War on Drugs Gone To Pot

War on Drugs Gone To Pot
Posted by CN Staff on May 17, 2005 at 23:25:41 PT
Source: USA Today 
USA -- Marijuana is the most widely used illegal substance. About 15 million Americans smoke it, and police make nearly 700,000 pot-related arrests each year, accounting for nearly half of all drug arrests.The $35 billion-a-year war on drugs has turned largely into a war on marijuana, and a losing war at that. Pot isn't harmless, but shouldn't law enforcement focus more of its resources on hard drugs — cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines — that are associated with violence and devastated lives?
According to a new study by The Sentencing Project, a liberal research group that favors alternatives to incarceration:• Marijuana arrests increased 113% from 1990 through 2002, while arrests for all other drugs rose just 10%.• Four of five marijuana arrests are for possession, not dealing.The theory behind the war on drugs is that enough arrests will curtail both supply and demand. But the impact of increased marijuana arrests appears negligible. According to private and government studies, overall marijuana use is the same as it was in 1990, while daily use by high school seniors has nearly tripled, from 2.2% to 6%. Since 1992, the inflation-adjusted price of pot has fallen about 16% while potency has doubled, the studies show. Snipped:Complete Article: USA Today (US)Published: May 17, 2005Copyright: 2005 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.Contact: editor usatoday.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:The Sentencing Project War on Pot: Wrong Drug, Wrong War Becomes Focus of Drug War Behind 45 Percent of U.S. Drug Arrests 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 24, 2005 at 16:45:59 PT
Related Published LTE from USA Today
My hearty thanks to USA TODAY for the editorial "War on drugs gone to pot" (Our view, Policy on illegal substances debate, Wednesday).Americans will be disappointed to learn that the war on drugs is not what they thought it was. Many of us grew up supporting this war, thinking it would imprison high-level traffickers of hard drugs and keep cocaine and heroin off the streets. Instead, law enforcement officers devote precious hours on hundreds of thousands of arrests for possession of a little marijuana, only to have prosecutors deem the infractions too minor to take to court.This tremendous waste of time and resources must stop.Mitch EarleywineAuthor, Understanding MarijuanaAssociate professor, psychologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles***If U.S. drug czar John Walters thinks marijuana is so harmful, why does he want it to remain completely unregulated, untaxed and controlled by criminal gangs ("Marijuana policy just right," Opposing view)?Only legal products of any kind can be regulated, taxed and controlled by any government.Regarding the so-called high potency of today's marijuana, in my view, if we smoked the world's most potent marijuana all day long, the worst effect would be a severe case of the munchies. On the other hand, drinking more than 80 cups of caffeinated coffee in one day could result in a lethal dose of caffeine.Perhaps we should criminalize coffee instead of marijuana.Kirk MuseMesa, Ariz.***USA Today is correct in questioning America's failed war on marijuana. But it is a mistake to blindly accept federal government assertions that "today's more potent marijuana carries substantial health and social risks."More objective inquiries have come to precisely the opposite conclusion.Independent reviews by the Australian government and the European Union have found that potency increases have been wildly exaggerated and pose little or no danger.A review of the literature by Oxford University pharmacologist Leslie Iversen, in the February issue of Current Opinion in Pharmacology, concluded that "by comparison with other drugs used for 'recreational' purposes, cannabis (marijuana) could be rated to be a relatively safe drug."As for drug czar John Walters' claims of success: U.S. marijuana arrests have doubled since 1991. In that period, the number of teens trying marijuana for the first time increased approximately 50%, while the number of 12th-graders using marijuana daily tripled, according to the government's own figures. If this is success, what does failure look like?Bruce MirkenDirector of CommunicationsMarijuana Policy ProjectWashington 
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on May 18, 2005 at 19:04:51 PT
see a Leap event   
May 19 05 1580AM WVKO "Front Street" Radio 05:00 PM Jerry Cameron Columbus Ohio USA 
 Speaker Jerry Cameron will be an in studio guest on "Front Street", a call in radio show on station 1580AM WVKO. Jerry will be discussing issues related to America's failed war on drugs. The show is hosted by Charles Traylor and Wendi Huntley. Given that the show takes live calls from listeners and does not screen those calls, this is sure to be a very lively and informative interview. May 20 05 Libertarian Party Of Ohio 2005 Convention 09:00 AM Jerry Cameron Columbus Ohio USA 
 Speaker Jerry Cameron will represent LEAP at the Libertarian Party Of Ohio's 2005 Convention. Location: Ohio State University Campus. May 21 05 Mississippi Marijuana Party Global Marijuana March and Rally 03:00 PM Larry Henson Tupelo Mississippi USA 
 Speaker Larry Henson will speak at the Mississippi Marijuana Party Global Marijuana March and Rally. Larry will talk about the failure of America's war on drugs and its negative impact on the nation and world as a whole. This is LEAP's very first event in the great state of Mississippi and it will be celebrated by all members of LEAP and the Mississippi Marijuana Party. May 22 05 Secular Jewish Humanists 11:00 AM Eleanor Schockett Miami Florida USA 
 Members of the Secular Jewish Humanists Group in Miami welcome Board Member Judge Eleanor Schockett for lunch and discussion of drug prohibition issues. Judge Schockett will bring her first hand experience and knowledge of the failed war on drugs to the the table and will explain the use of viable methods of harm reduction. May 23 05 Manitou Springs Kiwanis Club 06:30 PM Howard Wooldridge Manitou Springs Colorado USA 
 Members of the Manitou Springs Kiwanis Club welcome Board Member Howard Wooldridge for discussion of issues related to the failure of drug prohibition. Discussion will include the drug warrior's refusal to provide any logical explanation for their failed positions, while at the same time refusing to discuss possible alternatives. May 23 05 Drug Use & Abuse Class 02:30 PM Jim Gray Los Angeles California USA 
 The California State University at Los Angeles' Department of Sociology welcomes Judge James Gray to speak at their Drug Use & Abuse Class. Judge Gray, widely recognized as an insightful, innovative and very effective champion of alternative methods of harm reduction, will be discussing the human and financial costs of America's failed drug war and will offer viable methods to address the problem. This event is open to all students and faculty.
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Comment #10 posted by jose melendez on May 18, 2005 at 13:47:12 PT
These Congress pervs just want to hear the p- word again. They must miss Bill . . . - - - “The date of Lenny Bruce’s death [in 1966],” the authors of “The Trials of Lenny Bruce” conclude, “is as good a marker as any of the moment when words alone--any performance words spoken in comedy clubs--ceased to be targets of prosecution.” The book comes with a CD containing relevant excerpts from interviews and Lenny’s performances, ranging from his poetic descriptions (a judge with “thick fingers and the home-made glass eye”) to his bit about prosecutors using in court the same words that Lenny got arrested for: “[Bruce] said ‘blah-blah-blah’--then I dug something, they *liked* saying ‘blah-blah-blah.” Moreover, (- - - hidden in the gray attache’ case that Lenny always carried into court was a portable reel-to-reel tape-recorder, - - -) which captured Kuh reveling in those words as he cross-examined witnesses for the defense. “The Trials of Lenny Bruce” serves as the missing link between two of Lenny’s statements: “In the Halls of Justice, the only justice is in the halls.” And, “I love the law.” Indeed, as club owners became increasingly afraid to hire him, he devoted more and more time and energy to the law, and when he finally got a booking in Monterey, he admitted, “I feel like it’s taking me away from my work.”
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 18, 2005 at 12:32:51 PT
Bill Piper, DPAlliance: You've Been Drafted 
YOU'VE BEEN DRAFTED UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU FOR THE WAR ON DRUGSI want to thank the over 4,400 people who have sent emails to their Representatives opposing Congressman Sensenbrenner's draconian mandatory minimum sentencing bill. This bill is now garnering national attention. This bill would have serious consequences for our democracy, requiring you to spy on all your neighbors, including going undercover and wearing a wire if needed. Refusing to become a spy for the government would be punishable by a mandatory prison sentence of at least two years. We need your help to fight this bill, including your ideas.We alerted you last week ( ) to the bill, entitled "Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2005" (H.R. 1528). Thousands of you have faxed Congress in opposition to the bill and we've already raised $2,000 online to fight it. Thank you!We already told you about many of the terrible provisions in this legislation, but we are especially concerned about a section of the bill that turns every American into an agent of the state. Here's how it works:If you "witness" certain drug offenses taking place or "learn" that they took place you would have to report the offense to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide "full assistance" in the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory two year prison sentence. Here are some examples of offenses you would have to report to the police within 24 hours:--You see someone you know pass a joint to a 20-year old college student.--Your cousin mentions that he bought Ecstasy for some of his college friends.--You find out that your brother, who has kids, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife.--Your substance-abusing daughter recently begged her boyfriend to find her some drugs even though they're both in drug treatment. In each of these cases you face jail time if you don't call the police within 24 hours. It doesn't matter if the offender is your friend or relative. It also doesn't matter if you need 48 hours to think about it. You have to report the person to the government within 24 hours or go to jail. You also have to assist the government in every way, including wearing a wire if needed. Refusing to cooperate would cost you at least two years in prison (possibly up to ten). In addition to turning family member against family member, the legislation could also put many Americans into dangerous situations by forcing them to go undercover to gain evidence against strangers. This is what we're up against in Congress and, as I told you last week, it's not going to be easy. Sensenbrenner, the chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee, usually gets what he wants. Lots of people are afraid to challenge him. But we have a duty to our children to stop our country from turning into a police state. I'm sure you feel this duty, as well. Here's what you can do:--If you haven't already, please e-mail your member of Congress: us your creative ideas. How can we galvanize the American people against this bill? Email actionfeedback .--If you didn't give money last week, please give today: . Even $25 goes a long way (for instance, $25 will allow 100 voters to fax their members of Congress in opposition to this bill.)--Submit a letter-to-the-editor ( ) to your local paper urging your member of Congress to oppose the bill. --Send this email to everyone you know. Unless tens of thousands of Americans speak up this bill could become law. It's already passed out of subcommittee. The sponsor is now trying to line up the votes he needs to get it out of the full committee. From there it goes to the floor for a full House vote. The provision that would turn Americans into spies is not the only thing wrong with this bill. Visit to read the full text of HR 1528 and learn more.Sincerely,Bill Piper, Director of National Affairs Drug Policy Alliance
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 18, 2005 at 11:13:17 PT
Amen EJ 
You are so very right about Vietnam!
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Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on May 18, 2005 at 11:10:56 PT
Why they will never beat us
Research in Vietnam during the war revealed that soldiers who used marijuana spent less time recovering from combat stress and were ready to go back into battle sooner than soldiers who did not use marijuana.This was published in a medical journal but I forgot which one. I'm sure the report in cited in Medline somewhere because that's how I originally found it.If pot got soldiers through Vietnam, then it will get us through this as well.
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Comment #6 posted by jose melendez on May 18, 2005 at 10:33:03 PT
Ask the DC mayor to investigate ONDCP, PDFA:
Contact the mayor of DC directly, and ask him to investigate fraud waste and abuse betwen ONDCP, PDFA and their "clients", in restraint of American trade and freedoms!
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Comment #5 posted by jose melendez on May 18, 2005 at 10:28:16 PT
O Sam
from:,a,1223,Q,531282,occNav,|31688|.asp Consumer Protection and Antitrust
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) enforces the District's consumer protection and antitrust laws. It brings court actions to stop deceptive, anticompetitive, or unconscionable business practices and to obtain compensation for consumers. Although this office does not represent individual consumers, it uses complaint information it receives to determine whether there is a pattern or practice by a business that warrants investigation or possible legal action by OAG.
Consumer Complaints: How to complain effectively and where to go for help. 
Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations:
DC Code
DC Regulations
Price Fixing and Bid Rigging: How to identify and report an incident, or to file a complaint online. 
Consumer Education: Investigate links to government and nonprofit materials. 
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Lawsuit and Settlement News Room: Review press releases and other information on cases involving the District of Columbia. 
Complaints Against Businesses: View a report on the total number of complaints filed with OAG against a business since April 2003.Consumer Fraud
(202) 727-3500Fraud Hotline
(202) 727-4159 - - -
The False Claims Act (U.S.C. § Title 31,3729) states that anyone who conspires to defraud the Government by getting a false or fraudulent claim allowed or paid or knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used said false statement is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus 3 times the amount of damages which the Government sustains because of the act of that person.Concerned Citizens Coalition to Criminalize Prohibition
(386) 848-1877
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on May 18, 2005 at 09:54:05 PT
Pot Helps People Cope Too!
What they conveniently leave out is that just about everyone is inclined to be depressed, have thoughts of suicide, and/or be schizophrenic without indulging in marijuana use. What about the noted 15 MILLION regular users of marijuana? How come they're not checking into the nut houses by the boat load and taking their own lives? You know, FRAUD is a very serious offense and Walters is intentionally committing FRAUD and he knows it. Why doesn't someone go to a DC District Attorney and swear out a criminal complaint?Overwhelm Uncle Sam
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Comment #3 posted by potpal on May 18, 2005 at 08:16:20 PT
ot - caffeine culture
Think drink...? One can only wonder what we'd have to say about pot same day... 
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Comment #2 posted by charmed quark on May 18, 2005 at 05:44:25 PT
Depression, Suicide and Schizophernia, Oh My!
At the end of this article: "It can lead to depression, thoughts of suicide and schizophrenia, especially among teens, according to government research"I've seen this statement recently in nearly every "reasonable" discussion about cannabis. A full page ad by the "drug councel" in my local paper had this along with a footnote to the research it was based on. It shows how powerful the government is in this debate. Nearly everybody who has looked closely at the research finds it "flawed", using correlation to imply causation.-CQ
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on May 18, 2005 at 04:48:33 PT:
The groundswell rises
Go to the rest of FoM's (very thoughtfully provided) link and read the last sentence. Well, there it is. A nationally syndicated newspaper, read by millions around the country, has said it. The word. The word that strikes fear in the hearts of DrugWarriors everywhere. The word that spells the doom of their gravy train.Debate.In the past, the antis have been able to insult us by conflating cannabis use with murder, lumping cannabists in with the likes of Jefrrey Dahmer, and saying they don't debate murder laws with murderers. But now, a major media outlet has called openly for debate. Let's see if the ONDCP wants to lump the editorial staff of USA Today in with murderers.I expect that other media outlets, smelling bloody red meat, will begin pointing out the obvious insanity of focusing the majority of your efforts on cannabis while heroin and cocaine flow through the country like an invisible river that does visible damage. It was said here long ago that when the media 'discovered' the rank madness that is the government's policy on cannabis, it would speed the day of its demise. That day has come a little closer.
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