Putting The 'War on Drugs' Behind Bars

Putting The 'War on Drugs' Behind Bars
Posted by CN Staff on November 14, 2008 at 06:35:44 PT
By Nick Bush, Collegian Columnist
Source: Daily Collegian 
Massachusetts --Before this election, I was genuinely concerned that we as a people may have lost control of our very own legal system. That was until I witnessed the democratic and libertarian victory of Question 2 in Massachusetts.Despite almost every major state politician coming out of the woodwork to stand against the ballot initiative, it remained popular from the outset right through the election, passing with an overwhelming 70 percent to 30 percent.
Nearly everyone supposedly representing and protecting us in government and law enforcement wanted the measure dead, including Deval Patrick, John Kerry, Mitt Romney and the district attorney of every state country. But all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't keep pot from being nearly legal again.The state actually stands to make millions of dollars each year by ticketing violators, according to those who pushed for the ballot initiative. Apparently, voters are starting to catch on to the fact that it's incredibly expensive and futile to wage war on nouns, such as "drugs" or "terror." I'm sure a little less war and a little more educated democracy might be good for everyone involved.There's only one little problem. Our cute new state law could possibly be considered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.The people of California legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 1996. However, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers still continued to arrest those legally smoking and growing in the state. After 10 years of contradictory state and federal law, the Supreme Court ruled two years ago that the DEA indeed has the right to seize pot plants being grown to treat cancer and HIV/AIDS patients, as well as other ailments marijuana can help.Question 2 in Massachusetts doesn't legalize the drug, but instead requires state and local police to not arrest individuals for possession of small amounts (under an ounce, as I'm sure you've heard).This is a policy that works well within the confines of state powers (local police duties), so don't expect Question 2 to show up on a Supreme Court docket anytime soon. But the ballot initiative does again point out how horribly deluded our national drug policy is in America.Ever since President Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1971 and pushed through the Controlled Substances Act, our country has placed Cheech and Chong under the same legal framework as users of serious drugs, such as heroin and cocaine.Are we really going to let Nixon - that infamous, slimy crook - shape our modern day drug policy? Are we really going to continue to disenfranchise millions of voters with racist and authoritarian national drug laws? Are we really going to continue to dump billions of dollars each year into arresting our own citizens for a victimless crime?Marijuana still makes up nearly half of all our drug arrests as a nation. America has more than 1 percent of our population in jail, which is the largest proportion of any civilization's population to ever be incarcerated in the history of the world.This huge surplus of felons is thanks in large part to our determination to pour money and law enforcement resources into the War on Drugs. Our own government has had plenty of shady connections to drug dealers such as the Contras, yet it has the audacity to say it should put a person behind bars for smoking a joint? Give me a break.This election, the 1960s and 1970s generations of pot-smoking baby boomers finally showed up to vote in Massachusetts, and across the nation. If this trend continues over the next few decades, we may go from living in a country that talks about "freedom," to one that finally embraces it.Nick Bush is a Collegian columnist. Source: Massachusetts Daily Collegian (MA Edu)Author: Nick Bush, Collegian ColumnistPublished: November 14, 2008Copyright: 2008 Daily CollegianWebsite: http://www.DailyCollegian.comContact: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #6 posted by Storm Crow on November 14, 2008 at 14:05:11 PT
Rep. Joe Bertram, III - a "Good guy"!
Please send your "thank you"s and encouragement to Rep. Bertram. Golly! A politician who seems to be "human" and sane! We GOTTA let this guy know he's got our full support!Rep. Joe Bertram, III
11th Representative District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 311
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-586-8525; fax 808-586-8529
From Maui, toll free 984-2400 + 68525
e-mail repbertram
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Comment #5 posted by museman on November 14, 2008 at 13:49:25 PT
time to get out and push (or fix the engines)
The momentum of the past election year cannot be allowed to fall back into the complacency of the last 3 decades.Every victory is a small incremental move towards the goal of freedom, and we cannot afford to lapse, because even though the politicians are awake right now because we shook 'em up a bit, they are just as likely to get tired of having to pretend to be innovative or of substance, and start checking to see whose rich pockets they can inhabit while in office. Why is it so hard to convince people that we need a constitutional convention, or just get rid of all the institutions of law, one or the other? In the near future that imminently looms (not the 'economic' predications of the status quo) there is no place for such corruption and error. It needs to be addressed or thrown away. Personally, I could care less, particulary if no none else does, because I have no doubt as to the outcome of that future I am speaking of. That lack of doubt often pisses people off. because no amount of conjured arguments to the contrary can move me off my rock. I have seen it and just because someone hasn't surely doesn't affect the fact of my seeing.We have only so much choice in the future that we allow, in the future that we make, and very little in the cosmic showdown that has been in the making for time longer than any one can accurately measure.That future has been envisioned by our greatest men and women, and often they died for the revealing of it. Their vision was not arbitrary or wishfull, but an actual visionary witness to events, and their resulting effects on society and the planet.Some of my Spiritually Oriented brothers and sisters ask me why I 'waste my time' trying to engender active political involvement, like going on about a 'constitutional convention' because in this future some of us see quite clearly, there just isn't the same kind of values that currently supports, maintains, and is the foundation of the actual power of the status quo itself.Power over, superiority, human authority, greed, covetousness, posession, - all destined to burn. And those who cannot release their attachment to these errors, will most likely burn with them.The fire is truth, beyond mere words, but truth nonetheless, and in the current state of world domination (and/or the attempt at it) unless we take the steps to remove it from our reality, or change it, it will be done for us.A lot of people would rather that it 'be done for them' anyway, which is how corruption has always snuck into even the best scenarios, like the idea of a 'government of the people, by the people, for the people.' When the powers can orchestrate all manner of falseness, it is relatively easy to convince a population who are to busy trying to live their lives, that they -Big Brother- know whats best for the people, and the people buy it, literally.To me it is a salvage operation. The ship of state and the ways and means of the old, ancient world is sinking. There is no way to save the ship - unless we quickly get in there and overhaul the engines before it is dashed on the rocks of the imminent future and the truth that burns and heals. Lifeboats are already in the water. Tens of thousands have been evacuated into other forms of consciousness, but the shoals of inevitability are visible on the not-so-distant horizon, and we are getting as many off the boat as we can, while some few are (is it? futile?) trying to salvage what they can of the boat before the hull gets ruptured.It is hard to know and see a future where millions of lives are lost because of the complacency of those who could possibly change or avert some aspects of that future. I have never given up on the salvage operation, a person here, couple over there, such a small trickle of humanity directed away from disaster, and have had the audacity to believe that we, as Adams children, have what it takes to get our own shit together without having to call on God to wipe our lazy asses for us. He won't do it anyway. How would we ever get spiritually potty trained if God (or 'jesus') is always there to clean up our shit?When the dust clears after the storm blows everything not attached to reality down, those of us left standing will finally have the opportunity to implement everything that we have learned and have been trained in by the Spirit towards this eventuality. That will be a wonderful and terrible moment. Wonderful because the BS will finally be completely over, but terrible because of the price paid in human life. I have cried over that inevitable fact for a long, long time. I don't believe (and have plenty of personal experiential 'evidence') that our existence is this one-time-only flash-in-the-pan inconsequential event. I have witnessed my own aspect of eternal being, -Thanks and Praise to YHWH- and though I haven't 'seen' the eternal being of my fellows in the same undeniable way, I assume with confidence that what applies to me, also applies to everyone else, and vice-versa.Ultimately nothing that is part of God will be lost, so in that sense there is no need to worry about it, but its kind of like Yashuas' parable of the Ten Talents. The guy who buried his talents because he was afraid to lose them, and the other two who used their talents. The opportunity to make the transition from the old into the new with as little 'birthing pain' as possible is like those talents being used or not.Perhaps there is nothing of redeemable quality within our constitutional system, perhaps we should just make like Nero, and play wild psychedelic music as we watch rome burn. Perhaps the United States of America is not worth salvaging. Perhaps the US Constitution is just a document of arrogant assumption that people have the nature and wherewithal to govern themselves.What do ya think?LIBERATE NUGS FOR EVERYONE
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on November 14, 2008 at 13:17:29 PT
Obama is from Hawaii. I wonder if this news will catch His attention. I often feel that Bush is kept from certain types of news; I wonder if Obama will be kept from learning about this...I feel like Bush is kept from reading His ratings in the newspaper etc... Kept from learning 7 out of 10 people want Him extremely gone.If You produce Pharm pills it's understood, there is great profit to be made. If You grow the green superplant the double standard kicks in."""State Rep. Joe Bertram III, D-11th (Kihei, Wailea, Makena), yesterday defended Patients Without Time and its director,"""Pa'ia is a nice place.
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on November 14, 2008 at 10:03:04 PT
Hawaiian laws
The law allows the "acquisition, possession, cultivation, use, distribution or transportation" of marijuana by certified patients and their primary caregivers, but is not clear on what some of that means in practice.My question is, do the medical marijuana laws specifically prohibit sales? Hey, we live in a system of capitalism. If it must be acquired, possessed, transported and distributed, how will that happen for free unless the government expands their "compassionate use" program and provides it to all patients, as a social service? The other option is the free market of Walgreens. Figure it out.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 14, 2008 at 09:29:47 PT
Medical Marijuana Advocate Arrested in Sting
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on November 14, 2008 at 07:16:24 PT
A Bush I can like.
Nixon,It is a shame and a disgrace to our nation that we have allowed this greasy alky who was also a habitual liar, to have created laws out of whole cloth that are not only Draconian but unconstitutional. It is very telling that the idiot savants that occupy our highest offices are very warm to these cruel and unjust laws.PS- White house aides say he was smashed on scotch by noon everyday. 
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