It is important to note the original instances that created our current problem. A racist push for department finances and special interests were the original reasons for marijuana prohibition. Alcohol prohibition had ended. The head of what equaled the DEA 70 odd years ago needed tax revenue. This is the original mindset and process that criminalized marijuana.
Harry J. Anslinger - most direct founder of marijuana prohibition:
"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are N e g r o e s, H i s p a n i c s, F i l i p i n o s, and entertainers. Their S a t a n i c music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek s e x u a l relations with N e g r o e s, entertainers, and any others."
"…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races."
"Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death."
"Reefer makes d a r k i e s think they’re as good as white men."
"Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing"
"You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother."
"Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind."
William Randolf Hearst - H.J.Anslinger’s Yellow Journalism partner, San Francisco Examiner:
"Marihuana makes fiends of boys in thirty days - Hashish goads users to bloodlust."
"By the tons it is coming into this country - the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him…."
Other nationwide columns:
"Users of marijuana become STIMULATED as they inhale the drug and are LIKELY TO DO ANYTHING. Most crimes of violence in this section, especially in country districts are laid to users of that drug."
"Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim’s life in Los Angeles?… THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES - that is a matter of cold record."
"Hearst and Anslinger were then supported by DuPont chemical company and various pharmaceutical companies in the effort to outlaw cannabis. DuPont had patented nylon, and wanted hemp removed as competition. The pharmaceutical companies could neither identify nor standardize cannabis dosages, and besides, with cannabis, folks could grow their own medicine and not have to purchase it from large companies. "
After completing a two year plan to brainwash society using these sensationalist reports fostered by racist ideology and funded by special interest, all these guys needed was evidence.. They of course did find their evidence - A two year campaign of manipulated media-opinion coverage was presented as documented evidence to a government committee..
The committee passed the legislation on. And on the floor of the house, the entire discussion was:
Member from upstate New York: "Mr. Speaker, what is this bill about?"
Speaker Rayburn: "I don’t know. It has something to do with a thing called marihuana. I think it’s a narcotic of some kind."
"Mr. Speaker, does the American Medical Association support this bill?"
Member on the committee jumps up and says: "Their Doctor Wentworth came down here. They support this bill 100 percent."
And on the basis of that lie, (Doctor Wentworth is recorded as saying the complete opposite to them), on August 2, 1937, marijuana became illegal at the federal level.
Possession of marijuana required a $1 stamp. Individuals without this stamp faced a $2,000 fine, and up to 4 years in prison. Obtaining this government issued stamp required you to show the marijuana in which you were applying for. Following this tax act incriminated you of possession, and therefore made you viable for arrest.
At this point the enforcement bodies are using similar tactics to maintain negative opinion on marijuana… Current public remarks, ads, and press releases do not contain the same racist sentiment - that is true.. usually… unless indirect… Although… the use of marijuana among users of all races here in the USA are proportionate, but for some strange reason arrests for possession is considerably varied when viewed by race…
No, it is FEAR they still publicly use… Disjointed ads that depict someone neglecting a child or whatever horribly bad imagery they can muster to hold your moral fiber hostage.. Tools of fear, these things are not directly related with marijuana use. There are plenty of people that neglect children with no influence of marijuana. Those are the same people whether they excessively watch TV, play some mmorpg, drink alcohol, abuse steroids, coach a high school football team - what ever - eat pizza every weekend.. the correlation might as well be any of that… Fact is, you would not want intoxication and care of a child together… General opinion supporting this is twisted into acceptance that marijuana makes this happen… Irresponsibility is the fiend, and marijuana did not create the irresponsibility. Imagine the same message blaming beer for causing the child neglect… Excluding propaganda, a seemingly more plausible scenario anyhow, blame is naturally assigned to the drinker and not the drink. The changing factor is the shroud of "Reefer Madness". Same old "Earth will plunge into H e l l" fear mongering smoke and mirror arguments. Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Of course, there are entities that benefit from marijuana prohibition and are also sworn to uphold it as part of their very job description.
To quote the DEA, the last time I was at their site:
"The short term effects of marijuana use include:
Memory loss, distorted perception, trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor skills, decrease in muscle strength, increased heart rate, and anxiety."
Now lets look at short term effects with alcohol, only briefly though because the list just goes on and on.
The short term effects of alcohol use include, but not nearly limited to:
Reduced inhibitions, loss of muscle control, memory loss and/or blackouts, trouble with thinking and problem solving, nausea, vomiting, headaches, hangovers, stupor, distorted perception, decrease in heart rate, decrease in muscle strength, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, and coma.
To put it mildly, I personally do not think marijuana is addictive. Sources supporting otherwise say marijuana is addictive on a psychological level and not a physical level… So, you think you need it, but your body, including the brain, is not truly addicted. Negative effects of detoxing for marijuana are as bad as anxious behavior/less patience. Negative effects of detoxing for alcohol are as bad as death. Rational individuals, who are agenda free, can not deny the dangers of alcohol.
The prohibition on marijuana is much worse for society than legalization.
Suggest, if you will, any normal everyday citizen. They go to work, balance their check book, pay for things, raise children… you know, live a regular life with one exception; they ingest marijuana. Barring any excessive usage/abuse, (which is the typical marijuana user, and clearly the same case as with many already legal substances), these people function fine… except respiratory issues when smoked. Do I need to mention it is legal to "smoke"? Now lets look at when that same normal everyday citizen gets arrested for possession.
Prohibition can cause in short:
1) job loss
2) criminal charges
3) loss of children
4) denial of federal aid
5) financial downfall
6) life endangerment
7) loss of freedom
The cruel and unusual punishment list goes on. Point is, again, marijuana prohibition is worse for the individual/society than legalization.
Not for a moment should we accept this "gateway drug" propaganda. Those whom do, think this plant is essentially the stepping stone to harder drugs. This bothers me, the marijuana plant is really the first step of drug abuse, and punished as the worst class of drug? Seems to me, these already invalid arguments contradict themselves anyway. This is cruel and unusual punishment at its finest. You get caught with the first step, and you get punished as if you were on the last step. Yes, the broad arm of enforcement claims it is favorable in the struggle to discourage usage of marijuana so it wont draw you in, s u c k you up into a crazy world of drug culture, and expose you to other harder illegal drugs. Even pretending this is real, and it is not, people still end up paying the exaggerated punishment while campaign results are grim. Prohibition is the fiend and marijuana did not create the prohibition. Eliminate the black market distribution and good people will no longer need to be exposed to the black market.. Eradication and prohibition efforts have not accomplished this, and I dare say will not.. You have to give it up to the enforcement agencies though. They are charged with upholding this law and to do anything they can that will accomplish that. It is our job to change the laws, then enforcement will be sworn to uphold the new ones.
Earning an honest lower wage, and competing with a retail market is not what drug dealers want. The huge profit multiplier is because of risk. With no risk payment, and the threat of having to do business by the book, dealers will no longer be attracted to marijuana sales. Individuals will not require the assistance of the dealers for marijuana. Dealers will have much less revenue in which to fund other illegal activities. Drug cartels do fund terrorists, and even partake in terrorist activities as a part of the "business". Our government is forcing 30 percent of us, at least once in our lives, to further terrorist activities. This plant, for a majority of all human history, has been legal, widely used, and caused little problem. It was made illegal, and kept that way for unjust reasons of greed and ignorance. So our misguided government is advancing the same terrorism they currently have an expensive war against.
Marijuana should not be illegal, and that is the very reason it should be legal. Even with that in mind, I have compiled an 8 point outline using the "why marijuana should be legal" format.
Marijuana prohibition was founded on racist lies to benefit special interest greed. As a "free" society, we should not allow this kind of behavior from our government. This is not only promoting an erosion of our own freedom, it is doing so to line the pockets of fear mongering hate spreaders, and private companies. Eliminating this law illustrates how we will not, and should not ever stand for this.
Enforcement is charged with upholding these laws, so their propaganda is widely spread, biased, largely unfounded, and will undoubtedly say anything to accomplish their desired end result. Our government in general has an effectiveness largely determined by public sentiment. Look at any war. Obvious exaggerations and out right lies publicly spread using our hard earned tax dollars is not the way to garner positive opinion. It has worked in the past, but is quickly losing it's credibility with regards to marijuana. Removing the prohibition will be a stand against fear ruling our society.
Legal substances, alcohol mentioned here - also things like water and aspirin - kill more people per year, marijuana being a historical 0 death rate. The amount of danger involved with using this plant speaks to my previous point. It also means, with effects less than that of other unscheduled already legal substances, it can only be a law dictated from opinionated hyperbole. Justice is supposed to be blind. If a judge is to rule on these issues, by proxy they are forced to peek underneath the blindfold with unfounded bias in their eyes. Repealing laws influenced in this way would restore at least that faith of just causality in the government.
The addiction, according to most studies, is the same kind you would get if you were addicted to TV or candy.. It is in your head, and not a trait of marijuana. With no threat of physical addiction, we are supporting a system of behavioral control. That is against a founding principle of the United States of America. Dropping this kind of legislation ensures personal choice over draconian laws.
Propaganda largely addresses lack of responsible behavior which is not a trait of marijuana. Social awareness programs that address responsible decision making is the tool best suited for this issue. Just as the propaganda says, there is indeed a gateway issue here, prohibition itself creating the doorway to criminality. Public health policies enforced by incarceration of non violent, responsible adult participants, is known to create criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens. The institutions responsible for holding marijuana offenders perpetuate further criminal endeavors substantially. Legalizing marijuana will drop crime while enhancing public safety and health.
The punishment for possession is cruel and unusual punishment by the government's own definition, i.e. it is the first step of use and scheduled as the worst. While this is another example of the government "protecting" our safety from our own behavior using persecution, it also denies the Bill of Rights. Marijuana should not be scheduled at all. Obvious signs of this is that same inability to define the plant one way or the other. Without this prohibition we will empower personal restraint as well as responsible behavior.
The gateway drug theory has been time and again disproved with personal behaviors and prohibition being the real culprits. Just as my last point states, personal behavior should not be dictated by law when possibly avoided. Scientific disapproval in most cases will point mostly to a few possible factors explaining the true gateway effect. The substance being illegal actually thrusts the individual at the criminal element. The link of harder drug usage could be drawn between other examples of comparable numbers, (say cigarettes,alcohol, .. or ice cream). People that have addictive personalities tend to not need a physical addiction to be addicted. While in jail, any individual is far more likely to pick up other criminal habits, as well as a criminally enabling self image. The drug dealer, looking for higher profit, is likely to offer more powerful, exciting, and higher priced samples of other drugs. Just good business, since the buyer is forced to go to them anyway. The "up size me" method of sales is quite common. Ending the war with this plant will drop drug usage, crime, and deny junk science.
Current laws are unjustly forcing a prison state - not working - costing us vast amounts of money in lost possible tax revenue, as well as the cost of punishment, enforcement, and propaganda etc. I have personally heard public officials say marijuana will kill you. They are corrected and accept the correction. Further stating that they are not aware of any individual that ever died from marijuana use. These employees are on our payroll. They are to be representative of the people.
Prisons are over populated and it is very expensive work to care for inmates. In 2009, the federal spending for enforcement ends up around $20,000,000,000 , state and local being around $30,000,000,000 , with total drug arrests at 1,743,767 , ones related to marijuana 827,000 , and 10,244 of those imprisoned in 2009 alone laughs in the face of budget crisis. Combining enforcement budgets and averaging cost comes to $28,674 per arrest, and 47% of the total arrests are for marijuana. Using this per arrest average, $23,500,000,000 in 2009 on marijuana arrests. There is a conservative $21,000 a year average for an inmates imprisonment that comes to $215,124,000 added in 2009 alone for marijuana inmates. Considering a 6 year average turn over, there is a $1,290,744,000 growing annual bill to be paid. Disregarding any appeals or cases taking several days to complete we can say each court case would easily be more than $3,000 each on average. For a year of court cases against the possession of a plant, $2,481,000,000 is spent at least. Taking surface numbers of just enforcement, inmate housing, and court costs alone, comes up to $27,271,744,000 for 2009.
Total marijuana prohibition financial costs are far greater than this. Enforcements own numbers will vary anywhere from $100,000,000,000 to $200,000,000,000 per year depending on the representative. Getting rid of the marijuana prohibition can save substantial money, create jobs related to the market, as well as provide tax revenue for real social health programs that successfully educate about marijuana, and prevent the horrible atrocities that happen to these non violent people while in jail.
It bears to mention, above points are not the complete list by far.
To those whom are against marijuana - please free your mind of arguments attached to fear mongering, tired old stereotypes, and junk science.
For those of you that FEEL marijuana use is just not right, you do not want it around, or do not want to deal with it, observe the machine behind your "If it feels good, do it" prohibition policy. They tout, it doesn't have to be about anything other than a question of morality, but they also say it is something that should not be left up to the masses to decide. Just who else are they thinking should decide "morality"? One thing is for certain, they want it to be an entity that agrees with them. We the people of the United States of America do have the power to decide if we so choose. How dare any group think they will steal that right! Definition of morality is exactly when the masses should decide. Contrary to this double standard angle, they also "inform" citizens of inconclusive, out of context, out of date "info facts" from studies they just so happen to accept as valid. Beating the drum, saying let scientific studies decide the matter. Promised lighter sentences if the criminally charged agrees to go to drug rehabilitation. Then turn around and reference the amount of people that go through drug rehabilitation as why marijuana should remain illegal, and as proof there is indeed high addiction..... really? Not only does this also fly in the face of their morality arguments, it is their common enforced practice to ignore the majority of studies done, and any pro marijuana stance. These are not studies or pro marijuana positions by cartoon icons or popular cult imagery as they would have you believe. These are very real and credible organizations that include, but are not nearly limited to:
AIDS Action Council, AIDS Treatment News, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Student Association, American Nurses Association, American Preventive Medical Association, American Public Health Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom), Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited, Australian National Task Force on Cannabis, Belgian Ministry of Health, British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, British House of Lords Select Committee On Science and Technology (Second Report), British Medical Association, Canadian AIDS Society, Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs, Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host), French Ministry of Health, Health Canada, Kaiser Permanente, Lymphoma Foundation of America, The Montel Williams MS Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada), The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom), National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM), National Association for Public Health Policy, National Nurses Society on Addictions, Netherlands Ministry of Health, New England Journal of Medicine, New South Wales (Australia) Parliamentary Working Party on the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes, Dr. Andrew Weil (nationally recognized professor of internal medicine and founder of the National Integrative Medicine Council), Alaska Nurses Association, Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA), California Academy of Family Physicians, California Nurses Association, California Pharmacists Association, Colorado Nurses Association, Connecticut Nurses Association, Florida Governor's Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS, Florida Medical Association, Hawaii Nurses Association, Illinois Nurses Association, Life Extension Foundation, Medical Society of the State of New York, Mississippi Nurses Association, New Jersey State Nurses Association, New Mexico Medical Society, New Mexico Nurses Association, New York County Medical Society, New York State Nurses Association, North Carolina Nurses Association, Rhode Island Medical Society, Rhode Island State Nurses Association, San Francisco Mayor's Summit on AIDS and HIV, San Francisco Medical Society, Vermont Medical Marijuana Study Committee, Virginia Nurses Association, Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC), Wisconsin Nurses Association, AIDS Action Council, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, AIDS National Interfaith Network (Washington, DC), AIDS Project Arizona, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Being Alive: People with HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA), Boulder County AIDS Project (Boulder, CO), Colorado AIDS Project, Center for AIDS Services (Oakland, CA), Health Force: Women and Men Against AIDS (New York, NY), Latino Commission on AIDS, Mobilization Against AIDS (San Francisco, CA), Mothers Voices to End AIDS (New York, NY), National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, B i s e x u a l And Transgender Association, National Native American AIDS Prevention Center, Northwest AIDS Foundation, People of Color Against AIDS Network (Seattle, WA), San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC), Addiction Treatment Alternatives, AIDS Treatment Initiatives (Atlanta, GA), American Public Health Association, American Preventive Medical Association, Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (San Francisco, CA), California Legislative Council for Older Americans, California Nurses Association, California Pharmacists Association, Embrace Life (Santa Cruz, CA), Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Hawaii Nurses Association, Hepatitis C Action and Advisory Coalition, Life Extension Foundation, Maine AIDS Alliance, Minnesota Nurses Association, Mississippi Nurses Association, National Association of People with AIDS, National Association for Public Health Policy, National Women's Health Network, Nebraska AIDS Project, New Mexico Nurses Association, New York City AIDS Housing Network, New York State Nurses Association Ohio Patient Network Okaloosa AIDS Support and Information Services (Fort Walton, FL), Physicians for Social Responsibility - Oregon, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Virginia Nurses Association, Wisconsin Nurses Association, American Cancer Society, American Medical Association, British Medical Journal, California Medical Association, California Society on Addiction Medicine, Congress of Nursing Practice, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Jamaican National Commission on Ganja, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana, Texas Medical Association, Vermont Medical Society, and Wisconsin State Medical Society.
Enforcement's own chosen studies usually say there is no conclusive evidence for the very same "info fakes" they decide to reference. They understandably leave those parts out. Also, upfront denial of the fact that a doctor is more qualified than enforcement when determining what is the best treatment for a patient if it involves marijuana. Then they turn around and support exponentially more dangerous, pharmaceutical narcotics. Insisting this is fine for even children, if it is a doctor prescribed pharmaceutical product. The "If it feels good, do it" acceptance of this complete hypocrisy does not feel so good anymore when looking at our often attacked, delicate, eroding freedom and future that is at risk.
I say yes, “save the children”! Children are indeed adversely affected by marijuana prohibition either through criminalized family members, their very own future, or completely unregulated underage availability.. Drug dealers look to make profit at what they do. This easy profit is directly due to these individuals defying law. They are not required to ID children for age restrictions, and why would they? Their business is above the law, and under the table. Drug dealers have to be caught in their professional practice of secretly breaking the law. A legitimate business, on the other hand, has a lot to lose for breaking age restrictions. Legal store fronts are physically fixed in position, and easily witnessed. Numbers prove age enforcement is not only possible, but plausible when legal business is involved. Countless polls and studies certainly do show it is far easier for the average teen to purchase marijuana than say regulated alcohol. Current underage usage of marijuana is staggering when looking at even enforcement's own information. The only available form of age control, by this farce of law, is extended penalties. An increased penalty for pushers that already willingly break the law for a profit? This does not drop underage usage or availability. Legalize and regulate marijuana so we can protect our children!
In conclusion, there is big money at work - alcohol, textile, oil, enforcement agencies, drug cartels, pharmaceutical companies, etc, all benefit. The rest of us seem to be the pawns who pay. That is unless we speak up and let our voice be heard for change in the current law, and against any individual that would have you believe "A law is a law - it does not matter if it is wrong or right!".
The latter happens to be against a founding principle of this great country. Stop wasting resources on this plant. Record eradication every year - as well as - record growth and availability. A growing - 72 year - well funded - failing war that will never end. An anti-human rights money pit for something that is far less dangerous than alcohol. - A Great WAR -