Drug Czar Visits Two States To Slam Pot Initiative

Drug Czar Visits Two States To Slam Pot Initiative
Posted by CN Staff on October 13, 2006 at 07:25:42 PT
By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times
Source: Washington Times 
Denver -- Federal drug czar John P. Walters barnstormed through Colorado and Nevada this week to criticize two ballot initiatives that would legalize marijuana as polls showed the proposals inching too close for comfort.   "Over 30 years of painful experience has shown us that more substance abuse doesn't make anyone's life safer or better," Mr. Walters told students at South High School in Denver. "We need to make it clear that we're going to push back."
Mr. Walters made two appearances in Colorado Wednesday before flying to Nevada for a speech yesterday to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Both states are considering measures that would legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for those 21 or older.   Polls show the initiatives trailing, but by single digits. The Colorado measure, Amendment 44, lags by a margin of 29 percent to 36 percent, with 35 percent undecided, according to a SurveyUSA poll taken Sept. 28 for NBC affiliate KUSA-TV.   Question 7, the Nevada proposal, has 42 percent of voters in favor and 51 percent against, with 7 percent undecided, according to a Sept. 26 poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.   Mr. Walters' arrival prompted an outcry from the pro-marijuana campaigns in both states, which accused him of spending taxpayer dollars to meddle in state affairs. In Nevada, the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana used the occasion to debut a television ad criticizing the use of "taxpayer dollars" on the drug czar's campaign stops.   "D.C. has the money to interfere in a Nevada election, but they want to slash our homeland security funding?" says the ad, which shows a photo of Mr. Walters. "Tell Washington to get their priorities straight."   Mason Tvert, campaign manager of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, the group behind Amendment 44, called Mr. Walters a "federal agent" who was "coming to our state and lying about a state initiative."   Part of the drug czar's charge is to oppose initiatives and legislation that would promote substance abuse, said Walters spokesman Jennifer de Vallance.   Both states have a history of marijuana proposals: In 2002, Nevada defeated a legalization measure by 61 to 39 percent. In 2004, Denver approved a citywide legalization proposal in a campaign, run by Mr. Tvert, that called marijuana safer than alcohol.   The campaigns are relying on different strategies. Mr. Tvert continues to push the theme that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, while the Nevada group emphasizes that marijuana can be better regulated and controlled if it's legal.   While Mr. Walters was awarding Colorado a $15 million federal grant for drug screening, the Amendment 44 campaign unveiled a billboard featuring a picture of the drug czar saying that marijuana is the "safest thing in the world."   The quote comes from "Pete's Couch," an anti-marijuana ad produced for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, showing three teenage boys who prefer sitting on a couch and smoking pot to leaving the house.   "I smoked weed, and nobody died," says a teenager in the ad, which plays on the Internet sites YouTube and Instead of leading an active life, "you wanna keep yourself alive; you go over to Pete's and sit on his couch until you're 86. Safest thing in the world."   Mr. Walters called the billboard quote "a lie" and said marijuana can cause "demotivational syndrome," which prompts people to lose interest in leading normal lives in favor of drug use.   "Does Colorado need more young people in the basement on a couch wasting their lives?" he said.   He also blamed the marijuana-legalization push on the efforts of "three billionaires," Democratic Party financier George Soros, University of Phoenix founder John Sperling and insurance magnate Peter Lewis, whom he accused of conducting a "social experiment" at the expense of Coloradans. The three have backed medical-marijuana and legalization advocacy groups over the years. Complete Title: Drug Czar Visits Two States To Slam Pro-Pot InitiativesSource: Washington Times (DC)Author: Valerie Richardson, The Washington TimesPublished: October 13, 2006Copyright: 2006 News World Communications, Inc. Website: letters washingtontimes.comRelated Articles & Web Sites:Safer Choice and Control Marijuana Czar Criticizes Nevada Proposal To Legalize Czar Rips Amendment 44 To Get Millions from White House Czar Drug Czar Says Question 7 Work of Rich Outsiders
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Comment #17 posted by whig on October 13, 2006 at 18:58:19 PT
More on the voter suppression tactic in Ohio.
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Comment #16 posted by mayan on October 13, 2006 at 18:05:02 PT
2 In A Row Stolen
It's already been proven that the Bush neo-cons stole Ohio in 2004. Thanks to the vigilance of Green Party candidate David Cobb,Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik and many others, we now know this for certain...The 2004 US Elections: The Mother of all Vote Frauds: Voting: The Stolen Election of 2004: the 2004 Election Stolen? two consecutive stolen presidential elections, an inside job terror attack on U.S. soil, and an illegal,preemptive invasion of Iraq, most Americans still sit on their asses and wonder why the world is going to sh*t. To hell with their ignorance and apathy.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 15:36:10 PT
Yes: Marijuana Possession -- Amendment 44
Among our most fundamental rights is the right to control our own bodies. For example, we as adults have the right to decide whether to ingest certain herbs, such as marijuana. Similarly, we also have the right to decide whether to ingest the drug alcohol, even though alcohol is related to numerous deaths and acts of violence.Amendment 44 would remove state-level criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults age 21 and over. Opponents basically argue that marijuana can be dangerous. It is true that marijuana can be dangerous, as it is true that alcohol, guns, swimming pools, fatty food, irresponsible sex, and so on, can be dangerous. We have a right to do potentially dangerous things, so long as that doesn't involve a violation of the rights of others. The only alternative is to grant the state control over our bodies, a position that ultimately threatens all individual rights. Obviously, using marijuana doesn't inherently violate the rights of others. Those who violate the rights of others while under the influence of any drug, be it alcohol or marijuana, should be sanctioned for the violation of rights.Vote "yes" on Amendment 44.Copyright: Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com
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Comment #14 posted by whig on October 13, 2006 at 12:55:00 PT
OT: More on Slashdot
Sorry to put this here but Had Enough and I were discussing Citizens Against Government Waste awhile back, and it is something that I think bears repeating because a lot of libertarians believe in both our issue of ending cannabis prohibition, but also subscribe to a number of mistaken positions that put them in bed with people who commit real crimes and enable the Republican administration.
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Comment #13 posted by whig on October 13, 2006 at 12:51:20 PT
OT: CAGW in bed with Abramoff
More on Citizens Against Government Waste -- bad people.
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Comment #12 posted by whig on October 13, 2006 at 12:33:00 PT
PotTV now on YouTube
Somebody figured out how to get it posted, which is good because a lot of people can now see PotTV who wouldn't have before.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 12:12:10 PT
I don't know because my feelings about the election are just feelings not logical.
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Comment #10 posted by whig on October 13, 2006 at 11:55:44 PT
Diebold voted for Bush in 2004, don't you think?
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on October 13, 2006 at 09:27:25 PT:
Teetering on the tipping point
In the past there's been plenty of times that it looked like we'd win, and then the Fed Juggernaut rolled into the State considering escaping cannabis law lunacy and forcibly dragged it back into the madhouse. But this time, it looks like the forces for sanity have a real shot at things...and partly thanks to several factors. The chiefest of which are the economy and the overweening arrogance and intellectually insulting behavior of Johnny Pee.First off, a clue is the use of a carrot approach when previously it was the stick; it used to be the Feds would play the game of threatening to hold up funds for things such as roads and schools to make States considering drug law reform change their minds. Not this time; Ol' Johhny Pee's arriving and throwing around money as bribes, trying to play Santa, not threatening financial gloom-and-doom like a Grinch. This is because since 2000, States have largely been weaned off of much of the Federal teats they were suckling on, and have had to stand on their own two feet financially. It's been hard, but the payoff has been the ability to tell Unka Samuel to take his unfunded mandates and put them someplace dark and smelly. The threat of cutting Fed funds, already having been shrunk thanks to an equally shrunken tax base, is no longer a viable one.And, as far as ol' Johnny's arrogance? I think this quote from another article sums it up: The nation's drug czar slammed a thick ream of paper on the podium and declared it contained study after study showing marijuana leads to mental illness and other health problems. Emily Bettinger wasn't buying it. "For all I know, that was a bunch of doodling he did on the plane ride out here," she said. "He didn't even show us anything." The 17-year-old sighed."Wolf!" has been cried once too often, and ol' Johnny and his cohort have only their arrogant, lying, intellectually insulting selves to blame for it. 
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 09:03:04 PT
I agree with what you said. When people voted for Bush in 04 I was shocked. I wondered what country America was anymore. I don't get depressed very often but that was very hard for me to try to understand. Why people on the right hate Democrats I just don't get it. 
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Comment #7 posted by MikeEEEEE on October 13, 2006 at 08:41:24 PT
I'm not with stupid
After seeing this country vote for GW Bush, I won't be surprised by anything.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on October 13, 2006 at 08:35:57 PT
If 44 loses and if it wins.
If it loses, officials will say, "The people have decided. They don't want marijuana legal in Colorado. The citizens of Colorado have spoken."If it wins, the authorities will say, "The people were deceived! They misunderstood. They didn't know what they were voting for. This vote means nothing. Federal law trumps State law."
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on October 13, 2006 at 08:04:36 PT
Who Needs Johnny Pee?
"Does Colorado need more young people in the basement on a couch wasting their lives?" he said.Does America need more old people in the government wasting our money and natural resources? We want our money back!!!It's all relative...Climate change inaction will cost trillions: study could help.THE ONLY WAY OUT...UW Extension cut protested: Donation matches amount withheld by Ozaukee board in 9/11 dispute: Barrett Responds to WKOW Book-Bashers, Knuckle-Dragging Politicians: O'Reilly hammers (poorly) latest talking points about Kevin Barrett: Movement, Political Wild Cards Back Off Staged Terror:
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Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on October 13, 2006 at 07:52:38 PT
demotivational syndrome
Ha, ha, ha. The latest from the spin crew is the best.I can remember drinking a six pack and not feeling any motivation. Their rational has a million holes in it.Perhaps another state (an outsider) wants them all lazy, that way the other state could invade, taking away all their munchies. You may accuse me of being a bullshitter, but I'm learning from the best, the drug czar. 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 07:50:02 PT
Related Article from The Daily Sentinel
Marijuana Use Measure Smokes Out Pros, Cons
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 07:48:06 PT
The Daily Sentinel: No on Amendent 44
Friday, October 13, 2006Whether one leans toward the libertarian view that marijuana should be legalized because it’s a relatively benign drug and use of it ought to be an individual’s choice, or the more traditional view that pot is a gateway drug, harmful to users — especially adolescent ones — and therefore society must prohibit it, there are good reasons to vote against Amendment 44.The ballot measure would change Colorado statutes to legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 or older.Comment on this story 
However, while it would legalize possession, it would not make it legal to grow or sell marijuana. So, in order to legally possess pot, a user would have to break the law by growing pot plants or purchase the drug from someone illegally selling it.Additionally, while the measure focuses on adult use, it creates a loophole in state law that would allow those over 21 to legally transfer up to an ounce of marijuana to another person 15 years or older, as long as it is not sold. However, it would be illegal for the 15-year-old — or anyone under 21 — to possess the drug. Proponents of the measure say that was not their intention, and they will try to change that provision legislatively next year if the measure is approved by voters in November.Finally, drug legalization needs to be dealt with nationally. If Colorado unilaterally legalizes marijuana, this state will become a pot mecca for folks around the country. Despite the claims of Amendment 44 supporters that the measure would free up police to spend more time on more serious drugs, people like Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey say it is likely to have the opposite effect, as more people come to the state to use pot, and more break laws attempting to obtain it.Amendment 44 would be a bad trip for Colorado.Copyright: 2006 The Daily Sentinel
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 07:44:36 PT
Aspen Times: Yes on Amendment 44
October 13, 2006The war on drugs is a failure and a waste of public resources. This amendment to state statutes would free law enforcement from chasing petty offenders who possess an ounce of marijuana or less. The growth, sale and public use or display of pot would remain a crime, as would driving under the influence.We are troubled by a provision of Amendment 44 that appears to allow adults to share their pot with children as young as 15. Opponents have pounced on this provision and claim that 44 will hurt children. Proponents argue that such behavior would still constitute contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Since this amendment would only affect state statute, and not the Constitution, we hope the Legislature will clear up this portion.The bottom line is that cops have more important things to do than to bust adults for marijuana possession. Vote Yes on Amendment 44.Copyright 2006 Aspentimes.com
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