Under The Radar: US Democrats Overseas Pass Marijuana Resolution
- 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
6215 Smeltzer Rd.
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
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
BE IT RESOLVED THAT
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
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
phone: (202) 557-4979
LEAP cops in their own words: http://YouTube.com/CopsSayLegalizeDrugs%c2%a0
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