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Just Say Now!

Posted by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 2:19 PM
  • 32 Replies

 

'Just Say Now': Left-Right Coalition Launches Campaign To Legalize Pot

First Posted: 08- 3-10 01:53 PM   |   Updated: 08- 3-10 02:48 PM


A transpartisan coalition of prosecutors, judges, cops, students, bloggers and political operatives on both sides of the aisle launched a campaign Tuesday to bring an end to marijuana prohibition, focusing on ballot initiatives in 2010 and 2012. The campaign, "Just Say Now," gets its name from Nancy Reagan's iconic anti-drug slogan from the 1980s that has become synonymous with the government's black-and-white approach to drug policy.

"The stars are aligning in a very interesting way with Tea Party activists, who are generally libertarian," said Aaron Houston, head of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, on a conference call Tuesday afternoon announcing the formation of the coalition. "On the right and left it's a very popular issue."

The campaign will be backing marijuana initiatives in 2010 in Arizona, Oregon, California, Colorado and South Dakota. The group will back initiatives in Nevada and elsewhere in 2012.

Support for marijuana legalization has steadily increased over the past decade. As Mexico has descended into chaos fueled by the drug trade - a business overwhelmingly dominated by marijuana trafficking, despite the common perception that cocaine and heroin drive the war - public opinion has turned further sour against the drug war. With deficit concerns in the headlines and a stagnant economy refusing to create jobs, one time opponents of legalization are eyeing marijuana's tax revenue and job-creation prospects - conditions that helped repeal alcohol prohibition during the Great Depression.

Marijuana has been part of the national consciousness since the mid-1960s, the first drug other than alcohol to be so thoroughly a part of American culture. Cocaine and heroin rose at the end of the 19th Century but largely went deep underground until the 1970s; use of those harder drugs, meanwhile, has always been confined to smaller portions of the population. Marijuana, meanwhile, has been smoked by scores of millions of Americans, including the last three presidents. Medical marijuana is legal in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

The organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, made up of cops and prosecutors who've seen the dark side of the war on drugs, will give cover to politicians who come out in support of legalization. Its current president is Neill Franklin, a 33-year police veteran and ran anti-narcotics units with the Maryland State Police.

One LEAP leader, Norm Stamper, former chief of police in Seattle, Washington, the predecessor of current Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske. "Most police office candidates have used marijuana," said Stamper, noting the hypocrisy of the law. He said that law enforcement officials are becoming less frightened of speaking out publicly against the war on drugs.

Bruce Fein, a member of the coalition, was Ronald Reagan's associate deputy attorney general and is a prominent civil libertarian. "This is a fundamental issue of states' rights," said Fein.


Former Police Chief Urges President Obama to Join Mexican President Calderon in Debate on Legalizing Marijuana

By: Michael Whitney Wednesday August 4, 2010 9:04 am

As Mexico’s government announced the death toll in the four-year-long war with drug cartels totaled more than 28,000, President Felipe Calderon called for a debate on legalizing drugs to fight the cartels.

“It’s a fundamental debate in which I think, first of all, you must allow a democratic plurality (of opinions),” he said. “You have to analyze carefully the pros and cons and the key arguments on both sides.”

Three former presidents — Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Fernando Cardoso of Brazil — urged Latin American countries last year to consider legalizing marijuana to undermine a major source of income for cartels. And Mexico’s congress also has debated the issue.

But Calderon has so far said he is opposed to the idea.

Despite Calderon’s feelings on legalization, his call for debate is an encouraging step forward. But it’s not the first call for legalization from Mexico’s government. In December 2009, a Mexican official said that “there is no other argument or solution other than legalization, at least of marijuana.”

Growing numbers of Mexican and U.S. officials say—at least privately—that the biggest step in hurting the business operations of Mexican cartels would be simply to legalize their main product: marijuana. Long the world’s most popular illegal drug, marijuana accounts for more than half the revenues of Mexican cartels.

“Economically, there is no argument or solution other than legalization, at least of marijuana,” said the top Mexican official matter-of-factly. The official said such a move would likely shift marijuana production entirely to places like California, where the drug can be grown more efficiently and closer to consumers. “Mexico’s objective should be to make the U.S. self-sufficient in marijuana,” he added with a grin.

In response to Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s call for a debate on legalization, Norm Stamper, a 34-year veteran police officer who was Seattle’s chief of police and is now a speaker with the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and an adviser to our Just Say Now campaign, called on President Obama to join the debate on legalizing marijuana.

“President Calderon’s call for a debate on legalization is a big step forward in putting an end to the war raging in Mexico and along our borders. More than 28,000 people have been killed by Mexico’s drug cartels since 2006 – including 1200 in July, the deadliest month yet in this drug war.

“Legalizing marijuana is the most sensible approach to stopping this border war. Cartels thrive on marijuana prohibition. Around 70% of the cartels’ profits come from the illegal sale of marijuana, which they turn around to buy guns that have killed thousands of Mexicans and that terrorize police on America’s streets.

“Just Say Now welcomes President Calderon to this debate. We hope that President Obama will join this debate to end the war on marijuana.”

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 2:19 PM
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Replies (1-10):
BleedinHeartMom
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 3:00 PM

FrenchGrey
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 3:01 PM
I've never smoked weed before so I have to ask....honestly is it equal to being drunk from alcohol?
BleedinHeartMom
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 3:06 PM

No, being drunk leads to diseases and blackouts..weed just makes ya giggle and happy, with occasional munchies

Mrs.LSU
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 3:10 PM

I am for it, it would help lower crime, and taxes.  We wouldn't be paying for all of these people who are in jail bc of it. 

Della529
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 3:17 PM

 Legalize it!

FrenchGrey
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 4:18 PM

I think if they did legalize it the gov't could put a tax on it and we could start to dig ourselves out of this deficit. 

lilywitch
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 4:27 PM

I'm not a pot smoker, I have to worry about being thrown in jail and losing my children. I think legalization would have a positive impact on, at least, the US and Mexico. Many places have decriminalized marijuana, but that isn't helping the economy one bit. I say legalize it, tax it, make it safe and stop this "War on Drugs" that is clearly not working. Less deaths, less illegal activity, less guns in the wrong hands, more jobs, more tax revenue....sounds like a winner to me.

Mrs.LSU
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 4:30 PM

they need to make cigarettes illegal! 

Quoting lilywitch:

I'm not a pot smoker, I have to worry about being thrown in jail and losing my children. I think legalization would have a positive impact on, at least, the US and Mexico. Many places have decriminalized marijuana, but that isn't helping the economy one bit. I say legalize it, tax it, make it safe and stop this "War on Drugs" that is clearly not working. Less deaths, less illegal activity, less guns in the wrong hands, more jobs, more tax revenue....sounds like a winner to me.


Sillymama530
by Bronze Member on Aug. 7, 2010 at 4:33 PM

 I don't use pot myself, but I'm totally in favor of legalizing and taxing it.  It's not as destructive as alchohol, and I can't think of any reason to keep it illegal.

Friday
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 8:22 PM

 

Quoting FrenchGrey:

I think if they did legalize it the gov't could put a tax on it and we could start to dig ourselves out of this deficit. 

 That's the idea and one of the reasons Prohibition ended.

$10-14 Billion, annually.

http://www.prohibitioncosts.org/

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

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