December 16, 2014

"Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana."

"Now the fight moves on to legalization of all marijuana... This is the strongest signal we have received from Congress [that] the politics have really shifted.... Congress has been slow to catch up with the states and American people, but it is catching up."

48 comments:

Daniel Richwine said...

Activism is always an interesting study. I like to look back at how we go from point A to point Z, and pot is a pretty good case study.

Original Mike said...

Baby steps. Better than nothing (which, of course, is a high bar).

sparrow said...

incremental barbarism

Revenant said...

incremental barbarism

Barbarism is locking people up for inhaling smoke. :)

Gahrie said...

Prohibition never works, and the attempt to enforce it makes us all less free.

Lauderdale Vet said...

The War on Drugs and the War on Poverty haven't been very effective. One could argue they've done a great deal of additional damage.

Not unlike the War on Alcohol.

madAsHell said...

I stoned my way through college, but that doesn't mean it was a good idea.

Now, we have legal marijuana here in Washington, and the fall-out has been an increasing number of home invasions at suspected grow locations. Just like the police, the invaders frequently hit the wrong house.

mikesixes said...

Sincere question: what is the constitutional basis for federal drug laws?

Gabriel said...

This is the way same-sex marriage should have been done.

Gabriel said...

@mikesixes:what is the constitutional basis for federal drug laws?

Interstate commerce is always the answer to anything not spelled out in the three articles.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

mikesixes,

Sincere question: what is the constitutional basis for federal drug laws?

I think it was once interstate commerce, though Raich pretty well did that in.

lgv said...

"I stoned my way through college, but that doesn't mean it was a good idea. "

No, but I'd prefer you weren't jailed for possession, along with the person you bought it from.

Sometimes baby steps really are a good way to get to a destination. I would have reduced the penalty to the equivalent of a parking ticket with no jail time. Then once we realized society wasn't going to break down, take the next step.

Unknown said...

Why should legalization of marijuana for medical purposes necessarily signal a move to its legalization for recreational purposes. Isn't that like saying since morphine is legal (for medical purposes) that recreational heroin use is inevitable? Of course, the FDA does recognize morphine, but unless it's changed the drug schedule, that agency still insists that marijuana has no medicinal value.

garage mahal said...

Good news, although it does nothing for states like Wisconsin that have no medical pot laws on the books.

JSD said...

Never in Texas. No weed, no casinos, not ever. Both of these measures could pass on popular vote, but have no chance in the legislature. Texas has some great things, but the Talibaptist Republicans are not one of them.

BTW, there is one casino in Texas. The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass.

Anonymous said...

The article linked to has almost zero details.

It's hard to argue, as the article does, that law makers are changing their opinion on Marijuana laws. Do we really know that they voted for this 1600+ pages of legislation because of whatever might have been written therein (We don't know what was written, because the article doesn't bother to quote the text) or in spite of what was written?

Here is what I think is going to happen, and no one is going to be happy.

Eventually, politicians will make medical marijuana legal just like codeine is legal. It'll become a prescription drug, subject to FDA regulations.

Smoking a joint? That won't be legal, is my guess. It'll be pill form, or a shot, or something like we always see with legit medical drugs. And the high? Probably will be minimal or not there at all.

Regardless, I have no way to judge what was passed by congress because I don't trust the LA Times, or any journalist to give me the facts correctly.

garage mahal said...

Never in Texas. No weed, no casinos, not ever. Both of these measures could pass on popular vote, but have no chance in the legislature. Texas has some great things, but the Talibaptist Republicans are not one of them.

It will be a solid decade before our legislature would even consider medical pot. All the authoritarian and none of the libertarian.

viator said...

I expect the health issues of marijuana are somewhat worse than tobacco. Certainly choom is as carcinogenic and probably equals tobacco regarding COPD. The jury's out as far as heart trouble but that also seems likely. Also, have you ever met a pothead? So we laud one and stigmatize the other. You have to wonder.

Chef Mojo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chef Mojo said...

[loads a bud tip of a particularly potent strain bred for pain and nausea into a state of the art portable vaporizer. Hits the "on" switch.]

Kewl. Most excellent.

When I was in a clinical trial at NIH this past summer, it was interesting to see the attitude by the docs and nurse practitioners towards the ganj. I wasquestioned extensively about my life and personal habits, and I was very open about it. Not a one had a problem with my taking cannibis. In fact, they admitted that at least


80% of the patients participating in the trials ingested cannibis in one form or another. Their main problem was trying steering patients away from smoking weed. See, that could cause cancer [cough]. Rather, they preferred, at the very least, that you use a bong as opposed to a pipe or spliff. Next thing I knew, I'm online at a workstation showing one of the finest oncological research teams on the face of the Earth the wonders of vape technology.

I think I left an impression on them.

JSD said...

I smoked a lot of pot in the 70’s. I still like it, but in the same way I like bourbon; moderation. I tried prescript marijuana in Maine last summer. It was way beyond anything I have ever encountered. Too much. I have reservations about it becoming a consumer product without serious regulations. I know exactly how much alcohol is in my bourbon. With this weed, there’s no way of knowing.

Revenant said...

It looks like the LA Times may have oversold what the change in the law actually means.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Kochs are social liberals.

retired said...

As long as my kid doesn't smoke the dope, his brain and motivation will be far ahead of his peers who smoke it like crazy. I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their speech. Like my nephew with his UC Santa Cruz degree, unemployed and living with his mom.

Revenant said...

Like my nephew with his UC Santa Cruz degree, unemployed and living with his mom.

I like how people say "if you abuse [recreational drug] constantly, it will make it harder for you to succeed" like they've discovered something new. As opposed to something humanity's known about since, oh, sometime before the invention of the written word, and which is completely unrelated to the question of whether prohibiting recreational drugs actually works.

garage mahal said...

@Chef Mojo

Did you partake before your medical setback? (I have, on and off, for a long time)

madAsHell said...

No, but I'd prefer you weren't jailed for possession, along with the person you bought it from.

I didn't buy it. I didn't have money. I grew it.

Furthermore, I never had enough to interest the police.

madAsHell said...

With this weed, there’s no way of knowing.

Yes, it ain't the paraquat pot we were smoking in the 70's.

retired said...

"...and which is completely unrelated to the question of whether prohibiting recreational drugs actually works."

My point is hardly anyone smoked it until the culture started condoning and glorifying it. Now it's on its way to be the next tobacco and alcohol and we are going to further condone and glorify it under they myth of medical marijuana. (even europe doesn't advocate medical marijuana) My nephew gets his dope with his medical dope card and his real ailments go untreated. But the football colors looks really great on the new TV
Well the horse is out of the barn and we won't know the further damage dope will do once it is fully legalized.

Revenant said...

Yes, it ain't the paraquat pot we were smoking in the 70's

Let me see if I'm following the logic.

When I was in college, 25 years ago, I used to drink cheap beer like Coors Light. I could drink multiple beers without really feeling intoxicated.

Recently, I tried drinking a full glass of Grey Goose vodka and found myself seriously buzzed.

I'm shocked that people want alcohol to be legal. It is so much stronger and more dangerous than it was a generation ago.

Revenant said...

My point is hardly anyone smoked it until the culture started condoning and glorifying it.

You have that exactly backwards. The culture didn't start condoning it (it has never been "glorified") until a lot of people had tried it and realized that wasn't that bad.

As recently as 1992 -- well after use because as common as it is today -- Presidential candidates were still having to issue half-assed denials of having ever tried it.

Freeman Hunt said...

When I was in Los Angeles over Thanksgiving, there was no sign that marijuana was illegal. On a single walk to a pizza place, there were multiple people smoking it openly on the sidewalk of Sunset Boulevard.

retired said...

How much do you let your kids smoke?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

JSD said Never in Texas. No weed, no casinos, not ever.

No, but Ann Richards did give us the State Lottery. Used to be I'd get heavily solicited every time I bought gas for the car. "Need any lottery tickets today?"

On the counter there would be a stack of publicity screeds for the Lottery "The Winner's Journal" or some such.

I'd always answer "No, man, I'm not into gambling. My Dad mortgaged the house and lost it all on gambling. Made a mess of the family.

"I'm hoping the next Democratic governor will get us cocaine or whorehouses, something I can use.

"And, hey, you have any of those "Looser's Journals" with pictures of the folks who bought loosing tickets?"

Original Mike said...

" I know exactly how much alcohol is in my bourbon. With this weed, there’s no way of knowing."

Of course there is; in fact, it's easy. Take a toke.

garage mahal said...

"Wolverines will take down a grizzly bear!" is like "the pot nowadays will kill a rhinoceros! It ain't like the 60s man!"

Both are just horseshit assertions. A grizzly bear can rip the door clean off any vehicle right from hinges, for one thing.

Michael said...

The pot of the 70s was ruined by the government's decision to spray paraquat on the Mexican crops. The dope that made one convivial and prone to hysterical laughter was replaced by high grade replacement dope provided by market forces in collusion with superior botanists and Northern California climate. The resultant product rendered one stupefied. Thus the stoners of the 70s for the most part moved on to coke or bourbon and were replaced by the stoners of the 80s and of the present. Brain damaged, dull, witless and paranoid.

Titus said...

Stick to Arkansas and you will never encounter anything other than rednecks.

I love the scene in the movie with Sacha Baren Cohen when the rednecks were about to killl the fag-so southen and gross.

I would travel to Tehran before I would ever travel to Little Rock.

Freeman Hunt said...

I would travel to Tehran before I would ever travel to Little Rock.

I wouldn't travel to Little Rock either, but I wouldn't pick Tehran over it.

Titus, you post about Arkansas more than any other Althouse commenter, including all of the commenters who live here, probably more than all of the commenters who live here combined. Arkansas looms large in the Titus mind. If you email me your address, I will send you a hog hat.

Growing up, half of my extended family lived in and around Boston. I associate Boston with visiting colleges, Christian Science, family reunions, lobster boils, and the Boston Marathon.

chickelit said...

Not to be a buzzkill, but is there any research on what causes feelings of paranoia among some pot users?

chickelit said...

@Freeman: Titus has long been obsessed with hating "The South." It's a shtick.

Freeman Hunt said...

Chickelit, I think Titus is a natural Razorback. "Go Hogs!"

Anonymous said...

@JSD Edibles list THC on the side and yet are considered harder to gauge due to the vague rues of the digestive system. Safe bet is "A LOT" for estimated content. Now there is cannibas wax which is estimated at 80% THC. You'd be much better off with regular weed if intensity is a concern.

Anonymous said...

Vague rues= vagaries (autocorrect.)

Mike said...

garage mahal: It will be a solid decade before our legislature would even consider medical pot. All the authoritarian and none of the libertarian.

So your chicken-shit democrappy legislature could have done that before they were replaced by republicans. Kinda like the congresscritters in 2009 could have done immigration. But no, democraps always have other priorities when they're in power. And then all you yahoos flap your gums about how the current legislature won't do what you want.

Boo freaking hoo!

mikee said...

I gleefully look forward to the day when the current decriminalization of use finally swings to taxation for nonuse, the day we shall all be taxed out the wazoo if we don't use a soporific drug daily. Paid for via Obamacare, of course, which we are taxed for if we don't take now.

Maybe it could be called Soma, or something like that.

jr565 said...

So, now that there Is no longer a ban on medical marijuana it needs to go through countrless trials before it can be approved for medicinal use. and if any suffers deleterious effects the sellers should be sued. Just like the drug companies.

jr565 said...

Taking drugs and selling drugs are two different things. if you mix up some crack in your basement and smoke it, then you are doing an action that only effects yourself. If you sell that crack to other people you are turning them into crack fiends for your profit.
Whole communities were destroyed by crack. Which led to countless other crimes and social upheaval along the way. It wasn't that it was illegal that led to those crimes.
If crack were legal poor people would still need to get money to buy crack. If they don't have it and are base heads?