This is an open thread to discuss anything you wish as you wait for the Prop 19 results (although waiting is not all you can do â€” Get out the vote campaigns continue today).
OAKLAND, CA â€“ The campaign working to pass Proposition 19, the California initiative to control and tax marijuana, will host a Get Out The Vote rally on Election Day, this Tuesday, in front of Oakland City Hall.
WHO: Oakland City Attorney John Russo; Prop. 19 proponent and Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee; former Wheatland police officer Nate Bradley; United Food and Commercial Workers union organizer Dan Rush; lawyer and mom Hanna Dershowitz and others
WHAT: Election Day Get Out The Vote rally
WHEN: Tuesday, November 2; 10:00 AM â€“ 12:00 PM
WHERE: Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland City Hall
While the rally itself lasts from 10:00 AM until noon, the first hour is targeted to press, and will feature short speeches by all the spokespersons.
I’ve also gathered a fair amount of interesting reading for you.
Comment: The war on drugs is already lost by Ian Dunt
What is losing? No-one really knows. In football there’s a final whistle. In politics, there are elections. But policies have no timer, only consequences. How bad must those consequences be for us to call it quits over the war on drugs? […]
Intellectually, pro-prohibitionists are a dwindling and pitiful breed. Alone and without allies they make their case to an empty room. Behind them, almost every government in the world supports their barbaric and simple-minded agenda. It is baffling. […]
Drug prohibition is philosophically wrong. It denies us the freedom to decide what we put in our own bodies. It is medically wrong. The black market allows drug peddlers to corrupt the substances in a bid to boost quantities, something which would be impossible if the product were regulated. It is socially wrong. It funds the black market and allows drug use to take place in a social netherworld, where addiction and crime are more likely to follow. It is logically wrong, in that decriminalisation tends to see usage and potency drop. When Jacqui Smith obediently followed Gordon Brown’s orders and re-classified marijuana, for instance, its usage was actually falling.
But a mugging here or a burglary there hardly compares to what this insane policy does to us strategically. […]
How much blood does it take before the prohibitionists admit defeat? At what point does their continued failure become a personal moral culpability? They are promoting a policy which kills our children, endangers our troops, counteracts our foreign policy and reduces much of the developing world to anarchy.
The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!
Comes now Russian drug czar Viktor Ivanov, who flew in and injected a bit of old-fashioned reefer madness into the debate. As only someone from the land of double-speak can put it, Ivanov warned of “psychiatric deviations” should California pass Proposition 19. Foreign Policy reports:
Viktor Ivanov, a former KGB officer and prominent member of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, even took the unusual step of going to Los Angeles earlier this week to “conduct a campaign against legalizing marijuana in California,” as he said in the interview. He also came to Washington this week to meet with U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske and U.S. Afghan envoy Richard Holbrooke to discuss anti-poppy measures in Afghanistan and call for an intensified program of aerial eradication.
He warns California, sternly:
“I’m afraid that the consequences of [legalization] will be catastrophic. Even the Netherlands, where they sell marijuana legally in coffee shops, they are now reversing on this. Because there, and everywhere, drug addiction is becoming stronger and the people who are addicted develop psychiatric deviations. They say, ‘What does God do when he wants to punish a person? He deprives him of his mind.’ “
The aptly titled Russian czar does speak with some authority, as his country does have a drug problem of its own. But I’m not sure that support from Ivanov — whose own government has an elastic definition of personal freedom — is an endorsement the anti-19 forces will embrace.
Mary Ann Sieghart: Restore sanity in the debate on drugs
America declared war on drugs 40 years ago. You’d think that by now, it might have won. Instead, any US teenager can buy cannabis, at higher strength and at a lower price. Meanwhile, severed heads are rolled across floors in Mexican discos and innocent people are scared to leave their homes in cities such as Ciudad Juarez, where the war on drugs has taken its highest toll.
Nora Volkow says something true:
One of the issues is that people believe how marijuana affects them is how it affects everyone, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“They base it on their own experiences, and it is possible you can smoke and have no ill effects. It’s also possible you can smoke until age 100 and have no ill effects.
5 Expert Takes on How U.S. Marijuana Legalization Would Affect Mexico
“Experts” are clueless and/or unwilling to actually consider real solutions, as evidenced by this extraordinary confession by “expert” Peter Rueter
Reuter: I am really struck by the lack of suggestions as to what the Mexican government should do other than just give up. I don’t have any good ideas, and nobody else does, either.
A Letter to the Undecided: Prop 19 by Jesse Levine
People sitting on the fence about proposition 19 remind me of people stuck in dysfunctional relationships. They know they should end the relationship but are plagued with anxiety about the future. I’ve tried to relieve some fear about legalization so that you might understand more clearly how futile and destructive marijuana prohibition is and why it should be ended. Prop 19 is down in the polls but the race is close. Please go end the states dysfunctional relationship with marijuana prohibition.
Author’s Novel Aims to Settle Debate Debate Over Marijuana Legalization
Of all the arguments that have been made over the past year in support of Californiaâ€™s initiative to legalize marijuana, perhaps the most convincing is the one found on page 237 of Katie Arnoldiâ€™s novel â€œPoint Dume.â€
The drug cartels are growing marijuana on our public lands. Right this minute, there are millions of plants in grow-sites all around the country and especially in California. The chemicals they use are destroying wildlife, our national parks and designated wilderness. Iâ€™ve been into these grow-sites and have seen, first hand, the enormous environmental devastation. It is a problem that should not be ignored.
Marijuana legalization: why tea party might support Prop. 19 in… Christian Science Monitor?
Whether or not tea party conservatives and libertarians â€“ the two main strands of the powerful political insurgency movement â€“ will help put Prop. 19 over the top is an open question. But some commentators are seeing anecdotal support among many tea partyers for marijuana legalization in California. […]
Yet the poll numbers don’t necessarily indicate that things will turn out this way. Republicans oppose the measure by 65 percent to 25 percent, and those over age 60 are against it by 63 percent to 29 percent, according to the nonpartisan Field Poll.
California’s Slap At Our Drug-Fighting Allies — a particularly stupid editorial from Investor’s Business Daily, known for its stupid editorials.
Whatever the merits of legalizing marijuana in California, passage of Prop. 19 will create a legal mess at a time when Mexico’s war is becoming a higher foreign-policy priority for the U.S.
Although the measure’s prospects seem to be fading, passage could discourage Latin American friends from working with us on the drug problem and inadvertently bring back the old days of ignoring the problem.
Marijuana as a Gateway Drug: The Myth That Will Not Die by Maia Szalavitz in Time.
The problem here is that correlation isn’t cause. Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang members are probably more 104 times more likely to have ridden a bicycle as a kid than those who don’t become Hell’s Angels, but that doesn’t mean that riding a two-wheeler is a “gateway” to joining a motorcycle gang. It simply means that most people ride bikes and the kind of people who don’t are highly unlikely to ever ride a motorcycle.
Whether Prop 19 Passes or Not, Legalization is Now Mainstream by David Borden
Hollywood Stars for Prop 19 (video)
Don’t forget to vote.