Legal & Policy Challenges

Legalize Marijuana And Solve Many Tax Issues / Prison Issues

To legalize marijuana would mean an end to the billions of wasted dollars fighting this "war on drugs". A war, that anyone who grew up in America and went to public schools, saw first hand was lost. Imagine taxation on an herb that has many positive potentials. It can be used to make food, clothes, rope, and hell, even money. To make it illegal costs far more money and it cuts out many potential benefits from it's legalization. Even dependency on cotton would be a thing of the past. So we should vote to end this prohibition, and give people their freedom back, a freedom removed roughly 90 years ago now. We could tax and control it much in the same way Alcohol is controlled. The mobsters lost their power in the 1930's when alcohol was legalized, so let's do the same to the Mexican cartels, the modern mobsters. Hemp For Victory!


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Similar Ideas [ 4 ]


  1. Comment
    Unsubscribed User

    The ONLY reason I vote acceptance on this issue is because I do believe that it would reduce the crime level in this country without changing the marijuana smoking population at all.

  2. Comment
    Unsubscribed User

    The ONLY reason I vote to accept this idea is that I believe legalizing marijuana will reduce the crime level without increasing the population of users at all.

  3. Comment

    Marijuana can harm a person and will spread mischief by impairing the persons mind. it should be banned. everything has a weakness in this life, including the cartels. Their day will come. Because anything that rises in power is going to set down.

  4. Comment
    gbtorsion ( Idea Submitter )

    I invite those who don't know this controversy to check out this link on some common marijuana myths.

    Legalization will take the power out of mobsters and put it back into the hands of the people.

  5. Comment
    gbtorsion ( Idea Submitter )

    Here is one small example from

    Myth: Marijuana Can Cause Permanent Mental Illness. Among adolescents, even occasional marijuana use may cause psychological damage. During intoxication, marijuana users become irrational and often behave erratically.

    Fact: There is no convincing scientific evidence that marijuana causes psychological damage or mental illness in either teenagers or adults. Some marijuana users experience psychological distress following marijuana ingestion, which may include feelings of panic, anxiety, and paranoia. Such experiences can be frightening, but the effects are temporary. With very large doses, marijuana can cause temporary toxic psychosis. This occurs rarely, and almost always when marijuana is eaten rather than smoked. Marijuana does not cause profound changes in people's behavior.


    Iverson, Leslie. “Long-term effects of exposure to cannabis.” Current Opinion in Pharmacology 5(2005): 69-72.


    Weiser and Noy. “Interpreting the association between cannabis use and increased risk of schizophrenia.” Dialogues in Clincal Neuroscience 1(2005): 81-85.


    "Cannabis use will impair but not damage mental health." London Telegraph. 23 January 2006.


    Andreasson, S. et al. “Cannabis and Schizophrenia: A Longitudinal study of Swedish Conscripts,” The Lancet 2 (1987): 1483-86.


    Degenhardt, Louisa, Wayne Hall and Michael Lynskey. “Testing hypotheses about the relationship between cannabis use and psychosis,” Drug and Alcohol Dependence 71 (2003): 42-4.


    Weil, A. “Adverse Reactions to Marijuana: Classification and Suggested Treatment.” New England Journal of Medicine 282 (1970): 997-1000.

  6. Comment

    Ahmad, so what if marijuana can harm a person? So can alcohol.. so can tobacco.. so can guns.. so can cars.. heck, so can sober people. Just because it harms people doesn't mean it should be outlawed. If I choose to harm myself, should I not be able to? I personally think that it's none of the government's business whether or not I smoke pot. If I grow it to smoke it, so be it. If I buy it from someone else who grows it, tax that purchase. I'll spend a few extra dollars to keep my freedom.

  7. Comment
    Unsubscribed User

    A New Economic Foundation,

    Renewable Energy and the Social Contract

    We have an opportunity to create a new economic foundation based on renewable natural resources, yielding thousands of green jobs, producing a sustainable replacement for oil and the restoration of social consent and confidence in the body politic. All of that and more made manifest by a stroke of the pen, simply by properly classifying hemp as the medicine and beneficial resource that over 100,000,000 Americans already know it is. Hemp, cannabis is good.

    The social benefit of a rational hemp policy would be to restore social consent and confidence in the body politic. Currently, over 100,000,000 Americans have used marijuana and have decided that it is a good thing, not dangerous and should be free, not used to ruin peoples lives by arrest, confiscation and disenfranchisement. Thinking people do their own research and many times conclude that the laws against marijuana are arbitrary, unjust, wrong and that the only people who support them are either uninformed or their jobs depend upon the mandatory acceptance of marijuana prohibition. This is the true silent majority, citizens who think that the marijuana laws are irrational and are afraid of persecution and discrimination if they express their opinions publicly.

    Industrial hemp production could provide a domestic and renewable source of fuel, fiber and jobs. Hemp can be grown, produced and processed all across the land by thousands of urban farmers using land, lots, parks and public lands lying fallow and unused. These green jobs are about the growing, harvesting and processing of locally grown organics for food and fuel and could constitute the bedrock of a truly independent economy, intrinsically secure, renewable and stable, sustainable and most importantly doable.

    The benefits of a rational hemp policy are financial, social and moral.

    The economic impact of is three fold; first is the creation of Jobs based on a sustainable, clean source of fuel, fiber and medicine, estimated at over One Trillion dollars. Good jobs that produce energy and tax revenue that is

    The second is the savings to taxpayers by eliminating the money spent on law enforcement, the courts and prisons, estimated at over 8 billion a year. The third is the cost to individuals and families who are criminalized by a system that encourages law enforcement to arrest people, fine them, confiscate their property, and disenfranchise them from the vote, healthcare, professional licenses and credit. This cost is measured in the billions of dollars. All totaled the war on marijuana and the lost opportunities to develop hemp; combined with the needless suffering of those persecuted is over 2 Trillion dollars a year.

    The moral benefit is simple; the truth will set us free.

    We need to decriminalize marijuana and repel the effects of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act to restore the production, development and use of the most sustainable, renewable natural resource recorded in history. Hemp production can replace the use of oil as a fuel quickly, efficiently and at low cost. Hemp is a renewable crop that can be grown on land not used for food, improving the land and providing a carbon neutral source of fuel. Hemp production and processing will create jobs all across the land while providing a local and domestic source of energy.

    The use of marijuana for medical purposes is the oldest and most universally documented use of any substance in medical history. 13 states have decided that marijuana is a beneficial plant and it is time allow and encourage the use and investigation of medical marijuana and industrial hemp.

    Hemp production was the economic foundation of colonial America because it was readily grown and used for over 25,000 different purposes; Hemp was grown for sails, rope, oil for lamps, clothing and high quality paper. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper by Thomas Jefferson, an advocate of hemp for commerce, medicine and recreation. George Washington was one of the largest hemp growers in the colonies and the renewable income produced by this plant sustained our first president and his family before, during and after the revolution. It is fair to say that the spirit to be free and independent was made possible by the ability of our fore fathers to be economically independent and free. Hemp production was the backbone of liberty, freedom and economic independence for colonial America and could once again be the keystone of a renewable, sustainable and yes, Independent economy.

  8. Comment
    Unsubscribed User

    People who don't know what they are talking about shouldn't leave opinions like ahmad_aldick did. It makes them look foolish.

  9. Comment

    This nation's current disasterourly failed drug policy is in direct violation of God given rights acknowledged and guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States. This policy guarantees ready access of all very dangerous drugs to our children, as the policy guarantees only criminal drug profiteers decide who can get wnat kind of currently illegal drugs. This policy directly funds terrorists and supports gangs. Our policy has destabilized the domestic tranquillity of several allied nations. This failed policy has cost more than a trillion dollars, and will cost tens of billions more again this year as hundreds of thousands of non-violent, otherwise law-abiding citizens have their God given rights violated. Police corruption, botched home invasions, the failures of this policy goes on, and on, and on. This insanity must stop. Re-legalize, tightly regulate and heavily tax are all part of a viable solution.

  10. Comment
    Unsubscribed User

    The legalization and regulation of marijuana would place it in a status much like tobacco & alcohol - difficult for minors to access.

  11. Comment
    Unsubscribed User

    Do NOT legalize pot. Period!

  12. Comment

    dudemanfellabra, God did not create us to harm our selves in any way, including you. I am against Pot, smoking, alcohol. The country itself is already in mischief, but you know not. Having Pot will make it worse than it is now. What tourist would want to go on vacation to country that has pot, especially if they have children. You would kill the economy. People with kids would avoid such countries like this. As for the drug dealers, they will have an end. Everything that rises in power is going to fall and lose. Nothing lasts forever, including the cartels who spread mischief. Guns on the other hand, we need to defend ourselves from people who harm us, or to go hunting for food that god gave us. If it were up to me, I would ban Pot, alcohol, and smoking. guns can have good use like I said, hunting, self- defense, Sport Shooting, etc. but pot, alcohol, smoking, NEVER. I see no place for it.

  13. Comment

    Ahmad: So you know that thing called the first amendment? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion".... well If you want to pull out the God card, this is what you get slapped with. What if I don't believe in God? I don't care what he says; I'll harm myself if I want to. Congress can't do a damn thing about anything God says.. this is a secular country; wake up.

    About the tourism thing, Spain's tourism sector is booming.. Do you know how many people go to Barcelona/Madrid every year? Pot is legal there. Look at the Netherlands.. pot's legal there, and Amsterdam is one of the most visited cities in Europe. If anything, marijuana has IMPROVED their tourism. Wake up, dude.. this isn't 1920; society has changed. We wear bikinis and listen to loud music about having sex with a stranger. We smoke pot. Get used to it.

    Nothing good about alcohol, pot, and smoking? Then why is it suggested in the daily food pyramid that a moderate amount of alcohol (wine, champagne, etc.) per day is good for you??? Why is medical marijuana used all over the country to treat tumors, cance, glaucoma, and many other chronic diseases?? Why was there a study released just weeks ago saying that smoking can actually help you lose weight?? There are pros and cons of every substance; I should be the one that weighs both sides and decides if I want to use one – not the government.

  14. Comment
    Unsubscribed User

    anybody against legalization of marijuana obviously sells it, I know many bum ass people that do nothing but make a living off selling it. GET A REAL JOB.

  15. Comment

    dudemanfellabra, who lives with no rules such as sex with strangers, drugs, alcohol, lives the life of a dog and pig, with no boundaries. a pig eats anything, a dog urinates anywhere, these people have no boundaries. this lifestyle is the same. their is freedom in this country, i agree, but their are limits to what a person can can do. If you do not believe in god, you are the loser when the time comes. Like muny288 said, "anybody against legalization of marijuana obviously sells it." That makes them criminals with the same value as a pig. Not accusing you of selling, as I do not know you nor do I have proof of you doing it.

    If you want to talk religion, I challenge you.

  16. Comment

    .....muny288 was talking about you. You're AGAINST legalization of marijuana; I'm FOR it. I do believe he said "anybody AGAINST legalization obviously sells it." Good job on that one. You definitely just said YOU have the same value as a pig.

    And who are you to tell me my boundaries? As long as I'm not infringing upon your rights, I'm not doing anything wrong. Don't infringe on my rights. You can't tell me not to smoke pot in the privacy of my own home; I'm not causing harm to a single other person. It's my body; let me do with it as I please. Religion has nothing to do with this issue.

  17. Comment


    "everything has a weakness in this life, including the cartels. Their day will come. Because anything that rises in power is going to set down."

    So you're saying the best plan is to just sit back and let the problem work itself out?

    Awesome strategy. Let's just let more people die pointlessly while we wait for "their day to come."

  18. Comment

    This is a no-brainier. Anyone who thinks marijuana should not be legalized obviously knows nothing about the substance and what affects it has. The gateway theory doesn't work, and kids have more access now to marijuana, crack, heroin, meth, and a whole range of other drugs than they ever would if marijuana was legalized. If my child someday chooses to try marijuana I don't want him to be offered crack right along side it. Prohibition not only causes more crime than it could ever solve, but is also a crime in and of itself. End the madness, end the lies, it's the time to legalize!

  19. Comment

    You can't outlaw nature!! Please legalize pot!!!!

  20. Comment

    It is time for prohibition of marijuana to end. If even 1 person in recorded history had died from the use of Cannabis, you may have an argument, but nobody AND I MEAN nobody can name one single person. It is time for people to get the facts! Marijuana is NON TOXIC. Marijuana is not a gateway drug anymore than drinking milk leads to beer. I have been personal witness to how it can give quality of life too someone who is dying... My dad. I live in Arizona, and knowing that it would be fruitless for the Mexican cartels to 'Export Cannabis' to the USA if we legalized or decriminalized it, makes me want to VOTE as often as I can. It is up to the American people to change the policy, not the government. If you truly believe that prohibition of Marijuana has failed (exactly as prohibition on alcohol failed), then call your State and federal politicians and let them know the 'Reefer Madness" must end now! I have seen this county's economy and morale go into the crapper for the last 8 years. It is time to secure our borders, take away a reason for terrorist to be here, stimulate OUR OWN economy and make a few people happy and laugh for once. On a closing note, to the prohibitionist: "How can you possibly classify HEMP in the same category as "Marijuana"? Do you really have the facts on the differences between the two? Gawd forbid they look alike. Should we outlaw False Arailia?" it has about the same amount of 'Mind altering psychosis drug elements as hemp..' Give me a break and get the FACTS!

  21. Comment

    The creator put cannabis on earth so that the US government could punish all that use the gift. That statement makes as much sense as prohibition. Why does Obama think all the pain and suffering caused by prohibition is funny?

  22. Comment

    All I know is by what I have learned in my family. Back in about 1989 or so, my 86 year old grandfather and I were watching the Los Angeles local evening news. Back then there were almost nightly body counts, especially on weekends, of gang members and innocent by-standers who had been killed.(that practice by the news programs has pretty much stopped, to quelch the gangs' free advertising of themselves on the nightly news.)

    Papa muted the TV, turned to me, and said, "When are they going to learn?"

    "Who, Papa?"

    "The police and the government! When are they going to learn that prohibition does not work! Didn't we prove that in 1933???"

    He was right. And even though I do not smoke pot myself, nor do I condone it in my home, I do not believe that such consensual crime should be enforced in this country. There is also enough science-based evidence to endorse the use of cannabis in medicinal practice.

    The only "reefer madness" here is the madness the government acquires by allowing us to be run by gangs and other crime elements (mexican mafia), even terrorism. STOP THE MADNESS. Decriminalize drug use.

  23. Comment

    Why is Marijuana, possibly the most benign natural herb known to man illegal while both alcohol and Tobacco which kill millions each year legal? Marijuana has never in recorded history killed anyone (aspirin kills more), it is less addictive than caffeine, and can be grown for next to nothing. Its medical and industrial applications can be traced back thousands of years up until 1937 when a racist media mogul began publishing things like "Marijuana promotes bloodlust" and "Turns young boys into murderous fiends within thirty days". Also don't forget how it makes "Darkies prey on our inncoent white women". Classic!!!

  24. Comment

    anyone who is against the legalization of marijuana obviously must be in favor of making tobacco and alcohol illegal right? i mean those products kill hundreds of thousands of people a year...and one of the main arguements against legalization of cannabis is that it's harmful right? then again, no one in history has ever died from marijuana...

    by the way, look into the history of the criminalization of marijuana. see if it's legit at all. the answer is no. and if that isn't good enough, look up the shafer's commisions report. interesting information.

  25. Comment

    Prison is a slavery business. I totally agree with your suggestion, but it is part of a larger problem of money buying Congress. The military-industrial complex has been joined by the prison-slavery complex and the hospital-death complex.

  26. Comment

    ahmad_aldick I am just so sick of people like you. Because someing bothers you that has no direct affect towards you your going to make it hard for other people. Besides the leagalization to all proposition what about the terminally ill that this benefits? You are against alchol, smoking, weed? what about the other 5 thousand drugs they can leagally make us take or our ailments? your entire outlook on this is GOD and doing good and all that bla bla bla. How about we start treating people right just they way we should have done by stopping the war on American citizens? Sounds good but then there are 10,000 more people just like Ahmad that dont care about anyone but themselves. (PERIOD)

  27. Comment

    all this religion talk about how GOD would not want us using marijuana is complete and utter bullshyt. Marijuana was used in many things and even in the oil used to annoint JESUSES feet

  28. Comment

    They need to introduce CAPTCHA to the sign up process for this site. It's obvious that all of the people against decriminalization/legalization are robots.

  29. Comment

    This idea, while worth discussing, has NOTHING to do with increasing transparency in government, or encouraging openness in communication and doing business.

    This forum is not about spraying out as many ideas as possible about what the Federal Government "should" do. It's about a brainstorm for ideas for a specific thing: transparency and openness. If someone has an idea about how decriminalizing the posession, consumption, and sale of marijuana would lead to increased transparency, I have yet to see it suggested.

    Please stay on topic, people.

  30. Comment

    opengov I completely understand your point of view, and you are correct but do understand we are reg americans with tempers and stress unbeliveable over certain things. I do appoligize over my thread seeing as it isnt for what should be posted. I just pead like so make other people that have to listen tho the propaganda over and over again. And the last point is you talked about what this forum is for but it is so very hard to destinguish a few points about this topic without havting to make people that are aginst this completely understand these are just a few of the perks could be. It is really hard to get feedback on these few issues on something that has such a massive scale.

  31. Comment

    It's time to stop arresting Americans for enjoying a harmless plant.

    I am over the age of 18, and I should thus have the right to enjoy an item that is far more benign than anything behind the Walgreens counter. It is my right, in a free society, to do with myself whatever I please without fear of imprisonment.

    To deny people the right to use Marijuana is to deny a personal freedom. Unjust laws are not made into realistic laws simply because they've been in place for far too long.

    I am a productive member of American society, and I believe it's time for the government to stop incarcerating my habit, and start taxing it.

  32. Comment

    not only should it be legal, it should be freakin mandatory.

  33. Comment

    I wouldnt go that far rath is does carry so many benifits I truly think it would help every single person on earth in some way or another. The studdies I see come out over the past 10 years and all the new amazing descoveries they are learning every day they havent told us yet just confirm they can only hide info for so long.

  34. Comment

    The sad truth about Marijuana is that it's the RESPONSIBLE alternative to Alcohol and yet so many ignorant people are against it. It's quite funny that the people claiming to be responsible adults in this debate are the ones who refuse to learn the facts and continue to perpetuate false myths that are harming kids more than the actual Marijuana is. If this was a live debate those people would have their fingers in their ears and would be singing "LALALA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

    Alcohol is much much more harmful than Marijuana and while you could argue saying that teens shouldn't be using either, the REALITY is that some teens will drink or do drugs no matter what their parents or anyone else thinks. Alcohol seems like the logical choice because, after all, it's legal and our parents use it. Too bad teens binge drink and die, drive drunk and die or kill others, or get into fights and do all sorts of other stupid things while drunk.

    I'm 30 years old, I drink and smoke pot, and have done both since I was 16 or 17 years old though rarely. Any kid who chooses pot over alcohol is making the smart choice in my book, as long as they don't abuse it. Marijuana Prohibition is probably the main reason a lot more kids are NOT dead today because it's easier for them to get pot. Keeping it illegal so that dealers can sell it without checking ID means that it's very easy for kids to obtain and abuse.

    Put Marijuana on the same level as alcohol, make them both equally difficult to obtain to cut down on the usage of both. Teens will still get ahold of it, but if they're EDUCATED about both they will hopefully make an EDUCATED decision and choose the least harmful option which is Marijuana.

    But by all means, continue making poor decisions that harm and possibly kill our children because while you think Education is important, it's only important for our kids, and only when it comes to the 3 R's...reading, writing, and arithmetic. (I know, it doesn't translate well to text, and it's outdated). Oh I forgot the 4th R, Religion.

  35. Comment

    The debate about legalizing marijuana directly relates to the discussion about openness and transparency in government. For all of these years, our very freedom has been suppressed through outright lies and manipulations of the truth. The federal government has been orchestrating this deception on the American people. Perhaps they thought they were doing what was best for America. Perhaps they were serving strong special interest groups like the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries. Either way, now is the time for more politician's like Tennessee's Steven Cohen to stand up for the truth about marijuana and actually represent their constituents.

    Enough is enough. So many lives have been ruined needlessly. How can this not relate to openness in government, when the government has been lying to its people for 90 years? President Obama has called for an open and honest dialogue and the truth about marijuana is a part of that dialogue.

    How many of these people feel that they have been lied to by their government, "opengov"? What does that do for the these American's faith in their leaders? Until goes online, I say each of the 52% of Americans who believe marijuana should be legalized need to go to this site and speak their mind.

  36. Comment

    In the spirit of Transparency and governance by the will of the people it is quite apparent that this issue should be taken seriously by the administration. Similar laws that enforce the drug alcohol would be applied. I agree that the people are the ones who should decide. All the efforts maintaining the war on drugs would be amplified by taking marijuana out the war and treating it like alcohol.

  37. Comment

    I won't go over the pros and cons of this issue. I'll just say I am not a marijuana smoker, I never was and I hope I never will be, and I fully support its legalization for recreational use.

  38. Comment

    Thank you Martin I sure wish I knew more honest people like you. Thanks

  39. Comment

    It is a violation of God-given rights acknowledged in the Constitution of the United States to criminalize any activity, or lack of activity, that does not infringe on the rightful freedoms and liberties of another. Has anyone ever even bothered to read the Constitution?

  40. Comment

    There is not one good reason to keep marijuana illegal. NOT ONE! End prohibition today!

  41. Comment

    i am 30 yrs old with a wife and 3 small children. i do not smoke marijuana anymore and have not for 7 yrs. i support the tax and regulation of marijuana on the basis that it is our right to do as we will with our own bodies period!! i also do not believe with my yrs of experience smoking and my yrs of experience not smoking that pot is in anyway harmful enough to imprison our society and to take away our freedoms. if marijuana is to be demonized and lied about to keep it illegal then tobaco and alcohol should be made illegal too given the flat out fact that both are much more harmful for us in every way conceivable.

    i would also like to point out that marijuana has many medicinal properties including one of my favorites, i keeps the brain from building up the plaque that causes alzeihmers disease.

    also im sure many people do not know this, that the brain is actually pre-wired for cannibinoids.

    our brains have cannibinoids receptors built in with the sole purpose of recieving cannibinoids which is what is in marijuana. hmmm now why would GOD put those in there?

    The marijuana seed is one of the most nutritional things you can possibly eat.

    we couldjust go on and on and keep adding everyday as they are continuously finding new things.

    Marijuana is legal in the netherlands, and they just announced that they will have to close 8 prisons because they o not have enough prisoners to fill them. hmm seems like the whole theory of "if marijuana is legal then crime will go up and everyone will be a bunch of pothead criminals".

    Grow up people and get with the reality.

    For the senior citizens out there that think if people smoke that they will turn into stark raving lunatics, please please dont bother even voting because you wont be around much longer anyways and let us youthfull people live our lives the way we see fit too. We dont need to besubjected to the ideals of a group who could pass on at any given moment.

    sorry if i have offended anyone but ctf on!

  42. Comment

    Legalization of it is probably not as feasible as simply tolerating it. People falsely believe that the Netherlands has legalized marijuana, when in reality, there isn't a single law on the books about its legalization. The truth is, it has the same "substance abuse" status that is generally acknowledged by the Western world, but they simply don't punish when it's used in moderation. You're actually allowed to grow no more than 5 plants in your home. And the "coffee shops" that sell hash/marijuana are now limited in their ability to expand. Only existing shops are allowed to continue their licenses, no new ones are being issued.

    If you want to stop the ridiculous US policy toward marijuana, you must stop saying it should be legalized and focus on the waste of energy, money, time and resources for arresting the average smoker. That would probably improve the chance of gaining wider support, and you won't be seen as just a pot-head.

  43. Comment

    well first off to be able to go to the store and buy it and to be able to grow up to 5 plants, that to me is legalized/decriminalized and if you can do this then there must be laws somewhere on the books. thereis no way that the government there just say hey everybody its still illegal but were just gonna let ya do it anyways, and either way the fact that they have to close 8 prisons because of thefact that there is not enough criminals speaks for itself, when here in america not a single day goes by that we are not working on the construction of a new prison because make crimes out of things which are not crimes, both constitutionally and morally. we are creating criminals out of people who should not be deemed criminals. the problem here with dancing around the fact that it needs to be actually legalized and just trying to get government totolerate it in regards to not putting people in prison is that they will still lock people up for it but it will be in drug rehabilitation clinics which im sure would end up being the same prisons but converted to rehab. so it will be the same thing just less time by far and no criminal record. which is better than the current but not the way it should be.

    "Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

    -Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. President.

    Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives

    it is our ptriotic duty to break unjust laws so that they can one day be abolished.

    -thomas jefferson

    when the people fear the government there is tyranny, but when the government fear the people there is liberty.

    -thomas jefferson

  44. Comment

    Putting people in jail for smoking pot is immensely harmful to the fabric of our nation. FAR more harmful than allowing adults to buy marijuana at a convenience store.

  45. Comment
    LeMarr Dailey

    Ok...let's think about the practicality of this idea.

    1. How can you federally tax a weed?

    2. Who pays for the infrastructure required to implement this new tax and to monitor/prosecute those that violate it?

  46. Comment

    It gets done the same way it is already done with alcohol tobacco and gambling. To say that it's not possible is like saying that what we are doing now is working. Even if we don't tax it at least regulate it in the same fashion that the Netherlands does. It's obviously working for them since they are shutting down prisons cause the crime rate is declining so rapidly.

  47. Comment
    gbtorsion ( Idea Submitter )

    ~If you were to tax $1.00 dollar on each gram sold, the program would more than pay for itself. It would be under a federal mandate, to be governed by each state, and the revenue generated would go to that state.

  48. Comment


    1) Federally taxing marijuana would be no more difficult than taxing tobacco currently is. The fact that marijuana is a "weed" does not make it more difficult to tax.

    2) The infrastructure cost for regulation will be less than 1% of the tax revenue generated.

    If marijuana could be bought legally, hardly anyone would care to grow it illegally, and no one would want to buy it anywhere but from a store. How many people are buying illegally grown tobacco nowadays?

  49. Comment

    Threatening people with the law for using cannabis (recreationally , medicinally and commercially) is totally incongruous with logic and common sense. Prior to the racism-fueled policy that led to America making cannabis illegal, cannabis had been used for around 10,000 years. Growing cannabis was encouraged by the U.S. government and in some cases could be used to pay your taxes. Cannabis was made illegal mostly because of an influx in the population of Mexican-Americans who would smoke it. The word 'marihuana' was introduced to create the illusion of a new and dangerous drug. Most people had no idea what marijuana was and that it was related to cannabis. Once newspapers (usually owned by an extremely racist man named William Randolph Hearst) began running stories (yellow journalism) about how crazy blacks and Mexicans were using marijuana and then going into homicidal rampages it seemed like a logical thing to make illegal. The only thing that wasn't logical was the fact that these stories were often false, a Mexican may have committed murder but it was not cannabis that made him or her do it. Just like cannabis does not cause the so-called gateway effect. There are tons of factual scientific evidence that proves that cannabis alone does not cause the user to crave other drugs. The black market created by the War on Drugs causes a gateway to other drugs that would not exist if one could buy their cannabis at a licensed store or grow their own. For FACTS on why cannabis is illegal all one has to do is do a quick google search. Simply type "Why is Cannabis Illegal?" in google and the evidence will be presented. Websites like are designed to perpetuate fear and confusion regarding cannabis.

  50. Comment

    “U.S. Customs agents got a surprise on April 9, when they checked a trailer of an 18-wheel truck crossing into El Paso, Texas, from Mexico and found more than 9,000 pounds of marijuana hidden among auto parts bound for U.S. factories.”

    Reason why I posted this is this simply points the fact I and many other Americans know about if marijuana was legalized and taxed that these types of problems with the cartel would no longer be a problem being the legalization and taxation would strike a saver blow to the cartel taking away their over 60% annual profit from keeping marijuana illegal which if legalized and taxed would be like cutting off the legs of a chicken to the cartel. Also the fact that Mexican cartels import a huge amount of opium for heroin from Afghanistan. Without the monetary flow from the sale of cannabis they would not be able to produce heroin and this would in affect shut down the Taliban because a large amount of funding for the Taliban is opium. But hey what do we know after all will the govt listen to us? May be now they will and start to work with us “THE PEOPLE OF THE USA” put an end to the cartels reign by legalize and tax marijuana now be for the cartel does even more damage to our nation….. Other wise the only good thing the government will be doing keeping marijuana illegal is supplying the cartel and Taliban more than 60% of their annual profit . Why fight the people when the government can not only help the people by upholding their constitutional right but at the same time help our great nation strike a saver blow to the cartel and the Taliban? After all is it not about "we the people of the USA" , "Land of the free" and keeping our nation safe? Not only that but by legalizing and taxing marijuana with in a year will be able to help America during this harsh times as well as harsher times to come.

  51. Comment

    ""Marijuana can harm a person and will spread mischief by impairing the persons mind.""


    How can this be if you use it responsibly and most likely you'll be on your couch.

    This isn't alcohol were talking about

  52. Comment

    This is unbelievably important, and I'm glad to see that so many people agree.

    This year, Senator Jim Webb from Virginia introduced S.714, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act to establish a commission whose purpose would be to

    "undertake a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system, make findings related to current Federal and State criminal justice policies and practices, and make reform recommendations for the President, Congress, and State governments to improve public safety, cost-effectiveness, overall prison administration, and fairness in the implementation of the Nation's criminal justice system"

    We spend billions of dollars every year on a "system" that hasn't really done anything to reduce crime. Our current policy of lock 'em up simply creates a vicious cycle of incarceration, poverty, and ultimately, more crime.

    Support for drug policy reform is growing, but the public still believes in the old hype about marijuana being the "gateway drug", and all the other reefer madness nonsense despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

    So, to the folks on Capitol Hill, Mr. President, et al;

    Let's take this seriously. Let's entertain the possibility that maybe we were all wrong. Maybe we got caught up in a moment of panic, made some hasty decisions that we thought were in the best interest of the nation, and maybe things haven't exactly worked out the way we hoped they would.

    It wouldn't be the first time it's happened. Hey, we all make mistakes.

    What we should do next is admit that something isn't working. That's the first step. Don't laugh it off, because it isn't funny.

    Then we need to take a serious look at what's going on in our criminal justice system and figure out what needs to change.

    We may not get it right at first, but I think that if we make it a priority and at least make an effort towards reform then we'll be much better off than if we do nothing.

    We need to do much more than just change the terminology and stop calling it a war. You can call it the circus, but that doesn't change what it truly is.

    The "War on Drugs" IS a war. Didn't Obama himself say that he's "..against stupid wars"?

  53. Comment

    As a conservative Republican (though I'm sure we have "diversity" *LOL* in our party), I think this should be a State issue, along with abortion and "gay marriage".

    I'd be for it in my State if the tax on it was only the FairTax and enough tax to pay for a fund for eye-motion detectors to detect impaired drivers, and a fund to pay for wrecks/damage and shoplifting of Doritos caused by impaired users.

    Other than that, TOKE AWAY. I can't see it's any more of a time waster than video games.

  54. Comment

    Hands down this issue is one of great importance because it shows a lack of respect for an individual's rights. There is no fancy rhetoric or jargon needed to explain this. What's next? Anti-fast food laws? If a person wants to drink or smoke, let them. It isn't any of the government's business. period.

  55. Comment

    The Netherlands announce this week that they will close nine prisons.

    A Country that made marijuana a low priority.... How can they close prisons!?

    What I hear from prohibitionist is, "Crime will increase!"

    How is that possible? Every 38 seconds, someone is arrested for marijuana possession. 20,000,000 people have been arrested and sent to jail.

    Why do we continue this failed approach? Why can't we stop paying roughly $23k a year per prisoner?

    The truth is. Yes we can.

  56. Comment

    If the prospect of Americans being free freightens you, you are a prohibitionist. If not, you are a true American patriot.

  57. Comment

    For those of you silly people who think that your opinion should regulate my private life, zip it.

    Without harm, there is no crime.

    Vice is not crime.

  58. Comment

    To dmwilliams80:

    I couldn't have said it better myself! Your words should be a rallying cry to the nation. We need to come together on this issue now. President Obama has promised an era of change; has went before the nation promising to restore scientific integrity to government decision making. With all of the research about the many uses and medical benefits of cannabis, can't we at least take an honest look at this issue for once?

    You're right, the entire criminal justice system is in dire need of an overhaul. We are breeding our own problems by clinging to draconian preconceptions about how to deal with criminals and the mentally ill. For instance, why do we have to ruin addicts' entire lives for what science recognizes as a disease?

  59. Comment

    The cannabis plant has been used for thousands of years for a variety of reasons. There is no defensible reason for it to have been made illegal.

    The War on Cannabis Consumers is no more than a way to disenfranchise and imprison some people while benefiting some others. If we are willing to tolerate this violation of human rights and social justice, what else will we tolerate?

  60. Comment

    Legalize and decriminalize!

    Allowing the Government to control growth and distribution of Marijuana will do numerous things to help our culture and economy.

    1) Marijuana has never been known to be a problem drug for users and people near them.

    A) Marijuana users are not prone to using violence to solve disputes with other users or non-users.

    B) Marijuana users are not aggressive drivers, and are usually very cautious, unlike alcohol users.

    C) Marijuana users are seldom involved in

    criminal activities while using the drug.

    2) Government distribution of Marijuana is good for the economy.

    A) Taxes on marijuana use will contribute tens of millions of dollars in taxes, maybe more.

    B) Tax dollars will no longer be needed to fight the illicit marijuana drug trade.

    C) The American Court system will be relieved of a great financial and case load burden through legalization.

    D) American law enforcement will be able to use their funds and resources to address more serious issues of crime.

    3) Improvement in health issues.

    A) Users of marijuana for health issues will have a reduction in costs for the product, allowing them to use their resources for other aspects of health recovery.

    B) Consistency of the strength of marijuana products will be greatly improved, thus allowing health users a more predictable result.

    C) Elimination of stress for "illicit" users of marijuana for medical purposes. Users will no longer fear being jailed for using marijuana to settle their stomach after chemo, or increase their appetite when disease has taken it away.

    4) Marijuana by-products will be more available and scientific discoveries more frequent.

    A) Fiber for paper and textiles can be provided by the farms that grow marijuana.

    B) Oils from the rendering of plant fibers can be used for a myriad purposes including fuel, cooking and cosmetics.

    C) Derivatives may include control of glaucoma, a serious eye problem that causes blindness.

    As a non-user of marijuana, I see many more benefits than problems that will come about when the government takes control of this product. When marijuana and other drugs are controlled by government, fewer crimes will be committed in order to acquire the substances. Our society will be a much better place because of it. Government as an Ideal, should foster the personal and collective growth of it's members, not seek to punish them for their every transgression.

  61. Comment

    see also: Remove Marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act

  62. Comment

    Repeal the Controlled Substances Act.

    This is a free country and people should be free to live as they wish if they are not harming another person.

    All drugs should be like alcohol legal but harsh penalties for those that use them and harm others.

  63. Comment


    What could be more harmful to transparency in government than the government spying on innocent people, breaking into peoples homes,and throwing them in cages with murderers and rapists or encouraging to openness in communication than dealing with a question of public health as just that so that those who feel the need to deal with it can do so without government interference, and encouraging to doing business than opening up an entirely new green industry.

  64. Comment

    Dear President Obama,

    America is based upon freedom. True freedom exists when men empower each other to be free. Our nation has a history of enslaving those less fortunate. After some time and considerable profit, slavery was abolished in America, yet a new form of slavery began, the slavery known as racism and greed. As Africans became free, our free labor pool vanished. We looked to machinery to take the place of our workers in the field. A race was on. Would hempseed oil, derived from the Cannabis Sativa or hemp, the favorite plant of the farmer, remain the prominent fuel source for the combustion engine, as it had been for some 30 years, since its invention? Or would the hopes and dreams of the American farmer be dashed by the greed of Corporate America?

    Hemp use as a primary fiber had been on a decline in the USA in the late 1800’s. Combined with the loss of free labor and the surge to prominence of cotton as a primary fiber crop, hemp was all but dead near the turn of the century. Oil was pouring from the ground and was priced so cheap you could not afford to say no and for the first 100 years, oil prices remained “dirt cheap”.

    The diesel engine was invented as an improvement upon the internal combustion engine. Rudolph Diesel envisioned a cleaner vehicle that would run on vegetable oils like hempseed oil. Henry Ford knew the wonderful properties of the hemp plant and once ran 41,000 cars on 10,000 acres of planted hemp. If we allow American farmers to produce hemp, as our forefathers once did, we could produce 800 gallons of ethanol from the hemp stalks and vegetation as well as 300 gallons of Bio-Diesel made from hempseed oil on every acre planted. That is enough energy to run four cars for a year per acre planted in hemp. Farmers could produce their own fuel to run their farms. Now that is true freedom!!

    Hemp use as a primary fiber had been on a decline in the USA in the late 1800’s. Combined with the loss of free labor and the surge to prominence of cotton as a primary fiber crop, hemp was all but dead near the turn of the century. Oil was pouring from the ground and was priced so cheap you could not afford to say no and for the first 100 years, oil prices remained “dirt cheap”.

    The diesel engine was invented as an improvement upon the internal combustion engine. Rudolph Diesel envisioned a cleaner vehicle that would run on vegetable oils like hempseed oil. Henry Ford knew the wonderful properties of the hemp plant and once ran 41,000 cars on 10,000 acres of planted hemp. He even made a car that was 1/3 lighter and 10 times stronger than a conventional automobile.

    Dupont Chemical Corporation had a vast interest in Petrol Chemicals. The largest competitor to their industry was by far hemp. Hempseed oil was the primary lampoil used throughout history until the early 1800’s, being displaced by the great availability of whale oil from the then booming whaling industry. Hempseed oil was the primary ingredient in most paints and shellacs. Hemp was used for making carpeting, plastic, clothing, ropes, industrial fabrics and the sort, all items that Dupont wanted to make. Seeing the opportunity to corner the automobile market, they bought General Motors in the early 1930’s and a few short years later, in 1937, the same year Dupont invented Nylon, hemp was made illegal by the Marijuana Tax Act, a villainous piece of legislation that was based solely lies and racism directed toward blacks, and poor immigrants.

    I am writing you in hopes that you will consider introducing legislation to modernize our Cannabis laws. You cannot deny that this is a domestic issue the American public wishes to address, ranking right up there with the economy. It even has many fantastic tie-ins with the economy.

    I would hope that you would create a commission to modernize our stance on cannabis. Much like the Schaefer Commission preceding it, I would hope the commission would take an objectionable look at cannabis as a fiber, food, medicine, and bio-fuel, taking into accounts all of the scientific knowledge that we have.

    The fact is, Mr. President, cannabis is not an enemy of humans. Cannabis is an asset to humans. I truly believe cannabis seeds were the most prized possession of early man. Man certainly knew the benefits of cannabis thousands of years ago. Cannabis

    The cannabis seed has no psychoactive properties. It travels well and if properly stored, maintains viability for several years. Since the cannabis seed is one of the earths most perfect and nutritious food sources, early nomadic man certainly found this useful. Cannabis grows quickly allowing several crops in a growing season. Cannabis grows well in many areas not tolerated well by other crops. Requiring little to no fertilizer, cannabis is eco friendly. The roots of the cannabis plant aerate the soil and are fantastic for preventing soil erosion. Cannabis could be the savior of the earth’s hungry.

    Cannabis fibers are the most fantastic natural long-fiber known to man. Known by most as hemp, cultivation of this plant helped clothe the world, providing the majority of the material for the rigging of sailing ships, including the maps, sails, ropes, and clothing. Canvas is made from cannabis. Anything in history that is described as canvas was made from hemp. The covered wagons that so bravely headed to the American West were covered in canvas made from hemp. Cannabis could clothe the worlds naked.

    Cannabis fibers are the perfect fiber for creating the earth’s most demanding resource, paper. Cannabis is a renewable source for creating the finest paper known to man. Hemp paper does not yellow with age such as paper made with the modern wood-pulp process for making paper. Hemp can produce four times the amount of fiber on a plot of land planted for twenty years versus the same plot used to grow trees. Cannabis could package the world’s goods.

    Cannabis’s rate of growth is second only to bamboo. Cannabis makes a fantastic source of bio-fuel. The plant grows with such ferocity and density, requiring very little fertilization. Hemp does not require rotation of crops. It is estimated that planting just 10% of American farmland could reduce our dependence on foreign oil by as much as half. A wonderful by-product of growing hemp in masse is the nutritious hemp seed that can be pressed for fantastic lubricating oil, or shelled for the nutritious hemp nut. Imagine growing food and energy on every farm in America.

    The facts speak for themselves. Cannabis is the most fantastic plant to have ever been discovered on earth. Humans owe our success to cannabis. It grows freely. It is a gentle remedy for many ailments. A human could not die from ingesting too much cannabis.

    During the late nineteenth century, every major pharmaceutical company in the world maintained cannabis as a drug that was available in both powdered form and as a tincture suspended in alcohol. Cannabis was the number one medicine during the nineteenth century, until aspirin displaced it in the late 1800’s.

    Unlike alcohol, cannabis is nontoxic. Ingested, cannabis is well tolerated by humans. Cannabis is useful for treating a wide variety of ailments providing relief for: pain, insomnia, muscle spasms, stress, nausea, menstrual cramps, digestive conditions, depression, glaucoma and hundreds of other ailments. Cannabis is useful for stimulating appetite, particularly useful with cancer and AIDS patients who are weakened from their disease and regimen of heavy pharmaceuticals.

    Cannabis could help save the world. We have turned our back on the most precious resource ever given to man. Cannabis is a gift from god. Cannabis is natures’ way of doing things man cannot. Man has tried to simulate her properties, by making synthetic fibers etc. The only thing man has succeeded in doing, is the perversion nature, creating an eco-nightmare for future generations of the earth to clean up.

    Have faith Mr. President. Please look into these facts for yourself. I highly suggest reading Jack Herer’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”. The facts about hemp are astounding. Look to hemp for the answer to our economy woes. The hemp industry will explode. You will be forever known as the man who helped the world see the light. Please Mr. President. Please!

    It is the American family that will benefit from freeing hemp in America. Men and women currently in prison for possessing cannabis could be released and reunited with their families. Placing bread-winners back into the family unit will lighten the burden on families struggling to survive. American farmers will have a crop to grow that is competitive, resilient, and easy to grow and handle. American industry will gear up for processing this natural fiber once again employing thousands of workers. This time, the factories will be marrying the latest technology with a new product that is eco-friendly. No two factories will have to be the same, as hemp can be made into over 20,000 products.

    Since cannabis is safe and non-toxic, there is no reason to regulate the personal production of it. To protect the public health, States could adopt non-smoking in public, policies similar to those already in place for tobacco. By allowing Americans to possess and grow cannabis for their personal use, you will be empowering millions of Americans with free healthcare. Individual states could pass laws concerning the age limit and quantities individuals are allowed to produce.

    Regulation should be reserved for commercial producers of cannabis. Those wishing to bring a product to the market should be subject to the same regulation and oversight as alcohol producers are. Inspectors would be required for producers of medical grade cannabis as well as food grade hempseed. Producers of hempseed for animals such as wild bird seed could be exempt of inspections.

    Please consider the benefits of allowing humans the freedom to grow cannabis, taking into account the independence an individual would gain being able to grow their own food, clothing, shelter, and medicine. The world would be a better place. The world would be much greener.

    Thank you for considering making the Modernization of Cannabis Laws one of your top priorities as America has. You will be risking very little political capitol by enacting upon a subject dear to the hearts of most Americans.

    Best Regards,

    David Curtis Patterson

    Married father of four

  65. Comment

    To "opengov":

    begin quote "This forum is not about spraying out as many ideas as possible..." end quote

    I respectfully disagree.

    From wikipedia:

    Ground Rules

    There are four basic rules in brainstorming.[6] These are intended to reduce social inhibitions among groups members, stimulate idea generation, and increase overall creativity of the group.

    1. Focus on quantity: This rule is a means of enhancing divergent production, aiming to facilitate problem solving through the maxim, quantity breeds quality. The assumption is that the greater the number of ideas generated, the greater the chance of producing a radical and effective solution.

    2. Withhold criticism: In brainstorming, criticism of ideas generated should be put 'on hold'. Instead, participants should focus on extending or adding to ideas, reserving criticism for a later 'critical stage' of the process. By suspending judgment, participants will feel free to generate unusual ideas.

    3. Welcome unusual ideas: To get a good and long list of ideas, unusual ideas are welcomed. They can be generated by looking from new perspectives and suspending assumptions. These new ways of thinking may provide better solutions.

    4. Combine and improve ideas: Good ideas may be combined to form a single better good idea, as suggested by the slogan "1+1=3". It is believed to stimulate the building of ideas by a process of association.

    Conclusion: This forum IS about spraying out as many ideas as possible, then pairing down the number until a consensus is reached.

  66. Comment

    I support the FULL RELEGALIZATION of ALL drugs, but not the taxation or strict regulation of cannabis under the alcohol model. I prefer the MERP model for all natural drugs (cannabis, mushrooms, salvia, etc.), the alcohol model for manufactured hallucinogens (LSD, MDMA, etc.) and the prescription model for processed drugs (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines). If you look at the actual effects of each of the mind altering drugs, individually, you should be able to understand why this is the common sense way relegalization should be handled. Unfortunately, there has not been much in the way of common sense in government, and our laws, for a very, very long time -- almost since about the third or fouth presidential administration. Don't you think it is time bring common sense back into the equation?

  67. Comment

    The alcohol model is best as some people cannot function on drugs and should not operate motor vehicles. Also parents should be able to limit the use up to age 18.

    No drinking until age 21 is dumb and I think unconstitutional age discrimination.

  68. Comment

    I don't care if it's the MERP model the alcohol model or America's Next Top Model. If it means legalization I'll support it. We can quibble about the details later.

  69. Comment

    I 100% agree. Alcohol model works fine. You can buy it in the store or if you are skilled enough to grow it then you can do so non commercially.

  70. Comment

    The reason that many people do not support the alcohol model is because they think that it may be regulated like liquor where you cannot produce your own for personal consumption. They support a model more like beer where if you are capable and want to you can produce for personal use.

  71. Comment
    yeti descendant

    The United States started down this road over seventy years ago with policies that are now known to have their beginnings in racist objectives against Mexican and African – Americans who at that point were the primary users of cannabis as an intoxicant. In these seventy years we have seen much evidence, both scientific and experiential, that the claims made for the initial drive towards prohibition were largely falsified, however, these same reasons are given today as if they were backed by sound science. We have heard the arguments against legalization range from sexual aggression and violent behavior to gateway drug and amotivational syndrome. Law enforcement officials consistently and blindly chant this mantra of ignorant propaganda even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    The current school of thought seems to be centered around: 1. The idea that marijuana is a gateway drug leading to more harmful substances, and 2. That it will steal a users motivation to contribute to society in a meaningful way. Both of these claims I reject.

    In rebuttal to the idea that marijuana is a gateway drug I offer the idea that prohibition is the real gateway to more addictive substances. The same cartels and gangs that control much of the marijuana trade in the United States also control the trade of other substances such as cocaine and heroin. It stands to reason that if one must seek the underworld to find one then they will certainly encounter the other. In order to make a larger profit, these organized criminals will push the drug that has the highest profit potential- like any business or salesman trying to maximize profit revenues. So, in the end the casual user who might have contributed a couple of hundred dollars yearly to these organizations by way of marijuana is now introduced to a host of new substances that can result in physiological addiction. What this means is that a dollar a day luxury is transformed into a personal contribution of tens of thousands of dollars yearly to the illegal drug trade and a life now ruined by addiction. Prohibition is what sets this all into motion. It is what provides the introduction, and it is what provides the profitability.

    Amotivational syndrome is largely put to rest by the headlines. “Michael Phelps Smokes Pot” Is there any basis for this claim that marijuana somehow destroys motivation now that we all know that an Olympian with umpteen gold medals is a user? As a second and altogether more personal example, I also add that the three most current past presidents have also admitted to some recreational use of marijuana- though one didn’t inhale (he also did not have sex with that woman). With these examples I believe we can see a pattern in which at least four people, all from very different walks of life, were able to achieve very lofty goals in spite of their encounters with cannabis.

    The laws are very obviously baseless, and are creating more problems than our society can fix. Marijuana offers no proven ill to society, and its users are labeled criminals only to satisfy archaic legislation based on prejudiced misinformation. To reiterate: According to the FBI’s annual report for 2007, marijuana accounted for a total of 47.5 percent of all drug arrests in the U.S.- this amounts to 874, 570 arrests. Of these, 775, 145 were for simple possession. In my state of Alabama the first conviction for possession is a misdemeanor, a second conviction for simple possession of marijuana is a felony. This is a very serious problem- felons can’t vote, felons can’t receive financial aid for college, felons turn back to crime because they can’t find more viable options. This is essentially a victimless crime for which people are paying with their lives. Victims in this case are created by laws that should be there to protect them. Instead, we have created, through prohibition, an entire sector of political prisoners from within our own borders that is composed of our own citizenry. These are otherwise law abiding citizens who have been labeled criminals based on consumption of an unprocessed herb. If they were criminals in any other sense they would have been arrested for other crimes.

  72. Comment


    Why is Marijuana Illegal?

    Many people assume that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings; that it was to protect the citizens from what was determined to be a dangerous drug.

    The actual story shows a much different picture. Those who voted on the legal fate of this plant never had the facts, but were dependent on information supplied by those who had a specific agenda to deceive lawmakers. You'll see below that the very first federal vote to prohibit marijuana was based entirely on a documented lie on the floor of the Senate.

    You'll also see that the history of marijuana's criminalization is filled with:

    * Racism

    * Fear

    * Protection of Corporate Profits

    * Yellow Journalism

    * Ignorant, Incompetent, and/or Corrupt Legislators

    * Personal Career Advancement and Greed

    These are the actual reasons marijuana is illegal.

    For most of human history, marijuana has been completely legal. It's not a recently discovered plant, nor is it a long-standing law. Marijuana has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that it's been in use. Its known uses go back further than 7,000 B.C. and it was legal as recently as when Ronald Reagan was a boy.

    The marijuana (hemp) plant, of course, has an incredible number of uses. The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, and over the centuries the plant was used for food, incense, cloth, rope, and much more. This adds to some of the confusion over its introduction in the United States, as the plant was well known from the early 1600's, but did not reach public awareness as a recreational drug until the early 1900's.

    America's first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. It was a law "ordering" all farmers to grow Indian hempseed. There were several other "must grow" laws over the next 200 years (you could be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767), and during most of that time, hemp was legal tender (you could even pay your taxes with hemp -- try that today!) Hemp was such a critical crop for a number of purposes (including essential war requirements - rope, etc.) that the government went out of its way to encourage growth.

    The United States Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp "plantations" (minimum 2,000-acre farm) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas and even the cordage used for baling cotton.

    The Mexican Connection

    In the early 1900s, the western states developed significant tensions regarding the influx of Mexican-Americans. The revolution in Mexico in 1910 spilled over the border, with General Pershing's army clashing with bandit Pancho Villa. Later in that decade, bad feelings developed between the small farmer and the large farms that used cheaper Mexican labor. Then, the depression came and increased tensions, as jobs and welfare resources became scarce.

    One of the "differences" seized upon during this time was the fact that many Mexicans smoked marijuana and had brought the plant with them, and it was through this that California apparently passed the first state marijuana law, outlawing "preparations of hemp, or loco weed."

    However, one of the first state laws outlawing marijuana may have been influenced, not just by Mexicans using the drug, but, oddly enough, because of Mormons using it. Mormons who traveled to Mexico in 1910 came back to Salt Lake City with marijuana. The church's reaction to this may have contributed to the state's marijuana law. (Note: the source for this speculation is from articles by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law at USC Law School in a paper for the Virginia Law Review, and a speech to the California Judges Association (sourced below). Mormon blogger Ardis Parshall disputes this.)

    Other states quickly followed suit with marijuana prohibition laws, including Wyoming (1915), Texas (1919), Iowa (1923), Nevada (1923), Oregon (1923), Washington (1923), Arkansas (1923), and Nebraska (1927). These laws tended to be specifically targeted against the Mexican-American population.

    When Montana outlawed marijuana in 1927, the Butte Montana Standard reported a legislator's comment: "When some beet field peon takes a few traces of this stuff... he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico, so he starts out to execute all his political enemies." In Texas, a senator said on the floor of the Senate: "All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes them crazy."

    Jazz and Assassins

    In the eastern states, the "problem" was attributed to a combination of Latin Americans and black jazz musicians. Marijuana and jazz traveled from New Orleans to Chicago, and then to Harlem, where marijuana became an indispensable part of the music scene, even entering the language of the black hits of the time (Louis Armstrong's "Muggles", Cab Calloway's "That Funny Reefer Man", Fats Waller's "Viper's Drag").

    Again, racism was part of the charge against marijuana, as newspapers in 1934 editorialized: "Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice."

    Two other fear-tactic rumors started to spread: one, that Mexicans, Blacks and other foreigners were snaring white children with marijuana; and two, the story of the "assassins." Early stories of Marco Polo had told of "hasheesh-eaters" or hashashin, from which derived the term "assassin." In the original stories, these professional killers were given large doses of hashish and brought to the ruler's garden (to give them a glimpse of the paradise that awaited them upon successful completion of their mission). Then, after the effects of the drug disappeared, the assassin would fulfill his ruler's wishes with cool, calculating loyalty.

    By the 1930s, the story had changed. Dr. A. E. Fossier wrote in the 1931 New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal: "Under the influence of hashish those fanatics would madly rush at their enemies, and ruthlessly massacre every one within their grasp." Within a very short time, marijuana started being linked to violent behavior.

    Alcohol Prohibition and Federal Approaches to Drug Prohibition

    During this time, the United States was also dealing with alcohol prohibition, which lasted from 1919 to 1933. Alcohol prohibition was extremely visible and debated at all levels, while drug laws were passed without the general public's knowledge. National alcohol prohibition happened through the mechanism of an amendment to the constitution.

    Earlier (1914), the Harrison Act was passed, which provided federal tax penalties for opiates and cocaine.

    The federal approach is important. It was considered at the time that the federal government did not have the constitutional power to outlaw alcohol or drugs. It is because of this that alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment.

    At that time in our country's history, the judiciary regularly placed the tenth amendment in the path of congressional regulation of "local" affairs, and direct regulation of medical practice was considered beyond congressional power under the commerce clause (since then, both provisions have been weakened so far as to have almost no meaning).

    Since drugs could not be outlawed at the federal level, the decision was made to use federal taxes as a way around the restriction. In the Harrison Act, legal uses of opiates and cocaine were taxed (supposedly as a revenue need by the federal government, which is the only way it would hold up in the courts), and those who didn't follow the law found themselves in trouble with the treasury department.

    In 1930, a new division in the Treasury Department was established -- the Federal Bureau of Narcotics -- and Harry J. Anslinger was named director. This, if anything, marked the beginning of the all-out war against marijuana.

    Anslinger was an extremely ambitious man, and he recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity -- a new government agency with the opportunity to define both the problem and the solution. He immediately realized that opiates and cocaine wouldn't be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level.

    Anslinger immediately drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he wanted to create. He also promoted and frequently read from "Gore Files" -- wild reefer-madness-style exploitation tales of ax murderers on marijuana and sex and... Negroes. Here are some quotes that have been widely attributed to Anslinger and his Gore Files:

    "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others."

    "...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races."

    "Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death."

    "Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."

    "Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing"

    "You smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother."

    "Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind."

    And he loved to pull out his own version of the "assassin" definition:

    "In the year 1090, there was founded in Persia the religious and military order of the Assassins, whose history is one of cruelty, barbarity, and murder, and for good reason: the members were confirmed users of hashish, or marihuana, and it is from the Arabs' 'hashashin' that we have the English word 'assassin.'"

    Harry Anslinger got some additional help from William Randolf Hearst, owner of a huge chain of newspapers. Hearst had lots of reasons to help. First, he hated Mexicans. Second, he had invested heavily in the timber industry to support his newspaper chain and didn't want to see the development of hemp paper in competition. Third, he had lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa, so he hated Mexicans. Fourth, telling lurid lies about Mexicans (and the devil marijuana weed causing violence) sold newspapers, making him rich.

    Some samples from the San Francisco Examiner:

    "Marihuana makes fiends of boys in thirty days -- Hashish goads users to bloodlust."

    "By the tons it is coming into this country -- the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms.... Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him...."

    And other nationwide columns...

    "Users of marijuana become STIMULATED as they inhale the drug and are LIKELY TO DO ANYTHING. Most crimes of violence in this section, especially in country districts are laid to users of that drug."

    "Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim's life in Los Angeles?... THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES -- that is a matter of cold record."

    Hearst and Anslinger were then supported by Dupont chemical company and various pharmaceutical companies in the effort to outlaw cannabis. Dupont had patented nylon, and wanted hemp removed as competition. The pharmaceutical companies could neither identify nor standardize cannabis dosages, and besides, with cannabis, folks could grow their own medicine and not have to purchase it from large companies.

    This all set the stage for...

    The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

    After two years of secret planning, Anslinger brought his plan to Congress -- complete with a scrapbook full of sensational Hearst editorials, stories of ax murderers who had supposedly smoked marijuana, and racial slurs.

    It was a remarkably short set of hearings.

    The one fly in Anslinger's ointment was the appearance by Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Council of the American Medical Association.

    Woodward started by slamming Harry Anslinger and the Bureau of Narcotics for distorting earlier AMA statements that had nothing to do with marijuana and making them appear to be AMA endorsement for Anslinger's view.

    He also reproached the legislature and the Bureau for using the term marijuana in the legislation and not publicizing it as a bill about cannabis or hemp. At this point, marijuana (or marihuana) was a sensationalist word used to refer to Mexicans smoking a drug and had not been connected in most people's minds to the existing cannabis/hemp plant. Thus, many who had legitimate reasons to oppose the bill weren't even aware of it.

    Woodward went on to state that the AMA was opposed to the legislation and further questioned the approach of the hearings, coming close to outright accusation of misconduct by Anslinger and the committee:

    "That there is a certain amount of narcotic addiction of an objectionable character no one will deny. The newspapers have called attention to it so prominently that there must be some grounds for [their] statements [even Woodward was partially taken in by Hearst's propaganda]. It has surprised me, however, that the facts on which these statements have been based have not been brought before this committee by competent primary evidence. We are referred to newspaper publications concerning the prevalence of marihuana addiction. We are told that the use of marihuana causes crime.

    But yet no one has been produced from the Bureau of Prisons to show the number of prisoners who have been found addicted to the marihuana habit. An informed inquiry shows that the Bureau of Prisons has no evidence on that point.

    You have been told that school children are great users of marihuana cigarettes. No one has been summoned from the Children's Bureau to show the nature and extent of the habit, among children.

    Inquiry of the Children's Bureau shows that they have had no occasion to investigate it and know nothing particularly of it.

    Inquiry of the Office of Education--- and they certainly should know something of the prevalence of the habit among the school children of the country, if there is a prevalent habit--- indicates that they have had no occasion to investigate and know nothing of it.

    Moreover, there is in the Treasury Department itself, the Public Health Service, with its Division of Mental Hygiene. The Division of Mental Hygiene was, in the first place, the Division of Narcotics. It was converted into the Division of Mental Hygiene, I think, about 1930. That particular Bureau has control at the present time of the narcotics farms that were created about 1929 or 1930 and came into operation a few years later. No one has been summoned from that Bureau to give evidence on that point.

    Informal inquiry by me indicates that they have had no record of any marihuana of Cannabis addicts who have ever been committed to those farms.

    The bureau of Public Health Service has also a division of pharmacology. If you desire evidence as to the pharmacology of Cannabis, that obviously is the place where you can get direct and primary evidence, rather than the indirect hearsay evidence."

    Committee members then proceeded to attack Dr. Woodward, questioning his motives in opposing the legislation. Even the Chairman joined in:

    The Chairman: If you want to advise us on legislation, you ought to come here with some constructive proposals, rather than criticism, rather than trying to throw obstacles in the way of something that the Federal Government is trying to do. It has not only an unselfish motive in this, but they have a serious responsibility.

    Dr. Woodward: We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for 2 years without any intimation, even, to the profession, that it was being prepared.

    After some further bantering...

    The Chairman: I would like to read a quotation from a recent editorial in the Washington Times:

    The marihuana cigarette is one of the most insidious of all forms of dope, largely because of the failure of the public to understand its fatal qualities.

    The Nation is almost defenseless against it, having no Federal laws to cope with it and virtually no organized campaign for combating it.

    The result is tragic.

    School children are the prey of peddlers who infest school neighborhoods.

    High school boys and girls buy the destructive weed without knowledge of its capacity of harm, and conscienceless dealers sell it with impunity.

    This is a national problem, and it must have national attention.

    The fatal marihuana cigarette must be recognized as a deadly drug, and American children must be protected against it.

    That is a pretty severe indictment. They say it is a national question and that it requires effective legislation. Of course, in a general way, you have responded to all of these statements; but that indicates very clearly that it is an evil of such magnitude that it is recognized by the press of the country as such.

    And that was basically it. Yellow journalism won over medical science.

    The committee passed the legislation on. And on the floor of the house, the entire discussion was:

    Member from upstate New York: "Mr. Speaker, what is this bill about?"

    Speaker Rayburn: "I don't know. It has something to do with a thing called marihuana. I think it's a narcotic of some kind."

    "Mr. Speaker, does the American Medical Association support this bill?"

    Member on the committee jumps up and says: "Their Doctor Wentworth[sic] came down here. They support this bill 100 percent."

    And on the basis of that lie, on August 2, 1937, marijuana became illegal at the federal level.

    The entire coverage in the New York Times: "President Roosevelt signed today a bill to curb traffic in the narcotic, marihuana, through heavy taxes on transactions."

    Anslinger as precursor to the Drug Czars

    Anslinger was essentially the first Drug Czar. Even though the term didn't exist until William Bennett's position as director of the White House Office of National Drug Policy, Anslinger acted in a similar fashion. In fact, there are some amazing parallels between Anslinger and the current Drug Czar John Walters. Both had kind of a carte blanche to go around demonizing drugs and drug users. Both had resources and a large public podium for their voice to be heard and to promote their personal agenda. Both lied constantly, often when it was unnecessary. Both were racists. Both had the ear of lawmakers, and both realized that they could persuade legislators and others based on lies, particularly if they could co-opt the media into squelching or downplaying any opposition views.

    Anslinger even had the ability to circumvent the First Amendment. He banned the Canadian movie "Drug Addict," a 1946 documentary that realistically depicted the drug addicts and law enforcement efforts. He even tried to get Canada to ban the movie in their own country, or failing that, to prevent U.S. citizens from seeing the movie in Canada. Canada refused. (Today, Drug Czar John Walters is trying to bully Canada into keeping harsh marijuana laws.)

    Anslinger had 37 years to solidify the propaganda and stifle opposition. The lies continued the entire time (although the stories would adjust -- the 21 year old Florida boy who killed his family of five got younger each time he told it). In 1961, he looked back at his efforts:

    "Much of the most irrational juvenile violence and that has written a new chapter of shame and tragedy is traceable directly to this hemp intoxication. A gang of boys tear the clothes from two school girls and rape the screaming girls, one boy after the other. A sixteen-year-old kills his entire family of five in Florida, a man in Minnesota puts a bullet through the head of a stranger on the road; in Colorado husband tries to shoot his wife, kills her grandmother instead and then kills himself. Every one of these crimes had been proceeded [sic] by the smoking of one or more marijuana "reefers." As the marijuana situation grew worse, I knew action had to be taken to get the proper legislation passed. By 1937 under my direction, the Bureau launched two important steps First, a legislative plan to seek from Congress a new law that would place marijuana and its distribution directly under federal control. Second, on radio and at major forums, such that presented annually by the New York Herald Tribune, I told the story of this evil weed of the fields and river beds and roadsides. I wrote articles for magazines; our agents gave hundreds of lectures to parents, educators, social and civic leaders. In network broadcasts I reported on the growing list of crimes, including murder and rape. I described the nature of marijuana and its close kinship to hashish. I continued to hammer at the facts.

    I believe we did a thorough job, for the public was alerted and the laws to protect them were passed, both nationally and at the state level. We also brought under control the wild growing marijuana in this country. Working with local authorities, we cleaned up hundreds of acres of marijuana and we uprooted plants sprouting along the roadsides."

  73. Comment
    yeti descendant

    This is the petition with the most signatures I can find online after doing a search. Sign this puppy, send it to your friends so they can sign it, and have them send it to their friends to sign... let's get the ball rolling on this. If we can get enough voices out there, then they will have to stop denying us our natural rights. The guy who put it together is looking for 100, 000 signatures. I think that with the right word of mouth marketing we can get that number up way further. If f***ing American Idol can get a zillion votes, then so can weed, but we are all going to have to get ACTIVE about it- so get your people to do some signing. Post it on facebook, myspace, digg it, tweet it, whatever you gotta do, just get the word out! We are millions strong, but we often lack the direction to put our energy to good use.

  74. Comment

    If this initiative fails to call Obama's attention to this issue I will be establishing a website for central coordination of a world wide movement using non-violent direct action. You will be able to organize or seek out and join protests, sit-in's, flier campaigns and rallies. If we hold protests, sit-ins and rallies every week all across the country and do things like protest every marijuana arrest, they will not be able to ignore us for long. Wanna see the media come out of the woodwork? How about 100-300 people on the steps of every courthouse in America.

  75. Comment

    I agree MJ should be legalized. At the same time I think we are all wasting our breath on deaf ears. The government works for big business, and big business does not want MJ legalized. I would love as much as the next guy for this to happen, but I'm not holding my breath.

  76. Comment

    I think it should be legalized the reasons for it being illegal are purely myths.

    Alcohol and Cigarettes are just as dangerous as MJ.

    Not to mention a non intoxicating product is made illegal as a byproduct which should

    have never been. Hemp was about to make this country have a new industry and a paper

    newspaper man got threatened by it.

    Hemp and Weed could spurn a billion dollar industry outside of just the smoking it part.

    paper new textiles etc. and maybe even one day fuel to get the US off oil.

    Taxes from it could be made to go support Californians government shortfall. Could solve a lot of

    taxes problems for other states.

    Most of the violence surrounding MJ has more to do with the illegal trafficing. an issue that

    would disappear.

    MJ is not a gateway drug, if you look into case histories you will find that those who are on

    hard drugs now would say it started with weed but actually started with alcohol and dependency

    is always something they struggled with.

    i read somewhere where someone commented at the top of this that it would lead to more mischief

    because of the intoxication of weed. how much more than alcohol would come of that? I found people

    binge drinking causes more problems than anything else.

    name one person who has overdosed on weed. I think you will find no one who has.

  77. Comment

    It is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana. The general scientific consensus is that you would have to smoke 15 lbs in 15 minutes to receive a lethal dose of THC. Most smoke less than a gram to get high. The world record for amount of marijuana smoked last time I knew was 2lbs 4 1/4oz and it took 18 continuous hours. I think this reiterates "physically impossible" pretty well.

  78. Comment

    Drug enforcement is a huge business. Even the military and military contractors are in on the game. There is as much money spent on drug enforcement as there is in street value of all the drugs. I have seen this first person.

    In the current economy what will these drug dealers do if marijuana was legal and people could grow their own? What will the DEA employees, the cops, or the prison guards do? Not to mention all the judges and lawyers. What about the contractors that provide the billions of dollars in equipment to fight the “war” on drugs.

    The truth, there is nothing wrong with smoking, eating, or drinking marijuana. The problem is that there is far too much tax money being pilfered by the “non drug dealers” for them to agree to a legalization of any drug.

    Drug illegalization is driven by leaches living on the tit of the government.

  79. Comment

    The argument to legalize pot always comes back with "real facts".

    >>"To legalize marijuana would mean an end to the billions of wasted dollars fighting this war on drugs."

    Not a fact.

    >>"It can be used to make food, clothes, rope, and hell, even money."

    OK. there's a fact, but so what? It already is being used for those things.

    >>"To make it illegal costs far more money and it cuts out"

    Not a fact.

    >> "Even dependency on cotton would be a thing of the past. "

    Are you high right now? Not a fact.

    >>"and give people their freedom back"

    Their freedom back? Their are countries where woman can't vote. What about the freedom to live in a country where pot is ilegal.

    >>"Alcohol and Cigarettes are just as dangerous as MJ."

    I think that's a reason to ban alcohol, cigarettes AND MJ.

    >>"Alcohol mode works fine"

    Tell that to mothers against drunk driving.

    >>"it is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana"

    Again so what.

    You know what's funny? I totally smoke pot.. all the time. I just think these arguments are irrelevant and unjustified when compared to all the real world problems we are currently facing. Is the United States going to be a better place if we legalize pot? Probably not. All this idea is doing is wasting time.

  80. Comment

    rsgallaher, you are right about the leeches feeding off the "war on drugs" teat. Those who are already part of the government (DEA, ONDCP and other drug warrior agencies must be disbanded, first) could be transferred to the Border Patrol to catch the terrorists before they get in, or join the Coast Guard or the National Guard in a state where they prefer to live ready to help out for disaster relief or fight wildfires. A beefed up Border Patrol would also be there on the borders to turn back those trying to illegally immigrate to our country, they could pass out the paperwork to achieve legal immigration, and even help those potential immigrants fill it out. Those jobs would be far more useful to, and a lot more popular with, the citizenry than the jobs they are doing now.

    The judges, lawyers and prison guards will still have jobs, prisons are not going away anytime soon, we still have murderers, rapists, arsonists and wife/child beaters in our populace. I think non-violent offenders should NOT go to prison, prison is a school for violent criminals in how to do their nasty work easier, faster, and without getting caught the next time -- we don't want non-violent offenders (thieves, vandals, etc.) learning any of that. So, we need to provide a different answer for non-violent offenders, such as community service and/or home incarceration, along with mandatory restitution to the victim (rather than a fine to the state -- which doesn't make the victim whole again).

    Those who are participants in the black market (drug dealers) will have to turn to the legal market to earn their living, won't they? And that would be a good thing for our economy -- new, legal, business startups are always a welcome thing. The gangs and cartels, which are the source of most of the prohibition related violence -- law enforcement is the source of the rest, usually during "dynamic entries" (which are stupid way of enforcing prohibition just begging for gunfights and ending all too often with death, of the possibly guilty, or the probably innocent, or even one or more of the cops themselves), would no longer have the power or the money to continue their mayhem.

    Relegalization of all drugs would, in the end, have way more benefits to our society than costs.

  81. Comment

    When laws follow morality, the system gets all screwed up. I feel it isn't right to hit oneself in the head with a hammer. There isn't a law to punish me if I do, yet I choose not to do it. But I could go down to a liquor store to buy pure grain alcohol, chug it down, and give myself alcohol poisoning... yet I choose not to.

  82. Comment

    mrmikemiller, and whomever first posted that thought about MJ being "no more harmful than alcohol or tobacco", I really need to point out here that MJ is NOT at all harmful, that aspirin/ibuprofin/acetaminophen you take for a headache is more harmful than cannabis/pot/weed/MJ/marijuana, look it up -- how many people die from a standard dosage of each of those substances each year -- it will floor you, no one has EVER died from a standard dosage of pot.

  83. Comment

    >>>"and give people their freedom back"

    >Their freedom back? Their are countries where woman can't vote. What about the freedom to live in a country where pot is ilegal.

    1) We are talking about our country right now.

    2) Freedom to live in a society where a right is restricted? That's bizarre. Choice is a personal decision. If you choose to buy pot illegally, ... oh you already are ;)

  84. Comment

    @mrmikemiller - As a person that directly worked in counter narcotics for the United States over seas, I think I know more about government spending than a bumb that sits around getting high all day.

    Again it is your choice and I have no problem with it. We need someone to make the french fries.

    There is more money involved than you will see in 10,000 life times.

  85. Comment
    yeti descendant

    "Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

    Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. President.

    Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives

  86. Comment

    @witchwindy - You reminded me of another point I forgot.

    In the federal prison camp system “the government free labor system” over 50% are there for non violent drug crimes. This “free” labor is used to maintain, build, and manufacture products at cost savings of 10’s of billions of dollars to the government.

    What will the government do without this involuntary servitude?

    Also, there are law firms that specialize in criminal drug defense. Lawyers give more money to political campaigns than any other group. They do not want drugs legal, even the lawyers that do drugs. Money talks in politics and without large donations (bribes) to politicians like the lawyers give the law will not change.

  87. Comment

    Does anyone know how to disable emails for comments on individual items? I get 9793487539487 emails a day from this item, and I'd like it to stop.

  88. Comment

    This item needs immediate approval from moderators as it is loosing out on votes ...

    I submit that this could be an intentional move to decrease the impact that this item has by removing it from the normal lists and it's rightful place near the top of all ideas submitted. This idea has already fallen from the number 2 spot it held earlier today.

  89. Comment
    yeti descendant

    This item has been replaced at that spot by another post submitting that the classification be lowered from Scedule I on the CSA list. I submit that this post is singular against that idea as it calls for the removal of any law surrounding the scheduling of marijuana as a controlled substance.

  90. Comment
    gbtorsion ( Idea Submitter )

    ~I most heartily agree, similar, but different as well!~

  91. Comment
    Theodore Miller

    This issue is not just about people who want to smoke pot without getting branded as criminals. Over 500,000 Americans go to prison every year for non-violent drug offenses. This is more than the ENTIRE prison population of the European union, (which happens to have around 100 million more citizens than the US). Our nation, the alleged leader of the freeworld and champion of democracy and invdividual rights, is second only to Russia when it comes to the number of citizens incarcerated at any given time. Communist China has 4 times our population, but a smaller prison population, and the commies are supposed to be the bad guys? When did locking non-violent citizens in cages become an American activity?

    Not only do these nonviolent drug offenders get locked up in cages with murderers, rapists and child molesters, (half a million anually!!!), but they are branded for life as a criminal drug user and lose many opportunities for success and becoming a productive, tax-paying citizen. Children are deprived of parents, parents see their children locked in cages, and nobody benefits from this whole sad ordeal. Taxpayers must pay for huge prison and court costs, family's and individuals' lives are shattered, and all the while violent Mexican cartels and American street gangs rake in profits created by drug prohibition (which causes exponential inflation of drug prices). And the drugs are still readily available, even more so than in the past. If drugs were legalized and regulated, there would be no money to be made by criminals and gangsters. They might as well try to compete with Starbucks and sell coffee!

    People who sell dangerous drugs to kids, people who participate in violence, or people who drive while high on drugs should still be arrested and aggressively prosecuted. Not because of their drug use, but because they decided to do something that put others at serious risk of bodily harm. If an adult has even one iota of intelligence, they would never take a substance into their body without first knowing the consequences. Everyone knows hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine can ruin lives and even kill, but look at the statistics. Deaths caused by all illegal drugs combined in recent years average out to be around 50,000 annually. Tobacco use was responsible for more than 400,000 deaths last year alone. Alcohol poisoning and alcohol related health issues kill just under 100,000 Americans annually (NOT including deaths due to drunk driving!). These deadly substances are completely legal, with the responsibility of safe usage placed squarley on the heads of adult consumers. In fact, the government and greedy corporate executives rake in billions, if not trillions, of dollars from these deadly substances every year. Have you ever smoked tobacco? Have you ever had an alcoholic beverage? How about we lock YOU up in a cage for knowingly using deadly and dangerous substances. Ever brought a case of beer to a party? Now it's distribution, so you're going away for a LONG time.

    Lets decriminalize non-violent, small-scale drug usage, and simply tax the heck out of the stuff like we do with all the other legal drugs. Regulate it, control it, tax it, and turn billions of dollars wasted annually into billions of dollars of profit. Use that money to provide honest and thorough education programs to the public, instead of the biased propaganda being fed to our kids. A kid smokes some pot and thinks, "Hey, this stuff isn't the evil, dangerous Marijuana i learned about in school. Maybe crystal meth and heroin aren't dangerous either!" This is what our drug education consists of today: Drugs are bad because thats what the law says because they're bad for you. "Just say no!". What if kids were taught to "Just say no!" to civil rights in the 1960s? Many people would still be suffering needlessly due to tragically flawed government policy, which was created for the benefit of special interest groups.

    As Americans we need to stand up to the brainwashing and resist the govnernment sacntioned mass mistreatment of half a million non-violent citizens that occurs every year. We need to have a drug policy that's based in factual, unbiased, scientific analyses, and one thats also actually effective at BENEFITTING society. The government had the country fooled into thinking it was perfectly acceptable to lock up Japanese Americans during WWII, simpy because they represented a group that had the POTENTIAL to cause harm in American society. That was un-American. Let's become real Americans once again.

  92. Comment

    Perhaps it's time for the majorty of people to rely less on opinions based on long-diseminated propaganda and wilfully ignorant beliefs.

    To this end, I offer the following links to sites with VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE.

    JackHerer dot com - General information

    Hemp = Cannabis = The truth behind the "illegality"

    NORML dot org or NORML dot ca

    ^=- The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws

    PhoenixTearsMovie dot com - FREE DOWNLOAD DVD

    PhoenixTears dot ca - Cure for cancer = cannabis!

    There are a great many TRUTHFUL and INFORMATIVE sites out there, so the anti-legalization folk have obviously not understood the truth, and I invite them all to view factual information, as opposed to hearsay and propaganda.

    Only when you understand the truth, can you make a truly informed decision...something which our politicians OBVIOULY do not subscribe to.

  93. Comment

    This wonderful comment came from

    Zogby says we Already Have a Majority -- So lets end it now!

    Comment posted by NoireeAxors NoireeAxors on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 12:06pm

    There is no need to wait any longer. Call you representatives today and simply say: "either legalize under the MERP Model or loose you job in 2010. We are not kidding about this any longer"

    The only model that will wipe out the Drug Cartels is one where individuals can grow their own: No Taxes, No Regulations, No More Drug Cartels.

    The MERP Model is the answer and neither Dave Borden, nor anyone else in the "moneyed movement" will allow a discussion about their "tax and regulate" model Vs the real solution: No Taxes, No Regulations! for Personal Cultivation.

    That is because George Soros is pulling the strings so he can profit from a highly regulated, government controlled model of legalization that WILL NOT destroy the Cartels. Read all about it right here:

    How the Marijuana Re-Legalization Movement Has Been Betrayed by Soros, Nadleman (DPA) and Kampia (MPP)

    For numerous essays and videos on MERP:

    MERP Headquarters

    The Marijuana Re-Legalization Policy Project (MRPP)

    It continues to mystify me why the TAX and REGULATE model is the apparently preferred model for so many reformers.

    We didn't have a tax and regulate model before 1913... why can't we go back to that.

  94. Comment

    I still say I don't care if it's the MERP model the alcohol model or America's Next Top Model. If it means legalization I'll support it. We can quibble about the details later. United we stand. divided we fall.

  95. Comment

    Actually, what witchwindy said above is absolutely correct, and I agree with her completely.

    The main reason that antiprohibitionists/legalizers make the point of taxing commercial sales is simply to get the attention of our crooked political "leaders" who know nothing more than "tax and spend and tax and spend and tax..."

    I ABSOLUTELY agree that, for personal use, there should be absolutely no government intervention, should that person decide to grow their own. I ONLY support regulation and taxation in the following manner:

    1) Cannabis grown for medical or recreational uses by people for their own use, or for use within their home, or by their family members, should be regulated in no way, and taxed in no way, as it is with tomato plants, cherry trees, or anything else which can safely be grown at home.

    2) Cannabis grown for commercial distribution must be assured of quality, purity, potency, and utility for the purposes which those products are offered for sale to the pubilc. I support regulation ONLY to be certain of a consistency of product which can be relied on by those who will simply never grow their own, or who would simply prefer to purchase their cannabis products in a standardized form, from a reputable vendor.

    3) I ONLY support taxation of ANY product if the people receive some benefit from the taxation process.

    If state/provincial or federal taxes would simply be lumped into a general or non-apportioned fund, the benefits to the people would be negligible at best, and I would NOT support ANY form of non-representative taxation such as that. I would also NEVER support taxation at the disgustingly ridiculous levels that currently afflict tobacco, alcohol and fuel, just to name a few.

    I would support the collection of state/provincial or federal sales taxes ONLY if every penny of those funds went into medical and/or scientific research, preferrably in equal amounts. We need to see what kinds of industrial uses these plants can be made use within, using modern technology.

    All that maving been said...there was once a planetary industry based around the cannabis plant family which spanned more than 25,000 products, not the least of which were textiles, paper and medicines. Isn't it simply being willfully ignorant to deliberately refuse to look at what kind of market which could develop when we calculate 70-odd years of technological and industrial advancement into the mix?

    To deliberately reassert (and plagiarize) witchwindy's comment above, I have no choice but to state the same thought:

    "We didn't have a tax and regulate model before 1913... why can't we go back to that."

    I commend you for your simplicity of statement. It hits directly in the heart of the truth!

    Felkakarp: I sagree, for the most part. The first thing on the agenda MUST be complete legalization in order to remove drug cartels and "miscellaneous unsavoury characters" from deriving profits from the current, deliberately underground economy.

    Only after we see the true dollar value in the various chains of supply and demand which develop from the removal of prohibitionist legislation will be able to accurately assess the potential of each of those markets.

    Those markets which have an infinitessimal value for taxation will likely remain untaxed. Those markets which require additional funding, such as scientific and medical research, will likely earn some form of tax in order to pay any additional costs that redeveloping this "deliberately lost market" created.

    And now, just to confuse people a little, I offer a strange truth: I can't smoke the stuff. My system reacts in the same way that it does when I drink more than I should, so the chances that I ever become a stereotypical "pothead" are so slim that you could fit a thousand such chances in orbit of an atom. This does not mean that I am in any way uninterested in the medical potential, as knowing that this plant has anti-cancer compounds is a VERY important idea for me, as I am a smoker of that most evil of legal compounds: tobacco! If cannabis were legalized today, I'd definitely grow some and process it into a cure for cancer, which I would then injest as a preventative medicine, with an absolute guarantee of purity because I would know EXACTLY how, where, and by whom it was grown, processed and packaged.

    The fact that I could make paper and rope and many other things with the "scrap" would simply be an added bonus, as would the fact that I could also use any seeds that I wouldn't need for the next year's crop as food during the winter, and you've got an all-around winning proposition!

    For those of you interested in more concrete information, and less "apparrent opinion", I highly reccommend the collowing sources: or and

    And for those of you who wish to understand how a current medical cannabis system operates, you may see the following Canadian Government web site for those details:

    I hope that gives a few people some more concrete information to base their future thoughts on, if nothing else.

  96. Comment

    To all you prohibitionist, I still don't understand what your beef is with marijuana?

    What you are saying is that you like seeing the government waist billions of dollars every year on a war against non-violent people in our communities and that their kids will wind up living with strangers in the foster care system.

    You also must realize that marijuana will never be eradicated from this country, so this war is never going to end, producing even more violence from drug cartels instead of making a peaceful purchase over the counter in an adult only setting, free from the violence that the drug war causes.

  97. Comment

    It is a sad day for me. My state of Wisconsin, where I was born and raised. Where I graduated from High School (Arrowhead H.S) and successfully obtained my B.A. in both English and History from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I am doing everything in my power to leave this state because of the failure of the Wisconsin State Senate to realistically asses the value behind having a more tolerant stance with regards to the medical marijuana debate. I live in fear; harassed by the police and constantly being told I am not going to be given the trust necessary for a job because I have had problems with a law that so whole heartedly seeks to destroy the lives of citizens by denying a medicine given to men/women by a higher power. These laws make it possible for my best friend to blindly kill himself from morphine provided by the state to curb his addiction to heroine while his salvation could have came via a more progressive stance on Medicinal Marijuana. My mother is destroying herself with opiates like Lorazepam and Zanax given to her by your own Waukesha County's Health and Human Services. Far from justice she lies, unable to go to the bathroom by herself, or make coherent sentences. How is it that these people are allowed to incivility slowly kill themselves while the major medicine companies thrive? I have been diagnosed with bipolar and attention deficit disorder. Marijuana helps me to deny the addictions I have incurred because of cigarettes and doctor prescriptions. I will never stop smoking marijuana and for that I must seek refuge in more progressive states such as California. This unsuccessful and vicious cycle waged by our government's irresponsible lawmakers has caused very little but a heartache in the homes of many, and a headache for our tax payers. I have recently found myself regretting the foundations of a flawed American system, as opposed to loving a country founded in principles of equality and understanding to all. These ideas were noted as progressive in July of 1776. We must enthusiastically support a progressive view of equality and understanding to those that suffer from ailments that find little remedy other than Marijuana. I have voted for a Democrat in every state, local, and major election since I turned 18 in 1999. I am a proponent of the principles of our system because I believe change is possible in our Country and it should start where our great Wisconsin Senators started this freight train . Please accept my humble plead to please be allowed access to Medicinal Marijuana as to avoid being a constant target for Police Officers and Legislator. I treat this earth with as much respect as she truly deserves, and believe in Islam as a proper guide by which to develop my personal life as well as the lives of my future children (Allah Willing). Therefore, our officers will never find me drinking or using any controlled substance. They will never find me in the state in which I see a thousand young Wisconsin youth heading. A "prescription" for a Nightmare written by the very doctors who represent the state on all levels. The people of Oconomowoc have a magnified understanding of the destruction prescription medicine has had on the poor victims of Dr. Benson's ill thought remedy for his psychological horrors. Let's see if we can help these people and the youth by providing sustainable ways of dealing with one of the only negative (con)stants of American Domestic Diplomacy: our addiction to drugs such as opiates/opiate based prescriptions, cocaine, and amphetamines. Marijuana has been tolerated in European countries only to fin d huge success with the Tactic. As a citizen I beg for your help in seizing the benefits of medical marijuana because equality has no shape, color, or creed just well-founded beliefs that an individual be given proper cure for what ailments they endure within a day's struggles.

    The law enforcement community of Minnesota needs to recognize that the twin cities are a haven for illicit drug use. This is the result of America’s ever-failing drug war. The shared boarder responsibility has undoubtedly created the same wealthy “Canadian/Californian traffic-minded” individualsbecause the state does not take a more progressive stance on Marijuana. Prohibition breeds black market economics that are neither taxed or ethical. A country that is founded upon the great ideals of equality and prosperity have lost their willingness to appreciate morality,reason, and logic above the hypocritical and ignorant Moral-Minority. The American Government has made the illicit drug trade the most-popular line of work in some Canadian provinces and all of Mexico. Why would this country not want to bridge the gap between the classes by acknowledging that a non-threatening open door is better than a gun to the nose? We really could effectively start to lessen the burden PHARMACEUTICAL PILLS have upon this country if we address every individual on a more personal and understanding basis. I want the sickly to be able to help themselves whenever possible because this gives every individual the willingness to keep fighting. I want the sickly, as individuals, to be able to alleviate their pains in ways that there doctors and their own morality feel are appropriate for dealing with THEIR STRESS AND PAIN, without the fear of police and DEA threats of 10 years in prison for a small amount of marijuana. How do we continually elect leaders that allow extremely addictive opiates like OXYCOTON, ZANAX, and LORAZAPAM to infiltrate HIGH SCHOOLS, HOMES and HEALTHCARE FACILITIES while these OPIATES destroy the lives of countless people unable to find respite with their governments PURITANICAL APPROACH to democracy in 2009. The amount of bleach emptied into the GREAT LAKES on account of bleached cotton could be 1/8 with the farming of the resourceful HEMP plants(NO THC- An all MALE WORLD). Canadian provinces are doing their finest while we waste away on account of hypocritical, ignorant, and anti-empirical philosophies held by the waining droves of robots that make up much of MORAL MINORITY. We have lost priceless lives and countless money on account of the the aforementioned theocracy’s puritanical absurdities. Lets wake up and face tomorrow with the hope that the WAR ON DRUGS will shirk the fiscally and energy-costly foolish unconstitutional antics employed by our DEA. Rather align our great people’s masses by acknowledging that a pothead is much more beneficial for society than an OXY-COTON HEAD, let alone in no way shape of form like/as a crackhead. May we as a nation gain a new ally, and an extremely successful companion in the fight to keep CARTELS from taking over mexico and our BORDERS. People only turn to desperate antics when they are forced by their GOVERNMENT’s inability to perceive the boredom and desperation created by Prohibition. Government Regulation in regards to Medicinal Marijuana will indeed create a more sustainable code of laws and behavior for AMERICANS.

    It really is a sad day when circuit court judges are able to make their bid for the Wisconsin Supreme Court with claims of 'judicial conservative.' 'Conservatives,' suggest that their should be a fiscal responsibility in the spending of States Money. How does Koshnick consider himself a Judicial Conservative when he wants to send every criminal to prison in order to gain re-election, while allowing the State's Deficit to keep these Over-populated and Extremely Expensive Wisconsin Prison systems to receive prisoners by the bus-loads. These prisoners receive no rehabilitation when they are but surrounded by a system of degradation and criminality that makes men into animals. Koschnik suggests he would take a hard line on criminals however he makes no reference to the means of funding his Judicially Conservative courtship. I think that my fellow constituents within the State of Wisconsin are somewhat confused about how the rehabilitation process actually happens. Lets think outside of the box. Conservatives seemingly spend more money on creating bigger problems. The INVERSE equation is fundamental to progress, yet these Conservatives are a compound equation. Conservative claims are idle threats to minority populations throughout the state, while trying to take advantage of the Eurocentric appeal and AARP benefit members.

  98. Comment

    Prohibition does not work and will never work. This lesson was clearly put forward when the "Noble Experiment" of banning alcohol failed miserably and was reversed in 1933. Unfortunately we have chosen to ignore the history and repeat it.

    Making a substance illegal does nothing at all to decrease the demand which will always be around. Instead, prohibition only drives the supply side of the market underground, leading to violence, corruption, along with an incredible waste of money and time trying to combat the inevitable and unstoppable tide of both.

    We've wasted literally trillions of dollars trying to crack down on the production, importation, sale, and use of marijuana, to no avail. The cultivation and use of marijuana has increased steadily. The DEA itself claims marijuana has in fact grown stronger, thanks to improved strains and growing techniques which they're supposed to be combating. In 2004, the White House Office of Management and Budget gave the DEA a zero out of a scale of 0-100 in the category of "results/accountability."

    Whether or not you believe marijuana is dangerous is irrelevant. The government has completely and utterly failed to implement a ban on marijuana that they had no right to enact in the first place. It's time to treat marijuana the same as alcohol and tobacco: Restrict use to 21+ and only punish users only if they use it irresponsibly.

  99. Comment

    @ethridgl- "free from the violence that the drug war causes" - Prohibition is a type of civil war the government has waged against the people. This expensive "war" has now spread around the world. That is why government contractors are in on the money. Believe me there is far more money in drug interdiction than there is in drugs. This is a big expensive government spending problem.

    @tammerfadel- I've voted Republican all my life and most of Republicans understand the problem not as users, but as a big expensive government problem. Sadly:

    Most of the Democrats love to do drugs or accept the use of drugs, but also love to spend tax dollars to buy votes.

    Most of the Republicans don't do drugs and don't accept the use of drugs, but want to control how people live through government regulation.

    With any luck the United States will go broke and be dissolve into 50 separate countries. Then people can move to the countries they want to live in under laws that the people there want and can control.

  100. Comment

    A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." -Abraham Lincoln U.S. President.

    These same people pushing prohibition would be targeted for treason investigation had they been around during the founding of our country! Don’t Be fooled American people any prohibition enforcement against us is as UN-AMERICAN as Hitler!!

  101. Comment

    For 30 years, Donald Tashkin has studied the effects of marijuana on lung function. His work has been funded by the vehemently anti-marijuana National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has long sought to demonstrate that marijuana causes lung cancer. After 3 decades of anti-drug research, here's what Tashkin has to say about marijuana laws:

    "Early on, when our research appeared as if there would be a negative impact on lung health, I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects," Tashkin says. "But at this point, I'd be in favor of legalization. I wouldn't encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don't think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm." [McClatchy]

    We've been told a thousand times that marijuana destroys your lungs, that it's 5 times worse than cigarettes, and on and on. Yet here is Donald Tashkin, literally the top expert in the world when it comes to marijuana and lung health, telling us it's time to legalize marijuana. His views are shaped not by ideology, but rather by the 30 years he spent studying the issue. He didn't expect the science to come out in favor of marijuana, but that's what happened and he's willing to admit it.

    Here's the study that really turned things around:

    UCLA's Tashkin studied heavy marijuana smokers to determine whether the use led to increased risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. He hypothesized that there would be a definitive link between cancer and marijuana smoking, but the results proved otherwise.

    "What we found instead was no association and even a suggestion of some protective effect," says Tashkin, whose research was the largest case-control study ever conducted.

    Prejudice against marijuana and smoking in general runs so deep for many people that it just seems inconceivable that marijuana could actually reduce the risk of lung cancer. But that's what the data shows and it not only demolishes a major tenet of popular anti-pot propaganda, but also points towards a potentially groundbreaking opportunity to develop cancer cures through marijuana research.

    Over and over again, all the bad things we've been told about marijuana are revealed to be not only false, but often the precise opposite of the truth. So the next time someone tells you that marijuana is worse for your lungs than cigarettes, you might want to mention that the world's leading expert on that subject happens to be a supporter of legalization.

  102. Comment

    How about we stop with the sin tax talk. I realize we're throwing that bone to the anti-marijuana advocates. But to advocate any sin tax is to say that government should have control over this type of thing.

    You should be emphasizing the benefits to victims of real crime, and the benefits of lowering the tax burden that prisons and law enforcement represent.

  103. Comment

    Agreed. No more social regulation via taxes. We are not an assembly of experiment subjects.

    The experiment was supposed to be the new government.

    We should concentrate on retrieving our 9th amendment rights to private behavior.

  104. Comment

    Mr. Obama,

    You have the political chance of a lifetime. Legalize the "evil weed" and I promise you a second term. You would create more votes for yourself as reform would cause disenfranchised voters who feel the government doesn't listen/care about citizens to actually go vote. Guess what, they would vote for you.

  105. Comment

    @ travismday,

    I think you meant "disillusioned" voters, not disenfranchised voters.

    Disenfranchised means you've lost your right to vote, so disenfranchised voters aren't going to vote for anyone - even if they decriminalize or legalize marijuana.

  106. Comment

    If civilization crumbled today, and we had to restart it, our best friend in that endeavor would be cannabis. The plant provides fiber, oil, protein, animal fodder, essential fatty acids, erosion control, soil amendment, and medicine; is easy to grow in almost any climate, and requires virtually no pesticides. And this is plant the government is trying to eradicate? What is wrong with us?

  107. Comment

    Bigger selling point, it is a renewable resource making it good for the environment.

  108. Comment

    Not only is cannabis a renewable GREEN cash source, but is also the only "level one drug" that is IMPOSSIBLE to over-dose on (though it is constantly paralleled with Heroine which KILLS and ENSLAVES the minds of millions each year). Cannabis is one of the most versatile plants on the planet as it can be used for food, clothing, and many other consumer-based products like shampoo, lotion, ect. Friends of this plant have been judged and placated because they use something that was put on this earth FOR OUR USAGE. There is nothing wrong with us, we are normal people who work and live just like non-users, and it is about time that we were recognized for the capable, intelligent, and successful people we are. No longer should there be a stigma attached to the usage of cannabis, as it is the most widely popularized "drug" in the world. The U.S. has absolutely nothing to gain by keeping this plant illegal, and (nearly) everything to gain with its legalization. Just imagine, if California can make billions of dollars of the sale of Cannabis for the sick, what kind of money the nation would make of it's sales nationally."They" raise the price of everything, and expect us to work harder at our jobs for less money (in THIS economy)...I think we at least DESERVE to have something as harmless as Cannabis legalized. It is time to look past the propaganda slandering the use of Cannabis, as many of these claims are in fact rumor. To put it simply, IT'S ABOUT TIME.

  109. Comment

    It really makes me happy to see that the taboos and fears over cannabis are not as popular as they had previously been. If only the politicians we elect had the same sense as the people commenting on this topic.

  110. Comment

    All the myths of marijuana have been debunked. The history regarding the criminalization of marijuana all revolves around racism, yellow journalism, and fear/scare tactics. The American nation has grown out of our racist roots, it's time we grow out of Marijuana Prohibition. The fact that hemp is illegal (for those that don't know, it is virtually impossible to get high off of hemp) points out the ignorance of the American government and the wrongs of their ways. Almost a majority of Americans have either smoked or are still currently smoking marijuana. It is time we stop arresting such a large percentage of this country. To continue this prohibition would be to continue a war against our people, and to further drain our wallets. We are a country based on liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is time we get back to our roots. Marijuana isn't going anywhere; the government needs to wake up and take advantage of the profits available from this plant. If marijuana prohibition continues, drug dealers around this country will all breathe a sigh of relief.

  111. Comment

    I think it should be legalized and treated like alcohol...i.e., no driving while high (like my taxi driver in San Diego).

    Also, I would like to point out that for those of us who don't smoke (anything because lung cancer and throat cancer is a horrible suffering way to die) we can always smell it when someone has been smoking, especially marijuana. I would also like to see farmers be able to grow hemp without conflict with legality of marijuana.

  112. Comment

    @ dmwilliams80,

    Technically, he is correct.

    The prohibition of marijuana has such laws as if you was to get arrested with it you could lose your right to vote. More Caucasians smoke marijuana. However, African Americans are far more likely to get arrested and face serious penalties. Therefore, I can see where he is coming from.

  113. Comment


    Possession of marijuana is a typically a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors do not result in disenfranchisement (loss of voting rights).

    Please, I'm a convicted felon - don't try and "teach" me about disenfranchisement. I am living it first hand.

    No, he was not correct. Disenfranchised voters CAN'T vote. Legalizing pot won't do anything to change that, since most crimes involving marijuana are misdemeanors in the first place.

    I'm certain he meant "disillusioned voters" and NOT disenfranchised voters.

  114. Comment

    It's easy to make up jokes about stoners because, as the government has drilled in to your head, we're all lazy, incompetent, and have no ambition. I lost my father for a total of six years because he was in possession of a relatively small amount of marijuana. We went without a lot of things most people take for granted, like: school clothes, haircuts, food, etc...The only thing he did was possess a plant that in most Midwestern states can be found growing in the ditches. (Which, by the way, were remnants of the hemp plantations that once populated those areas.) My father smoked marijuana around us from the time we were born. Not once did I have any idea that it made you feel good, get high etc. Not once did I even think about smoking weed. UNTIL, I got into junior high and the say no to drugs campaign came rolling into town and burned a pound of pot on the table to show us what to stay away from. If my father hadn't had the good sense to tell me and my brothers that we shouldn't speak about it, I would have stood up and told the teacher that the officer was full of it. My father never got belligerent, lazy, stupid or start using other drugs(that I new of) like the officer as telling us it would. What they did teach me was that MJ got you high! Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't get a contact high. After sitting in a decent sized classroom with about a pound of MJ smoldering on the table for thirty minutes you definitely can. My mother called the school cause when I got off the bus I reeked of weed and my eyes were demolished with veins. The school claimed that the MJ had been treated with something and didn't get you high. After living with a MJ user for 15 years I think she had a pretty good idea if I was stoned. The upshot is that my father missed my graduation, his first grandchild's birth and his freedom. For what?

    Who did his actions hurt directly? Who was the victim his crime was perpetrated against? The answer: no one.

  115. Comment

    @dmwilliams80 While a marijuana arrest may not keep you from voting, unless it was selling or possessing a very large amount. Any kind of drug arrest will bar you from getting any kind of student loan. This is my mind is far worse than losing voting rights because if you can't get money to go to college, then in this day in age you are pretty much condemned to flipping burgers or a factory job that could lay you off at any second. Most of these people are going to be on welfare and resort to selling drugs as a way to support their self and their family which turns into a vicious cycle. Arresting 800,000 people every year for marijuana is ludicrous and needs to stop.

  116. Comment
    terry owens

    What more can I add to what's already been said.To all those who have posted comments in favor of legalizing marijuana,,,GOD BLESS YOU!!!This guy Ahmed,,whatever.I'm not sure what country he's from because definately doesn't use any American venacular I've ever heard.Marijuana causes mischief,,,wtf?

  117. Comment

    SRVfan is quite correct, and not just because I absolutely agree with him about Stevie Ray Vaughan. d=^)

    One of the biggest problems society faces--and simply hasn't a clue about--is the prevalence of "victimless crimes" which are used as public punishment at every possible opportunity, while at the same time, corporations and governments perform criminal actions each and every day and never even get noticed for it, let alone punished.

    Every day there is some illegal act taking place, and it is broadcast as the salvation of the planet on the mainstream news. The bailouts of the bankers and insurange giants in the US, and the bailouts of the auto makers in the US, Canada and England, just to name a few. These illegal actions have stolen TRILLIONS of dollars from honest, hardworking taxpayers who have never knowingly signed any contract to give away any portion of their income to anyone else that did not help to earn that income in any way...yet noone notices the scam, and the media promotes it as though there was some factual evidence to support a one-sided contraactual obligation that you were never made aware of.

    Call me hard-headed, but the longer the propaganda machine is allowed to ignore the real crimes of the world, and promote the criminality of corporate statues as though they had meaning in the natural and common-law world of humanity, I can guarantee you that this farce will continue forever, and the people who buy into it will also pay for all of it as well.

    As the current wave of US mortgage foreclosures gets further underway and makes more and more TV news broadcasts, more and more people will suddenly begin to understand that they're being lied to, scammed, and that something needs to be done about it. Of course, the millions of people who have already lost everything because of those's too late for them, but now they are quite aware of the difference between being a victim and a criminal, because the criminals victimized them when they took everything they had...and the criminals walked away scott free.

  118. Comment


    A drug conviction will only keep you from obtaining FEDERAL student aid (Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, etc), and only if the conviction occurred while you were already receiving federal student aid.

    I have two prior marijuana possession convictions from years ago, but I receive Pell Grants and Stafford Loans to fund my college education. I have a friend, however, who lost her eligibility due to one lousy marijuana conviction during her freshman year of college. Now she'll probably never be able to afford a college education, which means she'll be stuck in an endless cycle of minimum wage jobs and poverty for the rest of her life - in turn, making it more likely that she'll be arrested again in the future (probably also for marijuana).

    I don't understand how taking away someone's chance at a college education is going to do anything to combat the drug problem in our country. It seems like our government wants to keep the poor and uneducated poor and uneducated (and incarcerated, in many cases).

    I don't get it at all.

    Did you guys know that the US actually holds a PATENT on medical marijuana? Specifically cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.

    Seems to me there's no further reason to pretend marijuana has no "accepted" medical uses. When the government is patenting medical marijuana, it's time to move it from Schedule I.

  119. Comment

    Currently, counting the numbers for all the topics related to ending prohibition, there are 2259 votes for ending the war on drugs. This idea thread o that topic is the one with the greatest number of up votes, if all were combined under this one it might outnumber all other topics in terms of support.

  120. Comment

    Hate to be the one to bring this up, but...

    There is nothing new about this idea at all. It's just another soapbox for the same old discussion that has gone on for 40 years.

  121. Comment

    Peacocksetc is absolutely right.

    When, exactly, is common sense going to come into play with this issue? We all know the truth of the matter, so why not just relegalize it and get it over with? The US is not going to be able to keep imprisoning non-violent offenders much longer when the dollar crashes, and they're not going to be able to keep funding militarized police forces, court systems, or public defenders for much longer either.

    Put cannabis back where it was in the earlier part of the 1900's, and let's take the time to look at the situation in it's entirety, with open eyes and NO PROPAGANDA, and we'll see what we can do with it as we get healthier as a species, reduce pollution, and restore lost energy sources.

    I sincerely hope that every US resident reading this threat hits that petition!

  122. Comment

    In 1971, I was in my 3rd year of high school was arrested at a party where one person had 3 marijuana joints. Several of us were charged with possesion and subsequently convicted as adults and sentenced to 1 year in the house of corrections. Thank God the sentence was suspended. As a 17 year old I was very traumatized by that event. Mr President, had that happened to you when you were a pot smoker, you would have not become our president. We need to have a serious discussion on the effects of this insane war on drugs and it's consequences on our country. I realize you have other serious issues, but at least find some time to address this issue without mocking it.

  123. Comment

    “U.S. Customs agents got a surprise on April 9, when they checked a trailer of an 18-wheel truck crossing into El Paso, Texas, from Mexico and found more than 9,000 pounds of marijuana hidden among auto parts bound for U.S. factories.”

    Reason why I posted this is this simply points the fact I and many other Americans know about if marijuana was legalized and taxed that these types of problems with the cartel would no longer be a problem being the legalization and taxation would strike a saver blow to the cartel taking away their over 60% annual profit from keeping marijuana illegal which if legalized and taxed would be like cutting off the legs of a chicken to the cartel. But hey what do we know after all will the govt listen to us? May be now they will and if not the only thing the Govt. is doing is suppling the cartel which gets more stronger drugs from the Taliban in which is also suppling the Taliban. What we and the Govt. need to be doing is not suppling them but helping our nation by taking away the cartels 60+ % annual profit which would also cut off the Taliban which would make it muh easier for our Govt. to fight terrorists who pose a threat to our nation. Not only that but the American people are wanting marijuana to be legalized and taxed. By doing this the FACT that it will not only help out our nation be stronger but will also make it more safer in this day and age. Alcohol & Tobaco are more addictive and more dangerous than marijuana ever could be combined yet marijuana which has a 0 death number is keep illegal when Alcohol and Tobaco

    causes more death and violence yet alcohol and tobaco are legalized and taxed.

    The main reasons why marijuana is illegal are:

    From a prohibition-based perspective, marijuana is illegal in the United States primarily for these reasons.

    1. It is perceived as addictive.

    Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug on the basis that is has “a high potential for abuse.” What does this mean?

    It means that the perception is that people get on marijuana, they get hooked and become “potheads,” and it begins to dominate their lives. This unquestionably happens in some cases. But it also happens in the case of alcohol–and alcohol is perfectly legal.

    In order to fight this argument for prohibition, legalization advocates need to make the argument that marijuana is not as addictive as government sources claim.

    FACT: Marijuana is not physically adictive. Alcohol and tobaco are more adictive and deadlier than marijuana will ever be.Heince this is a BS excuse to keep marijuana illegal.

    2. It has “no accepted medical use.”

    Marijuana seems to yield considerable medical benefits for many Americans with ailments ranging from glaucoma to cancer, but these benefits have not been accepted well enough, on a national level. Medical use of marijuana remains a serious national controversy.

    In order to fight the argument that marijuana has no medical use, legalization advocates need to highlight the effects it has had on the lives of people who have used the drug for medical reasons.

    FACT: Marijuana does have medical properties and can be debated with facts on NORMLs web site. Heince this is another BS excuse to keep marijuana illegal.

    3. It has been historically linked with narcotics, such as heroin.

    The first piece of federal legislation to formally regulate marijuana was the Narcotics Act of 1914, which regulated heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. The only trouble is that cocaine and marijuana are not technically narcotics; the word “narcotic,” when used in English, has historically referred to opium derivatives such as heroin and morphine.

    But the association stuck, and there is a vast gulf in the American consciousness between “normal” recreational drugs, such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, and “abnormal” recreational drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Marijuana is generally associated with the latter category, which is why it can be convincingly portrayed as a “gateway drug.”

    FACT: Marijuana is no more a gateway drug as milk is to alcohol and tobaco . Heince is another BS excuse to keep marijuana illegal.

    4. It is associated with unfashionable lifestyles.

    Marijuana is often thought of as a drug for hippies and losers. Since it’s hard to feel enthusiastic about the prospects of enabling people to become hippies and losers, imposing criminal sanctions for marijuana possession functions as a form of communal “tough love.”

    FACT: This is against our 1st amendment in the constitution and is a BS excuse to keep marijuana illegal.

    5. It was once associated with oppressed ethnic groups.

    The intense anti-marijuana movement of the 1930s dovetailed nicely with the intense anti-Chicano movement of the 1930s. Marijuana was associated with Mexican Americans, and a ban on marijuana was seen as a way of discouraging Mexican-American subcultures from developing.

    Today, thanks in large part to the very public popularity of marijuana among whites during the 1960s and 1970s, marijuana is no longer seen as what one might call an ethnic drug–but the groundwork for the anti-marijuana movement was laid down at a time when marijuana was seen as an encroachment on the U.S. majority-white culture.

    FACT: This is against our 1st amendment in the constitution and is a BS excuse to keep marijuana illegal.

    6. Inertia is a powerful force in public policy.

    If something has been banned for only a short period of time, then the ban is seen as unstable. If something has been banned for a long time, however, then the ban–no matter how ill-conceived it might be–tends to go unenforced long before it is actually taken off the books.

    Take the ban on sodomy, for example. It hasn’t really been enforced in any serious way since the 18th century, but most states technically banned same-sex sexual intercourse until the Supreme Court ruled such bans unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

    People tend to be comfortable with the status quo–and the status quo, for nearly a century, has been a literal or de facto federal ban on marijuana.

    FACT: IF this is so then why was alcohol illegal and is now legal yet alcohol kills more people than marijuana can ever do yet marijuana is safer yet is kept illegal. Heince this is also a BS reason for marijuana to be kept illegal.

    A much better argument for marijuana legalization, from my vantage point, would go more like this: “It makes some people happy, and it doesn’t seem to be any more dangerous than alcohol. Do we really want to go around putting people in prison and destroying their lives over this?”

    Why Is This Idea Important?

    It will solve the problem with arrests . spending wasted money through keeping it in prohibition , will help put a huge hurting on the cartel and taliban , and will also help our nation to name but a few reasons why this is an important idea.

  124. Comment

    I live in fear of my local police - and I am a 59 year old woman who has never even had a speeding ticket!

    I am harassed daily because I am suspected of using pot - I have a friend that does and was caught.

    The police in my small town use these ridiculous laws to intimidate, terrorize and shame citizens. My friend was arrested, strip searched and jailed overnight for a small amount of herb. She had picked it up for her husband, not herself. The police are out of control in this town.

    They should be ashamed of themselves, but as long as the law of the land allows this travesty, they will be self righteous bullies.

  125. Comment

    What do you think the chances of this passing are...with Pharmaceutical being some of the biggest donors in washington? We need public financing of campaigns. None of this other stuff happens without it.



    We must have public financing of campaigns. I know you think you don't want to pay for it...but you already ARE!

    You pay hundreds and thousands of times what you would if the politicians actually answered to you and not greedy corporate criminals. You pay thousands of times more in a CORRUPTION SURCHARGE!


    Every no bid contract, every unpaid royalty on an oil lease, every blocked piece of legislation, every blocked investigation, every effort to get healthcare for all, every blocked attempt for a living wage, every needless nuclear warhead that will never be used, every mountaintop removal mining permit OK’d, every case of cancer caused by lax environmental rules or enforcement, every prison built instead of a school...YOU PAY AND PAY AND PAY!

    And to add insult to injury, where do corporations get the money they give politicians in order to insure they can roll right over you whenever they want? FROM YOU! The cost of these payoffs is passed on to YOU the consumer!


    Whatever you think is the most important issue facing the country…forget about it. It’s going to be decided in favor of those in power. It will be watered down in favor of those who finance campaigns and control corporate media sources.

    You think the health care debate is going to come out in your favor or Pfizer’s? You think we are really going to cut military spending when more than half of the military budget for the entire world is being lavished on some of the biggest campaign contributors there are? How about Bank reform? Wall Street? Big Pharma? Iraq? The environment? Just exactly how do you see any of that working out in your favor in our current system?

    Our system is broken. Our government does not work for the people. It works for – or in fear of – people who can spend a lot of money, access a lot of media, or have a lot of power in society.


    What people don’t understand is that it is not necessary to buy off the whole government in order for corporate, big money interests to get its way…every time. You merely need to control either the moderates and/or the committee heads in order to assure that whatever compromise is reached it will ALWAYS benefit BIG MONEY!

    In Congress, you have partisans on either side, in safe districts, with entrenched interests who won’t compromise and are at no risk of being voted out.

    Then you have the folks in the purple districts. They could get the ax anytime. Their elections could come down to which candidate has a few thousand more to spend. If Big Money goes their way they stay, if it goes to their opponent they are out.

    These are the people you count on to forge the compromise between the two extremes and these are the very people who are most vulnerable to big money coming in hard and heavy against them.


    The current system assures that any compromise between the partisan extremes will be concluded in favor of big money. Even the most conscientious moderate politician in a contested state MUST cater to big money or they will not stay in congress.


    Do you wonder what has happened to democrats in congress over the last 8 years…the spinelessness and cowardice evidenced by these people?

    This is the result of what happens to an organization over time when anyone who fights big money gets weeded out…even if it’s only one or two per election. Eventually you are left with …well, what we have now…a bunch of corporate lap dogs.

  126. Comment
    Bud Goodman

    I'm sitting here 7:30 this morning listening to the news and their disscussing the deficit. They're saying that President Obama can't add to the deficit for Health Care. LEGALIZE TAX AND REGULATE!!! C-mon its a no brainer New Source of Revenue. Oh and Mr. President Please don't laugh at us this time. It's no laughing matter. Thank You Sir ...

  127. Comment

    Mr. President,

    I am honored and humbled at even the slightest possibility you may read this post. President Obama, we the people have spoken and deserve the respect and attention you would give to any other topic posted on opengov with as many supporting votes. Sir, this is no laughing matter and I encourage you to consider the many unheard voices of non-violent offenders currently in our penal system who, without laws based on deceit and false information, would not be suffering punishments reserved for those who truly deserve them. How many more families must be torn apart because dad had a long day and wanted to unwind with a calming joint? How many green endeavors must be overlooked because of the political and legal stigma attached to marijuana? When will our champion of intellect and science see that his prior response to this issue echoes that of the man the people chose him to replace? We the people spoke as a nation when we voted you into office Mr. President and we the people still adore you...both nationally and internationally....we adore you Mr. President and what your presidency reflects on our current state of humanity. Won't you come back down to the level of those who lifted you up and see us eye to eye? Prohibition of marijuana must end. We the people have spoken, won't you listen Mr. President?

  128. Comment

    When the cure is more harmful than the disease, as is clearly the case concerning this plant, it's time to look for a better solution.

    Prohibition continues to be a colossal failure.

    The obvious signs of its failure are directly related the availability of drugs on our nations streets, the needless deaths of American citizens, the loss of rights, property and liberty.

    Only when people honestly look for valid answers to the resolve the problem, does one see the truth.

    Prohibition has clearly made our nations drug problem worse, creating a unregulated black market while it's paraded around as the cure for our nations ills.

    Is Our President, Mr. Obama a criminal?

    He admittedly smoked pot and used other drugs on more than one occasion. So why is that?

    Either He's a criminal or He isn't...Which is it. I guess he would only be considered a criminal if he got busted...good thing that didn't happen...he would have lost his job, financial aid, his family and possibly even his home. (Not to mention never being able to vote much less being elected President.)


    How many lives have to be lost?

    How many prisons built & filled?

    How many tax dollars needlessly wasted?

    Before someone with the power and the guts will stand up and say "that's enough"?

    Will someone please stop the madness?

    Will someone please have a bit of compassion?

    Will someone honestly look at the past 70 years and say "OK, It's time to change directions, because this prohibition equation doesn't solve the problem?"

    Mr. President, I sincerely hope & pray that person is You.

    Best Regards


  129. Comment

    Okay, so i actually have a few suggestions. First let me say that i fully support the government not only saving money by legalization, but making money by taxation of Cannabis and Hemp production. For those of you who are not so inclined, Cannabis and Hemp while in the same family, are definetly two seperate things. Hemp is a very low percentage THC producer and no fool would ever smoke it. The blanket ban on Marijuana products prevents us from the many industrial uses of one of natures most sturdy, fast growing, no pesticide needed, plant in the world. Which also, coincidently has a high benificial oil byproduct (what are the most expensive hair products and suntan lotions you can by including?... Hemp). Hemp is not pot. Cannabis however has been proven to be non toxic, and cancer preventative amongst other things making it a highly benificial organic drug.

    Now lets be clear, it is a drug, but in no way should that be a deterrent to its use. Everyday, the majority of people in the world have free access to a variety of drugs in our freedom to moderate our biochemical makeup to our own desire. Including alcohol, nicotine, ibuprofen, caffine, acetaphetomine, and various cold medicines and weight loss pills amongst other things. The use of drugs is regular and goes largely unrecognized by most people. What should be asked and honestly weighed are the side effects and pros and cons of its use and potential abuse. Most (including the governments top scientific researcher) would agree that cannabis is a very mild and inconsequential drug especially when compared with the other available options.

    Now the question is how do they effectively make money on it while still holding on to the reins? I would like to make a comparison between pot and apples. Almost anyone in the world can grow an apple tree in their back yard and have free apples for the rest of their lives. However most people go to the grocer for them. Why? Because having an apple tree is a hassle. It requires maintnence, and care and a much better product can usually be obtained by a professional who knows what they are doing. Marijuana is that multiplied tenfold. There are light and heat, humidity, and very strict requirements that make growing it a demanding vocation. Anyone can grow crap, but most will pay well for quality.

    The states that have legalized realize this and have growers register and pay tax in order to sell and make a respectable profit. As i'm sure that there are illegal apple producers that dont pay any taxes on what they grow for themselves and friends and family, anyone who grows a commercially large operation is more than willing to follow government guidelines to avoid unnesecary reprocussions.

    The protest has also been brought up that marijuana use will also lead to an increase in innebriated driving and an increase in car accidents. While it is inevitable that some will break the law and drive under the influence consider this. Currently in most states, the BAC level allowed by law is so low that 2 beers will make it illegal for you to drive home. Many thousands of people break this law ignorantly daily. A study was done in Australia that compared inebriation of both pot and achohol, and found that while under the influence both types failed certain driving laws, it was alchohol that made people drive faster, swerve and change lanes without signaling, and failing to stop at stop signs, marijuana users would drive too slow, leave their signals on for longer than was required and stop early. Clearly no one should be driving under the influence but given the options, it would be fair to argue which alternative is safer.

    However, how can police effectively enforce marijuana inebriation? New studies have been conducted that use infared light to scan the brain and monitor the amount of oxygen and activity going on in different areas. Possibly a small allocation to further those science can produce a standardized method of determining a level of legal intoxication. After all, the use of breath alchohol machines has not been around nearly as long as the use of alchohol.

    By spreading out the ability to grow and disperse and making it easy for citizens to register and pay tax for use, many people would be able and willing to make a safer choice for their recreation. The responsibility should be on the growers and states and spread out for the most cooperation and support.

  130. Comment


    I think it is safe to say that the majority think the wall of prose, and your use of this outlet as a medium for framing your writing aspirations is obnoxious.

    It is a lot like the toddler dancing at the wedding because she wants all that attention that belongs to the betrothed to be focused on her.

    Now I could be wrong, so immediately write another massive piece of prose and see if your artistic aspirations can elicit votes.

  131. Comment

    It makes me madder than hell that the "FEDERAL" government is worried about controlling individuals.

    The union of states should keep their noses on the union of states issues.

    What the hell do drugs have to do with the union of states? Nothing.

    I vote to disband the so called "United States"

    Let the state governments take care of their own people as sovereign nations.

  132. Comment
    Jason Turuc


    not sure what you mean. I am not looking for personal attention if that’s what you ment. If there is any attention I seek it is the attention to the thoughts or ideas I wrote about. If you don’t like my writing or my writing style that’s fine but that’s not really what its about it’s the topic, ideas or thoughts I wrote about

  133. Comment

    Of course you know what I mean.

  134. Comment
    Jason Turuc


    No I really don't that's why i am asking. I like to write thought I would share. It has nothing to do if attention. I was just doing what I like to do "write" as a form of expression which topics are open for discussion or comment that's all. If you dont like what I wrote its open for discussion.

  135. Comment
    Jason Turuc


    So you don’t like my writing? Or you don’t like its content? Or you don’t think this is the place to post it? or Its too long? that’s what I don’t understand

  136. Comment
    Jason Turuc


    I made it shorter. Sorry if you still don't like it

  137. Comment

    @opengov. just a thought about the openess and transparency policy... so, didnt president Obama admit to marijana use as an adolesant? thats pretty open and transparent but doesnt that also make him a hypocrite?.. if he had been prosecuted to the full extent that the federal government requires of others- for one thing, he wouldnt be eligable to be the president. i am also aware that arnold schwartzeneggar not only used to get high, but actually posed for the camera smoking a joint while weight lifting. he and all his friends would smoke pot to help them in their exercise. i know there are many other examples (help me out here people) but i can not recall all the specific government employees..

    its time to stop the double standard. open and transparent. be honest about your past and the fact there you had no problem with it other than the fact it was illegal. which of course leads to the question of why would any government official who used to be okay with it be against it now? pressure from lobbyist??? open and transparent. who is pressing the buttons, and which direction would actually prove to be more beneficial? just trying to brainstorm here.

  138. Comment

    Obama did drugs as an adult. He smoked lots of pot in California. He also sold drugs to live in New York. (He never had a job and still hung out in the NY bars) He was the "cool Hawaiian". Don't you know Hawaiian is the best pot in his time. Obama may have even been arrested under one of his many aliases.

    Yes he is a hypocrite. He as would not be President if he would have been busted (or if they found out he had been busted).

  139. Comment

    Many people did things in their younger years that they would not consider doing as adults. We also had many opinios that as experience was gained we saw how absolutely foolish they were. And, we thank God that not all that could have happened to us did. It's just called growing up. With this we learn to take responsibility for our actions without blaming others. We learn that the whole world does not have to change just to make it easier for us. There is nothing hypocritical about it. It's just growing up and applying all the experiences we have gained to form better conclusions. Thanks again opengov for the forum for exchanging ideas.

  140. Comment

    "We learn that the whole world does not have to change just to make it easier for us."

    I guess Obama still hasn't learned this.

  141. Comment

    @peacockset. regardless of "the grace of God" and the variable what ifs, the fact remains that the president has broken the law. albeit in the past and whether an adolecent or adult, it remains to be argued. what you are correct on is that responsibility needs to be taken for our actions. either he broke the law and he should come clean and explain his reasons and actions and thereafter assume the same punishments that he (through the power of the federal government) enforces, or he broke the law and he does not agree with the legality of the matter and should make real strides and effort toward changing what an obvious majority of the people see as an unjust law that needlessly harms its citizens. brushing something off on "just growing up" does not change the facts or make it go away. if it is wrong for one, it is wrong for all. if it is okay for one, it is okay for all. you cannot divide responsibility among the people whom you would like to follow it, and those you would rather have passed over. our government officials above all should be the examples in the laws that they would have enforced. if not, it is a practice of discrimination and is wrong. open and transparent. be fair, and be equal.

  142. Comment

    I have mixed feelings on this issue...

    The fact that marijuana is a natural herb that grows wild is reason enough that it should be legal. If a person smokes it then that is their business. It is a free country... rather it used to be a free country but not anymore.

    Commercializing or controlling it is not the answer.

  143. Comment

    @peacockset. just one other note for you. i read through your other posted comments and saw your question posed 7 days ago "Does the smoking of marijuana benefit society as a whole?", and i must inform you that yes, i most definitely does. cannabis has been proven to be a carcinogen preventer (cancer preventer), as well as a cure for eating disorders, mood and depression problems, muscle spams, chronic joint pain (no pun intended), and a host of other ailments. if you dont believe me you can go look it up. what about the other drugs on the market you ask?? unfortunately, the vast majority of them happen to be toxic and need close monitoring to avoid serious physical side effects. of course, if you have read any of the information on marijuana, you would know it is non toxic and quite impossible to overdose on.

    but what about the average person using it for recreation, you ask? what about them? a person who smokes pot is friendly, agreeable, and generally more amiable than the average person having an increase of cannabanoids in their brain. Cannabinoids are one of the 4 happy chemicals that your brain NATURALLY produces. our brains make endocannabanoids to regulate our hunger levels and mood, (it also makes seretonin, dopamine, and endorphines). tetrahydrocannabinoids are simply the vegetal version of what our body already produces. alchohol on the other hand is a poison and must be consumed in small doses so that our livers can process the ethenol and not go into toxic shock. it depressed the central nervous system and makes you relaxed and numb, which for many people is very desireable. i for one stand by the old credo of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" if what you are doing does not harm me or my things, go right on ahead. i dont have to like it or agree with it.

    but you should understand the great benefit that a natural safe medecine can provide for the people. you have obviously been heavily entrenched in the campaigns, slogans and dogmas of the past but all the anger and resistance towards pot are misplaced. open your awareness and seek the truth. and dont forget, by freeing legislation of marijuana, hemp will inevitably follow, and the benefits of that are exponential. do a little research and check for yourself. you might benefit from it.

  144. Comment

    according to that way of thinking we should all just "man up" and take the consequences of all our past actions. For any on the site that have smoked pot should go turn themselves in. If we have exceeded the speed limit we should go in and pay all the tickets that we should have gotten. If you are willing than I would be interested in hearing how it goes.

    In theory I agree but I do think people change and that change means something. And, I don't see that you are encouraging everybody to take responsibility, just Obama.

    Thanks for the lively discussion and I was surprised you choose to quote me as I don't think I really say much of anything worth quoting. As far as my history, please don't assume because I have not offered that to the discussion. I choose to wait to have my own history examined if I decide to run for president. :)

  145. Comment

    for your information, i HAVE been incarcerated for certain crimes that the president has commited. i do not speed. and i have paid more into the system than you would likely believe. with holding the highest office of this country comes the responsibility of accounability. while i am not suggesting that everyone here turn themselves in (as this would be a nightmare in court cost, jail fees, payment for food and lodging, not to mention loss of income), you must remember that it is almost certain that none of these people work for the enforcement of this law. what i am suggesting is for the president, as an example to the people, to practice what you preach. and yes, in order to be taken seriously, we must 'man up' and take our consequences and grow from it.

    oh, on a side note, you really dont say anything much worth quoting, just many statements that prove for all how ignorant you are.

  146. Comment
    terry owens


    I understand that you have some mixed feeling's about this whole marijuana issue.I really must inform you that unless marijuana is fully legalized,taxed and regulated just like alcohol and tobacco.The government will never allow legalization strictly for personal use cultivation and possession simply because it really needs to be controlled in order to keep it out of the hand's of children and to milk it for all the tax dollars that be generated by legal commerce.To just legalize it for people who own their own homes and land and are able to grow enough for personal use will exclude all those who live in apartment's who's owners ,in most cases would never be none too sympathetic to the idea of someone having a 100 plant growing operation going on in one of their unit's.Anyone can grow marijuana just like anyone with half a brain can make alcohol.The government wised up to this fact during prohibition and the years afterwards when they had hell trying to make the moonshiners pay taxes on the alcohol they were producing.To think that the government should just let people grow and use marijuana with zero interference from the government or law enforcement is a hippie notion that the government will never accept.The politicians who support legalization are looking at the tax revenue potential as well as the billions of dollars that are waisted yearly fighting a war against a plant who's popularity will only continue to grow as the tobacco industry slowly fades into history.

  147. Comment

    Terry Owens: Unfortunately, there is one thing which you have failed to consider. The government is "supposed to" work FOR THE PEOPLE. If they get 100% of their funding FROM THE PEOPLE, then their sole obligation is to do what THE PEOPLE DEMAND OF IT.

    Now if people continue along the path of "the government controls us because we are the property of the government" then of course, their usurping of individual human rights will continue until we have exactly that situation in place, and rather than the current debt-based slavery that at least offers us the semblance of freedom, it will then become a true fact, and we will have no freedoms at all.

    On much consideration of this issue, only when people realize that the government is NOT OUR MASTER AND CONTROLLER will the idiocy stop, and we will then be able to exercise our rights.

    Put another way, where is the law which was KNOWINGLY ratified by all people which states "I hereby give up all my freedoms to decide things for myself, and assign those freedoms to the government." Fact is, noone with more than a single workig neuron would EVER sign such a contract...yet the "governments" (corporate entities which tell us they are governments, anyway) act as though we have ALL signed such a document, when, in fact, NOONE HAS EVER EVEN BEEN APPROACHED WITH THE REQUEST TO SIGN AWAY OUR RIGHTS!

    This is a far larger issue than I have ever anticipated once I started investigating the facts which surround it!!! To be honest, the natural cannabis plant itself has very little to do with the legalization of cannabis! Only when you look for yourself and understand that this has nothing to do with the plant, and has EVERYTHING to do with the amazing list of contradictions and outright lies that our governments tell us are true, will you understand the true nature of the true fight we face!

    They call it a "drug war" for a reason...and if they lose against the people, the only result will be that the people will gain the knowledge that they are only as free as they are willing to accept responsibility for their own actions...and that's far too heavy a concept for the vast majority of people to grasp. explains a great deal of the truth behind the reasons why, and methods how, cannabis initially became illegal, despite being the most used plant in the history of humanity until that time. Read "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" and understand at last these facts for yourselves...

  148. Comment

    I have posted a couple of times on this issue and after reading all the opinions expressed by others, I would like to share one final thought.

    People should give President Obama a bit more credit than they do. How rare must it be in life to find a politician either brave enough or stupid enough to take a strong stand on such a hot topic issue as this one has become. That's just not how they do business at the level he has achieved, whatever their personal opinions may be. In a perfect world, perhaps that would be the case. Alas, this just is not a perfect world.

    Though I strongly support the legalization for a variety of reasons, one of which is that I enjoy using it to relax after a long stressful day, I can respect the opinions of those who oppose it because that is what makes being an American such a wonderful thing; we can all have our own opinions and freely express them. Anyone that doesn't like that can find another place to live.

    But let us be realistic here people. The day that the federal government announces a massive, sweeping change to this drug policy is not in the near future. Their must of necessity be several intermediate steps occur first for that to happen. Let us instead come together to resolve this very important issue that goes much deeper than the uses of this plant. In fact, the very nature of what freedom means to this country is at the core of the matter. Here is how we could do this and I truly hope the president reads this post.

    First, the federal government should recognize that the legality of substances are best dealt with by the individual states. Actually, President Obama has already declared this important policy shift in regards to medical marijuana and has even implied that the policy should have a much broader impact on the federal/state legal relationship. Thank you for that, Mr. President. In essence you have made this a state issue which it clearly is.

    Second, marijuana clearly is not a Schedule I drug by the federal government's own standards and should be reclassified immediately. Any argument against this action is just not logical and continues the needless persecution of the casual user and the yes, the addicted. Acting on this issue decisively is morally and legally correct, Mr. President. No amount of personal bias justifies a continuation of this classification.

    Finally, there is entirely too much misinformation on marijuana being thrown around by both sides of the matter and the time has come for a clear, objective look to be taken once and for all. Mr. President, I propose that this would be a true and lasting reform of the federal government's directive and you should personally appoint experts from both sides to a panel to report the truth about marijuana once and for all. For every negative study there seems to be two positive ones so let's just get the truth out there to the people finally. We deserve that much. The results of this long overdue objective look by the federal government could be made readily available to state and local governments so they could make fair and reasonable policies for their residents.

    We have an opportunity to make things better for all Americans, Mr. President, without sacrificing your politcal career in the process. As you can tell, I am not an unintelligent man with an extremist point of view. My point of view is the mainstream now. Please look at my approach with an open mind and I believe you will do the right thing. This issue has been tainted with prejudice and corruption long enough.

  149. Comment

    electropig is right.

    “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

    –James Madison

    We have been losing freedoms for a very long time. Since 1913, in fact. For a perfect example of how it happens go here:

    Recognize what i being done to us and fight it, or go down the same road as pre WWII Germany and end up less than slaves to the state.

  150. Comment
    terry owens

    Micheal Bradford,

    I agree with you 100%.You have hit the nail on the head.The government owes it to the citizens of this country to have an open debate of this topic wich is in reality the right of the people to choose whether or not to use marijuana for recreational purposes.There has been far too much misinformation generated by the likes of the "Partenership for a drug free America".Some of their informercials are nothing short of absurd.I believe that's why so many of our youth are using it to this day,because teen's aren't stupid.They know what's true and what isn't.From the first time I got high at the age of 18,I've never stopped asking the question,"why is pot illegal?"It's a medical fact that a human being can't overdose on it.So with that said,how can it be a health issue?The truth is that it's a moral issue and I hope and pray to God that I never live in a country where everyone share's the same set of moral belief's.

  151. Comment

    There is no rationale that says I have to respect someone's desire to interfere in my personal life. I do not respect, I do not intend to even remotely entertain the concept that someone has any business marching their opinion into my living room and expressing their opinion on what I do there.

    That concept is pandering and I will not be guilty of such a thing.

    The truth is that there is a whole bunch of people making a living at this running other people's lives thing, and they are not just a huge and incredibly stupid drain on tax dollars, they are bringing down the nation by teaching contempt for the law.

    As soon as one learns to hold one law in contempt, it is a short walk to complete anarchy.

    Short. I'm there, I'm waiting for enough to catch up, many are already with me, already armed, and it will come.

    There is no way it won't.

    So play like agreeing is a reasonable thing to do. It isn't. It is self-destructive. You will be armed and ready, or not.

  152. Comment

    As I am not the first and definately wont be the last to support such an idea Im not going to sound like a broken record and repeat what my fellow human beings have previously said, but logically thinking - the only "real" problem or main concern for society is this cause or trigger of skitzophrenia in someone... ofcourse the adds will tell me it dramatically decreases my reaction, social and mental capabilities aswell but tell me what else doesnt?? Alcohol has been proven to be far more dangerous and toxic than that of a marijuana plant that is growing naturally as god intended. Now ofcourse this doesnt happen as often as it should because of its prohibition but you can thank your local and international governments for that.. Even still my point is simply made by observing an average pub scene every week for the last 7 years of my life.. Now alcohol may not cause or trigger skizophrenia but when people have had more than what they should they do become different. 3/4 of our paramedics are on the streets every weekend attending to an alcohol fuelled fight or accident. Waiting rooms are packed to the brim through all hours of the night and morning with incidents that should not really occur. If you ask me the skiztos are already here and they didnt smoke weed to get there. I believe the government is irresponsible, and decietful for robbing the people of the truth and scapegoating other nations and or substances for their own incompetance. Every flower has a right to bloom. Horticulturalists would probably call this War on Drugs nothing but Genocide on its own race. Obama its change we need!! -- Free the people and legalize weed!! -- For those that had an extra 5 minutes to actually research the plants properties one would come to realise that not only is this sacred gift capable of producing soaps, ropes, structual beams, paper, fuel, clothing and food and about another 1000 uses not to mention the impact it would have on reducing carbon dioxide and inturn repaying us with that precious oxygen.. The fact is even if there was no regulation on it and you ended up with a few skitzos you still got a lot more pros than cons.. I mean seriously no more logging of forests... how is that not a plus.. dont get me wrong im not a religious tree hugger but there aint that many round nowdays... probably explains why when it simply rains It infold floods... This nation needs to wake up and it would help if their blindfold was loosend. Peace and God help us all!!!

  153. Comment

    For all those following this thread, here are the best resourcs from which to start your search for the truth:

    Only when you know the truth can you make an informed decision for yourselves, and only when you have made your decision for yourself can you understand that each and every individual who is not you must also make that same self-determination.

    This world is being run by controlling narciccists and supported by "me-tooers" who could never possibly have a single thought of their, had it not already been planted and fully delineated by their masters...and this must stop is the species is to survive.

    This issue show how poorly educated and wilfully ignorant the people should have been cleared up over 7 DECADES ago when it first started!

  154. Comment

    Marijuana POW dies in custody in Houston

    June 25th, 2009 By: Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator

    (Raw Story) A woman serving a short sentence in a Houston, Texas, jail for possession of marijuana died in custody over the weekend, and officers are not saying how or why.

    The 29-year-old, identified as Theresa Anthony, had expected to spend just two and a half weeks behind bars in the Harris County lockup. On Saturday, Cynthia Prude, Theresa’s mother, received a phone call from the jail’s Chaplain informing her that her daughter was dead.

    Theresa Anthony, victim of prohibition

    Theresa Anthony, victim of prohibition

    Prude has not been allowed to see the body, nor has the Harris County Sheriff’s Department even spoken with her, according to area media.

    On 4 June 2009, the Justice Department concluded a 15 months-long investigation into the Harris County facility and determined in the subsequent 27-page report that over 142 prisoners had died there since 2001. Most expired due to lack of medical care, the report claims.

    The Associated Press noted that after the Justice Department declined to make its findings public, The Houston Chronicle was able to obtain a copy, which it released on the Internet.

    Wait a minute, how is this possible? According to our last Drug Czar, John Walters, finding a non-violent offender in jail or prison for simple possession is like finding a unicorn.

    Theresa Anthony could be you or me. Or could have been a young Barack Obama. Just another dead unicorn, expiring in a cage for the crime of preferring the safest choice of social relaxant or therapeutic medicine.

    President Obama, if you can stop giggling for a moment, could you please put “legalization” back on the table? Director Kerlikowske, could you please find the time to add “decriminalization” to your vocabulary? You have the power to see to it that Theresa Anthony is the last unicorn to die in a cell.

    And yet the prohibitionists think keeping MJ in prohibition is a good thing. What a screwed up would we are living in. This would have never happened to her IF MJ was decriminalized at least if not was legalized and taxed yet her story proves the facts of what could have prevented this. Yet does our govt. listen? How many more stories like hers is not being heard but are out there and some still to come. Yet Our govt. does not listen.

    We need MJ to be at least decriminalized if not legal and taxed to prevent any others that will be most likely to come if they are not as it is.

    After this do you think our govt. will listen or when will be enough 10 people how bout 10,000 people for the govt. to listen to us?How many more arrests and prisons do we need?How much more money out of the taxpayers pocket on such a wasted cause such as prohibition?

    To see others view as well on this topic visit:

  155. Comment

    Also for us to make even more head way sort of say we need to keep the pressure up and not quit fighting. If we battle together and keep the pressure on then we will previel but if we just sit around and just post on blogs alone and do not steadily keep fighting then what is likely to happen is everything we have accomplished will vanish . Together in battle we will be victorious so lets keep the fight strong and show them that our voice is not going to quiet so easily . Lets do all we can and keep it up so that every one is finely free from the prohibition . We are not just fighting for our rights but for our future generations rights as well and for that we must keep onward until we have reached our goal for freedom. Lets show them we are no slave and do have power. Lets show them our voices will not go unheard while we keep the pressure on the govt. till we are truely free . Let us stand up for our god given rights as Americans.