Legalize Marijuana for Racial-Justice Reasons
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Legalize Marijuana for Racial-Justice Reasons');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Legalize Marijuana for Racial-Justice Reasons
Posted by CN Staff on October 02, 2012 at 06:39:28 PT
By SpearIt, Special To The Times
Source: Seattle Times
Washington -- Passing Initiative 502, which legalizes small amounts of marijuana for use by adults 21 years and older, should be a priority for supporters of racial justice in Washington. On the merits alone, this legislation would advance Washington state’s criminal-justice policy, which features some of the worst racial disparities in the country, but there are other important reasons this initiative deserves strong support.
The war on drugs has been a colossal and costly failure, paid for largely with the blood of minority youth. In fact, the history of American drug law is one long story of discrimination against ethnic minorities, including the demonizing of Mexicans in the Southwest for marijuana use. The passage of Initiative 502 on the Nov. 6 ballot would represent a great victory for Latinos in particular, serving as a symbolic redemption for decades of discrimination.Supporting Initiative 502 will reduce the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of African Americans and Latinos. Despite the fact that the vast majority of Washington’s illegal drug users are white, ethnic minorities bear the brunt of criminal justice, as reported by the Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System at the Korematsu Center at Seattle University School of Law.These groups are disproportionately convicted of drug offenses statewide, and Seattle ranks among the worst for mid-sized cities, with African Americans being 13 times more likely than whites to be arrested for drug offenses. Prisons and the consequences of a felony conviction are the most serious threats to the health of African-American and Latino communities. Supporting the initiative would also reduce drug gangs, cartels and international interests in Washington’s underground drug economy. Gangs in general are a pressing problem in these communities, and this measure should be embraced as a powerful intervention strategy. The failure of Initiative 502 would be a big boost for local drug gangs, as well as cartels in Canada and Mexico, which are literally killing each other to supply marijuana to Washington residents.Supporting the initiative will save lives, and in particular, Latino lives. American drug policies offer lucrative markets for suppliers outside the country, many of which originate in Latin American countries. Drug-related violence in Mexico alone has resulted in an estimated 40,000 lives lost in the last decade. The killings are directly related to factions competing for the American market. U.S. states that allow medical marijuana use are the most important to the Mexican drug trade. Initiative 502 would set up a localized, self-sufficient infrastructure that would eliminate reliance on elements outside the state, which in turn would reduce bloodshed of Latinos — especially if other states followed suit.Marijuana offenders face the threat of imprisonment, steep legal and financial obligations, and a conviction record that haunts job and housing applications. Moreover, prisons threaten communities through the release of inmates who suffer from high rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness and other health complications. Voters should recognize that the most dangerous aspects of marijuana use are getting arrested and imprisoned.Supporting this measure will result in a net gain in African-American and Latino communities since, unfortunately, these groups suffer the most at the hands of the justice system. The initiative will stem the damage wrought by the failed war on drugs, acknowledge the adult demand for marijuana, and send the message that there are other means to deal with drugs than the harsh whip of criminal justice. It is past time to end the war. SpearIt is an assistant professor at St. Louis University School of Law.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: SpearIt, Special To The TimesPublished: October 1, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #11 posted by Canis420 on October 06, 2012 at 08:14:33 PT:
I will never settle until this is over. I am just thankful for the changing perceptions and will accept baby steps as long as they keep on steppin
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by runruff on October 05, 2012 at 08:59:50 PT
Of course I see your point, a slap on the wrist is better than a kick on the butt.I'm just saying do not trust any fixes the cops come up with. They work for us, remember?I say enjoy the reprise in the law but do not settle for it.Cheers!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Canis420 on October 05, 2012 at 08:33:25 PT:
Runruff. I understand your point but this is Florida not California. It shows perceptions are changing...albeit very slowly. Any relaxation of the law is a good thing. As it stands now you can be arrested for even miniscule amounts of Cannabis in this state. If they find it in your car they will sieze it and sell it at auction. So what you have now is a criminal record and no vehicle. I will take the baby steps over no steps.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by afterburner on October 04, 2012 at 22:34:59 PT
Bingo, runruff!
News & Politics. 
AlterNet / By Tana Ganeva.
Sheriff Candidates Fight Over Who Wants to Legalize Marijuana MORE: 7 Reasons They Are Right. 
A candidate for sheriff takes pot shots at his opponent for not supporting legalization with enough enthusiasm. 
October 4, 2012 / By Paul Armentano.
A Marijuana Revolution in the Making on Election Day. 
Strong polling numbers on ballot initiatives across the country indicate we have a full-fledged reefer rebellion against drug laws on the way.
 October 2, 2012
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by runruff on October 04, 2012 at 08:59:55 PT
The problem with decrim.
I am beginning to see this as a loophole. They can seem to be "coming around" easing up on the penalties but, and like all law enforcement, this is a really big but, it is one of the greatest revenue gathering schemes they have come up to date. What a great never ending stream of incremental income! The thing is with cops, they are only out for themselves. Don't believe them.Next, check this out, The decrim policy keeps hemp illegal. This is the real purpose of prohibition in the first place!A new way to rake in the dough at the same time appease the corporate sharks who fear the hemp. Hemp is the kryptonite, the green power, that slays corporate super monsters.  
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Canis420 on October 04, 2012 at 07:57:29 PT:
Statement from Florida Sherrif candidate
This is a start but he needs to make it a civil offence.I support Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (I, formerly R), along with the 17 states, including the District of Columbia, that have taken action to decriminalize marijuana, and I stand with the hundreds of law enforcement officials nationwide who have called for the same. I do not favor arresting and jailing youthful possessors of small amounts of marijuana.Arresting people for possession of small amounts of marijuana is just not an effective use of scarce resources. It often takes two officers several hours to arrest, process, and place these offenders in the County jail. I would prefer that our officers issue fines to those offenders rather than take the time to process and imprison these people, who are most often our youth.Once elected, I will urge the County Commission to pass an ordinance making possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana an offense for which the Sheriff’s Office can issue a fine. The fines would benefit the County, keep these people out of the jail, and save the taxpayers money.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by afterburner on October 03, 2012 at 04:13:31 PT
Time to Ask the Real Questions
Presidential Debates Should Address Marijuana Prohibition
 by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director
October 2, 2012
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by The GCW on October 02, 2012 at 18:31:18 PT
Exactly. The present day prohibitionists would work hard to cage The Christ Jesus. The most ignorant human alive is one who would put a responsible adult in a cage for using what God created and said is good on the 1st page of the Bible. And what does all of this say about any Christian who would support the will of Satan?And there are a lot of Christians under the control of Satan. They're everywhere.Imagine that; Christians who would cage Jesus.Again; CHRISTIANS WHO WOULD CAGE JESUS.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on October 02, 2012 at 15:46:03 PT
What would Jesus do? Well, Jesus used Marijuana!Read link below...
Jesus used Marijuana!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by The GCW on October 02, 2012 at 15:32:09 PT
What kind of people exterminate God's creation?
The list of reasons to stop prohibiting and exterminating the God-given plant cannabis is growing faster than the plant itself.People ask, what would Jesus do? I don't think Jesus would be a part of exterminating cannabis off earth.People usually don't ask what a Hitler or Satan would do but let's ask.?.?.I think Satan and / or Hitler types would be part of exterminating cannabis.Good people do not support cannabis prohibition. It's that simple.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by ekim on October 02, 2012 at 06:40:52 PT
good info on Uruguays policy today on NPR
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment