• bubba4

    “Like many of my detractors, you point to the harmlessness of the drug. But people are not thrown “in jail” for “growing and consuming a plant.” Surely, you would have to agree that marijuana is not just a “plant” that you would grow in your garden, like spinach. In fact, a better analogy might the one of growing poppies to produce opium.”

    Mary obviously doesn't know shit about marijuana, hemp, or the entire issue. Face it, she's old and the thought of smoking “the devil's weed” makes her self-righteous moral sensors light up. Who gives a bloody dingo's kidney what she thinks.

    Legalization is about keeping squares like Mary from denying stoners their fun and patients their medicine. It's about righting a terrible wrong that was done on the behest of industry a long time ago in this country…to prevent hemp from becoming a cash crop.

    As for that poor bastard in Panama City, he lives in Florida and that state has draconian “Zero Tolerance” drug laws. He was probably worried about losing his car and being thrown in prison after the cops label him a “dealer”.

  • andrewnitzberg

    This is a difficult issue.

    1920's prohibition actually had a huge positive impact on our society in attaching a stigma to alcohol that has persisted and intensified in the past 1/2 century. In this our society has been a world-leader.

    The point is made that criminalizing pot has an impact similar to Prohibition's effect on alcohol. It promotes the belief that pot is harmful to the chronic user's health. This contributes to a stigmatization and attaching a stigma is an important and beneficial goal for society generally.

    It is, of course, true that there are no 'casual users' of pot or other illegal drugs in prison today. That 'full prisons' argument is complete fiction. The actual criminal charges need to be measured and not the end result of a plea-bargain agreement.

    The criminal costs to society of criminalizing pot that we measure are very small.

    Could pot be regulated such that it is dissociated from criminal activity – probably not because it will always be produced by small growers who will sell an unregulated and untaxed product. I think pot is different from tobacco in the profitability of the product to the small grower.

    I do wonder why don't we have “boutique tobacco” cigarettes. We have 'boutique pot' growers but not small “boutique” tobacco farms. The question is interesting in that it tries to address the issue of small entrepreneurialship and pot. The point is that many pot growers, distributors, and retailers use pot as a cheap entry product for capital formation applied to other criminal activity.

    Pot might be better compared to Crystal Meth in that each is a favored product of 'boutique' (small) businessmen. Pot should be compared to both alcohol and crystal meth in their impacts on society as well as on individuals.

  • Proxywar

    “Part of the absolutism is the refusal to acknowledge any of the dangers associated with marijuana or the concessions I made about the dangers of alcohol. In my column I compared smoking marijuana to drinking alcohol, which I think is apt, depending on the strain of marijuana. Both are used socially, both are relaxants, and both can be addictive. The debate centers on legality.”

    Lady are you shitting me? Alcohol is worse than marijuana. http://www.physorg.com/news157280425.html You going to bring back prohibition? David is correct on this matter it's about the real freedom to choose. You really need to get out of the way and let the libertarians run things for a while. We've had enough of your type telling us what is and isn't correct for us. Your idea of “FREE TO CHOOSE” is selective and hypocritical.

    “In fact, a better analogy might the one of growing poppies to produce opium.”

    Not even in the same ball park. That's like comparing apples to oranges.
    You've obviously never done opium or smoked some weed. If you had
    you know how off base that comparison is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1317763406 facebook-1317763406

    Ms. Grabar: Can you point me towards one peer reviewed article that proves that marijuana is addictive or dangerous?
    I'm a registered nurse who works in critical care. I've never treated nor have I heard of anyone being admitted to a hospital for extreme marijuana intoxication. Those effected by alcohol and tobacco consumption present themselves daily.

  • kwg1947

    David starts out by describing the governments role as seen by our founders as that of protecting individual LIBERTY! That is what they believed and accomplished in the founding documents.

    LIBERTY, as I and as John Stuart Mills defines it, is the individuals right to do anything at all they want as long as they do not infringe on the LIBERTY of others. The definition thus offered also includes this additional qualification. For those incapable of knowing how to exercise responsibly the GOD given right of LIBERTY, either because of mental incapacity (disease) or of insufficient age to be considered by society as being able to assume those responsibilities (maturity/age of majority/children), we should put laws in place to protect these categories of the vulnerable among us.

    So David gets close to making the above in his argument but does not finnish the job. Instead both he and Marg Graybar take a divergent path and begin discussing the medical ramifications of taking drugs as well as the legal violence issues surrounding the use of drugs. I do not condone taking drugs as mentioned in the articles or the abuse of alcohol either, just for the record. However none of these issues addresses LIBERTY as a right of individuals but attempts to justify why we must surrender our LIBERTY so that others can be saved from doing dangerous things as society/culture defines them. None of this was included in the concept of the protection of individual/personal LIBERTY in our founding documents.

    A far better approach is to enact laws about all drug use, or any other actions of individuals which would hurt or impair anyone elses LIBERTY at the expense of that individual exercising their LIBERTY.

    This approach gives us the maximum LIBERTY in our lives while providing a remedy for those who in exercising LIBERTY impede on others LIBERTY.

    Anyone, who is mentally and legally competant to make a judgment to take an action, and wants to destroy themselves as a free individual they should be allowed to do so as long as it does not violate anothers LIBERTY!

    We truly then really do have LIBERTY!

  • jenomblbnu

    I gave up smoking weed because it kept leading me back to really dangerous drugs, like tobacco. I now cook it in various tasty, swift-acting ways. It's weaned me off alcohol almost completely, apart from very occasional bottles of organic white wine from Moravia, which are simply too delicious to abandon. The chronic pain of several botched spinal operations is alleviated. I remain an efective and respected teacher in a prominent state institution as well as English-language editor to several highly technical, peer-reviewed scientific journals. I have never, in 40 years of keeping an eye on such things, found a credible account of either addiction (the pathetic special pleading of 'psychic addiction' excepted) or physical harm/overdose resulting from THC intake. Sure, the insecure and already unbalanced should steer clear of it for fear of nasty internalised mental episodes – but isn't this a recommendation rather than a drawback? If only the unbalanced would lay off the alcohol, the world would be a happier place. As for the culture/politics divide, I feel that this is just another lexical windmill, ripe for tilting by those with time on their hands.. I'm a conservative, a believer in personal freedom for as long as it does not infringe on others' personal freedoms. The ghosts of obsolete propaganda must be exorcised, whether they walk the musty corridors of US legislation or the bloody streets of Gaza. Just legalise pot, just for a trial year or two, and see if society falls apart. Just kick back against leftist-backed Islam, just for a year or two, and see of the place improves. It's the left and it's nanny-statism, its counterintuitive tolerance of people who simply don't like us, its daft reluctance to address drugs and sexuality in any rational way, which has led us to the kind of pass where we have to spend valuable time debating a harmless pastime while Rome burns.

  • denbee

    Okay, let's comapre…drink a bottle of whiskey and you will overdose. Smoke a pound of cannabis and you still won't overdose. Cannabis expands your senses, I can appreciate a good book, movie, art, conversation, food, alcohol dulls your senses. Cannabis induces a feeling of well being and peace. Alcohol induces aggresiveness and violence and stupidy. Cannabis will not cause blackouts, vomiting, slurred speech, stumbling or liver disease, alcohol will. Want to go on? Educate yourself before you spout off like an expert.

  • donnamarie

    First, I do believe that marijuana is probably bad to do on any kind of daily basis-exactly like alcohol. I find that people I know that have been using since college on a daily basis are a little incoherent and tough to follow at times-sort of like the alcoholics but they do not smell as bad.

    Second, I recall a case 20 years ago where DEA apprehended individuals transporting 300 lbs of marijuana from Texas to Virginia. The mastermind received only 6 months in jail and the judge almost laughed that the U.S. Attorney would even pursue such a thing.

    Finally, with regard to the criminalization of hemp-as I seem to recall it had to do with the development of nylon and the chemical company (Was it Dupont?) involved put pressure on congress to criminalize hemp so as not to compete with the use of nylon by our Department of Defense.

    I don't know but I have never had a problem with the decriminalization of marijuana and I consider myself a conservative with strong Judeo-Christian upbringing.

  • denbee

    Cannabis laws that are based on the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, which were enacted largely because of lies, deception and big business influence, were morally bankrupt from the start. To continue this farce in the light of what we now know is the truth creates disdain, disgust and distrust for the current laws and the creatures that support, arrest, fine and otherwise ruin the lives of millions of good people. The current law provides penalties that are far more damaging than the supposed crime itself and has only served to line the pockets of the enforcers. Of course they are against removing cannabis prohibition! Everybody acts in their own self interest. It has become a cash cow for them. A recent national Angus Poll, for the first time ever, declares that 53% of Americans favor outright legalization, regulation and taxation of cannabis. We are now the majority and growing!! Current and future lawmakers had better take notice. It is now to their advantage to be on the side of the cannabis majority. Sit back folks and watch what happens now… the will and the voice of the people are now stronger and louder than the past lies and distortions and we are about to be very noticed. We will no longer ask or beg pretty please to end these immoral laws, we demand an end to these draconian laws and let's not be shy about letting our lawmakers, present and future, know this. I will not vote for any candidate who will not get off the cannabis fence and work to remove these laws, quite simply. I do not want to hear the “more research is needed” drool, nor will I tolerate the lame “gateway drug argument” anymore. These are fence tactics used by too many politicians to avoid exposing themselves to the cannabis issue. Their survival will now depend on what side of that fence they want to be on, the majority or the minority. Guess which one they will choose. Keep up the good fight.

  • Tom

    I like to think of a simpler, more cogent arguement.

    Assuming the argument that Marijuana is the same as alcohol (which most proponents say).

    Why would a person who is “high” be treated any differently from a drunk?

    Would they be required to attend a rehab course similar to AA if they were caught driving under the influence, or worse, having an accident?

  • Kirkmuse

    Beyond the fact that our so-called war on drugs is counterproductive
    and a complete waste of money, what about the right of adult
    citizens to be left alone–especially in the privacy of our
    own homes.

    We don't punish those who attempt suicide and survive. So why
    do we punish those who consume the wrong (politically selected)
    recreational drugs?

    I don't want my government attepting to protect me from myself.
    I want my government to protect me from those who want to harm
    me against my will.

    Today, our nanny-state government tells us which recreational drugs
    we may or may not consume. (Note that Viagra is OK, but marijuana
    is not). Note that tobacco is OK, but marijuana is not.

    Tomorrow, our nanny-state government will tell us which foods we
    may or may not eat. For our own good and protection, of course.

  • bubba4

    “Pot might be better compared to Crystal Meth in that each is a favored product of 'boutique' (small) businessmen.”

    You're just as bad as this Mary lady in the article. Crystal Meth is a highly addictive and toxic drug that erodes the decision making centers of the brain amoung many bad phyical side effects. Meth destroys people and families It is a powerful and dangerous substance that some people will not be able to control themselves with.

    Pot has many legitimate medical benefits and is not addictive. Besides tar (from smoking it) it is relatively harmless and has no significant long-term effects on the brain.

    Tobacco is more difficult to cultivate and harvest than pot and requires more post-processing. If you made tobacco illegal for a couple of years, then a black market would develop and the price of a cigarette would shoot up to $10.

  • The_Inquisitor

    I see five avenues of approach to drug use and laws prohibiting drug use.

    1. Scientific/medical: Does it shorten your life? Does it significantly impair your enjoyment of life? Does it cause you to shirk your responsibilities? I don't know the answers, but I suspect that for many if not most drugs the answer is yes.

    2. Moral: If for any drug the answer to any one of the foregoing questions is yes or even in question then its use is immoral — excepting, of course, in overriding circumstances as in alleviating the pain of a terminal patient.

    3. Economic: Moral drug use is an economic boon. A person trades a number of dollars for a quantity of drugs; he is richer; the seller is richer; and it's an obvious economic plus. For immoral drugs the answer isn't so clear. On the one hand such drugs may have the unintended consequence of killing or impoverishing the user. On the other hand such drug use may significantly improve the gene pool and thus promote economic prosperity.

    4. Legal: As the context is the United States I subdivide the legal avenue into two parts.

    4a. Federal Government: That's easy. The Constitution, and hence the federal government, has nothing to say about drug use. End of story.

    4b. State and local government: These entities have police powers and can do pretty much whatever they want. They can require people to abide by community standards of behavior — naked on the public streets of San Francisco, burqas in Detroit, and dress as God intended in Mobile; wear a burqa or parade naked in Mobile and you will get your ass hauled into court. You decide where you want to live; Mobile is my choice. Gotta love a country with such potential diversity.

    5. Sociological: You don't let a child play with a loaded gun. With all the government handouts and safety nets the American people no longer have to take responsibility for their own lives. To let a nation of people who function at the level of a three year old have dangerous drugs is reprehensible. Get rid of Big Daddy first. After we have returned to a nation of responsible people who can stand on their own two feet and take responsibility for their own actions, then we can restore the rest of the Constitution and get the federal government out of the drug regulating business.

  • http://kennetholsen.com/ Kenneth Olsen

    For serious analysis of the history and principles involved, please see
    “Ceremonial Chemistry” and “Our Right to Drugs,” by Dr. Thomas Szasz.
    Then let's build a memorial to all the victims of the War on Drugs.

  • bushlikesdick12

    If I

    Regarding your statement “Legalization is about keeping squares like Mary from denying stoners their fun and….” Here in California the pot law enforcement is a joke. Everyone is buying a medical card so that they can toke up without looking over their back and to get access to the really potent stuff in the pot store. A neighbor of mine, who is a chronic alcoholic on top of being a pot head, smokes out of his small bong at our community pool when know one is watching — and I live in a very conservative area. I think it should stay status quo: There is an example of lack of logic: I was a pickup carpenter on this high end residence in Malibu and the whole crew, including the bossman, were smoking it before, during, and after work. I was told to go the second floor of one of the wings to frame in a closet. Above me was a pothead framer named Joe who was measuring each rafter jack for this hip roof. I asked him why he would do that when he can just use the rafter book and cut them all on the ground — he told me to mind my own business but there is a problem — it became my problem. I snapped a line 2' parallel to a wall. At the intersection of the perpendicular wall I noticed it didn't look square. So I cross taped the wing and found it to be 3 1/2 inches out of square with a room about 25'x25' or so— I don't remember. I remember 3 1/2″ because that is the standard width of a 2×4 which leads me to believe the problem started way in the beginning stages of framing probably snapping lines on the concrete. So here is the logic or lack of: Why would you continue framing a house when you know it is way out of square? Iv'e been in construction for 25 years now and that is the only time I have worked on a project with that much of stupid logic and the only time I've worked with that many potheads. Ironically, that is also the first and only time I injured someone. The same idiot, Joe, insisted that I nail these boards together standing up with him in the line of fire with this Berryfast framing gun with no safety spring on it (you have to push onto something solid in order for the gun to discharge with this safety spring) Well I jumped when he yelled at me to “nail the fucking board already” (Joe was a professional middle weight boxer before he decided to become a full time asshole excuse of a framer) and the gun discharged and I shot him in the mouth point blank!! Needless to say, I got fired a few days later and Joe probably got fired shortly after that for framing that wing out square. This close knit of guys I know in construction learned through the grape vine that I shot Joe in the mouth and they all enjoyed every moment of that story. — That's what he gets! I ran into Joe a few months after that incident: till this day, he has this dip in his upper lip that makes him look like the Joker in Batman when he smiles. Nay — status quo please.

    can get it anytime, I'll smoking it everyday. The fact that it is a hassle to get unless you have some loser friends, makes keeping it illegal under control to a degree that it doesn't posion society as a whole.

    The arguement that alchohol is legal and therefore pot should be doesn't fly — I believe that is called an inconsitent comparison fallacy:

    Legalizing and taxing the drug doesn't make sense either since we will probably have more users and therefore a far more negative effect on our education system.
    In other words, the revenue gained from taxes may not or equal the cost of legalizing pot.

    Regarding the intent of our framers. The constitution was intended to be open-ended in such a way that the constitution would change with the demands of our future generations.

    George W. exploited that fact tremendously. Regardless if you agree with Gitmo or not, he stretched that right past the point of debate in the Supreme court.

    In other words, our Forefathers were smart enough to know that in order for this young Republic to survive, it needed a constitution that is fluid. That is why can amend it which gave us the Bill of Rights. We could overturn the Bill of Rights if it meant the survival of the govt. but the right to create a militia creates a problem for a a corrupt govt. that would find it necessary to abolish the Bill of Rights.

    Just because one is legal and appears to do far more harm doesn't justify legalizing other drugs such as pot.

    Nay — status quo please.

  • andrewnitzberg

    We seem to be addressing different issues. Surely you are not claiming that pot is a tonic and quite healthful?

  • andrewnitzberg

    We seem to be addressing different issues. You discuss (accurately) the physical impact of crystal meth and I analyze the 'business model' of the two illegal substances.

    Are you saying that each does not lend itself to a 'small business' model?

  • bushlikesdick12

    Comparing the two drugs is a fallacy. The cost of alcohol to society is tremendous and our laws barely keep a lid on pot.

    Ivé grown adults who have smoked pot almost everyday of their life after 14 years old and I can see the difference– they don't function well.

    An arguement can be used such as “look at Jerry Garcia” or how about Jim Morrison or Janis Joplin? They all got high — yea but they are all dead and they didn't have to participate in a 9 to 5 job either.

    You can't tell me that Keith Richards could become a tax preparer. The only thing that fried brain can remember to do is the guitar and to stick in his mouth.

    I hear ya on the expanding senses — I like to go for long hikes in the mountians.

    The regular everyday user is pretty dumb and that should be apparant to you if you're at least 40 years of age.

    That doesn't really become apparent when your young and using it because you haven't really experienced the long term effects.

    Trust me, I know quite a few 50 and 60 year olds that are worthless due to pot.

  • bushlikesdick12

    They do legalize pot for medical reasons. You shouldn't drink rubbing alcohol thou — that might have a dentrimental effect on your health.

    I think pot can be healthfull to the creativity as well as in the personal wellness of a moderate user — the chronic user is doomed to stupidity.

  • bushlikesdick12

    Can you justify the Opium Wars in China? Do you realize the lasting effect that drug had on them when the Brittish forced that drug on them?

    Imagine forcing everyone in our country to smoke pot till they got addicted. That would be Al Queda's wet dream — stoned homeland security. That works for terrorists that is for sure.

    I'm not suggesting that we are forcing pot on everyone but I am pointing towards the direction of where our society would go if you can buy it like a cigarette.

  • Proxywar

    forcing it on them? bitch it is their choice. anit noone talking about forcing weed on anyone. It will simplely be there for those who want to legally smoke it. Not to mention, it will decease the prison population. PLEASE!!!!

  • Jonathan

    Good story. I completely believe you, and I believe this story is repeated a million times a day around the country, every day, every year. I grew up in New Mexico, where pot use was prevalent and popular. I saw the same sorts of things.

    I think the penalty concepts need to be revised and reworked. Not the law itself.

  • Jonathan

    You aren't an expert either.

  • Jonathan

    So you're suggesting we bring back prohibition? Sounds good to me. Bring it on. I also favor the death penalty for DUIs that result in death.

  • bubba4

    Anything illegal makes a good small business for criminals….I was just reacting to the comparison on any grounds.

  • bubba4

    Regarding your construction example…

    In the normal, waking world…”polite society” as it were, pot should be thought of just like alchohol. If the guys were too drunk to work properly, then they should have been fired and the same for pot.

    Also..

    Pot is not for children.

    Pot is not for airline pilots, surgeons, or 911 dispatchers.

    The issue is really decriminalization…because it's a plant that grows out of the ground and it was made illegal. We shouldn't ride the fence on this…because I agree the “medical marijuana” thing is a farce…a backdoor to the desired goal. When the government is wishy-washy then it's a bit of a free-for-all….legalize, regulate it and tax it.

    you continue:
    “If I can get it anytime, I'll smoking it everyday…..

    Legalizing and taxing the drug doesn't make sense either since we will probably have more users and therefore a far more negative effect on our education system.”

    This is interesting. You don't seem to trust yourself with it…LOL. Look, everyone has to figure out how to handle themselves if they are going to self medicate in any regard. With pot you can come to terms pretty quickly on what is too much and the wrong time/circumstance…and you can reach this threshold by yourself without rehab, losing your job, and waking up in puddle with a dress on.

    There are also many different strains of weed that have varying effects on you. If you are smoking some really spacey, almost psychedelic weed and trying to operate a crane or do detailed oriented tasks…then you're a moron.

    I don't think is shouldn't be frowned upon in certain circles, just that it shouldn't be illegal.

  • bubba4

    “Pot is illegal because opinion leans that way. I find it no small coincidence that, as our society becomes more and more subverted to the left, the legalization of drugs becomes a more debatable concept.”

    Pot is illegal because our government criminalized it before you were born. Read benbee's post below or look it up on wiki. America has always had a puritanical streak, and the people who simply have a moral objection to smoking something for pleasure…bore me.

  • bubba4

    There is no physical addiction to pot. Once you had the power to smoke whenever you wanted and whatever kind you wanted…you might binge at first with the giddiness of a schoolgirl, but that wears off. You simply wouldn't want to be stoned all the time. But talking about anyone forcing you to smoke pot…that's just silly.

    Now, with certain other chemicals…like speed or heroin for instance…I would feel more like you…worried…

  • Jonathan

    Same thing. I speak to the fact that public sentiment is echoed in policy. Were it otherwise, it would be otherwise. And it isn't America who is solely “puritanical.” Our approach to drug policy is soft compared to the draconian measures of other countries.

  • macko

    “But they are people who are operating way below capacity, who have lost the ability to think logically or to care enough to argue logically. Their emotional relationships are shallow. They have lost initiative and that fighting spirit that defends the idea of liberty”

    From my own experience the effects of pot stay with you much longer than alcohol. Regular smokers are less productive than non-smokers of the same potential. It would only take a moment of reflection to see how many friends were left on the wayside due to not being able to smoke and cope.

    We need more productive citiens if these country is going to survive. Much like the Romans pot could be the lead in our wine

  • swemson

    David;

    Very interesting and provocative piece !

    I disagree with only one thing you said, but I totally reject Mary's entire premise.

    IMHO, which has previously stirred serious debate and generated many personal attacks on NewsReal, virtually all off our problems today are caused by leftist, progressive (Marxist) ideas that have grown more and more popular in the last 50+ years.

    I believe that most of the progressive's success, was not caused by the rejection of the American people to the actual principles of our founding fathers, but rather by their rejection of the manner in which the arrogant and sanctimonious extremists in the religious right try to force their religious principles upon everyone else.

    While it’s not the reason why hardcore far left revolutionaries believe what they do, it is I believe, the most effective tool that the far left revolutionaries have used against the principles of our founding fathers, in order to attract more and more followers to their side of the aisle.

    I just posted a comment on NewsReal in response to several comments by one of Newsreal’s resident religious extremists, in which I closed with the following words:

    ” The thing that makes you so annoying to me, and obviously to others on this blog, is that you really are an advocate of limited government, and almost all of the values of our founding fathers.

    Your one glaring flaw, both intellectually, and as a tolerant and compassionate human being, is that in your arrogant and sanctimonious piety, you are convinced that the same limited government, which is supposed to leave us the hell alone, should also be charged with the responsibility of endorsing and even promoting your particular religious beliefs.

    You, and the many others like you, are the ones who are really responsible for putting that damn COMMUNIST in the White House. It’s your bigoted and intolerant behavior, that has turned so many good people away from the right to the left. They didn’t vote FOR Obama… They voted AGAINST the thinking and behavior of people like you!”

    One of the most obvious current symptoms of such behavior is the war that the religious right is fighting against the gay community, who, as a small minority, have only been asking for the repeal of religious based laws that limit THEIR individual freedoms and liberties, by denying them the right to marry. The laws they’re fighting are one of the most flagrant examples of the prohibition by government of personal behavior which violates nobody else’s individual freedoms and liberties at all.

    These kind of laws disgust so many people that I’m virtually certain that even after the failure of the Bush administration (a different issue deserving of debate itself), Obama couldn’t have won the last election.

    Whenever I voice such opinions, I’m attacked as being anti religion, which I’m not. The religious principles of our founding fathers were beneficial in many ways to the success of their “grand experiment”. All I’m saying is that when the government tries to promote ANY single type of religious ideology through the law, it invariably insults and angers some members of the electorate, and I believe it damages the very fabric of our country, by weakening one of the main building blocks of our success as a nation, the freedom of religion.

    The only thing that you wrote that bothered me was part of the short paragraph (below) that preceded your absolutely BRILLIANT last paragraph:
    ”John McCain lost to Barack Obama because of politics, not culture. Obama was a more exciting candidate who ran a much more effective campaign. It’s that simple.”

    It bothered me because your PERFECT closing words, which I believe explains the REAL reason why the far left has managed to hijack our country, and do the enormous damage that it has already inflicted on our Constitution and our way of life:

    ”Conservatism must take the same approach to culture as the Constitution does — neutrality.”

  • shoebear

    Legally, I think David is right. However, Mary is correct that our Judeo-Christian culture is an essential part of the success of the USA. Without that, our country would never have amounted to much, if it had even succeeded in breaking away from Britain at all. As we lose our Judeo-Christian culture, we become weaker as a nation and more susceptible to collapse.

    Libertarianism appeals to me, but every time I've really thought through the issues, I end up taking a conservative position.

    I voted to legalize medicinal marijuana in Colorado, but I would vote against it now.

  • traeh

    Marijuana and alcohol have very different effects on drivers. Stoned drivers apparently drive more slowly and with a bit of paranoia. The opposite seems to be true of drunks. I saw a study that, as I recall, argued it is significantly less dangerous to drive stoned than to drive drunk. Obviously, one should not do either, because the stoned driver is also prone to certain driving mistakes, even if they are of a different sort than those that afflict drunks, and even if the stoned driver is a better driver than the drunk.

    Another interesting thing to factor in to this discussion is the effect of pot on the use of pornography. Pot will intensify the tendencies of some people to become addicted to or involved with pornography. Pot enhances the senses and intensifies the effect of porn. Among users, pot and porn are often, perhaps usually, means of self-indulgence, and they intensify each other.

    Another aspect of pot is that it brings altered states of awareness without any work or effort. Ideally, I suppose, learning (and altered or higher states of awareness) should be something that emerges from personal growth, ethical advance, and healthy contacts with nature, people, and the spiritual world. One can by effort and grace develop new organs of cognition that permit one to see whole new worlds in one's environment. And that is very different from simply lighting up. There is a huge difference between the scientist, or poet, or artist, or spiritual seer on the one side, and the stoner on the other, yet they all to some extent attain altered states of awareness through which the world can appear marvelous and new. I would say that the stoner is unconsciously using the spiritual world for a kind of spiritual masturbation, insofar as the stoned experience is rarely part of any attainments on the part of the stoner. The stoner to an extent merely exploits the spiritual world for his own private enjoyment. It's a bit similar to the man who exploits a woman's body as a sexual object. He does not become involved with her as an individual, but merely uses her generic qualities, her female anatomy. Similarly, the stoner does not have to transform himself. He does not have to endure the trials of any kind of initiation, any sort of death and rebirth. He does not have to engage the spiritual world so fully that he dies to his own past and is reborn. He does not “marry” the spiritual world, but to some extent merely uses it from outside, the way a womanizer uses a woman. By contrast, the poet who sees all kinds of imaginative resonances in nature, or even sees spirits and God visiting there, sees in that way as a result of many disciplines and accomplishments and refinements of personal integrity. The poet or spiritual seer if true, I think, is vulnerable to what he experiences, is affected to his core, undergoes profound self-transformation and growth, even spiritual death and rebirth. But the stoner, often, is enabled to give up any such effort to find within the spiritual world, visions of higher realities. He simply lights up and enjoys the trip. He is a consumer. The poet or spiritual seer is a producer, even though a significant part of his vision comes not through personal effort or moral advance, but rather by grace. Thus pot may retard the spiritual development of users, though perhaps if used only rarely, it cannot hurt and might even be a stimulus to the realization that there are other things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of by Horatio.

    Does this mean I'm against legalization? No. I haven't decided on that one.

  • bushlikesdick12

    There is a fallacy of a sort in your statement but I'm not sure which one it is — maybe begging the question.

    Many other countries seem to dissagree with you in that their policies lump pot with other drugs such as meth, speed, cocain…

  • Jonathan

    So you don't want to extend the “right” to everybody? Why? Would it be harmful for those people to smoke pot on a regular basis? But what business is it of ours if an airline pilot wants to smoke pot on his off time? Even heavily, like everyday for a full 30 year career, the good stuff?

  • bubba4

    and some countries have totally legalized it…

    There is no fallacy in what I'm saying…it's my casual opinion taken from personal experience.

    As for whether or not pot is addicitive…how many studies need to be done?

  • bubba4

    I was being pithy…not detailing a well thought out policy. Just trying to point out that decriminalization doesn't mean we give pot to kids and everyone is stoned all day endangering your life.

    I didn't say it was a “right”. For some it's medication, but for many it is simply a luxury. Airline pilots can't fly drunk and they shouldn't fly stoned either….because it's not about them, it's about the safety of the passengers.

    If you want to smoke pot all the time and walk around in a daze…maybe flying a commercial airliner isn't your bag. Don't they drug test already?

  • Jonathan

    The consequences of legalization became evident when the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in 1975 that the state could not interfere with an adult’s possession of marijuana for personal consumption in the home. The court’s ruling became a green light for marijuana use. Although the ruling was limited to persons 19 and over, teens were among those increasingly using marijuana. According to a 1988 University of Alaska study, the state’s 12 to 17-year-olds used marijuana at more than twice the national average for their age group. Alaska’s residents voted in 1990 to recriminalize possession of marijuana, demonstrating their belief that increased use was too high a price to pay.

    By 1979, after 11 states decriminalized marijuana and the Carter administration had considered federal decriminalization, marijuana use shot up among teenagers. That year, almost 51 percent of 12th graders reported they used marijuana in the last 12 months. By 1992, with tougher laws and increased attention to the risks of drug abuse, that figure had been reduced to 22 percent, a 57 percent decline.

  • bushlikesdick12

    hmm, does it sound like you are contridicting yourself now?

    I thought you were against laws against smoking pot?

    Drug test? You mean we can't trust their good judgement as you pointed out of my own judgement?

    So you do depend on safeguards for our society.

    At least I can admit I may not be able to stop myself from smoking pot if it was readily available.

    I can't even control my eyeballs when I see some leg and you expect me to turn down a pack of joints at the Seven eleven store?

  • bushlikesdick12

    I don't about that. I did some research on hash in Asia and found a website that itemized almost every country.

    The U.S. came out pretty liberal compared to most. I can't find the web site right now.

    For other information, they are pretty strict an cannabis in Japan, South Korea, Singapore… and they look at it as bad any other drug. The penalties are stiff and in many cases they kill anyone who transports or sells it.

    Whatever you do, don't be doing that in a foreign country unless you really know for sure what their attitude is.

    Forieners get special treatment from corrupt governments if you know what I mean.

    Mexico will extort the shit out of you while you can hear their mafia killing police outside your cell block.

    I don't think your right. — I think it has been status quo everywhere except a few areas like ours.

  • http://vampon.blogspot.com/ GJTryon

    Pot=dry beer. Grabar=wet dope.

  • traeh

    That might be the strongest argument against decriminalization: if it leads to significantly increased use among minors. But I wonder to what extent the increased use that shows up in the data you cite was part of the 1970s, the afterburn of the '60s, so to speak. Would decriminalization lead to the same thing, to the same extent, now, when society's attitude toward drug use among teenagers is far, far less permissive than it was in the '70s?

  • 7tabco

    I thing it needs to be legalized. But only because of the crime that occurs by people
    getting money for this and other drugs. I have never taken any illegal drugs and
    do not intend to do so. But, I am a realist and what we have been doing has not
    deterred them whatsoever. The real problem behind drugs is pushing them for money. If you legalize them, they will become so cheap there will not be a reason
    to push them. I think this would help our crime rate tremendously.

  • swemson

    Well said sir.

    You're right on the money !

  • bubba4

    I'm not sure why it matters what other countries are doing or if they “agree” with me or not.

    Are you saying that if a lot of countries ban it, then it's addictive?

  • bushlikesdick12

    No, I looked up your claim about pot not being addictive and I found that the jury is still out on that.

    What does the FDA say?

  • swemson

    Our EPA thinks CO2 is a pollutant.

    Do you really think that our FDA is likely to be following a scientifically valid agenda?

  • bubba4

    The FDA?

    It's a controlled substance…the government's position on pot is clear. It's bad, has no value, and should be stamped out.

    Here is a statement from 2006:
    http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/viewaddition

    There will be “professional” resistance to decriminalization for some of the same reasons it was made illegal in the first place. If you make it legal as a medicine for everyone, the drug companies would lose a lot of money.

    They will make the “no medical use” excuse as long as they possibly can.

  • bubba4

    “I thought you were against laws against smoking pot?”

    I am for decriminalization yes. I am glad they repealed prohibition but I don't want my airplane pilot drunk either. It's not either none of smoke pot or we are all forced to smoke pot.

    “Drug test? You mean we can't trust their good judgement as you pointed out of my own judgement?”

    Again…with people responsible for other people's lives, it's NOT ABOUT THEM.

  • Jonathan

    I hear you Traeh. But I don't think it really is the “strongest” argument.

    The strongest argument is that the voters, the people “on the ground” in the affected area got to decide for themselves and vote on it. That's the point. Yes, individual rights are important. But I also belive that We the People are smart enough to decide for ourselves what is appropriate and what isn't. It's one thing when a monarch or a tyrant living in some castle decides for US what rights we have and don't have. It's a different thing when those who live in the trenches decide for ourselves.