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'50 Years in the Making': In Historic Vote Against Failed War on Drugs, House Passes Marijuana Decriminalization

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/04/50-years-making-historic-vote-against-failed-war-drugs-house-passes-marijuana


To claim this is racial justice? is pretty myopic. It is just a sign that the pharma companies and alcohol companies have given up the fight. No money is raining in to stop the legalization.


Once the expungement part of this becomes reality and relatively cost free to accomplish, then one can say this is a small bit of justice. Reparations for false imprisonment would be better.


“…not expected to pass in a Republican-led Senate.”

I don’t expect it would pass in a dem-led Senate either. But fight on !!
Free the weed, and all who use it !!


Leave it to the democratic leadership of this particular congress to finally offer up decriminalization in a lame duck session, knowing that it will never actually pass in the Senate, and will serve but one purpose, help create a distraction from the fact that they are about to cave in to republicans again on a woefully inadequate stimulus Bill. And the fact that, while 3000 Americans are dying everyday from Covid, they did manage to give the military everything they wanted.
The democrats are either incompetent, or in cahoots. My vote is on the latter, as nobody could be this stupid.


I doubt if either Biden or Trump would sign it, but suppose it passes the Senate and it gets signed.

I wouldn’t get so worked up, honestly.

Because of how privatized prisons are likely to be internationalized in the coming years - much more than today, its still in its infancy, lots of other issues may be part of the picture.

This may even mean that they are planning to criminalize other victimless crimes deemed more effective at targeting the poor.

Please bone up on things like iSDS.

(Total speculation) but because corporations now seem to (always?) gain legal rights to absolute certainty, while people basically have been quietly stripped of all such unenumerated rights, if they ever existed, twisted, unexpected outcomes like the following may become the norm.

Playing the devils advocate here, the laws of trade in services are so twisted and far away from what people expect here in the US, especially it may even become an obligation expected of a nation’s lawmakers at some point to criminalize other things whenever laws like this are abolished in order so there wouldn’t be a net reduction of prison inmates and profits.

Because of the investments made by prison companies in prisons. Even if they were trailers made out of cardboard, if they are a foreign corporation their having “invested” gives them an entitlement that outweighs all humanity’s interests. And will invariably cost us a kings ransom is we changed our minds, we will have to pay.

On principle.

We might be surprised but we are people and as such have no standing in trade fora, and our government represents our corporations, who are now people. .

That is likely already to be the case if any of these prison firms are international. I have no idea and certainly am no expert of any kind - I am just speculating, but thats how the new world economic governance organizations and web of treaties that rules us now work.

Globalization also is the way of the future, countries firms are expected to specialize in whatever they do cheapest or best.

Nauru seems to be focusing on detaining people for other countries for money. People could end up being incarcerated in Africa or South America or even East Asia. I hesitate to draw this connection but the first thing I thought about whenI heard that Trump was going to meet withKim Jong Un was the DPRK privatizing their infamous prisons, which are huge, the size of US counties and have been the sites where so many unfortunate people have died that the bones must present serious problems.

Despite that, I totally do see them incarcerating prisoners for other countries there in order to earn foreign currency.


Personally I think pot is going to be the tobacco of the 21th century and the pot industry is using the legal freedom to smoke pot as a way to grow their very profitable industry. Legalizing pot is going to cause all kinds of social and health problems in the long run, including addiction. It has already been shown to cause damage to the brains and lungs of habitual users, which I would venture to guess is what most people who smoke it are. Meanwhile all these pot peddlers are going to get stinking rich off of others’ suffering.

I still think we should be teaching our kids to not do drugs rather than telling them it’s okay to do this drug or that drug, while certain other drugs like cocaine or heroine are not okay to do.


What does something being legal have to do with teaching my kid that it is a good idea? I don’t teach my kid it is a good idea to smoke cigarettes or eat meat but I don’t want to make either illegal.

On the other drugs, I support full legalization for everything.


Here is the problem with that. Even though labor saving technology is getting better and better, and most people probably assume that means more free tome for everybody, the US is an outlier where the opposite of that is highly likely to occur.

Wealth will become more and more concentrated and people are likely to have less and less free time not more because there will be a race to the bottom effect on wages as people struggle to get jobs and more and more countries are given “national treatment” and “most favored nation” status giving them legal rights to operate here and compete for jobs… We must treat them exactly like our own companies, but they may not have to pay US wages or obey many US laws, or US laws may be made to conform with overseas laws not the other way around, so we could lose the 5 day week, 40 hour week, minimum wages, etc. if they are successfully framed as trade barriers. This is very very possible, and if it happens it could happen very soon, in fact it could happen next year.

Even if pot is legal, its entirely possible that few people could afford to buy it or even take time off of their 2 or 3 or even more part time jobs to partake. By midcentury virtually all jobs will be done by machines in most cases, and the humans remaining employed will mostly be involved in exception handling. Its actually already like this in many Internet companies. Those are low paid, thankless jobs, examining content which is flagged etc. Also each person who is working will probably be supporting others who aren’t and they will have even less money. Also with so much competition for jobs, employers may be doing whatever they can to eliminate candidates. Even if pot is legal, it may not be permitted by employers even when the employee is not working, many workers are on call 24/7. If a worker wants to keep their job they still may be compelled to follow written or unwritten codes of behavior. Just like government employees who must maintain security clearances, modern corporate employees are entrusted with secrets. They will self censor their behavior.

Already a huge percentage of workers are subjected to surveillance.

The point I am trying to make is that we’re in sort of a John Henry situation where people are being pitted against both machines and other countries with wages a fraction of ours and its a race which in most ways, we cannot win. Something will break and it will be peoples lives. In this context, it seems highly unlikely that most Americans will have access to expensive legal recreational drugs, even if they wanted to. At the same time, a significant percentage of Americans now, concentrated in cities, including young people have no need to work being independently wealthy. Some of them are already and undoubtedly will become even more hedonistic. Others are nomadic and have no job prospects, and trying to reduce their expenses to bare minimums, I don’t know. I am just saying that the future is quite unpredictable and not in a good way for freedoms or recreation, even though becoming more so would likely help the economy and peoples mental health, paradoxically.

But the people who run this country want people to work harder and harder for less and less. And they want to have us work under conditions of ever rising competition. They feel its the wealthy’s entitlement, because of supply and demand.


also don’t let anyone tell you that having a business become worth a few billion dollars doesn’t matter, either.

too much money in pot now to cram that genie back into the bottle again.


Republicans are more into designer drugs, so no votes for pot, or medical pot.

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It’s been said by more than one reporter over the years that the drug of choice on Capitol Hill has always been alcohol. Many have written that, on any given day, after lunch the hallways smell like booze from all of the congressmen that have staggered back into the building after their three or four martini lunches.
But pot is evil…


Like Darren Stevens said:
“I’m just fine, I only had tree martunies.”


So one can assume from your comment, you use no mind altering drugs or addictive products? No coffee, no medications, no meat, no gaming, no gambling, no alcohol, etc.

Did you take a time machine to get here with those 1960’s talking points on the subject? I’d like to see peer-reviewed, scientific evidence (links) to the wild accusations you bring to the discussion. And please, no 20th century government-funded papers will do.
What you and the war on drugs supports, is keeping drugs illegal to maintain high levels of profitability.


Do you want proof we live in a CORPORATE MILITARY POLICE STATE and look at some of the sad comments------yes you can argue underage kids should stay away because kids don’t have full rights----but do adults??? People have gone to prison for long periods of time and people just brush it off-----the police state laws have destroyed individual lives and families.

This is a fucking weed that can grow by inself with little help. I remember in my old home town an older lady was watering this nice plant-----the cops came by and asked what she was doing???it was a weed plant----they did not go after her but they could have.


And something else for all those that like to control other people’s lives. In Calif cigarretts cost about $10 a pack because of taxes------a person I know could not afford this so he switched to cigar cigarretts which are cheaper but more deadly------well he is now dead from smoking the cheap shit.

And another way to deal with this is have a State Public Bank ----but Newsom is bought and paid for. If Jimmy Dore want to attack dems it should be in Calif where they hold all the power------this is when you push for real proggressives.


Alcohol is a drug. I have friends who say similar things and they are into wine and craft beer. Hello! Can a person get addicted to alcohol? Are there negative consequences of habitually using alcohol? Do children see commercials for beer and wine none the less? Why is alcohol okay but marijuana isn’t? Do you drink? If so, does your critique apply to your drug of choice?

This passed in part I think on the expectation that it won’t pass the Senate. I have no reason to trust the motivation of Democrats, and marijuana is increasingly a powerful business lobby. This has nothing to do with racial justice as most Democrats don’t really care about that. But, happy to see it pass none the less.


Exactly. Not mention placing marijuana alongside cocaine or heroin. No, it is more like wine or beer, both of which are addictive and have long term negative health consequences if used too much.


It has already happened. Many of the big tobacco companies already have stakes in companies like Aurora and Pyxus, and the pot trade will be corporatized as soon as it’s legalized.

Of course, there will always be a place for artisanal pot, just like craft brewers… .LOL

The hope for the small grower is that taxes in places where it is legal are so high that there is still room for a, shall we say, “grey” market.


Ah, tv from the 50’s and 60’s, where all the adults smoked and most were drunks. And not just beer drunks either. Those folks were martinis and high ball drunks.


Though I may disagree on the choices (meat eater here) I agree with your premise entirely.

Teach people consequences and allow them to make their own decisions. Of course the downside of legalizing everything is that you increase the costs of the social safety net because people can be notoriously stupid in the choices they make…