Newsbrief: Campaign Watch -- Kucinich Says Legalize It 12/19/03

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For the first time since the days of Jimmy Carter, a prominent presidential candidate has called for an end to marijuana prohibition. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a progressive and therefore long-shot candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, quietly announced on his campaign web site last week that, if elected, he would end federal prohibitions on the use of marijuana by adults and would instead move to regulate it like alcohol.

Dennis Kucinich
"Statistical evidence shows that marijuana use follows a pattern very similar to that of alcohol," wrote Kucinich. "Most marijuana users do so responsibly, in a safe, recreational context. These people lead normal, productive lives -- pursuing careers, raising families and participating in civic life... A Kucinich administration would reject the current paradigm of 'all use is abuse' in favor of a drug policy that sets reasonable boundaries for marijuana use by establishing guidelines similar to those already in place for alcohol... A Kucinich administration would work to implement a drug policy that removes responsible recreational users and medical users of marijuana from the criminal justice system, in order to redirect resources toward the following goals:

  • Enforce penalties for those who provide marijuana to minors.
  • Enforce penalties for those who endanger the rights of others through irresponsible use, such as driving under the influence.
  • Develop drug treatment programs focused on rehabilitation, rather than incarceration.
  • Support the efforts of state governments in developing innovative approaches to drug policy.
  • Improve drug education by emphasizing science over scare tactics.
  • Implement a Department of Justice program that would review the records of, and consider for sentence reduction or release, inmates convicted for nonviolent marijuana offenses.
Visit http://www.kucinich.us/issues/marijuana_decrim.php to read the full text of Kucinich's marijuana plank online. Visit http://www.kucinich.us/issues/drugwar.php to read Kucinich's overall drug policy reform stances.

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Issue #316, 12/19/03 Editorial: Why Prohibition Scares Me | Victory! Federal Appeals Court Rules Feds Can't Persecute Medical Marijuana Patients | Supreme Court Okays Arrest of All Occupants in Cars Where Unclaimed Drugs Are Found | Flex Your Rights in News -- New and Improved BUSTED Video Offer Available from DRCNet Too | Afghanistan: Drug War Yields to Terror War as Rumsfeld Glad-Hands Drug Dealing Warlords | Newsbrief: Georgia Deputy Kills Innocent Man in Highway Drug Stop | Newsbrief: Campaign Watch -- Kucinich Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story -- It's a Twofer! | Newsbrief: Morocco Cannabis Production Booming, UN Drug Office Reports | Newsbrief: Canadian Supreme Court to Rule Next Week on Key Marijuana Cases | Newsbrief: With National Parks Threatened, Colombia Fumigation Petition Drive Underway | Newsbrief: Nigerian Reefer Madness Breaks Out as Officials Blame Marijuana for Social Strife | Newsbrief: UN Drug Office Predicts Humanitarian Crisis as Myanmar Opium Ban Goes Into Effect | Announcement: New Hemp Nutrition Bar Supports Advocacy | DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar
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