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Re: Theos-World Status of Indigenous Australians

Nov 22, 2002 09:24 PM
by leonmaurer

In a message dated 11/15/02 12:10:55 PM, writes:

> I don't believe it EVER was well-intentioned. If you read the debates
>over the early drug laws, they were quite explicitly aimed at bigotry. A
>major anti-marijuana campaign was started by, at one end, Prohibition
>agents who saw their jobs disappearing, and, at the other end, organized
>crime who had just lost a major profit source. The drug laws ever since
>have been designed not based on how dangerous the drugs are, but how
>much more likely are minorities to use the drugs. 

You left out the lobbying of the cotton industry that didn't like the 
competition from the hemp growers (Levi Strauss used to make hemp jeans that 
lasted four times longer than the ones made today)... And, we shouldn't 
downplay the lobbying of the bonded liquor industry -- since marijuana 
"reefers" (especially in the deep south) was eating into their profits after 
the repeal of prohibition. Also, the tobacco industry didn't like the 
possibility of losing their monopoly for the legal sales of an addictive 
drug... Since, before the criminalization of marijuana and licensing of hemp 
growing (for seed purposes only) -- it could be homegrown by anyone, was less 
costly than tobacco, and usually was offered free (in New Orleans bars, for 
example) -- since getting mildly high on a non addictive "soft" drug like 
marijuana, not only makes patrons more relaxed, into the music, and less 
obstreperous, but also hungry and thirsty, and helps sell more beer and food. 

In addition, police departments, who have considerable political pull, also 
used their influence to add more "prohibitions" or forbidden private 
activities to the criminal blotter -- since, such criminalization increases 
their workloads, leads to more overtime pay, not to mention more support 
personnel, which inevitably results in higher salaries at the command levels. 

In 1937, when marihuana was anathematized by federal law, Mayor Laguardia of 
New York City argued for its legalization, since he rightfully predicted that 
if the government didn't leave unrestricted at least one non-addictive, low 
level psychoactive drug -- which, according to his commissioned scientific 
reports on marihuana, was relatively harmless, as well as pacifying -- it 
would contribute to the increase in ALL drug prices and, consequently, result 
in a much greater increase in drug related criminal activities, along with an 
increase in hard drug induced violent street crime. This Mayoral attitude was 
probably why, until the 90's, when a right wing "Drug War" oriented Mayor 
took over, the NYPD were very lax in enforcing the laws against casual use of 
marihuana. Since then, the price of street marihuana in NYC has skyrocketed. 
See: The Laguardia Report and other Drug Studies at:

Even today, there is very little scientific evidence that marihuana is any 
way near as as harmful to one's health as legal prescription drugs like diet 
and sleeping pills, or addictive "foods" like sugar, which, used in excess, 
can lead to debilitating diseases like hypoglycemia, diabetes, heart failure, 
etc. -- or recreational drugs like alcohol which, in excess, leads to liver 
damage -- or painkillers like Tylenol and aspirin that could lead to kidney 
disease or internal bleeding. In fact, cannabinoids, the psychoactive 
chemicals in marihuana, have been proven useful as pharmacological agents for 
the relief of glaucoma, the reduction of nausea for patients on chemotherapy, 
and possibly have many other useful medical applications yet to be tested. 
As for supposed harm to heart and lungs from "smoking" marihuana -- the 
average "pot head" uses less than one rolled "joint" a day, as compared to 
tobacco smokers who need more than 20 or 30 cigarettes a day to statisfy 
their addiction. It's not the "drugs" in the cigarettes that are physically 
harmful, but the tars and chemical oxides from the smoke that can cause 
cancer and/or interfere with metabolic processes. 

The argument that smoking marijuana leads to the use of more dangerous 'hard" 
drugs, is as ridiculous as saying that drinking milk leads to drinking beer.


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