cannabisnews.com: We're Still Conflicted About Pot Use





We're Still Conflicted About Pot Use
Posted by CN Staff on October 04, 2007 at 09:05:29 PT
By Bil Paul
Source: San Mateo Daily News
California -- Pot, grass, weed, dope, Mary Jane, cannabis, ganja, reefer, sinsemilla and marijuana - all names for a locally grown cash crop. When rolled into cigarette form, it becomes a joint, a doobie, or when burned down, a roach. Ever since the 1960s, when it became the drug of choice for the hippie generation and GIs in Vietnam, marijuana has carried on an underground existence that won't go away. New generations are introduced to the drug in the same way they're introduced to cigarettes and alcoholic drinks.
A forbidden substance has a certain allure, especially when it seems natural as opposed to coming out of a clandestine chemical factory, and it seems harmless to just take a whiff. Despite its underground status, pot has a big presence in California. Commercial cultivation is a substantial business here in San Mateo County - so far this year, no less than 12 indoor growing operations have been raided. Helicopters searching the coastal hills when pot plants were reaching maturity in August helped local police find and uproot 11,000 plants with a street value of $39 million. Police won't say how or where they destroy the plants, except that they don't burn them! But San Mateo County's pot farms are small potatoes compared to much larger operations up north in remote areas. Billions of dollars change hands as their pot moves into the distribution chain and filters into both rich and poor neighborhoods (and college campuses). Marijuana was a legal medicinal remedy in this country before being declared illegal in the 1930s. Under federal law, it still is. Here in the county, being caught with less than one ounce of the stuff is a misdemeanor with a fine of $100. With more than one ounce, the penalty is six months in county jail. If the substance is hashish, or concentrated pot, one could spend three years in state prison. Dealing can get you four years. It's been said that the worst danger from smoking pot has been ending up in prison. It's a "soft drug" when compared to cocaine, amphetamines and heroin. In American society, we're two-faced about a lot of things. Sen. Larry Craig, ostensibly a family-values, anti-gay-marriage proponent, allegedly cruised for gay sex in a restroom. Probably a majority of Americans have taken a whiff of marijuana at one or more times in their lives, got a small high from it, and yet aren't about to admit this to their children, not wanting them to experiment as they did. Also, it has been a kiss of death for a person running for office to admit to having smoked pot, and if evidence is presented to the contrary they can always say, "I didn't inhale." President Bush is known to have had a somewhat wild youth which involved intoxicants of various sorts, but his Republican administration is very anti-pot. At private parties in homes, however, they may act quite differently, as with Rush Limbaugh and his drug use. But public acceptance of pot smoking has increased. Laws permitting the medical use of marijuana have been enacted by many states including California (in opposition to the federal law), after physicians and research showed that marijuana can be used to effectively treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite or other problems. San Mateo County has issued more than 900 medical marijuana cards to its citizens since its program began two years ago. However, local police, along with the county district attorney's office, recently closed three medical marijuana dispensaries in San Mateo. What's going on here? I'm told the county feels it's OK for authorized individuals to grow their own pot, and for groups of these individuals to form a collective to grow their own pot for free distribution, but the dispensaries had crossed a line by selling for a profit. County Supervisor Jerry Hill said they'd been warned last November but continued selling. One wonders if marijuana, after this initial breakthrough, will continue on a road toward legalization. One need only look at the small country of the Netherlands as a case history. Currently, coffee shops there can sell small amounts to visitors without fear of arrest. On one hand, this permissiveness takes some of the handling of pot out of the hands of drug traffickers and brings it into the open. In the future, this pot could be taxed and contribute to the country's bottom line. It also reduces the prison population. Still, one would like to know if availability increases the number of smokers. Part of me wonders if legalization might create just another avenue for unstable and troubled personalities (certain Hollywood personalities come to mind) to go downhill. On the other hand, if the number of pot smokers keeps increasing to a critical mass and enforcement becomes a joke (which happened during Prohibition), then legalization becomes more and more reasonable. Libertarians would argue that people should be able to decide what goes into their bodies and to determine what state of mind they want to be in. Along those lines, I've been watching the PBS TV series "The War," giving a realistic inside view of the carnage of World War II. Millions of American kids just out of high school were drafted and sent unto the hellish beaches of places such as Iwo Jima, where many thousands died. If young men are considered mature enough to fight and die for their country (as they now do in Iraq and Afghanistan), one would think they should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to drink a beer or smoke a lowly marijuana cigarette. Bil Paul's column appears Thursdays in the Daily News. Source: San Mateo Daily News (CA)Author: Bil PaulPublished: October 4, 2007Copyright: 2007 San Mateo Daily NewsContact: letters dailynewsgroup.comWebsite: http://www.sanmateodailynews.com/CannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #21 posted by Truth on October 05, 2007 at 09:19:41 PT
or...
"Part of me wonders if legalization might create just another avenue for unstable and troubled personalities (certain Hollywood personalities come to mind) to go downhill."Personally, I think a safer legal alternitive might help the problem. With pot they might not be so quick to drink themselves stupid.
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Comment #20 posted by afterburner on October 04, 2007 at 22:19:42 PT
MSM Deciding Candidates for Us before Primaries &
Conventions? None dare call it Democracy!In Ontario on October 10, 2007, the voters are voting on a referendum that if passed would change the method of electing Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs):The present system of First Past the Post awards the race for MPP to the party candidate with the most votes, usually a plurality, not a majority, in a multi-party race.(Suppose Party A gets 40% of the votes; Party B gets 30%; Party C gets 20%; Party D gets 10% in 2/3 of the ridings (electorial districts). Suppose Party B gets 40% of the votes; Party A gets 30%; Party C gets 20%; Party D gets 10% in 1/3 of the ridings. Party A would win 2/3 of the seats; Party B would win 1/3 of the seats; Party C and Party D would win 0 seats.)The proposed system of Mixed Member Proportional would ensure that all voters are represented by adding at-large party MPPs based on the proportion of the popular vote.(Suppose Party A gets 40% of the votes; Party B gets 30%; Party C gets 20%; Party D gets 10% in 2/3 of the ridings. Suppose Party B gets 40% of the votes; Party A gets 30%; Party C gets 20%; Party D gets 10% in 1/3 of the ridings. Party A would win 11/30 of the seats; Party B would win 10/30 of the seats; Party C would win 6/30 of the seats; Party D would win 3/30 of the seats.)(Party A = 4/10*2/3+3/10*1/3=8/30+3/30=11/30.
Party B = 3/10*2/3+4/10*1/3=6/30+4/30=10/30.
Party C = 2/10=6/30.
Party D = 1/10=3/30)Some people object to the proposed system because at-large MPPs would be selected by the political parties, not elected from a specific riding (electorial district).They have even called the Mixed Member Proportional system "undemocratic." However, all MPPs are selected by their party!
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on October 04, 2007 at 18:32:47 PT
John Tyler 
He did very well. 
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Comment #18 posted by John Tyler on October 04, 2007 at 18:16:56 PT
Ron Paul
Speaking of Ron Paul, I saw on the news this morning that he has raised more money this reporting quarter than John McCain.
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Comment #17 posted by Toker00 on October 04, 2007 at 18:01:47 PT
Hope
It's sad and horrible but we will change that. We will. We haven't been disobedient in organized ways yet. You hear of an outbreak here and there with limited press except for Youtube. More and more Americans are realizing that what they are seeing with our cops and politicians is Fascism. Locally I haven't seen any of these things happening. The cops seem to still be sociable and civil for the most part. Not that I would see how they are on a take down. Tasers happen around here, but rare.October 20 will be a local day for protesting the Iraq war here in Houston. (area) This is the Bushiest state in the Union but the cops have not gotten out of line like I see on these videos. Only once that I remember did the cops use horses to pen and retain anarchists who challenged them. Otherwise, they clear the streets for us and stay the hell out of our way. This will be a city park gathering. Stay tuned...or get out and go to one yourselves.Toke.
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Comment #16 posted by RevRayGreen on October 04, 2007 at 17:36:05 PT
Justice Talking NPR
hope all can listen........sorry if it's been posted before.....great show.
Justice Talking NPR
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on October 04, 2007 at 16:46:35 PT
Hope
You are right. I would love to see Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel a lot more. I want to see Obama more too but the trail blazers that those three are need to be heard by many people. I don't believe all they say but they say enough good to listen to them.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on October 04, 2007 at 16:34:25 PT
It's so sad. It's so horrible.
Somebody is responsible for taking so much of our money and controling us like cattle with the military style police we have now and their outrageous attitude towards us, and the outrageous arms and armor they have and use on us now. The outrageous laws ruling our very souls to the point that we are the most imprisoned citizenry of the entire world. I see it, but I can hardly fathom it. It's too horrible. It's sickening. This is how fascism feels. It feels awful. Absolutely awful.This couldn't have happened without the kind of people who are our law enforcers now. This could never have happened if they were truly good patriots who loved their fellow citizens, like humans, good humans, and what the citizens of this country were and are supposed to be. They are, horribly, and apparently, cruel and brute animals, bought, paid for, and trained by the state. They have no good character or soul. I really, truly thought that no American could ever become what they, our government, and it's enforcement, have become.And our MSM... to think that they have become what they are, and that every individual in it, has allowed themselves to become what they are. It's almost beyond comprehension. But there... sadly...it is.
 
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on October 04, 2007 at 15:59:02 PT
Hope
When my friend at the fair said she didn't know much about Senator Obama and was going to vote for Senator Clinton I wasn't surprised. What the MSM and those behind them want they push. They fear Obama's message. It makes me sad but I know that Clinton will probably be the next President and then I will turn off to any hope for politics probably for the rest of my life.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on October 04, 2007 at 15:48:14 PT
MSM
Something is wrong. I believe that, too.It's more obvious than I've ever realized before. They have chosen Hilary and Guliani. I, too find that alarming. They aren't just reporting. They are manipulating.It's very alarming and it's wrong.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on October 04, 2007 at 12:38:21 PT
OverwhelmSam
I agree and I believe that the Internet is the only real media anymore. The Internet is We The People.
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Comment #10 posted by OverwhelmSam on October 04, 2007 at 12:29:47 PT
FoM
It's a shame when the government and media are enemies with the people. However, I see a movement afoot among the people to begin stripping authority away from government. Afterall, the people gave the government authority to protect us, and they used it to hurt us.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 04, 2007 at 12:03:04 PT
OverwhelmSam 
When we see what the MSM is doing we can't help but wonder why they are pushing Clinton. I believe the Republicans want Clinton because they figure they can beat her. I also wouldn't be surprised if Republicans decided to vote for a Democrat that they can beat in 08 in the Primaries. That's not the way it should be but I do believe it will happen.
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Comment #8 posted by OverwhelmSam on October 04, 2007 at 11:55:28 PT
Overzealous Police and Crazy Laws
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDfW8AHgy_U&NR=1
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Comment #7 posted by OverwhelmSam on October 04, 2007 at 11:40:25 PT
FoM
From now on in most cases when I watch the major news channels in regard to politics and government, I will understand that the oposite of the view they're selling is what's in the best interest for most Americans.
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on October 04, 2007 at 11:19:16 PT
Ted was on NPR
he said something like the cost of one year locked up in prison in CA costs the same as one year at Harvard with room and boardThanks to you the people have a place to read what does happen when so many are arrested and what that is doing to our country--- its interesting reading how you have come to this place -- well make it, a little better for those that follow 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 04, 2007 at 11:05:34 PT
OverwhelmSam
I agree. I have watched them make Clinton the next president and Obama that has a big following and raised more money then Clinton barely gets the time of day. I don't watch the MSM much anymore.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 04, 2007 at 11:03:39 PT
ekim
Thanks. I saw him on the Daily Show last night. This might help us explain why marijuana laws need to be changed. I can hope.
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on October 04, 2007 at 11:01:57 PT
Ted Kopel on Discovery Ch 
Sunday Night -- Breaking Pointabout soring prison population and costs
http://blog.leap.cc/
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on October 04, 2007 at 10:59:45 PT
Mainline Media is the Enemy of the People
Geez! I know Ron Paul is not everyone's favorite, but when I flip through the network and cable news and see the Anchors, the Anchors, attacking Ron and calling him names, something is terribly wrong. I hope Americans can see that big media is our enemy, especially when it comes to politics and government.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 04, 2007 at 09:59:57 PT
Press Release from MPP
Senate Committee Weighs Costs of 'Mass Incarceration' as Marijuana Arrests Top 800,000October 4, 2007WASHINGTON, D.C.  As the Senate Joint Economic Committee prepared to hold a hearing today examining the costs associated with the United States' exploding prison population, marijuana policy reformers urged the lawmakers to consider recent statistics suggesting an epidemic of frivolous marijuana arrests.The hearings come as the U.S. prison population  including rising numbers of nonviolent offenders  nears what many experts believe to be an economic as well as a humanitarian crisis.Officials at the Marijuana Policy Project cited several recent government and independent reports suggesting that misguided marijuana policies play a major role in prison overpopulation:URL: http://www.mpp.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=glKZLeMQIsG&b=1157875&ct=4499219
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