Sunday, May 17, 2009

Here's a great article from the Hill as taken from the NORML website at:

Writing last week in, Joe Klein became the latest in a steady stream of media pundits to call for the legalization of marijuana (”Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense”). That’s right, ‘legalization’ — with an “L.”

While the notion of regulating the sale and consumption of cannabis for adults might still induce reflexive giggles from the Oval Office, the issue is no longer a laughing matter among the public.

Lawmakers in two states — California and Massachusetts –- are debating the merits of taxing pot like alcohol, and a pair of recent polls (here and here) indicate that Western voters endorse this proposal by a solid majority. According to statistician Nate Silver, national support for legalization could reach “supermajority” status in just over a decade!

Why this momentum now? Klein sums up three primary reasons.

1) Americans are spending billions in judicial resources arresting and prosecuting minor marijuana offenders; these monies could be better redirected elsewhere.

2) America is in the midst of an economic recession; taxing marijuana could redirect criminal justice costs toward more serious crimes, raise tax revenue, and greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the involvement of drug cartels in the illicit marijuana trade.

3) The use of marijuana by adults is objectively less dangerous — both to the user and to society as a whole — than the consumption of alcohol. (Case in point: Drinking alcohol, even low to moderate amounts, was recently associated with elevated incidences of cancer, particularly among women. By contrast, a study published last week in the Clinical Journal of Investigation shows that cannabis kills malignant cancer cells.) It is illogical to endorse a public policy that arbitrarily prohibits the former while embracing the latter.

Of course, Klein is hardly the only mainstream pundit as of late to jump on the marijuana ‘legalization’ bandwagon.

In the past days, leading commentators like David Sirota (The Nation), Kathleen Parker (Washington Post), Paul Jacob (, Hendrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker), Andrew Sullivan (The Atlantic), Glenn Greenwald (Salon), Debra Saunders (San Francisco Chronicle), Leonard Pitts (Miami Herald), John Richardson (Esquire), and Margery Eagan (Boston Herald), have all opined in favor of regulating cannabis. In fact, Americans’ sudden support for legalization is even beginning to draw attention from those outside the United States.

As well it should be.

American’s support for marijuana law reform is fast approaching a tipping point — a scenario made all that more remarkable when one considers that the federal government has spent nearly seven decades propagandizing against it. Mainstream America is coming to terms with marijuana, and growing more and more dissatisfied with our nation’s failing pot policies. Writes Klein: “Obviously, marijuana can be abused. But the costs of criminalization have proved to be enormous, perhaps unsustainable. Would legalization be any worse?”

He’s no longer the only one asking.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A New World

I can't believe how much has occurred since my last entry. I've been on quite a personal journey the last several months and so has our country. Change is in the air and it smells so sweet and full of potential.

Recently, there have been some inspiring developments with the Marijuana debate. More States
have passed laws of decriminalization and/or created new laws allowing Medical Marijuana. Maine is our newest addition as of May 1. To date, there are now 16 States that have chosen to lift arcane laws of prohibition, though some are for Medical Marijuana only, this is a huge step forward. Even our new "Drug Czar" Gil Kerlikowski has made a new proclamation that the Federal Government will no longer interfere with State laws regarding Marijuana prohibition. A HUGE step forward! We still have a long way to go though, as a recent raid on a Marijuana dispensary in California proves. However, California's republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is now leading the way for removal of prohibition in the State of California. There has to be some dancing in the streets in California right now, especially in the Emerald Triangle region of Northern California.

The dirty side of the drug trade has heated up with a dangerous fire. Mexico's drug cartels are becoming more desperate and vicious as they fight to hold on to power. Many have been executed, gang style in order to hold on to this power. Mexican officials and police officers live in fear as over 3,500 officials and law officers have been murdered by these powerful groups. Beheading is a common sign of cartel violence. Young girls, the elderly, it doesn't matter. Their acts have proven to some that "drugs are bad." But many in leadership positions here in the U.S. are realizing that to make marijuana legal would take away the power of the Mexican Cartel. You Think?!?
Absolutely! The debate is gaining more voice and I think we have a good chance of helping this occur in the near future, especially if we take responsibility as citizens and voice our thoughts of agreement. Let's take the power from these dark forces and illuminate and regenerate our country with Marijuana taxation and Hemp production for commercial purposes.

I find it hilarious that Obama's number one citizen concern and topic of debate on his Citizens Briefing Book is the decriminalization or legalization of Marijuana. In fact, new polls show that there is finally a majority of 52% of Americans that believe that Marijuana should be decriminalized. MPP's president, Bruce Mirken suggests, "There is a tectonic shift in attitudes towards the issue." Adding, "I think, frankly, the public is going to drag the politicians into doing what's right." Note the political climate right now. Republican's desperate to create a new image and to gain power in future elections are talking softly and even compassioniately about the issue. Yes folks, the time's they are a changin'!
Although president Obama said he was surprised at the public response regarding the Marijuana debate and said quickly that he didn't have any plans to make it legal, it's obvious that a majority of American's disagree which could play well in our favor. The next 4 years guarantee much change as we have already seen since Obama took office. The people are calling out in mass and the power resides with the people. Let's take the momentum and ride this new wave into the future of civil rights freedom. The election of Obama signaled a change in our American Society.
His underdog win in '08 proved that it's time for change and whether you are ready for it or not, it is here. Join me in writing your Congressmen, Senators, President and other officials.
Let them know what you think. Support organizations like MPP or Norml and other groups that promote the change in current laws.

My book has hit a slump the last few months as I've been creating a new career for myself and have been distracted but I do plan on having it completed by early fall. If you are reading this blog, send me a line, let me know what you think and add yourself to my mailing list so I can update you when the book is ready for release.

Thanks for reading.