Up in Smoke: Marijuana Legalization Arises Anew

Up in Smoke: Marijuana Legalization Arises Anew
Posted by CN Staff on September 09, 2002 at 15:53:09 PT
By Hal Rhodes 
Source: Albuquerque Tribune 
Three years ago, New Mexico Republicans grappled with successive waves of emotion after Gov. Gary Johnson made himself the nation's highest ranking elected official to declare war on the War on Drugs and call for the decriminalization of marijuana.A few, notably those with pronounced libertarian leanings, applauded the governor's daring. Others were shocked, if not horrified, by his heresy, and the furor within the party's ranks extended to Sen. Pete Domenici who briefly went after the scalp of state GOP Chairman John Dendahl for siding with Johnson in this cause.
Eventually, the hysteria dissipated and a kind of resigned calm settled over party functionaries as they alternatively convinced themselves that this tempest, too, shall pass when Johnson leaves office at the end of this year.Well, lately at least that viewpoint appears increasingly to have a lot in common with wishful thinking. Indeed, there is growing evidence that, far from being isolated to a solitary political figure like Gary Johnson, the push to reform state drug laws around the country is picking up steam.Only two months ago, Nevada's secretary of state announced that a petition drive had gained the signatures of enough voters to put a proposed state constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana on that state's November ballot.One of the things that makes this development so newsworthy is the fact that not long ago Nevada boasted some of the nation's harshest marijuana laws.It's newsworthy, too, that while the Las Vegas Sun reports that the Nevada District Attorneys Association has formally voted to oppose the measure, the Los Angeles Times reports that other top Nevada politicos, including Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn, are taking no position on the issue, pending voters' decision in November.But that's not the only sign of life in the movement to reform drug laws. Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year declaring that federal laws prohibiting the possession of marijuana prevent states from passing laws permitting its use for medicinal purposes, something like eleven states nonetheless have such laws on their books.Given Gov. Johnson's leading role in the drug reform movement, it's ironic that New Mexico is not one of those states - although, with Johnson's support, an effort was made at this year's legislative session to put New Mexico on the list of states that allow the medical use of marijuana. The measure, however, never got to the Senate floor.Nevertheless, there's scant reason to think the idea behind that proposed piece of legislation will die when Gary Johnson wanders into the political sunset Dec. 31.Perhaps the more intriguing question is whether Johnson will take his drug reform cause to Nevada between now and Election Day by stumping for the initiative to legalize marijuana. On the face of it, you might think he would, since he's something of a celebrity on the marijuana legalization circuit.Yet, curiously, the governor's normally forthcoming press aide, Diane Kinderwater, was uncharacteristically circumspect when asked about that possibility last week."At this time," she tersely replied, "there is no organized involvement" planned for the governor in Nevada's legalized marijuana effort.Whether some kind of "organized involvement" will be arranged for Gary Johnson during the next few weeks, we'll find out soon enough.But don' you reckon that emotions will roil anew among top GOP candidates for office in New Mexico this year if he decides to jump on Nevada's marijuana legalization bandwagon before Election Day rolls around?Rhodes, of Albuquerque, is a syndicated columnist. Source: Albuquerque Tribune (NM)Author: Hal Rhodes Published: September 9, 2002Copyright: 2002 The Albuquerque TribuneContact: letters abqtrib.comWebsite: Articles:Nevadans Asked to Blaze Trail for Legalization Johnson Criticizes 'War on Drugs' Blasts Drug War, Compliments Libertarians
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Comment #7 posted by qqqq on September 15, 2002 at 04:12:30 PT
..Phaser!.......easy there...
...."Do we just sit back and let them kill us? You don't really care do you if one after another of us die."
.....ya gotta be kidding!......"You don't really care do you if one after another of us die".....C'mon!...Yup,,,itz all parta my plan as an evildoer,,to make peepul dy........
..GOOD GRIEF Phasetheory!....Are you seriously suggesting that I am some FREAK,,who 'dont really care'...
 .well,,,I guess it was probably a joke,,and I didnt get it......that's OK,,,,,,,we all gion' ta die anyway...Who cares?
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Comment #6 posted by Phasetheory on September 15, 2002 at 03:57:22 PT
SO what then qqqq????
Do we just sit back and let them kill us? You don't really care do you if one after another of us die. It's besides the fact that we attack the terrorists and feed the civilians... and whereas they attack our civilians.
Your right... we don't need to do anything.
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Comment #5 posted by qqqq on September 10, 2002 at 03:40:34 PT
..Well Said Unknown Pleasures...
....I feel the same about the insensate, cutesy,,jaded jargon ,,and the way it is used to make indirect fun of dead serious issues!....CNN sucks,,and so do all the other media that are tainted by federal empires' propaganda cartels. ...It's really sickening to see the twisted presentations of 9/11,,blended with remarkably obvious coerced blurbs that attempt to justify,and normalize continuing MURDER and TERROR from the US chickenhawks war monster!......It's insanity....and it looks like it's going to continue!.... 
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Comment #4 posted by Unknown Pleasures on September 10, 2002 at 03:12:31 PT
Up in Smoke, get it???
These banal puns need to go. Now. 
As the amount of pot-related articles in the media continues to grow, these recycled puns have become increasingly tiresome.The obsession with puns in American Media stems from their belief that the public needs something clever and cute to 'catch their eye' or else they won't read the story. A real headline just won't do. After all, the news is entertainment first and foremost, and no one wants to read sobering information about real issues.And this 'gone to pot & up in smoke' stuff is by no means the worst.
CNN has taken this 'pun attack' to a sickening level, where it seems they won't cover a story unless they can do it with a cute 'wordplay' headline, even on the most serious isssues, like air travel safety and an attack on Iraq:
'Pistol Packin' Pilots' and 'Hussein on the Membrane', just to name a couple.'Hussein on the Membrane' seems especially bad, since the article dealt with the administration's upcoming 'Gulf War: the Sequel', a conflict were thousands may loose their lives. You'd think CNN would be responsible enough not to trivialize this sombre topic. It's all part of the media's attempt to make hard news more 'digestible' for the public. As long as US foreign policy is reduced to a clever pun, the sheep won't question it. (Its not War, its a 'Show'!) 
The media are trying very hard to sterilize and obscure that raw, naked reality that is ever-present and staring Americans right in the face, as it might make them buy less and think more.  
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Comment #3 posted by gloovins on September 09, 2002 at 23:11:42 PT
Gov Johnson
I am intrigued by Mr. Johnson's silence on the Nevada Question 9. I'm the one who advocates the write-in candidacy of Johnson/Ventura for Pres & VP in 2004. Well, as some of you may caught, Johnson (prob his office) wrote back responding (& I am paraprashing) that he was flattered but he didn't plan to seek office after he leaves Dec 31. I respect that & wanted to write back, what if, by some fluke, you won? Would you accept? I never did this but I am now calling out to all who read this to STILL write-in at least Gov. Gary Johnson (R-N.M.) for President in 2004. Why? might ask? Because every vote counts, right? And, they have to report EACH vote (write-in's included) so it can be a gauge of just how powerful is in this country. BTW, Ventura's office never responded to me, so I don't care about him anymore. Please ALL -- Write in Gary Johnson in Nov '04 for President of the USA....for a safer, saner society. Let's make an impact, I know it's over 2 years away, but I implore you all to consider it, as a matter of principle.Anyway, do you really think we'd have A United Police States of America under a Johnson Administration? I thinks not.....Write-in Johnson in 2004 & let's see how many of us there are of us out therePeace & God bless you all... Gloovins 
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Comment #2 posted by Dan B on September 09, 2002 at 22:21:38 PT
The Albuquerque Tribune Lies Again!
Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year declaring that federal laws prohibiting the possession of marijuana prevent states from passing laws permitting its use for medicinal purposes, something like eleven states nonetheless have such laws on their books. No, no, no, no, no! How many times do we have to beat it into you prohibitionist "journalists"? Have you even read a transcript of the Supreme Court decision? Have you read any document related to that decision? Because you sure do have a good time lying about it.The Supreme Court decision was a narrow one saying that it is against federal law for citizens in states with medical marijuana laws to create dispensaries for marijuana to patients who need it. That is, of course, an appalling decision by itself, but it does not mean that states are forbidden from passing medical marijuana laws, nor does it mean that patients in states that do have such laws are forbidden from using cannabis. Still, if they want to keep Americans searching for the truth about prohibition, they should keep up their campaign of lies. Most will learn in time. Then, the Albuquerque Tribune and other prohibitionist rags will surely be seen as the fountains of yellow journalism that they are.Dan B
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Comment #1 posted by p4me on September 09, 2002 at 17:46:47 PT
The iceburg problem
If Mr. Johnson will just vote for change that is enough to please me. Mr. Johnson could repeat his main talking point of focusing on addictions as a health care problem instead of the problems for us all of letting the police/judicial system
inserting their position on and controlling public policy.The bigger problem is the media to echo Richard Cowan's famous two words of "bad journalism." It is not the competence of journalist that cause the problem. It is the money that funnels billions to the mass media that do not want to send a "mixed message" or wrong message depending on the sound bite selected for thought indoctrination of the American public. If Mr. Johnson would speak to the problems of the controlled media and the atmosphere of tyranny that silences all debate and denies the avenues of expression for the average Joe, that would be desirable.The hempfood ban is ludicrous to overexercise a very strong word, but how many people even know of such a ban or the role of hemp in food, clothing, and shelter for our ancestors over the last 10,000 years. And for the US to be the only major country to ban hemp is more than just a red flag if people really knew the history and the present views from across the world. It is a red moon with a red sky that uses red ink to record such a stupid policy that has not been fully presented to the American people.So, if Mr. Johnson would address the media problem, with the blackout of the recent Canadian Senate report as big time evidence, the powers that bring us our daily prohibition and media blackout on anything cannabis, would not repeat the apmly recorded theme of Mr. Johnson that would inevitably lead the media whores to poison us with some more Walter's lies. Mr. Johnson's biggest contribution would be to use his pulpit to tell whoever will listen that the media's job performance as guardians of democracy is shameful.1,2
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