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A call to legalize marijuana will be met with a series of predictable responses. Here is how you can respond to each.

Potent Pot

Potent pot is more myth than reality.

However, even if one assumes that potent pot is a reality it is certainly nothing to be concerned about. Indeed, saying that potent pot is reason for keeping marijuana illegal is akin to saying that alcohol should be banned because gin has higher alcohol content than beer. It makes no sense. The pharmacological affects of consuming 1 "chemically supercharged" joint, as various US attorneys like to say, versus x number of "dad's joints" would be no different if the amount of THC consumed is the same. As for consumption, just as people do not drink the same volume of gin as beer, the higher the THC level in pot the less people consume. Hence, ironically more potent pot may be a welcome development. After all, one of the most prominent health effect related to marijuana, if not the most, is that it is usually smoked. The more potent the pot, the less people have to smoke to achieve the same high. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School concurs, so does Mitch Earleywine of the University of Southern California and so does UCLA's Mark Kleiman.

That said, if potency is the concern, then it should be legalized.  The only way to regulate the potency of pot is to legalize it.

Finally, the attempt to scare parents that have grown up on marijuana by distinguishing between potent pot and “your dad's marijuana” is too clever by half. After all, it begs the following question. If today's marijuana is truly different in kind from "dads marijuana", would it be ok to legalize "dad's marijuana", i.e., low potency pot?

Talking Points

1) Saying that potent pot is reason for keeping marijuana illegal is akin to saying that alcohol should be banned because gin has higher alcohol content than beer. It makes no sense.

2) If today's marijuana is truly different in kind from "dads marijuana", would it be ok to legalize "dad's marijuana", i.e., low potency pot?

Gateway Drug

Researchers have rightly noted that people who have try marijuana are statistically more likely try other illicit drugs. This gave raise to the theory that there was something about marijuana that encouraged drug experimentation. Marijuana, it was alleged, is a gateway drug. This, in turn, was given as one more reason to keep the drug illegal. However, the gateway drug theory has until recently fallen on hard times for lack of an intelligible mechanism. The problem was that there was no coherent explanation for why marijuana would lead people to experiment with other drugs. Without this explanation doubt was cast relationship being more than mere correlation. That said, in recent years researchers have breathed new life into the theory, albeit with a sociological twist. According to the new version, it is not marijuana's pharmacological properties that serve as a gateway, but rather marijuana's illegal status. Specifically in the process of illegally procuring marijuana, users are introduced to the criminal elements with access to other illicit drugs and hence it is the forged blackmarket relationship between dealer and buyer that serves as gateway.

In this context it should be noted that when the Dutch partially legalized the sale of marijuana, heroin and cocaine use went down despite an initial increase in marijuana use. Dutch use of hard drugs remains well below the European average.

Talking Point

Every time someone goes to buy marijuana they come into contact with criminal elements with access to other hard drugs. This is your gateway. When Holland decriminalized consumption and made it available in coffee shops, heroin and cocaine use went down.

Schizophrenia and Marijuana

Epidemiological studies have consistently failed to show any kind of positive correlation between marijuana use and schizophrenia. Despite a massive increase in the number of Australians consuming the drug since the 1960s, Wayne Hall of the University of Queensland found no increase in the number of cases of schizophrenia in Australia. Mitch Earleywine of the University of Southern California similarly found the same with regard to the US population and Oxford's Leslie Iversen found the same regard to the population in the UK. According to Columbia's Alan Brown, "If anything, the studies seem to show a possible decline in schizophrenia from the '40s and the ‘ 50,"

Talking Point

There has been an astronomical increase in the number of pot smokers since the 1950s and no increase in the rate of schizophrenia whatsoever.

The gangs will simply move on to other drugs

The market for marijuana positively dwarfs the market for all other drugs combined and marijuana is far and away gangs' biggest money maker. The notion that the gangs would simply shift focus and thereby maintain the same levels of profitability is absurd. Comparable demand for other kinds of drugs is simply not there. Moreover, such an argument rests upon a mistaken assumption. Namely, it assumes that the sure size and scope of the marijuana industry is limiting the distribution of other kinds of drugs. The reverse is true. Marijuana profits and sometimes even marijuana itself are providing the seed capital the gangs need to diversify operations (e.g., cocaine, heroin, human trafficking and guns) and to expand those other operations. This is one of the main reasons why we need to nip this in the bud.

Talking Point

It is not like the gangs have access to capital markets. Marijuana profits and sometimes even marijuana itself are providing the seed capital the gangs need to diversify operations (e.g., cocaine, heroin, human trafficking and guns) and to expand those other operations. This is one of the main reasons why we need to nip this, pardon the pun, in the bud.

The Black Market will live on

It is one thing to illegally sell a legally produced product and make a profit, e.g., black market cigarettes. It is quite another thing to illegally produce and sell a product (e.g., moonshine) in market where there is legal competitors. The reason is simple. The illegality of the product means that your production and distribution costs are significantly higher. Also demand for your product is always going to be less. People want to know what they buying and consuming. So when given the choice of buying an illegally produced product versus a legally produced product they are going to go with the later. (There is one notable exception and that is when an illegally produced product is successfully passed off as a legal one, e.g., fake brand name goods). That is why no matter how much Canadians drank during the time of American prohibition, I am sure that it never crossed the RCMP’s mind that American moonshine might become a competitor of Molson’s.

Talking point

Coors executives do not worry about moonshine eating into market share. Demand for illegal products is not what it is for legal ones.

 

Originally posted to koby on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Political Language and Messaging, DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You forgot the jobs (31+ / 0-)

    Colorado has a population a little over five million. We added 8000 jobs in two years after the medical marijuana market took off 2009.  The construction industry saw an infusion of close to $120,000,000 to build the grows and retail outlets. (800+ of each by last count. The state, counties, and cities are collecting sales tax and the black market is dead at the retail level.

    •  I'm all for pot legalization (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bmeis, FG

      but I am doubting the $120M number for construction.  Most of those outlets went into existing retail space.

      Colorado's pot experience has not all been rainbows and happiness.  There has been multiple break ins and robberies at many of the retail outlets, enough that Fort Collins has reversed course on medical marijuana dispensaries.

      Also the fact that Physicians were getting kickbacks and running prescription mills with some dispensaries doesn't sit well with me either.  

      Finally, if anyone thinks that organized crime will wash their hands of pot once it becomes legal is looking at this with rose covered glasses.  Organized crime still has it's claws in many, many legal enterprises such as legal prostitution and gambling in Nevada, construction, and liquor distribution.  Also  I am assuming that you believe that pot will be taxed, and taxed heavily....organized crime will find a way to sell untaxed pot just like they find a way to sell untaxed booze and smokes.

      Like I said, I agree that pot should be legal and I believe that the pluses outweigh the minuses for legalization.  I also think that once pot is legalized there will be a whole new set of problems that will need to be solved, and to say everything will be just fine and dandy is an oversimplification of a complex issue.

      •  The Grow Ops (10+ / 0-)

        800 Grows were built in a two year period.  I built three.  They were $230,000, $127,000, and $330,000 dollar builds. 800 x 150K=120,000,000.

        The 400Amp Servcices, HVAC, etc. add up in a hurry.

        I didn't even add the retail build numbers. I'm low if anything.

      •  Colorado is MMJ (10+ / 0-)

        We're talking full legalization. Most of Colorado's problems are a result of partial legality, criminals knew where to find money and kind bud, so they went for it.

        Many small towns along with Fort Collins outlawed dispensaries, and displayed the usual small-minded, small-town politics in doing so- they want to preserve the sense of community, but ignore the number of liquor stores in their towns. The lies of public safety and morality always drive the actions of the fearful.

        There is no situation in our culture without problems, but the benefits in this situation are enormous compared to residual problems. And such problems, crime and greed, and built into our culture.

        "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

        by US Blues on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:29:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, but what problems? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RUKind, Damnit Janet

        Unlike alcohol, legalization of pot won't lead to lots of arrests for erratic driving - seriously, is someone going to be stopped for driving too slow?
        To me, legalizing pot will only help the economy. Just think of the jump in junk food sales! I'd buy stock in Frito-Lay and Haagen Daz tomorrow!
        But, seriously, what problems do you think would occur? I can't think of many.

        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 Mon May 21, 2012 at 05:19:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Jobs? Legalization is just a gateway to "Big Pot" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RUKind, boudi08

      Wait until Monsanto releseases their premium bud and puts the little guys out of business.

      AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

      by voracious on Mon May 21, 2012 at 11:12:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The medical guys have a head start (5+ / 0-)

        There are 2300 named strains in the world right now and consumers complain if there aren't twenty strains on the shelf. Monsanto will get in, but they will be the Boone's Farm of pot. They will not be able to match the variety of tens of thousands breeders with a head start. The small high quality producers will always have a market, and like wine a lot of black boxes will be sold.

        Monsanto will enter the market when it is legal federally.

      •  I do not think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        voracious, boudi08

        I would be interested in smoking "Roundup ready" weed.  But I could see it being grown, and I can see Monsanto effectively lobbying against requiring package disclaimers.  Okay, we're a decade from that at least; but yeah.

        You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

        by rb608 on Mon May 21, 2012 at 02:31:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is part of the reason why those of (0+ / 0-)

        us that advocate for the legalization of pot must think a little harder and come up with better systems than the one we have now.  In general terms, the three possible replacement systems are the free market (big business), the command market (government sells pot) and a hybrid system where specially created non-profit agencies are put in charge of the pot trade and all profits do not accrue either to individuals or the government but are poured back into drug education and drug rehab.

        In our exuberance to get rid of the worst possible system (the black market), we should not thoughtlessly support just any old alternative.  I personally support a hybrid system as the most reasonable alternative but would allow states and counties to choose what system best fits their local culture/community.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Mon May 21, 2012 at 02:54:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, but the best pot is usually home grown. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rebel ga, RUKind

        I grew a small amount a couple of years ago, in my back yard, not even an ounce. But it was primo.
        I think, however, pot will follow alcohol in production and marketing. I don't see a really big deal with it all.

        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 Mon May 21, 2012 at 05:21:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Premium bud requires both good seeds and talent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rebel ga, RUKind

        Monsanto couldn't corner the market, that's why it's still illegal. Cannabis would decentralize markets instead of feeding the Wall Street Banksters. Local small factories and cottage industries will grow around the hemp growing in the fields. The best quality medical and recreational cannabis will still be produced by local independent producers.

        Millions of good living wage manufacturing jobs will be created all across America producing the more than 25,000 products that can be made better, stronger, more durable and less expensive from hemp. Biofuels, building materials, nutritious hemp seed foods, paper products, plastics, fine and course cloth can all be made better and cheaper from hemp. Allowing hemp to be grown as normal rotation crop could produce enough hemp biomass and hemp seeds to replace all the petroleum we now use.

        Visit my website http://www.rmforbes.net

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Mon May 21, 2012 at 05:55:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It will be Altria and not Monsanto (0+ / 0-)

        Altria has the farm land and the infrastructure to switch immediately from tobacco to cannabis. In fact, expect blends of the two to keep the nicotine addiction going.

        "He not busy being born is busy dying." R. Zimmerman

        by RUKind on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:15:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  omg (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RUKind

          I have a young friend who rolls a mix of tobacco and weed into a spliff with tobacco at the end.  Its also mixed in with the weed.  I gave up tobacco so, he claims it works better.  I think not but who knows.  Your sentence did strike me though.  your right.

        •  Winemakers or Brewers will have a chance (0+ / 0-)

          Everyone else is playing in a different sort of market. Variety is the market and I don't think we are going to see anyone in big agribusiness or the cigarette market do really well.

          I am forced by my customers to grow and manage 50 varieties with distinct growing needs and very specific requirements. I'm good at diesels and OGs. many growers can't even get these varieties to finish.

          Wine and beer are the analogous markets.

    •  I say BS on that $120,000,000 and 8000 jobs! (0+ / 0-)

      Where is the data on that!

      •  It's based on what has happened and is happening (8+ / 0-)

        800 hundred Grow ops were built and 800 retail retail outlets opened. $150K a piece is on the low end of any estimate per grow op/retail pair.

        The math says $120,000,000.

        800 Businesses with 10 employees each is 8000 jobs. I'm probably low there too. I didn't even include the temporary employment bump in the trades or the continuing maintenance on the facilities' HVAC systems.

        Do the math nationally and we're talking a billions injected into the US economy. Boulder's unemployment rate is under 6% for a reason. We became a hub for production for the whole state. In a town of 100k, 600 hundred jobs is a big deal.

    •  And is the Colorado gov't getting tax revunes? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie, boudi08

      Basically; I think that cannabis being taxed like alcohol and tobacco only adds to the attraction of the US gov't's, legalizing medical cannabis.

      I Agree Totally Cannaman! And Potency is not important with the chronically ill anyway. Since they don't go very far. Many home bound. Dear Vice President Biden,

      God's Love, We Deliver
      Volunteers: Corporations + Groups

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:09:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's a talking point for Hemp... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet

      which is NOT mary jane...

      Hemp for Victory
      made by our government.

      Yet it is prohibited to grow hemp.

      A crop that does not deplete the soil, produces: oil, paper, cloth, rope, etc...

      Our founding documents are written on hemp paper. No wonder that they survive.

      "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." ~ Thomas Paine

      by third Party please on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:31:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It actually adds to the soil (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boudi08

        in just one season, Hemp will replenish the soil.  

        Oregon is trying to grow it's own hemp so that the people who make hemp milk won't have to go to Canada.  We'll see how that goes.  

        "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

        by Damnit Janet on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:41:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gateway theory is about markets (20+ / 0-)

    The gateway drug theory was coined by a Dutch researcher who said that mj will lead to harder drugs if they are both similarly illegal and available from the same dealers. If pot is made available through dealers who don't sell hard drugs, hard drug use will decline. That's what they did and that's what happened.

    It's not about lowering inhibitions or chemical dependency, it's about availability of options.

    •  And exposure to marketing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      R2P2

      Along with the fact that the power that be act as though pot were so bad, so many figure that if that is not true, then the others are not going to be as bad.

      As with everything, only a few will actually become addicted. Most are able to just use drugs socially without becoming dependent on them.

      Women create the entire labor force. Think about it.

      by splashy on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:16:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It didn't always be this way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lunachickie

      From the 70's through the 90's the gateway theory was supposedly about the nature of pot itself.  Their catch phrase was, "But, marijuana leads to hard drugs.  Think of the children."  They never explained exactly how this gateway worked, it just did.  They based this on the fact that a significant fraction of heroin addicts had done marijuana before heroin.  This caused someone to come up with the corollary - Mother's milk leads to heroin - as it is based on pretty much the same logic.  

      And of course, this is nonsense.  If they wanted to establish that marijuana leads to harder drugs then they should look at the percentage of marijuana smokers who go on to use hard drugs.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:50:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There'd be no way to study that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman

        Any time you study the effects of illegal activity, healthy people tend to cover it up, and sick people over-report in an effort to find some outside cause for their condition.

        Yoy really cant study pot's effects until the stigma goes away.

        Snarka snarka snarka!

        by Hunter Huxley on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:28:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The talking point that criminals (29+ / 0-)

    such as the Mexican gangs use MJ proceeds in order to fund their businesses is, IMO, one of the best talking points FOR the legalization of the drug.  Increased law enforcement only can result in one thing - an increase in prices and thus revenues for the gangs. The worst case scenario for the gangs is legalization. It's funny how the law-and-order side uses that talking point endlessly as if it supports their position, while in fact it demolishes it.

  •  The problem is... (14+ / 0-)

    You're trying to inject logic into a conversation based on emotions.
    I have long lost count of the many studies over several decades that have concluded that legalization, or at the very least decriminalization, is the way to go. Nothing ever happens. Large majorities, in the range of 70-80 percent, have been amenable to Mj. for medical use for at least a decade, and as many know, even outright legalization is now favored by half the populace. Still, nothing ever happens.
    The people, by and large, are on the right side of this, but the politicians won't touch the issue with a ten foot pole because they will be vilified by their opponents as soft on crime, as advocating drug use, etc. Facts have nothing to do with it.
    The problem is not that we can't win the argument when it occurs, the problem is the argument is never allowed to take place.
    How often do you hear the topic brought up on any news/discussion shows? How many politicians do you know who are even willing to discuss the subject beyond a simple statement that it should remain illegal?
    The real problem is not how do we respond to the arguments of the prohibitionists, the problem is how to we get anyone to listen at all?
    When  something that has this much public support isn't even allowed into the debate, it points to fundamental flaws in our democracy.

    •  I think the problem is money and influence (12+ / 0-)

      Emotion would still be a problem if this debate were allowed to take place. But the big problem is that the war on drugs funnels taxpayer money to state and federal employees, programs, and private corporations. Many people adversely affected are the people state politicians need to be able to work with to perform their job.

      Snarka snarka snarka!

      by Hunter Huxley on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:04:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Money is certainly a problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        What I can't understand is why the money is so lopsided against legalization. Sure, big Pharma is against it for obvious reason, likewise the private prison industry. However, you also have the big agriculture business that could rake in billions growing a crop that could reap big profits, even assuming the price of the stuff will drop considerably. The tobacco industry could easily step in and use their existing distribution system to make a huge profit as well. There's a lot of money to be made if it is legalized, by a lot of different segments. Look at how many small companies make various edible cannabis treats and vaporizers etc. catering to the few states that do allow medical Mj. Yet when it comes to the political arena, all the money seems to be on the "no" side of the equation. When  you throw in the costs to state governments for prisons, for the police expenditures, the lost tax revenue , etc. it seems like the battle should be more even.

        •  Big Banks Used Big Drug Money During Crash (0+ / 0-)

          to capitalize themselves is the most reasonable thinking I have heard. Even Sec. of State Clinton said the reason Drugs will never be legal is because of the amount of money involved. Who else has enough money to control the White House besides the big Banks, the Industrial Complex and Pharma (legal and illegal) Only the Cartels had enough cash on hand to fund the  slowing of the crash long enough for others to step in.

           Some may see this as a CT but I have pondered this for couple yrs now and and have yet to find a flaw. We already know our Gov is not above dealing drugs because of cases during Nam, some I have a little personal knowledge of. Speaking of the Vietnam, we had a huge drug problem among the troops there and yet in the Golden Triangle, where both the best Heroin and Hashish are born and yet in 10 years we have not heard of any troops coming home addicted to anything but the Speed the Gov. gives them to keep up.

           If nothing else, think about it.

          "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

          by SmileySam on Mon May 21, 2012 at 01:30:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  On the north coast (10+ / 0-)

      Candidates for sheriff and DA argue over who is more pro-marijuana. I believe that is also happening in the 2nd district Congressional race.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon May 21, 2012 at 07:54:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are, of course, local spots of sanity. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        US Blues, SoCaliana

        However weed legalization still failed in Ca. and if I remember correctly (please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) Humboldt county, the center of the pot culture and growing community voted it down as well.

        •  Price drop (6+ / 0-)

          The Humboldt growers were protecting a pricing structure that is profitable for them.

          "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

          by US Blues on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:32:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That was my understanding (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes, offgrid

            I think they are shooting themselves in the foot, because I believe the increased volume of sales, and not having to worry about being busted would compensate for the decreased price. It does however show just how difficult this fight will be.

            •  money talks (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              skohayes

              they are protecting what they have, not seeing the potential for more.

              "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

              by US Blues on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:58:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And understanding that 20lbs a year is a living (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                US Blues, offgrid

                at $3,000 a pound, but isn't squat at $1,200 a pound. Short sighted, but very understandable. Irony is that prices have still dropped below $2,000 a pound.

                •  Indoor vs Outdoor, Designer strains vs Skunk (0+ / 0-)

                  It has all figured in. With the growth of indoor grows a single person can fulfill their own needs but even that can be a lot of work. Bugs, fungus, space, electricity, odor, fertilizer, gender, transplants,clones vs seed, etc, etc,etc.

                   To grow a decent crop for yourself and maybe a spouse or sick friend will still take hrs a week and there are never any guarantees of being wiped out over night. Any reason from Cops, Snitches, Electrical short, fire, temperature, too much or too little water or fertilizer, or even the age old " My Dog Ate It ". Had that happen once...thank goodness he only got to one plant. Poor boy slept for a couple days but seemed to enjoy the dreams...

                  "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

                  by SmileySam on Mon May 21, 2012 at 01:43:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  The problem locally is that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes

          there are very nasty complications caused by situations where local law allows what federal law does not. The shades of gray turn out not to work out well, not for citizens, not for law enforcement, and for that matter, not for honest local growers, by which I mean local people who care about the community and the land and the product rather than people who only care about a quick buck.

          Many saw the local liberalization as being an invitation to outside cartels etc to come in and set up shop. That's not what anyone wanted at all.

          Mendocino County had a program where the sheriff would inspect medical marijuana grows and sell you a zip-tie for each plant that was deemed to be in compliance. The sheriff and the growers both liked it, and as a bonus, it generated enough money to help offset budget cuts. (You might be surprised to know that that was an actual goal of some of the medical marijuana community, to help the sheriff's office stay staffed.) But, the feds just told them to end it.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon May 21, 2012 at 02:42:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It is not a matter if; it is matter of when (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      offgrid

      Obama might not sound overly sympathetic, but, just as with DOM, his not cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries speaks much louder than words.  Indeed, in California, for example, one does not have to be afflicted with a particular aliment to be eligible for medical marijuana. A doctor can proscribe marijuana for whatever they see fit. Needless to say, such a system is ripe for abuse and the Bush administration was right to see medical marijuana program as a potential Trojan horse. But Obama let the wooden horse to be wheeled into California and other States anyway. In so doing, Obama has allowed the medical marijuana industry in California and elsewhere to grow to the point where there is no saving prohibition from Odysseus. There are more medical marijuana dispensaries in LA than Starbucks.    

      The marijuana issue is not at all like abortion.  The numbers for and against legalization will not remain frozen in time.  It is like SSM.  Once support reaches a critical mass the issue will tip.  

      It may be the winds of change from elsewhere that tips the issue.  In a few short years, Latin America, for instance, has gone from having former politicians musing about legalization to sitting presidents all but putting it onto the political agenda. Calderon is about to loose the Mexican election because of his hard line stance. This is turning out to be the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. In Latin America not only is the war on drugs a disaster from a policy viewpoint it is looking like it is becoming a political loser and politicians throughout the region are taking notice.

      At the summit of Americas recently, Latin American leaders all but told Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the situation is so dire that years of the US being able to force Latin America into line through carrot and stick is rapidly coming to end. Their firm tone explains Harper's remarkable -- albeit momentary -- climbdown. "I think what everybody believes and agrees with, and to be frank myself, is that the current approach is not working, but it is not clear what we should do.”

      A far more likely scenario is what would happen if one of the marijuana referendums succeeds.  Say such a referendum succeeds in Washington State.    Politicians there would not have the option of remaining silent.  Either they come down on the side of the people of Washington State or on the side of the Federal government.  In today's hyper partisan environment, they would be signing their political death warrant if they remained silent. The people of Washington State would demand it and the Democratic base there certainly would.  

      Of course, such a debate would not be confined to just one state.  A yes vote would kick start a debate that would wipe out any legitimacy prohibition has left in vast swaths of the country.

      So, while it is likely that a yes vote would likely be contested by whomever is president in 2013, the response is likely to be muted. This will be especially so if Obama wins. It is hard to fathom Obama going to war with Washington State, say, over the marijuana legalization yet alone with California.    

      Obama's ability to push back would be limited for other reasons as well. He freely admits to having marijuana in the past ("I inhaled frequently. That was the point") and his marijuana use is not a part of some redemption narrative, a la George Bush. It was a path he choice not to continue going down. Drug use was never presented as a demon he had to overcome yet alone one he still struggles with the way an alcoholic does with drink. This would leave him open to the charge of hypocrisy. Far more importantly though, the war and drugs, especially with regard to marijuana, has had a profound impact on the African American community in the States. If Obama was to toe the standard line in the face of, say, California promising to end the war on drugs, he would be in a world of hurt politically. The African American community would not, of course, abandon him, but they would be unhappy and their unhappiness would have the potential to throw his whole second term out of whack politically. His whole message of being a force for change would be called into question.

  •  The emotional counter-argument... (19+ / 0-)

    ...is to point out the original reason for banning hemp in the first place: not for reasons of public health and safety, but to put people of color under the thumb of the police.

         Back in the 1930s, Louisiana was looking for ways to crack down on those "uppity" black folks.  At the same time, white landowners in California, Arizona and other parts of the Southwest wanted to get rid of the Mexican brasseros that they had invited into the country to harvest crops, seeing as how the depression had wiped out many farmers and Mexican labor was no longer needed.

         Both of these groups enjoyed smoking the Herb Superb.  And that became the vehicle for getting rid of them: make it illegal.  The Blacks would be arrested, and the Mexicans would be deported.  Problem solved.  After all, it wasn't something that White people enjoyed, unless they were degenerate devotees of that Devil's music, Jazz.  They could also be arrested.

         Bottom line: Hemp prohibition is racist, pure and simple.

    I used to be disgusted, now I'm just amused

    by CodemeisterFromCleveland on Mon May 21, 2012 at 07:20:37 AM PDT

    •  Bing C. would disagree... (0+ / 0-)
      After all, it wasn't something that White people enjoyed

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

      by Bluefin on Mon May 21, 2012 at 01:31:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Civil rights issue. Pursuit of happiness. The (11+ / 0-)

    facts have had no effect in the decades i have been advocating for allowing people their civil right to grow, posses, and consume pot.
    It is nothing less than an abomination to jail anyone for possessing pot.
    The insane damage that continues to be done by the evil people who have criminalized this plant must stop, and restitution must be paid to the poor victims!

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Mon May 21, 2012 at 07:53:06 AM PDT

  •  legal MJ will be practically free (13+ / 0-)

    The actual cost of growing pot is negligible.
    The known deaths from the legal substances tobacco and alcohol make marijuana look like aspirin.
    Plus we'll finally have campaign reform because many teabagger types will find that smoking pot is actually the gateway to common sense and empathy. IMHO the main reason it is illegal.

    "HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE" , bumpersticker on a burning Subaru

    by tRueffert on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:12:14 AM PDT

    •  You are the first person I've heard say this (3+ / 0-)

      and I couldn't agree more. The price of one joint will plummet to below one penny if pot is legalized.
      When folks say I'm crazy, I try to compare buds to an ear of corn.

      "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

      by leftyguitarist on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:19:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's like nuke power being too cheap to meter (4+ / 0-)

        Of course there will be a fixed (though cheap) cost for selling produce of any kind.

        You never see anything at the farmer's market that is less than a buck.  The costs for just the display table (let alone the transportation) puts a floor price on everything.

        •  I disagree, not a good comparison, you see, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damnit Janet

          if you could smoke an ear of corn it would last a heavy smoker a month.
          See what I mean?
          Sure, you could sell it, at $10 a pound.
          A pound is a years supply for one daily smoker.

          "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

          by leftyguitarist on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:57:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Everything points to $80 / oz for high grade. (5+ / 0-)

          The costs of operating a greenhouse with plants that take many months to grow and cure is not that negligible. Also turning the plant into a salable format is pretty labor intensive.
          Of course, ditch weed will be pretty much free, as would be the industrial stuff from Mexico. Those farmers will need to turn to hemp production.

          "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

          by shmuelman on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:51:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Labor intensive? Si, but done while stoned (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, qofdisks

            when the time comes harvesting machines will be invented and fields will be forty acres square. And thousands of them. The joint will go the way of the dinosaur and the patch will be the rave. There may be money there. Except the government has the patent so there won't be any money there.
            Pot for pleasure will be a mere byproduct of the plant. We'll be running our cars on that shit when we finally open our eyes to what it is.

            "HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE" , bumpersticker on a burning Subaru

            by tRueffert on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:47:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Current Prices in CO Medical Marijuana Market (6+ / 0-)

            Retail is $150 to $250oz with 1/4 oz topping out around $75 for the connoisseur grades of OG (Kosher Kush, Skywalker OG, Ghost OG, Tahoe OG).

            Wholesale prices are ranging from $2000/lb to $3200/lb. Old school dank is $2000(White Widow, Super Skunk) while the OGs bring higher prices.

            Current cost to produce a pound are $975 indoors hydroponic, $650/greenhouse soil, and $220/outdoor soil.

            The retail black market is dead in Colorado, but a lot of black market producers are shipping out of state. Because of the tight controls in the CO MMJ market, very little medical weed is ending up in the black market.

            Law Enforcement has essentially stopped busting grow ops in Colorado.

            •  tax revenue is up, too (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cannaman, gzodik, skohayes

              All the MMJ being sold through dispensaries means tax revenue for local governments. Plus the positive effect on the local economies from retail space rentals, job creation, warehouse rentals, ancillary business', etc.

              "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

              by US Blues on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:39:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Statements Like this draws the Feds (0+ / 0-)
              Law Enforcement has essentially stopped busting grow ops in Colorado.
              Here in Ca. after 9 yrs we still had our problems but we were working them out slowly until the Obama DEA/AGAs stepped in. Until a few yrs ago things were still tense between those for and against but our rights were being protected to some extent, some grows had every plant tagged and taxed, local laws made outside grows be damn near as secure as Fort Knox to keep the kids out.

               They still didn't allow a dispensary in my small town, the closest being about 45 miles away but the delivery services were earning a decent rep and they added for the service most the time but even those have dried up lately. They, the Feds, have closed almost, if not every dispensary within 75 miles of me that I know of.

               Soon Colorado will need next. Just as Ca was coming to some kind of terms with the fact that we had made Medical Marijuana legal by majority vote and that it was here to stay the Feds started tearing our States Rights to shreds. When they closed down Oaksterdamn and cause the City Council to halt the building of 3 city inspected indoor Warehouse grows that would of been Unionized I knew the writing was on the wall.

               To me the only thing the legalization movement has done is raise the cost. There was a time I could buy bricks of Colombian for 55 bucks. Now instead of almost a Kilo for my money I get a gram or 2 for the same price.

              "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

              by SmileySam on Mon May 21, 2012 at 02:26:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unusual comment on cost. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                skohayes

                Is that accurate? As someone else commented, the black market growers in Colorado sell out of state.
                I agree though, the Obama administration, like Clinton before him, are entirely illiberal when it comes to medical marijuana and the drug wars in general. I think Dems are worried that they can be easily characterized as soft-on- crime dope-smoking hippies. Obama is afraid of attack ads with a bunch of black kids playing hoops in the ghetto or buying beer with food stamps are smoking reefers while good honest Irish cops have to stand by helplessly instead of protecting the moral fiber of America.

                "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

                by shmuelman on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:16:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I turned 60 last Fri. (0+ / 0-)

                  and in 1968 I could get as many mini-bricks as I wanted at that price for over a yr. We called them mini-bricks because instead of weighting a kilo, they weighted a tad under 2 lbs. The last one I bought had gone up to $100 bucks but it was still going for 25 bucks a lid on the street so everyone was still pretty happy. I did usually have at least a eighth of seeds and stems to every lid but I enjoyed the ritual cleaning a bag. Even back then we knew how to make edible and drinkable use of those but at that cheap of price people rarely wasted the energy unless it was for those who did use in medically and even then, being so cheap, we used the better stuff even in the cooking and teas.

                  Still even with inflation it shouldn't retail until the price is cut in half for you basic middle shelf dispensary quality sens. There will always be a cottage industry for some of the designer crossbreeds just like there is for good moonshine or fine wine.

                  "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

                  by SmileySam on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:49:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  1968? I went bowling for $.50 in 1968! (0+ / 0-)

                    That was pre-war on drugs days. And the stuff I got in NYC was just pure shit, especially compared to what's out there today.  I mean downbeat, smoke-it-all-day to just get depressed and paranoid stuff. Absolutely no comparison to the fine, consistent strains you can buy at a dispensary, where you can find the kind (no pun intended) that works best for you.

                    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

                    by shmuelman on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:35:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The old Panama Red (0+ / 0-)

                      and other older brands that some few knew about the female buds was better than an designer cross I have smoked to date, close but not quite. I remember the weed that came home from Nam, a pinner would give 8 people the giggles for hours. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy that almost everything is so good these days that getting anything less than 3 or 4 toke weed is now a disappointment.

                      "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

                      by SmileySam on Mon May 21, 2012 at 05:09:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  $220/Lb for Outdoor? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              offgrid

              Any competent farmer given access to the right genetics and an appropriate place could easily grow high quality cannabis rough trimmed for a tenth that much and make a nice profit. Growing legal cannabis indoors commercially under lights really would make no sense except as perhaps a marketing exercise. Indoor growing anything is also hugely wasteful of electricity. Plants are not meant to be grown indoors except perhaps as decorative plants or specimens.

              Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

              by Kurt Sperry on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:38:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  growing outdoor with trophy bud is labor intensive (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SmartAleq, boudi08

                It's not plant and come back in October unless you want third tier product.  Think wine, not tomatoes. I've been a farmer and I don't think you can turn out really good weed for less than $220/lb.  Too much labor involved.

                I'm also including security costs, licensing, etc to the mix.

                Also know that most quality outdoor genetics have been destroyed during the drug war. Half the plants I grow wouldn't make it a week outdoors. They're as finicky as orchids.

                •  Finicky--oh hell's yeah! (0+ / 0-)

                  I can always tell someone who knows nothing whatsoever about growing top shelf cannabis because they'll always go on about how "it's a weed, anyone can grow it anywhere!"  Mm-hmm. anyone can grow HEMP anywhere, you want fine quality kind bud you're gonna need a strong back, a willingness to work hard, some talent, education, a bunch of money and patience--and even then, it's no guarantee. If I had a nickel for every failed grower selling their equipment for pence on the pound on Craigslist...  

                  "Nothing's wrong, son, look at the news!" -- Firesign Theater

                  by SmartAleq on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:05:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Nope. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kbman

                Reason: Photoperiod. Pot is very slaved to the sun and needs precise light conditions to trigger flowering. Which means you have one outdoor grow window per area. For a plant that has a year round market. Heat, cold, excessive rain, deer, bunnies and other environmental factors make outdoor growing a little bit of a crap shoot. Fun, and when it all comes together it's freaking magical, but damned hard to control.

                Then add in that most of us don't dig on bugs (aphids and spider mites sure do love the weed, little fuckers) in our smoke and the case for indoor, year round weed production is made. For a serious connoisseur, outdoor grown rough ass weed is anathema. Sure, some people will smoke any damned thing, but the market for high quality, manicured, carefully indoor grown weed using organic nutes and sterile growth medium (as opposed to--hmmm, did I dump the used motor oil right near the pot patch or not?) is robust and will continue to be so.

                "Nothing's wrong, son, look at the news!" -- Firesign Theater

                by SmartAleq on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:56:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Pot will be a green house product (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SmartAleq

                  The only reason you don't see much cannaseur grade greenhouse is the legal environment. I've had my best results in a greenhouse - weight and quality and would grow in a greenhouse over indoors anyday, but the legal environment, even in Colorado, makes it tough.

                  •  Greenhouse would be lovely... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Cannaman

                    But you'll still have to augment with lights over most of the year. Oregon has more area under greenhouses than any other state so we'll be ready. ;^D

                    "Nothing's wrong, son, look at the news!" -- Firesign Theater

                    by SmartAleq on Mon May 21, 2012 at 05:59:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  LDL (9+ / 0-)

      The Lethal Dose Limit of cannabis is far, far, far lower than the LDL of aspirin or nicotine, or even coffee. Fill your house with cannabis, sit and start smoking, you'll either fall asleep or wander off for munchies LONG before you die from smoking it. However, anyone over 21 can go RIGHT NOW and buy enough alcahol to sit and drink yourself to death....legally.

      Peace thru hemp / hemp for life!

      by Boudicia Dark on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:31:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So that make it right? (0+ / 0-)
        •  What? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes, kbman, bsmechanic, Damnit Janet

          What make what right? Seriously, read what I said. There is virtually NO LETHAL DOSE LIMIT for cannabis! Seriously. You're just an anti-cannabis person, right?

          I say to you, make a cogent case as to why we should continue prohibition. Make it strong and logical, then I'll listen to you.

          Peace thru hemp / hemp for life!

          by Boudicia Dark on Mon May 21, 2012 at 02:30:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It certainly makes the case (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bsmechanic, kbman, Damnit Janet

          that there is no logical reason to not legalize marijuana.
          Alcohol is more dangerous, more addictive and causes tens of thousands of deaths- through domestic violence, drunk driving, alcoholism, etc.
          So why is it legal but pot isn't?

          If you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men. -Gloria Feldt

          by skohayes on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:29:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it does make it right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damnit Janet, Boudicia Dark

          Cannabis has been an effective and safe medicinal herbal remedy for a wide range of ailments that has been used by people for over ten thousand years. Even our first President used what our third President called "Sweet Indian Hemp" to treat the chronic pain from his famously bad teeth.

          It is physically impossible to overdose on cannabis and it's less addictive than Television. A cup of cannabis herbal tea can be used to treat a simple headache as well as aspirin without the risk. A thousand people a year mostly children die from overdose of aspirin. Cannabis tea also can be used to treat insomnia better and safer than over the counter and prescription drugs.

          My 83 year old mother uses cannabis to treat a fibromyalgia like ailment after the opiates that her doctor prescribed didn't work for her. The prescription drugs didn't stop the pain and they left her unable to take care of herself. Since she began adding some of her homegrown to her meals and drinking cannabis tea she has been able to return to her active lifestyle. I'm glad she lives in a MMJ state. My website is http://www.rmforbes.net

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:20:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, like corn and tomatoes are free (6+ / 0-)

      I sort of get what you're trying to say, but economically, you're factually incorrect.

      Lots of plant based products are easy to grow.  That doesn't mean everyone grows them or that they're free or even cheap.

      There will be people in the right environment with the right skills to grow and sell the stuff at a price that will make most people not bother growing it.

      •  one of the funnest things to do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gzodik

        while medicated is trim your garden. I don't think that's true with tomatoes or onions. When I grow pot all my plants thrive, when I don't they die.

        "HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE" , bumpersticker on a burning Subaru

        by tRueffert on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:21:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think the lesser cost of growing is very scarey (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1

      to the alcoholic beverage industry.  It's a weed it grows.  What's probably scarier for them is people growing weed like tomatoes and house plants.

      I'll need some room for this...

      by duckhunter on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:55:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        I know a lot of pot smokers and they all drink. I think the alcoholic bev. industry has nothing to worry about. If the ease of growing it scares anyone, it's the folks who would consider growing it commercially, and has been pointed out by several others, big ag. makes tons of money growing plants that lots of folks can grow at home. Lots of folks who could grow it would rather not bother, and would be much happier to just go to the store and buy it.

      •  Pot does not compete with alcohol. (0+ / 0-)

        They are completely different. Being in the mood for a delicious drink is not the same high as a puff.
        Pot does compete with pharmaceuticals.

    •  not to be deliberately nitpicky (0+ / 0-)

      the grow scales pretty easily. Fifteen "units", which is what Washington State allows currently, will keep you pretty well occupied and out of trouble.

      Once it's up and going, the per diem goes down. Considerably.

      Disclaimer: I don't medicate, but fully support MMJ patients and collectives.

      "What have you done for me, lately?" ~ Lady Liberty

      by ozsea1 on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:01:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Schizophrenia and Marijuana - Bullshit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, Bmeis, FG

    Numerous studies have linked marijuana use to early onset schizophrenia.

    Teens who smoke pot at risk for later schizophrenia, psychosis

    In one recent study that followed nearly 2,000 teenagers as they Smoke rises from a marijuana cigarettebecame young adults, young people who smoked marijuana at least five times were twice as likely to have developed psychosis over the next 10 years as those who didn’t smoke pot.

    Another new paper concluded that early marijuana use could actually hasten the onset of psychosis by three years. Those most at risk are youths who already have a mother, father, or sibling with schizophrenia or some other psychotic disorder.

    You are simply lying or are ignorant (willfully) of the many studies showing these links - especially in at-risk individuals.
    For years, now, experts have been sounding the alarm about a possible link between marijuana use and psychosis. One of the best-known studies followed nearly 50,000 young Swedish soldiers for 15 years. Those who had smoked marijuana at least once were more than twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as those who had never smoked pot. The heaviest users (who said they used marijuana more than 50 times) were six times as likely to develop schizophrenia as the nonsmokers.
    These are very strong associations, if not definitely causal.  But if you deny the associations, you begin to sound like the tobacco executives denying any link between smoking and cancer.
    •  One more thing.. I am OK with using pot (0+ / 0-)

      But hiding the risks does no one any good.

      Instead of legalization, I am for decriminalization.

      I think folks should be able to grow their own and/or grow and sell smaller quantities.  We don't need another bureaucracy..

      •  On the continuum of options decriminalizing (0+ / 0-)

        is heading in the right direction but is still a pretty poor choice.  It is essentially permanently empowering the drug cartels/drug gangs by giving them nearly full control of an industry worth tens of billions of dollars and not taxing them to boot.

        If you limit the sale of pot to specially designated non-profit agencies there would be very little need to create a bureaucracy to police the industry.  The extra work done by the IRS to make sure where the proceeds are going would be small compared to the expenditures on the DEA, judicial system and the prison system.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:07:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is not convincing (8+ / 0-)

      Couldn't this just mean that some other factor was likely to cause them to smoke and develop schizophrenia?  Perhaps depression or stress? Not a convincing study, particularly in light of the fact mentioned by the diary -- that usage rates have increased greatly while schizophrenia cases have remained largely the same.

    •  You're flat out wrong (14+ / 0-)

      Literally no one in the scientific community thinks that smoking marijuana can cause schizophrenia. The rate of schizophrenia in society has been about 1% for over 100 years. However, the rate of lifetime marijuana use in society has gone from roughly 0.1% when it was made illegal to roughly 85% today.

      It's impossible for marijuana to cause schizophrenia if an 850x increase in use results in zero increase in schizophrenia

    •  Pretty strange... (7+ / 0-)

      It seems pretty bizarre and a statistical anomaly that smoking marijuana once will double your chance at schizophrenia. I am sure that they could find the same type of result with drinking coffee or taking a shot of aquavit or whatever the Swedes drink. There is no causal link established and it is a meaningless result.  On the other hand, is the desire to smoke marijuana heavily causative or indicative of psychosis? As there is no causative link, you can't know, but what is really interesting is how governments, like Sweden, that are strongly against marijuana use have these kinds of results in their studies.
      In the end, there is no risk free activity. NFL linemen and tax attorneys have very lowered lifespans.
      It is up to you to decide what is use and what is abuse and not some government sponsored thugs who will kick down your door and ruin your life. I am willing to bet there are all kinds of direct, provable links between doing time for marijuana and mental health problems. Or say, a direct link between marijuana's illegal status and getting shot by a drug cartel.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:11:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Over 50% of Schizophrenia are 'substance-abusers' (7+ / 0-)

      Could it be that those with Schizophrenia are more naturally attracted to things like marijuana, alcohol and prescription pills, and not that marijuana, alcohol and prescription pills cause Schizophrenia?

      •  there is a old song (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman, RMForbes

        that goes something like drugs may of made me crazy but they kept me from going insane. I fully understand what they meant by that statement. I didn't grow-up at the Cleavers house and was renting my first apt at 14. How does one stay sane without some kind of help ? In the 60s it was pot, lsd, etc and it worked for some of us.

        "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

        by SmileySam on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:25:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have a schizophrenic friend (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScienceMom, US Blues, kbman

      that doesn't like pot. He says it makes him paranoid.  Guess what, he doesn't smoke pot.

      "HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE" , bumpersticker on a burning Subaru

      by tRueffert on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:50:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If I may? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fat old man, Hammerhand, kbman

      You seem to miss a few things, including the fact that science has a wider and deeper understanding of cannabis & its products that it has of willow bark and its products (aspirin).

      Another thing overlooked:  all research approved by FDA/DEA/NIH is directed toward uncovering and demonstrating the potential harm it could cause.  Research prior to prohibition - long-term and with a variety of populations - demonstrated a net benefit in public health and welfare when at-will use of cannabis by the populace was unimpeded.

      Thing three:  these "very strong associations"  you  present are largely stripped of original context, and carefully couched, so they signify little more than an ongoing dedication to support the party line on the 'dangers' of marihuana.  Attempting to manufacture a causal link out of simple association with weak data?  That's not science!

      Given that cannabis products have been generally recognized as safe for thousands of years, and that cannabis products were an important part of the US Pharmacopaea right up until prohibition, it's important that we view such (ahem) political science as exactly that - and evaluate these studies and the issues they supposedly raise based on the science available to date;  not just on the official party platform and its tame research.

      But, inflating risks for no reason "does no one any good," as you say.

      "Kenyan-Muslim-Communistic-Expialidocious!"

      by chmood on Mon May 21, 2012 at 01:49:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You forgot a part: (0+ / 0-)
      So far, this research shows only an association between smoking pot and developing psychosis or schizophrenia later on. That’s not the same thing as saying that marijuana causes psychosis.
      People with schizophrenia usually have some sort of chemical imbalance in their brains. Self medicating with marijuana may be one way that these young teens try to deal with what's happening in their heads, which could explain why people who had smoked marijuana at least once were twice as likely to develop psychosis.
      Those who had smoked marijuana at least once were more than twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as those who had never smoked pot. The heaviest users (who said they used marijuana more than 50 times) were six times as likely to develop schizophrenia as the nonsmokers.
      But this is an argument for legalization. Many teens will tell you it's easier to buy marijuana (and you can do it right in school) than it is to buy alcohol. Legalizing marijuana will make it a lot harder for teens to access.
       

      If you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men. -Gloria Feldt

      by skohayes on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:39:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anslinger bullshit: He had no proof then (0+ / 0-)

      and there is none now.

      Vote Democrat! Because drinking piss is better than eating shit...

      by Tirge Caps on Mon May 21, 2012 at 07:58:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And it helps PTSD, why do you hate Veterans? (9+ / 0-)

    As least mine.

    :)

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:15:29 AM PDT

    •  I don't think I would have survived coming home (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet

      from Viet Nam without cannabis and the GI bill.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:23:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget argument #6 (13+ / 0-)

    Citizen A: Cannabis needs to remain illegal because it is harmful in other ways. It saps motivation and the effects of chronic use are generally detrimental to a person's future, especially for young people.

    Talking point: Time spent in jail is far, far more detrimental to a person's prospects in the future.
    If it were your child, do you really think going to jail will be a positive experience for him or her, or improve their opportunities? Is jail a solution to anyone's cannabis use? Is the legal system the solution to this issue at all?

    ...the train's got its brakes on and the whistle is screaming.

    by themank on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:01:36 AM PDT

  •  Rant from a NamVet (8+ / 0-)

      It is clear to me now there is an ever expanding membership in an American group to totally eradicate, in my opinion, the most important rail system in the world. Dollars by the billions are being pumped into the war industry. Americans by the tens of thousands are giving their lives on the orders of a very few to guarantee the total destruction of this rail. Their argument is this rail will completely obliterate the mega billion profits of several hundred companies and corporations in this country, cut the tax burden on the American public by half, and guarantee the legalization of marijuana in the USA. The opposition, the one percent, are correct in their assessment. Those in favor, the ninety-nine percent, feel this rail system should be constructed immediately, regardless of initial cost. The profits from this rail will more than double any losses by the war industry, and no one has to die to defend it. Cat Stevens named it. The Peace Train.                                            

  •  Rational Arguments, Unfortunately (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    US Blues, fat old man, kbman, bunsk

    are probably only going to work on the small subset of cannabis prohibitionists who are capable of rational thought and reasoning.  Anti-cannabis policies are more the product of stubbornly irrational thought processes than arrived at through logic.

    Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

    by Kurt Sperry on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:05:20 AM PDT

  •  You have also ignored the growing (6+ / 0-)

    social and political arguments for legalization. Here is an article I came across yesterday:

    http://blog.thereleafcenter.com/...

    It is sad that the marijuana warriors in Colorado are being led by Democrats, who are circumventing the clear will of the Denver and Colorado voters by banning dispensaries and now making the most minute amount of THC (and not impairment) in the blood evidence of DUI (unlike say driving around stoned on Prozac).
    Bill Clinton absolutely ramped up the Federal prison population with marijuana arrests, and the Obama DOJ, IRS, DEA and other enforcement agencies have moved in a coordinated effort to close state legal dispensary operations, fill up the prisons, and deny localities the tax revenues. This is in contradiction to Obama's campaign promise not to get involved with the state's laws.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:21:59 AM PDT

    •  you don't get stoned on Prozac. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JSW from WA

      the side effects are annoying, but slightly unpleasant

      German Constitution, Article 1 (1) The dignity of man is inviolable. To respect and protect it is the duty of all state authority.

      by Mark B on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:05:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This relates to I-502 in Washington State (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      US Blues, skohayes, kbman

      The DUI provision was thrown in to make hypocritical law-and-order boomer Dems feel more "secure"......

      All it will do is enrich another class of criminal defense attorneys ( not attorney-bashing, settle down ! ) and overprice medicine to low-income patients who can barely afford it as is...

      "What have you done for me, lately?" ~ Lady Liberty

      by ozsea1 on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:08:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One more step "re-frame" (8+ / 0-)

    Just as we should all strive to say "marriage equality" as opposed to "same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage", those of us who want cannabis relegalized need to frame it as RE-LEGALIZING it as it was legal for ALL its uses not THAT long ago.

    RELEGALIZE

    Peace thru hemp / hemp for life!

    by Boudicia Dark on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:27:17 AM PDT

    •  Even better, regulate. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes, Cannaman

      As per doc zombie, I like regulate as our buzz word because it resonates with authoritarian types.

      "Marijuana is not completely harmless to society and needs to be regulated."

      "Yeah!  We need to regulate marijuana!  Why aren't we doing that already?"

      "Because it is illegal and therefore underground.  You can't regulate an underground product.  By making it legal we could regulate who can purchase, where and when.  We can also regulate the potency allowed and have some type of quality assurance testing and rating of relative potency."

      "Yeah! We need to regulate marijuana!"

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:20:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  great points! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbob, ScienceMom, US Blues, skohayes, RMForbes

    Had a co-worker of my partner's over and he's a heavy cigarette smoker.  And I do mean heavy.  Obese and smokes two packs a day.  I offered him a toke and he said that his cigarette was "SAFER & HEALTHIER" because it had a filter on it...

    We all kinda stopped and looked at the guy who works for a company where you have to be smart and I mean fucking smart.

    Here's a guy who knows nothing about being healthy and he's saying that a joint is bad because it doesn't have a filter like his nifty cigarette.  

    Guess what... my joint doesn't require a filter.  

    His cigarette actually posted a danger to us all - we had to sit outdoors because he was the only one who smoked the cancer sticks and I don't allow that shit in my house- because not only if used correctly will it kill him but those around him as well.  

    He went on to say that MJ was addictive and make you do other drugs.  This from a guy who states he smokes 2 packs a day, drinks 2 six packs of Diet Coke a day and has to have several of those energy drinks to get him to lunch...

    I think filters prevent critical thought...

    Haven't had him back over to my house since. I'm getting healthier by the month... and from I hear, he's a mess.  

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

    by Damnit Janet on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:47:22 AM PDT

    •  Wow - so you think breathing in any smoke is ok? (0+ / 0-)

      WOW!

      •  your self-righteous attitude (5+ / 0-)

        has gotten more than old. Just stop.

        "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

        by US Blues on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:56:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You know, there is a DK rule about how we behave (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bsmechanic, Cannaman, Damnit Janet

        in other people's diaries.  Your behavior in this one is bordering on dickish.  Yes, it is a controversial subject, but your points could be made without being so fucking self-righteous.

        And BTW - there was a doctor who raised a huge stir several years back when he claimed that marijuana smoke was several times as carcinogenic as tobacco smoke.  He based this on the relative concentrations of certain known carcinogens in each type of smoke.  Funny thing though, when he did a major epidemiological study to establish this link, he couldn't find the cancers.

        link

        The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.

        The new findings "were against our expectations," said Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years.

        "We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use," he said. "What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect."

        Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

        by kbman on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:29:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had surgery last year (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kbman

          - long story - and my surgeon instructed me to use the narcotic pills that were awful for the first few days and then to "smoke some kind herb" as he knew I was recreational - I answer stuff honestly on my medical records :)  

          He told me to wait a few days for my stitches inner and outter to hold just in case I coughed.  

          He actually said that once I could smoke a joint to throw out the "oxycontin" as it was just awful stuff and that if I had the other to stick with that as it was safer and much better for me in more ways than one.

          My medical doctor has advised me I could get a card for some serious pain issues  but that he doesn't trust any administration right now.  Said lay low till the feds grow up.  

          Thank you for your comment and compassion. :)

          "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

          by Damnit Janet on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:27:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think you should smoke anything but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dark UltraValia, Damnit Janet

        a major 40 year study showed that even heavy cannabis smokers developed serious lung problems at the same rate as the non-smokers living in the same environmental area. Tobacco smokers that also used cannabis had lower incidence of lung issues than just tobacco users. The study concluded that active ingredients in cannabis protects the lungs instead of damaging them.

        Personally I have always preferred to drink herbal cannabis tea or cooking/baking cannabis into my foods. I did smoke it during college at parties by at home I eat cannabis infused food or treats but today you don't have smoke it at all. Plasma Vaporizers can be used to vaporize the cannabis without the negative elements in the smoke.    

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:40:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RMForbes

          when "medicating" - usually use medibles that aren't even cooked - via peanut butter or coconut oil.

          But I'm "old school" and still like a glass pipe or a joint for recreational requirements.  

          I used to smoke cigarettes LONG time ago and I think the joint helps with that hand to mouth fixation sometimes.  

          Thank you for all the information and compassion :)

          "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

          by Damnit Janet on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:23:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I want you to know this... (0+ / 0-)

        I recently watched the black tar run out of my Mother's mouth just after the breathing maching stopped as fell away from me and my loved ones.  I watched the Hospice nurse try to wipe it away before we saw it.  I will always see it.  

        I held her as she died.  Her mouth contorted from the breathing aparatus they had her for so many months.

        I slept near her hospital bed where I could hear each breath fighting to get past her deterioating lungs.

        She would hid her cigarettes even while in homes and on oxygen.  She smoked right up to the day they took her away to die.  

        She passed on from colon and pancreatic cancer.  She lived a life of a woman with morbid obesity and addicted to cigarettes.  

        So to answer you "question", NO I DON"T THINK CIGARETTE SMOKE IS OKAY.  

        I wished my mother was still alive and I wished you would think before you attacked people.

        I don't think you have any idea of what this diary is about, nor do you have anything to offer it.  I wish you peace and the ability to one day have compassion for others.

        "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

        by Damnit Janet on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:34:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's been Legal in Nepal for 5,000 years (6+ / 0-)

    and is probably safer than most people's drinking water...

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

    by Damnit Janet on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:48:12 AM PDT

  •  Fewer traffic deaths and suicides in young males (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, kbman, Damnit Janet

    Women create the entire labor force. Think about it.

    by splashy on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:14:46 PM PDT

  •  When there is a large double blinded study that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JSW from WA

    show the long term effects of marijauna usage does no harm then I will support legalization.   I have seen brain scans of teenagers that smoked marijuana next to those that did not and there is brain damage.  There are also studies that show that people who use it at a younger age have trouble maturing.

    •  every once in a while (9+ / 0-)

      Here on the Orange Satan you run into a commenter whose mind is as locked into a pattern of false beliefs as a republican's.

      News flash: it is up to you to prove cannabis causes harm. There is not a single scientifically legitimate piece of evidence proving that cannabis is harmful. If you are going to argue in favor of illegality based on potential for harm then there are a million things more harmful that need to be made illegal first.

      "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

      by US Blues on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:52:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Alcohol causes health problems. Maybe we should (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCaliana, skohayes, bsmechanic, kbman

      prohibit that!  Oh, wait...

      "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

      by Apost8 on Mon May 21, 2012 at 01:23:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey Bmeis, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kbman, Damnit Janet

      I will support the black market trade of pot if no long term harm can be found from putting drug cartels and gangs in charge of the drug trade.

      http://neglectedwar.com/...

      Warning:  This picture is of some of the bodies hung from a bridge in Mexico.  This is what putting the drug cartels in charge of the drug trade results in.  

      Giving people a very strong economic incentive to hook your fellow humans on drugs by making drugs illegal doesn't result in the drugs not being available.  It results in drugs being widely available and a lot of murder, police corruption and other crimes on the side.  It's time to think again about our alternatives.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:24:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then LEGALIZE IT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet

      and make it illegal for anyone under 21.
      Right now it's easier for kids to buy pot than it is to buy beer.

      If you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men. -Gloria Feldt

      by skohayes on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:51:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I started smoking pot when I was in 8th grade (0+ / 0-)

      By 12th grade I smoked every day.  Back in 2004 after 30 years of heavy pot smoking - I estimate the equivalent of 35,000 - 40,000 joints by that point in time - I decided to spend some money to take an extensive panel of IQ tests.  I didn't feel that my intellectual capacity had diminished but I wanted an independent evaluation.  My results showed a rise of about 8 IQ points since the mid-70's.  The mid-70's numbers were almost exactly the same as my pre-school testing results.  Wow, pot sure damaged my brain, amazing I can even type without drooling.

      Next point, A number of studies have found that, contrary to what they expected to find, usage of marijuana seems to have a protective effect in general.  Studies of emergency room admissions for all reasons were done.  What they found was that someone who had smoked marijuana in the previous 6 hours was less likely to end up in the ER than someone who was completely sober.  Furthermore, the effect was dosage dependent - the more they smoked the less likely they were to be injured.

      link

      Researches uncovered some surprising results in a cross-over study of accident victims in a Swiss hospital ER: Cannabis use is inversely proportional to injury risk. In other words, the more cannabis used, the less chance of accidental injury.

      This same study showed a dose-dependent increase in injury risk from alcohol use. For example, alcohol use within six-hours prior to injury was associated with at mean relative risk of 3.00 compared to no alcohol use (1.00), That's an increase of 300% based on comparison of the numbers of similar injuries sustained by non-drinkers.

      What researchers did not expect to see was the effect cannabis use had on accidental injuries. When they reviewed accidents treated in the emergency room, and looked at whether the patient used cannabis or not, they found that cannabis users were only one third as likely to be injured in the same circumstances as those that had no cannabis in their system. Dosage, in this case, was inversely related to risk of injury, with a mean relative risk factor of only 0.33, (or 1/3) compared with non-cannabis users.

      Continue reading at NowPublic.com: Cannabis Use Lowers Injury Risk by Two-Thirds, Swiss Study Shows | NowPublic News Coverage http://www.nowpublic.com/...

      You also might want to check out the links in the post just before yours regarding traffic deaths and suicides.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:42:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Damnit Janet

    not just let the market decide?

  •  This is one of the more erudite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    diaries on legalization.  I will now show all the logical flaws in this diary that prove that this is an incredibly wrong idea.

    Enough said.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Mon May 21, 2012 at 02:46:41 PM PDT

  •  It started about more than preventing a high (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, RMForbes, Damnit Janet

    Randolph Hearst printed newspapers on pulp made from trees he harvested on his own lumber farms.

    He used chemicals from DuPont to produce the paper.

    This all coincided with the invention of a machine that could strip the fibers from the hemp stalk with much less labor, making hemp fabrics a more economical option.

    DuPont had invested millions in developing synthetic fabrics such as Rayon and Polyester and also had an interest in keeping the paper industry using their chemicals to produce pulp paper from trees.

    Henry Anslinger, recently out of work due to the end of alcohol prohibition and Hearst got together with DuPont to ramp up a war on "marijuana" to keep from having to compete with hemp paper.

    They lied to Congress and the AMA at the time, who didn't realize that hemp and cannabis were the same plant as this "marijuana" that Hearst was printing sensationalistic stories about in his newspapers.

    Prohibition began as a protection for petrochemical companies' profits and continues to protect the profits of the drug war industry.

    The racism elements were used to scare the public into fearing the "evil weed" and supporting another experiment in prohibition after alcohol prohibition had failed so badly.

    www.jackherer.com has the full story and the cites to back it up

    To be a Republican, you have to believe that our economic problems are caused by the poor having too much money and the rich not having enough.

    by Tommy Jones the Band on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:10:18 PM PDT

  •  And more... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SmartAleq, Cannaman, RMForbes

    Costs:
    Annual federal government expenditures on the "war on drugs" average $15.7 billion annually. In addition, state and local governments also spend $16 billion per year enforcing drug laws.
    (see NORML)
    We spend an enormous amount of money on eradication efforts (sending in DEA agents to spy on growers and then cut and burn their crops), as well as a tremendous amount on prosecuting drug "offenders".
    Marijuana accounts for something like 75% of the cartels' profits. Remove the profits and they will have to scramble.
    In addition, we lose a tremendous amount of money every year in lost revenue in the form of taxes for regulation. Not to mention the money that might be made from products from industrial hemp - paper, rope, biofuels, etc.
    For a good example of prohibition, see Ken Burns' recent documentary on alcohol prohibition. You could pretty much substitute "Marijuana" for "alcohol" and come up with the same conclusion.
    I keep waiting for the day when this nation can have a rational discussion about marijuana. probably won't happen in my lifetime.
    Sigh. I think I'll go smoke a doobie.

    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 Mon May 21, 2012 at 05:16:40 PM PDT

    •  We will not be a truly free country until (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet, MA Liberal

      the failed war on drugs finally ends, the DEA is disbanded and hemp is again growing unfettered in our fields.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:47:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Taxpayers could save billions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Damnit Janet

    by getting rid of

    1.  Prisons for Profit fueled by
    2.  Judges that are influenced by
    3.  Lawyers who represent both sides

    Remember it is the Big Pharma and the Alcohol industries that also want marijuana to remain illegal.

    Considering we are now the Corporation of the United States, what do you think our chances will be to get it legalized any time soon?

    -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

    by MarciaJ720 on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:27:54 PM PDT

  •  Why it should be legal (0+ / 0-)

    1.  It's fun and generally harmless, clearly much less harmless than alcohol.

    2.  It's a weed.  It's one of the only drugs (except mushrooms maybe) that just starts up and grows wherever you drop it.  That should tell us something.

    3.  Helps with innumerable diseases and conditions.

    4.  Would save our economy.  Studies have shown that within 6 months after marijuana is legalized nationally, and additional 800,000 workers would have been hired by the ice cream and potato chip industries.  

  •  tobacco is the gateway drug (0+ / 0-)

    when I was a kid it was the cig smokers who moved on to weed and beer first

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:56:01 PM PDT

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