Saturday, January 02, 2010

Help Fitchburg Help Fitchburg!

Fitchburg State College has emerged as one of SSDP's more active chapters. I'm proud that chapter leader/founder Jeff Anderson first joined SSDP as a member of my chapter at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire before transferring to Fitchburg State.

The chapter at Fitchburg State put together a great video that they hope will inspire some to donate to their conference scholarship fund. The video features fantastic editing skills and was a project that all chapter members participated in. They're trying to raise awareness about the drug addiction problem in Fitchburg and help people in their community realize that prohibition has only made the problem worse.

Fitchburg, MA is a long way from San Francisco folks and these students could use every penny you can spare. Please click below to help Fitchburg SSDP help Fitchburg!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Seattle Mayor-Elect is Pro Legalization. So is Everyone Else.

Mike McGinn is the first to point out that his support for the legalization and regulation of cannabis is nothing new. The Seattle Mayor-Elect shares the same point of view as former Seattle Police Chief turned Law Enforcement Against Prohibition speaker, Norm Stamper. Then you've got Seattle Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson who just introduced a bill to legalize and tax in Washington state.
Under her bill, marijuana would be sold in Washington state's 160 state-run liquor stores, and customers, 21 and older, would pay a tax of 15 percent per gram. The measure would dedicate most of the money raised for substance abuse prevention and treatment, which is facing potential cuts in the state budget. Dickerson said the measure could eventually bring in as much to state coffers as alcohol does, more than $300 million a year.
The 3 of them share the same common sense point of view as the majority of Americans; 53% according to this recent poll support ending marijuana prohibition. And we now have 4 states that have introduced taxation/legalization legislation. Obviously public opinion has changed rapidly on the subject (or more are just choosing to voice a longtime view) and lawmakers are kind of starting to step up to the plate.

Of course, you can count on your state narcotic officers association to come in and cause a hullabaloo by scaring the bejesus out of everyone with the same ol' scare tactics. Since the economic argument for legalization has gained so much support, I've heard some law enforcement spokesmen come up with some creative ways to try and counter, but Ron Brooks, President of the National Narcotics Officers Association has a good one:
State lawmakers, he said, need to ask themselves "if they believe we really will make all that revenue, and even if we did, will it be worth the suffering, the loss of opportunities, the chronic illness or death that would occur?"
I think he may have confused marijuana use with the bubonic plague.