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Archive for the ‘Drug-war’ Category

Which candidate will stop the enforcement of laws against Americans who use marijuana?

QUICK ANSWER: Ron Paul will end the war on drugs altogether – immediately. Obama will continue to enforce laws against marijuana users – using the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Administration.

It seems that voters for the reform of marijuana laws are contending between Barack Obama and Ron Paul – Democrat vs. Republican. But probably, most marijuana-users are voting for right moral judgment – not a party affiliation.

For the thousands of patients that depend on cannabis for treatment and pain relief, the reform of marijuana laws and ending the D.E.A. raids on home-growers and care centers are one of the most important issues in this presidential campaign. Granitestaters.com and medical marijuana patients actively sought to ask the right questions to the candidates early in the campaign season. A review can be found on their web site. They gave Ron Paul an A+ rating on the issue.

Voters want someone who will hold to his word (that is, actually do something about this criminal ‘War on Drugs‘). But candidates might also lie – to increase their popularity – or change their mind afterwards. Since the Granite Stater’s review of the candidates, little or nothing is heard from them again about the issue. And the leading Democratic candidates have changed their minds – choosing to continue the drug war, even against medical marijuana patients.

[Note: the president doesn’t have control over state laws – only federal laws, which are the source of the drug war. Thirteen states have legalized/decriminalized marijuana in the past few years, but the Federal government can forcefully override their laws (using the D.E.A.).]

Barack Obama:

UPDATE (January 2008): Despite Obama’s answers to questions early in the campaign season, it is now clear that he will NOT change drug laws. Barack Obama will continue to keep marijuana illegal.

OLD NEWS:

Obama has admitted in a number of campaign stops that he once used drugs. He has admitted that he is for limited legalization which should be based on scientific evidence and tight controls. Generally speaking, Obama is for allowing patients to use marijuana but not for allowing it to become purely legal – in fact, he opposes legal marijuana and wants to keep it “under strict guidelines”.

He has compared marijuana to morphine – not in intensity, but in application. But he apparently feels that marijuana may also lead down a “slippery slope” towards wider legalization (which he opposes). While admitting that he “did inhale”, he also believes that his use of cannabis was a mistake.

“My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana then that’s something I’m open to because there’s no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain,” Obama said. “But I want to do it under strict guidelines. I want it prescribed in the same way that other painkillers or palliative drugs are prescribed.” – Barack Obama

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUze-oYsswI]

“Um… the um… I would not use the justice department to prosecute… for medical marijuana. It’s a waste of resources.” – Barack Obama

Most democrats do not support ‘decriminalization’ of marijuana:

Ron Paul:

Ron Paul may not be a marijuana user – but (being a doctor) he knows and openly affirms the fact that marijuana is a very effective medicine. Ron Paul wants marijuana (and all other drugs) to not be regulated by the federal government. In other words, he’ll completely legalize it at the Federal level.

One of Ron Paul’s best qualities is that he believes that what people do with their own body or own lives is their own business (not the government’s) – so long as it does not cause harm to others.

This is one of the greatest things that separates Ron Paul from the other candidates – his strong opposition to big government and his firm belief in the Constitution and civil liberty. It doesn’t matter what Ron Paul personally believes about it, as he would say himself – it’s not his job to tell people what they can and cannot do – so it’s inherent in his principals that marijuana (and other drugs) should not be Federally illegal.

Ron Paul readily admits that the War on Drugs is a completely misconceived failure of government. He strongly opposes the D.E.A. – not just for enforcing marijuana laws, but he will simply shut down the D.E.A. and the Drug War altogether.

We know we can trust in him – not only because of the honesty and integrity always present in his manner of speech and character – but because he takes the same stance on all the issues: it must comply with the Constitution. The war on drugs does not – period!

The Constitution gives the Federal Government no right to enact any such laws or ‘wars’. This war is a war against millions of Americans and is truly ruining people’s lives – only President Ron Paul will put an end to it in 2008.

“I would absolutely never use the Federal Government to enforce the law against anybody using marijuana.” – Ron Paul

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After nearly four decades of fueling the U.S. policy of a war on drugs with over a trillion tax dollars and 37 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses, our confined population has quadrupled making building prisons the fastest growing industry in the United States. More than 2.2 million of our citizens are currently incarcerated and every year we arrest an additional 1.9 million more guaranteeing those prisons will be bursting at their seams. Every year we choose to continue this war will cost U.S. taxpayers another 69 billion dollars. Despite all the lives we have destroyed and all the money so ill spent, today illicit drugs are cheaper, more potent, and far easier to get than they were 35 years ago at the beginning of the war on drugs. Meanwhile, people continue dying in our streets while drug barons and terrorists continue to grow richer than ever before. We would suggest that this scenario must be the very definition of a failed public policy. This madness must cease!

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Source: L.E.A.P – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

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From Ron Paul’s Writings

For the first 140 years of our history, we had essentially no Federal war on drugs, and far fewer problems with drug addiction and related crimes was a consequence. In the past 30 years, even with the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the drug war, little good has come of it. We have vacillated from efforts to stop the drugs at the source to severely punishing the users, yet nothing has improved. This war has been behind most big government policy powers of the last 30 years, with continual undermining of our civil liberties and personal privacy.

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The remaining 90,710 individuals were charged with “sale/manufacture,” a category that includes all cultivation offenses, even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use.

Annual Marijuana Arrests in the U.S. 1965-2006

Source

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…and results in the arrest of more than 829,000 individuals per year — far more than the total number of arrestees for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Source

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In 1972, the National Commission on Marihuana (sic) and Drug Abuse recommended to Congress that there should be an end to criminal punishment for the use and possession of Cannabis and that it should not be an offense. But contrary to this report, President Nixon decided to declare an “all out war” against Cannabis.

There has been war on drugs ever since. For the past 35 years:

– Approximately 16.5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana violations – more than 80 percent of them on minor possession charges.

– U.S. taxpayers have spent well over $20 billion enforcing criminal marijuana laws, yet marijuana availability and use among the public remains virtually unchanged.

– Nearly one-quarter of a million Americans have been denied federal financial aid for secondary education because of anti-drug provisions to the Higher Education Act. Most of these applicants were convicted of minor marijuana possession offenses.

– Total U.S. marijuana arrests increased 165 percent during the 1990s, from 287,850 in 1991 to well over 700,000 in 2000, before reaching an all-time high of nearly 800,000 in 2005. However, according to the government’s own data, this dramatic increase in the number of persons arrested for pot was not associated with any reduction in the number of new users, any reduction in marijuana potency, or any increases in the black market price of marijuana.

– Currently, one in eight inmates incarcerated for drug crimes is behind bars for pot, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 billion per year.

The argument in the report wasn’t that marijuana is harmless, but relatively so compared to other substances such as alcohol and tobacco, which are more harmful and don’t carry criminal punishment for consumption or possession; Cannabis use does not warrant the costs of persecuting hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. Of the millions of Americans who have reported using it, few ever report any adverse side affects.

Read the original article by Paul Armentano here.

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