Polls from New York to Texas, California to Florida all favor the legalization of marijuana in either medical or recreational forms, or both. Still, the dinosaurs growl from US Drug War days, though their scaremongering won’t delay an imminent drug war extinction.
Just what’s at stake for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a massive bureaucratic beast that’s grown behemoth in size with a $366 million budget? Well that’s easy – a $366 million dollar budget. Yet, it churns out publicity statements like:
“The Obama Administration continues to oppose legalization of marijuana and other illegal drugs because it flies in the face of a public health approach to reducing drug use and its consequences” while the president engages in beer summits, pharmaceutical ads rule the airwaves, and the Drug War budget is still 60% drug war to 40% “public health approach.”
Crawl out from under the proverbial rock. Everyone already knows, or is becoming aware, that the drug war was a complete failure. It’s a billion-dollar failure, in fact – and not just in the US, but globally.
An academic report published recently by the London School of Economics (LSE), called Ending the Drug Wars, said:
“Leaders need to recognize that toeing the line on current drug control strategies comes with extraordinary human and financial costs to their citizens and economies.”
Then there’s the other prehistoric monster, the American Society for Addiction Medicine, whose three-pronged approach of arrest, drug court, and forced rehab brings in a steady stream of employed, insured adults guaranteeing a boost to ASAM members’ rehab success statistics.
Followed by this creature, is the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, an organization funded largely by makers of synthetic heroin. Scott M. Gagnon, a representative says:
“Marijuana is not a safe drug. It harms youths. It harms economies, with extra social costs. How can this be the way forward for America? Don’t our communities deserve better?”
That scare mongering trick may have worked before, but parents of children with diseases as diverse as multiple sclerosis, autism, seizures, and cancer are coming out with testimonials about how cannabis saved their children’s lives.
Even a mainstream machine like CNN has had to admit that children are being healed with medical marijuana, but other media outlets are more telling in their portrayals. Seizures are stopped, chemotherapy sickness is abated, and even a young boy’s brain cancer is ‘magically’ treated with compounds in marijuana.
Finally, there is Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) which calls upon the federal government to reduce marijuana use and its consequences. That’s right – we wouldn’t want children or the elderly living healthy lives and off the crack cocaine offered by the pharmaceutical industry, now would we?
And if fear mongering alone doesn’t work – just outright lie. Kevin A. Sabet from SAM has said, “in that state [Colorado], where the legalization of retail marijuana began on January 1st, crime has increased and marijuana revenue has barely reached a third of projections.”
But what about the real facts? Denver experienced crime rates 14.6% lower, as reported by the Denver Police Department, and Colorado has already pulled in millions with the legalization of pot. They will rake in more than $60 million before the year is through. That’s approximately 1% of the total annual budgets for Delaware, South Dakota, Montana or West Virginia. I’m not sure what projections Mr. Sabet is referring to, but that’s not a shabby earnings report for one little ole, ‘dangerous’ drug that is healing thousands of people.
Time to head back to the Paleolithic, perhaps. Modern folks want legalization.
This article first appeared at Natural Society.com.