Marijuana Ban Should Go Up In Smoke

  Marijuana Ban Should Go Up In Smoke

Posted by CN Staff on February 06, 2009 at 05:27:43 PT
By Cole Wenzel, The Daily Cardinal  
Source: Daily Cardinal 

USA -- Until Wednesday, I was going to keep my mouth shut about the media’s obsession with Michael Phelps hitting a bong. But, in the midst of my Digging, I found an article on titled “Police Looking to Charge Michael Phelps for Smoking Pot.” This has gone too far—much too far. Are the police really going to charge an Olympian for recreational marijuana smoking, something that allegedly happened all the way back in November? Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott claims, “If someone breaks a law in Richland County, we have an obligation as law enforcement to investigate and to bring charges.” Must we pry further into this “mistake” that our beloved, smiling, gold-medal winning, American swimmer made at some college party? 
Let’s not forget that some time back in 2004 Phelps had to suffer 18 months probation for a DUI charge. So, it is clear that Phelps is no stranger to the occasional substance abuse—as few of us are that attend college at prestigious Big Ten institutions (Phelps did at Michigan). The powers that be are blowing this out of proportion. It is completely absurd to be taking such drastic and hostile action as investigating such an act, a mostly harmless one at that, which took place three months ago.What’s more, the goofy dolphin-man has already issued his apology, citing the behavior as “regrettable.” On the Fox News program “Red Eye” the other day, the commentators began discussion of this incident and came to the careful conclusion that Phelps even had a good “bong stance,” clearly indicating that he is no novice to the likes of the Schedule I substance.Let us examine the situation logically. Michael Phelps willingly and knowingly smoked a bong, supposedly some time in November. Recently, a British tabloid got ahold of a photograph of Michael Phelps in the act. This would have to mean that someone at the party, perhaps an acquaintance of Phelps, snapped the photograph and, later, someone submitted the photo for print in the paper. Now published, the world has freaked out and cannot believe that swimming’s poster boy would commit such a horrible act. Naturally, being an intelligent businessman and public relations person, Phelps has thoroughly apologized for his heinous act. This is where everything should have stopped—even university police and Columbia, South Carolina, police have decided not to pursue any charges. But the damn sheriff’s department is simply too just of an institution to let this slide.What really comes out of this whole debacle is the fact that the most winning Olympian in history not only drinks (as the DUI showed us), but also indulges in marijuana from time to time. If Phelps, the amazing role model and inspiration for Americans, can do the amazing things he does and still smoke some pot, perhaps we need to reconsider our stance on the issue of marijuana use.Currently, marijuana sits on the top of the list of America’s worst drugs. The DEA drug-scheduling system, which came about in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, was an early part of Nixon’s War on Drugs, which we still wage today. The system is composed of a five-part scheduling system, ranging from I through V, I being most severe. The definition of a Schedule I drug is as follows: a) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse, b) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, c) There is no provision for safe use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.There are currently 13 states where medical marijuana is legal under state law. Clearly, marijuana does not meet the criteria of a Schedule I drug. Other drugs on this list include heroin and ecstasy (MDMA). What may be more alarming, though, is the fact that the Schedule II, a lesser classification, includes such drugs as cocaine and opium. Logically, marijuana should not hold such stern unlawful status.I think it is time for our nation to recognize the relevance of Michael Phelps’ marijuana use. He is the embodiment of a great American. He possesses great willpower, determination and perhaps greatest of all, he has a hell of a work ethic. If such an individual chooses to recreationally use marijuana, maybe as an alternative to drinking alcohol, and can still reach the monumental pedestals that he does, then perhaps it is time we consider a more logical approach to this legal travesty.Cole Wenzel is a sophomore majoring in business. Note: If we can learn anything from the recent troubles of Michael Phelps, it's that marijuana should not be illegal in the U.S.Source: Daily Cardinal (U of WI, Madison, Edu)Author: Cole Wenzel, The Daily CardinalPublished: February 6, 2009 Copyright: 2009 The Daily Cardinal Newspaper CorporationWebsite: http://www.dailycardinal.comContact: opinion dailycardinal.comURL: Articles: Arrest Michael Phelps! Takes a Hit

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help

Comment #30 posted by rchandar on February 08, 2009 at 13:36:46 PT:
He could go either way, I think. Either he could define "austerity" narrowly, meaning root out the decrepit remains of what Bush encouraged (???), or he could stick to his general message from the last two years, which is: "families are being destroyed. we need everybody to work for this change." That's a tough judgment call, and he's being attacked by the Republicans who don't want to give up their unchallenged privilege from the previous eight years.Make no mistake about it though, "austerity" could define US as wasted relics of Bushian excess. I would want to be honest with you; we might not be spared by a reformist administration, that all depends on the success of the stimulus, the newfound olive branch to the Middle East, and just plain old luck.--rchandar
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #29 posted by rchandar on February 08, 2009 at 13:04:02 PT:
Hmmm. What is it here that constitutes "proof"?Of course, "bongs" are just pipes, anything could've been in the pipe. Or: do we have a lab report?That's becoming irksome these days. "Proof" should be when someone actually has the substance and it has been correctly identified. A statement from "Phelps" such as, "feels good to get high," is not anything. I don't think this is being handled fairly, nor should you.It's actually a very good thing to keep pictures--something to show to new friends when you get their confidence.--rchandar
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #28 posted by FoM on February 07, 2009 at 09:34:33 PT
News From ASA
Congress to DEA: Reconsider Monopoly on Medical Marijuana ResearchFor Immediate Release: February 6th, 2009Sixteen Members of Congress Urge Attorney General Holder to change DEA policy.Washington, DC -- Sixteen Members of Congress issued a letter yesterday to newly-seated Attorney General Eric Holder urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to act "swiftly to amend or withdraw" an order that significantly curtails medical marijuana research in the United States. For more than forty years, the federal government has held a unique monopoly on the cultivation of marijuana for medical research, significantly impeding studies on the therapeutic qualities of medical marijuana and the ability to bring it to market. In February of 2007, DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner ruled to end that monopoly by claiming that expanded medical marijuana research was "in the public interest."The Congressional letter sent to Attorney General Holder was authored by John Olver (D-MA) and states in part:Since 2001, Prof. Lyle Craker, an experienced botanist of medicinal plants and soils, has been struggling to obtain a DEA license for a privately-funded facility located at the University of Massachusetts to grow cannabis (marijuana) exclusively for FDA-approved research protocols designed to evaluate its potential medical value. Forty-five members of the House of Representatives and Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, as well as a broad range of scientific, medical and public health organizations including the Lymphoma Foundation of America, the National Association for Public Health Policy, and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation have all written to DEA in support of Professor Craker's efforts.Since 1968, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has contracted exclusively with the University of Mississippi to cultivate marijuana for medical research. Not only is this exclusive arrangement unlike that for any other Controlled Substance regulated by the federal government, but it is also unlike other countries that comply with the United Nations Single Convention Treaty on Narcotics. In her 87-page Opinion and Recommended Ruling, Administrative Law Judge Bittner concluded that the quality and quantity of marijuana supplied by NIDA was inadequate for the level of research that cannabis deserves."Given President Obama's commitment to end federal enforcement in medical marijuana states, it stands to reason that he would be in favor of expanded research into this important medication," said Caren Woodson, Director of Government Affairs with Americans for Safe Access. "His Department of Justice has the opportunity to place science above politics and to facilitate unfettered research into medical marijuana." The DEA took nearly two years to respond to Judge Bittner's ruling and with less than one week before a change in Administration, acting-DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart rejected the ruling and denied Professor Craker's application. The ACLU, which represents Professor Craker in this matter, is requesting reconsideration and an opportunity to respond to new evidence used by the DEA in its rejection.Further information:Yesterday's letter from 16 Members of Congress to Attorney General Eric Holder: 2007 DEA Administrative Law Judge ruling: rejection of Professor Craker's application: Motion to Reconsider:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #27 posted by FoM on February 07, 2009 at 08:55:55 PT
Obama is smart and seems to want to keep learning. My only worry is that if we don't get a new DEA head and drug czar in the near future more raids will happen and more people might wind up going to prison.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #26 posted by E_Johnson on February 07, 2009 at 08:51:19 PT
FoM you have to read between the lines
I think Obama never mentioned dispensaries specifically because it sounds much better politically to focus on the patients because that draws the attention to the fact that humans are at the other end of those DEA guns.A raid on a dispensary is always a raid on patients. The DEA busts in during business hours and there are always patients in there buying their medicine. You can't raid a dispensary without raiding patients. Patients work there. Patients come there. Raiding a dispensary is the same thing as raiding patients.I think back on what Obama promised and now I realize that it was obviously meant to apply to dispensaries.If you vow not to raid patients, then you can't raid a dispensary, because there are patients in every dispensary.It's like in the Merchant of Venice, when Shylock demands his pound of flesh from Antonio, as per their deal if Antonio's ships are lost at sea and Shylock loses his investment capital.Portia tells him, fine, take your pound of flesh from Antonio, but you can only take the flesh. If you take a single drop of Antonio's blood, or even one tiny hair, the deal will be off and you will go to prison.There was no way for Shylock to take that pound of flesh without getting blood and hair too. There is no way for the DEA to raid a dispensary without raiding patients too.Looking back, I think Obama is a lot like Portia. He can see all the angles. He's smarter than the average bear.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #25 posted by FoM on February 07, 2009 at 05:39:52 PT
No one has to like Obama but many people are letting him do what he needs to do to help fix the mess we are in. I never thought that he would stop raids on pot shops. He never said that. We still have a big problem. The federal law hasn't been changed. I am hoping that in the future we see marijuana re-scheduled. That would be a good beginning to me. What I don't want is people on CNews to go off on Obama because then it upsets people who are willing to wait our turn. We don't have a new drug czar yet and probably won't for months. Maybe people that are all upset about these raids are too close for comfort and are afraid but many people are not.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #24 posted by HempWorld on February 06, 2009 at 21:45:37 PT
And so ...
We should prohibit cigarettes as well, after all, smoking cigarettes is NOT a victimless crime ...So, the question remains, what else can we prohibit in order to create mass employment for police and the entire prosecutorial bureaucracy?Laughing?I think I'm doing a 180 on Obama because raids continue and the 'stimulus package' is a future robocop police state. Very scary indeed ...
Cigarette Deaths
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #23 posted by itsonlyaplant on February 06, 2009 at 17:22:53 PT
Sheriff Lott
The pic of sheriff Lott on the drugwar rant is amazing. It kills me that all of these police and municipal "law enforcement" authorities all seem to need such high tech weaponry. I mean why in the hell does a police agency need camouflage fatigues to wage an inner-city raid (personally witnessed by me in 1998)? It makes no sense. The whole persecution of cannabis users or any other substance user if they aren't actually endangering anyone else is such a huge fraud. The perpetual arrest of non-violent people for profit is so bogus. It just makes me sick to my stomach every time I even think about it. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #22 posted by HempWorld on February 06, 2009 at 16:49:08 PT
How about enabling Americans to grow hemp?
Just as Canada has done in 1998, ten, yes 10 years ago.
On a mission from God!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by HempWorld on February 06, 2009 at 16:38:02 PT
"The economic stimulus bill under consideration this week in the Senate would be a windfall for law enforcement, sending nearly $4 billion to state justice systems, police and prevention programs. Much of the money would preserve jobs and create new ones, says Dave Steingraber, president of the National Criminal Justice Association and executive director of Wisconsin's Office of Justice Assistance. "The justice system is very people-intensive," he says. "Whenever you push funding into the justice system, you're talking about jobs and hiring." The Senate version -- like the House bill that passed last week -- includes $1.5 billion for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, a favorite among state and local governments because the money has few legislative restrictions and can be used for a variety of justice-related programs. The COPS ( Community Oriented Policing Services ) hiring program would receive $1 billion, enough money to hire and train 13,000 new police officers and fund 75% of their salaries for three years, the association says."My comment; if we go this route then let's re-enact the prohibition of Alcohol.
On a mission from God!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #20 posted by FoM on February 06, 2009 at 16:17:06 PT
OK I Get It
Well duh. You're calling him Mike and I only know his name as Michael. LOL!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 06, 2009 at 16:14:23 PT
I think that is a made up article or at least a
made up quote from Phelps. If he did say that, well God Bless his big healthy heart!By the way Sam, I Loooove Kid Rock! He is awesome in concert.That guy knows how to perform on stage. He really puts on quite a show.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by museman on February 06, 2009 at 16:10:43 PT
Nazis, and fascism
Started with the Sumerians, moved on to Babylon, put in a a token apearance in Egypt, and Phoenecia, dabbled in Greece, then came to full fruition in Rome.The Roman Catholic Church then infused its fascist values into every monarchy in existence in the western world, and the Empire moved to Britain, then the U.S.A.The values of corruption and the fascisti militaristic police force came into being almost immediately after the revolution. They did the same thing here that the Stalinists did to the Bolshevics, they let the people sweat, fight and die for liberation, than came right in, discredited the Boshevics, and in their case actually embarked on polgroms of extermination (although the Stalinists tried to cover it up, just like our own fascist government does right now.) Here they just denied them rights and priviledge based on standards of 'property and wealth.'It is true that the CIA, FBI, and most agencies post WW2 have been utilizing the methods of the Nazi SS since before the war was ever even over. I think the biggest duped generation ever is the WW2 generation, becasuse after the war they fell for consumerism, hook, line, and sinker. Can't blame them for the fact that it was done to them without their understanding or awareness, but they were duped none the less.My generation hasn't the same excuse. They were given the opportunity as far back as the 60s to embrace greater truths than the contrived set of falsehoods passed on from one ruling generation to another since the Sumerian "Gods" claimed their superiority over us, and begat the arm of war-dogs known today as "Law Enforcement." They were given the opportunities that past generations would have sacrificed much to have had, yet they -in general- traded it all in for a fistful of dollars, and the various materialistic emblems of the Fake Success of the status quo - and now we are all paying for it.Fascism happens because people let it happen. While it is true that the powers of confusion reign almost supreme still, that power is theirs only because collectively on a general (and unconscious) scale we give our power to them on a daily basis. We, the people, allow this evil to continue, because we cannot collectively muster enough faith in what is truly real to displace the bullshit being passed off as reality.And we the people can refuse to further cooperate with corruption, and resist them at every turn. Unfortunately only a handful of folks is standing firm, while the rest continue to fuel the Juggernaught of destruction with their very lives and time.Thank God for the handful!FREE MARIJUANA FOREVER
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by OverwhelmSam on February 06, 2009 at 16:08:14 PT
Oh no! Not Subway.
Dang it, I used to like subway. Oh well, Quiznos here I come.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by FoM on February 06, 2009 at 16:06:17 PT
Mike who? I have my flash player uninstalled because of a bug in my yahoo e-mail I can't seem to fix for now. Could you put the title of the video the next time in the comment so we can figure what it's about? That would help.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by OverwhelmSam on February 06, 2009 at 16:03:25 PT
I'm So Proud of Mike
At least he admitted his mistake for apologizing, came clean and reversed his apology. All is forgiven Mike.Crank it:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by paul armentano on February 06, 2009 at 15:54:59 PT
Cannabis Consumers Challenge Kellogg's Decision Kellogg Company Drops Michael Phelps, The Cannabis Community Drops Kellogg’sFebruary 6th, 2009 By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director Share this Article       It may have been expected, but that doesn’t make it right.Late Thursday, cereal and snack manufacturer Kellogg’s announced that it will not renew its sponsorship contract with 14-time Olympic gold medal champion Michael Phelps. The company said that Phelps’ recent acknowledgment of marijuana use, and subsequent apology, was “not consistent with the image” of the company.We disagree!As NORML wrote earlier this week, it’s not Michael Phelps who should be castigated, but rather it’s the absurd and hypocritical laws that criminalize the behavior of Phelps and tens of millions of other successful and productive Americans like him that is worthy of condemnation.Millions of Americans agree. In fact, in the past week dozens of high profile pundits and commentators — including Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post, Stanton Peele in the Wall Street Journal, and Doug Bandow in National Review Online — have demanded a repeal of America’s archaic and overly punitive pot laws.Michael Phelps is in good company. Nearly one out of two Americans have admitted using marijuana. Whether or not the most decorated athlete in history chooses to unwind during his off time with a glass of wine or a bit of cannabis is really none of the government’s — or our — business.Please take time today to contact the Kellogg Corporation. Tell them that you oppose their decision to drop Michael Phelps and that, as a result of their actions, you will not be purchasing any Kellogg’s related products for the next three months (or until the company decides to reinstate the Phelps as their spokesperson).There are several ways you can make your opinion known to the company.You can call Kellogg’s main telephone number during east coast business hours, Monday through Friday, at: (269) 961-2000 or toll free at: 1 (800) 962-1413.You can e-mail Kellogg’s consumer services department by visiting: can contact Kellogg’s media relation department at: 269-961-3799 or via e-mail at media.hotline can e-mail Kellogg’s corporate responsibility department at: corporateresponsibility can e-mail Kellogg’s investor relations department at: investor.relations finally, you can write the Kellogg Company a letter at:One Kellogg Square
P.O. Box 3599
Battle Creek, MI 49016-3599When contacting the company, please be polite and concise. Tell them:“Hi, my name is _____________ and I’m a frequent consumer of Kellogg’s products.Nearly one out of two Americans has used marijuana. This includes tens of thousands of prominent, highly successful Americans — including our current President. Michael Phelps should not be stigmatized nor condemned for private behavior that he, and millions of others, engage in.The majority of the public, as well as those in the media, are standing behind Michael Phelps and so am I. I will no longer be purchasing Kellogg’s brand products until your company reverses its decision and reinstates Michael Phelps as your spokesperson.”Thank you for standing up against the needless discrimination of cannabis consumers.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #13 posted by FoM on February 06, 2009 at 15:50:04 PT

I have watched the religious right and runaway greed destroy many people's political party the Republicans. This link covers many of the things I have wondered about for a long time. This is from David Crosby's web site and I've posted it before but it's worth posting again I think.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #12 posted by Hope on February 06, 2009 at 15:48:49 PT

 Subway Drops Michael Phelps
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #11 posted by FoM on February 06, 2009 at 15:44:33 PT

A Question
I hate to say this but I don't believe he said that. It looks like a spoof.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #10 posted by Hope on February 06, 2009 at 15:43:58 PT

Comment 8
I don't believe that.I do believe that I'm not going to buy any more Subway sandwiches or trays ... ever again. Not even a drink or a sack of chips.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #9 posted by museman on February 06, 2009 at 15:40:09 PT

kudos to Mike
Phelps publicized statement was brief: “It turns out I’m not so stupid and I didn’t make a huge mistake. I’m not sorry I smoked marijuana and there’s a pretty good chance I’ll do it again. Hey, do you want to hear me say ‘roll a fat one’ in Japanese? I’m Rosetta Stoned!”Now thats what I'm talking about.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #8 posted by OverwhelmSam on February 06, 2009 at 15:26:00 PT

You're Not Going To Believe This!
Phelps retracts apology for smoking marijuana:
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by Hope on February 06, 2009 at 15:17:43 PT

They followed the Nazi plan even.
They fanned the fires of hatred and fear. They fanned them furiously.Viola.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by Hope on February 06, 2009 at 15:15:55 PT

Your comment made me think of Paramilitary Idolizing Government (or Goon) Squad.Probably if I hadn't watched all those movies about the Holocaust and the reign and terror of Nazis and the World Wars and read books and studied history ... I might not have noticed what was happening. They slid in on the War on Drugs.It's very sad.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 06, 2009 at 14:41:00 PT

Hope and museman
I read the thread and a couple people's comments hit home with me and the one museman posted was one of them.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by museman on February 06, 2009 at 14:31:36 PT

A picture is worth a thousand words. And under the heading "Blessed are the Peacemakers."I truly appreciated this comment;"You know, I was raised studying the Bible and had a special interest in the Sermon on the Mount. In all my reading of the beatitudes, I never once imagined Christ astride an Armored Personnel Carrier complete with a turret-mounted .50-caliber belt-fed machine gun, surrounded by apostles in SWAT gear, as he said to the crowd "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.""Onward christian soldiers, marching as to war..."All you PIGS: Prepare for true Justice.CANNABIS FOREVER
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by Hope on February 06, 2009 at 14:10:19 PT

Here's a picture of the sheriff.
He's the one in the middle.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by museman on February 06, 2009 at 13:38:02 PT

we can't 'vote them out'
Since Reagan, and the 'official' WOD began, all county sheriffs must meet and pass federal standards, which includes oaths of service to the Fed.In our county, we have successfully 'voted' out the county sheriff for more than a decade, yet that didn't stop the fed from sending special funding so that the next county over could take over the job. Now we have twice as many cops (not voted for) on our streets, hassling poor people, and looking everywhere for pot, because being 'decriminalized' they can milk that cow over and over again, setting their victims loose so they can go get them again, and get more money out of them.True, voting can give us a place to stand in which to move the erroneus players in the injustice game, but too many think that this is some kind of grand solution when it is merely a token pretense of power that represents only the bare bones of beginning, and not the end that many think it is.If you want to 'vote out' players that support such hi-jacking of the people's will, that can send a message to all the would be 'special people' out there -vote out your county commisioners, your county recorders, and most of all your JUDGES!!! Write in your best friends name, or better yet someone you know who isn't corrupted by the glitter of the fools gold of the status quo.Stop voting for the choices they give you, and start providing alternatives to the federal mandates. When the people take over the function of governing themselves locally, the next step of removing the fed from its unconstitutional and corrupted power could become real. But as long as we believe that the choices the status quo consistently hands us are something representing our interests, then that foolishness will be rewarded with more of the same.FREE CANNABIS FOR EVERYONE
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by bhones on February 06, 2009 at 05:52:39 PT:

It doesn't surprise me that SC would have a backward Redneck in office as sheriff. SC is known as the Slave state; they have more prisons per square acres than any other state. it's a revolving door system. People need to just stick together and keep voting these kinds of idiots out of office. this should be a lesson to anyone who wants too stick their political head on the chopping block. You can cut it off at the polls. This sort of action will send a message too any other polititions that thinks we are giong to continue to put up with this nonsence.
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment