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Thread: marijuana : a human right ?

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    Politics.ie Member neiphin's Avatar
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    Default marijuana : a human right ?

    Today, an initiative that would legalize personal marijuana possession and allow regulated sales of marijuana to adults will qualify for California's November general election ballot. A win at the ballot would be a first of its kind in U.S. history. This is a remarkable moment in the struggle to change our decades-old marijuana policies.

    Marijuana was prohibited in 1937 before most Americans had ever heard of it. Today the U.S. leads the world in marijuana consumption. Nearly 26 million Americans used marijuana last year and more than 100 million have tried it in their lifetimes. A huge commodity of the underground economy, marijuana is the nation's top cash crop, valued at $14 billion in California alone. Our state Board of Equalization has estimated we would generate $1.4 billion a year by taxing marijuana like alcohol.

    Like it or not, marijuana has become a mainstream recreational drug. It is second only to alcohol and cigarettes in popularity and is objectively far less harmful than either. Marijuana is drastically less addictive and cannot cause an overdose. Every major independent study has debunked the gateway myth; for the profound majority of users, marijuana is the only drug people sample not the first. Children across the country consistently report that marijuana is easy for them to get from their peers and the black market while significant barriers exist to buying alcohol and cigarettes.

    Unthinkable carnage in Mexico has claimed 15,000 lives since the Calderon government declared war on drug cartels three years ago. Our government estimates the cartels generate at least 60% of their profits from marijuana alone. Following the murders of several U.S. consular workers, Secretary of State Clinton returned to Mexico this week, acknowledging that demand in the U.S. dominates these markets. But she didn't acknowledge that rampant violence is not a byproduct of the cannabis plant itself but of the prohibition that creates a profit motive people are willing to kill for.

    Americans are increasingly turning against the prohibition that fails to protect our kids and guarantees a monopoly of profits to violent criminal syndicates on both sides of the border. While polls have long confirmed that large majorities favor treating marijuana possession as an infraction without arrest let alone jail, support for ending marijuana prohibition outright is quickly gaining speed. A Gallup poll last year reported that a historic 44 percent of Americans favor legalization, a 10-point jump since 2001. Meanwhile, sizable majorities of Californians are ahead of that curve, giving rise to the historic initiative we'll vote on this fall.

    With this cultural transition underway, you might think enforcement of our marijuana laws would reflect their unpopularity. Sadly, quite the opposite is the case. Arrests for marijuana offenses have actually tripled nationwide since 1991. In California, which decriminalized low-level possession in 1975, arrests have jumped 127 percent in the same two decades the arrest rate for crime in general fell by 40 percent. Police made nearly 850,000 marijuana arrests across the country last year, half of all drug arrests and more than all violent crime arrests combined. No law in the United States is enforced so widely yet deemed so unnecessary.

    Worse still, marijuana laws are enforced selectively with racist results. In California, African Americans are three times more likely than whites to be arrested for a marijuana offense despite comparable or even lower rates of consumption. An expose by the Pasadena Weekly found that blacks, who represent 14 percent of that city's population, accounted for more than half all marijuana arrests in the last five years.

    It's hard to overstate the significance of the vote this November. Banning marijuana outright has been a disaster, fueling a massive, increasingly brutal, underground economy, wasting billions in scarce law enforcement resources, and making criminals of countless law-abiding citizens. Elected officials haven't stopped these punitive, profligate policies. Now voters can bring the reality check of sensible marijuana regulation to California.

    Stephen Gutwillig is the California State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation's leading organization working to promote alternatives to the failed war on drugs.
    "If we VOTE YES there will be no more austere budgets. Fact " Hammer, mayday 12'

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    Politics.ie Member neiphin's Avatar
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    hopefully this will get the ball rolling an these silly laws will be removed
    "If we VOTE YES there will be no more austere budgets. Fact " Hammer, mayday 12'

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    Politics.ie Member The Caped Cod's Avatar
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    Hear, hear, Hope it passes. The tax revenue alone should make a sizeable dent in California's debt, plus it will mean drug dealers take a major hit. If it passes, and works well in California (and isn't sabotaged by whatever California's equivelant of Joe Duffy is - see Head shop threads) it could provide an incentive to other states to do the saem.
    "Authority that cannot be questioned is tyranny and I will not accept tyranny, any tyranny, even that of heaven."
    - Terry Pratchett

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    I agree that marijuana should be regulated and legalised or decriminalised, whichever is best. Only mild weed should be sold and tested regularly and the state should heavily tax the profits. I don't think Joe Duffy will be happy about it, Joe and the auld wans that ring his show would probably put a stop to such a move. What an odd little country this is when Joe and a bunch of auld wans can dictate recreational drugs policy.

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    Politics.ie Member neiphin's Avatar
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    joe an his auld ones cannot see that they are pushing people to drug lords , who are peddling super strength sh1t laced with god knows what

    and i believe that contact with that scum can be a gateway
    but allowing people to try a mild strain cannot be any great harm
    "If we VOTE YES there will be no more austere budgets. Fact " Hammer, mayday 12'

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    Anything that will take money from criminal gangs and murderers and take away their power can only be a good thing.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do
    nothing"


    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/gr...8322900&ref=ts

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    Politics.ie Member The Caped Cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiphin View Post
    joe an his auld ones cannot see that they are pushing people to drug lords , who are peddling super strength sh1t laced with god knows what

    and i believe that contact with that scum can be a gateway
    but allowing people to try a mild strain cannot be any great harm
    Personaly, I would question Mr. Duffy's motives. He's a d*ckhead, a loud mouth, a polemicist, a gobsh*ite and many other things, but he's not stupid. He is well aware that he is in fact protecting the drug dealers interests. Why, would be the question.
    "Authority that cannot be questioned is tyranny and I will not accept tyranny, any tyranny, even that of heaven."
    - Terry Pratchett

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    Politics.ie Member Fed Up's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Caped Cod View Post
    Personaly, I woould question Mr. Duffy's motives. He's a d*ckhead, a loud mouth, a polemicist, a gobsh*ite an dmany other things, but he's not stupid. He is well aware that he is in fact protecting the drug dealers interests. WHy, would be the question.
    Give me EUR475,000 a year and I'll scare up the masses of aul biddies into hysteria about the evil of playgrounds if you want
    Quoting other posters posts is not allowed apparently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiphin View Post
    joe an his auld ones cannot see that they are pushing people to drug lords , who are peddling super strength sh1t laced with god knows what

    and i believe that contact with that scum can be a gateway
    but allowing people to try a mild strain cannot be any great harm
    I was surprised and heartened by the comments of a couple of FF reps on recreational drug use lately - Jim McDaid and an FF rep on Frontline. This was when they were debating some of the issues regarding products available in headshops. These two FF reps I'm referring to weren't calling for radical reforms or anything, but they did seem to be adopting a more mature response to the issue in general vis a vis removing it from criminal control and strictly regulating it. As it stands FG will be in govt. after the next GE, as far as I can see they're attitude to recreational drugs legislation is as backward as ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skev View Post
    Anything that will take money from criminal gangs and murderers and take away their power can only be a good thing.
    So does that make us the bad guys then?
    My old hen used to say, "Life is like a rooster house. You never know what you're gone to get."

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