Trying To Sway My Congressman :)

Discussion in 'Marijuana Legalization' started by GBsCheeser, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. I'm not exactly sure what e-mail I sent him, I think it was from the Change.org thing I signed. Anyways, his reply to my initial e-mail and then the reply I just sent back to him now. What do you guys think, I took some of my facts with ref's from 'Marijuana Talking Points' sticky :)

    His reply:
    was interested to learn of your support for decriminalizing marijuana use. In considering such proposals, I think that the central question is whether or not the government should sanction the use of substances which are clearly harmful to human health when used as intended. It can be argued that this has been done in the case of tobacco, which remains legal despite well-documented evidence of the detrimental effects of tobacco use. More broadly, we should ask whether legalizing drugs will increase or decrease their use, increase or decrease the crime associated with them, and increase or decrease the net costs to society.

    On balance, I believe that legalizing the use of substances which often cause permanent physical and mental damage to users is just not good public policy. Often overlooked is the fact that effective regulation of legalized drugs would likely require the creation of more federal, state and local bureaucracies -- and tax increases to pay for them. Law enforcement efforts at all levels would certainly be strained, for drug producers and distributors would probably seek ways to illegally avoid taxation and regulation of the drug trade. I am also extremely concerned with the effect of legalization on youth and young adults, the groups which are most likely to use illicit drugs. However, I remain always willing to listen to further arguments on this issue, as on all others.

    Please continue to contact me on issues of concern. To receive my monthly e-newsletter subscribe at http://petri.house.gov/subscribe.shtml.


    Sincerely,


    Thomas E. Petri
    Member of Congress





    My reply:
    Congressman Petri,
    Thank you for taking time to reply to my letter to you in regards to the decriminlization of marijuana. I have read your letter and do understand your points of conflict with this initiative. To further explain my point on the subject, please allow me to provide a few facts with refences in regards to the criminal side of the issue, but first in regards to the physical and health aspect.

    The idea you used to illustrate your point was tobacco, which is admittedly a close association in this situation. However, unlike tobacco marijuana is widely also used in other methods than smoking. This is the MOST detrimental method, and does share many negative effects with tobacco. However, there have been many developments over the thousands of years this plant has been in use that more than account for this. There are various paraphernalia's such as vaporizers which heats the plant to it's exact boiling temp, without producing carcenogenics in the smoke rendered. Another method are edibles which are widely used in the older demographic among those states with valid medical situations due to the lung issues sometimes associated with the group. This method also eliminates the negative health aspects. The other negative aspects of marijuana for health may be argued as lack of motivation, sleepiness, euphoria, increased hunger, loss of depth perception, etc.... I humbly request you to show me one FDA approved drug today, or even argue that Alcohol (of all things holy in Wisconsin) that don't have similar if not worse side effects.

    Your next issue as I stated was the criminal and financial strain on law enforcement. Again, I respectfully disagree with your view and ask you to consider teh following:
    Firstly, as a general idea I ask you to consider the city of Oakland is projecting over a million dollars in tax revenue this year solely on medical marijuana. Understandably this is not a lot of money, however it is only one city and only a minority of marijuana tax if fully legalized.

    As far as crime raising and becoming 'strained by people evading the taxes emplaced by such legalization' consider this:
    Marijuana arrests have more than doubled since 1991, while adult use of the drug has remained stable. During this same period, the number of arrests for cocaine and heroin fell by approximately 33 percent.
    REFERENCE: Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2000. Drugs and Crime Facts. Table: Number of Arrests by Drug Type, 1982-99. U.S. Department of Justice: Washington, DC; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 1996. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings (1990- 1999). DHHS Printing Office: Rockville, MD.

    Police arrest more Americans per year on marijuana charges than the total number of arrestees for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
    REFERENCE: Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2001. Uniform Crime Report: Crime in the United States, 2000. Table 29: Total estimated arrests in the United States, 2000. U.S. Department of Justice: Washington, DC.

    Marijuana violations constitute the fifth most common criminal offense in the United States.
    REFERENCE: Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2000. Drugs and Crime Facts. Table: Estimated totals of top 7 arrest offenses, United States, 1999. U.S. Department of Justice: Washington, DC.

    More than 734,000 individuals were arrested on marijuana charges in 2000. Eighty-eight percent of those arrested were charged with marijuana possession only.
    REFERENCE: Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2001. Uniform Crime Report Crime in the United States, 2000. Table: Arrest for Drug Abuse Violations. U.S. Department of Justice: Washington, DC.

    Almost 5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana since 1992. That's more than the entire populations of Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington DC and Wyoming combined.
    REFERENCE. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Reports: Crime in the United States (1993-2000). Table: Arrest for Drug Abuse Violations. U.S. Department of Justice: Washington, DC.

    I would argue that our law enforcement is ALREADY overwhelmed with this issue and that the companies allowed to participate in ground level booming industry would definetly not choose to break the rules and risk their massive profit margins that would surely result from legalization.

    Your last issue, Congressman Petri is a very valid point. The effect on our youth is a very important factor in this matter. I do not believe that anyone under the age of 18 should be allowed to use, just as with the current situation with tobacco.
    I ask you this, with the vast abuse of alcohol and cigarrettes among minors, there have been some initiatives to reduce marketing towards them and to attempt to lower the levels of use among minors. This, with no calls for delegalization of said products nor should their be solely on this issue. This is NOT to say that ignoring the issue is what I want.

    In surveys, most individuals cite health concerns and family responsibilities rather than legal concerns as their primary reasons for ceasing (or never initiating) marijuana use.
    REFERENCE: National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM). 1982. Marijuana and Health. National Academy Press: Washington, DC.

    Citizens who live under decriminalization laws consume marijuana at rates less than or comparable to those who live in regions where the possession of marijuana remains a criminal offense.
    REFERENCE: E. Single et al. 2000. The Impact of Cannabis Decriminalization in Australia and the United States. Journal of Public Health Policy 21: 157-186.

    I do not believe the fact that all citizens may begin using marijuana at 18 will automatically raise the rates of use in our youth. That would be implying that if we prohibited alcohol taht use would go down in minors as well, which would not happen. It woudl simply be bootlegged and all the same drinkers would still consume alcohol.

    I believe legalizing marijuana would not only lower overall use, lower overall expense in criminal prosecutions, save money that is now wasted clogging our court systems with minor possesion tickets that follow citizens for years when private companies can simply use drug screening EVEN IF the drug were legal. The taxation, even if evaded by a small radical group, would greatly boost our economy and allow for a great number of public projects. The money raised would undoubtedly greatly outweigh money spent on constructing a commercial and legal system to tax and distribute. Law enforcement would see a great reduction in crime, not a rise.
    I say all this to you as an American Citizen, an iraq veteran, and a Wisconsin resident.
     
  2. Excellent letter . Really good job!!!
     
  3. great letter should use references in medical studies also check this list for a couple exampleshttp http://forum.grasscity.com/medical-marijuana/436257-granny-storm-crows-list-july-2009-a.html ... also talk about how whne minors buy marijuana the dealers are not asking for id pose the question to ur congressman that if u handed a junior in high school 50 dollars ask that high schooler would u be able to go get marijuana or alcohol easier, the reason dealers dont ID if the drug was regulated there would be no black market for criminials to profit use amsterdam as an example on drug related crimes find facts about it. tell him hemp which is the male plant which is also illegal can produce well over 25,000 producvts, including textiles, papers, Hemp Facts
     
  4. Nice man! Hopefuly he responds back again
     
  5. I liked the rebuttal, very informative. I know you probably typed that up quickly and didn't really make any revisions, all I'm saying is there are a bunch of "teh" instead of "the" words. As someone above said, talking about all the Hemp uses isn't a bad idea at all. You could also add in why marijuana is illegal in the first place.
     
  6. I actually thought about the hemp issue after as well, because I am in Wisconsin and the paper industry is a big issue here. Hemp produces 4x the paper that a tree does. Example, 1 acre of hemp produces 4x the paper that 1 acre of trees do. That's crazy for us up here where our biggest industry other than dairy is paper mills and textile industry. HUGE companies like Proctor & Gamble.
     
  7. #7 .HiGhGuY., Sep 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2009
    good for you man, actually taking action rather than just talking about it.

    Luckily for me, i'm a CA resident (now...grew up in WI though.) We have medical marijuana legalized, and if all goes well, we will have Marijuana legal to all citizens of CA 21 or older come Nov, 2010. thanks to Richard Lee

    there is an organization based out of Washington D.C. that is trying to get marijuana legalized on a national level, check them out Marijuana Policy Project



    ALSO...as stickey fingers said, Being underage, its much easier to get weed, then alcohol. Why? because alcohol is controlled by the government and weed is controlled by the streets.

    I smoked weed and drank alcohol before i was 21, and it was always much easier and faster for me to get weed then alcohol. Infact, i could get anything much easier than alcohol... opium, cocaine (crack or powder), shrooms, you name it.

    Personally i think ALL drugs should be legal, because it would GREATLY reduce crime and make money.

    here is another interesting site that you may or may not have heard of....
    L.E.A.P. - law enforcement against prohibition. Yes thats right folks. Ex COPS that think ALL drugs should be legal.
     
  8. About time someone from Wisco wrote to their congressman
     
  9. Heres the letter I recieved..
    [​IMG]
     
  10. I write all the time. Do YOU?
     
  11. I actually just started writing a lot more because of that letter haha. I was real happy to see Senator Sullivan on board :).
     

  12. At first i thought you were an idiot. Then i thought about the principles of something being illegal. That the Government is deciding what is good for its public. And i realized, that you may have a good point. People should be allowed things at their own risk. If we think about it, we live in a world, a world where things exist. We don't live in a government, we live in the world. We are our own people. I'm not really sure how to explain it any other way than, we aren't our government.
    I + rep you sir, because you made me think, and realize
     
  13. I'd like to agree with your thought there.....

    By that same token than murder should be legal. The government doesn't tell me who and who I cannot kill damnit. I live in the world.

    haha, sorry man. had to.
     
  14. great job man! im trying to (re)start a NORML chapter on the clemson university campus so we can do some mass correspondence to congress and senate members. glad you got a reasonable response... one day these politicians will start acting in favor of their voters and the american public. also great use of references. hard to disregard pure facts
     
  15. Couldn't have said it better myself, and props for being a vet!
     
  16. Drug usage is a victimless crime especially marijuana it is based on the consent of only the one party participating. murder well...isnt.
     
  17. GBsCHEESER...just wondering.. did you write to a member of the WI state congress or a WI congress man in US congress? I doubt that WI would legalize marijuana (recreational), maybe for medical though because WI is known as being strict on drug laws.

    I dont' know if WI law allows ballot inititaves, but that is how we will probably get it passed in CA. Unlike pushing a bill through congress which is only voted on by your state congressmen. a ballot inititave is controlled 100% by the people, which is why it will probably happen. A ballot inititave (at least in CA) can not be stopped by any congressmen or even the governor. We just need about 480k signatures on a petition to add the inititave to the ballot. Then any registered voter can vote Yes or NO. Considering there are around 12 million people in the greater Los Angeles area alone, not to mention the rest of the state 480k signatures shouldn't be a problem. And polls have shown that 56% (at the least) would vote YES to legalize.

    So if your just trying to get it legalized in WI, then there is a much better chance realizing it via a ballot inititave than pushing a bill through congress. But you'd have to check to see if WI allows for ballot inititaves, cuz not all states do. and unfortunately there are no ballot inititaves allowed in national government.

    anyways... good luck
     
  18. Balla,

    Not sure if you noticed me in 'Get your Pen and John Hancock Ready California' or posting around here a little more lately. I'm actually a volunteer for CCI, only as far as what I can help with all the way over here in Wisconsin. Yes, I do know that pushing a legalization bill through congress is next to impossible. No, that wasn't what I was attempting to do either :). I was just writing different memebers of government that represent me to argue the case for marijuana. Noone will ever begin changing their minds if we don't try to educate and inform them first, right? :)

    Good luck with your ballot initiatives, the two of them. Which are you supporting? I think you mentioned Lee's? As far as your mentioning that not even the governor can stop ballot initiatives, if I'm not mistaken and I very well may be, doesn't he have the right to veto the measure after it's passed in Nov. and force it back or no?
     

  19. thanks man. I can't say i'm 100% positive, but probably about 95% sure that if the inititive gets on the ballot and receives 51% "yes" votes or more, that thats it, the governor can't veto it. I wasn't even aware there was another inititive (besides Lee's). I just checked up on it, and it apprears that, that one has much less a chance to make it due to a lack of financial support for campaigning and such.

    BTW...thanks for mentioning CCI... I came across their website once but forgot all about it. I am actually thinking about signing up for either their seminar or the course @ oaksterdam university. I think oaksterdam's course teaches a little bit more because its longer, CCI, offers seminars in Sacramento, which is where i am
     
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