We are working hard to repeal Minnesota’s cannabis prohibition laws so that responsible adult uses of cannabis are no longer subject to penalty.
Based on many scientific studies,and it is is far less dangerous than tobacco. Around 50,000 people per year die from alcohol poisoning in the U.S. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths per year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose. According to the prestigious European medical journal, The Lancet, "The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health . . . It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat ... than alcohol or tobacco."
The War on Drugs, especially on marijuana, is actually a war on our people! Prohibition did not work for alcohol and it is not working for marijuana. Just like alcohol, possession of marijuana should not be illegal and use and abuse should be treated as public health issues, not law enforcement. We don't arrest people for drinking alcohol and we should not be arresting people that choose a safer alternative, cannabis. Despite the enormous costs of cannabis prohibition, cannabis is easier to get than ever before. Prohibition doesn't work and it is time to take a more sensible approach.
“Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” DEA Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young. US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, “In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition,” [Docket #86-22], (September 6, 1988), p. 57.
"There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs." National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM). 1999. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base.National Academy Press: Washington, DC, 6.
Marijuana use remains consistent despite a high level of enforcement, and there is no detectable relationship between changes in enforcement and levels of marijuana use over time. J. Morgan and L. Zimmer. 1997. Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence. The Lindesmith Center: New York, 46.
"Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use." President Jimmy Carter: Message to Congress, August 2, 1977
We believe that the best way to control cannabis is to legalize, regulate, and tax it, similar to the way Minnesota regulates alcohol sales. It is estimated that there will be more than 13,000 marijuana arrests in Minnesota this year, costing our criminal justice system approximately $150,000,000. Even more distressing are the devastating consequences to our fellow citizens. It makes no sense to arrest fellow Minnesotans, just because they choose a safer alternative than alcohol, cannabis.
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"Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!"
-- George Washington, 1794), The Writings of George Washington, Volume 33, page 270 (Library of Congress)2