Loading

Andrew Napolitano

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 28, 2010

    Below is the video from my most recent appearance (yesterday) on the Fox News.com broadcast Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano.

    Judge Napolitano has long been one of the mainstream media’s most vocal and consistent critics against the so-called ‘war on drugs.’ In recent broadcasts, he has profiled how U.S. marijuana prohibition is fueling violence and murder in Mexico, and has called for the arrest and prosecution of several police officers involved in a violent SWAT raid in Columbia, Missouri.

    In this segment, Judge Napolitano questions the White House’s recent call to expand so-called ‘drugged driving’ laws to punish non-impaired, former cannabis consumers (and he is no doubt the first national commentator to do so), and asks whether the war on marijuana consumers is less about pot, and more about expanding budgets and job opportunities for law enforcement. (Answer: Absolutely!)

    You can watch our full conversation below.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 11, 2010

    Judge Andrew Napolitano, host of Fox News.com’s Freedom Watch, has long been on the right side of the war on drugs, and his scathing critique of the deplorable police actions in Columbia, Missouri is no exception.

    (To recap for those who have not yet seen the video: under the cover of darkness, a team of militarized SWAT agents enter a family home and immediately engage in gunfire — killing one of two family dogs and wounding the other — and likely inflicting lifelong trauma to the family’s seven-year-old son. Police ultimately seized a small amount of marijuana residue and associated paraphernalia, which resulted in a misdemeanor charge and a $300 fine.)

    In fact, Napolitano’s very first question to befuddled Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid is: “When are the cops who did this going to be arrested and put in jail where they belong?” It’s a valid question that, not surprisingly, leaves the new mayor speechless.

    In less than a week nearly one-million people have watched the graphic and sickening footage from Columbia. It has, quite understandably, inspired public outrage and, apparently, some welcome changes in police procedure.

    Yet as NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville astutely points out on today’s edition of the NORML Stash blog, none of these minor amendments to protocol in any way gets to the heart of the problem, and that is this: Police and politicians still “accept the premise that this level of force is appropriate to keep people from using marijuana.” Ultimately, this societal mentality must change.

    That is why, while on the one hand NORML (obviously) supports cannabis medicalization and decriminalization efforts, we also recognize that these efforts fall woefully short for many Americans. In short, the only way to fully protect all our citizens from these kinds of abhorrent events is through the legalization and regulation of marijuana for all adults. Help us make this a reality.

    Stop the violence. Join NORML.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 5, 2009

    When the producer of the FoxNews program ‘Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano‘ asked me to appear on air last week to discuss the issue of marijuana law reform, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.

    Fortunately it became clear from the host’s opening monologue that Judge Andrew Napolitano is a powerful and articulate friend of cannabis liberalization.

    “The War on Drugs that the federal government has waged, and on which it has spent billions and billions of taxpayer dollars, has been a complete waste of time, money, and effort.

    Take marijuana, for instance. It’s been grouped together and enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration with real hardcore drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. But states like California and soon New Jersey have pretty much legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. While the federal government contends that … marijuana has the potential to promote cancer, patients of cancer and other similar ailments actually use marijuana to fight these deadly diseases.

    So wouldn’t the federal government be better off creating the incentive to empower people to make the right choice, to make their own free choice, rather than persecuting them and prosecuting them for what the feds consider to be the wrong choice?”

    Watch our full interview below: