Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness
Posted by FoM on September 24, 2000 at 10:10:45 PT
Source: Boston Phoenix
Vice-President Al Gore was something of a pothead during his college and Vietnam days. Former US senator Bill Bradley smoked the devil's weed when he was a professional basketball player. New Mexico governor Gary Johnson has not only smoked pot, but also called for its legalization. And Vermont governor Howard Dean toked up as a teenager. If all these upstanding citizens manage to combine pot smoking with responsible lives, then why are we still putting people in jail for smoking marijuana?
Let's face it: a lot of people smoke pot. They do so regularly. And despite what you'll hear in a grade-school DARE lecture, pot doesn't have the addictive and destructive qualities of cocaine and heroin. Nor does it act as a "gateway" to these other, more devastating drugs. But then, you probably already knew that. Marijuana, after all, is the third-most-popular recreational drug in this country, following tobacco and alcohol. Chances are you've toked up once or twice yourself. Although advocates for the decriminalization or legalization of marijuana do themselves no favors by deliberately provoking cops, as many did this past weekend by smoking publicly at the 2000 Freedom Rally on Boston Common, the bottom line is that they're right. Our laws regulating the use of marijuana need to change. If ever there was a case that showed how haphazardly these laws are enforced, it occurred this past January when 15.2 grams of marijuana were found in Whitney Houston's purse by an airport official in Kona, Hawaii.You can be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail and fined $1000 if found guilty of possessing 15.2 grams of pot in Hawaii. The same crime in Massachusetts could net you anything from probation to six months in prison and a $500 fine. So what did Houston get? Little more than a hassle. She boarded her plane in Kona and flew to San Francisco. After publicly toying with the idea of prosecuting her, officials in Hawaii announced in April that they wouldn't file any charges against the pop diva.When Keith Stroup, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, testified before Congress in July 1999, he pointed out that two of our last five presidents agreed that our punishments for possessing marijuana are actually more damaging than anything about the drug itself. In 1972, President Richard Nixon convened a commission to study the issue. It concluded that federal and state laws should be amended to end criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of the weed. And in August of 1977, as Stroup noted, President Jimmy Carter delivered a message to Congress in which he repeated the commission's findings: "Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use."Since the 1970s, citizens in Alaska, Arizona, California, Oregon, Maine, and Washington have voted to legalize medicinal use of marijuana. And two weeks ago, a US District Court judge ruled that federal officials do not have the authority to punish physicians who prescribe marijuana for their patients pursuant to state laws. Still, law-enforcement officials in this country continue to arrest and imprison people for smoking pot -- regardless of its medicinal use. In 1997, the last year for which statistics are available, 695,200 people were arrested for violating marijuana laws. That same year in Massachusetts, 11,202 people were arrested for marijuana offenses. This November, voters in Alaska will consider a measure to legalize marijuana entirely. Voters in Colorado, Florida, and Nevada will consider ballot questions that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes. (Nevada voters actually approved this measure in 1998, but proposals to amend that state's constitution must pass in two consecutive elections before becoming law.) Here in Massachusetts, voters in four districts will consider public-policy questions instructing state representatives and state senators to support a measure changing the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil violation.Come November, the Phoenix urges voters in Boxford, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester, Wenham, Framingham, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Harwich, Orleans, Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Medford, Winchester, Woburn, and Somerville to support these local policy questions. Beyond that, we need to urge our lawmakers to apply common sense to the regulation of marijuana. "When the laws don't fit the times," says William Downing, president of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, "then they lose their moral impact altogether."Note: Our laws against smoking marijuana don't make any sense.What do you think? Send an e-mail to: letters phx.comSource: Boston Phoenix Published: September 21 - 28, 2000 Source: Boston Phoenix (MA) Copyright © 2000 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group.Contact: letters Address: 126 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215 Fax: (617) 536-1463 Website: NORML Articles - Legalization: Medical Marijuana Archives:
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Comment #11 posted by observer on September 25, 2000 at 09:58:28 PT
Great to have you here Carlos!! Enjoying, learning from your commentary and everyone's commentary here! 
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on September 24, 2000 at 22:24:28 PT
Just seeing if this link works
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Comment #9 posted by Carlos on September 24, 2000 at 20:08:22 PT
si, observer
undt Edelweisspiraten.
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Comment #8 posted by observer on September 24, 2000 at 16:50:22 PT
es usted El
> Lehder ... > Carlos¿Verdad?
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 24, 2000 at 15:12:57 PT
Hi Lehder! No nude photos. I don't want to be responsible for anyone having a heart attack! Just kidding!Thank you for the information. I just wish we could get some free thinkers where they could do some good. I wonder who will take McCaffrey's place? I sure hope he doesn't stay somehow!I checked the link and I can't figure out what is wrong with it so I'll e mail Matt and maybe he can take a look at it. I went and searched and came up with the same url too.Peace, FoM!
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Comment #6 posted by Lehder on September 24, 2000 at 14:44:02 PT
My Good Looks
Thank you, FoM. Please send nude photo.To answer your question, NO. An ideology is a closed system of thought with no basis in reality. As a system of certainties, it cannot bear exposure to facts, nor can it admit outside ideas. I'm not so sure Browne would accept such a position.I had some trouble using the link I made below. It really isan impressive list of good books. Maybe you can help.Thanks,Carlos
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 24, 2000 at 14:30:44 PT:
Lehder you look good in red! I have a serious question. Since we know that for Harry Browne to become President it won't be an easy task, could he ever be picked by what ever administration for a job? What I'm trying to say is some positions are picked. Do they consider third party people when trying to fill different positions?Peace, FoM!
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Comment #4 posted by Lehder on September 24, 2000 at 14:15:39 PT
Harry Browne
Here is a list of some of the books written by Harry Browne: wrote most of them in the 70's and 80's, long before he ever thought of running for office. I have an interest in economics, and that's when I read them. I can tell you that they are good, interesting and well written books. I can't recall which book I read this in long ago, but I always remember this quote from one of them: "Don't confuse your country with your government. They're not the same."Some of these books made the New York Times best seller list. A lot of people were willing to pay money for them.Browne has for many years made his living by managing a mutual fund, The Pyramid Fund, I think. People look up its value in the newspaper every day. They trust Harry Browne with managing large amounts of their money.This guy has been thinking, writing, educating and managing honest people's money for decades. He should be heard.Yet according to Gore and Bush he is not worth the time of listening to him. Do you trust Gore and Bush with your money? With your country? With your future?Joseph Stalin himself could not be running a more corrupt election than Gore and Bush.This guy needs to be heard. If anyone deserves a chance, he is Harry Browne.Vote Libertarian.
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Comment #3 posted by Neil on September 24, 2000 at 11:53:50 PT
Corporations corrupt the United States
If all these upstanding citizens manage to combine pot smoking with responsible lives, then why are we still putting people in jail for smoking marijuana? The answer in two words: CORPORATE INTERESTLegalization of marijuana would be a disaster for the alcohol and tobacco industries. If marijuana were made legal, people would switch overnight to the superior drug with its more pleasant effects and more benign aftereffects. Marijuana is both easy and rewarding to grow and so the government would reap far less excise tax income than it now does by overseeing the toxification of the citizenry with alcohol and tobacco. Many people would grow their own and significantly less tax revenue would be derived from its sale. In the case of the drug war, the enemy is clearly the American government operating in flagrant violation of the ninth amendment to the U.S. constitution as it preserves protects and defends the interests of American corporations like Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds and the Adolph Coors Brewing Company.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 24, 2000 at 10:41:02 PT
You're right Rainbow!
Hi Rainbow, Yes it appears they are going to prosecute her. I didn't post the article on CannabisNews but put it on my EZBoard. I wasn't sure if I should or not because of so much news. It's a hard call sometimes.Peace, FoM!PS: I put a link back to this thread.
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Comment #1 posted by Rainbow on September 24, 2000 at 10:31:01 PT
The Diva may not go back to Hawaii ever.
After publicly toying with the idea of prosecuting her, officials in Hawaii announced in April that they wouldn't file any charges against the pop diva.Actually in an article on I read that the Hawaiian "officials" have now decided to charge Whitney.If she does not go back to Hawaii on a certain Date (OCT I think) she will have an outstanding warrant to arrest her.Somebody got to the DA and he changed the mind of the collective. CheersRainbow
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