Jun 192011
 

legalize marijuana

How much longer Until Politicians Change Outdated Marijuana Laws??

By Johnny Green

When asked, ‘When will weed be legal?’ most people would answer with ‘very soon.’ And why wouldn’t they? It seems like more and more people are toking down everyday, and that the public mood is shifting more and more toward legalization. The benefits of legalization are so numerous that I could write for days. However, marijuana prohibition is built around laws, and changing laws is not as easy as it seems.

In order to understand where America needs to go on marijuana policy one first needs to understand where it came from. Marijuana has been illegal for a long, long time. The Marijuana (Marihuana) Tax Act of 1937 made it a crime to possess marijuana in any form without a marijuana tax stamp. The tax stamps were of course never distributed, creating a functional prohibition. States also created their own laws to mimic the federal penalties. In 1969, Timothy Leary successfully won a Supreme Court case that declared the Marijuana Tax Act unconstitutional. The Nixon Administration answered back the next year with the current federal marijuana laws. Since then, some states have softened up laws to treat it as a decriminalized offense. However, a vast majority of states still treat it as a misdemeanor or felony.

legalize marijuanaThe reason that such illogical laws have been able to persist for so many decades is because creating knee-jerk reaction laws is fairly easy; changing existing laws is hard to do. When laws are not only passed, but are implemented and enforced, it is very difficult to get change by succeeding at the political process, convincing society to go with the change, and implement that change. That’s why so many measures/propositions/initiatives get defeated each year, and so few get passed. Humans like complacency, even when it goes against their overall goals. Humans fear change, even if it is logical.

How would legalization come about, assuming it will happen soon? Almost anyone I know would say that the president is going to finally decide that it should happen, and declare it so. Anyone who has studied politics and law knows that this can’t happen, even if the president wanted it to (which he clearly doesn’t despite his BS rhetoric). A Presidential Executive Order cannot override an Act of Congress. It violates constitutional requirements of bicameralism. The only other options are if the United States Supreme Court decided that the Nixon era legislation is unconstitutional (I wouldn’t hold my breath even if I was paid a million dollars) or Congress can fix it’s mistake and create a new, sensible law.

However, waiting for the United States Congress to act is one of the most frustrating, pointless activities in America. There are 535 members involved, and they all have their own agendas. Even more importantly, hardly any of them have the courage to step up for what’s right and logical in regards to marijuana policy. That’s not to say that there aren’t a handful every now and then that believe in legalization (almost always in the House). Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) broke it down to Ninjasmoker the best way I can illustrate it. He said that if there was an anonymous vote in Congress to legalize marijuana, it would pass by an overwhelming margin. But when the elected officials have to go on record, most members of Congress wouldn’t even consider showing up for a discussion. They are scared to put their reputation on the line, plain and simple.

god made weedYou can see that this is a dire situation. The feds have marijuana consumers by the stones. However, there is one other thing that can occur (it’s the ‘secret’ third option that I didn’t allude to earlier…). The way marijuana will become legal is by a progressive change in marijuana policy one state at a time, one election at a time via the initiative/proposition/measure system. State legislatures will not legalize marijuana; the citizens have to take matters into their own hands and do it themselves.

To make matters more complicated, not all states will be ready at the same time. Let’s separate each state into the following categories: decriminalization/hemp, medical, recreational legalization. Idaho is the perfect state to use as an example from the decriminalization/hemp category. Idaho is one of the most ruthless states in regards to marijuana policy. A lot of my family lives there, and I have heard some horror stories about significant jail time served for possession of a pipe with marijuana residue in it. States that have such harsh penalties for such harmless acts are not going to legalize marijuana any time soon.

However, this category of states needs to have people working at the legislature and hitting the pavement to get the incremental changes necessary to bring about marijuana legalization. The best start is educating lawmakers and voters on the obvious benefits of decriminalization and industrial hemp growth. With budget restraints at an all time high in the public sector, and the private sector looking for innovative ways to get back on track, decriminalization and industrial hemp growth are no-brainers.

Washington DC medical marijuanaAfter a state has jumped on board with decriminalization and industrial hemp, they are now in the second category I referred to — medical. Why EVERY state doesn’t have medical marijuana by now, is beyond me, but I have faith that logical reasoning and compassion will eventually prevail. There are many states already on board, but there needs to be at least double the current number in order to swing the pendulum. There is a reason why MPP has a goal of 26 states by 2014; it’s the breaking point where there will be more states with medical marijuana than without. There are many states that are currently researching the feasibility of a program, and I know that when they look at other states to see that the sky never fell, they will get on board too.

That brings me to the last category, which is full on recreational legalization. This is what people really want, right? It makes sense, saves money, makes money, and reduces crime (especially for cartels). Some states are already at this point, namely Colorado and California. Both states have people working very hard to get ballot access in the upcoming election. I know that Washington and Oregon and other states are also working very hard, but time will tell if we are successful up here in the Northwest. Colorado and California are so far ahead of the game that it would take a disaster for both states to not obtain ballot access.

Assuming Colorado and California both were successful on election day (unfortunately, that’s up in the air still), that still leaves 48 other states left to go. No matter how hard the states’ legislatures fought the feds would come in like the gestapo and do what they always do. But it would get the ball rolling. Up next would be Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. Next thing you know it would spread throughout the entire West and even scoop up a Northeast state like New Hampshire. Then, and only then will we get a comprehensive, logical marijuana policy from the feds. Federal elected officials only move when they see an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon of public opinion and act like they started the movement. It’s the standard move in American politics.

obama marijuanaWhen you analyze marijuana legalization as we have just discussed, the question of ‘when do you think marijuana will become legal?’ is a bit tougher to answer. Elections only come once every two years, so what does that work out to? Can California and Colorado both succeed in the 2012 election? Or will we have a similar outcome as Proposition 19 from 2010? I’m not trying to be a hater; I’m merely trying to stimulate that part of the brain that facilitates discussion and debate. If both elections lose, then it’s on to 2014. How many election cycles will it take for other states in the West. How about out East, or in the Midwest?! As you can see, it could take longer than people think. Especially when you consider what forces the movement is up against (big alcohol, big tobacco, big pharmaceutical, corporate America, conservatives, insurance companies, etc., etc.)

I know what many readers are thinking, ‘Johnny, you really bummed me out man.’ My reply is to not get down, get MOTIVATED. The purpose of this article is to educate people on the process required, and to put into perspective the task at hand. 999/1000 marijuana consumers I know have no clue how marijuana legalization really works. They just sit at home hugging their bongs, rationalizing to themselves that, ‘it will be legal any day now, so I don’t have to do anything to help the cause.’ This article was created to call those people out!

IF YOU LOVE MARIJUANA, THEN DO SOMETHING TO FREE IT FROM THE JAIL IT HAS BEEN IN FOR SO MANY DECADES. Start a blog, start a Facebook group, join an organization, do some research, tell a friend, make a flyer/poster, hold a sign at a protest, do whatever you think will help but for the love of herb, JUST DO SOMETHING AND MAKE SURE TO VOTE!!! There is so much work to be done; don’t sit around expecting others to make up for it — HELP! Go to NotDwightHolton.Com to find out why you should not vote for Dwight Holton for Oregon Attorney General, and ‘like’ the Not Dwight Holton Facebook Page!

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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.
  • Steve Sarich

    I’d be happy to respond to this if you weren’t just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.

    This is the same old rhetoric that hasn’t worked in 40 years. The solution is in real court action, in Federal court, not just “sitting around expecting others” to do it.

    Make up your mind. Which issue are you fighting for? Are you fighting for the patients, which is my only fight? Are you fighting for full legalization? If you are, I hope you finally have a plan for that, then I can look at it. Or are you looking to legalize hemp. Good cause…and all are excellent causes. But you haven’t made a good cause for any of them…just more rhetoric that hasn’t worked.

    I focus only on patient needs. We are struggling with just that issue. If you want to throw everything into the equation, you will never win in our lifetime…and patients will definitely lose. Don’t try to win your goal for legalization for everyone on the backs of patients. It’s seriously pissing us off.

    Steve Sarich
    CannaCare
    steve@cannacare.org

    • http://www.theweedblog.com Johnny Green

      I have been a patient in the OMMP program for several years Steve, so I am speaking as not only a proponent of marijuana legalization but also as a patient. We are all in this fight together, and in a lot of cases, we fall into both categories at the same time. We would love to help out your organization in any way that we can. Just send me an e-mail.

      • justin

        anything i can do to help im willing

    • Kevin

      The reason why I am for medicinal cannabis AND full re-legalization is because I might agree with you that having medicinal cannabis available is good enough. If there were assurances that the program would be left alone, AS IS, I might take your side. However, if you think that the medicinal cannabis business is safe and secure, guess again. The right wingers dismantled the entire system. They just gave the medicinal cannabis program in Colorado some revisions that are designed to make the program unworkable, and the guy who designed that fiasco said that he’s coming to California to “help us with our problem”. Your business is at risk from people like that – not from people who advocate a full restoration of our rights. Cannabis is a safe, useful medicine and it should be available over the counter.

    • Guestwest

      My advice. Limited and naive, sure, but here it is. Court conservatives. The War on Drugs is huge wasteful government spending. The Tea Party wants to reign in government spending. They are a match made in heaven. Open the dialogue. A “the drug war is big government” sign is far more effective than “free the weed” at changing the minds of conservatives. “$1,000,000,000,000$ reasons to end the drug war!”
      “A system that will take away our medicine will take away your guns!”
      “Liberty is buying a beer at 8am and smoking a j at noon”

    • matt

      Hey steve, you aren’t very wise by trying to alienate large groups of people that are trying to do the same thing you are. If you are truly wanting to legalize marijuana, you need to get on the bus with everyone. You claim that you are sick of everyone trying to legalize drugs on the backs of patients. Who are these patients? What do you consider “sick”? Mental illness? Asthma? Multiple sclerosis? How about people that just feel better when they are under the influence of marijuana? Depression? ADD personality disorder? Who do you consider “your sick people”? Are there different levels of sickness that you would say yes and no too?
      Please don’t scoff in the face of those trying to make the U.S. a better place. If sympathy over terminally ill patients is going to aid in breaking these idiotic and tax consuming laws, so be it. I want it legal for the sick as well as those who just like to smoke it. Freedom is where it is at my friend. We will also save a ton of money that will go directly back into the pockets of the sick because the price of marijuana will collapse. You may not want that to happen though. I bet you make a pretty good living with the restrictions as they are!

      • Tylerhoo

        Thats definitely a better understanding of the whole picture.

    • Brad Thompson

      This is really immature, “patient’s needs”…The patient just smokes as he pleases and just laughs that he’s one of the few. What about patient’s that need it for pain but can’t get it? Or the patient that can’t afford health insurance? And you really think thier growing a bunch of plants for themselves? Do you not think the patients aren’t’ selling any of this high grade marijuana? Patients like you are hippocrates. I smoke all day but you can’t have any.. What about poeple that use it to sleep instead of ambien? Ambiens prescribed, why can’t we all just switch are sleeping meds to mj? The patients are just afraid thier not going to make as much money selling the stuff on the street and that thier adult kids will be smoking it. Stubborn hippocritcal patients, they believe in the old policy because they could care less that what they get to do imprisons poeple. I think its the drug cartels that are trying to convince that only patients should use it… I mean for real, thier potheads but they weren’t potheads before, thier trying to slow down the prohibition because they want nothing more then nontaxed dollars.

      • Brad Thompson

        Patients should have no say for this

      • jeremiah Seward

        all i want to say is im 20 years old and i have been around marijuana for a long time. ive met people that never touched it and people thats been there done that. i believe that if not totally abused think of how alcohol you can take four shots and already you are too far gone to even think about driving much less make anywhere in a straight line. weed is not that dangerous buy a long shot. if i get to drink all i want when i turn 21 when people die from alcohol poisoning all the time. i think weed should be legal to cause at least i wouldnt be worried about it being my last bithday, or

    • shane c

      We fight for full legalization because we have the right to use marijuana. The government has no right to tell us whether or not we can or cannot use it. Its called communism! A man smoking a joint does in no way harm anyone else so its simple LEGALIZE IT!!!

    • Brice Smith

      well we all supported the push for medical marijuana so i am hoping the mmj people might support legalization for the rest of us or is it a case of since the patients are getting what they need they dont want to help out the rest of us?

    • Famtastic

      everyone here is in support for medical purposes, you’re barking up the wrong tree

  • ConservativeChristian

    Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.

    YES, do reach out to conservatives! Take the nudy pix off of the websites, put on a shirt and tie, and appeal to the soccer moms who VOTE! Remind us that there are people who want to put OUR KIDS in JAIL if they get caught up in a little mj.

    MJ will be legalized faster when the mj community adopts a stance and “look” that appeals to parents and middle class people.

    Next step: How about $100 for a permit to grow a dozen plants? We can use the money to fix our roads, and it will put the drug gangs out of business for good!

  • http://www.momsformarijuana.org Liz Ananda

    Johnny, your article is presenting a thesis, “When will marijuana be legal?” It doesn’t matter if you prove or disprove it, only that you address the original thesis in your conclusion. Let’s see… after laying out all the options, you wrote, “As you can see, it could take longer than people think.” So we don’t know. But you didn’t leave us hangin’, thanks for that.

    In general, I agree with the logic you’ve used to show how the road to full legalization might look. “Let’s separate each state into the following categories: decriminalization/hemp, medical, recreational legalization.” Some states’ upcoming ballot initiatives are more ambitious than others. In Oregon, OCTA 2012 is going “full tilt boogie!” Hemp, decriminalization, legalization for anyone 21 and over, a dispensary style system of stores for medical marijuana, set up much like our state-run alcohol outlets, and a Cannabis commission to monitor growers, quality, and setting prices (limiting to cost.) Patients will have to pay for meds, and their fee for their state medical card. Taxation will be on hemp, and directed to special purposes in the State General fund.

    NO ONE IS GOING TO LIKE ALL OR ANY OF THESE UPCOMING INITIATIVES! Or what I have to say. So what, it’s important to create a united front to attempt to get that little crack in the door pushed open. Whoever gets through first pushes it wide open for the rest of us. It’s okay to have an “agenda,” and unless it’s one based on pure greed and selfishness, we (Cannabis activists) should be able to support all aspects of legalization and decriminalization. “Should” being the key word in that sentence.

    Economics will trump compassion on its own. As much as I want to see patients taken care of and given safe access to their meds, and all that that entails (full legal rights for growers, caregivers, a “dispensary-type” business model for distribution of consistent, high-quality meds, etc., IMHO), the general populace’s pocketbooks will rule the day. Greed will rule the capitalists. Therefore, it makes the most sense to first legalize and regulate hemp state to state, get the economy stimulated, and protect the economic interests of our citizens.

    For any economic progress to be made, the Feds must remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule 1 list, thereby decriminalizing it. (I believe ALL Cannabis needs to be rescheduled.) The varieties of hemp grown commercially are purposely chosen to be “low-to-no” THC, therefore as far as the government is concerned, it is not a drug. As far as medical marijuana goes, we know its listing on Schedule 1 to be a joke, our govt’s own research has proven it has medical benefits. This is serious business to NIDA, the DEA, etc. Those groups must be defanged and defunded, as must the ONDCP, the office of the federal “drug czar.” Changing the CSA will do that, as research will be allowed, and the “War on Drugs” will no longer be needed. Let’s not forget the victims of that BS war! There are sick and dying people in prison on all sorts of victimless drug charges, they need to be released ASAP!

    Then TAXES kick in. Boo hiss, or Yay! depending on your perspective. State revenue coffers will be filled with the ripple effect of legalizing hemp. Not just the directly-related businesses, but all the indirect types of industries that are used in the course of doing business will benefit. People will go back to work in hemp related industries, and other businesses will need to hire more people to pick up the slack from money being injected into the system.

    When it comes turn for medical marijuana patients, hopefully tax issues will have been resolved, and marijuana declared a legitimate medication. We always hear about safe access, and how low-income patients shouldn’t be charged for this or that. I’m assuming patient advocates see no distinction between socio-economic classes, right? Mid-income patients may be able to afford some of these fees and charges a little easier. However, we often have Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) through work (pre-tax $ designated for out-of-pocket medical expenses.) Someday, I’d like to be able to use mine for mmj, fees, etc. Anyone who has such an acct through their company’s payroll knows how long it took to get other “alternative” medical treatments, like massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic authorized and on the list of acceptable treatments. It will happen. The tax code needs to be changed after the rescheduling occurs.

    How ANY of this happens does depend on people doing ANY of the things you mentioned in the last two paragraphs above, Johnny. “The purpose of this article is to educate people on the process required, and to put into perspective the task at hand.” I think you’ve done that. You got me thinking. Nice job! Now stop preaching to the choir, and get this article out there into the mainstream! ;-)

    Liz Ananda
    Director of Research and Administration
    Portland, Oregon Chapter Leader
    Moms for Marijuana International

    • Brice Smith

      You Liz are a legend please run for president you are obviously very intelligent and your efforts in trying to end prohibition are appreciated

  • BillG

    You didn’t mention the international conventions on drug laws that make it illegal under international law for the federal government to legalize marijuana. Congress is going to have to deal with those before legalizing at the federal level. We could just ignore the conventions, but we’d be risking sanctions from the international community and we’re the ones who pushed for these laws in the first place so we really can’t just decide we don’t want to play anymore and ignore these deals we’ve gotten ourselves into. How can we try to hold other nations to their repsonsibilities under international conventions and treaties if we ignore them ourselves? We can modify or withdraw from these agreements, but that adds time too.

    Marijuana will not be legalized at the federal level anytime soon. It’s just not going to happen in the next five years and probably not this decade. We won’t get the federal lawmakers on board until the opinion polls keep coming back consistently with well over 50% support for legalization, and we’ll need high levels of support not just from people old enough to vote, but those actually likely to vote. Right now even though I’m sure a fairly high percentage of our federal lawmakers think we ought to legalize marijuana, what is it, maybe 1% will say so publicly? They’re still afraid that it’s political suicide to support legalization because the majority in this country are still opposed. Maybe 45% support legalization, probably a little less, and a great deal of that support comes from younger voters who don’t actually go to the polls and exercise their right to vote on election day, especially at midterm elections. Older voters, say 55 and up, are the ones most likely to vote, and most of them oppose legalization. If we look at voters 65 and older, we see that not only do the overwhelming majority oppose legalization, but when responding to legalization polls most will say they “strongly oppose” it. These are the gray haired people you actually see standing in line at the polls even on those off election days when we aren’t electing a president. These are the voters our lawmakers are most afraid of, the ones they cater to if they want to get elected and stay in office.

    Support for legalization is growing. The older voters who are most opposed are steadily dying off or becoming too old and infirmed to make it to the polls. These people haven’t smoked pot and none of their peers did, but they are slowly but surely being replaced by people who have been there and done that who are far less likely to think of marijuana as some horrible “narcotic” and who are much more receptive to legalization arguments. Within a few years, sometime in the second half of this decade, we’ll start seeing legalization polls coming back consitently with support for legalization greater than 50%. We’ll see more and more federal lawmakers coming out in support as well, and a few years later we’ll probably get it legalized.

    We could see it legalized within 10 years, but we’re going to have to hit it hard to do that. We need to get it legalized in one or more states. It won’t really be legal with a big legal marijuana production and distribution industry in any of those states until the feds open the door for that. We’ll just have people growing a few plants for personal use, and of course a lot of people will be selling some of what they grow. Organized crime will still be in the game, but closet growers will take some of their business. That’s not the greatest solution, but it’s what we’re going to see at first until the feds open things up for and honest to goodness legal marijuana industry.

    We probably will see more decriminalization initiatives pass, along with initiatives for medical marijuana. Hemp initiatives might pass, but hemp is really a loser for us. Nobody is going to get into the hemp game as long as it is illegal under federal law. There’s no money in it. Canadian hemp farmers only make a couple of hundred bucks and acre from hemp. There is a very limited market for it. Most of it ends up as animal bedding. When Canada first legalized hemp a lot of farmers went big into hemp growing and lost their shirts because they produced way more than they could sell. It’s legal in 30 some odd countries, including huge places like China, India and Russia and it’s just not making a lot of money for anyone and it’s although there are all sorts of potential uses for it in the real world there are just too many cheaper/better alternatives for most all of these potential uses. Hemp is not going to do much to help us to get marijuana legalized. All people have to do is look at the existing international hemp industry and market and most of the wild arguments you hear about hemp as a wonderplant that is going to save the world fall apart.

    People saying here to court conservatives are right. Liberals tend to be for legalization already. Arguments that appeal only to liberals hurt us more than help us, because they trun off conservatives. We need to appeal to senior citizens. We need to arguments that win over more women. And yes, we need to win over more conservatives, more Republicans in general. When we do finally get Congress to vote on legalization, we don’t want most Democrats voting for it and all Republicans voting against it. The Republican party will probably be against it, even though a significant minority are for legalization. They have to keep their conservative base happy. We can win more of them over though talking about Mexicans and money. These guys are so concerned with border security, illegal aliens and government waste. They need to get it through their heads that illegal aliens wouldn’t be growing weed in our national forests if it was legal, that these awful cartels wouldn’t be expanding into the US so much if pot was legal, that we wouldn’t have so many illegal aliens coming here if Mexico wasn’t a war zone. Arguments along these lines and arguments about money we could save, revenues that can be brought in, talk about how broke the government is and how Social Security and Medicaid are becoming harder and harder to fund do often gain traction with these people. If we can get enough of them on board that would go along way in alleviating fears Republican lawmakers and Democrats from more conservative areas have about supporting marijuana legalization.

    • http://www.momsformarijuana.org Liz Ananda

      The United States IS “the international conventions on drug laws!” Other countries have refused to sign, but we cannot NOT sign it! Yes, there will be some tweaking to do on that.

      Great points made BillG, especially courting the conservative voters. Economics will be the way there, IMO. One trillion spent on a useless “drug war?” Outline that for someone who supports small government!

      Thanks.

  • http://www.TreesRus.org Kim

    I agree 100% with most of you. I am an owner of a Medical Marijuan Dispensary locator http://www.TreesRus.org and I feel that marijuana should be legal. It just absurd that alcohol is legal and marijuana isnt…have you ever heard of anyone being killed by a high marijuana user…NO but you do hear about drunk drivers killing innocent people very day…makes no sense! Anyways I would love to network with all supporters of medical marijuana and would love for you to join our family of supporters. Please join us by creating an account and leaving feedback and getting our blog going. The site is new so please let us know of any improvements that we can make. Its free to add a dispensary, doctor or smoke shop to the directory so please fee free to add one of your shops or maybe one of your favorites that isnt already listed.

    http://www.TreesRus.org

    Best,

    Kim

  • Chris A.

    It’s ridiculous that the law is to arrest those in possession of marijuana.
    Those who conceal truth to make money cannot hide from the Creator.

  • skye hi vehr

    It is ridivulous to me that marijuan is considered a DUI charge. It improves eyesight, night vision particularly, in my case. Stastically it may have ‘played a part’ in many accidents according to the drivers but I think that they are simply trying to make a list of all the reasons they are not fully responsible, to save their own ass when they will probably be on probation anyway, and want to seem like they will never smoke pot again. When I had my non-accident DUI I stupidly admitted to smoking pot, but I flat out told the guy ‘it helps my night vision’. It gave him pause but I still got canned.

  • Will Walker

    Going for anything other than full legalization is somewhat counter productive.
    Anything other than full out legalization is like admiting that marijuana users are doing something wrong,and we are not.
    Quite frankly,it’s time to stop asking for these issues to be addressed and start demanding. Sometimes you have to force people to deal with issues they don’t want to,otherwise they will never take it seriously.

    • Lavina Houchen

      exactly..time to stand up TOGETHER and DEMAND it..for everyone!

  • jeremy

    No one individual has died from the use of marijuana, many are being incarcerated for petty possession. These people are delusional!

    • Paige!6

      Actually People have died from mary-j but its mosty from over dosing.

      • Brice Smith

        you cant overdose on marijuana

        • http://www.facebook.com/andre.vigil.9 Andre Vigil

          in order to O.D on M.J. you would have to consume 1,500 lbs in under 3 mins.

    • alex

      thats not true many people have died from getting high of weed in car crashes

      • Phil

        Uh, I’m pretty sure that you just worded this wrong but only one person on earth has died from smoking marijuana, but yes people do drive under the influence. They also drive while intoxicated by alcohol, but beer and liquor are perfectly legal. Only people that have used marijuana can understand the way it makes you feel, you don’t feel violent or mad. You feel happy and you don’t want to do anything but sit around and enjoy your high. What is so wrong with that? Is there anything wrong morally with using marijuana? I feel that the only thing that is wrong in the world is the criminalization of this plant. It has been used by humans for centuries and is almost harmless to the human body (unless abused) I think that it is interesting how cigarettes and liquor are legal when they have much more serious effects than those of marijuana. One day it will be legal and the crime rates will decrease DRAMATICALLY across the country, the Mexican drug cartels will lose more than half of their business, the marijuana smokers will no longer be wrongfully accused of being dumb and ignorant hooligans with no futures, the plant will be used for good and not to feed the criminals of this country, the justice system will be able to focus on the real problems. We need the congress to have some sort of anonymous vote to decide if marijuana should be legal or not.

      • austin hamilton

        and people die more from drunk driving omg your are so stupid

  • Dave

    Legalization shouldn’t be the first road to take. It’s a long, drawn out, and frustrating process. Our cowardly spineless Government officials care more about their political future then to do what is right. You will be waiting forever. Keep the laws and the books but at the same time just fight to have them stop the aggressive enforcement. After a certain amount of time, most people will come to the realization that marijuana doesn’t do amount of harm that’s claimed in prohibitionist propaganda and after a while people won’t tolerate any police action on it. It will be like the sodomy laws in the South. It will be eventually repealed but first it will be practically forgotten about.

  • A time for change?

    A time for change? What change? I am a United States soldier, and the only change I see is that I don’t have a job anymore. I am on my way to jail for not being able to support my children. I have looked everywhere for work but nothing. I have thought about growing my own plants, to sell and get a head. Well if I did something like this I could go to jail. If I don’t find a job soon then I will go to jail. For the love of your great nation and the thousands without work, legalize the shit, so we may get our lives back. Desperate people do desperate things. Pot has nt been known to kill anyone even if you use to much. I wonder how many people die in one year form the legal drugs? Alcohol, tobacco, incents to name a few. Brings up another point… am I missing something here, or are our leaders fucking stupid? We can’t have pot cause it helps people, but we can kill ourselves and OTHERS with the other products that are legal. Where is the logic?

    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.horbinski.7 Chris Horbinski

      Its Corruption. Everything is all about the money. I was 10 when i first realized that the USA isnt really free. Everything the government does is for themself and they do it right infront of all of us but the average joe IS TOO FUCKING STUPID TO SEE THERE CORRUPTION. Keep your head up dude. If you do grow DO NOT grow in the house that your kids are living in. They will put you away x2 and look into growing ventalation and sheilding from Infared.

      • budblazer

        i like the way you talk brother

        • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.d.cotton Christopher Dale Cotton

          amen

      • AUSTIN HAMILTON

        Finally,someone is isn’t hypnotized by government bullshit whoever you are good for you i feel the exact same way ,CORRUPTION,HA they complain about crime when their criminals themselves

  • engima

    well that seemed like you were just throwing that atheist bash just because you felt like it…..also you must know nothing about science to say we have no proof at all because we do and we have more proof than a man made book that just says that god exists

    • Brice Smith

      good on you enigma usmjp’s comments were very strange what does religion have to do with ending prohibition. Anyway LEGALIZE IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shawn

    Honestly weed shouldn’t be legalized its a dumb idea.I mean it should be legalized to a certain point if you have 3.5grams of marijuana on you then the cops should leave you alone let you walk on and keep your weed but if you have an ounce or a pound then your ass should have some kind of trouble there are thousands of people in jail for smuggling this “drug” here you think if it gets legalized we will be safe?No not at all people will be robbed for their weed by people who cant afford it,maybe even worse like shot or stabbed.This is the dumbest thing America can possibly think of doing.Next thing you know cocaine will be in thought of legalization.I hear of guys selling perscription pills to people “pills” are legal but they are arrested for selling them can we make up our minds?

    • Zakk

      obviously you have never smoked pot.. i mean yeh its possible for someone to get “shot or stabbed” over their weed, as for anything else worth making a buck on.. but no this will not be a problem, its weed… not crack. and no cocain will never be thought of legalization EVER, because of numerous reasons.. biggest one being pot heals cocain kills..

    • silas

      you are completely incorrect… what America really needs to do is legalize all drugs including (heroin, cocaine, marijuana and LSD). this is what Portugal did and they stopped treating drug use as a criminal problem and started treating it as a health problem. instead of using peoples tax money to keep people in jail they started using it to get drug users therapy. in the past 5 years the number of drug users has gone down by 30%. and of course our government has absolutaly no comment on the matter.

      • Weed

        go ahead and shut yo dumbass up man…

    • Brice Smith

      that is like saying you can only buy three beers cause if you buy a keg you will be shot by criminals. people are in jail for pot because it is stupidly illegal and for no other reason. if it is legal the criminals wont shoot you for your pot cause they can just grow it too cmon dude

    • wakenbake

       pills are legal, sure, but they are highly controlled, which creates a black market demand. who cares if they legalize cocaine? that will hurt the scumbag cartels even more. put the taxes of it into the education of it’s effects and rehab. let people fuck themselves up. some are built for it and contain it, others aren’t. it’s better than putting them in jail which doesn’t cost any less, and letting all the revenue go to real criminals.

      • Weed

        naw,shut yo ass up too..cocaine legal?   shut up man…

    • Weedie weedison

      aye  shut yo dumbass up…

    • go green

      Dude, people get shot and killed every day for drugs, it wouldn’t be any different in today’s society.

    • yuuuhh

      lol that’s like saying people get shot, stabbed and robbed because they own beer or cigarettes. get your head out of yo asss.

  • Michael

    I would love to help, anything to help out the cause, email me.

  • Douglas

    I have been using cannabis for over 35 years and seen the good and bad it can do to some one. Yes it need to be legalize but not like the drug alcohol. NO pot bars only at home not in public place only in hour home. And only when an person is elective to office will he or she say yes to end prohibition will happen when they see they will not be committing political doom will they legalize cannabis.

    • Morgan Wyatt Khan

      who ever is in charge of this really needs to give it a chance we could all make a lil money and that doesnt sound too bad to me LMAO but for real guys and galls i think weve waited long enough..

      what do we have to lose by talking about this openly and unbiased and see what can be utilized efficiently !! PLEASE

    • go green

      I definitely agree! I am not an avid smoker Lenoir, but I love the effects and how it helps.with my anxiety. I love the person it makes me become With today’s fast-paced life, an economic problems on the rise, I think pot would replace the current medications docs is today. BENEFITS: NOIVER DAMAGE OR HARSH SIDE EFFECTS. I am a far better person when I do smoke it and it would replace my evening glass of wine. However, if it becomes legal, I believe the same restrictions should apply as alcohol…no driving, etc. etc. I mean, come on, I have tried that legal shit and its HORRIBLE! I seriously hated it. its hospitalizing folks! IF THE GOVERNMENT IS WILLING TO LEGALIZE THAT TERRIBLE CRAP, WHY NOT GO NATURAL. GO GREEN, AMERICA…UR CARS ARE!!!!

  • Morgan Wyatt Khan

    BTW if you too stoned to figure this one out here you go

    have the states regulate the female plant that buds and let the feds have the male hemp plant for industrialization 50/50 taxing on both the herb and the hemp textiles google it

  • DaCoda

    I agree 100%, I believe it should be legal because first, it would cause less violence and the crime rate would decrease probably. Everyone would be happier and not so uptight, especially up here in New York.

  • sam

    i may not know alot about the marijuana laws but what i do know is that smoking marijuana is only as or less harmfull then that of smoking a cigarette.. my problem is if they can make alcohol legal which ive seen people act more out of line when drinking then when smoking marijuana then they can just do like this country says it is and since were a “free” country and a country “for the people” then why dont thegaey just go ahead and do what it is “the people” want and legalize marijuana!!!

    • wakenbake

       because it’s not a free country for the people. it’s a wage slave shithole pumped full of religion, ruled by the rich.

  • john popp

    Blah blah blah weed should be legal and treated just like alcohol. To the person who said that weed makes your eye sight better your an idiot. You should absolutly get an dui for driving high.. because your impaired. It is a drug and while a would rather have people driving around high then drunk, you shouldn’t do either before you hit the road. If you think it makes you a better driver also your ignorant as fuck.

    Shawn if weed was legalized cartels and people would no longer smuggle it over because it wouldn’t be profitable. Do the cartels smuggle beer wine over the border….. NO lol. When alcohol was made illegal it resulted in the creation of gangs which where just old school cartels.

    The government has double standards, how can they tell us we can get fucked up on alcohol but not weed or any other drug.. whatever though cause honestly I don’t care if it gets legalized or not because I’m gunna smoke it my whole life!!! Lolol. And to people gettin caught your just stupid and slippin up.

    Also 75% of medical marijuana patients are just weedaholics and the other 25% are people who actually need it for medical purposes.

    There’s my rant sorry about that.

    One more thing I would be surprised if it is not legalized within 5-10 years.. that’s my opinion, but that shit doesn’t mean to much lol

  • Dave

    Weeds great! Legalize heh

  • Frankie

    Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. So far, I’ve only experienced one of those, and Life sure isn’t all it’s cracked up to be… especially when I’m not FREE to PURSUE what makes me happy, which is my family, my friends, and God’s green herb. Ultimately, I don’t feel that the government should be able to tell me I can’t do something that only has the potential to hurt me (and any harm is minimal compared to the effects of tobacco and alcohol) and not someone else. For the government to ignore the projections that marijuana legalization would damage cartels and provide a lucrative income for our flailing economy is evidence that they’re perfectly happy incarcerating innocent Americans who are only exercising their basic human freedoms. Fuck that shit.

  • Ekeh

    We need to find Timothy Leary’s reincarnate for some court action.

  • Sihon

    I think it would be neat if we decriminalized marijuana then taxed it and then send all the money towards our deficit. Heck, that might even work.

    • Weed

      no duh

    • grawss

      I’m not a huge fan of any sin taxes. Even hard drugs like alcohol shouldn’t be taxed extra just because it can harm the body. Freedom includes freedom to choose what to do to my own body.

  • Jcoldz44

    Cannabis = food, fuel, and medicine

  • Gcghvg

    I don’t think it’ll happen

    • shakenbake1295

      You need to be positive. It’ll happen

  • Healthfreedom

    Looks like 2012 for Cali…Jack Herer’s CCHHI2012 is going strong and would be a bold, progressive step for the whole world to see and recreate.  hemp can save the planet, but only with our help!

  • green organic machine

    i am almost certain that if marijuana was legalized that the the world would be a better and happier place if some in this fricken world could just grow a set of nuts and get a campain group going or an agencey that could respond to any and all negative responses twords it legalization throughout the states and promptly provide the right type of facts to support the legal, political and environmental recrecrational gains for the use of marijuana i believe its possible were our own desiders we should take the chance to get this done once and for all and obtain the best possible gain that could ever come of this world i mean think of how many people in this world pot could save just by giving them a smile to put on their face im certain therd be a dramatic decrease in suicidal deaths in the world by at least 85% just for that one reason alone and also it would  be in are best possible interest to replace the plants freedom in our world to help repopulate all gods given plants back into the environment in order for the world remain its criteria to fit in as nature i mean how do we know if this planet needs the growth of this plant in order for the appropriate affects of nature to take its course i mean just because it gives us a good feeling it shouldnt be illegal beer has just about the same effect as weed its just a lot stronger because beer needs to be brewed down to form a concentrated beverage but theres a big difference in the 2 obviously the beer is man made and was not an easy task to create and obviously is not a natural resource and weed was founded obviously by some guy that either tryed to use it as firewood and got the affect from his camp fire and wanted to learn more about the affects or lightning stuck the ground where it grew and some one near by went to look at what happened and they found it on fire and it gave them and affect but either way u look at it weed was here befor us and we found it as natural as can be so n e one against it should reconsider their decision about it being a bad plant and  come forth and join together to create a better world and replace plant freedom to the world we kinda owe it to our planet and we should be enforceing the cocaine pcp ecstacy crack heroin etc offenders with the hard earned money we pay to taxes in stead of useing it to inflict inappropriate arrests and drug bust for marijuana a perfectly natural herb and to tell the truth to all those who are scared about the drug lords well just so u know the only reason they take and use it as a drug it due to the fact that its simply illegal and we give them power to bring it to the states where its illegal to sell it for over priced amounts and make them gain power because its illegal if it were legal we could easily knock them down hard maybe not out but it would put strain on their opinion to use marijuana as a drug or narcotic due to the fact that we would have our own safe suitable legal suppliers thus decreasing the smugglers supply and demand faze in their nature helping us not involve them to bring it illegally  in to our government potential cause war on them selves to strive to find some thing else to do with there time tword supplying us with pot and taking our hard earned cash and useing it agginst us i know we could completely redefine weed as an herb of health and not as a drug now people we need to take action and make this happen

    • wakenbake

       I hate to harsh your mellow my fellow, but you kind of come off as uneducated if you’re not going to use any punctuation. At least use some periods and returns to separate the ideas a bit. That wall of text is one giant run-on sentence. You may have good ideas but after a while people aren’t interested in figuring out where they begin and end.

      • Musicman8321

        It didn’t bother me but just to be a dick seems like you don’t have any ideas at all unless you think that proper grammar will help end the drug war lol here’s an idea we all grow n Fuckem

    • Masd

      Hey, look out where you are going when labeling other drugs as bad (ecstasy)

  • Achiliies711

    If they don’t legalize it in 2012, I will say fuck them and start smoking at my leisure. I was arrested when I was younger and have kept my nose clean so I dont sacrifice my job. This is beyond rediculous though.

  • badassmuthuhfucka

    marijouna should be legal bitches. nuff said.

  • Hunnybunny

    LEGALIZE IT!!!!!!

  • Thomasclan12

    i just got expelled from school because they found sweet maryjane in my locker if only it was LEGAL i whouldnt be a dropout i lost every thing I had all straight As and now i have nothing

    • Ninjamonkey

      Its so pathetic how they don’t have it legalized. NO ONE!!!!!! I REPEAT, NO ONE! I know or seen smoking ever becomes unable to do things while being high off of marijuana. They are fully functional and do not have any problems when it comes to thinking, working, driving, etc etc. This is ashame. They rather waste the money then gain it. They need to put more restrictions on alcohol! Now in comparison to that and marijuana, how many casulties and deaths have both alcohol and cigarettes cause.. including cancer. BUT again, that’s how they make their money off of us. Handing underaged people smoke cigarettes and drink booz seems like the right american way… I have no words to say about this country and it’s backwards decisions. PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THEIR TRUE POWER. IT’S US AGAINST THEM, IT’S JUST A MATTER OF GETTING THEM TO REALIZE AND SEE THAT WITHOUT HARMING US WITH HOSE AND TASERS.

    • Colleencat7

       Sorry to hear that. The laws against marijuana make no sense. Their laws are more harmful than this plant God created. I lost my job recently because of their stupid laws. They just want to keep people down and repress them.

    • Dirty ski

      Don’t bring it to school dumbass, that’s your own fault. No one has sympathy for you. Its illegal because of irresponsible little shits like yourself. The resposnible smoker is being punished by people like you

  • grawss

    Stop trying to control what people do with their bodies.

  • Lou Christopher

    Probably not for a long time..  Blame the conservatives.. They are always blaming liberals.

  • roberto

    My name Robert n I am deaf person so yea let marijuana legal. Because god made marijuana grown plants then why usa government make ppl go arrest for? But I want know if usa believe god or not? I bet usa do believe god if do then usa should let marijuana legal freedom marijuana is help health god made weed and man make beer alcohol is dangerous than marijuana medical. So I need know when will marijuana legal? I live Texas I need people support Texas and all of state should let marijuana legal

  • lexi

    LEGALIZE IT ALREADY :DDD

  • Jimharrison

    LEGA, LEGALIZACION! BASTA DE PROHIBICION!

  • Thewalkingbad

    Legalize it already… Please.

  • Conswipe

    I don’t try to control what you do why are you trying to control what I do.

  • MD the DOC says:

    All I have to say is I blow it the fuck down everyday, and have been for the past 14 years, and don’t plan on stopping. Fuck the US government! Never got caught and im a fucking doctor! LMAO

  • MD the DOC says:

    What doesn’t make any sense is the fact the US government’s major point for making weed illegal is: “It has no medical purpose”. What the fuck! And BOOZE does?!!! FUCK YOU Im grabbn my bong bitch!

    • go green

      The government is jealous because they are big reaping hue monetary benefit. They are mad because pot is natural and they didn’t invent it. THE GOVERNMENT IS LIKE A JEALOUS BOYFRIEND THEY WANT TOTAL CONTROL OF INPUT AND OUTPUT…EVEN SO,THEY WANT TO CONTROL WHAT U PUT IN YOUR BODY. HOW CONTROLLING??!!

      • go green

        I hate fucking auto correct. that totally sounded retarded but I am sure you guys knew what I meant. hukd onn foniks. wield fore mee .

  • Lulu

    I wish something could be done. I suffer from chronic back pain and depression and weed has helped so much, not even a lot I just smoke a few times a week and it helps me relax and feel healthier, but I stopped now since I started looking for a new job and also applied to a school where they drug test for clinicals. I’m back to being so unhappy :(. I can’t understand why it’s illegal I’m a good honest hard working person and I have my degree and I’m trying to further my education and improve my life and smoking weed has helped that, not hindered it. I feel like I can’t even reward myself for my accomplishments and hard work, this sucks!!!

    • Masd

      Maybe the education-work idea is not something made for you?

  • Hard Working American Man

    I say lets make alcohol and cigarettes illegal too, see how all those politicians can handle their life without their habits. We all need some enjoyable way to relax, I don’t smoke or drink, what does that leave me?

  • KINGPIN

    I hope they never make it legal. I make so much money growing it and selling it its ridiculous. 2 or 3 years from now I will be retired at the age of 28. These fat morons , drunks, gamblers , tobacco smokers, homos and fornicators that run the government are far to stupid to ever legalize pot. Get used to it losers, pay me my 60 an eighth so I can live like a king…….. ha ha ha God Bless America !

  • Reder

    Dirty ski ur the litte shit every body likes marijuana

  • Daniel

    i think weed is good fuck the law and whoever made it illegal

  • http://www.facebook.com/melissa.nowlin Melissa Jeff Nowlin

    I’m totally for full legalization. Been there, done that to the fullest early in life but completely clean now. Never did I see a group of people standing around smoking a joint turn violent…..unless it was on a pizza. As the original poster said, changing laws is very hard, but the hardest thing the government would have to deal with is the fallout after legalizing. Thousands would have to be released from incarceration(taking money from states for inmate care), property reclaimation cases would backlog the judicial system with people wanting confiscated property back, and a system would have to be developed for DUI cases because “How to we know when someone is too high to be driving?”. Not like there is a breathalyzer for weed. As a nation, we allowed our government to create this monster and it is so well established now that it is just too much work to correct it. Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol and it doesn’t work here either. It just creates black markets.
    Next thing is the opposition that would be faced from big tobacco and alcohol companies. If weed marijuana were legal how many tobacco users would be lost? I would give up cigaretttes for a pack of mj anyday. And alcohol, any of us that do partake of mj know that weed and alcohol don’t mix well so both of these corporate giants stand to lose a lot of revenue if legalization were to happen. And guess who has most of our congressmen in their pockets? Don’t believe me? Check the date that alcohol prohibition ended and how soon criminalization of marijuana started. Coincidence? I think not.

    • dave

      weed and alcohol dont mix? just get drunk and then get drunk and smoke weed. guarantee you will enjoy being drunk and high way more. cause weed takes away most of the negative effects of alcohol.

  • Jerald B Kiviniemi II

    Education comes before smoke so get back into school some where,s but leave the weed at home. Sure weed is great but an education is the most important thing in life.

  • Gary

    i want it to be legal, i live in the country right now and grow a plant in the back section of my detached garage. i smoke it daily!

  • Simon

    wonder what it would cost to move to Amsterdam..

  • PotLegalizeit

    To me alchohol and ciggarettes are worse than weed one gives you cancer other messes with your liver but weed cures