Voters Debate Issue One - War on Drugs 

Voters Debate Issue One - War on Drugs 
Posted by CN Staff on November 05, 2002 at 08:48:57 PT
By Mary Beth White
Source: BG News 
The government sanctioned, "War on Drugs" has been raging for years, but Ohio's first counter-strike to the movement is on the ballot today. If issue one passes, drug offenders will have the option of rehabilitation over incarceration. Issue one is a proposed amendment to the Ohio State Constitution. The amendment would offer non-violent drug offenders the option of requesting job training, family counseling and drug-treatment programs instead of jail time. 
Representatives from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, visited campus yesterday to give students information about the intricacies of the amendment and the impact passage could have for their cause. "We are involved in this project because we are against the war on drugs," Cher Neufer, President of NORML, said. NORML came to campus by request of a grad student who wishes to remain anonymous. For the purpose of this article he will be referred to as Steve. "I don't want to be identified because of the stigma of drugs," Steve said. He believes that being identified as a advocate of marijuana would have a negative effect on the way he is viewed by his professors and his students. Steve and NORML believe that a lack of information is what perpetuates the stigma towards drug legalization. "Prohibition never worked for alcohol and it will never work for drugs," Steve said. The government is attacking the problem from the wrong angle he said. They need to treat addiction as a medical problem and not a crime. Issue one would be a step towards decriminalization of drugs but not towards legalization. Drugs would still be illegal, but the penalties would change. "Non-violent drug offenders should not go to prison," Steve said. "If this amendment doesn't pass, I'm scared that Ohio will never get another chance at drug reform." There are many reasons that Steve and NORML take this stance on drugs, especially marijuana. Alcohol and cigarettes are legal, and their effects have been proven more harmful than marijuana's. According to the Surgeon General's Report, Marijuana has caused zero deaths, while alcohol and tobacco cause a combined 550,000 deaths a year. Secondly, they believe that the drug war is failing because it allows huge amounts of money to be made in a black market fashion instead of a governmentally controlled and taxed manner. Just like in the days of prohibition, mobsters rule the trade and commit much more serious crimes than using drugs to maintain control. Source: BG News (OH)Author: Mary Beth WhitePublished: November 05, 2002 Copyright: 2002 The BG NewsWebsite: bgnews Related Articles & Web Sites:NORML Drug Treatment Initiativehttp://www.ohiodrugreform.orgEmotions Run High in Issue 1 Debate Warriors Crusade Against Reform Initiatives
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on November 05, 2002 at 15:39:04 PT:
Re: My view on legalization of marijuana.
Dreamer990 -Thanks for sharing your pain. We all feel it with you. You are one of the many reasons why we tirelessly fight the legalization fight. On the Oregon Trail our ancestors said, "Oregon or bust." Today we fight on in their memory. "End Cannabis Prohibition or bust."Love and Peace.
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Comment #2 posted by Dreamer990 on November 05, 2002 at 14:00:32 PT:
My view on legalization of marijuana.
To:All who's interested
I for a long time I have wanted to be a advocate for legalization of marijuana, but did not know where to turn until I came up on this site or a site like this one called office of cannabis medical access,one day while at the library. I also came upon a site last week called christians for cannabis, god bless and thank you all. I thought that it was only a few but I'm over joyed to see that it is many.   The reason that I became involved with this years ago is because of a bad experirence with a doctor after an accident ,who had me on many different medications for pain and depression. I saw this doctor for a few months. When I told him that the medications that he was giving me wasn't working he would switch me to another etc. One day after being on prozac for a few days I started noticeing changing in myself. One I was in more pain,and two I was more depressed and as time went by I became even more depressed and started considering suicide. At that moment I stopped and looked in the mirror because I'm not a suicidal person and wondered what brought on this change of personality. So I stopped everything that I was doing that I nevered did before ,the pain pills and the depressants. The pain wasn't as severe but was still there, and the depression had lifted and I was not sucicidal anymore.   I then began to use marijuana for my pain, I was told that I had RA[rheumatoid arthiritis] by the doctor that was overdosing me with pain killers, depressants and antiboctis,
he is now serving time for overdosing paitents,when I went to a new doctor I was diagnose with lupus [sle]and it was confirmed in the lupus clinic. I tried there treatments with regret because they were offering me some of the same pain killers as the previous doctor. I had the same results more severe pain so much so that I couldn't function so I stop once again and started with my personal treatment with marijuana. Anyway shortly after my new treatment I woke one morning feeling like a new person the pain had left and the depression left with it also, and I fell on my knee's giving my higher power the praise because when I prayed and ask him to lead me that is what he lead me to and I'm glad I listen it has been about 15 years or more since my treatment began and when my lupus comes out of remission use the marijuana again and it goes back into remission. This has made me able to function with out all the pain and exhaustion that lupus takes out of you. When they told me I had lupus they said that paitents usually donot survive ten years after being diagnose with lupus thank GOD I'm here to tell my story.   In contrast I didnot find this out until it was to late. A few years ago I found out that my neice had lupus and she found out that I had lupus and ask me why I'm not in constant pain like her and we have the same thing. I told her my story and told her not to stop seeing her doctor because of my story because everything is not for everybody, but to discuss a alternate treatment with her doctor and them together work out a new treatment since the one your on is causing you more pain, so talk to your doctor first because you have been on there treatment for a long time and I wasn't. She ended up in jail one night for driving without a license and couldn't get her medicine and later was in the hospital for open heart surgery to replace her heart valve at the age of 23yr.. I have stopped my way of treating my lupus when it's not active with know adverse side effects. So I've stuck with my treatment and that's what works for me. I've always told my doctor how I've treated my lupus and that's the reason I hadn't been back to the lupus clinic.    Well last year a doctor I had been with for three years plus some months knew all that I have just told you and agreed with me that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes. I used to watch her children when she left them unattended and she didn't mind I ask her about giving me a medical information to get it legally but she didn't and shortley thereafter she would try to get me to quit when she knew my whole story and after being her paitent since 1998 she decides to take a drug test on me and found marijuana and cocaine in my system and asks me how it get there I told her you knew about the marijuana and the cocaine must have been in someones blunt I hit. She then tells me if I don't stop using marijuana she'll report me to 696-kids and they'll listen to her cause she is a doctor. She did and they did listen and my grandchildren were removed from my home in Nov./2001. They are now in foster care and given antidepressants and social services has me down as a chronic and severe drug abuser, which is not true, because of what the doctor said. I have reported that doctor to the state medical board and I'm awaiting a answer. What I need to know is how can I legally get help to treat my lupus with marijuana because that is what works for me with out all the side affects of prescription drugs.THANK YOU FOR LISTENING 
I sorry I had to write so much 
but that was the only way I could
get you to understand where I'm coming from.
For those reasons I think marijuana should be 
legalized. Who are these people to tell God 
what should be legal and what should not.
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Comment #1 posted by pokesmotter on November 05, 2002 at 08:56:44 PT:
steve should be proud!
steve should be proud of his beliefs and not be afraid that his professors and/or students know about them. i for one, am never secretive when it comes to my beliefs on subjects like these. BTW, does anyone have a link that i can check voting on question 9?
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