Opinions - What if 1,000,000 marched on Washington?

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by Trebor, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. Trebor

    Trebor Palladium Member

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    Every argument I’ve had with a non-cannabis user has always somehow managed to stay clear of the social implications of legalisation. Or de-criminalisation. But, what if Cannabis was to be legalized? Would there be a sudden stampede towards newly opened Cannabis cafes? Or would the only customers be the already 40,000 regular users in this country? I’m sure when it was de-criminalized in Holland people just carried on about their daily business. But then, that’s just the Dutch themselves. So, let us pretend that cannabis is now being sold over the counter. What next?
    Well, for starters, it would certainly make it harder for children to obtain. In a recent news article I read that 2/5 girls aged 14+ have tried cannabis at least once. Now, had we legalization, those girls would not have been able to obtain it unless they had very irresponsible siblings or friends. It’s the same with tobacco and alcohol. When I was in Leaving Cert, first year students would ask me to buy them cigarettes or alcohol at lunch or on days I met them outside of school. I never did. Children as young as thirteen looking for cigarettes and alcohol. The first rule of setting up a business is to know if there is a market for the product. With cannabis and young people, yes, yes there is. And most dealers will sell it to them without a care.
    Which brings me onto my second point. The dreaded dealer. Yes, this week our loveable and cuddly Tanaiste and Minister for Justice has decided to rush a new piece of legislation through the Dail which specialises in the further punishment of people convicted of sale or supply. As far as I can tell it’s just another ploy to re-elect the current government. Also, one piece caught my mind, “Ability to detain if found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia.”. This worries me a lot. Does this mean I will be subject to arrest for being in possession of a packet of rolling papers? or worse, my grandmother being arrested because of her hookah? But, I’m going of on a tangent here. So anyway, the dealer himself. It now seems that everyday there is some gang land shooting reported. The young plumber who was caught in the line of fire a while back caused huge uproar. So, what Mike McD did was order his Storm Troopers to target drugs USERS and not the people who were responsible for his death. Again, business comes into it. In my home town there was a Super Value that for years kept competitors out. But when Lidl came it realised it couldn’t. Lidl offered the best prices and, I felt, higher quality goods. I love that ice cream... Dealers are Supervalu and cafes are Lidl. So, if everybody goes to Lidl, then Supervalue goes out of business. I refer you to Gresham’s law for elaboration.
    And on to point three, the health of the user. The majority of cannabis and hash we get in this country is of abysmal quality. The importers will mix it with various products to increase size, enhance effect and cover their ass for the last two points. Diesel is added to hash to cause it to swell. Yum! And, lately there has been a lot of talk about glass in weed. This is put in to increase weight of the bud without it being noticed. If we had specially designed gardens where supplies could be grown then this wouldn’t be an issue. But hey, what does the government care if a bunch of crazed pot addicts want to go around smoking contaminated weed. It’s not like they contribute to anything to society
    Wrong! The people who invented the internet used drugs, as did most of the great writers of the Enlightenment, great actors, poets, directors, artists and even business people have used. Many stoners contribute to society. They often donate to charity and volunteer for various things. In fact this morning I gave an old woman a lift to the hospital because it was cold outside. We hold down jobs, have stable relationships with lovers and friends and family. We entertain. Bob Dylan smokes cannabis and he has the highest (no pun intended) moral standards I have heard of.
    And now, what I’ve been looking forward to, the financing. On average, 3.5 grams of cannabis will cost upwards of forty euro. An ounce will cost about three hundred and twenty. Why has the government not recognised the earning potential? If the government took control of the production of cannabis and sold it at perhaps, twenty five euro an 1/8 then it would be able to retain 40% of that in taxes and profit. That’d be about four hundred thousand a week, that’s 21,600,000 euro a year. Provided they closed for 3 weeks of the year.
    So, hopefully Bertie will read this and come to his senses. Only together, as a community, will we be able to make a difference. Which is why I’m also going to encourage you all to stand up and shout “I’m stoned! And proud!”. And besides. If the arrested all of us, forty thousand, the only way they could pay to try, punish and keep us in check would be to legalize drugs. So it’s a good bet they won’t.
     
    1. 3/5,
      Awesome post
      Mar 18, 2007
  2. Shiacmkmleer

    Shiacmkmleer Titanium Member

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    Re: What if?

    Only 40 k? Heh here in this USA Users number in the millions (albeit we are a lot bigger than your nation... still 40 k sounds small). You're right on all three of your points (four sort of). It is easier for the average high school student here to get weed than alcohol (although SWIS would risk buying some kids some Alcohol if they asked him). Likewise during prohibition violent people controlled alcohol and when it was legalized normal “good” people did again and violence over alcohol disappeared. It seems bloody obvious to me that the same thing would happen with all drugs if they were legal. Likewise the safety of drugs would improve and tax revenue would go up. The real question is would use go up? I don't believe so. Anyone who wants to use ignores the laws and does so anyway. I agree with your final point. The only way we can true change things is if we try. Imagine if every April 20th 1 million people showed up in DC for a protest the million stoner march or something like that. The government simply couldn't ignore or arrest that many people. Not to mention the amount of press coverage a rally would get would bring legalization back to the forefront of American politics. And we all know the only outcome that this could have if it was ever to be debated logicly.
     
  3. Trebor

    Trebor Palladium Member

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    Re: What if?

    With regards to the idea of would use go up, if heroin was legalized in the morning, would everybody use it? No!!!
     
  4. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Re: What if?

    Use will first go up, like it did in Holland and then stableises to a much lower amount of users as the use is normalised. When it's no longer exciting for it's illegality, then it just is what it is.
    As a secondary effect crime and nuisance related to the underground sales goes down.
    Third, by regulating sales, the government gains control on sales and is able to prevent unwanted aspects of sales.
    Last, but not least; the government gains the unique oppertunity to reach cannabis users to apply drug use prevention. Anyone who knows a bit about advertising knows that if you want to bring a message across, you need to reach the target group.
    (So far the UK government has not been able to do so and their best attempt so far seems to be ridiculous 'Talk to Frank', which will probably create more drug users, than prevent them. Such projects will bite the dust pretty quickly when exposed to large groups of drug users. I believe that once this would happen policy makers would learn how to come up with more realistic and effective alternatives.)[/rant]
     
  5. Trebor

    Trebor Palladium Member

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    Re: What if?

    Exactly. It may go up by 5% in this country. No more as far as I could tell.

    And with vr4egards to Frank, I ahte that kid. He is really anoying.
     
  6. kalishakti

    kalishakti Titanium Member

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    Re: What if?

    While I agree that We must take the initiative if we are ever to accomplish a positive change, re: rational drug policy, I don't think the government really much cares about the logic of it, considering the industries who profit most from prohibition contribute heavily to their campaigns (chiefly, intelligence agencies, prison guard unions, and the pharmaceutical and alcohol industries). Police paddy wagons hold a goodly number, and you can expect the police to have buses on hand, and extra piggy's on overtime, to "process" the anticipated spike of arrests at anything in any way similar to a pot parade. Just another excuse for them to take you into custody, and take digital fingerprints and 3-d digital facial shots, to add into their beast system.

    I was arrested at the 1999 Million Marijuana March in NYC, one of over 250 people arrested that day. I was probably about the only one arrested who had no illegal substances on his person.. having instead repeatedly and gleefully aggravated an undercover narc by running nearby while he was arresting people, blasting on a whistle to draw attention, with the hope of neutralizing him by making him recognizable to the crowd.

    After being taken into custody, SWIM laughed after providing cover to two other WoD victims in a small holding cell (standing in front of them, so the piggys couldn't see what they were doing), one of which had smuggled a roach, and another who had smuggled a match, through various searches, right into the belly of the beast in central booking. Ah, the raucous laughter ringing through the jail hall, with all those pigs there scurrying around the piggy desks in their little piggy HQ, everyone could smell weed reaking the station and they couldn't figure out where it'd come from. That was a laugh indeed. Can't even stop us, not even in the very belly of their damned beast! Later, after being transferred down to the jail on Canal street, and after all had been denied calls to lawyers (the phones are 'broken' said the guards, indeed), I was watching blaring on the TV the evening news... and do you know what they reported? Absolutely NOTHING. Not a mention at all... likely over 30,000 people clogging the streets from Washington Square Park, all the way downtown to Battery Park, and zilch, nada, nothing. That is what the media will report of the truth.. nothing. Oh no doubt, had the police 'rioted' and smashed in a couple of heads, the media would have reported that the demonstrators 'instigated' it. Don't count on the media, as they take ONDCP money as well (here in the US) to weave drug war propaganda into the storylines of the programming. The media will only cover drug policy reform demands if they are part of a larger and vociferous movement that takes on the very nature of the Big Lies (corporate enslavement via negative wage pressures; corporate subversion of the institutions of "representative government"; "endless war" profiteering by the military industrial complex, etc.).

    Which is why they will never publicly 'debate' drug policy, short of being forced to, as a stated demand of the people that their inherent human rights be respected and protected. How far will They go to uphold a profitable system of lies? How far will We go, to protect our integrity and essential liberties? Are you preparing to fight like a devil, for not only your life and your liberties, but also those of your family and children? What is your line in the sand? At what point do you resist the machinery of oppression and slavery, and exercise the duties and responsibilities of a free and moral people to demand control of their destiny?

    The day we no longer tolerate the status quo, is that day we will set ourselves free!

    Peace & Divinity
    Baudeaux Machs
     
  7. Shiacmkmleer

    Shiacmkmleer Titanium Member

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    Re: What if?

    Perhaps today is the day. For if not now then when? We've let our liberties slip too far already. Cooperations are setting the United State's policy with profits in mind. The day when we take back our nation must not be put off. Our forefathers would be embarrassed by how far we've let this nation slip! The men who lost their lives to free us from the British are rolling in their graves. They look and wonder; they wonder how come no one speaks out. And sadly your post answered their question... because we are afraid of our government: the very definition of tyranny.
     
    1. 3/5,
      Amen to that preacher!
      Mar 18, 2007
  8. kalishakti

    kalishakti Titanium Member

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    Re: What if?

    The trick is how to do it, and get enough people on board to make it work. As I'm sure you are aware, most people are whipped dogs (which is why we are in this mess to begin with), so gaining overt support is likely to be a tricky proposition. I suspect that targetting the right level of office (executive state government positions), running as an independent (libertarianism is toxic to many, due to it's ingrained philosophical handicap of pro-corporatism), having the guts to just right out tell-it-like-it-really-is (and also refuse to let the media dictate the boundaries of what you will discuss).. just MIGHT have a shot at making a difference one state at a time (accomplished via internet publicity and local grassroots socializing/politicking). Take a close look at your STATE constitution... and see how it can be used (if rigorously enforced by state executive through directive to state police agencies) to actively deny cooperation with abusive/criminal Fed policies, and thereby protect the local populace (who will be your only true political base, anyways) from such excesses. Such a state executive, upon election can make clear to the state legislature that certain kinds of policies and legal reforms would be accepted and approved enthusiastically, if proposed. One successful example would inspire others, and likely cause a chain reaction resulting in the devolution of central authority to the benefit of greatly enhanced regional autonomy. Such a campaign would need to be thought out reasonably within 1.5 yrs of the election, and actively pursued no less than 1 full year in advance (public website, with your brutal assessment of the situation; how the status quo is failing and leading to greater disaster; and how you intend to remedy the situation). The weak link in the Empire's armor is local fealty and direction of resources. They still need to be able to control local footsoldiers to enforce their policies. Deprive them of that, at the state boundary line (and as ultimate recourse, redirect all Fed taxes to state treasury, and manage all governmental affairs/programs at state and municipal levels), and they will be for the most part, reduced to the impotent blathering criminal imbeciles we already know them to be. At least, that's the way I'm approaching it. :cool:

    Peace and Divinity
    Baudeaux Machs
     
  9. Trebor

    Trebor Palladium Member

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    Re: What if?

    Swim will be tackling the conservativism of his country by pubhlishing various fact based writings in National papers and by doing what Grainne Kenny does; badgering the public till she gets what she wants. It's just aq case of who has the stronger will.
     
  10. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Gold Member

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    Re: What if?

    Taking an "ultra" stance on drug prohibition isn't exactly the best way forward in my opinion. Ultimately I would like to see radical overhauls in the way drug control is run but perhaps this isn't a realistic goal right now. Pragmatism is the key. It doesn't matter whether cannabis causes health risks or if it's completely harmless, people smoke it and will continue to do so despite whatever plans the government put in place. Allowing the sale of alcohol and tobacco is unethical considering both are physically addictive and capable of killing. 40,000 cannabis smokers in Ireland is also a very low estimate. Maybe there are 40,000 regular users but I wouldn't be very surprised if a larger section of the population has tried cannabis and may very well do again in the future.

    The problem with legalisation or decriminalization in Ireland is that I suspect people really would abuse cannabis. We, as Irish, sometimes need to remember we've long been a fairly wreckless bunch when it comes to health issues. From our diet problems to the high suicide rate to chain-smoking cigarettes to downright alcoholism by international standards, maybe it isn't accurate comparing us to the more mild-mannered Dutch.

    But abuse isn't really the issue with cannabis seeing as it doesn't have lethal potential. It's all about revenue. We're a capitalist state, if anything it's completely un-capitalist not to seize any possible profits that can be made.
     
  11. Trebor

    Trebor Palladium Member

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    Re: What if?

    Yes, 40,000 regualr users. ABout 2,000,000 on-and-of.

    Abuse wouldn't go up, it's very difficult to abuse cannabis. Unless some idiot tried to shoot it. We have terrible health problems and I'm not sure if legalizing cannabis would help, but as I am courteous enough not to bitch about peoples drinking and smoking, then i'd very much apreciate them to leave Siwm alone to smoke his joint.
     
  12. machine_elf

    machine_elf Silver Member

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    Re: What if?

    Also, the same as if any drug was legalized, people wouldn't just BECOME drug users, they'd just shift, from perhaps alcohol, to marijuana, which is undeniably far less socially destructive (alcohol related violence is immense in Britain, anyone who goes out or tries to get seen in A&E on a saturday night will know)
     
  13. Trebor

    Trebor Palladium Member

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    Re: What if?

    Indeed. Same in Ireland, it all comes down to the effect of the drug, alchohal makes you tense, horny and agitated, weed makes you hungry, heavy, and happy
     
  14. Shiacmkmleer

    Shiacmkmleer Titanium Member

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    Re: What if?

    Guys I have this weird idea. And it might just be cause I haven't slept in I don't even know how long. We plan a rally. That's right Drug Forums plans a rally. The date? April 20th 2008. (A Saturday). The place? Washington DC. Think about it with more than a year to plan it if we start distributing fliers, youtube videos, and just generally telling people about it we could so get 1 million people at it. Can you imagine 1 million people in DC who are in favor of legalization? Seriously the press coverage would be insane not to mention the impact this would have would be insane.
     
  15. D.U.M.B

    D.U.M.B Gold Member

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    Re: What if?

    It would be good but I don't know if You would get the amount of people turning up as you'd like to see

    On Saturday May 5th this year there is a global marijuana march going on. If You checks the site maybe You will see a location near you. While there You could talk to organisers etc. to get an idea on how to organise one if You ever would

    http://www.globalmarijuanamarch.org/
     
  16. Shiacmkmleer

    Shiacmkmleer Titanium Member

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    Re: What if?

    yea I looked it says there is going to be one in detroit but doesnt say where or say who to contact so like most things in detroit its going to fail :p. Seriously if we all start now you dont think we could get one million people to show up? think if you convince ten people... who convince ten people ect ect
    (sorry for spelling/grammer mistakes)
     
  17. kalishakti

    kalishakti Titanium Member

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    Re: What if?

    The million marijuana march, in NYC, which pretty much happens every year, typically attracts crowds in the tens of thousands (perhaps 30,000). Even the recent antiwar demos at the pentagon only had tens of thousands of protesters. Anything like a million would be a tall order to fill, and a lot of drugs users (just look even to marijuana users, which one would consider much more acceptible than perhaps admitting or advocating other drugs) won't come out of the closet for fear of losing their jobs, reputation, etc.

    Demonstrations are over-rated in my opinion. A lot of effort, and the powers that be will just stay out of town that day, and the media either won't cover it, or only cover it in a negative, sensationalist fashion (like if the police riot, then the police will make a statement that the protesters started it, even if that's not the case, and the media will parrot it).

    If you want to have an impact, keep working to change public opinion at the personal level, and run for public office where you will have the power to make changes (or help support those who do). You can do what you want, it feels good to stand shoulder to shoulder with your brethen on this issue, but it won't change anything, and takes a lot of resources which might be more efficiently expended elsewhere, at least as I see it.

    Peace and Divinity
    Baudeaux Machs
     
  18. Shiacmkmleer

    Shiacmkmleer Titanium Member

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    Re: What if?

    See the problem with running for local office is, I can't :p being a student and all I wouldn't really have the time to properly fulfill said office. See I've never heard of the million marijuana march until today. And I doubt most people have. And looking at their site they have one person per city organizing it and they don't get anyone famous out. Imagine 20 people per major city organizing people to get to DC. Imagine, there plenty of celebrities who are pro-legalization, imagine just one of them promoting this publicly! Hell it'll be an election year. What better way for some guy who's running for congress and has no name recognition to gain nation attention?! All we need is a lot of positive attitude and a lot of hard work to make something like this happen! No media coverage?! If you really could get 1,000,000 people out there is no way the media couldn't/wouldn't cover it.
     
  19. namooP

    namooP

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    Re: What if?

    The question is whether they would cover it in a positive, or even neutral light.
     
  20. machine_elf

    machine_elf Silver Member

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    Re: What if?

    It is a good idea... for more immediate action though you should al sign the petition. Its for the uk but it still fights for the advancement of legalisation in the war on drugs.
     
    1. 3/5,
      good effort on proposing solutions, and a course of action; no simply stating the problems
      Apr 3, 2007