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Tag: War on Drugs

In First 100 Days, Pres. Jill Stein Would Cancel Student Debt, End Middle East Wars

Posted in Archive, Journalism, and MintPress News

Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate, has ambitious plans for her first 100 days in office.

“First thing we do is cancel student debt, working with the Fed,” Stein told MintPress News in an exclusive interview. “We will be fighting for that from day one.”

Stein would also immediately begin to implement her “Green New Deal” to redirect resources from the military-industrial complex into an economy based on renewable energy. She hopes her plan would put a stop to America’s endless energy wars.

“As the commander-in-chief, the president can also start a peace offensive in the Middle East to end these catastrophic wars for oil that are only making us more endangered rather than more safe.”

As Cannabis Becomes Big Business, Who’s Getting Smoked?

Posted in Journalism, MintPress News, and SXSW

Hundreds of people marched to the White House early this month to show their support for less restrictive federal marijuana regulations and nationwide legalization.

In an act of peaceful protest, many at the event organized by DCMJ, a local legalization group, smoked marijuana, puffed on vaporizers containing hash oil, or consumed cannabis edibles. Although the activists at the April 3 rally were prepared to risk arrest, CNN reported just two citations.

Although possession of up to 2 ounces of pot has been decriminalized within Washington, D.C., smoking marijuana could be considered an act of civil disobedience because public consumption remains prohibited.

As the group staged their 4:20 “smoke in,” they briefly inflated a 51-foot inflatable joint emblazoned with a clear message: “Obama, deschedule cannabis now.”

Clemency Is Not Enough: Thousands Still Imprisoned For Nonviolent Marijuana Crimes

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Two men serving life sentences for marijuana-related convictions were among the dozens of nonviolent drug offenders who recently had their sentences commuted by President Barack Obama.

While advocates for reform of the three-decade war on drugs applaud Obama’s efforts to free hundreds from unfair sentences, some also fear the president hasn’t gone far enough to change federal laws that leave thousands more imprisoned, with some still facing life in prison.

“At the federal level there’s not been a significant change in law,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), in an interview with MintPress News.

Over Half Of Americans Now Support Cannabis Legalization

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, noted in an Oct. 30 article for Alternet that a majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.

Quoting a recent Gallup poll, he reported, “Among those poll respondents age 18 to 34, 71 percent endorse legalization. Among respondents age 35 to 49 years of age, 64 percent support legalizing marijuana. Among those age 65 and up, support fell to 35 percent, but this too reflected a sharp increase in support.”

Of the 23 states which offer some form of access to medical marijuana, four states plus the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use.

Over $1 Trillion Spent Since Nixon Began The War On Drugs

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The “war on drugs” costs Americans a staggering amount of money every year that it persists. Despite the billions they receive, federal, state and local law enforcement have a proven inability to stem the flow of drugs on the nation’s streets.

Since Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in June 1971, the cost of that “war” had soared to over $1 trillion by 2010. Over $51 billion is spent annually to fight the drug war in the United States, according to Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting more humane drug policies.

It’s also taken a massive toll on human lives. In 2013, at least 2.2 million people were incarcerated in the U.S., withsome estimates reaching 2.4 million, making the U.S. home to the world’s largest prison population. A vast number of those prisoners are victims of the war on drugs, reported Alejandro Crawford in U.S. News and World Report in March:

Army Vet Faces Felony For Helping Other Veterans Treat PTSD With Cannabis (Updated)

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Even though more states are legalizing medical marijuana, and federal officials have claimed that the prosecution of pot smokers is no longer a priority, the “war on drugs” continues to destroy the lives of Americans suffering from dire medical conditions.

Sean Kiernan is a U.S. Army veteran from Rancho Santa Fe, California, who, along with his wife, pleaded guilty earlier this year to felony charges related to growing marijuana for other veterans.

Kiernan attempted suicide in 2011, nearly becoming part of a horrifying statistic: Although the figure is disputed, some estimates suggest that an average of 22 veterans commit suicide each day. Still struggling two years later, Kiernan was involuntarily committed by officials at a Veterans Affairs hospital, an experience which he says led him to embrace the benefits of cannabis over pharmaceutical drugs.