Fresh Air


Sanity advances slowly, but it advances. Rep. Dan Burton is starting to have doubts about the drug war.

NEXT: Not Exactly the Love Train

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  1. This could also be a lesson in the dangers of quoting out of context.
    “I hate people who succumb to drug addiction.” — Dan Burton
    Let’s hope that he’s open to ideas like legalization, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I have in front of me an issue of Psychology Today magazine, with an article describing marijuana decriminalization efforts state-by-state. “Oregon became the first state to decriminalize personal use…Texas…eased considerably what had been the toughest marijuana law in the country…” There follows a list of decriminalization bills introduced in state legislatures around the country. The problem? This issue is dated October 1973. Thirty years later, the situation still looks almost exactly the same. I know that social movements take time, but it looks like we’ve made zero progress in thirty years. Let’s not fool ourselves – despite the constant probing and casting about of legalization proposals, there’s still clearly a large number of votes to be gained by playing the lock-em’-all-up card and still a large number of politicians willing to play it. (At this point I am tempted to point the finger at various facets of US voting law and voting habits, but that’s something for another time.)

  2. Jim it is not illegal for me to use cannabis, only to possess it.

    I’ll smoke it. I’ll admit it. So Search me, I don’t carry it.

    The Fed, local governments & individual politicians must make more money from drugs with them criminalized than they would if they were legalized and taxed. Otherwise, politicians, just aren’t looking at how much we actually spend on the Drug War.

    Every law enforcement officer, dealer, user & the families of those caught up in the Drug War are casualties of this war or prisoners of this war and should be treated as such by the U.N.

    Our prisons are full of otherwise law abiding citizens. To me, this seems a crime against humanity.

    Our executive wasn’t even elected, why do we follow these rules? We’ve been overthrown by the rich minority. It happened from within.

    Who will come to the aid of the United States citizen?

  3. It’s been pointed out by other observers that the government overstepped its bounds when the Justice Department spent money campaigning against a recent decriminalization proposal (in New Mexico, I think) – but the fact that the government has been behind the massive propaganda campaign against drug use (called ‘anti-drug education’ by its proponents) has given us the de facto equivalent for the last 30 years. It’s not surprising that public opinion hasn’t been altered given that the most powerful and wealthy organization in the US has been pushing a campaign to convince people that drugs are so bad no use can be tolerated.

    Obivously it hasn’t convinced the substantial minority of folks that actually use drugs, but they’re not really in a position to stand up and defend themselves since admitting so puts them at risk of subtantial legal penalties.

  4. Sonny- “We’ve been overthrown by the rich minority.” Spoken like a man after my own paycheck.

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