Drug Law Reform Still on US Agenda

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. Source: Financial Review

    Voters in Nevada, Arizona and Ohio have rejected attempts to ease marijuana laws but all was not lost in the campaign to relax drug laws.
    A referendum in San Francisco urged city authorities to consider growing cannabis for sick people while in the capital, Washington, the population approved a measure allowing for treatment instead of jail for marijuana possession.

    Nevada, which made its name on gambling and tolerates prostitution, scuppered a proposition to allow private possession of up to 85 grams of marijuana in a referendum carried out alongside mid-term Congressional elections on Tuesday.

    Supporters of the marijuana referendum vowed to keep on fighting to liberalise use of the soft drug.

    "A lot more conservative voters than normal turned out this time because of a same-sex marriages proposition on the same ballot," said Nevada state Representative Chris Giunchigliani, who sponsored the initiative.

    The state electorate voted to uphold a state ban on gay marriages.

    Under the Nevada proposal, people over 21 would have to buy marijuana in state-licenced shops so that the state could impose taxes.

    "We may not have won tonight but our campaign will be back in some shape or form if not in Nevada in some other state because the only way you change our federal government is through the voting booth," Mr Giunchigliani said.

    US government anti-drug campaigner John Waters had opposed the referendum with the federal government and law enforcement officials.

    They warned that legalisation would encourage widespread use of other drugs.

    But the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which heavily backed the referendum, said the public had been victims of an official disinformation campaign by Walters and other officials.

    MPP executive director Robert Kampia said "Yet we still received a record setting vote, despite the federal government's blizzard of fear-mongering and lies".

    In neighbouring Arizona, voters dismissed a local initiative to downgrade the punishment for marijuana possession and to establish a register of people allowed to use soft drugs for medical purposes by 57 per cent to 43 per cent.

    The move would have reduced the penalty for possession of the drug from a jail sentence to a fine.

    In the eastern state of Ohio, a bid to force judges to sentence drug offenders to rehabilitation treatment rather than jail was quashed by 67 per cent against to 33 per cent in favour.

    But in San Francisco, 63 per cent of voters opted for a measure that could make it the first city in America to provide cannabis for the sick, putting the city on collision course with the federal government.

    The decision to order city officials to examine the possibility of growing and distributing cannabis means residents could one day be allowed to cultivate their own marijuana crops.

    "We think it sends the wrong message to the country as a whole that the city of San Francisco will get into the business of growing marijuana," said Richard Meyer, a special agent in the US drug agency's San Francisco office.

    California passed a law in 1996 allowing doctors to recommend cannabis for some patients, a move that saw medical cannabis dispensaries spring up across the city that once spawned the pot-fuelled summer of love.

    The legalisation efforts in Nevada, Arizona and Ohio as well as another in Washington DC, were backed by a trio of millionaires through a Washington-based body.

    Financier George Soros, billionaire John Sperling and multi-millionaire Peter Lewis provided more than $US1.6 million ($2.86 million) in funding for the campaigns through the Marijuana Policy Project.

    Source: Financial Review (Australia)
    Published: November 7, 2002
    Copyright: 2002 Australian Financial Review
    Website: http://www.afr.com
    Contact: http://afr.com/misc/feedback.html

    Related Articles & Web Site:

    Marijuana Policy Project
  2. Of course some people are disappointed at the election results. But in the United States, people need to fight for freedom every step of the way. And keep on fighting.
    But it's always been this way. What if George Washington gave up hope after he lost his first battles? What if Rosa Parks just shut up and walked to the government-approved seats for "colored people".

    Of course we've hit a setback, mostly because of government's outragous intolerance. But now that we know it is the Republicans who are so damned arrogant to deny freedom in any form they disagree with, it helps to give encouragement for future civil disobedience.
  3. i was very disappointed i have been following this issue ever since i first heard it was going on the ballot which was some months ago, i wish my state would put something similar on the ballot i'd definately go vote yay on that, maybe next time
  4. GOD give EVERY seed bearing plant to USE.

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