"We're Jeff and Tracy. We're Your Good Neighbors. We Smoke Pot."
September 27, 2002 8:07 PM   Subscribe

"We're Jeff and Tracy. We're Your Good Neighbors. We Smoke Pot." Jeff and Tracy were tired of drug war advertising that demonized them. So they decided to create their own ads to 'come out' as normal, all-American pot smokers.
posted by Dirjy (155 comments total)
 
The goatee is total pothead. If you make a sight like this, you really want to go for the Orin Hatch look.
posted by the fire you left me at 8:28 PM on September 27, 2002


right on!
posted by centrs at 8:28 PM on September 27, 2002


I love this. Good for them! Had similar ideas in the past (I know or known of architects, judges, police officers, lawyers, members of parliment, doctors, teachers, etc., etc., who smoke pot on occasion and was going to base an ad around that.) In a society where such obviously dumb laws are so frequently given hypocritical lip service, respect for the Rule of Law will diminish. And that is a bad thing for everyone.
posted by sylloge at 8:31 PM on September 27, 2002


Isn't this site probable cause? Do you think cops know enough to look at whois records?
posted by machaus at 8:45 PM on September 27, 2002


In their dope-addled stupor, they probably never thought of that, machaus.

Do what you want in private, but if you flaunt illegal activity, you deserve to get thrown in the slammer.
posted by evanizer at 8:55 PM on September 27, 2002


The Doctor mentioned, Dr. Phillip Leveque (Dr. Feelgood) has been punished for recommending medical marijuana to over 50% of those currently holding the chit.
posted by Mack Twain at 9:00 PM on September 27, 2002


In their dope-addled stupor, they probably never thought of that, machaus.

Heh. Good one.

Oh wait. It's ev.
posted by goethean at 9:06 PM on September 27, 2002


Do what you want in private, but if you flaunt illegal activity, you deserve to get thrown in the slammer.

I've often wondered about this. I've seen/read plenty of interviews in which some celebrity admits to current casual drug use. Rolling Stone recently had an article about the Vines--the lead singer apparently never goes anywhere without his bong. Why would this couple get in trouble while uptight rock boy goes free?
posted by whatnot at 9:10 PM on September 27, 2002


Do what you want in private, but if you flaunt illegal activity, you deserve to get thrown in the slammer.

I wonder if there are any laws against sodomy where you live, Evanizer. If there are, you might want to reconsider some of the things you write here on Metafilter.
posted by crunchland at 9:12 PM on September 27, 2002


Such an appealing, warm-hearted attitude, evanizer; it's such a glowing demonstration of your basic good nature.

Are you unfamiliar with the concept of an unjust law, or are you merely one of those self-important bastards who think they have some right to make moral judgements about the substances other people use to entertain themselves?
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:15 PM on September 27, 2002


JEFF: We're your good neighbors, and we smoke pot.
TRACY: Who do you love who smokes pot?


nobody who i wouldn't love a hundred times more if they didn't smoke pot.
posted by dogwalker at 9:16 PM on September 27, 2002


Probable cause is kinda iffy. So they say they smoke pot -- they don't say where, and they don't say when. Maybe it isn't at home. Maybe a friend holds for them.
posted by dhartung at 9:20 PM on September 27, 2002


I wonder if there are any laws against sodomy where you live, Evanizer. If there are, you might want to reconsider some of the things you write here on Metafilter.

all signs point to no.

mars, do you really think pot will ever be legal? evan wasn't judging, he merely pointed out the stupidity of flouting the law.
posted by machaus at 9:21 PM on September 27, 2002


O.C.G.A. § 16-6-2

a) A person commits the offense of sodomy when he or she performs or submits to any sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another.


b) A person convicted of the offense of sodomy shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years.


Good news, evan: you don't have to flaunt it. Just move to Georgia. I can see you have respect for the law, so you'd understand if you came down to visit a friend, and a law-abiding neighbor ratted you out. I promise to get to Reidsville once or twice a year. When you get out, I'll meet you at the gate, whether it be 2004 or 2024.
posted by trondant at 9:21 PM on September 27, 2002


JEFF: We're your good neighbors, and we [eat macaroni and cheese].
TRACY: Who do you love who [eats macaroni and cheese]?

nobody who i wouldn't love a hundred times more if they didn't [eat macaroni and cheese].

Boy, does that sound stupid.
posted by crunchland at 9:23 PM on September 27, 2002


crunchland: it certainly does sound stupid, considering nobody i hang out with starts acting like a jackass after eating a box of mac and cheese. when they light up all the time, they turn into the most boring and obnoxious people, so i wish they'd just knock it off.
posted by dogwalker at 9:34 PM on September 27, 2002


"[R]etired professor of Pharmacology ..."

Heh --- what a coincidence.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:42 PM on September 27, 2002


"We're Jeff and Tracy. We're Your Good Neighbors. We [are going to regret this asinine stunt from the wrong side of the bars in your nearest jail]."
posted by hama7 at 9:43 PM on September 27, 2002


If you're their neighbors and notice instead of coming over to borrow a cup of sugar they are coming over to borrow munches, it might be a clue.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 9:45 PM on September 27, 2002


Yeah, it does sound like an asinine stunt, but I note that they started this gig at least as early as May, 2001. They aren't in jail yet, apparently.

Granted, I wouldn't want them for neighbors, either, and nothing to do with the pot-smoking. The ineffable quality of "earnestness" is a under-rated turn-off.
posted by yhbc at 9:54 PM on September 27, 2002


dogwalker,
You're a boring pedant and you hang out with the wrong people.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:55 PM on September 27, 2002


Do what you want in private, but if you flaunt illegal activity, you deserve to get thrown in the slammer.

Right on, evanizer. I think that every time I kiss my boyfriend in public, and think how at one time it would have gotten us arrested. How richly we would have deserved it.
posted by holycola at 9:58 PM on September 27, 2002


trondant: Wrong!
posted by raysmj at 10:01 PM on September 27, 2002


whoever framed that picture on their homepage was probably high.
posted by L. Ron McKenzie at 10:01 PM on September 27, 2002


For the last time, Jeff and Tracy, quit sneaking into my house and making off with the Nilla wafers and Funyuns, OK?
posted by jonmc at 10:10 PM on September 27, 2002


Wow, some of you sure go into personal attack mode when someone criticizes your drugs. machaus, thanks for getting the gist of my comment: If you flaunt being a lawbreaker, don't whine when you get arrested, that's all I was trying to say.

And don't compare my sexuality to illegal drug use. Sexuality is a primary, essential expression of both nature and selfhood, and arises a priori without any instruction or example, and cannot be suppressed without serious mental damage. Drug use is a learned and chosen activity, and one can lead a full and satisfied life even if they never partake. The two don't mesh; one is a basic human right and the other is a matter of personal choice, and it's offensive to me that you compare the right of people to physically and emotionally bond without fear of repercussion to the right of someone to fire up a bowl and then publish a website about it without getting arrested.

I'm rather libertarian, so whatever you do in private, within reason, is fine by me, as long as it doesn't infringe upon my rights. I have a neighbor who seems to burn through half the ganja output of South America each weekend. Fine, fine, but then after they get stoned, they plug in their amps and break out the stratocaster and bongo drums (no, I'm not making that up.) The hep jam session usually begins at 2 AM and continues until 8 or so the next morning. Now, I have a sneaking suspicion that if they weren't baked like overdone softbatch cookies, they might be more sensitive to the fact that they're driving their neighbor fucking bonkers. I finally complained to the landlord (I don't like to rat people out), but the aural assault continues. This is most of the reason that I'm against unreasonable drug and alcohol use- because it makes some people behave in a truly disruptive and callous manner, and that infringes on my rights. I'm just as against irresponsible alcohol use for the same reason- in fact, drunks often behave worse than stoners. But if you can do your drugs (preferably ones that you have grown or harvested yourself, since there's also the issue of how many people were killed, maimed or otherwise oppressed in order to get you your drugs) without bothering me about it, go right ahead. Setting up a site like the one linked does nothing to help the cause of marijuana legislation reform; it's just a risky and ultimately meaningless publicity stunt.
posted by evanizer at 10:12 PM on September 27, 2002


dogwalker, do you know anyone who drinks alcohol sometimes and would you make the same statement regarding your love for them?

evanizer, if you disagree with a law in a democracy, you try to raise consciousness to help get it changed. Pot smokers may be a minority of the population, but they needn't be discriminated against. This page is just trying to make it clear that pot smokers aren't all stereotypical hippie freaks, who the public may feel inclined to discriminate against, but that good ol' americans enjoy marijuana. Some people like beer, some people like pot, but lots of people like to unwind, and there's no need for laws prohibiting it.
posted by mdn at 10:14 PM on September 27, 2002


mow it don't smoke it
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:19 PM on September 27, 2002


I have no way of knowing if the numbers are correct, but 80 million American adults seems like a fairly substantial constituency.
posted by copacetix at 10:19 PM on September 27, 2002


dogwalker,
You're a boring pedant


on this subject, i take that as more of a compliment

mdn: absolutely. see evanizer's post, specifically it makes some people behave in a truly disruptive and callous manner...in fact, drunks often behave worse than stoners. I don't care whether people drink or smoke, and personally i see little problem with it being illegal, but those adults who don't see the childishness of it all aren't going to be my friends.
posted by dogwalker at 10:22 PM on September 27, 2002


should be: i see little problem with it being legal
posted by dogwalker at 10:24 PM on September 27, 2002


evanizer, hama7, and machaus, there is a longstanding history (last paragraph) of publicly breaking laws which the protester finds unfair or unacceptable, in order to force a debate about that point. It's just possible that Jeff and Tracy are capable of considering the risks involved in their little stunt, and have decided that their cause is worth it. You may disagree, but there's no need to assume they're stupid, impulsive whiners just because they light up. Us potheads tend to retain at least a little of our common sense, you know.
No, I'm not saying that my right to smoke a joint in any way compares to my right to vote. I'm just talking protest strategy here.
posted by hilatron at 10:25 PM on September 27, 2002


But when is this "break the law to change it" attitude wrong? What if someone's a Christian Fundamentalist and disagrees with the law against burning people alive, so to combat that law, they toast a few witches and homos on the lawn and make a site called "Bubba and Wanda" about the experience of being normal, church-going people who also happen to be murderous insane freaks? What if someone happens to disagree with the age of sexual consent, so they go out and rape a 12 year old and make a website about that, to promote their cause? Seems like a dangerous road to go down. If I was on the bus with Rosa Parks, I would have been right there getting myself arrested with her. But, as I said earlier, some things are basic human rights issues and in that case, peaceful civil disobedience is justified. But it's hard to have the same passion and sympathy for stoners. Sorry, it just doesn't compute.
posted by evanizer at 10:36 PM on September 27, 2002


Right on, this is civil disobedience at its best.
posted by lasm at 10:45 PM on September 27, 2002


[sex is necessary, blah blah blah...] Drug use is a learned and chosen activity, and one can lead a full and satisfied life even if they never partake.

One minor nit to pick evanizer is that pot comes from a naturally occuring plant. Many ancient cultures used to partake in all sorts of plants by ingesting things they found. It's not exactly some clinical thing that requires years of practice.

I'm surprised anyone gives a crap about what their neighbors do in their own homes. I've said it before and I'll say it again: as long as you are not harming anyone inside or nearby or infringing on others around you, I don't care what you do in your house, legal or not. Shoot heroin, read a book, sew new drapes, drink under the age of 21, have a bbq, grow pot, do anything you want on your own property that won't affect my enjoyment of my space and I don't care. Why does anyone have a problem with minding their own business?

I'll come right out and say something else: I've never touched pot in my life, but I've seen it at every concert I've ever been to, and at most parties from high school through college, and I think the stuff is harmless, by and large (except for the lung cancer thing, and the mildly annoying smell of smoke). I can't see why we have laws against it, as in fifteen years of observing the effects myself, I've never seen it cause a fight, get anyone thrown out of anywhere, or cause a car accident like alcohol does. Of the people I've seen use it, the people with non-addictive personalities have no problem using it every once in a while, and not using it regularly.

Everyone in the 60s and 70s tried it, and everyone at college in the 90s did as well. Someday those people will be the majority of homeowners, taxpayers, and gov't representitives, and these silly laws will come to an end. I was thinking of making a Long Bet about this, I say that by 2015 pot will be legal in this country.

Prohibition was an absolute failure for alcohol in the early part of the last century. You know, I know it, the whole world knows it. Every time I see a pointless tv ad about drug war propaganda like "you fund terrorism" I think of Al Capone. You want to stop the funding of terroists in South America, Europe, and Asia? Make the harmless shit legal so people can grow it here and take the money out of terrorists' pockets.

Laws prohibiting pot growing and personal use are unjust and I applaud these folks for having the guts to stand up to silly, stupid, and pointless laws that in essence are victimless crimes. Rosa Parks ignored pointless laws telling her where to sit, as did students at the lunch counter.
posted by mathowie at 10:45 PM on September 27, 2002


hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaHA!
posted by Satapher at 10:46 PM on September 27, 2002


Lots of people have admitted to smoking pot. I don't think this will get them arrested at all. A lot of people have 'come out of the closet' with their marijuana usage. NORML has a campaign right now with buttons that say "Its NORML to smoke pot!" I've got one on my fanny pack that I take to work. Its a subtle way of saying that I believe my responsible adult use of marijuana in no way negatively affects my life, and in many ways positively affects it. Its not something to be ashamed of, its just a plant. I enjoy the plant, and I sincerely believe that its OK.

We are slowly approaching a critical mass in the US concerning marijuana legality. I believe that eventually it will become legal in the US. Other countries are pushing toward decriminalization, and for very valid reasons. There is essentially no valid reason for it to be illegal, except tradition. Even the 'conservatives' in this case are losing ground quickly. What I, and many others, believe, is that we are fast approaching a position where what it will take to sway public opinion, and tip over the marijuana laws, is people, everyday, respectable Americans, with jobs, families, houses, etc, admitting that they smoke pot, and that its ok. As long as pot is seen as a freaky underground crazy hippy thing, then public opinion will remain negative.

I think its great that these two have a little website letting people know that they don't think there is anything wrong with marijuana smoking. I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with it.

Annoying neighbors happen regardless of intoxicants.. I have had many more annoying drunken neighbors than annoying high neighbors, and I've even had some annoying straight edge neighbors, but even if they are annoying while high, you can hardly blame marijuana in general. All substances aside, the reason they bother you is because they are inconsiderate. Hopefully you can convince them to have their bongo sessions down at the park, or during different hours or something. Inconsiderate is as inconsiderate does, the marijuana isn't the primary factor here.
posted by phidauex at 10:48 PM on September 27, 2002


evanizer, every example of yours here is a crime that involves hurting a victim. We're not talking about protesting a law against kicking cute puppies until they are dead, we're talking about one person smoking something and feeling silly. If you want to compare victimless crimes, compare smoking pot with a law against wearing white shoes after labor day. Now that's a protest.
posted by mathowie at 10:52 PM on September 27, 2002


You know evanizer...I am offended by your use of the word stoner to describe anyone who partakes of a joint. That is the whole problem these people are trying to point out......
the misconceptions about a using a certain substance.....there are a few generalizations about people that do some of the same things that you do, and I bet you would find them equally offensive. So you have had a bad experience with a couple of people that use that same substance. There are bad apples in every bunch. Thats called stereotyping. I do not think you would want people to stereotype you with some of the generalizations that are so often directed at people with your sexual identity. I think that is the point.
posted by SweetIceT at 10:54 PM on September 27, 2002


In their dope-addled stupor, they probably never thought of that, machaus.

Do what you want in private, but if you flaunt illegal activity, you deserve to get thrown in the slammer.


God, you are such a tool! Ok, I am sorry. I shouldn't call names, but you are just so miles away from my view of the world that it is frustrating and I am sure you feel the same way about people with my extremely liberal views. The laws on marijuana are stupid and these people are taking a bold, and maybe a little dangerous, step to question those laws. How can you not respect that? Isn't that the American way?

I wonder if there are any laws against sodomy where you live, Evanizer. If there are, you might want to reconsider some of the things you write here on Metafilter.

EXCELLENT point. Evanizer should be able to commit whatever sex act he wants with a consenting adult. Really. I will cheer you on.
posted by McBain at 10:58 PM on September 27, 2002


If I was on the bus with Rosa Parks, I would have been right there getting myself arrested with her. But, as I said earlier, some things are basic human rights issues and in that case, peaceful civil disobedience is justified. But it's hard to have the same passion and sympathy for stoners. Sorry, it just doesn't compute.

Sorry, I just have to bring this up.. Rosa was protesting for very valid reasons, basically, the right to live her life unimpeded by the prejudice of others. All she wanted was to ride a bus without being jerked around because of her race.

You understand this, yet in just words after applauding Rosa Parks, you totally disregard what she was standing up for. You don't feel sympathy for people who's lives are being impeded through your prejudice! Get a grip on the situation here. Do you call everyone who drinks a glass of wine twice a month when they cook a nice dinner an 'alcoholic'? Of course not. Then why do you use the term stoner to describe anyone who smokes marijuana, regardless of their usage levels? Most marijuana smokers fall into the 'between 2 and 5 times per month' catagory. Daily smokers are in the VAST minority, yet you brand anyone who smokes with a blanket term implying heavy usage. You have a prejudice about marijuana smokers that is impeding their freedom to partake in a natural herb that relaxes them in the comfort of their own home.

Also, remember that for many, marijuana is a medicine, and its unavailability to them is as bad as denying any symptom relieving medicine to people with serious illness.

The right to use medicine is a very important human right, a right that is being denied to these people, due in part to your ignorance of the situation. The immediate branding of anyone who's ever puffed a pipe as a 'stoner' is why they started the website in the first place. To let people know that they aren't degenerate monsters, but just good honest people who are responsible with their marijuana use. Your attitude is the very attitude that they are hoping to change.
posted by phidauex at 11:03 PM on September 27, 2002


yay for that case closer.
posted by Satapher at 11:07 PM on September 27, 2002


I was thinking of making a Long Bet about this, I say that by 2015 pot will be legal in this country.

Is this finally a reasonable bet? Intelligent people have been predicting the imminent legalization of pot for a lot of years. I admit to predicting, in the early days of the Nixon administration when the study he commissioned came out, that there was no way Marijuana Prohibition could last even as far as 1980. I'm wrong now and then, but being that far off base is unusual.

Is the picture different now? Are there enough additional tokers, enough other countries liberalizing their approach, enough conservatives decrying the excesses of the War on Some Drugs, that we can really see the light at the end of the tunnel? I'd like to think so, but my optimism on this issue has long since dissipated.

One note for those talking about civil disobedience issues: how do you feel about the closely related FIJA?
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 11:07 PM on September 27, 2002


when they light up all the time, they turn into the most boring and obnoxious people, so i wish they'd just knock it off.

If they are boring and obnoxious on the pot - what are they like when un-high? Witty and polite?
posted by RubberHen at 11:13 PM on September 27, 2002


Nicolae, I think the picture is different now. The US's policies are less and less tolerated by other countries, and moves to decriminalize as close as Canada are now serious possibilities. NORML is bigger than ever, scientific research is pouring in, and medical marijuana is a hot topic.

Eventually, I think what will help tip the tide is medical marijuana. There aren't many people who think that terminally ill cancer patients suffering the extreme side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy shouldn't be allowed to take a medicine that relieves many of their symptoms. States like california support medical marijuana in the overwhelming majority, showing a public willingness to accept it as a part of society. Not everyday society yet, but at least opening the door to its use in society by allowing it as a medicine.

Once that door is opened, then I believe that societal accustomation to it, as well as a more public display of its effects will lead to more and more liberal policies, until everyone is 'used to it being around' and it just becomes legal. I don't know WHEN, but it could be as soon as 5 years, and maybe as many as a lifetime.
posted by phidauex at 11:13 PM on September 27, 2002


phidauex: Rosa Parks was fighting, for all intents and purposes, for the right to lead virtually any semblance of what most white Americans thought to be a normal life. She was also fighting for any number of basic human rights, and her own fundamental humanity and that of other black Americans. Yes, you deny a part of someone's humanity by making it illegal to do something relatively harmless on their own property, but the situations here were qualitatively different. Fight the good fight, but please realize: No non-pot smoker who hears the "I'm a modern-day Rosa Parks" argument is going to take a legitimate movement at all seriously. They'd have just cause for their reaction too.
posted by raysmj at 11:18 PM on September 27, 2002


This isn't just about pot smoking, it's also about the numerous media outlets that refused to run their ads, for asinine reasons expressed in the mealy-mouthed language of lowest-common-denominator marketeers. That ought to be concerning to you, regardless of your opinion of drug legalization. Freedom of speech requires freedom of access to the means of speaking, which in our time are TV, the internet, maybe the radio, and the newspapers.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:21 PM on September 27, 2002


Evanizer - you snuck this in in your complaint about your neighbors

This is most of the reason that I'm against unreasonable drug and alcohol use

The alcohol - is what gets you the loud jams and the all night deal. Take the alcohol out of your neighbors night and leave the pot and I think the jam would go on - but I don't think it would be AS raucous....
posted by RubberHen at 11:21 PM on September 27, 2002


I live up in Northern California and this is the time of year, people are harvesting the grass they've been growing outdoors. Deer hunting season starts about the same time as harvest and that makes for some 'sketched-out' hunters and growers. I've never heard of any violence between the to groups - luckily they try and avoid each other...
posted by blade at 11:30 PM on September 27, 2002


Again, I reiterate that there is a difference between a BASIC HUMAN CIVIL RIGHT and the right to get baked. Could you please wxplain to me again how the right to the latter holds a candle to something like the right of racial equality or gay equality? The issues are apples and oranges. That doesn't invalidate your crusade for the right to get baked, it just puts it on a lower level of human priorities. But hey, MetaFilter is all about moral relativism, so I suppose I should just accept the fact that the right to marry the person of one's choice or the right to equal racial protection under the law is just as important as the right to get blunted at a party.

You win.

So chalk this up to the list of "Things MetaFilter Is Rabidly Intolerant Of":

1. Fat people

2. Americans who don't hate themselves

3. People who drive cars larger than a Mini-Cooper

4. Chem-free people who don't think ganja smokin' is as important as racial or gay equality.

Or, what raysmj said.

Rubberhen- the funny thing is, my neighbor went on a tirade to me about how he doesn't drink when I initially suggested drunkenness as a reason he failed to be a considerate neighbor. Not to imply that everyone who fires one up is a bongo-drum playing bad neighbor, but in this particular case, it seems the weed contributes to the blissed-out jam. And I also don't want to imply that all pot smokers are hippies- where I'm from the mesh cap wearin' good ol' boys smoke as much as the Phish fans.
posted by evanizer at 11:31 PM on September 27, 2002


No non-pot smoker who hears the "I'm a modern-day Rosa Parks" argument is going to take a legitimate movement at all seriously.

I agree completely. In the same way that arguments that hinge on describing W. Bush as 'Hitler' are seen as invalid, sort of an inverse application of Godwin's Law concerning ending a rational argument by jumping to comparing people to nazis and other. Those arguments lose touch with reality because they are too hyperbolic. I never claimed they were modern day Rosa Parks, and I don't think they are. The situations, I would argue, aren't as qualitatively different as they are quantitatively different. Rosa Parks stood up against a whole lot more, and faced challenges I hope I never have to face. But the challenges were of a similar nature. Much civil disobedience falls along these same lines, fighting for the right to live their lives, both out in public and at home, in a way they feel is responsible, without suffering from persecution. The scale is different, but the concepts are similar.

What I was saying, is that a respect for Rosa Parks' defiance, assuming one fully understands the nature of that defiance, and what she was defying, should naturally lead to an understanding of why pot smokers engage in similar civil disobedience, and an understanding of why many people around the world have used civil disobedience like this to free themselves from injustice, both large and small. The two concepts should, given a realistic understanding of the concepts, happily cohabitate, and even validate one another.
posted by phidauex at 11:38 PM on September 27, 2002


since there's also the issue of how many people were killed, maimed or otherwise oppressed in order to get you your drugs.

I think the issue has been discussed before....if it were legal to grow or purchase marijuana... there would be far fewer people killed maimed or otherwise oppressed in its production. The war on drugs keeps the people who do the killing, maiming and otherwise oppressing in business.
posted by SweetIceT at 11:43 PM on September 27, 2002


Personally, I don't care what people do in their own homes, whether it be smoking out, having gay sex, or knitting. It's the websites, parades, lobbyists, legislation, press releases, textbook revisions, and tolerance enforcement that bugs me. I would have *zero* problem if people would just keep it in their homes where it belongs.
posted by oissubke at 11:45 PM on September 27, 2002


Also, if we are going to talk Basic Human Civil Rights, then the right to practice the religion of ones choice should qualify, right? What about the right for Ras Ivah Ben Makhana to use marijuana as a sacrament in his religion, Rastafarianism? The ACLU is currently involved in his case for this very reason. A native of Guam, when he was found with an ounce of marijuana, he was aquitted by a Guam High Court because they determined that the marijuana was for religious purposes, and that persecuting him for it would violate his right to religious freedom under the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution of Guam. However, the US federal government is now ignoring the decision of the Guam high court, and is prosecuting. The ACLU is asking the court to defer to the decision of the Guam High Court.

The issue is one of marijuana freedom, religious freedom, and soverignity of states and territories. Very akin to the medical marijuana debates, and decriminalization debates. But this time, the freedom being violated is something you might more readily recognize as a basic human right.
posted by phidauex at 11:46 PM on September 27, 2002


Let's try this another way:

"We're Jeff and Tracy. We're Your Good Neighbors. We [engage in criminal behavior]."

It really doesn't matter if they are shooting heroin or kicking puppies 'till they are dead, raping twelve-year-olds, having a PCP picnic, or driving drunk. They are engaging in illegal behavior and flaunting on a website. I give them six more good months. (Live it up, Jeff and Tracy!)
posted by hama7 at 11:48 PM on September 27, 2002


flaunting it
posted by hama7 at 11:49 PM on September 27, 2002


Hama7, yes and your point is....lots of things we do today were also once considered criminal behavior. People who chose to break those laws in defiance because they disagreed with them, are the reason we have those liberties today.
posted by SweetIceT at 11:58 PM on September 27, 2002


It really doesn't matter if they are shooting heroin or kicking puppies 'till they are dead, raping twelve-year-olds, having a PCP picnic, or driving drunk.

Oh, but it does matter. The Law isn't a binary switch, where jaywalking and ripping mattress tags off your bed equal raping grandmothers and killing babies to eat. There are serious high crimes involving victims, there are harmless victimless crimes, and a million shades in between.

If someone says "Hey, I tear off mattress tags and I vote" it's quite a bit different than someone saying "I have a right to butcher my family into bits, bury them under the house, and continue being a postman."

I tend to agree they'll get a ton of flack for this site. A prominent pro-legalization author and botanist recently had his entire house and backyard raided by a full force up here in Oakland. The DEA didn't find a single thing and were truly embarrased. I suspect our pals Jeff and Tracey will be getting similar treatment soon. The Drug Czar doesn't like being made fun of openly.
posted by mathowie at 12:01 AM on September 28, 2002


Hama7, it DOES matter, and thats what you don't understand. There is a flaw in your analogy, a very critical flaw. The difference between the drunk driving, puppy killing, raping and the drug use, is that the first three all hurt, kill or otherwise trample on the rights of others. That is fundementally different than a victimless crime, such as dope smoking while at home. This distinction is seen legally as well. There is a large contingent of the justice system that is biased against drug offenses by years of drug war buildup, but there is also an aspect that is much softer on it.

Say you are a cop, just a regular beat cop, nothing fancy, and while you are browsing the web from home after work, you land on Jeff and Tracy's site. Think you are going to go call up the commisioner? Probably not! You'll probably just shrug and surf on. Many police officers agree that marijuana, when done at home, isn't a very serious thing. They still go after it because its their job, but they don't take it as seriously, and certainly don't go out of their way to nab small timers like Jeff and Tracy.

However, say you are this same cop, and you come upon Frank and Sally's page about raping children and killing puppies. You would be on the phone to the chief in a flash! Why? Because, as a beat cop, you understand very clearly the differences a victim crime has from a victimless crime.

There are perhaps some high level investigators wanting to make some publicity who might try to go after Jeff and Tracy, but I seriously doubt it. The most any low level enforcement (which is the vast majority of law enforcement) would do is show up to that church to see if anything wacky was going on. If there isn't anything wacky, which I'm sure their isn't, given the nature of the family and the meeting spot, then they'll move on to what they know are more important criminals than a few mild mannered self professed dope smokers.

Anyway, its definately a risk, but being as small time as they are, and how they don't incriminate others, or name potentially incriminating times and places, I don't think anything will happen to them at all.
posted by phidauex at 12:01 AM on September 28, 2002


phidauex: Would you believe that the Supreme Court's denying Native Americans to use peyote as a religious sacrament hacked off Congress? Please make a note of the following: Using peyote in ancient religious ceremony is unconstitutional, but the inclusion of animal sacrifice in such is OK.
posted by raysmj at 12:10 AM on September 28, 2002


The Law isn't a binary switch, where jaywalking and ripping mattress tags off your bed equal raping grandmothers and killing babies to eat.

Of course there are degrees of crime, (and I know that's the subtext here) and the difference a misdemeanor and a felony is an important distinction.

I think prohibition is a good analogy. We can all now agree that prohibition was not so necessary, but when drinking hard alcohol was illegal, a duo of do-goodniks flagrantly advertising their hard-alcohol consumption in public might very well have gotten them in some pretty serious trouble, which is my point.

I am not saying that smoking oregano (or tobacco, for that matter) is a bad thing, but if it were illegal, mugging defiantly on a website condoning it's use would just be asking for trouble.

There are better legal ways (and much less risky and goofy ways) to go about it.

Moving to Nevada or Montana comes to mind.
posted by hama7 at 12:14 AM on September 28, 2002


So chalk this up to the list of "Things MetaFilter Is Rabidly Intolerant Of"

There is no Metafilter. There are only people here, with varying degrees of tolerance for various things.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:16 AM on September 28, 2002


raysmj:
Would you believe that the Supreme Court's denying Native Americans to use peyote as a religious sacrament hacked off Congress?

The Supreme Court didn't deny anything. It stated only that state laws banning the use of peyote apply to Indians unless the state creates an exception for them (28 do, in fact).

Please make a note of the following: Using peyote in ancient religious ceremony is unconstitutional,

No. Just not protected. This is normal in free-exercise cases -- you don't normally get to violate a facially valid law of general application because Bog told you to. What you do get is to not have your religious conduct singled out for punishment when it would be otherwise legal.

And in practice you get a lot of exceptions or accommodations carved out by the legislature, but the Court's position has generally been that it's the legislature that carves them out, not the Court.

but the inclusion of animal sacrifice in such is OK.

Of course. If you can kill a chicken because you think they're tasty, you can kill a chicken because you believe it pleases Bog, or because you really don't like chickens. If you ban sacrifice, all you're really banning is the mind-state of the person who thinks it pleases Bog.

There's a standard way out, too -- ban the killing of chickens (or whatever) for any reason whatsoever within your city limits, or require that any chicken-slaying be done by a licensed butcher, or whatever, and give some facially valid reason like sanitation for it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:32 AM on September 28, 2002


There are better legal ways (and much less risky and goofy ways) to go about it.

Better legal ways... and what might those be? Keep in mind that enforcement of Marijuana laws has generally become more severe over the last 50 years, not less, so obviously all the ways people have been using must be doing more harm than good.

So you should probably share the details of these better legal ways of yours, and explain what in your experience makes them more effective: they are obviously badly needed.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:32 AM on September 28, 2002


Better legal ways... and what might those be?

Like voting for a representative who plans to implement such changes?
posted by hama7 at 12:38 AM on September 28, 2002


Evanizer,

Your argument about basic human rights just can't properly sustain itself. The right to control and alter ones consciousness is not only basic, but self evident. And that is exactly what we are talking about here. This isn't truly a pot issue but an issue about the use of ones mind and what is allowable.

On a personal level, you continuously take the standpoint most disagreeable in such discussions, leading me to believe that this is either a tactic on your part or your true viewpoint, which is ridiculous. I won't say that you can't choose to believe that someone should be free to alter the placement on a bus and not be free to alter the perception of their mind, I'll just say it is hypocritical to think so. Personal choices are personal choices.

Oh, and your neighbor is just and asshole... it's not the pot.
posted by velacroix at 12:39 AM on September 28, 2002


Legalize it!
posted by MaddCutty at 12:41 AM on September 28, 2002


It's the websites, parades, lobbyists, legislation, press releases, textbook revisions, and tolerance enforcement that bugs me.

I feel the same way about religious zealots.
posted by velacroix at 12:42 AM on September 28, 2002


Like voting for a representative who plans to implement such changes?

So casting one's solitary vote for a "representative" who may not even exist, let alone be on any ballot, sends a stronger message than civil disobedience? Amazing. You've saved the world, nobody's ever thought of voting before.

These people are standing up for what they believe in. It's a pity that offends you, but they're part of a proud tradition of people who have done more to create the world you presently enjoy than those who took your position and shouted them down in the name of the status quo.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:45 AM on September 28, 2002


Public dissent is always courageous. Sometimes evil and couragous, sometimes stupid and courageous, sometimes simply courageous.

"Once upon a time, in 1773, a few brave patriots painted their faces, converged upon Griffens Wharf, and hurled 342 crates of British tea into Boston Harbor. Paul Revere was there. Samuel Adams organized it. John Hancock was a tea smuggler, and actively supported it. Today, we venerate these men as heroes. They all broke the law, because the law was absurd, and deserved to be broken."

Had those patriots done that in today's climate, they would be derided as anti-capitalists, anti-business, anti-American. For a few folks posting here, the American tradition is a withered spectre of itself.

mathowie: "Many ancient cultures used to partake in all sorts of plants by ingesting things they found."

One ancient culture called the United States of America cultivated hemp, now illegal because it contains as much THC as apple juice carries alcohol. This of course, is for our own protection. At least I thought it was -- shouldn't apple juice only be available for those over 21 years of age?

evanizer: "[sexuality] arises a priori without any instruction or example, and cannot be suppressed without serious mental damage"

Eh, usually. But people can and do learn sexuality. Don't let that stop your a priori plea for subjugation under irrational laws.
posted by raaka at 12:50 AM on September 28, 2002


machaus i think it will be legalized in my lifetime. in the past year I have had many elders in my family and several of my friends families who have come out and said they now believe the drug war was a mistake and has cost our nation greatly.

i am still thunderstruck by all of these conversations. a close relative has asked me to potentially procure it for them in the case of their spouse getting cancer. a man i know who i exercise with twice a week is undergoing chemotherapy right now. this man is the kindest guy and completely honest and upfront about it. i know that as he walks through his life talking about how it is helping him he is turning the minds of many folks who ten or twenty years ago would have steadfastly gone ballistic over the great crime it was in doing any illegal drug.

i am amazed by the transition i have been watching in the last couple of years among a great swath of folks i know. so yes, in spite of my previous skepticism, i am now confident that if i live long enough marijuana will be legalized.
posted by filchyboy at 1:07 AM on September 28, 2002


I used to be the same as evanizer. Believe me! I seriously lost alot of friends because of my anti-marijuana zealotry. I have an anxiety disorder. Marijuana those days, in the throes of continual anxiety attack was not conducive to my health. I quit after smoking a mere handful of times. My friends however did not. They started getting into the bongs and then the electrical 8-person hookas etc and they got stoned. Boy did they. When one gets stoned they seem as though they don't give a shit about you. Cos you're not stoned you don't recognize that they aren't being lame, only do you recognize that they aren't no longer into your stuffy little world anymore. I think this might be evanizer's problem. I grew up.
posted by crasspastor at 1:11 AM on September 28, 2002


evan:

I graciously disagree. While the matter may not be on par with racial or gender inequality solely because those are two things that simply can't be chosen or changed (Michael Jackson and sex-change surgery recipients), it is on par with any other right involving one's personal preferences and choices.

It is about fundamental rights, as per the self-evident observations that founded this country re: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We should have the right to do with our bodies what we please, whether that be scarring it up, covering it in tattoos, stapling metal through it, injecting/drinking/smoking drugs, engaging in coitus with other consensual parties of any sex. Our bodies, our lives, our preferred lifestyles are what's on the line.

hama7: No cause would be successful if the people pressing the issue weren't vocal or willing to take risks to get the message out. People willing to take risks for what they believe in leave far more of an impression than people who sit quietly and say nothing.

Besides, moving to a state where it's legal, as opposed to pressing to have it rightfully legalized everywhere, would only be making judgemental and meddlesome moralmongers ecstatic. No thanks.
posted by precocious at 1:18 AM on September 28, 2002


evanizer you said...Setting up a site like the one linked does nothing to help the cause of marijuana legislation reform; it's just a risky and ultimately meaningless publicity stunt.

nonsense. this conversation and all the others going on about the topic of drug laws, or any concern of government, is how we promulgate laws.

for long periods of time the drug war itself was very rarely discussed among many segments of society. increasingly over time the victims of its irrationality are becoming so large as a percentage of the population that this discussion is happening in more and more places. that discussion involves both stupid stunt web pages and discussion on metafilter.
posted by filchyboy at 1:19 AM on September 28, 2002


If the goal is stopping hemp, the government has failed.

If the goal is keeping ganj away from children, it's failed insanely.

If the problem is the criminal element associated with pot's distribution, then do what they did in the 30's; end prohibition.

The country is awash in smoke. The law has failed.

BTW, I also agree with Evanizer that being gay is not like wanting to smoke pot. You can stop smoking pot, if it is interfering with your life, but most of the gay people I have known have been gay like rice is white.

But watching him jump on pot smokers is disheartening.

I guess that I would make the argument that not all people that smoke pot are potheads, any more than all people that drink are drunks. Maybe that was the point these people were trying to make with their webpage.

And as an aside, I don't smoke.
posted by dglynn at 1:37 AM on September 28, 2002


Come on. Pot websites and the Boston Tea Party? War on drugs? Rosa Parks? What delusions of grandeur.

Some people are missing the point. Two schmoes advocating potential criminal activity does not a revolution make.

The opuim poppy, the coca plant, pschytropic mushrooms, aspirin, nicotene, caffeine, alcohol, ether, frog poison and hemlock are natural substances too, so the "natural" angle is all wet.

Besides, moving to a state where it's legal, as opposed to pressing to have it rightfully legalized everywhere, would only be making judgemental and meddlesome moralmongers ecstatic. No thanks.

Exactly. There are options, but shrieking and wailing and moaning about it seems much more fashionable than shutting up and doing where nobody cares, which equals: irritating shrillness for shrillness' sake.

Spain and Holland are ~cool~ too.
posted by hama7 at 1:47 AM on September 28, 2002


I'm fairly ambivalent to the smoking but...

DRINK RECIPE FOR "THE JEFF AND TRACY"

One half ounce each of the following:
Tuaca
Vodka-Stoli
Frangelico
Amaretto


...remind me never to drink with these people. Ewwch. It's certainly interesting to see a pro-pot site that isn't all tacky bongs and naff psychadelia, though.
posted by robself at 1:53 AM on September 28, 2002


All I have to say is this: I smoke pot. I am smoking pot right now. I have been arrested many times for activities that seemed like a good idea while drinking, but never for smoking pot. I've seen these ads well before this post because I live in the same city and Jeff and Tracy have not been arrested. Why not? Because most inhabitants of Portland smoke pot and the police don't even bother any more. I think they make a good point - they smoke pot and they somehow manage to live a good life. The rapid anti-pot crowd needs to hear that pot is not cocaine(no comment), it is not something that will destroy your life unless you are already destroying your life. Evanizer: call the police and make a noise complaint about your neighbors, they'd be loud assholes all night stoned or not. I get stoned, eat fig newtons and quietly surf the web.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:11 AM on September 28, 2002


"The rabid anti-pot crowd" what was I saying? I forget.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:13 AM on September 28, 2002


hama: again I repeat, no cause would be successful were there not people willing to be vocal about it or take risks for it. There are far too many unjust laws which would be in effect in this country still, if the people against whom those unjust laws were aimed either 1) shut up and "stopped whining," about it, or 2) simply picked up and moved some place where the laws didn't exist.

...And you know, with every justified cause, there's always a contingent of people who'd rather protesters just shut up or go somewhere else where they'd be more accepted. You all really do come off looking pretty bad, in the end.

This whole conversation makes me want to spark up a phatty boom blatty.
posted by precocious at 2:30 AM on September 28, 2002


Here's an article by Dan Savage about marijuana laws. He makes the point, mentioned earlier, that for pot to be decriminalized more people will have to start coming out of the closet as users to take away the stigma and destroying the tired "stoner" stereotypes which are so enthusiastically perpetuated here by evanizer and others.
posted by Ty Webb at 6:25 AM on September 28, 2002


that for pot to be decriminalized more people will have to start coming out of the closet as users to take away the stigma and destroying the tired "stoner" stereotypes

Great idea. Then we'll have to take away the "stigma" and "destroy" the "tired" lawbreaker stereotypes, too.

Which are "enthusiastically perpetuated" by criminals of every stripe.

Good luck!
posted by hama7 at 6:38 AM on September 28, 2002


decriminalize now.
posted by clavdivs at 6:52 AM on September 28, 2002


obey.
posted by crunchland at 7:04 AM on September 28, 2002


[excellent thread!].

i think that people are confusing general and more specific cases. it doesn't make much sense to compare the right to sexual freedom with the right to smoke pot (evanizer's point - and i think he's right to feel insulted) because sexual freedom is a much more general (or basic) part of life. on the other hand, i think people are offended by evanizer because (also rightly) they feel that there is a more important general case here that he has missed.

this general case appears later in the thread, where people have started to cite more general principles (medication, religious activities, etc).

i think this is the right kind of argument to use, but that it can be presented in a better way - we should require general rather than specific laws. laws that declare pot illegal and alcohol legal are missing the point. it makes much more sense to have laws that make the abuse of either illegal, while allowing reasonable use.

in this way marijuana legalisation is simply the basic right to do what you want with your own life unless it causes harm to others (which is what others have already said).

reasonable activity should be legal. that implies that reasonable sexual activity should be legal. it also imples that you should be able have a beer, sing in the shower, smile in public and smoke pot from time to time...
posted by andrew cooke at 7:12 AM on September 28, 2002


I can't make up my mind on this issue. The problem, I think, is that I haven't smoked pot in so long, I am not sure if I agree with all of the claims made by supporters of the legalization of marijuana....
And I have no idea how to get my hands on some. So, if anyone lives near Northeast Texas, and wants to argue in support of this cause, come on over and bring your pot. I'll give you directions to my house.

I'll be home tonight.

Please.
posted by bradth27 at 7:13 AM on September 28, 2002


i highly recommend this book to evan and anyone else interested in the points raised in this thread.
posted by dobbs at 7:22 AM on September 28, 2002


...we should require general rather than specific laws--andrew cooke

U.S. Constitution: Ninth Amendment
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

[...always been my favorite amendment.]
posted by jaronson at 7:40 AM on September 28, 2002


Because most inhabitants of Portland smoke pot and the police don't even bother any more.

I am completely for the legalization of drugs, but statements like this (and others in this thread) are enough to make me think twice. "I do this. I know some other people who do this. Therefore, everyone does this." How many of the 3.2 million residents currently get high? Seriously. That's why people in this thread are asking you to keep it in your house: people who are passionate about getting high (not about legalization) tend to make it the focus of their lives in a in-your-face sort of way.

I had friends in college who were into marijuana in varying degrees. Those who got really into it changed and became very boring. I don't think the drug had as much to do with it as personality though.
posted by yerfatma at 7:45 AM on September 28, 2002


as uptight as that evanizer kid is, it would be wise not to deprive him of his natural right to orgasms.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:26 AM on September 28, 2002


...laws that make the abuse of either illegal, while allowing reasonable use.

...in this way marijuana legalisation is simply the basic right to do what you want with your own life unless it causes harm to others...


Um...I'm hoping that you don't really mean this, because these two sentences don't make sense in light of each other. What is "reasonable use", what is "abuse"? Generally speaking, it's a matter of opinion where that line falls. And how is someone's excessive (by some arbitrary definition) use of any drug in the absence of operating a motor vehicle or doing something equally socially irresponsible, harming anyone other than the person involved? Why would, say, smoking three, five, ten or twenty joints a day in your house warrant police intervention, but smoking one wouldn't? How is the former causing harm to others, but the latter isn't? "Abuse" of alcohol or cigarettes isn't illegal, after all, why should "abuse" of any potentially decriminialised drug be? One person's "reasonable use" is multiple times a day, another person's is once or twice a year, another person's is on the weekend. In cases like this, you can't legislate something like "reasonable use" beyond "where it's illegal to use it and what it's illegal to do while using it".
posted by biscotti at 9:05 AM on September 28, 2002


Let's try this another way:

"We're Jeff and Tracy. We're Your Good Neighbors. We [occassionally break the speed limit]."

Now just how asinine is it to suggest these good people should be tossed in jail for a mandatory ten year sentencing.

"We're Jeff and Tracy. We're Your Good Neighbors. We [sometimes water our roses on 'no-water' days]."

Jail them! Jail them! Make them hang out with the murderers and rapists!

"We're Jeff and Tracy. We're Your Good Neighbors. We [jaywalk]."

Jail! Mandatory jailing!

"We're Jeff and Tracy. We're Your Good Neighbors. We [do occassionally do something that harms no person or property and put no one at risk]."

Off with their heads!


Prohibitionists are truly stupid people.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:17 AM on September 28, 2002


Prohibitionists are truly stupid people.

No, no. They just hold great value in following the letter of the law. They aren't stupid. But the law might be.
posted by crunchland at 9:33 AM on September 28, 2002


Um...I'm hoping that you don't really mean this, because these two sentences don't make sense in light of each other.

maybe you took my "abuse/reasonable" to be directly related to amount (how much drunk, how much smoked)? that's not what i meant. i'm effectively defining abuse to mean something that causes damage to others (although the two might be realted via emotional or medical costs, for example).

sorry, i think my language was confusing. by abuse i meant "bad use" - using it in a way that causes harm (implicitly, harm to others). that's different (i realise in retrospect) from the common interpretation of the phrase "alchohol abuse", which seems to mean "drinking too much for your own health".
posted by andrew cooke at 9:33 AM on September 28, 2002


andrew cooke: it occurred to me in retrospect that this was likely a misunderstanding. Thanks for clearing it up, it seems we were saying the same thing after all.
posted by biscotti at 9:35 AM on September 28, 2002


incidentally, this book is a good (but heavy!) treatment of many of the themes in this thread. classic british liberalism (i believe - i'm no expert). (my copy cost 14 pounds about 12 years ago - has inflation been so high since then?)

[on preview - no probs, biscotti]
posted by andrew cooke at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2002


Good points, all.

Just one I'd like to address:

That's why people in this thread are asking you to keep it in your house: people who are passionate about getting high (not about legalization) tend to make it the focus of their lives in a in-your-face sort of way.


Political/Social change occurs in a pendulum-like fashion. Without these seemingly over-the-top (or in-your-face) displays, how can change possibly occur? Without getting information to EVERYONE, including those who don't partake, how will laws change? Those who have been brain-washed by your nation's disinformational drug policy won't just spontaneously have a change of heart without having someone say, "Hey listen. You might not have all the information you need to form an opinion on this issue." Hopefully Jeff and Tracy will succeed in their efforts to educate.

Once this happens, in-your-face will no longer be necessary, the pendulum will swing back and people will go back toking and watching Eraserhead in their brother's basement.
posted by drgonzo at 9:57 AM on September 28, 2002


dglynn: The country is awash in smoke. The law has failed.

So, because the law has failed (in some cases; it's managed to put quite a few criminals behind bars, which means it's worked as well) that means the law should be repealed?

Far more people exceed the speed limit than smoke pot. In fact (and this is not a generalization, but a reality) the MAJORITY of drivers violate speed limit laws on a daily basis. Does this constitute a "failure" of said laws, and does that mean we should repeal all of those laws?

What would happen if speed limits were removed? How long would it take before driving conditions became more and more dangerous and the death rate went up as a result?

As others have stated before, I personally don't care what you do in the privacy of your own home, so long as it affects only you. What happens if/when marijuana laws are repealed? I have enough issue dealing with people blowing cigarette smoke in my face on a daily basis; will I be forced to endure other people's clouds of mind-altering substances now, as well? Should parents with young children have to do the same?

If you're concerned about your liberties as a consumer of marijuana, I ask that you be mindful of other people's liberties as non-consumers as well.
posted by Danelope at 10:07 AM on September 28, 2002


I am posting to this thread rather late in its history, and I will probably end up saying things that have been enumerated time and time again. That said I smoke marijuana, I am a student at a university. I skipped my senior year of high school. As a freshmen at the school I already have more than 70 credit hours. I own my own home at the age of 19 because of my motivation to do so. I spent the entire summer working as a construction worker building homes in order to convince my mother that i was mature enough to handle home ownership. The financial support for my home came through my fathers life insurance policy. He was a pot smoker and a homosexual. Because he grew up in the south and his sexuality was suppressed by culture he married my mother (a complacent woman) and then proceeded to cheat on her. He caught aids, and continued to use marijuana as a medicine. I watched him succumbed to morphine abuse in the hospital. The doctors allowed him to use it to the point that he passed into a coma and eventually died from it, not aids or pneumosystis pneumonia (sp?) at any rate this gives me a special in sight into marijuana from a personal and medical stand point. If my father had been able to have access to marijuana or a thc based pain killer he would not have spent the last 2 months of his life in a synthetic heroin induced haze. He would not have lived, but it would have been much more heartening to talk to him than to watch him toss and turn in a fevered sleep for 2 months. My fathers troubled life aside, i personally am told by many people i know, even if it is vicariously, and in particular adults, that they are proud of me. Not proud that i am a stoner, but proud of my accomplishments. Would those same people be proud of me if they knew i smoked marijuana? I think that about half of them would, and that another quarter might expect it already. Still the one quarter of my friends and family that would disrespect me for that is enough for me to want to change public opinion. I live a good life, a moral life in that i treat others as i wish to be treated. I don't arrest anyone or incarcerate people for hurting themselves... a final point and one that i will probably be a hot potato, it seems to me that the majority of us opposition to legalization comes from the religious right. This same religious right preaches in churches tolerance as a basic aspect of their faith. In particular the story of the good Samaritan. This story, as i was taught, teaches that tolerance of others is a central tenant of christian faith. Well where did all that tolerance go?
posted by sourbrew at 10:09 AM on September 28, 2002


If you're concerned about your liberties as a consumer of marijuana, I ask that you be mindful of other people's liberties as non-consumers as well.

Aside from the aforementioned propensity for bongo drums, I'm not sure what this would entail. I don't think anyone is advocating getting high in malls and daycares, or even walking down a public street.

I've often thought about different creative ways to try and explain that pot smokers are not always "stoners". You don't hear about them as often, but I know plenty of nice people, including myself, who work full-time+ in highly responsible positions, spend their evenings doing the same things every other adult does.. and occasionally gets high. I applaud Jeff and Tracy's efforts to remind people that not every pot smoker is a college kid or gangsta rapper... they could be your friends and co-workers, whom you never would have suspected.
posted by jess at 11:10 AM on September 28, 2002


The example of the Netherlands shows that casual use of pot does not alter as a direct result of decriminalization, according to this report:

In conclusion, trends in cannabis use in the Netherlands are rather similar to those in other European countries, and Dutch figures on cannabis use are not out of line with those from countries that did not decriminalise cannabis. The U.S. figures consistently appear to be higher then those in the Netherlands. Over time prevalence of cannabis use show a wave-like trend in many countries, including the Netherlands. This supports Reuband’s earlier conclusion that trends cannabis use evolve rather independently from drug policy, and that countries with a ‘liberal’ cannabis policy do not have higher or lower rates than countries with a more repressive policy. [Reuband, 1995].

Consequently, it is unlikely that decriminalisation of cannabis will cause an increase in cannabis use.


Emphasis added. The Netherlands example also shows that pot is not a "gateway" drug that necessarily leads casual users to harder drugs like opiates.

Through their own example, Jeff and Tracy are trying to encourage a critical mass of protest by ordinary Americans. The Oregonian wouldn't even print their ad -- so much for free (or even paid) political speech unless you're a dominant political party.

What's a citizen seeking legislative reform to do? Take matters into their own hands on the web. I think their combination of middle class bravado, technological initiative and low-key discretion is very, very cool.
posted by skimble at 11:13 AM on September 28, 2002


Tolerance! There's no money in tolerance!

[Wow, was that cynical or what?]

btw...sourbrew, now that I feel I know you a little better, I can sincerely say that I am proud of you, too.
posted by jaronson at 11:14 AM on September 28, 2002


Oops, not cynical, I meant to say sarcastic...or did I?
posted by jaronson at 11:16 AM on September 28, 2002


as uptight as that evanizer kid is, it would be wise not to deprive him of his natural right to orgasms.

Spoken like a Fundamentalist- the complexity of human sexuality obviously boils down to screwing and cumming .

as juvenile as that mcsweetie kid is, it would be wise not to deprive him of his natural right to be a total asshole.

Anyway, I've learned never to participate in Metafilter threads about drug use, since it's obvious some people will get so defensive about differences in opinion that they'll resort to taunting and nastiness. I'm sorry if my use of the word 'stoner' was construed as such.

Thanks to those posters who have made their points in a rational and adult way, I appreciate it, even if our opinions about this issue differ.
posted by evanizer at 11:26 AM on September 28, 2002


Wow, wouldn't they be proud, Jeff&Tracy. You can't get better free advertisement than this, well in your home. But this discussion has now moved in homes all over the world, bong hit for sure.

That's right! Jeff and Tracy's Old Time Marijuana Revival Hour is forming a choir and we need YOU!

Uh, I can't sing, need someone to sing blow some pot rings?
posted by thomcatspike at 11:27 AM on September 28, 2002


oops, I was drunk and stoned and made a generalization: Okay, not every single person in Portland, OR smokes pot, but alot do. The police here barely even try to enforce marijuana prohibition unless they find somebody holding more than an once, and even then the penalties are pretty light. Even though I have alot of qualms about the local police's methods, they seem to understand that pot is not the problem that the feds make it out to be. By being vocal pot smokers can show how misguided marijuana prohibition (and the drug war in general) can be.

Lawyers Smoke It.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:55 AM on September 28, 2002


it's managed to put quite a few criminals behind bars, which means it's worked as well

If putting tons of people in jail is the goal of our drug policy, then you are correct -- it is a smashing success.

If the desired goal is to reduce drug use or the harms of abuse -- it has failed miserably.
posted by Dirjy at 12:12 PM on September 28, 2002


Joining the party a little late...I must disagree with the prohibition/temperance crowd.

First, not all pot smokers are stoners, just as not all drinkers are boozehounds.

Some laws have only been repealed because people were willing to protest them. Despite Evan's refusal to equate gay rights with the basic liberty of smoking a harmless weed in your basement...the fact is that sodomy was punishable by death in New York. Over a hundred years, activists have reversed all of the sodomy laws, making it not only legal for people to do whatever they want in their own bedrooms...often the NY laws protect people who want to perform sodomy in public.

It is my opinion that if it were legal to grow and harvest your own pot, then smoking it, grinding it into a penne pesto pot pasta, or drinking it in a tea is a victimless crime. Nobody gets hurt when I harvest tomatoes or rosemary in my backyard, why would pot be any different. (Short of having a few happy birds floating around the place.)

The damage from the drug wars comes from the huge, vast amount of public money spent tossing people in jail for a crime that is completely artificial and a law that was written to protect Dupont polyester from cheaper hemp.

Nobody is protected when pot smokers are imprisoned. It's just stupid and wasteful of public funds.

Prohibition has never worked. The more you tell grownups that they can't have something, the more many of them will work to find ways to get that very thing.

Legalize it, tax it, free up the prisons for the rapists, the murderers and the other people who commit crimes that cause damage to other people and the society.

And no, I don't smoke (anymore). But, just as I plan on taking my son to Paris to see the Louvre, Rome to see the ruins, Britain because it's GB and Netherlands to see the Reichsmuseum...I'll be more than willing to let him go to a coffee house in Amsterdam and smoke a joint when he's old enough. I'd much rather have him smoking pot than drinking. Not a lot of kids die from stoned driving...but a whole lot of them die from driving drunk.

And sourbrew, peace on ya, you sound like a great guy and I wish the absolute best for you...as life has already handed you some fairly horrid crap.
posted by dejah420 at 1:20 PM on September 28, 2002


what dejah said : >

but Rijksmuseum!!!
posted by amberglow at 1:39 PM on September 28, 2002


Oh, I see. Everyone wants it legal, but nobody wants to share the stash.

Be that way. See if I care.
posted by bradth27 at 2:14 PM on September 28, 2002


I find this trend interesting because it sort of mirrors some discussions I've had with friends recently on the subject of smoking pot as an adult, which I continue to do, on average, once a week - usually Saturday night - even though I'm married with a young child.

A good friend - who's wife just had their second child - is in a similar situation. Once he and I definitely qualified as stoners, but we've since grown up - he to be an attorney, myself a journalist - got married, and matured somewhat. Yet neither of us see much harm in the occasional toke in the basement after family members are safely in bed.

You could make an argument, I suppose, that there could be harm in this - say the child wakes up in the middle of the night with a medical problem requiring parental attention. That is something to be considered, yet for those of us who like a couple beers after work, isn't it the same thing - as long as you've not deadened yourself into a state where you couldn't possibly deal with the crisis?

Neither said friend nor I drive after partaking; indeed, partaking is only done in the basement of the home, not out where unpleasant encounters with authority figures are a possibility.

An element of responsibility? I hope so, though I'm still sensitive to another criticism, that being, where do you get the stuff? And if, ultimately, it's not homegrown, aren't you - aren't I - contributing to the culture of lawlessness that has necessitated drug prohibition in the first place?

The whole damned thing's a grey area, and I'd be more in favor of what Jeff and Tracy are doing if it weren't. Which might be why, in the long run, I think things are now the way they should be, in that the laws against the activity drive those who wish to partake in it yet retain a veneer of respectability underground until they decide they should just give it up, at last.
posted by kgasmart at 3:04 PM on September 28, 2002


I was in a bookstore this afternoon, perusing the magazine racks when I saw something that made me think of some of the things said early on in this thread... High Times has been advocating marijuana use, purchase and even cultivation for more almost 30 years, and the long arm of the law hasn't tossed their asses in jail for it.... yet.
posted by crunchland at 3:10 PM on September 28, 2002


~is having her own private little fantasy involving a full-page ad in The Raleigh News and Observer~

We're Secret Life of Gravy and Secret Life of Gravy's Partner
We're Your Good Neighbors
We engage in oral sex

2 million adults in North Carolina have engaged in oral sex, that is one fourth of the population. Your mailman does it, the grocery clerk, your hair stylist, your real estate agent and even the pastor at the First United Baptist Church on Jones Sausage Road. These sodomites are your elected officials. They are your family members. They are your dearest friends
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:42 PM on September 28, 2002


A glass of wine enhances my pasta.

A spliff enhances my nights out.

My life, my liberty, my happiness.

Shut down the Mafia: Legalise It!
posted by dash_slot- at 3:56 PM on September 28, 2002


reality is for people who can't handle drugs
posted by joemeek at 4:20 PM on September 28, 2002


1. The website claims that "80 million" Americans have smoked pot. That hardly translates into 80 million who smoke regularly. I smoked it twice, in 1982, when I was a young teen, so I guess that I'm one of those 80 million people -- but that figure has virtually nothing to do with present-day reality or statistics about users. And, as many have noted in other forums and on other topics, Quantity does not equal Quality. In other words, even if 80 million people smoked it, that fact does not in & of itself make the activity any more or less right (or wrong).
2. I suppose I lead a somewhat sheltered existence, being in the US military, where drug use is practically nil (don't even think of citing random anecdotes claiming otherwise - won't work). It just floors me that there are so many people who (a) smoke this crap, and (b) are so willing to admit it.
3. Can any of the posters here who admit to smoking pot explain to me exactly WHY they do this? Seriously -- I truly do not understand the desire to destroy, if only temporarily, one's ability to think clearly.
posted by davidmsc at 6:21 PM on September 28, 2002


3. Can any of the posters here who admit to smoking pot explain to me exactly WHY they do this? Seriously -- I truly do not understand the desire to destroy, if only temporarily, one's ability to think clearly.

Do you drink?
posted by swerve at 6:36 PM on September 28, 2002


or, have you ever had an orgasm?

I don't mean that to be as snarky as it sounds. It's just that we all sometimes choose to change our brain chemistry.
posted by teenydreams at 7:05 PM on September 28, 2002


It doesn't necessarily destroy one's ability to think clearly, in fact very often it does the polar opposite. Sure, some people just get dumb on it, but many people (including people like Carl Sagan) find it greatly enhances their creative and comprehension skills. It facilitates lateral thinking, and has potential for use in some forms of psychiatric therapy (especially related to phobias) because there's some evidence that it facilitates the formation of new association pathways in the brain.

I think the reason numbers are quoted relates to proving to people that the Reefer Madness-style War on Drugs craziness is clearly a pack of lies. All those people have and continue to use it and society hasn't ground to a halt yet. It also serves to point out that the WoD isn't working, and that not everyone who smokes pot is Cheech or Chong, that most of them are people you'd probably find quite respectable.
posted by biscotti at 7:47 PM on September 28, 2002


Just please do us all a favor, all you reefer-mad folks out there, no matter what marijuana seems to do for "lateral thinking" or "comprehension skills", please don't drive, fly aeroplanes, or operate heavy machinery while you're on one of your consciousness-raising binges. It's dangerous. And please don't play the bongo drums at 2 am. That's all I ask.

As a side note, tough luck about getting any legislative change in New York, where soon you won't even be able to smoke legal tobacco cigarettes in public. Though I think marijuana might now be cheaper than tobacco here as well, so perhaps the benefits outweigh the risks.
posted by evanizer at 8:13 PM on September 28, 2002


where drug use is practically nil

alcohol is a drug.

It just floors me that there are so many people who (a) smoke this crap, and (b) are so willing to admit it.

I think that's the point - maybe it'll make you realize that intelligent, capable people sometimes smoke pot. Once you get past the shock, you can assess the situation rationally, and see that not everyone who condones or takes part in this behavior is a hopeless moron.

I truly do not understand the desire to destroy, if only temporarily, one's ability to think clearly.

Different people have different brain chemistry, so some people don't find themselves confused when they smoke. More common, though, is the experience of a different way of thinking. Many people, for instance, find they're able to separate the different layers of music more easily when they're high. Other people find visual or non-linear thinking comes more easily on pot - I have artist friends who paint more freely when they smoke. And then some people just want to zone out now and then. As people said above, there are a lot of activities which reduce one's thoughts - but we don't outlaw watching TV or meditating...
posted by mdn at 8:18 PM on September 28, 2002


but Rijksmuseum!!! -- amberglow

Doh...I knew that...there are even paintings by my ancestors hung there...right now there are Dutch family members who are writing me out of wills...*hangs her head in shame*

Can any of the posters here who admit to smoking pot explain to me exactly WHY they do this? Seriously -- I truly do not understand the desire to destroy, if only temporarily, one's ability to think clearly.-- davidmsc

Whereas I agree with biscotti and mdn on the reasons they listed...I'm also going to have to go with...because it's good fun.

If you've ever had a beer, or a shot, or a glass of wine, then you're being fairly hypocritical to suggest that someone to takes a toke from a joint is doing anything radically different from a chemical standpoint.

And while your experience may differ, most of the Navy officers I know are pretty heavy drinkers, as are most of the Air Force pilots. As to the land forces, I know when I was in K-town in Germany, drinking *was* how everyone spent their free time. (Although scoring acid and pot was pretty high on many people's list.)
posted by dejah420 at 9:07 PM on September 28, 2002


Re: do I drink? No. No alcohol in any way, shape, or form. For exactly the same reason: I don't want anything to impair my ability to *think*.

And all of the rationalizations -- it makes you more creative, it's analogous to an orgasm -- are just that: rationalizations. 'Nuff said.

If you smoke pot in a "secure" environment, fine. But as evanizer pointed out, keep it to yourself; please, please don't put anyone's life in danger by attempting to drive or otherwise put yourself in a situation where your impaired critical-thinking may endanger others. That, truly, is the point at which your pursuit of happiness (legal or otherwise) become society's problem. Thanks.
posted by davidmsc at 9:53 PM on September 28, 2002


as juvenile as that mcsweetie kid is, it would be wise not to deprive him of his natural right to be a total asshole.

damn, I'm the biggest asshole ever.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:27 PM on September 28, 2002


maybe it'll make you realize that intelligent, capable people sometimes smoke pot

Or maybe it'll make you realize that people you thought were intelligent and capable are actually a lot dumber than you ever imagined, as demonstrated by their illicit drug use and subsequent public admission of it. In other words, if you've already made up your mind on the issue, I don't see this changing your mind one way or another.

Me, I'm perfectly capable of acting like an ass without chemical assistance, so I've never altered my consciousness in that way. I have friends who smoke pot with various frequency, though, and I think I can say with some assurance that most marijuana users are not very motivated to drive or to otherwise engage in behavior that could endanger anyone.
posted by kindall at 11:11 PM on September 28, 2002


the reason why this discussion is doomed is that some folks haven chosen not to discern between civil obedience and hooliganism. decisive voting and lobbying has proven about as effective as asking politely not to be arrested. I think jeff and tracy have made a good, albeit bold step forward.

and just for shites and goggles: I don't smoke pot, never have, never will. and I could care less whether you have or not.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:19 PM on September 28, 2002


We have entered the realm of the no-win argument.

Here be dragons.
posted by crunchland at 6:37 AM on September 29, 2002


Everybody who commented in this thread is wrong--I'm the only one who is right!

But wait, now I've commented, which would make me wrong...but I know I'm right...ummm....so if that's the case....

*wanders off mumbling to himself*
posted by ashbury at 6:43 AM on September 29, 2002


***bubbling bongwater***

Pipe down, you people....

heh..heheheheh...I said pipe....
posted by jonmc at 7:30 AM on September 29, 2002


And all of the rationalizations -- it makes you more creative, it's analogous to an orgasm -- are just that: rationalizations. 'Nuff said.

for a guy who's so concerned about not impeding his ability to think, you're resorting to the non-thinking "because I said so" argument pretty quickly.

Or maybe it'll make you realize that people you thought were intelligent and capable are actually a lot dumber than you ever imagined, as demonstrated by their illicit drug use and subsequent public admission of it.

That's pretty hypocritical for people who cite maintaining the ability to think clearly as a primary reason for being against drug use to start with. If you know someone with an attribute, and you know an action which you believe implies an opposing attribute, and you find out that person engages in that activity, do you question the empirical attribute or the implied one?

We have entered the realm of the no-win argument.

yeah. and yet I CANT STOP. I have an addictive personality, except when it comes to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.
posted by mdn at 9:08 AM on September 29, 2002


What an immense amount of small-minded malarkey in this thread. Every damn one of you has ingested brain-chemistry-altering chemicals of one form or another, or taken part in activities that do the same.

Drink coffee? Eat a chocolate bar? Ski, bike, jog, dance? Spend time in the sunshine? Pig out on pasta? Have sex? Go to the movies?

It all effects change in your brain chemistry. From your natural endorphins and adrenelin, to blood-glucose surges, to theta brainwaves, to caffeine: it is all brain-changing.

For a bunch of people who regularly fuck with their brain chemistry, then, it's hypocritical to pass judgement on how others treat their brains.

Even worse is when that judgement is being passed by people who are wholly ignorant of the biochemistry and physical structures involved. For starters, that some areas of the brain have specific cannaboid receptors: IOW, it is designed to make use of marijuana. Quite unlike caffeine, which binds to adenosine receptors, "faking out" the brain.

But, hey, details and knowledge are unimportant. The important thing is to name-call.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:38 AM on September 29, 2002


If you know someone with an attribute, and you know an action which you believe implies an opposing attribute, and you find out that person engages in that activity, do you question the empirical attribute or the implied one?

Intelligence is always an implied attribute. You can't know how smart someone is except by the things they do. And to many people, either using illicit drugs or publicly admitting to it is so dumb that it basically offsets anything else smart you may have ever done.

As I said: "if you've already made up your mind on the issue, I don't see this changing your mind one way or another." That is, if you think pot use is an indicator of stupidity, you're more likely to write off Jeff and Tracy as idiots than to change your view of pot use. After all, most of us don't know Jeff and Tracy, and the only things we know about them are the things they say about themselves on their own Web site. And most of us are likely to take whatever someone says about themselves with a grain of salt.

Now, if someone we all admired and thought was really really smart admitted to it, that might work. Carl Sagan, for instance. That impressed me a lot more. But a couple anonymous people, that's not very impressive. It's too easy to write them off as idiots.

I'm commenting only on why this is not an effective means of changing people's minds -- not whether my mind has been changed. My mind doesn't particularly need changing on the issue.

For starters, that some areas of the brain have specific cannaboid receptors: IOW, it is designed to make use of marijuana. Quite unlike caffeine, which binds to adenosine receptors, "faking out" the brain.

I find this a very interesting assertion. Do you have a cite? Is this also true of our near genetic relatives? I'm having trouble assessing the likely veracity of this statement without additional information. The brain isn't "designed" for anything, of course, and I doubt that evolution would have given our brain receptors for something that is foreign to our body. More likely these receptors are for some actual brain chemical that, perhaps, we used to make in our own bodies at some point in our evolutionary past but don't anymore. (This is sheer speculation, but I think it very unlikely that humans and marijuana evolved parasitically or symbiotically, which seems to me as if it would be necessary for this to be true.)
posted by kindall at 9:53 AM on September 29, 2002


fff:Drink coffee? Eat a chocolate bar? Ski, bike, jog, dance? Spend time in the sunshine? Pig out on pasta? Have sex? Go to the movies?

Get a clue, fish, and quit playing coy...you know damn well the difference between "altering your brain chemistry" and impairing your ability to think, reason, and act. Not once did I say that anything that alters your brain chemistry equates to drug use.

If there are people out there who truly can't distinguish between the effects of (a) drinking coffee, and (b) smoking pot, then those people are either willfully ignorant or deliberately wrong.
posted by davidmsc at 10:55 AM on September 29, 2002


Kindall, you could find cites within seconds all on your own. http://www.google.com/search?q=cannaboid+receptor

David, please withdraw from the discussion: your childish fears based on years of lies do not reflect well on your arguments. Go back to the television, safe in the comfort that while it sucks your brain out through a straw, it doesn't really impair your ability to think.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:47 AM on September 29, 2002


I doubt that evolution would have given our brain receptors for something that is foreign to our body.

Right. Like food?

Like particular chemicals in food, vitamins or sugar for example?

It's only a little teensy baby step from admitting that to admitting that our brains could have evolved to have cannabis receptors.
posted by goethean at 12:44 PM on September 29, 2002


Oh, well, since fivefreshfish has asked me to withdraw...WAIT a minute -- why don't YOU withdraw? What the hell kind of moronic statement is that, about the TV sucking my brain and impairing my ability to think??

First of all, how do YOU know how much TV I watch? (Every waking minute? Only on weekends? Never?) Second, how do you know WHAT I watch? (SpongeBob Squarepants? C-SPAN? Game shows?) Third of all, how the hell do you make the judgment that watching TV impairs my thinking? Or are you one of those dolts who maintain that ALL television programming is bad, evil, etc, and actively campaign for everyone to rid themselves of TV's corrupting influence?

What type of media influences (or "impairs") YOUR ability to think, fff? If it's doing it to me, then surely it's affecting you, too. Not that this argument has anything to do with the original post or discussion, but since you implied...
posted by davidmsc at 12:52 PM on September 29, 2002


What a great discussion. I really enjoy the two dollar psychotheraputic explanations on the cause and effect of foreign substances on the human body. I do wish to say that I do know Jeff and Tracy personally. They're two of the most intelligent and honest people I've ever known. It does'nt really matter if people think they're stupid for announcing that they smoke pot. I'm just happy to see two people stand up and say what millions of other people wish they could do, and not loose everything they hold dear to them. As far as I'm concerned, Pot smoking is the least of the dangers we all live with everyday. If people did'nt cling to there possessions as tight as they do, they might see how easy it is to stand for something and not fall for anything
posted by Spaz_X at 1:39 PM on September 29, 2002


Spaz_x: have they or you ever been busted? It's easier to stand up for something when you've never found out what a criminal record and loss of all of your possessions could do to you.

Moment of brevity and levity: did anyone else read the war stories? #10 was hysterical. He Capitalized Every Word In His Very Long Manifesto Against The Drug War.
posted by swerve at 1:50 PM on September 29, 2002


Let me just say that I respect what Jeff and Tracy are doing. Sure, it may get them in trouble, but at least they are standing up for what they believe in.

I smoke weed on occasion and it has never adversely effected me. I smoked for the first time in 8th grade and smoked all through high school. I managed to graduate high school as the valedictorian of my class, so I would conclude that it hasn't made me brain dead. Smoking weed has never made me want to do anything destructive, it just allows me to enjoy music, art, food and many other things to a higher degree.

I personally feel that marijuana should be legalized. Let's face it, prisons would no longer be overloaded, the mob and many countries would no longer get rich by selling weed, and many other good things would happen. Sure there would be negative impacts as well, but I think that putting the money from marijuana sells into the hands of non-criminals would outway the negatives. And think of how much money the government could make off of taxes on marijuana sells (and save by not keeping non-violent drug users under lock and key). I wouldn't have a problem paying $5-10 taxes per eighth.

And about the abusers, hard core addiction is a disease, not a crime.
posted by qaam at 2:54 PM on September 29, 2002


David: Exactly. Thanks for arguing my point for me. I just knew we were really on the same side.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:24 PM on September 29, 2002


fff is my new hero
posted by muckster at 3:34 PM on September 29, 2002


I doubt that evolution would have given our brain receptors for something that is foreign to our body.

Right. Like food?

Okay, something that is foreign to our body that serves no obvious function related to survival. If I'd known I had to pedantically spell this out, I could have done so, I guess.

The really interesting question to me is why do we have cannaboid receptors in our brains -- i.e., how does having them improve our fitness? They're pretty obviously not for getting high if rat brains have the receptors, as some of the links in a Google search for "cannaboid receptors" finds; a rat that's baked out of its gourd is a sitting duck for predators, is not likely to reproduce as readily, etc.

A little more digging on Google finds the answer: the cannaboid receptors bind to anandamide, a substance our own bodies make. "The pharmacological effects of anandamide suggest that it may play important roles in the regulation of mood, memory, appetite, and pain perception. It may act as the chief component of a novel system involved in the control of cognition and emotion. Physiological experiments show, in fact, that anandamide may be as important in regulating our brain functions in health and disease as other better-understood neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin."

In short, THC is simply "faking out" the cannaboid receptors in the same way caffeine is "faking out" the adenosine receptors. Saying parts of the brain are "designed for" THC is misleading; it's clearly designed for anandamide, and THC simply happens to fit the same molecular "slots." This shouldn't be surprising, since it happens with plenty of other naturally-occurring substances that are similar to substances our bodies actually make or use. The simplest example is carbon monoxide, which our bodies actually absorb more readily than oxygen. Which is why it's deadly.
posted by kindall at 3:46 PM on September 29, 2002


Actually, Yes I have been arrested....For having 0.04 grams of pot in the corner of a pocket of a jacket I was wearing at the time. I was kept in jail for 58 days to pay off the fine of $2500.00 and I was placed into a one year treatment program. The only time I ever smoke is when I fish or watch sports with co-workers and friends. But now I'm an addict and a criminal in the eyes of society. I've seen the system overloaded with arrests that even the judges laugh at. A marijuana smuggling operation would lose it's income if we were allowed to grow and smoke our own. And a lot of people would be getting hurt. Even though I graduated their little "program"in exemplary standing, The program reguired me to be there three days a week and give U.As twice a week. I lost my job as a result of my time being taken up by the program. After leaving the program I became a volunteer because I found out that over 1/3 of the people lost jobs and were facing homelessness. To date: I've had my record exponged and I actually work in a field of "Law Enforcement"...only in america!!!
posted by Spaz_X at 3:49 PM on September 29, 2002


I smoke weed on occasion and it has never adversely effected me. I smoked for the first time in 8th grade and smoked all through high school. I managed to graduate high school as the valedictorian of my class, so I would conclude that it hasn't made me brain dead.

Even this might not be seen as evidence to those whose minds are already closed. "If you're a genius now, imagine how much smarter you would have been if you hadn't smoked dope all those times!" It really is a difficult battle to fight.
posted by kindall at 3:50 PM on September 29, 2002


Touché, Kindall. Nice research.

"Fellows have shown that anandamide is present in cocoa powder and in chocolate, along with two other N- acylethanolamines that could act as cannabinoid mimics, either by directly activating cannabinoid receptors or by increasing anandamide levels."

Those people who are railing on about THC had damn well not be eating chocolate, lest they be hypocrites.

Anyway, point is that there seems to be a natural cannabinoid mechanism in the brain (see here). And mucking with this mechanism is no more and no less "immoral" or "stupid" than mucking with our adenosine receptors (drinking coffee) or screwing with our hippocampus (drinking alcohol) or upping our opioid production (chowing down chocolate, which also incidently affects the cannabinoid receptors).

I guess that my ultimate point is that all those who are pointing a finger at the pot-smokers need to realize that four of their fingers are pointing right back at them: there is no way in hell they aren't also guilty of messing with their brain chemistry, and every likelihood that their methodology is far worse than those of the pot-smokers.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:48 PM on September 29, 2002


Yeah, the argument that it's bad simply because it changes your brain chemistry is bogus. Everything changes your brain chemistry. (Even just making a new long-term memory.) Any objection to the drug itself must come from how harmful it actually is to you and to others. And if you're of a libertarian bent, only the second is relevant. It's hard to make a case against cannabis on either, really, especially compared to socially-accepted mood-altering drugs like alcohol.
posted by kindall at 7:59 PM on September 29, 2002


So in reading the opposition, I have to wonder whether we Yanks are so uptight that taking something every once in a while that contributes to a state of relaxation, whether it be a joint, a glass of wine, or a marvelous early morning in bed with another naked individual (Aghast! She was unmarried and rolling around with a harlot who wasn't "honoring thy husband.") must be declared wrong because it doesn't abide by Joe Sixpack or Jerry Falwell's Rules of Clean Decent White Not A Homo Abstinent Temperant Drug-Free Male Living. Or is the methodology to get to that moment of pleasure, which harms no one, is wrong by the Law O' The Land. Or is this all the result of some little enforced, arcane code that was writ in a wave of petulant, pouty Puritanism (perhaps because those Bohos were having all the fun across the river and the dark-suited Purees were jealous?).
posted by ed at 8:45 PM on September 29, 2002


Actually ed, I think it has a lot more to do with the power of the alcohol and tobacco lobbies in the US. They would lose plenty of money if pot were ever legalized.

BTW, evanizer, Matthew McConaughey moves in next door and you don't even tell us? sheez.
posted by whatnot at 9:37 PM on September 29, 2002


Again, the only remaining arguments against the legalization of pot appear to be argument from prejudice. The current prohibition will be seen in years to come as just another slice of bigotry which we eventually got over.
posted by walrus at 10:33 AM on September 30, 2002


So late to thread. Probably just as well; if I'd come in sooner I'd've likely been unable to resist the pile-on evanizer. Can't imagine why he throws around terms like "dope-addled stupor" every time one of these threads comes up and then acts all hurt and abused when others respond in kind.

Anyway. This is great. Go, Jeff and Tracy. I always thought that if all of us who smoke the occasional doobie stood up and said, "Hi, I'm a good citizen and I toke up," the nation would have to take notice. The problem with NORML and all those groups is that it's really easy for Joe Schmoe to crumple the last empty of his six-pack against his forehead, let out a rip-roaring belch, and say, "Galdam hippies, they ain't like you and me," when the vast majority of *visible* pot-smokers look like rejects from the filming of the Freedom Rock commercial.
posted by Sapphireblue at 11:21 AM on September 30, 2002


Megareply: INCOMING!

evanizer: The only way to overthrow stupid, draconian, archaic laws concerning victimless "crimes" is to raise public awareness. I'm quite certain that Jeff and Tracy considered the consequences before setting up their site. You say that you would have sat down right next to Rosa Parks, but let's be honest - you have no way to prove that you would have been so "enlightened" had you been on the bus that day. (You probably would have been right there alongside Jesus too, offering to carry his cross.) We can sit here with our present-day ethics and talk about how we would have done things if we had been there that day. The fact of the matter is, your words apply as much to Rosa Parks in her day as they do to Jeff and Tracy today. Rosa knew she had to sit at the back of the bus, but she chose to sit in the front. 'If you flaunt illegal activity, you deserve to get thrown in the slammer.' "Throw that uppity negro in the paddywagon, officer. Lawbreakers need to be in jail."

Concerning your noisy neighbour...have you tried diplomacy? I'm not talking about pinning them down and reading through a laundry list of 'potential reasons why he is failing so miserably at being considerate to you'. Perhaps if you had chosen to knock on his door and explain that you're glad that he and his compadres are enjoying themselves but could they please turn it down to "2", perhaps you would be getting along better with them and be enjoying some peace and quiet.

And by the way, I think that you're assertion that "sex is a right" has it's own flaws. If that were the case, then please explain to me why the socially-inept geeks of the world are being denied this 'basic human right'? Sex generally implies two individuals, and if there is no other person willing to have sex with you, you have no "right" to sex. I doubt that you would get a swell of support if you attempted to use your "drug use is a personal choice, sex is a basic human right" argument in a rape trial.

You say that you are fine with what people choose to do in private (of course, you add an undefined 'within reason'), so long as it does not infringe on your rights. Your neighbours are probably disturbing the peace, especially if they are engaged in an all night rasta jam session. If this is a problem for which you refuse to attempt a diplomatic solution, then I suggest you invest in some earplugs. They've given me many a restful night's sleep in otherwise noisy European hostels filled with boisterous backpackers (and cardboard-thin walls). You suspect that "if they weren't baked like overdone softbatch cookies, they might be more sensitive to the fact that they're driving" you bonkers - again, if you refuse to take the most reasonable course of action (suggesting a neighbourly solution) then I'm sorry but I have zero sympathy.

By the way, I'd suspect that there were more people 'killed' or 'oppressed' to bring you that full tank of gas in your car. Much of America's 'lifeblood' flows largely from 'veins' of repression and death. But we don't see public service ads about fighting the "War On Terra" by cutting back on automobile use, carpooling, and using public transportation.

I'm not even going to begin to respond to your miserable attempt to equate smoking marijuana with raping a child or committing murder. I think that by now even you have seen the idiocy of these remarks.

I have smoked pot. When I was in the Netherlands, I smoked particularly potent pot in a legal coffeeshop. There was a really good feeling about being able to do so, among others, without fear of being arrested. (I often wonder how much of the anxiety experienced by pot smokers stems from the worry of getting caught.) Anyhow, this 'Nederwiet' pretty much knocked me on my keister. In retrospect, I probably would have waited until I was closer to my hostel before smoking it - walking back was an amusing but unnerving experience. I particularly remember walking by a building constructed in 'log-cabin' style and having my travelling companion say, "Hey! That building looks like it's made out of Popsicle sticks!" Talk about messing with your sense of perception. Heh.

But you know what? I came to the conclusion that it wouldn't bother me in the least if the previous night had been the last night I ever smoked it. I think that in a society where the 'forbidden fruit' aspect has been removed, this would be a common sentiment. Tried it, it was weird, probably won't do it again. (Even though it is decriminalised in the Netherlands, the general sentiment of dislike toward it among citizens has not changed. I think this is the flaw in the argument against decriminalisation in the US - that the perception of marijuana among the general populace would magically vapourise if it were essentially 'legal'. Not so. A good many people would still hate it, people would still get thrown out of places for attempting to 'spark up' where it is not tolerated - it would still be a social pariah in most circles.) I think that as long as it were kept out of the hands of the tobacco manufacturers, nothing would change, substantially. We'd be the same country we have been. Our police would simply be able to spend more time arresting criminals.
posted by tpoh.org at 7:58 AM on October 1, 2002


When I was in the Netherlands, I smoked particularly potent pot in a legal coffeeshop. There was a really good feeling about being able to do so, among others, without fear of being arrested.

During the Vancouver "Festival of Lights" (?) fireworks competition, the cops have a relaxed attitude toward public drinking and toking.

My wiff and I bought takeout from a nearby Jamacian shop. It came with a couple of beer. We took it down to the beach and noshed while awaiting showtime. It felt so damn civilized to be able to drink a beer on the beach.

Instead of the cops and society having the gall to assume that I'm going to get shitfaced and disruptive, it was assumed that I'd be responsible. What a wonderful feeling!

I'm quite certain that the fabled "pot paranoia" effect is based on much the same circumstance: because the law is so damn draconian and presumes the worst of you, little wonder the tokers get all paranoid.

It was, btw, one helluva show, and I truly regret that the guys behind us weren't sharing their stash. Mindblowing as it was unimpaired, I'll bet it was a whole other experience with a bit of THC!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:32 AM on October 1, 2002


I should mention that the only disruptive behaviour I witnessed, in the crowd of at least 10000 that came off the beach I was on, was some zitfaced teenager in his rice-car. Street is packed shoulder to shoulder with people heading off the beach, and he's stupid enough to think he's gonna go somewhere in the next twenty minutes.

When he honked his horn and revved his engine, the crowd suddenly became a little bit more dense around him. I'm quite sure that if he'd knocked someone over, he'd have been taken out and beaten.

There was a real strong feeling of community and awareness in the crowd, knowing that we were streaming across normally busy streets and susceptible to some moron with a couple tons of steel as a weapon. Mess with one pedestrian, and you'd be messin' with them all...

posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 AM on October 1, 2002


FFF, I saw and have been told by Canadians, the police use common sense, no harm no foul, ay. But harm then they make you fowl as in game, ay.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:39 PM on October 10, 2002


I think it's just pragmatism. When there are hundred thousand people on miles and miles of bayshore beach, it's just not practical to bust everyone that's got a beer or a joint.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:45 PM on October 10, 2002


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