Dr. Lester Grinspoon has endorsed WA I-1068

Dr. Lester Grinspoon has endorsed WA I-1068. Sensible Washington has announced the endorsement of WA I-1068 by Dr. Lester Grinspoon (http://sensiblewashington.org/endorsements/). A comment I like about this is at http://sensiblewashington.org/about-2/ ------------ Four decades ago in the introduction to Marihuana Reconsidered, Dr. Lester Grinspoon wrote: “With the increasing public concern over the drug problem, considerable interest has arisen in reexamining the punitive measures attached to its use. In several challenges of the law in court and deliberations about changing the law in legislative hearings, the nuclear question has always been, ‘What is the nature and the degree of the danger of using marihuana?’ In advocate situations, expert witnesses have always been found who claim that there are great dangers and others who assert just as authoritatively that the drug is completely without danger. The partisans of these respective positions can find in the marihuana literature considerable material, if not data, to support their positions. The listener ends up totally bewildered and often finds himself compelled to conclude that not enough is known about the drug to warrant any change in approach to its distribution, possession, and use. High government medical officials testifying before legislative bodies generally take this position. They go on to reassure us that now that this information gap has been discovered, the government, particularly through the National Institutes of Health, is itself undertaking a broad program of research to provide the much-needed data upon which, sometime in the future, changes might be made. In the meantime, they say, we should continue to frighten, perhaps unnecessarily, many people, throw some in jail, and witness the greatest disregard of a law since the Volstead Act. It is certainly true that more and better research on marihuana is needed, but it does not necessarily follow that we do not know enough about the drug to define a more rational policy with regard to its social use than the one that exists today. ” Government officials and other members of the now enormous drug abuse-industrial complex have no intention of creating more rational marijuana policies and laws than existed 40 years ago or exist today. I-1068 is a way for the people of Washington state to repeal some unjust laws and lead the way to more rational marijuana policy. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing. People have the power to get I-1068 on the ballot and enacted into law starting by signing the petition and circulating the petition. People have the power to do nothing. ------- When Marihuana Reconsidered was first published I had a neighbor who always wore long sleeves to cover the tattoo she had on one arm from her childhood imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp. She survived because the concentration camp was liberated by American military forces before she was killed or died of starvation and overwork. Her parents died in that concentration camp before it was liberated. I like this comment's reminder that inaction is really action to continue injustice. News coverage of I-1068, the Grinspoon quote and the response of many people I see while petitioning for I-1068 remind me of this quote from Mark Twain. -------- It would not be possible for a humane and intelligent person to invent a rational excuse for slavery; yet you will remember that in the early days of the emancipation agitation in the North the agitators got but small help or countenance from any one. Argue and plead and pray as they might, they could not break the universal stillness that reigned, from pulpit and press all the way down to the bottom of society--the clammy stillness created and maintained by the lie of silent assertion--the silent assertion that there wasn't anything going on in which humane and intelligent people were interested. "My First Lie, and How I Got Out of It." -- Mark Twain ---------- If you live in Washington please sign the petition (http://sensiblewashington.org/where-to-sign-i-1068/) and become as acitive a volunteer signature gatherer to help qualify I-1086 for the November ballot as your time allows (http://sensiblewashington.org/volunteer/). The petition can be signed many places not listed on the site and the majority of signatures are probably gathered by petitioners at shopping malls, outside public buildings, outside large retail stores, at events and anywhere they happen to be and can legally petition. If no locations are convenient contact Sensible Washington so a local volunteer can reach you or look for petitioners as you go about your daily activities. Other information and perhaps some talking points for petitioners is at http://www.mpp.org/states/washington/. Make the choice to do something good and help qualify I-1068 for the ballot. Remember signatures don't gather themselves and the real issue is not marijuana use but civil liberties.
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Grinspoon's 1970 comment about "marihuana"

Dr. Grinspoon was being too kind to the prohibitionists in 1970 when he argued "marihuana" on its merits. He probably knew better, but thought it would be a slam dunk argument. But Nixon's drug war had nothing to do with the drug itself; rather, it was to hold down people who had disrupted American society in the 1960s..... minorities and the young. That much is clear in Dan Baum's 1996 book, "Smoke and Mirrors. So let's quit talking about the drug and start talking about the process...... the process of prohibition, the most destructive domestic policy since slavery and jim crow.

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