Oct 052012
 October 5, 2012

medical marijuana patient police abuseBy Erik A. Gifford

The latest Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted nationwide resulted in 56% of those polled believing cannabis should be legalized and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco. Are we on the verge of ending prohibition, or is it just a pipe dream?

Now more than ever there are sizeable organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Global Commission on Drug Policy and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P.) and a few brave politicians speaking out against the failed drug war. Retired police detective and active L.E.A.P. member Howard Woodridge stated “Envision a world where crime is cut in half, terrorists don’t make money selling drugs and children aren’t employed by the drug trade, all are possible when we find the courage to end our prohibition.” It sounds simple enough, but what about the businesses and organizations that profit from the drug war?

In 2011 the United States spent approximately $44 billion on an unsustainable war on drugs in law enforcement, incarceration, court and other justice systems costs,(Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Strategy) which in turn drains public resource funds away from public health and social programs that actually help individuals and communities. If we ended prohibition tomorrow couldn’t the government just reallocate those funds? Well in reality the special interests involved delves much deeper than merely keeping law enforcement departments employed. The list of companies and special interest groups that support the drug war, both literally and monetarily, is vast and powerful. Big Pharma doesn’t want American citizens to be able to grow an herb that has been quoted as being the “wonder drug” in our own backyards. What about global bankers and private military companies and the private industrial prison complex? These are just a few of the multitude of companies that are profiteering from this futile drug war.

It can be discouraging when you look at all the opposing forces ready to fight to the end in favor of prohibition. Or is it? When we compare the attempt to end the drug prohibition of today, to the ending of the alcohol prohibition in 1933, we have to keep one very important aspect in mind; the battle began at the state level. And now with three states having legalization initiatives on the ballot, with Colorado and Washington polling very well, it looks as if the tables may be turning in our favor. Another instrumental factor in passing the 21st Amendment was the female voters, which when coupled with educating our senior citizen voters could play a crucial role in bringing an end to this generation’s prohibition.

The simple fact is prohibition is a total failure and more and more citizens are learning the truth every day. If you believe the “Drug War” harms more people than it helps, then do your part by educating yourself and others. And remember, knowledge is power, but only when applied.

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruno-Marchal/1311199315 Bruno Marchal

    Prohibition can also be seen as a total success … for the criminal bandits to get power. When I look to the 2012 NDAA bill’s notes, signed by Obama, I got that feeling. There is still some hope, as that bill has been ruled out as anti-constitutional by the supreme court, but the bandits will not abandon the power so easily, and seems already to consolidate it.

  • JustAsk

    I’ve come close to accepting that the true plant should not be prohibited. After smoking weed experimenting on and off, I really couldn’t vote yes or no when it came down to it. There are tons of money made off of the prohibition. Jobs are created and with weed, we all have another substance to focus on as being harmful to society. But…..what everyone is not and probably will not focus on is the fact that any mind altering chemical will cause a mood altering affect that may be detrimental to society. In this respect we first have to look at wine and spirits.The most common drug alone that alters a person’s mood and mind is alcohol. Wine and Spirits. A religious person will justify its cause as just that…spirits. In our desires we have to look at what drives us to conquer that desire. What makes us feel that we have to achieved that desire. Is it need, is it want, what is it? In looking at myself, and only looking at myself, I’ve seen that conquering my desires are temporary…..at least until I feel the urge again. I can admit, I love drinking alcohol because of the way it makes me feel, I love the ease I take from it. Just like sex, I love the egostical boost I get from measuring myself inside my woman. Especially under the influenc of wine and spirits. When I’m under the influence, euphoria hits and negative energy releases and the focus is easily driven to a positive. I can look at myself and the world and see the connection. I can look at bad situations and understand that we are involved in a world that thrives on negativity. In a sober mind, the more I look at this, the less I want to drink. I don’t want to drink myself into a slumber. A slumber of not realizing what is actually there. I want to actualize what is real and think about solutions to rid us of this evil. When I smoked weed, clarity was not an option…..it was a given. I didn’t have to ask. I didn’t have to think. It was just there. Throughout the years, the more I smoked, the more I became aware of what truly was going on in this world. I felt a kinship with my experience. I would smoke with anyone……white, black, hispanic, blind, crippled, I didn’t care, because the conversations I had with these people are what mattered. It was all about the result and not just the action. The intellect was not distorted by us being high. Valid questions would be asked and valid points would be made. We understood each other with no confrontation because we were involved and open to common an uncommon experience. Those type of experiences allows any one of us to share a common fear and get to an understanding about that fear without confrontation,… and the fear of being ridiculed or judged, there was no need for violence in our disputse. As great minds come together and learn to agree to disagree, solutions are formed when one of those minds can determine and admit…”I was wrong.” I can only speak on what I’ve seen. When I’m high on “weed”, a plant that is truly nurtured, grown, and produced from nature’s elements, I’m open to one truth. The truth about you, the truth about me, and the truth about the world we live in and truth be told, I don’t know if the world is ready for that…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Clifford-Schaffer/1327146077 Clifford Schaffer

    Justask said:
    “But…..what everyone is not and probably will not focus on is the fact that any mind altering chemical will cause a mood altering affect that may be detrimental to society.”

    That has nothing to do with the laws and never really did. If you thought there was ever anything approaching good sense — or even good intentions – behind the law, then you got fooled. The law was lunacy, passed by lunatics.
    For starters, see the short history of the marijuana laws at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/whiteb1.htm The original reasons for the law were so stupid that people just laugh out loud at them today.
    Then, for the story on the other drug laws read Licit and Illicit Drugs at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm
    The major point that everyone needs to understand is that “Drugs are bad” is not the same as “prohibition is the best solution.” The best proof of that is alcohol and our experience with alcohol prohibition. The problem is that prohibition doesn’t solve any problems, but just creates new ones. The issue isn’t the harms of any particular drug. The issue is the harms of prohibition.