NORML Chief Urges Legalization

NORML Chief Urges Legalization
Posted by FoM on October 21, 2001 at 15:56:03 PT
By Chris Birk of the Tribuneís Staff 
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune
Keynote speaker Keith Stroup laid it on the line when he introduced himself yesterday to students, academics and other Columbians gathered for the Missouri Marijuana Law Reform Conference."Iíve been a marijuana smoker for 30 years," said Stroup, founder and director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "... Itís time we stopped arresting responsible marijuana smokers."
More than 40 people filed into Room 7 of MUís Law School building to listen to the 57-year-old activist who has also served as director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Stroupís talk was one of about half a dozen addresses focusing on the economic, medicinal and social benefits that supporters believe decriminalization and legalization of marijuana would bring. All the speakers panned the United Statesí war on drugs. Stroup, who quoted statistics saying 76 million Americans have smoked marijuana, urged people to use the political process to achieve legalization. "The vast majority of marijuana smokers are good people, and itís incredibly unfair to them and us to treat responsible marijuana smokers as criminals," he said. "Itís time to let go of Ďreefer madnessí and deal with marijuana policy in a responsible way."Stroup, along with Washington University economics professor Fred Raines, lamented the amount of governmental resources dedicated to fighting marijuana use. "Weíre wasting law resources that should be focused on violent and serious crime," Stroup said. "We fill our jails and prisons with 400,000 non-violent offenders."Raines, executive director of the NORML chapter in St. Louis, said a single marijuana conviction could reduce a personís lifetime earnings by 5 percent to 10 percent.John Galliher, an MU sociology professor and chairman of the Mid-Missouri chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, traced the lineage of marijuana decriminalization in the United States."I wake up every morning wondering why marijuana isnít legal," he said to resounding applause. "Our falling economy is going to make it difficult to lock up Americans. But in 35 years of teaching, Iíve had more trouble advocating for marijuana reform than for the abolishment of the death penalty."Stroup and his organization lobbied 11 states to decriminalize marijuana during the 1970s. The activist said the pendulum of public opinion has swung against reform legislation since the late 1970s, but is heading back "in our direction.""Six out of 10 Americans say they donít want to send marijuana smokers to jail," he said. "Incredibly negative stereotypes of marijuana smokers still exist. But thereís a gap between public opinion and what we hear from public officials."Legalization is a simple matter of civil liberties, he said."The government has no right to know what kind of books we read Ö if we should have a marijuana cigarette or a drink of alcohol when we relax in our homes in the evenings," he said. "Theyíre needlessly destroying the lives and careers of genuinely good people for no good cause."Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)Author: Chris Birk of the Tribuneís Staff Published: Sunday, October 21, 2001Copyright: 2001 Columbia Daily TribuneContact: editor tribmail.comWebsite: NORML Articles - NORML
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Comment #14 posted by freedom fighter on October 23, 2001 at 01:25:52 PT
have signed up at the the news world wide .. Send emails to your friends demanding them to sign up!Silence is deadly... Thanksff
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on October 22, 2001 at 19:36:48 PT
Interesting Press Release
Attention: All Music Editors, Righteous Pot Heads and Jam Band Fanatics!
 High Times Magazine Presents Rip This Joint: 23 Rare Tracks From Rock's Smokingest Live Acts!
Story Filed: Monday, October 22, 2001 12:00 PM EST 
PRNewswire via COMTEX -- High Times magazine and the King Biscuit Flower Hour have joined forces to bring you the most righteous, mind blowing compilation record. Rip This Joint is a celebration of today's rock and roll counterculture as performed by some of the top jam bands in the history of the genre. 
Leftover Salmon, Galactic, Les Claypool, moe, The String Cheese Incident, Strangefolk, Keller Williams, Funky Meters, Tom Tom Club, Gov't Mule, Fishbone, Commander Cody, Kingfish, Deep Banana Blackout, Canned Heat, North Mississippi Allstars, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Humble Pie, Rubberman, The Disco Biscuits, Foghat, Mountain -- if they be diggin' the doobie, then they be represented. From the mud-spattered fields of Woodstock to the sweet smoky auditorium of a Les Claypool gig, High Times and King Biscuit have been there throughout the ages to dutifully capture the majestic sounds that only these hookah-puffing, resin-soaked jam bands could create. 
"We've always been a rock and roll counterculture magazine," says High Times' Mike Edison. The jam bands we've chosen to highlight on Rip This Joint perfectly articulate the spirit of High Times. This is a real grass roots movement that's being accepted by the mainstream." 
Remember, in most states the Man would still like to put you in jail for digging this record in the headspace in which it was meant to be dug. The Man don't even want you to know about this record, so spread the word. High Times has made it's first TV commercial. You can view it at . 
Rip This Joint includes information about NORML and their effort to shed some light on the lawmakers of this country. Until the glorious day arrives when the Man finally eases up and each and every one of us has access to cheap and legal quality reefer, we at High Times and the King Biscuit Flower Hour remain committed to supporting our fellow doobie brothers in the fight to end the absurdity that is the continued prohibition of marijuana in America. 
This record is ONLY available at: -- or or you can call 1-800-301-9611
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Comment #12 posted by bruce42 on October 22, 2001 at 12:40:26 PT
That is a good point, S.O. It seems extraordinarily easy to put someone in office compared to the maneuvering required to get someone out of office.I think that should change. 
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Comment #11 posted by Silent_Observer on October 22, 2001 at 12:09:02 PT
silentone...good luck..
Its obvious that debating the relative harm/benefit of marijuana is going to get us nowehere.Nothing will change until the incentive system changes.I'm truly amazed at how the people WE hire to do a job suddenly become our bosses. Don't we have the right to fire these clowns? Didn't we hire them in the first place? Don't we pay their salaries?
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Comment #10 posted by silentone on October 22, 2001 at 10:40:02 PT:
My main concern is for the freedom of my body and soul. In the US we like to say "God Bless America"-like he ever would. He gave us free spirits and we are supposed to let another agency or man outside of our minds and bodies tell us what we can or cannot do with it. We are each unique and have the right to search for happiness, does anyone remember the "pursuit of happiness"? We should be punished if we effect someone else's life directly, as in real crimes committed. Let's get is straight, I can pop all kinds of narcotic prescriptions, but I can't smoke a plant that is more mild than alcohol and less addicting. My tax money should go for finding cures for such diseases as diabetes, or at least a cure. We spend far too much money to control drug shipments from the world and within. It has to stop! Why is there a demand? Probably because experimentation and growth of individuals is based on experiences of life. We should not live for anyone else's ideas. That is the problem, we want to make everything a law, in other words prohibit the individuality of each and everyone of us.Do not let the govt test children for drugs at school. That is the parents responsibility. Why do corporations get to intrude in our most personal lives with drug tests, like it matters. Joe blow who doesn't drink or smoke in many cases is filled with so many problems that he is the one that should not be hired.We need to really fight for the freedom of our bodies, our souls and minds. Propaganda can not win any longer. Too many countries are lifting up on laws that prohibit smoking marijuana.If we are the most free country, then how is this possible?Slavery was abolished, but what is control over other's bodies and minds? SLAVERY. I refuse to serve the state, when we should have elect officials that value each individual and their beliefs. Drug use can be abused, but mostly things will not change if drugs are legalized. We will have income, instead of spending. We will have people who feel free and secure in their right to enjoy life. Finally, we can actually be a country that can be truthful and honest in saying that a very large percentage of our world was founded and created people who have used drugs.If alcohol and tobacco are legal, marijuana should be also.Don't give up. It is not a fight against anything except the pursuit of individual expression and happiness. Isn't this our nations motto?Spread the word, kill the propaganda.
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Comment #9 posted by Patrick on October 22, 2001 at 10:06:13 PT
number 174
Just signed it.
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Comment #8 posted by bruce42 on October 22, 2001 at 09:48:44 PT
up to 171!
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on October 22, 2001 at 04:34:44 PT
Signed It!
C'mon people, sign that petition! We must show our outrage at this murderous act! We owe it to Tom & Rollie! Thanks for the link Rainbow!Save Hemp!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 21, 2001 at 22:21:52 PT
I Did!
I just signed it. Please everyone take a minute and sign the petition. 
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Comment #5 posted by jimmyk on October 21, 2001 at 21:26:14 PT:
I did the same thing.
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Comment #4 posted by lookinside on October 21, 2001 at 20:45:30 PT:
i just signed the petition...for the second time(i assumed it was a new one)...i find it amazing that a world wide petition should only have accumulated 93 signatures in over a month...(the time between my signatures..C'MON folks!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 21, 2001 at 19:26:03 PT
New Mexican 
I'm a little confused but we looked and we have the Canadian Channel called Much Music. We just turned it on and it has a telethon. It's called Music Without Borders. Is this what we should watch?
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Comment #2 posted by New Mexican on October 21, 2001 at 18:32:54 PT
Time to put it on the line....
this man is a great example for all of us to look up to! We should pick up where he leaves off and carry the ball, now that we have absolutely nothing to lose, it seems.
Please sign the petition then watch Much music channel live (if you can find it, it whou with Bruce Cockburn and many other great Canadian Bands. This really lifts my heart! I hope you can find it FOM, dddd and all!
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Comment #1 posted by Rainbow on October 21, 2001 at 17:10:15 PT
Rainbow Farm petition
Consider signing the petition at
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