NORML To The Drug Czar's Office: "Now Do We Have Your Attention?"

More than 100 readers have posted comments in support of NORML’s recent guest editorial, “Criminalization of Marijuana Must End,” which appeared in The Hill‘s influential ‘Congressional Blog.’ Editors at The Hill inform NORML that it’s the highest volume of readers’ response they’ve ever received on any commentary on any topic!
So it’s hardly surprising that the Drug Czar’s office has grudgingly and belatedly offered their two-cents worth in a factually bereft editorial entitled “Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Ignores the Facts.” It’s an unintentionally amusing essay — though judging by the comments it appears that few people, if anyone, have actually bothered to read it — topped off by this half-baked claim, “[L]egalizing marijuana [is] a topic more often heard in college dorms at 2 o’clock in the morning than in the hallowed halls of our Congress.”
Excuse me, but if debating the merits of America’s failed cannabis policy is, in the Drug Czar’s opinion, a topic only appropriate for midnight musings, then why is the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy straining their already diminished intellectual capacities responding to this discussion in The Hill (which, last time I checked, was not a publication frequently read by college students in their dorm rooms at 2 am)??!!
Of course, I suppose The Hill should thank their lucky stars that the Drug Czar responded at all, given that no representatives from the ONDCP, CADCA, or other ‘pro-prohibition’ groups will ever agree to engage with NORML in a face-to-face debate in a public forum. I mean, it wasn’t all that long ago that federal officials were distributing a guidebook, “How to Hold Your Own in a Drug Legalization Debate,” that recommended that prohibition advocates decline invitations to publicly debate drug policy issues.
My how times have changed!

0 thoughts

  1. How dare the drug czar make a comment like that to avoid answering the real question!?!
    Some of us are talking about it at 3, 4, 6 o’clock in the am!!LOL.. Hell, this is a discussion that is talked about on a continous & daily basis ( 24/7 ). How much longer will they choose to live in denial??? We have RIGHTS too!

  2. I am so tired of this government acting like some kind of babysitter. Is this not the land of the free? One day we will smoke that way!

  3. The reason so many college (read: professionally minded) people discuss the benefit of legalization is because they are responsible enough to recognize the risk they face if caught under current laws.
    Imagine if the students could live without fear of the drug czar, and could instead devote THEIR time to more important issues (even studying!)
    Smoking pot is relaxing and therapeutic and a great hobby for college students (in moderation of course). It is safer than binge drinking!

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised if cannabis is made legal before too long. The feds are trying to seize $8 billion from Calif. I don’t know about you, but if I was a politician in Calif, I’d try any way possible to find money to pay this fine.

  5. That press release was a very entertaining read. If any decent chunk of the population actually read it and understood it, I think they would find it to be very entertaining as well. Cannabis is only a threat to our communities because we choose to make it one. By making it illegal, we are forced to supply these criminals and “terrorists” (every fucking crime supports terrorists these days…). We can put them all out of business by providing legal competition.

  6. I’d suggest abandoning the word “decriminalization”.
    The battle should be over the ban, and the determination of prohibitionists to keep marijuana unavailable to even the casual users of the stuff. Words are important in such a battle: “prohibition” associates the Drug Czar with a widely-recognized, failed public policy of the last century. “Decriminalization” emphasizes the “criminality” of marijuana, and is not the best word for that reason. Let’s ban the ban, instead.

  7. Agreeing with Ed…growing a plant and ingesting it are not criminal acts. The battle SHOULD be over the ban itself and not the degree of criminality applied to it. The word “prohibition” resonates with young and old alike.

  8. I think the incarceration figures might be misleading –
    How many people are in city or county jails for a few months to a year or so for simple possession? Do the stats the feds are using to say “pot users aren’t being locked up” include these local incarcerations or only prisons? Either way, being locked up is being locked up, they’re getting criminal records, and MANY other injustices for their victimless crime.

  9. Nice way to break down his response, for people not ‘in the know’ who really do think this plant, which has been on the planet longer than mankind has, is truly dangerous. If it were so dangerous, how come we not only survived but thrived anyway?
    ps: if you’re against drug use (yes i know I stole this from someone famous) you might as well throw away all your music, because the people who wrote it? Real high on drugs. (Name for me someone who got f’in’ drunk and wrote a great song.)
    pps: moses climbed a mountain and spoke to a burning bush and received the 10 commandments from god? You better believe he was stoned out of his gourd on drugs when that happened.

  10. agree with ed and zoe. and let’s not forget that growers should be called farmers (and citizens). emphasize that assets are being taken from farmers (or rural people, rural economies, rural communities) and being given to the federal government and also to foreign interests who profit off this trade. a lot of rural communities are so desperate for cash that they’ll take a new prison — this means they’re open to new options.

  11. The most popular argument against marijuana is that it’s a gateway drug. They say people start with marijuana and graduate to cocaine/ecstasy/insert drug here. But the real truth on this matter is that if you’re looking for marijuana, you have no choice but to makes friends with a dealer to get it. That’s how you get introduced to all kinds of illegal drugs that are actually dangerous and addictive. Our children wouldn’t have ever met these dealers if marijuana wasn’t illegal. In addition, after they’ve tried marijuana and discovered the truth about it they get an image that most other illegal drugs could be harmless and easy to break an addiction to which is the main reason they try other drugs. Please, would the government just consider that I’m right?

  12. At first when I went to the link to the ridiculous response the ONDCP made to the previous post regarding the positives of legalization, I was at first concerned that there were 100 comments. I thought to myself “people can’t possibly believe this junk, pretty much all of the facts presented aren’t even vaguely close to rectifying keeping these laws around”. Then I read what the comments actually said, and was very pleased to see that a good 95% of them were saying exactly what I was thinking, that the post was complete junk. It’s a gradual process, but people are slowly starting to wake up. The pro-prohibition groups had better start coming up with a couple of new tricks we haven’t seen, because information in this era is far more accessible than ever before, and there is no doubt in my mind that eventually those older people who don’t understand how a computer works will be gone and an entirely new generation of people who are immune to the garbage organizations like the ONDCP put out will emerge, and we won’t even have to deal with these insane blogs that try to rectify outlawing an almost completely harmless substance, because nobody will be fooled by them anymore.

  13. The Other Failed War
    Ever since the dawn of the 20th Century have the politicians chosen to let fear, lies and obfuscation rule the debate over cannabis. At first it was the Mexicans who had used cannabis for eons who were singled out and their use of pot was the vehicle to engage in this insane exercise in futility of outlawing a perfectly harmless substance. It is after all a plant, not some witch’s brew concocted in a lab or kitchen. In the 30’s along came one Harry Anslinger, who went on an all out rampage to stop the use of Marihuana. Any one who has watched the movie “Reefer Madness” and has smoked a joint or two knows that the aforementioned work of fiction is just that, FICTION!
    Over the past decades a number of groups, such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and others have been busy educating interested people and trying to get legislation passed that would allow the responsible use of this natural occurring herb by adults. Unfortunately, decades of lies, mis-information and fear mongering by those elected to serve us have prevented an open and fair discussion. The direct result is that when polled just slightly less than half of those asked think that cannabis use by adults should be legal. Yet when asked if medical cannabis should be legalized, with a doctors order, the number jumps to 75%. Twelve States have already legalized medical use, yet the federal government wastes billions annually ignoring the laws duly passed by those states. Charges are being brought against those who under doctor’s care use cannabis to treat many symptoms and illnesses with a plant that has no side effects and can be grown in the back yard.
    Decriminalizing adult use in contrast to outright legalization enjoys about 60% approval by the American adults, yet our elected public servants ignore both, medical as well as recreational use under decriminalization and consistently reject serious discussion of reforming or lifting the oppressive laws currently on the books. Currently approximately 30% of the US population live in places where some form of decriminalization is the law and neither teen use nor any other aspects of the use of grass have adversely affected the communities.
    Nothing however will change unless open and fact based discourse is allowed to occur in the public mass media. Don’t wait for that to happen anytime soon. The media is too much depending on the advertising dollars from special interest groups. Late in the 90’s the drug czar’s office heavily promoted the vision of your brain being akin to a fried egg. It was the best Gen. Barry McCaffrey’s dis-information team could come up with. Rather than engaging in fact filled, open discussion the government relied on the advertising gurus to dazzle us with weird messages. The government’s ad money came with a catch. Congress would only authorize the “sunny side up” ad money if the networks would match time for free. A good deal for the taxpayer. For every buck spent we got two bucks of propaganda. After the contracts were signed and the ads had started to obfuscate the facts and further stifle discussion the economy changed and the networks were hit by ad buyers who wanted to buy higher priced ads. There are only so many slots per hour and the networks started to lose ad revenues, yet were stuck with the contracts. Our illustrious government came to the rescue by offering the networks to get their free ad time back if the prime time shows would reflect the appropriate story line. Sort of not so subliminal advertising. A system was put in place where an anti drug message of a certain length per half hour or another longer anti drug message per full hour would satisfy the drug czar. Salon discovered these somewhat shady bed fellows and exposed the whole sordid mess. Unfortunately the average American’s attention span with all the drivel being thrown at us is just too short for many of the government’s misdeeds to remain in our minds long enough.
    News reporters tend to gobble up the propaganda spewing forth from politicians, rather than talking to the experts who have studied the effects of cannabis both medical and recreational. Take former Governor Raymond Schaffer of Pennsylvania, who was appointed by non other than “I’m no crook” Nixon to head up Tricky Dick’s commission on cannabis and drug abuse. In 1972 the commission headed up by Gov. Schaffer recommended to Nixon that possession for personal use should no longer be an offense and that casual distribution for no or little money should no longer be punishable. Nixon of course did everything to hide the findings and serve the public by forcing his and the special interest’s agenda down our throats. Tobacco and alcohol however are still legal, yet both are considerably more harmful than cannabis, even lethal, not to mention all the chemical drugs that are out there.
    To this day cannabis is portrayed as a gateway drug to harder substances, which is an unfounded lie. Claiming that cannabis will always lead to the dependence on hard stuff like cocaine is akin to claiming that everyone who drinks a beer will end up switching to hard liquor. It has nothing to do with neither cannabis nor beer. Addiction depends on the individual person! I would even go as far as saying that had the government told people the truth about pot in the first place rather than pandering to the temperance movement, many would have never switched to, let’s say meth. After all the lies perpetuated for close to a century pertaining to cannabis all one has to do is smoke a doobie despite the propaganda and find out that cannabis is not the dangerous substance portrayed by the establishment. And hey, the government lied about pot, then maybe, just maybe, they lied about the other stuff too, so lets try some meth, or coke. NOT!
    The other lie told about cannabis is that it is addictive. Bull! Ask anyone who has smoked pot if they had withdrawals when their baggie went empty. I have never heard of anyone holding up the corner liquor store to get money for a bag of grass. Those holdups, when they are drug related usually involve crack addicts, never potheads. People rob pharmacies for the prescription drugs, like Oxycontin or Vicodin, not to score money to buy Ganja. I can tell you from experience, that during my pot years I ran out of weed more than once and never had any withdrawals, and neither have any of my acquaintances. It is non addictive, get used to this little fact.
    Law enforcement can also not be counted on as they have a stake in busting anyone they can. America makes up between 4 to 5% of the world’s population yet we proudly and gleefully incarcerate more than 25% of the world’s prison population. Overall population: China, 1,321,851,888 and the US, 301,139,947 as reported for 2007. The incarceration rate as reported by the UN in 2001 was for China, 1,428,126 and the US 1,962,220. Even China, a nation known for human rights abuses and with over 4 times the population we have, has fewer incarcerated than we do! A report by the PEW Center recently came up with these numbers; 1 out of every 100 adults and 1 in 15 black males over the age of 18 are currently locked up in the United States and we can pride ourselves in this record! We are Number One in the systematic incarceration in the world! American taxpayers are forced to pay close to 50 billion of our hard earned money to support the warehousing of nonviolent pot offenders alone, when violent offenders often get released early to make room in an overcrowded prison system. 48% of our prison population is for non violent drug possession charges! Anyone doubting that money is the driving factor behind the war on drugs ought to watch the documentary “American Drug War: The Last White Hope” released in 2007.
    According to NORML roughly 74% of those arrested for pot are under 30 years old and one in four is under age 18. Unfortunately this age group is least likely to have the financial wherewithal to mount a strong legal defense, or for that matter pour money into reform of the current drug laws. The same NORML report also mentions that black Americans account for 12% of cannabis users, yet make up 23% of cannabis arrests. In some areas the percentage is even higher, NORML cites New York, where minorities make up 80% of those arrested for cannabis possession. In the “American Drug War: The Last White Hope” documentary light is shed on Tulia, Texas, where open racism and a corrupt police department ended up ethnically cleansing the town of blacks in a drug raid. Of course the American prison system is being farmed out to private companies, such as Wackenhut who under the name GEO runs prisons and makes a killing. Guess who pays for that insanity. It is you, the taxpayer. 60% of you feel that cannabis should be decriminalized, meaning no jail time and fine only yet you are more than happy to fork over YOUR tax dollars at the rate of $36,000 per inmate per year to lock up people who got stoned. You willingly pay this money by not voting against those, from the local level to 1600 Sesame Street, Washington DC, who perpetuate this failed attack on reason and the pursuit of happiness.
    Another side effect of this endless and un-winnable war on drugs is the fact that it drains the resources of the police departments as well as the courts and prosecutor’s offices. According to the producers of the hit HBO show “The Wire” which was set in Baltimore where drug busts have hit the stratosphere while at the same time the arrest rates for real crime such as rape, aggravated assault and other violent acts have dropped dramatically.
    On Monday, December 3rd 1917 Congress passed a joint resolution called the 18th amendment to the Constitution, outlawing alcohol. We all know where that fiasco took us. On December 5th 1932 Congress passed the joint resolution which came to be the 21st amendment, repealing the 18th after it showed that prohibition did nothing more than drive booze under ground where it could be consumed but neither taxed nor regulated. Today many states operate liquor stores who sell booze and collect the taxes due. Taxation and control! The corner drug dealer isn’t going to ask for ID or pay taxes and grass is available to anyone with a little money. Cannabis is the number one cash crop in a few states, notably California. Conservative estimates show that taxing cannabis could generate one billion dollars in revenue to California while at the same time saving the state an equal amount in law enforcement cost. That’s an overall net gain of over two billion dollars for one state alone. Think about the good that kind of money can do compared to warehousing human beings in jails and prisons as well as freeing up the court’s time and resources!
    Cigarettes and alcohol are harder for youngsters to get a hold of than any illicit substance. That argument alone should give one pause to rethink our policy towards cannabis. Prohibition is not working! It never has and never will! All prohibition does is glorify drugs and the element of illegality only makes it that much more sexy. Another argument is that legalizing cannabis sends the wrong message that pot is ok. This might be the easiest of the myths to dispel. Take legal pharmaceuticals, which are good drugs if and when used responsibly. Alcohol is legal and ok when used responsibly. Cigarettes are legal and there is no way of using them responsibly. Yet legal alcohol, legal cigarettes and many legal pharmaceuticals are addictive, and when they are abused any one of those can and sometimes will kill you! Pot is neither addictive nor can you overdose. I quit smoking cigarettes 6 months ago and I still have withdrawals. That was the 7th time in my life that I quit. During my pot years I ran out of grass many times, never experiencing any cravings or withdrawal symptoms, yet I still have cravings for tobacco after six months!
    Drug testing has been a multi billion dollar industry ever since the 80’s when drug testing was sold by the “Just say NO” crowd. Ironically when Nancy Reagan proclaimed that all we had to do is just say no and pee in a cup, her hubby was busy looking the other way when our own CIA was bringing cocaine to the country and in effect started the crack epidemic in the LA area. Drug testing was sold to our corporations by the boat load. Less absenteeism, more honest employees, better productivity, less work place accidents and therefore less worker’s compensation claims were just some of the buzz words used by the shills selling drug tests. It was sold to those in charge of businesses as a way to improve their bottom line. If the bottom line really increased is up for debate, but it had nothing to do with law enforcement or stemming drug abuse. In 1988, the last year of the Gipper, Congress passed the Drug free Work Place Act. All that did is make the drug testing labs really busy. After this law was passed, anyone wanting to do business with the federal government had to maintain a drug free work place or lose their contracts. Compliance by blackmail. At about 30 dollars per test and roughly 40 million test per year, you do the math. That is 1.2 billion dollars the lobbyists for the drug testing industry got for their clients so they can snoop around in our pee. Today the government spends 17 million plus on school drug testing alone, yet quite a few psychiatrists are seriously worried about the ramifications. From lack of interest in extra curricular activities to trust issues those are just a couple of problems that may arise and at the same time this zero tolerance policy will neither work, nor will it end the lies and erroneous “facts” from opening the debate and make real inroads to the drug abuse problem.
    As far as medical cannabis is concerned the government is also lying. Clinical research in the US is severely restrained due to the current laws, yet much evidence exists today about the benefits of medicinal cannabis, so here are a few examples from NORML’s publication ‘Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids’.
    Alzheimer’s disease. A review of recent scientific literature indicates that cannabinoid therapy may provide symptomatic relief to AD patients while also moderating progression. (References, Ramirez et al. 2005, the Journal of Neuroscience 25; Eubanks et al. 2006 Molecular Pharmaceutics; Hampson et al. 1998, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95; Science News. June 11, 1998; and more)
    ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Writing in the March 2004 issue of the journal ‘Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Other Motor Neuron Disorders’ Investigators at the California Pacific Medical Center reported that the administration of THC prior and after the onset of ALS symptoms staved disease progression and prolonged survival in laboratory animals compared to untreated control specimens.
    Diabetes Mellitus. 8 references given
    Dystonia. 7 references given
    Fibromyalgia. 10 references given
    Gliomas. 26 references given
    Gastrointestinal Disorders. 12 references given
    Hepatitis C. 15 references given
    Hypertension. 17 references given
    Incontinence. 5 references given
    Multiple Sclerosis, 17 references given
    Osteoporosis. 4 references given
    Pruritis. 7 references given
    Sleep Apnea. 4 references given
    Tourette’s Syndrome. 7 references given
    The aforementioned diseases are the new ones found where medical cannabis appears to be promising. Other diseases such as glaucoma, rheumatoid arthritis, nausea, side effects from cancer treatment, chronic pain, neuropathic pain, eating disorders and depression, just to mention a few. As with any medicine the dosage must be controlled by a physician.
    The American College of Physicians has come out recently that past approaches and debate over cannabis have clouded science and prevented meaningful research. Many researchers have come forward in the past and have complained about the federal governments resistance into full research and making money available only to study the bad side. Does that remind anyone of the government’s outright silencing of many scientists when it comes to global warming? If it don’t fit the party line, obfuscate the truth. According to Bruce Mirken who works for the Marijuana Policy Project feels that the American College of Physicians’ stand: ” pulverized the government’s two favorite myths about medical marijuana – that it’s not supported by the medical community and that science hasn’t shown marijuana to have medical value.”
    “In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume… Marijuana in it’s natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.”
    -Drug Enforcement Administration, Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young, NORML v DEA, 1988
    We are currently entering the sixth year of the war in Iraq. It is another war perpetrated by a government that lied us into this quagmire and over two thirds of the country are demanding an end to this atrocity. The failed 94 year old war on drugs is also based on lies, perpetrated by the same special interest serving government, wasting your hard earned money! 60% of the population favor decriminalization of personal use and 75% of you support the idea of medical use, yet nobody speaks up. It is high time to stop this insanity, both at home and in Iraq. We Americans have the right to demand from our government that our taxes be spent wisely to benefit the public, not the Industrial Prison Complex.
    We have the right to demand the truth from public servants, not propaganda, lies and favors to the special interests.

  14. I find it insane that they are still worried about pot when there are about a million other things that they should be worried about. The truth is if it was legal then there would not be a need to worry about it because it COULD be properly controlled in the USA. Not to mention that if they want to go after real drugs they should try controlling the pill heads before the pot heads! The line that keeps running through my head is from the wizard of oz “if I only had a brain” I know what someone should be asking Santa for this year!

  15. I smoked my first joint in 1964…. got drafted in 1966, went to Vietnam, came back and got 3 degrees, worked very successfully for close to 40 years now, and guess what???? yup, I’m still tokin. Life is good. I’m ready to fight for the legalization of Marijuana.

  16. he sticks his fingers in his ears, shakes his head from side to side and tries to drown out yor arguments with ” na-na na-na boo boo i cant hear you”…
    … but the number of people shouting back at you is immense… and were surrounding you now… and if you keep acting like the childish little fucker you are, were gonna be kicking the shit out of you.

  17. I have read all 148 comments to the Hill Blog except for a few cops that sound like nazes they are all positve!!
    This gives me hope that our rights may be returned to us it is about time. I still feel our leaders should stand trial for crimes against us as Americans. They have stripped our rights and enslaved us for years for being Americans. We will have what we want if it is bad for us that is our business not the FEDS. I know at first they only meant to go after blacks and Hispanic and in the late 1920s that was considered norml(pun). I am concerned that it will very difficult to stop our leaders addiction to the 100 billion spent ever year on this War. It will take all of us working together. I feel electing Barack Obama he takes no money from corporations or PACs this to me is a step in the right direction. Plus he has said he will back the FEDS off the states that have legal medical MJ.Check out his plan at his web site it is 64 pages long and make sense to me. Peace and Freedom to all!

  18. Comment 18 say it all you rock dude! Is that correct I am 60 and not sure any more. In my words I agree 100% and let me know where I will be there!
    Cherokee Fred Hussein

  19. Now there’s about 100 comments on the Drug Czar’s article too, mostly of the pro let’s-have-a-legitimate-debate-already variety.

  20. I would like to know what exactly NORML is doing to fight the government on this. Here is a group that prides itself on marijuana reform and yet all I ever see are the “above the influence” commercials on television. Where are the “truths about marijuana” commercials? Where are they on Capitol Hill? With as many members that NORML has, the government simply cannot ignore us any longer. That being said, I realize that NORML is facing a mountain as high as the K2 in their battle against the government, but they MUST get their message out to the public and not just those of us who are members of NORML or those who visit the site on a regular basis. It’s absolutely necessary for NORML to have a presence on television and radio to combat the propaganda that is put out by the government. The voting public has a right to know the truth that marijuana. Without this, we will never be successful in our goals to finally legalize all marijuana use.
    Another question I have for NORML is when are they going to demand that it be placed on the ballots for we the people to vote on? Surely with the membership base that NORML has, it is inconceivable that they could not make enough noise to have the measure placed on a ballot that we the people can vote on in private just as we do for any election. I have to question the motives of NORML anymore. This is a group that is made up of experts, lawyers, professors, etc., all of whom are highly respected in the beltway for their opinions and accomplishments, yet we still don’t have the right to vote on it ourselves as the people that make up the country. We elect our officials to speak for us and they are ignoring our voices and it is high time that we move past our elected officials and move to an offensive attack on the governments policies and our right to choose what we decide to or not to put into our bodies.
    Get off your asses NORML…it’s time for our voices to be heard, otherwise the group is useless and the members are simply paying membership fees for nothing. It almost seems as we are in the same battle with NORML that we are with the government. We are the people and we should control the country, not some morons in Washington who continue to line their pockets with lobbyist monies. I love you, I support you, but I must question what you are really doing about helping us to achieve our goal to decriminalize marijuana and not just for medicinal purposes either. When are you going to take this battle to the mainstream media and combat the naysayers who feel that they know better than we do regarding what is best for us.
    It is time for change and not by any political party or candidate, but rather changes by we the people. This is however just my humble opinion, but I feel that most will agree with me. Don’t you?

  21. Alcohol use has killed more people (directly or indirectly) than marijuana use ever thought about. The excuse that cannibus is a “gateway” drug is nonsense. Alcohol abuse leads to experimentation with other drugs. Smoking pot only leads to experimentation with different kinds of food.

  22. What many people fail to realize is there are 8 people being provided 6lbs. a year of “MEDICAL MARIJUANA” from the U.S. government because a judge ruled that it was their right to obtain medicine beneficial to their condition. The most recent of these cases was in 1988 when the judge ruled that a partially blind woman drastically benefitted from the use of “MEDICAL MARIJUANA”. In most of the recent supreme court cases, the court has diallowed even the use of the phrase “MEDICAL MARIJUANA” in the courtroom because it does not exist and marijuana has no medicinal qualities.
    DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE THE CORRUPTION? THE COURT THEMSELVES HAVE IN WRITING THE PRECEDENT OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA YET WILL NOT EVEN ALLOW FOR THE WORDS TO BE SPOKEN IN THE COURTROOM 20YRS LATER. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

  23. when are we going to gather infront of the white house ….its time for a rally everybody. we must stand up for what we believe.

  24. I grew up with it and it’s been an acceptable part of life to family, friends, and me. The only problems I’ve ever had because of it were caused by the laws against it. Been able to quit to clean up to get a job, never done it on the job and want it legalized. Ain’t changing for bad laws, so they better change the laws.

  25. In 1972, I was eighteen and Acapulco Gold was the menu du jour. Mix of Dried leaves and seeds that would go pop and pop again when we lighted up. That was so amusing and funny.We had so much fun then.Nowadays
    big sticky resinous buds. they talk of trichomes,feminized seeds what have you…its serious business…we did not even have medical marijuana !
    Look guys ! things are moving.(but maybe not as quickly as one would want to…after all..we are all growing older and cant be forever “waiting for Godot” at the Maison Blanche or on parliement hill in Ottawa. Thanks to Internet,communities have developed, litterature on drugs abound (Schaefer drug library)information circulates…Internet has open up the eyes of people making them more knowledgeable about marijuana and politics and propaganda.People ask questions,realize that many laws are unjust,outdated and need reform.All this takes time.In Canada 2 committees were formed: The LeDain commission in 1972 and the comite senatorial in 2002.Yet despite this very little has changed.
    Things are going slow sure but they are amoving…..
    Sorry there,but me cant wait to be 175 years old to smoke a joint!NORML is doing a good job to advance the cause but if marijuana was legal tomorrow,would NORML close its doors ? No matter how we look at it, the current states of affairs (yeahs and nays) keep a lot of people busy and employed.Hey heres another recent breakthrough..Barney Frank and HR 5843…You see I told you things were amoving…Hey this is no small feat…it made it to Congress…for the very 1st time..
    If it was not for the intensified marijuana drug war going on in the US…things would be brighter.It does take a lot of time to remedy the Anslingers inepties.
    But were going there.What will you make of TODAY rests on you.Good smoke but keep the stuff away from young ones as you do with beers !!!!!

  26. There are way to many things in this article that proves that the drug czar’s have no idea what they are talking about…how they say that it is the number one drug that is in need for rehabilitation. Have they considered that the only reason that these people are in rehabilitation is because they are required by state law to go through with the programs when arrested for minor possession …i know I am required to. This government can hold its self much longer with this law and together we can make a movement. Legalize it today or at least decriminalize it.

  27. Wow, do we really pay this guy’s salary? This is the biggest pile of putrid garbage since Reefer Madness. Shall we take a look at why marijuana was really made illegal? Despite what a lot of decent Americans who trust that their government can do no wrong think… marijuana was made illegal to oppress african and mexican americans during the civil rights movement. When that didn’t work, they introduced crack cocaine to the ghettos as a way to take minorities off the streets.
    The arguement that was made about marijuana being the leading cause of treatment need for addiction and dependency? Marijuana has been proven to be not physically addictive. Addiction counselors are about as full of it as Walters. If you tell an addiction counselor you smoke pot a few times a month, you are minimizing or in denial about your problem in their eyes. If you tell them you’ve never tried it, they’ll say your lying. For every 100 people who walk through their doors for an evaluation 95 get recommended for some sort of treatment. Don’t kid yourself it’s big business. You could buy a brand new car for what it costs for 24 4 hour sessoins of some moron asking you how everything makes you feel. Hell, I could get rich doing the same, but I do not because it is immoral to me. If I did it, i’d help people with real problems, like alcoholism, cocaine, heroine, and meth addictions. Things that you actually can get physically and mentally addicted to. This point is probably the stupidest of all.
    Potency? You think they don’t cherry pick the highest grade marijuana for testing? Wrong. They do. Even John Walters can take a look at a pile of molding unattended feral hemp and realize that it’s not worth the tax dollars to test it. Such trash.
    Schedule 1- by definition means it’s dangerous, addictive, and has no medically valuable use. Marijuana in no way fits into these categories. It is physically less harmful than all over the counter drugs. You can die from iron poisoning from eatting too many fruit-flavored flinstone vitamins, but you absolutely CAN NOT overdose from marijuana. The same cannot be sad about alcohol or even nicotine.
    The inmates in state prisons related to marijuana possession survey is complete crap as well. I’d like to know exactly how it was conducted. Did they ask 95 people on death row what they were in for and 5 people in the low-risk wings what they were in for? If so, it would be about par for the course. This is the kind of crap the Office for National Drug Control Policy has been backing their “War on Drugs” with since it’s creation. I can make whatever point i want seem really strong to people who don’t know any better with statistics too but I am not going to stoop to their level. I’ll use logic instead.
    Marijuana was prohibited on the sole basis of blatant propaganda fueled by racism and walters view isn’t much different. In his interviews , he tries to pass it off as a problem caused by “The Mexicans.” It’s getting kind of hard to keep the wool pulled over America’s eyes on this one big brother and spewing out lie studded rhetoric like what was posted on the Congress blog is just a last ditch effort to prolong the enevitable. Marijuana WILL be decriminalized at some point in the very near future. Advocates of marijuana decriminalization and medicinal marijuana use are a way bigger constituency than you moronic bureaucrats would like to think. Write your local congressmen and tell them to support the marijuana decriminalization bill! If you don’t want it to get vetod, vote Obama.

  28. Maybe some big company that can get the politicians to see things their way is what all us pro Marijuana people need. Maybe we need GLAD or the Zip-Lock companies to lobby for us. Politicians listen to big companies. I’m not really an idiot, it just sounded funny.

  29. Hello Keith,
    >I would like to know what exactly NORML is doing to fight the >government on this. Here is a group that prides itself on marijuana >reform and yet all I ever see are the “above the influence” >commercials on television. Where are the “truths about marijuana” >commercials?
    Thanks for contacting NORML with an interest in marijuana law reform!
    The commercials you see are by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, which have been funded by taxpayers to the tune of $1.8 billion. NORML agrees with your view that the ads are not only distorted but distasteful/mean-spirited as well.
    If you do not want to have your tax dollars go to that kind of propaganda, then you can do the following:
    -Write your elected reps. in Congress and ask that the funding of the ads stop immediately and to re-allocate the money towards some other genuine public need;
    -When view or hear an ad, contact the tv/radio station or newspaper/magazine and tell them that you’re going to boycott them and that you will recruit your like-minded friends and family to do the same;
    -Contact the commercial sponsors who advertise with anti-marijuana propagandists and inform them that you are no longer being exposed to their commercials and therefore less likely to buy their product(s);
    -Contact the PDFA (http://www.drugfree.org/) and tell them to start being truthful about marijuana and that they should be running anti-tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceutical and ‘hard’ drug ads directed at youth rather than running a hysterical, Reefer Madness-like ad campaign against marijuana.
    NORML’s budget (along with every other drug policy reform group) does not support the ability to create and buy commercial ad time on TV. Unfortunately, tv/radio/newspapers companies do not have to run the ads once they’ve been created. As has happened numerous times before, NORML has tried to run ads in publications such as Time/Newsweek—and apparently ‘freedom of the press’ is only for those that own the press!
    However, NORML can advertise in public-owned arenas, buses and train lines. NORML has recently done so in the San Francisco, Oakland, and New York City mass transit systems.
    Example: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5229
    If you want to see NORML ads run in your area, please organize amongst your like-minded friends/family and donate ad space in your local region. NORML’s got the ads if the funding is made available!
    BTW, have you checked out NORML’s ‘Truth’ campaign?
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5513
    The ONDCP propaganda ads you’ve seen are paid for with your tax dollars. The ad campaign costs citizens $200 million annually. Also, the big media moguls are in bed with the ONDCP by providing 2:1 matching ads!!
    NORML’s annual budget is usually around $800,000.
    Self-evidently, NORML (or any drug law reform group) is not going to be able mount a counter ad campaign against the govt. on TV, radio, print, billboards and Internet ads.
    However, you’re the key to stopping this madness because it is your tax dollars that are conducting this rank anti-marijuana propaganda.
    If you think, as NORML does, that the ads are a terrible waste of time and money, PLEASE, contact your elected reps. in Congress and express your opposition to these stupid ads!!!
    Contact them via: http://capwiz.com/norml2/home/
    Did you say you want to see NORML ads? That can only happen with your financial support.
    Please become a supporting member today and receive preferred access to NORML-related events or stay in touch by signing up for NORML’s ezine (found on the front page of http://www.norml.org) or by checking http://www.norml.org for daily updates.
    You can learn the many ways to support NORML/NORML Foundation via:https://secure.norml.org/join/
    While you’re on our site, don’t forget to check the new animation from NORML, Sam’s Journey! http://www.norml.org/samsjourney.html
    >Where are they on Capitol Hill? With as many members that NORML >has, the government simply cannot ignore us any longer.
    Huh?! NORML’s staff and its members lobby Congress (and state/city legislatures) all of the time, and since 1970. Does your representatives in Congress/Senate support legalizing cannabis? Does your governor? Is that NORML’s fault or their constituent’s like you for not holding their feet to the fire on the failure and expense of pot prohibition?
    >Another question I have for NORML is when are they going to demand >that it be placed on the ballots for we the people to vote on?
    OK…you must be new to cannabis law reform as 12 states have already voted for cannabis law reforms. Over 100 million citizens live in states where cannabis law reform has already occured because of the efforts of groups like NORML (and the ACLU, DPA, etc…).
    Only 24 states allow for binding voter initiatives…in many states the cost of placing and championing a statewide ballot initiative can readily cost between $1-$3 million for ‘small’ states and $3-$7 million in large states (ie, FL, CA, NY, TX, PA, etc…).
    BTW…the US Constitution does allow for national ballots save for the election of the President.
    >Surely with the membership base that NORML has, it is inconceivable >that they could not make enough noise to have the measure placed >on a ballot that we the people can vote on in private just as we do for >any election.
    How many members do you think NORML has?
    One can total all of the up-to-date dues paying members of all drug policy reform groups and the list will not likely be more than 50,000. NORML currently has approx, 14,000 members (its largest membership count to date).
    Your perception of how many citizens are members of drug policy reform group does not comport with the relatively low number of US citizens who are actual, dues-paying members of drug policy reform groups.
    >I have to question the motives of NORML anymore. This is a group >that is made up of experts, lawyers, professors, etc., all of whom are >highly respected in the beltway for their opinions and >accomplishments, yet we still don’t have the right to vote on it >ourselves as the people that make up the country. We elect our >officials to speak for us and they are ignoring our voices and it is >high time that we move past our elected officials and move to an >offensive attack on the governments policies and our right to choose >what we decide to or not to put into our bodies.
    I’m confused why you question NORML’s motives as I don’t think you can find a more upfront and transparent cannabis law reform group than NORML. It took the NAACP 40 years to finally win a chink in the armor of Jim Crow laws in Brown v Board of Education, and it should be no surprise that after 71 years of a government-created and fostered prohibition of cannabis that the effort to reform the laws are hard and expensive.
    But that is no reason in my view to attack NORML’s 38-years of credible and responsible pro-cannabis law reform advocacy.
    Again, go meet with your elected reps in the House and Senate…and see how they respond to your requests/demands to legalize cannabis.
    Then you’ll better understand why it has taken 38 years to get this far, and why it will be a number of years before cannabis legal for adult use.
    >Get off your asses NORML…it’s time for our voices to be heard, >otherwise the group is useless and the members are simply paying >membership fees for nothing. It almost seems as we are in the same >battle with NORML that we are with the government. We are the >people and we should control the country, not some morons in >Washington who continue to line their pockets with lobbyist monies. I >love you, I support you, but I must question what you are really doing >about helping us to achieve our goal to decriminalize marijuana and >not just for medicinal purposes either. When are you going to take >this battle to the mainstream media and combat the naysayers who >feel that they know better than we do regarding what is best for us.
    First of all…who is ‘we’ or ‘us’…your post to NORML’s blog and representations are yours alone. Who specifically are you purporting to represent in your post? Are you officially representing an organized group in your post? Which one?
    If YOU truly “love” NORML then the organization can use your genuine help, not your uninformed insults.
    What pray tell have you ever done specifically to legalize cannabis in your lifetime that allows you to be so critical and insulting of NORML’s longstanding reforms?
    Thanks again for your interest and support!
    -Allen @ NORML
    Save the date! The next NORML conference is october 17-19 in Berkeley. You can find more details by going to our website or clicking on http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7626
    -Top ten NORML-related links you need to know about-
    1) NORML’s newly released Truth Report:
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5513
    2) NORML’s state-by-state law guide:
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4516
    3) Support cannabis reform by purchasing NORML-related apparel and other do-dads:
    NORML’s large online store:
    http://www.cafepress.com/norml
    Merchandise directly from NORML:
    https://secure.norml.org/
    4) Cannabis law reform is best achieved first at the local level, which then leads to changes in federal laws. Are you a supporter of YOUR local NORML chapter?
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3421
    5) With a cannabis-related arrest every 42 seconds in the U.S., cannabis consumers and their loved ones need competent legal representation. Since 1970, NORML has helped the victims of cannabis prohibition by directing them to NORML members who’re criminal defense lawyers in their state. For more information about NORML’s National Legal Committee (NLC), please check out:
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3445
    6) For medical cannabis info, please checkout:
    NORML’s medical cannabis page: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3376
    NORML medical cannabis reports: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3472
    NORML’s medical cannabis links: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6245
    7) Cannabis prohibition will only come to an end when cannabis consumers and concerned citizens join together to educate and lobby their elected policy-makers.
    NORML’s made it easy to communicate with elected officials and local media: http://capwiz.com/norml2/home/
    8) Over 50% of the U.S. workforce is subject to drug testing. Need to know more? NORML’s Drug Testing section:
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3406
    NORML’s Links on Drug Testing: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6242
    9) Health effects and cannabis use information:
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3471
    10) Reports on Public Effects of Decriminalization of Cannabis: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4412

  30. It’s time to reinforce the position of personal freedom and liberty that this country was founded on; responsible Cannabis use shouldn’t be any more illegal than responsible Budweiser use.
    More government = less freedom
    Libertarian = More Freedom AND Less Government

  31. aan de heer Stroup:
    You all at NORML are doing a great job, considering what we are up against. Maybe you are already doing a lot of stuff on YouTube to come up with your own and alos have anonymously made videos that are pro marijuana…and also some that refute all the prohibitionist dreck as possible. Just having NORML videos that people can create links for to YouTube from their MySpace, FaceBook, and whatever web pages they want would be good. Like I’d love to see these different political emails ciruculated by surrogates or the general public have links embedded. I get alot of forwards that have to do with McCain and Obama mainly, so if we could get mass circulation of links in with those as commentary or just there and then forward, forward, forward the things, maybe the mainstream sycophantic media whores will help out with a momentum boost, however long it might be sustained.
    Also, I hear alot of university presidents are calling for a lowering of the drinking age, and read an article on AlterNet about how many people die of alcohol poisoning per annum versus zero number of people who die from cannabis poisoning…not to be confused with getting killed in a car accident because driving while high or something.
    I’d like these university presidents also to call on our prohibitionist rulers to legalize marijuana so as to have young people shift from binge drinking to pot. Some people do both, but part of the public educational process is to urge them to do something less harmful, engage in less harmful behavior.
    I’m expecting the pro agitprop to start happening to counter the prohibitionist agitprop.
    Yes, I am a member or NORML and other pro cannabis reform groups, and have been for well over a decade.

  32. Lyn said above: >agree with ed and zoe. and let’s not forget that growers should be called farmers (and citizens). emphasize that assets are being taken from farmers (or rural people, rural economies, rural communities) and being given to the federal government and also to foreign interests who profit off this trade. a lot of rural communities are so desperate for cash that they’ll take a new prison — this means they’re open to new options.
    Lyn makes a great point. If you are a responsible cannabis consumer you live under the threat of incarceration, asset forfeiture (state/fed governments will take your money, your house, your land), humiliation, loss of your job, disproportionate sentencing, a criminal record forever, the loss of your most basic right as a citizen — the right to vote.
    I know from experience what being “busted” does to you. If anything positive has come out of my experience, I’d have to say it was that it got me involved in the reform movement. Thanks to the good and generous people at NORML and MPP – Marijuana Policy Project – I had someplace to turn.
    It’s easy to ignore an issue when it doesn’t bother you…you go on growing/smoking and as long as you keep your head down and don’t make a fuss about the the insanity that is the criminalization of a plant, you figure nothing’s going to happen to you and it’ll never be legal so why even bother?
    And then something DOES happen to you and you get hauled away in cuffs and it finally clicks — you’re no longer in a vacuum of isolation. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. Get informed and get involved before it does.
    Thank you Mr. St. Pierre and all at NORML, for your organization, for your dedication, and for this site and its wealth of information and community spirit.

  33. I am not someone who ever really enjoyed smoking cannabis, though I have done so more than a few times in the past, but I have known many people, some highly respected professionals in there respective fields, who enjoy smoking to relax, usually in place of alcohol because they like not loosing control the way alcohol makes them. As someone who has in the past used many different drugs (not any longer) I can say from experiance that pot has no place being regulated in the same way as heroin or cocaine is, because they are most defidentally not the same thing. Evenm though I will not be using cannabis in the forseeable future myself, i do fully support legalization. After all, it seems to me that for living in what is supposed to be a “Free Country” there are an awfull lot of restricted controlled and banned activities, plants, chemicals, products, services, ect. Where exactly does the “free” come into play?

  34. i like how they talk about how we give money to criminals to buy marijuana when that’s one of the reasons why it SHOULD be legal. we don’t want to be giving money to criminals. if it was legal, we would be using the money spent on marijuana to fix our economy which is rapidly falling.

  35. I agree with a lot of these comments, if we have an economy for marijuana in our country it can put the powerful, violent drug dealers out of business and replace them with helpful things in our country such as a stimulated economy and more jobs.

  36. first of all marijuana is a fucking PLANT, that suddenly on the females, grow bud. its not a fucking drug. why cant they see it. yes smoking can cause harmful things to you but even not as bad as tobacco use. it all shood be legal except the real drugs like cocaine and heroin. drinking doesnt cause you to act happy. it causes you to fist fight and get anger. what si this world coming to. the government just doesnt know

  37. BusGreg – Comment 15 …..wow.
    On medicinal uses we could add – The Scientific American Mind April 2007 issue “Staving off dementia” article about Scripps Research Institutes Alzheimers studies.
    The article was also interesting because “Big Brother” had intended for them to develop a “marijuana vaccine’.
    Never mind how such a vaccine which had to target THC would had precluded the later use of Marinol if a subject got cancer, might’ve adversely impacted our own cannabinoid systems, and wreaked goodness knows what else.
    Amusingly, instead of a vaccine to help the drug warriors stop heads from getting high, they ended up finding how pot stopped alzheimers and practically stated that someone at risk might even want to take a puff or two!! It was great.
    Tangentially, if an mj dispensary is in a California State, County, or City owned property, are the feds gonna threaten to seize THAT property?

  38. Does anyone else think that the ‘War on Drugs” was just an advertisment campaign for illegal drugs. I mean, none of us would have even heard of marijuana or any other illegal drug if it hadn’t been for the drug war.

  39. A good fact finding movie is Totally Baked. Stupid plot but the facts are convincing. Marijuanna should be legal. I have been passing around the letter that I wrote to my congressman and showing people how they can be a part. And get this. My congressman, Fortenberry or however you spell it, told me that he does not agree with anything in the letter. Who in congress would. If 90% of Americans wanted weed to be legal would the government listen? I watched a documentary on some tv channel and it said upward to 75% of people agreed that there was a need for medical marijuanna. We are just in a communist nation. This is NOT the home of the free thanks to ignorant people in power.

  40. I’m a single mom and have smoked for 25 years. I recently had to stop. I have a good job and am working my way up to a tech. Which means I could get hurt, and I can’t afford an 18 month probation period if I get hurt and have to take a drug test. I never smoke in front of my kids, never came into work high, and I’m not real big on drinking.
    Yet people can go to work, and drive, taking prescription meds that will knock you for a loop and it’s legal and okay. And the side effects some of these approved drugs, wow, pretty scary.
    They advertise all over magazines and television, any possible thing that ails you, theirs a drug for it.
    All FDA approved.
    Yet, I can’t come home put the kids to bed and smoke responsibley. Thank You NORMl for fighting for us.

  41. I took this from Stop The Drug War’s website:
    Most people know that the “drug czar” — the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) — is an advocate for the government position regarding the drug war. But not everyone knows that he and his office are mandated to tell lies as part of their Congressional authorization.
    According to Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: H11225:
    Responsibilities. –The Director– […]
    (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that–
    is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
    has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;
    Now, let’s take as a simple example, the issue of medical marijuana. If the government finds that marijuana Has “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” or “accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision,” then by law, marijuana cannot remain in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, which would immediately legalize it for medical purposes.
    But by law, the drug czar must oppose any attempt to legalize the use (in any form).
    Therefore, despite the fact that there is extensive evidence of medical marijuana’s safety and effectiveness (including the fact that even the federal government supplies it to patients), and clearly the drug czar would know about all this information, he is required by law to lie about it.
    The job description also means that since he must oppose any attempt to legalize, he has no choice but declare that the drug war is working, that legalization would fail, etc., regardless of any… facts.
    On April 2, 2003, Congressman Ron Paul wrote a letter to the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) asking for an investigation into ONDCP lobbying activities and their dissemination of “misleading information” (a polite euphemism for “lying”)
    The GAO responded (pdf):
    Finally, apart from considerations of whether any particular law has been violated, you have asked whether the Deputy Director’s letter disseminated misleading information in connection with statements relating to the debate over legalization of marijuana. […]
    ONDCP is specifically charged with the responsibility for “taking such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use” of certain controlled substances such as marijuana — a responsibility which logically could include the making of advocacy statements in opposition to legalization efforts. The Deputy Director’s statements about marijuana are thus within the statutory role assigned to ONDCP. Given this role, we do not see a need to examine the accuracy of the Deputy Director’s individual statements in detail.
    Translation: Since lying is in the job description of the ONDCP, there’s no point in bothering to see whether they’re telling the truth.
    Keep in mind that this requirement to avoid the truth if it interferes with the mission of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is not limited to the current drug czar, John Walters.
    The next drug czar, even if appointed by a President who tepidly supports certain reform measures, will be constrained by the same job description defined by Congress.
    (One may also wonder, of course, if the nature of the job attracts the type of person who perversely enjoys the power of lying to the country.)
    Turning this travesty around requires more than the right person for the job. The offending phrases must be struck from the authorizing language (or perhaps a future President will simply not bother to appoint a new czar).
    Given the frequency that the drug czar is quoted in the press, either much of the media is not aware that he and his staff are required to lie, or they simply feel obligated to print what they say despite the falsehoods.
    After all, don’t all politicians lie some of the time? Yes, but who else is actually required to do so by law?

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