How to be proactive in supporting pro-legalization legislation

Need some luck with this, writing an article about legalization in the USA and also doing an interview tonight about “War on Drugs” in Africa for the Guardian. So would love some insight from you guys over the seas. I think we all on the same page, the war in drugs has failed immensly and cost the world billions of dollars and millions of lives. So here are some questions you may be interested in helping me with?

What are the pros of cannabis legalization and in your opinion, do they outweigh the

What’s an effective model of regulation of cannabis that you’d suggest to achieve the
“responsible use” which Norml advocates for?

In what ways does Criminalization fall short of resolving the problem?

Most of the people I am interviewing for this piece live in an urban slum and in most
cases in extreme poverty, they are also more likely to be arrested by the police. I am
just wondering generally, how does, if at all, economic and social class influence our
approach and response to the war on drugs?

What issues to consider does being in a lower economic class bring to the fore in the
conversation on legalization and rehabilitation as the case may require?

Do you think some African countries have failed in their approach to the drug war?

Experts say we may have imported the racist war on drugs that was started in the
United States, do you agree?


Great topic as I’m always fascinated with the topic War on Drugs @chrisj. I believe 100% that the United States exported it’s drug policies on the rest of the world! When you look back in history the US started influencing other countries policies prior to its ban in 1937. I believe Portugal has the tru model of how drug policy should be handled. They don’t criminalize people for their drug use, but offer them assistance for getting clean from the hard stuff.
I hate how people are sucked into the criminal justice system instead. It’s so wrong!
I don’t ever see that happening in the US but hopefully other countries will start adapting that type of policy.
I also feel the war on drugs has had a huge negative impact on all the harmful chemicals people are ingesting these days.
Spice, K2, bath salts, bad MDMA made from tweaked precursors. I think if Cannabis, poppy, coka, our psilocybin friends, and all other natural psychedelics would have been left alone. Our world wouldn’t have such depressing and saddening drug addicts dying.
Those designer drugs are really messing people up these days! I work in a busy ED and I see it every day. People brought in by ems burrito wrapped by the PD fully restrained fighting with ever bit of adrenaline they have in their body. It’s sad.
It’s the DEA that caused the problem also. Their was safe designer drugs being used for years. But the DEA will go and classify it’s molecular structure banned, so the chemist goes back and tweaks their formula a little. They keep doing that so now you have zombies walking around, people jumping out of 3rd story windows. Going into a perma tweaked state of mind. I can go on and on of my personal encounters at work with the harms these drugs are doing now. Just because of the incompetence of the DEA!
At least I don’t see people taken to jail on simple possession anymore. They just write citations for little amounts of meth, coke, and heroin here in the bigger cities in Oregon. Of course, thank god anyone over 21 can have cannabis on them at any time anywhere in the state.
Good luck with you interview my friend!:v:


@Tygrow78, thank you for your response, and my sentiments are mostly the same as yours. I actually mentioned Portugal as a classic example of good drug policies.

One point I disagree with you is that it was America who exported its drug policies. Funny enough through research it was South Africa that started drug policies based on race. The story in my hazy head is in the early 1900s, I think 1911 one of our government officials went to the League of Nations ( now UN ) to propose drug policy changed, solely based on race under the guise of Drug Prevention. Funny enough South Africa, after implementing numerous laws passed the Weeds Act in 1937 ( USA Marijuana Tax Act ) which gave our police more power over private property.

and all other natural psychedelics would have been left alone.

Loving living in a time that this is actually becoming reality in many countries. The old draconian ,outdated laws are dropping like flies.

The interview went well, the journalist was an absolute gem and we got along like a house on fire. We had some good laughs, learnt from eachother. It should be published on Monday.


Whats bloody scary is because of USA fighting wars in the middle east, the entire drug war has changed routes. Kenya, Mombasa is one of the new landing points for heroin and they are having huge issues with drug abuse. ISIS has now taken over key infrastructre south of mombasa in mozambique and fighting a full fledged war. My poor South Africa is next with its porous borders and corrupt system of government, lack of an efficient policing system and a totally defunct army. The drug route is now the east coast of Africa.


terrifying. This world’s gotta wake up.

1 Like

I never realized that fact about the SA government’s drug policy @chrisj. The topic always fascinates me.

1 Like

I have a students thesis from 2009 in front of me. Its the most indepth study and documented evidence on cannabis in South Africa. It was used in the “Trial of the Plant” court case here in South Africa as expert witness evidence. I quote:

In 1921 the Council of the League of Nations had called for an Advisory Committee on the Traffic in Opium and Dangerous Drugs, and it was in 1923 that South Africa wrote to this committee. The letter read as follows:

November 29th 1923
With Reference to your letter no 12/A/22951/17217 dated 6th September 1922 on the above subject and to my letter no. 29/8/85 dated December last, forwarding copies of the regulations promulgated under Proclamation no 181. of 1922, i have the honour to inform you that, from the Union of South Africa, the most important of all the habit-forming drugs is Indian Hemp or ‘Dagga’ and this drug is not included in the international list… "

This was accepted at the Second Opium Conference of 1924, and came into international law in 1925.

America’s drug prohibitionist only started his war on drugs from 1930:
" In 1930, at age 38, Anslinger was appointed the founding commissioner of the Treasury’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics.[10] The illegal trade in alcohol (then still under Prohibition) and illicit drugs were targeted by the Treasury not primarily as social evils that fell under other government purview, but as losses of untaxed revenue. Appointed by department Secretary Andrew W. Mellon, who was his wife’s uncle, Anslinger was given a budget of $100,000 and wide scope." Source

League of Nations, now United Nations and their treaties are what most countries are still battling to get around with regards to local legislation laws. WHat followed Harry J Anslinger from 1930, was the 1936 film Reefer Madness and then the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act which was the final nail in the coffin for cannabis. However USA changed its stance and did a total uturn and promoted Hemp For Victory to encourage farmers to grow hemp for World War 2.

Reefer Madness ( 1936 )

Hemp For Victory ( 1942 )

Harry J Anslinger - Americas First Drug Czar


Hate Reefer Madness! :-1:
Love Hemp for Victory!! :+1::+1:

1 Like

All I gotta say is … the war on drugs is the war on Black people.

It started with Cannabis, and when the government introduced CRACK into the big cities, it was over for America. Crack was strategically placed into the LA Inner city communities via the CIA. Research Gary Webb and also Maxine Waters bringing the CIA to court and the CIA admitting its guilt in a court of law, but of course that made it to the last page of the newspaper.


You are correct. It goes deeper still than Anslinger.

Warning there is racist verbiage in this article that I do not condone in any way. From anyone.

How marijuana was prohibited

Twentieth-century cannabis prohibition first reared its head in countries where white minorities ruled black majorities: South Africa, where it’s known as dagga, banned it in 1911, and Jamaica, then a British colony, outlawed ganja in 1913. They were followed by Canada, Britain and New Zealand, which added cannabis to their lists of illegal narcotics in the 1920s. Canada’s pot law was enacted in 1923, several years before there were any reports of people actually smoking it there. It was largely the brainchild of Emily F. Murphy, a feminist but racist judge who wrote anti-Asian, anti-marijuana rants under the pseudonym “Janey Canuck.”

Let me know @chrisj if this resonates…


Thanks for sharing your input. A couple things:

All I gotta say is … the war on drugs is the war on Black people.

420% agree with that statement. But also I think it goes deeper than that and also has to do with the protection and interests of white capital monopoly ( a term used alot in South Africa today ). One thing that keeps popping up is the year 1937 as per discussion above.

"Meanwhile, DuPont in 1937 had just patented nylon and “a new sulfate/sulfite process for making paper from wood pulp” – so “if hemp had not been made illegal, 80 percent of DuPont’s business would never have materialized.”

1 Like

Busy writing 1500 words on social equity in cannabiz for people of colour for a client. I came across this quote and thought of your comment @algri. i am using it in my article. Video below. It does make one think about not just the past, but also the present.

“It is black and latino moms that are getting their kids taken away while white moms are on the cover of GQ magazine talking about how marijuana helps their parenting.” - Kassandra Frederique

1 Like

Just a follow up to this topic and one of the reasons I asked all these questions was for this article below that was published a couple days ago.

# Uganda’s ‘street uncles’ transform young lives in the slum - a photo essay
It was as a child in 1983 that Mark Owori first began using drugs. He started by supplying them to his sister, Lucky, who was a soldier in Uganda’s bush war. Eventually he also became both involved in the war and an addict.

This was under the rule of Ugandan independence leader Milton Obote and during a conflict in which Owori says that everyone had a role – from spying to looking for food. His was to keep soldiers supplied with drugs.

Even now, he says, he doesn’t regret it and he considers his contribution was important to Uganda’s liberation from British colonial rule. But today he is using this experience as a child soldier to ensure that other children don’t go through the same.

Today Owori is 48 and still a drug user, but he is also part of a small group of men known as the “street uncles”, who rehabilitate addicts in Kisenyi, a slum in the capital, Kampala, that is infamous for high levels of drug use among its estimated population of almost 24,000 people.

“People look at the drugs and not the person or the humanity that they have,” he says. “We look at the talent we have and not the drugs we take.” Source

1 Like