Video: Time to legalize marijuana?

posted at 10:15 am on April 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Nick Gillespie at Reason TV gives three reasons for the US to legalize and regulate marijuana on the same basis as alcohol. Think of this as a kitchen-sink presentation, as Nick gives a smorgasbord of motivations. Think the government needs more revenue? Taxes could net as much as $6 billion a year, and ending prohibition will save another $8 billion. He also uses a traditional libertarian argument, as well as the pessimistic fatalist argument:

1. The tax revenue and law enforcement savings. A 2005 cost-benefit analysis done by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron found that legalizing marijuana and taxing it similar to alcohol would generate over $6 billion in new revenue and save nearly $8 billion in direct law enforcement costs. Pot is already the biggest cash crop in many states; bringing it into the open market would pump all sorts of energy into the economy.

2. It’s going to happen anyway, so why delay the inevitable? Increasing numbers of Americans realize that pot prohibition is an ineffective and costly policy. A 2009 poll by Zogby found that 52 percent of Americans agreed that marijuana should be taxed and regulated like booze. A Field Poll last year of California residents, who will vote on a legalization ballot initiative in the fall, found that 56 percent wanted legalization. Other polls show historically high percentages favoring legalization. In a world of busted budgets, it’s crystal clear that spending time and energy policing marijuana is not worth it.

3. Keep Your Laws Off Our Bodies. Never mind that by virtually every measure, pot is safer and less than disruptive than booze. Pot prohibition in the 1930s was the result of hysteria, not serious threats to society. We own our bodies and should be free to eat, drink, and smoke what we want. And to take responsibility for our actions, whether we’re straight or we’re stoned.

In my mind, the only fully legitimate argument among the three is the last. I don’t think the federal government needs more revenue, and I’m a little surprised to hear a libertarian offer that as a feature rather than a bug.  The reduction in law-enforcement cost is a good argument, but that’s more of a side effect from the third argument rather than the first.  After all, additional taxes and regulation will bring its own government costs.  Inevitability in this case is rather weak; when it’s legalized, it will be legalized, but that doesn’t necessarily make it inevitable.  If it happens, we can then set those effective and efficient controls.

I agree, though, that marijuana intake is a personal decision in the same sense as alcohol.  The two don’t differ much in terms of danger to the user or those around the user, and alcohol is more toxic.  While we’re marching in the streets to demand an end to nanny-state policies, we should at least reconsider this 72-year-old nanny-state anachronism.


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thphilli on April 19, 2010 at 7:56 PM

weak, really weak.
How prevalent is smoking among teens?
Portray pot as just for losers (quite a bit of truth there)and they won’t be able to get away fast enough.

But then you knew that.

mad scientist on April 19, 2010 at 9:41 PM

mad scientist on April 19, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Lashing out? no, gathering data – it is an actual question, which I notice that you didn’t bother to answer. I’d rather have your reply than make any assumptions about your positions or your general knowledge of the subject at hand. Also, this isn’t a fight – this is a discussion on an internet blog comments thread – hardly the forum for the reshaping of national policy.

Oh, and now for this one –
LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Whaddya got, bobo? Let’s rock and roll!

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 9:42 PM

I’m not making so ridiculous of a comparison. You are. I’m comparing the right to choose whether or not to own a firearm to the right to choose whether or not to smoke a joint

Substituting the word “choose” for “right” doesn’t mean you’re not making that ridiculous comparison. You want people to have the right to get high so they can make a choice whether or not to do so, you could make that argument for every single law that’s ever been created so in that case why have laws at all? They obviously offend some peoples sensibilities of individual freedom so lets just let people choose whether or not to do everything instead of bothering with these oh so nanny statish laws.

If you want to play the “hyperbolic presentation of the case” game,

That would be you playing it, not me. I’m sure after guns your next example would have been cars in your endless slippery slope nonsense because we all know that if Madison can’t get stoned then losing our wheels is obviously right around the corner. And nice of you to completely ignore my comment about being necessary as nothing but a bait, but hey, it’s the only way you could make anything resembling a point so i guess i don’t blame you.

clearbluesky on April 19, 2010 at 9:53 PM

you could make that argument for every single law that’s ever been created so in that case why have laws at all?

clearbluesky on April 19, 2010 at 9:53 PM

I’d call that assertion a bit disingenuous – as certainly laws that restrict the blatant trespass upon the rights of others (murder, rape, theft) aren’t really the argument here – the issue is in the realm of discretionary behavior, which in and of itself does not blatantly trespass the rights of another, and is often done solely for the pleasure or satisfaction of the individual. Falls under the whole ‘pursuit of happiness’ concept.

Most of the symptomology being tossed around in the thread as valid justification for prohibition, upon examination, are quite often related back to the prohibition itself, not the act being prohibited. And quite a bit of it is the ‘well what if’ suppositional scare mongering charade.

Haven’t seen a single moralistic or hypothetical point made here that even comes close to justifying the billions of dollars expended, and the trail of dead bodies that the prohibition of cannabis HAS produced.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Conclusion: Alcohol remains the dominant drug associated with injury-producing traffic crashes. Marijuana is often detected, but in the absence of alcohol, it is not associated with crash responsibility.
Read the whole thing. It’s not the only report of its kind out there.
Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Cuyahoga county Ohio, 40% of drunk driver were also under the influence of pot, The New York Subway crash a few years back mitigating factor…yep Pot.
British Medical Journal found that seven percent of drivers involved in a fatal highway crash used marijuana.

We know from the first 3-400 years of recorded experience of Europeans running around on the North American Continent, that large swaths of the population, if ‘allowed’ completely unregulated access to cannabis, won’t turn into a writhing mass of do-nothing slug colonies, but then maybe I missed something with the Swiss cheese number that ‘progressive’ education reform has done on American History.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM

And the average life expectancy was under 35, you saying you want to go back to those days?
And what about all those Govt regulatory agencies that will have to be expanded if you legalize pot. You know the BATF, IRS, Farm Bureau, FDA as well as state and local agencies. Or are you going with the “grow your own smoke what you grow” BS meme?
And what is the level of THC one can have in their system and be impaired?
You want to get serious I will ask the tough questions that you have no answers for.

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Substituting the word “choose” for “right” doesn’t mean you’re not making that ridiculous comparison. You want people to have the right to get high so they can make a choice whether or not to do so, you could make that argument for every single law that’s ever been created so in that case why have laws at all? They obviously offend some peoples sensibilities of individual freedom so lets just let people choose whether or not to do everything instead of bothering with these oh so nanny statish laws.

Do you own your own body or not? If not, then who owns it?

“Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.” (John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government)
“The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property.” (John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government)
“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” (Frédéric Bastiat, The Law)
“Just as man can’t exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one’s rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property.” (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged)
Socialism’s fundamental principles are centered on a critique of this concept, stating, among other things, that the cost of defending property is higher than the returns from private property ownership, and that, even when property rights encourage their holders to develop their property or generate wealth, they do so only for their own benefit, which may not coincide with benefit to other people or to society at large.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property

whiskeytango on April 19, 2010 at 10:18 PM

Cuyahoga county Ohio, 40% of drunk driver were also under the influence of pot, The New York Subway crash a few years back mitigating factor…yep Pot.

Your stats are flawed considering that you can’t conclusively prove impairment via THC in the present tense. Alcohol will most assuredly impair driving whereas there are studies that indicate minimal impairment due to pot, if any (case to case basis)

And the average life expectancy was under 35, you saying you want to go back to those days?

Due to marijuana? doubtful

And what about all those Govt regulatory agencies that will have to be expanded if you legalize pot. You know the BATF, IRS, Farm Bureau, FDA as well as state and local agencies.

Blatent false dichotomy here… There is a third choice in this multiple choice test… keep gov out of where it doesn’t belong.

Or are you going with the “grow your own smoke what you grow” BS meme?

There’s a problem with this? By the way the plant grows beautifully on its own, almost like a plant.

And what is the level of THC one can have in their system and be impaired?

It depends but what’s your point and how does this apply to you? They won’t OD in either case. Personal responsibility issue here – titration

You want to get serious I will ask the tough questions that you have no answers for.

Please do.

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 10:17 PM

whiskeytango on April 19, 2010 at 10:27 PM

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Your statistical illiteracy and analytical ineptitude is absolutely breathtaking. Using a single mishpa example of a situation where the operator should have had the professional and individual responsibility to fulfill his duties in a sober manner is really superfluous, and not germane to the general discussion at hand.

Now, as for the second steaming pile of manure represented in the pixels you arranged on the screen – are you perhaps suggesting that cannabis was responsible for the abbreviated lifespan? Had nothing whatsoever to do with anything else, of course not. Actually, as inviting as the prospect of returning to the romantically idyllic mid-18th century may seem to some, I’m not one of them.

As for expanding the federal bureaucracy to cover this – nice scare tactic, but it’s not really necessary, and while it might be a tactic that statists from the left may grasp at to extend government, the actuality is that the regulatory necessities ad very nicely as additional task items on the to-do lists of the existing regulatory structure, without substantially expanding either their budgets or their manpower. As for your question about the level of THC present with respect to levels of inebriation – well, that’s a topic that has yet to be legally defined, but, as with alcohol, such quantification can be legislatively codified – not being a medical professional, myself, I’ll take a pass on spelling out specific level measures. Should I pause for you to hop up and down claiming I’m dodging that one? Okay, good, let’s continue. Oh, wait, I guess that was the end of the ‘easy’ round of questions.

Next?

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Blatent false dichotomy here… There is a third choice in this multiple choice test… keep gov out of where it doesn’t belong.

Not really unless you believe that Article I section 8 of the constitution has no real purpose. And that Govt has no role in protecting its citizens. That inspection of consumables is something “someone else” does and caveat emptor is the rule of the day.

And what is the level of THC one can have in their system and be impaired?
It depends but what’s your point and how does this apply to you? They won’t OD in either case. Personal responsibility issue here – titration

Actually it is important if you allow a substance that impairs to be legal you would necessarily have to have a legal limit, or should we arrest everyone who is behind the wheel of a vehicle that smells of dope?

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Eliminate all public assistance programs of every kind. All of them. Not one left standing. There can be absolutely no way for the pot-wasted to batten on honest, working citizens. Whatever they do to themselves, they pay the price for.

Then you can legalize pot.

J.E. Dyer on April 19, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Your statistical illiteracy and analytical ineptitude is absolutely breathtaking. Using a single mishpa example of a situation where the operator should have had the professional and individual responsibility to fulfill his duties in a sober manner is really superfluous, and not germane to the general discussion at hand.
Now, as for the second steaming pile of manure represented in the pixels you arranged on the screen

Wow that might hurt my feelings if I respected you opinion but hey you’re a weak version of Prez Hilton so I find it amusing.

As for expanding the federal bureaucracy to cover this – nice scare tactic, but it’s not really necessary, and while it might be a tactic that statists from the left may grasp at to extend government, the actuality is that the regulatory necessities ad very nicely as additional task items on the to-do lists of the existing regulatory structure, without substantially expanding either their budgets or their manpower.

Wow you really have no concept of how the real world works. If you add to the work load of Govt workers you will get more of them. Make pot legal and you need tax collectors, inspectors, regulators, new laws to deal with the changes and at all levels. You can wish things were different but the world is as it is and will not change just because weed is legal. That is liberal thinking “everything will be better is we just…”

As for your question about the level of THC present with respect to levels of inebriation – well, that’s a topic that has yet to be legally defined, but, as with alcohol, such quantification can be legislatively codified – not being a medical professional, myself, I’ll take a pass on spelling out specific level measures. Should I pause for you to hop up and down claiming I’m dodging that one? Okay, good, let’s continue.

Hey you want to change things for the better, but you have no idea how to deal with the second and third order issues?
Yea that is adult thinking and not at all “gimmie …gimmie…gimmie…I wanna I wanna”

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 10:57 PM

Blatent false dichotomy here… There is a third choice in this multiple choice test… keep gov out of where it doesn’t belong.—whiskeytango
Not really unless you believe that Article I section 8 of the constitution has no real purpose. And that Govt has no role in protecting its citizens. That inspection of consumables is something “someone else” does and caveat emptor is the rule of the day.

The Govt does have a role in protecting us from each other but not from ourselves. I’m completely in agreement with prosecuting those that operate motor vehicles under the influence on public property.

And what is the level of THC one can have in their system and be impaired?
It depends but what’s your point and how does this apply to you? They won’t OD in either case. Personal responsibility issue here – titration—-whiskeytango

Actually it is important if you allow a substance that impairs to be legal you would necessarily have to have a legal limit, or should we arrest everyone who is behind the wheel of a vehicle that smells of dope?

I think that smelling like a substance could be probable cause for further inspection as it relates to driving under the influence (which I do have a problem with).

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 10:41 PM

whiskeytango on April 19, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Not really unless you believe that Article I section 8 of the constitution has no real purpose. And that Govt has no role in protecting its citizens. That inspection of consumables is something “someone else” does and caveat emptor is the rule of the day.

Oh, you must mean ‘the Commerce clause’ – that tried and true statist standby excuse for government to stick it’s nose up just about everbody’s wazoo! And yes, in this particular instance, ‘caveat emptor’ and the marketplace will certainly have much more impact and effect with an environment with many potential vendor choices are available to a savvy consuming public, and sheer reputation will make or break the success of a cannabis production enterprise – just as with any other widely produced, widely available product. Oh, and I don’t mean to pre-emptively cut you off, but yes, I saw the ridiculous ‘azelea leaves’ example you were tossing around earlier (thanks for the laugh on that, btw) – so save your effort for womehting else instead of coming back with more statist claptrap about quality control, product grading, inspections for toxins, etc, etc – you may isnsist upon dragging in the FDA, but then the commerce clause would be realistically applied, and their purview would be those materials which are actually destined for interstate distribution and marketing, instead of the current ‘make believe’ scenario that it’s all destined to go nationwide. . .on a more local level, it’s likely that if, say, hypothetically a guy named Fred peddles some crap stuff, Fred won’t have any buyers after a while. . .

The mention you made earlier of the ‘grow your own’ approach, which I believe you denied was just a B$ meme – well, your tragi-comic beauracrats around every corner, and more coming scenario kinda falls flat when it comes to what’s happening already. It’s possible to brew ones own beer at home – not everyone does so, but some choose to. An activity that was at one time illegal (even till fairly recently). Didn’t see an explosion of the beauracracy over that move, nor ATF/FBI/IRS (did I get enough of your alphabet soup in there? Yeah?) kicking down doors left and right to harass homebrewers. Oh, and here’s a good one – want me to tell you about my tobacco plants? Yeah? Yep, it’s the first year I’m trying it, and it’s going to be time consuming, and a general pain in the arse, but the last thing I expect is to have either federal or state agents swoop in to either tax or regulate the growth or personal consumption of it. But I’ll be glad to keep you posted on that!

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 11:02 PM

I think that we should be friends!

whiskeytango on April 19, 2010 at 11:06 PM

If you add to the work load of Govt workers you will get more of them. Make pot legal and you need tax collectors, inspectors, regulators, new laws to deal with the changes and at all levels. You can wish things were different but the world is as it is and will not change just because weed is legal. That is liberal thinking “everything will be better is we just…”

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 10:57 PM

Now ya see, that’s where ya step on your schwantz, big time. Look back over any and all of my postings, here and anywhere else you may find them on the internet, and please, for the love of jello-shooters, tell me where you get the hairbrained idea that I ever promised you a Unicorn and a lollipop. I ain’t waitin, cause that doesn’t exist.

Hey you want to change things for the better, but you have no idea how to deal with the second and third order issues?

Oh, I’ve got some very definate ideas on how to deal with the second and third order issues, as you choose to nebulously put it. Ideas that I didn’t really have to look too far to find, already in existence, and operating quite well, right here, right now, in our spiffy, shiny, happy society. We have the models – in tobacco and alcohol – we also already have the various forms of handling, regulating and overseeing them – and it’s a system that, although maybe not perfectly, works. And as I stated with the THC levels/inebriation figures – that’s not my call – and I believe I also pointed out to you (although it might help to rub your nose in it for effect) that the proper venue for such a determination, as opposed to a free wheeling internet comments thread conversation, would be via consideration of the various legislative bodies of the individual states.

Now, should I also ‘get off your lawn’ or something? Hmm?

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 11:19 PM

whiskeytango on April 19, 2010 at 11:06 PM

Roger that. . .

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Oh, you must mean ‘the Commerce clause’ – that tried and true statist standby excuse for government to stick it’s nose up just about everbody’s wazoo!

Nope, not even close. Weights and measures but hey why let ignorance of the Constitution get in the way of an uninformed opinion.

And yes, in this particular instance, ‘caveat emptor’ and the marketplace will certainly have much more impact and effect with an environment with many potential vendor choices are available to a savvy consuming public, and sheer reputation will make or break the success of a cannabis production enterprise – just as with any other widely produced, widely available product. Oh, and I don’t mean to pre-emptively cut you off, but yes, I saw the ridiculous ‘azelea leaves’ example you were tossing around earlier (thanks for the laugh on that, btw) – so save your effort for womehting else instead of coming back with more statist claptrap about quality control, product grading, inspections for toxins, etc, etc – you may isnsist upon dragging in the FDA, but then the commerce clause would be realistically applied, and their purview would be those materials which are actually destined for interstate distribution and marketing, instead of the current ‘make believe’ scenario that it’s all destined to go nationwide. . .on a more local level, it’s likely that if, say, hypothetically a guy named Fred peddles some crap stuff, Fred won’t have any buyers after a while. . .

Wow so in order to get your legal weed you propose reforming our entire tort system, the role of Govt and expect business to self regulate for safety and tax reporting? You do realize this is right up there with “Why hey if we just elect Obama the world will love us again” thinking?

The mention you made earlier of the ‘grow your own’ approach, which I believe you denied was just a B$ meme – well, your tragi-comic beauracrats around every corner, and more coming scenario kinda falls flat when it comes to what’s happening already.

Just because a law is ineffective does not mean anarchy is better.

It’s possible to brew ones own beer at home – not everyone does so, but some choose to. An activity that was at one time illegal (even till fairly recently).

Actually it is distillation that has been the heavily regulated, taxed and inspected beverage. Fermented beverages have always been under less (but not none) scrutiny. Feel free to make all the mead you wish, there is an upper limit on beer and I will let you look up how much you can distill legally.

Didn’t see an explosion of the beauracracy over that move, nor ATF/FBI/IRS (did I get enough of your alphabet soup in there? Yeah?) kicking down doors left and right to harass homebrewers.

Go ahead and try and sell what you home brew, or buy some distillation equipment, they will stop by, very polite, to me at least, but they were interested in what I planned to do.

Oh, and here’s a good one – want me to tell you about my tobacco plants? Yeah? Yep, it’s the first year I’m trying it, and it’s going to be time consuming, and a general pain in the arse, but the last thing I expect is to have either federal or state agents swoop in to either tax or regulate the growth or personal consumption of it. But I’ll be glad to keep you posted on that!

I am mildly interested to see if anyone notices, and if you are fined for growing tobacco with out a license (yes you have to own or rent a tobacco plot), but I figure you are growing less than an acre so you will fall into the category of “not worth the time”. That is if you are doing this in the US.

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 11:25 PM

Haven’t seen a single moralistic or hypothetical point made here that even comes close to justifying the billions of dollars expended, and the trail of dead bodies that the prohibition of cannabis HAS produced.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 10:07 PM

That’s because potheads refuse to accept that it is THEY who are the first cause of the problems you lament. They, like you, want to blame criminalization and enforcement instead; the lack of acceptance of any responsibility by the pot user bordering on the sociopathic.

You see, we could have both prohibition AND also have crime related to drug trafficking under control if people simply chose NOT to break the law, not to support criminal enterprises by buying pot. I mean, it IS a choice, right? Certainly, pot isn’t addictive like The Man would have you believe. /sarc

If potheads are really so concerned about “the billions of dollars expended and the trail of dead bodies” then all they need to do is band together and agree not to purchase pot off the street for one year. Just one measily year, respect the law. The supply chain would collapse even more assuredly than by legalizing it.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 11:27 PM

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 11:20 PM

When I took my mid tour leave from Iraq (the first time) I went to Australia, The Aussies were, for the most part, nice and friendly, sometimes very friendly, the only people who ever gave me any crap about being in Iraq were the Kiwis. They would ask me dumb ass questions like “why are you there?”, and I would inform them that ”Pres Bush is not in the habit of calling me, awesome though I am, for advise on how to conduct foreign policy”.
This did not dissuade them from being obnoxious so to shut them up I would point out that when they got a military that was larger than our smallest state’s national guard then, maybe, some one might listen to their bleating.
That seemed to do the trick.

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 11:38 PM

“Standards of weights and measures”? Are you freaking KIDDING? Oh goody, that’s even BETTER than Interstate Commerce! Good grief – the closest your going to come is the example of a farmer’s market, which is more of a local concern than a federal case, btw – but let’s not let a realistic separation of governmental oversight responsibilities get in the way of a whack a doodle rant. . .

Wow so in order to get your legal weed you propose reforming our entire tort system, the role of Govt and expect business to self regulate for safety and tax reporting? You do realize this is right up there with “Why hey if we just elect Obama the world will love us again” thinking?

Now that you mention it, your ranting does make about as much sense as the whole Obama/better world thing. Admitting a problem is the first step. Good job.

Go ahead and try and sell what you home brew, or buy some distillation equipment, they will stop by, very polite, to me at least, but they were interested in what I planned to do.

So, what? you expect me to feign shock and surprise for you experiencing pretty much what I’ve got in mind for (I’m guessing this is what you were referring to as) ‘second or third order issues’ as far as enforcement and regulation. The types of things any person operating as a business selling a product would reasonably encounter. Registration as a business, accounting, reporting and taxation of commercial activities – or is this what you were referring to as being akin to ‘turning the world upside down’? Yes, you were questioned on the distillation equipment – improper use can be lead to lethal results. Selling your homebrew? That’s a commercial activity, involving a heavily regulated and taxed substance – which would be the case with cannabis, with the same approximate ‘boundaries’. Not sure why you insist that the whell will have to be re-invented. I’ll chalk it up to ‘mental rut’.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 11:39 PM

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 11:38 PM

Well, it’s a damned shame that you weren’t able to completely articulate the reasons for going to Iraq, and removing the pestulant boil on the butt of humanity that walked this earth with the name of Saddam, and to have a hand in the goal of establishing a representative government with democratic ideals for a people that had known nothing but Stalinistic oppression, terror, and torture for the past 30 years, as an example of what is possible, even in the midst of despotic, dictatorial neighbors.

But I guess relying on the ‘we’re bigger so piss off’ thing worked, so what the hell.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 11:46 PM

Since you do not understand that the power to establish weights and measures is the power to dictate what can and can not be in a substance (like the number of insects in your Raisin Bran) is given to Congress, and since you are willfully ignorant of the second paragraph of Section 10 of article I, which give Congress even more power over inspections of goods, I do not expect you to understand why that clause matters, but to mock it instead like a five year old confronted with a calculus problem.
In order for a society to exist there must be rights and responsibilities, you want freedom to do what even pops into your head with out regard to the consequence. You want the benefits and protection of society with out being bothered by any of its rules.
In philosophy you would be called a nihilist.
In psychology you would be called a narcissist.
In development you would be called childish.
In taxonomy you would be called a parasite.
As the Kiwi version of Dave Rywall (a Canadian that loves to tell us how the US is messed up) I find that the urge to correct you logical fallacies, screwy accent and just plain ignorance is diminishing rapidly.

LincolntheHun on April 20, 2010 at 12:03 AM

that the power to establish weights and measures is the power to dictate what can and can not be in a substance (like the number of insects in your Raisin Bran) is given to Congress

Nonsense.

exception on April 20, 2010 at 12:07 AM

I understand the difference between Raisin Bran (a refined, manufactured, and finished product) as opposed to apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, etc. No need for math in public on this one. The framework for the handling and inspection of un-processed fruit and vegetable products exists, so, again, please explain why you insist that a wheel, apparently made up of strange matter, needs to be invented, and why everything should just be shelved until such time as that’s all worked out. . .

Now, I’ll thank you to take your ignorant pop pshyc assessment, herr Freud, and write it on the blackboard a hundred times, if that makes you happy, it’s way off the mark in this case. If that’s your idea of math, well, that’s the reason that the MILSPEC for Army fire computers are designed to be idiot proof. But even in your case, I’d still tend to cringe during a fire for effect scenario, in anticipation of the friendly fire incident report.

As far as logic goes, so far it’s pretty much absent from any of your adamant Constitutional ‘scholarship’, your insistence upon bureaucratic inevitability, and your pretentious and assumptive ad hominem whining.

Wind Rider on April 20, 2010 at 12:22 AM

Haven’t seen a single moralistic or hypothetical point made here that even comes close to justifying the billions of dollars expended, and the trail of dead bodies that the prohibition of cannabis HAS produced.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 10:07 PM

And you won’t…people like you won’t see what they don’t want to see.
What do you need…stats to show that legalizing will create more deaths on the highway? You already conceded that, and ignore it as being valid.
That it will not add anything to our society? That it…well let’s just say anything brought up, anything at all will be ignored by you.
Any facts or argument and you will just state: “It means nothing, I don’t accept it”…end of argument or debate.
You sat on the bench of your debate team didn’t you? Hoping to use your one line in a debate…”I don’t believe you, I win”…

right2bright on April 20, 2010 at 12:45 AM

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 11:27 PM

Back on the circular argument unicycle. There would be no crime if people didn’t break the law! Brilliant.

Despite overwhelming evidence that this idealistic and simple idea really isn’t working, for a variety of reasons.

The example of alcohol prohibition not ringing any bells with ya, is it? It all came tumbling down simply because people just couldn’t put off having a beer or a shot of rock gut gin, right? It was all the fault of those besotted alkys. . .

Wind Rider on April 20, 2010 at 12:52 AM

As I stated, no argument will ever be good enough for someone with a closed mind…me thinks the wind has become just a breeze…

right2bright on April 20, 2010 at 1:09 AM

And you won’t…people like you won’t see what they don’t want to see.
What do you need…stats to show that legalizing will create more deaths on the highway? You already conceded that, and ignore it as being valid.
That it will not add anything to our society? That it…well let’s just say anything brought up, anything at all will be ignored by you.
Any facts or argument and you will just state: “It means nothing, I don’t accept it”…end of argument or debate.
You sat on the bench of your debate team didn’t you? Hoping to use your one line in a debate…”I don’t believe you, I win”…

right2bright on April 20, 2010 at 12:45 AM

If you’re that concerned about highway fatalities then take up the anti-cellphone/texting issue. (I too am invested in promoting safe conditions on the highway, streets and roads.) What’s more important to me than highway deaths is the death of liberty and the de-emphasization of personal responsibility. Do people drive drunk? Sure. Should they be held accountable for their actions? Absolutely. Should you be held accountable for their actions and have liberties stripped? Absolutely NOT!

whiskeytango on April 20, 2010 at 1:09 AM

Not really unless you believe that Article I section 8 of the constitution has no real purpose. And that Govt has no role in protecting its citizens. That inspection of consumables is something “someone else” does and caveat emptor is the rule of the day.

LincolntheHun on April 19, 2010 at 10:41 PM

I cannot believe your still convinced that Article 1 section 8 gives the Federal Government rights to inspect and control. You must be the most stupid person in the world. Sec 8 article 1 gives the Federal Government right to set up standards of weights and measures, It is to keep units of measurement the same. A OZ is so much and a Foot is so long.
It is states rights to regulate inspections not Federal government. You are inept in reading skills. You want the commerce clause to say something it dose not say. SHUT the hell up about Article 1 section 8 it dose not say what you say it says. Nor dose section 10. your dense.

Ed Laskie on April 20, 2010 at 1:10 AM

What do you need…stats to show that legalizing will create more deaths on the highway? You already conceded that, and ignore it as being valid.

right2bright on April 20, 2010 at 12:45 AM

Well, first off, I didn’t concede any such thing, and if you’d like to produce some hypothetical statistical compilations, you may place them right there, next to the global warming alarmist predictions from the GISS and the Hadley CRU. I’ll hand you back the actual totals of ‘drug related’ deaths and injuries due to paramilitary enforcement tactics increasingly in use by the nation’s police forces, and add to that actual studies of measured and evalutaed human performance under the recent and active influence of THC which call into question the validity of the hypothetical assumptions. There is absolutely no reason to expect that legalization and regulation would not include laws reflecting societal intolerance for the concept of operating large mobile chunks of metal -cars, buses, airplanes, forklifts, whatever – with the capacity to inflict irreparable harm, while intoxicated, regardless of the substance in question. Put laws in place that penalize the actual act of neglecting personal responsibility, not simply for fear of the mere possibility.

That it will not add anything to our society? That it…well let’s just say anything brought up, anything at all will be ignored by you.

Quite right, just as it should be, as the criterion of ‘adding’ to society is an irrelevant non-sequiter – an artificial and absurd question. Tell you what, you go first – use that basis to ‘justify’ the presence of beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, and cigars.

See what I want to see? It’s not pleasant, but seeing actual dead bodies and trampled liberties may not be what I want to see, but I do, Clearly. I’ll admit I do have a difficult time visualizing specters of things that are simply the fabrication of a biased imagination. . .

Oh, and I was never on the ‘debate team’. But thanks for asking.

Wind Rider on April 20, 2010 at 1:15 AM

nspection of consumables is something “someone else” does

YES THE STATES NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. I asked you already to show me where in constitution it gives right to federal government to do inspections on internal goods. If its imported then they can tax and duties. IT IS STATES RIGHTS ISSUE.

Ed Laskie on April 20, 2010 at 1:18 AM

Since you do not understand that the power to establish weights and measures is the power to dictate what can and can not be in a substance (like the number of insects in your Raisin Bran) is given to Congress, and since you are willfully ignorant of the second paragraph of Section 10 of article I, which give Congress even more power over inspections of goods, I do not expect you to understand why that clause matters, but to mock it instead like a five year old confronted with a calculus problem.
In order for a society to exist there must be rights and responsibilities, you want freedom to do what even pops into your head with out regard to the consequence. You want the benefits and protection of society with out being bothered by any of its rules.
In philosophy you would be called a nihilist.
In psychology you would be called a narcissist.
In development you would be called childish.
In taxonomy you would be called a parasite.
As the Kiwi version of Dave Rywall (a Canadian that loves to tell us how the US is messed up) I find that the urge to correct you logical fallacies, screwy accent and just plain ignorance is diminishing rapidly.

LincolntheHun on April 20, 2010 at 12:03 AM

I ask you again show us where in the words of constitution is says Federal Government has powers of inspection. It is States that do inspecting. Your a lier or stupid.

Ed Laskie on April 20, 2010 at 1:27 AM

We gotta save this thread and compare the arguments next time we get a subject about liberals who want to ban trans fats or something.

John9400 on April 20, 2010 at 1:34 AM

John9400 on April 20, 2010 at 1:34 AM

Excellent idea. My guess is that the prohibitionists in this thread will be leading the charge to dangle Waxman in effigy or some such.

Wind Rider on April 20, 2010 at 1:40 AM

LincolntheHun –Thank you for your service to our country but you need to educate your self more on true meaning of Liberty and the Constitution. The Federal Government is out of Control. Since FDR we have been going down the road to socialism and central controlled government which will collapse under it’s own weight. Now is time for you to stop following Orders of thought and think for your self. Please read this, it’s a free e-book download The God of the Machine by Isabel Paterson.

Ed Laskie on April 20, 2010 at 1:42 AM

I’m one of the few people who use their real name. I don’t have to make it up what I think or who I am. If its gotten so bad that they will come after me for my thoughts, then let them take me and kill me as I have nothing to live for except for my free thoughts. I’m standing up and shouting to all, “Our Nation of ideals of Liberty Freedom, and pursuit of Happiness, we all love, is dying, and on it’s last legs. Like a frog in pan of water, which heat is turned up slowly, we don’t see how far we have removed our self from the original ideals that made this nation of ours great. For the good of the collective is punishment to each one.

Ed Laskie on April 20, 2010 at 2:06 AM

We gotta save this thread and compare the arguments next time we get a subject about liberals who want to ban trans fats or something.

John9400 on April 20, 2010 at 1:34 AM

Nah, just send it to the 14 year old Ron Paul worshippers at Digg, they live in the same imaginary world you do where everything exists in a vacuum and if you disagree with them on the legalization of weed you’re the most fascisty fascist of all time forever and ever and obviously want to take away everything from them. Sure would be nice to be one of the cool kids like you and not have to think things through and just tell everyone that if they just do whatever they want everything will be all puppies and rainbows, but some of us have to be adults and live in the real world. And one more time, quit the delusion of grandeur crap, you’re not protectors of liberty, you’re just idiots obsessed with getting stoned.

clearbluesky on April 20, 2010 at 2:23 AM

clearbluesky on April 20, 2010 at 2:23 AM

It’s time for the classic monkey story.

Classic experiment – place 5 monkies in a cage, along with a ladder leading to a hook with a treat, let’s say, bananas.

Now, the ladder is wired to a very loud horn – like a stadium blaster – and whnever one of the monkies climbs for the treat, it goes off, scaring the entire group severly. But only for the first couple of times.

Then, the monkeys begin to be replaced, one by one. As each new arrival notices the treat, and heads for the ladder, the other monkeys will attempt to physically restrain him from climbing the ladder, remembering the horrible noise. The new arrivals, never having heard the horn, and not having been scared, will adopt the behavior of the original group, and join in the obstruction of the subsequent newcomers, without even completely understanding why none of them should go up the ladder to get the treats. To the point that when the final replacement arrives, and none of the monkeys present were exposed to the original negative stimulus, the physical coercion to deter climbing the ladder will be acted out.

Apropos of not too much, nah, clearblue – I don’t give you the credit of being a fascist – just the credit due another well trained monkey running around on the third rock from the sun.

Good night, fellow primates.

Wind Rider on April 20, 2010 at 2:39 AM

Given that there is no evidence that marijuana prohibition, has reduced marijuana consumption in a statistically significant manner. It follows that all the dire predictions of unsafe equipment operating; driving and such; would not be increased in a statistically significant manner.

If marijuana was legal, the average pot smoker that I have known would simply buy his pot at the same 7-Eleven he gets his corn chips and Mountain Dew.

Slowburn on April 20, 2010 at 2:51 AM

Why do these dweebs always look so damn feminine?

ErinF on April 20, 2010 at 7:58 AM

Do any of you really believe that we should use precious law enforcement time and dollars on arresting people for smoking pot vs putting those valuable resources into fighting violent crime and jihadists? It is just plain foolish for pot to be the subject of arrest and prosecution

georgealbert on April 20, 2010 at 8:12 AM

i don’t drink or smoke and i wouldn’t smoke pot but i am completely behind legalization of the stuff…as pro choice women like to say…my body my choice

less government more freedom!

dirksilver on April 20, 2010 at 9:33 AM

i don’t drink or smoke and i wouldn’t smoke pot but i am completely behind legalization of the stuff…as pro choice women like to say…my body my choice
less government more freedom!
dirksilver on April 20, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Its a womans choice to say no to sex or require birth control, but once she has a human inside her that human also has rights . Drug Use is different unless subjecting another to its use by force. Blowing smoke in your child’s face should be crime of child abuse. The act of taking drugs is only harming your self and concerns your rights without violating any other rights.

Ed Laskie on April 20, 2010 at 9:43 AM

A couple people have brought up the whole taxation thing, and I can tell you, from living in Chicago (where a pack of cigarettes costs upwards of $10) the government (federal, state, and local) will find a way to tax the hell out of pot.

Hell, Cleveland puts a tax on alcohol to pay for Browns Stadium. And, as always, people will find a way out of those taxes (by crossing state lines for cheaper pot or growing it on their own).

And for all those crying about how dangerous Mary Jane is, you would have to smoke 30,000 (thats not a typo) joints in a row. And yes, it is harmful to your lungs, but so is smoking, and alcohol is dangerous to your liver. I could rattle of a whole list of legal products, drugs or otherwise, that can screw with your body in the same or worse way that pot does.

However, drink 30 shots in a row and you’re getting your stomach pumped in the emergency room or having your parents ID the body. Studies have consistently shown that aggression decreases while under the influence of THC.

And yes, there will be idiots who drive while high, speeding down the road at 10mph, with their turn signal on for 3 miles before they turn.

I guess what would be most interesting is how workplace drug tests would change. I would guess that they’d remove marijuana as a drug they test for, and like alcohol, you would get in trouble only if you were high at work.

Finally, I would think that with existing smoking bans in most cities and states, that pot would be regulated the same way (i.e., you can’t light up in bars), but I’m sure they would create some sort of rule regulating smoke shops.

mmnowakjr85 on April 20, 2010 at 10:55 AM

As for the argument about liberty, the same arguments apply to every illegal drug, so your first job is to demonstrate why marijuana should be legal while heroin and cocaine should not.

While ofcourse it’s not your job to demonstrate why alcohol and tobacco should be kept legal while marijuanna isn’t.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Duh!! You’re the one advocating changing the current laws, you have to defend why it’s justified.

tom on April 20, 2010 at 11:17 AM

As for the argument about liberty, the same arguments apply to every illegal drug, so your first job is to demonstrate why marijuana should be legal while heroin and cocaine should not.

While ofcourse it’s not your job to demonstrate why alcohol and tobacco should be kept legal while marijuanna isn’t.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Duh!! You’re the one advocating changing the current laws, you have to defend why it’s justified.

tom on April 20, 2010 at 11:17 AM

I keep saying it but it is not the Federal Governments job to make these laws. All drug laws and many more need to be removed from Federal Law as they have stepped on the States Rights to legislate in this area. Its not the Federal Governments business and is a restriction of liberty. The states are free to legislate in this area.
and if Linconhun says its in article 1 sec 8 or 10 he is full of it and it says no such thing. I appreciate his conservative views and service to our country but he forget the Constitution is not a living document and want s to limit liberties. I have to admit I was at his stage when I was his age. I investigated further and found out that what I thought was true was not.

Ed Laskie on April 20, 2010 at 11:47 AM

The progress to returning to the original ideas of our great nation that was made under Reagan have been reversed under Clinton and both Bush, and now have superseded and passed Left of FDR under Obama. We are in the transition period Marx talked about gaining productivity under capitalism, and then destroying it and transition to Communism. All the czars have been put in place, well maybe few more needed, bring the system to collapse and rebuild in into a true communist society. All the people I remember from 60s and 70s who openly talked about this are now in power. It is no secret for anyone, just do a little independent research. They have centralized the system removed the liberty’s and set us up for failure in short order.

Ed Laskie on April 20, 2010 at 12:00 PM

The progress to returning to the original ideas of our great nation that was made under Reagan have been reversed under Clinton and both Bush, and now have superseded and passed Left of FDR under Obama. We are in the transition period Marx talked about gaining productivity under capitalism, and then destroying it and transition to Communism. All the czars have been put in place, well maybe few more needed, bring the system to collapse and rebuild in into a true communist society. All the people I remember from 60s and 70s who openly talked about this are now in power. It is no secret for anyone, just do a little independent research. They have centralized the system removed the liberty’s and set us up for failure in short order.

Ed Laskie on April 20, 2010 at 12:00 PM

If we don’t legalize marijuana, the terrorists have already won?

tom on April 20, 2010 at 12:35 PM

i don’t drink or smoke and i wouldn’t smoke pot but i am completely behind legalization of the stuff…as pro choice women like to say…my body my choice
less government more freedom!
dirksilver on April 20, 2010 at 9:33 AM

So no problem with walking down the street with your kids and taking in the pot smoke? Sitting on a bench and the guy plops down and lights up with your child breathing the pot, you think that is “freedom”? Your body, but also your childs body…which is why pro-choice is a farce, it is pro-convenience.

less government more freedom!

Cute saying, but the “less” has to be the right “less”.

right2bright on April 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Go ahead and legalize the stuff. The prohibition has caused way more problems than it has solved.

The only problem with it is it is a gateway drug which can encourage more experimentation to see what other drug types have to offer, but that goes on everyday anyway.

any Jewish sage will tell you that forbidden fruit is always the sweetest, so maybe legalization might just knock some of the luster off the stuff.

saiga on April 21, 2010 at 1:59 PM

I support the legalization of marijuana mostly because I don’t think its worth spending money to enforce laws against it. But I must take issue with this idea that taxing marijuana could net as much as $6 billion a year, this is a big lie. The reason why marijuana is expensive is because it is illegal. It is simple to grow, it grows like weeds (they don’t call it weed for nothing, you know). One large plant can produce as much as a pound, enough to supply a heavy user for over a year! It will be grown for personal use, few will ever pay any tax on it. Legalization will increase supply and cause the price to fall. Taxes on marijuana will only generate about as much revenue for the government as other herbs and spices do. The idea that $6 billion will come racing into the treasury is a dream.

Dollayo on April 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM

HotAir has been called out for their libertine ways!:

So is the one-time “conservative” Hot Air blog, which has been promoting homosexuality and dope smoking.

Rae on April 21, 2010 at 5:45 PM

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