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May 2009



Medical marijuana passes Illinois Senate; head of drug task force thinks it’s a bad idea

Senate approves medical marijuana bill, sends it to House

A measure legalizing medical marijuana finally made it through the state Senate on Wednesday, but a major hurdle remains before it can become Illinois law. The Senate voted 30-28 for Senate Bill 1381, giving the measure right at the 30 ‘yes’ votes needed to pass. The […]

Democratic State Party passes resolution calling for legalization of marijuana.

Full report at Raw Story

The Democratic Party Committee Abroad, otherwise known as Democrats Abroad, passed a resolution on April 25 recommending the legalization of marijuana in all 50 states.
The news appears to have gone completely unnoticed by all mainstream outlets.
The Democrats Abroad are considered a state party by the Democratic National Committee, which affords them eight elected, voting members. They help U.S. citizens who are traveling and living outside the United States cast ballots in national elections.

So yes, this is a legitimate state party within the Democratic National Committee, now on record for the legalization of marijuana. Here’s the resolution.

The Obama Administration has wisely stopped Federal prosecution of marijuana sold for medical purposes in a manner compliant with state regulation, thus alleviating the suffering of cancer patients and others who would benefit from medical marijuana.
Only thirteen states regulate the sale of marijuana for medical purposes.
Criminalization of non-medical uses of marijuana continues to contribute needlessly to organized crime at home and abroad, illicit drug trade, overburdening of the criminal justice system, and diverts valuable criminal justice resources away from more serious crimes.
The Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy heavily criticized U.S. drug policy and called on the U.S. to decriminalize marijuana in a report coinciding with increased drug-trade violence in Mexico;
The dominant argument against liberalized marijuana regulation, the gateway theory, has been consistently disproven, most recently by a RAND Corporation study commissioned by the British Parliament;
According to a World Health Organization survey conducted in 2008, the United States of America has the highest rates of marijuana use in the world.
In the Netherlands, where adult possession and purchase of small amounts of marijuana are allowed under a regulated system, the rate of marijuana use by both teenagers and adults is lower than in the U.S.
55% of Americans believe possession of small amounts of marijuana should not be a criminal offense, according to a 2005 Gallup poll.
In the U.S., almost 90% of more than 9.5 million marijuana-related arrests since 1995 were for simple possession not manufacture or distribution.
We praise the Obama administration for its bold step to make marijuana available for medical purposes,
We call upon states that do not yet provide the reasonable regulation of medical marijuana to do so as soon as possible, to alleviate suffering wherever possible.
We recommend replacing the current policy of marijuana prohibition with a taxed and regulated system modeled on how alcohol is treated in the U.S.

The AP continues to write articles with the main point missing

There are a number of versions of this AP article by David Crary article in the papers today around the country, but all of them seem to have the same defect.
They talk about American appetites for drugs, Mexican cartels profiting, and even about supply and demand, but never once mention prohibition as a factor.

The Mexican drug cartels battling viciously to expand and survive have a powerful financial incentive: Across the border to the north is a market for illegal drugs unsurpassed for its wealth, diversity and voraciousness.
Homeless heroin addicts in big cities, ”meth heads” in Midwest trailer parks, pop culture and sports stars, teens smoking marijuana with their baby boomer parents in Vermont in all, 46 percent of Americans 12 and older have indulged in the often destructive national pastime of illicit drug use.
This array of consumers is providing a vast, recession-proof, apparently unending market for the Mexican gangs locked in a drug war that has killed more than 10,780 people since December 2006. No matter how much law enforcement or financial help the U.S. government provides Mexico, the basics of supply and demand prevent it from doing much good.
”The damage done by our insatiable demand for drugs is truly astounding,” said Lloyd Johnston, a University of Michigan researcher who oversees annual drug-use surveys.

Colorful writing with strong statements that lead… nowhere. And again, all of the pieces of the puzzle are there, they just fail to put it together.
For example:

”It’s a drug dealer’s dream sell it in a place where he can make the most money for the risk taken,” said Dr. H. Westley Clark, director of the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. […]
”When the U.S. government turns up the pressure a lot, then is when you see a return to the old formula of saying [to Americans], ‘You also have corruption, you consume the drugs, you’re the biggest drug consumer in the world,’ ” said Jose Luis Pineyro, a sociologist at Mexico’s Autonomous Metropolitan University. […]
”People say, ‘It’s easier for me to get pot than to buy a beer,’ ” said Barbara Cimaglio, deputy commissioner of the state Health Department’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs.

Hello??? Every part of this article points to prohibition, and yet prohibition is never mentioned, let alone what might happen if prohibition were changed or eliminated.
This is irresponsible reporting. Even worse, it’s stupid reporting.
Imagine a sports reporter covering a baseball game, say between the Cubs and the Cardinals, that ended up with the Cubs winning 35-2. He goes on about how each of the Cubs had at least 3 hits (including the pitcher) and how incredibly great they all are at hitting. But he never once mentions the Cardinals’ pitching (or the fact that none of the regular pitchers were even at the ball park having all come down with the flu). He’d probably lose his job as a sports reporter.
And yet, the major newswires do this all the time when it comes to reporting the drug war.