American Morning

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April 16th, 2009
08:00 PM ET

Vote! Should drugs be legal in the U.S.?

Do you think the United States should legalize drugs?

Mexico drug trafficking, cartels and killings. All driven by America’s addiction to drugs. How did it get this bad? All this week we are reporting on America's drug addiction in our special series "Drug Nation."

So, what do you think? Should the United States legalize drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin? Vote now!

And don't miss:

Filed under: Controversy • Drugs
soundoff (425 Responses)
  1. Jennifer

    I have thought for a long time that the so-called "war on drugs" was absolutely ridiculous when it comes to marijuana. Do you realize that in the state of GA, that it costs around 30 to 40,000 dollars to house an inmate for a year? You do the math. I also agree that legalizing it could benefit our economy greatly. Cigarettes and alcohol have worse effects than this particular drug. I do not think that all drugs should be legalized such as: cocaine, heroin, or meth. Marijuana is in the same category as these hardcore drugs because someone said that it was a "gateway drug" which is absolutely absurd. I also believe that the FDA has been fighting against the legalization of marijuana because the drug companies would lose money, especially on their anti-depressants. There are many over the counter drugs that are far more dangerous than marijuana and if you are worried about children getting their hands on it, put an age limit on it and make it illegal to use in their presence. Come on people, get with the times.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  2. adam

    i say legalize murijuana, but noting else,just think some one on heroin driving a car that is worse then drinking and driving.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:02 am |
  3. CR

    Congressman Ron Paul is a product of the openness of Americans to giving equal rights to all people, idealistically, to serve in the Congress. But like what most businesses are willing to say or print in contracts, just because it is said does not mean it so, right or legal. I am a "military brat", and as such I have lived in many communities across the country since the 1963. One of the marked things in my life is the number, the HUNDREDs ON ONE HAND (?)", of my past friends who are "dead, with ruined lives or mentally buned-out or disfunctional in their lives" - yes on social support programs which cover the cost of living for rent, food, medications, etc. This includes people who I have buried who also lost out to alcohol. THESE PEOPLE ARE DENIED LIKE THOSE WHO DIE IN HOSPITALS UNSEEN. They are those other people. In this state, like all the others, in the suburban communities people pay $140,000 a month for cocaine, have their cases closed before court so they do not appear on the public record, and have the best expensive recovery centers which are not publically advertised while their drug scraps are sold for hundreds or a few thousand in the urban communities, all cases for suspects appear on the court docket, people are trapped in communities which have MORE OR LESS RESULTLESS drug treatment programs (and suburban programs are financially more expensive as their habits from just as expensive hospitals with unending programs which don't produce successes wherein community leaders sneak in and out who can not afford suburban programs, too).

    To that ends, I wonder, if Congressman Ron Paul lives in a real-world or a suburban community, and would HE dispense marijana to his children and grand children at home parties, knowing that they would almost definitely lead to cocaine, prescription drugs, etc. or end up like any of the hundreds or thousands of people I know and knew from the suburban and urban communities I have lived in across the country since 1963.

    I for one, saw the wall with the life checks for lost Americans who did not make it and the hundreds of thousands of USD they and their families became trapped in loosing annually - each year per any of each of 3,000 municipality across the U.S. When you think about it the easiest way for the Taliban and South American Drug manufacturers to defeat the U.S. interest(s) is to elect Congressman Ron Paul as President Ron Paul in 2012, or just re-elect him as Congressman Ron Paul in 2010.

    (Wednesday, 04-15-2009, 08:02:55 a.m.)

    April 15, 2009 at 8:02 am |
  4. AC phillyboy

    On the show there was a representative from the DEA on the show defending the current federal policy on drug. Anything they say should not be taken seriouslly because they are a federal Bureaucracy
    who first goal s to maintain funding. Leagalizing pot and giving jurisdiction to the state would vertually be the end of the agency.
    Not to mention the loss in revenue to local police and juvenile system which makes its living off a pot.

    Pot should be legalized because it helps me with my depression. I feel alive i have the energy to exercive, i focus better, and it cancel my hunger.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:02 am |
  5. Shauna

    Regarding the legalization of drugs, these people have obviously never had an addict in their family or even knew an addict. I find it incredibly unbelieveable that a nation that is so irresponsible, people are trying to push to legalize drugs. When I say irresponsible, I mean that parents can't even get a hand on teen pregnancy, bullying, 'sexting', so how on God's green earth are we gonna legalize any drug and expect our citizens to not abuse it the same way they are abusing it now. I work in a recovery center and people are coming in here addicted to Oxycontin, Percocet, Xanax, etc. These drugs are legal even though can only be obtained with a prescription but they are still being abused none the less. We need to get a hand on our drug problem now and then maybe we would be mature enough to legalize drugs. The government only wants to make a quick buck with the legalization of drugs, but unfortunately it will be at the expense of our youth and fellow americans.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  6. D. Wagner

    I know plenty of people whose parents smoke pot and they themselves don't. Back in the day Native American women used pot during labour as it is a muscle relaxant. Legalizing something that grows naturally only makes sense. It is when man warps nature to create a drug that is not for medicinal purposes where we find problems in my opinion.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:58 am |
  7. A Norml American

    The Problem with the drug war is the police and dea are addicted to the tax payers money to fight the war on drugs . Think about how many people are employed to fight the war on drugs Judges,prosecutors,police,dea,mandatory rehab,private prison industry ect ect. The partnersihp for a drug free america is funded by tobacco,alcohol and pharma co's WAKE UP AMERICA !

    April 15, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  8. jeaps

    The idea that cannabis is a "gateway" drug is absolutely crazy. As a child of the 60's, myself and everyone I knew smoked at one time or another. None of us went on to become crazed, hard core drug users. The money that has been wasted and the lives that have been ruined in the name of saving us from ourselves is the true crime.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  9. concerned

    Marajuana should be decriminalized by all states and the Federal government.

    Growing hemp can be grown by our family farms and help save them. It can be used to make clothes, shoes, paper and many other products.

    The State and Federal Government should change their laws!

    April 15, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  10. concerned

    Marajuana should be decriminalized by all stated and the Federal government.

    Growing hemp can be grown by our family farms and help save them. It can be used to make clothes, shoes, paper and many other products.

    The State and Federal Government should change their laws!

    April 15, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  11. Kathy

    Not only should drugs be legalized, but the DEA abolished! Their "War on Drugs" is now focused on legal, prescription drugs and the doctors who prescribe them. It is absurd that doctors in this country fear the DEA and are forced to underprescribe LEGAL medications to those in need.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  12. Joe Moore

    I, for one, am glad to see that we have at least one senator that is smart enough to do some research, come up with actual facts, and then present them in a logical order to support his stand. It also is not that hard to look at what other countries have done and see what has worked and not worked. Why are so many Americans that stupid too listen to anyone spout off emotionally laden rhetoric and not put forth any facts? I listened to the senator this moring on the news present a logical argument in a calm non-emotional way, then listened to the opposition scream emotionally and offer no actual supporting facts to support his position. Point well taken Senator, and I hope that my fellow citizens actually use their brains to come to a conclusion rather than some emotional rhetoric designed to misdirect what the actual issue is.

    PS Alot of people will say that the opposition to the senators stance of allowing the individual state to decide the legality of controlled substances made valid points. If those points were so valid, why did he not take the time to cite any actual facts, especially when this person knew he was going to be on a national news show?

    April 15, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  13. Linda

    If marijuana or any other currently-illegal drug were legalized tomorrow, I would not use them. But, this is not the issue. The issue, like so many others, comes down to the "social contract" found in the U.S. Constitution. By what theory does the federal government in a free society dictate to citizens what substances they can or cannot consume? The drug war is just another example of governmental over-reaching, and the improper intrusion upon the right of the individual to make choices for him or herself. The flip side of this coin, however, is personal responsibility for one's own choices. Just as the government cannot tell you that you cannot do drugs, neither does the government have a duty to provide programs for you to address your own decision to misuse drugs.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  14. Tony and Keshia

    We think marijuana should be legalized, me and my girlfriend have smoked marijuana practically every day for almost 3 years. We have never felt any harmful affects from it at all , if anything we are more focused on work and more productive when we are on it. We both made the deans lists at our state college in Pennsylvania for every semester and are perfectly capable of functioning on marijuana. it is frustrating for us to see people smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol legally when those are the real gateway and harmful drugs. How many people die from cigarette related illnesses or how many drunk driving accidents are there per year? Over 400,000 people die per year from cigarette illnesses and about 25,000 from alcohol instances depending on the information you find. Marijuana depends on the individual, it can help those that are in pain , it can make you more focused and build creativity or it can make you sit on the couch and giggle at the tv, either way its in no way a comparison to our other drugs that you can buy in the convenience store.

    Legalize it, and i will advertise it.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  15. Sue

    LEGALIZE IT AND TAX IT!!!!! Cigarettes and alcohol are taxed to help fund recovery programs, do the same thing with the drugs. Set age limits, require doctor intervention for the hard drugs. Create more recovery avenues. Don't put drug USERS in prison with murderers.

    Keep the drug companies from making too much profits too. Have one customer for the drug companies to sell to..the government. Then the pharmacies can buy through the government pricing and that would help keep the cost down to the "consumer".

    if you take the profit out of the drugs, the drug dealers don't have anything to fight about nor do they have any way to make money.

    It's not rocket science folks!

    April 15, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  16. fitzel

    It is incredibly ironic that this discussion is part of "amfix" which uses drug vernacular to promote an edgy newshow.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  17. F. O. Listenbee II

    I graduated from a Technical School just recently, and in one of the classes that I took a team of students did a research project on marijuana and found that if it were regulated correctly, the cash crop nationwide could average $60 Billion a year

    April 15, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  18. Joe Barron

    I have smoked "Pot" my whole life.. The ONLY issues have been with the Law and NOT the Drug.. No "Gateway". Now at 40 years old.. Top level Support for major Computer company have lost my job (this week) because someone said I smoked and I admitted it. The loss of my Job will be MUCH more of a damage to my life and family then the drug.
    After several years on the Job as a TOP agent, PERFECT attendance and twice promoted... Fired due to my honesty. Well now I will take the Unemployment... Great Job Drug War!
    Study the History of the Laws.. Based on Racism.. Scare tactics.
    Read " The Emperor Has No Cloths" by Jack Ferrer!
    Wake up America. In a FREE country "I" have the right to do ANYTHING that does NOT Hurt someone else.. In my Home!!!! Now I need a Job!

    April 15, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  19. Erik M

    The legalization of marijuana would do two things. First, it would allow us to put tariffs on imported weed and thus take advantage of growing it domestically which, with this economy, is a very positive action. Second, by making it legal by a certain age, it will be harder for younger people to attain. Weed is easier to buy than alcohol. Thats only because its just as illegal for an older person than a younger person. If there were an age limit along with the legalization of weed, there also becomes a factor of control. We don't just need to make it legal to have weed, we need it to be legal in our market for production, purchase, and sale.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  20. Anne Stevens

    Legalize marijuana, regulate, and TAX...
    Alcohol which is legalized is deadly compared to pot. Not everyone will become a pothead as not everyone becomes an alcoholic.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  21. Lexie

    I think that people should be able to consume what ever they choose. Even if the gov only made pot legal its a step in the right direction. Weed is lucrative enough to pull America out of its economic slump provided of course they sell it at around the same price that we could get on the street.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  22. Matt

    Yeah let's just add to the problem of our nation being over-medicated, what a wonderful idea!! Illegally selling drugs already brings in multi-billion $$. Imagine once ALL drugs are legalized how much that jumps. I see everyone quiting their jobs and selling drugs. Wow, what a wonderful scenario. The U.S. would go from being an obese nation to being a nation full of stoners and coke-heads.

    The only people that should have the option of using those drugs are those with pain so severe that they would rather die, such as chronic pain from cancer, etc.

    How about people try to achieve an optimal state of wellness through diet and exercise. Laziness is the reason most people would rather sit in a damp basement, smoke a joint, and eat doritos. How about getting outside and enjoying the weather? There is vitually no need for recreational drugs, they are for people who have become weak in mind and body.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  23. Don

    Anyone who wants them can get them today with very little problem. Ergo, the war doesn't work, so why keep spending money on a failed strategy?

    April 15, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  24. Heather

    I never thought that I'd be agreeing with Rep. Ron Paul, but he makes absolute sense. There's no reason to outlaw marijuana while we condone nicotine and alcohol. Legalize it, control it and TAX it. Get our non-violent offenders out of jail and save a huge amount of money.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  25. Richard

    Legalization will more likely lead to a decrease and usage. The trends currently observed are likened to children, they always want what they are forbidden to have. it is a human condition that has plagued us since Adam and Eve who ate the forbidden fruit.

    The other point is it is no wonder why youth are having problems in this nation that in one vain takes away rights to gays using on phrase in the bible, while the Book of Timothy instructs the reader that "God has given everything on this earth as long as we receive it with thanksgiving". The contradiction which exist in these issues must be consistent and speak with one voice if religion will ever have any credibility for our children.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  26. Charles

    If the so called 'war on drugs' is not working and is draining our wallets then maybe we need to take a look at another alternative.

    The point of these laws is not safety. If that were the case, tobacco, alcohol, and cars which are capable of speeding 100mph+ would be illegal as well.

    Start by legalizing marijuana, the least harmful of the drugs. Study the effects on society and make determinations from there. Let's begin thinking logically instead of emotionally.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  27. kenny powers

    I thinl legalizing drugs like heroin and cocaine would be a mistake, but marijuana should definitely be legal if people decide to use drugs at least marijuana is the safest. B/C weed is so great most heroin, cocaine, prescription pill users could easily obtain marijuana and it curb the use of harder drugs. The U.S. has to put politics and saving face behind and make the right choice for once.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  28. Nic

    Marijuana is much less harmful than alcohol drink and cigarette.

    Alcohol kills your brain cell and damamge your body organs.

    I smoke cigarette for 9 years and had a hell of time to quit. During same time I smoke Marijuana and had no problems kissing it good by. That was 20 years ago.
    This is a double standard, either make cigarette and spirits illegal or legalize marijuana. Take the profit out of it and crime will be reduced.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  29. Gail McLean

    Yay Phil! I agree! The media doesn't call alcohol hooch, it's time we started calling this plant by it's name: CANNABIS. Are you listening CNN? Be the first to lead the charge and do away with this racist name born of greed!
    Thank you Ron Paul for being our voice of sanity in this war our government wages against it's own people!
    End prohibition now!

    April 15, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  30. Bruce

    We simply "cannot afford" to jail all these drug users anymore. What part of "cannot" "afford" do folk no understand? Also, we need to get past the idea that we need to dictate all aspects of life. I'm tired of all the D*** excessivee rules in life. Let us be free.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  31. Kenny and Laura

    research alcohol prohibition and get a clue and a brain. marijuana is far safer then alcohol! put emotion aside. if you can add 1+1 and you get 2 then you should understand that marijuana laws are far more dangerous then the drug itself. if marijuana is a gateway drug , then outlaw water since over 50% of people who have used marijuana also drink water. which clearly means water is a gateway drug!! get a brain and get a clue!

    April 15, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  32. Christina

    If we tax them to death, people will just buy from (cheaper) dealers anyway. For drugs to be legalized,and monitored, the government would have to be little more than a glorified enabler itself.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  33. John Hysmith

    Of course the DEA is going to be against legalizing drugs. They would be out of a job!

    April 15, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  34. Kyle

    Legalizing marijuana would not only provide American jobs, but would give Mexico and actual industry around which to build its country. This would in turn reduce immigration and help both countries with the recession.

    April 15, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  35. Phil E. Drifter

    Henry, :April 13th, 2009 1:19 pm ET

    "the moment any drug is leaglized in the united states, whether it be pot or crystal meth—– it is game over for the U.S.:"

    Then please tell me how we operated perfectly well before these drugs were outlawed in the 1930s...150 years after we became our own nation.


    April 15, 2009 at 5:41 am |
  36. Phil E. Drifter

    Stop calling it 'marijuana.' That is a foreign word used by Harry Anslinger, 'the father of the drug war' to incite fear of the unknown in an ignorant congress to outlaw hemp because it was such an outright competitor to so many fledgling start-ups, and the english language already has a word for this wonderful plant: cannabis.

    April 15, 2009 at 5:37 am |
  37. dude

    The Controlled Substances Act is not based on any powers granted to our government by "we, the people". No reasonable reading of our constitution (in the context which the founding fathers clearly intended) can come up with our current "Drug War" being at all compatible with living in a free society. Dismantle the DEA and let each community and state decide for itself which laws serve the interests of their population.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:53 am |
  38. Josh

    legalize it period! we waste so much money housing people who do not deserve to be in jail for marijuana. other hard drugs such as meth, crack and what not, those i understand. But not MJ, it just grows like that and it has so many helpful purposes and has been used for thousands of years.. someone said it before me but use legalize it and tax it

    April 15, 2009 at 2:47 am |
  39. Dorothy

    If you would like to know alot more reasons that pot, heroin and cocaine should be legalized, then check out website (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition).

    April 15, 2009 at 2:22 am |
  40. Dorothy

    I want to legalize pot, heroin and cocaine. They were all legal in 1776 because our founding fathers did not want to waste precious resources on controlling their sale or manufacture. The founding fathers knew that the most important function of the courts and law enforcement was to keep economic transactions honest, fair and lawful. While the Feds and States were busy persecuting addicts & dealers, Madoff stole 65 billion, and Wall Street caused the lost of approx. 11 TRILLION dollars, and alot of mortgage fraud has occured. Most of that will never be prosecuted because the courts, police, and prosecutors are too busy with drug cases. The total cost of the drug war is really in the Trillions because other types of crime have run rampant while our police are devoting literally half their time going after drug dealers, addicts, and the petty crimes that addicts commit to get money for the drugs.

    April 15, 2009 at 2:02 am |
  41. charliedoodle

    "We in this country have to make up our minds - - we can not have it both ways: we cannot be both drug-free and free." Lester Grinspoon, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Co-author Marihuana, The Forbidden Medicine, Marihuana Reconsidered.

    April 15, 2009 at 12:57 am |
  42. Rusty VanNuyes

    Drug abuse, just like alcohol abuse, is a social issue.....not a criminal one...... All drugs should be legalized.

    Marijuana is not a is a plant.

    April 15, 2009 at 12:50 am |
  43. Dusty

    [ Edit ]

    Weaklings who can't control their urges and temptations already abuse drugs, as they're also addicted to the rush of committing crimes discretely. Weaklings and their weaknesses should not anchor others strong enough to resist over-indulgence into such activities, from their freedoms to do so. This should not happen in a 'free republic, or democracy'. Because of their weaknesses, the strong are legally restrained.

    For countless thousands of years, psycho-active substances were interpreted very differently to ancient cultures from modern mainstream culture. Using such substances was more of a spiritual/sacred activity than recreational.

    Legalization of such substances would also encourage people to perceive substance-use more responsibly, maturely, and passionately - and perhaps to generally perceive one's life as more meaningful, with deeper insight, to make decisions more consciously/responsibly.

    Additionally, drug prohibition makes money for all the wrong people.

    It is without question that wealthy drug cartel leaders have lobbied for sustained prohibition, throughout the world. Throughout history, drug cartels were just the other wing of oppressive dominance from politicians, who outlawed it. The pyramid of dominance is multi-sided, with benefits to be shared between the 'good guys', and 'bad guys' - and this pyramid is global, from sea to shinning sea.
    Prohibition is a product of "Order out of Chaos".

    With legalized cannabis, hemp, etc, profit and prosperity(and peace) could be made for everyone as it would greatly benefit several new and existing industries.


    April 15, 2009 at 12:41 am |
  44. Taxpaying Father

    “It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.”
    George Washington

    April 15, 2009 at 12:29 am |
  45. Dusty

    Weaklings who can't control their urges and temptations already abuse drugs, as they're also addicted to the rush of committing crimes discretely. Weaklings and their weaknesses should not anchor others strong enough to resist over-indulgence into such activities, from their freedoms to do so. This should not happen in a 'free republic, or democracy'

    For countless thousands of years, psycho-active substances were interpreted very differently to ancient cultures from modern mainstream culture. Using such substances was more of a spiritual/sacred activity than recreational.

    Legalization of such substances would also encourage people to perceive substance-use more responsibly, maturely, and passionately - and perhaps to generally perceive one's life as more meaningful, with deeper insight, to make decisions more consciously/responsibly.

    Additionally, the prohibition of drugs makes money for all the wrong people.
    Throughout history, drug cartels were just the other wing of oppressive dominance from politicians who outlawed it - it is all about money and control.
    Prohibition is a product of "Order out of Chaos".
    With legalized marijuana, hemp, etc, profit and prosperity could be made for everyone as it would greatly contribute to more economic branches.


    April 15, 2009 at 12:26 am |
  46. Deborah AKA The Vocal Citizen

    Please sign my petition to call for a national vote on legalization of cannabis:

    April 15, 2009 at 12:21 am |
  47. Cory

    i think legalization of all drugs outweighs the benefits of the current system. if need be we can take all the money we save from incarcerating people on drugs charges and put it towards drug rehab programs/centers. what it also provides is more accountability. rarely is anyone held accountable for drug deals on the street when the user ends up dead from the product, but you have a whole different set of criteria from a drug purchased at a store. just like alcohol and tobacco we have legal ages and penalties for people who buy for minors we could do the same with current illegal drugs should they become legal and as commonly available as alcohol or tobacco.
    manufactured with some safety standards will at least make these drugs safer for would be users too. i have heard in the making of cocaine they use gasoline and sometimes put fiber glass in to cut the nasal cavity for faster absorption. legalization may never be a perfect solution but it seems a better alternative than what we currently have.

    April 14, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  48. B-ran from AZ

    how many people die every day from alcohol, ciggaretts and pill thousands??millions.. How many people have died from cannabis??anyone??

    April 14, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  49. Wondering Who

    First off I think it unfair to use the term "drug" exclusively for substances such as marijuana, MDMA, LSD or whatever else may be used to temporarily fill this unbearable emptiness. Anything we do is basically a temporary distraction; some activity that will efficiently and effectively capture the mind's attention. For some that may be shopping, sex, art, religion, or drugs (though that is far too vague a term). I personally love the company of babies, as they are in a perpetual state of wonder (what better way to absorb the mind). In addition, I have grown to deeply enjoy meditating, yoga, and certain drugs, as they bring me back into that state of wonder which was so wrongly replaced by the "necessity" of tangible results in a well ordered life. It's not enough to wander the limitless world with innate wonder. Money, a stable job, and religion raped for a world too busy to wonder of creation and God and purpose sadly suffice. Don't make drugs legal. Here's why. The majority of people, for as long as they remember, have been existing in a solid, objective reality, not subject to change. (Myself included) At some point curiosity creeps up and next thing you know your hitting a bowl after dropping acid, or at least that's what it seems. Actually, your trying to figure out who you are, where are all these thoughts coming from, what actually exists, what is reality? Those haunting questions asked by religion and avoided by most. Avoided for a reason obviously. What can you get with such questions but more questions and few answers. It's not worth it, I would rather direct my effort to simply survive.
    The only worth in life is to solve the mystery. I admit, drugs shouldn't be needed. But truthfully speaking, they help. If anything, they'll throw your life into a whirl of confusion and question. But that's the beauty. And maybe when we live in a world where such a lifestyle is accepted, then drugs would no longer be a problem. Maybe they would no longer be an escape, a distraction, and the cause of so many careless deaths and mental instabilities. Maybe one day they'll be used responsibly as a method of insight. And then again, maybe I'm just crazy, but thankfully my sanity was thrown away with that irrational fear of death that seems to drive society. But that's a different, overly lengthy topic I won't treat myself to begin here.
    Feed me back with something interesting, I'd like to know-

    April 14, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  50. B-ran from AZ

    I know that Making Cannabis & Hemp legal will not only bring great profit to the U.S. but will bring truth and peace among my friends and family..I'm only 17 but my whole life i've been hearing about the developments of the drug war and who got busted when and how much they had n where exactly it was but i have expeirienced in full the impact of the illegal drug trade in Arizona,And can vouch for all of the rediculousness that is going on in the streets involving illegal drugs and can honestly sit back and and laugh at the DEA for their complete lack of brains on this issue.. it's almost as if they aren't doing anything to stop the herion n meth dealers they pursue and attack anyone suspected of having a lot of drug money not just going after all the drug dealers like you'd think they would. They are simply after a big profitable bust instead of looking out for the best interest of the citizens and the youth. So i say looking at the picture from my point of veiw we need to make serious changes in drug policy. Because all those dried up rich 70 year old racist senators oppinions are't relavent anymore and aren't making progress towards a safer society for my little siblings whos lives are potentially in danger because of the lack of effort to fully crack down on harfull drugs and drug dealers.. with all of that my answer is....LEGALIZE CANNABIS it's harmless!! and let's not rush into legalizing all harfmfull drugs because the conservative argument against it is a good one..much love -The kid in AZ

    April 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  51. Al

    Would you all agree that the vast majority of people that consume alcohol are not alcoholics ? Well isn't it safe to say that the vast majority of people that use other drugs are not drug addicts so whats the difference? legalize them all, tax them all and use the money to educate our youth and to treat those who need help.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  52. brinstl

    Why don't we criminalize ALL self-destructive behavior? We tried criminalizing alcohol and that didnt work! So, after nearly four decades of this "war on drugs", what have we accomplished? Well, we have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, the drug trade is thriving, the US government has blown billions of taxpayer dollars, drugs are more prevalent now than when Nixon started this damn thing, and we have millions of non-violent drug users and addicts who are forever branded as "criminals". Congratulations America!

    We need to do something different. Our drug policy has failed and it is a supreme embarassment. ENOUGH!

    April 14, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  53. richard


    April 14, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  54. ms_kiki0520

    lets look at the real reason it was made class 3. Life would be easier,the goverment everything would fall in place just like NASCAR did, ( look up the meaning for he letters). it is a NO Brainier tax it and lets MOVE ON!!!!!!!.

    April 14, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  55. Brian Hoerner

    A follow-up to my last comment. The summary of this poll suggests that cartels and killings are fueled by drugs, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. When you illegalize anything, you are effectively CREATING criminals. Taking people who used not to be criminals, and applying criminal status to them. You also create a black market. In a black market, you cannot solve business disputes with courts and other legal means, because you will be arrested for it; so instead, things are handled in violence. Everyone remembers the mob wars of prohibition era America. This is the same principal behind what makes prostitution such an unsafe business. With no way to run to the police in situations of rape or theft, prostitutes are left to defend against violent pimps, violent Jons, and other situations because their business, while non-violent and effectively nothing more than consenting sex between to adults, is illegal. By turning the market of prostitution into a black market, these human beings are in constant danger because, like drugs, and like alcohol at one time, the Federal government has taken it upon itself to create criminals rather than just let people be free.

    April 14, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  56. Brian Hoerner

    The fact of the matter is, if you are not free to put anything you want into your body, you are NOT living in a free nation. People do drugs because they effect you exactly the way you want to be effected, and to some people, they feel that the benefits outweigh the consequences. They must learn for themselves that the consequences are always worse, but does it really help these poor people to be placed in federal prison for their bad habits? If I want to smoke some marijuana, go out on my porch, and enjoy the afternoon breeze, am I hurting anyone or bringing down the established justice system? No reason, moral or otherwise, can be given that negates this simple truth: if you can't do whatever you like with your own body, you are not free. Thomas Jefferson said, "the legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." Amen, brother.

    April 14, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  57. Joshua

    Love others as yourself. Locking human beings up in a cage with thieves, rapists, and violent psychopaths simply because they prefer heroin to Prozac or cannabis to xanax – is this an act of love?

    My mother is a lifelong drug addict. At no point in my life would I have been better off, had she gone to prison.

    I am a drug user. I've used numerous drugs – primarily cannabis and psychedelics, but I've tried both meth and crack. I didn't become an addict. I'm married, I have a job with a decent income, and I've never harmed anyone in my life. I help others when I can.

    You have no right to attack me with police and lock me in a cage, no matter how many laws or rationalizations you apply. The War on Drugs abuses those who life has most abused already. It's wrong.

    April 14, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  58. Micah

    I'm glad to see all the good responses! Some people just don't seem to realize the prohibition doesn't really work and that legalizing the drugs wouldn't be enabling the users but would instead be protecting them. There is no control as to what substances are used to cut drugs or even potency levels. How many lives would be saved by just having a quality controlled production?

    April 14, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  59. Snickelfritz

    The "war on drugs" is a failed endeavor.
    It is time for the politicians to listen to the voice of the people and end this needless persecution of our citizens.
    Cannabis is a plant. It does actually have medicinal value.
    It was created by nature. No man should have the right to outlaw nature.
    Legalize it, regulate it, and make tax revenue from it.
    It WILL strengthen the economy.
    GrowKind – GreenPassion

    April 14, 2009 at 8:30 pm |
  60. John Miller

    I believe it's a crime cannabis/marijuana is a crime... and worst, the "centerpiece on the so called 'war on drugs'". I'm 54... came of age in the 70's, and I saw progress! I especially liked President Jimmy Carter!!! He legalized home brewing of wine and beer, and marijuana... 2 out of 3 happened... the 3rd was all politic! I don't relish people using heroin, meth, opiates... but we could provide centers for people with those needs... what I do see are two very dangerous drugs legal, and necessary for taxes, and a third, cannabis, illegal and the laws are much worse than the crime – a crime motivated by fictional stories, illegal immigrants and politics in the 1930's.It's time to "legalize drugs"... or maybe time to recriminalize those that are legal, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, catnip (yes, some believe that is a drug), etc. Tomatoes were illegal in the time of Sir Walter Raleigh, they were red, and the fruit of the devil for being that color.

    April 14, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
  61. Nicholas B

    It's a no brainer... LEGALIZE! Listen how silly this sounds, a plant is illegal. It's just absolutely ridiculous.

    April 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  62. Eric

    I'm from Canada, and I really do feel for the poor saps who spend months in prison for smoking marijuana, while I can be stopped by the police, and at the most have it taken away from me. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that this warped perception about the evils of drugs (especially one as harmless as marijuana) continues to run the show in the legal department of the US.

    Look at alcohol's correlation to deaths (such as impaired driving, alcohol poisoning, etc.) compared to marijuana. I can't believe the former is legal while the latter still is not.

    April 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  63. mud

    Legalize marijuana or make alcohol illegal ! I think there are too many drunks out there and too many parents drinking with their kids. Alcohol is by far MORE dangerous than weed. Let's see some stats on this.

    April 14, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  64. Serenden J Whitaker

    well to be honest i think marijuana should have been legalized a long time ago, but the crimes and economic crisis' we face today stronger pushes the issue on whether or not to legalize it(marijuana). Today millions of Americans smoke marijuana and as a result of it being illegal many of those Americans are arrested. the monthly cost for one persons imprisonment is around $1000-$2000. Unless a person is a dealer, the marijuana offender is usually a non-violent offender and probably doesn't even have a record, but we pay the same amount for them as we do for a sexual offender or murderer, although im for legalization, a fine would be better because your requireing the offender to PAY MONEY to the state.

    Drug cartels, if we legalized marijuana i don't believe people would give money to people who use it for power to kill and purchase more guns, instead i think people would be more inclined to spend money on a product where the money goes to rehab programs or education or what ever that state wishes to use the money for. Drug dealers in our own country would lose money because a person would be able to purchase marijuana safely and they can be sure that its not laced with another drug. In general crime would decrease dramatically because of the legalization of marijuana, and a few good programs could be funded through the revenue generated from the product.

    The economy, ha, its a shame that something has to make money in order to be considered for legalization. what the govt. doesn't know is that there is numerous ways of generating money from cannabis(marijuana plant) for example: textile, feed, paper, clothes, skin care products, insulation, cooking herbs, medicine, bedding and so on, you get the picture, but its not only the money u can make from producing things out of the plant, u can create jobs for farmers and factory workers who will grow and harvest the plant and fabricate the product the factory is producing, and this can be done across the country. Export revenue can also be generated to countries that have already legalized marijuana such as Holland and Australia or other countries that are debating the same subject like Canada who seems as though they will legalize it.

    Lastly, to those who think the effects of marijuana are hazardous, being polite, your just plain wrong. all recent studies show no harm done to the lung, brain, heart or any other organ for that matter. There was one study on a monkey that showed that he lost some mrain activity that had to due with his memory, but that test has been proven to be irrelevant since new study shown that only when the person is "high" does he/she lose sense of memory, little if lost any, and that loss is temporary, as long as your "high". Alcohol has a more damaging effect on the brain.. if you drink too much you'll die, if your a heavy alcoholic your body becomes dependent on alcohol there for you need to be detoxified, numerous car accidents are a result of its ingestion and driving. Cigarettes, don't get me started on how many people die a day due to its extremely harmful toxins, and you don't even have to be the one smoking it to develop the diseases, but since the govt. can make money off it its okay... just put a warning label on it...

    i love this country, but it seems like this country is more concerned with making money than the well being of its citizens. Aspirin, Tylenol, morphine, alcohol, cigarettes, fat pills, pregnancy pills, all of these and so much more are readily available to the public and can be found at your local liquor store or grocery market. Just about all, if not all, of the over the counter drugs have side effects, and they usually include; diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, birth defects, and so on, we all know what alcohol and cigarettes do, but all these things are legal, why? because the govt. is in full control of regulation and revenue, but since marijuana is a plant and can be home grown(lets not mention that it almost doesn't have side effects except for hunger, happiness, and sleepiness, depending on your mood) the govt. feels like it wouldn't make as much money and it remains illegal. so let me get this straight, you would rather me buy something that might kill me legally, than legalize a product that hasn't had a single use related death, because you make more money off the drug that can kill me?

    *what a government, it shows they really care about you.*

    oh if you want to know some facts on the uses and tests go here

    peace and love to you all

    if your someone who believes in the legalization of marijuana, please bring intelligent arguments to the table, the ones who just ramble make marijuana look bad when in fact that's not true. show that you have an education and be productive, if all us pot heads could show that we are indeed intelligent marijuana smokers we would be shutting up the ones who say it makes you stupid... so bring the argument to action by displaying pride, confidence, intelligence, drive and success, not ignorant rambling or rioting.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  65. Damien

    All drugs should be legal everywhere, not just the U.S.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  66. 4changeNow

    ditto on "bigdood's" open letter to Obama. Right On !!

    I am not contributing another dime to ANY politician unless and until they openly discuss their position and intended ACTION regarding the decriminalization of marijuana. CNN tried to say that "marijuana lobbyists" dominated the public's questions for Obama. That's giving way to much credit to the notion that an organized pot lobby even exists. CNN, media in general and certainly the President would be well-served to finally deal with this issue in a SERIOUS manner and NOT BE DISMISSIVE. It is not just flakey pot heads discovering the virtues of this weed; lawyers, politicians, police officers, teachers, techies, moms and dads and multitudes of others find it enjoyable if not outright medicinally beneficial. Again, well said bigdood.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  67. Dagfari

    Alcohol is an addictive narcotic substance – but returning it to legality was one of the best decisions we made, both Americans and Canadians. During the time between its' legality in Canada and its' legality in America, millions of dollars of Canadian Gin crossed the border.

    This fueled the criminal gangs operating in the United States before Repeal Day.

    Drugs today fuel the gangs and organized crime – and it's been this way for thirty years, through many scandals of corrupt police and ineffective anti-drug messages. Repealing much of the Drug Control Acts would stop these criminal gangs funding police corruption and killing our youth.

    Even just legalizing marijuana would make it much, much harder for them to operate. Marijuana only makes up about 20% of street sales of drugs, but it is the one that funds the production of the rest.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  68. Katherine Jones

    Look at LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)....a dedicated organization comprised of former police officers, undercover narcotic agents, border patrol agents, judges, lawyers and others, all with years of experience working the front lines of this failed war on drugs and who can tell you prohibition has never worked and will never work.
    Lets legalize all drugs, remove the "forbidden fruit" factor and spend our efforts building a safer and saner country where those with true drug abuse issues are afforded genuine treatment and those who wish to indulge in recreational use can do so without fear of imprisonment, banishment or death from questionably mixed substances.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  69. Nirav

    Legalize LSD.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  70. Eron

    I think that we should legalize Cannabis. When we had a prohibition on alcohol it did nothing to stop the consumption. In fact it help support a lot of bad criminals. When we lifted the probation on alcohol almost all the crime stopped. My brother died because of a legal drug called alcohol, but that is ok because it was legal, tell that to all the families that there lives are changed because of death or dependence of alcohol. My god when are people going to understand that the ignorance of pot is over. If your drinking while reading this you are no better then me smoking pot while I read this. Yes pot is illegal only because an ignorant government. If you are an alcoholic I feel bad for you because you will die because of it. I will not die because of pot unless I go to buy pot from somebody I do not know and they kill me for my money. That is funny I would not have to take that chance if they would end adult prohibition and regulate it so I could go to a safe place and buy it. One more thing would the tax I pay on my bag of Cannabis give one more child a book to have while he sits in his new school because of the taxation on that bag of CANNABIS.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  71. ElectroPig™ Von FökkenGrüüven

    For those who are seriously interested in learning THE TRUTH behind the "Drug Wars" initiated in the 1930's, repealed in the 1940's, and reinstituted in the late 40's, please see the following web sites:

    MUCH general information about the true uses and benefits of the cannabis plant family.

    The above link will take you to the information on why cannabis was made illegal in the first place, and why it must be returned to legali use once more...this time, for the good of society, instead of only benefitting corrupt politicians, prisons, courts, and legal budgets, and major corporations who know what they will lose if people are truly healthy and free to choose for themselves. &/or

    Do you think that they're really keeping the cure for cancer a criminal offense for a reason they "might not really want to tell us?"

    April 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  72. Xotix

    Its not new territory though. There are existing models in many other countries. We also have our own model from ending alcohol prohibition. In all cases the countries continued to go forward. Allso in all cases use spiked and then dropped ot much lower than usage was while illegal. If you want it to go away legalize it and stop talking about it. Talking about it glorifies it. there is nothing bad or good about it. it's just a plant, if you enjoy it great and if you don't well thats fine to. As long as those that do enjoy don't effect your life you should probably just go on with yours.

    Who would you rather live next to:

    An alcoholic family, or a stoner(only) family?

    April 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  73. Chris

    To Eric who faces a felony,

    Don't listen to any of those toolbags that tell you that you somehow deserve what you got. It's unfortunate that you are stuck in the Bible belt where you can drink as much alcohol as you want to the point of death, but God forbid you smoke a bluntski.

    Remember, truth is treason in the kingdom of lies. You have liberty, the Constitution and truth on your side.

    Stay strong, be confident and do your best to not let it rattle your mind. The day will come when you once again get to enjoy a blunt without the overbearing arm of the government upon you.

    April 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  74. Li

    "History shows that everytime a mind altering substance is legalized, its use becomes normnalized and usage and rates of addiction go up dramaically, especially with youth."

    Not true. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. Legalization removes the mystique, the feeling of being a maverick or rebel. When Prohibition ended, alcohol consumption actually DECREASED in this country. So did the crime and violence associated with bootlegging liquor.

    April 14, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  75. FiddleMan

    Not everyone can handle hard drugs such as Alcohol...

    Yet Alcohol is legal while the very safe soft drug Cannabis gets us thrown in jail. America is known as the "Prison Nation" as we put responsible adults in prison because they make a conscious choice to use a very safe drug (Cannabis) over a deadly drug (Alcohol).

    Alcohol and Tobacco together kill OVER one half million people just in America alone each year – Cannabis on the other hand, has never killed a single person in the entire World – EVER! Yes – 0 deaths for Cannabis, over a half million for Alcohol/Tobacco (just in the U.S. EVERY single year)!

    Real Wars – funded by the American Government created Black Market – are killing thousands of people.

    The American Government could use the Taxation Money created by ending this ridiculous prohibition to help itself and its people. Yes, Mr. President – Cannabis can indeed help the economy!

    Cannabis also has many Green Uses for us to explore and has great medicinal and therapeutic qualities.

    This insane prohibition needs to stop – Now! Prohibition did NOT work for alcohol in the 20's and it does NOT work now against Cannabis.

    Please Legalize Cannabis – Legalize it NOW!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  76. Li

    Prohibition didn't work the first time and it's not working now. Time to stop wasting billions on a failed "war on drugs."

    April 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  77. Joe

    Genisis 1-29.... In the reality I live in I would like to see the U.S. legalize the Cannibas Herb, I have a disease called Charcot Marie Tooth or (CMT) in the medical world, The medicinal properties of this wonderful herb helps me relax from muscle spasms and relieves the pain from both the spasms and joint ache. and I still have cognitive sense of my body and mind, In contradiction to the flexeril and vicoden that makes me a stupid zombie... The legalization on a medical stand point alone would be a very wise and great step in our society for our sick, suffering, and dying

    April 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  78. David

    I think it's time we admitted that the War on Drugs has been every bit as successful as Prohibition. The profits fuel organized crime, people die from products of unregulated quality, and demand continues unabated, with an added 'forbidden fruit' mystique. Nor can you eliminate demand with education and propaganda, as the drive to use these substances is primal and irrational. You may as well try to curb population growth with a War on Sex.

    Drug use should be a medical and mental health issue, not a legal one. Let people get their dangerous drugs from pharmacies, where they can be counseled on the dangers and offered help, not incarceration.

    Cannabis, being physically about as dangerous as coffee (though somewhat less addicting), ought to be legalized and commercialized.
    Treat it the same as beer and wine – sell it, with taxes and regulation, to those of legal age, and allow home production of reasonable quantities for personal use.

    April 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  79. Billy

    I really think many economists are low balling this issue.. If Marijuana were legalized tomorrow I could see stores going up all over in a matter of weeks.. Everyone would be in a frantic rush to get into the market. New companies would be created all over, tax revenue would be flowing into the state and federal government like the swallows to Capistrano.

    People are just afraid because its new territory. I think we should just give it a shot and see what happens.. I think this has a high possibility of surprising a lot of people.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  80. Eddie

    The law does more harm than the drug. End the war on people!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  81. Billy

    I think we should start with the legalization of Marijuana and see how that goes.. In other words get our feet a little wet before jumping head long into the pool. We were told today that 61% of the drug cartels money is via sales of Marijuana.. I don't know about you but if 61% of my salary disappeared I would be hurting.

    Remember the drug cartels would hate for us to legalize it. They are counting on our prohibition so they can keep up their insidious behavior.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  82. Mike

    Countries that have experimented with legalization have already proven that making drugs available through legal means does NOT increase drug usage rates. The "problem" of having drug users is not made worse by legalization and, in the case of marijuana's legal status in the Netherlands, actually shows a decrease in usage rates post-legalization.

    We are a country of drug users, regardless of the legality, who consume the world's drugs at a higher rate than any other country while simultaneously punishing the countries that produce them. The war on drugs was a foolish practice from the beginning, and has been fought in the face of consistently damning evidence that it has always been, and will continue to be, a losing battle.

    Wake up and smell the common sense, legalization has worked and continues to work.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  83. Lonnie Widler

    Didn't we learn anything from prohibition? This country has been spending billions of dollars for many years fighting an unwinnable drug war. It has been a complete failure and has cost us, as citizens of this country, a fortune. Illegal drugs are easier for our kids to acquire than alcohol. They don't have to show an ID when they buy illegal drugs from criminals. The only way to limit our children's access to drugs and put the drug cartels out of business is to treat them the same as alcohol, legalize them, regulate them, and tax them. We need to use some common sense and logic to address this issue. Join Law Enforcement Against Prohibition ( and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  84. findgold

    Marijuana is bad..Just ask our government... after all our government will take care of us from cradle to grave. our government knows what is best for us. get used to it.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  85. Paul J. von Hartmann

    Support LEAP!


    April 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  86. Patricia Robinson

    What Recovery should be
    I use to be an addict and legalizing them is not the real answer, but since what I want isn’t real in this world,
    I guess it will happen, the only thing it will do is stop the import of illegal drugs. no one will be on corners selling it. Our people can get back to work, the way the Methadone helps the addict come to terms.
    it allows some addicts to see the world not as a victim but as an equal.
    That woman wont be beat down for her pocket book, our houses wont be broken into, there wont be a need to steal, rob or kill for drugs.
    The doctor will give it or the clinic, but we have to watch the clinics also, as with the methadone clinics they can hurt the purpose instead of help it.
    They can make it so difficult to get the drugs. In some states. They want to help, but as with SC, they want to make money of the drugs.
    They put the price so high jobs cant even pay for it. The threat of not getting it tends to lead the addict back to the streets. That when the dealer becomes a big part of our lives.
    I remember when I didn’t have insurance I hated going to the doctor, and that almost killed me in 1992, because of the way they treat you in the hospital setting, talking loud to shame you.
    Know one wants other people to know their business. Another thing, If you staff the clinics with all non users, it wont work, we need some who has been through, to deal with the addict.
    Id love to help in our church we have a Celebrate Recovery at Barefoot Church, to try to help out other addicts.
    Most of us are addict which makes the suffering addict more comfortable, as they walk in. I love it when that addict walks in in the first place, but I love it even more when the next time they come.
    I see the difference in them, washing their hair, cleaning their clothes, actually wanting to come and get involved.
    This is what help is suppose to be, kind, peaceful yet strong. We who reach out have to show strength and be powerful in our need to help and stay sober, powerful, bright, in truth and love.
    I reach to hug those who might have been the same way as me lonely for love and a life. I use to stand across the street from a church and wish it was me going in.
    Wish it was me with nice clothes, shinning bright. Today I’m so glad that someone hugged me.
    When I walked into Barefoot strangers hugged me. Clean people that smelled good, and treated me nice, That night when I went home I could still feel those hugs squeezing me, they never acted like I was too dirty to come close too, it was awesome. This is what recovery is suppose to be
    Life, love faith, compassion, warmth. We the sober addict are a big part of the still suffering addict. We are here to show them what its like, and if we have to do it over and over again so be it. Recovery should
    not a place that you have to be made to come, real sobriety is wanting too for your self.. By: Patricia Robinson-4/13/09-5pm

    April 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  87. Sensible

    I have been noticing lately (last couple of months) that the most responded to articles are ones dealing with the war on drugs or legallization of pot.

    The Presidents online community spoke to him and now are speaking out all over the internet.

    What could possibly be gained if we legalize drugs?
    Less crime? Smaller prison polulations? more and/or better schools?Maybe even our Homeland Security would have time to protect the homeland?

    The war on drugs is a racist and facist tool used to take the freedom and rights away from all of us user and non user alike.
    If you support it you knowingly accept and use lies to attack your fellow man. You feel your views in this world and your morallity are worth people losing lives, liberty and happy pursuits as long as you feel superior. You justify abuse and destruction to what end?

    Ever talk to a prohibitionist? They don't know why they believe the refer madness, they just believe with all thier soul! mindless zelots!

    It is sad to see our , leaders refuse to do the right thing. LEGALIZE!!!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  88. ShawnRulesAll

    We need to legalize all drugs. Then we need to take our drug funding money and use it for drug education and rehab centers. We need to eliminate this paranoia that Marijuana is bad.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  89. MicBearing

    The criminalization of drug use creates an unfortunate and unnecessary barrier between problem drug users (those who consume the vast majority of all drugs) and the diverse array of treatment options that should be available to help them live a healthier life. Addiction entails externalized costs for everyone, and the abdication of control that criminalization (paradoxically) creates only prevents effective intervention.

    Just as important, there isn't a damn bit of convincing evidence that criminalization has ANY positive consequences when compared to decriminaiization, but there is plenty of evidence to show that it entails enormous liabilities.

    People in the US need to grow up and take a sober (pun intended, :P) look at the stupid, futile catastrophe that is the war on drugs. It is FEAR, "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror" that is perpetuating this nonsense. How silly, how childish, how utterly lacking in dignity and self-respect that supposed adults should be so held captive....

    April 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  90. Colleen McCool

    Our out-of-control drug policies' monetary and environmental costs are staggering and the human suffering is unconscionable. The destruction of the sacred family unit is one of the worst consequences of prohibition.

    The propaganda is we wage this war to protect our children. The devastating and deadly facts are our babies, especially teens have become collateral damage in this grossly failed war.

    *The death and devastation begins on kids before they are even born. Because mothers on drugs are afraid to go to doctors for fear of being arrested or having their babies taken away from them, their fetuses have higher incidences of birth defects, prematurity, and miscarriages. The drugs don't cause these problems; it's the lack of prenatal care.

    *Kids placed in foster care when their parents are incarcerated for drug use have four times the death rate of kids left with their parents.

    *We have deprived millions of children and teenagers of their imprisoned parent(s).

    *Our adult murder rate is four times higher than in the Netherlands where drugs are regulated, controlled, taxed, despite having six times their adult incarceration rate. Much worse, this drug war has created an obscene teenage murder rate that's nineteen times higher than in the Netherlands, where drugs are legally available to everyone over eighteen.

    *The drug war has turned a million of our teenagers into drug dealers, many in deadly drug gangs that have four times the death rate of Texas death row prisoners.

    *We have more teens selling drugs than the rest of the world combined. Why? The tough Rockefeller drug laws provided for mandatory five-year sentences for anyone over 18 involved in drugs. The result: drug dealers got 16 and 17 year olds to sell drugs for them and we created the teen drug market. Just another of the many unintended consequences of the drug war.

    *Only 50 percent of high school students graduate in our ten biggest cities and only 40 per cent graduate in NYC, Baltimore and Detroit. In the Netherlands 92 percent graduate; that's No Child Left Behind!

    Stephen H. Frye, M.D. Retired medical school professor just wrote a book giving the facts titled: We Really Lost This War! Twenty-five Reasons to Legalize Drugs.

    It is really misleading to call it a drug war or drug fueled violence. The horrific carnage is triggered by the new prohibition and fueled by official lawlessness.

    The war waged by Mexican drug cartels has resulted in 610 children deaths reports a study and 3,700 children have been left orphans as a result of the violence or execution of their parents. Many minors who are orphaned have been psychologically scarred after witnessing violent actions against their relatives.

    The Mexican military reported that 420 children who had been recruited have died in the clashes between rival groups. There were many examples of adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17 dying in fierce battles with the drug traffickers or being tortured and killed as paybacks between feuding clans.

    How much misery can a policy cause before it is acknowledged as a failure and reversed? This international calamity is no laughing matter.

    Save the children, just say NO to prohibition! Trigger less violence, official lawlessness, racism, tyranny and ruined lives!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  91. findgold

    I think that because marijuana is so easy to grow. that a tax and making it legal will never happen. after all look at all the money the government is getting from fines they are getting when they bust some poor sole for having a joint or two. and if you can grow your own why should anyone waste money to buy it when most of the cost will be a tax.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  92. Tom

    Find out why more and more cops, judges, and prosecutors who have fought on the front lines of the "war on drugs" are standing up and saying we need to legalize and regulate all drugs to solve our economic, crime, and public health problems:

    April 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  93. ashley

    Alcohol is a drug and it kills people on a daily basis yet it's legal. You will NEVER find a statistic like that on marijuana. It's time for our government to do their homework and make decisions based on facts.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  94. Mike

    April 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  95. SDG

    If marijuana were legal, these cartels would almost cease to exist. Marijuana can be controlled just like alcohol (maybe even better) and causes less impact in the real world than alcohol does currently. If marijuana were legal, other drug use would decline as well where cocaine, heroin, meth, prescription drugs, etc... destroy multiple lives. It is medically impossible to overdose on marijuana.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  96. Kimberly Dinnan

    I think they should legalize marijuana. You are getting taxed on it anyway when you get caught with it. The government is making money on it. What is good for the goose is good for the cander. Isn' that what the old saying is?
    I have personally seen that marijuana helps people with diabetes. My husband does so much better with his diabetes when he is smoking.
    I also have another experience where marijuana has help someone. I knew someone that had a tumor in her head and she was not able to eat or sleep. She smoked aliitle and it helped her.
    Marijuana is not harmful as the other drugs are.
    I say if the government can make money off of it then why can't the american people smoke it!!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  97. Ythill

    Almost 100 years ago, US lawmakers ammended the most central law document in our country to end prohibition of alcohol. Weren't they saying, then, that prohibition was a failed model? Why can't today's lawmakers see the same issues with drug prohibition.

    Prohibition funds organized crime, it wastes our tax dollars, it puts our friends and family members in jail for no good reason. The only good from prohibition is felt by the pharmecutical companies, the oil and lumber industries, and their ilk.

    What will a dozen new tax revenue sources, a federal budget cut of over 100 billion dollars, and an influx of newly freed prisoners do for our economy? Lots of good.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
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