The Case For Legalizing Marijuana

This was a topic that seemed to really cause a stir a week or so ago when it was brought up. It seems that there are many who would stand in the way of legalizing marijuana, in fact there were more comments saying so on this site than I would have expected. During those discussions, I kind of kept myself clear, not getting into the debates too heavily. I did so because I knew from the reactions that I was going to write an article about this. Tonight I offer that article. It appears that there are many myths and false statements around this debate. Further, it appears that I have unwittingly struck yet another topic where folks that otherwise seem to espouse freedom fall in the realm of contradiction. I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago stating that many people do not really want freedom. I think this is one of those topics that show exactly that sentiment. There sure is a lot of demand that people conform to someone else’s standards on this topic. So let’s take a closer look. AND TAKE NOTE THAT THERE IS A NEW POLL OVER THERE ON THE LEFT ON THIS SUBJECT!

Allow me to be clear on where I stand right up front. I support the legalization of Marijuana in the United States of America. I do not smoke Marijuana. I have not touched the drug since 1986. I do not use illegal drugs of any sort. I do not drink alcohol. In other words, I am a completely drug free person, and have been for a very long time. So I do not fit legalization opponent’s version of the users who simple want to be able to use more freely. I support legalization because I do not think that the drug poses a significant danger to those who use it or those around them. More important, I support legalization because I believe in the individual freedom to do what you want to your own body. I do not have the right to tell you that you cannot get a tattoo, cut yourself to relieve stress, drink to excess, take massive amounts of narcotics under a doctor’s prescription, eat far too much unhealthy food, or blow your head off with a shotgun. So why would I have a right to tell you that you cannot smoke a little weed now and then?

So how did we get to where we are in terms of legislation? It might surprise you to know the truth. During the early 1900s many states began to make the use of cannabis illegal. Hemp was being used for many things such as rope and industrial uses. It was also being prescribed by physicians and sold openly in drug stores. This really began to change with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. The Act did not itself criminalize the possession or usage of hemp, marijuana, or cannabis, but levied a tax equaling roughly one dollar on anyone who dealt commercially in cannabis, hemp, or marijuana. There was a ton of faulty testimony during the debate on this legislation. Some testimonies included that cannabis caused “murder, insanity and death”. The American Medical Association protested the law because it affected medical use, and further because they were not finding that the claims about marijuana were true. Keep in mind that for the majority of the first half of the century, marijuana was generally believed to be a narcotic, on the same levels as cocaine and opium.

Eventually, the Supreme Court, in 1969, ruled the MTA of 1937 unconstitutional, and Congress responded by passing the Controlled Substances Act as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, which repealed the Marihuana Tax Act. However, legislation in the 1950′s made selling or distribution of hemp materials carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 2-10 years and $20k. Then Nixon formed the DEA, the Supreme Court deemed it reasonable to give a hemp dealer 20 years, Reagan offered the War on Drugs and the three strike rule. Those are some quick highlights of legislation around marijuana, as it would take an entire article to cover it all. But if there is a point to be made here, it is this: Marijuana was made illegal in the first place by the use of false claims about its effects, make-up, and dependency rates. And I personally don’t believe that it was because people were simply uninformed. Hearst, DuPont, and other industrial powers of the time needed hemp criminalized in order to allow wood pulp paper and other factors to come to the forefront. As we all know, hemp is a very versatile product, and it was in direct conflict with some very powerful and politically connected men of the time.

Legal history of cannabis in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But now that you have a quick history of cannabis law under your belt, you can forget it in terms of the argument today, because it really doesn’t factor in. We are where we are in terms of what the laws say, regardless of what crooked or flawed ways got us here. So let’s look at some of the facts around the claims. First I offer some myths and facts from one of the official legalization sites out there:

Myth: Smoking marijuana can cause cancer and serious lung damage.
Fact:
There chance of contracting cancer from smoking marijuana is minuscule. Tobacco smokers typically smoke 20+ cigarettes every day for decades, but virtually nobody smokes marijuana in the quantity and frequency required to cause cancer. A 1997 UCLA study (see page 9) concluded that even prolonged and heavy marijuana smoking causes no serious lung damage. Cancer risks from common foods (meat, salt, dairy products) far exceed any cancer risk posed by smoking marijuana. Respiratory health hazards and cancer risks can be totally eliminated by ingesting marijuana in baked foods.

Myth: Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, thus proving that marijuana is dangerous.
Fact:
Coffee contains 1,500 chemicals. Rat poison contains only 30 chemicals. Many vegetables contain cancer-causing chemicals. There is no correlation between the number of chemicals a substance contains and its toxicity. Prohibitionists often cite this misleading statistic to make marijuana appear dangerous.

Myth: Marijuana is a gateway drug–it leads to harder drugs.
Fact:
The U.S. government’s own statistics show that over 75 percent of all Americans who use marijuana never use harder drugs. The gateway-drug theory is derived by using blatantly-flawed logic. Using such blatantly-flawed logic, alcohol should be considered the gateway drug because most cocaine and heroin addicts began their drug use with beer or wine–not marijuana.

Myth: Marijuana is addicting.
Fact:
Marijuana is not physically addicting. Medical studies rank marijuana as less habit forming than caffeine. The legal drugs of tobacco (nicotine) and alcohol can be as addicting as heroin or cocaine, but marijuana is one of the least habit forming substances known.

Myth: Marijuana use impairs learning ability.
Fact:
A 1996 U.S. government study claims that heavy marijuana use may impair learning ability. The key words are heavy use and may. This claim is based on studying people who use marijuana daily–a sample that represents less than 1 percent of all marijuana users. This study concluded: 1) Learning impairments cited were subtle, minimal, and may be temporary. In other words, there is little evidence that such learning impairments even exist. 2) Long-term memory was not affected by heavy marijuana use. 3) Casual marijuana users showed no signs of impaired learning. 4) Heavy alcohol use was cited as being more detrimental to the thought and learning process than heavy marijuana use.

Marijuana Myths

And would it surprise you to know that many of these common myths are not being spread by those who are simply ignorant to the truth? No sir, they are being spread by the government itself, which apparently completely ignores the multitudes of studies that completely debunk their claims. Take for example the article linked below, written by Karen Tandy, the administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. She actually claims that marijuana is the most addictive drug, when all studies have found that marijuana has zero physical addiction capability, leaving only “mental addiction”. In other words, it is as addictive as FreeCell, Mafia Wars, Chocolate, and Bananas Foster (the hands down best dessert ever created. Visit the Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans and you will be forever addicted to it).

Marijuana: The Myths Are Killing Us

Another line of thought from a Professor of Pharmacology, Dr. John Morgan, co-author of a book titled, “Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts”, comes from the perspective that even if all of his research is wrong, and marijuana was found to be harmful, that this would be a more compelling reason to legalize rather than not legalize. This 4 minute video covers the subject from his perspective:

Alright, enough of the “expert opinions” and all of that. I have offered up roughly 1000 words that discuss how we got here and where we are. Now I offer my personal opinions and thoughts.

It must be remembered that first and foremost I support legalization because doing so is in line with my belief that we are born as free men and women. Unless you can prove demonstrable harm to you caused by someone else smoking marijuana, then you have absolutely no right what-so-ever to tell people that they cannot do so. Realistically, I could end the entire debate with that single thing. Freedom and liberty dictate that I have every right to use marijuana if I want to, whether it is harmful to me or not, so long as I do not harm anyone else. Period. End of story. If you believe anything else other than this, then I submit that you do not support the core principle of freedom.

So I could stop right there and have said what really matters to me, but you all know that I am going to say more. I always do…

Just as the claims that we must restrict people’s diets, curb dangerous activities, and in any other way take away liberty, I reject the claim that society has a right to force me to be healthy. Society only believes this to be true because of the non-freedom concept of society somehow being forced to deal with the repercussions of my actions. Nationalized health care is an example. When you allow others to force society to pay for health care, you set up a system that allows others to dictate what you must do for your health. This is the primary reason I oppose health care legislation as we have seen it. But that is another article for another day.

Our legal systems have been overwhelmed with marijuana arrests and prosecutions. Estimates are that over a billion taxpayer dollars a year are spent just on the incarceration of those sentenced for crimes around marijuana. This doesn’t include police actions, court systems, or any other costs associated with the war on drugs around marijuana. There are more arrests every year for marijuana than for all violent crimes combined in the United States:

US Arrests
Year Total Arrests Total Drug Arrests Total Marijuana Arrests Marijuana Trafficking/ Sale Arrests Marijuana Possession Arrests Total Violent Crime Arrests Total Property Crime Arrests
2008 14,005,615 1,702,537 847,863 93,640 754,224 594,911 1,687,345
2007 14,209,365 1,841,182 872,720 97,583 775,137 597,447 1,610,088
2006 14,380,370 1,889,810 829,627 90,711 738,916 611,523 1,540,297
2005 14,094,186 1,846,351 786,545 90,471 696,074 603,503 1,609,327
2004 14,004,327 1,745,712 771,605 87,286 684,319 590,258 1,649,825
2003 13,639,479 1,678,192 755,186 92,300 662,886 597,026 1,605,127
2002 13,741,438 1,538,813 697,082 83,096 613,986 620,510 1,613,954
2001 13,699,254 1,586,902 723,628 82,519 641,109 627,132 1,618,465
2000 13,980,297 1,579,566 734,497 88,455 646,042 625,132 1,620,928
1999 14,355,600 1,532,200 704,812 84,271 620,541 644,770 1,676,100
1998 14,528,300 1,559,100 682,885 84,191 598,694 675,900 1,805,600
1997 15,284,300 1,583,600 695,201 88,682 606,519 717,750 2,015,600
1996 15,168,100 1,506,200 641,642 94,891 546,751 729,900 2,045,600
1995 15,119,800 1,476,100 588,964 85,614 503,350 796,250 2,128,600
1990 14,195,100 1,089,500 326,850 66,460 260,390 705,500 2,217,800
1980 10,441,000 580,900 401,982 63,318 338,664 475,160 1,863,300

Marijuana | Drug War Facts

The point here is that we are spending massive amounts of taxpayer money on a “war on drugs” that has proven to be both completely ineffective (notice that the drug arrests don’t seem to really be going down, do they?) and terribly inefficient. And just under half of all drug arrests are for marijuana, a drug that by all calculations is less harmful and less dangerous than alcohol. Just imagine how less crowded our prisons would be, how many more officers would be available to protect our property, and how many resources would be freed up to combat serious threats to our freedom if we simply stopped this madness. Yet we persist.

I will wrap up my article here. There are obviously dozens of different avenues that can be discussed around the legalization of marijuana. I won’t attempt to exhaust them all in my article. I will leave that to the discussions. I know that there are many on both sides of this issue. I am willing to hear them all, and I am now prepared to address whatever folks want to bring up. But take caution…. You know I don’t accept emotional appeals or arguments that lack logic.

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Comments

  1. I completely disagree with you. Why? Because for most of the time I was in the USMC I was in Military Police, CID. I have seen, up close and personal, just what damage MJ use can and does cause. I have personally known four Marines whose careers were ripped to shreds because they started with MJ and wound up on much harder drugs. These were guys that I went through boot camp with.

    I am an alcoholic. I started out with nothing but an “occasional” beer or two. I wound up drinking two fifths of scotch and at least one case of beer per night – 365 nights per year. I had my last drink on march 15th, 1986 – Five years after I finally realized I had a drinking problem which almost ended my career short of the twenty I had originally aimed for.

    All your statistics – government or otherwise – will never convince me that the “occasional” joint will not lead anyone to harder drug use. I just know better. My own experience with alcohol and cigarettes (I finally stopped smoking January 21st, 1991) has taught me that ones drug of choice can most definitely lead to disaster if one does not understand the dangers inherent in everything we use for our own brand of “recreation”.

    If you think that this nation is going downhill now, well legalize drugs – MJ included – and just take a good look at what you have created ten years from now. I guarantee that you will not like what this nation will become with everyone’s brain fried on drugs!

    That is all I will say on this subject.

    • Mathius says:

      Insanely busy, but I just had to weigh in here. A question: if you are incapable of using a drug in reasonable quantities, why do you assume that the rest of us are equally incapable? Some people are pre-disposed to addiction. Others can use heroine without getting addicted. So if it is a problem for you, and not everyone, why do you get to stop the rest of us from using it harmlessly?

      In other words, if you are allergic to peanuts, should you be able to make peanuts illegal for the rest of us?

      • Mathius,

        I use a heroine in my house! She raises my child!

        But maybe not heroin. ;)

        But I agree with your point.

        People make laws to stop others people from indulging what they have already done themselves.

      • And salt use and Disney toy use……..

        If you can’t handle these, fine. Let me play with my toy and salt my happy meal french fries!

        • Mathius says:

          Go right ahead and add all the salt you want. After the food has been packaged and shipped.

          As for the toys, I’m somewhat luke-warm in my support of the ban. But remember, parents are still free to give their child toys and junk food separately.

          I look forward to the day that I can get a McDonnalds #420 combo: large coke (none of that diet junk), large fries (heavily salted), a burger (which may or may not be made with actual cow), and a pot brownie. Now doesn’t that sound good?

    • Chris Devine says:

      The argument that cannabis use leads to harder drugs seems to me to be more of an issue of exposure to dealers who would rather sell you something with a higher (no pun intended) profit margin. If the marines you talk about could have bought their weed from the Class VI store instead of a street pharmacist then they might never have been exposed to harder drugs.

      Regardless, not everyone who drinks will become an alcoholic and most people who smoke cannabis will never touch anything harder than weed.

      Personally I think the drug that causes the most damage to Americans today is the one we sit in front of like zombies. Reality television, celebrity worship, and sensationalistic ‘news’ programs are a much bigger threat than any chemicals we ingest (natural or artificial).

      • Chris Devine says:

        Skip to 7:14. Or watch the whole thing as well as the other parts. Huxley has some very prescient observations about America’s future (what is now the present and past).

      • Mathius says:

        I love Huxley.. Brave New World was one of my all-time favorite books.

        I am an Alpha. I am happy to be an alpha…

      • Chris, et al

        I thought you would like to view Mike Wallace’s interview with Ayn Rand. I see parallels between her commentary and Huxley’s.

        • SUFA

          If you all haven’t already, I urge you to watch the interview posted by Chris as well as the Rand interview.

          But make sure you watch all three parts of each for the full context.

        • Chris Devine says:

          Given that today’s discussion is on a different topic, I’d rather not go too much into a discussion about Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Having said that there is one point that I think she misses that leads her (incorrectly in my opinion) to the conclusion that human beings should not concern themselves with the welfare of others: no one lives in complete isolation.

          Insofar as we are the children of our parents and could not survive without tremendous amounts of sacrifice on their part, we should admit that a certain amount of self sacrifice is necessary for the survival of our species. Likewise, without communities we would not be able to cope with adversity. Without interaction with others we go crazy. It seems to me that there are plenty of reasons to acknowledge that humans are social animals that need to help and be helped by their peers. While it may be true that there is an objective real world and that we are all individuals in that real world, it does not follow that we have any way of directly experiencing the real world (through reason alone), nor could anyone ever do it as just an individual.

          Reason is necessary (but certainly not sufficient) to be considered human. Subjective first-person experiences are all we have to work with and they will never allow us to cross the epistemological gap between our senses and objective reality (if it exists).

          • Chris

            Perhaps today is not the right time, but I couldn’t resist posting it, since it was lying there right next to the Huxley interview.

            I still think you are misunderstanding Rand’s conclusions but I will ponder your comments more before responding. I will only say that I have never seen in any of her work a conclusion that we are not a social animal. Only that our relationships are based on a faulty philosophy of self sacrifice which leads to destructive social relationships in the long term.

            I think we need to continue this discussion some day soon, however. Any suggestions on how best to do so?

            JAC

            • Chris Devine says:

              I’m not very familiar with the inner workings of WordPress, but perhaps our kind host could set up a place for ongoing discussions of a philosophical nature. That way those who are bored by such stuff won’t have to be trudge through it on their way to the good stuff. All should be welcome, of course. But I get the feeling that some people aren’t as fond of such discussions as you or I may be.

          • Richmond Spitfire says:

            Hi Chris,

            I think it is human nature to “want” to help those with whom you have alliance of some sort.

            I know that I “want” to help my Mom & Dad, my Kids, My In-Laws, my friends, my relatives (except some of those in PA ’cause they are a bunch of lazy freeloaders). Through the various charities that I support, I want to help people with a hand-up, not a hand-out.

            Those for which don’t have that “desire”, then that’s just fine – let them go off and battle in their caves — it’s their perogative afterall!

            The KEYWORD here is “WANT”. At least, that is what I’ve gotten out of Ayn Rand. Okay, enough is enough…sorry to beat the dead horse.

            ***Related question***

            Has anyone here ever considered that maybe what is wrong with today’s “society” from moral perspective is that there is no “payback” for forming alliances.

            It seems to me that in the past, people have had to bite their tongues on put up with stupid stuff because they needed each other (in order to survive; aside from the bad and “real” abusive situations).

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Chris,

        I couldn’t agree more…

        Nice post…

        RS

    • G.A. Rowe,

      So let’s outlaw all destructive behavior, like driving a car or bicycles – rock climbing! — and bath tubs.

      Because you can’t handle the drink does NOT give you the right to prevent my drink! You’re the problem, not me.

      Same with any and all “drugs”.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I find myself in agreement with BF today…a very strange feeling indeed…

        • Mathius says:

          When I agree with BF, I also find it strange and a bit uncomfortable.

          But there’s an easy fix. Just go to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror and say aloud: “government is not the problem, it’s the solution.”*

          Try it, you’ll feel better.

          *I apologize to everyone who had to go lie and rest down after reading that sentence.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Ah much better! Though I did get some strange looks while in there.

            • LOL, I don’t think he meant a public bathroom, perhaps your desire to be part of society is too strong! :)

              BTW Matt, i did not have to lie down, but I did see red for about 5 minutes and had to refrain from blowing up my computer and chewing through the engine block on my van…I appreciate the apology, it was relaxing :)

          • Mathius and Buck

            What are you two going to do when the day arrives that you realize the guy in the mirror has been lying to you all this time?

            Your solution poses great potential to magnify your already split personality disorders. Please be careful.

            Perhaps just muttering the phrase to yourself will be better.
            :)

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I know you see a lot of contradiction in our arguments here (as I’m sure you also see the contradiction inherent in those who espouse ‘freedom’ yet seek to keep pot illegal).

              But there really isn’t much of a contradiction here if you begin with our premise. Since me taking drugs does not harm anyone but myself, then I should be free to do so. There is no reason why drug use cannot be treated in the same (or similar) manner as we treat alcohol — once you get behind the wheel and pose a real danger to others, then government steps in.

              By the way, interesting argument below about how to treat drunk driving – I can’t say I’m altogether opposed. It is a bit ridiculous that just because someone is over an arbitrary limit they can be thrown in jail.

              • Buck

                When I was young they would throw you in jail for driving drunk. Then they would call your family to come get you.

                If they did not come, you stayed until morning and were released when sober.

                You might suffer some civil charge but no criminal charges.

                I just think there is a better way that will reduce the “coercive” force and its corrosive effect on our police.

                We need to find more ways to give our law enforcement folks a chance to become Andy of Mayberry instead of Robocop.

                For the record, I was not proposing you are in conflict with your views on legalizing pot and freedom. It is the conflict between your view on this issue and others I was referring to.

                Best to you and your young bride.
                JAC

              • Buck the Wala says:

                On first glance I’m liking where you’re heading with the drunk driving issue. Have to give it some additional thought but I am generally in favor of such an approach.

                Sorry if I wasn’t clearer but I did take your comment to mean you found conflict between my view on this issue and my views on others.

                How’s everything else going in your neck of the woods?

              • Buck

                Damn cold.

                Otherwise good. Daughter is home for three weeks and will overlap with oldest son by two days.

                Always nice to have the whole family at the dinner table.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                That’s great, even if only for two days!

    • GA – Congrats to you on battling and conquering those demons.

    • I apologize to all of you. Why? None of you seem to have the comprehension level of a simian. I actually thought I was going to talk to intelligent people here, but I was wrong.

      Try this one on for size – You are a biological organism. Chemicals do drastic and deadly harm to biological organisms. Drugs are chemicals. The statement “Better life through chemistry” is an absolute misnomer. And no, I do not expect any of you to understand or comprehend those factual statements.

      If any of you can muster the mental strength, try doing a little research. Look up the number of ADHD cases per capita during the first part of the last century and now. Also the instances of children born with mental birth defects, Autism, etc. Recreational chemical use alters the DNA in your reproductive system and that effects future generations, therefore it is not a victimless crime.

      I was not surprised by the statements that “some people are more susceptible to addictions than others” . . . That is nothing but a very lame excuse for your own weaknesses. By your vehement advocacy of narcotics use you show that you are already addicted to them, and that includes MJ.

      Case closed.

      • G.A. Rowe,

        But its not your body

        Mind your own business, sir!

      • GA,
        Please provide a list of non-chemical foods you consume. I have not been able to get through a day without running accross a few chemicals. This is due to the difficulty and expense of finding foods that have no chemicals in them or used in their production.

        Also, it seems you are saying that all chemicals, including naturally occurring ones created by biological organisms are bad. Your body produces chemicals. If you remove all chemicals and chemical production from your own body, you will die. So “better living through chemicals” is not technically wrong.

        Besides all that, I am not saying life will be better with pot. I am not saying my life is better because of the chemical preservatives on my cheeseburger. I would prefer it not be there, but then, life is better, because I can afford my dollar menu meal, and I would not be able to do so with organicall produced non preservatice meat, it is just too costly to make and keep from rotting otherwise. Life is also better because I am not eating rotten meat.

        I get your aversion to drugs based on your background, and I applaud your recovery. I do not, however, appreciate being called stupid by someone who has not even considered the definition of chemicals, nor realized their application in every day life. Think it through. You may still come down on the side of keeping drugs illegal if you think a law should be made to attempt prevention of bad stuff, but then the debate is different. You will certainly continute to believe that mj and otehr drugs are bad, I applaud your reasoning on that, but you may see that government is not the solution to stopping all bad things.

      • Chris Devine says:

        Come on now, don’t sugar-coat it. Tell us how you really feel.

        Biology is chemistry. Water is every bit as much of a chemical as cyanide and both are naturally-occurring. Likewise, aspirin and heroin are synthesized versions of naturally-occurring chemicals.

        Is it possible that the rates of those maladies you mention are more of a result of better (or worse) diagnosis? Furthermore, the alteration of DNA is called mutation. There are plenty of mutagens, and a good few of them are VOC (volatile organic chemicals) like petroleum products. Many drugs are toxic but very few are mutagenic. By the way, mutations can be both good and bad. They are the primary factor in the survivability of any species when they are good (and vice versa).

        Lastly, cannabis is not a narcotic.

      • GA: I have to argue also. It never lead me to harder drugs and my children are perfectly healthy. What about all the legal prescriptions for vicodin, oxycotin, even synthroid. All chemicals. Some are sddicting some aren’t. Personal responsibility is the name of the game.

      • USWeapon says:

        G.A.

        Rather disappointing that this would be thr route that you would pursue. First and foremost, for you to throw out an insult on everyone’s intelligence simply because you don’t like their conclusions is a little harsh. As I recall, not a single person judged you in any way or insulted you because of your opinion. However, since you are going to go that route, I suggest that you do a little research that goes further than sites you like or your own personal experience.

        I have personal experience as well, as do the others that populate this site. I also have drank alcohol in excess. Yet I was never an alcoholic. I have used marijuana regularly, yet walked away from it on a dare and never touched it again. Where I think that your logic falls apart is that you fail to apply any critical evaluation to what you witness. 4 men smoke pot and end up on harder drugs. I would bet good money that they also drank alcohol. So was it pot or alcohol that moved them towards harder drugs. You knew them in the military as well. Was it pot or drugs or military service that drove them to harder drugs. Studies show that pot is neither physically addicting OR a gateway drug. The WORST study results that I have found was that 25% of those who smoke pot at some point end up using harder drugs. That is hardly evidence that pot is the cause.

        Further, you stated: “If any of you can muster the mental strength, try doing a little research. Look up the number of ADHD cases per capita during the first part of the last century and now. Also the instances of children born with mental birth defects, Autism, etc. Recreational chemical use alters the DNA in your reproductive system and that effects future generations, therefore it is not a victimless crime.”

        Allow me to start with the fact that I will be having no more children. So can I use since I cannot make a victim of my spawn? Are you advocating for the criminalization of every single drug that can have a possible effect on your DNA? If not, then you are making no logical sense. Perhaps you need to look at a less biased set of statistics. The first half of the century was a time when doctors did not even know what ADHD was. There were several different names given to ADHD symtpoms, such as hyperactivity, Post-Encephalitic Behavior Disorder (20′s), Minimal Brain Dysfunction (60′s), and a host of others. The late 70′s included the addition of many different symtoms now falling into the disorder that were not included prior to that. Odd that when you add a new group of symptoms, the numbers of affected grow as well. In fact, the name ADHD did not become a diagnosible thing until 1980. That handles ADHD. I will leave you to do a similar amount of research on Autism. I won’t hold my breath that you have any interest in finding data that doesn’t support your pre-determined conclusions.

        And what exactly do you have to back up this statement: “By your vehement advocacy of narcotics use you show that you are already addicted to them, and that includes MJ.”

        I don’t take aspirin or any other drugs. I am 100% drug free. Yet I advocate for drug legalization. How exactly does it mean that I am “already addicted to them?”

        • Bottom Line says:

          USW – “I have used marijuana regularly, yet walked away from it on a dare and never touched it again.”

          Marijuana is so easy to quit. I have smoked a lot of pot in my day. Even when I was smoking rather heavily, I never had a problem putting it down. I’ve not touched it for years at a time. It has never been a priority and has never controlled me. It’s such an easy habit to manage.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Well Rowe, you would be happy to know that my wife the pre-K teacher agrees wholeheartedly with you. She’s been teaching since ’69 and has raised the same issue. It fits in nicely with the zombiefication of our kids today courtesy of the pharmaceutical and behavioral science industries.

        I personally always thought that Jack Webb had it right in an interview he did about ’68. “Isn’t it bad enough that we have to deal with alcohol?”

        Back in psych 201 or something like that they had this great film on monkeys and cocaine use. The monkeys actually starved themselves to death when given the option of pushing levers for food or coke.

        Regarding legalizing all drugs. There is a part of me that would like to make everything free and readily available in whatever quantity you wanted. After about a year or so we would have cleaned up the gene pool and could start all over again.

        Regarding my personal use, I am one of the few children of the ’60′s who could tell my four kids to do as I did not as I said. Never saw the need for weed. A six pack would usually do the trick and I always liked the way beer allowed you to maintain the exact level you wanted to.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        G.A. Rowe,

        Your premise is flawed. SOME chemicals do drastic and deadly harm to humans. OTHER chemicals are incredibly beneficial. In fact, without CERTAIN chemicals, we would not even exist at all!

        You vastly over-generalize when you say that “chemicals” do drastic and deadly harm to humans.

        Which chemicals?

        In what doseage?

        Under what circumstances?

        Certainly, if I drank 2 fifths of scotch and a case of beer every day, I would be doing drastic, and potentially deadly, harm to my own body. However, if I am having one glass of red wine 3 or 4 times per week, I am doing something that has been demonstrated to be very BENEFICIAL to my health.

        I congratulate you on recovering from your own personal addictions, but that is, in fact, exactly what they were: your own, and personal!

        Yes, others share the propensity for the same addictions, but NOT EVERYONE.

        Sorry, you CANNOT set the rules for everyone else based upon your own experience. Everyone else is not you.

        You seem to think that simply because you had certain experiences that everyone else’s experiences would automatically be the exact equivalent of your own, and that simply is not the case.

    • Bottom Line says:

      G.A. Rowe said – “I completely disagree with you. Why? Because for most of the time I was in the USMC I was in Military Police, CID. I have seen, up close and personal, just what damage MJ use can and does cause. I have personally known four Marines whose careers were ripped to shreds because they started with MJ and wound up on much harder drugs. These were guys that I went through boot camp with.”

      BL says – It was because “THEY” started with MJ and wound up on much harder drugs, not because MJ magically makes you want to try harder drugs. They made a series of willfull concious choices. They ripped their careers to shreds, not the drugs.

      G.A. Rowe said – “I am an alcoholic. I started out with nothing but an “occasional” beer or two. I wound up drinking two fifths of scotch and at least one case of beer per night – 365 nights per year. I had my last drink on march 15th, 1986 – Five years after I finally realized I had a drinking problem which almost ended my career short of the twenty I had originally aimed for.

      All your statistics – government or otherwise – will never convince me that the “occasional” joint will not lead anyone to harder drug use. I just know better. My own experience with alcohol and cigarettes (I finally stopped smoking January 21st, 1991) has taught me that ones drug of choice can most definitely lead to disaster if one does not understand the dangers inherent in everything we use for our own brand of “recreation”.”

      BL says – I certainly agree that ones drug of choice can most definitely lead to disaster if one does not understand the dangers inherent in everything we use for our own brand of “recreation”. That applies to everything. There is always a such thing as too much of something or a way to abuse a circumstance or situation. There are even inherent dangers in too many snack cakes or too much excercise or too much time on the internet, etc…

      Not that I am necessarily trying to convince you, but for what it’s worth, I have tried other drugs. Alcohol was first, then there was pot, others came later. I never liked other drugs and I’m not much of a drinker. I pretty much stick to the weed.

      G.A. Rowe – “If you think that this nation is going downhill now, well legalize drugs – MJ included – and just take a good look at what you have created ten years from now. I guarantee that you will not like what this nation will become with everyone’s brain fried on drugs!”

      BL reiterates from a week ago – Your “Pandora’s Box” has been wide open for a long long time and society hasn’t collapsed yet. Marijuana has been a part of human culture for thousands of years. It’s already available everywhere. The worst effects society will ever experience from popular marijuana use is already present.

      G.A. Rowe said – “I apologize to all of you. Why? None of you seem to have the comprehension level of a simian. I actually thought I was going to talk to intelligent people here, but I was wrong.”

      BL says – No need for appology as far as I am concerned. I think I understand as my comprehension level is far greater than that of ape. It appears to me that you’re just frustrated with the process of rationalizing what you know from your experiences with booze, the justification for your career as a law enforcement officer, and how it is direct conflict with the logical pro-marijuana arguments presented by all your simian friends here at SUFA. The frustration, I suspect, is derrived from the inability to use all of what you know to compensate for your obvious ignorance about marijuana. I don’t fault you. You’re only human.

      G.A. Rowe said – “If any of you can muster the mental strength, try doing a little research. Look up the number of ADHD cases per capita during the first part of the last century and now. Also the instances of children born with mental birth defects, Autism, etc. Recreational chemical use alters the DNA in your reproductive system and that effects future generations, therefore it is not a victimless crime.”

      BL says – If you can muster your own mental strength, try expanding your research and look at all the other more likely and more plausable explanations to the increase of ADHD, birth defects, and Autism. Blaming it all on MJ in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary isn’t showing much mental strength but rather denial. If it was pot doing all of these things you claim, I would think it would have showed up a bit sooner as people have been smoking pot for a long long time.

      G.A. Rowe said – “I was not surprised by the statements that “some people are more susceptible to addictions than others” . . . That is nothing but a very lame excuse for your own weaknesses.”

      BL says – I have to agree that some people have more self control than others and will argue that if you claim to be addicted to marijuana, it’s all in your head as you are just making excuses for your extreme lack of self control and willpower.

      G.A. Rowe said – “By your vehement advocacy of narcotics use you show that you are already addicted to them, and that includes MJ.”

      BL says – Your persitance in making ignorant statements doesn’t compliment you well. You should have stopped on Post#1 at “That is all I will say on this subject.”

      …and on that note…

  2. Morning All :)

    While I don’t partake in the use of Pot, I do know that it is readily available and can be purchased with a simple phone call, even more so than when I was a teenager. I have been watching this subject, in terms of medical use, and the fight between the States and the Feds. Most of us grew up with pot being “immoral” as I was taught and Hollywood made the point back in the 30′s.

    IMHO, once Big Brother figures out that they can make more money by taxing hemp, rather than the fines collected locally, it will suddenly become legal (like alcohol), controlled and taxed heavily. I see no problem with it’s use in the privacy of one’s home on a casual basis, and know many who engage in such use.

    I can add more later.

    Have a great day! Peace!

    G!

  3. A Puritan Descendant says:

    Without admitting to ever having used the stuff, I can’t stand the stuff ! Makes ‘people’ paranoid something awful ! Would be hard to cause a car accident as ‘one’ would be way to scared to go over 10 miles an hour. The biggest problem is when it is spiked with other things like ‘pcp’ or ‘angel dust’ or whatever else might be added. I have known people who used it often and they in my opinion were all a little ‘slow in the head’ from its use. But the same might be said of excessive alcohol use.

    Legalization would certainly save time, effort, and money fighting the drug war. I could live with Legalization.

    Gotta run, time to spray my cider trees.

    • Mathius says:

      The thing about spiking it is this: if it’s legal, ‘one’ could buy it from reputable sources. Walmart brand pot won’t be spiked with angeldust. The guy in the do-rag and van halen t-shirt selling it on the street corner offers no such guarantee.

      Then again, Walmart brand would probably be made in China.. God only knows what they’ll put in it..

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Mathias says >

        “Then again, Walmart brand would probably be made in China.. God only knows what they’ll put in it..”

        You made me laugh because it is true. In America all kinds of chemicals are outlawed for spraying apples. I grow apples and let me tell you, it is one tough job growing a saleable apple without chemicals. For all we know our imported apples are still sprayed with lead/arsenic.

        • Chris Devine says:

          Trying to outlaw psychoactive substances just makes the dealers change their tactics. It doesn’t stop people from wanting consciousness-altering products, but it does result in them getting products that are ‘legal’ and potentially less safe. The abundance of ‘legal-highs’ is a testament to this fact. While many claim to be natural alternatives, most are just a blend of exotic (but inert) vegetative matter with man-made chemicals added to them.

          To avoid the sale of products with little research regarding their safety, it would be better to decriminalize marijuana for personal cultivation/consumption. Hard drugs could be legalized but require licensed and inspected manufacture to ensure that users would at the very least be getting a standardized and non-tampered product.

          Harm reduction should be the emphasis, not the criminalization of users. Revenues from sales should be used to fund education and treatment programs.

          • “Revenues from sales should be used to fund education and treatment programs.”

            With this last statement you just successfully took the production and sale of what would be a legal substance and turned it into a totally government controlled business. This is one of my big problems with the big government mind frame. Lets find away to let government do it.

            • Chris Devine says:

              Where did I explicitly say the government had to run those programs?

              • Okay, correct me if I am wrong-I’ve been wrong before :) but if the profits are going towards programs-before a business is even formed-where does the private industry part come in.

              • Chris Devine says:

                To be fair I would personally like to see such products taxed and have the revenues used exclusively for publicly sponsored education and treatment programs.

                Nonetheless, there could be a stipulation made that a portion of all net proceeds be set aside for similar programs run privately. While some here will undoubtedly balk at any form of government regulation of commerce, it seems pretty reasonable that potentially dangerous products only be sold if efforts are made to mitigate the dangerous effects of their use. To me it is a matter of prudence. Freedom entails responsibility.

              • Please don’t take this the wrong way-but it seems that you may not have specifically said it he first time but I believe you did the second time around. :)

              • Chris Devine says:

                You’re right on both counts. But this can be solved without taxes and government-run programs if it makes anybody happier (even if it can’t be done without some form of regulation).

                I will always be in favor of public services when it’s a matter of public safety. Let businesses sell products. Let the people protect themselves.

              • Chris,
                I agree let the people take care of themselves and leave me alone.

                If you want a thug to guard you, don’t ask me to pay for it.

              • But it is a product- are we going to turn every business that sales something that can do harm into a charity.

              • Chris Devine says:

                As long as they make a profit from the sale of something harmful they should contribute to reducing harm. This doesn’t mean all businesses will become non-profit charities. It just means that they and their customers will be held responsible for all the costs, not just the selling-price.

              • And how does one determine this cost, especially with something like pot which people can grow on their own.

              • Oh, one more thing, since pot is wupposed to have medical properties -does that offset the cost for harm.

              • Chris Devine says:

                If they don’t sell it then they will be responsible for the consequences on their own. That is until they do something that harms someone else. At that point there will be other consequences (restitution).

              • but selling it would be legal so why should they be responsible for what free people choose to do. We don’t charge a business when someone burns down a building we hold the individual responsible if a business is in a legal business and a free human decides to buy their product than why should the business be held responsible for the harm said free person cacauses.

              • One other thing business also gives a lot to our society but all anyone ever seems to want to talk about is there share of some cost -they they haven’t caused- unless you ignore personal responsibility of their customers.

              • My rant for the day :) You cannot have it both ways if a product is legal to sell than you cannot blame the company for just selling the product. As long as they follow whatever rules and regulations the person who buys the product is responsible for whatever harm they do.

              • Chris Devine says:

                I fully expect customers to share responsibility. They usually do from increased prices. The rules and regulations are exactly what I’m in favor of.

                Selling a handgun to someone with a known history of violence who expresses his immediate intentions to shoot someone is an act of negligence. The regulations governing handgun sales should address this issue. Similarly, the sale of any product with a potential for harming someone besides the purchaser should be regulated.

              • Chris did you not say that companies should have to pay for services and programs just because their produvct we harmful . not becasue they broke some regulation but just because they sold the product. Regulations-would depend on what they were.

  4. USW, I have to admit that I have always been opposed to legalization of marijuana. Thanks to your encouragement, I have taken a step back and analyzed my opposition. I think the main reason I am opposed to such legalization is the outrage I feel at watching the people who actually use marijuana. Low-lifes who live of the government’s dime or stupid college kids (or those who never grow out of their college years). I must admit that when I come down to it, I agree with you. I will never support legalization of a drug (that’s what it is no matter what arguments you use), but I will not oppose it.

    A few notes:
    1. “Freedom and liberty dictate that I have every right to use marijuana if I want to, whether it is harmful to me or not, so long as I do not harm anyone else.” Shall we legalize crack and cocaine too, so long as one uses it in their own home? How about child pornography as long as one never interacts with an actual child? I think I know what you mean by this statement (and agree), but the statement itself is talking about anarchy, not the restricted freedoms of a society, even a democracy. I don’t want to get into that discussion, because I know I will be taken to school by the philosophers on this site!

    2. “Just as the claims that we must restrict people’s diets, curb dangerous activities, and in any other way take away liberty, I reject the claim that society has a right to force me to be healthy.” Agree 100%!

    • JB, if you agree with point 2, then you agree with point 1. Except for the child porn part. SOMEONE had to “interact” to take the picture. Not acceptable.

      As far as your personal

      • sorry, keyboard error.

        As far as your personal experience, keep in mind that low-lifes and stupid kids will always exist. They are not created by the drug use. I support legalizing their habit. I also support removing their freeloader income, at least the ones on the dole. Lets see them support their habit then.

    • Chris Devine says:

      Before you go painting everyone with the same ‘pothead’ brush, you should realize that many of our greatest artists, musicians, authors, leaders and people of great accomplishments have used cannabis at one point in (or even most of) their lives. There are just as many deadbeat drunks as lazy potheads. No one criticizes someone who relaxes after a hard day at work with a beer or a single-malt scotch served neat. Why should we assume those who choose to smoke a joint are just immature?

      • In fact, some great minds while continuing to create with cannabis have apparently been wasted by alcohol. Christopher Hitchens comes to mind.

    • Shall we legalize crack and cocaine too, so long as one uses it in their own home?

      No.

      We should legalize all drugs no matter where the person wishes to exist – in their home or not!

      How about child pornography as long as one never interacts with an actual child?

      Before you start with the fallacy of “We must save the children” argument – you need to get perfect clear on how freedom works with adults.

      If you’re confused with adults, you have NO tools to figure out circumstances with children.

      I think I know what you mean by this statement (and agree), but the statement itself is talking about anarchy, not the restricted freedoms of a society, even a democracy.

      Anarchy = “no rulers”
      Democracy = “mob rulers”

      Rule by mob is a living hell. And that is what many people want… go figure that one out!

      I don’t want to get into that discussion, because I know I will be taken to school by the philosophers on this site!

      The task is simple.

      Start from your core principle and see if the position you hold here is consistent with it.

      If it is not, you have a contradiction.

      I believe all human-created evil comes from contradictions of people with their core principles.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @JB – to your point number one and then a question to others out there….

      Look at the entirity in three buckets – the preamble, the act and the conclusion

      There are two acts you describe: smoking marijuana and watching child pornography

      While one may seem completely reprehensible – both share equal weight in the aspect of freedom in that neither act, in and of itself, is harmful to any other human being.

      The preamble – the production of either product weighs differently in terms of what we know and what we assume. With child pornography, with a high degree of certainty we state that a child was used in the production of the product. Since a child is incapable of consent there is harm registered in producing the product. With MJ you don’t really know do you? Let’s assume we’re talking legalized MJ here. We must assume that in the cradle to grave process of producing the product that is consumed in the act, all matters of legality were observed to arrive at the product. Otherwise we’re in the pickle of “I dont care how it got here, here is my money, give me my smoke”. (Much the same as we assume that products made in China are ok and do not have poison in them or other toxins right?)

      So – since the production of child pornography clearly involves harm to another it should be illegal and not something one can claim as exercising their freedom.

      So – since the production of MJ does not necessarily involve harm to another we cannot assume it to be illegal – therefore it is legal and producing it can be claimed as exercising one’s freedom.

      The Conclusion…..

      After the act of smoking MJ can we state that one may act in such a way harmful to others? Sure. But the same can apply to the consumption of any other product. If we follow that line of thinking there are many things we would have to outlaw right? But let’s roll back up to USW’s article. One should be able to blow one’s head off right? The act itself, assuming a bullet doesn’t go through the head and into another human being, should be considered isolated to that person right? Or, do we need to place conditions around the act, thereby limiting the true exercise of the freedom postulated here to blow one’s head off? How about if that suicide is intentionally done in front of other people (e.g. family)? Are we stating that no post-act harm can be done or experienced by those observing the act? Tough question.

      How about after the act of watching child porn? Aside from the hygeine aspects of this that I shall not entertain, is there anything consistent or necesarily resultant post-act to render the act illegal or necessary to limit freedom? I cannot readily think of an example. The easy thing to say is that some creep that watches child porn will go rape a child – but I don’t think there is data that supports that. I read too often about folks caught with astounding amounts of child porn and go to prison for a long time – in the aftermath you hear the stories from everyone on how they never knew such and such did this because they never harmed a child.

      Anyway – back to the original discussion (sorry if this is jumpy – am writing chunks at a time). So if we can state that the act of consuming/smoking MJ is the purest of exercise of one’s freedom and thereby should not be illegal, why then is the act of watching child pornography not also an exercise of one’s freedom and therefore perfectly legal. (before you answer think also of the recent SCOTUS decision that reversed the lower court decision that banned the sale/consumption of dog fighting videos)

      Is it enough to say I don’t care what was done to get the product to me, I just want to be free to consume it?

      FTR – I do find that the entire lifecycle of CP should be illegal.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      JB,

      If you will NEVER support legalization of a “drug”, do you support alcohol being legal? Ethanol is known to be a mind-altering drug, so do you support it being legal or not?

      Also nicotine is known to bond with several different receptors in the brain. One type of receptor releases adrenaline, the other releases endorphins.

      Nicotine is the ONLY chemical known (at least so far) that releases BOTH adrenaline and endorphins all by itself (you would have to take 2 different types of other known “drugs” to have the same effect as nicotine). This is why nicotine is so addictive for so many people – simultaneous release of adrenaline and endorphins. The “high” from smoking a cigarette certainly doesn’t seem as “mind-altering” as other substances, but should it be legal?

      It seems that there are (broadly speaking) 4 types of people as follows:

      Type-1. Drugs should be illegal because they are potentially harmful (but don’t you dare make my cigarettes and alcohol illegal even if they cause WAY more deaths per year than all other drugs combined).

      Type-2. Drugs should be illegal because of moral/religious reasons (but most of these people also don’t want alcohol or tobacco to be illegal either).

      Type-3. Make drugs legal but regulate and tax the HELL out of them so that the government can maximize profits from becoming the pusher.

      Type-4. No harm, no foul, it is your body and you are free. The minute you cause harm you are responsible and will be making restitution (not sure that is the best word-choice, but the first one that sprang to mind this morning).

      To me, everyone SHOULD recognize that type-4 is the only type that is logical. OBVIOUSLY, you are potentially harming yourself when you do ANY drug (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, etc.) IF you are ONLY harming yourself, others should perhaps be concerned, but they should not try to regulate your life. At the point where your actions negatively impact others (for example, your addiction(s) cause you to neglect your kids, or your addictions caused you to have an accident which harmed or killed another), then the harm you have done to others must be properly assessed, and those harmed need to be appropriately compensated for the harm done.

  5. Common Man says:

    All;

    My son and I had this conversation over the weekend initiated by our discussion about the Mexican border. I made the statement that legalizing MJ would not slow the violence at the border, and of course my son disagreed.

    My logic is that if we legalize MJ then it will wind up regulated by the government, just like smokes and booze. This in turn will lead to taxes, larger government, and potential negative effects on other industries. We will see additional federal and state departments responsible for management, regulation, quality, commerce, and enforcement which will result in additional taxes. In addition I would bet we would see an industy that would likely grow to a size equal to some agriculture products like tomatoes, cotton or maybe even corn. This would effect those products production and in turn cause the value of those products to spike. It might even cause some shortages and we would be forced to purchase crops from other nations, causing issues like those we face with oil. Now of course some would say that over time that would balance out based upon consumer demand, but who really knows. Use the example of corn over the past few years and how ethanol production has caused the price of corn to rise. Can anyone imagine a typical Iowa corn field changing over to MJ as a cash crop? Talk about your Purple Haze!

    Think about the effects on other walks of life. How would this effect deer hunters and the current deer population? Since a great number of deer are legally harvested near or around corn, beans of wheat crops, we are going to see a change in the deer populations. I am not sure if the populations would go up or down based on MJ replacing corn and other grains, but I can bet the number of harvested deer will go down. In addition we are going to see a huge drop in our nations pheasant population. Pheasant depend upon corn, beans and wheat to live, especially in places like the plains states. And can you imagine how it would effect our right to “Keep and bear arms”? The anti-gun lobby would have a hay day broadcasting the increased number of accidental shootings and injuries caused by the effects of hunting in and around MJ fields.

    (Sorry, had to put some humor into today’s post)

    It might help to minimize the unemployment claims since it is relatively easy to grow the stuff and historically has a great ROI. However, as noted above, it would soon become a product priced out of the market. How’s that you ask? Well, if the cost of MJ goes from current market price to double due to the effects of government control, people are going to find an alternative. And that alternative would be the same sources they use today; illegal ones.

    Result: The stuff keeps coming over the borders from the same sources distributing it now. In time this would cause the “legal” crop value to drop, and possibly put all those (except the government) out of business. So, we would most likely wind up with the same situation we have now.

    This was about the time my son decided I might have a point. He tried to argue quality as an advatage for the legal stuff, but that didn’t wash simply because of two reasons:

    - 1st) Nothing the government produces or controls equates to quality
    - 2nd) Other countries would produce the same or better strain at lower cost.

    So, should we legalize MJ, yes simply becasue no one has a right to tell me what I can or cannot smoke, drink or use. Will it stop or hinder the drug trade? NO, Hell NO!
    Will we be forced to deal with another corrupt division of the federal and state government? Yes, Hell Yes!

    Maybe it would all balance out in the long run, but as a result we will indirectly create a larger government, which in turn would continue to reduce our liberties.

    As a suggestion, we should propose legalizing it for, and only for personal use. This would enable each free man and woman to grow enough to supply their personal use. It would help elliminate crime by providing competition, limit government growth and would certainly not threaten other industries like agriculture, textile. or the hunting sports.

    CM

    • Common Man,

      MJ then it will wind up regulated by the government

      NO!

      It is already regulated by the government!

      That’s the problem, isn’t it?

      You’ve done nothing about it except change the paint color – and you expect a different result on the border??

      As you pointed out, nothing will change!…because you changed nothing but the paint!

      End government interference, and the situation will change – for the better.

      • Common Man says:

        BF, my wise and all knowing friend;

        How true your statement, but ending government interference is but a ‘pipe’ dream (pardon the pun) at least in our life times.

        CM

    • Bullpoopie CM :)

      There are places that grow really great tobacco. In some cases it is grown cheaper and better. It is not, however, one of the things the cartels are sneaking over the border. Also, there are places in the US that grow really great tobacco, in spite of the government regulations.

      As for switching cash crops, there are two points on that:
      1) artificially depressing the food market by restricting what crops can be grown is government manipulation of the market. So you might have to pay a little more for your corn dog if some farmers switch to hemp growing. Too bad so sad. The ethanol effect on corn was a direct use of corn, not a change in growth levels. Furthermore, maybe the government would realize ethanol is stupid when the price of corn goes up.
      2) In actuality, corn is already overgrown and heavily subsidized to keep the market prices high enough for farmers to make a profit. A little market correction would help a LOT. It may also help the soil to have something other than corn grown in it. It would offer a valuable alternative to farmers seeking a good crop to rotate into fields burnt out on corn.

      As for deer and pheasant populations, we already have too many deer because there are to few natural predators. And you can’t seriously think that all farmers will stop growing food. Really? They would have to smoke a whole field of their own mj to do that. :)

      Will it make government bigger if we make it a controlled substance? Maybe a little, but you are talking about a net reduction when you subtract the farm subsidies alone, not to mention the reduction in the drug war and prison populations. So no, I would say, even with a new government agency for pot control, we are looking at a massive reduction in government.

      As for the personal use suggestion, I would not mind that were it not for the fact that hemp can be a renewable source for almost anything that requires natural fiber, including textiles and paper. I guess I could grow a huge field to make my own rope and shirts, but thats not really realistic to the average person.

      Feel free to forward this on to your son. :)

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The government already pays farmers to GROW NOTHING because we over-produce food, so the government manipulates the supply in order to attempt to manipulate price.

        Ask any farmer. They will outright tell you that the government offers to send them a check in exchange for setting aside a portion of their land to NOT PRODUCE ANYTHING.

        If MJ were a legal crop, I doubt we would even have to use any land currently used for food crops in order to grow it. For one thing, it grows like a WEED!

    • CM

      I will not address the political or philosophical. BF and Jon have addressed these enough.

      Your entire scenario is based on one fallacious assumption. That cannabis production will accomplished by industrial farming.

      Every single user who wishes can grow the plant in their living room. You can not grow corn, tomatoes or other such plant products in an apartment in sufficient quantities to meet your demand. But pot, like some herbs can be grown inside in sufficient quantities.

      I will add that your assumption about regulation brings up a contradiction used by the pro cannabis folks all the time. They use “potential taxation” as a rationalization for legalizing the drug which they want legalized because they want to be free. It is an absurd argument.

      Live free my friend
      JAC

      • Common Man says:

        Jon/JAC;

        So you guys don’t feel that the government would increase in magnitude by legalizing MJ?

        Given the ROI on MJ farmers would not add it or use it to replace their current low ROI crop?

        YOU don’t think the government would add a great deal of taxes and regulations to the MJ industry, hence increasing the size and/or magnitude of government? I really think you need to ponder this some more. Look at how the EPA is changing and will change should Cap and Trade pass. Hell look how it is changing now with new and broader power.

        As for farm production – I am not sure that is practical or how much it would effect food crops being produced today, but I can tell you that farmers as a whole are always looking at ways to subsidize their income or add to the bottom line. Couple that with the fact that they would be the ones with the equipment and knowldege to turn a fast crop.

        (Jon; The promotion of ethinol from corn is already increasing the cost of almost every other food product across the board. The news media is already broadcasting an expected increase in the cost of beef, and other groceries by 20-30% as a result of the government promoting ethinol production) And the irony here is that corn is one of the worst crops to use to do so.

        My whole point is that we need to take a close look at the effects of legalizing MJ from a liberty and freedom basis. We know that if we could get MJ legalized our current government would regulate it, manage its production and tax the sh*t out of it. Is that, on the whole a good thing? How much freedom are we giving up by legalizing something that the government is absolutely going to regulate?

        Don’t get me wrong I’m all for BF’s concept, but there is not a man women or youth out there that believes the legalization of MJ will limit government influence or control, and it would certainly not reduce our current government influence or control

        Also farmers today rotate their crops on a yearly basis; corn then beans then corn and so on. Otherwise crop quality slowly diminishes.

        All in all I don’t believe legalizing MJ would do anything to reduce crime, or government regulations/control. The best we could hope for under the current government paradigm is a legal product that could help reduce the effects of stress greatly influenced by a tyranical government.

        CM

        • CM

          First, there is not a lot of money in pot. Most of the current price is due to the government ban, not the market.

          In reality, a very small percentage of people would indulge – compared to food, which nearly everyone human does indulge!

          We know that if we could get MJ legalized our current government would regulate it, manage its production and tax the sh*t out of it. Is that, on the whole a good thing? How much freedom are we giving up by legalizing something that the government is absolutely going to regulate

          The difference will be similar to what Prohibition, and then the repeal, did for drink.

          True, the taxes and regulation still distort the system, however, less than the distortion of an all-out ban.

        • CM

          I didn’t say govt wouldn’t try to tax the hell out of it. I simply said that using the “look at the tax revenue we would get” is an irrational argument for legalizing it, when the real reason is an issue of freedom and liberty. And the fact the drug is relatively harmless. And the fact that hemp is a valuable plant currently outlawed due to the laws against the “drug”, which illogically include “hemp”.

          We will give up NO freedom by legalizing, even if the govt taxes the hell out it. At the worst, you will break even. You will be free to smoke pot but more of your income will be confiscated by the govt for doing so. But alas, you can grow your own tax free if you choose.

          The change in agricultural crops is more tied to the commercial applications of hemp than cannabis as a drug, in my opinion. But a free market economy will make those choices for us. A proper balance will be struck between food and fiber, as that choice will be made by the people.

          I notice your concerns are all based on the assumption that govt power and control remains as it is today. If your premise is true then I submit the rest is irrelevant anyway. Legalizing cannabis will not change the corrosive effects of govt intervention in the market place, one way or the other.

        • Ok,
          1) No, I don’t think it would increase in magnitude due to legalization. I will increase in magnitude because its doing that anyway. Legalization of pot wont fix that, but keeping it illegal certainly isnt helping either. If we were to try to reign things in at all, then legalization would have negative net growth because of the decrease in law enforcement costs, prison costs, and farm subsidy.

          2) The EPA and cap and trade have nothing to do with this, that, like above, is a seperate issue. You cannot blame any growth justified by legalization on legalization, you blame it on those promoting growth and using anything at all to justify it.

          3) Ethanol may be impacting all sorts of food, but there is a lot of crap surrounding corn production. Also, beef, poultry, and damn near every processed food has corn in it. Corn is very effective at carbon production, hence the use for ethanol. It is not the best in some ways, but the infrastructure to grow corn, due to government sobsidy, is already in place. Changing to sugar beets or whatever would be too complex. The solution is for govenrment to get out of the damned farming industry.

          4) Not all farmers are rotating crops. A lot of them are just using petroleum based fertilizers in massive quantities to keep cranking out corn. Hence the reason ethanol is especially stupid, because it saves no fossil fuel usage, just moves it around.

          5) The side effects of permitting a certain plant to be grown versus not permitting it will be balanced by the market. As BF said, the demand for mj will only be so high, and drug uses will likely be very low. The predominant industrial farm production will be for industrial uses, like natural fiber production.

          6) Reduction of regulation, even if it is still a controlled substance, is still a reduction in regulation, which is a good thing.

          7) There is no justification for the stuff being illegal in the first place. IF it is made legal, even a little, then that is preferable to it being illegal.

          8) I think legalizing mj is a small step in the right direction, not a solution to the world’s problems. But a small step is better than the status quo.

  6. To G.A. and others who oppose legalization. I know personal experience often flies in the face of “studies”. Most studies deal with circumstances that may be quite different. The thing is, there are a great many factors to be considered with what we see in real life. There is no “control” or “parameters” in the study or findings of life.

    It is my belief that people for whom mj is a gateway drug are falling into hard drugs for one of the following reasons:
    1) they cannot handle the stress of their lives, so they seek to escape it rather than deal with it. Once someone seeking an easy way out or quick relief finds it, they will always seek a better escape, because temporary escape does not really fix anything.
    2) they value “fun” highly and want to party more and more.
    3) they are overly curious, to the point that they will take any risk.
    4) they have highly addictive personalities and are easily pulled into things that make them feel like they want to feel.
    5) they are influenced to go to harder stuff while under the influence of lighter stuff, making them more vulnerable.
    6) for those whom legal status holds sway, the breach of law for one makes the breach for a harder drug less scary.

    I think legalization would help by reducing exposure. I also believe that the drawing of the line further down the danger line of drugs will show that the primary “gateway drug” is the lightest illegal drug. I also think that the easy justification of mj makes it easier to break the law. The dumber a law, the more people are willing to ignore it.

    I think legalization would lead to an increase in use. Removal of prohibition did, in fact, lead to more widespread drinking, but it was still better than the alternative. Also, there were not significant increases in alcoholics, just in drinking. Where a few cases might have increased due to easier accessibility, many were prevented by it being more open and society taking responsibility rather than depending on government and laws to handle people with a problem.

    I support legalization for all the reasons USW does, and I will add one that he hinted at. Hemp is an amazing plant. It has a wide variety of uses. The economic benefits to allowing cultivation are immeasurable. Imagine, after George Washington Carver’s discoveries, if we had made peanuts and sweet potatoes illegal. There just are not enough reasons to block this thing. The idea of making it illegal to grow a plant is preposterous to me. We are a country of producers, or at least we used to be. We were such a country before all this stuff was made illegal. We will be productive in many ways if the plant is allowed, we will not all turn into loser potheads.

  7. Ok I’ll bite. Your’s truly is an occasional user. I agree with the above statements that it’s totally on the individual person whether it leads to harder drugs or not. I am proud to say I’ve never tried any other drug, except alcohol, 3 times to be exact and got sick as hell all 3 times. Some friends have offered up some other stuff but I’m scared of the harder stuff and have even tossed some from my property for it even being around. I also don’t see it as being addicting. I quit for each of my pregnancies, I quit for 3 years during a custody case for my daughter. Even then it was brought up in court. The arbitrator in the case even went on record as saying it was not an issue with her since the entire rest of my life has been police free, succesful business owner on & on. She even came to my home and was impressed with everything she saw. My kids have never seen me with it..ever. My daughter, who is now married, has nothing to do with it so it doesn’t trickle down. My brother is a cop in another city and he is for legalization. He says there is just too much time and effort put into fighting it. I’ve never met or seen a violent pothead.

    Having said all that…I guess I’m a hypocrite because I wouldn’t like to see the other drugs legalized. I think the ones hooked on that stuff are a danger and that other stuff can actually kill you. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone dying from pot but the other stuff can kill you.

    The medical marijuana laws are a joke as they stand now. I think its just a trial run to see how things would work if it was legal. But anyone can get a backache and go get some herb for that.
    I say legalize marijuana, make some money from it, and leave it at that. But I think that even if was legal there would still be a black market for it. Even that wouldn’t be a problem though because you can grow your own. So I have stuff to do for some hours now but fire away….

    • Anita

      You are not alone in your reservations. I do not want to see Meth legalized. This drug is very different in that it alters brain chemistry and creates an overpowering addiction on the “first” use. Now that is the knowledge today. If we find this is false then I would reconsider.

      This fits well with our discussion of laws designed to enforce “moral behavior” or “decency” the other day. We often construct nightmare scenarios for a world where true freedom is the rule. Yet we forget the moral evolution that is inherent in reaching such a society. Please note that even Black Flag has conceded that we could not simply go to that point today without bad consequences.

      So the question on these issues is to me the same as with others. How far can we progress down the path towards the village of Black Flag TODAY. Can we even reach VDLG or do we need some other stop along the way?

      With respect to the drug issue I come down on the legalization of pot and cocaine TODAY.

      But we must begin to address the underlying reason that the use of these drugs is even a concern. That is the psychological damage done to a society raised on the philosophy of self sacrifice. How can we expect our youth to be free of mind altering drugs if we condemn them to a life of being just another cog in the machine? If we promise them a life that is economically worse off than the one their parents lived? If we give them HOPE as a platitude instead of a philosophical and intellectual imperative?

      My absolute best wishes to you this morning.
      And Congratulations on your pursuit of a thinking life.

      JAC

      • If freedom means people can do what they want as long as they don’t hurt anyone else or take away their freedom -then on what basis do you say the meth shouldn’t be legalized-this is the confusion that I am talking about when everyone talks about a truly free society.

        • V.H.

          Exactly.

          It doesn’t matter how disgusting someone else lives – it is their right.

          • I’m still mulling that over-but I do think I understand JAC’s seeming contradiction now.

          • anoninnc says:

            OK, I get the premises of personal freedom and core principles, I really do.

            But what and how do we handle the problem when the lifestyle choices made by the core principles of individual freedom lead one to be controlled, in the moment, not by their core principles, but, instead,by “substances” (and I’m not talking about salt or disney toys) that lead them to “infringe” on the rights of others while under the influence of the now “uncontrolled” substances?

            In other words, if your free indulgences lead you to make poor decisions (driving while substance-impaired leading to a car crash for instance) how do we handle that? Is that concern illegitimate if we get out of the realm of philosophical debate and into the real world where I (and my wife and teenager) live? Am I anti-freedom if I desire for substances that remove the ability to be controlled by core principles to not be available to the driver of the oncoming car?

            • Anoninnc

              You do not live in a world separated from the philosophical.

              You absolutely must understand and come to grips with that.

              You must understand how the two are entwined.

              The questions you pose are philosophical questions. They are the kinds of questions required to test the philosophical tenant against reality to see if it is valid.

              This discussion on drugs and other “decency” or “morality” related laws is key to understand freedom and determining if it is in fact a valid principle to hold.

              Core principles will not control anyone. They do provide a means for each of us to judge our own actions against a standard. We then determine if our standard is wrong of if our actions were wrong.

              No principle ever developed has prevented men from acting against them. It is only by our own volition and effort that our actions become consistent with those core values.

              I think I am preaching to the choir here, but wanted to make sure we all thought about this given the structure of your comment.

              Let me submit this. Those who are willing to use coercion against themselves, like drug induced stupor, are missing something in the self esteem category. If you have self esteem and the pride that comes with it, why would you take a substance that would in fact prevent you from using your mind to it fullest potential. Why would you sacrifice your own self control.

              That is why I say that the answer to drug use in the long term is a change in the paradigm of our core philosophy. It is the value system of altruism that has brought us the drug abuse as an escape from reality.

              And to answer your question directly, yes you are against freedom and liberty if you want to use govt to remove substances because the might lead to someone driving under their influence. You are also impractical because all the laws passed to date have not stopped such a behavior. There has to be a better way.

            • Anoninnc

              how do we handle that

              “We” do not handle it.

              “You” have to handle it.

              All human action is ultimately individual.

              If you are a person who needs chains on your ankles for you not to jump of a cliff – then slavery, in one form or another, will be your lot.

              Responsibility is essential if one wishes to secure their own freedom – but it is NOT a necessary condition of human action.

              You cannot “beat’ responsibility into anyone – you will either beat obedience or rebellion and neither of these conditions are sustainable.

              Obedience action is not responsible action – it is totally different. One does an action not because it is right, but because it is necessary to avoid the beating. Once the beating stops, there is no understanding of Rightful action.

              Rebellion is self-describing. It is resistance and undermining.

              One day, you will not be there to swing the club – and the core behavior will revert – and it will lead to irresponsibility as nothing else has been developed.

              The only way responsibility is learned is by example.

              If parenting example is not adequate, then proper example from society will have to suffice.

              ….and it can, if and only if society is rooted in Righteous Principles itself!.

              If it is a society that condones “legal” beatings – then you will see an unsustainable, overt, overbearing presence upon the People that will eventually collapse on itself.

              Thus the preaching by JAC and myself – that our roots must start from principle of Right.

              It underscores everything.

        • V.H.

          My opposition to legalizing Meth is due to its nature.

          This drug can be given to someone without their knowledge and they are hooked for life.

          A single use creates a permanent change in the brain that causes a craving for the euphoria felt while high.

          As I said, it is the difference between the IDEAL and what I can accept TODAY.

          We have not found a way to counter act the addictive qualities of this drug, that I know of. Even Heroin addicts can be treated and become drug free. It is my understanding that Meth actually changes the brain chemistry and thus wiring.

          So in this case, a person really doesn’t have the FREE WILL to decide to use the drug for fun or not use the drug. That free will only exists with the first decision, not future decisions. For those using pot or cocaine that decision can be made freely each and every day. It may be harder to kick a habit but it is a habit not an actual “possession” of your free will as with Meth.

          Does that help explain my position?

          It is the same for ownership of nuclear weapons. I really don’t want my neighbor to have the right to maintain a nuclear bomb in his basement. Certainly not in this day and age.

  8. Legalize it or don’t legalize it…I do not care. If someone puts crap in their body…ok. Probably no worse than sugar and caffeine. I, like, G.A., have seen the results of it. I have read the military reports of convicted and charged personnel. Most (over 70%) were on duty and either fell asleep on guard duty or had accidental injuries that probably otherwise would not have happened or had accidental discharge of firearms in violation of range rules or overslept or were driving and flying equipment under the influence and their slow reactions were noticed. Far more than alcohol because alcohol is so noticeable.

    I, personally, have not even had passive inhalation and will leave any party or gathering where marijuana is present, regardless of how well I like the person. But I will also not associate with a loud or abusive or stupid person that is on alcohol either. Does not make me a “better than thou” person but it is my choice….just as it is the choice of an individual to drink or do drugs. Now, having said that, here is the rest of my philosophy on mind altering issues.

    Matt states: “So if it is a problem for you, and not everyone, why do you get to stop the rest of us from using it harmlessly?”

    D13 responds: Harmlessly is the keyword. Like drinking, if you confine it to your home (like having a drink) I do not have a problem with it at all. However, the minute you decide to exercise your freedom to get behind the wheel of a car, while impaired, and hit the public street that I am on, you have just crossed the line and created danger, and therefore have instituted violence, have you not? Do I not have a “right” and “privilege” to a safe street? I certainly do not wish to board an airline with an alcohol impaired pilot nor a marijuana impaired pilot or any pilot that is impaired with even a prescription drug that can be abused. Conclusion…smoke it or drink it or eat it…I do not care…in the privacy of your own home or party where the effects can wear off….you do not harm me in any way. Otherwise, you create harm.

    Does marijuana automatically lead to abusive behaviour? No, I don’t think so. Does alcohol automatically lead to abusive behaviour? No, I don’t think so. So, it is a free choice as far as I am concerned.

    Now, to the subject that brought it up. Will the legalization of marijuana have an effect on the violence on border issues? I think that I am more qualified than most to speak to this issue and my opinion is NO. Eliminating prohibition only stopped Al Capone and quit making the Kennedy’s any more rich than they already were (The old man made a killing on boot legging). Even legalizing ALL DRUGS will not stop the border violence and the gangland activity. It will put a small dent in it…but a very small dent, so please do not use the “prohibition” argument. The border issue is here to stay. Drugs is just one fifth of the problem. We still have alcohol issues crossing the border and alcohol is legal in the states ( I bet no one knows about the amounts of 18 wheelers that cross the border bringing in Tequilas hidden in rice bags or in machinery, just like Canadian whiskey, in the prohibition days). I bet no one knows that this tequila is then “strong armed” into restaurants and liquor stores under the threat of being bombed or burned…just like the prohibition days, and, yes, it is happening with greater frequency. We still have a greater prostitution issue at the border. Ok, legalize prostitution. Do you think that will stop the gangs from taking control of the trade? Or do you want the GOVERNMENT to run it. Which is it…there is no other remedy. We have a greater extortion issue at the border (not drug or alcohol or prostitution related but old fashioned protection rackets and it will not go away and has NOTHING to do with drugs but everything to do with kidnapping. Pornography is also as large a trade as drugs at the border. Child pornography, taped rapes, taped rapes with dismembering, taped rapes of children, animal sexual abuse…all a predominant business coming out of Central and South America. What I have a hard time believing is that there is a market out there for this. Where does it stop? Nobody wants to talk about these things, do they. You certainly do not see these issues on the news. Believe them or don’t believe them, I do not give a shit. I am the one down here…you are not. Don’t bring the border into it.

    So, Legalize it….and as BF says…legalize all drugs. Do it…I do not care. But, when you legalize all drugs under the disguise of freedom, then you better be prepared to legalize everything, under the same disguise. Freedom is something that I want more than anything but with freedom comes responsibility. I wonder if anyone actually knows what “responsibility” that means.

    Sorry, USW….I got on my soap box a little here. It is one thing to sit behind a computer and philosophize and quote famous people and such….but until one gets in the muck and blood and bullshit, one will realize…all the talking in the world will not solve problems. I got off on the border issue and marijuana.

    So, long answer to your question and post…..D13 says legalize it. It will have no long term effect and if someone wants to ingest it…go for it.

    • D13

      Good morning Colonel. You stated: “However, the minute you decide to exercise your freedom to get behind the wheel of a car, while impaired, and hit the public street that I am on, you have just crossed the line and created danger, and therefore have instituted violence, have you not? Do I not have a “right” and “privilege” to a safe street?”

      I offer this. The “drunk driving” laws are an aberration of reason and liberty. One is pronounced guilty and is severely punished for a violent crime they “might” commit as opposed to an actual act of harm to another.

      Driving drunk is NOT an act of violence. It is irresponsible behavior for sure but not an act of violence in itself.

      So lets address the issue. If the drunk hits somebody and they are harmed then an act of violence or at least harm has been done. We have swallowed the pill that leads us to believe that govt’s job is to “prevent” harm from happening. Thus we have rationalized these laws with “But why not try to “prevent” such an accident”? As you say, you should be able to drive down the road without having to dodge the drunks as well as the crappy drivers.

      How about we use the money saved by our other efforts to put enough police on the street to simply remove the drunk from the road for the night? Order a taxi and make them go home. Confiscate the car and make them come back for it the next day. Cost of taxi and towing on the drunk. These are not fully thought out but you get the idea.

      I have lived in many areas where you knew that folks were driving home from the bars on Friday night and the greatest risk was from around 11:30 p.m. to about 1:30 a.m. So I avoided driving on those highways late on Friday night. I taught my kids the same thing about driving on Friday night. Or, on Saturday afternoons following some large sporting event.

      Wishing for some of your warm weather today.
      A full week in the 40′s now, with very cold strong wind today.

      JAC

      • JAC, I cannot help it-I just keep reading and the more I read the more I hear-We should limit our freedom and safety so the irresponsible can have their freedom to be stupid.

        • V, Honest question, give me an honest answer..You knew me before I fessed up. I assume (uh oh) you saw me as a responsible person (I am). Does my confesion give you a different opinion of me? Any one else care to answer…I can handle it and have been called worse.

          • I still think you are a responsible person Anita-I could care less if pot is legalized-In my personal experience it is not dangerous enough to warrant taking away a persons right to smoke it if they please-but I find myself seeing in this absolute freedom the demand that in order for others to have their freedoms means that I lose many of mine. I am beginning to wonder if the definition that people are using for freedom actually protects freedom or just shifts freedom to the crazy who are amongst us.

            • V.H.

              You still have not done the required exercise of defining and understanding freedom for you.

              When you have accomplished that task, then you have to prove it as it would apply to everyone else.

              If it still remains consistent, then you can start measure the world with your new yardstick.

              But until then, you’re measuring the world with an elastic band.

              • No doubt-which is why I am questioning everything. JAC seems to support freedom but he doesn’t seem to agree 100% with you-USW doesn’t agree 100% with you but I find that you are the only person who I feel I know exactly where you stand and I find I don’t agree with you 100%. :)

            • Whew! :8

              I’ve been with you all the way in your fights with JAC & BF on freedom vs stupidity. I have no clue on how to deal with all that either

              • man my shades didn’t work right. I can’t have …..

                Didn’t want to stir the colonel up this time.

              • Cyndi P says:

                Hey girl,

                I say give ‘em freedom. If they’re stupid enough, they’ll remove themselves from the gene pool and humanity is better off in the long term, LOL!

                Hope you’re having a good day. :)

              • Compared to last night? Yes ma’am. I’ll see if my shades work this time. 8)

              • :)

        • V.H.

          Please explain where in my comments you find such a conclusion.

          I thought the purpose of laws was to prevent harm? Does my proposal not reduce the potential for harm to the innocent?

          Please explain why you are thinking what you are.

          JAC

          • I am not talking just about your comments from the above. I am referencing all that I have heard lately about taking away decency laws, no speed limits, no respect for life just let people kill themselves, don’t try to stop bad things from happening just let nature take it’s course and what happens happens. I find that I’m not at all sure where you stand on all these issues-at moments you seem to agree with BF completely-at other times you seem to disagree. Perhaps you should write an article stating how you feel about some of the things that BF and I have talked about the last few weeks.

            • V.H.

              A summary at this point to clarify what you see as possible contradictions.

              BF’s view of a society without Government is the IDEAL. It is the “long term goal”. It is absolutely NOT achievable today nor in the near term. We are not ready for such a thing because we turned off the path of true freedom about 200 years ago. The founders thought they built the right constraints on power to let freedom flourish. They were wrong and we were not ready to fix the mistakes. So we now have 200 years of acculturation to overcome. This is the basis I believe for your foreboding. You can see that our current society let free to its own devises might not give good results in the short term.

              My view of VDLG is a proposed bridge from where we are to BF’s village. This means finding those institutions we must have to prevent chaos but cause enough of a struggle to help us see we CAN live free if we are willing to work at it.

              So the confusion you see is when I am agreeing with BF on key philosophical principles by arguing for folks to recognize the contradictions in their core philosophy, while at other times defending some intermediate step that will move us in that direction.

              As I see it, most of the dialogue BF has with you and others here are at the philosophical base level. He is attacking contradictions between your stated philosophy and your views on an issue which contradict that stated philosophy.

              BF and I do have some differences on basic principles as well as over particular details. Especially how we use definitions to control the options available. These come out at times and our debate can confuse others that don’t recognize what it is we are really arguing about.

              Much of your trepidation also comes, I believe, from forgetting the difference between “Government Law” and those “laws” we call social norms or rules of conduct.

              Do not confuse my opposition to decency laws or bans on suicide by Government as evidence that I am willing to let people perish according to the odds of some crap game. I will intervene to prevent the suicide but I will never support passing a “govt law” banning suicide.

              There is also a component of this that is based on fear, which is in turn based on our indoctrination. Take sex in public for example. I have seen sex in public and the law Did Not stop it. Do we really think that if there were not laws banning this that there would be some massive increase in public sex? Would you, your kids, your parents, your friends all run for the park naked? I think not.

              Yet we believe our fears to be true because we have been told that this will happen. We have also been conditioned to believe that “there should be a law” against what ever it is that bothers us. This in turn reduces our ability to act to eliminate the thing that is imposing on us, because we expect the “law” to deal with it.

              This leads to “rationalization” for more laws and more laws. It in turn allows others to use those same laws against those who wanted them in the first place. This is the major point BF was trying to make with the discussion about decency laws. When you give govt the authority to use force for “your” purpose the “others” can use the same power against “you” when they have the power. Just look at what the Dems have done with what the Republicans gave them to work with.

              Perhaps an article is in order but in the meantime I hope this helps clarify. Please ask more questions if you do not understand or feel frustrated by some comment.

              JAC

              • JAC,

                Brilliantly accurate.

                As JAC states, I support VLDG only to the degree that it is less evil than what we have and that a transition “cold turkey” would probably destroy society and cause the deaths of millions of people if – overnight – government’s ‘evaporated’ instantly.

              • Give JAC some points BF!

              • Anita

                I am a selfish man and therefore do not seek any points from BF.

                His company in debate and discussion is all the reward I need in my pursuit of a flourishing life.

                But I certainly do appreciate your efforts on my behalf.

                A big warm and firm hug in return.
                Thanks
                JAC

              • LoL!

                I was just going to say, every time I give JAC points, all he does is exchange them for chits for homemade ginger beer, birch beer or root beer!

              • PS:
                We’ve got 6 Gallons of Ginger Beer on the way, and the kid made 5 Gallons of Homemade Root Beer (traditional) – yum!

              • I do so love the homemade root beer.

              • …made from sassafras root too!

                Yes, yes – the know-all FDA says it is carcegenic in mice after they consume a hundred pounds of the stuff….

                …but unless you drink about 150 gallons a day of root beer….

                …:)

      • JAV says: The “drunk driving” laws are an aberration of reason and liberty.

        Don’t know that you and I are in agreement on this one point JAC. I am not referring to any law. However, I don’t know if I agree to your premise that I have to wait for violence to happen in order to say…it was violence. I have watched several of define and redefine when violence on the non violent. For example, closing a border creates no violence on non violent people. I have caused no harm yet there are some that claim the mere closing of something initiates violence…..meaning that I or they caused it. I am still under the premise, that if the closing of a border is a violent act, then why isn’t driving drunk or impaired worse than that?

        Ok…so…let me understand your position. Someone under the influence of mind and/or physical impairment DOES NOT create a situation of violence. Stupidity, yes, but violence…no. Until violence happens…correct?

        I have already said that I do not care whether or not marijuana is legalized….I could care less. All I said was that it would not help the border. However, I will disagree with you on the premise that if you knowingly put me in harms way….that in itself is a violent act against me regardless of whether I suffered harm at that time.

        Today is 84 degrees and nice winds. For the next two days and nights, starting this evening, I will be flying. I am obtaining a multi-engine hi performance A/C rating and have to do night flying and emergency night procedures this evening as well as IFR training in emergency procedures of night flying. I will also be doing X-country flying and flight plan training for the same type of aircraft. (KingAir) Don’t have all the endorsements yet.

        Hope your day is doing well, sir.

        D13

        • D13,

          Until they demonstrate Clear and Present Danger.

          This can be demonstrated easily by observation of their driving – if such driving does endanger others by their action – they must be stopped.

          But a guy driving just fine is no threat. Arresting him is a violation of his rights.

          • D13,

            Let’s be honest.

            Cops are lazy SOB’s.

            Instead of actually working and observing traffic, and judging dangerous driving regardless of sobriety, they’d rather sit by the side of the road, stop all cars, and smell your breath.

            Speeding is another “lazy” crazy stuff. Instead of actually policing the highway and ensuring safety at any speed – its just easier to claim some guy traveling +25 over the limit on a clear highway is “breaking the law”.

          • Ummmm…ok….I can get my hand around most of this. Both posts.

            • PS:

              Pop was NOT a lazy cop.

              He infuriated his superiors by issuing record number of “warning” tickets instead of “moneymaking” tickets.

              He’d call taxi’s for drivers that had a bit too much instead of ruining their lives with a criminal charge.

              He’d demand that they come to his office to pick up the keys to their cars – where he’d explain how they could have lost their freedom, been a criminal, probably lost their jobs etc. – and got off “lucky”.

              His motto “It’s not speed that kills, its the DIFFERENCE of speed that kills”.

              So, it was the fools that were way out of line with their speed according to traffic – regardless of the speed of traffic – that he stopped – too fast OR too SLOW!

              He became the top-dog over a patrol area greater than most European countries – and investigated or over saw every investigation of every fatal accident in his territory.

              With no surprise, after a few years – the number of fatal’s dropped by 45% in his territory.

              You’d think he’d should have won a prize. Nope. Revenue from traffic violations went down too. Bad boy!!

              After he retired, a LEO took over – within 18 months, a new record of fatal’s were recorded – but all revenue targets were reached and exceeded….

    • exercise your freedom to get behind the wheel

      This statement goes to show how powerful the repetition of lies is able to implant itself in the mind.

      #1 cause of accidents and fatalities on the roads are sober drivers

      Yet, the “media” constant mantra of “impaired” drivers, and the constant reporting of “accidents” due to impaired drivers – with the dearth of any reporting of other types of accidents – leads one to believe the opposite.

      #1 cause of accidents and fatalities – 80% of them – is ….

      …age.

      The lack of experience of the driver is the killer.

      • It matters not what the “real” cause is to stupid driving. Alcohol or any impairment is just as bad if not worse.

        I do not wish to share a road with any driver under the influence of any mind or body altering substance. That is an abuse of my safety.

        Nothing more….nothing less.

        I have no idea what your point was here except to offer up that it is ok to drive drunk or under the influence of anything.

        i know you better.

        • D13,

          at is an abuse of my safety.

          Then I suggest you avoid all roads and cars like the plague.

          All most all drivers are under some sort of influence

          Fight with the wife or the boss, late for an appointment, trying to remember a street address, pick up the kids, “what am I going to cook for supper?”, etc. etc.

          An fellow with a couple of beers is the least of your worries, sir!

          Do not judge the influence – judge their actions

          A woman thinking about supper, what time to pick up the kids, talking on the phone, juggling a grocery list, and trying to remember a street address of some shoe store is as much or more dangerous

          That is why 80% of fatalities involve sober drivers

          The odds are, if you die in a car accident, it will be at the hands of a man, aged under 25, who is sober.

          That is who you should fear.

    • I certainly do not wish to board an airline with an alcohol impaired pilot nor a marijuana impaired pilot or any pilot that is impaired with even a prescription drug that can be abused.

      And let’s clear up another myth!

      There are physiological effects of alcohol on anyone taking an airplane

      There is a reason that the rule “24 hours between bottle and throttle” for pilots exist.

      The drop in air pressure and O2 level at altitude significantly increases impairment by an order of magnitude.

      Have a beer, and fly to 10,000 feet – and its like you had 5 to 10…

      This altitude effect is zero with pot.

      A pilot who drinks vs. a pilot who smokes – take the pot smoker if a choice must be made!

      • Come on BF..get with the real world here. You know exactly what I was referring to….I do not want a pilot under any influence. I know all about the rules and regs…same applies to truck drivers and insulin takers, etc…while having a CDL.

        If a pilot was drunk on duty….you would not fly with him. I also doubt that you would fly with a pilot hopped up on Mary Jane……and if you tell me you would,,,,,I am not going to believe it.

        Alcohol impairment and altitude is romper room 101 stuff…everybody knows this.

        Consequently, there is no MYTH that was offered by me at all…a simple statement that you wish to elaborate on in a rabbit trail.

        • D13,

          Come on BF..get with the real world here. You know exactly what I was referring to….I do not want a pilot under any influence.

          Most pilots ARE under some influence!

          The worse crash in aviation history is an example of pilots under the influence – one, under arrogance and ego, and the other – the unwillingness to suffer the anger of his Captain – combined to kill over 500 people.

          Of course, I would insist on flying with an aware, awake and mentally engaged pilot.

          But that does not make a cause to make some drugs illegal.

          It is a airline policy by which violation the pilot loses his job – that is the contract between employer and employee. No Law is necessary.

          ….you would not fly with him.

          Nope.

          But that is not sufficient to arrest him and criminalize him.

          I also doubt that you would fly with a pilot hopped up on Mary Jane……and if you tell me you would,,,,,I am not going to believe it.

          Probably not – but that STILL is NOT sufficient to criminalize him

          Consequently, there is no MYTH that was offered by me at all…a simple statement that you wish to elaborate on in a rabbit trail.

          The degree is massive – orders of magnitude – between a car drive and a beer and a pilot and a beer.

          But even so – that is STILL insufficient to criminalize either

          • On criminalizing, I agree. You and I are saying the same thing, I think. However, you and I will disagree…a plane, car, ship, or space shuttle…no difference. The result is the same regardless of the number of dead. One is as good as one thousand.

            But, I can acquiesce on the clear and present danger aspect a little more.

            Off to go fly.

    • I get your reasoning more and more about the idea that legalization will not fix the border issue. I agree that it will not do so on its own, military intervention is needed.

      It may be that the long-term effect of legalizing drugs will be very small. I think in the long run it will help more than you think because of teh reduced resources of the cartels, but I know it will not fix it on its own. We have people trained to handle this sort of violence perpetrated by the cartels, we should use them and protect the non-violent that happen to live on the border. You are more qualified than most to say what is going on at the border, but it is also possible to be too close to it and not consider macro effects of certain actions or policies. Not saying you are doing this, just saying that the couch philosophers still ahve a point sometimes. Of course, if they ignore the realities presented by those like yourself, then they are full of crap. :)

      Best of luck in your efforts, I hope you get some backup soon.

      • Hi Jon….it will help but not much. Only about 1/5th of the money is from drugs.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “D13 responds: Harmlessly is the keyword. Like drinking, if you confine it to your home (like having a drink) I do not have a problem with it at all. However, the minute you decide to exercise your freedom to get behind the wheel of a car, while impaired, and hit the public street that I am on, you have just crossed the line and created danger, and therefore have instituted violence, have you not?”

      D13,

      The answer to your question is actually, “NO”. The minute you are impared and get behind teh wheel and hit the public street, you have NOT initiated violence, because you have not actually CAUSED HARM.

      There are plenty of drunks that drive home from the bar and you never hear about them, because they never harm anyone. Of course you DO hear about the ones that kill other people by crashing into them at high speeds!

      When you make a stupid decision (such as driving while intoxicated) you do indeed suddenly represent a threat to do harm, and you have the POTENTIAL to initiate violence, but you have not ACTUALLY done so.

  9. Ellen Spalding says:

    Good Morning All

    I am not for legalizing MJ, just due to the fact that I dont think it will solve anything. The logic that this will stop border issues or stop drugs from being flooded in, is just stupid. Plus I dont think that if someone has a choice to go to a place and buy it and pay the tax that Uncle Sam has on it, or go to the local drug friend with no tax-My guess is the friend will win out.
    I have seen too many people who have wasted their careers over this stuff, so I figure we dont need anymore issues than we already have.

    Ellen

    • A response I did not expect from you. If I am not mistaken, you are in favor of same sex marriage…correct? Please examine your reasoning behind that belief, and superimpose it upon the legalization of MJ…neither would cause others harm…I am for legalization of both.

      • Ellen Spalding says:

        The difference I see between the two is that if I choose to get married to someone of the same sex, it doesnt hurt anyone. But if I choose to smoke MJ and then in my high state, get into a car and drive, then I am endangering many others. I can drive gay and not hurt a soul.

        My brother is a cop, and in a town that has more than it share of drug issues. I dont feel that drug trade will not change with the lifting of the law, so I dont feel that it is a waste of time for officers, due to that the crimes to transport drugs in with still exisit.

        I know it not my normal reaction to situations, but I do have issues with drugs, maybe due I have seen many people that have ruin their lives due to it.

        • If I misuse a gun I hurt people. Does that mean I should not have freedom of arms? If I drive angry and do something stupid behind the wheel I hurt someone, should anger be illegal? I know that a mind-altering substance is a problem, and it can lead persons to engage in acts they otherwise would not. Sometimes the person who is impaired is not only impaired in driving ability, but in the decision-making involved in choosing to drive. I get that, but I do not think you would see a significant change in impaired driving, even if there was an increase in usage. I am not sure what the assumption that there would be such an increase is based on. Anyone know the accident rate stats for Amsterdam?

        • Ellen…you said “But if I choose to smoke MJ and then in my high state, get into a car and drive, then I am endangering many others.” Personal responsibility…that is all you need to have.

          As far as your brother, think of the time he would have to do some actual police work and not bother with some non violent pot heads, who by the way help to clog the courts and prisons.

          I too have seen people destroyed by drugs. The only way people I have known were destroyed by MJ is due to the law…with other drugs, I have seen people become things they were not…and I will leave that there.

          Just think of all the people that this law have hurt…

          • PS…for the record, I was staunchly against the legalization of gay marriage…until I spent some time on this site. BF has made me think about core beliefs. Upon serious reflection, my core belief is do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Being against gay marriage is in direct conflict with that belief, hence an epitomy of sorts has happend for me.

        • USWeapon says:

          Realistically, Ellen, can you answer one question for me with a little thought first…. How many of those that ruined their life with the assistance of drugs would have ruined it anyway without the drugs. Would they simply have done it with alcohol? or gambling? or some other vice? The reality that I find in many cases is that despite what appeared to be a bright future, there was a flaw there that all but guaranteed that they would find failure. Drugs just ended up being the vehicle of choice.

    • USWeapon says:

      Ellen,

      I am not for legalizing MJ, just due to the fact that I dont think it will solve anything.

      Say it isn’t so Ellen! It will solve at least one very big problem. It will eliminate a law that goes against the freedom and liberty this country was meant to stand for. And that would be enough. It would also free up a ton of money, resources, and officers to be used on things that actually are important.

      USW

  10. Legalizing MJ is where I need to stick to my principals of freedom and not what I would prefer.

    Don’t like the stuff, have never used, would prefer it be illegal as it keeps it “under cover”. (see above – Anita uses, won’t let kids see her use it….undercover).

    However, my desire for less government/freedom is more prevalent, thus, bring it on, I guess.

  11. The theory: drinking impairs driving.

    Therefore: government is judging driving skill.

    Thus: Because of training, I can drunk drive better than you sober, you should go to jail if you even attempt to get behind the wheel.

    This does not happen.

    Therefore government is NOT judging driving at all. So now, any moron can get behind a wheel – no problem, but not a trained, but marginally impaired professional.

    And then one merely looks upon the highways – a Vietnam war every year – and scratches one head to “why”??

    • Mathius says:

      The thing that always bothered me is that cops can drive faster than the speed limit. If it is safe for them to do so (ostensibly due to superior training), then I should be able to take a course that permits me to do so as well. If the stated goal of speed limits to to ensure safe driving speeds, then either the cops are unsafe or I can be trained to also travel at the higher safe speed.

      So which is it?

      Harrumph.

      • It is BOTH.

      • Mathius and JAC,

        Pop was a traffic cop. He came out of training, got assigned a patrol car and off he went – with nothing more than the experience of driving a tractor on a farm.

        He learned quickly!

        They have no more (and often less) skill than the average driver – other than what they learn by experience over time.

        The irony – the young bucks love high speed car chases – when they have nearly zero skill.

        The old vet’s hate car chases – and they have the keen experience and talent to handle them.

        I guess that’s why the became old vet’s….

        And yes, I took a high-speed driving course by request of Pop as did my brother. None of this “defensive driving” crap – it was high speed and out of control – and we learned by trial by fire.

        …and beyond a doubt it saved my life when a sleepy driver veered into my lane suddenly… we’re both alive because of that training.

        IF that was standard training for under 25 years – I predict we would see a 75% drop in fatalities and accidents.

        But don’t hold your breath for any initiative.

      • Mathius,

        #1 killer of cops is car accidents – so they are no better prepared for crazy speed then you are….

  12. Cyndi P says:

    posting for comments

  13. Mathius says:

    This is a test:

    Government is not the problem, government is the solution.

  14. V.H. and others thinking similarly,

    1) What freedoms of yours are we talking about encroaching on? I do not see how your freedom is affected.

    2) Safety is your responsiblity, not the governments. The government is too incompetent to entrust with that, even if there were no philosophical reasons to avoid such a thing.

    3) Increased freedom always comes with increased risk, as well as increased opportunity. I am willing to take those risks. I understand that many are afraid to, but it is the price of freedom.

    4) Stupid people are still people, and they have rights too.

    5) Laws are lousy at prevention, the idea that they serve such a purpose is a lie. They are in place to enact punishment when they are broken, which is a deterrent and, when possible, a means of restitution for the crime.

    6) I value the safety of all, just not above the freedom of all. I will do my utmost to pressure my peers and others to respect the rights and safety of others, and I will support any law that protects freedom, but I need to know what you define as freedom before I can say I will protect your freedom as YOU see it.

    7) The idea that potential harm could increase is the exact rationale for almost all of our lost and dying freedoms. Gun control, freedom of speech and religion, etc. are all justified from the standpoint of, not just perceived harm, but potential for harm and for perceived harm. The idea that something should be illegal because it might be perceived as harmful by someone is an insane twist of rationale devised to steal freedom and control people. Yet that is what I am reading when I hear you and GA talk about keeping specific plants from being grown. Yet we agree on other issues of freedom. Why the inconsistency? What am I missing?

    • Mathius says:

      5. Bah. Laws are very good at prevention when the penalties are severe enough and when they are enforced. I know that if I stab my boss, I will go to jail. This is bad enough that I opt to follow the law no matter how much I wish not to. Conversely, it is illegal to jay-walk, but since no one enforces it (and even if they did, the penalty wouldn’t be ruinous), I simple ignore the law.

      Think about the mob. Omerta (the rule of silence) was more powerful than the law’s ability to coerce testimony. But then came the RICO laws and suddenly people started doing what the law wanted. Why? Because the penalties were harsh enough.

      Want to see a drug law that works much more effectively? Up the penalty. Summary execution for dealing, 30 years in prison for possession (or for a failed drug test). Tell me I’m wrong.

      Not that I advocate this, but I feel it’s important to realize that the reason the laws don’t work is because we don’t really want them to work. If we were unanimous that no one should ever be allowed to smoke two joints in the morning or smoke two joints at night, then the penalties would be prohibitive and it would work in almost all cases.

      (as always, 10 points for the not-so-hidden reference)

      • Ok, I was speaking of “prevention” and “deterent” as two different things. For instance:
        No matter how bad the penalty for murder, there will still be murders. Certainly some people might be deterred from killing in a moment of anger because of the harshness of the law, because they know it would ruin their life. However, there are people either think they can beat the system or don’t care about the consequences of their actions. Laws do not prevent them from doing anything.

        That said, I do agree that a harsh enough penalty would be much more effective on drug use. The problem is, we have this thing against cruel and unusual punishment, a mentality that the punishment should fit the crime.

        Thing is, it raises a very good question. If we are not going to enforce a law, should we even have it? I do not think we should. Unenforced law, and laws against all sorts of stuff leads to what Rand referred to as “the aristocracy of pull”. I just did a bit on that in my blog. (here if anyone wants to read it).
        It seems to me if its not bad enough to enforce, or there is too much stuff that is illegal to enforce it all, then we need to make less stuff illegal. Law is not in place to control or guide society. It is in place to protect the rights and freedoms of the people by punishing the guilty and demanding restitution when possible.

        • Mathius says:

          Re: cruel and unusual punishment

          Thing is, and maybe this is just the programmer in me, but the operator “and” is interesting. You see, in a test with an and-statement, both tests have to be true for the whole to be true. If either is false, the the whole is false.

          So, for a cruel punishment to pass Constitutional muster, I think it just has to be used enough that it isn’t “unusual.”

          Any lawyers here-abouts disagree? :-P

      • Mathius,

        this is bad enough that I opt to follow the law

        If this was true, there would be no murder.

        But there is.

        No criminal counts on jail as a deterrent.

        If you are willing to kill, you will.

      • Bottom Line says:

        I love that song. As you can see, I posted it below.

        Remember that I like to trade Mathius points for pot seeds.
        :)

        • Bottom Line says:

          Of course, I suppose it’s also fair to not give me points as I ddn’t post the the original which was done by Bob Marley.

          I just happen to like Sublime.

    • I believe that there are some things that are simply a matter of common decency-don’t use the bathroom in public-I have basically been told that a person has the right to do this because they aren’t hurting me or imposing on my freedoms -that I have the right to leave. Now I see my having to leave as an imposition on my right to be there. I have been told that I cannot force people to be moral and I agree that is why I need a way to discourage people from using the bathroom in the public view. I want to be free and I know that I am showing an extreme view of what people would do but if we are going to talk about absolute freedom than lets look at a picture of what it would be like-now, today, the way people in our society would be-it is not a pretty picture.

      • Mathius says:

        general agreement….

        then again, you’d be surprised how fast you be inured to that kind of thing..

      • and I have to wonder if in the end we will give away more of our freedoms in our attempt to save them-by simply going to far in our definition of what is a Right.

      • I get your point. I think a lot of time has been spent talking about whether or not something should or should not be illegal, and about whether the role of laws should be applied to moral or even considerate action. There is a place for making sure people do not pee in public, but I don’t think it warrants jail or even a law outside of tresspassing. There are a great many non-violent reactions a person or society could have to deter actions deemed unwanted. I have no problem with these things, in fact I would encourage it. I think it is the lack of taking responsibility for influencing the society around us that has led to the lousy moral state of our society. More and more we look to the government and to law to fix things, including things we find reprehensible or distasteful or stupid, not just things that violate our rights. That is the source of our bad morals, because we pass the buck. It is the laziness of good men. The only thing required for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. That includes walking up to your property line and berating your lewd neighbor for his actions. It includes shaming him into improving his actions. It can even include telling his employer about his actions. This is not a violation of his rights any more than his exposure is a violation of yours.

        I suppose in my zest for wanting to curb law and government I may have come accross as one who is fine with immoral behavior. I am not, but I have no problem doing something about it on my own. And I have no problem fighting to keep the government out of it.

        • Okay, I am not trying to be a witch but I am going to give an example and If you want to, you are under no obligation to respond-I would like to know how you see this being handled in a totally free society-You and your child are playing in the park-not private property-and a man walks up and pees right in front of you-what are you going to do? You can’t call the police it’s not illegal. I doubt he’s gonna care what you think or he wouldn’t have none it in the first place. So you come to the park again and the same man is peeing in front of you and your child’s view. What do you do -leave-has his right to be free just stolen away your right to come to the park-maybe not in theory but in reality.

          • An excellent question. In fact, I was in a similar debate with a friend of mine over the various smoking bans, including the recent restaurant laws in Virginia. It came down to me opposing the ban in private businesses, but not opposing it in public places such as government offices.

            In a park or common area, there can be rules of use. If the park or common area has no private enforcement, they can use police enforcement, because the person is in violation of the ordinance, or contract, for being on that peice of property. I justify this because I would do the same with my own property. I have rules about what you can do on my property, and I can make you leave if you will not comply. If I cannot make you leave, then I call the police to assist me. By that logic, I would not be entirely opposed to persons in compliance with usage of a common area being legally able to use force or threat of force on those who violate terms of use. It can get dicey there tho.

            I would prefer the common areas and parks have rules set individually. Government property, however, could be a consistent “legal” standard of usage. I would want the property to have its own usage policies so that a playground, for instance, could have a dress code so that children were not swinging on the monkey bars next to someone in a g-string, but the same standard need not apply to a beach. Property borders are still an issue, thus the use of buffers when possible.

            You could handle the situation you speak of with other means in some cases, but I see the logic in having some sort of official backup plan for the real crazies. This does not help if your neighbor is a crazy and is on his own property tho, unless the property is association controlled and there are contractual restrictions on the ownership of said property. Then you have to resort to lobbying his employer for loss of income so that maybe he won’t be able to afford to live next to you anymore, lol.

  15. Mathius says:

    Flag, re shark:

    I’m not interested in the shark’s opinion of morality. I’m sure it’s answer would be, “I was hungry, so I ate it. I see nothing wrong with that. Doo-do, doo-do, doo-do doo-do doo-do!”

    But you can assign morality to those who do not understand or agree with you. For example, I do not agree with your definitions of morality, but you would still consider me immoral for imposing violence on you in the form of government.

    So, regardless of the shark’s take on things, is it immoral for it to inflict violence on you?

    • Mathius

      But you can assign morality to those who do not understand or agree with you. For example, I do not agree with your definitions of morality, but you would still consider me immoral for imposing violence on you in the form of government.

      So, regardless of the shark’s take on things, is it immoral for it to inflict violence on you?

      If you have followed some dialogue with V.H., you will see that my point to her is:

      Morality is in the eye of the beholder

      My morals are not yours, and yours not mine (maybe or maybe not).

      I cannot judge you based on my morals nor you on me.

      If you do not fit my version, I have no right to force it on you anyway.

      Morals are subjective – thus, you cannot enforce morals by violence.

      but you would still consider me immoral for imposing violence on you in the form of government.

      No, I consider that evil.

      It would be immoral if you refuse my violence on you to force your compliance, but you would have no problem forcing YOUR compliance on me. That would be contradiction your own principle and that is immoral.

      Note: I used YOUR principle to JUDGE YOU
      I do not use mine.

      • Pretzel says:

        Black Flag

        What about cruelty to animals? Dog fighting, factory farming etc. I may find it immoral, but isn’t it their right since it is their property?

        • Pretzel,

          Correct.

          Disgusting, yes.

          Their right, yes.

          Your right – don’t deal with them.

          Refuse them service.
          Don’t buy from them.When you seem them.
          Hurl insults at them, and talk out loud to friends and strangers how immoral and disgusting they are.

          I find it funny that today there are many people who cry over “animal cruelty”, but have no problem buying/selling goods and services to these people.

          There is a reason why I say “Most if not all human-caused suffering is created by the manifestation of a contradiction”.

          • Geez-I think you may be describing my definition of hell on earth. This really isn’t a question-Just take it as a statement-No one has a right to torture another living creature. This is not freedom-it is a definition gone sadistic.

  16. Bottom Line says:

    I am all for the decriminalization and/or legalization of marijuana.

    My primary objection to marijuana prohibition is that people should not face criminal charges for use and/or posession. It’s completely rediculous to put someone in jail/prison for the victimless so-called crime of marijuana use/posession.

    Secondary to that, I would suggest that it is a waste not to utilize hemp/marijuana. It could prove to be a valuble contribution to American agriculture as the plant can be harvested for various commercial and indusrial uses. Not to mention the medicinal value. I say why not?, It’s even more useful than cotton, and real cheap and easy to grow.

    And of course there is the massive failure and complete waste of time, money, and effort known as “The War On Drugs”.

    America wants it’s drugs and America gets it’s drugs. I spent a couple of years of my naval career working with the Coast Guard and various three letter agencies patrolling the Caribbean for drug runners. (That was an educational experience to say the least.) It’s too big. The demand is too high. They cannot stop the flow of drugs into the US.

    And the truth is that most marijuana is grown, trafficked, and smoked domestically. Only about 20-30% is imported. Most comes from Appalachia and northern CA. The rest is from gardens hidden all over the country. A loose network of millions of capitalistic growers and smokers that are always willing hook someone up with a bag or a buzz has succesfully managed to out-do whatever efforts made for the sake of prohibition…and have been doing so since prohibition began.

    Whatever percentage of time, money, and effort that is invested in marijuana prohibition is a waste. It’s readily available everywhere for a reasonable price or free. With respect to availability, what difference would it make if it were legal or not? Marijuana is, has always been, and most likely always will be a part of human culture.

    There are millions of casual responsible adult smokers in the US and the repercussions in the form of social problems associated with marijuana use are incalculably small and virtually non-existant…especially when compared to the effects of other drugs such as heroin, crack, meth, and Prozac.

    Personally, I’ve smoked off and on for about twenty five years. I have experienced various levels of usage from years without it to periods where circumstances afforded me the ability to be overindulgent and test the limits. Typically I would consider myself an occasional to light regular user. It’s always casual use.

    It has been my experience that there has to be a focused effort actually abuse it. And I can say from that personal experience that marijuana is virtually harmless.

    It is physically impossible for you to overdose on marijuana in it’s natural form. It simply isn’t concentrated enough. You have to consume several times your body weight in less than an hour. You cannot consume/injest/process(eat,smoke) the necessary amount to overdose in a short enough time frame. Even if you could somehow fit a couple hundred pounds in your stomach, you can’t digest it fast enough. You just can’t OD on it. I know as I have tried it several times. The worst reprecussion is that you are in a mild coma(deep sleep) for a couple of hours. :)

    The scientific definition of overdose is the dosage given that consistantly kills 50% or more of the test subjects. I read somewhere in an article that when trying to kill rats with pot, the lab scientists just ended up putting putting them to sleep. They had to inject them with a highly concentrated extract to actually kill them.

    It’s not addictive either. I’ve tested the limits here as well. After extended periods of heavy use of a free supply of REALLY potent herb, the worst physical side effects after stopping cold turkey, were a mild curb in appetite and slight irritability that lasted about 24 hours. The detox/withdraw phase is barely nominal in intensity and length.

    I concur with the research mentioned in the article that Marijuana use doesn’t impair learning ability. I started experimenting with marijuana at the rather early age of ten. I ran into a couple of teens about to smoke a joint and bugged them ’till they let me try some. They shared and I rather liked it. Two days later I did it again. Coincidently, all that week at school, we were taking the annual final exam. A few weeks later, my mother got a letter from the Department of education telling her that I scored higher than 99.4% of all fifth graders in the nation and that they wanted to send me to special schools. I have taken an IQ test as recently as about a year ago. I took it while high and still scored in the gifted gategory. Marijuana doesn’t necessarily make you stupid.

    Marijuana is a uniquely manageable and mild drug which is perhaps why it is more popular than so many other substances. This is a big part of why it is my personal drug of choice. Alchohol is nice on occasion but doesn’t take much to give me ill effects. The hard drugs are out of the question for obvious reasons. Pot does quite the opposite. I just feel good. No issues with hang-over or addiction.

    I manage my time and responsible marijuana use well and consider it as more of an after dinner treat, something for after all my resposibilities are taken care of for the day. It is generally reserved for those times when I have nowhere to go and nothing to do but relax, or for times like on the weekend when I may be entertaining a guest or at a social gathering.

    While I rather enjoy a marijuana buzz recreationally, I submit that I also use it medicinally.

    Being in the construction/remodeling industry, I get a full body workout just about every day (some more than others). On the days where I have been working particularly hard in the 90-100+ degree heat, I feel like hell when I get home. Nausea, dehydration, headache, muscle cramps, joint pain/stiffness, etc…

    On those days I come in and crank up the A/C, pour a tall glass of something cold(usually lemonade or water), pop a couple of ibuprofin, take my shirt off, sit on the couch and twist up a fatty. I’ll sit there and do nothing but rest for an hour.(If I do anything at all,it will be stretching excercises.) I’ll just rehydrate myself and puff on that joint ’till the desired effect is attained.

    Nausea = gone
    Headache = gone
    Muscle cramps/soreness = gone
    Joint pain = not as bad
    Stress = gone

    The weed and rest followed by a shower certainly helps.

    I find that if I smoke towards the end of my day I am less stressed, I get to bed an hour earlier, sleep better and wake up earlier refreshed and ready for another day with lesser pains. It works for me. But that is just me. I understand that weed isn’t for everyone, but it hardly the “unimaginable horror” it is sometimes perceived to be.

    Don’t believe the hype.

    There is a reason why it is so often referred to as “just weed”. It’s mild. For those that have never tried it, if you should one day choose to do so, you may be surprised at just how mild it actually is.

    There is nothing wrong with smoking a joint any more than there is with drinking a few beers. When used responsibly in moderation, I can argue that mrijuana is not only harmless, but even beneficial. Hell, I would even argue that it is a much better alternative to all of those anti-anxiety meds on the market. How many times have you seen a class action lawsuit commercial regarding a pill that was once considered safe? I trust weed more, it’s natural.

    • Bottom Line says:

      “Sweetleaf” – Black Sabbath

      Alright now!
      Won’t you listen?

      When I first met you, you didn’t realize
      I can’t forget you or your surprise
      You introduced me to my mind
      And left me wanting, you and your kind

      I love you, Oh you know it

      My life was empty, forever on a down
      Until you took me, showed me around
      My life is free now, my life is clear
      I love you sweet leaf, though you can’t hear

      Come on now, try it out

      Straight people don’t know, what you’re about
      They put you down and shut you out
      You gave to me a new belief
      And soon the world will love you sweet leaf

  17. A Puritan Descendant says:

    I think you forgot one…

    Nausea = gone
    Headache = gone
    Muscle cramps/soreness = gone
    Joint pain = not as bad
    Stress = gone
    Bottom Line = gone
    :-)

    I watched a stoned friend play the most amazing game of pool one time while running the table. He said it helped him focus.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      should be reply to Bottom Line

    • Bottom Line says:

      Forgot one indeed.

      On days like that, I guess “gone” is the “desired effect to be attained”.

      Along with rehydration, pot is a great remedy for heat exaustion and the general feeling of shittyness after a hard days work. It’s most effective on cramps. It’s great when the buzz kicks in and my muscles start to relax. Sometimes they’re so locked up they’ll just twitch.

      It still doesn’t beat a nice massage from a kind lovin’ woman though.

      APD – ” I watched a stoned friend play the most amazing game of pool one time while running the table. He said it helped him focus.”

      I have to agree that it can help with focus. I have often found that while it does slow me down a little bit, I tend to be a little more thorough in my thinking. Otherwise, I think the increased ability to focus isn’t so much about cognitive enhancement, but rather the ability to tune out distractions.

      The calm relaxed state and steady hand from an MJ buzz can come in real handy when you’re at a pool table in a crowded pub about to sink the 8-ball for a wager of a round for everyone. It helps to avoid “choking”.

  18. Chris

    profit from the sale of something harmful

    What an incredibly dangerous excuse.

    Everything is harmful- even too much air!

    An easy justification to tax anything and everything in the Universe.

    *barf*

    • Chris Devine says:

      Things should be taxed according to a demonstrated need and not in excess of what is needed to address the issue. Oversight and justification should be ongoing. I don’t think anybody should be given a blank check with the flimsiest of pretexts.

      • Chris,

        according to a demonstrated need

        By what measure?

        Who has the right to decide?

        Why do they have the right and not me?

        • Chris Devine says:

          The measure will depend on the situation, but the results should speak for themselves.

          You get your say just like everyone else by electing a representative and making your wishes known. If your representative doesn’t do a good job, you can vote for someone else the next time.

          Given your contempt for a representative government, you can save yourself the trouble of reiterating such contempt. I already assume these answers won’t satisfy you and we don’t need to rehash old arguments do we?

  19. Cyndi P says:

    BL did you hear about this?

    Just another coincidence I’m sure. Why would anyone be suspicious of a
    coal mine disaster, an oil rig exploding for no apparent reason (yeah,
    happens all the time), and an now an oil refinery. So close together after the president announces that he’ll consider new fossil fuel sources. Oh, and don’t forget he’s in the back pocket of the environmental movement (and I do mean MENTAL).Just because Rahm says” Never let a crisis go to waste!” Why should anyone be suspicious?

    http://newsolio.com/age-refinery-san-antonio-explosion,9801

  20. Hey guys,
    i will start of saying that you guys talk very technical and im just youre normal kid haha. I somehow came across this site while searching on google and read the hole page and youre conversations, and i thought i would put my word in from my point of view.

    Weed has its bad name because of the people who use it to much, it will mess you up if you use to much but people are doing the same thing with alot of legal things out there. I use it everyday and i havent changed, yes it does put you in a different state of mind but so does alcohol. I have a quiet demanding job i am a fitter and turner and on tha side i ride freestyle motocross. So for all the haters just because you have your head up the goverments backside and you are all about the laws and just choose not to believe the truth when really if you were to read the hole blog you wil see that u cant say NOTHING at all unless you have another scientifically proven answer.

    Thanks and sorry for butting into youre convo haha…

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