"One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could."
by:
Richard Cowan
(1940- ) National Director of NORML (1992-95)
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Government should never be in the business of policing personal habits, only of protecting the rights of individuals not to be harmed by others. Once the government gets to say what we can and can't do for health reasons, say goodbye to garlic chicken pizza and deep-fried twinkies...especially if we get universal health care. We will all be eating a government-prescribed diet and if we want anything else we will pay a tax to get it.
 -- Ben, Springville, MO     
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    I have never used marijuana, am a strong proponent of its non-use (except in certain medical scenarios), have seen harm and destruction come from it, BUT, until, due to its use, harm is perpetrated on a third party, its use at law by those of majority age, for any reason, is not a crime. The same is true of alcohol and, I believe in extremely harsh penalties for those that make such available to minors, or cause harm to the innocent while under the influence. Related codes, rules, and statutes, contrary to law, enforced on the non-criminal user, make true the statement.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I agree with this statement and I believe it is true.
     -- Me Again     
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    Quote is off base and illogical. Violation of law requires enforcemet action. The breaking of any lqaw can have the results he describes. Whether marijuana should be legal like tobacco is a different question. Trying to gain sympathy for "innocent marijuana" at the expense of "evil law enforcement" is a sick and miserable ploy.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Nope, but Marijiuanna reform has never killed anyone either. Or injured someone so they're disabled, handicapped, brain-damaged or infertile. Not only does this happen to the pot smokers, it happens to innocent people who are hurt by marijuanna users. And not only physical wellbeing is at stake here. Addicts can't keep jobs because their sense of time is thrown off (among a gazillion other effects), therefore them and their families become destitute, often forcing to steal just to survive because the CAN't FUNCTION like normal human beings. It's your choice if you want to ruin your life with marijuanna. But MOST likely, you will take others down with you. Hurt them. Abuse them. Neglect them. Kill them. And nobody has a right to do that to anybody else.
     -- g. t., virginia     
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    It is amazing how prohibitionists have no clue about the things they wish to stop and control, while completely ignoring the negative effects of that control, such as how making drugs illegal makes it a money maker for crime organizations... and they do maim & kill people... prohibition is a cure which is far worse than that which it is aimed at.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Controlled substances do not address good health. Human illnesses are not due to a marijuana deficiency.
     -- Roxy, Olympia     
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    Prohibition laws create crime and the government knows it. But that's how they keep the laws of enforcement in place. More enforcement equals more control. Not to mention the prison industrial complex and its lobbyists greasing the politicians. It isn't about justice...its about control. Drug addicts need education and treatment, not prison. Drug dealers would have no business if the laws of prohibition weren't in place. It didn't work for alcohol and it doesn't work for drugs.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Waffler,g t and Roxy are dead wrong. Prohibition of alcohol was a disaster as is drug prohibition. My drug of choice is coffee and I do not advocate drug use. The above mentioned three miss the point entirely, that the war on drugs is far worse than harm done by drugs. See what former DEA agents, police chiefs , judges , narctics detectives,etc thank about tis war. Go to LEAP.CC on the web.
     -- jim k, austin, tx     
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    Cute, sounds like he was high when comparing free will against pot. Much of what he says prohibition (of pot) does is a cause of free will often abused. Much like a weed. Something that strangles other plants, something you don't want germinating at mass market rates strangling all from pretty flowers to your food crops. A lot to potentially pull out and spray away, it's a parasitic plant. The War on Drugs is a disaster to say a law restricting a poisonous parasitic plant is a bit much. Polon to puff. A substance forced on others who don't concent to the exhalent and second hand burn. It's more complicated. It's comparible to alcohol only with public drunkards, and to anything smoked. Not to booze period, perhaps absenth and moonshine. Unique liquors.
     -- Gölök Zoltán Leenderdt Franco Buday, Vancouver, GVRD(Paine Cnty), Coastal Lwr Mainland BC(State of Neo Sumer), U.S. of Eh!     
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    This quote is absolutely spot on. I bet those with the thumbs down have got nasty little habits that were at one time 'illegal.' Freud used cocaine most of his professional life, heroin users include famous physicians and researchers, and give me a break, there are professional people who have smoked pot for nearly their entire life -- marijuana is a lot healthier than alcohol. None-the-less, when the punishment is worse than the crime, something is very wrong. The War on Drugs makes suspects of us all and fuels fascism and the police state.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Illegal immirgrants think the war on illegal immigrants is worse than the illegal offense also. Stop the police abuse by stopping the law violation. What is wrong with that approach? As long as the laws are on the books let us enforce them! If the laws are wrong take them off of the books.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Just another quote from a nut job. I am not all that concerned about people wanting to smoke pot. However reading this quote from a pot smoker tends to make one more concerned. Did you know that an opinion poll was taken of drug users on the legalization of drugs? The result was almost unanimously against the legalization of all drugs when users of "hard■ drugs were poled, but among pot smokers the pole showed the vast majority were for legalization of all drugs even though they did not care to use them personaly. This is proof positive that marijuana alters the brain functions of its users. My own limited experience has found that when someone is for the total legalization of drug use that person is usually a pot smoker. You have never made more sense about any thing Waffler you are 100% right on this.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    I love pot, hope my kids don't get involved..
     -- Mike Spadafora, Edmonton AB     
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    Yep!
     -- Bruski, Naples FL     
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    warren, olathe, you are wrong on this one. Prohibition always creates more problems than it can ever cure. Alcohol prohibition is a good example and it increased organized crime many times over. And it didn't keep people from drinking anyway.
     -- Jim k, Austin     
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    Waffler, the war on immigrants you call illegal is worse than your supposed offense (by what standard are immigrants considered legal or illegal ? Constitutionally, the federal government has no mandate or authority to address the issue so all of their actions on the subject are illegal ! - it is socialism that is an offense to the laws of nature and of nature's God, causing the violation against the being - man). Police abuse does not stem from individuals violating law (government has long since replaced law with tyranny). Police abuse derives from abusive police. The Christ who violated no law was crucified by law enforcement agents that were just doing their job. The Nuremberg trials were conducted over those just doing their job. Those enforcing the war on drugs should face their own Nuremberg trials.

    Warren, as stated above, I have never used cannabis but, am in favor of only criminalizing crime, not what you and the rest of the totalitarians would have me forced to do or not do.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    A lot of knee jerk reactions. All children have inquiring minds. There are no bad questions, only ignorant answers, let them not be based on superstition. On the short, Mike, Norwalk, his reply is without respect of persons ( private opinion ). Plumb and square judgment. as our Declaration and Constitution. From a stand point of natural law, the case can be made in full support of All herb for the service of man. To say nothing of the honey that Jonathan ate. Bees make honey from the fruit of the flower which comes from the herb. And he was the rulers son. There is no need to bash the Nadiyb liberals and their socialist reprobate, mindset, it is a waste of time. Let them stand plumb and square. I do support the arts through music, very enlightening. I think George Washington would agree.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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