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Cannabis Prohibition Now Seventy-Five Years Old

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director August 2, 2012

    Infamously, America’s federally created Cannabis Prohibition marks its seventy-fifth anniversary this August 2, 2012. The so-called ‘great failed social experiment’ of Alcohol Prohibition of the 1920s barely lasted a dozen years in effect. Rightly, it took a constitutional amendment to both ban and restore alcohol products to the free market. Is there a similar constitutional amendment for cannabis products in 1937?

    No, of course not.

    And that is where the sophistry, hypocrisy and duplicity begin regarding America’s modern cannabis policy of vilifying, arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating cannabis consumers, cultivators and marketers.

    Even though virtually every other country’s farmers have the choice whether or not to cultivate industrial hemp, even in countries where cannabis policy is decidedly worse than America’s, can American farmers prosper from cultivating this environmentally-friendly and productive crop?

    No, of course not.

    Do Americans support this failed, expensive and unconstitutional public policy of criminalizing cannabis?

    No, of course not.

    It can be readily stated, based on public opinion surveys and focus groups, that three quarters of Americans strongly support cannabis’ soft reforms: medical access and decriminalization of small amounts for personal use. And now, according to Gallup polling, fifty percent of Americans now want cannabis legally controlled in a manner similar to far more dangerous, problematic, addictive and readily available commercial products such as alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals.

    Most every governmental commission convened has recommended that at minimum cannabis be decriminalized for adult possession; the federal government can proffer no data or statistics indicating that their war against cannabis consumers has had any success whatsoever; America’s national security and borders are made less—not more—secure because of Cannabis Prohibition.

    In response to the federal failure, currently seventeen states and the District of Columbia have chosen to abandon the federal government’s scientifically absurd and inhumane prohibition on sick, dying and sense-threatened patients who’ve permission from their physician to have cannabis in their therapeutic arsenal for relief, safety, affordability and efficacy.

    Additionally, fourteen states and numerous large municipalities have rejected the federal government’s blanket prohibition on cannabis and decriminalized possession.

    This election cycle, the voting public will once again have the opportunity to put serious political and economic upward pressure on a totally recalcitrant U.S. Congress and Executive Branch to end the national prohibition on cannabis when no less than five states have either binding legalization or medicalization voter ballot initiatives.

    Regrettably, regardless of the political party in control or whomever president, will Congress even hold lowly sub-committee hearings to finally start the process of reforming the federal government’s out-of-touch cannabis policies?

    No, of course not.

    Can Cannabis Prohibition continue to prevail in a free market oriented democracy like America, where approximately one out of eight citizens are considered ‘criminals’ by their own government?

    This supposed ‘criminal’ activity is nothing more than consumers making the completely logical and rational consumer decision to use an ancient herb that the DEA’s own chief law judge ruled is “In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume…Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

    No, of course not.

    Can this terribly wasteful, destructive, distracting, unsuccessful, constitution-warping status quo regarding Cannabis Prohibition fester much longer in America?

    No, of course not.

    This is made all the more difficult for American politicians to continuously embrace ‘Reefer Madness’ as more and more countries around the world—notably in Europe, Central and South America—are expressing severe frustration with America’s failed Cannabis Prohibition policies and law enforcement priorities. Currently, as many as eight countries in the Americas have pending legislation or litigation seeking to legalize cannabis in defiance of the United States.

    Lastly, after all these decades of government oppression, bogus science, racist law enforcement and some industries making fortunes off of Cannabis Prohibition (think: private prisons, drug testing companies, contraband detection companies, etc…), can the cannabis plant legalize itself?

    No, of course not.

    Please help end Cannabis Prohibition in America (and therein around most of the world too). Please help legalize the remarkable, utilitarian, affordable and safe cannabis plant. Please do not vote for any politicians who want to continue with another seventy-five years of Cannabis Prohibition. Please join and donate to any cannabis law reform organization.  Please get involved in your own liberation.

    Can we succeed if we all work together in concert to end Cannabis Prohibition in our lifetimes?

    Yes, of course.

    39 Responses to “Cannabis Prohibition Now Seventy-Five Years Old”

    1. Chris in WI says:

      Another sad anniversary that shouldn’t have happened.

    2. Gowl says:

      Beautifully and succintly written.

    3. elkalzon says:

      marijuana prohibition is one of the biggest atrocities in American history, but it is also shows the true nature of our government. A democracy that is willing to suspend democracy to serve the agendas of special interest groups is no democracy at all.

    4. Jed says:

      There is nothing wrong with cannabis use

      cannabinoids are so similar to endocannabinoids, there is no urgency to excrete them

      The most toxic drugs are excreted by the liver as soon as possible, after a day or two

      coke, crack, heroin, morphine, meth, alcohol won’t show up in a drug test a day or two after use.

      So all the money spent on drug tests for potential employees and some actual employees, is paying for a pot test, and nothing more.
      Isn’t it weird that in 1964 the Shafer Commission found that cannabis should not be illegal and should not carry any penalties for use, Nixon passed the Controlled Substances Act. And so created the 20+ anti drug departments of the federal government bureaucracy, related to drugs. DEA. FDA. NIDA. etc.

      He did the exact opposite. 1964 was the year that scientists first discovered certain anti-cancer/anti-tumor properties of cannabinoids within the endocannabinoid receptor system, a natural and integral part of the immune system.

      Cancer cells suddenly appear everyday. Our immune systems, hopefully, squelch the problem immediately by destroying and eliminating the trash.

      CBD or cannabidiol, found in significant concentrations in indica cultivars, associated with a “body,” and not a “cerebral” stone, has motivated us to cultivate and keep the plant because it’s the most useful one.

      Canvas is a word derived from cannabis. It was everyday common and not a crime for very long time. Nixon and Mitchell are responsible for the misery

      Pot co-evolved with humans

    5. Buggsy13420666 says:

      Federalism has always been in the business of oppression when it comes to MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. Instead of WE THE PEOPLE, it’s now WE THE FEDS who hide behind the wall with the 21ST CENTURY INQUISITORS and their arsenal of BIG BROTHER TECHNOLOGY and the ORWELLIAN MENTALITY to control the BARBARIANS AT THE GATE. As the UNICORNIZATION of Amerika goes on, I would rather be a BARBARIAN than a SERF. HAIL TO THE MONARCHY!

    6. richard says:

      Happy birthday drug war hope you die soon

    7. Elaine says:

      I’d really like to see a web page on NORML’s site dedicated to prohibitionists!!! It would have pictures of these jerks along with their resumes and anti-freedom/anti-American activities. We could start with Melinda Haag, past and present drug czars, and Eric Holder just to get this ball rolling.

      This page should be considered a wall of shame that noone would want to be on :)

      This idiocy and facism has gone on for way too long and the people responsible need to be pointed out!

      With information like what I propose on your site, perhaps we can succeed to end cannabis prohibition!

    8. menacemotors says:

      Obbummer Lies and Patients Die.
      He will voted out because of a CHICKEN SANDWICH. LOL !!!
      Real CHANGE is coming.

    9. You says:

      Will I stay at home and do nothing about the suffering of me and my life pals due to drug prohibition?

      No, of course not.

    10. Galileo Galilei says:

      Well composed and fun to read. Plus, I love a happy ending.

      I am as optimistic about ending cannabis prohibition as I’ve ever been in my life.

    11. Bradson says:

      I’m grateful to cannabis prohibition for three reasons. First, it has opened my eyes to the dark side of government and given me a healthy skepticism of politics. Second, it has allowed me to understand the nature of irrational discrimination and to experience the effects of institutionalized bigotry. Lastly, prohibition has, ironically, helped spread the use of marijuana to all the people.

    12. Owen says:

      Cannabis prohibition has been a “masterpiece in the art of brainwashing”. How else can one explain 75 years of prohibition based on an unchallenged LIE? Anyone who supports the staus quo is either profiting from its prohibition or they are brainwashed.

    13. Elaine says:

      @menacemotors – If Obama is voted out I hope to the Gods he isn’t replaced by that Romney fellow!

      Let’s all show the courage to vote for Gary Johnson! He is apparently the only presidential candidate that has shown the courage to try to do what is right and that is ending prohibition!

    14. St. Nick says:

      Some people have to start speaking about pro-pot views in public. I don’t want to get in trouble because we don’t have any rights but was hoping someone would start pushing this prohibition-problem into more light. And another thing, I don’t know who could beat Obama but I don’t want any republican ruining the country further like with bush. Ron Paul probably couldn’t get elected. Maybe Obama is busting dispensaries cause he HAS to follow the laws. If he gets in again nothing else will matter and he might pull a 180 and legalize it after he gets 2 terms. I don’t know about you but I’m voting Obama. Romney is the choice of greed/evil and no other candidate will make it. Keep on giving props to pot.

    15. Joel: the other Joel says:

      No celebrations or a parade with the banner: Cannabis Prohibition, along with goose-stepping DEA commandos.

    16. Elaine says:

      Regarding my previous post where I stated that Gary Johnson is the only presidential candidate with the courage to do what is right regarding ending prohibition, I failed to mention Ron Paul. I have tremendous respect for him and would choose him in a heartbeat over Obama or Mitt the Twit Romney. However, I don’t think he has any chance to win at this point in time and so Gary Johnson is the candidate I believe we should all be supporting.

      Prohibition is evil and evil needs to be put down!

      Seriously, I just don’t understand how it is possible that someone who professes to believe in God and morality could also think it is better to lock someone up in prison for choosing an alternative to the more harmful legal recreational substances (tobacco and alcohol). If this is the way the Mormans think, I don’t have much respect for them or their religion.

    17. […] Cannabis Prohibition Now Seventy-Five Years Old Infamously, America’s federally created Cannabis Prohibition marks its seventy-fifth anniversary this August 2, 2012. The so-called ‘great failed social experiment’ of Alcohol Prohibition of the 1920s barely lasted a dozen years in effect. Rightly, it took a constitutional amendment to both ban and restore alcohol products to the free market. Is there a similar constitutional amendment for cannabis products in 1937? No, of course not. And that is where the sophistry, hypocrisy and duplicity begin regarding America’s modern cannabis policy of vilifying, arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating cannabis consumers, cultivators and […] […]

    18. Matt Austin says:

      But if we all vote for Gary Johnson it will take votes away from Obama & the alternative to him is too horrible for contemplation

    19. Krymsun says:

      Medical Marijuana Patients Get Their Day in Federal Court with the Obama Administration
      July 30th, 2012

      D.C. Circuit to hear oral arguments this October in lawsuit challenging marijuana’s federal classification

      The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed to hear oral arguments in Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration, a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical value. The D.C. Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on October 16th at 9:30am.

      If the rescheduling lawsuit is successful and marijuana is reclassified, federal defendants will then gain the basis for a medical necessity defense.

      http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=7260

      See also: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/08/01/620211/federal-court-will-review-marijuanas-classification-as-a-dangerous-drug-with-no-health-benefits/

    20. Becky says:

      I feel more positive that the prohibition will end how, is the 99 cent question !!! Because someone has to decide that it has been mis-catagorized, or it has been a big F N Lie!!!! So let’s get on with it!! We will be able to learn from their mistakes!!!

    21. Mike dar says:

      “..more countries around the world—notably in Europe, Central and South America—are expressing severe frustration with America’s failed Cannabis Prohibition policies..”
      Never did the expect in complying with the U.S. mandates, so as to keep preferred trading staus, Foriegn ais ect., would the almost instant adoption of American frameworks for dealing with drugs, cost then so much in their individual societies.
      Unfortunately, the original motivations for complying with the U.S. directed sanctions..still exist for those same cunties.
      So they are left with, do we give up inflows of the standard world exchange currency(being bought out), or change the internal framework in those countries and pizz-off that which, in a very real sense, is free money donations to not rock the American Boat/framework.

      Personaly, I believe greed in the ruling classes will prevent adoption of different frameworks for dealing with illigal drug marketing.

      ‘Course there is a chance, after all, only two countries allowed legal drug advertising in the world. That’s gotta show some common sense.(America is the worlds biggest drug consumer..and the population is trained to be just that).

    22. […] my recent blog post memorializing Cannabis Prohibition’s unfortunate 75th anniversary I lamented: Do not elect politicians who support Cannabis […]

    23. […] my recent blog post memorializing Cannabis Prohibition’s unfortunate 75th anniversary I lamented: Do not elect politicians who support Cannabis […]

    24. Ray DiPasquale says:

      When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.
      Claude Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

    25. Mark I says:

      Nixon is responsible for alot of misery
      Gary Johnson is working for our vote
      I hope our wisdom keeps up with our pace

    26. Mark I says:

      A friend of mine predicted that the next enemy for our military forces to focus on after the fall of the Berlin Wall would be with the cartels, because they will be the only ones with the funding to compete. With billions being paid to Vietnam and China for the cannibis hemp we require for rope, cloth, paper, etc. You would think Mitt would recoginize the profitability in its rescheduling.

    27. […] my recent blog post memorializing Cannabis Prohibition’s unfortunate 75th anniversary I lamented: Do not elect politicians who support Cannabis […]

    28. […] my recent blog post memorializing Cannabis Prohibition’s unfortunate 75th anniversary I lamented: Do not elect politicians who support Cannabis […]

    29. […] With publications and books like these being distributed widely among policymakers, elected officials, staff, media and NGOs…it is not possible that Cannabis Prohibition can survive in free market-oriented democracies like America for an additional seventy-five years! […]

    30. […] With publications and books like these being distributed widely among policymakers, elected officials, staff, media and NGOs…it is not possible that Cannabis Prohibition can survive in free market-oriented democracies like America for an additional seventy-five years! […]

    31. […] With publications and books like these being distributed widely among policymakers, elected officials, staff, media and NGOs…it is not possible that Cannabis Prohibition can survive in free market-oriented democracies like America for an additional seventy-five years! […]

    32. […] With publications and books like these being distributed widely among policymakers, elected officials, staff, media and NGOs…it is not possible that Cannabis Prohibition can survive in free market-oriented democracies like America for an additional seventy-five years! […]

    33. Mike Stroup says:

      Has anyone ever bothered to read the Constitution of the United States? Any adult activity or inactivity that does not violate the identical God given, Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and liberties of another, is NONE OF ANYONE ELSE’S DAMN BUSINESS! Nor is it the legitimate business of government at any level. If prohibitionists feel compelled to run someone’s life, they should run their own and leave other people alone. Or they should go join the Taliban, another group of religious inspired fanatics that use threats of violence, beatings, inprisonment and property forfiture to impose the religious inspired morality of self-righteous idiots on the population of an entire country.

    34. Zach Golz says:

      I find this astounding, especially considering the fact that Thomas Jefferson himself said: “Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.”

      Reform is long overdue.

    35. Jean Fleming says:

      I am a medical marijuana patient. I have a disease called Fibromyalgia. It is defined as “a chronic condition of widespread pain and fatigue. I have been involved in the
      demise of “The War On Drugs” for many years. I have made a film about it called “Smoke Screen”.

    36. AstralProjectee says:

      Great article, I do my part to try to make cannabis legal. Even though I have not smoke it in many years. I still feel like I have to speak out about the truth and do something to help.

      It’s only a matter of time before cannabis is made legal with the help of people like you all here and me.

      Peace.

    37. […] With publications and books like these being distributed widely among policymakers, elected officials, staff, media and NGOs…it is not possible that Cannabis Prohibition can survive in free market-oriented democracies like America for an additional seventy-five years! […]

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