Let's Talk About Marijuana

  Let's Talk About Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on March 18, 2008 at 05:45:02 PT
By Kathleen Taylor, Special To The Times 
Source: Seattle Times  

Washington -- A College student loses his financial aid because of a youthful indiscretion. A woman coping with the ravages of ovarian cancer lives in fear of being arrested for using what best eases her suffering. Across town, a front door bursts open and police rush in to handcuff a man relaxing in his living room.These events have one thing in common: marijuana. Whether it is being kicked out of college for a youthful mistake, being denied relief from pain as a cancer patient, or getting arrested for personal use in one's home, marijuana laws have far-reaching consequences.
And these consequences are often totally disproportionate to whatever societal risk or danger marijuana use may pose.So, can we talk?I think we should. As a nation, we spend at least $7.5 billion annually enforcing our marijuana laws. In 2006, the latest year for which we have numbers, a record 830,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana — 89 percent of them simply for possessing it.Our criminal-justice system wastes time and resources with these low-level marijuana-possession cases while half our violent crimes go unsolved. And those facing the judge are disproportionately African American and Latino.A recent report to the Seattle City Council on Initiative 75 — which made the adult personal use of marijuana the city's lowest law-enforcement priority — showed people of color are still far more likely to be arrested than whites, despite similar rates of marijuana use.Unjust and uneven enforcement is just one of the ramifications of treating marijuana use as a criminal matter. Noted physician and pharmacologist John Morgan has said, "The most dangerous thing about marijuana is to be arrested for its possession or use."Indeed, the consequences of an arrest for even a small amount of marijuana can haunt someone for the rest of his or her life. We have met and heard from people who lost or were denied jobs, had their homes raided and their property seized, lost child-visitation rights, and had their medical marijuana confiscated.Ironically, we've been down this path before. Prohibition didn't stop people from drinking. Instead, it created gang warfare between bootleggers over the profits to be made. Sound familiar?We realized Prohibition was creating a lot of new problems and solving few, if any, of the old ones. States now control alcohol sales and consumption. And our tax dollars are more effectively directed at regulation, public education and treatment for those whose use becomes problematic.As parents, we want to shield our children from harm and reserve certain choices for when they are old enough to understand the risks and repercussions. Certainly, this is as true of marijuana as it is of alcohol and tobacco. But just as certainly, and as most teenagers will tell you, it is easier for them to buy marijuana than beer or cigarettes. Our marijuana laws don't work. I know it. You know it. Scores of our neighbors know it.But no one is talking. Most of us have our own ideas about what should be done, but this has to be a decision that we make as a community. Too much is riding on this issue not to have an honest, candid discussion. Please join us in the conversation.Kathleen Taylor is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. Sidebar: The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington is launching a multimedia public-education campaign on the country's marijuana laws and their impact on taxpayers, communities and those arrested. As part of that effort, "Marijuana: It's Time for a Conversation," hosted by travel writer Rick Steves, airs this month on local stations and is available free to Comcast On Demand subscribers in Western Washington. For more information: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Kathleen Taylor, Special To The TimesPublished: Tuesday, March 18, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Seattle Times CompanyURL: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help


Comment #21 posted by ekim on March 19, 2008 at 20:04:06 PT

good going John T and yanxor
do you have the name of the show on PBS.if all the farmers that want hemp would gather in Denver and have James Woolsey talk about the use of hemp in biofuels.
then maybe the press will ask the NREL National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden CO. if it is testing hemp as a feedstock.S.D. is not that far offthe med use as sleep aid priceless(60 min)

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #20 posted by FoM on March 19, 2008 at 13:34:49 PT

Please let us know if your computer is ok. I didn't remove the double post until I know all is well on your end.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #19 posted by FoM on March 19, 2008 at 13:02:12 PT

We need to work hard to get back to the basics and that would help. We live in a toxic world and we really are stuck with it. Eating well, watching our weight, exercise and all the corny things that were important really are important.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #18 posted by afterburner on March 19, 2008 at 12:35:07 PT

OT: Call to Action for Sicko Nation
Beyond Progressive Malpractice: Taking Down Big Pharma
By Ronnie Cummins. 
Organic Consumers Association, March 11, 2008. 
Straight to the Source {
The Cure: Disease Prevention & Complimentary Medicine.But government funded universal health care (exemplified by John Conyers' currently stalled bill in the House, HR 676 ("Non-Profit Medicare for All") is not enough. We need non-profit universal health care that promotes wellness and prevents people from getting sick-before they end up in the hospital or become permanently addicted to expensive prescription drugs with dangerous side effects. Simply giving everyone access to Big Pharma's overpriced drugs, and corporate hospitals' profit-at-any-cost tests and treatment, will result in little more than soaring health care costs, with uninsured and insured alike remaining sick or becoming even sicker.To cure Sicko Nation and revitalize the body politic, we will need to build up a comprehensive not-for-profit public health system that not only guarantees everyone access to health care, but makes the life or death connections between food, diet, and health; exercise and health; exposure to toxics and health; stress reduction and health; and poverty and health.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #17 posted by Hope on March 19, 2008 at 10:52:01 PT

Comment 3 Museman
Thank you, Museman. That's powerful stuff.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #16 posted by FoM on March 19, 2008 at 05:19:40 PT

John Tyler
 That sounds like it was a good program.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #15 posted by FoM on March 19, 2008 at 05:08:42 PT

We noticed that yesterday. I am so glad we never got interested in investing in the Stock Market. It's down right crazy to us. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #14 posted by yanxor on March 18, 2008 at 21:41:55 PT

"Dow surges 420 points"
*insert joke relating getting high and the Dow here*
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #13 posted by museman on March 18, 2008 at 20:52:57 PT

It is nice to be appreciated. Thanks.It is mutual.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #12 posted by museman on March 18, 2008 at 20:48:42 PT

Interesting indeed. I particularly liked this line;"The Federal Reserve will always debase the currency to take its cut, and guarantee that the government has a tax base available to feed its bureaucratic family."and"The monetary illusion serves to conceal the costs through currency debasement."
Puts a whole new perspective on the concept of 'debasement of public property.'The article fails to take into account the fact that the art of econmic subterfuge, and political sleight of hand has been essentially the same since the first fearful mob fell down and worshipped the Nephalim as 'gods.' Convincing the general population of 'authority' has always been the activity of government. The purpose of government is to insure the power and control of the real resource, while giving the workers monopoly money, snd sugar coated placebos to placate their need for substance.Maintaining the the sanctity of the seperation of power, 'keeping it in the family' so to speak, is manifested in 'royalty' 'aristocracy' and other class distinctions referring to the power elite, the Nephilim and the respective 'families' that rule. Their token of power, their wand of influence and sorcerous manifesto is the illusion of (monetary) wealth. The falsest idol to ever be worshipped by mankind.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #11 posted by John Tyler on March 18, 2008 at 20:28:40 PT

on PBS
Last Sunday there was this farm show on PBS. It had the usual stuff about corn and wheat and soybean etc. then they veered off their usual subjects and started talking about hemp farming in South Dakota and that farmer there that is leading the way.  They explained about hemp products and how it would help the farm economy and that just across the Canadian border farmers are growing huge fields of it to send to the US. It was a very pro hemp-farming segment on an otherwise dry farm trade program.  
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #10 posted by FoM on March 18, 2008 at 16:11:45 PT

I see your posts.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #9 posted by runruff on March 18, 2008 at 16:09:11 PT:

I'm not getting posted?
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #8 posted by FoM on March 18, 2008 at 15:59:43 PT

Maybe there's a glitch.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by runruff on March 18, 2008 at 15:50:36 PT:

My post arn't posting?
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by runruff on March 18, 2008 at 15:36:41 PT:

OT but interesting.
If you are somewhere out there, you ask me to show you my source of information. This is difficult because I have been researching the backwaters of American government now for more than 30 years. Here is but one source to wet your whistle. If you are intriged you may take it from here.The Federal Reserve is not federal and it has no reserve. It is majority owned and controlled by British banking interest.One very good source:

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 18, 2008 at 14:16:13 PT

Thank you. You are really appreciated by me.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by museman on March 18, 2008 at 11:37:41 PT

slightly OT -maybe-
EVER REALLYDon’t know why it happens, but it happens all the time.I see the hatred in your eyes for some imaginary crime.Then you laugh and try to tell me it’s all inside my head,And the preachers all assure me I’ll be better when I’m dead,Better when I’m dead.Everybody’s talkin’ as if talkin’ made it so…Ten thousand years of words with no real known place to go.So show me that the love and joy you talk aboutIs not just cryin’ in your prison for someone to let you out,Someone to get you out.It took a long long time just to get to here,And we could lose it all to this world of fear.Now some will fly and some will fall,But what you do right now is really all,Ever, really.Not much left to tell you that I haven’t sung before.Most of what was comin, has made it through the door.There’s nothin’ wrong with livin’, Creation’s wonderful and fine,Only the things of mans own making fucking up the Grand Design,Fucking up the Grand Design.There’s a beast of many nations, devouring all the land,What’s it gonna take for you to understand?The power’s in your hand.It gets too hard to ignore, breathin’ in the poisoned air,And most everyone’s pretending it isn’t really there. 
And you go out and feed it, as if you weren’t aware, 
Safe in your denial, so you never have to care.Ever, really.

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by museman on March 18, 2008 at 09:34:56 PT

'no one is talking'
Nope. Nary a word has been spoken about the stupidity of prohibition. -at least in SOME circles apparently.In this 'conversation' that nobody is having, are we going to discuss root issues, like economic and class disparity, predatory values of the ruling classes, ancient world-spanning belief systems that empower the elite, and ensure the sheeplike, equitable slave mentalities that comprise their work force and war machines?How about the prevailing myths of 'liberty and freedom' that the pols spout like gospel, are we going to 'talk' about what freedom and liberty really is, or are we just going to limit the subject matter to the profit-margins of corporate interest (modern feudal lords) and social unrest -(an unwanted condition for leaders who want to keep the sheeps wool long and obscuring the eyes)?Are we going to find a band-aid that will make us think we have achieved a decent compromise with demonic error, so that only the extremely ill and dying can benefit from this wonderful God-Given and God-decreed herb of renown, while the poisoned false reality continues with the top of the pyramid maintaining comfort and stability while the rest of the world languishes in the poison and excrement of such a society?Obviously there are some classes of people who aren't even considered as valid, at least by those who think that 'nobody is talking.' Justice is long and slow in coming, but I believe in it. I've been 'talking' about it for over 40 years, but I can bear witness that just because there is a conversation about something is certainly no guarantee that anyone is going to get involved, at least until that 'standard issue boot' comes crahing through their doors. But that conversation is coming from 'criminals' 'low class scum' 'hippies' and other labels of the servant class -who like to think they are 'better' somehow.The real content of such a 'conversation' is certainly not being discussed -except in places like Cnews, and in many many lving rooms around the blue smoke, but the issues are rooted in topics that very few want to talk about, and even less are willing to enbrace in their lives.Yes, by all means 'lets talk,' but some people need to get lessons in listening first.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by augustwest on March 18, 2008 at 07:09:25 PT:

The most dangerous thig about cannabis is the way our government percieves it.
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment