Friday, May 15, 2009

Healing Strategy for the War on People

The following is the personalized letter sent to US "drug czar" Gil Kerlikowske from the DPA website at

The drug czar said he "wants to banish the idea that the U.S. is fighting 'a war on drugs.'" Urge him to back up the rhetoric by supporting real policy change....

Dear Gil,

I am relieved to learn that you reject the counter-productive idea of a "war on drugs." I trust that your demonstrated commitment to compassionate justice and reason goes deeper than a simple change in terminology. It is past time for meaningful policy change: an exit strategy for the drug war is a majority supported national imperative. There is much healing to be done from the harms created by a prolonged, failed policy.

It will take innovative thinking to get us out of the mess created by the policies of the last several decades, and a wide range of solutions should be up for debate. I urge you to put ALL ideas on the table, including letting people grow as much Cannabis as they want.

The "forbidden fruit" aspect of Cannabis is what creates the problems, from the black market to teen marijuana abuse. In Holland, where marijuana is grown, sold and used without government interference, teen use is a fraction of what it is in the US and other intolerant countries.

When is this administration going to acknowledge the true value of Cannabis agriculture, as Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul have done? How can you continue to ban the world's most useful organic agricultural resource, in the midst of economic collapse, just because cops can't tell rope from dope?

Shame on you for turning your backs on the immense sacrifices made for freedom. Our forefathers didn't die for the freedom to complain. Shame on you for disregarding the rights of the world's people to grow and eat the most healthful seed on Earth. Shame on you for stalling the end of prohibition when the future of this planet could depend on how much Cannabis we grow, how fast.

The administration is off to a good start with its support for ending federal raids on medical marijuana patients, fixing the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity, and repealing the federal ban on syringe exchange funding.

However, I remain concerned because so far, there has been more talk than action. Medical marijuana raids have continued and the syringe ban is still in the budget President Obama submitted to Congress.

Please back up your call for an end to the war on drugs by considering bold policy changes that will end this misguided war in practice, not just in name.