A Less-Dangerous Intoxicant

A Less-Dangerous Intoxicant
Posted by CN Staff on August 13, 2007 at 12:10:39 PT
Source: Orange County Register
California -- Alcohol spawns violence, death and economic harm; marijuana doesn't.There is a saying in criminal law: Those who sin while drunk will be punished while sober. The expression reflects the reality that alcohol commonly underlies criminal conduct. Approximately 40 percent of fatal traffic crashes involve alcohol, and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol-related.
Both liberal and conservative values embrace public safety. But, notwithstanding our nation's brief experiment with Prohibition, both groups seem content to continue with the status quo regarding alcohol. Use of the nation's leading legal intoxicant is at once a chief contributor to crime and social destruction, and is simultaneously and routinely glorified as essential to a good time.Alcohol costs the U.S. economy an estimated $134 billion per year in lost productivity and earnings through alcohol-related illness, premature death and crime. Scientific literature suggests that in approximately 10 percent of the population alcohol use leads to alcoholism. How, then, does alcohol continue to escape the country's often puritanical view of drugs, and does it make sense to consider reforming drug laws based on an assessment of their dangerousness? The answer to the first question is a matter of historical and sociological debate, the answer to the second is clearly yes. Certainly, there are drugs more dangerous and addictive than alcohol, including methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. By the same measure, it is appropriate to recognize marijuana as falling on the other side of the proverbial ledger. Although it may well be advisable to discourage use of marijuana, its risks and potential for destruction compare favorably with alcohol. For example, how many reported instances exist of hooligan sports fans high on marijuana overturning cars, starting fights, sexually assaulting dates or beating their wives? None. The reality, if admittedly not productive, is better depicted in movies such as "True Romance" or "Foxy Brown," where the pothead is depicted as a television devotee. Marijuana use may stifle one's ambition, but it least it does not wreak havoc on others. Presently, except for medical users of marijuana, under the state Health and Safety Code, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $100. Court fees and penalties substantially increase the total financial hit, but the reality remains that casual marijuana users do not face jail time. Why, then, should it matter whether marijuana remains illegal? First, until and unless marijuana use is decriminalized, law-abiding citizens won't risk using it. From the perspective of many people, this is not a bad thing. The problem with this line of reasoning is that it ignores the reality that, in the absence of legal marijuana, some will choose to use the most reasonably available alternative: alcohol. One explanation for the failure of Prohibition is that life is hard, and many humans will invariably seek relaxation and temporary refuge from its demands through the use of an intoxicant. The principal question becomes which intoxicants does the government sanction. In turn, the government should properly proscribe those substances with the greatest potential risk of addiction and harm.Everyone understands the effects of alcohol on driving, but what about marijuana? In 1993 the U.S. Department of Transportation funded a study conducted in the Netherlands using real-life conditions. It found that, "THC's (the active ingredient in marijuana) adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small." According to the Drug Policy Alliance, similar findings have been replicated in numerous other studies. Of course, opponents of decriminalization frequently contend that marijuana use frequently is a first step to a gradual but inevitable descent into the use of harder drugs. To the extent marijuana and hard drugs are viewed as existing in the same league, it is because of, and not despite, marijuana's criminalized status. As with past generations, many adolescents will choose to experiment with marijuana. Unless and until it can be regulated and purchased legally by adults, the people introducing teens to marijuana will often be the same ones offering and introducing them to drugs like methamphetamine. This would change if marijuana were legitimized, taxed, and available only to persons presently able to purchase alcohol.Decriminalization would likewise eliminate its appeal to drug cartels, present an additional source of tax revenue, and represent one less opportunity for drug dealers to exploit immigrants through its growth and sales. Finally, decriminalization of marijuana would allow the police and prosecutors the ability to focus and devote their limited resources to crimes that truly affect our safety and quality of life. Culture-war values aside, do we truly benefit by expressing a legal preference for alcohol over marijuana?Source: Orange County Register, The (CA) Published: August 12, 2007Copyright: 2007 The Orange County Register Contact: letters Website: Drug Policy Alliance -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on August 15, 2007 at 12:36:52 PT
OT: Broadband
DirecTV to Sell Powerline Broadband
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Comment #22 posted by afterburner on August 14, 2007 at 18:18:29 PT
Goodbye, Karl Rove
The neo-cons' carefully-constructed dirty tricks and campaign character assassinations are unravelling at breakneck speed. Don't let Karl Rove near the voting booths. Meanwhile, back in Canada: let that be a lesson to Prime Minister Harper and his carefully-controlled minority Conservative government: CN NS: PUB LTE: Marijuana Madness, The Daily News, (12 Aug 2007)
Excerpt: {
I know baby boomers who have been smoking pot daily for 30 years or more. Guess what: they still have their jobs, raised their kids, put them through university, own their own home sand are healthy, happy, productive citizens. With almost 20 per cent of the population smoking pot, that's a lot of votes the Regressive Conservatives won't be getting in the next election. Keeping it illegal just makes organized crime richer and more powerful. 
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on August 14, 2007 at 16:05:26 PT
I saw that on the news today. I don't know if it would be a good thing or not. I don't like alcohol at all so I can't figure out how I feel about lowering the drinking age.
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on August 14, 2007 at 16:00:14 PT
Somewhere I read about electric lines. I also read of the 88 counties that they want to get to 10 counties first and we are one of them.It couldn't happen soon enough for me.
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Comment #19 posted by Wayne on August 14, 2007 at 15:46:45 PT
Re: FoM #11
I'll counter that article that you posted, FoM.I found this on MSNBC today. Apparently, there is a growing underground movement to lower the national drinking age to 18 again. This is the first I've heard of it.I like it, I like everything that is said in the article. But it frustrates me how NO ONE in the article can seem to draw the parallel to the Drug War.
Debate on lower drinking age bubbling up
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Comment #18 posted by Dankhank on August 14, 2007 at 15:37:22 PT
rural ...
hey, FoM ... what method are they talking about?phone, wireless, on electric lines ...?I read years ago about rural internet and some were saying that it can be done over the power lines, which are already run most places ...
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Comment #17 posted by NikoKun on August 14, 2007 at 15:27:16 PT
Less dangerous on every level...
It's less dangerous on the body, than alcohol or tobacco... Less on the brain too...
It's less addictive than alcohol or tobacco, and even possibly less than Caffeine.
And then there is the inherent "danger" level of it's effects, which when compared to alcohol... well lets just say, dady is a much better person when he's high, than when he's drunk...
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on August 14, 2007 at 13:20:14 PT
We need broadband to participate online like people who live in the cities. The HughesNet nightmare is hurting so many people who live in the country. I read a HughesNet forum a couple times a day and it is sad that they did this extreme FAP policy. The other night I watched a video on Weeds web site and when I looked at my usage page I has used 45 of my 200 daily allowance. I have only been Fapped one time but I don't want that to happened ever again since it is for a 24 hour period. Rural America is important and even if we have to pay more then high speed in the cities that's ok since most people are paying up to or over $100 a month using HughesNet.
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Comment #15 posted by whig on August 14, 2007 at 12:56:14 PT
The alternative is that the rural areas will be more cut off from communication with the cities than they are now because as people move more into using broadband it is hard for people without it to even participate. Like your inability to watch YouTube videos, and now they are doing YouTube candidate debates but how would someone without broadband be represented?
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on August 14, 2007 at 11:30:19 PT
When we bought this land there wasn't any electric or phone service out here. The electric is more expensive in our area but they had to put up a lot of polls and run lines thru the woods for quite a distance to get us power but they did it and it didn't cost us anything. Now they charge a lot of money to run electric I've been told. I know it doesn't make them as much money so that is why Governor Strickland's Broadband plan will help so much. More people would get a computer if they had a good connection and not cost an arm and a leg.
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Comment #13 posted by Truth on August 14, 2007 at 11:10:35 PT
Great article from the O. C. R.
and same on the video Toker
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Comment #12 posted by whig on August 14, 2007 at 10:52:39 PT
We did rural electrification and telephone service, why not broadband?
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on August 14, 2007 at 09:37:10 PT
Off Topic: Going Backwards
Ala. City Considers End To Alcohol Sales
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on August 14, 2007 at 08:34:19 PT
Just a Note
It seems the news is going to stay slow but I don't know for how long. I'd much rather be busy then just waiting for news so this fall I am going to challenge myself with a new cause. I am very happy that our new Democratic Governor Strickland is pushing for broadband access for everyone in our state. I am so upset with HughesNet not being able to download or even watch Youtube and the cost of $70 a month that I will volunteer to help get broadband to all our residents. It sounds like a mission and I love missions.Ohio to Offer Free Internet to All Residents
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Comment #9 posted by Toker00 on August 14, 2007 at 03:23:19 PT
Meth rumour check...strawberry meth.
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Comment #8 posted by Toker00 on August 14, 2007 at 02:55:44 PT
And that is OUR greatest fear, Mayan.
"God may cut them down but they will try to take everyone else with them."That's why we need to be having General Strikes all over this Nation. No work. No school. No buying. If we don't show them who has the Power, they will show Us.Get ready to not just Stand Up, but to also Stand Down. They claim progress with the surge. Wait for the Tsunami the Surge is going to create. Then may be the time to stand up and stand down.Toke. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 13, 2007 at 19:37:54 PT
Off Topic
Insiders: Rove Reshaped Texas Political LandscapeAugust 13, 2007AUSTIN -- Before Karl Rove was the architect of the George W. Bush presidency, he was the chief designer and construction manager of the Republican takeover in Texas, allies and adversaries of the outgoing White House chief political strategist agreed Monday."He was absolutely the driving force dating back to the late '70s and early '80s when he helped recruit candidates and hone the party’s message," said Reggie Bashur, a Republican operative in Austin who's known Rove for more than 20 years. "He clearly saw the inflow of population to the suburbs of Texas, and recognized early on that that population would be inclined to vote Republican."Complete Article:
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Comment #6 posted by mayan on August 13, 2007 at 18:24:58 PT
That's a powerful song. 9/11 Truth is spreading like wildfire and that is the neo-cons greatest fear. God may cut them down but they will try to take everyone else with them.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...General Strike In USA on Sept. 11, 2007: Truth Alliance Launches Site: Warns of False Flag Threat of Noble Resolve: Sheehan To Appear With 9/11 Hero William Rodriguez This Friday! WAS AN INSIDE JOB - OUR NATION IS IN PERIL:
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Comment #5 posted by Toker00 on August 13, 2007 at 15:28:12 PT
This is why the Elite are getting nervous...
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Comment #4 posted by whig on August 13, 2007 at 14:38:32 PT
If I could afford to just put larger amounts of cannabis in food to experiment with different recipes I would, but I can't. In India it is commonly used in food.
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Comment #3 posted by whig on August 13, 2007 at 14:34:51 PT
Here's a nice beverage.1 part cinnamon (prefer Ceylon or Indian cinnamon to cassia or "cinnamon sticks" but use what you can get).4 parts turmeric (if you can find the Ceylon cinnamon, the same place will have good turmeric, and it's probably an Indian grocery).Black peppercorns (just a bit).Grind everything and mix together with honey to desired consistency, seal in container and store on the shelf.A teaspoon or two of this in some heated (but not too hot) milk or rice or almond or hemp milk may make a very delicious base for bhang. Cannabis which has been vaporized is not turned to ash but can be spice for the recipe.
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Comment #2 posted by whig on August 13, 2007 at 14:23:07 PT
Correct.Cannabis is non-toxic. It is beneficial to health. It is good food, for Christ's sake.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on August 13, 2007 at 14:02:48 PT
Marijuana is NOT Toxic!
Thus Marijuana does not intoxicate! Please get your facts straight. Thanks!
Nobody can stop this!
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