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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/12/09

Congress: End the Insane Drug War Now!

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Message Carmen Yarrusso

Medical marijuana research

To protect their drug money, special interests within our government have dishonestly thwarted legitimate medical marijuana research for decades.

Marijuana has been used as medicine in many cultures throughout history. It's been shown to be effective treating a variety of ailments. Recent studies have identified cannabinoid receptors in many parts of the human body, including areas outside the brain that control vital bodily functions. This suggests there may be multiple medical uses for marijuana yet undiscovered.

But pretending to stop adults from using marijuana is much more profitable to our government than medical marijuana research.


Prohibition also bans hemp, once a mainstay of the American agricultural economy. Hemp, "nature's perfect plant", could bring a bonanza to American farmers, greatly reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels, and thus help mitigate global warming and climate change.

This environmentally friendly plant grows without herbicides, nourishes the soil, matures quickly, and provides high yields. Hemp is the number one biomass producer in the world-ten tons per acre in four months! It could be an excellent fuel-producing crop.

Hemp can be made into paper, paneling, injection-molded plastics, clothing, and thousands of other useful products. The highly nutritious seeds can be used to make flour, cooking oil, and even cattle feed.

But pretending to stop adults from using marijuana is much more profitable to our government than easing global warming.


Supporting a government policy guaranteed to both fail and cause vast human suffering is egregiously immoral.

Prohibition is a deep, self-inflicted wound on humanity. Arbitrarily punishing users of certain politically incorrect drugs is just plain cruel. Severely punishing those who produce and deliver illegal drugs is like dangling meat in front of starving dogs and then beating them unmercifully when they disobey your command and lunge for the meat.

Prohibition guarantees lucrative jobs for desperate people all along the chain of production and distribution. Most are motivated by survival not greed. Rampant corruption of foreign governments (e.g. Mexico, Columbia, Afghanistan) is driven by massive drug profits-human life and human rights are secondary.

Yes, if prohibition ended again, many businesses would fail. Many government agencies would lose billions. Tens of thousands of decent Americans would lose their government jobs. But that's no reason to continue this insane war against our fellow human beings for even one more day.

Even if one accepted all the positive claims of prohibitionists, the benefits don't come close to outweighing the massive costs in cash and human suffering. For what? Most of the drug war billions are spent trying to stop adults from using marijuana.

The best interests of the American people would be better served by treating drug users who need help instead of spending billions arresting and jailing them. Treatment could be totally financed by taxing and regulating these drugs.

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Carmen Yarrusso, a software engineer for 35 years, designed and modified computer operating systems (including Internet software). He has a BS in physics and studied game theory and formal logic during his years with the math department at (more...)
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