution of The United States, by refusing to obey unconstitutional orders such as, to disarm the American people, detain Americans as enemy combatants to be held without trial and to conduct warrantless searches. This also is a form of nullification that protects our freedoms and rights that are under attack by the Federal Government. Their motto is “Not On Our Watch”.
When those we elect to lead us, refuse to honor their oath to support and defend the Constitution, the responsibility falls on us to stand together and defend our rights and way of life. Our best defense against this assault on freedom, is to watch those we elect to represent us and hold them accountable by removing them from office when they fail to protect our rights. That system seems to have failed, where our two-party system yields more of the same, regardless of which party is in majority. Our rights of freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to be secure in our personal effects, and the right to self-defense are constantly being eroded by our government. Nullification can be a very powerful tool to prevent the loss of freedom if we just refuse to play their game.
“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.
We all know that crimes are committed by criminals and those that are caught are punished by society through the criminal justice system, with fines, probation, incarceration and in extreme circumstances by death. But what constitutes a crime? Must the action that constitutes the crime harm others, as in assault, rape or murder, or could it simply be an action that deprives others, their right to life, liberty or their pursuit of happiness. This should be a simple answer but it is not in our society. According to a documentary originally aired on Fox News by Jon Stossel, the United States Government now has over 125,000 pages of law governing everything from treason, to the type of light bulbs you can purchase and the type of toilet you can install and how much water your faucets can flow. These laws are used to enforce, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, the Firearm Owners Protection Act and thousands of other laws currently on the books at all levels of government that we are subject to. A Book by Harvey A. Silverglate titled Three Felonies a Day documents how people commit crimes, unknowingly just because there are so many laws governing so many different things that most people would never consider a crime, it becomes impossible to know for sure we are not doing anything illegal. It is very likely that anyone could be arrested for a crime any day of their lives. Laws are written so broadly that they may be interpreted by authorities to arrest anyone. With the use of domestic spying on all of us through our electronic communications, we are all in danger of coming under the scrutiny of authorities, who could make our life a living hell if they so choose. We’re all Criminals by C.M Sturges discusses how the vast array of laws we have, are meant to suppress and control us, not maintain safety and freedom.
Some laws we have are for another purpose though, they are meant to protect the interests of the ultra rich who have a strangle hold on those we elect to represent us. Companies such as Dupont , Monsanto, General Electric, Westinghouse, General Mills that are held and controlled by the elite in society, with names like Rothschild and Rockefeller that meet in secret locations to discuss and decide on world policy and direction. Remember the Monsanto Protection Act that ensures that it will be near impossible to challenge the use of genetically modified foods or seeds.
The war against marijuana is no different. Our government hides and ignores evidence that shows hemp and marijuana to be a benefit to society and a safer alternative to alcohol use, to protect businesses such as the pharmaceutical industry, the cotton industry, the pulp wood and timber industry, the drug testing industry, the drug rehab industry, the prison industry and the petrochemical industry. Lets not forget the DEA with its multibillion dollar tax funded budget which employs a multitude of drug enforcement officers who want to keep their jobs and that the war on drugs is the main justification for the militarization of our police forces and the main justification for paramilitary raids on civilian homes. The United States government is also using their advanced surveillance, secretly to initiate drug busts and directing police to cover up where the initial evidence for the investigation came from. Circumventing rights and freedom is just another tool in the pursuit of total control over the population. More laws governing everyday activity are incrementally employed , gradually reducing freedom and creating a population that will cower to the will of the government. Will we continue to say the loss of freedom and privacy is not that bad until it effects us, instead of someone else? Or will we rise up and demand that our rights and freedoms are honored by the people we elected and who swore an oath to uphold them, the members of Congress and the President of the United States?
I know I have been ragging on the police a lot here lately and it has been taking a toll on me. Reading and writing about people who’s lives have been severely harmed at the hand of police such as Ramarley Graham and his family, have left me depressed and angry about the misdeeds done in the name of law enforcement by a few errant policemen. It is very likely that I do not have all the facts and maybe I am wrong in my assessment, but anytime a person looses their life as a result of this war or drugs it bothers me. For a man to die over a dime bag of marijuana is a horrible tragedy, and I can find no justification for it. But I also love this country and I want the Constitution to continue to be the guiding principle in the way our country is run. I want the freedoms and rights that we have to endure and be passed on to future generations. That freedom and those rights cannot be preserved without the rule of law. Law enforcement is just as crucial to preserving our Constitution and freedom as a standing army. Without it our society would descend into chaos and the strongest, the richest or the boldest would reign supreme and the weak would be at their mercy. Rape, robbery, murder would be rampant and we would all live in fear. The brave men and women in law enforcement have a very thankless job. Countless times every day, they put their lives on the line to preserve the rule of law and fulfill their vow to serve and protect. For that we owe them a debt of gratitude that they may never see. Most of their encounters with the public are not on good terms. They see people on some of the worst days of their lives and often their intervention is unwelcome and sometimes violent. No one wants a traffic citation and no one wants to be arrested and people’s reactions are sometimes hard to predict. Police never know what will happen on the next encounter with the public so they must remain vigilant, ready to make split second decisions concerning life and death, not only their own, but the public as well. I am grateful for those who stand in harm’s way, and risk their lives to enrich mine. At times I tend to lose sight of that and I will forever believe the war on drugs is the wrong approach to a social and medical problem. I will forever believe that paramilitary raids on people’s homes over marijuana is a bad idea. I will forever believe that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol, but the job of the police is not to judge which laws are good or bad, but to enforce the laws passes by our elected officials. There are many people in law enforcement who want an end to the war on drugs and have become outspoken critics of it. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is an organization of just such people. Judges, attorneys, and policemen from all across the country have united to oppose the war on drugs. They actively lobby Congress and give testimony in public venues to educate people about the failures and fallacies in the war on drugs and that gives me hope for a better future. The vast majority of men and women in law enforcement are good honest people who believe in the rule of law and hold themselves to a very high standard, but that is not news worthy, so the media focuses on the mistakes and misdeeds of the few. God Bless those who choose to serve this country and preserve our way of life. My beef is with Congress and the President, not with law enforcement.
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?
The Justice Departments insistence on pursuing an investigation into George Zimmerman on the basis of a racial hate crime is misguided. The jurors who struggled with the verdict about the guilt of Mr. Zimmerman claimed they did not believe race was an issue in the actions of George Zimmerman and the double jeopardy clause in the fifth amendment of our Constitution should allow their verdict to stand. If the Justice Department wants to combat racial intolerance, they should start with the war on drugs, where people of color and the poor are far more likely to be searched, arrested and incarcerated than whites or wealthy Americans.
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.
Recently I have noticed that a large percentage of people I have talked to, did not know who Edward Snowden is. Most would add that news is depressing and they try to avoid it. Even my wife has told me the same thing. She avoids news because it is depressing. But we all suffer from information overload. In our society, we are constantly bombarded with new and often unimportant information mixed with information that we need, so it is not in our best interest to ignore it. We take it all in and filter what we believe is relevant or important and ignore the rest. We also live in a society where communication is almost as easy as looking at a watch and entertainment is as close as our phone. We can play interactive games, text, watch movies and surf the internet virtually anywhere, yet we have become disconnected from the things I believe are most important. Keeping watch over those we elected to lead us and protect our freedom.
Those we elected to represent us in government have failed to protect our rights and to uphold their oath of office. They refuse to acknowledge our second amendment as a right and treat it more as a privilege that can be legislated away incrementally, locally as well as at the federal level. All Constitutional rights and natural rights should be the same in any state or territory in our union. It is the job of Congress, the President and the Supreme Court to uphold the Constitution of The United States of America as the supreme law of the land and protect our freedom, yet those in office are constantly looking for ways to circumvent the Constitution. Greed and corruption are rampant and it has become business as usual for Congress to pass laws favoring one business over another to create wealth and reward campaign contributions. A revolving door system of bureaucrat’s go back and forth from the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, the same can be said for companies like Monsanto and Cargill and the Department of Agriculture and the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies. Lobbyists from the richest and most powerful industries meet in private with members of Congress and the President and form federal policy and law without the voice of the people. If and when our rights, get in the way of this profit machine, government lawyers look for ways around the Constitution and our freedom suffers. Our fourth amendment rights against unlawful searches has also been attacked. Our elected leaders have allowed and likely encouraged the NSA, FBI, DHS, CIA and who knows what other government agency to view and record all of our phone, text, email, banking records and now the IRS will have access to all of our medical records. Even the Supreme Court which is supposed to be the last line of defense against unconstitutional laws passed by legislature, unanimously decided that dogs can authorize searches.
We have failed as well, in our obligations as citizens of society and to our government. We must work if we can and support our government by paying taxes, obey the laws and be willing to serve as jurors in the judicial process. We also are obligated to watch over those we elect to lead us and hold them accountable when they fail to uphold the Constitution. We are also obligated to come to our country’s defense if needed in time of war or any other national calamity. Regardless of whether we agree with one another, we have to live in this country together and find a way to get along. Yet we continue to push our elected officials to pass laws to keep us safe or to keep us from being offended. That leads them to pass laws that restrict freedom in almost all cases. Free people are no longer allowed to act on their freedom for fear of offending someone or getting sued. Communities are passing laws preventing all kinds of things such as smoking, gardening, clothes lines and lemonade stands. Our children were put on a diet by Federal mandate and one child was expelled from school for chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. Reason and common sense have given way to panic and hysteria where knee jerk reactions from our leaders further our loss of freedom. Discipline among our children has been lost and the judicial system has become the backup plan and we have the largest per capita prison population of any nation on earth. What happened to the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”?
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.
July 4th marks the birth of our nation. Brave men risked their lives, their fortunes and the lives of their families in an act of treason by sending our Declaration of Independence to King George III and declaring that they would no longer tolerate the acts of tyranny perpetuated by royal dictate from a king that did not recognize their rights. It listed several basic human rights that had been violated and declared that some of our rights were ordained by God and therefore could not be taken away by men. They declared that all men are created equal and that when governments become hostile to basic human rights, and after long suffrage, men have the right and obligation to throw off those bonds and form their own government and that those who govern do so by the consent of the governed. Their actions set the stage for what would become the greatest nation on earth, an economic and military superpower and a beacon for freedom and democracy. We have every right to be proud of America and all that it stands for.
It is worth noting though, that not all Americans share the same reverence for this holiday celebrating our freedom, because not all of them received their freedom as a result of the birth of our nation. The American Indians certainly have no reason to celebrate the birth of a nation that destroyed their way of life and stole the land that had been passed down to them through countless generations. The blacks in this country generally celebrate their independence on Emancipation Proclamation Day, when slavery was abolished. Even then they had to wait and suffer before they were allowed to vote and faced decades of persecution and discrimination because of racial prejudice and hatred. Women’s right to vote came years later. Although our Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal, it has taken us 237 years to get to where we are today and still people are struggling for equal treatment and freedom under the law.
The Edward Snowden affair highlights what the founders of our nation were fighting, a government that has lost its way and become openly hostile to the rights of its citizens. In direct violation of our 4th amendment rights of privacy and guarantees against illegal searches, our government has decided it is ok to spy on us and believes we have no right to even know about it, much less question their motives or ask how they justify such actions. Congress swore an oath to support and defend our Constitution, yet they have become openly hostile to protecting our rights and the rule of law that they are obligated to uphold. Another battle in the assault on our 4th amendment rights is the war against marijuana where now the Supreme court says that dogs may authorize searches and paramilitary raids on homes and helicopter and drone surveillance have become all too common, just for choosing a drug that is not alcohol. A drug that is safer for the individual and society than alcohol, yet those who use marijuana are still treated as enemies of the United States. They are persecuted and prosecuted at every opportunity and people of color are still arrested and incarcerated at a grossly disproportionate rate.
We are still one of the most free nations on earth but we seem to be going in the wrong direction and loosing freedom to a government bent on gaining knowledge of all parts of our lives and control of all of our actions. More and more we are being treated as though we are the enemy, yet we are The United States of America, and those that govern us are supposed to represent us and govern by our consent. I just hope it is not too late to preserve our nation and the freedom that so many of our brave men and women have fought for. We still have a long way to go before we are all free. Lets keep our eyes on the prize.
I hope you all have a happy Independence Day.
As my children reached the age where they were no longer entertained by Legos and toy cars and more interested in video games, I looked for ways to engage them outdoors where fresh air and exercise would more likely be available. We would go camping, fishing and my love for riding motorcycles was one of the things that I wanted to share with my children. The first bike they got was a Honda Mini Trail 50 that I thought would be the safest way to teach them to ride. On his first attempt my eldest son ran into a tree but quickly became able to avoid obstacles and avoid injury. Both boys loved the experience, so I bought them each a bike and one for myself, so I could keep up with them. I always stressed that they should always wear a helmet, long pants and never ride alone. Our riding was always off-road, which meant loading the bikes in the truck or on a trailer and transporting them an hour or so away. Because of this, we would often include a camping trip with the motorcycle riding and that somewhat limited their riding. We had a large vacant lot down the street from our house and I had an agreement with the land owner to allow my sons to ride there, and in return I would keep the property mowed and we would pick up trash as well. It seemed like a reasonable and safe way for my sons to be able to ride not far from the house when we could not schedule a trip to the river or the lake where we would ride trails. They were instructed to push the bikes the half block to the vacant lot as riding down the street or the ally would have been illegal. However it never really worked out. Almost every time they attempted to ride, someone would call the police and when the police arrived my children would be threatened with arrest and impoundment of the motorcycles. I discussed this with the police on a couple of occasions and assured them that we had permission to ride where they were riding and each time the police concluded that as long as they had permission it would be ok, but the harassment never ended. I even went to talk to the district attorney and the local judge to try to find what ordinance we were breaking and never got an answer and both refered me back to the police who simply stated that they could not ride in the city because they had no license and the bikes were not street legal. The police had an exception for themselves though. They had 4 wheelers that they would ride at public gatherings such as parades and large gatherings such as the annual Relay for Life cancer fundraiser. The only thing that made any sense to me about the police not allowing my children to ride on the lot was that someone had complained and they felt obligated to stop the offense. I was never able to find out which ordinance we were breaking and other off-road vehicles such as riding mowers, golf carts and tractors were never a problem. Is it just that some people can’t stand to see others having fun?
Society seems bent on forbidding things that people enjoy, not because of public safety, but because they associate enjoyment with sinful behavior. I believe this is why the legalization of marijuana has had such an uphill climb. Some people see the use of marijuana as morally wrong. Like people who use marijuana are broken and must be repaired by society, usually through punishment such as fines, probation or incarceration. Now that our government has finally conceded that calling this a war against marijuana is counter productive and alienates the public, they have slightly altered their tactics. Now many courts are offering the chance for rehabilitation instead of incarceration. The financial penalty still applies as the defendant must still pay court costs and the cost of rehabilitation, plus the loss of wages while undergoing the rehabilitation. And if the defendant does not complete the rehabilitation or fails any of the mandatory drug tests, they are right back to incarceration. The only thing is, most marijuana users do not agree that they actually need or want to be rehabilitated. There is nothing morally different from marijuana use than drinking wine or beer. What if everyone caught with alcohol were treated this way? Why are we not allowed to choose a safer alternative to alcohol and why must the punishment be so severe? Even in places where marijuana is decriminalized or where the punishment is less severe, the prosecuting attorney often stacks charges, such as intent to distribute and paraphernalia charges to increase the penalty. If the person has a firearm, the charges automatically escalate to felony weapons charges in addition to the marijuana charges, even though marijuana has a much lower association with violence than alcohol. Just because someone chooses to use marijuana does not mean they are a threat to themselves or society, and it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. Millions of people use marijuana and alcohol every day without problems. Why can’t people in society, simply live and let live? Don’t you have enough problems of your own?
This article from reason magazine highlights how governments and society ban all sorts of relatively benign behavior because of Puritanical beliefs, most of which are not based on facts.
Dear Congresswoman Pelosi and other distinguished members of Congress,
I recently read in the news where you said at a press conference concerning the Edward Snowden affair, that your job is to keep Americans safe. I believe you are in error in that belief. Your oath of office if you will recall says that your job is to support and defend the Constitution of The United States of America. The Constitution says that Congress is to provide for the common defense of this nation, not to keep it safe. Keeping America safe is our job by volunteering to serve in the military or even being drafted into service if the need arises. We also must be willing to serve as jurors and police if needed to preserve the rule of law. Your job is to make sure that our Constitutional rights are protected and to make sure the military and police have what they need to defend our great nation. Which means planes, ships, tanks, bullets, guns and bombs to fight those who would threaten The United States or our Constitution. Never should we have to give up any of our rights to have the illusion of safety. If we can’t have both, this American would rather be in a state of war. I would never choose safety over freedom. That would be an act of a coward and a disgrace in light of those who have valiantly fought to preserve our freedom and way of life. Just issue me an M4 rifle or I can bring my own and a ride to the enemy and I will gladly risk life and limb in defense of our nation, our Constitution and way of life. Our rights against illegal searches and privacy should never have to be surrendered to have the illusion of safety, nor should our right to bear arms. When Congress believes that we must surrender our Constitutional rights to be safe, they become the enemy. What defense do we have to that?
With the news of Edward Snowden releasing classified information about NSA surveillance of Americans to the press, I am reminded that we have traitors among us. Edward Snowden was a contractor, working closely with the NSA in the direct role of surveillance of Americans by listening to phone calls, reading texts, email and observing web searches in search of terrorist activity. He fled to Hong Kong and exposed what he says is an unconstitutional breach of the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution by our government. He has been called a traitor by Dick Chaney and Nancy Pelosi but the claims he has made are really not new.
From The Guardian
Edward Snowden said “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President if I had a personal email.”
Glenn Greenwald follow up: When you say “someone at NSA still has the content of your communications” – what do you mean? Do you mean they have a record of it, or the actual content?
Both. If I target for example an email address, for example under FAA 702, and that email address sent something to you, Joe America, the analyst gets it. All of it. IPs, raw data, content, headers, attachments, everything. And it gets saved for a very long time – and can be extended further with waivers rather than warrants.
2) NSA likes to use “domestic” as a weasel word here for a number of reasons. The reality is that due to the FISA Amendments Act and its section 702 authorities, Americans’ communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant. They excuse this as “incidental” collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications. Even in the event of “warranted” intercept, it’s important to understand the intelligence community doesn’t always deal with what you would consider a “real” warrant like a Police department would have to, the “warrant” is more of a templated form they fill out and send to a reliable judge with a rubber stamp.
In an article at Reason magazine by Brian Doherty titled “5 Alarming Things We Should Have Already Known About the NSA, Surveillance, and Privacy Before Ed Snowden” Brian sheds light on (1) Three whistle blowers that have been prosecuted for leaking classified information about NSA surveillance on Americans (2) The governments use of Telcom companies like Google and Yahoo who had been given immunity from prosecution and law suits because of their cooperation with the NSA (3) Anyone who writes about and repeats what Edward Snowden has revealed about the NSA is a criminal under federal statute. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/798 (4) As early as 2008 anyone paying attention would know that communication privacy in America had become a joke with the NSA having a room at a huge ATT data center in California where data was funneled through NSA equipment where they captured everything. (5) The Fourth Amendment had already been gutted by the Supreme Court when it ruled that business data or data stored by a third-party was available for government scrutiny. http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-11/how-rand-paul-can-take-on-the-nsa.html
It is clear that several if not all members of Congress and the President knew and were complicit in the NSA surveillance of Americans. This is a direct violation of our Fourth Amendment rights as guaranteed in the Constitution. According to the Oath of Office for Congress, they are required to support and defend the Constitution of The United States. I’m pretty sure that includes the Forth Amendment. If members of Congress refuse to honor their oath of office and are complicit in its circumvention, doesn’t that make them traitors as well?
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recently released a 2012 study about drug use and crime titled “Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program II” which stated that marijuana is prevalent in a large percentage of arrests for crime. Curiously missing in the study, as reported by Reason Magazine is the data on the prevalence of alcohol use in these arrests. Reason has filed a freedom of information request for the missing data after a Twitter inquiry was stonewalled by the ONDCP Communications Director Rafael Lemaitre. The text of the Twitter feed can be read with the Reason article at. http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/28/why-did-the-drug-czars-office-withhold-a
Alcohol consumption by volume and frequency of use were in the questions asked of the arrestees but that data was eliminated from the report. See page ten, Exhibit 2.1 to see the questions posed to the participants. http://www.scribd.com/doc/143455182/2012-ANNUAL-REPORT-ARRESTEE-DRUG-ABUSE-MONITORING-PROGRAM-II
Official White House Policy, “Only release information that furthers the cause of marijuana prohibition and hide the truth when it does not”. The war on marijuana is a horrible and hateful miscarriage of justice, perpetuated with lies and misinformation to protect big business from competition or loss from legal marijuana. Millions of lives and families have been harmed by this unjust war so far. How long will we continue to tolerate this kind of interference in our lives by our government. We aren’t free if we can’t make decisions about our own health and safety.
Update to original article:
The Drug Czar’s office responded to why they omitted data on alcohol in the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring report.
Last week, we released the 2012 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Annual Report (ADAM II), a long running study that reveals the percentage of arrestees in certain U.S. cities/counties testing positive for at least one illegal drug at the time of arrest….Typically, however, the annual ADAM report does not include findings about alcohol use. Why? Here are three reasons:
1. Simply put, the nexus between alcohol use and crime is already well documented….Moreover, there are already many other surveys that compare rates of legal drug use to illegal drug use….What’s harder to investigate, however, are emerging trends in illegal drug use – which fluctuate and shift more widely compared to alcohol – at the local level, and among a highly transient, often homeless criminal justice population.
2. The ADAM II study doesn’t test arrestees for alcohol in the first place. One of the primary characteristics that make the ADAM II survey unique is that it collects bioassay data (urinalysis) from arrestees within 48 hours of arrest (as opposed to larger surveys such as NSDUH that rely solely on a questionnaire). Since ADAM II only tests for certain illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines/methamphetamine, Darvon, PCP, benzodiazepines, methadone, and barbiturates), there are no data on positive alcohol results to report in the study.
As part of the data collection process, some questions are asked about alcohol use, but since the focus of the annual report is on the drug test results, the findings from the alcohol questions are not included in the report. However, in keeping with the scientific principles of transparency and accessibility and Administration policy, ONDCP makes the complete ADAM II raw data file available to researchers so they can conduct their own analyses. These raw data are available for previous years of ADAM data collection through the University of Michigan’s Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a data warehouse used by many Federal agencies to make their data available to the research community. (Users must first register with the ICPSR and sign a user’s agreement, and more recent years data will be available there soon).
3. The primary focus of ONDCP is to reduce illegal drug use and its consequences. A component of the Executive Office of the President, ONDCP was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (you can read our Congressional authorization here). Accordingly, ONDCP’s primary mission has focused on efforts to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences.
Associate Editor Mike Riggs of Reason Magazine is still disappointed in the response because the information requested from the ONDCP is still not available. Data on alcohol from previous years of the same report is available as raw data from a third-party, but only up to 2010.
These raw data are available for previous years of ADAM data collection through the University of Michigan’s Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a data warehouse used by many Federal agencies to make their data available to the research community. (Users must first register with the ICPSR and sign a user’s agreement, and more recent years data will be available there soon). http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/28/drug-czars-office-admits-to-omitting-alc
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.