Drug Czar Kerlikowske addresses UN report on success of decriminalization, without mentioning decriminalization

The remarks from our Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy on the release of the UN 2009 World Drug Report, which endorsed drug decriminalization in a reversal of previous policy. Guess which 17-letter D-word never gets mentioned once in our “drug czar’s” 781-word statement?

Statement of R. Gil Kerlikowske
Director, National Drug Control Policy
Remarks at Release of the 2009 World Drug Report
June 24, 2009
It is a great pleasure for me to be here with UNODC Executive Director Antonio Costa for the release of the 2009 World Drug Report. I am also pleased that we can be joined today by Michele Leonhart, Acting Administrator of DEA, and William McGlynn, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Congratulations to Antonio and his team in Vienna for putting together this very comprehensive document. As the report shows, every nation is affected by the drug problem.
As we approach June 26th, International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, it is a good time to reflect on what we can do better. In the United States, we are moving away from divisive “drug war” rhetoric and focusing on employing all the tools at our disposal to get help to those who need it. We recognize that addiction is a disease and are seeking public health solutions. My top priority is to intensify efforts to reduce the demand for drugs which fuels crime and violence around the world.

As a long time police chief, I have seen up-close the terrible impact drugs have on individuals, families, and communities. The earlier we can intervene to get people help, the better – that’s why prevention through schools and the media, and screening for substance abuse problems in a wide variety of health care settings is so vital. We will be expanding these existing efforts and working to ensure drug abuse treatment services are incorporated into our national health care reform process. These efforts will include expanded work to address the abuse of pharmaceutical drugs, a problem of increasing concern within the United States.
Further, we will make sure those caught up in our criminal justice system due to their involvement in drugs get the help they need. Many of those with the underlying disease of addiction commit crimes and thus, frequently come into contact with the criminal justice system. We can no longer afford to simply incarcerate them, while leaving their addiction untreated and their problems unaddressed. We must seize the opportunity to provide evidence-based treatment – either out of jail through diversionary programs like drug courts, or while in jail – to set them on a path to recovery. The Obama Administration is focused on providing treatment for Americans in need so they can permanently break the cycle of addiction and crime.
Our new Fiscal Year 2010 Budget proposes doubling funding for adult, juvenile, and family drug court, tripling Federal support for treatment in state prisons, almost tripling prisoner re-entry funding, as well as $30 million to fund the recently enacted Second Chance Act to address drug-abuse related recidivism.
Internationally, the United States also recognizes its responsibilities. We will continue to provide assistance to partners in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Afghanistan and elsewhere to reduce the flow of drugs and to bring violent drug traffickers to justice. The United States will work with our partners around the world to stop the flow of weapons associated with drug trafficking, the corrupting impact of the large illicit profits, and to curb the flow of precursor chemicals used to produce drugs.
We will also dedicate ourselves to assisting countries and regions, especially in the developing world, grappling with the terrible impact of the drug trade. West Africa is an example. UNODC has been instrumental in calling international attention to the dramatic rise in narco-trafficking through West African nations. Already, this increased trafficking has been harmful to stability and good governance. Though domestic consumption in West African nations is not significant yet, we know from experience elsewhere that transit states develop domestic markets. There are signs this is beginning to happen in West Africa. I am gratified that the EU has been taking steps to assist African nations. Let me make it very clear that the Obama Administration will be a strong partner in this effort. In fact, we are increasing our counternarcotics assistance to West Africa. The President’s FY 2010 Budget Request includes $6.7 million for counternarcotics efforts in West Africa.
We are eager to collaborate with the UNODC and to share with treatment providers from around the world the latest information on effective treatment and prevention modalities. Our National Institute of Drug Abuse sponsors over $1 billion in research each year, both in the United States and abroad, and we have a responsibility to get those findings out to the field, where it can be put to use.
There is much to be done, but I believe we are on the right track with current and new initiatives to make the drug problem smaller for the United States and the world. Thank you very much.

Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. The UN notes that decriminalization in Portugal “keep[s] drugs out of the hands of those who would avoid them under a system of full prohibition, while encouraging treatment, rather than incarceration, for users” and “It also appears that a number of drug-related problems have decreased.”
Our drug czar’s response is that we’re going to double funding for courts that sentence non-addicted non-problematic marijuana users to addiction treatment, when his own numbers show that 37% of pot smokers sentenced to treatment haven’t even used in the past thirty days and only 15% of those who seek marijuana addiction treatment do so voluntarily, and even that’s an overestimate since many of those 15% are coerced by reduced sentencing or emplyer pressure.
Our drug czar’s response is that we’re going to continue to pour money into “Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Afghanistan and elsewhere” enacting the same strategies of interdiction and eradication that haven’t worked in 70 years.
Our drug czar’s response is that we’re going to pump another $1 billion into NIDA to fund only research that shows purports to find harms from marijuana and none that prove its medical efficacy and relative social harmlessness.
Some of that is good to hear when you’re talking about heroin, cocaine, and meth. People are terribly physically addicted and getting rehab and help to stay clean will help reduce crime and decrease recidivism.
But when we’re talking about cannabis, the underlying premise that its responsible use by adults is somehow a social ill that must be cured is mistaken. Marijuana prohibition is a solution in search of a non-existent problem.

0 thoughts

  1. Watching our govt at work these days is like watching saseme street. Everyone working for the Obama Administration are puppets. They would not have gotton those positions if they spoke there own minds. They all want the glory and power of big government. Therefore they will do what ever they are told to do by Obama and his advisors. Be very careful about writing your congressmen, I did this two years ago asking senitor McCain to please put pressure on our local police for activities that were very shady Ie paying certain ganges to invade private residances to see if drugs were inside. One week after I wrote Mr McCain, the heat was on me and they eventually got me with less than .032 grams. I was told during my intaragation that i should have never contacted any reps. His staff passed my E-mail right to the county prosicuter for investigation. Be very careful what you say.
    (Ron Paul 2012)

  2. I think it is time that we also take to the streets in a protest as Iran has done! I can do without the violence, but would certainly march my stoned ass to the White house lawn and let my voice be heard!

  3. So what if he didn’t mention movement toward either decriminalization or legalization. Nothing has changed since the last administration. D.C. big cheeses have to be dragged kicking and screaming, repulsed from cannabis prohibition. What will make prohibitionists realized how disgusting and repulsive cannabis prohibition is? How can they save face with the public when accused of wasting so much money? Easy. Debunk the argument that the money coming in from cannabis revenues, unlike with alcohol, will not be outstripped by the costs of its use to society. The biggest strand of the frayed rope preventing cannabis prohibition from falling into the abyss of not getting legalized one more time is that prohibitionists are making a good argument that legalizing cannabis will STILL NOT save money, and scaring the public and working them into a frenzy with statements that after legalization the costs to society could be even more than they are now.
    We have to debunk that from the spectrum of interested parties and the media available.
    Sehr geehrter Herr Soros und andere: Danke. Sie dürfen mich durch Norml erreichen. Ich bitte Norml in diesem Fall, Ihnen Einzelheiten über mich zu geben, damit Sie sich in Verbindung mit mir zu setzen. Genießen Sie bitte etwas Sommersonne und Unterhaltung mit mir.
    Eurer Diener und Hellseher
    I serve.
    Ik wou graag lid in een organisatie zoals CFR, Trilateral, een gezellschap die niet mag gerept worden. Ik bedoel dat aan allen en niet alleen aan meneer. Mogen wij even er lekker over praten, s’il vous plait?

  4. 48 Rockin’ Rob
    “The fact is…you cannot fool an entire nation.”
    Abraham Lincoln
    “You can fool some of the people…all of the time, all of the people…some of the time, “but you CAN’T fool all of the people…all of the time.” You should hear what “Honest Abe” had to say about prohibition.
    Revolution is always in the air…ever since 1776. That’s what our country was founded on. It just takes enough frustration to ignite it. Washington and Lincoln can best describe revolution. It can happen.
    It’s a quiet revolution now…but…sacrifice comes
    easy under tyranny…and…when the oppressed stand up
    for what they “believe in.” Let us not forget the protests (mini-revolution) of the 60’s-70’s. Frankly, I think a lot of people “ditched their government class,” especially on the day they were discussing “FREEDOM.”
    It matters not…whether one is Republican, Democrat, or whatever one “CHOOSES” to be…let’s try first…
    hitting prohibs where it hurts them most…at the ballot box. Storming the Bastille is not on today’s agenda. I know that’s a hard fact to swallow…because
    …for many elections… only half of the people voted. What does that tell you? If the prohibs can’t get the picture there…they become their own worst enemy…and…are the cause of what may follow. We the People are not advocating violence. We are mandating common sense from those We the People have elected to “represent us.” Perhaps contributory negligence is our contribution to an oppressive government.
    Hallelujah!!! Rockin’ Rob

  5. IF POT IS LEGAL THE GREAT TEAM OF NORML DOSNT HAVE TO SIT IN THE LIVING ROOM ALL DAY…
    NEW MISSIONS ARE WAITING…
    SAVING NATURE…
    RESPECT ANIMALS…
    STOP POLLUTION… STOP GREED..
    WORK FOR A HEALTHIER LIFE..
    HELP TO FIND OUR WAY IN A NEW BETTER WORLD…
    BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS FOR THAT FIGHT THEY WON OF MEDICAL CANNABIS.. THEY WILL BE IN HISTORY..
    NORML REPRESENTS FOR ME GREEK MAN THE GOOD AMERICA THAT I LOVE…
    AMERICA OF BOB DYLAN MENTALITY… THE GROUP AMERICA WITH VENDURA HIGHWAY… JAMES TAYLOR AND BRUCE MENTALITY…
    FOR THAT AMERICA I EXPECT NORML TO ALWAYS FIGHT AND WE HOPE TO LIVE TO JOIN THESE FIGHTS
    A YOGI FROM ATHENS

  6. 2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    2012 RON PAUL!
    Either RON or war! I’d rather die fighting than allow my children to come into a world more likely to incarcerate them in the future than at anytime in the history of the US! We are suppose to have rights! THESE TRUTHS I FIND TO BE SELF……! Lies! Nobody has any rights until EVERYBODY! has EQUAL rights! Pot smokers aren’t even a minority! they are the MAJORITY!!!!!!!!!!!
    [Editor’s note: Is this really necessary? C’mon…BTW, if Dr. Paul is to remain a Republican and run in 2010 for president again, he (and his message of cannabis law reform) hopefully will get better vote percentages, because at <4% vote average in Republican primaries in 2008, apparently neither Paul or his reform messages are currently popular in his own party, and even less in the general voter population. Let's hope as cannabis law reformers that more brave and smart citizens like Dr. Paul run for elected office, but his most ardent supporters should not delude themselves that America is currently libertarian-leaning, or that voters support libertarians at the polls, because self-evidently, they don't, as elected libertarians unfortunately make up a very small percentage of elected policy makers.]

  7. They seem to be setting up to make drug busts into a money making enterprise,instead of prison,they fine you so much that your broke the rest of your life paying
    fines,and failure to pay will then land you in prison.
    Nothing is changing except the name,and it still stinks.

  8. I’ve noticed more and more posters losing patience and talking violence. I’ve noticed the NORML editors notes warning against violence.
    I’ve lost my patience. I’m fed up. We do have a right to revolution and generally that incurs violence. And who could blame us? We have been lied to for 75 years. It’s different than MLK or womens rights. The ramifications are much different. Women weren’t incarcerated and had all their money taken from them and then had a “record” because they had a desire to vote. So there was no need for violence.
    But 20 million American’s lives have been deliberately RUINED with NO HINT of restitution in sight. Legalization won’t get the prisoners freed.And it won’t take away the blemish on the records of those who are free now, but had to endure the humiliation of being shackled to a bench in a small cell for 3 hours in the middle of the night while the cops end up smoking the weed they have just confiscated and the lawyers get 2 grand and the state another $900.00.
    I’m not a violent man, but if backed into a corner long enough, I will use every and any means possible to get out. And nobody can blame me for that.

  9. Oh and another thing: Kerlikowski is a fraud just like I said he would be. A puppet. A tool. A conspiritor and an accomplice to the greatest civil rights violation since slavery.

  10. What are you guys talking about?! I think this is great!
    The real tone of this statement is anti “War on Drugs” and the wording is purely POLITICAL. He is doing a perfect job on not scaring them away, face it you say decriminalization and their ears just turn OFF… is that what we want? Deaf ears? No it’s much better to put it in words they will u-n-d-e-r-s-t-a-n-d.
    And we have to remember he isn’t only talking about marijuana, he is talking about all drugs.
    What do we care what he calls it, as long as he has an open view on the severity between different drugs, where marijuana is in that scale, and what can be done to make this issue fair.
    I think it was very smart of him not to mention the D word.

  11. The concept of any prohibition comes from the definition of a sumptuary law. A sumptuary law attempts to control and divide people into classes by limiting the desires of those considered the lesser class. Generally monarch type governments use sumptuary laws to inflict class separation through prohibiting the lesser class from participating in something reserved strictly by the so called upper class royalty.
    Any 4th grade student understands this country was founded on the principles of individual freedoms.” A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” -Abraham Lincoln U.S. President. These same people pushing prohibition would be targeted for treason investigation had they been around during the founding of our country! Don’t Be fooled American people any prohibition enforcement against us is as UN-AMERICAN as Hitler!!

  12. 59,60 Mark Glenolden, Pa.
    A lie uttered by 1o,ooo doesn’t make it any less lie…
    and…10,000 who don’t know, doesn’t stand against 1 who does know. The truth will remain in its place with the 1
    who recognizes it…but…the 10,000 will have to live through it before it jumps up and hits them in the face.

  13. To all my fellow Americans, including Texans who seem to have forgotten the Alamo, and what it stood for.
    Please remember…Texas brags about their use of the death penalty. I guess Anthony’s death puts a smile on their face, and a warm feeling in their heart. Texas really needs a blessing.
    Anthony’s death, and every death caused by denial of medication during incarceration is a “CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY…PERIOD.”
    We the People…a law abiding congregation…insist on non-violence. Of course…that’s our way.
    Then…will you hear me now?
    Anthony’s death…this blatant..man’s inhumanity to man…this action perpetrated by “non-human soul-less
    prohibs” is so odious and abhorrent…so ineffably repulsive…it imbues in me, a violent uncontrollable reaction. “My God…It really tests my soul.” An even greater motivation is the complete and absolute violation of my constitution…which I have raised my right hand, and sworn allegiance…to defend my country against all enemies…”foreign and domestic.”
    Look my fellow anti-prohibs…we must keep our cool.
    “We cannot afford to make any mistakes at this point.” In fact…”we must NOT fire the first shot
    …we must live to fight another day. We must pick our battles.” If anyone puts their selves on the same level as the animals I have described…it just might be a “prohib in disguise,” so to lay blame on the cause. Let’s be careful out there. Be as angry as your soul tells you to be…but…let’s NOT shoot ourselves in the foot. Our time is rapidly approaching. Let’s not fuck it up!
    If what I have just said offends anyone, I’m sorry. On the other hand.. “FUCK YOU TWICE.”

  14. I’m sorry…post 64 belongs on Marijuana POW Dies in Custody in Houston. What a dummy I am!

  15. The US government has done an outstanding job in misleading and brainwashing the sheeple into believing the way we solve a tough problem is to declare war on it and then spend billions of dollars fighting that war for decades while ignoring the fact it doesn’t solve the problem. We have not solved, and never will solve, the drug problem by incarcerating people. This braindead policy has destroyed far more families and lives than the drugs ever have. And as long as we continue to put symbolism over substance it will continue to do so.

  16. The editor is right in that America is not libertarian-leaning. As mentioned in the essay posted previously this week, Americans, for the most part, have a hard time allowing people to have true freedom despite our claims of being the land of the free and the home of the brave.
    However, I suspect that many of the people that visit NORML and many of those employed by the anti-prohibition lobby to begin with have voted for liberals/Democrats in many a recent election. That includes voting for Mr. Big Government Barack Obama.
    This is why electing Democrats will typically get you nowhere on the drug reform front. The Democratic party is the party of being overtly big government in that increasing the scope of government is in their stated goals. The GOP is more subtle about it, and claim to be about liberty and freedom while increasing the size of their own government programs drastically.
    Sure, some people say how forward moving Obama is in some areas since they have apparently decided to reign in the DEA from raiding medical cannabis dispensaries. However, the only reason this looks good is because of how bad it was under neo-conservative George Bush. Don’t accept poor just because very poor was what the previous administration delivered. Besides, ending the raids might be helping a fraction of 1% of the cannabis users and sellers out there.
    The Democratic party is out to increase the size of government and invade your privacy, whether unintentionally or not. They’ll help you out as much, whether due to not wanting to look soft on crime or just the fact that many are straight up authoritarian, as the Republicans will.
    Libertarianism is definitely a good thing to look into if you actually want a government that stays out of your life.

  17. He said it as if pple r really going to seek help w/marijuana addiction WHAT? Jus take it off the piss test so hardworking Americans can smoke freely and go to wrk w/o having to worry if there gonna drop tht day or not

  18. What a Fucked up job to have!!! Gotta lie all day to the American People about how The Government is not at WAR with the American Marijuana Consumer, Legal or Not, they do not care. This is a WAR against the Weakest of American’s. Tell me why they haven’t won it after 71 Years!!!! Because it is an Evil in the Eyes of GOD!!!! We are not quitters or Orphans!!!! We are the Free and The Brave who will never surrender, no matter how many of us you kill or jail or Silence. We will never give up, and one day our Leaders will stand before GOD and Answer for all the innocent blood they have spilled and all the lives destroyed!!!! Then our Leaders will really need a Joint!!!!

  19. To number 59 marc. I fully agree about wat your sayin. Im guilty of war-mongering on my posts. And yeah NORML always nay says the use of violence for policy change. But they got lawyers and others always breathing down their necks. The difference? Im a victim of prohibition and find myself very angry at the system. NORML i suspect are peace loving hippie-lawyers with stuff to lose. Most people today wouldnt stand up and fight if someone slapped their grandma.

  20. Legalization, my friends would put an end to their lucrative business of prohabition ! How else would they be able to sieze your house and personal property ? You know the Judge got to eat ! The cook down in the cafetera got court ordered child support !mouthpiece got big digs ! ITS A FR>>>>ING RACKET ! And they LOVE it , they make BIG BUCKS sending folk through the meat grinder ! How else could they possibly make money on bustin bad guys ? Lets face it they aint listening , so why shoud we listen to their ridiculous propaganda and lies ? We the PEOPLE Will be heard ! I dont know about any of you folks ,but Iam clinging to my guns and my Religion And I worship the GOD that created Cannabis ! Gorilla grow America !

  21. Im sayin basically they havta endorse peace. First time they even remotely act leniant toward violence, one of us violent jakasses is gona kick a senators ass or something then next thing you kow violence will be associated with pot reform and theyll shut NORML down and get even harder on pot people thus pushing our cause back decades. We should never look to these guys for any kind of negative pr with cannabis reform cuz they cant do it. Just puts em in a akward position. We need to go find a government reform site and orginize protests there.

  22. Our tax dollars makes the world go around. MARIJUANA PROHIBITION slows the world with oppression and another scapegoat drug czar. When one goes another takes its place and its the same bullshit all over again and again and the cycle keeps on going. It seems like that decriminalization and marijuana is not in the governments volcabulary until there is a violation with the marijuana drug laws. It is’nt about justice in the courtroom, it’s about money and oppression and a billion dollar industry for lawyers and the prison system. This drug czar is just another pawn in a chess game of American rights and the Constitution going down the drain. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter as the states are changing the marijuana laws for the better of the people. Indiana is not one of them, we still have stone age mentality.

  23. Little more than 200 yrs ago i believe 55 men and 13 colonies stated that “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—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
    We are allowed the persuit of happiness if someone does something illegal and hurts others while they are persuing then they should be put away for the crime the original persuit, “Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government”, the government arresting over 700000 ppl for personal use possesion to me seems that someone is taking ppls freedom for their right to persue what they feel will give them happiness. If the ppl speak the government should listen if they dont our fore fathers were sure to put an escape clause, although i dont suggest all out rebellion yet, next time we go to vote it is time to make sure our voices are heard and get rid of the mighty idiots that think once elected they are there for life!!! ( One last comment be sure to know your rights don’t let them find you and give you a felony conviction because besides being a negative on your background check they also take your voice at the ballot boxes, Hmmm if we lock up all the pot heads then they cant vote against us? just a thought)

  24. I agree, Ron Paul 2012, actually I was for Ron Paul 2008. The man will be 76 years old then, I met him in 2008 and he was TIRED. I don’t know if he’ll run again, but he does have a son, Rand Paul.
    I am an adamant supporter of cannabis reform laws.
    I want to start a chapter of NORML here in Raleigh NC
    Any input on the best way to get this going?
    [Editor’s note: Anyone who wants to begin the easy-to-do process of forming a local NORML chapter need only contact ‘chapters@norml.org’ or check out the ‘start a chapter‘ section at norml.org.]

  25. Manford,
    I get your point, but other issues – trivial in comparison to this have surely been rectified in a much shorter time frame. 75 years???? Alcohol prohibition lasted just 13 years. We smokers must share at least half the blame. WE had all the data we needed to legalize 30 years ago when that scumbag Nixon told his commission to stick their report up their asses. Prior to that point we didn’t know much about cannabis. So I can understand the first 45 years of just being dumb and gullible enough to believe anything the government said about cannabis. But the last 30 years are a disgrace. SHAME ON US!!! People will look back on this 100 years from now and will see it for what it is: the greatest civil rights violation since slavery and it will rank right up there with 9-11. Because when you look at it in perspective: 3,000 lives lost at the WTC vs. 20 million lives ruined because of a lie, well…… The thing that pisses me off the most is that all pot smokers don’t get up off their asses right now, get really pissed off and motivated for about a month, take action and we will have legal cannabis in 30 days. It’s like watching a house burn down with a family inside and standing there and doing nothing when you have a fire department right next door.

  26. cop,dea
    they are just ponds in life they don’t even see they are just puppets on strings for the big shots in DC.
    yes its a shame because thir kids face it too or they have faced it some got away with it and some have’nt.
    we don’t need to use bad words to get across to these people in DC because they know whats going on …and the ponds are saying that we are trash just like they nwere told about us in there training… so we need to regroup and think about how to say thing to where they will b head and not laughed at

  27. Prohibitionists started and continue a war on fellow citizens in violation of God’s will for people to live free in liberty as acknowledged and cited in the Constitution of the United States. Prohibitionists use force, intimidation, destruction and theft of personal property, arrest, jail, fines and many other sanctions against those who freely choose to exercise their God-Given rights. For those who do not submit to prohibitionists’ will and do prohibitionists’ bidding, they also kill their fellow Americans in their un-Godly war on freedom and liberty, as was the case with Theresa Anthony.

  28. There is nothing to be had with this administration, that will effect a change in policy that will free the cannibus plant from the clutches of the oppressors. We MUST stand ALL-together, in a non-violent manor to march on the Capital, permit’s to assemble? What happened to freedom of assembly, the right to protest, freedom of speech, If they want to oppress us this is the way they can do it. It is OUR responsibility to NOT compile with their oppressive demands, but our DUTY to REFORM a more people friendly government of people that are truly FOR the people not a higher agenda of the oppressors. this not a call to violence , but a call to stand for truth, Justis and the true American way. PEACE AL…

  29. Wow. Bravo! The witch hunt continues, it just gets a new mask… This is why I don’t vote. American politics lacks the sincerity required to make a positive change. Surely there is something more sinister going on, and if that’s the case then only the people can save themselves. Or is it inevitable at some point that our leaders will recognize their approach to this situation as an obvious failure? The thing about going to court ordered rehab is that most of the time YOU pay the bill. Allot of 12 step programs don’t really appreciate court ordered patients simply because allot of them are not really addicts. They end up kicking some patients out. As a result, allot of normal people are being introduced to the criminal probation system, where in some states a simple beer will get you tossed into jail. It goes so much deeper then drug courts. So I hope the government has enough money to change allot of attitudes because ultimately that’s what it is going to come down to. To me, this is all pathetic to see America stoop this low. The citizens are getting their rights taken away over a plant. Its ironic considering one of the causes of the American revolution was tea tax… Then the result of everything was a free nation, allot of people suffered and died to create it. It is only honorable to uphold what they believed in! I love America but I think our government is spitting in the face of the constitution and everything this nation stands for. This is not a change for the better. I hope you wake up Obama. Legalization is no laughing matter. Its in our ROOTS.

  30. Let’s face it: significant marijuana law reform is probably not coming in the next three and a half years at the federal level, and that’s why we shouldn’t focus so much on that.
    Very few people who are arrested solely for marijuana possession are housed in federal prisons. Why? Because for the feds to get involved in your marijuana possession, you’d generally have to be traveling with it across state lines or trying to order it on the Internet.
    My point is this: marijuana law reform at the federal level (which by the way will surely start with decriminalization rather than legalization) probably won’t come until more states decriminalize the drug. So far there have been about a dozen; we need to push for more. You will accomplish much more by trying to get your state legislators to hear your cause than the federal government.
    Being a resident of Ohio, I can walk down the street with a joint (or more than $1,000 worth of it for that matter) and the worst thing that will happen is being ticketed $100. Most Ohio cops don’t even bother and just confiscate the pot or look the other way.
    My concern though is for states that do not have such a sensible marijuana policy. My concern is for a state like Louisiana that carries a maximum prison term of 20 years for third-offense possession.
    The federal law will probably not change when 4 out of 5 states have similar or more strict penalties than the federal government currently imposes for possession. If you live in a state that has not decriminalized marijuana, let your legislators know that your state can save law enforcement resources by doing what more and more states are doing: decriminalizing.

  31. These Drug Czars, DEA, etc. don’t want to legalize this stuff because they’re afraid of losing their jobs. It’s all politics. It doesn’t matter how harmless this plant is or how much of your tax dollars they waste, they are going to fight tooth and nail to prove how necessary it is to keep Marijuana illegal.

  32. You know when you are walking down the street and you see a big pile of dog turds on the sidewalk what do you do? You walk around it and avoid stepping in it. But with MARIJUANA PROHIBITION we are the turds and the government steps all over us. The government will just wipe the shit off the bottom of their shoes and just wipe us off by fines, jail time, or so called rehabilitation. The government is so worried about human rights in other countries, what about us. Decriminalization and legalization must be taboo words in the governments volcabulary. The legislators know what is going on, but when they vote for laws that are anti-prohibitional, the prohibitionists look at them like they are soft on marijuana prohibition and use the children as an excuse, crime and throw in the kitchen sink to top it off. It’s going to take time to change the laws for the better of the people, but our time is a comin and it may sooner than you think. Look what happened in the country of Mexico-LEGALIZATION. Maybe our government will get the hint one day and i hope that too many days do not go by when the change comes. VIVA LA MEXICO AND PISS ON THE PROHIBITIONISTS in our country. And by the way INDIANA STILL SUCKS ON MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. 420 ALL THE WAY!

  33. I would like to comment on the Editor’s note, and I really hope that my post isn’t “edited” out of existence…
    Marijuana reform, like libertarianism, at one point was also a very very unpopular position. But with education and a change in tone in (some of) the media, it is now evident that it is extremely popular.
    So just because someone made an annoying post because he was excited about Ron Paul, doesn’t mean you can take a dig at the man because he isn’t popular in the republican party. There is a lot of political slander and outcasting towards the man; the same tactic used against us Marijuana reformers. So I think taking the chance to further austrasize him rather than just not posting the spam comment was way out of line. Maybe you should take some time to learn more about his message, because you will realize that we will NEVER have Marijuana reform without a free society. And the one politician who is truly fighting for personal liberties, is none other than the man you took a dig at.
    Finally, you can push for Marijuana reform within the democratic party all you want. I am sure it will turn out really well when the GOVERNMENT is regulating and taxing marijuana. Have you seen what they have been doing to our food supply?? You want that to happen to Marijuana? GMO, corporatized, unsafe, etc. etc. I would rather keep Marijuana on the black market as is right now, than have our government in charge of regulating it to death. They ruin everything the touch.
    To the editor, thank you for posting my friendly counter-criticism to your remark.
    [Editor’s note: Even if one has been a longtime donor to Dr.Paul (going back to when he ran for President on the Libertarian Party in the 1980s)…that does not change the fact 1) Dr. Paul is not popular among the Republican Party, or its voters outside of his Texas congressional district, 2) The Libertarian Party is not a major political party and currently is not popular among the American electorate and 3) If Dr. Paul runs again for President, he’ll be 77 or 78 years old.
    That is simply too old to be an effective executive of nearly any organization, to say nothing of leading an entire nation. For these three logical reasons one can suggest those obsessed with Dr. Paul to get over it as he is never going to be elected president of the United States (maybe some other viable Libertarian candidate, but not Dr. Paul as his time to become president has come and gone).]

  34. LOL people people people, I see the talk of impatients,of violents…shit if ya want to be violent ..dont do it in the name of cannabis FFS.. theres bigger reasons to do that. What happened to millions of jobs, 401 ks. Who had to pull whats left of thier 401ks to survive just to have them tax and penalize the hell outta ya. How bout the wars over seas or the outragous spending of the future childerns money? How bout gov control of thr freemarket happening. How bout the firing of watch dogs that make sure gov in using our taxes properly,how bout the hiring of CZARS that only answer to the president,How bout all the strings and red tape they have the states tied up in over bailout money, how bout the hijacking of banks Shall I go on? With the counrty bieng ruined right in front of All of us and you talk about being violent over cannabis? come on…really? If you all want to stand up..stand up for EVERYTHING that is gone wrong in this great country of OURS! If ya want to talk this violence shit…DO IT FOR THE RIGHT REASON. other wise ..KNOCK IT OFF! PLEASE! its not good.

  35. Soom times I think the only way things will get better is if our gov keeps going with this greed and power thing. History has shown governments collapse due to this. Let it collapse and just start over…..stupid thing is they would probably pass a bill to bail them selves out at our cost.

  36. To Ann (#37).
    I clicked the link, send my 2 cents worth (When are you going to get it through your thick heads that cannabis should be legal).
    Here’s their reply, be seated for this one:
    Thank you for contacting ONDCP. Marijuana is a dangerous drug and remains in Schedule I of theControlled Substances Act. The President opposes marijuanalegalization as does ONDCP Director Kerlikowske. The following resource and Web site provide information aboutmarijuana and why it remains a controlled substance: Denial of Marijuana Reschedulinghttp://frwebgate3.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/TEXTgate.cgi?WAISdocID=97324928153+0+1+0&WAISaction=retrieve Speaking Out Against Drug Legalizationhttp://www.dea.gov/demand/speakout/index.html If you would like to view information about marijuana and itseffects, please visit the following Web sites: The DEA Position on Marijuanahttp://www.dea.gov/marijuana_position.html Marijuana Myths & Facts: The Truth Behind 10 Popular Misperceptionshttp://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/pdf/marijuana_myths_facts.pdf What Americans Need to Know About Marijuanahttp://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/pdf/mj_rev.pdf Marijuana Abuse Research Reporthttp://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Marijuana/default.html Marijuana Facts and Figureshttp://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/marijuana/index.html Marijuana-Info.orghttp://www.marijuana-info.org/ Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you, SeritaContent SpecialistONDCP Clearinghousehttp://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov

  37. So, in response to Serita’s offer, I did ask one more question: Why do you keep regurgitating all these lies about cannabis? Every link you provided is biased.

  38. THE AMERICAN CREED
    I believe in the United States of America…as a government of the people…by the people…for the people…who’s just powers are derived from the consent of the governed…a democracy in a republic…
    a sovereign nation of many sovereign states…a perfect union…one and inseparable…established upon those principals of freedom…equality…justice…and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortune.
    I therefore believe it is my “duty” to my country to love it…to support its Constitution…to obey its laws…to respect its flag…and…to defend it against all enemies.
    God Bless separation of church and state. You got a problem with that?

  39. I had SOME hope for marijuana law reform when Obama first took office — a miniscule “forward-step” was accomplished with the new AG, Eric Holder, who supposedly put a moratorium on arrests of medical marijuana patients, physicians, and providers, who are compliant with their respective state medical pot laws. But even THAT was not completely true, as the Feds raided a couple of dispensaries in CA and CO (both states have medical pot programs), RIGHT AFTER he’d made his “no more medical pot arrests” announcement to the media! I refer to those raids as the DEA’s final, authoritative “swagger,” or “last gasp”!
    The federal government’s OWN data show marijuana is NON-TOXIC! In the past, when government-sanctioned, taxpayer-funded, pot research has been done, the “results,” which usually DON’T SUPPORT the pot prohibitionists stance, are “shelved” or dismissed as “faulty or incomplete” research!
    Are you aware that the government ALREADY HAS a “patent” for medicinal marijuana? The patent was issued on Oct 7, 2003 — almost 6 years ago! So obviously, SOMEONE at the federal level thinks pot has medical applications… http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6630507.html
    I’m in California, with a medical pot prescription, and am allowed to grow my own “medicinal” garden. I write my elected officials constantly, via e-letters, mentioning that my pot use DOES NOT contribute to violent drug cartels or terrorist groups, because I GROW IT MYSELF! I also point out that my “homegrown medicine” is much more COST-EFFECTIVE than any of the other 9 “legal” prescriptions I take (I’ve had type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes since 1969 — it’s an expensive disease), and NO SIDE EFFECTS from pot! Then I ask them WHY (according to their anti-pot rhetoric) they think I should be in prison, using expensive medications with horrible side-effects???
    It so happens I live in a politically conservative county (Nevada), despite the fact that there are tons of pot users and growers here. So I always get the standard reply from them, about marijuana being a “gateway drug,” and how it’s ruining our youth, and contributing to more-and-more violence… the same, tired rant.
    I’ve been an advocate of pot legalization since the late ’60s — I’ve lost count of the number of petitions I’ve signed over 40+ years. And, my efforts are beginning to be rewarded — now I CAN smoke pot in my home, WITHOUT fear of the police! I have a “prescription” in my wallet that pretty much “protects” me from persecution. So, when people speak of resorting to violent “pro-pot” activism, I cringe, because we’ve managed to reform pot law here in CA WITHOUT ANY VIOLENCE — we did it by presenting it as an “initiative” to our legislature, with thousands of signatures, back in 1996.
    Show continual support for pot reform by bombarding your elected officials (federal, state, and local) with your reasons for “freeing the weed,” once-and-for-all. One of the BEST arguments you can make right now (no matter WHAT level of government you’re contacting) for pot’s legalization is ECONOMICS. Ask them to compare the costs of sustaining the LARGEST PRISON POPULATION ON THE PLANET by continuing this “War,” with the other MORE SERIOUS “crime” prevention or repair of infrastructures or health care, that such expenditures could pay for…
    And, finally, I always remind the naysayers that NOT ONE PERSON HAS EVER DIED FROM POT USE, while the same can’t be said for “legal” substances, like tobacco, alcohol, and many “prescribed” pharmaceuticals.
    If you can still vote, exercise that privilege, and… VOTE!! Yes, it’s not a perfect system, but I’ve seen from personal experience that your “voice” CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! And I agree with others here, including NORML, that Ron Paul is NOT a viable presidential candidate, for all the reasons mentioned. Let’s face it: We’re still just a 2-party system, Democrats and Republicans — so to effect change, we have to WORK WITHIN the constraints of that system, and that means candidates from other parties, like Libertarian, Green, Peace and Freedom, etc., won’t garnish enough votes come election day.
    I’m appalled that one of you got arrested for something you wrote in a “letter to your congressman”! What happened to your First Amendment rights, and “Freedom of Speech”?? Sounds like you’re in a truly “Draconian” area — what next, the “Thought Police”? (“I have to arrest you, ma’am, for having illegal substance ‘thoughts.'”)
    I’m almost 60 years old, and DESPITE Kerlikowske’s UN speech, I STILL expect to see pot legalized in my lifetime, or at least, greatly decriminalized. It’s happening here in CA, and in other states, with more states doing their own marijuana “reform.”
    Note, that NOT ONE of the states that has decriminalized pot or mandated state medical pot programs has REVERSED or RESCINDED such laws! It may be a slow process, but the “baby steps” are all FORWARD, and they continue…
    Stay Aware, Stay High and Peace!

  40. The only way for the laws to change is exactly the way the movement has been progressing, state by state. The FEDS will only budge when political pressure from %90 percent or at least a majority of the states legalize it for medical use. Norml and MPP, keep up the pressure, we appreciate it and support it for a wide variety of reasons. Thirteen states have enacted laws that legalized medical marijuana. We need more states and there is much more work to be done.

  41. It is with some regret (and personal embarrassment) that the New Zealand government rejected its medpot bill after 7 years of stasis. The two principal reasons given were the ol’ what about the children/mixed messages/don’t need another drug scenario and concerns about doctors scripting ‘cannabis for mental health issues’.
    Doh!
    So we are left with trying to figure out which part of prison/justice/policing is best practice health treatment?

  42. #93 Alison Weaver Says:
    June 30th, 2009 at 2:27 pm
    …I’m appalled that one of you got arrested for
    something you wrote in a “letter to your congressman”!
    What happened to your First Amendment rights, and “Freedom of Speech”??
    Sounds like you’re in a truly “Draconian” area —
    what next, the “Thought Police”?
    (”I have to arrest you, ma’am, for having illegal substance ‘thoughts.’”)
    RE:
    Alison,
    – From what I can tell, commenter #51, flintster03,
    lives in the draconian backward-lands of Anozira,
    where Sheriph Joker Piehole reigns supreme…
    – I’m curious to know the precise content-and-wording
    of flintster’s e-mail to McCain that won themselves
    “warranted”, unwanted attention.
    (Was it riddled with as many typos,
    misspelled-words and grammatical-errors
    as their blog-post here?
    Did they identify themselves as a current / aspiring
    cannabis-consumer, partaker-of-forbidden,
    mysterious-powders, etcetera, etc?
    Did they threaten to use physical-force against anyone?)
    – Perhaps,
    it wasn’t so much flintster’s
    “exercise of free speech” / “First-Amendment Rights”
    that got them in trouble, as much as it was its quality-of-presentation…

  43. #93 Alison Weaver Says:
    June 30th, 2009 at 2:27 pm
    …I’m appalled that one of you got arrested for
    something you wrote in a “letter to your congressman”!
    What happened to your First Amendment rights, and “Freedom of Speech”??
    Sounds like you’re in a truly “Draconian” area —
    what next, the “Thought Police”?
    (”I have to arrest you, ma’am, for having illegal substance ‘thoughts.’”)
    RE:
    Alison,
    – From what I can tell, commenter #51, flintster03,
    lives in the draconian backward-lands of Anozira,
    where Sheriph Joker Piehole reigns supreme…
    – I’m curious to know the precise content-and-wording
    of flintster’s e-mail to McCain that won themselves
    “warranted”, unwanted attention.
    (Was it riddled with as many typos,
    misspelled-words and grammatical-errors
    as their blog-post here?
    Did they identify themselves as a current / aspiring
    cannabis-consumer, partaker-of-forbidden,
    mysterious-powders, etcetera, etc?
    Did they threaten to use physical-force against anyone?)
    – Perhaps,
    it wasn’t so much flintster’s
    “exercise of free speech” / “First-Amendment Rights”
    that got them in trouble, as much as it was their quality-of-presentation…

  44. Oh right NORML editors… Because constantly working on career mainstream politicians who make the same promises over and over then NEVER deliver is the way to go.
    Right, it makes no sense to support politicians who consistently fight for our rights because they aren’t popular in their political party?
    Keep on supporting the demorepublicrats. See where it gets us.
    I would much rather support someone who isn’t popular than support backstabbers. Sheeeesh!
    [Editor’s note: NORML is a non-partisan organization.]

  45. 98 The man behind the curtain
    We the People are not “Demorepublicrats”…and…as the Editor states NORML is a “non-partisan organization.”
    But…if you are a cannabis advocate…you might feel free to consider yourself and all your brethren “individualists.” FREE THINKING PEOPLE.
    The fact of the matter is…you have to protect your own freedom first. After you do that…you can align
    with any political persuasion you fancy…and…I’m sure they would be looking for that same quality in you. If you don’t protect “YOUR OWN FREEDOM”…who’s going to protect it for you? Right! We the People. I’m sure you are a constituent. We are the sum total of all our parts. Don’t worry about the prohibs..and…
    their eternal bullshit…we are in the majority. Let’s think, and act like it. “wE’RE PROUD”…AND…
    “THERE’S NO WAY ON GOD”S GREEN EARTH THAT PROHIBS CAN INTIMIDATE US…UNLESS WE LET’EM.

  46. Okay Manny. I’ll show my respect to Gentleman Kerlikowske today:
    “My top priority is to intensify efforts to reduce the demand for drugs which fuels crime and violence around the world.”
    Well my dear sirs, I see the lacking of a key word within this statement.
    My 0-5 felony on my record (sentence suspended) in 1998 was for “Attempt to Manufacture”.
    Wendy Elorriaga was not trying to ‘manufacture’ anything.
    So see how much power one word can carry?
    Pot is not manufactured; it is grown at the Free Will of God.
    I commend everyone one of us today. Just look at what took place yesterday…God’s Version of Tomorrow. Amen.

Leave a Reply