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  • The High Priest of Medical Marijuana

    If you ever wondered about some of the people behind the marijuana legalization movement, you need not look any further than Ed Rosenthal and Richard Cowan to see how disingenuous arguments are used to advance a broader agenda.

    Rosenthal (former editor of High Times Magazine) and Cowan (former Director of NORML — the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) realized a long time ago that in order to achieve full legalization of marijuana throughout the United States, they would have to invent a “scam” (their words) to get people to see marijuana in a whole new light.  That “scam” was the passage of “medical marijuana” laws in as many states as possible.

    Don’t believe me? Then watch this video (above) where they say exactly that.

    As we detailed in our recently published research paper, “Legalizing Marijuana: Why Citizens Should Just Say No,” marijuana is dangerous, not at all like alcohol, is addictive, and legalization will result in a myriad of unintended but predictable consequences, including increased usage by minors, additional drug trafficking by criminal syndicates and an increase in crime.  We also noted that California’s Prop 19 (November ballot initiative to legalize marijuana) is flawed, fails to address the practical problems of implementation, fails to address the fact that federal law prohibits marijuana production, distribution and possession, and is based on flawed claims regarding the amount of tax revenue it would raise.

    Predictably, pro-legalization activists howled at our comprehensive and detailed report, most likely because it contained facts that rebutted each and every claim they have been peddling for years.

    Now, major California newspapers have all come out against Prop 19, echoing various aspect of our research paper.

    The Los Angeles Times’ first political endorsement of the 2010 cycle was an editorial against Prop 19.  The Times opposes Prop 19 because it is “so poorly thought out, badly crafted and replete with loopholes and contradictions,” and is “an invitation to chaos.”  They point out, as we did that “Californians cannot legalize marijuana,” and in doing so they would “set up an inevitable conflict with the federal government that might not end well for the state.”  The Times’ editors must have read our paper (published 11 days earlier), where we said: “Yet even if California could act as if it were an island, the legalization route would still end very badly for the Golden State.”

    Similarly, the San Francisco Chronicle editorialized against Prop 19 (“seriously flawed initiative,” “invite legal chaos,” “fail to deliver its promised economic benefits”), as did the Sacramento Bee (“does not set statewide standards on taxation”).

    Opposition to legalization is clearly not a partisan issue.  The current Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, and five other former Directors who served in the Clinton and both Bush administrations recently opined in the Los Angeles Times against Prop 19 about why Californians should just say no.  Every single head of the Drug Enforcement Administration opposes Prop 19, as they recently opined in the Wall Street Journal.

    Politicians of all stripes are against Prop 19, including California Attorney General Jerry Brown, Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and virtually all other candidates for public office in California.

    The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement opposes Prop 19, pointing out that although they are “concerned about disparities in sentencing and treatment in the criminal justice system,” legalizing marijuana is not the cure.  Virtually every law enforcement organization in the Golden State opposes legalization and Prop 19.

    Pro-legalization activists have touted the “expected” $1.4 billion in tax revenue California would receive were Prop 19 passed.  However, the state office charged with estimating the expected tax revenue gained from any law recently reversed itself and now says that is “not possible to estimate the potential revenue gain” from Prop 19.  Why?  Because, as we carefully and methodically pointed out in our research paper, there is no statewide regulatory framework in the act.  Implicit in their revised position is that, given the fact that residents are authorized to grow marijuana themselves, there is simply no way of knowing how many people will actually buy marijuana from the state-authorized store—where they will pay a state sales tax on top of the cost for the product.

    In other words, their “taxing pot will raise revenues” argument has gone up in smoke.

    Finally, The Glaucoma Foundation recently released a statement, based on research, that “medical experts believe that marijuana could actually prove harmful for glaucoma patients.”  Dr. James Tsai, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at Yale University School of Medicine stated, “We are afraid that people will self-treat their glaucoma with marijuana…They think that even if this unconventional therapy doesn’t work, it can’t possibly hurt their disease.  However, studies suggest that it might in fact be damaging.”  The reason, according to the Foundation, is that marijuana only lowers pressure in the eye for several hours, requiring patients to medicate day and night.  “Failing to do so can lead to a rebound spike in eye pressure, which can be damaging.”

    So, it looks Rosenthal and Cowan are having a harder time than they thought enacting their “scam.”

    UPDATE: The original version of this article had Rosenthal’s and Cowen’s titles switched. They now read correctly.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    46 Responses to The High Priest of Medical Marijuana

    1. Charles, Murrieta says:

      "Scam"?!?

      Yeah, scam. The REAL scam is, of course, the government's war against marijuana which has been a total scam since day one!

      http://www.opposeprop19.com

      We can either keep the scam of prohibition alive or we can come out into the light. Prop 19 might not be perfect but it's a thousand times better than what we have now.

    2. tired of the BS says:

      bullcrap.

      so much of the propaganda about marijuana is false that it is sickening.

      yet the same old "experts" are trotted out to rebutt.

      the pro-alcohol, pro-industrialized medicine, pro-privatized prison, pro-lawyer groups have throttled this issue down for so long.

      most of the tirade from the anti-legalization crowd seems to be voiced by spoiled children.

      just as everything else our federal government has done in the past eighty years, this is about control.

      i just hope this country continues to awaken to the garbage that it's so-called leaders have been shoveling.

    3. Russ Belville, NORML says:

      Ed Rosenthal was never a director at NORML or even an employee.

      Richard Cowan was a former director at NORML and is the editor of MarijuanaNews.com, but he has never been an editor at HIGH TIMES.

      The rest of your article is similarly accurate and well-researched.

    4. bareyb says:

      Wow. Whoever wrote that article should be ashamed of themselves. Full of Reefer Madness mentality and untruths. Cannabis Prohibition is a fraud. One need only look in a history book to see that Prohibition doesn't work. It makes criminals out of every day citizens and allows Police the power of a gun, to KILL our children for POT! Just last week an Officer shot a young boy for having less than an ounce of Marijuana. The madness has to end.

      The best way to get rid of the Mexican drug cartels in our forests is to legalize Cannabis. Do you see Bootleggers with backyard Stills on every corner selling illegal bootleg any more? Of course not. Ending Prohibition also ended all the crime that goes with it. Prohibition has never worked nor will it ever.

      Vote yes on Prop 19 and give adults a safer alternative to Alcohol. Cannabis has never caused a single death, nor is it physically addictive like booze and cigarettes. It doesn't promote violence, in fact quite the opposite. Vote yes on Prop 19 and vote for Politicians who have the guts to stand up for Cannabis reform.

      In a single stroke, passing Prop 19 will do more to get the illegal growers out of our forests, than all the helicopters and armored vehicles ever will.

    5. Zach, Traverse City, says:

      If legalizing small amounts of marijuana in California goes against Federal law, then what about Capital Punishment? The states decide whether or not to follow through with this subject and marijuana will be the same way. California is simply cutting the trail and opening the doors. Also, marijuana is clinically proven to treat certain patients, take Irvin Rosenfeld for example. The US Federal Government grows and sells him his prescription. So while Rosenthal and Cowan may have said medical marijuana is a scam, it still helps people every single day.

    6. Bobbie says:

      This is a tough one. All of God's nature has a positive purpose, like nuclear energy (for the quality of life, not death, right Maqmoud?) it's up to mankind's God given intelligence to figure out what that is. We're human and learn by mistakes. It grows on it's own, any good from it comes from it without the need of government. This is a tough one with a sad story backing my comment.

    7. Mort DHS says:

      This is a one sided article and is using only parts of a speech.

      My wife had cancer and during the treatments without marijuana she would have never made it. It also has been my choice for sleeping and being calm. I do not drink My preference is marijuana yours might be booze. It is up to us to choice.

      I am 60 years of age and had a very successful life, raised two children and am good health. I started smoking pot in 1965 and continue today. It is a weed folks nothing to be scared about. What we need to be scared about is how many liqueur stores are there in your city?

    8. truth says:

      disgusting propagandists.

    9. D Filak says:

      A law, based on a lie, such as our Drug laws against Marijuana, can not be deemed legal. Anslingfer admitted to Congress in the late 40's that he had LIED in 36 to make it illegal. Before it was made illegal, there was NO problem, the problem was created by the US government, and stay,s that way for no good reason. Reality, what a concept, laws based on lies to garner fortunes for a few, and deprive the rest from it,s benefits.

    10. anonymous says:

      Its my choice (not yours), legalize it.

    11. Dennis Georgia says:

      People are always looking for a crutch, this will become the number 1 crutch of all times. I do not agree with making any drug legal, when one is legall the rest will soon follow, and then we have a bigger mess. Those on drugs are a pain to society, they will do all to get the next high, I know as I have seen how far down they will go to get their drug of choice.

    12. 3percentofdoom says:

      wow, a moronic article based on old fears of sex crazed jazz musicians,based on of course lies fabricated by morons.lets go a step beyond med pot & say 100% of pot is legal for all.our prisons & legal system would be almost emptied due to the fact most inmates are non-violent offenders mostly in the legal system due to bs marijuana laws.

      hmmm you guys are all about doing away with big govt & restoring constitutional values.the ban on pot & the subsequent arrests & demonizing of pot smokers goes against both.alcohol is addictive & kills thousands of people a year,yet you are fine with that.pot is NOT addictive & in fact you can not overdose on it like real drugs or alcohol.

      i think it has to do with you guys having big stakes in big pharma.i mean what else would drive an idiotic campaign against a plant who can cure/treat thousands of ailments & diseases without spending all your money,like say most of the ineffective & high priced prescription drugs now available.

      guys grow up & get with the times,i bet many of your readers smoke pot.do you hate them and want them jailed?this article shows the ugly side of this group.

      however i am very happy to see the comments of the readers who see what it for what it really is & the fact they have open minds towards the use of medical marijuana!

      this country needs big reform & obviously the repubs & dems are still stuck in the old mindset.i'm glad there are exceptions like dr.ron paul.he is who we need for president,thats real change&love for country from a TRUE patriot!we will get no where practicing the political bs we have & the child like behavior from both parties.did you guys honestly run out of important issues to write about?there are far more serious issues at hand & time better spent.

    13. Rudy, WI says:

      Here is an example of how right-wing "strict constructionists" nevertheless occassionally support unconstitutional Federal usurpations when they like the morality of the Fed's actions. Alcohol prohibition needed a constitutional amendment. Heritage frequently rails against the unconstitutional individual health insurance mandate unfunded mandates such as Medicare as unconscionable expansions of the commerce clause. Yet they have no problem with Federal control of pharmaceuticals and the definition of a naturally occuring plant as contraband, or the expansion of the commerce clause to cover even individual growing for private use with no intent to market the marijuana anywhere.

      Hypocrisy, anyone?

    14. Jeff Lucas Hemet says:

      you dont' even know… Not something I wanted to read before I cast my vote. I had a lot of hope in Tea Party candidates.

      Nobody paid me to gather signatures for prop 215. There's no way I will ever believe that the federal laws regarding pot are justified. I will not attend a congregation if they support it. I'll stay home until I find a Church that teaches God's holiness instead of the world's counterfit image of holiness. Pot laws are a wicked counterfit that have devastated my life, they have truly left me a stranger and a pilgrim in this land. And I will die in my faith, knowing I fought a good fight for Truth.

      -but that' doesn' mean corrupted, money loving dope runners aren't running the show now. And the reason they are is because of failed leadership in the Federal Government. Why don't you republicans want laws that reflect truth?

      Not that Democrat pandering and ther sweet lies about helping are any better, at least the Reublicans don't lie to me. Do you know how dangerous it is right now? We can't get the leadership we need, Leader's hands are tied because of Federal Law, and as a result drug gangs overrun our communities

      -and it's going to continue to be a power vacuum of greed violence and extortion until the Federal Government decides to pressure the FDA to reschedule.

      It is the main reason why I will vote Libertartian or a third party. You destroyed my life with your wicked laws that violate my own convictions before God… you know that "liberty of conscience" thing people die over? You try to force me to disobey God, that's how wicked you are.I hate you all over this wicked law.

      How I long for that great and terrible day of the Lord, even though it is not good. But I will see justice in that day, and I will be one that sings, it is well with my soul.

      The War on Cannabis is a poverty, suffering, destruction and perdition in the lives of millions. From workplace discrimination, to legal assault, to shredding trust and confidence in relationships, these perditions are commonplace in America. Every 38 seconds someone stumbles because of cannabis prohibition; jail time, fines, loss of personal property, loss of ability to travel, loss of loved ones and relationships, loss of business', loss of jobs, loss of health; the obstacles and stumblingblocks cast to prevent people from consuming cannabis also prevent consumers from living a normal, healthy, and productive life.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzyGrcCv-fk

    15. Jeff Lucas Hemet says:

      here, let me not argue, and just tell you where I'm at, and what I need:

      Where I'm at:

      If I want to successfully grow my own pot, I must first invest in surveillance, traps and snares, and guns. It's that dangerous. If I go to a grow shop to pick up food, I get cased and robbed. If I show up at a local patient meet, I get cased and robbed.

      If I want this medicine, that I know by experience works, my only option is to go pay 70 dollars for a two day supply. That's what they're calling "safe access" now, places that buy and sell pot at a price no honest man can afford. -which I get cased and robbed when I show up at those places too.

      I lie here, with no medicine right now. If I want medicine, I have to buy it from the corrupted at a price I can't afford.

      what I need:

      I need a safe place to grow my own. I need my City, or County, to set up a safe location for me to come and grow my own. A place where I can lock up my "stash" so I don't get robbed. A place where Law Enforcement and community leaders can work with me and help me be safe.

      I can't get there as long as the Federal Government ties my community leaders hands with a schedule 1 beating stick.

      God Bless

      Jeff Lucas

      Hemet, Ca

      "Standing on the waters casting your bread

      While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing

      Distant ships sailing into the mist

      You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing

      Freedom just around the corner for you

      But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?"

      -Bob Dylan-

    16. Joe Riley, San Diego says:

      First question that comes to mind: How is marijuana dangerous? You say it's dangerous, please elaborate how. What's that? You can't? Or you only have lies to give us? Ok. That's expected. I still want to hear how marijuana is dangerous though. Who has OD'd and died on marijuana? Who has gotten liver problems from marijuana? Who has been hospitalized? Cite your sources. It's the PROHIBITION of marijuana that is dangerous. The PROHIBITION of marijuana causes lives to be ruined, criminal records that get scarred, children get taken, cars confiscated, houses confiscated, etc. It's all a money scam.

    17. Matthew Phillips, Ba says:

      This is one opinion of the Heritage foundation that I disagree with. All Humans were created with what are called cannabinoid receptors — -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinoid — and it is beneficial to humans or we would not have come equipped with the receptors. R.C. and E.R. may consider it a scam but it is not. And all this regulation and proper documentation and consequences crap is hyperbole to criminalize it. Let's get real, Why don't you beat on the health care bill more instead of turning something good and natural into criminal activity. The problems with the health care dilemma were known since 1949 when Britain did it and you can check the Saturday Evening Post for that info and yet nothing was done to protect the people from the clear and present danger of not addressing those issues. Your wrong on this one Heritage.

    18. Sadie says:

      Legal marijuana will exist because it is a big 'untaxed' cash crop in California and the SEIU will get a piece of the cash along with Sacramento. There are no bounds when money is involved – even if it conflicts with Federal laws.

      As always, follow the money.

    19. Mark, Columbus GA says:

      This article, and the research paper it references, plays fast and loose with the terms 'dangerous' and 'addictive'. True, marijuana is nothing like alcohol or tobacco; the toxic effects of tobacco kill almost half a million people each year, alcohol another 85,000 while there doesn't seem to be a single recorded instance of the toxic effects of marijuana causing death. OTC pain relievers like Aspirin and Tylenol kill 7,600 more people each year than does pot. The department of justice has to estimate the LD-50 (the amount of substance required for a 50% lethality) of marijuana at somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:25,000 while the LD-50 of nicotine is 50. Marijuana is addictive in that causes the release of dopamine in the brain, a decreased level of which is perceived by a variety of negative effects. By the same definition of addiction however, sex, chocolate, cheese, video games and Facebook are also just as addictive.

      The other things this article shows is that the term 'conservative' is applied to an ideology. True conservative values such as freedom, self determination, smaller more efficient government can be set aside when they come into conflict with the party line. Thoughtful, informed conservatives should oppose the marijuana prohibition; an expansive, freedom robbing government explosions which would certainly fail if the debate were being held today.

      Marijuana has been legal for recreational purposes in Portugal for well over a decade. The analysis shows that there has indeed been a rise in reported marijuana use in that country. This can attributed in large part to increased honesty about marijuana use following the removal of the social and legal stigma attached to it. Not as many people started using legal marijuana as they started being honest with survey takers.

    20. Allen St. Pierre, Di says:

      Classic propaganda from Cully and Heritage!

      Why not broadcast the rest of the videotape instead of just the excerpts that seem to support Heritage Foundation's bias against cannabis and cannabis consumers?

      Or, are you afraid of what the rest of the tape shows in rightly condemning and mocking prohibitionists…or did your friends at the rabidly anti-cannabis organization Drug Free America Foundation (who filmed and leak the excerpts to anti-cannabis organizations, like Heritage, and judges, like Rosenthal's) not provide you with the entire tape…leaving Heritage to look Andrew Breibart-like in your want (and ability) to spread self-interested and misleading propaganda?

      Just like in 1996 during the public debate re the passage of Prop. 215 to legalize medical use of cannabis in CA, when the Heritage Foundation foolishly opposed the will of citizens and the free market, looks like a repeat in 2010 when Heritage has, again, sided with out-of-touch government agencies in Washington DC and AGAINST the people and marketplace in the states.

      What a shame that Heritage defers to inside-the-beltway federal bureaucracies and unelected technocrats rather than to democracy and the will of American taxpayers!

      Very sad indeed…

    21. Richard Cowan Palm S says:

      To the Heritage Foundation:

      Richard Cowan responds to “The High Priest of Medical Marijuana” by Charles "Cully" D. Stimson.
      http://www.foundry.org/2010/10/08/scam-to-legal
      October 12, 2010

      I am the Richard Cowan cited in this absurd posting. And yes, I am very proud to say that I was once the National Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

      However, there are two more facts about me that I would like Heritage readers to know before addressing the substance of the issue.

      First, I am also a founding member of Young Americans for Freedom, and like most of the founders, I was – and still am – a libertarian. I do not now nor have I ever thought that freedom is a “scam”, nor do I believe that lying is either necessary or acceptable in the struggle against the omnipotent state.

      Second, I am also the author of an article, “THE TIME HAS COME: ABOLISH THE POT LAWS”, published in the December 6, 1972 issue of National Review.

      Bill Buckley said, “"I flatly agree with him." In fact, Bill wrote very frequently in support of legalization over the years.

      Something else he said makes a point that Heritage completely misses:

      "One of the problems that the marijuana-reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could."

      Was Buckley a part of this “scam”? And what about George Shultz? Or Milton Friedman? Or most of the current editors of National Review, and many other prominent conservatives? Or Ron Paul? http://www.dailypaul.com/node/145779
      Or do you prefer the company of Diane Feinstein and Barack Obama?

      Now for the substance of the charge that in 1993 I said that medical marijuana or legalization or whatever is a “scam”:

      What would it prove, if I really had said that? It would seem to me that it would prove nothing more than that I was – perhaps still am – both evil enough to tell a dumb lie and stupid enough to announce it as such in public.

      In short, the video proves nothing whatsoever about either medical marijuana or legalization, but I think it does prove something about the profound intellectual dishonesty of anyone who would try to use it for that purpose.

      History:

      At a conference on medical marijuana and LSD (about which I had no comment) I was asked whether NORML, which was founded with the stated goal of ending marijuana prohibition, had abandoned that objective and was only working for medical marijuana.

      My answer was intended to reassure everyone that our goal had not changed, and to explain how I thought that proving the value of medical marijuana would help us. As I said, having marijuana used by a large number of people under clinical supervision would refute the “reefer madness” prohibitionist propaganda that supported the massive state violence inherent in the “Drug War.” Of course, I had clearly under estimated the intellectual dishonesty of people like Mr. Stimson.

      These conferences are always open to the public, so apparently someone from a prohibitionist group, probably Mel Sembler’s Drug Free America Foundation was there with a camera. (I assume that is where you got the video . Google: Mel Sembler Straight Incorporated, and then re-reread what Buckley said.)

      Shortly after the conference the statist propaganda mills began to claim that I had said that medical marijuana is a “scam.” Oddly, even the heavily edited version of the video does not support that interpretation. If one listens closely, I said that the “whole scam will be blown.” ? Would I really dumb enough to say that our position is a “scam” and then say it will be “blown”? And then we are supposed to clever enough to pull off the scam???

      Of course, thanks to the editing you cannot hear me saying in the next sentence, “I mean what we know is that marijuana prohibition is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people…”

      If that seems hyperbolic, consider that 17 years later a prominent think tank that claims to be “based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense” is still pushing third rate collectivist propaganda based on dishonest editing and absurd arguments in support of a disastrous scam that undermines individual freedom, blocks scientific research, destroys the political stability of a vital neighbor, circumvents property rights and due process, funds terrorists, and subverts the rule of law.

      And you call yourselves “Conservatives"?

      Richard Cowan

    22. Richard Cowan says:

      To the Heritage Foundation:

      Richard Cowan responds to “The High Priest of Medical Marijuana” by Charles "Cully" D. Stimson.

      http://www.foundry.org/2010/10/08/scam-to-legal

      October 12, 2010

      I am the Richard Cowan cited in this absurd posting. And yes, I am very proud to say that I was once the National Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

      However, there are two more facts about me that I would like Heritage readers to know before addressing the substance of the issue.

      First, I am also a founding member of Young Americans for Freedom, and like most of the founders, I was – and still am – a libertarian. I do not now nor have I ever thought that freedom is a “scam”, nor do I believe that lying is either necessary or acceptable in the struggle against the omnipotent state.

      Second, I am also the author of an article, “THE TIME HAS COME: ABOLISH THE POT LAWS”, published in the December 6, 1972 issue of National Review.

      Bill Buckley said, “"I flatly agree with him." In fact, Bill wrote very frequently in support of legalization over the years.

      Something else he said makes a point that Heritage completely misses:

      "One of the problems that the marijuana-reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could."

      Was Buckley a part of this “scam”? And what about George Shultz? Or Milton Friedman? Or most of the current editors of National Review, and many other prominent conservatives? Or Ron Paul? http://www.dailypaul.com/node/145779
      Or do you prefer the company of Diane Feinstein and Barack Obama?

      Now for the substance of the charge that in 1993 I said that medical marijuana or legalization or whatever is a “scam”:

      What would it prove, if I really had said that? It would seem to me that it would prove nothing more than that I was – perhaps still am – both evil enough to tell a dumb lie and stupid enough to announce it as such in public.

      In short, the video proves nothing whatsoever about either medical marijuana or legalization, but I think it does prove something about the profound intellectual dishonesty of anyone who would try to use it for that purpose.

      History:

      At a conference on medical marijuana and LSD (about which I had no comment) I was asked whether NORML, which was founded with the stated goal of ending marijuana prohibition, had abandoned that objective and was only working for medical marijuana.

      My answer was intended to reassure everyone that our goal had not changed, and to explain how I thought that proving the value of medical marijuana would help us. As I said, having marijuana used by a large number of people under clinical supervision would refute the “reefer madness” prohibitionist propaganda that supported the massive state violence inherent in the “Drug War.” Of course, I had clearly under estimated the intellectual dishonesty of people like Mr. Stimson.

      These conferences are always open to the public, so apparently someone from a prohibitionist group, probably Mel Sembler’s Drug Free America Foundation was there with a camera. (I assume that is where you got the video . Google: Mel Sembler Straight Incorporated, and then re-reread what Buckley said.)

      Shortly after the conference the statist propaganda mills began to claim that I had said that medical marijuana is a “scam.” Oddly, even the heavily edited version of the video does not support that interpretation. If one listens closely, I said that the “whole scam will be blown.” ? Would I really dumb enough to say that our position is a “scam” and then say it will be “blown”? And then we are supposed to clever enough to pull off the scam???

      Of course, thanks to the editing you cannot hear me saying in the next sentence, “I mean what we know is that marijuana prohibition is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people…”

      If that seems hyperbolic, consider that 17 years later a prominent think tank that claims to be “based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense” is still pushing third rate collectivist propaganda based on dishonest editing and absurd arguments in support of a disastrous scam that undermines individual freedom, blocks scientific research, destroys the political stability of a vital neighbor, circumvents property rights and due process, funds terrorists, and subverts the rule of law.

      And you call yourselves “Conservatives"?

      Richard Cowan

    23. coulterfan says:

      Strange how so-called "libertarians" who believe in "individual freedom" want to continue to perpetuate the biggest NANNY STATE ever!!!!

      Look. . . I think whether or not marijuana is harmful is irrelevant- true FREEDOM would be a lack of government intervention over what one puts in one's own body. The arguments against legalizing marijuana are eerily similar to the arguments to criminalize certain food products (trans fats, Twinkies, etc) because they are BAD for you.

      What's next? Should we criminalize fast food because it's bad for you? Why do so-called libertarians want a NANNY STATE?!?!?!

    24. Don M, Virginia says:

      I do not believe that the members of the Heritage Foundation believe in the American way of life. I, for one do! I believe that it is none of the Govt's business if I choose to consume marijuana as long as doing so causes noone any harm. It is safer than alcohol and chewing tobacco which I know Brian Darling so dearly loves! Of course, he's a major hypocrite in my opinion.

      The Heritage Foundation SHOULD stand for the American culture – not some close-minded version of it which approaches Big Brother thinking put forth in the "1984" novel by George Orwell. I am ashamed that the Heritage Foundation represents any part of America!

      Cully Stimson – You really need to step out of your small "Holier than Thou" square box you keep your mind in!

      There is absolutely no good reason to keep busting and locking up good freedom loving Americans because of idiotic marijuana laws that have been created to keep us under the Govt's thumb! I love America – Seriously! But, I often feel hatred towards many of our elected officials for continuing this insane war on drugs (of which marijuana should never have played any part).

    25. The_Truth, Right Beh says:

      Obviously you have no clue what your talking about. If Med. Marijuana is a scam then why is it already being legalized in more states than ever before? HOW ARE BIG PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES PRODUCTS NOT SCAMS? How come the highest rate of deaths attributed to drugs alone always falls into the category of, you guessed it, pharmaceuticals. Supposedly we're kept safe by people like this man who like to bad mouth natures medicine, God's own intention to bring free cures for debilitating illnesses, while at the same time i'm positive he's taking some sort of medication. These days it seems everyone is, but nothing really gets much better as a result of it. I would be happy to see Marijuana legalized in every state so it could be taxed, like alcohol, and the government could bring in new revenue as e.well as more new products made from hemp. Hemp was here before paper and was used for the original draft of the Declaration of Independence. So honestly, forget Reefer Madness and all that trash that the opposed side continues to debate. It's a plant. It's harmless. LEGALIZE IT.

    26. Robbie Henderson, Ca says:

      the only 'scam' going these days is the USA government!! You name it, they scam it!

      Cannabis is NOT addicting, (at least my personal experience, and believe me, i know about addictions! cigs, for one, are my problem, not pot, and they are legal!) pot helps many medical problems and is far safer than so-called 'medications' the FDA promotes.

      it's all about money, folks.. unless some big corporate can exploit pot, they will continue to criminalize it!

      legal or not, it will never go away. i'm almost 60 and feel i should have the right to ingest what i feel is the safest for me, my situation and body.

      this is just as bad as cops raiding an organic food store with guns drawn in LA!!

      OMG!! PANIC! they are smoking pot and drinking raw milk!! heathens!!

      America needs to wake up and get real.. we've become a laughing stock to the world. embarrassing, isn't it?

    27. Rhayader, North Caro says:

      It's obvious even in the context of this selectively edited video that the "scam" that Cowan refers to is marijuana prohibition, not medical marijuana programs. He's saying that widespread medical use will make clear the obvious lie that is cannabis prohibition.

      What a cowardly, stupid effort at making something out of nothing. Notice that even your own commenters refuse to buy this line of crap. There is nothing "conservative" about the fraud that is marijuana prohibition; it's a massive social moralizing program that destroys personal autonomy and the rule of law. It's time to end the charade, and if The Heritage Foundation cannot realize that, they will be left behind with all the other nanny-state cannabis paternalists.

    28. Don M, Virginia says:

      Sadly, it seems my last comment got removed.

      So, I'll restrain my thoughts and just want to say this: It is, in my humble opinion, very very wrong to bust and lock up otherwise freedom loving Americans just because they choose to consume marijuana. Millions have done so without any harm to themselves or anyone else. The only real harm has come from prohibition and the resulting punishment rendered. It is a huge part of our American Culture and I believe that the Heritage Foundation should not dismiss it but simply consider it to be a part of who and what we are.

      As an American, born and raised, I believe our Forefathers would not approve of the way fellow Americans have been treated because of something that is none of our Govt's business.

    29. Anthony says:

      Wow, probably not the responses the publisher wanted haha. Its like in cartoons when there taking a vote and they say "all in favor" and you here a big group "aye!" "and all opposed" and you hear that one lonely 'droopy dog' sounding voice say "nayyy." Well I hope the publishers of this article read these responses and realize they are the lonely droopy dog voice meekly saying "nay."

    30. THE TRUTH DOCTOR says:

      Please do a little research .

      The Heritage foundation is sponsored by OIL , Pharmaceutical ( Pfisner is the BIG contributor ) the Heath Industry and BIG alcohol . Coors , alone donated

      $ 250,000.00 to the Heritage foundation .

      Profits from these Companies will plummet if Marijuana is made available & legal so what part of LIES & DISTORTION by the Heritage Foundation do you not understand ?

    31. anon, bay area says:

      Sorry Mister Charles Stimson, but it would appear your misinformed essay sees no support, not even from your frequent readers. Although it's no surprise, for if you openly attack people who are trying to help this country, you will be hard pressed to find supporters.

    32. Charles Holiday, Pho says:

      Your Statement of Purpose:

      The future of liberty depends on reclaiming America's first principles. "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization," as Thomas Jefferson warned, "it expects what never was and never will be." Widespread ignorance of American history is but the most recognized symptom of the troubling decline in popular knowledge of fundamental principles. We face an education system that upholds mediocrity in the name of relativism; an ever-expanding and centralized government, unmoored from constitutional limits; judges openly making laws and shaping society based on pop-philosophy rather than serious jurisprudence; and growing confusion over America's legitimate role in the world, made all the more apparent by the fundamental threat posed by radical Islamists. At the root of all these problems is a pervasive doubt about the core principles that define America and ought to inform our politics and policy. As the leading public policy institution focused on American liberty, The Heritage Foundation must lead the call to awaken our country and get it back on course. We must recall the nation to its first principles, reinvigorate American constitutionalism, and revive the sturdy virtues required for self-government. We must restore the principles of America's Founders to their proper role in the public and political discourse, influencing public policy and reforming government to reflect constitutional limits. We must rebuild and unify a robust conservatism around, and in defense of, these core principles, and identify and develop current and future policymakers, opinion-makers, and leaders who understand, articulate, and will promote these principles. In short, our vision, building on the great successes of the modern conservative movement, must now be to save America by reclaiming its truths and its promises and conserving its liberating principles for ourselves and our posterity.

      And then you print THIS! Really? I think you need to revise your statement and add the word hypocrisy a few times.

      Ohh, and as for that Jefferson quote you start with, I have one too.

      "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

      And if that one was to vague for you.

      “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”

    33. resleezy, potland or says:

      Holy Smokes. The myth is being continued by dishonest intellectual thinking. Now look at the link on the same page as this story (Oct 16) http://www.foundry.org/2010/10/08/california-en… Hmmmmm…..????

      It seems to me that the "foundation" is drinking the same kool-aid as it did 30 years ago. Colas and Coffee are the gateway to alcohol the deadly poison so celebrated at any occasion.

      Rev.sLeezy

      The Universal Life Church Of the Holy Smokes

      Potland, OR

    34. Pingback: The Heritage Foundation: A Last Refuge For Reefer Madness? | Herbal Bud Smoke Shop

    35. Jeremy says:

      Well, I often like Heritage position papers, but this one was intellectually dishonest, poorly reasoned and contrary to what heritage is supposed to stand for. (And yes, I mean the position paper, so to answer the comment that they are just making this up, they aren’t, they are just citing the statistics that support their argument, and leaving out all those that undermine it, even the ones that are from different parts of the same report and studies.)
      This argued that marijuana is a problem because it is unregulated, and so should remain completely illegal. This argued that marijuana is a substitute for cocaine and that legalizing it and causing the price to fall would increase cocaine use. This paper argued for the health effects of alcohol as opposed to marijuana, citing marijuana’s potential association with birth defects.
      I would ask whether you have no shame, but it’s clear you don’t when it comes to this topic. I’ve disagreed with you as often as I have agreed with you in the past, I have thought your selection of sources unfairly strengthened the argument toward your position, but never have I seen this degree of selective sourcing and intellectually bankrupt “reasoning” in an article or position paper under your heading before.
      Please consider the gross contradiction between your attitude to this issue, (I’m tired of calling it a position, because a position implies you came to it by actual reasoning and not swallowing some weak party line drivel because it’s the party line) and your positions on a wide array of other issues in terms of the “sanctity” of Supreme Court decisions, the appropriate balance of power between the Federal and state governments, the importance of personal responsibility, the importance of reining in government spending, the value of personal freedom, the value of free markets, the value of limited government, the value of democracy and ultimately the value of facts and sound reasoning in making public policy decisions.
      This was, in short, a deceitful hatchet-job of a piece.

    36. Andrew, NYC says:

      This guys who wrote this is a numpskle. The idea any standing president would waste the time being the next president to, “Go the other way”, on weed, is retarded. Beleive me the pesident has a lot of other worries. Vigourously attacking any cause creeping up the social scale grass roots that might significantly effect his fedeal coffers soon, is no0t his focus. If within the confines of ta state distribution and purchasing can be done in a, say, “Ciggarette like ” manner. His arguement a state wouldnt drastically be effected both in employment and othe benefits is quite retarded as well. If the Government chills out, and the state functions independantly with no cause to, “Crack down”, this proposition will spearhead a really long overdue law. His arguement on no law enforcement suppot. Of course not. Anything that could possibly effect the police in a negative way will be vehemnetly fought. Even when its good. Take most teachers unions for example. Also, dumb dumb cops likening pot to criminals or dealers….omakes them lose objectivity. Of couse it runs in those circles,It’s illegal. Next. How do we stop this? When did a group decide only if marijuan can prove a medical side, that the idea it could maybe, maturly accepted and used recreationally!! God Forbid, to increase someone’s experience in life…lol Tax it, regulate it. Clean safe access. Done Next.

    37. Megan Caywood says:

      Our federal government and you, heritage foundation are completely off the mark here: cannabis isn't the problem. You say marijuana is 'dangerous' and out of control: that is because our government refuses to control it. Did you know there are over a million teenage drug dealers? Any public policy which creates teen aged drug dealers needs to be examined.

    38. Pingback: The Heritage Foundation: A Last Refuge For Reefer Madness? | Weed Review

    39. Devon, Pennsylvania says:

      Wowza, I'd almost be concerned with the fact that some person, driven by god only knows what, maybe fear, maybe personal interests, maybe a combination of both, has decided to look back in history and say "Hey, that terrible fact twisting embarrassment of a propaganda campaign reefer madness managed to scare people and make them believe complete lies, why shouldn't I just try to make a film using the same principles!".

      On the other hand, considering how terrible it looks, how conspicuously lacking it is in any real substantiated facts other than some edited sound bites and some completely baseless accusations (I actually began laughing when I saw a prohibitionist was the one accusing LEGALIZATION of increasing criminal activity), and really the utter and complete ridiculousness for any individual who knows what a computer is, has a high enough IQ to realize the afore mentioned conspicuous lack of facts or real sources, and does not still believe weed is referred to as "dope" and makes people go crazy.

      Directly below this typing area is a small paragraph about how people's intention in coming to this site is to become appropriately informed, and that the Heritage Foundation supports a civil society where ideas/debate flourish…which makes one wonder why any of them would even think of allowing the presentation of this embarrassment, which seems far more set on making false accusations than creating debate, contains quotes that with any research whatsoever one would realize never actually happened as presented, and works against the Heritage foundation's supposed agenda of supporting freedom and personal liberties.

      Once again though, I believe this attempt at propaganda is so ridiculous and shoddy that anyone who didn't already believe vehemently that marijuana should be illegal for everyone couldn't possibly believe it. Thus, I'm pretty sure our attempts at rebuking the supposed "facts" presented is unnecessary since an individual likely doesn't even need to know the real facts to realize what a joke this is. I'm pretty sure it's not going to be changing any minds, it'll only further enforce the delusion and paranoia of the already delusional and paranoid.

    40. JTG, VA says:

      This debate to anyone who bothers to look at facts over hype is long over. Prohibition is the problem that ruins lives far more than pot ever has.

      To me figuring out the government lies came as a shock to me in my teens back in the eighty's. I was a true believer in our government, a young republication to my core, but even then I knew the truth on this subject. The more lies I heard about how pot was dangerous and addictive and all the other reefer madness, the more I grew to distrust anything an elected official tried to tell me. Stop the lies! Take pot off schedule one classification and admit it should never have been there once and for all. Restore that much truth in our government. Who knows given a try telling the truth might just catch on.

    41. Sam Caldwell, Colora says:

      Our forefathers had the public’s ears, minds and souls when marijuana was finally outlawed in 1937. Our focus must be reinvigorated as to the methods used to snap America out of its complacency within those wonderous moralistic years. Lets make a vow to be vigilant and fight back with all the facts available on the most powerful tool – the internet.

      If you feel the sense of purpose to go to just one website for honest inspiration to end the inevitable senseless tragedies awaiting our family, friends, and foes alike, look no further than:
      http://www.opposeprop19.com/

      Please take this message to heart. We can’t afford to let the $500 billion in hard-earned money the ONDCP, DARE et al, spent on education during the former drug war, to go up in smoke.

    42. Pingback: The Heritage Foundation: A Last Refuge For Reefer Madness? |

    43. Carroll Miller, Nort says:

      I am very disappointed to see an organization that advertises itself to be Constitutionally conservative publish drivel like this. The concepts of Liberty explained in the Constitution make no mention of enabling those liberties to be taken away at the barrel of a gun.

      Prohibition was not enacted by conservatives. It was put in place by progressives and statists. The so called 'War on Drugs' is actually a war on the people of this nation.

      Considering the number of lives your prohibition has ruined, families that have been torn… You should look in the mirror and feel shame.

      Where in the Constitution does it say that people like you can legislate morality? You quote the Founding Fathers on some things, but it is obvious that you do so selectively, because you do not truly believe in freedom.

    44. Braden, Nebraska says:

      Marijuana prohibition makes me sick to my stomach. Everything on the opposition to prop 19 websites are absolute lies and propaganda. I consider myself about as conservative as an American can be…..but all of this misinformation on Marijuana really makes me wonder whose agenda this is. Alcohol companies???? Marijuana does not make anyone violent because they smoke it. Alcohol sure does. I've become violent after drinking in the past. Every day I see news stories about people killed by drunk drivers. It happens in every city across this country. People become alcoholics and overdose on it and die everyday, legally. Why don't you fight alcohol abuse instead. This is like a city's police force trying to stop jay-walking instead of solving murders. It really makes me sick to my stomach. There's so much violence spilling over from Mexico because of prohibition. Legalizing marijuna would really dampen those cartels' profits. Just look at alcohol prohibiton. History doesn't lie. Now that alcohol is legal, I don't see cartels smuggling whiskey over the border! This about it. The original laws against Marijuana were almost purely racially motivated anyway. Oh well….what can I do. I know the truth and am proud to take a stand for what I know in my heart is right. I pray that God makes right this injustice. God Bless the USA!

    45. marijuana-license says:

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