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Response to davidpdx (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 15, 2012, 10:17 PM

17. here's some information

The U.S. has more people in prison for nonviolent crime (generally drug related) than any other nation in the world. You can help change this appalling statistic with your vote.

The following world political and business leaders (including Jimmy Carter), medical and law enforcement professionals as well as humanitarians have endorsed legal marijuana via an end to the drug war.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/117052


Studies here and in The Netherlands found no link to teen drug abuse and legal or decriminalized regulated marijuana

A working paper published Monday (PDF) claims that, despite the insistence of numerous U.S. officials, legalizing medical marijuana had no distinguishable effect on teen drug abuse rates in the surrounding communities.

Drawing upon data from 13 states from 1993 2009, professors from Montana State University, the University of Oregon and the University of Colorado Denver found that medical marijuana actually had a negative impact on the consumption of cocaine, the use of which declined 1.9 percent in areas that had legalized medical marijuana. It had no statistically significant impact on teen marijuana use.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/18/study-finds-medical-marijuana-has-no-impact-on-teen-drug-abuse/

Cost Savings (for the drug war, in general): $41.3 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement of prohibition. Of these savings, $25.7 billion would accrue to state and local governments, while $15.6 billion would accrue to the federal government.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/117045


Joe Klein, via Time Magazine, had this to say (also in the link, above): The U.S. is, by far, the most "criminal" country in the world, with 5% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners. We spend $68 billion per year on corrections, and one-third of those being corrected are serving time for nonviolent drug crimes. We spend about $150 billion on policing and courts, and 47.5% of all drug arrests are marijuana-related. That is an awful lot of money, most of it nonfederal, that could be spent on better schools or infrastructure or simply returned to the public.

A 2011 Senate subcommittee report found that the drug war has failed - unless you're a private military contractor.

The McCaskill report indicates that U.S. taxpayers have shelled out over $3 billion for work and equipment related to the drug war in Latin America from 2005-2009, and most of that money went to private contractors.

McCaskill launched the inquiry after looking into counternarcotics efforts underway in Afghanistan. However, neither the Department of Defense nor the State Dept. were able to provide adequate documentation on their contracts and in many cases could not even identify firms that were given millions in tax dollars.

Five major defense contractors received the bulk of drug war contract spending: Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, DynCorp, ARINC and ITT. Out of all the firms, DynCorp benefitted most, winning $1.1 billion.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/117026


Prof. and lawyer Arnold Trebach, on the DEA rescheduling hearings of 1988 with Judge Francis Young, noted marijuana is the most extensively analyzed psychotropic substance in the history of mankind - and that DEA committee recommended removing marijuana from the "illegal" schedule I designation.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1170115

Nixon's self-selected head of an investigative committee recommended complete decriminalization more than 30 years ago - and yet no federal level official, to this day, will take the advice of those who have studied this issue more than anyone else in this nation.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/117029


From the final comments:

The Commission feels that the criminalization of possession of marihuana for personal is socially self-defeating as a means of achieving this objective. We have attempted to balance individual freedom on one hand and the obligation of the state to consider the wider social good on the other. We believe our recommended scheme will permit society to exercise its control and influence in ways most useful and efficient, meanwhile reserving to the individual American his sense of privacy, his sense of individuality, and, within the context of ail interacting and interdependent society, his options to select his own life style, values, goals and opportunities.

The Commission sincerely hopes that the tone of cautious restraint sounded in this Report will be perpetuated in the debate which will follow it. For those who feel we have not proceeded far enough, we are reminded of Thomas Jefferson's advice to George Washington that "Delay is preferable to error." For those who argue we have gone too far, we note Roscoe Pound's statement, "The law must be stable, but it must not stand still."

We have carefully analyzed the interrelationship between marihuana the drug, marihuana use as a behavior, and marihuana as a social problem. Recognizing the extensive degree of misinformation about marihuana as a drug, we have tried to demythologize it. Viewing the use of marihuana in its wider social context, we have tried to desymbolize it.

Considering the range of social concerns in contemporary America, marihuana does not, in our considered judgment, rank very high. We would deemphasize marihuana as a problem. The existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the use of the drug. To replace it, we have attempted to design a suitable social policy, which we believe is fair, cautious and attuned to the social realities of our time.


This recommendation, of course, was ignored. It is up to the American people to bring our national laws into the realm of reality by creating change at the state level. Special interests (i.e. military contractors, federal bureaucracies) are what keeps marijuana illegal.

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