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"Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed"
05:18 PM on 06/22/2013
Thank you for that, Ms. Sarandon. Little by little the cannabis madness is ending.
owns "They Live" sunglasses
05:17 PM on 06/22/2013
The war on drugs maybe many things, and has many reasons of it's continued existence. One reason is that there is big money to be made in privatized for profit prisons. The revenue source of these prisons begins to dry up when incarceration rates are low.

From Amy Cheung's "The Sentencing project", "One of ALEC’s primary functions is the development of model legislation that advances conservative principles, such as privatization. Under their Criminal Justice Task Force, ALEC has developed and helped to successfully implement in many states “tough on crime” initiatives including “Truth in Sentencing” and “Three Strikes” laws."

So while laws passed in CO and WA are a step in the right direction, there are still deeply entrenched and monied interests that are currently writing legislation to ensure the status quo is upheld.
It's just math
05:04 PM on 06/22/2013
But will be treat it's use as a psychiatric disorder as Patrick Kennedy suggests?
The use of any mind altering drug could be considered mental illness.
09:03 PM on 06/22/2013
It is not okay to transform the Prison Industrial Complex/move the War On Drugs to a psychiatry state. 48% of Americans are already on prescription medication. Americans consume 80% of all prescription painkillers already. and It would only make both problems worse. Prescription drugs have side effects and their prolonged use, especially of pain meds, often leads to abuse.
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03:41 AM on 06/23/2013
I hate to hear anyone suggest using marijuana would be a psychiatric disorder. That smacks of future government control. Oh, you smoke pot. No firearms for you, and those kids you've got.. they're ours now. Not a good idea, imho.
It's just math
02:04 AM on 06/24/2013
They don't do that with alcohol, but if there is a problem, it is treated 
Zip Zinzel
If a Nation expects to be both Ignorant & Free . .
03:31 PM on 06/22/2013
GREAT ARTICLE- Sadly, I think our culture is certainly more than 5 years away from moving ahead on this issue. However, the speed with which we have moved ahead on "Gay Marriage" indicates that the dinosaurs may be dying off and getting replaced by younger less "fundamentalist" forces quicker than I think.

1) HUGE INFRASTRUCTURE built up to support & profit from the War-on-Drugs, plus an Army of Social Workers wedded to a zero-tolerance mentality that blames people's behavior on the drugs they use, rather than the personal choices, and lack of responsibility they exhibit.

2) Problems coming up with a valid, reliable DUI standard/test.

3) The ease with which MJ cultivation will be able to evade taxation. Remember in the early days of the republic, Washington used Federal forces against private entrepreneurs who were running their own stills. RELATED is the fact that there will be hundreds of millions of home-growers, and that underage users will have much easier access to MJ than alcohol.

4) Unlike Alchol, MJ has a smell/odor that physically moves far beyond the place of it's consumption. When you're walking through an apartment complex, or even a neighborhood, you can easily walk past a place where people are getting drunk without knowing it. When you walk past a place where folks are smoking pot, EVERYONE knows it.
We're Going The Wrong Way !
12:19 AM on 06/23/2013
"The ease with which MJ cultivation will be able to evade taxation."
People could grow their own tobacco or even lettuce for that matter, but why hassle with it when it's easier to just buy what's on the shelf ? A few will, but most won't.
"the fact that there will be hundreds of millions of home-growers,"
There's only 310 million people in the U.S. How many hundreds of millions are we talking here ?
is constantly pending approval
03:44 AM on 06/23/2013
Tony Sez
07:11 AM on 06/23/2013
There will be concerns to address on the way to legalization--but I think you overstate the number of folks who'll grow the stuff. DUI tests will be revamped. And the odor of pot isn't really an issue regarding its legalization--is it?
Zip Zinzel
If a Nation expects to be both Ignorant & Free . .
11:16 AM on 06/23/2013
Thanks for this post Tony- pls see my response to Katrin55
Aye Oh Ell Ess You See Kay Ess
03:06 PM on 06/22/2013
After reading this great article all I can say is

“Damnit, Janet, I Love You.”
Tony Sez
07:12 AM on 06/23/2013
The river was deep but you swam it!
A circle is perfect but the world isn't round
02:47 PM on 06/22/2013
One point she didn't make is that who benefits from the current prohibition: the drug cartels and that billions that get shipped out of the US shrinking our economy, the DEA who would have to downsize if cannabis became legal (where are those small govt activists), and prison cartel. So anyone who supports the current laws is pro-drug cartel, pro-big govt., and pro-prison/industrial complex. Not to mention that going to prison negatively affects one's life. Id bet imprisoning people has done much more human damage than the drug itself.
We're Going The Wrong Way !
12:21 AM on 06/23/2013
"Id bet imprisoning people has done much more human damage than the drug itself."
No doubt.
02:33 PM on 06/22/2013
I fully agree that cannabis should fall into the same category as alcohol when it comes to consumption, regulation, and taxation. Adults should be able the exercise their right to choose, when it comes to the use of cannabis for recreational use, or as use as an alternative and natural medicine.
I find it ironic, that the GOP, the self proclaimed party of freedom and individual rights, has been and is overwhelmingly against the legalization of cannabis. Why, because they represent the interests of big business, and big business cannot corner the market on production of quality cannabis. Furthermore, they have historically led the fight for the "war on drugs", as a means to further the interests of our multi-billion dollar private for profit prison system.
Even though many people support the GOP because of social and religious values, in truth, they often vote against their own self interest. We can only dream, that the majority (98%), comes to the realization that our social and religious differences aside, our common interests for a better future will override party politics. While not perfect, the Democratic Party as it stands today, represents the best hope for majority of Americans. The policies and position of todays GOP are self serving, favor the wealthy, and stand in opposition of women, minorities, the elderly, and the poor.
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06:05 PM on 06/22/2013
Well said my friend!
Question Authority, All Governments Lie
07:36 PM on 06/22/2013
You better check your Facts my Friend. Mitch McConnel the Conservative GOPer that Liberals Luv to hate, is leading the charge to legalize Cannabis Use. Before you go pointing fingers and being the Partisan that you are first get your facts straight. May I ask Who is currently siting as President of the USA ? And Whom did appoint the current Attorney General that has gone way above the last Republican administration in Enforcing these Harsh Cannabis Laws ? a Democrat. Why must people like You Politicize this Issue when it is clear to every Honest Intellectual that ALL of Federal Government is to blame, especially the sitting President that Promised to Not raid Medical Marijuana Dispensaries but yet his attorney general has ramped up those raids. As far as Cannabis and the Federal Government is concerned there is no Difference between Democrats or Republicans. If you think otherwise I dare you to suggest that in 2016 the Democrats will have Cannabis Legalization as a Presidential Platform during the Campaign
Here, let me light that Mary Jane for you.
11:47 PM on 06/22/2013
I think you are confusing McConnel's "charge to legalize cannabis with his support for hemp:
Tony Sez
07:15 AM on 06/23/2013
Um, I live in KY and follow news here. Mitch is in favor of hemp--not pot. And going after an administration for enforcing laws that are already on the books is hardly an argument against Dems supporting legalization.
01:58 PM on 06/22/2013
Damn it, Janet... I love you.
Scott Goold
Why do you choose to suffer? There is a better way
12:55 PM on 06/22/2013
Thank you, Ms. Sarandon, for speaking honestly and openly about this critical issue!

See also: The God Plant: “I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen anymore.” ~ Ezekiel 34:29
11:26 AM on 06/22/2013
Ms S..the tax benefit of mj is greatly exaggerated...right now the price of MMJ in Colorado is falling below the break even point...less than $150 per oz....its just too darn easy to grow at home....thats the future of legal mj..right now many black market growers cant sell,the market is saturated..
02:36 PM on 06/22/2013
The easiest way to tax cannabis is to place a fee per license or recommendation for those that cultivate their own cannabis. As far as the black market, legalization and lower prices, ie lower profits, will actually reduce the impact of black market drug operations.
In CA, 150 dollars per ounce allows for profit, what it does not allow for is greed, and the hope of getting rich on black market prices.
08:46 PM on 06/22/2013
I grew at home when it was a felony..not going to be taxed.. the horse is out of the barn here in Colorado....plant that pill(seed) and let it ring...lyrics by Neil Young
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Christian morality is an oxymoron.
02:56 PM on 06/22/2013
The state of Colorado estimates it will save half a BILLION dollars a year having legalized MJ, from law enforcement, courts, prosecutors, prisons, probation, etc. They don't need any more in tax money.
09:32 PM on 06/22/2013
yes we do, we need to finance a forest-fire-air-force...all of these projected financial figures are greatly exaggerated
Brown Buddha
Throwing pebbles into the ocean
11:25 AM on 06/22/2013
Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront. Drug laws are racist laws. It needs to stop. Make everything legal. However, it is not a good idea to do drugs.
So there I was, playing the piano....
11:20 AM on 06/22/2013
Like all things political in this country money will eventually be the answer. Just as with gambling cracks are appearing in the dam of the hated drug war, at some point the torrent will begin. To the weeping and wailing of social conservatives of course. Libertarians, where are you in all this and why don't you come forth in favor of legalization. You can protest the tax part later.
My ex loves Fox News
10:40 AM on 06/22/2013
Thank you Ms Sarandon, for your work in this very important area.
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Burnus Swarthout
searching for truth
07:18 AM on 06/22/2013
The war on drugs is nothing more than a front for a slave labor system.If you get caught dealing you become a slave in a shop for the government.