Cato, Cannabis, Conference and Coalescing For Reforms

Joining my colleagues and friends Morgan Fox of Marijuana Policy Project, Paul Armentano of NORML and Norman Stamper of LEAP, I’m an honored contributor to a series of essays published by the Cato Institute’s Unbound series on the topic of cannabis law reform and the war on some drugs.

My essay examines 1) identifying concerns for reformers, 2) why cannabis law reform enjoys ever-increasing public support, 3) who supports continuing cannabis prohibition and 4) what are some steps to hasten reforms.

Many thanks to Cato’s Jason Kuznicki for inviting an array of contemporary essays from the perspectives of active reformers!

Allen St. Pierre, executive director, NORML, November 11, 2011:

With so many onerous institutional discriminations and restrictions—and the price of medical cannabis remaining inordinately high because of the existence of cannabis Prohibition—patients who genuinely need access to this low toxicity, naturally occurring herbal medicine would be far better served by ending cannabis Prohibition entirely than in trying to carve out special legal exemptions to the existing Prohibition.

The other essays in the series from Fox, Armentano and Stamper are found here.

Speaking of Cato, tomorrow they’re hosting what I hope is a news-making conference in Washington, D.C. that examines the growing tide of public wont and scientific research in support around the world for a different direction then ‘prohibition’ laws for currently illicit drugs like cannabis, instead favoring the emerging public health and criminal justice doctrine of ‘harm reduction’.

The line up of speakers and topics should not be ignored by the media and policymakers as Cato has assembled an impressive line-up:

Former President, Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico, Jorge Castaneda
Speaker of the House of Deputies, Uruguay, Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou
Wall Street Journal, Editorial Board Member and Columnist, Mary Anastasia O’Grady
Columnist Glenn Greenwald
Law Professor and LEAP board member, Leigh Maddox
Drug Policy Alliance, Director, Ethan Nadelmann, Ph.D
Daily Caller, Editor, Tucker Carlson

Video messages are expected from former President, Mexico, Vicente Fox and former US Secretary of State, George Schultz.

Looks like you can watch the conference at Cato Live!

View full post on NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform