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Marijuana Prohibitionists and Profiteers: Naked Opposition Exposed in The New York Times

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director February 27, 2012

    You can’t make this stuff up!

    I often say to staff, supporters and the media that: We’re blessed by our opponents to cannabis law reform!”

    A few weeks ago the New York Times featured a straight forward story during these recessionary times about local and state governments with legal protections for medical cannabis patients struggling to cobble together taxation and other revenue streams derived from medical cannabis in the face of federal recalcitrance and outright law enforcement opposition.

    The national affairs story is almost a no-brainer that wrote itself regarding this clear conflict between state and federal governments over the country’s festering 74-year old and increasingly unpopular Cannabis Prohibition.

    While not clear if whether or not an indication of the dearth of letters received by the NYT on the subject matter (i.e., meaning the subject matter was not controversial), or, the letters’ editors casting needed public light on the kind of remaining, almost teetering and naked public opposition that solidly supports another eight decades of the failed and expensive public policy of Cannabis Prohibition, the publishing of only these two letters, from such clearly bias sources, is potentially revealing.

    The first letter is from a drug rehabilitation center CEO in NYC (back in the late 1980s and throughout most of the 1990s, one of the most frequently published commentators and letter writers in the New York Times against virtually any pro-cannabis law reforms was Mitchell Rosenthal of Phoenix House, another drug rehabilitation provider like competitor Odyssey House. Not too surprisingly the current CEO of Odyssey House used to be employed at Phoenix House….).

    The second letter is from a decidedly unsurprising duo of longtime anti-cannabis propagandists and prohibition profiteers, former National Institute of Drug Abuse head Robert DuPont, M.D. (who, as director of NIDA, at one time publicly supported major cannabis law reforms, including decriminalization) and former Drug Enforcement Administration honcho Peter Bensinger.

    Both the former G-men and current pee testers, like rehabbers Rosenthal and Odyssey House CEO Peter Provet, are now some of the very few and clearly committed individuals remaining in a country with an estimated population in excess of 300 million to consistently write and publish letters to the editors of major newspapers and magazines condemning all things cannabis and favor not only the status quo, but a doubling-down by government passing even more stringent and invasive anti-cannabis laws and enforcement.

    While the NYT correctly identifies these two prohibitionists’ former executive roles in federal government anti-drug bureaucracies going back 30 years ago, what the NYT failed to inform readers is that DuPont and Bensinger are the longtime and current principles of a lucrative drug testing (their company has been chosen by members of Congress to perform individual drug tests) and anti-drug counseling business to Fortune 1000 companies and small businesses.

    As previously stated, currently in America, almost all of the public opposition against cannabis law reform historically comes from government agencies, industries and companies who most financially benefit from the current and failed status quo of Cannabis Prohibition:

    –>Law Enforcement Agencies: Employees from local police to the Drug Enforcement Administration, to sheriffs, prosecutors, probation officers and prison guards, in modern times are usually the first in line, loudest and most strident against ending Cannabis Prohibition in America.

    –>Government Bureaucracies Born of Cannabis Prohibition: DEA, ONDCP, FBI, NIDA, SAMHSA, DARE, PDFA, etc…

    –>Industries and Companies That Will Compete With Legal Cannabis: Tobacco, Alcohol, Pharmaceutical, Wood and Fuel

    –>Industries and Companies That Currently Benefit From Cannabis Prohibition Laws: Private Prisons, Drug Testing, Drug Rehab, Drug Detection Device Makers, Mercenary Private Military Companies That Perform Duties and Actions Once Reserved for the Civilian Military

    The below letters published by the NYT demonstrate how limited, parochial and self-interested today’s anti-cannabis activists are becoming in a country where 50% of the public no longer supports Cannabis Prohibition.

     Letters

    Taxing Medical Marijuana

    Published: February 23, 2012

    To the Editor:

    Struggling Cities Turn to a Crop for Cash” (news article, Feb. 12) doesn’t mention a major issue of concern that has to be considered before claims of attractive financial benefits from taxing medical marijuana can be made.

    In the states mentioned — California, Colorado, Maine and Oregon — 3.2 million people are not receiving the treatment services they need for drug abuse and dependence. California alone accounts for 2.3 million people with untreated substance abuse disorders.

    Before hard-pressed municipalities, in these and other states around the country, look at medical marijuana as a new source of tax revenue to finance essential services, taxpayers should be given the opportunity to consider allocating some of this money to under-supported treatment and prevention programs.

    This will not mitigate the effects of untreated substance abuse, but it will help send a clear message to young people that marijuana, prescribed or not, has addictive potential that too often requires intensive treatment.

    PETER PROVET
    President and Chief Executive
    Odyssey House
    New York, Feb. 13, 2012

     

    ______________________________

     

    To the Editor:

    California cities’ meager tax payments are a tiny fraction of the costs of their misguided “medical marijuana” initiatives.

    The taxes imposed on medical marijuana place it in a category with alcohol and tobacco, two legal drugs that demonstrate the same appalling disparity between tax revenues and societal costs. The state and federal alcohol revenue of $14 billion and the $25 billion collected in tobacco taxes in the United States are overshadowed by the $235 billion and $200 billion in social costs they produce, respectively.

    Among all Americans 12 and older who abuse or are dependent on an illegal drug, 60 percent abuse or are dependent on marijuana. Nationally, admissions for primary marijuana use to state-financed treatment have increased by 31 percent from 1998 to 2008 (the most recent year for which data are available).

    California and other states that have legalized medical marijuana face the disturbing reality of the drug’s true costs in long-term health care, increased treatment admissions, loss of productivity at work and at school, and increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.

    In addition to the disproportion of small tax revenue compared with large societal costs, medical marijuana sharply increases marijuana use and dependency. With 60 percent more cancer-causing chemicals than cigarettes and four times more tar, making marijuana more available is bad economic policy and bad health care policy.

    PETER B. BENSINGER
    ROBERT L. DuPONT
    Chicago, Feb. 14, 2012

    The writers are, respectively, former administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, 1976-81; and a psychiatrist and founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1973-78.

    63 Responses to “Marijuana Prohibitionists and Profiteers: Naked Opposition Exposed in The New York Times”

    1. steve zissou says:

      ah, the classic bullshit argument that cannabis is an addicting gateway drug. these guys just need to hit the bong

    2. MrFlibble says:

      Those opinions are definitely not at all biased or misleading. (obvious sarcasm)

      This is like current politicians. In this day and age of instant global communication these people expect us to believe everything they say within their little bubble of information. Anyone who spends ten minutes searching google will see the truth of their comments and how it’s in their own self interest to avoid ending marijuana prohibition. Obviously someone whose paycheck is dependent upon illegal marijuana will not admit to any of the reasons why marijuana prohibition has failed, nor why it shouldn’t be legalized in a “free” country which has legal alcohol and tobacco.

      Logic is not their strong suit. Using basic math, a product which has 60% more cancer causing chemicals and four times more tar than cigarettes, but which consumers use less than one tenth of the product in weight (not counting water filtration devices mind you) we’re talking about a substance which, by their own provided numbers, is not as harmful as cigarettes.

      The second letter points out how harmful both alcohol and tobacco are to society, yet fails to provide reasoning as to why a substance which is less harmful than both should remain illegal while they are legal.

      The people in these positions fail to learn from history. America came into being because people grew tired of the king of England and his failure to recognize their wishes and rights. The people are growing tired of you, Washington.

      Go back and read the declaration of independence again. What you are doing to us has been done before, and the result was America; Our America, not this corrupted, perverted farce you have created.

      “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    3. mountainhigh50 says:

      Intensive treatment required? Cancer causing? Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha. What blatent bee esss.

    4. john says:

      This is absolute crap, cannabis is not addictive like other drugs for dependency, pain killers are the worse, look at Florida’s pill mills, pharmaceuticals. Someone needs to get on the bandwagon and if they say it has more everything tar etc., you don’t smoke or vaporize as much because cannabis has gotten stronger so you don’t need as much for medical pain or what ailments you have to conquer everyday for a happier life. So you get less of everything bad in it compared to cigarettes because you smoke or vaporize cannabis a lot less compared to smoking cigarettes plus hemp which is a different plant than cannabis, the seeds can be crushed into oil that could solve our gas prices and is much cleaner than fossil fuel. I could go on and on but somebody needs to get on the wagon and take charge. Newt Gingrich talking about Washington telling people not to grow hemp or cannabis was absolutely amazing and wrong, if you were a farmer back in Washington’s days, part of your crop had to consist of hemp for clothing and making rope as well as oil for lamps and food etc. etc., sealing the inside of ships so water couldn’t get in. Sails and ropes were the most important because without them, you don’t have a big enough paddle to move your ship in the water. Hemp is the most nutritional bio product on this earth. Do some research on the internet, you will find out.

    5. DC says:

      I see there points,theres another side to everything !!!
      DRUG LAWS NATIONAL SECURITY???????
      MEXICAN CARTELS THROUGH-OUT THE NATION!
      INCOMPETENCE IN OUR GOV. OFFICALS.
      WHO’S PROFITING? PROBITION MOST OFFICIALS GOT A TASTE.
      WHO’S PROTECTING WHO?

    6. There is no way they can still use the same crap excuses. “Oh its a gateway drug” lets be real alcohol and tobacco are killing at an alarming rate and big fat CEO’s are banking on it while providing the funding for all the propaganda against Marijuana.

    7. TylerT says:

      @ letter authors: cite that. Kthx.

    8. Theodore says:

      I got my first computer 25 years ago. That’s when I first learned the truth about Marijuana. I wrote dozens of letters to the NYTimes. None were published or answered. After a few years, I gave up and cancelled my subscription. I stopped going to the Times when they started charging for their web edition. I hope anyone reading these words does not subscribe to the Times. Their logo is now ‘All the I got my first computer 25 years ago. That’s when I first learned the truth about Marijuana. I wrote dozens of letters to the NYTimes. None were published or answered. After a few years, I gave up and cancelled my subscription. I stopped going to the Times when they started charging for their web edition. I hope anyone reading these words does not subscribe to the Times. Their logo is now ‘All the Propaganda that’s Fit to Print’.

    9. Zombiman says:

      Same old story … greedy, rich, white bastards keeping something away from the masses for their own gain. Weed is NOT addictive, nor does it lead to more drug use in the average person. If you have an addictive personality, sure, but then you need therapy anyway. There are no withdrawal effects from stopping use. At least, if they exist, the withdrawal affects are barely noticable. It is much safer than alcohol and cigarettes by a mile. I would like to challenge any government official to find documented proof of even ONE death linked directly to the use of marijuana… go ahead, i’ll wait….

    10. Reese says:

      And ill-educated people are in opposition…which is a lot in America.

    11. Reese says:

      If cannabis is a gateway to hard drugs, then masturbation is a gateway to rape.

    12. Stephen Daniel says:

      Nobody ever mentions, the gigantic fact, tobacco has polonium 210. It is a radio active element thousands of times more toxic than cyanide. This must be the reason people get oral cancer for chewing tobacco. Vaporization of such a dangerous radioactive element inhaled in small quantities would cause cancer. Cannabis smoke does not equal tobacco smoke. Cannabis does not cause cancer when consumed. Period. Any form.

    13. John Wayne Gacy says:

      “If cannabis is a gateway to hard drugs, then masturbation is a gateway to rape.”

      best comment on here

    14. The Oracle says:

      These guys all sound like a bunch of outsiders wanting to tell everybody how to live their lives. The fact that their letters got published must follow with pro-legalization balance, i.e. the newspaper outright supports legalization and/or pro-legalization letters to the editor are published.

      If they don’t want it in their municipalities, then set your will through there. But don’t you tell everyone else how to live if they want legal cannabis. Minister Ivo Opstelten tried that bullshit in The Netherlands, and it’s up to the mayor to decide now, just as before.

      The house guys getting the referrals from prohibitionist policies, if they are correct that cannabis is highly addictive, are saying like, hey, we don’t want more profits and we don’t want to expand our locations after legalization to treat those who need help; or are they saying they want more money from the mmj states? I thought they were greedy, money-grubbing bastards, so why are they acting like good two shoes? Could it be because after legalization, they’ll have fewer patients because it’s not as hyped up as they’ve hyped it up to be? Or they have the same amount, accounting for an increase to make up the difference with dearth created by no more people being referred for being popped on a piss test for it alone?

      Anyway, since when does anybody tell New Yorkers what the hell they can and can’t do?! Fuckin’ out-of-towner fascists. Doesn’t Bloomberg have enough of his own money to live well if the feds prevent his political career from continuing? I mean, did Bloomberg actually ever think he wanted to go higher in politics? Showing some chutzpah could do him some good as a populist, you know, keeping things moving along the lines of giving people more freedom. Their body, their choice, heal them or shut the fuck up! My body, my choice, heal me or shut the fuck up! You ain’t no messiah. That’s what I have to say about prohibitionists.

      Bloomberg ought to declare The Big Apple a cannabis sanctuary city, like their are sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants. Citizens ought to have some sanctuary cities, too. Well then? Let’s go, Bloomberg. Same thing for Boston, D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore. You ought to coordinate it and orchestrate it together, jointly, at the same time, simultaneously.

      Make the announcement, press release about the proposal and meeting to discuss it, and get a response from the feds. Measure their response with their funding and slash their funding for cannabis prohibition enforcement drastically so they can’t hope and can’t claim publicly to be able to enforce federal laws against cannabis. That is the tipping point or we are Sisyphus.

    15. Thinking Clearly says:

      Rehabilitation and Substance Abuse programs supported by Government Agencies and the Courts are usually nothing more than efforts to control bad behavior offered in lieu of punishment. This is very distant in nature from efforts at rehabilitation undertaken at the behest of an individual who knows he needs a change and has requested help.

      The first form of rehabilitation is nothing more than behavior modification with the begrudging consent of an unwilling individual. Its not brainwashing, but it more closely fits into that category than it does the category of rehabilitation.

      Common sense will tell you that if you don’t want to be helped, its not going to happen. True rehabilitation is a joint effort undertaken to produce an improved state in the estimation of the individual himself. It is the opposite of modifying behavior to something more agreeable to a therapist and a Judge.

      I don’t support Government funded efforts at rehab undertaken not for help, but for controlling and changing behavior. Its never genuine help. George Orwell described it quite well long before now in his book “1984”.

      Bottom line is the Government should stick to governing and get out of the marijuana and rehab business.

    16. disvet13 says:

      if we learn nothing from history…dupont was instrumental in having cannabis prohibited. big money owns the think tanks per se, thus what they think matters most, cause it’s their MONEY. There is an element that has invaded our government, a small group of contemptible men have made us a contemptible nation…woodrow wilson, and they’ve had 90 years to infiltrate and control your government. Now, they follow their own agenda’s…robert byrd.

    17. Paul Pot says:

      These dear gentlemen have good reason to come out fighting in the face of a turning tide.
      For so many decades they were the winners enjoying wealth and status as warriors of the drug war.
      Now that times are a changing they face loss of income and status and more run the risk of being tried for crimes against humanity as the war criminals they are.
      Like Gaddafi’s henchmen, there comes a time in the battle when one side is no longer fighting to win but just to stay alive.
      This unfortunately is when they are at their most dangerous. The cornered beast syndrome.
      Keep your guard up and your spears ready.
      The final battle will be bloody but nothing can stop the people from overcoming the tyrants.
      Then we put them on trial.

    18. Thinking Clearly says:

      There is another adjacent to this bottom line. These substance abuse prohibitionist campaigners are not sincere in their professions. Putting ones own interests in front of the help professions they are pretending to be experts in makes them hypocrites. How can they help anyone when their primary interest is in their power and pocketbooks?

    19. Jman305 says:

      Same old shit, just another puppet. I like that masturbation comment, that’s like icing on the cake Lol. We need to all get together and publish cannabis studies in local news and newspapers. We need a few rich people to buy prime time air time. Show a few documentaries on cannabis and the harm prohibition causes. We need to stand up and defend our rights, or we’re going to have another civil war. One that’s more prevalent than the “War on Drugs” the feds are waging against their own people.

    20. Douglas says:

      I dint know our Government is used privet army to fight us ?

    21. Galileo Galilei says:

      Drug war zealots felt no compassion about making war on their fellow Americans, perverting the Land of the Free into the greatest jailer on the planet. When we’ve removed the non-violent marijuana offenders from these jails, we should give these cruel zealots a taste of their own medicine.

      Sauce for the goose and gander, or something like that.

    22. Ray DiPasquale says:

      I agree with all these comments on this post.
      The first gateway drug is sugar not cannabis.
      Cannabis users are the most prosecuted and persecuted in this phony war on drugs.
      Elvy recently sent me a post and I am passing it along to everyone and it is fitting:
      http://www.facebook.com/events/198293580277485/
      The courts and law enforcement are merely pawns for the corporate industrial complex. They want absolute control even to control instataneous thought. There greed will be there undoing. We must act cohesively and not let these powermad psycopaths get away with this plundering of our society. We also must not let them patent Cannabis like Monsanto did with the soybean! (see the movie Food Inc)
      If that happens then they would have full legal actions to take you to court both criminally and civil. This must not happen!

    23. wbs 101 says:

      Reese says:
      If cannabis is a gateway to hard drugs, then masturbation is a gateway to rape.

      lol this should be the reply to the gateway theory from now on they give an ignorant statement one up them with another ignorant one

      These letters make me sick I am just so very tired of hearing these over beaten pathetic excuses and this:

      “In the states mentioned — California, Colorado, Maine and Oregon — 3.2 million people are not receiving the treatment services they need for drug abuse and dependence. California alone accounts for 2.3 million people with untreated substance abuse disorders.”

      I am sure 99% of these are for weed and being forced on the individual. Why don’t we just go ahead and start forcing diets on every single person that their doctor considers to be overweight and if they don’t follow the diets throw them in jail. I can’t stand how all the prohibitionists repeat the same shit and use the same crap statistics they all sound like it was written by the same person and other people are just repeating it I really can’t stand these people

    24. Fed-Up says:

      wasn’t Peter.b Basinger the DEA administrator during the Carter administration when the Paraquat spraying was being done in Mexico?

      naughty,naughty!

      And were not Peter and Robert responceable for the modern day piss-test among other intrusive and invasive procedures

      I see no reason why they would have a vested -interest in keeping Marihuana illegal then, do you?

      All the shares and profits that have been invested into these corperations and now you want legal cannabis, what the fuck is wrong with you ?

      do you want all the urine samples to go UP IN STEAM? haha (joke)

    25. max beasley says:

      when one looks at the marijuana issue in the United States it is easy to see that Money truly is the root of all evil. These rich bastards with their agendas are immune to lying and cling to the adage of “whatever it takes”….they simply have too much invested to do anything else. What a shame! Representatives that sell their people down the river in order to profit. We the people have got to take our country back because it is no longer the home of the free. It starts with us going to the polls and holding our representatives accountable ….they are suppose to be working for us!

    26. keyofad says:

      If you live in MICHIGAN and want to end marijuana prohibition in our state, please take a minute to visit
      https://help.repealtoday.org/index.cfm

    27. wbs 101 says:

      Reese says:
      If cannabis is a gateway to hard drugs, then masturbation is a gateway to rape.

      lol that should be the argument against the gateway theory but I am really sick of hearing these same old excuses they need to get more imaginative with their prohibition lies all of the current ones sound like their where written by the same person and these people are just repeating it word for word it always sounds the same

    28. Thinking Clearly says:

      You would never know who these gentlemen were if it were not for all the money given to them by the Government – courtesy of the War on Drugs.

    29. Brendan deweese says:

      I agree with max an everyone else who commented. These 2 “experts” are only shunning the new laws and regulations because they stand to make a profit from those who they believe are “morally” corrupted, and operate a monopoly over the drug testing industry. Money has become the main source of problems for this country. In 1788 when the constitution was ratified, we vowed to put an end to tyranny and oppression by a majority rule. We created the bill of rights to insure all citizens the rights they deserve as human beings. Although times have changed, our rights should not. No man/ government/ government agency has the authority to alienate our rights, unless they inflict harm against others rights. What happened to government for the people by the people? Has all what we stand for as a nation been lost in the extasy of money and power? With all the coruption in both state politics and federal, i believe this to be self evident. The fact that federal agencies target us citizens, and legal dispenceries goes against every reason why we declared independance in the first place. If we cannot change our ways and go back to sensible government that focuses on bettering the nation rather then personal profit, I fear for our future. The united states of america is the most influencial super power on the planet, which most smaller countries look up too. What kind of example are we setting for them? This is a question I am still wondering myself, and I will probably never truely figure it out.

    30. NagaSadhu says:

      Worth repeating: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”. Upton Sinclair

      They must be lying about what they know?

    31. Planetairein says:

      Let’s see, grass has killed its users, ZERO times in its history of use but alcohol and tobacco have KILLED MILLIONS. Yeah, good article! Bullshit, Bullshit & More Same Old Bullshit STORY.

    32. Thinking Clearly says:

      Why are we following the policies of a man that said “I am not a crook”, and then proceeded to criminalize more than half of all America by underhandedly creating a new era of Prohibition?

      DuPont blamed it all on Nixon like he couldn’t control Nixon. What an opportunist.

      “On April 1, 1970, Chief Judge of the DC Superior Court, Harold Green,
      announced the first universal drug testing program in the country. All criminal
      defendants were given drug tests by NTA, with this drug testing function later
      being absorbed by the court itself. This assertive approach of intervention became
      the model for the White House-sponsored TASC (then meaning Treatment
      Alternatives to Street Crime), the forerunner of most criminal justice programs
      linked to treatment, including drug courts. This criminal justice system initiative
      fulfilled my vision of helping criminals reclaim their lives and helping their
      communities heal from the ravages of the crimes they committed. Addiction
      treatment was the key to achieving these objectives.” – Robert L. DuPont, M.D. On addiction, treatment, and recovery

    33. bob searcy says:

      i left a factory job paying 12.75 an hr 20 years ago to pack hod for 6.50 an hour. i left over the issue of random bottle pissin. if more people had this kind of firing squad conviction the drug testing would have never gotten to where it is now. people will push you as far as YOU will let them. i made a lot of noise leaving that factory too, to include a 1-1/2 hour meeting with my senator. i drag a trailer behind my trike just to carry my BALLS around.. lol

    34. Thinking Clearly says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me if DuPont wasn’t the one whispering in Nixons ear when the decision making time came for Nixon.

    35. palemalemarcher says:

      It reads like this trope,”We’re not going to tell you what you want to read; even when its true!” Gutless wonders!

    36. Thinking Clearly says:

      There’s nothing like treating all America like criminals and having then drug tested. How convenient.

    37. Thinking Clearly says:

      America – You’ve just been conned by the best.

    38. 2buds4me says:

      They are not publishing this cause they’re comfortable fat cats with nothing to worry about. They are scared – cornered dogs. Scared to death they’re losing their grip on the lies, scared of losing the power they have held due to the lies. Growling visciously and spewing wild un-foundable lies – fearmongering those left who inch toward the fence they’ve been told never to investigate, never to look over – our side of the fence. Trying with whips and chains (prison) and fear to keep the uneducated in line. They proclaim us the dirty (hippies) unwashed masses – unknowing and untrainable, fit only to be led like cattle (hey there coppertop) It’s all about control – power corrupts – absolute power corrupts absolutely – any question here? The proper response to such lies is to educate with the truth. To expose the lies. But not to them. Don’t waste your breath on them. Remember – like a viscious cornered animal – they have no wish to see reason – to use their “thinking ability” – only to desperately fight off those who would wrest power (and money) away from them. Educate those who want to learn, to know. Those who want an answer for PTSD, Alsheimers, Cancer, Depression, Eating disorders etc…. Offer hope to those who have only chemical poisioning and a slow lingering death to look forward to from Big Pharma. Win the hearts with knowledge of things like cannabinoid recepters throughout our bodies. Why would we have them if we were’t supposed to ingest such a wonderful plant? There can be no pharmacological substitute. We may not yet know the full extent of the purpose and potential of this plant, but we know we’re better off with it than without.

    39. bob searcy says:

      ive battled with the govt for 35 years over this issue. ive came to the conclusion that the ones too gutless to do battle OUGHT to be persecuted. no sympathy from me you gutless bastards..

    40. Thinking Clearly says:

      Plea bargaining fits into this too.Very neatly. Gets more people into rehab while scaring a poor (meaning no money for anything but an “appointed” attorney) fella into “taking a cop” and getting him into treatment – while denying him of his right to plead not guilty without coercion. Its so bad it would make a great movie. Except no one will. Its all too real.

    41. Thinking Clearly says:

      Federal Government + behavior modification + plea bargaining + war on drugs = injustice for all.

    42. Thinking Clearly says:

      Just be on the right side of the law boys.

    43. Adam says:

      Lets just all come together and fund a new country with legal weed and a true democracy not an elected republic that’s bought everything should be voted on by the people

    44. Truthspeaker says:

      the fact that a “private prison lobby” exists should be all the proof an intelligent person needs to show the folly of prohibition. We’re a nation that’s supposed to prize freedom. You pay for more money to the prison systems so we get more prisons so more people can go to jail so we can have bigger prisons…. it’s insanity. All the people you listed are bad, but when you really break it down these are the worst

    45. Tony says:

      some of my friends think that i’m passionate about reform simply because I partake, and i will admit that that is how it all started with me, but after seeing the arguments against marijuana you kind of have to be like “and these are the arguments that won?”
      I don’t think its the governments place to tell us what to do in the first place, and to use such ridiculous obviously wrong arguments, its like their insulting our intelligence.
      They want to be listened to without question but when america was founded, it was founded with the right to question any law (or authority figure) that we feel is unjust. Thank you Norml, for helping in the fight to right a wrong.

    46. Thinking Clearly says:

      Prohibition feeds the beast.

    47. Henry Nease says:

      “With 60 percent more cancer-causing chemicals than cigarettes and four times more tar, making marijuana more available is bad economic policy and bad health care policy.” SHOW ME PROOF. Where can you prove to me that marijuana has 60 percent more cancer causing chemicals…Who says you have to SMOKE cannabis to consume it. Lets be honest, you could care less about the effects cannabis has on this country, only the effects it will have on your pocket book. People like you, burn in hell.

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