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What Gives? Another Senator From Iowa Provides A Dose Of ‘Reefer Madness’ When Replying To His Constituents

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director July 5, 2008

    marijuana, NORML, Charles Grassley, medical marijuana

    A few months ago it was Iowa’s Democratic Senator Tom Harkin that was replying to his constituents claiming cannabis “use often has fatal consequences” and that cannabis users may actually sell their children for ‘drug’ money.

    Now, Senator Charles Grassley (R) in a letter to constituents, oddly equates cannabis use to genocide, murder and child rape.

    After several thousand years, civilized societies have failed to eliminate murder, rape, or child abuse. Nor have they eliminated organized crime, the manufacture of counterfeit money, or genocide. But no one seriously sees these failures as justification for surrender. Illegal drug use costs society at least as much as any of these social ills. Yet we do not hear any calls to legalize these abuses. Why then should we give up? Should we surrender to the criminals, and legalize marijuana? No. Instead, we should do whatever we can to prevent criminals from gaining the upper hand, do what needs to be done to give our families, our friends, and our neighbors a safe and secure place to live.

    However, his major problem with this premise, and presumably his underlying rationale for supporting cannabis prohibition, is that few in the United States (even in Iowa) agree with such absurd assertions as most citizens perceive cannabis use closer to alcohol consumption—and since the mid-1990s, as a valuable, non-toxic, affordable and effective medicine.

    Also, similar to the Harkin letter, Senator Grassley equates cannabis law reform with “surrender”, which helps one understand how hard it is to lobby these gents when they cast the debate as ‘winning’ or ‘surrendering’ (but, what else is new in DC?).

    There are many reasons why America’s 70-year old cannabis prohibition, a failed public policy many times worse in scope and cost than alcohol’s short-lived prohibition, still prevails. Regrettably, because of the way the US Senate works regarding seniority, committee assignments and a senator’s individual ability to place a hold on legislation, cannabis reform is always against the eight ball in the Senate in a way not possible in the House of Representatives.

    Senator Grassley is too smart and sophisticated a man to really believe that cannabis use equates to murder, child rape and genocide. Please join NORML in contacting Senator Grassley and asking him to stop replying to his constituents in Iowa with non-sense, and to support the decriminalization of cannabis and to allow sick, dying and sense-threatened Iowans (and citizens nationwide) to legally access and use medicinal cannabis.

    Thanks to Ames Progressive’s Gavin Aronsen for the tip and Grassley’s letter to constituents who contact him about cannabis law reform is read here.

    16 Responses to “What Gives? Another Senator From Iowa Provides A Dose Of ‘Reefer Madness’ When Replying To His Constituents”

    1. alex says:

      i cant understand or even fathom how you can equate cannibis to those attrocities of humankind. Cannabis is no more than a medicinal herb and recreational drug, that good tax payers consume. i urge you to reconsider your believes on cannabis

    2. Kathryne says:

      Wow, and ignorance like that of Senator Tom Harkins is the very reason why marijuana has the reputation of being a harmful street drug; Also the reason why it is so hard to decriminalize marijuana. Only when true facts are given about marijuana is when anyone stands even a slight chance at legalization.

    3. Ozlanthos says:

      I am so sick of this crap!!! It is time for ALL AMERICANS TO VOTE INDEPENDENT!!! Let me be clear here. The reason so many of us use drugs is that for many of us there is no other apparent way to improve or alter our state of mind. The human mind often needs re-enforcement for behaviors. Threatening someone with the possibility of taking everything away from them for participating in the very immediately rewarding action of using drugs, will do nothing but reward disregard for the laws prohibiting the use of drugs.

      I’m a proponent of the idea of “following the money” in order to determine the intent of a social program (often useful for figuring out whether or not it is working). Considering that our government annually spends 1000 times as much on “the drug war” as it does on education, one can hardly hope but come to the conclusion that our government is 1000 times more interested in stopping us from using drugs than it is in educating us!

      And while education alone won’t stop people from using drugs, it could do a lot more in dissuading use. I mean really, I would be a lot more interested in keeping my job than smoking pot if I were pulling down over $100,000 a year!

    4. Casey says:

      I live in Iowa and will be E mailing Harkin about his remarks, and I will be voting against him when he is up for re-election. Keep up the fight.

    5. bobby says:

      Why do we try so hard for medical marijuana when we should just completely legalize it for recreational use then everyone can enjoy and the medical people can use it too!

    6. dan gunderson says:

      Where did cannabis come from? God, not the devil. Where did most of our politicians come from?…Hell?

    7. averagejoe says:

      Heres a funny fact I’ve been with one of Harkin’s Daughters when she has used cannabis and gotten completely wasted at 17 years old at my house. What a great dad allowing his daughter to start down a path of despair that would lead to her selling her children and other fatal consequneses. Yeah Tom another politician whose full of shit.

    8. douglas maenpaa says:

      Dear Sir:

      While I do not agree that marijuana use is benign (actually it is very dangerous), that is beside the point.

      Senator Tom Harkin’s comments show that he is a complete, ignorant, shameless ass-hat who (must know better, that to utter such nonsense).

      He is on a pedestal, and considers himself untouchable, not afraid of any consequences of spouting over-the-top bullshit.

      Like so many politicians.

    9. bob searcy says:

      i wrote to this sack, but ray charles could see that hes a closed minded joke of a man so i dont anticipate any change of opinion on his part.

    10. steve says:

      In this day and age with so many being killed by drunk driveres who get off free. Someone who is caught with marijuana is put in jail for 3 to 5 years as a first timer. What is wrong here.

    11. jimihendrixfan says:

      ah yea marijuana, the worst part is when your out but after a few days it’s not so bad. After you have used for a few years you learn that other things are more important in life, but that doesn’t stop you from abandoning it altogether or badmouthing people who continue to do it even if you quit for your own reasons. Like a guitar player friend of mine he smoked for 35 years and quit because he played in a bar with his band and that was better to him then loading up 8 bowls a night by himself. He is always cool about it, he told me for example that if he smoked anything it would have to be pot because he would want the smoke to do something for him.

    12. Andrew says:

      What ?? this man is FUCKED
      Prosecution of good people turns them sour. Imprissionment of good people turned sour leaves them bitter. and taking the rights and freedoms from and turning good happy folks into sour bitter people should A be crime not only a crime but a crime that is punishable to great lenths. law enforcement officers should solve crime not sniff out weed and tax money should be spend on protecting our rights and freedoms but yet we live in a world of elected officials with such views HOW THE HELL DOES THIS HAPPEN ????

    13. eak2 says:

      The war on drugs is over….Drugs won…these politicians can’t grasp the concept or they are too cowardly to do it. They sort of remind me of those Japanese soldiers that hid on islands in the south pacific and kept on fighting, they did not realize their war was over either.

    14. Lori B says:

      TOBACCO…….450000 DEATHS YEARLY
      BOOZE………150000 DEATHS YEARLY
      POT…………0
      NEED ANYONE SAY MORE

    15. K Watson says:

      OMG what planet is this? i think i will go outside and pull some dandelions or some other plant and smoke them instead. i wonder if legalization might help our economy?

    16. Eric says:

      How can someone compare marijuana use to violence and rape. The only violence caused by marijuana is the fact that it is illegal and money can be made on this cause it’s illegal. Think about it how many people do you see that are high on marijuana looking for a fight because they are high or raping individuals because they are high. Not to many. Now look at alcohol. When people drink they usually get very loud and are looking to fight someone or looking to take advantage of a someone lookin for sex. It is easier for kids to get this drug than it is for them to get alcohol which is legal. The war on drugs is a complete failure and our politicians need to realize this. When our economy is as bad as it is like today and millions of people are out of jobs, many more good Americans are going to find some way to support themselves. If this involves selling marijuana than they will so they can pay there bills. We are tired of all the bull shit comercials that are against marijauna. Half of them are completely untrue. EX: I was watching one comerical and they said that this kid got so high that he let his friends draw all over him. Another example was these kids were getting fast food and they slammed on the gas when they left hitting a girl on a bycicle Im sorry the only time people let other people draw on them is when they are passed out drunk and don’t know they are getting drawn on. Marijuana users are not any worse than speeders. We all know that everyone speeds and this causes more deaths than marijuna has ever caused. Why not put speeders in jail too. That way every single person living in the U.S. including you are in jail and know what its like. The purpose of police is to prevent violence and to keep the public safe. Why not protect the people and prevent gang violence be legalizing marijuana. Marijuana is so easy to find. Why not start regulating marijuana that way our government can earn money from taxing it. Oh wait, lets just keep it illegal and encourage gangs and drug cartels to sell this substance and make unremarkabe profits off of it. As for marijuana being a gateway drug thats all bull shit. The only reason people would say this is cause they put marijuana in the same category of harsh drugs. I guarentee most individuals started off with alcohol, so shouldnt alcohol be a gateway drug. Oh, wait alcohol is legal so they would never expect alcohol to be a gateway drug. Its time to end prohibition on marijuana and quit supporting gangs who make money off of selling marijuana. I have been to so many classes on marijuana and have come to realize that the people who need education on marijuana is the people who don’t use it. It’s really pathetic when you go to marijuana classes and they start talking about meth, cocaine, heroin, and shit like that. When the only thing that you have ever done was marijuana and you have no plans of ever trying any of that other shit. The truth is that the people who have never done marijuana need informed about it too. Instead of letting the bull shit comercials do the talking because the comercials are lying. Since you are against legalization of marijuana how about I suggest that you make everyone take classes on marijuana that way they can know the real truth about it.

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