Help Stop Reefer Madness

Reefer madnessThis is an issue that affects all of us. We spend billions of dollars enforcing marijuana laws, and distract good cops from enforcing real crimes. Almost a million people are arrested for marijuana possession each year. Many of them end up with permanent criminal records and are barred forever from receiving federal student aid. People don’t just have their lives ruined; some have even died as a result of marijuana law enforcement (e.g. shot to death in paramilitary style raids – yes, it happens.)

The criminalization of marijuana was pure foolishness driven by racism, hysteria and corporate special interests.

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Daniel Pinchbeck and the Mayans

Years ago, I read Pinchbeck’s Breaking Open the Head, and found it to be a good and interesting book, even if somewhat inconclusive.

Somehow I missed Rolling Stone‘s profile of him over a year ago. It’s a really interesting story – his influences and where they took him. I saw Pinchbeck on the Colbert Report a few months ago talking about his new book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and I was quite confused.

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Jury Nullification in the Drug War

The lead writers for HBO’s show The Wire wrote a great piece in TIME this week railing against the War on Drugs. Their suggested approach: jury nullification. They say,

“If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun’s manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war. No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.

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