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18 Members of Congress Call on President Obama to Remove Marijuana from Schedule I

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director February 12, 2014

    Earlier today, 18 members of Congress signed onto a letter that was delivered to President Barack Obama calling for him to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

    “We request that you take action to help alleviate the harms to society caused by the federal Schedule I classification of marijuana. Lives and resources are wasted on enforcing harsh, unrealistic, and unfair marijuana laws,” the letter reads, “Nearly two-thirds of a million people every year are arrested for marijuana possession. We spend billions every year enforcing marijuana laws, which disproportionately impact minorities. According to the ACLU, black Americans are nearly four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite comparable usage rates.”

    The letter was signed by Representatives Blumenauer (OR), Cohen (TN), Farr (CA), Grijalva (AZ), Honda (CA), Huffman (CA), Lee (CA), Lofgren (CA), Lowenthal (CA), McGovern (MA), Moran (VA), O’Rourke (TX), Polis (CO), Quigley (IL), Rohrabacher (CA), Schakowsky (IL), Swalwell (CA), and Welch (VT).

    “Classifying marijuana as Schedule I at the federal level perpetuates an unjust and irrational system. Schedule I recognizes no medical use, disregarding both medical evidence and the laws of nearly half of the states that have legalized medical marijuana,” the letter continued, “A Schedule I or II classification also means that marijuana businesses in states where adult or medical use are legal cannot deduct business expenses from their taxes or take tax credits due to Section 280E of the federal tax code. We request that you instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule I or II.”

    You can read the full text of the letter here.

    95 Responses to “18 Members of Congress Call on President Obama to Remove Marijuana from Schedule I”

    1. Julian says:

      The most important thing these Congressman are doing is EDUCATING OTHER CONGRESSMAN. The polls may be getting out. But while most Americans want legal marijuana, most Americans think you can get high from smoking hemp.
      This is a serious problem.
      The other day I had Texas State Congressman John Carona’s Chief of Staff asking me “wait… Hemp is the same thing as marijuana, right?”
      (Sigh… Try using the comparison of a donkey and a mule, or a Chihuahua and a German Shepard. Whatever makes their brain go “click”).
      That level of ignorance never ceases to amaze me. How are we supposed to legalize cannabis if the majority Congress STILL doesnt even know what marijuana IS?
      EDUCATION AND RESEARCH IS VITAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF OUR CIVILIZATION.
      @year of action,
      Where did you read that “cannabis sativa l.” by definition of marijuana? Something that has always fascinated me since I began cannabis activism in 95, is how the legal definition between hemp and “marijuana” has been at the center of prohibition. We remain today the only nation on earth that does not legally distinguish industrial hemp from psychoactive marijuana. When the Marijuana Stamp Act passed in 1937 with racist propaganda, no one but a few wealthy families from the Rockefellers, the Anslingers to the DuPonts knew they were outlawing hemp. America at large did not know they were outlawing hemp.
      The language in the hemp research amendment to the Farm Bill recently signed by the president is vague… It describes hemp as “cannanis sativa l.” …but with “less than .03% of THC. But it does not remove hemp from the definition of marijuana under the C.S.Act. One can safely speculate the DEA is looking for legal scapegoats for unauthorized raids. But I agree here that the DOJ and presidency is laying down the track for an inevitable presidential rescheduling. While I would emphasize prioritizing marijuana and hemp reform at the State level, there is real potential here at the Federal level. With a do nothing Congress, the President is salivating over any chance to use executive order to gain some Democrats in the House and perhaps get something done his last two years in the White House. He said he would do it in his State of the Union, and hes been formulating his drug policy change since Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman. There is a careful chessgame going on between the executive and legislative branch that will eventually have to be arbitrated by the Supreme Court. Thanks to new banking regulations and our legal marijuana consumption, there is big money in marijuana investment firms now that can stand up to the likes of Koch Industries, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft, the DEA, private prisons and Robert DuPont’s drug testing empire.
      @Faye, I wrote that post under another pen name when I was trailing Koch Industries’ involvement in the Stand Your Ground laws and discovered they had purchased DuPonts timber and petrochemical patents. I posted on the News Hour blog, because I was getting fed up that the most “impartial” source of “public” media was not disclosing their underwriters at the end if every segment. Only once, after covering the mortgage crisis, did I hear Jim Lehrer and Gwen Ifil say “…we should point out Bank of America is an underwriter of the News Hour…” Never have I heard that about GlaxoSmithKline when covering a medical marijuana story, or Koch Industries when covering a hemp story… Oh yeah… Ive never seen or HEARD coverage of a hemp story in public media except on these pages and votehemp.com
      I wonder why that is? Perhaps its all the chump change hush money prohibitionists throw at media and non for profits while the lion’s share go to lobby Congress to keep hemp research amendments out of the Farm Bill.
      Except this time they lost. This time the truth about hemp is passing the desks of lobbyists, and thanks to our support, Congress us actually READING the laws of the land.
      What a concept. Maybe, just maybe, we can vote a Congress in November that is not only marijuana educated, but MIGHT know the difference between hemp and marijuana.
      Keep up the education everyone. It’s working.

    2. Ray Walker Jr. says:

      Rescheduling Cannabis to Schedule IV is the most accurate category in which to place it given the CSA’s list of choices and substance characteristics.

      Schedule IV

      A. The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III

      B. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States

      C. Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III[25]

      For me personally, this would be great. It would protect me as a patient, open the door for much needed law reform, and change the view of Cannabis in many ways. If it wasn’t for the harms associated with possible diversion to our youth, I’d say remove it from the list completely. In all fairness alcohol, and cigarettes have avoided the list and pose much great health risk. One thing is for sure, if Cannabis is moved to Schedule IV, an enormous amount of laws will have to change immediately. The ONDCP, NIDA, DEA, FDA, AMA will all be greatly effected. I don’t envy Erik Holder’s job for one minute

    3. Anonymous says:

      I wrote a letter to my local congressional rep, urging him to re-think his position when it came to marijuana. Below, sadly, is his predictable response. OK will be the last to ever change, if this is the prevailing opinions.

      “Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns regarding marijuana prohibition. I appreciate that you took the time to contact me on the issues important to the Second District of Oklahoma.

      According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), research has clearly shown that marijuana use has negative health effects such as an increased risk of heart attacks, respiratory problems, as well as mental illness. Research has shown that marijuana has an adverse impact on learning and memory, and that use by young people can have long-lasting negative impact on the structure and function of their intellectual capability. Furthermore, marijuana has failed to gain the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval because there have not been enough clinical trials showing that marijuana’s benefits outweigh its health risks in patients with the symptoms it is meant to treat.

      As you may know, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced H.R. 499, Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, on February 5th, 2013, removing the prohibition on marijuana. After considering the evidence, at this time I cannot support reversing the federal prohibition on marijuana for public consumption. H.R. 499 has been referred to several committees where it awaits further consideration, including the House Committee on Natural Resources on which I sit. I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind should this bill be considered in committee or on the House floor.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to write. Please do not hesitate to do so again. God bless!”

      Sincerely,

      Markwayne Mullin
      Member of Congress

    4. Elle says:

      Below is the response I got from a letter I sent to OK congressman about marijuana. If THIS is the prevailing attitude, which I’m afraid it is, OK will be dead last in ever changing its statutes.

      “Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns regarding marijuana prohibition. I appreciate that you took the time to contact me on the issues important to the Second District of Oklahoma.

      According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), research has clearly shown that marijuana use has negative health effects such as an increased risk of heart attacks, respiratory problems, as well as mental illness. Research has shown that marijuana has an adverse impact on learning and memory, and that use by young people can have long-lasting negative impact on the structure and function of their intellectual capability. Furthermore, marijuana has failed to gain the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval because there have not been enough clinical trials showing that marijuana’s benefits outweigh its health risks in patients with the symptoms it is meant to treat.

      As you may know, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced H.R. 499, Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, on February 5th, 2013, removing the prohibition on marijuana. After considering the evidence, at this time I cannot support reversing the federal prohibition on marijuana for public consumption. H.R. 499 has been referred to several committees where it awaits further consideration, including the House Committee on Natural Resources on which I sit. I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind should this bill be considered in committee or on the House floor.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to write. Please do not hesitate to do so again. God bless!”

      Sincerely,

      Markwayne Mullin
      Member of Congress

    5. Ray Walker Jr. says:

      I just wanted to take moment to thank you gentlemen for standing up for whats right and going about it in the right way. You ARE our heroes. Your work will be remembered by us all.
      The letter was signed by Representatives:
      Blumenauer (OR)
      Cohen (TN)
      Farr (CA)
      Grijalva (AZ)
      Honda (CA)
      Huffman (CA)
      Lee (CA)
      Lofgren (CA)
      Lowenthal (CA)
      McGovern (MA)
      Moran (VA)
      O’Rourke (TX)
      Polis (CO)
      Quigley (IL)
      Rohrabacher (CA)
      Schakowsky (IL)
      Swalwell (CA)
      Welch (VT)

      Thank You
      I owe You
      Feel free to collect on it at any time.

    6. TheOracle says:

      After the prohibitionist blowback from Barry’s comments to The New Yorker about cannabis being basically no worse than alcohol it’s not likely he’ll move on this request right now. Maybe later, but No Drama Obama doesn’t want to draw the prohibitionist ire of the prohibitionist assholes in Congress to undo the progress on banking and taxes. If Barry were to get it removed from Schedule I then you could have the Cruzes and Toomeys and other countless rabid prohibitionists pushing through legislation to undo calling off the federal dawgz. He mentioned before he thought Congress is really the group that needs to act, I know, unlikely as that is.

      AG Holder is right to restore the right to vote for felons who have served their time, and insofar as cannabis is concerned suffered the criminal justice system for a non-crime.

      Mr. President, Mr. Holder, thank you for the policies that allow cannabis banking and calls off the IRS.

    7. chris says:

      Just curious…….Nixon placed cannabis into what is known as the CSA of 1970, and in that , he placed cannabis in to the scheduled 1 catagory, when his panel told him there was not enough harm for it to be placed there , he went around all of them and pushed it to remain there …..now our president of the current date says its not in his hands or his decission to change it from the CSA to a less scheduled class……and congress wont allow it because of non sufficent studies, ….so why isnt our government allowing them to go to colorado and get all the trial they need to do to get cannabis moved to the class it needs to be in ….SO far all ive seen get done is people pointing to someones else is in charge of that…..This is not a hard decission to make at all…..cannabis is not as harmful as people have been made to believe….its a great stress managment resource however is alot weaker than people want to accept….Mr. President please fix this disaster and help stop massive level of corruption know as prohibition…….
      and to those who are taking on a role of trying to get our government to accept that we’re not wanting to take over the USA , only that we want to live with a little more chance to make some choices that are not as harmful as other choices allowed by law…..
      THANK YOU….

      as always
      thanks for reading
      chris

    8. Bill Marsh says:

      Markwayne Mullin, Rep of Oklahoma, You are guilty of spreading lies about Cannabis. How can you claim to represent anyone with such a weak understanding of the truth. Cannabis has proven to heal virtually ALL diseases that effect the human race. Where the hell have you been while more than half this Country knows the truth. Honest research has proven this to be true & thus prove your lies to be lies.

    9. ronald holt says:

      hi, my name is ron holt … i was arrested feb 15 of this year for marijuana cultivation and distributing. even though they dont have anyone who can say i traffic anything. i live in pasco co florida . i may be crazy but i plan on defending myself .i just dont care anymore this nonsense has to stop. i grow for myself instead of oxycodon which i can get at any pain med clinic with just an MRI report.if anyone knows of anything that can be of help in my JURY NULLIFICATION defense i would be grateful. fasterthaneddy@gmail.com thanks..

    10. Paul Krenz says:

      Markwayne Mullin said, “marijuana has failed to gain the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval because there have not been enough clinical trials”.

      Really? Marinol (synthetic THC, dronabinol) is only a Schedule III and is FDA-approved.

      If that can be approved, surely its natural equivalent can be too.

      I think anyone in Congress opposed to marijuana is in the pockets of Big Pharma. End of story.

    11. Ray Walker Jr. says:

      @Ronald Holt
      try this:

      http://florida.fija.org/tag/jury-nullification/

      You know what they say about a defendant who has himself for a lawyer,………

    12. chris says:

      @ Paul Krenz
      I agree,
      How is it that my television is packed full of lawyers who want those affected by ” Insert prescription and or medical procedure here” are all FDA aproved but yet kill thousands and or injure our public who believed in the FDA regulations are in place to protect them.
      My point is that in order for any of them to be put in harms way the FDA had to allow the prescritions and or prcedures to be performed and or distributed….but yet they cant do cannabis because of lack of studies….as they had lots of studies for the things that are killing and or injuring our public……
      the internet is the worst thing that could have ever came to prohibitonist…..
      Why should we have to listen to the FDA when they allow us to be hurt killed and lied to just so these companies can push their untested crap on the public just because they got FDA aproved…….Change is coming and all the Bureaucracy’s. foreshadowing… lieing to us to serve big business world shall fall ……why can not, us as a whole be allowed to put a unharmful item such as cannabis in our bodies with out being told not to , but our government is allowed to let their Bureaucracy’s put us in harms way with lies and deceit because hurting people is only bad when the bad out weighs the good….
      THERE is NO recorded death or harm from cannabis…..i mean sure somking anything is not good for you….but our firemen and firewomen have to deal with way worse smoke then cannabis ,….hopefully the government doesnt step in and say its to harmfull because of the smoke so we cant allow that job any longer……
      Cannabis is less harmfull than a sandstorm……But their not going after the deserts to make them stop…….I could go on and on….point is why does it seem our government suports these deceiptive business’s that lie cheat and steal to keep a position …..

      as always
      thanks for reading
      chris

    13. The_Shepherd says:

      Executive Order, Executive Order, Executive Order That how easy it could be!

    14. rick says:

      We need a letter to U.S. Congressmen for everyone to sign to push this forward.

    15. TheIgnoredMasses says:

      Unfortunately most states without mmj programs already have some pretty horrible congressmen. Take Ky for example,I personally have a letter from Andy Barr telling me he didn’t agree with my request for him to vote on any measures that pertain to ending cannabis prohibition. He told me he personally agreed with the current laws regarding cannabis and would not vote on measure to change them.
      I replied that he needed to remember that his job is to represent others and listen to their opinions,not further his own agendas. Then bid him a good day after mentioning that I’d be voting against him.

    16. It is TREASON says:

      They are denying LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!
      The US government has a patent on cannabis for MEDICAL REASONS!
      Denying LIFE? Liberty? Pursuit of Happiness? Sounds, smells and looks like treason to me.
      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=agZuafXG2Ds

    17. Justin says:

      It’s funny how the president who schedule Marijuana was a paranoid freak… Everyone knows he was paranoid because he was going to win the election by a landslide and he did Watergate. In his mind he thought marijuana was causing some sort of rebellion. When in reality it was actually the status of America, and had nothing to do with marijuana. People we’re pissed off about the War. Parents we’re pissed their kids were going to a war that no one wanted to fight. Kids were pissed because they were forced to war or prosecuted. The drug schedule actually establishes appropriate laws based on different characteristics of drugs. I understand the necessity of the schedule now. Laws have to be there to keep order and balance. There has to be guidelines for people to follow. Honestly after looking at everything placed on the schedule. All the drugs are in their proper place. With an exception to marijuana. To say that marijuana has no medicinal value is preposterous. EVERYONE now knows it has some medicinal value (medical marijuana).SMH… direct contradiction. Even scheduling it above heroine, cocaine and all prescription drugs (oxy and xanax; are you kidding me) . .This is a civil crime against our nation. Marijuana is less harmful than tobacco and alcohol. Yet we enforce such harsh laws against it. People would be furious if these were made illegal, when both have scientifically proven to be worse… It should be a personal choice. This is a system built by a paranoid freak. If America took more time to be informed I don’t think this would be an issue. More and more people would urge their politicians to change their views. Which is what is happening. States are legalizing and its forcing people to become more informed. As people become more informed they are realizing the ridiculousness of the law, and speaking up. Its something the federal government won’t be able to ignore much longer. Especially after the next election when more than half the states in the union have legalized or decriminalized in one form or another. Sorry for my rant.. I hope President Obama honestly considers this. Especially when he’s come out and said himself its less dangerous than alcohol.

    18. Ned says:

      Justin, I don’t agree that “All the drugs are in their proper place” on the CSA drug schedule. First I have to question the parameters for Schedule 1. It allows for political and cultural prejudice to enter how substances are designated. It does not go by pure scientific assessment alone. That is a huge problem and important reason why we have such dysfunction in our relationship with these substances. For example, psychedelic substances are simply deemed too dangerous to ever ever use. That’s not the case. There are potential uses for them. They are not addictive in the usual sense, very very few people have ever been chronic users of say, LSD. It just isn’t something to do on a daily basis.

      Also most listings are specific molecules or pharmaceutically developed compounds, but a few are entire plants. That is where the political and cultural prejudice is obvious. It might as well say, “We don’t like what these things do and we don’t like the people who would use them. So we’ll establish this ranking in order give ourselves the tools to attack any that would dare to try.”

      Every substance has a potential use. The CSA schedule is an outdated relic of the 70s. Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine aren’t on it and neither should THC or the cannabis plant be on it. At all.

    19. Fat Freddy says:

      The anti-pot crowd says that pot is stronger now and therefore more harmful. Pot has not proved harmful but smoking (anything} has. If pot is stronger and one toke is equal to one joint of ditch weed, it means you smoke less to get the same effect and are exposed to less smoke. Stronger pot is therefore safer.

    20. GetitRight says:

      Justin, just a pointer, heroin is schedule 1

    21. Airbo Airbo says:

      It’s time for a Road Trip to Denver! Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8zVq-5yCgA for a funny new song from an up and coming band!?

      You’ll be laughing and singing about that infamous Road Trip to Denver! Thanks!

    22. Tis Me says:

      It still boggles my mind that some 60% of Americans want marijuana legalized,taxed,and regulated but yet we still squabble about it. Last time I checked democracy meant rule for the people, by the people and of the people so why is this still an issue? The majority has spoken,we want an end to the war on drugs and we want this now. Not next year or in the next 5 years but right now. I’m tired of being taxed to death to pay for a war on substances that I as an adult should have the choice to do if I so choose to do them. I’m a grown man and I have no use for a nanny state type government nor do I need anyone looking out for me.

    23. Fat Freddy says:

      Tis Me: We don’t live in a democracy but in a theocratic oligarchy. In 1787, our forefathers made sure that their children would inherit all the money and power. They did this by establishing representative government that can easily be bought or coerced by the wealthy and powerful. We have never been a democracy, but a dictatorship. Conservatives are its useful idiots. The War on Drugs is their new Jim Crow. It allows them to spy on everyone everywhere, to break into homes and take our belongings, to imprison the poor, break families apart and protect their billions from economic democracy.

    24. Dave Evans says:

      FAT Freddy, you do realize what you’ve described is a “liberal, the government controls life” type ideal that has nothing to do with and is basically the opposite of all forms of conservatism??? Letting the government and companies dictate our laws “for the common good” is FASCIST and COMMUNISTIC. Yes, those goons in the Republican Party that pretend to be public servants while weaken our laws for their corporate masters–are a bunch of fucking commies abusing our capitalist system. We are emulating China and USSR with our stupid anti-American War on Drugs.

    25. Dave Evans says:

      They use the same retarded backward think. What do they always say about the minimum wage? That making it higher will hurt the economy and workers. Like with communists who fear the spread of information, these goons fear people having and spreading money around without going through them first.

      Freedom of information and freedom in the market places allow people the means to better themselves which is what conservatives should be supporting. Conservatives should be pushing for marijuana legalization and reasonable taxes on sales–it is the responsible position for anyone to take. All other options support lying police, laws that don’t make sense and waste money, encourages police to break the laws and kill innocent victims, puts money in drug dealers hands and evil piece of shit can go around stealing and then bribing the police, the disordered money starts drug turf wars and get more people killed. Only abusive people support all that shit, disordering our society so terribly is a crime in itself.

    26. Justin says:

      The war on drugs is a somewhat necessary evil. Marijuana can be taken out of the war on drugs. However, I disagree it is a complete waste. Cartels are enterprises run on killing. Just my opinion but if the war on drugs were to stop these cartels would get even larger. Marijuana is special. There’s no real “manufacturing” of it. Meaning just about anyone could potentially grow it. Drugs like cocaine and heroine, while they do come from a plant. Are manufactured from their respective plants. Maybe a “war on drugs” isn’t necessary but I personally appreciate the extra security. I just wish the wars primary target wasn’t marijuana. I wish they would target actual drugs.

    27. Justin says:

      @dave Evans,

      Raising minimum wage doesn’t hurt the economy but it doesn’t help it either. Just raises the price of everything else and causes inflation(which hurts the value of the dollar). Look at states with high minimum wages and I promise their cost of living expenses are higher as well. The sad truth is that some jobs deserve to be paid more but it just won’t happen. It’s not the governments job to create jobs for people. That is a big problem with our society. We want the government to do too much for us. IMO our society needs to become more self sufficient.

    28. Anonymous says:

      @Dave Evans
      Yes, you would think that all the political parties, honest conservatives or honest democrats for that matter would be the first to defend a so-called “emerging” American market with such an easy taxation and obvious social benefit. But already the mistake is in assuming that they are “honest” has spelled out the problem. If tax revenue and social benefit were their motives, this would be a done deal, but the evidence says otherwise given their behavior.
      One need not look far to see that the only economies being hurt by rescheduling cannabis are those of the prohibition industrial complex. Hiding behind a near century old weak set of obvious lies is untenable. Politicians expecting to hide their true motives are suffering in ignorance of their arrogance. And the price of this arrogance will be an irreparable divide. Our forefathers innermost fears of oppression are now happening right in front of us. The foundation of the Constitution is to create legal protection for people against its elected officials. Current government has to change.

    29. Ray Walker Jr. says:

      Sorry, I forgot to put my name on it,…. the hazards of bing focused.
      @Dave Evans
      Yes, you would think that all the political parties, honest conservatives or honest democrats for that matter would be the first to defend a so-called “emerging” American market with such an easy taxation and obvious social benefit. But already the mistake is in assuming that they are “honest” has spelled out the problem. If tax revenue and social benefit were their motives, this would be a done deal, but the evidence says otherwise given their behavior.
      One need not look far to see that the only economies being hurt by rescheduling cannabis are those of the prohibition industrial complex. Hiding behind a near century old weak set of obvious lies is untenable. Politicians expecting to hide their true motives are suffering in ignorance of their arrogance. And the price of this arrogance will be an irreparable divide. Our forefathers innermost fears of oppression are now happening right in front of us. The foundation of the Constitution is to create legal protection for people against its elected officials. Current government has to change.

    30. Dave Evans says:

      “The sad truth is that some jobs deserve to be paid more but it just won’t happen. It’s not the governments job to create jobs for people.”

      Raising the minimum wage is not an example of the government “creating jobs” for people. What is does is order the flow of money in our society. As we all can see, most of the money is controlled a very small minority which has been getting smaller and smaller every year. All raising the bottom wage does is put a more even balance into people’s hand that would otherwise not have it to spend in the first place. If money just trickles up to the rich, they don’t have to work it for by running healthy companies just like someone the poor and on the older version of welfare. It is a huge short circuiting of our capitalist economy for the rich not to have to earn their money. So the minimum goes up and then they employ inflation, but for a while people have more money and then they rebalanced the economy back in their favor with hidden inflation. This is where they need to be blocked, for the economy to stay healthy, but I don’t quite see how it might be done…

    31. Dave Evans says:

      I meant to say, ” If money just trickles up to the rich, they don’t have to work it for by running healthy companies just like someone who is poor and on the older version of welfare.” They are too shielded from actually taking part in society but want to live like kings on queen off our sweat. Fuck that.

    32. Dave Evans says:

      Justin, I agree with you. However, there were no cartels until prohibition! Just like there wasn’t any Al Capone’s unlit prohibition either.

      It would just be a border, not a slow motion war zone between the USA and Mexico except for the War on Drugs. Mexico would have a working government if it weren’t for the War on Drugs. Thousands of their good police wouldn’t have been murdered if not for the War on Drugs.

    33. Ned says:

      @Justin

      Ending the “War on Drugs” as a policy position isn’t about simply stopping enforcement of drug laws; it is about totally reforming how we as a society handle the existence of these substances. Our current policy paradigm is zero tolerance Prohibition. That simplistic approach is shallow and utterly ineffective. As “dangerous” as some of these substances are, we certainly could achieve less overall harm through a sophisticated astute legalization of each one in highly tailored regulated ways. Tobacco is a killer but legal and the only direct harm is to chronic users over time. There’s no cartels or violence driven by it being illegal and a black market moneymaker. We have succeeded in vastly reducing use over a few decades. The same could be true of the other serious illegal drugs like heroin, meth and cocaine. Limited, restricted, but LEGAL access of low cost certified purity and strength, with education and treatment easily available. Allow limited use but discourage it. Just like tobacco. There are no “perfect” solutions. Only least bad, least harmful ones.

      Pot isn’t illegal because it is uniquely more dangerous than any number of other legal things like alcohol. It’s illegal because it was used mostly by nonwhites. The white protestant male racist xenophobes who dominated government in America in the early 20th century feared and loathed those nonwhite people. Making pot illegal was an attempt to discourage their immigration into the US and allow harassment and harsh treatment if they came anyway. And that is mostly how it remains. A tool to harass all non conformists and undesirables.

    34. Fat Freddy says:

      Notice in Obama’s speech today that he said, “when I was young, I got high without knowing the harm it could do”. Yeah, you could become President!

    35. Fat Freddy says:

      Justin sez the WOD is a necessary evil. A necessary evil that imprisons one out of every four black men at a taxpayers cost of 50 thousand/year per prisoner and keeps them from voting or getting a job? And so on, ad nauseaum…

      http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-war-on-drugs-endangerment-racket.html

    36. Justin says:

      Fat Freddy,

      Don’t get me wrong. I agree that there are flaws in the system that should be fixed. The most obvious being marijuana. However, the statistic that one out of four black men is in jail is not a result of the war on drugs. It might be a factor, but its not the reason. Thereason is your still have ignorant people Unfortunately that is a statistic that will not go down.Until people respect one another and live unprejudiced. If marijuana were removed this would actually help alleviate some of the problem. The fact that Marijuana is schedule 1 next to heroine makes me sick, and I believe there lies the real issue. The war on drugs is not going anywhere, so I guess I’ve come to terms with it. Hopefully marijuana is rescheduled soon. So, that people that aren’t going to abuse the system, can live peacefully. I agree that everyone should have the personal freedom to decide what goes in your body, but not at the cost of the people.. Simply put legalizing marijuana is much different than legalizing cocaine for example.. Cocaine can kill you lol weed can’t. They created an entire government agency as a result of the war on drugs. I have no problem with drug lords going to prison. I think most people agree that, the average drug “user” should be placed in rehab, not prison. Of course marijuana is in a right of its own. Seeing that it is less addictive and harmful than… Pharmaceuticals, tobacco, alcohol etc… it should be outright legalized, but its become a partisan issue. So it is unlikely to happen soon. Simply because of the bi-partisan bs that we are having to deal with in this country right now. I guess I’m smart enough to realize that both parties have policies that make sense. Hopefully the plethora of states legalizing for medical use. Will present a problem for them that they must answer now.

      Thanks dude I like intelligent debates.

    37. Justin says:

      These are just my opinions.

      IS MARIJUANA A DRUG?
      Yes, but to say it has no medicinal value is preposterous. This is a crime to Americans. They are not properly educated on the subject. Now, what’s happening in our country. Is enough people have tried it to know its harmless. They are talking to their friends and families. So, you’re seeing an enormous amount of support toward legalization in some form. It is definitely more harmless than the other 3 legal addictions (alcohol, tobacco, and food). So here’s the question that politicians should be asking themselves. “If it isn’t harmful, why should I be able to dictate whether or not someone has the right to put it in THEIR body.” They would soon realize they don’t.

      I know America is a democracy but in actuality it is a Republic. In a democracy. Politicians are elected to make decisions for us. For the most part politicians are elected and make decisions based on what their political party or lobby deem correct. Rather than have an actual democracy where majority of people vote, and the politicians make laws based on what the majority wants… There is an obligation to keep the people safe to some extent. Its their job to create laws that protect and look out for the best interests of our society.

      You guys are right calling me out on the WOD.. here’s my thinking though. If marijuana is legalized it does take the mj money out the cartels hands. Marijuana is easy to grow (at low quality). Cocaine, heroine, LSD etc… is not. It has to be manufactured. The cartels will still thrive IMO. If the war on drugs just ended the problem wouldn’t just go away. I like that the war on drugs has established a strict set of laws to put these people away. They are criminals and murderers. Comparatively the Mafia didn’t go anywhere at the end of prohibition. Al Capone is one boss of many. So this seems like a silly argument to me. Does it need be tweaked? Yes, but so do many other things in our government. I could go on for days about programs, agencies, politicians etc… that should be fixed, but it just won’t happen. So I pick my battles.. Right now my battle is MMJ in Florida.

      Don’t get me wrong. I think the system is corrupt, but its about safety. I always say, the laws need to be relaxed for users/ small time dealers and harsh for dealers. Which I think is the direction the government is going, BUT marijuana is a schedule 1. So IMO they should just legalize marijuana so they can focus on the real problem drugs.

    38. Justin says:

      ***I should have said other 4 addictions, including prescription drugs.***

    39. vickia52 says:

      john lennon’s “just gimme some truth” every one who believes that mj should be legal also has seen that the politicians are as bad as the cartels

    40. Doug says:

      Marinol is the only drug ever to be rescheduled to a lower class from two to a class three
      WOW less potential for addiction and abuse how did that happen
      If it’s so DANGEROUS and why did the govt issue a latent on a drug made from a plant with no medical use or value it is a synthesized extract from marihuana guess none of that matters when the drug companies have given us the best govt money can buy
      And lastly what about the govt supplying people with pot and the right to legally use it the compassionate use program Ronny Raygun closed to any new patients they figured the would all be dead in a couple years and then they could forget deny it ever happened
      Oops it made people live allot longer and not suffer like they did without it
      We think we live in a free country yes as long as you live like the religious republican assholes think you should or will throw your ass in prison till you come.to your senses and think and act like thrm trust them
      Big brother knows what’s best for you and the county you are to poor and stupid to do your own thinking they were elected by GOD they prayed about it and they decided that’s his will they are better than us fucking dumbasses that work for a living
      So you can’t enjoy one of the safest most therapeutic drugs in the world that’s a direct.quote from a federal judge when Nixon was even though it was created by the same GOD who speaks to them and they do wotk and only act as his loyal servants
      Never doing any thing wrong or immoral and if they do accident do it was that damn satan that made them that said they were sorry and cried on national TV God forgave them and they are to go back to.telling us how to live free just leave that evil plant alone.
      DON’T EVEN LOOK AT IT
      Guess he fucked up making it must have.been that.dam satan that made him do it
      Well if he says sorry and asks himself to forgive himself all will be ok even though we are told all things were created for man he just forgot to get the republicans permission first they will let it slide this time he after all is only GOD PEACE i will crawl back in my hole.and dream of being free and happy some day God willing I mean if thats what the republicans decide his will is well they can never stop me from dreaming I am free
      But bet they are working on that how much would the matrix cost

    41. Doug says:

      Sorry about the typos did it on my smart phone we had a problem guess its smarter than me it won this time need to.have my 12 year old show me how to.make it do my will or i will have a republican pray for me

    42. Fat Freddy says:

      Justin, America is not a democracy. It could be called a Republic because it is a dictatorship, a dictatorship of capital, a plutocracy controlled by an international banking oligarchy. People tend to judge an entire argument as flawed if they find just one fallacy in it. So please take this as constructive criticism.

    43. Anon says:

      The Federal Government doesn’t want to legalize drugs because they make a large fortune on illegal drugs.

    44. fat Freddy says:

      Obama and the Congress should each get a copy of “The Emperor Has No Clothes” by Jack Herer, signed by every one of these Congresspersons. Legislators need to be informed in order to make good laws or rescind bad ones. The worst ones are those that know pot prohibition is an atrocity but continue to destroy lives for political bribes and fear mongering.

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