October 26, 2010

"Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal?"

"The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade—and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity. Some claim that they would only move into other illicit enterprises, but they are more likely to be weakened by being deprived of the easy profits they can earn with marijuana."

George Soros, promoting the legalization of marijuana in the Wall Street Journal.

258 comments:

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AlphaLiberal said...

It's also a tremendous budget-cutting move. We spend billions locking people up for getting high in this country. Defending no-one from anyone in the process.

Freedom!

ndspinelli said...

Soros is correct. If people can't see the direct correlation to Prohibition and Capone they are blind.

However, the other interests opposed, and they pay off politicians, are the liquor industry and government unions[not just cops..court and prison employees]

Comrade X said...

the greatest beneficiaries are public sector union members, i.e. democrats

Salamandyr said...

Well waddayaknow, the old Nazi got one right. Despite his support, I still favor legalizing marijuana, though to be honest, being on the same side as Soros on any issue makes me feel somewhat dirty.

AllenS said...

"Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal?"

The youth. Who's in favor of getting rid of the laws regulating the age when you can purchase alcohol?

ricpic said...

And the word went out from on high --
"Make the peasants stoned."
Then they'll be really and truly owned.

Original Mike said...

My God. I agree with AL.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The art of politics would make MJ bags into the Dems new walking around dose for election day distribution. That evil creep Soros is 100% dedicated to destroying the USA by any means necessary. Drugs and immorality will destroy anything and everything worth living for...just give them time.

Clyde said...

It shouldn't be the government's job to tell you what you can put in your body, whether it's marijuana or alcohol or tobacco or trans-fats. You, as an adult, should be allowed to make your own decisions about how to run your own life, as long as you don't directly harm anyone else's person or property. And it's really stupid that we have to waste so much money incarcerating non-violent drug users, who pose no real threat to society, as well as removing whatever productivity they might make to our society. Granted, a lot of it would probably be macrame, but we could handle that.

jr565 said...

Why would they lose their competitive advantage? They have the infrastructure to beat out the low level guys growing their pot in the basement.
Further, when it comes to legalizing, these are criminals. Even if it's legal, they can still beat the competition through criminal means (ie if someone is getting too big for their britches in the neighborhood, someone can pay them a visit and break their kneecaps or if someone is undercutting them too much on price, send out the goons).
All legalizing does is make the cops not bug the dealers, it won't make dealers not be criminals.

bagoh20 said...

What we need is a mandatory weed day. One day when every adult must get stoned (say April 20th). Imagine things like congressional hearings. or a Hugo Chavez speech at the UN with everybody high. Imagine the accommodations we would have to make, like an April 21st redo day where we could examine what we did and be awed. Imagine - it's easy if you try.

AllenS said...

If you are concerned about putting non-violent pot smokers in jail, then why not just have the police confiscate the drug and send the offenders on their way? There are no benefits for making pot legal. None.

jr565 said...

Clyde wrote:
t shouldn't be the government's job to tell you what you can put in your body, whether it's marijuana or alcohol or tobacco or trans-fats. You, as an adult, should be allowed to make your own decisions about how to run your own life, as long as you don't directly harm anyone else's person or property.


Except the issue of harming someone else's person is very prevalent with illegal drugs. If two people die from taking phen phen they take it off the market. And this is after drug companies spent billions on reasearch and development. How do you regulate chrystal meth or heroin? If you actually had to regulate it, they would be taken off the market for being excessively harmful products.

rhhardin said...

They're not selling drugs.

They're selling transportation.

If it's legal, drugs go Fedex and the cartels are out of business.

bagoh20 said...

"Why would they lose their competitive advantage?"

Because you can grow your own for free. And nobody wants to get it from an illegal dealer if they don't have too.

I like what one pol said as a reason to not legalize: You don't want your name in a database as someone who bought pot from a store, where cops or employers might see it and discriminate against you.

Lovely. Thanks for looking out for the people there.

Clyde said...

In my opinion, the proper role of government is educational: "These things are bad for you. If you use them, you will probably suffer negative effects."

But should the government be telling us every little thing that we should or should not do, and fine or jail us if we don't comply? What's next? "Since we are paying for your health care, you must eat six servings of fruits and vegetables every day, and potatoes don't count!" That way lies Winston Smith doing mandatory calisthenics every morning in front of the telescreen.

Bottom line: I already have a mother. I don't need the government to be my nanny.

bagoh20 said...

"There are no benefits for making pot legal. None."

Imagine all the things where this would apply. If you remove the justification that a free person wants to do it and it harms no one else then you are no longer free in any sense.

By such logic, McDonalds, music, butter, art, etc could all be made illegal. and of course they would be by our highly ethical leader who are only concerned for our well being.

Comrade X said...

jr565 and AllenS, which is more intoxicating in your opinion, weed or beer?

ark said...

I've been referring to "the federal drug price-support program" for more than 35 years.

bagoh20 said...

Pot is one of those areas where I disagree with many on the right where I'm usually comfortably at home. I usually avoid pot, but have no problem toking it if offered at a safe gathering.

When you think of the fact that a SWAT team can bust into your home, shoot your dog, assault and terrorize your family, take or destroy your property, and put you in jail, all for having any amount of this plant, you can see how much of an affront to liberty the criminalization of it is.

This country was founded on the desire to get free of that. At least the British had a good reason to do the exact same thing. I think the founders would be appalled that we sacrifice what they fought for on such stupid grounds.

Robert Cook said...

The law enforcement and prison industries also benefit greatly, both in the control over the populace made possible by the drug laws and in the generous budget allocations they continue to receive.

AllenS said...

Beer. Beer is also a lot harder to manufacture. I'm an ex-pot smoker, and I grew some of the most bad-ass weed you ever smoked.

former law student said...

I don't want to see a lot of stoned people wandering the streets looking for Chee-tos late at night. Reduce the penalty for public possession of any amount a $50 fine, and use the money to make up for lost tax revenues.

AlphaLiberal said...

Yes, the fact is that we have a penal-industrial complex consisting of the prison industries, prison unions, and lawmakers doing their bidding. (Plus organized crime but why be redundant) They are very powerful.

And 60-dude, MJ is nothing like heroin. Geez, people get stoned, they get passive. They don't become junkies and rip people off. They don't get drunk and beat on the wife (maybe tune her out some).

Meanwhile the crime of pot prohibition is taking a massive toll.

AlphaLiberal said...

And, people know that Rand Paul's "Aqua Buddha" was probably a bing, right?

It's no big deal anymore that national pols smoked some hooch in their youth. It's something.

Kirk Parker said...

Salamandyr,

You're intellectually tougher than I am! My first reaction in hearing Soros was for legalizaion was, there must be some additional, hidden downside to it then.

Hector Owen said...

What Salamandyr said at 9:13. Also, Jefferson: "Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food. Government is just as infallible too when it fixes systems in physics. Galileo was sent to the inquisition for affirming that the earth was a sphere: the government had declared it to be as flat as a trencher, and Galileo was obliged to abjure his error."

Pastafarian said...

Interesting. Just as Europe is starting to realize the error of cradle-to-grave socialism and dialing it back a bit, we're bound and determined to institute it here.

So we have the incongruous picture of French and German officials lecturing us about our profligate spending. Nice.

And now just as Amsterdam is shutting down pot cafe's to control the underworld violence that's engulfing their once-idyllic city, we're going to legalize pot.

Because George Soros, who has always had the best interests of the US at heart, thinks it's a good idea.

Peachy.

What about crack, gentlemen? Where does it end? How addictive and harmful can a product be, and still be legal?

In the meantime, I can't machine parts out of 12L14 steel, because there's a little lead in it, and someone might decide to eat a valve. (Which actually wouldn't result in lead contamination, but I digress).

But someone should be free to market and sell a product that affects the user's mind, compelling them to use more of it; with powerful and not fully understood physiological and psychological side effects. (And please, no comparisons to See's Chocolate and how that's addictive too).

Maybe you should ask yourselves: "Am I espousing legalization because I've smoked it, and now I'm mildly addicted?"

Quaestor said...

The Mexican drug cartels ARE NOT heavily invested in pot. At least 70% of the cannabis used in this country is grown domestically and moves through domestic criminal channels. Cocaine and heroin are the profit centers for the Mexican cartels. Legalizing pot will hardly dent their cash flow or their political influence.

Pastafarian said...

What it will do is this: It will encourage more people to smoke pot, people who don't currently smoke it because they're concerned about breaking a law, going to prison, losing their children, etc.

So it encourages more mainstream use among productive members of society.

I've known pot-heads, and they're generally lazy, passive, and stupid. I'm sure part of this is the fact that these are people with little to lose, who don't mind breaking laws; but part of it isn't. I've known people before they smoked pot, and after, and it changes them. We don't need more people that are lazy, passive, and stupid. We need fewer of them.

This would be a last nail in the coffin of the American economy. Unemployment would go up 5% simply because there would be that many more people who don't give a shit and just lay around in their trailer sucking on a bong tube.

And this stuff about "generating more revenue" by taxing the shit -- this is nonsense. You could tax whatever you want to, and taxing it doesn't create or generate any wealth -- it just moves it from the private economy into the government's pocket, where they can dole it out to their constituents, so that they can buy more pot and Cheetos.

edutcher said...

This guy was a Nazi collaborator, hates this country, and people don't find what he says a red flag???

Legalize it and wait for about 2% of the people on the roads driving whacked, or all those people doing home repair or taking care of their kids (baby in a bathtub?), or, as they say on many NyQuil boxes, operating heavy machinery. There was a reason it was outlawed.

Robert Cook said...

The law enforcement and prison industries also benefit greatly, both in the control over the populace made possible by the drug laws and in the generous budget allocations they continue to receive.

As they once said in the Battalion of Mounted Rangers, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot???

Once again, Cook reminds us that he doesn't know the difference between and industry and a function of government.

AlphaLiberal said...

Yes, the fact is that we have a penal-industrial complex consisting of the prison industries, prison unions, and lawmakers doing their bidding. (Plus organized crime but why be redundant) They are very powerful.

As opposed to Willie Whitewater, Countrywide Dodd, and the late Teddy Kennedy who oversaw the penile-industrial complex.

rsb said...

Pot should be re-legalized.

Pastafarian said...

Bear in mind, too, that today's pot is not the same stuff that you smoked at U-dub (or U-whatever) in 1972 while listening to Hendrix and discussing existential philosophy with that cute little coed. Modern stuff is much, much stronger.

Pastafarian said...

Oh, and one more thought before I go:

God-damned hippies.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pollo Real said...

I think it's a doobious argument. Pot is a weed that grows practically anywhere. The US has a tough time competing in Ag products (without subsidies) due to labor costs alone.

In 2020 we'll have a prop to prop up the industry to compete with foreign imports.

bagoh20 said...

"How addictive and harmful can a product be, and still be legal?"

I hope at least more than Big Macks if you're gonna rob citizens of virtually all their rights over it. You can be against pot legalization, or you can hate government oppression and theft, but not both simultaneously. Pick one.

If I need to decide between having a few more pot heads and having the chance of SWAT shooting my dog while assaulting my home and family, I know what I'm against. These raids are happening daily.

Pastafarian said...

Bagoh, I see a false dichotomy between complete legalization, and the elimination of no-knock raids.

Suppose the SWAT team was looking for a suspect in a murder. Should we legalize murder too?

And yes, you can hate government oppression and theft, while also recognizing that one legitimate purpose of government is to enforce laws that prevent companies or individuals from selling dangerous products.

Or do you think that I should be able to market a new line of solid lead chew toys for toddlers? The little guys just love it. And why should the government force me to reveal my magic ingredient to consumers? Fascists.

Everybody's a libertarian, until it's their toddler with lead poisoning.

Pastafarian said...

And to quote myself: "(And please, no comparisons to See's Chocolate and how that's addictive too)."

I didn't think that anyone would be so depraved as to suggest that something as foul as a Big Mac could be addictive; but the same admonishment applies.

Big Mac is to modern marijuana as apple is to orange; it's a goofy argument. You should recognize that; maybe something is clouding your judgment.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm for legalizing Marijuana just so we can have our National Forests back again.

As it is now, you are putting your life in peril if you go for a back woods hike, camping, day trip on a 4 wheel drive road. The pot growers are leaving huge piles of garbage, diverting the streams, have vicious dogs roaming around their encampment, they are destroying the ecology and WILL shoot you if you get anywhere near their gardens.

Make it legal and people will grow the plants in a responsible way and create jobs.

rdkraus said...

Pasta

Bear in mind, too, that today's pot is not the same stuff that you smoked at U-dub (or U-whatever) in 1972 while listening to Hendrix and discussing existential philosophy with that cute little coed. Modern stuff is much, much stronger.

LOL. This is the best. Har har. Like straight out of "Reefer Madness." The modern stuff is always "much stronger."


Stupid. It's pot. As long as you're not adding "things" to it, it's just pot. It's the same as it was in the 20's, the 40's, the 60's and 70's and NOW.

These arguments just make people think you are stupid and don't know anything about drugs at all.

If you can't agree to let adults use marijuana, you do not believe in freedom. Don't pretend you do.

traditionalguy said...

There should first be an election called in which the voters are restricted to the children, wives and friends of life long druggies. That would help dispel the Libertarian fantasy of men hooked on drugs really being a noble act of freedom.

Hector Owen said...

The only role for government in this realm should be to prosecute fraud. Water in the milk, gasoline in the whiskey, rat poison in the heroin; that sort of thing.

(Hmm. There is an ongoing issue with alcohol in the gasoline, isn't there. But there's no fraud involved in that, since the sellers let you know about up front. We ought to be able to buy gasoline without alcohol in it, though.)

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I still haven't decided how I'm going to vote on 19. The libertarian in me thinks that the gubmint hasn't the right to tell me whether to huff or not. The same libertarian thinks the revenooers are already taxing the shit out of us and shouldn't be allowed to tax pot also. The social issues are largely irrelevant-- smokers will smoke, non-smokers won't.

Pastafarian said...

rdkrauss said: "Stupid. It's pot."

No, they're not the same. Cultivated plants like this change over time. Today's corn hybrids aren't the same thing that your grandfather grew in the back 40.

But corn is corn, you say. Um, no. Monsanto wouldn't exist, were this the case.

Modern pot is 10 times as strong as it was in the 70s. It's bred to have bigger heads and so the average joint will contain more heads and less leaf and stem. The head is where most of the THC is. It's selectively bred to have higher THC levels throughout the plant, too.

And: "If you can't agree to let adults use marijuana, you do not believe in freedom. Don't pretend you do."

And if you can't agree to let me sell my line of cast lead chew toys for toddlers, then you, sir, are worse than Stalin. Don't pretend that you aren't.

You seem awfully forceful and belligerent about this; as if there's some unseen force compelling you to defend this product.

rdkraus said...

Trad

"men hooked on drugs"

Hellooooooo.

Earth to trad guy.

It's pot. Half the people in this country have smoked pot. 99% have had not ill effects. Of the gazillions of pounds of pot smoked, no one has EVER died from smoking pot.

Get a grip on yourselves.

Let me know when you want to ban alcohol again, you people who are concerned that men are "hooked.'

rdkraus said...

Yes Pasta, lead toys for toddlers is the same as adults smoking a doobie.

Oy.

This is dumb.

Your hurting yourself here.

Years ago, many, I might have had a dog in this fight, not now. If you're planning on banning bourbon or southern comfort, THEN I would be worried.

traditionalguy said...

rdkraus...Why would a man or woman dependent for mental health and a temporary freedom from demands by their conscience on their MJ habit stop there for long? There are better drugs than MJ. Ask Keith Richards about the really good stuff.

Pastafarian said...

DBQ said: "Make it legal and people will grow the plants in a responsible way and create jobs."

And you to, DBQ? You, a damned dirty hippie?

I suppose if we made it legal, they might not (illegally) use your favorite state park to grow. Maybe they'd decide to move their operation to their back yard.

Or we could just pay them each $1 million. This would also make them choose to no longer plant weed. And it would probably have a less deleterious effect on the rest of the population. Both reward the lawbreaker.

And as for creating jobs: Yes, it would create jobs for farm-hands. Maybe illegal aliens would take them. And they'd be producing narcotics that would reduce the rest of the currently productive population to a throng of lazy, passive, stupid addicts.

Legalization hasn't helped the Netherlands' economy much. And that's with Amsterdam becoming a stoner-tourist meccha. If the US legalized, we'd get no such benefit -- most of those stoners are from the US.

Pastafarian said...

rdkrauss said: "99% have had not ill effects."

From personal experience, and to quote El Pollo Real, I find this statistic "doobious".

Just out of the crack of my ass, I'd guess that about 10% of everyone who has tried pot has become a regular habitual user, a pot-head, and 98% of them have become lazier, more passive, and more stupid than they were before they ever smoked it.

Whiskey does not have the same effect. Again, an apples and oranges comparison.

traditionalguy said...

Query: Why does the NFL come down so hard on recreational MJ use? Do the want free men to be robbed of their rights to get high and stay up all night seducing strange women, or do the want to see real men show up for work on time and give their best to help the team win? Hmmm.

Oligonicella said...

AllenS --

"There are no benefits for making pot legal. None."

Tell that to the victims of SWAT raids on wrong addresses.

"Beer is also a lot harder to manufacture."

Meaning what, exactly?

former law student - How about place essentially the same restrictions on pot as alcohol?

Pastafarian --

"Suppose the SWAT team was looking for a suspect in a murder. Should we legalize murder too?"

"...I see a false dichotomy..."

But not, apparently, in your own statements.

Would you condone SWAT raids on homes suspected of having kids who have a stash of illegally obtained beer under their beds?

Pastafarian said...

rdkrauss said: "Yes Pasta, lead toys for toddlers is the same as adults smoking a doobie."

Well, not exactly; how about my exciting new product, Tampon with Glass Shards? That way, it's targeted at adults, not children.

Or how about this: A coffee creamer that contains crack cocaine. Now there's a pick-me-up in the morning. Like mary-jane, it contains a drug (crack in my product, THC in weed). They're both addictive -- addictively delicious! And since we're both liberal-tarians here, there's no need for the government to force me to reveal my secret ingredient to consumers, is there?

I wonder why you minimize pot -- "adults smoking a doobie." Does it just stop with one doobie, then?

kentuckyliz said...

Legalizers: in your legal MJ utopia, what system do you envision?

WV ending
decadence is the sign of a civilization or empire's ending

jr565 said...

Regarding the degree to which pot is stronger now, it is according to researchers. Back in 1988 the THC level was 3.5. Now it's around 8.6. It's a far more potent drug than it was back in the 60's. And it's been known to cause changes in peoples brains, particularly young people who are still developing AND the people more likely to be smokers.

Oligonicella said...

Pastafarian --

"Just out of the crack of my ass, I'd guess that about 10% of everyone who has tried pot has become a regular habitual user, a pot-head, and 98% of them have become lazier, more passive, and more stupid than they were before they ever smoked it."

I'd guess that about 10% of everyone who has tried beer has become a regular, habitual users, a drunkard, and 98% become lazier, yet more easily violent and more stupid than they were before they ever drank it.

rdkraus said...

Amazingly enought Pasta and Trad, you are not my, or others', daddy.

If some people would prefer to smoke pot, even if it makes them "lazy" or they work less or they don't contribute as much to society as YOU think they should, that is the essence of freedom.

Yes, freedom means that some people will do and say things you don't like.

I minimize pot because it's no big deal, except for the freedom haters who must stop others from doing things they don't believe in.

The comparisons you are making make me wonder if you, perhaps, are doing a doobie right now. Hmmmm?

Oligonicella said...

Pastafarian, you're just full of "let's take an astonishingly stupid extreme and pretend it's an analogy" today, aren't you?

Pastafarian said...

Oligonicella, I'd cut to the chase and do away with no-knock raids for any reason, if no-knock raids are the problem.

Then we don't have to legalize pot, murder, or AllenS's bootleg brewery.

Are you telling me that every no-knock raid that's happened and has resulted in an innocent person's death or injury has been a result of the war on drugs, and they've never once been trying to apprehend a murderer or rapist?

Again, doobious.

So if you're trying to eliminate such death or injury by eliminating the need for these raids, then you'd need to eliminate all of the causes for these raids, including prosecution of murders and rapes. There's no false dichotomy here.

Why would we try to eliminate these raids by making the offense that most of them are aimed at no longer illegal? Just eliminate them by eliminating them, for fuck's sake.

It seems as though you might have a selfish reason for wanting to use this circuitous route to eliminate these raids indirectly.

mariner said...

This is one time (maybe the only time) I'll agree with Soros.

Others who benefit from the "War on [Some] Drugs" are the politicians and police who are always looking for more money and power.

Oligonicella said...

jr565 --

"Regarding the degree to which pot is stronger now, it is according to researchers. Back in 1988 the THC level was 3.5. Now it's around 8.6."

Um, 3.5 what? A number without a scale is useless.

It's about twice as potent. A judgment (read opinion) of "far more" is based on what?

Oligonicella said...

Pastafarian --

"It seems as though you might have a selfish reason for wanting to use this circuitous route to eliminate these raids indirectly." Emp added.

Yeah, and you're merely being altruistic. Pot, meet kettle.

Nicely punny as well.

mariner said...

AllenS,
There are no benefits for making pot legal. None.

But just look at all the benefits of making it illegal!

jr565 said...

Oglincella wrote:

Um, 3.5 what? A number without a scale is useless.

It's about twice as potent. A judgment (read opinion) of "far more" is based on what?



nalysis of seized samples of marijuana and hashish showed that more of the cannabis on the market is of the strongest grade, the White House and National Institute for Drug Abuse said.

They cited data from the University of Mississippi's Marijuana Potency Project showing the average levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in the products rose from 7 percent in 2003 to 8.5 percent in 2006.

The level had risen steadily from 3.5 percent in 1988.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2542461720070426

Oligonicella said...

jr565

Like I said, it's about twice as strong. Much like a glass of wine instead of a beer. No wait, wine has "far more" strength than just twice.

See, both sides of this issue are opinion.

Let's cut to the chase. You would prevent me from planting and growing a plant and then smoking it why?

Pastafarian said...

Oligonicella said: "I'd guess that about 10% of everyone who has tried beer has become a regular, habitual users..."

And I'd wager that my make-believe statistics are 95.2% more accurate than yours.

rdkrauss said: "Amazingly enought Pasta and Trad, you are not my, or others', daddy."

Depends. I mean, anything is possible. What was your mommie's name? And do you sometimes have the urge to don a loincloth, son? (Can I call you son?)

I'm pretty sure that one of the legitimate functions of government is to prevent individuals from poisoning others with addictive and dangerous products. And the fact that legalization would render a great swath of the population addle-minded addicts wallowing in their own filth is a pretty good motivation for government to be involved.

Oligonicella said...

Pastafarian --

"And I'd wager that my make-believe statistics are 95.2% more accurate than yours."

Glad to see you admit to fabricating your data.


"I'm pretty sure that one of the legitimate functions of government is to prevent individuals from poisoning others with addictive and dangerous products."

Same question I posed to jr565.

"... addle-minded addicts wallowing in their own filth ..."

Funny, it's your hyperbole that sounds addle-minded.

Oligonicella said...

Pastafarian --

"I'm pretty sure that one of the legitimate functions of government is to prevent individuals from poisoning others with addictive and dangerous products."

I presume then, that you are in favor of prohibition of alcohol, tobacco and cough syrup as well.

Pastafarian said...

mariner said: "But just look at all the benefits of making it illegal!"

One big benefit: Most productive citizens remain productive because they don't use it, because they don't want to go to prison and lose their children. So there are enough productive people left to grow crops that we stoners can eat when we get the munchies, and make useful things like bong tubes and lava lamps, to support all of us while we're lying somewhere stoned out of our minds.

You want to live in stoner nation? Move to Jamaica, mahn. A tropical paradise, they don't have to worry about heating or air conditioning, they have a shitload of beautiful coastline that's worth more per acre than any 100 acres of ground anywhere in Ohio; food falling from the trees and leaping from the oceans. And their GDP per capita is something like $5,000.

rdkraus said...

Holy S*** Batman, Pasta is my Daddy.

Yikes.

WV: isesses - There's a Mississippi joke there somewhere.

Pastafarian said...

Oligonicella, I've never understood why tobacco is legal. I can't produce my dioxin muffins anymore (thanks patronizing big government), so I really don't know why they're allowed to produce a carcinogenic product.

Alcohol isn't as addictive or dangerous as pot, and it has health benefits. In fact, I consider bourbon to be a vitamin. I'm pretty sure that's what the "B" in "vitamin B" stands for.

Cough syrup? Do you mean the type that they once made with codeine? You could make it by prescription only, I suppose. As you could pot, for legitimate uses like glaucoma.

Oligonicella said...

Pastafarian --

"One big benefit: Most productive citizens remain productive because they don't use it, because they don't want to go to prison and lose their children."

You sir, have not a friggin' clue as to which productive citizens do and do not smoke pot. More butt-hole psuedo-tistics.

Original Mike said...

Modern pot is 10 times as strong as it was in the 70s. It's bred to have bigger heads and so the average joint will contain more heads and less leaf and stem. The head is where most of the THC is. It's selectively bred to have higher THC levels throughout the plant, too.

And yet, people still smoke the same amount. It's like alcohol. Beer, booze, doesn't matter. I know I drink a couple of glasses no matter what it is. :rollseyes:

jr565 said...

Oligonicella wrote:

Let's cut to the chase. You would prevent me from planting and growing a plant and then smoking it why?

If all it was was you growing it and smoking it yourself, then I wouldnt have a problem with it. Your family might as many people have ruined their lives by becoming addicted to drugs (this includes booze and prescription) but you smoking it is not itself the issue.
The issue is the commerce of it.You selling pot to someone else opens up a whole market that inevitably leads to criminality even if it's legal.
Plus, once it becomes legal, like any drug it has to be regulated which means more govt involvement in your AND MY life. And many of these drugs simply cannot be regulated because they are so safe and the effects so deleterious. It will lead to a percentage of society becoming unproductive which will be a drain on your AND MY resources and then we'll need to, in the interest of empathy, help the poor junkies who ruined their lies through addiction. Just a few of the costs that you bring on me even if I don't use the product.
Then of course if it's legal people can buy it on the internet where there will be little to no safeguards as to the quality. Even vitamins made in China are suspect because of their poor quality standards, and vitamins are otherwise largely harmless and perfectly legal. Imagine people selling pot or other drugs online. What's in the pot? WHat's it laced with? Who is determining they aren't using some poison? If someone gets hurt or killed becuase of the product what happens?
If though you regulate the product, which would be inevitable, then you will simply create a black market. A regulated pot would probably be less potent and more expensive. Growers will not want to risk getting sued for selling a product that is so heavily regulated and which can produce health issues. So many will go underground wehre they can produce it cheaper and quicker and not worry about the health effects.
The analogy to the lead in toys is in fact very apropos.
So, if it were a strict libertarian argument of your personal rights I would say smoke away. But it's not that simple and the social effects of illegal drugs are long and deep. And they would be even more so if we suddenly legalized such drugs (pot being the lesser of the evils, I'll admit)
And criminals will not stop selling pot, as they can make a profit either way. They can simply use their criminal enterprise to make even greater inroads into the market

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Pasta

Legalizing pot doesn't mean that it would be freely available without any restrictions.

Just like booze or other drugs, there should be restrictions on availablity to minors, point of sale locations and production.

Taking the profit out of the illegal production, sale and transportation by licensing growers and making the product legally available would greatly reduce crime.

In addition by having responsible growers producing, the product can be actually made safer through standardized growing conditions and reduction of dangerous and illegal additives.

Salamandyr said...

I'm personally just struck by the irony of people who want to ban the consumption of tobacco anywhere anytime arguing for legalization of smoking a different substance.

Oligonicella said...

Pastafarian --

"Alcohol isn't as addictive or dangerous as pot..."

Wow, now you've leapt into direct lie. You cannot smoke yourself to death with pot in one night.

Oligonicella said...

Salamandyr -- Yep, me too.

Alex said...

Narcoterrorists in Mexico, drug dealers and righteous Christianists.

Der Hahn said...

All of you in favor of legalizing pot do realize that the most likely outcome is that it will be legal the same way tobacco and alcohol are 'legal', right?

Alex said...

Der Hahn - better regulated and taxed then illegal and causing mayhem on the streets of America and death to innocents in Mexico.

Oligonicella said...

Der Hahn --

"All of you in favor of legalizing pot do realize that the most likely outcome is that it will be legal the same way tobacco and alcohol are 'legal', right?"

Yep. Fine by me. You can grow tobacco in your back yard and brew in your basement. Your point?

jr565 said...

Dust Bunny queen wrote:
Taking the profit out of the illegal production, sale and transportation by licensing growers and making the product legally available would greatly reduce crime.

Bull. It's not that there is a profit in illegal production, it's that there is a profit in production legal or otherwise. So you're not going to remove the profit margin by making it legal, all you're going to do is make it easier for those who were making a profit illegally to make a profit legally. And if we're going to have licensed growers, then what about those who are unlicensed but want to grow, sell and profit? Doesn't that discount the whole freedom argument. And if we are bringing in licensing the doesn't that require even more govt intrusion into your lives? Arent they going to have to regulate the product and tell you what you can and cannot sell and determine who can and cannot have a license. And it will become a product like Phen-Phen. If someone suffers a deleterious effect the manufacturer will be sued,which will most likely cause said products to be taken off the market, which will simply lead to a black market that will get you unregulated pot cheaper. Criminality is going nowhere and most of these drugs simply cannot be regulated as they are fundamentally unsafe products.

In addition by having responsible growers producing, the product can be actually made safer through standardized growing conditions and reduction of dangerous and illegal additives.

In the case of cannabis the dangerous part of the drug is also what people get high on. So to make it safer would reduce the amount of THC in a plant, which would reduce the quality of the weed (it might be better quality but not produce the same high) so people will look for weed that gives them the bang for their buck. Which again goes back to the black market.

Oligonicella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Alex wrote:
Der Hahn - better regulated and taxed then illegal and causing mayhem on the streets of America and death to innocents in Mexico.

Why would legaliziation here cause fewer deaths in Mexico? The same cartels that control the market in Mexico now will still control the market when its legalized here. All that it will do is increase demand, meaning even more mayhem on the streets of American and deaths of innocents in Mexico and increased power for the cartels.

Oligonicella said...

jr565 --

"In the case of cannabis the dangerous part of the drug is also what people get high on."

Kinda like the dangerous part of the drink is the alcohol, causing a black market in higher proof drink? Oh wait, you can purchase Everclear (190 proof) legally.


I may have missed it. Did you ever answer my earlier question?

The Crack Emcee said...

Pastafarian,

What about crack, gentlemen? Where does it end? How addictive and harmful can a product be, and still be legal?

Please don't lock me up, Pasta, I'll promise to play nice and everything.

Seriously, back when the whole legalization thing was first getting off the ground, a pot dealer told me it was the worst idea he could imagine - because the price would drop remarkably. My take is this:

Whatever GS says - do the opposite until he's in the grave.

El Pollo Real said...

AlphaLiberal wrote: It's also a tremendous budget-cutting move. We spend billions locking people up for getting high in this country. Defending no-one from anyone in the process.

If that's true, how come neither Gubernatorial candidate is supporting it?

Doobious I say.

jr565 said...

Oglioncella wrote;
Kinda like the dangerous part of the drink is the alcohol, causing a black market in higher proof drink? Oh wait, you can purchase Everclear (190 proof) legally.


I may have missed it. Did you ever answer my earlier question?


If its simply a matter of you growing for yourself I don't have a problem. However, the actuality will be that growers will grow to sell, and there lies the problem. Making an illegal product legal will not in fact lead to less crime but more. And not just more crime, but more govt involvement. If its a matter of personal freedom having the govt come in and regulate pot will only cause even more govt involvement in your lives.And govt very well may determine that you aren't fit to get a license to grow pot, what then? Do you grow it illegally anyway?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oligonicella said...

jr565 --

"However, the actuality will be that growers will grow to sell, and there lies the problem."

It's illegal to grow, period. Only some growers will sell.

"Making an illegal product legal will not in fact lead to less crime but more."

Prohibition says you're wrong.

"And not just more crime, but more govt involvement. If its a matter of personal freedom having the govt come in and regulate pot will only cause even more govt involvement in your lives.And govt very well may determine that you aren't fit to get a license to grow pot, what then? Do you grow it illegally anyway?"

Every argument you made applies to alcohol too, you know. It's legal to brew your own. Bootleggers sell illegally. Explain why it's OK to still have alcohol legal.

Oligonicella said...

jr565 --

"If its a matter of personal freedom having the govt come in and regulate pot will only cause even more govt involvement in your lives."

As opposed to locking you up for twenty years? Kinda intrusive, that.

El Pollo Real said...

As opposed to locking you up for twenty years? Kinda intrusive, that.

You are aware that simple possession without intent to sell was decriminalized a few weeks ago.

Are you trying to scare people?

Oligonicella said...

El Pollo Real --

"You are aware that simple possession without intent to sell was decriminalized a few weeks ago."

You're aware that what you said is not true in every state and therefore not completely true, right?

El Pollo Real said...

You're aware that what you said is not true in every state and therefore not completely true, right?

I'm only speaking for CA, here where the vote is about to occur. Isn't that called being on topic? :)

Oligonicella said...

El Pollo Real --

From the article, which is the topic.


"The roughly 750,000 arrests they make each year for possession of small amounts of marijuana represent more than 40% of all drug arrests."

Blue@9 said...

Keep it illegal, keep locking up stoners.

But it's just a plant, right? So are poppies. Get a grip people, legalization would not improve our nation.


Right, because it's far better to tie up our courts and spend $50,000 a year to keep a stoner in prison.

It's the epitome of stupid policy continuing through political inertia. Pot is de facto legal in San Francisco... and remarkably the city still runs. People go to work and the buses, well they don't run on time, but they run.

I think people really overstate the effects of legalization. It's pretty much available to any high school or college student in America, and yet you don't see the country turning into a reefer madness nation. Most people are simply not inclined to smoke weed; most people I know have tried it and found that it was pleasant but not something worth doing regularly.


Alcohol isn't as addictive or dangerous as pot

On what planet? Pot is not physically addictive, whereas a good percentage of people are susceptible to alcohol addiction. And alcohol kills in myriad ways compared to pot, whether it be from barfights or driving on freeways or alcohol poisoning.

Modern pot is 10 times as strong as it was in the 70s.

You see, this is the kind of ignorant shit that drives me nuts.

First off, it's not 10 times as strong.

Second, it makes no fucking difference because people self-adjust their dosing in response to the strength of the pot, just like they do with liquor. It's like saying, "Oh, Pastafarian drinks beer. We can't give him whiskey because he'll die if he drinks a pint of that." No one shotguns a pint of whiskey! Likewise, no one rolls up a gigantic blunt and starts puffing away unless you already know the strength of what you're smoking.


One big benefit: Most productive citizens remain productive because they don't use it, because they don't want to go to prison and lose their children.

No, most productive citizens remain productive because it's in their nature. I know many people who smoke weed and have very fulfilling and productive lives. If you're the kind of person who has drive, no amount of pot or liquor is going to change that. I smoke regularly and still work 60+ hr weeks. Still get up early for work in the morning, still go to the gym, and still cook dinner for my wife. It hasn't affected my life at all apart from my drinking less (and saving money, because good wine is not cheap).

El Pollo Real said...

The roughly 750,000 arrests they make each year for possession of small amounts of marijuana represent more than 40% of all drug arrests.

So let their governors enact decriminalization.

Prop 19 is not well written, is not supported by either candidate, and deserves to fail.

Do you seriously think Jerry Brown wants to ride into office championing the legalization of pot?

Blue@9 said...

If its a matter of personal freedom having the govt come in and regulate pot will only cause even more govt involvement in your lives.And govt very well may determine that you aren't fit to get a license to grow pot, what then? Do you grow it illegally anyway?

Ah, I see.

DEA agents rappelling from helicopters to burn your fields and then confiscate all your property = OK.

DEA agents refusing a license to grow pot = Excessive government intrusion.


WTF is wrong with the commenters on Althouse recently? Can you guys just stop and think through what you're saying before you post? This crap, the stuff about legalization leading to more crime, how stronger weed is more dangerous, etc., you are pulling this shit out of your ass and we know it.

Kirk Parker said...

jr565 says current stuff is 2.5 times as strong as in was in the good old days, Pastafarian says 10x. Clearly one of them smoked the product a bit too much in their younger days, but I'll be darned if I can figure which one it is!

And yes, Pasta, I'll go out on a limb and claim that virtually everyone wrongly hurt in a no-knock raid was hurt in a drug-war-related one, simply because that's what most SWAT usage is for these days.

Oligonicella said...

El Pollo Real --

"So let their governors enact decriminalization."

Yeah, I'm for decriminalization of growing, possessing and using. Apparently we agree. Your comment I responded to referred to CA (although indirectly) and the article was about national policy. Hence my comment.

My play here is with Pasta and jr565 mostly. Horking nonsense in their attempts to excuse the laws against it.

traditionalguy said...

A mind is a terrible thing to stone. Drugs are only for the down and out in a period of mourning a great loss. The rest of you guys need to use some self discipline and enjoy a sober life. (This is your Father speaking, if you always wanted one).

Alex said...

tradguy - I think I'll have some Irish whiskey tonight in honor of you.

Oligonicella said...

Alex, if you're ever in SoMo, drop by and we'll share some Bing Cherry brandy I made. Unfortunately, I'm now out of the Elderberry. Gods, such wonderful stuff.

Alex said...

Oligonicella - the next time I'm on the hunt for Red Legs(go Union), I'll swing on by.

sunsong said...

Here is where the right-wing nanny-staters come out. Self-righteously deciding for others how they ought to live their lives and what they should be allowed to do.

Good grief - get over yourselves. It is not your place to decide whether other human beings drink alcohol or smoke pot or just get high on life.

sunsong said...

a great billboard for Prop 19

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pastafarian said...

Kirk Parker said: "And yes, Pasta, I'll go out on a limb and claim that virtually everyone wrongly hurt in a no-knock raid was hurt in a drug-war-related one..."

And yet the miracle of Bing provided me with this horror within seconds:

http://blacksnob.com/snob_blog/2010/5/17/detroit-police-kill-7-year-old-girl-in-no-knock-raid.html

(Sorry about the copy-and-paste required, I'm internet-differently-abled).

This story, if you don't want to copy-and-paste, is the tale of one 7 year old girl in Detroit, killed in a no-knock raid in which they were trying to apprehend a murder suspect, just as I said.

So, Oligonicella, your legalization would not prevent deaths like this. If you want to prevent deaths like this, do away with no-knock raids.

Now, if we made both pot and murder legal, then that would have prevented this death. They wouldn't have had to conduct this raid, after all, if murder were legal.

So I think we can now put to rest the argument of how legalization must be done to prevent this sort of no-knock raid.

Now let's talk about all the money that could be saved, if we didn't have to pay for the incarceration of scum that addict children, and instead allowed them to profit from their activities like any small businessman. There's a strong argument, huh?

You know, no one ever did answer me about whether I should be able to sell cast lead chew toys for infants, or coffee creamer with the secret ingredient of crack cocaine. A couple of people complained about the comparison, but they never explained to me how it's OK to sell one dangerous product but not another.

Could it be that you personally enjoy smoking dope, but you don't enjoy chewing on lead, or ingesting crack? Because that seems a rather crass and selfish reason to take such a seemingly principled stand.

Maybe your arguments for turning our society into Amsterdam or Jamaica would make more sense to me if I blazed one up.

Pastafarian said...

Oh wow....well, I didn't have any weed just laying around, since I have a family and don't really want to risk being sent to prison, and I'm not so insanely selfish as to put my own personal pleasure above their well-being by possessing a controlled substance, so the best I could do was this big can of toluene diisocyanate out in the shop.

So anywho, I pried off the lid and stuck my head in there for, I don't know, two, or three, or eleventy minutes...and oh man, I'm soooooooooo high. Oh wow man. I can't feel the left side of my body. Far out.

Did you hear that? What the hell was that -- shit, there's a pterodactyl in here! Here boy, here, calm down...

You know, you're all correct, I was wrong. Now that I've elevated my consciousness, I can understand all of your arguments for legalization. The Man is just trying to keep us from seeing strange, wonderful new colors that don't even have names.

Youngblood said...

The people who benefit the most from keeping marijuana illegal are criminal organizations like Mexican cartels, street gangs, outlaw bikers, and rural moonshiners.

Marijuana is the bread and butter of these criminal syndicates. If marijuana were to be legalized at the federal level, it would weaken these groups immensely. They would not be able to afford the private illegal armies that they currently field. The national murder rate would go down as a result.

Breaking the backs of the nation's most ruthless criminal syndicates would be enough to recommend the legalization of pot in my eyes.

Youngblood said...

Pastafarian wrote:

"You know, you're all correct, I was wrong. Now that I've elevated my consciousness, I can understand all of your arguments for legalization. The Man is just trying to keep us from seeing strange, wonderful new colors that don't even have names."

Right. Because everyone who argues for the legalization of marijuana is a stoner, and all of their arguments can be distilled down to the silly one that you have provided here.

Pastafarian said...

Hey, what's thish horseshit on thish "MSDS" that The Man put on my can of toluene diisocyanate?

"Do not inhale vapors."

Whatevs, prude.

"Can cause asthma, loss of bowel control, brain damage, permanent disability, and death."

Yeah, whatever, prohibitionists. This is just the sort of ignorance that makes The Man look like he knows nothing about aromatic solvents. You want dangerous? Whiskey, that's dangerous. Particularly The Glenlivet. That shit will fuck you up.

This stuff? I could huff this stuff all day long. Couldn't we, Terry? (That's what I named my pterodactyl).

Pastafarian said...

Yeah, what Youngblood said!

Because not a single person on this thread who has argued for legalization is himself a user. Their hearts are pure, they are solely concerned about the abstract notion of freedom.

Right? Show of hands. Or claws, talons, whatever you might have.

Pastafarian said...

Oh shit, I think I'm blacking out.

El Pollo Real said...

Legalization is different than decriminalization; the latter just reduces and reclassifies the penalties.

I expect the Sullivanists to make a huge stink about how one is not the other and why it makes a big difference.

They get so worked up about championing vices. They point fingers and say don't judge me! What they forego is trying to convince people that "Hey, the world is a better place because I can get stoned, just like you can feel a buzz on your cocktail." In the end, they end up settling for being able to take a big toke, blow it in your face and say: "what I do is no different than you having a martini."

They justify escape based on comparison to another escape, losing sight of whether pot smoking leads to clearer thinking (that should be testable huh?).

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jamboree said...

I already voted to legalize it:

1. We badly need the tax revenue
2. Really barbaric weed crime is filtering into SoCal and needs to be stopped now
3. It's a silly holdover from the 60s hippie fear to keep it illegal (imo).


Another beneficiary are local law enforcement coffers- AFAIK they still get to auction the goods they obtain in raids on even licensed dispensaries.

Obama said he would improve the situation and at first nothing happened, then he did, then the local authorities found ways around it.

And no, I don't do weed. If it were legal, I might occasionally but I doubt it'd be more than I drink wine.

Youngblood said...

Pastafarian,

I'm not a user. I loathe pot. Heavy pot users are among the most pathetic creatures known to man.

Even so, it's time to acknowledge that the war on pot has failed miserably. It has empowered criminal syndicates financially, allowing them to field private armies, corrupt our justice system, and become the defacto authority in neighborhoods across the nation.

Every year, thousands upon thousands of innocent people are murdered because they have seen too much, they crossed a criminal syndicate, or they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Without the income that they receive from illicit marijuana sales, these organizations would shrivel up. They wouldn't die completely, but their capacity to run nationwide para-military forces would be degraded significantly.

I could not possibly care less whether consenting adults throw their lives down the toilet by smoking pot, drinking, huffing glue, gambling, eating to excess, abusing prescription drugs, or engaging in promiscuous unprotected sex.

I do care that our nation wastes billions of dollars every year and shrugs as innocent people, people who are not throwing their lives down the toilet, are murdered by savages who are empowered and enriched by our existing laws.

El Pollo Real said...

It's a silly holdover from the 60s hippie fear to keep it illegal.

There was plenty to both fear and respect about the hippies IMHO.

El Pollo Real said...

Even so, it's time to acknowledge that the war on pot has failed miserably. It has empowered criminal syndicates financially, allowing them to field private armies, corrupt our justice system, and become the defacto authority in neighborhoods across the nation.

You will have to take that argument all the way to heroin and coke--otherwise it makes no sense. And then you will have to make that argument in the face of data describing real physical addiction.

Youngblood said...

"Legalization is different than decriminalization; the latter just reduces and reclassifies the penalties."

Among other things, the former allows legitimate businesses to grow and distribute marijuana, as opposed to brutal criminal who will not think twice about splattering your brains against the sidewalk if you cross them, see too much, or merely happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It also allows the government to regulate the sale of marijuana, so that age limits for the purchase of marijuana can be enacted and enforced.

El Pollo Real said...

It also allows the government to regulate the sale of marijuana, so that age limits for the purchase of marijuana can be enacted and enforced.

Is that why Jerry Brown's not backing it?

sunsong said...

who says I can't get stoned?

El Pollo Real said...

@sunsong: I would expect a renaissance in good music if pot were legalized. Also, more and easier sex.

And?

sunsong said...

El Pollo Real,

Who, among adults who wish to smoke pot, are not doing it now,iyo?

Revenant said...

You will have to take that argument all the way to heroin and coke--otherwise it makes no sense.

Of course it still makes sense. Legalizing marijuana would reduce the wealth, and therefore the power, of criminal gangs. It would do so even if cocaine and heroin remained illegal. Your argument is akin to saying that restricting the burning of leaves and trash for air-quality reasons makes no sense unless you ban cars, too. It denies the possibility of incremental improvements.

And then you will have to make that argument in the face of data describing real physical addiction.

The fact that heroin and cocaine can cause "real physical addiction" is, of course, one of the many reasons why prohibition has never worked and will never work. If you make it illegal for an addict to feed his addiction you make him a criminal; you do not make him sober.

jr565 said...

I would argue that certainly pot is not as bad as meth or heroin or coke, and there is certainly less harm in taking pot than being a heroin addict for example.
But I have a problem with the whole absolute freedom argument (as in we should be totally free to put whatever we want in our bodies and all drugs should be legalized argument).
We don't allow companies to sell harmful products like lead in toys and things like heroin or meth and to a lesser extent pot are harmful drugs that are highly addictive. Since we don't allow legitimate drug companies to get away with selling harmful drugs without potentially recalling them there is no reason that illegal drugs should be immune from the same regulation.
The absolute freedom argument only exists in a vacuum where you are the maker of the drug and there is no commerce going on getting the drug to you, so only you are responsible for what you put in your body and can determine all the ingredients bcause you created the product. And that almost never happens. How many people grow their own pot and don't sell it to anyone. If you do sell it someone and they are adversely affected, you should be liable.
Think of how they cook meth. Whether or not you even take it, you could be affected if you breathe in the fumes from someones meth lab down the street or even if you stay in a hotel room after someone used it for a meth lab. And people have died from manufacturing alone since you are dealing with such volatile chemicals.
How would you regulate a safe meth? You could go down the line on all the illegal drugs,who's sole purpose is to get you high, and run into the same issue. And society has to deal with the consequences of someone becoming junkies, even if the choice is the junkies to make to take the drug. Families are destroyed people ruin their lives, crimes are commited to get drugs or while under the influence.
Why would I want to add more substances to the mix that will only increase said addictions and cause more crime and accidents?
Not to mention more law suits. If trial lawyers go after big tobacco, and I want tort reform because said legal action is driving up insurance costs, why would i want to legalize even more dangerous substances, and have companies that make said products get sued for making faulty products that cause harm.
Why would I want to give a drug dealer, the most unscrupulous people around, who have no problems lacing products with who knows what the power to sell a product that is more addictive than cigarettes and causes more immediate harm, and in some cases (like heroin) require you to get on other drugs to wean yourself off of the main drug because it's so addictive when a doctor can't simply sell drugs to someone without a license or a prescription.

Revenant said...

Because not a single person on this thread who has argued for legalization is himself a user.

I'm for legalization because I dislike spending billions of dollars to increase the amount of death and misery in the world.

Revenant said...

things like heroin or meth and to a lesser extent pot are harmful drugs that are highly addictive.

Marijuana is not highly addictive "to a lesser extent". It is highly addictive "not at all".

It can be habit forming, but only in the way that masturbation or posting inane arguments to Blogger are.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:

Of course it still makes sense. Legalizing marijuana would reduce the wealth, and therefore the power, of criminal gangs.


No, it would give criminal gangs more money. Since they already have the infrastructure to sell drugs at volume, already have the connections that provide the drugs at volume and the ruthlessness to deal with the competition. All legalizing would do would make it easier for them to sell their product without the police intruding on their business.
Why, in the legalizing drug world are only criminals somehow unable to earn profits? All that would happen is the drug dealers you now call crmiinals would sell the same product with impunity.

Revenant said...

This guy was a Nazi collaborator, hates this country, and people don't find what he says a red flag???

Are we talking about George Soros or the Pope? :)

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
Marijuana is not highly addictive "to a lesser extent". It is highly addictive "not at all".

It can be habit forming, but only in the way that masturbation or posting inane arguments to Blogger are.


So Rev, are you arguing that we should keep some drugs illegal, but legalize pot because it's not addictive unlike the other more damaging drugs? Or are you arguing the absolute position that all drugs should be legalized because we have absolute right to put whatever we want in our bodies.
If its the latter, then it wouldn't really matter about the addictiveness of a product because you would still say it should be legalized.

Revenant said...

No, it would give criminal gangs more money.

Why do people think that the laws of economics apply to everything in the world except their favored political agenda?

Since they already have the infrastructure to sell drugs at volume, already have the connections that provide the drugs at volume and the ruthlessness to deal with the competition.

Oh for god's sake.

First of all, tobacco companies already have exactly the infrastructure necessary to grow marijuana, manufacture cigarettes from it, and distribute and sell them at a consistent quality and price. No criminal organization has any of those things. In a free market they would get their asses kicked by Philip Morris. Notice how the mob doesn't run Miller and Budweiser? Weird, huh?

Secondly, marijuana is called "weed" for a reason. It is insanely easy to grow. The reason most users don't grow their own is that it is difficult and expensive to grow *secretly* in your garage or bedroom closet. In a legal environment sellers lose most of their market share to home growers. Hello, massive price drop.

Thirdly, you have all the people who would be happy to sell but don't because the idea of spending decades in federal pound me in the ass prison doesn't appeal to them. In a free market they get involved, which means competition, which means lower prices.

Why, in the legalizing drug world are only criminals somehow unable to earn profits?

They aren't "unable to", it is just that the skill set required to be a successful criminal is quite different from the skill set required to be a legal businessman -- and, furthermore, the tactics that make a criminal organization successful are completely different from the ones that make a business successful.

If the world worked the way you think it does, why don't violent criminals dominate every industry? Why is the software industry dominated by Microsoft instead of the Mafia, when the Mafia started out with better connections and a great deal more ruthlessness than Bill Gates? Heck, why don't they dominate tobacco sales? The tobacco industry manufactures an sells a highly addictive and dangerous drug, yet mysteriously does so without gangs of ruthless criminals being the ones who get rich. Weird! It is almost like NOT basing your business around shooting all your competitors was a good idea or something.

All that would happen is the drug dealers you now call crmiinals would sell the same product with impunity.

That would be an interesting argument if it hadn't already been disproven by the entirety of human history. Whenever and wherever a human activity has been banned, criminal groups have profited; whenever and wherever a human activity has been legalized, legitimate business displaces the old criminal networks.

former law student said...

Rev, if every minimart carried joints they way they do cigarettes, do you not think a lot more people would be trying pot? I mean I have never known anyone who sold pot -- I have no idea where to get some.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
First of all, tobacco companies already have exactly the infrastructure necessary to grow marijuana, manufacture cigarettes from it, and distribute and sell them at a consistent quality and price. No criminal organization has any of those things. In a free market they would get their asses kicked by Philip Morris. Notice how the mob doesn't run Miller and Budweiser? Weird, huh?

It's stupid to think that a criminal organization that is making profits from selling a product despite police interference making said sales difficult, but somehow couldn't make a profit without the police intruding on their business. They could simply use their billions and buy a front company, then use their existing farms to sell their product. They already have the resources and infrastructure, they would just change their business model. You would simply cease calling their enterprise criminal.
and again, are we just talking about pot here, or all illegal drugs. Are companies going to be setting up legitimate heroin companies and legitimate meth companies?

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
Secondly, marijuana is called "weed" for a reason. It is insanely easy to grow. The reason most users don't grow their own is that it is difficult and expensive to grow *secretly* in your garage or bedroom closet. In a legal environment sellers lose most of their market share to home growers. Hello, massive price drop.


if pot, or any product has the price drop so low that it ceases to become profitable, then the company making said product will cease production. Do you honestly think that would happen considering demand would only grow as pot becomes legal? Why would anyone produce it if it isn't profitable?
And are people growing in their basement also going to be regulated when they create their product? Wouldn't said regulations drive up the price? After all they are going to have to make a product that conforms to a governments view of what is safe when it comes to pot.

blake said...

Wow, we found Pasta's inner "fascist"! (Scare quotes because this has nothing to do with fascism but it seems to be what stoners call cops.)

Kinda awful, dude. Everyone for decriminalization/legalization is just someone who wants to get high? Really?

Well, I hate drugs. Even legal ones. I reluctantly let the dentist use novocaine. That would be the extent of my ingestion.

And I say, strike all laws regarding drugs off the books. Not just drugs, but also food, consumer products, etc. (You can have your cast-lead toddler toys and your broken glass tampons, but if you defraud people and they're harmed, prepare to take the consequences. Hell, make your "crunchy frog", your "ram's bladder cup", your "spring surprise".)

It is no business of the government until someone is harmed due to fraud.

Will the net result be good or bad? I don't know. Just like with health care--ok, I know it'll be bad, but even if it weren't, I'll take freedom over even good law.

That said, George Soros approving of it gives me the creeps.

blake said...

They could simply use their billions and buy a front company, then use their existing farms to sell their product. They already have the resources and infrastructure, they would just change their business model. You would simply cease calling their enterprise criminal.

And they'd be accountable to the law.

Paddy O said...

"I'm for legalizing Marijuana just so we can have our National Forests back again."

This is why I'm now a supporter too. Indeed, it's the only reason why, but it's a big one to me.

El Pollo Real said...

Revenant: We're talking about an agricultural product here, one to be legally grown in the US. Exactly which ag product is commercially grown and sold in the US without some sort of government subsidy, be it direct payment or prexisting water rights in order for it to remain competitive. Your argument that everyone will just grow their own is unconvincing. Besides, since it was decriminalized, individuals can do so without impunity.

You might argue that its commercial footprint on the ag scene would be no more intrusive than say a local vegetable market. This underestimates the potential for growth, and especially for out of state export, just like other ag commodities.

Lastly, if everything you are saying about the economics is true, you make a very effective spokeman for Whitman, or at least for not electing Brown, who contradicts your position. link.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
That would be an interesting argument if it hadn't already been disproven by the entirety of human history. Whenever and wherever a human activity has been banned, criminal groups have profited; whenever and wherever a human activity has been legalized, legitimate business displaces the old criminal networks.


Ok, so lets say we legalize meth. And a company wants to get involved in selling meth legitmately. They are going to sell a product that is highly addictive, is made with poisonous chemicals is completely addictive and causes untold health problems. What company is going to ever get off the ground to sell that product? It's going to immediately open itself up to lawsuits from all the customers that are now hooked on the product and suffered damages because they were sold an unsafe product. What govt is going to regulate Bristol Meyers and make them pull an aspirin off the shelf if three people die, but will somehow allow someone to sell Chrystal Meth?
Drug companies can get away with selling drugs because they supposedly have health benefits and help people with underlying conditions. But if they cause harm, they quickly get yanked and the company gets sued.
Why would illegal drugs somehow be immune from such govt interaction? And what mom and pop meth lab is going to spend billions in research to come up with the safe version of meth that uses nothing but safe toxic components with none of the drawbacks of meth as it exists now.
A lot of these drugs would simply be impossible to market as legitimate products without a company producing them immediately getting sued.

El Pollo Real said...

Also, I think it's an oversimplification to assume that Mexican cartels would simply cease to exist after pot legalization. What, they're rich enough to retire? They'll switch to something else.

jr565 said...

Blake wrote:
And I say, strike all laws regarding drugs off the books. Not just drugs, but also food, consumer products, etc. (You can have your cast-lead toddler toys and your broken glass tampons, but if you defraud people and they're harmed, prepare to take the consequences. Hell, make your "crunchy frog", your "ram's bladder cup", your "spring surprise".)


Should doctors be required to fill out presriptions for drugs? Should pharmacies require prescriptions for drugs that require prescriptions now? Should doctors require licenses?

Blue@9 said...

Maybe I am wrong to think that others should live a sober life. I really should focus on my own life. I am concerned that others will not be sober when they drive. I don't think we need more intoxicants allowed by government.

I don't think the gov't should be in the business of telling me which intoxicants I can take. I'll take responsibility not to drive drunk or stoned. Do I worry about drunk drivers? Sure, but that's not a reason to ban alcohol--it's a reason to put stupid a-holes in jail.

It's stupid to think that a criminal organization that is making profits from selling a product despite police interference making said sales difficult, but somehow couldn't make a profit without the police intruding on their business.

They make a profit *because* it's illegal. The illegality creates an artificial crimp in supply and adds risk at every stage from growing, to transportation, to distribution. Do you think liquor got cheaper during Prohibition?

And why would these illegal dealers continue to proliferate after legalization? What consumer is going to go down to a shady guy on a street corner rather than to the 7-Eleven? People only go to these guys because they're the only supply--nobody would voluntarily buy a plastic bag of generic green stuff from a scary dude if you could buy a standarized pack of joints at a convenience store.

if pot, or any product has the price drop so low that it ceases to become profitable, then the company making said product will cease production. Do you honestly think that would happen considering demand would only grow as pot becomes legal? Why would anyone produce it if it isn't profitable?

Marijuana would arguably be cheaper to produce than tobacco. And it would certainly be more profitable for Phillip Morris than for any street dealer. They have an entire infrastructure set up to grow plants, shred them, and put them into tiny paper tubes.

As for demand going up, I think we would see an initial spike as a number of people who have never tried it will give it a go. But the number who become consistent buyers? Probably far less. Pot is very much available now, but it's not all that prevalent in terms of use. Many many people either find the stigma unacceptable or just don't really enjoy it all that much.

jr565 said...

Bue@9 wrote:
hey make a profit *because* it's illegal. The illegality creates an artificial crimp in supply and adds risk at every stage from growing, to transportation, to distribution. Do you think liquor got cheaper during Prohibition?


No, they make a profit because there is a market for their product,and buyers willing to pay for the product. If it's easier to buy the product more people buy it, hence adding to the profit margins of the producer.

When you legalize something you increase it's use.

El Pollo Real said...

I'll take responsibility not to drive drunk or stoned. Do I worry about drunk drivers? Sure, but that's not a reason to ban alcohol--it's a reason to put stupid a-holes in jail.

There is currently no field detector for THC- the equivalent of a breathalyzer. So enforce would be problematic thare. Of course a blood test can detect but may have to be mandated- if one well publicized accident occurred.

Revenant said...

Rev, if every minimart carried joints they way they do cigarettes, do you not think a lot more people would be trying pot?

Maybe. Currently 42% of the population has tried it, compared to 76% and 92% for tobacco and alcohol ("available in every minimart"). So I would sort of expect more people to try it, maybe even as many as twice the number of people.

On the other hand, it is effectively legal in the Netherlands and less than 20% of the Dutch have ever tried it. That makes me suspect that a lot of its popularity in America is CAUSED by prohibition, especially considering that most of that 42% experimentation occurs in high school or college when rebelling against authority is normal behavior.

jr565 said...

Blue@9 wrote:
And why would these illegal dealers continue to proliferate after legalization? What consumer is going to go down to a shady guy on a street corner rather than to the 7-Eleven? People only go to these guys because they're the only supply--nobody would voluntarily buy a plastic bag of generic green stuff from a scary dude if you could buy a standarized pack of joints at a convenience store.


Again, you guys keep arguing that apparently no intoxicants should be illegal. Do you honestly think that 711 would sell heroin or meth? And as far as going to the shady guy down the block, he's only shady because he has to conduct business behind closed doors. If he's selling something legal there's nothing shady about him. He could simply sell his wares legally without police interference.
Maybe he could set up a nice office with nice chairs and heroin drips and charge junkies a low price to get hooked on his product. It would be like a crack house but more upscale.

Revenant said...

There is currently no field detector for THC- the equivalent of a breathalyzer. So enforce would be problematic thare.

Breathalyzers don't actually work either. That's why they do the follow-up blood test.

The field sobriety test worth using is the old one (reactions, walking a straight line, touching your nose, etc). Breathalyzers gained popularity when the legal limit for "intoxicated" dropped so low that no real impairment was detectable anymore. The limit in California is 0.08%, a point at which your "impairment" is comparable to driving while somewhat tired and less than driving with kids in the car. Thanks, MADD. :p

blake said...

jr--

Should doctors be required to fill out presriptions for drugs? Should pharmacies require prescriptions for drugs that require prescriptions now? Should doctors require licenses?

Should the government mandate such things?

No, no, and hell, no. The current medical crisis has its roots in the AMA's very successful lobbying. My great-grandmother used to cure people's TB--this would be back in the 1910s and 1920s--until officials (at the local medical association's behest) threatened to throw her in jail.

Would licensing and certification boards emerge? Of course, and they'd do a far better job than the AMA and the FDA do.

You guys believe in the free market or not, here?

El Pollo Real said...

"effectively legal" in Holland means decriminalized right? Not legal-legal.

El Pollo Real said...

You guys believe in the free market or not, here?

Blake, I admit that I'm gotten some of my arguments from a licensed pot grower I had dinner with a while ago. I corroborated some views with the brother of another licensed grower.

blake said...

No, they make a profit because there is a market for their product,and buyers willing to pay for the product.

Right, supply and demand.

If it's easier to buy the product more people buy it, hence adding to the profit margins of the producer.

Maybe. Legalization could increase OR decrease demand. What's certain is that if it's easier to sell, the supply goes up and the cost goes down.

When you legalize something you increase it's use.

Not necessarily. The law criminalizing it had to be effective to begin with. I think not many are.

jr565 said...

Blue@9 wrote:
As for demand going up, I think we would see an initial spike as a number of people who have never tried it will give it a go. But the number who become consistent buyers? Probably far less. Pot is very much available now, but it's not all that prevalent in terms of use. Many many people either find the stigma unacceptable or just don't really enjoy it all that much.


Ok, but you said that we should all all intoxicant drugs. So take a physically addicting drug like heroin, which you think should be allowed. If it's physically addicting will the addict increase or decrease his use once he's hooked?

jr565 said...

Blake wrote:
Maybe. Legalization could increase OR decrease demand. What's certain is that if it's easier to sell, the supply goes up and the cost goes down.


But if cost goes down and demand stays the same or goes higher it will only increase sales since those who want to buy something can now buy more of it.
If someone wants to buy something and it's easier to get and cheaper to buy why wouldnt they buy more of it?

Methadras said...

I wonder if California's prop 19 passes, what that will do to hemp gaining in even more popularity as crop. Who will come out against hemp? The paper, rope, textile, and clothing industries? I'd rather see hemp legalized before pot, but looking at the overall track of what has been going on with weed and the outrageous examples of the lengths that law enforcement goes to in order to stop it, from that perspective alone I'm inclined to support Prop 19. However, that still doesn't answer the federal issue of enforcement, which you know they will continue to do on a federal level.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
That makes me suspect that a lot of its popularity in America is CAUSED by prohibition, especially considering that most of that 42% experimentation occurs in high school or college when rebelling against authority is normal behavior.


That's another problem with the legalizing pot argument. Most of the people who might try the product are in high school and/or college. Do you think companies will be allowed to sell drugs like heroin and/or marijuana to 14 year olds? There would most assuredly be restrictions placed on said products. Would the market for pot for kids under the age limit somehow dissapear or would there be a black market for said products?
Or do you think there shouldn't be age requirements for selling highly addictive products (That is assuming of course that you are arguing the absolutist position that people are allowed to ingest whatever drugs they want and thus there should be no limits, as opposed to pot should be illegal but some drugs should still be illegal). And why would you be allowed to sell such products but then tell cigarette companies they couldn't sell cigs to minors or tell doctors they need to give out prescriptions for legal drugs?

blake said...

EPR--

Let me frame this a different way.

We have this thing called "Free Speech". I think most of us here would see that laws governing free speech are for protecting unpopular speech.

Other kinds of speech don't need protection, right?

I would submit that a lot of speech is quite awful, and indeed downright harmful to society. If Karl Marx had been censored? Or Hitler? And their supporters and enablers? Millions of lives could have been saved.

I think recreational drug use is probably on a par with this. Thousands die every year, and millions have been affected. (I say this because I believe that drugs do leave a mark on you.)

And yet, if freedom to pursue happiness is to mean anything, just like freedom of speech, it has to apply to behaviors we do not approve of and behaviors that may be destructive.

Society needs to police these behaviors: Shunning hateful speech and discouraging disgraceful behavior. If society doesn't, the government can't.

And what the government will do when we cede this basic responsibility to it is increase its power, bloat its rolls and make the situation worse.

We have to get out of the mindset that it's the government's job to "make things better".

jr565 said...

Blake wrote:
No, no, and hell, no. The current medical crisis has its roots in the AMA's very successful lobbying. My great-grandmother used to cure people's TB--this would be back in the 1910s and 1920s--until officials (at the local medical association's behest) threatened to throw her in jail.

Would licensing and certification boards emerge? Of course, and they'd do a far better job than the AMA and the FDA do.

You guys believe in the free market or not, here?

Why would the licensiing boards that emerged be different than the AMA and FDA and why assume they would do a better job?What would be different about their licenses than the AMA's?

blake said...

If someone wants to buy something and it's easier to get and cheaper to buy why wouldnt they buy more of it?

It's a consumable. You can only consume so much.

blake said...

Why would the licensiing boards that emerged be different than the AMA and FDA and why assume they would do a better job?What would be different about their licenses than the AMA's?

Seriously?

They wouldn't be able to throw people in jail for starters.

There'd be less interest in controlling the supply of medical professionals for another.

There'd be a serious interest in making sure your licensing and recommendations were accurate, efficient, and that you weren't in bed with those you were claiming to watch.

Also, they wouldn't be able to kill people by denying them access to things.

Just off the top of my head.

Is everyone here a statist?

jr565 said...

Blake wrote:
xThey wouldn't be able to throw people in jail for starters.

There'd be less interest in controlling the supply of medical professionals for another.

if they're going to go so far as require a license they would then need to enforce the rules when people practice without said license.
Otherwise why bother licensing anybody. And what would the penalty be if you operated without a license?

blake said...

if they're going to go so far as require a license they would then need to enforce the rules when people practice without said license.
Otherwise why bother licensing anybody. And what would the penalty be if you operated without a license?


So, you go to the doctor. And on the wall he's got a license. And it's from "Shabby Board That Gives Licenses To Quacks".

But his prices are great!

What do you do?

Well, maybe if you're having a boil lanced, you go ahead and let him do it.

If you're considering heart surgery, on the other hand, you might find someone else.

In other words, the state doesn't interfere with transactions, any more than they would if you buy a watch from a guy in a trenchcoat.

Caveat emptor. Ever hear of it?

This is what kills me. There are plenty of licensed quacks out there. And licenses are taken away because medical boards don't like a person's politics. (I mean that in the broad sense, not in the (R)/(D) sense; I don't know if that happens.)

And plenty of licensed, reputable surgeons will do things like back surgery, which have a 10% success rate (significantly lower than a placebo).

Meanwhile, you have to go to Europe or Mexico to get some things done because they're illegal.

It can be illegal to receive the medical treatment of your choice in this country.

Astonishing.

Not even touching on the usual effects of cartels on an ostensibly free market.

El Pollo Real said...

We have to get out of the mindset that it's the government's job to "make things better"

Blake, I'm just not convinced that Prop 19 will make anything better.

blake said...

Blake, I'm just not convinced that Prop 19 will make anything better.

I haven't read it yet. If it's like every other proposition, they've made hash out of it.

They'll probably manage to make things worse by increasing pot use while simultaneously increasing the state power. That'd be typical.

But as a general principle, this stuff should be none of the state's concern.

jr565 said...

Blake wrote:
So, you go to the doctor. And on the wall he's got a license. And it's from "Shabby Board That Gives Licenses To Quacks".

But his prices are great!

What do you do?

But I don't understand why the organization that replaces the AMA wouldn't also be the shabby board that gives licenses to quacks. What is the criterion for giving out licenses if not to show that you can actually do the job.
And why would the absence of a license mean you weren't a quack. YOu could be a quack, say you can do heart surgery and charge even lower prices than the accredited surgeon and totally have no idea how to do heart surgeries.
Also plenty of unlicensed quacks will also do uncecessary back surgery.
as for countries like Mexico doing procedures that aren't allowed here that can be a good and bad thing. In certain cases it's a good thing. A lot of clinics outside this country in germany and mexico ate more cutting edge with stuff like cancer. But it can work the opposite way. They might do the procedure like the back surgery that won't be done here because it's not necessary or harmful.
Not every procedure is good, so sometimes they should be allowed and sometimes they shouldn't.

blake said...

Not every procedure is good, so sometimes they should be allowed and sometimes they shouldn't.

Exactly. Right now, the state controls this, and it controls it like it does everything else in its demesne: badly.

Wouldn't it be better if individuals could choose for themselves?

In short: Isn't freedom better?

Terrye said...

I was under the impression that pot was legalized in Mexico not so long ago. If so, it does not seem to be slowing down the cartels all that much.

Some people do worry about getting busted and if you make it legal, it will just mean more stoned people out there. I know people think it won't make any difference, but it will. More people driving under the influence etc.

jr565 said...

Blake wrote:
Exactly. Right now, the state controls this, and it controls it like it does everything else in its demesne: badly.

Wouldn't it be better if individuals could choose for themselves?

In short: Isn't freedom better?


Not if the procedure were fraudulent and the person doing the procedure had no clue what he was doing.
When I go to a doctor I'm going there because I assume he knows what he's doing and because I can't personally perform the procedure myself. I don't know how to do heart surgery. So what if the guy I go to is an unscrupulous quack who talks me into a procedure that ends up hurting me, and he doens't even know what he's doing, but I trust him because he says he's an expert.
If the state doesn't control it, and the individuals control it and I'm dealing with an unscrupulous individual then perhaps I'd like some accreditation that this person is who he says he is. For all I know I could sit down expecting to have heart surgery and wake up missing my kidneys.

jr565 said...

Terrye wrote:
ome people do worry about getting busted and if you make it legal, it will just mean more stoned people out there. I know people think it won't make any difference, but it will. More people driving under the influence etc.


A lot of crime is commited by people under the influence of drugs, not because they need to get money for drugs (though that happens too) but because their minds are altered and they get in trouble while under the influence. You increase the amount of people who are under the influence and you increase the number of crimes. Crimes will go up, necessarily. (as will accidents and injuries due to impairment)

Terrye said...

In the course of the last few years I have watched meth wreak havoc in the rural area I live in. I have seen families destroyed, lives ruined, people are being robbed so that some pathetic druggie can go buy this crap. I fail to see how making drugs legal can do anything but make a bad situation worse.

And those same drug cartels who are filling mass graves in Mexico are the people who will probably be supplying a lot of this weed if this becomes legal. They are criminals, they are not going to go away. Back during prohibition there were brewers and other businesses who made liquor, there was an honest to God legal alternative to the bootleggers. This is different.

Youngblood said...

El Pollo Real wrote:

"Is that why Jerry Brown's not backing it?"

Considering the fact that my opinion of Jerry Brown was formed by the song "California Über Alles" and I live on the opposite coast, I'm not sure that I should give a shit what he does or does not support.

Here's what I know:

- According to every estimate I have ever seen, the number of heroin users in the United States numbers well under a million. (The number is around 200,000 according to the 2008 National Survey on Drugs and Health.)

- According to every estimate I have ever seen, the number of regular cocaine users in the United States is somewhere between 1.5 and 3 million. (The number is 1.9 million according to the 2008 National Survey on Drugs and Health.)

- According to every estimate I have ever seen, the number of regular marijuana users in the United States is 15 million people. I have never lived in a neighborhood (including when I lived on post at Fort Bragg) in which it would have been all that difficult for me to score some pot if I wanted it.

Compare the usage figures for those three drugs, and tell me you can't see where the nation's criminal syndicates are making bank.

When I lived in Brooklyn, it was sold at the nearest corner deli. Here in Philly, I went drinking at a regular blue collar bar and before the end of the night I was asked if I wanted some pot.

Someone I know was just nailed for possession in Philly, and the penalty was a $50 fine. The offense won't even go on his record.

Judging from what I have seen in my life, as a society, we are rapidly giving up on prosecuting the possession and use of pot.

This is absolutely fucking perverse if you think about it.

Demand for the drug will not decrease, but because it's illegal, the only people capable of meeting that demand are ruthless killers with their own private armies of thugs.

As a society, we are seeing increasing agreement that pot is no big deal. Yet, for some reason, people want the profits from that industry to go into the pockets of hardened gangsters so they can shoot innocent people in the throat for not showing them the proper respect.

I have no doubt that the nation's criminal syndicates will look for other sources of profit. But what, exactly, will they find that's as profitable as marijuana with its 15 million users? If they can't find a replacement that's as profitable, how are they going to pay their thugs?

Fuck Jerry Brown and whatever he does or doesn't support.

Youngblood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blake said...

So, the only possible accreditation HAS to come from the state, jr?

Welcome to today. And its dead economy. And stagnation. And quacks who are protected by the licenses you trust.

It's always interesting to see how much freedom people decide will be bad.

Youngblood said...

"And those same drug cartels who are filling mass graves in Mexico are the people who will probably be supplying a lot of this weed if this becomes legal."

What do the Mexican cartels (or the ruthless American growers) bring to the table that Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds don't? Why would people continue to buy pot from thugs at a premium when they could get it more cheaply and safely elsewhere?

After Prohibition ended, did people continue drinking bathtub gin, paying gangsters like Al Capone a premium for smuggling whiskey into the country, or buying booze from moonshiners?

Youngblood said...

Blake wrote:

"It's always interesting to see how much freedom people decide will be bad."

Well, pterodactyls are involved, you see? That changes the whole equation.

Which is why, like Ben Franklin before me, I say, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety from pterodactyls (or pteranodons), deserve neither liberty nor safety from prehistoric flying creatures."

Revenant said...

It's stupid to think that a criminal organization that is making profits from selling a product despite police interference making said sales difficult, but somehow couldn't make a profit without the police intruding on their business.

That would, indeed, be a stupid thing to claim. Which is why nobody's claimed it.

They could simply use their billions and buy a front company, then use their existing farms to sell their product. They already have the resources and infrastructure, they would just change their business model. You would simply cease calling their enterprise criminal.

In the scenario you describe they would cease BEING criminal -- no more smuggling, no more mass murder, no more widespread bribery of cops, etc.

Stop and think for a second. You're saying that if marijuana was legalized, the people selling it now would keep selling it. They would just... stop murdering people, start paying taxes, and become normal businessmen. I said legalization would reduce the wealth and power of criminal gangs. Your rebuttal to this is that they could keep getting rich, they'd just quit being criminal gangs. Uh... ok. Good point?

Revenant said...

If it's easier to buy the product more people buy it, hence adding to the profit margins of the producer.

You're quite wrong about that. The easier it is for people to buy a product, the more gets added to the profit margins of the producer... IF he has a monopoly on the product. But what if he doesn't?

Consider, for example, celery. Insanely easy to get -- it is sold in every supermarket. Anybody can nip right out and buy some at the drop of a hat. But is celery profitable? Hell no. The profit margin on sales of celery is around 2%. Why? Competition! Any idiot can grow it, and any idiot can sell it.

Marijuana is so easy to grow that, as I pointed out, consumers can easily grow their own supply with minimal effort -- much less effort than it takes to grow your own celery. Good luck turning a significant profit on that if it isn't illegal. It'll be just another marginal agricultural product produced by agricorps.

sunsong said...

Something is just not getting through to the lovers of big government here. Pot is already illegal and it is being smoked at will.

Big government types - whether left or right are usually also arrogant and self-righteous. They think that they have a corner on Truth and because of that - that they should run everyone's lives for them. They are Nanny-staters.

The Nanny-staters here have offered no evidence whatsoever that smoking pot causes anyone more harm that drinking alcohol (which is legal for adults). In fact, where is the evidence of deaths and accidents caused by stoners? Where is the evidence of addiction? Where is the evidence that stoners are more likely to be violent or belligerant?

This is one state voting on legalizing pot - nothing else.

Milwaukie guy said...

If we let the people decide, at some point we will be able to rename the ATF into the ATP. Good luck getting a pro-meth or pro-coke prohibition repeal.

It would be sensible because it would free up a lot of government resources for cracking down on hard drugs and it would disrupt the illegal drug business and put marijuana on a regulatory schedule like alcohol and tobacco.

The mass market would probably be dominated by large companies, well-taxed and regulated but also there would be home self-sufficiency [or commune] and bartering just like with home-brewed beer or wine.

Breaking the profit chain in pot for gangs will also reduce access for minors and even allow police to focus greater attention on this, just as they do with underage alcohol use.

wv: tedia: heh.

Pastafarian said...

OK, I’m back; did I miss anything?

I regained consciousness lying naked in my front yard, next to a dead goat, and holding what appear to be a half-dozen human adrenal glands in one hand, and a frightened and confused toad in the other. I might have to lay off that toluene diisocyanate for a while. That stuff packs a whollop.

But seriously: Blake, I respect your intellectual honesty and your philosophical consistency. You’re in favor of both absolute drug legalization and the legalization of my line of cast lead chew toys for teething toddlers. I don’t think that anyone could be in favor of just one and remain logically consistent.

Unfortunately, as consistent as this is, it’s also pretty fucking hardcore. There’s something about the idea of hundreds of thousands of lead-poisoned babies that gives me pause. I guess I’m a bleeding-heart candy-ass liberal, beneath all backhair, the loincloth, and the cheap black nylon holsters containing crude blow-back operated 9mm semiautomatic handguns.

But that legalizing lead chew toys, and then letting the free market and the courts sort out the mayhem and ruined lives…that’s a little crazy, dude. I’m wondering if you have quotes from Ayn Rand tattooed on your nether regions.

Youngblood, unless you too embrace the crazy of lead chew toys, then I’m inclined to accuse you of an inconsistency that leads me to believe that you favor legalization of some dangerous products but not others because you like some better than others. That’s a little like if I was in favor of legalizing blues music, but only blues music, because I dislike country and pop.

Revenant, I’m not sure where you, and other commenters, get the ideas that marijuana is perfectly safe, non-addictive, has no long-term negative side effects, cures male-pattern baldness and irritable bowel syndrome, and is an important part of a good breakfast.

Unless someone’s whispering sweet nothings in your ear…a certain seductress we’ll call Mary Jane.

But seriously: I know it’s just anecdotal, but every serious pot smoker I’ve ever known has had no ambition, maddening passivity, and low IQ; and I’ve known a couple of people before they smoked, and after, and I’ve seen a change in their personality over time, and not for the better. I don’t think we should be doing anything to encourage more of this. Of course, you’re right, legalizing will drive price down; but this will certainly make more people smoke, and will make people who smoke, smoke more.

El Pollo Real said...

This is one state voting on legalizing pot - nothing else.

Hey, I'm not the one making it a national crusade, or writing about on a blog from clear across the country.

Just sayin'

And like I said earlier, I'm fine with decriminalization. You took the bait for wanting legitimacy, for wanting equivalency with alcohol, for wanting respect when all you offer is an it's "no worse than anything else argument."

Sheesh

jr565 said...

Sunsong wrote:

Something is just not getting through to the lovers of big government here. Pot is already illegal and it is being smoked at will.

Big government types - whether left or right are usually also arrogant and self-righteous. They think that they have a corner on Truth and because of that - that they should run everyone's lives for them. They are Nanny-staters.


People also use meth, coke, heroin despite the fact that it's illegal. Is it nanny satism to criminalize any of it?

Pastafarian said...

jr565 is right about that, Sunsong: If you're in for a penny then you're in for a pound.

Unless you think that marijuana isn't harmful or addictive at all.

Pastafarian said...

"Amotivational syndrome" is what researchers call it: Diminished or absent drive to engage in typically rewarding activities.

Like getting up out of bed and getting a fucking job.

Goddamned hippies.

blake said...

Unfortunately, as consistent as this is, it’s also pretty fucking hardcore. There’s something about the idea of hundreds of thousands of lead-poisoned babies that gives me pause. I guess I’m a bleeding-heart candy-ass liberal, beneath all backhair, the loincloth, and the cheap black nylon holsters containing crude blow-back operated 9mm semiautomatic handguns.

Nope, you're just a statist. Shocks the hell out of me, as I figured you for more a libertarian type.

Apparently, it's only the state that stands between us and being so stupid as to buy deadly poisonous toys for our children, and to stick deadly objects in our various orifices.

Welcome to the left, dude!

And you're not being consistent, by the way, if you're not also for the government regulating tobacco, fast food (by way of eliminating that addictive and dangerous stuff), or any substance that might--in the state's view--cause harm.

jr565 said...

Blake wrote:

Apparently, it's only the state that stands between us and being so stupid as to buy deadly poisonous toys for our children, and to stick deadly objects in our various orifices.

People buy toys filled with lead all the time. Because some countries industries have no safety standards and they have no problems using unsafe materials to save a buck.
I don't have equipment at home that tests toys for lead, I naturally assume that what I buy will be safe to use. If there were unscrupulous pot growers that laced their pot with angel dust or something to get me addicted, or to cut the costs, I wouldn't know it because I don't have equipment that can take apart he joint and examine each leaf to see whether it's pot or something else. Under your world, businesses could sell you poison and you wouldn't really have much of a recourse except get sick and die.

Welcome to the left, dude!

And you're not being consistent, by the way, if you're not also for the government regulating tobacco, fast food (by way of eliminating that addictive and dangerous stuff), or any substance that might--in the state's view--cause harm.


In the case of food, there are some foods that are harmful, but food is not addicting. And food is a requirement for living. If you cook meat you will get some fat. Over the course of your lifetime you may get diabetes or be overweight due to a lifetime of eating burgers, but eating that one burger is not going to kill you by itself. Compare that to heroin where you get hooked on it and become a junkie. And if you get off of it you have to get on methadone or you might die from the pain. Comparing a mcdonald's hamburger to a physical addiction is ludicrous. Someone who sells a product like heroin has in his power to enslave a person and get them hooked on a product that is extremely hard to get off of, that totally messes with their brain chemistry, may lead to diseases due to sharing needles and turns someone into a literal zombie.
Why should someone be allowed to sell a product like that and not even have it regulated. But if govt decides to legalize it, they'd have to regulate it like they do every other business. Unless heroin should have special rules whereby heroin pushers could make people junkies and sell a product that is so harmful, meanwhile Merck has to spend billions of dollars jumping through hoops to put out a product that is safe for consumption.
Though you probalby think Merck shouldn't have to do any trials at all and can simply market whatever they want with no oversight whatsoever.

jr565 said...

This reminds me of the whole security versus liberty argument after 9/11. Namely some absolutist qoutes Ben Franklin and says "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither" in the context of increased screenings at airports.
The problem with that whole argument is that prior to 9/11 if I wanted to get on a flight I had to walk through a metal detector anyway. Having me take off my shoes is somehow the death of all liberty whereas the walking through the metal detector was perfectly ok and not a destruction of my liberty. And is that absolute even logical. He who sacrifices security on the pretense that he's giving up freedom may just end up getting shot. We have doors with locks, we have fences,I want SOME level of security at an airport, otherwise why not just let terrorists walk on and kill people.
Having this absolutist mentality is just not dealing with the real world.
Same thing with deregulation. I'm for deregulation of businesses because having less regulations means smoother business. But that never meant NO regulation whatsoever. I would think Bloomberg was going overboard by banning transfats at all restaurants, or making it impossible to smoke cigarettes any where near anybody. But by the same token, I would hope that somebody is inspecting meat on its way to McDonald's so that people arent dropping dead of salmonella.

Hector Owen said...

Give 'em heck, Blake.

The world must have been a dreadful place before all this drug prohibition got started, shortly before WW I. (Harrison Narcotics Act, 1914.) All those addicts buying their Bayer heroin in the drugstore were an awful menace. Poets like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, dreaming of Xanadu while under the influence of laudanum (tincture of opium). The grandmothers who had their patent medicines with coca and opium were downright dangerous, mugging people on the streets to pay for their next order from the Sears catalog. And nobody had the motivation to invent anything, or even to get out of bed.

jr -- I daresay that McDonald's looks at their beef more closely than the USDA does. (That's the "someone" you were hoping was inspecting the meat, yes?) This video on McD's site shows all the steps in making the beef patties.

McD's has a business interest in avoiding having their customers getting sick from their products.

Revenant said...

Revenant, I’m not sure where you, and other commenters, get the ideas that marijuana is perfectly safe, non-addictive has no long-term negative side effects, cures male-pattern baldness and irritable bowel syndrome, and is an important part of a good breakfast.

You bore me. I don't think I'll deign to address your straw man argument.

Revenant said...

This reminds me of the whole security versus liberty argument after 9/11.

It reminds me of that, too.

Back then you had dolts insisting that if we granted the government any additional powers to fight terrorism, no matter how limited, we were placing ourselves on an inescapable slippery slope to full-blown fascism.

Now we have dolts insisting that it is impossible to legalize marijuana without making all forms of drug use completely legal and unrestricted.

The only change is the political alignment of the dolts in question.

jr565 said...

Speaking of Coleridge here is Coleridge on his addictions:
In exact proportion, as I loved any person or persons more than others, & would have sacrificed my life to them, were they sure to be the most barbarously mistreated by silence, absence, or breach of promise. What Crime is there scarcely which has not been included in or followed from the one guilt of taking opium? Not to speak of ingratitude to my maker for the wasted Talents; of ingratitude to so many friends who have loved me I know not why; of barbarous neglect of my family … I have in this one dirty business of Laudanum an hundred times deceived, tricked, nay, actually & consciously LIED. – And yet all these vices are so opposite to my nature, that but for the free-agency-annihilating Poison, I verily believe that I should have suffered myself to be cut in pieces rather than have committed any one of them.


He was addict for much of his life, and while he may have dreamed of Xanadu his addictions also led to his being enslaved to his vice.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
Back then you had dolts insisting that if we granted the government any additional powers to fight terrorism, no matter how limited, we were placing ourselves on an inescapable slippery slope to full-blown fascism.


That's not what I Said. THat was the absolutist liberatarian and liberal position (both arguing the same thing for different reasons). I'm perfectly willing to accept that some safeguards are necessary when you are trying to protect this country or keep terrorists off airplanes.

Now we have dolts insisting that it is impossible to legalize marijuana without making all forms of drug use completely legal and unrestricted.

The only change is the political alignment of the dolts in question.

Except the vast majority of those arguing the point on this board are arguing an absolute position that not only pot, but all drugs should be legalized and unregulated because people have an absolute right to ingest what they want. Which is why I asked if YOU were arguing that or simply arguing that pot, unlike say meth, should be legalized because of x,y,z, but that some drugs should be regulated or illegal because they are too harmful to be legalized.

Youngblood said...

"Youngblood, unless you too embrace the crazy of lead chew toys, then I’m inclined to accuse you of an inconsistency that leads me to believe that you favor legalization of some dangerous products but not others because you like some better than others."

Oh, please.

My argument has been that the prohibition against marijuana would reduce the power of massive nationwide and international criminal syndicates by undermining their finances.

When there are massive nationwide and international criminal syndicates that derive a significant chunk of their funding from the illicit trade in lead chew toys and, after 73 years of federal prohibition, the use of lead chew toys has increased by 4000%, then your bullshit analogy would hold water.

Meanwhile, alcohol is a highly dangerous substance. Not only can it lead directly to alcohol poisoning (which results in something like 50,000 hospitalizations each year and a small number of deaths), it is also a contributing factor in lots of accidental injuries and deaths.

I'm too lazy to check right now, but if I remember correctly, alcohol is a factor in something like 40% of all traffic accidents and falling accidents, and a significant percentage of accidental drownings as well.

There is a strong correlation between alcohol use and all types of violent crime, from assault all the way up to rape and murder.

On top of that, you have the physical and psychological addiction to alcohol, as well as the impact of continued alcohol abuse over time (cirrhosis of the liver being particularly notable).

Given the massive amount of evidence out there that alcohol is far from harmless and less dangerous in quantifiable ways than alcohol (there's no such thing as "cannabis poisoning", for example), I'm surprised that you've been defending its legalization rather than attacking it!

With that being said, unless you embrace the legalization of marijuana, I'm inclined to accuse you of an inconsistency that leads me to believe that you're talking out of your ass.

jr565 said...

Youngblood, if all that is true about alcohol, why add more drugs to the mix that are easy to accces and that will only add more crime, and more social upheaval than already exist under alcohol.
Do you want traffic accidents caused by drugs to rise to 50%?

Revenant said...

Which is why I asked if YOU were arguing that or simply arguing that pot, unlike say meth, should be legalized because of x,y,z, but that some drugs should be regulated or illegal because they are too harmful to be legalized.

I got involved in this conversation because prohibitionists (El Pollo Real, specifically) were claiming that legalizing marijuana makes no sense unless you legalize the other drugs. Legalizing marijuana is an entirely good idea regardless of whether or not legalizing other drugs is a good idea.

That being said -- do I think it should be legal to take any and all drugs a person feels like taking? Absolutely. I believe in human freedom and personal responsibility. I do not believe in the nanny state. That's why I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican.

Revenant said...

Youngblood, if all that is true about alcohol, why add more drugs to the mix that are easy to accces and that will only add more crime, and more social upheaval than already exist under alcohol.

When you say "add more crime", do you mean on top of the thousands of murders, tens of thousands of assaults, and hundreds of thousands of robberies the war on drugs causes each year?

Or do you mean "add more crime" in the sense of "my god, literally *dozens* of people will be killed in pot-related car accidents if we legalize the stuff"?

John0 Juanderlust said...

Ignorance abounds on the subject.

Aside from that, why has it ever been the business of any government, especially on the federal level, to tell an adult what he may or may not grow in his yard or ingest while not bother the right of others to do or not do what they choose?

It has nothing to do with pros and cons of the plant itself.

On the east coast, it used to be common knowledge that the best dope to be had was in DC. "The stuff they smoke in Congress!!". seriously, that was a selling point.

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