cannabisnews.com: Treatment Trumps Jail for First Time Drug Offender





Treatment Trumps Jail for First Time Drug Offender
Posted by CN Staff on July 07, 2007 at 08:34:57 PT
By Tony Newman
Source: Chicago Sun-Times 
USA -- Al Gore IIIís mug shot appeared in newspapers across the country Thursday thanks to his arrest Wednesday on charges of possession of marijuana and prescription pills. An Orange County sheriffís deputy pulled him over for driving his Toyota Prius at 100 mph. Police said the car smelled of marijuana and said a search found marijuana and prescription pills of Vicodin, Valium, Xanax and Adderall.
Here are five observations after Goreís arrest: 1. Donít speed if youíre holding weed. If your car reeks of marijuana and youíre holding a bunch of different prescription pills, you probably donít want to be driving 100 mph. 2. Donít get in the car if you are drunk or high! Donít drink and drive! Donít drive if you are impaired! I donít know if Gore was high when he was pulled over. He was not charged with driving under the influence. But it should be clear to all that there is never an excuse to drive while high. Not only are you putting your own life at risk, you are risking the lives of innocent people. 3. Drug use doesnít discriminate, but our drug policies do. Al Gore III, Noelle Bush and Patrick Kennedy remind us that drug use does not discriminate. Unfortunately, our drug policies do. Just one of numerous examples is in New York. Ninety-three percent of the people incarcerated under New Yorkís draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws are black or Latino, which is grossly disproportionate to their share of the population or involvement in illegal drug use and sales. Too often, treatment is reserved for the privileged, jail for the poor. 4. Everyone facing a drug problem deserves treatment. Gore III may not have a drug problem, but if he does, then, like all people struggling with addiction, he should be offered treatment. If he does not have a drug problem, he should not be forced into treatment. There are too many people filling up much-needed treatment slots because they were only given two options: treatment or jail time and a permanent record. If someone is busted with marijuana or another drug but they are not hurting anyone else, then they should not automatically be considered to have a drug problem. Leaving them alone may be better than forcing them into treatment and is clearly better than locking them up in a cage at taxpayer expense. 5. Thanks to Proposition 36, Californians are offered treatment instead of jail. Gore III and all people who are busted in California on simple, nonviolent drug offenses should thank Californiaís voters. Thanks to the voter-approved Proposition 36, passed in 2000, all first- and second-time nonviolent drug offenders ó rich and poor, black and white óreceive treatment instead of jail. Thanks to this law, tens of thousands of Californians have received treatment, put their lives back together, and saved the state more than a billion dollars by not wasting $30,000 a year to lock someone up. Almost every family in America has to deal with drug addiction or the consequences of the war on drugs. Millions of people have a loved one behind bars on drug charges. Many millions more have struggled themselves or have a loved one who has dealt with addiction to illegal or legal drugs. Hopefully, one day, we will offer all families compassion and treatment, not a jail cell and judgment when dealing with the problem of drugs.Complete Title: Treatment Trumps Jail for First Time Drug OffendersNote: Too often, treatment is reserved for the privileged, jail for the poor.Tony Newman is the communications director at the Drug Policy Alliance, http://www.drugpolicy.org/Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL) Author: Tony NewmanPublished: July 7, 2007Copyright: 2007 The Sun-Times Co. Contact: letters suntimes.com Website: http://www.suntimes.com/ Related Article:Bogarting Sanity in the Marijuana Warshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23157.shtml
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on July 09, 2007 at 06:48:23 PT
whig 
Back when Hippies were born in the 60s the establishment did things certain ways and one thing they did was drink alcohol. Marijuana became the substance of choice because many people had seen how bad alcohol can mess up a person and they knew that marijuana wouldn't be damaging like alcohol. Most young adults that I knew didn't drink for that reason. 
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Comment #21 posted by whig on July 08, 2007 at 14:36:16 PT
FoM
I drink beer socially sometimes. I don't know if that is what you mean by a drinker. I don't totally abstain, is what I mean. I'd rather smoke pot with people than drink beer with them, but not everybody even out here is that open.
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on July 08, 2007 at 08:44:05 PT
Hope
I am funny. I don't like any songs that promote cocaine or drinking. As beautiful as the song is of Neil Young's called Cortez the Killer I don't listen to it. Music is my therapy so I am very careful what I listen to if it has a drug or political message. Some songs are just funny and I like them. I like Willie Nelson's song called Beer for my horses I think it's called because it made me laugh.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 08:22:23 PT
"I've sucked the milk out of a thousand cows"
Classy lyrics, hey?
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 08:21:03 PT
Bob Dylan 2006
http://www.lyricsandsongs.com/song/762179.htmlI wish you could hear this song. He still had it in 2006. I love this radio station that Willie Nelson has something to do with. It's called Lone Star Music. I love it.It's got all kinds of music. It's good.I'm listening to "Ah Roberta...Where have you gone?"
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 08:10:03 PT
I like drinking songs
better than drinking.I've actually liked a lot of them over the years.I like some songs about cocaine...but I know little of cocaine. The songs give me the gist of it. I get some kind of contact high from them...and that's not got any hangovers or stuff. Costs less. Wears off quickly.Reminds me.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on July 08, 2007 at 08:06:19 PT
Hope
I've never listen to music that mentions drinking since I have seen so much bad happen by people who drink. I think it is one of the worst drugs we have. Not the worst but one of the worst. We don't even have any friends that drink. 
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 08:02:16 PT
Speaking of drinking...
Drinkers will appreciate this Romeo.http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/jimmy+buffett/why+dont+we+get+drunk_20071810.html
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on July 08, 2007 at 08:01:46 PT
Hope
I don't think I have ever heard that song. One of the things I noticed watching the Live Earth Event yesterday when NBC did a highlight of the show thy didn't play Melissa's song. That was so powerful and it should be heard and seen everywhere. I hope the news channels realize that we see what they are standing for. Obama campaign contributions broke all records and all we heard was about Bill joining Hillary on the campaign trail. If someone who brings in over 50 million dollars can't get quality air time how can anyone prevent Hillary from being our next president? I just don't know. I sure want a Democrat as president but I think Hillary will be too much like Bush. She was raised a Republican so she scares me.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 07:52:29 PT
Nursing Homes
Absolutely.Excellent idea.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 07:50:27 PT
"Let It Roll"
http://www.maddoglucas.com/tabs/roadhouse.htm
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 07:48:22 PT
9  another version
http://www.lyricsondemand.com/letras/l/loboletras/whollstoptherainletras.html
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 07:47:24 PT
I wish you could hear this song, FoM.
http://www.rockabilly.nl/lyrics1/b0196.htmBroke Down South of DallasJunior Brown.It's cool.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 07:45:13 PT
"Who'll Stop the Rain?"
http://www.stlyrics.com/songs/b/brucespringsteen678/whollstoptherain606966.html
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Comment #8 posted by goneposthole on July 08, 2007 at 06:35:29 PT
Send Them to Nursing Homes
They need to be nursed back to health, so send them where the treatment is the best, nursing homes.There will be plenty of medications available to nurse them back to health.Then when they are healthy again, they can go back to drinking and drugging. A life they know all too well. It's fun.Or, you can smoke cannabis, stay healthy, have fun and forget about the drinking and drugging. "What was I doing? Oh yeah, drinking and drugging. I forgot."Driving drunk down the road at 100 mph with marijuana, Vicodin, Valium, Adderall, and Xanax in your car isn't a choice I would make. Remember the high school student in California who was berated and belittled for possessing an ounce of marijuana? He was so humiliated from the maltreatment from law enforcement, he committed suicide. Or the couple in Wisconsin who were so thoroughly harassed by law enforcement, i.e. the US judicial system and the DEA, that they also committed suicide after everything they owned was confiscated by the big, bad US gov and the DEA?Al Gore III is fortunate, he's a Senator's son. I doubt very much that Darryl Gates is going to shoot Al Gore III. I doubt very much that Bill Bennett is going to call for the beheading of Al Gore III. Funny how attitudes change under such circumstances. In the words of John Fogarty:It ain't me,
it ain't me.
I ain't no senator's son.
It ain't me,
it ain't me.
I ain't no fortunate one.Especially if you are a drug war victim.  
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 04:04:55 PT
E_Johnson Comment 3
What you say is true. When we ever get sanity and reason and true compassion in these matters to the forefront...what you are saying will be a part of the new thinking. Reason, sanity, compassion, and respect for everyone... in government...wouldn't that be nice?
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on July 08, 2007 at 03:59:54 PT
Many can identify with Ms. Fox's experience.
"I wanted to try several things and make an informed decision, but I didn't enjoy anything other than marijuana. I don't even think of it as a drug--it should be legalized.
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on July 07, 2007 at 13:32:14 PT
Compassion
Since bush has come to have compassion for criminals (Libby) maybe he'll lighten up a bit in the war on weed? Yeah, right!THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN....Rick Santorum predicts "some unfortunate events" will give Americans a "very different view of this war":
http://prisonplanet.com/articles/july2007/070707Santorum.htmFrench official suggested Bush was behind September 11: 
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL07355145200707079/11 Press for Truth Campaign, August, 2007:
http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20070707121815886President Bush at the Florida School: New Conflicting Testimonies:
http://911blogger.com/node/9847
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 07, 2007 at 11:34:38 PT
EJ Good Question
That is so very true.
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on July 07, 2007 at 10:47:17 PT
I've gone way past this question now
Alcoholism is a deadly disease. Why don't we ask this question about alcoholics? Aren't their lives worth the same as users of other drugs?Seriously, why can't the concept of equal protection under the law apply to users of different drugs?If the jail-or-treatment paradigm is really meant to save drug addicts from dying from their addictions -- then why aren't we applying this paradigm to save alcohol addicts from dying from alcohol addiction?Are we saying that alcohol addicts aren't worth saving?Or are we saying the civil liberties of alcohol addicts matter more than the civil liberties of people addicted to other drugs?Bottom line is -- the government is acting like the lives of some addicts matter more than others. Either way you slice the pie -- it's discriminatory.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 07, 2007 at 10:14:41 PT
Fox: 'Everyone in Hollywood Does Drugs'
July 7, 2007HOLLYWOOD - Transformers actress Megan Fox insists Hollywood is so awash with drugs, she is one of only five people she knows who doesn't indulge in illegal substances. Fox admits to trying various drugs but didn't like her experiences under the influence. She tells Maxim magazine, "I've done drugs, and that's how I know I don't like them. "I wanted to try several things and make an informed decision, but I didn't enjoy anything other than marijuana. I don't even think of it as a drug--it should be legalized. "Cocaine is back with a vengeance--everyone in every club is doing drugs. Celebrities aren't trying to hide it, except when people have camera phones. "I know about five people who aren't on drugs today, and I'm one of them." Copyright: 2007 World Entertainment News Network LTD.http://www.hollywood.com/news/Fox_Everyone_in_Hollywood_Does_Drugs/4360122
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on July 07, 2007 at 09:06:09 PT
Wonderful treatment
Not.http://www.alternet.org/movies/56241/ 
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