Newsweek Magazine, PBS NewsHour, FOX Business News all look at mainstreaming of marijuana legalization

This week we’ve seen three usually staid mainstream media outlets – Newsweek Magazine, the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and FOX Business News – examining the growing movement in California and nationwide to discuss the inevitable re-legalization of cannabis in America.  [UPDATE:Apparently the FOX Business Channel (not FOX News) will have a series called “High Noon” beginning Monday at Noon ET / 9am PT.]
We begin with the PBS NewsHour and their fine report featuring the Honorable Rebecca Kaplan from the Oakland City Council and Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University. For balance (I suppose) they also interview the police chief of El Cerrito, California, who provides the obligatory doses of “reefer madness” at around the 5:00 mark.

Once again, I have to ask the cop at the end of the piece: How many people who don’t smoke pot now are going to start smoking pot once it is legal, and how much is that going to cost? Whatever it is, make the tax on pot equal to that amount, minus the expenditures we’ll save on not arresting people and sending helicopters on weeding missions, and we’ve covered the costs! (Actually, since Miron estimates that we’d reap in revenues and savings around $14 billion annually from legalized pot nationally, you have to convince us that the brand new legal pot smokers who aren’t already smoking now would cost society more than that.)

We're still trying to figure out how you inject marijuana (from Newsweek photo essay on pot propaganda)
We’re still trying to figure out how you inject marijuana (from Newsweek photo essay on pot propaganda)

That stupid retort that legal weed will cost society more than the taxes only works if you believe that nobody is smoking weed now and suddenly when it’s legal, everyone will smoke weed. 22,000,000 PEOPLE ARE SMOKING WEED THIS YEAR ALREADY! Whatever that costs us as a society, we’re already paying NOW without taking in any tax money!
Cannabis does not “add another vice” to tobacco and alcohol that costs our society so much more than their taxes bring in. Alcohol and tobacco use create huge medical bills and death. Cannabis does not. With three legal choices and cannabis being obviously safest, we’ll cut costs as people choose it over alcohol and tobacco, and raise tax revenues that are currently going to black marketeers.
Read more about Newsweek and FOX Business News after the break…

Next we have the series of article in Newsweek, which has seemingly devoted an entire issue to the subject of legalization. In “Welcome to Potopia”, they describe the section of Oakland known as Oaksterdam as “a model for what a legalized-drug America could look like.” Dr. Nora Volkow from NIDA and Prof. Mark Kleiman from UCLA are cited to provide the necessary balance, with the typical warnings that “It’s certainly true that this is not your grandfather’s pot,” as if our grandfathers were smoking nothing but ditchweed in the 1960’s. (Sorry, but Sgt. Pepper and Dark Side of the Moon were not composed by nor appreciated by people smoking ditchweed.) Our own Paul Armentano is quoted as well:

The fact that we now are debating it—at least in some parts of the country—is the result of a number of forces that, as MacCoun puts it, have created the perfect pot storm: the failure of the War on Drugs, the growing death toll of murderous drug cartels, pop culture, the economy, and a generation of voters that have simply grown up around the stuff. Today there are pot television shows and frequent references to the drug in film, music, and books. And everyone from the president to the most successful athlete in modern history has talked about smoking it at one point or another. “Whether it’s the economy or Obama or Michael Phelps, I think all of these things have really worked to galvanize the public,” says Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the coauthor of a new book, Marijuana Is Safer; So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?”At the very least, it’s started a national conversation.”


Newsweek also looks at the “green rush” in Los Angeles County in a piece called “The Wild West of Weed” and how District Attorney Cooley says “about 100%” of the dispensaries are illegal and that “the time is right to deal with this problem.” Weed dealer turned dispensary owner Jason Beck tells his story of suffering through a DEA “smash-n-grab” raid where the cops were trapped in his store thanks to all the bulletproof glass and “man traps” he had installed for security. “If we were real gangsta drug dealers, we could have sniped them all out,” Beck says, lamenting how the DEA destroyed all his security equipment and how $12,500 in cash just mysteriously disappeared.
The Newsweek series winds up with a look at Drug Policy Alliance’s Ethan Nadelmann, called “The Pro-Drug Czar” (a term I’d bet he’d disagree with… he’s not “pro-drugs”, he’s “anti-prohibition”). Ethan gives the readers some of the best sound bites on how the drug war is impacting our prisons, saying “We lock up more people on drug charges than all of Western Europe locks up for everything, and they have 100 million more people than we do. We have less than 5 percent of the world’s population but we have almost 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population. We rank first in the world in per capita incarceration, and the drug war is the No. 1 driving factor.”
Then this morning we are told the folks over at Fox Business News are beginning a series looking at the legalization wave in America. There are no stories or videos to post yet, but you can be sure that when there are, we’ll report on them here at NORML.
The remarkable thing in these series of news stories are not that the mainstream media is covering the legalization issue, it is how they are covering the issue. The discussion is no longer “what about the children?!?” and the doom-and-gloom warnings of heroin in the 7-Elevens if we legalize cannabis. The discussion now focuses on the economic viability of the cannabis market and the 40-year-long failure of the War on (Certain American Citizens Using Non-Pharmaceutical, Non-Alcoholic, Tobacco-Free) Drugs™ to do anything to impede that market. The pot-pun headlines are fading away and the ledes of the stories are tilted favorably toward our issue. In the past the government anti-pot propaganda dominated the story and if any contrary view was even broached, it was reformers being thrown a bone deep in the closing paragraphs to offer a rebuttal that was often couched in derogatory, “here’s what the stoners say” language. Now our side is presented as the rational, common-sense, business-savvy side of the issue with the hysterical law enforcement propaganda given the end-of-article quotes, often couched in desperate, “here’s what the reefer mad say” language.
America is becoming convinced that legalization of cannabis makes sense from a public health, public safety, and economic standpoint. And we haven’t even begun bringing up how much money industrial hemp would bring us in a legalized cannabis world…

0 thoughts

  1. Actually the etra costs from smokers is in fact a myth. Harvard did a study that shows because smokers die on average 10 yrs. earlier than non-smokers… Smokers actually save uncle sam $0.32/pack.
    I’m sure you can find the article… Just some more ammunition for the cause. Keep up the good work!
    [Russ responds: Thanks for that solid point… and damn, you’re fast on the comments! I just posted this!]

  2. “reefer madness” is a Fraud. Nothing in this crappy movie is real. So what your saying is that a long with the reality of Cannabis we still haver to repaeat the lies, and for what reason are we repeating the fraudulent information?
    This prohabition of cannabis is equal to standing up in the movie house and shouting FIRE! Both cause harm to the public, both do nothing but harm and injury the welfare and safety of the public. Prohabition of cannabis breads disrespect for our government as it goes against the will of the people.
    It is not about making cannabis legal, it is about voiding those laws that are simply unjust and do not represent the will of this Nation. These laws have always been in violation of the Constitution and we don’t need government to tell us that. We need to just nullify the law by using Jury Nullification. This will put an end to our employees’ foolishness and take back what is ours in the first place.

  3. All I can think to say is thank you Paul, and the rest of the wonderful people at NORML, and countless other organizations.
    It must feel amazing to be able to write this blog up 🙂

  4. I am a frequent cannabis user, long proponent of legalization, and supporter of logical discussion on all of this.
    While I think that regulation and taxation at a state level is really the way to go with regards to cannabis in America, and at the same time I do think there will be some serious windfalls from such measures. However, one scenario has been scratching at the back of my head, which is hypothetically: how much of the tax gain will be offset by having to re-invest in regulation. States spend a LOT of money regulating alcohol (granted in part to how dangerous it is, but hear me out), we are currently arguing that we as a society should apply the same standards to legal cannabis as we do to legal alcohol. So that means we would have a major shift of policing to preventing under 21 use, driving, non-acceptable use, etc etc.
    The point being: how much will the statewide costs of legal pot cut into tax figures they are projecting? Are the final figures adjusted already? What are the thoughts on this potential “hurdle” we could face?
    On the flip-side, this could be used to assuage police unions they won’t be losing as much money as they think they would. I am excited for the day when I can legally enjoy this substance, but realistically I think there’s some serious debate that covers all the bases on how we will go about executing this in the future.
    [Russ responds: Good questions, ones I’ve been thinking about a lot. Sure, one cop job is eliminated for not locking up illegal potheads, but isn’t another cop job opened up to ensure ID check compliance at the new legal pot store, or a bureaucrat job handling license applications, or an undercover job finding pot-tax scofflaws, or a youth resource officer job keeping kids off pot? Detractors often say that the Mexican drug gangs won’t just give up being criminals if we take pot revenues away; they’ll just switch to committing other crimes. I say flip it and show that police bureaucracies won’t give up drug war budgets if we legalize pot; they’ll just switch to policing other crimes… and in a world of re-legalized cannabis, there will still be plenty of laws to enforce.]

  5. People also need to consider the jobs this creates. Who led the forefront in Hydroponics? Im going to go out on a limb but I believe many of the growing pot communities online contributed greatly to where hydroponics currently stands. From the multiple systems used to the preference of nutrients. Pot heads LOVE growing not only pot but just about anything, why not allow these people to get respectable jobs helping people around the world by providing hemp, pot, and of course fruit and vegetables by hydroponic growing?
    As far as the health benefits, its nonsense, if you are concerned about my health than make cigarettes & alcohol illegal both of which have far more factual data of doing harm than that of marijuana. Its hypocrisy to still say pot is harmful meanwhile we prescription drug overdose at record highs, alcohol deaths are near record highs, as well cigarettes have a long track record of death, so do they really care about us?
    As far as locking pot heads up, id really like to see data on whether those same pot heads quit smoking after released or do they simply go back to smoking?
    Jail & Prison are currently completely useless for pot heads, they turn people into worse criminals then when they first went into the system. Taking a pot head and throwing him in with more serious criminals could have an adverse affect on that pot head. He/She is now surrounded by REAL criminals hearing all their “war stories” and its inevitable that they will get influenced by them.
    If they want to see some real numbers how about they ask the DEA where all the money they have been given went? Its in the trillions, what have they done with it? How many innocent people have they killed in the process of raids? How many innocent pets have they killed? Id like to see the DEA held accountable for 1% of the actions they do. I wish America would flip the script and ask the DEA some questions. I bet you would find a lot more crime then than of a typical pot head. Pot heads get held accountable for their actions so maybe its time our law enforcement did as well.
    I will tune in and support any news channel that airs anything related to Cannabis as long as its well put together and not mindless propaganda.

  6. All i gotta say is finally some evidence of common sence in our media. I hope its not hype and they keep puttin stuff on that discusses fair legalization until its legal. And what the hell is up that propaganda pic? Ive seen abunch of em but never that one. How the HELL do you shoot up herb?

  7. Is it just me – or are videos 2 and 3 the same?
    [Russ responds: No, you’re just really really high. Kidding… I must be really really high! Accidentally posted the same embed code twice. It’s fixed now.]

  8. This is excellent news that mainstream media is doing more stories on marijuana prohibition. Lets keep it in the news.

  9. Damn Russ…you’re really kicking some serious butt with your articles lately. You’ve managed to really bring together what’s happening out there in mainstream media and wrapped it all up for us very nicely. Thank you, sincerely!
    I really truly hope that we’ve turned over a new leaf (lol) with how this country perceives a failed war on American citizens. Just the mere thought of all of us coming together to put an end to this tyranny once and for all brings tears to my weary eyes. I hope and pray this happens in my lifetime.

  10. Finally, main stream media is covering/discussing the topic of Marijuana. This is awesome. Keep spreading the truth and we will overcome these ridiculous laws!!

  11. Having been a herbal consumer since 1980 I have always thought that prohibition would not end as long as the status quo made more money having it be illicit. I watched through the 80’s as things got only worse, and can remember people losing cars and boats for a seed or roach. I saw the implementation of mandatory drug testing and mandatory minimum sentencing. Things only got more and more out of control. All while it had been obvious to any rational person that cannabis was actually quite innocuous and really should have been relegalized in the 60’s. I hope (with a large degree of cynicism) that perhaps the time may be nigh for draconian laws to be changed, even repealed, as the peoples’ will. But I still think as long as there’s more money in prohibition, we will NEVER see the simple legal status we so long for. I even wonder how much of the paranoia that so many people feel when under the influence is actually created by the societal disdain and possible legal ramifications of such use. It has never seemed right to me that all was well as long as one was tanked on Saturday night and not high. You could even discuss all the stupid things you’d done with family and freinds later and at most people would tell you to “tone it down” a bit. Evidently alcoholism is A-OK in America. If businesses saw how productive a Meth-head can be, there would be crack pipes and not coffee machines in every office. Whatever, this system is too hypocritical for my tastes, and while I cannot completely remove myself from it, I certainly can give up the majority of my consumer consumption, and have. Sometimes I’ve even felt that if many people just chose suicide over consumption, the rats would have to eat each other instead of us. Every CEO needs hundreds (if not thousands or even millions)of minimum-wage back breakers to maintain his or her status. Protest by Death. One of the most powerful images is the monk self-immolating, now THERE is a protest. We care so much about “the children” until the day they turn 18. Then they’re ripe for slaughter. Productivity and Exploitation are all that matters. Keep it. I don’t want it. Buy into the pyramid, you too will retire a millionare. Good luck. Sorry, went a little Dennis Miller there. It just would be nice if there were more choices than Hammer/Nail. It doesn’t seem to help us evolve as a species, and somehow I thought that was our point. My bad..

  12. Finally the ball is starting to move. Now one issue i would love to see pushed more is how random employment drug test would need to change to accomadate pot and how they are a invasive procedure that is a waste of money. Since the metabolites stay in pee so long it would no longer be a good way to test. Honestly id love to see random employment test go away I dont however mind pre-employment as much but it could go too. I feel as if they violate the rights of an employee however employers should have the right to perform a test if there is suspicion of drug use while at work.

  13. if we don’t watch out fox news will be taking credit for leaglizing weed the other networks better get onboard or miss the bandwagon CNBC has marijuna inc on 2 to 3 times a week it is their most watched special anderson cooper had a week long deal on it his ratings were the best ever now we hear about stiletto stoners when are we going to push back for laegeliziton of pot

  14. Cannabis legalization is going mainstream. For anyone you know that’s not onboard, educate and inform them.
    Have them check out CannabisTV.org and CannabisPlanet.tv.

  15. Wow! Look at all these comments!!!! Whoa! I just felt my kitchen floor move>>>>have we reached the proverbial tipping point?!?!?!?!
    The past 12 months have witnessed a cascade of pro-marijuana discussion. Starting with Obama’s initial solicitation for ideas of solutions from US citizens and the subsequent tsunami of pro-legalizatino suggestions (that there was no avoiding paying attention to) to Michael Phelps, to California and Massachussets giving serious political consideration to the matter, to all the recent mainstream television coverage of the issue, and in such a rational objective manner, to just the steady buildup of show of public support for it, I can’t help but think that the tipping point, if it hasn’t happened yet, is just around the corner.
    Add to the issue of public cost vs. benefits, the other take on the jobs issue is that it would create self sustaining jobs and decrease the types of jobs that produce nothing and are dependent on taxes, and as such are added weight to the economy rather than fuel. And the range of types of jobs that would be avaiable if it were legalized.
    Would more people try pot once it’s legalized? Hell yeah. But out of those, how many would try it once just out of curiousity, or decide they don’t like it and quit, or people who try it and end up giving up their daily 12-pack of beer in favor of cannabis (research exists that supports this as well) or decide they do like it and it helps them function better, vs. the minority of people that would continue despite its not being a good thing for them?
    Rather than pull us down as a country, I think it help us in unexpected ways to redeem our image overseas. As it is now, Americans are perceived as academically inferior (a Japanese student who does a year in high school here has to go back and make up almost a full year back home, we’re that dumbed down), we are perceived generally as a country of overweight, sloppily dressed (Europeans wouldn’t dream of going out in public the way I’ve seen some people in Walmart), hopelessly ignorant, loud, self-entitled snobs without a cause, rather than the young free spirited vibrant nation as we were seen in the 70’s (which, incidentally, were some very good years for pot smokers). Its accepted use would help us to all slow down and be more reflective, something all of us could use, and as such we learn to once again live in a manner that shows self respect and self restraint.
    And as for the issue of driving safety, I suggest they do research to get an accurate take on the impact of cannabis on driving. I suggest they start with the research that NORML provides, and identify where the potential for harm lies. I mean, if the evidence so far proves to be correct, that cannabis causes a driver to go slower and leave more space behind the car ahead of him, that’s an “impairment” I can deal with. I think there are a number of people who could stand to slow down and not drive with their front fender up my tailpipe.
    Heck, Number 13, I”m salivating over the idea of this happening by the end of next year let alone in my lifetime. It will only take one jury annullment to make the wall crumble.
    I seriously think the tipping point is right under us.
    Oh, and Russ, I got your fundraiser people’s impassioned letter about my membership dues,and tell thim, it’s not them, they’ve done nothing wrong,and it’ll be on it’s way as soon as I can get a little ahead/caught up. I’m just a vicitm of this economy, and trying to save up to buy my freedom.
    [Russ responds: We all understand that situation. Take care of yourself, so you can join us later even stronger.]

  16. It’s as simple as this.
    If cannabis is such as problem to the healthcare system (a debatable fable.)
    Then make ALCHOHOL and CIGARETTES illegal RIGHT NOW, TODAY, with NO hesitation !
    I swear these fuckers will use any invalid point to further THEIR cause thats based on THEIR moralistic beliefs.

  17. All the government is doing is buying time to think of harsher penalties thats why you see these news releases on norml claiming that the movement is going forward in a positive direction…..If weed would be legal it would of happened by now or 40 years ago people…..The Oscar nominees right now in the white house will never legalize it’s the peoples job to rid these people……AND THEN LEGALIZATION WILL HAPPEN……..

  18. I recently visited Oaksterdam and talked to Mr. Lee. He is a great person to have talking to the media as he is very knowledgeable on the subject. His approach in Oakland seems to be the model for cannabusiness. I’ve said all along that the first state to legalize cannabis will have a huge head start economically. Thanks to Russ for great coverage and thanks to Richard Lee for showing us the way forward.

  19. I LOVE the prohibitionist at the end of the PBS video, “Worker productivity will go down.” Really? One, we need JOBS to go to. As you peruse the aisles of your company and people surf the net and yap on the phone, do we really think we can be any LESS productive than we already are? Alcohol prohibitionists in the 20’s had the same productivity doomsday scenario. It was fallacy then, and it still is today. He also gets the “kids” into the argument and that its bad for them. Well, yeah! That’s kind of the point (to borrow a phrase from you know who.) If we could keep it out of the hands of kids, they would be safer. Too bad prohibition has so woefully failed to do so!
    A friend is going through chemo right now. I suggested to look into a card in California where he lives. He said his wife doesn’t want it around the kids, but he is taking massive doses of narcotics for the pain that are 3x stronger than Oxycontin. I told him the kids already know how to take a pill and that there is no risk of OD if they DID somehow get their young hands on it, -unlike the pain pills! I hope they decide what is best for him and his medical treatment over societal perceptions of “danger.” This scenario showed me just how far we have yet to go before this is accepted as the medicine it is.

  20. I’ve read in some textbooks that cigarette smoking led to like a drop in productivity by about 10%. I’m not doubting that smoking marijuana on the job could help drop it some as well, but hell there are people out there that are like me and don’t smoke tobacco, and don’t smoke on the job (or as often as cigarette smokes generally take smoke breaks) so I guess our productivity still wouldn’t change.
    Keep it going though. Legalize 😀

  21. That my friends is the smell of inevitability. Take a good deep smell of it, it”ll only happen once.
    Then we can all start down the road of pushing government out of our lives.

  22. The lure of the economic arguments for legalization has certainly been helpful in furthering NORML’s cause in the last year. I worry that a much better reason for legalization–namely, that marijuana use should be a civil right in consistency with our scientific understanding of the substance–gets lost (when covered in the MSM).
    The anxieties that people in the legalization movement have about what strategies would work best to reach the end goal–that somehow, if we “screw it up” it could backfire–indicate to me that the biggest challenge we face is to de-stigmatize pot smoking. I think that this should be one of the foremost goals for pot activists right now. As Radical Russ has emphasized on the show, people need to come out of the closet to their family and friends. I think a national marijuana coming-out day could be quite beneficial, whether this is held on 4/20 or another day.

  23. We are no longer pushing the ball up the hill, we’ve reached the top we simply need to push it back down the hill and run over all the lies and deceit. Whatever happened to the NORML AD campaign? Is TV time still as cheep as it was? I think a blitzkrieg of real truth ads would help. OOOO Just thought of this, NORML should create gift cards for the holidays to where we could gift a fellow friend or even someone who is confused on the whole legalize debate and sign em up to NORML. I’m sure with a little bit of brain storming something could pop up 🙂
    [Editor’s note: NORML’s offered gift cards in the past during the holidays…]

  24. “And as for the issue of driving safety, I suggest they do research to get an accurate take on the impact of cannabis on driving. I suggest they start with the research that NORML provides, and identify where the potential for harm lies. I mean, if the evidence so far proves to be correct, that cannabis causes a driver to go slower and leave more space behind the car ahead of him, that’s an “impairment” I can deal with. I think there are a number of people who could stand to slow down and not drive with their front fender up my tailpipe.”
    I was scouring youtube for videos one evening and found this video on impaired driving, they had a 3 tests I think, stopping behind a line (like at an intersection) solemn course, and pulling into and backing out of a parking spot. Said it was showing on ‘SPEED CHANNEL’ yet everyone had European accents, anyways their results were what most of us would expect, little to no change, change that did occur resulted in the IMPAIRED driver being more careful. They said their results were the same as a Government study that said us pot heads are pretty good drivers. And I would like to point out the man who did the driving smoke RIGHT before driving, I sure know I don’t smoke seconds before walking out the door.

  25. “A friend is going through chemo right now. I suggested to look into a card in California where he lives. He said his wife doesn’t want it around the kids, but he is taking massive doses of narcotics for the pain that are 3x stronger than Oxycontin. I told him the kids already know how to take a pill and that there is no risk of OD if they DID somehow get their young hands on it, -unlike the pain pills! I hope they decide what is best for him and his medical treatment over societal perceptions of “danger.” This scenario showed me just how far we have yet to go before this is accepted as the medicine it is.”
    Ok so this probably will be my last commentary yet I can’t sleep and willing to talk! Anyways in regards to cancer treatments I have seen first hand what morphine does to ones ambition to eat. My mother became very week at almost the one year mark of being diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (probably from all those Virgina slim menthol’s) so she became very pain ridden from the chemo and the more intense one (cant think of it right now) so in order for her to deal with the pain the state of Maine decided to just keep pumping more pain killer in her IV. This I know for a fact caused her to become less apt to eat solid food, in turn causing her to become even weaker. The body gets to a point where it will no longer operate once your as small as she was. I am a firm believer the cancer did not kill her, the regiment of pain killers and lack of nutrients did it for her. I have a lot of regret for not telling her to smoke with me because she would have ate a nice big meal.

  26. “The fear of the devil we don’t know over the devil we do.”
    Ethan is right when he cites the above quote as a primary hurdle to ending cannabis prohibition. But it’s even worse than that because the feared unknown devil is actually an angel. This angel is patiently waiting for society to come to it’s senses and embrace the many benefits available for the enrichment and advancement of our species through the full utilization of this amazing plant.

  27. to 18, bobreaze,
    i was reading that their is a new form of testing that is similar to a breathilizer for road cops. possibily for “at the time ” testing.it is still in development but may offer an alternitive to present forms of on the job testing. at my work, they”re hair testing. im writing a letter right now to our hr. dept asking for a different form of testing.their is enough of us there that partake that we would offer to help pay for the equiptment if it would help.i know its far fetched but. it worth a try.

  28. @ 26 TR
    Thank you dude. I dont smoke cigarettes either and in 32 years I smoked cannabis once on the job back when I was 18 working by myself at a gas station, i bugged out so much i never did it again and now that i have a career working with heavy equipment I would NEVER,EVER even consider smoking on the job. As well I feel the majority of us feel the same way and that is why it needs to be legalized so those of us that are responsible law abiding adults and parents can relax after work without fear of losing our jobs(testing), our benefits, and our children to endangerment laws. Unfortunatly Big brother has morphed into Our Mother and thinks it will decide what is right for us because obviously we have to protect ourselves from ourselves, right?
    It is rather BullShit that a few and I belive to be the minority, are the ones holding this up because they never smoked a J in their time and are arguing against our Constitutional right to Privacy, Property, and Happiness because of the lies and propaganda they have been fed but dont have ANY experience what so ever to at the least know what they are talking about.
    It;s a sad day in the history of this country when a Hard working man can shed blood & sweat on his job helping his comunnity and not enjoy the relazing peace of mind that cannabis brings because of a few narrow minded people.
    I do not smoke ciggaretts and I drink very very little alchohol as I do not like the way it makes me feel the next day or the out of control feeling I get when I am under the influence of it. I prefer cannabis, it smells great, it tastes great, it relaxes me, it takes away all my aches and pains and unlike alchohol I can function properly and maintain my roll as a father and husband, Alchohol makes mw lazy, uncordinated, and unihibited with no self control.
    As I said before if THEY are going to use the old healthcare vs benefit excuse as the last straw to grap onto for their failing crusade then they need to outlaw ciggaretts that do nothing but KILL and alchohol that makes people moraly irreprehensable and also KILLS ! Make it illegal today, right now, with no hesitation !…which they wont because THEIR vise is alchohol and ciggaretts.

  29. One of the problems explaining why marijuana legalization
    is being supported by such organizations as NORML is the fact that once their goal is reached,their “jobs” are over,while explaining the stubbornness of the anti-drug
    cartels is easy too see,because they are protecting their jobs. There would seem to be some way that this difference in motives could be used against the anti-drug speakers in these debates.
    When our government ignores scientific evidence and our elected representatives ignore their constituents,there has to be money at the root of the problem.
    I can understand why the Drug Czar still says marijuana has no medical value,because over 1/2 his budget is used to interdict,prosecute and keep marijuana illegal. And our elected representatives,from both parties,received 30 million from the pharmaceutical indutry in the last election,
    and during the years where marijuana was receiving public attention and activists were pushing for legalization,the contributios from the pharmaceutical lobbies increased,and when there was little activity on the legalization front,the pharmaceutical companies gave less.
    http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=H04
    The senators from my state,Texas.both respond to any
    letters asking for them too support either medical marijuana or outright legalization that marijuana is a schedule 1 drug,and they will not endorse it. They both recieve large donations from the pharmaceutical industries,while Barney Frank and Ron Paul,both supporters of legalized marijuana,receive no contributions from the pharmaceutical industries
    This pretty much outlines the who our enemies are and explains why all the letter writing and phone calls are ignored,and will be ignored,unless we can “out bid”
    the contributions they are already receiving.

  30. I would suggest that you go to the above web site and investicate your elected representatives election fund donations,and see if they receive donations from the pharmaceutical industries,and how they respond to your
    queries about legalization. It will probably be the sme for them as with mine and will give you an idea of who too support in the next election and who too replace.

  31. If we can undue this great harm placed upon the people my friends and I can grow in the open. We can get together at harvest time each year. Just think law enforcement will be able to protect our interest and we will no longer have to watch out for the cops and the robbers.
    I had a dream that I would be at my liberty to sit on the front porch and smoke without fear. That my greenhouse would not be assulted and I can be at my liberty to grow medical grade cannabis for those who would need or want it. I would love to participate in the America’s Cup.
    we just need to keep putting preasure on this issue and force it in to the light of day. We can not let up now, we must push that old fraudulent data aside and present the truth about cannabis/hemp. We need to educate the people as to it’s historical valule and all the great benefits this plant can do for us now.

  32. Seems no one ever mentions the fact that money spent to buy pot would go back into the community for that new tv or stereo instead of ending up in Mexico.

  33. to #26 tr,
    ill tell you man, in the early days,when we would go in to work with a buzz , i for one would get real focused in my work.i feel my productivity actually went up but, their being a safety concern as well, doing that was short lived for me. they are a great company to work for so, i have respected their wishes for us not to do anything before or during work.before random testing started, i would come home from work in the evenin, get a couple of hits and get more work done at home then i did all day at work…or so it seemed, ha. good day to ya….

  34. Incredible article Russ! Thank you for putting this together, not only to benefit regular readers – but to hopefully continue the education of the uninformed.
    I’ve been struggling with the illegality of marijuana for way too long. I’m in a position where it is simply impossible to enjoy it. Not in terms of random testing, but other circumstances make the risks outweigh the (amazing) benefits significantly. So I no longer partake.
    This evolution in personal limitations has forced me into a grassroots mindset. Every time the topic arises I come equipped with facts, leaving my opinion checked at the gate. Whether it is employers, co-workers, family, friends, random encounters, etc… If the topic comes up my answers are the same. Honesty is still respected fortunately, despite the best efforts of our politicians (and alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical companies by association)
    One day, hopefully in the near future, I hope to be able to enjoy marijuana again without the fear of “being caught”. Unless of course I’m enjoying it irresponsibly, then just like alcohol, consequences should follow.
    Long story short – I’ll keep fighting the good fight. The ball is rolling, the tipping point approaching, take the high road (pun intended) and let’s win this!
    Thanks again for this great post.

  35. Wasn’t this country allegedly founded on the notion that taxes are basically illegal?
    Why are taxes now such a great idea, just because they appear to serve our ‘purpose’?…who do the taxes really serve?
    Why is it ok to destroy the lives of thousands of otherwise law abiding tax paying people for thirty or forty or fifty years….in multiple countries….pass the cost to the taxpayers which equates to billions upon billions of tax dollars to support a policy based in lies and deception aimed at the same people who have been paying the taxes…and now that someone found out there is a bunch of money to be made we can all get along?
    Do you know how much of your tax money goes to fund the oppression and tyrannical domination of ‘third world’ or less developed countries, where U.S. interests take precedence over clean water or schools or safe places to live and food that is safe to feed your children?
    Do you know how many billions of tax dollars have been spent to supplant, kill, rape, destroy in the name of U.S. interests?
    Did you know that when your government does this in your name, many of the people they do it to do not have a separate view of the government and the people who gave the government the tax money to make it possible?
    Did you know that every time the government does this with your tax dollars, they are doing it in your name?
    Knowing what your money is being spent on, why would anyone possibly consider allowing the feral federal government access to even more money, to continue doing these atrocities in their name?
    This whole concept of taxation is so much divide-and-conquer bullshit in practice, all meant to attract and distract from what is really going on.
    The federal government needs to be allowed to shrivel up and die the way it was meant to, so that room can be made for the next wave of revolutionaries.
    NO NEW TAXES TO PAY FOR FEDERAL MURDER TACTICS

  36. I just can’t wait till the day I have to go to the bar and smoke weed inside the bar! It will make it smell so much better since tobacco smells like trash when you burn it! lol.

  37. RLD, taxes are not illegal. Taxation without representation is what was considered illegal. Taxes build roads, school, pay police, etc. Unfortunately, a huge portion of our tax dollars are WASTED on prohibition. We might as well just burn the money cuz it doesn’t stop anyone from getting pot.

  38. Actually ben that is not wholly true.
    Some taxes are in fact illegal.
    You pay federal income taxes don’t you?
    Those were reintroduced taxes by the federal government to raise money for wars.
    This particular tax was deemed unconstitutional sometime around 1860 when they first tried it, but it got imposed yet again during World War II.
    My understanding is that it was supposed to be repealed following the war, but it simply never happened for whatever reason, and so we continue paying this ‘illegal’ tax.
    I am going roughly from memory so it is probably slightly off, but close enough.
    On the subject of taxation without representation, I can say that very few people I know feel they are receiving fair ‘representation’ which leads me to the opinion that taxes should be held illegal until such time as this changes.

  39. I smoke pot at work ALL the time. I sell cell phones for At&T lol! I’ve never stolen a single penny from my job to support my habit and our store is #1 in the district.

  40. I see where you’re coming from that perspective. If you THINK about what you’re saying though – you’re talking about a revolution. LOL. Getting all Americans to stop paying income tax. Which is taken automatically from your paycheck – or most people’s paycheck. NO system of Government will be perfect. Replace this one with a new one and in 10 years it will break again. The Government of the US is better than Governments from OTHER countries. I think its better to try and fix the system slowly than to try and tear it down and build a new one, don’t you think?

  41. You are correct.
    I am talking about -and welcome with open arms- a full scale revolution.
    You are right that no system of government is perfect.
    A quick glimpse in to history verifies this fact.
    The ones that fail utterly are replaced via revolution first, since infrastructure usually collapses along with government.
    …the only way to fix this one…IS to tear it down and build a new one.
    Slow change has only allowed slick talking con artists well-versed in legalese to perpetuate their own private agenda and maintain the status quo.
    This is why the banks who nearly caused our financial destruction can get an overnight check for billions of dollars to pay off their CEO’s personal tax debts, while states go bankrupt and healthcare reform flounder.
    This is why 125 billion dollars in cash was loaded onto pallets and flown to Iraq…where alot of it simply vanished…while U.S. public school programs that teach music, arts, and sports get cut.
    This is why the automotive industry -the leading cause of global pollution and I don’t mean just from tailpipes- can do irreparable damage to our environment, mismanage their funds, and then get bailed out with taxpayer money and clunker programs aimed at stimulating car sales.
    This is why pharmaceutical companies can get a hundred different drugs approved for sale each year, covering everything from allergies to Alzheimers….drugs that can potentially blind you, depress you, or kill you…or make you imbalanced enough to kill someone else….but a plant that has been proven medically beneficial without any of the side effects cannot get its fair day in court.
    This is just the tip of the bloodstained iceberg.
    I must disagree with you on one point: I do not believe that a new system brought about via revolutionary tactics will be broken in only ten years, but I do agree that the potential for that to happen exists…if we let it, again.
    In that scenario we would have no one to blame but ourselves, and should expect to answer to the next revolutionaries.
    Relying upon the notion that it ‘might’ break again as basis for the argument to not even try is, in my opinion, tantamount to treason.
    As a U.S. citizen, it is your duty and responsibility to overthrow a corrupt government by any means necessary; not hunker down living quietly and complacently in its shadow.
    The current U.S. system of government is better than SOME other governments…in ways…but not all and by no means is it the best.
    An interesting note: many other governments around the world are considered ‘inferior’ to our system….mainly due to U.S. involvement & tampering.
    It’s easy to say our way is better, after we’ve gone in and fucked it up for everyone else in their country, including the one we illegally occupied.
    It’s hard to compare systems when the powers that are supposed to represent us alter or destroy everything they touch to fit our shallow western ideals.
    The concept of the choice between the lesser of two evils then becomes something that goes beyond just the choice between Republican and Democrat, with extremely far reaching and rather sinister implications.
    Too few now remember when in 1964 Mario Savio stated the following…and it is more true today than it was then:
    “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all”

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