Facebook Chooses to Pass
August 27, 2010 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Facebook, and initially Reddit, have refused to run an ad campaign for the marijuana-legalizing Prop 19 in CA, to much controversy from users. However, Reddit has decided to run the ads for free, since their owner Conde Naste has gone on the record saying they oppose profiting from "this issue" (while they have run ads opposed to prop-19, and controversial organizations like this one for an anti-gay right wing organization). Facebook has said they will consider running an ad which does not include a hemp leaf.
posted by mccarty.tim (271 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
For the record, I would gladly host any ad here for California residents viewing MeFi. Even for free.
posted by mathowie at 12:06 PM on August 27, 2010 [88 favorites]


Matt's trying to drive up traffic to the recipe sharing on MeTa. clever.
posted by cavalier at 12:07 PM on August 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


huh, logging onto reddit I find a prop-19 ad with a big 'ol pot leaf on it, I guess they changed their minds.
posted by hellojed at 12:13 PM on August 27, 2010


Gutless. This decision will bite them in the ass (though not much; most people don't even think about advertising).

Facebook has said they will consider running an ad which does not include a hemp leaf.

Would they prefer a nice sticky bud instead? WHOOSH!
posted by mrgrimm at 12:15 PM on August 27, 2010


Is this something I'd have to turn off adblock to understand?
posted by delmoi at 12:15 PM on August 27, 2010 [17 favorites]


Reddit (and hopefully Facebook) knows what's up. Get Prop 19 passed and suddenly a whole lot more users in a clearly defined area are going on your site more stoned, more often. Then all you need to do is open advertising space to the lucrative lava lamp, black light poster and Pink Floyd live bootleg industries. Step 3: Profit.
posted by griphus at 12:15 PM on August 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


There are at least five marijuana-related “sub-reddits,” or reddit sites dedicated to specific topics and managed by users. Those include the subreddits trees...
So where would I go on Reddit to talk about actual trees?
posted by muddgirl at 12:16 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]



huh, logging onto reddit I find a prop-19 ad with a big 'ol pot leaf on it, I guess they changed their minds.


Also, I've heard that Facebook has considered running an ad without a hemp leaf.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:18 PM on August 27, 2010 [14 favorites]


I am not a lawyer. That said, a haiku:

This is just a ploy
Facebook, private company
Need not run the ad.

"Someone didn't run our ad! Lets get some PR saying that they didn't run our ad!" Whatever. California is a joke - simple majorities making sweeping policy changes lead to things like Prop 8.

And, while I'm at it: I would vote against Prop 19. But since mentioning an anti-pot view on the blue gets you a significant amount of hate, I'll leave it there.
posted by andreaazure at 12:18 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


So where would I go on Reddit to talk about actual trees?

reddit.com/r/arborealenthusiasts
posted by lholladay at 12:19 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would vote against Prop 19. But since mentioning an anti-pot view on the blue gets you a significant amount of hate, I'll leave it there.

Nice, so you get to mention it anyway but refuse to try and explain the hopeless logic of the drug war.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:21 PM on August 27, 2010 [57 favorites]


Ironically, in ye early days of the Facebook, whenever I needed weed I just went through my classes and messaged people that had various 420-friendly keywords, "Hey I'm out of bud, do you know where I get any?" It worked, really, really well.

Now, there's just pictures of people's babies.
posted by geoff. at 12:21 PM on August 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


So where would I go on Reddit to talk about actual trees?

Reminds me of when I moved to High, Texas, and I tried to subscribe to the local newspaper. Imagine my surprise...
posted by decagon at 12:22 PM on August 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


Then all you need to do is open advertising space to the lucrative lava lamp, black light poster and Pink Floyd live bootleg industries.

I understand you didn't mean anything by this, but those of us in that demographic do consider what you said to be as much an ignorant stereotype as if you said "Fried chicken and watermelon" for blacks, "Tacos and bandanas" for Hispanics, or "Boxers and NYU hats" for Dave Matthews Band fans.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 12:24 PM on August 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


Heh, now that you mention it, geoff, a few days ago I noticed that one (smoking) friend of mine asked another (smoking) friend whether he wanted to "bowl" this weekend. At first I thought "boy, that's stupid, putting it out in the open like that, he should know better" and about ten minutes later realized he was asking whether the other wanted to go bowling.

I would vote against Prop 19. But since mentioning an anti-pot view on the blue gets you a significant amount of hate, I'll leave it there.

Come on, now. Shit or get off the pot. You want to have a discussion about Prop 19, trust the mods to prevent a pile-on and moderate the discussion. Otherwise, why just do a drive-by insult of the community's ability to stay civil?
posted by griphus at 12:25 PM on August 27, 2010 [16 favorites]


I don't have a whole lot of love for Zuckerberg, but we all know what would happen if they ran that ad.

Tonight on Fox: Social Networking or Social Engineering? Some say seemingly harmless websites like Facebook are being used to push drug use on our children.
posted by TrialByMedia at 12:26 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Forget hemp leaves. It would be more effective if pro-Prop. 19 ads were as mainstream as possible, because the pro-pot vote is already locked (and loaded). Non-pot-smokers are the ones who need to be convinced.
posted by jleisek at 12:28 PM on August 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hello, yes, I'm American, where we're completely irrational about drugs, hi, how are you?

griphus: "Shit or get off the pot. "

Is that really the right analogy for this topic?
posted by boo_radley at 12:28 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


why just do a drive-by insult of the community's ability to stay civil?

Experience?

/driveby
posted by kenko at 12:28 PM on August 27, 2010


"Someone didn't run our ad! Lets get some PR saying that they didn't run our ad!"

It's news because it shows a lack of interest in the actual demographics of the people they are trying to capitalize.

I don't have a whole lot of love for Zuckerberg, but we all know what would happen if they ran that ad.

Yeah, this. Someone did the math and decided it would be more expensive to field the resulting bullshit than whatever they'd make on the ads.
posted by muddgirl at 12:29 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The smart thing to do would be to advertise on Red State and the like with a running counter of how many of their tax dollars are being spent incarcerating people for cannabis-related infractions.
posted by mullingitover at 12:31 PM on August 27, 2010 [13 favorites]


..."Boxers and NYU hats" for Dave Matthews Band fans.

I'm usually pretty good at this but you're kidding, right?

Is that really the right analogy for this topic?

You know, I didn't actually make the connection before I wrote it.
posted by griphus at 12:31 PM on August 27, 2010


Reminds me of when I moved to High, Texas...

Everyone who has taken the drive from Chicago to Madison or the Wisconsin Dells is familiar with passing the Bong Recreation Area.
posted by Babblesort at 12:31 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's like CBS running anti-choice ads during Super Bowl, because it's not controversial to take rights away from people. The hypocrisy about ad policy and the "marketplace of ideas" bullshit that right-wingers spout is just more reason to stay away from Facebook, TV, etc.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:34 PM on August 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


And, while I'm at it: I would vote against Prop 19. But since mentioning an anti-pot view on the blue gets you a significant amount of hate, I'll leave it there.

Well, it's not really an anti-pot view so much as an anti-person view. After all, the status quo legal structure does little or nothing to eliminate cannabis access while arbitrarily inflicting pain and suffering on individuals who have harmed no one. And who are, by the way, disproportionately minorities.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:36 PM on August 27, 2010 [28 favorites]


But since mentioning an anti-pot view on the blue gets you a significant amount of hate,

I'll ask honestly with nary a hint of hate, what makes you anti-pot? Or, more specifically, in the face of overwhelming evidence suggesting that pot is less dangerous than any other drug out there, what is the motivation for keeping it illegal.

I honestly don't understand it.

I get inertia, people who don't want to overturn existing laws, etc. But to be actively against something suggests a more direct antipathy which no one seems to be willing to explain.
posted by quin at 12:36 PM on August 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


I guess I'm still jaded over this thread. My root argument is still the same - the line for what is legal and what isn't will be drawn somewhere, and I believe that having pot be the first thing over the line is pretty much ideal.* Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot. And whatever that is will be worse.

I wouldn't mind moving the line in the other direction, either, but that isn't happening. We tried, actually, and prohibition didn't work. We know that cigarettes kill people and as a society we pay a large emotional and financial toll for their continued existence, but we still allow it for those 20% of Americans who want them.

* I can hear some arguments for the medical use of pot. Then again, with retail store fronts with names like Doctor Ganja right on main streets near Denver, it is hard to take it too seriously. You'd never see a "Doctor Citralopram."
posted by andreaazure at 12:37 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Despite the recent adult takeover of Facebook it still has a large teen user base. Facebook doesn't want to freak out a bunch of parents with cannabis leaves on pages that their kids frequent.
posted by caddis at 12:40 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


By god *something's* got to be illegal!
posted by mrnutty at 12:41 PM on August 27, 2010 [21 favorites]


Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot. And whatever that is will be worse.

So we can't legalize pot because suddenly meth use will explode? Did that happen in Amsterdam? What about Portugal where they decriminalized everything?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 PM on August 27, 2010 [20 favorites]


Facebook doesn't want to freak out a bunch of parents with cannabis leaves on pages that their kids frequent.

If only they had the technology to do targeted ads!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 PM on August 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot.

What do you mean, exactly, by "replace"? Why would something have to replace it? How can something replace it, if it isn't going to be taken off the market?
posted by griphus at 12:44 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, couldn't tolerate allowing people to have the freedom to choose what they do or don't do with their own bodies. The state has to draw the line somewhere.

Drug laws are absurd on their face.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:45 PM on August 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yah, sorry, I'm done with this thread, and I really shouldn't have started.

I'll go back to being a useful contributor and big fan of Metafilter for anything other than pot discussions.
posted by andreaazure at 12:46 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot. And whatever that is will be worse.

Your moving line analogy says that people will move along with the line, then? So make pot illegal, and all the drinkers will switch to pot, and all the potheads will switch to cocaine or something?

Seems like a pretty uninformed argument, to say the least.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:47 PM on August 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot. And whatever that is will be worse.

So, basically, your dislike has nothing to do with either marijuana or current drug policy, and everything to do with your entirely unsupported belief that drug use works according to some sort of intrinsic hierarchy.

Well, I can certainly see why you were reluctant to make that point.
posted by vorfeed at 12:47 PM on August 27, 2010 [46 favorites]



Yah, sorry, I'm done with this thread, and I really shouldn't have started.


I'll never understand why people get so upset about simply being asked to back up their claims with evidence.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:48 PM on August 27, 2010 [42 favorites]


I'll go back to being a useful contributor and big fan of Metafilter for anything other than pot discussions.

Translation: You're wrong, and I'm right. Nothing you can say can sway me. I'll go and read something I agree with.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:49 PM on August 27, 2010 [20 favorites]


"Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot."

Like backyards full of pot plants scandalously mingling with heirloom tomatoes, sugar pumpkins and sweet basil?

(Yes, I too, fear that pot will become the gateway to gardening.)
posted by iamkimiam at 12:50 PM on August 27, 2010 [28 favorites]


Everyone who has taken the drive from Chicago to Madison or the Wisconsin Dells is familiar with passing the Bong Recreation Area.

Ah, yes. Always worth a giggle when we were driving to Apple Holler or the Cheese Castle.

One of my favorites when driving south to SC was passing through Kentucky and Big Bone Lick State Park. Why yes, I am 12.
posted by kmz at 12:51 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because they can't, furiousxgeorge. I've never seen an anti-marijuana argument that either doesn't fall apart under hard data, or doesn't try to use the "think of the children defense" or "gateway drug" canards.
posted by griphus at 12:52 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


You'd never see a "Doctor Citralopram"

Dr. Citralopram decided to return to Sri Lanka, but it was for family reasons and unrelated to legal actions. Beacon Medical Associates would like to remind you that we have many other excellent primary care physicians accepting new patients at our Maine Street office.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:52 PM on August 27, 2010 [15 favorites]


If prohibition didn't work for alcohol, why should we keep trying it for marijuana, especially when so many people still smoke it and get away with it? Think of all the tax revenue the government passes up, and then think of how much it spends paying police to search cars.

It may make sense for some hard drugs, that are found to be strongly addictive and destructive, like meth. But it's illogical to draw the line at a drug that's actually milder (in terms of health) than alcohol or tobacco.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:52 PM on August 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is just a ploy
Facebook, private company
Need not run the ad.


This too is haiku
Nothing wrong with anti gay
But pot? Save the kids!
posted by inigo2 at 12:53 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot. And whatever that is will be worse.

That makes so little sense it makes my brain hurt. I really don't think people are doing drugs based on their legality. People smoked pot and opium before it was illegal, just like they continued to drink when when alcohol was illegal. The legality was an unfortunate side issue for the users, not a motivation.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:56 PM on August 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


Pot is Verboten
Election is November
Fall is Harvest Time
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:56 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Making nature illegal is so very logical.

Bill Hicks, you are sorely missed, good sir.

Meanwhile, perhaps one day, nature will decide to make us illegal. And we'll see who wins. Or, better put, we'll cease to see, or anything else, for that matter.
posted by dbiedny at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I guess I'm still jaded over this thread. My root argument is still the same - the line for what is legal and what isn't will be drawn somewhere, and I believe that having pot be the first thing over the line is pretty much ideal.* Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot. And whatever that is will be worse.

This is obviously stupid. In my view people who make these kinds of arguments don't really understand much about numbers. Like '1 in a thousand' means the same thing as '1 in a million'. So if marijuana is legalized millions of people will cease breaking the law, but obviously some 'other' drug (maybe ecstasy?) will take it's place as the most popular illegal drug. Nevermind the actual number of users will still be lower, some new drug is now the most popular illegal drug! And since E is worse then Weed, we've just made things worse!!!

It's ridiculous.
posted by delmoi at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


I can't believe Facebook and Condé Nast are being so high and mighty about this. It really bowls me over. It absolutely burns me up that a company that spoons with these anti-pot/anti-gay advertisers would have a problem with this. They say they're worried about blowback, but who would complain? Those organizations with differing ideologies? That's just the pot calling the kettle black. If you're only weeding out one side of the "fight", you're doing a disservice. I guess the grass is just greener on the other side... I don't know.

I think they need to inhale deeply, relax, and gain some perspective.
posted by defenestration at 1:01 PM on August 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


Well now, andreaazure, I hope you won't react to this like it's garden variety kneejerk hate, but as I presume you know, what you are arguing for is the "gateway drug" theory. It has been repeatedly proven false, cross-culturally and in multiple jurisdictions.

If people seem a bit overzealous in their attacks on your argument, it is because anyone who has spent any time at all working, advocating or even just casually reading on the subject of drug law reform has run into and debunked this argument a thousand times already.

I'm sorry for your personal losses, but they simply were not caused by marijuana in any sort of public-health-risk sense. Hard-drug use (which presumably is what did kill your loved ones) is also strongly correlated with heavy drinking, tobacco use, prescription drug abuse and many other high-risk activities besides. And yet it is rare to find a gateway drug theory advocate who also argues for the prohibition of booze, tobacco and prescription opiates.

In fact, one of the only plausible explanations for marijuana as a gateway drug is that because it is illegal, you must transact business with criminals to obtain it. Those criminals are often the same people who traffic in harder drugs. The prohibition, not anything intrinsic to the substance itself, is what opens an easy channel to more damaging stuff.
posted by gompa at 1:03 PM on August 27, 2010 [45 favorites]


Data point for those who want pot to remain illegal: As a high school student, pot, coke, mushrooms, and acid were extremely easy for me to get with little more than a phone call. Beer, on the other hand, was fairly difficult to obtain, and pricey. By my senior year, thanks to the smoking laws going into effect at the time, so were cigarettes.

Legal doesn't mean unregulated. Illegal, OTOH, does mean unregulated, at least in practice.
posted by coolguymichael at 1:03 PM on August 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot. And whatever that is will be worse.

My problem with all "marijuana is a gateway drug" arguments is that they are made by people completely unfamiliar with the effects of various drugs. If I enjoy the effects of marijuana, I may or may not enjoy the effects of cocaine or other stimulants. If I enjoy the effects of hallucinogens, I may or may not enjoy the effects of opiates.

The "gateway drug" crowd views drug use as a moral failing and believes that drug use is a declining linear progression of wanting to get fucked up by harder and harder drugs. While I have known people who used drugs in this way, they were mainly addicts who used drugs as a mechanism for escaping from reality and/or past abuse. The majority of recreational drug users do not use drugs in this manner. Most recreational users who aren't in a "youthful-I'll take anything to party" phase stick with a limited variety of drugs. Think of the way people treat alcohol. Just because someone really likes white wine doesn't mean they'll jump to shots of tequila.
posted by fryman at 1:04 PM on August 27, 2010 [11 favorites]


I'll never understand the gateway-drug/slippery-slope argument. Even a casual glance at the numbers suggests that the vast, vast, vast majority of marijuana smokers do not use so-called "hard" drugs. The idea that "when that wasn't good enough, something else would fill the void" is simply not borne out by the numbers, which show that most people are extremely "brand loyal" when it comes to drugs.
posted by vorfeed at 1:06 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Tremendous. Let's move on then, eh?
posted by boo_radley at 1:06 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Did that happen in Amsterdam? What about Portugal where they decriminalized everything?

I dunno about Amsterdam, but in Portugal everything went swimmingly [pdf]. For example, drug tourism did not become a problem: "Roughly 95 percent of those cited for drug offenses every year since decriminalization have been Portuguese. Close to zero have been citizens of other EU states."

Usage rates are down: "Since decriminalization, lifetime prevalence rates (which measure how many people have consumed a particular drug or drugs over the course of their lifetime) in Portugal have decreased for various age groups....In fact, for those two critical groups of youth (13–15 years and 16–18 years), prevalence rates have declined for virtually every substance since decriminalization."

The behavior of those groups is important because "[a] 2008 study of drug usage trends in 17 nations on five different continents similarly found that the late adolescent years are key in determining future, lifelong drug usage."

"Perhaps most strikingly, while prevalence rates for the period from 1999 to 2005, for the 16–18 age group, increased somewhat for cannabis (9.4 to 15.1 percent) and for drugs generally (12.3 to 17.7 percent), the prevalence rate decreased during that same period for heroin (2.5 to 1.8 percent), the substance that Portuguese drug officials believed was far and away the most socially destructive."

The positive results go on and on. By every reasonable measure the results are simply indisputable: decriminalization works, and it's likely that legalization would work as well, at least for marijuana. There is no rational basis for continuing the War on Drugs. It harms our citizens, does not discourage drug use, and enriches violent criminals.
posted by jedicus at 1:08 PM on August 27, 2010 [26 favorites]


Facebook was content to run an ad for Showtime's comedy series "Weeds" that features a cannabis leaf. The Facebook page for that show has a cannabis leaf in the profile pic. Total hypocrisy.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 1:09 PM on August 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


Yah, sorry, I'm done with this thread, and I really shouldn't have started.

I'm sorry I tried to respond to your argument in an honest, forthright and reasonable tone. Even if you're apologizing for wasting my time, you've buried it under such a thick gloss of passive-aggressive insincerity that I don't think I accept.
posted by gompa at 1:10 PM on August 27, 2010 [13 favorites]


Is there any lucid argument against marijuana that doesn't also say that tobacco and/or alcohol should also be illegal?

I think all the arguments make a case that we should either go backwards or forwards on individual freedom to intoxicate. Nobody wants to go backwards on alcohol, as they know what happened, but it's hard for people to imagine what society would be like with legal cannabis, so they're afraid to end the cannabis prohibition.

Of course, they could easily look to Amsterdam, which has a thriving legalization tourism industry, and actually less cannabis use per capita than the United States and many other industrialized nations.

Cannabis and its counterculture thrives on prohibition, for better or worse. When it was impossible to safely grow it outdoors, people perfected indoor growing and multiplied the potency (not as much as DARE claims, but it still has gone up), lowering the price to get high and improving the effect. And feel free to check out a head shop, either online or in person. There are entire industries for getting high, growing and hiding your stuff/use discretely. And many criminals are able to build their careers on spreading the stuff, with no regulation. In Europe, there is now a trend of dealers adulterating cheap cannabis with microscopic sandblasting glass beads in order to add weight and make it look more full of crystals (and thus more potent). It's called gritweed, and users develop bronchitus shortly afterwards. Long term health effects are unknown.

This all smacks of the alcohol prohibition, where speakeasies, unlicensed distillers, and crime bosses thrived.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:10 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apparently "I give up" isn't good enough. Haters, I hear your hate.

I am sorry I expressed a view you don't agree with.
I am sorry that I cannot provide arguments you will agree with.
I am sorry that my personal experiences don't help your narrative, and
I am sorry that I gave bait to the sharks.
I am sorry that I can't prove that Americans behave differently than those from other countries, and that we should have different laws because we have different people.

{sarcasm}
Clearly, I am stating that the current setup is perfect.
Clearly, I am indicating that meth replaces pot.
Clearly, all of the strawman arguments people claim I'm making I am actually making.
{/sarcasm}

I get it. I get the hate. And insults. And hate.

Look, I don't like people going to jail for rolling a joint. And, in fact, as I've said on other threads on this and other topics - if you don't like the law, get it changed (but obey it in the meantime). I just wish it would be okay to express a shade of gray on this issue, on Metafilter or elsewhere. I'm not saying that we need to crack down, or anything like that. I just don't want this to become a legal thing.
posted by andreaazure at 1:10 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot. And whatever that is will be worse.

What makes me bang my head on my desk when I read something like this is, hello! We already have "worse" stuff available. Pot is illegal, and we also have a huge meth problem. And heroin. Etc. It's not like a Wall of Illegal Weed is keeping out stuff that's even "worse."

People say shit on metafilter all the time that's unpopular or gets a good amount of disagreement. But for chrissakes, enough with the coy "I know I'll get flamed for this, but..." followed by the refusal to engage. Either phrase your disagreement in as non-snarky a way as possible and be prepared to argue your case, or don't say it at all. Doing otherwise is not an adult way to act and is manipulative as hell.
posted by rtha at 1:12 PM on August 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


It's totally cool to be anti-pot. I myself am anti-many things. To choose some Mefi-friendly examples, I am anti-Ayn Rand, anti-Dan Brown, and anti-naive arguments against moral responsibility.

But I don't try to make any of those things illegal.
posted by grobstein at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


I get it. I get the hate. And insults. And hate.

No offense, but I'm not seeing hate. I'm seeing debate.


I should've made that a haiku.
posted by TrialByMedia at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


Okay, he stated his argument, about eight uses did rebuttals to his, he posted again withdrawing, people continue to post rebuttals . . .

He left. Let's move on and not flog a dead horse here. You're right, and he's wrong, if it makes you feel any better, but as you're not convincing him or each other, you might as well close up shop and get back to facebook or whatever.

Though I disagree with andreaazure, I'm glad they posted before the inevitable pile-on.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Way to play the victim!
posted by defenestration at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Gah. Lack of preview.

I am sorry that I cannot provide arguments you will agree with.

I'm not looking for that. I'm looking for the basis for your argument. I don't give a shit if I agree with it or not. I want to know why you think what you think.

I just don't want this to become a legal thing.


That's clear. Why?
posted by rtha at 1:14 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just wish it would be okay to express a shade of gray on this issue, on Metafilter or elsewhere.

It's perfectly okay. What's not okay is picking up your ball and leaving when facts stand in the way of assertions made by your feelings.
posted by griphus at 1:14 PM on August 27, 2010 [14 favorites]


PS: Forgot that there's an entire industry to keeping it illegal, too.

Aside from police and other government workers who get a lot of work making it illegal, private prisons would hate to lose all the non-violent drug offender inmates.

The drug war is very much a de facto "Socialist Make-Work Government Boondoggle" as my grandfather would say. And for all that money spent, people can still get drugs pretty easily.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:15 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am sorry that I cannot provide arguments you will agree with.
I am sorry that my personal experiences don't help your narrative.

You provided neither, just an unsupported opinion. Maybe that's where the hate comes from.
posted by coolguymichael at 1:15 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Alright everyone, back to the subject at hand?

I give reddit props on running the ads for free and standing up to the Nast.
posted by defenestration at 1:17 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


meth is actually schedule ii in the US and can be prescribed by doctors. reefer's on the bad ole schedule i -
(1) Schedule I.—
(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision."
LSD, psylocibin, and peyote are all on schedule i, not like the relatively decent citizens of schedule ii like cocaine and heroin.

Now, obviously this arrangement makes no sense at all, and seems to be based entirely in anti-(drug|hippie|Negro|red) hysteria. The same Act which introduced the Schedules established a commission to hold hearings on Marijuana and drug abuse as per their moniker - and the commission recommended decriminalization of possession.

Of course, this was ignored.

But that was 30+ years ago, and there's been a lot of science (and jail terms) under the bridge since then. Portugal passed decrim - of everything, not just pot - around the turn of the millennium and street ODs and new AIDS cases are way down since then. It's obvious that the stories about it turning you into a raving maniac and irrevocably ruining your life were nonsense, given that our first Presidential election where both candidates had been known to have been smokers was a decade ago, not to mention all the other examples that get trotted out.

Now, it's been shown that DARE, the US's educational gospel on drugs for years, is ineffective when not actually counterproductive. And the science behind the pro-pot argument is pretty well established.

So at this point it would seem hard to come up with a rational negative response to decriminalization, and if you have one, I'd love to hear it. Coming in, saying you disagree, then refusing to elaborate is only gonna make people angry, and it makes you seem like you'd prefer governance to be in the hands of emotion and tradition rather than reason and compassion.
posted by jtron at 1:18 PM on August 27, 2010 [19 favorites]


Everyone who has taken the drive from Chicago to Madison or the Wisconsin Dells is familiar with passing the Bong Recreation Area.

If you're passing Bong while going from Chicago to Madison, you're doing it wrong. However, if you're passing a bong while going from Chicago to Madison, you're fine.
posted by aaronetc at 1:18 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Haters, I hear your hate.

You think I should be in jail.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:19 PM on August 27, 2010 [20 favorites]


ob.marley.quote: Its just a plant, man.
posted by Fupped Duck at 1:20 PM on August 27, 2010


> Tonight on Fox: Social Networking or Social Engineering? Some say seemingly harmless websites like Facebook are being used to push drug use on our children.

Not so. Go to Fox and do a search for cannabis related articles from the last year. What you see is a guide to the future, as Murdoch sees it. Firstly, there are almost no shock-horror stories where weed is concerned. Lots of goof-ball stories. Quite a number of weed-is-a-super-drug-done-fixed-my-cancer kind of articles. Almost the only negative ones are those that point to the troubling link to psychosis, especially for younger users. So my take on this is that they know legalization is coming, but they see another opportunity. Medicalize it. Let big pharma make your pot for you. They can justify it with the troubling psychosis link, so you don't buy it from the dirty hippy, but from the big pharma man.

Betcha'.
posted by stonepharisee at 1:20 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Five seven five verse
does not always haiku make...
leaves must fall from pen
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 1:21 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you think that's hate, I'd hate to see what you think of as love.
posted by wierdo at 1:22 PM on August 27, 2010


Medicalize it. Let big pharma make your pot for you.

I've often considered the repercussions of this by way of a blanket legalization. Will it become a tightly regulated industry full of a few giants like cigarettes? Or closer to wine or beer, where you'll be able to "make" your own as long as you're not going into business selling it commercially?
posted by griphus at 1:22 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The leaf is a problem? People, it's just a picture of the plant, I honestly don't understand why they'll run an ad advocating legalizing marijuana but they don't want to depict it.

When the leaf is legal it will lose its power to upset people. It will also be a much less popular tattoo and jewelry item.
posted by longsleeves at 1:22 PM on August 27, 2010


Dan Brown should be illegal.
posted by vectr at 1:23 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll go back to being a useful contributor and big fan of Metafilter for anything other than pot discussions.

Translation: You're wrong, and I'm right. Nothing you can say can sway me. I'll go and read something I agree with.


Incorrect translation, in my eyes. Personally, I read: I disagree, and nothing you are saying is changing my mind, and this discussion was had before, with no resolution then, either.

Hey, I really think electric guitars are whiny and obnoxious. Suck it, fans of electronic guitars! Guess what, that's my opinion, and not something to be swayed by examples. Sure, there are some decent uses of electronic guitars, but the "meedly-meedly-meedly" stuff gets old fast, to me. And I'll keep trying to sell you on the beauty of some stripped down electronic pieces, even if you're a fan of music with words. And that's cool, because we don't have to agree on everything.

So, hypocrisy in advertisement-accepting branches of major media companies: it sucks, doesn't it?
posted by filthy light thief at 1:23 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


andreaazure: "And, while I'm at it: I would vote against Prop 19."

My vote cancels out y'alls!
posted by mullingitover at 1:23 PM on August 27, 2010


That's the thing a lot of "well-meaning" anti-legalization people don't get. They're saying everyone caught smoking marijuana should get sent to jail. Do they think all their friends in college who tried it should have gone to jail? Illegal doesn't mean "I don't like it and I wish nobody did it."

It reminds me of this video where pro-lifers were asked what they thought the penalty should be for getting an abortion.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:24 PM on August 27, 2010 [20 favorites]



I am sorry I expressed a view you don't agree with.
I am sorry that I cannot provide arguments you will agree with.


The first statement is true. The second statement is also true, but only in the sense that you didn't provide any arguments, just a statement with nothing to support it. We begged to differ. No hate implied or intended.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:25 PM on August 27, 2010


griphus: even if the laws are tilted in favor of massive corporate controlled weed, people are still gonna be growing their own.

I'm hoping for more of a microbrew/farmers market culture myself... and y'know, this could really revitalize the music retail industry with some cross promotion - "buy the new Flaming Lips and get an eighth of Purple Kush half off!"
posted by jtron at 1:26 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


And on the topic, I don't really have a problem with Facebook or Conde Nast choosing to not run any ads related to the topic. I do have a problem with them being perfectly willing to run anti- ads, but not pro- ads. That's plainly ridiculous.
posted by wierdo at 1:26 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's the thing a lot of "well-meaning" anti-legalization people don't get. They're saying everyone caught smoking marijuana should get sent to jail. Do they think all their friends in college who tried it should have gone to jail?

One of my dreams is to ask politicians what they would do if they found their kids with pot. Call the cops immediately instead of treating it as a family issue, right?

And Obama, Mr.Supporter of the drug war, when are you turning yourself in for the jail sentence your crime earned?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:27 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


And that's cool, because we don't have to agree on everything.

Like furiousxgeorge said, your distaste for electric guitars does not make you an active member of the body making criminals of electric-guitar fans.
posted by griphus at 1:28 PM on August 27, 2010




People being against legalization for inane or silly reasons wouldn't be so goddamned infuriating if they didn't want people sent to jail. I mean, you believe in Jesus because your mom once saw the virgin mary on a hamburger? Fine, that's stupid, but whatever. You think pot should be illegal because you believe in the long- and repeatedly-disproven gateway drug theory? That's not fine, because you want to destroy people's lives.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:35 PM on August 27, 2010 [23 favorites]


Just to be clear, a "shade of grey" on this issue would be calling for it to be legalized, but leading massive education campaigns to discourage its use as you feel it is bad for the public health and mind for people to become intoxicated. I would disagree with that, but it's not encouraging the status quo, where marijuana is just about as illegal as it is possible for a recreational substance to be without breaking (more) civil liberties from the constitution.

Calling for continued prohibition is a binary stance.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:35 PM on August 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


But that didn't stop Beck from making making fun of guys from NORML in the past.

I say this as a person who favors total legalization: pot culture is dumb as hell and people who are involved in the culture that surrounds pot tend to be among the worst advocates for it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:36 PM on August 27, 2010 [13 favorites]


I propose that we create a state between legal and illegal for pot in order to help transition it into mainstream acceptance. In this legal state, you can't get arrested for possession but police officers will be required to look at you reproachfully and wag their fingers.
posted by charred husk at 1:36 PM on August 27, 2010 [8 favorites]


Look, I don't like people going to jail for rolling a joint. And, in fact, as I've said on other threads on this and other topics - if you don't like the law, get it changed (but obey it in the meantime). I just wish it would be okay to express a shade of gray on this issue

So you don't like it, but you think we should keep doing it. And this is an election. Either you are for continued illegality of marijuana, or you're not. There's no 'maybe' option on the ballot.

Anyway, it's kind of surprising that people could advocate that another group of people should be in jail, and then act all surprised that they get 'hate'?

Anyway, andreaazure doesn't even live in CA, so it's not like how she feels matters in this case. If she did it might be reasonable to try to reason with her. But as it is why bother?
posted by delmoi at 1:39 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


In this legal state, you can't get arrested for possession but police officers will be required to look at you reproachfully and wag their fingers.

So Canada's de facto possession law it is, then.
posted by gompa at 1:40 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


WAIT, WHAT? There are ADS ON THE INTERNET? When did this happen?
posted by blue_beetle at 1:40 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


pot culture is dumb as hell

Pot culture is to marijuana consumption as lazy hairdresser-and-antiques stereotyping is to actual homosexual behavior.
posted by hippybear at 1:43 PM on August 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


aslo: SLIPPERY SLOPE HERE PEOPLE, SLIP-PER-Y SLO-PE!
posted by blue_beetle at 1:45 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pot culture is to marijuana consumption as lazy hairdresser-and-antiques stereotyping is to actual homosexual behavior.

Absolutely. I will not argue this for a second. Most pot users aren't part of the pot culture any more than most of the millions of people who play video games aren't part of the gamer culture.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:45 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


> Tonight on Fox: Social Networking or Social Engineering? Some say seemingly harmless websites like Facebook are being used to push drug use on our children.

Not so. Go to Fox and do a search for cannabis related articles from the last year.


Fox News:
* June 25, 2010 - Legalized Marijuana and the Crime Question - summary: mixed bag, leaning towards more trouble than positive outcomes.
* June 22, 2010 - Going to Pot: The Science Behind Marijuana - summary: mixed bag, it helps some people, but there are health hazards with smoking pot
* June 30, 2010 - Medical Marijuana User Sues Walmart Over Firing - summary: marijuana helps curb pain and suffering from cancer, but Walmart is stuck between State and Federal laws.
* Aug 25, 2010 and Apr 24, 2010 - A couple of big drug busts - summary: drugs are illegal
* August 19, 2010 - Fed. court in Colorado bars marijuana grower from using state's medical pot law in defense - summary: don't brag about breaking the law on TV, state and federal laws clash
* July 21, 2010 - Oakland Votes to Allow Large Marijuana Farms - growing marijuana in a safe manner is a good thing for everyone
* April 21, 2010 - Medical Marijuana Support Grows, Poll Finds - summary: (responsible) youth support recreational marijuana because "the dangers have been overstated," most people (even a majority of Republicans!) support medical marijuana

And then I got tired of reading Fox News. Summary of summaries: the tides are shifting, even on Fox News
posted by filthy light thief at 1:46 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


andreaazure--fairly new to MeFi but an old hand at AskMeFi. I see what you mean. I think legalization is the only pragmatic solution but I do get tired of the rhetoric of both the "pro" and "con" constituencies. Neither wants to look at all the evidence. Marijuana, like many drugs, has some negative cognitive and physical side effects, is contraindicated with certain drugs, can, but rarely, leads to dependence or tolerance and should not be used when operating heavy equipment. But that is hardly a ringing endorsement. I really think the question should be "what is good about pot" not "what bad about pot". I seriously doubt if there are many rigorous studies demonstrating pot increases the over all quality of ones life or even that those who regularly use it report an over all increase in life satisfaction (or any increased objective measure of well being) except when using or anticipating using it. And the regular statement that it is not as dangerous as alcohol is really meaningless. It is like saying driving 72 MPH is safer than 75MPH when 60 MPH is the speed limit--OK, thank you. Well, enough said. The bottom line for me--neither alcohol or marijuana are in anyway essential for well being but better decriminalized and bureaucratized than criminalized.
posted by rmhsinc at 1:49 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Speaking of NORML, guess who's in charge of it? Some stoner, right? Wrong.

Some stoner's wife.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:49 PM on August 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


Summary of summaries: the tides are shifting, even on Fox News

If Republicans come out in favor of legalization, I will vote for them. In fact, it would probably be a really good idea for a Republican presidential candidate to take that position if they want to wedge the Obama youth vote.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:50 PM on August 27, 2010


If Republicans come out in favor of legalization, I will vote for them.

So you'd vote for people who have thoroughly reprehensible positions and have a long track record of doing horrible things simply because they'll give you one thing you want? Are you cool with libertarians doing that for tax cuts?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:53 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I would vote for a pro-legalization Republican. I view this as a major civil rights and racial equality issue.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:53 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


So you'd vote for people who have thoroughly reprehensible positions and have a long track record of doing horrible things simply because they'll give you one thing you want? Are you cool with libertarians doing that for tax cuts?

If one candidate thinks I should be in jail and the other does not I will vote for the candidate who does not want to throw me in jail, yes.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:55 PM on August 27, 2010


Yeah, for the record, I wouldn't vote for any candidate on a single issue. There's a lot of important things that need to be weighed. A pro-weed republican who's also anti-gay, pro-trickle down, and anti-environment wouldn't fly with me. Unfortunately, it appears that on those issues, the best you can usually get is "moderately opposed" from the mainline GOP.

Now, Ron Paul and other libertarians seem to be a bit saner on gay marriage and cannabis, but I don't know if I could stand the deregulation and slashing to social programs.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:56 PM on August 27, 2010


That said, Independents, this could be your wedge issue!
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:57 PM on August 27, 2010


Dear lord, that Beck segment is bad.

I don't think most soft drugs should be illegal at all. I think that most other drugs should be decriminalized but still illegal to use, while trafficking and selling in those hard drugs would be full-fledged jail-time inducing offense.

I'm not pro-drug use, and would actually be happier if society could get over this forbidden fruit and stop promoting it as a cure-all that will fix everything wrong with your personal health and society. Like any drug, it can be incredibly beneficial if prescribed and it can be horrifically destructive if abused.

The one thing I personally haven't figured out is the proper dispensing for soft drugs like Marijuana. Is it a medical substance that should be only received by going to a pharmacy like when we pick up codeine? Should it be dispensed out of an ABC store and personal use (like making your own gin) remains illegal? Should it be like beer where everyone can make it and everyone can consume it? The latter certainly brings up tax issues, I'll say. I brew my own beer, but it would be big time illegal if I tried to sell it. The already existing infrastructure as far as pot growers and pot consumers might make it hard to track down, evaluate, and tax all of these transactions. I'd be interested in hearing other people's optimal view as far as what's acceptable in the selling of soft drugs like this.

Another question I suppose I have for everyone is, what limits should there be on consuming pot? An age limit at all? I'm sure there's quite a bit of variety as far as these answers go than the illegal/legal thing that we were talking about before.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:57 PM on August 27, 2010


That said, Independents, this could be your wedge issue!

God forbid. We don't need another election decided by a spoiler.
posted by griphus at 1:59 PM on August 27, 2010


If you are a single-issue voter then your vote will tend to get used by cynical politicians who will pander to your cause but, in practice, do very little to move it forward. See: most Republicans and abortion.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 2:00 PM on August 27, 2010 [9 favorites]



If you are a single-issue voter then your vote will tend to get used by cynical politicians who will pander to your cause but, in practice, do very little to move it forward. See: most Republicans and abortion.


That is fine, mainstream serious debate would be a step up over "you can't say that on Facebook." The Democrats would surely support decriminalization too as soon as the political winds seemed to be shifting. They support it now in private, I would assume.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:02 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think cannabis should be like alcohol. You can buy it depending on how your state feels about it, so long as it's legal. IE state run stores, liquor licenses, etc. Places can offer consumption on premises, but only if they are found to be reputable and take precautions. Driving while high is strictly forbidden (this is a difficult one to test for now, but illegality doesn't make it not happen). Black market channels are strictly illegal. Police will have more time to look into those as they no longer need to deal with arresting people for possession. Between the competition with legal channels (which will be more expensive because of tax, but easier to find/buy from) and legal pressure, black market cannabis will become a thing of the past. Laced or adulterated weed is not common, but it is starting to become a problem in Europe as I said above.

If a person wants to grow their own, swell. Just don't sell it or share with a minor. Yes, it costs less money, but it also takes more time and energy than people want to put forth.

How old is old enough? Why not 21? Nearly everyone is done with puberty by then, and by almost every metric, most people are old enough to make their own decisions.

As for other details of who should be able to use it, I almost think it'd be wise to have a marijuana license. People would be required to answer several multiple choice questions on marijuana, prove they are of age and know not to operate a vehicle while high, and consent to follow the cannabis laws to the best of their ability. This would help compensate for the fact that our culture doesn't have a long history of widespread marijuana use outside of countercultures. In America, it's easy to get unbiased information about alcohol, but not so easy to pick up the facts about marijuana, thanks to strongly biased information from both sides.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:09 PM on August 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


I really think the question should be "what is good about pot" not "what bad about pot". I seriously doubt if there are many rigorous studies demonstrating pot increases the over all quality of ones life or even that those who regularly use it report an over all increase in life satisfaction

Well, that's one question that could be viewed as the important one. That's probably even the best question from a medical viewpoint. But from a public policy viewpoint, I suggest the better question is: "What's the compelling public interest in prohibition that justifies using the full force of the state to criminalize it and incarcerate offenders, using involuntary taxes to do so?"
posted by tyllwin at 2:12 PM on August 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


Once it crosses over into the "legal for all" side of the line, something worse will replace pot. And whatever that is will be worse.

Dude, you're high right now, aren't you?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:13 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course, it'd be tough to make a fair cannabis test since there's a lot of untested facts about marijuana because of it's Schedule I status. But ideally, once science and medicine make these things clearer, I would like there to be education and tests on cannabis so that people can choose wisely.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:13 PM on August 27, 2010


I think the goal of the pro-life movement is NOT to punish women who have abortions, but to tear down the infrastructure that makes abortion possible. I think they see the women largely as victims of the system, or pawns.

Primarily they want the doctors offices to close, the doctors to be unable to practice etc. They want medical help to be unavailable and clinics to be illegal under threat of jail time.

Sure, its a cheap easy win to laugh at them for not thinking about penalties for women having abortions. Ask them about penalties for doctors and nurses, their real enemies, and you will get all kinds of opinions from them. That is their true target.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 2:16 PM on August 27, 2010


There's plenty of room for shades of grey in any discussion of how to end marijuana prohibition. There are a whole bunch of models out there. Prop 19 does it one way, the bill introduced in the CA legislature last year did it a different way. There's also endless shades of decriminalization, many of which are already in effect in various US states, or other countries like Portugal. Not to mention the in-between state of medical cannabis access.

What there's not so much room for grey on is scientific evidence of things like how cannabis affects the body, the demographic realities of who is arrested and who goes to prison for marijuana offenses, the economic impact of sending so many people to prison, and the lack of any evidence for the "gateway theory" with marijuana.

One of the challenges of drug policy reform is that we're often in the position of arguing against emotional feelings with scientific evidence. It's a hard place to be. We know we're right, but all of our research and data and evidence won't budge someone who just plain believes that drugs are bad. Some of that comes from messages about drug use being a moral wrong. Some from people who have had negative experiences with problematic drug use themselves, or that of their family members, and wish that those experiences had never happened. There are a lot of reasons why people get into fearful, emotionally-driven, feeling places about drugs, drug use, and drug users. If any of this were as easy as just showing people the evidence and changing their minds, well, I wouldn't be doing this job, and we'd have a very very different approach to psychoactive substances in this country (and all the other countries we've influenced.)
posted by gingerbeer at 2:17 PM on August 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think the goal of the pro-life movement is NOT to punish women who have abortions

Perhaps, but there's no reason whatsoever to believe that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:18 PM on August 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


In this legal state, you can't get arrested for possession but police officers will be required to look at you reproachfully and wag their fingers.

So Canada's de facto possession law it is, then.


I am reminded of the time my friend in university brought a few beers from home to drink BEFORE going into the bar and paying their inflated prices for the same thing. He was in the parking lot chugging away when the police came up and wrote him a ticket in the neighbourhood of $300 IIRC for drinking in public. Being a little drunk at the time, he asked the officer "$300?!?! What would you have done if I was smoking a joint?"

The officer said "I would have asked you to put it out."
posted by Kirk Grim at 2:19 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just wish people would be more honest in the debate on the opposition side instead of using dubious data. Other than fear of losing, why won't they just come out and say "We don't like people altering their consciousness in that way," instead of making things up?

At least I assume that's their problem with marijuana.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:19 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Reddit is now covered in "Yes on 19" propaganda. I think Conde Nast must actually support the initiative since I don't see how their decision could have resulted in anything else.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:20 PM on August 27, 2010


> I really think the question should be "what is good about pot"

I wanna say that there's lots good about pot. I say that as a regular smoker of many years standing, and I like what it does to me, both when I'm stoned, and when I'm not stoned. In fact, one becomes a way of looking at the other, and that works out just fine.

Seriously, I greatly value much of what I have learned from consuming pot. Its not just shitz and giggles.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:21 PM on August 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


rmhsinc : I really think the question should be "what is good about pot" not "what bad about pot".

But we don't do this with any other vice that is allowed to be legal: smoking and drinking both have clear negative side effects, with very little positive to recommend them other than "people enjoy doing it", and that's good enough for them.

Why can't it be good enough for pot, which doesn't have the associated risks? I'm not saying that pot is absolutely safe, but comparatively, it is much less harmful, and it deserves to be judged on the same level playing field.

Besides, the conversation has been "what's bad about pot" for the past 80 years. And time and again, the claims that have been put forth as a good reason to keep it illegal have been proved wrong, over and over and over.
posted by quin at 2:22 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to respond to one of andreaazure's comments from an earlier thread:

* More injury and death from DUI

Studies have actually shown that marijuana does not increase the risk of accidents while driving. Anecdotally, those who have hung around marijuana users are probably familiar with their stories of driving 10mph in a 25mph zone, etc. I'm not saying I support driving under the influence of any drug, but I am saying the behavior is not the same as driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Yet regardless of the evidence, the federal government appears to be pushing hard for per se drugged driving laws. Any detectable amount of a substance in your blood would be evidence of driving under the influence, regardless of the actual impact on your driving. Even in with drugs where metabolites can stay in your bloodstream for weeks afterwards. Given the loss of revenue from marijuana prohibition, this may be the next step for law enforcement to regain revenue.

While we may not agree with andreaazure's beliefs (and that's what they are, because she hasn't backed them up with evidence), but they do provide useful insight into the prohibition crowd mindset. It shows areas where drug law reformers may need to work to tear down these racist and unjust laws.
posted by formless at 2:22 PM on August 27, 2010


Lord Chancellor wrote: "The already existing infrastructure as far as pot growers and pot consumers might make it hard to track down, evaluate, and tax all of these transactions. I'd be interested in hearing other people's optimal view as far as what's acceptable in the selling of soft drugs like this. "

I don't mind the idea of taxing and regulating it, so long as there's a beer/wine-like exception relating to production for personal use (and sharing for no remuneration of relatively small amounts). The one thing that I think is important is that the tax rate be set somewhat reasonably, so it won't drive most sales underground, costing us more to enforce the tax than we end up collecting from it.

We had the same issue with underground sales of alcohol after the end prohibition. After 50 years of revenoors on their asses, most of the moonshine makers have given it up. There will always be issues related to people not paying taxes on things. Remember the Whiskey Rebellion?

As far as other drugs go? Criminal penalties (jail time) for possession/use should be eliminated. They do no good. The one thing the meth epidemic taught me is that nobody gives a shit if it's illegal, they'll do it anyway. Moreover, the vast majority of users aren't in the sort of anti-drug propaganda type trouble that law enforcement would like us to believe. I've seen it ruin people's lives, but I've seen more people's lives ruined by the criminal penalties than use.

I simply can't get behind the idea that because some people who are already unmotivated choose to use drugs instead of moving their lives forward that drugs should be criminalized. I think that universally available (free!) treatment options would do a great deal to mitigate the effects of addiction, dependence, or just plain abuse.
posted by wierdo at 2:26 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kirk Grim, that's one of the hidden consequences of no decriminalization. It goes underregulated because cops are afraid of incarcerating people who they think don't deserve it.

While I don't think people who possess for personal use deserve even $100-1000 fines (it's their body, their choice, this is supposed to be the land of the free), I think it beats the current system where cops get to decide, instead of a judge and jury, who deserves the full legal consequences. Especially considering that cops will likely only report people who they have trouble empathizing with. That means people who tend to be different from them. Different cultures, different ages, different races. And how is that fair at all?

Every time I see a person getting their car searched in my (generally white) suburban community, they are young and almost always a minority.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:28 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Reddit's admins deserve credit for their response to the "no profit from pro-hemp groups" rule. I'm really curious how it plays out, since in the end it's associating pot with Reddit and Conde Nast more than just running the ads in the first place would have. It would be pretty ironic if Reddit blew itself up right as all the people fleeing from Digg self-destructing started coming ashore.
posted by freebird at 2:30 PM on August 27, 2010


The censorship is dumb, but ads with a picture of pot leaf do more harm than good anyway.

It's a very serious issue about a broken legal system and overflowing prisons. The less wink-y stoner shit, the better.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:39 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


It would be pretty ironic if Reddit blew itself up right as all the people fleeing from Digg self-destructing started coming ashore.

I don't think that's going to happen. Conde Nast is, at bottom, about the money. While they may not have wanted to associate reddit with pot (in which case their tactics for preventing this were comically dumb) so long as the adsense checks keep rolling in they don't give that much of a shit. Reddit could become stormfront 2.0 and Conde Nast would keep it running if it made them money.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:46 PM on August 27, 2010


>It would be pretty ironic if Reddit blew itself up right as all the people fleeing from Digg self-destructing started coming ashore.

Unless it was an organized controlled explosion (Dramatic Look).
posted by vectr at 2:46 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I myself am anti-many things.

Hey, I like Anti-Anti, too! Well, I like this remix more than the original.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:49 PM on August 27, 2010


Another question I suppose I have for everyone is, what limits should there be on consuming pot? An age limit at all? I'm sure there's quite a bit of variety as far as these answers go than the illegal/legal thing that we were talking about before.

Proposition 19 will make it the law that you can't sell weed legally to people under 21. If a licensed seller of cannabis sells to a minor, they'll lose their license. If the person was under 18, there's jail time.

Possession by minors will remain illegal. Driving under the influence will remain illegal. Having cannabis on school grounds will remain illegal. Furnishing cannabis to kids will remain illegal. Using cannabis when children are present will be illegal.

For people of any age: You can only have an ounce on you for personal use. You're restricted in the amount you can grow for your own use. It will still be illegal to posses cannabis that was not purchased from a licensed source or grown yourself.

The proposition gives authority to the local governments to set specific rules such as hours of operation, location of store, etc. A locality can opt to not allow the sale of cannabis under their jurisdiction but cannot bust people for their personal 1oz possession allowance. And importantly, the state and local government will have the authority to tax and regulate the plant like they do with tobacco.

So yeah, I think that pro-19 ads do need to run to help counter the anti-19 propaganda that is bound to surface before the election. Just as marijuana usage didn't skyrocket and driving while stoned arrests didn't skyrocket after MMJ became legal, this won't be the end of the world either.

My guess is this will be close in November. The real fun will be if it passes and what the Feds and the localities do about it.
posted by birdherder at 2:56 PM on August 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


I feel like so long as it's about legalizing one drug, why not feature it in ads? It'd be like making it illegal to show pictures of cocktail glasses in the 1930s.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:57 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can hear some arguments for the medical use of pot. Then again, with retail store fronts with names like Doctor Ganja right on main streets near Denver, it is hard to take it too seriously.

It's easy to take seriously when you have a loved one damn near sick to death from the chemo.
posted by milarepa at 3:00 PM on August 27, 2010 [14 favorites]


My guess is this will be close in November. The real fun will be if it passes and what the Feds and the localities do about it.

Holder's Justice Department will offer some milquetoast response that you could probably write yourself about how it's up to the states to decide their own drug laws and the DEA has more important things to do than worry about recreational marijuana. This has the advantage of being entirely true, but the disadvantage of not using his bully pulpit to point out that laws criminalizing marijuana are stupid and an insult to his office's resources and intelligence. And everyone else's for that matter.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:06 PM on August 27, 2010


Keep in mind this is a 2010 issue. How Obama handles legalization may be an issue for 2012's election. He could choose to go hard on it via the federal to win social conservative votes. But then fiscal and libertarian conservatives who have a rational stance on cannabis would hate that and call it "big government," so I feel like it's kind of a crapshot to predict the response.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:08 PM on August 27, 2010


It's hard to take Vicodin seriously as a painkiller when America's favorite drama features its abuse in most of its seasons. Therefore, I question the use of opiates as a medical tool.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:10 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Studies have actually shown that marijuana does not increase the risk of accidents while driving.

I'm extremely skeptical.

Anecdotally, those who have hung around marijuana users are probably familiar with their stories of driving 10mph in a 25mph zone, etc.

Yes, because it's hard to judge what speed you're going. Not a recipe for safety.

I'm all for legalization (fuck decrim, say I), but let's not be stupid about this.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:10 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Agreed, Durn Bronzefist. Being ambigious on driving while high is one of the bad things about the stoner culture. Any serious attempts at legalization should make it clear that driving while intoxicated is dangerous and wrong, like Prop 19 is.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2010


I seriously doubt if there are many rigorous studies demonstrating pot increases the over all quality of ones life or even that those who regularly use it report an over all increase in life satisfaction
Why would you need a rigorous study? If people didn't like it, they wouldn't do it. And anyway, people's happiness and satisfaction are pretty much constant. People in jail have just as much self-esteem, as people who aren't, for example. People are unhappy when things are getting worse, and happy when things are getting better. But when things are static they'll revert to their normal levels.

But anyway, the idea that you somehow need a study to prove that people actually enjoy the things they say they enjoy is kind of bizarre.
If you are a single-issue voter then your vote will tend to get used by cynical politicians who will pander to your cause but, in practice, do very little to move it forward. See: most Republicans and abortion.
In order to legalize abortion, you need a constitutional amendment. Or you need to replace the members of the Supreme Court, which they're working on. They also work to close abortion providers to make them impossible to acquire. There are some states with only a handful of providers, for example. The fact is republicans have done a lot for anti-abortion people, but they can't actually make it legal - yet.

You could say the same thing about democrats and healthcare reform, but just last year they actually made major progress.

The whole "If you're a single issue voter, you'll never get what you want because then they won't get your vote anymore" is kind of a nonsense argument. Once people get what they want, they'll have to keep voting for the same guys to keep it. Unless it becomes so popular that both parties support it.
posted by delmoi at 3:16 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


stonepharisee--"Seriously, I greatly value much of what I have learned from consuming pot. Its not just shitz and giggles." And seriously, specifically that is? When I smoked pot I did enjoy myself but I am not sure what I learned. When I stopped I learned that my friends ( and I) were not nearly as interesting when they (I) were stoned as they thought they were. Of course, the same applies to alcohol.
posted by rmhsinc at 3:16 PM on August 27, 2010


Studies have actually shown that marijuana does not increase the risk of accidents while driving.
I'm extremely skeptical.
Anecdotally, those who have hung around marijuana users are probably familiar with their stories of driving 10mph in a 25mph zone, etc.
Yes, because it's hard to judge what speed you're going. Not a recipe for safety.

I'm all for legalization (fuck decrim, say I), but let's not be stupid about this.
Yeah, god forbid we base laws on actual empirical study, instead of random biases!
posted by delmoi at 3:18 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


This particular bias of mine ain't so random, delmoi.

And "NORML" says this was the result of "crash culpability studies". Run experiments instead of working backward from correlation and then get back to me.

But god forbid you should let scientific rigour get in the way of your favourite legal hobby horse.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:22 PM on August 27, 2010


On-Road Performance Studies

Driving simulator studies


Pot makes you dangerously airheaded, and should not be allowed while driving, but it is nothing compared to alcohol.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:26 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grar. That "On-Road Performance Studies" link goes back to NORML, but at a spot on the page that leads to, supposedly, a "Tabulated summary of road trials of cannabis and driving", when it actually just dumps you at the DOT.

Oh, and so do subsequent links on that page.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:29 PM on August 27, 2010


I had to go somewhere, did the anti-legalization/decrim advocates pop in with a rational reason to continue the "drug war" in regards to marijuana?

...


no?
posted by jtron at 3:35 PM on August 27, 2010


Look, I don't like people going to jail for rolling a joint.
posted by andreaazure at 1:10 PM on August 27

You think I should be in jail.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:19 PM on August 27

They're saying everyone caught smoking marijuana should get sent to jail.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:24 PM on August 27

People being against legalization for inane or silly reasons wouldn't be so goddamned infuriating if they didn't want people sent to jail.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:35 PM on August 27

> Look, I don't like people going to jail for rolling a joint.
Anyway, it's kind of surprising that people could advocate that another group of people should be in jail, and then act all surprised that they get 'hate'?
posted by delmoi at 1:39 PM on August 27


Delmoi, you even quoted her. Come on, people.

(Personally, I do like people going to jail, or much worse, for rolling a joint. But that's emotion talking. For strictly rational reasons, should the opportunity arise, I will vote to legalize.)
posted by darksasami at 3:35 PM on August 27, 2010


the hopeless logic of the drug war

Crime rates are down. Gotta fill those cells somehow.

Maybe the new premium-service prisons will lead to a higher rate of white-collar criminal prosecutions. We can only hope.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:37 PM on August 27, 2010




Grar. That "On-Road Performance Studies" link goes back to NORML, but at a spot on the page that leads to, supposedly, a "Tabulated summary of road trials of cannabis and driving", when it actually just dumps you at the DOT.

Oh, and so do subsequent links on that page.


Yes, I linked to NORML since you seemed to be implying all they provided was crash culpability surveys.

The 2000 Sexton study can be found here.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:42 PM on August 27, 2010


That's much better, fxg. In having a quick look around, I found a hit piece by Transport Canada, and some hazy reporting on both sides of the issue, but this is more what I was looking for.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:44 PM on August 27, 2010


Darkasami, I thought andreaazure was saying that she didn't like throwing people in jail for pot but felt it was a necessary evil. Read in that light those responses are perfectly reasonable.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:44 PM on August 27, 2010


NORML doesn't appear to be providing anything but particular assertions in bold with links that go nowhere.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:45 PM on August 27, 2010


Look, I don't like people going to jail for rolling a joint.

Delmoi, you even quoted her. Come on, people.


What she likes is irrelevant, that is what she posted in support of.

Personally, I do like people going to jail, or much worse, for rolling a joint. But that's emotion dumbassery talking.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:45 PM on August 27, 2010


Personally, I do like people going to jail, or much worse, for rolling a joint. But that's emotion dumbassery talking.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:45 PM on August 27 [+] [!]


Often much the same thing, really. Do you think I don't realize this? Have you never had to override something you feel with something you think? It's no fun at all.
posted by darksasami at 3:49 PM on August 27, 2010


Also, not all illegal things carry jail time.
posted by darksasami at 3:50 PM on August 27, 2010


She said Look, I don't like people going to jail for rolling a joint and I just don't want this to become a legal thing. And those are contradictory things, at least as the system currently exists. If she doesn't want people going to jail for rolling a joint, then at the very least, she should be in favor of decriminalizing. But if she doesn't want it to be legal, then she needs to be okay with people going to jail.
posted by rtha at 3:52 PM on August 27, 2010


> And seriously, specifically that is?

I have the good fortune to work, inter alia, in consciousness studies.
posted by stonepharisee at 3:53 PM on August 27, 2010


True, Darksasami, but illegal in this case means it carries felonies and people who get caught in most states are "criminals." It sounds like you'd like decriminalization, where people get punished with fines for small possession instead of getting jail time, like many states will do for ANY amount possessed.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:53 PM on August 27, 2010



Also, not all illegal things carry jail time.


I don't get the vibe that she was supporting decriminalization, because there is nothing controversial for the blue masses to hate on if she was.


NORML doesn't appear to be providing anything but particular assertions in bold with links that go nowhere.


Targets of the links were most likely archived or moved, it happens. You can look up the studies all you want, they are properly referenced.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:55 PM on August 27, 2010


Also, not all illegal things carry jail time.

In the case of marijuana, in California, we effectively have two (or more) systems: If you are white and middle class, it's unlikely you'll do jail time. But if you're poor and nonwhite, the system welcomes you with open arms. Lots more here (.pdf).
posted by rtha at 3:56 PM on August 27, 2010


And "NORML" says this was the result of "crash culpability studies". Run experiments instead of working backward from correlation and then get back to me.

But god forbid you should let scientific rigour get in the way of your favourite legal hobby horse.
Generally if you want to prove something, like that driving while stoned causes crashes, you have to prove it, rather then just assuming and then badmouthing any studies that show it's not true. That's certainly not scientific rigor. My only legal 'hobby horse' is that laws should be based on empirical evidence. If evidence showed that smoking pot increased the risk of accidents the same way that alcohol can (beyond certain BACs), I would be all for making it illegal to drive stoned.

(And of course you run into the problem of how to actually test whether or not someone is stoned, since the chemicals stay in your bloodstream long after the 'high' wears off)

Of course no one wants to touch one of the biggest risk factors for driving: Driving while Old.
posted by delmoi at 3:56 PM on August 27, 2010



Of course no one wants to touch one of the biggest risk factors for driving: Driving while Old.


Old drivers tend to be pretty safe since they tend to drive more slowly in general, it's just they can be forgetful and sometimes have slowed reaction times. Boy, that sounds familiar.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:59 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not so sure that's not what andreaazure was trying to say, mccarty.tim. Then again, I'm not sure what she has said in previous threads. She did imply that she doesn't think the current setup is all that great, but she doesn't want it completely legal. Sounds like decriminalization to me.

Me, I can't see a reason to regulate it any more than alcohol and tobacco, though some reasonable amount of vice tax wouldn't bother me none.

On preview, furiousxgeorge, I dunno, I read the same words you did and didn't see what you saw. I guess only Andrea knows for sure what she meant.
posted by darksasami at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2010


"I want a thing but I don't want the consequences" is a childish viewpoint and deserves derision.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:07 PM on August 27, 2010


Darksasami: In the other thread on this her proposed "decrim" included banning people from medicare and other forms of public assistance if they smoke pot, it is safe to say she is a bit on the authoritarian side on this issue.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:23 PM on August 27, 2010


I don't want you to go to jail for smoking pot, if that's the sum total of your illegal activities. Doesn't solve the problem for any definition of solving or of the problem.

Fine? Sure. Do it again and again? Court-ordered treatment. Something. Jail, eventually, if it comes to that. But ruining lives for something stupid-but-not-deadly? Not a fan.

Dealing? Jail. Now.

Another major complaint I have is that the societal costs are not small (even if it is identical to alcohol...), and no amount of acceptable taxation will match those costs. (This is true for both tobacco and alcohol, today.) Can I point to facts for this as the thread moves on in the meantime? Nope. I'll get back.

So - this thread has inspired me. Time to find the facts that are agreed on, and work from there. I'm assuming linking to justice.gov is just a waste of time?
posted by andreaazure at 4:29 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


leafless is good
ah a good thing
posted by clavdivs at 4:33 PM on August 27, 2010


Haha, you fool! Never leave your soft underbelly exposed! *stabs AndreaAzure in her stomach with a spear*
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:34 PM on August 27, 2010



Fine? Sure. Do it again and again? Court-ordered treatment. Something. Jail, eventually, if it comes to that.


Ok so yes you want me in jail, because I'm not stopping even with jail on offer what makes me think anything would change?


and no amount of acceptable taxation will match those costs. (This is true for both tobacco and alcohol, today.)


Entirely untrue, the societal costs of prohibition are worse, and all you have to do is look at alcohol prohibition to understand why.

Violence is worse than drug abuse.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:37 PM on August 27, 2010


Can I point to facts for this as the thread moves on in the meantime? Nope. I'll get back.

Are you going to give us the SCIENCE?
posted by delmoi at 4:37 PM on August 27, 2010


Durn Bronzefist wrote: "Yes, because it's hard to judge what speed you're going. Not a recipe for safety."

Having been young and stupid and driven while far too intoxicated on each of those substances on separate occasions, I can say from experience that marijuana is much less of an impairment than alcohol. The one time I drove when I was nearly falling asleep was far more dangerous than either. Alcohol is worse because it's much easier to misjudge your level of intoxication and it reduces one's inhibitions. Marijuana, on the other hand, increases one's vigilance, although it surely also reduces one's reaction times.

Needless to say, I quit doing all of those things a long while back. I take my record of having never being in a crash quite seriously.

So yeah, I'm totally in favor of it being illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. I do have a big problem with the idea of a drug test being prima facie evidence of marijuana DWI, though. All DWI arrests/convictions should be based on a properly conducted and videotaped field sobriety test. There are plenty of OTC and prescription drugs that impair drivers nearly as much as alcohol, but it's very rare to see anyone arrested for driving while on them. (except when they were obtained illegally)
posted by wierdo at 4:40 PM on August 27, 2010


Can I point to facts for this as the thread moves on in the meantime? Nope. I'll get back.

Are you going to give us the SCIENCE?


Give her time, Delmoi. She said that she didn't fully understand the science and that she was investigating her views. That's the goal, right? If you have a source for her to use, post it for her. Mocking her doesn't do a thing to change the one person's mind in here you might have a shot of changing.

I also would like a good source for non-biased information too. Anyone have any ideas? Something that you could use in good faith to show the nature of the problem right now.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:41 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Political speech will always take a back seat to commercial expediency. Money talks, and all that ...

(It's Facebook's prerogative, but it's a chickenshit move.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:42 PM on August 27, 2010


Also, on not-preview, I would also be interested to know what these societal costs of marijuana use that would not be ameliorated by legalization are. All of the cost I can think of comes from the criminal justice system.
posted by wierdo at 4:44 PM on August 27, 2010


Fine? Sure. Do it again and again? Court-ordered treatment. Something. Jail, eventually, if it comes to that. But ruining lives for something stupid-but-not-deadly? Not a fan.

Dealing? Jail. Now.
The way the laws work now, if you have more then a certain amount, you're automatically considered to be a dealer, regardless of whether you are or not. And anyway, most of the people in jail for marijuana are there for dealing. I don't think many states imprison people for simple possession, not more then a couple days. Making something legal to have but not to distribute doesn't make much sense.

It's also economically unjust, because obviously the people who are going to sell it are not going to be wealthy, middle class people (Unless it's just a hobby, or they make enough from selling it) whereas the people who just buy it and consume it are.

And actually that's pretty much how things are, in fact in many states getting caught 'dealing' won't even get you a jail sentence right off the bat (I mean it all depends) so actually you're advocating a harsher situation then actually exists.

Anyway, you seem to believe that it's a good idea to have things that are illegal but commonly done anyway. As a sort of way to "officially" denote something as being "bad". I think that's a really bad idea, because it fosters a disrespect for the law. If lots of people are doing something illegal, they'll start to think that following the law is no big deal, after all, they and most of their friends will be breaking the law all the time.

Even if you think there are social costs to smoking pot, the question is whether or not the costs current situation (which is basically what you say you want) is greater or lower. It's obviously greater. And not only that, people still smoke pot!

And beyond that there's the whole personal choice issue as well. Why should you get to decide what people do in their spare time?
posted by delmoi at 4:46 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


So yeah, I'm totally in favor of it being illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. I do have a big problem with the idea of a drug test being prima facie evidence of marijuana DWI, though. All DWI arrests/convictions should be based on a properly conducted and videotaped field sobriety test. There are plenty of OTC and prescription drugs that impair drivers nearly as much as alcohol, but it's very rare to see anyone arrested for driving while on them. (except when they were obtained illegally)

In general, I wish we would shift to this method for most drug or alcohol intoxication tests. Behavior is probably the easiest way to determine whether someone is fit to drive or not, and videotapes are much more admissible as evidence than one police officer's word. However, I worry that that might make a much bigger instance of police leeway sending some drunks/users to jail but not others. Still, with marijuana, I don't see any other practical choice.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:47 PM on August 27, 2010


Just out of curiosity, andreaazure, why do you think cannabis is "stupid?" It's a soft drug that enhances some things and dulls others. Some find it makes them more creative and productive. Some use it to sit on the couch all day to be content. Some use it recreationally after a day of hard work that it would otherwise ruin. Some people go through life high all the time, some people smoke it a few times a month, some try it early in life and then give it up. Some people use it to get an appetite while on chemo.

Since the effect is so subjective, and it's used so many ways, what kind of use is exactly your problem?

And while we're at it, why is it any of your business, in a nation like America, how somebody else chooses to live their life? I may not be thrilled that some people are burnouts, doing only enough work to pay for the bare essentials and soft drugs, but that's their decision. If they are happy to choose that, then I see no problem with it. As cannabis is barely, if at all, physically addictive, it's a sane and lucid choice, unlike a person who drinks alcohol all day everyday. And we don't even have a cannabis census to tell how many people actually do use the drug in that fashion! There are many white collar stoners you would never know about because they hide it for the sake of their career, social standing, and because they don't want to get caught. The way this works, the heaviest users with the least to lose end up becoming what the movement is associated with.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:54 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


and no amount of acceptable taxation will match those costs.

Really? You see the social costs as so extraordinarily high that even the saving from allowing the huge number of prisoners back to work, rather than confined at our expense, plus the savings of dropping those law enforcement costs, plus the decline in drug-trade violence, plus the tax revenue can't counterbalance them? Wow. Where do these huge costs come from?

Oh, wait, I see, You don't want any of those savings. You want the same system we have today, just with more offenses required before you go to jail for simple possession. With an added fillip of mandatory "treatment" as if scofflaws like furiousxgeorge were mentally ill.
posted by tyllwin at 4:59 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Anyway, you seem to believe that it's a good idea to have things that are illegal but commonly done anyway. As a sort of way to "officially" denote something as being "bad".

This is a very common position among pro-lifers. I've even seen the position put forth on Metafilter that having abortion be nominally illegal is far more important than actually stopping abortions.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:03 PM on August 27, 2010


So I've been a lurker on the blue for sometime, but finally gave in and join so that I could agree with the point of andreaazure's argument.

I don't use at this point in my life. Frequently I read that it's not an addictive substance. If true (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), that's great. It means, however, that those who use do so because they choose to - and by itself that doesn't seem like a compelling reason to make something legal. Filesharing is a good metaphor here: everyone does it and reports of the harm it causes have been greatly exaggerated, so let's make it legal.

Given that, I'm persuaded by the inertia argument. Say we legalize pot tomorrow - what institutional changes will need to happen? There will need to be research into legislation around age restrictions, circumstance restrictions, limits, dispensary permit procedure, and so on. Police and drug enforcement officers will need to receive training on what's ok and what's not. Regulation and tax structures will need to be established and enforcement procedures dictated. Legal precedent will gradually need to be determined and recent legal sentences reevaluated. And there will be resistance to all the new parameters that these things involve. Those who have been growing their own will want to continue to do so and at least some of them will object to a sudden tax hike. Underage users will continue to use. There will be a continued need for crackdowns against use in violation of the restrictions. And a need for some kind of system to be put in place to monitor the content of substance sold and make sure that everyone's playing by the rules.

All of these things will have a cost associated with them. Transforming an underground industry to an legitimate one will mean reigning in hundreds of small producers and figuring out a way to regulate and tax them - that is, if the increased revenue arguments are to be believed. Lord Chancellor hit on some of these points earlier. Would the increase in revenue offset the costs of the implementation? And how long would that take? Was this the case in Portugal?
posted by FreelanceBureaucrat at 5:04 PM on August 27, 2010


With an added fillip of mandatory "treatment" as if scofflaws like furiousxgeorge were mentally ill.

Oh, I am, but treatment for pot addiction isn't going to help with them. :P
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:04 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another major complaint I have is that the societal costs are not small (even if it is identical to alcohol...), and no amount of acceptable taxation will match those costs.

As others have pointed out, prohibition also carries with it societal costs, and those costs are tremendous.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:05 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good points, Delmoi, but not every state has decriminalized possession. And it's more than "just a few days," as well in many areas. In NJ, for anything ranging from residue to 50 grams (about $500-$1000 worth, depending on quality) you get 6 months incarceration and it is a misdemeanor fine of $1000. It's not a felony, as it's under a year of prison.

More than 50 grams (again, a very large amount), it's 18 months and $25,000. Dealing any amount gets you $150,000 in fines, and 1 year for under an ounce, and 3 years for more than an ounce.

These extreme penalties mean that officers are actually afraid to report people who they think don't deserve those sentences. Hence, the officer who tells people to put out their joints. This means that officers get the power to pick who goes to jail and who doesn't, instead of reporting all the illegal activity they catch. And because of inherent biases, this means that officers end up punishing people based on things like race or age, either intentionally or otherwise.

See source here, and look up your own state.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:05 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Freelance, I started to go through that point by point but on each point I'm just like...well, what of it? All that can be worked out by the legislature before they write the law and the model should be based on what we do with alcohol and tobacco.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:13 PM on August 27, 2010


Alright, alright, I think we posted our objections to AndreaAzure's opinions. Let her get her data and bring it back with her and then we'll go through this again.

Anyway, I raised those points earlier not to say that legalization would be bad but to point out that this bill is one of many ways for a drug to be legalized or the status quo to change. As said, this bill makes the age of use 21. Do you agree with that? Plenty in this room smoked before they were 21 and some quite a bit younger than that. I know that "anything is better than the current situation", but what's the optimal?

And even if we legalize it, should we (as a nation, or a state, or a local community) still discourage its use if it's shown to have negative effects on a society? Or encourage its use if it's found to have positive ones?

In many way, as messy as criminalization is, it's simple. As legalization happens more and more, we'll have to figure out the complexities of what is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. We still have yet to figure our the ones we already have, though that shouldn't discourage us from tackling this one in a fair and thoughtful manner.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 5:14 PM on August 27, 2010


wierdo: Also, on not-preview, I would also be interested to know what these societal costs of marijuana use that would not be ameliorated by legalization are. All of the cost I can think of comes from the criminal justice system.

I've heard many people complain that they felt marijuana takes away too much productivity. As in, they were concerned it would cause a dip in the GDP. But it's a total strawman. We don't pick what rights people have based on productivity. We pick people's rights based on other ethics, like if the right gives people the power to harm others without consequence. And by that same logic, video games would be illegal as they are a massive timesink.

There's also rehab for marijuana that some people claim would go up, but that's largely created by the prohibition as well. Judges sometimes will offer a person a lesser sentence if they agree to go to rehab, which most people will take if the alternative is jail. But you still see figures being thrown out there. It's not clear how addictive (between the psychological and physical aspects of addiction) marijuana is, but it's certainly much less addictive than hard drugs or alcohol. It's hardly something that requires rehab. People who have smoked for decades have quit cold turkey with virtually no ill effects.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:18 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


But ruining lives for something stupid-but-not-deadly?

Which is exactly what locking someone up does. It ruins their life. They weren't doing anything but smoking some weed before, and then they got locked up. And their life is ruined.

Smoking isn't what ruins most lives. Prison is what ruins most lives. Read the pdf I liked to above - seriously.
posted by rtha at 5:18 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


18 is probably ideal but whatever, it's not a major deal to me. Even with underage users we have to remove the criminality and switch to treatment, I think we can all agree on that?


And even if we legalize it, should we (as a nation, or a state, or a local community) still discourage its use if it's shown to have negative effects on a society? Or encourage its use if it's found to have positive ones?

In many way, as messy as criminalization is, it's simple. As legalization happens more and more, we'll have to figure out the complexities of what is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. We still have yet to figure our the ones we already have, though that shouldn't discourage us from tackling this one in a fair and thoughtful manner.


Identify sources of harm from pot use and try and reduce them. Discouraging use is fine especially for minors.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:19 PM on August 27, 2010


Transforming an underground industry to an legitimate one will mean reigning in hundreds of small producers and figuring out a way to regulate and tax them - that is, if the increased revenue arguments are to be believed. Lord Chancellor hit on some of these points earlier. Would the increase in revenue offset the costs of the implementation?

It's not a question of whether the increase in revenue would offset the [immediate and societal] costs of the implementation. It's whether or not the increase in revenue plus the enormous savings of ending prohibition would do so.

It certainly did with alcohol.

I also don't see these huge costs: the laws, regulations and processes can be all practically cut and pasted from those already governing alcohol and tobacco, at least to get a workable starting point.
posted by tyllwin at 5:23 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Let me show you some math:

Societal Cost of Prohibition=Cost of Use + Cost of Prohibition
Societal Cost of Legalization=Cost of Use
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:25 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Lord Chancellor wrote: "Plenty in this room smoked before they were 21 and some quite a bit younger than that. I know that "anything is better than the current situation", but what's the optimal?"

If the studies that show negative effects among early teens are verified to be accurate, I think 21 is a fine limit. 18 would be OK, too, if it can be shown that smoking cannabis at that age doesn't have the negative developmental effects.

That's not to say that the users should be punished beyond possibly a fine or that the sellers should be punished more harshly than someone who sells cigarettes or beer to underage people. The idea of throwing someone in prison because they sell to a 20 year old is pretty ridiculous. Maybe it would be reasonable if an ongoing pattern of behavior could be shown.
posted by wierdo at 5:37 PM on August 27, 2010


It is true that we don't have a good system for evaluating and legalizing drugs that aren't embedded in our culture. This applies to cannabis, and it applies to every other drug that's been made illegal. And it's a growing issue, as new drugs are created. For example, Ecstasy and LSD are recent inventions. Right now, we let them go sold unregulated on the black market.

If the federal government wasn't so opposed to currently illegal drugs, it would be nice if they had an organization like the FDA designed to test and evaluate drugs and suggest whether they should be legalized, at what age is appropriate, and so on. Based on these evaluations, states could draft up their own laws.

Right now, if anything is widely known to be psychoactive, the knee-jerk reaction is to make it illegal, with no clear course of action to reverse that legislation.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:40 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I also don't see these huge costs: the laws, regulations and processes can be all practically cut and pasted from those already governing alcohol and tobacco, at least to get a workable starting point.

You're probably right that duplicating alcohol laws would be the sensible (and cheap) way to go, I'm just not sure it would actually work out that way. The bigger cost would come from the enforcement of new laws. I couldn't find a good source on the cost of alcohol law enforcement separated from drug law enforcement, but it appears that the state of Oregon spends $669 mil on "costs related to alcohol and drug enforcement, and the criminal justice system" and "social welfare program administration." I'll do some really rough estimating and factor that number up by the ratio of California's population to Oregon's (~9.7) and end up with a figure of $6.49 bn. If we assume as little as 25% of that is alcohol related, it still results in $1.62 bn in costs to enforce laws related to an already legal substance. Compare that to the $5 bn annual cost of the War on Drugs in CA ($42 bn per year national cost * CA to US population ratio) and we're left with a difference of $3.38bn. That's significant, but we're still on the hook for $1.62 bn per year to enforce use of what's ultimately a voluntary use substance.

(And yes, I acknowledge that I'm playing fast-and-lose with the numbers - if there are better ones out there, feel free to let me know)
posted by FreelanceBureaucrat at 5:53 PM on August 27, 2010


That's significant, but we're still on the hook for $1.62 bn per year to enforce use of what's ultimately a voluntary use substance.

...and?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:57 PM on August 27, 2010


Freelance Bureaucrat, by most estimations, cannabis is not addictive in most senses of the word. It has not shown physically addictive properties, like alcohol, cigarettes, and many hard drugs. Hence, you can ignore that "social welfare program administration" cost for the most part. People who are on marijuana have the choice to quit.

Further, while I don't have any studies to back this up, people are less likely to cause trouble while high than while drunk. Marijuana tends to make people mellow, while alcohol tends to make people more agressive. Hence, drunks get in fights, cause damage, etc.

And marijuana use is already not uncommon in CA and OR, as with most of the country. So, much of your figures about "alcohol and drug use" includes people who would smoke regardless of legalization. Especially so in California, where it is easy to get a medicinal marijuana license and access to a dispensary. Many people who use marijuana regularly there "go legal" by simply asking a doctor to write them an application for the program.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:09 PM on August 27, 2010


Oh, I thought you were subtracting $6.49 billion from $5 billion to get that number. And then you say that 25% of the $6.49 billion figure is alcohol.

So you actually see a net savings. And you didn't factor in tax revenue.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:12 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, FreelanceBureaucrat, your point was that there's not as huge a savings as you'd think? But that implies it's still worth doing, unless there's another problem that makes cannabis ethically wrong. Remember, person liberty trumps a lot of other concerns in this country, so you can't just argue that you don't like people getting high or that it will be expensive. And consider that we already have legal intoxicants (caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol), so it's clear society can have and endure changes to individual's consciousness.

Are you advocating decriminalization (which CA has for small amounts), or are you arguing that people should be sent to jail over possession?

Or are you still arguing it's about inertia? Inertia is a bad argument, as in this case, we can save money. The beginning might be rough, but any future savings and revenue would make up for it. The sooner we do it, the more we have to gain.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:23 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


But ruining lives for something stupid-but-not-deadly?

Which is exactly what locking someone up does. It ruins their life. They weren't doing anything but smoking some weed before, and then they got locked up. And their life is ruined.
posted by rtha at 6:18 PM on August 27


Yes, that is my point. We shouldn't be ruining lives by locking people up for smoking a joint, especially as a first offense.

Smoking pot is stupid because it is illegal.* Doing illegal things -- especially something as hot-button as smoking or possessing a dealable amout of pot -- is a great way to lose money and personal freedom.

* Obviously, some states have medical pot laws. I'm not talking about those people with those permissions. I'm talking about the vast majority of pot users.
posted by andreaazure at 6:25 PM on August 27, 2010


OK already!
posted by homunculus at 6:32 PM on August 27, 2010


So, andreaazure, I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm just curious. Is the main reason why pot is "stupid" to you is because it is illegal? That's pretty flimsy evidence for calling something stupid. Speeding is stupid, but that's because it can harm others if you cause an accident. I don't see a cut-and-dry reason against cannabis like that.

You sound pro-decriminalization, since you said you don't want to send people to jail "for rolling a joint." Would you say you are?
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:32 PM on August 27, 2010


Hmm, the company that runs I Can Has Cheezburger? just asked if they could buy Reddit.

I imagine not, though. The email is jokey, and I doubt they have the capital to buy such a big site, especially from a publishing company that's trying to stay relevant as print dies.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:37 PM on August 27, 2010


When I am talking about societal costs, I am talking about easy, provable financial and emotional costs. I'm not talking about things like GDP, which isn't easy to prove at all.

For instance, every drunk driving death, injury and damage is a societal cost for allowing alcohol. It will be almost impossible to find out if drunk driving happened less under prohibition, but it seems like a reasonable. (As compared to other years in that same period - but trying to find apples to apples comparisons of drunk driving deaths from pre-1950 seems impossible.)

It seems likely that pot use will go up if/when it is legalized. It did in Alaska in the 1970s -- I keep seeing this quote but can't find a link to the original data:

Alaska: After the Alaska Supreme Court legalized marijuana in 1975, teen marijuana use jumped to 51%. According to a 1988 University of Alaska study, the state’s 12 to 17-year-olds used marijuana at more than twice the national average for their age group. This clear harm motivated Alaska voters to recriminalize marijuana in 1990.

My point is this: clearly there would be costs associated with the future misuse of legalized pot, as there are for the misuse of tobacco and alcohol. We are a linked society -- we all share these costs in direct and indirect ways. This stuff matters. The money does actually matter, as do the injuries and deaths. Would there be more if it was legalized? Even accounting for the theoretical decrease in violence from legalization? (I say theoretical, because it isn't as if the cartels all disappear or all go legit.)

I can argue on emotional grounds -- I am minus one aunt and minus one uncle, and their downward slide began or accelerated with pot, then on to other things -- but arguments from an emotional place end up nowhere good. (For instance: much of this thread.)
posted by andreaazure at 6:38 PM on August 27, 2010


Apparently, Alaska didn't see that much of a problem because it's legal to possess up to an ounce there.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:40 PM on August 27, 2010


Smoking pot is stupid because it is illegal.

Then so was eating at the white lunch counter if you were black.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:46 PM on August 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


The 1990 law in Alaska is not in effect.


With the 1975 Ravin v. State decision, the Alaska Supreme Court declared the state's anti-drug law unconstitutional with respect to possession of small amounts of cannabis, holding that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution of Alaska outweighed the state's interest in banning the drug.[2] Ravin continues to be followed since the Alaska constitution has not been amended to prohibit, or permit the prohibition of, less than 28.349 grams of cannabis, an anti-cannabis initiative passed in 1990 and an anti-cannabis piece of legislation passed in 2006 remain inoperative.[


Alaska's usage rates are 15.8%, which is the highest but not by enough to make the case that decrim will lead to overwhelming amounts of use. Further, there is no evidence that this increased use of pot has led to any major problems, unless you could point some out?


My point is this: clearly there would be costs associated with the future misuse of legalized pot



So, like a 1% increase in usage if we are looking at Alaska vs. other states so maybe 1% more cost of use. Meanwhile we get tax funds and get to spend law enforcement effort elsewhere. not bad.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:47 PM on August 27, 2010


Also, I am sorry about your relatives, but part of the reason why cannabis acts as a gateway drug is that it gets people used to dealing with a dealer under the table, hiding things, etc. Were it legal and you could buy it at any Walgreens, you wouldn't learn those skills or become associated with the criminal underworld.

And even then, there is practically no gateway effect. People usually use marijuana before they try harder drugs, but correlation does not equal causation. The vast majority of marijuana users don't go on to try harder drugs. See: gompa's post's sources.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:48 PM on August 27, 2010


And you didn't factor in tax revenue.

Fair catch. Tax revenue from alcohol in CA looks to be about $350 mn per year. Let's say that pot tax revenue would be a comparable figure of about $400 m - that makes the total $1.2 bn.

...and?

It's just a bitter pill to swallow - all the time and effort and lobbying to get legalization passed followed by $1.2 bn in annual taxes for residents of CA to support an activity that people have no compelling reason to undertake. I'm absolutely in agreement when it comes to discrimination in enforcement and unnecessarily harsh sentences but there are still sparingly few compelling reasons to light up other than simply wanting to. Why is that a worthwhile amount to spend, when the alternative of simply avoiding a non-addictive substance could be far less costly?
posted by FreelanceBureaucrat at 6:49 PM on August 27, 2010


Why is that a worthwhile amount to spend, when the alternative of simply avoiding a non-addictive substance could be far less costly?

You aren't arguing about prohibition or legalization though, you are arguing against human nature.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:52 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, you're saying your solution is to try to make people stop using cannabis altogether, via the power of illegality and presumably public education?

Good luck with that. It didn't work in the 1930s, and it didn't work in the 1980s through now.

Unless you use a magic wand and make the plant disappear, the genie is out of the bottle. There will always be people seeking intoxication, and marijuana fills that need relatively well and safely. Further, it has so many medical applications, it's unlikely to completely disappear from the public's mind. No public education program or penalty will stop people from smoking it, since for many people it is a rational tradeoff to get a good high in exchange for some risk.

The fact is that we're spending more and more good money to try to raise the amount of risk for smokers and dealers, and it isn't working. There's a good market in getting mildly high on soft drugs, and it's not going away.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:56 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


It would be nice if we would all just be abstinent and monogamous so we didn't have to pay for STD prevention.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:57 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


there are still sparingly few compelling reasons to light up other than simply wanting to. Why is that a worthwhile amount to spend, when the alternative of simply avoiding a non-addictive substance could be far less costly?

I bet we could save billions in lost productivity if we made Freecell illegal.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:58 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's just a bitter pill to swallow - all the time and effort and lobbying to get legalization passed followed by $1.2 bn in annual taxes for residents of CA to support an activity that people have no compelling reason to undertake. I'm absolutely in agreement when it comes to discrimination in enforcement and unnecessarily harsh sentences but there are still sparingly few compelling reasons to light up other than simply wanting to.

One can say that about alcohol. And cigarettes. And caffeinated coffee beverages. Sugary sweets and anything else.

I've always felt the problem has always been reefer was throw in with harder drugs way back in the day, rather than lumped in with alcohol and cigarettes. If humanity somehow hadn't figured out alcoholic beverages until today, there's no way it would be legal. But alcohol has been around forever and so it is legal -- but regulated.

Mind altering substances have been with us since we lived in caves. As a society we can accept that and have regulations and treat abuse as a health condition. Or we can be keep it illegal which does zero to stop abuse but does a great job funding drug cartels, corporate prisons, and ruining lives.
posted by birdherder at 7:31 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pot has probably been with us longer than alcohol, just it's not stereotypically a black thing in the US.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:35 PM on August 27, 2010


Pot has probably been with us longer than alcohol, just it's not stereotypically a black thing in the US.

What? Are you saying marijuana is? Since when?
posted by delmoi at 7:39 PM on August 27, 2010


My point is this: clearly there would be costs associated with the future misuse of legalized pot, as there are for the misuse of tobacco and alcohol. We are a linked society -- we all share these costs in direct and indirect ways. This stuff matters.
What stuff? The only thing you've pointed out is DUIs, which you think were lower during prohibition. You just assume that marijuana legalization will cause an increase in 'injury and death'. But you don't have any numbers to back up your claims at all. How many injuries and deaths are caused by marijuana use today? You don't say. If MJ caused 5 deaths a year due to traffic accidents, and use doubled, then you'd be up to 10 deaths. Which is not very many. Far less then the number of people killed while texting while driving.

This is what I mean when I say these arguments are innumerate. No math is done but the conclusion is "bad stuff will happen". The question is how much bad stuff, how does it compare to other things that are legal (like texting), how does it compare to the problems caused by the war on drugs and so on.
I can argue on emotional grounds -- I am minus one aunt and minus one uncle, and their downward slide began or accelerated with pot, then on to other things -- but arguments from an emotional place end up nowhere good. (For instance: much of this thread.)
So what? Marijuana was illegal at the time and it didn't prevent anything from happening. What does that have to do with legalization? Besides, if marijuana was legal then it would be much harder to move from it to illegal drugs. Generally if you know someone who can get you pot, it wouldn't be hard to get other drugs from them, whereas if you just bought it at a store you wouldn't have any way to 'move on' to 'other stuff'. And did they drink alcohol? Why not blame that?
No public education program or penalty will stop people from smoking it, since for many people it is a rational tradeoff to get a good high in exchange for some risk.
Not to mention, people will think the 'education' they're receiving is a lie, because the government lies about the harmful effects of drugs all the time. You can't "educate" someone into believing something that's false.

The real purpose of anti-drug "education" is to convince people to be afraid of and hate drug users.
posted by delmoi at 7:51 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cannabis smoking in Europe is a fairly recent development. It was smoked in India and the Middle East around 1000 AD, and many cultures had edibles used in rituals. It wasn't really until Christopher Columbus brought back tobacco from North America that Europeans smoked anything, according to Michael Polan's Botany of Desire.

Durring the time of colonialism in America (1549), Angolan slaves brought marijuana plants with them to plantations in Brazil. They were allowed to grow them between rows of sugar cane and smoke between harvests. Source: Erowid

Around the 1920s-1930s, black jazz musicians liked to smoke cannabis before playing because it would make them feel more creative and in the moment. Yellow journalism published racist stories about how "marihuana" (a slang term for Mexican tobacco) was making hispanic and black people into animals who didn't know to be inferior to whites. Source: The Union

So that's probably why it seems relatively alien to Americans.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:53 PM on August 27, 2010


What? Are you saying marijuana is? Since when?

What, seriously? Are you unaware of this?

Hell, if nothing else, I'm sure you've seen Chappelle's show, which featured "white people think all black people smoke pot" as a joke at least once an episode or so.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:55 PM on August 27, 2010


Doing illegal things -- especially something as hot-button as smoking or possessing a dealable amout of pot -- is a great way to lose money and personal freedom.

And yet, people continue to smoke weed. And we can't jail our way out of that. It's unsustainable.

What we got out of (alcohol) Prohibition was organized crime and a huge police bureaucracy. This is also what we're getting out of laws against marijuana. It isn't working. It's costing us (just the US - I'm not even going to touch Mexico in this argument) billions of dollars and millions of ruined lives. And it doesn't work.

but there are still sparingly few compelling reasons to light up other than simply wanting to.

This is true for virtually every substance we ingest that isn't tied directly to nutritional needs, and so I have to say: So what? We don't need "compelling reasons" to eat 2,000-calorie hamburgers or drink a lot of coffee or have a glass of wine with dinner. I mean, that's a silly argument. Humans have been making, finding, growing, and ingesting mind- and mood-altering substances since we fell out of the trees, so I guess one could argue that evolution is a pretty compelling reason.

On preview:

Pot has probably been with us longer than alcohol, just it's not stereotypically a black thing in the US.

Someone should really tell the cops in California, who arrest blacks for possession at a way, way higher rate than they arrest whites. Like 322% higher rate, and that's just in LA County. In San Diego County, blacks are about 5% of the population but 20% of the marijuana possession arrests.
posted by rtha at 8:02 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, I apparently did not communicate clearly. What I was trying to say is that alcohol is not a drug which is stereotypically strongly associated with black people, and that that association with black people played a strong role in the outlawing of marijuana and in continued resistance to its legalization.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:05 PM on August 27, 2010


Folks, we've had this argument with andrea before. She's against legalizing marijuana because something terrible happened to her family and she blames pot. There's no arguing with that.

I once had a friend who told me that he could never really "accept" my gayness because his younger brother was once molested by an older gay man. He intellectually understood that I'm not a child molester, and that gay men weren't to be feared, but emotionally speaking, he could just never get beyond the trauma that his family went through and he blamed it all on gays. He still does. Just can't get past it.

That's kinda the level of non-thinking we're dealing with here. Don't argue, don't fight. Just pat her on the back and say "Oh, I feel for you." That's about all you can do with those people.
posted by Azazel Fel at 8:06 PM on August 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is what a debate on advertising looks like in 2010.
posted by swift at 8:15 PM on August 27, 2010


Just pat her on the back and say "Oh, I feel for you." That's about all you can do with those people.

Nah.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:34 PM on August 27, 2010


we've had this argument with andrea before

Emphasis added. One of the (many) reasons why MetaFilter is an overall hostile place for "dissenting" viewpoints is that these discussions inevitably become pile-ons: You get one person who speaks up and is suddenly expected to maintain a conversation with 20+ respondents. It's not fun, it's not constructive, and it sucks for the tenor of the website.

That's kinda the level of non-thinking we're dealing with... That's about all you can do with those people.

Speaking of things that suck for the tenor of the website. This, right here? You are making MetaFilter a worse place. Knock it off.

posted by cribcage at 8:38 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've dissented with Metafilter before, if I'm feeling it isn't going well I close the window and don't come back. If Andrea wants to discuss it she can discuss it.

Outside of places like Metafilter the pro-legalization forces face far more irrational hostile opposition...like all of our local, state, and federal governments, employers, churches, and the majority of the people in just about every nation on Earth.

Here, we aren't being hostile by just asking for some numbers.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:59 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know what really makes metafilter a worse place?

Small text.

There, I said it. I don't regret it.

posted by Azazel Fel at 8:59 PM on August 27, 2010


I also know someone whose friends died from overdoses of other drugs, yet the person I know blames the marijuana. She understands it's completely irrational, but isn't going to change her mind. I can't quite wrap my head around that, but whatever.
posted by wierdo at 9:10 PM on August 27, 2010


You know what being unfair and hostile to dissenting views looks like? It's looks like not letting people even buy advertising for their political views.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:30 PM on August 27, 2010


I am minus one aunt and minus one uncle, and their downward slide began or accelerated with pot, then on to other things

I am minus one father, and his downward slide began or accelerated with milk, then on to alcohol. Every alcoholic I know started with milk. We need to do something about this dangerous gateway drug.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:26 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's looks like not letting people even buy advertising for their political views.

One of the cases that bugged me in law school was Pruneyard Shopping Centerwiki, which basically says what you are implying: that some private companies have an obligation to "let" political statements be made on their premises, regardless of whether the company supports or opposes the political position or even wants any piece of the argument. You're saying that Facebook owes it to pro-legalization advocates to allow them to advertise on its website, and in fact is being "unfair and hostile" by refusing. (Would you feel the same if Facebook were refusing to publish pro-life ads? anti-gay marriage ads?) You're not alone in holding that opinion, but it's a contentious one.
posted by cribcage at 11:05 PM on August 27, 2010


I think Facebook has the right to pick and choose their advertisers. But they also have the right to get heckled endlessly for their decisions.

It doesn't bother me when I see a tasteful political ad that I don't agree with. But it does bother me when a corporation gives only one side a voice. Especially if it's a corporation you would expect to stay out of the debate like Facebook (which struck me as a neutral corporate entity), and Reddit (which is designed to be intrinsically democratic).

If Facebook and Reddit had decided it was wrong to use their site's adspace as a platform for debating marijuana, then that would be fine. However, they chose to take ads from both sides.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:11 PM on August 27, 2010


What, seriously? Are you unaware of this?

Hell, if nothing else, I'm sure you've seen Chappelle's show, which featured "white people think all black people smoke pot" as a joke at least once an episode or so.
How can I be unaware of something that doesn't exist? I realize rappers rap about smoking weed. But how many stereotypical 'stoners' do you meet who are black? And again studies show more white people smoke pot. I've seen a couple episodes of Chappell's show, but not all of them. I don't remember a joke about that so it couldn't have been in every episode. Maybe Chappell thinks white people think black people smoke a lot of pot because he smoked a lot of pot and it was obvious to other white stoners?
and that that association with black people played a strong role in the outlawing of marijuana and in continued resistance to its legalization.
During the Nixon administration the association that reflected negatively on marijuana was with hippies, mainly white hippies. I still think the average "stoner" image is sort of descended from the hippie/ cheech-n-chong image (well, cheech was Hispanic, but you know what I mean).
I once had a friend who told me that he could never really "accept" my gayness because his younger brother was once molested by an older gay man. He intellectually understood that I'm not a child molester, and that gay men weren't to be feared, but emotionally speaking, he could just never get beyond the trauma that his family went through and he blamed it all on gays. He still does. Just can't get past it.


It's very similar. In fact I think a lot of the anti-marijuana sentiment is just straight up bigotry. It's not bigotry against an ethnic group, but they associate X, Y, and Z with being "a stoner" -- who they view as a type of lowlife.

Andrew Sullivan actually did a series of blog posts on the "Cannabis Closet". The people who are "out" stoners tend to be the more stereotypical stoner types, and some people just don't like those types. They don't realize that lots of "normal" people smoke weed. But the stigma is still pretty high for being a marijuana user, so people don't realize it.
posted by delmoi at 11:23 PM on August 27, 2010


You're saying that Facebook owes it to pro-legalization advocates to allow them to advertise on its website, and in fact is being "unfair and hostile" by refusing.

One can acknowledge unfairness and hostility without claiming that a law is being broken. But I do see a problem with private companies that want to channel a significant aspect of public discourse - whether it's the simulation of "Main Street" provided by a shopping mall or the leading social networking site - being able to choose at will which views to support and which ones to block. Private property is not a magic spell granting an absolute right.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:24 PM on August 27, 2010


But how many stereotypical 'stoners' do you meet who are black? And again studies show more white people smoke pot.

I didn't say that stereotypical stoners are black. I said that it's a stereotype that black people smoke pot. Are you paying attention at all?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:46 PM on August 27, 2010


I said that it's a stereotype that black people smoke pot. Are you paying attention at all?

I can say it's a stereotype that black people like to play the tambourine but it doesn't make it true.
posted by delmoi at 12:25 AM on August 28, 2010


and by itself that doesn't seem like a compelling reason to make something legal. [...] but there are still sparingly few compelling reasons to light up other than simply wanting to.

Did I wake up in Evil Mirror America? Do we all have Mirror Goatees?

I guess I'll just be explicit: In a just and free world everything would be legal unless there was a compelling reason for it to be illegal. You are arguing for the reverse, that things should be illegal unless there is a compelling reason to make them legal. I think that is a worldview antithetical to liberty.
posted by Justinian at 2:42 AM on August 28, 2010 [14 favorites]


The only good reason I can come up with for not legalising cannabis is that I'm one of those benighted people who is not affected by it, and as such I don't see why other people should have all the fun. And that isn't a good reason at all so, yeah, legalise it. Don't criticise it.
posted by Decani at 4:26 AM on August 28, 2010


War kills lots of people, destroys the lives of those it involves and their families, is a gateway for all sorts of antisocial behavior, makes folks do insanely nasty things, wastes too many resources, causes endless and untold pain, and fucks up everything it touches. Let's make war illegal, and leave the nice, pretty plants alone.

Imagine...
posted by dbiedny at 6:43 AM on August 28, 2010


You're saying that Facebook owes it to pro-legalization advocates to allow them to advertise on its website, and in fact is being "unfair and hostile" by refusing. (Would you feel the same if Facebook were refusing to publish pro-life ads? anti-gay marriage ads?) You're not alone in holding that opinion, but it's a contentious one.

I'm not saying they should be required to do anything, I'm saying refusing to publish a paid advertisement for something shows hostility towards it. Sometimes that is warranted, wouldn't want them running ads for the KKK.

I just find it laughable you feel the need to white knight for someone being asked for evidence for anti-pot views when such an opinion will find more acceptance anywhere on the planet than the opposing view. It's kind of like the Christians who whine about it here. Okay, whatever, people were mean to you but you are 90% of the US population and this is our one sanctuary, fuck off.

-

There is a significant but distinct black stoner stereotype. Think more Snoop Dog than Cheech and Chong. Since jazz pot has been associated with African American music, which is a big part of the identity of the culture.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:23 AM on August 28, 2010


I'm saying refusing to publish a paid advertisement for something shows hostility towards it.

But it doesn't, necessarily. Refusing to publish a paid advertisement might show disagreement with its message. Disagreement is not hostility. (I'm sure you disagree with that...hostilely.) Refusing to publish a paid advertisement might also reflect a business decision that has nothing whatsoever to do with Facebook's own dis/agreement with the message and everything to do with society's general dis/agreement with the message. Neither of these things are "hostility." There are other possibilities, too.

Okay, whatever, people were mean to you but you are 90% of the US population and this is our one sanctuary, fuck off.

You know, that's actually true. It shouldn't be. This is ostensibly a website where people can have civil discussions about all kinds of threads. It's not supposed to be a corner of the Internet where hyper-liberals can be dicks to everybody who doesn't subscribe to 100% of their views. (I find it equally "laughable" that you think MetaFilter is the only such corner, by the way.) But it kind of is that, because of people like you.
posted by cribcage at 8:35 AM on August 28, 2010


MetaFilter: a corner of the Internet where hyper-liberals can be dicks to everybody who doesn't subscribe to 100% of their views.

(sorry)

I'm not really convinced that the decriminalizing or legalization of marijuana is a particularly "hyper-liberal" cause. If anything, it's textbook libertarianism. OMG we're all Randian Pault--ds!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:52 AM on August 28, 2010


There is an incredibly effective drug control policy for marijuana. You see, marijuana is just a plant that doesn't require any significant processing. So you simply make importation very illegal and sale mildly illegal, but legalize growing for personal use.

Most, by far most, pot smokers would attempt compliance with a "grow it yourself" law. If you've got all the users trying to comply, then you win. Smokers will regulate their own consumption down to moderate levels. Dealers will mostly just sell to friends. And nobody will earn enough off it to warrant even advertising, much less killing people.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:52 AM on August 28, 2010


Most, by far most, pot smokers would attempt compliance with a "grow it yourself" law.

Probably, for a while. But pot plants reek. They really don't make the greatest house plants, or even back yard plants. I think the more likely scenario is Free Ditch Weed Growing Everywhere!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:57 AM on August 28, 2010


But it doesn't, necessarily. Refusing to publish a paid advertisement might show disagreement with its message.

The semantics really don't matter. The point is being shouted down is better than not being allowed to voice your message in the first place.


It's not supposed to be a corner of the Internet where hyper-liberals can be dicks to everybody who doesn't subscribe to 100% of their views.


Again, asking people for evidence and numbers isn't being a dick. Look, here is what being a dick looks like, I can't run for political office because Christians don't vote for atheists.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:15 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just fyi, Spain has coop pot growing farms where every plant must is assigned to a particular member, which makes enforcing the limits on personal growing easy while giving the growers a little help from people with green thumbs. Germans cannot grow pot for personal use but they actually buy small plots of land along the railway for growing flowers and veggies. I'm sure Americans would find solutions if they were allowed to grow themselves.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:50 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I grew up in the DARE era. I've been anti-drug for as long as I can remember, with the given exceptions of caffeine and alcohol because, hey, I use those, and I'm not a bad person. I had a best friend spend two years of his life in a medium security prison because he was deeply involved in the meth scene, a spiral I tracked back to beginning with pot. I was super-anti-pot for a very long time. It was deeply entrenched in my view of the world that pot. was. a. bad. thing.

In college, I met some of the best people I've ever known. I love them all dearly. Some smoked every day, some only when we were partying, but 90% of my college friends had zero problem with pot. I later came to find out that many of my high school friend circle were also casual smokers.

One of those college buddies of mine is now very actively involved in Yes on 19 in San Diego County. He's explained to me what about pot it is that he likes, how it differs from beer, for him, and why this is such an important issue for him.

More importantly, my experiences bear out all his reasoning. When hanging out with my pot-smoking friends, I have never a) had to stop them from getting in a fight, b) had to rush to get them Gatorade while they puked their guts out, c) been thrown out of somewhere because they were so intoxicated they were a nuisance, or d) had to stop them from hitting on a girl who didn't want the attention, but they were too blitzed to notice.

I used to let one traumatic experience (my best friend's 2 year incarceration, not the same as a lost life, I know), coupled with a DARE-ified youth, color my view of the issue. Through exposure and calm, friendly discourse my mind and heart have been changed. I think this is going to be the best way forward, although I know we can't just magically get all the anti-legalization folks a crowd of pot-smoking friends. I don't really have a solution, but I suppose we can count me as a counter-anecdata point to andrea.
posted by mdaugherty82 at 11:56 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think this is going to be the best way forward, although I know we can't just magically get all the anti-legalization folks a crowd of pot-smoking friends.

You know, I think we can. Maybe not all the anti-legalization folks... but chances are that most people know at least one pot smoker, and just don't realize it. The more this issue becomes mainstream, the more people will be willing to come out of the cannabis closet and say: hey, you know me, and you know I'm not [a loser/lazy/stoned all the time/insert-stereotype-here], so maybe you should re-think your assumptions about what marijuana use is like.

We tend to get our sense of what's OK and what isn't from our peers; taboos tend to lose much of their power once one's family and friends are openly violating them.
posted by vorfeed at 12:51 PM on August 28, 2010


I do think getting all the anti-legalization people high would severely deplete their numbers.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:59 PM on August 28, 2010


cribcage wrote: "But it doesn't, necessarily. Refusing to publish a paid advertisement might show disagreement with its message. Disagreement is not hostility. (I'm sure you disagree with that...hostilely.) Refusing to publish a paid advertisement might also reflect a business decision that has nothing whatsoever to do with Facebook's own dis/agreement with the message and everything to do with society's general dis/agreement with the message. Neither of these things are "hostility.""

You're right. In a vacuum, refusing to run an ad is not hostile. On the other hand, what is hostile is what Facebook is apparently doing. That is, running ads for one side of the issue and refusing to run ads for the other side of the issue. That is outright hostile.

So yeah, if you only consider half the story, you're right. When the whole story is considered, your position looks a lot like nonsense.
posted by wierdo at 1:01 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Refusing to publish a paid advertisement might also reflect a business decision that has nothing whatsoever to do with Facebook's own dis/agreement with the message and everything to do with society's general dis/agreement with the message.

FaceBook is for parents, and they know it.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:05 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


what is hostile is what Facebook is apparently doing. That is, running ads for one side of the issue and refusing to run ads for the other side of the issue. That is outright hostile.

Let's assume that Facebook indeed endorses keeping marijuana illegal—that a couple of Facebook executives got together and said, "Not only would running 'Yes on 19' ads create inconvenient publicity for our company...but in fact, we don't support the legalization of marijuana and we're not going to help out that cause."

Describing even this (which I doubt was the case) as "outright hostile" is odd given that it's precisely the sort of disagreement our political system presumes. You think X, I think Y, so we debate—but at the end of the day, we go home to the same neighborhood and I lend you a cup of sugar if you need it, and we don't take personally the fact that each didn't 'help' the other in making his point.

What I think most people (maybe the "90%" someone upthread referred to) would describe as "outright hostile" political tactics are, for instance, publishing the home addresses of people who contributed to either "Yes on 19" or "No on 19." This has happened in recent political disagreements. The term "hostile" connotes some type of malice. When people disagree about political issues, I think the baseline assumption is that it's a political disagreement and not an expression of ill will wished upon the other party. Someone else upthread said something to the effect of, "Opponents want to put me in jail." Well...no, probably not. They want marijuana to be illegal. Their ideal, presumably, is that everybody would then obey that law and nobody would go to jail.
posted by cribcage at 7:19 PM on August 28, 2010


Hostile is not the same as vindictive. Either way, we're getting hung up on the semantics of one particular word. The point does not stand on the definition of that one word. Use 'unfair' if you prefer.

It's one thing to hold an opinion contrary to mine. It is another thing entirely to refuse to allow me to speak in opposition to that opinion in a venue normally open to all comers. I don't expect them to write "people disagree with us" in any article they publish on the subject, but I do expect them to be equally accepting of advertising for and against an issue such as this.

By no means should they be forced to carry political advertisements for compensation. If they choose to do so, they should not choose sides by deciding who may purchase such advertisements.
posted by wierdo at 7:37 PM on August 28, 2010


Describing even this (which I doubt was the case) as "outright hostile" is odd given that it's precisely the sort of disagreement our political system presumes. You think X, I think Y, so we debate—but at the end of the day, we go home to the same neighborhood and I lend you a cup of sugar if you need it, and we don't take personally the fact that each didn't 'help' the other in making his point.

Dude, Cribcage, for fuck's sake, you're the one who started calling the debate here hostile.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:14 PM on August 28, 2010


Maybe cribcage is stoned and forgot?
posted by jtron at 4:11 PM on August 29, 2010


even if the laws are tilted in favor of massive corporate controlled weed, people are still gonna be growing their own

Not if Monsanto has anything to say about it once they patent all the good strains.

One facet of decriminalization I haven't seen mentioned is penalties other than legal: possession under an ounce is an infraction in California with only a fine as a penalty, but it's still "illegal activity," which my employer can fire me for.
posted by morganw at 6:47 PM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]




For those of you who want to wear the t-shirt, here you go.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:20 PM on August 30, 2010


One facet of decriminalization I haven't seen mentioned is penalties other than legal: possession under an ounce is an infraction in California with only a fine as a penalty, but it's still "illegal activity," which my employer can fire me for.

From Section 11304: Effect of Act and Definitions:

(c) No person shall be punished, fined, discriminated against, or be denied any right or privilege for lawfully engaging in any conduct permitted by this Act or authorized pursuant to Section 11301 of this Act. Provided however, that the existing right of an employer to address consumption that actually impairs job performance by an employee shall not be affected.

That sounds to me like employers have to prove impairment, i.e. a positive drug-test alone may not be cause for termination.

A friend of mine is a criminal defense lawyer who works in the industry. He thinks the law's failure to specifically include something about testing pilots, drivers, etc. is what's going to kill it (along with all the people making big bucks on the status quo who are pushing FUD.)

Myth #6: The initiative will free up cops to focus on bigger crimes.
Fact: Decriminalization has already achieved this.


LOL.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:25 PM on August 31, 2010


Diane Feinstein be chairing the No On 19 campaign. I voted for her once. Never again.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:09 AM on September 2, 2010


Diane Feinstein be chairing the No On 19 campaign.

mrgrimm be going OUCH. this does NOT bode well.

it supports my suspicions that Prop 19 will be decided by the same people who decided Prop 8 - soccer moms from SoCal. Not good, considering the bill was particularly designed and tested to appeal to parents (thus all of the restrictions about minors and children).
posted by mrgrimm at 10:29 AM on September 2, 2010


I just don't get it - soccer moms from SoCal went to college! They smoked weed once or twice! How do they reconcile that with voting to continue prohibition?
posted by muddgirl at 10:58 AM on September 2, 2010


IT'S 50 TIMES MORE POTENT NOW-A-DAYS, IT'S NOT LIKE THE POT YOU SMOKED IN COLLEGE!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:43 AM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, it's the usual thing. People with kids don't want their kids doing stuff, even stuff they did. Drug use is culturally associated with promiscuous sex, too, which is something people don't want their kids (daughters) doing.
posted by grobstein at 11:45 AM on September 2, 2010


Gah I know!

When I was in college a few years ago, my roommate's mom (a Central California soccer mom) was always trying to score weed from random kids when she came to visit. (She left me alone because she thought I was square). And even she's voting no.

I wonder if it's sort of a race/class thing, where for white middle class families weed just doesn't seem "really" illegal. There's no point in decriminalizing it because there are "no real penalties" for getting caught with it, if you look right and act right.
posted by muddgirl at 12:19 PM on September 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


When I was in college a few years ago, my roommate's mom (a Central California soccer mom) was always trying to score weed from random kids when she came to visit. (She left me alone because she thought I was square). And even she's voting no.

Okay, this is just bizarre to me. I want to retract my knowing tone so I can be absolutely gob-stopped. !!!
posted by grobstein at 12:43 PM on September 2, 2010


Like I said, I think it's this whole, "Oh, it's not a problem we need to fix," completely ignoring the fact that this is a perfect example of class privilege.
posted by muddgirl at 12:58 PM on September 2, 2010


That neatly explains how a recreational user could not care about legalization, but I'm still bowled over that they could be against it. Yuggoth!
posted by grobstein at 1:40 PM on September 2, 2010


It's like speeding while driving - surely I can do it safely, but I would vote against getting rid of all speed limits because I don't trust all the "crazy" drivers on the road.

Of course, the penalties for "crazy" speeders are much higher than for "recreational" speeders, but I can't see how fuzzy that line is.
posted by muddgirl at 1:49 PM on September 2, 2010


>>Myth #6: The initiative will free up cops to focus on bigger crimes.
>>Fact: Decriminalization has already achieved this.

>LOL.

Why the laugh? A San Jose Policeman told me marijuana possession busts are low priority. This was at a neighborhood watch meeting in front of 20 or so people. They also don't enforce parking restrictions and only bust speeders off the freeway (CHP does freeways) when complaints mount up enough to do an "enforcement action." They aren't even that interested in property crimes: if your car stereo gets ripped off & you need a police report for insurance, they prefer you handle it all through mail, web and perhaps phone. With the budget in the shape its in, preventing bodily harm is the only thing that gets their attention (and then they respond *fast*).
posted by morganw at 8:51 PM on September 2, 2010


Why the laugh? A San Jose Policeman told me marijuana possession busts are low priority.

It really depends on who and where you are.

From the report I linked to above:
Four other heavily populated counties – Santa Clara, Sacramento, Contra Costa, and Fresno – each with a population from just under two million to just under one million, arrest African Americans at double to triple the rate of whites. In Santa Clara County, blacks are less than 3% of the population but 11% of the arrests. In Sacramento County, blacks are 10.4% of the population but 38% of the marijuana possession arrests.
posted by rtha at 9:28 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


It really depends on who and where you are.

Yeah, that, mostly, but also the illegality of marijuana (even if "decriminalized" - a term that I've never liked, because possession is still clearly a crime, even if a misdemeanor) gives the cops opportunity and motive to arrest various people for all sorts of various reasons.

Also, the local cops are the foot soldiers for the feds. If there's anything we can do to remove cops' rights to enforce marijuana laws, it seems like we'd be cutting out a HUGE chunk of the feds' enforcement resources.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:39 AM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]




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