Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Former Miami Judge Supports Medical Marijuana
Former judge backs weed legalization
By Matt Grass
Published: Sunday, November 8, 2009
Updated: Sunday, November 8, 2009
Although alcohol and tobacco are far more dangerous than marijuana, they
have become America's drugs of choice, said Don Jones, a retired
municipal judge from Miami who came to speak during a NORML event
UCF students and guests gathered to listen to representatives from Law
Enforcement Against Prohibition, a 15,000-member group of law
enforcement and government officials who believe marijuana should be
"The fight against marijuana is an industry," Jones said.
"It pays too many salaries. Half of the states would go bankrupt if
marijuana was legalized."
Founded in early 2002, LEAP has become an internationally recognized
group of current and former law enforcement officials, including police
officers and FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration agents, who argue
that the current "War on Drugs" has failed its intended goals.
The group holds the belief that a system of legalizing, controlling and
regulating marijuana, among other drugs, would be a far more effective
and safer alternative to the Unites States' current policy.
According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, 435,000
Americans lost their lives to tobacco and 85,000 to alcohol in 2000, and
yet the marijuana death toll was zero.
"People don't realize that their taxpayer dollars are going to
waste each time a nonviolent marijuana user is arrested," said NORML
President Tyler Smith. "The [current] prohibition fuels violence and
gang warfare. How often do you hear about Coors and Budweiser getting
into turf wars?" Smith said.
Despite the fact that marijuana's main ingredient, THC, has been
proven effective in reducing nausea induced by chemotherapy, stimulating
appetite in AIDS patients and relieving pain in people with glaucoma, it
has been legalized for medicinal purposes in only 13 states, according
to www.drugpolicy. org.
"We hope to break the stereotypes plaguing this movement," Smith
said. "[NORML] brings speakers to educate the UCF community and
provide general outreach and participation in community service. We are
motivated, caring, democratic individuals who only want freedom from the
currently oppressing laws."
For more information on LEAP, visit www.leap.cc. NORML meets Wednesday
nights at 7 p.m. in the Student Union, Room 218.
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