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'Taking Sledgehammer' to Failed US Drug War, Oregon Votes to Decriminalize Narcotics as Five States Legalize Marijuana

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/04/taking-sledgehammer-failed-us-drug-war-oregon-votes-decriminalize-narcotics-five


It worked for Portugal:



This is our truly LIBERAL nation being heard now – speaking for sanity –

but the ball and chain of those who want “freedom” from wearing a mask –
and the freedom to have control over other citizens to force their religion on them –
or to force their backward ideas on them and the nation are still going to have to
be dealt with –


And, this isn’t just about the US and the way that the War on Drugs encourages
and protects police brutality here – especially in communities of color –

It’s about the rest of the world where the War on Drugs has been used to interfere in other
nations, bullying them and creating unrest in their nations.

Granted we have the rest of the entire MIC/Intelligence to deal with, but this begins to move
us in the right direction.


The article doesn’t tell the full story about medical marijuana legalization here in the super red state of Mississippi. The state legislature, who didn’t want the ballot initiative on the ballot at all, tried to derail it by putting choices for the initiative with the original petition intent. The first question was, do you approve of medical legalization? Then a choice of only the state supplying the medicine for terminal cancer patients only, or allowing patients to grow their own and available for 20+ different medical conditions. I’m happy to say 67% voted for legalization, and 74% voted to allow patients to grow their own and for multiple medical conditions.
A full legalization petition (the most liberal in the country at the time) was suspiciously nullified a few years ago, and not allowed on the ballot. With this overwhelming support for medical legalization from the citizens, the next step will be a full legalization petition again, long overdue.


This is indeed a significant development, one that is long overdue. In context, though, it should be seen as uncontroversial and even woefully inadequate. This year’s crop of woes has pushed into the background a previous woe: the “opioid crisis” that quietly spread into an epidemic by perfectly legal drug pushers including Big Pharma and its array of heroin analogs, doctors who overprescribed them to countless Americans, and the health-insurance companies that paid those opioid claims.

The “War on Drugs” has raged for decades starting with the Nixon Administration’s need to make good on the “Law and Order” rhetoric that got Nixon elected in 1968. As John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s domestic advisor, related candidly to Dan Baum, author of Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure, Nixon had identified African-Americans as being the real domestic problem and used the “War on Drugs” as a dog whistle to address the “problem.”

The relevance here is that the “War on Drugs” caused untold misery to countless Americans, cost billions of dollars, resulted in repressive, literally invasive measures including asset seizure and asset forfeiture–but the howling irony is that legal (over)prescription of drugs just as addictive and deadly as “illegal” drugs has been more destructive while enriching drug companies and insurance companies and fostering fraud among health care providers.

Decriminalizing, even legalizing, drugs is the necessary first step to a harm-reduction health care approach to drug addiction that is both sane and humane. But the next step is to redress the victims of the “War on Drugs” imprisoned for or otherwise penalized by drug violations and those legally robbed through asset seizure and asset forfeiture resulting from the “War on Drugs.”


shmokem if you gottem

Oregon DID NOT legalize psilocybin for use for those over 21.
Oregon legalized psilocybin use in mental health therapy, not for recreational use.
You need to fix this glaring error.


Democracy rocks! (sometimes, at least at the state and local level).


I think certain people enjoy doing what is forbidden seemingly in total disregard of possible serious consequences to their health. Why not make any and all drugs perfectly legal anytime and any place and replace all those drug laws with an education program about the effects, short and long term of drugs including prescription drugs on their mind and body. My son, a smart and good looking man died of heart failure at age 33 from the effects of steroids and illegal drugs probably unaware of the risks. His death, as a registered nurse during a time when such people are valuable to others is a loss to more than his mourning family. The only fortunate thing about it was that he was single without any children.


Sorry for your loss.


Thank you for your kind sympathy. I think we all need to take to heart the words of News anchor Howard Beale from the '70’s movie, “Network”:
“I’m a human being, God dammit! My life has value!”

Instead of drugs to combat stress and depression why don’t we try offering one another jobs where we are seen as valuable assets to those we work for and let us be more prone to offer compliments than criticisms. Instead of drugs why don’t we all give a try to good food and eating meals on time.


Sorry for your loss.
We should never forget the US policy on illegal drugs has never really been about eliminating drugs from the streets, but to maintain their black market value for larger profits. Because of this, I’ve said for years all drugs should be made legal to eliminate the profit. No profit, and hard drugs would all but disappear from the streets. I would also add that drug testing, and 90% of positive tests being for marijuana, has pushed people to harder, more dangerous prescription drugs, to avoid losing current or prospective jobs (most hard drug users can pass a drug test within hours - marijuana, up to 3 months). IMO this is a feature, not a bug in the system, to sell more prescription drugs, with more profits for the pharmaceutical industry.


$100 fine, or rehabilitation? Wait! I thought possession had been decriminalized!