Thursday, November 3, 2011

What [Obama Has] to Say About Legalizing Marijuana

This email from the Whitehouse's Drug Czar. And can I just say that the American people really don't need a Czar to fight a "drug war" against them? We have so much more to deal with. And the letter (below) explains so much about what is going on with the Obama Administration regarding Cannabis legality and it just might point at some of their other problems. 

You know... it also kind of makes our own national law enforcement people seem like "terrorists" if you think about it. Even if they aren't attacking me, I feel terrorized by the thoughts they are thinking and the things I see on the news that they are doing.

It is quite obvious from Gil's letter, that the ignorance level is highest as you reach the pinacle of the Government. We don't need his type of ignorance, we need scientific data. But even so, unless we smoke a joint and explode, they really need to get out of our bodies. They seem to be clueless about what is going on with Cannabis, then they are trying to make decisions that affect millions of citizens though a long term, knee-jerk reaction. They don't seem to really know what is going on in the real world. Not unlike many of our Law Makers being unaware that there are scanners at check out counters at grocery stores. They are simply disconnected from the reality of most of our citizens, the so called 99%. 

So how can thet properly govern us? I mean, obviously, they aren't, right? I have to agree in part with Young Turks video about this. They claim it has much to do with the Drug companies. Maybe, and in part, I'm sure they have something to do with it. But I think there are many diffident causes that have their fingers in this. That would explain why this has gone on for so long, and why it is so hard to pinpoint who and why this has drug on so long.

When you have information such as this MPP video, "Two minute Truths on Cannabis and the brain", you can't help but be curious as to the disconnect between "Government scientific data" and that of all other scientific data, especially that from other countries in the world, and real life scenarios as in Amsterdam where they have shown that decriminalization does not raise the crime or addiction rates as is feared in this country by those ignorant law enforcers and fear and money grubbers. It's a curious situation.

If as Pres. Obama says in this video, he doesn't want to expend Federal Law Enforcement resources to prosecute Cannabis users, clinics and Doctors, then why have they started doing that again this year? Here is a video of Pres. Obama responding to a direct question from a member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). His first statement? "I don't believe in legalizing it." Next President please... we need someone with the balls to expend the political capital to put an end not just to Cannabis Prohibition, but to the vast waste of resources expended day by day, by out extensive Law Enforcement arm of government. Not to mention all the little people who have been crushed and at times, literally killed, by it.

What is needed to be done, to counter the foolish statements below, is to compare it to Alcohol. The arguments against that fall short. It remains that if Alcohol is legal, Cannabis should have the same capability. If you compare the alcoholics to those addicted to Cannabis, I think you would find pretty much the same situation. Therefore, Alcohol should be prohibited.

Oh, wait, that didn't work. But they can bully Cannabis people, so they do. Not surprising, this email response to the legalize Marijuana poll I responded to came from the US Drug Czar. This is not something that should have been responded to by Law Enforcement, but by Law Makers. Gil is only as ignorant as those he listens to and those who tell him what to say.

I was stunned at this response from official channels in the Obama Administration. Stunned. And I lost a lot of respect for the Obama Administration. They are spewing the same old (basically right wing, Republican) fear mongering rhetoric going back to Harry Anslinger, who himself is an embarrassment in this history of prohibition of both alcohol and Cannabis.  

It's the same old thing. The counter to their argument below is simply that it is none of their business regarding legal use and ownership. We will always have addicts. They need help. But when you look at the numbers who are defective in this way and the numbers who aren't and can be adult and rational in their behaviors, the argument to retain illegality to protect the few, falls apart.

To be sure, it starts to look like a reason to spend more money on law enforcement.

The government has no place inside our bodies, or our minds for that matter, unless it is in response to an overt danger such as food poisoning or fraud being perpetrated upon the masses.

I could pick apart the email below, bit by bit, but I think, if you are an intelligent, rational educated person, you won't need me to hold your hand, like they think you need them to hold your hand so you won't fall into addiction and death. And probably pedophilia and communism, in their minds.

Here it is, read it and weap for the levels of ignorance from those running our government:

"What We Have to Say About Legalizing Marijuana"

By Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug's effects.

According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world's largest source of drug abuse research - marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20's. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.

Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.

That is why the President's National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we've seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer. We're also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today. And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.

Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.

Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President's approach to drug control to learn more.


Check out this response on We the People.

The above letter is scary. Yes, many of the facts are true. But it is not the "facts" that are at issue. My brother says the government pays the NIH to get the results they want. I think that is a bit over the top, but possible. I see things more that they are doing what is far easier, skewing the stats, something that is so easy to do, which I learned in Psychology Statistics at the University. It is amazing how you can make stats say whatever you want. It is how they are being abused where the government is being literally criminal in their actions. Believing Cannabis is dangerous is big business. Treatment centers make big bucks keeping the myth alive. Yes, people use, criminals use, people get "addicted" but it is not a physical addiction like heroin, no matter how much the want to make it sound like it. 

"Innocent civilians and hardworking law enforcement officers are dying every day because of our failed policies," said Terry Nelson, a board member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and a retired U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent.. "The fact that we keep ramping up the 'drug war' instead of changing course is unconscionable."

From that Canadian treatment center's web page:

  • 3 out of 4 drug-related criminal charges are associated with marijuana. [if it were legal, this statistic would go away]
  • 65% of people arrested for marijuana related crimes are for simple possession. [if it were legal, this statistic would go away]
  • About 50,000 Canadians are arrested each year for cannabis related crimes. [if it were legal, this statistic would go away]
  • 600,000 Canadians have a criminal record for simple possession of marijuana. [if it were legal, this statistic would go away]
Typically, serious Cannabis "abusers", or any kind of abuser, have emotional or psychological issues that need to be treated. By "abuser" I mean serious users. Nothing should be used 24 hours a day, not even milk. If you stop a serious user, they are irritable for a few days, then they go back to normal. If they continue having issues, that is a psychological condition, not a drug condition.

So while the governments are abusing its citizens with criminal penalties they are actually abusing people with psychological issues. This is far more true than with heroin, meth, or crack cocaine addicts. Basically people abusing Cannabis are self medicating for other issues. Many ADD and ADHD persons are incorrectly self medicating and should be on appropriate meds. Sometimes, Cannabis is enough however and that shouldn't be overlooked.

Smoking it is smoking. There are other safer ways to ingest, cooking, vaporizers, etc. New research (out of Canada, why isn't the US finding this?) is showing Cannabis can actually cure some forms of cancer.

So, let's stop maintaining very old ways of looking at things. Users need education. Yes, Cannabis is far stronger than it used to be. Keeping it silent and only penalizing users isn't helping. Legalizing it and educated users does. If someone like climbing cliffs, they may well die pretty soon. If you show them the right way to do it, they may climb Mt Everest one day.

A 2009 NY Times article indicated admissions for addiction treatment went up to16 percent in 2007 from 12 percent in 1997. The percentages of those seeking treatment for cocaine (13 percent of admissions in 2007) and alcohol addiction (22 percent in 2007) declined slightly. This is still a level that is typical for addiction through a national statistic. In any group you will have a certain subset of certain indications. Legalizing, not legalizing, may never make all that much difference. Education seems to be the key, and appropriate availability, keeping it out of the hands of the criminal underworld. Legalizing makes it harder for kids to acquire and use. Treating it like alcohol (esp., considering it is far safe than alcohol which is closer to cocaine in affect than Cannabis) allows it to be monitored and taxed; and we could certainly use both. 

According to Dr. Sanja Gupta on Anderson Cooper's show, they know what percentage of people will become addicted to various inebriants. The good Doctor also indicated that you can titrate by smoking or vaporizing Cannabis for dosage far more easily than with a pill where it is too easy to take too much or too little. Also he said that the Drug Company produced effort to make money off of what is a vertually free weed, Marinol, just "isn't there yet". The percentages of people who will become addicted (that is physical addiction, not emotional addiction which some like to lump into the stats thereby skewing them even further) are approximately (according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse) as follows:
  • Tobacco 31%
  • Heroin 23%
  • Cocaine 17%
  • Alcohol 15%
  • Stimulants (Non Medical Use) 11%
  • Cannabis 9%
Those stats also point out that those other drugs are not the use it once and you are an addicted, out of control criminal, as the government likes to chant. I am not pro any one of those other drugs, which also is a relevant point. Tobacco, is simply bad, but do we have the right to stop someone from smoking it? Especially if they have it under control? No. Of course not. Does it cost society for health costs? Yes. But, too bad. We should educated to end its use, not legislate. Heroin, bad. Cocaine, bad. Alcohol, very dangerous too, but we've seen from prohibition, that you can't get rid of it. Stimulants, bad, but even there, mostly bad. I like a drink now and then, but I have a life, I use it sparingly, in control, and when it gets out of control, it is very easy to see its detrimental effects.

The American government, in the land of the brave home of the free(?), I'm just not seeing it when you have cowardly efforts to lie, cheat and incarcerate citizens over things like this. But they would far prefer to push kids into having access to drugs on the street, and criminalize otherwise legal citizens into breaking the law and consorting with real law breakers. Why?

Why are we supporting the criminal underworld, the drug cartels, supporting their ability to spread far worse drugs around like heroin, forms of cocaine and meth? The "War on Drugs" had failed decades ago almost as it began and even Law Enforcement Officials have admitted to that. The Law Enforcemnet people who have the guts to stand up to the lumbering monster that is our Government, had to start an organization (LEAP) to try to combat the waste and immoral efforts of a Government out of control and in the pockets of some very questionable lobbies and cartels.

So why do they still insist on pursuing punitive efforts that do not work and only harm the citizenry?

When you consider all these things, and you read a letter like the one from the Whitehouse, from their Drug Czar, it simply makes them look foolish, or at very least, uninformed at the bigger picture.

Use your head. Treating people like criminals or patients, takes the control over their lives away from them. The government is not your parent. They are your servants. They need to be reminded of that. The Occupy Wall Street movement is doing just that. It may be economically based, but it is all about treating the citizens like people, and not resources to be used and abused and thrown away.

Fight for your right to party. And hey, it's dangerous out there people, so be careful.

Here are a few random videos on it. These aren't the end all be all of Cannabis facts. But even if SOME of what these say are completely wrong, there is still enough truth and reason for ending the drug war on Cannabis. They point isn't even if it is bad for us, the point is, it is none of the Government's business if citizens are interested in it simply because some citizens are against it. If you are so against it, well, don't use it. But leave the other law abiding citizens alone.

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