The Hill: Does Obama’s Pick Signal ‘Change’ At The Drug Czar’s Office?

NORML, like most drug law reform organizations, waited with bated breath to learn who President Obama would nominate as the nation’s next Drug Czar. We now know that Obama has named former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske for this position, and that he has accepted the President’s nomination.
Today, we join with many of our colleagues in expressing a cautious optimism that Mr. Kerlikowske will bring science and compassion to an office that, for far too long, has lacked either.
Why are we optimistic? As I explain in today’s edition of The Hill‘s influential Congress blog:

Does Obama’s Pick Signal ‘Change’ At The Drug Czar’s Office?

via The
[excerpt] On the positive side, Kerlikowske hails from Seattle — a city that has elected to make the enforcement of marijuana crimes cops’ ‘lowest priority.’ And although the police chief spoke out against the initiative effort — which passed with 58 percent of the vote in 2003 — he’s abided by the will of the people since then. Consequently, there are now fewer marijuana-related arrests in Seattle than in virtually any other major city in the United States.
At first glance, Kerlikowoske also appears to take a tolerant approach toward the medical use of marijuana. Since 1999, Washington state law has allowed for the possession, cultivation, and doctor supervised use of marijuana under state law. (Twelve additional U.S. States have similar laws.) Whereas Kerlikowske’s White House predecessor (John Walters) refused to even acknowledge that cannabis possessed even the slightest hint of therapeutic value, Seattle’s exiting police chief accepted the law and has made few, if any, efforts to undermine it.

It’s also worth mentioning that Seattle is home to the annual Seattle Hempfest, a several hundred thousand person gathering in Seattle’s Myrtle Edwards Park. Organizers of the event have consistently praised the attitudes of the city’s police force for treating the event’s attendees with the utmost respect and tolerance.
There are other reasons to believe that the nomination of Kerlikowske represents something more than just be politics as usual. NORML Board Members Dominic Holden, a Seattle native, and Norm Stamper — who served as Seattle Police Chief prior to Kerlikowske’s appointment in 2000 —  touch on many of these reasons here and here.
Of course, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As I wrote in The Hill, “Kerlikowske is first and foremost a cop. He’s served 36 years in law enforcement, and it would be foolish to assume that he will embrace the public’s desire to amend America’s antiquated and overly punitive pot policies with open arms.” Kerlikowske must also be approved by the members of the U.S. Senate, many of whom remain woefully unenlightened of the public’s demand for rational drug policies.
So here’s your chance to tell them. As I’ve written before, The Hill is widely read by lawmakers and by the mainstream media. That’s why NORML is asking you to take time today to comment on my latest editorial. Tell Congress that it is high time America confirms a Drug Czar who will demand reason before rhetoric, and who will put the interests of people before prisons.
President Barack Obama promised “change” inside the Beltway, and nowhere is change more sorely needed than in the Office of National Drug Control Policy. What changes would you like to see? Write The Hill and join the discussion.

0 thoughts

  1. I hope that we get the best Drug Czar that we can. If he is approved, I hope that he does a great job, but one can only have hope, but hope is a strong thing.
    Pot will be decriminalized before long.

  2. If everyone would please call and flood President Barack Obama’s own message line at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 and tell him we want him to REPEAL our Federal marijuana/hemp laws now, every day until our Federal Gov. Repeals all marijuana/hemp laws, then “We the people’s voices will be finally heard loud and clear! Copy this and pass it along! MAKE A DIFFERENCE! CALL

  3. Obama urged our people to follow Lincoln’s example today on his 200th birthday. Let us pray that he practices what he preaches.
    “Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
    -Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) U.S. President.
    Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives

  4. I hope this guy can make a difference. At the very, very least, Obama did say that the raids on dispensaries will end. A baby step in the right direction is still a step.
    I also hope the results of the ad contest are up soon, I’m going crazy with anticipation!

  5. I am asking Gil Kerlikowske to do the honorable and courageous thing and call off the DEA. Stop the assault on American citizens by the federal government in states where cannabis has been legalized for medicinal and industrial use. Then work with our President to end cannabis prohibition all together. We need to be able to utilize this plant now for food, fuel and fiber, as well as remove the criminal penalties for recreational and medicinal use.Ending prohibition now frees this plant to be used to the fullest extent of it’s capabilities which are endless.

  6. We do not legislate,scuba diving,sking,raceing,roofing,or 1000s of other potential dangerous things.The goverment is protecting the incomes of criminals and foreign countrys,at the expense of our citezens rights to choice.

  7. I am a Vietnam Veteran who has suffered a majority of my life with Severe Chronic Pain from a back injury suffered during time Serving Our Country I presently have 7 Screws 5 Rods and 2 Connectors holding my back together and I have been on heavy Narcotics a majority of the time to help control the Chronic Pain I’m in 24/7. A friend of my recommended I try Marijuana as an adjunct and It really helped me and the quality of my life was considerably better for the short time that I used The Marijuana along with the stronger Morphine that I had been taking to help control my pain. So I Would Like To Urge President Obama To Make Medical Marijuana Legal like 13 other states have already done and our government is already receiving Taxes on it’s sale and This is ALL MEDICALLY PRESCRIBED BY YOUR DOCTOR Just like any medication. Please Mr OBAMA consider the pain your Grandmother Suffered If You Could Have Eased It Even For A Short While I’m Sure You Would Have, So Please Sir Consider Us Whom Suffer Daily With Chronic Pain What A great benefit for us who our doctors feel that could benefit from it’s treatment to have access to the Medical Marijuana. It will benefit millions of americans who suffer like I do, Improve the quality of their lives and financially benefit the government by garnishing taxes from it’s sale the money returned to our government would be in the BILLIONS of dollars, Just think how much that could benefit the american people.

  8. Below is quite possibly the single most Pro-Cannabis “Hope for a brighter future” song out there.
    If there is, I haven’t heard it.
    Artist: Kottonmouth Kings lyrics
    Album: Cloud Nine
    Year: 2007
    Lyrics to One Day :
    [Sky Blue:]
    Hi my name is Sky Blue and one day
    I wish I lived in Disney Land and everybody would be happy
    One day I’ll be floating in the sky
    Flying like a bird looking down at you wondering why
    I’m up here and I’m not down there
    And all the people that I miss and the family
    The ones that really care
    Living through my music
    Living through my voice and loved every time so I cruise it
    One day it’s gonna be the last time I here my voice on a track
    Now one day not a worry in the world
    No stressing no nothing just missing my girl
    Now you tell me why we gotta die
    If god creates us then he kills us at the same time why
    Why do I ask myself why?
    One day I’m gonna be dead and gone
    And miss all the things I love and adore
    I know it hurts but I’ll see you there
    One day
    One day
    (One day)
    People will be walking on water
    One day
    (One day)
    The human race will never die
    One day
    (One day)
    Fire in the flying saucer
    One day
    (One day)
    Freedom will be legalized
    One day
    One day
    One day
    [Daddy X:]
    One day I’m gonna invent a new drug
    Just to net to my system just so I’m plugged
    Buy a bop gun shoot a peace slug
    Drop a love bomb and give the world a hug
    One day I won’t have to fear a cop, or a security guard, or a dope beat drop
    One day I want to body surf on rainbows
    Swim through a moving cloud, blow indo
    I want to elevate, unify mankind
    Everybody’s just walking in the sunshine
    One day there’ll be a flock buddy for the world
    And I’ll never have to be away from my girl
    One day a planetary orgasm
    With everybody in the atmosphere so everybody has one
    Come together enclose the climax
    Just imagine the universe is the sun’s wax
    [Johnny Richter:]
    I hope one day people will say I was a good guy
    And every time you were around me I made you smile
    Bringing the closed future I hope to raise my family
    In a society full of Suburban Noize families
    In so I hope one day soon we’ll make a change
    And when I’m dead I hope my life I didn’t live in vain
    I know in my heart that I try to live right
    And I’m a fight to the death until freedom is legalized
    Than one day I know my kids will have a chance
    To raise children of their own, and own their own lands
    And when this day comes I hope I’m still alive
    To see the green leaf vision finally realized
    Yes one day I feel we’ll all recognize the government’s a big game
    Full of trading and lies
    And this day we need to make a decision
    We’re gonna follow the blind and the people with vision
    [Chorus x2]
    (Taken from Wikipedia – “In 2006, Kottonmouth Kings headlined at the year’s Cannabis Cup and was named “Band of the Year” by High Times.[2]”)
    (Kottonmouth Kings have also written a song for Willy Nelson, a co-chair of NORML advisory board, titled “Free Willy”.)
    (Taken from Wikipedia – ” “Free Willy” is a tribute to Willie Nelson and goes out in protest to free him of his arrest for possession of 1.5 pounds of marijuana and 0.2 pounds of mushrooms.”
    (Taken from Wikipedia – “Nelson is a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) advisory board. He has worked with NORML for years for marijuana legalization and has produced commercials for NORML that have appeared on Pot TV programs. He has also recorded a number of radio commercials for the organization. In 2005, Nelson and his family hosted the first annual “Willie Nelson & NORML Benefit Golf Tournament,” which appeared on the cover of High Times magazine.”)

  9. I hope that Mr. Kerlikowske has seen the best documentary movie on this issue: “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High”

  10. Tobacco is more addicting than pot or cocaine, Obama quit both of these illegal drugs bit he is still addicted to tobacco!

  11. Why do we even need a drug Czar and a drug war?
    It is apparent after over forty years of waging war on drugs it has become a lost cause.
    The only thing that has changed is the cost.
    The war on drugs cost taxpayers $600.00 per second.
    Just google the drug war clock and watch the numbers go on and on, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week after week, year after year, the cost of war rages on.
    Now imagine if we did not have a war on drugs what America could do with that money?
    The cost of the contraband itself is another cost we must consider as well as the cost of the lives.
    Look at all the jails and prisons filled,clogged court systems,the mandatory minimums,the longer prison sentences,the expansion of the prison industrial complex,the private corporate run correction facilities,more police, more alphabet agencies, more legislation, it is a never ending nightmare of more. Nothing has changed but the propaganda and lies and the cost. All of this will be paid for by the taxpayer and that is you and me.The numbers look real good in the newspapers or goverment statistical data sheets of how many were arrested in a drug sting or a raid it should be the opposite if it was a successfull war. But the actuality is all of these professionals that are involved in this lair of systematic assembly line justice merely support or increase the price of the contraband that they are determined be rid off.
    A giant control system grid created for outlawed molecules.The foundation of career building that is as endless as time itself.
    We must ask ourselves as Americans How much more can this go on for?
    How much more shall we be taxed?
    How much can we spend on a failed policy?
    How much more of our constitutional rights and freedoms shall be eroded for fear or manufactured crime?
    How much cost of not only money but lives must be sacrificed?
    If we do not ask some very serious questions the war on drugs will be an infinite forever with Orwellian scenarios.The Inquisition and the witch hunt conducted by the self-righteous thought police with impunity.
    As an American I do not want to keep paying for our only failed war and the most costly war in our country’s history. As an American you must ask yourself these questions, it is your money and your responsibility and it is your right if not then you will be asking yourself later this question,
    Why did I not ask when I had the chance to make a difference?
    Then it will be too late and that is not American.
    “Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore.” Milton Friedman

  12. The Economy is in a nosedive! Stop wasting our freaking precious tax dollars going after marijuana users! It is a harmless plant/herb. It has not killed anyone with regard to overdose. What of all the harm have these corporations and wall street done to this country, yet i hear no national outcry to lock up all the CEO’s of this world! These corporations and the bush administration have/had looted this country. THats OK! Yet if i choose or want to smoke a little herb to treat my depression thats “WRONG”? No don’t smoke some herb, say the gov, take paxil, lexapro, prosac. Grow some sense i want some reform i’m tired of the police state/nazism of this country. Why dont we just lock everybody up who chooses to use their own free will in this country. If someone wants to smoke a little herb rather than drink a beer we are persecuted. I’d like to preserve my liver. I want to see an end to the police state and a sensible policy as regarding marijuana laws.

  13. Of course we all hope that the laws will change. But in the words of Coolio, “Wishin’ is for suckas.” Everyone should make the phone calls, write the emails, mail the letters. Now is a good time to turn up the heat, many factors are making legalization or decriminalization seem possible, most notably the public perception. When the (annoyingly sheeplike) public mentality tips the other way in favor, there will be no stopping it.

  14. Let’s all hope that this man can bring some needed change, I’m not expecting any miracles but this does seem to be a good step, like we are headed in the right direction with Drug Law Reform, Maybe this term will be record setting across the board. 🙂

  15. Hate to break it too you, but Biden owns this, and we are screwed:
    Look at the “stimulus package”:
    For an additional amount for “State and Local Law
    16 Enforcement Assistance”, $125,000,000, for assistance to
    17 law enforcement in rural States and rural areas, to pre18
    vent and combat crime, especially drug-related crime.

  16. Hells yeah, this is preparation for what is to come. Being a Staff member at NORML you all know Cannabis is 20% of our Culture now. This is the first generation to see the reality of this injust war on people. I mean the American Hero Michael Phelps has found himself in this increasing group of people who partake in such a blessing of a substance. Not to mention on the other side of the world Sumo Wrestler Nihow Jin (not real name) is being disqualified for his partaking. This planet is on the verge of a dramatic change. We are the people we’ve been waiting for. One Love Rasta. Peace.

  17. Kerlikowske needs to be surrounded at work by people who are bent on taking the Dutch gedoogbeleid–the policy that allows coffeeshops that sell cannabis to exist. They need to be hellbent on adapting it to the U.S. whether or not Congress wants to take on changing the legislation to legalize. The Old Guard in the DEA are likely going to try to persuade him to continue to crack down on all things cannabis. The New American Tolerance is the key to restoring our international standing and puts cannabis prohibition in its coffin.
    Getting the coffeeshop system to expand into other countries in Europe as good as puts the coffin in the grave. The pressure to expand the gedoogbeleid is on. The Dutch government has just ruled that banks must do business with coffeeshops. The Postbank was going to refuse to do business cannabis companies, even if they had long been customers already.
    Here’s the link to the Dutch newspaper article on that:
    Getting back the European expansion of tolerance, just today, February 13, 2009, a group of Belgian mayors met with a Dutch delegation of high-ranking officials (ministers) to try to get the Dutch to agree with a uniform European policy on cannabis to deal with the problem of the spillover of cannabis acceptance and motor traffic through the surrounding areas of Belgium where coffeeshops are not tolerated. The Dutch delegation agreed with the Belgians that the criminality surrounding cannabis in Belgium was because it was illegal, which creates a sucking effect toward Maastricht, a city in the South of the Netherlands. The Dutch are telling them that the absence of coffeeshops in Belgium and other European countries creates this big sucking sound, and that they should stop exporting their problems. It’s their failure to deal with the demand in their own country that is the problem.
    Later, Geerd Leers, the mayor of Maastricht, is taking the group to visit a coffeeshop in Maastricht.
    Here’s the link to the article:
    If there is momentum in the U.S. to lean toward tolerance, maybe the Belgians will go Dutch!

  18. Rah, rah, rah. As Pete Guither of once noticed, the entire purpose of the ONDCP (Drug Czar as named by Joe “Lock up Chong and his Bong” Biden) is to lie to the American public about drugs and oppress drug use and the human beings that use them with whatever means they can. The best Drug Czar is one in the unemployment line. Seriously, write Barack Obama and ask him to eliminate the office of the ONDCP. Quote his own inaugural speech.
    “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. Those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”
    If he believes that, then the answer is NO to the ONDCP! NO to the ONDCP! No to the ONDCP! NO to the ONDCP! Say it until Obama ends it. Does the ONDCP work? NO!
    And its a bonus for conservatives as it cuts the budget on stupid expensive Super Bowl TV commercials that do more to promote ignorant drug use than informing the public about the truth. Put that in your letter too.
    Seriously NORML and everyone else. Lets evaluate the laws that created the ONDCP, what they say, what the job description is, etc., instead of just looking for a silver lining in this guy’s resume. It doesn’t matter who he is as much as what the laws that Joe Biden wrote say his job is. Those laws still need to CHANGE.

  19. I should probably snap my fingers back from the keyboard right now and say “One song is enough!”. Sad to say though, I feel compelled to list just one more set of lyrics because, well…. they just fit this discussion right now.
    Artist: Kottonmouth Kings lyrics
    Album: Greatest Highs – Disc 2
    Year: 2008
    [Johnny Richter:]
    Come, come, come, come, come here
    Let’s walk & talk so we can hear each others side
    You huff & puff & stuff & seem to think that you’re alright
    We try to see eye to eye but the truth there is no compromise
    You staring at the moon we lookin up at the sunrise
    So come please take my hand & try to understand
    That what you’re really afraid of is just a little plant
    That comes from the earth with water sunlight through love
    Unless you growin hydroponics indo then it’s some tubs or buckets
    Fuck it’s sticky big ole nuggets we love it & you can suck it
    If u out there hatin on me in public cause I’m
    Above it man I’m like a bird in the breeze
    Smokin my trees me & weed as high as can be
    Can anybody hear me, does anybody feel what I’m sayin &
    Is there anybody out there who feels freedom from sayin
    Can anybody hear me [x5]
    [Chorus:] [x2]
    You say it’s wrong but feels so right
    When I rip my bong or hit my pipe
    You wanna lock me up and lose the keys
    I wanna live in peace and smoke my weed
    [Daddy X:]
    Can anybody hear me
    Can anybody hear me
    How these years go
    Times just flyin by
    All the times we spent
    Doin shows and gettin high
    I can’t lie I feel blessed
    Just to be alive on the frontline
    I saw some friends and family die
    So many times I think how life could have been
    If I could afford to be an upright citizen
    I never been that type to believe the hype
    I been grimy hardcore almost all my life
    I like pushin limits walkin on the edge
    I love the feelin when the ganga seeps into my head
    So in my dyin days I don’t want no regrets I wanna
    Go out blazin
    [Chorus:] [x2]
    You say it’s wrong but feels so right
    When I rip my bong or hit my pipe
    You wanna lock me up and lose the keys
    I wanna live in peace and smoke my weed
    Another day another session
    Time to get it go & show em
    Smoker that’s how we live n love n burn em tokem
    So let me tell you that it feels so good
    When I light my chronic I’m always on the smoke
    Here comes the time to flaunt it flaunt it
    When I got it never don’t got it got it ochiee walla walla holla
    So I always got the ganga ganga you know the plant
    Damn it’s nothin but love it never do us no wrong and it makes
    The people feel strong an if ya hear me then ya hear me
    Come on an sing along an if ya hear me
    Then ya hear me come on an sing along
    I wanna live my life in peace up under the trees
    With my family in the oregon breeze
    [Chorus:] [x2]
    You say it’s wrong but feels so right
    When I rip my bong or hit my pipe
    You wanna lock me up and lose the keys
    I wanna live in peace and smoke my weed

  20. How can we place congress on trial? Not on a “Supreme Court Trial”, as that would not be a “Fair trial”. (You can not allow yourself to be judged fairly by your own association.)
    These guys need a full investigation, that is not government funded, to expose the corruptions which seem to be influencing their decisions, which go directly against the peoples wishes. We appointed them to work for us, not against us. Enemies work against us. To me, it seems like a national threat, when your government directly creates laws against the majority, for any reason.
    If the government is not ours, then it belongs to someone else. When they fail to listen, and make unreasonable laws, they are not working in our best interest. When they destroy and consume more than they help and provide, they have failed. When they attempt to belittle the nation through public media, they are wrong. When they stand above you, the law, and our demands, they are terrorizing to me and others.
    I don’t feel secure, knowing that my life may be ignored, destroyed, trampled upon, and without an ability to fairness, because of an oversight, or mistake, or actions on false testimony, or because some scared dealer used my identity or address with hopes of intercepting the items. I don’t like that the government allows states to use these same methods, or that they allow them to use untrained agents and excessive force. I don’t like that the solution they choose for “Harm control”, is “Death”, “Imprisonment”, and “Social Isolation”.
    I don’t like that they justify the impairment of all, for the safety of a few. I don’t like that my choices are, them, them, them, or nothing. I don’t like that my choice, which is the choice of billions, is limited to the choice of less than 100.
    United we stand, but this law divides us. Perhaps it is time we divide the US into two halves. I want the South, because the cold seems to offer only death, clouded judgement, and corruption. Besides, I hate driving in snow!

  21. Hopefully, Mr. Obama will take the profits from our herb out of the hands of organized crime and put them into the government coffers in the form of taxation. This money could then be used to wage a successful war (rehabilitation and education) on actual drugs like meth, heroin and etc. erstwhile saving the American people all of the heartache and cost associated with the persecution of our people for a non-dangerous form of recreation.
    This social experiment has been highly successful in the Netherlands and has reduced the number of children whom even try drugs at all as well as eliminating the gateway effect caused by having to get your weed from drug dealers and criminals. This could also preserve the $30k in income tax that I personally provide the government every year by eliminating the risk of me losing my job for failing a drug test that is nothing more than an invasion of my privacy anyway.
    This is too logical and you all know as well as I do that it will not happen unless we all cry out loudly at every opportunity.

  22. MARIJUANA (The government wants to test me when I pee)
    Words and Music: Brian Robbins
    Well once upon a time in 1776,
    Thomas Jefferson signed his name on a piece of marijuana,
    and this document was a symbol of freedom and of liberty,
    at least for the rich, white gentry.
    As time marched along,
    this plant that I refer to has been used for everything,
    from medicine to the American flag.
    And now it seems to me
    that somewhere along the way,
    things got messed up, yeah, got a little messed up,
    Oh marijuana.
    A gift of God to my brothers and me.
    Oh marijuana
    Now the government wants to test me when I pee.
    Well some say a conspiracy
    of the petro-chemical and pulp-paper industries combined
    in a crazy plot to kill the competition.
    Government hysteria, conflict of interest and monopoly,
    with total impunity.
    Yeah, so, if you don’t buy the conspiracy,
    just think about the reality
    that your tax dollars go
    to spray poison on the fields of a farmer in South America.
    And as an added bonus,
    you don’t know who gets to smoke that poison pot.
    It could be someone that you even like.
    Oh marijuana
    a gift of God to my brothers and me
    Oh marijuana
    now the government wants to test me when I pee.
    Oh marijuana
    you cant legislate your own morality.
    Oh marijuana
    the government wants to test me when I __
    Reefer madness, chronic blindness,
    what is the half-life of bad propaganda?
    Hired to promote the status quo,
    but what is the shelf life of bad legislation
    Policies fail, denied bail,
    you made him a demon now pay for his trip to prison.
    The hypocrite smirks, it’s a moral disgrace
    as he reads from a law that was written
    about the same time that he had
    his last original thought.
    Well they said the man was dying,
    and the nausea and the pain left him wasting away
    and unable to keep a meal down.
    So he tried everything a prescription could obtain
    but to no avail.
    The side effects were worse than the pain.
    So now he breaks the law
    to use the one thing that seems to help him out.
    And the people say, Oh you’re just getting’ high.
    Not to change the subject but,
    didn’t you ever wonder why getting’ high’s a crime
    in the first place?
    Oh marijuana.
    Oh marijuana
    Oh marijuana
    now the government wants to test me when I pee.
    © 2009 Brian Robbins

  23. Look just by Joe Biden being Obama’s VP signals one thing..THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE ON DRUG POLICY. Thanks to Biden and company my families life and my life at 5 years old was forever ruined because my Mom got popped with less than an ounce in 85.When are we going to learn that they all work for the same team??

  24. In January, there was a local discussion on Craigslist in regard to this topic. After reading the posts related to it, I composed this and posted it. While it deals with the difference in hemp and marijuana, I believe that many points are still relevant to this discussion as well. I would also like to say that I am obviously a proponent for legalization of marijuana but I believe that the hemp aspect is being overlooked.
    Ok folks, how about some real talk on this subject. First of all, marijuana and hemp are not the same. You could smoke hemp all day and not feel a thing except maybe sick. The hemp plant does not contain the levels of THC that the marijuana plant does.
    Now that we’ve clarified the difference, let’s talk usage. The hemp plant has uses from food to products. It is one of the only plants on earth that has so many uses. How about this. We put the farmers back to work by growing hemp instead of being government subsidized to let their ground lie fallow. Then we put the factories back to work making products from this hemp. Then we can actually have a product to export in this country.
    This would put lots of people back to work in our country making great and earth friendly products. What products does the US currently export? Having trouble thinking of any? Maybe that’s because we have very few left and we are importing more and more from China (at great risk to our health and economy).
    If you’ve ever tried to buy hemp products, you will notice how costly they are. That’s because there are few places exporting hemp and it is hard to get it in this country. Thus, local growth and production lowers the cost for everyone and puts the US back on the world market. Do a little research as to why our country quit producing hemp. You will find it was influenced by the major money holders of the time such as DuPont who found that hemp products were damaging the sales of the petroleum based products that they produced.
    Now, marijuana. Most people are just plain ignorant on this subject. They have been fed lies for so many years that they just go around repeating them till people believe them. Again, do your research as to why this became illegal in this country and ask yourself why.
    Marijuana is a god given plant and, used appropriately, has a lot of benefit without a lot of side affects. Careful now because the big pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know or believe this.
    The key is moderation. A person can abuse anything – food, drugs, alcohol, gambling, each other etc. The key is always moderation – whether you use it for medicinal or recreational purposes.
    We have more people in this country on meds like antidepressants, pain killers etc than ever before. Who directly benefits from this? The pharmaceutical companies. They don’t want you to be able to use a plant to help you because there’s no money in that for them.
    Marijuana is safer than alcohol as far as a recreational substance goes. You don’t see people smoking pot and starting fights, beating on their wives and kids, tearing up places etc.
    I believe the key here is regulation. Instead of making it illegal, maybe the government should just control it (they like to do that you know). Let the government grow it (farmer’s that are gov’t regulated), package it and distribute it. (More jobs here) Then, it can be sold with the same controls as alcohol and with viable taxes that will help our country and its people.
    Next, let’s let anyone who is in jail or prison based solely on marijuana out. End of the over crowding of our prisons. That would give us room for the real criminals – rapists, killers, child molesters (maybe a few politicians). You have to ask yourself why we have over crowding in the prison system. Maybe because it is a for profit system. That’s right; people are making money on it. So, the more people in it the more they make. Can we say corporate control?
    Ignorance, my friend is the root of all evil. I hope that I have shed just a bit of light on this highly controversial subject and that maybe I’ve made a few of you think for yourselves and better yet, a few more will actually do their research and find the truth behind it all. Make your decisions wisely, based on truth not propaganda and maybe start the path to a better world for us all. Marijuana and hemp are not the evils they are made out to be.

  25. Are we just “preaching to the choir” on this site, since most of us here want Hemp legalized for various reasons.My reasons are for the taxes it would generate,the jobs it would create, keeping it out of the hands of kids and I hear it helps anyone who has problems sleeping(that would be for me)without all the side effects of legal drugs ( those are really scary)but is anyone hearing or listening to the public opinion on this subject?

  26. Indeed, we are preaching to the choir. We have all heard the arguments for, the arguments against, and the b.s. that is spread from either side.
    The truth of the matter is that we must talk to people. We must tell them to talk to people. And everyone we talk to needs to tell our mayors, representitives, senators, police chiefs, neighbors, family, friends, that marijuana is not harmful, it does not lead to other drugs, marijuana will help our economy, our sick and dying, the legalization of marijuana will raise tax revenues, decrease spending, lower crime, increase public safety, and last but not least- it will make the American People Happy.
    Thats what it is really all about isn’t it? We have one life to live. Why waste it telling others what they can and can not do? As long as what we do does not cause anyone or anything harm, or infringe on their freedom- why not let us live? That is to be free- that is what set America apart from the rest of the world in 1776. What happened?
    The Forefathers of this country would be truly saddened at its current state.

  27. This administration has promised us change; hopefully this is not an empty promise. Decriminalisation of marijuana was voted, by the people that elected this administration, as one of the top concerns at the Obama website. Let’s see this change. Our drug laws are essentially uncivilised and waste millions of dollars on arresting and jailing non-violent drug offenders. I, for one, hope Obama isn’t just another politician changing his stance on marijuana to align with a conservative uneducated public who (more than likely) voted for the GOP.

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