Nader Says Decriminalize Marijuana 

Nader Says Decriminalize Marijuana 
Posted by FoM on September 08, 2000 at 18:17:38 PT
By Barry Massey, The Associated Press 
Source: Albuquerque Journal
Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, joining Republican Gov. Gary Johnson in criticizing the nation's war on drugs, called Friday for the legalization of marijuana as part of an overhaul of the nation's "self-defeating and antiquated drug laws."   "Addiction should never be treated as a crime. It has to be treated as a health problem," said Nader, who joined the governor at a news conference here. 
 "We do not send alcoholics to jail in this country. We do not send nicotine users to jail in this country. Over 500,000 people are in our jails who are non-violent drug users."   Nader  —  like Johnson  —  supports lifting criminal sanctions for marijuana possession. For other drugs, such as heroin, he advocated "harm reduction" programs, such as methadone maintenance and needle exchanges, that focus on treatment of addiction and prevention of health problems from drug use.   Johnson has made waves politically for more than a year by advocating the legalization of marijuana and heroin. However, he has since dropped his support for making it legal to use heroin because it proved too controversial. He is the nation's highest-ranking elected official to publicly support drug legalization.   Nader described drug policy changes, such as legalization, as a "taboo subject" for most politicians.   Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush oppose legalizing marijuana, according to their campaign spokesmen.   R. Keith Stroup, executive director of the Washington-D.C.-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said it was a "significant step forward" for Nader to support legalization.   "To have a candidate for president now join with Governor Johnson and make the same call adds weight to the growing argument that we should stop arresting responsible marijuana users," Stroup said.   Nader's support for marijuana legalization drew a sharp rebuke from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.   "I find it irresponsible that in a state that has among the highest rates of drug abuse among children in the nation that public officials would send the message to young people that marijuana is acceptable and safe," said Rob Housman, assistant director of strategic planning.   Legalizing marijuana, Nader said, would allow the government to regulate and potentially tax its use like tobacco products. He also said there should be more educational and counseling programs aimed at preventing drug use by children and young people.   At the news conference, Nader and Johnson agreed too much money is spent trying to stop the flow of drugs into the United States and drug-related prosecutions rather than on addiction treatment and preventing drug use.   Johnson did not endorse Nader's candidacy but supported many of the reform proposals advocated by the Green Party nominee, such as same-day voter registration and removing ballot access barriers to third-party candidates.   Johnson said he continued to support GOP presidential hopeful George W. Bush, but the governor described Nader as an "American hero." He also said Nader's candidacy should bring more national attention to the drug legalization issue.   "You're talking about this issue as a presidential candidate has all of the opportunity to be able to make this a safe topic for all politicians to talk about," Johnson told Nader.   Gore favors tougher penalties for drug trafficking and increased federal money for community policing programs to fight drug crime in neighborhoods, said Maria Meier, a Gore spokesperson.   Bush, in a statement issued by his campaign, said drug abuse should be fought "with a balanced policy of education, treatment and aggressive law enforcement, both through interdiction abroad and through effective enforcement domestically."Published: September 8, 2000Source: Albuquerque Journal (NM)Copyright: 2000 Albuquerque JournalContact: opinion abqjournal.comAddress: P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103Website: Articles & Web Sites:The Green Party Nader Gary Johnson's Web Site, Johnson To Propose Strategy For Drug Abuse At Odds With Drug Agency Plan Articles - Governor Gary Johnson 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #7 posted by eco2 on September 10, 2000 at 17:59:50 PT
Go to Green page to click Nader shortcut link.
For some reason the Nader search shortcut URL will not work in this comments form (at least for me). Click the top link in the message below. Once there, the Nader shortcut link there will work when it is clicked.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by eco2 on September 10, 2000 at 17:54:44 PT
Nader links, quotes, press.
*Greens and the Drug War. Worldwide. LINKS. Green Party candidates, positions, platforms, etc.. Concerning the Drug War, cannabis, marijuana, etc.. Ralph Nader info, links. and *9-00. MAP/DrugNews SEARCH SHORTCUT for many press articles about RALPH NADER's September 8, 2000 press conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he called for legalizing cannabis/marijuana, and for harm reduction drug reform. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on September 10, 2000 at 07:20:21 PT:
The "Wasted Vote" blarney.
Many thanks yet again,Observer; I'd seen that quote posted by you before, but you put it in the context necessary to stick it in the craw of the antis, but good!Many of us are voting Green or Lib. When we state why we are, and enjoin others to do the same, all too often we get the bit about 'wasting your vote' thrown at us. Such people need their memories jogged. They seem to suffer from the eternal short term memory damage that has proved so profitable to pols and their bureaucratic allies.Example: Ronnie Ray-gun, he of the frequent naps during vitally important Cabinet decisions, said he was going to reduce the National Debt by cutting the size of the Federal government. He in fact tripled the size of the Debt with his defense buildup and subsequent padding of the civil service rolls.Ronnie also said that deregulationg industries like banking would lead to greater competition and less risk for the American people. Almost immediately afterwards, we got the S&L crisis, for which the American people will be paying out to those who lost their money in S&Ls Billions of dollars for the next two generations. And a certain scion of the Bush family (Neil, not the Shrub) made megabucks because he was hired on an S&L board solely because he was his daddy's son.Dems have been just as guilty of this as Reps; it might have been Republicans like Eisenhower who got us into Vietnam, but it was Dems who escallated our involvement and *kept* us there. I was very young at the time, but I remember my Dad railing about places with funny names like "Louse" (little ten year old me thought they were bugs and couldn't understand why we'd make war on bugs) and "Feet-nam" every time that dog-faced man Johnson came on the tube and talked about "Common-ists" there.So, the next time some dyed-in-the-wool 'party creature' sneers at you for voting Independant, just remind them of how many times they've peed away their best chance for real change by NOT voting their conscience, and going with 'a winner'. Only to *lose* more than they would ever have by going Indie. We've got numerous war memorials in the US to the memories of people who, had they known how they'd wind up, WOULD have voted Indie. And I fear, that in Colombia, we will have the Dems and the Reps to thank for another such memorial.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by dddd on September 10, 2000 at 02:13:16 PT
Good Grief..........Observers quote from Harry,,was f**kin' Hairy! I had never seen that one,and it made my almost geriatic blood boil. Keep on keepin on are a valiant,noble,and outstanding voice speaking out for reality.The fabric of true patriotism,is woven from people such as yourself.....Thank You...Sincerely..............dddd
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by observer on September 09, 2000 at 09:53:29 PT
Child's Misunderstanding Means Prison for Adults?
"I find it irresponsible that in a state that has among the highest rates of drug abuse among children in the nation that public officials would send the message to youngpeople that marijuana is acceptable and safe," said Rob Housman, assistant director of strategic planning. We need to begin to challenge Housman's 'send the message to kids' chant. Neither Nader nor others are saying any such message is to be sent The Children. They are requesting that adults not be jail for using cannabis. The so called message, namely, "marijuana is acceptable and safe" is, at best, a childish misunderstanding. (We really know it is little more than rhetoric designed to make drug warriors appear concerned for children while at the same time bolstering the rationale for jailing adults. But we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.)Since when are adults thrown in jail, robbed of freedoms they previously held ... simply because children might misunderstand? Children misunderstand all sorts of things. Adults correct such misunderstandings and children learn. But, for those with a financial stake, a vested interest, and a political agenda, then a pretext or excuse is required to take freedoms from adults. In that case, any excuse, including "For The Childrun", will do.We saw 'ol Harry's excuses. These were the "reasons" that the government decided in 1937 to expand its greedy reach into this previously government-free area of adult existence... Much of the most irrational juvenile violence and that has written a new chapter of shame and tragedy is traceable directly to this hemp intoxication. A gang of boys tear the clothes from two school girls and rape the screaming girls, one boy after the other. A sixteen-year-old kills his en tire family of five in Florida, a man in Minnesota puts a bullet through the head of a stranger on the road; in Colorado husband tries to shoot his wife, kills her grandmother instead and then kills himself. Every one of these crimes had been proceeded by the smoking of one or more marijuana "reefers." As the marijuana situation grew worse, I knew action had to be taken to get the proper legislation passed. . . .I believe we did a thorough job, for the public was alerted and the laws to protect them were passed, both nationally and at the state level. They were only passing laws to "protect them" ... of course, in order to "protect them" it was necessary to lie to them, to jail them, to kill them, to steal from them and to destroy them. Aren't those government men and women who are "dedicated" to saving "young people" (by throwing them in jail when they are adults, along with their mommies and daddies) really wonderful people? You almost might not realize, listening to people like that, people who care for the children so, people like ONDCP mouthpiece Rob Housman, you might not realize that they earn their living from keeping laws on the books that throw adults in prison and steal their property for simply using cannabis. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on September 09, 2000 at 08:08:30 PT
Looks like I'll be voting green, but I'll be red around here, ha ha.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Thomas on September 08, 2000 at 20:45:17 PT
Vote Your Conscience
If this is how you feel, you need to vote Nader; even if it means Bush wins.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: