Last weeks blog on the ongoing ‘legalise all drugs’ debate in the drug producing central/southern American countries has produced a lot of feedback. The debate on drug legalisation continues to intensify in the mainstream press as more and more senior political and public figures are prepared to step out of line and argue against maintaining the status quo. The ‘taboo’ subject of drug legalisation is no longer a no-go area and that has to be progress. Soon the Colombian congress will debate drug decriminalisation, and instead of the usual ‘international outrage’ there is instead widespread sympathy and intellectual debate about it.
Dutch Passion’s interest in this debate is the same as that of its customers. We want to see the self-sufficient recreational and medical marijuana grower free to grow their own legal cannabis. The wider debate on legalisation of hard drugs is of less interest to us. Marijuana users want a debate on marijuana legalisation based on science and evidence, rather than a debate based on prejudice and outdated propaganda.
UK Billionaire and long term legalisation spokesman Richard Branson this week said that “The prohibition of drugs has worked no better than the prohibition of alcohol, and serves only to empower violent criminal cartels and harm citizens”. This view is gathering momentum amongst politicians who are paying a heavy price in order to maintain a ‘drug illegality’ which fewer and fewer people actually believe in. Traditionally the USA has linked foreign aid loans to the national drug laws of cash-starved countries as a way of maintaining prohibition. The problem is that many of these poorer countries are now realising that they would be better off by sacrificing the US cash and legalising drugs. This would reduce prices of drugs rapidly and cause financial chaos in the violent drug cartels who have become accustomed to the steady cash flow guaranteed by drug prohibition. Reduced drug prices on the streets would dramatically reduce the financial incentives for the farmers that grow them. Street violence, gang wars, economic disruption would decrease. Tax revenues would increase as normal life returns and nations ravaged by drug wars return to ‘life as normal’. The combined financial and social benefits would outweigh the cash grants from the USA.
The mainstream media has largely ignored Portugals decision to abandon criminal prosecution for drug offences in 2001. Portugal treat drug-use as a health issue rather than a criminal issue and they have seen massive reductions in drug-related robbery, burglary and related crime. Drug addiction has decreased and so has HIV infection rates. Portugal has proved that criminal prosecution actually worsened the drugs problem and that removing illegality has cleaned things up both for the users and society.
Branson goes onto explain that “The problem now is that governments lack credibility. People know alcohol is more dangerous than pot, so the hypocrisy in the system makes government advertisements useless” When asked whether Branson would expect increased pot usage to affect business efficiency he replied “… in business, productivity continues to rise despite the availability of alcohol and cigarettes. I don’t think pot would be any different”
George Soros, the billionaire US investor is another high-profile businessman to speak out in favour of marijuana legalisation and he has donated $1million to the Californian pro-pot movement. And while debate rages about marijuana legalisation continues to intensify around the world the US states of Washington and Colorado are the latest to table marijuana legalisation debates as part of the November elections.
The intellectual arguments in favour of legalisation of marijuana are being won in the political and public arena. The widespread export of the Sativex ‘cannabis in a bottle’ from GW Pharmaceutical creates numerous contradictions in the law and a significant number of additional problems for those seeking to maintain marijuana prohibition, long may that continue.
Dutch Passion continues to support activists everywhere in their efforts to legalise marijuana. There is a real international appetite for change which seems to be more than just wishful thinking. Many feel that the prohibition of marijuana is in its last few years.
For anyone near Cardiff, South Wales, on May 5th there is the Cardiff Global Marijuana March organised by Des Humphrey. Howard Marks (‘Mr Nice’) will also be there. Dutch Passion are pleased to sponsor this event
The Amsterdam event details are here https://www.facebook.com/events/262627450457719/
Spain will have an event in Guadalajara, "Cannabis Parade 2012" date still to be announced at www.cannabiscafe.net
‘Growmed’ in Valencia, a new fair by soft secrets with a medical approach www.growmed.es
Prague will have a Million Man Marijuana March, sponsored by us https://mmm.legalizace.cz/page/festivities
Dutch Passion wish them all the best !
Finally – we have a competition to win some Dutch Passion goodies on our facebook page
April 6th 2012