Open thread

September 20, 2012

I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma until Sunday, attending the Experiential Classroom througn OU. I’ve got homework and everything, so I’ll probably be swamped.

bullet image Ten Huge Issues Being Ignored in the Presidential Campaign.

ThinkProgress has this piece out and it’s nice to see that we’re not the only ones noticing. Number one on the list is Mass Incarceration and the Drug War.

One of the principal causes of the rise of mass incarceration is the War on Drugs, which has failed abysmally at limiting the use of dangerous drugs but succeeded wildly at aiding and abetting racial inequality in the United States and the murderous drug trade abroad. The Justice Department recently doubled down on these policies by initiating a massive crackdown on medical marijuana in states that have legalized the drug’s medicinal use.

bullet image LEAP video: Cop opens up about losing her brother to the war on drugs.

bullet image Great catch (Thanks to Evert and Transform).

The Swedish Government (one of the most rabidly pro-prohibition) makes a cogent case against prohibition…

‘In the opinion of the Swedish Government the prohibition against selling snus cannot be regarded as compatible with the principles of free movement of goods, since the prohibition is discriminatory and is not in proportion to the level of public health sought. The same level of health protection can be achieved by means of less intrusive measures.’

bullet image Denver Post editorial writer takes on the dirty tactics of the opposition to Amendment 64

Let’s have a real pot debate

I’m not here today to formally pick a side in the fight over marijuana legalization in Colorado, but I will suggest that one side is playing dirty.

The argument that legalization is about keeping kids safe doesn’t pass the smell test. And keeping information from voters smacks of timidity, incompetence, or both.

We should have a real pot debate.

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Pete Guither is the editor of
  • The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it’s name, and those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we finally, just like our forefathers, see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.

    During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

    Ending prohibition would greatly reduce, even almost eliminate, the market in illegal narcotics, cause a reduction in the number of users and addicts, greatly curtail drug related illness and deaths, reduce societal harm from problematic abusers, and bring about an enormous reduction in the presence and influence of organized crime. The people who use drugs are our own children, our brothers, our sisters, our parents, and our neighbors. By allowing all adults safe and controlled legal access to psychoactive substances, we will not only greatly reduce the dangers for both them and ourselves but also greatly minimize the possibility of ‘peer-initiation’ and sales to minors.

    * It only takes one juror to prevent a guilty verdict.

    * You are not lawfully required to disclose your voting intention before taking your seat on a jury.

    * You are also not required to give a reason to the other jurors on your position when voting. Simply state that you find the accused not guilty!

    * Jurors must understand that it is their opinion, their vote. If the Judge and the other jurors disapprove, too bad. There is no punishment for having a dissenting opinion.

    If you sincerely believe that prohibition is a dangerous and counter-productive policy then you can stop helping to enforce it. You are entitled—required even—to act according to your conscience: PLEASE VOTE TO ACQUIT!


September 2012
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