Pubdate: Thu, 21 Jun 2012
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2012 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Ron Hart


"The war on drugs has been a utter failure, uhhh, I think we need to
rethink, uhhh, and decriminalize marijuana laws."

- - Barack Obama, 1/21/04

Yet again, I agree with President Barack Obama (actually, with
candidate Obama), except I believe the war on drugs has been "an"
utter failure. Then again, I did not receive an almost-free, Ivy
League education.

Pot should be decriminalized. I suggest that Congress consider it,
perhaps in a joint session.

Recent polling says that more kids are smoking pot than cigarettes,
and that well over half of Americans support decriminalizing
marijuana. Those who say it is a "gateway" drug are right: It's a
gateway to the White House.

Even though they were best sellers, Obama's books - like him - were
all about himself. He admits to smoking a lot of pot. In his high
school yearbook, he (Barry Obama) even thanked his weed dealer, Ray,
for "all the good times."

Government likes to wet its beak in all the vices. Government
currently controls the numbers (lottery); drugs (DEA and FDA);
alcohol, cigarettes, and guns (ATF); etc. It is like the Mafia without
the organizational skill or code of honor.

If a bale of marijuana were to wash ashore from Mexico, I would
support giving it amnesty. Some would delight in its use, and the
money from the sale would not go to fund violent Mexican cartels.

The White House has been petitioned to change the laws on weed. It is
not that they would not consider it, but the impassioned plea for
legalizing pot could not be taken seriously since it was written on
three empty Domino's Pizza boxes.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jim Gray testified (as have other
authorities) as to why spending taxpayer money to incarcerate citizens
arrested for pot possession is stupid. He said, "The tougher we get
with pot, the softer we get with prosecuting everything else -
homicide, rape ..."

My dad was a Marine and then a policeman and he agrees. Tying up law
enforcement by sending kids to jail for pot is a waste. It costs us
money, and they come out of prison as more hardened and violent
criminals. It is estimated that in our failed War on Drugs, more than
20 million Americans have been sent to jail over weed, and it has cost
us $1 trillion. Prison is not for nonviolent criminals.

One in 30 people in America is in the penal system, the highest
incarceration rate in the world. Arrests are disproportionately
minorities and the poor. Black men make up 40 percent of the prison
population. According to Department of Justice, 13 percent of people
are in jail for marijuana offenses. The report says that modest
reforms in laws relating to the criminalization of marijuana would
save taxpayers $20 billion a year and would reduce our prison
population by 800,000.

As he is with most subjects, Ron Paul is right about our wasteful War
on Drugs. Be eternally suspect when Washington declares a "war" on
anything: Terror, women, poverty, Christmas, drugs, etc. We never win
any of them; they are just an excuse to grow government.

Hypocrites in Washington will not act, even on hemp. We can no longer
legally grow hemp in the U.S., yet our first two Declarations of
Independence were written on cannabis hemp paper. And no federal
building will ever be named after Ron Paul (well, maybe just a tunnel
from Tijuana into California).

Prohibition spawned Al Capone and the rise of the Mafia. Drug laws
have brought us Mexican cartel violence.

New York Mayor Bloomberg is trying to regulate the size of sodas. New
York City will fine you $200 for a soda larger than 16 ounces; for
pot, $100 and for murder, $50.

It is a bad idea to attempt to regulate human behavior. Real
regulation comes from the individual, from family, faith, conscience,
and consequences - never from government. Aside from the notion that
we are a free country, we can put in our bodies what we please as long
as it does not harm others. Where does government regulation of our
personal behavior end?

Even the Rev. Pat Robertson said when he came out for marijuana
reforms, "Just because something is legal it does not mean we should
do it." I apply the same logic to pineapple on pizza and those
froufrou International Flavor creamers like hazelnut in my coffee. If
crack or meth were legal, I would not use it - but it should be my
choice, as long as it does not harm others.
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MAP posted-by: Matt