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Prohibition’s devastation is about more than just Marijuana

It certainly seems that a tipping point has been reached regarding marijuana and prohibition, although it’s way too early to relax as the opposition has a lot at stake in the game and will not give up easily.

However, it’s important to remind ourselves that our destructive drug war is damaging to society and people regardless of the drugs being prohibited.

bullet image Tony Newman: Beyond Marijuana: Gearing Up For the Battle to Decriminalize All Drugs

But what about the other drugs? My colleagues and I at the Drug Policy Alliance are committed to ensuring the decriminalization of all drug use becomes a political priority.

Criminalization is not only failing to effectively control drug use, it’s a barrier to protecting individual and public health. As long as drug use is a crime, people are going to be afraid to get help.

bullet image John Stossel: The War on Drugs is Worse Than NSA Spying

It’s true that some Americans destroy their lives and their families’ lives by using drugs. Others struggle with addiction. But if illegal drugs are as horrible and addictive as we’ve been told, how come the government’s own statistics say millions try those drugs but only a small percentage continue using?

Ninety-five percent of those who have tried what we think of as “hard drugs” report not using the substances in the past month. […]

“The data simply shows that the vast majority of people who use these drugs don’t go on to become addicted,” he said on my show. “In fact, some of these people go on to become president.” […]

In fact, Hart says, the drug war is worse than [alcohol] Prohibition. It costs more, has lasted longer and doesn’t just kill people in the U.S.: From Afghanistan to Colombia, American helicopters try to destroy drug crops. Foreigners gain one more reason to hate Yankees.

Arrogant and ignorant politicians do more harm than the social problems themselves.

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21 comments to Prohibition’s devastation is about more than just Marijuana

  • Howard

    “Arrogant and ignorant politicians do more harm than the social problems themselves.”

    Could there be worse combinations of mental deficiencies than arrogance AND ignorance? I think not. But it seems those combined forces are the exact qualifications required to become a successful politician these days. Argh.

    • Duncan20903

      Arrogance and stupidity. The ignorant are capable of realizing that they’ve been ignorant and therefore can stop that.

    • Rita

      Arrogant, yes. But ignorant? After 40 years? Not a chance. And I’m not buying stupid, either. Self-serving. Arrogant and self-serving.

  • claygooding

    As long as we are fighting the richest and most powerful banks and corporations in the world expecting congress to do the “”right thing”” is pissing in the wind.
    I have adopted Malcolm’s approach into some of my postings,,instead of pointing out hypocrisies and bought studies i have started using this approach:

    “”Right now the government is in a battle with it’s citizens,,it is not a shooting war but a propaganda war that is costing millions of tax dollars in a time when they are cutting social programs and services,,it is a double edged sword now because now they are fighting not only the legalization of marijuana but the legalization of hemp as well.

    Advocates of hemp legalization fully realize the only reason hemp is prohibited is marijuana and marijuana advocates realize that legalization of marijuana ends hemp prohibition while the government is spending money like water to fight it.

    The corporations and banks involved in keeping hemp and marijuana off the open market are the most powerful ones in the world and that is why our politicians will never end it through congressional legislation but we,the people can.

    Corporations and banks can buy legislation and legislators but they cannot buy the people.

    If you are called to jury duty in a non-violent marijuana trial you have the power to begin the end of prohibition by refusing too convict and if enough informed people are on the jury even nullify the law.

    It is time to send a message to congress that we,the people run this country,,not the rich corporations and banks.””

  • ageduncle g

    Hopefully, the ‘tipping point’ has been reached and conversations like these will merely be quaint memories in a few years. However, even complete victory on the legalization issue, whether it be for cannabis only or for all drugs, isn’t going to keep crooked politicians from being elected by misguided voters who fall prey to the propaganda and outright lies fed to them through the corporate-controlled media. And those pols will be ever so giddy when they get their greedy little paws on the billions in new revenues generated by legalized drugs. I try to remain positive, but it is a struggle.

    • primus

      I hold out hope, because the interweb is allowing the truth to spread. So long as we can stop the pols from choking the net, we have hope.

  • Servetus

    The drug-war-fueled, privatized prison industry (Gladiator School) experienced some setbacks recently.

    Four Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) prison-for-profit contracts were canceled due to issues with inmate violence, and problems like this one:

    One of the two prisons, the Dawson State Jail, was the site of multiple high-profile prisoner deaths, including a baby girl who was allegedly born into a prison toilet after staff ignored her mother’s requests for medical assistance.

    The contract cancellations occurred in Idaho, Mississippi, and Texas. The lessons provided by the CCA failures have not been absorbed by those addressing prison problems:

    In Idaho, Board of Corrections Chairperson Robin Sandy said that the state won’t be allowed to take over the Gladiator School because that would amount to “expanding” state government.

    New private prison contractors (MTC in Mississippi) are being hired to take over the errant Gladiator Schools. However, profiteering being what it is in the United States, expect to see Gladiator Schools move to the ever-profitable entertainment screen by 2017.

  • claygooding

    You Could Build a Border Fence Out of Seized Marijuana

    http://tinyurl.com/lmnjstz

    If you’ve always wanted to roll a spliff the size of the Washington Monument, the Border Patrol may be able to help.

    Border agents and related workers at ports of entry seized 17 million pounds of marijuana on the Southwest border between January 2005 and October 2011, according to records obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

    If you stacked all that pot on a baseball diamond, not only would it make a certain San Francisco Giants pitcher very happy, it would be 100 feet tall and 100 feet wide.

    There’s a lot of other fun stuff you could do with it, according the news outlet, which actually did math and stuff to figure this out.

    If you rolled up all that mary jane, you could invite everyone on Earth over, give them two joints apiece (14.2 billion joints) and still have 2 billion joints left over for late night.

    Perhaps most fitting of all, you could take those same joints and build an 11-foot tall fence along the entire expanse of the U.S.-Mexico border. Actually you could span it 359 times if you lined it with one single marijuana cigarette after another, according to CIR.’snip’

    Tell me once more that the cartels are only making 2>3 billion a year from pot Rand.

    Tell me how many marijuana users there are in America and explain too me how they consume that much pot SAMSHA.

    And that does not count the domestic crops.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    A couple of weeks back there was a demolition in Philadelphia which went horridly wrong and six people in an adjacent property were killed. The backhoe operator tested positive for cannabinoids and codeine. Of course the Ignorati promptly forget the codeine and consider that proof that it was cannabis that caused the accident. Heck, that’s why Rodney is my current avatar, because cannabis is the Rodney Dangerfield of substances on the naughty lists. No respect at all.

    It’s usually not worth arguing because the prohibitionists just shut off their brains and say case closed. There have been allegations that the backhoe operator’s employer cut a bunch of corners on safety. Experts have said there was no way that the contractor could have made a profit on his bid without being grossly negligent. The really interesting part that I’ve just stumbled across is the city’s building inspector who should have insured the safety protocols at this work site committed suicide a week after the event. I suppose it could be unrelated.
    Philadelphia Inspector Commits Suicide Week After Building Collapse

    Now it’s starting to smell like graft and corruption. Throughout the brouhaha no one has stated anything negative about the worker’s job competence, just (some of) the compounds found in his blood.

  • DonDig

    Isn’t it amazing that anyone can think that introducing jail-time into any drug consumers experience is beneficial to that individual, society or anyone else, in any way?
    People who consume drugs are obviously seeking relief from something, in order to continue coping in our modern world, or simply wanting to feel better, so yeah, the best thing society can do to help them out is put them in prison.
    “That’ll straighten ‘em right up!”
    “Really? Come on.”
    Well, yeah, OK, if you’re going to imprison folks and make money from their misfortune.
    Otherwise, it’s just exactly like putting people in jail for going to the racetrack, playing cards, or any other adult entertainment.

    Prohibition breeds crime, crime ups the ante: high-stakes crime can often create murder.
    Let’s see, is murder worse than a hangover?
    Prohibition fails.
    I rest my case, dear choir.
    How can anyone support this today?

  • Sukoi

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta just said that MJ propaganda and prohibition is bullshit on national TV and he is, of course right, and millions of people saw it! They also saw some MJ toking mom’s and other testimony. The prohibitionists didn’t go unanswered either, Piers actually questioned them, go figure… http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/

    • Citizen Teus

      http://bit.ly/19c0OJa

      “According to Gupta, marijuana has the potential to be an addictive and abusive substance; about nine percent of people may become addicted or psychologically dependent. In comparison, around 15 percent of people become addicted to alcohol, with 23 percent of people using LSD or heroin becoming addicted.”

      Wait a minute. WTF? I must have missed the study that concluded LSD is as addictive as heroin.

    • allan

      Dude!

      speaking of interwwweb piratical types… good to see you Sukoi.

      • Sukoi

        Thanks Allan, I’ve never been far away as I read DWR daily and you guys are still just as awesome as always. I can’t think of a better group of people to be associated with even though many of the people here now don’t know who I am or my past contributions.

    • B. Snow

      Uhm, Sanjay Gupta has actually done a pretty big “turn-around” om marijuana = He was on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson – Dr. Sanjay Gupta June 5th 2013
      He talked a bit about his new Documentary, and Believe me he’s really changed his tune on this!

      It may not be a full 180′, Not just yet = If he did that he’d lose credibility, people can change their views on things in Modern America.
      BUT, they have to do it slowly & whatnot… taking in “new facts” and being *SHOCKED* that people have been disingenuously LYING THEIR ASSES OFF FOR DECADES!

      I Was “Shocked, Truly Shocked I Tell You” = and Try to act like you we’re truly fooled… And, NOT just happily “hippy-punching” for fun and/or profit!

      Oh, and it helps if you say (Your) stance/view/position is “Evolving” – see ‘marriage equality’ for a recent example, It works! WELL, on anyone that’s remotely persuadable to begin with & many that people thought weren’t/aren’t -see Southern/Black Church Groups, the NAACP, and other groups that were once prudish – shift to “compassionate” views.

      Even if they disapprove on some level, they can’t deny someone the right to marry the person they love – as a basic civil right = as long as it’s not in “their church”…

      And they won’t be able to justify punishing people for using marijuana aka “cannabis” either – as a basic Civil liberty = as long as it’s not in front of them. I think cannabis will actually be the Politically Correct name again, for real this time – particularly as the historic racism inherent in “Marihuana Prohibition” is acknowledged.

      As people find out that the stuff they’ve heard at least once from nearly every stoner they’ve ever met spout (heavily paraphrased) – from a copy of Jack Herer’s – “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” = that they ‘read somewhere’…
      Now-days, everyone can find this stuff AND more recent & more persuasive material = thanks to Internet & PDF’s, and Non-US Research… the Israeli University is one that Gupta mentions going to visit & seeing vaporizers used there – in hospitals IIRC.

      AND – add in the fact that it’s costing those *disapproving tax-payer’s* (aka “Dirty Hippy-Haters”) their tax-money to either ‘jail’ OR “rehab” users = and that *Third Way* crap Sabet is shoveling will be gone PDQ!

      And FWIW, Seeing Kennedy on Maher last week or so = I think he may have been “convinced” by Nora V. and Her negative-research-only NIDA garbage.
      If not then I have to wonder if he’s either being disingenuous with THEM to keep himself out of trouble (legal and/or political) Or disingenuous with US for some other reason(s) = political aspirations maybe?

      But that’s almost too obvious, IDK it’s awfully late & I got up at 4am [aka what’s now ‘yesterday’ morning] and the last 22hrs are really starting to add-up, good-night folks – *falls “out like a light” sideways on the arm of the couch & begins lightly snoring*

  • Servetus

    Prohibition connects to and promotes nearly every other type of government corruption. Thanks in part to prohibition, civil rights violations are the new status quo, total information awareness the norm. In a country that seems so long ago to have referred to itself as the leader of the free world, prohibition remains a vector for racism, bigotry, political intrigue, foreign interventions, ill-conceived moral crusades, and a mounting death toll that has yet to be thoroughly counted or verified.

    There are positives and negatives to this situation. The negatives we know about. We here on Drug WarRant mine drug-war atrocities daily, like it’s some industrial diamond vein that extends deep into the depths of Cthulhu’s lair. But positives exist in the form of unique and rare opportunities for change.

    Victory over the drug war means we can defuse the triggers of the drug war, as well as neutralizing its ancillary apparatus. Everything and everyone connected to enforcing prohibition will face exposure, and the scrutiny of the victors. Prohibition will add itself to the dustbin of failed judicial methods. We will know for certain who cooperated, who committed the crimes against humanity, and why.

    Shutting down these avenues of malfeasance and corruption will be like clamping arteries that supply nutrients to a cancerous brain tumor. That’s the positive. All that is connected to the tumor will go away, including ignorance of, and tolerance for primal mechanisms that create culture wars and corresponding exploitations of citizens by authoritarians, corporatists, and governments.

  • Irie

    I am aware I am “preaching to the choir” here on the couch, but this article that I am going to give the link to is absolutely and utterly vomit retching. If after reading this article you are not convinced that the police have too much power and enjoy it, you seriously need to be a victim to feel the pain they can inflict, and the fact they enjoy doing it, and brag about it.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/what-cop-tshirts-tell-us-_n_3479017.html

  • Irie

    I am aware I am “preaching to the choir” here on the couch, but this article that I am going to give the link to is absolutely and utterly vomit retching. If after reading this article you are not convinced that the police have too much power and enjoy it, you seriously need to be a victim to feel the pain they can inflict, and the fact they enjoy doing it, and brag about it.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/what-cop-tshirts-tell-us-_n_3479017.html

  • DdC

    Just saw most of the doc on Todd Marinovich. I’d like to make a documentary, or see one on The Marinovich Project. If there was no prohibition. If Nixon just let it be. How many lives would have been spared the suffering blamed on drug use? Every arrest, every forced rehab only taking money. The hypocrisy of testing Ganja and treating positive results worse than steroids that do harm the body. Panic in needle park showed what happens when essentials are taken and humans have no alternatives. They de-evolve back into survival mode. If its food, water or heroin. It serves the same “addictions” as sinamet for Parkinson or sudden withdrawal from barbiturates or alcohol.

    But criminalizing the situation doesn’t even enter near common sense or logic or morals or ethics. To perpetuate this shame and horror for money is beyond most comprehension levels. Work for money, inherit it even robbing banks can make sense in certain situations of disparity. But to do harm to someone and collect funds and then collect more funds treating the person with more funds treating the side effects of the treatment. Or prevent it and potentially cure it with Ganja grown in the herb garden. Without giant infrastructures using up steel, plastic, crude oil, coal, nukes and trees. If you outlawed carrots you could profit on the system of justice we have. It’s just not as versatile and doesn’t threaten Wall St Walmartians as does Ganja and Hemp. Still a despicable way to live.

    ☛ ❝Marinovich is known for the well-documented, intense focus of his training as a young athlete, and for his brief career upon reaching the professional leagues that was cut short primarily because of his addiction to drugs.❞

    It wasn’t the drugs, his performance proved that. It was prohibition.

    ‘The Marinovich Project’

    ☛ ❝Marinovich has had a number of arrests, many of which have been related to his ongoing drug problems, including nine arrests in Orange County, California, alone. In 1997 Marinovich was arrested on suspicion of growing marijuana. ❞

    Prop 215 became law in 1996 and because Lungren and Wilson refused to enforce the law many were punished for doing what the citizens said was legal.

    ☛ ❝he served two months in jail, and a third at a minimum-security facility in Orange County known as the Farm.❞

    Re-education facilities making loads of money treating what they deem as a problem. That actually is the problem. Some of these for profit rehabilitators are religious institutions forcing conversions as the only proof the sin of addiction has been cured by Jesus. By passing many of the states regulations for patient care.

    ☛ ❝In August 2004 he was arrested by Newport Beach police for skateboarding in a prohibited zone. Marinovich was arrested in a public bathroom in Newport Beach, California, in May 2005 after being found with apparent drug paraphernalia; he gave his occupation as “unemployed artist” and “anarchist”.

    Marinovich was ordered to undergo six months of drug rehabilitation followed by six months of outpatient treatment as a result.❞

    KaaChing!

    ☛ ❝In August 2007, Marinovich was arrested and charged with felony drug possession and resisting a police order after being stopped for skateboarding near the Newport Pier boardwalk.

    Orange County Superior Court Commissioner James Odriozola decided to give Marinovich another chance at rehabilitation and released him to a rehab program in Laguna Beach…❞

    KaaChing!

    ☛ ❝In August 2008 after one year of sobriety, Marinovich was hired as a lecturer by Newport Coast Recovery, a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Newport Beach.❞

    Ah, proof of successful rehabilitating, more pat kennedy converts. Any one see Bill Mahar interview where Kennedy actually referenced NIDA Nora as if she was an unbiased source of info, if we didn’t believe him. Sure ask the vested ignorance. Are we really that naive? That’s like Mussolini quoting Goering on how to protect I.G. Farben for Hitler. Anslinger and Rockefeller with propaganda minister Hearst referencing each others lies and hobgoblins, the way they sell soap. Now lies are used to make policy to ban research on the lies. Trust?

    ☛ ❝On April 3, 2009, he was arrested in Newport Beach after he failed to appear… He was ordered to be held in jail without bail until his May 4 hearing before the Orange County Superior Court.❞

    Failure to appear for what should have never been a crime. Like the guy who got life for breaking out of prison, on a crime he was proven innocent over. As bad as the sick person going to prison for possession from relieving their pain with Ganja. Spraying cotton with 90 million pounds of poison while growing organic hemp gets the same jail time as heroin. The wingnuts are in the control towers banning planes from landing. At least until they run out of gas. Laws that don’t make sense, usually make a few big bucks.

    Similarities to the way they stigmatized, coerced and intimidated Ricky Williams.
    NFL’s Buzzkill
    The Hypocrisy of the NFL

    or

    Michael Phelps, Hypocrisy, & American Drug Policy

    Orange County is dangerously paranoid of cannabis…

    The Murder of Peter McWilliams
    Whatever the “official” cause listed on McWilliams’ death certificate, he was, by any definition of the word, murdered by the federal government. If a lone human being forcibly denied a patient their lifesaving medication, which then hastened their death, that cruel person would certainly be indicted for murder. Yet Peter is only the latest victim of an uncaring, unaccountable, unquestioned “drug” policy run by a retired 4-Star Army General, Drug “Czar” Barry McCaffrey- the stone cold heart of Marijuana Prohibition.

    Although punishment is supposed to begin after the accused has been convicted, the federal government seemed intent on punishing even killing Peter from the time of his arrest. Even though he posed no flight risk, he was held for almost two months, until he could raise $250,000 bail. And the feds did everything possible to block that. When his elderly mother pledged her house, the prosecutors called and told her that if he smoked marijuana, she would lose her home!

    L.A. Forfeiture Squads Kill California Millionaire
    The task force arrived at Scott’s estate before 9 a.m.. They crashed through the door and pushed Scott’s wife, Frances Plante, through the kitchen into the living room. She screamed “Don’t shoot me! Don’t kill me!”, apparently awakening her husband, who came downstairs brandishing a gun over his head. According to Plante, the officers told him to lower the gun, and, as he lowered his arm, they shot him to death. They left him lying in a pool of blood on the floor as they searched the premises, finding no trace of marijuana anywhere on the estate.

    too many to list…

  • Rita

    One thing I’ve never understood is why people who know their government has been lying for decades about marijuana still believe anything else they’re told about other drugs. The only other reason I can think of for the DPA’s plan to legalize pot and force the rest of us into treatment is the belief that the lives and freedom of some are somehow more precious than the lives and freedoms of others. That’s the exact mentality that gave birth to the prohibition that led to the drug war. And isn’t that what we’re trying to end?

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