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NORML To The Drug Czar’s Office: “Now Do We Have Your Attention?”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 13, 2008

    More than 100 readers have posted comments in support of NORML’s recent guest editorial, “Criminalization of Marijuana Must End,” which appeared in The Hill‘s influential ‘Congressional Blog.’ Editors at The Hill inform NORML that it’s the highest volume of readers’ response they’ve ever received on any commentary on any topic!

    So it’s hardly surprising that the Drug Czar’s office has grudgingly and belatedly offered their two-cents worth in a factually bereft editorial entitled “Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Ignores the Facts.” It’s an unintentionally amusing essay — though judging by the comments it appears that few people, if anyone, have actually bothered to read it — topped off by this half-baked claim, “[L]egalizing marijuana [is] a topic more often heard in college dorms at 2 o’clock in the morning than in the hallowed halls of our Congress.”

    Excuse me, but if debating the merits of America’s failed cannabis policy is, in the Drug Czar’s opinion, a topic only appropriate for midnight musings, then why is the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy straining their already diminished intellectual capacities responding to this discussion in The Hill (which, last time I checked, was not a publication frequently read by college students in their dorm rooms at 2 am)??!!

    Of course, I suppose The Hill should thank their lucky stars that the Drug Czar responded at all, given that no representatives from the ONDCP, CADCA, or other ‘pro-prohibition’ groups will ever agree to engage with NORML in a face-to-face debate in a public forum. I mean, it wasn’t all that long ago that federal officials were distributing a guidebook, “How to Hold Your Own in a Drug Legalization Debate,” that recommended that prohibition advocates decline invitations to publicly debate drug policy issues.

    My how times have changed!

    66 Responses to “NORML To The Drug Czar’s Office: “Now Do We Have Your Attention?””

    1. Lex says:

      How dare the drug czar make a comment like that to avoid answering the real question!?!
      Some of us are talking about it at 3, 4, 6 o’clock in the am!!LOL.. Hell, this is a discussion that is talked about on a continous & daily basis ( 24/7 ). How much longer will they choose to live in denial??? We have RIGHTS too!

    2. Kyle P. Eggleston says:

      I am so tired of this government acting like some kind of babysitter. Is this not the land of the free? One day we will smoke that way!

    3. Nathan says:

      The reason so many college (read: professionally minded) people discuss the benefit of legalization is because they are responsible enough to recognize the risk they face if caught under current laws.

      Imagine if the students could live without fear of the drug czar, and could instead devote THEIR time to more important issues (even studying!)

      Smoking pot is relaxing and therapeutic and a great hobby for college students (in moderation of course). It is safer than binge drinking!

    4. Ray says:

      If only they will listen

      whatever happened to “For the people and by the people” anyway

    5. geno says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if cannabis is made legal before too long. The feds are trying to seize $8 billion from Calif. I don’t know about you, but if I was a politician in Calif, I’d try any way possible to find money to pay this fine.

    6. Albert James Brown says:

      That press release was a very entertaining read. If any decent chunk of the population actually read it and understood it, I think they would find it to be very entertaining as well. Cannabis is only a threat to our communities because we choose to make it one. By making it illegal, we are forced to supply these criminals and “terrorists” (every fucking crime supports terrorists these days…). We can put them all out of business by providing legal competition.

    7. K Watson says:

      “Hey lets pull up all these gateway plants and then go pop some tops on some cold ones” “Yee Haww”

    8. Ed McCabe says:

      I’d suggest abandoning the word “decriminalization”.

      The battle should be over the ban, and the determination of prohibitionists to keep marijuana unavailable to even the casual users of the stuff. Words are important in such a battle: “prohibition” associates the Drug Czar with a widely-recognized, failed public policy of the last century. “Decriminalization” emphasizes the “criminality” of marijuana, and is not the best word for that reason. Let’s ban the ban, instead.

    9. Zoe says:

      Agreeing with Ed…growing a plant and ingesting it are not criminal acts. The battle SHOULD be over the ban itself and not the degree of criminality applied to it. The word “prohibition” resonates with young and old alike.

    10. Jim says:

      I think the incarceration figures might be misleading –
      How many people are in city or county jails for a few months to a year or so for simple possession? Do the stats the feds are using to say “pot users aren’t being locked up” include these local incarcerations or only prisons? Either way, being locked up is being locked up, they’re getting criminal records, and MANY other injustices for their victimless crime.

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