Tag: Marijuana Laws

Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Bill Is Really About Social Justice

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced game-changing legislation to amend the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). If passed, the bill would eliminate marijuana from the CSA, purge federal marijuana convictions, and punish those states that have cultivated racial inequality via marijuana-related arrests and/or incarceration. Mindful of the damage done by the ill-conceived decades-long war […]

 

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Jeff Sessions Praises Failed D.A.R.E. Program

The delusionary mindset of Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is tragic.

On Tuesday, before a crowd at the 30th International Training Conference for D.A.R.E., A.G. Sessions offered his appreciation to the “Just say no” crowd. First uttered in 1982 by then First Lady Nancy Reagan, Sessions pandered to the drug war zealots from the onset.

“Thank you for that introduction, and more importantly, thank you for the important work that you do to help prevent the spread of drug addiction in this country. Your DARE team is ready to meet this next challenge. Just like you did in the 1980s and 90s.”

Formed to address what many believed was a CIA inspired crack epidemic of the early 1980s, Session praised the anti-drug crusaders.

“I believe that DARE was instrumental to our success by educating children on the dangers of drug use. I firmly believe that you have saved lives. And I want to say thank you for that. Whenever I ask adults around age 30 about prevention, they always mention the DARE program. Your efforts work. Lives and futures are saved.”

There’s just one problem with the AG’s assertion, he was dead wrong on the facts.

Far from effective, D.A.R.E. was an abject failure, at least, according to the feds. In 2003, the GAO (a.k.a. the U.S. Government Accountability Office) disclosed the program made absolutely no difference.

“The six long-term evaluations of the DARE elementary school curriculum that we reviewed found no significant differences in illicit drug use between students who received DARE in the fifth or sixth grade (the intervention group) and students who did not (the control group).”

And, when asked whether or not there was evidence supporting the AG’s assertion that D.A.R.E. was effectual at curbing drug use, a Session’s spokesperson declined to comment.

evidence_dare_works

Impervious to the uncomfortable reality of the situation, Session continued his dystopian diatribe. “They say marijuana use can prevent addiction. They say the answer is only treatment. They say don’t talk about enforcement. To me, that just doesn’t make any sense. In fact, I would argue that one reason that we are in such a crisis right now is that we have subscribed to this mistaken idea that drug abuse is no big deal.”

It’s not that people view the opioid epidemic and drug abuse as “no big deal” – it is. It’s just that many see legalizing marijuana as part of the solution…not part of the problem.

opioid reduction and marijuana

 

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Federalism: Republican Utah Senator Supports States’ Rights

On May 25, Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R) enjoyed a rather thought provoking conversation with C-Span’s Neal Katyal regarding the 10th Amendment, federalism, government overreach, and the complex issue of voter-approved state marijuana laws.

A timely issue for states that have reformed their counterproductive pot laws, Sen. Lee’s new book scrutinized the federal government’s overreach and assessed just how ‘The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government’ would have reacted to a United States Atty. Gen. threatening the sovereignty of individual states – for simply legalizing a peaceful herb.

For his new book, “Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government,” the Utah Senator evokes the powerful philosophy that motivated our seemingly forgotten forefathers who fought valiantly against an overly burdensome federal government.

When asked during the interview whether or not Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and the rest of our founding fathers would have allowed the individual states to legalize marijuana, the Utah Republican answered succinctly – ‘Yes.’

“Most certainly, it would have been a matter of first principles.”

Click here to view video

Click here to view video

The junior Sen. from Utah explained: “I think deciding whether or not you’re going to allow a particular treatment, a particular pharmaceutical product for example; specifically if that product can be produced and sold entirely within the state in question, that a state ought to have that power.”

Sen. Lee, a trailblazer within the GOP, has continuously searched for alternatives to stiff sentences for those accused of low-level crimes. During his 2010 campaign, Sen. Lee continually shared the disheartening story of Weldon Angelos. Sentenced to 55 years in 2004, Angelos was handed what was essentially a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his first marijuana distribution charge.

Once an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Sen. Lee felt the extended sentence was little more than institutionalized cruelty. Instrumental in obtaining the Utah man’s early release from a federal correction facility, Lee’s intervention was paramount in getting Angelos released from prison after 12 long years.

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With marijuana decriminalized by a majority of voters in roughly 70% of U.S. states, the will of the people is currently trumping those outdated policies in the nation’s capital. However, with the new ‘law and order’ administration seizing power and threatening all states with federal marijuana enforcement, the tension between legal states and the federal government remains extremely high.

As more states try and legalize cannabis while the federal government moves enthusiastically to enforce their laws against it, many anticipate this debate to spark a constitutional conundrum over the federal government’s ridiculous prohibition.

 

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