Green Party of New York State Calls for Full Abolition of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, Legalization and End of War on Drugs

Green Party of New York

Peter LaVenia chair2@gpny. org, 518-463-8653
Eric Jones,, 716-908-5226

The reform of the Rockefeller Drug Laws proposed during the NY State budget negotiations is a welcome sign in the abolition of these exceedingly unjust laws, but does not go far enough, according to the New York State Green Party, whose 1998 gubernatorial candidate “Grandpa” Al Lewis was instrumental in helping publicize the Drop the Rock coalition in its early days. The party notes that although the proposed bill restores much judicial discretion in sentencing of drug-related offenses and displays a preference for treatment, it still ignores a good portion of the 12000 nonviolent drug offenders in New York prisons. It also does nothing to recognize that the so-called “War on Drugs” is a failed prohibitionist policy, and that the sensible option is to legalize, tax, and regulate drugs just like alcohol.

“The New York State legislature has a chance to chart a radically new course in U.S. drug policy, which would mean ending the war on drugs and legalizing them, and releasing all non-violent drug offenders in custody. This is recognized by the Green Party and groups as diverse as NORML and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). Instead it has decided to propose changes in sentencing procedures, which will do nothing to end the phony ‘war.’ This is an example of the Legislature and Governor Paterson patting themselves on the back for policies that are still badly misguided,” said Gloria Mattera, secretary of the New York State Green Party.

“The proposals for which our legislators are lauding themselves would still oblige judges to impose jail terms on broad categories of non-violent offenders without any option of diverting them to treatment instead. Although estimates by the Correctional Association of NY show that up to 55% of current non-violent drug offenders might have been spared jail time with the reforms, that leaves at least 45% who would still be sent to prison. The Legislature and the Governor can do better than this,” said Alice Green, executive director of the Center for Law and Justice in Albany, NY. “The ‘war on drugs’ disproportionately affects people of color. It’s a fair assessment to say that the Rockefeller Drug Laws – all drug laws – are laws that contribute to the racism still endemic in our society. Black men are incarcerated at rates 6 times higher than whites, and Latino men 2 times higher than whites. Drug laws and enforcement targeting minority neighborhoods have led to this situation, and it’s far past time to end it.”

“Additionally, in this time of fiscal crisis, New York could use the tax revenue that legalized and state-regulated drugs would bring. Why aren’t the Democrats in the Legislature bringing up a bill like California Legislator Tony Ammiano’s, which would legalize and tax marijuana sales? Not only would legalization help alleviate New York’s fiscal crisis, but ending arrests of nonviolent offenders and releasing those already imprisoned would be a blow at the phony moralism of the ‘War on Drugs.’ In a year where the governor proposed a tax on non-diet sodas and the Bottle Bill is set to pass, why not help New Yorkers shoulder the fiscal crisis by measures which simultaneously unburden them of unjust laws?” said David Doonan, the mayor of Greenwich, NY.

21 thoughts on “Green Party of New York State Calls for Full Abolition of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, Legalization and End of War on Drugs

  1. Steven

    Can I join the Green Party when I register to vote? If not, how do I go about registering with it? I completely agree that the New York legislature should rupture itself and legalize. As a resident of Long Island, NY, it irks me to no end that our law enforcement wastes so much of dollars and lives playing “Daddy,” with non-violent possession. Simply put, if police are not seeking useless offenses, they could stop MURDER and RAPE and ROBBERY and all sorts of other crimes. Thanks SCPD, I love seeing your officers blowing through red lights, talking on cell phones, and driving in the HoV between 11pm and 3am.

  2. ADAM j.

    The Green Party is smart enough to recognize that the legalization of drugs is the final piece of the puzzle to advance society and save the Earth. We’ve had this prohibition policy for almost a century, with opium becoming illegal in 1914 and marijuana too in the city of El Paso. AFter countless of lives destroyed, acres of green earth burned, soil ruined through pesticides, and trees lost to cutting because some idiot thought it was a better idea to make trees out of paper instead of the renewable source hemp.

    the War on Drugs is a racist sham. The last hope for white men.

  3. Kimberly Wilder

    In New York, you can register for the Green Party when you register to vote. Or, switch afterwards. Same form. If you are just changing registration, I think you check that off somewhere.

    On the form, it lists all the regular parties that are ballot-qualified. Then, there is a line by the word “Other”. You check other, and write “Green”. Or, “Green Party” if you feel the need to be perfectly clear and somewhat redundant.

  4. Pat Rogers

    The war on drugs is a terrorism subsidizing war on children that needs to be denounced for the treason that it is.

    Drug abuse can never be reduced so long as the prohibition leaves the sales and distribution of drugs in the hands of addicts, gangsters, cartels and terrorists. All of whom have a vested economic interest in growing drug sales to new generations of children. Legalization would put sales and distribution into the control of responsible adult supervision that shares society’s values against children getting premature access to intoxicant drugs. Drug warriors ‘just say no’.

    Drug war leaders, such as Massachusetts U.S. Senator John Kerry, have known since the late 1990’s that America’s sworn enemies are using heroin as an asymmetric weapon targeting western children flood western nations to destabilize western culture. Children are nothing more than cannon fodder. As the World Trade Center and Pentagon still smoldered Sen. Kerry told reporters on Sept. 20, 2001, “That’s part of their revenge on the world,” Kerry said. “Get as many people drugged out and screwed up as you can.”

    An assertion was based, I am sure, on both intelligence and open source reports like this 1998 Indian Times story titled “Heroin in the Holy War”.

    “The crop will be opium and the farmer will be Osama bin Laden, the most wanted terrorist in the world. Bin Laden, accused by the United States of bombing two of their embassies in East Africa this summer and a string of other attacks, sees heroin as a powerful new weapon in his war against the West, capable of wreaking social havoc while generating huge profits, according to sources in eastern Afghanistan and in Pakistan.”

    According to the Oct. 2007 report to the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute titled “Opium and Afghanistan: Reassessing U.S. Counternarcotics Strategy”, analyst John R. Glaze found that “ estimated 70 percent of the Taliban’s income now comes from protection money and the sale of opium.”

    Ending the government prohibition against medical regulation of the hard drug markets would weaken America’s sworn enemy, the Taliban, without firing a shot or sending more troops to Afghanistan. Democrats and Republicans in congress, ‘just say no’.

    “creating chaos and instability”

    The 2004 Congressional Research Service report, “Illicit Drugs and the Terrorist Threat: Causal Links and Implications for Domestic Drug Control Policy”, enumerated five specific ways that the continued illegal status of drug distribution supports terrorism.

    “The international traffic in illicit drugs contributes to terrorist risk through at least five mechanisms: supplying cash, creating chaos and instability, supporting corruption, providing “cover” and sustaining common infrastructures for illicit activity, and competing for law enforcement and intelligence attention. Of these, cash and chaos are likely to be the two most important.”

    Insanely, that same report concluded:

    “American drug policy is not, and should not be, driven entirely, or even primarily, by the need to reduce the contribution of drug abuse to our vulnerability to terrorist action. There are too many other goals to be served by the drug abuse control effort.”

    What goals can conceivably be more important that reducing “our vulnerability to terrorist action”? There is only one real claim of success in the war on drugs and that is the re-invigoration of a Jim Crow prison industrial complex. The safety and welfare of American children as well as America’s “vulnerability to terrorist action” are simply collateral damage secondary in importance to this treasonous anti democracy Jim Crow drug prohibition policy.

    The prohibition gives America’s sworn enemies financial “aid” and tactical “comfort”. TREASON! Supporting the war on drugs is an act of treason against the United States of America.

  5. paulie Post author

    “ estimated 70 percent of the Taliban’s income now comes from protection money and the sale of opium.”

    I’ve always read that the Taliban were the ones destroying the opium crops, which saw a major revival after the US occupation.

  6. Pat Rogers


    That is the most simplistic rendering of a very convoluted situation.

    The Taliban today control the provinces in Afghanistan where most opium is grown.

    One year, in 2000 the Taliban destroyed the crop in order to get the U.N and U.S. to give them desperately needed drought aid. We spit in their faces instead which instigated them to destroy the giant Ancient Buddhas in retaliation. The newly installed Bush administration then promised them $42-million if indeed the crop had been destroyed. But American liberals, looking for any excuse to denounce Bush, waged a public relations campaign against the drought aid and in early August, just weeks before 9/11, the administration promised $1.5-million to the U.N. that was to go to war refugees in Pakistan.

    All sides in Afghanistan today profit from the opium in one way or another. The U.S. supports the crop because it is flooding Iran with heroin and helping to destabilize that country. The Taliban can buy bombs, bullets and suicide bombers with the crop. alQaida have access to it as an asymmetric weapon against western culture, cash and access to international smuggling routes and weapons trading anyplace they need it.

    If a Weapon of Mass Destruction is ever acquired and used in a western nation it will happen because the terrorist had access to the huge sums of cash needed to buy the treason of government weapons makers. Those huge sums of cash can come only from the renewable cash cow of the war on drugs economy that the U.N. estimated to have a retail value of $320-billion a year in 2003.

  7. Jerry Shoc+** **

    RE-legalize , RE -legalize. A FREE person should be allowed to digest whatever they choose. There were NO drug laws for over 100 years in this nation. You know, back when we were the most free and prosperous society in the history of humankind…

    Quit begging to be taxed, let the larcenous leeches get a real job in the private sector and stop living off the taxpayer!

    The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. – Mark Twain

    What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. – Edward Langley

  8. Todd

    Because our Politicians here in New York suck. Such an ignorant bunch in my opinion. I call up my Parents and Grandparents once a week just to bitch at them for voting for some of these guys. I wrote Kirsten Gillibrand while she was still my rep 2 months ago. She said that marijuna causes violence and leads to crime. What an idiot. It’s time to bring up the pot issue during every debate next election time. And let me tell you I always thought she was an “UNDERCOVER REPUBLICAN”. I mean look, Jim Tadisco just won her district and he is a republican!! We need new state reps period. The ones we have don’t listen then we can get some change.

  9. newageblues

    Now that’s a serious Green party: People are part of the environment and a better balance between cannabis and killer alcohol will reduce alcohol related violence and war on marijuana related violence. And the government needs adequate revenue to protect the environment, it can’t be giving away to the drug cartels what should be tax money and wasting scarce public funds on enforcing bogus alcohol supremacist laws.

  10. newageblues

    Gillibrand’s changed her opinion on a few issues since she got a more liberal constituency. Her old opinion has marijuana confused with the war on marijuana. Hopefully paying attention to some of her new employers and changing public opinion will wisen her up. And hopefully she’ll get defeated in the Democratic primary, since that is such an ignorant and malicious comment she made.

  11. newageblues

    and obviously she has marijuana confused with alcohol. anyone care to imagine how much violence we’d see if alcohol users were treated like cannabis users are treated?

  12. Mik Robertson

    Why should terrorist organizations worry about obtaining weapons of mass destruction with drug money when the drugs themselves will do a better job wreaking havoc under the current conditions? People aren’t shooting each other in the streets over drugs, they are shooting each other over the money.

  13. Green Ferret

    There’s an option on tinyurl to create a custom alias. I like it because people are less likely to be scared of clicking on a link if it doesn’t look randomly generated.

  14. paulie Post author

    From HuffPo…

    Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera reported head of the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico, ranked 701st on Forbes’ yearly report of the wealthiest men alive, and worth an estimated $1 billion, today officially thanked United States politicians for making sure that drugs remain illegal. According to one of his closest confidants, he said, “I couldn’t have gotten so stinking rich without George Bush, George Bush Jr., Ronald Reagan, even El Presidente Obama, none of them have the cajones to stand up to all the big money that wants to keep this stuff illegal. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say, Gracias amigos, I owe my whole empire to you.”

    According to sources in the Mexican government, President Calderon is begging American officials to, in the words of reggae great Peter Tosh, legalize it. “Oh yeah,” said an official close to the Mexican president, “Felipe is going crazy. He’s screaming at everybody who comes in, ‘Why don’t they make this sh*t legal already! You’re killing me here!’ Look, everyone knows, when you have Prohibition, you create gangsters. And the more you prohibit, the more gangsters you make. El Chapo is hero now to all those slumdogs who want to be millionaires. Kids in the street, when they play games, they all want to be El Chapo, the baddest man in the whole damn town.”

    Meanwhile, many speculate that rich and prominent Mexican families are in cahoots with American businessmen in the alcohol industry, wealthy industrialists who launder the unprecedented profits from the drug business with their legitimate enterprises, and lawmakers who get gigantic kickbacks and payoffs to make sure that these drugs remain illegal, so they can remain rich, fat and happy. According to sources on both sides of the border, tens of millions of dollars in payoffs and kickbacks are stashed in Swiss banks every year, blood money from the brutal business made possible by a corrupt system supported by laws that don’t, and have never, worked.

    Rather than putting El Chapo and his kind out of business by modernizing outdated laws and in the process making billions of dollars from taxing drugs (as is done with cigarettes and alcohol), United States government has spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars chasing its tail, and offered a $5 million reward for the capture of El Chapo. Many have said that the offer is unofficially: Dead or Alive.

    Meanwhile, as an epidemic of murderous violence rages on the Mexican-US border, and the American government wastes boatloads of badly needed money on the illegal drug business which results from the Prohibition laws, El Chapo is laughing all the way to the bank. “Whoever came up with this whole War on Drugs,” one of his lieutenants reports he said, “I would like to kiss him on the lips and shake his hand and buy him dinner with caviar and champagne. The War on Drugs is the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and the day they decide to end that war, will be a sad one for me and all of my closest friends. And if you don’t believe me, ask those guys whose heads showed up in the ice chests.”

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