The Flower
July 31, 2010 1:34 PM   Subscribe

The Flower contrasts a utopian society that freely farms and consumes a pleasure giving flower with a society where the same flower is illegal and its consumption is prohibited. The animation is a meditation on the social and economic costs of marijuana prohibition.
posted by Surfin' Bird (56 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, that wasn't heavy handed at all.
posted by i less than three nsima at 2:10 PM on July 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


Actually, it appears to more simply assert that all society's problems would end if more people just smoked weed.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 2:14 PM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


The weather would be nicer, too.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:17 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


It seemed to me to suggest that there would be less criminal violence, greater tax receipts, and less money spent on prisons instead of other things if we didn't make a harmless product illegal.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:18 PM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Someone linked this on Facebook and I couldn't even make it through. Not stoned enough, I guess. I blame society.
posted by mek at 2:18 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hate Farmville!
posted by cjorgensen at 2:20 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


You people hate everything, man! Like, maybe you need to chill out, man!
posted by Mister_A at 2:27 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know that if flowers were legal this guy would be pissed off that they were taxed! I say keep flowers illegal. Legalizing flowers will only insure they are available to stalkers and people who want to nefariously use them as tools to seduce the unwary! There is no such thing as responsible flower consumption. Millions are spent on flowers every year. That arable land could be set aside to feed the hungry or have trees planted on it to capture greenhouse gasses. There is flower inequity! The poor could never get flowers without heavy flower subsidization. We're taking flowers from the rich! Flowers are a tool of patriarchal hierarchy meant to keep women in their place! Boycott flowers!

If you disagree with any of this you need to examine your life of privilege! Also, you are a liberal.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:29 PM on July 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


It was overwrought, of course, but I thought the animation was charming.
posted by kjh at 2:32 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


In a well structured capitalistic world, the poor could have cheap booze and pot; the better off, coke and scotch...and, best of all: no trickle down effect.
posted by Postroad at 2:34 PM on July 31, 2010


ahem
posted by gingerbeer at 2:35 PM on July 31, 2010


The problem with this video's rhetoric is that it presents this totally uncomplicated world where everything is obvious and easy and then uses the events it depicts as evidence for its assertion that we should legalize marijuana. No doubt it's made a compelling case for the legalization of The Flower in Humanoid Hunk of Pre-Molded Clay World, but the connections to our world are made tenuous by the treatment.

I say this as a pretty much unqualified supporter of marijuana legalization.
posted by invitapriore at 2:43 PM on July 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think we can forgive a little artistic license in a cartoon when the other side calls pot smokers terrorist supporters, killers, and unmotivated junkie losers.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:50 PM on July 31, 2010


Certainly seems exaggeratory, but for effect. Including all the nuances would overcomplicate a 3 minute animation.

The simple point I see echoes furiousxgeorge: Deficit funded prisons, or surplus funded hospitals?
posted by Galen at 2:52 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem with this video's rhetoric is that it presents this totally uncomplicated world where everything is obvious and easy

Isn't this what the War on Drugs has been doing for the last umpteen years? Drugs are bad! Bad people take drugs! Bad people sell drugs! If we put enough drug-taking and drug-selling people in jail, the problem will be over!
posted by rtha at 2:56 PM on July 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well, sure, I'm not raring to burn the animators at a stake, here, but I just don't see this being a very effective piece of propaganda. This doesn't really play to the people that need convincing, i.e. middle-aged suburbanites who grew up hearing all of the sensationalist talking points of the war on drugs. I'm not sure that something sober and fact-based would either, necessarily, but this just seems like preaching to an idealistic subset of the choir (sopranos, probably).

Personally, I also found the somewhat self-righteous elevation of the marijuana-analog above alcohol, caffeine and tobacco a little annoying, because all of those things have attendant issues and risks, and they're all capable of being enjoyed responsibly.
posted by invitapriore at 3:03 PM on July 31, 2010


I just don't see this being a very effective piece of propaganda

Seems to have worked pretty well in the opposite direction.
posted by LogicalDash at 3:04 PM on July 31, 2010


Seems to have worked pretty well in the opposite direction.

Right, because fear-mongering is easier, and as it stands and has stood the drug war has a lot of money behind it. You don't have to convince me of the value of simplistic propaganda in advancing an issue; what I'm contending is that this doesn't seem like the right simplistic propaganda.
posted by invitapriore at 3:11 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


and, best of all: no trickle down effect.

Booze is a diuretic. I think you need to re-think this.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:13 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Put down the hatchet and legalize it. Now. Carrie Nation is dead.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 3:17 PM on July 31, 2010


The video is too simplistic but the message isn't. It isn't a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 3:24 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just in case it's not clear, I support legalization. I just think that the kinds of people who make these videos are in for a bit of a shock when their weed becomes a corporate product that won't magically end crime and poverty.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 3:30 PM on July 31, 2010


It's a cartoon video, one that's pretty true to its roots. I'm not sure how convincingly you'd expect a cartoon video to make the case for legalised pot, but I thought it was very well made video. Lovingly illustrated, nicely animated, nice story arc. Storyboard sort of let itself down there in the last 10 seconds, but then so few endings are perfect.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:36 PM on July 31, 2010


I didn't mind at all that it's a bit simplistic (three minute pitches are that, by nature), and I really liked that it pointed out that we're already a druggie culture, but in the worst possible way.

I'm definitely the little grey guy at 0:26 in the video, in that pot really does nothing for me, but as someone who played live PA at a fair number of raves as well as working as a wedding & event DJ, I can say without question that alcohol is the worst fucking drug in the world. Playing to a crowd of boozy assholes is so far removed from playing to a crowd of people on almost anything else.

Back in '98 or so, I played this great gig with a couple friends in a barn rave-ette out in New Jersey. It was when live PA was just sort of coming up, at least as far as I could tell, and it was great, a sort of anti-rock-and-roll thing where the players weren't grandstanding and could just play in the shadows and have a good time and watch the crowd. Everyone back then was high as a kite, and most were doing ecstasy, as well, and even though I was stone sober, I just loved the vibe there, and how the people who were high were high on something that did something good.

Afterward, people came up and hugged us and told us they loved us, and, like the genteel endearments offered up by my southern relatives, it didn't matter if they were fueled by drugs or custom or anything. Everyone was just in love with being there, and that's a pretty amazing thing for a time and a place, that sense of magical inclusion.

Doing the gigs I did for real money, though, was different. Playing weddings and parties and huge events with open bars—well, that just made me hate the rest of my species. It wasn't the terrible music, or the garish, lavish, wasteful parties, or even the cheesiness of being stuck playing Kool and the Gang over and over (for the record, I'm just fine with cheesy dance music).

It was fucking alcohol and how it turned a crowd into a gang of dour, floppy, angry pathetic date rapists strung out on rum-fueled vibrato.

"Hey, like duuuude, I need you to play Lionel Ritchie for me! I'm, like, fuckin' this close to gettin' in my girl's pants, man!"

The guy had climbed the ladder to the raised platform where I was spinning, and hung there, waving in the air, looking drunk and shiny and earnest.

"Sorry, guy. We're not doing slow stuff for a few hours."

"Duuuuuuude, don't fuckin' kill my thing, man. I'm tryin' to get my dick wet."

"That's nice, but no."

The asshole dogged me for hours, trying to badger me into dropping some lame-ass fucking eighties slow-dance bullshit into the middle of a set where I'd miraculously managed to make twenty-somethings and forty-somethings all dance at the same time, and every new plea was more snarling, laden, and threatening. Finally, I'd had it.

"Duuuuuuuuude, you are bein' a fuckin' dick, you fag," he slurred, and with that, I turned, put a Red Wing squarely into his chest, and watched him slam to the dance floor. Yeah, I am a dick, but I have a goddamn job to do, and running music and lights and the communications for a huge party that rides on me isn't an easy job.

"Fag!"

"Yes, dear," I said.

By the end of the night, people had puked into every potted plant. They'd puked in the sculpture garden, and in the ice buckets, in purses, on the floor, and into the crevices between the cushions in the couches rented for the event. They'd puked in the bathroom sinks, in the trash cans, on the toilet paper dispensers, on the high-top tables, in half-empty glasses, and in the janitorial slop sink and the mop bucket in a room they weren't even supposed to be in. They puked in their little hip pork-pie hats and left them around the floor like landmines, and puked in the fountain, which started to foam up into a bilious yellow custard.

They puked and shit in every toilet in the place, then clogged them up with paper towels, and kept on shitting and puking and shitting and puking until each toilet sprouted its own little Surtsey island of shit, puke, paper, and Mardi Gras beads. They got into territorial fights in the plaza, on the dance floor, on the sidewalks, and then climbed into their fucking BMWs and drove sine-wave pathways back to their suburban nightmares, screeching through traffic lights and puking on themselves along the way.

At the end of the night, I packed up my rig, and stepped out, stepping around the passed-out girls, flopped over in a mess of cocktail dress and tangled, puke-covered hair, and the passed-out duuuuudes, on their backs in pools of puke with piss stains drying on their chinos. Passing the stand where the Captain Morgan crew was closing up for the night, I had to wonder why on earth anyone thinks pot is a problem, but this is the world we live in.

I also resolved that I'd never, ever, EVER DJ for another party with a goddamn open bar again, not for any amount of money. I just don't need the reminder of what wretched, ugly, mean-spirited animals people can be. We look at wars and bigotry and poverty with this sort of detached "tut-tut," then go right on out and raise our glasses. On work days, we rush in, cradling our fucking five dollar lattes in that weird "carrying a coffee" walk, and drink till we're jittery, so we can go home and have a drink.

And it's pot that's illegal, and pot that's filled up the prisons, while the country is full of people who relentlessly vote for the prohibitionists, believing them to be the kind of guys you could really have a beer with.

Stupid.

I quit DJing because of booze, not because I'm a prudish teetotaler, but because I can't abide the presence of assholes in numbers. Leaving the huge arts festival I worked as part of my job a few weekends ago, I had the horrible realization that I really, really needed to take a leak before retrieving my car, and stepped into the last port-a-potty on the line.

Every surface was splattered with puke or smeared with shit. The floor was a solid mass of beer cans, the toilet paper roll dispenser was splattered with puke, and the toilet itself, filled to the point that every move I made had it slosh out a little more, was a monument to why I prefer my fun on smaller scales. Floating in the blue was a lightbulb, a beer bottle, a beer can, and a wig with a tiara on it, covered in about three dumps that had to have been made by someone standing on the toilet seat.

Fucking people.

I pissed behind my car, then sped home.
posted by sonascope at 3:51 PM on July 31, 2010 [61 favorites]


The problem with this video's rhetoric is that it presents this totally uncomplicated world where everything is obvious and easy and then uses the events it depicts as evidence for its assertion that we should legalize marijuana. No doubt it's made a compelling case for the legalization of The Flower in Humanoid Hunk of Pre-Molded Clay World, but the connections to our world are made tenuous by the treatment.

I say this as a pretty much unqualified supporter of marijuana legalization.
The aversion to using simple, emotional rhetoric is why liberals always lose. I suppose you were really happy with the democratic messaging on healthcare reform, right? We've got bend that cost curve and reduce the deficit! Oh sure it will help alleviate millions of Americans from suffering, will prevent people from living in fear of getting sick if they lose their job and bla bla bla but let's get all clear and moralizing about what the point of all this is!


Sure, there are negative consequences to the current policy, but let's not be gauche and actually talk about them!

Is it preaching to the choir? Maybe, but so what? This politics and you have to get your base out to the polls. People who might be naturally receptive to the idea of legalizing pot but not particularly care about it or the congressional elections need to be motivated to actually follow through.

If there's more then one side to the story, then let the other side make that case. Don't do their work for them.
posted by delmoi at 4:19 PM on July 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


come on, sonascope, how do you really feel about it?
posted by kitchenrat at 4:23 PM on July 31, 2010


What about the children? Would somebody please think about the children?
posted by fogovonslack at 4:24 PM on July 31, 2010


I am eating a brownie, surfing the internet, and watching a marathon of Charmed reruns, and I am gloriously drug-free. Can someone tell me how my life would change if marijuana were legal? Because, frankly, I am at a loss.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:27 PM on July 31, 2010


Can someone tell me how my life would change if marijuana were legal? Because, frankly, I am at a loss.

Well, in the case of California there would be increased tax revenue to pay for city and state governments.
posted by delmoi at 4:33 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


delmoi, I said as much myself:

Well, sure, I'm not raring to burn the animators at a stake, here, but I just don't see this being a very effective piece of propaganda. This doesn't really play to the people that need convincing, i.e. middle-aged suburbanites who grew up hearing all of the sensationalist talking points of the war on drugs. I'm not sure that something sober and fact-based would either, necessarily, but this just seems like preaching to an idealistic subset of the choir (sopranos, probably).

...

You don't have to convince me of the value of simplistic propaganda in advancing an issue; what I'm contending is that this doesn't seem like the right simplistic propaganda.

Its simplicity is only a factor insofar as it turns me off, as a supporter, which is unimportant. As a propagandistic device, simplicity and sensationalism are great. The content still needs to be tailored to the audience you're trying to convince, though. Do you see this video making a positive impression on the bulk of people who still oppose legalization?
posted by invitapriore at 4:42 PM on July 31, 2010


Well, in the case of California there would be increased tax revenue to pay for city and state governments.

I would want to see an iron-clad plan for how that would happen before I bought into it -- sin taxes have a way of being misappropriated. Don't misunderstand, though: I think marijuana should absolutely be legal, because its negative effects (in my observation) tend to be no worse than the effects of excessive TV or video game consumption -- lassitude, laziness, etc. -- stuff that's dreary and shouldn't be championed, but isn't exactly the end of the world. (I can actually do all that without marijuana, like I said, which I guess makes me high on life. Hooray.) It's basically harmless, as far as I'm concerned. It's stupid that people go to jail for it. But would its legalization deliver this incredible benefit to society? We would have fewer people in jail, cops wouldn't be wasting their time on bullshit non-crimes, there'd be more money flowing into the legit economy, and that's all great, but the idea that pot in itself is a gain...I don't know. I don't see it, I'm sorry.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:46 PM on July 31, 2010



I am eating a brownie, surfing the internet, and watching a marathon of Charmed reruns, and I am gloriously drug-free. Can someone tell me how my life would change if marijuana were legal? Because, frankly, I am at a loss.


I don't think your activities for the day would change even if you yourself smoked pot. :)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:51 PM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe the video is simplistic... but it's also true, and it's high time (ahem) for everyone who wants legalization to skip the endless hedging and simply put the truth out there.

Things like "all of the sensationalist talking points of the war on drugs" are bullshit, and bullshit does not deserve consideration when you've got three minutes to send your message in. Likewise, videos like this do not need more than tenuous "connections to our world", not when the real world is full of countries and even American cities which have decriminalized marijuana with very positive consequences. At this point, addressing the charge that legalization is a huge change leading to unknown consequences is foolish, and worse, self-defeating; it only reinforces the messages those "middle-aged suburbanites" have always received. Videos like this are a better idea, in that they refuse to even acknowledge anti-drug framing of the issue.

Maybe this video won't "make a positive impression on the bulk of people who still oppose legalization", but chances are that it's something they've never really seen before, and that seems more effective than something which starts by validating their assumptions from the get-go.
posted by vorfeed at 4:53 PM on July 31, 2010


But would its legalization deliver this incredible benefit to society? We would have fewer people in jail, cops wouldn't be wasting their time on bullshit non-crimes, there'd be more money flowing into the legit economy, and that's all great

You seem to be answering all your own questions here...
posted by Avelwood at 4:54 PM on July 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


What I mean is that it would give us, as a society, permission to stop doing things that are stupid and pointless and self-destructive, which is good. I am not convinced that legalization would lead to anything constructive, however, which is not the same thing. I think it'd just give us a legal alternative to drinking beer. It's hard for me to get excited about that.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:03 PM on July 31, 2010


Pot is calorie free and makes vegetables taste good, it will be good for obesity.

(Yeah, even if you go for the Cheetos a night of drinking will probably be more calories)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:04 PM on July 31, 2010


I liked this little debate supplied in the side column of related videos.
posted by Pseudology at 5:07 PM on July 31, 2010


but the idea that pot in itself is a gain...I don't know. I don't see it, I'm sorry.

For one thing, I think it'd be a boon to society to have just one legal drug which is not (in the US, at least) about work. We drink coffee so we can work so we can have our smoke break so we can go home and unwind with a couple of beers -- having something which sits outside that wash-rinse-repeat paradigm has obvious "constructive" potential, especially when the paradigm itself seems to be breaking down. Our society is in need of some new ideas, and c'mon, if there's one thing marijuana is known for...

In short, I don't think that legalized marijuana is likely to Transform Society(tm), but I do think it'll be constructive in more subtle ways, both small and large. Besides, we didn't need a "constructive" argument to end Prohibition, and I don't think we should need one to end the War on Drugs, either. Sometimes, "stop doing things that are stupid and pointless and self-destructive" is the most constructive thing we can do.
posted by vorfeed at 5:24 PM on July 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know, I'm not really convinced that tax revenue is a good argument. We already tax booze and tobacco quite a bit, but I don't think we'd miss that money if it meant we got to eliminate all the cancer/alcoholism/disease/death caused by those drugs.

I suppose the argument is that marijuana wouldn't create the same problems, or they would be less severe. NORML seems to say it's unclear how dangerous MJ smoke is vs. tobacco smoke. I guess you can circumvent that by eating it, but I am unaware of what effects or health complications regular eating of MJ might produce.

I'm just leery of assuming everything would be great and there would be low/no health or safety costs of legalized recreational MJ use.
posted by Menthol at 5:24 PM on July 31, 2010


This also reminds me of a publication made in the mid 1700s called "The Fable of the Bees" by Bernard Mandeville. I never read it myself but the summary I was given implied that the moral of the story was that sin is virtue and virtue is sin. Mandeville argued that by spending money on vanities or short-term pleasures, one increases the wealth of those around him by spending this money whereas if one was a penny pincher and never spent money on anything that wasn't absolutely necessary one was refusing to share his wealth and depriving others the opportunity to make some money of their own.

Even Adam Smith, who's Wealth of Nations came much later than the Fable of the Bees, considered this guy a crackpot but I think he would agree with the message "the Flower" is trying to tell us. Let's face it. If marijuana is legal, more money will be spent on legitimate products which means more jobs and more taxes whereas prohibition just means greater government expenses and more money going to the black market. Sure, the emotional appeal of the Flower does seem to be the kind of dirty tricked used by the enemies of reasonable discourse but the statement its trying to make is firmly rooted in logic and evidence-based reasoning. Give it a chance.
posted by Pseudology at 5:29 PM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]



I suppose the argument is that marijuana wouldn't create the same problems, or they would be less severe. NORML seems to say it's unclear how dangerous MJ smoke is vs. tobacco smoke. I guess you can circumvent that by eating it, but I am unaware of what effects or health complications regular eating of MJ might produce.


Pot has been studied to hell and back again. It's safe, it doesn't cause cancer, it shows more signs of fighting it. There is correlation with some mental illness, but that is no different than alcohol or cigs. THC has been approved the FDA in pure form, you can read the side effects here. Basically nothing to freak out about. If you trust the FDA for your other prescriptions, you can trust them for pot.


Eating is problematic because it is easy to mess up the dose and take way too much. Vaping is the best.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:31 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can someone tell me how my life would change if marijuana were legal? Because, frankly, I am at a loss.

Well, for one, literally thousands of your fellow otherwise law-abiding citizens would not be in prison? I acknowledge that this answer assumes you care about them and not merely yourself.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:51 PM on July 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


The animation is a meditation on the social and economic costs of marijuana prohibition.

No, it's not. It's a meditation on a utopian society against a straw man—unless the actual negative effects of drug abuse are shown.
posted by snookums at 6:21 PM on July 31, 2010


Can someone tell me how my life would change if marijuana were legal? Because, frankly, I am at a loss.

I'm kind of surprised that this fairly myopic metric is a viable means of policy analysis in your mind. There's a lot of writing that attempts to feel out what the consequences on society of legalization would be; as a member of that society you will presumably be able to extrapolate what the effects on you would be from there. There will certainly be some, even if they're only side effects of the other, more direct results of legalization.

Anyway, if you're looking for excitement, maybe go to an amusement park or something? I tend to take my thrills from domains other than public policy, but maybe that's just me. Your comments have a certain contrarianism that I don't understand, like legalization is okay but god forbid anyone think you're actively in favor of it. Well, okay. Thanks for the input.
posted by invitapriore at 6:50 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would want to see an iron-clad plan for how that would happen before I bought into it -- sin taxes have a way of being misappropriated.
Sin taxes have a way of being misappropriated? What does that even mean? I honestly don't know. Taxes go into the government and spending comes out. If tax revenue goes up, then spending can go up as well.

If you mean people just won't pay the tax, it depends on how high it is. The higher the tax, the more people will evade it. If it's low, people won't. And even if people do evade some of the taxes, you'll still raise revenue from people who don't.
But would its legalization deliver this incredible benefit to society? We would have fewer people in jail, cops wouldn't be wasting their time on bullshit non-crimes, there'd be more money flowing into the legit economy, and that's all great, but the idea that pot in itself is a gain... I don't know. I don't see it, I'm sorry.
All the other things you mentioned are the reason to make it legal. If you want to smoke pot now, well, you pretty much can! So any benefits that the drug, and all the downsides of the drug are already here. Legalization only affects all this ancillary stuff, which are almost all negative.
You know, I'm not really convinced that tax revenue is a good argument. We already tax booze and tobacco quite a bit, but I don't think we'd miss that money if it meant we got to eliminate all the cancer/alcoholism/disease/death caused by those drugs.
Yes, but we already tried banning alchohol and didn't stop the negative effects. It just created an enormous amount of crime along with it. The choice is not "would things be better or worse if no one smoked pot" but rather "given that people are going to smoke pot, should we invest enormous resourcs trying to persecute those who do, (because clearly we now know we can't stop them)"
posted by delmoi at 6:51 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can someone tell me how my life would change if marijuana were legal?

Fewer marijuana prisoners in jails, opening up spaces for actual dangerous criminals who might threaten you, freeing state revenues for more useful services to you.

Since it's all about you.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:27 PM on July 31, 2010


the actual negative effects of drug abuse

I don't smoke pot because I don't like the effects...but I'm unaware of any significant negative affects of using pot. Perhaps the people who are promoting marijuana prohibition should be asked to consider the actual negative effects of that.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:32 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blue meanies!
posted by gallois at 10:07 PM on July 31, 2010


I think it'd just give us a legal alternative to drinking beer.

I don't have a horse in this race but hang on a second, that by itself is a huge benefit. Tens of thousands of people die from drunk driving accidents in the U.S. each year, so just a 1% reduction in that would save hundreds of lives every single year. A few more percent and you're talking thousands a year.
posted by XMLicious at 11:41 PM on July 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


I like this, most of all the pulling alcohol into the spotlight aspect. Two related things come to mind, previously (caution: contains Joe Rogan) and the book 'The Natural Mind' from the 60's (Google Books).
posted by yoHighness at 6:17 AM on August 1, 2010


Don't forget the increased income tax revenues from all the pot smokers who don't lose their jobs when they go to jail and don't have lifetimes of decreased income from the criminal convictions on their records.
posted by fogovonslack at 10:39 AM on August 1, 2010


Not to be a downer, but even if it were completely legal I wager that using it would still be grounds for denial of insurance benefits and/or workmans comp. There would still be employers who would drug test all job applicants and if the banks had their way I'll bet they would love to drug test loan applicants.
In the 90s someone invented a test that consisted of a swab that tested for recent residue in the inside of ones mouth that would determine if the person was currently high. Unfortunately such a test would cut into the profits of hospitals, insurance companies, lawyers and prison contractors, so it was quietly forgotten. THC is the only common drug that stays in your urine for weeks, and some people think that's very convenient.
posted by ambulocetus at 11:23 AM on August 1, 2010


There's already a video on YouTube about the dangers of marijuana use.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:07 PM on August 1, 2010


Alcohol is a hideous drug. But its production is controllable, since most folks don't have access to a still or have the knowledge or interest to brew up their own booze or beer. Tobacco, same thing--nobody grows their own tobacco. But herbs? Herbs are pretty easy to produce for yourself. And that, right there, is why you won't see legality anytime soon.

There's no clear way for Big Business (including the law enforcement/incarceration complex) to get control and cash in, and in fact there is plenty to suggest that alcohol and tobacco profits will drop should flowers be legal. The anti-drug lobbying--all in the guise of "saving America's youth" when in fact it's about "saving profits"--is very powerful and not about to give in soon.

I totally agree with sonascope. I too have seen the damage done by alcohol, and in fact was closely involved with the same notorious Alfred University fraternity where a student's death from alcohol in the late 70s defined the out-of-control Greek alcohol scene of the time. Stuff that made Animal House look like a Baptist prayer meeting went on there regularly. Yet, at any given time, two floors up you could find a roomful of smokers, for whom getting "out of control" generally meant ordering too many pizzas. Yet we smokers were the ones who had to hide, while the drinkers had power-booting contests and worse, totally out in the open.

But we were smoking stuff grown by the Tech students across the street, rather than buying kegs of Molson's from the local liquor stores. This sort of thing is dangerous in a capitalist society--it's downright subversive, in fact.

The great overarching religion in America is Pursuit of Profit. It trumps everything. Always look for the buck.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:31 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Alcohol is a hideous drug. But its production is controllable, since most folks don't have access to a still or have the knowledge or interest to brew up their own booze or beer. Tobacco, same thing--nobody grows their own tobacco. But herbs? Herbs are pretty easy to produce for yourself. And that, right there, is why you won't see legality anytime soon.

The problem is that this neither describes the alcohol market during Prohibition and after, nor the herb market today. During Prohibition, people did have wide access to illegal still liquor and/or small-lot beer, despite the difficulty of producing it. Hell, many people still make illegal liquor today. Yet as soon as big business stepped back in, people flocked to its products, such that liquor is a billion-dollar industry today. And despite the incredible ease of growing herbs at home, and the great cost of fresh herbs, you still find companies making huge profits selling fresh herbs at the supermarket.

The history of capitalism suggests that people are almost always willing to prioritize convenience over ease of production, even (perhaps especially) when the former comes at cost, and the latter comes easy. Hell, look at food -- millions of people eat at Taco Bell every day, yet fresh food is incredibly "easy to produce for yourself". Or better yet, look at California, where competition from expensive-but-convenient dispensaries have driven the price of dealer-sold marijuana through the floor.

There's no clear way for Big Business (including the law enforcement/incarceration complex) to get control and cash in, and in fact there is plenty to suggest that alcohol and tobacco profits will drop should flowers be legal.

Of course there's a clear way for Big Business to get control and cash in. They'll do it the same way they did for alcohol and tobacco: through product standardization, large-scale production, and buy-outs of smaller competitors. The idea that RJ Reynolds or Anheuser-Busch can't figure out how to "get control and cash in" on a smokeable, alcohol-soluble drug is ludicrous. They will worry about home-grown weed exactly as much as they currently worry about microbreweries and tax-free Native cigarettes... which is to say, not very much.
posted by vorfeed at 9:54 AM on August 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Alcohol is a hideous drug. But its production is controllable, since most folks don't have access to a still or have the knowledge or interest to brew up their own booze or beer.

I have grown pot and brewed my own beer. The difficulty level is comparable. They are both simple but tedious enough to make you want to just go to the store.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:36 AM on August 2, 2010


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