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I'll be short and to the point.  My experience was not unique in the town where I grew up.

It was pretty hard to buy alcohol.  Vendors wouldn't sell, so you had to steal it or find a homeless guy to buy it for you.  I didn't smoke cigarettes, but my friends did, and many were the time it was my turn in the rotation, going from gas station to gas station, to try to get some cigs for the group.

Other things were easier to find. There aren't too many back alley booze salesmen.  Let me just go over the list of drugs I used, not infrequently, before I ever started drinking.  When I was a teenager.

Ecstasy (what's sold as ecstasy on the street, in various mixtures)
Crystal Meth
Psilocybin Mushrooms

I even knew a girl whose first drug experience was LSD at age twelve.  

Now, admittedly I was a wild child.  It's my view that some of this was ok.  A lot of it wasn't.  I never became dependent on anything, but some of my friends did.  My point is this: I think the drug war drives kids to take wilder drugs than they might otherwise.  And I think that's kind of fucked up.  I don't have statistics.  I certainly lied about my drug use when they passed those 'anonymous' surveys around our classrooms.  I expect most students are smart enough to do the same.

Originally posted to Essentially Shameless on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 06:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes, the war on drugs is an abysmal failure (7+ / 0-)

    it's heinously expensive and wastes innocent lives.

    However this is a very responsible adult country where travesties muct be perpetuated because doing the right thing has devastating effects on the status quo and that cannot be tolerated.

    I'm afraid people will just have to keep going to jail for nothing and that Americans will have to be happy with cancer-causing tobacco and deadly alcohol.

    it's the only responsible thing to do......

    Republicans HATE America. Deal with it. / It's the PLUTONOMY, Stupid!

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 06:54:11 PM PDT

    •  It's a fucking joke if you compare our long-term (5+ / 0-)

      progress. The whole drug war fiasco started in the 1970s and you'd think 40 years later we would be pursuing some real transformational changes but no, what do you get? Clapping and cheering for a state decriminalizing one drug. This shit will still be going on by the end of the century at this rate.

      Fucking pathetic

      •  What's really pathetic is the cynical defeatism (0+ / 0-)

        that "some people" tend to bring in subjective hostile oppositonalist attacks against the Prez and the Democrats...when they have done more to cut slack for pot users than the Republicans would ever even contemplate.

        It was the Democrats who allowed decrim, in the first place, such that people no longer had to go to prison with 10 year sentences for a freakin' joint, like I did, some 30 years ago.

        Even as a mere misdemeanor, with fines and other bullshit that went with that, it still sucked to have to be paranoid about getting rousted, though.

        But now, after all these years, for the first time in my life, I can possess, and even grow my own pot, with no fear of being hassled by the pigs, due to my medical card, which was very easy to get.

        And Mr. Obama has directed the Justice Dept. to lay off the stubborn Bush regime campaign to crush medical use, which is a good thing.

        Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

        by Radical def on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:43:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not good enough and Obama has reneged on (0+ / 0-)

          not going after Medical Marijuana.

          •  Simply not true... (0+ / 0-)

            Do you have some proof of that?  I've seen no indication that he's reneged on that.

            They are raiding the dispensaries, but that's under the commerce laws, to prevent retail sales.  States who seek to include dispensaries in their medical bills are being warned not to go there.

            But there is no crackdown on medical marijuana itself, only the dispensaries, which are a pet Libertarian project aimed at trying to provoke a showdown against Obama.

            This comment is what pisses me off about the unprincipled Libertarian bullshit deliberately confusing the issues.

            The Prez pulled the rug out from under them, by directing Justice to leave the pot heads alone, so they come up with this bullshit "dispensaries" tactic, just to up the ante, and give themselves something to complain about...

            Libertarians are LYING when they scream bloody murder about "attacks on medical".

            Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

            by Radical def on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 10:52:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You make no sense. (0+ / 0-)

              An attack on dispensaries is, by definition, an attack on medical marijuana itself, just as any government attack on pharmacies would be an attack on all pharmaceuticals.  

              •  I don't think so... (0+ / 0-)

                If a patient gets their medicine from their registered grower or caregiver, there's no "government attack"...since that process is set up such that there's no retail sale involved.

                It's the retail sale that remain illegal, under commerce laws, and That's what's being "attacked", by Justice Dept. raids on the "dispensary" store fronts.

                While the stores may be convenient, or desirable, NOBODY "needs" the storefronts, or "needs" to get medicine from anyone but their actual grower or caregiver, in order to get it.

                Nobody is being denied access to medicine.

                As long as the patient, grower and caregiver are not selling the medicine, there's no problem.

                So, it's NOT "an attack on MM itself", ONLY on the retail storefronts.

                So, either you don't know what you're talking about, or you're just lying your ass off, for a bogus excuse to falsely slag the Obama administration.

                Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

                by Radical def on Sun Jul 17, 2011 at 12:09:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You still don't know what you're talking about. (0+ / 0-)

                  "As long as the patient, grower and caregiver are not selling the medicine, there's no problem."

                  Let me throw in some different words.

                  As long as the patient, pharmaceutical company, and pharmacist are not selling the medicine, there's no problem.

                  I want you to explain to me why my sentence is crazy.  It should be pretty easy to do.

  •  just terrible, it makes me sick, and tired (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Ecstasy (what's sold as ecstasy on the street, in various mixtures)
    Crystal Meth
    Psilocybin Mushrooms

    Why is it that, while for people without their heads in the sand it is glaringly obvious which one of these does not belong; to the majority(?) the list is perfectly acceptable and all the substances on it are equally abominable?

    The answers are many, but I think the most important one is apathy; people just don't care enough to change their minds.

    It can't last forever.

    Can it?

    Wakeful people make better democracy

    by Hammerhand on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 07:11:34 PM PDT

  •  Legalize, regulate, tax and (5+ / 0-)

    90% of the back alley dealers/pushers will disappear.  

  •  "Drug dealers don't card." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radical def, DarkLadyNyara, qofdisks

    Your story is further proof that legalization and regulation is the answer for parents who worry that their kids might have better access to cannabis. As it stands now, your average teen can acquire weed faster than Domino's can deliver them a pie.

    "Keep Looking Up" was my life's admonition; I can do little else in my present position. --- astronomer Jack Horkheimer (1938-2010), self-penned epitaph

    by bsmechanic on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 08:51:54 PM PDT

  •  Pot should definitely be legal (0+ / 0-)


    I'm more ambivalent about the other drugs of choice.  

    I think the white powders should still be, more effectively, suppressed, and pills, alcohol and tobacco more stringently discouraged, especially for kids.

    Psychedelics, in my experience, including pot, acid and shrooms, are relatively harmless, except for people with medical contraindications, of which there are some.

    I'm glad the Obama administration has decided, and consistently honored that decision, to leave medical marijuana alone, including legal growers and caregivers, as well as patients.  

    This is a major departure from the Bush admin, and Mr. Obama doesn't get enough credit for it.

    I definitely resent, however, opportunist attempts by the Libertarians to commercialize pot, to make a lot of money off it, especially as some kind of  supposed panacea for the faltering economy.  

    Make the rich pay, to fix the economy, not pot heads.

    Just let us grow our own, and leave us alone...we don't "need" to tax it and tie it all up in commercial regulation and exploitation (and shouldn't Even have to jump through a lot of "medical" hoops to get it).

    Some Democrats are preparing to introduce federal legalization and rescheduling bills soon, but the prospect of passing those under right wing majorities seems unlikely.  

    I think we'll need strong progressive/moderate Democratic Majorities (NOT rotten with Blue Dogs), to see real progress in that regard.

    The Libertarian's present hyperbolic campaign to misrepresent the recent Justice Dept. crackdown on their retail storefront "dispensaries" scheme, as a supposed "attack on medical pot", is a really disgusting ploy for attacking the Prez and the Party, deliberately trying to provoke a showdown, hoping to peel off some voters for Ron Paul, and  generally seeking to suppress likely Democratic voter turnout over that contrived "issue".

    We don't "need" those retail storefront "dispensaries", especially as a cynical tactic to try to discredit and demonize the Democrats.  If the Republicans gain more plurality in the House and Senate, that will only hurt the prospects for real legalization.

    Medical Marijuana works well enough as it is, such that anyone who wants to can get some, without having to sweat the legal hassles, as long as they comply with fairly reasonable rules.  

    I really appreciate Mr. Obama's decision to tell Justice to lay off the legal medical pot users and growers, and I couldn't care less about those goddamn Libertarian "dispensaries".  

    We should just leave it as it is, for now, I think, while we work on getting it completely legalized after 2012.


    Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

    by Radical def on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:17:17 PM PDT

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