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Good News in the War on Drug Prohibition

There is good news on the electoral front in the effort to end the US‘s insane war on people who use certain kinds of drugs.

In Georgia, Bob Barr has lost his seat in Congress. Because of redistricting, Barr faced another House incumbent, Rep. John Linder, in the Republican primary, and lost in a 2/3 – 1/3 massacre. Bob Barr is one of the worst drug warriors in Congress, particularly known for his assaults on democracy in Washington DC in order to deep-six a successful medical marijuana voter initiative. A Libertarian candidate’s ad targeting Barr for his sadistic zealotry against medical marijuana may even have played a significant role in Barr’s defeat.

Across the country in Nevada, a ballot initiative will be appearing in November which could completely reshape the drug war debate in America: Nevada already has a provision for medical marijuana; Question 9 would legalize the selling of medical marijuana and completely eliminate arrests for use and possession of up to three ounces of marijuana. A victory for this initiative would represent a dramatic rollback of drug prohibition and the first major strike against the cooperation between feds and state governments in the Drug War. According to recent polling data, the initiative is in a dead heat: 48% support it, 48% oppose, and 4% are undecided. With on-going organizing and campaigning, Nevada has a very good chance of rolling back prohibition this November.

These state-by-state, grassroots victories are just what is needed to win. Medical marijuana initiatives across the country are already rolling back state restrictions and greatly taxing the resources of the DEA. As the campaign expands into more states (one, two, many Vietnams…) our low-level victories are reaching the critical mass at which the government’s ability to carry on its sadistic drug war will simply collapse. Onwards.

Take Action!

You can help Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement with a small contribution which will allow them to run hard-hitting ads in favor of the initiative in the days immediately before the vote. Your contribution will help them push their campaign over the finish line.

2 replies to Good News in the War on Drug Prohibition Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Martin Striz

    It should be noted that, technically, possession of marijuana for recreational purposes will still be illegal viz federal prohibition laws. However, the feds usually only get involved in large cases, so quantities of marijuana that amount to personal use will be “legal” on a technicality. It’s not much different from Amsterdam, though, where marijuana is illegal, but the law is not enforced.

  2. Charles W. Johnson

    This is accurate. Similarly, in states where medical marijuana is legal (including Nevada), the feds can still come in and arrest people for using or dispensing it. The DEA has been especially focused on a downright sadistic campaign of raiding co-operative medical marijuana dispensaries and arresting dying patients on trafficking charges.

    The expanding state-by-state uprising that we are seeing against drug prohibition has a couple of important effects. First, it disrupts the cooperation between state and feds over the Drug War, and takes a lot of cops off of the drug beat. But beyond that, it also makes it harder and harder for the DEA to be able to continue its raids. The more state decriminalization is pushed through, the more legal (by state law) dispensaries spring up, and the more the DEA has to fight against the grain of local law enforcement in order to keep the war running. As they try to escalate their campaigns, the PR just gets worse and worse for them (since they’re treading all over the rights of local communities), the material resources get stretched thinner, and mass civil disobedience ( see: http://www.safeaccessnow.org ) becomes more and more disruptive, eventually they are just going to collapse and not be able to carry on the fight with any effectiveness.

    This is one place where Che Guevara’s strategy of “two, three, many Vietnams” has a good chance of working.

    -C

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