N.M. Gov. Debates Legalizing Drugs with DEA Boss

  N.M. Gov. Debates Legalizing Drugs with DEA Boss

Posted by FoM on September 10, 2001 at 22:13:05 PT
By Zelie Pollon 
Source: Reuters 

New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the highest-ranking Republican to advocate legalizing marijuana, argued his case on Monday in a debate with Drug Enforcement Administration chief Asa Hutchinson, who said legalization would introduce another harmful element to society.While Johnson called the U.S. war on drugs an "absolute, miserable failure", Hutchinson, a fellow Republican and former Arkansas congressman, said the national effort against drug trafficking needs to be re-energized.
"The law is a master teacher that guides conduct in this country," Hutchinson said, arguing that drug use should be discouraged through "persistent education, treatment programs and law enforcement.""Marijuana legalization is harmful and wrong and should not be the direction we go in this country," Hutchinson said. Legalization only introduces "one more harmful element into society," he added.Johnson rocked his state's political establishment two years ago by becoming the only Republican governor and highest-ranking GOP elected official to call for legalizing instead of penalizing marijuana and other drugs.In the debate at the University of New Mexico, Johnson repeated his arguments that the war on drugs had made no significant dent in drug use while costing billions of dollars and overcrowding prisons with people convicted of non-violent drug possession crimes.He urged that marijuana be legalized and that other drugs such as heroin and cocaine be dealt with more as a public health matter than a criminal issue."There's not a bigger issue we have our heads in the sand about than drugs," Johnson said. "I know from personal experience that marijuana is far more benign than alcohol," he added, drawing one of several rounds of loud applause.Johnson, a triathlon athlete who acknowledges he used drugs in college but says he has sworn off them and alcohol for years, has said he believed many politicians agree with him in private but refuse to come out in public.The debate -- "Directing America's Drug War: Which Way to a Safer Society?" -- was organized by National Public Radio and taped for broadcast on the NPR program "Justice Talking" later this year.Source: ReutersAuthor: Zelie PollonPublished: September 10, 2001Copyright: 2001 ReutersRelated Articles & Web Sites: Justice Talking Gary Johnson's Home Page, DEA Head Debate Monday To Debate Medical-Marijuana Laws Chief Tough on Medical Marijuana 

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Comment #35 posted by Patrick on September 11, 2001 at 15:38:54 PT
You are so very right about the martial law angle. I live near a major military installation. Very quiet there. Makes me nervous that they are not flying around today.
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Comment #34 posted by kaptinemo on September 11, 2001 at 15:23:14 PT:
Folks, this is a very very dangerous time. The country is in an uproar. Cries for vengeance, for blood, are being heard on every radio and TV talk show.And the antis are listening. And waiting.Ever watch sheep get buzzed by low-flying aircraft? The poor blighters scatter willy-nilly, following any other sheep that looks like it knows where it's going. Or what it's doing. That's our government, right now.But cooler, Macchiavellian heads are watching. And planning. They know that in times of crisis, it's easier to put through anti-Constitutional measures than it is when things are calmer, less hurried. They are waiting their chance. To put through the kind of anti-Constitutional measures that would empower them to do what they us.Inform your Congresscritters and Sin-a-tors, that , yes, we want justice. But not at the expense of our civil liberties. Make this very plain to them, lest thery think we are asleep at the switch and not watching them with eagle eyes for slick, dirty moves.A word to the wise from an ol' grunt who'd rubbed shoulders with intel types before: stay out of major metropolitan areas. I got a bad feeling this is only the beginning. This time it's fuel laden jets; tomorrow it could be a test tube of anthrax dropped on the pavement upwind of you. Or a spray plane full of Malathion...or worse.I always hoped I'd be long dead before I ever saw this day. Pray for the dead and wounded...
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Comment #33 posted by hombre sin problema on September 11, 2001 at 10:58:33 PT
Mexican television
is showing the best pictures. US networks are only showing "distance shots" of lower manhattan. Mex. TV is showing people milling around covered with dust, bodies tumbling out of the WTC
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Comment #32 posted by hombre sin problema on September 11, 2001 at 10:54:33 PT
US will respond to WTC attacks... stepping up the war on drugs.
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Comment #31 posted by Patrick on September 11, 2001 at 10:29:53 PT
I am also praying for your sons father. Lets hope he is ok too.
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Comment #30 posted by Patrick on September 11, 2001 at 10:22:41 PT
My friend made it back. She is ok. Both towers are down and thousands are dead. Sad very sad.
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on September 11, 2001 at 10:19:10 PT
I am waiting to find out about my son's father. I hope your friend made it out ok. One of Mapinc. Staff is going off duty. His wife is in Times Square. This is horrible. Violence only begets more violence. New York Times chat scheduled for tonight with Ethan Nadelmann has been cancelled.
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Comment #28 posted by Patrick on September 11, 2001 at 09:39:37 PT

I have a friend who lives in Manhattan. Her IM is on but she is not in. I hope that she is ok? Haven't gotten through to her yet. This is a Pearl Harbor size event in significance. The pictures on the news are horrifying. Especially watching the commercial plane fly right into the building. Yesterday I watched CSPN all day hoping to catch wind of the Drug War debate. All I heard was wind blowing support in Congress for a missile defense shield. Well, Joseph Biden argued against it in another forum. And now I agree with him. A missile shield is a huge waste of money like the drug war. Lately we have been pissing off the world by choosing to ignore treaties and walk away from a discussion on racism. These acts do not justify an attack on our cities anymore than smoking pot justifies prison.I agree with you. God help us ALL.
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on September 11, 2001 at 09:18:45 PT

I'm shaking. I can't believe this. We will never be the same. I heard a plane is down somewhere else. I flew on a 767 and it was a huge plane. My son's father lives in Manhattan. I am trying to do news but I'm not with it 100 percent today. Please use the forum to talk about this if you want to. God help us all.
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Comment #26 posted by Patrick on September 11, 2001 at 09:12:03 PT

off topic
Yes I agree! Where was the "intelligence community" or 007 when you need him. We can find 6 tons of coke on a ship in the middle of an ocean but we cannot prevent mutiple hijackings rammed into our cities. It is priorities people. Spend my tax dollars fighting those that would do others harm rather than shooting pot smokers.
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Comment #25 posted by Sudaca on September 11, 2001 at 09:09:13 PT

off topic 
in light of the recent attacks..Didn't this stuff appear in Tom Clancy's book where the US goes to war against Japan? Didn't the Ryan guy make president after commercial airplanes were hijakced and kamikazed into DC? My cynical side is listening for the sounds of war against someone, or increased defence spending, or even a military coup. hold on tight guys, this ride is just starting.And where was the FBI? gunning down pot smokers ...
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Comment #24 posted by greenfox on September 11, 2001 at 07:11:53 PT

Johnson is the bomb
All kidding aside, Johnson is my personal hero. Here we have a "purist" (as my father calls them,) someone who doesn't use ANY drugs or even drink; however he opposes prison sentences for people who do. Are drugs bad for you? Of course. And they are, too. We all know that marijuana, albeit less harmful than alcohol, can still cause lung damage. Just as cigereete smoke, just as smoke from a campfire. However, instead of using this as a focal point in his arguement FOR prohibition, he actually takes a stance and says that, despite the harm, prohibition is worse. (That is, more harmful than the substances being prohibited).As many of you know, I have been to amsterdam plenty of times. Three times this year alone! And, quite honestly, it's fascinating to see how a tollerant society deals with prohibition. The Dutch believe that, (as Johnson stated above), drug use is a personal health issue and little more.Mushrooms and pot, (soft drugs,) can be purchased with the greatest of ease. Harder drugs like cocaine and heroin can NOT be purchased due to their SEVERE use consequences; however, a USER will NOT be thrown in jail, nor will treatment be forced upon her/him. Treatment is OFFERED but not FORCED. How civilized. Needless to say, fines (and worse) can happen if you are SELLING hard drugs...but you know what? With all the bars, coffeshops, and smartshops around, combined with EDUCATION as opposed to a strict police-state like prohibition (as our country is so damn used to) people stay away from the harder stuff. Why? Because they JUST DON'T NEED THEM.In most of the coffeshops I went to, right outside the door their are two signs (in Dutch and English):1) no minors under 182) NO HARD DRUGSFurthermore, let's just assume for a minute that you have the MISFORTUNE of being a crack or coke or heroin head. Let's just assume. You score your "shit", and are ready to inject/snort/smoke it. You're not interested in "treatment", just your fix. BUT WAIT! You can, with the greatest of ease and about Fl.3 G (about one american dollar,) you can have your score tested. Mind you, you CANNOT BUY HARD DRUGS but you can have them tested. Quickly, easily, and ANONYMOUSLYSo let's think about this for a minute:If people in the US had this option, (and I know about dancesafe but it doesn't really count because technically what they are doing is illegal), then there would be little if no chance of overdose. People would KNOW, beyond the shadow of a doubt, what they are putting in their bodies. And since they are going to do it anyway, isn't it FAR safer to have people SURE that they are ingesting PURE MDMA instead of some heroin,speed,caffine cut pill? Now I don't touch the stuff myself, but i know plenty of raver friends who do and they claim that the TWO WORST DANGERS of pill-popping raves are dehydration and false mdma. Now if EVERYONE was testing the shit they bought, common sense suggests that MOST people making the pills (or whatever) would be FORCED, (by demand people, simple economics,) to provide REAL MDMA. The same holds true for all drugs, be it crack, crank, speed, or spank.Even marijuana! Granted, it only happened once and I am much wiser now, but there was a time that I bought pot and it was (you guessed it) parsely. Pretty screwed up, eh? And how many times have ALL OF US seen fake hash? For me?.... more times than I CARE to remember.the point of all this rant is that everyone of you should see amsterdam at some point in your limited american lives. You haven't lived until you've seen it. A tollerant society where you can ask the POLITIE (police) for a light of your zeederwvit svliff (dutch pot joint) and you can fumar that shitza till' your heart's content!A beautiful city, really. Canals, pot plants in every other window, and of course, friendly english-speaking dutch-minded folk to help if you get lost (or are tripping too hard to find your hotel). ;)And the prostitution that everybody thinks is nasty? One comment on that:which would you rather have? 1) a 40-year old pervert that can't get sex because he's fat and lazy so he goes out and buys a prostitute,OR2) a 40-year old pervert that can't get sex because he's fat and lazy so he goes out and rapes your daughter.Which, folks? Which? Just a few thoughts I guess.(and the rape rate in the netherlands is LESS than a tenth of ONE percent, just by the way)......sly in green foxy in kind,-gf(ps NO i did not buy a whore my gf would have casterated me but it's just interesting to point out....) :)
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on September 11, 2001 at 06:53:58 PT

This is Unreal
I'm not sure that any news I could post will happen because the country is ground to a stop. If I don't get any news posted it will only be because of this happening. Bush was shaking when he spoke.PS: Lioness, I'm glad I'm a woman and that isn't sexist you'd be surprised how many woman are involved. The Pentagon appears to be on fire! I'm afraid this is going to lead to world war. New York City is a disaster.
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Comment #22 posted by Jose Melendez on September 11, 2001 at 06:46:47 PT:

pens not swords
Kind of puts a damper on the missile shield, huh?The horrible terrorist acts in New York and at the Pentagon (!) can only backfire on the proponents of such actions. Only diplomacy and a concerted effort to communicate and negotiate peacefully and earnestly will yield any reasonably long term results.Back to the letters and emails, folks. DEMAND that your politicians legislate responsible and sustainable regulations that benefit the world, not isolate U.S.Violence yields death. Honest communication is the key to global peace.
Nobody asked - just my opinion...
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Comment #21 posted by the lioness on September 11, 2001 at 06:42:08 PT

it is getting worse, possibly the pentagon now. Fom, glad to here you are female, hope that doesn't sound sexist, just havent' seen too many posters (besides granny) that are female. 
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on September 11, 2001 at 06:33:18 PT

I was still asleep and my husband woke me up and I'm in shock. I bet we go to war. Get ready something bad is going to happen I'm afraid. They think it was a terrorist act. How many people have been killed? Terrible.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on September 11, 2001 at 06:27:10 PT

Planes Crash Into World Trade Center   Associated PressTuesday, September 11, 2001; 9:08 AM NEW YORK – An aircraft crashed into the upper floors of one of the World Trade Center towers Tuesday morning, and black smoke poured out of two gaping holes, witnesses said. Shortly afterward a second explosion rocked the other tower.There was no immediate word on injuries or fatalities in the disaster, which happened shortly before 9 a.m.
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Comment #18 posted by the lioness on September 11, 2001 at 06:23:13 PT

world trade
Very scary, just what is going on?
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on September 11, 2001 at 06:15:19 PT

Off Topic
What in the world is going on in New York? Two planes crashed in the World Trade Center. My oh my.
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Comment #16 posted by nate h. on September 11, 2001 at 05:58:00 PT

the law on drugs
Kind of ironic that Hutchinson would say:"The law is a master teacher that guides conduct in this country," Many conservatives oppose the drug war on the grounds that it encourages people to flout the law. When you've got a dumb law that can't be enforced, society's enforcers (cops, judges, politicians) look like asses and the law-breakers look like heroes.If Hutchinson really wants the law to serve as "a master teacher that guides conduct" he should support legalization, followed by tough restrictions on driving stoned, selling to minors, etc. NHToronto, ON
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Comment #15 posted by sm247 on September 11, 2001 at 05:35:49 PT

Transcript !!!
I can't wait for the transcript some friends want me to print it of for them too!! People like hutch (wheres Starsky???) renew my faith that we are smarter than they are.  Never noticed the typo Forest btw pass the chocolates!
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Comment #14 posted by tdm on September 11, 2001 at 05:30:41 PT

can always count on kap
Great insight, kap. Having grown up in a somewhat Puritan environment (can something be "somewhat Puritan?"), the fall of the Roman Empire was always pointed to in order to justify vilification of homosexuals, adulterers and a panoply of other "sinners." I always thought such a comparison was bunk (and still do) when it claims that sexual or otherwise hedonistic sins brought down the empire. Thanks, kap, for opening my eyes to one of the "real" causes of their demise. Scary parallel.Of course, now you're forcing me to research "the fall" for myself, as I do anytime someone brings up historical material in support of our cause. If only I'd paid more attention in school. Sometimes, it's a real pain to self educate, but kap's brilliant post illuminates the efficacy if not the necessity.
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Comment #13 posted by kaptinemo on September 11, 2001 at 05:14:47 PT:

What a master lawyer had to say about the hallowed
anctity of the law:Cicero, possibly the greatest lawyer who ever lived, is reputed to have said this:"The Law is a whore that smiles at the man with the largest purse."I suppose he should have known; he practiced in a time where the law was being subverted for purely political means. A time when the great Roman Republic was degenerating into Empire, disregarding the basic tenets of individual rights and liberties which were vouchsafed to all Roman citizens (my, doesn't that sound familiar?) in favor of an all-powerful be run by such worthies as Julius Caesar. Who eventually dismissed all fictions of propriety and made law not by legislation, but by dictat Take a look around, friends: The Constitution is in tatters due to the so-called "drug exceptions" to the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court deciding the outcome of elections without sufficient investigation of the circumstances which led to the need to intervene in the first place. The State claiming your children, your livelihood, your property...your the merest whim. All while demanding our obeisance to a law they refuse to follow themselves when inconvenient.Ciocero also said this: "Law stand mute under force of arms". In other words, if you have a piece of paper that claims you have rights, and someone has a gun and says you have no rights, unless there's more of you than there are of them, you lose.Well, there's more of us than there are of them. 70-80 million more of us. Get active, now, while we have the chance.Before that gun is smilingly pointed at you. Before we start hearing the American version of "Hail, Caesar!"
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Comment #12 posted by JSM on September 11, 2001 at 04:29:44 PT

Yes, like many here I am eagerly awaiting the actual debate. It is interesting that Governor Johnson remarks drew several loud rounds of applause and that nothing was said regarding reaction to Hutchinson's comments.
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Comment #11 posted by xxdr_zombiexx on September 11, 2001 at 04:29:06 PT:

Laws as our MASTER?
"The law is a master teacher that guides conduct in this country,"..That would come from an authoritarian appointee to an authoritarian government position, for an authoritarian Agency.Master Teacher, my ass.This is such a telling atatement.In a world where politicians are generally defined by their ability to talk all day and say absolutley nothing, this man is telling us he buys into Big Brother - the Authoritarian Government - wholly and completely. Laws are often made as a result of caprice, incompetence and often-momentary knee-jerk reaction (the powder -vs- crack cocaine law, for example. Its all cocaine, why bother?) Hutchinson has to know this, but you don't move up in Law Enforcement circles by criticizing laws. You glorify LAw.speaking of Laws that are a master teacher: the Iron Law of Prohibition, like gravity, is inescapable. Prohibiton will always cause more than it seeks to cure. The line that the War must be re-energized is standard talk ther in washington and amongst prohibitonists. $40 Billion a year is pretty damn energizing already, How much more is it going to cost to completely eliminate freedom and liberty in America? We'll never be drug free...just un=free.Thus we have the Cannabis reform movement: people out to CHANGE THE LAWS according to the LAW. Legalization WILL help this country. ]We just cannot afford to spend a lot of time listening to the likes of Hutchinson, or Walters. Its a big waste of time.
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Comment #10 posted by Lehder on September 11, 2001 at 04:05:21 PT

Now tell us the rest of the story
In a two hour(?) debate certainly far more was said than what's recorded is this brief report, and I am anxious to see much more and find out who "won". The inadequacy of this story from an establishment organization hints at Johnson's success. Legalization only introduces "one more harmful element into society," he [Hutchinson] added.Without the backdrop of eighty years of prohibitionist propaganda, this statement would have no meaning at all; what diminishing force it has springs only from its dumb resonance with consciously induced prejudice that is one truly harmful element of our government's evil drug war. "Harmful element?" It's plain enough to Johnson and nearly a hundred million others who have smoked cannabis that the harmful element in our society is the drug war itself: its destruction of the millions of innocent lives of productive people who have not done so much harm as even to drunkenly vomit on a sidewalk; its corruption of the police, the judiciary, the media (this pitifully incomplete story is itself a fine example), and an electoral system which relies on the Supreme Court for a decision and cannot even mention in a year-long campaign the expenditure of thirty-eight billion dollars to suppress the truth; and perversion of the very Constitution and Bill of Rights that supposedly guarantee an eager public discussion of a widely published and complete transcript of this decades overdue debate. And it has proved too much to ask that the debate be broadcast, as it should have been, on national TV and radio stations. Should not the scourge of all the world and the evil that threatens the foundations of The American Way be brought to public attention? When a hundred-and-fifty-thousand gather peacefully in Seattle for a weekend of discussion and not a sound byte is heard, when the results of the government's own medical studies are time after time suppressed from public view, when even the count of popular votes on medical marijuana in Washington, D.C. are purposely buried in government litigation - well, people may lack truthful information, but they begin to wonder too what and where the truth really is and who is telling it.  The truth is that for millions of people, cannabis is not only harmless but positively beneficial. Not only medically, but, as Carl Sagan, Allen Ginsberg and many others have written in suppressed testimonial, cannabis, far from being an 'escape from reality', assists people in thinking. And, sin of sins, people find this beneficial process enlightening, enjoyable and harmless. It assists the mind in cutting through the prejudice and propaganda that selfish autocrats have exploited throughout history to devastate the world with the scourge of endless war. It assists in revealing truths about ourselves and reality that the government is afraid for us to know. These are truths that, thanks to Gary Johnson and many others, will soon be safe to tell in open debate. 
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Comment #9 posted by freedom fighter on September 11, 2001 at 01:25:02 PT

Ban the Rat poision!
Legalization only introduces "one more harmful element into society," he added.Prohibition only introduces "so many harmful elements into society"I dont know who said that!ff
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Comment #8 posted by Imprint on September 11, 2001 at 01:14:37 PT

Whooooo’s the master? I’m the master!
E. Johnson, very well put. I like it, short and very sweet.BTW,I read “conspiracy” when it was conspicary. I guess I’m the dumb one. 
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Comment #7 posted by MDG on September 11, 2001 at 01:12:57 PT

I do that obsessive proof-reading biz...
I'll read back what I typed and figure people will think I'm a dumbass for a typo. I think I'm just obsessive and need to go over things repeatedly. Usually, there is something about the way I typed it that bugs me more than what I said. Often, I re-submit the post, and ask FoM to delete the previous screw-ups; I did it once again tonight. (Looking at how I referenced the "screw-ups", I think I'm being hard on myself. 'Course, this is just self-therapy hour here at CNews...I think my session is up. The bad thing is that now, FoM has to send the record of this post to the Feds due to new medical "Portability" legislation. Republicrat sons-o'-bitches gotta know everything...)
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Comment #6 posted by dddd on September 11, 2001 at 00:13:10 PT

no problem Forest
...every one makes an occassional typo,or mis-speaks,,,and Iwill admit,,that I've done many a post under the legal and prudentinfluence of various liquors,boozes,and brewery products.........I think it's possible that alcohol use would subside if Marijuanaprohibition was terminateddddd
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Comment #5 posted by Rambler on September 11, 2001 at 00:04:16 PT

Obsessed WHACKO!
"The law is a master teacher that guides conduct in this country,"..That's a real mindboggler of a statement.It's almost Dan Quaylish
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Comment #4 posted by Forest Gump on Crack on September 11, 2001 at 00:02:24 PT

Never mind the spelling, the mentioning of politicans not being stupid twice (the first one being very vague) makes me look stupid...Or posting these last two messages. I need to proof read my posts and/or post sober.Light up and Live
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Comment #3 posted by Forest Gump on Crack on September 10, 2001 at 23:59:06 PT

I mean conspiracy...I know it may seem anal to correct a spelling mistake with a whole new post but it makes me seem stupid.
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Comment #2 posted by Forest Gump on Crack on September 10, 2001 at 23:56:04 PT

harmful element
legalizing marijuana would "introduce one more harmful element to society"Um, marijuana isnt exactly a new discovery. Its pretty entrenched in society by now. What it would do is get rid of the entire criminal element associated with marijuana. These people are not stupid, just slaves to ideology. I really do think there is some kind of conspicary behind marijuana prohibition - why else has it gone on so long? Most politicans are not stupid - they see the light, but for some reason are afraid of it.Light up and Live
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Comment #1 posted by E. Johnson on September 10, 2001 at 23:13:04 PT

Who's the master?
"The law is a master teacher that guides conduct in this country," Hutchinson saidThe law is not our master but our servant. We make the law to serve the interests of society, and when a law proves to be serving those interests poorly, then we dismiss it and erase it and forget it.
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