Monday, January 31, 2011

Press Release: SSDP responds to Obama's statement on drug legalization

For immediate release: January 31, 2011
Contact: Washington DC Headquarters (202)293-4414, San Francisco Headquarters (415)875-9463

Student Activists Praise Obama’s New Position Welcoming Legalization Debate
Statement in YouTube online town hall meeting called step in right direction, but still not enough

Washington, D.C. — Officials at Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) today praised President Barack Obama’s statement last week indicating that drug prohibition is “an entirely legitimate topic for debate.” Obama’s comments came Thursday in response to a question from former Seattle narcotics detective Mackenzie Allen, whose question about repealing drug prohibition received the most votes in an online competition hosted by YouTube.

Responding to Allen’s question about regulating and taxing drugs to cut down on black market profits, President Obama said, “I think this is an entirely legitimate topic for debate…I am a strong believer that we have to think more about drugs as a public health problem.” Obama continued, “On drugs I think that a lot of times we’ve been so focused on arrests, incarceration, interdiction, that we don’t spend as much time thinking about how do we shrink demand. This is something that within the White House we are looking at very carefully…look[ing] at what we’re doing when we have nonviolent first-time drug offenders. Are there ways that we can steer them to the straight and narrow without automatically resorting to incarceration?”

Drug policy reform advocates highlighted the stark contrast between Obama’s recent comments and his laughing dismissal of marijuana legalization the last time drug policy came up at an online town hall event.

“This marks a historic turning point in the White House’s rhetoric about taxing and regulating drugs,” said Aaron Houston, executive director of SSDP. “Despite his rejection of legalization, President Obama acknowledged that our current policies don’t work. We’re very glad to see him start to lead the way on this issue.”

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an international grassroots network of students who educate their peers, parents, and policymakers about how the drug war has failed our generation and our society. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counterproductive drug war policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth.


Anonymous said...

Yeah it's nice chatter but since he's told federal agents to back off states with legitimate state pot laws, they're still arresting them, and quietly filing injunctions on each arrest to prevent them from being available via a Freedom of Information Act request.

Half of Europe decriminalized small amounts of all substances... and usage dropped. Statistics have shown that minors in states with medipot laws use less than non-medipot state minors.

And the whole thing is racist propaganda to replace outlawed slave labor with prison labor. Read It's not a war on (some) drugs, it's a war on minorities/minority habits.

Had drugs been legal and regulated, 9/11 would never have been funded.

Anonymous said...

But it *is* a 180 from laughing when the question came up in what, the top 3? Top 8? last time.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter if it -is- a 180, if it's still 100% lip service just to shut everybody up.

Anonymous said...

the government is trying to shrink demand so that when they do change marijuana laws, its easier for them to control that market. the less of demand there is for it, the easier it will be to keep the fewer suppliers off the streets. which will allow for easier government regulation. government wont legalise it until they're sure they can control and tax it properly. cause lets face it, the government doesn't implement new laws unless they're going to make money off it.

however, I do feel like America wants it legalised, and as a true democracy, "if the people want it, the people should get" but we're not being herd... we're not being represented.

Anonymous said...

I find it really ridiculous that people who use any kind of recreational drug for their own personal consumption, under many of our Penal Codes are receiving tougher sentences than child molesters, theifs and burglars. Minors aside, adult offenders who are using recreational or medical marijuana, or any other black market medicinal product are responsibile for their own actions.

My opinion of a crime is when one person acts in such a way that violates the peaceful existance of others. People who chose to create a false sense of euphoria for their own enjoyment from the privacy of their own homes do not strike me as a degredation of society. I don't care what other people do in their personal time , and frankly it's none of my business-unless their actions impede my progress.

In California, cities where police departments have been severely diminished by budget cuts, and the man hours are in short supply, the police are no longer taking reports of vehicle thefts, home invasion burglary and vandalism.

I say the police would better serve the public by investigating the crimes where citizens have tangible losses to their personal property, and leave the drug abusers to their own demise.