Seeking to scare the public away from legalizing the stuff, the Obama administration notes that in 2009, marijuana was "involved in" 376,000 emergency-room visits nationwide. Be afraid, be very afraid: This represents less than 0.3 of 1 percent of all ER visits, and 3.3 million fewer visits than are caused annually by recreational sports. Figures such as those help explain why voters in Washington and Colorado were not frightened, and passed referenda decriminalizing pot. Oregon rejected a similar measure, just as California did two years ago. But the tide may be turning.
I get the Libertarian arguments on this, but... - This is not your father´s pot... It is powerful stuff these days. And naturally, immunity is built up over use. But one good toke of the current crop is sufficient for many of us old timers. - I understand for mature, over the age of 25, adults, that the ´´harmful´´ effects are lethargy and munchies. Not a show stopper. But for growing brains, I hear that marijuana does real damage, seriously harming growing, teen and young adult brains. This should be thoroughly investigated by Fed´s Food and Drug people, and widely publicized if true.
If legalized, expect usage to triple. No judgement here, but that´s what we saw when we ended Prohibition. Tax revenues? Risible.
The future of drug abuse is more likely with ´mothers´ little helpers´ - tranquilizers and pain killers - made reasonably efficiently - even legally -in Mexico (along with Meth these days). These are much easier to smuggle in than are bails of weed.
I keep hearing about all these ´non-violent´ drug offender. Here in my conservative small town the cops only give you a ticket for less than an ounce of weed. I guess they send dealers up but not for a first offense.
The son of a friend of mine ended up doing some time but he had taken up dealing meth and had been caught before and received probation. He also had a pistol in his car.
Tobacco companies have practically been sued and taxed out of existence. Large soft drinks must be outlawed for the sake of our health. Keep the Twinkies away from the children! But pot is okay? I don´t get it. The world has gone mad.
One point not made here - when nonviolent offenders get a criminal record for marijuana possession, they can no longer qualify for most jobs. So, a person serves his time, gets clean...and then what? When he can´t find a job or can´t rent an apartment because of his record, he goes back to his druggie friends and they take him in. Then he goes back on the stuff, perhaps doing some robberies to pay for his habit. Then back to jail, back to rehab, finish the sentence, back on the streets, still can´t get a job...see the cycle?
In contrast, when a person has been addicted to alcohol and goes through rehab, society doesn´t permanently block him from getting a job or renting an apartment. To a large extent, we create our underclass by these vindictive sentences - no, I´m not talking about 6 months for possession, I´m talking about a lifetime record interfering with employment and housing.
A drug is a drug is a drug - and weed is just as bad as any other. Recreational drugs are killers and need to be stopped. Legalizing this crap is dangerous - one acquaintance of mine was killed when he was smoking it and thought he could drive on thin air and crashed down on other cars and killed several people. Sane people don´t do anything that is not prescribed by doctors for a painful surgery or broken bones.
Marijuana use or possession of small amounts is, usually, a petty offense or a misdemeanor. A conviction of that sort is hardly a "life sentence." The argument that someone who paid a $50.oo fine on a petty offense cannot get a job thereafter is a ludicrous one. Nor are there any pot smokers in the Big House. Such sentences are reserved for dealers. Enough with the urban myths.
I used to live across the street from a young Iraq War vet. He was fighting for custody of his infant son because the baby´s mom was a meth head. He told me his family mental health counselor had advised him to stay away from weed. The stuff that´s out now has been linked to schizophrenia in some individuals.
I´ve also known individuals with ADHD who claimed they smoked it regularly. The pot seemed to make their condition worse, not better.
Even if there weren´t any major negatives to pot smoking, I´d hate to be on the road with stoned drivers. Drunks are enough of a problem.
Talk to counselors in drug rehabs. Kids start out with pot, and for about 1/2, they are really hooked. Soon, it isn´t enough to be mellow, so they add alcohol to the pot for a buzz. When that is not enough, they move on, to cocaine, meth, heroin..whatever they can get their hands on. It is a gateway drug. What I described happened to a close family member..Do not take pot lightly.
Pot took the life of two friends...pot first, then with alcohol, then onto cocaine, crack, meth. It destroyed several other friends´ lives-their families broken up and careers wiped out for many years. Every single one wound up in jail before thirty. Every single one who made it had to get sobriety through a group. Some are permanently disabled, either physically or mentally, or both. Now my 17 year old nephew found the gateway and is well on his way to bigger and better highs.
Libertarians drive me batty with these foolish arguments in favor of legalizing this dangerous drug. If it was one of their own loved ones starting on that path, I wonder how hippie-dippie they´d all be about pot.
Paternalists ... think government should restrict your soft-drink intake. Tobacco smokers are the new Untouchables. But marijuana has a countercultural vibe and is not sold by huge multinational corporations—at least not legal ones, at least not yet. So even though it is bad for you, many progressives do not see much wrong with it.
Is reefer bad for you? Most likely.
Is it the government´s business? If you´re conservative, HELL NO! If you´re a "Paternalist" (what a nice name for a proponent of the Nanny State) then yeah, probably.
What people smoke is none of the government´s business. Fortunately, the government is so broke it soon will have no resources for such foolishness. Pot is not meth, not heroin, not alcohol, not tobacco. Leave it alone.
#16. - you are exactly right. I work with PhD and doctoral/master´s degree candidates and I´ve learned from them that the chemicals in pot ( and even the nicotine in cigarettes) are highly addictive and actually change the chemistry in Young, growing brains. It is for sure a gateway drug as the user seeks to increase the dopamine levels to keep reaching that initial high as tolerance develops.
I kind of think Obama and his thus want us to be "comfortably numb." Scary times.
Because it´s illegal, it´s easier for kids to buy weed than beer. That´s because a dealer has no incentive to check IDs. Alcohol, on the other hand, is sold in stores that have to pay a lot for a license to sell it, and are thus motivated not to get caught selling to minors.
The folks at Reason supported Obama in 2008 and 2012 chiefly because they wanted Marijuana legalized. They occasionally still come out with vague, incoherent endorsements of Free Markets, but this generally gets lost in all the chooming over there. On all other issues they are off-the-assembly-line leftists.
As Americans obsess over NSA spying, abuse by the IRS and other assaults on our freedom, I can´t get my mind off the thousand other ways politicians abuse us. In their arrogance, they assume that only they solve social problems. They will solve them by banning this and that, subsidizing groups they deem worthy and setting up massive bureaucracies with a mandate to cure, treat and rescue wayward souls.(Snip)It´s true that some Americans destroy their lives and their families´ lives by using drugs. Others struggle with addiction. But if illegal drugs are as horrible and addictive as we´ve been told,
Earlier this year, Bobby Jindal, the GOP governor of Louisiana, surveyed the wreckage of Mitt Romney’s sad-sack presidential campaign and told his fellow Republicans that if they ever want to capture the White House again, “we must stop being the stupid party.” While Michele Bachmann’s decision not to run for a fifth term helps the party out on that score, a new report from the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) strongly suggests that another tack would be even more successful: The GOP should embrace its small, youthful, and increasingly influential libertarian caucus that focuses
Here they go again. The Obama administration has asked its allies in Congress to introduce legislation that would permit the feds to continue their march through the Fourth Amendment when it comes to obtaining private information about all of us. The Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the right to be left alone, was written largely in response to legislation Parliament enacted in the colonial era that permitted British soldiers to write their own search warrants and then use those warrants as a legal basis to enter private homes. The ostensible purpose of doing that was to search through the colonists´ papers
President Barack Obama has been struggling to wrap his head around the "unimaginable" idea that Congress may "defy" the American people and stop a vote on a gun control package compromise. The notion, he says, resists the "overwhelming instinct of the American people" after the massacre in Newtown, Conn., to pass gun control legislation. Well, the unthinkable happened. The Senate´s sweeping gun legislation came up short on the votes required to move forward. And despite all the idealistic calls for passage and despite the fact that many pundits and advocates seem to believe that something should be law simply
Advocates of treating marijuana more like alcohol gained another ally recently: the United Nations. The U.N. would claim otherwise. In fact, the U.N.’s International Narcotics Control Board would hotly deny it. The agency’s latest report laments the legalization of pot in Colorado and Washington, declaring the approval of recreational marijuana use “in contravention to” the 1961 U.N. Convention on Narcotics.(Snip)Here in the U.S., United Nations disapproval can only help the cause of legalization where it needs help the most: on the right.(Snip)The syllogism is easy enough to follow: The U.N. should not tell Washington what it can do
In all the noise caused by the Obama administration´s direct assault on the right of every person to keep and bear arms, the essence of the issue has been drowned out. The president and his big-government colleagues want you to believe that only the government can keep you free and safe, so to them, the essence of this debate is about obedience to law. To those who have killed innocents among us, obedience to law is the last of their thoughts. And to those who believe that the Constitution means what it says
Supporters of industrial hemp gained a powerful ally in Washington several weeks ago when Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) joined fellow Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul and Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) as a co-sponsor of S.359, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013. The House companion, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), has 28 co-sponsors. The bills would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp, the domestic production of which has been illegal since 1970. Though manufacturing hemp is currently just as illegal as growing smokable pot, 10 states already have frameworks
I observed Washington’s birthday by participating in a Federalist Society telephone forum on the American justice system with two other panelists.(Snip)These are, in the briefest synopsis, that American prosecutors win 99.5 percent of their cases, a much higher percentage than those in other civilized countries; that 97 percent of them are won without trial, because of the plea-bargain system in which inculpatory evidence is extorted from witnesses in exchange for immunity from prosecution, including for perjury; that the U.S. has six to twelve times as many incarcerated people per capita as do Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan
The official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address last night was from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. But the Republican Party is a house (partially) divided now, with a self-conscious rebel wing, and the semi-official “Tea Party” response came from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Paul won his Senate seat on a Tea Party anti-establishment wave in 2010, defeating establishment favorite Trey Grayson for the GOP nomination. (He wrote about it in his campaign memoir The Tea Party Goes to Washington.)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently came out in favor of legalizing hemp cultivation, thanks to the persuasive talents of fellow Kentucky senator Rand Paul and the state´s agriculture commssioner, James Comer, both Republicans. The New York Times cites McConnell´s conversion as evidence that the cause, long identified with hippies and stoners, has gained respectability among conservatives. The fact that it has taken so long is testimony to the plant´s powerful symbolism, because there is no logical reason to stop farmers from growing industrial hemp, a version of cannabis with negligible THC, even if you support marijuana prohibition.
Only one or two centuries late, Virginia lawmakers have decided it is none of their business if unmarried couples share a roof. So the legislators are now working diligently to repeal the state’s law against “lewd and lascivious cohabitation.” Huzzahs all ’round for that. But do not unclutch thy bodice yet. Virginia law is riddled with antiquated provisions meant to govern the “morals and decency” of the fair people of the commonwealth. And while the law against shacking up apparently never gets enforced, others do.(Snip)Fornication remains forbidden under the Code of Virginia, Section 18.2-344.
As recreational drugs go, marijuana is relatively benign. Unlike alcohol, it doesn´t stimulate violence or destroy livers. Unlike tobacco, it doesn´t cause lung cancer and heart disease. The worst you can say is that it produces intense, unreasoning panic. Not in users, but in critics. Those critics have less influence all the time. Some 18 states permit medical use of marijuana, and in November, Colorado and Washington voted to allow recreational use. Nationally, support for legalization is steadily rising. A decade ago, one of every three Americans favored the idea. Today, nearly half do—and among those under 50, a large
WASHINGTON — U.S. officials insisted Tuesday that extraordinary security measures for nearly two dozen diplomatic posts were to thwart an “immediate, specific threat,” a claim questioned by counterterrorism experts, who note that the alert covers an incongruous set of nations from the Middle East to an island off the southern coast of Africa. Analysts don’t dispute the Obama administration’s narrative that it’s gleaned intelligence on a plot involving al Qaida’s most active affiliate, the Yemen-based Arabian Peninsula branch. That would explain why most U.S. posts in the Persian Gulf are on lockdown, including the U.
The truth about Benghazi, the Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the IRS corruption, the NSA octopus, and Fast and Furious is still not exactly known. Almost a year after the attacks on our Benghazi facilities, we are only now learning details of CIA gun-running, military stand-down orders, aliases of those involved who are still hard to locate, massaged talking points, and the weird jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. We still do not quite know why Eric Holder’s Justice Department went after the Associated Press or Fox News’s James Rosen — given that members of the administration were themselves illegally leaking
Critics of the president are convinced that Barack Obama will do lasting damage to the U.S. I doubt it. Obama came to power in the third year of large Democratic congressional majorities. In his first referendum, he lost the House and he may soon lose the Senate; in other words, there followed a somewhat normal reaction against a majority party. Obama’s popularity rating is well below 50%, despite an obsequious media and a brilliantly negative billion-dollar campaign that long ago turned Mitt Romney into a veritable elevator-using, equestrian-marrying, canine-hating monster. In the second term, there is little
He thought he was a woman trapped in a man’s body — but it turns out he’s “just another boring straight guy.” ABC News editor Don Ennis strolled into the newsroom in May wearing a little black dress and an auburn wig and announced he was transgender and splitting from his wife. He wanted to be called Dawn. But now he says he suffered from a two-day bout of amnesia that has made him realize he wants to live his life again as Don. “I accused my wife of playing some kind of cruel joke, dressing
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney jumped into the debate over the GOP’s future Tuesday night, warning congressional Republicans against forcing a government shutdown in their quest to stop President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Romney addressed more than 200 donors on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee at a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party, staged just four miles from the vacation home where he has spent much of the summer with his family. The event was closed to the media, but his office released his prepared remarks.
The U.S. State Department issued a global alert about the terrorist threat allegedly posed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen. The USA announced the closure of its missions in the Middle East and Africa, and their example was followed by France, Britain, and Germany. However, this was only an attempt to justify the activities of the National Security Agency.Last Saturday, right after alerting of the terror threat civilians and BOLO complex ("be on the lookout") that includes law enforcement and federal officials, President Barack Obama went to play golf, and then celebrated his birthday at the presidential retreat at Camp David.
WASHINGTON — Former Massachusetts lawmaker Barney Frank revealed that he doesn’t believe in God. During Friday’s appearance on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” Frank, who championed the decriminalization of pot while serving in the House of Representatives, admitted to smoking marijuana and being an atheist. “You were in a fairly safe district. You were not one of those congress people who would have to worry about every little thing,” Maher said to Frank. “You could come on this show and sit next to a pot-smoking atheist and it wouldn’t bother you.”
In a rare diplomatic snub, President Obama is canceling plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month. The decision reflects both U.S. anger over Russia´s harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow´s stubbornness on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights. Obama will still attend the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, but a top White House official said the president had no plans to hold one-on-one talks with Putin while there.
Washington--As hundreds of commuters emerged from Amtrak and commuter trains at Union Station on a recent morning, an armed squad of men and women dressed in bulletproof vests made their way through the crowds. The squad was not with the Washington police department or Amtrak’s police force, but was one of the Transportation Security Administration’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response squads — VIPR teams for short — assigned to perform random security sweeps to prevent terrorist attacks at transportation hubs across the United States.(Snip)With little fanfare, the agency best known for airport screenings has vastly expanded its reach
A poll released Friday by Public Policy Polling found that Alaska voters would pick former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the state´s former Republican governor, Sarah Palin, if the two women were to face off in the 2016 presidential election. Clinton led with 49 percent in the hypothetical match-up, with Palin at 40 percent, a nine-point gap. As of July 3, Republicans comprised 27 percent of the state´s registered voters and Democrats made up just 14 percent. The last time Alaskans opted for the Democrats´ presidential candidate was in 1964. Clinton trails five other hypothetical GOP candidates –
Over the last week, there has been a lot of buzz about a supposed CIA angle to the Benghazi story. Specifically, it has been alleged that a substantial number of CIA employees were on the ground in Benghazi, carrying out a mission that involved rounding up Libyan weapons and transferring them to rebels in Syria. Further, it has been reported that the CIA has leaned on its employees not to cooperate with Congressional investigations or the media, and it has been suggested that the CIA’s role in Benghazi may be related to the al Qaeda
President Obama is slated to deliver a speech later this month commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Obama will deliver his speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial — the same place where King spoke 50 years ago. The Let Freedom Ring ceremony will be held Aug. 28. "It’s obviously a historic, seminal event in the country. It’s part of my generation’s formative memory and it’s a good time for us to do some reflection,"