A letter you can send to your local officials, police, DEA, etc.

Discussion in 'Marijuana Legalization' started by mywall, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. #1 mywall, Apr 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2010
    I don't think I have seen one like this. It's worth a shot, because while current letters are convincing, they avoid a key component. This is empathy and actually understanding, personally, where these folks come from even if their position is bunk. I find that empathizing with people, no matter how ridiculous their position is, always helps with opening them up to new ideas.

    I'm not TOO into the whole legalization thing yet though, so insert appropriate studies and whatnot where appropriate. Better to stick with more seemingly 'scientific' articles for the target audience. Please feel free to add to this letter in order to make it more convincing. As this is a work in progress, I also left some areas blank.


    Dear Madam or Sir,

    I, (your name here) am writing to you concerning what is an urgent manner for all United States citizens. This letter concerns our failed policies on drug criminalization, and how we can develop better alternatives to dealing with such problems. Your first impulse may be to dispose of this letter, but I just wanted to make it clear that I understand (and empathize with) your position on drugs, even if I disagree with it.

    I find that there are four measures of a person's worth:

    1. Whether an individual has the fortitude to swallow their pride, and admit to being wrong

    2. Whether said individual is able to engage in rational, honest discussion without emotional appeals, personal attacks, strawmen, and other dishonest argumentative tactics

    3. Whether said individual is able to put themselves in others shoes (empathy), and look beyond face value, even if they disagree with an individual's position.

    4. Whether a person can think outside the box, and imagine things from different vantage points (related to the above)

    As these are beliefs I hold close to my heart, I try my hardest to encourage other individuals to use them in their lives.

    Thus, I understand that many believe that drugs are immoral, and must be banned no matter the cost. This also comes from religion often, as according to many religions, the body is one's temple and must not be polluted. This is also because drugs have an overwhelmingly negative effect on communities.

    In the short term, this may sound nice. However, it avoids the reality that there is absolutely no way to expunge drugs from our society. This includes alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and various other drugs which are inexorably woven into our social fabric. Thus, the harmful impact of drugs must be minimized. Current drug laws do exactly the opposite through criminalizing users who need help, and creating an illegal drug market in which crime flourishes. In fact, just South of the United States border, cartel violence is exploding as a result of this failed policy. Drug use, as a whole, should be regulated and at the least decriminalized, as well as treated as a public health problem as opposed to a criminal one. This is not because drugs are 'good' or we want everyone to get high, it is because it is the only pragmatic solution to a real problem that cannot just simply vanish, no matter how much we wish for it to. I firmly believe that because god wants us to have free will, he would not approve of us oppressing our fellow man in a crusade to stop something that cannot be stopped. Even if he would not approve of drug use, I have confidence that he would understand that regulation is the best solution, as opposed to criminalization.


    Another issue I would like to expose is the illegality of cannabis. At a time, I too believed that this was a dangerous drug that needed to be illegal, but the facts simply do not support this hypothesis. Thus, I changed my view, even if it was quite difficult to do so.

    It has been proven, time and time again, that this drug is far less detrimental than both alcohol and tobacco. Lifetime cannabis use in the United States stands at over 30%, with monthly use standing at over 5%. Cannabis will not go away. While this drug is not harmless, incarceration of users of a drug less harmful than legal drugs serves absolutely no purpose other than to drain tax dollars. It has also been proven, time and time again, that hemp and cannabis were banned in the 1930s because of reasons of racism and industry bias towards petrochemicals. While this is not openly recognized today, it certainly will be in the generations ahead. Whether you like drugs or not, it cannot be denied that prohibiting someone from using a drug less harmful than legal drugs is not only unfair, but downright immoral and unconstitutional. In a free society, legal adults must be allowed to decide what they wish to do with their bodies. If a few people abuse the drugs and cause problems, then those people should be dealt with, and the population should not be punished as a whole. Furthermore, marijuana has been proven to not be nearly as much of an issue for drivers, while approximately 45,000 die as a result of alcohol intoxication while driving per year. However, there have not been any attempts to ban alcohol as a result of these deaths, yet critics of legalization are so quick to point out the bad effects of drugs as reasons for their illegality. Some may be true to an extent, but these are problems to be dealt with socially as alcoholism is, not by banning the drug entirely.

    [insert something about the gateway drug theory]

    I am confident that in the future, our society will look back on this era of drug policy with scorn and regret. I am also confident that many previously supportive of these policies will regret their actions. I am asking you to personally investigate this manner in a rational mindset, and look at both sides of the story. In other words, I am asking you to do the right thing, even if it may be extremely difficult to do so in this world. This is not about being 'tough' on crime or drugs, this is about taking a pragmatic approach to a social problem that will not just simply go away or be quelled by brute force. And remember, being able to change one's opinions, empathize with others, and think outside the box are all attributes of a strong person, not a weak one.

    Respectfully,

    (your name)
     
  2. A very good letter I must say....Well put together and a great mindset as well.

    I live in Florida and one of the largest issues here is the attitude toward such things like you mention in the paper. I have saved this and will print out as many copies as I can to get people pro-active in this drive to decriminalize marijuana.

    +1 to you sir.
     
  3. Yeah just make sure you add some studies and whatnot, because it has none at the moment.
     
  4. i wrote an essay about legalisation of cannabis for my school work years ago, want me to post it or send it to you? it has hard facts and figures included
     
  5. Well I'll do the best I can with it and repost it later on in a few days/weeks depending on how much extra time I have to devote but from a readers standpoint its neither really for or against but just asking for the thought of change and so far that's what really needs to happen in the rest of the U.S.

    I know one day it will be decriminalized but getting to that point is definitly going to be the hardest part.
     
  6. Drug gateway theory that you can insert into there if you would like...

    As for the gateway theory. It is absolutely 100% true. If you are exposed to marijuana in an unregulated market, odds are you will be exposed to other harmful drugs. For example, If a kid in high school is going to a drug deal looking to purchase some marijuana, chances are that drug dealer sells other drugs besides marijuana. In a regulated market where marijuana is sold in regulated, licensed stores, purchased by adults (with licenses), then drug use other than marijuana would be dramatically decreased. Not to mention the drug cartels coming from Mexico and South America. If you get rid of the marijuana market, there would also be a dramatic decrease in hard drugs being imported into the U.S. because according to the DEA, 85% of drug cartels import marijuana along with other drugs. In conclusions, if you believe in the gateway theory, I absolutely agree with you 100%, which is why something must be done.
     
  7. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea, but I would first put that the gateway theory is NOT true, but if it were, this would be the case etc.

    Basically I really do want to get this out to people because I think letters like this would have a real shot. There are many people who will just not budge no matter what, but some will.
     
  8. very good post
     
  9. For local police, would something about "making enforcement of marijuana possession the lowest police priority" be good? Everyone make some other suggestions please.
     

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