cannabisnews.com: State's Lawmakers To Be Lobbied on Marijuana Laws 





State's Lawmakers To Be Lobbied on Marijuana Laws 
Posted by FoM on August 13, 2000 at 11:27:41 PT
By Associated Press
Source: Boston Globe
One of New Hampshire's best-known law firms is taking on a new challenge the effort to decriminalize the use of marijuana. The law office of Mark Sisti and Paul Twomey is the new home of the New Hampshire Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. 
Twomey said he doesn't smoke pot, but that it's time to stop clogging up the criminal justice system with people who do. ''I see the tremendous injury done to families and society by the war on drugs,'' he said. ''This is a cultural war of the '60s. Let's declare the war over and get on with it.'' Twomey and Sisti have developed prominence for their criminal defense work of clients including Pamela Smart, but also handle many low-profile drug cases. ''I don't use pot and wouldn't use it if it were legal. I just see people's lives ruined day after day. They are forced to spend a lot of money for attorneys. When you put it next to alcohol and tobacco, it is a harmless, benign substance,'' Twomey said. ''I personally think adults should decide what they put into their own bodies.'' The group plans to lobby state lawmakers for three reforms legalizing medical use of marijuana, legalizing the growing of industrial hemp and decriminalizing marijuana use. ''I'd like to see people use marijuana recreationally and at most receive a fine, no jail time,'' said Phil Greazzo, president of the New Hampshire group. ''The top issue at the moment is that every other country in the world recognizes medical marijuana as medicine for certain people, except the U.S.A.,'' he said. Though several states have taken up the issue of medical marijuana, California's passage of a measure that makes it legal with a doctor's recommendation has been among the most contentious. The federal government is fighting the measure. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Vicinanzo said he respect's Twomey, but disagrees with him about decriminalizing marijuana use. ''In American there is perhaps no single greater cause of misery and disease than alcohol, so we already have one evil, why do we want to legitimize another mind-altering substance?'' And Col. Gary Sloper, commander of the state police, is unconvinced that going easy on marijuana users is a good idea. ''We wouldn't support changing any laws regarding marijuana or any controlled drug. All you have to do is look at the history of substance abuse,'' he said. Rep. Derek Owen, D-Hopkinton, has been fighting this battle for a while. He was the sponsor of legislation to legalize industrial hemp which was defeated last year. Though he says growing hemp and decriminalizing marijuana are vastly different issues, he supports the latter. ''I'm for decriminalization. I think the war on drugs should be gone,'' he said. ''It's like Prohibition. It didn't work.'' Rep. Timothy Robertson, D-Keene, is pushing for legalizing medical marijuana and for decriminalizing its recreational use. He said the effort that goes into the war on drugs would be better spent helping people overcoming their addictions. The 68-year-old lawmaker said he tried marijuana in the 1970s, but didn't use it much, mostly because it was illegal. He believes that eventually people will demand a more common sense approach to drugs. ''Why did we do away with Prohibition? Because it was bringing the country to a screaming crime wave,'' he said. ''The rich never stopped drinking. The bootlegger where we lived had a route like a milkman.'' Chichester, N.H. (AP)Published: August 13, 2000 Copyright 2000 Boston Globe Electronic Publishing, Inc. Related Article & Web Site:NORMLhttp://www.norml.org/Marijuana Laws Facing New Challenge http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread6701.shtml
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Comment #2 posted by DdC on August 13, 2000 at 18:08:37 PT
How can one advocate prohibition and stay neutral?
Anyone in conflict of interest with any laws enforcement must remove themselves from the position. A Senator, Congressperson or cop in conflict of interest has to withdraw from any decision making on the subject to ensure Justice. A cop getting funding for the wod (war on drugs)or a politician with interest in any of the cannabis competitions, can not make laws prohibiting said competition and remain unbias. Crude Oil, Cotton, trees, paper, protein, and medicine are all competitors of cannabis/hemp. When Cheney or Bush or Gore has Oil interest how can they be objective towards legalization of what could possibly cost them money? Same with the DEA or cops getting ridiculous amounts of funding to eradicate non-psychoactive ditchweed. They obviously use the money in other programs when they can, I don't think all are lining their pockets but I would be naive to think some aren't. Prohibition has not changed since the alcohol prohibition. Crooked politicians and cops and gangsters making a fortune while we cage, kill and victimize Americans for their own good. Enough!Peace or WoDLiberty or DEAthNo Justice No PeaceDdC
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on August 13, 2000 at 12:30:20 PT
Just Listen
The walls of marijuana prohibition are breaking all around us.Also, these quotes are typical:Them: ''In American there is perhaps no single greater cause of misery and disease than alcohol, so we already have one evil, why do we want to legitimize another mind-altering substance?''Me: Alcohol prohibition was evil, and in effect they're causing another evil by allowing prohibition again.Them: And Col. Gary Sloper, commander of the state police, is unconvinced that going easy on marijuana users is a good idea. Them: ''We wouldn't support changing any laws regarding marijuana or any controlled drug. All you have to do is look at the history of substance abuse,'' he said.Me: Yeah I've looked at the abuses: breaking into peoples homes, asset forfeiture, destroyed careers, yes there are a lot of abuses Col. Sloper.
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