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The Hill: It’s High Time To End Marijuana Prohibition

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 21, 2010

    We’ve celebrated 4/20; now it’s time to tell Congress to end marijuana prohibition once and for all.

    It’s High Time To End Marijuana Prohibition
    via The Hill

    By any objective standard, marijuana prohibition is an abject failure.

    Nationwide, U.S. law enforcement have arrested over 20 million American citizens for marijuana offenses since 1965, yet today marijuana is more prevalent than ever before, adolescents have easier access to marijuana than ever before, the drug is more potent than ever before, and there is more violence associated with the illegal marijuana trade than ever before.

    Over 100 million Americans nationally have used marijuana despite prohibition, and one in ten – according to current government survey data – use it regularly. The criminal prohibition of marijuana has not dissuaded anyone from using marijuana or reduced its availability; however, the strict enforcement of this policy has adversely impacted the lives and careers of millions of people who simply elected to use a substance to relax that is objectively safer than alcohol.

    NORML believes that the time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation, and education.

    Read NORML’s full commentary here.

    The Hill’s ever-popular Congress blog ‘is where lawmakers come to blog.’ It’s also where lawmakers come to gauge the pulse of the public. It’s 4/21; tell your member of Congress that it is time to replace prohibition with legalization and regulation. You can make your voice heard by leaving your feedback here.

    Now spread the word!

    28 Responses to “The Hill: It’s High Time To End Marijuana Prohibition”

    1. Dakin says:

      “drug” dude this is a plant and a beautiful one at that!

    2. amused says:

      It is high time prohibition ended. The “stay the course” mentality” of our federal government is irresponsible. Thanks norml.

    3. mtlasagna says:

      mussolini prefered calling his political ideology corporatism rather than fascism.

      the top cops like the wall st bankstas will keep rolling unless met by a power greater than their own.

      our congresscritters are long compromised.

      the question is: how do we impose our will on them?

      can’t vote ‘em out ’cause another slimeball is eagerly awaiting his shot at fame and fortune.

      how does the justice dept deal with the truth that cannabis has medicinal value and, by the csa standard, is actually legal? (tell that to the marines).

      why can’t we force the justice dept to back off on the state raids where good people like thc minister roger christie get busted for gestapo reasons?

      and so forth

    4. mtlasagna says:

      we still have here in hawaii fed funded dea backed operation green harvest.

      the whole thing is police state tactics and sucks.

    5. johnnysmoker23 says:

      damn right fuck the govt if are founding fathers were seeing this shit they would be pissed and demand action.

    6. thomas says:

      Hey awesome people at NORML,

      you may already have downloaded your free copy. But if not. Just saying that you can for a few more hours.

      satanssmoke.us

      (make fun of it now, before it’s done and tighter than a drum.)

      Keep up the fight!

    7. Sean says:

      If you guys check out CNN and search for a woman by the name of Calvina Fay and her articles about keeping marijuana illegal, she claims she has read legitimate research that “has linked naturally produced marijuana to health issues, including schizophrenia.” I have been smoking cannabis for years and I don’t feel schizophrenic yet, how do you guys feel? She also makes a bunch of other bogus claims. These claims are just to set fear in the hearts of those who are at the least undecided between whether cannabis is bad or not so bad. I thought that those who use fear for power over others was textbook terrorism. Well if thats the case then she’s just that.

    8. Manford Mantis says:

      QUESTION: How many are there in [your] county that
      1. Believe in God.
      2. Honor the Holy Sacrament.
      ANSWER: There are 3,141 counties in the United States of America. If [only] one (1) person [in each] of those 3,141 counties, believes in God and his gift of Holy Sacrament, this belief [is] represented by 3,141 Genesist colonies that bear the name of that county. [That number] is the “might and vitality” behind the trust and belief in the faith of Holy Sacrament as a religious right. This Constiyuyional right secures its protection in the first amendment as an inalienable right, The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993-RFRA, and the International Declaration of Human Rights.

      What we [do] know is, there are 3,141 “Genesist colonists” in the U.S.

      What we [don't know] is, how many more there are.

      What we [do] know is, “A 3,141 Man March,” made up of colonist fellows representing the voters in each of their respective counties and states, should cause a light bulb to go on. Lightbulb hell! A flood light should go on. Hell! a whole stadium of flood lights should go on.

      QUESTION: Better yet! how many, reading this now, believe in God and the gift of Holy Sacrament? Well! There ya go!

      To be frank, we Genesists, can’t ever remember giving up the right of Holy Sacrament. We! most certainly didn’t ratify any acts of prohibition. So! it’s more important to us that government [come forward] with eveidence of science to substantiate or justify why our Holy Sacrament is prohibited, and show cause why government is [not] violating our first amendment right.

    9. Recovered Addict says:

      Thank You NORML. I want My America back, where we dont make war on our own people. I dont and wont use drugs even if its legal. My concern is with the cars I see being searched by the road, and “SWAT” teams aka: Military units loosed on civilians, and cops with dogs everywhere. That stuff used to only be in movies of Nazi Germany. Please continue your efforts to end this senseless war and accept my thanks. My children and grandchildren deserve an America sans the police state trappings. I cant give it to them, but you can.
      KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

    10. Kristin Kutz says:

      I grow marijuana in my backyard. I’m 16 years old, I smoke every day before school, I am a B student in honors classes and I intend to go to college.
      I’m also technically a criminal according to marijuana laws. I would rather go to jail than quit smoking. Getting stoned reduces the pain in the ulcers in my stomach and all along my esophagus. Marijuana cured my eating disorder. So many horrible things have happened to me in the past two years and weed is the only thing that’s kept me from killing myself. So can we PLEASE end this prohibition bullshit for once and for all?

    11. The Oracle says:

      Get Pennsylvania to legalize medical cannabis along the lines of Colorado or California, with workplace protection from dismissal because of federal contract stipulations and that sort of shit. Get Pennsylvania to legalize industrial hemp, too. I see on food labels that so much stuff is Reg. by Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture, so if they’re that strict it would work for the rest of the country, too. Waddayathink?

    12. HighMtnSkier says:

      We have everything to gain from legalizing cannabis and nothing to lose. This can’t happen quick enough.

    13. Lea says:

      It’s the “High Time” mantra that disrupts the movement towards Legalization.
      While I understand the “high time” words it is the very words that the prohibitionists do not get and they end up using it against it.

    14. Pauk Revere says:

      @ #5 Johnnysmoker23

      Maybe what our counrty needs is ‘New Founding Fathers’.

    15. JamesTownsend says:

      As an American and as a human being, I should have the right to my body. With this right includes the right to ingest or consume whatever I may please, so long as it hurts no other person (who equally has a right to his/her body).

      Whether it is water, gasoline, cannabis, or arsenic, I should have the right to consume it at my own risk, without the governments involvement.

      The only arguement the prohibitionists have, now in an age when scientific truth has debunked propaganda, is the following:

      The societal costs would outway the fiscal gain caused by legalization. Another foolish arguement.

      The societal cost will go down, as most of the cost our society pays is due not to the instrinsic properties of the plant but to the prohibition. But where the dollars flow will change. We throw billions and billions of dollars into the DEA. This is a societal cost, but it is not attributed to cannabis but rather to the enforcement of cannabis laws. Many federal and state interventions on our rights via prohibition laws cost big money. This money will now be used for whatever the state deems appropraite. But money may be rechanneled more toward treatment (for a drug that is harmless and non-addictive, ironic).

      Because of cannabis prohibition, we have these societal costs:

      We pay billions of dollars to the DEA, to state police, and other federal interventionists

      We pay billions for incarceration, putting victimless criminals in our jail systems.

      15,000 dead in mexico since 2008 due to cartel related activity.

      Violation of our American and human rights.

      These costs are tremendous, and could be instantly solved with legislation.

      If it were legalized, we would save billions of dollars, save billions of lives, make billions of dollars.

      But AH! Now that we approach it differently, the money we DO put towards the substance will show in different ways. Consumption among adults may go up (while consumption among those still and appropriately under government paternalism will go down). And costs for treatment, etc, may go up. A 50 billion dollar budget for the DEA isn’t a cannabis related societal cost, but 8 million for treatment is???!!! And we are talking about a drug which does not cause severe impairment, wreckless behavior, fatality, etc. Exactly for what would society pay?

      Society already pays much money and debt due to this issue, but not because of the intrinsic properties of the plant… rather because of American policies starting with the Tax Cannabis Act. Every substance takes a fiscal toll on a society due to treatment, etc. And no human society has existed without a substance. This cost is already being payed, as 1/10th of americans smoke regularly,and it will increase trivially, but it is already being dwarved by DEA and prohibitionist policy.

      Also, this ‘treatment’ and ‘societal cost’ theory operates on the premise that cannabis is something that would lead to a need for treatment or cause a societal cost.

      People who are on ‘treatment’ for cannabis are there because of a court order. Any price society is paying is not because of the properties of a plant, but rather because of anti-american prohibition laws.

      LETS END WHAT REALLY MAKES SOCIETY PAY – PROHIBITION!

    16. Calvina's Nemesis says:

      Knowing all the stuff I went through as a mentally ill patient. She is W-R-O-N-G. I’ve had so many friends & people die because all these pharmaceuticals that claim, for example anti-depressants help depression when in some cases when taking this medicine might cause severe depression & suicidal thoughts. So yeah she Accidentally took more when she died. I Knew Deep Down Inside She Wouldn’t. She was a cutter that wouldn’t do it for the sake of God. & yet she kept taking the medicine. Not to mention these menacing pharmaceuticals creates obesity (poor judgement), diabetes, heart attack, stroke etc.

      And the only reason it creates anxiety is because it’s illegal. If liqour was illegal I think then it should cause anxiety. Think about it, When you Know you’ve had too much but you happen to be not at home, or in a car, or under aged. How do you feel? legal?

    17. Twostripe says:

      Legalizing Cannabis and Industrial Hemp are the two smartest things our government can do to help this country right it’s self. Let our farmers grow hemp for the 25,000 green items that can be made, I’m sure this would create “Green Jobs”, get GM to make diesel cars that will run well on hemp seed oil since an acre of hemp will produce about 350 gallons of hemp seed oil.
      I know it has been a while since I was in school, but we were taught that trees convert CO2 into oxygen, so why don’t we make hemp paper again instead of paper from wood pulp, not to mention MDF board, and in Canada an Indian Nation has developed a 50 year fire retardant roofing shingle from hemp.I’m sure we could find many more applications for the use of hemp in manufacturing if OUR government would allow free enterprise to run it’s course.
      Since hemp and cannabis can’t be grown together because of cross-pollinization, regulate cannabis by growing it in greenhouses, charge a fee annually per greenhouse, collect taxes from the dispensaries. This would apply to both medicinal and recreational cannabis, allow the importation of cannabis and hash just as we allow the importation of beer, wine, and liquor. I would think this would help some third world countries in their economic development as well, while keeping the cartels out.
      Unfortunately, our Reps have a fear that their support would be political suicide, not to mention how would they justify the DEA’s 20,000,000,000,000.00 annual budget (where they have little oversight where the money goes)and the 2 trillion they have already wasted.
      Thank you NORML for leading this fight, I think you are the only organization I know of who will loose jobs once your goal is achieved, and you selflessly continue. Readers need to make a point to talk to anyone they can about legalization, complete strangers not just your smoking partners, call, write, and e-mail your reps in both houses at the local, state, and federal level, make your voice and belief heard. Remember ya gotta feed the monkey to watch him shit.

    18. A Modest Proposal says:

      look, strictly speaking economically, our nation has the most debt ever. Period. ever. i checked out what it was on google, and u know what i found? 3 – 5 live real time websites that show how were losing more and more money by the minute! its unbelievable! and its partially because we’ve lost our major industries. we dont produce the most anymore, other countries have taken over because we out source. Now consider this. California legalizes pot medicinally and creates a billion dollar a year industry! yes a BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY. this is one state…just one. and there doing things right in California by taxing marijuana, because that money is going back into the state gov, giving them money to fix there state economy!
      Now this is the proposal. Legalize Marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, nation wide! give it the same rules as tobacco and alcohol, (aka you cant drive high that’s a d.u.i., and obviously u cant just smoke anywhere, where ever tobacco’s prohibited so should marijuana) Now tax it!! and create America’s newest and most profitable Industry, not to mention selling it will create jobs and new products! bongs pipes, pre-rolled joints and blunts, could marijuana be sold in gas stations like packs of cigarettes? people have to make these products right? Hence JOBS!
      Anyways if you put aside that fact that its a mind altering substance, and remember Alcohol was treated in this same fashion almost a hundred years ago!

      people have to at least consider the economic benefits of legalization on a Broken economy.

      Now think about that !
      Peace, and One love

    19. TLC says:

      Just once I would like to see the “other” side fight back in this WAR. No, I don’t mean with military gear and violence like the prohibition side is so fond of; rather I wonder what it would be like to spread the seeds of change Johnny Cannabiseed style.

      Imagine pilots dropping seeds from the air…then there are BB and CO2 guns that could probably launch seeds a good distance…not to mention strolling along the old fashioned way, dropping a little here and a little there. Seriously, how do you charge someone with having a plant on their property if the plants are springing up everywhere, like it should be, cause that’s what plants do.

      That’s what I would command if I where the opposing General in this war…Yes We Cannabis!

      Sigh…if only…:)

    20. Roger Earnst says:

      just vote yes to marijuana for medical and all the things that it can do.Do not let us down support it you kown its right.

    21. Supporter says:

      Has anyone ever calculated the amount of money that goes to foreign countries through the illegal import of marijuana. Think of how much money we could keep in the country.

    22. Don M says:

      I used to joke that here in America, the land of the free, they’ll lock you up if you inhale… Truth is, it’s not funny! Let’s legalize it once and for all. The vast majority of us know the truth, and the truth is that marijuana is not the terrible thing that the uninformed have made it out to be. President Obama smoked it. Is he a criminal??? I don’t think so! But I do wish he’d lend us all a hand on this unfortunate injustice… Yes We Can!

    23. bighare1 says:

      END PROHIBITION NOW!!!
      HOW ABOUT, LET’S SAY, JULY 4, 2010
      INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!
      OPEN THE DOOR TO NEW PRODUCTS & INDUSTRIES
      CREATE JOBS NOW!!
      END GOVERNMENT CHEATING, LIES, GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION AND GOVERNMENT SCOUNDRELISM.

      I THINK THAT ANY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE’S OR RELATIVES, ETC. WHO IS FOR PROHIBITION SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE A DISPENSORY. PERIOD, END OF SENTENCE.
      ESPECIALLY IF THEY WERE ANY OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZING PEOPLE OVER THIS ISSUE OF MARIJUANA PROHIBITION.(ALL OF THEM)
      IT JUST WOULDN’T BE RIGHT TO LET SOME POLICEMANS OR GOV’T PERSONS SON OR COUSIN OR WIFE, ETC. OPERATE A DISPENSORY. THEN THE COUNTY WILL THROW DOWN THEIR MORATORIUMS AND PRETTY SOON, NOBODY WILL BE ABLE TO RUN A DISPENSORY BECAUSE ALL YOU CHEATING, LYING GOVERNMENT SCOUNDRELS WILL BE ALL SETUP TO RUN EVERYTHING, HUH?!?!
      THEY NEVER WILL STOP WILL THEY?
      DOES ANYONE GET MY DRIFT?
      SHOULD’T WE TRY TO MAKE SURE THOSE VERY GOVERNMENT SCOUNDRELS THAT HAVE BASHED IN HEADS WITH FLASHLIGHTS AND EVEN SHOT PEOPLE, AND HAD PEOPLE DOWN OWN THE GROUND KICKING THEM AND BEATING THEM…WELL YOU GET THE PICTURE… OVER THIS ISSUE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO JUMP THE FENCE AND STARTUP DISPENSORIES SO THEY CAN BE THE NEW BUSINESS OWNERS IN TOWN RUNNING THE LONE DISPENSORY AROUND BECAUSE OF THE NEWLY PLACED MORITORIUMS.
      WATCH OUT AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!
      MORITORIUMS = PRIVATE BUSINESS OWNED BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
      THOSE PROHIBITION SCOUNDRELS ARE DETERMINED TO KEEP THE MONEY FLOWING TO THEM AND AWAY FROM US.
      LETS BE KEEN ON HOW THIS, WHO CAN OPERATE OR OWN A DISPENSORY ISSUE PLAYS OUT.
      I’M CERTAIN THAT MANY OF THESE SHOPS THAT ARE OPEN IN CALIF. AND COLORADO ARE BEING OPENED BY SOMEONE CONNECTED TO THE POLICE, DEA, GOV’T. ONE OF THEIR COUSINS, OR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS, DA, JUDGES, ETC.
      DON’T WE KNOW ALREADY THAT THEY ARE GOING TO TRY TO OWN A MONOPOLY AND NOT LET THE AMERICAN PEOPLE GET A PIECE OF THE PIE???
      LEGALIZE MARIJUANA NOW!!!
      END PROHIBITION!!!
      LETS STAMP OUT GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION!!!!!!

    24. Bob Constantine says:

      Self ownership is the issue. The particular substance is irrelevant. If we don’t own our selves, WE are being victimized.

      We have alot of people in positions of control over others, they are addicted to this control. THEY are the problem. If victimless acts are “crimes”, there is no end to the control one group may exert over another. Believing in ahem “freedom” and self ownership prohibition at the same time is hypocritical. Cognitive dissonance is the opiate of the enforcers.

    25. leif foster says:

      please help us all end the prohibition of cannibis the us government is a joke. Hell the founding fathers grew and smoked cannibis however was george washington a criminal….. well today he would be and as an american dont you think it would be a bit ironic to see the nations founding fathers in the local jail barracks for smoking some herb. did you know that george washington would also be considered a felon due to his cultivation of hemp and cannabis…..now things didnt happen that way during colonial times…. in fact the fouundingg fathers wrote a document to protect us against a government who has become too powerfull (aka the U.S. government) I think that paper was called the constitution. You must remember that the colonists were puritains You know the type…lol no sex no drinking in excess and you guessed it no fun….but those founding colonists and an our nations forefathers had absolutly no problem with cannabis. Fast forward to today. Our country is broke and yet we spend billions imprisoning non violent cannabis users in some of the scariest places in the world aka the state prison system most people that go to a prison dont come out what you would call mentaly stable in fact i would like to send some of these prohibitionists into san quintin for a year and test to see how long and how much professional help would be needed to fix the complete mental breakdown that would be present in said congressmens mind. and then tell him he is putting a non violent “criminal” in there and all for the the crime of smoking an herb that god made for us. I would like to also let the congressmen know that they only served 1/10th of their term if of course they survived that long. After all of that being just one injustice of many I would like to have the same congress people kick it with a group of stoners for 1 year nonstop and ask them at the end of the 2 years, Do cannabis smokers belong in those hellish prisons or do you for treating your fellow man so horribly…i dont know but i think the answers would frighten most prohibitionsts

    26. Tim says:

      The pharmacuetical companies invent new drugs and bombard us with their advertizements 24/7. They tell us that we need their drugs. So Doctors write prescriptions and we become addicted, but neither of them suffer ANY consequences for their actions. If I grow a weed (pot) in my yard and get caught, I will go to jail. Where is the common sense, where is the justice??

    27. Susan Harris says:

      Hello. I am 58 years old and a proud grandma. My son was just sentenced to 1 year and 1/2 for manufacturing. He had 16 plants which were about 4 inches tall. Unfortunately, he passed out on the couch from drinking and didn’t even hear the police when they walked in the door, which was left open.
      The judge, Dwyer, is well-known in Frederick County, MD as “the hanging judge”. I’ve had complete strangers tell me the same thing I’ve heard elsewhere; that Judge Dwyer has promised to give out a million years in sentences before he retires. IS THERE ANY HELP OUT THERE? DOES ANYONE OUT THERE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS OR HELPFUL COMMENTS. mY DAUGHTER ALREADY DID 6 MONTHS ON THE SAME CHARGE…hELP!

    28. Don M says:

      Susan Harris,
      I’m very sorry to hear about your children being victimized like this. It’s a real shame that someone like Judge Dwyer is in a place of power. He is the one doing the real harm and if justice prevailed in this country, people like him would be the ones in jail! They are the people who are doing the real harm! Sadly, very sadly, I haven’t heard about any brave politicians stepping up to stop this kind of injustice lately… At least not on any of the news shows that I watch…

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