Have an Open Mind on Failing Drug Laws

Have an Open Mind on Failing Drug Laws
Posted by CN Staff on November 17, 2005 at 20:31:59 PT
By Jeffrey Sun 
Source: Democrat and Chronicle
New York -- News of Denver's legalization of marijuana possession of one ounce or less for those older than 21 is spreading rapidly. My personal opinion on this issue is simply based on the logic surrounding this controversial subject. On one hand, the legalization of marijuana would free up billions of tax dollars used to stop, prosecute and incarcerate growers and dealers. Legalization would stop marijuana-related crime as well as the spill-over effects of that crime, saving more money and possibly lives.
Another benefit would be the taxation the government could put on marijuana, similar to the high taxes on cigarettes. Scientifically, marijuana is less dangerous and addictive than cigarettes, and we don't even need science to prove that marijuana is much less dangerous than alcohol. Yet alcohol and cigarettes are both legal. On the other hand, legalization would be a radical change to society and could lead to a bloom of chronic pot smokers. Is it really good for society to have people under the influence of marijuana all of the time? How would this affect people at their jobs? Should the consequences of driving high be the same as driving intoxicated? These questions and more should be considered carefully before pot is legalized. If we look at the overall outcome, I think it's rational to legalize marijuana. A strong education is the only way to stop teenagers from not only smoking pot, but smoking cigarettes as well as drinking alcohol. I can't believe that some schools go underfunded while funds increase for the "war on drugs." Perhaps the government should focus more on preventing the start of drug use, instead of letting schools deteriorate and then spending money on catching the criminals that result from a lack of guidance in school. I understand it is difficult for many to accept radical new ideas. But if we take a step back and look at some aspects of our society, some of our current laws are ridiculous and inefficient, possibly even more harmful than good. People who smoke marijuana are going to obtain it one way or another. Instead of using tax dollars to "stop" this inevitability, why not just legalize it and tax it to death? This way, no money falls into the hands of dangerous drug dealers, and the government earns money instead of losing it. If we want a better future, we need to educate ourselves instead of striving for political correctness. Let's not be afraid of new ideas.Sun is a member of the Democrat and Chronicle Teen Council. He attends McQuaid Jesuit High School. Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY)Author: Jeffrey Sun Published: November 17, 2005Copyright: 2005 Rochester Democrat and ChronicleContact: dceditpage democratandchronicle.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice Laws Need To Go Up in Smoke Time Has Come To Legalize Marijuana 
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on November 20, 2005 at 10:04:18 PT
Runruff comment 8
So true. So horrifically true.
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Comment #13 posted by runruff on November 20, 2005 at 09:27:13 PT:
The cart leading the horse.
That is when law enforcment pick and choose which laws to enforce instead of working for the people. Of course a prosecuter has never seen a law he didn't like. The more laws the better his job security and chances of moving up the food chain. If half of our law enforcement lawyers
and judges are busy prosecuting pot cases that only means half of their jobs would go away with ending prohibition.
And what a cakewalk it is to prosecute pot cases. The courts in this country have effectivly shut down all defences one might use in court. It is a slam dunk in court. That must look real good on a prosecuters resume. Not to mention the job security. I didn't hear one thing that prosecuter said that made me believe that he or anyone has the right to tell me what to do with my body. If the gateway theory is the best he can come up with, this little shark would starve to death in private practice. Something he probably knows that scares him to death. I mean prosecuters are the most thick skined people in the world. They send people to prison for life. Send them to death even knowing sometimes they are innocent but do it anyway to clear the books. This is not uncommon practice. And yet I'm suppose to believe this guy is worried that someone might get stoned and devour a whole bag of freitos? Eh, Terry? Terry is my good friend. To me these job secuity people are just transparent. Have a nice day folks!                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on November 19, 2005 at 20:05:37 PT
Article on Nevada Initiative for 2006
Marijuana Proponents' Hopes for Nevada Initiative Grow
 *** November 19, 2005 
CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Buoyed by the approval of a similar measure by Denver voters, marijuana proponents say they're growing more confident about the chances for passage next year of a Nevada ballot initiative that would allow adults to possess an ounce of pot.Neal Levine, leader of Citizens to Regulate and Control Marijuana, said he thinks the Nov. 1 vote to legalize marijuana in Denver is a sign that "the mainstream" electorate now supports adults' private use of pot.The Denver ballot measure, approved by a 54 percent to 47 percent vote, allows people 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.Because of a successful petition drive by Levine's group last year, Nevadans will be faced with a similar question on the November 2006 election ballot.Levine said the initiative is far more restrictive than a November 2002 ballot measure that was shot down by a wide margin in Nevada.That proposal called for the legalization of 3 ounces, three times more than the current initiative."We have been working in the state since 2001 and talking to Nevada people every day," Levine told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "It is based on what people have told us they would like to see."We talked to real people and have come up with a solution. People are going to use marijuana regardless. The current laws don't work."But Washoe County Assistant District Attorney John Helzer sharply criticized the group's effort and said law enforcement authorities would vigorously oppose it next year."To say that `people will do it anyway' is one of the worst reasons or statements I've ever heard for a piece of legislation," Helzer told The Associated Press. "That would be akin to saying, `Why do we have any laws? People will break them anyway.'"Their comment that it's an innocent herb is not supported by what I see. I see marijuana almost consistently as a gateway drug. They (defendants) will say they began with marijuana and moved on to other drugs," Helzer said.Under the latest proposal, the state Department of Taxation would set up a system to issue licenses for marijuana farms and for certain retailers to sell pot.Levine's group is affiliated with the Marijuana Policy Project based in Washington, D.C., which funded the drive to place the initiative on the Nevada ballot in both 2002 and 2006.Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal: http://www.lvrj.comCopyright 2005 Associated Press
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Comment #11 posted by boballen1313 on November 18, 2005 at 22:13:33 PT:
Lets not tax the stuffings out of cannabis. Lets take a hold of ourselves and think for a change! God gave me and thou a wonderful plant! keep the bloody government off as much as possible!!! TO HEAL THIS PLANET IT AINT GOING TO TAKE TAXES! ITS GOING TO TAKE CANNABIS! FREE THE WEED!!
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Comment #10 posted by global_warming on November 18, 2005 at 17:25:13 PT
'We can end this violenceThe next timeYou reach outTo another personAnother 'human beingConsider the shape of your handDoes your hand "offer help?It is the softess handThat can reachInto the bowelsOf our world11-19, Our New DawnMarksIn this infinite universeWhen opened handsRecieved JusticeFear NotOur JourneyTwinkleHas warm placesAmongst those that can shareThe FireThat Lights this Universe,Puck may end the storyThere is passion for "truthJustice and the "end of prohibition,The "herb, that blessed "weedShall'Forever Abide in the LightFurther IlluminatingOur humble footpathsTowards the "infinite Fare WellInto tomorrow
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Comment #9 posted by global_warming on November 18, 2005 at 16:06:37 PT
re: Denver
Denver has votedThis fire spreads Across the face of this planetEnough brutality
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Comment #8 posted by runruff on November 18, 2005 at 09:59:16 PT:
Saving our neighborhoods from Karen Tandy et. al.
Postering is a full time job. Obviouly they[the DEA] are not making a difference. I have a news flash for Herr Tandy. No one under the in fluence of esctacy has ever pointed a gun at me. No one under the influence of the herb
has ever pointed a gun at me or even threatened me with violence. Some have made me laugh untill I thought I would puke. I've even had friends fall asleep on my sofa. I didn't mind but my cat Trubs gets a big attitude. He doesn't
like to share his favorite crash pad with anyone. Not even me. I've gone to parties were some were taking esctacy. I never have but the only thing I saw was a desire to dance and maybe hug me to much. Esctacy seems to make people turn a little sappy. I can stand it. One time lately a friend came over went outside and smoked a jay. When he came back inside he ate a whole bag of Freitos. The next day at lunch I went to have my favorite snack, Freitos and buttermilk and the bag was empty. I laughed at this. My friend is very dear and generous. How could I be angry?
But Herr Tandy and Company have pointed serious guns at me and my wife. I've read and I've heard they will and have shot people for feloneous farming. They will fill you with lead if you put water on the wrong vegetable matter. And lead poisoning can kill you! THC poisoning? There is no such thing. Who is more dangerous? Herr Tandy and her band of Brown Shirts have no place in a free society. To murder and incarcerate for cultivating the happy herb is beyond the pale of human dignity. A conscienable human being could not allow him/herself to be purchased for so low a task.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on November 18, 2005 at 09:51:44 PT
Where Are These Drugs?
I have never seen BC Bud nor Ecstasy. I don't think we have any Meth or Coke around here either. I do believe people are passing drugs around like Oxycontin. That drug seems popular and maybe it's because people think it's a legal drug. It is a legal drug but it isn't a legal drug if it's shared with others. 
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on November 18, 2005 at 09:40:40 PT:
She just loves that word, 'decimate', doesn't she?
Not realizing it only means removing one from ten, which leaves nine...which is no different than what the DEA does anyway. And that one dealer that is removed is replaced with at least one more, and more likely the number is around 6 or 7. So, in the end, the result is not only not causing any real drain on the number of potential dealers, it is acting as a recruiting machine for them.One dainty and hesitant step forward, 3 giant leaps backwards. Typical Tandy...
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Comment #5 posted by runderwo on November 18, 2005 at 08:01:07 PT
our neighborhoods
I'm failing to see how ecstacy and marijuana have any sort of "grip on our neighborhoods". Shouldn't they be focusing on meth and cocaine instead? I've never once encountered ecstacy use outside a club/party scenario, but I guess DEA knows best.
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Comment #4 posted by siege on November 18, 2005 at 07:40:29 PT
funny Karen P. Tandy can't keep her LIES right
Mrs. Tandy said the leaders of the criminal organizations targeted in Operation Sweet Tooth refined and improved on the methods used by those in the Operation Candy Box organization, who were responsible for ((supplying 1 million tablets)) of Ecstasy on a monthly basis.
  She said the Operation Sweet Tooth organizations were responsible for ((distributing 1.5 million tablets)) a month, about 23 percent of the estimated 8 metric tons of Ecstasy imported into the United States in 2003.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 17, 2005 at 21:52:05 PT
DEA Culminates Two-Year Probe with 291 Arrests
By Jerry Seper, The Washington TimesNovember 18, 2005 The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) yesterday wrapped up a two-year undercover investigation that targeted international drug smuggling rings and money laundering operations that sent Ecstasy and marijuana to buyers from the back alleys of the Far East to the streets of Canada and the United States.   The investigation, known as "Operation Sweet Tooth," netted 291 arrests and resulted in the seizure of nearly 1 million Ecstasy pills, 1,800 pounds of marijuana and $ 7.75 million in U.S. assets.   "As this operation shows, we will discover, dismantle and decimate Ecstasy trafficking organizations from the kingpin to the street dealer," DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy said. "The U.S. shares a common goal with Canada and Vietnam -- the determination to reclaim our neighborhoods from the grip of drugs," she said. Complete Article:
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Comment #2 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on November 17, 2005 at 21:40:20 PT
 More $$ spent on drug war than education
The Federal government is spending more money on the drug war than education? I didn't know that until this article. It wouldn't suprise me if it really is true.How did we get so backwards in this country?
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Comment #1 posted by b4daylight on November 17, 2005 at 21:40:05 PT
This way, no money falls into the hands of dangerous drug dealers, and the government earns money instead of losing it. If we want a better future, we need to educate ourselves instead of striving for political correctness. Let's not be afraid of new ideas.I would add following someone's political agenda ...
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