- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Ethan Nadelmann: The Drug Reform Movement Is A Movement For Freedom


The 2015 International Drug Policy Reform Conference just wrapped up in Washington D.C. yesterday. I have been glued to social media the last few days checking out people’s pictures, and reading quotes. One of the most fantastic things that I have seen come out of the conference, and maybe one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever seen in my life, was a video of Ethan Nadelmann’s keynote speech. Ethan Nadelmann is the Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which if you don’t know by now, you should really do some homework. Watch the video below. If you are a reform activist, this speech may bring you to tears. If you know people that aren’t supportive of drug policy reform, share this video with them.


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Yes. Sugar and catnip are clearly drugs. Just legal ones. So is your campaign to disrupt debate for the long-term? – I’m hoping the moderators will get wise and ban you soon.

  2. Not for simple possession, anymore. Thanks to marijuana reform. – State-by-state, the monstrous war on marijuana consumers that enables your ugly bigotry is disappearing and soon you will have to crawl back under your rock.

  3. jasen joseph hylbert on

    Herbal cannabis is not a drug. What justifies labeling it a drug? Would you label cane sugar a drug? Would you label catnip a drug? Not everything that relaxes you and slightly effects your perception is a drug. If that was what we called a drug then virtually everything would be considered a drug.
    Alcoholic beverages are considered a hard drug because some become chemically dependant to the point that the physical withdrawl symtoms can be life threatening.

  4. jasen joseph hylbert on

    I have no personal experience with opium. While it do not have personal knowledge of opium it has always seemed logical to me that if opium was not prohibited then maybe people would bit be using stuff like heroin… Some people avoid mustard as a stimulant. Some people feel as though catnip tea or peppermint tea can be relaxing. Pure herbal cannabis does not warrant the label drug because it is not physically addictive – there are no physical withdrawl symptoms experienced when people go from using it herbally a lot to not using it at all. If we actually believed that cannabis was a drug then we would start to consider mint a drug before long. Garlic has antibiotic properties, as does cannabis. Neither is a drug, not in medical terms and not in recreational terms.

    As for opium, I cannot answer that question. I think that we could set up a situation in which opium was not transferring wealth from the western world to terrorists by at least allowing it to be grown somewhere where western culture could make any and all of the profits from it instead of terrorists. Those who consider my suggestion mean to afghanis ought to consider the fact that they would be unlikely to care about your livelihood and they would be better off not being th opium growing slaves or iranian gangsters.

  5. Slacker stoners? – Troll much?

    It must be killing you to watch your precious prohibition die, state-by-state.

  6. Marijuana is a drug, but that does not make the topic drugs. – Anymore than a discussion about rats mean the topic is mammals.

    Lumping marijuana in with the hard drugs clouds the issue and attempts to cast the harms of the hard drugs onto cannabis.

    We don’t have the same alcohol policy, as we do tobacco policy, as we do caffeine policy. Each drug has different levels of harm and requires a different regulatory approach.

    No one thought it necessary to discuss opium when they were debating ending alcohol prohibition. – We are discussing marijuana policy.

  7. Who said anything about “drugs?” – The topic here is marijuana policy. – BTW, marijuana is not addictive.

    There are better testimonies at Marijuana-Uses com

  8. It isn’t freedom, but buy some malicroft or valiant stock and feel the freedom of prohibition or if you get cancer you can have your dr prescribe you the $3000 pill, gl

  9. That is not a very good study as it does not tell how severe the PTSD was. People with more severe PTSD (they were already self medicating for it) may be helped less by treatment. And what exactly is the treatment?

  10. It appears the Weedblog comments section is under attack. As the mother of all reform battles (next November) draws near, expect a barrage of similar nonsense bombs.

  11. jasen joseph hylbert on

    My older sister needs someone to “love” some sense into her. She is a corrupt hypocrite i this issue. At this point she would basically eat the womb of an adolescent human and have her neighboors children as dessert if it meant she would recieve special treatment from enforcement regarding cannabis and take some lavish ski vacations while complaining about money…

  12. jasen joseph hylbert on

    On second though she has a history of being kind of a feminazi, so perhaps I would spare him. I’d line him up with my supposed older sister, though that would run the risk of her trying some sort of monica lewinsky style corrupt plot against him. Someone needs to fuck some sense into her though – she is such a corrupt and idiocic hypocrit who consistently goes back and forth on this issue it is not even funny. She would probably eat the children of others and slander cannabis as a life destroying devil’s weed if it meant that she could have some free ganja and a ritsy vacation… Just be weary of a monica lewinsky situation arising though… Get out of the situation before it is too late is my advice.

  13. jasen joseph hylbert on

    I suppose that I would arrange a marriage with Ethan Nadelmann and my mother, as she is still capable of considerable levels of physical labor… Just joking, slightly inappropriate humor can be healing too!

  14. jasen joseph hylbert on

    Oh no, have I said to much? Or have I not said enough? I’ll take bhang lassi over orange crush any day though!

  15. jasen joseph hylbert on

    I watched the video and generally liked what was said. We should be appealing to new demographics of potential supporters though, by focusing on new talking points.

    I am willing to consider the possibility that the video of Nadelmann in which I saw him saying that hemp had nothing to do with prohibition and the video of him saying that high schoolers having more access to herbal cannabis than to alcoholic beverages would be a bad thing were examples of me not reckognizing him using sarcasm to make a point to certain perspectives. I sometimes take things too literally. I suppose that in order to respect the concept of innocent until proven guilty I should offer him the benefit of the doubt.

    If Nadelmann would give more talking time to issues such as the usefulness of hemp in saving irrigation and chemical application needs and to the fact that terrorists are profiting from herbal cannabis scarcity in the western world the movement for a repeal of prohibition would be greatly advanced.

    He would benefit the cause by appealing to those of us who care deeply about the 2nd ammendment by acknowledging that he respects hunting and protecting oneself and pointing out that repealing cannabis prohibition is largely about self provision and libertarian ideas as well. The fact that a product can be misused and involved in corruption and violence does not equate to justifying bans on it – rather keeping that product in a state of freedom will cause some balance at least against the involvement of the product in question in corrupt and violent activities…

    One legitimate complaint I still maintain regarding Nadelmann’s angle is that he sometimes comes off as blaming America for the war on cannabis and the war on drugs. The fact is that prohibition was not voted into place. It is a lie to blame Americans when Americans have been victimized by these prohibitions just as much or more than anyine else.

    To make the concept of repealing prohibition appealing to a lot of the folks who are not currently on board we must avoid being misconstrued as blaming America as a whole for what a small minority of Americans have done in selling us all out to some foreign gangsters who terrorize their own neighboors.

    I admit that saying that Nadelmann is a mole in the movement was going to far and I retract that statement. I have myself been falsely accused by some as being a prohibitionist because of the fact that I sometimes chose to go days, weeks, months, or years without using herbal cannabis and because I am not someone who fits neatly into the narrow conformist liberal mold. There was also an incident when I saved a lot of people from getting in trouble by destroying some herbal cannabis because I knew that an incident of enforcement was imminent. People had been reckless and acted without caution here in a place where prohibition is thriving and anti cannabis ignorance is prevalent. Sadly many misinterpreted my actions and started hating me, even though they should be thanking me for saving them all a lot of legal hassels and likely jailtime. Not to mention I am the one who had the sense to save things which others tend to carelessly cast away in the first place.

  16. jasen joseph hylbert on

    Pure herbal cannabis is not a drug and does not cause addiction. Some are forced to pretend they have abuse issues related to cannabis by the parasitic people involved in the pseudoscience of psycology.

  17. jasen joseph hylbert on

    Hemp is something that the cannabis plant offers and that the opium poppy and coca shrub have nothing to compare with in useful value to. Herbal cannabis is not a drug.

    While all prohibitions are corrupt in their nature and tend to destroy human lives and ecosystems, hemp/ herbal cannabis is really the most pressing issue at this point, because we have a democracy and that is where the real support is. You bring up the important point that repealing cannabis prohibition must not be hindered by association with repealing other prohibitions.

    Herbal cannabis can provise recreation to people with less resource consumption than alcoholic beverage consumption. Herbal cannabis can be consumed boiled in cream, thus providing a nourishing and pleasant to consume product. Some cannabis seed protein could be added to the drink and it would really be quite the health enhancing product!

    It really is time for cannabis specific consumers unite and form an organization which gives us the levels of respect that we deserve.

  18. jasen joseph hylbert on

    Go hunting or fishing instead or plant a hickory tree and cut down the bush limiting its growth. The circus can be entertaining, but if you base your self dignity on being a heisman trophy winner you really are pathetic and an example of misplaced values.

  19. Andrea R. Jones on

    Jonatomas you’re right I don’t think prohibiting drugs helps in any ways, I think we need to somehow educate our youth on the potential dangers in order to avoid young people getting hooked in drug addiction and feeling like there’s no one they can talk to. I think having guides like this one http://sobercollege.com/surviving-college-life will be helpful especially as the testimonies are from young people who’ve been down the same road.

  20. So is this the right-wing’s answer to Cheech and Chong? — “Let’s do a skit about confusing PTSD with STD!”

  21. Marijuana does not cure STD’s. If you feel an itching or scratching stop smoking marijuana right away. If you are being treated for STD’s tell your doctor if you intend to smoke marijuana and tell everyone who you were smoking marijuana with. If you are pregnant ask your doctor if you have STD’s as these may be transmitted to newborns. Marijuana is not a contraceptive. Do not stop using contraceptives when you are smoking marijuana as these are important in preventing STD’s and unwanted pregnancies.

  22. Hey alcohol prohibition was a noble and just cause. I would do it again in heartbeat. There was nothing wrong with the temperance and morality movement. You would have known this had you joined.

  23. In the 1930’s, the U.S. was thoroughly embroiled in the issue of alcohol prohibition. Having become increasingly evident the attempt was causing much more harm than any possible good, a progressive movement began to end the counter-productive prohibition. Fortunately, it did not take them decades, but just a few short years.

    But – imagine – if you were one of those laboring to end the destructive alcohol prohibition law. – What if some hugely-funded group appeared on the scene, declaring their purpose was to end the prohibition of ALL drugs? Primarily opium, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol. [Marijuana was not an illegal drug yet].

    Because they had millions of dollars, perhaps they would be able to command much attention, hire the glibbest spokesman, and sponsor lavish conventions where they would invite those laboring to end alcohol prohibition.
    Most of the alcohol policy reformers fall under their spell, especially since this group has so much money and was helping win some battles against alcohol prohibition.

    Unlike with alcohol, there would be no significant social interest in changing the laws prohibiting opium, cocaine and heroin. There would only be this group declaring they want to end all the prohibitions. But they put on such a good show, they convince almost all the activists the issue isn’t alcohol prohibition anymore. It was ending the prohibitions of all drugs – and those who had been working to end alcohol prohibition were now just a branch of their organization. – Even the workers themselves believed it – as they attended grand meetings with many luminaries singing the praises of the legalize all drugs group – and their mission.

    Once capturing the alcohol reformers, the group decided to change the focus to opium. The all drug group, now in charge of all activists (including the ‘branch’ of alcohol reform activists), held more lavish meetings and had inspiring luminaries tell the tragic stories of opium dealers in prison. All happily agreed, getting real accustomed to the wonderful, grand meetings.

    After two or three decades, the public, and government, finally convinced the all drug group there was no way they were going to legalize opium. The glib master of ceremonies responds, “I know! – Let’s legalize cocaine!”


    Meanwhile, back at the source of the all drug group’s funding, sat the old, richest man in the world – Al Capone.

    “That was the best hundred million I ever spent!”

  24. “Prohibition has finally run its course”


    As long as slacker stoners settle for Fake “Legalization” which is merely Government Commercialization with a CONTINUATION of CRIMINAL Prohibition against millions of individuals, the War, and the damage it does to society, will continue for DECADES to come.

  25. Prohibition has finally run its course; the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, users and non-users worldwide, have been destroyed or severely disrupted; many countries that were once shining beacons of liberty and prosperity have, through scientific ignorance and blind political fanaticism, become repressive smoldering heaps of toxic hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency. It is now the duty of every last one of us to insure that the people who are responsible for this shameful situation are not simply left in peace to enjoy the wealth and status that their despicable actions have, until now, afforded them. Former and present Prohibitionists should not be allowed to remain untainted or untouched by the unconscionable acts that they have viciously committed on their fellow human beings. They have provided us with neither safe communities nor safe streets. We should provide them with neither a safe haven to enjoy their ill-gotten gains nor the liberty to repeat such a similar atrocity.

  26. I don’t see how wealthy property owners profiting off cheap drugs is “freedom”

    I do see how giving the best growers a chance to not be lackeys for the ownership/investor class is a shot at “freedom”

    But then again, to me “freedom” is a meritocracy


Leave A Reply