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bamacrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:20 PM
Original message
Legal Marijuana: Are we Ready?
Edited on Tue Nov-24-09 06:39 PM by bamacrat
The following is the testimony NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano will deliver on Oct. 28 to the California Assembly Public Safety Committee's special hearing on "the legalization of marijuana: social, fiscal and legal implications for California." Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, sponsor of AB 390, The Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act, is the chairman of the committee.

By any objective standard, marijuana prohibition is an abject failure.

Nationwide, U.S. law enforcement have arrested over 20 million American citizens for marijuana offenses since 1965, yet today marijuana is more prevalent than ever before, adolescents have easier access to marijuana than ever before, the drug is more potent than ever before, and there is more violence associated with the illegal marijuana trade than ever before.

Over 100 million Americans nationally have used marijuana despite prohibition, and 1 in 10 -- according to current government survey data -- use it regularly.

The criminal prohibition of marijuana has not dissuaded anyone from using marijuana or reduced its availability; however, the strict enforcement of this policy has adversely impacted the lives and careers of millions of people who simply elected to use a substance to relax that is objectively safer than alcohol.

NORML believes that the state of California ought to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation and education.

The case for legalization and regulation

Only through state government regulation will we be able to bring necessary controls to the commercial marijuana market. (Note: Nonretail cultivation for adult personal use would arguably not be subject to such regulations, just as the personal, noncommercial production by adults of beer is not governed by such restriction.) By enacting state and local legislation on the retail production and distribution of marijuana, state and local governments can effectively impose controls regarding:

which citizens can legally produce marijuana;
which citizens can legally distribute marijuana;
which citizens can legally consume marijuana; and where, and under what circumstances such use is legally permitted.
By contrast, the criminal prohibition of marijuana -- the policy the state of California has in place now -- provides law enforcement and state regulators with no legitimate market controls. This absence of state and local government controls jeopardizes rather than promotes public safety.

For example:

Prohibition abdicates the control of marijuana production and distribution to criminal entrepreneurs (i.e. drug cartels, street gangs, drug dealers who push additional illegal substances);
Prohibition provides young people with unfettered access to marijuana (e.g., according to a 2009 Columbia University report, adolescents now have easier access to marijuana than they do alcohol);
Prohibition promotes the use of marijuana in inappropriate and potentially dangerous settings (e.g., in automobiles, in public parks, in public restrooms, etc.)
Prohibition promotes disrespect for the law and reinforces ethnic and generation divides between the public and law enforcement. (According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, 75 percent of all marijuana arrestees are under age 30; African Americans account for only 12 percent of marijuana users but make up 23 percent of all possession arrests).
Marijuana is not a harmless substance -- no potentially mind-altering substance is. But this fact is precisely why its commercial production and distribution ought to be controlled and regulated in manner similar to the licensed distribution of alcohol and cigarettes -- two legal substances that cause far greater harm to the individual user, and to society as a whole, than cannabis ever could.

Taxing and regulating cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol will bring long-overdue state oversight to a commercial market that is presently unregulated, uncontrolled and all too often inundated by criminal entrepreneurs.

While this alternative may not entirely eliminate the black-market demand for cannabis, it would certainly be preferable to today's blanket, although thoroughly ineffective, expensive and impotent, criminal prohibition.

Voters nationwide, and in California in particular, support ending criminal marijuana prohibition. This past spring, 56 percent of California voters expressed support for taxing and regulating marijuana in a statewide Field poll.

Doing so would give greater control to state law enforcement officials and regulators by imposing proper state restrictions and regulations on this existing and widespread marijuana market.


My note: I have have known many pot smoker and did myself for five years straight daily before having to quit to get a job in a new city. I have known many people who have quit because they wanted to or because they were in my situation where they may not be able to gain employment that they want. Not a single one of them has ever had an withdrawal symptoms or physical ailment like you get when you try to stop smoking cigarettes. It's more relaxing than alcohol less addictive (isn't) and will not kill you. The only danger from using marijuana is getting caught.

Alcohol vs. Marijuana 1: Over 100 thousand deaths annually are
directly linked to acute alcohol poisoning. 2: In 4,000 years of
recorded history, no one has ever died from a pot overdose. 3: Alcohol
causes Server physical and psychology dependence. 4:
Alcohol is reported to cause temporary and permanent damage to all
major organs of the body. 5: Cannabis is a much less
violent provoking substance then alcohol. * With over 60 million
people using cannabis in the U.S. Today our laws and law
makers should view it under the same light. As they do alcohol.

edit: Gateway, which is what most anti-pot people point to is bullshit. The real gateway drugs are the legal ones. 99.9% of pot smokers drank alcohol first, or smoked a cigarette first, then they tried weed. The government created false ads in the 20s and 30s which labelled marijuana as dangerous as cocaine and heroin, so when people tried weed they thought wow this is great none of the bad things the government said were true they must be lying about all drugs then. So they try real drugs get hooked and die. It a self fulfilling prophecy.

Also anxiety is widely pointed to as a negative side affect, well most anxiety can be traced to its illegality. People dont want to go to jail or lose their job so they get nervous. Remove the only harm of weed which is getting caught and you remove alot of the anxiety.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. we are SO ready
we're not going to be able to start healing our social fabric until we do.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Yeah man. nt
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maxpower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yes we are
Legalize and tax.


Happy Thanksgiving,
Max
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bamacrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. All the states that have it legal for medicinal use should just legalize it and regulate it.
Show the economic boom associated with its legalization and force the federal government to remove their prohibition and leave it to the states to decide.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. We've been ready for a long damned time!
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. K & R.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. (ready since '67)
man
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
8. We may be ready but the powers that be are certainly not..
I know I'm ready, I also know that the illegal status of cannabis creates a great deal of power for a great many individuals and organizations.

Those individuals and organizations are not likely to give up that power willingly.

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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Yep
You're right, so someday in the near future we may have to pry that power from their cold dead hands...
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panader0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
9. In 1967 I thought legalization was right around the corner
So yeah, it's 'way past time. Now where's my pipe?
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I'm not making that mistake again..
I won't believe it until I can go to the 7-11 and buy a pack of Kona Golds..
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
12. I'm ready
I have 2/3 acre, know exactly where my little patch will fit nicely on it :)
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endless october Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
13. yes.
legalize now.
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Dr Robert Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
14. hell, yes!!! pffffffftt wait, wait....what is it that we're getting ready for again, brah?
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Jokinomx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
15. I will load a bowl for legalization!! n/t
Edited on Tue Nov-24-09 08:56 PM by Jokinomx
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steelmania75 Donating Member (836 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-24-09 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
16. Legalize all drugs, and tax them.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-25-09 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
17. Cheetoh, Pork rinds and TV remote control manufacturers' growth to lead economic recovery!

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-25-09 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
18. i'm ready for some decriminalized marjie.
Edited on Wed Nov-25-09 09:02 AM by KG
no laws concerning marijuana.
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