Brontoforumus Archive

Discussion Boards => Thaddeus Boyd's Panel of Death => Topic started by: Arc on December 13, 2008, 06:40:11 PM

Title: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on December 13, 2008, 06:40:11 PM
The very first inquiry on Open for Questions (http://change.gov/page/content/20081211_openforquestions) regards Legalizing It.

This wasn't apart of the 2008 platform, but a strong case can be made to include the issue in the 2010 platform.
Title: Re: Government 2.0
Post by: Detonator on December 13, 2008, 06:58:29 PM
I love the phrasing of the question:

Quote
"Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"

 ::(: Sorry, I'm anti-job creation.
Title: Re: Government 2.0
Post by: Thad on December 13, 2008, 08:31:10 PM
The drug war is the absolute top of my list of Issues the Democrats Should Be Dealing With But Won't Touch With a Ten-Foot Pole.

I'd typically say that medical marijuana should be where the conversation starts, then talking about emphasizing treatment for drug addiction (hard drugs, of course; marijuana's not addictive) over incarceration, and THEN move on to talking about treating marijuana the same way we treat alcohol.  But moving straight to #3?  Sure, let's do it.  Why fuck around?

If anybody can give me an objective reason marijuana should be illegal that does not also apply to alcohol and/or tobacco, well, that'd be a first.
Title: Re: Government 2.0
Post by: Brentai on December 13, 2008, 08:40:52 PM
talking about emphasizing treatment for drug addiction (hard drugs, of course; marijuana's not addictive) over incarceration

Proposition 5 failed in California. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_5_(2008))  Only very partially because the law was badly written.

We're not even at 2 yet.  Jumping to 3 would backfire a lot.

Title: Re: Government 2.0
Post by: Thad on December 13, 2008, 10:23:19 PM
Disagree.  I think even bringing it to the table as something to debate on is a huge step up.

It would lose in the short term, but I think it would gain ground.  I think that's what's happening with gay marriage, too.
Title: Legalize It!
Post by: Sharkey on December 15, 2008, 02:32:57 AM
Fun fact: There's precious little consideration of what might actually happen if the whole LEGALIZE IT bit actually worked. It'd be nice if you knew the people you bought weed from weren't in some way responsible for fucking up a bunch of parkland or whatever. Meanwhile, well, if it were legalized, I'm not entirely keen on buying weed from RJ Reynolds.

Then again, that hasn't stopped me from buying cigarettes from RJ Reynolds. Though that was land already pretty well and long fucked up toward the production of tobacco, and I'm an idiot when it comes to giving myself cancer.

Given the choice between a bunch of poor assholes putting their kids through college by growing weed on public land (most of my graduating class, in fact) and a bunch of not-even-a-little-bit-poor assholes turning that same land into legitimate plantations though determined lobbying...

Actually, I don't know what the point is. Personally, I'm just liking the illegality of the the thing at this point. In America these days the only way of keeping anything honest or respectable seems to be in keeping it illegal.

Don't mind me. I'm just trying to kick up some shit and get a spinoff thread.
Title: Legalize It!
Post by: LaserBeing on December 15, 2008, 03:02:23 AM
Right, but on the other hand you've got the poor assholes doing 5-10 years in prison for trying to put their kids through college. So it's a bit of a catch-22.

I guess the secret is to be like BC, where it's still illegal but nobody ever cracks down on it because it's the cornerstone of our god damn economy.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on December 15, 2008, 03:55:53 AM
There is no reason for it to be illegal.  That said, speeding is illegal, underage drinking is illegal, prostitution is illegal, basement poker games are illegal, throwing pennies away is illegal... how much does legality matter?

A lot, if you get caught, unfortunately.

I think prison terms for most crimes are excessive, but pot takes the cake.  Anything over a year is utterly fucking ridiculous.

I'll steal some stats from Connecticut, to pick the state that came up first in Google:

For simple possession:
Quote from: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-R-0455.htm
At least four ounces of marijuana

First offense:  up to 5 years in prison, up to a $ 2,000 fine, or both

Subsequent offenses:  up to 10 years in prison, up to a $ 5,000 fine, or both


Less than four ounces of marijuana

First offense:  up to 1 year in prison, up to a $ 1,000 fine, or both

Subsequent offenses:  up to 5 years in prison, up to a $ 3,000 fine, or both

If you're curious, here is the felony code in Connecticut, regarding murders and such.

Quote from: http://search.cga.state.ct.us/surs/Title53a.htm
(1) For a capital felony, a term of life imprisonment without the possibility of release unless a sentence of death is imposed in accordance with section 53a-46a; (2) for the class A felony of murder, a term not less than twenty-five years nor more than life; (3) for a class A felony other than murder, a term not less than ten years nor more than twenty-five years; (4) for the class B felony of manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm under section 53a-55a, a term not less than five years nor more than forty years; (5) for a class B felony other than manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm under section 53a-55a, a term not less than one year nor more than twenty years, except that for a conviction under section 53a-59(a)(1), 53a-59a, 53a-70a, 53a-94a, 53a-101(a)(1) or 53a-134(a)(2), the term shall be not less than five years nor more than twenty years; (6) for a class C felony, a term not less than one year nor more than ten years, except that for a conviction under section 53a-56a, the term shall be not less than three years nor more than ten years; (7) for a class D felony, a term not less than one year nor more than five years, except that for a conviction under section 53a-60b or 53a-217, the term shall be not less than two years nor more than five years, for a conviction under section 53a-60c, the term shall be not less than three years nor more than five years, and for a conviction under section 53a-216, the term shall be five years; (8) for an unclassified felony, a term in accordance with the sentence specified in the section of the general statutes that defines the crime.

The mere fact that punishment for marijuana possession even approaches the punishments for murder and manslaughter is completely batshit insane.  Partaking in the ganja is about a third as bad as killing a man.

Don't even get me started on the incongruity between the fine totals and the prison terms.  10 years of the only life on this Earth that you will ever have is not equivalent to five fucking grand.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Sharkey on December 15, 2008, 04:02:59 AM
So... we move to an economy where everything is fine until you get too big and start making everyone's life suck, at which point your business is dissolved and you go to jail.

I thought we were supposed to have something like that in the first place.

I understand that there's a lot to be saved through the economics of scale, but the raw numbers don't very well account for what's lost, with this or any other commodity. In a way I still long for a cobbler in every neighborhood. Be damned if it costs more than a pair of Chinese Nikes, I'd rather know the fucker's name.

But then, that can be just another ugly kind of conspicuous consumption. It's a damn luxury. Going to a microbrewery instead of picking up a case of Budweiser. Buying heirloom tomatoes instead of the agribusiness crap. If you live on microwave burritos and American cheese it's probably not entirely by choice, but there are bastards that will look down their nose at you for it, and fuck those guys.

I'm just not wild about the idea of mass market weed or anything else. It's just a bigger issue than that. Quality vs. quantity, really. Or the human element. Whatever you want to look at. It's why British cuisine became so famously shit. If all that's readily available is shit, you get pretty used to shit in a generation or two. Maybe it's sad to say that it was better than nothing, but at least fewer people starved.

Leaving it at that, for now. It's a debate that could go in a lot of different directions. I'm looking forward to any one of them.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on December 15, 2008, 04:13:11 AM
I was going to make a joke about apprenticing myself to a pot dealer and calling myself the local "cannaber" but then I realized that they were actually called "rope-makers."
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: JDigital on December 15, 2008, 08:11:00 AM
Why did they make pot illegal, anyway? Was it really all down to early 1900s newpaper stories on "cocainized niggers"?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on December 15, 2008, 08:13:07 AM
It'd be nice if you knew the people you bought weed from weren't in some way responsible for fucking up a bunch of parkland or whatever.

It'd be nice if you know the people you bought weed from hadn't overcharged due to faked scarcity, actually sold you what they claimed was the correct bud, and didn't have a past history of illicit crimes. You'll just have to accept their word on it, all while looking over your shoulder.


In America these days the only way of keeping anything honest or respectable seems to be in keeping it illegal.

Nothing is jumping out at me that proves this to be the case.


In a way I still long for a cobbler in every neighborhood. Be damned if it costs more than a pair of Chinese Nikes, I'd rather know the fucker's name.

His name is _____. He's nice. Fuck knows from whom or where his stash was obtained from, let alone grown. Not asking for Nutritional Facts here, but dealers have a self-interest of deflecting anything away from what's important to their consumer.


Going to a microbrewery instead of picking up a case of Budweiser. Buying heirloom tomatoes instead of the agribusiness crap.

Which is the logical model a legalized marijuana industry would be expected to follow. Large multinationals; higher quality Mom & Pops.


I'm just not wild about the idea of mass market weed or anything else.

A majority of the nation is already dealing with such.


It's why British cuisine became so famously shit.

Outside of breakfast dishes, British cuisine has always been lower than fried dirt on the appetizing scale. The better example to evaluate is the American alcohol industry, which is made of large multinationals, and higher quality Mom & Pops.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 15, 2008, 10:33:20 AM
In a way I still long for a cobbler in every neighborhood.

I was just thinking this yesterday, for the pragmatic reason that it is fucking difficult to get shoes that fit me.  I wear a 10 1/2 5E and had a nasty ingrown toenail recently so I think I'm going to try 6E next.

But then, that can be just another ugly kind of conspicuous consumption. It's a damn luxury. Going to a microbrewery instead of picking up a case of Budweiser. Buying heirloom tomatoes instead of the agribusiness crap.

What Arc said -- this is as good an analogy as any for where a theoretical pot industry would go.  I'm the kind of guy who won't drink Budweiser or eat American cheese.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on December 15, 2008, 10:38:09 AM
Me neither.

Until recently.

Oh God I need money.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: BŁge on December 15, 2008, 10:59:34 AM
Outside of breakfast dishes, British cuisine has always been lower than fried dirt on the appetizing scale.

That's because dirt doesn't come in a can.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on December 15, 2008, 11:06:07 AM
I'm the kind of guy who won't drink Budweiser or eat American cheese.

Yes, quite.  Such peasant food is below us, wouldn't you say?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: SCD on December 15, 2008, 10:22:09 PM
That's right.  You go and buy our beer and cheese now.  Cuz we're that much better

  :wuv:
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Zaratustra on December 16, 2008, 05:50:09 AM
I suggest you take a single state - say california which is already halfway there, or maybe hawaii which nobody cares much about anyway - and legalize pot there. If it doesn't go to hell in say ten years, you can spread the love.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: SCD on December 16, 2008, 07:19:37 AM
Wasn't that already done in the election?  I believe there was a referendum which passed on a state in the north to decriminalize the stuff.

Doesn't work, as it's federal from what I recall.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on December 16, 2008, 08:42:09 AM
:mahboi: That would be Massachusetts, our nation's answer to Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 16, 2008, 12:20:23 PM
Doesn't work, as it's federal from what I recall.

Right; the federal government has much as said "We don't care WHAT the law is in California" and arrested people for growing medical marijuana.  The SCOTUS has upheld this tactic.  (Ever notice how the Republican Party is such a champion of states' rights up until states start disagreeing with their platform?)

That hasn't really stopped California, though (and my recollection of the case in question was the California judge fined the grower $1 and made him spend one night in jail).

Robert Anton Wilson was the first person in Santa Cruz to receive medical marijuana (for his postpolio; he was wheelchair-bound and in extreme pain for the last few years of his life) and commented that he'd been involved in a lot of civil disobedience over the years but this was the first time he'd actually had a city mayor standing beside him doing the same.

So yes, on paper it's a federal law and it doesn't matter what laws the states pass.  But in practice, the more states start standing up to the federal government, the harder it's going to be to cling to current law.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Detonator on December 16, 2008, 04:18:28 PM
As stated in the Government 2.0 thread, the top question in the Open For Questions (http://change.gov/page/content/20081211_openforquestions) section was about legalization.

Quote
Q: "Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"

And the answer is... (http://change.gov/newsroom/entry/open_for_questions_response/)

Quote
A: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

 ::(: Oh.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on December 16, 2008, 04:22:12 PM
he didn't say anything about cannabis, though!
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on December 16, 2008, 04:24:38 PM
Sure sure, President-Elect Obama may not favor legalization, but wait until President-Emperor Obama makes a ruling!

Appreciate the non-bullshit answer, but some lip service would have been swell.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on December 16, 2008, 05:22:09 PM
The long version of the answer is, no, Obama doesn't want to create millions of jobs, he wants you to starve to death.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Spaco on December 16, 2008, 11:03:17 PM
Am I the only one here that doesn't support general-use legalization?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Classic on December 16, 2008, 11:05:32 PM
Quiet, you hippie.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 16, 2008, 11:35:51 PM
Quote
A: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

Which is probably why they should have started with the medical marijuana question.

Am I the only one here that doesn't support general-use legalization?

No, but you ARE the first person to actually get the new "guidelines" thread directly quoted at him.

DO NOT:
  • say something controversial and then refuse to back it up
You disagree with everybody else in the thread?  Hey, great.  Some sort of explanation WHY instead of just a single sentence stating that you disagree would be nice.

Here, let me get you started three days ago in the third post in the thread:

If anybody can give me an objective reason marijuana should be illegal that does not also apply to alcohol and/or tobacco, well, that'd be a first.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Burrito Al Pastor on December 17, 2008, 12:07:12 AM
Devil's advocate: it could be a real honest question.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on December 17, 2008, 12:46:13 AM
If anybody can give me an objective reason marijuana should be illegal that does not also apply to alcohol and/or tobacco, well, that'd be a first.

Let's see if this works.

Making marijuana illegal doesn't really promote violence.  You could argue that it promotes it as a gateway to illegal abusing substances that do cause gang and cartel violence, but that's a tenuous link; point is you don't see people shooting each other over pot that often, since it can be pretty much grown in a coffee cup when it really comes down to it.

That said, historically the main reason Prohibition didn't take is because of the huge amount of crime it generated.  If the mafia hadn't sprung up as a result, liquor would probably be illegal to this day.

Tobacco can't be outlawed because Phillip-Morris would never let that happen.  End of story.

So basically, our freedom-loving government would ban marijuana, alcohol and tobacco if it could; in the latter two cases their hands are tied, but not in the first, so they went ahead with it.

...

That of course doesn't work as a particularly good argument, and that's because it's not a very good comparison to begin with.  Banning alcohol and tobacco are justified, since drunk violence/driving and second-hand smoke are actual issues.  On the other hand, marijuana-related deaths are incredibly rare and almost exclusively first-party (numbers (http://www.briancbennett.com/charts/death/01pot-related.htm) - although I somewhat suspect their total veracity, it should give you an idea of the scale we're dealing with).  As a safety issue the stuff is less justified to be banned than, say, plastic bags.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Spaco on December 17, 2008, 10:37:27 AM
Yeesh, it was just a exploratory question to see if I had any backup, in case I felt like jumping into the middle of this circle-jerk.

When I look at legalization, I only see problems and setbacks.

Prohibitions just don't work in the US. We are too individualistic to allow the government to take away any of our already allowed vices, at least altogether. I hate cigarettes and agree with public smoking bans, but I could never see them being outlawed entirely, even though they 100% are guaranteed to kill you. People are just stupid like that. I'm glad they've outlawed trans fats, as it's not necessary, does nothing but harm people, and doesn't really change anyone's lifestyle by removing it. So yeah, we're stuck with the vices we have already and probably will never be able to do away with them.

Why then, would we want to make the problem worse? Legalizing marijuana would only add another way to deteriorate America and lower the collective health and IQ of the country. Marijuana is behaviorally addictive, a gateway drug, and makes many (not all) people pretty ineffective at reaching their full potential socially and academically. What would legalizing it do for us on a world-standing level? Many historians and political scientists already predict us losing our status in the next 20-30 years. Would marijuana slow or exacerbate this process?

This idea of legalization helping individuals is completely ridiculous. How would the home-grown farmer be able to compete with the research and marketing advantages of big business? Do quality tobacco and micro brews really compete with corporate entities? Plus, home-grown has no quality control. Who's to say Rufus didn't accidentally leave pesticides on his batch or throw in a bit of fake shit to pad his earnings? Sure, market forces would weed (hur hur) out bad apples, but it's the same situation we have now with good dealers and bad dealers, and pot smokers still get screwed occasionally.

What about smuggled in goods from Central and South America? Would these all disappear after legalization, or increase? Did the War on Drugs create the problems with drug cartels and violence? Will the violence disappear when marijuana is legal, or increase? To keep the market from being flooded with cheap goods, I assume we'd have to impose tariffs or an embargo on marijuana to allow North American companies time to compete. If not, wouldn't corporate entities just buy up existing foreign producers and sell to the US, thereby defeating any major benefit domestic production would provide? If we did impose tariffs, we would have to secure our borders or they would be meaningless.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Royal☭ on December 17, 2008, 11:15:39 AM
Yeesh, it was just a exploratory question to see if I had any backup, in case I felt like jumping into the middle of this circle-jerk.

Fair enough, but honestly your first post should have been this one.  Don't "test the waters" and expect not to get snapped at.

Quote
When I look at legalization, I only see problems and setbacks.

Prohibitions just don't work in the US. We are too individualistic to allow the government to take away any of our already allowed vices, at least altogether. I hate cigarettes and agree with public smoking bans, but I could never see them being outlawed entirely, even though they 100% are guaranteed to kill you. People are just stupid like that. I'm glad they've outlawed trans fats, as it's not necessary, does nothing but harm people, and doesn't really change anyone's lifestyle by removing it. So yeah, we're stuck with the vices we have already and probably will never be able to do away with them.

Wait, so you spend the first part of your argument saying prohibition sucks but then support it anyway because why not?

Quote
Why then, would we want to make the problem worse? Legalizing marijuana would only add another way to deteriorate America and lower the collective health and IQ of the country. Marijuana is behaviorally addictive, a gateway drug, and makes many (not all) people pretty ineffective at reaching their full potential socially and academically. What would legalizing it do for us on a world-standing level? Many historians and political scientists already predict us losing our status in the next 20-30 years. Would marijuana slow or exacerbate this process?

Not really a case.  Marijuana isn't as addictive nor is the gateway drug everyone claims (http://www.talkleft.com/story/2004/05/18/601/89840).  Simply put, marijuana does not alter brain chemistry like alcohol or nicotine, and does not create the same level of dependence on it.  Marijuana also does not make you stupid or lazy.  While stupid or lazy people may use marijuana, it's merely coincidence, not cause.

Quote
This idea of legalization helping individuals is completely ridiculous. How would the home-grown farmer be able to compete with the research and marketing advantages of big business?  Do quality tobacco and micro brews really compete with corporate entities?
He doesn't have to.  The home-grown farmer isn't trying for dominance in the market place, he's trying to make a profit to keep himself alive while delivering a product to a local group.  It's the fault of big business if they try anti-competitive tactics to eliminate him.

Quote
Plus, home-grown has no quality control. Who's to say Rufus didn't accidentally leave pesticides on his batch or throw in a bit of fake shit to pad his earnings? Sure, market forces would weed (hur hur) out bad apples, but it's the same situation we have now with good dealers and bad dealers, and pot smokers still get screwed occasionally.

 :strawman:
Big business is just as susceptible to faulty quality control as small farms.  Government regulations on quality tend to be broad, encompassing small business as much as big business, so a careless farmer wouldn't be able to get away with more.  Also, one could probably make the case that it's easier for a local, home-grown farmer to control the quality of a small field than a big company to control vast acres of product.

Quote
What about smuggled in goods from Central and South America? Would these all disappear after legalization, or increase?
Would you rather buy an illegally smuggled product of dubious quality for a marked up price from a criminal or from some guy on the streetfrom a government regulated and taxed industry?

 

Quote
Did the War on Drugs create the problems with drug cartels and violence? Will the violence disappear when marijuana is legal, or increase?

How big of a problem is the market and booze bootlegging these days, Space?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Misha on December 17, 2008, 11:24:53 AM
Standardization and mass production lead to on average cheaper and higher quality products. Quality control issues with small producers/growers are much more easily addressed when you have a form of legal redress to appeal to. If you smoke week that has pesticides in it and get sick right now, you can't exactly go to the police or to a lawyer and sue the guy who sold you the stuff.

The potential for violence in black market transactions and endeavours is always higher than it is when you're doing things aboveboard and legally. Similar to the issues with quality control, you can't exactly enforce contracts having to with marijuana in any way other than violently. If you pay someone and they fail to deliver your weed, what are you to do but threaten violence? On the other hand, if you're buying your weed at a storefront, such problems go away.

several of your points make assumptions that I don't think are justified and/or relevant. Why do you care about our national standing? I certainly don't think it's a goal that most people are concerned with. You say that we'd have to close borders to prevent our markets from being flooded with cheap goods. Why? We already have tons of cheap goods of all varieties from other countries.

Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on December 17, 2008, 11:54:04 AM
Marijuana is behaviorally addictive, a gateway drug, and makes many (not all) people pretty ineffective at reaching their full potential socially and academically.

First part's been addressed, second part I've never bought into.  I simply do not believe that the sorts of people that form addictive habits with marijuana would not do the same if the substance were truly unavailable; they'd just blow themselves up with alcohol, opium, hard drugs, internet, porn, or all sorts of much nastier shit instead.  Marijuana doesn't make people dumber so much as make dumb people more transparent.  It's sort of like how Bridget doesn't actually make you gay, but oh nevermind this is a dumb joke to make in the middle of a pot discussion.

Quote
Plus, home-grown has no quality control. Who's to say Rufus didn't accidentally leave pesticides on his batch or throw in a bit of fake shit to pad his earnings?

Well... the FDA, probably.  If it were, you know, legal.

Not really a case.  Marijuana isn't as addictive nor is the gateway drug everyone claims (http://www.talkleft.com/story/2004/05/18/601/89840).

As the article itself points out, it is a gateway drug because it is illegal.

Right now marijuana use conditions the user to accept the practice of disobeying the law in a low-risk environment (which can double as an argument for making marijuana penalties much harsher, but there are considerable problems with doing that).  It's the same theory as the one that drives most of the security and law enforcement industry - you want to have a wide chasm between how easy it is to do something legal and how hard it is to do something illegal, effectively creating a harsh "barrier of entry" into illegal practices.  You can only do so much against the master criminals, but if there's no simple way to "ease into" crime and gradually build experience until one's a master, then you can greatly reduce the amount of crime you can't deal with.

Quote
While stupid or lazy people may use marijuana, it's merely coincidence, not cause.

Right exactly, although I wouldn't call it coincidence.  More like putting the effect before the cause.

several of your points make assumptions that I don't think are justified and/or relevant. Why do you care about our national standing? I certainly don't think it's a goal that most people are concerned with.

Not at all irrelevant to those making the decision.  Whether the two things are actually connected is a matter of debate, and unfortunately there are some difficulties in measuring such a thing scientifically.  Areas of higher average education and income are definitely linked to higher rates of marijuana abuse, but then again that's because most of them have colleges.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: TA on December 17, 2008, 12:04:50 PM
National standing in what way, though?  Relative to who?  Canada?  Holland?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 17, 2008, 01:38:03 PM
Legalizing marijuana would only add another way to deteriorate America and lower the collective health and IQ of the country.

In what way, exactly?

As far as damage to the respiratory system, pot reduces lung capacity more than tobacco but isn't carcinogenic.

As far as IQ, there's no evidence that pot does any kind of cognitive damage, unless smoked during puberty.  Given that nobody here is actually advocating legalizing it for the under-18 crowd, that's moot to this conversation.

Marijuana is behaviorally addictive, a gateway drug, and makes many (not all) people pretty ineffective at reaching their full potential socially and academically.

Do you have any facts to back up any of those claims?

What would legalizing it do for us on a world-standing level? Many historians and political scientists already predict us losing our status in the next 20-30 years. Would marijuana slow or exacerbate this process?

This rhetorical question falls under the "how is that any different from alcohol?" header.

So does the last one, really.

Do quality tobacco and micro brews really compete with corporate entities?

Anheuser-Busch just got bought out by a Belgian company and has since released a craft beer (http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/story/83D7D33AC2D20BFC862574130006DB00?OpenDocument) in an attempt to appeal to that rapidly-growing market.  This is the sort of thing you find out when you use Google instead of just begging a question.

Plus, home-grown has no quality control. Who's to say Rufus didn't accidentally leave pesticides on his batch or throw in a bit of fake shit to pad his earnings? Sure, market forces would weed (hur hur) out bad apples, but it's the same situation we have now with good dealers and bad dealers, and pot smokers still get screwed occasionally.

So, uh, you're saying we shouldn't do it because it would have the same problem you acknowledge it already has.

What about smuggled in goods from Central and South America? Would these all disappear after legalization, or increase? Did the War on Drugs create the problems with drug cartels and violence?

It certainly exacerbated them.

Will the violence disappear when marijuana is legal, or increase?

False choice.

It sounds to me like you're just parroting a bunch of Reagan Administration propaganda and haven't actually done any research into the subject at all.  But if we're going to play the "ask an oversimplified, black-and-white question" game, here's one for you: do you believe our prisons should continue to be packed with nonviolent offenders whose crime was the consumption of a chemical that, in objective terms, is no more dangerous than chemicals that are legal and regulated?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Spaco on December 17, 2008, 02:14:24 PM
I'll respond more in detail later, but as to your last point: Did I ever say I supported jail time for minor possession charges?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 17, 2008, 04:04:25 PM
No, you just blamed pot-smokers for lowering the collective IQ of the country and harming our standing in the world, and said that its use shouldn't be legal.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: sei on December 17, 2008, 04:28:14 PM
He could be into fining them instead.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Detonator on December 17, 2008, 04:51:20 PM
He could be into fining them instead.

That seems like a first step: making all pot possession offenses into small fines with no jail time.  It would save a lot of money with less jail space taken and revenue from fines.  However, it would seem that more money would be earned with taxation of legally sold pot with the bonus of freeing up law enforcement to pursue more serious crimes.

Spaco, I applaud your willingness to take on an argument here, but I caution you if you think you can get away with responding to choice quotes while ignoring others (I know you haven't done this yet, thus it is only a caution).  It might help if you only respond to Thad, and reply to his entire post line-by-line.  I don't mean to have you ignore everyone else, but it would help avoid the "you never responded to THIS" post since Thad is very thorough.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on December 17, 2008, 05:25:34 PM
I'm really all for that.  Pot tax.  You want to dissuade people from imbibing the ganja, for whatever reason?  Fine.  Tax the motherfucking shit out of it.  It's a non-necessity (well, except for those people who are actually taking it as a prescription) so the gov is pretty much in the clear to say, "If you want to smoke you're going to have to give us money up front."  Less oppressive than going around trying to catch people doing it and fining them.

I honestly think the stuff is utter bullshit and only popular because it's illegal, so I could care less if the feds tried to bilk people for it.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 17, 2008, 08:31:47 PM
It might help if you only respond to Thad, and reply to his entire post line-by-line.

I think Constantine and Brent's thorough trouncing of the "gateway drug" claim needs attention too.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Spaco on December 17, 2008, 10:11:35 PM
Lordy, this is why I was seeing if I was going to have to argue by myself or not. Get ready for tl;dr

The first question should be- what would be the effects? Legalizing pot would create several possible benefits: decriminalizing relatively non-deviant behavior, reducing drug cartel and smuggling activity, freeing up the police and the courts, possibly creating domestic jobs and bringing in tax revenue, etc.

Disadvantages of legalization may include: increased levels of addiction and use, easier access to minors, corporate control of industry, continuation of drug crime activity, increased usage and pushing of other drugs, lowering of employment rates, lowering of academic achievement rates, etc.

Can we be sure the actual outcome will be more positive than negative?

First, I suppose I should start off by saying I donít have strong issue against all illegal pot usage and think there are varying degrees of users. I for the most part dislike daily users and potheads, and donít have much of a problem with occasional users. I, however, base most of my objections of legalizing it out of the fear of it creating even more abusers than there are already, not to mention the increased availability toward children. I of course donít believe everyone who used it would become an addict, but I feel itís at least as comparably debilitating as alcohol abuse in many instances.

Legalizing marijuana would only add another way to deteriorate America and lower the collective health and IQ of the country.

In what way, exactly?

As far as damage to the respiratory system, pot reduces lung capacity more than tobacco but isn't carcinogenic.

As far as IQ, there's no evidence that pot does any kind of cognitive damage, unless smoked during puberty.  Given that nobody here is actually advocating legalizing it for the under-18 crowd, that's moot to this conversation.

Iím speaking less about cognitive damage and more about the effects while under the influence. Also, if there actually is a gateway effect and the user has used more than just pot, there is a good chance of cognitive damage from the other substances.

Marijuana is behaviorally addictive, a gateway drug, and makes many (not all) people pretty ineffective at reaching their full potential socially and academically.

Do you have any facts to back up any of those claims?

I have years of personal observation, to start with. While it may not be chemically addictive, pot users tend to develop a cycle of use that is hard to break free from. Potheads in particular seem to base their daily routine on maintaining a regular high. This is somewhat socially created, as they tend to stick together and form social circles thereby maintaining desire for participation and companionship. Legalization may impact this to a degree and reduce necessity for groups with better availability, but unlikely since people tend to enjoy vices together rather than by themselves.

As for gateway drugs, I have met very few marijuana users who havenít been users of other substances. Most people that like to get fucked up arenít too choosy on the means, and often experiment with pills, mushrooms, acid, etc. in pursuit of a high. Experimentation often results in at least infrequent usage of other drugs. Legalization wonít make other illegal drugs go away, and will probably make the demand greater for some with an overall increase in acceptance of psychotropic drug usage.

As for stifling ability, this really only applies to heavy users in a manner comparable to alcohol abuse. People with abusive tendencies in general arenít focused on their overall success.

What would legalizing it do for us on a world-standing level? Many historians and political scientists already predict us losing our status in the next 20-30 years. Would marijuana slow or exacerbate this process?

This rhetorical question falls under the "how is that any different from alcohol?" header.

So does the last one, really.

I donít argue itís much different from alcohol, really. Just because it is similar to an already problematic substance doesnít mean a similar one should be introduced out of fairness. Like I said, there is some argument to banning alcohol and tobacco entirely, but I just donít see it realistically ever happening. On the other hand, legalization of marijuana is preventable, thus worth debating.

Do quality tobacco and micro brews really compete with corporate entities?

Anheuser-Busch just got bought out by a Belgian company and has since released a craft beer (http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/story/83D7D33AC2D20BFC862574130006DB00?OpenDocument) in an attempt to appeal to that rapidly-growing market.  This is the sort of thing you find out when you use Google instead of just begging a question.

Is it a growing market? Yes. Does the vast majority of revenue from beer sales go to big business? Yes. (http://www.progressivegrocer.com/progressivegrocer/profitguides/beer/images/pdf/Beer_Industry_Overview.pdf) (Thanks, Google) My argument is that cheap, convenient, and well-marketed products trump specialty products when it comes to general use.

Plus, home-grown has no quality control. Who's to say Rufus didn't accidentally leave pesticides on his batch or throw in a bit of fake shit to pad his earnings? Sure, market forces would weed (hur hur) out bad apples, but it's the same situation we have now with good dealers and bad dealers, and pot smokers still get screwed occasionally.

So, uh, you're saying we shouldn't do it because it would have the same problem you acknowledge it already has.

Iím just not understanding how small-scale production will be truly controlled when made legal. OSHA and the FDA have enough trouble as it is policing mass manufactured products; trying to inspect home-grower operations would be a nightmare. If the restrictions were tight enough for production to be realistically oversee-able, it would probably mean Mom and Pop would have to go into business with many others to have an operation with enough manpower and capital to run a proper operation.

What about smuggled in goods from Central and South America? Would these all disappear after legalization, or increase? Did the War on Drugs create the problems with drug cartels and violence?

It certainly exacerbated them.

If the demand is still there and the goods are profitable, wouldnít illegally smuggled goods still continue to flow? Most cartels outside the United States operate in countries where marijuana is also illegal. Just because it becomes legal here, doesnít mean they all of a sudden start playing by the rules. Also, if it does hit their wallets by legalizing marijuana, wouldnít cartels and gangs be more desperate and motivated to push other drugs instead to make up for their losses?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: TA on December 17, 2008, 11:00:39 PM
I have years of personal observation, to start with. While it may not be chemically addictive, WoW users tend to develop a cycle of use that is hard to break free from. WoW players in particular seem to base their daily routine on maintaining a regular raid schedule. This is somewhat socially created, as they tend to stick together and form social circles thereby maintaining desire for participation and companionship. Legalization may impact this to a degree and reduce necessity for groups with better availability, but unlikely since people tend to enjoy vices together rather than by themselves.

How is this a specific fault of marijuana, rather than "any enjoyable behavior"?  Of course people are going to structure their lives, to some degree, around time spent doing fun things.  "Behavioral addiction" is, on its face, a bullshit reason for anything.  Can you explain how this is a quality of marijuana in specific, and go on to demonstrate why it's a cause for action?

Quote
As for gateway drugs, I have met very few marijuana users who havenít been users of other substances. Most people that like to get fucked up arenít too choosy on the means, and often experiment with pills, mushrooms, acid, etc. in pursuit of a high. Experimentation often results in at least infrequent usage of other drugs. Legalization wonít make other illegal drugs go away, and will probably make the demand greater for some with an overall increase in acceptance of psychotropic drug usage.

Any data suggesting that's in any way a gateway effect of marijuana, as was asked?  As opposed to, say, people drawn to chemical highs tending to do so indiscriminately, or the whole "acceptance of skirting the law" thing that was mentioned at some length earlier?  This story of the habits of potheads you've known reeks of "fallacy of causation"?

Hell, any actual facts at all?  As Thad is so fond of saying, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 17, 2008, 11:24:41 PM
addiction

You're going to have to back this up with SOMETHING.  Especially given the "How is this different from alcohol or tobacco?" question.  Because those are drugs that most definitely cause physical dependency.

easier access to minors, corporate control of industry, continuation of drug crime activity, increased usage and pushing of other drugs, lowering of employment rates, lowering of academic achievement rates, etc.

I'm seeing a whole lot of conjecture there, and again, not a whole lot that draws any distinction from alcohol.

You're going to have to back up the "increased usage and pushing of other drugs", the "lowering of employment rates, lowering of academic achievement rates", and pretty much everything you just said.  Again, it sounds like you're spouting stereotypes rather than saying anything supportable.

Can we be sure the actual outcome will be more positive than negative?

That's a bullshit question.  Can we be sure the actual outcome will be more negative than positive?

First, I suppose I should start off by saying I donít have strong issue against all illegal pot usage and think there are varying degrees of users. I for the most part dislike daily users and potheads, and donít have much of a problem with occasional users. I, however, base most of my objections of legalizing it out of the fear of it creating even more abusers than there are already, not to mention the increased availability toward children. I of course donít believe everyone who used it would become an addict, but I feel itís at least as comparably debilitating as alcohol abuse in many instances.

This is not the "let's talk about our feelings" forum.  Back it up with something.

Alcohol creates physical dependency and alcoholism is strongly associated with violent behavior.  Neither of these is true with marijuana.

Iím speaking less about cognitive damage and more about the effects while under the influence.

I think you've got a pretty good idea what my response is going to be here by now.

Also, if there actually is a gateway effect and the user has used more than just pot, there is a good chance of cognitive damage from the other substances.

And if smoking pot gives you tits, then that's a whole other problem.

But it doesn't.  That's a myth.  Like the "gateway drug" claim.  Which you still have yet to produce a shred of evidence in support of.  Because there isn't any.

I have years of personal observation, to start with.

Are you fucking SERIOUS?  You're putting up a personal anecdote against scientific study?

Not even going to respond to the "Here is what my HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC personal observation has told me" claim.  Facts or GTFO.

I donít argue itís much different from alcohol, really. Just because it is similar to an already problematic substance doesnít mean a similar one should be introduced out of fairness.

Of course it does.  You can't just illegalize things you don't like for arbitrary reasons.  The law is about standards and, yes, about fairness -- at least ideally.  If you apply a different set of standards to different circumstances, there needs to be a rational reason for it.

Like I said, there is some argument to banning alcohol and tobacco entirely

I think at this point you're being intentionally obtuse.  We tried banning alcohol.  Remember how that worked out?

On the other hand, legalization of marijuana is preventable, thus worth debating.

So your argument is "We should hold marijuana to a different standard than substances that are at least as bad simply because we can"?

Is it a growing market? Yes. Does the vast majority of revenue from beer sales go to big business? Yes. (http://www.progressivegrocer.com/progressivegrocer/profitguides/beer/images/pdf/Beer_Industry_Overview.pdf) (Thanks, Google) My argument is that cheap, convenient, and well-marketed products trump specialty products when it comes to general use.

Okay, so that's your argument.  Care to tell me what your point is?

So, uh, you're saying we shouldn't do it because it would have the same problem you acknowledge it already has.

Iím just not understanding how small-scale production will be truly controlled when made legal.

And you're straight back into dodging the point that IT'S NOT CONTROLLED NOW.  AT ALL.

If the demand is still there and the goods are profitable, wouldnít illegally smuggled goods still continue to flow? Most cartels outside the United States operate in countries where marijuana is also illegal. Just because it becomes legal here, doesnít mean they all of a sudden start playing by the rules.

I'm sorry, you just swung from "Mass-produced marijuana would take up such a huge segment of the market as to make all other operations irrelevant" to "There would continue to be a huge trade in black-market marijuana" so fast I got whiplash.  Can you at least make your conjecture-based hypotheticals consistent?

Also, if it does hit their wallets by legalizing marijuana, wouldnít cartels and gangs be more desperate and motivated to push other drugs instead to make up for their losses?

Who are these cartels you're thinking of who deal exclusively in marijuana and have no interest in any other kind of drug?

Seriously, cite a source in your next post.  Some kind of quantifiable data.  When you're hovering over the "Post" button, ask yourself if you've included any actual verifiable facts in it (beyond pseudo-relevant data like your "more people buy Budweiser than Fat Tire" link above).  If the answer is "no", then don't click it.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: JDigital on December 17, 2008, 11:36:30 PM
Suppose they "legalize it" tomorrow. You have two main issues. First, the drug dealers already have the infrastructure and experience necessary to capitalize on the new market, and that money may go to fund more crime. Second, you have gang raids on legal farms, stealing what's now a very valuable and openly grown crop.

Medical use in particular, I see no problem with. Several illegal drugs are already prescribed as medication, including meth (in the US as Desoxyn) and heroin (in the US as diamorphine). There are unwanted side-effects including addiction, but the same can be said of many prescribed medicines.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on December 17, 2008, 11:46:21 PM
...I think the types of crime related to marijuana are hilariously exaggerated.  The kind of person who sells weed is more likely to be your overly-friendly next-door neighbor, not a twitchy Nicaraguan commando.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Doom on December 17, 2008, 11:46:39 PM
Quote
Second, you have gang raids on legal farms, stealing what's now a very valuable and openly grown crop.

Do you have even the faintest idea how the anything in the real world actually operates?

Quote
and that money may go to fund more crime.

Imagining a diagram where every single marijuana dealer in the world throws his money(along an arrow) towards the word "Crime."
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on December 17, 2008, 11:57:10 PM
Suppose they "legalize it" tomorrow.

A years long rollout, even on a State - By - State basis, is far more likely.

Still, I'll play your game you rogue. (http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/driftycity/rogue.gif)


You have two main issues. First, the drug dealers already have the infrastructure and experience necessary to capitalize on the new market, and that money may go to fund more crime.

The industry itself would be ripped out from under them, just as alcohol had been from organized crime. Street dealers are no match for multi-billion dollar ad agencies (who've had marketing strategies written up for decades now), and availability from behind the counter of any local grocer.


Second, you have gang raids on legal farms, stealing what's now a very valuable and openly grown crop.

... Because tobacco farms and breweries are under constant attack. The supply would be as plentiful as it is today, and honestly, marijuana stopped becoming a difficult commodity to find in the late-70's.


There are unwanted side-effects including addiction, but the same can be said of many prescribed medicines.

And further said of alcohol and nicotine, which carry higher addiction rates.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: SCD on December 18, 2008, 12:01:21 AM
First off, JD, while I respect most of what you have to say, you are right out to lunch.  Weed is a fucking weed.  It takes less skill to grow than a Norfolk Pine.  

Where I live, people plant them in the ditches of highways and come back when it's time to bud.  

weed.

The taxation of it is a hard concept at the beginning, but eventually the "gangsters" will turn to making the stuff to selling it to the lazy people who don't have the effort to run a distillery...  I mean potted plant.

If you want relevant material, look at any of your major beer or sour mash producers post-prohibition.  They can tell the story then I can fathom.  

However, to be honest Weed sales and exports are a big part of organized crime, with emphasis on the export side of the house.  While this fear is what's keeping people from turning over overtly, a lot of the official conclusions are..  well not logical.  

(also, smoking or supporting those who produce or use weed is a chargeable offense under Canadian Law and I do not personally smoke the stuff or support those who openly do..)]

Oh, Arc beat me to it.  Yay.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on December 18, 2008, 12:12:13 AM
chargeable offense

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrbaedigfWY

You are all now the Micheal Jordans of Crack Cookers.

BRB FBI
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Detonator on December 18, 2008, 12:14:50 AM
The taxation of it is a hard concept at the beginning, but eventually the "gangsters" will turn to making the stuff to selling it to the lazy people who don't have the effort to run a distillery...  I mean potted plant.

Maybe at first, but once the corps get manufacturing underway I think we'll see weed sold at 7/11 for dirt cheap.  Once every convenience store sells it, there'd be no point in selling weed you grew yourself any more than there would be selling tobacco you grew.  People would grow their own for personal use and sharing with friends to save a buck, but I don't see individuals getting any money at all without going through vendors.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Transportation on December 18, 2008, 07:38:26 AM
I don't really like hopping on bandwagons but there are a few points that weren't addressed:

Most cartels outside the United States operate in countries where marijuana is also illegal. Just because it becomes legal here, doesnít mean they all of a sudden start playing by the rules.

The illegalization of marijuana in foreign countries is a a direct consequence of U.S. policy  (FPIF) (http://www.fpif.org/briefs/vol1/drugs.html). South American countries are frequently faced with the dilemma of draconian anti-drug enforcement or no aid money.

Drug Policy Alliance Network (http://www.drugpolicy.org/about/position/race_paper_crim.cfm)
Quote
A recent report by Human Rights Watch found that while drug use is consistent across all racial groups, Blacks and Latinos are far more likely to be arrested and prosecuted and given long sentences for drug offenses. Blacks constitute 13 percent of all drug users, but 35 percent of those arrested for drug possession, 55 percent of persons convicted, and 74 percent of people sent to prison.(1) Nationally, Latinos comprise almost half of those arrested for marijuana offenses(2) and Native Americans comprise almost 2/3 of those prosecuted for criminal offenses in federal courts.(3)

Let's not forget how such laws make institutional racism super easy. Also note the higher conviction rates. White suburbanite? Don't do it again! Poor, destitute black person? TO JAIL WITH YOU.

And to show the scale the problem:
 Change the Climate (http://www.changetheclimate.org/news/arrest_report.php)
Quote
We bear some three quarters of a million arrests for marijuana each year in the United States and about 135,000 persons are currently in prison after being convicted of either a state felony or federal marijuana offense. This is a costly exercise at more than $7 billion per year.
This even contributes such fun things as prison overcrowding too! Huzzah.
---

Anyway, I always felt that the regulation (vs. criminalization) of cocaine makes for a more interesting debate. It is actually harmful and yet the societal problems cause by its illegality are very, very large. Also it's turned Columbia into a war zone. Similar, more difficult, arguments could be made for various opiates.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: JDigital on December 18, 2008, 09:05:39 AM
Welp, shows what I know about the marijuana industry. :nyoro~n:

Can I blame movies and the government?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on December 18, 2008, 09:12:25 AM
Absolutely.

(http://ilechoo.com/gallery/albums/gifs/Bronson.gif)
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on December 18, 2008, 10:36:17 AM
See, no, that's the problem right there.

Marijuana is not cocaine.

All of the criminalization arguments seem to assume that it is.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on December 18, 2008, 10:58:40 AM
Exactly, leading impressionable folks outside The Know to assume the entire drug trade to be a non-stop orgy of violence. (link: Cocaine Cowboys Documentary) (http://tinyurl.com/46jnoj)

Thus, when the myths of marijuana are personally debunked by these impressionable folks through their own private usage, the gateway opens, as they then believe they've been lied to regarding the trade as a whole.

Vicious.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 18, 2008, 11:22:48 AM
Suppose they "legalize it" tomorrow. [...] you have gang raids on legal farms, stealing what's now a very valuable and openly grown crop.

I'm having a lot of trouble following this reasoning.

"People aren't gang-raiding medical marijuana farms NOW in a situation where it's a tightly-controlled substance and a rare, much-sought commodity, but if you legalized it and made it openly available, they'd totally have an incentive to start!"

A lot of the "con" arguments I'm seeing in this thread seem to ignore the facts that 1. marijuana is currently illegal and 2. lots and lots of people still grow, import, buy, sell, and smoke it.

I guess the fact that the "con" reasoning seems to rely on increasingly absurd hypothetical situations probably speaks for itself.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Transportation on December 18, 2008, 03:39:10 PM
See, no, that's the problem right there.

Marijuana is not cocaine.

All of the criminalization arguments seem to assume that it is.

I never said it was? I just brought it up because we're talking about drug policy and marijuana is pretty much a 'no duh'. Cocaine is actually dangerous and the criminal element involved far worse, thus making room for actual debate.

Treating all illegal drugs the same is silly of course. But, cocaine is also comically popular and has been banned since 1914 in the U.S. Current policy isn't exactly effective.

Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on January 21, 2009, 11:41:20 PM
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6c7_1232290490

You are all now the Micheal Jordans of Caffeine Cookers.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Disposable Ninja on January 21, 2009, 11:49:49 PM
I was thinking that that was some joke video, a parody of those crack cowboy videos or whatever, until he got to the part about boiling it with ammonia.

Side note: every time I see this thread I think it's about prostitution. Just goes to show where my priorities are, I guess.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Romosome on January 22, 2009, 12:24:26 AM
I like how he says to boil the grounds in water and then filter them through a towel or old t-shirt or something equally filthy into a jar or something.

If only there was some kind of paper filter we could use to remove the coffee grounds from the boiling water and get this "coffee liquid" into a separate container.

Perhaps even, dare I say, some kind of "coffee-maker" machine meant specifically to brew this illicit initial extract!
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on February 09, 2009, 06:20:46 PM
Conason (http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/1420075,CST-EDT-open09.article) says what I'm thinking: the disappointing thing about the Phelps story is not that he smoked pot, it's that he's acting contrite about it instead of saying, "Of course I did, what the fuck is wrong with that?"

On the "harshin' my buzz" front: link found between marijuana use and testicular cancer (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/02/marijuana-use-a.html).

Anecdotally, the only person I've ever known who had testicular cancer was in fact a pothead.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Burrito Al Pastor on February 09, 2009, 06:52:43 PM
I guess anecdotal evidence works, after all!
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: JDigital on February 10, 2009, 09:13:43 AM
Unless other people you know have also had testicular cancer, and only a stoner is humble enough to admit it.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on February 10, 2009, 05:09:10 PM
He was very forthright.

:thad:: Hey, man!  What have YOU been up to?
:vampire:: Oh, you know.  Surviving cancer.  I'm hanging a little toward the center now, if you know what I mean.  How's by you?
:thad:: I honestly can't complain.
Title: Re: Oh! Bama
Post by: Zaratustra on March 26, 2009, 10:10:24 AM
So, Obama answered the "wouldn't it be a great idea to legalize pot" question.

With "No I don't think so".

Seriously, you're not going to convince the dude that very publically did cocaine in teen years and had to break himself from it after that drugs may not be all that bad.
Title: Re: Oh! Bama
Post by: Mongrel on March 26, 2009, 10:24:44 AM
Yeah, you know, it's funny that way.

I know a couple of people who were heavy drug users in their youth who gave it up afterwards. Not one of them thinks legalization is a good idea.
Title: Re: Oh! Bama
Post by: Brentai on March 26, 2009, 11:26:19 AM
...but they weren't addicted to pot.
Title: Re: Oh! Bama
Post by: sei on March 26, 2009, 01:43:27 PM
I smell a slippery slope.
Title: Re: Oh! Bama
Post by: BŁge on March 26, 2009, 02:07:43 PM
It... smells like Otto's jacket.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Detonator on March 26, 2009, 03:41:10 PM
Yeah, you know, it's funny that way.

I know a couple of people who were heavy drug users in their youth who gave it up afterwards. Not one of them thinks legalization is a good idea.

Legalization of pot or heavy drugs?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Fredward on March 26, 2009, 03:42:48 PM
I smell a slippery slope.
Uh, yes, but that is because the guy who is selling you pot might be able to hook you up with a guy who sells coke. If you're buying pot from your corner grocery, maybe not so much.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on March 26, 2009, 03:50:26 PM
We need a "split this thread" signal.  Like the Clutch signal, but with an actually active moderator.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on March 26, 2009, 05:35:59 PM
Yeah, you know, it's funny that way.

I know a couple of people who were heavy drug users in their youth who gave it up afterwards. Not one of them thinks legalization is a good idea.

Legalization of pot or heavy drugs?

Either.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on March 26, 2009, 05:59:41 PM
I heard on the radio the other day that half of the criminals in prison in NH right now are charged solely with drugs possession.  That's a lot of tax money.

(You could make that kind of tax money by legalizing pot and then taxing the shit out of it, I think.)
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Ocksi on March 26, 2009, 07:28:00 PM
People who smoke pot do not say to their dealer, "this pot is good, but I think I would prefer the yayo."

That said, the reason Obama probably doesn't want to legalize pot is pot makes you lame.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: SCD on March 26, 2009, 07:44:43 PM
Purely on anecdotial evidence, living in Victoria where a good chunk of the population smokes the stuff, and meeting people much more interesting than myself who I see on a regular basis who smoke the stuff, I'm just going to go ahead and call you on your bs there.

Hard

Review your statistics, review your facts because I believe you're just swallowing USGov Props at the moment.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Ocksi on March 26, 2009, 08:44:39 PM
I personally don't like being around people who smoke a lot of pot because they're typically not only boring, but in to very boring things (such as more pot or simply being high).  I did my time doing drugs as a teenager and had a bit of fun, but I definitely feel (from personal experience) that smoking pot is a very antisocial drug, especially compared to legal things like smoking and drinking.  Is this a side effect of it being illegal?  Possibly, but (again, from personal experience) pot seems to sap the initiative out of folks, especially through continued use.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on March 26, 2009, 09:02:33 PM
Honestly I think you're reversing your cause and effect.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bal on March 26, 2009, 11:06:34 PM
I agree that potheads are more boring to interact with than damn near any other group of people, but that's no reason for it to be illegal.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: JDigital on March 27, 2009, 01:04:33 AM
There's a real problem of getting reliable information on whether drugs are as dangerous as the law suggests. Who do you trust?

The politicians who make drug laws don't use drugs, at least not publically. Their information comes second and third hand at best, and relies largely on research by third parties. Their goals include raising their own personal profile and keeping important people happy at the cost of others. They're at least occasionally corrupt.

The scientists only know about drugs what they can verify using science, and even then only when paid. Even then, the results are only as public as public interest. The meaning of the results can and will be twisted by people who aren't scientists and have their own biases. Studies will frequently be funded by anti-drug campaigners to lend credence to their message, but not government groups (who assume they already know all the details) and certainly not drug users (who may not have funding and, as persons who break the law, cannot act openly). Again, because drug use is illegal, research is hampered, and can only take place with government consent, which only occurs when government has its own agenda or else accedes to someone's demands. Another setback is that science knows relatively little about the functioning of the brain, making any evidence that would exonerate drug users extremely costly and time-consuming to extract.

The police only enforce the law, even if they don't agree with it. They may have a skewed perspective as they are responsible for managing drug-related crime.

The average person knows little about drugs, and isn't qualified as an authority on the topic. If they do use drugs, they do so in secret, as it's illegal. This discourages information flow on the topic and encourages the public consensus to support prohibition.

The drug users themselves are close enough to drugs to understand them better than anyone. However, their authority is undermined at several points. They may be expected to lie to protect themselves. Opponents can claim that the effect of drugs on the mind renders the opinion of users meaningless - they become a person without authority, like a child or madman. The only set of universally trusted drug users are strongly reformed ex-users, and this group has a clear bias.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Ted Belmont on March 27, 2009, 03:50:13 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdq4Llr-K-s
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bongo Bill on March 27, 2009, 04:24:12 PM
It's largely a question of what terminology the campaign/movement/thing is using. "Legalize marijuana" doesn't have the right ring to it, because the slogan has in it something that decent people don't use, at least theoretically. "End prohibition" might be better, as it's far more respectable, but then again, there are people who think that "prohibition" refers to the entire 1920s rather than any particular kind of policy.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on March 28, 2009, 10:15:16 AM
If they do use drugs, they do so in secret, as it's illegal.

 :wat:

Most kids I know won't shut the fuck up about pot.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on March 28, 2009, 11:04:32 AM
Not to a person in authority, Narc.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on March 28, 2009, 11:20:42 AM
All right, well, recreational pot isn't going to get legalized anytime soon (though medical marijuana is being approved in NH), so let's talk about something that can and definitely should happen soon.

I think the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18.

I'd give several reasons why but I'm eating.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Alex on March 28, 2009, 11:29:40 AM
I've you got covered Kazz.

The legal drinking age should be lowered to 18 because...

A) 21?  Seriously?  Does 3 years somehow make a huge difference, nevermind the fact that you're a legal adult for EVERYTHING ELSE (except renting a car) at 18.
B) Kazz said so.

Edit: All the people I knew who did recreational pot would constantly tell me it's okay and doesn't hurt anyone (except themselves when it comes to finding a job).  Well, of course you're going to think that!  You're doing it and trying to justify it!
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on March 28, 2009, 01:32:17 PM
Bah, I think the shit's disgusting, but I don't think it's hurting anyone.  Plus if it were legalized people would stop bugging me to do it with them, probably.

The drinking age should stay 21 because if I had to fucking hide my liquor and stay out of bars for three years, you kids have to as well.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on March 28, 2009, 01:34:34 PM
But that's exactly the problem.

Kids are going to drink as soon as they get to college.  They're just fucking gonna.  Forcing them to do it in private, without anybody even remotely responsible around, is getting them fucking killed.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on March 28, 2009, 01:36:45 PM
Bah, I think the shit's disgusting, but I don't think it's hurting anyone.  Plus if it were legalized people would stop bugging me to do it with them, probably.

The drinking age should stay 21 because if I had to fucking hide my liquor and stay out of bars for three years, you kids have to as well.

Only three years?

So... at 18, you just said "Hey I'm 18 now! Time to take up AL-CO-HOL DRINKING!"?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Detonator on March 28, 2009, 01:46:08 PM
Bah, I think the shit's disgusting, but I don't think it's hurting anyone.  Plus if it were legalized people would stop bugging me to do it with them, probably.

The drinking age should stay 21 because if I had to fucking hide my liquor and stay out of bars for three years, you kids have to as well.

Only three years?

So... at 18, you just said "Hey I'm 18 now! Time to take up AL-CO-HOL DRINKING!"?

Yes, it's called "going to college".
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on March 28, 2009, 01:48:49 PM
I think the debate isn't about getting Obama to change his mind, it's about opening up a public dialogue about something that most politicians just refuse to challenge the CW on.

I don't like that we have to take baby steps, but they're better than nothing.  The Obama Administration has announced it won't follow the Bush Administration's example of raiding farms that grow medical marijuana; that may be a baby step but it's a damned good one.  We've got politicians in Northern California seriously suggesting legalization -- that's more of a stunt than anything, but again, it's opening a dialogue.

There's also news this week about NY State getting rid of mandatory sentencing and focusing more on rehab.  (Of course, rehab is for actual addicts, which means hard drugs and not marijuana, but it signals a change in thinking about drugs in general.)
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Misha on March 28, 2009, 01:53:48 PM
18? tons of people I know were drinking heavily well before then. Alchohol age restrictions do very little apart from occasionally allow the cops to totally get a bunch of people at a college party.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bal on March 28, 2009, 02:22:11 PM
Drinking age is ridiculous just for it's inconsistency. ie Able to die for your country at 18, but not drink in it. Adulthood as a legal status is absolute in every other regard, so why not here?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on March 28, 2009, 02:39:37 PM
Bah, I think the shit's disgusting, but I don't think it's hurting anyone.  Plus if it were legalized people would stop bugging me to do it with them, probably.

The drinking age should stay 21 because if I had to fucking hide my liquor and stay out of bars for three years, you kids have to as well.

Only three years?

So... at 18, you just said "Hey I'm 18 now! Time to take up AL-CO-HOL DRINKING!"?

Yes, it's called "going to college".

Well that's called "going to high school" here.

Seriously, most people up here begin drinking well before college. College is just where all the restraints come off.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on March 28, 2009, 02:42:32 PM
Also, you guys should bring back alcohol prohibition so that we can return to an era of secluded mountain stills and comedic breakneck police chases played against a background of banjo music.

(http://fc39.deviantart.com/fs6/i/2005/030/a/0/Moonshine_Chase___Color_by_Bjerg.jpg)
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bal on March 28, 2009, 02:43:25 PM
All we got out of that last time was Nascar. Never again.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: JDigital on March 28, 2009, 02:58:29 PM
The drinking age is 18 in the UK and we're doing fine*. It's only 21 in the US as a compromise with prohibition.

Sure, we have a 3.5% alcoholism rate and spend £20bn a year to combat the effects of alcoholism, but it's all good.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on March 28, 2009, 03:01:36 PM
The drinking age is 18 in the UK and we're doing fine*. It's only 21 in the US as a compromise with MADD.

The drinking age was raised in 1984.  The law is younger than I am.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on March 28, 2009, 03:33:31 PM
The question isn't "when do kids start drinking."  It's "when should we stop punishing them for it."  I think 18 is the most sensible spot.

Busting up college parties is a waste of time and tax money.  Wait until people actually get hurt.  Not every underage drinking situation is out of hand; my friends and I were nerds who'd get drunk and watch movies and play Sega Genesis RISK.  We didn't drive and we rarely raped each other.  Yet, cops came along one day and hauled us off.  (This was like 4 years ago.)
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: JDigital on March 29, 2009, 12:32:54 AM
It's a ridiculous misuse of police authority. Why give your kids the responsibility to choose their future, move a thousand miles away, study on their own, take heavy debt, then make them criminals for enjoying a beverage that their parents have demonstrated to be quite safe.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Norondor on March 29, 2009, 01:25:14 AM
Or, you know. Not.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on March 29, 2009, 01:33:47 AM
I think the fact that the little shits are more than boxer stains is proof that alcohol is a dangerous goddamn thing.

Doesn't mean three years makes a difference, though, except in encouraging the kids to hide from anyone with a shred of responsibility.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Norondor on March 29, 2009, 02:16:11 AM
Gives the 5-0 something to do apart from hassling decent people.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on March 29, 2009, 04:48:21 AM
You guys have forgotten one thing: Students are scum. And a little hardship makes for cleverer, better people.

 :happy:
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: BŁge on March 29, 2009, 04:53:00 AM
You guys have forgotten one thing: Students are scum. And a little hardship makes for cleverer, better scum.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on March 29, 2009, 09:25:24 AM
Hey, evil masterminds have to have some kind of recruitment grounds for henchmen.

Thugs fished from gutters and dressed in matching black singlets with yellow 'M's on the front just don't cut it any more.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on April 05, 2009, 07:46:26 PM
Amusing: Mexican drug lord thanks US for keeping drugs illegal. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/mexican-drug-lord-officia_b_179596.html?view=screen)

Whether or not he'd thank them twice as much if drugs were legal is another question entirely.
Title: Re: Legalise It!
Post by: Thad on April 07, 2009, 04:54:42 PM
The Reg (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/07/legalising_drugs_report/): study shows illegalizing drugs in Britain has made the problem a hell of a lot worse and cost the citizenry a shitload of money for no good reason.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: JDigital on April 09, 2009, 12:50:20 AM
I saw on the BBC News once that police chiefs in some major UK cities were advocating drug legalization (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/3460485.stm), much for the same reasons.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on April 09, 2009, 02:56:55 AM
You know, in the same way as Russia bit the bullet for the rest of the world and made the grand experiment to see if Communism would work out, sooner or later a major country is going to have to go no-holds-barred legalization-and-taxation, just so we can see what really happens.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bal on April 09, 2009, 05:03:49 AM
That's kind of a bad analogy, given that Russia only ever got half way through the communist process. Also, would the Netherlands count? There are restrictions on where you can use drugs, but they might actually be less strict than those governing cigarette smoking in California

I guess it counts if compared to your analogy.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Detonator on April 09, 2009, 05:32:55 AM
You know, in the same way as Russia bit the bullet for the rest of the world and made the grand experiment to see if Communism would work out, sooner or later a major country is going to have to go no-holds-barred legalization-and-taxation, just so we can see what really happens.

Is Portugal considered major? (http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Portugals_drug_decriminalization_bizarrely_underappreciated_Greenwald_0406.html)

Yeah, it's not quite "no holds barred", but still...

Quote
Compared to the low to moderate levels of drug use in Portugal since decriminalization went into effect, the majority of EU states have drug use rates that are double and triple that of Portugal today, according to the report.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on April 09, 2009, 05:40:25 AM
That's kind of a bad analogy, given that Russia only ever got half way through the communist process. Also, would the Netherlands count? There are restrictions on where you can use drugs, but they might actually be less strict than those governing cigarette smoking in California

I guess it counts if compared to your analogy.

Well, I was being kind of glib, but I might as well blabber on.

The Netherlands came to mind, but I think they don't count for several reasons: Some drugs were still illegal there and use was restricted to very defined areas. Also, the Netherlands is one of the more populous small countries, but it's still a smaller country.

But actually, to my mind, the most damning thing is that the Netherlands is a wealthy, often permissive country. They have had some trouble with drugs like any western nation, but nothing like the endemic issues faced in the US, Mexico, (to a degree) Canada, Britain or other places deep in a 'war on drugs' mentality. Any real experiment would need to be applied in those countries.

Will wider availaility over time lead to a decrease or increase in consumption? An increase or decrease in crime? Will decriminilization of consumption across the board allow for better treatement programs or will it just make things worse? I think that for any experiment to be useful, it will need to be much wider-ranging (for all or almost all drugs), in a larger country, and in one that already has a drug problem.

Warning - while you were typing a new reply has been posted. You may wish to review your post.

Hm, that's certainly relevant. One thing that should not under any circumstances be overlooked is the increase in treatment as money was shifted away from enforcement and prosecution and over to recovery.

It's such a horrible cliche, but I honestly wonder just how much of the allure of drugs has to do with its forbidden nature.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on April 09, 2009, 08:29:29 AM
It's such a horrible cliche, but I honestly wonder just how much of the allure of drugs has to do with its forbidden nature.

To my mind, the first time is likely an act of rebellion.  The second time and each future time is just because the first time kicked so much ass.

There isn't a kid in America who doesn't hear from every authority figure in his life that drugs are bad, all the way through high school.  There also isn't a kid in America who doesn't resent those same authority figures, aside from retards and Bible-thumpers.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Cthulhu-chan on April 09, 2009, 08:51:00 AM
Well, the bible thumper do, too.  They just have the omnipresent fear and paranoia of JESUS watching their every move.  Hearing every word.  Sensing every thought.   :proceed:

When I was a believer, I always hated that.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on April 09, 2009, 09:01:48 AM
I imagine being psychologically compelled to feel guilt and self-loathing and taught to endlessly seek acceptance from an invisible entity with whom you can't interact is somewhat troubling, yes.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on April 09, 2009, 09:55:18 AM
Actually most 'first times' I've seen were the result of soft peer pressure. Whether or not that constitutes rebellion is another question entirely.

One notable thing that was omitted from the Portugal article was whether 'reduced incidence' meants that the number of average users declined or the average consumption per user went down.

I.E. Did it cause less people to use, or did it only cause existing users to cut down? I'm mean, it's a good result either way, just that the former is probably better.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on April 09, 2009, 10:01:37 AM
So those kids just wanted to "fit in" with whoever they thought was cool.

And that kid they thought was cool probably wanted to "fit in" with some other kid that he thought was cool.  Probably some older kid.

I bet you could trace this back to some kind of Pot Jesus.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: JDigital on April 09, 2009, 12:47:08 PM
In one of his usual 5,000 word blog posts, Steve Yegge thinks legalizing pot is largely a problem of implementation (http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2009/04/have-you-ever-legalized-marijuana.html).
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Arc on April 09, 2009, 01:49:09 PM
That was... Special.

Legalization would find traction if dealt with on a state by state basis. The oddity that California could be the first state to legalize recreational smoking, while still outlawing gay marriage is... Is...

:scanners:
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: BŁge on April 09, 2009, 03:22:02 PM
Slightly off-topic: Today's My Messy Bedroom (http://www.joseyvogels.com/) article is about the aphrodisiac qualities of pot.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Romosome on April 09, 2009, 03:24:06 PM
That was... Special.

Legalization would find traction if dealt with on a state by state basis. The oddity that California could be the first state to legalize recreational smoking, while still outlawing gay marriage is... Is...

:scanners:

Old people hate queers but want pot for their joint pain?  (har har, joint)

I'm trying to blame Orange County here.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on April 09, 2009, 05:29:51 PM
There isn't a kid in America who doesn't hear from every authority figure in his life that drugs are bad

...going to have to nitpick about your hyperbole there, dude.

Actually most 'first times' I've seen were the result of soft peer pressure.

Mine was because

Slightly off-topic: Today's My Messy Bedroom (http://www.joseyvogels.com/) article is about the aphrodisiac qualities of pot.

yeah, that.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bongo Bill on April 09, 2009, 06:47:23 PM
There also isn't a kid in America who doesn't resent those same authority figures, aside from retards and Bible-thumpers.
I... guess that makes me a retard, then? This comes as a surprise.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Alex on April 09, 2009, 07:04:27 PM
I raged against the machine as a kid and teenager just like everyone else, but never saw the appeal in drugs even with 'grrrrr rebel!!!'.  Tried weed once to see what the big deal was, thought it was dumb when I got nothing out of it.

Now I just think drugs are dumb, the users are also dumb and I avoid them at all costs.

Except at work, where I hid the cigars in glass tubes from the tweakers.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kayma on April 09, 2009, 08:38:22 PM
I smoked half a cigar once. For a Clint Eastwood costume. I was 22.

Such a rebel.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Classic on April 09, 2009, 08:52:13 PM
There also isn't a kid in America who doesn't resent those same authority figures, aside from retards and Bible-thumpers.
I... guess that makes me a retard, then? This comes as a surprise.
You mean you don't whack off into holy books?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on April 10, 2009, 04:43:49 AM
There is no way that any given illegal substance is more harmful than HFCS (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012601831.html).

When you guys find something in the world that isn't going to kill me, let me know.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on April 10, 2009, 05:49:09 AM
CRUNK JUICE CRUNK JUICE
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kashan on April 10, 2009, 06:41:07 AM
There is no way that any given illegal substance is more harmful than HFCS (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012601831.html).

When you guys find something in the world that isn't going to kill me, let me know.

I can't tell whether you're being serious or not.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Classic on April 10, 2009, 11:57:46 AM
I never take Kazz seriously.

He's a cute, manic puppydog. With mod powers. :wuv:


But yeah. If you read the article he's not complaining about HFCS per se. So I'm guessing he's being a little bit sincere.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on April 10, 2009, 12:57:41 PM
Ah, mercury.  Sweetest of the transition metals.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Kazz on April 10, 2009, 03:16:53 PM
I'm not scared of fish, either.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Royal☭ on May 06, 2009, 04:39:52 PM
Schwarzenegger says he's open to debate on pot (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/05/MNO617F929.DTL&type=politics&tsp=1)

56% of Californians also favor legalization, and there's currently a bill in the legislature.  Now, how long until Ms. California comes out against it?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Romosome on May 07, 2009, 11:29:32 AM
I just want everyone here to know I did not vote for Ms. California
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on May 29, 2009, 11:25:22 AM
Property forfeiture based on drug crimes. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/convicted-pot-grower-wont-lose-her-house/article1159557/)

The main article is a midly interesting account of legal hairsplitting. What's really interesting the last paragraph that mentions that this has basically become a new revenue stream.

So in Canada at least, it appears that we are experimenting with a backdoor tax on grow-ops.

Interesting.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on April 08, 2010, 07:31:10 AM
Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Tax and legalize the sale of marijuana

...to people over the age of 30.

Because we all know the alcohol industry makes a huge profit off those 18-21 year olds who do everything in their power to purchase alcohol because it's illegal.  After 21, the market for vices pretty much disappears, except in the area of prostitution.  Why not let loose a brand new industry to tap that open market?

The government makes its cut off vice taxes, the kids and young adults get their weed by hook or by crook, the purists can bury the argument and be satisfied that the stuff will never legally touch anyone who shouldn't already have a career and a 401(k), parties actually have a fucking point again past college age, and pharma gets an injection shot in the wallet after being kneecapped by reform.  The only people who lose out here are the smugglers who for some odd reason I can't seem to sympathize with.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Royal☭ on December 22, 2010, 07:11:17 PM
Pat Robertson Wants To Legalize Pot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQi7A5MW2kQ#)
 :pop:
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: TA on December 22, 2010, 08:26:18 PM
Wonder what kind of cancer he just got diagnosed with.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Norondor on December 22, 2010, 09:05:07 PM
if there was a god, it would be "whole entire body at the same time" but i doubt we are so lucky
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 23, 2010, 08:08:55 AM
Huh.  I THOUGHT my grandma seemed much less worried about medical marijuana the last time the subject came up.  If Robertson says it's okay that would explain her attitude changing.

Meanwhile, NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/23/us/23pot.html): Montana juror pool refuses to convict a man on minor possession charges, even before the trial begins.

Not a perfect story as the guy's got a hell of a lot of other charges against him besides -- but then, he should presumably get convicted on THOSE.  I'm all for throwing him in prison for owning a gun despite having a prior; I just think focusing on a small amount of marijuana is a distraction from the stuff that's actually important.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 29, 2010, 09:05:56 AM
LA Times (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/24/nation/la-na-marijuana-juries-20101225) has more on the ramifications of the story.

Quote
"I was thinking, maybe I'll have to call a mistrial," [Judge Robert L. Deschamps III] said. "We've got a lot of citizens obviously that are not willing to hold people accountable for sales in small amounts, or at least have some deep misgivings about it. And I think if I excuse a quarter or a third of a jury panel just to get people who are willing to convict, is that really a fair representation of the community? I mean, people are supposed to be tried by a jury of their peers."

[...]

"My personal view, I think for the most part we should legalize marijuana and be done with it. Because I think it's created way more havoc and trouble than it's worth," Deschamps said. "But when you get some guy [like Cornell] that just comes and rubs it in your face.Ö"

Let's keep in mind, that's a JUDGE talking.  A judge who's a former prosecutor.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Norondor on December 29, 2010, 09:15:14 AM
Quote
"It's becoming an increasing problem. People just don't seem to care about marijuana cases anymore," said Brian Towne, the LaSalle County prosecuting attorney.

NOTE TO SELF: cry a river later
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Pacobird on December 29, 2010, 11:47:08 AM
A set of laws (see also: sodomy) historically enforced in such a way as to keep traditionally disenfranchised groups disenfranchised is becoming somewhat inexplicable now that said disenfranchised groups are gaining political power.  More progressive-minded prosecutors are naturally going to be some of the more vocal supporters of legalization, because they are less likely to associate their jobs with maintaining existing power structures.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on November 11, 2011, 10:37:35 AM
New Times (http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2011-10-20/news/in-a-strange-about-face-the-president-tries-to-hack-medical-marijuana-off-at-the-knees/) has a pretty good piece from a few weeks ago on the Obama Administration's systematic dismantling of state medical marijuana laws -- the IRS is denying deductions for dispensaries, and the Justice Department is threatening to charge banks with money laundering and arrest people who lease property for dispensaries.

It's slimy, slimy shit, a gross violation of a previous promise, and of course the victims are people who are seriously ill.

Hey Obama?  Fuck you.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bal on November 11, 2011, 11:29:55 AM
It's the one issue on which it seems the left and right agree almost completely, and the government does exactly the opposite of public will. Who could be surprised at this point.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on November 11, 2011, 11:31:50 AM
Still holding out hope that the main reason he's the de facto nominee is to rudely surprise the candidates who've built their entire campaign around the idea that all Democrats are Obama.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bal on November 11, 2011, 11:47:11 AM
Unfortunately I cannot think of a candidate on either side who I would prefer to Obama.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on November 11, 2011, 12:06:24 PM
I would already prefer Huntsman to Obama.  Hell, I might even pick Romney when it inevitably comes down to it.  An overwhelming Democratic victory in Congress and a landslide vote against Obama would be the best kind of referendum we could actually hope for.  Plus, if we can get the Democratic Congress to ACTUALLY DO THEIR JOBS AND STOP SHIT, then it opens up the possibility of a real long-term solution to this whole conservative tailspin situation.  In 2012 we staunch the bleeding; in 2014 we cleanse the infection; in 2016 we can start healing the patient again.

I hold no reasonable hope of the immediate future being rosy in any situation, but I do think there's a path we can take that doesn't end with our children being fucked at birth.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on November 21, 2011, 02:12:54 PM
Cedar-Sinai takes cancer sufferer off transplant list for taking the medical marijuana its doctor prescribed (http://boingboing.net/2011/11/21/cedar-sinai-takes-cancer-suffe.html)
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on November 21, 2011, 02:18:38 PM
Cedar Sinai gave my sister stomach cancer.  Those guys are dicks seriously.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on November 23, 2011, 08:34:04 AM
88-year-old man who sells iodine crystals for water purification has been shut down (http://boingboing.net/2011/11/23/popular-mom-and-pop-water-puri.html) because, like many chemicals, they can be used in meth production.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: BŁge on November 23, 2011, 08:53:39 AM
They need to shut down Wal-Mart, since you can buy spoons, lighters, candles and baking soda, which are all things that may be used to make crack cocaine.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 02, 2011, 09:36:48 AM
io9 (http://io9.com/5864321/legalizing-marijuana-could-reduce-traffic-fatalities): study shows that states where medical marijuana is legal have fewer fatal traffic accidents; argues that people are more likely to drive stoned than drunk if the penalties for both are equal, and the former is less dangerous.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but decreasing traffic deaths is a good thing.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Royal☭ on December 02, 2011, 10:53:18 AM
It may not be about the state of the driver, just that in order to drink most people go out to bars, then have to drive home. To smoke weed, you can just stay in.

Which just emphasizes my larger point about cars and driving: The less we have to do it, the less likely we are to die. Which is obvious, and steps up public transportation from a convenience to a civil right and public safety issue.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 02, 2011, 10:59:32 AM
...but you can drink at home, too.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Brentai on December 02, 2011, 11:12:54 AM
I've always maintained that private transportation should be outlawed (despite the awesome two-wheel turn I pulled out of the offramp this morning).  But that's another topic!

You're both right though; I'd like to see that statistic hold up in areas where marijuana is served publically (which unfortunately is pretty much limited to one extremely unreliable point of data).
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Norondor on December 02, 2011, 01:37:45 PM
...but you can drink at home, too.

but there's a tradition of getting drunk to meet people and much less of one for getting stoned to meet people. (also, no such venue exists.)
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 02, 2011, 01:49:25 PM
I've been to plenty of parties where people were smoking.  Not the same thing as going to a bar, but pretty much the same thing as going to a party where beer was served.

...though granted, I've been to parties with beer and no pot and can't say I've been to a party with pot and no beer.

Course, any party I go to is by definition a party where someone brings beer.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Rico on December 02, 2011, 02:07:35 PM
There's also much more pot use at bars than some of you may be aware of.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on December 02, 2011, 04:03:52 PM
I've always maintained that private transportation should be outlawed (despite the awesome two-wheel turn I pulled out of the offramp this morning).  But that's another topic!

All my turns are on two wheels. :>_>:
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 14, 2011, 07:49:05 AM
Now this is interesting: even the Cato Institute (http://boingboing.net/2011/12/13/cato-institute-video-ending-t.html) favors ending the War on Drugs.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on January 18, 2012, 02:21:30 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention this the other day, but there's an interesting legalization wrinkle going on up here.

Okay, so backstory, the Liberal Party was smashed in the last election and is currently trying a very comprehensive rebuild. Their sorry state is making them open to all kinds of new things.

At the party convention last weekend, Liberal Party members voted to make full legalization of pot a goal and a campaign issue in the next election.

I'm posting this here rather than in the News from the North thread because if that actually went through, it would have a very noticeable effect on you guys. Though who knows what those effects might be.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on March 08, 2012, 02:05:00 PM
Quote from: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/03/08/20120308pat-robertson-pot-should-legal-like-alcohol.html
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says marijuana should be legalized and treated like alcohol because the government's war on drugs has failed.

...huh.

Well, strange bedfellows, but if he can get the evangelicals onboard then more power to him.  Just this once.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bal on March 08, 2012, 02:14:36 PM
I've said it before, but at this point almost nobody seems to want marijuana illegal anymore except the federal government.l
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: TA on March 08, 2012, 03:24:36 PM
I've said it before, but at this point almost nobody seems to want marijuana illegal anymore except the tobacco and alcohol industries.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mothra on March 08, 2012, 03:25:40 PM
I still can't believe tobacco ever managed to become a profitable crop. The abstraction we had to reach in order to make it desirable is actually really impressive.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on March 08, 2012, 04:16:14 PM
I still can't believe tobacco ever managed to become a profitable crop. The abstraction we had to reach in order to make it desirable is actually really impressive.

Bob Newhart skit on Tobacco (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7YBaiJMnik#)
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mothra on March 08, 2012, 04:44:50 PM
hehe

Ahhh the classics~
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: BŁge on November 07, 2012, 09:55:33 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/LNdsc.png)
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Cthulhu-chan on November 07, 2012, 11:41:41 AM
Ahaha, smooth
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Shinra on November 07, 2012, 12:07:40 PM
How do you guys think the Obama administration is going to respond to legalization in CO/WA? If at all?
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Bal on November 07, 2012, 12:13:51 PM
ATF will occasionally flex it's muscles and arrest a bunch of people on federal charges, and then other people will start up three new stores. Hail Hydra.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Tefari on November 07, 2012, 03:14:23 PM
I've said it before, but at this point almost nobody seems to want marijuana illegal anymore except the tobacco and alcohol industries.
Alcohol maybe but I imagine that the tobacco industry has plans set aside for if/when pot is legalized so they can swoop in and make (another) mint. They already have the infrastructure, it wouldn't be too hard to alter the contents of what goes into that white paper tube and mass produce it.

Anyways yey this is an awesome step towards a sane drug policy in the US.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Shinra on November 07, 2012, 03:49:45 PM
So how long before states bordering CO/WA start setting up checkpoints and border crossings to prevent the inevitable stream of pounds and pounds of marijuana?

I understand there's limits to how much you can technically obtain but legalization is going to make that shit a lot more accessible in those states. People already drive out of Oklahoma to buy high % beer, trips in to Colorado would be inevitable.


Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Sharkey on November 07, 2012, 04:28:17 PM
I've said it before, but at this point almost nobody seems to want marijuana illegal anymore except the tobacco and alcohol industries.
Alcohol maybe but I imagine that the tobacco industry has plans set aside for if/when pot is legalized so they can swoop in and make (another) mint. They already have the infrastructure, it wouldn't be too hard to alter the contents of what goes into that white paper tube and mass produce it.

Anyways yey this is an awesome step towards a sane drug policy in the US.

Yeah, my dad is always telling me how RJR had plans for this, and still have marijuana cigarette packaging and ad materials that've been warehoused since the 70s just waiting to roll out. The story usually comes up right after the car that runs on water, and right before the bit about how every atom is, like, a whole universe. Regardless, you're probably right about tobacco jumping on this shit. Hell, I actually kind of wish the stoned rantings were true. Rolling out anything resembling a 70s ad campaign would actually work spectacularly well at this point.

Anyway, it'll probably take a little while yet, but I'm calling this thing as inevitable, with some quibbling over just how long it'll take. The war on drugs is eventually going to be joining chicken pox on the list of things that make me feel old. Wish my grandfather was still alive so we could bond over polio and prohibition.

Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on November 07, 2012, 07:03:46 PM
ATF will occasionally flex it's muscles and arrest a bunch of people on federal charges, and then other people will start up three new stores. Hail Hydra.

Pretty much this.  The Administration has been pretty hostile toward medical marijuana -- another broken promise from Barack -- but it's not so easy to crack down on civil disobedience when it's mayors, governors, and attorneys general engaging in it.

Anyway, it'll probably take a little while yet, but I'm calling this thing as inevitable, with some quibbling over just how long it'll take.

Well right, there's the rub.  It's inevitable, but it's been inevitable for 50 damn years.  My dad occasionally shakes his head and says how he always figured it'd be legal by now.

The arc of history is long, and something something something.


EDIT: It's interesting to go back to the beginning of this thread and see just how much this has shifted in just four years.  Despite Obama's best efforts to be a Democrat about it.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on December 14, 2012, 11:35:09 AM
Obama: U.S. should not act on pot use in Washington, Colorado (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/14/usa-marijuana-obama-idUSL1E8NE42B20121214)

Quote
"It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state law that's legal," he told ABC News in part of an interview released on Friday.

Note the phrasing: "should not", "does not make sense".  At no point does he say "won't".

It should bear adding that I trust Obama about as far as I can throw him on this; he already pledged not to go after medical marijuana dispensaries and then turned around and went after medical marijuana dispensaries.  If he won't pay more than lip service to allowing access to medicine for goddamn cancer sufferers, I see no reason to think he'll be sympathetic to recreational users.

Quote
Congress is also expected to weigh in soon. Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy on Thursday said he plans to hold a hearing soon after the next Congress convenes in January.

In a separate letter to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Democrat said lawmakers could reconcile state and federal laws, for example, by amending the federal law to allow small amounts of marijuana in states that have legalized it.

And then we get to play the fun game where Republicans try to reconcile their stated position on states' rights with their actual position on states' rights.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Mongrel on August 29, 2013, 11:37:57 AM
Holder states the DOJ will not sue or otherwise actively resist legalization laws in CO and WA. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/30/us/politics/us-says-it-wont-sue-to-undo-state-marijuana-laws.html?_r=0)

There's a significant asterisk in that they're reserving the right to sue later should they feel like doing so, but I'd like to tentatively hope they'll avoid hitting the hornet's nest considering how little real gain in it there would be.

Based on the article, I'd LIKE to think the DOJ will be satisfied with things as long as the States treat it similarly to liquor (perhaps with stronger regs than actual liquor, but in a similar spirit and practical construction). We'll see, I guess.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Thad on August 29, 2013, 03:15:53 PM
Popehat (http://www.popehat.com/2013/08/13/the-eric-holder-memorandum-on-mandatory-minimum-sentences-explained/) had a good post I meant to link weighing the pros and cons of the JD's new guidelines to get around minimum sentencing for minor drug offenses.

tl;dr it's mostly good news, because minimum sentences for minor drug offenses are terrible.  But the downside is that any instance of the DoJ granting itself more power to decide who it does and doesn't threaten with what DOES have the potential for abuse.
Title: Re: Legalize It!
Post by: Pacobird on August 30, 2013, 03:49:56 AM
This past weekend I had an argument about Detroit with a guy who is a total asshole but whom it is in my personal interests to keep trying to find ways to like.  I suggested the main problem with Detroit is that it is really, really, REALLY easy to move drugs there given the inability of the police to actually monitor the area effectively, and so no opportunities available to (many) people living in the city come anywhere close to the amount of money they can make by dealing.

He did not like it when I started talking about who was actually buying those drugs.

Quote
tl;dr it's mostly good news, because minimum sentences for minor drug offenses are terrible.  But the downside is that any instance of the DoJ granting itself more power to decide who it does and doesn't threaten with what DOES have the potential for abuse.

That's a fair point but the DoJ already had that authority, for better or worse.  Obviously it would be better for this to happen legislatively, but even if support for the War on Drugs is flagging I'm not sure I take that to mean voters oppose criminalization outright.