Marijuana Law Reform is a Civil Rights Issue
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Marijuana Law Reform is a Civil Rights Issue
Posted by CN Staff on September 16, 2010 at 09:42:04 PT
By Alice Huffman
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
USA -- "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." So said the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, when he spoke out against the Vietnam War. At the time, he was roundly criticized for speaking out on an issue considered outside the purview of civil rights leaders. King understood better than most at the time, the true cost of war - in lives lost, in futures squandered, in dreams deferred and in misspent resources. Eventually, a majority of Americans came to agree with him about the war in Vietnam. His moral courage lay in speaking out in the face of no agreement, caring more about his integrity than his popularity.
It is the mission of the California NAACP to eradicate injustice and continue the fight for civil rights and social justice wherever and whenever we can. We are therefore compelled to speak out against another war, the so called "war on drugs."This is not a war on the drug lords and violent cartels. This is a war that disproportionately impacts young men and women and is the latest tool for imposing Jim Crow justice on poor African Americans.We reject the oft-repeated but deceptive argument that there are only two choices for dealing with drugs - heavy-handed law enforcement or total permissiveness. Substance abuse and addiction are American problems that impact every socioeconomic group, and meaningful public health and safety strategies are needed to address it. However, law enforcement strategies that target poor blacks and Latinos and cause them to bear the burden and shame of arrest, prosecution and conviction for marijuana offenses must stop. Snipped   Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Alice HuffmanPublished: Thursday, September 16, 2010Copyright: 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: CannabisNews   -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on September 18, 2010 at 11:09:30 PT
Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!
"We believe whatever potential harms may be associated with using marijuana are more than outweighed by the immediate harms that derive from being caught up in the criminal justice system."And "The California NAACP does not believe maintaining the illusion that we're winning the "war on drugs" is worth sacrificing another generation of our young men and women."And "Enough is enough. We want change we can believe in, and that's why we're supporting Prop. 19. Instead of wasting money on marijuana law enforcement, Prop. 19 will generate tax revenues we can use to improve the education and employment outcomes of our youth. Our youth want and deserve a future. Let's invest in people, not prisons."Sometimes the truth is kind of ugly. Sometimes it's beautiful.Huzza! Huzza! Huzza!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 18, 2010 at 05:59:47 PT
John Tyler 
I agree with you. This has always been a moral issue to me. 
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on September 17, 2010 at 20:57:11 PT
thanks for joining in
We have been saying for years that the Drug War is a tool to oppress minorities and the poor. Other people are finally listening, understanding and speaking out. I say thanks for joining in, but it sure took you long enough.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on September 17, 2010 at 04:19:34 PT
This post got a lot of play at Huffpo.
I sometimes write as the Comebackid over at Huffpo:Nixon had a private little joke he liked to laugh about when he was finishing off his daily quart of scotch. His police, the praetorian guard he named the DEA, were surely the monster child of his demon seed.He loved to daydream and speculate on how he would take down the war protesters and political dissenters with his SS style police force. They are 40 years and still going strong. This is Amerika?The Controlled Substance Act is null and void. It has been since 1996 when California accepted cannabis as having safe medicinal use. [read the CSA] The feds go on acting like nothing is new, meanwhile 14 more states join in.The Feds never had the authority to ban cannabis use in the first place, now their own trumped up authority has expired under their own rules....follow?Every federal arrest made for illegal cannabis possession has been an illegal arrest by a corporate owned government.Let freedom scream! 
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on September 16, 2010 at 14:04:13 PT
What a great woman! This is what real leadership looks like. I love the way she refused to back down when some other groups turned up the heat and called for her to resign. She used the opportunity to re-state her position even more emphatically!Even if 2010 is not the year for Prop. 19 to pass, MUCH has been accomplished, with the endorsement from Alice and the NAACP and the SEIU being at the top of the list IMO
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