Regulate everything like tomatoes: a guide to ending the drug war


In late February, the Colorado Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division released a reports stating, “On December 31, 2014, Colorado concluded a full twelve months of lawful retail marijuana sales to adults over 21 years of age. The State experienced many firsts, such as the implementation of the first-in-the-world comprehensive regulatory model overseeing cultivation, products manufacturing, and sale of marijuana for non-medical retail use.”

These so called firsts were a result of the passage of a ballot initiative in 2012, in which voters amended the State Constitution to regulate cannabis like wine. Despite the difference between the cannabis regulations and the regulations concerning alcohol, primarily the regulation on the amount one can purchase or possess, the MED reports that over 17 tons of recreational cannabis were sold in 2014. Additionally, Reuters reports, “State tax officials say sales hit nearly $700 million last year, with medical (cannabis) accounting for $386 million and recreational (cannabis) bringing in $313 million,” which amounted to approximately $76 million in revenue through taxes and fees to the State of Colorado.

Some people argue that a regulatory structure such as that adopted in Colorado and Washington, where figures are not yet released, will be the beginning of the end of the drug war. While the statistics show that arrests for cannabis possession have declined in Colorado by 84% since 2010, and arrests for distribution of cannabis have declined by 90% in the same time period, arrests for public consumption have risen by over three and a half times in only 1 year (184 in 2013 to 668 in 2014).

However cannabis is only one aspect of the drug war. Aside from asset forfeiture, the other aspects of the drug war are more taboo, and less discussed in any serious manner. Additionally, one must define what is meant by “ending the drug war.” Some would be happy to see only arrests for cannabis possession be eliminated, but would support the continued prosecution of unlicensed sales (regardless if they support licensing sales or not). While others believe that taxing and regulating cannabis, but keeping the “hard stuff” illegal is a good enough end to the drug war. Yet others believe that all substances should be able to be manufactured, sold, possessed and or consumed without government intervention. I fall in the latter category, and do not believe that taxing and regulating a substance, any substance, can lead to the eventual abolition of that taxing and regulatory structure. I challenge you to think of something, anything, that has had a taxing and regulatory structure removed from it within your life time.

I long for the day in which all substances are as legal as tomatoes. What do I mean? To my knowledge, there are no laws regulating how many tomatoes a person can grow, purchase, sale or posses. There may be laws regulating business activity in general, but not tomatoes specifically. Thus, to truly end the war on drugs, the federal Controlled Substances Act needs to be repealed, and all state and local laws prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession and consumption of all substances must be repealed. By saying this, I am not advocating that anyone consume crystal meth, only that one should not be treated as a criminal for simply doing so. It is not only costly to treat people with vices like criminals, it is also immoral.

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South Dakota Bill that Makes Ballot Access More Restrictive has Hearing Friday, March 6

By Richard Winger The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee hears SB 69 on Friday, March 6, at 7:45 a.m. The hearing is in room 414. The bill injures ballot access three ways: (1) it makes it more difficult for a member of a small qualified party to get on his or her party’s primary ballot; (2) it(More)… …read more

Source:: http://www.ballot-access.org/2015/03/south-dakota-bill-that-makes-ballot-access-more-restrictive-has-hearing-friday-march-6/

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Some Alaska Legislators Not Happy with Libertarian Party Choice for State Campaign Finance Commission

By Richard Winger As previously reported, last year the Alaska Libertarian Party came in second for Governor of Alaska among the party nominees for that office. That is because the Democrats didn’t have a gubernatorial nominee. Therefore, under Alaska law, the Libertarian Party had the right to choose a nominee for the Commission that regulates campaign finance. According(More)… …read more

Source:: http://www.ballot-access.org/2015/03/some-alaska-legislators-not-happy-with-libertarian-party-choice-for-state-campaign-finance-commission/

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Activists Refuse to Bow Down to Tyrants, Take Over Court Room. All Hell Breaks Loose

By The Free Thought Project In January, an activist group stood up to tyranny and took over a Washington Court. The story of this takeover is told below by one of the lead activists, Gav Seim. You may have heard of Seim before. He helped to organize the largest felony civil disobedience rally ever held in America’s history.

We all knew this happening but did not want to face it. It has never been exposed to the world like this until today. — Around the nation, Kangaroo Courts like this are abusing us. Once people walk through those doors their rights are as worthless as dung …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/gav-siem-courtroom-takeover/

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Cop Loses It, Breaks Man’s Nose and Chokes His Son Because they Sat in His Seat

By John Vibes Palm Beach County, Florida – 41-year-old police officer Jason Tucciarone was recently arrested for breaking a man’s nose in a fight over a bar stool. It was also reported that the officer choked the victim’s son as well.
On Monday night, Tucciarone’s temper got the best of him when he punched a main in the face and broke his nose because he wanted the bar stool that the man was sitting in.
The men who were attacked even apologized and offered up the seat. But that wasn’t good enough for him; he allegedly started a fight with them even though they made …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-arrested-breaking-mans-nose-fight-bar-stool-attempted-run-officer/

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Washington State Senate Passes Bill for March Presidential Primary

By Richard Winger On March 3, the Washington State Senate passed SB 5978, which provides for a presidential primary on the 2nd Tuesday of March. Current law provides for a presidential primary in May, but more times than not the state doesn’t actually hold a presidential primary, for budgetary reasons. Thanks to Jim Riley and Josh Putnam for(More)… …read more

Source:: http://www.ballot-access.org/2015/03/washington-state-senate-passes-bill-for-march-presidential-primary/

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New Nevada Registration Tally

By Richard Winger The Nevada Secretary of State has released the February 2015 registration tally. See it here. The percentages are now: Democratic 39.64%; Republican 34.46%; Independent American 4.71%; Libertarian .82%; independent and miscellaneous (including Green) 20.37%. By comparison, in October 2014 the percentages were: Democratic 40.11%; Republican 34.96%; Independent American 4.71%; Libertarian .81%; Green .19%; independent and(More)… …read more

Source:: http://www.ballot-access.org/2015/03/new-nevada-registration-tally/

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Ferguson Cops Caught in Racist Email Scandal: Called Obama “Chimpanzee” & Black People Dogs

By The Free Thought Project One Ferguson Police Department employee has been fired and two others have been placed on leave after federal authorities identified them as responsible for writing racist emails, the mayor of the city said.

RT.com
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles made the announcement at a Wednesday evening press conference and the decision came after the US Justice Department tagged the three specifically for having made racist remarks in city emails.
The fallout comes as the Justice Department issued a 100-page report that found systematic racial discrimination by the Ferguson police officials and the court system against African Americans. Mayor Knowles said the city “must do …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/ferguson-cops-caught-racist-email-scandal-called-obama-chimpanzee-black-people-dogs/

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D.C. Man Walks into Police Station, Asks for his Seized Weed Back… Cops Gave it Back

By The Free Thought Project A Washington, DC man walked into a police station, and asked for marijuana. The cops gave it to him. It’s no joke or riddle, but the reality of pot legalization in the nation’s capital. However, there is a hitch ‒ the weed already belonged to him.

A resident of the District’s Ward 7 ‒ a more economically depressed area that largely lies east of the Anacostia River ‒ walked into a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) 6th District (6D) station Monday night to take advantage of a little-noticed aspect of DC’s recent marijuana legalization.
“He walked in to recover his property from a …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/d-c-man-walks-police-station-asks-seized-weed-back-legal-now-gave/

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New Coinbase Support Center

As part of our effort to provide world class support, we’re happy to present the re-designed Coinbase Support Center. Although we strive to make Coinbase easy to use, we understand that sometimes things do not work as expected or may be confusing. The Coinbase Support Center is a great place to help resolve those issues. You can:Report a bugAsk a questionSend us feedbackMessage us on Live ChatCreate a Coinbase Community postPeruse our robust knowledge baseWe’d love to get your feedback on how you prefer to get in touch with us as Bitcoin continues to grow. Please drop by our Community …read more

Source:: http://blog.coinbase.com/post/112620271557

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Montana House Passes Bill to Let Qualified Parties Dispense with Public Elections for Party Office

By Richard Winger On February 26, the Montana House passed HB 454 by a vote of 53-46. Current law requires qualified parties to choose precinct committee members in a government-administered primary. The bill says parties may continue to do that, but they are also free to appoint such party officers per party rules. Or, they can elect them(More)… …read more

Source:: http://www.ballot-access.org/2015/03/montana-house-passes-bill-to-let-qualified-parties-dispense-with-public-elections-for-party-office/

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Burlington, Vermont, Holds City Election

By Richard Winger On March 3, Burlington, Vermont, held its election for city office. The Democratic nominee for Mayor was re-elected, defeating the Progressive Party nominee, the Libertarian nominee, and an independent candidate. The new city council has 4 Democrats, 4 Progressives, 3 independents, and one Republican. See this story. …read more

Source:: http://www.ballot-access.org/2015/03/burlington-vermont-holds-city-election/

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Boldest Move Against the Drug War to Date Just Came Out of Texas, from a Republican

By Jay Syrmopoulos The state’s immoral war on drugs is now bipartisanly opposed

Austin, Texas – In a bold piece of legislation, Rep. David Simpson (R) filed a bill that would delete any mention of marijuana from state law. It would completely deregulate it and treat it as any common crop.
In a press release, Simpson said he supported regulating marijuana like the state regulates “tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee.”
“Everything that God made is good, even marijuana” said state Rep. Simpson. “The conservative thought is that government doesn’t need to fix something that God made good.”
A recent poll by Pew Research has shown that 63 percent …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/texas-bill-treat-marijuana-common-crop-100-deregulated-untaxed/

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Video Exposes Lying Cops After they Break Handcuffed Man’s Skull Open & Claim he Did it to Himself

By Cassandra Rules Las Cruces, NM– A New Mexico man is suing the city of Las Cruces for 12.5 million dollars after a vicious assault that left him in the ICU for days was captured on video in December.
Russ Flynn was arrested for allegedly pointing a rifle at one of his neighbors over a squabble regarding a parking space. The police claim he was ignoring the officer’s commands when they arrived at the scene. While his arrest may or may not have been justified, what happened next most certainly was not.
In the video, the handcuffed Flynn is seen kicking the cell door in …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-fracture-handcuffed-mans-skull-claim-himself-shocking-video-beating/

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