27 March 2009

Cannabis Law Reform


As for those tens of millions of you who believe that cannabis should be legally regulated like alcohol -- and the tens of thousands of you who voted to make this subject the most popular question in the White House's online Presidential Town Hall -- well, your voice doesn't really matter.

Asked this morning whether he "would ... support the bill currently going through the California legislation to legalize and tax marijuana, boosting the economy and reducing drug cartel related violence," the President responded with derision.

"There was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation, and I don't know what this says about the online audience," he laughed.

"The answer is no, I don't think that [is] a good strategy."

Please, go read the entire thing. And consider adding your name to the well-written form letter, to which you can amend in any way you see fit. What follows is their form-letter with my own comments at the end.

Mr. President,

You pledged "to open up the White House to the American people." I'm one of the tens of millions of Americans who believe that cannabis should be legally regulated like alcohol. I'm also one of the tens of thousands of Americans who voted to make this subject the most popular question in your online Presidential Town Hall. I'm disappointed to learn that you believe that my voice doesn't really matter.

I understand that you may oppose this position, but that is no reason to deride this issue.

Mr. President, please tell me: "What is it that you think is so funny about the subject of marijuana law reform?"

Since 1965, police have arrested over 20 million Americans for violating marijuana laws, yet nearly 90 percent of teenagers say that pot is "very easy" or "fairly easy" to obtain. Do you find this funny?

According to your administration, there is an unprecedented level of violence occurring at the Mexico/US border -- much of which is allegedly caused by the trafficking of marijuana to the United States by drug cartels. America's stringent enforcement of pot prohibition, which artificially inflates black market pot prices and ensures that only criminal enterprises will be involved in the production and sale of this commodity, is helping to fuel this violence. Do you still believe that this subject is humorous?

Finally, two recent polls indicate that a strong majority of regional voters support ending marijuana prohibition and treating the drug's sale, use, and distribution like alcohol. A February 2009 Zogby telephone poll reported that nearly six out of ten of voters on the west coast think that cannabis should be "taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes." A just-released California Field Poll reports similar results, finding that 58 percent of statewide votes believe that regulations for cannabis should be the same or less strict than those for alcohol.

Why do you choose to laugh at these people? Why do you choose to laugh at me?

The American public is ready and willing to engage in a serious and objective political debate regarding the merits of legalizing the use of cannabis by adults. The time for joking is over.

Please consider apologizing for your dismissive tone, and please consider treating those of us who believe that there are viable alternatives to marijuana prohibition with the respect we deserve.

Regular internet users were a great help to you in your run for the White House; deriding online poll results is the same as slapping your greatest supporters in the face. I recognize that, when it comes to cannabis law reform, there are many interested parties on both sides of the issue and that sometimes these parties must be assuaged of their fears and doubts, especially in a public forum. But please, don't make the mistake of alienating the largest demographic that placed you in your position.

The "War on (Some) Drugs" has been a massive failure and the inclusion of cannabis in the same category as deadly drugs is patently absurd. If you truly wish to lead this country out of its troubles and into the future you must recognize that cannabis law reform is one of the most important issues for tens of millions of American citizens. We are tired of being imprisoned for taking our medicine. We are tired of being imprisoned for years for possessing an ounce of an harmless herb. We are tired of being treated as second-class citizens because we would occasionally rather imbibe smoke than destroy our livers with the much deadlier drug of alcohol. The time for derision is over. I fear that if you do not rethink your position on cannabis law reform that you will lose a great part of your public support.

My comments are in bold. The tactics of the old regime of "cannabis is as dangerous as heroin, cocaine, etc." is over. It's time for a new, modern and progressive policy that has at least something to do with reason and, maybe, just maybe the wishes of the majority.


Crafty's Cuppa Coffee said...

Hey Lady~

I just stopped by after i found your blog through one of my readers, Spiral Dance. I LOVE, LOVE , (did I sayLOVE!?) it! And I don't say that lightly. I am sooo happy when I find quality pagan bloggers, that can actually write!(and know what they are talking about!) I am doing my silly happy dance...but you can't see me! (Sorry, I'm a weirdo at times, and u caught me in one of them.)

Anyways, loved the post about NORML's letter to Obama. (one of too many ignored for too many years.) I actually helped gather signatures to get the Medical Marijuana Bill on the books in CA in 1996.(And I know that just sounded like I am really old, but I am really only 33. My (X)Husband's Grandpa actually was a member of NORML back when it started. (He is like 70 something...but he still rocks! AND jumps on the trampoline with his great grandkids! Tell me pot is bad for you!) I smoke(obviously!), and my folks, and my X's folks, and all of the Aunts & Uncles on both sides. So I guess my kid's are doomed too! No worries.They are also doomed to be incredibly bright, loving and open minded individuals too. (We should all be so lucky, eh?)

I also completely resonated with your Monkey Sphere posts. I had never heard of that man's theory before, but I had given the whole concept much thought; just without the badass name!) I think you did a wonderful job of presenting it, and it was way thought provoking. Excellent blog, just the kind I like to read!

Alrighy, take care. Sorry to leave such a long comment on here. Have a good weekend. ~Danae,Crafty Chick

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

I hope his office is inundated with letters. I'd like to be wrong in thinking, though, that it still won't make a difference. The man has reneged on heap plenty other issues that supposedly helped him become Pres. Politics as usual.

My $0.02

Livia Indica said...

Hi there Crafty Cuppa Coffee! I'm very glad to hear you like my blog; it's very gratifying. Alas, I don't smoke anymore though I would surely love to do so. (Money/availability issues) Sounds like you have a rich family history and connection to cannabis law reform! I'm impressed! And I'll be sure to check our your blogs too!

Hey Cygnus, yeah, I know. Politicians, as a valid rule, cannot be trusted. But I'd rather make what is perhaps a futile effort than feel I didn't even try.

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Talked about the issue at length with some family tonight (while watching Bill Mahr-- hilarious combo!

We specifically hope these letters tell the pres that we are interested in talking about this on a rational level, one supported by scientific founding.

Question was floated as to whether Obama needed stand as he did to reflect well on status as first African-American President.
I say it would only show his intelligence and courage to legitimately face the issue. And bring about some of that change he talked about-- both monetarily and policy-wise...

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

P.S. "Borrowing" the letter for my CannabiSunday post menana-- will reference your site, naturally!thanks, Lady Liv, for a lively topic of the day!!

Marion said...

Thank you for trying, Livia...the more this subject is brought to the forefront the more things will change. I fear, however, it will still be a very slow change...there are too many folks who just don't get it! Too much propaganda over the years...and it irritates me no end!

Crafty's Cuppa Coffee said...

Hey Lady~ I saw youhad stopped by my art blog and wanted to say thanx. The poor thing has been a bit neglected! Everyone seems to lve my Craftys Cup Witchy Blog and my Retro Fantasy Blog, but not too much action on my art blog! Oh well. You are welcome to use the ake Art Not War Logo. I can't remember where it came from,but it was public domain.(at least when I got it!)And u are right about the photos needing to be better. I only have my cell phone camera to use right now, and it sucks. I am leaving my email 4 u. I can't correspond through blogger very often because I have one of thos Wireless Cards, and it eas up too many of my monthly MB. If you couldleave me yours on an email, I would love to leave my comments there.(It is almost nothing for me to send emails.)Take care.~Danae

Livia Indica said...

Cygnus, Hmm, I hadn't thought about the fact that Obama might have race related issues with cannabis. I guess that would be a valid concern for him.

Hi Marion, always good to hear from you! I didn't know you were a supporter of the cause! I don't expect things to change overnight of course but hopefully in my lifetime.

PandorasInk said...

Check out L.E.A.P (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). Great organization; they're helping me wake back up to being active again in the fight. :)

Livia Indica said...

Yeah, I'll have to do that. Sounds like a good group.