Johnson: Pot More Benign Than Alcohol 

Johnson: Pot More Benign Than Alcohol 
Posted by FoM on November 17, 1999 at 06:43:44 PT
By Michael Coleman, Journal Politics Writer
Source: ABQjournal
Gov. Gary Johnson on Tuesday defended marijuana use in comparison with alcohol consumption, arguing that pot smokers pose less danger to society than heavy drinkers. 
During a speech at a drug legalization forum in Albuquerque, Johnson described a hypothetical party at which one man was "raging drunk" and another had "smoked way too much marijuana." Johnson said most people would avoid the drunk, and certainly wouldn't get into a car he was driving. As for the pot smoker? "The only damage he's going to do is to a bag of potato chips, yet this is the guy we're putting in jail," Johnson said. The governor's anecdote drew loud laughter and applause from a supportive, standing-room-only crowd at a forum titled "Legalization: A Bold Alternative to the Drug War." Johnson, who twice received standing ovations, reiterated many of his previous remarks in support of legalization, including his notion that the effect of marijuana is "kind of cool." Johnson, who has repeatedly called drug use a bad choice, characterized heroin and cocaine as "dangerous," and described marijuana as a "handicap." "Marijuana is a handicap," said Johnson, who smoked pot in college but stopped in his early 20s. "If nothing else, don't use marijuana because if you get caught, the rest of your life could be negatively affected." But Johnson said if drugs were legalized, regulated and taxed, society would be a better place. "Legalization would unquestionably lead to less drug abuse," Johnson said. "There is no question we would have a higher quality of life if drugs were legal. We could control products that are currently not controlled." Johnson was joined at the forum by California Superior Court Judge James P. Gray and Deborah Small, director of public policy for the Lindesmith Center in New York. Gray and Small agreed with Johnson's position that the United States should reform its drug policies, but they stopped short of supporting his call for wide-scale drug legalization. Total opposition to Johnson's stance was not represented at the forum. "I have some reservations about legalization," Small told the audience. "I worry that if we only address the issue of legalization and don't address the underlying issues that lead to substance abuse, then we really wouldn't be doing America a favor." Small said better treatment would help solve the drug problem. "The fact that treatment is not available for everyone who wants it and needs it is the true crime," Small said. Gray said anyone who believes the war on drugs is working is wrong. "We can't even keep these dangerous drugs out of our prisons, much less out of Downtown Albuquerque," Gray said. He said Johnson was recently referred to in a Los Angeles Times article as a "traitor" to the drug war. "Someone who is a traitor to a failed policy is a patriot for common good and common sense," Gray said. He said U.S. drug policy will eventually change, but the American public must lead the way because politicians don't have the courage. "It's our government and our responsibility, so let's get's busy," Gray said. Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Copyright  1997, 1998, 1999 Albuquerque JournalRelated Articles:The Lindesmith Center Gary Johnson - 11/15/99 The War On Drugs - 11/09/99 Explains Drug Stand to Students - 11/04/99 Panelist Praise Governor's Drug Stance - 11/03/99
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Comment #5 posted by julie on November 19, 1999 at 12:36:06 PT
drug wars
I found this website doing a research report on the legalization of marijuana. I work in the resturaunt business and everyday I see people become absolute lunatics from excessive alcohol consumption. In contrast, my friends and I have all smoked pot for years without ever encountering even one sobriety problem with it. The law is ridiculous in its priorities in prohibitation and punishment for marijuana.There are concrete issues that need attention in society, and the government needs to get off this kick that they need to eliminate weed. They will never win this war.
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Comment #4 posted by anna on November 18, 1999 at 04:11:37 PT:
The addiction of any sort is a disease, not a crime for which the victims must pay with the prison term.Marijuana can be very useful in treatement of the alcoholism. Legalize marijuana, and soon we will see less alcoholism among the population. 
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Comment #3 posted by Alexandre Oeming on November 17, 1999 at 10:13:52 PT:
Re: Finally someone admits it
>I wish more people would do this. I am sure Grams is pleased that his son was doing marijuana instead of alcohol, at least I would be happier :-).Actually, in one of the editorials posted here today, it says plenty of beer was found in the car with the brat, as well. I don't know if that is true or not, but it seems the boy was drinkin'n'drivin' along with his "stash". The cop that gave him a ride should be fired and made to guard parking lots with nothing more than a toothpick for the remainder of his double-standardizing life. Just IMHO, of course.
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Comment #2 posted by observer on November 17, 1999 at 09:46:52 PT
pot smokers pose less danger
> Gov. Gary Johnson on Tuesday defended marijuana use in comparison with alcohol consumption, arguing that pot smokers pose less danger to society than heavy drinkers. see:What the WHO doesn't want you to know about cannabis[From New Scientist, 21 February 1998]``Health officials in Geneva have suppressed the publication of a politically sensitive analysis that confirms what ageing hippies have known for decades: cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco. According to a document leaked to New Scientist, the analysis concludes not only that the amount of dope smoked worldwide does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes, but that the same is likely to hold true even if people consumed dope on the same scale as these legal substances. The comparison was due to appear in a report on the harmful effects of cannabis published last December by the WHO. But it was ditched at the last minute following a long and intense dispute WHO officials, the cannabis experts who drafted the report and a group of external advisers. . .''``... insiders say the comparison was scientifically sound and that the WHO caved in to political pressure. It is understood that advisers from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drug Control Programme warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalise marijuana. . .''
get active to regain our rights! see: The DrugSense Activism Page
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Comment #1 posted by rainbow on November 17, 1999 at 07:13:12 PT
Finally someone admits it
Governor thanks for finally saying the truth. The heart of the problem are the false statements made and he is once again showing his hudspah (sp) by stating the obvious and breaking the back of the prohibitionists.I wish more people would do this. I am sure Grams is pleased that his son was doing marijuana instead of alcohol, at least I would be happier :-).How long can the governor go beofre the establishment shuts him down? This is kinda fun but frustrating at the same time.Maybe he could draw the connection between the policeman who killed himself, bushlet and morgan grams.CheersRainbow
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