From an MPP email today:
“Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit.”
– White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, at a Fresno, Calif., press conference yesterday (http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/1553061.html )
In fact — and it’s getting a little tiresome to keep repeating it — the esteemed Institute of Medicine, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, American Academy of HIV Medicine, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Foundation of America, American Academy of HIV Medicine, and dozens of other medical organizations recognize marijuana’s medical value.
What’s more, President Obama’s own statements on the campaign trail about marijuana’s medical efficacy run counter to his new drug czar’s statements yesterday.
We need to stop this in its tracks. Would you please speak out against this ridiculous, outdated argument:
1. Please use MPP’s online action center at http://control.mpp.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=SplashPage&id=358 to e-mail the president about the drug czar’s statement.
2. Please call the drug czar’s office at (202) 395-6700 to politely complain that we’re still hearing this sort of nonsense.
We need to make sure the drug czar receives the message loud and clear that the anti-science Bush era is over.
Marijuana Policy Project
P.S. As I’ve mentioned in previous alerts, a major philanthropist has committed to match the first $2.35 million that MPP can raise from the rest of the planet in 2009. This means that your donation today at http://control.mpp.org/site/Donation2?idb=0&df_id=1180&1180.donation=form1&s_src=NA_072309 will be doubled.
As many of y’all heard the MHD crew was arrested yesterday morning while traveling through Jones County, MS. Currently on our Southern Style route, we met some good folks in New Orleans the night before and were heading to Meridian, MS for breakfast with other fans of freedom then to Nashville, TN, where we were to pick up Allison Gibbs from the airport then head to a meetup there held in conjunction with Liberty on the Rocks and the TN Center for Policy Research. But that didn’t exactly pan out…
UPDATE: Listen to the Motorhome Diaries crew discuss this on Free Talk Live.
The Obama administration’s new drug czar says he wants to banish the idea that the U.S. is fighting “a war on drugs,” a move that would underscore a shift favoring treatment over incarceration in trying to reduce illicit drug use.
In his first interview since being confirmed to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske said Wednesday the bellicose analogy was a barrier to dealing with the nation’s drug issues.
“Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them,” he said. “We’re not at war with people in this country.”
The Obama administration is likely to deal with drugs as a matter of public health rather than criminal justice alone, with treatment’s role growing relative to incarceration, Mr. Kerlikowske said.
The administration also said federal authorities would no longer raid medical-marijuana dispensaries in the 13 states where voters have made medical marijuana legal. Agents had previously done so under federal law, which doesn’t provide for any exceptions to its marijuana prohibition.
James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest law-enforcement labor organization, said that while he holds Mr. Kerlikowske in high regard, police officers are wary.
“While I don’t necessarily disagree with Gil’s focus on treatment and demand reduction, I don’t want to see it at the expense of law enforcement. People need to understand that when they violate the law there are consequences.”
- You can’t convince people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product’ because that’s impossible and just as ridiculous as a ‘war on terror’ or ‘war on a tactic.’ They see it as a war on them because it is. Drug and products exist only because people desire them. You must go after the actor behind the drug or product. The user or seller or manufacturer. Whenever you prohibit something you will enveitably make that problem worse and cause negative side effects you didn’t account for. Whether that be drugs, guns, prostitution or fast food.
- While forced treatment is likely better than forced incarceration you will still have asset forfeiture happening. You’re still forcing people to do something against their will for what was likely a consensual, non-violent, voluntary ‘crime.’
- Treating it as a ‘health’ issue doesn’t make me feel any better. Health in general but specifically mental health has been a tool used by violent fascist governments throughout time to remove those who they disagreed with. Many states in the USA practiced eugenics before Hitler or anyone else. Many regimes would use vague mental ‘disorders’ to lock up political advisories in padded rooms and in most countries including the United States you can be held practically forever without the same well documented legal rights that a normally imprisoned individual has. Not that that always helps.
- Medical-marijuana dispensary raids? Oh yes because that promise was so well kept. I’m totally going to just ignore all of Obama’s lies and believe his drug ‘czar’ on this one.
- This has been said many times but… czar? Really? Must they be so blatantly power hungry? I’ve no doubt these guys think of themselves as little emperors. It’s sick.
- Even if treatment goes up will incarceration go down? Will he ask Obama to release/pardon all or some or even one of the non-violent federally held drug ‘criminals?’ The USA has the largest prison population both in total number of prisoners and per capita. The prison system is one of the fastest growing industries. To make room for non-violent drug offenders California last I heard was planning on releasing violent prisoners out early. Seems wrong on several levels.
- Oh… and what about obeying the actual laws of the land Mr. Kerlikowske? You know… the US Constitution? The 9th and 10th Amendments. Would you be so kind as to point out the section in Article 1 that gives congress the power to pass such prohibitions?
- Of course James Pasco is wary of the proposed changes. As he says: “I don’t want to see it as an expense of law enforcement.” What he really means is that he doesn’t want the war on drugs to shrink because then he may not get the funding or get to use his fun SWAT equipment as much. Can’t have a reduction in the police state. Gotta keep them boys employed. Can’t make it look like they aren’t enforcing the rule of law. Even though they are breaking their oath to be peace officers and to the Constitution regularly.
Not only did medical marijuana pass but so did a gay marriage bill:
New Hampshire’s Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would legalize same-sex marriage after an amendment was added that prohibits polygamy and marriage of family members, among other measures.
Governor John Lynch has not indicated whether he will veto the bill, which passed in a 13-11 vote and would make New Hampshire the nation’s fifth state where gay marriage is legal. But the Democrat has expressed opposition to the measure.
The bill passed the state’s House of Representatives on March 26 but looked set for near certain defeat in the Senate before the amendment, which appeared to mollify some critics in the Democrat-controlled chamber.
The last-minute changes to the legislation would allow clergy to decline to marry homosexual couples and give couples the freedom to either keep the words “bride” and “groom” on marriage licenses, or simply use the word “spouse” instead.
Because the Senate and House passed separate versions they must resolve their differences before the bill can go to the governor, who in 2007 signed a law recognizing same-sex civil unions, making New Hampshire the fourth state to do so.
Lynch has said the word marriage should be reserved for a traditional heterosexual relationship.
Ideally we’d get rid of government’s intervention with marriage just as we need to with drugs but this is kind of legislation hopefully puts most people on equal footing under the law. Next is polygamy and related persons getting equal treatment.
In other New Hampshire news… the seat belt law was pushed back to be dealt with during another session.
The State Senate approved legislation to make New Hampshire the 14th state to make it legal for chronically or terminally ill to use marijuana.
The 14-10 vote sends the measure to the House of Representatives that approved its own version last month.
It permits a patient or designated caregiver to possess up to two ounces and six plants.
This also makes it legal for patients or caregivers here to get marijuana for free from any patient living in any of the 13 states where it’s now legal to possess it.
House supporters have said they would agree with these changes to the legislation (HB 648) and send it to the desk of Gov. John Lynch.
Lynch has yet to take a position on the measure other than to raise concerns about access to a drug that remains illegal under federal law to possess.
Lets hope Lynch signs it.