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Mike Gravel to teens: Say 'yes' to drugs

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Election 2008
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Posted January 7, 2008 12:07 AM
The Swamp

by Rick Pearson

NASHUA, N.H.—Former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska hasn't been heard from for quite some time in his quixotic quest for the Democratic presidential nomination and perhaps there's a reason why.

In the days when he was invited to debates, detractors likened the 77-year-old former senator to the cranky uncle who lives in the attic.

No longer invited to debates, Gravel on Sunday night appeared at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter to speak to its high school students and showed no sign his campaign had gone up in smoke. Indeed, in a contest of booze versus pot, Gravel said light 'em up.

"I'm sure a lot of you have tripped out on alcohol," Gravel told the students. "It's a lot safer to do it on marijuana."

As if that wasn't enough, according to a tape of the appearance shown by WMUR-TV in New Hampshire, Gravel advised, "And with respect to other drugs, if you've got a problem with coke, go to a doctor, get a prescription and get it filled at a drug store.

According to WMUR, Gravel told the high school students that buying drugs legally will help them stay away from becoming a criminal.

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Comments

I really think you have gotten his record wrong. Gravel doesn't encourage drug use. He just knows the fact that criminalization of drugs is futile, expensive, and dumb. And that legalization of marijuana has always made sense as physicians know it is less dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes. Gravel wants to treat drug abuse as a health problem not a criminal problem. Learn for yourself.


I really think you have gotten his record wrong. Gravel doesn't encourage drug use. He just knows the fact that criminalization of drugs is futile, expensive, and dumb. And that legalization of marijuana has always made sense as physicians know it is less dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes. Gravel wants to treat drug abuse as a health problem not a criminal problem. Learn for yourself.


Nice way to take things out of context. He never said yes to drugs. He is refering to the fact that the war on drugs is a complete failure something that can be compared to the ban on alcohol.

This "war" is doing nothing but costing money. Look at all of the people in prison for drug problems. It is obviously doing no good, why not take away the criminal element by making it government controlled. There will no longer be drug trading, and the crime that goes with it.

I can not believe that you would post something that is such utter rubish. You completely took this out of context and posted none of Gravels arguments.


Once again the public and some of the candidates are way ahead of the idiot pundit class.

Decriminalization of marijuana possession is sensible and cost effective. Of course, the major candidates are pandering on this issue. Let's quit wasting money locking up people for having a joint. Good grief.


I have never used pot and never will. I've never smoked cigarettes, either. But I do think pot should be decriminalized and regulated, like alcohol and cigarettes. Must be over the age of 18 or 21 (as the case may be). And, of course, penalties for being under the influence while driving, or whatever.

Marijuana was not a federal crime in the US until the "1937 Marijuana Tax Act". Heck, did you know even Bing Crosby used it? He would often smoke after shows with other performers such as Louis Armstrong.

Bob Hope even mentions "making reefers" in the 1942 Hope/Crosby film "Road to Morroco".

It's time we let police and feds focus on the serious drugs like cocaine, extasy and that "date rape drug" among others(maybe that is extasy, I'm not really up on the lingo).

I've known a few people (as I'm sure most people have), even one ot two freinds, who use weed. I've never really had a problem with any of them. It's really a harmless drug. Not really any different than alcohol or cigarettes. If regulated properly, I can't see the problem.


Your headline here is a flagrant lie as referring to Gravel's position on drugs, and you should retract it and apologize.


Has anyone ever seen Rick Pearson and Bill O'Reilly together at the same time? Just say no, Rick, you idiot.


Josh, Didn't you get the memo? Pearson proves once again that the SLCM are merely high school students. Context is for loosers. It's all jocks and nerds for the MSM. They are not interested in promoting public debate about the great issues of our time. Is it any wonder that newspapers are loosing readers? There are many fine political analysts, unfortunately few of them are found in the Chicago Tribune.


Sen. Gravel represented a state where personal possession and use of marijuana by adults has been constitutionally protected since 1975. The Republican governor of Alaska who allowed a marijuana decriminalization bill to pass 32 years ago said he'd rather make alcohol illegal. Sen. Gravel make a good point; how many teenagers died after pot parties in 2007?


So are you disputing his argument that marijuana is safer than alcohol? Because it is undeniably true.

Or are you disputing his argument that it would be better for everyone if users got their drugs from reputable pharmacies in prescription doses regulated by doctors, instead of Central/South American drug cartels via the black market?

Or maybe you think he's wrong when he points out that there's no actual logical reason why a person who gets good grades and keeps their life together should have a criminal record just because they like to smoke a bowl now and then? Or that a person who's addicted to a hard drug, but can get a prescription, is less likely to have to start mugging people because he doesn't have to buy at inflated black market prices?

Voicing such ideas may draw snickers from the prissy high school "in crowd" that is our national press, and have been known to cause "tough on crime" conservatives to reach for the smelling salts, but that doesn't make them less true.


Somebody at the Chicago Tribune must pine for the heady days of alcohol prohibition. Do those who profit off the illicit trade pay or coerce the Tribune to distort and suppress an HONEST drug message?

You can kill yourself a lot of stupid ways. Alcohol and smoking are a couple legal ways to do it with DRUGS, but let's focus on the deaths to those who don't use them. Why is the state protecting me from the 'serious threat of secondhand smoke" but unconcerned about the serious threat to my family and neighborhood from the effects of drug prohibition? I can run and hide from the smoke of the cigarettes, but am unable to outrun the smoking barrels of the gangs warring for control of the drug trade. Must be a lot safer up there in Chicago than it is in Jackson MS? Happy Pre-Saint Valentine's Massacre to all.
Enjoy.


I don't think this writer knows very much about drugs or about Mike Gravel. Bad choice as the guy to write the article. Too bad Hunter S. Thompson isn't still alive. I think Gravel's arguments on drugs are exactly what the front runners should be saying as well...after all, Obama used to use cocaine, and i'm sure he smoked (or still does smoke) a little ganje. Surely we can't consider him a criminal. I hope Gravel continues to say what he thinks, and i wish more people would do the same.


All of the Democratic candidates have agreed to put marijuana on the lowest tier of their enforcement priorities. Obama went as far as to say that medical marijuana dispensary raids simply won't happen under his administration. Same with Edwards (the only thing LIKE about him).

I'm not a one-issue guy, and I consider myself a conservative... but as the years go on, this has become a bigger and bigger topic, if only because of the steady stream of flat-out LIES the government tells us.

Just a few off the top of my head:

-You'll have nude photos of you circled around school... not true or provable

-You'll kill toddlers with your car... no figures to show that that has happened, even in isolated incidents.

-You'll be incapable of doing anything besides smoking weed... unless you want to be president.

-You'll shoot yourself with your dad's gun... which is, again, unsupported by even ONE fact.

-You'll kill your little brother... See above

-Your girlfriend will leave you for an alien, and your dog will start talking about how disappointed he is in you... I wonder how DRUNK the guys were who thought that up.

-You'll be personally responsible for the deaths of anyone killed by a cartel... as opposed to the reprehensible lawmakers who actually ARE responsible by keeping cartels in control of the supply.

-You'll help Osama Bin Laden... except that locals growers, Mexico and Canada provide our marijuana.

-You'll get cancer quicker than you would with tobacco because of the higher tar content... except that the additives in cigarettes, and not the tar, are the strongest carcinogens. Not to mention that people smoke less weed than cigarettes when they smoke.


It's disgusting to me that the American people are clamoring for some kind of decriminalization in numbers that reflect a MAJOR chunk of our populace, yet we let these windbags push us around however they please.

The people of this country need to finally stand up and vote these bums out of office.


If his statements are true I have to say that Mike Gravel has really lost it. And he wanted to be the Democratic nominee and eventual President of the United States. Heaven help us if characters like this get in the White House.


It's too bad gravel has been made to look like a lunatic since entering the race for president. Anyone out there (besides me) notice that during the dems debates that Gravel participated in, the cameras went to extreme close ups, showing only his face, as he made points - they did that to no other candidates. Made him look like Hitler raving on... Don't believe me? Take a look at the debate tapes...


Well i'm glad to see that the folks over at the Trib know how to put a negative and conservative spin on the entire situation.

Gravel clearly was not condoning these drugs, he was encouraging kids to do the least harmful, if they wish. It's similar to suggesting using a condom instead of suggesting abstaining.


He has stated this befor. The last debate he was invited to he claimed the war on drugs was a racist plan to keep black people in prison, quoting numbers that the majority of people in for possession are black. Some clapped others like me stared with their mouths wide open.

His Christmas campaign commercial has him covering John Lennon and the Beatles. He's a stoned old geezer who wants to eliminate the war on drugs plain and simple.

He's the Democrat's Ron Paul.


ma porco dio! e che cazzo di americani del cazzoche non capiscono un cazzo....mo me vado a fa una canna va!
Porco dio....


Rick Pearson: Say "No" to responsible journalism.


This article states that Mike Gravel was no longer invited to the debates. NO he was banned from the debates. Why? Cause on the Sept 26, 2007 debate he brought up the voting on the Lieberman-Kyle Amendment that would cause us to go to war with Iran. One TV at that debate he exposed Hillary Clinton for voting for it. You see NBC was running the debates. GE owns NBC and is also a gigantic defense contractor. Now to you see why NBC banned Mike Gravel.

As for legalizing marijuana I am all for it. By doing this we can save the environment and stabilize our economy. Oil companies don't want this cause you can make a fuel out of hemp. Drug companies don't want this cause you this plant has been used for medicines for thousands of years and will wipe out 50% of the drugs on the market today. The timber industry won't want this plant legal cause hemp and be used for paper and building materials.

So I am with Mike Gravel.


Prohibition didn't work and the War on Drugs isn't working. It's that simple. Decriminalize drug use; treat it as the health issue that it is. I didn't hear Mike's speech, but I taught high school and those young people are mature enough to handle the facts which I feel certain Mike presented. What a misuse of journalistic power to insinuate that Mike is telling the teens to use drugs!


The real question is how many readers are stupid enough to believe you. Misquoted and taken out of context to the edge of the universe. Gravel knows that the war on drugs is a failure and that is a public health issue not a crimminal issue. Instead of filling up prisons we should give these people help as an addiction problem. You should retract this artical for being irresponcible as a journalist and apologize not only to Mike Gravel but to your readers as well for putting up such trash.


The basic tenet of the Hippocratic oath is 'First, do no harm.' Treating drug use as a public health issue rather than a criminal issue would first and foremost reduce the harm done to users and society as a whole. What I've heard Mike Gravel say is that the war on drugs is more harmful than the drugs themselves.
That drug use will occur is a given, yes, even among high schoolers. The only pragmatic approach by a society or a government is to lessen the ill-effects of drug use, not further exacerbate the issue with the consequences of imprisonment.
This approach has worked well in the Netherlands for 31 years. In 1976 the Opium law was adopted, including articles that made decriminilization of cannabis use possible. It also put into place measures to make hard drug use safer such as methadone treatment availability, (virtually non-existant or hard to come by in the U.S.) and a needle exchange program to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Mike Gravel's statements about the war on drugs being a failure in this country are reality-- high school students are old enough to hear the truth. drugwarfacts.org and http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/tlcdruck.cfm


Mike Gravel does not encourage drug use. He is opposed to the War on Drugs, however. It is a failure. Drug addiction must be treated as a public health issue, not a criminal issue. Mike has explained this, and it is easy to understand. When will the media stop lying?


Discussing the relative effects of marijuana to alcohol is not to be confused for actual substance advocacy.
You know what happens when you insulate your children and refrain from talking honestly about the pressing issues of their day? – you wind up with more Jamie Spears.


congratulations on twisting a legitimate topic of debate into slander. the author of this is either a moron for being unable to understand the truth behind Gravel's statements or has an agenda to marginalize him along with the the MSM.


Terrible journalism. Rather than discussing whether such an approach to public health might actually improve wellbeing and reduce crime, we get a bunch of outmoded assumptive hectoring.

Mike Gravel is saying what many informed people already think but know is forbidden by the decorum of social artifice in the maintainence of which lazy journalism places an essential part.


I am soo glad that I'm not the only one who sees that Senetor Gravel is WAY ahead of his time. It is just crazy that he is being labeled a lunatic, when he's really the only canidate who has the courage and smarts and COMPASSION to stand up for what is right...this country is soo primative sometimes..how many people will have to sit in jail, be turned from hippies to criminals before we wake up? I wish I could apologize to him on behalf of this country because I hope he realizes that there are some of us who see things as rationally as he does.


The headline for the WMUR TV story was, "Gravel To Teens: Marijuana Safer Than Alcohol."

The WMUR headline more accurately revealed what he was saying, i.e., that the drug war is a failure and makes little sense, given the actual harms associated with various drugs.

How does this become "Mike Gravel to teens: Say 'yes' to drugs"?


THIS IS HORRIBLE JOURNALISM


All Presidential Candidates for the 2008 election belong or are funded by a group started by Skull and Bones of Yale called the Council on Foreign Relations, a war mongering group that disguises itself as a think tank. Most members belong to Skull and Bones, the Bilderbergs, the Trilateral Commission, etc. just like Kerry and Bush (both Boneheads). Again, these Nazi sympathizing groups have stacked both sides of the ticket to assure themselves control of the government.
Check it out
2008 Presidential Candidates Members of the CFR include:

Democrat CFR Candidates:

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton (Yale Law, Editor Yale Review of Law and Social Action), John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson

Republican CFR Candidates:

Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Fred Thompson, Newt Gingrich

Corporate members include:

Halliburton of Dubai, British Petroleum, Dutch Royal Shell, Exxon Mobile, General Electric (NBC), Chevron, Lockheed Martin, Merck Pharmaceuticals, News Corp (FOX), Bloomberg, IBM, Time Warner, JP Morgan/ Chase Manhattan & several other major financial institutions.

Other Notable Members Include:

Dick Cheney (Director 1987-1988), John Kerry, Bill Clinton (Yale Law, met Hillary while attending), Al Gore, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, John, David & Nelson Rockefeller, Condolezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Alan Greenspan (Director 1987-1988), Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, Angelina Jolie (Yes, the actress has a five year term membership as an ambassador), Lewis �Scooter� Libby, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Maurice Hank Greenberg (Vice Chairman & Director).

The goals of the CFR are best described by its very own members. Bill Clinton’s Georgetown mentor and CFR member Carroll Quigley states: “The Council on Foreign Relations is the American branch of a society which originated in England… [and]…believes national boundaries should be obliterated and one world rule established.” Quigley differs from many of his CFR colleagues in that he believes their plan for a new world order should be more publicly disclosed. In his book Tragedy and Hope, Quigley concedes he is unique among his peers in that he believes the new world order plan of global government’s “role in history is significant enough to be known.” Quigley also admits that the two-party system allows for both groups to be controlled at the highest level but operate like bitter rivals. As Quigley says, this gives the voters the chance to “throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound of extreme shifts in policy.” Controlling Washington elite allowed private central banks to �dominate the political system…and economy of world as a whole” and implement a new system of “feudalist fashion” through “secret agreements.” Although he believes the CFR’s intentions should be more public, Quigley understands the average person doesn’t understand feudalism or serfdom and will never read his book.
“The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” J. Edgar Hoover

President Kennedy said of Freemasonry: “The very word ’secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.” President John F. Kennedy � address to newspaper publishers, April 27, 1961

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but morally treasonable to the American public.” Theodore Roosevelt

For a primer on these groups
http://iviewit.tv/senatecultbill.htm
http://iviewit.tv/CompanyDocs/Book/index.htm
http://iviewit.tv/

Take back America with a vote for either Ron Paul or Mike Gravel, the only two not affiliated with this scum ruining our country and the world. Stop watching CNN, a news organization founded by Luce a Skull member and their polls and debates, they are the propaganda filling your head with proverbial sh*t.
Best in reclaiming America
Eliot Bernstein
iviewit@iviewit.tv
530-529-4110


Now that John Edwards is gone, Mike Gravel is the new underdog of the Democratic Party. How much he's got? $287,091? That's very rubishly small sum. (Ron Paul, on the other hand, got more than $8M.)

(FYI: I don't support Gravel and I wish he end up his bid now, he's doing absolutely nothing at all. Paul is even faring better than him, having placed a strong second place in Nevada.)


I really take offense to the way you try and make out Mike Gravel for a cooky old man. You ought to be ashamed of yourself Rick Pearson. The senator simply understands that continuing marijuana prohibition and continuing the criminalization of addicts is very illogical and is a huge waste of the tax payer's money. Maybe next time you should try doing research and try to understand why someone takes the position they do rather than trying to put down one of the greatest americans who has ever lived.


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