There are many reasons to support marijuana legalization. In the following I will present some of these ideas and outline the reasoning and ideologies that gives rational reasons to change the current prohibition laws. I include some links in most of the sections so that you can use this document as a springboard to other literature on this subject and issue. Enjoy
The federal statute placing marijuana as a Schedule I substance is inconsistent with the scientific findings that marijuana and its active constituents are effective at treating hundreds of medical conditions; findings that are supported by 16 states who's medical marijuana laws confirm the science. http://www.mpp.org/library/policy-analysis-alternatives.html
Millions of arthritis, glaucoma, cancer, pain, HIV and Chrones patients: millions of people who suffer from a wide range of medical/ psychological ailments can benefit from the use of cannabis products. The cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids in marijuana are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Dementia.
The History: A brief example...
Focus On Real Crimes
For common goods sake would the state please focus their resources on catching criminals who violate other peoples rights; rapists, murderers, pedophiles, identity thieves, financial fraud and other forms of anti-freedom/ hate and violence that hurts our country and society; focus on the hard drugs and real criminals.
The Reasons People Use It
Modes of Use
Marijuana can be cooked into foods, vaporized, smoked or extracted and or consumed as a liquid;the versatility of active delivery methods means flexible options for medical treatment and recreation use alike.
There are thousands of strain types, each with a unique medicinal, flavor, color and quality profile; different kinds have different medicinal and social applications based on their strength and flavor; similar to how there are many kinds of beer, wine and mixed drinks for different settings and different applications.
Lost Source of Tax Revenue
We could have legal marijuana generating billions of tax revenue for the states and federal government; where labels would clearly indicate the strength, potency and strain type, and recommended use; but under the current federal statute, billions of dollars are diverted into the grey market where organized criminals are forced to supply the innocent customers who prefer this plant flower over the alternatives intoxicants that are legal: namly alcohol, and prescribed anxiolytic drugs of the benzodiazepine class (xanax et. al.)
My Position on the Laws
I cannot understand nor will I ever endorse or support any law against marijuana except those that govern its access to adults; the same way that we have common sense laws restricting alcohol and tobacco products to adults. I also do not advocate violation of the federal statute as doing so is dangerous because of the legal risks of arrest, prosecution and incarceration.
The fact that their is a federal law restricting patients from access to their preferred highly effective and safe medicine is an absurdity. Please join me and millions of others in saying no to prohibition and yes to freedom for marijuana: vote yes for marijuana legalization.
Aaron Kenneth Schwarz
Legal Disclaimer: For Clarity
I do not use marijuana or any derivatives of the cannabis plant and I furthermore do not condone or endorse the violation of any laws. Those who do have a legitimate medicinal reason for using marijuana as a medicine may contact the green cross of washington state to establish contact with doctor.
If you live in one of these other states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, or Virginia; then you may contact local medical cannabis organizations to locate doctors that you can work with.
Just watch this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LayaGk0TMDc) and then post something about why prohibition is effective ?
Law Enforcement Agrees
LEAP, former police officers who had to administer the backward draconian drug laws come forward and speak out to describe how the war on drugs was is and always will be a miserable failure that wastes tax money, divert billions of dollars into organized crime, jams up the courts, jails and prisons with non violent offenders who violate no other laws than those related to controlled substances. They openly recognize as I do that drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin are incredibly destructive to users that abuse these substances. They are suggesting as I have suggested that the state would be better off prescribing these drugs to their users and then administering treatment and help for the addicts who suffer from all forms of addiction and substance abuse. http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php
Benefits of Legalization
When marijuana is legal, it can be controlled by the state, regulated, taxed and sold to adults with valid ID. Ironically, most of the hard dangerous drugs are already prescription drugs, while marijuana is flat prohibited by federal law.
If marijuana is legalized it can be taxed and controlled; regulated for potency and labeling for consumer safety. If criminals are forced to supply the market, then all sorts of nasty things will continue happening.
The Costs of The Backward Laws
For the state to continue waging a war against its own people is absurd, and no amount of backward Rhetoric will prove otherwise. The fact is that when Drugs Lords and Criminals control drugs, then children end up with them, then they are cut with nasty substances which harm users more than the drugs, then people end up diverting capital into the hands of the criminal entrepreneurs who produce, distribute and administer the sales of illicit substances.
Prohibition Does Not Work
Education and Freedom are the Answers
What we need is honesty and education: so that people can make rational choices about what to smoke or not to smoke, about what to drink or not to drink. We need adults to have the medical, spiritual and personal freedom to choose what they do with their bodies (abortion, prostitution, tatoos, substance use, piercings, BSDM, or whatever else consenting adults choose to do with themselves and other willing parties) so long as they do not violate any law on infringe on the rights of other free people. http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html
All Drugs are Dangerous
An Ineffective War Against Freedom
Good Intentions Gone Astray
What I am hoping for is that the courts and law enforcement systems can send drug abuser to treatment, not to prison or jail. I am worried about the security of our borders from terrorist agents; so the DEA agents who stop working on marijuana can work on improving national security by redirecting their talents and capacities to stopping the infiltration of illegal aliens and terrorist agents into our nation. I support their effort where they operate to increase public safety; to protect communities from dangerous criminal networks.
Promoting Progressive Public Policy
I am only involved in promoting healthy intelligent public policy based on rational science and information. I do not participate or have an connections or information about people in the narcotics trade. Of the few friends I used to know that were involved with marijuana, I have lost contact with them and know nothing of their activities, whereabouts or current modes of employment. I am a law abiding citizen who is politically active and I only seek to address change with conversations by encouraging public discourse.
1. Shock: Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson favors marijuana legalization | Raw Story
700 Club founder Pat Robertson, one of the cornerstone figures of America's Christian right movement, has come out in favor of legalizing marijuana: because its prohibition criminalizes innocent people who then loose opportunities and turn to lives in crime.
Why I Support Legal Marijuana
We should invest in effective education rather than ineffective arrest and incarceration.
By GEORGE SOROS
Our marijuana laws are clearly doing more harm than good. The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.
Law enforcement agencies today spend many billions of taxpayer dollars annually trying to enforce this unenforceable prohibition. The roughly 750,000 arrests they make each year for possession of small amounts of marijuana represent more than 40% of all drug arrests.
Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually. It also would reduce the crime, violence and corruption associated with drug markets, and the violations of civil liberties and human rights that occur when large numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens are subject to arrest. Police could focus on serious crime instead.
The racial inequities that are part and parcel of marijuana enforcement policies cannot be ignored. African-Americans are no more likely than other Americans to use marijuana but they are three, five or even 10 times more likely—depending on the city—to be arrested for possessing marijuana. I agree with Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP, when she says that being caught up in the criminal justice system does more harm to young people than marijuana itself. Giving millions of young Americans a permanent drug arrest record that may follow them for life serves no one's interests.
Racial prejudice also helps explain the origins of marijuana prohibition. When California and other U.S. states first decided (between 1915 and 1933) to criminalize marijuana, the principal motivations were not grounded in science or public health but rather in prejudice and discrimination against immigrants from Mexico who reputedly smoked the "killer weed."
Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade—and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity. Some claim that they would only move into other illicit enterprises, but they are more likely to be weakened by being deprived of the easy profits they can earn with marijuana.
This was just one reason the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy—chaired by three distinguished former presidents, Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, César Gaviria of Colombia and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico—included marijuana decriminalization among their recommendations for reforming drug policies in the Americas.
Like many parents and grandparents, I am worried about young people getting into trouble with marijuana and other drugs. The best solution, however, is honest and effective drug education. One survey after another indicates that teenagers have better access than most adults to marijuana—and often other drugs as well—and find it easier to buy marijuana than alcohol. Legalizing marijuana may make it easier for adults to buy marijuana, but it can hardly make it any more accessible to young people. I'd much rather invest in effective education than ineffective arrest and incarceration.
California's Proposition 19, which would legalize the recreational use and small-scale cultivation of marijuana, wouldn't solve all the problems connected with the drug. But it would represent a major step forward, and its deficiencies can be corrected on the basis of experience. Just as the process of repealing national alcohol prohibition began with individual states repealing their own prohibition laws, so individual states must now take the initiative with respect to repealing marijuana prohibition laws. And just as California provided national leadership in 1996 by becoming the first state to legalize the medical use of marijuana, so it has an opportunity once again to lead the nation.
In many respects, of course, Proposition 19 already is a winner no matter what happens on Election Day. The mere fact of its being on the ballot has elevated and legitimized public discourse about marijuana and marijuana policy in ways I could not have imagined a year ago.
These are the reasons I have decided to support Proposition 19 and invite others to do so.
Mr. Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management and founder of the Open Society Foundations.