High stakes for marijuana (Al Jazeera video)


Video from Al Jazeera

More people in the US have been arrested for marijuana possession than for any violent crime. But a new poll shows that for the first time, more than half of Americans surveyed say they’re in favor of legalising marijuana – compared to just 12% in 1969. With the dramatic shift in American public opinion, should the US reconsider its marijuana laws?

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to:

Robert Capecchi @MarijuanaPolicy
Deputy Director of State Policies, Marijuana Policy Project

Kevin Sabet @kevinsabet
Co-Founder, Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Kristi Kelly @kleethe1andonly, Lara Okoloko, and Dustin Mahon join us via Google+ hangout.

Editor’s snark:

“It’s very dangerous for teenagers” (Yeah, if they take part in a choom gang, they might become a Harvard graduate and President)

California lieutenant governor: ‘Do the damn right thing’ and legalize marijuana

Via Raw Story California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday called on politicians to be honest about legalizing marijuana, claiming many lawmakers and officials secretly opposed the drug’s outlaw status.

“I am sick and tired of politicians saying one thing in private and saying another in public,” he said on HuffPost Live. “Love me or hate me, I can’t participate in that. I didn’t on gay marriage, and I watched as so many politicians, particularly in my party, said I’m with you on gay marriage, and then years went by and they were still arguing for second-class citizenship of the gay and lesbian community.”

Newsom claimed the same was true of the war on drugs, which he described as an “abject failure.” He noted that drug prohibition had been particularly harmful to racial minorities, who are imprisoned at a disproportionately high rate for drug offenses.

“It’s time for politicians of all strips to come out of the closet in this respect and say what they think on the issue, do the damn right thing on this.”

Newsom opposed Proposition 19 in 2010, which would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana in California. Last December, however, he declared he no longer supported the prohibition of cannabis.

“These laws just don’t make sense anymore,” he said.

Important Facts About Marijuana Legalization

From MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: What Everyone Needs to Know by Jonathan P. Caulkins, Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer, Mark A. R. Kleiman, published by Oxford University Press © 2012 Oxford University Press. 

Via Huffington Post

If alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, what’s the logical justification for one being legal and the other illegal?

If we were making laws for a planet whose population had never experienced either marijuana or alcohol, and we had to choose one of the two drugs to make available, there would be a strong case for choosing marijuana, which has lower organic toxicity, lower addictive risk, and a much weaker link with accidents and violence.

But that’s not the planet we inhabit. Here on this planet, alcohol has been an ingrained part of many cultures since the Neolithic revolution (which may have been driven in part by the discovery that grain could be brewed into beer). People have used cannabis plant products for thousands of years, but its widespread use as an intoxicant in the United States is a phenomenon of the last hundred years. Even today only about one in sixteen American adults used marijuana at all in the course of a typical year; for alcohol, that figure is more than half. Continue reading

Jodie Emery on Sun TV: The Case for Cannabis

From Jodie Emery’s Facebook page “When it comes to talking to conservatives or Conservatives about prohibition, there are certain ways to present your argument. I’ve been fortunate enough to have two appearances on Sun TV, the Fox-news-style Canadian news network, to explain why marijuana needs to be legal. “