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March 2009
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Open Thread

I’ve got a huge presentation to prepare by Wednesday morning, so I have no time to blog, but here are a couple of things to discuss…
“bullet” Charlie Lynch’s sentencing has been postponed

U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu asked prosecutors for a written response from the Justice Department about its position on medical marijuana prosecutions in light of recent comments from Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr.

“bullet” Marijuana legalization bills have been introduced in Massachusetts. That’ll be interesting.
“bullet” Fascinating article about the history of cocaine at infozine in a review of Paul Gootenberg’s new book: Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug
“bullet” Since I don’t have time today to debunk these, take a stab at it yourself:

  1. Byran Myrick in the Seattle Conservative Examiner: Former Seattle Police Chief Stamper proposes radical legalization of ‘all’ drugs

    Even if the government could resist the temptation to perpetuate a drug market to put funds in the public coffer, it would still be in the business of violating a code that doctors live under and which should be adopted as the Twenty-eighth Amendment to the U.S Constitution: ‹Do no harm.Š

    According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy‰s 2004 report on the economic costs of drug abuse in the United States, (the full report can be accessed here) the costs in terms of health care and lost productivity resulting from drug abuse was more than $180 billion in 2002. It would be foolish to expect those costs to disappear due to legalization. It might be wiser to assume their increase.

    The reasons for and against legalization often seem more like constructs that are used to defend purely moral arguments in which the rules of evidence and debate do not suffice. In this way, Stamper‰s proposal seems to suggest an amoral approach toward drugs at best, or an embrace of their effects at worst. As a society we have, by and large, recognized that drugs an intrinsically destructive force. For now, I am confident that moral clarity will be enough to halt efforts like Stamper‰s in their tracks.

  2. Barrett Duke in the Baptist Press: Legalizing marijuana incrementally (Note: this article is also available at opposing views where it’s possible to comment.)

    The last shoe to drop will be the legalization of marijuana distribution for recreational purposes. As marijuana use becomes part of the culture, we can expect to see a movement toward decriminalization of all marijuana use and distribution. If marijuana is decriminalized, we will see the rise of every kind of drug related problem, from performance impairment to family disruption to addiction to crime to premature death. This is not the kind of change America needs. What we need is the enforcement of laws that protect the vulnerable and that help all Americans achieve their greatest potential. What we don’t need are more threats to that goal.

    Medicinal marijuana is a threat to our nation’s wellbeing and health, not a prescription for a better life. The Obama administration has just made life more difficult for many of our fellow citizens and threatened the future of many millions more.

Have at it.
Oh, and a note: Absolutely no name calling against other commenters in the comments. And that means, if necessary, turn the other cheek. Come on, guys, you know better. I really have better things to do than play den mother. Thanks.

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