cannabisnews.com: Marijuana: A Pointless But Ending War





Marijuana: A Pointless But Ending War
Posted by CN Staff on November 21, 2005 at 13:22:54 PT
By Erik Copeli
Source: Knight News 
New York -- Back in my supermarket days as a stock boy, a coworker gave me an anecdote about how he was getting high with his friends at a deserted rail yard. Two police officers appeared suddenly, so the kids languidly tried to hide their joints behind their backs. After some half-baked attempts to lose the police, they gave up their joints. Instead of arresting them, however, the policemen stomped on their joints and simply shooed the kids away, where they would perhaps find another place to loiter and smoke up.
The actions of these police officers epitomize a quickly developing perspective toward marijuana in America. As time goes on, more and more Americans are losing their faith in the war against marijuana-for medicinal, recreational, and even financial reasons. It's quite surprising whom you find disgruntled with prosecuting pot smokers. According to Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, an organization that seeks widespread U.S. drug policy reform, hundreds of policemen, judges, prosecutors, statisticians, and politicians believe that marijuana criminalization is a costly and foolish pursuit. A variety of political powers have been opposing strict marijuana laws for years, to the point where bipartisan support has been shown for legalization.In the summer of 2003, around two-thirds of House Democrats and a dozen Republicans voted in favor of an amendment, cosponsored by Republican Dana Rohrabacher, to prohibit federal funding to Justice Department crackdowns on marijuana in states that had legalized it. Legalization of medical marijuana has already been approved in California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, and other states; while New York, Maryland, and others are considering the same move, often in bipartisan support. The federal government spends at least $10-15 billion every year on fighting marijuana on the basis that it is a harmful "gateway drug" to other more harmful substances. However, there have been studies comparing the relationship of marijuana and the demand for other drugs, between marijuana decriminalized states and those with stricter punishments. These studies conclude that criminalizing marijuana has virtually no effect on the average use of other drugs, disproving the stigma that it is a "gateway drug" (check out studies conducted by Thies and Register). Other studies show that teenagers today find chronic just as accessible as it was in the '70s, when marijuana laws were at their weakest. About 700,000 arrests are made every year for marijuana offenses, with approximately 600,000 of them for minimal possession. Seven hundred thousand amounts to more than the annual arrests made for cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and all other illegal drugs combined. Millions of Americans have never committed any other crime except for marijuana possession. Roughly 100,000 Americans are behind bars tonight due to marijuana possession. Marijuana possession can take away parents from their children, deport foreign-born residents regardless of status, and bar student loans to those in need. It's no surprise then that there is such a great movement for legalization.A 1988 administrative law judge from the Drug Enforcement Administration concluded-after witnessing extensive testimony-that "marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." Those words only begin to describe the salutary characteristics of marijuana. No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose, which can't be said of many illegal or even legal drugs. Development of lung cancer from marijuana is very rare. There are pharmaceutical products being sold today with marijuana's central ingredient, THC. The funny part is that the DEA czar claims that medical marijuana does not exist, yet the federal government is currently running a program that distributes medical marijuana for a few patients who are recognized by the court as genuinely ill. It is becoming harder and harder for opponents of marijuana legalization to disprove the therapeutic effects.Those supporting marijuana legalization are now predicting that marijuana will follow the route of Prohibition. California and several municipalities currently regulate, distribute, and tax marijuana through clinics; and when recreational use emerges, the government will treat marijuana as it treats alcohol: tax it and incorporate minor laws on usage. A few days ago, Denver passed a law that now allows anyone carrying an ounce or less of marijuana to be free from indictment. As the trend for decriminalization continues, American views will change on marijuana. They will see that marijuana prohibition values are worse than those held for alcohol Prohibition, and when that time comes, full legalization won't be far off. Source: Knight News (Queens College, NY Edu)Author: Erik CopeliPublished: November 21, 2005Copyright: 2005 Knight NewsWebsite: http://www.qcknightnews.com/Contact: http://qcknightnews.com/home/lettertotheeditor/Related Articles: Have an Open Mind on Failing Drug Lawshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21320.shtmlMarijuana Laws Need To Go Up in Smokehttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21304.shtmlSpeakout: Time Has Come To Legalize Marijuanahttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21300.shtml 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help




Comment #24 posted by John Tyler on November 24, 2005 at 13:59:26 PT
Never thought about the money before?
Re ďSo U.S. agents are now also focusing on drug traffickers' revenueĒ. Does this mean to say that for the last thirty five years the Narcs have never made an effort to go after the money? I donít think so.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #23 posted by Max Flowers on November 23, 2005 at 09:59:32 PT
"Easy money" fallacy
 - Thus honest labor loses value. Indeed, anyone who lives in a marijuana-growing area and who dedicates himself to honest labor (for which he will receive perhaps a third of what he would receive for watching his marijuana grow) is likely to face disdain, appearing as a complete fool. -This attitude represents a common fallacy, that cannabis is "easy" to grow and growers just sit around and watch it grow. This is patently false. There is a whole lot of room setup, maintenance, worrying, and yes, there is some physical labor in the setup and maintenance. It is also, for the novice, VERY VERY easy to screw up on just one of the many aspects and end up with dead or sick plants that won't produce anything of worth. Now you have spent all your money on gear etc with nothing to show for it. Easy money, huh? Yeah right.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #22 posted by kaptinemo on November 23, 2005 at 05:23:46 PT:
Partially on topic: An admission from a prohib
This came from an article posted at MAP: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v05/n1832/a11.html?999from the article:*Decades of efforts to seize drugs entering the United States and to wipe out drug production in source countries like Colombia have not reduced the availability of drugs on the streets of America.* (Do I need flashing neon lights? How about strobes and skyrockets? Diesel truck air horns? It doesn't get any plainer than that! -k.)*So U.S. agents are now also focusing on drug traffickers' revenue. "The drugs don't seem to dissipate the more we seize, so we're looking at trying to cut off their lifeline to the money, because that money is going to finance the next cycle of drugs that come into the United States," Don Semesky, head of financial operations of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, told The Associated Press.*" ' The drugs don't seem to dissipate the more we seize...' " Well, well, well, haven't we been saying this for YEARS? And haven't the antis have been denying it for years? And now...here's one of them admitting WE WERE RIGHT AFTER ALL.I expect the drone monitoring this site for the Feds will no doubt get on the horn pronto to this guy and read him the riot act about speaking heresy against DrugWarrior dogma in public. Can't be telling the gullible public the truth, now can we? 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #21 posted by FoM on November 22, 2005 at 11:01:55 PT
Toker00 and Hope
The problem with war is it becomes personal very quickly and the reason for the war gets lost in the haze. When someone loses a loved one or a soldier friend anger takes over and killing becomes so much easier. I don't hate many things but lord knows I hate war.Hope yes it was a clean break. I was in shock that's why it didn't hurt until later and then it sure did hurt.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #20 posted by Hope on November 22, 2005 at 10:47:38 PT
Toker00
I know of a few men that have broken or disarranged knuckles from alcohol influencing them to bash a wall with their bare knuckles.Hollow core doors usually work better for that bit of male rage expression.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #19 posted by Hope on November 22, 2005 at 10:42:13 PT
Owwwww.... Grimace....
Leg bone snapped in two? Dang. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #18 posted by Toker00 on November 22, 2005 at 10:41:53 PT
We went from liberators to occupiers.
FoM, in the case of Iraq, I think our withdrawal will be the only thing that will begin the healing of that nation. They have to work it out for themselves. We eliminated the hard part of the problem for them, they need to do the rest. I thought that was our original plan, but with fourteen permanent U.S. military bases being built there, the plans seem to have changed.Hope, I am glad there will be no surgery for you. I have a broken toe from coming down wrong out of a hand stand when I was showing off in basic training. I pretended it was nothing. Now it is leaning a bit to the side. Broke my hand one night by hitting the outside wall of a bar where I had just put myself in a drunken stupor. (Many, many years ago) I can feel it wiggle at the break now and then. But it doesn't hurt.Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #17 posted by FoM on November 22, 2005 at 10:30:21 PT
Hope
That is good to know that you are healing. You're right about having something broken and not knowing it. I had a horse slip and fall on me and my one leg just snapped in two. I went to the hospital and hopped in on my good leg and they said you couldn't be doing that if your other leg was broken. The ex-rays surprised them.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #16 posted by Hope on November 22, 2005 at 10:17:56 PT
FoM
You didn't sound bossy to me at all. You sound like a friend to me. Then of course, most of my friends have strong personalities and can get a little bossy sometimes. :0)According to the MRI, it was bad at first, because I'd tortured the shoulder trying to get it to work right and it wasn't healing and edema was inside and outside the joint and in real danger of becoming a displaced fracture instead of a non-displaced fracture. Once I knew it was actually broken though...and rested it and protected it instead of trying to force it to strength and motion again, and increased my calcium and other vitamins and minerals, it started healing. According to yesterday's x-rays, it's healing like a jewel and now I'm advanceing to range of motion exercises. No surgery! Whoo Hoo!People, just because you can move your arm and fingers doesn't mean it isn't broken. As you know, my typing never slowed down. There was pain and restriction, but it didn't seem like an especially big deal. My shoulder joint was broken clear through the bone and marrow, though. I was scared about that not healing business and doctor talk of "necrotizing bone". After six or seven weeks, from when I hurt it until I saw a doctor, it should have been healed or at least healing, but it wasn't.Healing good and feeling good now. Thanks for asking.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #15 posted by FoM on November 22, 2005 at 09:46:36 PT
Hope 
Gee I sounded bossy asking you about your MRI. I didn't mean for it to sound that way. I just want to know that you are ok.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #14 posted by FoM on November 22, 2005 at 09:36:34 PT
Hope 
I really wanted to know if your MRI results are ok. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #13 posted by Hope on November 22, 2005 at 09:31:57 PT
Toker00 Thank you for the pictures.
Beautiful, courageous people there.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #12 posted by FoM on November 22, 2005 at 08:29:43 PT
Toker00 
I was listening to Give Peace a Chance and I don't know if because of what has happened if there will ever be peace in Iraq. What a sad thought but when something like an invasion of a country occurs how can it be fixed? That's why war is so wrong. Just my thoughts.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #11 posted by FoM on November 22, 2005 at 07:43:32 PT
Toker00
You're welcome. That is the first time I have heard this long version of Give Peace a Chance. I made a few CDs last night of different music and that is the first song on the CDs. I always loved that song. It's gets down in our soul for lack of a better way of saying it. Everyone that goes to an anti-war protest should listen to this song.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #10 posted by Toker00 on November 22, 2005 at 03:03:19 PT
Thanks, FoM
That IS all we are saying. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. It's not profitable, but it is THE RIGHT THING TO DO. The people who put these protests together, work not just on the weekend, but every day and into the night. They spend their own money with very few contributions. Constantly making contacts, sending e-mails, drumming up support. My part was simply to make signs and be there. Much thanks to the organizers of these groups. God bless 'em. Thanks again, FoM! I often try to "Imagine" the music John Lennon would have given us had he not met his murderer. I believe there would have been a Beatle Reunion. Perhaps that would have given us even more inspiration to fight the war mongers and WAGE PEACE ON WAR!Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 21, 2005 at 19:37:42 PT
Toker00 
For all your hard work I thought you might appreciate this song.http://www.beechwood.waterloo.on.ca/peace.wma
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #8 posted by FoM on November 21, 2005 at 18:39:57 PT
Toker00 
I love the pictures. It gives me hope when I see a protest no matter what size in Bush country. Thank you for sharing them with us. I don't like feeling that there isn't any hope because of what Bush has done. I don't like having to resign myself to something that tears at my heart. Power to the People!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by Toker00 on November 21, 2005 at 18:33:41 PT
A well learned student!
FoM, all, here are some pics of Houston's anti-Iraq war protest. Wasn't big, but it sure was loud!http://houston.indymedia.org/news/2005/11/45721.phpAbout Holland. They should have legalized long ago, and there would not have developed such a cannabis growing dependency for profit. The profiteers would have had to go to work in the real world, and grow up. Or enter the dangerous world of REAL drug dealers.Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by mayan on November 21, 2005 at 18:21:42 PT
WOW
Here's an interesting piece...West 'should buy the Afghan opium crop':
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/11/21/nopium21.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/11/21/ixhome.htmlTHE WAY OUT...Jonesing on conspiracy theories:
http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/columnists/steigerwald/s_395972.html
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 21, 2005 at 18:06:37 PT
News Article About Holland
Drug Quandaries***Dutch officials donít know what to do about Hollandís drug culture. By Theodore Dalrymple November 21, 2005Near the Ministry of Justice in the Hague, and visible from its windows, is an area of the Dutch capital where many of the unemployed grow marijuana for a living. While continuing to receive about $1,200 per month from the state for doing nothing, they earn up to $6,000 a month as well (tax free, of course) by cultivating pot in their apartments. The easy money, observers report, has reduced the crime rate. It still isnít legal in Holland to grow or to sell marijuana, but apart from occasional police raids, not much effort goes into suppressing the trade. Such prosecutions as there are result in confiscation of the horticultural equipment (which the drug-dealers replace within the week) and an easily affordable $1,200 fine.The minister of justice does not like the trade but is in a quandary about how to respond. Three possible courses of action present themselves: to take serious measures to suppress the trade; to legalize it, either by creating a state monopoly or by allowing anyone to grow and sell the drug; or to allow the present situation to continue. All three have their inconveniences.Suppression would drive up the price of marijuana, reinforcing the motive for breaking the law. The increased risk of growing marijuana might easily spark a resurgence of gangsterism; and people deprived of their easy income by enforcement of the law might turn to more harmful or visible types of crime to maintain their now accustomed standard of living.The legalization of the cultivation and distribution of marijuana in turn would drive down the price and deprive the unemployed of much of their income, drastically reducing their now accustomed standard of living. Thus it too might produce not a decrease but an increase of serious crime. The inconveniences of allowing the present state of affairs to continue are less tangible but also considerable. No doubt laws have always been on the books whose purpose is more to promote discretion among those who break their precepts than to enforce strict adherence; but widespread, open, and profitable lawbreaking will before long exert a corrupting effect upon the whole of society. If the state winks at large incomes procured by what it still considers to be criminal activity, why should anyone feel obliged to obey the law? The minister of justice does not think that the state should allow its least educated, productive, and respectable class to defy it.Furthermore, those who cultivate and sell marijuana earn far more than they possibly could make by honest labor. Thus honest labor loses value. Indeed, anyone who lives in a marijuana-growing area and who dedicates himself to honest labor (for which he will receive perhaps a third of what he would receive for watching his marijuana grow) is likely to face disdain, appearing as a complete fool. Money corrupts, no doubt, but easy money corrupts absolutely.I am glad I am not the Dutch minister of justice. Copyright: The Manhattan Institute 
http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_11_21_05td.html
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by runruff on November 21, 2005 at 17:59:43 PT:
Excessive optimisum.
I don't think we could have too much. It is, in fact, infectious.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 21, 2005 at 15:36:11 PT
Just a Note
If anyone is having trouble posting please let me know when you can post. I have trouble not being able to post sometimes like today. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 21, 2005 at 14:51:48 PT
Toker00
I noticed it too. If we remain optimistic how can we lose? When we get down in the dumps and grumble around and hold our head low they win. Power to the people!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by Toker00 on November 21, 2005 at 14:46:02 PT
The "L" word...
Hey FoM, did ya notice he used the L word like, five times or so? Isn't it funny how a few drops of Truth can wind up contaminating an entire ocean? People are getting it. They are finally getting it! Or am I just being excessively optimistic? : ]Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
[ Post Comment ]


Post Comment