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couch, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
October 2003



Why must I pay to watch lies?

I’m just trying to watch a little TV. A ball game, a movie… And recently it seems that every night I end up seeing the same commercial at least once. It’s propaganda. Worse, it’s a lie. And I helped pay for it. Tax dollars fund the Drug Czar’s Media Campaign, which includes a number […]

Chicago Sun-Times has it right

In today’s editorial “U.S. on the Wrong Side of Medical Marijuana Battle”

There are so many reasons to decry the federal government’s policy on medical marijuana that one hardly knows where to begin. First is medical science, which shows that marijuana provides unique comfort for those suffering from glaucoma, the effects of chemotherapy, and other ailments. On this alone, stubborn federal resistance to permitting limited use of marijuana would seem irrational, even cruel.
But that is only the beginning. Nine states, from conservative Arizona to liberal Alaska, have passed laws permitting the use of marijuana with a doctor’s prescription, and another 35 states approved of legislation acknowledging marijuana’s medical value. Thus to have the federal government so vigorously fighting to undermine the states in an area — the oversight of medical practice — that is otherwise left to local discretion, seems an inexplicable encroachment of Washington into the rights of states.
And now, as if more support were necessary, the U.S. Supreme Court has turned down a Bush administration request that the federal government be able to harass doctors merely for describing the benefits of medical marijuana to their patients. This was perhaps the most invidious government intrusion of all, since it went beyond the expected control of illicit substances into the control of ideas, of speech. Unable to counteract the evidence that proves the value of medical marijuana, the administration cravenly sought to control the communication of that evidence…

Go ahead. Read it.

An Excellent Article

SAY GOODBYE TO “JUST SAY NO” – The Drug Laws Have Been Ineffective And Counterproductive. So Change Them. by Simon Potter, President of the Canadian Bar Association, in the upcoming issue of Time Magazine (Canada).

Our current laws have not stopped people from using marijuana. What these laws have done is greatly expand the profits of criminal and even terrorist organizations, promote a violent black-market trade and waste the time and limited resources of police, prosecutors and the justice system. They have made the drug use that does occur more dangerous. Governments have relied on simplistic “just say no” messages to deal with the complex nature of drug use in our society. They have distracted us from the central issue–why some individuals use drugs in a way that causes harm to them and to the communities around them. In short, the existing approach has been unnecessary, expensive, ineffectual and counterproductive.
Criminal law is a blunt instrument, inappropriate for dealing with many of the subtleties of a complex society. The Canadian government’s own statement of criminal-justice policy recognizes this. The Criminal Law in Canadian Society, released in 1982 when Jean Chretien was Minister of Justice, stressed that the criminal law was an instrument of last resort, to be used only when other means of social control were inadequate or inappropriate. Yet successive federal governments have chosen to ignore this policy when it came to drugs…

We need more of this kind of truth and reason reported in the media.