Log in

Drug Policy Reform's Journal [entries|friends|calendar]
Drug Policy Reform

[ website | Durg Policy Alliance ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ calendar | livejournal calendar ]

As Russia sees the USA [24 Oct 2012|09:32pm]


I want to talk about the United States from the point of view of Russia.
I want to tell you about Russia as it really is.
I'm not going to lie about Russia. Any Russian will tell as I am.
U.S. looks as aggressive and as a fascist state.
The Americans and the British brought to power in the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev.
Today Russian know that Mikhail Gorbachev a traitor Russia. For what he destroyed the Soviet Union, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union Americans hired Yeltsin.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin continued destruction of Russia.
Russian people demanded a national leader and a miracle happened.
President Putin is a wonderful gift from President Yeltsin.
Putin is not dependent on the U.S. and leads the Russian policy in the interests of the Russian people.
In Russia, the president is not a puppet, but a real head.
Putin's bloody regime is a myth. This myth invented Western forces.
This is cheap propaganda. In the West, people believe in this myth. Our neighbors to the east in this myth do not believe. 
Terrorist attack September 11, 2001 was coined by the U.S. Congress. He was made with remote controlled airliners.
Due to the terrorist attacks of September 11, the U.S. came up with the myth of global terrorism. Under the guise of global terrorism the U.S. expand their influence in the East.
Indeed, Europe, Russia and the East, are aware of these crimes the U.S.. Such methods are supported monopoly dollar.
Central banks in most countries are totally dependent on the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Most of the world can not trade in their money. Foreign trade only through the dollar.
But still want to trade through its currency.
If someone decides to do so, the country is attacked by the U.S. Army.
Any country that is independent of the U.S. and Britain, Americans consider totalitarian.
Today, Russia is a strong country. We got stronger after the devastation of the nineties.
Russian government wants to restore the Soviet Union, but in another form.
Russia will have many allies in Europe and the East.
Russia is included in alliances BRICS, SCO and the Eurasian Union. Eurasian Union is an analogue of the Soviet Union.
These alliances have one goal. The purpose of this is to destroy the U.S. dollar as the monopoly.
This fall BRICS began to make external transactions through their own money. BRICS today refused dollars.
For the U.S., this means the beginning of the end.
World domination is based on the U.S. dollar. Printing dollars instead of real work. Very soon, this will not do.
When the dollar collapses, the U.S. could start a civil war.
Individual U.S. states will divide the property. Special services of Russia, Germany, China and other countries, will warm the U.S. population.
So we try to divide the United States. Our share is Alaska. Easy way to get just as easily and take away.
post comment

top 10 signs of progress [27 Dec 2009|09:13pm]


Top 10 Signs of Progress in 2009

By any measure, 2009 has been the best year for marijuana policy reform in U.S. history. Indeed, public support for making marijuana legal just reached a record high of 44% nationwide. And check out these 10 signs of progress, all 10 of which have been spearheaded by MPP:

1. The governments of Massachusetts and Michigan implemented, without controversy, the ballot initiatives we passed in these two states on November 4 of last year. As a result, marijuana possession is now a $100 ticketable offense in Massachusetts (which therefore has the best marijuana-possession law in the country), and the possession and cultivation of medical marijuana is now legal in Michigan (which is the first midwestern state to legalize medical marijuana).

2. On October 19, the Obama administration announced that the DEA and the Justice Department would de-prioritize any new raids of medical marijuana establishments in California and elsewhere that are abiding by state law. This is the most significant, positive change in federal marijuana policy in 31 years!

3. On November 10, the American Medical Association rescinded its previous support of classifying marijuana alongside LSD, PCP, and heroin under federal law. The AMA calling for a federal review of marijuana's legal status has provided a huge boost to our lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, just as we're pushing for the U.S. House to hold hearings in two months.

4. MPP has made significant progress on medical marijuana bills in Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and New York. (Indeed, we passed our bills through the Minnesota and New Hampshire legislatures this year, only to see both bills vetoed by hostile governors.) If we succeed in seven of those states between now and the summer of 2011 — which is actually looking likely at this point — the number of medical marijuana states will jump from 13 to 20. (In addition, the passage of the Drug Policy Alliance's bill in New Jersey, our 2010 initiative in Arizona, and a 2010 South Dakota initiative could bring the number to 23.) 

5. We've already collected 200,000 of the 250,000 signatures that are needed in Arizona to place on the November 2010 ballot an initiative to legalize medical marijuana, including authorizing 120 dispensaries statewide, which would give Arizona the best medical marijuana law in the country. Fully 65% of Arizona voters support this initiative. It's easy to imagine this initiative will pass by a landslide in one year, given that the voters of Maine passed a similar initiative one month ago with 59% of the vote — with literally no money spent on advertising.

6. In California, a bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol is pending in the state Assembly, the introduction of which generated a huge wave of positive news coverage nationwide, which we followed up with a TV ad that generated an even bigger wave of news coverage. We're working to build support for this landmark piece of legislation, which has a chance to pass out of a committee in January.

7. MPP recently opened an office in Las Vegas, for the purpose of building a statewide coalition to pass a ballot initiative to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. A similar initiative received 44% of the vote in November 2006, and support for making marijuana legal is rising by more than 1% a year, so we fully plan to pass this initiative in November 2012, which would give Nevada the best marijuana law in the world.

8. Other than California and Nevada, there are at least four other states that are now in play for being the first to end marijuana prohibition entirely: (1) Colorado, which has seen an explosion of medical marijuana dispensaries since January and is now polling at 48% in favor of regulating marijuana like alcohol; (2) Rhode Island, which recently overrode its governor's veto in order to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, and which has since launched a study commission to draft a bill to regulate marijuana like alcohol; (3) New Hampshire, where a bill to regulate and tax marijuana has been introduced for the 2010 session; and (4) Washington state, where six representatives have prefiled a bill to tax and regulate marijuana.

9. After 11 years of MPP's congressional lobbying efforts, the U.S. Congress finally removed the federal ban on implementing Washington, D.C.'s medical marijuana law. Medical marijuana could be available in our nation's capital starting this spring.

10. And it looks like, finally, we'll soon have a bill introduced in Congress that would wipe out marijuana prohibition entirely on the federal level, which is our ultimate goal in Washington, D.C. This will take years to pass, so we might as well get started now.

post comment

MD medical marijuana laws on WPFW 89.3 FM radio at 3pm today [18 Mar 2009|11:20am]

89.3FM  -- WPFW "DC Jazz & Justice"
TODAY at 3pm
for Americans for Safe Access to discuss Medical Marijuana in Maryland,
and HB 1339 - a bill to establish a task force to study medical marijuana laws in MD.

Tune in to 89.3FM at 3pm!

post comment

Press Release: Maryland Judicial Committee Hearing on Medical Marijuana [06 Mar 2009|05:39pm]


PRESS RELEASE   |  Americans for Safe Access    |   For Immediate Release: March 6, 2009



Caren Woodson - Montgomery County chapter 510-388-0546

Damien Nichols – Prince George’s County chapter 410-507-9379


Judiciary Committee Schedules Hearing on Medical Marijuana

Patients, advocates prepare to change inadequate Maryland law


Annapolis, MD –  On Tuesday, March 24 the House of Delegate Standing Committee on the Judiciary will conduct a legislative hearing to consider HB1339, a bill to study Maryland’s medical marijuana law.  Earlier this week, the bill was approved by the Rules Committee prior to being assigned a hearing date by Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph Vallario (D-Prince George’s County).


State Delegate Henry Heller (D-Montgomery County) introduced HB 1339 last month, legislation that creates a task force to study the issues related to medical marijuana throughout the state of Maryland. If the bill passes, the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene would be required to staff a Governor-appointed task force to evaluate whether the current state law is effective, fair, and equally enforced across all state jurisdictions in addition to other issues concerning the limited, therapeutic use of cannabis.


In 2002, shortly after a Federal Court of Appeal held that physicians have a Constitutional First Amendment right to recommend the use of marijuana to their patients, the Maryland state legislature passed the Darrell Putman Compassionate Use Act (CUA). The CUA requires state and local courts to consider a patient's use of medical marijuana in accordance with a physician's recommendation to be a "mitigating factor" in marijuana-related state prosecutions. The law permits an affirmative defense in state court, yet still may penalize qualified patients by fining them a maximum of $100.


However, according to medical marijuana advocates, individuals in Maryland who possess a physician’s recommendation to use marijuana for therapeutic purposes are still arrested, prosecuted, and, in some cases, fined more than the statutory $100 limit. Worse still, legitimate patients in Maryland are forced to break the law; unnecessarily, and sometimes harmfully, involving themselves in the illicit market in order to gain access to their physician-recommended marijuana. "In short, Maryland’s medical marijuana law is broken," said Tony Bowles, a spokesperson with the Montgomery County Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy organization. "Ironically, and tragically, people suffering from serious or chronic conditions are vulnerable to arrest and prosecution, and are left without a safe, secure way to access physician-recommended medical marijuana."


Steven Fowler, Montgomery County resident and patient, adds "as patients, all we are asking is that the government look into the current program to determine if it is the safest option for patients in need: Data, not doctrine should determine policy on health care issues."


Excluding Maryland, thirteen states, representing more than 72 million people, have passed laws authorizing patients living with a serious or chronic condition to use physician-recommended marijuana free from criminal prosecution. The Maryland chapters of Americans For Safe Access (MD-ASA), together with patients and their supporters, have been working to bring the same protections and progressive health policies to the State of Maryland. "Every year, Maryland wastes precious law enforcement resources to conduct investigations, and to arrest and prosecute scores of people who legitimately use medical cannabis to control symptoms of a serious or chronic illness," said Bowles. "We applaud Delegate Heller's proposal and hope this task force will put science above politics, paving the way for much needed changes to a flawed medical marijuana law."


Further information:

Full text of HB1339: http://www.mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/bills/hb/hb1339f.pdf

Facts on Maryland's medical marijuana law: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=2050

Maryland Chapters of Americans for Safe Access: http://www.americansforsafeaccess.org/article.php?id=280

Prince George’s County ASA Campaign website:http://www.MDSafeAccess.org

Maryland Gazette Article, March 4, 2009:http://www.gazette.net/stories/03042009/montnew220431_32489.shtml


# # #


With over 30,000 active members in more than 40 states, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers.

post comment

Medical Marijuana Week activities in Maryland [09 Feb 2009|12:56pm]


For the 7th year in a row activists across the nation will be organizing in support of Medical Marijuana Week.

Hosted annually during the week of February 15th, Medical Marijuana Week is an empowering week of events and activities organized to raise awareness about the growing support for safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research throughout the nation.

The Maryland chapters of Americans for Safe Access welcome your attendance at the following events:

Mon. Feb. 16th, 5pm -- Candlelight Vigil on the steps of The Maryland State House, located at State Circle in Annapolis, Maryland

Wed. Feb. 18th, 7pm -- Medical Cannabis 101. Panel of experts will discuss medical, legal, and political aspects of medical marijuana. U of MD College Park Campus, Room 3215 in the Art-Soc building

Thurs. Feb. 19th, 7pm
-- MMJ Week Wrap Party. Featuring local live entertainment, featured speakers, light snacks and drinks, $5 suggested donation, 2640 St. Paul St. Baltimore

For more info contact: Tony (415) 283-7404 or md4safeaccess@gmail.com

Americans for Safe Access is the nation’s largest organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.

post comment

ASA Blog: The Potholes Ahead: Obama's Call To Action [19 Jan 2009|05:11pm]

I just wrote & posted the latest blog entry to the Maryland Americans for Safe Access blog.

Check out my article: The Potholes Ahead: Obama's Call To Action

-- -- --

So much energy is buzzing about the DC Metropolitan area this week in preparation for Barack Obama's Inauguration. Thousands upon thousands of people are descending upon the Capitol with hopes and dreams for a better future. President-Elect Obama has captured the true essence of America and is urging every citizen to respond to his call-to-action for public service.

This year, so many medical patients in Maryland will need help being heard in the media, in the courtrooms, and on the legislative floor. What research we currently do have indicates that cannabis has healing properties for patients dealing with cancer, muscular dystrophy, and HIV/AIDS, and is often more effective than prescribed medications currently available in states that have unfriendly medical marijuana laws. Medical treatment is a private issue that should be between a patient and his or her medical physician.

Log on now to Change.Gov to speak out about this important drug policy issue.

Some patients have doctors recommending medical marijuana, but they have what may come as a surprising diagnosis: PTSD. In the Fall of 2007, Esquire Magazine published an article discussing treatments for Iraqi Veterans returning home from war with torturous dreams, memories, and other incomprehensible trauma symptoms. If medical marijuana has been shown to help soldiers in their recovery process, we are really emerging into a new understanding of the Marijuana plant, and its crucial role for humanity at so many levels.

Its an encouraging time to pursue this issue with full force. Obama himself spoke out in 2004 for Marijuana Decriminalization in this YouTube Video.

Cancer patients, HIV patients, and Iraqi Veterans alike all need your help this year. Make Americans for Safe Access one way you reach out to answer Obama's call for public service. Doctors, nurses, patients, lawmakers and soldiers who support Medical Marijuana need your help to create a stronger voice in this world. In 2009, join us in calling for better research, better laws, and greater protection for Medical Marijuana patients.

In Service,
Bethany Moore, and the whole MD-ASA campaign team

post comment

Americans for Safe Access attends the 3rd annual Walter Johnson High School Activism Fair [22 Dec 2008|06:05pm]



December 22, 2008

Americans for Safe Access attends the 3rd annual Walter Johnson High School Activism Fair

On December 23rd, 2008, from 7:10am until 2:10pm, students from Walter Johnson High School will be visiting exhibit tables from over 30 activist organizations and clubs from across the political spectrum to inform students and help get them involved. Americans for Safe Access and other organizations have been invited to bring materials to pass out to students as they visit the tables and ask questions about getting involved.

Americans for Safe Access invites students, parents, and teachers to visit the ASA booth to learn how ASA chapters and affiliates are making tremendous strides to educate the public and improve medical cannabis laws across the country. Although Maryland passed a medical cannabis law in 2003, the state still criminalizes individuals who use or obtain cannabis as recommended by a licensed physician. Every year, Maryland wastes precious law enforcement resources arresting and prosecuting scores of individuals who legitimately use medical cannabis to control symptoms of a serious or chronic illness.

Some of the most exciting growth of ASA chapters and leaders is taking place in Maryland, right outside our nation's Capitol. Under the direction of Tony Bowles (Montgomery Co.), Jay Hartman (Prince George's Co.), and Tom Adkins (Eastern Shore), Maryland now has three active ASA chapters organizing citizens to fix the state's flawed medical cannabis law. All three chapters are focused on building their membership base. They regularly send volunteers out to communities throughout the state to canvass and petition, meeting hundreds of medical cannabis patients and supporters who are ready for change.

The chapters worked with the Drug Policy Alliance to promote the Maryland Patients for Access campaign, designed to build grassroots support and identify potential leadership for upcoming reform efforts. In addition to public awareness sessions, the ASA chapters host spokesperson and media trainings, making Marylanders better informed about the challenges that patients face and helping patients navigate law enforcement encounters.

The chapters are educating both state and federal lawmakers by getting everyday citizens to stand up for medical cannabis. They are recruiting constituents for meetings with state legislators, providing them with information, prepping them for the meeting, and organizing carpools to get there.

The Maryland ASA chapters are successful examples of how activists can work together to start new chapters in their region, build strong lists by gathering contacts and letting the public know they exist, and coordinate campaigns with each other and ASA's national offices.

The activism fair, located at 6400 Rock Spring Dr., Bethesda, MD 20814, is an annual Walter Johnson tradition where almost all of the school's 2,000 students will visit the fair during the course of the day. ASA looks forward to this excellent opportunity to get in touch with the youth and engage them in a pressing issue that affects local law in Maryland, as well as national concerns over federal health policy.

For more information on Maryland ASA, contact Tony Bowles md4safeaccess@gmail.com or Jay Hartman bluejaybird@gmail.com.



post comment

Marijuana Less Harmful Than Alcohol or Tobacco, Says British Drug Think-Tank [03 Oct 2008|03:02pm]

[ mood | amused ]

Marijuana Less Harmful Than Alcohol or Tobacco, Says British Drug Think-Tank

Smoking marijuana is less harmful than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, said the British think-thank the Beckley Foundation in a report announced Thursday. (The report is not online -- it will be published by Oxford University Press -- but see the foundation's Cannabis Commission web page for its outlines.)

"Although cannabis can have a negative impact on health, including mental health, in terms of relative harms it is considerably less harmful than alcohol or tobacco," said the report. "Many of the harms associated with cannabis use are the result of prohibition itself, particularly the social harms arising from arrest and imprisonment," it said.

The report comes as the British government is moving to reschedule marijuana from a Class C drug to a more heavily-punished Class B drug. British officials have expressed great concern over the potency of marijuana, especially "skunk," which is apparently their generic name for any high-potency, home-grown weed, and its links to mental health problems in some users.

Rescheduling marijuana is the wrong way to go, said the foundation. "It is only through a regulated market that we can better protect young people from the ever more potent forms of dope," it said.

Now, we will see if the British government pays any attention. So far, it has resolutely ignored repeated reports finding that marijuana should be a Class C drug, or even legalized and regulated.


2 comments|post comment

NORML NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2008 [30 Sep 2008|02:26pm]

[ mood | hopeful ]

October 17-19, 2008 - Berkeley, CA


post comment

99 Arrests per HOUR for Marijuana? [18 Sep 2008|02:52pm]


How scary is that?
1 comment|post comment

from the norml blog (x-posted) [14 May 2008|04:15pm]


Cannabis Does Not Kill. Unfortunately, Cannabis Prohibition Enforcement Can!

May 10th, 2008 By: Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

The Tallahassee Police Have Much To Answer For Regarding The Murder Of Rachael Hoffman

For the last few days I’ve receive email from the Tallahassee area from NORML supporters claiming to either know or be friends with Rachael Hoffman, that she was busted a few weeks ago and accused by police for selling a small amount of cannabis and possessing MDMA was squeezed by local police to become a snitch, and that, disturbingly to them all, she had been missing for a few days. They were genuinely in fear of her life.

In the last 48 hours, police arrested two suspects in Rachael’s disappearance, and early yesterday she was confirmed murdered.

Today, as the general public around Tallahassee and Florida learn more about how the police used this young woman for controlled drug buys, the public comments found online and on local radio talk shows demonstrate terrific outrage directed towards the police.


I spoke with Rachael’s mother Margie Weifs late yesterday afternoon. Talk about a difficult conversation. What do you say to a mother who has just found out that her only daughter is dead? A beautiful daughter dead not at the hands of cannabis, but the police agency that chose to bust her for pot (or, as Tallahassee law enforcement are calling pot in this case, narcotics), wire her and send her towards men who were reportedly buying and selling hard drugs, actual narcotics, to ensnare them for future arrest and prosecution?

To say that Rachael’s mom is not confused, angry and wanting answers to this terrible tragedy in Tallahassee would be a woeful understatement. After the answers, she tells me she wants justice in this case.

Watch the video of Tallahassee’s Chief of Police here trying to explain why getting murdered was Rachael’s fault, not the police’s. Further, watch here the Police Department’s Public Information Officer get grilled by Florida media about police procedures.

Did the police follow proper procedure in using Rachael for controlled buys? See the Tallahassee Police’s ‘rules and procedures’ for using snitches here and here.

There is an outpouring in Tallahassee from Rachael’s friends and family to try to heal, and then to organize against both the recruitment of young girls by police to be wired confidential informants and the general prohibition of cannabis.

In Margie’s view, her daughter would be alive today, going into a Mother’s Day weekend, but for a country that does not tax and control cannabis.

Ms. Hoffman is hardly the first young person induced by police to set up other possible illicit drug users who has been killed because they’d hoped their cooperation with police was going to lead to some modicum of deferential treatment from the prosecutor’s office.

PBS’ Frontline examined the disturbing and increased use of confidential informants by federal and local law enforcement in the award-winning SNITCH. But, unfortunately from my biased viewpoint, few in the mainstream media have cast light on police tactics in their daily and futile efforts to enforce prohibition laws (an exception here is the reporting of Reason Foundation fellow and Cato Institute researcher Radley Balko).

Health and Self-Preservation Tip: If law enforcement ever approach you (or a loved one) regarding a cannabis-related offense, and then seek to recruit you to became a confidential informant or a snitch, ‘just say no’ as your life (or that of a loved one) may be in danger.

post comment

drug [13 Mar 2008|04:32pm]


I am starting a drug policy zine.  If anyone is interested in writing for it or donating pictures, feel free to send me a message.  
The deadline is going to be in two months.  What am I looking for?
researched articles about a particular drug
researched articles about anything related to drug policy
how to guides
grow tips
book reviews
If you have an idea about something just let me know

Because I want to pictures to be confidential for policing reasons, I'm not accepting pictures of people, unless their face is removed.
How to guides in picture forms
creative drug related photos or graphics

thank you


post comment

Obama for ending the war on drugs? [31 Jan 2008|03:37pm]

From the NORML weekly newsletter

Washington, DC: A newly discovered video of a 2004 appearance at Northwestern University by Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, in which he calls for the federal decriminalization of marijuana, was posted online today by The Washington Times. In that appearance, Obama states, "I think the war on drugs has been a failure, and I think we need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws." Obama continued, saying that while he supported decriminalization, he did not support the full legalization of marijuana.


Democratic rival Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign stated that she opposes decriminalization. On the Republican side, Senator John McCain opposes decriminalization, while former Utah Governor Mitt Romney opposes both decriminalization and physician-recommended access to medical cannabis.

1 comment|post comment

help! i have to go to rehab! [01 Nov 2007|08:01pm]

Hi, I’m liz. I’m 23 years old, and I’ve been shooting heroin since I was 15. whether or not I’m an addict depends on your definition. I’m told I’m “in denial” if I don’t call myself an addict, though, so, sure. Go with that.

backgroundCollapse )
So …. I just need help with how I’m going to not show my attitude in rehab. If possible, I’d actually like to learn something from it. But I’ve been to rehab before, and I didn’t enjoy it. What can I say there? How do I not show my attitude or beliefs that disagree with theirs? I don’t think I’m capable of putting on a façade for 30-90 days. I hate lying.
5 comments|post comment

Department of Justice Spends Millions on Munchies [18 Sep 2007|10:40pm]

post comment

[18 Jun 2007|01:32am]

starting to think about who's going to be president in 2008?

i have my canidate.

ron paul

ron paul's record as a congressman:

-voted no on the patriot act

-never voted to raise taxes

-never voted to regulate the internet

-never voted on a federal restriction on gun ownership

-never voted on an unbalanced budget

-never voted to increase congressional pay

-never taken a government funded junket

-never voted to increase the power of the executive branch

-does not participate in the lucrative government pension program

-introduces more pieces of substantial legislation each year than any other congressman

-voted no on the war in iraq


ron paul and the founding parties:

on colbert:

on fox news about the u.s "provoking" 9/11 attacks:


speech at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum in Feb. 2007:


ron paul on bill maher, bill's new hero:

he has a chance. he is the number one canidate in internet activity.

ron paul : revolution


post comment

Marijuana as wonder drug [03 Mar 2007|05:32pm]

2 comments|post comment

John Stossel: Washington should leave potheads alone [09 Feb 2007|01:11pm]

[ mood | amused ]

John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20" and the author of "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity, Get Out the Shovel -- Why Everything You Know is Wrong."

John Stossel: Washington should leave potheads alone


Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007

TWO WEEKS AGO, U.S. drug agents launched raids on 11 medical-marijuana centers in Los Angeles County. The U.S. attorney's office says they violated the laws against cultivation and distribution of marijuana.

Whatever happened to America's federal system, which recognized the states as "laboratories of democracy"?

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 11 states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) have eliminated the penalties for physician-approved possession of marijuana by seriously ill patients. In those states people with AIDS and other catastrophic diseases may either grow their own marijuana or get it from registered dispensaries.

But the U.S. government says its drug laws trump the states' laws, and in 2005, the Supreme Court agreed.

This is not the way it was supposed to work. The constitutional plan presented in the Federalist Papers delegated only a few powers to the federal government, with the rest reserved to the states. The system was hailed for its genius. Instead of having decisions made in the center -- where errors would harm the entire country -- most policies would be determined in a decentralized environment. A mistake in California would affect only Californians. New Yorkers, Ohioans, and others could try something else. Everyone would learn and benefit from the various experiments.

It made a lot of sense. It still does. Too bad the idea is being tossed on the trash heap by big-government Republicans and their DEA goons.

Drug prohibition -- like alcohol prohibition -- is a silly idea, as the late free-market economist Milton Friedman often pointed out. Something doesn't go away just because the government decrees it illegal. It simply goes underground. Then a black market creates worse problems. Since sellers cannot rely on police to protect their property, they arm themselves, form gangs, charge monopoly prices, and kill their competitors. Buyers steal to pay the high prices.

Alcohol prohibition in the 1920s gave America Al Capone and organized crime. Drug prohibition has given us South American and Asian cartels that finance terrorism. Even the government admits that the heroin trade bankrolls terrorists. Prohibition's exorbitant black-market prices make that possible. In the United States, drug prohibition spawns gangs that are sometimes better armed than the police. Drug prohibition does more harm than drugs.

The war on drugs hasn't even accomplished what it promised to do. Drugs are abundant and cheaper than ever. "ABC News" reported last month, "marijuana is the U.S.'s most valuable crop. The report, 'Marijuana Production in the United States,' by marijuana policy researcher Jon Gettman, concludes that despite massive eradication efforts at the hands of the federal government, 'marijuana has become a pervasive and ineradicable part of the national economy.'"

The destructive failure of the drug war is why it makes so much sense to let states experiment, which 11 of them have done with medical marijuana.

Legalizing only medical marijuana brings its own problems. For one thing, it invites state authorities to monitor the practice of medicine to make sure doctors don't prescribe pot promiscuously.

But government officials shouldn't be the judges of what is and isn't medicine. That should be left to medical researchers, doctors, and patients. The effectiveness of medicine is too dependent on individual circumstances and biochemistry. One size does not fit all, so politicians and bureaucrats should butt out.

More fundamentally, why should only people whom the state defines as sick be able to use marijuana?

Despite my reservations about medical marijuana, the states' experimentation is still better than a brutal federal one-size-fits-all crackdown. There is no role here for the federal government.

If the people of a state want to experiment by loosening drug prohibition, that should be their right.

Washington should mind its own business. The feds and rest of us should watch. We might learn something.

1 comment|post comment

If you or someone you know has ever used an illicit drug, please help me earn my degree [31 Jan 2007|06:46pm]

Hey, I'm doing a survey for a graduate-requirement research course regarding drug use. Please, your help would be greatly appreciated, as I need 150 respondents by February 9th.

Our sampling frame consists of individuals who have ever used or currently use an illegal drug besides marijuana. Whether or not you have used marijuana is included in the questions, but is not the focus of this project, so if the only illicit drug you've ever used is marijuana, don't worry about it.

If you or anyone you know has ever used an illegal drug, please click here to participate in our survey, or send your friend to this link:


It's short, your responses are completely anonymous, and data will not be shared with anyone except for our team members and instructor.

Thank you!
post comment

[14 Nov 2006|05:17pm]

This is for previous members of the community _altered_states (and whoever else cares):

It has been deleted so I've moved it to 4ltered_States. Trying to put the community back together here, so join if you'd like it back.


very sorry if this isnt allowed.
post comment

[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]