Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on January 3, 2014 by Allahpundit

Lines out the door and fierce winter weather couldn’t keep folks in Colorado from waiting eagerly for their chance to be among the first to legally purchase recreational marijuana on Wednesday.

Post growers in the state sold pounds of the sticky green drug to hordes of eager users and estimate across-the-board sales at $1 million on the first day the law took effect

‘This feels like freedom at last,’ said Amy Reynolds, owner of two Colorado Springs medical pot shops. Reynolds came to Denver to toast the dawn of pot sales for recreational use. ‘It’s a plant, it’s harmless, and now anyone over 21 can buy it if they want to. Beautiful.’

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[T]he reason to single out marijuana is the simple fact of its current (semi-)illegality. On balance, society will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance. In particular, our kids will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance

Please do not argue that Colorado’s law, like those proposed elsewhere, bans sales to those under 21. Ha! I have teenage children. The laws against underage drinking represent more challenge to overcome than barrier to access.

And although alcohol seems to be the teen drug of choice among the adolescents I know, the more widely available marijuana becomes, the more minors will use it. If seniors in fraternities can legally buy pot, more freshmen and sophomores will be smoking more of it.

And it’s not as if the kids need encouragement. By the time they have graduated from high school, nearly half have tried smoking pot; 16.5 percent of eighth-graders have. More alarming, the number who perceive great risk from regular use has been plummeting, from 58 percent to 40 percent among 12th-graders, according to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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The Internet is on a tear tonight making fun of Brooks. I hate that. It makes talking seriously about this stuff impossible. I don’t have a strong view one way or another about legal pot — though I agree with Brooks’s point quoted here, even as I think substantial decriminalization is probably necessary — but I hate the way many liberals and libertarians are so zealous about the issue, in a way that shuts down deliberation. Somebody on my Twitter feed today said that pot legalization is for the left what guns are for the right: the issue on which there can be no legitimate dissenting position.

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The other thing I notice is something I saw very early on when a whole bunch of pundits realized they had to say something to oppose gay marriage. These people simply don’t know a lot about the subject, do not regard it as serious enough to be better informed, and offer arguments that are so weak or irrelevant to the central question that they are setting themselves up for total failure in this debate…

[W]hat if pot enhances the higher pleasures – like listening to or making music, or appreciating fine wine or great food? And why doesn’t alcohol fit squarely into the same category? Millions of grown adults (not giggly teens) use the drug the way others use alcohol – with far less socially damaging or physically dangerous effect. What David doesn’t do either is address the real issue at hand: the social costs of prohibition versus the social costs of legalization…

The real argument is that the benefits of legalization far outweigh the costs – an argument David simply doesn’t address. I wish he would. I also wish that every pundit who writes about their youthful folly would do us a favor and research the current state of marijuana use and production, examine the far more sophisticated mixtures of CBD and THC, of sativa and indica, that this amazing plant is now grown to produce, and would acknowledge the medical uses of pot, which research is beginning to show are bewilderingly manifold. I wish they would not insult so many of their fellow adults and fellow citizens by arguing that their pleasure of choice is simply a way to be “dumb.” Calling those who disagree with you dumb is not that civil.

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The absence of prohibition is not the presence of government sanction. There are a countless number of perfectly legal activities I may find personally abhorrent—giving money to a major-party politician, driving at the speed limit in the fast lane, rooting for the Boston Red Sox—but keeping them legally permissible is not a case of my values being trampled by the state. If anything, the opposite is true: The more government uses laws to shape behavior, the more it is likely to offend your core values, whatever they may be…

“Healthy societies” don’t throw millions of people into human meat lockers to satisfy the moral urges of social engineers. It is “a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be” after you go to jail for engaging in the same recreational activity as a teenage David Brooks. The “moral ecology” got a whole better on Jan. 1, and will get better still when people stop using the criminal code as a laboratory experiment on their fellow human beings.

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White, middle-class teenagers aren’t the people who suffer the most from marijuana prohibition. That distinction goes to black teenagers—and young men in particular—who are arrested by the hundreds of thousands at a rate that’s wildly disproportionate to their actual use. Despite roughly equal usage rates, notes the American Civil Liberties Union, blacks are almost four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use than whites.

For a young David Brooks, smoking pot led to a little embarrassment in the classroom. Getting caught would have been unpleasant, but it’s hard to imagine it would have derailed his life chances. You can’t say the same for black teenagers in places like Chicago, New York City, Baltimore, and other cities around the country, where marijuana possession is sure to yield jail time and lost opportunities. Indeed, the stories are endless, from students who lost scholarships and financial aid, to young parents who lost benefits and housing eligibility.

In other words, the problem with Brooks’ column isn’t just the argument—which is flimsy and easily applicable to alcohol, tobacco or any other legal drug—it’s the blindness to injustice. Legalization will come with a lot of problems and complications, but at the least, it won’t be a world where whites receive a broad pass—and blacks, a strict punishment—for using the same substance.

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Anyone who wants to see what a de facto legalization environment looks like can visit an elite college campus, where both the trade and use of marijuana are highly visible, and where those who get caught face the relatively minor sanctions associated with breaking campus rules rather than the lifelong consequences of breaking the law. What we basically have now is a system where marijuana is practically legal for the wealthy and white and illegal for everyone else

As Michelle Alexander notes in her book, The New Jim Crow, the consequences of being convicted of felony marijuana possession can be far more dire than the sentence itself. Former offenders can find themselves deprived of professional or driver’s licenses, educational aid, food stamps, public housing, their right to vote, and they may find themselves fired and unable to find new employment, having been marked by society as little more than a criminal. For blacks caught up in the system it can compound the already considerable effects of ongoing racial discrimination…

There are degrees of decriminalization between marijuana prohibition and legalization–and people can argue how far the government should go. What’s clear is that under the current system, the wealthy and connected are almost entirely shielded from the consequences of marijuana being illegal, while the poor and non-white face catastrophe for engaging in the same behavior.

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[N]one of the people I’ve smoked with, in D.C. at least, have found it impeded their work any more than a bit of heavy drinking would. As a habit, it’s somewhat less dangerous than heavy drinking, as it neuters the violent instinct, is hard to overindulge on, and isn’t as fun to ingest. (Your choice: Suck on a wet roll of paper full of vegetation in your friend’s bedroom, or knock back an aged and aerated red wine across the table from a date?)

I could go on embarrassingly about the benefits of the practice, and all the good it does for the bass run on “Heart of the Sunrise,” but all that really matters is that people shouldn’t have their lives ruined if they want to find this out. There’s already a first-order danger of wasting time or embarrassing yourself from experimenting with any drug, legal or otherwise. The prohibitionists are defending the enforcement of a second-order danger, the complete elimination of a person as a productive member of society. Marcus worries “that the number who perceive great risk from regular use has been plummeting, from 58 percent to 40 percent among 12th-graders.” Why wouldn’t it plummet? The greatest risk is from arrest, not from use—and anytime you use something that’s supposed to ruin your life, but doesn’t, won’t you naturally mistrust the nannies who warned you against it?

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Somebody on my Twitter feed today said that pot legalization is for the left what guns are for the right: the issue on which there can be no legitimate dissenting position.

Don’t be silly … that’s abortion, or rather unrestricted access to government-paid abortion under any circumstances up to and including birth.

Jaibones on January 4, 2014 at 7:56 AM

Kcewa…thank you! I’ve been wide awake since 2am….what a lovely way to enjoy my morning! Although, now it feels like mid-morning to me!

herm2416 on January 4, 2014 at 6:44 AM

You’re welcome! It’s a shame that more people don’t know his solo work.

Phil Everly: Ich bin Dein

kcewa on January 4, 2014 at 8:21 AM

We saw Simon and Garfunkel a few years back. They attributed their sound to the Everly Brothers, and even sang with one of them onstage–appearing as a special guest that night. It was wonderful!

herm2416 on January 4, 2014 at 5:09 AM

We saw them on tour with Simon and Garfunkel in 2003. Loved the Everly Brothers’ set most.

When Simon and Garfunkel reunited for a world tour in 2003 they knew only one group could possibly share the bill with them: the Everly Brothers. As teenagers, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel used to sing Everly Brothers songs on the grounds of Forest Hills High School. They were their single biggest influence, with no close second.

Fallon on January 4, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Well we filled our glasses many times
And we’re feeling warm from the fire.

Friends it’s time to go to sleep
and let our dreams bring us peace.
The world can make it alone,
so let us all go home.
Talk is all that we can do,
the answers aren’t with me or you.
The problems are in such foolish hands
and their answers we’ll never understand.
Presidents, dictators, kings
are titles that don’t mean a thing.
And someday we will surely see ‘em fall
but we will survive them all.

kcewa on January 4, 2014 at 8:47 AM

‘This feels like freedom at last’

*thwack! thwack! thwack! thwack!*

That was my skull!

Yeah, that’s freedom.

*face palm*

Fallon on January 4, 2014 at 8:51 AM

kcewa on January 4, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Nice.

Fallon on January 4, 2014 at 9:03 AM

I don’t have a problem with legalization as in CO. But, I don’t want to provide housing, welfare, SSI, food stamps, Medicaid etc to pot heads who just want to toke up all day long and not work.

Also as an employer, I have to be able to randomly drug test employees and fire those with positive tests without threat of litigation etc

Also, what people miss in the alcohol vs weed debate is that THC is fat soluble and accumulates in the brain. It takes 30 days or more to be eliminated, so a person having a ‘recreational’ joint daily after work is never sober. I don’t really want that person as a zoned out employee. Regular users are going to eventually make themselves unemployable as they can never pass a drug test.

txdoc on January 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Happy Saturday, Patriots! And, Trolls.
O/T:

Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.

– Ronald Reagan

My take: The War Against Christianity: Obama Vs. The Little Sisters of the Poor

kingsjester on January 4, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Drug and pot laws should be evaluated by a cost-benefit analysis. The costs are huge, with interdiction, enforcement, incarceration, murder, destruction in Mexico, and not to mention the serious incursions on our freedoms from the snooping brutal police state, like with the dog-killing door busting SWAT teams run wild. Plus the lost tax revenue.

And what are the benefits? Oh yes. People who fight the drug war make money, and get thrills, off of it. People and prison guard unions who build and staff the prisons make money. People who look the other way make money. Police who confiscate drugs and re-sell them make money. Supposedly, the reason for the drug war is the eradication of drug abuse, which would be a great benefit… when pigs fly.

Prohibition, not drug use, creates the violence of the black market, burgeoning prisons and ruined lives. All over the world, policies of prohibition have turned streets into shooting galleries, while having no discernible effect on levels, or patterns, of usage. Look at videos on Portugal’s drug decriminalization showing how drug decriminalization has actually reduced drug use and addiction!

As far a CO and pot use, give it a little time for use to go down, because now there’s all this hype that probably will spur short-term use, but in the long run, with the shadowy “lure of the illicit” gone, people and especially the youth will be more open to educational appeals on the damage done by pot use, like partial infertility, possible cancer, a degree of mental impairment, and the degradation of academic & career performance. The arguments against use I just made will resonate more strongly if pot is legal, and regardless, those arguments are much more powerful than that of it’s illegality, which doesn’t seem to play any discernible role in effectively deterring use.

anotherJoe on January 4, 2014 at 11:19 AM

THis is the beginning of the end. First Alcohol, now it is pot. Prohibition of alcohol should have never been ended.

nazo311 on January 4, 2014 at 12:35 PM

While I am inclined to agree legalization is probably the best alternative (anything that empowers truly malevolent men gives me pause), cost-benefit analysis is limited in its ability to give a realistic result. For instance, no one really knows how much removing the legal sanction against pot use might affect the culture, and some of the cultural consequences might be quite deleterious to productivity. We have no idea how much this might be, so it wouldn’t be included at all in a c/b analysis.

fadetogray on January 4, 2014 at 1:03 PM

fadetogray on January 4, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Yes, perhaps the most prominent argument made now is that legalizing pot is sanctioning it, giving in effect govt approval.

So, if the evidence is that legalization actually reduces drug use, the point is made that so what, we don’t want to give sanction to it. But that’s the nanny state mentality that it up to the government to sanction everything. If soda is legal does that mean it has govt sanction? Alcohol? Sleeping tell noon on Sunday morning? Govt should get out of the nanny-state sanctioning business. People should be free, yes (see conservative economist Milton Friedman’s 57 minute video: Liberty and Drugs 1991), but more importantly, people have to have responsibility for themselves. You ask, what if people don’t know that pot is harmful? Well, not to sound crass, but that’s their problem, it’s not the govt’s problem. Google “marijuana damage” before toking up. Um, or not, it’s up to you. And if they Drive While High, that’s a separate crime.

Also, though, we hear: “it’s the kids, we got to protect them because they aren’t developed enough to make their own decisions.” But, give kids some credit (intelligence), and as I said in my comment above, the arguments against use will almost certainly gain greater traction among the youth if pot is legal and out in the open. And even more important, a regulated legal market with age restrictions (with no black market) will actually make it more difficult for kids to get pot.

anotherJoe on January 4, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding

Commissioned by President Richard M. Nixon, March, 1972

——————————————————————————–

Table of Contents

The Report

Letter of Transmittal

Introduction

I. Marihuana and the Problem of Marihuana
•Origins of the Marihuana Problem •Visibility
•Perceived Threats
•Symbolism

•The Need for Perspective •Historical Perspective
•Cultural Perspective •The Search for Meaning
•Skepticism
•The Limits of Rationality

•Formulating Marihuana Policy •Scientific Oversimplification
•Philosophical Oversimplification
•Sociological Oversimplification
•Legal Oversimplification

•The Report

II. Marihuana Use and Its Effects
•The Marihuana User
•Demographic Characteristics
•Patterns of Use
•Profiles of Users •Experimental Users
•Intermittent Users
•Moderate and Heavy Users
•Very Heavy Users

•Becoming a Marihuana User •Parental Influence
•Situational Factors and Behavioral Correlates
•Social Group Factors
•The Dynamics of Persistent Use

•Becoming a Multidrug User •Epidemiologic Studies
•Profiles and Dynamics
•Sociocultural Factors

•Effects of Marihuana on the User
•Botany and Chemistry
•Factors Influencing Drug Effect •Dosage
•Method of Use
•Metabolism
•Set and Setting
•Tolerance
•Reverse Tolerance
•Duration of Use
•Patterns of Use
•Definition of Dependence

•Effects Related to Pattern Use
•Immediate Drug Effects •Subjective Effects
•Bodv Function
•Mental Function
•The Intoxicated State
•Unpleasant Reactions
•Anxiety States
•Psychosis
•Conclusions

•ShortTerm Effects
•Long Term Effects
•Very Long Term Effects •Tolerance and Dependence
•General Body Function
•Social Functioning
•Mental Functioning
•Motivation and Behavioral Change

•Summary

III. Social Impact of Marihuana Use
•Marihuana and Public Safety •Marihuana and Crime
•The Issue of Cause and Effect •Marihuana and Violent Crime
•Marihuana and Non Violent Crime
•A Sociocultural Explanation

•Marihuana and Driving

•Marihuana, Public Health and Welfare •A Public Health Approach •The Population at Risk
•Confusion and Fact

•Assessment of Perceived Risks •Lethality
•Potential for Genetic Damage
•Immediate Effects
•Effects of LongTerm, Heavy Use
•Addiction Potential
•Progression to Other Drugs

•Preventive Public Health Concerns •Summary

•Marihuana and the Dominant Social Order •Marihuana and the Dominant Social Order •The Adult Marihuana User
•The Young Marihuana User

•The World of Youth
•Why Society Feels Threatened •Dropping Out
•Dropping Down
•Youth and Radical Politics
•Youth and the Work Ethic
•The Changing Social Scene

IV. Social Response to Marihuana Use
•The Initial Social Response
•The Change
•The Current Response •The Criminal Justice System •Law Enforcement Behavior
•Law Enforcement Opinion

•The Non-Legal Institutions •The Family
•The Schools
•The Churches
•The Medical Community
•Summary

•The Public Response

V. Marihuana and Social Policy
•Drugs in a Free Society •Drugs and Social Responsibility

•A Social Control Policy for Marihuana •Approval of Use
•Elimination of Use
•Discouragement or Neutrality

•Implementing the Discouragement Policy •The Role of Law in Effective Social Control
•Total Prohibition
•Regulation
•Partial Prohibition
•Recommendations for Federal Law
•Recommendations for State Law
•Discussion of Federal Recommendations
•Discussion of State Recommendations
•Discussion of Potential Objections

•A Final Comment

Iowa Medical Marijuana 2014

svs22422 on January 4, 2014 at 1:42 PM

People do not suffer from marijuana prohibition. They suffer from drug users selling drugs to their children. They suffer from chronic intoxication when they should be thinking and working. They suffer from the self centered choice to engage in an illegal activity even when it puts their personal liberty at risk, their ability to care for someone and their mental lucidity.
Marijuana does hot enhance higher mental activities it makes things seem better. Do you really want to relish snack food and any sound with or without a beat? Well, now you have the choice just like drunks have always had to legally neglect your children.

Observation on January 4, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Observation on January 4, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Is there anything that you think would be a bad choice that you wouldn’t throw someone in jail for making?

Or is your view people shouldn’t be allowed to make bad choices, letting people choose is wrong; and throwing anyone who tries to choose differently from you in jail is the correct answer?

gekkobear on January 5, 2014 at 8:01 PM

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