PDA

View Full Version : War on pot rejected by voters



Mark Stapleton
11-11-2008, 02:29 AM
http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/106141/pot_wins_in_a_landslide%3A_a_thundering_rejection_ of_america%27s_longest_war/


Pot Wins in a Landslide: A Thundering Rejection of America's Longest War

By Rob Kampia, AlterNet. Posted November 5, 2008.


Voters dealt what may be a fatal blow to America's longest-running and least-discussed war -- the war on marijuana.

On Tuesday, largely under the radar of the pundits and political chattering classes, voters dealt what may be a fatal blow to America's longest-running and least-discussed war -- the war on marijuana.

Michigan voters made their state the 13th to allow the medical use of marijuana by a whopping 63 percent to 37 percent, the largest margin ever for a medical marijuana initiative. And by 65 percent to 35 percent, Massachusetts voters decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, replacing arrests, legal fees, court appearances, the possibility of jail and a lifelong criminal record with a $100 fine, much like a traffic ticket, that can be paid through the mail.

What makes these results so amazing is that they followed the most intensive anti-marijuana campaign by federal officials since the days of "Reefer Madness." Marijuana arrests have been setting all-time records year after year, reaching the point where one American is arrested on marijuana charges every 36 seconds. More Americans are arrested each year for marijuana possession -- not sales or trafficking, just possession -- than for all violent crimes combined.

And the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, with “drug czar” John Walters at the helm, has led a hysterical anti-marijuana propaganda campaign. During Walters' tenure, ONDCP has released at least 127 separate anti-marijuana TV, radio and print ads, at a cost of hundreds of millions of tax dollars, plus 34 press releases focused mainly on marijuana, while no fewer than 50 reports from ONDCP and other federal agencies focused on the alleged evils of marijuana or touted anti-marijuana campaigns.

Walters himself campaigned personally in Michigan against the medical marijuana initiative, calling it an "abomination" and claiming yet again that there is no evidence that marijuana has medical value -- an assertion flatly contradicted by at least four published clinical trials in just the last two years.

In Massachusetts, the state's political and law enforcement establishment lined up solidly against the marijuana decriminalization initiative, including both Republican and Democratic politicians and all 11 district attorneys -- several of whom actually admitted to having smoked marijuana. They warned of rampant drug abuse and crime should the measure pass, simply ignoring the fact that no such thing has happened in the 11 other states (including California, Ohio and New York) that have had similar laws for years.

Voters were having none of it, giving a thumping rejection to government officials’ lies and hysteria in both states. Americans have taken a hard look at our national war on marijuana and rejected it for the cruel, counterproductive disaster that it is.

The voters are right. Of over 872,000 arrests in one year, 89 percent are for possession only.

What has this gotten us? Not much. Marijuana arrests weren't the only thing that set a record last year. So did the number of Americans who have tried marijuana. Usage rates came down marginally in the last few years but are still higher than in the early 1990s. Marijuana is our nation's number one cash crop.

The one thing our costly and futile efforts to "eradicate" marijuana have accomplished is to create a boom for criminal gangs, to whom we've handed a monopoly on production and distribution. Unlike producers of legal drugs like beer, wine or tobacco, these criminals pay no taxes and obey no rules. Their illicit efforts despoil our national forests and bring violence and destabilization to Mexico.

For years, politicians who know our current marijuana laws make no sense have been afraid to change them for fear of political retribution. The voters' thundering rejection of our misguided war on marijuana shows that those fears are misplaced.

It's time for Congress and the new administration -- not to mention state governments around the country -- to listen to the public. It's time for a new approach.

Magda Hassan
11-11-2008, 03:13 AM
This is good news. A bit of rationality in the 'war on drugs'. Apart from medicinal use hemp (marijuana) has many socially useful possibilities, building, plastics, textiles, paper and I hope to see a renewed hemp industry happening soon. This can only help in achieving that.

Mark Stapleton
11-11-2008, 04:03 AM
Textiles.

Cotton, because of its dependence on insecticides and pesticides, poisons the air, the land and the water. The NSW town of Gunnedah is a case in point. Hemp requires none of these.

Magda Hassan
11-11-2008, 05:10 AM
Most of the cotton grown now is genetically engineered to try to counter the insecticides needed and such. But that just means even more control by the multinationals like Monsanto. And GE is unproven especially in the long run as to its consequences. It may be playing a role in the death of the bee colonies and butterflies. http://www.truefood.org.au/q_and_a2.html?faqid=8
and http://www.truefood.org.au/q_and_a2.html?faqid=7

Myra Bronstein
11-11-2008, 06:40 AM
I've long tried to understand the government's determination to keep pot illegal. What is the strategy?

Is it so that private prisons will be kept full of poor victims of the archaic drug laws so there can be more free/cheap prison labor?

Is it because pot competes with the CIA's drug business?

Is it a form of mass mind control to force people in society to go along with immoral laws and make juries participate in the persecution of others?

WTF?

Mark Stapleton
11-11-2008, 02:04 PM
I've long tried to understand the government's determination to keep pot illegal. What is the strategy?

Is it so that private prisons will be kept full of poor victims of the archaic drug laws so there can be more free/cheap prison labor?

Is it because pot competes with the CIA's drug business?

Is it a form of mass mind control to force people in society to go along with immoral laws and make juries participate in the persecution of others?

WTF?

Myra, here's my ten cents worth:

The police, lawyers, and the prison establishment see it as a serious threat to their careers, and they're right. The prison officers union in California is always campaigning against drug law reform. It's the same here. Cannabis busts make up the majority of all arrests. It's easy work for drug cops because it's mainly just waiting for informers to call. Not as hard as solving a difficult murder case. Lawyers who appear on behalf of defendants would lose business, and of course the prison guards and the supporting bureaucracy of the prison establishment would suffer significant job losses. And the DEA with its massive annual taxpayer burden of billions of dollars, would lose half its workload. The DEA's paranoia extends to plantation hemp, despite its absence of THC.

The tabloid media campaigns fervently against drug reform because they have been dining out on salacious drug stories for decades. They would lose serious money from a lower crime rate and more peaceful society. They are scum.

Governments of all political stripes think the idea stinks. This is purely about money. While reaping a nice harvest from tobacco and alcohol taxes, they know they can't effectively tax pot, because people can easily grow it themselves. The idea that people could alter their consciousness and not give them a cut drives them crazy.

Big Pharma hates the idea because pot is unwanted competition for a number of ailments, and if people can grow the drug for personal use, BP gets chopped out of the loop and can't make any money from it.

The cost to the taxpayer for maintaining this circus is massive. The media hides this from the public because it's in their interests to do so. Although it would mean a lower tax burden, reform would cause job losses so this has to be considered.

The DEA is the driving global force behind drug prohibition. They bully other nations, including Australia, into enforcing their agenda.

I agree it's mind control--worthy of Eddie Bernays.

Myra Bronstein
11-11-2008, 05:43 PM
Myra, here's my ten cents worth:
...

Those are all very good points Mark.
I guess criminalization of pot benefits to the gov't in many ways.

I think that was worth eleven cents.

Peter Lemkin
11-11-2008, 07:10 PM
I've long tried to understand the government's determination to keep pot illegal. What is the strategy?

Is it so that private prisons will be kept full of poor victims of the archaic drug laws so there can be more free/cheap prison labor?

Is it because pot competes with the CIA's drug business?

Is it a form of mass mind control to force people in society to go along with immoral laws and make juries participate in the persecution of others?

WTF?

Drugs that are legal seem to make persons more likley to work harder [caffein, nicotine] - or just not question 'things' [alchohol]. Those drugs that are illegal are those that cause persons to see reality in new ways and often to question authority and the reality presented by that authority [grass, hallucinogens]. There is the additional issue of BIG money to be made off of drugs [cocaine, heroin]. In fact, the human brain produces opiates when one is pleased [they are called endorphins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin)] - so anyone could be arrested when happy. The whole 'business' of 'drug control and regulation' is a joke and a device for control of society. Another factor are the big drug and even textile manufacturers. Hemp and other natural drugs are cheaper and better than many of their expensive patented drugs for nausea, cancer, pain, and many other ills. Many of the psychotropic drugs produced by big pharmaceuticals make one complaint to the society. Now the lawyers, judges, prosecutors, police and more so privitized prisons LOVE the tough drug laws - but then so do the big corporations and intelligence agencies.

Sickening. I luckily live in a land where all natural drugs are legal in small quantities for personal use. Sadly, America is one of the least civilized, logical and natural places on Earth. May it change.....I won't hold my breath with the 15% Neaderthal and 65% uninvolved.

"Endorphins are endogenous opioid polypeptide compounds. They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during strenuous exercise,[1] excitement, and orgasm,[2][3] and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a sense of well-being."

Magda Hassan
11-11-2008, 11:46 PM
Making and keeping drugs illegal suits many industries and other interested parties.

As Mark said there is a whole prison/police industry there because of it. Especially when you factor in privatized prisons. Some one has to fill those cells. It is not a hotel so they don't come of their own volition. There are only so many serious crime than can be permitted so victimless crimes need to be invented. Prisons are a growth industry. Please read Timothy Leary's auto biography for the plans that were already in place then to expand prisons despite opportunities to reduce recidivism and crime in general.

And as Peter said not all drugs are regarded equally. Some are more acceptable in this society than others. Ephedrine is given to many factory workers in the 3rd world to keep up their energy and output. Amphetamine type drugs were given to some German soldiers (and I believe US soldiers now) to make them feel energised and bulletproof.

If you manage to get through the education system intact and still want to expand your mind, watch out!. Those drugs are banned. Historically, drugs were used in religious rituals to have spiritual experiences, vision quests, enlightenment and such. Unfortunately, in the US there is more emphasis on Protestantism and its work ethic (coffee anyone?) and the Eucharist is the only ritual involving drugs. Even then it is sometimes non alcoholic wine. You can't have people expanding their mind, thinking for themselves and asking difficult questions. This leads to chaos (change) and we can't have that. If you can't cope you can use alcohol to numb you and go to sleep and be quiet. Or valium. Or anti-depressants.

Drugs and drug laws are such a very useful tool for social control. It is used to divided the working class. Pot was used by some Mexicans and some African Americans as their drug of choice. It was basically free grew everywhere and grew like a weed. Hence the name 'weed'. So racist stereotpypes were used to demonise this drug and these people. Decent folk use alcohol or Coca cola.

It is also no coincidence that Harry Anslinger married into the Du Pont family. This was at the same time that Du Pont had invented their new synthetic textile 'nylon'. Until that time hemp had been the textile of choice for ropes and broad cloth and would probably have continued to be so except that it was outlawed and replaced with....nylon and other synthetic materials indistrially produced. So much for competition in the open market place. Same for the pharmecuetical industry. They manufacture the THC component of cannabis at great expense and trouble (so you don't get the stone) but you can simply grow it yourself. Anecdotal reports indicate that the natural herb is more efficacious than the manufactured chemical.

There is of course a huge amount of money to be made from anything in the black market such as drugs. Since pot is so easy to grow it makes it impossible for the government to tax it. Also, other drugs such as cocaine and heroin and amphetamines are quite cheap to produce. It is only because of the black market that these are so expensive. It gives a huge amount of undeclared money for those black agents and agencies to use as they wish. All this would disappear with a sane drug policy - that is if it were dealt with as a personal and health issue not as a criminal issue.

So, for people who might want to think out side the box, enjoy their life, have spiritual enlightenment, be self sufficient, or just have a bit of fun you had better think twice or you could end up in the slammer with Butch McDick as your cell mate and never be able to get a decent job again with a criminal record. Better to just keep your head down, don't rock the boat, get on with your work and have a quiet beer afterwards. Be silent, consume, die.

David Guyatt
11-12-2008, 10:35 AM
Butch McDick?

:-)

Keith Millea
11-12-2008, 05:46 PM
I am from california originally,but have lived in Oregon for many years.We have a different medical marijuana law than California.We do not use a dispensary system.Here you have to grow your own,or have a designated grower.I like our system better.

I had not really been too aware of what is happening in California concerning Medical herb,until I picked up a publication called "West Coast Leaf",a couple weeks ago.It seems the Feds are still cracking down hard on the dispensaries.People are still going to jail.Another interesting piece was about a collective in Santa Cruz,called Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana.This group has been providing pot to patients at no cost.It will be interesting to see if Obama will call off the hounds.Does he dare?????

Peter's quote:
In fact, the human brain produces opiates when one is pleased [they are called endorphins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin)] - so anyone could be arrested when happy.

A line from the Grateful Deads "The other One".

"And the heat came round and busted me for smilin' on a cloudy day"

Keith

Mark Stapleton
11-16-2008, 04:55 AM
Nicely put, Keith.

Here's an interesting piece from a few months ago about a former director of the UK's anti-drugs co-ordination unit admitting the whole war on drugs is a fraud.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/julian-critchley-all-the-experts-admit-that-we-should-legalise-drugs-894367.html?startindex=30

Julian Critchley: All the experts admit that we should legalise drugs

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Eight years ago, I left my civil service job as director of the UK Anti-Drug Co-Ordination Unit. I went partly because I was sick of having to implement policies that I knew, and my political masters knew, were unsupported by evidence. Yesterday, after a surreal flurry of media requests referring to a blog I wrote that questioned the wisdom of the UK's drug policies, I found myself in the thick of the debate again, and I was sorry to discover that the terms hadn't changed a bit.


I was being interviewed on the BBC World Service, and after I tried to explain why I believe that drugs should be decriminalised, the person representing the other side of the argument pointed out that drugs are terrible, that they destroy lives. Now, I am a deeply boring, undruggy person myself, and I think the world would be a better place without drugs. But I think that we must live in the world as it is, and not as we want it to be. And so my answer was, yes, I know that drugs are terrible. I'm not saying that drugs should be decriminalised because it would be fun if we could all get stoned with impunity. I'm saying that we've tried minimising harm through a draconian legal policy. It is now clear that enforcement and supply-side interventions are largely pointless. They haven't worked. There is evidence that this works.

Unfortunately, evidence is still not a major component in our policy. Take cannabis. When I was in the Anti-Drug Unit, the moves towards making it a class C drug began, and I hoped that our position on drugs was finally moving in a rational direction. But then Gordon Brown ignored his scientific advisers to make it a class B again. It was a decision that pandered to the instincts of the tabloids, and it made no sense whatsoever.

There is no doubt at all that the benefits to society of the fall in crime as a result of legalisation would be dramatic. The argument always put forward against this is that there would be a commensurate increase in drug use as a result of legalisation. This, it seems to me, is a bogus point: tobacco is a legal drug, whose use is declining, and precisely because it is legal, its users are far more amenable to Government control, education programmes and taxation than they would be otherwise. Studies suggest that the market is already almost saturated, and anyone who wishes to purchase the drug of their choice anywhere in the UK can already do so. The idea that many people are holding back solely because of a law which they know is already unenforceable is ridiculous.

Ultimately, people will make choices which harm themselves, whether they involve diet, smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, sexual activity or pursuit of extreme sports. In all these instances, the Government rightly takes the line that if these activities are to be pursued, society will ensure that those who pursue them have access to accurate information about the risks; can access assistance to change their harmful habits should they so wish; are protected by a legal standards regime; are taxed accordingly; and – crucially – do not harm other people. Only in the field of drugs does the Government take a different line.

The case is overwhelming. But I fear that policy will not catch up with the facts any time soon. It would take a mature society to accept that some individuals may hurt, or even kill themselves, as a result of a policy change, even if the evidence suggested that fewer people died or were harmed as a result. It would take a brave government to face down the tabloid fury in the face of anecdotes about middle-class children who bought drugs legally and came to grief, and this is not a brave government.

I think what was truly depressing about my time in the civil service was that the professionals I met from every sector held the same view: the illegality of drugs causes far more problems for society and the individual than it solves. Yet publicly, all those people were forced to repeat the mantra that the Government would be "tough on drugs", even though they all knew that the policy was causing harm.

I recall a conversation I had with a Number 10 policy advisor about a series of announcements in which we were to emphasise the shift of resources to treatment and highlight successes in prevention and education. She asked me whether we couldn't arrange for "a drugs bust in Brighton" at the same time, or "a boat speeding down the Thames to catch smugglers". For that advisor, what worked mattered considerably less than what would play well in the right-wing press. The tragedy of our drugs policy is that it is dictated by tabloid irrationality, and not by evidence.


The clock is ticking for modern civilisation's longest and most pernicious war.

Dawn Meredith
11-16-2008, 11:50 AM
It's like all illegal drugs. The governments make way too much $ by keeping all drugs illegal. I was so glad to hear about MA, finally, but did not know about the Michigan.
A few years back I had a he/she who was busted for a small quanity of pot. "She" wished a jury trial. During voir dire close to 100% of the prospective jurors said they would not convict for possession of marijuana. The DA tried to have the entire room struck for cause. I managed to rehabilate the 6 necessary to serve, but one, the former mayor- a woman- said "NO she would not follow the judge's instruction and convict if the state proved its case".

Dawn

Mark Stapleton
11-17-2008, 01:06 AM
That's interesting, Dawn. It's not surprising though, considering over 50% of the 18-50 age group in the US have used cannabis, leaving one to doubt the practicality of a law which criminalises over half the population:

http://www.alcohol-and-drug-guide.com/marijuana-use-usa.html


And for those who still think that decriminalisation would lead to an explosion of cannabis use, the evidence points in the other direction. In Holland, where cannabis has been legally available since 1976, the per capita usage is one third that of New Zealand, where prohibition is still in place:

http://www.nzdf.org.nz/lets-talk-about-pot-ChrisFowlie

David Guyatt
11-17-2008, 04:51 PM
Take cannabis. When I was in the Anti-Drug Unit, the moves towards making it a class C drug began, and I hoped that our position on drugs was finally moving in a rational direction. But then Gordon Brown ignored his scientific advisers to make it a class B again. It was a decision that pandered to the instincts of the tabloids, and it made no sense whatsoever.


And it made no sense whatsoever... (my bolding and underlining).

It makes perfect sense if the focus of the decision was to continue to generate massive untaxed profits for the privatized global drug lords --- and all those who sail in her...

Mark Stapleton
11-18-2008, 03:48 AM
And it made no sense whatsoever... (my bolding and underlining).

It makes perfect sense if the focus of the decision was to continue to generate massive untaxed profits for the privatized global drug lords --- and all those who sail in her...

Indeed. As a famous drug baron once said, "surely your Governments realise that the current drug laws are our greatest asset".

As for that nasty piece of work Gordon Brown, currently trying to remould his image as that of brave global statesman in these turbulent times, I think this quote from Thomas Jefferson best describes him:

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty".

Dawn Meredith
11-20-2008, 12:54 PM
That's interesting, Dawn. It's not surprising though, considering over 50% of the 18-50 age group in the US have used cannabis, leaving one to doubt the practicality of a law which criminalises over half the population:

http://www.alcohol-and-drug-guide.com/marijuana-use-usa.html


And for those who still think that decriminalisation would lead to an explosion of cannabis use, the evidence points in the other direction. In Holland, where cannabis has been legally available since 1976, the per capita usage is one third that of New Zealand, where prohibition is still in place:

http://www.nzdf.org.nz/lets-talk-about-pot-ChrisFowlie

A study done in NH decades ago showed that when pot was decrim. there the amount of teen usage went way down. Teens do things sometimes BECAUSE they are illegal. So the government's argument- that more kids will use, or leads to harder drugs - is just another false one. But it works with the lying media and uneducated "folks" (to use a "Billo" term) :)
Dawn

Peter Lemkin
11-20-2008, 06:37 PM
A study done in NH decades ago showed that when pot was decrim. there the amount of teen usage went way down. Teens do things sometimes BECAUSE they are illegal. So the government's argument- that more kids will use, or leads to harder drugs - is just another false one. But it works with the lying media and uneducated "folks" (to use a "Billo" term) :)
Dawn

I used to live in Amsterdam, with its legal 'smoking bars' and only the visitors from 'deprived' nations used grass in excess - the Dutch really were rather blase about it - like the French about a glass of wine. Making something illegal makes it of interest to the young and more expensive for all; not to mention a boon for those who sell it and get the proceeds of the prison population..... My long life in the USA and in Europe confirms that marijhana does not lead to anything, except slighly enhanced sensory perception, laughter, better sex, and anti-extablishment thinking.....all for the better IMO. Alcohol and many doctor-perscribed drugs are MUCH more dangerous.

Keith Millea
11-20-2008, 07:13 PM
There was a documentary on Free Speech TV the other night titled "AWAKE ZION".I only got to watch the last half hour.It basically focused on the popularity of Reggae music amongst the newer generation of Jews.I'm not real Biblical,but I think the Rastafarians trace their lineage to one of the twelve lost tribes of Israel.

The show interviewed some old time Rastafarians as they smoked from "DEH CHALISE".Rastas, as well as Coptics claim marijuana to be sacred,and intregal to their religous beliefs.What is interesting from their standpoint on the healing power of the herb,is that most references to any kind of healing that I have heard is in the context of "Healing of the Nation(s)".A somewhat wider view than is usually expressed.I really love Reggae music.

Wake up and live, y'all,
Wake up and live!
Wake up and live now!
Wake up and live!

Life is one big road with lots of signs,
So when you riding through the ruts, don't you complicate your mind:
Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy!
Don't bury your thoughts; put your vision to reality, yeah!

Bob Marley-"Wake Up And Live"

Magda Hassan
11-20-2008, 10:07 PM
Hi Keith, I have a couple of Marley songs on our channel. Get Up Stand Up and Buffalo Soldier. I think he was probably assassinated too. I haven't looked into it too much but it would seem he was something of a threat to the PTB.

Mark Stapleton
11-20-2008, 10:20 PM
http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/93082/the_killing_of_rachel_hoffman_and_the_tragedy_that _is_pot_prohibition/


The Killing of Rachel Hoffman and the Tragedy That Is Pot Prohibition

By Paul Armentano, AlterNet. Posted July 29, 2008.


Police caught Hoffman with pot but promised to drop charges if she agreed to go undercover in a drug bust. She was killed soon afterward. Rachel Hoffman is dead. Rachel Hoffman, like many young adults, occasionally smoked marijuana.

But Rachel Hoffman is not dead as a result of smoking marijuana; she is dead as a result of marijuana prohibition.

Under prohibition, Rachel faced up to five years in a Florida prison for possessing a small amount of marijuana. (Under state law, violators face up to a $5,000 fine and five years in prison for possession of more than 20 grams of pot.)

Under prohibition, the police in Rachel's community viewed the 23-year-old recent college graduate as nothing more than a criminal and threatened her with jail time unless she cooperated with them as an untrained, unsupervised confidential informant. Her assignment: Meet with two men she'd never met and purchase a large quantity of cocaine, ecstasy and a handgun. Rachel rendezvoused with the two men; they shot and killed her.

Under prohibition, the law enforcement officers responsible for brazenly and arrogantly placing Rachel in harm's way have failed to publicly express any remorse -- because, after all, under prohibition Rachel Hoffman was no longer a human being deserving of such sympathies.

Speaking on camera to ABC News' "20/20" last week, Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones attempted to justify his department's callous and irresponsible behavior, stating, "My job as a police chief is to find these criminals in our community and to take them off the streets (and) to make the proper arrest."

But in Rachel Hoffman's case, she was not taken "off the streets," and police made no such arrest -- probably because, deep down, even they know that people like Rachel pose no imminent threat to the public. Instead, the officers on the scene secretly cut a deal with Rachel: They told her that they would not file charges if she agreed to go undercover.

Rachel became the bait; the Tallahassee police force went trolling for sharks.

In the weeks preceding Rachel's murder, police told her to remain tight-lipped about their backroom agreement -- and with good reason. The cops' on-the-spot deal with Rachel flagrantly violated Tallahassee Police Department protocol, which mandated that such an arrangement must first gain formal approval from the state prosecutor's office. Knowing that the office would likely not sign off on their deal -- Rachel was already enrolled in a drug court program from a prior pot possession charge, and cooperating with the TPD as a drug informant would be in violation of her probation -- the police simply decided to move forward with their informal arrangement and not tell anybody.

"(In) hindsight, would it have been a good idea to let the state attorney know? Yes," Jones feebly told "20/20." Damn right it would have been; Rachel Hoffman would still be alive.

But don't expect Jones or any of the other officers who violated the department's code of conduct -- violations that resulted in the death of another human being -- to face repercussions for their actions. Obeying the rules is merely "a good idea" for those assigned with enforcing them. On the other hand, for people like Rachel, violating those rules can be a death sentence.

Of course, to those of us who work in marijuana law reform, we witness firsthand every day the adverse consequences wrought by marijuana prohibition -- a policy that has led to the arrest of nearly 10 million young people since 1990. To us, the sad tale of Rachel Hoffman marks neither the beginning nor the end of our ongoing efforts to bring needed "reefer sanity" to America's criminal justice system. It is simply another chapter in the ongoing and tragic saga that is marijuana prohibition.


Paul Armentano is the deputy director for the NORML Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Keith Millea
11-20-2008, 11:37 PM
Magda,
Bob Marley was indeed a very large threat to the PTB.Unlike John Lennon,who was involved with an already awakened Peace and justice movement,Marley was just starting to awaken the African Continent.Marley could very well have been the most dangerous political voice in the late seventies.I have always thought that his death at what(37),to be a probable hit.He had already been shot once in an attempt to silence him.

And then there's the story of William Colbys son visiting Bob and bringing him a precious new pair of boots.:eek:


"I don't know how we and dem gonna work this out"

Bob Marley-"We and Dem"

Myra Bronstein
11-21-2008, 04:10 AM
Magda,
Bob Marley was indeed a very large threat to the PTB.Unlike John Lennon,who was involved with an already awakened Peace and justice movement,Marley was just starting to awaken the African Continent.Marley could very well have been the most dangerous political voice in the late seventies.I have always thought that his death at what(37),to be a probable hit.He had already been shot once in an attempt to silence him.

And then there's the story of William Colbys son visiting Bob and bringing him a precious new pair of boots.:eek:


"I don't know how we and dem gonna work this out"

Bob Marley-"We and Dem"

Keith, Magda,

I am so glad that Bob Marley is on your radar. The assassination attempt, wherein a gunman broke into his home and shot everyone present, receives too little attention. Bob Marley himself receives too little attention. Like John Lennon, Marley was a powerful cultural force.

"So influential a cultural icon had Marley become on his home island by the mid-Seventies that Time magazine proclaimed, “He rivals the government as a political force.” On December 5, 1976, Marley was scheduled to give a free “Smile Jamaica” concert, aimed at reducing tensions between warring political factions. Two days before the scheduled concert, he and his entourage were attacked by gunman. Though Bob and Rita Marley were grazed by bullets, they electrified a crowd of 80,000 people when both took to the stage with the Wailers on the 5th - a gesture of survival that only heightened Marley’s legend. It further galvanized his political outlook, resulting in the most militant albums of his career: Exodus, Survival and Uprising."
http://www.rockhall.com/inductee/bob-marley

I can't image that the CIA run Time magazine was happy about that influence.

I attached the famous photo of Marley bringing Michael Manley and Edward Seaga's together at the One Love concert 'cause... it seems relevant.
http://www.rasta-man-vibration.com/michael-manley.html
"Philip Agee, former CIA officer (as interviewed in the DVD Marley documentary, "Rebel Music") confirms that the CIA was supplying guns and anti-PNP propaganda to the conservative JLP. (Some Jamaican's began calling Seaga "CIAga.") In this interview Agee states, "The CIA would look upon the radical political content of reggae as dangerous because it would help to create a consciousness among the poor people, the great majority of Jamaicans."

I have not seen "Rebel Music," yet.

I haven't had time to look through it much, but this looks like an interesting forum:
http://bobmarley.prospero.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?webtag=bobmarley

Dawn Meredith
11-23-2008, 05:45 PM
I too have long been suspicious about the death of Bob Marley. Had no idea that the son of William Colby visited him. Now that is STRANGE. If I recall the death was attributed to cancer (shades of Jack Ruby?).

Dawn

Myra Bronstein
11-23-2008, 06:47 PM
I too have long been suspicious about the death of Bob Marley. Had no idea that the son of William Colby visited him. Now that is STRANGE. If I recall the death was attributed to cancer (shades of Jack Ruby?).

Dawn

Right. The only type of cancer more deadly than the melanoma is the Jack Ruby type cancer. And that seems to be the form Marley had.

Mark Stapleton
12-09-2008, 01:35 AM
In the interests of ramming the point home beyond any vestige of doubt, here's the story of the drug mastermind who ran a quarter of a million dollar drug business from within his cell in an Australian maximum security prison:


http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24755345-5006784,00.html


So what's my point? Well, if this person was able to run a multi million dollar drug business from within a maximum security prison, then what hope do the authorities have of preventing illicit drug trafficking in free society?


For Americans, the cost of maintaining the charade of drug prohibition is about 50 billion per year:


http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm


Pretty costly when one considers that many Americans will soon be relying on food rations from the Government and charities.

For God's sake America, wake up.

Peter Lemkin
12-09-2008, 09:25 AM
For God's sake America, wake up.

ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz........

I personally know a very sad 'drug' victim. Sentenced to about 50 years in prison on a charge he is innocent of. Too long a story for here, but in short. He was an auto mechanic and one of his regular customers had had him rebuild his engine. The car was waiting in his parking area and he noticed it was gone. He assumed [correctly] the man had a second key and had come at night to get his car. He knew where he lived and drove there, after the man refused to answer his calls. He had the misfortune to arrive during a big drug bust at the man's house and was also arrested. Because he had had two minor legal infractions from his youth, and because one was for smoking pot; and because of the new draconian laws and 'three-strikes-your-out; and because he hadn't enough money for an attorney and the public 'defenders' are often more interested in / or too inexperienced to not go along with the prosecutor's plans - he was/is 'in' for 50 years for something he was totally innnocent of. The prisons - even deathrow are full of similar stories.......

David Guyatt
12-09-2008, 10:52 AM
In the interests of ramming the point home beyond any vestige of doubt, here's the story of the drug mastermind who ran a quarter of a million dollar drug business from within his cell in an Australian maximum security prison:

I understand that the vast majority of the US prison population are members of various gangs and that the chief activity of these gangs are running drugs.

Mark Stapleton
12-09-2008, 02:08 PM
ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz........

I personally know a very sad 'drug' victim. Sentenced to about 50 years in prison on a charge he is innocent of. Too long a story for here, but in short. He was an auto mechanic and one of his regular customers had had him rebuild his engine. The car was waiting in his parking area and he noticed it was gone. He assumed [correctly] the man had a second key and had come at night to get his car. He knew where he lived and drove there, after the man refused to answer his calls. He had the misfortune to arrive during a big drug bust at the man's house and was also arrested. Because he had had two minor legal infractions from his youth, and because one was for smoking pot; and because of the new draconian laws and 'three-strikes-your-out; and because he hadn't enough money for an attorney and the public 'defenders' are often more interested in / or too inexperienced to not go along with the prosecutor's plans - he was/is 'in' for 50 years for something he was totally innnocent of. The prisons - even deathrow are full of similar stories.......

That's a doozy.

The worst cases I've read about are from America of course. All too often the Feds (DEA) bust the door down, hold several people at gunpoint, throw them in jail, confiscate any drugs or money lying around, then sell the house of the unfortunate occupants to pay for the raid. The sentences can range from six months to twenty years, often for just smoking weed.

This is the model society America tries to export.

Mark Stapleton
12-09-2008, 02:18 PM
I understand that the vast majority of the US prison population are members of various gangs and that the chief activity of these gangs are running drugs.

Of course. It's a much better earner than guns, and not just the gangs profit from it. It's also the prison staff and management getting in for their chop.

Why do you think the California prison officers union (reportedly the largest union in the US) are so politically active in support of prohibition? They need to keep throwing poor minorities in prison to preserve their jobs........and perks.

Keith Millea
12-09-2008, 06:13 PM
There was once a small window of sanity.When Jerry Brown became Govenor of California sometime around 1976 give or take,he expunged all the criminal records for relatively small pot busts.Of course Jerry was the big laugh on the political and media fronts."Govenor Moonbeam" was the joke of the Rat Bastards...............

Another thing to remember is that there is NO better way to disenfranchise a group than to take away their vote.Having a felony conviction does just that.An utterly unconstitutional ploy to keep the underclass in check.

Mark Stapleton
12-11-2008, 01:06 PM
Here's another happy story from the annals of the great American society.

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n1108/a02.html?397

A first time offender who was carrying a firearm while selling cannabis recieves a prison sentence of 55 years. His appeal fails. He has two young kids and is a producer of rap records. (ooh those evil rappers).

That's five years more than they gave public enemy number one, Lucky Luciano.

Now what do you get for murder in the US?

Dawn Meredith
12-12-2008, 01:32 PM
Here's another happy story from the annals of the great American society.

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n1108/a02.html?397

A first time offender who was carrying a firearm while selling cannabis recieves a prison sentence of 55 years. His appeal fails. He has two young kids and is a producer of rap records. (ooh those evil rappers).

That's five years more than they gave public enemy number one, Lucky Luciano.

Now what do you get for murder in the US?

The article states he had three prior convictions involving use of a gun in furtherance of drug dealing. Unless this is just a poorly worded article...???
And yes you can get way less here in TX. for murder. My friend's daughter was murdered and he got 35 years. But this was pursuant to a plea deal. This guy went to trial. It is still wacky but it appears it was the gun that got the sentence not the pot. Meaning if this was just selling pot without a weapon the outcome would have been different. (However without seeing more detail it's difficult to speculate.)
Dawn

Mark Stapleton
12-12-2008, 02:32 PM
The article states he had three prior convictions involving use of a gun in furtherance of drug dealing. Unless this is just a poorly worded article...???
And yes you can get way less here in TX. for murder. My friend's daughter was murdered and he got 35 years. But this was pursuant to a plea deal. This guy went to trial. It is still wacky but it appears it was the gun that got the sentence not the pot. Meaning if this was just selling pot without a weapon the outcome would have been different. (However without seeing more detail it's difficult to speculate.)
Dawn

The sentence seems so harsh it beggars belief, so I would assume there's more to the story than the facts outlined in the article.

Still, 55 years is a life sentence for him and his family.

The WOD targets the poor and minority groups.