Over 67 million Americans have used marijuana. Every commission that has studied marijuana from the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report in 1894 to the California Research Advisory Committee in 1989 have concluded that marijuana should be decriminalized. Despite the consensus of these commissions, composed of judicial and medical experts spanning nearly a century, marijuana prohibition continues in this country today. This Neo-Prohibition has brought with it all of the horrible consequences that always accompany prohibitions.
During alcohol prohibition in the 1920's the murder and violent crime rate sky-rocketed, Organized Crime lords became millionaires overnight, gang wars broke out, there were drive-by shootings, the courts were hopelessly clogged, prisons were overcrowded , and schools were filled with bootleggers. Sound familiar?
Organized Crime and drug dealers make over $80 billion a year in America alone ($500 billion worldwide). Our prisons are filled with petty, small fry drug dealers and users. No billionaire goes to jail. About half of the million people in American's prisons are there on drug offenses giving America, the land of the free, the largest prison population in the world (even per capita). America spends over $20 billion a year on the drug war and by the government's own admission they stop less than 10% of the drugs coming into this country.
Perhaps even worse than the violence and crime caused by prohibition is the erosion of our Constitutional freedoms. For the first time in this country's history our government can order its citizens to urinate in front of bureaucrats. They can strip search any man or woman they "suspect" of having drugs. The police routinely batter down doors, throw entire families to the floor at gun point, and seize their homes and possessions without a trial. Children are encouraged to turn in their parents if they see them using marijuana. Good people lose their jobs not because they aren't doing a good job but because their urine doesn't meet government specifications. This is all justified by the "Drug War". A "war" that breeds fear, violence, and corruption while it undermines the sanctity of our homes and our Constitution.
The issue here is not whether one thinks people should use drugs. The issue is how do we deal with drug use, including alcohol and tobacco use, in this country. The question is whether we use police enforced prohibition or if we instead regulate responsible drug use and allow our doctors and trained medical professionals to treat drug abuse.
HIP-WS is working for Regulation of Marijuana instead of Prohibition of Marijuana.
Our goal is to work for laws that would set up a system to regulate marijuana based on the model used for regulation of alcohol. Marijuana would be allowed to be used as medicine, for paper, cloth making and other industrial uses, and for responsible recreational use by adults.
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