Drugged on Democracy

Drugged on Democracy
Posted by CN Staff on November 13, 2005 at 20:43:09 PT
By Katie Rose Levin
Source: Technician
North Carolina -- Those who believe in a democracy, finical accountability and the U.S. of A., achieved a small but significant victory in Denver. I'm talking, of course, about the local legalization of marijuana (MJ). Although Colorado officials say they'll continue to prosecute under state law, Denverians have joined the sensible in speaking up against the governments racist, wasteful, anti-democratic program: the War on Drugs.
First, a bit o' history. Anti-marijuana legislation first came about because people hated Mexicans. As one Texas senator put it: "All Mexican's are crazy and this stuff is what makes them crazy."Then in 1934, MJ laws began to target blacks. "Marijuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice," proclaims an editorial. Back then officials used MJ laws to legalize racism and as an excuse to jail minorities. But the federal government did not jump on this bandwagon until years later, when outlawing MJ transformed from racist act into an out and out propaganda coup. You see, back then the federal government did not have the authority to outright ban drugs, they had to pass a constitutional amendment ratified by the people, like for alcohol prohibition. But the newly appointed drug czar Harry J. Anslinger, and his new government agency, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the DEA), wanted tax money and wanted it fast. So instead of going through the trouble to ban marijuana the honest way, he pushed for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 to start the marijuana prohibition dishonestly. The law was passed over the loud objections of the American Medical Association, who claimed there was no evidence of harm from MJ. But apparently even that did stop the government agency in pursuit of money. Fast forward to today. This year the government has spent more than $43,594,500,000 of your tax money fighting off the marijuana monster and his friends. A quick example on how effectively our billions and billions of dollars are being spent: the Office of National Drug Control Policy was given $523.6 million. Using this money, they launched an add campaign to reduce MJ use among teens, resulting in an estimated 2.6 million new marijuana users, approximately 67 percent under the age of 18. Propaganda failures aside, the War on Drugs also wastes tax money by filling jails with nonviolent criminals. 627,500 people have been arrested on MJ charges this year alone. In fact, 59.6 percent of the people in federal prisons are there on drug convictions. So how much does it cost to house these stoners? The average stay for a marijuana conviction is five years. With a $150,000 cost of conviction, $50,000-$150,000 cost for per bed space and $30,000 cost per year maintenance, we pay about $450,000 to ruin the life of some poor shmuck. That money would be better spent rehabilitating the people with real problems like heroin addiction or extreme poverty. But solving real problems doesn't make as good of a sound bite as "Drugs are bad. MmmmK." (Right Mr. Mackey?) But, it's not just about the money. This issue is about states being able to choose what goes on in their own territory. After all, this is the United States of America, not the Federal Government Controls America. States are the citizen's closest link to democracy, and have historically been able to choose what they believe is morally right. If you don't believe in gay marriage move to Texas. If you don't believe in abortions move to Mississippi. If you support clean air legislation move to North Carolina. And if you are dying of cancer because you are too nauseous to eat, move to California. Each state has its own unique set of laws that reflect the morality of its people. When citizens believe in something so strongly they vote to put it into law, this law should be respected as it embodies the very essence of democracy. Before we spread democracy around the world we need to respect and foster it here at home. When Denver citizens voted to legalize marijuana in their city, they were not just repealing an archaic law, they were also exercising the democracy that President Bush wants to spread all over the world: the right to chose for themselves. Even if we don't agree with the law passed in Denver we should respect the fact that the people have spoken. Because without the people's right to speak, a democratic government quickly becomes a fascist one. Source: Technician, The (NC State University)Author: Katie Rose LevinPublished: November 14, 2005Copyright: 2005 The TechnicianContact: opinion technicianstaff.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on November 14, 2005 at 12:46:11 PT:
Oh yea!
Fourty years of daily cannabis use and I'm jiggy as a june bug in july. Boy, fourty more years and I might start to see some effect. D'y think!
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on November 14, 2005 at 11:20:32 PT
With Prime Ministers Like This, Who Needs Enemies
Australia: PM Urges Nation To Get Tough On Dope.
Pubdate: Mon, 14 Nov 2005.
Source: Australian, The (Australia) in {}, comments in []:{"There is mounting evidence [mounting?] of the strong link [strong link? Correlation is not causality.] between cannabis and mental illness," he said. "Cannabis use has been linked [linked? Nice weasel word that deliberately overstates.] to health problems, with fears [fears? Instead of science?] it can exacerbate psychotic illness and symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as mood swings, panic attacks, delusions, hallucinations and paranoid thinking." [It couldn't be the natural human reaction to the threat of prohibition and using the "justice" system to enforce health coercion, now could it?]{He said governments needed to deal with the legal environment, and that parents "have to tackle their own and their children's habits".} [Habits are not addictions. Is eating your vegetables, or cleaning your plate, or daily intake of dairy products and meat, an addiction, a "bad" habit or a choice of free humans?]
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Comment #5 posted by Toker00 on November 14, 2005 at 09:10:03 PT
The governments of the world
will have to legalize cannabis. The people are demanding it. For medicine, for fun, and yes, for profit. NO REASON FOR NOT RE-LEGALIZING CANNABIS. NONE!Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 14, 2005 at 08:25:51 PT
Afghanistan Cannabis Article
Cannabis Next Target in War on Drugs ***Farmers in the north of Afghanistan are up in arms over a government program to stamp out marijuana.  
 By Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi 
 Monday, November 14, 2005 
Marijuana-growing is an old and venerable occupation in the northern province of Balkh. The province is famous for “shirak”, a high-quality hashish made by experts and marketed inside Afghanistan. Friday nights are traditional shirak-party nights, where relaxing with a pipe or a bong and some local is a normal pastime. The drug is illegal, but its use is so widespread that the authorities have traditionally turned a blind eye. Now all of that is changing, in the face of a determined government effort to stamp out narcotics. Since the fall of the Taleban in 2001, surging cultivation of opium poppies, from which heroin is produced, has led western governments to warn that Afghanistan is in danger of becoming a narco-state. According to a United Nations report released last year, some 90 per cent of the world’s heroin originates in Afghanistan. To combat drug production, the international community has been generously funding major eradication programmes. The United States alone has pledged 780 million US dollars to the counter-narcotics effort in Afghanistan, and other countries, most prominently Britain, are contributing funds and troops to assist in the campaign. The campaign has so far yielded modest results. While a great deal of land has been taken out of poppy cultivation in some provinces, higher yields in other regions have kept production fairly steady, according to international studies. One of the provinces where production has risen is Balkh. Officials estimate that poppy production here has tripled in recent years, and the regional administration is under pressure to show some results. That has led to the all-out war against all illicit drugs, including the cannabis plant. "We are taking action as a sign to farmers that we have started our campaign, and that in future the cultivation of poppies and marijuana will be prohibited in this province,” said Shair Jan Durrani, spokesman for the police headquarters in Balkh. Responsibility for the eradication campaign, he said, has been given to the local police force, “Our police have been given the equipment necessary to completely wipe out poppy and marijuana farmlands.” Marijuana is an easy target for officials determined to show their commitment to drug eradication. Since poppies are not now in season, zealous counter-narcotics forces can expend their energy on cannabis, which is harvested from October to December. Farmers say cultivating cannabis has several advantages over opium poppies. It is easier to grow and store than the poppy plant, which is labour intensive and requires a trained workforce. Cannabis has a shorter growing season, and compressed hashish is quite compact and can be easily shipped. Cannabis also uses less irrigation water, an important consideration in Afghanistan’s drought-plagued climate. It is also easier to gather. “When it’s time to harvest marijuana, we just cut the plants and store them in a dry place. After that, we shake the plants so the seeds fall off,” said Mohammad Nazar, a farmer in Balkh. “We don’t need to hire workers, like we do for poppies, so marijuana is much cheaper.” Although they earn only one-quarter of what they would make growing poppies, some farmers have until now preferred to cultivate cannabis not only because of lower labour costs, but also because they believed they ran less risk of being prosecuted. “We didn’t think it was illegal,” claims Mohammad Jan, 55, a farmer in Balkh province whose cannabis fields have been destroyed. “The government was only eradicating poppies in past years.” Particularly irksome to Mohammad Jan and other farmers is the fact that the government waited until October, when they were harvesting, to start destroying the plant. “We’ve lost a year’s work,” complained Mohammad Jan. “If the government had given us warning, we wouldn’t have planted marijuana. This has completely destroyed our lives.” Farmers say they cannot support their families if they grow legitimate crops. “If I take my annual yield of wheat to market and sell it, I make barely enough for one week’s outgoings,” said Fazel Rahman, a farmer in the Chahar Bolak district of Balkh. “We are not allowed to plant poppies or cannabis, but the government is not helping us find other seeds to plant. So we have to leave the country in order to earn our bread. “I have never planted poppies, because I’m afraid to - the government is destroying the poppy fields. So I planted marijuana on one or two acres instead. The money I make is enough to support my family and me for a year. Now the government has destroyed our marijuana fields, and winter is coming. We have no income to live on.” General Mohammad Daoud, the deputy interior minister who is the senior police officer in charge of counter-narcotics work, said the government will not tolerate the cultivation of any narcotic plants. Daoud took a trip to Balkh in mid-October, presumably to signal the government’s renewed commitment to drug eradication in the province. “The government is determined to prohibit the sowing of seeds for poppy or marijuana plants as a first step,” he said. “If anyone does cultivate these plants, his fields will be destroyed. Finally, the government is going to stop the trafficking of narcotics.” According to Counter-Narcotics Minister Habibullah Qaderi, Balkh follows close behind Kandahar and Helmand for poppy cultivation, so the government in Kabul is going to bring increased pressure to bear on local officials. "Due to the increased poppy cultivation in Balkh, the government is going to send a team to talk to the provincial governor so as to draw a plant to put a stop to it,” he said. But Qaderi insisted that the government is also sensitive to the plight of farmers, “This team has financial and technical resources, and in addition to eradication they will take note of the needs of farmers and will act to solve their problems.” Source: IWPR -- Yaqub Ibrahimi is an IWPR reporter in Mazar-e-Sharif.Copyright: 2005 Spero
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on November 13, 2005 at 23:52:24 PT:
Who's that lady?
If we all were writing letters like this one, boy howdy.
Things in this country would be moving in the right direction a lot faster. Like I've said, we have to want to get rid of this evil prohibition even more than the prohibitionist want to keep it and that may be hard because 
they are making careers, and in some cases even fortunes 
pushing this lie. All we are fighting for is our freedom and the truth for truth sake. Our enemies are straw men because lies have no soul. This woman has soul.
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Comment #2 posted by siege on November 13, 2005 at 22:54:21 PT
safety of the children
Drug lord Bush and his senate has just messed over our children again with his campaign of Drug Promotion. and out of that 67 percent how many will end up in rehab, about 20% for No reason, just for a conviction, So they (government) can say that anti drug program is working and they need to keep on keeping ON, for the safety of the children!!! 
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Comment #1 posted by boballen1313 on November 13, 2005 at 21:14:07 PT
I want an ounce of your best "this stuff is what makes them crazy" and two ounces of that "Marijuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice" and a couple of those "10 times stronger than your daddy's marijuana" to go please! oh and dont forget the greenstamps and granpappys six pack!! chop chop
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