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40Th Anniversary On The War On Drugs

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June Friday, June 17th marks the 40th anniversary of when President Richard Nixon officially declared a “war on drugs,” two years after calling for the creation of a national drug policy.


The drug war has negatively transformed the criminal justice system, eroded public health and undermined civil liberties. We are the world’s largest jailer, arresting 1.5 million people each year for drug law violations – 40% of them just for marijuana possession. People suffering from cancer, AIDS and other debilitating illnesses are regularly denied access to their medicine or arrested and prosecuted for using medical marijuana.


Here in Michigan, the enactment of the Medical Marijuana Act has generated fiscal, societal and cultural rewards, as well as backlash from prohibitionists who refuse to concede defeat. The same scare tactics used nationally are being used in our state: recreational users and profiteers duped the voters and are running rampant through our state, “patients” are just scammers who want to get high, and the predictable, “what about the children?” rallying cry.


You want to protect children? Let’s talk about and remove the harms to society created by marijuana prohibition—raids conducted at bed time by masked gunmen, asset forfeiture laws that enable law enforcement to take anything they want from families without an actual conviction-or even charging them with a crime, drug raids and marijuana use misrepresented in the media. If you really want to protect children, we need to have a massive shift in policy, and remove the criminilization of addiction and drug use. If our children use drugs, we want them to be able to seek help through family and health care options, not the school to prison pipeline. No other health condition is criminalized this way-and the penalties are ridiculously severe.


We want to see this discussion transformed. We want to see headlines denouncing our failed drug policy and calling for sanity, rather than promoting voices of prohibition profiteers like Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper and Sheriff Mike Bouchard who continue to bang the same tired drums of fear mongering.


We don’t need bills that ban onsite consumption of medicine (SB17) or prevent felons from becoming caregivers in a test-attempt to amend our law, (HB 4463). We need the State of Michigan to simply do what it’s been instructed to do by the will of the voters:


They should be reviewing and issuing our patient and caregiver cards on time. Currently there is a 4-6 month waiting list, when the initiative dictates that they be issued in 21 days. Let’s start there.


They should be assembling the panels to review and assess additional qualifying conditions for patients.


We need an Attorney General who will protect the rights of the citizens and we need legislators to work to improve the quality of life for citizens, rather than chasing and demonizing the MMJ community based on the criminal activity of the few, or to promote their own political agenda.


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We have to make sure that everyone who can vote does so! We have the numbers and not just the MM community there are a lot of disgusted voters out there.


The old apathetic excuse "my vote don't count" doesn't work in state and local elections.

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All of the negative repercussions that were supposed to come to pass as a result of making medical marijuana legal have not happened. This is all anyone needs to consider when trying to decide if the war on drugs is necessary.


We were told that all types of crime would increase, that the streets would be full of zombies, that life as we knew it would never be the same again. None of this has happened.


What if they had a war and nobody came? What if the presence of marijuana in our society had no negative consequences? I bet the right wing would still be putting out false alarmist info on it to keep trying to stop it. What the h-e- double hockey sticks is going on here? It seems that the "job-creator" class (read that as "monied interests") have some really big reason to stop marijuana from becoming socially acceptable. I want to know what that reason is and I want all of society to know as well. All of the reasons they have given so far have turned out to be lies. Could it have something to do with "religion"? If so, good luck trying to figure that mess out.

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