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MAPTalk-Digest Friday, April 4 2014 Volume 14 : Number 004

001 reminder! LEAP petition - Amend UN Treaties to End Drug Prohibition
002 Oregonion editorial: Media blackout no help to Oregon's marijuana debat


Subj: 001 reminder! LEAP petition - Amend UN Treaties to End Drug Prohibition
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2014 10:46:00 -0700

if you haven't yet, please sign and share widely!

Amend UN Treaties to End Drug Prohibition


Subj: 002 Oregonion editorial: Media blackout no help to Oregon's marijuana debate
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2014 20:55:13 -0700

Media blackout no help to Oregon's marijuana debate

Few things trigger phobic behavior as much as pot. What else could explain
the drum-tight security surrounding a conference on marijuana's perils
scheduled to take place in Welches, near Mount Hood, mid-month?

Oregon State Police Superintendent Richard Evans Jr. caught a whiff of the
public's shut-out only after being informed that two of his officers were
scheduled to speak at the conference while on the taxpayer's dime. He
correctly withdrew the appearances of the officers, whose subject was the
Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and the impact of marijuana on property,
The Oregonian's Noelle Crombie reported.

The conference, billed as the 2014 Oregon Summit on the Impacts of
Marijuana, is sponsored by the volunteer-based Mount Hood Coalition
Against Drug Crime and supervised financially by the Florida-based Drug
Free America Foundation. Workshops over two days at The Resort at The
Mountain will span challenges brought by marijuana to law enforcement,
society, adolescent development and, significantly, to states in which pot
legalization is having an unknown impact: Colorado and Washington.

It's a perfect opportunity for Oregonians to learn from those who fear
marijuana's legalization the most. And that's why it is flummoxing that
the media is barred from the $250-a-ticket event and the nonpaying public
unwelcome. Calls by The Oregonian's editorial board to the Mount Hood
Coalition and Drug Free America went unreturned.

Oregon approaches a crossroads on the subject of marijuana, legal for
medical use but illegal for public recreational use. First among states to
decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug, however, Oregon has
become known widely for its comparative tolerance towards marijuana use.
If never the stoner state pot opponents fear, Oregon could be next in
following Colorado and Washington in legalizing marijuana's controlled
retail sale and recreational use. And who really knows what that would
look like? Who knows how it would substantively change things, if at all?

The stakes are high. That's especially so if you hear from those who argue
pot paves the way to cultural and educational ruin. More public education
would help. And the conference subjects are enticing: Peter Hitchins, who
writes for Britain's The Mail on Sunday newspaper, will excoriate public
officials for failing to correlate marijuana use and mental illness. Mitch
Morrissey, the district attorney of Denver, Colo., will align 12 Denver
homicides that, video contends, would not have occurred
were it not for marijuana. Mary Segawa of the Washington State Liquor
Control Board, whose background is in drug prevention, will speak about
the impact of legalization in Washington. And Calvina Fay, executive
director of Save our Society from Drugs and the person sometimes demonized
on the Internet as the queen of reefer madness, will present her findings
on pot's escalating potency and the latest thinking from "scientific
scholars dedicated to advancing research of drug use and drug abuse," the
conference brochure states.

But Evans had it right: If Oregonians were to have sent two of its Oregon
State Police experts to explain the impacts of marijuana, as it has done
in previous years, they should be able to get something in return.
Preaching to the well-heeled choir doesn't count. What's needed now,
before the next ballot initiative goes to voters and Oregonians make a
fateful choice, is information.

Stringing up the barbed wire to keep the media at bay won't help. Press
releases surely to emerge from the conference will be crafted to ensure
everyone is on-message  in precisely the same ways those who advocate
marijuana's legalization follow a script designed to debunk myths
surrounding marijuana use. What citizens are left with are extremes, at
worst hysterical and at best open to question. Smart decisions ahead won't
be made from the extremes.

Widespread marijuana availability is not something Oregonians should
decide without informed debate. Transparency in this month's anti-pot
conference would help folks decide well and, with luck, wisely.


End of MAPTalk-Digest V14 #4

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