America Needs To Rethink Marijuana Prohibition

America Needs To Rethink Marijuana Prohibition
Posted by CN Staff on January 26, 2008 at 06:38:47 PT
By Abraham Brown
Source: Triangle
Pennsylvania -- In the 21st century I find it difficult to grasp why we as Americans have not learned from our mistakes and become better. Decriminalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania and the entire nation subsequently could possibly alleviate some of the drug problems we face here in Philadelphia and the nation at large. The 1920s national prohibition of alcohol, the "noble experiment," was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America. However, this did not work and was a wretched disappointment on all counts. Mark Thornton in his work Economics of Prohibition has shown that although consumption of alcohol fell at the beginning of Prohibition, it subsequently increased.
He noted that alcohol became more dangerous to consume; crime increased and became organized. I have not seen any measurable gains made in productivity or increased abstinence with the implementation of prohibition. It is evident that crime is at its all time high right here in this "City of Brotherly Love," even in our midst on college campuses across Philadelphia. Sadly some crimes committed in this city can be linked to marijuana, but it's important to note that it is not because of the mental effects on the body but because of the great value that the government indirectly creates and places on marijuana. And by value I mean, the herb becomes a prized possession, as it is illegal and hence harder to get. People will kill just to get marijuana. Are people killing to get alcohol? No, because it is a legal commodity, and can be purchased once of age. Why not do the same for marijuana? The fact that marijuana is in the prohibition mode, most, if not all the wrong things that happened while alcohol was banned will and is creeping back up on us. More and more crimes are now surrounded around marijuana and will escalate given the lack of will on the part of government to consider its legalization. To be fair, marijuana has been ascribed much injustice and the American public ought to hear something refreshingly positive about it from our public officials and lawmakers.The American public has yet to hear a balanced stance on the topic of legalizing medicinal marijuana, let alone the decriminalization of marijuana, and the overall failure of America's current War on Drugs. Too long have we endured the injustice of imprisoning simple marijuana smokers. It's time for a change. Former President Jimmy Carter became synonymous with the decriminalization of marijuana campaign; he understood that decriminalizing marijuana would be a step forward in coping with America's failing drug policies. However the "Just Say No" campaign, spearheaded by President Ronald Reagan, undermined Carter's efforts and instead placed marijuana in the category of illicit drugs, making it tier mates with the likes of cocaine and heroine. This had a debilitating effect on the marijuana reform and thus new generations of Americans were grown up to think that marijuana is one of the more dangerous drugs.Where as I do believe that our country does have serious drug trafficking problems, there is a need for effective drug control. First, we take baby steps in trying to get the conservatives who seem to be the heavyweights on the legislation, to decriminalize marijuana and then subsequently legalize it. Please note the difference between legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana. By decriminalizing the substance fines will be imposed instead of an arrest on the person who breaches the amount allowed to be carried on oneself at any given time, a path followed by Canada that will free up the court/penal system and at the same time create much needed revenue. Secondly we the people of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania should push for our congressional representatives to implement the use of marijuana for medicinal uses. There are 12 such states for which this is a reality: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.If within the next year there is no break through in the legalization campaign of marijuana, I fear we will continue to dwell in the quagmire of double standards stemming from having the dangerous drug alcohol legal and marijuana the natural herb illegal.It is obvious that the legalization of marijuana will no doubt continue to be a hot button issue for years to come. So let's get mobilized and press for our congressional representatives to decriminalize it, legalize it, regulate it and finally tax it!Abraham Brown is a sophomore majoring in communications. Source: Triangle, The (Drexel U, PA Edu)Author: Abraham BrownPublished: January 25, 2008Copyright: 2008 The TriangleContact: ed-op thetriangle.orgWebsite: http://www.thetriangle.orgCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #10 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 11, 2008 at 08:33:38 PT:
Here's an LTE that was published this
Saturday by the Tuscola Advertiser. It is in reference to a recent raid of a MINORML member.Dear Editor,
In ref: to Keith Campbell & Bob Wood
 As the Executive Director of Michigan NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), I am both honored and blessed to have members in our organization like these two men.
 Our state wide membership is made up of good, hard-working folks from all walks of life, who stand in solidarity to say, "Enough is enough!!" in regards to Cannabis Prohibition.
 I myself am 60 years old, a born-again Christian, a minister of God and a responsible, adult cannabis consumer for 42 years now. I deplore drugs of any kind, prescription or otherwise, but cannabis is my sacrament, my medicine and my choice for recreational use.
 What has happened to Keith should never happen to any American citizen, but it does every 42 seconds now, leaving their lives in total destruction, while we, the taxpayer, pick up the tab and condone it.
 Search your heart and ask yourself if someone growing a few plants and using them in the privacy of their own home threatens public safety, or affects you in any way. Then, just imagine if the same thing happened to you in your home while having an alcoholic beverage, smoking a little tobacco or even having a cup of coffee, because your government said it was prohibited.
 Then, you will know what Keith Campbell is going through.
I have been to Tuscola County, been to Caro, and I found it to be a warm and friendly farming community. Keith is one of you. Bob is one of you. Treat them with the respect that they deserve and help us stop this insane violation of everyone's civil liberties that has been going on for 72 years now.
 God bless you all and thank you,Rev.Steven B.Thompson(Way to go Rev!)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by afterburner on January 27, 2008 at 22:54:49 PT
natural health stores or pharmacies
CN ON: PUB LTE: Big Pharma's Pot Luck, NOW Magazine, (24 Jan 2008)"From every mountain side, let freedom ring."
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 27, 2008 at 21:10:31 PT
I noticed that, too.Actually, I thought to myself, and I've spoken about this before. The only people I ever heard of, or knew of,that would kill you over cannabis is law enforcement and die hard prohibitionists . They'll kill you, people around you, and even totally innocent people, collateral damage and all, to keep you from having it. They'll risk their own lives to keep you from having it. They have to be crazy to do that, I've always thought.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by Mike on January 27, 2008 at 13:41:59 PT
Tell me..
When has anyone ever *killed* to get some "marijuana"? (I hate that word.) And sure, cannabis may not be available in a retail shop, but it's hardly difficult to come by, despite the prohibition. The author is on the right side of the fence here, but he left part of his brain behind. Making false statements like those, even inadvertantly, only help to perpetuate the lies and the ideas to some that prohibition has some good benefits after all.Read the first comment here: links to this:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on January 27, 2008 at 09:48:46 PT
thanks fom
We were already kicking butt in the poll when I checked, I'm sure with Cnews logging in the total will go even higher!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 27, 2008 at 09:48:38 PT
Poll Results So Far
82% said yes on the poll.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 27, 2008 at 09:47:09 PT
Thanks Sam! Go Massachusetts!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by sam adams on January 27, 2008 at 09:31:42 PT
big article on Mass. initiative and POLL!!
There is a poll as well:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 26, 2008 at 18:16:39 PT:
Local LTE's.....Story of another no good raid
All submitted in the Tuscola Advertiser
NOT WITH MY TAX DOLLARSI became sick to my stomach with fear, sympathy and concern when I heard about the arrest of the 19 year old Magiera and his family, I can only imagine the hopelessness, fear and despair that his parents must feel, knowing that their son is facing 40 years in prison for selling illegal drugs.
I do not want my tax dollars being spentincarcerating this young man or anyone else caught up in the drug trade.
At 19 years old, this young man probably thought that he was invincible and never in his wildest dreams did he ever think that he would be facing 40 years in prison for doing something so easy to do.
I don’t want my tax dollars spent incarcerating this young man, because I hold our government responsible for his predicament. 
Richard Nixon committed treason by declaring war on drugs which is in reality a war directed towards the citizens of the USA, and it violates our entire Bill of Rights. His declaration of war on drugs created the most lucrative industry in the world and lures young kids like young Magiera into the business to either support their drug addictions or because of the enormous profits it produces. As the worlds financial markets are plunging, illegal drug profits continue to soar as long as we have the black market drug trade.
I feel that our Government is directly responsible for the cocaine abuse epidemic in America, and it is also directly responsible for Matt’s predicament. It is a matter of record, that during the Reagan Administration, our CIA agents were smuggling military arms out of Florida to help the Nicaraguan Contras in their attempt to overthrow the legitimate Government of Nicaragua. They would then fill the CIA jets full of cocaine as payment for the weapons. They would then fly the cocaine back to the United States and distribute it to all the major cities across the country. They were shipping so much cocaine to America that the drug dealers didn’t have enough customers to sell it to, so crack cocaine was developed. A drug that is so addictive, that once a person starts smoking it, their chance of beating the addiction is extremely low and difficult. Thank God that one of the CIA plane loads of cocaine crashed in Mexico while in route to America, so that we could learn the truth about how, cocaine abuse became the epidemic health problem that it is today in this country. 
Our legislators except large sums of money and perks from the pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and other special interest lobbying groups, then they enact these laws which completely destroy our constitutional rights. They also mandate our authorities to carry out this violent campaign of terrorism directed against our citizens. When our legislators leave office, they usually leave as multi millionaires. That amounts to treason as far as I’m concerned, and makes the laws themselves not only immoral but illegitimate.
Our countries founding forefathers put checks and balances in place because they anticipated this type of corruption by our legislators and government agencies. A person has a right to an attorney, that is, if they can afford twenty thousand dollars to spend on attorney fees to go to trial. They also have a right to a court appointed attorney if they can’t afford one. The problem with that is, that court appointed attorneys are almost never willing to go to trial for their clients. Almost all people convicted of drug charges never get any type of trial at all, let alone a”fair trial”. They end up being forced to except a plea bargain before being shipped off to jail or prison, while we the tax payers are left to pick up the tab for their incarcerations which I object to.
We have already poured over one trillion tax dollars into this treasonous war. We currently have over 1.5 million drug war POWS in our prisons and we are arresting millions more every year. That is why I do not want my tax dollars being spent incarcerating this young man or any other person that has been charged with a non violent drug offence.
Most jurors do not realize that they not only have the right, but also have a moral obligation to vote not guilty when they consider the law to be unjust. All of these illegitimate drug laws are unjust and immoral. The court can not punish any juror for voting their conscience and finding a defendant not guilty, regardless of the law or facts of the case. They can not be charged with any crime. In that respect the jurors have more power than the judge does in any jury trial. That is just another one of the checks and balances that our founding fathers created, thinking that the government would become just as corrupt as the tyrant government that they had fought and beat in the American Revolutionary War.
 For those of you that would condemn or convict this young man or anyone else for these unjust and immoral laws I have this advice. It is a famous quote by my savoir and fellow activist Jesus Christ. “Let him without sin cast the first stone”.
This young man needs counseling not prison. Folks, please use this opportunity to talk to your children about the dangers of using or dealing drugs. The more you talk about this subject with your children, the better chance that you will have at keeping them drug free. And it might just save you from ever having the terrifying experience of having one of your children or grandchildren being sent of to one of our concentration camps that we call prison, for the rest of their prime years of life.
Please contact our local officials and tell them to release this young man and the many other innocent people that they have locked up in our County Jail.Bob Wood
Caro Mi. I totally agree with Bob Wood’s Jan. 19th letter regarding the Thumb Narcotic Unit raids.
I know what he was talking about, because I am a victim of one of those raids.
Heavily armed ninja clad thieves broke into my home and robbed me. They went through my house as if they were at an estate sale. They stole anything they wanted to steal. They took my wallet right out of my pocket and stole all of my cash, and I had just cashed my disability check. But that wasn’t enough. They also stole my 20 ga. Shot gun that I bought 20 years ago and have not used it in 15 years. They still were not satisfied. They went outside, looked my truck over, and decided to steal it as well. If it was not bad enough being robbed, I had to be subjected to these young heavily armed men, terrorizing me, screaming and yelling at me and ordering me around in my own home. 
I am not a drug dealer nor do I support the illegal drug trade in any way shape or form. I grew a very small amount of cannabis for my own personal medicinal use, and in no way am I now or have I ever been a threat to society. 
I was raised in a Christian home and have read the Holy Bible my entire life. I have been using cannabis for medical purposes for decades, and feel that I have a God given right to do so. After all, how was the Cannabis plant used during Biblical times? It was used as clothing, paper, cord, sails, fishnet, oil, sealant, incense, food, and in ceremony, relaxation and medicine.
These raids remind me of a passage from the Holy Bible, “Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing”. In my opinion the people supporting and carrying out this drug war are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Before they drove my truck out of my yard, I begged them to leave me my truck full of wood that I had just purchased, because it was my only source of heat for my home. I was somewhat desperate: I had no money to buy more wood, nor a truck to haul it with. I was afraid that my Parrot would freeze to death. One of the thieves looked to another and said “I guess we could leave him his wood, we don’t want to look too dirty”
If you would like to help put an end to these terrorizing raids, you can go to and sign the petition to our government entitled “Enough is Enough”.Keith Campbell
Unionville Mi.   Thank you for printing the outstanding Jan 19 letter from Bob Wood regarding dynamic entry drug raids.  Wood gets it exactly right. 
   All over the United States innocent citizens are being
injured and killed during dynamic entry drug raids on private homes. Ninja clad SWAT teams routinely first announce their presence with stun grenades lobbed through windows or battering rams at the door.  Only later do they get around to identifying themselves as police, much less showing a warrant. The intention of course is to create chaos and throw the "perp's" off balance. Problem is when you intentionally combine chaos and guns, accidents are sure to happen.  Which they do, with distressing regularity.It is estimated that fully 5% of drug raids are launched on the wrong address. With a margin of error that big extreme caution must be taken and dynamic entries reserved as a last resort. Instead, the drug squads use dynamic entries as a matter of simple routine. And most drug raids are routine, just low level dealers or personal use cultivators. Dynamic entries are rarely required. A simple knock on the door or arresting a drug suspect on the street is almost always easier and safer. Particularly when children are in the home. The drug squads justify dynamic entries as necessary for officer safety. What about citizen safety? Dynamic entry puts all of the occupants of the home, not just the criminal, in danger. Innocent occupants are far more likely to be injured or killed during a dynamic entry than is a police officer properly knocking and serving a warrant. It is the duty of the police to put citizen safety foremost. It is not the duty of citizens to sacrifice their own safety to protect the police. Putting an officer's safety ahead of a child's borders on cowardiceEarlier this month a 26 year old mother was shot in her own home during a dynamic entry by the Lima, Ohio SWAT team.  The bullet that killed her first passed through the hand of her 1 yr old babe in arms. The target of the raid was her boyfriend, a suspected nickel and dime street dealer. The drug evidence obtained in the raid was insignificant. At least the Lima SWAT team got the right house. They don't always.Radley Balko, writing for the Cato Institute in his 2006 study, Overkill: the Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids, documented 41 cases of innocents killed over the last decade during dynamic entry raids. Among them were 92 year old Katherine Johnson, Atlanta, GA; 57 year old and devote church goer, Alberta Sprail, N.Y., N.Y.; 11 year old Alberto
Sepulveda, CA; and father of seven, Ismael Meda, CO. None of them drug users, no drugs or other contraband was found after the bullets stopped flying. Right house, wrong house. You're still dead. Proponents of dynamic entry dismiss these as, "isolated
 incidents." Balko labels them, "an epidemic of isolated incidences." Over and over, the story is the same. During the confusion of a dynamic entry, something goes wrong. An occupant, believing the house is being robbed, not raided, may resist. A sudden movement by an uncomprehending child or a pet. It can be as simple as a trip and fall firearm discharge. Dynamic entries provide the ingredients and Murphy's Law takes it from there. I whole heartedly endorse Wood's suggestion that dynamic entries should be reported in the local press every time they are used. Doing so would serve as a lesson and have a deterrent effect on others contemplating various misdeeds. It would give the drug squads an opportunity to make the case as to why a dynamic entry was necessary. Surely that's reasonable if these type raids really are called for. And it would give the public, who is footing the bill after all, an opportunity to ensure police don't overstep their boundaries. That's how it works in a free country. Countries where the police resist legitimate citizen oversight are more commonly referred to as police states.They may call it a War on Drugs, but that does not give the state the right to use war like tactics against the people. It is only a matter of time before it happens in your community, too.
In closing I should mention that I am a former federal law
 enforcement officer and a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Academy. Not only have I been trained in dynamic entry techniques, before I left the service I had advanced to become the dynamic entry team leader for the Coast Guard Station protecting the outer harbor of a major East Coast city. Greg Francisco member, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 26, 2008 at 11:13:19 PT:
Some new youtube videos for your enjoyment.
Recent Marc Emery interview about his sentencing. Ross talks about the latest ruling. Grandparent's in California Raided, Handcuffed, and taken to jail.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment