Foreign Policy Magazine Exposes Folly Of Marijuana Prohibition

[Editor’s note: The reason why the editor of Foreign Policy magazine Moises Naim’s recent column is significant is because for far too long the foreign policy community has been a willing conduit for exporting America’s wrongheaded and failed cannabis prohibition around the globe. But, the American dominance of the drug policy debate has started to wane over the last 8-10 years in quarters like the United Nations, and columns like Mr. Naim’s underscore the myriad reasons why America’s elected policymakers need to adopt a reform mindset–notably under an Obama administration–not status quo retrenchment into an unyielding, prohibition-centric cannabis policy.] The American prohibition on thinking smart in the drug war

The Washington consensus on drugs rests on two widely shared beliefs. The first is that the war on drugs is a failure. The second is that it cannot be changed.
Americans are a can-do people. They tend to believe that if something does not work, it needs to be fixed. Unless, that is, they are talking about the war on drugs. On this politically fraught issue, Washington’s elites and, indeed, the majority of the population, believe two contradictory things. First, 76 percent of Americans think the war on drugs launched in 1971 by President Richard Nixon has failed. Yet only 19 percent believe the central focus of antidrug efforts should be shifted from interdiction and incarceration to treatment and education. A full 73 percent of Americans are against legalizing any kind of drugs, and 60 percent oppose legalizing marijuana.
This “it doesn’t work, but don’t change it” incongruity is not just a quirk of the U.S. public. It is a manifestation of how the prohibition on drugs has led to a prohibition on rational thought. “Most of my colleagues know that the war on drugs is bankrupt,” a U.S. senator told me, “but for many of us, supporting any form of decriminalization of drugs has long been politically suicidal.”
As a result of this utter failure to think, the United States today is both the world’s largest importer of illicit drugs and the world’s largest exporter of bad drug policy. The U.S. government expects, indeed demands, that its allies adopt its goals and methods and actively collaborate with U.S. drug-fighting agencies. This expectation is one of the few areas of rigorous continuity in U.S. foreign policy over the last three decades.
A second, and more damaging, effect comes from the U.S. emphasis on curtailing the supply abroad rather than lowering the demand at home. The consequence: a transfer of power from governments to criminals in a growing number of countries. In many places, narcotraffickers are the major source of jobs, economic opportunity, and money for elections.
The global economic crisis will only intensify these trends as battered economies shrink and illicit trade becomes the only way for millions of people to make a living. Mexico’s attorney general reckons that U.S. consumers buy $10 billion worth of drugs from his country’s cartels each year, a business that propelled Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, to Forbes magazine’s latest list of the world’s billionaires. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, all that money allows the two main cartels to train, equip, and pay for a highly motivated army of 100,000 that almost equals Mexico’s armed forces in size and often outguns them. And this ascendancy of the drug cartels is a global problem. The opium trade is equal to 30 percent of Afghanistan’s legal economy, and from Burma to Bolivia, Moldova to Guinea-Bissau, drug kingpins have become influential economic and political actors.
Fortunately, there are some signs that the blind support for prohibition is beginning to wane among key Washington elites. One surprising new convert? The Pentagon. Senior U.S. military officers know both that the war on drugs is bankrupt and that it is undermining their ability to succeed in other important missions, such as winning the war in Afghanistan. When Gen. James L. Jones, a former Marine Corps commandant and supreme allied commander in Europe, was asked last November why the United States was losing in Afghanistan, he answered: “The top of my list is the drugs and narcotics, which are, without question, the economic engine that fuels the resurgent Taliban, and the crime and corruption in the country. . . . We couldn’t even talk about that in 2006 when I was there. That was not a topic that anybody wanted to talk about, including the U.S.” Jones is now U.S. President Barack Obama’s national security advisor.
But such views have set off fierce clashes between military commanders newly focused on creating peaceful economic opportunities for Afghan families and the U.S. drug warriors set on eradicating Afghanistan’s major cash crop at any cost. What’s more, inertia alone almost guarantees strong support for drug eradication from the massive bureaucracy that lives off the tens of billions of taxpayer dollars that have funded the war on drugs for decades. The opinions of these drug warriors are immune to data: After decades of eradication efforts around the world, neither the acreage of land used to grow drugs nor the tonnage produced has shrunk.
But prohibition at any cost is becoming increasingly hard to defend. As the drug-fueled escalation of violence in Mexico spills across the border into the United States, the American public’s willingness to ignore or tolerate policies that don’t work is bound to decline. And the consequences of failure are already on mounting display: According to the U.S. National Drug Intelligence Center, Mexican drug cartels have established operations in 195 American cities. It is much harder to ignore the collateral damage of the war on drugs when it happens in your neighborhood.
That is the case in many other countries where the nefarious side effects of U.S. drug policies have long been felt. Three of Latin America’s most respected former presidents, Brazil’s Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Colombia’s César Gaviria, and Mexico’s Ernesto Zedillo, recently chaired a commission that came out in favor of drastic changes in the war on drugs—including decriminalization of marijuana for personal use. The commission, on which I sat, spent more than a year reviewing the best available evidence from experts in public health, medicine, law enforcement, the military, and the economics of drug trafficking. One of the commission’s main conclusions is that governments urgently need options beyond eradication, interdiction, criminalization, and incarceration to limit the social consequences of drugs. But though smart thinkers increasingly propose confronting the drug curse as a public health crisis—more options are in the commission’s report at www.drugsanddemocracy.org—real alternatives have found no space in a policy debate stalemated between absolute prohibition and wholesale legalization.
The addiction to a failed policy has long been fueled by the self-interest of a relatively small prohibitionist community—and enabled by the distraction of the American public. But as the costs of the drug war spread from remote countries and U.S. inner cities to the rest of society, spending more to cure and prevent than to eradicate and incarcerate will become a much more obvious idea. Smarter thinking on drugs? That should be the real no-brainer.
Moisés Naím is editor in chief of Foreign Policy [Editor’s note: emphasis in column added]

0 thoughts

  1. I suppose it’s easy for someone who doesn’t use Marijuana to argue against its legalization, but this isn’t about the effects it has on its users. It’s about personal freedom. If there is a product that helps some people remain pain free why not let them use it. Seems to me the personal freedom to use this as medication should left to the patient and Doctor, the Government should keep its nose out of it. Our personal freedoms are under attack from the ban of Marijuana to the high sin tax on tobacco. These type laws threaten to rob every American of their right to the pursuit of happiness, it starts with small things on the fringe of society, such as tobacco use, then if left unchallenged works it’s way to things that may affect your rights to peruse things that you enjoy. When the government takes things that are dear to the people, who tells them where and when to stop? The people, I don’t think so, If given the ability to deny a certain section our the society their right to enjoy things that don’t affect others, more and more people are at risk of loosing their rights to enjoy the things they love without undue taxation or threat of being jailed for the simple act of enjoying yourself. Some argue that High medical costs are reason enough to ban certain products. Obesity accounts for many times more deaths a year than Marijuana, but I don’t see a ban on Twinkies, We the people should consider the long range affects of the laws we let pass for some day we may not have any rights left to protect.

  2. In 1916, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees need to be cut down. Government studies report that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. Plans were in the works to implement such programs; Department of Agriculture…..then along came Mr. Hearst…..We can plainly see that marijuana legalizations benefits are boundless but until Americans wake up and realize that the true crime surrounding marijuana is the cornering of the market by campaign contributions from Alcohol and Tobacco companies and big pharma and lumber companies…It’s enough to make you sick.

  3. Law Enforcement personnel don’t want to lose their over-time so you guys can be happy. Who cares if your tax dollars goes to these over-crowded jails, prisons, and soon-to-be drug-treatment clinics? It’s all for the good of the U.S. and A.

  4. What else is new ? …………and propot ……….. The BIG three drug Companies ( Alcohol , Tobacco and Pharma. ) got a stranglehold on any type of legalization of marijuana . They use lies , deception , propaganda and misleading advertising to fill the American ignorant with everything they can think of to make people think marijuana is bad .

  5. Why do We the People continually grant to imperfect men, in spite of their imperfections, the most complete possible liberty? “Are not We the People, the master of our own house?”
    Is not, what is true of liberty, also true of the other rights of mankind…especially the “NATURAL RIGHTS OF MANKIND?”
    Is it not something to seriously think about?

  6. We all know government wastes a hell of a lot of money. Now the country doesn’t have a whole hell of a lot going for it, and can’t afford prohibition. It’s a frivolous waste of money, forces an educated and informed part of the public to choose between prescription drugs or the two legal recreational drugs. In you consider yourself free, you should not have to choose a recreational drug that is worse for you than cannabis. Being forced to choose alcohol or tobacco is not acceptable to far too many people, so many that the laws against prohibition are unenforceable on the scale necessary for effectiveness.
    Why don’t you all start schooling the media on Émile Durkheim about this to put them in a mood and mindset for legalization?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Émile_Durkheim
    Legalize Now!

  7. Here again another intelligent person understands the problem very well. None of this will reach the mainstream media or our elected officials. People from all over the world realize what a terrible drug policy we have in the U.S. It is so discouraging to hear that our government strong arms other governments into carrying out our failed policies. We should not be surprised when we see people of other nations speak poorly of us. We The People of The United States should demand a stop to this destructive practice.

  8. For so long, politician’s positions have been mostly tailored to appeal to senior citizens. The elderly are known to vote at a higher rate than any other segment of the population.
    We could take the long drawn out path of waiting for legalization in 2024 (by then even the majority of seniors will understand pot) or we can expedite it by doing the unexpected. We can stop believing that “they’ll never legalize pot” and start realizing that yes, we cannabis!
    If we, as a collective were able to acquire enough political savvy to effect the 2010 senatorial primaries, cannabis legalization would automatically be a shoo-in issue for the November election, which would inescapably continue on to the 2012 presidential race.
    With the total insanity that seems to keep surrounding most of the potential 2012 Republican nominees, there’s a possibility that we could help to nominate Ron Paul in the 2012. I’m not even a Republican, but I can sure register as one and vote in their primary. If Obama’s opposition wanted to end the drug war, wouldn’t he feel a little safer adopting the same stance (again)?
    The last thing any politician wants is for this issue to come to the forefront. Many know the drug war is wrong, but just want to let the next guy to be the one to deal with it. All it takes is a group effort to effect primary races. We have technology that will allow us to do this better than any political movement in the past. We are some of the most talented and industrious people in the country. Politicians want to keep it on the back burner. Let’s move it to the front and turn up the heat!

  9. Mexico is already making a huge mistake in trying to change the cartel fueled violence. To combat this problem head on both the USA and Mexico need to legalize, anything short of that is a waste of time and effort. Of course this wasnt necessary until their bullshit cartels moved into our side of the border, and if they continue to bow to US pressure to dictate their laws, im afraid nothing will get done. If Mexico made the move 1st we would have their cartel problem for ourselves which is what we deserve for continuing failed policy, at that point our corupt so called leaders in Washington would be faced with a tough choice. So I say go Mexico, they need to make this move and stop listening to morons from our country who have no idea how to fix a damn thing. People who run entire countries have a problem grasping onto this, people need to ask why their leaders care little of their safety and more about campaign dollars from companies who give a damn about peoples money only.

  10. It is so sad that the right and freedoms of a ‘FREE’ people are hinged on this one law. Not only are the livelyhoods of americans effevted but that of people around the world. All of this so a few greedy people here in our great country can profit. What was that saying… The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few..or the one? Ya just a saying from a movie but how true is it. Greed and power of the few cause suffering around the world. Very sad indeed. Its a tyrranical rule of men hiding in the law of the “free”.
    Guess we need to use thier tactics against them. They make cannabis look like a evil terrible drug.They make cannabis users look evil and terrible. Time to show what their laws are doing to people around the world,time to show how evil and terrible they really are. Show the people what is really going on.
    Talk to everyone you know about the facts of this stupid wasteful war against people. Dont be afraid to speak out.
    If our leaders start to feel it is political suicide not to end this war,then maybe we can stop it.

  11. Political Suicide???? I guess they don’t realize how many supporters they would GAIN.

  12. There is no money to be made acknowledging God’s will for people to live in freedom with liberty, ragardless of the Constitution of the United States. There is increasing slavery in an ever more oppressive police state in this country. Enough people to make a difference may not wake up until it is too late. Cannabis will be re-legalized only when the decision to do so is made by the religious-inspired, moneyed, political and power elite who own and run this country. That will happen only after they have devised ways for it to make them more money, and increase their control over people’s lives, in increasing violation of God’s will.

  13. Great to see the legalization debate finally gaining ground in other venues, not just health, personal freedom, and “the children” (laugh). Repercussions of the US’ foreign policy is potentially the most destructive element of this war. It may even start a war.

  14. People, We are in a war. Its exactly like I predicted 20 years ago. When the Gov’t begins to feel the cost of locking up all of us harmless peaceable lovers of God’s Green Gift, then and only then will they turn down the bucks from Alcohol, Tobacco, and Pharma, because those bucks are going to end up costing them a lot more in terms of incarceration, policing, and the judicial system. I don’t uderstand what the problem is with these three because the only one that would lose would be alcohol and it deserves to lose because of all the death and destruction it causes. Tobacco and pharma, on the other hand, if they did their job right, they could work together to grow and market all different varieties and make their profits go through the roof. Guess all three are idiots.

  15. From the Inquisition to Segregation there is a convenient (compared to socially alienating action) willingness of the majority to ignore what happens to “others.” Hopefully, around-the-clock cable news, wide spread internet access and cheap voice communication will help eliminate any feelings that others are “others.”
    Cannabis use has a unique trait that helps to overcome blind hatred. It is impossible to tell the “others” from “us” on sight. The more people realize their friends, neighbors, coworkers and children are others the less convenient it becomes to excuse persecution.

  16. Great article exposing America’s contradiction with marijuana prohibition and the failures of our drug policy. It illustrates that the entire world needs to reexamine this issue, there is no reason America can’t start leading by example. It is vital for progress and would be a huge step in the right direction toward a more peaceful world.

  17. “This expectation is one of the few areas of rigorous continuity in U.S. foreign policy over the last three decades.”
    If that doesn’t scream corruption, in light of all of the positive scientific evidence available to us, I don’t know what does.
    Call me crazy. Damn near a compliment these days…

  18. It’s not surprising the rest of the world is feed up with our world wide drug war. Just think how much more harmony there woud be if we allowed the other producing countries to legalaly import their products like we do with alcohol. Pay a tariff and taxes keep the money out of the cartels, gangs, and terrorist. We still would be buying domestic or imported but alot more people would be alive. EDUCATE,LEGALIZE,REGULATE, TAX easy as 1,2,3

  19. Brilliant. But there’s too much to be lost by boing it down to its root cause: racism.
    I don’t see why they can’t do the research I have (very little, thanks Google!) tinurl.com/1mn
    They’re all dead now, yet they’re perpetrating it to replace slave labor outlawed in 1865, far as I can figure.

  20. It’s to suppress minorities. What I find astonishing is that other countries are following the US’s lead (until Portugal broke rank in 2001 and decrimmed all drugs, offering treatment instead)…
    It’s like you put 9 monkeys in a room, 1 strapped to a chair and you have the rest of the monkies in, beating him. 1 by 1 you replace the monkeys and even when they’re all replaced the new monkeys will continue to beat the bound one.
    Imagine what it would say about the US government if they were to come out and say “OOPS all these drug laws, we found them based in racism, so we’re gonna write some sensible possession and carry laws for responsible US citizens who wish to expand their minds with drugs instead of drowning them in alcohol.”
    US government doesn’t admit to failure. They’ve also assassinated plenty of people. JFK, MLK, Lennon, Oswald…

  21. Part of the resistance to ending the Drug War is a lack of a good plan from the anti-prohibitionists. The Drug War was an easy plan, easy to sell to the public of the early seventies: Arrest everybody who was using and selling drugs, which were primarily, at the time, negroes and hippies.
    But where is the anti-prohibitionist plan? The best thng we’ve seen is the so-called “medical marijuana” front, where people claim to be sick, claim marijuana will help them and then get a license from a physician to get high. The other part of the plan is the imaginary “industrial hemp” front, which further confuses and confounds the prohibitionists, but doesn’t do anything really. How is it we can weave a tale like that but we can’t sell anything else to decriminalize cannabis?
    We need a real plan as an alternative to the Drug War. The complete legalization, commercialization and taxation of cannabis comes close. But what about the rest of the plant extracted drugs like heroine and cocaine? These things will never go back to over the counter sales and shouldn’t.
    How about we end the war on cultivation and simple possession and focus entirely on distribution? Make cultivation of the plant product drugs completely legal, but make the chemical extraction of any a felony. Make distribution from the place of cultivation either a felony, or a crime punishable by huge fines. Make simple possession of any unextracted psychoactive plant products legal at the site of cultivation and small amounts completely legal. A consequence of this broad treatment would be completely freeing cannabis for cultivation for its nondrug parts.
    This would work. It would impoverish and confound international organized crime and consequently slow its distribtion. Global consumption would go down. It would be a real victory in the War on Drugs without punishing innocent people.
    We should be fighting a War on Drugs, but cannabis is not the problem. Too many people are using too many drugs and not just the illegal ones.

  22. The government is going to protect their tax revenues on ALCOHOL-LUMBER INDUSTRY-TABACCO-SYNTHETICS MADE FOR CLOTHING OR COTTON-BIG PHARM DRUGS-OIL AND ALTERNATIVE ENERGY. Other countries are leading the way to sensible drug laws, while the INQUISITION is still going on in America. Although there are over a dozen states that changed, this country does not look that united to me, what about the rest of us. The wheels of change are turning slow, but our time is a comin. The trouble with our government that if MARIJUANA WAS LEGALIZED it is like opening up a PANDORAS BOX. .

  23. I didn’t want to believe it…but its so true. Law isn’t to protect American’s. Its to protect Incorporation’s and their money. I’m almost ashamed to call my self an American. What are we to them? Animals? Expendable Labor? Why are our voices falling on deaf ears. We are the people. We are the power. What a load of bull. It’s possible to get away with murder easier than it is to get away with using cannabis. Our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they knew how perverse and twisted our society would become. Its legal to kill babies, born or unborn. We idolize a child molesting pedophile whom I need not even mention his name. Every knows who I’m talking about. Obviously what we need is a famous multibillionaire pot head to get the job done. God Bless America….until they run Him out.

  24. The one question that I cant figure out, is that wouldnt marijuana legalization put more money into the pockets of those who were originally lining it with big pharma, tobacco, and alcohol?
    My question goes like this:
    “Hey- I get x amount of money from these companies (Al., To., Ph.), but if I cast a yes vote the next time a legalization bill comes around, I can make x + y (y= MJ revenue) amount of money (Or “y” may be sufficient enough on its own).
    “Ill vote yes next time”
    If these politicians are concerned about losing money by them ACTUALLY DOING THEIR JOB OF REPRESENTATION, haven’t they figured the numbers in their head and come to the realization that they can make MORE?
    (Im sure that the sin taxes placed on marijuana once legalized will get distributed in inappropriate way’s, such as expensive trips, cars, e.t.c., but I for one would be glad to pay for their house, considering they sacked up and finally did the right thing.)
    I know plenty of people who don’t smoke because of it’s illegalities. Not so much fear of cops, because their usage would not be in a manner to attract the police’s attention, but because they don’t want to lose their job, or be labeled as a pothead, THEN perhaps attracting law enforcement attention. (I.E. pissing off a girlfriend who in turn calls the cops on him.)
    I know when weed is legalized (notice key word “when”, not “if”) there will be a spike in usage. Not from those experimenting with it though, but from those who now are not worried of legal prosecution. We have to make sure those stats do not get twisted and land MJ back in prohibition.
    Regardless if its “personal freedom”, “a harmless substance”, whatever the reason for ones support for legalization, they all make sense and they all hold the same unequivocal validity.
    But I guess my main complaint still stands, as it does with everyone.
    WHY IS IT STILL ILLEGAL?

  25. “Real alternatives have found no space in a policy debate between prohibition and wholesale legalization?”
    Well, Mr. Naim, since you asked law enforcement for their ‘expert’ advice on the subject of drug policy, why don’t you ask them their expert advice on how to deal with fat people? I mean, it’s obvious these people, just like drug users, don’t know what is best for themselves. It certainly has nothing to do with people acting rationally, whether eating fries, smoking bud or snorting cocaine, and doing what they enjoy, right?
    Seriously, when I read quotes like the one I posted at the top of the comment, I get pissed off to no end. Decriminalization is the good middle ground, they say.
    Well I say HELL NO!!! It’s about allowing consenting adults to do what they want, when they want as long as nobody else’s person or property is harmed, not finding a damn middle ground that is still prohibition and would still leave the drug cartels to make piles of money since sale, trafficking and cultivating (everything but possession) would likely still remain a felony or misdemeanor.
    And what’s that you say? It might result in a decline in overall output by the country? First of all, ask yourself this: what would result in a bigger decline in output between alcohol prohibition and the current system? Between caffeine prohibition and the current system?
    He is certainly right though when he says that prohibition has led to prohibition of rational thought. The amount of doublethink in this country, with regards to currently government-sponsored and illicit drugs, is unbelievable.

  26. 22 Twostrip says:
    “It’s as easy as 1 2 3”
    It’s exactly that easy!
    1 to 3 is even easier.
    Move shedule I to shedule III
    “1 to 3…shit or get off the pot”
    Let’s make this our national chant, directed to the FDA

  27. 22 Zak
    Don’t ever be ashamed to call yourself an American. It’s not America that has failed…it’s the government.
    As a matter of fact…We the People must take responsibility for the results of our actions. Those results are that We the People elected weak representative who cave in to the Will of a very small
    group of prohibs. We must elect reps that rep us…because…there are more of us than there is of them. Zak stand tall, be proud, speak your peace, vote for anti-prohibs, and as Louie would say…”TROW DEM BUMS OUT.”

  28. Just a friendly reminder to all prohibitionists:
    Legal or not, I’m still gonna smoke weed and enjoy the hell out of it.

  29. Hey NORML i found your state by state laws but where can i go to find marijuana policy for other countries. I have a friend who got caught in Australia and i aint herd from him in a coupla days. And i kno a girl whos got a friend in Seol South Korea and was proly caugt and she aint heard from her friend either
    [Editor’s note: As the name implies, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) mainly concentrates on domestic cannabis laws in the U.S. and does not maintain a listing of international cannabis laws.]

  30. And also to Wendy in good ole Utah, lady ive read your posts on here before and they pretty smart. Ok check it i think you need to run for some kind of political office. If we could get a shitload of baby-boomers to campaign for various offices we could speed up decrim. Another guy, Jerry i think he said, he was a vietnam vet we NEED more ppl of your guys age group in politics. (i reference your guys age with all respect.)

  31. We need to keep on fighting till this stupid prohibition war is done with other wise we will just sort of say be swept in under the rug and we shall see no more movement we need to keep fighting till we get marijuana legalized and taxed if not at least decriminalized after all marijuana is not a scedual 1 drug but is marked as such it should have never been illegal in the first place….. So in short if the govt want to try to just sweep us under the rug sort of say then we must keep the fight up and do all that we can do….. Keep on your reps….. Keep on bloging….. Keep on with the coverage and keep the fight for marijuana legalization un till we have ended this stupid prohibition……

  32. See i want legalization too. But im 28 with three little girls and a wife. I have little time and no money. But your generation has the fortune of still bein young and wise. Most of your kids have grown and some have extra resources. Get your butts in office, and get rid of the stinkin senile aristocrats that run this country with iron fist.

  33. Only 19% favor a shift from criminal penalties/incarceration to treatment/education??? I would LOVE to see how this question was posed, because I do not believe that many people truly believe throwing drug users in jail is the best way to solve the drug problem.

  34. Also, this study shows the stupidity of the average American survey-taker. Allegedly, 73% of Americans are against legalizing ANY drugs… yet only 60% say they are against legalizing marijuana. I’m no math major, but if only 27% say they would consider legalizing anything, then how can 40% say they’d consider legalizing pot???

  35. Gaining ground is up to the people. You have the power to elect people, to re-elect people and to force politicans to listen.
    If a politican is not being honest about the drug war and tries to avoid “political suicide” than he/she must NOT be elected…
    They are ignoring science and research… It is no different than if they ignored climate change, evolution or marriage rights.
    HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE… and yes, Obama included.

  36. To Paul #25 that wants to continue the war on drugs to a certain extent:
    You want to still prosecute traffickers, producers, growers and sellers of heroin and cocaine?
    Your plan focuses on going after distribution and legalizing possession.
    That’s ridiculous. How long has the US government attempted to curb supply and failed miserably? As long as any substances remain on the black market and attract criminal elements to it while keeping the high profit margin, you can bet there will be violence all around it.
    Legalizing possession of coke and heroin is great, but it’s not like it pops up out of nowhere. It’s a contradiction, just like the one posted in the article. You want to make it okay to possess, yet not okay to sell or grow. Hmm, let’s turn off the faucet to organized crime with regards to cannabis but let them continue making money from other drugs.
    And finally, do you realize how hypocritical you are? People here say the government has no right to tell them what they can or can’t do. Yet, some of the very same people that support cannabis legalization, turn their backs on the people who support legalization of other drugs and agree with the continued prosecution that goes on.
    It’s a slippery slope to advocate legalizing one vice and not legalizing another. Saying vice x is okay but vice y isn’t simply because it’s what a bunch of people think is what got us to where we are now in the first place.

  37. I hope that no enemy forces attack us he in the US because it looks like the average person would just sit there and let it happen, just like this war on drugs they are just sitting there and letting it happen and I guess they are going to wait until the whole country caves in around there heads, WTF people stand up and be heard for goodness sake after all we are the land of the free home of the brave.

  38. The word “cannabis” appears in the CSA a total of
    1 time, in the definition of “marihuana”, which starts like this:
    “The term ‘marihuana’ means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L…”.
    The rest of the time, the relevant mentions are of marihuana, marijuana, or schedule 1 drug.
    Cannabis would be legalized, and marijuana could be set on a path toward decriminalization if the definition was changed to this:
    “The term ‘marihuana’ means all parts – of the smoke produced by the combustion – of the plant Cannabis Sativa L. Period.”

  39. The word “cannabis” appears in the CSA a total of 1 time, in the definition of “marihuana”, which starts like this:
    “The term ‘marihuana’ means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L…”.
    The rest of the time, the relevant mentions are of marihuana, marijuana, or substance(s) in schedule 1.
    Cannabis would be legalized, and marijuana could be set on a path toward decriminalization if the definition was changed to this:
    “The term ‘marihuana’ means all parts – of the smoke produced by the combustion – of the plant Cannabis Sativa L., period.”

  40. Adam,I think these polls are WAY off. They must have got these numbers from a government/prohibitionist biased poll.
    Keep fighting people. There is a lot more than just legalization of cannabis at stake here.(please people use the the term cannabis)Cahnging this law will have ramifications on many things our leaders do. Our level of freedom is at stake here.

  41. Forget about legalization…There’s no hope anymore!!! Drug companies in the U.S. have this country in its grip. They’re not going to legalize marijuana when their making billions and billions on almost every living soul all over the world.
    There might be a chance if people would get off there couches and their head out of the TV. Voice your opinions people!!! Stand up and say I’m an american and this country is ours not the goverment’s. If we don’t start doing something now all our freedoms will slowly slip under goverment and big corporation’s control.
    I’ll smoke to this…

  42. I would tell you that from my past experience with changing minds about cannibus it is better to be on the outside of the government as a lobbiest. We were successful 1978 in Nebraska due to the hard work of Don Feidler and myself and a very smart state senator ( John DeCamp). I think if we would help people like Jim Webb and Barney Frank and Ron Paul we might actually get something accomplished. If anyone would like to join us for a televised debate on the subject of Cannibus Prohibition I’m sure Myself and those who have sponsored legislation would be more than happy to take part. I’m also sure that any of the great people at NORML or LEAP or any of the other anti prohibition organizations would be happy to join us. Is there anyone from the news media reading this? Feel free to take us up on the offer. I would like everone to know that my freind Don passed away without seeing prohibition lifted. I do not intend for that to happen to me. I will fight for the right to consume cannibus till the day I die! The truth rolls on.

  43. That’s quite a compliment Sir non-General Jake. Thanks you very much I am definitely flattered to say the least.
    And yes to Jerry, a Viet War Veteran. I am so honored to meet real people like you. I go from laughing to crying and it’s just crazy that any one of us have been treated like dogs.
    Wendy ReNae Warr Elorriaga

  44. GOOD for the Foreign Policy Press….
    I guess the Government will not repeal Prohibition of Marijuana until they a ready to make even more money on it. They just have not ironed out how it will work yet. I bet when it is done, they will announce it and throw a big Party with confetti and everything…It would be wonderful to be alive when this happens !!!!

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