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It’s high time that marijuana laws be liberalized

Columbian Connection

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Below is an artical that appeared in the Minnesota Daily. This is an artical that needs to copied and passed around to just not the people that are for pot reform, but people that wont come to a site like this and read it need to see it. Print it out and pass it around. We must reprogram the people that have been brainwashed by our U.S government.


July 27, 2005
http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2005/07/27/64851#rate

LAW

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It’s high time that marijuana laws be liberalized
Unfortuantely, elected officials do not favor legally controlling and taxing marijuana products.

By Allen F. St. Pierre and Paul Armentano



wenty-nine-year-old Scott Bryant had just settled down to watch TV with his 7-year-old son on the night of April 17, 1995, when 13 Wisconsin sheriff’s deputies burst through his front door looking for marijuana. Bryant, who was unarmed, was shot and killed as his young son helplessly looked on. Police seized less than 3 grams of marijuana in the no-knock raid. On review, the county district attorney ruled that the shooting was “not in any way justified.” Bryant was a victim — not of marijuana, but of marijuana prohibition.

During the last decade, more than 6.5 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges, more than the entire populations of Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming combined. As in the case of Bryant, nearly 90 percent of these arrests were for the simple possession of marijuana for personal use, not for cultivation or sale.

Annually, state and local justice costs for marijuana arrests are now estimated to be $7.6 billion, approximately $10,400 per arrest. However, despite this massive expenditure and the threat of arrest, approximately 80 million Americans, including former President Bill Clinton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, self-identify as having used marijuana. Nearly 15 million Americans admit to being current users of cannabis. It is time for the United States’ marijuana laws to reflect this reality, not deny it.

While most of the world has liberalized their marijuana laws, reflecting the values and mores of their citizens, other than state-based efforts to pass laws that protect medical marijuana patients, in the United States, marijuana prohibition is unfortunately favored by elected officials rather than legally controlling and taxing marijuana products.

Most of the government agencies, private corporations and some people who publicly support arresting marijuana consumers and benefit from the United States’ misguided marijuana prohibition are: law enforcement (i.e., Drug Enforcement Administration) and so-called anti-drug governmental agencies (i.e., Office of National Drug Control and Policy), private anti-drug groups (i.e., Drug Free America Foundation), drug testing companies; and alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies that do not want to compete with legal and taxed marijuana.

Critics of liberalizing the United States’ marijuana laws argue that marijuana isn’t a “harmless” substance. They’re correct; marijuana isn’t harmless. In fact, no substance is, including those that are legal. However, as acknowledged by a study that appears in the current issue of the journal Current Opinion in Pharmacology, “Overall, by comparison with other drugs used mainly for ‘recreational’ purposes, cannabis (is) rated to be a relatively safe drug.” Indeed, by far the greatest danger to health posed by the adult use of cannabis stems from a criminal arrest and incarceration.

Further, what possible rationale can be put forward by today’s policy makers that allows for the sale and taxation of alcohol and tobacco products by state and federal governments, while at the same time prohibiting the responsible use of cannabis by adults — even for sick and dying medical patients?

A drug like tobacco is widely acknowledged by the government and general public as an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Consequently, there has been nearly a 50 percent reduction of smoking in the United States since 1970. This important change in the public’s choice of lifestyles was brought about by credible and verifiable public-education campaigns, noncriminal sanctions and pragmatic taxation schemes — not taxpayer-funded DARE-like programs in the public schools, Partnership for a Drug Free America propaganda polluting modern advertising or demonizing the users, sellers and growers of tobacco.

Speaking before Congress on the 40th anniversary of marijuana prohibition, Aug. 2, 1977, former President Jimmy Carter stated, “Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use.” More than 25 years later, the time has come to heed his advice and to stop arresting the millions of otherwise law-abiding adults who use marijuana.

Allen F. St. Pierre is executive director and Paul Armentano is senior policy analyst for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Please send comments to letters@mndaily.com.
 
T

Themanwithnoname

Guest
Everyone tip their bongs to legalizing Marijuana!!!
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Marijiuana still illegal. News broadcast in Vancouver this week.
Bad batch of Heroin. Warning heroin users to "only buy from
dealers you know and trust" and "go to the safe injection site
to shoot up". Is this insane or what??
 

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