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Under The Radar: US Democrats Overseas Pass Marijuana Resolution

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  • Rev. Steven B. Thompson
    Folks, I apologize if this news has already been reported, but I consider it very news-worthy and while cannabis reform should be a bi-partisan issue, it
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2009
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      Folks, I apologize if this news has already been reported, but I consider it very news-worthy and while cannabis reform should be a bi-partisan issue, it is further proof that the Dems are slowly coming around to our way of thinking in restoring our rights. This is why at age 60 and never belonging to a political party in my life, I became a Benzie Dem only to be blessed by my fellow dems here with the unanimous passing of my Medical Marijuana Resolution thus helping our campaign in Michigan. When all is said & done, I believe that it will be all about the money (or lack of in taxes) that will finally end prohibition and restore our rights. Even most true Republicans can agree with that, and of course, Greens & Libs have been on our side from the beginning.
      P.S. Carol, I hope that you will see fit to share this with our Benzie Dems list.
      Rev.Steven B.Thompson,Executive Director
      Michigan NORML
      6215 Smeltzer Rd.
      Benzonia,MI 49616

      From: Tom Angell <tom@...> (by way of Richard Lake <rlake@...>)
      Date: May 26, 2009 3:52:30 PM GMT-04:00
      To: jo-d@..., rsharpe@..., attorneyabel@...
      Subject: ARO: Dems Abroad passes marijuana legalization resolution


      Under the radar: US Democrats overseas pass marijuana resolution

      By Stephen C. Webster

      Published: May 26, 2009

      Obama's position on decriminalization unclear

      The Democratic Party Committee Abroad, otherwise known as Democrats
      Abroad, passed a resolution on April 25 recommending the legalization of
      marijuana in all 50 states.

      The news appears to have gone completely unnoticed by all mainstream

      The Democrats Abroad are considered a state party by the Democratic
      National Committee, which affords them eight elected, voting members.
      They help U.S. citizens who are traveling and living outside the United
      States cast ballots in national elections.

      The DNC maintains a pool of 200 voting members divvied up by individual
      states' populations.

      The resolution was first put forward by the Japanese branch of Democrats
      Abroad. After only minor debate, according to kos diarist YoYogiBear who
      says he created the resolution, it passed, moving up for debate by the
      Democratic Party Committee Abroad, where it was met with some resistance.

      "Once the resolution passed our country committee, it was put on the
      agenda with the rest of the DA resolutions for consideration at our
      global meeting in DC," he wrote. "A couple of members of the leadership
      of DA seemed to think that this issue was not an area of 'core
      competence' for our organization and questioned vigorously whether we
      should be considering any resolutions that contradicted President
      Obama's position at all. Our primary function as a part of the DNC,
      according to the opponents, was to support the President and his agenda
      and to help elect Democrats. Implicit in their argument was that this
      issue would somehow hurt the Democrats and Obama though no evidence was
      ever presented to backup that assertion."

      The resolution was put to a voice vote during the Democrats' Abroad
      April meeting in Washington, D.C.. After two attempts, it was passed.

      In the 2008 election, Democrats Abroad aided the votes of American
      citizens in 164 countries, according to Toby Condliffe, a Democrats
      Abroad superdelegate to last year's DNC.

      President Obama opposed, but…

      Although President Barack Obama made light of a question about marijuana
      legalization repeatedly promoted on his Change.gov Web site, efforts to
      topple marijuana prohibition have reached a fever pitch.

      The president's position on the matter, however, is unclear.

      Obama, as a candidate for state and national office, said repeatedly
      that he's in favor of decriminalization, but during a Democratic primary
      debate he raised his hand in opposition to decriminalization. (His
      campaign later said he was confused by the question and still supports
      decriminalization.) The campaign later added that he does not support
      decriminalization, but feels that current laws are sending too many to jail.

      Obama has written about his experiences with marijuana and cocaine as a
      young man. In January, his half-brother was arrested in Kenya for

      Drug policy reform activists were given a small dose of hope with the
      nomination and confirmation of Gil Kerlikowske, the former Seattle
      police chief, as the nation's drug czar. In Seattle, he was a strong
      proponent of treating addiction as a medical, not criminal, problem.

      Shortly after his confirmation, Kerlikowske declared an end to America's
      "drug war," although substantive policy changes — apart from ceasing
      police raids on legal medical marijuana patients — have yet to arrive.

      Another possible route by which marijuana policy may change during the
      Obama presidency is by the proposed commission on prison reforms,
      sponsored by Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Arlen Specter (D-PA). Sen. Webb
      said the commission, which would make recommendations on how to lower US
      prison populations, will examine drug criminalization.

      Sen. Webb told CNN in April that with this commission, marijuana
      legalization would be "on the table."

      "We are not protecting our citizens from the increasing danger of
      criminals who perpetrate violence and intimidation as a way of life, and
      we are locking up too many people who do not belong in jail," he said.

      Full text of the Democrats Abroad resolution follows.



      The Obama Administration has wisely stopped Federal prosecution of
      marijuana sold for medical purposes in a manner compliant with state
      regulation, thus alleviating the suffering of cancer patients and others
      who would benefit from medical marijuana.

      Only thirteen states regulate the sale of marijuana for medical purposes.

      Criminalization of non-medical uses of marijuana continues to contribute
      needlessly to organized crime at home and abroad, illicit drug trade,
      overburdening of the criminal justice system, and diverts valuable
      criminal justice resources away from more serious crimes.

      The Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy heavily criticized
      U.S. drug policy and called on the U.S. to decriminalize marijuana in a
      report coinciding with increased drug-trade violence in Mexico;

      The dominant argument against liberalized marijuana regulation, the
      gateway theory, has been consistently disproven, most recently by a RAND
      Corporation study commissioned by the British Parliament;

      According to a World Health Organization survey conducted in 2008, the
      United States of America has the highest rates of marijuana use in the

      In the Netherlands, where adult possession and purchase of small amounts
      of marijuana are allowed under a regulated system, the rate of marijuana
      use by both teenagers and adults is lower than in the U.S.

      55% of Americans believe possession of small amounts of marijuana should
      not be a criminal offense, according to a 2005 Gallup poll.

      In the U.S., almost 90% of more than 9.5 million marijuana-related
      arrests since 1995 were for simple possession – not manufacture or


      We praise the Obama administration for its bold step to make marijuana
      available for medical purposes,

      We call upon states that do not yet provide the reasonable regulation of
      medical marijuana to do so as soon as possible, to alleviate suffering
      wherever possible.

      We recommend replacing the current policy of marijuana prohibition with
      a taxed and regulated system modeled on how alcohol is treated in the U.S.

      Tom Angell, Media Relations Director
      Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
      Washington, D.C.
      phone: (202) 557-4979
      e-mail: tom@...

      LEAP cops in their own words: http://YouTube.com/CopsSayLegalizeDrugs%c2%a0



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