Tag Archives | Prohibition
Andrew Dilks writes at orwellwasright.
Professor David Nutt is back in the news again, describing Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe’s suggestion to introduce mandatory drug testing by their employers as “bonkers”. Appearing on the BBC, Nutt highlighted how the current drugs policy is both morally and scientifically wrong and that a rational approach to the issue is crucial, citing Portugal, the Netherlands and Colombia – where plans have recently been announced to decriminalize ecstasy – as examples to follow.
Professor Nutt came to public attention following his work advising the government as chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. His repeated clashes with government ministers on the classification of drugs eventually led to his dismissal after he publically claimed that his daughter was statistically at greater risk horse riding than she would be taking ecstasy. Despite the accuracy of this statement it met with intense criticism from the government, who demanded a full apology from Nutt.… Read the rest
“Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, observing as far as my red eyes can see toking on a big fat f–king bong! Yeah, that’s right you f–kers in the future, suck it up. I smoked weed like a motherf–ker! Go Google it!”
- Thomas Jefferson
The legalisation of cannabis meme seems to be reaching its tipping point. The Volokh Conspiracy reports:
A recent poll conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling indicates that 58% of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. This is consistent with other recent survey data showing that public opinion is moving in a pro-legalization direction. In 2011, a Gallup poll showed 50% support for legalization for the first time. As with other recent surveys, the PPP polls finds that support for legalization is highest among younger people. But this is a generational effect in which each generation is more supportive of legalization than the one that came before, rather than a cohort effect in which the young are pro-legalization, but quickly turn against it once they get older.
The big news from last night is not that the lesser of two evils won the US presidential elections, but that “Washington and Colorado voters legalized recreational use of marijuana.”
“’It’s very monumental,’ said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a Washington-based group that advocates legalization. ‘No state has ever done this. Technically, marijuana isn’t even legal in Amsterdam.’”
Under the measures, “personal possession of up to an ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana would be legal for anyone at least 21 years of age. They also will permit cannabis to be legally sold and taxed at state-licensed stores in a system modeled after a regime many states have in place for alcohol sales.”
In addition, the cultivation of up to six plants for personal use will be legal in Colorado while still remaining illegal in Washington State.… Read the rest
Colorado, Oregon and Washington are all rolling out ballot measures that could legalize the use of marijuana, be it for medical or recreational purposes. Rolling Stone writer Julian Brookes has written a cogent piece on what the likely consequences will be. Will wins in any of the states be enough of a tipping point to enable politicians to discuss federal legalization without committing career suicide? I wouldn’t count on it:
But don’t expect too much there. Last year, Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul introduced the first-ever federal legalization bill. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon; another Frank bill, the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, which would leave enforcement of medical pot to the states, has been kicking around the Hill since 1997, but has never made it to a vote. “Congress is several years behind the general public on this,” says Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and a co-sponsor of both bills.
During Prohibition, crime syndicates were re-distilling industrial alcohol to supply their speakeasies. In an effort to “poison the well,” the federal government responded by requiring manufacturers to add new, deadly compounds to the industrial alcohol mix, leading to the deaths of thousands nationwide. In an article at Slate.com, Deborah Blum writes:
It was Christmas Eve 1926, the streets aglitter with snow and lights, when the man afraid of Santa Claus stumbled into the emergency room at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. He was flushed, gasping with fear: Santa Claus, he kept telling the nurses, was just behind him, wielding a baseball bat.
Before hospital staff realized how sick he was — the alcohol-induced hallucination was just a symptom — the man died. So did another holiday party-goer. And another. As dusk fell on Christmas, the hospital staff tallied up more than 60 people made desperately ill by alcohol and eight dead from it.… Read the rest
Since the FDA outlawed the sickly-sweet, caffeinated, vomit-inducing alcoholic drink Four Loko, a brisk black market has sprung up on the internet. Twelve-packs readily available, at inflated prices that will only rise, NBC New York reports:
It may be banned from store shelves but Four Loko is one of the hottest products on Craigslist.
A 4NewYork hidden-camera investigation exposed just how easy it is to buy the alcoholic energy drink from private dealers who stocked up before the FDA forced Four Loko manufacturers to eliminate caffeine from their recipe.
After responding to posting from an Upper East Side Four Loko dealer, WNBC was able to purchase a case of twelve cans for $80, a mark-up of more than 300 percent. Since November, dozens of sellers have posted craigslist ads charging anywhere from $4 to $8 per can. When the drink was legal, buyers paid only $2 to $3 per can.
The controversial drink, nicknamed “Alcopop” or “Blackout in a Can” was first banned from the New Jersey campus of Ramapo College when 17 students were hospitalized after drinking the potent formula.
The best solution to our environmental problems is to end prohibition. There is no other viable option short of the immediate end to military conflict that will have the same positive impact on the ecosystem. Our first step towards a sustainable existence should begin with cannabis. Its assimilation into our civilization is the safest, simplest, most efficient immediate solution that we can implement in time to prevent an ecological catastrophe.
Cannabis is a plant, and its use is as old as civilization itself. It has thousands of immediate and potential applications. Its cultivation rejuvenates the soil, it can replace wood products, it’s medicinal, and it can be used as building material, textiles, paint, plastic, fuel, paper, food and body care. It is one of the most important bounties of nature. It’s a plant that we were meant to use.
So what’s the hold up? The short answer is America’s “War on Drugs”.