Another Angus-Reid Public Policy poll has asked Americans about legalizing marijuana and their opinion of the War on (Certain American Citizens Using Non-Pharmaceutical, Non-Alcoholic, Tobacco-Free) Drugs. And once again, for the third year in a row, a majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana.
The poll is a randomized and controlled online survey. This format, unlike Gallup and other organizations that use telephone polls, may lead to more honest responses from those polled. When asked in Gallup’s last telephone survey about marijuana legalization in October 2010, only 46% of Americans supported marijuana legalization. Angus-Reid’s 2009 survey found 53% support. In 2010 the support was 52% and in the survey just released, support had risen to 55% in favor of marijuana legalization, with only 40% opposed.
Other questions reveal some interesting points as well. When asked if America has a “serious drug abuse problem”, 64% said yes, as a country, we have a serious drug abuse problem, with another 20% saying this serious drug abuse problem is confined to “specific areas and people”. In fact, “serious drug abuse”, defined as people who were admitted to drug treatment for substances other than cannabis, totaled a little over 1.5 million – about 0.4% of our population. Even if you count people forced by a drug court to go to a rehab they don’t need for cannabis, the number is still less than 2 million people.
What we do have in this country is a “serious drug prohibition problem” and it is imperative that we better educate the public that this is what they are misidentifying as drug abuse problems.
Another finding: when asked whether the “War on Drugs is a success”, only 9% of Americans agreed, with a 2-to-1 margin, 67% saying it is a failure. Still, almost a quarter of Americans said “Don’t Know”, indicating another area where we must increase our public education efforts.
As for legalization of drugs and cannabis, we find other interesting data. The gender gap we see in polls like Gallup’s tightens in the online Angus-Reid poll. Where Gallup showed a ten-point gap between men’s and women’s support for legalization of marijuana, Angus-Reid shows 57% of men and 53% of women support legalizing marijuana, a gap of only four points. The online component provides less intimidation of the respondent and I believe women are less likely to be truthful about their support for legalization over the phone, where they hear another voice and imagine being judged as a “pothead”. Still, we need to make up that four-point-gap.
Finally, all the prohibitionists who worry about a “slippery slope” and argue “well, if we legalize pot, what’s next, legal meth?” are going to have to find a new talking point. While the poll shows 55% support for legalizing marijuana, there is but 10% support for ecstasy, 9% for cocaine, 8% for heroin, and 7% each for crack and meth. Apparently Americans know the difference between cannabis and drugs.
Posted by MikeyZero Friday, August 12, 2011 (22:41:17)
Press Release from OCNORML President Neil Yashinsky
I am very happy to report, that yesterday the Michigan Democratic Party adopted
the Beatrice Solomon Patient and Caregiver Protection resolution. This means it
will be a part of the official party platform for 2011, after ratification on
Saturday. Note they do that as a whole, so it is essentially a done deal. How
significant this will be remains seen, but I believe this should hold serious
weight with some people in the MDP.
It is worth nothing that I was greatly assisted by Greg's Piasecki's good friend
Margret. She ended up being my partner from the 9th district. So as usual Greg
deserves a lot of the credit here to
This kind of citizen lead ground level up advocacy I believe can be very
effective in the future. I encourage my Republican friends, especially those
who are precinct delegates consider taking the text, changing if you see fit,
then sponsoring for adoption in your local congressional district. If we can
make this a part of both parties platforms' it will be hard for people trying to
get elected to ignore that. If you would like more information about becoming a
precinct delegate of at least the Democratic or Republican parties, feel free to
email me personally.
I believe this could serve as a model for legislation that seeks to enhance the
rights of patients and caregivers. If you have suggestions how to make the law
better for patients and caregivers please feel free to email me personally.
Beatrice Solomon Patient and Caregiver Protection Resolution
Whereas, 3,006,820 people of Michigan voted to allow seriously ill people to use
Marijuana in 2008 or 62.6% of the voters.
Whereas, 418,208 people of Oakland County voted to allow seriously ill people to
use Marijuana in 2008 or 66% of the voters.
Whereas the Michigan Medical Marijuana Amendment got 1,113,986 more votes than
Governor Rick Snyder and 1,357,597 more votes than Attorney General in the 2010
Whereas the turnout of the 2010 election was 2,763,309 voters lower than the
Whereas, Medical Marijuana patients should not face more onerous restrictions
than any other medically approved controlled substance.
Whereas, minors should avoid all drugs except those prescribed or recommended by
an individual currently licensed by the state of Michigan to prescribe medicine.
Whereas, not all patients are able to grow their own medicine, nor are all
caregivers able to grow medicine for their own patients, we believe that people
who are authorized to possesses medical marijuana should be able to transfer
legally cultivated incidental overages to other caregivers or patients who are
legally authorized to be in possession and who are fully compliant with all of
the restrictions and or limitations outlined in the Michigan Medical Marijuana
Constitutional Amendment approved in 2008.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we urge all state and local law makers not
to infringe of the rights of medical marijuana patients and caregivers, with the
exception of sensible zoning regulations that don’t force patients and
caregivers into back alleys or travel long distances.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party fully supports all the
rights enumerated in the Michigan Medical Marijuana Constitutional Amendment
approved in 2008.
Posted by MikeyZero Wednesday, February 09, 2011 (16:21:14)
Patients and Caregivers, Get the cameras out!!
Michigan high court rules for Dr. Dre
By Ed Brayton | 03.21.11 | 7:52 am
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of rapper Dr. Dre in a case involving a very important legal principle — whether the police have a right to privacy while performing their duties. The state high court said no.
The suit was filed by Gary Brown, now a Detroit City Councilman but formerly a high-ranking police official. He and other officers were videotaped while threatening to shut down a concert featuring Dre and Eminem if they showed a sexually explicit video. The video was then included in a DVD produced about the tour.
The court, in a 6-1 ruling, dismissed the suit, saying that there is no right to privacy for police while on the job. The implications of this ruling are far more important than they may seem initially because it explicitly makes it legal in the state of Michigan to record the police while they perform their duties.
This is incredibly important because cell phone videos of police officers have revealed misconduct, abuse and lying on reports in case after case around the country. But in some states, like Illinois, it is illegal to videotape the police in the performance of their duties.
Michigan now has a clearly established legal right for what has become a crucial watchdog on police misconduct.
Medical Marijuana: SUPREME COURT: Local and State Laws Not superseded by Federal Drug Laws
For Immediate Release: December 1st, 2008
U.S. Supreme Court: State Medical Marijuana Laws Not Preempted by Federal Law
Medical marijuana case appealed by the City of Garden Grove was denied
Washington, DC -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a landmark
decision today in which California state courts found that its medical
marijuana law was not preempted by federal law. The state appellate
court decision from November 28, 2007, ruled that "it is not the job
of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws." The case,
involving Felix Kha, a medical marijuana patient from Garden Grove,
was the result of a wrongful seizure of medical marijuana by local
police in June 2005. Medical marijuana advocates hailed today's
decision as a huge victory in clarifying law enforcement's obligation
to uphold state law. Advocates assert that better adherence to state
medical marijuana laws by local police will result in fewer needless
arrests and seizures. In turn, this will allow for better
implementation of medical marijuana laws not only in California, but
in all states that have adopted such laws.
"It's now settled that state law enforcement officers cannot arrest
medical marijuana patients or seize their medicine simply because they
prefer the contrary federal law," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with
Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana advocacy
organization that represented the defendant Felix Kha in a case that
the City of Garden Grove appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Perhaps,
in the future local government will think twice about expending
significant time and resources to defy a law that is overwhelmingly
supported by the people of our state."
California medical marijuana patient Felix Kha was pulled over by the
Garden Grove Police Department and cited for possession of marijuana,
despite Kha showing the officers proper documentation. The charge
against Kha was subsequently dismissed, with the Superior Court of
Orange County issuing an order to return Kha's wrongfully seized 8
grams of medical marijuana. The police, backed by the City of Garden
Grove, refused to return Kha's medicine and the city appealed. Before
the 41-page decision was issued a year ago by California's Fourth
District Court of Appeal, the California Attorney General filed a
"friend of the court" brief on behalf of Kha's right to possess his
medicine. The California Supreme Court then denied review in March.
"The source of local law enforcement's resistance to upholding state
law is an outdated, harmful federal policy with regard to medical
marijuana," said ASA spokesperson Kris Hermes. "This should send a
message to the federal government that it's time to establish a
compassionate policy more consistent with the 13 states that have
adopted medical marijuana laws."
Today's U.S. Supreme Court Order denying review:
Decision by the California Fourth Appellate District Court:
Felix Kha's return of property case:
Posted by MikeyZero Friday, December 17, 2010 (07:55:23)
Reefer Madness: Marijuana's true potency and why the law should change
Marijuana's true potency and why the law should change
The U.S. war against marijuana has failed and actually threatens public safety and rests on false medical assumptions. Guest columnist John McKay, Seattle's former U.S. attorney, argues why the laws against marijuana should be changed.
I DON'T smoke pot. And I pretty much think people who do are idiots.
This certainly includes Marc Emery, the self-styled "Prince of Pot" from Canada whom I indicted in 2005 for peddling marijuana seeds to every man, woman and child with an envelope and a stamp. Emery recently pleaded guilty and will be sentenced this month in Seattle, where he faces five years in federal prison. If changing U.S. marijuana policy was ever Emery's goal, the best that can be said is that he took the wrong path.
As Emery's prosecutor and a former federal law-enforcement official, however, I'm not afraid to say out loud what most of my former colleagues know is true: Our marijuana policy is dangerous and wrong and should be changed through the legislative process to better protect the public safety.
Congress has failed to recognize what many already know about our policy of criminal prohibition of marijuana — it has utterly failed. Listed by the U.S. government as a "Schedule One" drug alongside heroin, the demand for marijuana in this country for decades has outpaced the ability of law enforcement to eliminate it. Perhaps this is because millions of Americans smoke pot regularly and international drug cartels, violent gangs and street pushers work hard to reap the profits.
Law-enforcement agencies are simply not capable of interdicting all of this pot and despite some successes have not succeeded in thwarting criminals who traffic and sell marijuana. Brave agents and cops continue to risk their lives in a futile attempt to enforce misguided laws that do not match the realities of our society.
These same agents and cops, along with prosecutors, judges and jailers, know we can't win by arresting all those involved in the massive importation, growth or distribution of marijuana, nor by locking up all the pot smokers. While many have argued the policy is unjust, few have addressed the dangerously potent black market the policy itself has created for exploitation by Mexican and other international drug cartels and gangs. With the proceeds from the U.S. marijuana black market, these criminals distribute dangerous drugs and kill each other (too often along with innocent bystanders) with American-purchased guns.
Our wrongheaded policy on marijuana has also failed to address the true health threat posed by its use. While I suspect nothing good can come to anyone from the chronic ingestion of marijuana smoke, its addictive quality and health risk pale in comparison with other banned drugs such as heroin, cocaine or meth. Informed adult choice, albeit a bad one, may well be preferable to the legal and policy meltdown we have long been suffering over marijuana.
Not only does our policy directly threaten our public safety and rest upon false medical assumptions, but our national laws are now in direct and irreconcilable conflict with state laws, including Washington state. So called "medical" marijuana reaches precious few patients and backdoor potheads mock legitimate medical use by glaucoma and chemotherapy patients. State laws are trumped by federal laws that recognize no such thing as "medicinal" or "personal" use and are no defense to arrests by federal agents and prosecution in federal courts.
So the policy is wrong, the law has failed, the public is endangered, no one in law enforcement is talking about it and precious few policymakers will honestly face the soft-on-crime sound bite in their next elections. What should be done?
• First, we need to honestly and courageously examine the true public-safety danger posed by criminalizing a drug used by millions and millions of Americans who ignore the law. Marijuana prohibition has failed — it's time for a new policy crafted by informed policymakers with the help of those in law enforcement who have risked their lives battling pot-purveying drug cartels and gangs.
• Second, let's talk about marijuana policy responsibly and with an eye toward sound science, not myth. We can start by acknowledging that our 1930s-era marijuana prohibition was overkill from the beginning and should be decoupled from any debate about "legalizing drugs." We should study and disclose the findings of the real health risks of prolonged use, including its influence and effect on juveniles.
• Third, we should give serious consideration to heavy regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry (an industry that is very real and dangerously underground). We should limit pot's content of the active ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), regulate its sale to adults who are dumb enough to want it and maintain criminal penalties for sales, possession or use by minors, drivers and boaters.
Federal criminal law should give way to regulation, while prohibiting interstate violation of federal laws consistent with this approach. In short, policymakers should strive for a regulatory and criminal scheme like the one guarding that other commodity that failed miserably at prohibition, alcohol.
As my law-enforcement colleagues know well from chasing bootleggers and mobsters, this new regulatory and criminal approach will still require many years of intensive investigation and enforcement before organized criminal elements are driven from the vast marijuana market. DEA and its law-enforcement partners must therefore remain well equipped and staffed to accomplish this task: to protect our families from truly dangerous drugs and to drive drug cartels, gangs and dope dealers from our society.
John McKay is a law professor at Seattle University and the former United States attorney in Seattle.
AP IMPACT: After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any o
Updated May 13, 2010
AP IMPACT: After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals
MEXICO CITY (AP) — After 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread.
Even U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske concedes the strategy hasn't worked.
"In the grand scheme, it has not been successful," Kerlikowske told The Associated Press. "Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified."
This week President Obama promised to "reduce drug use and the great damage it causes" with a new national policy that he said treats drug use more as a public health issue and focuses on prevention and treatment.
Nevertheless, his administration has increased spending on interdiction and law enforcement to record levels both in dollars and in percentage terms; this year, they account for $10 billion of his $15.5 billion drug-control budget.
Posted by MikeyZero Friday, May 14, 2010 (04:03:59)
It is with great sadness that I report that Greg Piasecki passed away at 5:40 pm Tuesday. His passing was for the most part peaceful. While this is a tragedy losing Greg so young, his wife, Mary Pat was ready for his suffering to end.
Many of you no doubt knew Greg better than I, but I really enjoyed getting to know him better these last few months. He fought his fight against cancer as valiantly as his fight against Marijuana Prohibition. In death Greg will continue to inspire me (and hopefully others) to do what I can to end this injustice.
I believe the memorial service will be in a few weeks. I will continue to pass along info as it becomes available to me.
GREGORY SCOTT PIASECKI
Friday, April 09 2010 9:50 pm
GREGORY SCOTT PIASECKI
Gregory Scott Piasecki passed away on April 6, 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 42.
Born on Feb. 4, 1968 in Hammond, IN, Greg grew up in Rochester, MI. A graduate of Oakland University, he worked at the Palace of Auburn Hills for over 19 years, and also the Meadow Brook Theatre as a Production Manager and carpenter.
Greg was the President of Oakland County NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). Greg established the chapter and was able to successfully run one of the most active NORML chapters in the State of Michigan. He was the 2009 Michigan NORML Director of the Year.
Greg always had a kind word to say and very rarely met anyone that he did not like. He found pleasure from helping others, and even during his illness, remained upbeat. He always exhibited a quiet decency and had a smile for strangers and friends alike. His kind spirit will be greatly missed by all.
He is survived by his wife Mary Pat Clark; parents Bernard and JoAnne Piasecki of Holly; brothers, Bryan (Allison) Piasecki; Jeff (Hollie Bracken) Piasecki; nephew Jonathan; and nieces Hannah and Maezhen; good friend Lynn Granville.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 26 at Meadow Brook Theatre, 207 Wilson Hall, Oakland University, Rochester. Memorial donations may be made to the Meadow Brook Theatre, Oakland County NORML, Caring Bridge or Hospice of Michigan. Please visit www.caringbridge.com/visit/gregpiasecki for more donation information.
Posted by oc_admin Wednesday, April 07, 2010 (13:49:47)
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