Voters Have Spoken, But Drug Warriors Aren’t Listening

  • by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel February 2, 2015

    The drug warriors — led principally by law enforcement and their handmaidens in the state legislatures — continue to do everything within their power to prolong marijuana prohibition, even in those states in which the voters have approved full legalization.

    I am referring specifically to a legislative proposal introduced last week in the Alaska state legislature, allegedly to implement their recent legalization initiative, under which possession of one ounce of marijuana and the private cultivation of six plants was legalized for everyone over 21 years of age. Recreational marijuana use will be totally decriminalized effective February 24, although the state has until the end of the year to implement the regulations for licensing recreational growers and dispensaries.

    Senate Bill 30, and it’s House companion bill, HB 79, initially considered by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees last week, would have kept any amount of marijuana illegal, causing users to be arrested and brought to trial, when they could then raise an affirmative defense by proving they were over 21 and their conduct was protected under the new initiative.

    To read the balance of this column, please go to Marijuana.com.


    31 responses to “Voters Have Spoken, But Drug Warriors Aren’t Listening”

    1. Wm says:

      But, but, but, they took our jobs.

    2. Rob K says:

      I just wanna say thanks for what you guys do and how things going,I say go the Sam Adams route. Be a strong, knowledgeable, fighting hard voice. Don’t let the nay sayers piss on our lawn. We can do this! Don’t fight for decriminalization, fight for the full right to treat people who needs this option and for the rights of recreational use of marijuana. Thanks for reading and God bless.

    3. RUT says:

      This way the big law enforcement machine’s pockets keep full of money. Americans are fools to keep supporting this type of government. The peoples rights are weakened so these creeps can keep protecting us from what. I believe decriminalization is more important than legalization. As long as the “Schedule I” CLASSIFICATION IS KEPT ON POT THE GOVERNMENT CAN TURN ON A DIME AND START ARRESTING IT’S BELOVED CITIZENS. FIGHT THE CLASSIFICATION FIRST! Pot is what kept the war on drugs going. These leaders of ours could not justify the large build up of law enforcement on heroin or coke. There are not enough users. The great NYPD’S hands in your pocket policy was a great winner to keep up the number of arrest. Americans should have their wishes carried out by our paid public servants not betrayed and arrested. TYCOON owned media is the best friend government could have. They spread the propaganda for law enforcement!

    4. Miles says:

      Please take the time to add your signature to the petition before it expires on Feb 11th. It might not help, but then again it might! We have to do whatever we can to get those in power to listen and maybe do the right thing; which I to do the will of the people and end prohibition.

      If you don’t take action, you are just asking to be told what to do by the Feds…


      P.S. One of my best friend is a school teacher. He and I have using cannabis together for about 30 years. Sadly, he is so afraid to let anyone know he uses he will do absolutely nothing to end prohibition. He fears he could lose his teaching job or worse; and he’s right about that. However, sometimes sacrifice is needed to bring about change and I consider his attitude to be very cowardly but he is still my friend.

    5. TheOracle says:

      Sadly, many people are cowed into silence out of fear of losing their jobs, and that includes police officers (LEAP) as well as FORMER presidents of Mexico.

      What do former U.S. presidents and vice presidents have to say that can help bring about legalization? I wouldn’t expect anything clear from Bill Clinton, as they’ll probably be afraid it would reduce Hillary’s rating in the polls. Maybe if his guard is down, same for W., if his guard is down, like they think the microphone is off when it’s not.

      I like Mason Tvert’s take on Obama’s budget adding the word “federal” into the budget so that D.C. can spend its own money on moving forward with full-throttle legalization.


      Are there any other mayors or city councils out there that would make cannabis (non)crimes the lowest priority, even lower than a parking ticket? If Philadelphia would do that, I’m dreaming, it would be great to see smokeasies or vapeasies open up, bring your own and come in out of the cold. It’s be like a Dutch style kofieshop but without being allowed to buy the cannabis there.

      Ik bedoel een gedoogbeleid voor de stad.

      Dutch have a tolerance policy, so could a U.S. city also have such a tolerance policy so that Dutch style coffeeshops could come about. Way back, in essentially the first Dutch cannabis coffeeshop, the Mellow Yellow, that’s how it was, and the dealer would either have a bag of prepackaged wiet on his/her shoulder. This dealer would then “rent” space, such as a table or counter space from the coffeeshop owner in order to be allowed to hang out for hours at a time without buying anything. You oldtimers in the know could find out more details from my wietheros Nol van Schaik and Wernard Bruining en others.

    6. Fat Freddy says:

      If conservatives had their way, we would still be trembling in caves.

    7. Shawn Kearney says:

      So let me get this straight. You have to prove that you aren’t breaking the law, and until you can you are? Why doesn’t that sound constitutional to me. It’s like the Alaska legislature has gone off to crazy town.

    8. Dale says:

      So… guilty until proven innocent. Nice. Do you even America, bruh?

    9. Demonhype says:

      @Shawn Kearney and Dale: THANK YOU! This is pretty much “guilty until proven innocent” and is indeed unconstitutional–and you don’t even need to be a lawyer to know that, really, since the idea that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law is one of the basic foundations of our government. I’m surprised the article didn’t mention this…but then, people have been getting pretty used to having their constitutional protections made null and void and used to being considered guilty a priori. Look at how many people blindly accept drug testing, which is based on the exact same premise–and is paid for by our tax dollars, making it a constitutional issue even if a private company administers it. Guilty until proven innocent is the mantra of every tyranny, and is usually implemented by convincing the average citizen that it is their duty to give up their rights and accept a priori guilt in the name of Getting The Bad Guys, who are, of course, the ONLY people who ever need to worry about their constitutional rights or human rights. Because there is no reason whatsoever that Good Law-Abiding People should object to getting a finger in the butt or having someone watch them take a piss or having their personal home searched at random because there is nothing objectionable about that at all, of course. Unless you’re a Bad Criminal.

      Oh, well. At least people are starting to wake up and realize that objecting to civil rights violations are not proof positive that the person in question needs to have their rights violated because they must be hiding something. Until the next scaremongering BS comes along, and the sheep just get herded into the next cage.

      That said, I love how cute this is, that it would effectively make it illegal. Because if you get arrested, even if you are proven innocent, even if you are never charged or go to trial, you now have an arrest record and can and will be denied employment, housing, etc. based on that. So basically it’s de-facto prohibition, just like the scam the drug testing industry is pulling. Sure, you can use it, but we will still ruin your life and see you starve for using it.

    10. Demonhype says:

      @Miles: I’m sorry to hear about your friend. These bastards have a lot of people scared. Even non-users like me have to be afraid of being targeted for supporting legalization and/or the drug testing scam (30% of all positive drug tests are false positives, so even non-users are not safe, not to mention the possibility of deliberate false-positives in retaliation for political views, to manufacture a reason to fire someone). Even then, I probably have a better chance at fighting such shenanigans than someone who uses MJ, and I think it’s important for anyone who is a non-user to speak out, no matter what. Whenever I feel scared to speak out, whether in favor of legalization or in opposition to drug testing, I think of people like your friend who can’t do so. It would be nice if he would speak out himself, and join the fight, but that’s what makes it even more important for both users and non-users who support legalization to fight even harder, because every bit of ground we win and every opinion we change makes it a little easier for someone like your friend to come out into the daylight and join us.