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Left and Right Media Agree: Let’s End Marijuana Prohibition

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director November 5, 2013

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    One’s eyes rarely lie or distort reality. So when walking by my favorite newspaper stand in downtown Washington, D.C. last night another clear political tea leaf revealed itself about the increasing acceptance in America for ending cannabis prohibition when I spied the competing covers for the most recent editions of The Nation and Reason Magazine.

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    Both magazines are populated with interesting and though-provoking pieces about ending cannabis prohibition, the coming commerce in cannabis post-prohibition and ‘liberal guilt’ for supporting the war on some drugs.

     

    19 Responses to “Left and Right Media Agree: Let’s End Marijuana Prohibition”

    1. david says:

      What really kills me is people just not knowing what they are talking about . Hemp was one of the very first harvested crops . U can use hemp/weed to make just about anything . But in the 30’s weed was demonized because filthy rich people spend tons of money to keep it from interfereing with there lumber money . This I proven by the fact that weed is still a schedule 1 drug. Are you freakin kidding me. Ignorance is no excuse . The gov. Needs to grow a brain . Or maybe just smoke a joint .

    2. Dave Evans says:

      Marijuana has always been legit. It is our government that is getting less stupid, and way too slowly at that.

    3. Julian says:

      Marijuana is going to be a hotter than the third rail of social security in next year’s Congressional elections. \
      Colorado voted to tax marijuana; the revenue is an irreversible force of reform.
      Whatever interests stopped Main from legalizing by one vote were answered by an overwhelming majority in Portland Maine yesterday.
      Michigan cities got to make their voices heard.
      DiBlasio in New York and McAulffe in Virginia are painting a picture for decriminalization but will surely land on the legalization platform as Americans organize into 2016 elections.
      Certainly we have allies for marijuana reform on the Republican side, specifically the Senators from Kentucky who are supporting the hemp research amendment to the Farm Bill, which will surely be a campaign topic in next year’c COngressional elections.
      However, the polls that recently showed %58 of Americans supporting marijuana legalization also showed a meager %38 of Republicans in favor. This is already reflecting poorly on a hemoraging Tea Party. Anyone who fails to support the legalizing hemp to “create jobs without spending a dime,” has revealed themselves to be nothing more than a money laundering corporate spy. Marijuana has the ability to help people see through some pretty old and pervasive lies;
      If the Republican stance is to back up the DEA’s quote (Like Senator Cornyn, R-TX did)that “legalizing hemp will thwart law enforcement’s capablility of eradicating marijuana cultivation,” then the Republicans are in for a big surprise next year.

    4. Julian says:

      The reason Republicans aren’t jumping head first into marijuana legalization? Crude oil.
      There is an internal war going on within the GOP between crude oil and celullose oil based subsidies. Texas, Oklahoma and the Koch brothers are for crude oil. Grover Norquist and the Iowa primaries are for corn ethanol. Kentucky Senators have to at least look like they’re trying to legalize hemp if they want to get reelected. The stakes are high, (even if the hemp that makes a viable crop for ethanol product can’t GET you high…)
      Celullose ethanol and celullose plastics made from American grown hemp oil… Stop for a moment and just imagine the world-wide economic impact of clean, sustainable, renewable plastics, fuel, building materials, vehicles, food and medicine that cannabis can provide? The irony is that the groups of oil-barons that are most AGAINST marijuana legalization are against the legalization of the world’s most conservative crop;
      Hemp uses less water than corn, without pesticides or fertilizer. Marijuana teaches people how to live more self-sustaining, healthier, agricultural lives. Isn’t that the basic principal of conservatism? In the words of Charlie Daniels,
      “…A drunkard wants another drink of wine,
      And a politician wants a vote.
      I don’t want much a nothin at all, But I will have another toke…
      And I aint askin no body for nothin…
      If I can’t get it on my own.
      An if you don’t like the way I’m livin,
      You just leave this long haired country boy alone.”
      It used to be before JFK that being a Democrat was conservative. Here from Blanco County, Texas it was Lyndon B. Johnson who changed that point of view; while he was hawkish and authorized the Vietnam War, (which was promoted to fund the opium trade much like Afghanistan is today), he also signed the Civil Rights Act and changed a lot of people’s lives for the better. But as the fallout of Vietnam became unpopular, the era of the drug war developed from the evil era of Nixon, who distorted the definition of conservatism to his own selfish agendas. The irony was that Nixon actually got it right the first time; He spent more on drug prevention than drug enforcement. But then he had to get re-elected. The cry for “drugs: Public Enemy Number One” became America’s scapegoat for inequality. The problem was inequality in America was only going to get worse under Nixon: even before the C.S.Act punished minorities disproportionately, the Economic Stability Act would create the worst enemy to equality and Democracy the world has ever seen; the international corporate lobbyist. Small farmers began to get swallowed up by corporate monsters like Mostantos. America has suffered a growing gap in wealth distribution ever since.
      So the answer in the 80’s from conservatives was “get tougher. Tougher on crime.” George Bush Sr. signed us into mandatory minimum sentancing. Meanwhile we were still waiting for Reagan’s “Trickle down economics,” to “trickle down.” But none of that ever worked the way it was promised. For the first time since Nixon signed the C.S.Act we have an attorney general back-tracking on the drug war. Prisons are overcrowded and too expensive. Today, Oakland police are lab testing %95 of drug evidence while murder evidence is backlogged 10 years so that cases get settled without due process. Ever wonder if one of the neighbors of those three abducted girls in Cleveland reported smelling a meth lab instead of seeing a naked girl in chains next door that those girls would have been rescued instead of being ignored by CPD for 10 years? That is the ugly truth of 40 years of prioritizing drug quotas, asset forfeitures and organized crime over real criminal investigations like rapes and murders.
      What else could possibly save us from overflowing prisons, 1% population control of wealth distribution and corporate lobbyists that would love to genetically modify us all if they could just own the patent on the human embryo? What else but what the U.S. government already owns the patent to: marijuana.
      Americans are redefining our concept of conservative. If Democrats take the lead on marijuana campaigns, and not enough Republicans support hemp or marijuana, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Democrats taking the title of conservative away from Republicans.
      Hemp uses less water than corn, requires no pesticides, no fertilizers, and when used to create building materials it can trap carbon more sustainably while allowing pine forests to mature to their full carbon-trapping potential. That’s conservative. That’s “creating jobs without spending a dime.” Self sustainablity, after all, should define conservatism, not fear tactics like prioritizing drug enforcement over drug prevention.
      The shocking revelation to U.S. consumers is that it’s not just the prison complex or law enforcement who have the most to lose when prohibition ends. It’s the suppliers of fibers and petrochemicals. Companies like Koch Industries. Ever think about what paper and plastic is really made of? Where does it come from? What does it take to replace those resources?
      The answer is tied to the pending Farm Bill.
      The NYTimes exposed the involvement of Koch Industries in funding the shutdown. Link that to the fact that the old Farm Bill (with the pending hemp research amendment) expired the same day of the shutdown. Link that to the billions of dollars in oil subsidies that Koch Industries has built an empire out of, including other fiber, timber and petrochemicals and plastics that are more profitable to the owners of those patents without a domestic hemp industry.
      And why can’t they profit as much on marijuana products?
      Because the U.S. government owns the patent on marijuana. So private oil industries simply cannot control the supply of marijuana as easily as fiber and crude oil machinery and products the Koch brothers DO own the patents to. And therefore the profit, once legal, will go to suppliers such as Amazon.com and back to the American farmers who will give Monsantos a run for their money on patenting the wild seeds. Already, Exxon-Mobile is stagnating profit as the supply of crude oil booms from fracking, which places more cannabis friendly industries at the forefront of cannabis investment. (companies that can more easily profit from legalization). Pro-marijuana companies such as Apple, Progressive Insurance and Amazon are today more capable of lobbying for and profiting from marijuana legalization policy than ever before.
      That means more Americans are able to invest and cash in on a marijuana Golden Age of opportunity. More Americans will be able to grow their own medicine, food and building products from highly productive home-grown cannabis. Think about what’s at stake;
      We can grow our own ENERGY.
      Now that’s conservative.
      And that’s a long way from Nixon. And if he don’t like the way we’re livin, than he can just leave these long haired country boys and girls alone.

    5. mexweed says:

      “Liberal guilt”? How explain the downright offensive use of word “Dope” by The Nation? Are there still some Liberals who buy into the “assumption” that cannabis makes anyone dopy?

      [Editor's note: To wit: Disturbingly, the two very liberal senators from California--Feinstein and Boxer--support continuing prohibition and think cannabis consumers, and patients, are effectively second class citizens not worthy of their advocacy.]

    6. anon says:

      How is this newsworthy or surprising? The Nation is a left-leaning publication, and Reason a libertarion one. Have they ever not been in favor of legalization?

      [Editor's note: Editors at The Nation have not previously supported legalization and finding two major magazines on the newsstands at the same time advocating such is a first. About ten years ago Rolling Stone and National Review magazines had similar covers calling for legalization, but not the same week.]

    7. Mark I says:

      prohibition leads to wanton disrespect for justice while education supports the decision making processes.

    8. Galileo Galilei says:

      Took a hell of a long time, didn’t it?

    9. Mark I says:

      its a long way from being respected

    10. Here’s a link to a video about growing hemp for the US government during WWII.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_etZLI7n_Y0

      Please check it out and share this video!

      Thanks.

    11. ray glass says:

      I cannot wait till it is legalized. I am tired of being lied to by our government. Marijuana use can decrease alcohol consumption. I quit a 25 year habit of alcoholism with marijuana. Texas is one of the worst places to be as the marijuana here is for the most part cheap mexican weed. I cannot wait till I can buy primo weed and hashish, hashish oil.

    12. Render Unto Caesar says:

      I read Reason magazine… because I’m a libertarian. It’s not a “right” magazine. It’s libertarian, which is neither left or right.

      [Editor's note: In America, there can be little doubt on a left/right scale, libertarianism is undeniably on the right side of the political spectrum.]

    13. Chano says:

      The sad fact is that the propaganda campaign from the 30’s still effects our everyday lives. You can openly talk about alcohol abuse with coworkers or even your boss.
      You can literally get alcohol poisoning, a DUI and a drunk in public at the same time; and you wont lose your job.
      But God forbid you have any THC in your system. Ever. Really.
      30 days on a UA and 90 days on a follicle. Plus most places will random.

      Please, and I say please test people for actual drugs. I don’t want anyone handling equipment coming down from a 3 day high. And anyone that would handle dangerous equipment after toking on a J shouldn’t be in that position anyway.
      Marijuana has no effect on a persons ability to be a professional. Crane operators and refinery workers aren’t going to work drunk, why would they go high. What a person does to wind down at the end of the day should be their business.

      But just like anything that is abused, there can be effects. You will develop chemical dependence. Same as you will with alcohol, tobacco, and pizza. Same would go for sex, anger etc. Bad habits will continue to grow, the body will always develop around what is consumed. The gateway myth is a falsehood. I have been around a lot of bad stuff off and on, and I have never touched most of it. A persons ability to control their own actions is just that, “they are in control of themselves” Weed is not a gateway for a person to completely throw away their morals or beliefs or common sense. “Gateway” falls right into the Reefer Madness film, we will all start taking our clothes off, cursing and shooting each other.

      Obviously employers don’t want their workers zombied out stoned not getting anything accomplished.
      –While there can be some debate over a persons ability to perform certain jobs even better stoned. i.e. janitors–
      Again, this goes right to taking away an individuals choice to be a responsible adult. We are not capable of making decisions on our own. Big Brother knows what’s best for us lemmings.

      I could get into my own struggles with these laws and regulations but I will digress.

      When a substance has no harmful effects. Has multiple positive effects. Has no reported deaths or tragedies connected to it. And it will promote commercial, agricultural, health and privatized business. Why would it be wrong, immoral or taboo to support it?

      The only criminal in all of these years of oppression is the government itself. NORML shows the numbers for it. Countless lives are destroyed for it. For what? For Control.

    14. julian says:

      Well, they did it. Koch brothers and crude oil lobby got what they wanted and outlawed increased ethanol use and democrats and Obama went with the bandwagon. Environmentalists too! America fell into a corn trap.
      So corn uses too much fertilizer for what’s worth making cellulose ethanol?
      Fine, hemp doesn’t use ANY and contains more cellulose.
      More than 10 percent ethanol is damaging cars?
      fine. Quit whining and build an engine calibrated for 100percent ethanol like Henry Ford did in the first place. (hempcar.org)
      we can’t allow this ignorance to prevail. Marijuana prohibition is not just about growing our own food and Medicine; it’s about growing our own FUEL AND ENERGY.
      And the sustainable fuel supply from hemp to ethanol isn’t the best part. We can build our homes and vehicles out of hemp trapping carbon into cellulose plastics and everything we build.
      That’s conservation at its best. Prohibiting ALL cellulose ethanol just because it doesn’t work is corporate lobbying at its worst.
      hemp uses less water than corn. Hemp requires no pesticides. Let’s get educated and get our laws right.

    15. julian says:

      Correction: prohibiting ALL cellulose ethanol including super Clean and productive HEMP is not justified just because CORN ethanol in not efficient.

    16. Render Unto Caesar says:

      Render Unto Caesar says:
      November 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm
      I read Reason magazine… because I’m a libertarian. It’s not a “right” magazine. It’s libertarian, which is neither left or right.

      [Editor's note: In America, there can be little doubt on a left/right scale, libertarianism is undeniably on the right side of the political spectrum.]

      Render Unto Caesar’s response:

      I disagree on the basis that left and right are defined by positions that, in my opinion, lack principle. Left and right are predefined platform’s now, neither of which I identify with. I believe in policy, or lack thereof, which maximizes liberty, so I categorize myself as libertarian. Accepted left and right policy both very frequently squelch liberty.

      [Editor’s note: OK…as a self-described libertarian maybe you’re not able to see through your political bias, but, friend, if you’re ‘Libertarian’ you’re not on the left side of politics (overtly pro-union, pro-reproductive rights, anti-gun, pro-govt) and you’re not in the center of American politics (if this was the case the Libertarian Party, after 45 years, would champion more support in the American populace than <5%)…guess where this leaves you?

      Right of center…as many political scientists and commentators consider pure libertarianism as representing the most right-leaning component on the current American political spectrum.

      Key word is ‘current’, what today is ‘left’ or ‘right’ in politics can become mainstream in a single generation.]

    17. Dave says:

      Reason magazine is not right-wing. It is a libertarian publication and libertarians specifically reject the right-left classification of political views because they are very right with regards to economics and taxation (in other words pro-economic freedom) and very left with regards to personal liberties (in other words pro-personal freedoms).

      [Editor's note: "libertarians specifically reject the right-left classification of political views". 1) It is impossible to speak universally for all libertarians as there are many very conservative libertarians and 2) political players don't get to define where they fit on the political spectrum, voters do--how many 'libertarian Democrats' are there? Virtually none as the political moniker is too incongruent. However, there is an appreciable percentage of Republicans that self-identify as 'libertarian'. Currently, are Republicans on the left or right side of the American political spectrum? It is in answering this fairly obvious question that casts the blog post's narrative. (A blog post apparently in concert with the view of other drug policy reform groups who also noticed the magazine cover comparison.)]

    18. Dave Evans says:

      I read Reason magazine… because I’m a libertarian. It’s not a “right” magazine. It’s libertarian, which is neither left or right.

      [Editor's note: In America, there can be little doubt on a left/right scale, libertarianism is undeniably on the right side of the political spectrum.]

      I find it amusing how every one that isn’t a libertarian has a place assigned for them from their point of view. Libertarians are not on the “right” simply because they aren’t Liberals. The “right” in this country consists of nitwits pretending to be libertarian and freedom loving but this is only what they say. They do nothing to forward “freedom”, but they do twist the libertarian message into gibberish. How it getting rid of regulations a goal worthy of people that constantly mention personal responsibility? How, in their minds, should we ignore the folks poisoning our water and air and not hold them responsible? Their message is false, empty of logic and not libertarian. These creeps just want the votes of confused libertarians. I suppose the issue is two fold; fascists pretending to be libertarian and libertarians foolishly voting for them.

    19. Sean Griffin says:

      I’m a 20 year old man from wheeling West Virginia with a major hip disorder causing me to get prescribed pain killers I’m tired of taking. Marijunna is illegal in my state causing me to have to take pain killers I can’t stand. I looked up there’s soo many patients with the same lower back an hip disease (perthese) getting prescribed medicinal cannabis out west. Not to mention my best friend but more like a brother had a brother who was Vice President of cannabis research science who fought brain cancer for 7 long years using nothing but cannaboids. The doctors gave him a year with kemo, he survived 7 years using highly concentrated forms of cannabis oil. It’s time everybody opens their eyes and sees what this medicine can do! It’s time to end prohibition. Me and my fellow believes will be in DC on 4/20 protesting the unfair laws our state undergoes. We have connections with Harvard graduates and need help of anybody who believes in the cause as much as we do. Lets make it happen!

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