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Like The War On Some Drugs? Thank Dems’ VP Pick Senator Joe Biden!

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director September 7, 2008

    By Dominic Holden, Member, NORML Board of Directors

    Obama selecting Biden is a punch to the gut. Like that sickening feeling you got as a high school freshman, walking up the steps to the big party—and you’re telling yourself, if I fuck this up, my dreams are shot. But if things go well, this could be an excellent four years.

    I am anything but a single-issue voter, but I’m also a die-hard zealot against the drug war. Everything that could have gone wrong has been an unbridled catastrophe: Drug epidemics and cartel routes breeze across the continent, privacy laws are gutted for sport, kids try drugs younger and younger, our prisons are stuffed with young black men…

    And it’s Joe Biden’s fault.As former chairman for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden is the person most responsible for passing a package of laws in the mid-80s that we think of as today’s drug war. Biden presided over the mandatory-minimum sentencing guidelines that required judges to sentence dealers’ girlfriends and small-time peddlers to decades-long terms in state and federal prisons, where thousands are rotting to this day.

    He used hearings “to mislead his colleagues and the public… on drug policy where police, prosecutors and DEA officials got the opportunity [to speak] while opponents were kept out,” says Kevin Zeese, a former director of Common Sense for Drug Policy and a leading drug-law reformer in Washington, D.C. since the 1980s. “Pick a drug law you don’t like from the last 25 years and thank Senator Biden.”

    But, since this is Obama’s campaign, I’m trying to hope—hope that Biden can change.

    Read the rest of this blog originally posted to the Seattle Stranger’s Slog.

    51 Responses to “Like The War On Some Drugs? Thank Dems’ VP Pick Senator Joe Biden!”

    1. Andrew says:

      I hate to feel like I’m grasping at straws, but is it possible that Biden’s stance as a “drug-warrior” will be downplayed during his vice-presidency what with Obama advocating major alterations to the current judiciary system in regards to drugs, or at least marijuana?

    2. Mathew says:

      Man were screwed! McCain is no better on drug policy than the next Goverment Hippocrit. They say Marijuana is bad and then go pay for a Hand Job from some Hooker. What are our options? What do we do with a Goverment that is so ignorant? NORML you need to get your name out in the public so more people join your organization and make you stronger!!! PA citizens do not know you exist!

    3. leaving florida soon says:

      My God! Anakin Skywalker, I mean Barack Obama backed the wrong politician.Who could have predicted that?

    4. Lolli says:

      D: They are all ass holes… We need better candidates. Though I have heard that Obama is pro-decriminalization of marijuana.

    5. Dave says:

      The way I see it is Obama could have been caught and would have been one of many of us that have been screwed by the system for a pinch of the herb. They are NO better than we are, they just was not caught is all.
      Maybe if Joe has a kid he will end up behind the bars from Daddys great work.

    6. Mick says:

      But also this could help obama secure the white house as he picks up foreign policy. Also obama has said serval times that he dose not support the war on drugs and it has failed trmedisly. So picking biden may not be as bad as we think.

      Just word from a fellow American and Stoner.

    7. Bob says:

      I mean on the off chance H.R. 5843 makes it to the POTUS desk, who is more likely to sign? Obama or McCain?

      And yet a NORML director actively works to drive votes from the ticket based on the second seat.

      Its like you guys don’t even WANT to win.

    8. I don’t know how you can blame one person, author, but I stopped reading this article as soon as you tried to pin all the blame on Biden.

    9. FF says:

      Bob Barr is a better choice. He’s against the drug war, but sadly, he’ll never be a blip on the radar.

      The inept 2 party system is one major problem. In addition to all the people who earn a living “fighting” the war. All of those DEA agents aren’t going away, nor will they transfer to Border Patrol.

      I agree that NORML needs to be as active and vocal as possible in their efforts to inform the public, which is why I have donated money in the past, and will again in the future. Don’t simply expect them to do the job alone. They need our help.

    10. Jim says:

      It’s true that Joe Biden has been harsh on decriminalization for marijuana in the past, but John McCain and Sarah Palin will never ever, ever even consider policy dealing with decriminalization. They’d rather busy themselves with more important things like telling the American people how they should live their lives, and dictating that point through vetos and policy that only helps their own adjendas.

      Yes Biden has been tough on marijuana in the past, but at least he has some knowledge on the subject, and he is probably more willing to hear opposition to his own previous opinions than the other candidates. There is no way that McCain will ever listen to anyone else’s opinion if he believes he is correct. That is the real problem with the Republicans, once their mind is made up there is nothing talk can do to change that, and any opposition is mocked as calloused stupidity. The result is change we are all sick of.

      If you are voting republican this November and want marijuana reform, you’d have an easier time finding a car that can go to the moon.

    11. Laura says:

      At least Obama promised to end Federal raids on medical marijuana patients.

      McCain has pledged to arrest the sick and dying. Palin is pro-oil and those people don’t want marijuana legal. It will cut into their record earnings.

    12. andy says:

      Biden is just part of the “centrist” move by Obama. He wasn’t going to help the war on “some drugs” one bit anyway so don’t hold your… cough, cough. Sure, he said it should de-crimed but that was years ago. Now he has to appeal to more than just a college crowd.
      Obama is now just the lesser of two evils… sad.

    13. MrBudWyzer says:

      Remember!!! All politicians will say anything to get elected to the office that they aspire to gain…and Obama is no different!!!…Please do not let a little smoke cloud your judgement come this November…

    14. Ray says:

      Biden was anti-drug in the 70s when the war started and it was the popular thing to do. I think Biden is someone that would change his mind given the facts. I don’t think McPalin would EVER change their stance. They think they are right no matter what the facts are.

    15. Austin says:

      If we actually want to make a change with cannabis we must do it through the colleges in this country. Every single college must have an incredibly active club. i.e. (Students for a Sensible Drug Policy) So that smoking isn’t just the only thing that brings us together, but we have a group and we are focused on certain issues at the same time all year. Then if we want that to carry over into mainstream and actually take the chance of it penetrating into the 5 inch thick skulls of the older generations, it can only be done first through medicine. We CANNOT let the american people and mine and your deceased family members be lied to anymore. We mush flush our senators and news stations of people wanting marijuana to be used as a medical prevention for alzheimer’s and as a direct treatment for almost ALL cancers. As we’ve known since 1974. I can garantee if Biden got cancer and the synthetic cures didn’t work he would use what everyone knows and that Rick Simpson discovered/made Mainstream. and that is hemp oil. We can change this in twenty years for sure if we can get my generation to bind together. And we can change this NOW if we get everyone in this country who has cancer to say they want this in their medicine. Meanwhile I WILL and I repeat WILL be making this medicine and giving it away for free just like Rick Simpson and I hope that everyone who grows would do it too. Once it starts to work it will spread like fire. All we need is to speak truth to power. And it all begins with us, the people. Let’s make this country a popular sovereignty again instead of this fat big mac eating lazy bureaucratic system we have and the generations before us asked for. Don’t just think of your life this election, think of your grandchildren. They are the ones who will feel the repercussions.

      (VOTE RON PAUL. ON PRINCIPLE ALONE>

    16. Tim says:

      I think Obama is secretly in favor of decriminalization but doesn’t think it’s politically safe to say so. Of course, when H.R. 5843 crosses his desk, he may falter and listen to Biden. I very much doubt this was an issue he had in mind when he selected Biden.

      At any rate, marijuana will not be decriminalized at the federal level until it’s been decriminalized at the state level by a majority of states; probably a two-thirds majority. Only then will the president at that time feel it is safe so admit that marijuana isn’t the great bane of society. We need to get this issue on the ballots in every state. They’d be hard-pressed to find a way to overturn a voter-approved initiative.

    17. Asemili says:

      It’s true that Biden’s been behind much of the drug war, but what stronger ally to have to help end the drug war, than the man himself who created it? So long as he is working FOR someone who is for ending it, he must, at the end of the day, support his superior’s policies.

      Dem’s might at least consider eventually backing off a tad. Rep’s would be more apt to try to fund some multi-billion dollar project to make the Marijuana plant permanently extict from the entire planet if they had their way.

    18. Sam says:

      Let us not forget that during the campaign they have to downplay issues like this, even when they feel strongly about it, because if people were to see Obama saying things like THE DRUG WAR SHALL END! it might send the wrong message and lose him votes. It’s all about votes my friends.. Even though it’s really not. Lol electoral College.

    19. Mathew says:

      I would have to agree that Democrat is our only choice this year. Atlest there is a a little hope with Obama.

    20. Eddie says:

      Both Obama and Biden have said they would end the DEA raids on medical marijuana, I don’t remember any promises, though. We have to take what we can get, which is better than what we got, and take it from there.

      The only way to allow medical marijuana use, legally, is to reschedule marijuana. That act alone would end the raids.

      Come to think of it, my back has been acting up, lately.

    21. Jáson says:

      Our presidents should spend less time fixing other countries, and more time fixing the problems here at home. Starting with the drug problems. Ron Paul knows his stuff, but who wants a president that wants whats best for the people?

    22. e-bone says:

      it’s to everyone’s discretion that naturally good things will come in time, and hoping for the reformation of cannabis laws, it’s really sickening to think that these people on the hill are “supposed to be working for us, not against us” yet they can’t even hear through their fat cat cigars they blow in our faces, our privacy is virtually none existent these days, and nothing we say is getting heard. I know that we all hope that maybe someday in the near future we could maybe puff and not get arrested for it. but we can’t sit and depend on the next politician to lie and promise us nice things we may never have. and another thing… to the government weed is a huge cash cow, prohibition was honestly started over racism, and the flat truth is is that if you tried and put every last person who dealt with marijuana (smokes, or deals) in jail you would just be putting EVERYONE IN JAIL. white people go to jail,people it’s not just the black youth’s, so like everything else in life, if you want something bad enough we have to fight for it and stop throwing fingers in everyones directions, if we want weed to be legal we need to make some noise, you follow?

      let hit that shit

      oh and please note that for whomever is reading this, biden is not responsible for the drug war, nixon, his administration, and a generation flul of non-taxpayers saw to that probably 12 years before he passed his anti-drug legislation. not like theres a problem with that, it just pissed THEM off

    23. Mathew says:

      Our goverment is just like the media. They go where the votes are. It’s all about the ratings. I have seen statistics that (if correct) say 60-70% of our citizens favor decriminalizing Marijuana use in one form or another. If this is the case, we are the majority, and eventually more and more goverment officials will realize this and say you know what its not that bad, let’s rethink our laws. Remember they go where the votes are. So how do we all unite and make this a reality???

    24. Henry T. says:

      Perhaps Biden can be like Tricky Dick Nixon. Only a hardcore right-winger could open the door to communist China. So, only a hard anti-druggie like Biden could have ‘cred in ending anti – MJ laws . . .

    25. atlas says:

      Is it not possible to norml to raise enough funds to possibly put up at least one bill board like LEAP has?

    26. Lex says:

      I have to admite with others here on this post! I have several issues with Obama/Biden…I think one of the reasons he’s picked Biden is to help smooth over the “inexperience” worries! Just like McCain chose Paulin to take the spot like off of his “father time” ass! For two years now, USA has been predominately republican and we all need time for change!! IT’s time for a democrated or freewilled-liberal change…But Obama does a lot of talking…almost preacher like…When listening to him talk, it’s like I’m sitting in church on fairy land…

      I really feel that if Democratic Obama/Biden team were to win, Obama may do things to decriminalize and reduce the restriction (make it easier on medical Mj states)and opposition BUT I don’t feel that he will LEGALIZE cannabis. He will acknowledge it’s medicinal properities as new research and studies reveal accurate information…It will take for majority of the united states to become medical before a full legalization could even be accepted or permissive! I am mainly democrat (and a lil independent plus republican) and truly wish that Obama/Biden can make change happen. They can end the war/bring our troops home and make it easier for health care and education, but time will tell if he can make the important needed changes to make legalization happen for us some point in the future. Stepping stones….

    27. Bob says:

      VOTE RON PAUL. ON PRINCIPLE ALONE????

      right.

      too many people with THAT position will get us at least 4 years of McCain/Palin, while it will give prohibitionists ammo to argue that the people WANT repressive laws… it will be more difficult for people in difficult districts to come out in favor of ending prohibition, and things will get worse. More raids on clinics in California. Less traction for decriminalization. More money for the “drug czar” to run lying sack of shit ads and trick more people into believing in prohibition – none of which could be expected from an Obama admin.

      Look at it this way – if the menu choice is between a burger and a shit sandwich, you don’t order the shit sandwich on the theory that what you really want is steak. Do that and the restaurant thinks there’s a demand for shit sandwiches and takes even burgers off the menu. You order the burger, deal with it, and try to find a place that will let you order steak next time.

    28. Keep in mind that non-profit corporations, such as NORML and the NORML Foundation, cannot by law provide any support, financial or otherwise, to candidates or office holders. (By contrast, the NORML PAC can and does contribute financially to various state, local, and federal politicians.)

      I believe that Dominic raises an important point. Of the four Presidential/Vice-Presidential candidates, it is Biden that possesses the longest (and worst) drug war record; therefore, he is the candidate that is likely to receive the harshest criticism from drug law reformers. Biden was the architect of legislation(the 1986 and 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Acts) that enacted mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes, expanded asset forfeiture, enacted random workplace drug-testing for public employees, established the ONDCP, and enacted the 100-to-1 crack cocaine/powder cocaine sentencing disparity that, quite literally, is one of the primary reasons that a disproportionate number of African American males are incarcerated in America. It does none of us any good to ignore Biden’s terrible track record simply because we wish it wasn’t so.

      That said, none of these criticisms should be seen as an endorsement of McCain — or should be interpreted that a McCain administration would be more ‘reform-minded.’ NORML Is simply providing information based on the candidates’ previous actions. Everyone is free to interpret the information as they wish and make their own decisions.

      For more information on Biden’s 35-year-drug warrior history, visit:

      http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/97810/

    29. Florida is a fascist state says:

      I’m currently awaiting sentencing and possibly prison for cultivation. So I kinda doubt I’ll be voting but if somehow I could, I’d vote for McCain. Even though He will do little to change the injustice that awaits me.
      McCain because this country has a long history of electing Presidents that think America is a great and they are privileged to serve. Obama Thinks he great not America, he is a sexist and a racist who undoubtedly suffers from a god complex. I find it interesting that he runs his own campaign and even designs his own campaign graphics you know the little sun over field circle thingy and the sings with Obama in giant letters and Biden so small you can’t read it.
      It kinda reminds me of another charismatic leader who gave great speeches and designed his own graphics you might recognize this one ?

      I know I’m ranting I’m sure Obama will legalize weed in his first 100 days right after he raises taxes and shuts down the space program.

    30. Florida is a fascist state says:

      the symbol I was trying to display was a Swastika Hitler didn’t invent it but he sure made it his own

    31. Greg W says:

      Here is a link to Biden’s site and his stand on this idiotic war on drugs. I guess Obama went with an old hand in Washington to counter the charge of not enough experience, rather than picking some one like Governor Richardson who has thee experience needed for the job, as he served as diplomat, energy secretary and Ambassador to the UN. Well it looks like we are stuck with Biden which is still better than grandpa Munster and the Moose mom. But since it is Congress that passes laws it is time to start looking for those Congressmen (and Congresswomen) who support ending this unbearable waste of money, time and human warehousing of pot smokers and urge them to take a stand for us, or start supporting and electing those who will from the Green Party, The Libertarian Party as well as those Independents who want to serve the public, rather tahn pander to special interests. I just wish I could find candidates who support NORML’s position. It would also be helpful if NORML could list those who are pro decriminalization or outright legalization. Here is the link to Biden’s site:
      http://biden.senate.gov/committees/drug_caucus/

    32. Congress doesn’t pass laws, Greg. The house authors them, then votes; if they pass, they’re given to the senate, who then vote; if it passes the senate, then it goes to the president, who signs it. Anywhere along the line people can add to it, and if the president refuses to sign it, there’s the possibility of it being ‘over-ruled’ by Congress, but I don’t see that happening ever in a two party system.

    33. Bob says:

      None of our polititians are going to end prohibition so it is up to us. We need to unite. There is a million man march being planed in Washington D.C. on the 4th of July. I think that all reformers should make the trip to D.C. next July and stand united to make a very big statement.

    34. THose folks that think Obama/Biden won’t support cannabis reform because of votes, need to check the polls. We have more votes than either candidate! 80%+ of US voters support medical marijuana. 70%+ support marijuana decrim. They need our votes. If they do it when they need it for votes, they won’t ever do it in office.

      Money talks, and the money is telling them to ignore and cow the voters.

      Supporting marijuana reform is no longer a voter loser, it’s now a vote getter. Wake up and look at the polls! It’s 2008 not 1980…..

    35. Holy Crap! says:

      Here we go again!? Maybe not. Lets all hope that Obama is our Man and he keeps Biden in check. Let’s hope Biden isn’t given the power like Bush gave to his VP?

    36. Rusty says:

      You’ve got to remember. It’s not about protecting our children. It’s not about health or safety in the workplace. It’s about money, and power and greed. The Republicans don’t want to hear about reform because they know that every felony drug conviction in America means one less liberal voter to oppose their reign of terror. It’s been going on for 70 years with marijuana and longer for other drugs and it’s really beginning to work for them. It doesn’t matter that 70% of the people support reform if they all have felony drug convictions that have disenfranchised them. Prohibition practically guarantees conservative rule in America. The money that prohibition extracts from the American people keeps the balance of power just the way our so-called leaders want it. I’ve seen estimates of the money that Americans spend on marijuana each year as high as $130 billion and estimates of the cost of the war as high as $200 billion a year and we’re not keeping drugs away from anybody. Maybe if the Walton brats knew that $330 billion was up for grabs, Walmart would mobilize the politicians that they own and things would change. But don’t expect referendums to do it. There aren’t enough of us liberals who are still allowed to vote to change anything.

    37. Mathew (PA) says:

      Keep us posted on that Million Man March in Washington. I would attend somthing that close for sure. And I agree with another member. Can NORML not afford to advertise through BillBoards in each state to attract new members. I know this would not be cheap but surely it would pay for itself. There are power in numbers and common sense says that through Marketing/Advertising you WILL attract new clients/members.

    38. Soniq420 says:

      First, props to Mr. St. Piere (author) and Mr. Armentano (post #29). The truth doesn’t change just because we wish things weren’t so. We have to move forward based on the facts or we’ll lose credability.

      Second, I think we the community are placing too much emphasis on the President’s role regarding our hope to end the DEA raids. While I don’t dispute that the president has this power, the House controls the purse strings and could refuse to continue to fund the DEA’s bloated budget any time it finds the will.

      We’ve got a Democratically controlled house and senate already – and no movement (Mr. Frank’s efforts excepted).

      The perception that Democratic executives will be any better than Republicans on the pot issue may be false.

      I think I’ll go with Barr or Paul to be true to my conscious – unless of course we get a more firm promise from one mainstream side or the other.

    39. leaving florida soon says:

      Soniq420 is right there is no movement on legalization even with the democrat controlled congress the reason is we have allowed our self’s to be suckered in to thinking only blind lolaty to the democrats will get us justice.

      In reality the democrats have no intention of helping us if they do they lose an important campaign issue the same as republicans have no interest in stopping gay marriage. Every 2 years republicans put up some week anti gay marriage law and democrats pretend to be pro cannabis they know these issues are great for rallying their bases and stupidly we fall for it every election cycle.

      McCain has not said weather or not he would sing legislation ending federal penalty’s for small amounts of weed though many claim he has. McCain only said He didn’t see the medical value.Well Senator Frank’s bill doesn’t base it self on medical grounds but on the idea that adult Americans can decide for them self’s if they want to smoke weed.

      We have no idea what so ever if McCain would sing Franks bill if he were elected president for that matter we have no idea if Obama would. He has only said he would ignore the law and stop federal raids on medical weed.

      By claiming Obama will do this and McCain will do that when neither has bothered to tell us is just silly. If any of you are going cast your vote on this issue alone there is only one candidate that has a clear and undeniable position on this subject That’s Bob Barr

      Oh by the way Senator Paul a republican cosponsored Frank’s bill.

    40. Anonymous says:

      Fuck Biden. Fuck Obama. Fuck McCain.

      This campain has only one choice for Marijuana Laws.

      VOTE RON PAUL!!!!!!!!

      See, I was going to give my vote to Obama, because he is the lesser of 2 evils, even though I really was going for Ron Paul. I figured that Dr. Paul didn’t have a chance and I was going to give my vote to a guy that has a real chance.

      FUCK THAT!

      If everyone who wanted Dr. Paul to win voted for him, he just might have a chance.

    41. mattguitarman says:

      I’m from PA I’ve heard of NORML lol(Matthew’s post #2.)

      I’m a Ron Paul supporter because of his consistent views on the drug war (as well as many other things.) I really enjoy watching the youtube video’s of him in 1988 on Morton Downey Jr’s trash tv screaming at a prohibitionist audience about how we need to end the drug war NOW! Even though he’s not running for president anymore, he’s still got my total support (campaign for liberty.)

      I figure if you can’t change the government’s mind after 40 years…change the government. I think the campaign for liberty is a move in the right direction.

      In regards to NORML renting billboards it’s a good idea. I think maybe spending more time getting people pumped to get active about this would be just as beneficial. Finding ways to reach the public can be as simple as small flyer’s, posters on telephone poles, and yard signs. Why not plan a day when NORML supports all go out and just bombard the public with pro marijuana signs and handouts all at the same time. If the effort is sudden and strong it’d be like throwing a rock in pond, a sudden splash and then the ripples. It could be called a marijuana bomb. lol.

      I’m an amature musician and I aim to put together a few songs that are pro cannabis. Anything to get some movement.

    42. DECRIMINALIZATION. LEGALIZATION. PROHIBITION. The govt. needs to learn how to crawl before they can walk. DECRIMINALIZATION the crawling stage and LEGALIZATION the walking stage. PROHIBITION the mindless stage on marijuana. Obama has made a statement that he would call off the DEA (dead end atrocities) on medical marijuana states, if he is elected into office. If the Republicans get in, four more years of BUSHISM. In November, Obama and Biden all the way, the lesser of two evils. Trying to vote in a independant party is like sending a manned space probe to Pluto.

    43. Bob says:

      “If everyone who wanted Dr. Paul to win voted for him, he just might have a chance.” some say.

      No. He couldn’t even secure enough votes to be a serious contender in the GoP primary. How would he manage to win in a general?

    44. Rickr says:

      We might not have to worry about Biden too much longer. It seems that there is a possibility that Obama might cut him loose in favor of Hillary Clinton to counter McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin. In my opinion, he should have chose here to begin with.

    45. Rickr says:

      And Bob, he might have had a better chance because a lot of people liked him, but didn’t vote for him because they didn’t think he had a chance. If everyone who was against the drug war voted for him, he could have been a serious contender. It’s your view that screwed him over.

    46. GoldenGoblin says:

      My sense of overwhelming dread continues to grow (no pardoning the pun) while I watch how far this country, that used to be great, fall just a bit further. Don’t misunderstand me, I still believe in the United States, just not many of the directions we have taken or the leadership. We have become archaic and inquisitional towards the outside and the inside.
      Even if I think the two party system is a failure or at least a partial failure, in order to not be a statistic whose vote counts for nothing. I still have to vote ‘lesser evil’. I’m not in this to make a statement, while letting someone who I believe who would make my life harder into office. I may not like the flippy flops of Obama but compared to McCain it is a near non-issue.
      Where is the liberty? Where did the freedom go? Why am I scared of the future for my children? Why can’t we all just get along? Why do we have to police the world? etc…
      I can only hope people vote consciously and that the ‘American cattle’ will finally see where following the herd has gotten us.

    47. Bob says:

      Obama is not going to drop Biden. To do that at this point would lose the race no matter what, even if Hilary would have been a better choice to begin with, as it would make him look indecisive and weak.

      As for my attitude being what screws people like ron paul, well, I can’t see myself ever having voted for the man. Partly out of prejudice, I admit. We’ve had two presidents from Texas in the last 50 years, and they’ve both pretty much been disasters. Although the more recent has been much worse than the next most recent, they’re probably 1st and the 3rd worst, with Cali providing the second and fourth worst. Two states providing over 50% of the presidentage in the last half a buck, and they’ve all been boners. So I can’t see myslef voting for another Texan -or a Californian for that matter – for a while. Give a scion of some other state a chance to screw things up says I.

      As for the anti-American crap, America, like any society, is imperfect. But I’ve been around the world enough to recognize that we’re actually pretty damn good comparatively. I like the Dutch better on weed issues, of course, even if they have about sixty billion other issues on which I prefer the US. But let me tell you if you’ve never gone – GO NOW. Just to walk into a funky little shop and browse the selections… its just really, really cool. Like being a wine aficionado who has never even seen anything but homemade, and most of it swill, suddenly released into a fine wine cellar… ahhhh…

      But I digress.

      The problem is that so many reformers in the US are utopian idealists that want a total end to prohibition now and think anything less is selling out and ought to be heartily condemned. The same perspective as the far right fundys, just a different value set. ron paul has that bug – thinks massive change of a whole lot of things, all at once, is the only way to go. It don’t work that way, homey.

      Extremism never wins. Youse gots to triangulate to propagate.

    48. ObamaIsOurONLYHope says:

      Don’t vote third party.

      Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney might be more principled than Obama, but if we’re going to end the war on drugs we need to be practical. Obama is the only candidate who has voiced support for decriminalization. There was that one time he didn’t say he supported it. But it turned out that he wasn’t sure if they just meant removing penalties for responsible use or legalizing sale. While we’d like to see a legalized, regulated system of sale removing penalties for adult use is a huge step in the right direction that would quickly lead to that. Remember we have treaty obligations. Obama probably wants to change the treaty before legalizing sale.

      Biden actually will boost Obama’s influence if Obama does decide to support the bill. Even if Biden still supports the war on drugs he won’t want to undermine the president if he’s vp, and Biden’s change genuine or not from supporting the war on drugs to opposing it will convince a lot of people because of his past.

    49. deep blue sea says:

      leaving florida soon (lfs) has it exactly right…on a bad day Biden is Palpatine. I’m not sure if Obama is Anakin or a male Padme, but whatever the case I think Biden will use him.

      Unfortunately Biden may also use fear around “safety” and “order” to create more than just bad drug laws, especially if we get into a bigger holy war in the Middle East (even if we don’t think it’s one, the Taliban surely do), and most especially if he becomes President.

      However, for what it’s worth I think Palin is the Wicked Witch of the West and, if elected, McCain will soon be Nikko (the captain of the winged monkeys). Look for the scene where she is pointing and screaming orders at him while he is holding the basket.

      To bring it home: Your neighbors may soon visit you in the guise either of winged monkeys or storm troopers. What an option, eh? As usual the choice is between bad and worse.

      On the other hand, maybe both parties _would_ respond to a giant, peaceful march in Washington. After all, these leaders are people in reality, not actually movie characters. Let them know how you feel, no matter who gets elected. They need to know to their cores that most people want fewer people in jail.

      Being the land of the free with the most people in jail is a contradiction that surely should end soon in favor of freedom.

      And these VP candidates are at the center of the issue. Soon one or the other will need to be helped (by a general outcry) to understand that to be reelected they need to align themselves with the majority (who support free choice in practice if not in name). Add your voice to make sure we are heard!

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