Drug Prohibition and the Presidents Political Capital

Yet theres no escaping the reality that the countrys collective imagination, fueled by research and compassion, has shifted toward saner drug laws. Polls have shown that the overwhelming majority of us believe the drug war has failed, and that ending it is long overdue. Support for the legalization of marijuana stands at greater than half the population, with fresh converts signing on daily. And people are finally beginning to understand a simple truth about drugs: The more dangerous a substance, the more sinister its reputation, the greater the justification for replacing prohibition with regulation.

Conventional wisdom has Obama tackling drug law reform in 2012 if then, not before.

Meanwhile, change we can believe in must come from voter initiatives and/or legislative action in each of the 50 states, pressure on the U.S. Congress, and support for Senator Webbs courageous efforts to radically overhaul our criminal justice system, including its drug laws.

Norm Stamper | Huffington Post

7 Reasons to Legalize Marijuana

Yearly drug mortalities: Tobacco, 340-400,000; Alcohol, 125,000; Caffeine, 1000 to 10,000; Legal drug overdoses, 14-27,000; Illicit drug overdoses, 3800 to 5200; Aspirin, 180 to 1000 Marijuana, 0. —US Surgeon General

Just writing the title for this article feels a bit criminal. The War on Drugs has gotten us to the point where saying anything positive about marijuana makes you an immoral, youth-corrupting, teasonous jerk. Yet, the first casualty in the drug war was the truth. In our national frenzy to eradicate certain (but not all) types of drug use, we have become mired in a swamp of lies that do more damage to our nation than any drug ever could.

One does not have to be a past, present or would-be marijuana user to care deeply about this issue. The criminalization of marijuana has negative consequences that affect us all. Even such arch-conservatives as William Buckley, George Shultz and Milton Friedman have called for the legalization of marijuana. Their bottom line: fighting a war against marijuana constitutes a monumental waste of resources.

Marijuana is a common plant that has grown wild around the world for thousands of years. From 1000 B.C. until the late 1800s, it was the planet’s most widely-cultivated crop. Its psycho-active properties have long been important to many cultures for medicinal, spiritual and recreational purposes. There are hundreds of productive uses for which marijuana provides an ideal source material. Yet since 1937, the US has made the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana a venal and stringently punished crime. This is great foolishness with dire consequences. It is time for a change.

Continue reading 7 Reasons to Legalize Marijuana

New Studies Destroy the Last Objection to Medical Marijuana

“Our study clearly suggests that the respiratory effects of marijuana use can be decreased by use of a vaporizer,” Earleywine commented. “In fact, because we only asked participants about their primary means of using marijuana, it’s likely that people who exclusively use vaporizers will get even more benefit than our results indicate, because no doubt some in our study used vaporizers most of the time but not all of the time.”

In a rational world, the government officials objecting to medical marijuana based on the health risks of smoking would greet this research with open arms. They would join with groups like the Marijuana Policy Project in spreading the word about this important, health-enhancing technology.

Don’t hold your breath.

Bruce Mirken | AlterNet