The District will be prohibited from legalizing marijuana for the much of the coming year under a spending deal reached Tuesday between top Senate Democrats and House Republicans to fund the federal government through next September.
The development — upending voter-approved Initiative 71 — shocked elected D.C. leaders, advocates for marijuana legalization and civil liberties groups who earlier in the day had grown confident that the measure would be at least partially protected while Democrats still controlled the Senate.
However, with Republicans set to take control of the chamber in January, the defeat suggested that the will of D.C. voters — who approved marijuana legalization last month by a margin of more than 2 to 1 — may be suspended indefinitely.
“I can’t believe they did this,” D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) said. “We don’t need to be locking these people up.”
Michelle Malkin is a rather vicious pundit in my estimation, on TV and in her writing. She wrote a book defending the mass incarceration of Japanese-American citizens during World War II. She had a nice stint at Fox News (which she says - in the interview I link below - ended badly. No shit!) and took every opportunity to spew far right wing garbage to a gullible audience.
She’s good at throwing red meat to people who don’t know any better, and she’s done alright for herself.
Her mother-in-law had a serious relapse of melanoma. Upon her release from the hospital, Michelle Malkin had what alcoholics I think refer to as “a moment of clarity.”
“She was able to get out of the hospital, though she was still in an immense amount of pain, and we thought, ‘You know what? We’re going to take our doctor’s advice.’ How many mainstream doctors are advising their terminally ill or chronically ill cancer patients to do exactly what we did? They’re the ones who recommended, ‘You know what? Go ahead and try medical marijuana. It might help stimulate her appetite. It might help her nausea.’ We thought, ‘If you’re looking to provide relief or a boost in quality of life, why the hell not? It’s legal. It’s here.’ And so that’s how we got to the pot shop.”
Whatever you think of Michelle Malkin or cannabis legalization, read the whole thing.
(Photo: Fernando Belaunzaran/Facebook)
Mexican Congressman Fernando Belaunzarán, in his formal suit and proper tie, doesn’t strike people as the kind of person who supports marijuana legalization. The truth is, he doesn’t just support it, he’s a hardcore champion of it.
On Thursday Belaunzaran will present Mexico’s Congress with a bill that would legalize the sale of marijuana - for recreational and health purposes - through distributors that obtain government permits. The proposal would also allow each Mexican citizen to grow up to five plants for personal consumption.
“The context has never been as favorable to rethink our drug strategy,” Balaunzaran told ABC/Univision. “We really should bet on a responsible use of private liberty instead of going on with repression.”
I almost closed the article with a big sigh of ‘fat chance’, but the last paragraph caught my eye:
Congressman Belaunzarán is well aware that his bill might not make it through parliamentary debate. However, he still thinks the problem should be put to discussion again and again in Mexico and in Latin America. “Mexico must be part of this change of paradigm, with serious arguments, based on science” he said.
Emphasis added, because I believe that policy should be based on science all the time. Being anti-abortion ignores the science of conception and contraception, for instance. Climate change is the most obvious example of science being needed in policy decisions.
We have a newly elected US Congressman who also believes marijuana should be legalized, Beto O’Rourke of El Paso Texas. He beat an incumbent Democrat in the primary, and handily beat the Republican in the general. He co-wrote a short and excellent book that advocates for legalization: Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico.
I wish both men all the best.
From the editorial:
The question for voters is not whether marijuana is good. It is whether prohibition is good. It is whether the people who use marijuana shall be subject to arrest, and whether the people who supply them shall be sent to prison. The question is whether the war on marijuana is worth what it costs.
Initiative 502 says no.
If marijuana killed people, or if smoking it made people commit violence and mayhem, prohibition might be worth all its bad effects. But marijuana does not kill people; there is no lethal dose. Marijuana befuddles the mind and stimulates the appetite, but it does not make people commit arson and brigandage.
It’s actually one of four pro-legalization pieces the Times has written, and you can see a summary of them here.
Good news, I’d say.
H/T - Sully
Over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates, recently signed a petition that encourages the president, Congress, governors and state legislatures to carefully consider marijuana legalization in America. The petition draws attention to an article by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, whose findings highlight the substantial cost-savings our government could incur if it were to tax and regulate marijuana, rather than needlessly spending billions of dollars enforcing its prohibition.
Miron predicts that legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement, in addition to generating $2.4 billion annually if taxed like most consumer goods, or $6 billion per year if taxed similarly to alcohol and tobacco. The economists signing the petition note that the budgetary implications of marijuana prohibition are just one of many factors to be considered, but declare it essential that these findings become a serious part of the national decriminalization discussion.
Even the economists are recommending legalization. How can the government look at these findings and not see the benefits of decriminalization? The war on drugs has cost us many billions, yet it has done nothing to stop or even curb illegal drug usage in the US. Imagine how much more room there would be in our prison system for real criminals if this were to happen.