(20H) 2/15/14

The administration made a unilateral decision to curtail enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in states where smoked marijuana has been defined as medicine. Next, the administration announced it would not enforce the federal law when the sates of CO and WA sought to permit the open sale of marijuana. Obama tells the country that “it’s important” that legalization experiments “go forward”. OBC is in disarray, and Syria is on fire, but marijuana is important? Obama offers “as has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different form the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of may adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol”.
The president is cutting the legs out from under every p[aren’t and schoolteacher and clergyman across the country who is trying to steer kinds away from illegal drugs. Our “coolest president” ever has made drug education into a punch line.
Obama speculated that legalizing “hard” drugs, including cocaine and meth, might ultimately be a matter of creating a “negotiated” or “calibrated” dose for safer use.
The result is appalling. Allow more and more poison to harm more and more families, destroy the respectable basis for prevention education that deters the use of these poisons. Isn’t it even more striking that “NO” serving dem or rep has called the administration to task?
Where is the bi-partisan work against the drug problem that was led for years by senators Biden, Leahy, Feinstein, Hastch,Grassley,and Sessions and representatives Rangel, Cummings, Hoyer, Issa, Ros-Lehtinen and Wolf? Why don’t the dedicated public servants at such places as the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Drug Enforcement adm—speak up?
Obama simply ignores the know magnitude of marijuana addiction and the growing list of dangers associated with regular and frequent use. Surveys show that 79% of America’s 23.9 million illegal drug users in 2012 used marijuana. Over a fifth of pot smokers needed treatment according to current diagnostic criteria: that is, 4.3 million users of marijuana need treatment, more than all other illegal drugs combined. Marijuana is a much wider health problem that what Obama called the “hard” drugs of cocaine and meth (heroin).
Today’s marijuana has many times the potency and is more of a danger for addiction. Worsening or even triggering serious mental illness, depression and psychosis up to 8 IQ points. Short-term memory loss, inhibited concentration and impaired motor function these are the known dangers facing the low estimate of 18.9 million users. Marijuana users have jumped almost 24% under Obama—from 15.3 million in 2008 to 18.9 million in 2012.
Obama makes two moral arguments that get to the heart of the distortion in today’s attitudes about illegal drugs. First Remnick says “what clearly does trouble him is the radically disproportionate arrests and incarcerations for marijuana among minorities. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot and poor kids do”. “And African American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor”.
The charge is ludicrous. No one gets “locked up for smoking pot”—federal mandatory minimums don’t even kick in below 2230 pounds and only 9% of federal marijuana convictions involve African Americans. There are two major causes of drug possession charges in our criminal justice system. The first is trafficking and the other is the commission of violent or property crime.
What Obama evades is the fact that there are inequities in he demography of criminal offender, demographics of their victims. He implies this is a matter of racism, but while all the possible causes are not understood with certainty. Our justice system including more that 2600 drug courts now sorts out criminals who are not violent threats but engage in crimes. Inmates in state prisons make up the largest single segment of the prison population and fewer than one-half of 1% are sentenced for possession of marijuana. Drug offenses have been declining.
Legalization of marijuana in CO and WA that “it’s important for it to go forward because its important for society not to have a situation which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished”.
Legalization is an act of justice and those who oppose it want to perpetuate injustice. Even if you did not use drugs, you are unjust to support laws that punish a few when many offend. Obama initial claim that marijuana and maybe other illegal drugs is not really harmful.
Obama clearly suggest that the racial and socio-economic disparity in enforcement discredits drug laws and those who defend them.


Source—weekly standard, john walters, new yorker


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