Thursday, July 08, 2004

 

Cannabis Community Coalition

A grassroots voice calling to end the prohibition of marijuana

Resource Manual for activists and organizers of the
For information write cancom@charter.net

Table of Contents

Voices of the CCC
Individual voices form a coalition voice

Purposes and Principles of the CCC
Bringing people together for dialog, education and resolutions

Naming the CCC
Cousins in the reform family

Resources for Marijuana Law Reform
Organizations and activist’s links

Civil Rights and the Drug War
Controlling people of color; the core of the Drug War

Prisoners of the Drug War
The largest prison system in history continues to grow

Corruption of Law Enforcement Officers & Public Officials
Conflicts of interest and profiteering abound

Economics and the Drug War
A black market and underground economy flourishes

Hemp Production and the Drug War
A sustainable resource and agricultural crop

Medical Marijuana
Potential benefits are significant but lagging in development

Questions for Legislators
Scrutinizing leadership for reform of prohibition

Petition to the City Council of Duluth Minnesota
A Citizens Appeal to Regulate and Decriminalize the Possession of Marijuana


Voices of the CCC

“Marijuana Prohibition is a civil rights violation that causes corruption, poverty and a regressive society. Based on racism, anti-marijuana sentiment and law has been promoted with propaganda for several generations, it has become a primary tool of a growing American police state. Drug laws cause damage to the People, so the laws must be changed.”
–David Hopkins, CCC coordinator

"The politicians who oppose medical marijuana often make 'morality' arguments, yet six major denominations advocate legal medical marijuana, and no denominations have taken a position against it. Where did these politicians get their concepts of morality?"
-Charles Thomas, executive director, Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative (IDPI)

“In Jewish tradition, the duty to heal the sick and alleviate suffering is very much a moral issue. We've come to realize that when medical marijuana can be used in an appropriate fashion, it is probably immoral not to allow it to be so used."
-Rabbi Peter Schaktman, president of the Greater New York Council of Reform Synagogues


"The facts show that the plant has medicinal uses, especially for people with HIV/AIDS, as well as other diseases. There is real relief for people who cannot find relief any other way, and that ought to be the government's priority. It is certainly the church's priority.”
-Rev. Greg Stewart of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada

"Just like an addict can spiral out of control and begin to exhibit bizarre behavior, the federal government, in a despicable show of bravado to maintain this drug war addiction, is even arresting legitimate seriously ill patients who use medical marijuana with the approval of their doctor. "The drug war mongers are in denial. They come out every year with a drug war battle plan that is basically the same as the year before. My brothers and sisters, it is time for an intervention. It's time to intervene in this war and share a compelling vision of policies that abstain from the addictive and damaging habits of punishment and coercion. … the church has "a moral imperative" to fight the "unconscionable excesses" of the drug war, first among them the attacks on medical marijuana. If we are going to have a war on drugs, can we at least remove the sick and dying from the battlefield?”
-Rev. Dr. Arnold W. Howard, Enon Baptist Church, Baltimore MD

Readers:
Please consider having your thoughts about marijuana prohibition quoted here. Or how about supportive quotations from leaders that could be included here? Can you provide statements from local churches, businesses, the medical community or civic groups, such as the Unitarians, the Green Mercantile or Third Street Bakery? Others?
Please call (715) 394-6660 or send to cancom@charter.net



Principles and Purposes of the CCC

People are organizing to encourage governmental reforms in Federal and State legislatures. People are also organizing to promote change at grassroots levels. The activities of the Cannabis Community Coalition facilitate dialog, contribute to community education, and introduce ordinances and resolutions in municipal and county governments, churches and civic organizations. These efforts contribute eventually to the sentiment of legislatures and courts.

The Cannabis Community Coalition channels collective outrage for the injustices of the drug war and prohibition, and frustration that the benefits of cannabis are forbidden in American culture. We believe that agriculture, industry and the economy can greatly benefit from the legalization of hemp. We believe that the practice of medicine can be markedly improved with the legalization of medical marijuana. We believe that marijuana is a benign recreational drug that can be as easily regulated as alcohol. We believe that voices need to be raised collectively to inspire change.

The principles and purposes of the CCC are based on a growing body of facts. There have been numerous studies that recommended the legalization of marijuana but, in spite of popular support, have failed to sway the biases of legislatures. Prohibition appears difficult to reverse because of the historic influences of corporations and a large growing network of a corrupt law enforcement and prison industry.

William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper and magazine tycoon, expected that the rebirth of cannabis hemp as a less expensive source of pulp for paper meant his millions of acres of prime timberland, and investment in wood pulp papermaking equipment, would soon be worth much less. In the 1920s, about the same time as the equipment was developed to mass-produce raw hemp into pulp and fiber for paper economically, he began the "Reefer Madness" hoax in his newspaper and magazine publications. This was only part of a documented conspiracy that involved DuPont, Gulf Oil and Harry Anslinger, the father of the Drug War.

Source: The Real Reason the Government Won’t Debate Hemp
http://www.419hosting.com/CCC/viewtopic.php?t=155

see also: Drug Reformers are Regrouping, Alan Bock, Orange County Register, Nov 17, 2002
http://www.ocregister.com/commentary/bock/bock111702.shtml



Naming the Cannabis Community Coalition

The Cannabis Community Coalition, the CCC, was so named for its multiple meanings. The Cannabis Community refers to the alternative community where the use of cannabis has influenced its creativity, medicine, independence and an array of virtues and values that are consistent with progressive, humanitarian and civil society.

A coalition is a temporary and fluid group uniting to solve a problem. Unification of the People is consistent with a vision of a revolutionary and natural society. The Cannabis Community Coalition is part of an international coalition.

The CCC also infers the Civilian Conservation Corps, Roosevelt’s Tree Army of the 1930’s. While marijuana prohibition began during the Depression years, this program relieved poverty, unemployment and general economic chaos, with work that also benefits the environment. Our CCC also proposes a New Deal for America.

We’re not the only CCC or the only ones working to pull people together to stop the prohibition of marijuana. Let’s check each other out, get in touch, and share the facts that found our coalitions.


Resources for Marijuana Law Reform

•Chico Cannabis Coalition
A University of California student organization promoting an end to marijuana prohibition.

•Canadian Cannabis Coalition
Dedicated to facilitating access to a safe supply of cannabis through research, education and advocacy.

•California Compassionate Community Coop
Forum for Medical Marijuana & Medicinal Cannabis Patients

•American Civil Liberties Union
The premier civil rights group in America, which has a serious drug policy reform effort aimed at upholding civil rights and reducing the harms caused by making war on drug users.

•Americans for Safe Access
seeks to provide medical patients with safe access to medical marijuana, when and as recommended by their doctors.

•Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics
Preserving the integrity of the mind, despite government attempts to control what modes of thought are available to all of us. Educating the public. Fighting in the courts for freedom of thought.

•Change the Climate
Advertising to make people think about what's wrong with the drug war.

•Civil Liberties Monitoring Project
Watches over civil rights and law enforcement abuses in Humboldt County, California, one of the major fronts for federal, state, and local harassment of locals and visitors under the antidrug laws.

•Drug Reform Coordination Network
A national network of more than 21,000 activists and concerned citizens. Also sponsoring international conferences on drug policy reform in Europe and Latin America.

•Drug Policy Alliance
Working on all frontiers of drug policy reform. Reducing the combined harms caused by drugs and by the laws against drugs.

•Families Against Mandatory Minimums
Ending the system that prevents judges from having the discretion to serve justice, while giving politicians incentives to grandstand at public expense.

•Green Aid
Defending medical marijuana patients, growers, and dispensaries. Particularly from attacks by uniformed thugs of the US Federal Government.

•Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace
"Ideas Defining a Free Society." A conservative organization whose top opinion leaders, Milton Friedman and George Schultz, both support serious reform of drug policy.

•Jeff and Tracy
We're your good neighbors. We're Republicans. We smoke pot.

•Libertarian Party
The political party for people who don't want to run other peoples' lives.

•Media Awareness Project
Media coverage of drug-related events. A hundred thousand press clippings and links to newspaper stories, all relating to illegal drugs.

•Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse
Drug policy reform the way Mama would've done it.

•Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
Real medical research with psychedelics and marijuana. FDA-approved clinical trials for AIDS, nausea, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Helping doctors to navigate a maze of Federal bureaucracy that's designed to prevent medical research with certain substances.

•Marijuana Policy Project
Works to minimize the harm associated with marijuana -- both the consumption of marijuana, and the laws that are intended to prohibit such use. MPP believes that the greatest harm associated with marijuana is prison.

•NarcoNews
Uncensored news from Mexico and Latin America about what's happening in the Drug War from the local Latino point of view. Translated into English and Spanish.

•National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
Legal reform of marijuana policy. See some of the legal documents they've generated.

•The New Prohibition: Voices of Dissent Challenge the Drug War
For Release: May 20, 2004
Edited by Sheriff Bill Masters
Softcover, 224 pages plus viii, 21 essays, Foreword by Jesse Ventura

•November Coalition
Educating the public about the destructive increase in prison population in the United States due to our current drug laws.

•Oakland Cannabis Buyer's Cooperative
Makes medical marijuana available to patients who qualify under California's Compassionate Use Act, and fights the US federal government as it tries to restrain or imprison patients and their caregivers.

•Questions For Legislators:
by Kris Mickle, Wisconsin Norml kmickle@tds.net

•Students for a Sensible Drug Policy.
Students working on drug policy reforms that affect college and high school students, including scholarship denial, Federally coerced punitive campus policies, urine testing, replacing the useless DARE training, fatuous distinctions between alcohol and other "drugs", and Plan Colombia. Chapters on campuses all over.

•Talking Points for Marijuana Decriminalization
NORML’s guide to aid divisive discussions.

Talking Point #1:
Decriminalizing marijuana frees up police resources to deal with more serious crimes.

Talking Point #2:
Far more harm is caused by prohibition of marijuana than by the use of marijuana itself.

Talking Point #3:
Decriminalization does not lead to greater marijuana use.

Talking Point #4:
Criminal laws prohibiting marijuana possession do not deter marijuana use.

• Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform
One of the more forward-thinking religious denominations has adopted a statement of conscience opposing the drug war. Find out why.


Civil Rights and the Drug War
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/civilrts.htm

In 1999, 1,350 wiretaps were authorized by state and Federal courts. Of these, 978 – a total of 72.4% --were for drug investigations, 139 (10%) were for racketeering, 60 (4.4%) were for gambling, 62 (4.6%) were for homicide or assault, and only 7 – about half a percent – were for kidnapping.
Source: Administrative Office of the United States Courts, 1999 Wiretap Report (Washington, DC: USGPO, 2000), p. 17.

Contrary to international standards, prisons and jails in the USA employ men to guard women and place relatively few restrictions on the duties of male staff. As a consequence, much of the touching and viewing their bodies by staff that women experience as shocking and humiliating is permitted by law.
Source: Amnesty International, "Not Part of My Sentence": Violations of the Human Rights of Women in Custody (Was, DC: Amnesty International, March 1999), p. 39.

Retaliation for reports of abuse impedes women’s access to protection of their human rights. One woman who won a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons for sexual abuse reported that she was beaten, raped and sodomized by three men who in the course of the attack told her that they were attacking her in retaliation for providing a statement to investigators.
Source: Amnesty International, "Not Part of My Sentence": Violations of the Human Rights of Women in Custody (Wash, DC: Amnesty International, March 1999), p. 59.

Nationwide, one in every 20 black men over the age of 18 is in prison. In five states, between one in 13 and one in 14 black men is in prison. This compares to one in 180 white men.
Source: Human Rights Watch, Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs (Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch, 2000), from their website at:
http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/drugs/war/key-facts.htm.

Nationwide, black men are sent to prison on drug charges at 13 times the rate of white men.
Source: Human Rights Watch, Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs (Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch, 2000), from their website at:
http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/drugs/war/key-facts.htm.

"Most drug offenders are white. Five times as many whites use drugs as blacks. Yet blacks comprise the great majority of drug offenders sent to prison. The solution to this racial inequity is not to incarcerate more whites, but to reduce the use of prison for low-level drug offenders and to increase the availability of substance abuse treatment."
Source: Human Rights Watch, Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs (Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch, 2000), from their website at:
http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/drugs/war/key-facts.htm.

The Mollen Commission was appointed to investigate corruption in the New York City Police Department. The Commission "found that police corruption, brutality, and violence were present in every high-crime precinct with an active narcotics trade that it studied, all of which have predominantly minority populations. It found disturbing patterns of police corruption and brutality, including stealing from drug dealers, engaging in unlawful searches, seizures, and car stops, dealing and using drugs, lying in order to justify unlawful searches and arrests and to forestall complaints of abuse, and indiscriminate beating of innocent and guilty alike."
Source: Cole, David, No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System (New York: The New Press, 1999), pp. 23-4.

In his book No Equal Justice, Georgetown Law Professor David Cole notes "The (Supreme) Court's removal of meaningful Fourth Amendment review allows the police to rely on unparticularized discretion, unsubstantiated hunches, and nonindividualized suspicion. Racial prejudice and stereotypes linking racial minorities to crime rush to fill the void."
Source: Cole, David, No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System (New York: The New Press, 1999), p. 53.

In Maryland, a state survey of police traffic stops -- ordered by the state court in response to state troopers' use of racial profiling -- found that from January 1995 through December 1997, 70 percent of the drivers stopped on Interstate 95 were African Americans. According to an ACLU survey conducted around that time, only 17.5 percent of the traffic and speeders on that road were African American.
Source: Cole, David, No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System (New York: The New Press, 1999), p. 36.

"As of March 2001, 16 of the 49 State police agencies with patrol duties required officers to collect the race or ethnicity of all drivers involved in a traffic stop (table 1). Thirty-seven State agencies collected the race or ethnicity of motorists when an arrest was made, and 22 agencies did so following a vehicle or occupant search. Ten State police agencies — Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Utah — did not require their State troopers to collect race or ethnicity data."
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Traffic Stop Data Collection" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, December 2001), p. 1.

"In addition to the increase in the number of States that required State law enforcement agencies to collect race and ethnicity statistics during traffic stops, States have recently enacted statutes that prohibit law enforcement officers from engaging in racial profiling (California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island). these statutes generally defined racial profiling as stopping a person based solely on race or ethnicity instead of an individualized suspicion arising from the person’s behavior."
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Traffic Stop Data Collection" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, December 2001), p. 1.

"Of the 16 State police agencies with procedures that require the collection of race data for each stop, 7 agencies responded to a State law or executive order, 7 implemented an internal policy, 1 (Maryland) responded to both an internal policy and a court action, and 1 State police agency (New Jersey) was acting in accordance with both internal police agency policy and a Federal consent decree."
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Traffic Stop Data Collection" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, December 2001), p. 2.

In his book No Equal Justice, Georgetown Law Professor David Cole notes "A Lexis review of all federal court decisions from January 1, 1990, to August 2, 1995, in which drug-courier profiles were used and the race of the suspect was discernible revealed that of sixty-three such cases, all but three suspects were minorities: thirty-four were black, twenty-five were Hispanic, one was Asian, and three were white."
Source: Cole, David, No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System (New York: The New Press, 1999), p. 50.

The report Justice on Trial from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights notes that though "blacks are just 12 percent of the population and 13 percent of the drug users, and despite the fact that traffic stops and similar enforcement yield equal arrest rates for minorities and whites alike, blacks are 38 percent of those arrested for drug offenses and 59 percent of those convicted of drug offenses. Moreover, more frequent stops, and therefore arrests, of minorities will also result in longer average prison terms for minorities because patterns of disproportionate arrests generate more extensive criminal histories for minorities, which in turn influence sentencing outcomes."
Source: Welch, Ronald H., and Angulo, Carlos T., Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Justice on Trial: Racial Disparities in the American Criminal Justice System (Washington, DC: Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, May 2000), p. 7.

"Black and Hispanic Americans, and other minority groups as well, are victimized by disproportionate targeting and unfair treatment by police and other front-line law enforcement officials; by racially skewed charging and plea bargaining decisions of prosecutors; by discriminatory sentencing practices; and by the failure of judges, elected officials and other criminal justice policy makers to redress the inequities that become more glaring every day."
Source: Welch, Ronald H., and Angulo, Carlos T., Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Justice on Trial: Racial Disparities in the American Criminal Justice System (Washington, DC: Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, May 2000), p. vi.

Readers:
If you or someone you know has experienced civil rights abuses in the realm of drug laws, please send us a report of that story.



Prisoners of the Drug War
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/prison.htm

"Prisoners sentenced for drug offenses constituted the largest group of Federal inmates (55%) in 2001, down from 60% in 1995 (table 18). On September 30, 2001, the date of the latest available data in the Federal Justice Statistics Program, Federal prisons held 78,501 sentenced drug offenders, compared to 52,782 in 1995."
Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Dept of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2002 (Wash, DC: US Department of Justice, July 2003), p. 11.

In 2001, drug law violators comprised 20.4% of all adults serving time in State prisons - 246,100 out of 1,208,700 State prison inmates.
Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, US Dept of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2002 (Wash, DC: US Dept of Justice, July 2003), Table 17, p. 10.

Over 80% of the increase in the federal prison population from 1985 to 1995 was due to drug convictions.
Source: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 1996 (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, 1997).

"Between 1984 and 1999, the number of defendants charged with a drug offense in U.S. district courts increased about 3% annually, on average, from 11,854 to 29,306."
Source: Scalia, John, US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Drug Offenders, 1999 with Trends 1984-99 (Wash, DC: US Dept. of Justice, August 2001), p. 7.

"As a result of increased prosecutions and longer time served in prison, the number of drug offenders in Federal prisons increased more than 12% annually, on average, from 14,976 during 1986 to 68,360 during 1999."
Source: Scalia, John, US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Drug Offenders, 1999 with Trends 1984-99 (Wash, DC: US Dept. of Justice, August ‘01), p. 7.

According to ONDCP, federal spending to incarcerate drug offenders totals nearly $3 Billion a year -- $2.525 Billion by the Bureau of Prisons, and $429.4 Million by Federal Prisoner Detention.
Source: Office of Nat’l Drug Control Policy, "National Drug Control Strategy: FY 2003 Budget Summary" (Wash, DC: Office of the President, February 2002), Table 3, pp. 7-9.
"The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, some 701 per 100,000 of the national population, followed by Russia (606), Belarus (554), Kazakhstan and the Virgin Islands (both 522), the Cayman Islands (501), Turkmenistan (489), Belize (459), Bermuda (447), Suriname (437), Dominica (420) and Ukraine (415). "However, more than three fifths of countries (60.5%) have rates below 150 per 100,000. United Kingdom’s rate of 141 per 100,000 of the national population places it above midpoint in the World List; it is the highest among countries of the European Union.)"
Source: Walmsley, Roy, "World Prison Population List (Fifth Edition)" (London, England, UK: Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, 2003), p. 1.

"Over 9 million people are held in penal institutions throughout the world, mostly as pre-trial detainees (remand prisoners) or having been convicted and sentenced. About half of these are in the United States (2.03m), Russia (0.86m) or China (1.51m plus pre-trial detainees and prisoners in 'administrative detention')." According to the US Census Bureau, the population of the US represents 4.6% of the world's total population (291,450,886 out of a total 6,303,683,217).
Source: Walmsley, Roy, "World Prison Population List (Fifth Edition)" (London, England, UK: Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, 2003), p. 1.; US Census Bureau, Population Division, from the web at:
http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html accessed July 8, 2003.

"Overall, the United States incarcerated 2,166,260 persons at year end 2002." This total represents persons held in:
Federal and State Prisons - 1,361,258 (excludes State and Federal prisoners in local jails) Territorial Prisons - 16,206
Local Jails - 665,475
INS Facilities - 8,748
Military Facilities - 2,377
Jails in Indian Country - 1,912 (as of midyear 2001)
Juvenile Facilities - 110,284 (as of October 2000)
Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2002 (Wash DC: US Department of Justice, July 2003), p. 1.

"The rate of incarceration in prison and jail was 701 inmates per 100,000 residents in 2002, up from 601 in 1995. At year end 2002, 1 in every 143 U.S. residents were incarcerated in State or Federal prison or a local jail."
Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2002 (Wash DC: US Department of Justice, July 2003), p. 2.

The U.S. nonviolent prisoner population is larger than the combined populations of Wyoming and Alaska.
Source: John Irwin, Ph. D., Vincent Schiraldi, and Jason Ziedenberg, America's One Million Nonviolent Prisoners (Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute, 1999), pg. 4.

"Since 1995 the sentenced inmate population in State prisons has grown 27% (table 4). During this period 12 States increased their populations at least 50%, led by North Dakota (up 88%), Idaho (up 86%), and Oregon (up 85%). Between 1995 and 2002 the Federal system reported an additional 59,377 inmates sentenced to more than a year, an increase of 71%."
Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2002 (Wash DC: US Department of Justice, July 2003), p. 4.

"In 2002 the growth in the number of inmates under State or Federal jurisdiction (2.6%) was more than twice the percentage increase recorded during 2001 (1.1%) (table 2). The population under the jurisdiction of State and Federal authorities increased by 36,623 inmates during 2002, higher than the increase in 2001 (up 15,521). The prison population has grown an average of 45,000 inmates per year (3.6%) since yearend 1995."
Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2002 (Wash DC: US Department of Justice, July 2003), p. 2.

According to the US Justice Department, between 1990 and 2000 "Overall, the percentage of violent Federal inmates declined from 17% to 10%. While the number of offenders in each major offense category increased, the number incarcerated for a drug offense accounted for the largest percentage of the total growth (59%), followed by public-order offenders (32%)."
Source: Beck, Allen J., Ph.D., and Paige M. Harrison, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2001 (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, July 2002), p. 14.

There were 5.9 million adults in the 'correctional population' by the end of 1998. This means that 2.9% of the U.S. adult population -- 1 in every 34 -- was incarcerated, on probation or on parole.
Source: Bonczar, Thomas & Glaze, Lauren, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Probation and Parole in the United States (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, August 1999), p. 1.

In 1990, of the 739,960 sentenced prisoners in Federal and State prisons, 370,400 were African-American. By 2001 the number of African-Americans had grown to 562,000 out of a total of 1,206,400 sentenced prisoners.
Source: Beck, Allen J., Ph.D., and Christopher Mumola, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 1998 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, August 1999), p. 9; Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2001 (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, July 2002), p. 12, Table 16.

Assuming recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 of every 20 Americans (5%) can be expected to serve time in prison during their lifetime. For African-American men, the number is greater than 1 in 4 (28.5%).
Source: Bonczar, T.P. & Beck, Allen J., US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Lifetime Likelihood of Going to State or Federal Prison (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, March 1997), p. 1.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 1999, the nation spent $146,556,000,000 on the Federal, State and Local justice systems. In that year, the United States had 1,875,199 adult jail and prison inmates. Based on this information the cost per inmate year was:
-Corrections spending alone: $26,134 per inmate.
-Corrections, judicial and legal costs: $43,297 per inmate
-Corrections, judicial, legal and police costs: $78,154 per inmate.
Source: Gifford, Sidra Lea, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Justice Expenditure and Employment in the United States, 1999 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, February 2002), p. 4, Table 6; Beck, Allen J., PhD, and Jennifer C. Karberg, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2000 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, March 2001), p. 2, Table 1.

In 1997, there were 216,254 drug offenders in state prisons (out of a total State prison population of 1,046,706 that year). Of these, 92,373 were in for possession, 117,926 were in for trafficking, and 5,955 were in for other drug crimes. Only 41.9 percent of State drug offenders were under the influence of drugs at the time of their offense.
Source: Mumola, Christopher J., "Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, January 1999), p. 3, Table 1.

In 1997, there were 55,069 drug offenders in federal prisons (out of a total Federal prison population of 88,018 that year). Of these, 10,094 were in for possession, 40,053 were in for trafficking, and 4,922 were in for other drug crimes. Only 25 percent of Federal drug offenders were under the influence of drugs at the time of their offense.
Source: Mumola, Christopher J., "Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, January 1999), p. 3, Table 1.

"Nineteen percent of State prisoners, and 16% of Federal inmates said that they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs. These percentages represent a slight increase from 1991, when 17% of State and 10% of Federal prisoners identified drug money as a motive for their current offense."
Source: Mumola, Christopher J., "Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, January 1999), p. 5.

"Department of corrections data show that about a fourth of those initially imprisoned for nonviolent crimes are sentenced for a second time for committing a violent offense. Whatever else it reflects, this pattern highlights the possibility that prison serves to transmit violent habits and values rather than to reduce them."
Source: Craig Haney, Ph.D., and Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., "The Past and Future of U.S. Prison Policy: Twenty-five Years After the Stanford Prison Experiment," American Psychologist, Vol. 53, No. 7 (July 1998), p. 720.

"Over the past twenty-five years, the United States has built the largest prison system in the world. But despite a recent downturn in the crime rate, we remain far and away the most violent advanced industrial society on earth."
Source: Currie, E., Crime and Punishment in America (New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1998), p. 3.
"Since the definition of homicide is similar in most countries, absolute comparisons of rates are possible. For the period 1998 to 2000, the average rate (the number of homicides per 100,000 population) was 1.7 in EU Member States with the highest rates in Northern Ireland (3.1), Spain (2.8) Finland (2.6), Scotland (2.2) and Sweden (2.1). The rate in England & Wales (1.5) was below the average. For the other countries, the highest rates were found in South Africa (54.3), Estonia (11.4), Lithuania (8.9), Latvia (6.5) and the USA (5.9)."
Source: Barclay, Gordon & Cynthia Tavares, "International Comparisons of Criminal Justice Statistics 2000," Home Office Bulletin 05/02 (London, England, UK: Home Office Research, Development, and Statistics Directorate, July 12, 2002), p. 3, from the web at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/hosb502.pdf, last accessed Oct. 12, 2002.

If one compares 1996 to 1984, the crime index is 13 points higher. This dramatic increase occurred during an era of mandatory minimum sentencing and "three strikes you're out."
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports 1996 (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, 1997), p. 62, Table 1.

"We must have law enforcement authorities address the issue because if we do not, prevention, education, and treatment messages will not work very well. But having said that, I also believe that we have created an American gulag."
Source: Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey (USA, Ret.), Director, ONDCP, Keynote Address, Opening Plenary Session, National Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, September 19, 1996, Washington, DC, on the web at http://165.112.78.61/MeetSum/CODA/Keynote2.html

According to the Department of Justice, studies of recidivism report that "the amount of time inmates serve in prison does not increase or decrease the likelihood of recidivism, whether recidivism is measured as parole revocation, re-arrest, reconviction, or return to prison."
Source: An Analysis of Non-Violent Drug Offenders with Minimal Criminal Histories, Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice (1994, February), p. 41.

States spent $32.5 billion on Corrections in 1999 alone. To compare, states only spent $22.2 billion on cash assistance to the poor.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), 1999 State Expenditure Report (Washington, DC: NASBO, June 2000), pp. 38, 68.

Since the enactment of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug users, the Federal Bureau of Prisons budget has increased by 1,954%. Its budget has jumped from $220 million in 1986 to $4.3 billion in 2001.
Sources: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 1996 (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, 1997), p. 20; Executive Office of the President, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2002 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2001), p. 134.

"Despite the investment of more than $5 billion for prison construction over the past decade, the prison system is currently operating at 32 percent over rated capacity, up from 22 percent at the end of 1997. These conditions could potentially jeopardize public safety."
Sources: Executive Office of the President, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2002 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2001), p. 134.

"At yearend 2002 the Federal prison system was operating at 33% over capacity. Overall, State prisons were operating at between 1% over their highest capacity and 16% above their lowest capacity (table 9)."
Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2002 (Wash DC: US Department of Justice, July 2003), p. 7.

From 1984 to 1996, California built 21 new prisons, and only one new university.
Source: Ambrosio, T. & Schiraldi, V., "Trends in State Spending, 1987-1995", Executive Summary-February 1997 (Washington DC: The Justice Policy Institute, 1997).

California state government expenditures on prisons increased 30% from 1987 to 1995, while spending on higher education decreased by 18%.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers, 1995 State Expenditures Report (Washington DC: National Association of State Budget Officers, 1996).

"In 1999 the United States spent a record $147 billion for police protection, corrections, and judicial and legal activities. The Nation's expenditure for operations and outlay of the justice system increased 309% from almost $36 billion in 1982. Discounting inflation, that represents a 145% increase in constant dollars."
Source: Gifford, Sidra Lea, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Justice Expenditure and Employment in the United States, 1999 (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, February 2002), p. 1.

"The total number of State and Federal inmates grew from 400,000 in 1982 to nearly 1,300,000 in 1999. This was accompanied by the opening of over 600 State and at least 51 Federal correctional facilities. The number of local jail inmates also tripled, from approximately 200,000 in 1982 to 600,000 in 1999. Adults on probation increased from over 1.3 to nearly 3.8 million persons. Overall corrections employment more than doubled from nearly 300,000 to over 716,000 during this period."
Source: Gifford, Sidra Lea, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Justice Expenditure and Employment in the United States, 1999 (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, February 2002), p. 7.

For a more complete perspective, read Drug War Facts:
Alcohol, Crack, Drug Use Estimates, Gateway Theory, Race and Prison, and Women.

Readers:
If you or someone you know has experienced incarceration because of drug law infractions, please send us a report of that story.



Corruption of Law Enforcement Officers & Public Officials
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/corrupt.htm

A 1998 report by the General Accounting Office notes, "...several studies and investigations of drug-related police corruption found on-duty police officers engaged in serious criminal activities, such as (1) conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures; (2) stealing money and/or drugs from drug dealers; (3) selling stolen drugs; (4) protecting drug operations; (5) providing false testimony; and (6) submitting false crime reports."
Source: General Accounting Office, Report to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, House of Representatives, Law Enforcement: Information on Drug-Related Police Corruption (Washington, DC: USGPO, May 1998), p. 8.

A 1998 report by the General Accounting Office cites examples of publicly disclosed drug-related police corruption in the following cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Savannah, and Washington, DC.
Source: General Accounting Office, Report to Charles B. Rangel, House of Representatives, Law Enforcement: Information on Drug-Related Police Corruption (Wash DC: USGPO, May ‘98), p. 36-37.

Corruption caused by the illicit trade in narcotics is especially prevalent in some foreign countries. "In 1998, DEA reported that drug-related corruption existed in all branches of the [Colombian] government, within the prison system, and in the military... In November 1998, U.S. Customs and DEA personnel searched a Colombian Air Force aircraft in Florida and found 415 kilograms of cocaine and 6 kilograms of heroin."
Source: US General Accounting Office, Drug Control: Narcotics Threat from Colombia Continues to Grow (Washington, DC: USGPO, 1999), p. 15.

On average, half of all police officers convicted as a result of FBI-led corruption cases between 1993 and 1997 were convicted for drug-related offenses.
Source: General Accounting Office, Report to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, House of Representatives, Law Enforcement: Information on Drug-Related Police Corruption (Wash DC: USGPO, May 1998), p. 35.

As an example of police corruption, the GAO cites Philadelphia, where "Since 1995, 10 police officers from Philadelphia's 39th District have been charged with planting drugs on suspects, shaking down drug dealers for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and breaking into homes to steal drugs and cash."
Source: General Accounting Office, Report to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, House of Representatives, Law Enforcement: Information on Drug-Related Police Corruption (Wash DC: USGPO, May 1998), p. 37.

A 1998 report by the General Accounting Office notes, "Although profit was found to be a motive common to traditional and drug-related police corruption, New York City's Mollen Commission identified power and vigilante justice as two additional motives for drug-related police corruption."
Source: General Accounting Office, Report to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, House of Representatives, Law Enforcement: Information on Drug-Related Police Corruption (Wash DC: USGPO, May 1998), p. 3.

In New Orleans, 11 police officers were convicted of accepting nearly $100,000 from undercover agents to protect a cocaine supply warehouse containing 286 pounds of cocaine. The undercover portion of the investigation was terminated when a witness was killed under orders from a New Orleans police officer.
Source: General Accounting Office, Report to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, House of Representatives, Law Enforcement: Information on Drug-Related Police Corruption (Wash, DC: USGPO, May 1998), p. 36.

A 1998 report by the General Accounting Office states, "The most commonly identified pattern of drug-related police corruption involved small groups of officers who protected and assisted each other in criminal activities, rather than the traditional patterns of non-drug-related police corruption that involved just a few isolated individuals or systemic corruption pervading an entire police department or precinct."
Source: General Accounting Office, Report to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, House of Representatives, Law Enforcement: Information on Drug-Related Police Corruption (Wash, DC: USGPO, May 1998), p. 3.

The difficulty of maintaining an honest government while fighting a drug war was noted by the UN Drug Control Program in 1998: "In systems where a member of the legislature or judiciary, earning only a modest income, can easily gain the equivalent of some 20 months' salary from a trafficker by making one "favourable" decision, the dangers of corruption are obvious."
Source: UN International Drug Control Program, Technical Series Report #6: Economic and Social Consequences of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (NY, NY: UNDCP, 1998), p. 39.

"Colombia has suffered the tragic consequences of endemic theft by politicians and public officials for decades. Entwined with the production and trafficking of illegal drugs, this behaviour exacerbated underdevelopment and lawlessness in the countryside, where a brutal war continues to claim the lives of some 3,500 civilians a year. A World Bank survey released in February 2002 found that bribes are paid in 50 per cent of all state contracts. 27 Another World Bank report estimates the cost of corruption in Colombia at US $2.6 billion annually, the equivalent of 60 per cent of the country’s debt."
Source: Hodess, Robin (ed.), Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2003 (Berlin, Germany: Transparency International, 2003), p. 108.

The Presidential Programme Against Corruption in Colombia specifically addresses 'narco-corruption'. Colombia, with a capacity to produce 580 tonnes of pure cocaine in 2000, is particularly poisoned by the interplay of narcotics and violence, with an estimated one million people internally displaced as a result of battles for territorial control by rebel groups and paramilitary forces. 'The corruptive effect of this kind of profit is devastating, since it has penetrated to perverse levels in the judiciary and the political system,' the official report of the Presidential Programme concluded, adding that the rapid accumulation of wealth from illegal drugs 'has fostered codes and behaviours which promote corruption, fast money and the predominance of private welfare over general interest'."
Source: Hodess, Robin (ed.), Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2001 (Berlin, Germany: Transparency International, 2001), p. 176.

Mexico's police and armed services are known to be contaminated by multimillion dollar bribes from the transnational narco-trafficking business. Though the problem is not as pervasive in the military as it is in the police, it is widely considered to have attained the status of a national security threat."
Source: Hodess, Robin (ed.), Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2001 (Berlin, Germany: Transparency International, 2001), p. 158.

"Another problem occurs when officials turn a blind eye to a narcotics trade that looms large in the region. 'Central America has become the meat in the sandwich' - as a trans-shipment point, storehouse and money laundering centre - in the drug traffic from Colombia to the US, said Costa Rican parliamentarian Belisario Solano. The Costa Rican Defence Ministry estimates that between 50 and 70 tonnes of cocaine travel through Costa Rica to the US every year."
Source: Hodess, Robin (ed.), Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2001 (Berlin, Germany: Transparency International, 2001), p. 160.

The United Nations Drug Control Program noted the inevitable risk of drug-related police corruption in 1998, when it reported that "wherever there is a well-organized, illicit drug industry, there is also the danger of police corruption."
Source: UN Int’l Drug Control Program, Technical Series Report #6: Economic and Social Consequences of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (NY, NY: UNDCP, 1998), p. 38.

“After all, we are in a war, a war on drugs. And during times of war innocent people get in the way.”
Source: Sheriff Bill Masters, Guest Commentary, May 13, 2001, Denver Post
http://www.libertybill.net/dpguest.html


Economics and the Drug War
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/economi.htm

The international illicit drug business generates as much as $400 billion in trade annually according to the United Nations International Drug Control Program. That amounts to 8% of all international trade and is comparable to the annual turnover in textiles, according to the study.
Source: UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Economic and Social Consequences of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (NY, NY: UNODCCP, 1998), p. 3.

Profits in illegal drugs are so inflated, that three-quarters of all drug shipments would have to be intercepted to seriously reduce the profitability of the business. Current efforts only intercept 13% of heroin shipments and 28%-40%* of cocaine shipments. (*At most; the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention notes that estimates of production and total supply are probably understated by reporting governments.)
Source: United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Global Illicit Drug Trends 1999 (New York, NY: UNODCCP, 1999), p. 51.

Illegal drugs create enormous profits. In 2001, a kilogram of heroin in Pakistan sold for an average of $610. In the US in 2001, heroin cost an average of $25,000 per kilogram, and at street-level, an average of $55 per gram.
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Illicit Drug Trends 2003 (New York, NY: UNODC, 2003), p. 243.

According to a report prepared for the Office of National Drug Control Policy by Abt Associates in 2001, the cost of heroin at the retail level declined from an estimated $3,295.01 per gram in 1981 at 4% purity, to $2,087.86 per gram at 25% purity in 2000. At the wholesale level, the drop went from $865.21 per gram at 59% purity in 1981 to $112.15 per gram at 59% purity in 2000.
Source: Abt Associates, "The Price of Illicit Drugs: 1981 through the Second Quarter of 2000" (Washington, DC: ONDCP, Oct. 2001), p. 43, Table 6.

The UN reports that in 2001, a kilogram of cocaine base in Colombia averaged $940, and a kilogram of cocaine in averaged $1,565 that year. In the United States in 2001, a kilogram of cocaine averaged $21,500, with an average "street price" of $70 a gram (in powder form; the average price of a gram of crack in 2001 in the US was $65).
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Illicit Drug Trends 2003 (New York, NY: UNODC, 2003), p. 260.

According to a report prepared for ONDCP by Abt Associates in 2001, the cost of cocaine at the retail level declined from an estimated $423.09 per gram in 1981, at 36% purity, to $211.70 per gram at 61% purity in 2000. At the wholesale level, the drop went from $125.43 per gram at 73% purity in 1981 to $26.03 per gram at 67% purity in 2000.
Source: Abt Associates, "The Price of Illicit Drugs: 1981 through the Second Quarter of 2000" (Washington, DC: ONDCP, Oct. 2001), p. 43, Table 6.

"Over the past decade, inflation-adjusted prices in Western Europe fell by 45% for cocaine and 60% for heroin. Comparative falls in the United States were about 50% for cocaine and 70% for heroin."
Source: United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Global Illicit Drug Trends 1999 (New York, NY: UNODCCP, 1999), p. 86.

"US authorities reported the mean purity level of heroin to be around 6% in 1987 but about 37% in 1997, in which year levels were even reaching 60% in New York."
Source: United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Global Illicit Drug Trends 1999 (New York, NY: UNODCCP, 1999), p. 86.

According to a report prepared for ONDCP by Abt Associates in 2000, "Between 1989 and 1998, American users spent $39 billion to $77 billion yearly on cocaine and $10 billion to $22 billion yearly on heroin. To arrive at these estimates, we multiplied the number of users by their typical expenditures, and then converted the resulting estimates to 1998-dollar equivalents. Most of the downward trend results from changes in the consumer price index."
Source: Abt Associates, "What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs 1988-1998" (Washington, DC: ONDCP, Dec. 2000), p. 5.

Federal spending on the drug war in 2001 totaled $18.095 Billion, rising to $18.822 Billion in 2002 and $19.179 Billion for 2003.
Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy, "National Drug Control Strategy: FY 2003 Budget Summary" (Washington, DC: Office of the President, February 2002), Table 2, p. 6.

According to ONDCP, the $18.822 Billion spent by the federal government on the drug war in 2002 breaks down as follows:

Treatment (with Research): $3.587 Billion (19.1% of total)
Prevention (with Research): $2.548 Billion (13.5% of total)
Domestic Law Enforcement: $9.513 Billion (50.5% of total)
Interdiction: $2.074 Billion (11.0% of total)
International: $1.098 Billion (5.8% of total)

In other words, $12.686 billion in 2002 was directed to law enforcement for “supply reduction” (67.4% of total), and $6.136 billion for “demand reduction”, i.e. treatment, prevention and education (32.6% of total).
Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy, "National Drug Control Strategy: FY 2003 Budget Summary" (Wash, DC: Office of the President, February 2002), Table 2, p. 6.

"In 1999 the United States spent a record $147 billion for police protection, corrections, and judicial and legal activities. The Nation’s expenditure for operations and outlay of the justice system increased 309% from almost $36 billion in 1982. Discounting inflation, that represents a 145% increase in constant dollars."
Source: Gifford, Sidra Lea, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Justice Expenditure and Employment in the USA, 1999 (Wash, DC: US Dept of Justice, Feb ‘02)
"Overall, local police spending represented 31.1% of the Nation's total justice expenditure, and State corrections accounted for the second largest portion, 23.7%."
Source: Gifford, Sidra Lea, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Justice Expenditure and Employment in the United States, 1999 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, February 2002), p. 4.

"Police protection is primarily a local responsibility; accordingly, local governments spent 69.8% of the total police protection expenditure in the country in 1999."
Source: Gifford, Sidra Lea, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Justice Expenditure and Employment in the United States, 1999 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, February 2002), p. 4.

"Nearly 8 cents of every dollar spent by State and local governments in 1999 was for justice activities. Among all State and local expenditures, 3.3% was for police protection, 2.8% for corrections, and 1.6% for judicial and legal services. By comparison, 29.7% of State and local government spending went to education, 13.5% to public welfare, 7.3% to health and hospitals, and 4.8% to interest on debt."
Source: Gifford, Sidra Lea, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Justice Expenditure and Employment in the United States, 1999 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, February 2002), p. 4.

Research assessing the impact of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) found that the termination of addiction disability payments has had a negative effect. According to the study, "A qualitative analysis, featuring in-depth interviews with 101, nonrandomly selected former recipients revealed that disability benefits promoted housing autonomy, successful cohabitation, and overall housing stability. The termination of benefits, at a time of diminishing social services (e.g., cash and housing assistance) and a housing market explosion, increased various types of homelessness for respondents and dependency on family and friends. Such negative living outcomes, in turn, further escalated the risk of drug and alcohol use, criminal participation, and victimization."
Source: Anderson, Tammy L., Caitlin Shannon, Igor Schyb, and Paul Goldstein, "Welfare Reform and Housing: Assessing the Impact to Substance Abusers," Journal of Drug Issues (Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University, Winter 2002), Vol. 32, No. 1, p. 265.

Research assessing the impact of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) found that the termination of addiction disability payments has had a negative effect. According to the study, "First, PRWORA of 1996 has destabilized the housing situations of the respondents and has placed them at greater risk for various types of housing problems and homelessness. Second, these housing complications have exacerbated numerous social problems (drug and alcohol abuse, crime, and victimization). It is important to consider, however, that changes in the housing market, decreased housing subsidies, and individual characteristics and behaviors also played a role in these negative outcomes. "More specifically, we found considerable housing dependency, at some level, for all respondents, albeit most often among those who currently had no SSI benefits. Problematic dependence on family, friends, and significant others (doubling up or sharing housing with other adults) was most common, followed by dependence on state-funded program. Independent living (e.g., having one's own place and paying one's own rent), which we would hope for most by middle-age, was an uncommon occurrence."
Source: Anderson, Tammy L., Caitlin Shannon, Igor Schyb, and Paul Goldstein, "Welfare Reform and Housing: Assessing the Impact to Substance Abusers," Journal of Drug Issues (Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University, Winter 2002), Vol. 32, No. 1, p. 289.

Research assessing the impact of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) found that the termination of addiction disability payments has had a negative effect. According to the study, "While the aim of SSI addiction disability termination was, for conservatives, to force individuals to take greater responsibility in their lives and to decrease dependence on governmentally funded programs, this goal appears nearly impossible to achieve given the lack of resources had by this under-skilled and poor population. Nor did the policy change necessarily decrease their risk of continued involvement in drugs and crime. We estimate that losing a stable housing situation has placed respondents at greater risk for continued drug and alcohol use, something not considered by extant etiological work on individual substance abuse. These consequences could mean a greater dependence of this population on state and federally funded programs."
Source: Anderson, Tammy L., Caitlin Shannon, Igor Schyb, and Paul Goldstein, "Welfare Reform and Housing: Assessing the Impact to Substance Abusers," Journal of Drug Issues (Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University, Winter 2002), Vol. 32, No. 1, p. 290.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report, "CASA's analysis revealed a few cost categories where only a single category of substances is implicated. (Figure 2.B) For instance, CASA identified $1.1 billion in state spending linked to illicit drug use only: $574 million for public safety costs for drug enforcement programs; $114 million for drug courts; and $412 million linked to illegal drugs in state spending on Medicaid.

"CASA estimates that $7.4 billion in state spending is linked exclusively to tobacco through state Medicaid spending.

"The single drug linked to the largest percentage of state costs is alcohol. We were able to identify $9.2 billion in state spending linked to only to alcohol in addition to the costs associated with abuse of both alcohol and illegal drugs: $915 million on highway safety and local law enforcement associated with drunk driving; $837 million in state costs for the developmentally disabled as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome; and, $7.4 billion in state Medicaid costs."
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 11.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report, "Of the $81.3 billion states spent on substance abuse in 1998, $77.9 billion were spent shoveling the wreckage of this enormous health and social problem. These clean-up costs equal 12.6 percent of the total $620 billion in state spending for 1998. (Table 3.1)

"Almost ninety-six (95.8) cents of every state dollar spent on substance abuse goes to carry its burden in state programs such as criminal justice, school aid, Medicaid, child welfare, developmental disabilities and mental illness because of our failure to prevent substance abuse and treat those who are abusers and addicts."
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 13.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report, "In 1998, states spent a total of $39.7 billion for justice-related programs in adult corrections, juvenile justice and the judiciary amounting to 6.3 percent of their budgets. Of this amount, $30.7 billion (77 percent) was linked to substance abuse."
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 15.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report, "State spending for substance abuse in the justice system amounts to over one-third (39.4 percent) of the $77.9 billion states spend on the burden of substance abuse to state programs – 10 times the amount states spend on all substance abuse prevention, treatment and research."
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 15.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report, "States spent $29.8 billion in 1998 for adult corrections including incarceration, probation and parole. Eighty-one percent of this amount ($24.1 billion) was spent on substance-involved offenders. Of the $24.1 billion, $21.4 billion went to run and build prisons to house substance-involved offenders, $1.1 billion for parole and $695 million for probation for substance-involved offenders. An additional $899 million was spent on state aid to localities for substance-involved offenders (Figure 3.A)"
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 15.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report, "Only $513.3 million in state funds is spent nationwide on substance abuse prevention. This includes $223 million through the department of health, $210 million through the department of substance abuse and $80 million in prevention in elementary and secondary education. Most spending for prevention through the schools is federally funded and that amount is not included here."
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 22.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report: "Of the $3 billion states spend on prevention, treatment and research, $920 million (30.7 percent) is spent by state health agencies; $843 million (27.9 percent) by state alcohol and drug abuse offices; $433 million (14.3 percent) by the justice system."
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 22.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report, "States report spending $2.5 billion a year on treatment. States did not distinguish whether the treatment was for alcohol, illicit drug abuse or nicotine addiction. Of the $2.5 billion total, $695 million is spent through the departments of health and $633 million through the state substance abuse agencies. We believe that virtually all of these funds are spent on alcohol and illegal drug treatment."
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 24.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report, "The justice system spends $433 million on treatment: $149 million for state prison inmates; $103 million for those on probation and parole; $133 million for juvenile offenders; $46 million to help localities treat offenders; $1 million on drug courts. Treatment provided by mental health institutions for co-morbid patients totals $241 million. The remaining $492 million is for the substance abuse portion of state employee assistance programs ($97 million), treatment programs for adults involved in child welfare services ($4.5 million) and capital spending for the construction of treatment facilities ($391 million). (Figure 4.B)"
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 24.

In January 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published an analysis of costs to states from tobacco, alcohol and other drug addiction. According to the report, "The final component of state substance abuse spending is the $433 million states spent in 1998 to regulate the sale of alcohol and tobacco and to collect alcohol and tobacco taxes (Table 5.1) Tax rates vary significantly from state to state and revenues generally are not dedicated to prevent, treat or cope with the burden substance abuse and addiction places on many state programs.

"In 1998, states collected $4.0 billion in alcohol and $7.4 billion in tobacco taxes for a total of $11.4 billion. For every dollar of such tax revenues, states spent $7.13 on substance abuse and addiction -- $6.83 to shoulder the burden on public programs, $0.26 for prevention and treatment, and $0.04 to collect alcohol and tobacco taxes and run licensing boards."
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 27.

It costs approximately $8.6 billion a year to keep drug law violators behind bars.
Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Profile of Jail Inmates 1996 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, April 1996), pp. 1 & 4; Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 1996 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1997), pp. 10-11; Criminal Justice Institute, Inc., The Corrections Yearbook 1997 (South Salem, NY: Criminal Justice Institute, Inc., 1997) [estimating cost of a day in jail on average to be $55.41 a day, or $20,237 a year, and the cost of prison to be on average to be about $64.49 a day, or $23,554 a year].

A study by the RAND Corporation found that every additional dollar invested in substance abuse treatment saves taxpayers $7.46 in societal costs.
Source: Rydell, C.P. & Everingham, S.S., Controlling Cocaine, Prepared for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the United States Army (Santa Monica, CA: Drug Policy Research Center, RAND Corporation, 1994), p. xvi.

The RAND Corporation study found that additional domestic law enforcement efforts cost 15 times as much as treatment to achieve the same reduction in societal costs.
Source: Rydell, C.P. & Everingham, S.S., Controlling Cocaine, Prepared for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the United States Army (Santa Monica, CA: Drug Policy Research Center, RAND Corporation, 1994), p. xvi.

"The heavy toll drug abuse exacts on the United States is reflected in related criminal and medical costs totaling over $67 billion. Almost 70 percent of this figure is attributable to the cost of crime."
Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Strategy 2000 Annual Report (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2000), p. 66.

A 1998 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimated the economic costs of alcohol abuse in the United States to be $148.02 billion in 1992, 80% ($119.32 billion) of which were due to alcohol-related illness (including health care expenditures, impaired productivity and premature death). To contrast, illegal drug abuse cost a total of $97.66 billion in 1992, of which less than 40% ($38.71 billion) was due to drug-related illness or premature death. This figure includes $4.16 billion in HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis treatment costs.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992 (Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, May 1998), Table 1.1, p. 1-3 and Table 4.1, p. 4-2.

A 1998 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimated the economic costs of illegal drug abuse in the United States to be $97.66 billion in 1992. Sixty percent (60%) of drug costs were due to drug-related law enforcement, incarceration and crime. Only 3% of drug costs were from victims of drug-related crime.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992 (Wash, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, May 1998), Table 1.2, pp. 1-6.

In 1969, $65 million was spent by the Nixon administration on the drug war; in 1982 the Reagan administration spent $1.65 billion; in 2000 the Clinton administration spent more than $17.9 billion; and in 2002, the Bush administration spent more than $18.822 billion.
Sources: U.S. Congress, Hearings on Federal Drug Enforcement before the Senate Committee on Investigations, 1975 and 1976 (1976); Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Strategy, 1992: Budget Summary (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1992), p. 214; Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Budget Executive Summary, Fiscal Year 2002 (Washington DC: Executive Office of the President, April 9, 2001), p. 2, Table 1: Office of National Drug Control Policy, "National Drug Control Strategy: FY 2003 Budget Summary" (Washington, DC: Office of the President, February 2002), Table 2, p. 6.

The ONDCP in its 2000 annual report detailed administration requests for major increases in funding to the Federal Bureau of Prisons for drug-related prison construction. These include an extra $420 Million in fiscal year 2001, and advanced appropriations of $467 Million in 2002, and an additional $316 Million in 2003 - all drug-related.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1997), p. 20; Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the White House, National Drug Control Strategy, 1997: Budget Summary (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1997), p. 111; Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the White House, National Drug Control Strategy: Annual Report 2000 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2000), p. 96.

Recent estimates indicate that Colombia repatriates $7 billion in drug profits annually, which is nearly as high as the total legitimate exports for Colombia which were $7.6 billion in 1993.
Source: Trade and Environment Database (TED), TED Case Studies: Columbia Coca Trade, Washington DC: American University (1997), p. 4.

It is estimated that Colombian narcotics cartels spend $100 million on bribes to Colombian officials each year.
Source: Trade and Environment Database (TED), TED Case Studies: Columbia Coca Trade (Washington DC: American University, 1997), p. 4.

In 1993, 98% of Bolivia's foreign exchange earnings from goods and services came from the coca market.
Source: US Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Alternative Coca Reduction Strategies in the Andean Region, F-556 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, July 1993).

"The value of illegal drug exports from the Caribbean during the past two decades has fallen into two very well differentiated periods. The first period, from 1981 to 1990, was an epoch of impressive depression in the total value of the Caribbean drugs exports -- from an income over US$20bn at its peak in 1983 to US$5bn in 1991. Since 1991, the value of Caribbean exports of illegal drugs has stabilised around US$5bn."
Source: "The Value Of Illegal Drug Exports Transiting The Caribbean - 1981-2000," UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Caribbean Regional Office, February 2004, p. 39.

In a report funded by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, researchers concluded that "drug sales in poor neighborhoods are part of a growing informal economy which has expanded and innovatively organized in response to the loss of good jobs." The report characterizes drug dealing as "fundamentally a lower class response [to the information economy] by men and women with little formal education and few formal skills," and the report notes "If the jobs won't be created by either the public or private sector, then poor people will have to create the jobs themselves."
Source: Hagedorn, John M., Ph.D., The Business of Drug Dealing in Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI: Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, 1998), p. 3.

In a report funded by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, researchers concluded that drug-dealing plays a substantial role in the local economies of poorer urban neighborhoods. "At least 10% of all male Latinos and African-Americans aged 18-29 living in these two [surveyed] neighborhoods are supported to some extent by the drug economy." The report also concluded that "most drug entrepreneurs are hard working, but not super rich" and that "most drug entrepreneurs aren't particularly violent." One-fourth of all drug-dealers surveyed said they encountered no violence at all in their work, and two-thirds reported that violence occurred less than once per month.
Source: Hagedorn, John M., PhD, The Business of Drug Dealing in Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI: Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, 1998), p. 1.

"Although residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods, neighborhoods with high concentrations of minorities, and neighborhoods with high population densities reported much higher levels of visible drug sales, they reported only slightly higher levels of drug use, along with somewhat higher levels of drug dependency. This finding indicates that conflating drug sales with use, so that poor and minority areas are assumed to be the focus of the problem of drug use, is plainly wrong. The finding is based on the data collected across 41 sites, including city and suburban (but not rural) areas in all regions."
Source: Saxe, Leonard, PhD, Charles Kadushin, PhD, Andrew Beveridge, PhD, et al., "The Visibility of Illicit Drugs: Implications for Community-Based Drug Control Strategies," American Journal of Public Health (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, Dec. 2001), Vol. 91, No. 12, p. 1991.

"Although serious drug use is slightly more prevalent in poor minority neighborhoods than elsewhere, the major problem for disadvantaged neighborhoods is drug distribution. These communities are victims not only of their own drug abuse but also of a criminal drug market that serves the entire society. The market establishes itself in disadvantaged communities in part because of the low social capital in these neighborhoods. The drug economy further erodes that social capital."
Source: Saxe, Leonard, PhD, Charles Kadushin, PhD, Andrew Beveridge, PhD, et al., "The Visibility of Illicit Drugs: Implications for Community-Based Drug Control Strategies," American Journal of Public Health (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, Dec. 2001), Vol. 91, No. 12, p. 1992.

In its annual report for 1998-1999, the French organization Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues writes of the US: "Inmates are even less likely to find a job after than before serving a sentence, and if nothing changes most of them are doomed to unemployment for life ... and are likely to go back to prison."
Source: Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues, The World Geopolitics of Drugs 1998/1999 (Paris, France: OGD, April, 2000), p. 133.

The French organization OGD points out the deeper economic impact from the eventual release of American drug felons: "(A)ccording to some estimates some 3.5 million prisoners will be released between now and 2010, and an additional 500,000 each year thereafter.
"Such a large-scale release of unskilled people - most of them cannot even read and write - will have a negative impact on wages, which are already low in deprived urban areas, due to a massive influx of men desperate to get a job; especially, since the reform of the welfare system in 1996 severely reduced felons' access to welfare money."
Source: Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues, The World Geopolitics of Drugs 1998/1999 (Paris, France: OGD, April, 2000), p. 133.

While terror alerts rise and fall and states struggle to fund their law enforcement budgets, the total number of marijuana arrests far exceed the total number of arrests for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Source: http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17515


Hemp Production and the Drug War
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/hemp.htm

According to David West, PhD, "The THC levels in industrial hemp are so low that no one could ever get high from smoking it. Moreover, hemp contains a relatively high percentage of another cannabinoid, CBD, that actually blocks the marijuana high. Hemp, it turns out, is not only not marijuana; it could be called 'antimarijuana.'"
Source: West, David P, Hemp and Marijuana: Myths and Realities (Madison, WI: North American Industrial Hemp Council, 1998), p. 3.

Although opponents of hemp production claim that hemp fields will be used to hide marijuana fields, this is unlikely because cross-pollination between hemp and marijuana plants would significantly reduce the potency of the marijuana plant. On March 12, 1998, Canada legalized hemp production and set a limit of 0.3% THC content that may be present in the plants and requires that all seeds be certified for THC content.
Source: West, David P, Hemp and Marijuana: Myths and Realities (Madison, WI: North American Industrial Hemp Council, 1998)., pp. 4, 21.

In a July 1998 study issued by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky, researchers concluded that Kentucky hemp farmers could earn a net profit of $600 per acre for raising certified seeds, $320 net profit per acre for straw only or straw and grain production, and $220 net profit per acre for grain only production. The only crop found to be more profitable was tobacco.
Source: Tompson, Eric C., PhD, Berger, Mark C., PhD, and Allen, Steven N., Economic Impacts of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, Center for Business and Economic Research, 1998), p. 21.

In a July 1998 study issued by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky, researchers estimated that if Kentucky again became the main source for industrial hemp seed (as it was in the past), the state could earn the following economic benefits: Create jobs by the tens and hundreds and increase state revenues by millions.
Source: Tompson, Eric C., PhD, Berger, Mark C., PhD, and Allen, Steven N., Economic Impacts of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, Center for Business and Economic Research, 1998), p. iv.

In February 2004, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration cannot ban hemp products. The Associated Press reported that "On Friday, the court said that though the DEA has regulatory authority over marijuana and synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the agency did not follow the law in asserting authority over all hemp food products as well. 'They cannot regulate naturally-occuring THC not contained within or derived from marijuana,' the court ruled, noting it's not possible to get high from products with only trace amounts of the mind-altering chemical. Hemp is an industrial plant related to marijuana. Fiber from the plant long has been used to make paper, clothing, rope and other products. Its oil is found in body-care products such as lotion, soap and cosmetics and in a host of foods, including energy bars, waffles, milk-free cheese, veggie burgers and bread." The case is Hemp Industries Association v. Drug Enforcement Administration, number 01-71662.
Source: Terence Chea, Associated Press, "Appeals Court Rejects DEA Bid To Outlaw Hemp Foods," February 6, 2004, from the web at:
http://www.mapinc.org/newscsdp/v04/n231/a07.html , last accessed Feb. 18, 2004.

"Other than Maryland, only Hawaii, North Dakota and Minnesota have laws allowing hemp production. All were passed last year. Both Minnesota and North Dakota allow farmers statewide to grow hemp." Note: Many restrictions apply.
Source: Montgomery, Lori, Washington Post Staff Writer, Maryland Authorizes the Production of Hemp, The Washington Post, May 19, 2000, p. B1, B5.

"In Virginia, lawmakers passed a resolution last year urging federal officials to 'revise the necessary regulations' to permit experimental hemp production there."
Source: Montgomery, Lori, Washington Post Staff Writer, Maryland Authorizes the Production of Hemp, The Washington Post, May 19, 2000, p. B5.

Minnesota's Hemp Plans Take A Few Steps Forward
Source: Associated Press, October 1, 1999
http://www.hemp.net/news/9910/15/hemp_in_minnesota.shtml

”Minnesota, New Hampshire and Maryland have production-oriented legislation that basically allows for the crop to be grown after completing an application process through the Commissioner of Agriculture… Virginia recently passed interesting legislation that in essence gave a formal appeal to the Federal Government to allow it's farmers to produce industrial hemp.”
Source: http://lists.essential.org/ag-res/msg00033.html


Medical Marijuana
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/medicalm.htm

Since 1996, nine states have legalized medical marijuana use: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ME, NV, OR, WA. Eight of the nine did so through the initiative process, while Hawaii's law was enacted by the legislature and signed by the governor in 2000.
Source: National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), from the web at http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3391, last accessed Dec. 4, 2002.

The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on medical marijuana stated, "The accumulated data indicate a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation."
Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).

The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on medical marijuana examined the question whether the medical use of marijuana would lead to an increase of marijuana use in the general population and concluded that, "At this point there are no convincing data to support this concern. The existing data are consistent with the idea that this would not be a problem if the medical use of marijuana were as closely regulated as other medications with abuse potential." The report also noted that, "this question is beyond the issues normally considered for medical uses of drugs, and should not be a factor in evaluating the therapeutic potential of marijuana or cannabinoids."
Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).

In the Institute of Medicine's report on medical marijuana, the researchers examined the physiological risks of using marijuana and cautioned, "Marijuana is not a completely benign substance. It is a powerful drug with a variety of effects. However, except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range of effects tolerated for other medications."
Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).

The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on medical marijuana examined the question of whether marijuana could diminish patients' immune system - an important question when considering marijuana use by AIDS and cancer patients. The report concluded that, "the short-term immunosuppressive effects are not well established but, if they exist, are not likely great enough to preclude a legitimate medical use."
Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).

"Conclusions: Smoked and oral cannabinoids did not seem to be unsafe in people with HIV infection with respect to HIV RNA levels, CD4+ and CD8+ cell counts, or protease inhibitor levels over a 21-day treatment."
Source: Abrams, Donald I., MD, et al., "Short-Term Effects of Cannabinoids in Patients with HIV-1 Infection - A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial," Annals of Internal Medicine, Aug. 19, 2003, Vol. 139, No. 4 (American College of Physicians), p. 258.

"This study provides evidence that short-term use of cannabinoids, either oral or smoked, does not substantially elevate viral load in individuals with HIV infection who are receiving stable antiretroviral regimens containing nelfi- navir or indinavir. Upper confidence bounds for all estimated effects of cannabinoids on HIV RNA level from all analyses were no greater than an increase of 0.23 log10 copies/mL compared with placebo. Because this study was randomized and analyses were controlled for all known potential confounders, it is very unlikely that chance imbalance on any known or unknown covariate masked a harmful effect of cannabinoids. Study participants in all groups may have been expected to benefit from the equivalent of directly observed antiretroviral therapy, as well as decreased stress and, for some, improved nutrition over the 25-day inpatient stay."
Source: Abrams, Donald I., MD, et al., "Short-Term Effects of Cannabinoids in Patients with HIV-1 Infection - A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial," Annals of Internal Medicine, Aug. 19, 2003, Vol. 139, No. 4 (Am College of Physicians), p. 264.

"Nevertheless, when considering all 15 studies (i.e., those that met both strict and more relaxed criteria) we only noted that regular cannabis users performed worse on memory tests, but that the magnitude of the effect was very small. The small magnitude of effect sizes from observations of chronic users of cannabis suggests that cannabis compounds, if found to have therapeutic value, should have a good margin of safety from a neurocognitive standpoint under the more limited conditions of exposure that would likely obtain in a medical setting."
Source: Grant, Igor, et al., "Non-Acute (Residual) Neurocognitive Effects Of Cannabis Use: A Meta-Analytic Study," Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (Cambridge University Press: July 2003), 9, pp. 687-8.

In spite of the established medical value of marijuana, doctors are presently permitted to prescribe cocaine and morphine - but not marijuana.
Source: The Controlled Substances Act of 1970, 21 U.S.C. §§ 801 et seq.

Organizations that have endorsed medical access to marijuana include: the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Family Physicians; American Bar Association; American Public Health Association; American Society of Addiction Medicine; AIDS Action Council; British Medical Association; California Academy of Family Physicians; California Legislative Council for Older Americans; California Medical Association; California Nurses Association; California Pharmacists Association; California Society of Addiction Medicine; California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; Colorado Nurses Association; Consumer Reports Magazine; Kaiser Permanente; Lymphoma Foundation of America; Multiple Sclerosis California Action Network; National Association of Attorneys General; National Association of People with AIDS; National Nurses Society on Addictions; New Mexico Nurses Association; New York State Nurses Association; New England Journal of Medicine; and Virginia Nurses Association.

A few of the editorial boards that have endorsed medical access to marijuana include: Boston Globe; Chicago Tribune; Miami Herald; New York Times; Orange County Register; and USA Today.

Many organizations have favorable positions (e.g., unimpeded research) on medical marijuana. These groups include: The Institute of Medicine, The American Cancer Society; American Medical Association; Australian Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health; California Medical Association; Federation of American Scientists; Florida Medical Association; and the National Academy of Sciences.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 established five categories, or "schedules," into which all illicit and prescription drugs were placed. Marijuana was placed in Schedule I, which defines the substance as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. To contrast, over 90 published reports and studies have shown marijuana has medical efficacy.
Source: The Controlled Substances Act of 1970, 21 U.S.C. §§ 801 et seq.; Common Sense for Drug Policy, Compendium of Reports, Research and Articles Demonstrating the Effectiveness of Medical Marijuana, Vol. I & Vol. II (Falls Church, VA: Common Sense for Drug Policy, March 1997).

The U.S. Penal Code states that any person can be imprisoned for up to one year for possession of one marijuana cigarette and imprisoned for up to five years for growing a single marijuana plant.
Source: The Controlled Substances Act of 1970, 21 U.S.C. §§ 801 et seq.

On September 6, 1988, the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young, ruled:
"Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known....[T]he provisions of the [Controlled Substances] Act permit and require the transfer of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance."
Source: US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition," [Docket #86-22] (September 6, 1988), p. 57.

The DEA's Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young concluded: "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care."
Source: US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition," [Docket #86-22], (September 6, 1988), p. 57.

Between 1978 and 1997, 35 states and the District of Columbia passed legislation recognizing marijuana's medicinal value.
States include: AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, IA, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, and WI.

For additional research on medical marijuana, see this excellent analysis of medical marijuana research by Common Sense for Drug Policy President Kevin B. Zeese and this update from Common Sense for Drug Policy, as well as the Drug War Facts section on marijuana.


Questions For Legislators:
By Kris Mickle, Wisconsin NORML kmickle@tds.net

1. We spend $50 billion per year trying to eradicate drugs from this country. According to DEA estimates we capture less than 10% of all illicit drugs. In this regard, consider a two part question a) How much do you think it will cost to stop the other ninety percent? b) Does $50 billion a year for a 90% failure rate seem like a good investment to you?

2. White people buy most of the illegal drugs in this country. Yet, 74% of those receiving prison sentences for drug possession are African-American and other minorities. Is race a factor in the enforcement of drug laws, and if not,how can we prove that to skeptics?

3. Has the cost of the War on Drugs in terms of billions of dollars, ruined lives, jammed prisons, intensified racism, needless deaths, etc., produced any significant change in drug availability or perceived patterns of drug use?

4. Someone once said, "Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and make crime out of things that are not crimes." (Abraham Lincoln) How do you respond to this statement?

5. It is estimated that 77 million U.S. citizens have tried an illicit drug at least once. How many of the 77 million drug users do you feel we must incarcerate in order to win the war on drugs?

6. Why does the FDA stand up for the right of adults to smoke tobacco, which is highly addictive and causes over 400,000 deaths per year, while decreeing that adults have no right to smoke marijuana, which is non-addictive and kills no one?

7. Drug use is an acknowledged fact in every prison in the country. If we can't stop prisoner use of drugs, how can we expect to stop average free citizens from using them?

8. Despite signatures from 85 prominent groups and individuals, the Hoover Resolution (a call for an independent panel to review existing drug policies) not been considered, accepted, or initiated.

9. What lessons from alcohol prohibition lead you to believe that the current drug war will end in victory?

10. Fifty-two federal judges, the DA of San Francisco, the mayor of Baltimore, the vast majority of prison wardens, and numerous other respected officials consider the war on drugs a failure. More than a few important Americans are opposed to the drug war.

11. What do you conclude from the experience of Holland--a country where drugs fall under the jurisdiction of health agencies, not law enforcement--which has seen a decline in chronic use of hard drugs and casual use of soft drugs since decriminalization?

12. If illegal drugs are so obviously harmful to people's health, why is it necessary to put so many American adults in prison to prevent them from using these drugs?

13. In drug policy discussions we hear a lot about the "message" that certain policies may send to children. What message is sent to inner city children who witness illegal drug sales on their way to school each day?

14. The modern drug war began in the 1960s, and for 45 years it has failed to reduce drug access to school-aged children. Which is better for America during the next 45 years, prohibition with continued school-aged access to drugs OR reform policies that ease prohibition but reduce school-age access?

15. Drug prohibition has been one of the biggest U.S. domestic policy failures of the late twentieth century. Why is a perpetuation of this failure more desirable than serious consideration of alternative policy options?

16. Why should 270 million citizens continue to pay $50 billion per year to try to change the habits of 20 million people, considering that this policy has not been able to change those habits in 82 years and at a total cost of nearly one trillion dollars?

Note to Readers: This petition is available for activists to gather signatures. Please send a note for a copy to can.com@charter.net


Petition to the City Council
Appeal to Regulate and Decriminalize the Possession of Marijuana

We, the undersigned are registered voters and citizens of Duluth MN, who present the following resolution with a collective voice seeking justice and legal reforms, for social change and economic sustainability. The united voice of the CCC represents coalitions from a broad spectrum of Duluth's citizenry. As a union of organizations, churches and businesses that are enmeshed in the commerce and culture of Duluth City, we submit this resolution for endorsement and initiation by the Duluth City Council.

We, the undersigned, submit that States and municipalities best manage the regulation of cannabis and that States and municipalities best assert the will of their citizenry to the Federal Government. We petition the City of Duluth to adopt a resolution that asserts its rights for local governance.

We aspire to adopt such laws that assure the right of citizens to grow cannabis, for entrepreneurs to manufacture products that can be made available to the public with certain regulations and considerations, and that fees and taxes be implemented to support a system of regulation. We therefore request the City Council to voice the sentiment of its citizens to insist that State and Federal laws be adjusted to conform with this resolution of the People of Duluth MN.

We, the undersigned, assert that doctors and their patients should decide the medical use of cannabis and that government entities should have no involvement except for sponsoring research and providing information. We petition for the immediate suspension of penalties for possession of marijuana by those persons with recommendations for use by their health care providers.

We, the undersigned, submit that the ingestion of marijuana is a personal decision that does not infringe upon the rights of others, and that its private use by responsible adults should be permitted in the City of Duluth. We decry the incarceration of marijuana users. We petition the City of Duluth to reduce the priority of enforcement of marijuana possession laws in the City of Duluth.

We, the undersigned, petition the City, through its Council, to request the State Commissioner of Agriculture to permit hemp agriculture and industry. Whereas hemp will improve the economy with a sustainable and beneficial resource for the manufacture of paper, canvas, oil and food products, we petition the City to encourage the retooling of local hemp paper and fabric manufacturing and to subsidize the Community Garden Program to implement urban hemp cultivation by citizens.

We petition the City to assert its right to regulate cannabis and to generate tax revenues to support standards with quality control enforcment, information, resources and research.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?