Let's Reconsider Marijuana Laws

Let's Reconsider Marijuana Laws
Posted by CN Staff on March 14, 2005 at 07:36:46 PT
By Elbert Guillory, Guest Columnist
Source: Daily World
During the last two decades there has been much discussion of the evils and the benefits of marijuana. Any analysis of marijuana should begin with a look at its impact on our legal and economic systems.FBI records show that in 2002 there were about 700,000 marijuana-related arrests. The arrest figure in 1992 was 340,000. Clearly more and more of our police time and dollars, jail space and dollars, and court resources and dollars are being used to process marijuana violations.
When more marijuana violators are forced into the court system, more of them are forced into drug treatment as an alternative to jail. Indeed, admission rates for marijuana treatment more than doubled from 45 per 100,000 people in 1992 to 118 per 100,000 people in 2002.Without question, America is devoting increased amounts of police, jail, court, probation and treatment resources on marijuana violations. The financial impact of that investment is staggering.An equally staggering impact is on the nation's economy. As more young marijuana users acquire police records, their futures become bleak. They can lose eligibility for federal assistance like school loans, mortgages and public housing. They can lose job opportunities because many employers do not want to hire persons who have histories of drug offenses. The productivity of many marijuana users is lost to the national economy; and that often forces them to turn to crime as a means of support for themselves and their families - a double loss to America.So what about the productivity of marijuana users and the relative value of marijuana?Marijuana has been in the news twice during the past few weeks. In one news story, President George W. Bush appears to have admitted that he has smoked marijuana. This president joins President Bill Clinton in admitting marijuana use. Note that Clinton said that he "did not inhale." His other most remembered quote is that he "did not have sex" with Monica Lewinski.The two presidents, along with many members of Congress, the judiciary, business owners and CEO's, peace officers and others, grew up at a time when marijuana use in America was at its peak. Millions of then-young people smoked marijuana. Today they are part of America's rulers, and they are part of the horrible duplicity which governs America's marijuana policy. The bottom line is that marijuana use, in and of itself, does not prevent people from becoming productive, law-abiding citizens (nor even from becoming presidents).The other news article is from some people in the medical community hailing marijuana's potential medicinal benefit in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It is already accepted as medicine in the treatment of cancer, glaucoma, pain management and various other ailments.Some states and countries already have legalized the cultivation and possession of marijuana for medical purposes.It is clear then that marijuana has some medical value in addition to whatever other value productive, otherwise law abiding users have discovered.Yes, using marijuana has dangers, and yes, using any mood altering substance has dangers, and yes, marijuana poses particular dangers to young, developing minds. But given the potential medicinal value and given the clear indication that marijuana use alone does not guarantee that one will wind up homeless and living in a ditch - given all this - it is time to stop making criminals of those who are caught possessing or using small amounts of marijuana.It is also time to begin serious study about the medicinal value of marijuana. Finally, it is past time for yesterday's users who now run the system to stop sending today's users to jail at great cost to the users, their families and the nation's treasury.Elbert Guillory is an Opelousas attorney and guest columnist to the Daily World. NORML's Comprehensive Analysis Of US Marijuana Arrest: Daily World, The (LA)Author: Elbert Guillory, Guest Columnist Published: March 14, 2005Copyright: 2005 South Louisiana Publishing Contact: hkirgan smgpo.gannett.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #16 posted by b4daylight on March 15, 2005 at 11:08:57 PT
Right on
Comment #14 posted by fearfull on March 15, 2005 at 06:08:46 PTThey believe we are free. That is probably the same methodology they use to believe in their divinity. I will add how ever fake the religions are. It does install several things the subconscious needs. I would rather go straight to the source, and bypass the fake crap.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on March 15, 2005 at 08:56:09 PT
News Brief from The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Ontario Council Considers Ban on Medicinal Pot, Medical MarijuanaMarch 14, 2005ONTARIO - The city will consider a temporary ban on clinics, co-ops and dispensaries that distribute medical marijuana Tuesday.According to a city report, a unanimous vote of the four sitting City Council members is required to pass the ban, which would be effective for 45 days. That would give the city time to consider a permanent change to its zoning code.The city report noted that, since California voters passed Proposition 215 to approve medical marijuana use in 1996, some cities have had difficulty addressing the zoning issues posed by medical marijuana establishments.The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers, 303 E. B St., Ontario. Information: (909) 395-2009.Copyright: 2005 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin,1413,203~21481~2762659,00.html
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Comment #14 posted by fearfull on March 15, 2005 at 06:08:46 PT
 ""I get the feeling I am being segregated for what I want to do in my house.""I know exactly what you mean to say. And it is true, cannibis users are being systematically criminalized and persecuted. Just like native Americans, we are rounded up, our homes taken away from us, and any wealth we may happen to have is looted. They force us into rehabilitation camps, brainwash us constantly over the airwaves. They lie to us, and call us evil, they revile us. Any why do they do such things to us? Because of a plant. A plant given to us by the very same christian god that they claim to so love. They persecute us in the name of that very same christian god. They are Hypocrites!
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Comment #13 posted by b4daylight on March 14, 2005 at 17:51:41 PT
I do not drink AlcoholI do not use TobaccoI do not drink CaffeineI do not smoke hashI do not eat mushroomsMy life sucks...But when in Amsterdam I eat mushrooms and smoke great hash.
S o why is this any different from the legal stuff I do not do?
I get the feeling I am being segregated for what I want to do in my house.
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Comment #12 posted by mayan on March 14, 2005 at 16:58:49 PT
Some Feel It's Only A Matter Of Time Before Pot Is Legal In NV:
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Comment #11 posted by global_warming on March 14, 2005 at 16:09:55 PT
Our Place in this World
Caste System  The most significant feature of the Hindu social system is what is called 'caste' under which the people are divided into various groups. The status of an individual in the society is determined by the caste in which he is born. A Hindu is born in a caste and he dies as a member of that caste. There is no Hindu without a caste and being bound by caste from birth to death, he becomes subject to social regulation and tradition of the caste over which he has no control.  A person born in a caste carries the name of that caste as a part of his surname [ 1 ]. The division of the people into various castes is said to be eternal so that no act of virtue or vice in this earthly life is enough to make any change in the caste or social status of a man or woman. The caste system of India has generally been regarded as an absurd, unhealthy social phenomenon, without parallel elsewhere in the world.  On the top of the caste hierarchy is the Brahman and at the bottom is the Untouchable (Dalit) and in between are the Kshatriya, the Vashya, and the Sudra in a descending order. According to the Hindu scriptures, the Brahmans have been sprung from the mouth of Brahma (Hindu god), the Kshatriyas from his arms, the Vashyas from his thigh and the Sudras from his feet.  Broadly, Hindus are divided into two groups: caste Hindus (also varna Hindus) and low-caste Hindus. The former includes the Brahman, the Kshatriya and the Vashya who are the descendants of the fair-skinned Aryan invaders and the latter includes the Sudras, who are dark in skin and are the offspring of the original inhabitants of India. In this group is also included the most unfortunate Dalit who is outcaste because he falls outside the original fourfold groupings. He is untouchable because his touch is bound to pollute the other castes and that is why he must always remain at a sufficient distance from them.  The fourfold division is not the end of the caste system; the community is subdivided into thousands of sub-castes (gotras). According to a survey undertaken by the Anthropological Survey of India during 1985-92, those who are called Hindu are divided among 2,800 unique communities. The so-called low-caste Hindus are officially divided into three broad groups, namely Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. According to this survey, these groups are subdivided into 450, 461, and 766 distinct communities respectively [ 2 ].  The great distinctions of caste are to be maintained not only in the earthly life, but also after death. According to Markandaya Purana, after death, the virtuous Brahman goes to the abode of Brahma, the good Kshatriya to that of Indra, the worthy Vashya to that of the Maruts, and the dutiful Sudra to that of the Gandharvas [ 3 ]. Apparently, the Untouchable (Dalit) does not deserve any place in any heaven, may be because of his untouchability. best hope to get rid of the caste system is Christianity, to accept Jesus in your heart, and to live the glorious adventure of brotherhood in Christ, helping the needy and the oppressed... Mother Theresa of Calcutta and many other Christian missionaries are doing the best to end with the caste system, loving and cleaning and feeding the Untouchables... Christianity was the solution for the slavery in the Roman Empire and for the blacks in America and much of Africa... and I believe Christianity is the best solution to end the caste system and the chronic poverty in India... Mother Theresa and the Christian missionaries are on the right tract...
----Jesus was executed, because he raised questions, that the priests did not like, he asked questions, that undermined the social and priestly order.---gwNext,We shall examine the Jewish and Muslim attitudes towards such structured realities and how these beliefs effect many people in their day to day efforts to survive.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on March 14, 2005 at 12:05:57 PT
That's really ok and it happens. I knew what you meant. I'm good at skipping words. LOL!These words drive me a little crazy ..too or to or twothere or they're or theirI have more but they came to mind real quick! LOL!
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on March 14, 2005 at 11:57:37 PT:
spelling [post #2]
Not "politions' but "politicians"You knew what I ment but in my hurry to say something my mind does little tricks on me.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on March 14, 2005 at 11:50:20 PT
Off Topic
The woman that is on the news now that helped talk the man into surrendering after killing the Judge and others is a remarkable woman. Hearts like hers are the ones that touch me and make me proud to be an American.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 14, 2005 at 10:22:26 PT
That was very interesting. Thanks!
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Comment #6 posted by fearfull on March 14, 2005 at 10:18:57 PT
Off Topic, sign of the times.
I know this is off topic, but I really wanted to share it. 
I believe that most people here are aware of Wal Marts' anit drug policys. Well this weekend as I was walking through the isles at WalMart I noticed some thing that caught my eye, several bottles on the shelf that had the word Hemp printed on the lables. Closer inspection revealed that this was a hemp based lotion or hand cream. It also seems that Hemp was the brand name. The label indicated that the product was manufactured using 100% THC-free virgin hemp oil. The whole thing seemed very bizaar to me. But in a good way.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 14, 2005 at 09:44:46 PT
You're very welcome. Yes, I did see the pictures and thank you. I tried to get in touch with my sister but she was in Texas with a sick daughter. I haven't heard from her yet but I will tell her when I get to talk to her.
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on March 14, 2005 at 09:42:13 PT
Louisianna has another problem that requires
RE-LEGALIZING CANNABIS!420newsUS LA: Drug-Mixing Deaths Continue In Parish Sat, 12 Mar 2005Source: Times-Picayune, The (LA) US LA: Drug-Mixing Deaths Continue In ParishCoroner 'Frustrated' At Ongoing Problem "Frustrated" is the word Coroner Bryan Bertucci uses to describe his feelings about the continuing high number of drug overdose deaths in St. Bernard Parish, most of which are from mixing prescription pills. Little has changed despite two years of publicity about the more than 100 overdose deaths the parish has had since 2001 and efforts by the Sheriff's Office to crack down on illegal pill distribution. Records for 2004 show there were 36 such overdose deaths, down one from the 37 in 2003. Of the latest number, 25 were men and 11 were women. There were an estimated 40 deaths in 2002. There's no estimate on the number of people who have overdosed in recent years but survived after being brought to hospitals, Bertucci said. CONT.Webpage:*No coroner has ever seen a dead body due to cannabis overdose.*If re-legalizing cannabis can save lives it should be available on the regulated market separating it from sales taking place next to the much harder drugs that kill. *The Federal government’s gateway theory has been debunked years ago; in fact there is evidence indicating the gate swings the other way and actually helps some drug addicts get off hard drugs.*Cannabis is less addictive than coffee.*Cannabis prohibitionists are more dangerous that cannabis. 
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on March 14, 2005 at 09:38:59 PT:
Did you recieve the e-mail pictures I sent to you from childern of th our? I wanted you to see the wounder work being done.Did you ever forward or notify your sister. We recieved a new SUV, [a gift from God] we don't know who donated it? Maybe you saw it in the pictures I sent to you.God bless you FoM and your work here. This work you do is 
more inportant than we now know. History will reveal your great contribution to humanity and the planet.Thank you also for posting our web site on this site. It is impossible to tell how much help the good readers of Cnews may have helped but from the compassion I have felt from these good folk I am sure plenty.Namaste. 
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on March 14, 2005 at 09:20:54 PT:
Common sense.
Lets reconsider common sense.Lets reconsider the nature of politics. [poly]=many [ticks]=bloodsuckers.Lets reconsider the nature of politions.Lets reconsider the meaning of freedom.Lets reconsider the meaning of tyrany.Lets reconsider who's really in charge here.Lets reconsider who has our best interest in mind.Lets reconsider who knows whats best for us.Lets reconsider which direction our government is taking us.Namaste. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 14, 2005 at 08:05:29 PT
News Article from The Associated Press
Officials Say Collectors, Not Sellers, Are Buying Pot StampsAssociated PressMarch 13, 2005Charlestown, S.C. -- Ten years after it was created, a little-known law requiring marijuana dealers to pay taxes on pot sales has had little impact, officials say.State officials say it appears not a single dealer has purchased the required stamps. Instead, the stamps have created a market and a demand among collectors.Of the 433 pot stamps sold by the state since 1994, the overwhelming majority were bought as novelties, according to the South Carolina Department of Revenue.The stamps are required for every gram of illegal drugs sold by a dealer in the state. They are similar to the stamps affixed to other vices taxed by the state, such as liquor and cigarettes.A $3.50 sticker is required for every gram of marijuana, which is the most popular among collectors. The current South Carolina marijuana stamps shows a pot leaf imposed over an image of the state with a circle and red stripe superimposed. It's currently for sale at the Department of Revenue office in Columbia.For other drugs, the tax requires a $200 sticker for every gram of a controlled substance, such as cocaine, and $2,000 for a 50-unit dose of a controlled substance that's not sold by weight, such as pills. None of those have been bought.When South Carolina's law was created, no one seriously thought drug dealers would line up to buy the stamps. The stamps were created by legislators seeking more tools to prosecute drug traffickers as tax cheats. A drug dealer who violates the stamp law is subject to a fine of 100 percent of the tax, in addition to possible jail time.As many as 18 other states have similar laws on the books.But from the outset, South Carolina's tax stamp law has been of little value to enforcement agents.Because of constitutional concerns over self-incrimination, people who buy the stamps aren't required to give their names, addresses or any other personal data, leaving no way for the state or law enforcement to track where they go.Additionally, the state Department of Revenue, which produces and enforces the stamps, has profited little from them. There is no mandate for arresting police agencies to contact the revenue department or to include them in a prosecution. When drug dealer assets are divided after a successful prosecution, most of the money recovered goes first to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The revenue department usually is last.In the 10 years the law has been active, the department has received $115,988 from the stamp program, a fraction of the millions of dollars in drugs seized in the last decade. The money was collected mostly in the rare instance when revenue staffers are called in by local police to perform audits."There's really no incentive for local law enforcement officials to refer a case to us," said spokesman Danny Brazell. "We do get a few referrals and that's how we've obtained the little bit of money we've gotten from the illegal drug industry in South Carolina."University of South Carolina criminologist Geoff Alpert said he wasn't surprised South Carolina's drug stamp law is seldom enforced. He said authorities already have plenty of tools to prosecute drug cases."The people who sell a lot of marijuana aren't going to be the ones standing in line paying their taxes," he added.Information from: The Post and Courier
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