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Marijuana: a human right ?

neiphin

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Aug 23, 2009
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5,496
Today, an initiative that would legalize personal marijuana possession and allow regulated sales of marijuana to adults will qualify for California's November general election ballot. A win at the ballot would be a first of its kind in U.S. history. This is a remarkable moment in the struggle to change our decades-old marijuana policies.

Marijuana was prohibited in 1937 before most Americans had ever heard of it. Today the U.S. leads the world in marijuana consumption. Nearly 26 million Americans used marijuana last year and more than 100 million have tried it in their lifetimes. A huge commodity of the underground economy, marijuana is the nation's top cash crop, valued at $14 billion in California alone. Our state Board of Equalization has estimated we would generate $1.4 billion a year by taxing marijuana like alcohol.

Like it or not, marijuana has become a mainstream recreational drug. It is second only to alcohol and cigarettes in popularity and is objectively far less harmful than either. Marijuana is drastically less addictive and cannot cause an overdose. Every major independent study has debunked the gateway myth; for the profound majority of users, marijuana is the only drug people sample not the first. Children across the country consistently report that marijuana is easy for them to get from their peers and the black market while significant barriers exist to buying alcohol and cigarettes.

Unthinkable carnage in Mexico has claimed 15,000 lives since the Calderon government declared war on drug cartels three years ago. Our government estimates the cartels generate at least 60% of their profits from marijuana alone. Following the murders of several U.S. consular workers, Secretary of State Clinton returned to Mexico this week, acknowledging that demand in the U.S. dominates these markets. But she didn't acknowledge that rampant violence is not a byproduct of the cannabis plant itself but of the prohibition that creates a profit motive people are willing to kill for.

Americans are increasingly turning against the prohibition that fails to protect our kids and guarantees a monopoly of profits to violent criminal syndicates on both sides of the border. While polls have long confirmed that large majorities favor treating marijuana possession as an infraction without arrest let alone jail, support for ending marijuana prohibition outright is quickly gaining speed. A Gallup poll last year reported that a historic 44 percent of Americans favor legalization, a 10-point jump since 2001. Meanwhile, sizable majorities of Californians are ahead of that curve, giving rise to the historic initiative we'll vote on this fall.

With this cultural transition underway, you might think enforcement of our marijuana laws would reflect their unpopularity. Sadly, quite the opposite is the case. Arrests for marijuana offenses have actually tripled nationwide since 1991. In California, which decriminalized low-level possession in 1975, arrests have jumped 127 percent in the same two decades the arrest rate for crime in general fell by 40 percent. Police made nearly 850,000 marijuana arrests across the country last year, half of all drug arrests and more than all violent crime arrests combined. No law in the United States is enforced so widely yet deemed so unnecessary.

Worse still, marijuana laws are enforced selectively with racist results. In California, African Americans are three times more likely than whites to be arrested for a marijuana offense despite comparable or even lower rates of consumption. An expose by the Pasadena Weekly found that blacks, who represent 14 percent of that city's population, accounted for more than half all marijuana arrests in the last five years.

It's hard to overstate the significance of the vote this November. Banning marijuana outright has been a disaster, fueling a massive, increasingly brutal, underground economy, wasting billions in scarce law enforcement resources, and making criminals of countless law-abiding citizens. Elected officials haven't stopped these punitive, profligate policies. Now voters can bring the reality check of sensible marijuana regulation to California.

Stephen Gutwillig is the California State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation's leading organization working to promote alternatives to the failed war on drugs.
 


neiphin

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hopefully this will get the ball rolling an these silly laws will be removed
 

The Caped Cod

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Hear, hear, Hope it passes. The tax revenue alone should make a sizeable dent in California's debt, plus it will mean drug dealers take a major hit. If it passes, and works well in California (and isn't sabotaged by whatever California's equivelant of Joe Duffy is - see Head shop threads) it could provide an incentive to other states to do the saem.
 

goatstoe

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Sep 30, 2009
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I agree that marijuana should be regulated and legalised or decriminalised, whichever is best. Only mild weed should be sold and tested regularly and the state should heavily tax the profits. I don't think Joe Duffy will be happy about it, Joe and the auld wans that ring his show would probably put a stop to such a move. What an odd little country this is when Joe and a bunch of auld wans can dictate recreational drugs policy.
 

neiphin

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joe an his auld ones cannot see that they are pushing people to drug lords , who are peddling super strength sh1t laced with god knows what

and i believe that contact with that scum can be a gateway
but allowing people to try a mild strain cannot be any great harm
 

The Caped Cod

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joe an his auld ones cannot see that they are pushing people to drug lords , who are peddling super strength sh1t laced with god knows what

and i believe that contact with that scum can be a gateway
but allowing people to try a mild strain cannot be any great harm
Personaly, I would question Mr. Duffy's motives. He's a d*ckhead, a loud mouth, a polemicist, a gobsh*ite and many other things, but he's not stupid. He is well aware that he is in fact protecting the drug dealers interests. Why, would be the question.
 

Fed Up

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Feb 22, 2010
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499
Personaly, I woould question Mr. Duffy's motives. He's a d*ckhead, a loud mouth, a polemicist, a gobsh*ite an dmany other things, but he's not stupid. He is well aware that he is in fact protecting the drug dealers interests. WHy, would be the question.
Give me EUR475,000 a year and I'll scare up the masses of aul biddies into hysteria about the evil of playgrounds if you want
 

goatstoe

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Sep 30, 2009
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joe an his auld ones cannot see that they are pushing people to drug lords , who are peddling super strength sh1t laced with god knows what

and i believe that contact with that scum can be a gateway
but allowing people to try a mild strain cannot be any great harm
I was surprised and heartened by the comments of a couple of FF reps on recreational drug use lately - Jim McDaid and an FF rep on Frontline. This was when they were debating some of the issues regarding products available in headshops. These two FF reps I'm referring to weren't calling for radical reforms or anything, but they did seem to be adopting a more mature response to the issue in general vis a vis removing it from criminal control and strictly regulating it. As it stands FG will be in govt. after the next GE, as far as I can see they're attitude to recreational drugs legislation is as backward as ever.
 

Foghorn

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Sep 18, 2009
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378
Anything that will take money from criminal gangs and murderers and take away their power can only be a good thing.
So does that make us the bad guys then?
 

neiphin

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did you see vincent browne ask leo varadker did he ever smoke (the wacky backy) ?
he went like a tomato
he got all flustered then said no after looking for a hole to jump into
 

neiphin

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So does that make us the bad guys then?
for some strange reason yes
my neighbor was in court for having resin to the value of e5 on his person
what a wast of the gardai, the courts, and that young lads time
( hes in his early 20s, never in bother , laid back lad)
 

goatstoe

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did you see vincent browne ask leo varadker did he ever smoke (the wacky backy) ?
he went like a tomato
he got all flustered then said no after looking for a hole to jump into
I saw that he was like a young fella caught by his mother with a skin book. Very juvenile, bit like his juvenile outburst in the Dail yesterday. Maybe if he had a bit of blow he'd chill out about old Garrett's ramblings in The Irish Times.
 

sarahj

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I saw that he was like a young fella caught by his mother with a skin book. Very juvenile, bit like his juvenile outburst in the Dail yesterday. Maybe if he had a bit of blow he'd chill out about old Garrett's ramblings in The Irish Times.
:confused: I don't think if he'd taken cocaine that would have helped matters much...
 

sarahj

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Mar 6, 2009
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for some strange reason yes
my neighbor was in court for having resin to the value of e5 on his person
what a wast of the gardai, the courts, and that young lads time
( hes in his early 20s, never in bother , laid back lad)
Same as - I know MANY people who had to go to court for having a joint or a (very small) nodge on them. :( They're all really nice, average lads who are just minding their own business.
 

neiphin

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MEXICO CITY, Mexico — The United Nations' drug law enforcement body has reprimanded Latin American countries that have decriminalized narcotic use, delivering a blow to the growing movement looking for a change in drug policy in the region.
The U.N. body says it is particularly concerned by a 2009 law in Mexico that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of cannabis, cocaine, heroin and other drugs.
“This legal act may give the wrong signal,” says a report released Wednesday by the International Narcotics Control Board, an independent body that monitors the implementation of U.N. drug control conventions.
The board said it wanted to remind the Mexican government that U.N. conventions require that the possession, purchase or cultivation of narcotic drugs be classified as a criminal offense.
The report also attacks the Argentine Supreme Court for a ruling last year that it is unconstitutional to punish the personal use of cannabis.
While not dishing out specific punishments, the narcotics control board has an important influence on drug policy, particularly in the developing world.
Activists in the bubbling drug reform movement here say that the board is taking a too conservative line, and argue that U.N. conventions do not prohibit governments from pursuing more progressive policies toward the treatment of drug addicts.

“Just putting all consumers in jail is a wrong policy. It doesn’t help society to do better and you probably destroy lives instead,” former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria told GlobalPost. “The United Nations meets every 10 years to say that in the next 10 years the world will be free of the consumption of drugs but it never happens. And the violence problems are putting Mexico and Colombia in real danger.”
Gaviria, who ruled Colombia from 1990 to 1994 and oversaw the police killing of cocaine baron Pablo Escobar, has recently joined the drug policy reform lobby — a broad-based movement that argues that the prohibition of drugs fuels violence while not stopping consumption.
The report criticized the participation of Gaviria and others in this campaign.
“The board notes with concern that in countries in South America, such as Argentina, Brazil and Colombia (and in countries in North America, such as Mexico and the United States), there is a growing movement to decriminalize the possession of controlled drugs,” it says.
"Regrettably, influential personalities, including former high-level politicians in countries in South America, have publicly expressed support for that movement. The Board is concerned that the movement, if not resolutely countered by the respective Governments, will undermine national and international efforts to combat the abuse of and illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs.”
Some international watchdogs say that with such criticism, the U.N. board is overstepping its mandate, which is to uphold the U.N. conventions rather than comment on political debates.
“They are making comments based on conservative moral perceptions and not on legal or medical considerations,” said Pien Metaal, of the Drugs and Democracy Program at the Holland-based Transnational Institute.
While the United States has historically pushed for the war on drugs at the U.N., other powers are now bringing conservative ideas to the table, Metaal said.
Among the current narcotics board members are representatives of the Russian Federation, China and Nigeria, which all support hard-line prohibitionist policies toward narcotics.
Meanwhile, the United States itself is beginning to take a more flexible line, with a growing number of states decriminalizing the possession of marijuana and legalizing the drug for medical sales.
In November, Californians will vote on a motion to fully legalize marijuana. If approved, such a law would put California at legal odds with the narcotics board.
American drug reform activists say that the United Nations needs to overhaul its drug policy institutions so the world can move forward on the issue.
“These kind of reports show the INCB is just a profoundly political organization,” said Ethan Nadelmann, director of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance. “The board needs to be abolished.”

By Ioan Grillo - GlobalPost
 

TommyO'Brien

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Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
12,132
Today, an initiative that would legalize personal marijuana possession and allow regulated sales of marijuana to adults will qualify for California's November general election ballot. A win at the ballot would be a first of its kind in U.S. history. This is a remarkable moment in the struggle to change our decades-old marijuana policies.

Marijuana was prohibited in 1937 before most Americans had ever heard of it. Today the U.S. leads the world in marijuana consumption. Nearly 26 million Americans used marijuana last year and more than 100 million have tried it in their lifetimes. A huge commodity of the underground economy, marijuana is the nation's top cash crop, valued at $14 billion in California alone. Our state Board of Equalization has estimated we would generate $1.4 billion a year by taxing marijuana like alcohol.

Like it or not, marijuana has become a mainstream recreational drug. It is second only to alcohol and cigarettes in popularity and is objectively far less harmful than either. Marijuana is drastically less addictive and cannot cause an overdose. Every major independent study has debunked the gateway myth; for the profound majority of users, marijuana is the only drug people sample not the first. Children across the country consistently report that marijuana is easy for them to get from their peers and the black market while significant barriers exist to buying alcohol and cigarettes.

Unthinkable carnage in Mexico has claimed 15,000 lives since the Calderon government declared war on drug cartels three years ago. Our government estimates the cartels generate at least 60% of their profits from marijuana alone. Following the murders of several U.S. consular workers, Secretary of State Clinton returned to Mexico this week, acknowledging that demand in the U.S. dominates these markets. But she didn't acknowledge that rampant violence is not a byproduct of the cannabis plant itself but of the prohibition that creates a profit motive people are willing to kill for.

Americans are increasingly turning against the prohibition that fails to protect our kids and guarantees a monopoly of profits to violent criminal syndicates on both sides of the border. While polls have long confirmed that large majorities favor treating marijuana possession as an infraction without arrest let alone jail, support for ending marijuana prohibition outright is quickly gaining speed. A Gallup poll last year reported that a historic 44 percent of Americans favor legalization, a 10-point jump since 2001. Meanwhile, sizable majorities of Californians are ahead of that curve, giving rise to the historic initiative we'll vote on this fall.

With this cultural transition underway, you might think enforcement of our marijuana laws would reflect their unpopularity. Sadly, quite the opposite is the case. Arrests for marijuana offenses have actually tripled nationwide since 1991. In California, which decriminalized low-level possession in 1975, arrests have jumped 127 percent in the same two decades the arrest rate for crime in general fell by 40 percent. Police made nearly 850,000 marijuana arrests across the country last year, half of all drug arrests and more than all violent crime arrests combined. No law in the United States is enforced so widely yet deemed so unnecessary.

Worse still, marijuana laws are enforced selectively with racist results. In California, African Americans are three times more likely than whites to be arrested for a marijuana offense despite comparable or even lower rates of consumption. An expose by the Pasadena Weekly found that blacks, who represent 14 percent of that city's population, accounted for more than half all marijuana arrests in the last five years.

It's hard to overstate the significance of the vote this November. Banning marijuana outright has been a disaster, fueling a massive, increasingly brutal, underground economy, wasting billions in scarce law enforcement resources, and making criminals of countless law-abiding citizens. Elected officials haven't stopped these punitive, profligate policies. Now voters can bring the reality check of sensible marijuana regulation to California.

Stephen Gutwillig is the California State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation's leading organization working to promote alternatives to the failed war on drugs.
No.
 


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