Monday, June 10, 2013

The Top Ten Reasons to Legalize Marijuana Now


As "...the number of jailed and imprisoned people rises at an unprecedented rate...the Washington Post calls the graph below, “The most embarrassing graph in American drug policy,” and the same Washington Post debunks the rebuttals to the legalization of marijuana (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-legalizing-marijuana/2013/06/07/9727eac4-c871-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_story.html), our old belief that legalization wouldn't come in our lifetime, we may now be changing our prediction:



The "Top Ten Reasons to Legalize Marijuana Now," an essay by Carmen Yarrusso at Truthout.org, is the first mention of the dreaded weed on this blog, but a subject that should have been covered before.  From Truthout:

"10. Hemp benefits are denied. Hemp can be made into paper, paneling, plastics, clothing and thousands of other useful products. The highly nutritious seeds can be used to make flour, cooking oil and cattle feed.

"This environmentally friendly plant grows without herbicides, nourishes the soil, matures quickly and provides high yields. It's the number-one biomass producer in the world - ten tons per acre in four months. It could be an excellent fuel-producing crop.

"Hemp, 'nature's perfect plant,' could bring a bonanza to hurting American farmers while greatly reducing America's dependence on fossil fuels, which could significantly mitigate climate change.

"9. Prohibition diverts billions from the needy. More than 50 government agencies feed at the drug war trough. Food stamps and other social programs are being slashed while billions are spent trying to stop adults from using marijuana.

"8. Prohibition is clearly counterproductive. Guaranteeing massive profits to anyone on earth who can produce and deliver marijuana to our streets cannot do anything but assure that even more will be produced and delivered.

"7. Criminalizing marijuana lacks moral justification. A real crime implies a victim and a perpetrator. Can you imagine being jailed for robbing yourself? As insane as this sounds, our government has done the equivalent by making adult use of marijuana a crime.

"Only a depraved, corrupt government could invent a crime you commit against yourself.

"6. Marijuana users are not debased human beings. Cultures throughout history - and pre-history! - have altered their minds with a variety of drugs. Billions around the world derive positive benefits from mind-altering drugs (especially from alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and marijuana).

"Demonizing and criminalizing some drugs, while approving others without rational criteria, is clearly arbitrary and deceitful. Why are marijuana users criminals while alcohol and tobacco users are not? Why are marijuana dealers demonized, but alcohol and tobacco dealers are not?

"5. Marijuana is effective medicine. There's overwhelming evidence that marijuana can safely relieve pain, nausea and vomiting caused by various illnesses. In fact, marijuana is patently safer than many commonly prescribed drugs.

"4. Promising medical research is thwarted. The discovery of naturally occurring marijuana-like substances in the human body that activate so-called cannabinoid receptors has opened up vast possibilities for new medicines derived from the 66 or so cannabinoids identified in marijuana. These receptors are not just in the brain, but also found in many other parts of the body including the immune, endocrine and reproductive systems.

"3. Billions in potential taxes go to drug cartels. Our cash-strapped states are being cheated out of billions that could be obtained by taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol.

"2. Thousands of prohibition murders occur each year. Mexico is the world's largest exporter of marijuana (most goes to the United States). There were at least 24,000 prohibition-related murders in Mexico since 2006. Thousands more died here, also a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

"1. Prohibition denies our most basic human right. Prohibition takes away our right of sovereignty over our own bodies and gives this power to government. Does any other human right make sense if we don't have sovereignty over our own bodies?

"There's a word for people who don't have sovereignty over their own bodies: slaves.

"The Glaring Truth About the Drug War




"The drug war is a blatantly dishonest, extremely expensive, highly destructive, grossly unjust, abject failure of our government.



"Despite 40 years and $1 trillion-plus of taxpayer money spent trying to stop - not robbery, not rape, not murder, not even shoplifting - but mostly trying to stop adults from using marijuana; despite draconian punishments; despite jailing millions of nonviolent Americans; despite thousands of prohibition-related murders each year, illegal drugs are cheaper, purer and more readily available than ever.

"The drug war is a vast government scam guaranteed to be perpetually futile. Prohibition only pretends to fight drugs. In fact, it guarantees massive profits to anyone on the planet who can produce and deliver prohibited drugs to our streets.

"Jailing drug dealers just creates lucrative job openings for more efficient, more ruthless, eager replacements. Only a small percentage of illegal drugs are intercepted, and these are easily and cheaply replaced.

"Prohibition creates, sustains and handsomely rewards the illegal drug industry while pretending to fight that very same industry. Like the classic mafia protection racket, our government creates a perpetual problem and then charges us exorbitantly to "protect" us from it.



"This abomination continues unabated because our government is addicted to the taxpayer billions it wastes year after year after year pretending to fight an enemy created and sustained by prohibition itself.

"Marijuana is the linchpin of the drug war. Legalizing marijuana will sound the death knell for this devastating crime against humanity."

Copyright, Truthout.org.  Reprinted with Permission.

A multitude of studies have been done on marijuana over the past decades, but those that show negative medical repercussions of the mild drug have been the minority, and stories like this are hitting the media as other studies interest those who have had no opinion on the issue whatsoever --> http://www.daily-times.com/ci_23394940/vet-recommends-medical-marijuana-pets-pain.

Recent politicizing has gradually changed the voters' minds, especially when the use of medical marijuana offering relief from pain and nausea for family members stricken with cancer or Hodgkin's Desease has opened their eyes, as we see here:

"...Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter said he doesn’t smoke marijuana. “But I had a brother in law with melanoma which eventually became brain cancer and the only thing that gave him any relief was medical marijuana…I just needed to see the pain relief from that.”

And marijuana may even be the next Diabetes Drug, as we see here --> http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/23/health/time-marijuana-diabetes/index.html.

Most of the rightwingers object, of course, as we see from this short piece: "Mayor Bloomberg Thinks Medical Marijuana Is a ‘Hoax.’

"Old Man Bloomberg ignored the opinions of medical professionals and various other datatoday on his weekly radio address to deem any non-recreational use of the nation's favorite herb fake. "Yeah, right, medical, come on," he said. "There's no medical. This is one of the great hoaxes of all time." While the mayor famously said, "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it," when asked if he'd ever smoked weed, he insisted, "I don't have any personal experience in terms of today," before reverting to his recycled talking points like, "marijuana is much stronger today than it was 20 or 30 years ago" and "If [drug dealers] can't sell marijuana, they'll sell something else."

Historically, marijuana has taken a roller coaster ride:



"Marijuana, the dried form of the plant Cannabis sativa, was used as an herbal remedy for centuries in China, the Middle East, and Asia. William O'Shaughnessy, a physician for the East India Tea Company, brought it west in the 1830s as a treatment for rheumatism, tetanus, and rabies. It was commonly prescribed as a pain reliever in the U.S. until the 1930s, when its growing popularity caused such concern that the newly founded Federal Bureau of Narcotics reclassified it as a narcotic. The bureau soon launched a decidedly unscientific campaign claiming that marijuana use provoked insanity, homicidal tendencies, and uncontrollable lust. The marijuana user, the bureau asserted, "becomes a fiend with savage or 'caveman' tendencies. His sex desires are aroused, and some of the most horrible crimes result."

Typical objections from Conservatives, except for the Libertarian version, are a bit different than their religious "reasons" for banning abortion, and we all now by know how the Rastifarians look at the weed as a sacrament (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastafari_movement), but one of the main objections from the Conservatives, other than "it's a Black thing (http://arcadia.patch.com/groups/editors-picks/p/study-blacks-more-likely-to-be-arrested-for-marijuana-possession_3eab67c8), seems to come from the belief that our Sheeplets will be too high to work, a belief that even passes on to the innocuous yet highly beneficial hemp, and as usual, studies are mixed on the topic.



What's not mixed is that the War On Drugs, a remnant of the failed Nixon Administration, is a money-maker for those on the wrong side of the War, and that the issue is fodder for the Conservative Sheeplets to keep them excited -- as usual.



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"My Alma mater was books, a good library... I could spend the rest of my life
reading, just satisfying my curiosity."

Malcolm X


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