Has pot gone mainstream?

posted at 10:55 am on April 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Maybe, but not because it got a snarky mention on an animated TV series.  This CBS report on 4/20 Day leads with Family Guy‘s plot line as a major broadcast media statement and a cultural shift:

On yesterday’s episode of Fox’s animated sitcom “Family Guy,” one of the main characters – a dog named Brian – is arrested for possession of marijuana. He subsequently goes on a mission to legalize the drug, at one point earnestly arguing that it is only outlawed because William Randolph Hearst wanted to keep hemp production from hurting his paper interests in the 1930s.

Yes, the argument was articulated by an animated dog. And yes, the response from one of the other characters was, well, a fart. But still: Last night, a serious argument for marijuana legalization was articulated on a major American cable network during prime time.

It’s safe to say we’ve come a long way from “Reefer Madness,” the church-financed 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film (also known as “Tell Your Children”) that suggested marijuana leads to murder and depravity. …

But there does seem to be a clear movement toward greater acceptance of marijuana use; positive representations of pot smokers are increasingly popping up on television (The Sarah Silverman Program, Real Time With Bill Maher) and in movies (Pineapple Express, The “Harold And Kumar” series.)

Tommy Christopher sardonically follows up with a quote from Scooby-Doo: “Zoinks!”

Brian Montopoli then cites Pineapple Express and Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle as evidence that a recent groundswell of support for marijuana legalization has begun.  It’s cute in the same way that every generation of teenagers think they’ve discovered sex.  Marijuana references in movies have been almost unendingly positive for decades now, and usually shown being smoked not by babbling potheads but mainstream, sympathetic characters.  Animal House did it over 30 years ago (1978) with a college professor and three of the protagonists from the film, for one example, and it wasn’t particularly controversial at the time of its release. Blazing Saddles had its two main characters, Sheriff Bart and The Kid, toking up in 1974 as a demonstration of how cool they were.  Both movies have been on network TV for decades.

That’s always been the contradiction with marijuana prohibition, as opposed to prohibitions on other substances.  Most people don’t consider it that big of a threat, not at all in the same class as heroin or cocaine.  It’s not even as deadly as alcohol; people die every year from alcohol overdoses, something that just doesn’t happen with marijuana.  While it retains enough stigma to keep a significant number of people against outright legalization, most people understand it to be relatively as harmful as alcohol and treat it accordingly, in pop culture and in their lives.

Also, I’m not sure that The Sarah Silverman Show is intended to show any of the characters as a positive role model.  And Montopoli realizes that Real Time is a political talk show and not a sitcom with fictional characters, doesn’t he?

I think that the push for legalization may be coming, but I don’t think we had a seminal moment in politics when Family Guy squeezed in a positive reference to marijuana between fart jokes.  If and when the American public changes their minds on marijuana, it will be because the prohibition costs far more than it’s worth, both in terms of cash and in civil liberties, and not because Harold and Kumar went to White Castle, or the Family Guy dog went to jail.

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

I’m not too keen on legalizing pot, but I do admit that I kind of like the idea of taxing the bejezus out of all those potheads and stoners.

Hee hee

I know, not very libertarian of me, is it?

Bob's Kid on April 21, 2009 at 12:01 PM

One of the many issues that cannot be discussed reasonably.

Asher on April 21, 2009 at 12:02 PM

logis on April 21, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Though you missed my point, we agree.

maverick muse on April 21, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Using a mind-altering chemical to get your “recreation” is pathetic and stupid, and legal or not, that will always be true.

calabrese on April 21, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Exactly.
As a mycological hobbyist, there are lots of hallucinogenic mushrooms I come across.
It is illegal to have most of them in your possession.
Just like the Cane Toad & others like it.
Legalizing something bcs people will do it anyway & at least they’ll be safe blah blah blah is a weak argument.
So sniffing paint, licking, toads, choking each other to get high etc… is society’s problem to deal with.
It’s the behavior.
How to make a behavior illegal?
How bout going back to real moral values?
Bah. Guess that’s too archaic.

Badger40 on April 21, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Alcohol may very well be a more destructive force than marijuana

calabrese on April 21, 2009 at 12:00 PM

I don’t even buy that line anyway.

If we’re talking about abuse, then use, it’s better to abuse pot than to abuse alcohol. Pot can’t kill you; alcohol can.

But if we’re talking about normal use, alcohol actually has health benefits. There’s nothing at all wrong with a drink a day. In fact, in many places where water purification is an issue, it’s far healthier to drink alcohol than to risk whatever is in the water.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 12:07 PM

I will be for pot legalization as soon as I am no longer paying for unemployment, welfare, food stamps, medicare, medicaid, and social security for pot smokers.

joe_doufu on April 21, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Hey, once socialized medicine kicks in, pot will likely be legalized. Furthermore, anyone seeking medical attention will be tested, the government will have all of our DNA on file, and we will all be paying for it. WHAT the government does with all of our personal information is a matter of abuse.

maverick muse on April 21, 2009 at 12:09 PM

More than 30 years ago, my mother developed lung cancer. She was sick 3 weeks out of every 4 in a month from the chemo. She was NEVER hungry and was wasting away. Her doctor told her to have her teenagers score her some pot and she would feel much better and have an appetite. She wouldn’t because it was illegal. That was 30 YEARS AGO. Several years ago, my next door neighbor developed lung cancer. She tried all the “pills” which are supposedly the same as pot but none of them made her hungry and she wasted away.

It is unthinkable that a doctor can prescribe morphine but not marijuana.

ukgoods on April 21, 2009 at 12:10 PM

licking toads,

I guess I implied that licking was not associated with the toads!

Badger40 on April 21, 2009 at 12:10 PM

It is unthinkable that a doctor can prescribe morphine but not marijuana.

ukgoods on April 21, 2009 at 12:10 PM

I agree. My Uncle has a benign brain tumor (for the past 16+years) & it is slowly killing him. He’s had many strokes & operation, chemo, etc.
Now there is nothing to be done.
Smoking pot helps him with the pain.
Unfortunately, he’s always been a pot-smokimg hippy, but now it really does help him.

Badger40 on April 21, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Ok, I’ll jump in here on this…

Yes, I think that pot should be decriminalized. The cost of keeping it illegal is just too horrendous.

On the other hand we have lots ways to institute what I call societal controls. Stoned on the job? Grounds for termination with cause… meaning no unemployment check. Stoned while driving? There goes your drivers license for a year or so.

Besides, our government is desperately looking for revenue sources that only hit the “sinners.”

Yes there is a downside of decriminalizing pot, but as a drug it really isn’t worse than alcohol or tobacco. Let people make choices. If they make bad choices let them suffer the consequences of losing jobs, driving privileges, and the respect of the society they aspire to.

Just my $.02

DaveK on April 21, 2009 at 12:12 PM

On the other hand we have lots ways to institute what I call societal controls. Stoned on the job? Grounds for termination with cause… meaning no unemployment check. Stoned while driving? There goes your drivers license for a year or so.

Those are already in place and effective.

jonknee on April 21, 2009 at 12:14 PM

More than 30 years ago, my mother developed lung cancer. She was sick 3 weeks out of every 4 in a month from the chemo. She was NEVER hungry and was wasting away. Her doctor told her to have her teenagers score her some pot and she would feel much better and have an appetite. She wouldn’t because it was illegal. That was 30 YEARS AGO. Several years ago, my next door neighbor developed lung cancer. She tried all the “pills” which are supposedly the same as pot but none of them made her hungry and she wasted away.

It is unthinkable that a doctor can prescribe morphine but not marijuana.

ukgoods on April 21, 2009 at 12:10 PM

My husband had a similar experience about 25 years ago. He had lymphocytic lymphoma and received chemo for 3 weeks with one week off. He was given compazine and prednizone to combat the nausea and lack of appetite. He was even prescribed the THC pills. Nothing helped but smoking pot.
He is still with me, has had no recurrence of the disease and we have children even after 18 months of chemo.

Medical pot is not a myth. It does help.

Jvette on April 21, 2009 at 12:15 PM

It is unthinkable that a doctor can prescribe morphine but not marijuana.

ukgoods on April 21, 2009 at 12:10 PM

They’re not equivalent. A doctor can prescribe pot in pill form, but he can’t prescribe opium.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 12:16 PM

The only advantage I see to decriminalizing pot is that it will free up law enforcement, legal and prison resources to go after harder drugs and dealers. Legalizing pot will not end the War on Drugs, nor will it end drug cartels or drug violence. Think of it more as adopting MacArthur’s island hopping strategy. Let’s bypass Weed Island and send the Marines to storm the cocaine beaches.

BohicaTwentyTwo on April 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM

I guess the Family guy manatees picked out the marijuana ball.

forest on April 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Dave’s not here man!

It’s funny how most on the left hold firm opposition toward states rights … that is until the want to overturn a law which they deem to be unfair. Perhaps I can convince the Georgia general assembly to opt out of social security and federal taxes.
For the record, I’m all for legalizing drugs. Democrats will lose votes by mass lethargy. Face it, the majority of conservatives aren’t stupid enough to be lured into stupid habits.

kregg on April 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM

I’m all for it. I don’t want it taxed either. I want it subsidized.

All those liberal, angry protestors for whatever cause might finally just go away.

Chubbs65 on April 21, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Face it, the majority of conservatives aren’t stupid enough to be lured into stupid habits.

kregg on April 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Vitter, Craig, Limbaugh…

It happens. We’re no more immune than anyone else from doing something stupid.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Nothing new here. Same arguments. Same statistics. Same moral equivalences.
Still vote no.

SKYFOX on April 21, 2009 at 12:28 PM

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on April 21, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Funny that a commenter with that handle would favor taxing the crap our of something.

It’s even funnier that if they were to legalize it and impart such a heavy tax that this same poster feels the government wouldn’t then still be concerned about what he does on his porch…

catmman on April 21, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Legalising marijuana is all about social standing within what is “acceptable” in our society. It’s not about being illegal, it’s about being able to come out of the closet and not have to hide your vices. Unless you are trafficking, most penalties are just a slap on the wrist.

The trouble is once it is legalised, you will only promoted to the level of the tobacco smoker and other similar social lepers.

And alcohol? Tobacco smokers are way down the rung from alcohol drinkers.

Marijuana vs. alcohol may have some valid scientific “effect” comparisons, but they will never be on the same level of general social acceptability.

TexAz on April 21, 2009 at 12:38 PM

If and when the American public changes their minds on marijuana, it will be because the prohibition costs far more than it’s worth, both in terms of cash and in civil liberties,***.
I think that’s right.

The cold, hard reality is that our “war on drugs” does not appear to have meaningfully restricted the access of the average citizen to illegal drugs. What it has done is enriched mafias, drug cartels, despotic third world regimes, and gangs.

The only effective drug control regimes I’m aware of are those in China, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. Those countries execute all drug dealers and confine all drug users to extended rehab/reeducation to break them of addiction. But that’s a very messy business, one I don’t think this country has the stomach for, given how squeamish so many people are about using the death penalty for murderers.

So at some point you really do have to ask, is it worth it?

Outlander on April 21, 2009 at 12:39 PM

For the record, I’m all for legalizing drugs. Democrats will lose votes by mass lethargy. Face it, the majority of conservatives aren’t stupid enough to be lured into stupid habits.

kregg on April 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Conservatives perhaps, but not Republicans so it won’t help you much in elections. Marijuana use is actually higher in Republicans. It’s not a big lead though, so for all effective purposes there is no correlation between party affiliation and likeliness to smoke cannabis. It is interesting though, because pot use skews young and so do democrats.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/6394/Who-Smoked-Pot-May-Surprised.aspx

Pure speculation on my part, but I bet that the GOP leads in cocaine (non crack) usage as well. Meth too (it’s an increasing problem in red states). LSD is probably a win for the Dems.

In the end it doesn’t matter, people will do what they want. It’s stupid to try and police what adults choose to ingest. Especially when it’s a naturally growing plant.

jonknee on April 21, 2009 at 12:41 PM

And how do you think any of this will prevent it from being commercialized?

What would stop someone from opening up a “coffee” shop or a whole chain? A new line of cookies or brownies, or even tea?

In fact, not taxing it heavily will only help.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 11:59 AM

It wouldn’t be prevented from commercialization. My point was to allow the free market to decide, not the government. This is a conservative position. My first comment was not expressed well; I should have said “decriminalize it, but don’t allow the government to pick it up for a pet fundraising project.

carbon_footprint on April 21, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Pot can’t kill you; alcohol can.

More importantly, pot can’t take collateral deaths but alcohol can and does every single hour of every single day in the USA.

carbon_footprint on April 21, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Legalising marijuana is all about social standing within what is “acceptable” in our society. It’s not about being illegal, it’s about being able to come out of the closet and not have to hide your vices. Unless you are trafficking, most penalties are just a slap on the wrist.

TexAz on April 21, 2009 at 12:38 PM

It’s not about social standing. We spend billions of dollars a year policing a plant. It’s beyond stupid. As for slap on the wrist? Hardly. Less than an ounce is a felony in my state and can get you five years. That’s a huge cost to the economy (lose my productivity plus pay $30k a year to incarcerate me) x hundreds of thousands of people.

jonknee on April 21, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Medical pot is not a myth. It does help.
Jvette on April 21, 2009 at 12:15 PM

First, let me say I am happy for you that your husband survived and that your family is doing well. I am reliably told that marijuana is very effective at easing suffering among chemo patients and, I believe, end-stage AIDS patients. As a matter of compassion, those patients should have access to marijuana in whatever form (smoked or ingested) works best for them.

But aren’t you angered by the fact that in places like California, the majority of “medical marijuana” users are not cancer or AIDS patients but rather are people who pretty brazenly make up fake claims of headaches, then go to “medical marijuana clubs” that look like hippie communes to smoke joints and eat “munchies?” I mean, it seems to me that all the fraud and abuse of medical marijuana really endangers its availability to those who actually need it.

Outlander on April 21, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Marijuana is an intoxicant. We already have one legal intoxicant and look at the damage to society that one substance causes. Double your legal intoxicants, quadruple your social problems.

lonesomecharlie on April 21, 2009 at 12:47 PM

This is where the hypocritical ideological disconnect for Conservatives happens.

1. Is it not the citizen-sovereigns prerogative to possess mood altering substances, and not the Governments? When did the citizen give the Fed’s the power to regulate this?
2. Is not the 17 year old black kid peddling his wares, (whores, crack and weed) the ultimate free enterprising American?
3. Why would anyone say “Tax the bejeezus out of it”? Aren’t Conservatives against social engineering? Why tax it at all?

epluribusunum on April 21, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Ignorant question: Weed is more/less dangerous than tobacco?

YYZ on April 21, 2009 at 11:12 AM

That’s a little like asking “Which weighs more… a ton of feathers, or a ton of lead?”

It is generally conceded that smoking an unfiltered joint generates about 5-10x the amount of tar that smoking a cigarette does. But whereas a heavy mj smoker might consume 3-6 grams of cannabis a day, a heavy tobacco smoker will consume 30-60 grams of tobacco a day.

Further, a mj smoker can cut the amount of tar he consumes by using a waterpipe (aka bong), or even eliminate it using a vaporizer (a device that heats cannabis resin to the vaporization point, but not to the ignition point). Such options are not available to a tobacco smoker.

Likewise, the addiction rate of cannabis is far lower than that of tobacco. According to data published in Denning’s book Practicing Harm Reduction p.22:, 32% of tobacco users develop a dependence on tobacco, compared to a 9% dependence rate for cannabis users.

All that being said, cannabis is a psychotropic drug, which can increase chances for psychoses, among other possible mental health problems, which tobacco does not apparently do.

All things being equal, I would think for most of the population, smoking tobacco poses far greater and far more serious health risks than cannabis. But for those predisposed to mental illness, the effects of cannabis can be more acute and more severe.

JohnGalt23 on April 21, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Why would a society that requires FDA approval of prescription and over-the-counter medications allow some dude named Angus to stand around on a street corner selling a substance that has no positive qualities whatsoever?

calabrese on April 21, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Outlander on April 21, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Well, to be perfectly honest. We were both pot smokers at the time and continued until we had children. I am not anti-pot as I see it as mostly harmless. I have known people who were daily pot smokers who held good jobs and some who were stupid and lazy. I tend to think that the people were what they were regardless of the pot smoking.

I honestly don’t know what results legalizing it might occur. As for the abuse by people who don’t really need it for medical reasons. It’s not surprising to me, I just hope that abuse does not lead to an end of legal medicinal use.

Jvette on April 21, 2009 at 12:53 PM

As long as you’re willing to keep financing and supporting the folks cutting off policemen’s heads in Tijuana, keep on tokin’.

edgehead on April 21, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Newsflash!!! It is the price supports in the form of prohibition that you are arguing in favor of the result in cops getting their heads chopped off.

That is, of course, unless you believe that Altria, RJR, and Smith Kline are going to engage in murder to increase their market share under legalization. That is, of course, ridiculous. But those who believe that we can prohibit marijuana will believe pretty much anything, won’t you.

JohnGalt23 on April 21, 2009 at 12:55 PM

maverick muse on April 21, 2009 at 11:48 AM READ THIS POST AGAIN

Of all the comments I’ve read here so far, maverick muse hits on the points that all of us should consider.

As a resident of Humboldt County, Calif. for more than thirty years, I have seen, (and experienced), all sides of the arguments for legalization and de-criminalization. I could write pages of how this “industry” has evolved over the years filled with everything from legitimate glorifications of the product to the lunacy and laziness of its consumers. There IS a society of third generation growers that provide a “hidden economy” in this area that without this income distribution there would be ghost-towns where there used to be a fishing and logging industry that thrived thru the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s.

Humboldt and Mendocino County are now the largest producers of agricultural cash crops in the entire state with this product and California to this point has no hand in the till. There is a bill in the state legislature at this moment to legalize the product for the sole purpose of taxing its production and sales to the tune of billions.

I believe this is the stupidity of our liberal state government that looks no further than the almighty dollar, without considering the far-reaching implications of stupid society only getting more stoned and feeding on their laziness. How many of you would consider having a doctor that smoked some “good shit” last night remove an organ, or preform a serious operation? How about the mechanic that took six hours to repair your brakes, (in the car your children ride in), when the job should have taken two at the most? I think you all get my point.

While Mr. Morrissey’s post considers what is “mainstream” by a template of programming, please try to understand how serious the ramifications are for the future of the next generation that will have to deal with a stoned society. It might not be as pretty and harmless as you think.

Rovin on April 21, 2009 at 12:58 PM

jonknee on April 21, 2009 at 12:45 PM

From a pure cost perspective, it sounds like a no-brainer. So why do so many people in the states feel that it is worth the cost? Some people are ignorant of the amount, but most people are not. Must be other factors they are considering.

TexAz on April 21, 2009 at 12:58 PM

What I’ve never been able to figure out….

It took a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw Alcohol… but just a law to do it to Pot?

Never have been able to figure out how that makes any sense.

Romeo13 on April 21, 2009 at 11:19 AM

That’s because Prohibition Mark I was implemented before Roosevelt strongarmed the SCOTUS into giving the “interstate commerce” clause a much more expansive reading than it deserved. After our government took “regulating interstate commerce” to mean “we can do just about any damn thing we want”, the need for Constitutional amendments fell by the wayside.

JohnGalt23 on April 21, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Yes, the argument was articulated by an animated dog. And yes, the response from one of the other characters was, well, a fart.

Yeah, and that’s why Peter Griffin makes more sense than most of the politicians in Washington.

radjah shelduck on April 21, 2009 at 1:00 PM

LEGALIZE IT! That way, liberals will be too stoned to vote and we’ll get our country back.

Kevin M on April 21, 2009 at 1:01 PM

relatively as harmful as alcohol

Not even close. About the same difference as coffee vs meth, in terms of danger.

This argument would be simple except for the bias that exists in peoples’ minds ironically due to the illegal status and past propaganda that everyone clearly admits was a lie. It’s that terrible argument ender “yea I know, but still…..” If I ever say that just shoot me.

bagoh20 on April 21, 2009 at 1:02 PM

So, serious question to you legalizers:

Do I get to discriminate against pot-smokers, if it’s legalized? I have huge liability, imho, as a structural engineer. If we’re going to legalize this crap, I’m going to want to drug test and fire every employee who uses it, both on the basis of liability and productivity.

We’ve all been around functional potheads, same as functional alcholics. I wouldn’t let either one of them design buildings.

TexasDan on April 21, 2009 at 1:14 PM

MEGHAN MCCAIN IS A INTELLIGENT POWERHOUSE!!!!

Ghoul aid on April 21, 2009 at 1:24 PM

is it an issue that is possibly backwards….????

alcohol is distilled, meaning man-made, and has been part of culture as far back as the egyptians. of course, the beer then was something different, but as soon as wheat, barley or hops were left out in the rain, etc… man discovered this interesting side effect. the process was then refined over thousands of years. point is, fermentation may be a natural process, but creating alcoholic beverages takes human know-how.

also, alcohol has effects on people that produces fairly predictable results. aside from loss of speech and coordination, it also seems to have the effect of removing inhibitions from the consumer… often leading to emotionally charged choices that the consumer often regrets the next day: sleeping with somebody you wish you hadn’t, getting into a bar fight, domestic disturbances, not to mention the worst of them – drunk driving… it’s safe to say that an otherwise decent, law-abiding person can be transformed into, well, someone they are not…

alcohol has been, as i said, around forever- so ingrained in societies around the world that it’s basically a right of passage. it is even refined into versions that are considered “premium”, etc… so, there’s no getting rid of it, hence the government’s proper decision to repeal prohibition. as a result, we have to count on people being responsible and we all know that has had mixed results…

so, let me ask you, when was the last time you heard that someone wiped out a family of four because they were driving while they were high? maybe there is a case or 2 out there, but i haven’t heard of it. please correct me if i’m wrong…. but people do not smoke weed and get into a brawl… they’d rather kick back on the couch and eat a pizza. in my teenage years, the driver would move even slower, rather than double the speed limit…. and typically, it has the effect of making people laugh, never opening the emotional fountain leading to a fit of rage or whatever else.

the down sides are this – combined with alcohol, it just makes a person’s state well, perhaps not as negatively emotional, but certainly intensifies its effect to a degree. i’ve also had people try to tell me that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer and that pot is somehow “pure” because it grows in the ground. truth is, pot is loaded with tar that can be damaging to your lungs and cause emphysema and yes, cancer. is it worse than smoking cigarettes? i don’t know… what else? paranoia? some may agree, but that wears off. it won’t turn you into a plotter of foul deeds, necessarily.

the one thing it does that i think is probably the worst outcome: it makes a person lack motivation. in fact, it seems to push people to laugh at someone who is trying to be responsible and get their act together… and it is tied-in with peer-pressure, etc… but so are many other things.

overall, it’s basically a natural substance (surely there is some refinement), it has to be grown, not distilled or chemically produced. it doesn’t promote criminal behavior… hence the name of ben harper’s band “the innocent criminals” – they’ve not broken any law accept possession… it is, however, fairly new and not part of human culture for thousands of years. it does have it’s disadvantages, but it is no where near as destructive as alcohol. in other words, i’ve always thought they had it backwards in terms of legality…

one last thing, pot has also been embraced by the hippie, flower-child culture that is more prone to being less productive and less responsible… (what might have happened if pot was around for thousands of years instead?) therefore those who are adult and responsible – and especially those who work to uphold the law, consider pot to be dangerous simply because of, perhaps, cultural reasons. we don’t want to live in a culture of under-achieving, well-fair dependent, high as a kite, lazy-asses… so the debate goes on.

these days, i just don’t think i could live without a beer or a good glass of scotch from time to time, and the occasional drunken good times that happen with friends… i’m in my 30s now, and i long ago put down the reefer, and good riddance. i don’t like it and haven’t liked it for more than a decade… i always noticed that some people latch onto it way too closely. it becomes a culture in and of itself for them, but they always tend to be humorous and harmless. they don’t hurt anyone. well, anyone but themselves.

with regard to main-streamers, over-all, it is just another intoxicant that people fool with while having a good time… and they are simply asking, ‘hey, why can’t i have a good time? what’s the big deal?’. so, legalizing it may have an effect, but what it might be…? i’m not sure, no one can be… but it wouldn’t be as bad as any result of alcohol… right?

so, if you stepped back… looked at it without a cultural or historical lens – which one should be legal? this is the argument…

and by they way, i support laws that keep cocaine and heroine, etc. illegal… i’ve seen what it does to people. i would not legalize it or even entertain the thought.

thedude on April 21, 2009 at 1:25 PM

TexasDan on April 21, 2009 at 1:14 PM

As far as I’m concerned, I would support your right to hire/fire anyone on any basis you deem appropriate.

That being said, would you drug test all your employees for alcohol use? That certainly would help increase your productivity and lower your liability, probably more so than testing for cannabis use.

JohnGalt23 on April 21, 2009 at 1:27 PM

William Randolph Hearst wanted to keep hemp production from hurting his paper interests in the 1930s.

Yup. F’n Hearst. /Al Swearengen

And industrial hemp is still illegal. Ridiculous. The DC Clowns would rather grow food for fuel (and kowtow to corn, cotton and sugar lobbyists) than legalize hemp (which would take a telephone pole sized joint to get high.) The harvest time is very short and, since it’s a weed, it will grow anywhere. We need more manufacturing in this country, and the econazis are always screaming about biofuels. Legalizing industrial hemp would be a great first step toward both goals.

HR 1866 FTW

And what is with all these so-called conservatives trying to regulate what an individual puts in his body? What a bunch of hypocrites the moral socialists on the right are. Booze is far more harmful to the body, and to society as a whole, than the dreaded weed could ever be.

Prohibition 2.0 is a failure of epic proportions. The ubercostly War on (Some) Drugs is a complete and utter failure, and has only led to abuses of individual liberty and assaults on our Constitutional (and medical) rights. And just look at how it’s being used to impose more gun control.

Rae on April 21, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Dude. Why are you pissing in the sink?

Where’s the Funyuns?

noblejones on April 21, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Dopers are dopers. No changing my mind. No “but crime will disappear” horsepotatoes. Argue away and I’ll keep the weed-b-gone at the ready.

Limerick on April 21, 2009 at 1:51 PM

We’ve all been around functional potheads, same as functional alcholics. I wouldn’t let either one of them design buildings.

TexasDan on April 21, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Makes sense. Some companies don’t hire smokers. The owners who have their capital at risk should make this decision.

dedalus on April 21, 2009 at 1:59 PM

My first comment was not expressed well; I should have said “decriminalize it, but don’t allow the government to pick it up for a pet fundraising project.

carbon_footprint on April 21, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Ah, that makes more sense. Though even that sounds naive when you consider what they do to regular smokers.

More importantly, pot can’t take collateral deaths but alcohol can and does every single hour of every single day in the USA.

carbon_footprint on April 21, 2009 at 12:43 PM

It can’t? Says who? Pot slows your reaction time just like alcohol does. It can also make you sleepy. Those aren’t exactly good combination for drivers. Sleepy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, only it’s more socially acceptable.

I can agree with the argument that it’s less likely to lead to collateral deaths, but it’s ridiculous hyperbole to claim it can’t lead to one.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Ok, I’ll jump in here on this…

Yes, I think that pot should be decriminalized. The cost of keeping it illegal is just too horrendous.

On the other hand we have lots ways to institute what I call societal controls. Stoned on the job? Grounds for termination with cause… meaning no unemployment check. Stoned while driving? There goes your drivers license for a year or so.

Besides, our government is desperately looking for revenue sources that only hit the “sinners.”

Yes there is a downside of decriminalizing pot, but as a drug it really isn’t worse than alcohol or tobacco. Let people make choices. If they make bad choices let them suffer the consequences of losing jobs, driving privileges, and the respect of the society they aspire to.

Just my $.02

DaveK on April 21, 2009 at 12:12 PM

But the problem is, then we have to pay their unemployment… just like we have to pay for the alcoholics unemployment. And that’s why the system is broken.

Christina D on April 21, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Well I guess the problem is that Pot is somewhere in “hardness” between cigarettes (i.e. tobacco) and booze. I mean, were are talking about drugs that can hurt your health if you abuse them, which people do.

Also, like someone mentioned earlier, alcohol has caused tons of traffic fatalities and in the case of people addicted to it, has caused lots of pain and anguish to their families. So then where does Pot stand in all of that? I’m not in favor of legalization for it, but my question then is where do we draw the line in what we decide to do legalize and make illegal? Do we say people can do whatever they want with their bodies (drugs, prostitution, etc.)? Or do we continue as a nanny-state and make cigarette smoking illegal along with trans-fats and Pot?

Rightwingguy on April 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM

We’ve all been around functional potheads, same as functional alcholics. I wouldn’t let either one of them design buildings.

I believe you should be able to hire and fire anyone you want including all other protected groups, but my company will soon kick your company’s ass if you only hire from that small group of non risk taking conformists that make you feel really comfortable. I will get the most talent by choosing based on merit (ability) rather than personal habits.

bagoh20 on April 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM

We’ve all been around functional potheads, same as functional alcholics. I wouldn’t let either one of them design buildings.

I don’t believe in “functioning alcoholics”. If you are addicted to it, it consumes you.

Rightwingguy on April 21, 2009 at 2:21 PM

BTW, I would fire anyone I caught high at work if I ran an engineering firm or anything else except a band or an art school.

bagoh20 on April 21, 2009 at 2:23 PM

I will get the most talent by choosing based on merit (ability) rather than personal habits.

bagoh20 on April 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Hopefully you won’t be too surprised that merit and habits often go hand in hand. You don’t really know someone’s employable worth until you’ve hired that person.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Well, I remember discussing the possibility of Pot smokers in the military yesterday. Right now, there are regular urinalysis tests that will catch that stuff, but if it’s legal then whose to say where the line will be drawn there? I mean you aren’t SUPPOSED to have booze on a ship, but I’m sure if you undertook a complete rack-by-rack inspection of an underway ship, then you’d probably find something. I mean people can say all they want about how Pot doesn’t slow reaction times and whatnot, but if there’s an incoming vampire (anti-ship missile) then I want a stone-cold sober crew.

Rightwingguy on April 21, 2009 at 2:29 PM

I don’t believe in “functioning alcoholics”. If you are addicted to it, it consumes you.

What is really meant by addicted is up for grabs. I would offer that we are a surrounded all the time by functioning alcoholics, because I used to be one. I quit when I had to for health reasons, and it was quite easy. I have lead a very successful life even though at one time I drank heavily and often. I was never drunk at work though and I think that is the norm for many drinkers and smokers. BTW, I was much more successful and effective when I was a drinker. I have no idea why, but the facts are the facts. I still will never go back to it.

bagoh20 on April 21, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Pineapple Express and Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle … Animal House… Blazing Saddles…

Cheech & Chong … anything.

juanito on April 21, 2009 at 2:30 PM

I will be for pot legalization as soon as I am no longer paying for unemployment, welfare, food stamps, medicare, medicaid, and social security for pot smokers.

joe_doufu on April 21, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Interesting… What say you to ‘mandatory’ drug-testing for anyone receiving public assistance?

CaptFlood on April 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Thanks for your response.
I believe that if you put marijuana use and alcohol use to a detailed comparison, you would find alarming discrepancies between the negative effects.
I say that as a person who drinks quite a lot of alcohol, but has not even seen marijuana in 16 years.

carbon_footprint on April 21, 2009 at 2:33 PM

bagoh20 on April 21, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Alright, I’ll take your word for that since I have no experience in that area. I haven’t met any yet, but I’m glad it didn’t affect you the same I’ve seen it affect the “nonfunctioning alcoholics”that I’ve known.

Rightwingguy on April 21, 2009 at 2:34 PM

carbon_footprint on April 21, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Quick question: do you mean that Pot is more/less dangerous than alcohol?

Thanks.

Rightwingguy on April 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Quick question: do you mean that Pot is more/less dangerous than alcohol?

Thanks.

Rightwingguy on April 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM

I believe that pot is much less dangerous than alcohol and I say that as a drinker and not a pot smoker.

carbon_footprint on April 21, 2009 at 2:39 PM

You don’t really know someone’s employable worth until you’ve hired that person.

Agreed, that’s kinda my point. If you exclude people for personal habits outside of work, you are excluding good people without knowing their worth. I’ve hired hundreds of people in my career and those who smoked pot or drank were sometimes lousy and sometimes great, just no correlation. My experience has just shown me that other factors are far more important and i would not automatically disqualify someone for this. It would depend on what the job was.

bagoh20 on April 21, 2009 at 2:39 PM

I believe that if you put marijuana use and alcohol use to a detailed comparison, you would find alarming discrepancies between the negative effects.

carbon_footprint on April 21, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Possibly, but only from abuse. I agree that if you’re going to be a heavy consumer, it’s better that you smoke pot.

But if you’re just going to have a glass or a hit, the health benefits speak for themselves.

Alright, I’ll take your word for that since I have no experience in that area. I haven’t met any yet, but I’m glad it didn’t affect you the same I’ve seen it affect the “nonfunctioning alcoholics”that I’ve known.

Rightwingguy on April 21, 2009 at 2:34 PM

I’ve met a few.

One is my uncle, who didn’t even believe he was an alcoholic because he would quit for days and weeks while working (contract stuff), but when he wasn’t working, he’d drink himself into weekend blackouts, ones so bad doctors believe it’s why he’s now schizophrenic.

Another I know has definitely been drunk at work and has even been drinking on the job, though he keeps it low key. I don’t know how he manages to do his job, but he does. Things do slip through the cracks at times, but overall his boss, who knows about the alcohol, isn’t interested in firing him.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 2:42 PM

carbon_footprint on April 21, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Roger. Thanks.

Rightwingguy on April 21, 2009 at 2:42 PM

I’ve hired hundreds of people in my career and those who smoked pot or drank were sometimes lousy and sometimes great, just no correlation.

bagoh20 on April 21, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Agreed. Though most people are better when they don’t overindulge any habit, not that there’s anything you can necessarily do about that.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 2:45 PM

If and when the American public changes their minds on marijuana, it will be because the prohibition costs far more than it’s worth, both in terms of cash and in civil liberties, and not because Harold and Kumar went to White Castle, or the Family Guy dog went to jail

IOW, time to legalize it.

RightOFLeft on April 21, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Dopers are dopers. No changing my mind. No “but crime will disappear” horsepotatoes. Argue away and I’ll keep the weed-b-gone at the ready.

Limerick on April 21, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Sweet. Thanks for being an active, informed citizen. I hope you put a lot more thought into far less consequential matters, for your sake. For the sake of our country, world, liberty, and justice, I hope you are in the minority.

Next time a lefty claims capitalism sucks because of racism or something, then they put their fingers in their ears because listening to you might mean they’d have to change their mind on something, know you’ve found a brother.

To all the prohibitionists, it’s fine if you want to believe what you want to believe, but don’t think for a second you are for limited government and liberty. You’re on the same side of all the lefties you demonize. You want the government telling adults who are minding their own business what to do at the point of a gun. Congratulations.

scotta on April 21, 2009 at 3:13 PM

You want the government telling adults who are minding their own business what to do at the point of a gun.

scotta on April 21, 2009 at 3:13 PM

If you don’t want people tuning out of the debate, then don’t engage in such obvious hyperbole.

If you’re smoking in your own home, you’re more likely to have a heart attack than be accosted by police. It’s actually because we’re not throwing every pot smoker in jail that it’s been allowed to become as socially acceptable as it has.

And drop the prohibitionist term. Very few people want everything legal, so don’t single out the ones who aren’t OK with pot.

If you really want to engage people like that, then actually go with substance, not insults, assuming you actually want to engage these people, otherwise, just ignore them.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Cheech & Chong … anything.

juanito on April 21, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Seriously, Cap’n Ed, you left out the most (in)famous stoners in Hollywood history?

Impossibly dumb, no discernible plot, lame jokes… but Dude!

Paul_in_NJ on April 21, 2009 at 3:38 PM

I’m sure they make a point of not mentioning that the late great Bill Buckley would have been for it too. As are we, and there are few folks short of the far right more conservative than us-ums. (But then, go far enough to the right and you circle back to the left.)

Be sure to include hash (a personal fave) and while you’re at it legalize coke and heroine too for grown-ups.

Make honest men out of the drug lords, just like the 21st Amendment did for Joe Kennedy.

Law enforcement and their unions will resist. For them it’s a budget and dues drain, respectively.

Health concerns? Hell, shouldn’t they ban 48 ounce non-diet fountain sodas? I saw a 300-pound woman coming out of the mini-mart with two of them for the road and no one else in the car. She will die young but she’ll be happy before her pancreas dies of suffocation.

Driving? Heck, the breathalizer didn’t exist before legal alcohol driving limits hit the books. The market will provide.

Legalize.

curved space on April 21, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Alcohol is far more destructive and keeping it legal while banning marijuana based on tradition is illogical.

13,000 killed every year from drunk drivers approximately and close to 1,200 from alcohol poisoning, overdosing. That is just the US. No one is advocating the legalization of coke or meth, just taking a fresh look at this issue.

My point legalize marijuana and tax both.

koolbrease on April 21, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Face it, the majority of conservatives aren’t stupid enough to be lured into stupid habits.

kregg on April 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM

That’s true. Very few conservatives drink alcohol or use tobacco products. /sarc

FloatingRock on April 21, 2009 at 3:53 PM

I don’t like the focus on legalizing marijuana. I am for the legalization of marijuana, but more importantly I’m for the legalization of the rest of the drugs as well. Legalizing marijuana would be a step in the right direction, but it would do very little to address the major problems we face.

The pro-gun control liberals point to how we have over 10,000 gun deaths every year, and say it’s because we have a violent culture, which is nonsense. We have 10,000 gun deaths a year because of gang wars, gang wars that are fought because of drug prohibition. We fight against drugs more and we spend more money on drugs, so the money is there, gang warfare is a given.

Is there anyone who honestly thinks that the police can stop this? It’s a goddamn warzone, more people were killed in the city of Chicago than in Iraq, does anyone think that the CPD has any shot in hell to stop what’s going on? And then look at the welfare that has to go to these neighborhoods because they’ve been ripped to shreds because they live in warzones, how the hell does anyone think this is a good idea?

You know what a successful war on drugs looks like? The Taliban before 9/11. That’s what you have to do to stamp out drugs. Is anyone stupid enough to think that cocaine and heroin are threatening enough to justify that? And if not, does anyone think it’s worthwhile to half-ass it, so we still have just about the same amount of drug usage, but we imprison huge portions of our population and waste a huge amount of money on failing to stamp out drugs?

Our borders aren’t dangerous because of Mexicans looking to paint houses and manicure lawns. They are dangerous because of drug smuggling. The problems we face throughout Central America is because we have developed a market where the most successful are the most violent and corrupt.

It corrupts our police forces, it creates warzones in our inner-cities, it endangers our border agents and anyone who lives along the Mexican border, it undermines our civil liberties, it undermines the principles of federalism, it costs billions of dollars in terms of what we spend and billions of dollars in money that we wouldn’t have to spend on keeping any semblance of order in Central America. And on top of all of this, it fundamentally fails at everything it attempts to achieve. It is an unmitigated disaster.

And so yeah, I think pot should be legal, but realistically I don’t care that much. It’s bad policy to keep it illegal, it violates our right to decide what we like to do privately, but we have all sorts of bad policies. Our borders aren’t undermined by pot smugglers, they’re undermined by heroin and cocaine smugglers, gangs aren’t fighting over pot-territory, they’re fighting over crack and heroin territory. The legal regulations associated with pot are not the problem. The problem is prohibition, and all of the subsequent problems it creates.

Heroin, cocaine, meth, all need to be legal, or at least decriminalized. They are horrendous drugs. My uncle lost decades to heroin, I’ve seen too many friends have their lives ruined by cocaine. They are horrific, and if prohibition worked we’d have a serious question on our hands, because ideally we could eliminate these drugs. We can’t, we’ve tried and we can’t, so the question is much easier. Education and drug treatment, education that doesn’t have to be predicated on lies to justify prohibition. When I was young my mom sat me down and said “You’re almost certainly going to have friends that will smoke pot, and you’ll probably do it yourself at some point, and if you keep it in moderation that won’t be a big deal. But never mess with cocaine or heroin, they will ruin your life before you even know what’s happening.” That had more of an impact on me than all of the drug education I received from DARE and in school, because it was honest.

The war on drugs has to be ended.

galenrox on April 21, 2009 at 4:07 PM

If and when the American public changes their minds on marijuana, it will be because the prohibition costs far more than it’s worth, both in terms of cash and in civil liberties, and not because Harold and Kumar went to White Castle, or the Family Guy dog went to jail.

.
Forgive me but that sounds rather naive. With all due respect Ed. I think you have it backwards. In this era, Harold and Kumar and Brian the Dog ARE the molders of public opinion. Sad but true.

ronsfi on April 21, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Did these cats never watch “That Seventies Show”?

cackcon on April 21, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Studies have shown that while carcinogens are in marijuana smoke, it doesn’t lead to cancer the way tobacco smoke does.

Because the substances are not used in nearly the same way. Druggies don’t do the equivalent of a “pack a day.” quantities. Pot is a more immediately self-regulating activity than most. If our president did doobies out back the White House at the same rate as a habitual pack-a-smoker after the third one he’d have a hard time lighting the match. Or remembering which pocket the matches are in. (The guy with the nuclear codes would likely help him out, though.)

I’ve heard a lot of lung testimony and looked into it a bit (I’m against all this tobacco-fascism too, but I don’t smoke.)

Some doctors will tell you they don’t even consider tobacco-related disease unless the patient has ten pack-years minimum. That’s a pack a day every day for ten years.

In other words, keep yourself to about a pack-a-week and you’ll be okay. Good luck with that though.

Just like with global warming, there’s another side that you…will…never..ever…hear. Second hand smoke? Don’t get me started.

curved space on April 21, 2009 at 4:58 PM

habitual pack-a-DAY smoker

D’oh!

curved space on April 21, 2009 at 5:01 PM

If and when the American public changes their minds on marijuana, it will be because the prohibition costs far more than it’s worth, both in terms of cash and in civil liberties, and not because Harold and Kumar went to White Castle, or the Family Guy dog went to jail.

Ed, these are American voters you’re talking about here. Do you really expect them to form a well-reasoned opinion based on facts? Look who they just put in the White House. I think a few more sit-coms will be enough to tip the scales.

hicsuget on April 21, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Using the tax argument is the wrong way to go about it.

10s of thousands of people are growing their own pot already. Legalizing and taxing it would have no effect on them whatsoever. In fact, if the desire is to legalize it so it can be taxed, most people would bypass the tax by growing it themselves. Legalize it because it is natural and harmless.

Bleed_thelizard on April 21, 2009 at 5:33 PM

JohnGalt23 on April 21, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Yea, yea, yea…
I’ve heard it all before. Every jerk, cut-throat, and street thug who are currently supplying all of you “casual users” is going to go out and get a tax number and set up shop in the mall. Think of all the tax revenue!! No more crime, no more violence…
Give me a break! Legalization will result in more users, higher demand, which will result in a price at least as high as today’s, a more “impaired” citizenrey who will be less and less able to support themselves. We can supply them through the new Government Pot Program though. And we can pay for all of the “rehab” programs through a new tobacco tax?

edgehead on April 21, 2009 at 5:53 PM

galenrox on April 21, 2009 at 4:07 PM

I agree with you almost 100%. But there are a few problems with total legalization.

First of all, as economists, we have to consider the cost benefit analysis of total legalization. True, the costs of prohibiting cocaine and methamphetamine are huge, compared to the cost of prohibiting cannabis, so we can safely assume the benefits of legalizing them will also be huge. But the cost of legalization of these stimulants (and I think the worst drug problems do come about as a result of stimulants) would also likely be huge.

Cannabis users, absent prohibition, pose a near zero threat to society. Likewise, given market-priced heroin, opiate addicts are not huge threats to society. By this, I mean anti-social behavior doesn’t result from heroin use, but rather from activities needed to purchase prohibition price supported heroin. However cocaine, and certainly methamphetamine, do cause anti-social behavior in some users. Much like users of alcohol, some of these people are likely to commit violent crimes, merely for the sake of committing violent crimes, or because the voices in their heads tell them to do so, or whatever.

That is not to say that the benefits of legalizing coke and meth outweigh the costs; just that the gap between the two is not as clear as it is with heroin and cannabis.

Second, politically legalization of cocaine and meth is a lot more difficult then legalization of cannabis. A hundred million Americans have tried cannabis, and 20 million of them smoke it with some regularity. Most of these people can sympathize with the legalization of a substance that they can point to themselves as examples of its harmlessness.

Only a fraction of that number have used cocaine, and a lot of them will tell you that cocaine poses real problems for the individual and society at large. Trying to leverage them to attain legalization is a Sysiphean task.

JohnGalt23 on April 21, 2009 at 6:41 PM

If you really want to engage people like that, then actually go with substance, not insults, assuming you actually want to engage these people, otherwise, just ignore them.

Esthier on April 21, 2009 at 3:34 PM

I don’t think I used an insult, though I could maybe see you thinking I was insulting. And I don’t see anything wrong with using the term “prohibition”. If there is something wrong with using it with marijuana and other drugs, then it was wrong to use it for when alcohol was prohibited.

The monopoly the government holds on lawful violence is at the root of enforcement of every law, even minor ones. And, practically speaking, people are routinely arrested and/or detained by armed officers for using marijuana. Sometimes armed officers break down doors with guns pointed, albeit maybe not for people just suspected of using. Nevertheless, if I want to grow a plant and trade some of that plant with an adult for something, I am still an adult minding his own business.

You’re more likely to have a heart attack than be killed by a terrorist. Does that mean we should not be vigilant against terrorists or that what they do is evil? I’m guessing you’re answer is no.

I agree with sticking to the arguments, but some people don’t care- people like Limerick seem to just want drugs illegal and that’s all there is to it. I think that’s unwise, but that’s their deal. I may not try to change their mind, but I don’t mind letting them know they’re not, in my opinion, true limited-government types. I suppose they may still claim they are, which is fine, but even a socialist wants some limits on government. However, I wouldn’t classify them as a being for limited government unless we want that term to lose all meaning, even though, technically, they might be correct. In any case, back to arguments:

Legalization will result in more users, higher demand, which will result in a price at least as high as today’s

Edgehead, though I don’t have a study at hand, there is no way this is true. For one, I have heard, as far as pot, a higher percentage of people have used pot in the U.S. than in the Netherlands where it’s legal.

And even if demand went up, that force would in no way come close to influencing price the way keeping it illegal does. Being legal, a lot more people would be willing to grow/manufacture it, countering the rise in price due to demand. Being illegal, though, only so many people are willing to risk being thrown into jail to make a profit.

Do you really think demand could be so high that people would pay $400 an ounce for a weed?

scotta on April 21, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Give me a break! Legalization will result in more users, higher demand, which will result in a price at least as high as today’s, a more “impaired” citizenrey (sic) who will be less and less able to support themselves. We can supply them through the new Government Pot Program though. And we can pay for all of the “rehab” programs through a new tobacco tax?

edgehead on April 21, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Let me repeat myself… the economic illiteracy of some of us who consider themselves conservatives never fails to shock me.

Tell me edgehead, do the words risk premium mean anything to you?

Of course they don’t… because if they did, you would understand basic economics enough that you would be ashamed to put forward such a weak argument as you did there.

Just so you know in the future, risk premium, for the sake of this argument, is the amount that a supplier charges a consumer to compensate the supplier for the risk that he might go to prison as a result of the act of supplying the product.

Bill Buckley, in his essay arguing for legalization in 1996, estimated the risk premium, from manufacture to consumption, for illegal drugs to be approximately 5000%. That is, drugs purchased in the black market are 50x as expensive under prohibition then they would be in a free market.

There is simply not enough people in the world to demand cannabis who don’t demand it today to make up for a risk premium that high. That you claim otherwise is a mark of your economic illiteracy.

JohnGalt23 on April 21, 2009 at 7:28 PM

You’re more likely to have a heart attack than be killed by a terrorist. Does that mean we should not be vigilant against terrorists or that what they do is not evil? I’m guessing you’re answer is no.

Forgot to include the “not”. I do actually think terrorism is evil, as I assume you do.

scotta on April 21, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Any time you allow the Federal Government to regulate anything, you give up a little more freedom to the New World Order. Frankly, I believe that if you’re not hurting anyone (other than yourself) it’s not Big Brother’s business at all.

The term “Lawmaker”, offends me.

realitycheck on April 21, 2009 at 8:30 PM

It’s been mainstream for a LOOOOOONG time Ed.

universalagent on April 22, 2009 at 7:45 AM

Comment pages: 1 2