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The Time Is Right To Legalize Marijuana

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pittsburgh normlAccording to a recent Gallup poll 58% of Americans surveyed now support the legalization of marijuana, up from a low of 12% at the dawn of the “War on Drugs”.  The support for marijuana legalization has seen unprecedented momentum in the past several years. Gallup observes, “Whatever the reasons for Americans’ greater acceptance of marijuana, it is likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States. Advocates of legalizing marijuana say taxing and regulating the drug could be financially beneficial to states and municipalities nationwide.”

“Americans have rejected the utter failure of cannabis prohibition” said Pittsburgh NORML Executive Director Patrick K. Nightingale.  “Our cowardly political leaders such as Gov. Corbett and AG Kane continue to double down on junk science such as the “gateway drug” myth to justify wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate cannabis consumers.  They disingenuously claim that children will become addicted to heroin if there is any easing in marijuana prohibition in the Commonwealth despite hard evidence to the contrary.  The absurdity of this claim would be laughable were it not so dangerous and damaging to our citizens, especially our citizens of color who are far more likely to be prosecuted for cannabis possession in Pennsylvania.”

The tide has irrevocable turned in favor of cannabis reform both in the United States and abroad.  At present twenty states have medicinal marijuana programs, fifteen have decriminalized possession of small amounts, and Washington and Colorado have fully legalized possession, manufacturing and distribution of marijuana and marijuana infused products.  The District of Columbia has a medicinal program and has just decriminalized possession.  Uruguay became the first country to fully legalize marijuana, announcing plans to sell it for $1 per gram in an effort to decimate the illegal black market.  Portugal and The Netherlands have decriminalized marijuana and boast far lower rates of teen marijuana use.

“We believe that reform is no longer a question of if, but rather a question of when.  We challenge Gov. Corbett, Attorney General Kane, and all prohibitionists to stop relying on fear mongering and scare tactics and to have an open and honest discussion about the efficacy of marijuana as a medicine.  We challenge them to justify spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer money to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate cannabis offenders.  The time for reform is now” Nightingale said.

Pittsburgh NORML is a local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the nation’s oldest reform advocacy organization.  Pittsburgh NORML supports all cannabis reform efforts with an ultimate goal of ending marijuana prohibition in its entirety and promoting responsible adult use.

Source: Pittsburgh NORML

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Johnny Green

9 Comments

  1. What do you mean by decriminalize? Can you clarify? Would that mean that there would still be penalties (albeit noncriminal ones)? Isn’t that just making prohibition more comfortable?

  2. States have moved forward on a ton of issues that the federal government will not touch. It seems like states only cry sovereignty when they want to do something bad (like screw a lot of poor people out of Medicaid). But yes, I agree with you, it seems like we should all be knocking on the doors of the FDA. No, we should be storming the gates of the FDA…

  3. I’m all for state sovereignty, all this legalizing is great, but wouldn’t it be easier to just Decriminalize it?

  4. I think it is fascinating how Kane is against liberty: She fights against gun rights, and she fights against an end to cannabis prohibition. When liberty loving gun owners care about the rights of liberty loving cannabis supporters and vice verse, rather than just caring about their own rights, we’ll have a much better commonwealth.

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  7. The time has come to legalize cannabis. Let’s end the war on drugs and lift this political veil of deception. Tax payer dollars are spent frivolously policing and enforcing prohibition which has not been successful for over 70+ years. Reform is needed to reflect the views of the people. The government can no longer withhold the truth from its people. For anyone that is uniformed or opposes this notion, please conduct your own research and see the hypocrisy that surrounds cannabis. The internet has all the information you need. Its time to move forward, its time governments listen to their people. After all isn’t that the function of the government?

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