Politics & Media

Obama's Answer on Marijuana Policy Was a Disgrace

The “I inhaled frequently” President sounded like a relic at Thursday’s town hall, and the country can’t afford this attitude anymore.

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Photo by Chuck Kennedy.

Had Barack Obama merely addressed the question of marijuana legalization with his trademark gravitas at the Open For Questions forum, the sane among us would likely have just grumbled and sighed, disappointed but not horrified. But Obama’s answer to the question was mired in the same outdated War on Drugs mentality that frames this issue as a Footloose-style quarrel between stoners and respectable citizens:

There was one question that voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy [audible snickering] and job creation. And, uh, [Obama snickers] I don't know what this says about the online audience, [audience and Obama laugh] but ... this was a fairly popular question. We want to make sure it's answered. The answer is no, I don't think that's a good strategy [laughing and clapping] to grow our economy.
Politically, this is a staggering miscalculation by the typically savvy Obama; why on earth would you laugh at “the online audience” during the first online town hall meeting in presidential history? Have you forgotten who helped get you elected in the first place? And isn’t this the candidate who finally moved us beyond the ridiculous Clinton-era tap dance around this issue, stating in the debates, “I inhaled frequently… that was the point”?

As policy, however, this answer is outrageous. The justifications for legalizing pot are many and varied, from the unbelievable stress that the drug war places on our criminal justice and law enforcement systems to the fact that such policy has done nothing to curb marijuana use over the last decade; more people are going to jail for nonviolent crimes, while production of opium and cannabis have both doubled and the society-wide rate of use has remained at 1998 levels. But more importantly, the economic crisis and the recent escalation of gang violence in Mexico have punctured whatever puritanical groupthink bubble remains in place to prevent this legislation from changing. We literally can’t afford to waste money and resources fighting this worthless battle anymore.

Obama’s tone-deaf response came within 24 hours of Hillary Clinton’s statement from Mexico that “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade.” Thousands of people have died in Mexico City as President Felipe Calderon tries to quell gang violence there; meanwhile, the U.S. has spent about $40 million annually over the last 10 years in its completely unsuccessful attempt to quash American usage. One would think—apparently even a Clinton would think—that the proper response would be to stop fighting a financially wasteful war against a phantom problem and instead find ways to separate American drug usage from the gang culture that currently and necessarily controls supply. This is no different from the agreed-upon need to free ourselves from reliance on foreign energy sources, and, as shown in Mexico, the security issues are equivalent—Obama will soon spend $725 million to bolster border security in response to the violence.

Even more egregiously, Obama laughingly dismissed what would be an instant revenue booster, at a time when the president should be willing to entertain any possible help in that area. A bill proposed by California state representative Tom Ammiano would legalize the sale and cultivation of marijuana for residents 21 and over, reaping an estimated $13 billion in the process. Not every state has the marijuana industry that California does, but imagine if even a fraction of such growth were to reach the other 49.

Obviously, Obama should feel free to defend a continued anti-drug policy if he sees fit. But laughing at the issue and rejecting legalization as he would a child’s request for more ice cream isn’t just bad politicking, it’s an indefensibly glib treatment of an issue that is literally a life-and-death matter. The cry for legalization has extended well beyond the pot-smoking community, and is no longer just a matter of users wishing to be left alone. (It would be a legitimate debate even if that were still the case, of course, but a little agreement from the square community only helps the cause.) For a great number of establishment writers and thinkers, this is no longer an outré issue of Prohibition-era “morality” versus societal degradation. Unless you’re Obama, apparently, who will likely turn out to be “on the wrong side of history” as the consequences of current American drug policy grow more costly and dangerous.

DISCUSSION
  • Go to comment.
    Mar 27, 2009, 08:09AM
    You say that Obama is "out of touch." However, the most recent Gallup poll that I could find that addressed the issue, from 2005, shows that Americans are squarely against the idea of legalizing weed: http://www.gallup.com/poll/19561/Who-Supports-Marijuana-Legalization.aspx He may be out of touch with a lot of the folks who voted for him, but thinking about the political question seriously, can you blame him for not throwing his hat into the ring on this issue? Shouldn't he fix the banks before he legalizes pot? The marijuana problem isn't going to be fixed by presidential fiat. It's going to happen gradually, hopefully beginning with Clinton's remarks about it.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 08:14AM
    That wasn't the point of the article. It's not that Obama is against legalizing marijuana, it's the way that he addressed the question during the Town Hall forum. To laugh it off as though it's a ridiculous question to ask mocks a VERY serious issue -- both because of the current economic crisis and the drug violence in Mexico. Maybe you should look at these photos and re-think: http://boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/mexicos_drug_war.html
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    Mar 27, 2009, 08:27AM
    The country, and world, is very different from 2005. I think if you found a Gallup poll today, framed "Would you favor marijuana legalization" if it helped bring instant revenue to all 50 states" the results would be much different. You're right that legalization is a thorny issue for many people, but an acknowledgement by Obama that the idea isn't crazy, and bears discussion, would make the process, which is inevitable, go much faster.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 09:01AM
    I'd seen the photos. What are they supposed to prove? No one's arguing that it's not a serious issue. I don't think Obama would argue that it's not a serious issue. If you recall, Obama laughed about giving money to the auto industry when he was on 60 minutes on March 22,(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ecan94uhyx8), saying that you need "gallows humor" to get you through the day. Does anyone think that he doesn't take that issue seriously? No way. I don't know why Obama laughed about the marijuana issue. Maybe because when someone mentions weed he can't help thinking of "Half Baked." The man has enough on his shoulders where he should be allowed a free pass if his tone is politically incorrect, or is geared towards shoring up support from those people who don't understand why legalization is a good thing.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 09:02AM
    No doubt Americans' attitudes towards weed has changed since 2005. Does anyone know if a more recent poll?
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    Mar 27, 2009, 09:12AM
    I could accept that if he had just made a little wisecrack and then given a thoughtful answer about why it's not the right time to legalize marijuana, instead of just saying "no, we're not going to do that." Once again, I turn to Mike Gravel, and pine... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWA8upoFJ5A
  • Go to comment.
    Mar 27, 2009, 09:19AM
    Fair enough. You gotta love Gravel. My fav Gravel clip PLUS an inappropriate laugh, while we're on the topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3gQfz8GC0o
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    Mar 27, 2009, 09:35AM
    very well written article. i agree that in light of the problems in mexico, if just legalizing marijuana will ease their burden, then by all means we should do it. if weed were legal, the attitudes and practices surrounding it might change for the better, AND it would boost the economy. i would like to think obama doesn't kneel to the lazy opinions collected by the gallup polls anyway, but apparently now's not the time. frankly, i'm surprised he was so dismissing of the question.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 10:23AM
    I still really like Obama, but I agree that I was disappointed in his response to that question. I wouldn't have had a problem if he sort of gave an answer like "Well, it won't solve our economic problem alone" or something along those lines. He seems too logical to laugh off the question, and I feel like he was worried about saying something controversial, so instead he just laughed it off.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 11:40AM
    If you worked in the health care industry for one month, you would realize that your economic argument for the legalization of marijuana doesn't hold one milliliter of water. Tobacco and alcohol, the two legal drugs, probably account for about 60% or more of disease in our nation. More people are killed every year by drunk drivers than were killed in the 9/11 attacks. How much did that cost us? Millions. Then go visit a mental health care facility and see how many of those folks are in there because of meth, coke, booze, or any other drug you can come up with. It is legitimate to debate whether people have the right to use a drug if they want, but to try to advocate legalizing drugs as economically more sound policy is disingenuous.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 11:59AM
    Those are fine points, vicki, although I have yet to hear or read of anyone whose marijuana use has led to the kind of hospitalization-required illnesses you describe. Surely the reports that it's not addictive are a little suspect, but marijuana's effects on the human body simply aren't comparable to those of alcohol and cigarettes and thus wouldn't sap health care dollars in the same way. Indeed, it's already used for medicinal purposes in Calfornia. I also don't advocate the legalization of meth or coke, and find your 60% figure pretty dubious. Thanks for reading.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 12:10PM
    "Why on earth would you laugh at “the online audience?" Because the "online audience" was gamed, pushed by campaigns by folks like norml. Read Clay Shirky's recent comments on crowdsourced democracy...it's a joke. And to your comment about "life-and-death" matter: it's only become that because Americans continue to demand it. In response to this reality, you demand legalization. That's not policy-making, that's blackmail..."let there be blood" you seem to say. Tocqueville put it best: "'The will of the nation' is one of the phrases most generally abused by intriguers and despots of every age."
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    Mar 27, 2009, 12:25PM
    John, put away your pot and calm down. All the President said was that he didn't think legalization would help the economy. All that smoking is causing very "thin skin."
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    Mar 27, 2009, 12:29PM
    "And to your comment about "life-and-death" matter: it's only become that because Americans continue to demand it. That's not policy-making, that's blackmail...'let there be blood' you seem to say." You sound like a raging fucktard.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 12:29PM
    The life and death comment was made with regard to Mexico's current problems, and those speak for themselves. As for norml "gaming" the system, we're talking about a public Q&A, not a policy decision. They put a message on their homepage imploring people to ask this question of Obama, which is a totally legitimate (and unsurprising) use of the White House's idea. Your cry of "blackmail" is the real joke. You're correct that the wails of an angry mob are not the basis for legislation, but the "will of the nation" certainly is. And if you want to throw around some fun Tocqueville quotes, let's go: "As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?"
    Responses to this comment
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    Mar 27, 2009, 12:56PM
    Here is a recent story about polling on the pot legalization issue. http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/02/americans-growing-kinder-to-bud.html Nate Silver (a highly respected statistician) is predicting a 15 year or so period until a super-majority are in favor of legalizing.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 01:11PM
    I agree with author's main point. In fact regarding most issues that got him elected, O's core constituency will all be thrown under the bus before long. Or perhaps they will choose to get off the darn bus and walk home.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 01:23PM
    Even if you were right (you're not), Vicki, about the burden that legalized marijuana would put on our health care industry, you didn't stop to think for a minute about the burden that would be lifted OFF our law enforcement and prison industries -- and how releasing the many MANY Americans in jail on charges of possession and distribution of marijuana might help our economy?
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    Mar 27, 2009, 04:03PM
    In today's era of record deficits, ideas that cut spending and increase tax revenues should be given serious consideration. The last I heard, we have over 1 million non-violent drug criminals incarcerated. AT a cost of over $40,000 per year per person, that is over $40 billion per year. This does not cost the cost of law enforcement, military interdiction, and the prosecutors, public defenders, judges and other costs of the court system. All told we are spending over $100 billion a year on our drug war with little positive to show for it. The drug war of the last 40 years just hasn't worked. By the way, if anyone thinks we can reach a positive resolution in Afghanistan without finding a legal market for opium poppies must be sampling the goods.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 04:13PM
    I still support and respect President Obama, but I wholeheartedly agree with this article. It's just insane not to legalize it.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 07:19PM
    The problem with politicians is that the ONLY things they care about are getting re-elected and what might turn up in their next opponent's campaign commercials. I say, legalize it and if there turn out to be unintended consequences, make it illegal again. We did the opposite with alcohol and got NASCAR as a result. A win-win to be sure. With the hundreds of billions of dollars in legal judgments tobacco and pharmaceutical companies face though, I wonder if any of them would be willing to sell it. There would doubtless be some unfriendly juries looking to make a statement at the expense of any company that sells marijuana. Now, if you can convince trial lawyers that there are big judgments to be had and get them to dangle campaign contributions in front of their favorite party, you might have a chance. Sorry for being so cynical.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 08:53PM
    If you're old enough, you need to go rent "Idiocracy". Sit down, watch it, and weep at the world you're creating.
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    Mar 27, 2009, 09:02PM
    My point about gaming the system was that it took a mob with their micro-press (norml) to generate a discussion that nobody cares about. We've got the worst financial crisis in decades, and two wars going on, and my President is being castigated for discounting a question about pot legalization? Please. I stand by my "blackmail" point. Essentially you're saying that we should change our laws in response to the actions of criminal gangs in Mexico. OK, maybe not "blackmail"...terrorism is a better word. Finally, if you're going to use Toc don't take him out of context. We have always been a "commercial people", but our governments haven't been. You're proposing that the gov't needs to get into the dope business in light of the financial meltdown. First, the need for such a measure shows how outsized our gov't has become. Second, where does this "logic" end. OK, we legalize dope make billions of dollars and are again in debt in 5 years. Now what? Toc: "In the US, therefore, they did not claim that a man in a free country has the right to do everything; on the contrary, they imposed on him more varied social obligations than elsewhere."
    Responses to this comment
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    Mar 28, 2009, 02:48AM
    Secretary Clinton has honestly and forthrightly stated the previously unspoken and frightening truth: there is no solution to the problem of illegal drugs which focuses on those who supply the drugs. The problem is those who use the drugs, who create the demand. As long as there is demand, there will be supply. Wipe out all of today’s suppliers; a new group will be in place tomorrow. It is a fool’s errand which can never succeed. So what is the solution to our country on drug addicts? Arrest the addicts? Mandate that they undergo treatment? Legalize the drugs and dispense them through a medically controlled process? None of these approaches are attractive, except when you compare them to the nonsensical policies we are currently pretending will work. Prohibition of the sale of alcohol in the 1920’s was a failed policy that never worked. More successful, but hardly a role model, has been our campaign to reduce smoking, especially among young people. But the bald facts are that many people in our society, and in all societies since history has been recorded, are drug users. Most of these people are drug users because they want to be, not because they are trapped by suppliers. There is no solution to this problem, now expressed in a series of vicious murders that is damaging the Mexican tourist industry and threatening to spill over into our border cities in Texas and New Mexico, which fails to address the facts as they are, not as some moralists would like them to be. The U.S. clearly has, as Secretary Clinton said, a “shared responsibility” for the drug-fueled violence sweeping Mexico. Pious declarations and a war on drug suppliers are a ridiculous unproductive response, a pretense of action to make some people feel good while we stick our heads in the sand and ignore the real problem. Will we have the courage and the intelligence to actually develop policies that might work? Clinton has laid down the challenge. Let’s see who picks it up.
    Responses to this comment
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    Mar 28, 2009, 05:06AM
    My article expressed, nitschke, why this is not a fringe issue that only drug users care about. And if you're going to call the gang violence in Mexico "blackmail" or "terrorism," I don't even think we're capable of having a rational conversation. Indeed, I believe that the current crises require an outsize government, and that taking serious, potentially useful action regarding this problem is a good use of that government for fiscal and political reasons that I've already outlined. I don't consider this "getting in to the dope business" so much as cutting that business off at the pass, in much the manner that Lew Weinstein just described. And my point about the great Tocqueville was only that it's easy to cherrypick a money quote from one of the most aphoristic writers of all time. Whether or not our governments have always been commercial isn't germane (although it's debatable); what matters is that we need money desperately now and it's only an outdated "morality" that prevents us from legalizing a drug that's less dangerous than the ones currently on our markets and making tremendous money in the process. Thanks for reading.
    Responses to this comment
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    Mar 28, 2009, 07:09AM
    Hey, ask around a little, i'm sure someone you know can point you in the direction of your local library, where you can read all about Prohibition. You'll learn a lot, I swear.
    Responses to this comment
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    Mar 28, 2009, 07:13AM
    Also, uh... is this the movie you want me to watch? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0yQunhOaU0 The one from the creator of Beavis and Butthead... Yeah, that looks uh... good?
    Responses to this comment
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    Mar 28, 2009, 09:06AM
    Idiocracy was really a very entertaining movie.
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    Mar 28, 2009, 06:30PM
    Gee, thanks for the advice. Maybe you should take a look at what I found in the American Journal of Public Health: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1470475 As much as I object to it on personal grounds, Prohibition did succeed in certain policy goals: 1.) Per capita intake of alcohol was cut in half just following REPEAL of Prohibition vs pre-Prohibition. These levels did not return to pre-Prohibition levels until the 1960s - over 3 decades later. National behavior was modified. 2.) Deaths due to cirrhosis also dropped by double digit percentages. The pot-legalization/Prohibition equation is flawed for several reasons, but the largest is to make something legal that has been stigmatized and illegal for decades is a lot different than making something legal that had always been so except for a decade stretch. You obviously don't care about the increase in marijuana usage once it would be made legal. This is what happened in Alaska back in the 70s when pot was legalized and pot usage doubled.
    Responses to this comment
  • Go to comment.
    Mar 28, 2009, 06:49PM
    Not quite sure how else I can explain this. Americans take illegal drugs - made illegal within a democratic republic that has made the decision based on historical mores(tradition), scientific research, and logic that says that once legalized, use will increase and citizens will wonder when the next illegal thing will be made legal. Based on the market created by American users, a black market is created in which bad people kill other bad people, and, tragically, some good people who live near the bad people. Instead of going after these murderers, some people, like you, think we should change our long-standing laws because of the actions of these murderers. Now you know, as well as I, that even this is a red herring in the marijuana debate anyway because most of these drug gangs are involved in drugs a lot "worse" than pot - not to mention other "businesses." Again, your logic on the econ angle is faulty. Increasing revenues has never adequately addressed budget deficits...especially in the long term. Besides you have no idea how much costs will increase with increases in usage.
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    Mar 28, 2009, 07:01PM
    "Pious declarations and a war on drug suppliers are a ridiculous unproductive response"? First, Lew, do us the favor of separating the large % of the Mexican drug violence from the pot legalization debate. Most of this fighting is over more serious drug "franchises." Having said that, only Americans could abdicate responsibility for what's happening in places like Mexico, Colombia, Afghanistan, others. Drug users directly contribute to this violence and your answer is to call this a "pious" response? Spare me. If you're a drug user, you're part of the problem, not the solution. The "nonsensical policies we are currently pretending will work", have resulted, in part, in radical reductions in coke and heroin use over the past 20 year. Only 5% of inmates in Fed prisons are there for "possession", and most of them only plead down to this from more serious charges. Pot possession is next to legal. But the stigma of illegality still prevents many from taking it. And that, is a good thing.
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    Mar 28, 2009, 09:24PM
    My husband and I are seniors. My children are adults. This question about legalization of marijuana and the flippant way Obama fielded it are extremely upsetting. We STRONGLY support the legalization of marijuana for many reasons: a. because the phony war on drugs has not worked and is an abysmal failure b. because it would help the economy a great deal.. c. Because too many of our citizens are in prison for a victimless crime of drug use and we are contributing to a system that makes the penal system a BUSINESS !!! d. Because marijuana, unless other drugs does NOT lead to the use of other dangerous drugs and the propaganda about it has not been bought by thinking Americans; only the most closed-minded, reactionary fanatics buy into that e. Marijuana DOES have medically useful use, esp. for cancer patients dealing with chemotherapy but also for glaucoma and other illnesses. We supported Obama, I campaigned for him and when he glibly comments about who is on the net, he should wake up and learn that many, many Americans do not buy into this terrible abuse of our legal system monetarily and morally to punish people who at the worst hurt themselves, not others. And most use a drug much much less harmful than our acceptable, respectable, more popular and dangerous drug, alcohol. When will our government leaders "GET" this ???
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    Mar 28, 2009, 11:51PM
    Gee nitschke, the way I see it, prohibitionists are part of the problem not the solution. Slavery used to be legal in this country, it used to be illegal for women to vote or own property, it used to be illegal for different races to marry, separate but equal used to be legal, and it used to be legal to force blacks to sit in the back of the bus. Spare me your law is the law passed by representatives BS. There have been a variety of laws throughout our country's history that were unethical and immoral. No, I do not care if more people use drugs. The way I see it, by and large the most useless in society are the ones that really get screwed up on drugs. They were never going to be Einstein's developing a new physics theory or chemists developing a new material stronger than steel and lighter than eps foam, they would have worked service or other manual labor jobs, jobs that in 50-100 years will be fully automated anyway. Have you heard of codependency? Ask yourself why you care so much what other people do with their own lives. You are codependent, it is not healthy for you or the people you are trying to take care of. Worry about your own life.
    Responses to this comment
  • Go to comment.
    Mar 29, 2009, 05:35AM
    nitschke makes a couple very good points, particularly about the relationship between American marijuana use and the current Mexican violence. In fact, had Obama made a similarly cogent, thoughtful response in the town hall, I wouldn't have written my article. The point was not just to add to the pot debate, but to express disappointment in our president for not addressing the debate in the first place. As shown in this comment board, there are passionate and reasonable arguments for both sides. I will say, nitschke, that the key difference between you and the pro-pot arguers among us seems to be your opinion of the drug itself. Quite simply, I do not consider it to be as societally or personally harmful as the other drugs we currently outlaw, or really, even as harmful as the ones we currently allow. Given that, I have no problem with the government legalizing and taxing it as we do cigarettes, particularly at a time when the revenue, while not a cure-all for the economy, would certainly be useful. But if you invariably believe that marijuana is in fact the same as crack or heroin or whathaveyou, then your thoughts on the matter will naturally proceed from there.
  • Go to comment.
    Mar 29, 2009, 06:25AM
    I never touch the stuff and think that heavy use probably leads to "slackerdom," but so what? I just watched several news shows and there so many advertisements for prescription drugs whose possible side effects seem a lot worse than pot. And though I'm a whiskey man, I'll concede that excess drinking is far worse than pot smoking. Legalize it.
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    Mar 29, 2009, 08:32AM
    "You obviously don't care about the increase in marijuana usage once it would be made legal. This is what happened in Alaska back in the 70s when pot was legalized and pot usage doubled." Well, no... I don't.
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    Mar 29, 2009, 08:35AM
    "Only 5% of inmates in Fed prisons are there for "possession", and most of them only plead down to this from more serious charges." Hey, anyone can pull "numbers" out of "their" ass - why 45% "of" people know that. Also, stop putting "quotes" around random things. It's start"ing" to piss me off.
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    Mar 29, 2009, 03:24PM
    Well, I guess you're staying true to your name with this post, but journey with me will you to the land of rationalism. There is no such thing - in a democratic republic - as the kind of individual independence you suggest. Am I being co-dependent with the driver in the oncoming car that he's not high? Am I being co-dependent with my kid's teacher that he's not smoking dope during lunch? Am I being co-dependent with my Dr. that he's not smoking between appointments? No, friend, in a land with this much freedom, and this much interactivity, we're interdependent. I'm dependent on you doing the right thing, and you're dependent of me. Your analogies between dope legalization and various civil rights movements make your argument laughable, and, worse, arrogant. My original point to John, which you obviously wiffed on, was that our laws are created through a certain representative process, and they're changed by that same process through reasons that vary from changes in circumstances to enlightened moral understandings. In many ways, Prohibition was the final legislative result of a national grassroots movement that had begun 6-7 decades earlier. It was in response to what most historians agree was as much a public health crisis as a moral one. The arguments posed here for legalizing pot have been either econ or violence. Aren't we being co-dependent with Mexican drug cartels, if we're changing our laws due to their actions?
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    Mar 29, 2009, 07:02PM
    Thanks for the dig at the beginning of your post, I guess you need to resort to such methods and completely ignore the arguments I put forth when you know you have no rational retort to them. To imply that drunk driving or using substances while teaching or using substances while practicing medicine is at all related to the idea of treating marijuana like alcohol is shameful, the refuge of the desperate. I called you out on being codependent (from the way you use it I don't think you understand the concept; see this: http://www.allaboutcounseling.com/codependency.htm#howdo or this: http://www.drirene.com/codepend1.htm - part on controlling) because you care, not just about driving while stoned, but about personal use in the privacy of one's own home. You argue that lessened use is a good thing, apparently, in spite of all the negative consequences to so many of our brothers and sisters locked away in jail. People of color are disproportionately imprisoned because of drug offenses compared to whites even though whites make up more of the drug using population. People of color get arrested more and imprisoned more. I could understand if the disparity in arrest was due to people of color tending to be poorer and living in urban areas which are more easily policed but that does not explain why they get jail sentences at far higher rates than whites for drug crimes. Legalizing drugs very much is a civil rights issue, from the fact that people of color are more likely to be jailed to the fact that a person should be able to decided for themselves what they put in their own body. It is only laughable to you because you do not get it.
  • Go to comment.
    Mar 30, 2009, 04:46AM
    great piece. i agree with philmedley, that barry was worried about saying something controversial about the issue.
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    Mar 30, 2009, 03:21PM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMdFiw8bZHc&feature=related OOOhh
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    May 16, 2009, 11:33AM
    "No, were not going to do that". I hate to say it but we elected a wolf. The reality is Marijuana is still illegal for the same reason it was banned. It would shut down the petro-chem paper industry. It would destroy the textile markets for things like, oh I don't know, reusable bags and car seat covers. The reality is Obama plays ball with the same people who got Bush elected twice. Why else would Hilary step down? "Yes We Can". The only thing thats changed is more large corps have gotten saved while the forclosure rates have steadily increased. BTW those polls are useless. Only home bodies and the elderly get a chance to participate. The rest of us are working to hard to ever get the chance to express our opinion. Affirmitive Action in Office. Just another ball player. Another big oil fan. What else could you think of a man who says he is against torture but then makes it impossible for any person to be held accountable.
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    May 16, 2009, 02:00PM
    I am impressed. Splice Today has drawn Oliver Stone, aka aliengeek, to the website. Perfect conspiratorial paranoia.
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