marijuana prohibition
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Dear Media – Marijuana Prohibition Is No Laughing Matter

marijuana prohibitionNot that long ago Barack Obama was asked at a media event to respond to the fact that the number one petition on the White House’s ‘We the People – Your Voice In Our Government’ site was asking about marijuana legalization. Barack Obama smirked and chuckled at the question, as if it was a joke. Many media members that were in attendance laughed as well. In a recent episode of ‘Meet the Press’ the topic was marijuana legalization, and again, the media members on the show laughed repeatedly throughout the conversation. Even on my local sports radio channel, yesterday they were talking about marijuana legalization and laughed throughout the segment.

What is so funny about marijuana reform? I get it that consuming marijuana can give people the giggles, especially inexperienced consumers. I get that one of the first things that comes to mind for many people in society when they think of marijuana is a Cheech and Chong comedy. However, when we are talking about marijuana prohibition, not marijuana entertainment or bong sessions, there’s nothing funny about it.

Marijuana prohibition is a very harmful public policy that has ruined lives and wasted resources. That’s not funny. African Americans are almost four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana compared to white people, even though consumption rates are about proportionately the same between races. In some areas of America, that number can be over eight times as likely for African Americans. Marijuana prohibition is a racist public policy. Explain to me how that’s funny? Racism is never funny, especially when it involves public policy.

Marijuana prohibition is an enormous waste of law enforcement resources. In Oregon, where I live, a medical marijuana dispensary was raided in Southern Oregon which involved 70 officers. The same weekend that 70 officers were dedicated to raiding the safe access point, a lady in Southern Oregon called police to report that her ex-husband was trying to enter her residence to harm her, and that she had a restraining order against him. She was told that there weren’t any police officers that they could send. The lady was assaulted and raped as a result. 70 officers can be dedicated to raiding a harmless medical marijuana dispensary, which later had almost all of the charges dropped that were involved with the raid, yet there’s not even one officer that can be sent to enforce a restraining order. How is that funny?

Jail cells should be dedicated to real criminals like pedophiles, rapists, murderers, etc. However, people are sitting in jail cells across the country right now for marijuana only offenses. Jeff Mizanskey is sitting in a prison cell in Missouri right now serving a life sentence for marijuana only offenses. His family will never see him outside of the prison’s walls, and his life is virtually gone due to activity involving a plant that has never killed anyone. Meanwhile, a violent criminal that should be sitting in that same cell is out on the streets due to ‘prison overcrowding.’ When that same violent criminal harms another human being, I wonder if Obama and members of the media will be laughing then?

Marijuana prohibition puts marijuana sales into the hands of cartels and gangs. People are dying near the Mexico/United States border in horrific ways at the hands of cartels. Gangs that profit from blackmarket marijuana sales are making law abiding citizens in neighborhoods live in constant fear. If marijuana was legalized, sales would go out of the shadows and into regulated outlets, and cartels and gangs would be devastated. Instead, cartels and gangs continue to profit off of the misery of innocent people. People will continue to get their heads chopped off in Mexico because rather than have a constructive, productive conversation about marijuana prohibition, Obama and mainstream media would rather chuckle and make pot puns. If this was happening with any other public policy issue of this magnitude, the world would be outraged and would call out the White House and American media for being heartless cowards. But instead, because it’s marijuana, the laughs continue despite the overwhelming evidence that marijuana prohibition has failed and is ruining lives.

  • Sarijuana

    Excellent post. It never ceases to amaze and disgust me that people, especially those people in power, have such a cavalier attitude about other peoples lives

    • David

      Yet President Obama’s allowed the Justice Dept. be OK with cruise Ship tourists arriving here into Seattle and buying an ounce each. Could be worse. Much worse.

  • Cleanslate

    If you have seen someone you deeply care about die from a horrific disease like cancer, because they were denied access to the quintessential healing medicine that is the cannabis plant you would see nothing amusing or trivial about it. Instead, you would have a deep and lasting sorrow not having been able to provide them with it, not only to alleviate their suffering but even to heal them. I have seen this happen to those I deeply cared about and I see nothing amusing and trivial about cannabis. It is a sacrament of nature for the healing of all.

  • Dennis Pielack

    Support! Your post hits on many points. Ignorance and immaturity about marijuana are still surfacing especially in places and people of power and authority. When religious use of marijuana is finally recognized as a 1st Amendment right, marijuana will have found freedom and its higher purpose.

  • Ron

    If all those a’holes think it’s so funny they should have to spend a single week in a prison to get a taste of the medicine handed out to those incarcerated for simple possession. While there they should be cell mates with a repeat rapist who is 7 feet tall and 300 pounds with a schlong the size of a baseball bat and whose favorite pastime is playing drop the soap.

  • mike1188

    I am ashamed that our president would laugh at the topic of marijuana reform. I guess it does not matter to him that that people want an legitimate answer to this issue. We do want or need a childish giggle from the Preident of the United States. The people want an answer. More and more people want prohibition to stop Mr. President are ou going to continually ignore and laugh at this topic untill your term is over. If that’s the case then I guess I will vote replicant president for the first time in my life. Every one please speak out and let yourself be heard otherwise we will be ignored. People will still be incarcerated for miner drug offense. Rapist will still get out of prison sooner than non violent drug charges.

    • David

      So do you think had Mittens Romney won we’d have two state legalization experiments currently in place contrary to national law? Shit all the med dispensary’s would be closed by now. I can tell you dislike President O. But at least he’s giving those of us living in WA. and CO. a chance. Could it be better, yeah. is it a perfect world. No.

      • Captain Obvious

        The people chose that 4 more years of Obama was better than 8 years of the Romney-Nixon groupthink clusterfuck. Romney would have only wanted to cash-in on other people’s suffering and claim financial genius. Ron Paul was the real threat shut up by the Nixon-groupthink neocon clusterfuck of a party.

      • mike1188

        David you get me wrong I like President Obama I voted for him. He was the best choice I believe for our country at the time. I just think the President owes the entire country an honest answer what he thinks about legalizing marijuana. He should not hide behind his last few years in office. Granted I probely shouldn’t of said I will vote republican for the first time, The fact is I never vote for any particular party. I always toe or the persons I believe who is better for our country.

  • Dan Richeson

    The notions of freedom, liberty and justice are nobel ideals that people have fought for, killed for and died for. Who are we to allow corrupt individuals and institutions to subvert those hard won ways of living? From time to time militant action is required of those who love these ideals as it seems there will always be those who will see fit to subvert them. The degree to which prohibition has ruined lives and has brought death to the canna community in the form of extra judicial murders and denial of proven effective medicines AND coupled with the fact that the notion of justice is so alien to the ‘justice system’ is an indication that the use of deadly force is warranted against individuals who are active in implementing, promoting, supporting or maintaing prohibition. (Still giggling?)

    We will no longer tolerate: children being taken from the homes of good parents for no other reason than cannabis. Any prison or jail time. Any fines or forfeitures. Denial of employment or other opportunities or extra judicial murders. There WILL BE reparations for those who have suffered these injustices. Any person or institution who has been instrumental in instituting and/or maintaining cannabis prohibition will be held accountable criminally and civilly. (I’m not laughing yet)

    We will show as much mercy to prohibitionists as they have shown the cannabis community. (The canna community, as a whole, will probably be more merciful.)

    What you believe or think you know about cannabis is irrelevant. I along with others have made a declarative statement that it is our right to grow, possess and use cannabis and speaking for myself, willing to defend my right to do so. I have always been a peace loving person and I’m not spoiling for a fight but THIS PROHIBITION CRAP ENDS NOW! (Go ahead show disrespect in MY presence)

    I encourage readers to read the text of the: Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users. (Google it) See in it the spirit of determined resistance and an option for peaceful coexistence, and if you are of a mind to print out copies, sign them and send them to your elected reps. (Who’s laughing now?)

  • Captain Jim

    Cannabis kills cancer cells without harming the surrounding healthy cells (apoptosis). It also helps with countless other conditions through it’s interaction with our own endocannabinoid system. No laughing matter indeed when access to this plant is being withheld to us.

    From the US National Library of Medicine ((PubMed.gov)

    “Cannabinoids appear to be able to modulate pain, nausea, vomiting, epilepsy, ischemic stroke, cerebral trauma, multiple sclerosis, tumors, and other disorders in humans and/or animals.”

    Page 6.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1253627/

    • YMI

      Thanks for educating the public about the medical benefits of cannabis, we need more people like yourself. ✌

      • Captain Jim

        ;-)

  • David

    Better a chuckle than a frown. It could be worse. Two states down 48 to go.

  • Johnny Bloomington

    Good post but…..”Marijuana reform is a very harmful public policy that has ruined lives and wasted resources. ”
    You mean “Marijuana prohibition?”

  • MrPC

    Take it from someone who suffered a felony conviction and spent over a year behind bars for simple possession of a few grams, it’s no joke.These laws have caused a lot of damage for no good reason and must be overturned. Now.

  • YMI

    The war on cannabis is no laughing matter indeed. It’s a war that’s a lot more than it seems on the surface. This is a turning point in our history , let me explain: cannabis is a spiritual plant, it’s purpose is to heal humanity , spiritually physically , psychology. It’s a major threat to organized religions, the government. Cannabis is not like any other drug or alcohol, it opens up your mind (at least thc part) the government , politicians , the corporations, religious figures don’t want our minds to be free.IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FEAR OF GIVING UP CONTROL OF THE PEOPLE! I yeah , I would say the marijuana prohibition is VERY serious.

  • wowFAD

    Hear, hear! I wish there were an up-vote button for the whole article.

    Those who are quick to pull out the cheap stoner jokes — those who laugh at this issue — are simply exposing how little awareness and how little respect they have for cannabis law reform.

    What was funny? The college student locked up by the DEA and forgotten about for days, who almost starved to death? Is it funny that he had to drink his own urine to survive? Maybe the seven-figure settlement he got from the taxpayer was funny? Perhaps 750,000 arrests for simple possession is funny? Or maybe the fact that we’ve criminalized the cure for cancer (yes, the cure) — is that funny?

    I’m not laughing. If any of that is funny, I don’t get it. Cannabis law reform isn’t a punch-line.

  • enoughaboutracealready

    Agree on everything except acknowledging racial issues, that’s exactly what they want… to be noticed and given leeway… no thank you… if you are stupid enough to hang out on the streets breaking ANY law and get caught then so be it… All individuals should be treated exactly the same in regards to rights and laws. That said yes reform, decriminalize and legalize marijuana for all those reasons mentioned but lets stop pretending it is all about races just because more of one or another gets caught the most… hasn’t anyone noticed the police putting away those races are just as likely and even usually are the same race themselves… how is that biasing? Just stop busting people for minor non violent marijuana related issues period and none of the racial bullshit will matter anymore.

  • Guest

    The pen is mightier than the sword.

    Cicero: cēdant arma togae (“arms yield to persuasion”).

  • Ed Raw

    So, we have to know… is The Weed Blog for or against marijuana? At least the NY Times editorial board has made it clear what they think, but with your site we are still in the dark.

    Just kidding. You guys are doing a great job. Keep the informed and effective articles and opinion pieces coming.

    Lots of love from high up in Canada.

    • Sarijuana

      Got me! LOL read that first paragraph twice before I read on. ” say what? ” I said to myself. Still smiling, so thanks for that.

  • Jetdoc

    GREAT ARTICLE Johnny! This past Saturday FOX News spoke about the NYT endorsing legalization and how late they are to the party on endorsing legalization. It was on the show “Media Buzz”. The host made the usual pot puns, but NOT surprisingly 3 of the 4 of the people on the show SUPPORT the END of the Drug War. Only ONE of the guests said, “we have more important issues to worry about right now…”

    I was really surprised to see it responsibly discussed on FOX. Generally you get the blow hards like O’Reilly who will hold a poll that he already knows the outcome of… UNTIL the internet gets wind of it and makes his little poll ACTUALLY reflect what the American PEOPLE want. Not just HIS viewers. He’s NOT brought those polls up since then.

    • Patrick Star

      The people who are for the prohibition have not been affected by it yet but they will be eventually they’re families or children and when they are it won’t be so funny and they will I repeat will take it more seriously then as they’re child or family member is being taken away for years and are put behind bars or worse yet lose a child or family member to seizures that marijuana oil (let’s call it what it is) could have have helped with that pharmaceuticals couldn’t them they will understand and become more serious and it won’t be funny anymore !!!!

  • Conservative Christian

    We will have a better America when we start doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. None of us would want our kids put in jail over a little marijuana. None of us would want the police to confiscate and sell our parents’ home because they grew a couple of plants to help with the aches and pains of growing old. Let’s start treating other people the way we would want to be treated.

  • Jim

    I still think that if they don’t legalize marijuana, then they should make alcohol, and pain pills illegal. People die from these drugs. Why does the government want to kill people when there has never been an over dose from marijuana? Why can’t they see all the benefits of cannabis? Jobs, medicine, clothing, taxes (They love taxes) etc. Just legalize and save millions just in law enforcement. This is starting to be ridiculous, most Americans want it to be legal…LISTEN TO US FOR ONCE…DAMN!!!

    • jsnow

      The government does see it (the benefits) and knows that cannabis is harmless … They’re just not saying it to the public , they hold a patent for cannabis listed as “neuroprotectant and antioxidant” for f*%k sakes

      They’ve been at the forefront of the war on drugs for 70+ years and are the ones who made cannabis illegal in the first place and they sure as hell don’t want to admit defeat or that they were wrong in the first place for making it illegal

  • jsnow

    Let’s not forget about all of the children who have died and have suffered from being unable to get and use cannabis oil to help prevent their seizures … Is that a laughing matter dipshits??

    • Captain Obvious

      Ironically, we are about to see a bunch of much safer pediatric medications from cannabis sold in pharmacies soon. No more risk of death from overdose that those kids do so often!

  • Patrick Star

    This stupidity prohibition (let’s call it what it is) Needs to stop before more lives and families are destroyed !!!!!