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Sunday, October 23, 2016

“Play faster!” he cried, wildly, over and over. “Play faster!”

The dame who was tickling the ivories complied, out of control herself. The music revved to a dangerous velocity — oh, too fast for decent, sober, well-behaved Americans to bear — and . . . well, you just knew, violence, madness, laughter were just around the corner. The year was 1936 and, oh my God, they were high on marijuana, public enemy number one.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • Lady Sibylla

    I’m sure I read something like this 20 – 30 years ago. War on Drugs, War on Terror, War against Cancer War, war, war. What a waste. I heard that some years ago crack was introduced into the poor neighborhoods (read African American/hispanic, poor), leaving behind so much destruction and damage. I’ve also heard about the influx of heroin from Afghanistan – being hauled back to the US by military and civilian forces alike.
    And to change the subject slightly, I am following the issue of Dr. Burzynski and the cancer industry, FDA, Texas medical board etc. continuing to harrass and squelch the attempt to get his proven treatments for a greater cure rate than what is presently available for some cancers into the mainstream. The powers that be want to steal his patents –
    Also the continued push to use Gardasil (where more than a handful of young women have died – not just in this country, but in other countries) not only for girls, but also for boys.

  • terango.lf

    I have used marijuana for 37 years and I have not lost my mind or grown breasts. As with any intoxicating substance it can be misused causing harm to the person using it and others that have a relationship or are in proximity to that person. Just like alcohol.
    In thirty-seven years, I have never harmed anyone elsewith my use. I’ve never robbed anybody to maintain my use, I could do without in times of no money or cleaning up for the dreaded drug test. Just like most things in life there is a time and place for everything, which would mean that there are inapropriate times to consume the evil weed, just like alcohol.
    Prohibition has failed miserably, placing it in a black market not of its own, but mixed in the same market as narcotics and guns. The war on drugs only escalated its price and consequences for its sale and use, just like alcohol.
    In the 1970’s, pot was inexpensive and the penalties were lite, therefor people did not kill over it. You might have gotten beat-up over a rip-off, but not murdered over it. We need to defuse the volatility, value, and consequenses for its distibution and sale…just like alcohols prohibition reapeal!

  • valszy

    Weed is nothing like alcohol and I am surprised anyone who has used it for 37 yrs would think so. The only problems stemming from its “misuse” are lazy, unproductive people, yet many people can be very productive while using it. It is a marvelous natural drug, virtually devoid of bad side effects (esp if vaporized or eaten rather than smoked), though daily use for young minds is probably not a good thing. The costs of the war on weed, financial and otherwise, are truly criminal.

  • Vasu Murti

    “Just seeds and dust,
    “that you got busted on
    “You know it’s hard to believe

    “Thirty days in the hole
    “That’s what they give you…

    “Take a greasy whore and a rollin’ dance floor
    “It’s got your head spinnin’ round

    “If you live on the road, well there’s a new highway code…
    “It’s gonna lessen your load

    “What you doin’ boy?
    “You’re here for thirty days

    “Get your long hair cut
    “And cut out your ways

    “Just seeds and dust that you got bust on
    “You know it’s so hard to please

    “You take a greasy whore and a rollin’ dance floor
    “You know you’re jailhouse-bound

    “Thirty days in the hole…”

    –Humble Pie, “Thirty Days in the Hole” (1972)

    A pamphlet entitled 10 Things Every Parent, Teenager and Teacher Should Know About Marijuana produced by the Family Council on Drug Awareness tells us marijuana is not physically addictive.

    The 1980 Costa Rican study, the 1975 Jamaican study and the 1972 Nixon Blue Ribbon Report all concluded that marijuana use does not lead to physical dependency.

    The FBI reports that 65 to 75 percent of criminal violence is alcohol-related. On the other hand, Federal Bureau of Narcotics director Harry Anslinger testified before Congress in 1948 that marijuana leads to nonviolence and pacifism.

    In a message to Congress on August 2, 1977, President Jimmy Carter insisted: “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.”

    Conservatives are living in the past–in the days of “reefer madness.” In a March 1979 radio broadcast, for example, Ronald Reagan said, “Somehow they (young people) never seemed to have heard the other side. Never heard, for example, that marijuana contains 300 or more chemicals and 60 of those are found in no other plant.”

    What Reagan failed to mention is that tobacco smoke contains over 3,000 chemicals!

    Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Law Judge Francis L. Young wrote on September 8, 1988:

    “Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

    After years of suppression by the government, the truth about medical marijuana is finally coming out. Dr. Tod Mikuriya, former director of marijuana research for the entire federal government, wrote in 1996:

    “I was hired by the government to provide scientific evidence that marijuana was harmful. As I studied the subject, I began to realize that marijuana was once widely used as a safe and effective medicine. But the government had a different agenda, and I had to resign.”

    Tobacco kills about 430,700 each year. Alcohol and alcohol-related diseases and injuries kill about 110,000 per year. Secondhand tobacco smoke kills about 50,000 every year. Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs kill 7,600 each year.

    Cocaine kills about 500 yearly alone, and another 2,500 in combination with another drug. Heroin kills about 400 yearly alone, and another 2,500 in combination with another drug. Adverse reactions to prescription drugs total 32,000 per year, while marijuana kills no one.

    According to a 2003 Zogby poll, two of every five Americans say “the government should treat marijuana the same way it treats alcohol: It should regulate it, control it, tax it, and only make it illegal for children.”

    Close to 100 million Americans, including over half of those between the ages of 18 and 50, have tried marijuana at least once. Military and police recruiters often have no alternative but to ignore past marijuana use by job seekers.

    In 1996, California voters passed a law to regulate medical marijuana within the state. In 2000, voters in California approved an initiative allowing people who are arrested for simple possession of drugs to go through a rehabilitation program rather than through the court process that would result in prison. Since the program began, most agree it has been very successful. It results in less recidivism and is considered cheaper than imprisonment.

    Richard Posner, Chicago’s chief judge of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and one of the nation’s leading legal scholars, says marijuana use should be legalized as a way of reducing crime.

    Posner, a Reagan administration appointee once described by American Lawyer magazine as “the most brilliant judge in the country,” explained his views on marijuana in The Times Literary Supplement, a British publication, and in later interview:

    “It is nonsense that we should be devoting so many law enforcement resources to marijuana,” says Posner. “I am skeptical that a society that is so tolerant of alcohol and cigarettes should come down so hard on marijuana use and send people to prison for life without parole.”

    Posner is the highest-ranking judge to publicly favor the repeal of marijuana laws. Several judges of the federal district court, a level lower than the appeals court, have made similar calls, including Robert Sweet of New York and James Paine of Florida, both Carter Administration appointees.

    New York University law professor Burt Neuborne said it’s significant that “one of the leading intellectuals in the judicial system recognizes that the laws don’t seem to be working well.”

    Posner and other federal judges have complained that sentencing guidelines force them to give unjustly severe prison sentences to relatively minor drug offenders.

    Says Posner: “Prison terms in America have become appallingly long, especially for conduct that, arguably, should not be criminal at all. Only decriminalization is a sure route to a lower crime rate. It is sad that it appears so far below the horizon of political feasibility.”

    Dissenting from the Supreme Court ruling on the suspension of an Alaskan student for waving a banner — “BONG HITS 4 Jesus” — at a high school event, Justice John Paul Stevens took the long view:

    “…the current dominant opinion supporting the war on drugs in general, and our anti-marijuana laws in particular, is reminiscent of the opinion that supported the nationwide ban on alcohol consumption when I was a student.

    “While alcoholic beverages are now regarded as ordinary articles of commerce, their use was then condemned with the same moral fervor that now supports the war on drugs…

    “…just as Prohibition in the 1920’s and early 1930’s was secretly questioned by thousands of otherwise law-abiding patrons of bootleggers and speakeasies, today the actions of literally millions of otherwise law abiding users of marijuana, and of the majority of voters in each of the several states that tolerate medicinal uses of the product, lead me to wonder whether the fear of disapproval by those in the majority is silencing opponents of the war on drugs.”

    The Washington Post, July 26, 2007, reported: “Stevens compared the current marijuana ban to the abandoned alcohol ban and urged a respectful hearing for those who suggest ‘however inarticulately’ that the ban is ‘futile’ and that marijuana should be legalized, taxed and regulated instead of prohibited.”

    In September 2010, Alice A. Huffman, President of the California State NAACP, called on voters “to regulate and decriminalize marijuana.

    “According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, half of California’s marijuana possession arrestees were nonwhite in 1990 and 28% were under age twenty. Last year, 62% were nonwhite and 42% were under age twenty. Marijuana possession arrests of youth of color rose from about 3,100 in 1990 to about 16,300 in 2008 — an arrest surge 300% greater than the rate of population growth in that group.

    “If one were to calculate the number of black juvenile and young adult men alone, arrested in 2008 for nonviolent marijuana felony violations – over 5, 600 (and, which includes cultivation of a single plant), the criminal justice cycle entry costs would exceed $1.3 billion annually.

    “It is painfully evident that the war on drugs is a terribly failed policy which has a cost that is too high for taxpayers, and our communities.

    “Let’s keep California on the right side of justice.”

    Prohibition led to Al Capone and rising crime, violence and corruption, overflowing courts, jails, and prisons, the labeling of tens of millions of Americans as criminals and the consequent broadening of disrespect for the law, the dangerous expansions of federal police powers, encroachments on civil liberties, hundreds of thousands of Americans blinded, paralyzed, and killed by poisonous moonshine and industrial alcohol, and the increasing government expenditure devoted to enforcing the Prohibition laws.

    Our government spends billions of dollars a year on arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating drug-law violators. Choked courts and prisons, an incarceration rate higher than most other nations in the world, and tax dollars diverted from education and health care are just a few of the costs our current prohibition imposes.

    There are health costs in drug prohibition. During the prohibition era, some fifty thousand Americans were paralyzed after consuming “jake,” an adulterated Jamaican ginger extract. Today we have marijuana made more dangerous by government-sprayed paraquat.

    Prohibition did succeed in reducing alcohol consumption and alcohol-related ills ranging from cirrhosis to public drunkenness and employee related absenteeism. But this was due to the effectiveness of the temperance movement in publicizing the dangers of alcohol.

    The decline in alcohol consumption during the Prohibition era, like the recent decline in cigarette consumption, had less to do with laws than with changing social attitudes.

    During the 1980s, for example, Americans began switching from hard liquor to beer and wine, from high tar-and-nicotine to low tar-and-nicotine cigarettes, and even from caffeinated to decaffeinated sodas, coffees, and teas.

    Alcohol prohibition was repealed after just thirteen years while the prohibition of other drugs has continued for over 75 years. Why? Alcohol prohibition struck directly at society’s most powerful members. The prohibition of other drugs, by contrast, threatened far fewer Americans with hardly any political power.

    Only the prohibition of marijuana, which nearly 100 million Americans have violated since 1965, has come close to approximating the Prohibition era experience, but marijuana smokers consist mostly of young and relatively powerless Americans. But this may change, if the tone and content of this article are any indication.

  • CSW

    When ever there is money to be made,we’re talking about Washington DC. All the corrupted Politicians sign up for this one. With big Pharmacist and big Alcohol companies pay millions to keep marijuana a crime. To bad the Politicians of today aren’t more like George Washington was,he smoked it for the chronic back pain he had. Just think he was the first President of the USA.I guess George would of been jailed today.Alcohol kills more people than any other drug. What I see is a corrupted government that wants all Americans to be slaves to them. Make all drugs legal and tax’s it. More jobs,much less violence,close the prison system nearly down.


    no one seems to rember that before the war anslinger was trying to convince us that pot caused more violence than any other substance known to man.he was financed and championed by w.r. hurst, who not only was the largest newspaper publisher, but an avowed racist. the pot pulp paper prosess would have cut the price in half. another proof of the institionalised hypocracy we live under in this country, anslinger admited he suplied joe mc arthy with morphene so the commies couldn’t blackmail him. the cost to us as a nation is too great to compute, while the government makes billions on all sides. import, sale, arest, imprison. that seems to be all a part of the plan.if the powers that be want to make tons of money, they just outlaw something everyone likes. cannibis is the most benificial plant on earth, you can make anything from medicine to fuel from it, and it grows anywhere. sence vietnam our wars have been about opium and oil, not idoligy.if we legelise drugs the goverenment will go broke. where do you think the c.i.a. has gotten it’s cash all these decades? there is a reason you can get cocaine and herion cheep, but pot is up to 4k a pound. pot smokers don’t cause the problems your power hungry pols need to keep the fear going, so the little freedom we have left can be taken. it’s long past time we started prosicuting crooked senators instead of totally harmless folks.

  • crockerherrick

    Marijuana is not a harmless drug, but due to its wide spread use and the fact that it is seen as no more harmful than, say, caffeine, has become America’s most dangerous drug. There is nothing unique, liberating, or creative about smoking pot which leads its users into a conformist, useless lifestyle, not to mention the negative effects on one’s health.

  • jussmartenuf

    Pot is easily available to all. School children find it more accessible than cigarettes. I do not recommend it for anyone, nor do I recommend alcohol, tobacco or “legal” drugs, but to continue to criminalize it is a criminal act in and of itself.
    Legalize and control it and stop this “war” about something that has been used forever and will always be used. So incredibly stupid.
    The main opponents to pot are firstly the illegal drug dealers! after that, the prison industry, and the alcohol industry, and right wing religious zealots and others with their personal agendas they put before personal freedoms.