Portugals Overwhelming Success with Drug Decriminalization
In 2001 the country of Portugal decriminalized the possession and use of drugs, meaning there is not a legal market for selling drugs, but that law enforcement officials stopped wasting time on arresting drug users.
It’s basically a half way step toward legalization, since the government still doesn’t have regulatory control over the drug market. Drug dealers stay in business, they are just no longer selling to criminals.
When Portugal adopted this position toward drugs 11 years ago, all kinds of doomsday experts came out of the woodwork to say what a disaster it was going to be. As many of you know, it was the opposite of a disaster, with drug addiction rates plummeting and Portugal having one of the lowest rates of drug use in the European Union.
This is because people don’t base their drug use decisions on laws, but on personal preference. If the U.S. Congress, The President and all the states agreed tomorrow to make drugs decriminalized, how many of you would run out and try some crack or heroin? Are you not hitting a crack pipe right now because it’s illegal, or because you don’t want to smoke crack?
Federal Prosecutor Calls Michigan Medical Marijuana a Ruse for Grow Operation
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Courtade has some interesting things to say about two medical marijuana growers in Michigan.
Speaking about Lloyd Thomas Martin and Ronald Andrew Jach, two men alleging selective prosecution, and who are asking that charges of conspiracy to manufacture 100 marijuana plants be dismissed, Courtade saying in a court filing, “Defendants bought marijuana patient cards illicitly in a ruse to claim, when they were inevitably arrested, that they were growing marijuana in accordance with Michigan law.”
“This farce is one of the driving reasons behind the government’s filing Motions in Limine to preclude defendants from raising any (medical marijuana) defense,“ Courtade wrote.
The defendants’ attorney says the two men are just “ordinary people” with medical marijuana cards, but the feds say they sold marijuana to undercover agents.
“Securing the (medical marijuana) cards was done with laughable ease and in violation of the spirit and intent of the Michigan law,” Courtade said.
He said the men grew and possessed far more marijuana than would be allowed. Martin, Courtade wrote, told police that he sold marijuana to those with and without medical marijuana cards, but mostly sold to dispensaries, earning at least $250,000.
“Simply put, defendants were charged because the government believes that they are guilty of violating federal laws dealing with the manufacture and distribution of controlled substances and that they have no viable defense to the charges.”
There is probably more to this story, but assuming the men were illegally selling marijuana under state law 1) Why weren’t state authorities handling it? And 2) Why can’t medical marijuana be used in the defense of those with cards? If they are violating state law, it wouldn’t matter if they had a card or not, and it wouldn’t matter if the fact that they had a card was brought up in court.
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