I am supporter.
I am responding to a political advertisement that says you now support ‘decriminalization’ of marijuana use as opposed to full legalization.
Sir, this is simply a half- a– answer to the problem of drug prohibition. This policy would allow law enforcement to continue to use marijuana possession and use as an excuse to harass anybody over it any time they want. This sort of harassment always falls mostly on minorities and poor whites.
I have used cannabis to treat my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from child sexual abuse for 50 years. I was, despite prohibition, able to have a great career and retired from the Air Force after a little over 20 years. I worked in communications and wrecked my back pulling manhole covers and climbing telephone poles. I am disabled and also use marijuana to treat my chronic pain. It helped me avoid opioid addiction too! I also work as a Senior Advisor for Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. We were instrumental in getting the VA to stop withholding meds and treatment from Vet Patients simply because they tested positive for cannabis in a routine urinalysis.
Please read the following before you continue with decriminalization. You must be made aware, despite your past opinions that prohibition as policy is a total failure.
The demonization of cannabis began in California in 1913, based on prejudice against “Hindoos” (https://www.researchgate.net/…/242120559_The_Origins_of_Can…) Immigrants from south Asia who used hashish and evolved into a deliberate campaign of racially biased propaganda directed against certain segments of our nation who still struggle against discrimination. Harry J. Anslinger the first drug Czar said cannabis should be illegal because, “It makes black people think they are as good as white people”, among other things.
Prior to 1937, cannabis was the most used medicine in America. During the early Thirties, it was demonized by the Hearst newspaper group with article after article of stories of Timmy killing his Grandmother with a skillet and such. Politicians jumped on the band wagon along with law enforcement, (many were out of a job with the end of alcohol prohibition). Despite many cannabis based medicines being approved for use, the fix was in. The Marijuana Tax Stamp Act of 1937 required one to have a Tax Stamp to possess marijuana but it was a trap law and finally was declared unconstitutional in 1969.
Next up, the 1970 Controlled Substances Act which temporarily placed cannabis in the same category as heroin, Schedule1, Dangerous and having no medical value. They were waiting for the Nixon appointed Shafer Commission to report on its study of Drugs in America. They finished in 1972 and reported that marijuana use should be decriminalized and that drugs were a medical problem not a criminal one. Nixon ignored the report and declared the War on Drugs. The cover story in the April 2016 edition of Harper’s Magazine titled, “Legalize it all” with the subtitle “How to Win the War on Drugs” written by Dan Baum recalls an interview with President Nixon aide John Ehrlichman. Mister Baum was asking questions about the politics of drug prohibition and as he tells it, Ehrlichman asked, “You want to know what this was really all about?” He went on to say, “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Besides being used as a political scam prohibition was also used as a way to harass immigrant and minority populations, (Afro-Americans are 6 times more likely to be arrested for drugs than Caucasian citizens.) and the result is an overblown prison population and arrests in the hundreds of thousands every year. Even with legalization in many states, there were over 500,000 arrests last year alone. Millions of our citizens have had their lives upended and destroyed behind the totally failed policy of drug prohibition.
During the 90s America and Portugal were experiencing increasing numbers of drug users. Portugal took the step of decriminalization and rehabilitation whereas America doubled down on prohibition. Portugal has seen a 67% drop in drug use and abuse and America is still seeing no progress in its fight against drug use and abuse.
We should end marijuana prohibition completely. (How about the ATMF Department, Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms). Adopt a policy similar to that of Portugal that, as the original Shafer Commission recommended, drugs are a medical and not a criminal problem.
If there is anything I can do to help you with this issue please feel free to contact me. If you make it to MI, feel free to drop in for a cup of coffee!