Dec 192012
 December 19, 2012

cannabis prohibitionFull Page New York Times Ad in Thursday Paper: “80 Years After the End of Prohibition, Prohibition is Finally Coming to an End”

Drug Policy Alliance Thanks Colorado and Washington Voters, Pat Robertson, Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NJ Gov. Chris Christie, and Presidents of Colombia, Guatemala and Uruguay

Comes on Heels of Obama Response to Marijuana Legalization in Colorado and Washington: “We’ve Got Bigger Fish to Fry”

In Thursday’s New York Times, the nation’s leading drug policy reform organization is running a full-page ad that thanks voters in Colorado and Washington and emphasizes the growing support for drug policy reform among people from across the political spectrum who are renowned for their leadership in law, health, business, media and politics. Last month, Colorado and Washington became the first two states in the country – and the first political jurisdictions anywhere in the world – to approve legally regulating marijuana like alcohol, with both states’ initiatives winning by decisive margins.

Even before the votes in Colorado and Washington were counted, 2012 had already been a watershed year for the burgeoning movement to end the war on drugs. Arguments that were articulated just five years ago primarily by intellectuals and activists, and three years ago by former presidents and policymakers, are now being advanced with growing sophistication and nuance by current presidents in Latin America and a small but growing number of elected officials in the United States.

In Latin America, presidents such as Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia), Otto Pérez Molina (Guatemala), and José Mujica (Uruguay) are embracing alternatives to prohibition. In a sign of the shifting political tides, two U.S. governors from opposite sides of the aisle who are often mentioned as 2016 presidential candidates – New York’s Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey’s Chris Christie – have embraced drug policy reform this year. Gov. Christie broke ranks with fellow Republicans by calling the drug war a failure, while Governor Cuomo committed to ending New York’s racially discriminatory marijuana arrest crusade. Even strange bedfellows like evangelical leader Pat Robertson and former President Jimmy Carter spoke out in support of legally regulating marijuana this year. And perhaps most tellingly, President Bill Clinton joined several other former presidents in sharply criticizing the war on drugs in the just-released documentary Breaking the Taboo.

The ad appears just one week after President Obama commented on the marijuana legalization votes in Colorado and Washington – framing the conflict between federal and state law as a question to be resolved and stating that people who use marijuana in states that have legalized it should not be a “top priority” for federal law enforcement.

“This past year was the best ever for our growing movement to end the war on drugs,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Marijuana legalization and broader drug policy reform have moved from the fringes to the mainstream of U.S. and international politics.”

Nadelmann added: “Voters in Washington and Colorado did more than just make history last month by voting to end their states’ marijuana prohibition laws and attempt instead to regulate marijuana as a legal commodity. They performed a national service by catapulting the national conversation about drug policy to a new level of urgency and political significance.”

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) leads the flourishing movement to end the war on drugs – in the halls of power, online, and in the streets. DPA is actively involved in the legislative process and seeks to roll back the excesses of the drug war, block new, harmful initiatives, and promote sensible drug policy reforms. As a result of their work, hundreds of thousands of people have been diverted from incarceration to drug treatment programs, hundreds of thousands of sick and dying patients can safely access their medicine without being considered criminals under the law, and states like California have saved more than $2.5 billion by eliminating wasteful and ineffective law enforcement, prosecution and prison expenditures.

DPA and its lobbying arm, Drug Policy Action, were deeply involved in the Colorado and Washington initiatives – providing roughly one-third of the funding for the Washington initiative, while in Colorado they were deeply involved in the research, drafting, funding and on-the-ground campaign.

Below is the text of the ad running in today’s New York Times:

80 Years After the End of Prohibition, Prohibition is Finally Coming to an End

Voters in Washington and Colorado made history on Election Day when they voted to legally regulate and tax marijuana. Their votes signaled the beginning of the end for the costly and unjust war on drugs.

Thank you to the citizens of Washington and Colorado.

The Drug Policy Alliance is especially proud of this milestone, as we worked for years to make this historic day happen.

We’d also like to thank: President Bill Clinton for acknowledging the drug war’s futility and failure; President Jimmy Carter and Pat Robertson for saying it’s time to legalize marijuana; Governor Christie for calling the drug war a failure and Governor Cuomo for working to end New York’s racially discriminatory marijuana arrest crusade; Congressmen Ron Paul and Barney Frank for introducing the first bill to end federal marijuana prohibition; Presidents Santos (Colombia), Pérez Molina (Guatemala) and Mujica (Uruguay) for breaking the taboo on alternatives to drug prohibition; and, most of all, our many allies around the world for demanding no more drug war.

We strive for the day when drug policies are no longer motivated by ignorance, fear and prejudice but rather by science, compassion, fiscal prudence and human rights, with education and treatment available for everyone. Help us fight the good fight by making a tax deductible donation.

Join Us.
www.drugpolicy.org/act

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#NoMoreDrugWar
@DrugPolicyNews

Drug Policy Alliance Honorary Board

Former Mayor Rocky Anderson
Harry Belafonte
Richard Branson
Former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci
Deepak Chopra
Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Walter Cronkite [1916-2009]
Ram Dass
Dr. Vincent Dole [1913-2006]
Ruth Dreifuss
Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders
U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.)
Former Police Chief Penny Harrington
Václav Havel [1936-2011]
Calvin Hill
Arianna Huffington
Former Governor Gary Johnson
U.S. District Court Judge John Kane
Former Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach [1922-2012]
Former Police Chief Joseph McNamara
Former Police Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy [1920-2011]
Dr. Beny J. Primm
Dennis Rivera
Former Mayor Kurt Schmoke
Dr. Charles Schuster  [1930-2011]
Alexander Shulgin
Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz
Russell Simmons
Sting
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet
Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker

Press Release From The Drug Policy Alliance

About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
  • DavidTheExpert

    Here is an image of the ad: http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/images/Publications/Drug_Policy_Alliance_Ad.jpg

    (From DPA’s webiste)

    Looks like it will run in this Thursday’s edition of the paper.

    This is absolutely amazing. Hopefully this will spark up an tremendous conversation among… well… people who read the New York Times.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jay-Selthofner/100000618250733 Jay Selthofner

    Excellent…We in Wisconsin certainly appreciate the work product of the Drug Policy Alliance.

  • 2buds4me

    Sounds great – and the full page add is great publicity too, but I still don’t like the “couched” words of the president. “Should be (not definitive) lowest priority” (oh, you mean like the over 1000 legal dispensaries closed that ALSO should have been lowest priority?) That statement distances him from direct over-site of what the DEA actually does. “Bigger fish to fry” comment is disturbing as well. They always fry the easiest fish (store front dispensary) that they can catch. Typical political talk – lips moving – nothing definitive coming out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marbarn Mark Barn

    Obama is burnout, he thinks to go after providers, but how much more will be enough already? He is becoming a minority of prohibition in face of marijuana majority!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeafarmer Mike Adams

    Way to go DPA!