77 Yr-Old Judge Calls for Legalization of Pot and Other Drugs

In a speech at a Puerto Rican law school, a U.S. Federal Appeals Court Judge slammed the drug war and suggested that marijuana -- and possibly even other drugs -- should be made legal. The 77-year-old Judge Juan Torruella was appointed by Gerald Ford and promoted to the appeals court by Ronald Reagan, whose radical escalation of the drug war cost billions of dollars and sent millions of people to prison. The AP flagged the story from the newspaper El Nuevo Dia:

Judge Juan Torruella tells a law school audience in Puerto Rico that experimenting with legalization of marijuana and perhaps other drugs is a better way to reduce drug abuse and crime.

The 77-year-old judge says it's the only "realistic" alternative since the drug war has been "lost" at a high cost to society.

While Prop. 19, California legal pot initiative was defeated in the midterm election, many proponents have hope for success in the near future. In a press statement following Prop. 19's defeat, Paul Armentano of NORML said, “Throughout this campaign, even our opponents conceded that America’s present marijuana prohibition is a failure. Theyrecognize that the question now isn’t ‘Should ee legalize and regulate marijuana,’ but ‘How should we legalize and regulate marijuana?’” Armentano followed up in a post published on AlterNet with some stats about public attitudes to legalization: 

* Fifty percent of California voters, regardless of how they voted on Prop. 19, “think the use of marijuana should be made legal.”

* Further, of those voters who rejected Prop. 19, more than 30 percent believe that “marijuana should be legalized or penalties … should be reduced.”

* A majority of Californian voters (52 percent to 37 percent) believe “laws against marijuana do more harm than good.”

* Finally, the poll reaffirms that victory at the ballot box comes down most of all to voter turnout. The survey reports, “If youth had comprised the same percentage of the electorate on Tuesday as they do in Presidential election years, Prop. 19 would have been statistically tied.”

 

AlterNet / By Tana Ganeva

Posted at November 10, 2010, 8:29am

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