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Mayors Wage War on the War Against Marijuana

Mayors wage war on the war on drugs, starting with marijuana.

Mayors wage war on the war on drugs, starting with marijuana.

IT’S NOT news, because it’s been happening gradually, but in Las Vegas at the annual meeting of mayors the subject of marijuana and the waste of time it is for police to focus on a non-gateway drug over real criminals was front and center. Mayors know how costly it is to focus on marijuana, which should be treated like alcohol.

Three cheers for the mayor of the sprawling city where we live, William Euille, in the Beltway suburbia area of Alexandria, Virginia.

“It’s akin to the spirit in the country today relative to gays and lesbians and same-sex marriage and so forth,” says William Euille, the first African-American mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, and a co-sponsor of the resolution. “People have come to realize that we need to stop punishing people who want to live their lives a little bit differently.” [Daily Beast]

Notably absent was Mayor Michael “stop and frisk” Bloomberg.

With all the other news it’s not getting much attention, but when it comes to what mayors and states spend money on this issue matters. Even conservative and Tea Party types were joining in.

The 180 elected officials attending the annual meeting of the U.S. conference of mayors in Sin City unanimously adopted a resolution urging the federal government to let states and localities make their own marijuana policy. The bipartisan sponsors—including, along with the usual suspects, leaders like Jean Robb, the Tea Party–backed conservative mayor of Deerfield Beach, Florida—seemed to show that the war on the war on drugs is now in full sway, a process that has accelerated since voters in Colorado and Washington state embraced weed legalization at the polls last fall.

[...] The mayors stress that they are joined not in advocating any particular approach to marijuana—be it decriminalization, medicinal programs, or full legalization—but simply in calling on Washington to let local communities decide the matter for themselves. And while gay-rights advocates might bristle at the comparison (which Bill Maher makes regularly on his HBO show Real Time) of their fight for equality before the law with the push for legal pot, Euille is right about one thing: public opinion has moved sharply in favor of both causes over the past few years. Even some longtime foes who maintain that marijuana is a “gateway drug” and that its association with criminality is inextricable concede that they are swimming against the tide, and that it is only a matter of time before some form of legalized pot is a reality of urban life in America.

Marijuana snuck into the George Zimmerman trial, with defenders of this man using it too, Mark O’Mara citing Trayvon Martin having used drugs, as if marijuana would make Martin aggressive or act out. It was one of the many offensive things implied or said outright by the defense.

I’ve never seen anyone decide to beat the crap out of anyone while under the influence of marijuana alone, though I have seen this happen many times with alcohol.

Marijuana should be decriminalized and the same rules for alcohol applied, especially when operating a vehicle. That’s where this is headed and it can’t get there soon enough.

When turning to the war on drugs and our southern border, it is nothing less than a national security issue. The war on drugs is about as effective as prohibition was on alcohol, only it’s much more expensive, especially in human lives, particularly minorities.

The Department of Consumer Protection will certify between three and 10 secured marijuana growing facilities. The law requires growers to pay a $25,000 licensing fee.

[..] The lure of starting a business in the emerging, and potentially lucrative, marijuana industry is strong.

So-called marijuana entrepreneurs have expressed interest in starting grow facilities in Bridgeport, Middletown, Watertown and West Haven.

[via Boston.com - h/t CTPost - Connecticut]

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2 Responses to Mayors Wage War on the War Against Marijuana

  1. mjsmith July 7, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    The Drug Free America Foundation, formally called Straight, Inc., and Save Our Society From Drugs, are both headed by Mel Sembler. They have the organization and the money to support politicians that do their bidding and hurt candidates who stand up to them. Private prisons, and court ordered drug rehabs are big business. It is clear that they have done absolutely nothing to help anyone and have only hurt people and broken up families. It is clear that they make an enormous amount of money because marijuana is illegal. When marijuana is legal, the rehabs and private prisons business suffer.

    http://www.saveoursociety.org/about-us/staff

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_Free_America_Foundation

    History and origins[edit]

    DFAF was founded by Betty Sembler, wife of shopping center developer and Ambassador Mel Sembler. In 1976, Betty and Mel Sembler founded Straight, Incorporated, a “coercive rehabilitation” program in the United States that produced hundreds of reports of abuse of adolescents and their families during its 15 years of existence. Straight was adapted from the controversial therapeutic community programs Synanon and The Seed.
    Notable activism[edit]

    The DFAF and its many divisions oppose ballot initiatives that would reduce criminal penalties on illegal possession of drugs or that would support harm reduction efforts.
    Some of the divisions of DFAF, as shown[1] on the DFAF website, include:
    The Institute on Global Drug Policy,
    The International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse,
    The Drug Prevention Network of the Americas (DPNA),
    Students Taking Action Not Drugs (STAND),
    National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance (NDWA),
    The International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy.

    • Taylor Marsh July 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      The war on drugs has been very good for lots of businesses, bad for people.

      However, as Colorado and Washington are showing, with other states joining in, legalizations can bring in other businesses, including tourism, not to mention health care, that can rival the establishment corporations currently making money off of the suffering of people.

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