NORML to the Drug Czar's Office: 'Now Do We Have Your Attention?'

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More than 100 readers have posted comments in support of NORML’s recent guest editorial, “Criminalization of Marijuana Must End,” which appeared in The Hill’s influential “Congressional Blog.” Editors at The Hill inform NORML that it’s the highest volume of readers’ response they’ve ever received on any commentary on any topic!

So it’s hardly surprising that the Drug Czar’s office has grudgingly and belatedly offered their two-cents worth in a factually bereft editorial entitled “Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Ignores the Facts.” It’s an unintentionally amusing essay — though judging by the comments it appears that few people, if anyone, have actually bothered to read it — topped off by this half-baked claim, “[L]egalizing marijuana [is] a topic more often heard in college dorms at 2 o’clock in the morning than in the hallowed halls of our Congress.”

Excuse me, but if debating the merits of America’s failed cannabis policy is, in the Drug Czar’s opinion, a topic only appropriate for midnight musings, then why is the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy straining their already diminished intellectual capacities responding to this discussion in The Hill (which, last time I checked, was not a publication frequently read by college students in their dorm rooms at 2 am)??!!

Of course, I suppose The Hill should thank their lucky stars that the Drug Czar responded at all, given that no representatives from the ONDCP, CADCA, or other “pro-prohibition” groups will ever agree to engage with NORML in a face-to-face debate in a public forum. I mean, it wasn’t all that long ago that federal officials were distributing a guidebook, “How to Hold Your Own in a Drug Legalization Debate,” that recommended that prohibition advocates decline invitations to publicly debate drug policy issues.

My how times have changed!

Paul Armentano [send him mail] is the senior policy analyst for NORML and the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC. He is the author of "Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Review of the Scientific Literature" (2007, NORML Foundation).

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