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An Introduction and some ideas

Hello. I'm a Florida web developer and long-time user of caffeine. Although I've never had interest in other drugs, in my touring musician days I had aquaintances who used drugs without harm, and I've long recognized prohibition as ineffective and unjust. Lately, seeing the enormous amount of harm it causes, I want to do much more to fight this madness. On my website I've compiled a few thoughts as Ideas for Effective Drug Law Reform. Surely many of these are not novel, but I hope some will keep us steered towards progress. If it's preferred, I can post these here. I surely consider this a document in progress and, ultimately, I think a wiki that supports revisioning would be a good place for these. It would allow edits over time, while allowing people to link to specific ideas in specific revisions. I also made a blog post recently that depicts the illegal drug trade as a shining example of capitalism. I think it will be helpful to illustrate the harms of prohibition in terms that its proponents understand best. (need to add that to the list!) Steve
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Good points

You have some interesting ideas in your post. I would like to believe they have a chance of working. The major obstacle is the drug war isn't based on logic and reason. It was initially based on fear and prejudice and now financial interests have been added to the list.

This segment from your post highlights the problem.

"I believe the ego-centric libertarian view that drug use is a personal liberty that we demand—while agreeable—is harmful to our cause. Many have valid concerns that drug use, in general, leads to the infringement of others’ rights of safety and, more importantly, the suffering of users"

Alcohol use is a factor in more incidents of violence, domestic or otherwise. While I don't believe it causes violent behavior, it certainly does lower inhibition and increase the likelihood that someone will choose a violent response. Even though all these factors are apparent, alcohol use is still considered a personal liberty. Abandoning the position that drug use is the same kind of personal liberty would mean succumbing to the kind of discrimination that has brought us to where we are. When drug use and alcohol use are placed on the same legal playing field, it will be clear which harms are driven by the law and which are driven by the substance.

Prescription Medicine, Marijuana, Alchohol and Paper.

Today among our students, there is a popular No.1 abuse of prescription medication. Legislators abuse and are not looking into these readily available sources of narcotics. Their doctor prescribed them. Legislators get into a motor vehicle after having a few drinks and sometimes have an ice-chest full of beer while at the tail-gaters party. But that is not the same as Vaporizing a little Ganja. Or smoking a bowl to ease the excruciating pain that posseses Ones day. The War and Drugs with specific focus on Marijuana, does not do us justice as a society. It is perhaps a way for all the Lawyers and Judges and Private prison operators to make money. While impacting society with their negative woes.

Marijuana should be legalized as a cheap and effective way to manage Chronic Pain and the many other medicinal benefits that it is suitable for. Marinol is not effective for chronic pain and the cost is high. Legislators only care about what makes them popular. So lets make the medical marijuana movement popular. I.e. Shirts, Shorts, Shoes, Cologne, Posters, and Coffee Shops, etc.

Hemp is a fine way to minimize the impact that clear-cutting and deforestation has on our environment. It takes One acre of Hemp to provide a standard role of industrial paper. While it takes 20 acres of Forest to do the same. Go figure which would be best for us, in the long-run ?

When that Legislator wipes his or her tail with a corn-cob, because we are out of trees to make paper, then maybe, he or she will get off their tails and "legalize it". When one of his or her family members is writhing in the pain of cancer, and Marijuana is the best way to relieve the pain, then perhaps they will join us. Until then, we all have a long and difficult road ahead of us.

Peace and Unity
Mark A. Sanchez

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