The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council this year rejected a proposal to allow marijuana on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Law and Order Committee Chairwoman Ellen Fills the Pipe says marijuana is a drug, and her gut feeling is that the tribe won’t allow its cultivation.
Maybe next time Woster needs to interview an official with the last name ‘Kills the Pipe’ instead.
The American Civil Liberties Union and South Dakota Families First have partnered to host an exclusive film tour of the award-winning documentary ‘The House I Live In’ and panel discussion with experts about incarceration and drug laws.
When: Friday Jan. 4th
Meet & Greet 5:30pm
Panel Discussion 7:45pm
(Featuring Judge Mark Bennett from Sioux City, IA who appears in the film)
The downtown Holiday Inn City Centre 100 W. 8th St.
Falls Event Room on the main floor
– – About the Movie – –
As America remains embroiled in conflict overseas, a less visible war is taking place at home, costing countless lives, destroying families, and inflicting untold damage on future generations of Americans. Over forty years, the War on Drugs has accounted for more than 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. Filmed in more than twenty states, ‘The House I Live In’ captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s longest war, offering a definitive portrait and revealing its profound human rights implications.
While recognizing the seriousness of drug abuse as a matter of public health, the film investigates the tragic errors and shortcomings that have meant it is more often treated as a matter for law enforcement, creating a vast machine that feeds largely on America’s poor, and especially on minority communities. Beyond simple misguided policy, ‘The House I Live In’ examines how political and economic corruption have fueled the war for forty years, despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures.
With gratitude to South DaCola for the opportunity…
South Dakota law enforcement have arrested a person for possession of “marijuana” every 90 minutes since at least July 1, 1998. The total number of arrests is 82,402. The average number of possession arrests per year is equal to about .05% of the population of South Dakota.
Even though only 24,637 of the charges led to convictions, that’s still somebody convicted of possession every 5.5 hours. For 14 years. For what?
Even the 57,765 not convicted were punished. For what?
Cannabis is more available, better (in most folks’ minds), and cheaper (counting inflation) than it was 14 years ago. And more folks are using it. W? T? F?
We don’t know how much it costs to arrest someone for possession or distribution. We don’t know how much is recovered in the form of fines and property forfeitures to offset that cost. If it costs more to arrest someone for doing something that doesn’t hurt someone else than we, as taxpayers, get back, we should stop doing it. If we, as taxpayers, make money arresting people for doing something that doesn’t hurt someone else, we should stop doing it.
Since my blog, Decorum Forum gets a steady 79 hits a day, why, you ask would I want to pander to the audience of the likes of that which reads South DaCola?
First, because its moderator allows me to do so from time to time. Second, South DaCola recognizes the significance of a campaign of a series of short letters to the folks whom are shortly going to be adding to the panoply of rules, enforced by people with uniforms and guns, that govern every aspect of your being.
People who use cannabis are quite conscious of the “uniforms and guns” part of the deal. Since cannabis poses absolutely no threat to public safety, it must be the presence of the insane Prohibition on its existence within the borders of the USA (and a few other barbaric countries) that is the threat to public safety.
Its author proposes, among other equally coherent groupings of words:
Legalized gambling has not reduced illegal gambling in the United States; rather, it has increased it. This is particularly evident in sports gambling, most of which is illegal. Legal gambling is taxed and regulated and illegal gambling is not. Legal gambling sets the stage for illegal gambling just the way legal marijuana would set the stage for illegal marijuana trafficking.
The gambling precedent suggests strongly that illegal drug suppliers would thrive by selling more potent marijuana products outside of the legal channels that would be taxed and otherwise restricted. If marijuana were legalized, the only way to eliminate its illegal trade, which is modest in comparison to that of cocaine, would be to sell marijuana untaxed and unregulated to any willing buyer.
Let me get this straight. That is supposed to be an argument againstlegalization of cannabis?
Thinking that the preceding words might not clearly state the “mainstream” of arguments in favor of continuing to jail people for cannabis “offenses,” I browsed a few other Prohibitionist sites. I swear, the essay at is the best they have.
So, Why IS cannabis Prohibited?
That’s a question SoDakNORML is asking of current and aspirant South Dakota legislators in a weekly postal letter that asks for their positions on cannabis Prohibition and for their reasoning on the issue. The letters also each present one or two facts about the destruction caused by jailing people for trying to feel better by means of a vehicle not approved by The State.
If you’re interested in liberty and justice and stuff like that, take a look.
It’s also possible that Dakota War College will see this post and get heartburn. That’s the best reason to pander to the audience of South DaCola.
We believe you want what is best for the majority of South Dakotans. We do, too.
That said, we see no benefit in punishing people with criminal laws and prosecution for using cannabis (“marijuana” is the legal term, a slang term chosen from the vernacular for its sinister sound). Further, we see a great deal of harm being done –to the majority of South Dakotans as well as to those directly affected by arrest and prosecution– to no apparent purpose.
Current laws regarding cannabis achieve several effects, none of them beneficial.
1. The prices users pay for cannabis is inflated roughly 1700 per cent by the “risk” factor involved in producing, transporting and marketing the product. This benefits the most vicious people on Earth, while making the distribution of the product completely ungovernable.
2. Distribution of cannabis to minors is therefore inevitable. A legal market in cannabis among adults could allow regulations making it more difficult for children to obtain it. The current system guarantees the opposite.
3. The benefit of cannabis to a wide age of people with a wide range of adverse medical conditions is apparent. While cannabis is easily obtained by healthy, active people, it is much harder for a person in a wheelchair to make the contacts necessary to obtain what might be life-sustaining aid from cannabis. One intense irony of current policy is that it denies access to cannabis most efficiently to those whom are most in need of its benefits.
We believe, for these and other reasons, that it goes counter to any interpretation of sound public policy to maintain criminal punishments for anyone for ingestion of cannabis. We believe that adults have the inherent right to ingest cannabis (or anything else they want to ingest). We believe that those accused of possession of “marijuana” should have the right to present evidence of medical use in court and to have juries determine justice from the evidence. We believe that any steps in the direction of improving South Dakota law along these lines is a step in the right direction and we will vigorously support legislators who undertake those steps.
“We” are SoDakNORML, the South Dakota Affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We are comprised of thousands of South Dakotans arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned, frightened, amused, angered, or marginalized as a result of cannabis Prohibition, a policy so absurd in its derivation and results that it defies characterization.
On behalf of any of the folks described above who want to endorse these sentiments, I am
“There are a number of things I want you to be aware of in my presentation. I want you to be aware that I do not smoke, and I do not have the desire to smoke. I do not drink alcoholic beverages, and I do not desire to drink alcoholic beverages. I’ve never smoked marijuana, and I have no desire to smoke marijuana. I’ve never taken illegal drugs, and I have no desire to take illegal drugs. The reason I am at this rally for Initiative 13 is for very personal reasons. I’m not here for abstract reasons. I’m not here for theoretical reasons. I’m here for very personal reasons, and that very personal reason is I have somebody who is very close to me who suffers from constant pain. This has been going on for six years. Each day, this person is in pain. Each hour, this person is in pain. Each minute, this person is in pain. And, of course, each second of every day, this person is in pain. Now, for those of you who have other people here you’re aware of that’s in pain, you probably realize that pain can really wear a person down. Really wear a person down. In fact, this person is probably (sic) disabled. Now, I should also mention too that this person takes prescription drugs and that one of the drugs is a narcotic. A prescribed, legal drug. And also many other drugs to try and recover from the pain. So, the question has to arise; If this person is already taking heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty prescription drugs, what is wrong with this person being allowed to try marijuana to see if it can provide some relief? Now, as a matter of fact today I was talking to an opponent of Initiative 13 and I told this individual this very personal story of mine and this individual responded kind of interestingly. This person said “Well, if I was in the shoes of that person and suffering all this pain, you know what I would do? I’d just go ahead and smoke marijuana illegally anyway.” Well, this person I know that is suffering in pain is not about to break the law. No way. But this person hopes the law can be changed with Initiative 13. And so, in conclusion, I would like to thank all of you for being here today to possibly make this happen. Thank you, again.” – Dr. Kermit Staggers
I’m no expert on Medicinal Marijuana, but I would think a couple of doctors would know better then to spread blatant lies about the plant. But hey, if I had to pick my opponents, these two clowns would top my list;
The rally also came on the same day that Allen Unruh, an organizer for a local tea party group, denounced the measure as a back-door effort to legalize pot, which he complained would lead to widespread laziness among users.
So what?! The legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes would be one of the best things for this country. We could grow it, tax it and stop the billions of dollars we waste on incarceration and law enforcement. We could also stop funneling money to Mexico in which people die everyday supplying us the product now. There are also other benefits. We could use hemp for clothing and burn it for energy instead of coal.
As for the laziness comment. LMAO! Some of these people can’t work anyway do to their chronic pain, it might actually help them to be more productive instead of less.
Unruh’s tea party group was host to a luncheon featuring Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead and state Rep. Blake Curd, a Sioux Falls surgeon, who spoke against medical marijuana. Experience in other states, Milstead said, shows that the number of so-called “patients” quickly mushrooms while the number of physicians prescribing marijuana stays the same.
Well, Mike, guess why that is? Because pot is affordable unlike chemically based prescription drugs that have extreme side effects. And guess what else. IT WORKS!
Curd noted that marijuana is not a regulated drug, unlike other drugs that doctors prescribe.
And that is what scares the shit out of big pharma. They can’t patent it, so they can’t make money from it.
Potency varies widely, and users don’t know how the drug was grown – whether a grower used pesticides or fertilizers. “I think you’re looking at something that doesn’t have a useful place right now,” he said.
Curd displays his obvious ignorance on this one. Cannabis has no natural enemies, in other words you don’t have to use pesticides and fertilizers to grow it. Unlike the food we eat. Where is his concern over all the widespread cancer that is probably due to processed foods and bioengineering of food plants? Maybe he should be fighting Monsanto instead of Marijuana?
In November, California voters will have their say on Proposition 19, which would make it legal to grow, possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. And as that decision day draws near, a group of law enforcement insiders has come out in support of the proposition, saying it would free up the police to focus its efforts on more serious crimes.
At a press conference on Monday, members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition explained their reasons for getting behind Proposition 19.
“I was a drug warrior until I saw what was happening in my own courtroom,” said former Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray. He claims that passing Prop 19 would cut down the number of drug arrests made in California by around 60,000 each year.
To LEAP, all that time spent arresting Californians for pot possession could be better spent investigating murders, burglaries and the like.
Along with Gray was former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, who said that legalizing and taxing marijuana would be a huge blow to the massive drug cartels, which are are estimated to get around 60% of their money from illegal pot sales.
In addition to taking money from the cartels, taxes levied on legalized pot could bring in over $1 billion/year in tax revenue.
As for other law enforcement groups like the California Police Chiefs Assn., which opposes the measure, Gray theorizes that many of those involved are just putting on a good show because they have to.
“They have a political job, so they can’t tell the truth,” he said. “People are free to speak out honestly only after they are retired.”
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