DVD review: High: The True Tale of American Marijuana

posted at 10:55 am on March 3, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Should we legalize marijuana? Could there be a positive economic impact from doing so, as some in California’s legislature suggest? Has marijuana prohibition worked, and have the gains made validated the costs involved? These are some of the questions posed in the documentary High: The True Tale of American Marijuana, directed by John Holowach, who will join me on The Ed Morrissey Show today to discuss it.

The film includes this interview of Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron discussing the economic benefits of ending the overall drug war:

High does not disguise its pro-legalization agenda. Holowach makes an argument explicitly for legalization, and not just marijuana. While the film focuses on cannabis, it often drifts towards a complete end to all drug prohibitions. To some extent, that weakens the argument for marijuana, as part of the documentary argues that the weed provides no more harm than alcohol or tobacco — an argument that clearly won’t apply to cocaine, heroin, PCP, crystal meth, and most of the other prohibited substances.

It also occasionally argues dishonestly, as it does on comparative marijuana strength over the last 20 years. Anti-cannabis advocates say that dosage strength has doubled in that time, thanks to intensive breeding of the plant. High notes that THC levels increased on average from 2.8% to 4.7% from 1985 to 2001 (the last year for that data), but then says that it’s only increased “two percent”. It’s not quite doubled, but comparatively, the strength has increased 68%. It’s a transparently deliberate misreading of the opponent’s argument.

With all of that said, Holowach’s film proves enlightening, both anecdotally and statistically — or should I say, the lack of statistics. The government blocks research into medical uses of marijuana, which means we can’t tell what that 68% increase in THC means, if it means anything at all. Do people use less to get the same high? Do people use the same and get more high? Can smoke-based THC be used more effectively than its synthetic liquid form to provide pain and nausea relief, as many of the users of both claim? We won’t know until studies are done, but at least in the US, that won’t happen while we continue to treat marijuana the same as cocaine and heroin — and we use heroin’s cousins, morphine and other opiates, as actual therapeutic treatments.

High is most effective when it focuses on the costs of fighting cannabis, which grows naturally in the US, both in terms of economics and in more personal terms of lost jobs, prosecutions, and civil liberties. Conservatives may find those arguments more compelling than others made in this film, but Holowach gives viewers the entire spectrum of arguments from which to choose. For someone who has never smoked marijuana in his life — I really am that square — High provides a broader perspective on the issue of marijuana prohibition. Even if you oppose it, the film is worth watching, as it is entertaining, informative, and provocative.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

EyeSurgeon on March 3, 2009 at 6:59 PM

Smoking pot harms people–innocent people.

Bulls***! Smoking pot and getting behind the wheel harms innocent people. Smoking pot, behind the walls of my castle, harms nobody but me. Punish activity that which harms others, hands off that which harms only the actor.

And what mind-altering substance do you suppose he blamed for not realizing how fast he was driving?

Uh-huh. So now, we’re taking the word of the criminal for why the crime was committed.

So, if he had blamed UFO mind control rays for him not knowing how fast he was going, I suppose you’d be arguing for a $50 billion/year government program to try to stop UFO mind control rays.

JohnGalt23 on March 3, 2009 at 7:10 PM

anyone can play the victim card:

guy drinks a ton of coffee working a late night. hes hopped up on caffeine (a drug). hes jittery and shaking on the drive home, so much so that he loses control of the steering wheel and crashes into a van, killing a family of five. There, now i made a perfect argument for why caffeine should be banned.

lolwut on March 3, 2009 at 7:11 PM

This is something I’ve been thinking about.

Who is government to say what an adult person can put into their bodies? If they’re worried about the externalities, put a high tax on it (no pun intended).

I’m a libertarian-leaning conservative, I guess.

iamse7en on March 3, 2009 at 7:21 PM

I’ve avoided nothing, I’m just trying to understand what precisely you are grasping at. If you want a complete run down of how pot can be legalized (the “specifics” you falsely claim I don’t provide), you can read AB 390. It provides ALL of the specifics.

You’ve read it.
Can you direct me to what page addresses the means of determining and methods of testing % of active ingredient?

How is tamper proof packaging done?
What are the production limits and what specifics are outline pertaining to licensing?

How are product safety and liability issues addressed?

How is accurate taxation applied?

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Can you direct me to what page addresses the means of determining and methods of testing % of active ingredient?

How is tamper proof packaging done?
What are the production limits and what specifics are outline pertaining to licensing?

How are product safety and liability issues addressed?

How is accurate taxation applied?

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 7:33 PM

I’ll happily answer your questions, but first answer me this: Do you finally agree legalization is a good idea, but now we just need to work out the details? That’s what it kind of sounds like from your questions. You’ve seemed to have stopped arguing about whether or not legalization should be done in the first place and now seem just interested in the minutia.

justfinethanks on March 3, 2009 at 7:39 PM

iamse7en on March 3, 2009 at 7:21 PM

Who is the government to say you need a license to drive?
Who is the government to say the food you buy needs to be safe?..I mean whats it to them if you sell a little tainted food? Buyer beware. Its none of their business.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 7:39 PM

Do you finally agree legalization is a good idea, but now we just need to work out the details? That’s what it kind of sounds like from your questions. You’ve seemed to have stopped arguing about whether or not legalization should be done in the first place and now seem just interested in the minutia.

justfinethanks on March 3, 2009 at 7:39 PM

No. I think its a lousy idea.
What about the details.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Legalize it. It’s far less dangerous than alcohol or cigs.

therightwinger on March 3, 2009 at 7:46 PM

if he had blamed UFO mind control rays for him not knowing how fast he was going

Do you have evidence that UFO mind control rays exist and cause mental alteration? No?

On the other hand, is there evidence that marijuana exists and causes mental alteration and unsafe driving? That would be a yes.

Why would I believe “the criminal” (your words)? Because what he said was to blame is backed up by scientific evidence that it does, indeed, impair driving and thinking.

I await your evidence on mind control rays to support your argument.

EyeSurgeon on March 3, 2009 at 7:47 PM

No. I think its a lousy idea.
What about the details.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Ever hear of “poisoning the well?” Because you seem to have mastered the art.

JohnGalt23 on March 3, 2009 at 7:49 PM

No. I think its a lousy idea.
What about the details.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Well, if you think it’s a lousy idea in the first place, its obviously a tad disingenuous to be asking about “production limits” and “accurate taxation,” since you don’t even yet agree it should be done at all. Lets face it: you have no good reasons to maintain prohibition so now you think that you can keep your terrible arguments on life support by delving into little petty details. If you are actually interested in how legalization would work, you can read the bill yourself. I’m not going to retrieve the bits you request on demand if you don’t even agree with the whole point of the bill. Besides, I’m starting to get the distinct impression that no amount of logic, reason, and historical precedent will ever sway you from your intellectually bankrupt position. You can’t reason someone out of a position they weren’t reasoned into.

I’m sorry to hear you are so terribly far gone that you don’t understand why pot prohibition, despite how uncomfortable you are with weed, is a terrible burden on this country. I’m afraid I won’t be responding any more because I have some work to do. But please, do yourself a favor and at least consider the possibility that the reason that Nobel Prize Winning economists want to end prohibition is because it is a terrible idea that has never worked once.

justfinethanks on March 3, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Do you have evidence that UFO mind control rays exist and cause mental alteration?

Sure. That’s why I got my last speeding ticket. You seem to be in the habit of taking the lawbreaker’s word for why they broke the law, so it must be true.

Because what he said was to blame is backed up by scientific evidence that it does, indeed, impair driving and thinking.

The Dept of Transportation takes a somewhat contrary view.

Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance

Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate where they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.

And further:

Of the many psychotropic drugs, licit and illicit, that are available and used by people who subsequently drive, marijuana may well be among the least harmful. Campaigns to discourage the use of marijuana by drivers are certainly warranted. But concentrating a campaign on marijuana alone may not be in proportion to the safety problem it causes.

So, using your logic, not just alcohol, but most of the commonly available drugs should be made illegal, certainly before marijuana, eh?

JohnGalt23 on March 3, 2009 at 8:03 PM

Late entrant to the thread, but I do agree with folks who say MJ should be legalized and taxed like alcohol or tobacco. Here are my counters to people who oppose it:

(1) till date there have been no study to prove that MJ is substantially more damaging to human health in both short and long terms than alcohol. In fact, most studies (like the USDOT article JohnGalt123 pointed out) show the effect to be very similar.

(2) legalizing it will potentially remove the huge criminal nexus that have been built to supply this habit. People in this thread have proved with actual figures that there is a HUGE market for this product, and as conservatives know, when there is a demand, there must always be a supply. Also, the taxes from MJ will help boost the fed and the states (a tax that I will support much more happily than, say, the capital gains tax).

(3) it will free a huge burden on our penal system (and therefore state budgets)

I am yet to see a core conservative argument against legalizing MJ, and I believe anyone who believes in the free market will have to support this idea, just to be logically consistent.

peter_griffin on March 3, 2009 at 8:13 PM

consider the possibility that the reason that Nobel Prize Winning economists want to end prohibition is because it is a terrible idea that has never worked once.

From your previous posting:

prohibition can actually be effective in reducing the murder rate

Hmmm…so prohibition only reduces the crimes you want it to, but not the ones you want legalized?

EyeSurgeon on March 3, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Well, if you think it’s a lousy idea in the first place, its obviously a tad disingenuous to be asking about “production limits” and “accurate taxation,” since you don’t even yet agree it should be done at all.

Why is that? Your claim make no logical sense. It could be claimed that the opposite is just as accurate. That because you have a predisposition to think legalization is a good idea because the arguments against should not even be considered. It is a lame..imo..deflective tactic.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 8:17 PM

f. I’m not going to retrieve the bits you request on demand if you don’t even agree with the whole point of the bill.

How disingenuous of you.
You stated that you would gladly answer my questions…..didn’t you?

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 8:20 PM

I’ll happily answer your questions,

justfinethanks on March 3, 2009 at 7:39 PM

My mistake…it wasn’t gladly….it was happily.

I’ll happily listen to your answers.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Because it would be awfully Goddamn arrogant to make nature illegal.

justfinethanks on March 3, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Absolutely.

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 8:24 PM

I am yet to see a core conservative argument against legalizing MJ, and I believe anyone who believes in the free market will have to support this idea, just to be logically consistent.

peter_griffin on March 3, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Heres one.
How do you regulate it?
Be specific. Criminals and organized crime members are quite clever.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Legalizing Marijuana is asking for Trouble

The Chinese saying goes: “A fat man is not made in a mouthful.” This means things start small and take a while to build up. Marijuana is a case in point. It seems harmless but it leads to bigger things, which is why they call it a gateway drug. If only they knew that the gateway admits oncoming traffic. Something that was excluded from the psyche, by way of security, comes through; something that increases by stealth.

Now I’ll go out on a limb and say something almost no one else will: What used to be referred to as demonic possession or being haunted by ghosts is now lumped under the broad category known as mental illness. All the miracles in the bible where Lord Jesus casts out devils are cases of psychic intrusion by disembodied entities known as bhutas who are described in the ancient Puranas. Here are some references…

http://web.me.com/sattva.yoga/Sattva_Yoga/Blog/Entries/2009/3/3_Say_NO_to_Drugs.html

My ex-husband was a paranoid schizophrenic due to being an ex-junkie, my youngest son was jailed for heroin use, and I have taken drugs when I was young. I know first hand that the Puranas are right.
Say.NO.to.drugs. Doing the right thing is ALWAYS troublesome.

rishika on March 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM

My ex-husband was a paranoid schizophrenic due to being an ex-junkie, my youngest son was jailed for heroin use, and I have taken drugs when I was young. I know first hand that the Puranas are right.
Say.NO.to.drugs. Doing the right thing is ALWAYS troublesome.

rishika on March 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Given that many tens of millions of Americans have at least tried MJ, wouldn’t one expect the disembodied entities be a more frequent problem?

dedalus on March 3, 2009 at 8:32 PM

My ex-husband was a paranoid schizophrenic due to being an ex-junkie, my youngest son was jailed for heroin use, and I have taken drugs when I was young. I know first hand that the Puranas are right.
Say.NO.to.drugs. Doing the right thing is ALWAYS troublesome.

rishika on March 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Sorry to hear that. Hopefully all are better.

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Oh, I guess one more.

How disingenuous of you.
You stated that you would gladly answer my questions…..didn’t you?

That was when I thought you were asking questions about details because you were starting to come around. When you said no, you still thought it was a bad idea, it became fast apparent that you had simply abandoned broad arguments about legalization because you were out of them, and were merely retreating into tiny details regarding regulation in an attempt to derail the discussion. I’m not playing that game. I would have HAPPILY answered your questions about little details of regulation if you were actually interested in regulation at all. But since you haven’t even grasped why prohibition is evil, its a bit of a futile exercise.

How do you regulate it?
Be specific. Criminals and organized crime members are quite clever.

For the last time, I hope. Here is how how your regulate it. Click on link, read the bill, get your answers on regulation. If you don’t feel like reading the bill, quit acting like you are interested in knowing. And never ask about how you can regulate it, because all your answers are here.

Here Here Here Here Here Here.

justfinethanks on March 3, 2009 at 8:37 PM

Is your only argument playing the victim card?

justfinethanks on March 3, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Ought to be sufficient, methinks. I hold two of them — one from the pot smoker who rear-ended my wife on the Santa Monica Freeway 10 years ago, and the other from my son’s pot smoking behavior.

Again, ought to be sufficient.

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Criminals and organized crime members are quite clever.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Legal MJ could be sold at a premium price to street weed, given the convenience, quality control, and safety that a legal sale would provide. If the price were set at about the current street price, the black market wouldn’t have a competitive offering.

dedalus on March 3, 2009 at 8:39 PM

If you smoke pot, I hope you die a painful death. I hate weed to the bottom of my soul.

OmegaPaladin on March 3, 2009 at 8:41 PM

If you smoke pot, I hope you die a painful death. I hate weed to the bottom of my soul.

OmegaPaladin on March 3, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Few deaths are painless. Hospitals have gotten very good at pain management, and have done so by using drugs much more powerful than weed.

dedalus on March 3, 2009 at 8:44 PM

Legal MJ could be sold at a premium price to street weed, given the convenience, quality control, and safety that a legal sale would provide. If the price were set at about the current street price, the black market wouldn’t have a competitive offering.

dedalus on March 3, 2009 at 8:39 PM

What quality control?.. What “safety”?

If the price for “legal limit” potency pot was at current prices..how much more would be paid for 12%?

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 8:45 PM

rishika on March 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM

I am sorry to hear about that, and feel for your situation. I had an uncle who was an alcoholic, which finally claimed his life, so I saw what families go through under such situations.

However, there have been studies to show how high alcohol abuse can also lead to schizophrenia, by lowering the levels of neurotransmitters (which help to move the neural signals from one neuron to the other). Again, I repeat, there are no studies to prove that MJ is worse than alcohol.

Also, just because the effects of MJ can be bad, has not prevent millions from trying the drug (illegally). Almost every high school kid has tried it at some point of time, which makes the current prohibition look rather stupid and pointless. Not only that, because the kids obtained the MJ through illegal unregulated channels, they often inhale malicious chemicals, which hurt them much more in the long term.

peter_griffin on March 3, 2009 at 8:49 PM

If the price for “legal limit” potency pot was at current prices..how much more would be paid for 12%?

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 8:45 PM

I know little about the attributes of MJ as a product. There are others, and some friends of mine, who are very specific about what qualifies as “awesome” weed.

I also know next to nothing about coffee beans, but see an efficient market operate where coffee drinkers pay a premium price to have their preferred flavors of coffee.

Some market research would be able determine the types of weed that were the most popular. I’m not sure but I don’t think it would be primarily about potency any more than consumers currently search for the liquor with the highest proof.

dedalus on March 3, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 8:45 PM

You do realize that legalizing it will lead to methods of lowering manufacturing cost, which will increase profit margins for the sellers. Whenever you let a consumable into the free market, its production cost ends up getting lowered.

As to safety and control, again with anything in the free market, you will have a set of regulations to make the product safe (just like you have laws to ensure that all alcohol manufacturers meet certain standards to prevent alcohol poisoning etc). As has been mentioned, these details can be worked out once the decision to legalize it has been made. Unless you have evidence to prove that controlling pot will be much more difficult, I don’t see where you are getting at here.

peter_griffin on March 3, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Prohibition doesn’t work, you can’t legislate morality.
Substance abuse/use has been a part of the human condition from almost day one.
THC levels increasing has not, will not, cannot, result in overdoses, it’s simply impossible to smoke natural pot and acheive an overdose. this is why smoking is perferred (actually atomization, which is more particulate free)
synthetics (marinal) and derivitives do have that potential though.

dragonlord on March 3, 2009 at 9:04 PM

Prohibition doesn’t work, you can’t legislate morality.
dragonlord on March 3, 2009 at 9:04 PM

Absolutely. What stuns me is to see conservatives making those pro-large-government arguments, I thought only liberals did that.

peter_griffin on March 3, 2009 at 9:06 PM

@ dedalus on March 3, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Currently, there is anywhere from a 50% to 100% premium on high quality marijuana, depending on region and amount. It is purely a supply and demand issue. In regions where there are no certain strains, if that strain shows up, it brings a high price with it. If it was legalized, most strains would be able to be produced so cheaply, by growing outdoors, which yields gigantic amounts per plant, that if the current price points were maintained, the producer would be able to make massive profits even with overbearing taxes upon the substance.

thphilli on March 3, 2009 at 9:13 PM

That was when I thought you were asking questions about details because you were starting to come around. When you said no, you still thought it was a bad idea, it became fast apparent that you had simply abandoned broad arguments about legalization because you were out of them, and were merely retreating into tiny details regarding regulation in an attempt to derail the discussion.

Thats predictably delusional and deflective imo.

What tiny details are you imagining?

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 9:15 PM

@ tommylotto on March 3, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Yea, smoking marijuana to help study for an exam is not smart. Its like taking sleeping pills before doing your homework. The illegal drug you needed to take was cocaine, from what i’ve read, I have never touched that stuff.

thphilli on March 3, 2009 at 9:16 PM

conservatives making those pro-large-government arguments, I thought only liberals did that.

peter_griffin on March 3, 2009 at 9:06 PM

The pro large government arguments are on the side of legalization….unless you’re implying pot be legal in the same way that a hamburger is legal…zero restriction or regulations on the production and distribution.

Honestly..trying to have a rational discourse on what is involved with “legalization” with the pro advocates, is like trying to explain the validity of evolution to true believer creationists, i.e, reality, context and facts don’t matter..and just like the true believers, they are blind to their cluelessness. Its amazing to me.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Absolutely. What stuns me is to see conservatives making those pro-large-government arguments, I thought only liberals did that.

peter_griffin on March 3, 2009 at 9:06 PM

Your point is somewhat more libertarian, which I like when the objective can be achieved pragmatically.

More of a conservative argument might be that we’ve gone through about 70 years of marijuana being illegal. In the 1970′s it was identified as part of the “war on drugs” along with many harder drugs. However, a couple of generations of Americans, through personal experience, have come to view the effects of marijuana as closer to alcohol than to hard drugs.

A Burkean notion of conservative thinking would argue that change is needed but it should be slow and organic rather than imposed by analysts in the government. Most parent I know expect that their college age kids will dabble in marijuana, but they are hardcore opposed to harder drugs.

dedalus on March 3, 2009 at 9:25 PM

thphilli on March 3, 2009 at 9:13 PM

There you go. I knew others were much more knowledgeable than me in this area.

dedalus on March 3, 2009 at 9:28 PM

@ Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 9:23 PM

How is going from the current state, where it completely regulated and banned, to a state where it is regulated and legal, less government intrusion on the lives of the average person? Its large government to free up police to stop arresting over half a million people a year? Its large government to free up hundreds of thousands from prison because of simple possession? Its large government to tax something that already requires a tax stamp to possess, but which currently is illegal with or without said tax stamp? I don’t think its me who is sounding like the crazy creationist right now.

thphilli on March 3, 2009 at 9:33 PM

thphilli on March 3, 2009 at 9:33 PM

Thanks thphilli.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Also, FYI: I actually believe in evolution, which I am sure took your breath away. See, here’s the deal : if you can give me the facts I will agree with you. Just basing your argument on emotion and a vague sense of fear is not good enough in any debate.

peter_griffin on March 3, 2009 at 9:36 PM

If you smoke pot, I hope you die a painful death. I hate weed to the bottom of my soul.

OmegaPaladin on March 3, 2009 at 8:41 PM

wow.

lolwut on March 3, 2009 at 9:57 PM

@ lolwut on March 3, 2009 at 9:57 PM

Haha, i was gonna respond to the same comment, but i figured he was just joking.

thphilli on March 3, 2009 at 9:59 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHvGXVshDOA

Just don’t freebase twinkies!

lolwut on March 3, 2009 at 10:04 PM

Let’s not. Next.

LibTired on March 3, 2009 at 11:29 PM

Dude, is this the Holder thread?

Where’d I put my keys?

Is this the Holder thread?

Is that a slice of pizza or a folded towel?

Is this the Holder thread?

profitsbeard on March 3, 2009 at 11:37 PM

The Chinese saying goes: “A fat man is not made in a mouthful.” This means things start small and take a while to build up. Marijuana is a case in point. It seems harmless but it leads to bigger things, which is why they call it a gateway drug. If only they knew that the gateway admits oncoming traffic. Something that was excluded from the psyche, by way of security, comes through; something that increases by stealth.
rishika on March 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM

A doctor did a survey and discovered that well over 90% of alcoholics drank gin&tonic, vodka&tonic, or whiskey&tonic. So he did a study to determine what about quinine causes alcoholism.
.
Correlation is not proof. People stupid enough to use heroine or other hard drug are more likely to use MJ as well.

darktood on March 3, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Heres one.
How do you regulate it?
Be specific. Criminals and organized crime members are quite clever.

Itchee Dryback on March 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM

On the surface, this question opens up a can of worms on the regulation of guns. Assuming that MJ was legalized, one would think that there would be a larger black market for illegal gun purchases versus illegal MJ purchases. I’m sure there’s a group of Hippies somewhere that is just waiting to sell loads of cheap MJ to “spread the love.” It just doesn’t seem as though the typical stoner would prefer to buy pot from say the mob versus some crazy old lady growing in her back yard.

Upstater85 on March 4, 2009 at 12:53 AM

Prohibitionists are control-freak power-trippers, there is no getting around it. They don’t get their power to restrict others from their Creator, they find it within themselves. They support Government treating its citizenry as children who shouldn’t be allowed to decide for themselves what they can and cannot ingest into their own bodies. Instead, they believe it’s ok to pick and choose for you, as though their judgment is somehow better than those who disgaree with them. “Pursuit of Happiness? What’s that?” they ask…

“Alcohol – sure, I’ll let you use that even though it is dangerous substance. But marijuana? Heaven’s no! That’s too dangerous by my standards, and those matter more than yours! And don’t you dare lecture me about inconsistency or civil rights – I hope you die or go to jail instead!”

Bizarro No. 1 on March 4, 2009 at 3:39 AM

For someone who has never smoked marijuana in his life — I really am that square…

I know my opinion doesn’t mean squat to you, Ed, but I want you to know you haven’t missed a thing. I have smoked it many times in the past and regard the experience as meaningless and entirely forgettable. Not smoking it shows a level of maturity I wished I’d had back then. If you ever decide to try it (hope you won’t) you will probably experience cottom mouth and a case of the munchies. If that doesn’t excite you, bag the whole idea and just throw back a shot of Jack. Legal and, in moderation, a much more satisfying experience.

SKYFOX on March 4, 2009 at 5:37 AM

Prohibition doesn’t work, you can’t legislate morality.
dragonlord on March 3, 2009 at 9:04 PM

The latter half of this statement is not really true. The only thing legislated is morality–we legislate what we believe ought to be (by we, I mean, our society).

I have never smoked marijuana, or used any illegal substance, but I’m basically a libertarian and I do not believe it is the government’s role to protect me from myself and my stupid choices.

DrMagnolias on March 4, 2009 at 5:50 AM

On the surface, this question opens up a can of worms on the regulation of guns.

Upstater85 on March 4, 2009 at 12:53 AM

No..not really. Guns are another topic.

Itchee Dryback on March 4, 2009 at 7:16 AM

Ever hear of “poisoning the well?” Because you seem to have mastered the art.

JohnGalt23 on March 3, 2009 at 7:49 PM

How so?

Itchee Dryback on March 4, 2009 at 7:46 AM

I know little about the attributes of MJ as a product. There are others, and some friends of mine, who are very specific about what qualifies as “awesome” weed.

I also know next to nothing about coffee beans, but see an efficient market operate where coffee drinkers pay a premium price to have their preferred flavors of coffee.

Some market research would be able determine the types of weed that were the most popular. I’m not sure but I don’t think it would be primarily about potency any more than consumers currently search for the liquor with the highest proof.

dedalus on March 3, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Sorry but the arguments seem to be getting weaker and weaker, and the deflection seems to be having a larger role in the discussion.

We’re not discussing coffee beans..or guns.

Itchee Dryback on March 4, 2009 at 7:49 AM

How is going from the current state, where it completely regulated and banned, to a state where it is regulated and legal, less government intrusion on the lives of the average person? Its large government to free up police to stop arresting over half a million people a year? Its large government to free up hundreds of thousands from prison because of simple possession? Its large government to tax something that already requires a tax stamp to possess, but which currently is illegal with or without said tax stamp? I don’t think its me who is sounding like the crazy creationist right now.

thphilli on March 3, 2009 at 9:33 PM

You’re just making that up. You’re jumping from start to completion and ignoring the complications and unintended consequences for sake of convenience imo.

How would legalization work?
Walk me through the details.

Itchee Dryback on March 4, 2009 at 7:54 AM

Sorry but the arguments seem to be getting weaker and weaker, and the deflection seems to be having a larger role in the discussion.

We’re not discussing coffee beans..or guns.

Itchee Dryback on March 4, 2009 at 7:49 AM

There are fundamentals to consumer behavior that operate across industries–coffee as a product would share many similarities with MJ.

You are focused on implementation when we haven’t worked through the principle objections that people have. What is your objection on principle? Is your objection limited to products currently considered “controlled substances” or does the objection have ramifications for any product a business wants to introduce?

dedalus on March 4, 2009 at 9:26 AM

How would legalization work?
Walk me through the details.

Itchee Dryback on March 4, 2009 at 7:54 AM

we start by releasing all non-violent marijana offenders currently in jail. That saves money. We instruct the police officers not to arrest people if they find a roach in an ash tray at a routine traffic stop (thereby saving police time and court time so we can take care of violent crimes with actual victims.

Then we go to the tobacco companies and tell them to transfer some of their fields and machines into weed producing stuff. That kills two birds with one stone (pun intended). . . You save (or create) jobs in the former tobacco companies and you use the apparatus available for tobacco to generate tax revenue for weed.

The already have a tax stamp for weed. There is already a tax system in place for weed. We just need the government to be less oppressive for it to work. . . sort of like offshore drilling. It’d be great, but DC daddy won’t let us play.

ThackerAgency on March 4, 2009 at 9:35 AM

of course, I haven’t put much thought into this ;)

ThackerAgency on March 4, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Nope that is the ld of MJ not THC, and that was 1% MJ which is less than ditch weed

LincolntheHun on March 3, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Okay fair enough. Lets do some math. 1% @ 1500lbs in 15 mins for lethality. The mark of spectacular connoisseur bud begins at about the 15% THC mark.. Let’s be generous and assume that one has some bud w/ 20% THC.

75.5lbs in 15 mins. These are still some powerful stats. Even if the stats indicated that one would have to smoke 1/8 lbs in 15mins it would be asking too much of the most “seasoned” smoker. Either way you dice it…..

whiskeytango on March 4, 2009 at 10:21 AM

whiskeytango on March 4, 2009 at 10:21 AM

I agree however my point was that when people compare alcohol to THC (not even bothering will all the other active substances in MJ) they do not compare MJ to alcohol in comparable strengths and thusly state “MJ is safe”. An experiment with one person taking 100% alcohol and another taking 100% THC both by injestion would be a comparable example. When the cited studies were done it was with very week weed to skew the results.

LincolntheHun on March 4, 2009 at 10:31 AM

An experiment with one person taking 100% alcohol and another taking 100% THC both by injestion would be a comparable example. When the cited studies were done it was with very week weed to skew the results.

LincolntheHun on March 4, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Once again, you are (deliberately?) misstating the study.

The mention of 1% weed was simply used for comparison purposes. The authors also mentioned 5% hashish, which you conveniently ignore.

The fact is that pure THC was used in the study, which the authors then translated to 1% weed and 5% hashish, standard commodities at the time. For you to try to confuse the facts borders on deliberate dishonesty.

JohnGalt23 on March 4, 2009 at 11:11 AM

How would legalization work?
Walk me through the details.

Itchee Dryback on March 4, 2009 at 7:54 AM

Did you miss the link to AB 390 the last several times I linked to it? Those are the details. Stop asking “What the details.” You’re obviously deflecting yourself, or just aren’t actually interested in knowing the answers. You’ve been answered several times, so there is no need for you to ask several times. And don’t pretend to fret about the “unintended consequences” of regulation until you recognize the terrible, costly, and regularly deadly consquences of our unarguably failed drug war.

justfinethanks on March 4, 2009 at 11:17 AM

On the surface, this question opens up a can of worms on the regulation of guns.

Upstater85 on March 4, 2009 at 12:53 AM

No..not really. Guns are another topic.

Itchee Dryback on March 4, 2009 at 7:16 AM

Guns Arms are a different story, they are specifically allowed by the constitution.

darktood on March 4, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Arms are a different story, they are specifically allowed by the constitution.

darktood on March 4, 2009 at 11:37 AM

True. However, under the Tenth Amendment, unless a power (such as the power to prohibit drugs) is specifically delineated in the Constitution, that power is understood to properly belong to the States, or the people themselves.

Now, just where in the Constitution is the power to prohibit drugs delineated?

JohnGalt23 on March 4, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Arms are a different story, they are specifically allowed by the constitution.

darktood on March 4, 2009 at 11:37 AM

the Bill of Rights “enumerates” your rights. it does not establish, or grant them. these enumerated rights are inalienable, meaning that they are pre-existent and you can not give them back, even if you wanted to. you can, however, choose not to exercise them.

note: go read the ninth amendment. instead of burning up a deck of parchment, the founding fathers put in the catch all for those not explicitly enumerated.

things that are established or granted are called privileges.

AZ_Redneck on March 4, 2009 at 9:20 PM

I don’t know anyone whose tried marijuana that didn’t try alcohol first. MJ being the gateway drug is a lie. Alcohol is the gateway drug and look how the criminalization of that turned out.

Keeping MJ illegal props up drug gangs and cartels, wastes billions of dollars and an untold number of lives. Legalization is the only way.

kagai on March 4, 2009 at 10:49 PM

AZ_Redneck on March 4, 2009 at 9:20 PM

“specifically enumerates” if you prefer. But the point was the importance that being specifically mentioned gives to the right of the People to keep and bear arms

darktood on March 5, 2009 at 4:27 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4