Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Legalize it video contest?

In 1976, Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh (19 October 1944 – 11 September 1987), called on the world to "Legalize It."  This year, on the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon officially declaring the "War on Drugs," and in remembrance of the millions of lives lost and destroyed as a result of that war, Students for Sensible Drug Policy is carrying on Peter Tosh's legacy.  We're educating students, parents, and teachers around the country that, in reality, the War on Drugs is a war on us.

I got an email today: "Have you heard the news? The first-ever marijuana legalization bill will be introduced in Congress next week. You read that correctly!"

Now, don't get too excited. I'm not sure how that is accurate, but the Tosh and SSDP thing seems possible. I can't find where a bill is about to be introduced, but ignore that for now. We have bigger fish to fry, more important issues at bay. Anyway, make up your own mind after reading all of this....

The bill would end federal marijuana prohibition once and for all. You know, I have to assume it won't pass because of those foolish people in charge, all those who say privately they would and want to pass it but fear for their jobs because they will lose their next election. I'm so sad that we voted people in like that, who will not do their job and cast a vote for something so major that should be stopped immediately, decades ago.

Niambe Tosh

"It was thirty-five yers ago that my dad, Peter Tosh, released his groundbreaking hit, "Legalize It."  His song became an anthem for a generation of young people who shared his mission that marijuana should be legal.  As a mom and a teacher, I see how our marijuana laws have failed this generation.  That's why I'm proud to work with Students for Sensible Drug Policy to generate support for the upcoming marijuana legalization bill."

Legalize it Video Contest

Peter's daughter Niambe asks you to submit your ad to the contest by sending a link to your uploaded video to legalizeit@ssdp.org.  If they feature your video for the campaign, you'll get a free commemorative legacy edition box set of Legalize It.  

Help them spread the word about the first-ever marijuana legalization bill in Congress by making your own ad entitled "What 'Legalize It' Means to Me?"  What does legalization mean to you?  Does it mean justice?  Does it mean equality?

In an op-ed with the New York Times, former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter has come out strongly in opposition to the war on drugs and in favor of the recommendations put forward by the Global Commission on Drug Policy in this recent report:

"The commission’s facts and arguments are persuasive. It recommends that governments be encouraged to experiment “with models of legal regulation of drugs ... that are designed to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.” For effective examples, they can look to policies that have shown promising results in Europe, Australia and other places.

"But they probably won’t turn to the United States for advice. Drug policies here are more punitive and counterproductive than in other democracies, and have brought about an explosion in prison populations. At the end of 1980, just before I left office, 500,000 people were incarcerated in America; at the end of 2009 the number was nearly 2.3 million. There are 743 people in prison for every 100,000 Americans, a higher portion than in any other country and seven times as great as in Europe. Some 7.2 million people are either in prison or on probation or parole — more than 3 percent of all American adults!"

I can tell you what it means to me. It means that many many people who are law abiding citizens, will not be turned into criminals, who will be adding to the American dream, not living it in prison. It will mean tax money for many things and now spending tax money on a useless abuse of Citizens by their Government.

If you think that keeping it illegal is the best thing for this country, you need to quit looking at it as an illegal drug, and start seeing it more accurately for what it is. It is possibly the most useful plant and substance on the face of the planet and is good for so many more things that simply "getting high". As far as people getting "high" on it, how is that anyone's business to have a whiskey in their home, or in a bar, at a restaurant or at a friend's house? 

That is not our business, other than it concerns public safety, drunk driving, etc. Regarding it being a "gateway drug" to harder drugs, that is more a terror tactic of the war on drugs than any kind of rational realistic consideration. People who get into harder drugs are doing that because of personality issues, not Cannabis. Take that away? They will still get into harder drugs and if you don't see that, you are fooling yourself.

As for those who have lost loved ones in related issues, well, we have that with alcohol and that's legal, we have it with cars, and those are legal, we have it with guns, and those are incredibly dangerous and those are legal and we have it with river inner tubing. The isn't isn't that, but is it your business and no, it is not. 

Drug use is a medical issue and not a legal one. For things like the hard drugs, Heroin, Cocaine, addictive pills and other drugs, yes, it is a legal issue, but some countries argue that too is a medical issue and in their country their citizens have more rights and freedoms in those areas that the "Land of the Brave and the (semi) Free". 

We need to stop acting in this country like juveniles in our government and our legislating and enforcements and start acting like adults. As I've said for years and have done with my kids, you raise kids to be adults, not kids. Many people raise their kids to be and continue to be kids and they have to deal with the reactions to that, which usually aren't good and sometimes involve drugs. 

My ex-wife tried to raise our kids in the old fashioned way and there were troubles; but when I tried to raise them to be adults things got better almost immediately and I did not have to deal with a drug situation. They felt the stresses of adolescence but not so much those from their family leader. They were not free to do anything, but they were free to think, to make decisions and they respected that.

I would argue that we are now seeing those in charge of this country who were either raised in a fearful way like the old style taught, or they grew into thinking that is how they need to handle and abuse our citizens in their legislating and applying laws. And so we, as American Citizens are treated like we are children because our foolishly elected leaders think they know far better what we need because they are scared of the numbers and a feeling of a lack of knowing what to do. 

Sometimes, by thinking you don't know what to do, you do the wrong thing. Sometimes (to you) the right thing is counterintuitive. But it's not. You just have to let people be and make deicsions for themselves and things will work out in the end. Stop trying to hard and let the rest of America help. In many cases, we can make our own decisions. Back off.

As to the bill, I don't know if that's accurate. But as to the guy that may have started all this, here it is:

US Congressman to File Marijuana Legalization Bill This Year

Jared Polis

America is on the cusp of majority support for marijuana legalization, but legalization is not inevitable and it's up to activists and the multi-billion-dollar marijuana industry to start throwing their weight around to make it happen, US Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) told an overflow crowd during the keynote address at NORML's 40th annual conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Denver Saturday afternoon.

"I am optimistic that we will reach a day when America has the smart, sensible marijuana policy that we deserve," Polis told an attentive audience. "But it could go either way. We could return to the dark ages of repression, or we could be on the eve of a new era of marijuana legalization. Your efforts will help determine which route this country takes and the legacy of this generation of activists on what marijuana policy looks like. Together we can accomplish this," he told the crowd.

Polis said that he would file a marijuana legalization bill this session in Congress. The language was still being developed, he added. He is also working on a bill that would address problems the medical marijuana industry is having with banks, he said.

"Marijuana policy is really coming of age," the businessman turned politician said. "Our Colorado model is very exciting," he added, touting the vibrant local medical marijuana industry on display for conference attendees from across the country. "In my last two elections, even my Republican opponents were for legalization. It's become a very mainstream value here."

One can only hope. Anti Cannabis laws are outdated, ignorant and harmful to US citizens. This has nothing to do with taking drugs. It now has to do with abusing US citizens. People need to start thinking right. Vote.

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