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Black helicopters, tin foil hats, and the legalization of marijuana

By What She Said in Op-Ed
Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:28:39 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Last night, a few friends and I were just sitting around hanging out. Barbecue, cold drinks, potato salad... The neighbor's teenagers were sitting on their back deck with some of their friends, and every now and again we caught the unmistakable whiff of marijuana smoke wafting to us on the light evening breeze.


This eventually generated a conversation with the main point of discussion being the question: What is the real reason that marijuana hasn't been legalized in the USA?

Is it because the big tobacco companies oppose it? Most of us agreed that we didn't think so. First of all, legalizing marijuana wouldn't cut into their cigarette sales. Since the effects of THC and nicotine are so different, it was our consensus that few cigarette smokers would quit smoking cigarettes in favor of marijuana. Secondly, it's a good bet that within a few short weeks of legalization, most of the big tobacco growers would have some version of a dope cigarette out on the market. At least one of them has gone so far as to register trademark names such as "Acapulco Gold" and "Red Leb" for marijuana-laced cigarettes. If they can make money on it, why would they fight it? They've never been altruistic before, we couldn't figure any reason they'd start now.

Is it illegal because it's a dangerous drug? That's one of the popularly voiced media opinions, but we didn't think it was a particularly logical one. Cigarettes and alcohol singly or in combination are purported to account for about 400,000 deaths per year in the USA alone. Deaths from illegal drugs cause anywhere from about 5000 to 50,000 per year, depending on how you count them and who is doing the counting. Marijuana specifically has never been recorded as causing even a single death. Addictiveness isn't really a factor. In a numerically based assessment of the addictiveness of six popular drugs, marijuana tied with caffeine for the lowest place. Face it -- pot smokers don't become rampaging lunatics after hitting the bong. The worst rampage I've seen by a pot smoker was slowly ambling into the kitchen for a 2-liter bottle of Jolt and a box of Ho-Hos.

Is marijuana illegal because of organized religion? We figured this one could actually be a factor, considering how the USA is still so steeped in the Puritanical mindset. After all, anything that causes pleasure has got to be a sin, right? Oh, unless it's cigarettes or alcohol - they're legal, so they MUST be okay. If organized religion is a cause behind marijuana not being legalized, then it shows how hypocritical they are capable of being. It would make far more sense to try more actively to reduce use of substances that actually cause deaths than to fight against a natural substance that has many proven medical applications. I watched a friend of mine suffer through a long bout of chemotherapy, where he was so sick that he wasted away to a mere shadow of himself. After he began using marijuana to ease his pain and nausea there was a marked improvement. He was able to keep food down, he gained weight, and he had far less nausea and pain than before. How can this possibly be a bad thing?

Eventually the conversation got around to the more pertinent question: Who would suffer the most monetarily if marijuana were legalized? We thought about that for a few moments, and then someone interjected that of course it would be the people currently making a lot of money from it. In other words, the pot growers, dealers, and smugglers. If marijuana were legalized, they'd see a huge decrease in their business. A large portion of the people using marijuana today would simply turn around and grow their weed themselves rather than buying it from someone else. After all, it's not called a weed for nothing; it grows wild in many areas of the country.

Could the drug producers with their billions of dollars of annual income possibly be the driving force behind the continuing "war on drugs"? Wouldn't that be ironic if it were true? At this point, the smartass of the group piped up and said something about conspiracies and paranoia, and we all laughed. But apparently we're not the only ones that have questioned the possible ties between the anti-drug crusade and the growers.

But the burning question remains...Why, really, isn't marijuana legal? Somewhere, someone is making a great deal of money by fueling the anti-legalization drive. What other reason could there be for the continued prohibition on marijuana? We may never figure that out, so for now I think I'll go put on my tin foil hat and scan the skies for black helicopters flown by little green men...

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Display: Sort:
Black helicopters, tin foil hats, and the legalization of marijuana | 704 comments (700 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
The UK (4.12 / 8) (#1)
by tombuck on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:06:42 PM EST

Dope isn't certainly isn't legalised here, but in some boroughs of London, dealing takes place openly on the streets and there are one or two cafes which openly allowing smoking of dope on the premises.

I personally feel that it won't be long until dope consumption is legalised here. Well, maybe not tomorrow, but certainly well within a few years.

Now if only they could get around to addressing coke...

--
Give me yer cash!

I agree. (none / 0) (#5)
by keith on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:14:06 PM EST

I work in central london, and at least once a day I walk by someone smoking a joint.  You may take this as an exaggeration, but it's not.  I've actually walked by two different people today who were both smoking pot.  I think legalization here is only a formality.

 - keith

[ Parent ]

You what? (none / 0) (#7)
by tombuck on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:15:11 PM EST

What part of central London do you walk about and have this happen? I'm intrigued and, quite frankly, shocked.

You sure you're not confusing them for mere rollies?

--
Give me yer cash!
[ Parent ]

central london (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by keith on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:37:20 PM EST

I work near the intersection of Oxford St. and Tottenham Court Road. I'm sure I'm not confusing them for "more rollies" because I'm identifying them by smell. Unless "weed" is a new fragrance from Calvin Klein, I'm pretty certain. - keith

[ Parent ]
Well I never. (none / 0) (#39)
by tombuck on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:40:29 PM EST

I would normally post some snide remark about Tottenham Court Road and the smack addicts shooting up in street corners, but you're actually right and yes, it obviously is happening.

sigh

I want my legal coke!

--
Give me yer cash!
[ Parent ]

And (none / 0) (#99)
by RegularFry on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:23:47 PM EST

I'm in Bayswater/Paddington, and it's usually once or twice a day that I pass people who absolutely *reek* of it. That's without getting too close to Notting Hill, too - I get the impression it's much more prevalent over there.


There may be troubles ahead, But while there's moonlight and music...
[ Parent ]
You`re not paying attention! (none / 0) (#111)
by FredBloggs on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:53:42 PM EST

Thats exactly where all the dealers went when they were turfed out of Kings Cross. Whenever the police in Kings Cross celebrate a reduction in `visible drug dealing` (as they call it), they mean they`ve shifted it onto Tottenham Court Road. And vice versa.  I`ve smelt hash or grass being smoked every single time i`ve been to London for about the last 5 years (thats a minimum of once a week).

[ Parent ]
Haven't seen many in the City (none / 0) (#35)
by TheophileEscargot on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:37:53 PM EST

But on yesterday's twenty-minute run in East London, I jogged past two different joint-smokers.

Since the Lambeth semi-decriminalization, the cops seem to have lost interest even outside Lambeth...
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]

smoke in the street (none / 0) (#349)
by kingcnut on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:18:01 AM EST

apart from the homeless dudes smoking wherever they can we used to walk across piccadilly circus many times with a pre-cinema doobie; skinning up took place a coupla streets prior, dipping into the eternal anonymous crowds (come on, I've been out of london for years now) for the smelly part. We figgered if pickpockets can use the crowds to mask their illegal activity...

...is it true all the coppers have swapped their truncheons for large rolls of cigarette paper now? Pepper spray out, red bull in... etc...

[ Parent ]

Same in Brighton (none / 0) (#467)
by Smuttley on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:14:44 PM EST

I live in Brighton and it's the same here, quite often I see/smell people wondering around smoking spliffs.

Cheers,

Smuttley

[ Parent ]

Amsterdam (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by epepke on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:06:01 PM EST

Curious thing, but when I spent about a week in Amsterdam, I didn't see anybody walking around smoking marijuana, nor did I smell it outside. The coffee shop scene seems so well established that those places are where people tend to smoke.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
This pot smoking is mostly with the Cockney blokes (none / 0) (#301)
by BLU ICE on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:40:38 PM EST

Bloody Cockneys! If I had a quid for every time I saw one of them puffin' on a fag. Today I rode the lift to my flat and shagged my luv. Straight up, mate!  

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Yeah right (3.50 / 4) (#10)
by theboz on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:16:58 PM EST

Now if only they could get around to addressing coke...

Cocaine, unlike marijuana, is responsible for many deaths. It is a hard drug that causes many different problems for it's users. When taken over a sustained period of time, 100% of it's addicts will die.

Of course, some people refuse to look at the facts of cocaine because they are too weak-willed against this substance. They try to lump it in with safer drugs like marijuana and pretend that it somehow doesn't make you a danger to society.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Bah (none / 0) (#14)
by tombuck on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:20:45 PM EST

I'm a smoker. The argument you've just presented will, therefore, make no difference to me...

--
Give me yer cash!
[ Parent ]

Post script (3.75 / 4) (#17)
by tombuck on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:21:39 PM EST

I will bet you any money in the world that 100% of water addicts will die.

--
Give me yer cash!
[ Parent ]

Oxygen. (2.50 / 2) (#56)
by MattOly on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:49:48 PM EST

And oxygen addicts. I firmly believe we don't need oxygen, but like crack babies, we're born addicted, and the withdrawld symptoms are fatal.

====
A final note to...the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. ...He's simply more believable than you are.
[ Parent ]

Uh... (5.00 / 3) (#70)
by trhurler on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:58:00 PM EST

Cocaine, unlike marijuana, is responsible for many deaths.
So are cars, bungee jumping, professional sports, beer, and lots of other things that are legal.
It is a hard drug that causes many different problems for it's users.
Some of them, anyway.
When taken over a sustained period of time, 100% of it's addicts will die.
If by "sustained period of time" you mean "a century," then yes.
They try to lump it in with safer drugs like marijuana and pretend that it somehow doesn't make you a danger to society.
How many cokeheads have you ever met? Granted, occasionally one does something really, really stupid. What I've seen though, is a bunch of mildly paranoid, hyperactive freaks who are excruciatingly boring. Yes, it is addictive and can easily destroy your life financially, but there are plenty of rich idiots who use the stuff daily or more for most of their lives, and as long as they don't do too much at once, other than making them into even bigger idiots, not much happens. Unlike depressants, it is relatively safe to drive on coke, unless you're not used to the effects, which pissed off the drug warriors something fierce a few years back when they went looking for evidence to back a claim to the contrary. All in all, if you're against coke, the only sane argument in your favor is that the stuff is absurdly addictive and pricey beyond belief, and can therefore wreck lives.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
The line I've always heard from coke users (4.00 / 1) (#83)
by theR on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:07:54 PM EST

Coke problem? As long as I have some, there's no problem.



[ Parent ]
*raises hand meekly * (5.00 / 1) (#178)
by jcolter on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:45:43 PM EST

While I would put myself at an occasional user (once a month or so), I would not say that it has ruined my life in any way.  Trhurler's observations into that culture are unfortunate very astute (meaning they reflect my habits while using).  

What bugs me the most is when pot advocates argue for the legalization they always leave out "harmful" drugs.  Why am I not entitled to have fun as well?


[ Parent ]

Drug advocates (5.00 / 1) (#257)
by DarkZero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:35:50 PM EST

What bugs me the most is when pot advocates argue for the legalization they always leave out "harmful" drugs.  Why am I not entitled to have fun as well?

Can you really blame them for choosing one extremely difficult battle at a time?

[ Parent ]

Your battle undermines my lifestyle (4.00 / 1) (#322)
by jcolter on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:04:19 PM EST

When comparisons are made between the relative safety of marijuana and other drugs, it makes me look like a deviant.

I have a hard time supporting the general pot movement when it subtlety calls me a criminal in its critique of U.S. drug policy.  

Sometimes getting whatever you can is a poor ethical choice.  Witness the decriminalization movement.  The demand is less punishment.  Wow!!


[ Parent ]

Re: Yeah Right (none / 0) (#380)
by hovil on Fri May 31, 2002 at 06:05:42 AM EST

> When taken over a sustained period of time, 100% of it's addicts will die.

I've discovered an amazing fact that over time, 100% of the human population will die!

Man the battle stations! For we need to take on and defeat this ghastly evil, time.

[ Parent ]

Who cares? (none / 0) (#384)
by FredBloggs on Fri May 31, 2002 at 07:57:15 AM EST

"When taken over a sustained period of time, 100% of it's addicts will die"

I dont care what THEY do...i`m only concerned about how laws affect MY life. If other people get addicted to something, thats their problem.


[ Parent ]

really (none / 0) (#537)
by trane on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:16:03 PM EST

make it legal and freely available and if some of us die from it, maybe that's the way our lives were supposed to turn out anyways

[ Parent ]
One or two..snigger... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by FredBloggs on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:49:27 PM EST

A report was released today showing crime has *halved* in Lambeth (part of London). This means the government will almost certainly go ahead with its plans to make cannabis class c, meaning you cannot be arrested for possession or suspected possession.  While not being legal, it will be impossible for the police to do anything about the drug - even for dealing, as people will grow it at home, and sell it in small amounts at a time. Customs has already given up on the idea of going after importers of cannabis - they`ll nick you for it, but they`ll probably only get you if they get lucky, or if you`re also importing coke/heroin etc.

[ Parent ]
rascism (2.75 / 12) (#2)
by speek on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:10:07 PM EST

I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but I think rascism is the biggest reason marijuana isn't legal. When people picture pot-smokers in their head, a black person comes to mind for many, if not most, people. Black people are associated with crime, as are illegal drugs in general. Therefore, marijuana equals bad. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to legalize it, and thereby imply you support something that is bad.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

You won't get flamed, you'll get puzzled looks (4.62 / 8) (#4)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:13:32 PM EST

I don't picture a black person when I picture potheads. I picture an upper-middle class white boy with too much time on his hands.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
That's who I thought sold the pot, actually (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:22:19 PM EST

I picture an upper-middle class white boy with too much time on his hands.

Makes you wonder if it's traditional for upper class people to sell drugs in your youth (profitting one way) and then to turn around and call for strengthening drug laws as old politicians (profitting the other way, politically, and setting up their sons for the grand family tradition)

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]

Not I (5.00 / 1) (#65)
by MattOly on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:54:35 PM EST

Personally, I picture this guy right here.

====
A final note to...the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. ...He's simply more believable than you are.
[ Parent ]

Interestingly enough... (4.25 / 4) (#8)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:15:17 PM EST

More middle-class white people are addicts of illegal drugs than black people. However, more black people are arrested for possession and actually convicted than white people. Racism has certainly lessened in the past 20 years, but it has a ways to go yet.

I wouldn't think it would be the driving factor behind the non-legalization of marijuana though. Where's the money in keeping a bunch of people in prison for possession? More specifically where's the money in keeping black people in prison for possession?

[ Parent ]

Well, (none / 0) (#117)
by FredBloggs on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:02:32 PM EST

the black civil rights movement certainly has quietened down since the late `60s, hasnt it? I guess blacks are treated equally in the States now, earn equal pay, not given housing in ghettos, not given longer sentences for the same crimes as white people, not more likely to get the death penalty than white people for the same crime...

[ Parent ]
Obviously. (none / 0) (#383)
by priestess on Fri May 31, 2002 at 07:32:51 AM EST

Where's the money in keeping a bunch of people in prison for possession?
Well, try asking one of the many privitized prison companies where the money in keeping people locked up is.

       Pre.............
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
more flame-bait (3.66 / 3) (#16)
by Torgos Pizza on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:21:34 PM EST

Actually, more people would associate crack smoking with blacks than marijuana. Marijuana is more associated with white suburban kids wearing Metallica shirts. Excuse me while I also put on my flame-retardant suit.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]
Not entirely incorrect (5.00 / 1) (#154)
by Quixato on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:04:05 PM EST

A lot of the stereotypes associated with Ganja smokers were created by one man, William Hearst, who owned a chain of newspapers in the early 1900's. to quote this site:

From 1910 to 1920, Hearst's newspapers would claim that the majority of incidents in which blacks were said to have raped white women, could be traced directly to cocaine. This continued for ten years until Hearst decided it was not "cocaine-crazed Negroes" raping white women - it was now "marijuana-crazed Negroes" raping white women.

This whole site is a fascinating read about the history of marijuana, from its many varied to uses to the eventual criminalization of it, and I recommend browsing through it. Be warned however, it is quite long, I only got up to chapter 6 before my attention span waned.. ;)

"People are like smarties - all different colours on the outside, but exactly the same on the inside." - Me
"Learn to question, question to learn." - Sl8r
[ Parent ]

American weirdness (3.00 / 1) (#237)
by seeS on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:57:31 PM EST

I doubt many Australians picture black people when the think of marijuana. They probably think of bored teenagers. If they're going to imagine a subsection of the community, it's probably the public housing areas. Totally unfair of course, but that's the way it is.

All Americans have this strange fixation about race. I've never seen it before anywhere else. Something (good or bad) happens to someone or group of people and if they are of a certain racial group, then it must be due to that and that only.

It's very nutty and probably a sad reflection of the American society.
--
Where's a policeman when you need one to blame the World Wide Web?
[ Parent ]

Context (none / 0) (#665)
by Happy Monkey on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:45:12 AM EST

All Americans have this strange fixation about race. I've never seen it before anywhere else. Something (good or bad) happens to someone or group of people and if they are of a certain racial group, then it must be due to that and that only.

It's very nutty and probably a sad reflection of the American society.


That's because we don't interact with foreigners very much. I've noticed that Europeans seem to have a fixation on nationality, and ascribe attitudes to people based only on nationality. Americans may have a vague feeling about foreigners in general, but nothing nearly as specific as European feelings.

It's very nutty and definitely a sad reflection of human society.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
"racism" [n/t] (none / 0) (#327)
by ubu on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:25:01 PM EST

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Facts! (3.70 / 17) (#3)
by rdskutter on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:12:35 PM EST

Marijuana specifically has never been recorded as causing even a single death.

How much research have you done to be so sure of that? I'm sure that many people have been killed due to Marijuana smoking. I assume you have included drink driving deaths in your figures for the number of deaths caused by alcohol, so why not include deaths in accidents that were caused by the driver being stoned on weed?

Marijuana is frequently mixed with tobacco when it is smoked. Smoking tobacco can cause lung cancer and lung cancer causes death. I would be suprised if, in the next ten years or so, smoking straight weed (with no tobacco) was also proven to cause lung cancer.

Please make sure that you can defend any "facts" that you state in your article.


If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE

This is an opinion piece... (3.80 / 5) (#12)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:18:13 PM EST

Your opinion may vary.

[ Parent ]
I would be very suprised to see pot/cancer links (4.00 / 2) (#13)
by georgeha on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:20:31 PM EST

as the War on Some Drugs has been looking high and low for decades for any kind of link between marijuana smoking and lung cancer. I believe Rastas and Jamaicans are one big group that has been studied.

As far as the tobacco/marijuana mix, I don't think that's a USian thing. I've heard it's a European thing, because hash is more prevalent over there than marijuana.

[ Parent ]

Ironically (none / 0) (#102)
by Alfie on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:32:42 PM EST

There appears to be censored research which shows that marijuana can be used to treat certain kinds of cancers.



[ Parent ]
BS (4.00 / 3) (#20)
by anode on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:23:00 PM EST

Drunk driving is an invalid comparison. I have never seen anybody drive worse than normal while stoned. I don't drive, but my driver friends say that it increases their level of concentration while driving. I find this easy to believe as a recording musician, as I am very productive while high, but can't work drunk. I'm not sure where you got the idea that martijuana is frequently smoked with tobacco. Hashish is, but in any case it's the tobacco causing the harm and not the marijuana. Get you facts straight before you criticize anyone else's.

[ Parent ]
Very valid comparison (4.75 / 4) (#24)
by wiredog on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:29:41 PM EST

Speaking as a former user, I can assure you that most people drive much worse when stoned. The reaction times are thrown way off, as is the awareness of the surroundings. Heck, watch someone walk while stoned, and while straight, and notice the difference. Closest I ever came to killing someone was while driving while stoned. Y'see, the highway department had put up a new stop sign that day, and I was too stoned to see it. Fortunately I'd put new brakes on the car the day before. It stopped about a foot short of t-boning the other car. The one with the two kids in the back.

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]
yah but... (2.66 / 3) (#28)
by Swashbuckler on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:33:26 PM EST

you can't hurt any body if you don't get out of first gear - the only risk presented to a stoned driver is being overtaken by some drunk jogger!


*Note* - this comment contains no inside K5 humour because inside K5 humour is only for/by K5-wankers. Media does not = "community."
[ Parent ]
Bill Hicks (none / 0) (#333)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:59:09 PM EST

"Shit, I think we hit something"
"You forgot to open the garage door. We have to open the garage door some Dominos knows were home!"

[ Parent ]
Former user? (1.62 / 8) (#31)
by tombuck on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:33:49 PM EST

Christ, what kind of a pussy are you?

"Yeah, I did it once, just to be cool, you know, but, like, I didn't really enjoy it."

Clinton calling...

--
Give me yer cash!
[ Parent ]

what's wrong with quitting a habit? (none / 0) (#100)
by joshsisk on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:31:39 PM EST

Lots of people break habits, be they for drugs, alcohol, tobbaco or chocolate. Why get so angry about it?
--
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]
Maybe (none / 0) (#271)
by wiredog on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:25:20 PM EST

He can't? I had to go to rehab, and am in AA.

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]
It is not (5.00 / 1) (#230)
by nyri on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:53:18 PM EST

Alcohol Impairs Driving More Than Marijuana

Also, the fact that someone (you) have once had almoust an accident while driving under the influence of THC doesn't proof a thing.

[ Parent ]

What the article doesn't say (none / 0) (#387)
by wiredog on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:19:13 AM EST

It doesn't say that marijuana doesn't impair drivers.

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]
It do says (5.00 / 1) (#413)
by nyri on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:41:11 AM EST

that one joint impairs driving less that one glass of wine. It also states that after drinking one glass of wine smoking a joint makes your driving less dangerous. I also like to point out that driving under the influence of one wine glass is commonly acceptable.

But if you feel like you could say, "Geting hit by a bulldozer is lethal, so it means that geting hit by a pedestian must also be lethal.", then go ahead.

[ Parent ]

"less than" doesn't mean "not at al (none / 0) (#434)
by wiredog on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:02:39 PM EST



"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]
So. It's still invalid comparisation [n/t] (none / 0) (#546)
by nyri on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 01:26:45 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Pothead! (3.40 / 5) (#26)
by rdskutter on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:32:22 PM EST

Anything that slows your reaction times is a bad thing when driving.


If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE
[ Parent ]

Ad-hominem (3.75 / 4) (#40)
by mathematician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:40:34 PM EST

Anything that slows your reaction times is a bad thing when driving.

Sure, but is that a reason to make marijuana illegal? How about being tired and behind the wheel? That also increases reaction time. Make being tired illegal? Or just being tired at the wheel? By that analogy, shouldn't marijuana be legal, but only illegal if you're high and behind the wheel?

[ Parent ]

I never said that Marijuana should be illegal (3.25 / 4) (#59)
by rdskutter on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:52:32 PM EST

Personally I think Marijuana should be legal and I never argued otherwise. I just pointed out that WhatSheSaid's assertion that Marijuana never killed anyone is (most probably) provably false.

There is a very recent case in England of a man being prosocuted for being tired at the wheel. You may have heard about it. He fell asleep and drove onto a railway line and caused the train to derail.

By that analogy, shouldn't marijuana be legal, but only illegal if you're high and behind the wheel?

Yes, it should be illegal to drive whilst under the influence of Marijuana but this is already covered under the existing laws that make it illegal to drive when using alcohol, illegal drugs and even some prescription drugs.


If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE
[ Parent ]

Marihuana never killed anyone! (1.00 / 1) (#639)
by tekue on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 04:23:32 AM EST

Stupidity though kills thousands a day. If someone is heavily stoned or drunk and drives a car is obviously dumb and as Bill Hicks said "Oh no, a dead morron, what a tragedy!".
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]
But.. (none / 0) (#689)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:11:13 AM EST

Yeah, but the problem is: That morron can take out your wife/gf/kids/parents/friends with him.

Also, as great a man Bill Hicks was, he's not the most compassionate when it comes to humans. Everyone is dumb sometimes, and everyone has their problems. I think it's a bit naive to make a statement like that if your wanting us to take it seriously.

[ Parent ]

The difference between us is: (none / 0) (#698)
by tekue on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 08:45:23 AM EST

I don't want you to have to care for me and I don't want to have to care for you. Everything is turning out this way though: only the weak want to be cared about and people are getting stronger.

Do you also endorce government helping specific companies because they "were dumb" and went under? The dotcoms perhaps?

I do not, repeat, do not have any moral obligation to care about anyone! If you've taken on this kind of moral stand, well, your bad, but don't create laws to make me care because, frankly, I don't. I know, I'm a cruel person, but I don't belive that if someone looses a job I should buy him food and pay his rent — and I don't need anyone to do that for me.

And if he takes out his spouses with him, I'm sorry, but sh*t happens. If you'd like to be insured, get a freaking insurance! If you'd like medical coverage when you get really sick, sign a contract with some medical care company and pay them! And yes, I think that stupidity and laziness should not be endorced, especially with my money.
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

Uh... (5.00 / 3) (#67)
by gauntlet on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:55:17 PM EST

Where I come from, being tired behind the wheel IS illegal. It's called impaired driving. If mj caused problems driving, we already have a law to deal with it. ANd I don't know if a lack of a road-side test matters, because there is no road-side test for tiredness, either. Perhaps the roadside test should be for response times.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

justification (4.00 / 1) (#292)
by Banjonardo on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:11:52 PM EST

Anything that slows your reaction times is a bad thing when driving.

Like Cell phones? Or the Radio? What's acceptable, what's not?

Actually, back in Brazil, cell phone driving is illegal.


I like Muffins. MOLDY muffins.
[ Parent ]

Cell phone driving should be illegal (4.00 / 1) (#394)
by rdskutter on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:11:09 AM EST

Its absolutely obvious that driving one handed is a lot less safe than driving with both hands available.


If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE
[ Parent ]

I have friends who drive drunk (5.00 / 2) (#162)
by pexatus on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:21:47 PM EST

They claim, as your friends do, to drive just as well drunk as when they are sober.  They're idiots.

[ Parent ]
depends on dose and experience (4.50 / 2) (#176)
by Shpongle Spore on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:45:20 PM EST

I've seen cases where driving was severely impaired by weed and cases where it was more than likely improved. I think the key variables are the user's experience level and the dosage.

A very heavy dose make it somewhat of a challenge to even walk. A smaller dose will decrease concentration enough to be dangerous. A lighter does will make you parnoid more than it actually impairs your driving, so what you lose in ability you more than make up for in caution.

I also think learning to drive while stoned it a learnable skill--just think of what a bad sober driver you were when you started compared to now--if you can improve that much once, why not twice? This, combined with the fact that repeated use of marijuana leads to tolerance, means that anyone who regularly smokes and drives will quickly become harmless.

__
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]

The way I see it (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by swamp rat on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:09:25 PM EST

Just about every other week someone comes out and says that something we thought was safe is now proven to cause some form of cancer or another. So I'm really not sure why that should even be a point.

[ Parent ]
Here are your facts. (5.00 / 2) (#203)
by CyberQuog on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:26:57 PM EST

The lethal limit of THC (LD 50) is: 1270 mg/Kg. For a reference, the lowest dosage of Tylenol that will kill you is: 143 mg/Kg. To overdose from marijuana you would have to smoke 40,000 times the amount needed to get high. This is in contrast to alcohol, where drinking anywhere between 4 and 10 times the amount it takes to get drunk will kill you. Furthermore, there have been no impartial studies that show marijuana adversely affects drivers. Addiction? Slightly, marijuana was in last place, compared to caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and others, in an addictive substance test. Regarding cancer, marijuana has never been impartially and conclusively linked to it.

Now for sources:
Marijuana Unlikely to Cause Head, Neck, or Lung Cancer
Cannabis and driving skills studies
Cannabis chemistry with the LD50 of Marijuana, and other good sources.
Reference for the LD50 of Tylenol


So whats my point in all this? Marijuana is one of the safest substances known to mankind. I would say that water is more dangerous than weed, as there have been known cases where people have died from drinking too much. Most of the harmful side-effects of pot come from the fact that it's burning embers are inhaled. This can be avoided again by using weed in food, where then the only side-effect is getting fat.
Light em if you got em.


[ Parent ]
Water Death... (4.00 / 1) (#222)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:46:16 PM EST

Would you perhaps have any detailed links on people dieing from too much water?

I know it has happened but quick Googling didn't turn up anything good.

I'm especially curious about how much water it takes. One newspaper article says a "minimum of three liters", a figure I find suspect because I have often consumed that amount or more in a few hours if I am working or outside in the heat...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

I don't think you can die from it. (4.00 / 3) (#295)
by DavidTC on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:28:16 PM EST

I keep hearing that 'too much' (way, way too much) water can theortically kill you, but I suspect your kidneys remove water almost as fast as you can drink it, and certainly faster than it 'gets into your body', as opposed to your stomach.

If you drink a lot of water of water very quickly, you will start vomitting and be unable to swallow, just like drinking a ton of any other liquid and filling up your stomach. If you drink a lot of water slowly, with time to 'digest' it into your blood, you'd also have your bladder fill up by then and most of it would leave when you spent five minutes straight in front of the toilet.

I can't really figure out how you'd get enough water into your system to hydrate you so much you'd die, and I can't figure out how over-hydrating you would kill you, anyway. Maybe your blood pressure would go up too high or something. It seems rather farfetched, it seems the worse that could happen could be diarrhea or constitation, both of which can be caused by over-hydration. Maybe they're talking about an IV of water or something stupid. The listed amounts I've seen for an OD are more than a human could actually fit down their throat in an hour. And they'd be going to the bathroom every five minutes and dumping it back out.

Now, you can die from not urinating, that may be what people are referring to. Unlike other systems, which make you pass out if you stop breathing, so you start breathing again, or vomit if you poison yourself, or take a crap in your pants if you hold it in forever, urination has no such safeguard, and if you're a strong enough man to hold it in, and you keep drinking, your bladder will explode and kill you.

Note: I don't think it can happen if you don't keep drinking, though. I think your body will stop filling up your bladder and you start sweating out the water. But you can only sweat out so much water. Regardless, you don't worry about your bladder exploding unless you really need to pee and are drinking something anyway, which is damned stupid to do. But it has happened a few times in history.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Water Deaths in the UK (none / 0) (#474)
by Smuttley on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:51:13 PM EST

In the last few years I remember hearing of few people killed by drinking too much water. Each time it was because the person had taken an Ecstacy tablet, and in attempting stop dehydration they had actually drunk too much water. So much so that it killed them.

Cheers,

Smuttley

[ Parent ]

I hear stuff like that too. (none / 0) (#507)
by DavidTC on Fri May 31, 2002 at 05:15:04 PM EST

That's my point. I don't know of any confirmed incidences at all of anyone dying from water just third party accounts, usually involving some other stupid or 'evil' behavior. I've heard E mentioned a lot, and 'bong water' a few times.

And, of course, bad, insanely improbably things that happen to people while they're being immoral are usually urban legends.

I think someone looked at the fact that water has an OD limit, just like everything, and despite the fact you can't in reality drink that much, made up the stories.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Hyponatremia (4.33 / 3) (#312)
by CyberQuog on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:16:57 PM EST

Some Googling turned up a condition known as 'Hyponatremia' which is intoxication by water. From an Article from the University of Florida:
'What happens is that as the athlete consumes large amounts of water over the course of the event, blood plasma (the liquid part of blood) increases. As this takes place, the salt content of the blood is diluted. At the same time, the athlete is losing salt by sweating. Consequently, the amount of salt available to the body tissues decreases over time to a point where the loss interferes with brain, heart, and muscle function.

The official name for this condition is hyponatremia. The symptoms generally mirror those of dehydration (apathy, confusion, nausea, and fatigue), although some individuals show no symptoms at all. If untreated, hyponatremia can lead to coma and even death.'


A more indepth medical look can be found at eMedicine

[ Parent ]
easy one (none / 0) (#692)
by lean on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:08:30 AM EST

'people dieing from too much water' It is called drowning, it is very common on sea. But a bathtub or a swimmingpool can do the trick. Here is your link: drowning.nl
'I think you caught me in a contradiction there.'
[ Parent ]
A few points (4.66 / 3) (#213)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:37:45 PM EST

Let's throw out the whole driving thing, and look at the two drugs directly causing deaths.  You cannot overdose on marijuana - you'd have to smoke more than you weigh.  Alcohol, though, can kill you very easily if you drink too much.  Nobody denies that marijuana is much safer than alcohol.

About cancer: if you're concerned, you can always ingest weed or vaporize it (heat releases the thc without burning).  Eating weed is probably completely harmless.  It's just a vegetable with mind-altering properties.  You cannot eat tobacco though, so you have to smoke it.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Eating tobacco... Really? (4.00 / 1) (#405)
by Ambient on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:55:09 AM EST

I think you may have forgotten about chewing tobacco and snuff. Both are ingested by other means than by smoking — the nicotine from chewing tobacco is absorbed through the soft tissues in the mouth, while the nicotine in snuff is absorbed through the mucous membranes in the nasal passage.

Both also have been shown to cause cancer.

My point is, while there have been no conclusive tests on cannabis, nicotine and the other chemicals in cigarettes are known carcinogines.

And I will concede you the point that you most definitely do not want to swallow some chew. :o)



[ Parent ]
The media counts (none / 0) (#693)
by lean on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:51:10 AM EST

A few months ago I heard a newstory on the radio, where a women was killed by two men, in a housebreakin. The reason that it had gone so far was because of hash. This strook me really weird, because I didn't think that hash had the symptoms to 'go wild' like this. But it was on the public air, and everyone that heard this is going to believe hash is a really dangerous stuff. So maybe people can't die from hash, but the public sure think that hash will kill them.
'I think you caught me in a contradiction there.'
[ Parent ]
Drugs are bad (4.62 / 16) (#6)
by nobbystyles on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:14:52 PM EST

Mmmmkay...

It's just the biggest sacred cow for all governments and they hate to admit they've wasted billions of dollars and locked up thousands people unecessarily.

Thankfully it seems that the UK govt is finally slowly coming to its senses (I am from the UK) but it'll take a while for the US as there's a huge anti-drugs industry with a vested interest in the status quo despite the last two presidents having taken illegal drugs when they were younger.

I think (5.00 / 2) (#69)
by Rahaan on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:57:49 PM EST

I think one of the biggest reasons for pot not being legalized anytime soon is that (in the US, at least) so many people actually believe it is harmful.

All the bullshit about it being a gateway drug, being addictive, incredibly harmful, etc., is really pervasive.  A lot of people that I've asked 'why should pot not be legal?' have responded with the dogma of the anti-drug campaigns without even really thinking about what to say.  Thus, anytime any kind of pro-legalization sentiment is aired, it is met with a reaction like - 'What?  I thought pot was bad?  Why should it be legalized?' and immediately dismiss it.

I'm not one to tell them what to believe, but I don't think people should be sitting in jail because they had a joint in their glovebox.


you know, jake.. i've noticed that, since the tacos started coming, the mail doesn't so much come as often, or even at all
[ Parent ]

Drugs are employment (4.00 / 3) (#217)
by ialdobaeth on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:40:05 PM EST

It's just the biggest sacred cow for all governments and they hate to admit they've wasted billions of dollars and locked up thousands people unecessarily.

Just imagine what would happen to unemployment statistics in America if pot were retroactively legalized. The American prison system is probably the biggest "employer" of young minority males and poor white males in the country.

Having a large chunk of the population in prison keeps the unemployment numbers down by reducing the total number of people available to work and by creating jobs in prison construction, administration, and corrections.

All I know is, if and when marijuana is legalized, I want a job in either R&D or quality control...


The common people discriminate and make fine distinctions;
I alone am muddled and confused.
- Ch.20 - Tao te Ching
[ Parent ]

Even we lowly Canucks are catching on... (4.00 / 2) (#411)
by PixelPusher on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:21:44 AM EST

It'll probably go legal here in a few years.  The government has been conducting some extensive studies for the past few years to determine whether it would be beneficial to legalize and be done with it.

Of course, this does not sit well with our southern neibours...  There were recent threats of trade sanctions if it were legalized up here.

(As an aside: Don'tcha just love how free trade is the best thing in the world until it no longer benefits the US?  Besides, I say let the US government cut theior own throat.  Go ahead!  Put sanctions on a border with one billion dollars of trade crossing it every day!)

It's a strange thing to contrast anti-(insert cause) public service messages between Canada and the US.  Watching american TV, you notice it's always "Don't do drugs, Don't do drugs!!", but anti-cigarette ads aren't nearly as prevanlent.

Up here, you rarely see an anti-drug ad, but get beaten over the head with anti-cigarette ads, many funded directly by the government...

Go figure, I've always seen us as something of a cross between Europe and the US...

[ Parent ]

Don't do... what? (4.00 / 1) (#430)
by rusty on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:45:50 AM EST

It's a strange thing to contrast anti-(insert cause) public service messages between Canada and the US.  Watching american TV, you notice it's always "Don't do drugs, Don't do drugs!!", but anti-cigarette ads aren't nearly as prevanlent.

I see far more anti-tobacco ads on TV (here in the US) than anti-drug ads. It really depends on what state you're in. Obviously anti-tobacco ads are pretty thin on the ground in Virginia and North Carolina.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

You know why? (3.00 / 20) (#9)
by streetliar on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:15:36 PM EST

Because them law makers ain't never been on the streets before, that's why. They ain't never been in'e hood, and discovered that there ain't nothing to do all day but smoke blunt, know what'aim sayin'?

Part from end of the month, when it's time to collect them welfare checks, thats when you see bothers moving en-masse, know whadam sayin'?

Blunt is a right of the man. It's just the man on the hilltop trying to hold us down, know what'im sayin'? They got them their hos and bitches, an' they got all them lexuses, flashy cars, and the entire bling-bling spectrum, know whas'am sayin'?

But us, down in the projects, we don't have those things. There ain't nothing good happening down here, so we gotta smoke the mary j, man. But if we do that to give us enough impetus to make it through another dreary day, they is gonna send the fuzz to lock us up.

And when they lock us up, thats when we become gangsters. You don't learn to be a gangster on tha street, you learn it in the penitentiary, know what I'm sayin'?

Thats the real deal right there bro, the scum out there on the street know it, the poor-ass losers on the street know it, but the men who should be knowin this shit, don't.

Know what I'm sayin'?

Oh, give up! (2.60 / 5) (#272)
by tlhf on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:28:42 PM EST

Whether you like him or not, Street Lawyer is a good troll. He doesn't troll for no reason, and whether you agree with the point he's making on a meta level or not, most agree that he generates interesting thoughts on whatever subject. When he trolls, he is the finest troller I've ever seen, and can be incredibly insightful. And when he is serious, his statements usually go against the prevailing opinion, and still generate fantastic discussion. I would argue he is one of the most intelligent people on Kuro5hin.

You however, are not. Your posts are just shit. Sorry, this is harsh, but they don't seem to have any unobvious meaning to them. No one has read it and gone on to be enlightened. Your posts do not go against the prevelailing Kuro5hin opinion and explicitly point the assumptions and hypocricies of the community. Please, stop it.

tlhf
xxx
Okay, I'm no genius, but I don't try to be.

[ Parent ]
agreed (2.50 / 2) (#350)
by TheLogician on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:24:03 AM EST

That is why I gave him a low rating. Just like we can vote to get marijuana legalized, we can vote bad trolls to the depths of kuro5hin ;)

[ Parent ]
You are wrong about who makes money from pot (4.44 / 9) (#11)
by georgeha on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:17:41 PM EST

illegal pot, that is. I think the people that get the most money, power and control from illegal pot are the people the keep it illegal, and enforce the illegality.

If pot were legal, and smokers were allowed to grow for personal consumption, I think even the heaviest smokers would have trouble spending more than $20 a month.

You didn't read all the piece (2.00 / 1) (#18)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:21:40 PM EST

I specifically state that it's to the advantage of the suppliers to KEEP pot illegal.

[ Parent ]
Government, not suppliers (5.00 / 3) (#22)
by georgeha on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:28:10 PM EST

Who gets big budget increases to fight the war on drugs?

Who gets big budget increases to lock up illegal drug users?

Who gets big budget increases and carte blanche to interfere in Latin American countries to stop the flow of illegal drugs?

[ Parent ]

Ah, my bad. I understand now... (3.00 / 1) (#27)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:33:09 PM EST

But wouldn't they make more money from growing and regulating it than they do from fighting it? I'd tend to think so.

[ Parent ]
The suppliers? No, not if it was legal. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by georgeha on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:37:38 PM EST

If growing pot for home use was legal, an average gardener could probably grow 3-4 plants, harvest a few pounds, and be set for the year. The only reason pot costs hundreds an ounce is because it's illegal, otherwise it would cost a few dollars an ounce, like other spices and herbs.

[ Parent ]
Sorry, but... (4.00 / 1) (#561)
by Slothrop on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 10:49:37 AM EST

I've heard this argument before, and I can only come to this conclusion.  It's total crap because people are too damn lazy to do this in a systematic fashion.  The government would make tons of money regulating it, because it's worth more to most people to not have to bother growing it.
__________________________
Provide, provide!
[ Parent ]
It would be different people making the money. (none / 0) (#48)
by mathematician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:47:11 PM EST

And the ones making the money now want to keep it :)

[ Parent ]
I think you misunderstood him... (none / 0) (#29)
by mathematician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:33:27 PM EST

I think he's saying the DEA makes the most money from marijuana prohibition. Last I read, the US anti-drug budget is superior to NASA's.

DEA Budget [usdoj.gov]

NASA budget (numbers about 2 pages down) [hq.nasa.gov]

[ Parent ]

As someone who used to grow for the Cannibis Club (none / 0) (#704)
by slackhaus on Sun Jun 16, 2002 at 02:39:33 PM EST

in SF I have to say you are wrong. Take tobacco, you can leaglly grow it so why are the tobacco companies so rich.

[ Parent ]
explain? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
by Swashbuckler on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:24:28 PM EST

I think the people that get the most money, power and control from illegal pot are the people the keep it illegal, and enforce the illegality.

I don't understand? How do policy makers make money from keeping it illigal?




*Note* - this comment contains no inside K5 humour because inside K5 humour is only for/by K5-wankers. Media does not = "community."
[ Parent ]
Police, prisons, Border Patrol, DoD (none / 0) (#23)
by georgeha on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:29:34 PM EST

all of those enforcement agencies have a vested interest in having a large percentage of the population using illegal drugs.

[ Parent ]
a financial interest? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by Swashbuckler on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:38:13 PM EST

I'm that guy who took my grade school teacher seriously when she said, "there is no such thing as a dumb question". Call me naive, but I don't see the interest? Is it so police officers can get free drugs when they confiscate it? Even if marijuana were legalised, they would still need prisons... only now police officers could take "smoke" breaks...


*Note* - this comment contains no inside K5 humour because inside K5 humour is only for/by K5-wankers. Media does not = "community."
[ Parent ]
The anti-drug budget finances DEA careers. (none / 0) (#45)
by mathematician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:46:00 PM EST

See this post

[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#47)
by Rahaan on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:47:01 PM EST

There's a lot more to it than that.  A lot of shady things are going on with the CIA, DEA, and the drug war that I don't even want to get into.. but that's mostly abroad.  There are also a lot of weird laws pertaining to the confiscation of drugs and drug-dealer's possessions.  If a guy owns three Mercedes-Benzes and also happens to sell cocaine, where do you think he got the money?  ..and they confiscate his cars, which can then be sold at auction.  I'm assuming this happens to 'better' drugs like marijuana, too, and that's a shame, but I really have no idea.

The main financial interest I see, though, is that of the jobs.  A huge amount of the national budget goes towards fighting the spread and use of illegal drugs, and a huge number of people are involved.  If you legalize drugs, what would all the DEA agents do?


you know, jake.. i've noticed that, since the tacos started coming, the mail doesn't so much come as often, or even at all
[ Parent ]

They don't even have to convict you. (5.00 / 2) (#289)
by DavidTC on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:06:45 PM EST

They charge the property with a crime, and property doesn't have the presumption of innocence. They basically need the same standards as a search warrant or wiretap to charge your 'car' with a crime, and take it away from you.

And, of course, you have to pay for the lawyer, as your car does not have the right to an attorney.

Good god, this post makes me sound completely insane. But it's all true. They really are charging property with a crime, and presuming guilt of it.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Forfeiture, prison percentages (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by georgeha on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:48:05 PM EST

Well, the most egregious problem with current drug laws is the forfeiture one, if you get caught with a large amounts of unexplained money, it is assumed to be drug money and confiscated. Then, you have the burden of proof to show that it wasn't obtained through illegal methods.

Also, if you are ferrying the kids to a soccer gam in your $40,000 SUV and your kids teammates has 1/8th of an ounce of marijuana, your vehicle could be taken. If your kids friend has 1/8th of an ounce in your house, your house could be seized. If you are a multimillionaire with a mansion and a yacht, and a yacht crewman has a joint in their seabag, your yacht could be seized. This has been toned down a bit from the Reagan years (cf. the sports cars on Miami Vice), but it still happens, and the burden of proof if on you to prove your innocence.

I don't know the percentage of people on prison for drug possession, but it's high, maybe 20% or higher. If you count growers and dealers, it is maybe 40% of the prison population is there for non-violent drug odffenses. How much could you cut your states correctional budget if drugs were legal, half maybe?

If drugs were legal, police departments would have lower budgets, and the Border Patrol would have lower budgets, due to less crime.

[ Parent ]

Many police (none / 0) (#112)
by FredBloggs on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:56:42 PM EST

would be out of a job if it weren`t for drug laws!

(Last time i checked, the US has 25% of the worlds prison population, but only 15% of the population.)


[ Parent ]

It's worse than that. (4.00 / 1) (#303)
by TheSleeper on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:43:50 PM EST

There are fewer than 300 million people in the US, and more than 6 billion in the world; The US has under 5 percent of the world's population.

[ Parent ]
You could be right. (4.00 / 1) (#440)
by FredBloggs on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:13:32 PM EST

Its hard to tell - wherever i look i get different figures! This site:

http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/y/federal.htm

suggests 5% of worlds population (as do you) and 25% of worlds prison population. So does:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_643000/643363.stm

 Certainly all the figures suggest that USA imprisons more people - as a percentage of population - than any other. And more than half are in for non violent (usually drug) offences. Amazing.

[ Parent ]

So drop the money (none / 0) (#77)
by davidduncanscott on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:03:51 PM EST

power and control are enough motivation for a lot of people. Hitler didn't live extravagantly, nor did Stalin, by and large. We tend to look for financial scandals in our politicians, perhaps because they're easier to quantfy, and sometimes miss more subtle things.

[ Parent ]
Wait a minute (none / 0) (#703)
by slackhaus on Sun Jun 16, 2002 at 02:37:24 PM EST

Have you ever grown good pot. First as with most people in america you would probably do it inside beacuse then you don't have to wait for fall to harvest. those grow lights you need use an incredible amount of electricity (figure making your bill jump from 60 to 180 a month do to the fact you will go way over your base amount in Kw/h). SO your 20 a month is way off. Now you can get quite a return from that 120 a month you spend to grow your plants, probably a couple of ounces a month. 2nd What makes you think every one can grow good pot. You ever hear of homegrown, no one wants home grown, why because though yes it is a weed and it does grow everywhere, tho get the properties that make good marijuana takes a lot of time and skill. You really have to baby the plant, making sure not to over or under fertilize. knowing when to alter tyhe lighting cycle from a 24 to 12 to initiate flowering. when to swich from halide to HP sodium to during budding. Anyone can throw a seed in the ground and make a plant grow but not just anyone can grow a good plant.\ So even with legalization you will still have a large quantity who would rather purchase form a known grower then try a and start their own garden Sorry for the rambling.

[ Parent ]
easy. (3.91 / 12) (#25)
by Shren on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:30:40 PM EST

What is not compulsory is forbidden. What is not forbidden is compulsory.

Also, some things are legal just because they've been accepted in the mainstream for a while. Imagine inventing alcohol today. "Hey, everyone! I've got this neat drug. It makes you sorta giddy and impairs your reflexes and judgement. It's made out of fermented rotting food. Can I sell it?" Or, "I've got this neat new religion about this dead guy who didn't stay dead. He says that we should be nice to each other. I've got this big cross I made - we'll put it on top of this building and you can come listen to me rant on Sundays."

The funniest thing - the reason we're all the butt of the joke - is that these behaviors must have been beneficial at some time in history, otherwise people would have never taken them up. Maybe alcohol gained popularity so warring tribes would be too drunk to kill each other most of the time.

Alcohol's popularity (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by NFW on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:59:51 PM EST

My guess is that alcohol got popular for two reasons... first, because people enjoy its effects; second, because a bunch of people learned to make money selling it to that first group. Simple as that.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

What gets me (none / 0) (#90)
by RegularFry on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:15:02 PM EST

The thing that puzzles me is that the first alcoholic drink must have tasted truly *awful*, unless whoever found it got extremely lucky, or was absolutely desperate for a drink. How did it ever catch on after that? Same argument applies to chilli peppers.


There may be troubles ahead, But while there's moonlight and music...
[ Parent ]
Mead (none / 0) (#143)
by jayhawk88 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:11:31 PM EST

Isn't this pretty much what mead is? Alchohol mixed with a bunch of honey so that it's barely drinkable?

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
Mead is fermented, dilute honey (none / 0) (#175)
by gmhowell on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:43:17 PM EST

Take honey. Mix with water. Ferment to dryness. Drink. It's a fine beverage IF you find a good one.
When I used a Mac, they laughed because I had no command prompt. When I used Linux, they laughed because I had no GUI.
[ Parent ]
nope, in fact it's really tasty (4.00 / 1) (#345)
by NFW on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:01:03 AM EST

Mead is fermented honey.

Generally speaking, I don't care much for alcoholic beverages. Mead is another story though. It's liquid candy.

It's powerfully sweet, so it's still "barely drinkable" but not like you were thinking. Given a few ounces of mead, I can sip for an hour. Mmmm.

You'll usually find it in the 'dessert wine' section.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

better than water (5.00 / 2) (#177)
by gmhowell on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:45:24 PM EST

From what I've read on ancient beer, wine, and meadmaking, alcoholic beverages came about because you could be more certain that they were not spoiled than water. Water was easy to spoil, especially since people didn't know not to shit in their drinking water (or nearby). Alcohol (particularly at high levels found in wine and mead) will kill the worst of the microorganisms in the water, and be at least a bit more palatable. Some researchers have made beverages making ancient recipes, and yes, they taste like garbage.
When I used a Mac, they laughed because I had no command prompt. When I used Linux, they laughed because I had no GUI.
[ Parent ]
"Small Beer" (4.00 / 1) (#229)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:52:08 PM EST

This also meant that as soon as the kids were off of milk they would mostly drink somewhat less alcoholic versions of the adult drinks. For example they had "small beer".

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

How about... (2.66 / 3) (#93)
by ragabr on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:16:46 PM EST

that water back then wasn't exactly the safest thing in the world to drink. Which led to the production of wines and meads after their initial discovery.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
Heheh... (none / 0) (#304)
by beergut on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:47:44 PM EST

"In wine, there is wisdom; in beer, strength; in water, bacteria."

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

another stupid comment for smart people (none / 0) (#346)
by TheLogician on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:09:46 AM EST

"Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder"

[ Parent ]
Yet so true (nt) (none / 0) (#399)
by rdskutter on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:39:21 AM EST


If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE
[ Parent ]
Well (4.00 / 14) (#30)
by wji on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:33:29 PM EST

I don't know why pot is illegal now, but it WAS a conspiracy originally. The major conspirator was William Randolph Hearst. He owned a whole lot of paper mills, and didn't want cheaper, better hemp paper cutting in on it. So he launched a yellow journalism campaign, "Marijuana-Crazed Negro Slays Storekeeper", etc. Whipped the public up into a frenzy over marijuana and got all hemp banned. (George Washington grew hemp, probably smoked it.) Now, I'd suspect that the profit motivation to ban hemp products is still there, but it might just what Jerry Rubin said:

"Smoking pot is a political act, and every smoker is an outlaw. The drug culture is a revolutionary threat to plasticwrap-America.

"If you smoke quietly, you won't get bothered. If you smoke in public, or if you live in a commune, or get active politically, or show up somewhere in J. Edgar Freako's computer, you're likely to get busted for getting high."

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

This was a good comment (4.00 / 7) (#51)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:47:29 PM EST

but then you had to quote this: The drug culture is a revolutionary threat to plasticwrap-America.

On the one hand pro-drug people point out, rightly, that alchohol and nicotine are drugs and are legal and relatively safe. On the other hand they want to cast drugs in the role of "revolutionary" but in this case they exclude alchohol and nicotine. Can't be revolutionary when 99% of all people do it, can it? It's more like conformity, in fact.

Face it, drugs are just something you like doing. It isn't a "political statement", it isn't "revolutionary" and it isn't even particularly rebellious in the case of marijuana. You (well, maybe not you) got into drugs because your friends (or somebody else you thought was cool) were doing it. Just like smoking. And drinking.

That's not to say that marijuana should be illegal. I'm only pointing out that casting yourselves as ultra-hip rogues is, at best, annoying.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

Calm down (3.50 / 2) (#57)
by wji on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:49:57 PM EST

I don't smoke pot.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
Social acceptance (none / 0) (#202)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:23:37 PM EST

I agree with the original poster.  Hearst, Dupont, and racism were the main factors in outlawing marijuana.

However, it seems like an underlying reason why some drugs are acceptable and some are not, are they way they affect society.  Nicotine and alcohol aren't 'revolutionary' drugs, which may explain why they are legal.  They both have major social elements - Alcohol makes you outgoing and sociable, and tobacco is a social norm in our society.  These drugs don't make you stop and think about how foolish we can be, devoting our lives to jobs, money, consumerism.

Now look at marijuana and LSD.. either of these drugs can give you a completely different outlook on life - they turn those priorities on their side.  They make you realize that money doesn't matter.  They change the way you think about life, and this scares people!  People won't admit it, but they are afraid that you'll just drop out of the 'accepted' society if you let drugs show you a different way to live.

It would really be OK if we all lived our lives in the way we wanted to.  It's just that some can't accept this, and feel they have to impose their social priorities on others.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

But alchohol (5.00 / 1) (#437)
by Yellowbeard on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:11:45 PM EST

/was/ revolutionary during prohibition. It has to be illegal for one to revolt against it. Personally, I definitely think pot should be legal - if for no other reason than the cheap, renewable paper and clothing source.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Political threat? (4.66 / 3) (#62)
by jmzero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:53:00 PM EST

Marijuana destroys political threats.  It's an excuse to write off the thoughts of anyone who uses it.

The fight over legalization distracts people who might otherwise show dissent in other ways, and ensures their appearance of illegitimacy no matter what their cause.  

It would be in the government's best interest (in terms of neutralizing political threats) to keep the drug illegal, but available to those who tend to go against authority.  It's a bonus if the drug leads to a calm, foggy state of mind not conducive to violence or well organized action.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Well (5.00 / 2) (#84)
by wji on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:09:08 PM EST

Mostly from what I've seen, I very strongly agree with you. However, smart people who I respect have said the exact opposite. I think what you're talking about is in fact true; as Rubin said, if you smoke quietly in your room nobody cares, but if you're a dissident and you toke you'll get burned.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
references? (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by FaRuvius on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:55:57 PM EST

I find that idea fascinating. Any links or references where I can get more info?

[ Parent ]
The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by ip4noman on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:12:27 PM EST

Read The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer, the cannonical reference on the subject.

--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
[ Parent ]
Dow Chemical (4.00 / 1) (#101)
by iguanaphobic on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:32:24 PM EST

The kraft pulp process required large amounts of toxic chemicals. Preparing hemp to make paper required water. Guess which would make more money.

[ Parent ]
Yup (4.00 / 1) (#140)
by lb008d on Thu May 30, 2002 at 03:54:41 PM EST

Basically everything that can be made from wood can also be made from hemp, including some building materials. It grows like a weed and produces more pulp per acre then trees.

I'm sure the lumber industry wouldn't be too happy about hemp legalization, much less marijuana.

[ Parent ]

I've heard this before, and it makes sense to me. (5.00 / 1) (#165)
by bgalehouse on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:28:47 PM EST

I was actually thinking of more or less posting the same comment, when I saw this one.

I'd like to point out however, that the continued illegality of marajuana points raises some questions about our system of government. That the population at large fails to do researth and complain to or vote out their legislators says something about rationality and the American voter.

Seriously the best explanation I've seen or heard, here or anywhere else, for THC to be more regulated than Caffine, is that some lumber barren many years ago wanted it that way and started a disinformation campain. Said campaign took to life on it's own, and is still going on using public money. One is left with the impression that the American public are a bunch of chumps.

I blame the lack of critical thinking skills taught in the American educational system more than I blame Constitution, but that is a different rant, really.

And no, I've never bothered to try the stuff.

[ Parent ]

My theory (none / 0) (#400)
by wji on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:46:04 AM EST

I was thinking more of weed laws in Canada, which are recognized to be crap by just about everyone. Actually, a Canadian Alliance -- vaguely LP/Republican-like -- back-bench legislator introduced a bill to decriminalize. It was shut down without a vote by the Liberals, the bastards.

Anyway, in the United States I think it's more easily understandable. The 'War on Drugs' is an ideal method of social engineering, third world style. You terrify the middle and lower class, get a bunch of useless people in jail, and get huge amounts of money for the prison-industrial complex. That's why we have it, and although pot is not really part of the WoD, it's important to maintain the fiction that drugs are an evil scourge threatening the very fabric of society. Admit you were wrong or deceptive about pot and it calls into question whether you were wrong or deceptive about the other drugs.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]

Never ascribe to malice.. (none / 0) (#469)
by bgalehouse on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:16:40 PM EST

What can be adequetly described by incompetence. I don't quite believe that the primary reason for get tough on crime initiatives are prison construction company lobbies. If it were, polititians wouldn't be so loud about their drug policies.

And no, I don't blame the religious right either, or at least not conservatism per say. As pointed out by the Economist recently, the Dutch still have a lot of Calvanism in their attitudes. Hash bars aren't legal there because the country is full of liberals. Hash bars are legal because they are pragmatists. Also from the Economist, it seems to be working, in that the Dutch drug culture seems to be an ageing population - young people seem to be avoiding it.

[ Parent ]

someone, somewhere, is making money (3.90 / 11) (#32)
by gibichung on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:34:57 PM EST

Here's my list, which is by no means complete:
  • The tobacco industry. The alcohol industry.
  • The entertainment industry. The music industry.
  • The auto industry. The oil companies.
  • G.E., Microsoft, and Wal-Mart. Mom and Pop's corner store.
  • The entire nations of Japan, China, Canada, Mexico, and most of the rest of the World.
  • John Q. Public
What do they all have to lose? Productivity. It's much cheaper, easier, and faster to "get high" with marijuana. Not to mention how much easier it is to get away with it. While drinking could have similar effects, it's more expensive and takes longer; it's difficult to get drunk on your lunch break.

The only thing that limits the harmful effects of marijuana is its illegality and cost. Most of the positive comparisons with alcohol or cigarettes would disappear the minute the stuff became so widespread as to become almost free - and it would, because it costs much less to produce than tobacco or alcohol. We've all seen the wonderful effects that heroin had on Iran and opium had on China. Combining the "welfare state" with cheap, legalized drugs would destroy the industrious society that we've worked so hard to build.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt

Wow. The puritans haven't all died out yet. (3.00 / 2) (#42)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:43:30 PM EST

btw Iranians love their hookahs. Good luck consuming heroin with hookahs.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
Ak! Errata (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:45:06 PM EST

Apparently you can use heroin with hookahs. My bad.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
Smoking heroin (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by IHCOYC on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:47:21 PM EST

You should get out more often. Heroin can be smoked.

[ Parent ]
I know that (4.50 / 2) (#54)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:48:23 PM EST

(See below!) But I've never seen a hookah IRL, and assumed they were only used for opium.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
The family of hookahs (none / 0) (#342)
by IHCOYC on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:53:48 AM EST

Technically, I think a hookah is mostly for tobacco, hashish and marijuana.

As I remember it, there are two sorts of water pipe in common use. First, the hookah, where the bowl sits on top of a central vessel to which one or several hoses run, where the smokers sit around it and smoke through the hoses.

Then there is the bong, in which the bowl is attached to a small side pipe that leads at an angle down through the water, into the larger vessel, to which the smoker places his mouth and inhales. Typically, the bong has a small hole above the water line at the side: the smoker first covers the hole with a finger and draws air through the bowl to charge the pipe with smoke. Then the finger is removed, and the smoker inhales the collected smoke at once. I can imagine smoking tobacco through a hookah. I cannot imagine smoking it through a bong.

Neither hookah nor bong are of much use in smoking opium, which I understand poses unique difficulties. Special opium pipes are used to evaporate the opium into smoke which is then inhaled. If you set the opium itself on fire, you are doing it wrong.

Naturally, my knowledge of these things is entirely second-hand, so I may be wrong about some of the details.
--
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy
[ Parent ]

Not really true (4.80 / 5) (#43)
by trhurler on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:44:09 PM EST

Habitual marijuana users are not like the people who get high at a party now and again. They have problems, but their problems are often less intrusive on the workplace than those of heavy drinkers. The truth is, hemp was originally banned because paper manufacturers feared it, and it is still illegal because the government made the mistake of using it as the centerpiece of their war on drugs despite it being a lot less harmful in any realistic terms than alcohol or tobacco, and it would now be embarassing to say "Oops, we were wrong. Sorry." Embarassing as in "destroys careers, ruins credibility." So, it won't happen. At least, not quickly.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
realistic terms (4.00 / 1) (#121)
by gibichung on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:08:08 PM EST

I don't believe that the effects of tobacco and marijuana can be compared. Let's leave tobacco out of this for now.

I never claimed that marijuana abuse was worse on a qualitative level than alcohol abuse; I agree with you on this one. My points were:

  • Legal Marijuana would be much cheaper than alcohol. It would be easier to conceal and transport.
  • It's easier/faster to "get high" than it is to get drunk.
  • Use of Marijuana would be harder to detect than drunkenness and thus rules against intoxication would be harder to enforce.
Thus, the supposed advantages of legalization of marijuana in comparison with alcohol would disappear after it became cheaper and more widespread. It has the effect of alcohol without the factors that limit alcohol's destructiveness: cost, consumption, detectability, availability, etc.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Your points (5.00 / 1) (#169)
by trhurler on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:33:39 PM EST

It might be cheaper. Then again, if they taxed it like they do cigarettes, it wouldn't be much cheaper. Getting drunk quickly is easy. You get a bottle of vodka, you drink half as fast as you can. I know people who do/did just that. Finally, the reason marijuana tests are designed to detect past use instead of present condition is largely that this is what corporate drug testing programs are willing to pay for. You can certainly detect THC in a blood test, if you wanted to design one for the purpose.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Blood tests problematic (none / 0) (#298)
by TheSleeper on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:36:40 PM EST

You can certainly detect THC in a blood test, if you wanted to design one for the purpose.

True, but blood tests are much more invasive than a breathalyzer test. This may make them harder to sell. It also requires maintaining sterility, which will involve some amount of equipment and training.

[ Parent ]

Already used for alcohol (none / 0) (#444)
by trhurler on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:35:53 PM EST

The most accurate alcohol tests are still blood tests, and in some places, they make you take one if you fail a breathalyzer; as usual, failure to comply means you lose your license. There's nothing to "sell" here; lawmakers can pass a bill like this without any problems whatsoever, and once they do, the opinion of the guy who got busted is irrelevant.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Not just a blood test (5.00 / 1) (#314)
by strlen on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:19:30 PM EST

I believe marijuana can be detected in hair. It stays in your system for a long time, and is very detectable. If private corporations want to institute drug tests to screen out marijuana addicts as to boost productivity, they'd have an easy time.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
So what? (4.83 / 6) (#212)
by pyramid termite on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:37:20 PM EST

I'm not sure from your comment whether you actually approve of the idea that marijuana should be illegal because legalizing it would hurt our productivity, but I think there's an important point missed here.

The corporate structure owns our labor if we sell it to them, but it does not own us.

The question a company should have of an employee is, "Does he perform his job the way we would like him to?" If the answer is yes, then the company should be satisfied. Obviously, if pot usage were to interfere with job performance, then they would have reason to be concerned. The problem with the current drug testing programs is they do not tell whether the people are currently stoned or not - they tell whether a person has used it in the last month. I don't think it's any of a company's business whether I used on a weekend off of company time. (And before someone says that pot is retained for a month in the body, I should point out that it's retained in the fat cells, and that people do not think with their fat cells. At least, not most of us.)

Where marijuana tends to really affect people is in the area of motivation. People who are regular pot smokers tend to be less motivated than those who aren't. That of course, strikes directly at the heart of a system where people must be motivated to do all sorts of things so they can buy all sorts of expensive toys that they never get enough time off of work to play with. Again, I say that's their problem - under the welfare-capitalist state, people who settle for less get less.

Corporations have the right to demand a certain level of competence and performance, but they do not have the right to demand that all potential employees be motivated or as productive as they'd like. They can take the cream of the crop if they're willing to pay for it; if they're less willing to pay for it, they can settle for less. They already rely on the government to educate and train much of the workforce; why should they also demand of the government that it enforce laws against drugs that have a tendency to demotivate people? If a stoner's performance isn't acceptable, you fire him and hire someone else. It's that simple.

The real reason that marijauana is illegal is the Control Party - those who believe that God, or capitalism, or both give them the ONE TRUE RIGHT WAY that everyone else should follow. The Control Party and corporations overlap, but don't coincide. The Control Party would dearly love to bring back alcohol prohibition, having been responsible for it in the first place, but there are too many people who are opposed to that. They would outlaw violent video games and sex movies, but again, many people are opposed and that pesky constitution interferes. They would love to turn us into a Kristian Kapitalist Kountry, but don't quite have the votes. But, with 20% or so of the population backing them, they have enough votes to overcome the much smaller minority of people who want marijuana legalized, as long as the majority remains convinced in, or at least not greatly concerned about the current laws.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
To which party do you refer? [nt] (none / 0) (#299)
by beergut on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:39:37 PM EST


i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

They can be found in either major party (nt) (4.00 / 1) (#385)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:04:00 AM EST


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
corporations and society (2.00 / 1) (#412)
by gibichung on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:25:37 AM EST

The reference to corporations was as much of a play on the anti-corporatism (see above) that runs rampant here as anything. Whatever your feelings on their nature, I believe that you can accept this statement: the welfare of corporations taken collectively is strongly tied to the welfare of our society and the people who make it up, and vice versa. While corporations don't have any right to demand society produce workers for them, it's in their interest to support a healthy society not only for prospective employees, but also for consumers.

Consumerism, whatever its faults, keeps the value of services up in comparison with physical manufacture, which keeps our economy running. When the economy suffers, people suffer.

Your ideas regarding Christianity and authoritarianism seem much more grounded in paranoid suspicion than reality. Consider how the scope of your generalizations might be applied to the other side of the spectrum; while that probably isn't an adequate response, it wouldn't be constructive for me to reply in any other manner.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

So in other words ... (5.00 / 1) (#496)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:10:03 PM EST

... what's good for General Motors is good for the country. Sheesh.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#503)
by gibichung on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:48:13 PM EST

Not General Motors specifically, but something affected all businesses.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
No roadside test (3.57 / 7) (#37)
by thenick on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:38:16 PM EST

I feel pot is illegal partly due to the fact that there is no way for police to test if a person is stoned or not. A urine or blood test will tell if a person has been smoking, but those have to be sent to the lab for analsys. Even if lab tests show that a person has used pot, there are no standards to show if they were high at the time of the test.  Also, I believe there is a period of time before THC shows up in urine, so potentially, a person could be totally wrecked yet have clean urine.

 
"Doing stuff is overrated. Like Hitler, he did a lot, but don't we all wish he would have stayed home and gotten stoned?" -Dex

Honest Question (4.00 / 2) (#46)
by gauntlet on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:46:56 PM EST

THis may be a stupid honest question, but it's an honest question: Does pot impair your reaction times, the way alchohol does? Or is there some other reason we don't want people high while driving cars?

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Apparantly it's safer than alcohol (4.00 / 2) (#63)
by nobbystyles on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:54:00 PM EST

Here's the latest research.

[ Parent ]
grain of salt (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by radeex on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:01:19 PM EST

I'm not going to make any generalizations, but in my experience, yes, marijuana has certainly impaired my reaction time. I've been hit in the face with a frisbee after watching it fly towards me. ;P

Interestingly, marijuana has both slowed and sped up my perception of time while I was high. Either way, though, I would say my reaction time was impaired.

Oh, and I have driven while stoned a few times. I've been both scared shitless as well as exhilerated. I wouldn't recommend doing it very often, though. ;) (In fact, I never will again)
--
I DEMAND RECOMPENSE!
[ Parent ]

Impaired driving is impaired driving. (4.66 / 3) (#72)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:58:14 PM EST

They can still haul you off the road if you're driving like ass. Whether or not it's illegal to smoke doesn't make it any easier or harder to get away with while in a car.

farq will not be coming back
[ Parent ]
You need a different test. (4.00 / 1) (#113)
by FredBloggs on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:58:55 PM EST

A reactions test, to see if someone can drive - not a drug test, to see if someone has taken a drug. Trouble with the latter is that you end up penalizing people who`ve taken a small amount of cannabis and who could be driving more carefully than a non-user.


[ Parent ]
And that's the problem with current tests (5.00 / 1) (#281)
by thenick on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:49:26 PM EST

Someone who last smoked ten days ago has a potential to fail a drug test. Unfortunatly, I think a conviction based reaction test would be easily overturned on appeal because the test would be subjective. Courts like to deal in hard facts and numbers and a test that relies on a policeman's judgement call could be discredited easily.

 
"Doing stuff is overrated. Like Hitler, he did a lot, but don't we all wish he would have stayed home and gotten stoned?" -Dex
[ Parent ]

It would (none / 0) (#378)
by FredBloggs on Fri May 31, 2002 at 05:03:50 AM EST

have to be an objective test that the policeman just administers, like the current breath test. I guess you`d have a police van kitted out with a driving sim, or some other form of testing rig.

[ Parent ]
Erm, how about... (5.00 / 1) (#640)
by tekue on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 05:01:20 AM EST

...a little black box? "Sir, look into the hole and press the red button when you see the light. Thank you."

Reaction time is what I think it is, isn't it?
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

Its really not relevant (4.00 / 2) (#159)
by Quixato on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:15:01 PM EST

Unfortunately, I never saved the link, but I read an interesting article on a study done in the U.K. examing sober vs drunk vs stoned driving skills. Not suprisingly, the drunk drivers were the worst, but the stoned drivers were really not that much worse than the sober drivers. It was pretty funny too, because all the stoned drivers thought they were driving a lot worse than they really were. Typical paranoia. ;) On a personal note, when I'm driving high, I never speed, I'm far more catious, and less of a risk taker. I believe that those are safer driving techniques.

"People are like smarties - all different colours on the outside, but exactly the same on the inside." - Me
"Learn to question, question to learn." - Sl8r
[ Parent ]

I agree (5.00 / 1) (#274)
by thenick on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:38:49 PM EST

But unfortunately most nonsmokers people believe that stoned drivers are much more dangerous than drunk drivers just because of their perception of marijuana. In my totally unscientific test, I've noticed that I pay more attention to speed limits and other traffic when driving high.

However, the police heavily frown on driving while high and the consequences are usually much worse that being caught drinking and driving. Most states have a variation on DUI charges called DUID, which stands for driving under the influence of drugs. Penalties for this offence are usually higher than a plain DUI.

 
"Doing stuff is overrated. Like Hitler, he did a lot, but don't we all wish he would have stayed home and gotten stoned?" -Dex
[ Parent ]

Ed the Sock's comments... (3.50 / 16) (#38)
by Giant Space Hamster on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:39:37 PM EST

Ed the Sock had an interesting editorial on legalizing marijuana. Here's a choice quote:
Of all the things to gather in protest for in this world, with racism, war, cruelty to animals, government misspending, child poverty increasing...these people's cause is getting high. And if that right away doesn't prove pot affects your decision-making ability, nothing will.
For those of you who don't know, Ed the Sock is a VJ at Muchmusic (Canadian version of MTV).

-------------------------------------------
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
-- Bertrand Russell
Prioritizing is OK, but someone must clean phones (4.50 / 4) (#52)
by bobpence on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:47:41 PM EST

Damn, cancer and heart disease are killing people right and left, so it's a waste of time to buckle this safety belt.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]
Funny, but... (4.00 / 1) (#58)
by NFW on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:52:22 PM EST

Has anyone ever questioned whether or not pot affects your decision making ability? :-)


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

Cuts both ways (5.00 / 6) (#71)
by Alan Crowe on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:58:07 PM EST

Marijuana prohibition is maintained, at great public expense, and in the face of considerable protest. Of those who fight to preserve marijuana prohibition, one could equally say
Of all the things to fight for in this world, with racism, war, cruelty to animals, government misspending, child poverty increasing...these people's cause is to stop others getting high. And if that right away doesn't prove abstaining from pot affects your decision-making ability, nothing will.


[ Parent ]
True enough... (3.00 / 1) (#97)
by Giant Space Hamster on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:19:25 PM EST

That was just one quote. The rest of the piece is more complex and, in my opinion, insightful.

In fact, it acknowledges that point two paragraphs down.

-------------------------------------------
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
-- Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

And locking up people for inhaling plants ... (4.00 / 1) (#225)
by pyramid termite on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:48:14 PM EST

... isn't government misspending? And considering that an unusual proportion of the people arrested are minorities, it doesn't have something to do with racism? And if Daddy's in jail for pot smoking, this doesn't increase child poverty?

There's another issue here - who owns our bodies and has the right to tell us what we can put into them? If it's illegal because it's harmful to us, I can see that used to justify all sorts of bans on all sorts of things. At the bottom of it all, this isn't about marijuana, it's about if we have a basic human right to live without being told what we should eat, drink, or smoke.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Have you ever had a friend jailed for possession? (5.00 / 2) (#228)
by RofGilead on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:49:29 PM EST

If you lost years of your life, or saw a friend's life get horribly affected by a law that you feel shouldn't be on the book, wouldn't you do something about it?

You might say, it was their choice to use marijuana in the first place, but what if something that you thought was a good part of your life that hurt no one was illegal, for seemingly no good reason.

What if our government made open source programs illegal?  Wouldn't you try to change that?  And wouldn't you expect people to break the law for that?

I do not believe this is a trivial cause, when so many people are behind bars because of their lack of support for an unjust law.

-= RofGilead =-

---
Remember, you're unique, just like everyone else. -BlueOregon
[ Parent ]

Geez... (none / 0) (#235)
by Giant Space Hamster on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:57:17 PM EST

You people see one random quote (that I posted mostly because it was amusing, it's Ed the Sock after all) and automatically jump to conclusions.

Did you even bother to read the editorial?

-------------------------------------------
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
-- Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

please READ it (5.00 / 1) (#330)
by mikpos on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:37:45 PM EST

There have been a lot of silly responses. Please READ the ENTIRE editorial instead of basing your opinion on one quote taken out of context. Ed the sock is actually IN FAVOUR of legalising marijuana. And, he addresses all the concerns that have been brought up in the editorial, which you should have read.

[ Parent ]
its not out of context... (none / 0) (#410)
by three-pipe on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:21:17 AM EST

from what i glean from the quote, ed says that people who protest bad things all smoke pot... thus smoking pot leads people to protest bad things.... making pot good and bad things bad.


-chad \\ warfordium.org \\
[ Parent ]
History History! (2.50 / 10) (#41)
by FortKnox on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:43:23 PM EST

Is it illegal because it's a dangerous drug? That's one of the popularly voiced media opinions, but we didn't think it was a particularly logical one. Cigarettes and alcohol singly or in combination are purported to account for about 400,000 deaths per year in the USA alone.

Alcohol and Tobacco were existant well before marijuana was used as it is today. Maybe in the founding days of our country the founding father's woulda said "Dude, lets toke it up and ensure we keep this sh*t legal!" But the marijuana plant wasn't used as a cigarette (mostly just by the Incas, I believe).

As time goes by, Alcohol and Tobacco becomes B-I-G business. Government finds out how bad the two are for the health of the nation, but can't do crap about it, because the "legal drug" industry is far too big (which causes many problems from political funding from the companies, to the boom of unemployment it would cause).

BUT, we can stop marijuana before it comes in and does the same thing. That is why its illegal and won't become legal.
--
Yes, shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.
Umm... (none / 0) (#82)
by RegularFry on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:07:50 PM EST

Alcohol and Tobacco were existant well before marijuana was used as it is today. Maybe in the founding days of our country the founding father's woulda said "Dude, lets toke it up and ensure we keep this sh*t legal!" But the marijuana plant wasn't used as a cigarette

Unless I've been hoodwinked again, no they weren't, they did, and yes it was. When was it made illegal? 20's? 30's? Last century, anyway.

Isn't there a fairly well-known letter from a certain G Washington on the subject?


There may be troubles ahead, But while there's moonlight and music...
[ Parent ]

history?? (none / 0) (#123)
by buglord on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:14:45 PM EST

Alcohol and Tobacco were existant well before marijuana was used as it is today

Well, humans aren't really dumb and it's not like dope was just recently discovered. Alcohol must have been the first drug cavemen came in contact with when they tasted some tasty over-ripe fruit. And as far as smoking and ingesting plants goes, there isn't any primitive culture that just said 'no' to drugs. Why should anyone want to smoke tobacco? It tastes horrible and doesn't even give you a high!! Think about it before you post bollocks like that.

Alcohol and Tobacco becomes B-I-G business

If you would have done your homework, you would have realized that hemp offers much more to capitalize upon. Menthol blunts, chocolate bars that get you high, hemp clothes and paper, hemp oil, hemp beer... just imagine it... yummy...

I'm happy so much now I know how to use a gun!
Die Technik bereit und stabil... wir wollen zurück ins Telespiel!
welle:erdball - telespiel
[ Parent ]

before smoking, there was eating (none / 0) (#332)
by juln on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:53:49 PM EST

People ate hashish (as they did opium)for centuries before starting to smoke it... actually, in Eastern cultures and probably European ones as well it has a much longer histooy than tobacco. The plant originally came from India, and was spread throughout the world long before tobacco was introduced to the rest of the world from the isolated Americas.

[ Parent ]
Marijuana and violence (4.13 / 22) (#49)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:47:12 PM EST

The worst rampage I've seen by a pot smoker was slowly ambling into the kitchen for a 2-liter bottle of Jolt and a box of Ho-Hos.

Really? The worst rampage I've seen by a pot smoker was on CNN during the Jamaican elections, when twelve people were hacked to death with machetes.

For God's sake. This is the worst argument in the whole pro-cannabis platform, and it weakens the whole case. You simply cannot justify from your own anecdotal observation of pot smoking by middle class people in a peaceful environment (go on, how many violent drunks do you actually know, personally?) to the effects it might have if it were as widespread as alcohol. The most casually violent people I've ever seen were a bunch of gypsies who hung around smoking dope all day. It's entirely context-driven, and this silly, lazy thinking weakens an otherwise strong case.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

Jamaican elections... (4.28 / 7) (#61)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:52:57 PM EST

What proof can you present that it was the smoking of dope that caused those people to hack each other with machetes? Elections are often the cause of violence; to peg it on the use of marijuana is biased. I'd like to see factual evidence that these were consistently non-violent people when they were not smoking dope. Maybe then you'd have a leg to stand on.

[ Parent ]
That was not what he was saying (5.00 / 1) (#187)
by jcolter on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:04:56 PM EST

His point was not that pot made people chop up others.  It was that the dynamics of a situation are an influence on participants.  

It was argued that people at bars are more likely to get into fights because of the frequently stressful situations that can arise.  Marijuana is illegal, and in many places considered rather deviant, thus driving people who use it into private intimate settings.  

In other words, we do not have the relevant sociologic to verify if it is the alcohol or the situation that causes violence.


[ Parent ]

What he was saying (none / 0) (#249)
by DarkZero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:14:36 PM EST

It sounded more like he just assumed that any violence on the part of Jamaicans is because of marijuana, because he assumes Jamaicans are high all the time. I think you read way too much into a single off-hand sentence.

[ Parent ]
No (3.50 / 2) (#282)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:51:23 PM EST

I was referring to specific incident in Jamaica, where the guy who chopped up the people was so far out of his mind that he literally did not know what he was doing. The poster above summarises my intended point absolutely accurately

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
I therefore call you a LIAR (none / 0) (#641)
by tekue on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 05:09:04 AM EST

and dare you to prove this prepostrous claim with at least a link to a decent news agency's article.

And if you don't think that's appropriate, then I say I've seen you making out with a hedgehog. Laughable? Well, so are you.
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

No (4.00 / 2) (#283)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:51:32 PM EST

I was referring to specific incident in Jamaica, where the guy who chopped up the people was so far out of his mind that he literally did not know what he was doing. The poster above summarises my intended point absolutely accurately

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Violent drunks? (5.00 / 4) (#66)
by davidduncanscott on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:54:46 PM EST

You mean, in the sense that they appear to become violent when drunk, but not otherwise, suggesting that they are violent because they are drunk? I live in a neighborhood full of them, but there've been two I've known more or less personally (I tend to steer away from people who are prone to violence for whatever reason -- I'm a little 98-pound weakling with glasses, and I want to live forever.)

Violent, dope-smoking gypsies, huh? Cool!

[ Parent ]

Exactly (3.00 / 3) (#75)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:00:12 PM EST

This is my point. People's evidence for the proposition "booze makes people violent" is based on the behaviour of strangers, in public places, while their evidence for "dope makes people mellow" is based on the behaviour of their own friends (usually a group of people self-selected for not having tendencies toward violence), in their own homes.

In related news, I seem to remember reading that the "loved up" MDMA was the rape-and-massacre drug of choice of the Bosnian Serbs, showing once more that psychology and context is a lot more important than chemistry.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Well, yeah (4.00 / 2) (#86)
by davidduncanscott on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:10:30 PM EST

I wasn't really arguing, just answering the question as to how many I knew. An old friend of mine used to get into fights only when drunk (even coming after me one time, making the second time anybody's seriously offered to hurt me for personal, as opposed to financial, reasons), and my wife's cousin was in and out of fights when drunk for years, and not, to my knowledge, since he stopped drinking and started AA'ing. Actually he's a really nice guy these days.

I suppose the place to ask would be Amsterdam -- how often are the police called in to break up fights in dope bars vs. alcohol bars?

[ Parent ]

Do you have a link for that? (5.00 / 1) (#109)
by SvnLyrBrto on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:50:19 PM EST

>I seem to remember reading that the "loved up" MDMA
>was the rape-and-massacre drug of choice of the
>Bosnian Serbs,

(?!?!?!?!?!?)

[WILLIAM SHATNER]
That's... just... dumbfounding!
[/WILLIAM SHATNER]

I'm genuinely curious as to how Ecstasy could make ANYone violent enough to go on a rape/killing spree.  Maybe if it was mixed with a lot of tweak or PCP, or if someone had a severe mental problem going IN to the MDMA trip.  But still... that'd HAVE to be a rarity.  The VAST majority of people I have EVER seen on E (And I include complete strangers in that mix.) have just been all happy and plurry.

Hell, I've done E plenty of times myself.  And the mere THOUGHT of harming someone is just something that doesn't occur to me.  Needless to say, rape and slaughter (even of complete strangers or of people I'd normally consider my enemies) doesn't enter the equation by a LONG shot.

I just can't imagine Ecstasy invoking violent behavior in more than a very TINY minority of the rolling population.  I'd really be curious as to how a large group can pull it off.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Context (5.00 / 1) (#286)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:58:12 PM EST

I can't find a link to anything other than the mailing list post where I first read this, but I heard the same thing on a radio programme ...

With respect, I'd suggest that your experience is not relevant here. I may be making unwarranted assumptions, but I would guess that none of your ecstasy taking experiences have involved intentionally working yourself up into a xenophobic frenzy with a hundred of your army mates before taking it.

I personally can't conceive of magic mushrooms making anyone into a berserk death-crazed warrior, but we have the empirical fact of the Vikings to know that they can. The human brain is very complicated and it's highly unlikely that any chemical can reliably turn a single emotion on and off independently of all the other things going on in that brain. If you took your Es at the Nuremburg rallies, that sense of "deep connection to those around you" might have a completely different outcome. This is all fairly basic stuff from Timothy Leary's books.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

AFAIK... (none / 0) (#404)
by mikael_j on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:54:35 AM EST

The vikings didn't use Psilocybe Semilanceata, they used Amanita muscaria var. muscaria which is IIRC pretty nasty and not very hallucinogenic, effects would be closer to being drunk and pissed off than tripping on "magic" mushrooms...

/Mikael
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]
I know many violent drunks.... (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by steveftoth on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:23:23 PM EST

I've had to stop them from doing stupid things.  Usually while I'm drunk as well.  Usually you don't get people to be violent unless they are in an uncomfortable situation, like bars can be.
Seems to me that many fights that break out in bars are usually because two guys are both trying to get home with the same girl.  
But then again, that's just my ancedotial experience.

[ Parent ]
Violent drunks... (5.00 / 3) (#134)
by DarkZero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:37:36 PM EST

People's evidence for the proposition "booze makes people violent" is based on the behaviour of strangers, in public places, while their evidence for "dope makes people mellow" is based on the behaviour of their own friends (usually a group of people self-selected for not having tendencies toward violence), in their own homes.

How many violent drunks do I know? Four. All of them blood relatives, as well as some of the nicest people I've ever met... when they're sober. And they were mostly only violent in their own homes, too, because most of them refused to drink any more than one drink while they were outside of their homes.

Some of us know violent drunks. You seem to know some violent marijuana users. How about we all just stop with the stupid little anecdotes and find some REAL evidence? So far, I haven't been able to find anything on Google or any news sites that has reliable proof of either alchohol or marijuana causing violence, beyond the usual "My Anti-Drug Is Making Shitloads of Government Dollars In Anti-Drug Commercials" and "Dude, marijuana, like, totally stops global warming, cures all ailments, increases your bust size, and makes you immortal" crap. But if anyone else can find anything with some sort of scientific research attached to it, please post it.

[ Parent ]

Drinking in Japan (none / 0) (#331)
by driptray on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:43:03 PM EST

People's evidence for the proposition "booze makes people violent" is based on the behaviour of strangers, in public places...

Err, no, it's often based on the behaviour of friends and family who are non-violent when sober, but regularly become violent when drunk.

However I do agree with your general point that the effect of any drug is situational/cultural. The best example is Japan, which has the second highest rate of alcohol consumption of any country (after Russia), and yet has very little drunken violence. It's very common to see groups of drunken men staggering around the streets, most of whom will be very happy, though some will be maudlin, and a few annoyingly talkative. But not violent.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
I heard a story once... (4.66 / 3) (#98)
by krek on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:20:01 PM EST

about where the name Hashish came from. The sory being that there was this clan of warriors named the Hashishiyyin. They would smoke up alot and would hire themselves out as killers, thus the word 'assasin', it was a holy act and the hashish was something of a sacrement.

On the other hand, when I was at Woodstock '99, there was this ultra chill vibe surrounding the place, illegal drugs were easy to get and made square miles of tarmac seem like a nice place to have a party with all of your newfound friends.
There was one place that, in my opinion, spoiled this mood, and that was at and near the beer garden. This penned off area was full of hooting hooligans and drunk loud-mouths, sometime during the second day a group of about twenty to forty of them broke off just outside the beer garden, and started making "music" by banging on a bunch of overturned, metal garbage cans, it was really, really bad, kind of like a symphony of two year old pot/pan players. By the third day they had pounded them completely flat, and I mean completely. It was shortly after this, on the afternoon of the third day, that the fires began I believe, I am not sure because my friend and I were busy packing and trying to get out of the parking lot. Now perhaps I was and am too quick to blame this behavior on alcohol, maybe they were pepped up on PCP or something and just happened to stop to make their noisy home just outside of the beer garden. But I think not.

The real reason that I think that pot, and others, are still illegal, is one, as was said, organised crime has way too much to loose, and the legislators are afraid of a population that is unwilling to blindly hate, and unlikely to accept the status quo; Stoners don't make good employees! What we need to do is get Agriculture, Food Manufacturers, and Restaurant Owners to lobby for legalisation of pot. The munchies alone would make it worth their while, it would be a huge boost to the economy.

[ Parent ]
assassins (3.00 / 2) (#104)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:40:19 PM EST

Your story is correct, but "hashish" in this context is generally taken to refer to opium rather than cannabis

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Hashish or opium? (none / 0) (#645)
by Enocasiones on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 07:25:17 AM EST

Can you give a reference for that? I always thought what they were given at Alamut was hashish resin balls. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
It's the other way around... (none / 0) (#189)
by ialdobaeth on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:06:01 PM EST

...where the name Hashish came from. The sory being that there was this clan of warriors named the Hashishiyyin. They would smoke up alot and would hire themselves out as killers, thus the word 'assasin', it was a holy act and the hashish was something of a sacrement.

The word "Hashish" is derived from an Arabic word meaning, "to mow". The word "assassin" came from Hashishiyyin, which meant "Eaters of Hashish" (or "users of hashish", depending on who you ask).

The Hashishiyyin did not smoke hash, but ate it, and only in highly structured ritual situations. As far as I remember (it's been a long time since I've studied this), hashish was only used as an initiation. It wasn't used while "on the job."


The common people discriminate and make fine distinctions;
I alone am muddled and confused.
- Ch.20 - Tao te Ching
[ Parent ]

yeah... (4.28 / 7) (#133)
by johnnyfever on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:34:18 PM EST

Like we've never seen mob violence before, must be the dope that did it right? Put a bunch of people together in an emotionally charged situation and it often happens whether the mob is sober or not. Ever heard of Hitler? I suppose everyone who cheered at one of his rallies was stoned as well.

The point is that used responsibly, mj has far less detrimental effects that alcohol. You don't need to smoke a 6 pack of joint to feel the effects, you need one. You don't have a hangover, you don't puke, etc etc. I'm not saying that any of this is a GOOD argument for legalizing pot, but it seems to me that is typically where pro-legalisation people get frustrated.

Pot is no worse than alcohol, if anything it is better by comparison from pretty much any point of view. Again, this is obviously not a reasonable argument for legalisation, but it is rather confounding.

A recent Canadian Senate Report confirms what everyone already knows....a large percentage of people already smoke pot even though it's illegal. Canadian society is largely in favour of legalisation (something like 60% in favour, sorry couldn't find the link for that one), so why are the taxpayers paying hundreds of millions of dollars to fight it?

Granted, the US is considerably more conservative when it comes to this kind of thing, but I couldn't possibly care less, I'm Canadian!

[ Parent ]

I think you missed the point. (none / 0) (#199)
by ODiV on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:18:43 PM EST

He's saying that we should look at the context of the violence instead of what they happen to be smoking/drinking.

--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Violence (4.00 / 1) (#226)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:48:34 PM EST

I have known many angry, destructive drunks.. people start fights, break car windows, throw things.  I have yet to see a single person flip out and fight or break things when smoking weed, however.  There's your anecdotal evidence.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Reference please? (4.00 / 1) (#426)
by JahToasted on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:28:01 AM EST

Really? The worst rampage I've seen by a pot smoker was on CNN during the Jamaican elections, when twelve people were hacked to death with machetes.

I live in Jamaica and I don't remember that... It might possibly have been in the 80's though, I don't know.

The sad fact is that there are plenty of violent people in Jamaica, and that has more to do with poverty and political conditions than anything else.

And how do you know that he was smoking pot? Are you assuming that because he was Jamaican he must therefore be high on weed? In that case, I'll just assume you are an ignorant racist and not waste anymore time on you
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

He's dead Jim (2.06 / 15) (#55)
by Torgos Pizza on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:48:59 PM EST

Why must we continually beat this dead horse issue? Don't answer... it's a rhetorical question.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
A rhetorical answer... (2.75 / 4) (#64)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:54:07 PM EST

It's an opinion piece, nothing more.

[ Parent ]
so if.. (1.80 / 5) (#73)
by sasquatchan on Thu May 30, 2002 at 12:59:10 PM EST

I get up and say "all jews, blacks and hispanics should be dragged out and shot", all I have to do to defend my self is say "that's my opinion" and all of a sudden, everything is A-OK ?

Just admit it, you want to buy pot for your kids to keep up the "cool mom" image, right ?

Now I'm sorry I abstained on this one.
-- The internet is not here for your personal therapy.
[ Parent ]

Drawing inferences (none / 0) (#88)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:12:28 PM EST

1: I don't smoke dope or partake in any other illegal drugs. This will not change even if marijuana is legalized. 2: My children will never be allowed to do so in my presence. This also will not change with legalization. 3: Presenting an opinion is just that -- an opinion. Equating legalizing marijuana to violent racism is inflammatory and irrelevant.

[ Parent ]
Damned right! (4.66 / 3) (#279)
by DavidTC on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:47:40 PM EST

My children will never be allowed to do so in my presence.

Yeah! They'll just have to go over to a friend's house like everyone else!

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Why? (4.00 / 1) (#446)
by Scrag on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:38:55 PM EST

Why would you let your children drink beer but not allow them to use marijuana?  It seems that alcohol is the more dangerous of the two drugs...

"I'm... responsible for... many atrocities" - rusty
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#96)
by Ni on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:19:20 PM EST

I'd say you're irrational, but yes, I'd also say it's OK.

k5 doesn't have some predetermined adgenda - it is what it is. People determine what gets posted with their votes, and people are free to submit anything (assuming it's not crap flooding) that they please, just as your free to submit this comment, and I'm free to tell you you're wrong.


<mrgoat> I can't believe I just got a cyber-handjob from ni.
[ Parent ]

No, he's really dead Jim (5.00 / 3) (#81)
by Torgos Pizza on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:07:15 PM EST

Opinion aside, we average a War on Drugs article every two weeks on k5. Check the search engine and you'll pull up all sorts of articles and stories.

It's the same circular arguments over and over. Your opinion piece just adds to that. It lends no new information to the reader and really just adds more conspiracy theory to everything else out there. The opinion is weak since you obviously think it should be legal but then over and over ask why is it this way?

So just like in every other article lately about the subject, you get those on the other side of the issue to give their memorized reasons on why it should be illegal. Then the pro-legalization gets their tired responses in. Back and forth. Nothing new.

You say it's an opinion piece, nothing more. Because it is precisely that, nothing more to what's already out there, that I voted this down.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

That is your opinion and I thank you for it (none / 0) (#89)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:14:31 PM EST

But I'll still post mine and let the readers decide if it's shit.

[ Parent ]
Dead horse (5.00 / 3) (#128)
by DarkZero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:21:48 PM EST

The horse will be dead when marijuana is legalized. Until then, it unfortunately keeps gasping for air and those in favor of legalization must continue to beat it until dies.

[ Parent ]
wake up!!! (4.33 / 3) (#338)
by TheLogician on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:25:42 AM EST

How can something be a dead-horse, and an issue at the same time. If people disagree, then issues resurface. I don't talk about why killing people should be legalized be I don't have a problem with it being illegal.

[ Parent ]
Could it be because (3.33 / 12) (#79)
by Da Unicorn on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:05:10 PM EST

The CIA needs the illicit profits to continue their covert operations without funding oversite? Maybe all those confiscated homes, cars, cash, etcetera have a bearing. Seems like the anti drug warriors get a lot of $$ from the War On some Drugs, also.

Just a couple of thoughts. Who profits now, who loses if it [WOsD] stops? Usually it comes down to the $$, plain and simple.

Da

Local cops (4.50 / 2) (#204)
by vnsnes on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:27:05 PM EST

Local police departments depend on revenue brought from drug seizures. Moreover, some states passed laws that require drug-related seizure revenue to be shared with other parts of local government.

[ Parent ]
Dunno... (4.00 / 1) (#407)
by PixelPusher on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:05:34 AM EST

Isn't the CIA (or NSA too) one of the facets of the US government that has never been audited?  Or it might have been the Pentagon...

Either way, I've heard the number of one trillion dollars tossed around as being unaccounted for in the defense budgets of the past few decades...

Somehow, I don't think the CIA needs to worry about audits...  (Isn't their budget classified like the NSA?)

[ Parent ]

Racism (4.18 / 16) (#85)
by Bad Harmony on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:09:35 PM EST

If you read some of the anti-marijuana propaganda from the 1920s and 1930s, you will see that marijuana was associated with Negroes, Jazz, Sex and the Evil Big City.

Harry Anslinger, the federal narcotics commisioner, was a tireless spreader of misinformation about drugs. See "Reefer Madness" for an example of what passed for drug education.

There was an old movie, "The Gene Krupa Story", that gives the Hollywood treatment to the life of Gene Krupa, a famous Jazz/Swing musician. Note the part of the movie when white boy Gene gets busted for marijuana, it was a major scandal that almost killed his career. Nobody cared too much if Negro musicians smoked weed, but Krupa was white and a role model for white kids.

54º40' or Fight!

The Reason is Turmoil (3.20 / 5) (#91)
by thelizman on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:15:59 PM EST

At a time when we're going after tobacco companies for selling a legal but "dangerous" product, nobody should be suprised that legalizing marijuana is such a hurdle. The overall effort of groups on both sides to control what people put in their body rests mainly on their wish to "protect us from ourselves". When the argument is reduced to letting people do what they want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, then it gets a lot clearer. Marijuana isn't any more dangerous than tobacco, and people who abuse either are dumbasses who deserve to die. I quit, it's not that effin hard.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Hitting the nail on the head (4.36 / 22) (#92)
by jabber on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:16:23 PM EST

You did not hit the nail on the head, but there's a big dent in the drywall right next to it. It isn't the drug traders that keep it illegal, that would take too much complexity to keep hidden, but profit is the reason.

It's Law Enforcement.

Someone has to enforce all those anti-drug laws. Someone has to prosecute all those cases, and defend all those 'criminals'. Someone has to guard them in prison, and someone better build more prisons soon since they're all so over-crowded.

All the people fighting the War on Drugs get paid to do their jobs. Most of them get paid with Tax Dollars, and if they were not needed, they'd be broke and unemployed. All of them. The cops, the lawyers, the DA's office, the whole DEA, the Drug Tsar... It's a cartel big enough to warrant a RICO Art investigation.

If you're not part of the solution, you stand to make a fortune in perpetuating the problem.

If the War on Drugs is about morals and ethics, let's make it a Volunteer Army. See who keeps fighting, and who starts a hemp farm.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

From George Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by epepke on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:35:40 PM EST

"There's more profit in pretendin' that we're stoppin' it than sellin' it.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
http://www.kcstar.com/projects/drugforfeit/ (none / 0) (#185)
by Sacrifice on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:02:39 PM EST

http://www.kcstar.com/projects/drugforfeit/

[ Parent ]
*nodding and smiling* (3.00 / 7) (#114)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:59:04 PM EST

All the people fighting the War on Drugs get paid to do their jobs. Most of them get paid with Tax Dollars, and if they were not needed, they'd be broke and unemployed. All of them.

Yes, that's right. There are no other crimes taking place that need investigating or prosecuting. Certainly no murders or arsons or rapes or school shootings or terrorist bombings (either foreign and domestic) taking place. All of those activities are fully staffed and couldn't soak up single extra worker.

Let's put things in perspective here. According to the OMB, the US's fiscal year 2003 budget calls for 329 billion to go to "national defense", 63 billion to go to "Education, training, employment, and social services" and 45 billion to go to "Administration of justice". That last category includes everything from the FBI and DEA down to judge's salaries and prison janitors.

So yes, there is some money that is being made out of drugs being illegal. But in the larger scheme of the US gov't, it's pennies. Every single drug enforcement worker could be relocated to other federal programs and I doubt we'd see much increase in how effective those other programs were--it's just too huge.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

Umm, yeah, ok. (5.00 / 4) (#132)
by jabber on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:28:39 PM EST

Where did I say that ALL the cops would be fired? Many crimes are drug related.. Many petty robberies are done to pay for drugs. Many cops are assigned to drug enforcement. Not all, not even most. Most enforce drug laws as a matter of doing their job of enforcing the law. Fewer laws, less work, less need for many cops.

Check the stats on the percentage of people in prison  on drug charges, especially possession, and intent to sell (due to quantity found). All were busted by cops, all were prosecuted by the DA's office, most were represented by a public defender, all needed a judge and court reporter and balif. All need to be guarded, fed, housed..

If you decriminalize drugs, especially pot, you'll reduce the load on the legal system. If you reduce the demands on the system, the system will no longer be able to justify its present size.

Keeping drugs illegal makes work for the system.

Is this preconceived or by design? No. Of course not. That would be racketeering, and that's illegal. But hey, as long as drugs are out there, there is need for the system to fight them. The Government isn't getting rich on the Drug War. The individual people doing their jobs in fighting it depend on it to pay their bills though.

Yes, the resources fighting the war on drugs could be put elsewhere to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the system. But that would make for no slack-time. The system runs on pork-barrel projects, and the War on Drugs is the king of them all.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

States' law enforcement spending exceeds Feds [nt] (4.50 / 2) (#173)
by Sacrifice on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:37:49 PM EST



[ Parent ]
thats like the 3 strikes law in ca (5.00 / 4) (#125)
by nodsmasher on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:15:31 PM EST

The bigist suportors of the very strict 3 stricks law in california (any 3 strikes not just violante can get you a very long sentence) is the prison guard union. Many of who would be out of a job if the law changed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
Pot is only recently illegal (3.50 / 8) (#94)
by buglord on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:17:09 PM EST

I once saw a small metal canister built in the late 19th century in Germany in which locally (!)-grown pot was sold.

It had a small warning printed on it: "Rauch zuviel von dem Orient nit / weil Dir sonst der Schädel brennt"
Translation: "don't smoke too much of the oriental / otherwise your skull will burn"

As you might recall, during that time many drugs which are now prohibited or frowned upon were commonplace then: cocaine, morphine or absinthe. Alcohol use was also widespread, simply because alcoholic beverages kept better without refrigeration.

My guess why they were banned? For one thing, proles are more effective without drugs, and industrialization was dependent on hard workers. For another thing, the negative side-effects were not known then. The culture in Europe at that time was much more open for these things. After the beginning of the 20th century, puritanism spread out. With world wars waging, you don't want stoned citizens trying to catch bullets.
But nowadays, the rigid approach towards drugs is slipping. They were always a part of human culture anywhere.

I'm happy so much now I know how to use a gun!
Die Technik bereit und stabil... wir wollen zurück ins Telespiel!
welle:erdball - telespiel

"Rauch zuviel von dem Orient nit" (none / 0) (#135)
by ti dave on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:41:51 PM EST

While it may have currently held Marijuana, the inscription likely refers to the original contents being Opium.
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
A lot of things come from the orient... (none / 0) (#152)
by buglord on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:55:06 PM EST

And as a matter of fact, grass was the preferred smoke because it was cheaper. Tobacco was expensive, because it had to be imported, whereas marijhuana grew like weed in front of the door. A quick search led to me to this page, which says that "Orient" was a term for marijhuana during the beginning of the 19th century (sorry it's in german)

I'm happy so much now I know how to use a gun!
Die Technik bereit und stabil... wir wollen zurück ins Telespiel!
welle:erdball - telespiel
[ Parent ]
Grüss dich. (none / 0) (#367)
by ti dave on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:06:59 AM EST

On the page that you linked to, doesn't the phrase "Orient" refer to "starken Tobak"?

It seems that they're referring to "Orient" as the Tobacco/Marijuana mixture, and "Kraut" primarily as Hemp/Marijuana.
I would guess that the "Orient" reference is connected to the Tobacco portion of the mixture, as it was only cultivated in the "East" (Turkey and points eastward).

In any case, I wasn't aware of the non-Opiate use of "Orient". That was an interesting page.

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
What's really sad (3.54 / 11) (#95)
by roam on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:17:54 PM EST

is that those kids next door, probably hearing only bits and pieces of your conversation, are now scared shitless waiting for the FBI to show up at their door.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


Nah... (5.00 / 1) (#118)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:04:47 PM EST

None of my business what they do on their own property as long as they aren't hurting someone.

[ Parent ]
I agree (none / 0) (#144)
by roam on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:15:33 PM EST

Just a joke, you know, paranoia and all.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
I've been in their shoes (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by Quixato on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:26:05 PM EST

And that kind of situation begets paranoia like a mofo. When you're stoned and surrounded by sober people, it turns into an us vs them mentality. You can't relate, you start to imagine what they're thinking, and it invariably turns into negative connotations. So yes, those kids were probably shit scared.. ;)

"People are like smarties - all different colours on the outside, but exactly the same on the inside." - Me
"Learn to question, question to learn." - Sl8r
[ Parent ]

Drugs (2.92 / 13) (#105)
by FredBloggs on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:41:22 PM EST

are illegal, because most people, in most countries want them illegal. Politicians offer what people want. When most people want them legal, they`ll be legal. Its a simple as that.

Politicians do whatever is lucrative... (3.66 / 3) (#106)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:43:21 PM EST

...most of them don't give a shit what the people want, unless it's an election year.

[ Parent ]
People are convinced as to what they want (none / 0) (#179)
by broken77 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:50:04 PM EST

Once the convincing is done, the people who convinced them step out of the picture and let the people take over. Until the balance of power starts to shift the other way, then the people have to be propagandized again. If the public was not led (like sheep) to believe certain things about marijuana, or hemp, we wouldn't be in the position we're in today, where a good portion of the public is still against it.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

In DC the majority voted for a referendum... (4.00 / 1) (#183)
by RofGilead on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:58:12 PM EST

on medical marijuana.  The legislatures appealed through the courts to get the referendum blocked.

Don't kid yourself about how this country works.   The majority may want alot of things, that doesn't mean they will get them.

-= RofGilead =-

---
Remember, you're unique, just like everyone else. -BlueOregon
[ Parent ]

'Drugs' and the people (5.00 / 1) (#186)
by juln on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:04:54 PM EST

I wish it was as simple as that... because overwhelmingly the people I meet either are in favor of legalizing marijuana, or they are indifferent. If the government did what people wanted, marijuana would be legal. A truly vast number of people smoke, and I don't see many anitmarijuana protestors (except for wackos, basically). By the way, 'drugs' is a term that includes caffeine, alcohol, barbituates, opiates, and many more substances. "Drugs' are not illegal at all.

[ Parent ]
I`m in the UK (4.00 / 1) (#377)
by FredBloggs on Fri May 31, 2002 at 05:02:23 AM EST

and despite the fact that millions of people here smoke, it doesnt mean that most people want (illegal) drugs legalized - regardless of what the people you meet want - unless you`ve met some huge percentage of your countries population. But i`d imagine you`ve met - at most - around 0.5% of them!


[ Parent ]
I'm not in the UK (none / 0) (#508)
by juln on Fri May 31, 2002 at 05:22:54 PM EST

What would be important is whether I've met a broad spectrum of folks, in many age groups and socioeconomic classes, and I feel that living around different parts of the US, I have. True, I can't speak for the UK. I don't want illegal drugs legalized - I've known many people who would be MUCH better off if they had never touched amphetamines or cocaine especially, and I consider those drugs a much stickier topic than pot, because they are really bad for people... but I tihnk their distribution should be controlled by the gov't instead of being left to the black market. Anyhow, it's not fair to lump marijuana in with synthetic or purified substances. Personally, I don't think so many people should be drinking alcohol and sniffing paint thinner either.

[ Parent ]
It was a segueue... (4.40 / 15) (#107)
by Elkor on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:45:26 PM EST

After prohibition.

The Book Reefer Madness is, from what I hear, an excellent resource on the history of Marijuana in the US.

To summarize (and generalize):
The cotton industry was trying to market denim jeans (from cotton), but the predominant "long wear" fabric was hemp cloth (the first USA flag was made of hemp cloth).

Similarly (as you mention) paper mills were developing a process of making paper from wood fiber, but had to go against hemp paper (the Declaration of Independance was written on hemp paper).

Towards the end of Prohibition, the guy in charge of tracking down moonshiners realized he would soon be out of a job. He was (probably) approached by these two industries and was given the idea of how to keep his job and department. He went before Congress and testified about "Reefer Madness" and how it caused violance and made white women sleep with black men.

So, by a handy measure of fear mongering and the financial influence of two industries, hemp was outlawed.

As I said, that is very summarized and generalized. As with anything, there are more details behind its history (hence the book recommendation).

More interesting tidbits of info are available at hempcar.org



Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
Oh, please (1.00 / 3) (#148)
by Demiurge on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:51:53 PM EST

Hemp's banned because it's a miracle fiber, and the industry fatcats in cotton don't want to have to compete with it.


Marijuana is illegal because smoking it gets you high, not because you can make a flag out if it.

[ Parent ]
You do realize.... (none / 0) (#232)
by Elkor on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:55:47 PM EST

that Hemp and Marijuana come from the same species of plant?

And that one of the arguments why Hemp isn't legalized is because they "can't tell the difference" between the plants that produce the THC kind and the ones that don't.

Right?

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
He probably realizes it, (4.50 / 2) (#291)
by beergut on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:08:14 PM EST

But, doesn't know that there was a new miracle tool just around the corner, the decorticator, that could make the process of extracting the fibers from the hemp stalk a reasonable task, without first lettng the hemp ret in the fields until the "glue" in the stalks had decayed enough to allow easy extraction of the fibers, by which time the fibers themselves had lost some of their strength.

This has lots of ramifications, not only for the textile industry (or, specifically, cotton and flax,) but for the petroleum products industry (then in its infancy, for things like plastic, which can be refined from the non-fibrous portions of the hemp stalk.) You might mention Pierre Du Pont, and his relationships (financial as well as personal) with Harry Anslinger, who was the chief proponent of the ban at the time.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Fear Mongering and Legislation (4.00 / 2) (#296)
by karb on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:30:04 PM EST

A good deal of legislation is accompanied by heated rhetoric on the congressional floor. Significant legislation is usually accompanied by lobbying by interested commercial parties. Very significant legislation is accompanied by extensive media coverage, and extremely significant legislation is occasionally even accompanied by scary TV movies.

To pick out one instance where this was done, fifty years in the past, to prove the point that the opposite viewpoint must be right is ludicrous. There are many good arguments why marijuana should be legal. That a lot of disinformation surrounded the intial legislation is not one of them.

Also, I believe some states experimented with decriminalization in the 70's, but ended up recriminalizing it. So it's not like the whole nation has been un-stoned all this time, not knowing what it would be like to be 'free'.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

I was addressing the original post. (none / 0) (#454)
by Elkor on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:06:54 PM EST

The question asked in the story was "Why is Marijauna illegal?"

For that I went back in time to the point where it was made illegal.

The question of why it is still illegal is a different beast.

As for the experimentation in the 70's, it was probably recriminalized because the Federal Government threatened to pull funding to some program if they didn't. It is for this same reason that the drinking age in every US state is 21. The Federal Government cut back road funding to any state that had a drinking age lower than 21.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Fair enough (none / 0) (#473)
by karb on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:40:53 PM EST

I just hate hearing the conspiracy-legislation theories ... I usually don't buy them even for legislation I really really dislike :)
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]
Story trumps reality (3.90 / 20) (#110)
by jasonab on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:51:00 PM EST

Once again, K5's desire for a good story trumps reasonable views of reality.

Pot isn't illegal because of some massive conspiracy between the mafia and the CIA, it's illegal because inertia wins when there's nothing pushing the opposite way.

There's no real benefit to legalizing pot, other than vague arguments about how much fun it is or personal liberty. Frankly, I have a hard time seeing a Constitutional right to get high. There are plenty more people who will vote against you if you favor legalization than will vote for you. Ergo, net loss.

I will grant that marijuana has been demonized in many people's minds beyond what is reasonable. The irony, of course, is that its the users themselves that did this. The more that pot users hold themselves out as enlightened rebels, the less the mainstream will want to legalize it. Who wants to prove obnoxious, uppity, drug-smoking snobs right? Heck, I'm pro-legalization, and most of the comments here make me want to double the jail sentences.

Marijuana will be legalized when pot users stop proving their stereotypes and make reasonable distinctions between hard and soft drugs. It's a lot easier to get people to agree to legalize pot if also you acknowledge the problems of herion and cocaine.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd

I'm glad you brought up the Constitution... (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by What She Said on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:02:15 PM EST

It required an amendment of the Constitution to implement Prohibition. The 18th Amendment, if I remember correctly.

Interestingly enough, there's nothing in the Constitution that gives the federal government the right to say that we can't smoke dope (or do other harmful drugs).

[ Parent ]

Dry states before Prohibition (3.66 / 3) (#131)
by jasonab on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:23:44 PM EST

It required an amendment of the Constitution to implement Prohibition. The 18th Amendment, if I remember correctly.
Actually, that's not true. Alcohol had been banned in several states before the passage of the Amendment. That was mearly the crowning achievement of the temperance movement, to enshrine their victory in the Constitution. In fact, there are still dry counties in several states.

The Feds are well within their rights to prevent the importation of drugs and the interstate transport of drugs. Other laws depend on your view of the Commerce Clause.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd
[ Parent ]

That's how it's supposed to be (5.00 / 4) (#275)
by DavidTC on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:39:47 PM EST

Power not granted to the government, though the constitution, is granted to the state, or to the people if the states don't want it.

The Federal government has no authority to ban any substance at all, in all seriousness. The FDA can barely fit under the 'interstate commerce' section, and most of the anti-drug laws can't fit under it at all.

The Feds have the right to stop people from bring drugs in this country. They have the right to stop people from selling drugs between states. They have the right to stop people from transporting drugs between the states if they suspect those people will resell it. That's it.

However, what they do not have the right to do is stop people from possessing or growing drugs, in any sense at all. That would be roughly akin to me running a toll road, and you signing a contract that you wouldn't care more than two people in your car at once on it, and then I have you arrested for possessing a car with four seats. the government has the right to stop 'interstate commmerce'. Growing drugs for yourself is not 'interstate commerce'.

Note the Federal government has attacked Cannabis clubs in CA where they smoke on site. How the hell that can be 'interstate' is beyond me.

The concept that the Federal government can ban a substance from anywhere in the US under whatever circumstances it wants has no basis in the Constitution. Prohibition by the Federal government required one for alcohol, and it requires one for pot.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Votes (5.00 / 3) (#119)
by DarkZero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:07:28 PM EST

There are plenty more people who will vote against you if you favor legalization than will vote for you.

Actually, there have been quite a few  referendums for the legalization of medical marijuana, and I believe even a few for legal marijuana altogether, in the United States. Many of them have passed, but the federal government is blocking them right now and ignoring questions about why they are doing so.

The popular image is that most people are ignorant about marijuana and would quickly demonize anyone that supported it. However, these referendums claim that this is not the case.

[ Parent ]

Potheads (5.00 / 6) (#120)
by jabber on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:08:06 PM EST

I'm inclined to agree with you. The majority of vocal proponents of legalization or 'of the sort' we don't want to be associated with. The un-embarassing users of pot do not admit using it because they do not want to get their reputations dirtied by being associated with the smelly jobless hippies.

These yuppie potheads have too much to lose, specifically careers and reputations, as well as all the luxuries that good jobs afford them. So, the people with the means to make a difference tend to preserve the status quo because it is adequately convenient as it is. The people without the means toke up and bitch about how The Man is keeping them down.

What's needed is for some rich people with solid careers and consistent reputations to fess up to being potheads. Actors and entertainers are almost good, but they're allowed to be eccentric and the common white-collat pothead doesn't associate with them. Thanks a lot Woody Harrelson, Macy Grey and the rest of you, but you're not the figureheads we need to further legalization.

What's needed is for people like Bill Gates, Carly Fiorina, Dan Rather and Charles Schwab to come out and say "Yeah, I smoke pot now and then. It doesn't impact my life negatively at all."

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Not going to happen... (none / 0) (#151)
by LaRueLaDue on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:54:52 PM EST

With drug testing required for most white-collar jobs nowadays, you are not going to see this happen....

[ Parent ]
Reality (5.00 / 4) (#156)
by zonker on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:07:20 PM EST

Pot isn't illegal because of some massive conspiracy between the mafia and the CIA, it's illegal because inertia wins when there's nothing pushing the opposite way.

Interesting you mention reality, where does the article mention the CIA or the mafia? The CIA doesn't police marijuana - that's the work of local law enforcement and (occasionally) the FBI. The organized crime families normally known as "the Mafia" aren't big into marijuana either. Heroin or cocaine, maybe, but not marijuana.

There are organizations pushing the other way - note the proposed medical marijuana laws and organizations like NORML - but legislation against marijuana is getting stronger, not weaker.

There's no real benefit to legalizing pot, other than vague arguments about how much fun it is or personal liberty.

Personal liberty isn't a "vague argument." I think marijuana should be legalized because I don't think the government should have any say over what substances I choose to use. It's my body, and I'm personally responsible for my actions. The government shouldn't be in the business of deciding which drugs I'm allowed to use and which drugs I'm not. Apparently the policy is "if it gets you high, and it's not alcohol, we don't want you to have it. If it's alcohol, then feel free to kill yourself drinking after you turn 21."

It's also hypocritcal to allow alcohol, but forbid marijuana. The side-effects from alcohol are much more detrimental than marijuana.

Inertia is certainly a reason - but I'm sure that if a proposal to legalize marijuana across the board made it to a national election, it would pass. Perhaps by a slim margin, but the majority of people in the U.S. don't really believe that it's all that bad.
I will not get very far with this attitude.
[ Parent ]

Keep your hands out of my pocket (4.25 / 4) (#193)
by boy programmer on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:12:24 PM EST

For me, one of the biggest argument for the decriminalization of drugs is the expense. Every month, the government takes a non-trivial cut of my paycheck and spends a significant portion of that keeping people in jail. People who pose absolutely no threat to me, my properity, or to anyone else.

[ Parent ]
absolutely incorrect (3.75 / 4) (#211)
by bowline on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:35:41 PM EST

I don't dispute that it will be difficult to legalize MJ, but I do disagree with the rest of your argument.

First, there are many very real benefits to justify legalisation of marijuana:

  • medicinal uses. There are some very valid medical uses of MJ, most relating to prevention of nausea in cancer and AIDS patients. Yes--as many anti-pot people argue--there are pills containing the same active ingredients that patients can take, but you can't smoke them. That you don't have to swallow pot to fix your appetite is what makes it a winner.
  • prisoner population. There are many many people imprisoned for posession of MJ. Our taxes pay to keep population imprisoned for no good reason: in general smokers are not a danger to society.
  • A violation of "natural rights". Just as one might argue that it's a natural right to be able to feed one's self or grow their own food on their property, it can be argued that self-medication is a natural right.
  • Agriculture, etc. More...
You are correct that pot has been demonized beyone what is reasonable, but incorrect in stating that it was the user's fault. I can't say for sure, but I seriously doubt that the users are making the anti-pot/anti-drug propoganda seen on TV, etc.

I think that mention of heroine of cocaine in a MJ discussion is silly. The only relation between those drugs and pot is that they're all illegal. Mentioning them and pot is a propoganda technique only useful in denouncing pot.

Finally, you're an ass if you believe that the legalization of pot should be decided based upon how much the pro-pot side annoys you. Only jerks are such bullying and vengeful people. I suggest that you do some more research on the issue before reconsidering.

[ Parent ]

Ah, but... (4.00 / 2) (#285)
by beergut on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:56:08 PM EST

Your list of benefits fall prey to the same sets of problems that another poster's list falls to.

  • medicinal uses. There are some very valid medical uses of MJ, most relating to prevention of nausea in cancer and AIDS patients. Yes--as many anti-pot people argue--there are pills containing the same active ingredients that patients can take, but you can't smoke them. That you don't have to swallow pot to fix your appetite is what makes it a winner.
  • prisoner population. There are many many people imprisoned for posession of MJ. Our taxes pay to keep population imprisoned for no good reason: in general smokers are not a danger to society.
  • A violation of "natural rights". Just as one might argue that it's a natural right to be able to feed one's self or grow their own food on their property, it can be argued that self-medication is a natural right.
  • Agriculture, etc. More...
The problems lie in these points:
  • Pfizer, Merck, and a bunch of other people sell anti-nausea treatments to go along with the chemotherapy treatments they sell, and the radiation treatments their close kin in the medical industrial complex sell
  • Senator Leghorn feels that he, and the government he "serves" are entitled to your tax money, and as such, do not care if the money is spent wisely, so long as it is spent - besides, his rural constituents need those prison guard jobs!
  • Senator Leghorn happens to believe that there are no such constructs as "natural rights", and that whole "Constitution" thing is a menace that sometimes (but not always) blocks his critical and crucial bribe payoffs^W^Wlegislation from getting passed
  • Archer Daniels-Midland already has lots of money, and wants its farms to grow corn for fuel - paper should be made from trees, otherwise, how would all those big paper mills support themselves?
Again, it boils down to, can Senator Foghorn Leghorn from the great State of South Carolina hit up the marijuana industrial complex and a bunch of dirty GNU hippies for bribes^Wcontributions with the same success as he can hit up the (pharmaceutical|medical|prison|agricultural) industrial complexes?

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Hah (5.00 / 1) (#429)
by bowline on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:42:41 AM EST

Good points. Except that the anti-nausea drugs (like Marinol) often don't work because they are pills that must be swallowed. It's a bit of a conundrum being required to swallow something to help your inability to swallow.

And, of course, I don't consider political difficulty a reason not to legalize -- it's just a barrier.

[ Parent ]

no real benefit? (4.50 / 2) (#234)
by joeD on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:57:06 PM EST

dude, what are you smoking?

I would not personally call personal liberty "vague", but OK. as for real benefits, how about the enourmous costs involved in catching and incarerating nonviolent people? is that real enough?

and as for people "proving their sterotypes", so what? how is it any of your business what sterotypes I choose to embody? so what if I'm a greedy soulless stockbroker? so what if I'm a dumb jock? why should you care if I like to dress my family in matching clothes when I go to Disneyland? and why should you be able to throw me in jail because of it?

[ Parent ]

Efficiency? (4.33 / 3) (#242)
by haflinger on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:01:50 PM EST

There's no real benefit to legalizing pot, other than vague arguments about how much fun it is or personal liberty.
Putting aside the value of liberty for the moment (evidently you're not from New Hampshire), I suggest two related benefits:
  1. A significant reduction in the number of ordinary young people in jail
  2. A reduction in revenue for terrorist organizations that profit from drug smuggling
I suggest these two dramatic benefits would far outweigh any health problems that might appear; I suspect that pot usage would in fact increase the average lifespan of the population.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
But, (3.50 / 2) (#276)
by beergut on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:39:57 PM EST

One man's treasure is another man's trash, so to speak.

Your points:

  1. A significant reduction in the number of ordinary young people in jail
  2. A reduction in revenue for terrorist organizations that profit from drug smuggling
Must be weighed, in reality, against a couple of other points:
  1. A significant increase in the number of ordinary young people now in the work force, causing a downward pressure on wages, hence tax revenue
  2. A reduction in revenue for police and governmental organizations, and the prison industrial complex that profits mightily from busting drug smugglers and users
While I believe you are correct, that the net effect would be positive for our society, the question will ultimately be, are those benefits tangible?

In other words, can Senator Foghorn Leghorn go to his buddies in the marijuana industrial complex and hit them up for bribes^Wcampaign donations to the same extent that he can hit up his buddies in the prison industrial complex? Do people in small towns have fewer jobs because there is less need for prisons? Do we cease having a captive work force making license plates, furniture, cubicles, tech support (yes, really!), and any of a number of other goods and services for what amounts to about $.10/hour?

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Money is not the only motive. (3.60 / 10) (#115)
by Alarmist on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:00:31 PM EST

Power is a big consideration, especially when dealing with governments.

Consider: the anti-drug campaign rests a fair portion of its ideology on the notion that marijuana is a gateway drug - that people who smoke pot are more likely to progress into harder drugs. This is a kind of anti-drug domino theory, in which we are told we must be hard on the little guys to keep them from becoming major criminals and nuisances later in life.

The domino theory, incidentally, is what got the United States into Vietnam and into various Central and South American countries.

This domino theory (because that's really what it is) makes it possible for the government to have a logical basis for enacting ever-sterner laws that have, as a byproduct, the effect of restraining the individual citizen more and more tightly under the guise of providing security from drug fiends.

The United States has the highest per-capita population of prisoners anywhere in the world. Many of these people, who are now felons and stripped of many civil rights even after release, are condemned to a perpetual cycle of below-subsistence level jobs and political powerlessness that ensures that those in power stay in power.

Money isn't the only motive. In fact, I suspect that money isn't the motive at all here. I think that power is the real goal.


domino theory (5.00 / 1) (#122)
by gibichung on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:13:16 PM EST

The opposite is, of course, appeasement.

When we gave Adolf Hitler Czechoslovakia, we achieved Peace in Our Time, right?

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Not really. (none / 0) (#124)
by Alarmist on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:15:12 PM EST

The opposite of the domino theory is staying the hell out of someone else's backyard. That's not appeasement. That's minding your own business.


[ Parent ]
Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by gibichung on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:20:22 PM EST

What happens in Prague isn't the business of Paris or London. By a slight extension, what happens in Paris isn't the business of Aquitaine and so forth.

Your analogy (domino theory == drug war) is flawed.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

I disagree. (none / 0) (#137)
by Alarmist on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:46:12 PM EST

Consider this line of logic: pot -> acid -> cocaine -> crack -> mugging little old ladies for drug cash. This is what the U.S. government is saying, more or less.

Now also consider this line: Korea -> Vietnam -> South America -> Central America -> the Commies are kicking our doors in. This is more or less what the U.S. government said in Asia and Central/South America.

What's the difference?


[ Parent ]

Here's one for yah (4.00 / 1) (#358)
by gibichung on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:54:11 AM EST

Mainz -> Vienna -> Prague -> Danzig -> Warsaw -> Paris -> Moscow -> London -> Ottawa -> Nazis kicking our doors in.

Do you believe that we were wrong to interfere in the business of the Nazis? You can't have it both ways. Choose:

  • Munich was wrong (Vietnam was right)
  • Munich was right (Vietnam was wrong)
Munich lead to Danzig and Danzig lead to World War II. If Korea had lead to Vietnam had lead to Central America, it likely would have started World War III.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
False dichotomy (none / 0) (#511)
by aspartame on Fri May 31, 2002 at 05:41:08 PM EST

Do you really think that the Vietcong would have proceded to conquer other SE Asian countries, had we not gotten involved in their nasty little civil war?

Before you answer, recall that they did not do so after we failed to stop them from taking over South Vietnam.

For extra credit, discuss whether the Vietcong were true beliveres in the communist ideology, or if it was a means to the end of recieving military and economic assistance from China (after haveing asked for similar assistance from the US and being turned down).

--
180 times sweeter than sugar
[ Parent ]

I've posted this before (4.50 / 6) (#129)
by karb on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:23:04 PM EST

And I was told it contained no points worth discussing because it was 'propaganda'.

Even if you say it is 'propaganda', it is important because it contains much of the reasoning that leads people to say illegal drugs should be illegal, straight from the horse's mouth.

Some of the DOJ's feelings on drug legalization
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?

Another theory (4.00 / 10) (#136)
by jurgisb on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:45:52 PM EST

This has been said before, but anyway I'll recite it here. Basically, it goes like this:

Those in power want to keep their status quo (obviously). Their position is strenghtened by (hard) working people and the whole "work" meme, and weakened by, mainly, artists and thinkers of various occupations (for they are considered mainly "unproductive"; of course, I'm generalising).

So, they have hardcoded interest to promote "some" drugs that cause aggressive and competitive behaviour, while being not too intellectualy stimulating (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine). OTOH, they have same level of interest to keep "some other" drugs out of reach, namely those who cause "unproductive" (unaggressive, cooperative) behaviour, while stimulating abstract reasoning/creative capability (LSD, psilocybin).

It's really that simple. Not to mention a multitude of various people (not really in "power", but) who would lose workplaces (and steady income from taxpayers) were it not for WOsD.

Again, ideas above are not my own, they just make sense, imo.



Couple minor points (5.00 / 1) (#571)
by carbon on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 02:51:50 PM EST

I don't think this is much of the issue anymore. For one thing, this whole anti-artist thing isn't really too much in place anymore; there aren't too may good jobs for artists, but as a whole, they seem to be generally respected. I haven't seen anyone complaining about too many museums or libraries (which are, basically, museums of written art which allow public loans.)

Also, as far as I can tell, caffeine might be considered to go into either catagory, intellectually stimulating (just look at how many hackers drink loads of soda) or not, as you said. I think the main reason caffeine is legal is that it's just not too strong, unless taken in large quantities. Of course, this is coming from a guy who drinks about 4 cans of Diet Coke a day...

However, I mostly agree with your ideas, that there seems to be an irrational line placed across the drug listings determining legality and illegality.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Reasons for continuing illegality.. (2.56 / 16) (#138)
by Kwil on Thu May 30, 2002 at 03:01:33 PM EST

..aren't very many, but here's some that make me support it anyway.
  1.  Some people (like me) don't like the stink of the stuff, and don't like to get high. When someone around you is smoking it, you don't have a choice. You either leave or you will likely end up getting high to some degree yourself. I don't think the smoker's "right" to smoke should necessarily trump my "right" to enjoy sitting out on my deck and remaining fully lucid.
  2.  There are some links to marijuana use and the development (or at least onset) of anxiety disorders. These can be long-term, and can seriously screw up a person's life. Considering point 1, this strikes me as a Bad Thing.  Now I'm fully willing to admit that currently these links are not well researched, and the occurence may be quite rare, but I'm certainly not willing to see the stuff become legal before that aspect is well researched.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


doesn't wash (4.16 / 6) (#139)
by tralfamadore on Thu May 30, 2002 at 03:43:31 PM EST

1) just like cigs are regulated as far as where you can smoke, i'm sure smoking mj would be too. oh, and a smoke wafting from a neighbor's yard is not going to give you any kind of significant contact buzz. you have to be in a room full of smokers for that.

2) and alcohol doesn't cause any kind of disorders?

[ Parent ]

Consider the whole. (5.00 / 1) (#153)
by Kwil on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:03:25 PM EST

is not going to give you any kind of significant contact buzz.

Really? Are you so initimately aware of my particular physiology and its reactions to THC that you can state that for certain?

Beyond which, if it gives me any contact buzz it's too much. When I don't want to be high, I don't want to be high at all. The degree of it has no relevance because the only degree acceptable to me is 0.

As to your second point, I never argued alcohol doesn't - however your consumption of alcohol is not going to give me a disorder. Consider the whole post.. if your "wafting" smoke has a risk of setting off some trigger in a person's brain that brings on the onset of an anxiety disorder, I don't think that's an acceptable risk for society to take.

Now, if you want to smoke your joint entirely within your own home, in a properly contained and filtered environment so that the THC does not impinge upon public space, or more specifically upon my private space (which includes my lungs), then I have little argument with that.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
And this is different from tobacco smoke how? [nt] (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by toganet on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:12:47 PM EST


Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


[ Parent ]
Not a lot really.. (5.00 / 1) (#181)
by Kwil on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:54:26 PM EST

..and my viewpoints on tobacco usage are quite similar, to be honest. I would prefer that tobacco smoking be banned from public areas. If a person wants to smoke in their own home, that's their own business. If a business wants to allow people to smoke within, that's fine too. Just put a warning on the door so I know not to ever go in.

The one difference (and as I said, there's not a lot of research on this yet) is in the link between marijuana usage and the onset of anxiety disorders. From what I've gathered, unlike second-hand tobacco smoke, this unfortunately doesn't have to be long-term exposure to marijuana smoke to happen. Some anxiety sufferers report that the onset happened after their first joint.

And let me be clear here, when I say anxiety disorders, I don't mean people just feeling a little nervous, I mean people being physically unable to leave their homes for any reason for long periods of time (even decades). This includes their job, shopping, entertainment, whatever.  These people need fairly constant support to survive, never mind be any type of productive member of society.  It's a horrible thing to try and live with, whether you're the sufferer or just someone who cares about the suffering person.  

I just don't think we should be legalizing something that has any evidence it can cause such a thing to happen, not without controls so strict it might as well stay illegal anyway.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Anxiety disorders? (none / 0) (#268)
by DavidTC on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:23:30 PM EST

Do you have ANY evidence of this whatsoever, or did you just decide to make it up?

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
Evidence (5.00 / 1) (#278)
by Kwil on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:41:09 PM EST

Yes, but only anecdotal at the moment.

A family member of mine has anxiety disorder. Tracing it back, it seems we find that a key 'turning point' was after the first experience with marijuana.

At the time, it wasn't quite so noticable of course. A reluctance to go out and do things, an increasing avoidance of people, etc.  Not recognizing the symptoms quick enough, not enough was done and it progressed fairly significantly, to the point where the person literally did not leave the house for almost a decade.

We're working on it now, and we've had some successes and some failures. While in group therapy, my relative told me that a number of the other people there also could trace things back to an experience with marijuana.  Talking to the therapist revealed that yes, this is quite a common experience among those who do have serious anxiety disorders.

However, we're just starting to get to the point where anxiety disorder is recognized as a serious illness. When you combine this with the difficulty of doing research on marijuana use, and the difficulty of doing research on people with anxiety disorders (as almost by definition, they are not really able to get out and participate in research projects) then there's really not a lot of solid scientific work I can point you to unfortunately.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
and it could also be entirely coincidental [nt] (none / 0) (#389)
by tralfamadore on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:26:01 AM EST

nt=no tokin'

[ Parent ]
Have you ever thought (4.00 / 1) (#442)
by theR on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:20:49 PM EST

that people with anxiety disorders are more likely to smoke pot, rather than pot smokers being more likely to get anxiety disorders? You're making a terrible assumption that has no basis in fact.



[ Parent ]
Multiple Coincidences = Correlation (none / 0) (#544)
by Kwil on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 12:22:24 AM EST

Note that I've never said this was a proven causation link, or anything like that. Just that there seems to be a link, and before we go legalizing pot, wouldn't it be better if we at least look into this?  So yes, the causation could be the reverse order. Maybe folks prone to anxiety disorders turn to pot as a type of early treatment.. but until you can point me to research suggesting that this is the case instead of the other way around, should we risk it?

Personally, I don't want to risk sending more people to the long-term suffering this disease causes simply because someone else happens to enjoy the feeling they get when they smoke-up.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
I did a search for some non-anecdotal.. (5.00 / 1) (#290)
by Kwil on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:07:06 PM EST

..because I haven't done one in a while, and came up with some interesting stuff.

http://www.panicattacks.com.au/article/art/marijuana.html

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/mentalhealth/archive/417.html

http://anxiety-panic.com/dictionary/en-dictc.htm
  (see Cannibas)

There were also several anti-drug sites that listed it, but I assume their word would be considered untrustworty in this regard, so I've tried to stick with those that have anxiety disorder and panic attack as their major focus.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
These are anecdotes, too (3.00 / 1) (#311)
by TheSleeper on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:12:41 PM EST

Your first two links are still nothing but anecdotes involving anxiety and cannabis. The third link is a definition from a medical dictionary.

Non-anecdotal evidence means that you look at a decent-sized population of people and try to work out some relationship between anxiety disorders and cannabis use through statistical methods.

[ Parent ]

Fair enough, but.. (5.00 / 1) (#352)
by Kwil on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:46:21 AM EST

..at least they aren't just my anecdotes.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Pollen (4.00 / 4) (#190)
by gnovos on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:06:46 PM EST

So, by this logic, you would like me to cut down my pine trees in my back yard becuase you have a severe allergy to pollen?  

Now here is a novel idea, how about instead of throwing your neighbor in jail for 5 years becuase you don't like the contact high, you just politely ask him to do it indoors?

Naw, I guess you're right, that wouldn't work after all.  He deserves to go to jail with the rapists and murderers.  And so do those damn tree-hugging pine tree growers.  (Oh, and can't foeget those evil backyard barbequers who just toss thier carcogenic smoke out into the air.)

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

talk about perpetuating bullshit (4.00 / 1) (#388)
by tralfamadore on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:23:32 AM EST

i'll be damned if you can say with a straight face that you can be affected mentally or physically by smoke outside in the open air drifting by from a neighbor's house. don't give me any bullshit about not knowing your physiology. i'd love to see you claim your anxiety disorders originate from second hand smoke from pot being smoked 20 yards away. you may not smoke pot, but it sounds like you smoke a lot of crack.

[ Parent ]
doesn't wash under current laws, you mean (none / 0) (#155)
by pexatus on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:04:59 PM EST

Of course alcohol causes disorders.  But he didn't base his argument on that.  If you assume that our current drug laws make sense (they don't), then of course you can say, "Well, alcohol and tobacco are legal, and they cause lots of harm, so other harmful drugs should also be legalized."

Personally, if I had to choose only one recreational drug to be legal, it would be marijuana, as it is less harmful than alcohol and less addictive than cigarettes.  Then again, Ny-Quil is currently legal, and drinking a whole bottle of that has pretty much the same effect as smoking really cheap bud.

[ Parent ]

Wow... (3.80 / 5) (#145)
by shortboy slim on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:15:51 PM EST

You can get high from just smelling pot? Christ man, I wish I had your tolerance.

[ Parent ]
So your standard for legal permissability... (4.16 / 6) (#157)
by toganet on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:11:35 PM EST

Is the convenience and preference of other people?

Ok, I agree that smokers of any substance (tobacco, pot, crack, whatever) whould be considerate of the people around them.  This goes for people with body odor, loud voices, and intestinal gas, too.

I also find it reasonable to believe that smoking cannibis sativa may have long-term affects such as anxiety disorders, weight gain, wearing tie-dyed clothing and voting libertarian.

However, in my opinion these are not sufficient reasons to ban a substance or activity.  Heck, there are more compelling reasons to ban popular music, driving, and television advertising than what you've given here.

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


[ Parent ]
Disorders... (5.00 / 2) (#170)
by Judgment on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:35:18 PM EST

Wouldn't it also be fair to say that alcohol and cigarettes can cause similar disorders, and both of those are currently legal

[ Parent ]
Exactly (5.00 / 4) (#171)
by chbm on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:35:43 PM EST

I second your campaign to ban tobbaco smoking.

-- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
[ Parent ]
Boy, you are cold. (4.20 / 5) (#214)
by Shpongle Spore on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:38:10 PM EST

Let's try applying your reasoning to something else: I don't like car alarms. They of off all the time and they're really annoying when one goes off outside while you're trying to sleep. Car stereos are almost as bed--some people just don't down when to turn it down.

Since I really hate minor annoyances, I propose that anyone found to have a car alarm or car stero should go to jail for 20 years regardless of how they use it, since if we let people have those things they might annoy me one day. And car accessory vendors? Lock 'em up for life! That'll show the kids we mean buisiness.
__
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]

Car alarms are different (3.00 / 2) (#264)
by JWhiton on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:57:58 PM EST

You're not going to become intoxicated from a car alarm.

[ Parent ]
Car alarms (4.00 / 3) (#305)
by Dyolf Knip on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:51:03 PM EST

No, but you can be repeatedly woken up in the middle of the night, causing you to lose sleep, making you a danger on the road the next morning. Or if it happens several nights in a row, then you start suffering from sleep depravtation. Which is very very bad, by the way.

You see? There is no object in existence that can't be used to cause harm to someone else. To make it illegal because it _might_ is stupid and hypocritical.

That said, smoking MJ should be be put into a similar category as smoking cigarettes. You want to do it in private, fine. You want to do it in public, kindly respect the rules of the establishment you are in. There's no reason a "No Smoking" sign shouldn't apply to a joint as much as a cigarette.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

Nor from second-hand MJ smoke. (none / 0) (#415)
by Shpongle Spore on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:49:38 AM EST

I really can't imagine anyone becoming intoxicated from second-hand marijuana smoke unless they're in a very small space like a closet or car with a smoker. Even then I find it unlikely, since I've had a great deal of marijuana smoked in my presence and never become even the slightest bit intoxicated from it, nor have I ever heard anyone else describe this effect except as a joke.

Please present some evidence that this is even possible and then you will have the beginning of an argument that marijuana smoking in public should be restricted, but still nothing to favor the draconian laws in place today.
__
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]

Hairspray? (none / 0) (#460)
by jforan on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:53:27 PM EST

Paint?

Paint thinner?

Markers?

Cars?

How many things will become illegal if we follow the I-need-to-breathe-pure-oxygen-or-else-I'll-die theory.  Do you wear a mask?

Better not fart.

Jeff
I hops to be barley workin'.
[ Parent ]

Why doesn't the US open trade with Cuba? (4.85 / 20) (#141)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:02:59 PM EST

I think the reasons are approximately the same : pride and inertia.  

Pride :
Castro hurt the pride of the US by staying in power despite multiple attempts to kill him.  The failure of the War on Drugs has probably had the same effect.

Inertia :
It takes effort to remove a law from the books.  Overhauling the drug guidelines would probably be a major effort.  There are different laws regarding the use of cigarettes and alcohol.  There would have to be *another* set of laws introduced regulating how marijuana could be used - where and when, blood level when driving, etc.

I don't think there's anything really holding back legalization, but there's also nothing really pushing it forward.

electoral politics (5.00 / 4) (#172)
by jcolter on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:36:14 PM EST

I think the main reason that we do not trade with Cuba is the Cuban exile vote in Florida.  

Florida is a swing state in Presidential elections (you all remember).  If a politician was running for President and advocated normalizing relations with Cuba, he would likely lose the state's electoral votes.

Al Gore disagreeing with Clinton on the Elian Gonzalez case?


[ Parent ]

Reasons why I believe its still illegal (3.11 / 9) (#142)
by agent 0range on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:09:46 PM EST

Probably the biggest and most obvious is all of the propaganda that has been thrown at people has made 90% of the population believe marijuana is a horrible drug.  Because of this, 90% of the population does not want it to become legal, and therefore the politicians dont want it to become legal.

Another reason is that once it is legal and it becomes a big industry, it will be incredibly hard for it to go back to being illegal.  Look at the tobacco industry.

Another thing that disturbs me is the bullshit I see in all the anti-drug advertisements and websites.  It is extremely one sided, and they always nit pick over studies and pick out only what they want.  Stuff like "marijuana's potency has increased up to 30% THC since the 1970s."  This is complete bullshit, a study serveying actuall marijuana confiscated by the government shows on average it is at about 4% THC.  

But, that doesnt matter anyways, what counts is the amount you smoke.  Back in the 1970s maybe they smoked more, now we just have to smoke a little less.  The bullshit thrown at me through the anti-drug ads is just another reason for me not to trust anything they say.

The main problem (4.11 / 9) (#146)
by mickj on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:34:16 PM EST

It takes a whole lot of effort to get a politician to admit he's wrong. Repealing Prohibition in the 20's didn't happen until practically the entire country saw how idiotic it was. We're not at that point yet with drugs such as marijuana. The movement for legalization is growing but it's not big enough to make politicians listen. Of course, media manipulation is hindering the growth. Most americans think the war on drugs is a big failure, but they still think we should fight it.

30 years might do it (none / 0) (#150)
by thebrix on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:54:25 PM EST

(This is a massive brain dump of history, but I think is more or less correct).

What happened in the UK was a combination of a flap about 'the permissive society' and a hardline Labour Home Secretary and later Prime Minister, Jim Callaghan, who had come into office just after a relatively liberal predecessor and wanted to make his mark. (His predecessor was Roy Jenkins who, among many other achievements, presided over the abolition of the death penalty).

The result was the Dangerous Drugs Act 1971 (passed when the Conservatives were back in office, but largely Jim Callaghan's creation) which inter alia classified drugs into three categories (A to C from more to less dangerous) and took away a lot of powers GPs had to prescribe drugs, at their discretion, to patients who presented with a drug problem.

It was the last that was the really disastrous mistake; the combination of 'forbidden fruit' and people in trouble having to get drugs from the black market rather than in a relatively controlled and civilised way had the most horrendous effects. For example, I've seen estimates of 500 heroin addicts in 1970 and 200,000 in 2000.

Fortunately, the current Home Secretary (David Blunkett) and his opposite number (Oliver Letwin) seem to largely have their heads screwed on the right way and are willing to admit mistakes: there are strong signs that the law will largely revert to the pre-1971 situation.

[ Parent ]

Your logic is flawed (4.40 / 10) (#147)
by Demiurge on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:49:58 PM EST

The idea that marijuana growers and dealers would suffer if pot was legalized is unlikely.


If anything, less people would grow it, because they would be able to obtain it legally.  It's perfectly possible to grow tobacco and roll your own cigarettes, but who does?


I can see the large tobacco conglomerates selling marijuana, of course, that would lead to an increase in use, as they can reach a huge number of people.

People are lazy... (4.00 / 1) (#163)
by phanerothyme on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:22:55 PM EST

Tobacco is so cheap and easy to grow; sure there's the investment of a little time required at the start, but it's far outweighed by the resulting crop. Tobacco is a 'weed' - if it's already about in the neighbourhood it'll even grow if you just prepare a spot for it.

Growing your own also gives you the chance to sample other species of tobaccos, not just the Nicotiana tabacum that 99 odd % of Western brands are composed of. Try Nicotiana rustica, which can contain up to 20 % nicotine in its leaves (only used by the West to manufacture insecticide). Or coyote tobacco, N. glauca or N. acuminata.

Ah, the Emperor leaves...



[ Parent ]
Tobacco depletes soil (4.00 / 1) (#251)
by Rhodes on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:20:37 PM EST

From my high school history course, tobacco has a smaller growing range, and really requires a lot of nutrients. That and the drying, cutting, and rolling, tobacco is more intensive from a growers perspective than marijuana.

[ Parent ]
Of course... (none / 0) (#458)
by phanerothyme on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:47:07 PM EST

I wasn't really trying to compare the two. She isn't so much my speciality. All plants require food, and tobacco is a very hungry god, one way or another.

Power has to come from somewhere.



[ Parent ]
Of course they would suffer. (5.00 / 1) (#180)
by TheOrange on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:50:43 PM EST



The price of pot on the street would fall dramatically if it were legal. Just like that.. bam. The fact that you have to acquire weed on the black market drives the profit margins for dealers and growers through the ceiling. Very simple. There is no argument.

I do not however, believe the dealers and growers are behind prohibition.



[ Parent ]
No.. (none / 0) (#318)
by mindstrm on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:36:35 PM EST

it wouldn't.

Or at least, not back home in B.C.

I say this because on my recent trip to the Netherlands, I noted that pot was basically the same price as it was back home.

The street price of pot back home was right in the middle of the menu prices in Amsterdam. You pay a bit more, you can get the best of the best. You wanna pay way less, you can get the average junk (still fine to smoke, but really, why bother when you can do so much better)

Maybe pot is really expensive in some places in the states. I've heard this but never first hand.

The price of growing pot is not prohibitive.. it doesn't have markup like Cocaine. You see, cocaine has to be smuggled across one or more international borders that are heavily guarded against cocaine trafficking.

The borders are what do it. Cocaine in Venezuela, which shares a border with Colombia, and is not that well defended against trafficking, cocaine is around $5/gram.
Compare that to US prices (I dunno whta they are, but I guarantee they are probably at the very leats 10 times that much)

Now.. pot. If I wanted to grow quality pot, legally or illegally, to sell in my town, it's going to cost me basically the same amount to do it.  I still need the same equipment.

[ Parent ]

I am dubious of your dubiosity (none / 0) (#455)
by jforan on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:10:37 PM EST

According to some simple research, I believe it is still technically illegal in Amsterdam to sell marijuana, or to grow it in large quantity. Otherwise, Philip Morris (or the Amsterdam equivalent) would go in and put it in stores and sell it for 5 bucks a pack just like they do cigarettes. It would not be 5 bucks a joint.

Jeff

I hops to be barley workin'.
[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 0) (#543)
by mindstrm on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 12:17:50 AM EST

You are correct.. it is still technically illegal.

I wonder why everyone equates it with tobacco companies though? It does not have the same addiction profile, the same demographic, or the same type of use. The only common element is that you can smoke it, though not really like a cigarette.

[ Parent ]

Supply and demand (4.80 / 5) (#215)
by Tatarigami on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:38:43 PM EST

Here in New Zealand, marajuana use is so wide-spread the police won't even bother to bust you for it unless you're so blatant they can't ignore you.

One of my co-workers is a former horticultural student who used to pay his rent and make some spending money during his studies by growing a crop of MJ along the bank of the river he lived near. He's happy to discuss it openly, and regards the biggest hazard of the enterprise as the aggravation of finding that people were occasionally stealing his plants a few days before he was ready to harvest them.

A few months back, while they were waging a campaign against for-profit growers, a big city newspaper ran an interview with a grower. He talked about how it was the biggest money-producing industry in his area, and it if wasn't for dope, he'd probably be unemployed and on welfare. He complained that the police had no reason to bother him, because unlike gang-related growers, he didn't booby-trap his plantations or terrorise timber farmers into letting him use ground space in their property for growing.

And he fervently hoped that growing would stay illegal, because legalisation would drive his profits through the floor.

[ Parent ]
Actually, YOUR logic is flawed. (1.66 / 3) (#227)
by DarkZero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:48:45 PM EST

I think the idea that marijuana growers and dealers are behind marijuana prohibition is ridiculous. However, it IS true that the dealers would suffer if marijuana were legalized, for exactly the reasons that you pointed out. If marijuana were legalized, then large corporations would sell it in packages for $2-$3 a pack at convenience stores. The average street dealer would no longer be able to even sell it, let alone sell it at the huge markup that they can sell it at now due to marijuana being illegal.

You're right that the growers (and by that I assume you mean the home growers that are growing it for personal use, though I could be wrong) wouldn't suffer. The dealers, however, are another story.

[ Parent ]

I doubt it. (2.00 / 1) (#317)
by mindstrm on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:30:19 PM EST

IF it were legalized, it would most likely be sold similar to how it is in Amsterdam.

You would not buy (I hope) pre-rolled cigarette-like packs.

You would buy fresh, sweet herb, by the gram.

True, the pot dealers are not behind prohibition.. a great many of htem simply sell because there is a need.. they aren't billionairre coke dealers.

I don't think the tobacco industry would get involved; pot doesn't have the addictive properties of tobacco, it's not smoked the same way. It's not their business model (get them hooked early, sell them cigarettes for life).

Dealers would find something else to deal.


[ Parent ]

Grow your own tobacco (5.00 / 1) (#284)
by Zara2 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:51:51 PM EST

No, tobacco is not as easy to grow as pot. I've done both and I can tell you...

Pot's issues to grow are usually in the setup. This is mostly because it is illegal. Most of the problems come in in setting up a hydro garden in a closet or other similar bad place or finding a very well hidden patch of land. Once it is grown It only must be pruned of its buds. THe only curing of the buds that is needed is to put them in a well ventilated area in a open paper bag. Your done.

Tobacco on the other hand requires many more things. First off, you must have the correct form of soil. In the US there are only a few different places that you can grow tobacco (virginia, california wine country, ect.) Once you have the plant cultivation is fairly easy. You just have to strip the leaves. The hard part is that tobacco must be cured. Until modern chemical curing methods came into place this was done by placing the tobacco in heated curing barns for about a month. If you just dry it out like you do with weed it comes out tasting nastier than normal ;) After that tobacco MUST be shredded to give an effective smoke (unlike pot that can just be clipped and thrown in a bowl.) Usually after being shredded the tobacco still tastes nasty and must be dipped in some sort of flavor enhancer. Whiskey, cognac and vodka are a few that I tried. After all of that the tobacco still comes out tasting like shit.

Nope, weed is a lot easier. Even with having to hide it in a closet or hike to a remote location to do some tilling.

[ Parent ]

Smokedot (4.58 / 17) (#149)
by phuzz on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:52:45 PM EST

For all of you who are looking to continue this discusion further may I recomend Smokedot. A Scoop using site dedicated to educating people about drugs. Mainly pro-legaliseation but we pride ourselves on welcoming all viewpoints. Go on, try it, put your pov forward, no-one knows how you feel if you don't say.

Most of the public health-related statistics (4.23 / 13) (#160)
by demi on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:16:14 PM EST

thrown around in the pot legalization debate aren't that trustworthy IMO because despite what some people believe, marijuana use is not nearly as widespread and universal as alcohol or tobacco use. It's not really known what residual toxicity THC has, in an epidemiological sense, because the studies aren't well-controlled, although I have no doubt that it is not as high as ardent anti-drug activists sometimes claim. I don't buy into the idea that cigarette companies, distilleries, or fiber producers are behind the mysterious lack of public sympathy for reform of drug laws.

I consider myself to be a rational person and I don't think marijuana use on the scale of booze and tobacco would be a good thing. I am a hardcore atheist, and very far from being Puritanical in the sense that is most often thrown about. I believe people are free to make their own decisions, no matter how stupid, too. The main difference between alcohol and marijuana abuse that gives me pause is how you can go from being cold sober to stoned in a matter of seconds, and while I'm sure the public perception of a pot head is that of a passive, zoned-out clown, I've known a few people that were abusive jerks when they got high. I'm sure if pot was smoked as much as beer was drunk, the incidence of asshole stoners would increase in commensurate proportion. Basically pot use is automatically considered abuse, in the sense that drunkenness is alcohol abuse (as opposed to drinking a single beer with a meal), and positive examples of how pot can be enjoyed without crossing over into substance abuse aren't what comes to mind whenever this debate comes to the fore (how do you explain that medicinal marijuana use isn't simply getting stoned?).

If you are probing for reasons the lawmakers are reticent to accept drug legalization, look to the people that are leading their communities and actively voting in every election. They have families, some of them indeed go to church, and most of them have no real desire to spend the evening laughing at someone saying the word 'rope' over and over. That's the where the culture clash is, and while you don't have to look hard to find upper-middle class drunkards, you won't find much in the way of advocacy groups for them either.

If you want to change the laws, VOTE, for fuck's sake. Support candidates that are actively sympathetic to your views. Don't go around calling people that disagree with you hypocrites. If the grassroots support for decriminalization is as large as you people say it is, then you should organize, donate money, and get the ball rolling. If the NRA can supposedly elect a president with its 2 million members, I'm sure NORML can at the very least get the ball rolling.

About use (none / 0) (#196)
by inerte on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:16:19 PM EST

  A recent study here in São Paulo, Brazil, has shown that among teenagers between 13-18 years old, 47% of them have tried marijuana, while 54% have tried cigarretes.

  Of course, the percentage difference between "try" and "keep using" exists, but even so, this research demonstrated that experimentation levels are almost equal between a legal drug, and an illegal one.

  There are several conclusions that you could take out of this. First, it's easy to obtain mj, second, people will try no matter how hard the campaings try to repress the act, and third, the most important: Future generations will know that mj isn't that bad at all. If half of the population have smoked, the crime concept will have to be softned.

--
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato
[ Parent ]

do or do not; there is no try (none / 0) (#250)
by demi on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:17:49 PM EST

Of course, the percentage difference between "try" and "keep using" exists, but even so, this research demonstrated that experimentation levels are almost equal between a legal drug, and an illegal one.

Sure, although I assume that teenage drinking is at least somewhat illegal, so just like in the US, there's not much difference in the minds of young people (their parents may disagree) between drinking and smoking pot. It was the same when I was that age too, at a party you would be offered beer and LSD in the same setting.

[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#258)
by inerte on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:36:00 PM EST

  To teens there's no difference. Mind I remember I am saying teen, but not restricting about age. I am trying to make a point about how mature is your mind, not your body.

  So, I remember, there's really no difference between drinking, smoking, sniffing, using acid or ecstasy. They all are use to get high, and later you can come back to your parents house and feel the confort of a safe home.

  But, what at least happened to me, the responsabilities that I had to face didn't mix well with drugs. I believe everyone is free to take the path they want, as long it's not hurting anyone else.

  So, in essence, teens use drugs to achieve other purposes. I am not going to repeat what everyone knows, like confrontation of power. But, these arguments are use like a Bad Thing, while they they aren't. These situations just exist, and probaly will for a long time...

--
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato
[ Parent ]

vote? what a great idea (5.00 / 3) (#216)
by joeD on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:39:43 PM EST

too bad it doesn't appear to work. state and federal government has done everything it can to keep marijuana related issues off ballots, to invalidate legitimate elections, and to prosecute doctors who suggest the use of marijuna, even after the state has passed initiatives.

[ Parent ]
they will have to keep trying (4.00 / 1) (#239)
by demi on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:59:48 PM EST

Otherwise, the pro-reform voting bloc may not be as large as some people claim. I don't believe most opinion polls, either; politicians know only too well when an issue is vital to getting re-elected. In most places the anti-drug activists outnumber their opponents many times over.

[ Parent ]
Voting (none / 0) (#218)
by Happy Monkey on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:41:45 PM EST

I don't buy into the idea that cigarette companies, distilleries, or fiber producers are behind the mysterious lack of public sympathy for reform of drug laws.
...
If you are probing for reasons the lawmakers are reticent to accept drug legalization, look to the people that are leading their communities and actively voting in every election.
...
If you want to change the laws, VOTE, for fuck's sake.


There have been several referendums in various US locations to legalize marijuana. In most (all?) cases, they passed. (In the case of Washington, DC it took a court case to allow the votes to be counted) Even where a referendum was passed, marijuana is still illegal.
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Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
do you have any citations? (none / 0) (#231)
by demi on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:53:44 PM EST

Referendums in the US don't have the legal force that they do in other places, such as Switzerland. Generally, their legitimacy varies from state to state. California for uses referendums to effect legislation that has already been drafted, but in other places the referendum serves a purpose more in line with polling.

I have a feeling the referendum you are thinking of only covered medicinal marijuana, and there were problems in the way it was drafted. I read the story on Smokedot, BTW.

[ Parent ]

Local (none / 0) (#260)
by Happy Monkey on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:42:15 PM EST

Local referendums don't trump federal law, whether or not they have the force of local law, or whether they are drafted well.
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Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Federal (none / 0) (#601)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 01:33:54 AM EST

But, the Federal government is only supposed to create laws for certain things, and nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Federal government is given the power to stop people from tokin' a little ganja if they so desire.

"State's Rights" was a pretty cool idea, unfortunately the South used it more or less exclusively for a justification of slavery, so ever since the end of the Civil War we've had more and more federal power.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

most (none / 0) (#420)
by Shpongle Spore on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:04:54 AM EST

In most (all?) cases, they passed.

A legalization referrendum recently failed in Alaska.
__
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]

Industries (none / 0) (#219)
by DarkZero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:42:01 PM EST

I don't buy into the idea that cigarette companies, distilleries, or fiber producers are behind the mysterious lack of public sympathy for reform of drug laws.

Whoever said that cigarette companies, distilleries, or fiber producers are fighting to keep marijuana illegal is talking out of their ass, and that view does not reflect that of most of the groups or people that are in favor of marijuana decriminalization. Cigarette companies have supposedly filed trademark claims on marijuana cigarette titles "just in case", I can't see why distilleries would have a problem with marijuana, and the part about the fiber producers was probably just a misunderstanding on either your part or the part of the person that told you that. Fiber producers are blamed, in part, for the criminalization of marijuana, but not the CONTINUED criminalization. It sounds like a very vague line, but there's actually a roughly seventy year line dividing those responsible for the criminalization of marijuana and those that are responsible for its continued criminalization today.

As for the actual story behind the fiber producers... yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but the fiber producers were supposedly the RIAA/MPAA of their day. They were some really big, really rich shit about seventy years ago. They wanted marijuana (and thus hemp) criminalized, the forces that were in charge of enforcing alchohol prohibition were ready to accomodate them because it served their own purposes, and the deal was done soon after. But as I said, the CONTINUED criminalization of marijuana really doesn't have anything to do with them. It has more to do with the cultural ideas that were spread by the War On Some Drugs and the general inertia that is probably present whenever people try to legalize something that has been illegal for the better part of a century.

[ Parent ]

politics in the US change very slowly (none / 0) (#248)
by demi on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:13:04 PM EST

and that is the way it has always been, for better or for worse (I think it's mostly for the better).

It has more to do with the cultural ideas that were spread by the War On Some Drugs and the general inertia that is probably present whenever people try to legalize something that has been illegal for the better part of a century.

Also, there's no shortage of people whose lives have been totally fucked over by drug abuse. That's very bad PR for the reformists, even though I agree that marijuana is a relatively minor evil compared to abuse of harder drugs (of both legal and illicit kinds). It's hard to bring people around to admit that much, and convincing them that legalization will actually benefit society will not be easy.

The social impact of substance abuse is a core issue of 20th century America, up there with equal rights for women and minorities. Even though Prohibition has been dead for 70+ years, society still frowns on public drunkenness, and likewise we've got a long way to go before smoking pot in bars and clubs will be tolerated.

[ Parent ]

Tough cookie, that one... (none / 0) (#597)
by sgp on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 10:47:48 PM EST

Proving that it's beneficial to society. We can show how it helps some people suffering from certain diseases, but also how some others merely abuse it / go to other things after dope.

An actual proof that it's beneficial... if alcohol and tobacco had had to do that, we wouldn't have any problems with them

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

The problem with voting (none / 0) (#309)
by drsmithy on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:08:42 PM EST

(I'm not an American, but this really applies to any "democracy")

The trouble with most elective systems is that you only get to vote for candidates, not for their stances.  And/or you can't indicate at election time why you voted for a particular candidate.

Thus, while you might really agree with X's stance that recreational drugs should not be illegal, their idea that all vehicles should be mechanically speed limited might turn you off a bit, so you don't vote for them.

[ Parent ]

understood, but (none / 0) (#334)
by demi on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:00:39 AM EST

that's the nature of bloc voting: you sometimes must vote against your principles in pursuit of a greater goal. To continue with my previous example, that is how an issue like gun control can take over an election. Gun owners will tend to vote as a monobloc for the candidate with the most favorable stance, even if they may otherwise disagree with other parts of the platform. This comes into effect most strikingly during party primary elections. There are liberal pro-gun control Republicans out there, believe me, but they don't typically survive the primaries.

[ Parent ]
Humm (none / 0) (#435)
by Rainy on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:02:45 PM EST

Pot is not as widely abused as cigarettes precisely because it's not addictive. Okay, illegality plays its role but.. there's plenty of people who smoked pot for a while and then stopped or kept smoking very rarely. With nicotine, people spend their entire lives trying to quit. On a scale of addictiveness I just made up, I'd say nicotine scores 95, alcohol 80, caffeine 50 and pot 15. I know people who smoke cigarettes and absolutely abhor this habit, but can't quit for all the efforts they spend, with pot it hardly even registers as an issue.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
from the standpoint of addiction (none / 0) (#449)
by demi on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:43:47 PM EST

I'd say a comparison to alcohol is more realistic. I've known people that had a psychological and maybe even physiological dependence (I cannot be certain of the latter) on getting stoned, to the point where they became angry and abusive if pot was temporarily unavailable.

I think cigarettes should rank much higher up on your scale than pot or alcohol, after all the vast majority of drinkers are not alcoholics but almost all smokers are nicotine addicts. Likewise the vast majority of marijuana smokers are not addicted according to my example, but I have no idea what the propensity for addiction would be if pot were freely available and dirt cheap. As for where pot should be placed in your scale, I would say certainly higher than 15, but I have no data to say where exactly in relation to booze.

[ Parent ]

legality not much of a factor (none / 0) (#552)
by Rainy on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 04:04:06 AM EST

And the price isn't, either. Pot has diminishing returns: the more you smoke, the more boring it gets. It's cheap enough for anyone to afford, anyway: a joint is what, $3 at most? It will keep you stoned for a day if you smoke a bit now and then. If you smoke 2 or 3 each day each successive one will make very little difference. As for illegality.. I heard it put this way: pot is easier to get than alcohol or nicotine for minors. Perhaps if you moved somewhere it'd be a bit harder to get initially but that's why people move less, I suppose.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Sentence reform, not legalization (2.61 / 13) (#161)
by Demiurge on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:17:42 PM EST

There exists ample evidence that marijuana can cause cognitive damage.  In some ways, it's not even as bad as alcohol, in other ways, it's considerably worse.


I do think the "War on Drugs" has taken the wrong tack, although I don't think it should be scraped entirely.


So, what do I want?  Don't decriminalize marijuana use, replace jail time for community service and mandatory rehab for users(not just of marijuana, but also other illicit drugs).  Increase penalties for those producing and distributing large amounts. The point would be to cut off production, while curtailing use by individuals, without sending them to prison.


I recall reading a number of months ago a short article on a team of biotech researchers who were working on some sort of "vaccine" that prevented tetrahydrocannabinol from working on the brain, basically making marijuana completely psychoactively inert to the recipient.  It would be an interesting way to combat drug use.  Caught smoking pot?  No drug time, no fines, just one shot and it's no longer a problem.


That's terrifying... (4.00 / 4) (#166)
by mercutio on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:29:03 PM EST

What's this?  You're having fun (or relieving pain) smoking marijuana by your own free will?

But worry not, Big Brother has the solution.  There, done.  No more weed for you.

I have another idea... say someone's violent, why don't we just castrate them.  I hear it's quite good at reducing violent tendencies in males.

[ Parent ]

Actually.... (none / 0) (#210)
by TheCaptain on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:35:07 PM EST

I have another idea... say someone's violent, why don't we just castrate them.

This is already being done albiet on a voluntary basis on sex offenders. The courts can't sentence them to this, but they can opt for it...probably as a bargaining chip for a lighter sentence.

It might hurt some people to acknowledge that it's probably pretty effective overall...

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but.... (none / 0) (#445)
by mercutio on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:37:02 PM EST

Like you said, it's voluntary. The comment to which these are attached suggested that taking the anti-weed shot should be the penalty for smoking weed.

[ Parent ]
forced rehab? (4.42 / 7) (#167)
by botono9 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:29:55 PM EST

Why is it so important that people not smoke marijuana? Why must someone face punishment at all? Is there some glaring reason, something so horrible about marijuana that it must be treated differently than alcohol or tobacco? OK, so some studies have found that long-term smokers can memorize 2.5 fewer words than short-term or nonsmokers. So we have to force people into rehab for this? Come on, there has to be better things we could be spending our tax dollars on than sending people to rehab for doing something they don't want to stop.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

ample evidence? (4.00 / 3) (#182)
by Snowman2k1 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:57:32 PM EST

What was that link supposed to show us? Perhaps you should have read some of the articles.

[ Parent ]
Marijuana and Cognitive Damage? (4.50 / 2) (#195)
by illustro1a4 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:16:17 PM EST

Demiurge said:
There exists ample evidence that marijuana can cause cognitive damage.
While there is some proof of short cognitive issues with heavy smokers, studies show of no long effects. Quoting from the New Scientist (thanks for the link you provided):

A little bit of what you fancy will not make you dull. (8 April 2002)
"Heavy pot smokers did experience a dip in their intelligence quotient (IQ). But people who had once smoked heavily and then given up were right back up to normal, the study found. Light smokers appeared no different to non-smokers."

Nothing consumed by humans (except H2O) is completely safe, but cannabis has been safely used as a medication for thousands of years without one related death. If alcohol and tobacco (far, far more dangerous drugs) are legal what possible reasons could be given to continue the prohibition of cannabis?

Please, people, Joe Blow sitting in his home comsuming cannabis is of no threat to you. It's those that wish to exploit marijuana prohibition for their personal monetary gain that are the danger. Legalization (or a tleast decriminalize) and education are the answers.

illustro
--
Get the facts about marijuana and the true cost of prohibition.

[ Parent ]

Oh really? (5.00 / 1) (#336)
by astatine on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:11:28 AM EST

H2O is completely safe? I'd be inclined to say it's quite an inhalation hazard!

Society, they say, exists to safeguard the rights of the individual. If this is so, the primary right of a human being is evidently to live unrealistically.Celia Green
[ Parent ]
did you actually read any of those articles? (4.75 / 4) (#205)
by joeD on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:27:28 PM EST

thanks for the link. the stories I have looked at so far have confimed my basic understanding of the situation, which is
... simple statements are never quite as simple as they seem ...
the very first article in their collection starts:
Smoking cannabis does not have a long-term effect on intelligence, say researchers in Canada who have followed volunteers from before birth to early adulthood.
other articles I've looked at have found varying degrees of impairment, but the results are never so clear as to support blanket statements like "marijuana can cause cognitive damage".

in years of following this debate, I don't recall ever hearing a supporter of legalization claim that marijuana use had no negative side effects. maybe you should spend some time actually learning about the issues before suggesting involuntary behavior modification techniques for people caught using marijuana.

[ Parent ]

Ummm... what ample evidence? (5.00 / 4) (#207)
by DarkZero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:30:55 PM EST

Sure, if you smoke ten joints a day for thirty years, you could be mentally impaired by it to a degree. However, only in the absolute rarest cases has that sort of thing happened. Marijuana is more akin to cigars than to cigarettes; it's incredibly hard to smoke a pack a day every day, because it doesn't leave you with the urge or the addiction to do that. Smoking ten joints in a day is just as rare as someone finishing off as many cigars in a day.

You should also recheck the rest of those articles. Some excerpts from this article:

After thirty years of research into the harmful effects of cannabis, there can be no hidden dangers left to discover. We know that it is plain nonsense to regard cannabis as a performance-enhancing drug, just as it is a myth to think the substance rots the brain or leads inexorably to harder substances.

---

And despite the anti-dope propaganda that circulates in the US, most people are thankfully well aware that no great social disaster has befallen the Netherlands, where cannabis has been sold openly in coffee shops for years. It would take a perverse mind to twist the data from Amsterdam into a argument for continued prohibition (see The Dutch experiment).

[ Parent ]

Alcoholism (4.33 / 3) (#220)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:44:35 PM EST

I'd be willing to bet that alcoholism is MUCH worse for you in the long run than heavy marijuana use. They said that heavy users had worse performance on ONE cognitive test out of many. Compare this to alcohol, which has been proven to cause liver disease, cancer, and heart disease.

Anyway, who are you to say that I should be prevented from doing anything that might be bad for me?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

My problem is this... (4.15 / 13) (#168)
by toganet on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:30:39 PM EST

Imagine that a new species of plant is discovered that provides a pleasant feeling when smoked.  Out paternal government would ban it immediately, citing crime, health risks -- whatever it had to cite, in order to pass a law that will get you a fine or a jail term for using this new plant.

So what we're very close to is a situation where everything is illegal, until the government says otherwise.

I'm sure I don't have to point out the affront to personal liberty here, though some people will probably be thinking to themselves 'I would never do (insert banned activity here) so I don't care if it is illegal.'  In that case, you're confusing selfishness with freedom.  And liberty means everybody is free, not just you.

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


yes, but there is another motivation for the law (none / 0) (#321)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:49:58 PM EST

You are entirely correct, and I agree this is a blatant affront to personal liberty. The government create laws because as a collective, society has agreed to force citizens to abide by a certain set of rules. If these citizens determine that something is not in their best interest or in the interest of their society as a whole, they make it illegal. It is obvious that society could come up with an infinite set of laws, which for the most part are sensible. The reason why your hypothetical drug would be banned immediately is because there would be a demand to use it. There would be the need to test its short and long term effects to see if it benefits or harms society. This is the reason that we don't have a law against smoking carrots. Who would smoke them?

[ Parent ]
Constitutionality (3.54 / 11) (#174)
by TheOrange on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:42:06 PM EST



The constitution does not define the rights of the people, it circumscribes the rights of the governments.

On a federal level, where is the power given to the government to regulate food and drugs?

What kind of farce is liberty when the government can tell me what to ingest?



When (none / 0) (#188)
by inerte on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:05:05 PM EST

  What you eat/drink/sniff can cause harm to other people. Perhaps not marijuana's case indeed, but I do believe a governament should ban dangerous food to the society.

  It's higher than the matter of personal freedom, and "I want to do that". The implications of such act can be tremendous, and I don't have the time to analize every possible effect caused by ingestion of every materia out there.

  Instead, we have prefered to elect some folks that would protect us from this.

  Surely, not marijuana's case, but the governament has the right, and should, control selling of any substance.

--
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato
[ Parent ]

Wishing will not make it so (5.00 / 1) (#201)
by TheOrange on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:22:24 PM EST



You say the government has the right to control the selling of any substance... I don't know what country you live in, but that is not the case in the U.S.A.



[ Parent ]
Why not? (none / 0) (#206)
by inerte on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:28:23 PM EST

  If there's a substance released in the market tomorrow, that kills people 20 seconds after injection, I think there would be a regulamentation.

  But of course, we must balance the issues. The governament doesn't have the resources to inspect every substance available, neither a single entity does, so they rely on strong information and tips about the outcomes (effects) from several sources.

  Like I said, not mj's case, but still, the governament do can say "Stop this" or "Allow that".

 

--
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato
[ Parent ]

protecting us (5.00 / 4) (#224)
by bowline on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:47:37 PM EST

There are an unlimited number of substances that are generally unregulated which you can inject with dire consequences. Bleach, oil, matchbox cars, soda, even air. The job of the government can't and shouldn't be to protect us from ourselves. That task is impossible, and sometimes even counter-productive.

[ Parent ]
It's not impossible (2.00 / 1) (#233)
by inerte on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:55:55 PM EST

  And happens all the time. Heck, it's one of the purposes of a governament. A central large entity that enforces rules. What rules are these it's the most important piece...

  But governaments are built to protect us from ourselfs. Or isn't the police a part of the governament?

--
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato
[ Parent ]

the role of police (4.50 / 2) (#243)
by bowline on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:04:23 PM EST

Police protect us from others (in addition to other executive roles). Only in rare situations do the police protect an individual from himself.

Protecting someone from himself is clearly either impossible or undesireable on the scale of a state since we don't live in a utopia.

Hopefully that is more clear.

[ Parent ]

We are (none / 0) (#247)
by inerte on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:09:34 PM EST

  We are talking about different issues, so that's where the confusion came from :-)

  I said earlier, at my first post on this thread, how there are substances that you could consume and put other people in dangerous situations.

  When you said "us from ourselves", I thought one affecting another, not I with me :-)

  So basically we were discussing different aspects of governament interference....

--
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato
[ Parent ]

Right you are (none / 0) (#659)
by bowline on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 06:46:37 PM EST

Sorry about that. It was a fun argument while I misunderstood anyhow. ;)

[ Parent ]
Call the Cops! McDonalds is a drug merchant! (3.00 / 1) (#472)
by Kintanon on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:39:10 PM EST

Someone had better alert the media then! There are HUNDREDS of places within walking distance of my apartment that are selling all manner of UNHEALTHY life shortening substances! Cheeseburgers! Pizza! Lunchables! Tacos! Chili Dogs! They're everywhere and they are KILLING YOUR CHILDREN!! I demand that the War on Drugs be expanded to take into account all of these dangerous substances people are ingesting on a daily basis, sometimes more than once per day! After all, my increased insurance premiums and medicare costs are due to THEIR irresponsible eating habits! So it should all be outlawed immediately! We should all be eatting nothing but organicly grown vegetables and drinking filtered spring water!

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Interstate commerce (none / 0) (#240)
by Rhodes on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:01:10 PM EST

provides the constitutional right. The FDA has similar status as the Bureau of Standards for the purpose of this discussion. The FDA charter defines acceptable standards for goods produced in one state to be sold in another. And of course there's somethings which the FDA controls, that don't seem to make sense, and other things which they don't (Agricultural products might be covered by the EPA for pesticides, the USDA for meats, and an alphabet soup of agencies that would be more logically broken up and recombined.) Having pharmaceuticals and "nutrietinal (sp?) supplements" (ephedra!!!) not under the same agency is a major disservice.



[ Parent ]
Loose interperation of the commerce clause. (5.00 / 1) (#262)
by TheOrange on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:51:01 PM EST



The commerce clause is used to justify virtually any activity that the legislature undertakes these days. The clause was meant to prevent states from creating legal barriers to trade.

The over broad interpretation of the commerce clause is a new deal phenomenon. Riddle me this, if the commerce clause gives congress the powers you ascribe to it, why the 18th amendment?



[ Parent ]
just a thought (1.00 / 1) (#319)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:40:58 PM EST

I have to answer any question that begins with the phrase "riddle me this" but I don't know what the 18th amendment is because I'm a Canadian and I don't care to learn :)

If you take a step back, you will realize that money drives everything in the capitalistic world that we live in. As long as we are greedy, we shall se injustices of much larger degree than the commerce clause having a wide ranging power. Take me for example. I'm sitting on a nice chair in front of a powerful, expensive luxury typing away yet I am fully aware that there are people in the world who are dying and it would not be so if I shared some of my wealth. I'm not a sensationalist, but think about it for a second. I'm so greedy that I'll spend a significant amount of money that I "earned" while a basic vaccine that can't be paid for will not be given to a dying person somewhere in the world.

....yet I still don't share my money. I guess I have some thinking to do, but I feel that a lot of people don't even consider it greedy to drive a car at the same time that people are dying.

[ Parent ]
If that were the case... (none / 0) (#302)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:41:20 PM EST

... wouldn't it be up to the individual states to decide about the legality of marijuana that is produced and used within their borders. Why is the federal govenment fighting the will of Californian citizens on this matter?



[ Parent ]

Who rated the parent zero? Why? [nt] (none / 0) (#490)
by TheOrange on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:52:32 PM EST



[ Parent ]
no surprises here (none / 0) (#622)
by infinitera on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 01:42:43 PM EST

Silent Chris.

[ Parent ]
Legalization (3.85 / 7) (#184)
by jehoover on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:58:39 PM EST

Like a lot of folks, I am beginning to wonder about these marijuana laws and how useful they are. And hey, back in the day (long ago), I used to knock back a blint or two. But I'm so old now, I don't even know where I'd get the stuff. Do people rely on friends for their weed habits, or are things more "organized" these days?

Hey, tell you what, why don't you just tell me where these neighbors of yours are? I'm sure curious, and I'd just love to talk to some real teenagers about this. Me and the missus never had kids, so I'm out of touch with what's "hep", and I'd just love to find out.

"hep" isn't ;) [n/t] (none / 0) (#198)
by wurp on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:18:03 PM EST


---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]
What do you call it know? (none / 0) (#523)
by jehoover on Fri May 31, 2002 at 07:37:17 PM EST

Well I'm an old fart now, so I don't know the "lingo" you kids use these days. Back in the day, they used to say I was "groovy", but I'm that boring old guy on the bench now. Waddya gonna do about it, though? Time passes.

I know all you kids can find the "pot" freely, but what about an old guy like me? Would anyone in the DC area sell an old guy some of the Mary Jane?

[ Parent ]

easy (none / 0) (#208)
by inerte on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:32:12 PM EST

  You can ask almost anyone between 15-30 years old. If they don't smoke it, they will indicate someone that has it. And they won't say that they saw you asking these things around...

  Anyway, my trial period is over too. But back in my time, I used to get with a friend that would go to several places to get it. It was like houses, normal ones. Marijuana is everywhere, it's very easy to find...

--
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato
[ Parent ]

Well... (4.00 / 1) (#294)
by Purple Walrus on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:21:38 PM EST

I guess the fact that I am Russian and living in Boston helps me get it easier. But usually it's about friends. Almost everyone knows someone who can get bud within hours.

Not that I smoke it much anymore though, kinda got boring... Go figure...

---
Walrus
[ Parent ]
you raise a major problem with marijuana laws (4.00 / 2) (#316)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:29:14 PM EST

The question you pose raises one of the major problems with marijuana. Millions of people use it from unreliable sources and obtain it "on the streets." Sometimes cheap chemical agents are added to the marijuana to increase the high of a bad crop. This needs to be cleaned up and the world needs to come to grips with the fact that many people use it and they should be safe from evils not inherent in the drug. The only way to get reliable marijuna is by experience with a particular dealer and word of mouth.

The other posters are correct in saying that it is easy to obtain marijuana (at least I can vouch for Canada, and from what I've heard from my American friends).

The people I've bought from in the past are teenager or 20-year-old dealers because it's an easy money-maker and they don't really care about the potential drug trafficking risks. I've always wondered if I smoke when I'm older how I will get it, but I guess the best thing to do is to build up enough courage to ask someone without worrying how they will judge you.

[ Parent ]
Funny for an op-ed,no opinion in the end is stated (2.75 / 4) (#191)
by blacksqr on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:06:59 PM EST

As a bonus, anyone who might bring up the notion of a conspiracy is ridiculed in advance.

An op-ed that at the same time expresses no opinion and dismisses a large area of potential discussion.  Quite an achievement, but I must give it -1.

-1? not me! (none / 0) (#310)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:10:58 PM EST

I'm knew to kuro5hin, so I'm guessing the -1 is for a story in the wrong section as you elude to an op-ed requiring an opinion. Quite frankly, I don't care if the member doesn't state their opinion, because I don't care what one opinion has to say. Rather, the questions raised are the meat of the matter, which is why the post is so successful.

[ Parent ]
You're mistaken that I'm ridiculing anyone (none / 0) (#453)
by What She Said on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:05:18 PM EST

The only person I'm poking fun at is myself, since I brought up the idea in my post that perhaps it's the drug cartels that are fueling the war against drugs.

[ Parent ]
The Culture Wars (4.14 / 14) (#194)
by joeD on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:13:04 PM EST

I think the most important reason why marijuana continues to be illegal is that it has become symbolic of a certain class of citizens. marijuana was strongly associated with the protest movement in the 60's. before that it was with the beats, and before that with jazz (i.e. black) culture. before the 60's, race was also a significant feature of this class, but since then it has been less so.

saying that politicians or cops are to blame ignores the fact that significant numbers of citizens continue to oppose legalization of marijuana. while it's certainly true that both politicians and LEOs have a stake in keeping it illegal, they could not maintain their position if a majority of the voters were in favor of legalization.

so why do people continue to oppose legalization? is it because they have read studies supporting the medical view that dangerous substances should be kept out of the hands of untrustworthy people? because they have looked at the cost of prosecuting and incarcerting non-violent users of marijuana and think that the costs are justified? of course not. it's because they don't like marijuana users, and that's good enough for them. when they hear the word they think of greasy long-haired hippies or car jacking blacks or fat amotivational couch potatos or whatever. why should they help those people?

and who can blame them? after all, they've been told over and over by the new priests of the "moral class" like Robert Bork and (ex-drug czar) William Bennet that the cultural divide is real, and that those on the wrong side might deserve pity, but certainly not compassion. "Live and let live" is just not something that occurs to people like Bork, who seem to long for the good old days before the Enlightenment came along and screwed everything up for the righteous.

Never trust anyone who can't find the shift key. (1.00 / 2) (#209)
by Demiurge on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:34:38 PM EST

While one's stance on marijuana tends to reflect one's wider political concerns, it's rather ridiculous to posit that marijuana use is opposed by only a Puritanical group of culture warriors.

[ Parent ]
marijuana use is opposed by the majority (none / 0) (#221)
by joeD on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:45:49 PM EST

as I said above. since you didn't bother to even read the articles in the link you originally posted, I guess I can't expect you to read my comment.

also, ad hominem arguments are generally accepted to mean that you have nothing of substance to say.

[ Parent ]

ad homiwhat? (none / 0) (#308)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:06:15 PM EST

Although I had to look up ad hominem at Dictionary.com, I don't think his argument is void of substance. If a significant majority of voters wanted marijuana legalized, it would be.

Also, his post deserves a read if for the only reason that his subject made me laugh out load at work :)

[ Parent ]
Exactly right! (4.00 / 1) (#363)
by Spork on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:43:50 AM EST

I'm glad someone here has a clue.

If we didn't have soft drug laws, cops wouldn't have any reason to harass me or search through my car or put my left-wing activist friends on probation and watch their every move (and controll their behavior). The impoverished classes of American don't get justice--they get arrested! Most of the time, it's on the basis of some stupid drug law. The government will never decriminalize drugs, because if they did, they'd have to wait until the people they don't like commit real crimes before throwing them in jail. And the great majority of them don't--and that makes it very hard to have a police state.

This is what Bork and Bennett consider "keeping order."

[ Parent ]

Summary of reasons as I see them (2.00 / 1) (#197)
by juln on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:18:00 PM EST

1> Inertia in the legal system. 2> Industries reluctant to change: Textile Medical Lumber/Paper Alcohol 3> Drug Dealers don't want to stop the flow of cash to them 4> Law Enforcement don't want to stop the flow of cash to them 5> Members of the born 1930-1949 don't have as much personal experience with cannabis, and are slow to replace their propagandized ideas... unfortunately these people are the most powerful right now. 6> With cigarette companies being sued big time, who wants to start a business selling a smoked product? Surely lawyers would see big $$ in litigation about lung damage, real or imagined. 7> What to do about smoking on the road? I know lots of people smoke bowls and joints in their cars. Actually this problem might get better with legislation about smoking in cars specifically, after marijunana was de-tabooed. Ultimately, this is 1/10 the dangerousness of people drunk in cars, anyway since pot doesn't affect your motor skills like alcohol or many pills.

Uhh... heh... I think you may be wrong here. (4.00 / 2) (#223)
by beergut on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:46:28 PM EST

Ultimately, this is 1/10 the dangerousness of people drunk in cars, anyway since pot doesn't affect your motor skills like alcohol or many pills.

Although I'm not what you'd call a habitual smoker, I've blazed up a few times. The time or two that I've needed to drive shortly afterward have been some of the most paranoia-inducing events of my young life. I knew I was unable to walk correctly (at least, to my mind,) so how in the hell was I going to be able to drive?

That said, I don't tend to drive drunk, either, for the same reasons. I think maybe a tiny little toothpick joint might not be bad, about as bad as a beer or two, but get lit up? Fuggedaboudit.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

True (none / 0) (#253)
by Snowman2k1 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:26:20 PM EST

Yeah, driving stoned makes you rather paranoid, but because of that you are much more careful than a drunk driver and tend to go a little slower as well (whethere that is caused by the paranoia or just from being stoned I don't know).

[ Parent ]
Driving blazed (4.00 / 2) (#266)
by drachen on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:11:08 PM EST

I've also had experience of driving while under the influence of the fine herb. The first time I was also really paranoid, mostly of being caught and not knowing exactly how my driving abilities would be affected. But, my driving abilities didn't suffer. The only problem I've come across is having (non-smoking) friends chastise me about how irresponsible they think it to be. Since the first time the feeling of paranoia has not returned because I have confidence in my abilities. I think that was pretty much the only handicap that first time, but after I proved it to myself, I was cool with it and have never had a problem. Like the other person who replied said, driving stoned tends to make you much more careful, and you don't tend to drive as fast. Even so, I wouldn't go out in rush hour traffic on the beltway, but other than that, I don't feel at all uncomfortable with it.

I personally have never experienced any inability to walk correctly, even after extended smoking sessions. All my motor skills are pretty much unaffected. In fact, I can go out in public and not a single person might ever guess that I was stoned out of my mind at the time.

I think a lot of people's reactions to pot their first few times is mostly psychological. After awhile you realize "hey... I can be completely normal while high" and those effects go away. Sure, my first time I was laughing off my ass and just generally thinking "hey, this is really neat" and just generally being dumb. But then, when I think about it, I can remember many sober times when I've acted exactly the same way.

But to get back on topic, I think one of the reasons for marijuana being illegal is due to the fact that someone high up and important was probably jealous that they couldn't get high because they were unaffected by it. I have a friend who can smoke all day and never feel it, ever. I'm sure there must be many other people who have the same (non-)reaction. So, maybe they're just jealous and don't want anyone else to feel what they can't. Of course... I am just pulling that out of my ass, because really, besides giving "The Man" another excuse to hold us down, I can't really think of a single decent reason it shouldn't be legal. As far as it not causing any health risks, well, I'm not a doctor. But, I can say this, I feel safer smoking up than taking almost any prescription medication (besides my Claritin.) Maybe it's the fact that all these medication commercials I've seen on tv recently list some pretty negative 'possible' side effects. How many drugs have been approved by the FDA only to kill or harm a bunch of people and then be taken off the market? Sure... our government knows best...

[ Parent ]

who would sell marijuana? everyone! (none / 0) (#306)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:56:26 PM EST

I don't think tobacco companies are all the sudden closing up shop just because they are starting to be found liable for their ill-effects. Marijuana would be huge industry that would generate way more money than it would have to pay out in lawsuits.

[ Parent ]
pot in japan (3.80 / 10) (#200)
by juln on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:21:49 PM EST

by the way, I think one of the biggest crimes in us cannabis legislation has been the effect on other cultures , who shouldn't have to suffer our stupidity. Check out www.taima.org !! Cannabis was in their culture for ages... until the US Gov't exerted their will on the Japanese after WWII. There are some really cool old kimonos and stuff showing people smoking, paintings of lovers sharing a bong... makes me sad that now so many japanese people get drunk, that stinking vomit inducing poison, when they could have been happily getting stoned.

Slowly but surely (4.61 / 21) (#236)
by nutate on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:57:31 PM EST

I worked during my college days with groups like SSDP (Students for Sensible Drug Policy), NORML, the Marijuana Policy Project, and other associated ones. The main movement towards decrim has grown up from the yippie influenced NORML to a much stranger yet hopefully more potent beast.

Doing a Ctrl-F and looking for Carter in this article's comments, I can see that no one here knows how close this country was to nationwide legalization of posession of up to 28 grams (aka an ounce) during his administration. Sadly, a mini-scandal involving drug possesion amongst some of the capitol peoples made the bill (as in nearly ready to become law, just sign right here by the X mr. pres.) unsignable...

At any rate, it is mildly interesting to ponder the history of marijuna prohibition (and general drug prohibition) (one book I can recommend is called 'reefer madness'), but really if you want to make a change send some cash to MPP or DRCNet (Drug Reform Coordination Network) or even good old NORML even though some of the younger groups feel that they've had their chances. If you can, donate some time/cash to local campaigns out there.

People are trying to fix these errors in our legal system. The only question that I think is important is: if you agree there is a problem, what are you doing to fix it?

Hint: getting high... doesn't help... really...

Carter facts (3.50 / 2) (#244)
by nutate on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:05:18 PM EST

May be completely off, but I believe it was in that book. Please follow up if you have time to google deeply. I don't have time to look it up in my books at home. btw, my friend just read the comment and says:

"doesn't getting high help somehow..."

...

:)

peace, rich

[ Parent ]

Good Points (3.50 / 2) (#245)
by Snowman2k1 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:08:30 PM EST

In addition to 'Reefer Madness', there is a book called 'Marijuana: The New Prohibition' which I would recommend to anyone, for marijuana legalization or against, I'm sure it will either change your opinions, or give you facts to back them up with.

[ Parent ]
I donate (none / 0) (#481)
by Hefty on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:13:53 PM EST

$15 dollars a month to NORML to do my part to keep the movement going.

[ Parent ]
There are no controlled substances... (4.09 / 11) (#238)
by guidoreichstadter on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:57:46 PM EST

... only controlled people. -Thomas Sasz


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
Szasz. (none / 0) (#607)
by Gris Grue on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 04:07:37 AM EST

It's spelled like that.


If a bad zombie gets you, he will weep on you, or take away your whiskey, or hurt your daughter's bones.
[ Parent ]

One reason (3.05 / 17) (#241)
by JanneM on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:01:33 PM EST

I'm sorry if someone has already brought this up - it's just too long to read all of the comments:

Marijuana damages the lungs and causes cancer, just like cigarettes. In fact, the risk is somewhat elevated as compared to inhaling tobacco smoke. And it has been pointed out in other fora that had tobacco (or alcohol) been introduced today, they would never, ever, had a chance of becoming legally available. In a way, the fact that we do allow tobacco smoking is a case of societal inertia; don't be surprised if it is outlawed another generation or two from now. And in the same vein, smoking other stuff (whether a drug or not) is hazardous enough to disallow it for that reason alone.

Of course, this argument does not go for administering the drug in other ways.

/Janne
---
Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.

Wrong (4.00 / 3) (#246)
by Pinball Wizard on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:09:09 PM EST

There is evidence to the contrary. A federal study, in fact. Marijuana does not cause cancer like tobacco does.

Care to back up your statement with verifiable facts?

[ Parent ]

*krrmt* (5.00 / 2) (#254)
by Kaptein nemo on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:29:01 PM EST

marijuhana does contain about the same amount of carciogens as tobacco. read the other article linked to at your "level" and this

[ Parent ]
Who smokes a pack of joints in a night? (4.66 / 3) (#269)
by thenick on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:24:19 PM EST

If pot has about the same ammount of carciogens as cigarettes, then pot smokers have a lower risk of contracting lung cancer. I don't know anyone who can sit down and smoke ten joints, but I do know some people who can finish a pack of cigarettes in an evening.

 
"Doing stuff is overrated. Like Hitler, he did a lot, but don't we all wish he would have stayed home and gotten stoned?" -Dex
[ Parent ]

yea, (5.00 / 1) (#396)
by Kaptein nemo on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:29:04 AM EST

but pot intself is no less a harmful substance(with respect to the carciogens, that is :) ). also pot smokers don't use filters on their joints(duh!) and a joint rollen more loosly than a cigarette -> more tar.

well i guess you already knew that if you followed my first link.

[ Parent ]

THC doesn't cause cancer (4.66 / 3) (#288)
by TheSleeper on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:00:14 PM EST

The study you linked shows that THC doesn't cause cancer.

Big deal. Marijuana smoke contains much more than just THC, much like tobacco smoke contains much more than just nicotine. Plenty of these other chemicals are carcinogenic.

I favor legalization, but posting worthless evidence like this doesn't help. We have to be honest about the potential downsides, and demonstrate that they are outweighed by the upsides.

[ Parent ]

bang on! (5.00 / 2) (#300)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:40:25 PM EST

Your absolutely right. The fact is if you burn just about anything as crude as marijunana with the sole intention of delivering as much of the smoke into your lungs and trying to keep it in your lungs for an abnormal amount of time, it is bad for your lungs!

You don't need a scientific study, how about millions of years of evolution instead. Have you ever seen the first-time pot smoker take a puff? It's usually a hideous site with their face turning beat red and their shoulders heaving as their body coughs incessantly.

[ Parent ]
Kind of. (none / 0) (#252)
by Snowman2k1 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:20:55 PM EST

Read this

[ Parent ]
What? (5.00 / 1) (#255)
by illustro1a4 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:34:52 PM EST

JanneM said:
"Marijuana damages the lungs and causes cancer, just like cigarettes."

There is no proof to back up this claim. There has never been a recorded case of lung cancer caused by smoking marijuana. Please read Marijuana Myths for some accurate information.

illustro
--
Get the facts about marijuana and the true cost of prohibition.

[ Parent ]

Don't believe everything you read... (5.00 / 2) (#277)
by moondog on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:40:00 PM EST

There is no proof to back up this claim. There has never been a recorded case of lung cancer caused by smoking marijuana.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. While this may be true (I don't know), it is extremely misleading, and uses the same tactics the anti-pot status quo would give you. Cigarette smoke and marijuana smoke contain nasty chemicals such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons and nitrosamines. These groups of compounds are linked either directly or indirectly with increased cancer rates. I wrote an article about this recently in the Stanford Daily.

Although I agree that marijuana smokers generally smoke much less than cigarette smokers, I know of many so-called "pot-heads" that smoke a ridiculous amount. Marijuana smokers also generally smoke without a filter, increasing the concentrations of inhaled compounds.

To say that marijuana does not cause cancer because it hasn't been proven is like saying a gun isn't dangerous because it hasn't ever been shot. Much of the evidence that we have predicts that cancer is a probabilistic crap shoot, and exposing your self to carcinogens increases that risk, whether it can be traced to a particular compound or not. Users of marijuana should be aware of the risks before use, being misleading to make a point is not fair to even casual users.

As a disclaimer, I am really not trying to qualify marijuana laws, I think they are far from fair and scientific. Also, I generally agree with the story.

-SM

[ Parent ]

I think that kind of misses an important point (4.71 / 7) (#256)
by z84976 on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:34:56 PM EST

For a lot of people (myself included, obviously) it comes down to a completely different issue. It's not an issue of whether it's "good" for me or not, it's an issue of personal choice.

For example, banging one's hand with a hammer could be considered a stupid bit of behavior. It's self destructive. I could cause me to miss time from work. I might not be quite so productive around the house if I always have a bum hand. I might be clumsier with the things I do. Should it therefore be illegal for me to bang myself in the hand with a hammer? No? Then why is it illegal for me to smoke marijuana?

If I break both hands with a hammer, then go out and try to drive to the store and, due to the fact that I can't properly drive with my bum hands, I run over a kid, do I get the same severity of punishment as someone who impaired themselves with alcohol, pot, heroin, and does the same thing? Why not? It's just as irrational and preventable!

What is wrong with having a permissive society where I am free to do with myself as I please (which is how we live today, except in the case of marijuana prohibition and many other similarly ridiculous exceptions), but in which I am help fully responsible for my own actions? If my abuse of beer, pot, hammers, etc begins to infringe upon the rights and happiness of others, then I should be punished in a manner appropriate for the crime. The penalty (or threat thereof) should be somewhat of a deterrant to my committing the action; if it is not, it is not harsh enough.

[ Parent ]

I don't see how the point was missed (5.00 / 1) (#293)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:19:46 PM EST

Is anyone else confused? I don't know what z84976 is talking about; what point was missed by JanneM? I don't think JanneM was saying that the only reason marijuana is illegal is due to its negative health effects, it is just one of the reasons.

On the other hand, I agree with you completely on the point that marijuana can have the ill effect of causing harm to others by someone being intoxicated and doing stupid things. But I do not see this as a reason to outlaw marijuana. People should be held responsible for their actions. If someone wants to skydive, I couldn't care less. It's a particularly risky activity and might not be in their best interest, but that is only my opinion. Too many people think they have everything figured out and that things are black and white. "Marijuana is bad for one's health, therefore it should be illegal" some might say. Although it is true that it is bad for one's health, can the benefits not outway the drawbacks? I think that is a better question than "What is bad about marijuana." If it has a net positive impact on society, than it is good.

[ Parent ]
The main theme (none / 0) (#643)
by tekue on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 06:56:04 AM EST

Marijuana is bad for one's health, therefore it should be illegal.
This sententce is incorrect. If marijuana is bad for health, it should not be used. Making it illegal doesn't really change the amount of usage — as some pointed out, it's easier for children and teens to buy marijuana than to buy alcohol.

If people start working on making people not want to smoke, rather than making people not being able to obtain something they want to smoke, the fight could be a lot easier. This is of course not really possible if you don't know who's using it and why, and they won't tell you, because it's illegal.

In fact, the anti-drug legislation is based on assumption, that if it's illegal, people will not do it. This is not true — murder is illegal for a couple of centuries now and still happens a lot.
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

Comments (5.00 / 2) (#259)
by DarkZero on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:40:00 PM EST

If you can't be bothered listening to anyone else's opinion before spouting off your own, why the Hell should anyone listen to you?

[ Parent ]
there's 250+ give him a break (5.00 / 2) (#267)
by nodsmasher on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:19:53 PM EST


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
....a flaw in your thinking (4.40 / 5) (#287)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:59:42 PM EST

If there's 250+ postings, and 100 of them repeat the same arguments then everyone loses. I don't agree to posting without otherwise reading the other comments because soon enough forums become those like on Slashdot, way to many stupid comments repeated. I'm new to the site, so I'm not sure, but couldn't you have the computer search the postings for particular keywords so you don't have to read them all? After all, the computer is good at stuff like that.

[ Parent ]
or.... (5.00 / 1) (#489)
by nodsmasher on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:45:08 PM EST

he could just skim them and go i don't think this has been said
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
I was unclear (5.00 / 1) (#464)
by JanneM on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:01:24 PM EST

What I ment by that comment was that I was not ready to scrutinize every single post on this topic to see if someone had pointed out the mundane health effects of smoking in a throwaway sentence somewhere. I did not imply that I did not browse through the discussion at all. Should have been clearer.

Also, another poster did come up with the excellent suggestion to search the page - wish I'd figured that one out for myself. :)

/Janne
---
Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.
[ Parent ]

I don't get it. (none / 0) (#263)
by LukeyBoy on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:53:04 PM EST

Of course, this argument does not go for administering the drug in other ways.

Personally I don't know anyone who's injected marijuana.

[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#265)
by gazuga on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:04:10 PM EST

I guess you've never had magic brownies then.

[ Parent ]
My bad! (none / 0) (#297)
by LukeyBoy on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:35:06 PM EST

Brownies slipped my mind entirely!

[ Parent ]
missed the point (4.50 / 2) (#280)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:48:31 PM EST

The point of the comment was to note the fact that marijuana has negative effects on lungs and hence by smoking it. The argument that marijuana causes lung cancer goes out the window if a marijuana user starts eating marijuana brownies.

[ Parent ]
which is why I only eat it. (none / 0) (#485)
by squinky on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:30:24 PM EST

I think you mean the particulate matter in the smoke though...

And any smoke is bad for you. Which is why I also don't use a grill in my backyard or a fireplace in my house.

The major disadvantage to eating it-- you won't necessarily be in sync with others with who your eating it (depending on stomach contents at the time).

I've not done it for years unfortunately. :(

[ Parent ]
Cancer... (5.00 / 1) (#604)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 01:45:00 AM EST

So because substance foo can increase the risk of cancer it should be illegal?

...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

who profits? That's easy ... (4.00 / 9) (#261)
by Chungkuo on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:48:01 PM EST

... any of the companies involved in manufacturing products that would be more efficiently produced with hemp. The paper/plastics industry is one entity to which the finger is firmly pointed. DuPont would lose enormous revenues if hemp were used in paper production instead of wood pulp. Hemp fibers are more naturally conducive to paper production, hemp paper requires a fraction of the chemicals used to make wood paper.

The puritanical no-fun crowd might have a bit to say about the prohibition of weed for its intoxicating effects, but much more power and clout is wielded by folks that could give a rats ass about a bunch of bong sucking hippies. The primary fear of the powerful is hemp being turned to industrial uses, because it's so damn cheap to use.

I recommend The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer for an excellent summary of the history of hemp and hemp prohibition. The book is available in print (your local head shop likely has a copy), and the complete text is online at Mr. Herer's web site (use the above link).

hemp is different that marijuana (none / 0) (#313)
by TheLogician on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:17:43 PM EST

I thought hemp was marijuana that does not contain (or contains very little) THC, the chemical agent producing the high, thus rendering it unharmful. Are there not legally made hemp products in the States because there certainly are in Canada?

[ Parent ]
Cannabis Sativa. (4.00 / 2) (#324)
by beergut on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:07:53 PM EST

They are the same plant.

There are strains that have been cultivated to boost the THC content. This is typically what is meant when people claim that "the weed is so much more potent now than it was in the '60s". Selective breeding, inbreeding, and crossbreeding (especially with Cannabis Indica (I believe),) have been the major factors in increasing, or enhancing, the THC content of Cannabis.

This has been done for centuries, by the way, in various parts of the world. Maybe even thousands of years.

Kinda like the difference between field corn and Silver Queen (one of my favorite strains of sweet corn.)

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

question (none / 0) (#323)
by ReverendX on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:04:41 PM EST

I don't understand this argument. What is to stop companies from using hemp to produce their paper then? IF it's a cheaper way to produce paper, you would expect corporate-America to be all for it, because they could lower their costs and increase profits.

Being able to piss in an allyway is however, a very poor substitute for a warm bed and a hot cup of super-premium coffee. - homelessweek.com
[ Parent ]

No. (4.50 / 4) (#326)
by beergut on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:20:37 PM EST

Hemp is illegal. That it is illegal is enough to make corporations not want to push for it. They already have a sweet deal.

There have been special waivers granted by somewhat-clued state governments for the test-cultivation of industrial hemp. By and large, this happens for one season, and then the feds crack down.

Governments, and legislators in particular, make big bucks "listening to their constituents" (paper, textile, agriculture, petroleum, pharmaceutical industries,) and aren't willing to rock the boat.

If there were a repeal of prohibition, you would see lots and lots and scads and hordes of corporations flocking to hemp products, because they are (or can be) cheaper, and are more "environmentally responsible", for whatever good PR that's worth.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

The real reason? (4.35 / 17) (#270)
by fluxrad on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:24:39 PM EST

The real reason marijuana is illegal is much more simple than most people imagine. It's simply that the government and our parents' elders did an extraordinary job of convincing baby boomers that marijuana was an incredibly dangerous gateway drug.

My mother is a perfect example of this stereotypical thinking. I posed the question "Mother, what's wrong with marijuana?" and she promptly replied, "It's a gateway drug! If you use marijuana, you'll move on to other drugs" Of course, when I tried to extract another reason...she was unable to provide anything besides the paranoid doublespeak thrown at us by all kinds of "partnership" ads.

When we've finally convinced "normal" middle class americans that marijuana is not a gateway drug (or, at least, no more so than any legal substance such as alcohol, nicotine, or even caffeine) then we will be home free on the road towards legalization. Even now, we see signs of that day arriving, with MJ being decriminalized in over half the states, and medical marijuana passing in the more "progressive" states. The only major obstacle left is the repeal of the Marijuana Tax Act.

And for more enlightened reading, you can check out NORML or, one of my favorites, Smokedot.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
Baby Boomers? (5.00 / 9) (#307)
by johnny on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:02:15 PM EST

To say that the "boomer" generation has bought into the whole antidrug propoganda line ignores a lot of obvious history, I think.

I was born in 1952, which by anybody's definition puts me in the baby boom. I was a high-schooler 1966-1970. Even in my military school (yes, I was in Jr. ROTC & wore a uniform) we listened to Stones, Beatles, Hendrix, Airplane. It was the 60's for Christ's sake. About 30 of my friends went to Woodstock. I first smoked pot in my high-school's Senior Room. I smoked pot all through college. I'm a pretty typical baby boomer.

With about 5 exceptions, I haven't smoked pot for 27 years. That's because I decided I didn't like getting stupid. But I certainly think it should be legal. I'm 49 years old and I know very few people my age who didn't smoke pot in the 60's or 70's. Very few. I have a of friends who were "in the shit" (i.e, combat) in Viet Nam. You think THEY didn't toke? Give me a break. Of course I'm from Massachusetts, not the bible belt. But still, you know? Baby boomers are not totally stupid about pot. We're the pot generation, for Pete's sake. Bill Clinton was a pothead. George Bush was a pothead. Out pot of course was 1/10 the potency of today's pot, but it was still pot.

So why isn't it legal?

I don't know. Myself, I don't work for its legalization since I have about a million things that are more important to me. But if if were on the ballot, I would vote for it.

But as to why it's not legal, I think a lot of other posters have given partial answers that add up to a whole:

  • There is a VAST institutional aparatus that derives money and power and control from the "war on drugs."
  • There are corporate interests that would be theatened by legal pot and legal hemp.
  • Drug dealers would lose big-time from legal dope.
  • A significant portion of the population my age has seen many of our friends get dead (or close enough) from recreational chemicals of one stripe or another (I can name a dozen or so friends myself) so we're not all hot on manning the barricades for more legal chemicals.
  • There's a big portion of the USA that's just religious/straight (and in my opinion this is the portion most susceptible to government antidrug propaganda).

I don't think any of these reasons are strong enough to counteract the commonsense arguments for legalization, but add them up and you get a strong prejudice towards the status quo.

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.
[ Parent ]

Interesting assertion, but i disagree (4.00 / 1) (#598)
by fluxrad on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 10:52:53 PM EST

To say that the "boomer" generation has bought into the whole antidrug propoganda line ignores a lot of obvious history, I think.

I will certainly grant you that the mid to late sixties saw the rise of a hippie subculture that dramatically changed this country's view on narcotics. That being said, I don't think that the hippie sub-culture was representative of the vast majority of baby-boomers at the time. In fact, the vast majority of the baby-boomers I know are of the opinion I stated in my previous post. Many believe weed should be legal, but many more have completely fallen for the idea that marijuana is a totally dangerous drug, if only for it's "gateway" qualities. I suppose our views on the matter are shaped by the individuals we know and associate with, but I can definitely give you the inside scoop on the predominately (mid)western point of view.

Baby boomers are not totally stupid about pot. We're the pot generation, for Pete's sake

I have to take issue with that, considering that approximately 75-80% of individuals aged 22-35 have tried marijuana at least once. I'd say Generation X has more of a claim to that title.

And lastly, just to be a butthole :P

Our pot of course was 1/10 the potency of today's pot, but it was still pot.

Pure myth. Check out who's been testing what for the past 40 years ;-)

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
I'd add to that (none / 0) (#644)
by tekue on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 07:19:04 AM EST

As frequently forgotten, Acid dosage today averages 20-80 mcg compared to the 150-300 mcg doses of the 1960's. Generation X is missing out on so much...

--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]
I've used marijuana... (2.50 / 2) (#362)
by Ben Welsh on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:31:06 AM EST

There was only one gateway I needed to pass through to begin with, and that was caring for my own personal health. And in that sense, I had been passing through it for a long time. Starting from being taught as a child that it was ok to have a double cheesburger from McDonald's for dinner, and donuts for breakfast. Then sort of culminating in a decision to risk breathing in toxic smoke, in order to find out what so many people seemed to like about it. I ate junk because the taste seemed worth it, but I really had no idea at the time, that the health risks it led to were so serious. There weren't any FDA labels or surgeon general warnings on a Bigmac. So the real gateway for me was a cigarette. I'm only 22, so I grew up knowing the risks of breathing in cigarette smoke. Once I was beyond that hurtle, I really wasn't opposed to trying any drug. I had worries about more serious drugs, but when I'd almost had a chance to try 'acid', and not immediately turned it down, I knew in hindsight that my worries weren't a very effective safety net. Luckily marijuana actually turned out to be enough for me. And when I heard more and more that people were having a hard time proving that marijuana even had serious negative effects, it became the only recreational drug I used. That includes alchohol and tobacco. Today I only use caffeine, and that's cause I have a hard time getting it out of my diet and keeping it out. I would probably still be using marijuana, but once I turned 18 and heard a few horror stories of drug busts I decided it wasn't worth the risk. As I became more health conscious I also began to feel that it was pretty dumb to accept stuff from the kind of people you have to get it from when it's illegal. And that's mainly why I support legalization. People are wrong when they say marijuana doesn't kill, because between gang wars and bad drug deals it kills plenty. I'm sure somewhere some drug dealers are putting god knows what into what they sell, so they can save money by not selling stuff that's 100% marijuana. How long before that kills and injures people? If the feds were really interested in saving lives they would let American business safely legitamize the sale of marijuana.

Christianity Meme
[ Parent ]
Nixon overruled his commission (3.90 / 11) (#273)
by cnicolai on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:36:52 PM EST

The Shafer Commission, appointed by Nixon, recommended that marijuana be decriminalized. Nixon overruled them and demanded an "all out war."

Well. (3.50 / 8) (#315)
by mindstrm on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:22:49 PM EST

All conspiracy theories aside.. it remains illegal, as another poster said, because the government did such a swell job of brainwashing all the boomers into thinking it was a dangerous gateway drug.

Period.

Yes, there is a conspiracy surrounding why it was made illegal in the first place...

The government is in the middle of a very very profitable war on drugs; so many people still think it's 'evil' that it would be political suicide to legalize. YOu would be a terrorist, anti-american, etc, etc, etc.

People just don't want to approach the issue because it has been so effectively demonized in the past.


profitable? (none / 0) (#325)
by mikpos on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:08:51 PM EST

How does the war on drugs profit the government?

[ Parent ]
not certain (4.00 / 1) (#335)
by ubernostrum on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:06:29 AM EST

But I'd think the ability to basically seize the dealer's/user's money, property, car, spouse's money, property, car, etc. and then auction them would be lucrative...


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

How does the war on drugs profit the government? (none / 0) (#395)
by dirtydingus on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:15:39 AM EST

well it pay their salaries and justifies their levying of taxes and so on.

It seems to me we should legalise them all and tax them. That way governemtn gets money instead of drug pushers and smugglers.

DD

People can be put into 10 groups: Those that understand binary and those that don't.
[ Parent ]

It doesn't (none / 0) (#439)
by theR on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:12:27 PM EST

It makes money for the people that prosecute it, including law enforcement officials, lawyers, prison employees, and companies in the law enforcement business (manufacturers of equipment and weapons, etc), to only name a few. The government isn't in business to make money, at least not for themselves. They're in business to spend it, and the War on Drugs lets them spend a lot more, making the people who receive the money the government is spending very happy.



[ Parent ]
self-serving.. (4.07 / 14) (#320)
by infinitera on Thu May 30, 2002 at 10:45:16 PM EST

according to my sociology text anyways ;) I don't have the motivation to write anything original right now, so here's the relevant part:
[...] we condemn using drugs of escape (marijuana, psychedelics, heroin, and crack) as deviant but endorse drugs that promote adjustment to the status quo (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine).


Circular Reasoning (3.00 / 2) (#425)
by Khedak on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:25:28 AM EST

The terms "deviant" and "status quo" are based on their legal status, so using that as an explanation for their legal status is circular. If there hadn't been a huge racist campaign against pot in the early part of this century, marijuana probably wouldn't be viewed as any more deviant than tobacco. At one time, alcohol was viewed as deviant,and now it isn't. What's viewed as deviant and status quo are determined by law and reinforced through propoganda. They're not logical or reasonable standards.

[ Parent ]
Um, that's not what the report meant (3.66 / 3) (#428)
by Rainy on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:42:02 AM EST

I think it was Terence McKenna (oh yeah, that was him.. here's a paste: Why is caffeine not only tolerated but exalted? Because, boy, you can spin those widgets onto their winkles just endlessly without a thought on your mind. It is *the* perfect drug for modern industrial manufacturing. Why do you think caffeine, a dangerous, health destroying, destructive drug, that has to be brought from the ends of the earth, is enshrined in every labor contract in the Western world as a right? The coffee break -- if somebody tried to take away the coffee break, you know, the masses would rise in righteous fury and pull them down. We don't have a beer break. We don't have a pot break. I mean, if you suggested, 'Well, we don't want a coffee break. We want to be a ble to smoke a joint at eleven,' they would say, 'Well, you're just some kind of -- you're a social degenerate, a troublemaker, a mad dog, a criminal.' And yet, the cost health benefit of those two drugs, there's no comparison. Obviously, pot would be the better choice. The problem is, then you're going to be standing there dreaming, rather than spinning the widgets onto the nuts. (laughter)

from: weekend with terrence mckenna

mj may get you interested in art, psychodelics will prompt you to re-evaluate your place in life, society, etc. Contrast with caffeine, alcohol and nicotine: I'll work my shift and then have my drug of choice and tomorrow I'll work the next shift.


--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Agreed. Mostly. (3.50 / 2) (#562)
by Khedak on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 11:33:28 AM EST

Excellent points. My only question is regards this:

mj may get you interested in art, psychodelics will prompt you to re-evaluate your place in life, society, etc. Contrast with caffeine, alcohol and nicotine: I'll work my shift and then have my drug of choice and tomorrow I'll work the next shift.

Yes, but how much of that is due to the objective effect of the chemical on the human brain, and how much is due to the way in which these drugs are already viewed by society? That was my central point. If it were acceptable to have a pot break in our society, we might find it to be just as socially reinforcing as other drugs. After all, consider the latin american cultures that used marijuana before the smear campaign was launched against them in the U.S., they weren't lazy and dreamy, they worked as hard as everyone else. And on the flip side, how much damage and injury are caused by alcohol abuse while on the job. Even lack of sleep, which isn't even a drug, can be very hazardous, and yet for some reason we're more accepting if someone makes a mistake on the job because they're extremely fatigued than if they are high, though I'm sure research shows lack of sleep is much more dangerous.

As for coffee and cigarette breaks, caffeine is a stimulant, and so is nicotine, and rather strong ones. In south american cultures, they chew coca leaves, and work the fields. Cocaine is probably a bit too pure for a "cocaine break" to be reasonable (unless you're an actor or a business exec), but the point is that I think the social reinforcement is more due to how society views the chemicals than how the chemicals affect the person. Virtually any stimulant would achieve what we use caffeine and nicotine for in our culture, especially if they were processed and repackaged as much as caffeine and tobacco.

As for marijuana, certainly I wouldn't want anyone to operate heavy machinery while high, just to be on the safe side, but for most other jobs, it would depend on the individual and how they behave on the substance. I think we can all agree that musicians and artists aren't hurt by it, and Carl Sagan led a successful academic career while he smoked. Of course, there's that group of people who think that smoking pot will make them into talented artists and musicians, but that's a different story. Regardless, I think that the workplace rule "don't come to work high" would be more than a fair trade-off for legalization. That is, if marijauna were legalized but viewed to be as harmful as alcohol (which it's not by a long shot), even that would be reasonable. But the current situation is just ridiculous.

[ Parent ]
There's some confusion here.. (2.00 / 1) (#575)
by Rainy on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 04:15:28 PM EST

. After all, consider the latin american cultures that used marijuana before the smear campaign was launched against them in the U.S., they weren't lazy and dreamy, they worked as hard as everyone else. And on the flip side, how much damage and injury are caused by alcohol abuse while on the job.

It's not a matter of being lazy, dreamy, hardworking, or causing damage/injury. It's a matter of your thought patterns - when I smoke pot I re-evaluate my surroundings - not necessarily from social point of view. It's due entirely to objective chemical difference between alcohol and pot. Here's another way to put it: on pot & psychodelics, I get more thoughts, on nicotine, caffeine and alcohol I get less thoughts. Now, these thoughts may or may not be a good thing, depending on the person and circumstances, BUT every imperfect society want to push for conformance, so when something causes people to think too much, it's no good. Other drugs that are "only" bad for health are also frowned upon but *much* less so, you drink, ruin your liver, provide less work-hours in your life, die sooner, but at least you aren't thinking of revolution or something. Psychodelics are worse than poison, they not only kill users, they mutate the very society they live in.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Well. (none / 0) (#594)
by Khedak on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 10:13:19 PM EST

on pot & psychodelics, I get more thoughts, on nicotine, caffeine and alcohol I get less thoughts. Now, these thoughts may or may not be a good thing, depending on the person and circumstances, BUT every imperfect society want to push for conformance, so when something causes people to think too much, it's no good.

Let's just say that you have built a very fragile chain of connections between these concepts, and I wouldn't agree with the nature of these connections. First, drugs affect everyone differently. You say pot makes you "think more", but other people say that they can't think while they're high. On the other hand, programmers use caffeine and nicotine when doing creative, thought-intensive jobs. So your first points, about deviant drugs producing more thoughts, doesn't hold for all people or for all drugs. As for society pushing people to think less in order to conform, this may seem reasonable, but I don't think that drug policies have anything to do with the drugs causing people to "think more" or "think less". There are cultural, economic, and political factors historically and contemporarily that shape drug policy, and "how much drugs make you think" isn't one of them.

Psychodelics are worse than poison, they not only kill users, they mutate the very society they live in.

This may be something that a very, very ignorant person might say to mitigate acceptance of psychedelics, but beyond that I think it has no relevence in a conversation about drug policy. Oh, and by the way: Pot is not psychedelic. LSD, mushrooms, and peyote (mescaline) are the primary psychedelic drugs. Maybe you should do some research on this topic, and re-evaluate your theory.

[ Parent ]
re: Well. (none / 0) (#619)
by Rainy on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 01:09:37 PM EST

First, drugs affect everyone differently. You say pot makes you "think more", but other people say that they can't think while they're high.

No, they do think more, they just have trouble controlling their stream of consciousness. They don't mean it literally as "it knocked me out, my mind is blank".

On the other hand, programmers use caffeine and nicotine when doing creative, thought-intensive jobs.

I can't vouch for nicotine (luckily) but caffeine makes the "legwork" easy - writing out details of implementation; pot can make the design part - the more creative and imaginative (and fun!) part of programming easier. You sort of feel freer to step out of orthodox rules and look at the problem from many different angles.

There are cultural, economic, and political factors historically and contemporarily that shape drug policy, and "how much drugs make you think" isn't one of them.

I think it may be the underlying mega-reason behind reasons that lie on surface. Naturally, I'm not sure about this, but how can you be sure about something like that?

This may be something that a very, very ignorant person might say to mitigate acceptance of psychedelics, but beyond that I think it has no relevence in a conversation about drug policy.

I didn't say it to advertise psychedelics. I said it because I was trying to explain why society would be so hostile to a relatively safe drug while being much more lenient about nicotince, etc. Please don't misunderstand my position - I'm not a NORML member or anything, I'm merely discussing a story on a web forum. I'm not in any of the camps on this.

Oh, and by the way: Pot is not psychedelic. LSD, mushrooms, and peyote (mescaline) are the primary psychedelic drugs. Maybe you should do some research on this topic, and re-evaluate your theory.

I'm not sure, it probably isn't, technically, but we aren't arguing drug nomenclature here, we're talking about what they do, and in context of my theory it makes sense to group pot and psychedelics against the 3 legal unhealthy drugs. "psychedelics" is a very loose term, if only because we have a vague idea about how mind itself works, not to mention how that "normal" modus operandi is changed by this chemical or that. Don't take these terms too seriously, always read them in context.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Wrong. (none / 0) (#626)
by Khedak on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 03:33:18 PM EST

No, they do think more

I reiterate: just because you think a drug does something to you, doesn't mean you can put words in other people's mouths about what it does to them.

You sort of feel freer to step out of orthodox rules and look at the problem from many different angles.

No, you do. I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall.

I think it may be the underlying mega-reason behind reasons that lie on surface.

I know you think that. I said you are wrong, and gave evidence. Can you give evidence?

I didn't say it to advertise psychedelics.

You don't know what "mitigate" means. "Mitigate" means reduce. Your previous asinine comment was something someone who was ignorant would say to reduce acceptance of psychedelics. Do you understand? The implication was your that your previous comment was grossly misleading (psychedlics kill their users?) and incorrect (psychedelics don't "mutate society" any more than any other human activity.)

"psychedelics" is a very loose term, if only because we have a vague idea about how mind itself works

No, you have a vague idea of how the mind works. Psychedelic is not a loose term.

Look, I know that in our society, los of myths, half-truths, and lies surround drugs, their effects, and their use. But just using the drugs doens't make you an expert. If you want to know about drugs and their effects, you have to actually study them, read about them, and scrutinize your sources. The DEA website is a heaping pile of lies, and so is the AntiDrug website of the national office of drug control policy. But a couple of good sites include: erowid and the lycaeum, if you've never been, you should go. Lots of information, lots of points of view (experience reports).

Go, learn. I tire of this conversation.

[ Parent ]
re: Wrong. (2.00 / 2) (#666)
by Rainy on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:59:34 AM EST

No, you do. I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall.

You are. The wall you erected between yourself and my intelligent argumentation. Tear it down!

I know you think that. I said you are wrong, and gave evidence. Can you give evidence?

I don't quite understand what kind of evidence are you looking for here. Aside from tearing the whole society's synapses out and showing you a working diagram where the society sees people thinking freer while doing drugs, and then doesn't like it (shown in red), and busts them down. Do you expect a poll where a number of politicians and high-ranking police officers are questioned and they say, well, yeah, people think too much on drugs.. that's why we outlawed 'em.

Here's the thing: when I started smoking weed, at first I could also describe it as "being unable to think." There are a few things combined here, one of them is that you're so overcome with exciting sensory fireworks you don't *want* to think. You've entered a different mode of thinking and feeling and at first you're like a child: rather than sit down and read Shopenhauer, you're out there playing with this new world. Once you get to know it better, you return to mature cognitive ways. Another thing is that it's sort of like riding a bike for the first time - you ride for a few meters than you fall down, and you think to yourself "Why, what an inferior way to travel!". Yet another consideration is that what the concept of thought in your mind is limited to some usual sequential practical thought patterns, and once you get to haphazard (especially at first) and jumpy thoughts on weed, you naturally say "this is not thinking, this is something else". But, in our context, it's of course still thinking, if only a different "kind" of thinking.

You don't know what "mitigate" means.

Sorry, my mistake.. I only have a lame excuse that english is not my first language, but in 7 years here it's wearing thin ;-).

No, you have a vague idea of how the mind works. Psychedelic is not a loose term.

So you know how the mind works? Riddle me this, then: if all our actions are the result of nature and nurture, what is free will? A random generator that says "well, nature and nurture are undecided on this issue, so I'll do a random thing". Is our mind a complex calculator that weighs the odds and if it is free, it is only free to do what it was programmed to do, aside from occasional hardware glitch. If that is so, what's the point of our argument or k5? Do provide ample proof.

Psychedelics is a loose term because Psychosis is a loose term. Psychosis is a loose term because it's defined as "different from normal" but the concept of being normal is itself loose. So it's sort of like saying "I know how many tables are in that room - there's exactly two times less of them than in that other room. - How many are in the other room? - I'm not sure." That's what I call loose.

But a couple of good sites include: erowid and the lycaeum, if you've never been, you should go. Lots of information, lots of points of view (experience reports).

I did spend many a sleepless night reading lycaeum and (especially) erowid. Great sites, no argument here. I don't see, though, why you took "mutate our society" to be a negative comment. Too many space alien movies you've seen? Hey, if it weren't for mutation, we wouldn't be here. Nothing except for one-celled stupid buggers would be. If that! Mutation is a great thing, and that's exactly the point - we all have this weakness to different extent, that says "don't go there - you may lose what you already have now". This instinct is particularly strong in people who gained much withoud actually *doing* much, i.e. someone like GWB, because you start thinking.. I have all this stuff right now right here in this environment, but if it were to change, would I still make a lucky roll? Fuck change. So, there's two scales, one is for people who can adapt well and other for their wealth, with two extremes - one is a person who adapts poorly and is wealthy (probably one born into elite, never pushed himself to try hard for anything) - he's going to hate change instinctively. As a social force, these people automatically dislike psychedelics (unless they personally like to trip).

Go, learn. I tire of this conversation.

Easy now, big fella. Should I dance a happy little dance or perhaps swallow a sabre? Or tell jokes balancing on a trapeze? I find this complaint a bit odd - It ain't my job to work as your entertainer. This is a forum where people come to read posts they find interesting - nobody's holding a gun to your head "better read Rainy's posts or else.. lead is yummy today, eat a bellyfull!". So, stop whining and either converse politely or not at all.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Re your last line, not at all. n/y (1.00 / 1) (#667)
by Khedak on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:28:04 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Okay. (5.00 / 1) (#679)
by Khedak on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:55:46 PM EST

Okay, I smoked a bowl and now I can reasonably answer your questions.

I don't quite understand what kind of evidence are you looking for here. Aside from tearing the whole society's synapses out and showing you a working diagram where the society sees people thinking freer while doing drugs, and then doesn't like it (shown in red), and busts them down. Do you expect a poll where a number of politicians and high-ranking police officers are questioned and they say, well, yeah, people think too much on drugs.. that's why we outlawed 'em.

It doesn't matter to me how you get your evidence; the point is you don't have any. Be fair, admit that much. My point was that psychedelic mushrooms and peyote have been used in other cultures and they didn't cause those cultures to "mutate" any more radically than cultures that do not involve them, historically. That's my evidence. It's not the word of God or anything, but it seems reasonable to me.

So you know how the mind works? Riddle me this, then: if all our actions are the result of nature and nurture, what is free will? A random generator that says "well, nature and nurture are undecided on this issue, so I'll do a random thing". Is our mind a complex calculator that weighs the odds and if it is free, it is only free to do what it was programmed to do, aside from occasional hardware glitch. If that is so, what's the point of our argument or k5? Do provide ample proof.

Just because there are some intractable questions in psychology and philosophy doesn't mean that we don't know the difference between a hallucinogen (psychedelics) and pot (a non-psychedlic).

Psychedelics is a loose term because Psychosis is a loose term. Psychosis is a loose term because it's defined as "different from normal" but the concept of being normal is itself loose. So it's sort of like saying "I know how many tables are in that room - there's exactly two times less of them than in that other room. - How many are in the other room? - I'm not sure." That's what I call loose.

The term "psychedelic" is not related to the word "psychosis" other than the fact that both are derived from "psyche". The method of action of psychedelics in terms of neurochemisty has been narrowed down significantly, so if you want to know exactly what LSD does, I can tell you that it at least has to do with 5HT-2A receptors in the brain, which are sensitive to serotonin, though exactly what is unclear. So yes, our knowledge is limited, but that doesn't mean "we have only a vague idea of how the mind works".

By the way, marijuana does not act on these receptors. Different method of action, different effect, different classification: not psychedelic. Make sense?

he's going to hate change instinctively. As a social force, these people automatically dislike psychedelics (unless they personally like to trip).

But my argument is that those people have never done drugs, so they can't be basing their opinion of drugs on what the real effect of drugs are. These are the people who believe the lies, and so their ideas about drugs are limited.

As for George Dubya, it's believed he did cocaine in his youth, and it's known he went AWOL from his military post the same day that mandatory drug testing was instated. Would he do Acid, I don't know. You be the judge.

[ Parent ]
re: Okay. (2.00 / 1) (#696)
by Rainy on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:51:54 AM EST

It doesn't matter to me how you get your evidence; the point is you don't have any. Be fair, admit that much.

Yeah, I don't. But neither do you!

My point was that psychedelic mushrooms and peyote have been used in other cultures and they didn't cause those cultures to "mutate" any more radically than cultures that do not involve them,

Heh, that's not evidence. What is your historic evidence that they haven't? Besides, peyote and mushrooms were traditionally used by seers only. Notice how gov't began cracking down on drugs only when they became widespread? Perhaps if there's a couple of users here and there, it's not enough to "mutate society" but when whole campuses trip on lsd routinely, it gets attention. By the way, I have a related pet theory on this: in old days psychedelic drugs could not be widespread because there were too many superstitions. Think salem burnings - if these guys had access to mushrooms they'd just roam country side killing anything that looked like a witch to them which would probably be everything aside from trees. (well, they'd probably chop some timber, too).

Just because there are some intractable questions in psychology and philosophy doesn't mean that we don't know the difference between a hallucinogen (psychedelics) and pot (a non-psychedlic).

Sure it does! Be reasonable.

The term "psychedelic" is not related to the word "psychosis" other than the fact that both are derived from "psyche". The method of action of psychedelics in terms of neurochemisty has been narrowed down significantly, so if you want to know exactly what LSD does, I can tell you that it at least has to do with 5HT-2A receptors in the brain, which are sensitive to serotonin, though exactly what is unclear. So yes, our knowledge is limited, but that doesn't mean "we have only a vague idea of how the mind works".

So what does the name of that receptor give you, except possibly for sounding smarter than you are on web forums? Do you go "oh yeah, that's 5HT receptor, the psychedelic one. And that's the pot one, it's not psychedelic, it's pot-a-delic." What is the *functional* difference, not semantic?

Our knowledge is limited to the point that I'd say we only got a vague idea. You don't have true understanding unless you can answer the question "why?". But, let's not get into yet another semantic discussion. When I said pot is a psychedelic, I was using this term in the meaning you may find in any dictionary, e.g.:

adj 1: producing distorted sensory perceptions and feelings or altered states of awareness or sometimes states resembling psychosis

Perhaps we can both agree that it *can* be psychedelic but is often used just for shits and giggles?

But my argument is that those people have never done drugs, so they can't be basing their opinion of drugs on what the real effect of drugs are. These are the people who believe the lies, and so their ideas about drugs are limited.

That's certainly true, but it's not an either/or thing. That's the way societies are, there's lots of different currents going this way and that way, thousands of opinions, prejudices, misconceptions, all in their turn formed by many sources, reasons, events.

As for George Dubya, it's believed he did cocaine in his youth, and it's known he went AWOL from his military post the same day that mandatory drug testing was instated. Would he do Acid, I don't know. You be the judge. I think he could do it and perhaps even like it as a person but he'd dislike it as a part of his social slice. Often we have to chose!
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Marijuana makes you stupid. (2.41 / 17) (#328)
by StephenThompson on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:27:50 PM EST

It also makes you careless. Careless people do not make responsible citizens or good employees. Marijuan saps motivation and turns the user into a useless lump of indignity. People who smoke pot are dysfunctional parents, dysfunctional bread winners, dysfunctional citizens. The same is true for alcohol. Indeed, it was illegalized once, but organized crime cashed in big when people were forced to go cold turkey. So no its not right or just that alcohol is legal while marijuana is not. However, two wrongs do not make a right. Indeed, marijuana is a gateway to other drugs. So is alcohol and tobacco. So is any substance used to alter awareness for escape. But three wrongs don't make a right. Do I have the right to force these opinions on other people? I believe I do as long as my money is used to pay for welfare and medicare, as well as my subsidy of issurance rates for people who are less healthy and less responsible. I vote no marijuana by anyone who is eligable to recieve government services. Thats my vote. All you have to do is outvote me and millions of other americans. I wouldn't think you evil to do so, just sadly misguided.

But, (3.00 / 3) (#360)
by auraslip on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:16:45 AM EST

anyone who can so easily be swayed into becoming "careless" over a drug like weed, or alcohol, has that type of personality to begin with, and will probally indeed up on welfare anyways.
 Additionaly by your logic, alcohol should be illegal. So think to your self, if you could would you make alcohol illegal right now? If you say no then your a hypocrite.
 If you think otherwise then take this example; would you let people eat at fast food? Think of how much damage that does to us as a country; in terms of medical and lost productivy to health reasons.
 Would you let people have sex? Think of how much damage that does to our society. I don't even need to name the damages their. And if you say the benifits outway(of sex), isn't that just your perspective, and aren't the benifits just happyness anyways, the same benifits drugs give users.
 And as far as keeping it illegal does less damage then making it legal, do you even understand how much money is used on a almost completly unsuccesful anti-drug law enforcment?
How much drug cases tie up the legal center.
How much violence is caused by the drug trade. How many lives are wasted in prison(you may say rightfully so) for doing drugs(see: drug benifits).

Oh on a side note, I'm not a drugy, so you can't point out my massive spelling and gramatical errors, and blame it on drugs.
have a nice day
124
[ Parent ]

Sex (2.00 / 2) (#381)
by FaRuvius on Fri May 31, 2002 at 06:19:40 AM EST

I'd say the repression of sex does more harm than educated free love. Sex is a good thing.

[ Parent ]
and why is that? (none / 0) (#409)
by derek3000 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:13:51 AM EST

just wondering, since you seem so sure of it that you don't need to use any qualifiers.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

Personal observation (2.00 / 1) (#443)
by FaRuvius on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:28:02 PM EST

America's views on sex versus European views.
America seems to have more violent sex crimes.
America likes to repress sex: abstinence versus education.

Also, sex is a natural instinct. There is no value in ignoring that. If you don't understand your own sexuality, and no one will educate you about it, you are forced to rely on your animalistic instincts, which will most likely clash with puritan social values.

What evidence do you have to support the parent-post's claim that sex is terrible for society?

[ Parent ]

Reading comprehension 101 (5.00 / 1) (#457)
by derek3000 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:29:10 PM EST

Where did I say it was bad for society? It can be. I was mainly pointing out the fact that his post implies that any sex is good.

So raping your dad would be Good for me. Healthy, in fact.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

I guess you flunked that course (3.00 / 1) (#462)
by FaRuvius on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:00:21 PM EST

Let me spell it out for you.

To quote from the comment I was referring to:

Would you let people have sex? Think of how much damage that does to our society. I don't even need to name the damages their.
I don't know about you, but I read that as "people having sex damages society"

Would you let people have sex implies that sex should be repressed.

I counter by offering my opinion that sex is a good thing

You ask, where is the proof?

I offer some idea's about why I think education is better than repression and ask you for proof that it isn't.

And now here we are. You somehow thought that I was attacking you, so you attack me back by telling me that I can't read? If you read what I wrote, I never claim that you said "sex was bad for society". And I never claim that sex cannot be bad for society. I simply compared complete repression versus eductated free love.


[ Parent ]

You said... (5.00 / 1) (#470)
by derek3000 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:17:34 PM EST

at the end of the top post: "Sex is a good thing."

You didn't qualify Sex.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

and I'm (1.00 / 1) (#475)
by FaRuvius on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:51:13 PM EST

asking you why I need to.

[ Parent ]
because (5.00 / 1) (#478)
by derek3000 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:04:14 PM EST

not all sex is good sex.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

rape != sex (1.00 / 1) (#482)
by FaRuvius on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:18:27 PM EST

In society we allow people to have sex, and we do not tolerate rape. If you consider rape to be sex, then this conversation is moot because we will never agree.

[ Parent ]
I was just giving one example. (4.00 / 1) (#487)
by derek3000 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:37:39 PM EST

Here's another, more familiar one: two people who don't even know each others names fucking while drunk. Or worse: while clear-headed.

If you can't see why that's wrong, you've been consuming entirely too much pop culture ("but I don't even watch TV!").

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

I meant (2.00 / 1) (#559)
by auraslip on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 10:12:56 AM EST

unwanted pregnancy, people get STDS, broken hearts, ruined lives, people screwing their freinds so they can screw their freind's girlfriends, and other completly illogical and mostly wrong things sex and greed causes people to do.
124
[ Parent ]
And I meant (4.00 / 1) (#565)
by derek3000 on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 12:09:20 PM EST

exactly what I said. Those are symptoms of the problem, not the problem itself.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

Tsk, Tsk.. Check your spelling before you post! (3.00 / 2) (#397)
by SmallFlyingHippo on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:33:48 AM EST

It's "Druggy," not "Drugy." Yeh druggy...

[ Parent ]
Anyway, why settle for a penny ante pot high ... (3.75 / 4) (#386)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:11:32 AM EST

... when you can get the Real Thing - power over how your fellow citizens choose to live?
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Use != abuse (3.33 / 3) (#406)
by jesseerdmann on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:59:29 AM EST

I think you're exaggerating just a tad. A drink does not cause you to lose all ability to function. Hell, I'm pretty sure you could have _a_ drink at lunch and your afternoon work performance would not suffer at all.

Drinking a beer while grilling supper wouldn't cause you to rape your children or whatever horrible parenting attrocities you want to associate with drinking.

I've not smoked pot before, but I'm willing to bet that hiring a babysitter for a few hours on a Friday night so you can smoke up with your friends is not going to cause life long trauma to your children.



[ Parent ]
Meditation (none / 0) (#468)
by Kintanon on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:16:14 PM EST

Using meditative techniques to create a Co2 buildup in the blood via controlled breathing also alters your perception of reality in much the same way. It can lead to hallucinations, and have other ill affects if continued for too long a time or done improperly. Should it be illegal?

As for Welfare, Medicare, and insurance I believe it should be made an optional cost, but you can't recieve it if you don't pay it. I have no health insurance, but I'm not elligible for Medicare or Medicaid or anything like that. When I was unemployed for a few months I had not made enough money to qualify for unemployment, but I was inelligible for any kind of welfare aid. Those institutions need to be abolished.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Sheep (3.50 / 4) (#483)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:18:59 PM EST

It also makes you careless. Careless people do not make responsible citizens or good employees.

Attention citizen! You must obey your civic duty to be a good employee. You must obey your civic duty to work so that you can buy things. If you don't buy things, there is something wrong with you. You must support the economy. You must subsidize corporate welfare with your tax dollars. Your corporation is your God.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Apples and Oranges (4.50 / 6) (#329)
by chinhdo on Thu May 30, 2002 at 11:32:55 PM EST

Is it illegal because it's a dangerous drug? That's one of the popularly voiced media opinions, but we didn't think it was a particularly logical one. Cigarettes and alcohol singly or in combination are purported to account for about 400,000 deaths per year in the USA alone. Deaths from illegal drugs cause anywhere from about 5000 to 50,000 per year, depending on how you count them and who is doing the counting.
You are comparing apples to oranges there. Maybe deaths from illegal drugs are lower than those from legal drugs because the illegal drugs are illegal, and therefore harder to get, and less people use it, and when they do, less frequently? I think Marijuana should be legal but I think many people incorrectly use the argument that it is harmless... I don't think any of us really think that pot is completely harmless.

Not necessarily harder to get (4.00 / 1) (#359)
by scruffyMark on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:04:41 AM EST

It's not called high school for nothing... I don't know about anyone else's experience, but at my high school it was generally a lot easier to get dope than booze. This was one of the better schools in the city, academically, not a place full of dropout druggies or anything.

To get booze involved getting fake ID, an inordinately complicated affair I gather (I never did). Failing that, it meant hooking up with someone who had ID, making an order, paying up front, meeting them later to get the booze, and paying them a cut on top of the already high liquor prices.

Getting dope was way easier - you just ask around, probably someone had some with them, it being much more compact. No ID, no paying up front, no fuss.

If dope were a legal business, it might well have been harder to get. Businesses selling dope would have a license to lose if they sold to kids, so they would likely be reluctant to do so. There would be little call for dealers, since any adult could just head to the drugstore, or coffee shop, or wherever, cutting out a couple of layers of middlemen.

[ Parent ]

high school (none / 0) (#365)
by aspartame on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:51:50 AM EST

Indeed, that was certainly the case in my highschool.

--
180 times sweeter than sugar
[ Parent ]
My High School (3.00 / 2) (#466)
by Kintanon on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:12:01 PM EST

My high school had a graduating class of 92 people the year I graduated, the highest ever. Within that graduating class I knew no fewer than 4 people from whom I could purchase pot, most of them would give me pot for free if I wanted it. One of them I helped construct a small hydroponics lab in his basement for growing pot.
I imagine there were probably twice that many people in the class, since I only had social contacts with about 40 people, and probably around 50 people in the high school total who made pot available to the population. So approximately 10% of the high school population at my school seem to be pot dealers. Certainly does look like it's easy to obtain it. And hell, it was CHEAP because most of them grew it themselves on farmland or in their basements. You could buy a pound of pot for 25$ down here. And oddly enough, I never had the urge to smoke any... I'm easily amused enough by things like blinking lights and sequins, that I don't need any drugs to enhance my life experience.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Not totally harmless, but enough to be legal (5.00 / 1) (#421)
by Khedak on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:17:30 AM EST

I think Marijuana should be legal but I think many people incorrectly use the argument that it is harmless... I don't think any of us really think that pot is completely harmless.

Nothing is completely harmless, so this is absolutely true. But marijuana is less harmful than many substances which are legal, including tobacco and alcohol, and is possibly safer than caffeine, which has recently been shown (in some studies) to be harmful to the heart in much smaller amounts than previously believed. Not to mention the dozens of over-the-counter drugs designed to help with "weight management", which are little more than large doses of caffeine and ephedrine, and other less credible concoctions. If they manage to stay legal, despite the controversy surrounding their use, then what gives with marijuana? Marijuana has never been shown to cause respiratory problems more severe than bronchitis. Don't you think someone would have made a link between cancer and marijuana if there was one? And beyond that, there hasn't been any credible evidence of health problems related to marijuana use. Those that do are either obvious lies (e.g. Anslinger) or cases of expectancy error with results that aren't reliably duplicable (e.g. arguments that it causes reproductive harm). Arguments that it alters brain chemistry or alters behaviour in the long term are simply without basis.

In summary, the argument isn't that it's harmless, but that it's "as harmless" as substances which are legal legitimately, and even less harmful than some. And besides, I think history has shown that when something is harmful, the best policy is to educate the population with the truth, not to make it illegal and spread propoganda.

[ Parent ]
Please... (1.92 / 27) (#337)
by faustus on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:12:57 AM EST

Many people on this board seem to be suffering from a liberal arts education. Legalizing marijuana is a foolish idea because legal drugs in society are always abused more so than illegal ones. Alcohol and tobacco ravage our populations. You only need to open the newspaper to see the effects of these "legal" and socially accepted drugs. Cancer, violence, the denegation of the family, Aids (since pot can lead to heroin and sexual infidelity), violence, and organized crime; the list goes on. The author of this "op-ed" is not being a responsible member of society. If your neighbor's kids were drinking hard liquor wouldn't you stop them, assuming their parents were not home, (or God forbid were supporting such behavior)? I would of offered to take them to the slums and the crack alleys of my city, and show them the cold streets that await them if they continued on their stupid and irresponsible ways.

Heroin?? (none / 0) (#339)
by bigMAX on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:36:14 AM EST

"Cancer, violence, the denegation of the family, Aids (since pot can lead to heroin and sexual infidelity), violence, and organized crime; the list goes on."

Umm, how does smoking pot lead to heroin and sexual infidelity? Or am I just getting the wrong stuff :)

[ Parent ]

"cutting" dugs (none / 0) (#341)
by gnovos on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:47:24 AM EST

Umm, how does smoking pot lead to heroin and sexual infidelity?

Simple.  You know how drugs are "cut" with other chemicals to make them cheaper.  Well, the MJ in his area is cut with heroin or powedered rhino horn, obviously.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

The "Gateway Drug" (4.00 / 1) (#343)
by ekips on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:55:24 AM EST

You've just brought up a reason the author failed to mention: the current social stigma is that marijuana is a "gateway drug" -- smoking marijuana will, of course, lead to abuse of harder drugs, such as heroin, crack, cocaine, PCPs, etc. etc. Marijuana is no more a gateway drug than alcohol; alcoholics could, in their drunken blindness, get together with a group of friends and all decide to shoot up. Also, as even advertised by t-shirts and posters, alcohol leads to sexual infidelity just as much as any other drug. Think about it: Guy A goes to the bar go get schnockered. Girl A goes to the bar to do the same thing. Guy A has a wife, 2.5 kids, a dog and a cubicle job. Girl A has a live-in boyfriend/possible fiancé, and a steady job. Guy A and Girl A happen to be going to the same bar on a Saturday night. Guy A proceeds to drink enough alcohol to kill a mule, and Girl A maybe drinks a little less, but it's got roughly the same effect. Guy A and Girl A are sitting next to eachother at the bar. They turn around, start having a conversation, and end up the next morning in bed together at a hotel. Sound improbable? The unfortunate thing is it's not. Hollywood has succeeded in making most people think "oh, that's just something that happens in the movies -- it'll never happen to me." Want to talk about gateway drugs? I bet you've got a bottle of wine in your cupboard or somewhere in your house. I bet you probably don't abuse wine. Does that make the person who has a couple joints in their desk drawer, and smokes marijuana on a recreation basis, any worse than you?

-----------------

This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. If this had been an actual emergency, do you really think we'd stick around to tell you?
[ Parent ]
Okay (1.50 / 4) (#347)
by faustus on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:16:26 AM EST

Also, as even advertised by t-shirts and posters, alcohol leads to sexual infidelity just as much as any other drug.

I know, and why would we want more legal drugs in society? Legal drugs have a higher usage rate, and would lead to increases in such poor decisions

I bet you've got a bottle of wine in your cupboard or somewhere in your house. I bet you probably don't abuse wine.

Well yes I do have a few bottles of wine at my house, and of course I don't abuse it. But, the difference between wine and marijuana is that marijuana will get you way more inebriated in a shorter amount of time. I have to admit I did marijuana in the late 1960s, but back then it was so much weaker than today. A police officer who attends the same church as me was telling me at a barbeque that the "weed" of today is 15 times stronger today than of the sixties. This is unnerving to me, and good reason to stop its legalization.

[ Parent ]
The myth of 'super weed' (5.00 / 1) (#477)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:03:43 PM EST

I have to admit I did marijuana in the late 1960s, but back then it was so much weaker than today.

This is a myth, perpetuated by anti-drug propaganda and people like you passing it on.  The 1960s figures were based on seized Mexican 'dirt' weed, which is harvested before it's mature.

Also, what does this really mean?  How is it a bad thing to have stronger weed?  It just means you have to smoke less.  It's not like smoking 1960s weed makes you a little mellow, but smoking today's 'super weed' turns you into an unstoppable killing machine.  Why are people so shocked when they hear this figure?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

the real gateway drug (none / 0) (#401)
by three-pipe on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:47:12 AM EST

is money. whether you get addicted to shopping, pot, or speed, its all because you have more money than ability to appreciate natural, everyday things.


-chad \\ warfordium.org \\
[ Parent ]
You people know nothing. (5.00 / 2) (#348)
by sinistre on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:17:39 AM EST

Umm, how does smoking pot lead to heroin and sexual infidelity?

Simple. You know how drugs are "cut" with other chemicals to make them cheaper. Well, the MJ in his area is cut with heroin or powedered rhino horn, obviously.

First of all - "MJ" is NOT a gateway drug. This has been proven. It is as addictive as caffeine, no more no less. It does not lead to heroin. It might however lead to some sexual encounters, but so does alcohol - and alcohol probably more so. Not to mention alcohol leading to violence, something pot does not do.

That the MJ is cu with heroin in your area (not sure weather you meant what I'm about to spell out or not) is an argument for legalization. By legalizing it you can ensure good quality by growing it yourself or buying it from a licensed provider.

Seriously - I lived in The Netherlands for 3 years. It is legal there, and they have no problems with it. None like people here speak of anyway. I recommend people travel to Holland and see for themselves. It it was a gateway drug then a big chunk of the population there would be on heroin.

Poverty, misery and psychological problems are a gateway. There was even a study in Norway suggesting that the abuse of heroin could be considered a form of self medication (not in a good sense) - since more than 50% of the users in the study were considered to have psychiatric disturbances.

In my opinion - use of the gateway theory shows that you speak of that which you have no clue.

[ Parent ]
SAR CAS M (none / 0) (#371)
by gnovos on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:30:29 AM EST

Umm, how does smoking pot lead to heroin and sexual infidelity?

Simple. You know how drugs are "cut" with other chemicals to make them cheaper. Well, the MJ in his area is cut with heroin or powedered rhino horn, obviously.

This is MY post, and it is sarcastic.  I cannot imagine how somone could "cut" pot with anything except maybe lawn grass (but even that would be instantly recognizable), let alone a drug (and aphrodisiac) that is more expensive.

I hope you understand this and next time respond to my post under my post, not under its parent's parent post.


A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

Actually (5.00 / 1) (#441)
by sinistre on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:20:34 PM EST

Actually I wanted to respond to the guy who said that pot smoking leads to heroin and sexual infidelity. I just wanted to include your comment... good point. Wasn't quite sure if you were sarcastic or not though. In retrospect the rhino horn should have given it away - guess I was just really emotional at the time. Hehe.

:)

[ Parent ]
ima mod you 5... (none / 0) (#356)
by DrSbaitso on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:07:08 AM EST

because it's an artful troll :) good work, sir.

Heard of me then? Hell naw before, bet you done heard of me now, / Atlanta Georgia, where the dirty be found. -Archie, We Ready
[ Parent ]
Live and let die (3.50 / 2) (#357)
by annenk38 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:33:50 AM EST

Legal drugs do not ravage "populations" -- only the rare individuals who abuse them to their own peril. This is good in the Darwinian sense. Perhaps there is a good reason for the high mortality rate among the "crack babies". In the end, society can only benefit from the consequenses of legalizing ALL substances.



And if my left hand causes me to stumble as well -- what do I cut it off with? -- Harry, Prince of Wales (The Blackadder)
[ Parent ]
Re: Live and let die (1.00 / 1) (#392)
by jorleif on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:49:13 AM EST

Legal drugs do not ravage "populations" -- only the rare individuals who abuse them to their own peril.
This would be very true if we would all live in our own private space, however in practice drunk drivers kill innocent people, "crack babies" maintain their lifestyle by criminality and so on.
This is good in the Darwinian sense
I have to agree with you on that one. Maybe you could educate all the politic-types that since the thing called society slows down the process by protecting weak individuals, it should be abolished? The point I'm trying to make is that "survival of the fittest" means that those individuals fittest to survive will survive. Since having a social structure to protect an individual significantly increases his chance of survival, it can not be "evil" from a Darwinistic viewpoint (But neither is killing other individuals, except if that means someone else is going to get you killed for that).

From these two points we can infer that if Darwinism is used as a foundation for our ethics, the only interesting question is:
Do I want to smoke pot?
If the answer is yes, then pot should be legalized since it makes pot smoking significantly cheaper for me. If the answer is no, then there is a possibility that legalization of pot smoking makes my chances of survival worse, for instance because I might get run over by someone driving high.

[ Parent ]

private space (none / 0) (#603)
by annenk38 on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 01:43:21 AM EST

This would be very true if we would all live in our own private space, however in practice drunk drivers kill innocent people, "crack babies" maintain their lifestyle by criminality and so on.
Nearly everyone in this day and age is entitled their own private space -- their home, in which one ought to be able to do things in private, out of the view of "society". I do not claim the right to operate heavy machinery (such as motor vehicles), under the influence of narcotics. That indeed, should be dictated by law. However, what you do to youself in your own private home is your business, and not that of the State. What is even more disturbing is the preemptive punishment nature of the "illegal possesion" laws. People are being punished for crimes they've never committed under the pretext that drugs induce crime. That is fundamentally evil. The punishment should always come after the crime, not before.

And if my left hand causes me to stumble as well -- what do I cut it off with? -- Harry, Prince of Wales (The Blackadder)
[ Parent ]
Bad assumptions (none / 0) (#618)
by TheSleeper on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 12:34:41 PM EST

From these two points we can infer that if Darwinism is used as a foundation for our ethics, the only interesting question is:
Do I want to smoke pot?
If the answer is yes, then pot should be legalized since it makes pot smoking significantly cheaper for me. If the answer is no, then there is a possibility that legalization of pot smoking makes my chances of survival worse, for instance because I might get run over by someone driving high.

There's a basic problem with your reasoning here, which is common to a lot of opponents of legalization: You're evaluating the ban on pot without taking into consideration its costs, whether or not it will have the intended effects in practice, or whether or not it will have other unintended (and negative) effects. You can't really judge laws in the abstract like that. Rather, you have to consider how they actually function in the world:

Are the laws against pot achieving their intended effect? I'd say the answer is clearly no. Consider that rates of marijuana use are lower in The Netherlands than in the US or the UK. Consider that many kids in US schools say that marijuana is more easily acquired than alcohol. So you're paying tax dollars for an enforcement regime that's accomplishing nothing.

Now, on the other side, are there harmful unintended side effects to the ban? Sure. Let's list a few:

  • It corrupts law enforcement agencies. The drug war has put a lot of powers into the hands of these people, and, as the saying goes, power corrupts. Read up on property forfeiture abuses sometime. Note that you don't need to be a pot smoker to have a big chunk of cash confiscated from you on suspicion that it is drug-related.
  • It breeds disrespect for the law. This is partly due to citizens observing corruption in law enforcement. But beyond that, most people who have direct experience with marijuana (and many who don't) can't help but conclude that its harmfulness has been drastically overstated, and that the ban on mj is motivated by something other than a genuine desire to prevent people from hurting themselves and each other.
  • It leads to increased experimentation with harder drugs. Think about it for a minute: If I want to get a hold of harder drugs, who's the first person I'm likely to ask for help? My marijuana dealer, of course. Even if he doesn't handle harder stuff, there's a good chance that he can point me to someone who does. Now suppose I was buying my marijuana from a state-licensed shop. If I go in there and ask about harder (illegal) stuff, they're probably going to get angry and throw me out -- that's the sort of thing that can get their license revoked. It's precisely the fact that marijuana shares its legal status with harder drugs that allows it to act as a 'gateway'. Note also that it undermines the effectiveness of anti-drug propaganda: Someone who tries marijuana and concludes that the propaganda overstated the dangers is unlikely to listen to the (more accurate) propaganda surrounding cocaine and heroin.


[ Parent ]
wtf? (4.25 / 4) (#376)
by Atrax on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:56:12 AM EST

(since pot can lead to heroin and sexual infidelity) I don't get it. at all. connections please?

[ Parent ]
Simple: T->R->O->L->L. YHBT. YHL. HAN (5.00 / 1) (#524)
by beergut on Fri May 31, 2002 at 07:52:24 PM EST


i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

You've hit the nail on the head! (4.00 / 4) (#390)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:26:40 AM EST

We'll ban liberal arts education and everything else will fall into place.

Whatever happened to the idea that willful ignorance was a shame and not a requirement of patriotism? I don't know about your experiences, but when I went to college a great deal of what I was taught was how to think for myself. I guess if you don't like the ideas people come up with when they think for themselves, perhaps you ought to outlaw thinking while you're at it.

Yeah, I know what you're going to say - those kids all get brainwashed in college, they just parrot what the liberal professors tell them, instead of the Truth As You Know It. Out of the many pot smokers I've known, only one of them ever tried heroin, and he gave it up for truckloads of beer. And as for the many crackheads that I have known, pot didn't addict them to crack, crack did. Oh, and unless they're on the public dole, or fucking your spouse, who people fuck is none of your business. Period.

Tell you what - when you give up your addiction to power and willful ignorance, then possibly you might have something useful to say about addiction to drugs. Hint - a liberal arts education is NOT a gateway to drug use.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
You are full of shit (5.00 / 1) (#398)
by mickj on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:37:33 AM EST

It has been my experience that anyone who argues his position for the "good of society as a whole" is full of shit.

But let me elaborate on why you argument is full of shit. Here's one reason. People can enjoy drugs responsibly. The fact that some people are irresponsible is not justification to demonize those substances.

[ Parent ]

I spy an adequate troll!!! (n/t) (none / 0) (#403)
by jesseerdmann on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:50:38 AM EST



[ Parent ]
My Troll-O-Meter just started beeping madly... (none / 0) (#414)
by What She Said on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:41:52 AM EST

You say I'm not being a responsible member of society because I didn't bother to stop the neighbor's teenagers from smoking dope? Oh PLEASE, spare me your inflated self-righteousness. Whatever happened to parents being responsible for their own damn kids, and not depending on society to do the job for them? It is NOT my responsibility to be the parent of anyone's children but my own. The exception to that would be if someone else's child is under my supervision for some reason, or if I see an unsupervised child in immediate danger of injury or death. Then it would be my civic duty to do something about it. Five teenagers sharing a joint isn't my business as long as they're not doing it on my property and as long as none of them are my children.

[ Parent ]
Irresponsible speech (5.00 / 1) (#479)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:09:30 PM EST

The author of this "op-ed" is not being a responsible member of society.

There's no such thing as irresponsible speech.  Only irresponsible people, like you, who believe there is such thing as a dangerous idea. I bet you think it'd be great if we weren't exposed to all these 'irresponsible' thoughts. We'd all be happy little sheep, and everyone would be doing what's 'best for society.'

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

::claps:: (none / 0) (#488)
by DarkZero on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:38:19 PM EST

Many people on this board seem to be suffering from a liberal arts education.

You really had me for a minute there. This was a pretty good troll. Bravo.

[ Parent ]

who else makes money off of it being illegal? (4.10 / 10) (#340)
by niente on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:38:16 AM EST

have you considered how much annually we spend on the war on drugs? how the us government trains shadow armies in south america to fight the war on drugs and maintain influence thus power in those area's, that when a drug dealer is raided the state can seize all sorts of resources and make money off of it. That in the united states one of the fastest growing business's is private prisons?

They make more money off of it, then the dealers do. Consider a state like arizona, where all marijuania possesion is a felony, and people like joe arapio, the sherriff for maricopa county (phoenix) has made a career off his toughness on crime, and particulary drug offenders and has set up what they call tent city. which is essentially a work camp in the desert. There is no air conditioning, nor running water, its all brought in- and the food consist's mainly of bolgna sandwhiches, consider the cost of that, not very much per inmate.

Now take into account that the federal government gives them X amount of dollars per X time period to house each prisoner, which isn't nearly what it costs to convict and house a criminal. Never mind the tax money spent for the war on drugs. All in all, it's just like anything else, its about money. We are no longer the country the united states, but the mega billion (trillion) dollar company/name brand United States (tm).

dopey? (2.83 / 6) (#344)
by stpna5 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:59:59 AM EST

Judging from some of the arguments that float skyward whenever this topic comes up; maybe talking about marijuana makes you stupid. Lord knows, (someone must have talked about it, for) after years of decriminalization in Alaska -- that virtue-huckster supreme,-- Wm. Bennett was dispatched from "outside" to activate the closet nazi/religious forces and rein in the errant citizenry there. More recently medical marijuana-friendly votes in several "lower 48" states (California, Oregon) have produced similar vigorous Constitution-shredding responses from both Ashcroft and Reno administrations. Remember, kids --- whenever you hear about those horrid government subsidies and wasted tax dollars --- the largest extant agricultural subsidy in the history of the world is that given to offshore/smuggled drugs by antidrug legislation. You artificially inflate(like a diamond's value) a blackmarket drug economy through the use of selective legal prohibitions, (often engineered with Swiss precision by chemical and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists) and enhance the money-laundering position of several influential banking institutions. You then would have an off-the-books revenue stream of such a gargantuan proportion as to enable you to potentially corrupt everyone from a beat-cop to the entire panoply of federal appointees. Or in a word--TODAY. The early, fledgling mafia of modern America may have been cut off at the knees were it not for the merger of cops and robbers that new money robber-barons forged in the volcanic cashflow of the Prohibition laws. And in modern times, imagine what all that wasted law enforcement brainpower, brawn and dedication could do to help focus on problems, like, say --- foreign terrorists incinerating innocent civilians on our own soil.

Hmm.... (none / 0) (#402)
by jesseerdmann on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:48:14 AM EST

And in modern times, imagine what all that wasted law enforcement brainpower, brawn and dedication could do to help focus on problems, like, say --- foreign terrorists incinerating innocent civilians on our own soil.

Isn't that exactly what's going on with the FBI? Ashcroft has them pulling agents off of the "War on Drugs" and putting them on the "War on Terror." He's also given them the power to follow anyone for any reason. Well, at least as long as they stay in publicly accessible areas. Of course they're only going to use it on suspected criminals and terrorists. I wonder how easy it is to become a suspected criminal or terrorist?



[ Parent ]
Spin Puppets (3.00 / 2) (#542)
by stpna5 on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 12:12:43 AM EST

If you actually think there is a restructuring of the FBI.... (really?)well.. There is certainly a complete restructuring of the Ashcroft/Mueller public-relations spin cycle, but the only change that has occurred is replacing any squeaky wheels or whistle blowers with more highly gifted ass kissers and industrial strength fanny covering. There is a very long list of coverups and stunning incompetence which one can find within the FBI beginning long before the current management strolled into the conference room. They are simply the latest rogue's gallery of Congressionally anointed boneheads to give homegrown fascism a leg up by officially shredding the Bill of Rights in the interests of national security. Kind of like they used to do back when Howdy Doody was a big new star on that big new medium --- television.

[ Parent ]
My feeling (2.10 / 10) (#351)
by medham on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:39:43 AM EST

Is that 99% of you don't have the social savvy to get a pot connection, and thus don't know what in the hell you're talking about.

I could be wrong, mind you, but this is just my feeling. Take it as you will. I'm just trying to introduce some sanity into this conversation.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Ha (5.00 / 1) (#354)
by Spendocrat on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:54:47 AM EST

I'm just trying to introduce some sanity into this conversation.

This non-sequitor is worse than your usual dreck. You're slipping, guy.

[ Parent ]

Sturm und Dreck (1.33 / 3) (#355)
by medham on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:58:12 AM EST

Excuse me, Spendocrat, but I'd be positively delighted (as would the legion of non-posting readers whose emails of appreciation I avidly store in a folder called "Medham's People") if you could provide me an instance of rational conversation here.

Now what I, and other knowledgeable observers, see is teenage posing. Fair enough. There's a place for it, God bless our youth, but it's no substitute for hard-hitting policy discussion.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

You're wrong (4.00 / 1) (#374)
by salsaman on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:51:14 AM EST

I live in Amsterdam :-P

[ Parent ]
Heh. One phone call is all I'd need. (none / 0) (#391)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:33:12 AM EST

But, I'm no longer into that. If I was, I could have it anytime I wanted, though.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
My take (4.10 / 10) (#353)
by Rainy on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:49:21 AM EST

First, how bad is it? We know that it's not too bad for health, (if at all), compared to the 3 big legal drugs - yes, I'll count caffeine, too. When used out of moderation, it has a strong amotivational and paranoia inducing effect on most people, afaik. IMHO mentally, emotionally and physically healthy people can use mj to their advantage but there's the rub - majority of population is not. I'd say it'd be better if 95% of mj users did not use it.

There's an official view of mj issue that's very simplistic and most decidedly wrong. It goes like this: mj is bad for health and mental well-being, but many people can't resist the temptation so we try to stop them as well as we could. If we use harsher laws, more people will have no other choice but to stop using it - for their own good.

The biggest flaw here is in the part that goes "since it's bad, let's prohibit it". I could agree that it's bad for most, but it's obvious to me that 1. whoever wants to use it, can get it and 2. vast resources are wasted by both sides, one to secretely grow, harvest, ship, sell it and the other to stop the first side from doing it. These immense human resources are wasted for nothing - everybody can still buy it anyway. In addition, people turn to worse legal drugs (either of the big three is much worse), crime scene gets big rich and healthy, and users get much joy taken out of mj because they have to hide, worry about getting caught, using it in unsafe fashion (e.g. you don't want to smoke it at home because of parents, you drive somewhere, smoke it, then drive back home stoned).

Why isn't it legal, still? I read that at the beginning, this was a matter of cultural animosity between whites and mexican workers, similar to wasps vs. chinese workers about opium. I don't know if that's true but it could very well be. Either way, once it got demonized, any politician speaking out for it risks to be thought of as a pothead, or worse - on mafia bankroll.

I think lately we're seeing a much more relaxed attitude about mj. You see mainstream movies mentioning it in a by-the-way manner. Sure, there were old movies like Cheech&Chong, but they were pot niche movies. In Me, Myself & Irene the girl casually asks Why, is it illegal? indignantly, in American Beauty one of the main heroes is a teenage dealer shown very sympathetically, there's a reference in Being John Malkovich, there was Traffic, and I bet many others - I don't watch too many movies. It's happening in Europe too, Portugal decriminalized pretty much everything, Amsterdam still going strong, Britain is decriminalizing it in some areas(?) of London, there's a New Mexico governor or something who's pro-pot, new mayor of NYC said he smoked it and liked it a lot ("you bet I did!"), Ventura is pro-legalization, I believe.

So, it seems to me just a matter of time. I'd be surprised if it didn't happen in 10 to 40 years.

I said above that I do think it's a bad thing for most users. I'd like to clarify: I think it'd be better if they didn't smoke or use any other drug, but let's be realistic - most would switch to something else if pot were less available. Considering that, pot is a-okay.

Me & mj - I used to smoke quite a bit, perhaps two or three times a week for ~2 years, but lately I quite because I started getting headaches from it. I think it may be related to dxm, I used to drink alot of that too, and get the same type of headache. Money is also a consideration right now - I'm somewhat in debt (it doesn't bother me because I don't spend much and I'm not materialistic in general, so when I get a job I'll pay it back easily), but right now I'm cutting down on spending a bit. If I wanted to use it or dxm, I'd have to camp out, out of the city, smoke it by the fireside at night. It's much healthier for me to do any kind of drug in fresh air. I find it's a very unhealthy combination when you get stoned, eat twinkies, watch tv or listen music. It also feels like a waste of time.. Ugh.

Anyway, to sum up, it can be bad or good, depends on how you do it. For me, it's good if I do yoga, code (I got over the amotivational aspect), camp out, draw, write. It's bad if I watch tv and eat junk food (fruits work much better).
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

Resources (2.00 / 1) (#379)
by Herring on Fri May 31, 2002 at 05:29:05 AM EST

As mentioned by others, the UK is considering at the moment downgrading cannabis from class B to class C. This would make it on a par with possesing prescription drugs which aren't yours so it would still be illegal but not arrestable (if that makes any sense). The police estimate that this will save them roughly £35m a year (can't link to source because I heard it on the radio).


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
You missed the real reason (4.00 / 14) (#361)
by Spork on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:23:32 AM EST

I think it's pretty simple why marijuana is illegal. Marijuana and the other illegal drugs are not any stronger or more dangerous than other stuff available over the counter. However, you should notice they are used disproportionately by poeople who oppose government policies, and also by ethnic minorities. Not coincidentally, soft drugs offenses are the reason for the incarceration of 50% of US prisioners. It's not hard to put two and two together.

It is not the population that is paranoid. Most of us don't wear tinfoil hats. However, our government is terribly paranoid. In the days when they perceived that the greatest threat to their power came from domestic rebels (remember the age of hippies and race riots?) they wanted a law which they could use as a tool to arbitrarily harass, lock up and demoralize these alleged "threats to security." They didn't like that the blacks and the hippies looked like they were organizing. Marijuana laws were a perfect foil to just throw the people which the government disliked into a jailcell. They continue to be used for the same purpose today.

I've been pulled over several times during night spot checks. When the police officer establishes I'm white and polite. I just get sent on my way. That is, except for that one time when my passanger was black (and polite). That night my car got searched pretty thuroughly, with the cop asking me very rudely where we're hiding our dope. My friend said that's par for the course when you're black.

Now, I'm not saying that marijuana laws are some racist conspiracy. However, the government really is scared of collective action by the lower classes (who get serioulsly screwed by our system). Marijuana laws give them a foil to remove people who say things they don't like. They get arrested because of what they say, but they get charged on marijuana possession. It's not a perfect plan, because some rabble-rousers are so uncooperative that they actually don't have any marijuana on them, but enough do, enough to keep the "pot" (ha ha!) from boiling over.

And it's the police that wants to keep marijuana laws, because they give them unprecedented power to throw politically dangerous people in jail.

Lower Classes? (4.00 / 2) (#372)
by Dan C on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:34:53 AM EST

the Government really is scared of collective action by the lower classes

Dont want to sound stupid, but could you give me an example of 'lower classes' actually performing collective action against the Government. As i am not in the US , and this hasnt happened to our government, i need a little more explanation of what this entails :/

Also, isnt it a bit harsh to say that Blacks and Hippies are lower class people ?
Surely that is the same attitude that you were complaining about the police men pulling you over having.

:)

[ Parent ]

Stop being nitpicky (4.00 / 4) (#373)
by gnovos on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:47:58 AM EST

I'm sure he meant "lower income bracket" but just couldn't put the words together in the heat of the comment writing.  Either that or else he meant that the government views them as lower life forms.  If you look at the CONTEXT in which it was used, it's pretty clear that he doesn not have any particular bias against those he refers to as "lower classes", and to imply that he does just hurts your own comment because it looks like you can't figure out the meaning of words based on context.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
Class... (2.00 / 1) (#531)
by vile on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:17:26 PM EST

deals with money.

It's good logic to believe that the majority of marijuana consumed in this country would come from not big money.. but 'small money'.. thus in effect coming from 'lower classes'.. and by effect also supporting 'lower classes'.

Good debate here, though.

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Ufff, some can't fill in details for themselves... (3.00 / 2) (#566)
by Spork on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 01:08:03 PM EST

Blacks and hippies, even the ones who technically belong to the middle class, are traditionally aligned politically with the lower classes. What's more, these two groups came closest to threatening a political mobilization of the lower classes, which would spell disaster for the current US power structure. The danger was perceived to be serious enough that the government used live ammunition on several occasions against protests organized by these groups.

Of course, that generates bad PR. Much more effective is to represent these "dangerous" groups as carnal hedoninsts who have lost their judgement due to all the drugs they take, and then arrest them for the same actions.

The way I see it, these groups don't present a real threat anymore, if they ever did. The early 30's was probably the closest we came to large-scale political action by/on behalf of the poor, and this was diffused by FDR (who appeased them just enough to prevent a revolt). Then there were the 60's, where both the blacks and hippies actually acomplished something through civil disobedience, organization and constant protest. Their cause ultimately lost, and a considerable part of the reason for that is the huge US anti-marijuana PR campaign which painted these groups as some sort of brain-fired fools. The fact that characterization is totally unfair and has no basis in science does not mean that it's ineffective in a credulous nation like the USA.

[ Parent ]

victim mentality (3.00 / 2) (#459)
by mlong on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:49:16 PM EST

Marijuana laws were a perfect foil to just throw the people which the government disliked into a jailcell. They continue to be used for the same purpose today.

Of course those people could just stop smoking marijuana and they wouldn't go to jail...there's a novel idea.

[ Parent ]

Yeah but... (1.00 / 1) (#560)
by Spork on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 10:31:18 AM EST

Why should people stop smoking pot? Just because it's illegal? Because doing so "supports terrorism?" Give me a break!

So let me guess: you refuse to have oral sex in the 17+ states where that is illegal. Am I right? If so, your unquestioning respect for "the law" (whatever its content may be) would make you a model citizen in the third reich.

[ Parent ]

Initial causes and rumours (3.57 / 7) (#364)
by agapow on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:45:03 AM EST

The initial reason marijuana was made illegal was due to William Randolph Hearst and the campaign he conducted against it via his newspaper empire. His reasons had little to do with its psychoactive effects - he was attempting to suppress the nascent industry in hemp.

The "fact" that cigarette companies have already trademarked brands for hypothetical marijuana products is an urban legend, albeit one that has been repeated so many times in so many places that it's achieved an indepedent existence.

Hearst? (4.00 / 4) (#368)
by hughk on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:08:26 AM EST

I also heard that it was linked to Hearst's interests in synthetic fibres, which he wanted to promote at the expense of hemp. I thought though, that his campaign against hemp started before nylon fibres were being made widely available.

Do you have any good links about this? I have been traying to chase it down but haven't actually found much in the way of real info, just rumours.

[ Parent ]

The Emperor Wears No Clothes (3.50 / 2) (#456)
by R4venS0ng on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:16:57 PM EST

Try The Emporer Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer. Specifically, chapter 4: The Last Days of Legal Cannabis. Very informative, and seems to have very solid sources. I believe the entire text of the book is on his website.

[ Parent ]
End alcohol prohibition, start MJ prohibition (3.00 / 4) (#366)
by jcr13 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:03:11 AM EST

I've heard (from my high school chemistry teacher way back when) that the start of prohibition on marijuana coincided with the end of prohibition on alcohol. The story is that all of those prohibition cops were facing unemployment as the "war on alcohol" ended.

To keep the bureaucracy going, they needed a new war, so they fluffed up a bunch of anti-marijuana propaganda (reefer madness, etc.) and then passed a law against it.

Not really. (3.50 / 2) (#370)
by Snowman2k1 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:19:53 AM EST

Marijuana prohibition started more or less with the passage of the The Marijuana Tax Act Of 1937 which didn't ban the plant but charged a minor tax to those who wished to sell or posses it (something like 6 dollars for a permit to sell for one year, and a 1 dollar tax on possession but I may be wrong). The penalties however where as much as $2,000 and or jail time, the purpose of this was to arrest many migrant workers many of whom used marijuana regularly to deal with the monotony of doing repetative manual labor. However I don't believe that it had anything to do with prohibition of alcohol, but more with the fact that since the government was no longer focusing on alcohol it was free to start attacking other drugs.

[ Parent ]
Marijuana Tax (4.00 / 1) (#438)
by aprentic on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:12:00 PM EST

This is true but no such permits where ever issued, effectively making marijuana illegal.

[ Parent ]
Marijuana Tax Act (3.00 / 1) (#486)
by DarkZero on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:33:13 PM EST

Marijuana prohibition started more or less with the passage of the The Marijuana Tax Act Of 1937 which didn't ban the plant but charged a minor tax to those who wished to sell or posses it (something like 6 dollars for a permit to sell for one year, and a 1 dollar tax on possession but I may be wrong).

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that the act that had people arrested for possessing unregistered/untaxed marijuana, but required you to have the marijuana with you in order to have it registered/taxed by a government agency? In other words, just a huge trick to catch marijuana users and arrest them, because you could never actually have it taxed without being arrested.

[ Parent ]

The Sheep (3.53 / 15) (#369)
by aspartame on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:11:32 AM EST

The real problem is that every time we (as a nation) try to have a rational discussion about the costs vs benifits of prohibition, the sheep show up and start chanting:
Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad!!
Four Legs Good, Two Legs Baaaaad!!
Four Legs Good, Two Legs Baaaaad!!
Four Legs Good, Two Legs Baaaaad!!
etc...
And who can think straight in an environment like that?

--
180 times sweeter than sugar
marijuana et al (2.33 / 6) (#375)
by tincat2 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:53:25 AM EST

it seems to me that what should be noted here amidst all the conjecturing, etc. over this "issue" is this: is someone who would put you in prison (with whatever and whomever else may be there, overturning your life and restructuring the situation with your family radically) for smoking dope(i know the technical charge would be possession, that's just another detour from the heart of the matter), someone to whom argumentation is in any sense appropriate? we're in this world with some seriously mean and corrupted creatures masquerading as humans who continually define virtue and then insist all others adhere to their elucidation. oddly, jesus christ, the acclaimed mentor and prime source for many of these poseurs' claims, iterated two dictums-love god and love your neighbor as yourself.maybe the discussion should center on the nature and responsibilty and even the necessity for love in the world.

Two points not explored here. . . (4.26 / 15) (#382)
by Fantastic Lad on Fri May 31, 2002 at 06:33:28 AM EST

Okay. I've read through all the comments and while K5's level of insight isn't bad, it is a little conventional. Very little new thinking here.

--Not that I have any problem with repetition. There are always new people examining this and other issues for the very first time with their full attention. It's always good to talk. Talk will only stop when all issues are solved for all people, until then, it will keep going, as it should.

That said, I would like to add a couple of ideas I have not seen here, and indeed, rarely see at all. Please take them as you will. Grist for the mill. . .

1) There is a possibility that Tobacco is only harmful for two reasons: It is mixed with so many other noxious chemicals when prepared by corporate providers, and that the general public has been so propagandized into believing it to be harmful, that users indeed will it to be so.

Pure Tobacco, grown without genetic alteration, and prepared without a hundred or so chemical additives, is used by many non-industrialized cultures to enhance awareness beyond what the five senses are typically capable of. Seers use the stuff to communicate with the spirit realm. Nicotine is a very similarly shaped molecule to some key chemicals which are naturally produced by the brain and which are related to functions associated with dreaming, speed and clarity of thought.

When it is broadly recognized that much of what the government says is either not entirely true, or patently false, why is it that when it comes to the issue of Tobacco, everybody believes with such fervor the government position without a second thought?

2) Marijuana, among its many other 'features', tends to confuse and alter perception notably. Time sometimes seems to stretch to incredible lengths when one is high; Ideas move and evolve in a very different way when high. Typically, when on THC, one must work quite hard in order to converse, think and perform basic tasks. With infrequent use, (three or four times a month or so), --and I'm talking from my own experience here, I found that I was forced to exercise my mind in very peculiar ways in order to compensate.

Now after about a year like this, I discovered that I was much more capable of functioning while stoned than I had been a year earlier. --Naturally, I suspect that this is partly due to my body getting used to the drug, but I also think that part of it comes down to the same mechanisms which come into play any time one sets the mind to learning something new. Practice makes perfect. --Think 'chess' or mental arithmetic, but with a very odd twist on perception which has no analog in ordinary perception I can point to.

This was unexpected. I now have this bizarre skill-set which is not normally applicable in day to day functioning, but which allows me, for better or for worse, to solve strange perception problems with much greater agility than I otherwise would have been able. I can now deal with walking down a street with time stretching, I can operate while my perceptions are being hammered with unexpected points of view.

And pardon me for slipping into the mundane here, but when it comes to unexpected points of view. . .

I never noticed before that the subway platforms in my city were specifically designed to be hosed down from floor to ceiling to remove dirt, vomit, (or blood, etc.), and that they did in fact look very much like public washrooms and prison cells. --I was overwhelmed by the ugliness of this point. This launched me into a spiral of thoughts all dealing with how humans are regarded and dealt with. I, literally, since that day have been entirely incapable of 'going back' to how I viewed the subway system before, which, if truth be known, I had not actually spent any time at all considering or thinking about. Like the pile of junk in your friend's apartment which looks so ugly to you, but which is just normal background noise to him. (And vice/versa, perhaps.)

Marijuana is a drug which can have the effect of knocking one quite unwittingly into a state where normally accepted aspects of society are questioned. Interesting.

Mind you, I am still not entirely convinced of the over-all validity of pot use. While I find the points I mentioned above quite curious, and while I knew personally somebody who died of cancer who found a great deal of pain relief in pot use, --and while I know others who use pot to very effectively combat cripling menstrual cramps, I also see a substance which dulls the mind and allows, for some, what I consider an unhealthy escape into a dream-like reality where it is easier to stand the harsh realities of today.

I don't know if such escape is a particularly good thing. At some point, I know for myself, that anesthetic is not what I want when I am actively being crushed down by a tyranical system.

-Fantastic Lad

I'm not about to recommend this to anyone but ... (4.62 / 8) (#393)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:53:35 AM EST

... what you said about pot and how it can alter one's perceptions of life and society goes 10 times as much for LSD. That can be a good thing or a bad thing.

I suspect the same kind of insight could be achieved by safer practices such as meditation or intense effort in a specialized field, physical or mental, and, having had some intense experiences with drugs, and artistic work, I prefer art nowadays. Even having gained insights from drugs, the temptation to keep doing them to get more insights is misleading, as a law of diminishing returns sets in. What was once mind blowing revelation becomes amusing whim, and then bored ennui. Somewhere along the line, pot use, instead of giving me the thrill of new perception, numbed and dulled me. After a month of abstaining, I felt bright again and still retained the insights that I had once gotten from the drug, and continue to get more, on my own effort, without any articifial stimulant except, um, nicotine and caffiene which you can pry from my cold hands when I'm dead ... Well, maybe not nicotine, but ...

With your post, I think you've hit on another reason why marijuana is illegal - the people who do it have an annoying tendency to start disagreeing with the "reality" others share. They start questioning things and suddenly, they're causing trouble, they're creating things that are hard for Middle America to swallow, and they're actually wondering just why the hell should they work so damn hard for an unrewarding life of overpriced consumerism they won't have time to enjoy? Suddenly, the siren song of more, more, more doesn't seem so compelling because what one has already is so fascinating. It can even lead to the ultimate American sacrilege - turning the TV sound down and playing the stereo ...

The real problem with marijuana? You can't put 60 second commercials in a joint to get people to buy stuff.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Exactly (3.00 / 3) (#554)
by Quixato on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 04:41:20 AM EST

The two of you have described very accurately some of the effects of marijuana. Insight, revelation, and epiphany are common occurances while high, and IMHO, are some of the main attractions of pot (to me at least). However, you've touched on something thats become more and more apparent to me as time goes by, the fact that instead of 'clouding' my mind, pot is in fact opening it up to the possibilities of a better humanity, one that is not so commercial and consumeristic.

Material gain seems less a necessity and more a crass and trashy grab for meaning in what could (ultimately) be described as a meaningless existence. The expression 'He who dies with the most toys wins' transforms into 'He who dies with the most toys still dies'.

I'm convinced that the legalization of pot is not only encomically sound, but also morally and empathetically needed in order for a less conflicted emergence of a rapidly shrinking world. If the entire world is an engine, the gears and pistons need some grease to help it run smoothly, and I believe marijuana is that grease.

"People are like smarties - all different colours on the outside, but exactly the same on the inside." - Me
"Learn to question, question to learn." - Sl8r
[ Parent ]

Tobacco harm (4.75 / 4) (#433)
by rusty on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:59:42 AM EST

There is a possibility that Tobacco is only harmful for two reasons:

Actually, tobacco is harmful for a few reasons, but the risk could be massively reduced if tobacco companies wanted to. The additives are one thing. Burning any plant material produces a lot of rather nasty chemicals, no matter how pure it was to begin with. That's basically unavoidable, and will be a problem as long as smoking involves burning leaves.

But probably the worst are a group of chemicals called tobacco-specific nitrosamines, or TSNAs. These are mostly a byproduct of the curing process, and can be reduced (by as much as 98%) by careful breeding and using a different curing process. A very low TSNA curing process was developed by a US company called Star Scientific, but they're havng a hell of a time getting products that use the "StarCured" tobacco to market in the US, because our regulatory apparatus is, to put it mildly, utterly fucked.

One of the major results of the big tobacco settlement has been to basically enshrine the "big five" tobacco companies as a state-mandated monopoly. New tobacco companies are subject to much stiffer taxes and fees, often totaling more than their revenues. The market is heavily tilted to the advantage of the existing big five, and they are still committed to pretending tobacco isn't harmful. Therefore, they have nothing to gain by attempting to actually reduce the harm of their product (as that would be an admission that they were lying all along, which everyone knows anyway).

There is no way, really, to overstate the shame of this situation. It's like if all the automakers refused to put seatbelts in their cars because "our cars never crash!" despite all the thousands of deaths attesting to the contrary.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

And more: radioacitivity in fertilizer? (3.50 / 2) (#570)
by Wondertoad on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 02:25:36 PM EST

Take a look at <a href="http://www.webspawner.com/users/radioactivetobacco/">this paper</a> which explains how tobacco smoke is mildly radioactive due to alpha radiation from Polonium.  It finds that US-grown tobacco has much higher levels than Indian-grown, and it suggests that one reason might be the US fertilization process for tobacco.


[ Parent ]
pot (4.50 / 2) (#436)
by Rainy on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:08:20 PM EST

I think we have two sides to our mind - artistic and intellectual. Pot may be used to enhance artistic side at the expense of intellectual side. Don't smoke it when you're solving calculus equations. Smoke it when you're watching a good movie or visiting an art gallery.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Pot and calculus (2.50 / 2) (#452)
by 1j1 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:02:41 PM EST

As the post said, after a couples of months of regular use one is able to manage your activities far better, including intellectual ones.

I've found that while I can't have normal study sessions, I'm able of think about some previously learned (and specific) problem (geometry, calculus, algebra), and often gain some new insight about it.

The problem (if you use it with this purpose) is there is a great chance to digress, specially if your listening music, or that you finish slept.

[ Parent ]

Pot and code (2.00 / 1) (#533)
by vile on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:34:06 PM EST

a great past-time....

Actually, aside from the nice and fuzzy feeling one gets from the thought of sitting down to a nice bowl and a good project, I've found that I am generally able to outperform myself with a bowl than without, when it comes to sitting back and doing a good job on a project.

The flip-side is.. I tend to lose track of wtf I put my keys....

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
It's not too hard.. (4.00 / 2) (#553)
by Rainy on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 04:09:27 AM EST

But there's just much more 'return' if you see a good movie or listen to good music or look at some art. With coding, I find that I get too bogged down in small details. For example, I'm using vim to code and I start thinking "should I just do it or should I create a mapping?" and 5 minutes later I think "well, it'd take a few seconds to do, why am I still thinking about how to make the mapping in the most effective and graceful way?". Actually, I'm not too sure - maybe I'd get the hang of it eventually but I began getting these odd headaches from pot - they may be related to dxm which I stopped doing but I used to drink a lot of it and get the same kind of headaches. I decided I'll quit for a month and try it again later.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
DXM... (none / 0) (#648)
by vile on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 12:42:19 PM EST

and coding.. another past-time. Be careful, though.. bad stuff... onley's lesions etc.....

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
dxm & fresh air (none / 0) (#658)
by Rainy on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 04:32:06 PM EST

I absolutely can't stand this stuff indoors. If i had a laptop, I'd try it. As for leisions.. I read up extensively on this, and it seems that you have to do it very often to get brain damage. Something along the lines of an 8 ouncer or two every day.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Question (4.00 / 2) (#480)
by krek on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:13:08 PM EST

Does anyone know if it is possible to grow ones own tobacco?
What would you need for such a project?
How much space? A closet? A greenhouse? A farm?
And most importantly; would it be any cheaper?


[ Parent ]
Not hard to find. (5.00 / 2) (#491)
by priestess on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:59:21 PM EST

http://www.grow-your-own-tobacco.com/

       Pre.........
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
ritual tobacco (3.50 / 4) (#516)
by ialdobaeth on Fri May 31, 2002 at 06:42:21 PM EST

It is mixed with so many other noxious chemicals when prepared by corporate providers, and that the general public has been so propagandized into believing it to be harmful, that users indeed will it to be so... Pure Tobacco, grown without genetic alteration, and prepared without a hundred or so chemical additives, is used by many non-industrialized cultures to enhance awareness beyond what the five senses are typically capable of. Seers use the stuff to communicate with the spirit realm.

That tobacco is harmful and contributes to cancer is Fact, not propaganda (yes, I am aware of how problematic the use of "Fact" is). When tobacco was smoked by Native Americans, it was done sparingly, in highly ritualized settings. Native Americans didn't have hourly "smoke breaks" and sure didn't go through the equivalent of a pack a day. Because some Native American cultures used tobacco for a few hundred years does not at all mean adverse health effects attributed to tobacco are propaganda.

It's all a matter of dosage...


The common people discriminate and make fine distinctions;
I alone am muddled and confused.
- Ch.20 - Tao te Ching
[ Parent ]

Ridiculously Simple Reason (1.76 / 26) (#408)
by Silent Chris on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:12:17 AM EST

There is a very simple, dare I say, ridiculously simple argument that pot is still illegal: those arguing for it have come up with ludicrously dumb arguments to back themselves up.

Here are the most common ones:

1.) "Pot should be legal for medicinal purposes" - Sure.  I sorta agree with that.  I had a father who had cancer, and having a doctor prescribe something to take away his pain would've helped.

One problem, though: how does it help you?  You'll need a medicinal reason to get it, then.  Often, the same activists I see holding up signs that say "Pot should be medicinally legalized" end up smoking it a few hours later in the grass.  Nothing wrong with them.  The ones who do get the argument ("Pot should be legal for medicinal purposes."  *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*) really set the whole movement back.

2.) "Pot isn't bad for you" - Who says?  You, the person who smokes it?  The government?  I don't listen to either.  You both have your biases.  Give me some hardcore independent evidence from multiple public research institutes (not in the university eye), and then we can talk.  

As far as I've seen (and as far as I can tell) there never has been a completely unbiased pot study.  For that matter, I don't think it's possible to hold a scientific study without introducing some kind of bias.

3.) "Pot is just the same as alcohol and caffeine" - This one makes me laugh.  If you're a coffee drinker, and you quit one day, what are the side effects?  Harsh headache?  Maybe extreme tiredness?  How long does this last?  A couple of hours?  How about alcohol?  Outside of recently discovered studies that linked alcholism to genetics (I haven't seen a similar one for pot users), what are the side effects for the average habitual drinker?  A slightly less enjoyable Saturday night?  Less of a chance that they'll get killed on the road?

Now, let's look at pot smokers.  Most pot smokers I knew in high school and college (which I just left) were what I'd call "habitual" smokers, about once a week.  What happened if they missed a week?  Extreme headaches, inability to sleep, shaking, and sometimes incomprehensible speech.  This would start on the day they normally started smoking (like a Friday night) and continue well past the weekend and into school Monday morning.  I knew many that would smoke Monday or Tuesday night just to get the craving out of the way.

In my mind, if this movement is to get any headway at all (and I'm not saying that it should) they need a much better cache of suitable arguments.  Having a bunch of college-age students holding signs that say "Pot should be legal for cancer victims" while smoking weed isn't going to cut it.  It's their fault pot is not legalized, no one elses.

You've left out the most important reasons. (4.28 / 7) (#416)
by zakalwe on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:51:55 AM EST

1.)"Pot should be legal for medicinal purposes"
2.) "Pot isn't bad for you"

These two are fair enough.  Pot is certainly bad for you.  I doubt its significantly worse that cigarettes, but its not the reason it should be legalised.

3.) "Pot is just the same as alcohol and caffeine"

I don't smoke myself, but I've always heard that pot has relatively mild and short-lived withdrawal symptoms.  I have tried to give up Caffeine before however, and the symptoms were much worse than a headache "for a couple of hours".  Try extreme headaches, insomnia, general lethargy, sudden chills and shaking, lasting for weeks.

That aside, you've left out the most important and convincing arguments for legalisation:

4.) It is not the responsibility of law to prevent people from harming themselves of their own free will.

If I want to cut off my feet, juggle chainsaws or inhale harmful substances - I have the right to do that.  Why not ban eating fatty food, living in polluted areas, or any of the vast number of things which are bad for you.  What about dangerous jobs, such as the fire service or police, or dangerous sports like racing, mountain climbing or boxing (almost guaranteed to cause brain damage over a career).  Fundamentally, the only person who should be able to say what risks I should take is the one who is directly affected - Me.

5.) Every law that is created provides another revenue channel for crime.

What happens to people when they can't get their drugs?  Do they meekly submit to government decree?  Certainly not all of them - they must obtain their drugs from a criminal source.  All profit obtained in buying drugs goes directly into the pocket of criminals.  If it was legal, none would, and a significant fraction would even go to the government, as taxes.  For more serious (and expensive) drugs.  This is compounded by the fact that addicts will often be forced to turn to crime in order to satisfy their habit - directly due to the high price of the drug (again, because it is illegal), and because they can't obtain help without admitting to a crime.

6.) Prohibition causes people to die.

OK. This one isn't so much applicable to pot, but for drugs like E or heroin, the fact that the drugs are illegal dramatically increases the risk people take.  Because there is no control over the contaminants in the drugs, and because users may end up reusing needles, or in unsanitary conditions, the danger level of drugs is vastly higher than it would otherwise be.  Restricting drugs to force people to make the 'safe' choice actually exposes those who disagree to vastly more danger.

[ Parent ]

Free will doesn't right you to govern over others (2.66 / 6) (#417)
by Silent Chris on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:58:35 AM EST

"It is not the responsibility of law to prevent people from harming themselves of their own free will."

True, but part of free will means taking responsibility for it, and not harming others' free will.  I can fire a gun if I want, but if I kill someone I'm taking away their right to live.  Which free will is more important: that of the person holding the gun or that being killed?  Or are they equal?  Personally, I think in this case you're defeating the other side by killing the other person (removing their free will from the equation) which is a logistical no-no.

Same with drugs.  As someone else mentioned, people on pot can do really awful things.  Some guy gets high overseas and hacks a bunch of people to pieces with a machette (see comments on this story).  Whose free will is more important?  The free will of the person smoking the pot, or the people who got hacked pieces?

[ Parent ]

I'm dubious. (3.50 / 4) (#423)
by zakalwe on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:21:03 AM EST

"Hacking people to pieces with a machette" is not a common result of drug taking (or at least pot).  I'd tend to doubt that the drug was anything more than a scapegoat.  There are some drugs (eg. PCP) that do seem to cause violent tendencies, and I'd agree with restrictions for that purpose.  But anecdotal, "He was on pot, and he killed a lot of people, so ban pot" is no more valid than "She's a christian, and she killed lots of people - so ban christianity."

[ Parent ]
Wow! (4.00 / 5) (#427)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:39:23 AM EST

As someone else mentioned, people on pot can do really awful things.  Some guy gets high overseas and hacks a bunch of people to pieces with a machette

Misleading Vividness and Questionable Cause all in one.  Good job!

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

coffee is better for hacking (5.00 / 3) (#461)
by joeD on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:00:20 PM EST

most of the people I know who like to hack people to death prefer a good cuppa java before getting started. marijuana tends to mellow you out too much, you know. serious people-hackers wouldn't even think about loading a bong before breaking out the axe.

[ Parent ]
a crime, by any other name.. (3.66 / 3) (#463)
by infinitera on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:01:13 PM EST

would reek as foul. Please, I'm curious, since when has murder been legal? Also, since you seem to be against anything that can probabilistically lead to hurting others, I suggest you form a platform that advocates the pill (I believe it's available in some sort of male-equivalent form now?) for men and women (or maybe it's patch/injection analog - or heck, just castration). Then, once you have that dangerous mood impulse under control, you can get free Soma™ distributed. Surely, a docile and happy population is the only thing allowable, given free will.

[ Parent ]
Errr (3.00 / 4) (#465)
by Smuttley on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:11:03 PM EST

As a very regular smoker of cannabis I can safely say the most dangerous thing I've seen someone do whilst high on pot is attempt to eat the entire contents of the fridge.

Cheers,

Smuttley

[ Parent ]

Sir, you must realize ... (3.75 / 4) (#493)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:04:14 PM EST

... that not only is this an argument against legalizing marijuana, but it's an argument for outlawing refrigerators, too. You must be made safe from yourself.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Oh, my God ... (4.42 / 7) (#492)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:02:09 PM EST

... someone's actually made the Crazy ________ On Drugs argument here. Hmmmm. You know, the people that invented the A-bomb drank LOTS of coffee while they did it. Maybe we should ban coffee.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
not only that.. (3.66 / 3) (#497)
by infinitera on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:12:55 PM EST

but he also rates all replies to his comments a 1 (when they disagree or point out his error). And, zero rating abuse . ;)

[ Parent ]
And furthermore ... (4.00 / 4) (#512)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 05:55:32 PM EST

... he even rates me as 1 when I'm not replying to him. Hey, I got mojo to burn, bring it on!
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Ratings are here for a reason (2.60 / 5) (#557)
by Silent Chris on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 07:55:00 AM EST

If someone didn't want me rating people 1, they would've turned off my account a while ago. Further, look at all the idiots who rated my initial post 1 (K5 Liberal Arts Status Quo).

[ Parent ]
To help the incoherent express themselves? (nt) (4.00 / 4) (#558)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 09:15:04 AM EST


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
quite so (3.66 / 3) (#569)
by infinitera on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 02:08:20 PM EST

Check his ratings history. Specifically, the strings of ones, and before that zeros (a page or so, completely unjustifiable - I guess he lost TU though, or every rational post here would have a zero from him) for posts in this story. My guess is that this is a hot button issue for him, so content is irrelevant.

[ Parent ]
Yup (5.00 / 2) (#577)
by Silent Chris on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 04:38:23 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Your eloquence has convinced me, sir (1.00 / 1) (#579)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 04:50:17 PM EST

... I'm ripping up my love beads and shooting a hippie for Christ right now.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Responsibility of Law (4.66 / 3) (#424)
by pexatus on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:24:46 AM EST

It is not the responsibility of law to prevent people from harming themselves of their own free will.
Where does this come from?  Don't get me wrong; it sounds like a good idea.  I certainly don't like the idea of the government stopping me from eating pizza or snowboarding or jacking off because it might hurt me.  But is this actally written in some part of the Constitution that I didn't see because of a coffee stain? Or is it just an opinion of yours?

[ Parent ]
Its an opinion of mine (3.66 / 3) (#431)
by zakalwe on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:46:03 AM EST

Unfortunately (observable by the fact that drug laws do exist) this is nothing more than my personal opinion of what laws should concern themselves with.  It seems a reasonable enough principle to me though, and one which I think governments should follow.

As regards the constitution, this comment gives a link to a transcript arguing that the basis of prohibition is unconstitutional.  Its interesting, though I'm not American myself so it doesn't apply to the state of my country (the UK.)


[ Parent ]

Constitutionality (3.00 / 2) (#548)
by Dyolf Knip on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 02:10:40 AM EST

It is not the responsibility of law to prevent people from harming themselves of their own free will.
Where does this come from? Don't get me wrong; it sounds like a good idea

10th Ammendment to the Constitution: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

If the Federal government isn't specifically authorized to do it and the States aren't specifically prohibited from doing it, the power lies in the hands of the states or the people

The only possible justification Congress has for Prohibition II is under the Elastic Clause ("to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper") or, what they've used so far, the Interstate Commerce Clause ("To regulate commerce ... among the several states"). I think that putting one in every thousand U.S. citizens in prison for goes a bit beyond 'necessary and proper' and the whole 'growing pot in my home affects interstate commerce' thing qualifies as bullshit in my book.

The framers deliberately put this kind of ambiguity into the Constitution, since they knew they wouldn't be able to forsee every possible problem. If Congress declared it to be 'necessary and proper' to execute everyone whose last name began with S, it would technically be legal until the Supreme Court said otherwise. But the general idea is that if it isn't specifically named as something the Feds can do, they have to justify to a great extent why they want to do it. In this regard the system has failed miserably. The original rationale for the WoD was questionable at best and has since disappeared completely.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

Actually (5.00 / 2) (#505)
by /dev/trash on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:50:58 PM EST

Why not ban eating fatty food, living in polluted areas, or any of the vast number of things which are bad for you.

There are groups who'd liek to tax fatty foods.  And  although not a 'tax' per se, those that have to buy blended gasoline are paying for living in polluted areas

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]

Negligible effects of alchohol? (3.60 / 5) (#418)
by oooga on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:00:44 AM EST

Your assertion that alchoholism is benign and the effects of going sober are "a slightly less enjoyable Saturday night" and "less of a chance that they'll get killed on the road" is not only outright wrong: it's dangerous. Alchoholics suffer SEVERE trauma when giving up their drug. "Extreme headaches, inability to sleep, shaking, and sometimes incomprehensible speech", are all included, often to much greater degree and for a much longer period (months, sometimes) than when giving up pot. Furthermore, unbiased studies HAVE been performed on pot usage and they show that pot is NOT chemically addictive (unlike alchohol and cigarettes) and, when you compare usage patterns of pot to cigarettes and alchohol, it is less dangerous. Not healthy, obviously, but less dangerous.

I also know people in high school who used to use pot, and all of them reported individually to me that when they decided to give it up, they experienced no deprivation side effects. In fact I have a close relative who once had a severe psychological addiction to pot. She experienced major effects from USING the drug, but when she decided to give it up it was a simple matter, much like giving up meat or sugary foods.

The best argument for the legalization of pot is that there aren't any GOOD reasons for it's illegalization. It doesn't matter if it's supporters are long-haired and vegan: it still isn't wrong.


Taking my toast burnt since 1985
[ Parent ]

Alcoholism (2.57 / 7) (#419)
by Silent Chris on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:02:45 AM EST

As I mentioned before, alcoholism is beginning to be identified as a genetic trait which, in my mind, prevents people from making rational "nature vs. nuture" arguments for it.  As far as I know, "potism" is not genetically inscribed in anyone when they're born.

[ Parent ]
No (3.66 / 3) (#476)
by krek on Fri May 31, 2002 at 02:57:52 PM EST

It is possible to have what one calls an 'addictive personality' where through depression and/or stress and genetic susceptabilty increase the likelyhood that a person might become addicted to something. And that something does not have to be a specific drug, hell, it does not have to be a drug; shopping, gambling and extreme sports are all activity that a person can become addicted to, because it makes them feel better.

[ Parent ]
What? (3.66 / 3) (#422)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:20:53 AM EST

Most pot smokers I knew in high school and college (which I just left) were what I'd call "habitual" smokers, about once a week.  What happened if they missed a week?  Extreme headaches, inability to sleep, shaking, and sometimes incomprehensible speech.

What the hell are you talking about?  Shaking and incomprehensible speech - Are you sure they weren't heroin addicts?

Also, smoking once a week is far from habitual.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Arguments for against the arguments (4.50 / 10) (#432)
by aprentic on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:56:16 AM EST

I will assume that the reader has read the parent post and I will present my arguments by number.

1) There are certainly people who would take advantage of the legalization of medical marijuana for recreational use. But this is not a reason to make it unavailable as a therapeutic substance. The medical benefits of marijuana also exceed it's effectiveness as an analgesic.
There are currently several prescription drugs which are used recreationally (cocaine, morphine, ketamine, nitrous oxide, codeine etc).

2) Very few people say that "Pot isn't bad for you." The more common argument is that "Pot is one of the safest known substances."
We generally don't require proof that a substance is safe in order to assume that it is.
Have you ever seen a hard core independent study that suggests walnuts are safe? No one would bother doing such a study unless someone else first came out with a study which suggested anything else. Furthermore, have you ever seen any studies which indicate that there are any health risks to pot? (aside from the effects of inhaling heated particulate matter, which for pot smoke presents a danger on par with smoking cigarettes or living in NYC).

I don't know what you have against university studies, since these seem to be the most unbiased studies generally available. What would you consider a more reliable source? The only other groups doing studies are governments and private corporations, both of which are likely to be much more biased than an academic study. But if you email me at pot_guy@sectae.net I'll send you the bibliography of "Drug Crazy" by Mike Gray. The book is extremely well sourced and cites studies from a wide variety of institutions (public, private, domestic, foreign) that support medical safety of marijuana.

3) This is similar to your second argument but I would also amend it a bit, to "Pot is much safer than alcohol or caffeine."

I will agree with your assessment of the withdrawal symptoms of caffein (Harsh headache, extreme tiredness) but the effects last for more than a few hours. Someone who is used to drinking a cup of coffee in the morning will have a couple of useless mornings before they are rid of the effects.
Alcohol, on the other hand, is one of two truly physically addictive substances I know of (the other one being opium and it's derivatives). The withdrawal symptoms are so bad that they even have a name, Delirium Tremens. The symptoms include: violent shaking, hallucinations, and death.
I also disagree with your description of the withdrawal symptoms of THC Since you were citing lack of evidence on point 2, I feel compelled to question the methods of your ad hoc study. What were the actual consumption rates of your subjects? Most "habitual smokers" I know (myself included) smoke at least once a day. What were other possible factors that may have accounted for symptoms you quote? Many college students, who smoke pot, will go on a smoking hiatus for one of two reasons: they're "studying" for a drug test, or they're studying for their exams. Both of these situations tend to cause stress which has the same symptoms you are describing.
In contrast, my own anecdotal evidence (based on hiatus' of over two months in some cases) suggest that the only withdrawal symptom of THC is really intense dreams for about 2 weeks after cessation.

As a final point, I believe that the strongest argument in favor of the legalization of pot is that there is no compelling reason why it should have been made illegal in the first place. I think most people would agree with an Occam's Razor approach to legislation. Making laws which don't need to be made is just an unnecessary encroachment on our personal liberties.

[ Parent ]
WTF. Incomprehensible speech? (4.00 / 4) (#451)
by too many cigs on Fri May 31, 2002 at 01:01:47 PM EST

I've never seen anyone who smokes _weekly_ have any withdrawal problems whatsoever.  And the people who do have withdrawal, they're daily smokers, and only seem to get nervous and jittery.  Trust me, I know quite a few of 'em.

This part of your comment, sorry to say, is utter BS.  (Or perhaps, you're utterly misinformed.)

Also, no legalization proponent in his right mind would argue "Pot is just the same as alcohol and caffeine" to make pot look _good_.

Pot is much less harmful than alcohol, and not really comparable to caffeine.  Since we should be worried about the "chronic" users, and not the ones who use in moderation, I think you should compare the withdrawal symptoms of a daily smoker and a TRUE, drunk-at-least-once-a-day alcoholic.

I'm pretty sure of the results you'd get, but perhaps you can try it.

too many cigs

[ Parent ]

Incomprehenisble speech? (4.20 / 5) (#494)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:08:13 PM EST

It's my admittedly anecdotal observation that it's more likely to be caused by anti-drug crusading than drug use, judging from the replies to this story.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
points to be made (4.20 / 5) (#498)
by Rahyl on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:17:40 PM EST

About the "Pot isn't bad for you" angle:  What if it was?  Gasoline is bad for you if you consume it but you don't get thrown in jail for its possession.  Even if we can assume pot is "bad" for you, that is no reason to throw someone in jail for possessing and/or using it.  Studies, statistics, and "side effects" simply do not matter, one way or the other or else cigarettes and alcohol could be illegal on the same grounds.

"Pot is just the same as alcohol and caffeine"

Similar to above, arguing for or against this statement is completely immaterial.  Neither side of the argument is reason to throw someone in jail for possession and/or use.

Ok, now for the funny stuff

"Now, let's look at pot smokers.  Most pot smokers I knew in high school and college (which I just left) were what I'd call "habitual" smokers, about once a week.  What happened if they missed a week?  Extreme headaches, inability to sleep, shaking, and sometimes incomprehensible speech.  This would start on the day they normally started smoking (like a Friday night) and continue well past the weekend and into school Monday morning.  I knew many that would smoke Monday or Tuesday night just to get the craving out of the way."

Once a week is habitual?  The guys I went to college with smoked weed **every day**, only to stop a month before finals with NO symptoms of "withdrawal."  I'm sorry to break this to you but their smoking weed was not what gave them those symptoms.  I have never, in my 31 year illustrious career in life, ever encountered someone with those symptoms who only did pot.  Sounds to me like they were coming down off Ecstasy or Acid, then smoking weed to alleviate those symptoms, something I've seen many people do, especially at college.

Even if those symptoms could be caused by withdrawal from pot, is that reason to throw someone in jail for possession and/or use?  If you believe withdrawal symptoms like these are a reason for prohibition, how do you answer to this:

http://familydoctor.org/handouts/007.html

There are your symptoms, caused by **alcohol** withdrawal.  If those symptoms are reason for prohibition, alcohol should be prohibited, or do you disagree?  Ditto for cravings:  cravings or not, is that a reason for prohibition?  If so, cigarettes and alcohol should be prohibited.

Many of the arguments for and against pot criminalization are simply trivial.  It's a common, cheap plant that can grow just about anywhere that all of a sudden can get you landed in jail for simply possessing.  Every single argument made for continued prohibition can be countered by siting the legal possession and use of alcohol and tobacco.  As far as the reasons for legalization, why bother needing a reason?  All that does is give the pro-criminalization crowd more ammo (there are other medications to ease pain and appetite issues, other treatments for glaucoma, have cotton and synthetic fibers so don't need hemp fiber etc.).


[ Parent ]

Stop signs (3.80 / 5) (#447)
by xxxlucasxxx on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:41:14 PM EST

Why, really, isn't marijuana legal?

This reminds me of the "Traffic Light Committee".

In a small town there was an intersection that became very busy and had only a stop sign to regulate traffic. People started to talk and thought that what the intersection needed was a proper traffic light to regulate the busy intersection. The mayor, let's say Mayor Bob, decided to strike the "Traffic Light Committee" to see if in fact it was better to put a traffic light at the intersection.

The Committee did find that it was better to put the light in and under the Committee's power the light went in. Drivers and pedestrians were relieved and the intersection was much better. The Committee then decided, with the given mandate and power, to look at other intersections around town. Over time all of the intersection were looked at and deemed for a new traffic light.

By the end of it the town was a mess with traffic lights at every intersection with no one able to get from one end of town to the other without waiting several minutes for each red light they met to turn green. If all of the stop signs were still in place traffic over all would have been much better.

Let's get back to the marijuana question. I think that marijuana is in such deep shit because if it wasn't then all of the institutions that are around because of marijuana would be in their own deep shit. It would leave local, state and federal agency without much to do. For their very survival it is necessary to make people believe things that are untrue, like "refer madness". To grow the institution you need to make people believe that they need to fight a war on drugs, that if you are not with us then you are against us and all that other BS we continually hear. Without the need for traffic light then all those in the traffic lights business would be out of work.

There is a good debate going on in Canada now on whether the criminalisation of pot does more harm then good . The first to line up and say that pot is bad is the cops without it they would have less work to do and that means smaller budgets and less in the Union/Gang.

Lucas


Somewhat tangential (4.80 / 5) (#448)
by weirdling on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:41:37 PM EST

The '400 000 deaths' argument is not entirely correct.  While this number's source is shrouded in the mists of time, or, more precisely, some computer model, the actual number of deaths caused by smoking and/or alcohol is 'not known'.

Anyway, look here for a nice top-ten list for last year.  Note that mortality rates are down again.  Oh, darn that good news...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.

The argument.. (3.50 / 2) (#526)
by vile on Fri May 31, 2002 at 08:00:10 PM EST

still stands. The aspect that the argument states