Monday, April 20, 2009

For 10,000 Years

For 10,000 years, Taiwanese smoked pot, for the past 40, the US has waged a ridiculous, costly and ineffective war against it but the tide may finally be turning against this idiotic policy.

As a medley of border violence, recessionary pressure, international criticism and popular acceptance steadily undermines America's decades-long effort to eliminate drugs and drug use, the U.S. movement to legalize marijuana is gaining unprecedented momentum.

Once derided and dismissed by lawmakers, law enforcers and the law-abiding alike, marijuana reform is sweeping the nation, although the federal government appears committed -- at least for the time being -- to largely maintaining the status quo.

A week after Attorney General Eric Holder announced in March that raids on state law-abiding medical marijuana dispensaries would end, the Drug Enforcement Agency effectively shut down a San Francisco dispensary, claiming it violated both state and federal laws.

But to paraphrase Victor Hugo, not even the strongest government in the world can stop an idea whose time has apparently come.

Indeed, support for legalization is at an all-time high, and continues to grow. In 1969, just 12 percent of Americans favored legalizing marijuana, the Holy Grail of cannabis advocates; this number had tripled by 2005, according to a Gallup poll. Barely three years later, another poll showed 44 percent of Americans support legalization.

California is pushing to legalize and tax the herb as it makes good business to do so. (besides, CA is broke. )

Government should not be in the morality business, period. Why? Just examine the impact of the "wonderful" Volstead Act, a law that enabled Joe Kennedy to get rich and for the Mafia to become powerful.

Stop making Sense - Talking Heads

Addendum: Bill Moyer's interview with David Simon, creator of The Wire, says it all.

Listen, if you could be Draconian and reduce drug use by locking people up, you might have an argument. But we are the jailing-est country on the planet right now. Two million people in prison. When I started as a police reporter, 33, 34 percent of the federal inmate population was violent offenders. Now it's like, seven to eight percent. So, we're locking up less violent people. More of them. The drugs are purer. They've not-- they haven't closed down a single drug corner that I know of in Baltimore for any length of time. It's not working. And by the way this is not a Republican/Democrat thing. Because a lot of the most Draconian stuff came out of the Clinton Administration. This guy trying to maneuver to the center, in order not to be perceived as Leftist by a Republican Congress.
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