America Desperately Needs A 21st Century Update Of The Shafer Commission

– Senators McCain and Obama:
If elected, will you create a Presidential Commission to study marijuana—its Prohibition, Budgetary, Social, and Health effects, and to make recommendations for marijuana law reform?
By George Rohrbacher, NORML Board Member
Federal law prohibiting marijuana dates from 1937. The Marijuana Tax Stamp Act was debated on the floor of the House of Representatives for just over a minute and against the wishes of organizations such as the American Medical Association. Cannabis, as it was then known, was a component of at least 28 patent medicines made by industry leaders such as Merck, Eli Lilly, and Squibb. With the passage of this law, not only did the legal sale and possession of cannabis end, but all American research into medicinal use of marijuana ground to a halt, and even the ages-old knowledge of marijuana as a medicine went into deep remission.
Today there is a whole universe of information on the subject of marijuana that is brand-new since the Shafer Commission last studied marijuana in the 1970’s. The information then available lead Nixon’s own handpicked commission come to a surprising conclusion: they recommended no legal penalties for adults possessing up 100 grams of marijuana. Nixon freaked out, flew into a rage, canceled print runs of the report, and refusing to read the document, he buried the Shafer Commission’s recommendations. Tricky Dick did exactly the opposite and started America’s full-scale War on ‘Weed’, instead. And now forty years later, the War on Pot continues to grind on, getting larger with each passing year. After hundreds of billions of dollars expended, after millions of people arrested, is it not time we studied marijuana again? Because, by every measure available, America’s current approach to marijuana has failed—and, in the words of former-President Jimmy Carter, it is “…doing more harm than good.”
Here are 8 pressing reasons why a Presidential Commission on marijuana is needed now:
1) By October 10, 2008, America will have recorded its 20-millionth marijuana arrest, with people of color and the young arrested in disproportionately large numbers. It is time for a re-assessment of marijuana policy, plain and simple.
2) In addition to the pain and suffering visited by these millions of arrests on “we-the-people”, our government expends about $25 billion annually on its pot prohibition efforts, funds that should be expended elsewhere in the budget.
3) In addition to huge costs on expense side, we lose billions in taxation revenue, as well. Because, despite all government efforts to eradicate it, America’s vast underground marijuana market continues on, just as it has for the last seventy years, creating crime where there need be none, churning out billions and billions of dollars in untaxed and unregulated commerce. A tax and regulate posture as a method of control, verses the ‘no control/out of control’ situation we have today where kids can get marijuana more easily than beer—which alternative should America choose?
4) Marijuana use and purchase has been legal for the last 30 years in The Netherlands. This is the world’s great marijuana legalization experiment—and proof positive that a modern society will not collapse when pot becomes legal. Holland’s tightly regulated cannabis sales have created enormous tax revenues, while at the same time, usage rates for Holland’s teens continues to remain at just half of the usage rates of America’s teens even under our draconian prohibition model.
5) There are more than a dozen states over the last dozen years (covering about 1/5 of the US population) that have passed medical marijuana laws, mostly by voter initiative. ‘We-The-People’ created America’s state-by-state crazy quilt of medical marijuana laws, now what have ‘we’ learned from these experiments?
6) The modern use of cannabis/cannabinoids as medicine, buttressed now by 17,000 scientific studies, validates humanity’s medicinal use of cannabis that has been going on for as long as recorded history. In any rational world, a non-toxic, useful drug like cannabis would have been re-scheduled long ago by the federal government from Schedule I, where it now resides with heroin, to Schedule III with most prescription drugs, or lower.
Why have the vested interests blocked cannabis from being rescheduled?
7) On 10/07/03 America’s own Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received US Patent #6630507 for the use of marijuana’s active ingredients under the title, “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuro-protectants.” While HHS filed and supported this application, at the very same time, in other executive-branch Cabinet-level offices, at the ONDCP and the DEA, their legislative charters direct them to fight all use of marijuana as a medicine (the charters contain no standards to correct this prohibitionist posture if marijuana is shown scientifically to be useful as medicine). Either the HHS or the DEA/ONDCP must be wrong.
8.) A Presidential Commission hearing on the subject of marijuana law reform is a necessary exercise in government bureaucracy oversight, and is simply good government.
America, after our 20-millionth marijuana arrest—is that amount of human wreckage not enough? How much longer must our government pursue its failed policy of marijuana prohibition?
Presidential candidates McCain and Obama, show some guts, show some leadership and take the pledge: when you are elected, you will form a Presidential Commission via the National Academy of Sciences, or a like objective review body, to study marijuana.
NOTE: Now, all you fellow voters out there in Blog-ville: Help me out with this.
Help America!
The Shafer Commission needs a 21st Century update. Does anybody think we need 10 or 20-million more marijuana arrests before Congress and the White House wakes up and changes our failed marijuana policies?
The Supreme Court has told us repeatedly not to expect a judicial ruling to fix this social disaster; the change, the correction, must come legislatively. Well, 20-million marijuana arrests is enough and a Presidential Commission is what’s needed at the onset of the next president’s tenure to provide the political cover and scientific validation for members of Congress to find the guts to take the votes needed to reform this sorry mess after 70 long, shameful, and pathetic years.
America eventually found the guts to end slavery, a social institution in place for over 200 years, evil and vile in its consequences but fiercely protected by special interests, even state governments; America can find the guts to end marijuana prohibition.

0 thoughts

  1. All I am saying, is GIVE WEED A CHANCE……
    With the collapse of the economy can we NOW give cannabis a chance? We are pulling food crops out of the food chain to make fuel. If we legalize cannabis in all its forms we would get: 1.The worlds most use full medicine, 2.Fuel (both ethanol and bio diesel), 3. food (we could put the corn and soy used for fuel back into the food production pool, as well as add a new source of protein high in omega 3 and omega 6..hemp seed), 4. a cleaner softer fabric that last 10 times longer, 5. paper products, and 6.cosmetics, 7.lastly we could tax and sell cannabis for recreational use.
    Between those 7 uses, and there are hundreds more, we could pay for the bail out and have plenty left over over the course of time to pay for hundreds of social programs that are underfunded by the federal government now, like Social Security. We might even be able over time to pay for universal health care with the taxes raised from legal cannabis.
    The time is now.

  2. I pray to God this country will wake up and stop
    it’s endless assault on responsible cannabis users.
    How many studies, research projects, comissions will it take to get the point across.Cannabis is not the “evil” the leaders of this country want you to beleive. If any substance should be banned from use
    let start with our 2 major killers – alcohol and tobacco.

  3. Well said again. On number 5, if we had a standard set of laws and regulations this wouldn’t happen. It would be the same everywhere. I just can’t believe that industrial hemp was kicked out of our economy by the corporate greedsters. It is so self-defeating especially with talks of energy independence.

  4. This is a great article, and as I’ve done with all your other great articles, NORML, I’ll forward it directly to my facebook account. I absolutely love the fact that with one click I can do that, thanks to the brilliant minds at NORML!

  5. this is a very well put together presentation; i believe if you showed that to the president and had a copy leak to the news, the president would have to start a commission because all of the facts are there, and its easy to understand.
    good work. if there’s ever going to be a change in the laws, we need more stuff like this

  6. Dear NORML,
    My yahoo freemail doesn’t work well, so I’m using a comment blog to bring a misleading ( lie filled ) news submissions from Michigan to your attention.
    It’s laughable with its “inaccuracies”. There are only a few(?) dispensaries in California thanks to the DEA. “Drug use has exploded since they okayed medical pot.” Etc. etc.
    Diversion happens with prescribed drugs, but we shouldn’t stop prescribing them ( well, many have ) because a small percent are diverted. Nor should we not allow the use of pot and let many suffer because some of it MIGHT get diverted.
    For that matter, isn’t it about time someone with a little sense ( besides reformers ) started realizing that arresting and punishing almost a million ( many people rat and get let go ) people every year just because doing otherwise might be some slippery slope and send a wrong message is unjust and inhumane?? IF 1000 people a year started smoking pot but a million didn’t have their lives messed up, so what? The needs of the many should be more important. Decriminalizing isn’t going to cause a 1000 a year to do so though.
    Thanks for your efforts. Sorry if this is a waste of your time/blog space.

  7. Mark,
    You hit the nail on the head. I too feel this could sure help right our country. Start a new tax base, put farmers back to growing a wonderful crop, create jobs manufacturing the 25,000 green products. It’s a real travisity and injustice that the country’s biased media will not report any of the info we read about daily thru NORML. Since the big media is scared the small local papers will not print many or any of the new information or editorials they receive.
    We must continue to put the word out by making the public aware of the real facts. I talk about it daily to anyone that will listen, and I have to admit most people have no idea of the benefits of the plant. I have found that most people favor some forms of legalization. We must also call our Reps in Washington, I try to give most people a card with their names and contact numbers.I think HR5842, & HR5843 are a step in the right direction, unfortunately they still leave all the money in the wrong hands, so LEGALIZATION is really the only way to go. Remember You got to feed the monkey to watch him sh-t.

  8. I just don’t understand why so many people feel they have to control others lives. Even when shown the basis for their wrongheaded approach is unfounded they try to ignore it even cover it up.
    I think this must be the difference between ignorance and stupidity.

  9. Like Obama says ” Its time for a change!” We do and I think its time to stop spending billions on trying to stop Marijuana use. The DEA needs to focus on the real harmful things like pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco, the man made drugs!!! Marijuana could be used in so many ways in its hemp form and that’s the resource we need for fuels, meds, paper, clothes, etc. etc. etc. Maybe then we could revers the effect of global warming. GET THE FACTS!!!

  10. Outstanding article! Thank you. It is definitely time to demand a full public discourse, and have a sincere (and long overdue) non-ideological legislative review of cannabis and our current laws.
    I am beginning by writing to my senators and congress member, and to my local newspapers. I encourage everyone to do the same.


  12. Let the people decide. I’d rather the heroes in this video decide rather than the villians. Check it out, Ron Paul, WWE’s Kane, NORML, Keith Stroup, High Times, Danny Danko, Graveyard BBQ, Danny Danko, and a lot more….Yes on Question 2 in MA. To many greats to list and just over 4 minutes and 20 seconds long. Light one up.

  13. our country is in need of sooooo much REAL change. we are so mired in old govt and old ways of doing things. we must be more thoughtfully progressive in order for this country to survive and move forward. elimimating this insane prohibition is a BIG thing. it would effectively change our law enforcement and court system. it is change that the old gaurd fears. loss of revenue is at the pinnacle of their fears. end of prohibition could actually feed our economy. not only that it would eliminate so much stress of being a law abiding citizen in every way but being a pot smoker and law breaker.

  14. If they do commission another study I hope it does more good then the others. I’m not holding my breath though. The government buried The La Guardia Committee Report. They buried the Shafer report. All they have to say is “Just think of the children” and somehow all the reports and science are forgotten. Remember folks, it takes a village.

  15. Since there are now so many people in their forties who used to smoke marijuana when they were younger but who gave up solely because they now have kids and the costs of getting caught are too great for them, it seems that these people could be targeted to join a new group consisting exclusively of non-smokers who oppose the prohibition.
    Since these people don’t smoke marijuana (and therefore presumably live law-abiding lives) and are parents, this makes them a very powerful group in society.
    When non-smoking parents loudly call on Congress to end the prohibition and replace it with the same laws controlling alcohol, legislators *will* take note. This could become a very powerful group if well organized and utilized.
    Maybe an appropriate name could be “Nonsmokers for Legalization” or something suitable??

  16. What we need is a national push action that will end this greed motivated war on us. Every day I hear of more and more young people put through the legal ringer and forced into rehab also given a criminal record and forced to pay probation for a harmless weed. It is the dumbest thing among many our government forces on us. Our representatives sworn to represent us vote in favor of the corporations every time to insure the people making money on the war keep making money. While we the American people are enslaved for pure greed. We must do something to end this madness against the people of this so called free country.
    CFH aka SOM

  17. I belong and contribute to several MJ reform groups. It is time to pull together and do something to end the War on US. I am tired all the years all the money wasted all the people that have had their lives ruined and property stolen to protect us? Our so called leaders are out of control we need a major push sue the government and our representatives for taxation without representation!!
    CFH aka SOM

  18. The so-called legal drugs that millions take ever day oxecodine, valluiem, codeine, vikadin, and many other are derived for the so called illegal drugs. They are stronger more addictive and harder on your body. Our leaders have voted to make these legal and allow the drug companies to charge what ever they wish 1000% mark up on some drugs. You can get opium and other synthetic drugs and they are working on a THC pill but we are still jailed for growing a weed. The legal drug pushers, in my town there is a drug store on ever corner just like your town, want you to only have access to the drugs that bring them billions every year. They are afraid if you could grow a weed that would replace 80% of the drugs they push they would lose billions. Our leaders are bought and paid for why else would they spend 100 billion a year and put 875,000 non-violent drug users with no prior legal problem in jail for using a weed? Even in states where the majority of voters have spoken and voted it legal the FEDS will still put you in jail, why pure greed! While millions take drugs ever day these so-called legal drugs kill 500,000 a year weed, grass, smoke, MJ, marijuana in all recorded history has killed not one person. Yet our so-called leaders continue to lie and enslave us for its use. It is time to stop this travesty against every Grown American that should have the freedom to decide for themselves what works and does not work for them. We are not children (I am 60) we are the estimated 75% of free thinking Americans that say end the War on US (drugs) stop wasting 100 billion ever year let the 2 million in jail out and repair their lives by removing the felony records so they can get a job. Allow our people to live in peace as they were doing before you put them in jail and ruined their lives for greed!
    Cherokee Fred Hussein aka Stupid old man research

  19. Young people today are confused while our society pushes drugs like liquor which kills 500,000 ever year is addictive it is legal and sold everywhere. Through use they see marijuana is not addictive kills no one and does less damage to your body yet it is illegal. Its all about money if we make greed and power hungry people illegal what a better world we would have!!
    People that make the wise choice of using MJ instead of liquor I salute your wisdom to see through the lies. Liquor killed my father and grandfather MJ has only helped never in history has it killed anyone!!
    Now we need your help become active in ending the
    War On US (drugs) end the greed behind this war do all you can to take control of our country away from the corporations. They control our very lives ruining them at will with no compassion. The only thing these people understand is money and power. Please help 870,000 good non-violent MJ loving people were jailed last year. I hear their cries we can wait no longer we demand justice now! Think if it were you or someone you loved in jail being tormented and raped would you feel the pressure to help them? Stop enslaving flower power people let the MJ people live in peace that is all they demand!! That is all they want you assholes!
    Cherokee Fred Hussien aka Stupid old man

  20. Don’t need no mo stinkin’ studies.
    We gots what really counts- Anecdotal Evidence!
    Never under-estimate the power of anecdotal evidence.
    Politicians sure don’t.
    It is what gets them elected to office.
    Word-of-mouth-personal-people-recommendation is the powerful “evidence” that sways people to pull the lever or punch the ballot to get so&so elected.
    This anecdotal evidence or the voice of the people is what politicians rely on as the critical factor to get them in and keep them in office.
    Politicians had better hope that no scientific studies are ever performed on them, because if they do ever come under that kind of intense scrutiny, most of them will be toast, burnt toast!
    But what the hay, if TPTB don’t use the already existing studies on cannabis, like the Shafer Commission Study, then go aheah and launch another study, because if it conducted honestly, without agenda, then cannabis will be EXONERATED everytime.

  21. We need to rise up and do someting about this ongoing epidemic the government likes to call the drug war. all it’s doing is hurting us as a nation. If someone reads this and can give me some information on where to write a letter to a representative in Missouri or some other way that i can help end prohibition in my own small way it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you NORML you guys have helped me win so many arguments and you have great information i just wish there were more like us that spoke out.

  22. Why is marijuana schedule 1? i thought it coulnt be since it does have a medical use? if anyone knows please msg back..

  23. Joseph, its because the FDA has not yet “approved” it as a medicine, but this is because the DEA blocks the neccesary studies to change the Schedule from 1 to 3 or lower, where it should be.

  24. If I hear that MJ is a “gateway” drug one more time…Geez how dumb are these people? Well…maybe they have a point… I once ate nearly a gsllon of ice cream after partaking

  25. This blog post was so incredible, that I just had to blog about it! I agree with the first comment here, for we could actually save the whole world with this one single plant! It’s time for it to be legalized, or atleast rescheduled.

  26. I’m a teacher who smokes and grows. I fear being arrested everyday. I cannot begin to express the love I have for my job. I look forward to work everyday. When I walk in my class my fifth graders are excited to see me and their parents commend my efforts.
    My same community would implode on me and my wife if they knew that we grow and use marijuana. The use of marijuana as an ends to a medically sick soul are obvious to me. After all, my soul was sick not very long ago. I was a businessman on the rise and ready to destroy my competition. I was brutal. I could destroy a person without blinking an eye, but I couldn’t sleep. I could never sleep. I lived nap-to-nap. Then I began smoking weed again, something I hadn’t done in nearly a decade. I realized then that I was spiritually sick and that I’d found something to aid me, not cure – but aid, in a way of life that would feel right.
    I’m really doing some neat things in education right now and I’d love to show them to you. If our society got honest with themselves and admitted that we need a spiritual shot in the arm, not a new religion or philosophy, but a new spiritual reality, I could show you even more amazing things kids are capable of. They understand that we need it right now! It’s the adults who have forgotten it.
    Socially, I don’t know if people are ready for the shot though. I think if my community ever got wind of my life, then I’d be hung out to dry. I don’t think my teaching would matter. I think I’d go from visionary to insane.
    I think if I had the chance to ask Obama or McCain if I belonged in jail they would both tell me that I do, but it would have nothing to do with laws. They’d tell me the same thing that politicians have told the wrong race, the wrong sex and the wrong sexual preference for years: You belong in jail because you won’t hide your skeletons like normal people do.
    I don’t know why I bothered you tonight. It probably has something to do with my being rather high. Someone needs to shatter the matrix…who is it going to be? I’m too busy on the internet complaining about life to do something to fix it.

  27. the new president may support our cause, but even so, with so many other impending crises…we would fall way too low on the priority list.
    I know we should be higher…but we’re not. no pun intended.

  28. With weed I can hear each style of music for what it is, otherwise I tend to like my favorites.
    In this way, it is literally mind expanding. Why should anyone tell me I can’t think this?

  29. I just found this site today, first of all. And WOW i am glad i did. I have been reading this blog and i learned a lot from all of u. I have been sitting here thinking of what to say and i dont even know where to begin.
    I guess i will start by saying that i love weed, i smoke it EVERY day, and without it i have no idea how i would deal with the stress of life. I dont even enjoy drinking. And alcohol makes me do some really stupid shit i always regret. Anyway, I have never met anyone who has actually tried marijuana and not liked it.
    The Government fills peoples heads with such crazy ideas and they just believe it without even questioning or in this case giving pot a chance. I think that if we could get enough people to know the TRUTH the government is hiding from them then we as citizens can demand change.
    Lastly i just want to say that i go to work, my college classes, and just about everywhere high if i can help it. And the myth that weed makes u stupid is such bullshit (i am on the deans list). And nobody even realizes it, they just think im a happy person. Which for the most part i am, thanks to weed a lot of the time. it doesnt madder whats bothering me, weed can always lift my spirits. So light up friends and rock on.

  30. My belief on this matter is that we do not need to remake a good report. Updating would be fine, but it to be acknowledged. With a new president in command, he should take control and using executive privelege, simply abolish the Nixon rules, accept the original Shefer report, and let the medical communtiy set the standards on what drugs are truly dangerous. While he is at it, do we really need the DEA? Of course if that happened, we may lose another president to assasination. The neocons will not like it.

  31. The “WAR ON DRUGS” is laughable because of the obvious absurdity and incongruity. My bloodline to the “Wonderful Weed” runs deep. Only recently have I learned first hand what the so called “WAR ON DRUGS” is really about. I just recently got arrested and charged with possession. To make matters worse. They tacked on a DUI charge for good measure. I wasn’t even drunk!!! Now I’m having to jump through hoops that are set up for failure. I have to meet with a CRO every month ($25 monthly). I have to call up up daily to see if my color is called for a piss test ($25). My color is “RED”. I had to enroll in a treatment class which I have to attend every Tuesday night ($50 initial fee. $20 book fee. $32 per class for a year.) My license has been suspended for 365 days. I’ve paid well over $2,000 dollars to the so called probation office. I paid $500 to a crooked lawyer. Who didn’t really care what happened. All this in my birthplace of ALABAMA. So there you have it folks. The good ole War on Drugs at work. Keeping people like me at bay. Ha! My problems may not be worse than some others, but they are senseless problems none the less. You know. This has only made me stronger in my beliefs for the legalization of marijuana. I will continue to toke until I die. I have full support of my family and my close confidants. I have always been open about my use. Now even more than before. So I say to you my fellow Americans. Are we going to sit here and depend on our so called government to lead the way? It hasn’t been working and it will not continue to work. We need to rise up and unite. A million to one. A million to one. How can you call it a “WAR”, when there is only one side fighting? You do the math. LOVE. HOPE. FAITH.

  32. Hey Joseph up above,
    I just got busted too, August 5Th. I’m 50 years old, a working single mother of two. Was hit head on by drunk driver spring 07,permanently disabled ankle. Grew 7 plants, ratted out by an old (real old) man I dated for 3 months last year, who obsessively has been stalking me, and doing what he can to hurt me…after HE left me, cause I smoke responsibly. (I’m quite sure of this, that he did it) Because I have an RV on property, that was an old school bus, a 1974, has bathroom, kitchen, buk beds etc. They are trying to charge me with the class A felony that I was growing within’ 2000 feet of school bus! It been 30 years since it was used for a school bus! It doesn’t even have an engine in it now!
    Anyway I can relate. I haven’t been in any trouble for 27 years, and not qualified for free legal help, my lawyer will be $1,500, which isn’t bad, I heard of another grower here that has paid out $14,000 already! I can see by your blog, that you got the “Drug Court”, I hate the idea of that program, but would rather do that then prison. Saw Lawyer yesterday, looks like a possibility. I joined NORML this am, bout time. So I can stop being a hypocrite.
    I intend to do whatever I can to help end this unjust prohibition. I don’t feel I did anything morally wrong, except break the (unjust)law. I have had Allen St.Pierre write me, and Don Viets, the man in charge of the Missouri NORML chapter, a lawyer. NORML people have been really nice, and helpful, supportive etc. I wouldn’t have thought they would have time for me! Nina

  33. @Joseph…
    Don’t feel too many $$$.Crunch these ##…50,000 restitution…25,000 attorney fee…and 10,000 to seal..oh yeah 2000 pro-b…Really “RED”…

  34. To #10 “Watch Zeitgeist the Movie”:
    Your answer is = Fear. This fear breeds the necessity for control over others. I, like you, do not understand this apparent “human nature” for the need for control. Its interesting you bring this up, because it stabbs at the heart of this problem. I have been giving this subject much contemplation over the last few years; so much thought, that I have begun a summary to write a book about it. So far, my only conclusion is that the more afraid a person is, the more control they need to exert on everyone else, whether the conciously know it or not.
    #12 for Jonathan:
    Yes, we do need to stop this maddness as you say. But, Obama also said “I am interested in punishing those who break the law.” This is word for word in one of his last campaign ads before the election. If he was referring to only cetain laws, then he should be more specific. To me, this mean he likes the current set of laws, and wishes to adhere to them. US laws are basd on a set of beleifs. US laws do not solely correlate to truth or fact, or even what is right or worng. If Obama stands for “real change”, then he would immediately use the bully pulpit of he presidency to give amnesty to the 30,000 to 40,000 non-violent drug offenders in this country – most of which are canabis users. But, I guess the Iraqi and Afghani people are more important than our own. I truly hope he does make a change.

  35. Legalise It!!!! we as people have suffered way to long under this old battle to prohibit weed and the results have only made life harder on normal pot smoking americans. It has caused massive job loss, unjustly arrests, and people to live in fear of the law wich was suppose to be a friend of the people not the enemy and all the while this sick and messed up government has enjoyed watching people who smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol die while they sit back and probably smoke a joint a laugh ( hypocrites) and what the government don’t realise is the fact that they are trying to fight a battle that can’t be won ’cause there more drugs in the world then people and not to mention every human in this world gets high in one way or another for us its weed that we choose for others its alcohol and for others its pills and i mean every pill ever made ’cause if we didn’t need to get high there would be no such thing as weed or alcohol or pills or anything else for that matter

  36. I hear the CIA and Blackwater are filling up the body bags coming from Afganistan and Iraq with Afgani Heroin. Does’nt this just seem like a repeat of what they admittedly did when we were in Vietnam? I also hear the streets in larger cities are ablaze with the stuff. They will turn around and use this against us to prevent the Legalization of weed.
    Big Changes are coming to this country. One Party looks the same as the other. Put your name where you will, but be certain that the Narcs stalk these pages.
    It may be 20 years before weed is legal, and by that time it will probably no longer be an issue. We will be smoking it anyway… just as we have all along. They can’t control it and they can’t tax it. Therein lies the problem. But rest asured… this too shall pass. Most of us will be long gone, but these are the facts.

  37. If pot were legal, here’s how much money would be injected into the economy:
    In 2000, there were 734,000 marijuana arrests. This amounts to about 10% of the “open” marijuana smoking population in the USA, probably less.
    By “open”, I mean those folks who are open about smoking pot, not “closet pot smokers” who keep it a secret from everyone else but their dealer because they fear losing their jobs.
    So, if there are 10 million pot smokers in the USA and the average pot smoker smokes 2 grams (2 joints) per day at a cost of about $7.00 per gram, this is what would happen:
    $14.00 per day X 365 days =$5,110.00 per year per person.
    That’s about $511 MILLION a year.
    Now you need coffeeshops to sell the weed, so you have to build them.
    Amsterdam, for example has 200-300 coffeeshops.
    It takes 4-8 people to build one house, or, in this case one coffeeshop. That’s 800-2,400 jobs created in one city.
    Then you need staff to run those shops. That takes 4 people per shop. That’s another 800-1,200 jobs created in one city.
    If only 2 cities in each of our 50 states had these coffeeshops, there would be 3,200 – 7,200 jobs created in each state. That means 160,000 – 360,000 jobs would be created nationwide.

  38. i went to and told them to appoint dr. ron paul as our new drug czar. then implement a national debate on medical marijuana. i told them there are 4 reasons marijuana isn’t legal…big alcohol, big tobacco, most certainly big pharmacy, and even more so..big government. it’s a prohibitionist war, it’s even unconstitutional,but big lawyers, politicians, and most certainly lobbyists will hold one of the greatest gifts to humanity hostage for there own pocketbooks. anyone can grow it, it could not be controlled. that’s the point, it could not be controlled. norml should take the ball and run, straight to, with all it’s members, with all the “we the people” submitting to the need to change our governments false war on marijuana. we can all hang together, or we’ll all hang separately.

  39. This is the time to reform marijuana laws.
    But how do we accomplish this?
    Has there ever been a conversation to have an UNofficial national vote to legalize marijuana? There would have to be many voting booths and media campaigns to promote it, but if there were millions of people voting to change marijuana laws then wouldn’t the presidency HAVE to form a new commission to investigate the subject of marijuana?
    An UNofficial vote across the nation wouldn’t require government support. NORML could then show Washington the results and ask the new administration to form a new commission to investigate marijuana legalization.
    -Here’s to change!

  40. Burn the Declaration of Independence! America is at a crossroads. While we celebrate the victory and the making of another infamous day in American history by electing the first African-American President our own ignorance restrains us from achieving greatness. The government needs to take a final unified stand on the legalization of marijuana. Is it, along with all of its marvelous natural byproducts illegal or not? If it is, then ban it. Ban it completely! Burn the Declaration of Independence and all other things hemp (it would be hypocritical to not). Remove its reference from history books, and teachings in schools. Afterall, we are already getting pretty good at that. Facts such as Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Franklin’s affiliation with it, the U.S. Army’s own involvement with the “Victory for Hemp” campaign during WWII, and the fact that the very sails on the ships that sailed our ancestors here were made with the same product. Make a wholehearted effort to allocate even more billions of dollars to finally thwart the production and use of marijuana in the United States once and for all. Institute capital punishment for anyone caught with it or near it. Create and fund an elite military branch dedicated to this sole task. Do whatever it takes to make it happen!
    On the other hand, if it should be legalized let’s do what we do best as Americans-let’s capitalize on it! Become the world supplier and be the best at it. California is already close. Eliminate wasteful, ineffective spending on the fight against it and take a fraction of that money to instead invest it on education and research. How far does this have to go? We are constantly trying to achieve the next great discovery of a sustainable and renewable product that is eco-friendly. How much more efficient a plant do we need to try to ‘discover’, I ask? It grows faster than most any tree, and is useful earlier, takes up less space, grows in a vast array of normally unusable conditions, is more recyclable, and it’s use over wood means there are more trees for oxygen production. And these are only a few of the things we have been able to determine through suspect research because its study is still considered controversial and all findings are immediately discarded as such. Aids the sick, helps the poor, is superior to cotton textiles and its production in many ways, is vastly nutritious, and these are merely a few of its many benefits. Who knows what potential lies within? Out of the 400 unidentifiable elements found in cannabis our government has decided to blindly focus its concern on just one-THC. Sure marijuana has its negative effects and potential for abuse, but what doesn’t? Alcohol (big business), tobacco (big business), pain medications (big business), even household glue and paint (big business) are being abused daily. How many deaths are linked to the above mentioned abuse? Now let me ask how many deaths occur from marijuana? Even the U.S. Drug Abuse Warning Network can’t cite a single case where marijuana alone was shown to cause an overdose death, ever.
    How many of those newly graduated chemistry majors out there do you think would be willing to make a name for themselves with the help of a government grant to be the next George Washington Carver of the marijuana plant? Hmm, wasn’t he an historical African-American as well? The only difference is that instead of just three hundred uses for peanuts there is a speculated potential of over 20,000 uses for hemp! Jimmy Carter understood the value of peanuts. George W. Bush can have his oil fields. We’ll take our chances with cannabis sativa. So much awareness is being generated about “Going Green” the term sort of begins to take on a new meaning now doesn’t it?
    Depression and stress/anxiety related medical conditions are skyrocketing every year to greater numbers. How many friends and family members have to go to jail or have to risk losing their already unsecure jobs? How many more people need to die because of illnesses we have no way to currently cure or treat? What’s the dollar figure we have to reach before we finally make a decision?
    This commentary has already gone longer than I intended so I will close with this thought. The space program has value but how far away from our own planet do we really need to get? Instead, shouldn’t we be focusing on the people living on this one? End starvation, create a healthcare program that actually works, help to eliminate poverty. Sort of sounds like what our forefathers had intended. Something like:
    “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation. We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”
    Or something similar to that if I remember correctly. While this consideration could perhaps be weighed a ‘light and transient cause’, it nonetheless is a valid and pressing issue that needs its due attention. So, Mr. President-elect, you are to be sworn to one of the most powerful and influential positions in the world, now what are you going do with it?
    Side note: the Declaration of Independence is noted as making up one-third of the Charters of FREEDOM, sharing its place with the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. The very plant that helped make the sails for the ships and subsequently the discovery of our own country possible and the fabric that retains the intent of our forefathers is now criminal, unlawful, illegitimate and unwelcome here. How’s that for irony?

  41. My Father died of cancer and I am HIV positive. Our lives could have been and may still be filled with less pain if the correct laws and amendments are made…

  42. Ya Ya lets do that : create 1 more commission.
    From a canadian citizen who in his lifetime saw two commissions created the Le Dain report and the senate committee report and who still cannot grow 6 pot plants in his backyard without fear of being arrested.Ya Ya neighbor commissions do work ! Keep the faith!

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