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  Legal Recreational Marijuana: Not So Far Out
Posted by CN Staff on February 06, 2012 at 05:29:44 PT
By Adam Cohen 
Source: Time Magazine 

cannabis USA -- The drive to legalize marijuana has long been a fringe cause, associated with hard-core libertarians and college-age stoners. But it could go mainstream in a big way in this November’s election, when Washington could become the first state to legalize recreational pot use. If it does — or if voters in any of several other states do — this year could be a turning point in the nation’s treatment of marijuana.

The idea that a majority of voters could support legalizing marijuana may seem far out — but the polls say otherwise. In many states, the prolegalization and antilegalization camps are roughly equal in size.


In a poll of Washington state voters released last month, supporters of the legalization referendum outnumbered opponents: 48% vs. 45%. And Washington probably won’t be the only state voting on marijuana this year.

In Colorado, supporters last week fell about 3,000 signatures short of getting a legalization measure on the ballot — but the law gave them 15 days to collect the rest, and it seems likely they will. Activists are also collecting signatures in other states, including California, Michigan and Montana.

For years, the debate over marijuana has been focused on a narrower question: medical marijuana. The argument that cancer patients and others with chronic pain should be able to alleviate it by using marijuana has been prevailing in state after state. Today, 16 states — including Washington and Colorado — and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

Recently, the action has shifted to recreational marijuana use. Washington’s referendum would treat pot much like alcohol, so the sale of marijuana would be restricted to people over 21. The new law would give the Liquor Control Board the authority to license marijuana farms, and marijuana tax revenues would be directed to health and drug-abuse prevention programs.

But other states’ proposed laws are more laissez-faire. Colorado would legalize marijuana so that, as its supporters put it, cannabis would be regulated like “grapes, tomatoes or other harmless botanical plants.” Montana’s amendment focuses on decriminalizing marijuana but leaves it to the legislature to work out the details.

Supporters argue that legalization is long overdue. They argue that it is no more harmful than alcohol or tobacco — and that in a free country people should be able to decide on their own whether to use it. They also argue that, as a practical matter, laws against marijuana have been no more successful than Prohibition was against alcohol — and that, similarly, it has given criminals a monopoly on distributing and selling it. Legalization, they say, would reduce the number of people in prison, and it would shift revenue from drug syndicates to government in the form of tax receipts.

Not surprisingly, the legalization drives have drawn heated opposition. Critics argue that marijuana is harmful and addictive — and that it is often a gateway drug, leading to cocaine or heroin. They say stoned drivers would be a menace on the roads. And they warn that if it were legalized, and readily available, marijuana use could soar. (The University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future” survey reported that daily marijuana use is already at a 30-year high among high school seniors, even as alcohol use has been declining.) The anticamp also argues that marijuana is stronger than it was decades ago — from two to 10 times stronger, some experts say. (Other experts dispute the figures.)

If Washington or some other state legalizes marijuana, that would not settle the matter. It would still be a controlled substance under federal law. And the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause says that when federal and state laws clash, federal law trumps. As a practical matter, though, the federal government does not have the resources to police everyday use of marijuana. If states begin to legalize it, the federal government might be hard-pressed to justify diverting limited Drug Enforcement Agency resources away from heroin cartels toward small-time pot smokers.

It is hard to handicap this year’s voting, but one possibility is this: marijuana legalization could lose in Washington and Colorado in November, but recreational use could nonetheless be headed toward legalization in many states in the not-too-distant future. Support for legalization has been rising steadily, from just 12% in 1970 to 31% in 2001 to 50% today, with young people (ages 18-29) the most in favor (62%) and older people (ages 50-64) the least (49%).

In strictly political terms, this is a powerful combination: fast-growing support and solid majorities among the young, who represent where the electorate is headed. (Support for gay marriage polls similarly — which is why it is becoming law in more states.) In a few years, the national discussion may well turn from whether to legalize marijuana to how to do it in the most prudent way.

Cohen, the author of Nothing to Fear, teaches at Yale Law School. The views expressed are solely his own.

Source: Time Magazine (US)
Author: Adam Cohen
Published: February 6, 2012
Copyright: 2012 Time Inc.
Contact: letters@time.com
Website: http://www.time.com/time/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/apFMcaHe

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Comment #12 posted by Hope on February 10, 2012 at 20:59:35 PT
And... Lo
I saw a Rainbow.

:0)

http://www.cannabisnews.com/newcomments.shtml

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by Rainbow on February 10, 2012 at 11:46:03 PT
I hope
The big corporations carry lots of weight and money. They have been and will fight this to the core. It will be interesting because they will be exposed if they do fight it.

It is looking good but don't hold your breath, well maybe a little when needed :-)

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by The GCW on February 08, 2012 at 14:22:25 PT
Love, prayer, forgiveness, mercy.
Cannabis prohibitionists are chumps, ignoids, etc. etc. They are being led by evil.

It is right to pray for them to come around. To be spared pain. To be granted mercy.

And who else is going to do that? It will be the ones who are righteous. It must be Us.

I will pray for them. They don't know what they're doing.

It's the clean way.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by museman on February 08, 2012 at 09:49:54 PT
HempWorld
"I am afraid we are way beyond praying:"

Never. The confrontational modus of change does not work. History records that fact. It may force temporary capitulation to make the revolting laborers/slaves think they've gained some valuable concession with their masters, but it rarely lasts even a decade before the same rich bastards rule the game again.

War does not work. Revolution does not work. "Legislation" does not work, (though I'm sure to get a lot of disagreement from those who believe in the game plan of their masters) logic, common sense, and even knowledge that dispels all the lies does not work in context with the devices, designs, and machinations of the Status Quo.

So what is left?

Real power. Magic that only a few of us understand, and only a few more believe in.

The fact that the real power has been hijacked and held for ransom, just seems to get buried in all the hype about this compromise, and that compromise -as if it were actually something other than giving the power to falsity.

Many do not understand prayer, In fact, for most, real prayer is a personal thing between them and their Creator. But I know that the dynamics of "When two or more are gathered in My Name, I will be present." is the root of real Power that is likely totally misunderstood thanks to 2000 years of church dogma. Even so, magic happens, and good magic is totally linked to the dynamic of prayer.

A collective idea that is seeded into the consciousness is more powerful than any book, government, army, religion (which is just a creation of the Status Quo to confuse the people about real Spirituality -see Constantine) and 'prayer' may be the only real thing that works in the long run.

I know that xtianity- as a religion- has done more to confuse the truth seeker than to provide truth, but in the core of it is Great Truth. Someone who is truly being honest within themselves (and hold truth in higher esteem than say, political posturing) can see the truth and lies all mixed in there together. But to use a common phrase "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."

Prayer is certainly more powerful than any 'legislation' or 'law' that was ever invented by these pretenders we call leaders. Respect that, even if the powers that be mock it.

LEGALIZE FREEDOM

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by HempWorld on February 07, 2012 at 16:33:13 PT
GCW, praying will not command their respect!
I am afraid we are way beyond praying:

Here is the direct quote from his book pg. 405... For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as "internationalists" and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

-David Rockefeller

Just do a search (not on google); http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AhITvfe4PcePRSvXD1eEwlubvZx4?p=david+rockefeller+cabal&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-500

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by The GCW on February 07, 2012 at 16:15:25 PT
rchandar
The people that cage humans for using a God-given plant are so bad off.

So bad are they off that it is proof that We need to pray for them.

Satan, the devil works in their life and guides them instead of the love of the Christ Jesus.

People with the true love of the Christ would not support such bad.

We must pray for Them for They know not what They do. Without Satan, many of those people would never consider putting a human in a cage for using what God says He created and says is good on page 1 of the Bible.

Cannabis prohibition and extermination is Satan's law.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by rchandar on February 07, 2012 at 13:58:55 PT:

Opponents
Yeah it makes a lot of sense to put someone in jail and ruin their entire lifejust because they're smoking something addictive. The kind of dirty implied threat of abuse in prison, and they have the gall to call themselves justice.

Nothing excuses them. Lives will be lost, that's all.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by Paint with light on February 06, 2012 at 22:10:55 PT
Same old worn out arguments
"Critics argue that marijuana is harmful and addictive"

Less harmful than a lot of over the counter drugs and way less harmful than most prescription drugs.

....and not addictive.

"— and that it is often a gateway drug, leading to cocaine or heroin."

One of the oldest and most refuted arguments used against us.

"They say stoned drivers would be a menace on the roads."

Not what the studies say.

"And they warn that if it were legalized, and readily available, marijuana use could soar."

That would be a good thing especially if most of the increased use comes as people abandon alcohol.

"The anticamp also argues that marijuana is stronger than it was decades ago — from two to 10 times stronger, some experts say. (Other experts dispute the figures.)"

Yea, and whiskey is stronger than beer.

How about telling the truth.

Research and experts disagree with all these"facts" used by the prohibs.

Legal like alcohol.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by Paul Pot on February 06, 2012 at 21:30:57 PT:

Year of reform. 2012.
Isn't it crazy that in a time of economic hardship, jobs being lost everywhere, the one area not being cut back is the drug war. If we're going to lose our jobs and our homes at least let us keep our pot.

So often we hear the media tell us how dangerous drugs are but rarely do we hear of how much damage has been done by prohibition. It's just a no-no to discuss. Millions of people have to begin their lives with criminal records, while real criminals make billions and spend it on guns, cops, courts and politicians.

The CIA sells drugs to fund operations that destabilise nations for the purpose of acquiring access to resource's at slave market prices.

Militia and terrorist groups the world over fund their activities by controlling the drug trade in their area.

And all the while the only people who cannot get drugs are the frailest people in the community, who have terminal illness like cancer, who have to live in agony and die prematurely without effective drugs of pain relief that should be cheaply and freely available everywhere.

This is mass torture and murder as the result of widespread persecution throughout the community which makes prohibition a "crime against humanity".

End the drug war and put the perpetrators on trial.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by The GCW on February 06, 2012 at 14:22:18 PT
Cannabis prohibition hurts
It would be ok with me if government stoped caging responsible adults who choose to use the God-given plant cannabis.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by CropReport on February 06, 2012 at 06:35:19 PT
Generally Speaking
This is awesome :)

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by josephlacerenza on February 06, 2012 at 06:19:38 PT
Montana is in the Legalization Game
Montana is in the Legalization Game! http://wp.me/pJR5Y-14z Please, if you are in Montanan help get this going! We want to see the end to all criminal penalties for adult cannabis use, whether it is recreational or medical!

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