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‘celebrating’ 35 Years Of Failed Pot Policies
04-20-2007, 03:23 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-20-2007, 03:27 AM by Easy Skanking.)
#1
‘celebrating’ 35 Years Of Failed Pot Policies
Quote:‘Celebrating’ 35 Years of Failed Pot Policies


By Paul Armentano
Senior Policy Analyst
NORML / NORML Foundation

Thirty-five years ago this month, a Congressionally mandated commission on US drug policy did something extraordinary: they told the truth about marijuana.

On March 22, 1972, the National Commission on Marihuana (sic) and Drug Abuse – chaired by former Pennsylvania Governor Raymond P. Shafer – recommended Congress amend federal law so that the use and possession of pot would no longer be a criminal offense. State legislatures, the Commission added, should do likewise.

“[T]he criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use,” concluded the Commission, which included several conservative appointees of then-President Richard Nixon. “It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only with the greatest reluctance.

“… Therefore, the Commission recommends ... [that the] possession of marijuana for personal use no longer be an offense, [and that the] casual distribution of small amounts of marihuana for no remuneration, or insignificant remuneration, no longer be an offense.”

Nixon, true to his ‘law-and-order’ roots, shelved the report – announcing instead that when it came to weed, “We need, and I use the word 'all out war,' on all fronts.” For the last 35 years, that’s what we’ve had.

Consider this: Since the Shafer Commission issued its recommendations –

* Approximately 16.5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana violations – more than eighty percent of them on minor possession charges.
* US taxpayers have spent well over $20 billion dollars enforcing criminal marijuana laws, yet marijuana availability and use among the public remains virtually unchanged.
* Nearly one-quarter of a million Americans have been denied federal financial aid for secondary education because of anti-drug provisions to the Higher Education Act. Most of these applicants were convicted of minor marijuana possession offenses.
* Total US marijuana arrests increased 165% during the 1990s, from 287,850 in 1991 to well over 700,000 in 2000, before reaching an all-time high of nearly 800,000 in 2005. However, according to the government’s own data, this dramatic increase in the number of person’s arrested for pot was not associated with any reduction in the number of new users, any reduction in marijuana potency, or any increases in the black market price of marijuana.
* Currently, one in eight inmates incarcerated for drug crimes is behind bars for pot, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 billion per year.

Perhaps most troubling, the factor most likely to determine whether or not these citizens serve jail time or not isn’t the severity of their ‘crime,’ but rather where they live. Today there are growing regional disparities in marijuana penalties and marijuana law enforcement – ranging from no penalty in Alaska to potential life in prison in Oklahoma. In fact, if one were to drive from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon, he or she would traverse more than a dozen jurisdictions, all with varying degrees of penalties and/or tolerance toward the possession and use of pot.

Does this sound like a successful national policy?

There is another approach, of course. The Shafer Commission showed the way more than three decades ago.

Marijuana isn't a harmless substance, and those who argue for a change in the drug's legal status do not claim it to be. However, as noted by the Commission, pot's relative risks to the user and society are arguably fewer than those of alcohol and tobacco, and they do not warrant the expenses associated with targeting, arresting and prosecuting hundreds of thousands of Americans every year.

[Image: GSS-Legalizing-chart.jpg]
source: General Social Survey

According to federal statistics, about 94 million Americans – that's 40 percent of the U.S. population age 12 or older – self-identify as having used cannabis at some point in their lives, and relatively few acknowledge having suffered significant deleterious health effects due to their use. America's public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.
It makes no sense to continue to treat nearly half of all Americans as criminals.
source
“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after
equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. ” -Nikola Tesla

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix
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04-20-2007, 06:08 AM,
#2
‘celebrating’ 35 Years Of Failed Pot Policies
All true and good. I would only say that from The Man's perspective the pot policies are an incredible success. An easy way to get even non criminals into the system, break up their families, limit their income potentional with a record, a new slave labor pool, keep minorities down, etc. It's all good, and a win win for the NWO. As far as a monetary expense to society, taxes, at least the federal type, don't pay for any of these things. They have unlimited capital to institute whatever measures we the people will suffer, and apparently there's no limit to what we'll accept. We can't build prisons fast enough to house ourselves.
[Image: 13703654.jpg][Image: rock1.jpg]
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04-20-2007, 11:25 PM,
#3
‘celebrating’ 35 Years Of Failed Pot Policies
Quote:All true and good. I would only say that from The Man's perspective the pot policies are an incredible success. An easy way to get even non criminals into the system, break up their families, limit their income potentional with a record, a new slave labor pool, keep minorities down, etc. It's all good, and a win win for the NWO. As far as a monetary expense to society, taxes, at least the federal type, don't pay for any of these things. They have unlimited capital to institute whatever measures we the people will suffer, and apparently there's no limit to what we'll accept. We can't build prisons fast enough to house ourselves.

agreed. hemp legislation owes far more to social control and freeing potential hemp markets to corporate interests. it has nothing to do with ethics or safety, or freedom.
Vitam Impendere Vero
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05-17-2007, 03:23 AM,
#4
‘celebrating’ 35 Years Of Failed Pot Policies
As if "legalization and taxation" would be that good of a legal alternative for recreational pot consumption.

At this point regional marijuana prices vary from roughly $6 to $15 a gram for the goods.

The only possible scenario I can see the government implimenting is giving marijuana production capabilities to mega-corporations that would surely use many additives for the process (like the tobacco industry using radioactive fertilizers.) This processed and probably crappy pot would then be sold to us at market for prices in line with the current trend only to be jacked up over time.

Add to this severe penalties for "freelance" grow operations and you have a recipe for an even shittier deal than we have now. At least in Ohio anything under 100 grams is a simple $100 fine.

As much as I would love to see weed "legalized" I have to admit I seriously doubt we'd ever get a fair deal from the dickheads in power who are far more scared of losing votes than making us more free.

Personally I think I should get to decide which poisons go into my body. Rather have the dubiously hazardous THC than aspartame. Then again, widespread THC distribution wasn't Rumsfield's pet project.
&We grow to recognize form. We grow to label that form. In doing so, do we become more intelligent? Do we become more awakened?& - Siji Tzu 四季子
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