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May-28-2010 18:46printcomments

Mayor Rybak, Let's be Honest About Marijuana

Marijuana’s Prohibition—and the Elected Officials Who Support It—Is to Blame For Fueling Gang Violence, Not Marijuana’s Consumers.


(MINNEAPOLIS) - Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has recently taken to Minnesota’s airwaves in a misguided attempt to blame violence at the hands of criminal gangs on consumers of marijuana.

“When you pay for marijuana, you are paying for the bullet that goes into the head of someone on the streets,” he told the Star Tribune, in one instance.

But the mayor’s logic is tragically flawed. By trying to blame violence entirely on marijuana’s consumers, Mayor Rybak is conveniently ignoring the central role in gang violence played by marijuana prohibition and the politicians who support it.

“The only reason criminals make their money from marijuana is because our current policies allow them to,” said Steve Fox, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project.

“Like alcohol prohibition in the last century, marijuana prohibition has helped to fuel violent crime in Minnesota and across the country. Mayor Rybak is out of touch with reality if he does not recognize that prohibition—and any elected official who supports it—is to blame for giving criminals a virtual monopoly on marijuana’s lucrative trade. It is unrealistic to assume we can somehow magically remove the demand for marijuana. The only true solution is to regulate marijuana, and bring its sale under the rule of law, the same way we ended the criminal violence that stemmed from alcohol prohibition.”

Even Mayor Rybak’s own deputy police chief, Rob Allen, stated that violence in the marijuana trade is caused by its prohibition. “It is illegal to distribute marijuana, so the people distributing marijuana are criminal syndicates that are engaged in very violent activity to protect their turf,” Allen told station KARE 11.

In a recent statement about this topic on a CityPages comment thread, Mayor Rybak wrote that “it’s time we finally got honest with each other.”

The Marijuana Policy Project couldn’t agree more. “If the mayor wants to end violence associated with marijuana, he too needs to be honest, and join the growing ranks of those calling for an end to prohibition and the failed policies that drive money into the hands of criminals, and yes, bullets into people’s heads,” Fox said.


Source: the Marijuana Policy Project, with more than 124,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States.

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Mike May 30, 2010 2:29 am (Pacific time)

Pardon my naivety but can't we just get a petition signed by 500 people and have it sent to local government where it could be turned into a bill? I suppose the supporters of the reformation of marijuana laws would have to have been informed to become that way. That's where you guys come in. Damn, a step ahead it seems.

Anonymous May 29, 2010 2:17 pm (Pacific time)

I have researched this for a decade. Marijuana = good... big government = bad. Why not try researching things such as the harmful effects of vaccines, BPA in our food, flouride (a poison) in our water, and prescription drugs (approved by the FDA), that are killing tens of thousands, while marijuana has basically a zero kill rate. Altho, if this country was to de-criminalize marijuana, buy stock in twinkies, donuts, and nintendo games.:-) only because there are no jobs. My son is going to put his college degree certificate on e-bay :-) dear lord, cant you see what is going on? its called "rogue government, leading into total facism and dictatorship" ..they sure seem to have enough money to continue israels wars tho huh? Sorry, my mistake, god gave them that land. I am going on strike, all God gave me was peace in my heart, with a touch of frustration to share truth..lucky israel, they got land!!!

Editor: We are working also on GM food, all of Monsanto's deeds, toxic contamination of specific locations in the USA and abroad,  Thanks!    

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