New York Times Says Legalise It
The New York Times branded the War on Drugs a disaster and abject failure this week, declaring in a dramatic editorial that US authorities should fully legalise pot- ‘a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.’
“We believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization,” the Times thundered, going on to warn of ‘otherwise law-abiding citizens . . . being vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House’ while the current system persists.
“Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults,” they also noted. “Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the “Reefer Madness” images of murder, rape and suicide.” (http://nyti.ms/Uvptm4 )
The newspaper’s dramatic (and highly significant) declaration prompted an immediate response from campaigning Californian online pot community Weed Maps, who launched a petition targeting the Times currently ongoing practice of drug testing new employees for pot.
“As recent editorials demonstrate, The Times editorial board and its publisher feel strongly about ending the practice of giving people life-damaging criminal records for marijuana, which can make it difficult to get a job, go to school or in some cases even vote,” the petition noted.
“What journalists and other employees do on their own time is their own business. The Times doesn’t concern itself with whether their writers have a drink after work. They should institute the same policy for marijuana.”
Meanwhile in Dubai, an Indian traveller became the latest foreigner to end up with a 4 year jail term for drug offences after he was found guilty of possessing poppy seeds as he transited through Dubai International Airport in April.
Judges were reportedly unmoved by the farmer’s justification in court that ‘where I come from, we use this for cooking, as well as his claim that “we use this like a spice in the sauce and we use it to cook the soup as well. I possessed it for cooking purposes.” (Business-Standard)
Civil liberties group Fair Trials International warned of the perils of poppy seeds in 2012 as well as travellers being jailed for microscopic specks of cannabis detected by fanatically zealous customs officials in Dubai.
“Customs authorities are using highly sensitive new equipment to conduct extremely thorough searches on travellers and if they find any amount – no matter how minute – it will be enough to attract a mandatory four-year prison sentence,” Fair Trials International Chief Executive Catherine Wolthuizen warned.
“We even have reports of the imprisonment of a Swiss man for ‘possession’ of three poppy seeds on his clothing after he ate a bread roll at Heathrow,” she added. (Fairtrials.org)
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff