Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Ashcroft rewrites the law?

By jester69 in Op-Ed
Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:00:21 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

Yesterday the United States Justice Department brought to fruition operations Pipe Dreams and Headhunter. Their official stance was they have Put Illegal Drug Paraphernalia Sellers Out Of Business. But is this really what happened?


As far as this author is aware, it has been long standing law enforcement policy that pipes sold as "for tobacco" legal and those sold as "for marijuana" were "illegal paraphernalia". Basically wether or not it was legal depended on how the owner of the store represented their wares. The Federal law on this more or less states that anything that is "primarily intended" for use with illegal drugs is considered "illegal paraphernalia."

So, I guess my question is this, has there been a change in the law so that it is now illegal to sell a pipe, even if you state it is for tobacco only, just because the attorney general has a suspicion someone might use it for drugs?

What makes one pipe that much different from another, legally speaking. I mean sure, one might be green, the other one brown, one big, the other one small. when you get right down to it,  basically a pipe is some sort of rock or wood or other material with a hole or two in it. Why didn't they raid your neighborhood tobacco store?

What it seems to come down to is how does one decide or determine what is "primarily intended" for illegal activities? I have a sneaky suspicion in Ashcroft's right wing zealotry he has taken an over broad assesment of the law, thereby attempting to make new law through his interpretation. Hopefully the Judiciary or congress will see this for what it is, and rein him in, though this author doubts they will.

People in arabic countries, and presumably those who have emigrated to the United States,  use Hookah, similar to a "bong," for tobacco. Some people in the United States smoke perfectly legal herbal concotions such as Salvia Divinorum, or Shaman Smoke. They may use these plants in a similar manner to illegal plants, in an attempt to experience a psychopharmalogical effect, but does this make them illegal? Does this make a water pipe intended to be used with one of these plants illegal?

I do not smoke anything. For that matter I don't drink alcohol, or even caffeine. However, I have great sympathy for the people taken down by this operation. Due to RICO laws, likely all of their assets already have been seized as fruits of their "illegal" activities and they have been left with no way to defend themselves and facing a long jail sentence for doing something every Tinderbox or Walgreens does. sell pipes. Is it fair to criminalize one smoking acessory vendor over another based on the assumed or percieved intent of their customers?

As an aside, every media source I have read , except one obvioulsy biased source, parroted the official stance that "illegal paraphernalia" were seized Didn't even a one of them stop to think maybe Ashcroft et al. were reaching for the stars again?

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o Put Illegal Drug Paraphernalia Sellers Out Of Business
o Salvia Divinorum
o Shaman Smoke
o RICO
o long jail sentence
o Tinderbox
o Walgreens
o every media source
o except one
o Also by jester69


Display: Sort:
Ashcroft rewrites the law? | 272 comments (242 topical, 30 editorial, 1 hidden)
The law is an ass ... (3.66 / 6) (#1)
by sonovel on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:33:31 PM EST

I think a law against pot pipes is absurd.

But is labeling these things "tobacco pipes" anything other than a transparent dodge?

Explain the difference between a pipe labeled for tobacco and pot. Then show me anyone who smokes tobacco in a bong.

My point exactly, there is no definable difference (5.00 / 2) (#3)
by jester69 on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:36:56 PM EST

I would love for someone to come in here and say "here is a legally viable definition of what is a pot pipe and what is a tobacco pipe."

Its not going to happen though. The best anyone is going to be able to do is to say "well, the pot pipe is pretty colors & sold by long haired folks, the tobacco pipe is what they have at Wal Mart"

There is no fair way to distinguish between the two that I can think of at least beyond if the seller says its for dope.

peas,

Jester
Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
[ Parent ]

Except intent. (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by sonovel on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:07:58 AM EST

It occurs to me that this is very much like laws against cross burning. The intent is to do wrong, so it is illegal.

Or like a flag burning ammendment that some have suggested. After all, the proper way to dispose of a worn flag is by burning.

Or hate crime laws which make certain acts more illegal based on intent.

Or hate speech laws that make certain words illegal in certain contexts.

[ Parent ]

Precisely. (none / 0) (#24)
by acceleriter on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:01:23 AM EST

And laws that attempt to reach into the mind and divine intent (e.g. a perceived desire to smoke drugs), rather than prosecute a behavior (e.g. actually smoking some spliff) have no place in a free society. Note that I'm not disparaging laws that make the penalty for an actual behavior more severe as an aggravating factor based on intent, such as first degree murder.

[ Parent ]
(NT) Smoking some spliff? (none / 0) (#96)
by Crono on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:05:44 PM EST

Thats a new usage on me... Around here we call joints spliffs. Sounds kinda cool, though.

[ Parent ]
some spliff (none / 0) (#171)
by brkn on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:50:44 AM EST

Perhaps he's using it as in "some guy"

Assumption is the mother of all fuckups
[ Parent ]
Guess I'm not up on the lingo :) [nt] (none / 0) (#245)
by acceleriter on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 10:37:16 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Question: (1.00 / 1) (#17)
by ti dave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 05:38:40 AM EST

If you were in need of a bit 'o weed, which pre-loaded and
ready to go pipe would you pick up, this pipe, or this pipe?

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Either is fine. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by FuriousXGeorge on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:23:49 AM EST

They both do exactly the same thing.

--

-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

Let's not be naïve. (1.00 / 1) (#64)
by ti dave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:09:35 PM EST

Which pipe is more likely to be used by the cannabis afficionado?

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Well... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by ragabr on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 04:09:13 PM EST

I toke a number of times a week and have one that resembles choice A more than choice B.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
Yup (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by Souhait on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:24:00 PM EST

Last time I smoked (several weeks ago) it was definitely a choice A pipe - very similar to a Sherlock Holmes pipe.  Fun.  Putting these pipe sellers out of business is only going to cause people to buy more normal looking pipes at a wal-mart.  It's not going to do a damned thing.  It is a waste of time and effort by everyone involved.

[ Parent ]
The afficionado (2.00 / 1) (#157)
by FuriousXGeorge on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 02:38:18 AM EST

would certainly not be using a metal pipe.

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

I dunno, man (none / 0) (#97)
by Crono on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:09:05 PM EST

I'll go with C, my trusty corncob pipe. I have 2 of em, one for chiba and one for tobbaccy.

[ Parent ]
Damn shortsighted webmasters (none / 0) (#250)
by 87C751 on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 02:25:22 PM EST

Choice 2 looks pretty damn nifty, but the site's home page won't load in either Moz or Konq. Guess they won't be getting me as a customer.

My ranting place.
[ Parent ]

What else is being sold? (none / 0) (#20)
by squigly on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:02:29 AM EST

The article mentions "Items such as miniature scales, substances for "cutting" or diluting raw narcotics, bongs, marijuana pipes, roach clips, miniature spoons and cocaine freebase kits," as paraphernalia.

Presumably if they sell these, and not items that tobacco smokers like, then its reasonable to assume that they are selling exclusively to drug smokers.  Of course, if Annata's comment is anything to go by, the miniature spoons, scales and hookah could all be used in the production of a single spiced tobacco concoction.  Presumably you want a few grams of a spice.  

[ Parent ]

Yep, got that (3.00 / 2) (#138)
by epepke on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:21:22 AM EST

The article mentions "Items such as miniature scales,

Yep, drug stores sell miniature scales. Of course, they claim they are for postage, but we right-thinking conservative folk know better.

substances for "cutting" or diluting raw narcotics,

Yep, many drug stores sell cabbage and sugar. Oh, the humanity!

bongs, marijuana pipes,

Dr. Graybow's, anyone?

roach clips,

Gotta go next door to Radio Shack. Of course, they're called "aligator clips." But everyone knows that's just a ruse--they're too small to hold real aligators.

miniature spoons

Gotta go to the ice-cream parlor at the other side. Good thing McDonalds stopped giving away miniature spoons to stir coffee--it magically reduced all use of cocaine in the U.S. to zero.

and cocaine freebase kits,

You mean shrink-wrapped items advertised as "Cocaine Freebase KitTM" or Arm & Hammer baking soda in a box?


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


[ Parent ]
Okay.... (3.00 / 1) (#163)
by squigly on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:14:37 AM EST

So this is a store that sells goods for pipe smokers who post a lot of small items, eat sugar and cabbage, tinker with electronics, and enjoy ice cream and coffee.

Okay, that does fit the profile of a lot of people, but it seems a bit strange having a single shop that caters to such a specific demographic.

[ Parent ]

So much for Wal-Mart, then (1.00 / 1) (#164)
by epepke on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:16:34 AM EST

It even offers haircuts.


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


[ Parent ]
No... (4.00 / 1) (#166)
by squigly on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 06:50:00 AM EST

Walmart also offers things that are not likely to be wanted primarily by drugs users.  

[ Parent ]
So do these shops (1.00 / 1) (#167)
by epepke on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:01:15 AM EST

I don't smoke dope (I've tried it in Amsterdam, hah! there goes my Supreme Court nomination, but I don't like it). But I've bought many things in 60's specialty shops: ultraviolet lights, interesting bumper stickers, T-shirts, even a Corona grain mill for grinding malt to make beer.


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


[ Parent ]
Shesha/Hookah (5.00 / 4) (#14)
by Anatta on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 02:42:08 AM EST

In the Arab world, tobacco is constantly smoked through sheshas and hookahs, which are big coolass waterpipes with breathing hoses attached to them. Generally, tobacco with spices are placed under a lit charcoal, and the smoke is inhaled.


My Music
[ Parent ]

And this is what 0.1% in the US? (1.00 / 2) (#55)
by sonovel on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 01:14:23 PM EST

So what percentage of "water pipes" (don't say Bong!) are sold in the US for tobacco use?

I think the law against them is idiotic, but come on! We all know what they are sold for.

[ Parent ]

ummm (4.40 / 5) (#58)
by Anatta on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 01:43:36 PM EST

so, what, you have to present your ID to the people at the shop, showing that you're an authentic Arab (or caterpillar) before you can purchase a shesha or hookah? There are plenty of non-Arabs in the western world that enjoy smoking tobacco through hookahs and sheshas, and I see no reason to restrict them from doing something perfectly legal

. If an object has a legal use, it should be sold legally. If the object is used for illegal purposes, then the user should be punished (well, the laws on the illegal usage are ridiculous, but that's a different argument). This is not a complicated concept. The presumption of innocence has been enshrined in "western" law for centuries. I see no reason to alter that presumption in order to go after a small offshoot of the glass blowing industry.


My Music
[ Parent ]

5 for AiWL reference. (n/t) (3.00 / 1) (#150)
by jjayson on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:18:11 AM EST


_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Hmm. No. (5.00 / 1) (#162)
by Demiurge on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:03:17 AM EST

Cocaine is still used as an anesthetic, and has been for decades. That does not mean you should be able to stop by the neighborhood market and pick up a bag of cocaine, or, say, plastic explosives, despite the fact they have legitimate construction uses.

[ Parent ]
True that. Quite true. (1.00 / 1) (#200)
by Hektor on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:57:31 PM EST

We should also outlaw knives then, as they have both legal and illegal uses.

[ Parent ]
Well then... (none / 0) (#216)
by bjlhct on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:37:54 PM EST

care to explain this? or is it the non sequitur it appears to be?

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#237)
by broken77 on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 03:33:21 PM EST

My good friend worked for a couple years as a sales rep for a company called "Hookah Brothers". Hookahs are gaining in popularity in the U.S., I can assure you, as that is how she made her living. Also, I can assure you, that many, many (most) of the people who buy hoookahs do in fact smoke sheesha out of them. Every single time I go to her place, we light up a sheesha bowl. It's awesome! Fruity, light taste, really smooth draw. Lotta fun to just sit around and chat, have a couple beers, and smoke the hookah. There are also hookah bars popping up all over the place (at least on the West Coast).

If I didn't have access to a hookah, I could very well pack a bong bowl with sheesha and smoke it out of a bong. Or any kind of water pipe. And I'd do it, too!

:-b

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 ]

sure. (none / 0) (#21)
by pb on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:16:04 AM EST

Some of my friends smoked tobacco in a bong for exactly this reason; I wouldn't advise it, though, they told me it's harsher on the throat.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
huh? (none / 0) (#260)
by Politburo on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 07:56:59 PM EST

The point of a bong or "water pipe" is that the water cools and filters the smoke before it enters the body, so that is it not as harsh on the throat and lungs. That said, most bongs can give you much larger hits than a smaller pipe or joint/cigarette, which could be resulting in the increased irritation you mention.

[ Parent ]
Tobacco in a bong (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by b1t r0t on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:15:17 PM EST

I've known people who have done just this. It's really hard not to giggle and rib them about "smoking a tobacco from a bong", which they insist on being called a "water pipe". Of course the main reason it's not done much is because it's rather inconvienent and non-portable. (FWIW, I've only seen this done at Amtgard and SCA events, where it's worth the effort of dragging the thing around and setting it up.)

Apparently it works a lot better than the stupid crap filter on a cancer stick, and you can use pipe tobacco which is going to be higher quality than what you'll find in a 20-pack of nicotine delivery devices.

But it's hard not to giggle when you see it.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]

&c &c (4.18 / 11) (#9)
by dTaylorSingletary on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:13:58 AM EST

This is ridiculous, pipes may be used for such a variety of things, including some legal ingestments such as salvia divinorum, tobacco, catnip, and shaman smoke. This is the precedent that a pre-emptive war is based on. It is obvious what our government is trying to tell us, and instead of crying in our closets it is time show them the blunt side of our asses. Tear the curtain away, the wizard of oz becomes the emperor with no clothes and other allusions that mean nothing.

In words more plain: Where do we draw the line and what means will reverse this trend? Letters to congressmen do not work. Public protest does not work (paraphrase "we do not decide by committee").  Giant information databases probably recording a great many things about people's buying habits and  goods are a reality.

Are we going to go A Scanner Darkly? Are we going to let that happen? Are we headed to the land of Big Dick?

My incapable anger damages my comments, I cannot communicate in the way I mean to. I will mull this all over some more.
--
d. Taylor Singletary, reality technician
music: http://techra.elephantus.com

Salvia... (4.50 / 2) (#103)
by Purple Walrus on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:27:45 PM EST

Won't be legal for long I don't think. They are planning to schedule it as a class I substance very soon. Just for your information and all...

http://www.erowid.org/plants/salvia/salvia_law1.shtml"

---
Walrus
[ Parent ]
s.d. legality (2.33 / 3) (#106)
by dTaylorSingletary on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:38:19 PM EST

It is most unfortunate and I have been tracking this progress. Regardless, it is legal now and a viable smokable product to warrant pipe shops the world over with a legal basis besides tobacco. While it is totally moronic that our government sees fit to take away this wonderful present the chaos of nature has presented us (at least legally speaking), it can not cite its use as a pre-emptive basis to this elimination. Methinks it's all part of the same pattern and plan to destroy the free-thinking human spirit within America.
--
d. Taylor Singletary, reality technician
music: http://techra.elephantus.com
[ Parent ]
where to draw the line (3.60 / 10) (#13)
by PlautusSatire on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 02:34:33 AM EST

I noticed that Asscroft has chosen to prosecute the glass blowers who made the crack pipes, but not the manufacturer of the digital scales that the Attorney General's office says is "favored by drug dealers," even though they say such scales were "forfeited" because they have no other practical use. Scales have no practical use? Also seized and charges filed for were small ziplock baggies, wired rolling papers and water pipes.

Incidentally, the US Attorney who spoke at the press briefing stated that traffic to "drug paraphernalia" web sites is being redirected to the Justice Department so they can display a wavy flag graphic and a notice that the web site had been shut down and what statute is being used to shut them down (and redirect their traffic prior to resolving the IP address, which means DNS is directing people to Justice Department servers without consent).



"You have to be lucky all the time, we only have to get lucky once." - Anonymous
Given the useful nature of this comment (4.33 / 6) (#18)
by Rogerborg on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 05:46:28 AM EST

I'd better warn you that some idiot has swiped your password and keeps using your account to post a crackpot story about the shuttle being shot down by Alien Elvis, over and over and over and over again.  It was funny the first time, but is now just irritating the crap out of people.  Word to the wise, eh?

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Ouch. (5.00 / 3) (#19)
by squigly on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 05:47:31 AM EST

that traffic to "drug paraphernalia" web sites is being redirected to the Justice Department so they can display a wavy flag graphic and a notice that the web site had been shut down and what statute is being used to shut them down

Either I missed this in the linked articles, or you didn't provide the source.  zdnet
and CNN.

This is a little disturbing.  They've taken their website without them being proved guilty.  I can understand them preventing them from running a business, and even demanding that the ISP disables the relevent pages on the site, but redirecting it at DNS just seems to be pushing the boiundaries of freedom of speech.  It means they aren't allowed to use their own sites to protest their innocence.

[ Parent ]

source: C-SPAN (1.66 / 3) (#94)
by PlautusSatire on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:03:02 PM EST

You can view Asscroft's entire press conference (mostly presented by his presenter) at C-SPAN's web site.

Go to the video archives, browse until you find this entry:

News Conference with Attorney General John Ashcroft
Topic: Anti-Drug Initiative.
2/24/2003: WASHINGTON, DC: 30 min.

Yay C-SPAN!

Asscroft's presenter explains at the end about the rerouting and the notice itself (I cannot find a copy, can somebody help?) stated that the website traffic was redirected before the IP was resolved. "...website you tried to resolve..." or something similar



"You have to be lucky all the time, we only have to get lucky once." - Anonymous
[ Parent ]
Scales have no practical use??? (5.00 / 2) (#22)
by localroger on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:21:01 AM EST

Aw crap, now I'm gonna have to find another line of work. Pssst, anybody want a bargain on a 500,000 lb capacity Marijuana Tank Scale with some really cool product movement automation?

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Pipes (2.50 / 2) (#15)
by the77x42 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:18:30 AM EST

I see they have a felt pen pipe and a gasmask pipe... how is this "every pipe"?

Secondly, I smoke molasses -- not the cooking stuff, the Arabic tobacco -- and weed on occassion. We always make our own elaborate water bongs/pipes. What good is all this effort going to do when all you need is two bottles or a hookah?




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

i find it hard to reconcile (4.45 / 22) (#37)
by criquet on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:38:46 AM EST

i am a contributing member of society. i spend more than $20K/yr on consumer products. i spend more $15K/yr on federal income tax from my salary alone not to mention taxes on investment gains which can reach $10K/yr or more. and many of my friends are in a similar boat.

i (we) also smoke pot now and then, when it's around. i don't usually buy it though (i'm a mooch i guess). but i can be arrested for doing something that i enjoy and which doesn't harm anyone (but myself, but i pay for my insurance). and the argument that the dealers are usually violent criminals doesn't hold here because i know the people that grow it and they only grow it for personal use. in other words, they don't sell what they grow, they only smoke it. i would like to do the same.

so if i were arrested for possession, how does that benefit anyone? it is not a deterrent because i won't stop smoking. so arresting me certainly doesn't benefit me, it doesn't benefit the economy nor does it benefit the government. the fines and court fees i'd pay can't compare to my consumer purchases and taxes that directly benefit the economy and government right?

so what's the point of arresting people like myself for a completely victimless activity?

i do understand that the DEA is a huge organization that will fight to stay in business. any battle to reform the drug war will be opposed by all the people whose lives it will adversely affect. there must be valid economic alternative for these people before this nonsense will end.

Talk to the people who (3.60 / 5) (#39)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:46:17 AM EST

Ban smoking, restrict drinking and made prostitution illegal. Apparently there are a lot of them.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
then those are the people i'd like to respond (3.00 / 3) (#40)
by criquet on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:55:01 AM EST

because i talk to lots of people about this, and not just my friends who i know will agree. it's people like my close-minded mother, who flipped out when i pierced my ear as a youth, and even she agreed once i presented my side (although she still doesn't approve but that's different).

[ Parent ]
Individual vs Societal laws (3.00 / 5) (#75)
by NaCh0 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 05:36:19 PM EST

Laws have different purposes. Some are to protect individuals (murder,rape) and others are designed to maintain order and social stability (hate crimes). Intoxication is detrimental to a productive society. Thus, with the exception of tobacco and alcohol, recreational intoxicants are illegal. With all of the lawsuits against cigarettes, tobacco may be next on the ban list.

Prohibition of currently legal substances is a whole new can of worms. Because of this, most Americans don't want to add another intoxicant on the allowed list.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

so you're saying that the laws won't change (3.00 / 2) (#84)
by criquet on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:37:21 PM EST

because it's too much trouble at this point to change it?

if that's the case, then how about if all the pot smokers ban together and just make it more trouble to continue prohibition.

how about if everyone just goes out on the street one day (walking not driving), maybe duing The Great American Smoke Out, and just keeps smoking until they're arrested. that'd surely be a drain on society. productivity around the country would go down (because of missed work not because of being stoned). the courts would be even more swamped than usual. i think it'd be a great statement.

regardless, such laws really should be unconstitutional.

[ Parent ]

No (2.66 / 3) (#95)
by NaCh0 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:05:33 PM EST

No, I don't think it's too much trouble. In fact, I think banning tobacco and alcohol be worth it on a social level. I think of all the times I've been at a club or a party where alcohol was a contributing factor for reckless behavior. I think of all the ailments associated with smoking and alcoholism. And this is coming from someone who drinks on occasion.

I'm saying that lawmakers don't have the testicular fortitute to make the change. The "my body, my destruction" group is too vocal for that. Politicians rarely want to face a loudmouth.

I briefly skimmed your link. I think the author takes a giant leap when he moves from the government keeping foreign chemicals out of the body to requiring foreign chemicals be put in the body.

If you don't like a law, you can't expect to ignore it without reprecussions. That's not how our system works. Organize with your dope buddies -- use educational campaigns, not smokeouts as you suggest. Inform the public how beneficial it is for you to get wasted. Use the democratic process to convice the public that smoking pot is harmless and should be ignored. I think you'll fail, but you have every right to try.

if that's the case, then how about if all the pot smokers ban together and just make it more trouble to continue prohibition

Do what you want to do. I suggest this could backfire on you. The more trouble you cause, the harsher the sentences may become. The reasoning being, if you were still in jail, you wouldn't be out here causing trouble.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

you seem to have formed an extreme opinion of me (4.71 / 7) (#141)
by criquet on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:28:12 AM EST

if you go back to my first post i think you can deduce from it that i am a responsible, contributing member of society. i don't "get wasted" on pot nor do i cause trouble. i am a very good person. the fact that i use an "illegal" substance now and then doesn't change that. people often speed putting other people's lives at risk without thinking twice about it. i don't risk others' lives (i'm a very defensive driver) and i certainly don't when i smoke since i don't leave the house. but i'm looked upon as a wastoid. fuck that. i'm at least as smart, friendly, productive, motivated and fit as most people i've ever met. why shouldn't i be able to enjoy being alter every now and then in the comfort of my own home? that's the only question i want answered.

i'm also quite familiar with the affects of alcohol. my father was alcoholic and caused severe family crises almost weekly. i drink almost weekly and every few months i drink excessively. i've seen people throw-up on themselves. i've had friends get into fights while drunk. i've seen my share of problems related to alcohol, but i'm not arogant enough to believe that it is the cause of social ills. it may be the cause for some but it is unforunately being used to relieve others unrelated.

how do you think we should deal with people that feel they need to escape their lives for a little while, or permanently, with drugs? have you ever been in a situation to understand what these people are going through? i have. i was addicted to cocaine for about a year. i spent $300-$400/wk on it, i was high every weekend and sometimes several weekdays and it almost made me loose my job. i was lucky. i'm intelligent and have tremendous will power and was able to overcome it on my own. just being aware that i had a problem was an enormous step after a year. while i was partying, i met people that don't have the same will as me. people that can't or don't take time to look at themselves and evaluate what they are doing to themselves. some of those people are now dead because of the the desire to escape their lives all the time. i believe almost everyone has something that helps them escape. for most, it just isn't life threatening. love, money, sex, food, shopping, adventure, movies, music, technology, ... and combinations of those. if it produces a euphoria, it's a potential addiction. for me, now, it's plucking the hair form my ears, writing a cool perl script, composing a nice song or finishing a great video game.

anyway, the only problem with drugs is that people are going to use them never learn how to use them properly/recreationally and not allow them to become a total escape. why? because they learn on the street and often while still immature. what they do learn from "adults" they often later find out was a lie which may actually encourage them to try. and if they do become addicted, they have nowhere to go because of the stigma associated with saying "i'm an addict" or even "i have a problem". guess what though. we all have problems. you'd be surprised how responsive people can be if you just get them to talk about their problems. relieving them of emotional burdens can go a long way to help people be able to stop using or at least use responsibly (it can be done).

learning about drugs is like learning about relationships. if your model for relationships is a poor model, you may have problems with relationships later in life. well, i will go on record as stating that almost every teenager is a poor model from whom to learn about drugs (or almost anything for that matter). we should be teaching children about drugs without lying to them and offering some sort of supervision for those that are going to try them. trying to make someone feel ashamed for their actions doesn't help them. of all the anti-drug commercials i've seen, the only one i think is worth a shit is the one that recommends that parents talk to their children.

whew ... i'm done. if you can't tell, i have very strong opinions about this. i've been in the trenches. if you haven't, i can't trust that you understand the real issues (not to say that you don't, it's just rare that you would). we're allowing too many people to fall through the cracks because of this lack of understanding. good people are going to jail when all the really need is someone to listen to them and care.

I think the author takes a giant leap when he moves from the government keeping foreign chemicals out of the body to requiring foreign chemicals be put in the body.

fluoride.


[ Parent ]

Taking it too personal (3.00 / 1) (#231)
by NaCh0 on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 04:50:51 AM EST

I don't know you. From the sounds of things, you make enough money to afford what you're doing and don't get in the way of society. My point is that not everyone is like you. That is why I think wide spread drug use is bad.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]
So.. (none / 0) (#258)
by Politburo on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 07:47:19 PM EST

Sorry but it's just as easy for a poor person to do drugs and not "get in the way of society" as it is a rich person. It is all about personality type and not about how much money you have, what color your skin is, or where you live.

[ Parent ]
I didn't take it personally. (none / 0) (#262)
by criquet on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 08:23:40 PM EST

Maybe I read into your "reckless behavior", "wasted" and "causing trouble" comments but it just seemed to me that you were making a generalized judgement of anyone that uses drugs based on, from my point of view, a vary narrrow frame of reference.

Regardless, you're right, not everyone is like me. I'd go so far as to say, many people are not like me, which is probably why it frustrates me.

I'm just really sick of living in a world of lowest common denominators that can't (or are being taught not to) take responsibility for their own actions. Thank you Mr. Lawyer. We don't have to punish everyone just because some (or even most) people can't cope. We can (almost) all own guns. If I misuse mine, I am punished. We can drive cars. If I misuse mine, I am punished. In other words, as long as I don't fuck with someone else or otherwise act irresponsibly, I can use these deadly weapons to my hearts content. A lot of people use them irresponsibly. We don't revoke the right from everyone. Well pot isn't even a deadly weapon. Well, maybe it's a time-lapsed deadly weapon but so is junk food. For that matter, so is life :)

The bottom line is that we should not be making laws to limit freedoms and rights. We should make laws to protect freedoms and rights. There is a big difference. In other words, if I can infringe upon your freedoms and/or rights by smoking pot, then there should be some approriate means of weighing the value of your rights/freedoms vs. mine (though not as individual but as a society) and minimizing the impact of each or eliminating the impact on both. Since smoking in absolutely no way affects you, your rights and freedom or anyone else's in society, why is it illegal? It's like outlawing unprotected sex because someone might get a deadly disease. Well, not exactly, outlawing unprotected sex is more reasonable because it affects another person.

I'm sure you're probably as sick of this going-nowhere-to-change-either-of-our-views conversation as I am so I probably won't be responding any more. Feel free to get in the last word ;-)


[ Parent ]

Purpose of law (4.00 / 4) (#88)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:18:11 PM EST

Many of us feel that the only purpose of the law is to protect the individual's rights. The purpose of government should not be to impose certain groups' concept of social stability on all people.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Nacho has a point. (4.33 / 3) (#100)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:15:10 PM EST

With out some level of civil control it's hard to protect anyone's rights.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Rights vs Privileges (3.00 / 4) (#102)
by NaCh0 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:22:49 PM EST

The purpose of government should not be to impose certain groups' concept of social stability on all people.

I agree with you in part, but...

Is intoxication a right or a privilege?

Is employment a right or privilege?

Is modern medicine a right or privilege?

The list can go on forever. At some point we need to decide what is socially acceptable and what is not.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

Your list (4.42 / 7) (#116)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 09:44:46 PM EST

I don't think it's helpful to divide those things into two exclusive groups, "rights" and "privileges." I say, you're looking at those acts in the wrong way. We have a right to live in freedom. Try to enumerate specific rights any further than that, and you're asking for trouble. None of the items in the list are an all or nothing deal - to say that they are rights is to say that we are entitled to them at the cost of everything else. Of course we are not entitled to medical care at the expense of other human lives.

To say that they are privileges.. well, that's coercion.

The list shouldn't go on forever, in fact it shouldn't even start. Look at where our lists have gotten us, look at how arbitrary our freedoms and restrictions are. Alcohol is OK, other drugs are not. You can walk out of Wal-Mart with a shotgun, but walk into a motel with a hooker and you may go to jail. Once we get into the business of making lists of what's acceptable, we're in dangerous territory.

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

A necessary danger (3.66 / 6) (#119)
by NaCh0 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 10:20:47 PM EST

Once we get into the business of making lists of what's acceptable, we're in dangerous territory.

Yes, it's a slippery slope. Unfortunately freedom must have limits. An overly permissive society is just as bad as an overly restrictive one.

I think you could agree that if you and I lived together, we would quickly agree upon what is acceptable behavior. If we lived in a neighborhood, we could work out accpetable behavior with the people on our street. When we reach the city, state, and country level things begin to get abstract. This is why we need written laws based on a democratic process. We can only hope that the majority of the people are looking out for the best interest of our society.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

Overly permissive (4.85 / 7) (#128)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:30:21 PM EST

Unfortunately freedom must have limits. An overly permissive society is just as bad as an overly restrictive one.

I have to take exception with that. I would take anarchy over fascism any day of the week. The pendulum can swing a lot farther, and a lot more dangerously, in the direction of restriction. Freedom must not have limits. The only limit we need is the one that protects my freedom from being attacked by others.

You bring up a good point with the household/neighborhood/etc argument. This is why regulation needs to occur at the lowest level possible. It would be meaningless for us to agree that there would be no murder allowed in our house. This is clearly a rule that should be enforced by the government. At the same time, it would be an assault on our liberties for the government to inform us that we are not to leave the dirty dishes in the sink. This is a rule that is decided in the house and it stays in the house. There is no possible 'dirty dishes' rule that is in the best interests of society, except to leave it up to the individual. There is no such thing as 'best interests of society.'

We can only hope that the majority of the people are looking out for the best interest of our society.

This will never be the case. Let's stop hoping now, and look for a better way of doing things.

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

Who cares which it is? (2.50 / 2) (#199)
by rantweasel on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:57:01 PM EST

If I'm not interfering with you, your property, or your day to day interaction with/membership in society, how am I hurting you?  Does it cause a problem for you if I go to the doctor?  What if I don't go to the doctor?  What if I go to the doctor and the doctor refuses to treat me?  How does any of that impact you?  The government has no business telling me what is socially acceptable.  If you don't find my behavior socially acceptable, then shun me, ignore me, tell all your friends what a horrible person I am, but don't try to tell me what to do.

mathias

[ Parent ]

Ownership (4.00 / 1) (#224)
by knobmaker on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 12:04:46 AM EST

Is intoxication a right or a privilege?

This is not the issue. It's a lot simpler than "rights vs. privileges." Here's the important question: Do you own your own body, or does the government own your body?

If you do indeed own your own body, then it follows that you ought to be able to do whatever you want to it, as long as it doesn't harm or credibly threaten to harm any other unwilling person.

It would appear that Ashcroft thinks he owns your body, and unfortunately, he has men with guns who will enforce his opinion.

[ Parent ]

Er.. (3.75 / 4) (#169)
by runderwo on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:28:30 AM EST

Intoxication is detrimental to a productive society.
What? Does "a productive society" mean grinding away 18 hours a day in the corporate rat race? Or does it mean working a reasonable amount each day, avoiding burnout, and having some innocent fun during the off-hours in order to be able to make more productive use of the on-hours?

Methinks intoxication can very well be part of "a productive society". Anyway, why is a "productive" society more important than one that is simply stable, and that allows the maximum amount of free will?

[ Parent ]

The USA is intoxicated anyway.... (3.00 / 2) (#191)
by FuriousXGeorge on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:16:01 PM EST

seems more productive to use a drug like marijuana that does not give you a hangover, as opposed to alcohol.

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

Hangover.... (none / 0) (#217)
by bjlhct on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:49:52 PM EST

THC stays in fat for 30 days or so. Effects from a joint wear off mostly quickly, and then slowly down to 0.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
THC itself does not stay in fat... (none / 0) (#218)
by FuriousXGeorge on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:53:35 PM EST

from http://b.rox.com/journal/97/c-b3.html

THC is the stuff that gets you high.  Its full name is
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a mouthful, and that's why it's
usually abbreviated as Delta-9-THC or, amongst the general public, just
plain THC.

The human metabolism breaks this stuff down, in about two or three
hours, into metabolites which are not psychoactive.  These metabolites
have names like 11-hydroxy-tetrahydrocannabinol and
11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.  Again, that's a
mouthful, so they are commonly abbreviated 11-OH-THC and 11-nor-THC.  Or
just plain THC for short.

Can you see where the confusion arises now?  When Toma talks about
THC lingering in the fat cells, he's referring to these metabolites.
They are not psychoactive.  They cannot get you high.  There is almost
no Delta-9-THC left over a few hours after smoking marijuana, and
scientific studies which measure the effects of marijuana agree with
this fact.

--

-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

maps.org disagrees. nt (none / 0) (#222)
by bjlhct on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:58:20 PM EST



*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Banning smoking (4.66 / 6) (#165)
by Gromit on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:27:11 AM EST

Just to throw it out there: If you smoke in your own space, fine. But banning smoking in all public places (including sidewalks/pavements) and around people who can't make an informed choice about being there is entirely reasonable. Smoke kills, in time. It kills smokers, but that's their choice. It also kills people who spend time around smokers, it kills children of smokers (cot death/SIDS; sudden-onset asthma), it kills barmen and wait staff. Smoke harms, immediately. It harms asthmatics (of which there are more every day, which may partially relate to parents smoking around their children), it harms people with congestive heart failure. (And it effing stinks up your clothes!)

No, having public policy in this regard is entirely reasonable. Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose, as Heinlein wrote.

(Smoke also triggers some people's allergies, causing mild, moderate, or severe discomfort, and just plain stinks to high heaven. I've many times been tempted to carry around one of those joke fart canisters, so the next time someone lights up one of those foul-smelling cigarillos next to me while I'm trying to eat in a restaurant, I can take out my fart can and, shall we say, repay the favor. BUT, allergies and stink alone probably wouldn't be good enough reason to make it illegal.)

But before you pigeon-hole me: Smoking in private is an entirely victimless activity. It's none of my business if you want to take risks with your health, if it doesn't impact someone else who can't make an informed choice about it. Same with pot, alcohol, prostitution, porn, eating fatty foods, and not exercising properly. It only becomes something for society to regulate if it harms someone other than the partaker. I suppose there may be an argument against drugs with a decent-sized danger of killing on first dose, like crack cocaine, but pot? Give me a break, obviously should be legal in private, even absent the other good arguments in favor (safety, enforcement cost savings, tax revenue, violence caused by illegality) aside. (No, I don't smoke pot, but -- as you can guess -- I'm definitely in favor of legalizing it provided you can't smoke it in public.)

Dragging myself back to the original story vis-a-vis criminalizing pipes: Should we start licensing baseball bats sold in areas where there aren't playgrounds? Because obviously they're just going to be used to beat people up, right? Ashcroft's off his nut (which is not exactly a news flash).



--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
"Ashcroft's off his nuts" (2.00 / 2) (#202)
by Hektor on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:07:39 PM EST

Why would you say something like that? Why on earth would you? Is there ANY sane reason to throw a comment like out into the open like that? Really?

Now, if he had had nuts to begin with, you might have had a point!

[ Parent ]

"Off his nut" (none / 0) (#227)
by Gromit on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 01:36:23 AM EST

Note the lack of an "s" at the end; nothing to do with balls. Details for the phrase-impaired (about four-fifths down). ;-)

--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
Just because you say it... (none / 0) (#228)
by gdanjo on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 01:56:38 AM EST

... doesn't make it true. Passive smoking does not kill.

Sure, passive smoking can cause harm, but so can car fumes. So can fumes from a kitchen - it is the proprietor's responsibility to ensure air circulation is sufficient so no fumes can cause harm.

As for "public places" like the sidewalk, please tell me how I can reliably transmit smoke to you without touching your lips.

Smoke stinks for a reason - if you smell it, go away. Or tell me to go away.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Correct, not true because I say it (none / 0) (#235)
by Gromit on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 11:44:42 AM EST

But I trust my sources. Quick google results in this information from CDC about SIDS (cot death) and about lung cancer from passive smoke. Also turns up bugling about passive smoke being safe -- from tobacco-funded studies. I'll take the CDC, thanks very much.

--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#261)
by gdanjo on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 08:00:06 PM EST

I didn't say passive smoking wasn't bad for you. I said it doesn't kill. Here's proof: I'm alive having grown up with a familiy of smokers.

So passive smoking contributes to cancer. This is a different kettle of coffee, because if I get cancer after 10 years of passive smoking, then you cannot attribute it solely to passive smoking. Even if the God-like scientists say so.

I'll tell you the reason I'm skeptical about this whole passive smoking cancer stuff: After so many years of research, scientists have discovered that it's "something in the smoke" that causes cancer.

Well, big whoop. Everything in a cigarette can be breathed in naturally.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Odd form of argument (none / 0) (#264)
by Gromit on Sat Mar 01, 2003 at 05:42:52 AM EST

So passive smoking contributes to cancer.
I don't think you understand how epidemiology works. Also, you don't seem to realize that lung cancer, absent cigarette smoke, coal dust, and asbestos fibers, is an incredibly rare disease. Much more rare than, say, stomach cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer (all of which, by the way, are made more likely by smoking).
Well, big whoop. Everything in a cigarette can be breathed in naturally.
That's completely irrelevant. Tobacco is natural, burning it is fairly natural (absent the various other chemicals modern cigarettes are dosed with). But then, so is arsenic. "Natural" doesn't mean something isn't harmful, or even deadly. There are many natural things that will kill you on first dose. Other natural things, like arsenic and tobacco smoke, are not immediately fatal and yet, over time, will kill you. So we avoid them (well, most of us do). The problem is, we're allowing people who smoke to poison the rest of us, and it's just not on.

--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
Not only because someone says... (none / 0) (#248)
by burbilog on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 03:03:32 AM EST

... doesn't make it true. Passive smoking does not kill.

It does. Fucking arrogant smokers will never understand people with asthma, saying things as you do. Fuck, I stopped to use public transportation and bought a car almost only for that reason -- fucks who smoke on bus stops don't care. It's enough to have one dragon breathing that smell in tight crowd in the bus to get into the hospital. Neither car fumes nor kitchen fumes can bring asthma attack quickly.
-- If the life is just a game of D&D then the DM really sucks.
[ Parent ]

I bet ... (none / 0) (#256)
by gdanjo on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 07:44:28 PM EST

I bet they could. Try this: Burn steak, breathe fumes.

But you did the right thing. Something bothered you, so you did it another way. You are the one with the issue, so you are the one that needs to deal - either personally (ask them to stop) or externally.

And until the laws are passed, or unless someone asks me to stop, I will smoke at a bus stop. When the law passes, I'll stop. I never complained when they banned smoking in theatres, I dealt with it (have to go to eastern european countries to enjoy this particular fetish).

Similarly, I am alergic to some perfumes, but again I do not demand anything of anyone.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Yeah i'll tell you (none / 0) (#255)
by Politburo on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 07:42:53 PM EST

Or tell me to go away.

Yeah so you can tell me to fuck off and stand somewhere else? Or so you can say "What are you gonna do about it?" Or so you can say "Make me!" Or so you can say.....

Look you may be a nice guy and actually stop smoking if someone asks, but the truth of it is, many people won't do this. In any case, it makes the person asking the smoker to stop look like the one who is putting an unreasonable demand on another person, which shouldn't be the case.

[ Parent ]
So... (none / 0) (#259)
by gdanjo on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 07:47:56 PM EST

we've learned that taking two steps to the side is better then confrontation. So what's the problem?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

A few things (none / 0) (#263)
by Politburo on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 08:32:24 PM EST

One: why should I be forced to make a corrective action when I am not the one doing something "wrong"?

Yes, taking a few steps isn't much, and it really is the best action to take in most situations. But at what point do you take a stand and say one's rights as a non-smoker are just as important as one's rights as a smoker?

Two: for some people with breathing problems, a few steps may not be enough to correct the problem. What do you suggest for these people?

[ Parent ]
Indeed (none / 0) (#265)
by Gromit on Sat Mar 01, 2003 at 05:49:33 AM EST

In any case, it makes the person asking the smoker to stop look like the one who is putting an unreasonable demand on another person, which shouldn't be the case.
Indeed, it's the other way around: The smoker is the one making the unreasonable demand, that we all put up with his/her stinking up the place with carcinogenic smoke.

--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
why is it that when someone rates a comment down (3.00 / 6) (#65)
by criquet on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:13:17 PM EST

they don't leave a comment to explain the reason? for 4-5 ratings it's obvious that the people agree with the comments, but when people disagree, it'd be nice to know why.

[ Parent ]
Why is it that when someone rates a comment (4.40 / 5) (#83)
by godix on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:31:19 PM EST

that it is based on if they agree or not? I thought the point of rating was quality, not to turn articles into a prom king & queen popularity contest.


Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]
ok, regardless (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by criquet on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:46:24 PM EST

if it's quality, i'd like to know what was wrong so i can hopefully correct it in the future.

[ Parent ]
Could try capitalization (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by Gromit on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:47:09 AM EST

I didn't rate the comment, but there's a reason we use capitalization. It enhances readability. Failing to capitalize makes your life easier, and everyone else's life harder. Some may down-rate you just for that.

--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
Good point. (4.50 / 2) (#173)
by criquet on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:00:21 AM EST

It's difficult for me to remember to do that since I've been using all/mostly lowercase for so long. I just now realized that it started when I started using Graffiti on the Palm years ago. That was long before I started writing on K5 and I've rarely ever written as much as I do on K5. Short, one or two line messages/emails aren't so difficult to read uncapitalized and are more difficult to input on a Palm than all lowercase.
I do agree though. It's easier to read and I need to try harder to capitalize.
Wow! Feels like therapy. I'm overcoming an issue I've had for years and now I see the light.
Thanks.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#236)
by odaiwai on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 12:50:07 PM EST

Capital letters require that really difficult upwards stroke.  (Never mind that if you put a period in, the next letter will be capitalised anyway.)

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]

Not difficult. Simply more strokes. |nt (none / 0) (#247)
by criquet on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 11:29:20 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Sarcasm (none / 0) (#272)
by odaiwai on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 11:13:01 AM EST

Look it up.
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]
Rating is independent of responding. (4.00 / 2) (#98)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:09:30 PM EST

Some people are shy and don't like to post; some people are busy; some people use ratings to punish people they disagree with.

You'll just have to get a thicker skin or stop posting if you don't like being rated down!


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
See what I mean? [nt] (3.50 / 2) (#170)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:35:20 AM EST


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
I'm fine with being rating down. (4.00 / 1) (#176)
by criquet on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:21:31 AM EST

I already know people will disagree with me no matter what is said. All, I'm saying is that I'd like to know a little bit about why.

The reason I even live here on K5 is partly because I like to read differing views from mine. Specifically, I like seeing how people respond to my comments. They often help me keep an open mind and see alternative views. It's one of my favorite pasttimes.

[ Parent ]

Big Difference (1.66 / 3) (#38)
by Orion Blastar on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:41:36 AM EST

between a Tobbacco Pipe and a Bong.

Still smoking is bad for you, snd banning pipes will just get people to make them out of wood and other stuff, and drive the pipe factories underground.

I wonder if Ashcroft's next step would be to ban T-Shirts, bumper stickers, and other stuff that promotes drugs? Goodbye Zig Zag guy. :)

Editorial Note: I don't use drugs, so I am speaking hypothetically about them.
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***

What is the big diffrence? (4.00 / 2) (#41)
by FuriousXGeorge on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:10:02 PM EST

They seem like pretty much the same thing to me.

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

Why, that's easy... (4.00 / 3) (#61)
by jt on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:05:03 PM EST

One gets you up to 3 years in jail, the other doesn't.

[ Parent ]
The difference (1.00 / 1) (#154)
by Souhait on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:45:14 AM EST

One has marijuana residue, the other does not.  And after a bit of scrubbing with the proper cleaner, there is no testable difference.

[ Parent ]
Concerning Bashing Ashcroft (4.65 / 29) (#42)
by stoothman on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:16:36 PM EST

Why should we not be overly critical of our esteemed Attorney General?

This man, with the backing of the Bush administration and other thugs from the right, has done more to eviscerate civil liberties and the protection of the law than any other person in United States history.  The current US DOJ, under his leadership,  is a snake pit of vipers content to kowtow to corporate interests and those interests which would prefer this country to be a police state.  And while the UD DOJ is the nation's law enforcement, it seems to have forgotten that it is also supposed to protect the people of the country not just make criminals out of all of them.

That the US DOJ would dare to use RICO, if this is indeed the case, against these small businesses and not against a truly criminal enterprise like Enron is unconscionable.  In the Enron case, there is clear evidence of criminal conspiracy, but so far no one involved has had their assets confiscated.  To me this seems the tactics of a bully at best and at worst a clear example corporate corruption at the highest levels of government since many of the Enron principals were close personal friends of many members of the Bush administration.  Add to this the surrender in the Microsoft anti-trust case and various other corporate case, maybe there is something to this pattern of corruption idea.

This is also the same US DOJ, which has done everything in its power to take away individual rights, liberties and protections.   From the Patriot Act to 'unlawful combatants' to the upcoming Patriot Act "Part Duex", citizens of the US have lost or are in danger of losing most of the basic protections of the Bill of Rights.  Add to this the constant barrage of personal attacks on anyone who dares to speak out against this travesty, as being unpatriotic or not supporting home land security or worse still supporting worldwide terrorism, it is a wonder US citizens have any rights left at all.

Since these are just the constitutional crimes that we as citizens know about,  it is only appropriate that every time our esteemed Attorney General crosses another line that it is widely reported and widely criticized.  Our only hope to protect ourselves as citizens is to make Ashcroft such a political liability to the Bush administration, they have no choice but to cut him loose and back pedal from these corporate police state policies.  Only then will citizens of the US once again be able to rest easy in their beds knowing that the FBI are not going to rouse them from their sleep in the middle of the night, because they bought a pound of fertilizer for their yard and few gallons of gas for their lawnmower.  And maybe then the US DOJ will return to its true task of protecting this country from enemies foreign and domestic, including those in government and in the corporate boardrooms.


Trolling, trolling at Kuro5hin
For many a blustery remark
Is made for me to grin

Well, maybe Lincoln (4.66 / 3) (#44)
by Vygramul on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:27:29 PM EST

Wasn't it Lincoln who suspended the writ of habeus corpus? I don't think Ashcroft has done that YET.


If Brute Force isn't working, you're not using enough.
[ Parent ]

True (3.75 / 4) (#47)
by stoothman on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:42:06 PM EST

However, Lincoln had every intention of returning this civil liberty once the civil war was over.  I have no faith that Ashcroft has any such intention.  Especially in light of the question, how exactly do you decide the war on terrorism is over?  Also Lincoln nevermade the full scale assault on the Bill of Rights that Ashcroft has made.

Trolling, trolling at Kuro5hin
For many a blustery remark
Is made for me to grin
[ Parent ]
Ashcroft this, Ashcroft that... (4.00 / 3) (#151)
by pschap on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:24:58 AM EST

...its irritating to listen to.  What everyone fails to emphasize is that this is official policy of the federal government which is determined essentially by Bush and/or his inner circle.  Ashcroft, although an important cabinet member, is not really part of that inner circle (or at least that's the impression I got from the media, which could be wrong).

I am beginning to suspect that Ashcroft was chosen for this position specifically because he was such an unelectable arch-conservative (he lost to a dead man) and therefore could act as a lightening rod.  So far it seems to be working, since most of the complaints about civil liberties seem to focus in on him as a man rather than the real leadership of the federal government.

It has been pointed out before that many of the positions that Ashcroft has taken as AG(particularly with respect to surveillance of religious groups) have directly contradicted his position as a senator.  Some people would argue that this because he was hiding his true colors, I think it makes more sense that he is just a puppet.

--
"In 1991, we had almost nothing. We'd only begun building cocks. After just 10 years, we have a very robust, active cock."

[ Parent ]

Albatross Puppet (3.00 / 2) (#184)
by stoothman on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:39:31 AM EST

I agree Ashcroft probably is a puppet for the Bush administration.  But the strategy I see is to hang all of these policies around his neck.  That way when he is thoroughly discredited, these policies also get discredited.

This will accomplish two things.  First, it will make it politically untenable to continue these policies.  By hanging the policies around Ashcroft's neck the Bush administration either has to admit the policies were the product of the administration or they were the policies of a lone out of control Attorney General.  Because I do not believe the Bush administration will admit to the policies, they will have no choice but to back pedal.  And if they would admit to the policies, the weight of public displeasure will leave this administration very little chance in the next elections.  Secondly, if they do cut him loose, it is likely the public uproar would lead to a better appointment for Attorney General.


Trolling, trolling at Kuro5hin
For many a blustery remark
Is made for me to grin
[ Parent ]

Rights are always suspened while at war. (4.16 / 6) (#67)
by christonabike on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:37:58 PM EST

As fun as it is to pretend that our founding fathers are rolling in their collective graves over the erosion of civil rights, the struggle to maintain even the most fundamental of them enumerated by the Bill of Rights is constant. John Adams was more than willing to suspend free speech with the Sedition Acts in 1798. Similarly, Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus in 1861 and 1862. Consider as well the Espionage Acts during WWI. The list goes on. Our rights are only complete during times of peace and not even then.

[ Parent ]
It is a constant struggle (3.66 / 3) (#70)
by stoothman on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:49:49 PM EST

It is a constant struggle to maintain our rights, doubly so when you have a person in a position of trust more than willing to sell them off.  My point is it does not mean we make it easier for them to do it by not speaking up.  Further, if by removing a single person from the administration would make the defense of these rights, I am all for it.  I think the only way this can be accomplished is to make the Attorney General the albatross around the Bush Administration.

Trolling, trolling at Kuro5hin
For many a blustery remark
Is made for me to grin
[ Parent ]
Here's the problem: (3.87 / 8) (#87)
by Actifish on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:04:55 PM EST

The media has now conviced the American public that we ARE at war.

Everyone seems to agree that terrorists are trying to destroy our way of life, when in fact the largest threat to our way of life is the Bush administration.
--
Vivez sans temps mort!
[ Parent ]

Temporary, though (none / 0) (#243)
by baron samedi on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 07:40:44 PM EST

The difference is that all those items you mentioned were temporary. There's no sunset provision on the PATRIOT Act, for instance, but habeus corpus was resumed once the Civil War ended.

We are *not* at war. Congress declares war. It has not done so, therefore, we are not at war.

I realize that the 'War on Terror' is a convienient capsule to describe the effort (or non-effort as the case may be) to combat international terrorism. Which is something I thought we've been doing all along...

While we're on the subject, perhaps someone from Northern Ireland could tell us about the Diplock Courts....
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

Unless they're 'suspected of terrorism' (4.25 / 4) (#86)
by pyro9 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:04:44 PM EST

I wonder if habeus corpus applies to the prisoners in Cuba?


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
they are not citizens, POWs, or in America /nt (3.33 / 3) (#115)
by adequate nathan on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 09:42:04 PM EST

en tea
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Doesn't matter (3.50 / 4) (#122)
by pyro9 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 10:46:12 PM EST

Habeus corpus is supposed to apply to ANYBODY in in the 'care' of American justice, not just citizens. They are being held on American soil. POW status has no bearing on Habeus corpus, but would invoke the Geneva Convention. No amount of hair splitting and sophistry will change the fact that they are being held illegally.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Unlawful Combatants (3.00 / 2) (#132)
by stoothman on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:44:55 PM EST

They are being classified as unlawful combatants, what ever the hell that is.  If I recall correctly it is some sort definition made up by the Bush administration to get around the requirements of the Geneva Convention, as the term is never mentioned in that document.  Which means in the end that you are exactly right in the statement that these people are being held illegally under American law and in violation of our international treaty obligations.  Oh but how quickly I forget, Bush does not believe in our international treaty obligations.

Trolling, trolling at Kuro5hin
For many a blustery remark
Is made for me to grin
[ Parent ]
Just out of curiosity... (none / 0) (#273)
by Vygramul on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 11:38:23 AM EST

...do we know how many German POW's during WWII were given access to lawyers before the war was over?

Actually, I'd be interested in any such statistics dealing with POW's of any conflict where the prisoners were worthy of the label POW.

I honestly don't understand why, if we accept these people as POW's, that we expect they receive legal representation. To my knowledge, no country, at no time, ever did that. POW's are the responsibility of the owning government to get back. Mind you, not the government of which they are citizens, but the government for whom they fought.


If Brute Force isn't working, you're not using enough.
[ Parent ]

Worthless argument. (2.00 / 17) (#63)
by AnomymousCoward on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:08:21 PM EST

The people were attempting to side-step a law in order to sell illegal materials. The fact that a majority of the voters of this site obviously use these illegal materials does not justify their use.

Smoking pot is illegal in the United States. Selling bongs, which are 90% of the time used solely for smoking pot (I'll accept that some people smoke legal substances in them, but most do not) is also illegal. Ashcroft has a responsibility to shut these people down.

Look past your collective addictions. There are laws in place. Ashcroft has a responsibility to uphold those laws.

That said: go ahead and zero my comment, I don't really care.

Vobbo.com: video blogs made easy: point click smile
[ Parent ]

Its the application not the law (3.66 / 6) (#69)
by stoothman on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:44:40 PM EST

As I said in my comment, it is not the law I am talking about, it is the inequality of application.  In my opinion inequitable application of the law is worse than anarchy.  At least with anarchy, you know there are no rules.  With this type of now you see it, now you don't enforcement, you can never be sure where you stand with regard to the law.

Trolling, trolling at Kuro5hin
For many a blustery remark
Is made for me to grin
[ Parent ]
question? (3.50 / 2) (#92)
by mister slim on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:47:46 PM EST

what "collective addictions" are you refering to?
__

"Fucking sheep, the lot of you. Yeah, and your little dogs too." -Rogerborg
[ Parent ]

State enforcement? (3.75 / 4) (#105)
by HongPong on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:35:40 PM EST

Well if it's so illegal and so worth the government's time, why don't state governments, in general, give a damn about headshops and their pipes? Because they have better things to do and are more responsible to the people. Most of these Justice/DEA lash-out incidents happen over the head of local and state police, who roll their eyes at the continuing insistence of the Fed to make a battle of something it lost a long time ago. The real cops even here in the U.S. have to chase coke meth and e. Who cares about joints anymore?

There are plenty of headshops here in MN with *gasp* pipes labelled 'for tobacco only' and wow, the state law enforcement watches them, but isn't out to get them. It's called prioritized law enforcement.
--
hongpong.com-- Sublime agitation
[ Parent ]

Yes, and.. (none / 0) (#254)
by Politburo on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 07:16:47 PM EST

The states also have the foresight to see that they can let head shops go, take 6% (in my state) on each purchase, as well as other associated property and income taxes, and every one is happy. It's just not worth the cost to investigate and house these "criminals" when, even though they are (according to some readers of statutes) "breaking the law", they're still providing income to the government, unlike other law breakers, who are both not providing income to the government as well as injuring innocent civilians.

[ Parent ]
Issue with your paraphernalia statement (3.00 / 2) (#204)
by broter on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:21:02 PM EST

You may note that I rated you a 1. This is bacuse the crux of your argument (from what I see) is that a majority of the population use and item (eg. a bong) for illegal purposes, and therefore the item should be banned. Note only do I doubt the validity of your number, I doubt your logic.

It should be noted that bongs and other paraphernalia, in and of themselves are harmless. Without modification, they can be used for legal purposes. Also, they can be manufactured by simple means by just about everyone with a bit of creativity.

Nowhere in law is the sale of these devices for non-illicit purposes banned. So, regardless of use, the only sellers that can be ligitimately targetted are those who explicitly target the drug consumers.

Ashcroft is not upholding a law that covers the sellers of "paraphernalia", but rather extending a law to target the implied consumer. I don't feel that you've supported your argument.

[ Parent ]

Constitution, schmonstitution. People don't care. (3.66 / 6) (#121)
by revscat on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 10:34:09 PM EST

Since these are just the constitutional crimes that we as citizens know about, it is only appropriate that every time our esteemed Attorney General crosses another line that it is widely reported and widely criticized.

So fucking what? The media ignores it, the masses applaud it, and the ACLU gets ridiculed. You think that (a) bitching about it will change anything, or (b) Bush won't get reelected in 2004 no matter what?

Our only hope to protect ourselves as citizens is to make Ashcroft such a political liability to the Bush administration, they have no choice but to cut him loose and back pedal from these corporate police state policies.

Mmmmhmm. Pres. Bush has a 97% approval rating among evangelical Christians, largely due to appointments like Ashcroft's. These people actually get out and vote. What do we have on the opposing side? Wishy-washy Democrats without a coherent foreign policy with no street cred when it comes to national security or law enforcement. I mean fuck man, Dick Gephardt is running for president. Dick Gephardt! Oh, but maybe the People will see the light and realize that Al Sharpton would make a do-diddly GREAT Pres!

Ashcroft is going to be here for a while. I suggest you get used to it. The people who would actually vote against his party are at home jacking off on their X-Boxes, too distracted to notice or care.



- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
Exactly the problem (3.66 / 3) (#131)
by stoothman on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:37:36 PM EST

I absolutely agree that Bush has the backing of fundamentalist christians and
 other right wing fringe groups as well.  And you are correct they do vote.  But
so do I.  I also agree with you, by and large the field of potential
democratic contenders is pretty barren.  In fact, it is hard to tell the
democrats from the republicans without big name tags on their chest stating
party affiliation.

However beyond that you are completely off base.  I believe a constant barrage
of criticism centered around Mr. Ashcroft will indeed produce results.
Secondly, Bush's poll numbers with the rest of the voting public, are much
weaker than that somewhere in the mid sixties if I remember correctly.  This
does not bode well for a second term.  So to both your question the answer is
yes.  Yes, making Ashcroft the albatross of the Bush administration will make as
difference and yes it is highly likely at this point that Mr. Bush will not have
a second term.

So no I do not have to get used to Mr. Ashcroft and his corporate police state.
To both I emphatically say, "You must go!"

Trolling, trolling at Kuro5hin
For many a blustery remark
Is made for me to grin
[ Parent ]

People like strongarmed tactics (3.33 / 3) (#137)
by revscat on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:10:29 AM EST

The only disagreement I have with you is in your judgement of the body politic. I have come to believe that most post-9/11 voters fundamentally want to be safe, or at least have the impression of safety. If some lefty comes in screaming about Constitutional rights people are going to just turn their heads. The Constituiton is soooo 1969.

I mean, we're at war, right? And aren't we supposed to give up just the teensiest bit of our rights during wartime? Of course we are. And like good little sheep, people (and the Congress, mind you) are blithely going along. Christ, man, I can't tell you the number of times I've heard those very memes expressed on talk radio over the past few months.

I am very cynical that Bush will lose in 2004, unless something very unforseen and unfortunate happens in Iraq. Here's what I see happening: We got to war sometime in March ("weeks not months", remember), we win in +/- 6 months. We - or better yet, Britain - find scads of scuds filled with scabies. "See! The president was right!" the pundits will say, and Bush's approval rating will go upwards, the economy be damned.

I also firmly believe that it is the greatest foolishness to make predictions.



- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 0) (#253)
by Politburo on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 06:59:38 PM EST

Recent polls show that less than 50% would definetely vote for Bush if the election was today. If you take all the undecideds and put them for Bush, then he would have more than 50%. But to say that Bush's reelection is guaranteed with an economy going into the shitter (just like daddy!) isn't correct.

[ Parent ]
McCarthy (none / 0) (#213)
by driftingwalrus on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:24:36 PM EST

Let us not forget the good Senator McCarthy, and the House Comittee on Un-American Affairs.  
"I drank WHAT?!" -- Socrates
[ Parent ]
What I found bad. (4.25 / 4) (#43)
by /dev/trash on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:26:31 PM EST

They were calling mini scales as being illegal.  I see this whole case going right to the Supreme Court.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
and they busted people for selling drug tests... (3.50 / 2) (#46)
by jester69 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:40:57 PM EST

What the heck?

you can buy those at walgreens or any number of online retailers.

This website, drugfreeteeens.com sells a drug screening test. This same test is sold at Walgreens. Both of these establishments continue in business, selling their illegal paraphernalia, unchecked. When will Ashcroft give them their due?

I can find no logically sound, legally based reason why one business was prosecuted and the other not. If you can justify this disparity please let us know.

take care,

Jester
Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
[ Parent ]

bad link, should be drugfreeteenagers.com (none / 0) (#48)
by jester69 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:43:36 PM EST

Like this.
Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
[ Parent ]
Two Sets of Two words (4.50 / 2) (#49)
by stoothman on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:50:16 PM EST

Campaign Contributions or Political Support

These two make all the difference.

Trolling, trolling at Kuro5hin
For many a blustery remark
Is made for me to grin
[ Parent ]

Is logically sound, but not legally based (4.50 / 2) (#52)
by jester69 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:58:03 PM EST

It is indeed logical that politicians should decide who to throw in jail based on wether the person in question is a supporter or detractor.

I certainly hope that isn't a valid legal argument in this day and age.

If it is already legal to have political prisoners in the US, i missed something pretty big. (well, i guess it is legal as long as you don't identify them as such. See the whole flap over medical marijuana in northern cali.)

take care,

Jester
Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
[ Parent ]

Context. (3.50 / 4) (#161)
by Demiurge on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:58:50 AM EST

If you had bothered to read the law that Ashcroft was enforcing, you'll notice that it directs the enforcers to consider a number of factors, including where the item was sold. You can hardly play dumb and pretend you honestly think there's no difference between a store where half of the merchandise is made of hemp, and a Walmart.

[ Parent ]
God forbid someone owns hemp (3.00 / 2) (#203)
by rantweasel on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:07:50 PM EST

Doesn't that sounds like it violates the First Amendment freedom of association clause?  If you own drug tests, you can't associate with people who own hemp trousers?

mathias

[ Parent ]

If they take away our bongs, (4.25 / 12) (#50)
by it certainly is on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:55:54 PM EST

only criminals will be too stoned to care.

Or something like that.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

Trend? (4.14 / 7) (#56)
by thekubrix on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 01:23:16 PM EST

Anyone else notice a new trend against marijuana? First those infamous laws in Nevada get shot down HARD (of course only after a very intensive campaign from the "czar"). Then, has anyone noticed a campaign of television commercials against pot within the last few months? You must have seen them, most of them are about driving under the influence (because obviously drunk driving is now oficially over, lets concentrate hard on those godamn pot smokers!).
And now this, "paraphanelia" stores. Doesn't seem like the move towards drug reform is advancing much.

Sucks. Why do I have to live my life the way conservatives want? Wasn't the whole fucken purpose of why America was created? Or was Ms. Gotcher, my 3rd grade teacher all wrong?!

no, it wasn't (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by godix on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:26:38 PM EST

"Wasn't the whole fucken purpose of why America was created?"

I must have overlooked it, where exactly in the consitution does it guarentee the right to get high and whine if someone is caught violating the law?


Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]

On rights, privileges, and the Ninth Amendment (4.83 / 6) (#144)
by kcbrown on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:42:22 AM EST

I must have overlooked it, where exactly in the consitution does it guarentee the right to get high and whine if someone is caught violating the law?
Possibly here:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
-- Ninth Amendment, U.S. Constitution
If you believe that the only rights you're entitled to (or should be entitled to) are explicitly enumerated in the Constitution, then you are probably a lost soul, and possibly someone who believes that by default something must be denied the people unless explicitly granted by the government.

The way I see it, there are two important questions that need to be asked about any activity:

  1. Is it something that someone should be or is able to do even if there is disagreement over it?

  2. Is it something that should or does require permission of a governing entity before someone may do it?
Anything for which the answer to the first question is "yes" is a right. Anything for which the answer to the second question is "yes" is a privilege. Anything for which the answer to both is "no" is somewhere in between.

I assert that the default should be a "yes" answer to the first. My assertion is based on the following reasoning:

  1. Happiness is the most important thing to value. Many other things of import (life, for instance) automatically follow from happiness (one cannot be happy if one is dead, for instance). The value of happiness is instinctive and perhaps even tautological.

  2. Observation and experience show that the people who are the happiest are the people who have the greatest amount of freedom to do what they wish. Conversely, those who are the unhappiest are those who are most restricted.

  3. Therefore, maximization of freedom is a requirement (if not the requirement) for maximization of happiness.

  4. Therefore, the best purpose of government is to act as a mediator when individual freedoms conflict with each other.

  5. Additionally, maximization of freedom demands that everything be treated as a right (i.e., an answer of "yes" to that first question) unless there is compelling evidence that doing otherwise will result in greater overall happiness.
The founders of the U.S. constantly talk about the importance of freedom and the importance that the government protect it. They were highly distrustful of the power of government and deliberately designed the Constitution so that the government under it would have only the power explicitly granted to it by the Constitution, and that any other power would be held by the states or the people (see the Tenth Amendment for this). It was understood that the states would each have a constitution that was similar to that of the U.S. government, and thus that the freedoms of the people would be as great as possible.

To assert, then, that one does not have a right to do something unless the Constitution explicitly mentions it is to not only ignore the entire purpose of the Ninth Amendment but also to ignore the fundamental principles upon which the U.S. was founded as well as what is arguably the most important role of government: maximizing the freedom of the people.

[ Parent ]

You are an idealist (2.33 / 3) (#155)
by godix on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:55:41 AM EST

Looking at your past comments you an idealist and tend to see the world in black and white. This isn't a bad thing, I don't mean it as an insult, just that the idealist point of view and the realist point of view often differ. I don't feel that the only rights I'm entitled to are listed in the Constitution, however I do feel that when the rights that are enumerated in the Constitution are regularly being violated (specifically any of the first eight ammendments except the third) that it's really reaching to try and say drug use should be legal under the 'catch all' 9th and 10th ammendment.

The entire states right/federal rights arguement is more complicated than you've presented. Some founding fathers felt as you thought, some didn't. This arguement was second only to slavery in political problems created while founding the country. The arguement were finally settled, with federal winning, when the north won the civil war. If you're going to rely on a long ago decided issue to defend your POV, you might want to consider siding with the winner of that arguement.



Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]

Views of the world and of the U.S. government (5.00 / 4) (#175)
by kcbrown on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:16:55 AM EST

Looking at your past comments you an idealist and tend to see the world in black and white.
Don't confuse how I see the world with how I believe the world should be. You're referring to the latter when you speak of my idealism. My views of how the world is are much different from how I believe it should be. Check out some of the other things I've written (particularly on the amount of control corporations exert over the U.S. government today) to get an idea of how I view the world as it is. You'll find that I have a very cynical view of the world, and that I am a realist when it comes to my views of how the world is.
I don't feel that the only rights I'm entitled to are listed in the Constitution, however I do feel that when the rights that are enumerated in the Constitution are regularly being violated (specifically any of the first eight ammendments except the third) that it's really reaching to try and say drug use should be legal under the 'catch all' 9th and 10th ammendment.
Just because certain rights are under attack doesn't mean that others shouldn't exist! Indeed, to sacrifice the notion that other (perhaps less important) rights should exist in order to fight against the usurpation of enumerated rights is to lose the fight altogether. One may have the strength to fight only for enumerated rights, but it's not necessary to sacrifice the belief in other rights to do so.
If you're going to rely on a long ago decided issue to defend your POV, you might want to consider siding with the winner of that arguement.
Oh, come now. The side that wins a military conflict is not always in the right, nor is it always the side that the original founders would support if they were around. There may have been some disagreement amongst the founders over certain issues, but the fact remains that the Constitution was designed to explicitly enumerate the powers of the federal government. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments wouldn't be there otherwise. One simply does not go to the trouble to declare that the powers of the federal government are only those explicitly enumerated, much less do so in the very document which is the root of federal power, unless one has a very deep distrust of federal power. That the Civil War was won by those who do not share that distrust makes that distrust no less valid. In fact, the attacks on our enumerated rights (that you yourself recognize!) by the federal government today are a direct result of the fact that the victors in the Civil War did not share that distrust, and are compelling evidence that the original founders were very much in the right to distrust federal power.

[ Parent ]
more reality vs ideals (none / 0) (#210)
by godix on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 06:17:49 PM EST

Just because certain rights are under attack doesn't mean that others shouldn't exist!

I never said that. What I did say is that drug use is not the reason America was founded. It is, at best, something that can be defended on the catch all catagories of the consitution.

the Constitution was designed to explicitly enumerate the powers of the federal government.

I agree with you. The Supreme Court has shown over the last couple decades that they don't agree with you. We lose. Crying about what the country SHOULD be like won't help in the slightest. This goes back to that 'reality vs idealism' thing.

the attacks on our enumerated rights (that you yourself recognize!) by the federal government today are a direct result of the fact that the victors in the Civil War did not share that distrust

The Civil War was where the federal government gained the upper hand. Civil rights didn't start getting destroyed as a daily routing until after WWII. These are two seperate, but related, issues. Lincoln is to blame for the fact the government CAN violate our rights. McCarthy, LBJ, black rights activest, Nixon, NOW, Reagan, Bush, etc. are to blame for the fact the government DOES violate our rights. I always found it ironic that some of the largest attacks on civil rights come from the left, the very group that is trying to tear Ashcroft to shreads over civil rights.


Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]

catch-all? (none / 0) (#232)
by Greyshade on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 05:59:15 AM EST

What I did say is that drug use is not the reason America was founded. It is, at best, something that can be defended on the catch all catagories of the consitution.

I was under the impression that America was founded to be a land free from persecution of individual lifestyle choices by government. Perhaps drug use was not explicitly stated, but America was founded on the priciple that I should be free to do as I please as long as I am not endangering others.

As for drug use falling into one of those 'catch all categories' you dismiss in an off-handed manner; are you suggesting that any liberty not explicitly listed is somehow a lesser freedom that we should not mind having restricted or losing entirely? We are not specifically given the right to choose our own clothes in the constitution. Nor is our right to freedom of food choice or choice of mate given, if I recall correctly. How many individual choices can you give up and still have a claim to personal freedom?

[ Parent ]

Not really (none / 0) (#252)
by godix on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 06:14:28 PM EST

America was founded on the priciple that I should be free to do as I please as long as I am not endangering others.

Tell that to those who practice polygamy. Or 'witchcraft'. Or protitution. Or escaped slaves. Or any one of a dozen other things I could list that were illegal when the Constitution was written. America hasn't suddenly transformed from a bastion of freedom into 'A Brave New World', we have NEVER been either. I happen to agree with the basic idea you covered, it's the claim that our forefathers also agreed with it that I object to.


Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]

Read up on the Constitution (4.50 / 2) (#226)
by knobmaker on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 01:06:47 AM EST

I don't feel that the only rights I'm entitled to are listed in the Constitution,

You clearly do not understand the purpose of the Constitution, at all. The Bill of Rights is an addendum, added over the objections of many of the Founding Fathers, who felt it was unnecessary to explicitly describe individual rights, on the theory that doing so would encourage the government to deny rights that were unintentionally left out of these enumerated rights.

They were right, as it turns out.

But the purpose of the Constitution is not to let Americans know what they may expect in the way of rights. Its purpose is to limit the power of government to certain specific and narrowly defined areas. If you don't know this, you have a completely erroneous view of our most important legal document.

The question is not whether drug use should be legal under any Amendment. The question is whether the Constitution permits the federal government to make drug use illegal. Most Constitutional scholars will tell you that it does not, if they have no moral ax to grind. The entire edifice of federal drug prohibition is based on a convoluted and twisted interpretation of the interstate commerce clause, which the Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate. Leaving aside the problem of "regulation" being the polar opposite of "prohibition," why should Congress be allowed to meddle in the affairs of the states concerning products which are produced and consumed within the states? For example, a man named Ed Rosenthal was just convicted in federal court of marijuana trafficking, because he grew medical pot for the city of Oakland, at their request, for patients living in Oakland. How does interstate commerce enter into this?

Finally, answer me this, if you wish to base your argument on historical precedents: Why was a Constitutional Amendment required to prohibit alcohol nationally, but not required to prohibit other drugs? In what way has the Constitution changed?

[ Parent ]

thought process (1.00 / 1) (#90)
by Jazu on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:29:21 PM EST

I think the DEA decided that the word had gotten around that pot wasn't really that dangerous, and thay'd better do something about that. Hence, the "drugs = terrorism" ads target the drug least likely to support terrorism.

[ Parent ]
The proposition in Nevada.... (none / 0) (#249)
by FourDegreez on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 12:26:53 PM EST

....was way too ambitious. That's why it was shot down. The libertarians in that state went straight for the main course when they should have started with an appetizer.

[ Parent ]
This is the internet y'all (4.11 / 18) (#59)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 01:44:12 PM EST

How about looking things up as opposed to prattling on based upon assumptions. It took me all of 3 minutes to find a copy of the laws under which these seizures occured. The relevant law is 21 U.S.C. Sections 846, 853 and 863 and I'll reproduce section 863 which concerns paraphenalia (843 is very general and 846 deals with seizures):

CITE      21 USC Sec. 863                                              01/26/98
EXPCITE   TITLE 21 - FOOD AND DRUGS
          CHAPTER 13 - DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL
          SUBCHAPTER I - CONTROL AND ENFORCEMENT
          Part D - Offenses and Penalties
TEXT      Sec. 863. Drug paraphernalia
          (a) In general
            It is unlawful for any person -
              (1) to sell or offer for sale drug paraphernalia;
              (2) to use the mails or any other facility of interstate
            commerce to transport drug paraphernalia; or
              (3) to import or export drug paraphernalia.
          (b) Penalties
            Anyone convicted of an offense under subsection (a) of this
          section shall be imprisoned for not more than three years and fined
          under title 18.
          (c) Seizure and forfeiture
            Any drug paraphernalia involved in any violation of subsection
          (a) of this section shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture upon
          the conviction of a person for such violation.  Any such
          paraphernalia shall be delivered to the Administrator of General
          Services, General Services Administration, who may order such
          paraphernalia destroyed or may authorize its use for law
          enforcement or educational purposes by Federal, State, or local
          authorities.
          (d) ''Drug paraphernalia'' defined
            The term ''drug paraphernalia'' means any equipment, product, or
          material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for
          use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing,
          producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling,
          or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled
          substance, possession of which is unlawful under this subchapter.
          It includes items primarily intended or designed for use in
          ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, (FOOTNOTE
          1) cocaine, hashish, hashish oil, PCP, or amphetamines into the
          human body, such as -
             (FOOTNOTE 1) So in original.  Probably should be ''marihuana,''.
              (1) metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic
            pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads,
            or punctured metal bowls;
              (2) water pipes;
              (3) carburetion tubes and devices;
              (4) smoking and carburetion masks;
              (5) roach clips: meaning objects used to hold burning material,
            such as a marihuana cigarette, that has become too small or too
            short to be held in the hand;
              (6) miniature spoons with level capacities of one-tenth cubic
            centimeter or less;
              (7) chamber pipes;
              (8) carburetor pipes;
              (9) electric pipes;
              (10) air-driven pipes;
              (11) chillums;
              (12) bongs;
              (13) ice pipes or chillers;
              (14) wired cigarette papers; or
              (15) cocaine freebase kits.
          (e) Matters considered in determination of what constitutes drug
              paraphernalia
            In determining whether an item constitutes drug paraphernalia, in
          addition to all other logically relevant factors, the following may
          be considered:
              (1) instructions, oral or written, provided with the item
            concerning its use;
              (2) descriptive materials accompanying the item which explain
            or depict its use;
              (3) national and local advertising concerning its use;
              (4) the manner in which the item is displayed for sale;
              (5) whether the owner, or anyone in control of the item, is a
            legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community,
            such as a licensed distributor or dealer of tobacco products;
              (6) direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of
            the item(s) to the total sales of the business enterprise;
              (7) the existence and scope of legitimate uses of the item in
            the community; and
              (8) expert testimony concerning its use.
          (f) Exemptions
            This section shall not apply to -
              (1) any person authorized by local, State, or Federal law to
            manufacture, possess, or distribute such items; or
              (2) any item that, in the normal lawful course of business, is
            imported, exported, transported, or sold through the mail or by
            any other means, and traditionally intended for use with tobacco
            products, including any pipe, paper, or accessory.
SOURCE    (Pub. L. 91-513, title II, Sec. 422(a), as added Pub. L. 101-647,
          title XXIV, Sec. 2401(a), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4858; Pub. L.
          91-513, title II, Sec. 422(b)-(f), formerly Pub. L. 99-570, title
          I, Sec. 1822(b)-(f), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207-51, amended Pub.
          L. 100-690, title VI, Sec. 6485, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4384;
          renumbered Sec. 422(b)-(f) of Pub. L. 91-513; amended Pub. L.
          101-647, title XXIV, Sec. 2401(b), (c), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat.
          4859.)
NOTES                                 CODIFICATION
            Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 2401(b), transferred section 1822(b) to (f)
          of Pub. L. 99-570, which was classified to section 857 of this
          title, to subsecs. (b) to (f) of this section.
                                       AMENDMENTS
            1990 - Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 2401(c)(1), substituted
          ''fined under title 18'' for ''fined not more than $100,000''.
            Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 2401(b), redesignated subsec. (b) of
          section 857 of this title as subsec. (b) of this section.
            Subsecs. (c) to (e). Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 2401(b), redesignated
          subsecs. (c) to (e) of section 857 of this title as subsecs. (c) to
          (e) of this section.
            Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 2401(c)(2), made technical
          amendment to reference to ''This section'' to correct reference to
          corresponding provision of original act.
            Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 2401(b), redesignated subsec. (f) of
          section 857 of this title as subsec. (f) of this section.
            1988 - Subsec. (d) (formerly Sec. 857(d)). Pub. L. 100-690, Sec.
          6485(1), substituted '', possession of which is unlawful under the
          Controlled Substances Act'' for ''in violation of the Controlled
          Substances Act''. See 1990 Amendment note above.
            Subsec. (f)(2) (formerly Sec. 857(f)(2)). Pub. L. 100-690, Sec.
          6485(2), substituted ''traditionally'' for ''primarily'' before
          ''intended for use with''.  See 1990 Amendment note above.
SECREF                   SECTION REFERRED TO IN OTHER SECTIONS
            This section is referred to in section 881 of this title; title
          18 sections 1956, 3663.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


What gives nicebear? (3.40 / 5) (#68)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 03:40:53 PM EST

Why the one? How could my comment have been any more relevant or informative in this conversation? The article charges the AG with making up law, but clearly this is not so. It is a really stupid law (and potentially unconstitutionally vague), but why would giving out the facts provoke your ire?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Reason (3.44 / 9) (#79)
by godix on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:23:49 PM EST

You dared to post something that could be taken to mean you don't think Ashcroft is a nazi who is almost orgasmic at the very thought of destroying every Americans right to do things that are illegal. Therefore some think you deserved that 1. Welcome to culture from the trenches, leave you brain and facts at the door.


Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]
Actually... (4.40 / 5) (#118)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 10:17:39 PM EST

...I've been around here long enough to not have been surprised, but I was in the mood to call him on it.

The funny thing is I'm no doubt regarded as one of the arch conservatives round these parts (that is if I've ever said anything notable enough that someone has taken notice of my account name) and yet I'm usually considered pretty liberal in the real world. I just can't stand stupid arguments, so I end playing devil's advocate a lot.

Jeez. I do think Ashcroft is one of the greatest threats to civil liberty and I strongly support gay marriage rights, healthcare reform that ensures universal coverage, stiffening up criminal penalties for white collar crimes of all sorts, ditching drug laws entirely, and overhauling the criminal justice system from top to bottom with a strong emphasis on reform not punishment. What the hell does a guy gotta do to prove his liberal cred? Run off at the mouth in an incoherent fashion calling everyone who thinks differently a nazi?

Hell, I've not only read Marx, I actually think he's a very significant social theorist and encourage other people to read his works. I like Marxists, I just think they belong in universities and not in charge of the economy.  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Sometimes... (2.00 / 3) (#127)
by SvnLyrBrto on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:27:40 PM EST

> I end playing devil's advocate a lot.

Sometimes, the devil doesn't deserve an advocate.

Personally, I wouldn't have 1'd your comment, as it is actually informative.  But I wouldn't have gone over a 2, or 3 if I was feeling charitable.  Ashcroft deserves no defence or advocate.  And I cannot summon anything other than contempt for the effort.

BTW, that which is "the law" does not always (perhaps even not often) equate with that which is RIGHT.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Hmmm (4.33 / 3) (#136)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:06:18 AM EST

Sometimes, the devil doesn't deserve an advocate.

I can see your point, but don't basic facts matter in debates such as this? I've called Ashcroft a moronic bigot on more than one occasion, but the author of the article was just plain incorrect in his assumption that this is an example of the AG creating new law. Hell, he's not even advancing a tenuous interpretation of the law. If you want to blame someone, blame congress as they're the ones who passed this stupid law.

I understand that actually investigating the issue and forming an intelligent positition, one which takes into account the considerable complexities of the law and the current political atmosphere, isn't as emotionally satisfying as just bashing Ashcroft, but effective advocacy must be informed and realistic, not just self righteous.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Quite frankly... (3.00 / 2) (#139)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:23:01 AM EST

I don't CARE what "the law" says. I do not hold it to be an object of worship.

Should I even START listing various actions of states and individuals that were in accordance with the laws of the time and place, but were nontheless horribly wrong?

Wrongful, immoral, authoritarian and unjust behavior is wrongful, immoral, authoritarian and unjust; even if it IS codified into "the law". And no... "I was just following "the law" (or orders)", does NOT excuse that behavior.

Even if ashcroft and his minions *were* deserving of ANY defence. ""The law" says so", would NOT be a legitimate one.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Hmmm... redux (3.00 / 2) (#148)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:04:55 AM EST

I don't CARE what "the law" says.

In that case you can:

  • pick up your gun and start the revolution
  • pack your bags and leave
  • accept your irrelevance and continue railing against the injustice of it all
_ Should I even START listing various actions of states and individuals that were in accordance with the laws of the time and place, but were nontheless horribly wrong?

Yes, the domains of legal behavior and ethical behavior are not coextensive. So what?

_Even if ashcroft and his minions were deserving of ANY defence. ""The law" says so", would NOT be a legitimate one.

This isn't about Ashcroft, per se. This isn't even really about evil Republicans and their War on Drugs. The root of the problem here is the successive empowerment of Federal Agencies by Administrative Law judges over the last 30 years. Keep in mind, in the Reagan era there were two states that had basically decriminalized marijuana (Alaska and Oregon) and in the Clinton Era the Federal Government sent Federal Marshalls into California to enforce a federal drug laws which contravened a state law that had been passed by a direct voter initiative. Shit has been getting worse on this front for some time and it didn't start with Ashcroft and Bush.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
In other words (3.50 / 2) (#152)
by godix on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:31:13 AM EST

You don't agree with his point so it doesn't matter how many facts he brings, he's still wrong and worth no more than a 2 or 3?


Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]
If it helps I've noticed you (3.75 / 4) (#129)
by godix on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:33:00 PM EST

You're on of the few who generally has a point beyond yelling 'bush sucks'. I can count on my fingers how many others that could be said of, and many of those have quit posting the last couple months. It'd be somewhat interesting to watch the change in K5's active userbase if there weren't so many god damned idiots coming in. I suppose others probably said the same thing when I started though, so I won't go off on that topic any further.



Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]
Aww shucks... thanks [n/t] (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:53:32 PM EST


---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
On K5, if you're to the left of Vladimir Lenin, or (2.50 / 2) (#160)
by Demiurge on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:51:55 AM EST

more intellectually inclined than Jello Biafra, then you're labelled a heartless fascist. When you're so far out in the fringes as many on K5 are, it's hard to distinguish between liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican.

[ Parent ]
You sir (1.00 / 2) (#135)
by hershmire on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:58:59 PM EST

have lost the argument.
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
Actually no (3.00 / 1) (#156)
by godix on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 02:24:34 AM EST

Thanks to his sig everytime it certainly is posts he invokes Godwins law. In this topic he posted before me, therefore all I'm violating the 'discussions over' part of Godwins law instead of actually invoking the law.


Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
- Psalms 137:9[ Parent ]
You're right (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by hershmire on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:47:28 PM EST

I misunderstood your comment. Where are my reading comprehension skills? :)
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
I didn't rate your comment... (3.00 / 3) (#104)
by curunir on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:28:56 PM EST

...but if I had, I probably would have 3'd it. The 3 being the average of the 5 I would have given for the link to the content at lawlinks.com and the 1 for including the entire text. Not that I don't trust you, but I'd prefer to read stuff like that from a source I can feel like I trust a bit more than an individual poster on kuro5hin. The single layer of indirection (you having to modify the content at lawlinks.com vs. you having to modify the text you past into your comment) is important to me.

So, perhaps the person 1'd it because they also prefer references like that be linked rather than included in their entirety. If you feel the need to comment about a certain portion of the referenced material, by all means, quote it in the body of your comment. But pretty much everyone here is perfectly capable of clicking a link.

[ Parent ]
Fair enough (4.00 / 4) (#110)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:55:10 PM EST

But finding the relevant sections within the whole of Chapter 13 is a bit of a bitch and there are no anchors. I quoted 863 in it's entirety as a service for everyone else.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
I hate laws like this. (3.00 / 4) (#146)
by pb on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:55:23 AM EST

Laws or governmental actions that criminalize actions that are not criminal in and of themselves are criminal.  This is worse than the usual victimless crimes--here, the government is seeking out innocents and turning them into victims.

Kiddie porn laws are another good example; I could charge you $1 to sell you a link to any picture on the internet that I claim is of a sexy, underage minor.  If you give me $1, you're surely an evil pedophile.  If you don't, but you find a link like that anyhow and click it, you're still exploiting children. It doesn't even matter what the picture is, but it helps a bit if it looks like an underage, sexy individual.  Hell, I could charge myself $1 to look at a naked picture of myself (and I'm not underage, either) and that would probably still count; the laws are that inane and sloppy.

Or take the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  What weapons?  Are they a threat?  Well, there could be weapons, and Iraq might one day be a threat, so let's... bomb them first.  Since you can't negotiate with dictators, you know.

Why am I so opposed to this sort of sloppy thinking?  Well, because it violates some basic premises I have about law, like "innocent until proven guilty".  If you can convict people for actions that simply aren't criminal, then you're convicting innocents, no matter how many "laws" you're claiming to follow.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Absolutely (4.50 / 2) (#149)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:10:23 AM EST

That sort of reasoning which would make illegal things that are only precursors to illegal activity are an affront to our legal traditions. Not that I think drugs should be illegal, mind you, but if drugs are illegal it should remain there and not extend to activities that are simply indicative of drug use.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
What about... (2.50 / 4) (#60)
by steveftoth on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 02:42:56 PM EST

those people who take cheap cigars, empty them out and fill them back up with mary-ju-wana.  Wait, I'm going to jail now, aren't I.  

Yup (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by LilDebbie on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:30:40 PM EST

You just provided instructions for the creation of a blunt. Someone might read that and follow said instructions to get high. You go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Oh, and by the by, if you translate the letters in an encrypted Adobe eBooks file by negative three (e.g. d=a, e=b, f=c, etc.), you will decrypt the file. There, now can the FBI come arrest me for violation of the DMCA?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
A "Big" Victory Indeed (4.15 / 20) (#72)
by Juppon Gatana on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 04:50:32 PM EST

Well, I have to congratulate the Justice Department on another job well done. Because my television informed me that those who buy marijuana help support terrorism, I'm glad to know that the people who sells things that help the people who buy marijuana smoke their marijuana will soon be safely behind bars. After all, they're making it easier for these fiendish drug-users to accidentally fund Al Qaeda.

I also laud the Justice Department on their fine detective work. Rather than go after actual marijuana dealers, they took out the public paraphenalia retailers who had the gall to peddle their dangerous wares in public. I see now that the DoJ is quite capable of using Google and a WHOIS lookup, something I find greatly reassuring.

And let's not forget that this is marijuana (or "weed") we're talking about here. Drugs that are addictive and make the users aggressive, such as cocaine or speed, always seem to get all the attention, while this silent killer remains in the background. The breathtaking new anti-marijuana television commercial campaign really opened my eyes, as I now see that marijuana is likely to cause death or serious injury in the users or other innocent victims. Now I understand why the DoJ is using its resources to stop a drug that I used to think only caused a relaxing mellow high (and is not physically addictive) instead of working on the harder drugs, whose users sometimes resort to violent crimes to get their drug money. The one-two punch of television and government has once again helped improve the quality of my life.

I'd like to see the look on Jimmy Smokes-alot's face when he realizes that great new water bong he wanted to buy is no longer obtainable. Looks like he'll be stuck rolling marijuana cigarettes ("joints") for the forseeable future. Nice try, druggie, but you're living in America, where we don't take kindly to hardened criminals like you.

- Juppon Gatana
能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
(Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
And north of the border (3.20 / 5) (#101)
by DodgyGeezer on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:15:34 PM EST

Ha!  I like your sense of humour.

It's rather coincidental, but I saw the TV commercial** that you mentioned on BBC World today.  They were contrasting the situation in the US with Canada.  It seems that one country is going in one direction, the other in completely the opposite.  Apparently Canada will probably decriminalise marijuana in quantities up to 30g within the next fortnight.  It maked sense really, and brings the laws in line with society - it is a democracy after all.  What I don't understand about the TV commercial in the US is why it seemed to be harder hitting than the drink and drive equivalent.  I would say drunk drivers are a bigger problem than stoned drivers, yet there is no talk of banning alcohol again.

Incidentally, I find the claim recently that SUV drivers are funding terrorists more believable than the one about marijuana smokers.  How many dollars per day does the average American spend on petrol compared with weed?

** I don't think "commercial" is the right word here.  It's hardly commercial advertising ;)  More like public service broadcast, or TV health warning.

[ Parent ]

The word you are searching for is propoganda (3.60 / 5) (#114)
by jester69 on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 09:39:07 PM EST

** I don't think "commercial" is the right word here.  It's hardly commercial advertising ;)  More like public service broadcast, or TV health warning.

Lets see, the state is running an advertisement that has no basis in scientific fact or reality, trying to steamroll through an agenda that throws significant portions of the population in jail for what should be at the most a public health issue...

Yep, Propoganda is the only thing that fits. It makes me ill that my tax dollars fund this right wing "war on drugs" crap. Since when did the Government become a lobbyist?

take care,

Jester

Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
[ Parent ]

Crackhouses (4.16 / 6) (#74)
by mister slim on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 05:22:54 PM EST

I'm reminded of the use of the crackhouse laws to shut down raves. If you remember, the DEA claimed that in the context of a rave, a water bottle was drug paraphenalia. I admit that I hope anyone using ecstasy stays hydrated, but this not selling matches to minors because they can be used to light cigarettes.
__

"Fucking sheep, the lot of you. Yeah, and your little dogs too." -Rogerborg

tea spoons (3.00 / 2) (#126)
by Fuzzwah on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:16:11 PM EST

Tea spoons should be illegal because they can be used to cook up heroin.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

Tommy Chong's house, and glass works raided (4.16 / 6) (#78)
by Vellmont on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:16:07 PM EST

Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong was also raided. Read the yahoo story here.

Tommy Chong's glasshouse can be reached at Chong Glass

Is nothing sacred any more ? (n/t) (3.25 / 4) (#107)
by salsaman on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:42:01 PM EST

n/t

[ Parent ]
Damn (1.50 / 2) (#172)
by epepke on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:57:05 AM EST

Nothing says "dope fiend" like misspelling "their" as "there."


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


[ Parent ]
Did I miss the Purple Haze Alert announcement? (3.75 / 4) (#91)
by Sloppy on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:45:39 PM EST

I don't see how government can perform a raid like this, and even maintain the appearance of still acting in good faith, or in the interests of the American People.

The amount of taxpayer money that has just been wasted is staggering, and we'll get nothing to show for it. It is unlikely that any criminals were even arrested, and also fairly unlikely (though less so) that anyone who was arrested will be convicted of anything. It's just pure gratuitous use of force, without even the pretense of serving society or doing something useful.

We are told there are terrorists out there, and then we find out that law enforcement is spending resources on this? How can I believe what Ashcroft says about terrorists, if he doesn't even believe it himself? As a taxpayer, this just makes me want my money back.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."

Everyone forgets (3.50 / 2) (#93)
by the on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 07:58:47 PM EST

and even maintain the appearance of still acting in good faith
This government doesn't need to maintain any kind of appearance. By tomorrow everyone will have forgotten this story and business will be back as usual. This happens every time our rights are violated. Nobody actually seems to care enough to do more that whine for a few seconds on K5.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
Well then do. (none / 0) (#219)
by bjlhct on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:55:16 PM EST

Get a lawyer, negotiate your taxes. Or move to iceland maybe? Looks good right now.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Great (3.50 / 6) (#99)
by SanSeveroPrince on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:11:28 PM EST

You're telling me that now drug barons, as well as having complete monopoly over drug distribution, were landed with distributing the associated paraphenalia as well?
Your average junkie will now have to kill and rob TWO old ladies a week now: one for the drugs, and one for the (doubtless) overpriced pipes and bongs... rock hard.

There is one crucial bit of politics I am missing here: is there some sort of 'moron of the year' award with big cash prices? Because otherwise I really cannot explain the kind of crap I've seen coming out of mouths at both ends of the Atlantic...

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


Idiocy contest (3.75 / 4) (#125)
by carbon on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:05:56 PM EST

Is there some sort of 'moron of the year' award with big cash prices?

Sort of. We only run the contest every four years.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Junkies don't use these pipes... (2.00 / 1) (#179)
by kcidx on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:50:58 AM EST

They use crack pipes, which were not busted...because it's hard...since they are just a little tube of clear glass...

Other types of junkies use hypodermic syringes....which are still readily available, and rather cheap really...

GOOGLE FOR SYRINGES

[ Parent ]

Ugh. (4.00 / 2) (#183)
by derek3000 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:14:53 AM EST

Your average junkie will now have to kill and rob TWO old ladies a week now: one for the drugs, and one for the (doubtless) overpriced pipes and bongs... rock hard.

No. Only liberal arts students with a monthly allowance buy these things. Please crawl out of your cave once in a while, as you've obviously never seen an 'average junkie.'

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

Amsterdam (none / 0) (#251)
by SanSeveroPrince on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 03:46:08 PM EST

is where I live. I know what a real junkie looks like. Perhaps you may want to crawl out of your farm for a little while, and live in a society that's not quite so quick on judging...

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
a little common sence please (4.28 / 7) (#108)
by modmans2ndcoming on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:44:55 PM EST

a pot pipe has a certain look to it...it has a very small barel and in comparison to the barrel it has a large duct. you can say it is for tobacco but only pot heads will buy the damn thing becasue a tobacco smoker is gonna want a larger barrel for more tobacco.

should the feds even care? no. should the feds even be involved at the state level of in-state drug infractions? no. are they? yes. is this an ashcroft fenomina? yes. is he a nazi for it? no. is he a supporter of a strong federal government? yes.

Scary, scary rhetoric (4.50 / 10) (#109)
by coljac on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:46:02 PM EST

Look at these phrases.

"People selling drug paraphernalia are in essence no different than drug dealers..."

No, they are very different from drug dealers. They're not selling drugs, or any item that could harm you in and of itself. You can do the drugs without the penis-shaped bong as well as with. Sure, it's a dodgy business to be in (IMHO) but the comparison has that awful smack of Bushy absoluteness about it... "You're with us or with the terrorists."

"They are as much a part of drug trafficking as silencers are a part of criminal homicide."

How are silencers really part of criminal homicide? Does anyone think arresting silencer manufacturers would affect the murder rate? Of course not! This remark is pure rhetoric.

"illicit dot.coms are dot.gone."

Did he really make this corny remark? I feel like I'm reading the Onion.

Like others have said, I don't use any sort of drug (incl. booze) nor do I really approve of their use, but if Ashcroft's jackboots are kicking down your door you can bet I'm on your fucking side.

3 years from now... "Papers, please."

---
Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey

Silencers (none / 0) (#214)
by driftingwalrus on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:34:06 PM EST

Are silencers ever actually USED in comitting a homicide?  They've always struck me as being a very esoteric and specialized item.  
"I drank WHAT?!" -- Socrates
[ Parent ]
RE: Silencers (none / 0) (#270)
by illustro1a4 on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 05:07:04 PM EST

I didn't realize it until I did a search on Google but you can actually legally purchase Silencers although I'm sure there's some special permit required.
--
Get the facts about marijuana and the true cost of prohibition.

[ Parent ]
RE: Scary, scary rhetoric (none / 0) (#269)
by illustro1a4 on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 04:57:55 PM EST

"People selling drug paraphernalia are in essence no different than drug dealers..."

No, they are very different from drug dealers. They're not selling drugs, or any item that could harm you in and of itself.

I wonder what's keeping someone from making the same argument [that Ashcroft makes] about:

  • Firearms: "Makers of Firearms are just as guilty of homicide as the one who pulls the trigger".
  • Alcohol: "Alcohol manufacturers are no different than the people who kill others while under the influence".

    His argument IMO doesn't hold water. Either ban everything that's "bad" in the world or legalize it. You logically can't have legal access alcohol, tobacco and firearms and still keep marijuana illegal (barring constitutional constraints).

    On side note in the US last year over 415K people died from tobacco related illnesses, over 100k died from alcohol related illnesses and less than 10k people died from illegal drug related illnesses. IMO prohibition of alcohol, tobacco and firearms would not work, why should we expect the same with drugs?

    illustro
    --
    Get the facts about marijuana and the true cost of prohibition.

    [ Parent ]

  • NAFTA will beat the war on pot (4.00 / 8) (#111)
    by HongPong on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:59:09 PM EST

    In any given discussion people run over the same points about the power of government, the callousness of Anslinger and his racist rhetoric that got pot banned, the general hopelessness of the US federal government's efforts to maintain prohibition. It seems like we are going in circles, but take heart fellow libertarians. There's really nowhere left for the feds to go that they haven't already tried. The cards are stacking up against them.

    Fortunately for the forces of rational pragmatism, Bill Clinton, our former toker in chief, laid the framework to destroy marijuana prohibition by widening trade with Canada and Mexico. In case you haven't noticed, those governments don't really give a damn about pot anymore (the Mexicans never did) except to keep up appearances with the US. There's too much real drug traffic for the DEA to keep it all tacked down. (no bongs are not trafficking, Mr. Statue-Curtains) The weed in this country comes in huge part from Canada and Mexico. This trade can't really be pinned down without tangling trade in general. Customs can only afford to look at a tiny proportion of incoming goods. The general system of trade is curently set up against the federal government's enforcement regime, and this will not change.

    And of course pot culture is getting normalized in the US, shockingly enough. It's not just a handful of Pennsylvania glassblowers, its shops every 5 blocks, its Canadian websites, whatever. There's a culture shock, of course. A silly radical like Ashcroft is going to reflect this tension.

    Don't forget that despite the infinite precautions of wise wise people like Czar Walters, the Canucks are about to ditch federal prohibition of THC. Ashcroft goes on about 'paraphrenalia' being a 'federal' crime. Well, it ain't north of the border. Or south. Sorry, bible man. It's just the angry moralists flailing their arms on the way out. Spark it, yo!
    --
    hongpong.com-- Sublime agitation

    Where does weed come from? (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by baron samedi on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 06:49:13 PM EST

    The weed in this country comes in huge part from Canada and Mexico.

    Unless, of course, you live in California, Oregon, Washington, Kentucky, Ohio or anywhere else where Marijuana is the #1 cash crop. If you live in one of those places, most of the pot you buy is domestically produced, and way better than that Mexican shwag.

    That's certainly where the 'supporting terrorism' argument falls apart, and why attempting to interdict marijuana at the borders will also fail, because *most* of the pot in this country was grown here...

    But I agree with your post 100%...
    "Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
    [ Parent ]

    Agree with both parent comments (none / 0) (#240)
    by anagram on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 04:14:03 PM EST

    Just wanted to add that weed is one of those rare drugs that can be cultivated with no specialized knowledge or equipment. It's certainly easier than it's legal cousin, homebrewed beer.

    There are so many things going against the war on weed that it's only a matter of time. Operation Pipe Dream and the recent TV spots are just by products of an increasingly desperate government.

    You'd have to be completely ignorant to believe that a single penny from a pot purchase is somehow making it's way into the hands of international terrorists. Unless international terrorists are based in the woods of Humbolt.

    [ Parent ]

    Hoe much ya wanna bet (none / 0) (#242)
    by baron samedi on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 07:29:32 PM EST

    That they use it as an excuse to throw ELF and Earth First! members in the clink indefinitely? Perhaps I shouldn't say that. It might give them ideas...
    "Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
    [ Parent ]
    Ashcroft is a crook (4.00 / 10) (#112)
    by omegadan on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 09:08:32 PM EST

    It is unlikely that any criminals were even arrested

    Have you seen the people they are calling "criminals" that run these shops? Most of them are 70's hippies who had just enough entrepreneurial spirit to get off the couch for 8 hours a day, call a distributor, rent a storefront, and start a business. These guys are the last practitioners of a dead religion, most of which are suffering from a permanent case of arrested development when the first Cheech and Chong movie came out in 1978.

    Ashcroft and Bush are showing their contempt for open societies, progressive thought and dissenting opinions by pursuing draconian and idealistic goals, John Ashcroft and George Bush are destroying the country.

    Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

    what a loser administration (1.00 / 2) (#123)
    by ToughLove on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 10:50:21 PM EST

    Operation Pipe Dreams, LOL

    I'm sure the republicans are gaining alot of young voters this way, NOT!

    The best thing that can be said from this type of activity, is it'll push the market away from visa/mastercard, to using an anonymous payment system, and instead of putting up websites ligitamitly on qualified url's(helping webhosters and isp's), it'll just move business pages to freenet.



    [ Parent ]
    Reminds me of a "joke" (2.33 / 3) (#134)
    by Spongebob on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:58:17 PM EST

    Ashcroft and Bush are showing their contempt for open societies, progressive thought and dissenting opinions by pursuing draconian and idealistic goals, John Ashcroft and George Bush are destroying the country.

    Some people used to say that Gorbachev was in fact a CIA agent used to de-stabilize the Soviet Union. I wonder if Bush/Ashcroft are not KGB agents trying to do the same to the US. :))

    [ Parent ]

    Morons (3.40 / 5) (#113)
    by Matt Oneiros on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 09:14:34 PM EST

    They say that we must do whatever we can to improve our economy, Bush has taken actions to improve the economy (for the sake of simplicity and my point, let us not concern ourselves with whether tax breaks etc. work.)

    So, if in fact Ashcroft was correct in his statement "This illegal, billion-dollar industry will no longer be ignored by law enforcement." ( here When pipes enter the black market, there will only be benefit for the buyer and seller. Perhaps John Ashcroft is working in league with the terrorists as a double agent, de-stabilizing the US economy as best he can for the terrorists and attacking the drug users of America to keep his buddies from breathing down his throat.

    If one cares to make a reactionary comment about the disreguard for the civil rights aspect in the above text, consider that we are all intelligent and anyone can plainly tell these points have been made clearly and frequently.

    Lobstery is not real
    signed the cow
    when stating that life is merely an illusion
    and that what you love is all that's real

    Well.. (3.60 / 5) (#117)
    by mindstrm on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 09:44:52 PM EST

    aside from the rediculousness of banning paraphernalia....

    do you actually think people use those bongs and glass pipes for tobacco? It's a JOKE man, everyone KNOWS that they put "for tobacco only" so they can get away with selling it.

    To claim their intended purpose is for tobacco is rediulous.. show one study showing a market for 3 headed dragon water bong tobacco pipes with marijuana leafs stamped on the outside.

    hookah nuff said nt (none / 0) (#220)
    by bjlhct on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:59:25 PM EST



    *
    [kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
    [ Parent ]
    Interesting sideline (4.00 / 4) (#120)
    by khallow on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 10:31:20 PM EST

    While reading the New Scientist, I came across an article describing rudimentary testing tools for determining the presence of MDMA in pills. Will these tests be classified as drug paraphernalia even though they have the potential to save lives? For example, if someone comes out with a test or device that can determine whether dangerous chemicals are in a given pill, then that would be very useful.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.

    harm reduction (none / 0) (#130)
    by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 11:36:52 PM EST

    I haven't been to a rave in years so don't take my word.. but I think the response to harm reduction has been varied. Some police have cracked down on people testing pills at raves, others realize the benefit of allowing it to go on. I wouldn't put it past Ashcroft to label the kits as paraphernalia, though. That wouldn't surprise me at all.

    --
    jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
    [ Parent ]
    Harm Reduction (3.66 / 3) (#147)
    by jjayson on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:04:37 AM EST

    I helped out at Dance Safe, a harm reduction group that does pill testing at parties, amound other thing. The way it worked was that they had to give us the pill, we scretched it and gave it back before doing the test. That was once the pill was tested and it did test positive we could not be arrested for distribution. There was a deal with Oakland and San Francisco police that they wouldn't bother us or hang around the booth waiting to nab people because the work we did was helping keep poeple safe. Technically, yes, it is probably very illegal, however often times the police in the streets are veyr unlikely to arrest you is they see value in your work.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    Testing devices are not Paraphernalia in Fed. Law (4.00 / 1) (#177)
    by bmasel on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:26:43 AM EST

    U.S. Code : Title 21 : Section 863
    (d) ''Drug paraphernalia'' defined The term ''drug paraphernalia'' means any equipment, product, or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance, possession of which is unlawful under this subchapter.

    The definition may be different under State Law, Wisconsin's does include "items intended to test.

    "

    I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State.
    [ Parent ]
    That figures (4.00 / 1) (#182)
    by Control Group on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:07:33 AM EST

    I love the state (climate, geography, cities), but we've got the world's wackiest political climate in Wisconsin.

    ***
    "Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
    [ Parent ]
    really? the wackiest? (1.00 / 1) (#194)
    by khallow on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:56:00 PM EST

    I love the state (climate, geography, cities), but we've got the world's wackiest political climate in Wisconsin.

    Really? You're going to have to back that up. :-)

    For example, California happens to have Berkeley, Los Angelos, and Orange County. As I understand it, the latter two are among the most extreme liberal and conservative regions of the country respectively and they border each other.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    To quote Dr. Evil (4.00 / 1) (#196)
    by Control Group on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 02:41:48 PM EST

    No, not really, I can't back that up.

    And once again, humor-by-hyperbole fails me...clearly, I'm the world's worst comedian. No one has been less funny than me. Ever.

    ***
    "Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
    [ Parent ]

    Did you see those cool pipes!?? (1.50 / 4) (#124)
    by ToughLove on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 10:52:05 PM EST

    I bet they weren't upset with the color marker, as much as they were with the gaskmask pipe! People are supposed to buying gasmask for fear, not for partying, LOL.......



    Shakedown (2.75 / 8) (#140)
    by doormat on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:25:32 AM EST

    Sounds like a shakedown to me. Even if all of these guys get acquited, its still a hell of an experience to get arrested, all of your assets seized, etc. Its a big shakedown. Asscroft needs to get off his morals out of the way and enforce the law as written. Or is that too hard for him (or any republican).
    |\
    |/oormat

    Stoned... (2.00 / 1) (#142)
    by faustus on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:33:41 AM EST

    ...Metadiscussion.

    Schizophrenic White House policy (4.57 / 7) (#143)
    by Anatta on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:38:21 AM EST

    I must admit I am pretty frustrated with this move. In Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address, Bush subtly lays out what appears to be a rather significant shift in drug policy in America: he earmarked more money for drug treatment, and did not denigrate drug users as evil or criminal in any way. He actually went so far as to suggest that addicts be treated with sympathy. This is a marked departure in policy from virtually every administrations since Nixon's.

    Bush is a former addict, and he admits it as much as any major politician currently could. He can be looked at as a major source of hope for current addicts; he offers a message of "get clean and you, too, could be President". He has a splendid opportunity to talk frankly to the US, and the world, about the very real damage drug use can do to individuals and families, but also of the very real damage current drug laws do to society as a whole.

    But then Ashcroft does something completely asinine like this. It is frustrating to watch, though it looks to me more like the retched throes of a dying system than a new overarching totalitarian plan. It is frustrating, especially when Bush's SOTU speech is coupled with reports like this one [XLS] from the White House, basically skewering the DEA. One would hope that any sensible re-evaluation of the DEA's mission would include a focus away from marijuana and toward harmful chemicals (still not perfect, but better), but considering Ashcroft's current actions, it appears this may not be the result.

    I still hold hope that this whole episode will be quickly thrown out of court, and a re-evaluation of drug policy will occur, but sadly, such hope is dimmed by actions like Ashcroft's.


    My Music

    It's not schizophrenic. It's called *LYING*. (3.20 / 10) (#178)
    by kcidx on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:46:36 AM EST

    Much like when Bush said he was interested in hyrdrogren fueled cars, while starting another war for oil. Or when he swore to uphold the law and constitution of the U.S.A, while he was being illegally elected.

    he offers a message of "get clean and you, too, could be President"

    Yeah..."get clean, and you, too, could be President....if you are a rich little brat with a powerful daddy like mine who will rally all his rich friends to support you."

    [ Parent ]

    Yeah, I like temper tantrums too. (4.25 / 4) (#181)
    by derek3000 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:06:38 AM EST

    Or when he swore to uphold the law and constitution of the U.S.A, while he was being illegally elected.

    How was he 'illegally' elected?

    It bothers me that so many people have trouble correctly identifying the problem with the 2000 elections.

    -----------
    Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
    [ Parent ]

    It's simple. (2.66 / 6) (#185)
    by kcidx on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:45:25 AM EST

    Purging legal voters from the voting lists in florida turned Gores win from a gigantic win, into a small win. Then, instead of counting all the votes, the Bushies went to the Supreme Court, and had the vote counting stopped, and G.W. appointed.

    It was not legal. Hence, he was "illegally" elected.

    [ Parent ]

    Naw. (3.00 / 1) (#187)
    by derek3000 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 11:39:20 AM EST

    Uh, last I checked, going to the Supreme Court was a legal action. So the whole thing was very legal.

    I never said it was right. It's an important distinction.

    -----------
    Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
    [ Parent ]

    While you're at it... (3.00 / 2) (#198)
    by SPYvSPY on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:48:53 PM EST

    ...you might want to explain how they fixed the subsequent mid-term elections for Republican victory.
    ------------------------------------------------

    By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
    [ Parent ]

    They didn't... (none / 0) (#244)
    by baron samedi on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 07:49:35 PM EST

    However, there were, *again*, some issues in Florida.

    The Bush campaign were also not the ones who engineered the Supreme Court's decision. It was based on Thomas' irrational hatred of the people who called his sexual proclivities into question (Democrats), there is much evidence to support this. Scalia had a son working for the campaign, and O'Connor wants to retire, but not under a Democrat, Rehnquist, well, do we need to know much more about Rehnquist to know where he stands? After that, they just needed one more...

    When you read the dissenting opionions of Bush v. Gore, you can see what the other members thought of this decision, which was totally uncharacteristic for 'strict constructionists', since part of their stated dogma is the favoring of defendants in civil cases, and other things as well. In the most diplomatic language possible, they, especially Justice Stevens, noted the political motivations of that decision...
    "Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
    [ Parent ]

    Yeah, I like temper tantrums too. (none / 0) (#208)
    by illustro1a4 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:46:49 PM EST

    How was he 'illegally' elected?

    Short answer: he was legally elected.

    Long answer: There have been discussions about how GOP members illegally had citizens in certain heavily democratic districts [in Florida] disqualified to vote. One of these ways was to list someone as a convicted felon because their name was similar to one on a list of convicted felons in the state. Other ways was to list someone as having changed addresses or dead. Note that AFAIK these were never proven in a court of law.

    Many people were/are pissed off that the popular vote didn't decide the winner. Maybe the US Constitution needs to be changed.

    illustro
    --
    Get the facts about marijuana and the true cost of prohibition.

    [ Parent ]

    Meant to also say I agree with you [nt] (none / 0) (#209)
    by illustro1a4 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 05:48:04 PM EST


    --
    Get the facts about marijuana and the true cost of prohibition.

    [ Parent ]
    Ok, that's interesting. (5.00 / 1) (#234)
    by derek3000 on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 08:00:52 AM EST

    But you got what I was saying. I just can't give any credence to those calling for the popular vote to count--how would they be reacting if the situation were reversed?

    -----------
    Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
    [ Parent ]

    Agreed (none / 0) (#266)
    by illustro1a4 on Sat Mar 01, 2003 at 12:37:58 PM EST

    The popular vote should count but that will only happen with a change in the US Constitution.
    --
    Get the facts about marijuana and the true cost of prohibition.

    [ Parent ]
    Bush election fraud resources (5.00 / 1) (#221)
    by cce on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:38:06 PM EST

    The PBS documentary "Counting on Democracy" got little airplay but presented a good investigation of the bogus voter roll purge tens of thousands of innocent voters marked as "felons." The independent documentary "Unprecedented" also does a good job. Also check out Greg Palast's new book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," which was released in the USA on Tuesday.

    [ Parent ]
    Zero Rating? (2.50 / 2) (#207)
    by illustro1a4 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:57:55 PM EST

    From the trusted user guideline:

    "Please use your 'zero' rating with care! It is *only* for use on comments that are wholly content-free. If you think the poster is clueless, or an idiot, or you just don't agree with them, that is *not* grounds for a zero rating. Zero is for comments that are offensive, script-generated, or otherwise content-free and intended solely to annoy and/or abuse other readers."

    While one might not agree with the parent comment it hardly seems "wholly content free" or worth a zero rating.

    illustro
    --
    Get the facts about marijuana and the true cost of prohibition.

    [ Parent ]

    The budget is a lie too... (none / 0) (#230)
    by harryhoode on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 04:00:30 AM EST

    They simply shift a large part of the interdiction funds to other budget areas such as the military to make the treatment funding appear larger.

    Tearing Apart Bush's Drug Plan

    [ Parent ]

    But he is telling the truth.... (none / 0) (#268)
    by qwertyasher on Sat Mar 01, 2003 at 04:40:59 PM EST

    Because 'treatment' and 'reeducation' can be the same. Thereby, 'treatment' is to chuck them in the pen for 20 years for smoking a doobie. Wait! 20 years? Isn't that the exact same amount of time clara harris was put into jail for running over her husband with a mercedes about 4 times? What does this teach us? Smoking Reefer is the moral equivalent of Murdering your Spouse
    The party says there are five, how many fingers are there, winston?
    [ Parent ]
    Net effect of action? (2.75 / 4) (#145)
    by sheddd on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:43:42 AM EST

    FUD for the folks who sell stuff like this(legal and otherwise).

    More nonviolent 'criminals' in jail.

    More kids using crap like coke cans to smoke with (inhaling burnt aluminum isn't healthy).

    More work for lawyers!

    Ashcroft gets a woodie.  Can't he find another statue to censor or something?

    Kuro5shin readers profit!!!

    Invest in Home Depot (the do it youself bong center).

    Operation Headhunter (1.00 / 1) (#153)
    by wji on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:36:59 AM EST

    Well, Ashcroft may have no means, he's alone and anonymous, but written in his cells he's got the marks of a genius...

    (OK, OK, slashdot-style stupid oneliner, but I couldn't resist the obscure reference.)

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

    dum-ba dum dum (none / 0) (#186)
    by cannam on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 11:19:38 AM EST

    du-dum-ba dum dum
    dum - dum - dum - dum-DA-DUM-DA-DUM
    dum-ba dum dum
    du-dum-ba dum dum
    dum - dum - dum - dum- (continues forever)


    [ Parent ]
    Doing his job, not rewriting the law. (3.50 / 4) (#158)
    by Demiurge on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:44:17 AM EST

    The executive bureaucracy has *always* had the ability to implement the specifics of new legislation according to it's own interpretation. Ashcroft is doing exactly that, there's nothing illegal or unconstitutional about it. He may not be doing his job in the manner you would personally prefer, that does not mean he's rewriting the law.

    That is one dangerous man (3.33 / 3) (#168)
    by Quila on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:52:05 AM EST

    I don't know which is worse, a completely inept Janet Reno or a competent but moral-crusading John Ashcroft with no respect for constitutional rights (except the 2nd Amendment).

    There is a reason for all of this... (3.85 / 7) (#174)
    by agent 0range on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 09:02:16 AM EST

    The reason why Ashcroft is going after such minor and stupid things is becuase he hasnt been able to win the fight against the actual drugs.

    Anytime you disagree with laws or policies, fight the people who make them, vote, elect people who have their head on straight. Then we wont have to put up with the bullshit that comes from Ashcroft.

    Issues (3.40 / 5) (#180)
    by rppp01 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 10:05:18 AM EST

    This man has scared me shitless since he got into office. He and his boss are moralists that should have no place in our government. I have hope that these stupid 'laws' will be overturned in time, but until then, every person who purchases one or whatever has to know that they could get arrested for this. Now, once all of this is 'corrected', you'd think these people's records would be purged. They are not. Acts like these, the Patriot Act, and the Department for 'Homeland Securtiy' all leave me fearing that I am now a criminal simply for being a human being. I see the seperation between the 'haves' and the have nots'. Ashcroft and Bush are turning every day people into criminals for not being 'pure' and 'supportive' of their actions. Just wish the majority would have won the election, is all.....

    Paraphenalia Control (4.40 / 5) (#188)
    by SaturdayNightSpecial on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 11:56:12 AM EST

    The way they define "illegal paraphenalia" kind of reminds me of how they defined "assault weapons." Completely arbitrary.

    Issues (3.66 / 3) (#189)
    by Ken Arromdee on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 12:19:19 PM EST

    There are two issues here: Are drug laws and drug law enforcement bad? And is this raid particularly bad because the government is overreaching by seizing items that might not even be for drugs at all?

    This article seems to be mixing these two issues up. You can be outraged over this because you think that all drug raids are an outrage. Fine. But I find it hard to be outraged about the second part. Let's face it, they almost certainly *were* selling the items for use with drugs. You're just saying "Nyaaah, can't prove it".

    It is wether or not intent can be proven.. (3.66 / 3) (#195)
    by jester69 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 02:39:29 PM EST

    Lets say, all of a sudden all the kids decide corncob pipes are all the rage for dopesmokin.

    So, then, by your rationale, if 80% of the corncob pipes sold by WalMart are used for drugs, that makes them a dealer of Paraphernalia, and if 80% are using it for tobaco they are not.

    According to you, it is up to WalMart to research current "hophead" culture and know that corncobs are the new trend. They are responsible for maintining current and certain knowledge of how their products are used to prevent running afoul of your kind of justice.

    I just cannot cotton to a legal system that holds a retailer to task for the percieved intent of its customers. That is arbitrary, capricious and unfair. Tactics such as that have no place in a democracy.

    Sure, by example you can describe the sort of pipe todays illegal smokers might favor, but I challenge you to come up with a definition that can differentiate one chunk of wood with a hole in it from another.

    Would you make the distinction based on size of the bowl? is 1 cm the cutoff? Should all pipes over 1cm bowl be legal, less illegal? How about on material, woudl we make all non-wood pipes illegal? then what happens to Meerschaum?

    give me a logical, codifiable distinction between a drug pipe and a non drug pipe other than the retailers claims, instructions and exhortations, and i'll eat my hat.

    take care,

    Jester
    Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
    [ Parent ]

    Intent (4.00 / 1) (#197)
    by Ken Arromdee on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 03:44:12 PM EST

    The law makes decisions based on non-objective factors like intent, relevance, etc. all the time. Asking for an exact bowl size which makes a pipe into a tobacco pipe is like asking for an exact number of lines that make copying a copyright violation instead of fair use, or asking for an exact threat level which makes it self-defense instead of assault to hit someone.

    [ Parent ]
    I think you found my point the long way (3.00 / 2) (#201)
    by jester69 on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:06:34 PM EST

    The post I was responding to said basically "you know a dope pipe when you see it."

    I wanted him to attempt to differentiate between a dope pipe and non dope pipe solely on the basis of what it looks like.

    As I said, and you have said it cannot be done.

    Therefore, other factors have to be considered in determining legality or illegality.

    I posited it was not fair to use the intent of the purchasers (the corncob pipe example you so conveniently ignored.) And Ashcroft certainly wasn't using the intent of the vendors here, they had huge disclaimers in large red letters saying their product was for legal smoking only.

    So, either he used the looks and construction of the pipes solely, which you and I agree is insufficient, or he held the retailer accountable for the actions of their partons, which goes back to the wal-mart analogy... and the heart of my argument.

    Any comment?

    take care,

    Jester
    Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
    [ Parent ]

    It's about proof. (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by squigly on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:54:15 PM EST

    So, then, by your rationale, if 80% of the corncob pipes sold by WalMart are used for drugs, that makes them a dealer of Paraphernalia, and if 80% are using it for tobaco they are not.

    I didn't read it like that.  Not sure I agree with  him, but he has a point.  

    The way I see it is that if Walmart found that corncob pipes were the rage for potheads, and ordered a large number of extras based on this knowledge, then they would be selling paraphernalia.  If you assist a criminal in committing a crime, then you are an accessory if you knew he was going to commit the crime, but not if you didn't.  

    Based on the balance of probabilities, it seems quite obvious that the shops in question are selling paraphernalia.  Everything that a pot smoker would want is available there.  Sure it could be sold to tobacco smokers.  I'll even agree that there are probably a number of tobacco smokers who do buy from them, but the shops are clearly aimed at drug users.

    Now, this is what the crux of the matter is.  The key phrase in the above paragraph was "balance of probabilities".  This is criminal law.  The burden of proof is "Beyond reasonable doubt".  It's quite possible that the shopkeeper thought that all the good were being used legally.  It's also possible that they are being used primarily for legal purposes.  It is up to the prosucutor to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he willfully supplied drugs parephernalia.

    [ Parent ]

    Being secure against unproven judgements ... (3.66 / 3) (#205)
    by aminorex on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 04:26:54 PM EST

    The idea of being innocent until proven guilty seems to have been practically abandoned. "You can't prove it" is precisely the point. If it's unproven, you're not guilty.

    [ Parent ]
    Ve must haff ORDER! (none / 0) (#212)
    by Eric Green on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 07:06:08 PM EST

    Everybody knows that if you ban roach clips, people will no longer smoke marijuana. I mean, think about it, they might have to, oh, go to Radio Shack and buy electronics jumpers or something.

    But I forget, this is not about stamping out marijuana use, and *certainly* isn't about the War on Terrorism (I'd rather see those agents investigating terrorists, thank you!), this is about maintaining good moral order and the Authority of the State.

    HEIL!

    First they came for the drug users, and I didn't speak because I was not a drug user. Then they came for the Muslims and I didn't speak because I was not a Muslim. Then they came for the anarchists and I did not speak because I was not an anarchist. Then they came for the Democrats, and I did not speak because I was not a Democrat. Then they came for me, but by that time there was nobody left to speak for me. -- The Ghost Of Pastor Niemöller
    --
    You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...

    Electrical Hook-up Wires (none / 0) (#225)
    by statusbar on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 12:11:28 AM EST

    My father was an electrician in a sawmill in a small town in B.C. which was near the U.S. border.  Close enough that it was common to drive into the states to buy some gas and milk.

    My father kept his tool belt in the trunk, which included electrical hook-up wires with alligator clips.

    One day, the U.S. Customs agent searches his car, sees the tool belt with the alligator clips on it and starts giving him the 3rd degree for half an hour.

    The agent did NOT know that those little clips had a real use, and was prepared to arrest my father for having drug paraphenelia.

    sigh.

    --jeff++

    [ Parent ]

    How much longer are we going to take it? (none / 0) (#215)
    by mmuskratt on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 08:38:17 PM EST

    So, I have a question (well, many questions). How long should this kind of stuff happen before a large enough group of people says, "Enough!"? I feel like I'm getting steamrolled, and that the people in Washington D.C. are laughing at it. This is almost a, "Let's see how much of this stuff we can get away with." The problem for me is that there are so many sheep out there. Even works, this type of thing is even acceptable to people. I am not a sheep, and I am certainly not being heard or listened to, and my ranting on this board isn't going to do a damn thing to stop any of this. Is there anyone else out there that feels the same way? Is there a voice out there that can speak for me and be heard? This makes me angry, and yet, sickeningly helpless at the same time. <Primal Scream>

    No, you're a stoned sheep. (none / 0) (#223)
    by Demiurge on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 11:04:37 PM EST

    The problem is, there aren't enough stoned sheep to outweigh the people who think sheep shouldn't be allowed to smoke marijuana.

    [ Parent ]
    You CAN do something! (none / 0) (#229)
    by spacebrain on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 03:51:34 AM EST

    See my other comment "Take action!". If nothing else you can sign the appeal to reform international drug treaties at http://www.edprc.org/index.php?Art=appeal and spread the urge!

    [ Parent ]
    Take action! (none / 0) (#233)
    by spacebrain on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 06:31:39 AM EST

    The US government shows its dictatorial attitudes more and more openly, nationally and internationally. Drug policy is a part of it - and an important one.
    National and international opposition is growing rapidly. Many european countries were committed to change their drug policies for years now, but had difficulties to do so largely due to pressure from the US government.
    It has been known for a long time that the rate of illegal drug consumption among teens is considerably higher in the USA than in most european countries, let alone the "collateral damage" like drug prostitution, drug criminality etc. Despite this knowledge and the growing resistance from other countries the US government continues with its drug policy by hook or by crook.
    Whatever the reasons might be, I am pretty sure that it'll not last for much longer than a few years anymore. The reason is the growing decentralization of drug production. It becomes increasingly cheaper and easier to produce a wide range of drugs so more and more people do it. At the latest when the amount of these "home-grown" drugs will largely exceed the amount of trafficked ones, prohibition will face a real problem. And this is developing already, therefore they try to control whatever might be related to illegal drug consumption. Sadly for them, it'll not work.
    The ones preparing themselves at time will be better off when the real world will throw traditional models over, as always. So I think it's a bad strategy for people fighting for a humane drug policy (as integral part of our civil liberties after all, which are under massive threat) to just wait for that. No, let us act politically!
    Your first steps might be to sign the appeal to reform international drug treaties and see upcoming protests related to drug policy. And let your friends know.

    Oh well. (3.00 / 1) (#238)
    by broken77 on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 03:35:28 PM EST

    Looks like pot smokers will just go back to making bongs out of honey bears and soda bottles. Or just buy some zig-zags and roll joints. Or buy pipes that are used for pipe tobacco! As if cracking down on paraphrenalia is going to cut down on pot usage. Ha! It only damages legitimate businesses.

    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

    Half Baked (none / 0) (#246)
    by gnarled on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 11:12:58 PM EST

    "Get me an avocado, my snorkel, and some tin foil! Trust me, I've made bongs with less."
    --
    I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class. Especially since I rule. -Randal, Clerks
    [ Parent ]
    unconstitutional laws (4.00 / 1) (#239)
    by beukeboom on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 03:46:49 PM EST

    When lightning rods like Ashcroft behave in such an egregious manner, it is easy to miss the forest for the trees. The root of the problem is that the federal drug prohibition laws are blatantly unconstitutional (see the ninth and tenth amendments). Has anyone ever considered why it was necessary to amend the Constitution in order to prohibit alcohol? Because a federal statute would have been illegal!



    A better question to ask is.. (4.00 / 1) (#241)
    by composer777 on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 07:23:36 PM EST

    Why hasn't Ashcroft raided the banks and chemical companies that are laundering drug dealer's money and supplying drug dealers with the materials necessary to create these drugs?  It's easy to trace and see which ones are the suppliers.  Just look for chemical companies that are exporting large amounts of the raw chemicals used in processing these narcotics.  Now THAT would make a big difference in the ability to manufacture hard drugs.  But hey, they're rich corporations, so we can't go after them.  Instead, we need to continue the war on the poor... oops, I mean War on Drugs.  

    Or, maybe even better, we could give Americans their freedom back.

    Its not as simple as you think (none / 0) (#257)
    by benzapp on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 07:45:55 PM EST

    In case you are rather unfamiliar with the world drug trade, the VAST MAJORITY of drugs are either naturally occurring or produced using commonly available substances.  

    Heroin is nothing more than morphine and vinager. Morphine, being a constituant of raw opium, is as natural as anything sold in a health food store.  

    Cocaine can be produced from coca leaves with nothing more than gasoline and hydrochloric acid.

    Methamphetamine is made through a relatively simple procedure converting pseudoephedrine found in over the counter nasal decongestants.  Pseudophedrine is closer methamphetamine in structure than to dextroamphetamine sold at CVS.

    Of course, marijuana requires no special process. Since most is grown in the US, there is no need to refine the product like with heroin and cocaine.  If coca and poppies could be produced in huge quantities in the US, people would probably be happy with coca paste and raw opium.  

    Anyway, I agree with your overall conclusion.

    [ Parent ]

    An even better question is... (none / 0) (#267)
    by qwertyasher on Sat Mar 01, 2003 at 04:30:07 PM EST

    Why doesn't Ashcroft just raid GW's stash, there's more there than you'll find anywhere else
    The party says there are five, how many fingers are there, winston?
    [ Parent ]
    Right wing? (none / 0) (#271)
    by Rahyl on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 03:38:43 PM EST

    Last time I checked, both Democrat and Republican lawmakers were of the same opinion when it came to drugs:  we don't care how you vote, you're going to jail.  The Drug War is supported by both Lefties and Righties.  This isn't really a question of Left vs Right (though they love it when you think that) but rather a question of personal freedom vs. government intrusion.

    Good points though, about how all of a sudden every head shop in America is now public enemy #1.  They must have a lot of time on their hands now that the threat of terrorism has been taken care of ;)

    Here's a scenario I'd like to see happen.  In some places, like Mendecino, CA, local law enforcement won't waste time on simple drug possession issues.  The Feds, however, will.  I want to see the locals and members of local law enforcement issue an ultimatum:  arrest people in our jurisdiction for drug related issues, you go to jail.  That's right, federal agents in jail.  We've tried almost every peaceful option to try and get the federal government to understand that not all states agree with their position on the Drug War.  Unfortunately, the feds don't seem to give a rat's ass about how you and your State feel about the Drug War.  Until the heat gets turned up under their feet, nothing is going to change.

    Here's an action item for the people in places like that.  Write your local representatives and police to let them know you support arresting federal agents who overstep their bounds.

    Nothing else seems to be working gang.  We've tried a voting majority, we've tried the courts, we've tried openly violating drug laws.  Nothing is working.  It's time to escalate.

    Ashcroft rewrites the law? | 272 comments (242 topical, 30 editorial, 1 hidden)
    Display: Sort:

    kuro5hin.org

    [XML]
    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
    See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
    Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
    Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
    My heart's the long stairs.

    Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!