Show Me The Money - Dr. David Bearman
The bipartisan support for the “Drug War” is beginning to ebb. The early 1980s began to see public officials stand up for changing marijuana laws. One of the first was Joe Allen. In 1983, when District Attorney of Mendocino County, he spoke out on “60 Minutes,” saying that cannabis should be legal. In 1984, 72 House members co-sponsored a bill to legalize marijuana. This included representative Newt Gingrich.
Bob Barr, an arch conservative was, for many years an ardent drug warrior, however by 2007 he was sick of the post 9/11 federal abuse of power and became a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). In 2008 he was the presidential candidate of the Libertarian party. The Libertarian party opposes drug prohibition laws.
This year the Libertarians have a strong ticket of former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Orange County Superior Court Judge Jim Gray. Gray is author of “Why the Drug War Failed and What To Do About It.” Johnson and Gray recognize the folly of our drug laws, their perversion of the Constitution and their adverse effect on the economy.
Renowned conservative economist Milton Friedman (who died at age 94 in 2007), said that the federal government should abandon its disastrous war on marijuana. He said, “There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana. It’s absolutely disgraceful to think of picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is the denial of marijuana for medical purposes.”
Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), is quoted in Friedman’s obituary, “Dr. Friedman was a lifetime dues-paying member of MPP and a strong advocate for ending marijuana prohibition. He understood that the government’s war on marijuana users is an assault on basic conservative values of freedom and small government. We will miss him greatly.”
In a June 2005 letter signed by Friedman and 530 other economists they encouraged “an open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition.” Their letter said, “We believe such a debate will favor a regime in which marijuana is legal but taxed and regulated like other goods.”
These over 500 economists cited the economic study by Harvard’s Jeffrey R. Miron. 25 Miron calculated that ending marijuana prohibition would save federal taxpayers $13.9 billion annually and would generate $6.2 billion in new tax receipts. Many experts believe this estimate is low since it does not include state and local criminal justice costs, costs of incarceration, costs of testing programs, and the cost of broken lives, priceless.
In his February 28, 2005 Business Week article, “How Is The Return On That Investment?”, Christopher Farrel asks what has our return on our investment in drug policy been. His answer, “Abysmal,” pointing out that the demand for such illegal drugs as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin remains strong.
Farrel notes that drug lords and their cartels made billions and not only gain money and power but terrorize nations and local communities. Crime and corruption derived from the illegal drug trade flourish. U.S. prisons are crowded with drug-law offenders – more than 54% of federal prisoners sentenced in 2004 were sent away for breaking drug laws.
As we enter the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign it is all about the money - campaign money, corporate money, tax money, personal wealth, the federal budget; you name it. There is much money to be saved by drug policy reform. Not only would legalizing cannabis and hemp save billions in criminal justice system expenditures but it would stimulate the agricultural and industrial economy.
As a physician with a public health background (e.g., lecturer SDSU School of Public Health, Director and Health Officer Sutter County) I have some suggestions of where to spend a portion of the tens of billions that we are pouring into this failed “War on Drugs.”
“A shift in focus would free up scarce government resources at a time when the twin demands of an aging population and the war on terror are putting stress on the fiscal purse.” – Christopher Farrel
There are lots of man-made public health disasters where a prudent nation would be wise to invest funds that are currently being wasted on a failed drug policy. U.S. drug policy purports as one goal to be protecting the public’s health. There are other much larger more important health priorities for humankind.
Here are a set of high priority items worthy of getting more funds which could be forthcoming if we altered our failed drug policy and reallocated criminal justice dollars to education and health.
According to the 2006 President of the American Public Health Association (APHA), man-made public health disasters include worldwide chemical pollution, misuse of non-renewable resources and the widening gap between the rich and poor.
Other human-related issues deserving of public health attention are escalating species extinction, collapsing ocean fisheries, increasing conflicts and changing global climates.
You may have other ideas on what to do with the financial windfall that would come from just legalizing hemp and cannabis. Drug policy reform could free up funds for lowering the national debt, saving Social Security, repairing our infrastructure, and myriad other important governmental priorities which would help the middle class.
The point is that the United States current drug policy is pouring billions down a rat hole, gaining little or nothing positive for our society. We are turning our collective backs on a golden economic opportunity at a time of wide spread financial hardship.
The United States' existing drug policy has not served America and her citizens well. It is well past time to say NO to the greed which motivated the Marijuana Tax Act, NO to the avarice of petrochemical giants, NO to the Prison/Industrial Complex and YES to agriculture, YES to economic stimulus, YES to families, YES to positive parenting, YES to common sense and YES to the American people.
I lived in the middle-eastern US in 1996 when California's Prop. 215 passed. The mindset was (and still is I think) of the nature that marijuana is just an illegal recreational drug and is looked down upon. Even I thought it was ridiculous that these "sick" people needed marijuana...it all seemed to be a ploy for stoners to legalize this bad, evil substance.
Then, I got "sick".
I am a patient suffering from multiple sclerosis, and have found amazing amounts of relief from marijuana.
I was diagnosed about 6 months ago.
My neurologist put me on a steroid treatment, involving 10 grams of methylprednisolone through an IV for 5 days, and then a tapering dose of oral prednisone for the next 19 days after that.
I ate everything I saw for those whole 24 days, got acne all over my chest, and gained 15 pounds. My level of disability improved soon after the treatment began. About five days after the treatment was over, I was back to almost the same level of disability again. I have nothing to show for all the toxic steroids I put into my body, and who knows what other medical problems will come up as a long-term side effect to this treatment.
Next, my neurologist put me on Rebif, a MS disease-modifying drug. This consisted of giving myself a shot Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week. Hey, at least I got the weekends off, right?
The biggest side effect I had with the Rebif was "flu-like" symptoms, so after about a month and a half of feeling like crap all the time, always being tired, and not feeling like the Rebif was doing me any good, I stopped taking it.
I felt a lot better within 3 days after discontinuing the Rebif, so I decided that feeling better now (I'm 21, let me enjoy what I can while I'm young.) was much better than feeling horrible for what basically is supposed to result in my MS progressing 30 percent slower than without treatment.
I have been through Amantadine, Baclofen, Ultram, Provigil, Soma, and Prednisone, plus some that I probably have forgotten. All of these medications either provided little or no relief, and/or had very undesirable side effects for me.
Before learning that I had a disease that was probably MS, I had used marijuana maybe 10 times in my whole life. I started using it more regularly, and noticed that I was feeling much better all around when smoking marijuana. I could get around better, I felt better, I was in a better mood, and I ate (something that is often very difficult for me).
Being a California resident, I obtained a doctor's recommendation, and am now legal to use medical cannabis in California, and would like to see it made legal everywhere.
Marijuana is now the only medication I am using to treat my condition, and I would be so much less functional without it that I don't know what I would do (or COULD do for that matter).
Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
HB642 - The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act of Alabama
Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Florida: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Illinois: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Bill Status of SB1381
Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Marijuana Bill Reaches House
Cannabis Compassion and Care Act
Maryland: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Bill Status of SB 627
Massachusetts: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Minnesota: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
HOUSE BILL NO. 1670 - An Act relating to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes
Cottleville Mayor Don Yarber hopes Missouri legislature passes medical marijuana law
New Hampshire: Considering a medical marijuana law.
New York: Considering a medical marijuana law.
North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act
Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.
The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act
Featured Recipe - Zucchini Paradise by Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD
(Or how to love long green veggies)
best recipes come from just goofing around and following ones instincts.
This is the case in the development of Zucchini Paradise.
Now most of
you dont happen to have 12 inch Zucchini lying around (well, maybe
some you do but wont admit it) but my good Nancy Wife and I are
up to our cannabis chef hats in giant zucchini fresh from our garden.
My 420 friends are so fond of describing the wonderful varieties of
bud they grow. Ive got news for them. Plant veggies if you really
want to trip. Growing veggies is cheap and fun. Home veggies cook and
taste better than anything youll ever get at the market at any
and monster zucchini have come to our kitchen. What to do? Well, heres
what we did with these tasty veggies that could not have been fresher.
Brand Hot sausage link
1\2 Cup herb
1 medium sized
fresh Bermuda Red onion
1\3 Cup red
4 tablespoons bud butter
1\3 Cup crumbled
goat cheese (hey its good, really!)
basil (or crushed powdered bud if you have it)
cracked black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
the sausage (diced fine) with crushed croutons, spices, goat cheese,
chopped onion, and olive oil (you can do this in advance). Refrigerate
stuffing for 30 minutes for flavors to blend.
the ends off of your monster and slice him down the middle into two
halves. With a small sharp knife (careful now my baked buddies) remove
the centers of the zucchini creating a long deep trough.
the troughs with your stuffing mixture. Line a large baking tray with
aluminum foil leaving enough on the sides to make a tent.
Pour the red wine into the aluminum tray and add pats of
bud butter. Place the stuffed monsters in the tray and gently close
the tent. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. DO NOT
OVER COOK the monsters because mushy zucchini is a bummer. Remove from
the oven; open the tent and sprinkle with freshly grated Pecorinno Romano
cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese begins to brown. Slice
your stuffed monster into serving size and plate. Pour red wine bud
butter sauce over the stuffed monster and enjoy.
wine: Italian Chianti chilled