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The Hill: “Obama Drug Plan ‘Firmly Opposes’ Legalization as California Vote Looms” | The NORML Stash Blog

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11 responses to “The Hill: “Obama Drug Plan ‘Firmly Opposes’ Legalization as California Vote Looms””

  1. McD

    This is an excellent letter. You really ought to print it and send it to the Pres.

    Personally, probably because I’ve lived abroad for so long and am consequently more sensitive to others’ perception and opinion of the US, I would add a paragraph about the damage (cannabis) prohibition is doing to US interests abroad. It’s not just Mexico, you know? All over the world people are wising up and asking themselves what good this US/UN/UK Axis policy/mandate/obsession (delete as appropriate) is doing. Unfortunately, the answers don’t make the US look good. In some cases, I’m afraid, the damage may be irreparable. Certainly, the longer the travesty continues, the greater the damage to the US. As a US citizen abroad, it’s most important to me personally that the President is made aware of this.

  2. Rick M

    Mr. President,

    You once said that when you were young, you “inhaled frequently. That,” you said, “was the point.”

    Yet nowadays your drug policy czar says that legalization is “not in [your] vocabulary.” You oppose the legalization effort in California, and presumably the ones in underway in other locations as well. You plan to send more weapons to Mexico to escalate the drug war that is already killing thousands of people every year (7 murders a day in Juarez alone), and destroy the lives and careers of thousands of Americans for enjoying the same simple pleasure that you have “frequently” partaken of.

    Mr. President, do you really think the current policy has merit? I don’t think so. When you weren’t running for president, you said we needed to reform our laws. As a marijuana smoker yourself, you know first-hand how innocuous the stuff is. No, I don’t believe that you think marijuana should be treated as a dangerous substance, or its use as a federal crime. Rather, I think you lack the courage to stand up and say what you know to be the truth: cannabis is, as the DEA has said, the safest therapeutically active substance known to man; and the “war on drugs” – which is really a war on drug users, mostly marijuana users – is itself far more harmful than that which it purports to try to prevent.

    I could be wrong, of course. But if you truly think marijuana use should be criminalized, and that its users should face the harsh criminal penalties that they do, then I submit that you should lead by example. You should waive your protection under the statute of limitations and turn yourself in for your unprosecuted drug crimes. You should plead guilty in a court of law to possession and, as may be appropriate, cultivation, distribution, conspiracy, and whatever other laws your own marijuana use violated. You should then face whatever penalties are involved – including civil asset forfeiture, mandatory minimum prison sentences, loss of your right to vote or hold office, and any other punishment that the system you support metes out to those who, unlike yourself, are not so lucky as to avoid arrest and prosecution.

    Legalization and regulation will someday allow responsible adults to use cannabis in preference to more dangerous substances that are (and should remain) legal. It will offer economic benefits. It will reduce prison crowding, and free up the police to fight real crime. It will enable regulation of cannabis and eliminate the black market that has turned an estimated one million schoolchildren into drug dealers.

    I voted for you, Mr. Obama – indeed, I worked without pay for your campaign – because you promised change we could believe in. But since taking office, you have continued far too many of the misguided policies of your infamous predecessor, including the continued escalation of the “war on drugs.” It’s time to recognize the truth of what you yourself said when you were not running for president. The current drug policy has been an abject failure, and sorely needs to be changed. That would be change I could believe in.

  3. Charlotte Bloebaum

    I too have smoked marijuana most of my adult life and I am nearly 68. I too raised 2 kids, now have 2 beautiful grandchildren and helped raise my granddaughters half sister. Been married to the same man for 45 years and although we are seniors we are both gainfully employed – yes, he smokes too. Please tell me how marijuana has had an adverse affect on us? I take very few medications – only one eye drop. There must be many more people out there in similar circumstances – and they too need to speak up. I voted for Obama – I think he must feel if he does not oppose it will hurt him because I do not believe for an instant that a person as intelligent as he is could not truly believe it is harmful – especially since he too has indulged!!

  4. McD

    “I’m afraid you have a better opinion of those who have chosen the dark side. I have known some intimately, and can vouch they take deep, inner delight in their evil ways.”
    Ahhh, good and evil – the dark side and the choice… These things are not forever. They are transient states, which is what makes essential defence mechanisms, like denial, such an important part of the human condition.

    “The truth will out, but when? In the seventies, we thought it would happen before the decade ended. Surprise………”
    Yes, it was wrong to try and hold progress/evolution/God (delete as appropriate) to a schedule, but I think we’ve learnt quite a bit by having done that, so perhaps now we can relax and see the whole process as something like, ‘The Dawn of the Age of Aquarius’ (which some believe occurred on Valentines’ Day, 2009 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Aquarius)). Like a kid waiting for Christmas who wakes up at 4AM on Christmas morning, it must be happening right now. The keenness of anticipation dulls the perception of time. “One minute feels like a lifetime / Oh, baby, baby, baby when I feel this way.”

    I know there’s a lot of crap expounded about 2012, but I think there might be a kernel of reality from which the fantasies sprout. If you look at our time as a fulcrum and imagine 2012 as the centre, then you could see 1969 as forty-three years before 2055. Eighty-six years is not a long time to execute the sort of change that began to become visible to some people in the sixties and seventies. Actually, if you think of it like that, then it’s hardly a tick of the clock in evolutionary terms.

    “If you want to see some sick puppies standing by their anti-cannabis screeds, come by the Sacramento Bee’s “Weed Wars.” It is a collection of current events in marijuana policy with discussion after each one. Since California is readying to vote to end marijuana prohibition in November, I believe this forum of the capitol city is a crucial battleground for public opinion and that of legislators.”
    Three cheers for California! It’s got to be you. Come on, chaps, we know you can do it!

    “http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/weed-wars/”
    Yes, this is an interesting site. Thank you. I’ll have a better look at it at night when it’s quiet and I can read properly.

  5. John Thomas

    I’m afraid you have a better opinion of those who have chosen the dark side. I have known some intimately, and can vouch they take deep, inner delight in their evil ways.

    The truth will out, but when? In the seventies, we thought it would happen before the decade ended. Surprise………

    If you want to see some sick puppies standing by their anti-cannabis screeds, come by the Sacramento Bee’s “Weed Wars.” It is a collection of current events in marijuana policy with discussion after each one. Since California is readying to vote to end marijuana prohibition in November, I believe this forum of the capitol city is a crucial battleground for public opinion and that of legislators.

    http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/weed-wars/

  6. McD

    Hmm – strange – three identical grammar typos: enable=enables, take=takes, become=becomes. Should have re-read it before posting!

  7. McD

    This is the whole point of denial: it enable you to continue doing (or not doing). It take an enormous amount of spiritual/emotional/psychological energy (Call it what you will.) to maintain, the toll and demand from which may eventually induce the sufferer to find a way of overcoming circumstance to come to terms with whatever it is terrifying him/her (losing job security, losing a feeling of superiority, simple fear of the unknown, etc.).

    Then there’s the feeling of being a fool and being hated by others. This must be the final stage. Anyone who’s able to stick by their denial (about cannabis prohibition) for much longer now must be a very sad puppy indeed. I don’t think most deniers spend much time thinking about it, because they expend so much energy trying not to think about it, but as that become more difficult, I should think there must be some who are suffering terribly now in coming to terms with the end of their denial. I take your point and agree with you about the gravy train, but those who are aware of what’s going on must really be shitting themselves now. (Unless, of course, you’re on the winning side.) The truth will always out.

  8. John Thomas

    McD

    Since it has been obvious for decades that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol, I don’t think prohibitionists care one bit about the destruction they cause. There are only two reasons for supporting the fraud of marijuana prohibition. Either you profit from it, or you are exercising your bigotry/ignorance. In either case, the scoundrels are happy to accept the “collateral” damage as long as they can keep the gravy train rolling and/or their ideology dominant.

  9. McD

    “There it is in black and white — in less than 100 words: The federal government’s entire justification for marijuana prohibition;”…

    Can you imagine how difficult it must be for them to accept how wrong they’ve been and what terrible, irrevocable damage they’ve caused with their ignorance?

  10. mikekinseattle

    It’s time for all of us ‘normal’ pot smokers to come out of the closet. I’m a 56 year old computer professional. I’ve raised 2 kids who are now great adults, I’ve been happily married the same woman for for over 25 years. I’m a homeowner and I’m involved in life. Basically, your average middle class guy. And I have smoked pot off and on for my entire adult life.

  11. John Thomas

    There is a big push now to put marijuana demonization in full gear because of California’s voting in November on ending marijuana prohibition. Check out this screed by our old pal Barry McCaffrey appearing in several newspapers:

    http://www.sacbee.com/2010/05/10/2740564/former-white-house-drug-czar-barry.html?mi_pluck_action=comment_submitted&qwxq=8514859#Comments_Container

    I hope marijuana reform is up the challenge of all the prohibitionist garbage that will be flying until November. I think we should be aiming at the base of the flame – that is, WHY these powerful people are fighting so hard to maintain the fraud of marijuana prohibition. Most Americans now know marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Now they need to know why its prohibition is being so zealously protected, despite all the destruction it causes.

    Do WE really know? See Catherine Austin Fitts’ Narco Dollars for Beginners.” (Keep in mind that while Fitts employs cocaine because it best suits her metaphors, marijuana comprises 80 percent of all “illegal” drug sales).

    http://www.narconews.com/narcodollars1.html

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