Legalization Activists Plan Worldwide Protests

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, May 4, 2002.

  1. By Nicole Hill
    Source: Eugene Weekly

    "The War on Drugs" should really be called "The War on Some Drugs," according to supporters of hemp reform and legalization. Cannabis sativa, a plant that once budded proudly among America's lush foliage, today is locked behind bars with the rest of Drug War perpetrators. The opiate and coca plants are also on the DEA's most wanted list for their psychoactive properties.
    In 1937 marijuana became illegal to grow under an act established by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. "But there was never a public vote about it," says Jonathan Gustek of the Hemp Education Network, a UO advocacy group.

    Gustek is also a musician for The Thirteenth Tribe, which will provide beats for Eugene's 3rd Annual Peace March Saturday, May 4. Supporters of industrial and medical marijuana legalization will begin marching at noon from 24th Street and Amazon Parkway to the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza.

    The prohibition of marijuana can be credited to emerging plastic and chemical corporations, not societal addictions and health problems, Gustek explains. "Dupont, for example, started creating nylons [fiber] in the 1930's and didn't want the competition," Gustek says. Hemp, the fibrous stalk of the marijuana plant, is well known for its value in rope, clothes, paper, plyboard and other building materials.

    As supporters often reiterate, 10,000 acres of hemp generates enough paper and pulp to save 41,000 acres of forest. Even so, the federal government is not willing to dabble in "narcotics" by permitting industrial production. Last month the DEA went to the 9th District Court in an attempt to pull all products made with hemp oils, seeds and fibers from stores. However, the court ruled against requests to expand the statute on what defines products containing THC.

    The Associated Press also reported that the General Accounting Office recently looked into the medical marijuana programs in Oregon and three other states to evaluate potential abuse. A total of nine states have medical marijuana programs. Oregon state officials were questioned about the medical marijuana law and the number of patients and doctors involved. Some medicinal marijuana supporters are concerned that the federal government's recent visit was an attempt to interfere with states' rights, as with Attorney General John Ashcroft's battle with Oregon over the state's assisted-suicide law.

    Meanwhile, the federal anti-drug budget has risen to $19 billion and resulted in 646,000 arrests for simple possession in the year 2000 alone. And little research seems to indicate that severe drug sanctions leads to a decrease in abuse among communities.

    "The reason why these drugs are illegal is not because of our children, it's because of the black market." Kris Millegan, a history writer for High Times magazine says. "It keeps the economy humming."

    Millegan suggests taking marijuana out of the black market and creating a state-regulated legal market, reducing prison populations and creating a taxable industry to support schools. "We don't need a vice model," he says, referring of the punitive manner in which law enforcement deals with the issue. He suggests the plant be made available through state liquor stores or state-regulated shops.

    Others question the feasibility of advertising marijuana in the market. "Who would the target audience be? How are you going to advertise something like this?" David Fischer asks, counselor for Addiction Counseling Education Services, a local private non-profit. ACES provides substance abuse treatment, of which 40 percent of their clients are struggling with psychological addiction to THC. Physical withdrawal symptoms are not common, Fischer says, but he does see prevalent life changes that occur in individuals as a result of recreational use. People tend to mold their life around smoking, only engaging in activities that would include getting high, he says. Smoking becomes a way of coping.

    But Fischer doesn't see marijuana as the "gateway" drug, leading to use of harsher intoxicants, as it is commonly portrayed. "Nicotine is really the drug that opens that door," Fischer adds. If the prohibition of THC were really about health, he continues, we would see more drugs off the market.

    Protestors in the Million Marijuana March, which spreads over six continents worldwide, will hit Eugene streets once more to declare the unconstitutional nature of prohibiting such a calming herbal inebriant.

    Two petitions are currently in circulation. "Personal Privacy 2000" would allow hemp to be grown industrially and accessed only by people 21 and over who would not be allowed to sell it. Another petition deals with creating state-licensed dispensaries that would allow more immediate medical attention for patients seeking the herb. Under this amendment, nurse practitioners and naturopaths would also have authority to write prescriptions.

    Voters passed Oregon's medical Marijuana law in 1998 and new polls show increasing support of existing laws.

    "It's not just about smoking pot," Gustek says." Although, he sees nothing wrong with it. "It's about citizens' constitutional right to limit government, not to be limited by government."

    Complete Title: Marijuana March: Legalization Activists Plan Worldwide Protests

    Source: Eugene Weekly (OR)
    Author: Nicole Hill
    Published: May 2, 2002
    Copyright: 2002 Eugene Weekly
  2. Interesting topic, I did not know about some of the material,good to know, later~
  3. John DuPont is only one of several 'power players'.Among others , Andrew Carnegie ,ALCOA ,William Randolf Hearst. And Adolf Hitler. All had something to lose by marijuana NOT becoming illegal.

    Who will be the first to come back with a reply to this research assignment ?

    Maybe my pal SJ will award one of those nifty bubblers (like the small one I bought :)) to the best and most informative replies.:)

    Hello anyone there ? ? :eek:

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