The “War on Drugs” has been an ongoing phenomenon since the 1970s, and yet every time a new president takes office, the question is raised: Will he be the president who ends this idealistic, failed war?
Donald Trump is next on the list, and his rhetoric during his campaign initially gave some hope to those in favor of marijuana legalization and states’ rights:
“In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,” Trump said in October 2015. “Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”
While Trump has said that he thinks marijuana legalization should be left up to the states, and he has said that he supports researching the benefits of marijuana for medicinal purposes, there is one important piece to the puzzle that he is overlooking: federal classification.
Trump has taken the easy way out by saying that the states should decide, while leaving out the fact that under federal law, cannabis is classified on the highest level of dangerous drugs that have no medicinal value. Until it is reclassified, the FDA is limited in its ability to legally test cannabis for medical purposes.
While Trump has yet to call out the “War On Drugs” for the failure that it is, it’s important to remember that he isn’t running a monarchy, and to truly be able to see how his administration will operate, we have to look at the members of his cabinet.
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, is a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization. The Alabama senator has said he wishes the federal government would do more to fight back against the states that are legalizing it.
“We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say ‘marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not be minimized, that it is in fact a very real danger,” Sessions said in April 2016.
Tom Price, Trump’s pick for secretary of Health and Human Services, has a reputation for being one of the most anti-marijuana members of Congress. His voting record includes evidence that he is a vocal advocate for the federal government interfering with state laws on marijuana legalization, AND that he is against Veterans Affairs doctors having the right to recommend medical marijuana to veterans who might benefit from it.
One of the biggest problems with Trump’s cabinet is that that he has taken the positions that could actually have a hand in ending the “War on Drugs,” and he has filled those positions with the same people that remind us of why this effort has been such a failure in the first place.
Now, a lot of people might blame it on the fact that Trump’s cabinet is filled with Republicans, and it’s no secret that every Republican president since Richard Nixon has done his part to make drugs synonymous with fear:
“America’s public enemy #1 in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new all-out offensive,” Richard Nixon said in June 1971.
“We’re taking down the surrender flag that has flown over so many drug efforts; we’re running up a battle flag. We can fight the drug problem, and we can win,” Ronald Reagan said in June 1982.
“All of us agree that the gravest domestic threat facing our nation today is drugs. Drugs have strained our faith in our system of justice,” George H. W. Bush said in September 1989.
“Another big challenge is to battle drug use. Drugs undermine the health of our citizens; they destroy the souls of our children. And the drug trade supports terrorist networks,” George W. Bush said in February 2002.
Clearly, Republicans have fueled the failed “War on Drugs,” but what about Democrats?
While President Obama has made progress by granting clemency to a total of 1,324 people serving time for nonviolent offenses, there are still leaps and bounds of progress that could have been made in the last eight years.
As Obama leaves office, cannabis is still a schedule 1 drug, and to add insult to injury, CBD Oil was recently also classified as a schedule 1 drug. However, when asked about it during an interview in December 2016, Obama shared a newfound support for marijuana being treated like alcohol and tobacco.
“Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse. And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea,” Obama said. “But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it.”
One of the biggest clues that points towards the continuation of the “War on Drugs” during Trump’s time in office comes from one of the policies he has pushed since day one: a border wall.
Trump has said he wants to build a wall on the border between the U.S. in Mexico to stop illegal immigration and the illegal drug trade. Yet, he seems to be missing the point about what cause the illegal drug trade in the first place. That, paired with his cabinet picks, paints a grim picture for those hoping to obtain freedom from the failure that is referred to as the “War on Drugs.”
In a step to end the “War of Drugs,” several world leaders have called for the legalization of all drugs.
“Citing failed drug policy, the Global Commission on Drug Policy’s annual report advocates the removal of both civil and criminal penalties for drug use and possession,” the report stated.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy panel includes former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, British businessman Richard Branson and the former presidents of Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil.
The Committee also denounced the “barbaric actions” of Philippino President Rodrigo Duterte, who has previously called on the public to execute people involved in the drug trade. More than 3,600 people were killed during Duterte’s first 100 days in office.
“After years of denouncing the dramatic effects of prohibition and the criminalization of people that do no harm but use drugs on the society as a whole, it is time to highlight the benefits of well-designed and well-implemented people centered drug polices,” Former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss said.
Dreifuss, who is also the Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, added, “These innovative policies cannot exist as long as we do not discuss, honestly, the major policy error made in the past, which is the criminalization of personal consumption or possession of illicit psychoactive substances in national laws.”
Portugal replaced criminal sanctions for drug use with civil penalties and health interventions 15 years ago.
“Health should be at the center of this debate, and so, therefore, should healthcare professionals. Change is coming, and doctors should use their authority to lead calls for pragmatic reform informed by science and ethics.”
They argued that some countries have already done away with criminal penalties for personal drug possession, while still punishing drug traffickers/dealers.
The study found more positive then negative results in the study’s 20 participants. The study, headed by Professor David Nutt and Amanda Feilding of the Beckley Foundation, found that LSD and the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” called psilocybin could help depression, alcoholics and possibly even drug addicts in a way traditional methods of therapy cannot.
In the United States, marijuana for medicinal purposes is legal in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C.
Other States have legalized medical marijuana for limited use including – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
It has been 45 years since Richard Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” in 1971. Yet on any given day in 2016, at least 137,000 people sit behind bars on drug-possession charges. It is an issue that neither one of the top two presidential candidates are asked about, and that’s because they likely won’t do anything different than what Obama has already done
In fact, in the time you have spent watching this video, at least one person has been arrested in the U.S. for drug possession. According to a recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, 1.25 million people are arrested each year on drug possession charges.
Two-thirds of those people are currently in local jails, and the majority of them sit in cells for anywhere from weeks to months to years, awaiting their day in court, because they can’t afford to post bail. The majority of those people will end up pleading guilty and taking plea deals offered by prosecutors because they are threatened with exaggerated prison sentences, and because their debt is piling up at home.
Did you know that in the United States, police arrest more people for possession of marijuana than they do for all violent crimes…combined?
Chelsea Clinton recently made headlines for saying that marijuana can kill you, and while her claims have been mocked and ridiculed, she wasn’t completely wrong. Under the current law in the U.S. marijuana is classified of the list of the most deadly drugs. Can it kill you? No.. BUT it can be deadly in the sense that getting caught by police could change life as you know it.
So, what if you’ve never done drugs in your life, you’re not a minority, and you don’t live in a low income neighborhood where you could get arrested by mistake. Why should you care?
Well, in order to make a drug-related arrest, we have to have police officers to conduct a search and seizure. Then once the suspects are arrested, we have to have somewhere for them to go, and someone to maintain the jails and prisons. Essentially, someone has to pay for all of it.
We live in a country where over 1 million are arrested on drug possession charges each year, and yet, in an election year, our top two presidential candidates typically aren’t asked about how they would deal with this massive problem. It all comes together to serve as a reminder that just as with the “War on Terror,” the “War on Drugs,” has been an absolutely failure.
In this video Luke Rudkowski takes you behind the scenes at the 2015 cannibus cup in Denver Colorado. We get an in dept look at the current state of CBD medicine and also an interview with the real freeway Rick Ross. (more…)
After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.
Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.
Growing up within a rural area in Northern Michigan as well as being a native American descendant, Alec is seeking to expose environmental abuse in his state as well as globally. A high-school dropout, Alec chases his passion for writing and empowering individuals while showing any isolated person that they too can overcome the odds with a community that will support them. Alec lives in the lower peninsula of Michigan near Kalamazoo.