Posts Tagged ‘ marijuana prohibition ’

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Federally Legalize Marijuana

Colorado’s amendment 64 just passed, as did Initiative 502 in Washington. Marijuana prohibition is gradually becoming a thing of the past, and simply needs one final push. Alcohol prohibition turned out to be more harm than good in the early 1900’s, and marijuana prohibition is recreating the same situation. The bottom line is that marijuana prohibition enforcement costs the government 13.7 billion dollars annually, and puts well over 500,000 people in jail every year (sources cited below).

http://www.cnbc.com/id/36600923/The_Cost_and_Benefit_Arguments_Around_Enforcement

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/26/marijuana-legalization-in_n_1915649.html

Created: Nov 08, 2012

The end of the war on marijuana

The end of the war on marijuana

By Roger A. Roffman, Special to CNN
updated 8:31 AM EST, Thu November 8, 2012
The costs of marijuana prohibition have hindered rather than helped good decision-making, says Roger Roffman.
The costs of marijuana prohibition have hindered rather than helped good decision-making, says Roger Roffman.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • On Tuesday, voters in Washington state and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana
  • Roger Roffman: Washington state’s historical measure deserve close attention
  • He says the state has offered the most compelling replacement to prohibition to date
  • Roffman: Prohibition has hindered more than it has helped good decision-making

Editor’s note: Roger A. Roffman is a professor emeritus of social work at the University of Washington, a sponsor of I-502, and author of the forthcoming “A Marijuana Memoir.”

(CNN) — The historic measure to regulate and tax marijuana in Washington State deserves to be looked at closely as a model of how legalization ought to be designed and implemented elsewhere in America.

We’ve turned a significant corner with the approval of Initiative 502, which purposefully offers a true public health alternative to the criminal prohibition of pot.

For the first time in a very long time, the well-intended but failed criminal penalties to protect public health and safety will be set aside. Adults who choose to use marijuana and obtain it through legal outlets will no longer be faced with the threat of criminal sanctions. People of color will no longer face the egregious inequities in how marijuana criminal penalties are imposed. Parents, as they help prepare their children for the choices they face concerning marijuana, will no longer be hobbled by misinformation about the drug and the absence of effective supports to encourage abstinence.

Roger A. Roffman

Roger A. Roffman Continue reading

The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal

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Last year, over 850,000 people in America were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. Despite public opinion, the medical community, and human rights experts all moving in favor of relaxing marijuana prohibition laws, little has changed in terms of policy.

There have been many great books and articles detailing the history of the drug war. Part of America’s fixation with keeping the leafy green plant illegal is rooted in cultural and political clashes from the past.

However, we at Republic Report think it’s worth showing that there are entrenched interest groups that are spending large sums of money to keep our broken drug laws on the books:

1.) Police Unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal drug war grants to finance their budget. In March, we published a story revealing that a police union lobbyist in California coordinated the effort to defeat Prop 19, a ballot measure in 2010 to legalize marijuana, while helping his police department clients collect tens of millions in federal marijuana-eradication grants. And it’s not just in California. Federal lobbying disclosures show that other police union lobbyists have pushed for stiffer penalties for marijuana-related crimes nationwide.

2.) Private Prisons Corporations: Private prison corporations make millions by incarcerating people who have been imprisoned for drug crimes, including marijuana. As Republic Report’s Matt Stoller noted last year, Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest for-profit prison companies, revealed in a regulatory filing that continuing the drug war is part in parcel to their business strategy. Prison companies have spent millions bankrolling pro-drug war politicians and have used secretive front groups, like the American Legislative Exchange Council, to pass harsh sentencing requirements for drug crimes.

3.) Alcohol and Beer Companies: Fearing competition for the dollars Americans spend on leisure, alcohol and tobacco interests have lobbied to keep marijuana out of reach. For instance, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors contributed campaign contributions to a committee set up to prevent marijuana from being legalized and taxed.

4.) Pharmaceutical Corporations: Like the sin industries listed above, pharmaceutical interests would like to keep marijuana illegal so American don’t have the option of cheap medical alternatives to their products. Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now lobbies the government to relax marijuana prohibition laws, told Republic Report that next to police unions, the “second biggest opponent on Capitol Hill is big PhRMA” because marijuana can replace “everything from Advil to Vicodin and other expensive pills.”

5.) Prison Guard Unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars just like for-profit prison companies. In 2008, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association spent a whopping $1 million to defeat a measure that would have “reduced sentences and parole times for nonviolent drug offenders while emphasizing drug treatment over prison.” Continue reading

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