Drug Legalization Is a Legitimate Topic for Debate

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  Drug Legalization Is a Legitimate Topic for Debate

Posted by CN Staff on January 28, 2011 at 12:24:17 PT
By Maia Szalavitz 
Source: Time Magazine  

Washington, D.C. -- It's been 40 years since President Nixon's "War on Drugs." Is it possible that peace talks are now at hand? On Thursday, President Obama said the question of drug legalization and regulation is an "entirely legitimate topic for debate" — the first sitting president to do so since cocaine, heroin and marijuana were made illegal in the U.S.
In a question-and-answer session on YouTube, in which the top 10 questions submitted to the President focused on drug policy, Obama responded thoughtfully to that query from a representative of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of former law enforcement professionals whose experience on the streets has led them to conclude that drug prohibition actually drives crime and does not solve drug problems.While Obama made clear yesterday that he opposes legalization, his larger response marked a shift from his previous answers to such questions, which have been dismissive and patronizing. In 2009, the top questions presented by viewers on YouTube were also about drugs, but at that time, he shrugged off the issue. In response to a question about marijuana legalization, he said simply that it wouldn't be a good way to grow the economy. Yesterday, he discussed more fully his own position about the nation's drug problem — that drugs should be seen as more of a public health issue, and that efforts should be made to reduce waiting times for drug-treatment programs and to help keep nonviolent first offenders out of prison. "On drugs, I think that a lot of times, we have been so focused on arrests, incarceration, interdiction that we don't spend as much time thinking about, How do we shrink demand?" the President said.No other President has ever dared to suggest that a realistic debate on drug policy must include key questions about the effectiveness of absolute prohibition. With former Mexican President Vicente Fox calling for drug legalization — and given that Prop 19, California's marijuana legalization measure, garnered 46.5% of the vote — it may be time to have a calm, adult conversation about what the evidence really shows about current drug policy, and what the best ways to reduce drug-related harm may be.Source: Time Magazine (US)Author:  Maia SzalavitzPublished: January 28, 2011Copyright: 2011 Time Inc.Contact: letters time.comWebsite: Justice Archives

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Comment #35 posted by rchandar on February 05, 2011 at 21:46:56 PT:
Obama Rocks On
It's a good start. The main problem is the transition from "criminal offense" to "legalization."In context, some of you were right on the money with growing, but there's a fear factor that could make the Congressional/Justice side difficult. We would basically have to "normalize" much of the illegal growing, and who would get the sanction and who wouldn't. For the pols, the thought of putting into pen a law would open the "Pandora's box," so to speak. The idea of identifying a cross-section of growers and giving them license would aggravate the criminality factor for the rest of them.The US Government has had trouble with this re immigration. Unfortunately, should Congress, The Supreme Court, the President or whomever this issue is entrusted to, act on this very noble idea, someone will get the brunt of America's persecution of the "drug trade."A much simpler and more immediate solution would be to "go Dutch." In reality, that's the problem, the criminal system that punishes users first and supply side last. We need to abolish minor possession penalties in all 50.--rchandar
"Palmetto Bay, KISS MY ASS!!!"
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Comment #34 posted by FoM on January 31, 2011 at 06:16:45 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
What you wrote makes so much sense to me. I never expected to get as much as we have gotten already from President Obama. 
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Comment #33 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on January 31, 2011 at 05:45:33 PT
Ummmm, what change were you EXPECTING???
I got the change I was expecting, very little, of course, but that's still about a 1000 percent more than what I expect we would have gotten from McCain, and more than I got from voting Green in 2000 and Libertarian in 2004.It's not the change I hoped for, though, but I didn't expect to get the change I hoped for. I expected Obama to try to do what he said he would try to do, which is pretty much what he has done. But to expect that he would or could do what we hoped for is being pretty unrealistic, especially for those here who are pretty realistic in their view of things.I can't argue with the world view being expressed here on this thread, because I pretty much share it, but I think it is the view pretty much shared by many if not most here at Cannabis News, and I think many of us have also realized all this shit for a long time. But I think to a large extent, Obama realizes this shit, too.If we realize Obama is limited by the corporate control of the 2 major parties, surely Obama himself realizes that fact, and was aware of it well before he ran for President. However, he was also aware of the fact that Greens and Libertarians don't get elected in this country because of the corporate controlled media. And I think he is aware of how Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton got some of what they wanted to do done, why Carter didn't get much done even with a Democratically controlled Congress, and why JFK got shot.The big changes we hope for aint gonna happen all at once, but the little changes that don't seem to amount to squat just might eventually amount to something. Obama knows he can't legalize all drugs even if he wanted to, and he knows he can't legalize cannabis even though given his personal experience he's bound to realize it probably should be, but he might wish that the people might use the internet to demand something he can do that might not be politically expedient for him to bring up himself.So, all that being said, maybe before we all give up on accomplishing anything through our present political system, we should make sure that we demand 2 things we want that the President can accomplish -1. The removal of cannabis/marijuana from Schedule 1 of the CSA.2. Force the DEA to allow farmers to grow cannabis/hemp where it is allowed by state law.If when confronted with those 2 specific, very reasonable, very doable demands that fit in perfectly with positions he has already taken, Obama doesn't embrace them and instead laughs them off or just says no, then I'll give up on Obama, and the USA, and the world, and any chance of avoiding civil and nuclear war, too.
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Comment #32 posted by kaptinemo on January 30, 2011 at 17:58:15 PT:
MuseMan, don't sweat it, it wasn't you
And, without belaboring things, I think very much along the same lines. It's always been a race between Human evolution and Human devolution; at the risk of seeming simplistic, between Light and Darkness. Anything that expands Human consciousness perforce endangers Darkness, for that expansion brings Light along with it, and that Light shines into places Darkness doesn't want attention called to. Such as the mechanisms by Darkness implements itself. An enlightened being has no need of most of the social conventions that are used more as restrictions of liberty than as guarantees of it. Nor does an enlightened being have any need of the kind of hierarchical social structure used to impose those restrictions. The 'Golden Rule' truly is more than enough for such persons. Such people are well able to regulate their own behavior, and that, in a nutshell, is why Darkness, cloaking itself in the raiment of 'righteousness' and faux morality ("We're doing this for your own good!"), fights so very hard to control, control, control as much of our lives as possible.IMHO, the true 'Original Sin' was not the acquisition of knowledge, but it's denial, which only furthers the goal of Darkness. It's a sin the DrugWarriors commit every day with their enforcement of policies based upon, not reason, but lies, bigotry and greed.
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Comment #31 posted by museman on January 30, 2011 at 10:32:50 PT
I am sure i don't know or recall the 'slight' you are speaking of, and I don't think or believe that I had anything intentional to do with it, however, owing to past defensive modes I have been played into (by one or two others) I have to consider the possibility. If I have, please forgive me, because I have a lot of respect for your perspectives, and have felt from time to time to be on the same page. 
I have to say that I never wholly invested my belief in any parts of the political system, and had pretty much given up after Carter. You see, I was pretty involved in my youth -starting, of all things, as a 'Republican Youth' which also included the precepts that went on to become 'The Moral Right.' Well VietNam and peripherals kinda ended that for me. I went exclusively 'democratic' after that, as it was obvious (still is) where the war mongers made their beds.But in 1976 I met a man face to face, one Tom Hayden, who was running in his first political bid for Senator in Ca. What I saw in his eyes forever put me off from ever trusting a politician, or lawyer, ever, ever again.With Clinton I made an exception to my strong intuitive rule, and pretty much wasted my already useless vote on the fantasy of 'change.'Bush made it easy to be non-trusting again, but the movements of people that supported O was impressive, and once again I threw my energy into the fray. I never believed for a moment that O himself could deliver what many people expected, but I thought there might have been a glimmer of humanity in mr. O. Not ever meeting him and seeing the 'green-eyed-god-damn' in person I thought him rather likable. I regret that I can no longer feel that way, 'cause I really do want to like him. But I've seen enough now to know that there is no hope for any people intending freedom that invest it towards these elitist rulers and wanna-be elitists.In 1985 I had an experience that revealed to me the fact that the rulers of the world have been playing at the same games for a long, long time. Longer than recorded history in fact. The situation on planet earth has been "regulated and controlled" by the same class and spirit of people since the dawn of civilization. In fact, the 'dawn' was actually the twilight of a long darkness we have now only begun to emerge from. "Civilization" itself marks the long arduous trek of mankind from reality into illusion. The brutality of man was cultivated and exemplified by this 'civilization' through carefully orchestrated movements of wars, conquests, religions, and compromises with those few who questioned the motives of the rulers. Those compromises are essentially what we have come to know as "Law." Law is in place to control mankind. Period. Not beneficially, but with manifested intent and writ to give exclusive power to the elite and less and less access to anyone else.As every one not born in the club can attest; we are born in ignorance. We depended on the institutions put in place by these same powers to attain our information. Whole cultures have been manipulated throughout history by the edicts of rulers, and all for the same ends; simple exclusive ability for the wealthy elite to gratify their senses at a whim, and keep it exclusive. The weights and measures of economic systems -all mental inventions of these same rulers- has given them a game that they have had complete control over -no political movements could ever get free of them, because they represent access to resource, and that access has been exclusively managed, even in chaotic anarchy and revolution.The belief of man is the key. What we believe in becomes our reality -even if we really, deep down, don't want it. This system is all about fooling the ones who want to know, and keeping the darkness of ignorance dark.For a brief time we have had the internet to spread information without the absolute control that the powers have had over it for millennia, and in a few years the awareness of many many people has jumped into high levels. The 'laws' being passed to end this come as no surprise to me.The good news is that they are too late, the important information has gotten to those who needed it, and short of nuclear holocaust, they aren't going to stop it. And even that might backfire (literally) on their ass.The belief in materialism over more wholistic perspective is the carrot on the stick that every youth is goaded into pursuing with the end result of wasted lives and dead-end courses.The religions were created to syphon our potential REAL leaders and great thinkers into a corral where they could be controlled and censored if necessary, and anyone bright enough to question that usually met unsavory ends.This system is the tail end of a long deliberate failure, and perpetuation of failure. The human race has failed to achieve its destiny, because we were hijacked back in our beginnings. That destiny is arriving now, even as most are not ready to receive it, and I despair at the damage to come because of the reticence of the masses to realize their mistaken investments of time and belief in the wrong, wrong things.All its gonna take is consciousness and awareness to cause actual, 'real' change in our systems. But that consciousness and awareness is going to take a lot of (perceived) sacrifice of many people in order to be achieved in the short time we have left before it begins to be decided for us by even greater power than the powers that be. One can't argue with fire, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and the Tempest - just try and see where it gets you!Its a matter of priority. When the holding on of material things, -including any faction or group exclusivity- trumps the compassion, consideration, and love that is our true, but stifled nature, our priorities are wrong. Things exist, they just lie there waiting for the hand to use them, but they are not to be compared to the life that exists and moves around them. They are certainly not to be placed in higher value than life and living things. With this priority firmly held in our collective consciousness, no wars could have ever happened. But such is not the case, we have been made to embrace the wrong priorities -because the power of the Status Quo would be forever broken if we did.Some of us, over the centuries chosen to embrace -to the best of our uninformed data bases- proper priority, and most of them lived short lives. The fear inspired by these fake authorities is real enough to make the best of us pause and consider the possible outcomes of challenging them. And the bullets in the guns of their street thugs seem pretty real as well, although I personally believe in greater forces than fear and bullets, and will not let that intimidation stop my intentions and words.I am not beneath ducking if I have to though. Like last year when someone tried to get a cop vendetta going against me. But I cannot stop, I have seen too much, and cannot put it back into the exclusive hands it has been in for so long, but must attempt to give it to those who as yet do not have it.As far as the legitimacy of our 'peoples' government is concerned -the valiant efforts to make it actually work are commendable, but alas, in the end -other than valuable experience for those who try- its a total waste of our limited time and energies.I for one am not contributing to it any more.A few years ago I tried to promote the idea of a 'peoples constitutional convention' -which is now being promoted by the wrong people for the wrong reasons- so that we could possibly salvage the best parts of this system, and get prepared as a people for what is now upon us. But -and not the first time- I was pooh-poohed and kinda ridiculed for it. No time left for that now. And the unworthy belief and trust that is consistently placed on these false authorities by essentially good (but essentially unaware) people is a stumbling block of major proportion. Not to mention the prioritized belief in the power of money (and the ones who wield that power) over all natural powers and endowments that would have grown into great stature had they been allowed.Change comes only from within. The 'kingdom of Heaven' is within. Power is equal to the belief one has in it and that is internal as well. Belief that some external force is going to force internal change is fine if you are a demon who rules over men, but for real progress with real humanity, it is internal change that initiates the external.I have seen the slow but significant rise in consciousness over the past decade, and know it is all because sincere, thinking people have begun to realize the truth internally. albeit the access to external information has exemplified and accelerated it.That consciousness is the end of fascism. Its the end of elitism. Its the end, ultimately of war and destruction, and it is all based on a significant number of humans getting the truth, correctly prioritizing, and internally making the correct decisions on a day to day basis.Its not about compromising with the false leaders on token table scraps of false liberty, or petitioning them for sanity. Freedom is not legislated, we are born with it as a natural condition. Legislation is only a condition of an elite, ruler, class divided society, not a free one.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #30 posted by kaptinemo on January 30, 2011 at 10:08:14 PT:
GCW, don't forget Gerald Celente
He, like Schiff, was warning us as far back as 2005 that the US and world economic situation was much, much worse than admitted by governments. Celente was also derided...but who's laughing now, with gold and silver prices rising with no end in sight, and everyday staples at your grocery store becoming ever more expensive?Like Jeremiah in the Bible, these and other people had been warning us of what was coming, and few listened. Just like few listened to a bunch of 'stoners' warning about the same thing. I wish I could laugh, now, at all those who derided us for our foresight, but I can't. We're going to go through some major sh*t in this country , the likes of which even our parents and grandparents during the Great Depression never experienced. As I mentioned, look to Mexico, Europe and North Africa (and very soon, other places like Indonesia and Central and South America) for a taste of what we're heading for. Add gunpowder from bullets from the 100 million US firearm owners, confiscatory laws on the books being readied for implementation courtesy of Executive Orders, and a government becoming increasingly reliant upon force rather than persuasion (thanks in no small part to the DrugWar) and you have a recipe for a civil war and/or revolution.I really don't want to see that happen. No one sane does. But as a great man once wrote:“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” - Frederick Douglass. (Emphasis mine - k.)We have almost reached that point. Pray to whatever Deity you claim that we don't have to go beyond it courtesy of government intransigence. 
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Comment #29 posted by The GCW on January 30, 2011 at 09:37:32 PT
Another one:Peter Schiff Cut Off By CNN for Speaking Truth
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Comment #28 posted by kaptinemo on January 30, 2011 at 09:34:20 PT:
And as to the issue of cannabis reform
The fact is that the very desperate times we are entering may well signal the 'end of days' for drug prohibition, as that has always been a net drain on the nation's finances, to the benefit of only two classes, illicit drug producers/distributors and DrugWarriors.We've been saying that for years here, all the way back to 1999 when the subject was first broached. As usual, it was here at CNEWS, where many readers and commenters were way ahead of the curve, that the realization was made that the bottom would be dropping out of the economic well. The only reason why it didn't back then was because of 9/11 and all the humongous government spending that took place immediately after. That only delayed the inevitable, which we are now experiencing. What we are feeling right now we would have felt back then, much sooner, had it not been for the 'stimulus' of war giving the illusion of economic health, as the bubble and the housing bubble were illusory examples of economic health, while the economy was teetering on a precipice.Well, we've finally fallen off that precipice. Like an old cartoon character, we're still suspended for a second or two before we really start falling. But when that fall becomes evident to the dimmest of bulbs in the mental box, we'll start to hear louder and louder calls for reallocating increasingly fewer tax dollars for non-survival issues such as the DrugWar and sending the money to social safety net programs to stave off civil unrest.Again, at the risk of seeming pedantic, all that was predicted right here, by supposedly brain-dead 'stoners', well over a decade ago. And now we're beginning to see those very same predictions coming true in LTEs by everyday working people demanding to cut government waste right frakkin' now...and to start with the DrugWar, first.It remains to be seen whether this will happen before everything goes to Hell economically, or after. But the once sacred cows like Social Security are being threatened with a butcher knife; drug prohibition will be a much softer target to gut. 
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Comment #27 posted by kaptinemo on January 30, 2011 at 08:45:45 PT:
Sam Adams, I never paid much attention to the
puppets on the stage. I always looked up to see who was holding the strings. I learned long ago to stop paying attention to the 'Punch-and-Judy-for-grownups' that comprises the 'officially sanctioned' political discourse in this country. I never liked puppet shows, anyway.I watched while attending my first local Republican 'town hall' meeting waaaaaay back in 1976 how the game was rigged, with prepared questions being answered and unwelcome ones being ignored. 'Dems' aren't any better; the real issues of concern to aware, engaged citizens are never handled, such as the interference of corporations in government; such questions threaten the very real Powers-That-Be and were not to be addressed under any circumstances. As to how they get away with that, I suggest you watch Noam Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent", Republican, yada yada yada; bunkum for the masses. As the old saying goes, "Follow the money." All this present rancor between the 'two' 'parties' is just the equivalent of political Jerry Springer; designed for the ignorant to get all worked up and be divided and set at each others' throats...while the PTB sits back and laughs at the rubes, while picking their pockets, raping their livelihoods with offshoring what few jobs are left in this country, and sending their kids to die for oil.When it comes to 'democracy' in America, it's been 'Hobson's Choice' the PTB's way, or no way. The RepubliCrat Party, or no party. The corp-rat-ly controlled MSM or no media at all. The PTB control the mainstream media are now desperately trying to corral the Internet. But it's too late, the cat's out of the bag and anything they do now is watched very keenly by those who are aware of them and their machinations. And anything they do to shut down the Internet will only make matters worse...for them. For that will be the final signal the game is rigged, and there's no point for Joe Blow to play anymore.After that, to paraphrase the old French saying, 'comes the Deluge'. 
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Comment #26 posted by kaptinemo on January 30, 2011 at 08:11:09 PT:
HerbDoc, I just 'Calls 'em as I sees 'em'
And I'm not as wise as I'd like to be.As to what's ahead, the people orchestrating the meltdown are playing with fire. What's happening around the world, in places like Europe, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. will eventually get beyond their arrogant attempts to control and create their Nirvana for the über-rich and have everyone else fighting amongst themselves for table scraps. Think Revolutionary France as an example of what happens when such people go too far.And trying it in a country with a hundred million firearms owners is even more unbelievably stupid. Particularly when we've had the Internet around long enough that a great many people around the world already know about the goals of these traitorous organizations, and who staffs them. If the goal is to create a world-wide economic collapse in order to engineer civil unrest at the national levels, leading to coups and the installation of (overtly) fascist governments (courtesy of martial law and 'continuation of government' plans) to replace ostensibly democratic ones, as I believe they are trying to precipitate, then they may find they've bitten off more than they can chew. Despite the Tea Party being funded by many of those über-rich for their own purposes, it is largely comprised of patriots. Many of whom know as much as I do and certainly many know much, much more about national and international political realities. After all, the literature regarding these organizations predates the Internet by decades. A few people knew about these 'kingmakers' before, and with the advent of the Internet, the numbers of the aware have expanded exponentially. And the 'kingmakers' learned this too late, being essentially ignorant of the full potential of the Internet in information dissemination. Particularly about organizations that have been able to keep their machinations out of sight by recruiting Mainstream Media types into their groups and thus being able to control people's exposure to the fact of their very existence...and when that existence is revealed, use all manner of means to silence those accusing voices, beginning with character and ending with literal assassinations. But with the Internet, they have lost control of the information gates.Which is why we're seeing such an interest in de facto Internet censorship on the part of our corporations treading on 'Net Neutrality'. The deal between Verizon and Comcast is not just a bold move for economic monopolization for profit; it's actually a bid to throttle the Internet's political utility. And judging after what's happened in Egypt, with the government there in cahoots with corp-rat lackeys cutting off the Internet, you can bet that we have the same thing waiting in store for us here in the US when the scheisse fully hits the fan. As to how that might begin, see this YouTube video: submit that, just as in Egypt, when that happens, the government will have voided its' own legitimacy, and then all bets are off as to what happens next. As the old Chinese curse goes, "May you live in interesting times." Things are going to get a whole lot more 'interesting' in the very near future... 
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on January 29, 2011 at 15:55:36 PT
I agree, Celaya.
"In fact, the BEST thing for ending prohibition of all drugs will be achieving our at-hand victory of ending marijuana prohibition." 
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Comment #24 posted by Sam Adams on January 29, 2011 at 11:12:16 PT
Kappy on target as usual
You know what I was thinking the other day? I'm tired of hearing about the President. The President is 1800 miles away. The president doesn't know me, or my problems. As I get out of bed in the morning, I am not thinking about the President. I don't need need His advice or His guidance.What's happening to this country? We've replaced the Pope with the President. The President is merely a figurehead, a PR flackie, for the rich families that run the world.He's a salesman and little else. An actor on a grand stage. A gigantic bait-and-switch.Look at who Obama brought in to run the show - a representative of Big Pharma and Wall Street, and the Daley political machine in the Midwest. And we think Obama is going to help us with the "drug" prohibition laws? I hope no one is still thinking that.It's this sort of reverential thinking that screws us up. It's absurd for me to wait for go-ahead or a decree from a ruler 1800 miles distant on what plants I can use for medicine. That's not a free society. That's not a society based on science and logic. It's medieval, that's what it isI will rise out of bed each morning and live my life based on my own rational decisions. NOT based on what some man 1800 miles distant tells me.You have to look at the madness like cannabis prohibition, or subsidizing corn production to fatten up the entire nation on corn syrup in 20 years while constantly increasing the power of "public health" officials. They don't want health, they want to destroy our health.You have to look at this madness and realize that the entire system exists to lull people into accepting insanity as logic.I notice that every day NPR interrupts the classical music for "news" and every day the first words of the news report are "Today President Obama........." and you know what the first words were for the last 8 years "Today President Bush....."Well today I don't give a rat's ass about "the President"
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Comment #23 posted by herbdoc215 on January 29, 2011 at 10:19:11 PT
Kapt, I can't think of many people whom have
called this whole thing half as accurately as you have for the last 10 are a very wise man in my estimation and I've always paid attention to any post you have made in several sites I read! I keep coming to the same conclusions and it frankly scares the shit out of me about what the future holds for all of us, let alone the subject of cannabis reform? For many of us these issues are life and death, watching the randomness of prosecutions and outcomes makes me sick at my stomach. It's not just Obama either, it's like an old cold war movie and the line about better to appear evil than to let world see you have absolutely no control over your government or their pit bulls???
Also what about this poor man whom thought he was covered under equal protection of the constitution whom was sentenced today 5 YEARS in fed prison for being silly enough to go on TV and think his rights wouldn't be violated...hell he totally let them in sans warrant because he believed Obama and his US Attorney Holder? How come he didn't get probation like the guy in Cali just got for running a club? We can't just keep letting them pick us off one at a time! peace, Steve Tuck
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Comment #22 posted by kaptinemo on January 29, 2011 at 08:55:44 PT:
HerbDoc, Museman, and others
I have had to make about ten revisions of this missive, in order to make clear that I am not engaging in any 'hatred' of any elected officials, nor am I seeking to stir the sh*tpot by bringing up a slight done to me by someone I greatly respect. But this information is about as exact an answer as I can supply to MuseMan and HerbDoc and anyone else entertaining similar questions as to why they didn't get the 'change' they thought they'd get. So, here goes:If you want to understand why Mr. O isn't as 'progressive' as he was billed as being, you need to google the following terms:Obama Clinton June 6 2008 Chantilly VirginiaHere, I'll include the search string: note, I used the most neutral of terms. I could have added other, more incendiary ones, for very good reasons.Two-and-a-half years ago, I was branded a 'hater' here during the 2008 election for pointing out these unsavory associations the Presidential candidates had with the banksters that comprise the vast majority of the membership of that organization...such as Tim Geithner. I did not offer a riposte then, as I greatly respect the person who slapped me with that epithet. I knew that emotion had blinded the person who said that about me, and when emotions run high, rationality is in short supply. After the long, hard years of Bush Too (not a typo, he was practically a finger - or some other appendage - of his father) people were screaming for relief. Certainly understandable. But I had warned back then that we would only get more of the same, just delivered with more subtlety, not raw, in-your-face, F-U-and-your-horse-too the way it had been with Bush. The puppets on the stage would change, not the puppeteer. We were being 'softened up' during the Bush years by the very same people who backed Bush so we would beg for a 'savior'. What we got is more of the same, just being applied more glibly and with more panache.Thus, I believe that given the behavior of the President and his 'advisors' in the face of all that has happened and continues to happen, with their strange decisions that have increased the misery of everyone else (as usual, to the benefit of a tiny, rich-beyond-belief minority) the past few years have shown who the 'haters' are. I am not one of them. It was and is not hatred to point out such associations and what their consequences could have been...and later proved to be.Keep in mind that banksters like drug prohibition because the dirty money they laundered was what kept them afloat while they sank everyone else. Any wonder why Mr. O just can't bring himself to admit legalization is viable, despite all the evidence? It's because he's heard 'His Master's Voice' and is acting accordingly, and that voice does not belong to us, the electorate. It belongs to the self-appointed Elect. As in 'the Elite'.
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Comment #21 posted by HempWorld on January 28, 2011 at 20:25:33 PT
'We abuse drugs for many reasons
''We abuse drugs for many reasons,'' says Dr. Henningfield. ''The effects that lead to compulsive behavior are diverse.'' Nicotine is very different from most other drugs of abuse in important ways. Its effects are felt more rapidly than those of drugs taken intravenously. One-quarter of the nicotine in each drag reaches the brain in seven seconds. The nicotine concentration in the blood peaks at about the time that the cigarette butt is extinguished. The effects then fall off rapidly as nicotine is cleared by the liver and excreted in urine. Within a half hour, many smokers seek a new dose of nicotine. A pack-a-day smoker takes 70,000 drug ''hits'' a year.One astonishing property of nicotine is that it acts both as a stimulant and sedative. Shallow puffs tend to increase alertness, whereas deep drags relax the smoker. The reason is that low doses of nicotine facilitate the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine - which makes people feel alert - but high doses of nicotine block the flow of this compound.
Check it!
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Comment #20 posted by HempWorld on January 28, 2011 at 20:17:03 PT
Cigarette addled president ...
"Shrink demand ..."Yes, so we can keep it up for alcohol, cigarettes, more big pharma addictive and suicide inducing pills.(Cigarettes are more addictive than heroin
, 440,000 dead Americans a year, alcohol is next big killer and according to recent (UK) research more destructive then heroin) Cigarettes killed my father and 4 of his brothers.Yeah right! And so it continues Obama is told not to change.
Cigarette Deaths Annually in the USA.
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Comment #19 posted by josephlacerenza on January 28, 2011 at 20:15:04 PT
Off Topic, A Little
Community on NBC is a situation sitcom based in a community college. I went to one and can kind of relate. Great episode this past Thursday. Drugs was the subject matter. Light hearted.... 
Community, NBC
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on January 28, 2011 at 20:08:46 PT
John Tyler 
I definitely agree.
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Comment #17 posted by John Tyler on January 28, 2011 at 19:59:25 PT
keep our eyes on the prize
At this point when we seem to have some momentum in the reform movement, I think we should stay focused on cannabis and hemp legalization and when that is done then move on to other topics of legalization. I think we are making a lot of progress. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize and legalize.  Cannabis is like 80 to 90% of the Drug War. (I have heard percentages all over the place.) It is the Drug War.  Without cannabis prohibition the Drug War machine runs out of steam. 
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 28, 2011 at 19:50:27 PT
You're still a hero in my book! Thanks.
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Comment #15 posted by Celaya on January 28, 2011 at 19:21:55 PT
The Path To Peace
Don't get me wrong. I think no adult should be arrested, jailed, or otherwise harrassed by law enforcement for consuming any recreational drug. Alcohol is the most destructive one and we saw how prohibition failed miserably with that. - But we can't get there from here.The fear resulting from decades of propaganda combined with the actual harms of the hard drugs will not easily be wrested from the public mind. In fact, the BEST thing for ending prohibition of all drugs will be achieving our at-hand victory of ending marijuana prohibition. This will reduce the size of the "problem" by 80 percent. And when the public sees the sky didn't fall with ending marijuana prohibition, they will lose most of the propaganda-induced hysteria and be ready to rationally regulate all the drugs.  Each one needs a unique consideration, anyway. We don't have the same alcohol policy, as we do tobacco policy, as we do caffiene policy.  
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 28, 2011 at 18:16:21 PT
I understand that a person who is addicted to drugs is not a criminal. Most people would say they are sick. I agree with that. Cannabis helps people calm down if needed, lifts pain that can be unbearable and makes it tolerable. There are so many benefits to this plant and hopefully more and more people will ask the question why is it still illegal?
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on January 28, 2011 at 17:14:31 PT
In the "Back and forth" of it.
I sometimes said, "We need to end prohibition of all drugs... but ESPECIALLY marijuana. To have marijuana against the law is such a wrong and wasteful prohibition in so many ways. The laws need to be changed. People are being hurt and killed so unnecessarily. It's just wrong."They will often disagree with me on the former but will usually admit that, "Yes. Marijuana probably should be legalized."Maybe they don't say it exactly like that, but they say something like it.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on January 28, 2011 at 17:04:12 PT

Ras James rsifwh 
I wish that a marijuana reform question not using the word legalization but reform or decrim would have been asked. There are people that would flip out on the conservative side of politics if they thought people could shoot up anywhere even if that wouldn't happen. That's just reality. Most people can understand that people that only smoke cannabis are productive and not mean spirited but hard drugs are a whole different issue.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on January 28, 2011 at 16:40:21 PT

Comment 8
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on January 28, 2011 at 16:38:05 PT

FoM Comment 3
I think in the back and forth of the public rhetoric between prohibitionists and reformers, at some point, the prohibitionists, being faced with the fact that they have no real argument against marijuana/cannabis and just popped off in reaction to that realization, "Well if you legalize one... you have to legalize them all!"Well. Ok. Maybe you're right. But know this, whatever is eventually gained or not gained in the larger reform arena, marijuana/cannabis has to be first. I think every reformer, no matter how radical he might be, realizes that. Plus, in legalities and politics, I think that the party that is requesting a change, asks for more than he expects or even wants as way of assuring that he gets what he wants... even if it is "less" to the political or legal opponent. It's so wrong for the use of cannabis to be criminal and to actually prohibit, legally, with draconian punishments and threats of death and prison. It is so wrong to prohibit plant that is truly more than a little, for a fact, beneficial to many people. I'm very sure, I know, that some people among our own fellow citizens, think burning at the stake or some other form of death sentence should be used against "Druggies". They want a more deadly "War" that is already going on. "Their feet are swift to shed blood." They long for the day when they could just go out and kill someone or get them killed for whatever they imagined they needed killing for.They can't "destroy" our issue of ending cannabis/marijuana/marihuana prohibition. When a third of our nation realized the truth about this matter, that's when it was as good as done. That was when marijuana, cannabis policy reform became inevitable. We haven't ended the prohibitionists' reign of terror yet. But we will. It's inevitable. So, I believe the "Make it all a health issue", "Make it a non crime", "Make it all legal" crowd, which I am in agreement with, myself, can have their/our issue and still not destroy the 'cannabis only' one... which I am very much in agreement with. It was and is my first issue. First and foremost. Most people, not all, but most people agree that cannabis should be legalized or decriminalized. Not nearly as many people agree that other drugs should be a health issue and not a criminal issue. The first, cannabis only, certainly won't be forgotten because of the latter.It's really not just our issue anymore, I think. Not the small "our" that it used to be. It's huge. The our that we are a part of now is so absolutely huge that there is no way the "all drugs" idea can stop the cannabis/marijuana truths that so many people know today.That's what I think anyway.
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Comment #9 posted by Ras James rsifwh on January 28, 2011 at 16:15:03 PT:

5 million dead & healed
In the last ten years, 5 million Americans have died as a result of alcohol and tobacco use..while marijuana has healed over 5 million Amercians in the last ten years. 
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on January 28, 2011 at 15:32:54 PT

What a coincidence
US LA: PUB LTE: Don't lump cannabis in with other drugs
Pubdate: 28 Jan. 2010
Source: Daily World, The (LA)
Author: Stan White 
Don't lump cannabis in with other drugsIt's luciferous to lump the relatively safe, extremely popular God-given plant cannabis (marijuana) in with heroin, cocaine and other hard drugs. The effort to continue caging responsible adult humans for using a plant is luciferous. Cannabis was never meant to be prohibited to begin with; that's why God, the ecologician, indicates he created all the seed-bearing plants saying they are all good, on literally the very first page of the Bible (see Genesis 1:11-12 and 29-30). Editorializing to perpetuate cannabis prohibition, persecution and extermination is just plain wrong.Stan White
Dillon, Col.
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Comment #7 posted by NoCowLevel on January 28, 2011 at 15:08:07 PT

 FoM, Celaya; drug legalization
Why shouldn't we push for the legalization of all drugs? Drug prohibition is not limited to solely cannabis. It's stupid to only legalize cannabis and continue to waste ~$30 billion a year trying to prohibit the other substances.How about we go one step further than Portugal and legalize all drugs, thereby crippling cartels, reducing HIV/AIDs rate, increasing the number of people in rehabilitation, reduce ALL drug use, and factually educate the public about drugs? Prohibition of any kind is a waste of time and money, so why don't we be truthful and do what's right instead of doing is necessary to get only what we want?
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 28, 2011 at 14:41:33 PT

I would never get involved in legalizing any substance but marijuana. I have never wavered from my issue and never will. Some of us remember being de-railed over cocaine. I thought we were to learn from history or we will wind up repeating it. 
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Comment #5 posted by Celaya on January 28, 2011 at 14:06:31 PT

Right. Organizations like NORML, SAFER, MPP should rally their members and ALL marijuana consumers and civil rights activists to press ONLY for marijuana reform.Once we remove the support of marijuana reform from these misguided, counter-productive forays to legalize all drugs, those other "reform" organizations will no longer have the support to make these hugely misguided efforts that actually set us back.So. To all marijuana reformers, consumers and Americans who want justice - PLEASE don't join any efforts to legalize all drugs!
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on January 28, 2011 at 14:02:19 PT

Poll on "school zone" sentencing
could use some help! Poll is off to the lower right:
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 28, 2011 at 13:56:49 PT

Oh Celaya
Thank you so much! They will destroy our issue. They don't seem to care about all the hard work and hopes and desires we have had. 
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Comment #2 posted by Celaya on January 28, 2011 at 13:48:41 PT

Unfocused Reformers
The reform community is so fractured, it's power is very diminished. This is a PERFECT example of this problem.Marijuana is in a very unique situation to spear-head reform. Since it is obviously near harmless, it is impervious to rational attacks.Unfortunately, some in the reform community trash this advantage by pushing for the re-legalization of ALL drugs. This strategy is doomed to failure.After decades of reform work, the public is just now becoming ready to accept ending marijuana prohibition.But they are a LONG way from doing so for the hard drugs. Prohibitionists know this, and that's why their "lumping" strategy works so well. They always lump marijuana in with the other drugs to cast their harms onto marijuana.So, along comes this VERY misguided question referring to all illegal drugs. It was heavily campaigned for by several reform organizations.  This played into prohibitionist hands perfectly, and gave Obama an easy out on the question. Hence, the perfect set-up for this distraction:>>>"drugs should be seen as more of a public health issue, and that efforts should be made to reduce waiting times for drug-treatment programs and to help keep nonviolent first offenders out of prison. "On drugs, I think that a lot of times, we have been so focused on arrests, incarceration, interdiction that we don't spend as much time thinking about, How do we shrink demand?" the President said."Marijuana consumption is not a "health problem" or needs to have its demand "shrunk." It is actually a boon to mankind, since every person who switches from alcohol (or other hard drug) to marijuana IMPROVES their life and health greatly as well as that of the communities around them.But our ship was sunk by this disaster of a question.Marijuana reform will save the day - soon.Fighting for ALL drugs to be legalized is just spinning our wheels, wasting time, energy, resources and people's lives who could have been freed by focusing ONLY on marijuana.[Sigh!]
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on January 28, 2011 at 13:15:12 PT

We'll do the job Ourselves.
OBAMA may be opening the door a crack, where other's have nailed it shut. For that We must thank Him.   -A Republican Prez would not crack open the door!BUTI feel as though the "time to have a calm, adult conversation about" cannabis is over. That conversation has already been done enough. 
Government has a little time remaining to RE-legalize the superplant...But with 46.5% (and GROWING) of the vote in Cal demanding to legalize the superplant, Government's about out of time. In 2012, We the people may RE-legalize the God-given plant with out them. -We aint waitin'.We don't need government; We'll do the job Ourselves.-0-And You gotta love the national and international press this issue is getting:"the top 10 questions submitted to the President" TWO TIMES IN A ROW, NOW! 
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