Sunday, August 2, 2009

[FWD: AAMC: Marijuana ... Has No Medicinal Benefit - Kerlikowske]

"Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit," Kerlikowske
said in downtown Fresno while discussing Operation SOS - Save Our
Sierra - a multiagency effort to eradicate marijuana in eastern Fresno County. ....


Sheree M. Krider

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: AAMC: Marijuana ... Has No Medicinal Benefit - Kerlikowske
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Sun, August 02, 2009 8:58 am



DrugSense FOCUS Alert #408 - Sunday, 2 August 2009

On the 23rd of July The Fresno Bee quoted our drug czar:

"Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit," Kerlikowske
said in downtown Fresno while discussing Operation SOS - Save Our
Sierra - a multiagency effort to eradicate marijuana in eastern Fresno County.

Since then the remark has spread to other newspapers.

Syndicated columnist Froma Harrop wrote a column which has appeared
in newspapers from the East Coast to Hawaii which quotes
Kerlikowske's remarks. Today it was printed in a Georgia newspaper, below.

Any time a newspaper prints anything which mentions drug czar Gil
Kerlikowske the item is likely to be a worthy target for a letter to
the editor.

Bookmark this page to spot the articles and opinion


Pubdate: Sun, 2 Aug 2009

Source: Athens Banner-Herald (GA)

Copyright: 2009 The Providence Journal Company


Author: Froma Harrop


The popular TV series "Weeds" is about a widowed suburban mother who
deals pot to preserve her family's cushy California dream. Not a few
Californians would like to see the theme writ large for their state.

California has legalized medical marijuana, its cannabis crop is
valued at $17 billion a year, and people there smoke pot openly. But
the state can't collect a penny of revenues from the enormous enterprise.

As California faced budget Armageddon, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
called for "a debate" on the potential of tapping marijuana as a
source of tax revenues. That's all he can do, because federal law
still criminalizes marijuana use.

Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron already has calculated the sort of
revenues California and other states could see were marijuana taxed
like cigarettes and alcohol. California's taxes would easily top $100
million a year.

But that's the least of it. Miron puts California's costs of
enforcing the marijuana ban - policing, the courts, jail time - at
$981 million a year.

Nationally, legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion a year on
drug-war spending, according to Miron. And government could raise
$6.2 billion annually in tax revenues.

A vain hope rose that President Obama's naming of Gil Kerlikowske as
drug czar would lead to a more rational and humane policy on drugs.
As Seattle's police chief, Kerlikowske oversaw the city's annual
Hempfest (a giant and mellow smoke-in) without bothering the celebrants.

But Kerlikowske announced this month that "marijuana is dangerous and
has no medicinal benefit." And to end any idea that the hip, liberal
Obama administration would ease up on pot, he added, "Legalization is
not in the president's vocabulary, and it's not in mine."

Obama readily admits having used marijuana in his youth (in addition
to cocaine). And each year, many thousands of Americans are arrested
and their lives ruined for doing what he did. Does Obama get to be
president only because he wasn't caught?

Miron is a libertarian who sees all drug prohibition as interfering
with people's private lives. But he well understands the politics
that stop politicians from taking the no-brainer position on marijuana.

"Democrats know that the potheads are going to vote for them anyway,"
he told me, "and the people on the other side who care about this
stuff know that this is really a big deal." If marijuana were
legalized, and the sky didn't fall in, many drug laws would crack.

In previous economic downturns, state and local governments had
turned to casinos and other gambling for revenues. These tough times
may push legislators to ease their umbrage over additional "sinful" activities.

If they want to tax marijuana, they'll have to legalize it. But even
the lesser step of decriminalization - whereby people may possess
marijuana but not sell it - would save the billions of dollars spent
going after users.

Selling the public on expanded gambling and legalized marijuana
require different arguments. For one thing, marijuana never was part
of the official culture. But it does have an advantage over gambling
as a revenue source: It doesn't compete with other taxed businesses.
Casinos take entertainment dollars away from restaurants, amusement
parks and movie theaters. Legal marijuana would take business away
from foreign drug gangs.

A bill to "tax and regulate" marijuana like alcohol now before the
California legislature has strong support. But it's not going
anywhere as long as "legalization" is not in Obama's vocabulary. The
word "hypocrisy" apparently has made the cut.


Please post copies of your letters to the sent letter list ( ) if you are subscribed.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list will help you to review other sent
LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or approaches.

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see

Suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center


Prepared by: Richard Lake, Senior Editor

For News, Recipes, and Medical Info
Come visit us at

List-Help: <>
Update-Address: <>

No comments:

Post a Comment