Shocking new study: relaxing marijuana laws leads to increased marijuana consumption

posted at 6:01 pm on May 12, 2014 by Kevin Glass

Over the past ten years, 21 states and the District of Columbia have approved use of medical marijuana, and a new study out today through the National Bureau of Economic Research finds – shockingly – that the relaxation of medical marijuana laws leads to increased consumption of marijuana. Additionally and connected to this result, the authors report that relaxation of medical marijuana laws also lead to a rise in binge drinking among those of legal drinking age.

The problematic aspect here is that the increase in use of marijuana following medicinal laws also has led to an increase in abuse and dependency. As the authors write:

The effect of MML implementation on marijuana abuse/dependence constitutes a potential public health concern similar to that of prescription drug abuse/dependence (CDC, 2012): even if we assume that the increases in marijuana use we observed come from those who use the drug for validated medical purposes, there may still be possibility that marijuana abuse/dependence would increase as a result of MML implementation.

There’s a long line of argumentation when it comes to drug policy that “prohibition doesn’t work.” This depends on what it means to “work.” What is weird – and wrong – is the suggestion that prohibition does nothing to lower consumption. This new study provides evidence that yes, prohibition does lessen consumption. In this way, prohibition works.

What arguments for legalization have to rely upon is that marijuana isn’t evil – at least, isn’t evil in the way that harder drugs are, or is at least as benign as currently-legal substances like alcohol or nicotine. As Ed reported last month, though, we shouldn’t trick ourselves into thinking that marijuana is actually harmless.

Regardless, with majorities of people for the first time supporting legalization, it’s a drug we might have to become more comfortable with. Medicinal use has become much more common over the last ten years, and we’re starting to see the acceptance of recreational use as well. And make no mistake, the relaxation of marijuana laws will absolutely lead to an increase in marijuana usage. What matters is if that’s something that should be morally acceptable – and that it would be outweighed by some of the horrors of the drug war.


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Maybe you should try that – since you don’t seem to understand them.

dentarthurdent on May 12, 2014 at 7:06 PM

No. I’m only arguing for a correlation. That’s still far more than anything you’ve been able to come up with.

libfreeordie on May 12, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Maybe you should try that – since you don’t seem to understand them.

dentarthurdent on May 12, 2014 at 7:06 PM

on planet moonbat they have the same relationship as “irony” and “sarcasm” do amongst his ilk here on Earth-One

harlekwin15 on May 12, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Weed dipped in PCP, now there is a toke you will remember for years to come. Twinkies in one hand, a running chainsaw in the other, and a trail of tears left behind you.

Bishop on May 12, 2014 at 7:09 PM

iceman1960 on May 12, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Exactly. No more reason to hide the use of a previously prohibited product.

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Exactly. No more reason to hide the use of a previously prohibited product.

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 7:11 PM

well unless you value your gun rights or want to perjure yourself on your ATF forms to get a gun….

harlekwin15 on May 12, 2014 at 7:12 PM

No. I’m only arguing for a correlation. That’s still far more than anything you’ve been able to come up with.

libfreeordie on May 12, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Your reading comprehension is still failing.
I haven’t tried to claim anything in any direction – just that your link proves absolutely nothing at all.
You’re the one trying to claim Denver’s slight drop in crime has something to do with pot being legalized. I simply threw the BS flag at it.
So pull your head out of your @ss.

dentarthurdent on May 12, 2014 at 7:13 PM

harlekwin15 on May 12, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Things have their ways of getting worked out, although the SCOTUS arguements might prove very entertaining, especialy from SG Varelli.

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Weed dipped in PCP, now there is a toke you will remember for years to come. Twinkies in one hand, a running chainsaw in the other, and a trail of tears left behind you.

Bishop on May 12, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Ah yes, Yesterday’s Twinkies are Today’s Tweakers.

HonestLib on May 12, 2014 at 7:16 PM

well unless you value your gun rights or want to perjure yourself on your ATF forms to get a gun….

harlekwin15 on May 12, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Or if you have a DoD security clearance and work for the federal government….

dentarthurdent on May 12, 2014 at 7:16 PM

You’re the one trying to claim Denver’s slight drop in crime has something to do with pot being legalized

It proves that prohibitionists were wrong that marijuana retail would increase crime.

libfreeordie on May 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Potheads of the world unite. Now they have to make being a pothead grounds for SSI and all will be well. Congratulations, George Soros.

Viator on May 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

well unless you value your gun rights or want to perjure yourself on your ATF forms to get a gun….

harlekwin15 on May 12, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Dude get out of town. ATF Form 4473 is a multiple test.

HonestLib on May 12, 2014 at 7:19 PM

This is too easy…

Shocking new study: repeal of Prohibition leads to increased alcohol consumption

Duh.

farsighted on May 12, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Or if you have a DoD security clearance and work for the federal government….

dentarthurdent on May 12, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Fort Carson for the win

harlekwin15 on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

It proves that prohibitionists were wrong that marijuana retail would increase crime.

libfreeordie on May 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

No. It doesn’t.
It’s just as likely to prove criminals don’t do much when it’s really cold and snowy.
You’re still trying to prove something that can’t be proven (or disproven) by the little bit of statistics you’re referencing.

If you really are in education in any way, I pity our students…

dentarthurdent on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Marijuana was put on earth by God himself. A natural plant.
Prohibition has always been a failure.

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

You’re the one trying to claim Denver’s slight drop in crime has something to do with pot being legalized

It proves that prohibitionists were wrong that marijuana retail would increase crime.

libfreeorgan on May 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

…whose filling out the reports?

KOOLAID2 on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Shocking new study: relaxing marijuana laws leads to increased marijuana consumption

People have the right to be stupid. I prefer the stupid get stoned and stay at home and away from me.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 12, 2014 at 7:22 PM

What arguments for legalization have to rely upon is that marijuana isn’t evil – at least, isn’t evil in the way that harder drugs are, or is at least as benign as currently-legal substances like alcohol or nicotine.

Alcohol is benign?

On what planet?

farsighted on May 12, 2014 at 7:24 PM

This new study provides evidence that yes, prohibition does lessen consumption. In this way, prohibition works.

Is this a quote from 1928?

This thread is satire, right?

farsighted on May 12, 2014 at 7:26 PM

It proves that prohibitionists were wrong that marijuana retail would increase crime.

libfreeordie on May 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Libster, good to see you and hope all is well. You are now getting into my wheelhouse and the central limit theorem (CLT) says too early for your point to be proven or disproven. You could be right. Hey, for what it is worth, really like your new tone in the threads. Suits you well.

HonestLib on May 12, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Marijuana was put on earth by God himself.
weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Weedisgood was put on earth by God himself.

HonestLib on May 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM

HonestLib on May 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM

We’ll need papers, certified affidavits (raised seal), witnesses and a swearing-in ceremony.

I volunteer to do the swearing!

Newtie and the Beauty on May 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Marijuana was put on earth by God himself. A natural plant.
Prohibition has always been a failure.

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Black Nightshade and Poison Ivy was too.

wifarmboy on May 12, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Marijuana was put on earth by God himself. A natural plant.
Prohibition has always been a failure.

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

So is monkshood. Feel free to eat some.

Oldnuke on May 12, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Marijuana was put on earth by God himself. A natural plant.
Prohibition has always been a failure.

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

so was nightshade, and it is really pretty as it kills you.

dmacleo on May 12, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Your kids will not be clean of…anything, once they hit college. Don’t delude yourself. Nothing against your kids personally, I have my own, I’m just speaking in statistics here.

nullrouted on May 12, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Speak for your own kids. My wife is one of a large family, and all are clean of drugs well into their adulthood, as well as highly educated. Same on my side of the family (I have a Ph.D., so I’m adept at piling it high and deep!). We don’t have a substance abuser in the lot of our family, and that’s a LOT of family members. My kids won’t be going to college to ‘get their hedonism on.’ Before my oldest was a teen she was already outscoring kids nearing graduation from high school. Homeschooling!

Stop projecting and ‘statistician-izing’ (made that up, lol). I hope your kids are doing better now, though!

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Black Nightshade and Poison Ivy was too.
wifarmboy on May 12, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Well no one gets charged with a crime if they use poison ivy and get sick or die. So why are people prosecuted for using marijuana?

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

farsighted on May 12, 2014 at 7:20 PM

I would have thought the sarcasm in AP’s title was obvious but it does seem that either

a) this is in fact shocking to some people,

or

b) there are anti-drug crusaders out there who think the rest of us are so stupid that we will be shocked by the finding.

I’m not too sure which is the case yet but based off what I’ve seen I’m leaning towards the latter.

alchemist19 on May 12, 2014 at 8:08 PM

so was nightshade, and it is really pretty as it kills you.

dmacleo on May 12, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Drug use is at an all time high in this country. From prescriptions drugs to recreational ones.

War on drugs has been a failure.
We have nothing to show for it but overcrowded prison cells and/or punishing nonviolent criminals
You shouldn’t be afraid of the people smoking weed. You should be more concerned about the drunks on the highways. They are the ones killing people in the thousands every year.

God has given us a brain to think, so I can decide what works for me. I don’t need government telling me anything. They need to go out there and catch real criminals and stop busting the doors of people using marijuana in the comfort of their home.

‘War on drugs’ is another liberal policy no conservative or libertarian should be supporting.

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Well no one gets charged with a crime if they use poison ivy and get sick or die. So why are people prosecuted for using marijuana?

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

You are being silly BluntBreath. Those in power pass all kinds of laws we have to live under. Do you really think reason comes into play?

HonestLib on May 12, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Speak for your own kids. My wife is one of a large family, and all are clean of drugs well into their adulthood, as well as highly educated. Same on my side of the family (I have a Ph.D., so I’m adept at piling it high and deep!). We don’t have a substance abuser in the lot of our family, and that’s a LOT of family members. My kids won’t be going to college to ‘get their hedonism on.’ Before my oldest was a teen she was already outscoring kids nearing graduation from high school. Homeschooling!

Stop projecting and ‘statistician-izing’ (made that up, lol). I hope your kids are doing better now, though!

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

You need to tack an “as far as I know,” at the end of this. The fact test scores are high doesn’t preclude a little smoking on the side; one of the most brilliant and successful PhDs I’ve ever worked with smoked marijuana on a near-daily basis. He was always extremely close to his parents but they had no clue. You never ever can really know.

alchemist19 on May 12, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Well no one gets charged with a crime if they use poison ivy and get sick or die. So why are people prosecuted for using marijuana?

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Maybe has something to do with pot causing people to be stupid and do things that could hurt others. We have enough trouble with alcohol as it is.

wifarmboy on May 12, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Through understanding the effects of alcohol this Nation started as one that consumed far more hard liquor than beer or wine. Then began a slow transition from hard liquor to beer. That was a smooth transition even during Prohibition, which means that most people who wanted the substances could get them. Hard liquor was being cut during Prohibition and some of the excesses from before that period did not come back: there was some understanding that drinking to excess was harmful to oneself, one’s family and one’s community.

Today we have completely inverted our drinking experience from colonial times: we drink more beer than hard liquor and wine has grown in popularity as well.

The shrill anti-smoking campaign has never gone to complete prohibition and, instead, has utilized shunning and trying to get information about the problems of smoking put out into the culture. America now smokes less than it did and has actually become one of the Nations with the lowest rate of smoking in the industrialized world. I disagree with some of the tactics and social outlook of the most vehement anti-smokers, but they have accomplished more in the last 30 years against smoking than all the laws against other drugs have done since they were first put in place federally.

If there is a moral case about self-destructive behavior to the individual and it can be backed up and demonstrated then these two experiences should be guides: after Prohibition the use of alcohol was moderated and via strong social interaction and funding research smoking has gone down.

Those are success stories and if we now have a course closer to that of alcohol via the laws put in place, then removal of the laws will require those concerned with the use of hard drugs to follow the lead of the anti-smokers. You will not eradicate the use of them, but you can marginalize it and get hard information out about the long-term effects of such use. Federal laws will give way to State and local ordinances, just like smoking, and what laws are left will deal with endangering the public and being clean and sober while at work: no intoxicants or mind altering substances or their effects while at work.

That requires dedication and concern for one’s fellow man. Not thinking that prison is a cure for this social ill, but that engaged advocates making a rational case will have a positive impact and build society. While the power of government is always negative and corrosive as it substitutes power for commitment and compassion. Reach out to your fellow man and work hard and diligently and then, after a long haul, the rates of use will be lowered, the impacts better understood and known and the choice to start such use will have a strong negative connotation to it as demonstrating a moral weakness in oneself.

That is if you believe in the power of the positive rights and liberties you retain to change the world and do good.

Because the negative powers we hand to government are a necessary evil, and their use should be concentrated to the survival of the Nation at the federal level. Let us take care of the well being of our fellow man closer to home.

ajacksonian on May 12, 2014 at 8:19 PM

You need to tack an “as far as I know,” at the end of this.

alchemist19 on May 12, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Doesn’t that logically follow, though? After all, I can’t comment on what I don’t know, so it seems, ipso facto, that I would only comment on what I do know, and what I do know is that I know of no drug users in my very large, very fertile family.

Oh, wait. This is the Internet. I can comment on anything! I’d like to comment on my dinner. It was delicious. As far as I know. ;-)

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 8:21 PM

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Mighty high horse you are ridding there. No family is without problems, and if you have none….be thankful and not boastful. Trust me I know from my life that things can change on a dime. We have a big family (lots of kids) and I would trade the “world” to have a child with a substance abuse problem over one with brain cancer.

HonestLib on May 12, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Doesn’t that logically follow, though? After all, I can’t comment on what I don’t know, so it seems, ipso facto, that I would only comment on what I do know, and what I do know is that I know of no drug users in my very large, very fertile family.

Oh, wait. This is the Internet. I can comment on anything! I’d like to comment on my dinner. It was delicious. As far as I know. ;-)

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 8:21 PM

Yeah but I’d be a lot more willing to accept as fact your statements about the taste of your dinner than I would your statements about what your kids do when you’re not around. ;-)

alchemist19 on May 12, 2014 at 8:26 PM

and that it would be outweighed by some of the horrors of the drug war.

Meh. Tell me about the horrors of the alchohol war immediately after repeal up thru today. Non sequitur.

I get it that many don’t want to imagine their adult kids toking it up. Guess what? They’re adults and should make up their own minds to do or not do. We already have laws against underage drinking and laws against underage tobacco and pot usage will fare about the same.

Stop fretting and embrace the liberty, not security, even if it costs a life or many. Just like I’m against helmet laws and in principle against seat belts altho the case could be made for enforcing it since driving on public roads are a privilege not a right. But the mentality that views such laws that only serve as cash registers for government has got to go.

AH_C on May 12, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Drug use is at an all time high in this country. From prescriptions drugs to recreational ones.

Much of the prescription drug use is legitimate, and some of them without those drugs could die.

War on drugs has been a failure.
We have nothing to show for it but overcrowded prison cells and/or punishing nonviolent criminals

More accurately, the war on greed continues.

Are you seriously implying that criminals who distribute illegal drugs and don’t care about other people’s health would not at all or ever resort to violence to protect their profits?

You shouldn’t be afraid of the people smoking weed. You should be more concerned about the drunks on the highways. They are the ones killing people in the thousands every year.

We should be afraid of people who are on recreational drugs who think they’re sane/normal. Doesn’t matter what drug it is. We should also be very afraid of releasing a recreational drug with little-known medical effects/side effects, and the people who keep pushing recreational/unnecessary drugs.

God has given us a brain to think, so I can decide what works for me. I don’t need government telling me anything. They need to go out there and catch real criminals and stop busting the doors of people using marijuana in the comfort of their home.

Drug dealers are real criminals. Many of them have no qualms whatsoever of hurting or killing people to protect their profits. Many illegal growers in California are well armed.

‘War on drugs’ is another liberal policy no conservative or libertarian should be supporting.

DevilishSoda on May 12, 2014 at 8:48 PM

ajacksonian on May 12, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Spot on

AH_C on May 12, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Stop fretting and embrace the liberty, not security, even if it costs a life or many.

Another version of “as long as it doesn’t affect me, I don’t care”. People seriously need to stop thinking this way.

You would change your mind so fast if someone embraced his/her liberty and wound up killing someone you loved.

Liberty is not inherently good, but neither is security.

But the mentality that views such laws that only serve as cash registers for government has got to go.

Well, some of them are. Like what Colorado did for marijuana legalization. There’s no way you can argue that Colorado legalized it for “liberty” when they didn’t have a test to determine stoned drivers. I mean, it’s pretty difficult to get rid of it when states are doing such incredibly stupid things.

DevilishSoda on May 12, 2014 at 8:55 PM

Shocking new study: relaxing marijuana laws leads to increased marijuana consumption

Two words: aggressive advertising.

DevilishSoda on May 12, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Another possible factor in the (at least for January 2014) Denver decline in crime: the city had a NFL team on a Super Bowl run at the time.

Discuss.

Del Dolemonte on May 12, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Another possible factor in the (at least for January 2014) Denver decline in crime: the city had a NFL team on a Super Bowl run at the time.

Discuss.

Everyone was too busy watching the game to count crime.

DevilishSoda on May 12, 2014 at 9:10 PM

There are not and never will be any reliable statistics on drug use. Legal or illegal.

But common sense says that legalizing it will increase use. Anyone who thinks different is just not thinking.

kcewa on May 12, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Another possible factor in the (at least for January 2014) Denver decline in crime: the city had a NFL team on a Super Bowl run at the time.

Discuss.

Del Dolemonte on May 12, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Did crime increase in Denver post Super Bowl? I’m sure drug use spiked in the 3rd quarter.

kcewa on May 12, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Marijuana was put on earth by God himself.
weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

So was Hitler, Hussien (Saddam), ticks, and AIDS.

Whats your point?

BobMbx on May 12, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Fine. So I guess we will just wait for a warm winter to prove that crime hasn’t gone down?

libfreeordie on May 12, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Your problem? You’re trying to claim something is Settled Science based on 4 months’ worth of data in one single year.

Please call Michael Mann. He could clearly use you during discovery when he hauls Mark Steyn into the court dock.

F-

Del Dolemonte on May 12, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Marijuana was put on earth by God himself. A natural plant.
Prohibition has always been a failure.

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

So is Jimson weed by you’re no advocating its use.

RickB on May 12, 2014 at 9:38 PM

The child sees weed as his one last way of clenching victory.

Bmore on May 12, 2014 at 9:44 PM

I read the whole thing twice, and I still see no way in which prohibition is superior to personal choice.

Rusty Nail on May 12, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Oh, and libfree…a disclaimer-I’m not against pot legalization in my responses to your posts on this thread, all I am doing is suggesting that the Denver crime stat dataset is way too small, and the possible causative factors for said decline are not even breached in their stats.

Saying something is Settled Science based on 4 months of data?

BWAHAHAHA-

Del Dolemonte on May 12, 2014 at 10:11 PM

It proves that prohibitionists were wrong that marijuana retail would increase crime.

libfreeordie on May 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Absurd as usual. The weak attempt at correlation proves nothing. Those stats do not show the amounts of each sort of crime which can be attributed to a relationship with marijuana use, and whether that relationship has increased or decreased.

A certain kind of crime could drop by 25% from 100 cases to 75, but if, in the past, 15 of those cases were pot-related, and now, 15 of those newer cases are pot-related, then the statistical correlation would actually be up by 33%, from 15% pot-related to 20% pot-related. And pot use wouldn’t be responsible for any reduction in the crime rate.

Now, if you have numbers that speak to the above and support your un-correlated supposition, bring them.

Freelancer on May 12, 2014 at 10:22 PM

No family is without problems, and if you have none….be thankful and not boastful.

HonestLib on May 12, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Of course every family has problems. However, when someone wants to pigeon-hole my family with statistics which apply to people who live a hedonistic, pagan, licentious lifestyle (which we do not), it is not boastful to state that those statistics do not apply to my family, considering their correlation to personal behaviors which we do not engage in.

Yeah but I’d be a lot more willing to accept as fact your statements about the taste of your dinner than I would your statements about what your kids do when you’re not around. ;-)

alchemist19 on May 12, 2014 at 8:26 PM

That…was well said and funny. [cues up witty retort...finds one lacking...]

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Drug dealers are real criminals. Many of them have no qualms whatsoever of hurting or killing people to protect their profits. Many illegal growers in California are well armed.

Yeah, having no legal recourse to protect their interests tends cause people to resort to self-protection. I seem to remember that happening the last time the federal government tried to outlaw a product.

The potheads I’ve encountered are mostly benign and kinda dumb. Harmless. Meth and PCP users not so much, but a shotgun blast to the midsection should they find themselves in my home will take care of that.

Careful of supporting federal prohibition of any kind. When we allow them to dictate what we may put into our own person, we are on the slippery slope of forfeiting our rights to our own bodies. Maybe even to the point where we are forced to insure our own health under threat of fines, even if said insurance is unaffordable and useless. Imagine that!

That’s the beauty of the state system. If you wish to destroy your body or mind slowly with drugs, you are free to move to a state that will allow you to do so.

TheMightyMonarch on May 12, 2014 at 10:37 PM

God has given us a brain to think, so I can decide what works for me. I don’t need government telling me anything. They need to go out there and catch real criminals and stop busting the doors of people using marijuana in the comfort of their home.

‘War on drugs’ is another liberal policy no conservative or libertarian should be supporting.

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Bummer for the two people so far that died in Colorado due to marijuana use (the exchange student that ate a cookie and jumped off a building and the woman shot by her husband after eating pot candy). In Ohio about 17 people a day die of drugs (legal and illegal) a recent study of college athletes showed that alcohol and drugs kill more than heart disease like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

College kids are stupid about many things. Pot makes you stupid. Stoned people do stupid things. Sometimes you recover, sometimes you don’t. By legalizing pot and similar substances, it is used more, so more people will do stupid things and more will die-not many- 1 in 1000? 1 in 10,000?

Most people that use pot will be fine. But because so many more will be using, the casualties will mount. It’s the opposite argument from eliminating our right to bear arms. Reducing the avilability of guns will reduce/eliminate accidental gun deaths, but not criminal ones. Keeping/making drugs illegal, by reducing the avilability will minimize the amount of accidental carnage from drugs.

talkingpoints on May 12, 2014 at 10:47 PM

It’s going to evolve, as the post above suggests. Expect many more DUI cases until technology catches up. If you inhaled you can’t drive legally for weeks in many states.

lexhamfox on May 12, 2014 at 10:58 PM

I’ve known people who were fine before they started smoking dope. Now, they’re total losers. It is clear that pot usage changed them, at best, and is destroying their lives, at worst. I would even say that pot changed their personalities. But the same thing applies to drinkers, for what’s it worth.

Corporal Tunnel on May 12, 2014 at 6:29 PM

So to stop people from ruining their own lives we should arrest them and give them a conviction that:
1. Demands a hefty fine if you work a low wage job. A fine that if unpaid will lead to jail time.
2. Disqualifies you from applying for student loans that you might use to improve yourself, for life.
3. Gives you a misdemeanor charge that many future employees will look into and judge you on.

Yeah that’s the solution to the way addiction hurts peoples lives, put them under the regulation and administration of the criminal justice system, whose numbers on recidivism and job acquisition of convicted criminals is *spectacular*

libfreeordie on May 12, 2014 at 6:38 PM

No, to stop people from ruining their lives, we should reduce the avilability of a substance that is demotivating.

1.The taxes on legal pot will even it out given how in frequently casual users get caught and fined.

2.Given that eliminating student loans would be a lot better for an individual’s future than letting them borrow $100,000 for a useless BA, your second point is worthless.

3.Most employers drug test-including all healthcare employers. Would you want your nurse or doctor to be stoned? Or your wrecking ball operator? Having the drug charge on your record isn’t any worse than doing the drug or having in your system. The same restrictions on employment should apply.

talkingpoints on May 12, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Yeah, having no legal recourse to protect their interests tends cause people to resort to self-protection. I seem to remember that happening the last time the federal government tried to outlaw a product.

No. Those drug dealers are greedy. They don’t care about laws when it comes to profits, they don’t care about people getting hurt from the drugs, so it’s no surprise that they’ll arm themselves to protect their profits.

The potheads I’ve encountered are mostly benign and kinda dumb. Harmless.

That does not justify legalizing recreational marijuana. There are numerous prescription drugs that are even less harmful than marijuana that could be used for recreational use, but I would never allow their legalization because they’re prescriptions for several good reasons.

Careful of supporting federal prohibition of any kind. When we allow them to dictate what we may put into our own person, we are on the slippery slope of forfeiting our rights to our own bodies. Maybe even to the point where we are forced to insure our own health under threat of fines, even if said insurance is unaffordable and useless. Imagine that!

That’s the beauty of the state system. If you wish to destroy your body or mind slowly with drugs, you are free to move to a state that will allow you to do so.

I’m well aware of a potential slippery slope. However, there are numerous recreational drugs that should be federally regulated because it’d be counterproductive to let the states decide. You’d wind up creating a safe haven for criminals in that state, and it could damage the rest of the USA because of a state being a transportation/highway hub. Then, every state would have to have a secure border and check every car, plane, or boat coming in or going out.

Also, the problem with letting people destroy themselves with drugs is that the damage cannot be contained. You’d have to revamp the welfare system or get rid of it entirely, and even then you’ll still incur costs because the businesses would jack up their rates.

DevilishSoda on May 12, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Whoops, should read: “the problem with letting people destroy themselves with drugs is that the damage cannot be contained to the individual user’s level.”

DevilishSoda on May 12, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Pot is bad because “pot heads” are liable to make bad decisions that negatively impact innocent people.

Alcohol is good because, well we are a country of alcoholics less face it.

mazer9 on May 12, 2014 at 11:30 PM

It’s going to evolve, as the post above suggests. Expect many more DUI cases until technology catches up. If you inhaled you can’t drive legally for weeks in many states.

lexhamfox on May 12, 2014 at 10:58 PM

A+

Aloha, lex! Haven’t seen you here on Hot Gas in awhile.

For you HA Noobs lex is a fellow immigrant with Captain Ed and the rest of us hooligans who rowed the boat here a few years back from Cap’s Quarters.

Now lexhamfox, can you educate libfreeordie as to how 4 months do not a survey make?

Del Dolemonte on May 13, 2014 at 12:29 AM

I’m well aware of a potential slippery slope. However, there are numerous recreational drugs that should be federally regulated because it’d be counterproductive to let the states decide. You’d wind up creating a safe haven for criminals in that state, and it could damage the rest of the USA because of a state being a transportation/highway hub. Then, every state would have to have a secure border and check every car, plane, or boat coming in or going out.

If that happens, then the state can take measures to mitigate the damage – or go back to prohibiting what’s causing the damage. Letting the states decide is ultimately better for the nation than giving the federal government the clear and constitutional power to dictate what we can put into our bodies.

An interstate mess?… or The Federal Diet? You decide.

TMOverbeck on May 13, 2014 at 7:28 AM

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, the first thing that came to my mind was this: “Salaries in my industry — oil and gas — will increase because the pool of qualified employees will shrink.”

Regardless of what the good citizens of Colorado think about marijuana, the Department of Transportation and various oil and service companies still require drug tests. They are extremely serious about this. If you can’t pass a test, there are very few positions in this industry that you can occupy.

Colorado has a substantial oil and gas industry. Those who are interested in that industry — and are drug free — can look forward to increasing salaries.

THANK YOU, POTHEADS!

Steelweaver52 on May 13, 2014 at 8:55 AM

BS. One of the dumbest things republicans can do is try to fight the legalization of maryjoejuana. You’re alienating a huge voting block. What’s next, bring back prohibition? Get with it, conservatives. Stay out of our bidness. Conservatives must learn politics better. A good day.

MrBobSugar on May 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM

“Dog bites man. Film at 11.”

Akzed on May 13, 2014 at 10:37 AM

to stop people from ruining their lives, we should reduce the avilability of a substance that is demotivating. talkingpoints on May 12, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Howsabout if you take care not to ruin your life, and I’ll take care not to ruin mine?

Also known as MYOB.

Akzed on May 13, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Speak for your own kids. My wife is one of a large family, and all are clean of drugs well into their adulthood, as well as highly educated. Same on my side of the family (I have a Ph.D., so I’m adept at piling it high and deep!). We don’t have a substance abuser in the lot of our family, and that’s a LOT of family members. My kids won’t be going to college to ‘get their hedonism on.’ Before my oldest was a teen she was already outscoring kids nearing graduation from high school. Homeschooling!

Stop projecting and ‘statistician-izing’ (made that up, lol). I hope your kids are doing better now, though!

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Navi, I’m not projecting, my son is not even 10 years old. I’m just not sitting on my high horse claiming he’ll never touch a ‘controlled substance’ his entire life (esp in college). Good for your kids that they managed to keep clean for that long — though I wonder, do any of them drink alcohol? If so, how is that better? Because society says so? That’s good enough for you?

nullrouted on May 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM

That does not justify legalizing recreational marijuana. There are numerous prescription drugs that are even less harmful than marijuana that could be used for recreational use, but I would never allow their legalization because they’re prescriptions for several good reasons.

Several good reasons? The only reason the majority of medication isn’t OTC is Profit$$$

Not that I’m complaining, I’m as capitalist as they come, but let’s not delude ourselves here. Big Pharma lobbies to keep things from becoming OTC.

nullrouted on May 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.

Sherman1864 on May 13, 2014 at 11:24 AM

My favorite comments on these threads are the ones from people who have obviously never smoked in their life. It’s all Cheech and Chong in their world.

rhombus on May 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM

My favorite comments on these threads are the ones from people who have obviously never smoked in their life. It’s all Cheech and Chong in their world.

rhombus on May 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM

For some it’s “Reefer Madness”.

dentarthurdent on May 13, 2014 at 12:10 PM

For some it’s “Reefer Madness”.

dentarthurdent on May 13, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Yeah the comments stink of the usual fear, nastiness and people pushing “settled science”.

rhombus on May 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM

The only reason the majority of medication isn’t OTC is Profit$$$

No. Not true. Even the “harmless” topical stuff needs doctor supervision. Some topicals may be harmful to a fetus, and others have the chance to produce difficult to treat pigmentation problems. There’s also the rare but very real serotonin toxicity from SSRIs, and people taking it OTC would not 1) care about the side effects 2) won’t recognize it and 3) not pay attention or care what else they’re taking with it.

Not that I’m complaining, I’m as capitalist as they come, but let’s not delude ourselves here. Big Pharma lobbies to keep things from becoming OTC.

Also not true. Big Pharma would rather keep prescriptions under a longer patent than keep it from OTC. OTC would actually be quite profitable with some drugs (mainly topicals), but the FDA is keeping them from doing so.

DevilishSoda on May 13, 2014 at 3:07 PM

My favorite comments on these threads are the ones from people who have obviously never smoked in their life. It’s all Cheech and Chong in their world.

Maybe some of us who don’t smoke it know better not to for a variety of reasons?

DevilishSoda on May 13, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Pot is bad because “pot heads” are liable to make bad decisions that negatively impact innocent people.

Alcohol is good because, well we are a country of alcoholics less face it.

Alcohol is legalized because 1) drinkers “love” their alcohol and 2) politicians want their tax revenue and 3) Prohibition “didn’t work”, even though many people ignore the fact that the police back then was nowhere near as organized, efficient, and had advanced technology that can catch criminals faster today.

DevilishSoda on May 13, 2014 at 3:15 PM

One of the dumbest things republicans can do is try to fight the legalization of maryjoejuana. You’re alienating a huge voting block. What’s next, bring back prohibition? Get with it, conservatives. Stay out of our bidness. Conservatives must learn politics better. A good day.

Maybe it’s a good idea because California and Colorado wrote the dumbest laws on the planet in regards to legalizing medical and recreational marijuana? California’s law has a gigantic loophole where even if you’re caught with illegally growing tons of marijuana, you won’t even get house arrest. Colorado didn’t bother to have the technology to detect stoned driving before legalization.

At the very least, make a decent law. But many politicians and legislators are incapable of that for marijuana.

Useless politicians.

DevilishSoda on May 13, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Maybe it’s a good idea because California and Colorado wrote the dumbest laws on the planet in regards to legalizing medical and recreational marijuana? California’s law has a gigantic loophole where even if you’re caught with illegally growing tons of marijuana, you won’t even get house arrest. Colorado didn’t bother to have the technology to detect stoned driving before legalization.

At the very least, make a decent law. But many politicians and legislators are incapable of that for marijuana.

Useless politicians.

DevilishSoda on May 13, 2014 at 3:29 PM

That’s a big part of why I voted against the Colorado pot legalization – although I was very much on the fence for that vote.

I’m not a fan of pot, and I’ve never used it in any way, never smoked anything in fact. But I also see that the drug war has been a massive failure – as was alcohol prohibition. At this point, I don’t have a problem with legalization – basically on grounds of freedom and less government control and interference.

And, BTW – according to my son, who has admitted to using pot, the illegal market has not gone away. He says the illegal pot is still cheaper and has a larger supply than the legal pot. that may eventually change, but legalization has not yet eliminated the black market for pot.

dentarthurdent on May 13, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I’m not a fan of pot, and I’ve never used it in any way, never smoked anything in fact.

Same here.

But I also see that the drug war has been a massive failure – as was alcohol prohibition.

I wouldn’t call the Drug War a failure unless the cartels are bringing in makeshift tanks onto the streets here like they’re doing in Mexico.

It’s the fact that in some states quacks and naturopaths have the same authority as MDs but without the regulation. This is most prevalent in California, Oregon, and Colorado. You can get marijuana for “generalized back pain” through quack phone consultations in California. Not surprisingly, the LSM refuses to expose the fraud of the alternative medicine community, let alone touch on the pill mills they’re bringing.

This is not counting the online rogue pharmacy problem that the government is (mostly) failing to control. It’s kind of not their fault, since many of those rogue pharmacies are overseas.

At this point, I don’t have a problem with legalization – basically on grounds of freedom and less government control and interference.

I don’t agree. It’s not that I have a problem with government control; it’s just that the government is controlling the wrong things and over-regulating stuff that shouldn’t be.

Legalization of recreational marijuana is just an illusion of liberty (in Colorado and California). It’s there to make voters complacent.

And, BTW – according to my son, who has admitted to using pot, the illegal market has not gone away. He says the illegal pot is still cheaper and has a larger supply than the legal pot. that may eventually change, but legalization has not yet eliminated the black market for pot.

That will happen because 1) high taxes of “legitimate” marijuana and 2) the marijuana is grown out of the US, where labor costs are significantly lower because of indentured servitude/slavery.

All Colorado did was provide a safe haven for cartels/gangs. Expect drug-related crime to grow. Also, expect illegal prescription drug distribution and LSD use to get worse, because the cartels/gangs have been using marijuana as loss leaders, and now they’re not as valuable as loss leaders anymore.

DevilishSoda on May 13, 2014 at 4:53 PM

The only reason the majority of medication isn’t OTC is Profit$$$

Not that I’m complaining, I’m as capitalist as they come, but let’s not delude ourselves here. Big Pharma lobbies to keep things from becoming OTC.

nullrouted on May 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Hogwash. There is a lot more profit from OTC. Big Pharma would make a lot more OTC if it could.

The reason is that a lot of medications have significant contraindications (that is a long doctor word meaning “reasons that this might be very bad for any one particular person”) to their use, in individual cases. A lot of medications have doses that have to be changed for individual people (such as dose adjustments if you have liver failure or kidney failure). And some medicines, while safe on their own, have nasty interactions (such as Nitrates and Viagra – the combination of which will drop your blood pressure to potentially dangerous levels). And there are many medications with significant abuse risks, such as the subject at hand…..

SubmarineDoc on May 13, 2014 at 5:14 PM

SubmarineDoc

+1 for being sane and rational.

DevilishSoda on May 13, 2014 at 5:41 PM

I need to get a job doing these studies. No work, all pay.

The Rogue Tomato on May 13, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Marijuana was put on earth by God himself. A natural plant.
Prohibition has always been a failure.

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

You consume every plant God put here? Didn’t think so.

Has any illegal activity ever stopped because it was illegal? Nope.

Failed on both accounts.

Bigbullets on May 13, 2014 at 9:28 PM

My favorite comments on these threads are the ones from people who have obviously never smoked in their life. It’s all Cheech and Chong in their world.

rhombus on May 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM

I don’t have to experiment with cyanide before I comment on it.

Bigbullets on May 13, 2014 at 9:31 PM

BS. One of the dumbest things republicans can do is try to fight the legalization of maryjoejuana. You’re alienating a huge voting block. What’s next, bring back prohibition? Get with it, conservatives. Stay out of our bidness. Conservatives must learn politics better. A good day.

MrBobSugar on May 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM

A lot of good came about because of prohibition. Many of the clinics dealing with alcohol abuse closed down.

You people pushing for legal drugs because you want to get high should consider all the devastation that awaits.

Bigbullets on May 13, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Bummer for the two people so far that died in Colorado due to marijuana use (the exchange student that ate a cookie and jumped off a building and the woman shot by her husband after eating pot candy). In Ohio about 17 people a day die of drugs (legal and illegal) a recent study of college athletes showed that alcohol and drugs kill more than heart disease like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

College kids are stupid about many things. Pot makes you stupid. Stoned people do stupid things. Sometimes you recover, sometimes you don’t. By legalizing pot and similar substances, it is used more, so more people will do stupid things and more will die-not many- 1 in 1000? 1 in 10,000?

Most people that use pot will be fine. But because so many more will be using, the casualties will mount. It’s the opposite argument from eliminating our right to bear arms. Reducing the avilability of guns will reduce/eliminate accidental gun deaths, but not criminal ones. Keeping/making drugs illegal, by reducing the avilability will minimize the amount of accidental carnage from drugs.

talkingpoints on May 12, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Good post. Unfortunately, you can’t reason with people who just want to get high.

Bigbullets on May 13, 2014 at 9:37 PM

If anyone else has already linked this story, then disregard.
.
Colorado Stoners Big Problem For Surrounding States (WND.com)

listens2glenn on May 13, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Marijuana was put on earth by God himself.

weedisgood on May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

.
So was Hitler, Hussien (Saddam), ticks, and AIDS.

Whats your point?

BobMbx on May 12, 2014 at 9:19 PM

.
God didn’t put any of them on the earth in their negative-impacting condition.
.
The first Adam, and his posterity ALL became “corrupt” in Spirit and soul, after Adam’s separation from God. Then ALL lifeforms (includes man) became physically corrupt, after Noah’s flood.

listens2glenn on May 13, 2014 at 10:12 PM

My personal experience with marijuana has been limited to interacting with high individuals, having to avoid several smoke-filled bathrooms in high school, and the fact that anytime anybody is smoking marijuana anywhere near me I get a massive headache.

I’m not sure how I feel about legalization, but I do think that we have to seriously consider all angles of the situation before we act, including what kind of regulations would be necessary. My biggest concern is for any children who live in the household of a marijuana user. How do we protect them? An aggressive public awareness campaign? I’m not sure that will be enough.

I know, there are people who will say it’s not my responsibility to protect other peoples’ children, and in theory I agree. In theory, a child should be protected by their own parent/guardian. But if I was part of the reason marijuana became legalized in a locality, and a child was seriously harmed as a result, I would feel responsible anyway.

Cheshire_Kat on May 13, 2014 at 10:17 PM

You don’t deserve the right to prevent someone from smoking up. You shouldn’t have that right.

I don’t like mj. Don’t like what it does to me. Doesn’t matter. I don’t have the right to prevent someone else from using it.

Make it completely legal. Usage will increase to its natural level. Market forces will regulate the distribution and manner of consumption of it until a stable and predictable profile is reached. Then, and only then, can we actually make meaningful decisions about how to deal with it.

spmat on May 14, 2014 at 11:17 PM

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