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Susan Sarandon speaks out for legalization

Sorry to subject you to reporting from The Mail (if you follow the link), but they’ve got the quotes from Susan Sarandon’s Huffington Post video.

[Susan Sarandon] said in a new interview that making the plant illegal is ‘racist’ and a ‘waste of money.’ […]

‘I believe in individual rights, I mean, I would like to see everybody be able to smoke pot. That’s a waste of our money to incarcerate all those people. I’m totally a libertarian in that sense,’ the actress said in a HuffPost Live interview on Wednesday. […]

‘It’s completely racist, you’re picking up everybody at the lower level because the mandatory drug laws let you trade in to get off,’ she said. ‘People at the bottom are filling up our jails, mostly people of colour… you’re wasting taxpayers money and allowing drug cartels to make money.’ […]

‘You never hear of anybody robbing stores when they’re too high, they don’t drive cars, alcohol causes more damage to your body, so it’s just a hangup from ignorance that’s become politicised.’

Sarandon is a fairly powerful very liberal celebrity activist, and her voice actively behind legalization could be good to help liberals stop putting legalization on the back burner.

I got to meet with Susan once — we both had some time to kill at LaGuardia airport and chatted for awhile. She was on her way to open her newest ping-pong social club (SPiN) – this one in Milwaukee. Quite delightfully personable.

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9 comments to Susan Sarandon speaks out for legalization

  • ‘It could completely save our a** if we legalized marijuana, just marijuana,’ she said. ‘You never hear of anybody robbing stores when they’re too high, they don’t drive cars, alcohol causes more damage to your body, so it’s just a hangup from ignorance that’s become politicised.’ -S. Sarandon

    I hear this all the time, but legalizing cannabis while leaving all the other drugs illegal is not going to end the Wo(s)D. There are enough rollers (MDMA), trippers(LSD, ect), dopers (opiates), tweakers (stimulants) and users of other drugs out there to take up the slack from the 800K cannabis users who get arrested every year. Does anyone believe that the enforcement of our other, non-cannabis drug laws are colorblind? Despite high levels of reported cocaine use, how many SWAT raids has Wall St. suffered?

    Cannabis may make up some percentage of cartels profits (who knows for sure how much), but there is still a lot of profit to be made from meth, heroin and coke. Legalizing marijuana alone is not going to end the Mexican Drug War, the political corruption in Latin America, the DEA terrorizing chronic pain patients and their doctors, opioid overdoses, the loss of civil liberties and the numerous other consequences of global drug prohibition.

    I will say that users of other drugs view the cannabis legalization movement with some ambivalence. Of course non-cannabis illicit drug users don’t want to see people jailed for using cannabis, but if legalization means simply more scrutiny from law enforcement on the users of other drugs, well that would be an unwelcome development.

    • darkcycle

      “….but legalizing cannabis while leaving all the other drugs illegal is not going to end the Wo(s)D. There are enough rollers (MDMA), trippers(LSD, ect), dopers (opiates), tweakers (stimulants) and users of other drugs out there to take up the slack from the 800K cannabis users who get arrested every year.”
      No. There actually aren’t. Marijuana is by a huge margin the most used illicit substance. It’s also easy to detect, being smelly and bulky. Look at the arrest statistics. No way there are enough users of other drugs to take up the slack. Combined they are still a minority of drug arrests.

      • DC, I admit that perhaps I am giving too much credit to the drug warriors when I say that all those arrests could be made up by other drugs. Cannabis is the most widely used and easily detected, no argument there. However in a world of legal cannabis, looking at current arrest statistics is irrelevant. Is there enough users of other drugs to make up the difference?

        An estimated 8.0 million people aged 12 or older (3.1 percent) were current users of illicit drugs other than marijuana in 2011. The majority of these users (6.1 million persons or 2.4 percent of the population) were nonmedical users of psychotherapeutic drugs, including 4.5 million users of pain relievers, 1.8 million users of tranquilizers, 970,000 users of stimulants, and 231,000 users of sedatives.

        Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings

        Now keeping in mind that these surveys miss a lot of vulnerable populations (homeless, ect), the police would only have to collar 10% of current non-cannabis drug users to make up the difference.

        Also consider that the penalty is usually more severe for other drugs than cannabis. I know a friend (really friend of a friend) who got caught with 100 percocets. Despite the fact that they contain only 500mgs of oxycodone total, the cops weighed the total weight of the pills (which are mostly tylenol and inactive fillers and binders), now he’s facing trafficking charges (10 year mandatory minimum) for “grams” of oxycodone. Suppose there were half the number of arrests, but with sentences twice as long, the end effect would be no net change in the number of drug war political prisoners (assuming the same number of arrests per year).

        IDK, maybe I’m missing something. Can someone point out where I’m wrong?

        • darkcycle

          Problem is they can’t FIND the other drugs (or users) as easily. It’s not like they(the cops) get extra points for a pot bust, one drug is as good as another, AFATAC. If they COULD, they certainly would. Marijuana arrests make up between 60-70% of all drug arrests. They would have to come into every bathroom in America looking at prescriptions to make up that number.

        • I disagree that they couldn’t find the other drugs and users. Have you ever been to an open air drug market? They’re insane, full of dealers, hustlers, prostitutes, pimps and addicts. They survive from a steady influx of cash from people traveling from other , usually suburban neighborhoods to buy drugs or services from the working girls.

          Usually what happens is enough people complain the cops raid the place. sometimes hundreds are arrested and everything is quiet for a few days. Then the market opens in a new location. The cycle repeats. For every dealer busted, another takes his place. Its straight up economics, the only way to end this would be to lock up every addict (and there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of them) to dry up demand. Inevitably a lot of casual users would get caught too.

          Have you ever seen the show The Wire? IMHO it is the best TV show about the “drug Problem”. It is not that hard to make arrests or street busts, but it is ultimately futile. Who knows, maybe when weed is legal I’ll be proved wrong, but I seriously doubt legalizing weed alone will end the WoD.

  • Servetus

    The word ‘addiction’ continues its expansion of meaning to refer to anything anyone likes too much. Food addiction appears to be the next step in the addiction ladder.

    I’m waiting for someone to declare sports or religion to be an addiction, at which point public opinion will probably cause the prohibitionist interpretive nonsense about addictions to run aground.

    • allan

      I felt that way back in ’05 or so when I heard that the drug Nalmefene was being considered as a treatment for shopping addiction…

    • strayan

      I sense that the ‘foods of abuse’ schedule is just around the corner.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Did somebody say sports addiction? Well you know, there isn’t a single day that goes by that doesn’t involve a rolling or flying golf ball in the life of Tiger Woods. The man is so obsessed with golf that he’s got his own indoor putting green. Oh wait, he’s got a new house and it looks like he’s got quite the golf complex in his back yard. Golf, golf, golf, and more golf. That’s all that this poor man thinks about! Golf!

      The man’s domestic violence even includes golf clubs!! I think the poor man is most certainly in need of forced rehab and monitored involvement in a government approved 12 Putt program. Doesn’t anyone care about the children?