Voters Have Spoken, But Drug Warriors Aren’t Listening

The drug warriors — led principally by law enforcement and their handmaidens in the state legislatures — continue to do everything within their power to prolong marijuana prohibition, even in those states in which the voters have approved full legalization.

I am referring specifically to a legislative proposal introduced last week in the Alaska state legislature, allegedly to implement their recent legalization initiative, under which possession of one ounce of marijuana and the private cultivation of six plants was legalized for everyone over 21 years of age. Recreational marijuana use will be totally decriminalized effective February 24, although the state has until the end of the year to implement the regulations for licensing recreational growers and dispensaries.

Senate Bill 30, and it’s House companion bill, HB 79, initially considered by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees last week, would have kept any amount of marijuana illegal, causing users to be arrested and brought to trial, when they could then raise an affirmative defense by proving they were over 21 and their conduct was protected under the new initiative.

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31 thoughts

  1. I just wanna say thanks for what you guys do and how things going,I say go the Sam Adams route. Be a strong, knowledgeable, fighting hard voice. Don’t let the nay sayers piss on our lawn. We can do this! Don’t fight for decriminalization, fight for the full right to treat people who needs this option and for the rights of recreational use of marijuana. Thanks for reading and God bless.

  2. This way the big law enforcement machine’s pockets keep full of money. Americans are fools to keep supporting this type of government. The peoples rights are weakened so these creeps can keep protecting us from what. I believe decriminalization is more important than legalization. As long as the “Schedule I” CLASSIFICATION IS KEPT ON POT THE GOVERNMENT CAN TURN ON A DIME AND START ARRESTING IT’S BELOVED CITIZENS. FIGHT THE CLASSIFICATION FIRST! Pot is what kept the war on drugs going. These leaders of ours could not justify the large build up of law enforcement on heroin or coke. There are not enough users. The great NYPD’S hands in your pocket policy was a great winner to keep up the number of arrest. Americans should have their wishes carried out by our paid public servants not betrayed and arrested. TYCOON owned media is the best friend government could have. They spread the propaganda for law enforcement!

  3. Please take the time to add your signature to the petition before it expires on Feb 11th. It might not help, but then again it might! We have to do whatever we can to get those in power to listen and maybe do the right thing; which I to do the will of the people and end prohibition.

    If you don’t take action, you are just asking to be told what to do by the Feds…

    P.S. One of my best friend is a school teacher. He and I have using cannabis together for about 30 years. Sadly, he is so afraid to let anyone know he uses he will do absolutely nothing to end prohibition. He fears he could lose his teaching job or worse; and he’s right about that. However, sometimes sacrifice is needed to bring about change and I consider his attitude to be very cowardly but he is still my friend.

  4. Sadly, many people are cowed into silence out of fear of losing their jobs, and that includes police officers (LEAP) as well as FORMER presidents of Mexico.

    What do former U.S. presidents and vice presidents have to say that can help bring about legalization? I wouldn’t expect anything clear from Bill Clinton, as they’ll probably be afraid it would reduce Hillary’s rating in the polls. Maybe if his guard is down, same for W., if his guard is down, like they think the microphone is off when it’s not.

    I like Mason Tvert’s take on Obama’s budget adding the word “federal” into the budget so that D.C. can spend its own money on moving forward with full-throttle legalization.

    Are there any other mayors or city councils out there that would make cannabis (non)crimes the lowest priority, even lower than a parking ticket? If Philadelphia would do that, I’m dreaming, it would be great to see smokeasies or vapeasies open up, bring your own and come in out of the cold. It’s be like a Dutch style kofieshop but without being allowed to buy the cannabis there.

    Ik bedoel een gedoogbeleid voor de stad.

    Dutch have a tolerance policy, so could a U.S. city also have such a tolerance policy so that Dutch style coffeeshops could come about. Way back, in essentially the first Dutch cannabis coffeeshop, the Mellow Yellow, that’s how it was, and the dealer would either have a bag of prepackaged wiet on his/her shoulder. This dealer would then “rent” space, such as a table or counter space from the coffeeshop owner in order to be allowed to hang out for hours at a time without buying anything. You oldtimers in the know could find out more details from my wietheros Nol van Schaik and Wernard Bruining en others.

  5. So let me get this straight. You have to prove that you aren’t breaking the law, and until you can you are? Why doesn’t that sound constitutional to me. It’s like the Alaska legislature has gone off to crazy town.

  6. @Shawn Kearney and Dale: THANK YOU! This is pretty much “guilty until proven innocent” and is indeed unconstitutional–and you don’t even need to be a lawyer to know that, really, since the idea that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law is one of the basic foundations of our government. I’m surprised the article didn’t mention this…but then, people have been getting pretty used to having their constitutional protections made null and void and used to being considered guilty a priori. Look at how many people blindly accept drug testing, which is based on the exact same premise–and is paid for by our tax dollars, making it a constitutional issue even if a private company administers it. Guilty until proven innocent is the mantra of every tyranny, and is usually implemented by convincing the average citizen that it is their duty to give up their rights and accept a priori guilt in the name of Getting The Bad Guys, who are, of course, the ONLY people who ever need to worry about their constitutional rights or human rights. Because there is no reason whatsoever that Good Law-Abiding People should object to getting a finger in the butt or having someone watch them take a piss or having their personal home searched at random because there is nothing objectionable about that at all, of course. Unless you’re a Bad Criminal.

    Oh, well. At least people are starting to wake up and realize that objecting to civil rights violations are not proof positive that the person in question needs to have their rights violated because they must be hiding something. Until the next scaremongering BS comes along, and the sheep just get herded into the next cage.

    That said, I love how cute this is, that it would effectively make it illegal. Because if you get arrested, even if you are proven innocent, even if you are never charged or go to trial, you now have an arrest record and can and will be denied employment, housing, etc. based on that. So basically it’s de-facto prohibition, just like the scam the drug testing industry is pulling. Sure, you can use it, but we will still ruin your life and see you starve for using it.

  7. @Miles: I’m sorry to hear about your friend. These bastards have a lot of people scared. Even non-users like me have to be afraid of being targeted for supporting legalization and/or the drug testing scam (30% of all positive drug tests are false positives, so even non-users are not safe, not to mention the possibility of deliberate false-positives in retaliation for political views, to manufacture a reason to fire someone). Even then, I probably have a better chance at fighting such shenanigans than someone who uses MJ, and I think it’s important for anyone who is a non-user to speak out, no matter what. Whenever I feel scared to speak out, whether in favor of legalization or in opposition to drug testing, I think of people like your friend who can’t do so. It would be nice if he would speak out himself, and join the fight, but that’s what makes it even more important for both users and non-users who support legalization to fight even harder, because every bit of ground we win and every opinion we change makes it a little easier for someone like your friend to come out into the daylight and join us.

  8. an odd and scary coincidence pointed out to me. It appears that the states with the most draconian laws also have the highest numbers of private prisons with guaranteed occupancy rates

  9. “Senate Bill 30, and it’s House companion bill, HB 79, initially considered by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees last week, would have kept any amount of marijuana illegal, causing users to be arrested and brought to trial, when they could then raise an affirmative defense by proving they were over 21 and their conduct was protected under the new initiative.”

    More dyslexia!!! How can anyone that lives in this country and is familar with our laws possibly think a law like this is remotely legal??? What is with people that want to keep writing illegal laws???

    “Yeah, we know marijuana is legal now, but we just really, really want to keep arresting people, just to be arresting them so we can continue to knock people out of the job market.”

  10. J Edgar Hoover thought that pot would make people revolt against (his) authority and users should be persecuted. This is a common thread in dictatorship, the conservative’s choice of government.

  11. hahaha. ok, ok, we cant convict them of any ‘crimes’ but we can still arrest them and get our taxpayer sponsored bonuses right?

    police think they have a right to make legislative choices more than normal americans and they have had major control for a long time. maybe somebody should remind them that we the people pay their checks not the unions. btw can anybody tell me why on earth public officials are even allowed to have a union… they are aldeady part of the union of the united states which is after all who hires them pays them arms them and gives them the obsurd pay they already receive.

  12. What happened to “we just enforce the laws, we don’t write them”? Well, I guess you get ahold of those who write the laws so the deck is stacked in your agenda’s favor. That’s the American Way…LOL!

  13. Keith is spot on!

    Drug warriors already have their minds made up, and they certainly are NOT listening to the voters and are NOT basing their decisions on good science. The experts are people in that field who are up to date on the scientific evidence, and that means you don’t base your decisions or comments on junk science or the opinions of the DEA or law enforcement organizations or other zealots, religious or corporate, whose mission is to maintain prohibition.

    That 1990 study linking vaccinations with autism was debunked, and Dr. Wakefield lost his license to practice medicine because of his junk science. It’s along the lines basing the opinion to maintain cannabis prohibition because of the Heath Tulane monkey study from 1974.

    Chris Christie and Rand Paul and some other prominent national politicians have been in the news recently sounding off about the measles outbreak. Is Rand Paul only the friend of industrial hemp but quite the prohibitionist when it comes to legalizing adult recreational? What is Rand Paul doing to help medical marijuana become legal in Kentucky? Anything at the federal level to help out his home state to legalize?

    The nurse Christie quarantined in New Jersey has criticized him on his foot-in-mouth comments about parents having a say whether to get their kids vaccinated.

    She said:

    “I think this is a good example of Gov. Christie’s making some very ill-informed statements,” Hickox said. “We heard it a lot during the Ebola discussion, and now it seems to have happened again.”

    “I think the unfortunate thing or the scary thing is that I want a leader who consults experts and thinks about all of the different sides to an issue before making statements and policies that are unfounded in science,” Hickox said.

    Related topic:

    Any chance major newspapers in Washington, Oregon and Alaska will be doing for their necks of the woods what The Denver Post is doing via The Cannabist? Select columns put out via the Associated Press or Universal Press or something to local newspapers nationwide is easy copy, easy filler, and gets the pro-pot message out there. It’s easier to pooh-pooh one source, like if you just had The Cannabist or Denver Post doing it, but if you also get The Seattle Times and other big city papers in adult recreational states, even just MMJ states, you can educate the public, you reach more of those who need to be brought up to the times, educated in a pro-cannabis way. My 2 cents.

  14. Maybe these legislators are standing their ground for some other issue than pot plants. Maybe the phrase “smoking pot” means “having a bad attitude towards America” to someone who doesn’t understand that weed is a plant that grows in the earth from a little seed.

  15. This is not a game and law enforcement reaps the rewards of their own behaviors. They are not all takers, some have been and always will be givers. Their leadership is corrupt and teaching their cadre to continue the abuse.

  16. This will make it obvious to the doubting Americans that we do not live in a Republic, we don’t even have a Democracy.

    We live in a Police State.

  17. What I’m trying to say is, you see, what had happened was, you understand, what they had done did was, real talk, NAAW MEAN? That was some low down dirty ish, you feel me? Holla back if you hear me, you heard? Who really cares about Alaska? It’s cold as a mother up there, damn Russians.

  18. @ TheOracle,

    Not only do the Dutch have a tolerance policy, but the police there are also amazingly tolerant. The cops here in the U.S. could take lessons from Dutch cops on how to treat citizens.

  19. i live in N.J… i have my medical marijuana license there is only 3 dispensary ..have to travel 2hrs each way to get it. its been a year since i got it. plus i live in a hud apt.if i get caught doing it i will be homeless..cause its not legal in the U.S….and thanks 2 CHRISTIE’S they only have weed..what about the oil,butter and etc? ? the pain pills r killing my stomach i have barretts esophagus i also have in remission for breast cancer other things 2 long to list and whats going 2 kill me is Christie’s the U.S.Gov and the pills co… its MY BODY and you are killing it ….

  20. I will be 62 this year and I don’t have the luxury of time to see if and when it is approved in NC. We will be the last state in the Union to get any marijuana laws passed. So, I am leaving for the west coast this spring and will not be back. I did my service as a Police Officer and now I am disabled from it. By the way, if I found pot on someone when I was working I just dumped it and let the person go. Working in Miami, I had better things to do with my time. I want to smoke without looking over my shoulder and try to kick the meds I am on. Good luck to us all. Also, I read where the Mayor of Amsterdam tried to block this years Cannibis Cup. What’s up with that?


  22. War on Benadryl?

    An anticholinergic drug is a class of drug generally prescribed by a physician that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. Anticholinergic drugs are used to treat incontinence, asthma, muscular spasms, depression, and sleep disorders. Good examples of anticholinergic drugs include Benadryl, Wellbutrin and Zyban, Dramamine, Advil PM, and Unisom. Note that medicines like Dramamine, Benadryl, and Advil PM can be purchased over the counter. Do these sound like any medications you currently have in your medicine cabinet?

    Study researchers urge seniors to share OTC medication history with their primary care provider, and even more importantly suggest that primary care physicians focus on prescribing medications outside of the anticholinergic drug class where applicable. Or, in cases where no other alternatives exist, prescribe the lowest needed dose.

    Researchers also warned that stopping anti-cholinergic meds cold turkey may not be wise, either, and that patients should contact their physician before discontinuing any medication.

    Further data is expected to be extracted from this study for decades to come. Some participants have agreed to let researchers autopsy their brains upon their death so as to determine if there were pathologies in their brains that predisposed them to developing Alzheimer’s-related dementia, or if perhaps the anticholinergic drugs played a key role. In other words, this case is by no means closed yet, although it is quite suggestive that these drugs could represent a risk factor when used regularly over the long term.

  23. Help Us in the South !!
    Drinking and driving is the norm in south Louisiana and they have More minorities and young people in jail for non violent crimes .
    The prisons are all becoming privately owned which is another big problem, the “Warriors” are afraid they won’t be as needed in a calmer more peaceful society .

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