Can Web 2.0 Help End the Drug War?

Written by Adriel Hampton. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Tagged: , , , ,

Published on May 18, 2009 with 4 Comments

By Adriel Hampton

May 18, 2009

The rise of Web 2.0, a loosely defined collection of collaborative and social sharing technologies, seems to have the potential for radically changing our democracy. As broadband Internet becomes ubiquitous, it is giving each and every citizen the potential to impact every debate.

In one example from earlier this year, anti-Drug War folks bombed the “Ask the President” Web project, making legalization one of the top issues folks wanted President Obama to address.

Liberalization of our wrongheaded drug policy is also on the lips of new drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, though it remains to be seen whether action will back up the new rhetoric.

Having seen family members serve time for drug abuse and having experienced a couple bad years in college myself, I see the drug war as an eminently human issue that effects each and every one of us. I’m hoping that we can use Web 2.0 to help push that point.

I’m asking for concerned citizens of every stripe to help me devise a strong anti-Drug War policy statement for my Congressional campaign. I’ve given it a brief jumping off point over at MixedInk, a collaborative writing technology that I’d like to see used more in government.

“When elected to Congress, I will immediately move to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana. Tacit legalization through state-by-state decriminalization and “medical cannabis” (as tested in California since 1996) has proven a disastrous failure. Our prisons are dangerous and overcrowded, non-violent criminals who could easily be rehabilitated languish under harsh minimum sentences, and Mexican cartels and urban gangsters flourish. Prohibition of marijuana, like alcohol before it, has proved foolish and far too costly. Legalization would not only reduce drug-related violence, it would create funds for increased mental health funding and counseling for those who find themselves dependent on the drug.”

Join me.

Adriel Hampton is a journalist, Gov 2.0 and new media strategist, public servant, and licensed private investigator. He is running for U.S. Congress in the 2009 special election for California’s 10th District.

Adriel Hampton

Adriel Hampton is a writer, investigator, strategic consultant and mindfulness practitioner. He runs The Adriel Hampton Group Ltd. in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and was a founding member of NationBuilder. Adriel is founder emeritus of SF Tech Dems and a board member at Legination Inc. Before joining NationBuilder, Adriel worked for SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera, and for the SF Examiner, Hayward Daily Review and Lodi News-Sentinel. He also founded SF City Camp and Gov 2.0 Radio, and, in 2009, ran for Congress in the East Bay.

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  • To all Californians who want marijuana legalized, regulated, and taxed like alcohol:
    </p
    We can make it happen. We can get Assembly Bill 390 passed to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California.
    </p
    The majority must no longer remain scared and silent. We need to get organized. Let’s flood the California Assembly and Senate with e-mail.
    </p
    It’s easy to send your representatives e-mail supporting A.B. 390. Visit yes390.org
    </p
    Then spread the word. Get all your friends to visit yes390.org
    </p
    Post yes390.org on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Hand it out on business cards at concerts and on street corners.
    </p
    Californians, stand up for what you believe in.

  • Opposed?

    When Mayor Fiorello La Guardia of NYC put together a commission to study legalization of pot he found that his major opposition came from alcohol & tobacco producers and … organized crime. That was around 1940. Nothing’s changed. Wait, I’m sure Big Pharma will join the fray on the side of evil.

    On a brighter note, The Governator has threatened to release thousands of non-violent (read: ‘drug offenders’) from prison early if the voters don’t fall in line tomorrow. So, vote ‘No’ on everything and Uncle Charlie walks.

    h.

  • Ruth R. Snave

    Adriel,

    It’s wonderful to see you writing again. When you stopped writing for the press in SF, the city suffered a loss. I hope you will do more.

    I think most people agree that marijuana should be legalized and sold like alcohol and tobacco. Tom Ammiano’s bill before the legislature is the right way to go.

    The so-called “medical marijuana” push, on the other hand, is a big scam. It manipulated people with acute medical problems for its own mercenary purposes.

    It dumped scores of cheesy, under-regulated dealers into mostly marginal and at-risk neighborhoods, where they exercised a destabilizing influence.

    Also, a problem remains with hard drugs. A gigantic and powerful international network of ruthless cartels has emerged.

    It has resulted in the murder of thousands of people in Central and South America. It has robbed native Indians of their lands, in order to term them into drug plantations. It has corrupted politicians, including politicians in the U.S.

    Let’s legalize pot, but protect the public form drug thugs and cheesy politicians.

  • Ruth, thanks for the comment. I agree with you about the current medical marijuana scheme and have written that I consider it a failure. I support the current Ammiano bill, and believe we need to end this alcohol-cannabis double standard at the federal level.