Date: October 26, 2006
Subject: 10 Steps to End the Drug War
While the main purpose of DrugSense is to encourage accuracy and honesty in the media with respect to illegal drugs, our goal is ultimately to stop the costly and ineffective drug war. Through our extensive archive of more than 170,000 articles on all aspects of drug policy, we have identified 10 specific steps that would result in ending prohibition as we know it.
1. Grant agronomist Lyle Craker a license to grow medicinal-grade cannabis at the University of Massachusetts.
Effect: End the federal government's monopoly on growing marijuana to meet the FDA's requirement for an independent, high quality cannabis supply for approved cannabis-based research and product development.
2. Pass the Hinchey-Rohrbacher Amendment.
Effect: End the costly DEA harassment of California dispensaries and allow states in which medical cannabis is legal to begin regulated access without federal interference.
3. Accept the Petition to Reschedule Cannabis.
Effect: Remove cannabis from the restrictive Schedule I designation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and permit its prescription by physicians like pharmaceuticals.
4. Make Afghani opium available to pharmaceutical companies.
Effect: Develop a licensing system so that opium grown in Afghanistan can be legally sold to make narcotic pain relievers, thereby alleviating a worldwide shortage of these medications.
5. Defund the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.
Effect: Save taxpayers hundreds of millions by eliminating this campaign, which has only resulted in making drug use more attractive to teens.
6. Increase funding for needle exchange and safe consumption sites.
Effect: Prevent overdoses, reduce drug-related hospital admissions, and slow the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.
7. Eliminate Mandatory Minimum Sentencing.
Effect: Reduce the non-violent prison population, and end the racial disparity in sentencing that has resulted in one in three black men between the ages of 20 and 29 being under correctional control.
8. Free non-violent drug prisoners and stop the Federal trials of Marc Emery and Ed Rosenthal.
Effect: Save the taxpayers the wasted time and expense spent trying these non-violent individuals on unpopular charges.
9. Develop citizen oversight boards for SWAT squads.
Effect: Save lives and property that are needlessly disrupted through the use of a violent techniques for non-violent situations, which are too often drug raids based on bad information.
10. Pass as many lowest-priority marijuana initiatives as possible.
Effect: Help the government understand that citizens want to be protected from violent terrorists, not non-violent marijuana consumers. Public officials, including police, need to prioritize their scarce dollars and resources according to that which is most dangerous and most urgent to public health and safety.
Of course, we at DrugSense know that many more steps need be taken to move away from drug policies based on fear, prejudice, and misinformation, and toward policies grounded in science, reason, and compassion. If you have an idea or step that could be added to this list, please post it to
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Help change drug policy now! You can begin by pushing for these 10 steps and by donating to DrugSense to promote more sensible policies.
Executive Director, DrugSense
DrugSense is working to encourage accuracy, honesty, and common sense in matters involving the failed, expensive, and destructive "War on Drugs."
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