Cannabis News Marijuana Policy Project
  'Relax Your Muscles as Much as Possible'
Posted by CN Staff on October 27, 2002 at 07:39:52 PT
By Vin Suprynowicz, Columnist 
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal  

cannabis Of the six tomato seedlings I bought last spring, two managed to make it through the summer, producing an occasional yellow fruit the size of my thumb -- never enough to make a meal.

Now, as October wanes, my poor tomato vines are withered, sprawling things, only a few green leaves and a pair of struggling fruit the size of my little finger still hanging on, waiting for the frost.

Just out of curiosity, I took my little coin-collecting scale out last week and weighed them. Just the flopped-over vines with the straggly withered leaves, you understand -- I didn't have the heart to tear them up by the roots and weigh the whole plants.

Almost exactly 3 ounces.

Most of the Nevada politicians who came in for endorsement interviews at the newspaper this year said they're going to vote against Question 9 (which would re-legalize up to 3 ounces of marijuana) come Nov. 5, because, "It's just too much; that's a lot of pot."

But where do these prohibitionists think marijuana comes from? Do they really think the pot fairy leaves a plastic bag containing exactly 2.9 ounces of neatly trimmed leaves and buds hanging on your back door while you sleep?

If it were legal for me to own up to 3 ounces of marijuana plant, but I could be sent to prison for possessing 3.1 ounces, would I risk growing even two marijuana plants at home, knowing they could end up weighing more than my two tomato vines? Even one plant?

No, I wouldn't.

Besides, virtually every candidate who trooped through our offices here at the Review-Journal this year, proclaiming in mock outrage "Three ounces is just too much!" was immediately asked, "How about 1 ounce? Would you vote to legalize an ounce?"

Every one of them said, "No."

If you vote "no" on Question 9, what is this "Drug War" you're really voting to continue? Let's look at a few facts.

According to the outfit Common Sense for Drug Policy, which maintains the Web site -- -- there are now approximately 77,000 state, local and federal inmates imprisoned on marijuana charges.

According to FBI Uniform Crime reports on numbers of marijuana arrests, in 1991 there were 200,465 arrests in the United States for marijuana possession. But far from being "phased out," arrests for marijuana possession rose steadily through the 1990s, reaching 646,042 in 2000 (3,742 of those in Nevada alone -- costing 10,000 police hours just for "processing.") More than half of all federal inmates are now nonviolent drug inmates.

According to the government-funded National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 800,000 million youths between 12 and 17 tried marijuana for the first time in 1991. But in 2000, according to the same survey, 1.6 million youths between 12 and 17 tried marijuana for the first time. "If arresting more people is supposed to stop kids from trying marijuana, it seems not to be working," comments Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project in D.C.

What's life like in our prisons for those 77,000 marijuana convicts? Let's steel our nerves and go visit the Web site, where the Los Angeles outfit "Stop Prisoner Rape" has posted the little plain-talking handbill it has prepared for young men entering our prison system, titled "For Prisoners: Advice on Avoiding HIV/AIDS."

The group's handout -- targeted primarily at heterosexual men who have no desire to ever be involved in homosexual activity -- advises:

"HIV/AIDS transmission during a sexual assault is a serious concern. The following are practical tips for reducing your risk. ...

"If you have a choice, try to avoid men who used needles for drugs in the past or are still doing so. ... The more often you are raped, the more exposed you will be, so especially try to avoid anal gang-bangs. The most dangerous situation of all is if your anus is bleeding, for that allows easy entry of the virus into your bloodstream. So try to use a lubricant or grease or cream if you can to minimize injury to your delicate internal body parts, avoid anal gang-bangs, and if you must endure forced anal penetration, try to relax your muscles as much as possible. These tactics are not 'cooperating' or consenting, they are just common-sense measures to try to save your life. ...

"In many situations you are better off agreeing to do something (masturbating, oral sex, sex with a condom) rather than just resisting until you are overwhelmed and forced to deal with unprotected anal sex from one or many guys. You may feel you should resist to the end, but that would put your life in danger. There is no shame in doing what you have to do to survive; nothing changes the fact that rape is involved and you are not morally or legally responsible for it; these compromises are just pathways to your survival. It may even be to your advantage to develop skills in oral sex so that guys you have to deal with will be satisfied with that alone. Don't feel guilty about it; you're just trying to save your life. ..."

Feeling pretty comfortable now with what the legal system is doing to these 77,000 nonviolent pot-smokers in your name? (And those are just the ones who end up doing hard time, mind you. Remember, 646,000 were arrested in 2000. Do you suppose most of them had a nice, restful night in jail? Do you realize, if their families spent a few thousand dollars apiece on legal fees, that adds up to more than a billion dollars, and taxpayer costs for lost police time are several times that?)

Still going to tell me that treating them in this manner is just the way you show your "compassion" as you seek to "protect them from the health risks" of lighting up a joint, not to mention "sending the right message to the children"?

Those who will vote "No; keep on with the drug war" claim they're afraid some school-bus driver might report to work stoned on dope, which would remain illegal under this proposal. But does anyone think today's drug laws could really prevent that? In fact, the Canadian Senate voted this month to re-legalize pot -- following the de-criminalization lead of England earlier this year -- based on medical and economic findings that traffic accidents can actually be expected to go down when dope is re-legalized, since some folks who currently swill booze will instead switch to marijuana, which actually tends to make users drive more cautiously.

Drug policy scholar Matthew Elrod summarizes: "When cannabis use goes up, alcohol use goes down, resulting in a net decrease in drug-related traffic accidents. Economists Frank Chaloupka and Adit Laixuthai, for example, estimate that cannabis decriminalization would reduce youth traffic fatalities by 5.5 percent, youth drinking rates by 8 percent and binge drinking rates by 5 percent."

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of the books "Send in the Waco Killers" and "The Ballad of Carl Drega." For information on his books or his monthly newsletter visit

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)
Author: Vin Suprynowicz, Colomnist
Published: Sunday, October 27, 2002
Copyright: 2002 Las Vegas Review-Journal

Related Articles & Web Sites:


Marijuana Policy Project

Nevada Should Back Question 9

Nevada Pushes Next Frontier: Legalizing Pot

Pondering The Ballot Questions

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Comment #10 posted by DdC on October 28, 2002 at 14:30:46 PT
Type-O pokesmotter
I think its 800,000 to a Million.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #9 posted by Doc-Hawk on October 28, 2002 at 09:56:41 PT:

Arrests for 2001
The arrest figures for 2001 just came through from NORML.

NORML Foundation 1600 K Street, N.W. Suite 501 Washington, DC 20006 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f)

October 28, 2002

Marijuana Arrests For Year 2001 Second Highest Ever Despite Feds' War On Terror, FBI Report Reveals

Washington, DC: Police arrested an estimated 723,627 persons for marijuana violations in 2001, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is the second highest ever recorded by the FBI, and comprises nearly half of all drug arrests in the United States.

"These numbers belie the myth that police do not target and arrest minor marijuana offenders," said Keith Stroup, Executive Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "In fact, the war on drugs is largely a war on pot smokers. This effort is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources that should be dedicated toward combating serious and violent crime, including the war on terrorism."

Of those charged with marijuana violations, 88.6 percent - some 641,108 Americans - were charged with possession only. The remaining 82,518 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses - even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use.

The total number of marijuana arrests far exceeds the total number of arrests for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Since 1992, approximately six million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges, a greater number than the entire populations of Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming combined. Annual marijuana arrests have nearly doubled in that time.

"It's time we stopped arresting adults who smoke marijuana responsibly," says Stroup.

YEAR MARIJUANA ARRESTS 2001 723,627 2000 734,498 1999 704,812 1998 682,885 1997 695,200 1996 641,642 1995 588,963 1994 499,122 1993 380,689 1992 342,314

For more information, please contact Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500. NORML "Talking Points" on marijuana arrest and incarceration rates are available online at:

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #8 posted by pokesmotter on October 27, 2002 at 19:45:37 PT:

did anyone else catch this??
he says in the article: "According to the government-funded National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 800,000 million youths between 12 and 17 tried marijuana for the first time in 1991." maybe its just me but 800,000 MILLION seems like a heck of a lot of people.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #7 posted by knox42897 on October 27, 2002 at 18:09:53 PT:

spread the word
This kind of info needs to be read by the anti's. Email copies to everyone of them damn anti's.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #6 posted by DdC on October 27, 2002 at 16:05:46 PT
The Moral Majority Deterrents to Toking...Rape!
Kids don't get off any easier in juvi prison. 95% of those arrests for possession were plea bargained away from a jury trial and possible release. The risk is too great. Fines, Probation and Forced "treatment" rising statistics that anti's use to create fear of rising use and worse dangers. No one went to treatment with your fathers pot.

Profits on urine testing, budgets, Cop appropriations. Corporate interest fighting the war. Christian Coalition has hundreds of media outlets, papers, tv and radio stations and two networks. Pushing their agenda at a profit. Wally and Ashcroft selling this war for their own profits. Ends justifying means.

Profits from the Petro - Pharmaceuticals and Booze keeping cannabis competition off the market by prohibition. Reports buried on positive affects of cannabis. Lies, mistruths and poppycock repeated as fact. To perpetuate a war that only profits if it perpetuates. Monsanto can't make billions spreading poison if wild hemp is left for pheasants habitat.

Or if farmers used it to replace the chemical cotton and petrochemical bug and weed poisons. Now the 90's bring out the nutritional value of the seed and hundreds of meat and grain lobbyist join in to outlaw. Next comes 17 truckloads of bird seed confiscated as cannabis. 60 years of delivering bird seed using cannabis and not a word. Now cannabis food enterprises are run out of business from the fear spreading Where are the treehuggers all these years passing plastic coated dead tree fliars shunning cannabis? All the proud anti war protesters telling anti-war stories about stopping injustice... at the DARE meetings? Sending their environmentally safe checks to PDFA to produce the "your brain is an egg" commercials.

I'd say they were hypocrites but Ignorance leaves that out. Gullable, unquestioning, believers. Naive of their own usage experience ain't easy to pull off with a straight face. Their kids don't buy it either. They've already tried it and now you sound like your parents did telling you. The higher the education, the more to lose. What isn't taught leaves the same ignorance. Now laymen with cannabis knowledge laugh at the Reefer Madness of the so called Professionals protecting vested ignorance. And protecting vested interest in the ignorance.

12 pounds of chemically treated grain for each pound of meat. Now more and more exported to non grazing countries. Profits for Internationalist at the expense of Americans health. Cows used to feed on hemp seed. Too many profits to ignore. But then thats why they call it ignorant. Cannabis Separatist, anti-Fascist, Farm Labor, Environmentalist and anti-War advocates ignoring the staple cannabis and its reason for prohibition are feeding Fascism at the expense of your kids health.

As those waving Iraqi Crude Oil Plastic Flags made in China. A joke on themselves. Aiding in childish wishful thinking. That their part of the plant is ok, but not the other parts. That we should use it for patients but rape the healthy users as deterrents. That we should eat it for health, but be fined or caged for smoking it. But getting it to someone is trafficking, making it mandatory sentencing. 3 strikes and life. It ain't the dangers of pot, its never been the dangers of pot. All aspects of prohibition are red herrings not dealing with the for profit product sold as the war on cannabis.

Peace, Love and Liberty or the Gullable herds...


The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. - Mohandas Gandhi

"Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there." - William E. Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 1937. Continued... ...Or... Deceptions

U.S.Al Qaeda!

Thugczar Wally

Human Rights Watch

Male Rape in US Prisons

Childrens rights

Children in the US

Street Children

Juvenile Justice

Child Labor

Conditions of Confinement

Human Rights Watch has documented abominable conditions for children in detention in countries around the world. In the United States (Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, and Maryland), Pakistan, Jamaica, among other countries, children are subjected to excessive force, inadequate medical and mental health care, and are provided with little or no education. Often, these children are placed in the facilities along side adults, exposing them to physical and sexual abuse.

Close to Home: Juveniles in Adult Jails Op-Ed by Michael Bochenek The Washington Post

Correctional Systems, Inc. (CSI) is a publicly-traded corporation that contracts with governmental agencies to operate correctional projects.

Juvenile Detention Study

Juvenile Info Network

Mental Health Issues and Juvenile Justice

The Benefits of Treating Kids Like People

Sexual Assault Information Page

The Real Price of Prisons

Dubya and Me: We've Got No Idea

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by CorvallisEric on October 27, 2002 at 15:22:06 PT
p4me and general comment
>>> And what happened to the 734,298 number of marijuana arrest that was always used for the year 2000? <<<

That's probably for all MJ arrests, not just possession. The author's figure of 646,042 is for possession only.

About the article: after I finished squirming I felt encouraged. Any state whose leading "family" newspaper can publish this can do anything!

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by p4me on October 27, 2002 at 14:08:39 PT
Don't you think it strange ...
that you cannot quote the numbers for 2001 FBI Uniform Crime Report Statistics or the numbers that should have been released for the first 6 months of 2002. I sure find it worthy to mention that these numbers of the people are not yet published. Of course, this guy has no reason to wonder why 10 months isn't enough time for the FBI to get those numbers out? And what happened to the 734,298 number of marijuana arrest that was always used for the year 2000?

Someone should be fired for not getting these numbers up and one of them should be Dickhead Busch.


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 27, 2002 at 09:26:35 PT
I Forgot Links
I didn't see these links that were in the article but here they are. I saw drug war facts but missed these.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by canaman on October 27, 2002 at 09:20:10 PT
There's a catchy sound bite for anti's....
If you use drugs YOU might be GANG-BANGED!!!!

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #1 posted by JSM on October 27, 2002 at 09:06:40 PT
This is unbelievable
What a great article! How can anyone disagree with cold hard facts? How are you going to response to this you deceitful, lying, crooked, evil prohibitionists.

[ Post Comment ]

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