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"Thank you for spreading the truth. I was born and raised a Catholic and always taught the general public opinion that pot is bad. When I started to smoke pot my opinion was quickly changed. All the lies that I had been told by the adults in my life were revealed to me. Instead of destroying my relationship with god (like many adults had told me it would) it strengthened it and actually gave me the courage to express my beliefs and spread the good word. Keep up the work of God, free the weed we shall prevail."
Mike F
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Dangers of Cannabis

The DEA's Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young concluded: "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.:

Source: US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition," [Docket #86-22], (September 6, 2022), p. 57.

Guest Editorial - A Christian's Duty and the War on Drugs
by Richard Jones

Page 2

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Even if we take all the rhetoric over drugs' dangers at face value, the adults who use cannabis are committing a consensual act and are at worst harming only themselves, not society at large, and should be held accountable for their actions (as everyone should be), but otherwise left alone. People who abuse drugs may have or cause domestic troubles, social dilemmas and/or health problems, but we should reach out with solutions -- as we now do for people who have problems with alcohol -- we should not create legal obstacles for them to contend with as well. In waging the Drug War we are arresting and imprisoning the adult sons and daughters that the Drug War is supposed to be protecting, and in the process we are creating legions of socially dysfunctional outcasts whom we will have to deal with in the future.

The Price We Pay

The Drug War has cost Americans the erosion of their Constitutional rights, almost one trillion tax dollars, over 100 million man-years wasted in the free world's largest prison system, and has corrupted law enforcement (which used to be called peace keeping) by creating outrageous profits to tempt bad cops on the one hand, and by providing a financial incentive to keep the Drug War an ongoing, never-ending effort by swelling police budgets with asset forfeiture on the other hand -- with nothing to show in return. Today drugs are cheaper, purer and easier to get than at any time in history. Teenagers comprise the fastest growing heroin population in America today, and in a recent survey high-school students revealed that it was easier for them to get cannabis than alcohol.

Taking Control

Under the current Controlled Substances Act we actually have little or no control of prohibited drugs. We have in effect turned over control to the completely unregulated black market, an underground enterprise with no safety codes or age restrictions, whose operators disregard all laws except survival of the strongest. We could drive much of the black market out of business almost overnight if we would regulate cannabis, imposing strict controls as we now do with alcohol. That would remove the financial incentive from the street dealers and place it into the hands of licensed business people, who would strive to stay within the law to remain in business. One requirement of the law would be that cannabis retailers could not sell cocaine or heroin, something we cannot presently prevent. The market would then move above ground and assume at least as much respectability as the alcohol industry -- and as we don't have the Jack Daniels distillery eliminating the competition with guns and bombs or Anheuser-Busch recruiting teens to actively market its products to our kids, that would be a vast improvement. We will actually gain control as well as gain a source of revenue to fund constructive programs if we regulate and tax cannabis.

The Rights Of A Free People

Modern American drug policy has not been a deterrent to drug use, but it has been counterproductive and hypocritical in many ways and millions of people are simply refusing to obey the drug laws. There are legal principles that support those who ignore drug laws. The decision in Maybury vs. Madison (1803) is clear enough. Chief Justice Marshall wrote: "All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void." Also, according to 16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 & 178: "An unconstitutional statute, having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void and ineffective for any purpose... No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional statute and no courts are bound to enforce it... .

Although you will not hear it in any courtroom today Americans have the right, even the duty, to acquit a person even if he acted as charged, if the underlying law is unconstitutional. Our founding fathers knew this. In fact the constitutions of early states such as Maryland specifically mention that jurors must be allowed to decide the law as well as the facts of the case before them. Our freedom of the press was established in just such a case. We have inalienable rights that no court should attempt to violate.

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May 15 2002, 11:12:19
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