Politicians Need To Debate Drug Laws

Politicians Need To Debate Drug Laws
Posted by CN Staff on July 17, 2007 at 19:43:18 PT
By Nick Coleman, Star Tribune
Source: Star-Tribune 
Minnesota -- Eighty million Americans have smoked marijuana, including me. I tried it five or six times, only because I am a slow learner. I am allergic to weeds. Nothing kills an illicit high faster than a sneezing fit.But there are worse things than being allergic to marijuana. You could be allergic to common sense.
This country gets the hives when it thinks about changing direction in the war on drugs, which is being lost, with a large toll in ruined lives. Not just the lives ruined by hard drugs, but the lives ruined by the hard lines of politicians who know that the laws against marijuana possession are worse than the drug itself.A couple of weeks ago, an old college pal of Norm Coleman called on Minnesota's senior senator to lighten the penalties for marijuana use. But that effort to point out the hypocrisy of a politician turned into a mudslinging free-for-all with three candidates for the Senate on the defensive about drug use of decades ago.Remember that old anti-drug TV ad with eggs sizzling in a frying pan? Well, this is your campaign for the U.S. Senate seat from Minnesota. And this is your campaign on drugs.Norman Kent, a Florida lawyer, was a pal of Coleman's at Hofstra University in the late 1960s. He wrote an open letter to Coleman see it at: in which he describes "a four-year haze" of marijuana smoke at Hofstra. Kent is on the board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a group that wants to legalize marijuana use by adults. He wrote his letter after a report from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, which claimed that marijuana use leads teens to become gang members.The "gang" he and Coleman belonged to smoked marijuana and became lawyers, doctors and professors. One even went on to be a U.S. senator from Minnesota. But if Coleman had been arrested and charged under today's laws, he never would have made it."I was pointing out the hypocrisy of this one-time pot smoker who has scores of [college] friends he's still willing to criminalize," Kent says. "The laws he supports today would have prevented him from becoming who he is, and that's unacceptable to me, his old friend. Although I might not be his friend anymore."Unfortunately, Kent's effort turned into a finger-pointing scrum in which candidates for Republican Coleman's seat reacknowledged the drug use in their pasts but said nothing about how the laws should be changed. So we learned DFLer Mike Ciresi smoked dope. "I did inhale," he said. And we heard (yet again) that DFLer Al Franken used drugs during his early years as a writer and performer on "Saturday Night Live."The real question is not whether the candidates used to be dope heads. The question is whether they are political dopes now -- and hypocrites.The claim that marijuana leads to the use of more dangerous substances is dubious (a 2002 study by the Rand Corp. found that wasting drug-fighting resources on marijuana might lead to more cocaine and heroin use). But one thing is clear: Marijuana is a gateway drug when it comes to prison. Use it, and you go through prison gates.According to NORML, 700,000 Americans are arrested in marijuana cases each year, 90 percent merely for possession."Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself," former President Jimmy Carter has said. "Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use."I don't know if marijuana should be legalized. But politicians of both parties are afraid to even discuss alternatives to the costly and ineffective war on drugs. And the cowardice is so pronounced that Gov. Tim Pawlenty has blocked passage of a medical-marijuana law by threatening to veto it. The result? No one will be kept from obtaining marijuana. Except the patients with chronic conditions or pain who will be unable to have marijuana prescribed for them by their doctors.If you don't think there is something wrong with this state of affairs, I'd like to know what you're smoking.Newshawk: MikeCSource: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author: Nick Coleman, Star TribunePublished: July 17, 2007Copyright: 2007 Star Tribune Contact: opinion Website: Article & Web Site:NORML, You Used To Be a Pot Head
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Comment #9 posted by whig on July 18, 2007 at 10:01:46 PT
I can't find another article right now but I have read other accounts where the writer claims cannabis allergy as a reason to believe they do not use it. One person fell back on claiming that pot might be moldy. Well, sure, and so might any produce, if you don't inspect it.
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Comment #8 posted by whig on July 18, 2007 at 09:56:44 PT
Do female cannabis plants even produce pollen?
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on July 18, 2007 at 09:07:16 PT
I'm so sorry. I think that judge is antagonizing you and subtly torturing you, because he can. I pray for the day that he can't.He harms you with his judgments. He's causing you to lose time and money for transportation, gasoline, and the risk that comes from being on the road in an automobile at all. You hurt no one with your cannabis use... and the creepy government and it's minions are allowed to hurt you, really, not because you used the substance, but because they caught you with it.I'm thinking of Runruff, too. He didn't hurt anyone. He helped so many. Yet he's locked away, far from home and family, because of his use and nurturing of a plant that helped him and truly benefits many. Sometimes, virtually miraculously so.I simply cannot understand why the masses are seemingly blind to who is truly guilty of the true wrong in these situations. People who purposely cause other people grief over their consumption of and use of an herb are truly evil. Beware, always, of them. They pretend to be "good" and "righteous" and "law abiding"....but they are real evil, clothed in false righteousness. They hurt and harm people and call it "good".
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Comment #6 posted by JoeCitizen on July 18, 2007 at 08:37:28 PT
Whig, Comment #1
I hadn't heard any other media people use that excuse (or possibly lie.) Do you have any other examples? Just curious.I do know from research I previously did that Cannabis pollen is almost as irritating to many people as Ragweed. Of course, there really shouldn't BE any pollen in good quality cannabis, especially Sinsemilla.JC
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 18, 2007 at 07:45:18 PT
I'm sorry to read your comment. People who are strung out on Cocaine, Meth, Heroin or legal prescription drugs that are very addictive need help. Cannabis isn't anything like those hard and dangerous drugs.
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Comment #4 posted by ripit on July 18, 2007 at 07:21:56 PT:
why do i 
have to attend 2 aa/na meetings a week? well because the judge says so! yup twice a week for the next 5 years i have been court ordered to attend aa/na meetings.yet when i ask if going to an online meeting of marijunna annon would count i was told no (there are no local ma meetings where i live)so i have to attend with meth addicts or alcoholics which as i was told don't want me there to begin with because being forced to go is against thier belief that whoever attends should want to be there.being forced into drug treatment because of cannabis takes up room and money needed for thoses meth and cocaine addicts that really need it! makes no sense to me.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 18, 2007 at 06:24:10 PT
Thank you for your comment. Very interesting.
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Comment #2 posted by legalizeit on July 18, 2007 at 05:36:42 PT
Conversation with "Marijuana Addicts Anonymous&quo
I was at a fair in Orange County, CA a couple of days ago and came across a booth for a local group called Marijuana Addicts Anonymous. Curious, I struck up a conversation with the lady there. I asked her if she felt that pot is addictive, and her reply was, "It is, in the minds of those who seek help from us." When confronted with the notion that the illegality of pot is more harmful than the herb itself, she said essentially, "We have no opinions on the legal status of pot. We are only there for people who feel they are using it too much and need some help quitting or cutting back." She compared pot "addiction" to compulsive eating, referring to the booth for Overeaters Anonymous across the way. "There is nothing illegal about food, but for some it is a problem" was her statement on that. Other than stating that some heavy users experience mild withdrawal symptoms, she wouldn't go as far as to say that it is an addictive drug by any consensus.After leaving, my only thought was, "If only the government could think that way." Even if someone is compulsively using pot (addiction is a harsh word that should be reserved for substances that actually are habit-forming in a physiological sense), it is only a problem if that person deems it to be, and if the person wishes to seek help, that's fine. The whole notion of the govt. asserting that it knows what's good for us and zero tolerance, forced treatment, jail and all that is completely absurd.Jimmy Carter is probably our most underrated president ever. Who knows where we might have been had Iran not help rig the second-term election in Ronnie's favor. One thing's for sure, we wouldn't have had to listen to Nancy crowing "Just say no" till we need some MMJ to stop from vomiting.The only thing I forgot to ask the lady at the fair was, "What percentage of their patients are forced into treatment by the penal system?"
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Comment #1 posted by whig on July 17, 2007 at 22:16:31 PT
Pot allergy
This seems to be the little white lie that everyone in the media uses now.
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