Devon Wallace | Pittsburgh City Paper

Member since Nov 18, 2015

Recent Comments

  • Posted by:
    Devon Wallace on 09/29/2019 at 6:14 PM
    In 2016 Pennsylvania spent about $85,000,000 on cannabis prohibition enforcement. We forgo well over $300,000,000 every year in potential tax revenue from legal sales. Add to that the creation of thousands of income tax paying jobs from farming to processing to sales.

    Approximately 20,000 Pennsylvania citizens are arrested for low-level possession of cannabis every year. Thats's 20,000 people every year that will find future employment and education very difficult with a criminal arrest record that follows them for life...for possession of a plant safer than legal alternatives, a plant used by mankind for thousands of years, a plant that PA citizens believe should be legal by nearly a two to one majority.

    Also, reinstating a freedom unjustly taken by an over-reaching government is priceless.
  • Posted by:
    Devon Wallace on 09/29/2019 at 6:14 PM
    Federal studies show about half of the U.S. population has tried cannabis, at least 15% use it regularly, over 80% of high school seniors have reported cannabis "easy to get" for decades. This prohibition, like alcohol prohibition, has had little of its intended effect. In many cases cannabis prohibition makes cannabis usage problematic where it would not have been otherwise, be it light, moderate, or heavy usage. For the most part, cannabis prohibition only successfully prohibits effective regulation.

    A few issues created by prohibition: there are no quality controls to reduce contaminants (harmful pesticides, molds, fungus, other drugs), there is no practical way to prevent regular underage sales, billions in tax revenue are lost which can be used for all substance abuse treatment and other programs, underground markets for all drugs are empowered as a far more popular substance is placed within them expanding their reach and increasing their profits, criminal records make pursuing many decent careers difficult, police and court resources are unnecessarily tied up by pursuing and prosecuting victimless 'crimes', public mistrust and disrespect for our legal system, police, and government is increased, which is devastating our country.

    Prohibition is also very expensive, though, a cash cow for a number of powerful groups such as those related to law enforcement and the prison industry. These organizations have powerful lobbies and influence that perpetuate a failed drug policy through ignorance, fear, disinformation and misinformation. This ensures an endless supply of lucrative contracts, grants and subsidies from the government and its taxpayers to support their salaries, tools of the trade, 'correctional' services, and other expenses. Cash, property and other assets from civil forfeiture laws also significantly fatten their coffers while often violating civil rights.

    America was built on the principles of freedom and liberty. In some cases there are extreme circumstances that warrant intervention with criminal law. In the case of mind-altering drugs we have already set this precedent with alcohol. Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and especially to others. If we are to have justice, then the penalties for using, possessing and selling cannabis should be no worse than those of alcohol.

    Regardless of legal status, a large market for cannabis will continue to exist as it has for decades. Either the underground controls the market and profits from it, or the state does...all while ending their assault on our citizens. Let's end this costly, futile attempt to eradicate a plant that a majority of Americans believe should be legal.
  • Posted by:
    Devon Wallace on 09/29/2019 at 6:14 PM
    Cannabis prohibition, like alcohol prohibition, causes far more harm than it prevents, which includes harm to families as children and parents/breadwinners are torn from their loved ones due to an unjust law that should have never existed.

    Americans don't have to like cannabis, but they should hate its prohibition. This prohibition law strikes at the very foundation of our society. It is a tool of tyrants, used to violate core American beliefs and nearly every aspect of the Bill of Rights.

    A populace that accepts and becomes accustom to overreaching government policies, such as the prohibition of relatively safe, popular substances, becomes more accepting of overreaching, powerful government in general. This devastates America, not a plant that has been used by mankind since the beginning of recorded history.

    Those who believe in limited government, personal responsibility, free markets, and individual liberty should embrace the ending of this irrational, un-American, fraudulently enacted cannabis prohibition experiment. It should be the cornerstone of current GOP policy (though not one republican congressman in PA has publicly supported adult-use legalization).
  • Posted by:
    Devon Wallace on 05/22/2019 at 4:33 PM
    Heroin is legal, as morphine. Opioids are similar and routinely to prescribed to millions of American of all ages.

    Near the turn of the century Portugal proposed decriminalizing all drugs. Prohibitionists said it would be a complete disaster. Portugal actually decriminalized all drugs in 2001, including heroin, and shifted to treating the situation as a public health problem instead of a criminal justice problem. What happened? Problematic drug use decreased, so did new HIV infections, teen usage rates have decreased, drug related crime also decreased. From 2001 to 2007 reported 12-month drug use overall only went up from 3.4% to 3.7%. Most of that increase was cannabis/hash use which went from 3.3% to 3.6%, and was less of an increase than that of nearby countries that did not decriminalize, Italy and Spain [Hughes and Stevens 2010]. Overall Portugal considers it a success and has no plans to revert.

    Clearly our militarized, war on our own citizens, approach has not worked. For the most part it just creates more problems (and makes some very powerful groups rich on both sides). Decriminalizing all drugs and adopting a policy like that of Portugal is worth exploring. The organizations LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership) and DPA (Drug Policy Alliance) strongly support ending all drug prohibition in its current form. However, hard drugs are much more dangerous than cannabis and alcohol, and they are used by a much smaller portion of the population, so I, like these organizations do not support full, commercial legalization like alcohol, though other policies should be examined at some point. America has already "drawn the line" at alcohol, which is closer to being a hard drug than cannabis. I and most Americans agree that alcohol should be legal for adults and therefore, as a majority of Americans also agree, so should cannabis...in a just society.

    As of 2018, Portugal now has far less drug related problems than the U.S.:

    "Portugal now has the lowest drug-related death rate in Western Europe, WITH A MORTALITY RATE A TENTH OF BRITAIN'S AND A FIFTIETH [1/50TH!] OF THE UNITED STATES'. The number of HIV diagnoses caused by injection drug use HAS PLUMMETED BY MORE THAN 90 PERCENT."

    "You cannot work with people when they're afraid of being caught and going to prison," says psychologist Francisco Miranda Rodrigues, president of the Ordem dos Psiclogos Portugueses. "It's not possible to have an effective health program if people are hiding the problem." -American Psychological Association
  • Posted by:
    Devon Wallace on 04/17/2019 at 6:59 PM
    Americans don't have to like cannabis, but they should hate its prohibition. This prohibition law strikes at the very foundation of our society. It is a tool of tyrants, used to violate core American beliefs and nearly every aspect of the Bill of Rights.

    A populace that accepts and becomes accustom to overreaching government policies, such as the prohibition of relatively safe, popular substances, becomes more accepting of overreaching, powerful government in general. This devastates America, not a plant that has been used by mankind since the beginning of recorded history.

    Those who believe in limited government, personal responsibility, free markets, and individual liberty should embrace the ending of this irrational, un-American, fraudulently enacted cannabis prohibition experiment. It should be the cornerstone of current GOP policy.


    Federal studies show about half of the U.S. population has tried cannabis, at least 15% use it regularly, over 80% of high school seniors have reported cannabis "easy to get" for decades. This prohibition, like alcohol prohibition, has had little of its intended effect. In many cases cannabis prohibition makes cannabis usage problematic where it would not have been otherwise, be it light, moderate, or heavy usage. For the most part, cannabis prohibition only successfully prohibits effective regulation.

    A few issues created by prohibition: there are no quality controls to reduce contaminants (harmful pesticides, molds, fungus, other drugs), there is no practical way to prevent regular underage sales, billions in tax revenue are lost which can be used for all substance abuse treatment, underground markets for all drugs are empowered as a far more popular substance is placed within them expanding their reach and increasing their profits, criminal records make pursuing many decent careers difficult, police and court resources are unnecessarily tied up by pursuing and prosecuting victimless 'crimes', public mistrust and disrespect for our legal system, police, and government is increased, which is devastating our country.

    Prohibition is also very expensive, though, a cash cow for a number of powerful groups such as those related to law enforcement and the prison industry. These organizations have powerful lobbies and influence that perpetuate a failed drug policy through ignorance, fear, disinformation and misinformation. This ensures an endless supply of lucrative contracts, grants and subsidies from the government and its taxpayers to support their salaries, tools of the trade, 'correctional' services, and other expenses. Cash, property and other assets from civil forfeiture laws also significantly fatten their coffers while often violating civil rights.

    America was built on the principles of freedom and liberty. In some cases there are extreme circumstances that warrant intervention with criminal law. In the case of mind-altering drugs we have already set this precedent with alcohol. Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and especially to others. If we are to have justice, then the penalties for using, possessing and selling cannabis should be no worse than those of alcohol.

    Regardless of legal status, a large market for cannabis will continue to exist as it has for decades. Either the underground controls the market and profits from it, or the state does...all while ending their assault on our citizens. Let's end this costly, futile attempt to eradicate a plant that a majority of Americans believe should be legal.
  • Posted by:
    Devon Wallace on 04/17/2019 at 2:25 PM
    There should not be a list of qualifying conditions at all. It should be left up to patients and their doctors. Big Pharma medicines, much more harmful than cannabis, are routinely prescribed...and often for off-label use.

    Even back in 1988 DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young concluded after two years of hearings on cannabis rescheduling said:

    "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.... Marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record."
  • Posted by:
    Devon Wallace on 04/16/2019 at 5:04 PM
    Americans don't have to like cannabis, but they should hate its prohibition. This prohibition law strikes at the very foundation of our society. It is a tool of tyrants, used to violate core American beliefs and nearly every aspect of the Bill of Rights.

    A populace that accepts and becomes accustom to overreaching government policies, such as the prohibition of relatively safe, popular substances, becomes more accepting of overreaching, powerful government in general. This devastates America, not a plant that has been used by mankind since the beginning of recorded history.

    Those who believe in limited government, personal responsibility, free markets, and individual liberty should embrace the ending of this irrational, un-American, fraudulently enacted cannabis prohibition experiment. It should be the cornerstone of current GOP policy.


    Federal studies show about half of the U.S. population has tried cannabis, at least 15% use it regularly, over 80% of high school seniors have reported cannabis "easy to get" for decades. This prohibition, like alcohol prohibition has had little of its intended effect. In many cases cannabis prohibition makes cannabis usage problematic where it would not have been otherwise, be it light, moderate, or heavy usage. For the most part, cannabis prohibition only successfully prohibits effective regulation.

    A few issues created by prohibition: there are no quality controls to reduce contaminants (harmful pesticides, molds, fungus, other drugs), there is no practical way to prevent regular underage sales, billions in tax revenue are lost which can be used for all substance abuse treatment, underground markets for all drugs are empowered as a far more popular substance is placed within them expanding their reach and increasing their profits, criminal records make pursuing many decent careers difficult, police and court resources are unnecessarily tied up by pursuing and prosecuting victimless 'crimes', public mistrust and disrespect for our legal system, police, and government is increased, which is devastating our country.

    Prohibition is also very expensive, though, a cash cow for a number of powerful groups such as those related to law enforcement and the prison industry. These organizations have powerful lobbies and influence that perpetuate a failed drug policy through ignorance, fear, disinformation and misinformation. This ensures an endless supply of lucrative contracts, grants and subsidies from the government and its taxpayers to support their salaries, tools of the trade, 'correctional' services, and other expenses. Cash, property and other assets from civil forfeiture laws also significantly fatten their coffers while often violating civil rights.

    America was built on the principles of freedom and liberty. In some cases there are extreme circumstances that warrant intervention with criminal law. In the case of mind-altering drugs we have already set this precedent with alcohol. Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and especially to others. If we are to have justice, then the penalties for using, possessing and selling cannabis should be no worse than those of alcohol.

    Regardless of legal status, a large market for cannabis will continue to exist as it has for decades. Either the underground controls the market and profits from it, or the state does...all while ending their assault on our citizens. Let's end this costly, futile attempt to eradicate a plant that a majority of Americans believe should be legal.

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