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OfflineDailyPot
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The Government * 1
    #1501034 - 04/28/03 04:56 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

It took me awhile before I finally believed this but I now believe the government is needed in our society today to properly live. With so many people andjust our curent life styles we couldn't survive without a big system of power. But that doesn't mean the government is always right, infact its extramely flawed. We need it but not to the extent it is not, its big time past the boundary that we need it to survive.

Anyways to my question. Do you feel the government has the right to say which substances can and cannot be used? Where should the gov draw the line?


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: The Government [Re: DailyPot]
    #1501099 - 04/28/03 05:16 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

The Government is needed, but not in the way they are.
There needs to be a serious change in power structure before it will ever function properly. We need a new government.

This belongs in Political, Btw.


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Offlinebarfightlard
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Re: The Government [Re: DailyPot]
    #1501227 - 04/28/03 05:57 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

I think the government has many good things and it could be much better. There is just too much greed and corruption about. No, I don't think anyone should be able to tell you what you can and can't do to your own body, thats just bullshit.


--------------------

"What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body - as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?" - Bill Hicks


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Invisiblez@z.com
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Registered: 10/13/02
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Re: The Government [Re: DailyPot]
    #1501331 - 04/28/03 06:19 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

All the government should do is secure the rights of its citizens. If what you do doesn't infringe on the rights of another it shouldn't be a problem. Government is a necessary evil that needs to be kept out of our daily lives and wallets.


--------------------
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson


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OfflineDailyPot
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Re: The Government [Re: z@z.com]
    #1531898 - 05/08/03 08:27 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

All the government should do is secure the rights of its citizens. If what you do doesn't infringe on the rights of another it shouldn't be a problem. Government is a necessary evil that needs to be kept out of our daily lives and wallets. 



Amen to that :cool:


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OfflineDailyPot
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Re: The Government [Re: DailyPot]
    #1546186 - 05/13/03 08:29 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Drug Use Should Be an Individual Choice

Before the twentieth century, American citizens held the responsibility for their drug-using behavior. Since 1914, however, that responsibility has been transferred to the state. Although some supporters of the legalization of marijuana argue that the use of marijuana can be medically beneficial, this philosophy encourages the idea that drug use is an appropriate object of government control. In a free society, the decision to use drugs belongs to the individual.

Drug prohibitionists were alarmed in November 1996, when voters in Arizona and California endorsed the initiatives permitting the use of marijuana for "medical purposes." Opponents of drug prohibition ought to be even more alarmed: The advocates of medical marijuana have embraced a tactic that retards the repeal of drug prohibition and reinforces the moral legitimacy of prevailing drug policies. Instead of steadfastly maintaining that the War on Drugs is an intrinsically evil enterprise, the reformers propose replacing legal sanctions with medical tutelage, a principle destined to further expand the medical control of everyday behavior.

Not surprisingly, the drug prohibition establishment reacted to the passage of the marijuana initiatives as the Vatican might react to an outbreak of heretical schism. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, declared: "We can't let this go without a response." Arizona Senator Jon Kyl told the Judiciary Committee: "I am extraordinarily embarrassed," adding that he believed most Arizona voters who supported the initiative "were deceived." Naturally. Only a person who had fallen into error could approve of sin. Too many critics of the War on Drugs continue to refuse to recognize that their adversaries are priests waging a holy war on Satanic chemicals, not statesmen who respect the people and whose sole aim is to give them access to the best possible information concerning the benefits and risks of biologically active substances.

Transferring responsibility to the state

From Colonial times until 1914, Americans were the authors of their own drug policy: they decided what substances to avoid or use, controlled the drug-using behavior of their children, and assumed responsibility for their personal conduct. Since 1914, the control of, and responsibility for, drug use--by adults as well as children--has been gradually transferred from citizens to agents of the state, principally physicians.

Supporters of the marijuana initiatives portray their policies as acts of compassion "to help the chronically or terminally ill." James E. Copple, president of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, counters: "They are using the AIDS victims and terminally ill as props to promote the use of marijuana." He is right. Former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders declares: "I think that we can really legalize marijuana." If by "legalizing" she means repealing marijuana prohibition, then she does not know what she is talking about. We have sunk so low in the War on Drugs that, at present, legalizing marijuana in the United States is about as practical as is legalizing Scotch in Saudi Arabia. A 1995 Gallup Poll found that 85 percent of the respondents opposed legalizing illicit drugs.

Supporters of the marijuana initiatives are posturing as advocates of medical "responsibility" toward "sick patients." Physicians complain of being deprived of their right to free speech. It won't work. The government can out-responsible the doctors any day. Physicians have "prescription privileges," a euphemism for what is, in effect, the power to issue patients ad hoc licenses to buy certain drugs. This makes doctors major players in the state apparatus denying people their right to drugs, thereby denying them the option of responsible drug use and abdicating their own responsibilities to the government: "We will not turn a blind eye toward our responsibility," declared Attorney General Janet Reno at a news conference on December 30, 1996, where the Administration announced "that doctors in California and Arizona who ordered for their patients any drugs like marijuana ... could lose their prescription privileges and even face criminal charges." I don't blame the doctors for wanting to forget the Satanic pact they have forged with the state, but they should not expect the government not to remind them of it.

A medicalized view of life

The American people as well as their elected representatives support the War on Drugs. The mainstream media addresses the subject in a language that precludes rational debate: crimes related to drug prohibition are systematically described as "drug-related." Perhaps most important, Americans in ever-increasing numbers seem to be deeply, almost religiously, committed to a medicalized view of life. Thus, Dennis Peron, the originator of the California marijuana proposition, believes that since relieving stress is beneficial to health, "any adult who uses marijuana does so for medical reasons." Similarly, Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Lindesmith Center (the George Soros think tank for drug policy), states: "The next step is toward arguing for a more rational drug policy," such as distributing hypodermic needles and increasing access to methadone for heroin addicts. These self-declared opponents of the War on Drugs are blind to the fatal compromise entailed in their use of the phrase "rational policy."

If we believe we have a right to a free press, we do not seek a rational book policy or reading policy; on the contrary, we would call such a policy "censorship" and a denial of our First Amendment rights.

If we believe we have a right to freedom of religion, we do not seek a rational belief policy or religion policy; on the contrary, we would call such a policy "religious persecution" and a denial of the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.

So long as we do not believe in freedom of, and responsibility for, drug use, we cannot mount an effective opposition to medical-statist drug controls. In a free society, the duty of the government is to protect individuals from others who might harm them; it is not the government's business to protect individuals from harming themselves. Misranking these governmental functions precludes the possibility of repealing our drug laws. Presciently, C.S. Lewis warned against yielding to the temptations of medical tutelage: "Of all the tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.... To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals."

Although at present we cannot serve the cause of liberty by repealing the drug laws, we can betray that cause by supporting the fiction that self-medication is a disease, prohibiting it is a public health measure, and punishing it is a treatment.


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OfflineDailyPot
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Re: The Government [Re: DailyPot]
    #1546196 - 05/13/03 08:32 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Drug Policies Should Be Liberalized

The war on drugs is, simply, a war on sanity. It is a failed policy of prohibition, focused primarily on urban blacks and Latinos, that has done little more than fill our jails, overtax our police departments and turn an entire population of addicts into criminals.

It has created an underground economy that thrives on violence and greed, an economy that appears to offer those who enter its maze instant gratification and riches, but more often than not leaves its participants dead or in jail.

And it has resulted in dangerous attacks on our civil liberties through the use of neighborhood drug sweeps, the denial of housing to the families of drug dealers, motor vehicle stops made based on the color of the driver's skin and eased search and seizure rules.

We spend about 70 percent of all federal anti-drug money on law enforcement and the control of our national borders, crafted mandatory sentencing laws that punish nonviolent offenders with years and years of hard time crowding our jails and destroying generations.

The drug war is a policy driven by the belief that taking a hard line on drugs is what sells during political elections, that candidates who do not get behind the latest anti-drug gimmick will be swept from office by someone tougher and meaner.

Changing Public Opinion

Perhaps things are changing. Voters in six states and the District of Columbia indicated their willingness to take a different tack when they approved measures allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. All told, voters in seven states and D.C., which account for about one-fifth of the electorate, have now endorsed "medical marijuana," despite widespread opposition from local, state and federal office-holders and the law enforcement community. [In fact, Congress forbade the release of the final vote in the District of Columbia.]

Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Lindesmith Center drug policy institute, told William Greider in the Dec. 24, 1998 issue of Rolling Stone that the referenda will put pressure on elected leaders to find a different approach to drug abuse and use.

"Those politicians who thought there was no cost to indulging in drug-war demagoguery may now find themselves in an argument with their own voters," he told Greider. "They don't want to face up to that, but the American people will no longer be duped by such inflammatory language."

The medical-marijuana movement, Greider points, was led by an array of public health workers and those stricken by AIDS and cancer and their families.

"I saw I had to prescribe marijuana for my patients, and I saw that it worked," hospice physician Rob Killian of Seattle told Greider. "All drugs have a dangerous side, but as physicians, we are trained to administer pharmaceuticals in a safe, appropriate manner. My patients who are suffering and dying are not criminals."

The results are an indication that voters are willing to move beyond the what Eva Bertram and Kenneth Sharpe have called "a dead-end, partisan debate over who stands tougher against drug use and dealing." (The Nation, Jan. 6, 1997)

Government Resistance

Unfortunately, those who've been waging America's "War on Drugs" do not appear ready to listen. The president and his administration repeatedly have turned a deaf ear to the medical marijuana argument, promising to prosecute health-care professionals who suggest their patients may benefit from smoking marijuana. And while the administration has said it will listen if scientific evidence is presented that shows marijuana to have therapeutic benefits, it has allowed studies of the drug to be stymied by politics.

"They speak in two different voices," Nadelmann told Greider. "One ridicules medical marijuana, the patients and doctors. The other approach is to say, 'Let the science prevail.' Yet any time the medical-marijuana studies come up through their system of scientific review and gain legitimacy, they are cut off by political decisions."

Restoring Sanity

There are alternatives to the current madness--some of which have been endorsed by some influential members of the law enforcement and public health communities--alternatives that could go a long way toward restoring safety to our streets and sanity to our lives.

These reforms include legalization of marijuana and the decriminalization of other drugs, free and open access to treatment and needle exchange programs. Their advocates say these efforts can "reduce the harmful consequences of drug use to the individual, his or her loved ones and the community as a whole" (Bertram and Sharpe)--which ultimately should be the guiding principal of U.S. drug policy.

The alternatives look like this:

Legalize pot. Marijuana is a relatively harmless drug that has a mellowing effect on those who use it and has few addictive properties. Turning those who use the drug into criminals makes no sense and it keeps the drug out of the hands of cancer and AIDS patients and those who suffer from epilepsy and other nervous system disorders.

There is a load of evidence that shows that using marijuana helps cancer and AIDS patients maintain their weight and their strength, which in turn helps their bodies fight off infections and viruses. And it also aids them in avoiding mood swings. There also is anecdotal evidence that suggests the drug has a salutary effect on patients who suffer from epilepsy and other nervous system disorders.

Legalization--which would bring with it government controls--also would guarantee a safe supply of marijuana that is free of contaminants and of a known and consistent potency and price, rather than force users to deal with the underground economy. This is similar to the way that alcohol, tobacco and over-the-counter and prescription drugs are regulated.

And there would be the added bonus of drug tax revenue.

Decriminalization, Treatment, and Free Needles

Decriminalize other drugs, with strict controls on their use. This would include the various opiates, which already are used by physicians to control pain; the various cocaine derivatives; psychedelics, amphetamines and barbiturates. By decriminalizing these drugs, we could reduce the role of the criminal in their distribution and take the illicit profit out of their sale, while regulating their potency and purity.

Tied to this would be free and open access to treatment facilities for addicts seeking to turn their lives around.

Make free needles available to intravenous drug users to help slow the spread of AIDS and other infectious diseases.

As Bertram and Sharpe point out, more than a third of all AIDS cases are associated with intravenous drug use. "Passed on through the sharing of contaminated needles, the AIDS virus is contracted each year by 10,000 drug users, their sex partners and their children--the equivalent of one to two preventable HIV infections per hour, including the majority of AIDS cases in children under 137."

Needle-exchange programs (NEPs), which provide sterile needles to addicts and encourage them to seek treatment, have been implemented across the country. And according to Bertram and Sharpe, "Mounting evidence demonstrates that NEPs can significantly slow the spread of AIDS and do not encourage increased drug use."

Not a Criminal Issue

Alter the way we view drug abuse and drug-abuse prevention. We need to start looking at drug addiction as a public health issue, as we do alcoholism and AIDS, and not as a criminal issue.

This means educating the public with real information, not the scare tactics that generally pass for drug education in this country.

People need to understand the physiological effects of various drugs--including those over-the-counter remedies and prescription medications we seem to be addicted to--and the very real pleasures that these drugs can provide. People need to understand both the ups and the downs of toking on a joint, shooting up or knocking back a shooter of Jack Daniels, and they need to understand that the downside can be far greater than the upside.

As former Secretary of State George Schultz has said, "We're not really going to get anywhere until we take the criminality out of the drug business and the incentives for criminality out of it."


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OfflineDailyPot
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Re: The Government [Re: DailyPot]
    #1546238 - 05/13/03 08:51 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Drug Prohibition Is Counterproductive

Ours is a federal republic. The federal government has only the powers granted to it in the Constitution. And the United States has a tradition of individual liberty, vigorous civil society, and limited government: just because a problem is identified does not mean that the government ought to undertake to solve it, and just because a problem occurs in more than one state does not mean that it is a proper subject for federal policy.

Perhaps no area more clearly demonstrates the bad consequences of not following such rules than drug prohibition. The long federal experiment in prohibition of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs has given us unprecedented crime and corruption combined with a manifest failure to stop the use of drugs or reduce their availability to children.

A Failure Then and Now

In the 1920s Congress experimented with the prohibition of alcohol. On February 20, 1933, a new Congress acknowledged the failure of alcohol Prohibition and sent the Twenty-First Amendment to the states. Congress recognized that Prohibition had failed to stop drinking and had increased prison populations and violent crime. By the end of 1933, national Prohibition was history, though in accordance with our federal system many states continued to outlaw or severely restrict the sale of liquor.

Today Congress confronts a similarly failed prohibition policy. Futile efforts to enforce prohibition have been pursued even more vigorously in the 1980s and 1990s than they were in the 1920s. Total federal expenditures for the first 10 years of Prohibition amounted to $88 million--about $733 million in 1993 dollars. Drug enforcement cost about $22 billion in the Reagan years and another $45 billion in the four years of the Bush administration. The federal government spent $16 billion on drug control programs in FY [fiscal year] 1998 and has approved a budget of $17.9 billion for FY 1999. The Office of National Drug Control Policy reported in April 1999 that state and local governments spent an additional $15.9 billion in FY 1991, an increase of 13 percent over 1990, and there is every reason to believe that state and local expenditures have risen throughout the 1990s.

Those mind-boggling amounts have had some effect. Total drug arrests are now more than 1.5 million a year. There are about 400,000 drug offenders in jails and prison now, and over 80 percent of the increase in the federal prison population from 1985 to 1995 was due to drug convictions. Drug offenders constituted 59.6 percent of all federal prisoners in 1996, up from 52.6 percent in 1990. (Those in federal prison for violent offenses fell from 18 percent to 12.4 percent of the total, while property offenders fell from 14 percent to 8.4 percent.)

Hardly a Successful Policy

Yet as was the case during Prohibition, all the arrests and incarcerations haven't stopped the use and abuse of drugs, or the drug trade, or the crime associated with black-market transactions. Cocaine and heroin supplies are up; the more our Customs agents interdict, the more smugglers import. In a letter to the Wall Street Journal published on November 12, 1996, Janet Crist of the White House Office of National Drug Policy claimed some success:

Other important results [of the Pentagon's anti-drug efforts] include the arrest of virtually the entire Cali drug cartel leadership, the disruption of the Andean air bridge, and the hemispheric drug interdiction effort that has captured about a third of the cocaine produced in South America each year.

"However," she continued, "there has been no direct effect on either the price or the availability of cocaine on our streets."

That is hardly a sign of a successful policy. And of course, while crime rates have fallen in the past few years, today's crime rates look good only by the standards of the recent past; they remain much higher than the levels of the 1950s.

As for discouraging young people from using drugs, the massive federal effort has largely been a dud. Despite the soaring expenditures on antidrug efforts, about half the students in the United States in 1995 tried an illegal drug before they graduated from high school. According to the 1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 54.1 percent of high school seniors reported some use of an illegal drug at least once during their lifetime, although it should be noted that only 6.4 percent reported use in the month before the survey was conducted. Every year from 1975 to 1995, at least 82 percent of high school seniors have said they find marijuana "fairly easy" or "very easy" to obtain. During that same period, according to federal statistics of dubious reliability, teenage marijuana use fell dramatically and then rose significantly, suggesting that cultural factors have more effect than "the war on drugs."

The manifest failure of drug prohibition explains why more and more people--from Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke to Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, conservative columnist William F. Buckley Jr., and former secretary of state George Shultz--have argued that drug prohibition actually causes more crime and other harms than it prevents.

Violating the Constitution and Causing Crime

Congress should recognize the failure of prohibition and end the federal government's war on drugs. First and foremost, the federal drug laws are constitutionally dubious. As previously noted, the federal government can only exercise the powers that have been delegated to it. The Tenth Amendment reserves all other powers to the states or to the people. However misguided the alcohol prohibitionists turned out to be, they deserve credit for honoring our constitutional system by seeking a constitutional amendment that would explicitly authorize a national policy on the sale of alcohol. Congress never asked the American people for additional constitutional powers to declare a war on drug consumers.

Second, drug prohibition creates high levels of crime. Addicts are forced to commit crimes to pay for a habit that would be easily affordable if it were legal. Police sources have estimated that as much as half the property crime in some major cities is committed by drug users. More dramatically, because drugs are illegal, participants in the drug trade cannot go to court to settle disputes, whether between buyer and seller or between rival sellers. When black-market contracts are breached, the result is often some form of violent sanction, which usually leads to retaliation and then open warfare in the streets.

Our capital city, Washington, D.C., has become known as the "murder capital" even though it is the most heavily policed city in the United States. Make no mistake about it, the annual carnage that stands behind America's still outrageously high murder rates has nothing to do with the mind-altering effects of a marijuana cigarette or a crack pipe. It is instead one of the grim and bitter consequences of an ideological crusade whose proponents will not yet admit defeat.

Third, drug prohibition channels over $40 billion a year into the criminal underworld. Alcohol prohibition drove reputable companies into other industries or out of business altogether, which paved the way for mobsters to make millions through the black market. If drugs were legal, organized crime would stand to lose billions of dollars, and drugs would be sold by legitimate businesses in an open marketplace.

Fourth, drug prohibition is a classic example of throwing money at a problem. The federal government spends some $16 billion to enforce the drug laws every year--all to no avail. For years drug war bureaucrats have been tailoring their budget requests to the latest news reports. When drug use goes up, taxpayers are told the government needs more money so that it can redouble its efforts against a rising drug scourge. When drug use goes down, taxpayers are told that it would be a big mistake to curtail spending just when progress is being made. Good news or bad, spending levels must be maintained or increased.

Social Upheaval and Family Breakup

Fifth, the drug laws are responsible for widespread social upheaval. "Law and order" advocates too often fail to recognize that some laws can actually cause societal disorder. A simple example will illustrate that phenomenon. Right now our college campuses are relatively calm and peaceful, but imagine what would happen if Congress were to institute military conscription in order to wage a war in Kosovo, Korea, or the Middle East. Campuses across the country would likely erupt in protest--even though Congress obviously did not desire that result. The drug laws happen to have different "disordering" effects. Perhaps the most obvious has been turning our cities into battlefields and upending the normal social order.

Drug prohibition has created a criminal subculture in our inner cities. The immense profits involved in a black-market business make drug dealing the most lucrative endeavor for many people, especially those who care least about getting on the wrong side of the law.

Drug dealers become the most visibly successful people in inner-city communities, the ones with money, and clothes, and cars. Social order is turned upside down when the most successful people in a community are criminals. The drug war makes peace and prosperity virtually impossible in inner cities.

Sixth, the drug laws break up families. Too many parents have been separated from their children because they were convicted of marijuana possession, small-scale sale of drugs, or some other non-violent offense. Will Foster used marijuana to control the pain and swelling associated with his crippling rheumatoid arthritis. He was arrested, convicted of marijuana cultivation, and sentenced to 93 years in prison, later reduced to 20 years. Are his three children better off with a father who uses marijuana medicinally, or a father in jail for 20 years?

And going to jail for drug offenses isn't just for men any more. In 1996, 188,880 women were arrested for violating drug laws. Most of them did not go to jail, of course, but more than two-thirds of the 146,000 women behind bars have children. One of them is Brenda Pearson, a heroin addict who managed to maintain a job at a securities firm in New York. She supplied heroin to an addict friend, and a Michigan prosecutor had her extradited, prosecuted, and sentenced to 50 to 200 years. We can only hope that her two children will remember her when she gets out.

Civil Liberties Abuses

Seventh, drug prohibition leads to civil liberties abuses. The demand to win this unwinnable war has led to wiretapping, entrapment, property seizures, and other abuses of Americans' traditional liberties. The saddest cases result in the deaths of innocent people: people like Donald Scott, whose home was raided at dawn on the pretext of cultivating marijuana, and who was shot and killed when he rushed into the living room carrying a gun; or people like the Rev. Accelyne Williams, a 75-year-old minister who died of a heart attack when police burst into his Boston apartment looking for drugs--the wrong apartment, as it turned out; or people like Esequiel Hernandez, who was out tending his family's goats near the Rio Grande just six days after his 18th birthday when he was shot by a Marine patrol looking for drug smugglers. As we deliberate the costs and benefits of drug policy, we should keep those people in mind.

Students of American history will someday ponder the question of how today's elected officials could readily admit to the mistaken policy of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s but continue the policy of drug prohibition. Indeed, the only historical lesson that recent presidents and Congresses seem to have drawn from the period of alcohol prohibition is that government should not try to outlaw the sale of alcohol. One of the broader lessons that they should have learned is this: prohibition laws should be judged according to their real-world effects, not their promised benefits.

Intellectual history teaches us that people have a strong incentive to maintain their faith in old paradigms even as the facts become increasingly difficult to explain within that paradigm. But when a paradigm has manifestly failed, we need to think creatively and develop a new paradigm. The paradigm of prohibition has failed. I urge members of Congress and all Americans to have the courage to let go of the old paradigm, to think outside the box, and to develop a new model for dealing with the very real risks of drug and alcohol abuse. If the Congress will subject the federal drug laws to that kind of new thinking, it will recognize that the drug war is not the answer to problems associated with drug use.

Medical Marijuana

In addition to the general critique above, I would like to touch on a few more specific issues. A particularly tragic consequence of the stepped-up war on drugs is the refusal to allow sick people to use marijuana as medicine. Prohibitionists insist that marijuana is not good medicine, or at least that there are legal alternatives to marijuana that are equally good. Those who believe that individuals should make their own decisions, not have their decisions made for them by Washington bureaucracies, would simply say that that's a decision for patients and their doctors to make. But in fact there is good medical evidence about the therapeutic value of marijuana--despite the difficulty of doing adequate research on an illegal drug. A recent National Institutes of Health panel concluded that smoking marijuana may help treat a number of conditions, including nausea and pain. It can be particularly effective in improving the appetite of AIDS and cancer patients. The drug could also assist people who fail to respond to traditional remedies.

More than 70 percent of U.S. cancer specialists in one survey said they would prescribe marijuana if it was legal; nearly half said they had urged their patients to break the law to acquire the drug. The British Medical Association reports that nearly 70 percent of its members believe marijuana should be available for therapeutic use. Even President George Bush's Office of Drug Control Policy criticized the Department of Health and Human Services for closing its special medical marijuana program.

Whatever the actual value of medical marijuana, the relevant fact for federal policymakers is that in 1996 the voters of California and Arizona authorized physicians licensed in the state to recommend the use of medical marijuana to seriously ill and terminally ill patients residing in the state without being subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Overriding Local Policy

In response to those referenda, however, the Clinton administration announced, without any intervening authorization from Congress, that any physician recommending or prescribing medicinal marijuana under state law would be prosecuted. In the February 11, 1997, Federal Register the Office of National Drug Control Policy announced that federal policy would be as follows: (1) physicians who recommend and prescribe medicinal marijuana to patients in conformity with state law and patients who use such marijuana will be prosecuted; (2) physicians who recommend and prescribe medicinal marijuana to patients in conformity with state law will be excluded from Medicare and Medicaid; and (3) physicians who recommend and prescribe medicinal marijuana to patients in conformity with state law will have their scheduled-drug DEA registrations revoked.

The announced federal policy also encourages state and local enforcement officials to arrest and prosecute physicians suspected of prescribing or recommending medicinal marijuana and to arrest and prosecute patients who use such marijuana. And adding insult to injury, the policy also encourages the IRS to issue a revenue ruling disallowing any medical deduction for medical marijuana lawfully obtained under state law.

Clearly, this is a blatant effort by the federal government to impose a national policy on the people in the states in question, people who have already elected a contrary policy. Federal officials do not agree with the policy the people have elected; they mean to override it, local rule notwithstanding--just as the Clinton administration has tried to do in other cases, such as the California initiatives dealing with racial preferences and state benefits for immigrants.

Congress and the administration should respect the decisions of the voters in Arizona and California; and in Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, where voters passed medical marijuana initiatives in 1998; and in other states where such initiatives may be proposed, debated, and passed. One of the benefits of a federal republic is that different policies may be tried in different states. One of the benefits of our Constitution is that it limits the power of the federal government to impose one policy on the several states.

Repeal Mandatory Minimums

The common law in England and America has always relied on judges and juries to decide cases and set punishments. Under our modern system, of course, many crimes are defined by the legislature, and appropriate penalties are defined by statute. However, mandatory minimum sentences and rigid sentencing guidelines shift too much power to legislators and regulators who are not involved in particular cases. They turn judges into clerks and prevent judges from weighing all the facts and circumstances in setting appropriate sentences. In addition, mandatory minimums for nonviolent first-time drug offenders result in sentences grotesquely disproportionate to the gravity of the offense. Absurdly, Congress has mandated minimums for drug offenses but not for murder and other violent crimes, so that a judge has more discretion in sentencing a murder than a first-time drug offender.

Rather than extend mandatory minimum sentences to further crimes, Congress should repeal mandatory minimums and let judges perform their traditional function of weighing the facts and setting appropriate sentences.

A Moral and Medical Problem

Drug abuse is a problem, for those involved in it and for their family and friends. But it is better dealt with as a moral and medical than as a criminal problem--"a problem for the surgeon general, not the attorney general," as Mayor Schmoke puts it.

The United States is a federal republic, and Congress should deal with drug prohibition the way it dealt with alcohol Prohibition. The Twenty-First Amendment did not actually legalize the sale of alcohol; it simply repealed the federal prohibition and returned to the several states the authority to set alcohol policy. States took the opportunity to design diverse liquor policies that were in tune with the preferences of their citizens. After 1933, three states and hundreds of counties continued to practice prohibition. Other states chose various forms of alcohol legalization.

Congress should withdraw from the war on drugs and let the states set their own policies with regard to currently illegal drugs. The states would be well advised to treat marijuana, cocaine, and heroin the way most states now treat alcohol: It should be legal for licensed stores to sell such drugs to adults. Drug sales to children, like alcohol sales to children, should remain illegal. Driving under the influence of drugs should be illegal.

With such a policy, Congress would acknowledge that our current drug policies have failed. It would restore authority to the states, as the Founders envisioned. It would save taxpayers' money. And it would give the states the power to experiment with drug policies and perhaps devise more successful rules.

Repeal of prohibition would take the astronomical profits out of the drug business and destroy the drug kingpins that terrorize parts of our cities. It would reduce crime even more dramatically than did the repeal of alcohol prohibition. Not only would there be less crime; reform would also free police to concentrate on robbery, burglary, and violent crime.

The War on Drugs has lasted longer than Prohibition, longer than the War in Vietnam. But there is no light at the end of this tunnel. Prohibition has failed, again, and should be repealed, again.


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OfflineDailyPot
Trip'n Time

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 2,207
Loc: Florida
Last seen: 10 years, 10 months
Re: The Government [Re: DailyPot]
    #1546243 - 05/13/03 08:52 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Drug Use Should Be Legalized

I am a "cost-benefit" analysis person. What's the cost and what's the benefit? A couple of things scream out as failing cost-benefit criteria. One is education. The other is the war on drugs. We are presently spending $50 billion a year to combat drugs. I'm talking about police, courts, and jails. For the amount of money that we're putting into it, I want to suggest, the war on drugs is an absolute failure. My "outrageous" hypothesis is that under a legalized scenario, we could actually hold drug use level or see it decline.

Sometimes people say to me, "Governor, I am absolutely opposed to your stand on drugs." I respond by asking them, "You're for drugs, you want to see kids use drugs?" Let me make something clear. I'm not pro-drug. I'm against drugs. Don't do drugs. Drugs are a real handicap. Don't do alcohol or tobacco, either. They are real handicaps.

There's another issue beyond cost-benefit criteria. Should you go to jail for using drugs? And I'm not talking about doing drugs and committing a crime or driving a car. Should you go to jail for simply doing drugs? I say no, you shouldn't. People ask me, "What do you tell kids?" Well, you tell the truth: that by legalizing drugs, we can control them, regulate and tax them. If we legalize drugs, we might have a healthier society. And you explain how that might take place. But you emphasize that drugs are a bad choice. Don't do drugs. But if you do, we're not going to throw you in jail for it.

New Laws and Problems

If drugs are legalized, there will be a whole new set of laws. Let me mention a few of them. Let's say you can't do drugs if you're under 21. You can't sell drugs to kids. I say employers should be able to discriminate against drug users. Employers should be able to conduct drug tests, and they should not have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Do drugs and commit a crime? Make it like a gun. Enhance the penalty for the crime in the same way we do today with guns. Do drugs and drive? There should be a law similar to one we have now for driving under the influence of alcohol.

I propose that we redirect the $50 billion that we're presently spending (state and federal) on the old laws to enforce a new set of laws. Society would be transformed if law enforcement could focus on crimes other than drug use. Police could crack down on speeding violations, burglaries, and other offenses that law enforcement now lacks the opportunity to enforce.

Half the Negative Consequences

If drugs are legalized, there will be a new set of problems, but they will have only about half the negative consequence of those we have today. A legalization model will be a dynamic process that will be fine-tuned as we go along.

Does anybody want to press a button that would retroactively punish the 80 million Americans who have done illegal drugs over the years? I might point out that I'm one of those individuals. In running for my first term in office, I offered the fact that I had smoked marijuana. And the media were very quick to say, "Oh, so you experimented with marijuana?" "No," I said, "I smoked marijuana!" This is something I did, along with a lot of other people. I look back on it now, and I view drugs as a handicap. I stopped because it was a handicap. The same with drinking and tobacco. But did my friends and I belong in jail? I don't think that we should continue to lock up Americans because of bad choices.

And what about the bad choices regarding alcohol and tobacco? I've heard people say, "Governor, you're not comparing alcohol to drugs? You're not comparing tobacco to drugs?" I say, "Hell no! Alcohol killed 150,000 people last year. And I'm not talking about drinking and driving. I'm just talking about the health effects. The health effects of tobacco killed 450,000 people last year." I don't mean to be flippant, but I don't know of anybody ever dying from a marijuana overdose.

Less Lethal than Alcohol

I understand that 2,000 to 3,000 people died in 1998 from abusing cocaine and heroine. If drugs were legalized, those deaths would go away, theoretically speaking, because they would no longer be counted as accidental. Instead, they'd be suicides, because in a legalized scenario drugs are controlled, taxed, and properly understood. I want to be so bold as to say that marijuana is never going to have the devastating effects on society that alcohol has had.

My own informal poll among doctors reveals that 75-80 percent of the patients they examine have health-related problems due to alcohol and tobacco. My brother is a cardiothoracic surgeon who performs heart transplants. He says that 80 percent of the problems he sees are alcohol and tobacco related. He sees about six people a year who have infected heart valves because of intravenous drug use, but the infection isn't from the drugs themselves. It's the dirty needles that cause the health problems.

Marijuana is said to be a gateway drug. We all now that, right? You're 85 times more likely to do cocaine if you do marijuana. I don't mean to be flippant, but 100 percent of all substance abuse starts with milk. You've heard it, but that bears repeating. My new mantra here is "Just Say Know." Just know that there are two sides to all these arguments. I think the facts boil down to drugs being a bad choice. But should someone go to jail for just doing drugs? That is the reality of what is happening today. I believe the time has come for that to end.

A Muddy Term

I've been talking about legalization and not decriminalization. Legalization means we educate, regulate, tax, and control the estimated $400 billion a year drug industry. That's larger than the automobile industry. Decriminalization is a muddy term. It turns its back to half the problems involved in getting the entire drug economy above the line. So that's why I talk about legalization, meaning control, the ability to tax, regulate, and educate.

We need to make drugs controlled substances just like alcohol. Perhaps we ought to let the government regulate them; let the government grow or manufacture, distribute and market them. If that doesn't lead to decreased drug use, I don't know what would!

Kids today will tell you that legal prescription drugs are harder to come by than illegal drugs. Well, of course. To get legal drugs, you must walk into a pharmacy and show identification. It's the difference between a controlled substance and an illegal substance. A teenager today will tell you that a bottle of beer is harder to come by than a joint. That's where we've come to today. It's where we've come to with regard to controlling alcohol, but it shows how out of control drugs have become.

Not Driving You Crazy

Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey has made me his poster child for drug legalization. He claims that drug use has been cut in half and that we are winning the drug war. Well, let's assume that we have cut it in half. I don't buy that for a minute, but let's assume that it's true. Consider these facts: In the late 1970s the federal government spent a billion dollars annually on the drug war. Today, the feds are spending $19 billion a year on it. In the late 1970s, we were arresting a few hundred thousand people. Today, we're arresting 1.6 million. Does that mean if drug use declines by half from today's levels, we'll spend $38 billion federally and arrest 3.2 million people annually? I mean, to follow that logic, when we're left with a few hundred users nationwide, the entire gross national product will be devoted to drug-law enforcement!

Most people don't understand, as we New Mexicans do, that the mules are carrying the drugs in. I'm talking about Mexican citizens who are paid a couple hundred dollars to bring drugs across the border, and they don't even know who has given them the money. They just know that it's a king's ransom and that there are more than enough Mexican citizens willing to do it. The federal government is catching many of the mules and some of the kingpins. Let's not deny that. But those who are caught, those links out of the chain, don't make any difference in the overall war on drugs.

Stop Locking Up the Country

I want to tell you a little bit about the response to what I've been saying. Politically, this is a zero. For anybody holding office, for anybody who aspires to hold office, has held office, or has a job associated with politics, this is verboten. I am in the ground, and the dirt is being thrown on top of my coffin. But among the public, the response is overwhelming. In New Mexico, I am being approached rapid-fire by people saying "right on" to my statements regarding the war on drugs. To give an example, two elderly ladies came up to my table during dinner the other night. They said, "We're teachers, and we think your school voucher idea sucks. But your position on the war on drugs is right on!"

What I have discovered, and it's been said before, is that the war on drugs is thousands of miles long, but it's only about a quarter-inch deep. I'm trying to communicate what I believe in this issue. Drugs are bad, but we need to stop arresting and locking up the entire country.


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Offlinebarfightlard
tales of theinexpressible
Male

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 8,670
Loc: Canoodia
Last seen: 6 years, 11 months
Re: The Government [Re: DailyPot]
    #1546322 - 05/13/03 09:39 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I think government *could be a very good thing, but there is way too much corruption in todays government. No, I don't think the government should not controll what substances I use. I kinda think how America calls itself the land of the free is hypicritical because the government controls what people can and can't do to their OWN bodys, but they are free though?


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"What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body - as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?" - Bill Hicks


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Offlinetheindianrepublic
Stranger
Registered: 11/20/13
Posts: 19
Last seen: 2 years, 9 months
Re: The Government [Re: barfightlard]
    #19253301 - 12/10/13 01:46 AM (2 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

barfightlard said:
I think government is a very good thing, but there is way too much corruption in today's government.  No, I don't think the government should not controll what substances I use.  I kinda think how America calls itself the land of the free is hypicritical because the government controls what people can and can't do to their OWN bodys, but they are free though? 




I too agree with you. Government should be very important, if we deeply think that without any government how could be live or what we do, why we do and where we do. So, for being a cultured and mannered human, we should be in the cover of governance I think.

However, the government is gonna a bit self-fish, they just do anything for their benefit, they did not even thinks that the whole nation is all theirs. The country and the people needs them. In past days, the constitution made and accepted by our greatest leaders have values and the present leaders should have to respect ethics of it, but genuinely they are failed to maintained it.


We just hate the government and don't believe on them just because of the impression which they made in-fornt of the public. But we actually want a leader who understands the value of the nation and the people of the nation and we have the right to select the most deserving one.

So, its time to awake and try to use your polls and help nations to be corruption-free..!!! 

Thanks!

Indian Republic



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Invisiblemyc_check1212
Trump 2016!
Male User Gallery


Registered: 05/18/09
Posts: 4,535
Loc: Rio Lobo
Re: The Government [Re: theindianrepublic]
    #19319887 - 12/24/13 09:00 AM (2 years, 11 months ago)

India sucks, Pakistan is where its at.


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OfflineDylanOM
Stranger


Registered: 11/28/13
Posts: 25
Last seen: 9 months, 8 days
Re: The Government [Re: myc_check1212]
    #19359597 - 01/02/14 06:54 PM (2 years, 10 months ago)

In a perfect world there are several situations without any form of government that would work, but seen as how humanity has been dependent on a structured system for so long, yes, there is some form of order required. However, today's governments couldn't be further from what people need. It should be built on protecting human rights and promoting real forms of happiness, instead today's system is built for the convenience of the institutions that form it. There are endless examples of injustice and oppression that one could state and in my opinion the war on drugs is one of the most horrific, nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't put in your body, sure some illegal drugs will kill you, heroin, meth, etc, but I do not believe this argument can be made whilst the nicely taxed, alcohol, prescription drugs, and hey even burgers, continue to kill thousands of people every year. With any real research it becomes quickly clear that the majority of drugs that are illegal are so, not because they will damage you in ways that all the propaganda suggests, but because they have the potential to make you think bigger than society's everyday agenda, if you get caught breaking these rules, society will do its best to ruin the rest of your life because they are afraid of people realizing that their system is structured so that an upper 1% can live comfortably at the expense of everyone else. A friend of mine made a point once that I think is pretty interesting, imagine a few decades into the future that all drugs are legal, the war on drugs could go down in history as a holocaust, if all drugs are legal there would be no anti drug agenda, therefore, the things people looking back at the war on drugs will remember are, trillions of dollars lost, a massive economic depression, tens of millions of deaths of innocent people, millions of cases of imprisonment of innocent people, millions of cases of unjust treatment of innocent people, widespread propaganda and miss information, funding of crime syndicates, violations of human rights, all based on the impossible intent to stop the circulation of substances that are completely common in the future, and will most likely benefit it in many ways. These are some of the things the government does in an attempt to keep its agenda ahead, because they are afraid of people realizing how fucked the system is, in my opinion, governments are just a form of terrorism.


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Drugs to do : Alcohol, Weed, Mushrooms, LSD, LSA, MDMA, 25i-NBOMe, 2ci, Ketamine, DoX, 2ce
2cB, 5-MeO-MiPT, 1p-LSD, MXE, DXM, DMT, 4-Aco-DMT, Changa, Mescaline, Ayahuasca


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OfflinePilzeLabs
Researcher


Registered: 12/26/13
Posts: 86
Last seen: 2 years, 9 hours
Re: The Government [Re: DylanOM]
    #19362763 - 01/03/14 12:34 PM (2 years, 10 months ago)

There is nothing wrong with the "government" or the structure of "democracy" and "free market capitalism"...

The problem is with Lobbying.  For profit corporations will always win when they can buy laws (ie. The Monsanto Protection Act).  And the wrong candidates will always win if there is no electoral reform.  (ie a limit on the amount of money a campaign can spend so the focus is on issues not on how many votes they can buy)

And then of course the economic problem is caused solely by the Federal Reserve.  But we are too deep now to get off the FED. 

Oh and quantitive easing....well here is how it works...the FED holds the GOLD/SILVER reserves, and several years back they sell most of it to bullion dealers.  Basically shorting a commodity, a common market practice.  So they must now print money and print money to devalue the price of precious metals (which they have now done) so they can buy it back at a discount.  Therefore lining MANY peoples pockets with billions of dollars.  So now they will back off on the Quantitive easing.

Thats just my opinion anyway.  Cause it's what I would have done in their place.


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MYCOLOGIST.NET BLOG


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OfflineUltra-Imperialist
Strength and Honor
Registered: 09/26/13
Posts: 30
Last seen: 2 years, 2 months
Re: The Government [Re: Shroomism]
    #19362877 - 01/03/14 01:06 PM (2 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Shroomism said:
The Government is needed, but not in the way they are.
There needs to be a serious change in power structure before it will ever function properly. We need a new government.

This belongs in Political, Btw. 




I love how you declare your treasonous intent so openly.


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"I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations." - Mitt Romney, on the eve of his and his follower's Epic Defeat

Thanks Mitt. :cool:


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Offlinezappaisgod
horrid asshole


Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 81,741
Loc: Fractallife's gym
Last seen: 6 months, 4 days
Re: The Government [Re: Ultra-Imperialist]
    #19363083 - 01/03/14 01:55 PM (2 years, 10 months ago)

There is nothing wrong with lobbying.  The people have the right to petition the government and express and vote for their interests.

The problem with our system of all government is that the skills required to get the job are not the skills required to do the job.


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OfflinePilzeLabs
Researcher


Registered: 12/26/13
Posts: 86
Last seen: 2 years, 9 hours
Re: The Government [Re: zappaisgod]
    #19363118 - 01/03/14 02:07 PM (2 years, 10 months ago)

the people have a right to petition the government and express and vote for their interests.

but you cannot have a entity who provides money in exchange for this airing of greviences with the expectation of a desired outcome.

because when you introduce such a system there is no chance of leaving it free from corruption.


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MYCOLOGIST.NET BLOG


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Offlinezappaisgod
horrid asshole


Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 81,741
Loc: Fractallife's gym
Last seen: 6 months, 4 days
Re: The Government [Re: PilzeLabs]
    #19363159 - 01/03/14 02:17 PM (2 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

FloridaMaster said:
the people have a right to petition the government and express and vote for their interests.

but you cannot have a entity who provides money in exchange for this airing of greviences with the expectation of a desired outcome.

because when you introduce such a system there is no chance of leaving it free from corruption.




What money?  Do you not realize that you are trying to give the media 100% control of the message?  If I had a choice of what group of people I would like to see eliminated from public discourse I would pick the media, news and entertainment, before all others.


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OfflinePilzeLabs
Researcher


Registered: 12/26/13
Posts: 86
Last seen: 2 years, 9 hours
Re: The Government [Re: zappaisgod]
    #19363191 - 01/03/14 02:25 PM (2 years, 10 months ago)

Are you seriously naive enough to believe that if XYZ Corporation pays a lobbying firm $10 Million dollars to influence politicians...that some of that money either in the form of cash, gifts, etc is not passed on to the politicians? 

The media is a whole different story.

But lobbying is not ethical whatsoever, it breeds corruption.


--------------------
MYCOLOGIST.NET BLOG


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?

Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,778
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: The Government [Re: PilzeLabs]
    #19363270 - 01/03/14 02:46 PM (2 years, 10 months ago)

When you write a letter or call your member of Congress, you are lobbying.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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