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Thursday, October 13, 2011

From alcohol prohibition to marijuana prohibition

"Marijuana Prohibition's Legal Insanity Continues."

So says Chris Weigant over at Huffington Post.

Watching the PBS series, Prohibition, inevitably brought up thoughts in me of our nation's current prohibition of marijuana. Same with Weigant.

It is astounding the parallels between alcohol prohibition, an utter failure, and marijuana prohibition, also an utter failure. Here is Weigant:

"Looking back at the era of alcohol Prohibition is like examining a society that went crazy for a decade, in more ways than one. Unfortunately, looking at the Obama administration's renewed vigor in denying the reality that one-third of the country has approved of medical use of marijuana is reminiscent of such a crazy period. This is not science. This is not medicine. This is not even admitting the legal doublethink which is required to classify a state attorney general -- trying to thread the needle of writing sane regulations (on a policy the federal government refuses to be sane about) -- with a major drug lord. That, right there, is insane. After all, even during Prohibition alcohol was available for medicinal uses."

Insane is a pretty good characterization of our national drug policy when it comes to marijuana.

So if there is anything disappointing about the recent PBS documentary about prohibition it is this: It did not even mention the parallels with marijuana or the relevance of prohibition for today. As noted by Weigant:

"... I truly wish Ken Burns had dedicated at least a paragraph at the end of Prohibition to point out the much-longer insanity of marijuana prohibition that doesn't just continue to this day, but is actually getting worse. The ultimate irony is that Barack Obama has admitted he used marijuana himself, back in the day. The question I keep hoping some intrepid reporter will ask him is: "Mister President, if you had been caught for your illegal drug use and prosecuted the same way your own Justice Department is now trying to prosecute medical marijuana providers, how would your life have turned out differently? If you had been forced to 'pay for your crime' back then, do you think it would have improved your life, or changed it radically for the worse?" And a followup question, as well: "Then how can you justify what [Attorney General] Eric Holder is currently doing? [vigorously enforcing federal marijuana control policy even when it conflicts with local and state law]""

Heard that.


  1. I've heard that there are many other uses for marijuana plants including ropes and paper from the hemp variety, but no one is allowed to grow it. We keep killing trees, when we could be making money off hemp cultivation.

    It is time to abolish the prohibition against marijuana. Too much money is spent fighting it, and it is not as harmful as once portrayed.

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