Escalation of the ongoing conflict between the U.S. government and the nation’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry
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Hat tip: Raw Story
by David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
Published: Saturday February 21, 2009
Congressman Ron Paul is the most conservative, grandfatherly man to ever be admired by America’s marijuana enthusiasts. On Friday night’s episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, he reminded those who may have been suffering an impaired short-term memory at that late hour why, exactly, they should like him.
Speaking live from Clute, Texas, the libertarian-leaning Republican did what few other members of Congress will and openly called for the United States’ War on Drugs to be abolished.
This video is from HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, broadcast Feb. 20, 2009.
“What about when FDR came to office in ’33,” asked Maher. “One of the first things he did was repeal prohibition. He said we can’t afford this anymore. Well, we have prohibition in this country. … When he was making radical changes he said look, we’re serious now. We’re going to make serious changes and people like liquor.”
“Well, in this country, people like pot,” said Maher to a wave of cheers and applause. “If we ended that prohibition, that would be a giant pooling of money.”
“I don’t like pot,” said the congressman. “But I hate the drug war, so I would repeal all of prohibition. But, I wouldn’t even bother taxing it. People have the right in a free country to make important decisions on their own lives. If they want to make mistakes, they can. They just can’t come crawling to the government to get bailed out or taken care of if they get sick.
“I believe in freedom of choice in all that we do, as long as the individual never hurts anybody else. So that means I would get rid of all the federal laws. I would dispose with the drug war. We’re spending tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars on this, then we march into places like California, override state laws, arrest sick people and put them in prison.”
“It makes no sense whatsoever,” he insisted.
“Amen, stoner,” joked Maher.
An Assemblyman from San Francisco argues that it’s time to tax and regulate the state’s biggest cash crop in the same manner as alcohol. Opponents say it would create new costs for society.
By Eric Bailey
Hat tip: The LA Times
February 24, 2009
Buoyed by the widely held belief that cannabis is California’s biggest cash crop, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano contends it is time to reap some state revenue from that harvest while putting a damper on drug use by teens, cutting police costs and even helping Mother Nature.
“I know the jokes are going to be coming, but this is not a frivolous issue,” said Ammiano, a Democrat elected in November after more than a dozen years as a San Francisco supervisor. “California always takes the lead — on gay marriage, the sanctuary movement, medical marijuana.”
Anti-drug groups are anything but amused by the idea of California collecting a windfall from the leafy herb that remains illegal under federal law.