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THE LAWS RELATING TO MARIJUANA From a legal and moral perspective
This document is in response to the article in the LA Times; “Why California should just say no to Prop. 19” a written by, and/or on behalf of, Gil Kerlikowske, John Walters, Barry McCaffrey, Lee Brown, Bob Martinez and William Bennett, directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the administrations of Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush ( Hereafter known as “your government”) I have also replied to the comments made by Governor Schwarzenegger in the LA Times, with respect to proposition 19. “SEIU is off-base on legalizing pot” b
What is the marijuana issue really about?
The commentary written by “your government” is full of assumptions, misinformation, speculation, and fear mongering. The most important question to ask is; why are we here debating the merits of legalizing marijuana when we should be asking why is marijuana use illegal in the first place? The truth is that we are jailing people right now without lawful or moral justification for doing so. We have jailed millions of people in the absence of harm. This is contrary to the rule of law. This is contrary to our basic rights and freedoms.
There are no violations of societal values to justify the criminalization of Marijuana. I have consulted most of the significant and relevant government studies about marijuana commissioned to date to determine the social impact of marijuana. These commissions, unanimously and empirically, concluded that there is a near total absence of harm to society in the use of Marijuana. These studies also agreed that marijuana use should not be a “crime”, and should be regulated/traded in the same manner as other consumer products like alcohol and coffee. I have provided links to all of the facts I will later present to you. Please note that there are over 20
such legitimate studies in agreement to the spirit of the facts that I will present to you through this document.
First let’s look at what “your government” has said to you, and after that we will look at the facts.
The official position
“Your government; “ marijuana use would increase if it were legal, because some people now abstain simply because it is illegal.” This is possibly true but certainly irrelevant, because as you will see when you read on, there is no harm to society or people from using Marijuana.
And even if marijuana use does increase as speculated upon by “your government”, then the facts also show that marijuana users as a group exhibit the following benign and harmless symptoms; “happiness, increased conviviality, a feeling of enhanced interpersonal rapport and communication, heightened sensitivity to humour, free play of the imagination, unusual cognitive and ideational associations, a sense of extraordinary reality, a tendency to notice aspects of the environment of which one is normally unaware, ….. increased personal understanding and religious insight, mild excitement and energy”
affects of marijuana something we should be so afraid of that we throw millions of people in jail for using it?
Your government; “We also know that increased use brings increased social costs.” How do they know that? They refuse to validate the huge amount of information available to them because it is contrary to their ideological position. Your government cannot falsely purport to know about the social costs of marijuana when they are not even prepared to admit to the facts as science has presented them, time after time; facts showing just how
2010-09-30 little social cost(s) are associated with marijuana use. Especially when compared to most other recreational and prescription drugs. Without facts and experience, how can your government know anything about all of the social cost of marijuana? The people that have studied marijuana extensively have found the following to be true. “In effect, the main social costs of cannabis are a result of public policy choices, primarily its
continued criminalization, while the consequences of its use represent a small fraction of the social costs attributable to the use of illegal drugs” 3
“Because marijuana negatively affects drivers' judgment, motor skills and
reaction time, it stands to reason that legalizing marijuana would lead to more accidents and fatalities involving drivers under its influence.” Again this is not true since the facts show otherwise.
The facts do show that “In driving studies, marijuana produces little or no car-handling impairment. Unlike alcohol, which increases risky driving practices, marijuana tends to make subjects more cautious.“
1, 2, 3
Observing this, it is important to note that we should make it a crime to drive while using any legal mind affecting drug, including alcohol and marijuana. Regulation is all that is required.
Your government; inferred that the police were unanimous in their condemnation of this proposition. First off this is untrue, since many Californians that work in the law enforcement area support proposition 19.
Secondly; I would say that many in law enforcement will wrongfully conclude that a loss of jobs will occur for themselves’ pursuant proposition 19. We need to stress to our politicians the point that in no way does having built an industry around a prison system justify locking people up without cause to do so. . “More than half of all incarcerated men and women were convicted of a drug offense, and they are disproportionately likely to be African American (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2007).” e
Your government; “There was a tripling of lifetime use rates and a more than doubling of pastmonth use among 18- to 20-year-olds, according to independent research.” This is an
unsubstantiated comment. Where is the independent study and who made it? “the data from other countries that we compared in Chapters 6 and 20 indicate that countries such as the Netherlands, Australia and Switzerland, which have put in place a more liberal approach, have not seen their long-term levels of cannabis use rise.”
And once again the above official comment is immaterial due to the lack of objective harm to
society that is associated with marijuana use. Consequently, this argument is unsuitable for justifying the continued criminalization of marijuana. Could it be that your
government is concerned that 18 to 20 year olds might rather smoke pot than go to war?
aforementioned affects of marijuana as observed by the Report of the Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medicinal use of Drugs1, I suspect this might actually be the case.
“ The current healthcare and criminal justice costs associated with alcohol and
tobacco far surpass the tax revenue they generate, and very little of the taxes collected on these substances is contributed to offsetting their substantial social and health costs. For every dollar society collects in taxes on alcohol, for example, we end up spending eight more in social costs.” Having little fact to support the official position, “your government” would have us infer the same kind of harm to society from marijuana use that comes from alcohol and tobacco use. This is simply not true2,4. Legal marijuana use will result in very little social cost.
This report has estimated the budgetary implications of
legalizing marijuana and taxing and regulating it like other goods. According to the calculations here, legalization would reduce government expenditure by $5.3 billion at the state and local level and by $2.4 billion at the federal level.”
Once again, this deceptive and irrelevant argument is unsuitable in justification for the
continued criminalization of marijuana. See below the only true SOCIAL COST of marijuana use and the war on drugs.
“The Le Dain Commission also identified the need for sweeping police powers as a social cost of drug policy” 4
Proposition 19 is not about alcohol and tobacco.
Marijuana does not cause any objective societal harm, no
deaths, no cancers, no violence, no murders, no infidelities, no strokes, no heart attacks, and no liver disease as do alcohol and cigarettes. As such, there will be no such additional burden on your healthcare system, nor on your legal system. And we can use the extra tax money from marijuana sales to pay for the harm incurred by society from cigarettes and alcohol use.
“In addition, marijuana legalization would generate tax
revenue of $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like all other goods and $6.2 billion annually if marijuana were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco” 12 I do note that some of the drug dealers that sell the drug called alcohol, “The California Beer and Beverage Distributors”, are opposing proposition 19. Although predictable, this is hypocritical and downright distasteful given the real harm to society from using alcoholic products. These are your country people being jailed, their lives ruined, in the absence of harm to society.
Your government; “Our combined opposition to this ill-considered scheme spans four different administrations and represents the collective wisdom of a former secretary of education, a governor, a mayor and teacher, an army general, a drug policy researcher and two police chiefs. Our opposition to legalizing marijuana is grounded not in ideology but in facts and experience.” This is meaningless political rhetoric totally without fact, to support what your government only purports to be true. They have little or no experience with the administration of marijuana either as a drug or a commodity. They do not like the facts as science has revealed them. Consequently, they are spinning a web of
propaganda and deceptions to confuse and manipulate us. Please find the truth from the experts in the appropriate areas of expertise: Doctors, Sociologists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Educators, Scientists, Drug Policy Researchers, Philosophers, Policemen, Canadian Senators, and many more. The law against
marijuana use was imposed on us unlawfully, it is sustained unlawfully, and we continue to imprison people unlawfully because of it. We must repeal them, everywhere, for the good of our societies.
“ it should be evident, despite the millions spent on marketing the idea,
legalized marijuana can't solve California's budget crisis or reduce criminal justice costs. “ Most importantly here, the fact that legalization of marijuana cannot fix our budget crisis does not give us the right to unlawfully deny people basic rights and throw them in jail. Additionally, the above statement by your
government is factually incorrect since legalized marijuana will reduce costs in the criminal justice system.
2010-09-30 “Legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement of prohibition. $5.3 billion of this savings would accrue to state
and local governments, while $2.4 billion would accrue to the federal government. “ 12 And let me say to “your government” in the same spirit, it should be evident, that after the billions of dollars spent on arresting and incarcerating millions of marijuana smokers, criminalization cannot solve your marijuana problem. Because marijuana isn’t a problem, the unlawful laws against marijuana are the problem.
THE REPORT OF THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT COMMISSION OF INQUIRY (Le Dain commission) into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs – 1972
implement controls on possession and cultivation, similar to those governing the use of alcohol.
. The final report recommended that cannabis be removed from the Narcotic Control Act and that the provinces
➢ “Cannabis has little acute physiological toxicity - sleep is the usual somatic consequence of over-dose. No deaths due directly to smoking or eating of cannabis have been documented and no reliable information exists regarding the lethal dose in humans. One fatality, however, was reportedly caused by distention of the bowel during a prolonged bout of gross over-eating under the acute influence of cannabis.” ➢ “Having reviewed all the material available to us, we find ourselves in agreement with the conclusion …. that the long-term consumption of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects.”
➢ “There is no available evidence that cannabis has been a significant factor in traffic accidents.”
➢ “Psychological, effects which are typically reported by users include: happiness, increased conviviality, a feeling of enhanced interpersonal rapport and communication, heightened sensitivity to humour, free play of the imagination, unusual cognitive and ideational associations, …………many users report increased enjoyment of sex and other intimate human contact while under the influence of the drug.”
CANNABIS CONTROL POLICY: A DISCUSSION PAPER – 1979 Department of National Health and Welfare (Canada)
➢ “The evidence to date suggests that cannabis is relatively safe.”
➢ “ Overall, the risks to health connected with cannabis use appear, at present, to be less significant than those related to the use of the more common recreational drugs.” ➢ “that the most likely health problem associated with cannabis use derives from its most common mode of administration (smoking) and the consequent risk of bronchial or pulmonary damage.” ➢ “Social costs of criminally prohibiting cannabis mentioned by the Le Dain Commission include: encouraging the development of an illicit market; obliging persons to engage in criminal activities or with criminal types to supply themselves with cannabis; exposing people to more hazardous drugs by forcing them to have contact with traffickers dealing in a variety of psychotropic products; promoting the development of a deviant subculture; undermining the credibility of drug education programs; the use of extraordinary and disreputable methods of enforcement; creating disrespect for law and law enforcement generally; diverting law enforcement resources from more important tasks; … and the criminal socialization of young person’s through custodial sentences.” ➢ Employments, travel, immigration, social status, are all affected negatively with a criminal conviction.
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS3 ( Canadian Senate ) 37th Parliament, 1st Session (January 29, 2001 - September 16, 2002)
➢ “continued criminalization of cannabis remains unjustified based on scientific data on the danger it poses.”
➢ “And here in Canada, despite the growing increase in cannabis users, we have not had a proportionate
increase in users of hard drugs.”
2010-09-30 ➢ “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving. Cannabis leads to a more cautious style of driving. However it has a negative impact on decision time and trajectory. “ ➢ ➢ Cannabis itself is not a cause of other drug use. In this sense, we reject the gateway theory. “The costs of externalities attributable to cannabis are probably minimal - no deaths, few hospitalizations, and little loss of productivity”
“Thirty years later, we note that:“
“Billions of dollars have been sunk into enforcement without any greater effect. There are more consumers, more regular users and more regular adolescent users”;
“Billions of dollars have been poured into enforcement in an effort to reduce supply, without any greater effect. Cannabis is more available than ever, it is cultivated on a large scale, even exported, swelling coffers and making organized crime more powerful; and”
have been tens of thousands of arrests and convictions for the possession of cannabis
and thousands of people have been incarcerated. However, use trends remain totally unaffected and the gap the Commission noted between the law and public compliance continues to widen.” These following senators concluded: Senator Tommy BANKS Senator Sharon CARSTAIRS, P.C. (ex officio) Senator Colin KENNY, Deputy Chair Senator Noel A. KINSELLA (ex officio) Senator John LYNCH-STAUNTON (ex officio) Senator Shirley MAHEU Senator Pierre Claude NOLIN, Chair Senator Fernand ROBICHAUD, P.C. (ex officio) Senator Eileen ROSSITER “It is time to recognize what is patently obvious: our policies have been ineffective, because they are poor policies.” 3
CANADIAN FOUNDATION FOR DRUG POLICY – 1998 Association
➢ ➢ “Marijuana is incorrectly classed as a narcotic”
Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy & International Harm Reduction
“There is no convincing scientific evidence that marijuana causes psychological damage or mental illness in teenagers or adults and that there is no evidence that marijuana causes crime.”
2010-09-30 ➢ “Marijuana actually decreases, rather than increases, aggression.” ➢ ” In driving studies, marijuana produces little or no car-handling impairment. “ ➢ “Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drugs, so marijuana is more akin to a closed gate than to a gateway.” ➢ “In the workplace, marijuana users tend to earn higher wages than non-users, and college students who use marijuana have the same grade as non-users” ➢ “Marijuana does not cause physical dependence, and if there are any withdrawal symptoms at all, these are very mild.” ➢ “in fact, researchers have failed to find evidence of marijuana induced amotivational syndrome. … In laboratory studies, subjects given high doses of marijuana for several days or weeks show no sign of decrease in work motivation”
➢ “Unlike heavy tobacco smokers, heavy marijuana smokers show no obstruction of the lung’s small
airways and so do not develop emphysema.” ➢ “In driving studies, marijuana produces little or no car-handling impairment. Unlike alcohol, which increases risky driving practices, marijuana tends to make subjects more cautions.” ➢ “Alcohol and tobacco are the most widely used psychoactive drugs in Canada, and cause by far the greatest number of harms and costs to the population.”
A REPORT BY THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON DRUG DEPENDENCE GREAT BRITAIN, 1968
➢ “There is no evidence that this activity is causing violent crime or aggression, anti-social behaviour, or is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis, requiring medical treatment.” ➢ “in terms of physical harmfulness, cannabis is very much less dangerous than the opiates, amphetamines and barbiturates, and also less dangerous than alcohol.” ➢ “In spite of the threat of severe penalties and considerable effort at enforcement the use of cannabis in the United Kingdom does not appear to be diminishing. There is a body of opinion that criticises the present legislative treatment of cannabis on the grounds that it exaggerates the dangers of the drug, and needlessly interferes with civil liberty.”
THE LA GUARDIA COMMITTEE REPORT - THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF MEDICINE CITY OF NEW YORK, 1944.
➢ The consensus among marihuana smokers is that the use of the drug creates a definite feeling of
adequacy. ➢ The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word. ➢ The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana smoking. ➢ Marihuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes.
➢ Marihuana smoking is not widespread among school children. ➢ Juvenile delinquency is not associated with the practice of smoking marihuana.
➢ The disinhibition which results from the use of marihuana releases what is latent in the individual's thoughts and emotions but does not evoke responses which would be totally alien to him in his undrugged state.
REPORT OF THE INDIAN HEMP DRUGS COMMISSION, 1893-94 The hemp drug commission concluded that; ➢ “”no appreciable physical injury of any kind. (1:263-4).”
➢ “no injurious effects on the mind (1:264).” ➢ “There is no adequate ground for believing that it injuriously affects the character of the consumer.
➢ The policy advocated is one of control and restriction, aimed at suppressing the excessive use and
restraining the moderate use within due limits.” “ For all practical purposes it may be laid down that there is little or no connection between the use of hemp drugs and crime (1:264).”
HEALTH CANADA (2010) 8 ➢ Marijuana prescribed for severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and spinal cord disease, Severe pain associated with anorexia, weight loss and or nausea associated with cancer, AIDS/HIV, pain from severe forms of arthritis or, seizures from epilepsy.....for all applicants who have debilitating symptoms of medical conditions
WHAT CONSTITUTES A CRIME IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY?
There is a "standard" for what should be designated as a crime in a democratic society. This standard exists so we as a society do not arbitrarily deny some of our basic rights; freedom of mobility, freedom of speech, and
2010-09-30 freedom from harsh and unjust punishment. For instance, murder is a crime for this reason and so is robbery. False imprisonment is also a crime, and we commit this crime every time we arrest and jail someone for marijuana use without cause to do so. The criteria is as follows:
Does marijuana use harm people or society? No, almost 3000 years of recorded history and no one has been objectively harmed by it. Marijuana was listed in the world’s first pharmacopoeia in 2737 BC. Shen Nung's Pen Ts'ao.
Does marijuana use violate the basic societal values? No it is clear from an objective perspective that marijuana use does not violate society’s values. Our values include the right of “choice” absent harm to society. In this particular case, and in the interest of self preservation, it is the right to choose to use harmless marijuana ( 0 deaths per year
) rather than legal and toxic alcohol (1.8 million deaths per year 9), or
cancerous tobacco, ( over 4 million deaths per year when society forces people to use toxic
) The real violation of basic societal values occurs
drugs for their health and recreation instead of non-toxic drugs
like marijuana. 1, 2,3, 4, 6, 6a, 7, 8 And then brands people criminal and jails e them if they choose the non-toxic drugs. These actions are torts against society, by our governments, in the interest of revenue. ➢ Do the laws making marijuana a crime violate the basic values of society? Yes, the laws making marijuana use a crime do violate the values of our society. We all have the right not to be arrested and detained, absent real objective cause; the right not to receive unjust, cruel, and excessive punishment by society. What offends you more, the fact someone may use marijuana, or the way that our public servants treat our own people, without cause, thousands of times a year? ➢ Does criminal law make a significant contribution to resolving the problem? No. Trillions of dollars later, the incarceration and imposition of the socially debilitating label of “criminal” on millions of people, marijuana use has increased steadily. “We would add that, even if cannabis were to have serious harmful effects, one would have to question the relevance of using the criminal law to limit these effects. We have demonstrated that criminal law is not an appropriate governance tool for matters relating to personal choice and that prohibition is known to result in harm which often outweighs the desired positive effects.” 3
Based on the above reasonable and lawful approach, we can now see there is no reason for marijuana use to be a crime.
We can also see from the same objective analysis that tobacco and alcohol are both toxic and cause grave societal harm. “Alcohol produces drunkenness, disorientation and confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision,
2010-09-30 inadequate muscular control, and often induces nausea and vomiting. As an increasing quantity is ingested, there occurs a depression of respiration, general anesthesia and unconsciousness and, rarely, death due to respiratory arrest and circulatory failure.”10A And again, please remember that alcohol also kills 1.8 million worldwide, every year.9
Tobacco; kills someone in the world every 8 seconds.10 In addition, tobacco profits and deaths are sky rocketing because the corporate pushers that profit from tobacco are now sending these dangerous, addictive, and poisonous drugs on 3rd world countries11.
See real harm
“Alcohol and tobacco are the most widely used psychoactive drugs in Canada, and cause by far the greatest number of harms and costs to the population.” 3
Source: Dr. Jack E. Henningfield, Ph.D. for NIDA.
Reported by: Philip J. Hilts, New York
Times, Aug. 2, 1994 "Is Nicotine Addictive? It Depends on Whose Criteria You Use."
So, if both tobacco and alcohol are legal in the interest of “freedom of choice”, and “freedom to profit”, then why does a benign drug like marijuana cause our governments to ignore our constitutional rights to freedom, absent harm to society? How can we rationalize its criminalization when comparing the “harms” to society inflicted by tobacco and alcohol? And of course, we cannot, for the reason marijuana is illegal is not rational or logical.
So let us now look at the benefits to society that marijuana offers, and in doing so, we will also see some of the reasons that have kept marijuana illegal.
The benefits of legal hemp
2010-09-30 ➢ Health Canada documentation shows us that marijuana is used to treat many symptoms of disease… for all applicants who have debilitating symptoms of medical conditions. People will have access to a safe, natural drug for many ailments, without many of the nasty side effects of corporate medicines. There will be added benefit to the poor, because they will not need to pay drug profits to drug companies for the privilege of being happier and healthier. They can simply plant a seed. ➢ Thousands of police working real crime if marijuana use were regulated in the USA. Yearly savings of 7.7 billion dollars in enforcement costs, with up to 6.2 billion in tax revenue from legalization.12 Real benefit to our society; solved murders, solved robberies, solved car thefts, solved white collar crimes; the reality of more real crimes being investigated and solved. ➢ Thousands of citizens could be released from prison right now. Because they were sent there for doing nothing worse than smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer. The US jails more people than communist China, simply because of an ideological driven “war on drugs”. According to the US Department of Justice, 30-40 percent of all current prison admissions involve crimes that have no direct or obvious victim other than the perpetrator,” The U.S. has over 2.3 million people behind bars while China, with 4 times the population has only 1.6 million.” 13 ➢ “By utilizing hemp pulp for paper, we could stop the deforestation of our country and produce stronger, more environmentally sound paper. The paper mills now in place would need almost no conversion in order to switch from wood to hemp pulp. The hemp paper-making process requires no dioxin14
producing chlorine bleach and uses 75% to 85% less sulphur-based acid.“
➢ “Hemp grown for the production of biomass fuels can provide all of our gas, oil and coal energy needs and end dependency on fossil fuels. Biomass fuels offer a clean alternative to fossil fuels. No sulphur oxides are released, either during pyrolysis or combustion. A closed CO2 system is created. According to Stanley Manahan, «Environmental Chemistry », biomass fuels would not result in any net CO2 being added to the atmosphere.” 14 ➢ “Hemp grown in most parts of Canada will require no herbicide, fungicide or insecticide applications. Up to ½ of all agricultural pesticides used in North America are applied to the cotton crop.” 14 ➢ “Hemp seed has an oil content of 34 % more than any other seed. Hemp seed oil is second only to whale oils in its quality and has the same burning qualities and viscosity as #2 grade heating oil without any of the sulphur-based pollutants.” 14 ➢ “Once hemp seed oil has been extracted, the remaining seed cake is second only to soya bean for protein content and is an excellent source of nutrition for either farm animals or humans.” 14
2010-09-30 ➢ “Hemp produces the strongest, most durable natural soft-fiber on earth. Until the 1820's, up to 80% of all textiles and fabrics for clothes, canvas, linens and cordage were made principally from hemp.” Now we use environmentally harmful petro-chemicals for these basic needs” 14 ➢ In 1941, Henry Ford held a media event where he swung an axe at a prototype car body made of hemp and other plant material to prove its strength. The technology was never put into mass production, cars continued to be made of steel, and plastics made from petrochemicals became the norm.15
Your own National Institute of Drug Abuse (USA) speculated incorrectly that “One of the most common concerns is that cannabis use may precipitate basic changes in the personalities of users, whereby they become less motivated to work or strive for success. This so called “amotivational” syndrome.” There are no facts to support this statement. Instead, studies have shown that “subjects given high doses of marijuana for several days or weeks show no sign of decrease in work motivation”3
Do you now see the harm? The harm is a fear of loss of revenue; speculative, irrelevant, egregious, and extremely prejudicial. A loss of taxes to the state, a loss of jobs for state workers, a loss of revenue from hundreds of thousands of prisoners unjustly toiling in state and privately owned corporate prisons, a loss of a whole industry built around prisons, a loss of profit for the paper industry, a loss of profit for the petro-chemical industry, a loss of profit to the corporate food groups, a loss of profit to the steel and wood construction industry, a loss of profit to the drug companies, a loss of profit to the clothing/cotton industry, a loss of profit to the herbicide industry, a loss of profit to the liquor and beer industry, a perceived loss of profit to an outsourcing corporate structure, ostensibly due to lazy workers, and so on and so on. In my opinion, a monetary consideration is the primary and ideological basis for the criminality of marijuana use. And this is unacceptable in a just and democratic society.
Has the Terminator been tamed?
Finally, I would also like to respond to Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggers comments with regard to proposition 19. Your Gov. said; “Any patrol officer, judge or district attorney will tell you that Proposition 19 is a flawed initiative that would bring about a host of legal nightmares and risks to public safety “ many people in law enforcement support proposition 19 from a society that unjustly criminalizes it, then arrests
This is untrue. The fact is that
Right now, the only real risk to marijuana users is
and imprisons its citizens in a storm-trooper manner.
The facts disprove your allegations of harm to society sir.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said; “It would also make California a laughingstock.” With all due respect sir, fear that people may laugh at you is not a justifiable reason to continue to arbitrarily and unlawfully imprison your citizens. However, perhaps it is a reason to seek help to over-come the fear of being laughed at.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said; “Yet even the best-case estimates show Proposition 19 (assuming it would even pass constitutional muster) bringing in only $1.4 billion in annual revenue — a fraction of our current deficit.” Deciding whether or not to jail people for marijuana use, based on deficit considerations is
inappropriate and egregious. How much tax revenue you may generate is irrelevant and immaterial to the constitutional right to freedom that your citizens have, or should have. If you want to save a LOT of money Governor, stop policing and jailing citizens that are doing no harm to society, and go after the corporations that do cause harm. How political of you to try to confuse the issue.
Please find here some more relevant US government facts here. d
“It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. The large number of witnesses of all classes who professed never to have seen these effects, the vague statements made by many who professed to have observed them, the very few witnesses who could so recall a case as to give any definite account of it, and the manner in which a large proportion of these cases broke down on the first attempt to examine them, are facts to show most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs. 7
For hundreds of years modern man has studied marijuana with scientific methods and found it not only to be one the least harmful drugs man uses, it is also one of the most beneficial and versatile plants to be found. Still, people are jailed daily and their lives are ruined at huge cost to the taxpayer, just for using this plant. And this is a crime against society, a crime against morality, and contrary to good conscience.
2010-09-30 All members of society are charged to insure our laws are just, outside of our own prejudices, and outside the reach of distal relations of power. We must always remember that yours is a free state, but it is not so without the democratic freedoms laid out in your constitution. We must insure that our most basic rights are never marginalized through politics or ideology. We are a free people, and as such, we are inherently entitled to
freedoms of thought and perception, choice and conscience, and freedom from incarceration, all in the absence of harm to others and/or society.
We must, even though we may not be directly affected by this law, protect every citizen’s basic rights of choice and freedom, lest one day they criminalize our choice and remove our freedom because of it. And there is no one left to care. What having a beer is once again made a crime, or your right to bear arms is illegally taken away. Or your participation in “that” club or your right to grow your own food becomes a crime. What if they make it a crime to believe in your God? Will you not demand your right to choice; would you not expect society to support your right to choose? Given the absence of harm in marijuana use, there is simply no lawful authority for the state apparatus to criminalize it, and there is certainly no moral authority to do so.
Please send the message to business and politicians that your constitution is not for sale to the special interest groups who line up to buy it. To the gentlemen that work in the Office of National Drug Control Policy , those who are the authors of the article in the times; we shout a collective shame on you for perpetuating this timeworn myth, and shame on you for being so eager to unjustly jail your countrymen. You certainly do know better.
We now have the relevant facts needed to make a just and moral decision. Some will try to confuse the facts, and make irrelevant and misleading arguments about taxes, law enforcement, poorly written laws, and the ever elusive and speculative harm. None of these arguments can change the fact that there is no objective or “real” reason to put our citizens in jail for marijuana use. The official “fictional story” is designed to frighten you into doing what others want, contrary to logic and good conscience. The authoritative position is a fabrication not based on fact. You have all the facts you need right here. All else you need is inherent in your heart and your good conscience.
“Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything
2010-09-30 merely on the authority of your teachers. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it” Buddha
Respectfully Don Leonard
1. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/ledain/nonmed3.htm -Summary
http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/ledain/NONMED1.HTM - Full THE REPORT OF THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT COMMISSION OF INQUIRY (LE DAIN COMMISSION) INTO THE NON-MEDICAL USE OF DRUGS – 1972
CANNABIS CONTROL POLICY: A DISCUSSION PAPER HEALTH PROTECTION BRANCH DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE JANUARY 1979 (CANADA)
3. http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/ille-e/rep-e/summary-e.htm - Summary
http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/ille-e/rep-e/repfinalvol3-e.htm - full
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA - CANNABIS : OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS SEPTEMBER 2002
CANADIAN FOUNDATION FOR DRUG POLICY & INTERNATIONAL HARM REDUCTION ASSOCIATION
5. http://yeson19.com/endorsements. 6. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/wootton/sec6.htm - Summary
THE WOOTTON REPORT – CANNABIS REPORT BY THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON DRUG DEPENDENCE, UNITED KINGDOM
THE LA GUARDIA COMMITTEE REPORT - THE MARIHUANA PROBLEM IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK 7. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/effects.htm THE INDIAN HEMP DRUGS COMMISSION REPORT 8. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/marihuana/law-loi/acts-reg-loi-eng.php HEALTH CANADA MARIHUANA MEDICAL ACCESS DIVISION DRUG STRATEGY AND CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES PROGRAMME, OTTAWA, ON K1A 1B9 9. http://www.who.int/entity/substance_abuse/publications/alcohol_injury_summary.pdf
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
10a- http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/ledain/nonmed2b.htm LE DAIN COMMISSION) INTO THE NON-MEDICAL USE OF DRUGS – 1972
JEFFREY A.MIRON – VISITING PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY CAMBRIDGE, MA
13. http://www.nowpublic.com/culture/marijuana-arrests-feed-insatiable-u-s-prison-system 14. http://eap.mcgill.ca/CPH_3.htm
ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE PROJECTS, MCGILL UNIVERSITY (MACDONALDCAMPUS) STE-ANNE-DE-BELLEVUE, QC, H9X 3V9 CANADA HENRY FORD HEMP 'PLASTIC' CAR
15. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BTFR6yYV-s 16.http://www.medicalmj.org/ DR. JACK E. HENNINGFIELD, PH.D. a. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/25/opinion/la-oe-0825-kerlikowske-marijuana-2010082 b. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-schwarzenegger-marijuana- pensio20100924,0,30919.story c. http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/sep/20/family-files-lawsuit-swat-raid/
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