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Thread: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

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    Cannabis Connoisseur Ganjarden's Avatar
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    Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

    Nicholas Kristof wants to know: Should the U.S. legalize drugs?

    The influential New York Times columnist posted the question, which is being asked in mainstream circles with increasing frequency, on his Facebook page Saturday evening. Opinions have come pouring in.

    "I'm thinking of writing this coming week about whether legalization of drugs makes sense. Any thoughts out there or good resources?" he asked.

    Kristof told the Huffington Post he likes to reach out to readers for help when he's entering into not-entirely-familiar territory.

    "It certainly prompted a lot of interesting thoughts, a lot of references to organizations involved, and one organization also reached out by phone to me. Maybe I would have come across the same organization, or maybe not, but on a topic that I don't know so well it can be a really useful tool," he said. "I find that on some issues it's completely useless, but on topics that especially involve experiences that I don't have, or knowledge that I don't have, then reaching out actually works pretty well."

    One topic that doesn't work well with crowd-sourcing, Kristof said is the Middle East. "You get half the people with extreme views on the one side and half the people with extreme views on the other, and it's all heat and no light. And it's all arguments that I've already heard before," he said.

    Tom Angell, a flak for the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, left Kristof a message after a friend at Students for Sensible Drug Policy alerted him to the query.

    "Facebook and other social networking sites like Digg and Twitter have proven to be an essential tool for those of us working to drive the discussion on drug legalization from the political fringes to the upper echelons of the mainstream media in recent months," he told the Huffington Post in a g-chat.

    Angell, if he connects with Kristof, will encounter a receptive audience.

    "It's been a gradual process," said Kristof about his thinking leading to the decision to confront the issue. "I think that the economy being a particular mess makes me a little more skeptical about spending vast amounts of money incarcerating people on drugs, and then I think the degree to which Mexico has been erupting also has made me wonder."

    Kristof has traveled widely for his reporting and filed stories from a number of war zones. "The Taliban financing itself in part with opium has made me also wonder about the foreign-policy implications of our drug policies. But it's been something I've kind of wondered about and been ambivalent about for a number of years," said Kristof.

    Facebookers who responded to Kristof took his question seriously and largely gave nuanced answers, leaning overwhelmingly in favor of a liberalized policy. His Facebook buds suggested he seek out drug-policy experts Mark Kleiman and Lester Grinspoon, along with Glenn Greenwald, who has recently written about Portugal's experience with decriminalization.

    "If you do legalize marijuana, simultaneously implement strict, VERY strict drunk and high driving laws as well as gun laws to try to tame the negative externalities of marijuana use. I believe that the only possible drug to legalize would be marijuana, but I'm skeptical that our culture could handle it. Iowa sure as heck isn't Amsterdam," offered Jacqueline Nalbert Brysacz.

    Though many of the posters were personally in favor of reforming drug policy, there was skepticism that the nation could handle legalization, much as Brysacz said.

    "I favor legalization/decriminalization in theory, but I wonder how a policy shift of such magnitude would play out in the real world, or if it's even possible," wrote Stephen Wittek. "A lot of deeply entrenched interests, opinions, attitudes and beliefs would have to uprooted or steamrolled, and a lot of people would scream bloody apocalypse. Regardless of whether or not it 'makes sense,' the question at the heart of issue is 'Does America have the stomach for legalization?' And I'm pretty sure the answer is 'no.'"

    Kristof will be following in the wake of Time's Joe Klein, CNN's Jack Cafferty, MSNBC's Pat Buchanan, as well as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, top House Democrat Barney Frank, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and current Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, all of whom have called for a rational discussion about drug policy that includes legalization.

    Look for his column in the next few weeks. And look for something that moves the conversation forward.

    "Increasingly, I'm thinking that legalization arguments are stronger and stronger," said Kristof.


    News Hawk- Ganjarden http://www.420Magazine.com
    Source: The Huffington Post
    Author: Ryan Grim
    Contact: The Huffington Post
    Copyright: 2009 HuffingtonPost.com, Inc.
    Website: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?
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    New Member meow2u's Avatar
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    Re: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

    Part of me wants to jump right in there and say of course they should legalize,and part of me thinks Kristof is not an alli to the cause, no matter what b.s. he spits out

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    420 Member Bonehead's Avatar
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    Re: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

    The main reason is that it makes sense. The drug war does not work. How can you believe or be in favor of something at the same time you state it's not going to work???

    I love the part about "A lot of deeply entrenched interests, opinions, attitudes and beliefs would have to uprooted or steamrolled, and a lot of people would scream bloody apocalypse."

    Let's ask medical marijuana patients how it feels to have 15 police invade your home. I am sure some would say it was the Apocalypse.

    And...

    Why doesn't he just say we will have to change a lot of deeply brainwashed, fear driven, reefer madness crazy people. Not to mention the decades of lies. Now that's a challenge that marijuana activist have been living up to for a long time.

    Yes, there is still a lot of work to do but we have made great strides.
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    Re: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

    Here is what will happen when it is legalized. After the the first rounds of parties there will be a whole bunch of laws to change. That will take years to do. At the same time many countries will do the same. Canada may end up leading the States in this because the marijuana laws have been deamed unconstitutional and many are saying scrap it. If pot is legal then there will be no rational reason to have industrial hemp tied up in any red tape. Hundreds of thousands of businesses will be set up with pot, but then millions of businesses will be created with hemp. Everyone will be working. Tourism will flourish, more respect for the law will come around eventually, a feeling of peace will come over many, drug sales from pharmacies will go down so they will change too. Lower taxes for everyone because we stopped fighting a useless war. I have more thoughts on this, but it needs to go in a book.
    Michael

    Make Hemp History; End prohibition NOW!

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    New Member meow2u's Avatar
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    Re: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

    why can't our industry get a stimulus or bailout? Americans have had enough of crappy built over priced domestic cars I say spend your hard earned cash on superior smoke

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    New Member Hippiemomma54's Avatar
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    Re: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

    The question is ..What is concidered Drugs. I don't think marijuana should be concidered as a drug..it's a plant. In my opinion chemicals are drugs. The war on drugs doesn't work and all the people in prison and jail for marijuana is just costing the gov. money.
    Will it be legalized? Maybe, if the gov. can make money off of it like alcohol and tobacco. The thing is if it becomes legal people can grow it and sell it to others. How will the gov. make a profit (taxes on it)? The only thing is they will save money not convicting people with marijuana. The chemical drug war will still go on. Just my opinion.
    Hippiemomma54

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    New Member radilasna420's Avatar
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    Re: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by meow2u View Post
    why can't our industry get a stimulus or bailout?
    See International Cannabis News/Marijuana News:

    Stimulus Dollars Fund Local Study on Marijuana.
    (WSU Vancouver Professor Michael Morgan)

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    Re: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

    i dont know why they havent yet. they would get so much money of weed and money is the only thing that they care about

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    Re: Kristof Asks Readers: Should US Legalize Drugs?

    The anti-pot people are now very much on the defensive and the stalling tactic they are using is "We need more study".How muchstudy does one non-toxic plant need? There are a ton of dangerous plants sitting in green houses, being sold with no checks. Many are ornimental plants. How about something simple like rhubarb leaves. very poisonous, but I have some grown at the back of my lot. No checks by government inspectors-Why is that?

    If they are talking about safety, pot has most other plants beat hands down. It is a load of crap and the stalling is not going to change the outcome, merely delay it.
    Michael

    Make Hemp History; End prohibition NOW!