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View Diary: There's Something Extraordinary Happening With Drug Offenders in Houston (104 comments)

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  •  As long as they're not going after weed... (43+ / 0-)

    it sounds like a great idea. Our system needs to handle drugs as an addiction problem, a health problem, not as a crime problem. That said, marijuana is not addictive or harmful. Putting people through that program if they get caught with a dime bag is ridiculous.
    It sure would be nice if our system would learn the difference!

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:47:15 PM PST

    •  Legalize weed (18+ / 0-)

      tax it at a very high rate, and use the proceeds to fund evidence-based mandatory treatment programs for people who are caught in opiate, meth, alcohol addictions - people who are using the stuff that really kills people.  

      It should not be so difficult to build consensus for this.  I have no idea why it seems so difficult.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:44:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am sorry to tell you (6+ / 0-)

      that smoking a joint harms your lungs - smoking anything harms your lungs.

      There are people who become addicted to the high they get from marijuana. Is it probably a significantly lower number of addicts when compared to many other legal and illegal substances? Absolutely. It is even likely that the marijuana addict would end up addicted to the first thing that gave that person a high.

      I do not think that it serves the cause of legalization to make broad statements such as "marijuana is not addictive or harmful". A better argument is that even though it can be both harmful and addictive it is no more so than alcohol and cigarettes - and probably less harmful/addictive than either!

      If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
      If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
      If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

      by A Gutin Daf on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:49:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  0 deaths in the history of mankind. (13+ / 0-)

        It is not chemically addictive. People can become addicted to anything.

        I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.

        by ReverseThePolarity on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:59:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If that is your argument for legalization (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SilentBrook

          you are not going to get anywhere. I do not think the average person typically makes the distinction between different types of addiction.

          While I doubt you can prove the 0 deaths number the science supports the ways in which weed is and is not addictive - as you said, it's not chemical.

          If you read my entire comment you would see my conclusion - since it is probably LESS harmful/addictive than two other legal and highly regulated substances there is no good reason NOT to legalize.

          If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
          If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
          If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

          by A Gutin Daf on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:32:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Im just saying (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VictorLaszlo, blackjackal, catwho, mkor7

            http://www.m.webmd.com/...

            It has a theraputic effect and cannabinoids have shown anti-cancer and neuroportectant properties. The possible harm done by smoke can be eliminated by vaporizing or making edibles or wax/oils, if the medicinal properties don't alieviate the negative effects of the smoke themselves.

            You would have to inhale something like 15 pounds in 15 minutes in order to get a lethal dose, and even then youd probably die from asphyxiation first. Thats fairly harmless.

            In regard to the comparisions between the different tyles of addiction, yes, people may not think of it in those terms, that's why I like to differentiate.

            I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.

            by ReverseThePolarity on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:52:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Criminalize Chocolate! (5+ / 0-)
            I do not think the average person typically makes the distinction between different types of addiction.

            It is more important to be a confident and articulate speaker than to know jack shit about anything.

            by VictorLaszlo on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:44:46 AM PST

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      •  By all means, let's eliminate all that is harmful (13+ / 0-)

        Playing football can cause concussions, and serious joint injuries that can impair mobility for the rest of your life.   Let's outlaw football, because it's so harmful to you.   And, bicycles, skateboards, scooters, trampolines.   Anything bad for a person should be outlawed.     We could outlaw sugar, and salt, and sex (you might catch a disease), and chocolate. and french friends  In particular, we should outlaw caffeine, and every over-the-counter drug.  And, skiing.  Look how many people die from hitting their heads, skiing.  

        There was a movie made about this called Demolition Man, about what happens when the government decides that it should outlaw everything that the government decides is harmful or could cause injury or be bad for your health.

        The main character starts out the movie, complaining that she's "Sooooo Bored!!!!   Even a murder is welcome, just because it gives some excitement to her safe booooorrrrring life.

        It's not the government's role to outlaw everything that could be harmful.   It is their role to ensure that the the information about harmful effects is publicly disseminated.  

        Besides, marijuana also has beneficial effects which can help to treat many conditions, and it is for each person to weigh whether, in their own circumstances, the beneficial effects outweigh the detrimental ones, so that the overall quality of life is improved.  For those who are disabled due to pain, or risking blindness from glaucoma, it might be worth risking harmful effects in order to become more functional and pain free.  Each person knows their own circumstances best, and should be free to make their own informed choice.  That's what living in a free society is all about.

        •  Did you read my entire comment? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SilentBrook

          I am making an argument FOR legalization - what I am challenging is a pro-legalization argument that I think is hyperbolic and, therefore, not so useful.

          I fully agree with your last paragraph.

          I also don't think the govt' should get involved in what someone puts in their bodies unless there is a high likelihood of that person harming the rest of society because of their choice and, sometimes, eventual addiction.

          By the above reasoning there is no argument against legalization of pot that works - they all fall apart when they try to prove that criminalizing marijuana protects society.

          If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
          If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
          If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

          by A Gutin Daf on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:35:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sonny Bono! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DFWmom

          Outlaw skiing so this tragedy can be prevented in the future! And arrest those who attempt to sneak out and play in the snow. Put them through a de-icing program. Jail time!

          The recreational usage of drugs by a 'free' people should not be criminalized, period.

          "For people who profess to revere the Constitution, it is strange that they so caustically denigrate the very federal government that is the material expression of the principles embodied in that document." Mike Lofgren

          by GANJA on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:40:50 AM PST

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        •  did you mean "french friends" or french fries? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm guessing the latter; never heard that "french friends" are dangerous LOL

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:13:54 PM PST

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      •  You got a link? (7+ / 0-)

        Because I do. Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half. (That's a report of one of numerous studies with similar results.) Of course, there are more studies on other medical uses for marijuana.

        It is cruel to deny treatment to those who could be benefit from it.

        "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

        by cotterperson on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:53:22 AM PST

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        •  Remember I am in favor of legalization (5+ / 0-)

          for both recreational and medical use. I am against arguments that I see as working against the need to convince others.

          You were correct to challenge me on proof, though. Here is a quote from about a year ago article in NYTimes on an NIH study:

          The researchers found that for moderate marijuana smokers, an exposure of up to seven “joint years” — with one joint-year equivalent to smoking 365 joints or filled pipes, or an average of one joint a day for seven years — did not worsen pulmonary function. Dr. Kertesz noted that with heavier marijuana use, described as 10 joint-years of exposure or more, lung function did begin to decline.
          The research has not yet figured out whether or not smoking pot on a regular basis harms short term or long term memory of any time outside of being high.

          So, it is less harmful than even I assumed (pot is not my main issue as an activist or progressive). However, that does not change the fact that it is not helpful to say it is never harmful and only beneficial. Instead the better argument is the one from another comment above - that prohibiting everything that can cause someone harm in any way is not a good role for government to be playing.

          If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
          If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
          If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

          by A Gutin Daf on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:47:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like a good reason for Medicare to... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee

        subsidize vaporizers.

        "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

        by 2020adam on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:27:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Marijuana has not been proven to harm the lungs (0+ / 0-)

        As a matter of fact, it is thought it can actually help. I know it's hard to believe, but no one has proven otherwise.
        As for lung cancer, the only people who have gotten it and smoked weed, also smoked cigarettes.
        And marijuana is not, itself, addictive. Can it affect someone who has an addictive personality? Perhaps. But the drug itself is NOT addictive.
        Fact is, marijuana is NOT harmful OR addictive. No one has ever died from using it.
        We need to stop thinking it is simply another drug, with all sorts of side effects and just needs to be handles as another addictive substance.
        It needs to be fully legalized, the sooner the better.

        Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

        by MA Liberal on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 09:15:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you're stoned, you're not sober. /nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  neither am I when on pain medications (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon

        or going around in pain just so no one can point at me and call me a drug user.

        And neither am I when in the grip of PTSD triggers...

        or in the grip of a cell phone conversation on the freeway

        or thinking about the argument with my kids/family/boss/employee/neighbor/self/

        I am you, and you, and you over there...

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 01:25:26 AM PST

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        •  No, you are sober when (0+ / 0-)

          in the grip of PTSD triggers...

          or in the grip of a cell phone conversation on the freeway

          or thinking about the argument with my kids/family/boss/employee/neighbor/self/

          Or in all of the above cases except possibly pain medication, which obviously is a tremendous problem and question for people who have a substance addiction.

          You may be distracted, even dangerously so, but you are sober. There is a critical distinction here: not relevant in some cases, perhaps, but from the addiction recovery point of view, tremendously important.

          Maybe you are better off not sober, that's for you to say. But if you're stoned, you're simply not sober. Otherwise, the whole concept of sobriety becomes meaningless.

    •  I agree for the most part, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook

      Marijuana can be addictive and harmful, the same as alcohol can (perhaps less so, depending on studies). I don't think it necessitates it being illegal, but I'm not sure we can mark it "A-OK" or anything.

      •  To be clear, there are many legal things I would (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook

        never call "not addictive and harmful," including many things I love like video games and wine and chocolate.

        "Not addictive and harmful" is a broad statement.

        •  How do you like (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MA Liberal

          "not sufficiently addictive and/or harmful to justify outlawing it completely"?

          •  Agree totally. :) (0+ / 0-)

            But I think in this discussion, language is important.

            My favorite is "Less addictive and harmful than alcohol." That proves the point and gets it across to the masses fairly well, I'd say.

            •  That one's pretty good. (0+ / 0-)

              I might even say "caffeine" rather than "alcohol," as the sale of alcohol is regulated while the sale of caffeine is not.

            •  Try the fact that it is NOT addictive OR harmful (0+ / 0-)

              It's not just "less addictive" it is not addictive at all. And it has never proven to harm anyone, let alone kill anyone, which you cannot say for alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs, cars, guns, etc.
              We have to stop thinking it is something that "might be bad but tolerable in certain circumstances".
              It's insanity (and costs us billions upon billions each year) to keep it illegal.

              Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

              by MA Liberal on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 09:29:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  NO, no it's not. (0+ / 0-)

        It has never been prove to be either addictive OR harmful. As a matter of fact, it's been proven beneficial in many ways - not something you can say for alcohol, cigarettes or pharmaceuticals (which kill tens of thousands a year, BTW).
        It's NEVER been proven to be physically addictive (though some people with addictive personalities can become addicted to many things), nor has it been proven harmful. In fact, it's been proven to be quite the opposite.
        There simply is no reason, other than the 30+ years War on Drugs (which has been a boatload of BS) that it has been kept illegal.
        It is, perhaps, the most benign drug on the planet.
        And think about it this way...lots of plants are harmful, just by being. You can walk out in your yard, or enter a flower garden, and find things that will harm or kill you. We spend millions each year trying to eradicate another weed with beneficial medicinal value - dandelions - and poison the planet in the process.
        You can make a weed illegal,  but it doesn't mean it's smart to do so.

        Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

        by MA Liberal on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 09:26:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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