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Archive for the ‘Drug-war’ Category

Federal Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced by Rep. Ron Paul

April 17, 2008 – Washington, DC, USA

Washington, DC: Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced H.R. 5842, the “Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act,” earlier today. This bill would make federal authorities respect states’ current laws on medicinal cannabis and end DEA raids on facilities distributing medical marijuana legally under state law.

Representative Paul, whose presidential campaign prominently featured the ending of the drug war as a platform plank, was joined by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) in sponsoring this bill.

“I think marijuana is a helpful medical treatment for the people who have intractable nausea,” Paul said in a 2004 House debate regarding a similar measure. “I would like to point out this is not something strange that we are suggesting here. For the first 163 years of our history in this country, the federal government had total hands off, they never interfered with what the states were doing.”

Twelve states have approved the use of medical marijuana, beginning with California in 1996 with the passage of Proposition 215. The DEA continues to raid and harass medicinal cannabis dispensaries operating within these states’ laws. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both indicated they would end such raids should they be elected.

Michigan will vote on an initiative to adopt medical cannabis legislation this November. Minnesota and Rhode Island’s respective legislatures are also considering pro-reform legislation this year.

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A Film By Christian Laurette

After a serious head injury in 1997, Rick Simpson sought relief from his medical condition through the use of medicinal hemp oil. When Rick discovered that the oil (with its high concentration of THC) cured cancers and other illnesses, he tried to share it with as many people as he could free of charge – curing and controlling literally hundreds of people’s illnesses.

But when the story went public, the long arm of the law snatched the medicine – leaving potentially thousands of people without their cancer treatments – and leaving Rick with unconstitutional charges of possessing and trafficking marijuana!

Note: In this movie they call the medicine “hemp oil”. According to most definitions, hemp is actually a non-medicinal form of cannabis. The medicine they’re using is derived from marijuana flower buds, and is essentially hash oil. The probable reason why they don’t use these terms is to try to avoid discrimination.

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The profits of the war on drugs is immense. And the power of propaganda is supreme.

What will it take for people to have the fortitude to debunk and critically analyze? For those of you who hate reading, or find learning difficult, this edu-taining show may help:

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Top ten twelve reasons (and growing?) to maintain the drug-war:

1. Tax
Although irrelevant to modern motivations to maintain a war-on-drugs, The Marihuana Tax Act (1937) was one of the first steps towards undermining one of the world’s most highly productive and competitive crops. Today there is no tax on cannabis since it has been forced into the black market, and some people today endorse the return of the tax in exchange for re-legalization. But for the industries and motivations that follow, we’ll see that tax is the least profitable reason to maintain the prohibition and discrimination of cannabis-hemp.

2. Racism and Immigration
The drug-war is in fact rooted in racism. Due to the Mexican revolution of 1910, many Mexicans poured over into America. This caused cheap labor in large farms, which hurt small farmers. This caused tension against the immigrants. Racism stirred, but it was another cause that started the string of prohibition that started in the western states.

The first (major) introduction of marijuana into the United States was by Mexicans (hence the name ‘marijuana’). The first prohibition was in the state of Utah in 1915. This was actually the response of the church, who’s influence was as good as power over the state’s laws. They were unhappy for the fact that it was affecting their Mormon missionaries. Over the next eight years, ten states had anti-marijuana legislation.

3. Alcohol Industry
From 1920 to 1933 the government attempted to keep a prohibition on alcohol. At least then, they did it properly and ratified the 18th Amendment. But prohibition didn’t work, as it was then sold on the black market and caused more problems than it was when alcohol was legal. Perhaps it was then that some realized that prohibition has profitable benefits. Some consider marijuana ‘the anti-drug’ due to the fact that, with some, alcohol and other drugs and disfavored, and people are pleased by their use of marijuana alone. Without a doubt, legal marijuana would cause the decline in the alcohol industry.

4. Fiber industry
Hemp as a fiber industry was used to pay tax in the early years after the American Revolution and was also used to help win the second World War. Despite this, hemp has been discriminated against for the sake of the cotton industry and the industries that support it. Because cotton requires pesticides, herbicides, and extraordinarily more work than hemp, which produces triple the amount of fiber per acre, investments can be made in these other industries – which would have been threatened by hemp, which requires none of them. In other words, hemp is so amazingly self-sufficient and useful that it out-competes all other fiber crops.

5. Medical industrial complex
For thousands of years, cannabis flowers have been used as treatment and even cure for a multitude of diseases and illnesses. Cannabis is not only a natural drug – requiring no industrial motivations – but people don’t even have to buy it because they can easily grow their own. If this were allowed, this versatile medicine would ultimately outgrow and replace many of the modern, synthetic, designer drugs that populate the market today – it cost the industry millions in profits.
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6. Prison industrial complex
Most people today are still unaware of the ‘prison industrial complex‘. The prison industry has become one of the largest, most profitable and growing industries in the United States – which keeps more prisoners than the rest of the world combined. A majority of these American prisoners are incarcerated for ‘drug crimes’, many of which are only non-violent marijuana users and distributors. If marijuana became legal and these non-violent ‘offenders’ were pardoned, it would harm the prison industry.
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7. Forestry industry
Paper and wood can be made from the hemp stalk. These materials can be used to build more affordable and eco-friendly homes than wood. Though the quality of hemp fiber-board is possibly less-than than of quality woods, its economic benefit to the consumer is so huge that it would strike a powerful blow to the forestry industry.

Criminalization of hemp came also with the help of DuPont – a gunpowder and chemicals company (i.e. they invented CFCs) owned by one of the most powerful families in American history. Hemp paper threatened DuPont’s monopoly on the necessary chemicals for paper from trees, and Nylon, a synthetic fiber, was patented the same year that hemp was made illegal. Hemp does not require DuPont’s chemicals to produce paper, and out-competes paper fiber that comes from trees.

And let’s not forget William Randolph Hearst, a leading newspaper publisher in the 1930s who had significant financial interests in the timber industry, which manufactured his newsprint, and was threated by hemp.

8. Military industrial complex
The military industrial complex is, basically, the complex of companies and corporations that profit from the military and war (i.e. making bullets, bombs, armor, etc.) And like all businesses, they need war to make sales and profits.

The endless war on drugs in Colombia is the ultimate example. Afghanistan suffers a similar fate (but here the war is for multiple ‘benefits’) – these are probably the two best examples of how the drug trade has been an excuse for the U.S. military to invade and intervene.

Though it is true that the profits of these drug cartels may be used to finance ‘terrorist organizations’, this is a poor argument when considering the fact that the drugs wouldn’t be so profitable if they weren’t restricted by the black market. A notorious fact is that the American Government hypocritically funds terrorist organizations such as the AUC in Colombia at the same time as claiming to be fighting it.

9. Police enforcement
If police or other law enforcement ever wanted an excuse to invade or prosecute – the drug-war easily creates that opportunity. Marijuana users, being in the millions of people in America, and especially being among the poor and minorities, authorities can fairly easily gain the power to arrest almost anyone they please.

10. Black market profits
The drug-war, despite its decades of fighting citizens and spending hundreds of billions, will never be ‘won’. Instead of regulating drugs, they have been forced onto the black market. Fear of prosecution, the danger of black market dealing, the multitude of middle-men necessary, and many other reasons cause the prices of drugs to inflate exponentially. Drug profits are then seized. Where does this money go? It’s certainly not destroyed. And the drugs themselves – some is destroyed, but some also speculate that many drugs seized are re-circulated in the black market to regenerate the profits that can be seized.

11. Oil and plastic industry
While millions of Americans resent the high fuel prices and seek alternatives to the crude-oil industry, they are also greatly unaware of the potential for hemp to satisfy the needs of bio-diesel, ethanol, plastics and even car parts. In fact, in the 1930s Ford made and fueled a car almost entirely from hemp products. With such a powerful competitor, the crude oil industry could have never gained the power it demonstrates today.

Once again DuPont – having patented the processes for creating plastics from coal and oil – was at risk with hemp being a more viable source for making plastics.

12. Free thought
Contemporary with the hippie-sixties, cannabis smoking has become associated with free thought and opposition to government control. And for the most part, this is true. One of the most prized characteristics of this drug is the effect of detachment: from the propaganda and the lies and the many illnesses and hypocrisies that plague American life. The war on drugs has outgrown and outstretched its ability to profit, and cannabis enthusiasts are among those who are most aware of the facts. With millions of Americans under prosecution, for the sake of an illegal war on the citizens, the only benefit of the drug-war has been to raise awareness of injustice and the many other injustices of the federal government.

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This is a great example of the strength of Ron Paul’s arguments – logical, powerful, and true.

Morton Downy Junior Show (1988)

Transcript:

On freedom

Goonie: Your solutions, on stopping drug trade, is give up… give up on the war-on-drugs. I say zero tolerance, we use the military for aid, we stop it from getting into the country, we cut it off at the source. Why give up on that fight?

Ron Paul: What you give up on is a tyrannical approach to solving a social and medical problem. We endorse the idea of voluntarism, self-responsibility, family, friends, and churches to solve problems, rather than saying that some monolithic government is going to make you take care of yourself and be a better person. It’s a preposterous notion, it never worked, it never will. The government can’t make you a better person, it can’t make you follow good habits. Why don’t they put you on a diet, you’re a little overweight…

The Morton Downey Jr. Show, July 4, 1988

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Advocates to call on state legislature to prevent discrimination

Sacramento, CA — The California Supreme Court ruled against medical marijuana patient Gary Ross today in his fight against employment discrimination. In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court claimed that Ross could not rely on the Fair Housing and Employment Act or the state’s medical marijuana law to prevent discrimination at the workplace. The Court did indicate in its decision that the state legislature had not adequately clarified employment rights of medical marijuana patients.

“Obviously, we are very disappointed by today’s decision,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana advocacy organization that argued the case. “However, we remain hopeful that the legislature will come to the aid of patients by preventing the sort of discrimination that is likely to occur from such a decision.” The dissenting opinion, written by Justice Joyce L. Kennard, stated that the ruling “has seriously compromised the Compassionate Use Act, denying to those who must work for a living its promised benefits.”

Despite a clearly worded amicus “friend of the court” brief filed in support of Ross in July 2006 by all of the original co-authors of SB 420 (state legislation that helped to define the rights of medical marijuana patients), the Supreme Court failed to believe that it was the intent of the entire legislature. Advocates assert that they will seek a different response from the state legislature in the form of a bill introduced in the next few weeks.

Gary Ross, a 45-year old disabled veteran and a medical marijuana patient living in Carmichael, California, is at the forefront of a landmark employment case, with significant ramifications for patients in California and across the country. Ross was fired in September 2001 for failing an employer-mandated drug test while working as a systems engineer for RagingWire Telecommunications, Inc.

“All I am asking is to be a productive member of society,” said plaintiff Gary Ross. “I was not fired for poor work performance, but for an antiquated policy on medical marijuana,” continued Ross. “This practice allows employers to undermine state law and the protections provided for patients.”

Ross’s physician recommended cannabis for chronic back pain that resulted from injuries sustained during his military service. But Ross’s employer, RagingWire Telecommunications, refused to make an exception to its policy of terminating anyone testing positive for marijuana.

Ross filed suit after he was fired in 2001, arguing that RagingWire illegally discriminated against him because of his condition. However, a Sacramento Superior Court, and then the Third Appellate District Court both rejected his argument. In October 2005, ASA appealed to the California Supreme Court on behalf of Ross. Strong public support has been shown for Ross and the plight of California patients to seek and maintain employment.

Since it began recording instances of employment discrimination in 2005, ASA has received hundreds of such reports from across California. Companies that have either fired patients from their job, threatened them with termination, or denied them employment because of patient status or a positive test for marijuana, include Costco Wholesale, UPS, Foster Farms Dairy, DirecTV, the San Joaquin Courier, Power Auto Group, as well as several construction companies, hospitals, and various trade union employers.

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Obama supports decriminalization, and he does not! Obama thinks we have too many young people behind bars because of drug offenses, but wants to keep marijuana illegal! Obama says that our prisons are too full with first time offenders, but doesn’t oppose the war on drugs!

Obama cannot make-up his mind, or he’s being advised against taking a position on this ‘delicate’ issue.

But seriously, the fact is, Obama will not legalize marijuana or change the law… period. The only candidate who supports your freedom to smoke or drink whatever you want is… Ron Paul!

StopTheDrugWar.org

Nevermind, Barack Obama Wants to Arrest Marijuana Users After All

For one brief glorious moment, we thought Barack Obama supported marijuana decriminalization. He said so in 2004 and his campaign reiterated it yesterday, only to subsequently retreat and pledge support for current marijuana laws.

At first, Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said that the candidate had “always” supported decriminalizing marijuana, suggesting his 2004 statement was correct. Then after the Times posted copies of the video on its Web site today, his campaign reversed course and declared he does not support eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana possession and use.”If you’re convicted of a crime, you should be punished, but that we are sending far too many first-time, non-violent drug users to prison for very long periods of time, and that we should rethink those laws,” Vietor said. The spokesman blamed confusion over the meaning of decriminalization for the conflicting answers. [Washington Times]

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