Search Results: op-ed (38)

Graphic: Emilie_Ann_McGregor

40th Anniversary of President Nixon’s Declaration of a ‘War On Drugs’ Will Be Marked By Thursday Press Conference

June 17 will mark 40 years since President Richard Nixon, claiming drug abuse was “public enemy number one,” officially declared a “War On Drugs.” A trillion dollars and millions of ruined lives later, the War On Drugs has proven to be a catastrophic failure, according to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).
The DPA, considered one of the nation’s leading organizations promoting drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights, will host a press conference on Thursday, June 16 with elected officials, celebrities and VIP’s to call attention to the failures of the Drug War and to propose new solutions.
The press conference is intended to raise awareness about the failures of drug prohibition and call for an exit strategy from the failed War On Drugs.
The press conference will also be streamed on the web and can be viewed live at

Photo: Business Week
George Soros: “Police could focus on serious crime instead”

​​Billionaire financier George Soros on Tuesday donated $1 million to support Proposition 19, the California ballot initiative to legalize, tax and regulate recreational cannabis use.

The cash from Soros, a longtime supporter of marijuana law reform, should allow a much more intense media blitz in the final week before Election Day.
Prop 19, which has had some trouble raising money, had only just rolled out its first television ad in the Los Angeles area on Monday, eight days before the election, reports Josh Richman of the Oakland Tribune.

Photo: Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press
Marc Emery, with wife Jody backing him up, speaks to reporters outside the B.C. Supreme Court in May 2010. He is scheduled to be sentenced to 5 years in U.S. federal prison on Friday, September 10.

​Marijuana activists from Washington state and around North America will gather outside the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart Street in Seattle on Friday, September 10, to protest the sentencing of Marc Emery, the “Prince of Pot,” who faces five years in prison for selling mail-order cannabis seeds to Americans.

Cannabis advocates are calling on President Barack Obama to pardon Emery, who faced federal charges after Drug Enforcement Administration agents entered Canada and arrested him in 2005. He is expected to be sentenced to five years in federal prison under a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors.

Photo: The Straits Times
Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has joined with the past five Drug Czars under Bush and Clinton administrations to fight against marijuana legalization under Prop 19 in California.

​What do you get when you put six Drug Czars together? Same old bullshit, except more of it.

It was probably inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any less deplorable. Obama Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has joined forces with five past directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, including czars who served under Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush, against California’s marijuana legalization voter initiative, Proposition 19.

You would think that six so-called “drug experts” working together could come up with better-reasoned arguments against Prop 19 than these tired old talking points by tired old bureaucrats.
Not that anybody’s surprised that Kerlikowske, and by extension, the Obama Administration, opposes pot legalization. Gil’s already helpfully let us know that legalization isn’t in his vocabulary.
“No country in the world has legalized marijuana to the extent envisioned by Proposition 19, so it is impossible to predict precisely the consequences of wholesale legalization,” write Kerlikowske, John Walters, Barry McCaffrey, Lee Brown, Bob Martinez and William Bennett in an August 25 Los Angeles Times op-ed piece.
Of course, “no country in the world” had tried representative democracy “to the extent envisioned” by our Founding Fathers, either, but we didn’t let that stop us, did we?

Photo: julianabrint
I heart marijuana in D.C.

​As the District of Columbia Council meets Tuesday afternoon to hear testimony on the legalization of medical marijuana, they’ll be hearing different opinions from people on the same side of the argument, reports Martin Austermuhle at DCist.

Some advocates believe the legislation introduced in late January is too restrictive and unnecessarily limits access to marijuana for qualifying patients in D.C.
The bill would set up five dispensaries where patients with approved conditions and a note from their primary care physician could buy a 30-day supply of marijuana.
The dispensaries would be required to be at least 1,000 feet from any school or youth center. Patients would be required to pay registration fees.
The proposal does not live up to the spirit of the 1998 voter initiative that approved medical marijuana in D.C., according to some advocates.

Photo: Ron Crumpton
Ron Crumpton: “The truth is that the war on marijuana is almost over; the stigma is gone.”

​From time to time, Toke of the Town reads something that helps to shore up our sometimes shaky faith in the possibility, at some time in the future, of sane marijuana laws in the United States. Now and again, we see a piece of writing on the Web that makes us say, “Yeah! Things are going to be just fine.”

I had one of those moments recently when reading an op-ed from a student-run university newspaper in Alabama.
“Which university?” You might ask. Well, I can’t tell you, since they don’t want their name associated with Toke of the Town… which shows us there’s still a lot of work to do.
In any event, Ron Crumpton, who wrote the editorial in question, has generously agreed to allow us to reproduce the piece in its entirety.

Photo: Aaron Thackeray, Westword
Herbal Connections dispensary, located at 2209 W. 32nd Avenue in Denver, offers a variety of strains including Pineapple Kush.

​​Colorado’s medical marijuana community got a bit of editorial support today from a very influential source — leading newspaper The Denver Post.

In an Dec. 5 Op-Ed piece with the headline “Cities shouldn’t ban dispensaries,” the Post comes down firmly on the side of supporting the will of the Rocky Mountain State’s people as expressed in the 2000 voter initiative which legalized medical pot.
“Far too many muncipalities — including Greeley, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs and Broomfield — are just outright banning the dispensaries, citing the fact that the sale of marijuana is still illegal under federal law,” the Post editorial said.
“We think cities have a role in regulating businesses in a manner that reflects local needs and values,” the Post said, “but some seem to have reacted in haste or simply hope to pass the regulatory buck to other authorities.”
“It is wrong for cities to issue blanket bans,” the Post said. “The Colorado Constitution grants residents with debilitating medical conditions the right to acquire and possess medical marijuana.”

Wikimedia Commons
Federal pot policy is based on 70-year-old superstitions.

​Why does the U.S. federal government keep pushing outdated lies about marijuana’s health consequences and potential for addiction?

Because it’s a lucrative business, according to Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
In an op-ed piece over at AlterNet, Armentano, deputy director of NORML, points out that the feds are wasting their time — and your money — researching what must be the Loch Ness Monster of the drug policy world (as in nobody can prove it exists), “marijuana addiction.”
Yes, you read that right. “Marijuana addiction.”
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Cannabis related disorders (CRDs), including cannabis abuse or dependence and cannabis induced disorders (e.g., intoxication, delirium, psychotic disorder, and anxiety disorder) are a major public health issue.”