Police Chiefs Advocate the Legalization of Marijuana!
The War on Drugs in 100 Seconds
President Obama freely admits he regularly smoked marijuana as a teenager. Had he been busted for doing so, at the very least he'd never have risen to any high office let alone the Big One. At worst, there's a good possibility he'd still be languishing in prison along with many of our best and brightest.
The cost to American taxpayers to keep one person behind bars for possession of even a small amount of marijuana?
$36,000+ PER YEAR per prisoner.
Is it any wonder most state budgets are in the red?
But clearly, the message is "Pot is BAD".
Conversely, during every nationally-televised sporting event, we're bombarded with ads for various brands of beer.
At many events, beer is even sold at the concession stand and hawked in the bleachers, seemingly with no regard for the fact that most fans arrived in some type of vehicle and will leave the same way, with the possibility that a drunk will be behind the wheel now much greater than before the event.
As a nod to the dangers of driving while intoxicated, beer advertisers will include a reminder to drink "responsibly" (wink, wink).
The message? Beer is "cool"...beer is "fun"...beer and sporting events go together like Mom and apple pie.
If you get pulled over and can't pass the breathalyzer, you'll get a ticket, pay a fine, maybe spend a few hours or a night in jail. If you agree to enter a diversion program, your insurance company won't even know you were pulled over.
But get caught with even a small amount of pot and you could spend the next 10 years behind bars, or depending on the judge, maybe the rest of your life.
Chapter 2 title: Wage War On Crime, Not Drugs
Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper questioned the flawed logic of keeping pot illegal while alcohol is openly advertised as "cool" and "fun".
In an interview with reason.tv, he stated that every police chief and law enforcement officer he spoke with while researching his book Breaking Rank wants pot legalized.
With the exception of the few who mix pot with other drugs, potheads are non-violent.
If they get behind the wheel, which historically very few do while stoned, they're more likely to roll gently over a curb than plow into another car at high speed.
They don't beat their wives and girlfriends, so there are ZERO complaints of domestic violence by anyone only under the influence of pot.
And there has never been a single traffic death caused by marijuana-only use.
It's long past time to legalize marijuana.
However, since pot can be grown pretty much anywhere - in a field, in the basement, on a patio in a pot (excuse the pun) - I don't agree that it should be taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco. Doing so would open the door to taxing and regulating vegetables and such that we already legally grow in our backyard garden plots.
Because marijuana is a banned substance, so is hemp, its non-hallucinogenic distant cousin. Hemp a fast-growing plant that will grow where other crops won't, and can be made into a variety of useful goods, fabric and soap being only two of many.
Ironically, thanks to our antiquated drug laws, the importation of raw hemp is legal while growing it here is not. Meaning we import raw hemp and hemp products from other countries where it's a major cash crop like corn is here. Products we could be making from our own hemp for our own consumption as well as exporting.
Makes no sense to me either.
The number one request on Obama's Change.org web site was ending the prohibition of marijuana and its non-hallucinogenic cousin, hemp.
The mission of American Drug War (ADW) is the legalization of marijuana in order that addiction to it may be treated as a medical issue same as alcoholism and addiction to "hard" drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines.
Additional information can be found at these sites:
- LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)
An international organization of criminal justice professionals who speak out against and bear personal witness to the wasteful futility and harms of our current drug policies.
- Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States, works to remove criminal penalties for marijuana use, with a particular emphasis on making it medically available to seriously ill people.
- Costs of Marijuana Prohibition: Economic Analysis
Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation similar to that used for alcoholic beverages would produce combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion per year, finds a June 2005 report by Dr. Jef
- American Drug War: The Last White Hope - War on Drugs
35 years after Nixon began it, the War on Drugs has become the longest and most costly in American history...the question has become, how much more can the country endure?
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