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Time to rethink the "war on drugs"?

Time to rethink the "war on drugs"?

New York Times calls for marijuana legalization:

The New York Times called for the legalization of marijuana, in a bold editorial comparing the federal ban on cannabis to Prohibition. The prestigious publication said pot laws disproportionately impact young black men and that addiction and dependence are "relatively minor problems" -- especially when compared with alcohol and tobacco.

"It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished," the newspaper said.

"It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol. The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana."

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Life sentence for pot:

The man serving life for marijuana:

Campaigners in the US are calling for the release of a man in Missouri serving a life sentence without parole for a marijuana offence. Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for almost 21 years. For 20 of those years, no-one outside his friends and family had heard of his case. But in the past months, and weeks in particular, that has started to change. More than 370,000 people have signed an online petition for his release. And now campaigners trying to raise $21,000 for him - a symbolic $1,000 for each year he's been inside. They plan to spend the money raised on billboards, and a media campaign to raise awareness of his case.

In 1994 Mizanskey was found guilty of "possession and intent to distribute" cannabis. It was his third offence, and under Missouri's "prior and persistent drug offender" law, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

"He's been in prison since right after I was born," says Aaron Malin who's organising the FreeJeff fundraising, and is director of research at Show-Me Cannabis, which aims to get marijuana legalised in Missouri. "He's never used the internet, or even held a cellphone... He's not familiar with the concept of Twitter - much less a hashtag," he adds.

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{ I would hazard a guess that most Americans would agree that the so called "war on drugs" has been lost. Billions of dollars have been spent, our prisons are over flowing with people arrested, tried and jailed for drug use and the war rages on with very little, if any, progress to point to.

As Pogo said " I have been to the top of the hill and seen the enemy and he is us". This is an American war that has little support from Americans. They see it as a war on themselves. Americans seem to have an insatiable appetite for illegal drugs but the government seems to treat them all alike. Cannabis is often treated like cocaine when the two drugs are totally unlike each other.

A good start in changing things and getting off the prohibition treadmill would be to decriminalize marijuana. For a start it would be a windfall for new taxes and it would stop the jailing of so many folks who have run afoul of the law because of the war on drugs. What to do about the rest of the drug problem should be debated nation wide. It may not be as hard to find consensus on the issue as many people think. Its clear what we are dong is not working and its time to stop beating a dead horse. What do you think?}

"libido sciendi"..... the passion to know.
7/27/2014, 1:15 pm Link to this post PM Noserose

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