Why Obama Really Might Decriminalize Marijuana - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
Jakarta Expat's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: PM me to Join the Expat Muslims for Obama Club........
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 17,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Why Obama Really Might Decriminalize Marijuana

Why Obama Really Might Decriminalize Marijuana

The stoner community is clamoring to say it: "Yes we cannabis!" Turns out, with several drug-war veterans close to the president-elect's ear, insiders think reform could come in Obama's second term -- or sooner

Famously, Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved the United States banking system during the first seven days of his first term.

And what did he do on the eighth day? "I think this would be a good time for beer," he said.

Congress had already repealed Prohibition, pending ratification from the states. But the people needed a lift, and legalizing beer would create a million jobs. And lo, booze was back. Two days after the bill passed, Milwaukee brewers hired six hundred people and paid their first $10 million in taxes. Soon the auto industry was tooling up the first $12 million worth of delivery trucks, and brewers were pouring tens of millions into new plants.

"Roosevelt's move to legalize beer had the effect he intended," says Adam Cohen, author of Nothing To Fear, a thrilling new history of FDR's first hundred days. "It was, one journalist observed, 'like a stick of dynamite into a log jam.'"

Many in the marijuana world are now hoping for something similar from Barack Obama. After all, the president-elect said in 2004 that the war on drugs had been "an utter failure" and that America should decriminalize pot:

YouTube - Barack Obama on Marijuana Decriminalization (2004)

In July, Obama told Rolling Stone that he believed in "shifting the paradigm" to a public-health approach: "I would start with nonviolent, first-time drug offenders. The notion that we are imposing felonies on them or sending them to prison, where they are getting advanced degrees in criminality, instead of thinking about ways like drug courts that can get them back on track in their lives -- it's expensive, it's counterproductive, and it doesn't make sense."

Meanwhile, economists have been making the beer argument. In a paper titled "Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition," Dr. Jeffrey Miron of Harvard argues that legalized marijuana would generate between $10 and $14 billion in savings and taxes every year -- conclusions endorsed by 300 top economists, including Milton "Free Market" Friedman himself.

And two weeks ago, when the Obama team asked the public to vote on the top problems facing America, this was the public's No. 1 question: "Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"

But alas, the answer from Camp Obama was -- as it has been for years -- a flat one-liner: "President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana." And at least two of Obama's top people are drug-war supporters: Rahm Emanuel has been a long-time enemy of reform, and Joe Biden is a drug-war mainstay who helped create the position of "drug czar."

Meanwhile, in 2007, the last year for which statistics are available, 782,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related crimes (90 percent of them for possession), with approximately 60,000 to 85,000 of them serving sentences in jail or prison. It's the continuation of an unnecessary stream of suffering that now has taught generations of Americans just how capricious their government can be. The irony is that the preference for "decriminalization" over legalization actually supports the continued existence of criminal drug mafias.

Nevertheless, the marijuana community is guardedly optimistic. "Reformers will probably be disappointed that Obama is not going to go as far as they want, but we're probably not going to continue this mindless path of prohibition," NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre tells me.

Some of Obama's biggest financial donors are friends of the legalization movement, St. Pierre notes. "Frankly, George Soros, Peter Lewis, and John Sperling -- this triumvirate of billionaires -- if those three men, who put up $50 to $60 million to get Democrats and Obama elected, can't pick up the phone and actually get a one-to-one meeting on where this drug policy is going, then maybe it's true that when you give money, you don't expect favors."

Another member of that moneyed group: Marsha Rosenbaum, the former head of the San Francisco office of the Drug Policy Alliance, who quit last year to become a fundraiser for Obama and "bundled" an impressive $204,000 for his campaign. She said that based on what she hears from inside the transition team, she expects Obama to play it very safe. "He said at one point that he's not going to use any political capital with this -- that's a concern," Rosenbaum tells me. And the Path to Change will probably have to pass through the Valley of Studies and Reports. "I'm hoping that what the administration will do," she says, "is something this country hasn't done since 1971, which is to undertake a presidential commission to look at drug policy, convene a group of blue-ribbon experts to look at the issue, and make recommendations."

But ultimately, Rosenbaum remains confident that those recommendations would call for an end to the drug war. "Once everything settles down in the second term, we have a shot at seeing some real reform."

Still, a certain paranoia prevails. Rumors about Obama's choice for drug czar have lingered on Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad. "He's been a standard anti-drug warrior for the whole time he's been in Congress," says St. Pierre. Another possibility is Atlanta police chief Richard Pennington, who raises fears in the legalization community of more of the same law-enforcement model. Another prospect stirring the pothead waters is Dr. Don Vereen, the chief drug policy thinker on the transition team. "He's really a believer in prohibition and he can excite an audience," says Rosenbaum, who says a friend on the transition team refused to hint at final contenders for the drug czar pick. "I'm joking with him, 'I'm going to have to open up the New York Times for this, aren't I?'" His answer: "We're going to send out smoke signals."

Obama on Marijuana Legalization - Will Obama Legalize Marijuana? - Esquire
Jakarta Expat is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 04:09 PM
DP's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 190E, 400E, SLK350
Location: Chesapeak Bay
Posts: 64,111
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 983 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Producing a weed is not the same thing as a brewing process that takes up many resources. This is not the best argument for legitimizing weed.
DP is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 04:19 PM
BenzWorld Elite
yoseyman's Avatar
Date registered: Nov 2005
Vehicle: Baby
Location: 1313 Mockingbird lane
Posts: 9,689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm High
yoseyman is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 10:04 PM
Forum Administrator RC Colas® & Moon Pies®
Digmenow's Avatar
Date registered: Oct 2006
Vehicle: 1981 380SL 151K: 2001 E320 4Matic Estate 147K: 2008 E350 Sport 4Matic 120K: 2005 S500 116K
Location: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 36,144
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Quoted: 1131 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Originally Posted by drewprof View Post
Producing a weed is not the same thing as a brewing process that takes up many resources. This is not the best argument for legitimizing weed.
It would become taxable.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Digmenow is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 10:08 PM
Cruise Control
Zeitgeist's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: '87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon/'01 EV Weekender
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 51,712
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Quoted: 1419 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Originally Posted by drewprof View Post
Producing a weed is not the same thing as a brewing process that takes up many resources. This is not the best argument for legitimizing weed.
While it may not be the best argument, it's one of a multitude...there's no reason to keep this innocuous substance from being regulated and taxed like its far more toxic cousins, tobacco and alcohol
Zeitgeist is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Mexican marijuana mlfun Off-Topic 6 10-14-2008 02:40 AM
    Marijuana kdude87 Off-Topic 23 01-24-2008 10:33 PM
    Schwarzenegger says marijuana not a drug Jakarta Expat Off-Topic 0 10-29-2007 05:00 AM
    Marijuana: What's Your Stand? themantm Off-Topic 66 05-23-2007 05:05 PM
    U.S. marijuana even stronger than before Jakarta Expat Off-Topic 5 04-25-2007 02:17 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome