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Jim Webb Says Marijuana Legalization is "On the table"

I didn't get a chance to mention this on Thursday and I didn’t want any of you to miss it:

The leader of a congressional effort to reform the criminal justice system said Thursday that all issues — including drug legalization — need to be on the table.

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who has made criminal justice and prison reform a signature issue of his this year in Congress, is the most high-profile lawmaker to indicate openness to drug decriminalization or outright legalization.

"Nothing should be off the table," he said. [The Hill]

Indeed, why begin the inquiry by politicizing the discussion and arbitrarily dismissing approaches whose merits have yet to be explored? Hopefully, this means we'll be seeing some actual discussion of alternatives to prohibition taking place in Congress.

After all, keeping things on the table implies that we will be talking about them rather than pretending they don’t exist. Surely, our opponents aren't afraid to debate the subject and would welcome a lively conversation about the pros and cons of legalizing drugs.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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It's About Time

It's about time. America should have been discussing this many years ago. At times we have allowed our govt to run amuck with issues such as a former president's sex life, to the idiotic debates such as non-citizen voting . It's time the govt listened to the people and put an end to this farce known as the war on drugs. Speak out America! What happenned to - "Give me liberty or give me death" Or how about another significant quote from the Texas Revolution in 1835 - "Come and take it"


I would like to know just where the government even gets the authority to tell me I can't grow plants on my own property?

Time for some jury nullifications, there is more than one way to change the laws.

HIt the Prohibitionist point of view hard and often

William Aiken

This is great news that Senator Webb wants to include legalization in the discussion of S.714. Now you know what's coming. The well funded and politically connected opposition groups will attempt to tear Senator Webb down for even mentioning the "L" word. But the enemy can't protray Webb as some far left loon who is sympathetic to those who want to get high. The Senator from "the law and order" State of Virginia made his arguments quite clear what is motivating him and where he's coming from on the issue. Noth the less, you know the attacks from the prohibitionists will be fierce and relentless. We reformers have to be organized and ready to retalliate. That means writing and calling your Congress, Senators and the President, writing letters to the editor, forwarding posts from this website to assignment editors at local TV stations.

A lot of people will never get behind the idea of legalization. However, there are many people who will allow themselves to be influenced by the facts and failures of the drug war. President Obama dismissive attitude toward the question of legalizing pot at his virtual townhall meeting could be a clue that he won't supprt S.714. But if he gets enough flack and ridicule for opposing the bill, he isn't stupid and he is capable of adjusting his position. We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Senator Webb's courage and background leading and addressing our issue. We need to moblize our resources and fully get behind S.714 and make the most of this golden opportunity.

Any suggestions for us. Scott?


Two things are needed now.

1. More co-sponsors for S-714.

2. A House side bill with serious sponsorship.

We need to find some people from John Conyers district to push Conyers to author a House side version of the bill. Or Barney Frank. Ron Paul. Nancy Pelosi.

Harry Reid is co-sponsoring in the senate so getting Pelosi to sponsor it in the House would give the bill power and immediacy.

So PLEASE, anyone who knows people in the districts of these members of congress, get your friends to aggressively advocate for this bill.

Here's the video

Here's the video of the interview:

Congress is the heart of the drug war

Only we can change that heart.

In support of Senator Webb I posted a couple of new web pages last week, S-714 and S-714 tally. One is an easy access to a copy of the legislation for the commission. the other is a tally sheet of senators co-sponsoring the bill.

S. 714 "To establish the National Criminal Justice Commission."
S-714 Co-sponsor Tally Sheet

Thus far there are 24 co-sponsors. I am proud to say that, in response to a very acerbic letter that I wrote to my Sen. Casey, he joined on a week later. His office called me yesterday to point out his reaction to my letter. I can't help but think that my years of writing to Arlen Specter about his complicity in the atrocity of the drug war helped him to decide to be one of the original co-sponsors.


Between folks like Howard lobbying on the Hill and SSDP and NORML organizing street protests we can get this war over with and soon. We have the momentum if we can only get more reform organizations to become ACTIVIST organizations and lead us in demonstrating to the politicians and public the intensity and scale of the support for drug policy reform.
My blog entry on the latest tally, Both Pennsylvania Senators sponsor S-714


After 25 years of supporting prohibition on drugs my position changed recently after seeing the devastating effects of it just south of our border. If Mexico falls then we will have a war on our soil. The drug cartels are only in business because of prohibition. Thanks go to Barry Cooper at He was the first I heard from law enforcement supporting the end to prohibition. I was surprised and after listening to him, enlightened. BTW, I do not use any illegal substances and would encourage others to not until prohibition ends.

As a Conservative I want to offer some insight into those who continue to support prohibition. I hadn't even considered thinking about this issue for the past 20+ years. I was told that drugs were bad and immoral, and thus must be opposed at all cost. And I believed it.

Those who think prohibition is good are not bad people, stupid people, nor anti-liberty people. With the exception of some in law enforcement, these people honestly believe that allowing the use of certain drugs is wrong and creates crime. I no longer agree with that position, but many still do.

If you want to change their minds, here are a few tips which may be useful.

- When posting your comments around the net refrain from insulting people who disagree. Flaming people will not likely change minds. Have you ever changed your mind based on people insulting you?

- Use logical reasoning to persuade them that prohibition causes much more harm than recreational use of cannabis. For example, the number of arrests for simple possession. In our tech age an arrest, even without a conviction, is really a life sentence. For the rest of their life they will be denied good jobs because their arrest will show up on all background checks. When a college kid get caught with marijuana, and it doesn't matter if he graduates valedictorian, he will not likely be able to reach his full potential in the job market. Potential employers will see his arrest on drug charges and believe that this guy gets high everyday and will likely come to work high... even if the arrest occurred 10 years ago.

- Remind people that America is a free country containing free people. A free people should be permitted to engage in certain activities that others may find objectionable. Within reason, of course. Smoking marijuana in public would not be acceptable (just like the drug alcohol). Having sex in public is not acceptable, etc. What people do in the privacy of their home should be up to them, with the caveat that it does not cause harm to others.

- Refrain from telling people that you have a right to get high. Ask yourself, what's in it for them? You getting high (something that many believe is immoral) does not benefit them at all. These people do not care at all that you want to get high. They will simply fall back on the stereotype that everyone who consumes cannabis is a 'pot head', that is lazy, useless to society and probably commits crime. I no longer believe that but that is the general public perception.

- Let them know the benefits to America. The end to gang violence with regards to marijuana. That gangs primarily exist because of prohibition. If prohibition ends then gangs and the violence that always comes with them, would be greatly reduced. Prohibition of alcohol in the 1920's created the original drug cartels. When prohibition ended the drug cartels could no longer make money off of alcohol, and the violence stopped.

My $0.02.

Dear Conservative

The points you raise are valid. However, the tips you suggest to counter prohibitionists positions have been implemented time and time and time again (ad nauseum). Prohibitionists don't give a damn about logically stated arguments. They rely on outdated "morally" justifiable positions -- no matter how flawed or debunked -- to stand their ground. They don't want to learn, be informed or consider any new position (yourself excluded). I don't want to say they're stupid -- but their brains are definitely in lock down mode where prohibition is concerned.

Now, one of your points I really agree with is this: "Refrain from telling people that you have a right to get high". That only hardens the resolve of the so-called moralists.

Perhaps a reformed prohibitionist such as yourself should be talking to your fellow conservatives about the moral failures of prohibition. You're in the best position to infiltrate (in a benign way). I hope you are already doing this.

Welcome to the Nightmare

The nightmare known as christian america with it's cognitive dissonance inducing exceptionisms:

My gods grace is more important than your democracy?
My drug of choice alcohol is not a drug?
I'm an alcoholic NOT a drug addict?
Strength of belief is more important than what you believe?
Nature is unnatural?
Nothing more natural than the super-unnatural?
God is Great?

No, a mirror that won't shatter upon their own stark reflection is what they truely need... assuming you could get them to stand naked before themselves!

Truth is treason in the kingdom of lies - Ron Paul


This is an article on a religious website in support of abolishing prohibition of cannabis.

I see cracks beginning to form in the dam :)

To Conservative

Thank you so much for sharing your insightful comments regarding your transition from drug warrior to reformer. I have been a drug policy reform activitist for many years and found your suggestions for rebuttal to the opposition both intelligent and useful.
The arguments against prohibition stand on their own merits and do not require toxic rhetoric to accomplish the task. When this fight is won it will be because individuals such as yourself can no longer dim the light of reason from their consciousness and will honorably step forward to grasp the greater good for all mankind.

"Surely our opponents aren't afraid to debate the subject"

Oh, surely. But if somehow by some strange chance they are being shy about it, taunt the stonewalling jokers unmercifully. They are particularly afraid to debate cannabis vs. alcohol, because the law is so pathetic, bogus and bigoted. The post by "Conservative"was very well written, but I'm going to continue combining the arguments he's been convinced by with arguments that cannabis prohibition in particular doesn't meet American standards of justice such as "liberty and justice for all" and "equal protection under the law". I think both kinds of arguments are resonating with people. People know the war on selected drug users is creating more problems than anything else, and people who care about such stuff also know it's extremely unfair.

Angle of attack

is determined by the context of the conversation.

Ad Space Problem

As a donor and a Virginian , I am completely confused and pissed to see an Brian Moran for Governor ad on this site. WTF? I have spoken to brian Moran personally, and I can tell you, he is ANTI- marijuana. PERIOD!!!!!!!!!
So when I see his ad on this site , honestly, I question the integrity of the site and anyone asscoiated with it.

Robert Hutton



We don't decide what ads appear on the site. Google robots are responsible for that. Your concern is legit, but another way of looking at it would be to say that Brian Moran is paying for us to criticize him.

The more times we mention his name, the more his ad will appear. Ironies like this have occurred here many times, actually.

Re: Re:

Actually, there might be a way to block certain ads. I'll look into it.

The Best Reason!

The best reason to legalize all drugs is simple. First drugs are already here and being sold. Sold, not by stores that check ID, but by criminals, who will sell to anyone with cash. So we know that drugs are here and being sold even though they are illegal. Does seem that something is not working. So it only seems common sense, to make changes. As stated before, criminals are currently in charge of an estimated 35 billion tax free dollars, and we have "officials" who want to continue this folly? It is past time for these generous individuals to explain why it is so important to maintain the status quo, do they have a money stake in keeping drugs illegal and underground? We all know that black market profits, are the driving force for organized crime, is it also a driving force in politics?

If we can't end marijuana prohibition then serious threats...

If we can't end marijuana prohibition then serious threats... to add the dangerous drugs alcohol and tobacco to the 'Controlled Substance List' should be sounded.

When christian exceptionisms like 'alcohol is not a drug' are challenged it puts religious conservatives on the defensive. And if conservatives and social authoritarians are too busy defending themselves from the facts then they will be too busy to attack us with their fictions.

It would be a great day indeed if the coercive influences of religion, politics, and authoritarianism were removed from the process of governance and upholding the rule of law!

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