Article Image Ernest Hancock
Letters to the Editor • Drug War

After two decisive victories for marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington State, what to ex

Dear Editor,

I would like to submit the following article for publication (the article is attached)

Title: After two decisive victories for marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington State, can Obama afford to pickup the fight?

Synopsis:

With the historic and decisive victories for marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington State, the global drug policy debate has entered a whole new phase. Obama would have far more to lose than to win in picking up a battle with Colorado and Washington State on an issue of concern to his core constituency, young voters and minorities. Marijuana legalization has lost its hot-potato status; the public is clearly ahead of its politicians on that matter and support for legalization is likely to keep growing according to current demographic trends. In a country weary of undue government interference, it will be hard to justify fighting the will of the people. Finally, US closest allies in Latin America are calling for reform and a domino effect can be expected both within the US and in foreign countries. The combination of internal and external pressure might make the fight against legalization too costly. Furthermore, the rise of marijuana over the past 50 years might be part of a global trend towards reduced influence of Western civilization and its dominant psychoactive substance, alcohol.

About me: I am an investigative writer, author of "World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization". As such, I have done extensive research on the War on Drugs and I am following closely the rapid evolution of the debate about drug policy reform, especially in Latin America.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
--

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer
www.world-war-d.com
310-909 8996
Columbia Communications Inc,
13428 Maxela Ave #208,
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Check out our FB page for updates
on the War on Drugs and Global drug policy reform
http://www.facebook.com/worldward
Twitter:@JDhywood


=====

After two decisive victories for marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington State, what to expect from Obama?

With the historic and decisive victories for marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington State, the War on Drugs has been dealt a severe blow this November 6th, and the global drug policy debate has entered a whole new phase. Marijuana is still illegal for the federal government, which overrules states' rights, and this is probably just the beginning of the battle. The U.S. Department of Justice reacted by saying that its enforcement policies remain unchanged, adding: “We are reviewing the ballot initiative and have no additional comment at this time.”

Medical marijuana also won in a landslide in Massachusetts, bringing to 18 the number of states (plus the district of Colombia) where marijuana is legal for medical purpose, further complicating the task of the Federal Government. A medical marijuana initiative in Arkansas, the first of its kind in the deep-South and the Bible belt, fared much better than expected, ending up narrowly defeated at 49 to 51 when most polls were predicting double-digits loss. This could be indicative of evolving attitudes even in the most conservative parts of the US.

It is quite clear that the status of marijuana poses a real dilemma for Obama and the Democratic Party. Marijuana legalization has wide support among young voters and drug prohibition disproportionally affects minorities, filling jails to the beams. Both constituencies have been keys to Obama’s 2008 and 2012 victories. Marijuana activists were frazzled by the Obama crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries but at the end of the day they lined up behind him thanks to their deep distrust of Mitt Romney, while they are still hoping that Obama will have a change of heart in his second term.

So, with reelection out of the way, how will the Obama administration react? Marijuana legalization has lost its hot-potato status as the Washington initiative enjoyed mainstream support across the political spectrum. The public is clearly ahead of its politicians on that matter and support for marijuana legalization has been steadily growing nationwide over the past 30 years, a trend unlikely to reverse anytime soon with the aging of its opponent and coming of age of its proponents.

Under such circumstances, Obama would have far more to lose than to win in picking up a battle with Colorado and Washington State; the issue could prove distracting and definitively alienate and demobilize some of his strongest supporters, which could prove costly in the mid-term 2014 election where voters turn-out is traditionally low.

While marijuana legalization could be stuck for years in lengthy legal battles, this would keep the issue in the political debate and the headlines. In a country weary of undue government interference, it will be hard to justify fighting the will of the people, especially when it has been expressed as decisively as it was on November 6th. Furthermore, prohibitionism might be deeply entrenched, but it has never withstood close scrutiny, as witnessed by countless studies and reports, including the 1972 Shafer Commission's Report sponsored by the Nixon administration itself and later repudiated for recommending marijuana decriminalization. Drug policy reform would most likely benefit from keeping marijuana legalization in the limelight, as exposure allows it to generally outshine its prohibitionist nemesis.

Moreover, few more states legislatures are expected to take on medical marijuana in 2013, bringing the medical marijuana camp tantalizingly closer to the 25 count when a majority of the states will have legal access to medical marijuana. California is widely expected to present a legalization initiative in 2014 and may be joined by Massachusetts.

Last but not least, most law-enforcement is done by state and local agencies in the US and the federal government would be powerless without their cooperation, which strongly limit its practical options.

Should the Obama administration decide to fight marijuana legalization heads-on, it will clearly go against the tide and could face an uphill battle.

Pressure for drug policy reform is not just internal. Colombia and Mexico, the US’ closest Latin American allies have expressed for a while their growing frustration with the current prohibitionist policies. Now Guatemala, long a pariah state emerging from a decades-long civil war plagued with human-rights abuses, is trying to garner support throughout the region for a radical reevaluation of drug policy and a debate about legalization and proper control of all drugs.

There is also risk (or hope depending on where people stand on the issue) of a domino effect. The US elections have been watched closely by the activist community all over the world, from neighboring Canada to Australia and New Zealand, and through Latin America and Europe. The Colorado and Washington victories may have opened the Pandora box, and many states, provinces and countries could follow.

On the other hand, the US has been the world’s prohibitionist-in-chief for over a century, and has over the years imposed her prohibitionist policies to the rest of the world. All current international treaties on illicit drugs having been produced and backed by successive US administrations over the past 50 years, a complete U-turn seems unlikely. But with 18 states and the district of Colombia in oblique violation of the international treaties and Colorado and Washington now squarely confronting them, the “tough on drugs” stance is increasingly untenable. Unless it reverses its attitude and draws the lessons from a century of failed prohibitionist rule, the US will be increasingly stuck between a rock and a hard place and her prohibitionist-in-chief posture will become more and more indefensible.

2012 has certainly been a momentous year for drug policy reform, with a bumper crop of firsts:

·        Otto Perez Molina, from Guatemala, was the first president to formally and forcefully call for legalization and proper control of all drugs last January.

·        Drug legalization was placed on the agenda on the Summit of the Americas in April 2012

·        Uruguay announced its intention to legalize marijuana under state control in June 2012

·        Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico formally requested an open debate about drug policy reform at the 2012 UN General Assembly.

·        And of course, the states of Colorado and Washington voted decisively to legalize marijuana on November 6, 2012

In another notable development, US’ closest ally, Israel, is expanding its medical marijuana program, fueled by its strong research sector in medicine and technology with active governmental support.

Will 2012 be the year when the US acknowledges at long last the failure of her prohibitionist policies and start exploring less destructive, more realistic and pragmatic alternatives? Substance abuse is here to stay and tackling it is a matter of being smarter rather than tougher. Public mobilization behind the issue will be critical. Petitions and other forms of public pressure are likely to emerge both in support and against marijuana legalization and drug policy reform in general.

It should be noted that beyond the fate of particular initiatives or policies, powerful global trends are at play here. While alcohol has been the dominant psychoactive substance and social lubricant of Western civilization since its inception over 8,000 years ago, and while Western civilization has dominated the world for the past few centuries, globalization is rapidly shifting the geopolitical tectonic plates. As the world accelerates its move towards multipolarity, where no single power exerts overwhelming dominance, alcohol is also losing its psychoactive dominance to become just one of many psychoactive modalities, being replaced firstly by psychopharmaceuticals, followed by marijuana, more properly called cannabis.

At the end of the day, the days of prohibition are most likely counted and it will fade away with the American century that started with the 1908 Shanghai conference, the event that set the foundations of global prohibition, on the eve of World War-I.

Jeffrey Dhywood
Investigative writer,
Author of “World War D – The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization”

“World War-D” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984690409/

www.world-war-d.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/worldward
Twitter: @JDhywood
jd (at) world-war-d.com

 

 

6 Comments in Response to

Comment by Sam Weathersby
Entered on:

It is very apparent that few in gov have done research on the basis of MJ prohibition, the "why do we have it?" & the war on some drugs that followed. Thankfully, many citizens are looking into the subject. Many more need to wake up.

 MJ prohibition had been used to discriminate against Mexicans by border states, not all that long ago. Not much later, on the Fed level, WR Hurst & his puppet Harry Anslinger pushed through MJ prohibition based on deceit, lies & Hurst's desire to protect his $$ interests in timber lands he owned & his interest in the then new DuPont Chemical Co. DuPont was starting to manufacture synthetic products from coal tar. Nylon, rayon & so on. Also there had been a 'breakthrough' by chemists who replicated the chemical structure of vitamins & minerals & called them nutritional. Yuck! They lied. There is an interesting aside story on that one.They tried to sell the military their stuff, but the war was over...look it up.

 Suffice it to say that though the synthetic chemical industry generally says that there is no chemical difference between natural vitamins & minerals, they never mention the biological differences...if you think synthetic V's & M's are the same as natural, you have some catching up to do. 

Now blacks & other minorities are also tacitly discriminated against by unjust MJ laws. The prison industrial complex is growing, police are being militarized & the Bill of Rights is under full scale attack on this & other fronts. Then there is the problem of the "OOOPPS!! We got the wrong address again! Hey, we thought that cell phone was a gun!" raids. 

How long are we going to put up with the expanding police state & war on civil liberties? All the drug cartel related deaths in Mexico & the innocents killed in botched raids puts a LOT of blood on the hands of the US federal government & war on some drugs supporters. Fast & Furious is small potatoes in comparison.

 How did WR get his MJ prohibition accomplished when most every one knew that hemp was a danger to no one?

 Hurst deceived the general public into thinking that both the hemp smoked for a 'high' & the the hemp used for rope, canvas, food, clothes, a car Henry Ford built, hemp seed biofuel & one we could go, were the same. Industrial hemp can't make one 'high', but Hurst covered that up. 

WR's disingenuous Reefer Madness propaganda campaign convinced the public that marijuana was a truly dangerous substance, when there was no real evidence to back that contention. When an AMA doctor tried to raise objections to MJ prohibition at a Congressional hearing, the man was censored.

 Later the Dr. was lied about. It was falsely stated to the press that the AMA backed Hurst, when at that time they did not. 

There is a very interesting story about cannabis just waiting to be discovered by many people who don't know who to believe. Just do some research. You will be very enlightened on the subject.And you will find, yes, your govt lied to you & they still do.

 You will find that once you know the TRUE reasons behind the cannabis & hemp prohibitions, that the truth has been covered up in a thick, smokey cloud of lies, deceit, greed & fear, you will realize that you have been conned by our fed govt,  MJ prohibitionists & big $$ interests.

I ask you all to blow that smoke away & get to the real truth about one of the most beneficial plants Nature's God has provided the human race.

 SamFox

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

See? That's the trouble with the Constitution. It has all kinds of marching orders for making and operating Government. It also has its reasonable share of limitations that it places on Government. But it doesn't have one of the most important things in it to give it teeth on behalf of the people. It doesn't have any direct punishments listed for punishing politicians and other Government people who disobey any of its tenets.

We need an Amendment that makes both the Constitution and the platforms that our elected officials run on, to be binding CONTRACTS with the people. And written right in this Amendment, we need to have the treasonous politician's personal punishments listed... a few monetary punishments, many whipping punishments (with a cat o' nine) and lots of reasons to execute for treason... all literally spelled out.

This Amendment needs to be thought out well. It needs to be detailed. It needs to be written in such a way that it is strictly applied. It needs to have no other law within itself than to punish bad Government people, all of its force being directed at enforcing the Constitution and other Amendments. And it needs to be NON-REPEALABLE and NON-EXCLUDABLE by any other laws, Amendments, or anything else.

This marijuana legalization thing is a start to show both the people and the Government, that if Government riles us too much, we have other methods at hand that we can use to put Government in its place.

Let's get an Amendment like this going. Let's start advertising the idea.
 

Comment by David McElroy
Entered on:

 To Pure Trust's comment that "there is no place for Obama to go" after finishing his second term as POTUS: I still like to think he could go to prison, or perhaps the gallows, convicted of TREASON, high crimes and misdemeanors involving malfeasance, negligence, and multiple violations of the Constitution!

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Let's hope that Obama fights this marijuana decision - and these States if they don't change - tooth and nail. He just might do it, too. After all, it's no skin off his nose. He won the election. There is no place for him to go after his term ends. The best thing he can do, now, is bow to the Power Elite so that he can move forward with them following the Presidency.

Such a move by Obama would serve the people of the USA as well. After all, look at what the people are doing. They are changing laws... slowly. They are legalizing marijuana. If Obama fought them tooth and nail on this issue, it would prove once and for all that Government is against the people... especially Federal Government. Then the people might REALLY effect some changes.

Comment by H. Skip Robinson
Entered on:

Dear Jeff, I hope that you are correct. I am of course both delighted and astounded that the majority actually got this many wins. The ruling oligarchy has for years used the war of drugs to manipulate society with the huge profits it reaps. Perhaps you can tell me, if any major banking institution or its reps. in recent years have been at least indicted for money laundering because somebody has got to be doing it. There must be various money interests including their government agents of the military industrial complex such as the DEA, CIA and FBI that must be pissed. Perhaps however, they see this movement as another means of raising tax revenue to help divert the severity of the coming fiscal cliff? The Feds have caused a lot of prosecutions in CA, so I hope that you are correct in their often times overzealous enforcement actions. With all that said, I want to thank you and the various other groups like NORML and the libertarians for all their efforts at obtaining these liberties. I'm more hopeful than pessmistic the first time in a number of years. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_state there are 5 different types of power structures, which may assist us in our legal battles against the central government planning. The initial Confederation of States maybe a key.  I'm going to continue to research this. "thanks again".    

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

Expect?  Expect the truncheon.  What else can they offer?  Obey!


Free Talk Live