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Don't Just Smoke a Joint on 4/20

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  • Dan Clore
    News & Views for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo http://counterpunch.org/piper04152010.html April 15, 2010 Take Action on Marijuana
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 16, 2010
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      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      http://counterpunch.org/piper04152010.html
      April 15, 2010
      Take Action on Marijuana Prohibition
      Don't Just Smoke a Joint on 4/20
      By BILL PIPER

      April 20th (4/20) has long been associated with marijuana, both
      marijuana use and marijuana activism. Thousands of Americans will gather
      on that day at rallies in Boston, Boulder, New York, Santa Cruz, Seattle
      and other cities. For people who prefer to relax with a joint instead of
      a beer or martini it’s a time to celebrate. For those who don’t use
      marijuana it’s a time to stand up in support of their friends, family,
      and fellow citizens who face arrest for nothing more than what they put
      into their body. For the Drug Policy Alliance and the drug policy reform
      movement 4/20 represents something even bigger.

      The movement to end marijuana prohibition is very broad, composed of
      people who love marijuana, people who hate marijuana, and people who
      don’t have strong feelings about marijuana use one way or the other. We
      all agree on one thing though – marijuana prohibition is doing more harm
      than good. It’s wasting taxpayer dollars and police resources, filling
      our jails and prisons with hundreds of thousands of nonviolent people,
      and increasing crime and violence in the same way alcohol Prohibition
      did. Police made more than 750,000 arrests for marijuana possession in
      2008 alone. Those arrested were separated from their loved ones, branded
      criminals, denied jobs, and in many cases prohibited from accessing
      student loans, public housing and other public assistance.

      Fortunately, the tide is quickly turning against the war on marijuana.
      Legislators in California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island,
      South Dakotaand Virginia are considering legislation to decriminalize or
      legalize marijuana. The venerable Economist magazine noted that
      “marijuana could follow the path that alcohol took in the 1930s” out of
      prohibition into a regulated market. Celebrities are speaking out. The
      musician and activist Sting, for instance, recently urged people to
      oppose the entire war on drugs. In November Californians will vote on
      whether to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol; the
      measure is ahead in the polls. Local California papers like the Orange
      County Register and the Long Beach Press-Telegram have editorialized in
      favor of the initiative, seven months before the vote. Nationally,
      support for making marijuana legal is about 44 percent, with support
      increasing about two percent a year. A recent Gallup poll predicts a
      majority of Americans will favor marijuana legalization within just four
      years if current trends hold.

      The war on marijuana won’t end, however, if everyone who supports reform
      stays silent. Maybe you smoke marijuana and are tired of being
      considered a criminal. Maybe you work in law enforcement and are tired
      of ruining people’s lives by arresting them. Maybe you’re a teacher or
      public health advocate tired of politicians cutting money for education
      and health to pay for the construction of new jails and prisons Maybe
      you’re a civil rights activist appalled by racial disparities in
      marijuana law enforcement. Or maybe you just don’t want your tax dollars
      wasted on ineffective policies.

      Regardless of your motivation, April 20th (4/20) is a good opportunity
      for you to make a pledge to end marijuana prohibition. The Drug Policy
      Alliance is asking people to use 4/20 as the time to commit to doing
      something in 2010 to end the war on people who use marijuana. There are
      many ways to help end marijuana prohibition. Donate to a drug policy
      reform organization. Support the 2010 California ballot measure. Tell
      your elected representatives to end marijuana prohibition. Talk to your
      friends and family about why people who use marijuana shouldn’t be
      arrested. Tweet this oped. Change your Facebook status to announce your
      support for ending the war on marijuana. Stand up today with other
      Americans and get the word out there. This war will end; how soon
      depends, in part, on you.

      Bill Piper is the director of national affairs for the Drug Policy
      Alliance. The Drug Policy Alliance is urging people to take a pledge to
      end marijuana prohibition at
      http://www.drugpolicy.org/420

      --
      Dan Clore

      New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
      http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
      My collected fiction: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
      Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
      http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      All laws are good, to those who draw a salary for
      their enforcement.
      -- Clark Ashton Smith
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