The Patriot's Guide To Legalization
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The Patriot's Guide To Legalization
Posted by CN Staff on July 06, 2009 at 04:07:09 PT
By Kevin Drum
Source: Mother Jones
USA -- When we think of the drug war, it's the heavy-duty narcotics like heroin and cocaine that get most of the attention. And why not? That's where the action is. It's not marijuana that is sustaining the Taliban in Afghanistan, after all. When Crips and Bloods descend into gun battles in the streets of Los Angeles, they're not usually fighting over pot. The junkie who breaks into your house and steals your Blu-ray player isn't doing it so he can score a couple of spliffs.
No, the marijuana trade is more genteel than that. At least, I used to think it was. Then, like a lot of people, I started reading about the open warfare that has erupted among the narcotraffickers in Mexico and is now spilling across the American border. Stories of drugs coming north and arsenals of guns going south. Thousands of people brutally murdered. Entire towns terrorized. And this was a war not just over cocaine and meth, but marijuana as well.And I began to wonder: Maybe the war against pot is about to get a lot uglier. After all, in the 1920s, Prohibition gave us Al Capone and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and that was over plain old whiskey and rum. Are we about to start paying the same price for marijuana?If so, it might eventually start to affect me, too. Indirectly, sure, but that's more than it ever has before. I've never smoked a joint in my life. I've only seen one once, and that was 30 years ago. I barely drink, I don't smoke, and I don't like coffee. When it comes to mood altering substances, I live the life of a monk. I never really cared much if marijuana was legal or not.But if a war is breaking out over the stuff, I figured maybe I should start looking at the evidence on whether marijuana prohibition is worth it. Not the spin from the drug czar at one end or the hemp hucksters at the other. Just the facts, as best as I could figure them out. So I did. Here's what I found.In 1972, the report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse urged that possession of marijuana for personal use be decriminalized. A small wave of states followed this recommendation, but most refused; in Washington, President Carter called for eliminating penalties for small-time possession, but Congress stonewalled. And that's the way things have stayed since the late '70s. Some states have decriminalized, most haven't, and possession is still a criminal offense under federal law. So how has that worked out?I won't give away the ending just yet, but one thing to know is this: On virtually every subject related to cannabis (an inclusive term that refers to both the sativa and indica varieties of the marijuana plant, as well as hashish, bhang, and other derivatives), the evidence is ambiguous. Sometimes even mysterious. So let's start with the obvious question.  Does Decriminalizing Cannabis Have Any Effect At All?  It's remarkably hard to tell—in part because drug use is faddish. Cannabis use among teens in the United States, for example, went down sharply in the '80s, bounced back in the early '90s, and has declined moderately since. Nobody really knows why.We do, however, have studies that compare rates of cannabis use in states that have decriminalized vs. states that haven't. And the somewhat surprising conclusion, in the words of Robert MacCoun, a professor of law and public policy at the University of California-Berkeley, is simple: "Most of the evidence suggests that decriminalization has no effect."But decriminalization is not legalization. In places that have decriminalized, simple possession is still illegal; it's just treated as an administrative offense, like a traffic ticket. And production and distribution remain felonies. What would happen if cannabis use were fully legalized?No country has ever done this, so we don't know. The closest example is the Netherlands, where possession and sale of small amounts of marijuana is de facto legal in the famous coffeehouses. MacCoun and a colleague, Peter Reuter of the University of Maryland, have studied the Dutch experience and concluded that while legalization at first had little effect, once the coffeehouses began advertising and promoting themselves more aggressively in the 1980s, cannabis use more than doubled in a decade. Then again, cannabis use in Europe has gone up and down in waves, and some of the Dutch increase (as well as a later decrease, which followed a tightening of the coffeehouse laws in the mid-'90s) may have simply been part of those larger waves.The most likely conclusion from the overall data is that if you fully legalized cannabis, use would almost certainly go up, but probably not enormously. MacCoun guesses that it might rise by half—say, from around 15 percent of the population to a little more than 20 percent. "It's not going to triple," he says. "Most people who want to use marijuana are already finding a way to use marijuana."Still, there would be a cost. For one thing, a much higher increase isn't out of the question if companies like Philip Morris or R.J. Reynolds set their finest minds on the promotion of dope. And much of the increase would likely come among the heaviest users. "One person smoking eight joints a day is worth more to the industry than fifty people each smoking a joint a week," says Mark Kleiman, a drug policy expert at UCLA. "If the cannabis industry were to expand greatly, it couldn't do so by increasing the number of casual users. It would have to create and maintain more chronic zonkers." And that's a problem. Chronic use can lead to dependence and even long-term cognitive impairment. Heavy cannabis users are more likely to be in auto accidents. There have been scattered reports of respiratory and fetal development problems. Still, sensible regulation can limit the commercialization of pot, and compared to other illicit drugs (and alcohol), its health effects are fairly mild. Even a 50 percent increase in cannabis use might be a net benefit if it led to lower rates of use of other drugs.  So Would People Just Smoke More and Drink Less? Maybe. The generic term for this effect in the economics literature is "substitute goods," and it simply means that some things replace other things. If the total demand for transportation is generally steady, an increase in sales of SUVs will lead to a decrease in the sales of sedans. Likewise, if the total demand for intoxicants is steady, an increase in the use of one drug should lead to a decrease in others.Several years ago, John DiNardo, an economist now at the University of Michigan, found a clever way to test this via a natural experiment. Back in the 1980s, the Reagan administration pushed states to raise the drinking age to 21. Some states did this early in the decade, some later, and this gave DiNardo the idea of comparing data from the various states to see if the Reagan policy worked.He found that raising the drinking age did lead to lower alcohol consumption; the effect was modest but real. But then DiNardo hit on another analysis—comparing cannabis use in states that raised the drinking age early with those that did it later. And he found that indeed, there seemed to be a substitution effect. On average, among high school seniors, a 4.5 percent decrease in drinking produced a 2.4 percent increase in getting high.But what we really want to know is whether the effect works in the other direction: Would increased marijuana use lead to less drinking? "What goes up should go down," DiNardo told me cheerfully, but he admits that in the absence of empirical evidence this hypothesis depends on your faith in basic economic models.Some other studies are less encouraging than DiNardo's, but even if the substitute goods effect is smaller than his research suggests—if, say, a 30 percent increase in cannabis use led to a 5 or 10 percent drop in drinking—it would still be a strong argument in favor of legalization. After all, excessive drinking causes nearly 80,000 deaths per year in the United States, compared to virtually none for pot. Trading alcohol consumption for cannabis use might be a pretty attractive deal.  But What About The Gateway Effect?  This has been a perennial bogeyman of the drug warriors. Kids who use pot, the TV ads tell us, will graduate to ecstasy, then coke, then meth, and then—who knows? Maybe even talk radio.Is there anything to this? There are two plausible pathways for the gateway theory. The first is that drug use of any kind creates an affinity for increasingly intense narcotic experiences. The second is that when cannabis is illegal, the only place to get it is from dealers who also sell other stuff.The evidence for the first pathway is mixed. Research in New Zealand, for example, suggests that regular cannabis use is correlated with higher rates of other illicit drug use, especially in teenagers. A Norwegian study comes to similar conclusions, but only for a small segment of "troubled" teenagers. Other research, however, suggests that these correlations aren't caused by gateway effects at all, but by the simple fact that kids who like drugs do drugs. All kinds of drugs.The second pathway was deliberately targeted by the Dutch when they began their coffeehouse experiment in the '70s in part to sever the connection of cannabis with the illicit drug market. The evidence suggests that it worked: Even with cannabis freely available, Dutch cannabis use is currently about average among developed countries and use of other illicit drugs is about average, too. Easy access to marijuana, outside the dealer network for harder drugs, doesn't seem to have led to greater use of cocaine or heroin.So, to recap: Decriminalization of simple possession appears to have little effect on cannabis consumption. Full legalization would likely increase use only moderately as long as heavy commercialization is prohibited, although the effect on chronic users might be more substantial. It would increase heroin and cocaine use only slightly if at all, and it might decrease alcohol consumption by a small amount. Which leads to the question:   Can We Still Afford Prohibition? The consequences of legalization, after all, must be compared to the cost of the status quo. Unsurprisingly, this too is hard to quantify. The worst effects of the drug war, including property crime and gang warfare, are mostly associated with cocaine, heroin, and meth. Likewise, most drug-law enforcement is aimed at harder drugs, not cannabis; contrary to conventional wisdom, only about 44,000 people are currently serving prison time on cannabis charges—and most of those are there for dealing and distribution, not possession.Still, the University of Maryland's Reuter points out that about 800,000 people are arrested for cannabis possession every year in the United States. And even though very few end up being sentenced to prison, a study of three counties in Maryland following a recent marijuana crackdown suggests that a third spend at least one pretrial night in jail and a sixth spend more than ten days. That takes a substantial human toll. Overall, Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates the cost of cannabis prohibition in the United States at $13 billion annually and the lost tax revenue at nearly $7 billion.  So What Are The Odds of Legalization?   Slim. For starters, the United States, along with virtually every other country in the world, is a signatory to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (and its 1988 successor), which flatly prohibits legalization of cannabis. The only way around this is to unilaterally withdraw from the treaties or to withdraw and then reenter with reservations. That's not going to happen.At the federal level, there's virtually no appetite for legalizing cannabis either. Though public opinion has made steady strides, increasing from around 20 percent favoring marijuana legalization in the Reagan era to nearly 40 percent favoring it today, the only policy change in Washington has been Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement in March that the Obama administration planned to end raids on distributors of medical marijuana. (Applications for pot dispensaries promptly surged in Los Angeles County.)The real action in cannabis legalization is at the state level. More than a dozen states now have effective medical marijuana laws, most notably California. Medical marijuana dispensaries are dotted all over the state, and it's common knowledge that the "medical" part is in many cases a thin fiction. Like the Dutch coffeehouses, California's dispensaries are now a de facto legal distribution network that severs the link between cannabis and other illicit drugs for a significant number of adults (albeit still only a fraction of total users). And the result? Nothing. "We've had this experiment for a decade and the sky hasn't fallen," says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has even introduced a bill that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana; it has gained the endorsement of the head of the state's tax collection agency, which informally estimates it could collect $1.3 billion a year from cannabis sales. Still, the legislation hasn't found a single cosponsor, and isn't scheduled for so much as a hearing.Which is too bad. Going into this assignment, I didn't care much personally about cannabis legalization. I just had a vague sense that if other people wanted to do it, why not let them? But the evidence suggests pretty clearly that we ought to significantly soften our laws on marijuana. Too many lives have been ruined and too much money spent for a social benefit that, if not zero, certainly isn't very high.And it may actually happen. If attitudes continue to soften; if the Obama administration turns down the volume on anti-pot propaganda; if medical dispensaries avoid heavy commercialization; if drug use remains stable; and if emergency rooms don't start filling up with drug-related traumas while all this is happening, California's experience could go a long way toward destigmatizing cannabis use. That's a lot of ifs.Still, things are changing. Even GOP icon Arnold Schwarzenegger now says, "I think it's time for a debate." That doesn't mean he's in favor of legalizing pot right this minute, but it might mean we're getting close to a tipping point. Ten years from now, as the flower power generation enters its 70s, you might finally be able to smoke a fully legal, taxed, and regulated joint.Kevin Drum is a Political Blogger for Mother Jones.Source: Mother Jones (US)Author: Kevin DrumPublished: July - August 2009 IssueCopyright: 2009 Foundation for National ProgressWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #31 posted by Paint with light on July 07, 2009 at 23:28:26 PT
comment #4
I also sold stereo equipment for a few years in the 70's. It is true you have to speak to people about a complex subject on their level if you want to communicate.We had to explain the difference between SQ quadrophonic and discrete quadrophonic to our customers of the era. This is the pre-cassette tape period.We did have reel to reels.I would usually skip the jargon unless it was one of those techno geeks that enjoyed talking the talk.I usually just said "Listen. If you can hear the difference, it matters. Otherwise, buy price.We don't have to sell the idea of liberated cannabis to the converted. We need to sell it to the prohibs and the brainwashed.Legal like alcohol
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Comment #30 posted by greenmed on July 07, 2009 at 17:14:03 PT
Thank you, GeoChemist.
What Hope said :)
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on July 07, 2009 at 10:36:54 PT
Thank you, GeoChemist.
What we were wondering about, is this guy is saying there are traces of cannabinoids in poppy seeds. That seems very unlikely given that we've always been under the impression that natural cannabinoids exist only in the cannabis plants and human, or mammal's bodies, and their early breast milk.
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on July 07, 2009 at 04:16:41 PT
Michael Phelps Ads Prove a New Cultural Tolerance 
Michael Phelps Ads Prove a New Cultural Tolerance of MarijuanaURL:,1,3783714.column***Subway "Phelps"Review Date: July 06, 2009It was the bong hit heard around the world. When a picture surfaced showing U.S. swimming sensation Michael Phelps smoking marijuana endorsers like Kellogg's quickly dropped him. Subway, however, accepted Phelps' apology and in his debut spot for the sandwich chain, the Olympian thanks the chain back. You can almost hear all the blunts lighting up in support as Sly & The Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" kicks in. The spot features a play-by-play comparison of the multiple-gold-medal winner's day and that of Subway's familiar pitchman Jared Fogle. One swims and the other feeds his fish, but they both end up at Subway, enjoying their favorite customized sandwiches. "You can always be yourself at Subway," promises the voiceover. While it's been months since talk of Phelps' marijuana use ignited the tabloids, the smoke from that public relations flame-out still smolders. Instead of pretending the fiasco never happened, Subway smartly (and subtly) turns it into a nonjudgmental message of individuality -- and it works.--Eleftheria Parpis
 Copyright: 2009 Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
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Comment #27 posted by GeoChemist on July 07, 2009 at 04:05:58 PT
Hope & Greemmed
I'm not sure what you are asking but.....anyone (at least in years gone by) can post anything on wikipedia. One must be careful when using the internet for information. A good first step is: what type of site is it, .com, .org, . gov (lol), etc. Generally the .com sites should be taken with a grain of salt unless the information can be verified from the original source. I looked at the sites with the poppy tea, it seems like a good recipe but thats about it. Take the rest of it for what it is....hope this helps....End of line
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on July 06, 2009 at 21:44:52 PT
It's difficult to imagine why they would do that. Seems like GeoChemist might know something about it.GeoChemist?
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Comment #25 posted by greenmed on July 06, 2009 at 17:07:33 PT
cannabinoids in poppy?
You remember correctly. I read the article it states that in the preparation of poppy tea"Grinding (poppy) seeds is unnecessary and counterproductive unless the weak cannabinoids present in the fatty portions of the seed are sought.""The ingestion of the seeds themselves in large quantities will have simailar (sic) effects as well as effects from cannabinoids present in the fats in the seeds."This was news to me. So I went looking for some more info, but the only other reference I found was: also misspelled 'similar.' I believe there are no cannabinoids per se in poppy, but there may be precursors to anandamide. I haven't ruled that out to give the author the benefit of the doubt. Why would someone make something like that up out of whole cloth?
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Comment #24 posted by Sam Adams on July 06, 2009 at 16:31:46 PT
What a great website! Thanks for posting. I love the slam on militaristic SWAT uniforms.  Let's hope that parody becomes reality! humor is great at breaking down boundaries and bringing people together
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Comment #23 posted by Sam Adams on July 06, 2009 at 16:25:36 PT
The President Effect
>>>It's remarkably hard to tell—in part because drug use is faddish. Cannabis use among teens in the United States, for example, went down sharply in the '80s, bounced back in the early '90s, and has declined moderately since. Nobody really knows why.Actually, we DO know why. First of all, "nobody" really knows how much teens are using cannabis in the first place.What we have is data from US Govt. surveys. These are conducted by a representative of the federal government showing up at people's homes with a laptop. The teenager takes the laptop and answers a series of questions - while the US govt. representative waits.Now, the so-called usage trends follow an interesting path - "usage" drops whenever there's a tough-talking Republican war-monger in office. And then "usage" suprisingly climbs when a Democrat who's admitted to cannabis use takes the White House.Clearly what's being measure in these surveys is the willingness of people to admit openly to the federal government that they use cannabis. It's also interesting that very liberal and tolerant states like Massachusetts (gay marriage) always come in ranked near the top in usage, while rural Republican states like Mississippi come in near the bottom. This is ridiculous. When I was in New Orleans they said that Mississippi is the biggest weed state in the USA, I tend to believe that.I think people in the deep south are scared out of their wits when it comes to discussing cannabis with authority figures.Of course to understand this one actually has to read the government surveys including the conditions of the study. One has to use their brain to analyze the data and the study's methodology. But then it's so much easier to just take everything the Government says as gospel truth, isn't it? In fact, the government has replaced the Church as the writer of the "gospel truth", hasn't it?
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on July 06, 2009 at 16:03:52 PT
The title and one paragraph 
and I had to get back over here with it, quickly. Then I read more. Like I should have in the first place.But thank you, GreenMed.You're very kind.I'm still not sure about what was happening with the poppy/cannabinoid thing. You decided they didn't know what they were talking about as I recall... or was it something else? Sometimes I'm in a hurrry and don't get everything down as pat as I'd like to.
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Comment #21 posted by greenmed on July 06, 2009 at 15:55:14 PT
I think we here are all hungry - for a righteous end to the status quo. "So sometimes if it sparkles a bit... I might jump too fast. Like a hungry bass at a sparkling lure." What a great turn of phrase. We'll catch that sparkle sooner or later. Better sooner. And don't feel bad about not immediately catching satire - the best is subtle and thought provoking, like that one. Remember, I actually believed for a few minutes there were cannabinoids in poppies. LOL!
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on July 06, 2009 at 15:26:03 PT
that bad typing
that pitiful low typing. that humblized typing.I have to admit... though I usually correct stuff like that... i felt so like that when isaw it ... it said something too... i think.i feel so humbled... i can't even put the capital letters where they belong... like they're too tall.But thank you and like a responsible sea-farer, perhaps I can one day comfort some other jumpy, hungry, snagged bass caught by a flash.Thank you.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on July 06, 2009 at 15:18:25 PT
thank you.istill feel bad about it.But that is funny. I have to admit. I smiled a little when I read that.I, and you and many others have this "Fool for Christ" thing going on and have for a long time. And truly, I want His... not my will done. Truly. I know enough to know that path is the brightest.I believe that we believe that what we are striving for on the issue of these laws is truly right and just and so much better than what's been happening for a way, way long time now.Civilized people doing these things they've been doing to people over 'feel better' plants is obscene. I really wonder and fret deeply about why they don't see it.Anyway. I've thought about it. I believe it's right. I trust... and I'm watching for amazing things... awesome things... good things. So sometimes if it sparkles a bit... I might jump too fast. Like a hungry bass at a sparkling lure.Dang it!
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on July 06, 2009 at 13:19:10 PT
Bill To Legalize Medicinal Marijuana Nears NH Gov
July 6, 2009Concord, N.H. (AP) -- Time is running out for New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch to decide if he'll sign a bill to legalize marijuana use by severely ill people.The secretary of state's office is gathering the legislative signatures needed to release the bill to Lynch. House Speaker Terie Norelli and Senate President Sylvia Larsen still must sign off on the bill. They can hold the bill, but not indefinitely.Once he gets the bill, Lynch will have five days — excluding Sundays and holidays — to sign or veto it or it becomes law without signature.The bill would establish three nonprofit compassion centers to dispense 2 ounces of marijuana every 10 days to severely ill patients whose doctors approve the drug's use.Copyright: 2009 The Associated Press
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on July 06, 2009 at 12:50:16 PT
Don't feel bad. I thought Clinton was going to decriminalize marijuana at the Ann Arbor Hash Bash many years ago. LOL!
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on July 06, 2009 at 12:37:17 PT
Stalking off feeling like a blooming idiot....
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on July 06, 2009 at 12:25:46 PT
So sorry...
I thought it might be real news until I got to the part that said, "“Weed is good. Weed is right. Weed works,” said Dorchester County Sheriff B.D. Squire, spokesman for the group."It would be so nice to get some really good news today.But... obviously... that wasn't it. One of those "Too good to be true" moments.Sorry.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on July 06, 2009 at 12:18:04 PT
Nope ...
It's not real. It's a parody site.That was a quick up and a smashing down.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on July 06, 2009 at 12:16:18 PT
Can this be for real?
Is it a joke piece or is this really happening? may be first to legalize, tax marijuana
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 06, 2009 at 12:05:13 PT
Mother Jones: The Altered States of America
What a long, strange trip it's been: a drug war timeline.URL:
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on July 06, 2009 at 11:46:04 PT
Just My 2 Cents
A person can give you all the reasons in the world to keep marijuana a criminal offense and we politely listen. When they are finished with their reasons it's my turn. I ask if I smoked marijuana would you want me to go to jail? That always gets to the heart of the matter for me. Just my 2 cents.
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Comment #10 posted by George Servantes on July 06, 2009 at 11:27:29 PT
you can't reason with a fool
Yea that "I don't care attitude" we have, so we punish other severely for small petty crimes, if they are crimes at all. so we do more harm when we punish others, this is human rights issue, like gay rights issue.
i have right to use any plant I want, as long as I don't harm others or force other to use it.
This was written for certain type of mentality. darkness won't last forever, it's getting sunny again, slowly but we are getting there.
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Comment #9 posted by knowhemp on July 06, 2009 at 11:20:06 PT:
Dry article
"Cannabis use among teens in the United States, for example, went down sharply in the '80s, bounced back in the early '90s, and has declined moderately since. Nobody really knows why."Cypress Hill. It bounced back when all the suburban kids started listening to Cypress Hill's 2nd album which had a nice informative sleeve on Cannabis that sums up the history of Cannabis in America. No, really!"Chronic use can lead to dependence and even long-term cognitive impairment. Heavy cannabis users are more likely to be in auto accidents. There have been scattered reports of respiratory and fetal development problems."I don't think so. But evidence suggests long-term usage can prevent alzheimer's.At least he didn't use all kinds of weak puns.Peace
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 06, 2009 at 11:20:02 PT
Thank you. So many articles these days are about California's medical marijuana problems. It's nice to find an article that is different and makes me think. I hope others feel that way too.
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Comment #7 posted by SnowedUnder on July 06, 2009 at 11:00:50 PT:
I love it when...
so many people, of every class, express an opinion on this beautiful plant. Now if only we could make them see what cannabis really is, by enticing one to partake, before they retaliate. Perhaps they should get together for a joint conference of all nations. Do you think it would work?
Great article FOM 
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on July 06, 2009 at 10:54:29 PT
You're right, BGreen
Much as I find so much of this article irritating and weak, you're right. This article wasn't written for or to people like us, that know this situation inside out, forwards and backwards, and up and down. It was written for people poisoned with lies and propaganda from the start. It's, hopefully, easing them into a saner view point. You have to be careful when dealing with ignorance and insanity. You can't just pound new, to them, truths into their heads. They have to open their minds and let little bits of truth in at a time. Too much and they simply shut down, like BGreen says. The worst, the most egregious part to me was "I never really cared much if marijuana was legal or not." Way too many times I've heard people say something to the effect of "I don't care. It has nothing to do with me."It does have something to do with everyone. These "Nothing to do with me" people are allowing a dangerous, very dangerous and wrongful persecution of their fellow man. They "Don't care" that government is persecuting a group of people over a plant. They don't care that homes are being invaded and people mistreated. They don't care that people are imprisoned. They don't care that people's lives are being ruined... not by the plant, but by despotic rulers and busybodies. They don't care that children are orphaned and families are destroyed... over use of a plant. It's no little thing... by any means. The "Don't care" people are just as responsible for the injustice and the mayhem as the outright violent and hateful and active persecutors. They are financing it and they are allowing it. They choose willful ignorance. It's stunning and sickening. Of course, we see that all time, but I can never get over the fact that people can watch other people being wrongfully persecuted and mistreated... to death, sometimes... and not care. Not care? There is something so wrong, so low, so shallow and heartless and so very stupid about that.
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Comment #5 posted by tintala on July 06, 2009 at 09:50:40 PT:
it only took a room full of people to make it 
back in 1937 it took only a room full of people , uneducated, biased, predjudice, and liars to make all cannabis illegal around the world . Cannabis got all of 2 seconds of debate before the hammer was down. thanks to Harry Anslinger and Andrew Mellon and the "others" in the room to deliberate for a full 2 seconds.They said it was the devils drug, worse than cocaine, so whence it became the "true propoganda" all because a few people infused reefer madness in the courtroom. Now it will take a congressional miracle to re-legalize it federally. Now we are looking at almost 100 years of prohibtion, will it be a full 100 years? erradicating even the weediest of em all, HEMP, spending billions just to go out and find, HEMP and destroy these "VOLUNTEER" plants. LOL. If the government refrained from this sort of spending on prohibition and put it toward health care reform: every single american and child would have premium health care.
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Comment #4 posted by BGreen on July 06, 2009 at 09:38:05 PT
Come on, let's lay off Kevin Drum
I completely agree with the arguments made by runruff and museman, but I'd like to offer a different analysis.I sold stereo equipment back in the 1980's and I see an analogy between that job and this article.CD players had just come into the market which brought some of the most sophisticated and complicated devices into the homes of some of the least sophisticated and astonishingly simple minded people.To sell the CD players to these people required a dumbing down of the information to the point that would insult anybody who could actually think.These stereo consumers are exactly the same people who would be reached by this article. It has to be written this way and the information must be presented in this fashion simply to keep the ignorant anti-cannabis crowd from giving up reading altogether, grabbing a budweiser and turning on one of the forty or so ESPN channels.These people have been "educated" by the ondcp, partnership for an america free of all drugs except prescription drugs and booze, and all of the other hack propaganda factories. It stands to reason that anybody who could have fallen for such obvious and unbelievable lies couldn't understand the truth if it was presented in a way we would consider to be intelligent and articulate.Ultimately, Kevin Drum seems to draw a conclusion that sort of resembles what we've been fighting for, so I have to give my bud of approval for his effort.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #3 posted by museman on July 06, 2009 at 09:07:39 PT
if this article were a river
You wouln't need a boat to get across,'cause its so shallow you wouldn't even get your feet wet.This article demonstrates the glaring difference between experience and 'education.'A whole lot of correctly spelled words, stating very little, boring beyond description, that slips in the bogies of prohibition as if they were facts.Kevin, get a life. FREE CANNABIS FOREVER
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on July 06, 2009 at 08:07:49 PT
Kevin Drum
He is like my Aunt who went to an air show, when she came home she criticized the skydivers for taking such chances. One week later she was a expert on sky diving and could tell you everything about it except how it feels!"What would happen if cannabis use were fully legalized?"Here is a very young person who does not know that it has only been illegal in the world for 70 years! The previous 7,000 thousand years it was considered a miracle plant! It is still a miracle plant today and is why it is in so much trouble! The war on this plant has created enormous interest in it. The numbers are there; .001% usage in the US at the turn of the last century to about half of the adults in 2007 and someone is worried that legalization will increase usage? Go and consult Alice, what the heck you are already over there anyway!I really did not like this piece very much. It was obviously written by an armchair quarterback. It is nice that he sees enough of the big picture to draw this obvious conclusion but he is seeing only the tip of the, [what's that thing with the white and the cold in the ocean?] 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 06, 2009 at 04:27:13 PT
The Drug War in Six Acts
July - August 2009 IssueURL:
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