cannabisnews.com: COLUMN: Legalization is Best 





COLUMN: Legalization is Best 
Posted by FoM on February 10, 2000 at 07:38:13 PT
By Joseph Baker, The Rebel Yell 
Source: U-WIRE
Does a drug user, sitting in his house, perhaps smoking marijuana to combat nausea from her chemotherapy bother you? How about a sober person beating the heck out of you because you looked at them funny? The possessor of one gram of LSD, 100 grams of powder cocaine or heroine, 10 grams of methamphetamine or PCP face a mandatory ten-year prison sentence without parole. 
Possession of over five grams of crack cocaine is punished by a 20-year mandatory sentence. The average federal manslaughter convict gets five-years. Assault convictions bring about three years and eight months. These violent criminals have parole as an option. In June of 1997, the U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics show 1,725,842 men and women incarcerated. Nearly 75 percent of the growth in the federal prison population between the years of 1985 and 1995 came from drug law violations. Over a ten year period the state prison population nearly quadrupled due to drug laws. In 1998, 58.9 percent of Bureau of Prisons (BOP) prisoners were drug offenders. Only 2.3 percent of BOP prisoners were violent offenders. Even if choosing to use or sell drugs is a poor one, where is the freedom to choose what to do with our bodies? Will trips to McDonald's for a hamburger soon be outlawed? Some argue that drug users are in prison because they incite violence. Then why are people convicted of manslaughter and assault serving less time than non-violent drug offenders? We are only threatened by drug users if the prohibition of drugs raises prices out of their reach unless they rob and steal. Why are pot smoking cancer patients jailed by the Federal government even after their states approved pot as a medicine? Prohibitionists tell you they have health concerns, but they are more concerned about their jobs. The War on Drugs provides so many new prisoners, American society jails more of its per-capita population then South Africa at the height of Apartheid. If health matters, why are alcohol and nicotine legal? Those who annually die of illegal drug overdoses (6,000 for heroine and cocaine) are eclipsed by those dying of alcohol (150,000) or tobacco (400,000).  Our politicians are thinly veiled hypocrites for taking tax money from alcohol and tobacco for their pet projects while funding the annual $6 billion dollar battle on drugs. Drug prohibition began after the failure of alcohol prohibition. Government employees needed another profession and those black/Mexican pot smokers, as well as the Chinese opium smokers, made easy marks. End the imprisonment of non-violent drug offenders and use our jails for good use. Put violent anti-social criminals away. It's a sad day when rapists and child molesters walk out of jail on parole to make room for marijuana dealers. (U-WIRE) Las VegasPublished: February 9, 2000(C) 2000 The Rebel Yell via U-WIRE Copyright  1995-2000 Excite Inc.CannabisNews Articles from U-WIRE:http://www.alltheweb.com/cgi-bin/asearch?type=all&query=CannabisNews+U-WIRECannabisNews Articles on Legalization:http://www.alltheweb.com/cgi-bin/asearch?type=all&query=CannabisNews+Legalization
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Comment #2 posted by 2112SolarFederation on February 10, 2000 at 22:06:36 PT
Drug War just a way to raise taxes. That's it.
What if the drug war really is just a way to raise taxes and not have it look like they're raising them. It must be an incredible amount of money for them to be so oblivious to the FACTS. They've admitted worse a lot sooner based on the facts. Just my guess, but I think they're afraid they couldn't raise taxes enough after cancelling the war on drugs to compensate for everything that has been built up around it. It all comes down to revenue. that's my 2 or 3 cents 
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on February 10, 2000 at 09:13:02 PT
Medicine for the dead
Thomas Jefferson said it best: Trying to argue with someone who has divorced the use of reason has all the usefullness of administering medicine to the dead. Boy, he sure had the DrugWariors pegged to a tee.All the facts of their failures are immediately available, every day. In fact, they compile the statistics themselves, but for some reason they never read them - correctly, that is. Trying to talk with them is a waste of time - they have repeated their own propaganda so long they are oblivious to the facts that belie it. The term, 'cognitive dissonance' is something they definitely experience, but like a severe form of schizophrenia, they are unaware of the fact they suffer from it. The only way to successfully deal with this situation is to end run these guys via the legislature. Passing this info such as given in this article along to youre Reps, and letting them know that they, like the rest of us, are being had by the DrugWarriors, will prove more effcetive in the long run than by trying to talk to DrugWarriors.They know which side of the political (and economic) bread the butter is on, and they are not about to drop it on the floor in a suddenly remembered fit of troubled conscience. I mean, if they did that, they'd probably have to find new jobs while in their middle age. With all the lives they have ruined in their Children's Crusade of a DrugWar , they are bound to meet up with someone whose career their madness destroyed. And have to go begging hat in hand to that same person. Now wouldn't that be something?
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