cannabisnews.com: Make Marijuana Legal
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Make Marijuana Legal
Posted by CN Staff on May 12, 2009 at 04:37:33 PT
By Ethan Nadelmann, Special To CBSNews.com
Source: CBS News
CBS --  Marijuana should never have been made illegal in the first place.Ask why it was made illegal - by many state governments and eventually the federal government during the first four decades of the past century - and the answer cannot be found in expert medical testimony or any objective assessment of the costs and benefits of prohibiting marijuana.
In many western states, it was simply a matter of prejudice against Mexican-Americans and Mexican migrants, with whom marijuana was popularly associated. Rancid tabloid journalism also played a role, as did Reefer Madness-like propaganda and legislative testimony.We know the result. Marijuana became dramatically more popular after its prohibition than it ever was before. Over one hundred million Americans have tried it, including the three most recent occupants of the Oval Office. Billions, perhaps tens of billions, of dollars are spent and earned illegally on it each year. Marijuana is routinely described as the first, second or third most lucrative agricultural crop in many states. And taxpayers are obliged to spend billions of their own dollars each year in support of futile efforts to enforce an unenforceable prohibition.Clearly marijuana prohibition is unique among American criminal laws. No other law is both enforced so widely and harshly yet deemed unnecessary by such a substantial portion of the populace. Police made roughly 800,000 arrests last year for possession of marijuana, typically tiny amounts. Thatís almost the same number as are arrested each year for cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, Ecstasy and all other drugs. Meanwhile recent polls show that over 40% of Americans think that marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol; and itís closer to 50% among Democrats, independents, adults under age 30, and voters in a growing number of western states.This is an issue on which politicians can be counted on to follow, not lead, public opinion. But some at last are saying publicly that legalizing marijuana needs to be on the table. For California Governor Schwarzenegger, itís the prospect of new tax revenue and costs savings when the stateís budget deficit has never been larger. For Arizona Attorney General Terry Goodard and the City Council of El Paso, Texas, itís the realization that legalizing marijuana would help reduce the violence and profits of Mexican drug gangs.Others point to the fact that marijuana prohibition is a remarkable failure in the eyes and ways of young people. Over eighty percent of high school seniors say that marijuana is easy to obtain - and even easier to buy than alcohol. Itís hard to see how making marijuana legal for adults would make it any more available to young people than it is already.Is marijuana addictive? Yes, it can be, in that some people use it to excess, in ways that are problematic for themselves and those around them, and find it hard to stop. But marijuana may well be the least addictive and least damaging of all commonly used psychoactive drugs. Most people who smoke marijuana never become dependent. Withdrawal symptoms pale beside those of other drugs. No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose, which cannot be said of most other drugs. Marijuana is not associated with violent behavior and only minimally with reckless sexual behavior. And even heavy marijuana smokers smoke only a fraction of what cigarette addicts smoke. Lung cancers involving people who smoke marijuana but not tobacco are virtually nil.Itís no surprise that the Drug Enforcement Administrationís own administrative law judge, Francis Young, came to the conclusion in 1988 that ďmarijuana may well be the safest psychoactive substance commonly used in human history."But when all is said and done, the principal, and most principled, argument in favor of ending marijuana prohibition is this: whether or not I or anyone else consume marijuana should be none of the governmentís business-so long as Iím not behind the wheel of a car or otherwise putting others at risk. Itís time to get the government off my property and out of both my pockets and my body when it comes to marijuana. Enough is enough.Source: CBS News (US Web)Author: Ethan Nadelmann, Special To CBSNews.comPublished: May 12, 2009Copyright: 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc.Website: http://www.cbsnews.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/BoEPZdUdCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #9 posted by AdaptBones on May 13, 2009 at 15:11:18 PT:
Wonderful
Wow, just wow. This article was wonderful to read. It showed truth and fairness and it is wonderful to see the lies are being, pardon the pun, weeded out. The time IS now and we need to end the militant prohibs from destroying any more lives. We need to push harder than ever in every aspect of this movement until the powers that be at LEAST stop destroying lives with their laws. They can take their time to make it legal and regulated but they NEED TO STOP DESTROYING PEOPLE OVER THIS! Once they are leaving me alone and I don't need to fear the feds and police then I will give them some breathing room, but for now we need to put the squeeze to them all. Also how disgusting was the article in comment #1? I have not seen more BS than the last time I went to my uncle's ranch. That's alright though because the prohibs house is build in sand and the sands, they are shifting. Soon the house of prohib will be no more; buried to all but history. Blessed be and I've got my fingers crossed.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 13, 2009 at 12:34:52 PT
fight_4_freedom 
No Internet yet. Oh my that must be hard. Have a great day!
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Comment #7 posted by fight_4_freedom on May 13, 2009 at 12:17:39 PT
It's good to see you too
I still don't have an internet connection at the new apartment so I recently started coming to the library to check the web. But I certainly have been trying to enjoy the good weather. Today has been another beautiful one minus the sunshine. The warm breeze has definitely put me in a good mood. Now off to babysit my friend's kids for a little while.I will be popping in here as much as I can.Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful spring.
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Comment #6 posted by Vincent on May 12, 2009 at 17:40:16 PT:
Mr. Nadelman
Well done!
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 12, 2009 at 15:45:07 PT
fight_4_freedom 
It's really good to see you. I hope you are enjoying this nice time of year. 
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Comment #4 posted by fight_4_freedom on May 12, 2009 at 15:17:35 PT
Way to go Mr. Nadelmann
I was shocked to see his name above CBS News. Slowly but surely we are getting more national coverage. One Love C-News!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 12, 2009 at 06:42:04 PT
Storm Crow
Equal with St. John's Wort is good. I like it.
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Comment #2 posted by Storm Crow on May 12, 2009 at 06:36:03 PT
About the article in comment 1...
What a crock of BS! I believe that the latest polls are showing between 65 & 85% (depending on the area) in favor of medical cannabis. That, folks, is called a healthy majority! The latest figures I've seen put the number of of folks who have toked during their lives at around 50%- and those are the ones who admit it! The actual number may be even higher.So I guess they are right about ONE thing- American "potheads" are wanting cannabis legal- to me, it looks like, by a clear majority, those American "potheads" ARE America!And can anyone name any other NON-TOXIC medicinal herb that is so proscribed by law? Equal with St. John's Wort is what I DEMAND! I'm done ASKING!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 12, 2009 at 05:20:05 PT
Common Sense Says, No Thanks!
May 12, 2009Guest Column: Stephen Baldwin & Kevin McCullough: America doesn't want its pot.. American potheads do!URL: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/05/11/opinion/main5007690.shtml
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