Arizona Citizens Supporting Honest Representative Government At All Levels
[Editor: for opposing view, click here: https://arizonafreedomalliance.ning.com/group/editorial-opinion/for...]
The Conservative Case for Legalization
While drug policy reform has often been categorized as an issue largely backed by the political left, drug legalization and regulation is a matter of public importance that spans across political lines. In fact, many of the arguments for legalization and regulation are a natural fit for the conservative platform.
Narco-terrorism is fueled by drug prohibition.
The most common criminal activity for terrorist organizations is to be involved in is the illegal drug trade.[i] Drug cartels use the highly profitable illicit drug market to fund terrorist activity. Regulating drugs would take money and power away from these dangerous organizations.
Cost to taxpayers.
In 2013, the Obama administration requested $25.6 billion in federal spending to be allocated to continued drug war policies – including $15 billion on law enforcement, interdiction and international efforts. The Drug Policy Alliance estimates that when you combine state and local spending on everything from drug-related arrests to prison, spending totals at least $51 billion per year[ii]. Over four decades of the drug war, American taxpayers have spent more than a trillion dollars on prohibition.
We need to prioritize our law enforcement efforts.
The war on drugs has heavily influenced the way the criminal justice system functions. Forfeiture laws have been enacted to allow police departments to keep a significant portion of the drug-related assets acquired via seizure, and drug arrests are incentivized to the point where police departments view meeting drug arrest quotas as a budgetary necessity. This reliance on – and drive toward – nonviolent drug arrests perpetuates a criminal justice system in which solving violent crimes and developing crime-prevention strategies are not prioritized appropriately. 400,000 rape kits in the U.S. haven’t been tested (as far back as 1970), and when victims are able to follow up with their case and obtain DNA evidence years later, the statute of limitation often prevents them from pressing charges.
Drug prohibition risks law enforcement lives
Police officers are put in danger during drug raids, undercover operations and during routine street patrols every day. Officers are injured, accidentally killed, and even brutally murdered while enforcing the failed policy of prohibition. Prohibition created the violent gangs and cartels that commit these acts against officers and innocent civilians who happen to be nearby.
According to a 2010 study produced by the Cato Institute, legalizing and regulating all currently illicit drugs could save the government approximately $41.3 billion in law enforcement costs and generate an estimated $46.7 billion in tax revenue. Marijuana alone would account for $8.7 billion of the savings and another $8.7 billion in tax revenue.[iii]
[gun owners notice this]
The drug war increases the size and power of government.
Prohibition fuels a never-ending expansion of the DEA and other drug enforcement entities. As enforcement efforts expand, citizens see their rights decrease with tactics such as civil asset forfeiture, crackdowns on gun ownership, and raids (often targeting and injuring innocent civilians).
Lost wages and economic growth.
Incarceration costs the taxpayers significantly, but the economy further suffers because there are fewer employers, employees, and consumers to promote economic growth. Businesses suffer when such a high percentage of the population has no money to spend or a job to get money in the first place. Jobs and educational opportunities are also further limited for those with drug convictions, so employment opportunities after incarceration are limited, too.
Impact on families.
Families are torn apart due to incarceration. Children are also taken from loving homes because of small amounts of drugs or medical marijuana found in the home. Children who have a parent in prison often suffer from feelings of detachment, trauma, a lack of positive role models, and behavioral issues.
More information can be had a www.leap.cc (LEAP - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)
[i] Makarenko, Tamara, “The Crime Terror Continuum: Tracing the Interplay between Transnational Organised Crime and Terrorism”,Global Crime, vol. 6, no.1, 2004, p. 134
[iii] Miron, Jeffrey and Waldock, Katherine, “The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition,” 2010, p. 1
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Because it is an initiative it can virtually NEVER be changed, and there are huge holes in the initiative that are undefined. Look at what has happened in Colorado, listen to the legislators who WENT to Colorado, and the response from Colorado, including democrats - DO NOT PASS this initiative. It is a cash business so it is virtually impossible to collect taxes; there will be at least two new government agencies (growing government); marijuana is not the same as it was in the 1960s.
IF the law was actually written competently, perhaps, but not as an initiative that CANNOT be changed. Colorado is already changing their 'law'....because it was a law....not an initiative.
Everything you stated is not quite the truth. First an initiative can be modified by a sufficient vote. Initiatives are telegraphing to the legislature that they are not doing their jobs. I spoke to a couple of them a few years ago. Over 50% of Americans say it should be legalized. The Republicans are alienating a lot of voters. Six states have initiatives, 3 for legalization, 3 for medical use.
Many of us HAVE looked and read about Colorado. A few weeks ago they stated that over half would approve another initiative. The Governor, who didn't want it, said it was a blessing to Colorado and now embraces it. Are there unhappy people, sure.
As far as cash, they made $40 Million 2014-2015 (a year), from taxes in Colorado, exceeding what was promised. Some schools complained about the Marihuana business not giving them money. These places pay their taxes. It's government distribution, not the industry. If you would look into how it's done here, you'd see that even a cash business, when connected to a computer that tracks all sales. All plants are tracked by video from cloning to the customer, so again it's propaganda. Not being taxed is pure propaganda as is schools not getting monies promised. And they have to use cash because the laws will not allow bank accounts from fear of money laundering.
Also take into consideration, although in California, where the largest agricultural crop is Marijuana. The state missed over $14 Million that wasn't on tax returns. How much is here?
Two new government agencies, that are in fact paid for completely from taxes of sales. This makes them new jobs that don't cost the taxpayer. I guess you never heard of the DEA? The ever growing agency was allocated $25+ billion in 2013 by Obama (if I remember the numbers.) What good have they done. I'm have law enforcement background and they are brothers, but they are (the DEA mechanism) only knows how to kill and imprison. The drug problem has just grown, just like the DEA.
In around 1996 the DEA showcased 700+ tons of Marijuana they had seized that year. After much ruckus they admitted that 94% to 96% of it was UN-smokable wild hemp. Cost to us???
I'd like you to check a link, one that shows how drugs in an NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) evaluation, affect drivers.
Yes Marijuana is not the same. However being used to alcohol where you double they intake, it doubles the effect. Many drugs do not exhibit these linear like increase with intoxication. Even the AAA stated that 'per se' laws (being applied to Marijuana) that specify a level are just guesses and are convicting people that are not what would be consider intoxicated.
Colorado is also claiming that legalization has caused a reduction in fatal crashes. They speculate that people chose Marijuana over alcohol As you noticed in the graph, all drugs together do not approach the danger of alcohol.
Remember the 1920's, when you they went to vote and the signs were "vote yes on prohibition for us". In 1932 the signs (and cars) read "repeal prohibition save our children" and "protect our youth." Since both increased during the period. Exactly opposite of what was promised.
Voting NO on Prop 205 is sentencing our children to continued exposure to drugs. The GOA (Government Accounting Office) estimates that 900,000 teenagers are dealing drugs. These are mostly in schools. If you're not satisfied with that, please read about why these laws exists.
Do you support the Republican Party on this? It is still happening. It turns my stomach and I have tried to not talk to much about it. I can't believe for a second that they don't know this.
I said 'virtually'...it would have to be another initiative to abolish or change and once passed those 'benefiting' would most likely not vote to repeal it. The legislature can only 'make it better'
Have your read the report prepared by Senator Allen? Even though 'paid' for by the profits it grows government. Not quite old enough to remember prohibition, but yes I do understand and agree with 'freedom' of choice.
And the BS continues ... just as the Obama administration tells us that mentioning Radical Islamic Terrorism causes more recruits for ISIS ... then you state "Voting NO on Prop 205 is sentencing our children to continued exposure to drugs" ?? I ask YOU ... just what role do WE PARENTS have in this lie you spew ???????? What role does policing have in this open ended future drug dealings?
Drug dealing is allowed by the actions of this President when he REALEASES drug convicted dealers from prison. When he releases upon society un-vetted Muslim "refugees", when our Department of in-Justice and FBI fail to bring charges against the builder of unsecured e-mail servers and chiefs-of-staffs ALL democrats. When does the Rule of Law come into reality ... when it can't be reversed? The 18th amendment was reversed for alcohol but not this? Your argument removes OUR Liberty to choose !!!
Of course, Jeri, you are exactly right, not mostly right. Let's get out of our marijuana haze and be realistic. Jack says it needs "a sufficient vote." History shows that such votes never ever happen. This is forever no matter the fallout or the problems with the language - as you point out, there are many. We need only look at the argument "it's not as bad as alcohol" that I already pointed out the flaw there in my comment on my article. Look back to the 30's. It gave rise to the most violent time in our history, the time of prohibition. When people get addicted to a way of life, they will fight you and even kill you to keep it.
Jack's argument about how much was made in CO is also false. In 2014, their tax revenue was $2million. They PROJECTED $40million but that did not materialize. I have not checked his other "facts" because he has already shown his facts to be flawed. No reason to take any of that seriously. CA does not yet have this on the books. It will be voted on Nov 8. It will definitely pass. It's CA, the land where everything goes but the state is falling apart. This is a sham issue, a hoax perpetrated on the public. There are not enough words to justify such dangerous actions.
Supporters talk the "conservative" line of lowering costs everyday ... yet NOTHING ever happens. Didn't we just give Iran $33 Billion? How's that happen? ... with the deceit of Evil ... just like this phony supportive argument which is against our moral Choice of Liberty.
Link to this report: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/surprised-maker-of-drug-fueling-hero...
Insys just contributed $500,000 in the fight against Proposition 205, U.S. News and other outlets report.
The Arizona-based pharmaceutical company recently gave the funds to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, an anti-legalization campaign group actively fighting to defeat the ballot measure.
Insys’s contributions are particularly unsettling considering the company currently markets only one product — a spray version of fentanyl, a powerful opiate.
Fentanyl has become one of the country’s most dangerous prescription drugs. It is more potent than traditional addictive opiates, which already claim thousands of lives every year and drive addicts to graduate to heroin use. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and has been linked to a growing number of deaths in the United States. It is particularly dangerous when sold on the street and cut with other drugs. Fentanyl has been blamed for worsening the sharp rise in heroin overdoses as dealers across the country have begun adding it to heroin to make it stronger.
Yet Insys and opponents of legalization are more concerned about a plant.
According to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, “four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized [cannabis] and are seeing disastrous repercussions for their youth, workplaces and communities.”
Of course, this assessment is incorrect.
Colorado has lower rates of teen cannabis consumption than the national average, and studies have shown driving while under the influence of the plant is far less dangerous than alcohol, a legal drug. Colorado has seen a spike in tourism, business, and tax revenues as a result of legalization.
Interestingly, a study by Johns Hopkins university last year found states with medical marijuana had lower rates of overdose from opiates.
In spite of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy’s claims they care about communities, it is completely comfortable taking half a million dollars from a company that produces one of the most toxic and addictive drugs on the market. Unsurprisingly, Insys previously sold a synthetic cannabis product and has already gained approval from the FDA to launch a similar one in the near future. These business ventures provide an even deeper understanding of why they oppose legalization.
“[W]e are truly shocked by our opponents’ decision to keep a donation from what appears to be one of the more unscrupulous members of Big Pharma,” J.P. Holyoak, chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol said.
His statement continued:
“Our opponents have made a conscious decision to associate with this company. They are now funding their campaign with profits from the sale of opioids – and maybe even the improper sale of opioids. We hope that every Arizonan understands that Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy is now a complete misnomer. Their entire campaign is tainted by this money. Any time an ad airs against Prop. 205, the voters should know that it was paid for by highly suspect Big Pharma actors.“
Considering the myriad healing properties of cannabis, it is obvious why a pharmaceutical company in the business of selling powerful painkillers is eager to invest in maintaining prohibition. Legalizing and normalizing cannabis pose a direct threat to pharmaceutical profits considering cannabis is effective at treating pain, anxiety, degenerative diseases, and potentially even cancer. Though much more research is needed to determine the true efficacy of cannabis as medicine, the federal government’s insistence on keeping it illegal stifles further scientific examination.
There are legitimate concerns about treating cannabis like alcohol — namely, that convoluted regulations make legalization a bureaucratic headache compounded by the substance’s illegal status with the federal government. Nevertheless, powerful interests are aggressively trying to keep cannabis illegal — Insys’s donation is the largest any group associated with Proposition 205 has received.
Around the country, the pharmaceutical fight against legalization is joined by the tobacco lobby, the alcohol lobby, the private prison lobby, and law enforcement.
We need to Vote Yes on 205. Marijuana is a great alternative instead phamaceutical drugs.
The war on drugs has killed an innocent people, destroyed families and imprisoned millions of people.
The war on drugs will never be won and is costing us taxpayers millions of dollars.
Apparently it doesn't bother you that there HUGE mistakes/gaps, etc...in the bill and once passed it CANNOT be fixed. Look at the information from Colorado; look at what Senator Allen had to say. IF it were written properly, then perhaps, but as it stands, it will enrich the 'cash' business, there will be no taxes, and you will create more government.
Yes it's a bother. But to say it can't be fixed it dead wrong. Yes it takes a lot of votes. If they would have acted, this would not have happened. That's what initiatives are for.
How can you say $40 Million from Colorado's industry isn't taxes. It's only the people that want to seize property that's giving this information out.
I've already explained how it isn't an untaxed business and won't be. But a no vote will help the cartels and drug dealers get the money not the schools, guaranteed. The money is going to be spent, the kids have dealers within the schools and the problem will perpetuate. If you go and READ the Colorado site, you'll see that you're statements don't hold water.
If it doesn't pass it's a loss to kids and adults. Do you wish to bring back the 18th Amendment? Just change out Alcohol for Marijuana, it's it's not the drug, it's prohibition is not the right tool for this.
And to add to that we have the highest prison population in the world, thanks to prohibition. It's also caused mandatory sentencing, so when the prison fills up with non-violent drug users, they let the violent one out since the drug ones have mandatory sentencing.
In Colorado, the study there of "marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol" in 12 graders, stated that the use of Cigarettes has declined by 50% over the last two decades. Alcohol has also decreased. Marijuana has remained the same (even after legalization) about 22%.
Why has the Alcohol and tobacco use decreased while marijuana has stayed the same? Legalize, governmental regulation and educated, a proven mechanism. Lowers drug use and children's exposure.
What we've done for over three decades has produced nothing but ex cons and death, it's time we change.
It would be nice for you to read what we wrote instead of repeating what has been already identified as erroneous.
If you are dead set against this, I cannot help you. I can only give you information and where to confirm it.
Know who pays the bills when you see sites like 'Rocky Mountain HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Traffic Area)' as the sites charter is drug to "combat drugs". Of course they will twist the truth as it's their jobs on the line. Find where they get the data and get it from the 'horses mouth' so to speak.
Conversely sites, like NIH (National Institute of Health) isn't under that and will at least give you current and usually correct information, from all angles.
I would like an open discussion, not an argument. As I believe we really want the same thing. :)
A side note, we are promised in the US constitution a 'republican form of government' (not the party)...the initiative is a democratic form of government...majority rule...our AZ. constitution does not conform as required.
A better method of legalization, or whatever the desire is, would be to elect representatives who 'represent' you and then hold them accountable.
Initiatives - such as the one Bloomberg wants to bring to Arizona, backed by out of state and out of country money as destructive.
That is ideal. Where are they? When they don't act, they get initiatives. Our Constitution does not allow for the government to control what we eat, drink or medicate with, but they do. Our founding fathers also didn't want legislation to be a occupation, which is a major problem now...
Quotation: "If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."
I cheated and had to Google it..
Getting off topic.... :)