Marijuana: US Rep. Loretta Sanchez Ponders "Pilot Program" for Pot Regulation

US Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) suggested Thursday that the time may be right for a "pilot program" of marijuana regulation. The congresswoman's comments came as she was interviewed live on CNN to discuss a congressional hearing on the prohibition-related violence taking place in Mexico. Sanchez is chair of the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/lorettasanchez.jpg
Loretta Sanchez
Citing a recent Zogby poll commissioned by NORML that found majority support for taxed and regulated marijuana use and sales on the West Coast, Sanchez was responding to her host's question about the whole notion of drug legalization. California's receptiveness toward less restrictive marijuana laws would make it a good place to experiment, she said.

"Well, certainly, I have seen in my own state of California people over and over voting a big majority the whole issue of marijuana and possession of that," Sanchez said. "So maybe it would be a good pilot program to see how that regulation of marijuana might happen in California since the populace, the majority of Californians believe maybe that should happen."

Sanchez compared marijuana prohibition to the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s. "Well, certainly there is one drug -- it's called alcohol -- that we prohibited in the United States and had such a problem with as far as underground economy and cartels of that sort that we ended up actually regulating it and taxing it," she said. "And so there has always been this thought that maybe if we do that with drugs, it would lower the profits in it and make some of this go away."

Sanchez's comments came two weeks after California state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) introduced the first marijuana legalization bill in state history and one week after the Obama administration announced it would no longer persecute medical marijuana providers in the state.

With staunch Republican anti-prohibitionist Rep. Ron Paul and liberal Democrat and federal decriminalization bill author Rep. Barney Frank as possible strange bedfellow allies, the question now becomes: Is it time for a marijuana legalization caucus in the House of Representatives?

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Faxed this letter to Sanchez

As chair of a subcommittee on national security Sanchez is in a position to really look into the cognitive dissonance that is the funding of terrorism and criminality known as the war on drugs. So when I saw her statement about a pilot program I put together this letter and faxed it to her.

(I highly recommend faxing politicians since an email becomes one among tens of thousands and hard copy letters sit in Post Office security bins for months waiting to be tested for anthrax. I have never gotten a busy signal when I fax something. It goes right into their office the minute I send it.)
=====
Dear Representative Sanchez:

I want to applaud you for advocating a pilot program on marijuana legalization. It is a good start for something that is long over-due.

But pilot programs are only a baby step and hardly a solution in the national security disaster that is the war on drugs. And calling for a pilot program on CNN is not the same thing as your calling actual hearings in the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism on drug prohibition's economic funding of global terrorism. You might also get in touch with Rep's Barney Frank and Ron Paul who, I understand, are planning to reintroduce, in April, marijuana decriminalization bill that they have sponsored in past congresses. I am sure that your position as committee chair will lend weight to the legislation. Such legislation would allow as many states as are inclined to participate in pilot programs.

The prohibition by congress against regulating the criminal and terrorist anarchy out of the distribution of intoxicant drugs violates the most fundamental guarantees of the United States Constitution. And prohibition provides significant tangible "aid and comfort" to America's sworn enemies. Support for the war on drugs is, I believe, tantamount to an act of treason against the United States of America.

In 2003 the United Nations estimated the global retail drug market to be worth $320-billion a year and the United States accounted for 44% of $141-billion a year. Various estimates put marijuana at as much as 80% of that values. The crime and terrorism subsidizing black market is the creation of the war on drugs and it continues to support crime and terrorism thanks exclusively to the government's prohibition against regulating the anarchy out of the markets.

In May 2003, then DEA assistant administrator for intelligence Steven W. Casteel told the Senate Judiciary Committee: "Of the 36 groups designated by the State Department as foreign terrorist organizations, 14 (or 39 percent) are connected to drug activities, testified Steven W. Casteel, assistant administrator for intelligence of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

He said they range from Middle Eastern terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, the Shining Path in Peru and the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Philippines."

These known terrorist groups are materially strengthened by continuing the war on drugs.

According to the Oct. 2007 report to the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute titled "Opium and Afghanistan: Reassessing U.S. Counternarcotics Strategy", analyst John R. Glaze found that "..an estimated 70 percent of the Taliban’s income now comes from protection money and the sale of opium."

Ending the government prohibition against medical regulation of the hard drug markets would weaken America's sworn enemy, the Taliban, without firing a shot or sending more troops to Afghanistan. The U.S. government just says not and so it is the government itself that is providing 'aid and comfort' to the Taliban and other stateless terrorist organizations that support themselves in part or entirely with profits derived through the government imposed drug black markets.

Further, the 2004 Congressional Research Service report, "Illicit Drugs and the Terrorist Threat: Causal Links and Implications for Domestic Drug Control Policy", enumerated five specific ways that the illegality of drugs supports terrorism.

"creating chaos and instability"

"The international traffic in illicit drugs contributes to terrorist risk through at least five mechanisms: supplying cash, creating chaos and instability, supporting corruption, providing "cover" and sustaining common infrastructures for illicit activity, and competing for law enforcement and intelligence attention. Of these, cash and chaos are likely to be the two most important."

Insanely, that same report concluded:

"American drug policy is not, and should not be, driven entirely, or even primarily, by the need to reduce the contribution of drug abuse to our vulnerability to terrorist action. There are too many other goals to be served by the drug abuse control effort."

What goals can conceivably be more important that reducing "our vulnerability to terrorist action"? We certainly are NOT protecting children from drugs by leaving sales in the hands of users, abusers, addicts and gangsters. We could put drug sales in the hands of responsible regulated adult supervision but the congress just says no. Protecting children with the current policy is absolutely not a priority.

In fact the congress has known since the 1990's that bin Laden and the alQaida are flooding the west with heroin as an asymmetric weapon specifically targeting western children. As the World Trade Center and Pentagon still smoldered Sen. John Kerry told reporters, "That's part of their revenge on the world," Kerry said. "Get as many people drugged out and screwed up as you can."

Knowing this, and doing nothing to change the policy makes children cannon fodder in the war on terror. Addiction is accepted collateral damage.

The earliest open source confirmation I have of this is 1998, the Indian Times in a story titled "Heroin in the Holy War".

The crop will be opium and the farmer will be Osama bin Laden, the most wanted terrorist in the world. Bin Laden, accused by the United States of bombing two of their embassies in East Africa this summer and a string of other attacks, sees heroin as a powerful new weapon in his war against the West, capable of wreaking social havoc while generating huge profits, according to sources in eastern Afghanistan and in Pakistan.

In 2003 Newsweek gave the campaign a name 'silent jihad'. "Some militants view opium as something more than a source of cash; they say it's a legitimate weapon in what they call a "silent jihad." Khurshid, a 20-year-old Nangarhar native, says drugs are Afghanistan's way of striking back at the West for sending "liquor, obsceneTV and pornographic films" into Afghanistan: "Immoral Western culture destroys the minds of our children, so it's only just that we export opium and heroin to destroy Western youths."

The U.S. congress drug war prohibition against the regulation of the distribution of drugs provides this tactical 'aid and comfort' to America's sworn enemy, alQaida.

And just in case even all of this is too oblique in Sept. 2006 Afghan expert New York University professor Barnett R. Rubin told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "The international drug control regime, which criminalizes narcotics, does not reduce drug use, but it does produce huge profits for criminals and the armed groups and corrupt officials who protect them. Our drug policy grants huge subsidies to our enemies."

"Our drug policy grants huge subsidies to our enemies."

How much clearer does it have to be before the United States Congress decides to rethink the failed national security hypocrisy of a drug war policy?

The biggest reason that the United States and Mexico are having the problems that we are having on the border is because the drug black market is so lucrative that it inspires entire industries dedicated to circumventing our best security efforts. Black market profits so huge that they encourage anarchistic levels of blood letting. We could end this national security and public safety debacle today by regulating the criminal and terroristic anarchy out of the distribution of intoxicant drugs but the treasonous United States Congress just says no!

Fax Protest

Anti Drug War FAX Protest Action.

This week California Congress-woman Loretta Sanchez proposed allowing California to have a marijuana legalization pilot program. Sanchez is chair of a subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee and as such I have written a letter to Rep. Sanchez about the national security atrocity that is the war on drugs. The letter, posted above, is also online with FAX numbers for Sanchez and the Homeland Security Committee here: http://mysite.verizon.net/aahpat/aandc/sanchez.htm

If you agree with the letter then please copy it, co-sign it and FAX it to the Homeland Security Committee and Rep. Sanchez. Both numbers are posted on the letter.

Prohibitionists are Al-Qaida

Prohibition was proven unconstitutional years ago. Unconstitutional leaders force prohibitions. So called legal Global drug corporations and prohibitionists sponsor the war against drugs. Two months before the 911 attacks these unconstitutionalists sent 41 million dollars to the taliban(double standard based opium growing prohibitionists) to fight the war against drugs . Americas D.E.A. was part of this operation. This is quite the obvious Tyrannical Wall Street insider trading scam!

You have the $44-million story wrong

All wrong.

$43-million had been promised for a crop replacement program and drought aid but it was never delivered because 'liberals', seeing an opportunity to attack Bush and look macho, demonized Bush for offering it in the first place. They ignored the human suffering in Afghanistan due to the drought and fixated on an opportunistic moment to nail Bush.

The facts are that the U.N., with the U.S. in the back room, in previous years, had promised h$259-million in aid to Afghanistan for their farmers suffering under years of drought. The aid was contingent on stopping the opium crop and turning over bin Laden.
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n114/a01.html?1692
19 Jan 2001
Guardian, The (UK)

"According to the memo, in 1997 Mr. Arlacchi (U.N. drug czar) promised Afghanistan's Taliban government a $250m project for alternative development and job creation, to replace drugs cultivation, but none of the funds have been raised. Mr. Arlacchi denies making any such promise."

Over the 2000-01 winter the Taliban stopped the poppy crop hoping that this would start to thaw relations with the U.N. enough to get some aid for the starving Afghan population. Instead the U.N. reneged on the $250-million.

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n1848/a03.html?1692
08 Dec 2000
Boston Globe

"PASHMOL, Afghanistan - Through acre after acre of farmland in southern Afghanistan, there is not a poppy field in view. It is perhaps the most startling sight anywhere in the global drug trafficking arena."

Instead of using this as leverage with the Taliban the outgoing Clinton administration and the U.N. cut aid even further.

In March the Taliban retaliated by destroying the Giant Ancient Buddhas.

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n622/a04.html?1692
05 Apr 2001
The Guardian Weekly

"Late last year Mullah Omar seemed to have finally agreed to Western demands to end opium production. He had hoped for concessions in return, including diplomatic recognition. Instead, the United Nations imposed further sanctions in January because of Afghanistan's refusal to extradite the alleged Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden. In response Mullah Omar destroyed Afghanistan's two giant Buddhas."

Contrite, in late April 2001 the Bush administration sent two DEA thugs to Afghanistan to verify the crop destruction.

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n729/a03.html?1692 25 Apr 2001
New York Times

"In a first cautious step toward reducing the near-total isolation of the Taliban, the Bush administration has sent two American narcotics experts to Afghanistan as part of an international team assessing how to help farmers who have ended opium poppy cultivation, United Nations officials said today. "
(snip)
"Their visit to Afghanistan is taking place as Mr. Annan reiterates his warning to the Security Council that the future of Afghanistan is very bleak, given the prolonged war there and a recent drought. In a report to the council on Monday, he drew attention to qualms United Nations officials have about sanctions when more than half a million Afghans have been displaced by hunger and many have died of starvation, cold or malnutrition-related illnesses."

In May the DEA certified the crop destruction and Colin Powell promised $43-million in drought aid.

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n910/a05.html?1706
20 May 2001
New York Times

"United Nations - The first American narcotics experts to go to Afghanistan under Taliban rule have concluded that the movement's ban on opium-poppy cultivation appears to have wiped out the world's largest crop in less than a year, officials said today. "
(snip)
"On Thursday, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell announced a $43 million grant to Afghanistan in additional emergency aid to cope with the effects of a prolonged drought. The United States has become the biggest donor to help Afghanistan in the drought."

But then anti Bush American liberals, led by phony liberal Robert Sheer, attacked the $43-million as funding to the Taliban. The fact was that it was money for the starving people of Afghanistan and withholding it was inhumane. But liberals were more interested in attacking Bush than they were in helping starving people.

And the aid promised but not delivered was not going to go to the Taliban but rather to western organizations that were helping war refugees in Pakistan. Not the drought stricken population of Afghanistan. Non government organizations the Taliban viewed as their enemy.

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n1153/a07.html?1706
28 Jun 2001
Times of Central Asia

"KABUL - Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia on Tuesday called on the U.N. and the international community to help compensate farmers who had given up poppy cultivation in a drive to eradicate opium from the world's largest producer.

"Afghanistan has shown its sincerity and resolve in helping the drive against drugs by banning poppy cultivation, destroying processing equipment for opium and stopped drug trafficking," the Taliban government said in a statement to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse. "

But by this time the Robert Sheer/liberal attack on Bush was so intense that the Bush administration was frozen like a deer in the headlights. No money ever got to the Afghan formers from the U.S.

Finally, the last reported contact between the United States and Afghanistan's Taliban just five weeks before the World Trade Center was destroyed. The U.N. gives $1.5 million in drought aid.

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n1410/a10.html?1729
2 Aug 2001
Associated Press

"In its first high-level meeting with Afghanistan's ruling militia, the Bush administration told the Taliban on Thursday that they must stop supporting terrorists before any serious progress can be made in relations with the United States."
(snip)
The Taliban have offered to try bin Laden in Afghanistan, to let him be tried by a panel of three Islamic clerics from Afghanistan and two other Muslim nations, or to allow his movements to be tracked by international Muslim monitors."
(snip)
"In recognition of the Taliban's elimination of opium, the raw material used to make heroine, the Bush administration is giving $1.5 million to the United Nations Drug Control Program to finance crop substitution, Rocca said."
===========

The U.S. had an opportunity to split the Taliban from alQaida using this aid. But instead liberal attacks stopped the Bush people from trying. The liberals were wrong for their attacks and Bush was wrong for not moving forward with aid that could have been a wedge between the Taliban and bin Laden.

we all need to VOTE

there are now politicians in power (obama) that have a modern view of the effects and benefits of medical marijuana and over the counter sale to 21 and over, so they can generate tax revenue. Now they need our support as VOTERS to help change the laws. If we all support and VOTE for the politicians that support these changes, the Federal laws will change along with the STATES RIGHTS to make their own laws as VOTED upon by the people of that state.

Unfortunately

Not all states allow referendums and initiatives for the voters to act upon.

Here in Pennsylvania we have to get state legislators to introduce bills in the legislature. The standard response from any of them is that they will consider a voter's idea when some other legislator introduces the idea. round and round and round, to nowhere.

yes but just about half (26

yes but just about half (26 states) have the ballaot initiative
and we only have 14 states with medical marijuana & marijuana decrim; so we are not using the ballot initiatives to the fullest extent.
We can see by puting a medical marijuana law on the books in California in 1996 we started a medical movement into other states and even some state legislatures.
So initiatives work and are our strongest weapon.
Few politicians will step forward for us.
So we must put forward initiatives that the people will vote for.

Voting or Refusing to Vote

Should not affect anyones Constitutional rights. How can anyone trust any plunder based politician who refuses to end unconstitutional policies which were never voted in in the first place? Obama is doing the same thing Bush did ; make promises then break them. The real problem is that politicians and anyone in leadership roles promoted to the public by mainstream media are not in charge. They are puppets of people you will not see in public unless the veil of secrecy is lifted to expose the people behind the Wall Street curtain. When voting is used to purposely make people fight and turn against eachother everyone suffers. As long as the government leaders operate unconstitutionally alot of people will remain on voter strike. When the government begins operating as Dr Ron Paul,Ralph Nader and many others have shown to operate;Constitutionally.People will begin voting in droves for policies that dont allow plunder. Until then the whole 15 -20% of Americas population, "the voters" will remain supporting a terrorist,criminal,therefore fraudulent occupation of leaders while the non-voters who are the majority of America remain on strike out of refusal to support the tyranny of wall streets federal government and u.n. Remember no one had the chance to install unconstitutional prohibitions by voting except for the unconstitutional prohibitionists who did so in secret meetings hidden from public input,and that is an unconstitutional dictatorship hijacking of America and all other places and peoples. I will vote when plunder and terror based leaders are removed or killed. Until then I will not consider the past and current government a government at all,it is only a forced religious cult to me and millions of others. I hope this writ did not hurt you in any way but to me it is the truth.

re aahpat 44 million wrong

Thanks for proving the point that all these government leaders involved in the transfer or non transfer of money to fight the war against drugs for Wall St insider traded global drug corporation profits are terrorist plundering dictators hijacking sanity and replacing it with criminally insane double standards.

The Taliban cares enough about human rights to give them money?

Youd think its a given that terrorist warlords like the taliban wouldnt exactly distribute the aid money fairly? Or maybe the taliban is actually a kind,loving,peaceful group of guys who have had their reputation slandered by ruthless propaganda. And isnt Osama Bin Laden actually Tim Osman who worked for the C.I.A.?

Arguing as a stalemate

continues the progress of plunder and tyranny

Shaking my head

in disappointment I slowly back out of the room.

aahpat;

dont sweat it. we love ya and we know you are a helpful,loving and talented person dedicated to ending plunder and terror. keep up the good work. looking forward to hearing from you again. please dont give up.

SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING TUESDAY MARCH 17TH

There will be a United States senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs hearing “Law Enforcement Responses to Mexican Drug Cartels”

Majority Office
Phone:202-224-7703
Fax:202-224-9516

Minority Office
Phone:202-224-5225
Fax:202-224-9102

Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
Majority Office
Phone:202-224-0558
Fax:202-228-0623

Minority Office
Phone:202-224-5972
Fax:202-224-9102

Senate Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs

DATE: March 17, 2009
TIME: 10:30 AM
ROOM: Dirksen-226

Please FAX them today your opposition to continuing the war on drugs.

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