On 21 Nov 2013, at 03:54, Chris de Morsella wrote:

 >>We legalized Cannabis in the state of Washington

>Yes, I know, and I congratulate your for that. You show the path!

Amsterdam & Copenhagen (Christiania) showed the way earlier. I hope it works here (and in Colorado too) so that we can work out models for other states.

I hope so.

and within a few months the state run stores selling it will begin opening. Already medical dispensaries are quite common, but these new stores will be able to sell to anyone of legal age.

>> I just hope the feds will not come with tanks!
They have indicated that they will not. There has been a fair amount of confusion and legal footsies between state level legal advisors and the Justice Dept. for example. The prospect of Washington state employees – as the workers in these state stores would be – becoming arrested for trafficking in a schedule I drug raised a lot of concerns and discussion locally. From what I read in the local press the indication from the feds is that they will not be rolling in with the tanks – or making arrests. It remains to be seen what actually happens. One problem we have with the American legal system is that a federal prosecutor can act without being directed to act by the administration that is in office. Recently one such federal prosecutor went on a crusade against medical dispensaries in Southern California – the region this individual was districted in. So until this insane prohibition – purely for the benefit of organized criminality is overthrown at the federal level everything remains vulnerable to a policy change rollback. I do not think that the feds have the stomach though to take on constituent state governments over this issue, but we shall see.

>>You see the contradiction? 18 states have legalized medical cannabis, and two states have legalized recreative cannabis, yet it is still "schedule one" at the federal level.

Yes… see above.

You worry me a little bit .... I was joking with the tanks ... (Well I was hoping being joking ...).

>>The "schedule one" notion is also an incredible aberration. A product is considered as being so dangerous that research on it is forbidden! Why not making nuclear bomb schedule one? Why not make physics and math schedule one?

Also why for a product that has such a very low toxicity. THC is less toxic than vitamin C; not one person has ever died from a Marijuana overdose. How many have died from acute alcohol poisoning? The justifications for the original decision were suspect from the beginning and based on shoddy research that has since been discredited. And yet the prohibition policy has rolled on decade after decade after decade. It has been known for decades that it was a failure and that the war on drugs has only succeeded in creating powerful global criminal organizations that have corrupted every dimension of life – perhaps that was the purpose of this irrational policy from the very beginning.

I think that the evidences go in that direction.

Washington and Colorado are the first states to make cannabis fully legal (I think). Even in The Netherlands cannabis is still illegal. It is tolerated, decriminalized, but still illegal. Decriminalization is a nonsense: it is de facto a contract between states and criminals. It is better than nothing, though, for some finite period of time.

Agreed – though the tolerance of the Dutch (and also the Danes and Portuguese) showed how a different approach was possible. One reason these nations did not legalize is the international treaty obligations. Perhaps ignoring them was the best they could do in that time. Washington and Colorado are now pushing the envelope; I hope this busts the criminal blocking of a return to sanity.

Those international treaties are a mystery for me. Also how quick all this happened. Prohibition seems to be an international criminal decisions at the start.

>>>I hope you will legalize all drugs. In my country we get at last the official result of the "Tadam Project", which has consisted in providing heroin legally to the heroine users (in the city of Liege). It is considered by the experts involved as an important success, but the government stopped it one year ago, and it will take time to approve it, and to decide to pursue it. Since the project has been stopped, already three heroin users have died.

Most of the time it isn’t Heroin that kills the addicts; it is what it has been cut with by criminal gangs that are without scruples. Although it saddens me personally when I see a junkie – it is very much a waste of life (but excellent for dulling pain), I would far prefer that addicts could get --- at a reasonable price and quality – the heroin they need. And be able to inject their drug in a safe environment – again I believe they should pay some small fee for this too.

Just to prevents the spreading of AIDS, legalizing heroin (even if medically prescribed) is common sense.

This would have an immediate dramatic effect on street and property crime – a junkie needing to make $100 to $150 and up each and every day in order to support their habit and the organized criminals profiting off of them is a veritable street crime wave. I believe that drugs such as heroin or cocaine, or tobacco or alcohol for that matter that have known chronic health costs and pose risks of death and physical and mental deterioration of the users should be taxed so that users of these drugs can fund the costs society must bear because of their use. Heroin or cocaine could be produced for far less than they are currently marked up by the mafias that distribute these drugs globally; so there is plenty of room for a large tax on them while still bringing down the cost for the addict into a realm where they are not doing desperate things – like stealing cars or prostituting themselves – in order to get a fix. I have lost a good friend – a drummer I used to play in a rock band with (20 years ago) – to heroin. We (the other guys in the band) actually were thinking about kidnapping him and taking him to a cabin in the forest to sweat out his withdrawals, I guess because we knew his habit was going to kill him. But the legal implications – a potential kidnap charge (even if the motive is pure) is a powerful inhibitor. Three weeks later he was dead. Who knows if it had been legal he might still be alive… perhaps.

Sorry for your friend. This last year I lost two close friend. One for overdoing with a legal antidepressant, and the other succumbs to a radiotherapy and I am pretty sure that both would be alive if some herbs were used instead. Hard to prove, but I have the intimate conviction on this.
How many death brought by prohibition? Millions if not billions.

The only drugs that should remain illegal or at least be highly controlled are those that induce extreme violence in those who take them.

I know only alcohol for being like that. Prohibition of alcohol has not worked. Let us make "violence" illegal. It is enough.

In general it is my belief that it is only when using something or doing something becomes a clear and clearly demonstrable danger for others that the state should be able to legislate. For example, why were anti-sodomy laws still enforce in 15 states in the US, until struck down in a 2003 US Supreme court decision? This is none of the state’s business, and states should not be in the business of enforcing codes of behavior.




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