Boss Emeritus: Put aside the pot jokes and look again at Colorado legalization

posted at 12:41 pm on March 26, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Our great friend and Boss Emeritus, Michelle Malkin, offers a powerful testimony today in her column on marijuana legalization — and a surprisingly personal perspective. Sure, we all have fun with jokes at Colorado’s experiment with recreational approval, but the access it creates does more than just serve as easy access to intoxication. Michelle found herself in one of the pot shops that have opened to serve demand that comes from more than just fun and games, hoping to find help for her mother-in-law:

It’s 9 a.m. on a weekday, and I’m at the Marisol Therapeutics pot shop. This is serious business. Security is tight. ID checks are frequent. Merchandise is strictly regulated, labeled, wrapped and controlled. The store is clean, bright and safe. The staffers are courteous and professional. Customers of all ages are here.

There’s a middle-aged woman at the counter nearby who could be your school librarian. On the opposite end of the dispensary, a slender young soldier in a wheelchair with close-cropped hair, dressed in his fatigues, consults with a clerk. There’s a gregarious cowboy and an inquisitive pair of baby boomers looking at edibles. A dude in a hoodie walks in with his backpack.

And then there’s my husband and me. …

For the past three months, my mother-in-law, Carole, whom I love with all my heart, has battled metastatic melanoma. After a harrowing week of hospitalization and radiation, she’s at home now. A miraculous new combination of oral cancer drugs seems to have helped enormously with pain and possibly contained the disease’s spread. But Carole’s loss of appetite and nausea persist.

A month ago, with encouragement from all of her doctors here in Colorado, she applied for a state-issued medical marijuana card. It still hasn’t come through. As a clerk at Marisol Therapeutics told us, there’s a huge backlog.

In states where only medicinal use is permitted, Carole would still be out of luck. However, in Colorado, access for recreational use also allows people to get around the permitting process temporarily, although the prices go up for non-medicinal use:

But thanks to Amendment 64, the marijuana drug legalization act approved by voters in 2012, we were able to legally and safely circumvent the bureaucratic holdup. “A lot of people are in your same situation,” the pot shop staffer told us. “We see it all the time, and we’re glad we can help.”

Be sure to read it all. Michelle makes a good point about the entrepreneurial aspects of Colorado’s legalization, as well as the improved ability for citizens to exercise their own choice on both recreational intoxicants and medical treatments. The marijuana is grown on site and/or locally, so it involves no issues that would normally invoke federal jurisdiction.

That leaves the question, though, of whether marijuana actually does provide an effective therapeutic treatment. Unfortunately, this is another area in which the federal government obstructs rather than clarifies, as the Washington Post reported last week:

While 20 states and the District have made medical marijuana legal — in Colorado and Washington state the drug is also legal for recreational use — it remains among the most tightly controlled substances under federal law. For scientists, that means extra steps to obtain, transport and secure the drug — delays they say can slow down their research by months or even years.

The barriers exist despite the fact that the number of people using marijuana legally for medical reasons is estimated at more than 1 million.

Stalled for decades because of the stigma associated with the drug, lack of funding and legal issues, research into marijuana’s potential for treating diseases is drawing renewed interest. Recent studies and anecdotal stories have provided hope that marijuana, or some components of the plant, may have diverse applications, such as treating cancer, HIV and Alzheimer’s disease.

But scientists say they are frustrated that the federal government has not made any efforts to speed the process of research. Over the years, the Drug Enforcement Administration has turned down several petitions to reclassify cannabis, reiterating its position that marijuana has no accepted medical use and remains a dangerous drug. The DEA has said that there is a lack of safety data and that the drug has a high potential for abuse.

It’s a typical bureaucratic catch-22. The government has declared marijuana to be among the most dangerous of controlled substances so few can access it for studies to determine its value, and the federal government uses the lack of established evidence of its value to justify its classification. Meanwhile, several states have had years of experience in medicinal legalization with apparently few ill effects, which is at least indirect evidence that the DEA has misclassified marijuana, but no one wants to take the politically risky step of reducing control over weed. Meanwhile, people like Carole have to live in states like Colorado in order to make their own decisions over access and effectiveness.

I’m not a fan of marijuana, and I do worry about the moral signal that legalizing recreational use sends, but at least so far it hasn’t had any worse impact than alcohol. We should at least study the impact of marijuana so that we can have an informed debate.


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Loon Liberal Democrats = ” If it makes you feel good vote for it and do it.”

Hot Air Libitarians and pot heads = ” If it makes you feel good vote for it and do it.”

Let others deal with the fall out.

Little Green Foot Balls Blog has a welcome sign out for such.

There is no need of a civil society, just do what you want to.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 4:39 PM

First page google.
http://lungcancer.about.com/od/causesoflungcance1/f/marijuana.htm

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 4:41 PM

First page google.
http://lungcancer.about.com/od/causesoflungcance1/f/marijuana.htm

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 4:41 PM

From your source:

Bottom line: Though marijuana most likely pales in cancer risk when compared to cigarette smoking, it’s better to play it safe.

That’s really my whole point. May not be fully ‘harmless’ — but close enough.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Many billions a year in ‘War on Drugs’ enforcement savings (marijuana alone).

What is the basis of that claim?
There is a specific cost to pot eradication as far as things like aerial servalence and detection goes, but that is minimal in the overall cost. The equipment and man hours applied are not specific to pot. Those people also work on other types of cases.

Increased tax revenue in the hundreds of millions (billions as more states adopted it).
Improved treatment programs for those who do have problems, reductions in STDs, etc (see Portugal).
Flat or near-flat use curve, no major increase in use due to legality/decriminalization (again, Portugal).

The ability to tax pot is vastly overstated. In fact, there may be an increased black market for untaxed pot. There would be no way to tell one product from another.

The problem with the Portugal claim is the same problem with any other claim like it. Claiming that drug use actually went down after legalization is simply bogus. There is no way to track and evaluate statistics that are not gathered. If it no longer a crime, there are no statistics adding to any data base to be able to be evaluated. It’s like, if you don’t see it..it doesn’t exist, statistically

Thats just a start, then you have all the externalities of the elimination of criminal charges related to possession. I know you guys will hate this example, but Obama is a good example, if he had been caught with the choom gang, even once, he would never went on to become President (I wish he would have… but that’s another story =P). Pell grants would no longer be affected, nobody would get thrown out of college over a bag of weed (because -that- makes sense… ugh). It would also be a good bone to throw the minority community (if the GOP supported it) that we’d be reducing the ‘racism’ inherent in the majority of drug charges/convictions. I mean the list just goes on and on…

When I hear opponents talk about it, they never seem to have many reasons at all other than perhaps being of advanced age and having the ‘get off my lawn’ response, but in my mind there are too many positives to ignore.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Hypotheticals do not = positives.

So basically, some choom ganger not being elected or some college pothead having a problem should be justification another drug who’s sole recreational use is intoxication?

It’s actually a huge change in society. Can you name any other drug who’s sole use beyond some medical anomaly is intoxication?
Name one.

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Bottom line: Though marijuana most likely pales in cancer risk when compared to cigarette smoking, it’s better to play it safe.

That’s really my whole point. May not be fully ‘harmless’ — but close enough.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Why didn’t you finish the sentence?

Bottom line: Though marijuana most likely pales in cancer risk when compared to cigarette smoking, it’s better to play it safe. There are reasons in addition to lung cancer risk (and the fact that it is illegal in most states) to avoid marijuana. Marijuana likely increases the risk of testicular cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, a type of brain tumor, and the risk of leukemia in the offspring of women who use it during pregnancy.

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:08 PM

You guys… smh.

I think for now I’ll just be content to sit here and bask in the statistical/cultural trends we’re seeing in the polling.

Favorables:

1987: 16%
1993: 26%
2002: 34%
2012: 43%
2014: 55%

2016: 65% (?) Doesn’t seem unreasonable given the trend.

I also assume those on here who are against it fall into the demographic that is split/against it generally. 50 years of age and older. Do you guys see the long-term problem with your position on this?

The demographic breakdown is even worse when you look at my millennial generation, and generation X — we’re already at 67% and 64% support, respectively.

The tide is turning folks, and you are powerless to stop it ;)

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:23 PM

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:23 PM

You changed the topic. Logical Fallacies abound. Your using the Appeal to Popularity fallacy.

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM

That’s it. She’s a RINO. Purge her!!!!

rukiddingme on March 27, 2014 at 5:27 PM

That’s it. She’s a RINO. Purge her!!!!

rukiddingme on March 27, 2014 at 5:27 PM

What do you mean?

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:29 PM

What do you mean?

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Yeah, that one confused me as well…

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:32 PM

You changed the topic. Logical Fallacies abound. Your using the Appeal to Popularity fallacy.

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM

I did, but I wouldn’t call it an ‘appeal to popularity fallacy’ because I’m not arguing that hey because it’s popular you should be ok with it… more just pointing out that all of our other discussions will soon be moot in the face of cultural reality very soon.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Yeah, that one confused me as well…

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Maybe he was talking about Rino horn and how to purge the residue from your system?

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:34 PM

more just pointing out that all of our other discussions will soon be moot in the face of cultural reality very soon.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:34 PM

So you just changed the topic to the inevitability of incrementalism?

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Heck it might get as high as the 97% deal on how real Climate Change is later.

When it is 99% for legal pot and 100% still wrong what then?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:37 PM

blink on March 27, 2014 at 5:34 PM

You’re ok, blink. And yes, I will admit that I pushed the envelope a little too far when it came to the health risks. I never spit in the face of data that is presented to me.

That said, I still stand by the fact (ok fine, my belief, based on polling) that it’s coming no matter what.

And like I told some of you guys the other day, you would all probably be pretty surprised at how many things we agree on politically. I haven’t been on here long, but I’m sure we’ll be debating (perhaps on the same side) on another thread soon.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Heck it might get as high as the 97% deal on how real Climate Change is later.

When it is 99% for legal pot and 100% still wrong what then?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Then they’ll blame….ummmmm…BOOOSH!!

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:38 PM

So you just changed the topic to the inevitability of incrementalism?

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:36 PM

I can’t win with you, can I? ;)

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:39 PM

If the Pope says make pot legal, that absolve the sin?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:40 PM

The rule of law is all good until it keeps me from doing what “I” want to do.

That about it?

65% running from car crashes like the illegals do will make leaving the scene of an accident all good looks like.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I can’t win with you, can I? ;)

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:39 PM

There is no spoon winning. It’s just people exchanging thoughts and ideas. :)

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 5:44 PM

If the Pope says make pot legal, that absolve the sin?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Let he that is without sin cast the first stone, Apache.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Take Afghanistan for example.

Lots of “hash”, lots of drug use for 100′s of years.

Great place to live, real civil society, lots of good jobs, lots of nice things going on out in the hills where the drugs are grown.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Take Afghanistan for example.

Lots of “hash”, lots of drug use for 100′s of years.

Great place to live, real civil society, lots of good jobs, lots of nice things going on out in the hills where the drugs are grown.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Yeah, it was the hash that brought Afghanistan down. If not for the hash, Afghanistan would have basically been NYC.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:51 PM

nullrouted,

No, islam is the root evil there, the drug use just compounds the evil.

Here loon liberals from the 1960′s like Clinton, Kerry, William Ayers, Al Gore, Jerry Brown etal are the root of the pot stupid herein.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Evil seems like a stretch… but certainly any drug can cause the same symptom, including alcohol.

To most of us, it’s just like having a beer at the end of a long day, nothing less, nothing more.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Probably not, but maybe they’d have a few roads by now?

blink on March 27, 2014 at 5:57 PM

That assumes they wouldn’t immediately destroy them with IEDs

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Take Afghanistan for example.

Lots of “hash”, lots of drug use for 100′s of years.

Great place to live, real civil society, lots of good jobs, lots of nice things going on out in the hills where the drugs are grown.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Yes, because the problems with Afghanistan are all because they have hash there.

Would you say the place was a veritable paradise when the Taliban declared drug production was un-Islamic and cracked down hard – and with great success – on poppy growth? Is that more your cup of tea?

alchemist19 on March 27, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Good thing no young pot users steal from their grandparents for the money to buy pot with.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:01 PM

The Taliban was just the most lethal killer mad dog hash cartel who wanted the whole trade to themselves to raise money to kill Americans with.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Good thing no young pot users steal from their grandparents for the money to buy pot with.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Apache: 1
Strawman: 0

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 6:05 PM

alcohol kills, kills a lot, every day,
so the answer to that is another drug and more deaths and more destruction
I had a guy who worked cattle for our family, he got on alcohol in high school in the 40′s went to WWII came back worse, worked every day he could for us cowboy day work, sometimes two fifths a day.
Lived to 73 years old, nice guy, no car wrecks, ect. just a wasted life.

Pot wastes lives, you will not waste yours but millions of others will not be so luckey. Is what makes you feel good at the end of the day worth all the pain and suffering of the millions of others?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Good thing no young pot users steal from their grandparents for the money to buy pot with.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Actually I take it back, is that what happened to you?

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Arguing with self-righteous pragmatists usually doesn’t accomplish much, I’ve found.

non-nonpartisan on March 27, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Maybe just a liiitle projection?

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Ah, no, no projection at all from my end. That you’d come to this false conclusion about me doesn’t surprise me.

I am a deontologist, not someone who is either self-righteous nor a pragmatist when it comes to morality. From what I’ve seen you express, not only do I expect you to not appreciate the difference in approaches between me and incoherent prohibitionists, I expect that you don’t even understand what the difference is.

Does others’ pursuit of pleasure bother you much? Why do you care how other people choose to get their kicks, anyway? How does it necessarily concern you? Do you concern yourself as much with drunkeness as you do with marijuana highs? If not, why not? You don’t deny that alcohol is more poisonous than marijuana, do you?

non-nonpartisan on March 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Your just making those qualities about me up. Most likely to rationalize your position.

Asking you those questions is “making those qualities” up about you? lol you are a trip. Are you stoned right now?

Poisonous?? In what levels of chronic use? Let me guess..in your mind you’re seeing a rampant drunk on the one hand, and on the other you see a polite occasional pot puffer? Just a guess..not saying that is what your basing your claim on.
Assuming that I’m wrong, what is the usage comparison you’re making?
Chronic pot smoke..or any smoke for that matter, very much poisons ones lungs, mouth, throat and the bodies ability to use oxygen, which in turn causes other system to fail or weaken.
Don’t you agree?

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 12:18 PM

I would agree that you’re a confused, presumptuous person who’s all over the map, and it looks like you like to argue just for the sake of it, too.

non-nonpartisan on March 27, 2014 at 6:12 PM

One thing sure, personal attacks are the rule on hot air blog.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Pot wastes lives, you will not waste yours but millions of others will not be so luckey. Is what makes you feel good at the end of the day worth all the pain and suffering of the millions of others?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:11 PM

I’m not the caretaker of every one of my peers.

In my estimation, plenty of them are currently ‘wasting their lives’ on pursuits such as Theatre degrees, Tribal Dance degrees, Women’s Studies degrees, you name it. They’re going to have a lifetime of crushing student debt, modest existence, etc…

Though I’m sure you find all of those pursuits fine and acceptable. Plenty of others in my generation will slave away at Fast Food joints and lower/middle-management positions as well.

I have a pretty high bar when it comes to ‘success’ in life. At 30, I’m nowhere near where I want to be. That said, I’m still ahead of all of my known peers (and many within my entire generational cohort) as well as many of my elders — which I’m sure accounts at least in part for my somewhat abrasive personality.

Those facts are also why I get so incensed when people want to simply dismiss anyone who smokes as a ‘pothead’ — it’s like calling everyone who drinks wine after work an alcoholic. Pointless.

I see what you are saying, not everyone is going to make the right choices, but should we really be the kind of nation that makes those kind of personal decisions for people? If people are going to screw up their lives, they’re going to find a way to do it, one way or the other.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 6:20 PM

non-nonpartisan on March 27, 2014 at 6:12 PM

You’re just silly and most likely are not aware of it. Basically one fallacy interspersed with random whines and pompous self aggrandizement. Not really worth the time,imo.

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Everybody thoroughly doped and covered in orange cheese food dust?

Murphy9 on March 27, 2014 at 6:41 PM

You’re just silly and most likely are not aware of it. Basically one fallacy interspersed with random whines and pompous self aggrandizement. Not really worth the time,imo.

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Didn’t I just say the same to you? lol you’re not very original nor interesting.

You remind me of our all-knowing president when it comes to projection and an inability to recognize that you are imperfect and have blind spots. I know you’ll try turning this around on me, too, because I have seen that it’s what you do. You’re stuck in an echo chamber.

non-nonpartisan on March 27, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Everybody thoroughly doped and covered in orange cheese food dust?

Murphy9 on March 27, 2014 at 6:41 PM

*Buurp*

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Leave the sheep of the flock to the whims of the wolf pack.

Sheep dogs need not apply.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Vote substantia nigra!

Murphy9 on March 27, 2014 at 6:50 PM

54-46, That’s my number.

Murphy9 on March 27, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Pot wastes lives, you will not waste yours but millions of others will not be so luckey. Is what makes you feel good at the end of the day worth all the pain and suffering of the millions of others?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Yes, of course, when that is what they choose.

It is called freedom. If you are not free to choose to screw up your life, you are not free at all.

fadetogray on March 27, 2014 at 7:33 PM

It is called freedom. If you are not free to choose to screw up your life, you are not free at all.

fadetogray on March 27, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Everyone is free to screw up their lives. Who’s stopping them?
The question is whether it should be encouraged or not, validated or not.

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 8:26 PM

You’re not pragmatic when it comes to morality? So do you approach morality from an idealistic or apathetic perspective? Do you only want idealistic laws, or are you ok with doing away with any given law (e.g. laws against theft)?

blink on March 27, 2014 at 7:03 PM

“pragmatic morality” isn’t real morality, as true morality isn’t affected/influenced by times nor circumstances. Pick-and-choose prohibitionists, who are moral subjectivists, don’t seem to understand the concept at all.

Do you not believe that adults have the God-given right to get drunk in private?

non-nonpartisan on March 27, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Pot wastes lives, you will not waste yours but millions of others will not be so luckey. Is what makes you feel good at the end of the day worth all the pain and suffering of the millions of others?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:11 PM

.
Yes, of course, when that is what they choose.

It is called freedom. If you are not free to choose to screw up your life, you are not free at all.

fadetogray on March 27, 2014 at 7:33 PM

.

listens2glenn on March 26, 2014 at 4:10 PM

.
And do you really think we should re-implement prohibition for alcohol?
Which is essentially what you’re doing by saying it should ONLY be for medicinal use. Do you really think anyone in this country (besides you and a few other teetotalers) is going to support putting nearly the entire alcohol industry (wine, beer, hard liquor) out of business?

dentarthurdent on March 26, 2014 at 4:19 PM
.

Do you (all of you/us, not just dentarthurdent) really believe drunkenness and being legally allowed to walk the streets of Colorado (or anywhere else it’s legalized) while “high” on marijuana ISN’T going to be used as a reason for disarming the common citizens ?

listens2glenn on March 26, 2014 at 7:11 PM

.
People with an agenda of disarming common citizens are going to fabricate reasons to do it no matter what. If it’s not because of alcohol and marijuana, it’s going to be for some other reason they’ve concocted.

xblade on March 26, 2014 at 11:11 PM

.
The “people with an agenda of disarming common citizens” can’t do it alone, no matter what they “concoct”. They’re NOT in the majority, as of current (I think we agree on that much).

But a large segment of Americans are what I call “neutral” on the gun matter. As regards this subject (private ownership of firearms), I define “neutral” Americans as those persons who don’t have guns in their homes, probably grew up with no direct hands-on experience, or even being around other family or friends who were shooting, BUT … are not necessarily opposed (at this time) to other American citizens owning and possessing firearms, including the “dreaded” AR-15.

For these kinds of citizens, it won’t take very many incidents (how many are already documented?) of “under-the-influence” people, doing something stupid with guns (even if it doesn’t cause death or injury), to cause these “neutral” citizens (and possibly even some pro-Second Amendment persons) to rethink their position on the matter?
.
My original claim remains that:

“A society of people who practice achieving for themselves, an artificial, chemical induced sensation of pleasure, CANNOT be expected to responsibly practice the safe possession of firearms.”

There are other benefits to drinking alcoholic beverages, besides drunkeness for the sake of drunkeness.
.
We have known for some time that there is a valid, logical use for marijuana as a pain reliever for certain patients.

I still believe Michelle opposes “recreational” use of marijuana.

But … she’s thankful that the Colorado ‘law change’ made it possible for her mom-in-law to obtain marijuana sooner than she otherwise would have.
I believe most of us agree that this case serves as an ideal example of the legitimate “medical” use of marijuana.
.
But we still disagree as to the “recreational” use.

listens2glenn on March 27, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Cancer Institute:Clinical Trials, Studies and Applications of Cannabis

Note the directory panel, left hand side of the page.

Note:

[1] Clinical trials conducted on medicinal Cannabis are limited. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of Cannabis as a treatment for any medical condition. To conduct clinical drug research in the United States, researchers must file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA.

Note that all trials mentioned on this site were limited and focused.

*Large “Double Blind” studies require thousands of participants, take 10-30 years to conduct, and because of the scope, size and duration of the trials are generally conducted at tax payer expense. Such a study is generally focused on a social issue, rather than any focused medical application.

A partial list of studies and applications

Accepted Medical Use of Cannabis: Reviews of Earlier Clinical Studies

Several scientific publications have reviewed evidence from research on the medicinal uses of cannabis indicating that cannabis in fact may offer benefits in the treatment of certain illnesses

Key quotes from five independent summaries of the medical benefits of the cannabinoid substances in marijuana are presented below. All of them refer to either “cannabis” or to “marijuana” specifically, and they all utilize the conceptual approach implied by Hollister in 2001 (Hollister 2001): clinical evidence on cannabinoids provides an understanding of the medical use of marijuana. The first article is by Grotenhermen, to be published in Clinical Pharmacokinetics in October 2002, the second by Williamson and Evans was published in the December 2000 issue of Drugs, the third is a review on “Therapeutic aspects of cannabis and cannabinoids” in 2001 by Robson that was commissioned by the British Government, the fourth review is an article by Glass, published in May 2001 in Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, and the fifth is a review article by Porter and Felder in Pharmacological Therapeutics in April 2001.

Grotenhermen:

“Cannabis preparations have been employed in the treatment of numerous diseases, with marked differences in the available supporting data (BMA 1997, Grotenhermen and Russo 2002a, House of Lords 1998, Joy et al. 1999). Besides phytocannabinoids, several synthetic cannabinoid derivatives are under clinical investigation that are devoid of psychotropic effects, and modulators of the endocannabinoid system (re-uptake inhibitors, antagonists at the CB receptor, etc.) will presumably follow.

Hierarchy of Therapeutic Effects

Possible indications for cannabis preparations have been extensively reviewed (BMA 1997, Grinspoon and Bakalar, Grotenhermen 2002b, House of Lords 1999, Joy et al. 1999, Mathre 1997, Mechoulam 1986). To do justice to the scientific evidence with regard to different indications, a hierarchy of therapeutic effects can be devised, with established effects, relatively well-confirmed effects, less confirmed effects and a basic research stage. However the history of research into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids has demonstrated that the scientific evidence for a specific indication does not necessarily reflect the actual therapeutic potential for a given disease, but sometimes obstacles to clinical research.

Established Effects

Marinol? (dronabinol) is approved for the medical use in refractory nausea and vomiting caused by antineoplastic drugs in cancer (Abrahamov et al. 1995, Dansak 1997, Lane et al. 1991, Sallan et al. 1980) and for appetite loss in anorexia and cachexia of HIV/AIDS patients (Beal et al. 1997, Plasse et al. 1991). These effects can be regarded as established effects for THC and cannabis. Cesamet™ (nabilone) is approved for nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.

Relatively Well-Confirmed Effects

Spasticity due to spinal cord injury (Brenneisen et al. 1996, Maurer et al. 1990, Petro 1980) and multiple sclerosis (Brenneisen et al. 1996, Meinck et al. 1989, Petro 1980, Petro and Elleberger 1981, Ungerleider et al. 1987), chronic painful conditions especially neurogenic pain (Elsner et al. 2001, Maurer et al. 1990, Notcutt et al. 2001a, Notcutt et al. 2001b, Noyes et al. 1975a, Noyes et al. 1975b), movement disorders (Clifford 1983, Hemming and Yellowlees 1993, Mueller-Vahl et al. 1999, Mueller-Vahl et al. 2002, Sandyk and Awerbuch 1998, Sieradzan et al. 2001), asthma (Hartley et al. 1978, Tashkin et al. 1974, Williams et al. 1976), and glaucoma (Crawford and Merritt 1979, Hepler and Frank 1971, Hepler and Petrus 1976, Merritt et al. 1980, Merritt et al. 1981) can be regarded as relatively well-confirmed effects with small placebo controlled trials demonstrating benefits. However, results were sometimes conflicting.

Less Confirmed Effects

There are several indications in which mainly only case reports suggest benefits. These are allergies (Schnelle et al. 1999), inflammation (Joy et al. 1999), epilepsy (Gordon and Devinsky 2001), intractable hiccups (Gilson and Busalacchi 1998), depression (Beal et al. 1995), bipolar disorders (Grinspoon and Bakalar 1998), anxiety disorders (Joy et al. 1999), dependency to opiates and alcohol (Mikuriya 1970, Schnelle et al. 1999), withdrawal symptoms ((Mikuriya 1970), and disturbed behaviour in Alzheimer’s disease (Volicer et al. 1997).

Basic Research Stage

Basic research shows promising possible future therapeutic indications, among them neuroprotection in hypoxia and ischemia due to traumatic head injury, nerve gas damage and stroke (Hampson 2002, Mechoulam and Shohami 2002). Some immunological mechanisms of THC hint to possible benefits in basic mechanisms of T-helper 1 dominated autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease (Melamede 2002). Other fields of research are disorders of blood pressure (Ralevic and Kendall 2001, Wagner et al. 2001) and anti-neoplastic activity of cannabinoids (Jacobsson et al. 2001, Sanchez et al. 2001). Cannabinoids seem to be able to control the cell survival/death decision (Guzman et al. 2001). Thus cannabinoids may induce proliferation, growth arrest, or apoptosis in a number of cells depending on dose ((Guzman et al. 2001). Several effects observed in animal studies provide the basis for further research, among them effects against diarrhoea in mice (Izzo et al. 2000) and inhibition of bronchospasms provoked by chemical irritants in rats (Calignano et al. 2000).

Williamson:

“Cannabis has a potential for clinical use often obscured by unreliable and purely anecdotal reports. The most important natural cannabinoid is the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC); others include cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG). Not all the observed effects can be ascribed to THC, and the other constituents may also modulate its action; for example CBD reduces anxiety induced by THC. A standardised extract of the herb may be therefore be more beneficial in practice and clinical trial protocols have been drawn up to assess this. The mechanism of action is still not fully understood, although cannabinoid receptors have been cloned and natural ligands identified. Cannabis is frequently used by patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) for muscle spasm and pain, and in an experimental model of MS low doses of cannabinoids alleviated tremor. Most of the controlled studies have been carried out with THC rather than cannabis herb and so do not mimic the usual clinical situation. Small clinical studies have confirmed the usefulness of THC as an analgesic; CBD and CBG also have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, indicating that there is scope for developing drugs which do not have the psychoactive properties of THC. Patients taking the synthetic derivative nabilone for neurogenic pain actually preferred cannabis herb and reported that it relieved not only pain but the associated depression and anxiety. Cannabinoids are effective in chemotherapy-induced emesis and nabilone has been licensed for this use for several years. Currently, the synthetic cannabinoid HU211 is undergoing trials as a protective agent after brain trauma. Anecdotal reports of cannabis use include case studies in migraine and Tourette’s syndrome, and as a treatment for asthma and glaucoma. Apart from the smoking aspect, the safety profile of cannabis is fairly good. However, adverse reactions include panic or anxiety attacks, which are worse in the elderly and in women, and less likely in children. Although psychosis has been cited as a consequence of cannabis use, an examination of psychiatric hospital admissions found no evidence of this, however, it may exacerbate existing symptoms. The relatively slow elimination from the body of the cannabinoids has safety implications for cognitive tasks, especially driving and operating machinery; although driving impairment with cannabis is only moderate, there is a significant interaction with alcohol. Natural materials are highly variable and multiple components need to be standardized to ensure reproducible effects. Pure natural and synthetic compounds do not have these disadvantages but may not have the overall therapeutic effect of the herb” (Williamson, 2000)

Robson:

“[This review [was] commissioned in 1996 by the Department of Health [of Great Britain] (DOH) [In order to] assess therapeutic profile of cannabis and cannabinoids. . . Cannabis and some cannabinoids are effective anti-emetics and analgesics and reduce intra-ocular pressure. There is evidence of symptom relief and improved well-being in selected neurological conditions, AIDS and certain cancers. Cannabinoids may reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Anticonvulsant activity requires clarification. Other properties identified by basic research await evaluation. Standard treatments for many relevant disorders are unsatisfactory. Cannabis is safe in overdose but often produces unwanted effects, typically sedation, intoxication, clumsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, lowered blood pressure or increased heart rate. The discovery of specific receptors and natural ligands may lead to drug developments. Research is needed to optimise dose and route of administration, quantify therapeutic and adverse effects, and examine interactions.” (Robson, 2001)

Glass:

“An understanding of the actions of Cannabis (Marijuana) has evolved from folklore to science over the previous hundred years. This progression was spurred by the discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid system consisting of two receptors and two endogenous ligands. This system appears to be intricately involved in normal physiology, specifically in the control of movement, formation of memories and appetite control. As we are developing an increased understanding of the physiological role of endocannabinoids it is becoming clear that they may be involved in the pathology of several neurological diseases. Furthermore an array of potential therapeutic targets is being determined–including specific cannabinoid agonists and antagonists as well as compounds that interrupt the synthesis, uptake or metabolism of the endocannabinoids. This article reviews the recent progress in understanding the contribution of endocannabinoids to the pathology and therapy of Huntington’s disease. Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and tremor.” (Glass, 2001)

Porter:

“The active principle in marijuana, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been shown to have wide therapeutic application for a number of important medical conditions, including pain, anxiety, glaucoma, nausea, emesis, muscle spasms, and wasting diseases. Delta(9)-THC binds to and activates two known cannabinoid receptors found in mammalian tissue, CB1 and CB2. The development of cannabinoid-based therapeutics has focused predominantly on the CB1 receptor, based on its predominant and abundant localization in the CNS. Like most of the known cannabinoid agonists, Delta(9)-THC is lipophilic and relatively nonselective for both receptor subtypes. Clinical studies show that nonselective cannabinoid agonists are relatively safe and provide therapeutic efficacy, but that they also induce psychotropic side effects. Recent studies of the biosynthesis, release, transport, and disposition of anandamide are beginning to provide an understanding of the role of lipid transmitters in the CNS. This review attempts to link current understanding of the basic biology of the endocannabinoid nervous system to novel opportunities for therapeutic intervention. This new knowledge may facilitate the development of cannabinoid receptor-targeted therapeutics with improved safety and efficacy profiles.” (Porter, 2001)

The above summaries provide overwhelming acceptance by the scientific and medical community that cannabis and single cannabinoids can offer therapeutic benefits in many conditions, at least for some of the patients. Recent research on the mechanisms of action of THC and other ligands of the cannabinoid receptor improves the understanding of these benefits and lends further support to this finding.

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More information on clinical trials and studies are contained on the cancer.gov website. There are numerous other federal agencies conducting similar medical use trials and studies. The information regarding those studies and trials can be found on the relevant agency website.

**I suspect the reason many of you have failed to post any of the scientific data regarding the effects and use of marijuana/cannabis is because these focused clinical trials and studies don’t serve the purposes of ideologues on either side of the recreational use aisle.

These clinical trials and studies are focused on medical applications of the drug and treat marijuana and its compounds as drugs.

While these scientific studies and analyses make the case for use of the drug for medical applications, and make the case for further study, they do not serve to make or break the case of recreational use. Recreational use is primarily a social issue, rather than a medical issue in terms of the science.

Whether a society allows adults to use a drug for recreational purposes, particularly one that has had limited study, is a societal question…not a medical question.

Medical applications of the drug or various compounds of the drug are an entirely different aspect and the efficiency of the drug to treat various conditions can be proven or disallowed though scientific, controlled, and focused studies conducted by government agencies.

The impact on society from legal recreational use of the drug falls under a number of parameters including issues of liberty, tax revenues, peripheral crime, cost to society in terms of treatment or rehabilitation relevant to, or stemming from, the drug use, impact on productivity, impact on culture, social issues, etc. To render reliable statistics resultant of ‘studies’ relating to overall impact of widespread recreational use would take thousands of participants over decades of use. These ‘trials’ are now taking place… using the populations of Colorado and Washington.

thatsafactjack on March 27, 2014 at 8:51 PM

thatsafactjack on March 27, 2014 at 8:51 PM

…what she said.

But seriously, great analysis. Recreational use truly is a ‘social issue’ and I’m sure every single one of the people against it is a ‘social conservative’

I guess I shouldn’t have been all that surprised.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 9:17 PM

thatsafactjack on March 27, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Kinda old studies aren’t they? The most recent one is 14 yrs old?
What do new studies say?
That said, a lot of the moderate positive effects were from synthesized forms with negative effects noted.

Have there been no current studies, or have you purposely picked antiquated research?

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 9:26 PM

About that study:

=====================================

Editorial changes were made to this summary.

This summary is written and maintained by the PDQ Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of NCI. The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or NIH.

And:

This complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) information summary provides an overview of the use of Cannabis and its components as a treatment for people with cancer -related symptoms caused by the disease itself or its treatment.

This summary contains the following key information:

Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

By federal law, the possession of Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is illegal in the United States.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Cannabis as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition.

Chemical components of Cannabis, called cannabinoids, activate specific receptors found throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.

Commercially available cannabinoids, such as dronabinol and nabilone, are approved drugs for the treatment of cancer-related side effects.

Cannabinoids may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects.

By their bullet points, they don’t seem at all biased towards a favorable review of pot.
/

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 9:36 PM

It is the Cancer Institute, Mimzey. If you have a problem with their site, or their information, take it up with them.

The reason those studies are dated is that funding for such research was cut significantly by George W Bush in his tax cutting packages.

However, my intention was to force you to at least take a look at some of the actual EVIDENCE related to the clinical trials and studies relevant to medical usage of marijuana, to admit that the drug does have application in that area, to distinguish between the argument for the use of medical applications of the drug and recreational use, and understand that the ‘double blind study’ you demanded earlier on this thread has little relation to medical applications, is directly related to social application, is now underway courtesy of the people of Colorado and Washington.

You’re a fool, Mimzey, willfully blinded by your partisanship and your preferred stance on this issue. Now, at least, you’re a better informed fool.

thatsafactjack on March 27, 2014 at 9:49 PM

You’re a fool, Mimzey, willfully blinded by your partisanship and your preferred stance on this issue. Now, at least, you’re a better informed fool.

thatsafactjack on March 27, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Thats just silly and reflective of your own bias. Information changes. Thats why science is never “settled”. 13-30 year old research is not very impressive.

That said..again the topic is medicinal use, yet the focus seems to be the “right to get high”..which, of course, no one is stopping anyone from doing, as evidenced by the uptick in it’s use by young people ever since the attitudes towards it have been encouraged since our fearless leader of the “Choom Gang” has smeared his influence on society.
You wanna get high, get high. Who’s stopping you? Get over yourself.

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Mimzey on March 27, 2014 at 10:02 PM

From the outset of this thread my position has been clear. I don’t use marijuana. I don’t use any drug for purposes of recreation.

My argument has been consistently for the legalization of marijuana and marijuana compounds for medical use with strict regulation and oversight.

You’re antipathy toward legalizing marijuana for those for whom this drug is a medication, not a recreation, is the only reason I’m still here discussing the issue with you.

That was my mistake.

Thinking that you might be persuade by reason and evidence to change your position on the issue of medical marijuana and learn to distinguish between those who seek to legalize it for recreational purposes and those who wish to legalize it strictly for use in medical applications.

You’re last comment is simply a reflection of your frustration, or you’ve not bothered to actually read any of my comments or the information posted on the National Cancer Institute site, other than the ‘bullet points’ you’ve listed above.

Either way, Mimzey, in consideration of your refusal to consider even the scientific information relevant to the argument, I no longer care what you think.

Since you will not be persuaded by fact, I wish you joy in learning by experience.

thatsafactjack on March 27, 2014 at 10:12 PM

All I can say is ot os a shame she see no wrong in us becoming a nation of pot heads… Pot kills

Bullhead on March 28, 2014 at 1:07 AM

This is a 10th Amendment issue — states can choose to regulate, ban, or completely legalize drugs but there is no Constitutional authority for the federal government to do so.

At least, not from a textualist reading of the Constitutional. You pretty much have to be a Laurence Tribe-type “living Constitution” progressive to find such a federal power. Which means, you probably are ok with 0bamacare being found Constitutional and every other federal power grab.

profnickd67 on March 28, 2014 at 2:05 AM

Sure, all the narcotics you want. Have em.

But you asshats better stop trying to restrict my access to, and keeping lists of the guns I buy. You can’t have it both ways.

TX-96 on March 28, 2014 at 6:26 AM

Sure, all the narcotics you want. Have em.

But you asshats better stop trying to restrict my access to, and keeping lists of the guns I buy. You can’t have it both ways.

TX-96 on March 28, 2014 at 6:26 AM

I’m not asking for it ‘both ways’ — I’m about as ideologically pure as they come.

I believe we should be entitled to whatever the hell we can afford, and privately at that. Don’t tell me how many bullets I can keep in my mag, and don’t tell me what I can put in my body.

nullrouted on March 28, 2014 at 10:32 AM

I’ve been a physician for 22 years. These are the facts. There are other drugs available to relieve symptoms that pot would treat medically that are better and safer.People say pot is just like alcohol and that is true! Daily use of either will lead to nerve damage leading to numbness in the feet and legs eventually affecting short term memory. They will cause impotence and diabetes. Daily use of pot just does it twice as fast. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be legal. But Colorado will have a state full of these impotent, neuropathic diabetics in about 25 years.

Redglen on March 28, 2014 at 10:45 AM

I think it’s ironic people like Ms. Malkin rant about the AP and the main stream media every day but consider it gospel when they say “pot is good”.

Redglen on March 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Good thing no young pot users steal from their grandparents for the money to buy pot with.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 6:01 PM
maybe grandma gives him / her the money to buy pot. maybe you should move on to a subject you ” might ” be able to contribute to, this surely isn’t it. LOL!!

svs22422 on March 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM

I’ve been a physician for 22 years. These are the facts. There are other drugs available to relieve symptoms that pot would treat medically that are better and safer.People say pot is just like alcohol and that is true! Daily use of either will lead to nerve damage leading to numbness in the feet and legs eventually affecting short term memory. They will cause impotence and diabetes. Daily use of pot just does it twice as fast. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be legal. But Colorado will have a state full of these impotent, neuropathic diabetics in about 25 years.

Redglen on March 28, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Colorado is one of the healthiest states in the country and there was a lot of pot smoking going on before this law was passed.

Believe me. I lived there.

mazer9 on March 28, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Sure, all the narcotics you want. Have em.

But you asshats better stop trying to restrict my access to, and keeping lists of the guns I buy. You can’t have it both ways.

TX-96 on March 28, 2014 at 6:26 AM

Uhhh. I use pot. I own guns legally.

I didn’t know it was either or.

mazer9 on March 28, 2014 at 3:11 PM

All I can say is ot os a shame she see no wrong in us becoming a nation of pot heads… Pot kills

Bullhead on March 28, 2014 at 1:07 AM

A nation of drunks is apparently better.

Watch your liver.

mazer9 on March 28, 2014 at 3:12 PM

I’m not the caretaker of every one of my peers.

In my estimation, plenty of them are currently ‘wasting their lives’ on pursuits such as Theatre degrees, Tribal Dance degrees, Women’s Studies degrees, you name it. They’re going to have a lifetime of crushing student debt, modest existence, etc…

Though I’m sure you find all of those pursuits fine and acceptable. Plenty of others in my generation will slave away at Fast Food joints and lower/middle-management positions as well.

I have a pretty high bar when it comes to ‘success’ in life. At 30, I’m nowhere near where I want to be. That said, I’m still ahead of all of my known peers (and many within my entire generational cohort) as well as many of my elders — which I’m sure accounts at least in part for my somewhat abrasive personality.

Those facts are also why I get so incensed when people want to simply dismiss anyone who smokes as a ‘pothead’ — it’s like calling everyone who drinks wine after work an alcoholic. Pointless.

I see what you are saying, not everyone is going to make the right choices, but should we really be the kind of nation that makes those kind of personal decisions for people? If people are going to screw up their lives, they’re going to find a way to do it, one way or the other.

nullrouted on March 27, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Agreed. We should start arresting people for failing to graduate high school.

mazer9 on March 28, 2014 at 3:16 PM

A nation of drunks is apparently better.

mazer9 on March 28, 2014 at 3:12 PM

What is your excuse reprobate?

Murphy9 on March 28, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Self-indulgent , self-absorbed and the pot has burned a hole in many heads prior to this thread.

Do this, get 10 or so others together, get a big old bag of pot, roll it all up.
Rent a building, any large area, get some chairs, couches, get a big screen TV hooked up.
Lock the doors and put guards on the doors and make sure no one can get out.
Take your time smoke up all the pot, start at say 6:00 in the evening. Stay until the pot runs out plus 1 hour.

Most important thing,,,, someone/several in fact others film it all, the whole time the whole thing and make sure the audio is good.

Two or three days later play it all back to yourselves.

Once you see yourself just might be you wake up from your made up world of how harmless pot is for you.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 28, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Colorado is one of the healthiest states in the country and there was a lot of pot smoking going on before this law was passed.

Believe me. I lived there.

mazer9 on March 28, 2014 at 3:09 PM

.
Well … I believe you live there.
.

Sure, all the narcotics you want. Have em.

But you asshats better stop trying to restrict my access to, and keeping lists of the guns I buy. You can’t have it both ways.

TX-96 on March 28, 2014 at 6:26 AM

.
Uhhh. I use pot. I own guns legally.

I didn’t know it was either or.

mazer9 on March 28, 2014 at 3:11 PM

.
I’m warning that it will become “either or”.

Read my 8:50 PM reply to these three, half-way up this page, then explain why my conclusions are wrong.
.

dentarthurdent on March 26, 2014 at 4:19 PM

xblade on March 26, 2014 at 11:11 PM

fadetogray on March 27, 2014 at 7:33 PM

.
listens2glenn on March 27, 2014 at 8:50 PM

listens2glenn on March 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

All I can say is ot os a shame she see no wrong in us becoming a nation of pot heads… Pot kills

Bullhead on March 28, 2014 at 1:07 AM

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A nation of drunks is apparently better.

Watch your liver.

mazer9 on March 28, 2014 at 3:12 PM

.
What’s “better” is doing all together away with the recreational / pleasure use of mind-altering chemicals.

listens2glenn on March 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

I’m not a fan of marijuana, and I do worry about the moral signal that legalizing recreational use sends, but at least so far it hasn’t had any worse impact than alcohol.

Ed Morrissey on March 26, 2014 at 12:41 PM

.
But recreational alcohol use has a history of “negative impact”.
The percentages are considered to be “acceptably low” by some, and not low enough by others … hence the debate.

listens2glenn on March 28, 2014 at 8:31 PM

listens2glenn on March 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

You should not look to government to constrain harmless behavior of which you disapprove just because the tyrants will use the abuse of the freedom (people going to damaging excess) to behave that way as an excuse to take away freedoms of which you approve. When you do, you have launched down the real slippery slope to tyranny. That is always the excuse to limit freedom. Always. “People will abuse it.”

The way to deal with abuse of the freedom to use mind altering drugs is to raise the penalties for that abuse, not to ban the behavior entirely. If a drunk threatens you with a gun, the penalty needs to be far more severe than when he does it sober, yet our sick society switches that around and gives the poor intoxicated guy a break because ‘he didn’t know what he was doing.’

Fix that problem with our culture, then restricting freedom won’t be necessary.

fadetogray on March 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM

listens2glenn on March 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

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You should not look to government to constrain
* * harmless * * behavior of which you disapprove . . . . .

fadetogray on March 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM

.
Those fourteen words get to the point of the hottest part of the debate. If I believed the practice carried risk ONLY to the individual practitioner, then I would have ‘zero’ motive or justification for “disapproval”.
So right at the outset, I’m disagreeing with your premise that “it’s harmless”.
.
I have “milked” the example of former Conrail engineer Ricky Gates so much, people here are sick of hearing it. But it’s the most broadcasted, reported on, and covered single event that proves recreational marijuana abuse can and does hurt other people.

.

. . . . . just because the tyrants will use the abuse of the freedom (people going to damaging excess) to behave that way as an excuse to take away freedoms of which you approve. When you do, you have launched down the real slippery slope to tyranny. That is always the excuse to limit freedom. Always. “People will abuse it.”

fadetogray on March 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM

.
I’m saying there’s two (2) kinds/categories of “freedom”.
That statement, on it’s own, doesn’t generate too much controversy.
But when I take the next step, and say “these two kinds of freedom are in opposition to each other, and CAN NOT COEXIST, then the debate goes from zero (0) to “a very large number” in one second, or less.
.

The way to deal with abuse of the freedom to use mind altering drugs is to raise the penalties for that abuse, not to ban the behavior entirely.

fadetogray on March 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM

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NOW … you’re onto something we can agree on.

But … what penalties can be placed on using/abusing a substance that’s not banned ? . . . . . And how can that be accomplished, without government ?
.

If a drunk threatens you with a gun, the penalty needs to be far more severe than when he does it sober, yet our sick society switches that around and gives the poor intoxicated guy a break because ‘he didn’t know what he was doing.’

Fix that problem with our culture, then restricting freedom won’t be necessary.

fadetogray on March 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM

.
There’s a point of TOTAL agreement . . . I luv ya, man ! (Xs ‘n’ Os)

listens2glenn on March 29, 2014 at 3:41 PM

What’s “better” is doing all together away with the recreational / pleasure use of mind-altering chemicals.

listens2glenn on March 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Yeah, that worked so well during prohibition, we amended the constitution to abolish it.

mazer9 on March 30, 2014 at 7:28 AM

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