Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The state of Marijuana Prohibition in America 2011

This is a response I received to my petition for Marijuana legalization from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  I am going to take the time to annotate this response in red letters inside brackets [like this] so I can offer some commentary on the ridiculous nature of this response and why we the people deserve more from our government (and by more I mean more freedom)

The White House <>
dateSat, Oct 29, 2011 at 8:15 PM
subjectPetition Response: What We Have to Say About Legalizing Marijuana

The White House
What We Have to Say About Legalizing Marijuana
By Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug's effects.
[Prof Byron:  I dispute this very first sentence of this first paragraph,  They couldn't even get this right!  

An Obama spokesperson in 2008 said " Obama supports the rights of states and local governments to make this choice - though he believes medical marijuana should be subject to (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) regulation like other drugs" 

This is much different than saying he directed all his policymakers to develop policies based on science not politics.  He is a politician, so really all his policies are based in some way on politics.   

He can choose to ignore the science and facts about marijuana if he wants, which brings us to the next point in this diatribe from the Office of National Drug Control Policy: 


According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world's largest source of drug abuse research - marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, andcognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brainscontinue to develop well into their 20's. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.
[Prof Byron: Okay, here we have this last little phrase "not a benign drug".  Compared to WHAT exactly?  We don't do things in a vacuum so to what are we comparing this non-benign drug?  Nicotine?  - perfectly legal and highly cancerous, 
Alcohol?  - also non-benign; given our nations history with prohibition on this one might think we have learned something.   
Pseudoephedrine - this one is used to make meth and it is LEGAL! 
This list could go on, my point is that we could make all kinds of things illegal in the name of making the world safer.  Heck, make driving illegal if you really want to save lives.   So what exactly is there in the science of marijuana use that makes this one stand out?  I submit to you the reader that NOTHING really makes marijuana stand out except the bogyman mentality that people have been given based on all those years of taxpayer funded anti-drug advertising and propaganda.  Smarten up and use your brain on this one, marijuana is no more harmful (and most likely less harmful) than a lot of things already out there - who are you protecting and at what cost are you going to continue to pay to "protect" people from evil marijuana? ]  

Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.
As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. 
[Prof Byron: That is interesting because according to "For the fourth year in a row, US marijuana arrests set an all-time record"
We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.
That is why the President's National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. 
[Prof Byron: Notice how we had to move from marijuana to "drugs" in general here.  What public safety is being protected by preventing an adult from choosing to smoke some marijuana?]

 Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we've seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer. We're also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today.
[Prof Byron: Wait a minute - I thought the discussion here was a response to legalizing marijuana - now we are talking about alcoholism?  Is this a nod to alcohol prohibition then?  ]

 And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.
Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.
[Prof Byron: That $9 Billion does not appear to be very well spent.  Remember this is OUR OWN MONEY being spent to fight our own neighbors down the street, just like in the 1920's when alcohol prohibition was all the rage, please think about how history repeats itself when contemplating the legal issues of fighting for this new prohibition.  ]

Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President's approach to drug control to learn more.
[Prof Byron: I plan to make my voice heard by Voting!  Don't let anyone tell you that your vote does not count, we have this great tool in our country that is vastly underutilized.


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