• Congressman Garrett (VA-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

Stories from the week of December 10, 2010

COPs on the Hill

Does lack of money matter?:    At a general conference on Tuesday, a couple of senior House Democratic staffers told us that the issue of deficits/no money has NOT come up, as they discuss spending policies going forward.  During my five presentations on Friday to Senate staffers, the two Republican staffers said lack of money has and will come up when discussing spending policies.  Stay tuned to see how much the new Tea Party Republicans try to stop spending.   Note:  The Heritage Foundation (conservative) recently released a white paper, calling for the abolition of the Drug Czar’s office, citing the office is not effective.

Okay.  Convince me and the Senator:  A senior D Senator from the Northeast has always been a drug warrior.  I know this from four visits over the past four years.    ‘John’ his staff assistant was also a believer in prohibition,  when we started our 45 minute meeting.  At the end he requested two briefs.   If they were good enough, he promised to have the Senator read them.   Brief One:  state the harms to young people caused by the prohibition of marijuana.  Brief Two:  state the positive outcomes of moving to a post marijuana prohibition world in general.

I immediately contacted four experts in marijuana policy to get their ideas.   Below is an exemplar of what the office wants.   The sheet is what I have given every office in 2010.  Stay tuned.

COPs 2nd year stats to date:

TV appearances: 12 (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, cable) 

Newspaper stories: 6 dailes, 3 weeklies

Radio appearances: 6

Published LTE: 4

25 presentations to Congressional staffers (five this week)

Consider being a member of COPs at $30.00 or more per year.    Add your voice to those who agree that Modern Prohibition/War on Drugs is the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow.  Go to: www.CitizensOpposingProhibition.org and click on Donate/Join – by credit card or check.





#1A. Public safety suffers as a result of MJ Prohibition, as officers are diverted from more important cases.  The detectives flying around in helicopters looking for marijuana in your backyard are not catching the pedophiles in the internet chatrooms playground nor the rapists near the jogging paths.  Road officers spend as much time looking for marijuana under someone’s front seat as they do drunk drivers.  And what kills12,000 Americans every year?

#1B. Personal Safety.    Marijuana is safer than alcohol for the user, their family and their community.  Anyone of any age who uses marijuana in place of alcohol improves the outcome of drug use i.e. no overdose deaths by drinking, far fewer homicides, suicides, rapes, assault, child/spouse abuse, car crashes, and other problems caused by drinking & not by marijuana.  How many teetotalers/non-drinkers would start using MJ, when it became legal?  Not many.

#2..  Improve health care and lower costs.  Marijuana is the best medicine in some cases and certainly it is the least expensive.  Unrestricted use by adults would improve their health, as it has few side effects, low addiction qualities and titration (dosing) improves.  Since it could be grown privately for nearly free or purchased at a price approaching aspirin per dose, families could save on drug costs.  That is THE reason drug companies fear marijuana as a competitive product.

#3.  Prohibition causes disrespect for all laws.  Everyone sees the hypocrisy of marijuana being illegal, while cigarettes, alcohol, Valium & Prozac are legal.  Young adults who have their cars or persons illegally searched by over-zealous police become bitter and don’t respect the law.

#4A.  Human costs.    Tuition costs at colleges are much higher, as states build more prisons, instead of properly funding higher education.  Thus fewer young people can attend or they are burdened with huge debts upon graduation.   Prohibition increases the contact that marijuana consumers have with dealers who offer harder drugs for sale.

Prohibition sucks our kids into criminality, when they become sellers of pot.  This can end up with them in prison or dead.  Pot’s illegality creates glamour and rebellion factors, drawing youth to it like moths to a flame.   Per federal studies, marijuana has been easier for young teens to buy than alcohol for 30 years.  Per the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) “drugs are readily available to America’s youth.”  How could it become worse?

#4B.  Financial costs.  Enforcement costs are conservatively 11 billion per year.  Taxed at a dollar per dose (.8 grams), 5 billion could be added to budgets across the nation.   At 30,000 per year per prisoner, those in prison for sale or probation violation chew up billions of tax dollars. 

#5.  Marijuana use does NOT increase use of harder drugs.  In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (division of the National Institute of Health) concluded, “There is no evidence that marijuana serves as a stepping stone [to other drugs] on the basis of its particular physiological effect.”

 The American College of Physicians noted in February 2008, “Marijuana has not been proven to be the cause or even the most serious predictor of serious drug abuse.”

#6. Hemp could be grown without issue.  Farmers are ready to plant & harvest it now.

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