The Futility of Pot Prohibition
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The Futility of Pot Prohibition
Posted by CN Staff on November 05, 2009 at 08:44:24 PT
Source: Ventura County Reporter
USA -- Seventy-two years ago, the federal government took marijuana off the market through the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, based on various reports and hearings about the effects of the substance, which included testimonies that cannabis caused “murder, insanity and death.” Although the act did not criminalize the usage or possession of the herb, it levied a tax of about one dollar for anyone who dealt it and included penalty provisions and complex rules of enforcement that, if they weren’t followed, would lead to heavy fines and even prison time. The act made it extremely difficult to sell pot and increased the risk in doing so.
While today it has become generally accepted that those hearings included incorrect, excessive and unfounded arguments, it wouldn’t have mattered, because in 1951, the Boggs Act was passed and the penalties for dealing marijuana quadrupled. And the reason for it, former commissioner H. J. Anslinger of the Bureau of Narcotics testified that, while admitting marijuana wasn’t addictive or that it led to murder or death, it was the stepping stone to heroin. This was the first time marijuana had been lumped together with other narcotics and the passage of the Boggs Act was the defining moment that began the official national pot prohibition.Eighteen years later in 1969, former president Richard Nixon officially declared war on drugs. Since then, billions of dollars have been spent enforcing the marijuana prohibition, thousands of people have been incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses and violence related to obtaining, not due to consuming, the Schedule I narcotic continues to make headlines. Despite all the laws and penalties as well as the national movements to get a handle on the growing issue, including the War on Drugs and the Just Say No campaign, we are no closer to ridding society of marijuana than we were before the prohibition. In fact, our feature story on page 12, “How does your pot grow?” goes into detail about the multimillion industry that exists legally right under our noses in California, thanks to the Compassionate Use Act, passed in 1996, which decriminalized growing and selling pot for medicinal purposes. We talk with local growers who make hand over fist in profits while avoiding taxation, revealing one industry that can and will weather any recession.Now that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to put an end to the federal government raiding properties and arresting medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, it is time for society to make another decision. In election season 2010, California voters may be presented with several pot legalization measures. The measures, if passed, would eliminate the harsh penalties now placed on marijuana dealers and users. It is estimated hundreds of millions of dollars would be saved every year as law enforcement and prisons scale back prosecution and incarceration of such offenders. California could begin taxing marijuana sales and start to close the budget deficit as well as fund treatment and education services to stem the tide of substance demand and abuse.The fact is that marijuana isn’t going anywhere. Its usage has remained steady for decades and has been shown to improve the quality of life for cancer and AIDS patients and others with chronic pain issues. Legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco create greater ills to society, causing hundreds of thousands of people to die from disease and incidents related to their uses. The reasons for keeping pot illegal are antiquated and unfounded. Perhaps in 2010, we can start to undo the damage done to our society by legalizing marijuana, saving taxpayers billions of dollars, generating revenue for local, state and federal coffers through taxation and relieving our prison system by letting nonviolent marijuana users and dealers out. By legalizing pot, we may also reduce gang violence related to the illegal manufacturing and importing of pot. Source: Ventura County Reporter (CA)Published: November 5, 2009Copyright: 2009 Southland Publishing, Inc.Contact: editor vcreporter.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by Meister on November 06, 2009 at 07:50:12 PT:
Another year for this vote, another study by that university, a few more polls.... How dumb are these politicians? Lets all just come out together and go smoke on the front steps of every governors and mayors office in the country en masse. Maybe then the level of oppression will be realized. Come on old guys in all went to college right?
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 05, 2009 at 16:59:21 PT
Related Article From The Ventura County Reporter
November 5, 2009How Does Your Pot Grow?URL:
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on November 05, 2009 at 16:19:14 PT:
The rubber band is about to snap
We've all played with rubber bands, stretching and stretching them until they broke. Wellllll, that's what's happening in miniature in CA, and will happen in the rest of the country, too, because that rubber band stretched to the breaking point is the economy. And it's about to snap any day.It's taken ten long years, but it's happening. A combination of factors is finally driving the issue of cannabis prohibition (and by derivation, drug prohibition en toto, for cannabis prohibition is the lynch-pin holding the Juggernaut of drug prohibition together) into the public spotlight after the prohibs tried to move Heaven and Earth to keep it in the shadows and away from the public consciousness. Cannabis re-legalization is now being talked about seriously; note how deferentially proponents of re-legalization are now being treated by the media. It's no longer the usual titter-and-smirk deprecation of 'stoners'; no more snide evocations of 'Cheech and Chong'. Now the media is engaging drug law reformers with a respect they denied us only one short year ago. And the media is also finding that, surprise! surprise! the public was way ahead of them on this issue. All the prohibs can do is look increasingly ridiculous with the stale repetitions of lies...and now they're being called out on those lies, publicly.And with the economy in the toilet, and with more and more people in desperate need of the money being pee'd away into that toilet when it could be used for much better purposes, all it will take is for some reformers to keep making the point about the waste of that money, and what that money could do for those in terrible need of it to live...and it could spark a very public backlash against cannabis prohibition (and drug prohibition).The rubber band is stretched to the breaking point. But more importantly for us, in stretching that rubber band, a switch was bumped that's attached to a detonator leading to some high explosives marked 'drug law reform' that sit under a giant rotten pumpkin called 'drug prohibition'. It has a delay, but soon the time on that delay will run out, and then BOOM! Pumpkin guts everywhere. I said this a few months back, and events since then have proven me correct: THE TIME IS NOW. Our time. Like a tumbler lock in a safe, the last number to the combination is about to be dialed in, the last tumbler fall, and the door open. This can only go one way now, and it's in our favor. We must keep struggling, keep pressing the advantage, keep on keepin' on. No let up. No resting on laurels, no coasting like my generation did, only to be blind-sided by control-freak parent groups and opportunistic pols who turned them into astroturf.THE TIME IS NOW. The goal is in sight; time to pick up the speed after reserving our strength for so long. end this abomination, once and for all. 
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on November 05, 2009 at 11:12:14 PT
Cali DPA
great piece!
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on November 05, 2009 at 10:33:47 PT
something big is coming in CA! The news today is full of California's economic woes. They are basically like a mini-USA with one big difference - they can't print their own money out like the Feds can.  Therefore the big government spending is literally driving the state to bankruptcy.I think we may have a major breakthrough with the Oakdsterdam referendum next year! If it wins it will also mean a new era where drug policy reform is driven by the cannabis industry rather than 1 or 2 reform groups.
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on November 05, 2009 at 09:01:22 PT
Pot Prohibition Is Not A Futility: It Is Mass Murd
er and Genocide of a racist and discriminatory nature.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on November 05, 2009 at 08:57:01 PT
"we can start to undo the damage done to our socie
ty"Yeah, just like we can 'turn back time.' An illusion at best. This article is not bad but the author does not know or does not believe that cannabis cures cancer!Why is it so hard to get this message?Then once you are aware of this FACT, you will realize that "undo the damage" is a painful ignorant statement.Yes, we could be saving millions from death with cannabis, but our current system does not care about this. On the contrary, it needs thousands upon thousands of fresh innocent bodies every day to keep running!
Cannabis Cures Many Forms Of Cancer! On A Mission From God!
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