The Gray Lady Lights Up The Legalization Movement: New York Times To Come Out For Legal Pot

225px-NewyorktimeslogoWe have been discussing the growing support for the legalization of marijuana in the United States. Now, it is being reported that The New York Times will come out on Sunday in favor of legalization — a major endorsement for the movement.

The editors concluded that “the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization.”

“We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these. But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law.”

This is a major development for legalization. However, as we discussed earlier, the greatest factor may be simple economics. Despite what has been alleged to be efforts to slow down the market and supply of legal marijuana (and the Obama Administration’s effort to cut off water to marijuana growers), a huge market has emerged for medical and legal recreational marijuana with the attending tax revenues and investments. Legal marijuana is not just becoming more socially accepted in line with alcohol but it is becoming more profitable. That could be a critical combination.

Source: Politico

90 thoughts on “The Gray Lady Lights Up The Legalization Movement: New York Times To Come Out For Legal Pot

  1. Politicians and the MSM are always way behind the public. The MSM is becoming more irrelevant every day,

  2. In the two recent House votes regarding marijuana laws in the states, the vast majority of the GOP voted against them.

    On easing banking laws for pot shops, it was 94% of Democrats for, and 20% of Republicans for.

    The one before that, getting the DEA out of the state medicinal programs, it was 92% of Democrats for, and 22% of Republicans.

    On the Patriot Act, 70% of Democrats voted against renewal, only 14% of Republicans did.

    The pattern is clear. If your personal liberties are a major concern of yours, don’t vote for Republicans.

    If you do, there must be some other issue, or some underlying hatred of liberals, that you care more about than your personal freedoms.

  3. Well , some things people just have to experience for themselves. A country with more potheads and stoners than it already has ain’t going to be pretty. Give it twenty years and it will become another national health crisis.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  4. Some might call me a Liberal Dog. But I agree with Squeeky above. I would add that smoking tobacco is the biggest killer in America today. Adding pot to the legal side only encourages the tobacco suicides. Suicide is not painless. Smoking is one of the worst ways to go if cancer is the mode chosen by the body. Went in dumb, come out dumb too. America– now well past its prime. Land of the Free and Home of the Brave but one cant say Braves or Redskins but one can smoke tobacco legally and impose the death threat on others. If pot heads would just eat the stuff it would be better.

  5. The New York Times has vilified Snowden and Greenwald and so it makes sense that they would go the pothead route. NSA all the Way.

  6. Supak wrote: “If your personal liberties are a major concern of yours, don’t vote for Republicans.”

    Well, Americans have lost more personal freedoms in the last 5 years then in the last 5 decades. So that rules out voting for Democrats, too, unless you have some underlying hatred for independents.

  7. BarkinDog- You are so very right. In the late 1980s, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that showed smoking a joint (marijuana cigarette) is three times more carcinogenic than tobacco. Three times. I find this whole race to legalize pot completely suspect. Someone is poised to make money from it. We don’t yet have a satisfactory way to measure pot intoxication and driving and yet, there’s this race to make recreational use legal. But— medical marijuana is a different matter. They’ve figured out how to use it without making your kid high and there are pretty compelling cases where it is useful. Check out the CNN documentaries by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. (I personally know his producer and she’s so very professional that I can attest she did not research this subject with a pre-formed opinion.) So…dumb idea at this point to race to legalize. But–after talking with some of the folks who’ve worked on drug policy in the US since the 1970s…it is equally dumb to saddle kids with big time criminal records for less than an ounce. The other thing is..if it’s so damn safe, then just allow people to grow their own. Why not? Because then there’s no tax revenue and corporate profit to be made.

  8. Another thing: every time an issue arises some of you insist on making it an opportunity to bash the other side. Intellectual dishonesty. I’ve figured out which ones are doing this with consistency…and I scroll past anything you have to say. You are actually using links to heavily biased blogs to make your cases. Meh. Stop it. Professor Turley should toss your asses out of here because you’re all downgrading the discussion.

  9. Nick–would you not still be high? I fear someone high on pot just as much as I fear someone drunk on alcohol. The states where they’ve passed this still haven’t made me feel very comfortable about the additional intoxication on the highways. (And yeah..texting makes me nervous, too.)

  10. iconoclast. Yes you would still be high. I was just speaking about the carcinogen concern you expressed. Cannabis does pose a problem vis a vis quantifying how impaired a driver is. We have a good system for alcohol but cannabis stays in your system much longer. You could test positive for cannabis and not have had used it for a week, or longer. That is a problem that must be solved.

  11. There’s a big difference between drinking and enjoying a glass of wine and being a wino. There’s a big difference between using and enjoying marijuana and being a pothead. I should be able to use and enjoy both, responsibly, without having my life destroyed by the legal system. Our current national approach is just insane, profoundly destructive, for nothing.

  12. Recreation. Sky diving, snow skiing, motorcycle riding, spelunking, mountain climbing, speed boating, ATV riding, airplane races, demolition derby racing, sailing, etc.

    Recreation. Marijuana, cocaine, morphine, opium, heroin, codeine, amphetamine, LSD, quaaludes, ecstasy, meth, crack, etc.

    What are the accident to death ratios of each category?

    Law should concern behavior not substance consumption.

    Driving/ UNDER THE INFLUENCE (exceeding an established threshold) of any substance should be illegal.

    Behavior bears, the particular substance does not.

    If alcohol and marijuana are legal and multiple other drugs are not prosecuted, ALL drugs should be legal or not be illegal as was the case less than a century ago.

    Prosecution should only occur against behavior.

  13. Hmmm. I feel pretty safe predicting a whole lot more people will abuse pot if it becomes legal. But, America will get to be a scientific guinea pig for the rest of the world. I wonder if the potato chip industry is behind this???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  14. Legal marijuana is not just becoming more socially accepted in line with alcohol but it is becoming more profitable. That could be a critical combination.

    2014 award for understatement of the year.

  15. Supak:

    “The pattern is clear. If your personal liberties are a major concern of yours, don’t vote for Republicans.”

    Well, it’s only clear if you ignore hyper-regulations and government intrusion. Like the campground operator who had to move out of CA because of regulations such as – to park a concessions truck temporarily, he had to drill a hole in the asphalt parking lot and submit a soil sample. Or the lunches that get thrown out for elementary school kids (they contained sandwiches, horrors), forcing them to buy cafeteria food, where chicken nuggets were one of the choices.

    Mothers Against Drunk Driving also oppose the legalization of pot. Are they bad people, too? Is anyone who disagrees with you a terrible person? Because that’s your tiresome line.

    The will of the people will decide the pot issue. That and the lure of millions of dollars in tax revenue. It sure would be nice if we could at least grow hemp, pot’s basically THC-free cousin. It has so many uses in textiles, cosmetics, and supplements.

  16. Paulette:

    “Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge. ”

    Sooooo . . . all those weather forecasts are complete bunk, then? Market forecasts? Anyone who predicts that a drunk driver will cause an accident or get arrested? LOL.

  17. Icon:

    “BarkinDog- You are so very right. In the late 1980s, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that showed smoking a joint (marijuana cigarette) is three times more carcinogenic than tobacco. Three times.”

    I recall that, but don’t know if they did any follow up studies. Medicinal users might have to use other delivery systems. But, you’re right, I wouldn’t be surprised if those who actually smoke pot become the next wave of lung cancer victims.

  18. Icon:

    It’s true that pot makes you impaired, and longer than alcohol. The reason why MADD was against it is some concerns about impaired drivers, and the need for the ability to field test.

    Anyone who imbibes shouldn’t drive, whether it’s alcohol, pot, or prescription drugs.

  19. Just remember, it makes you dumber, more likely to forget things and all those things it improves it usually worsens in a couple of years. That said, I’m against criminalizing anything that doesn’t hurt another person. Hurting yourself is no business of governments. Of course you should be permited to grow it too and any state pushing for runaway taxes is a state to be watched and condemned. There is not much discussion on the Federal stance, but this is the bigger issue; its still illegal with the Feds. Of course its the same Feds who gave us 9/11, the Patriot Act, NSA spying and the NDA Act.

  20. iconoclast wrote: “Turley should toss your asses out of here
    because you’re all downgrading the discussion.”

    Would that be by your standard or the First Amendment? If you are scrolling past comments, how would you even know it is downgrading?

    Alcohol consumption is legal, however, DUI is not. If marijuana use is legalized, enforce the hell out of it in the same way you enforce any DUI. But if one objects to legalizing based on the fear of DUI, then you also have to object to alcohol and prescription drug use. Ever read the disclaimer on some of those drugs? On any given hour, in any given city, there’s someone on prescription drugs who drives into a showroom, runs down pedestrians in front of Starbucks, or drives the wrong way on a freeway. It’s getting so bad, we are now even at risk of having a car come into our living room.

  21. Wow. Pretty crazy here tonight. I imagine that there were similar conversations during prohibition.

    Reefer Madness!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azf320JDdqU

    In the June edition of Annals of the American Thoracic Society, Donald P. Tashkin, MD, emeritus professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, says that light to moderate marijuana use does not cause increased lung cancer risk and that the verdict is not out on heavy use.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/marijuana-lung-cancer_n_3474960.html

    GOP types want states rights, freedom from government and regulations!!!! But don’t you DARE give people the right to get high…. Amazing….

    I support the legalization of most drugs, since the war on drugs has imprisoned more, killed more, damaged more lives and wasted more money than imaginable.

  22. Lloyd, This is not a partisan issue. Obama and Holder have been horrible on cannabis states. Both parties are behind the curve, as is the MSM. Conservatives fight it on religious grounds, liberals fight it because legalization means losses of hundreds of thousands of govt. jobs and billions in tax dollars from law abiding citizens.

  23. Blanfien wrote: “I support the legalization of most drugs, since the war on drugs has imprisoned more, killed more, damaged more lives and wasted more money than imaginable.”

    What if legalization of most drugs leads to a nation of addicts, the cost of which exponentially exceeds the costs of the war on drugs, itself? How do we know that more people will not ruin their lives or even die? The human cost of alcohol alone is huge. This could be a train wreck. Maybe it’d be better to stop the train, get out and inspect the track before going much farther.

    Using your logic, how do you feel about lowing taxes, since taxes have funded imprisonment, killed, damaged more lives and wasted more money than imaginable?

  24. the numbers of pot users won’t go up much. everyone who is going to smoke already does. just fewer people tied up in the legal system. the number of driving under the influence won’t go up much either (except for consumables), unlike drunks most people that are too high don’t want to drive.

  25. Grey Lady Down (movie 1978)
    always liked that movie title
    and from IMDB

    A Navy Captain uses his experimental Snark to reach a nuclear submarine stuck on an ocean ledge.

    might be where our use of the word ‘snark” comes from.

  26. There is not a substance capable of ingestion that is not subject to irresponsible consumption. We do not prohibit intoxication for the same reason that we do not prosecute obesity. As John noted earlier, the interest of law enforcement relates to behavior.

    I have not been made aware of any information suggesting that we should expect higher rates of marijuana abuse than we presently experience with alcohol. And I have a hunch, admittedly based only on anecdotal evidence, that we will not see levels of violence related to marijuana use that even remotely approach those associated with alcohol intoxication.

  27. “Amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: More than $51,000,000,000.”

    You think we could come up with better things to do with the money.

  28. Sorry, it’s late when I seen this piece.

    Oklahoma has a couple of what appears to be pro Cannabis laws headed towards the ballot box in 2014.

    I would likely be supportive except from what I’ve read they are Bad Law.

    I will not give up my “Rights” as an American just to have access to Cannabis.

    I won’t give up an inch of “Rights” not even for Cannabis or Charlie Sheen’s bus load of hookers in cheerleader outfits.

    (I wish I’d have thought of Charlie’s idea before I got married & was running loose. LOL;) )

    I feel it’s better to vote against bad laws whatever the issue.

    So you’re unsure? Just go check out what Tommy Chong had to say on Joe Rogan’s show.

    No, I will not trade my Civil Rights for a Bong Hit, it’s a poor trade!!!

  29. mespo, would giving $51,000,000,000 back to the taxpayers be better? Otherwise, I’m for reassigning all drug law enforcement, prosecutors and judges too, to rebuilding our infrastructure, fixing potholes, bridge building, cleaning up right of ways. Anything would be more productive than what they’re doing now.

    On the other hand, who’s to say that by legalizing all drugs, the cost in human terms wouldn’t increase by 1 trillion dollars from what it is now?

    And who’s to say that by adopting better culture (clean up Hollywood for starters) we wouldn’t have near zero drug demand/addiction, far less mental illness, drunkenness and social issues?

  30. Prohibition of alcohol, the first time the U.S. Constitution was amended to “shrink” individual rights by a morality police, created one of the greatest crime waves in U.S. history. There are legal drugs that are far more harmful than this one but we aren’t outlawing those.

    Legalization takes away that criminal incentive and creates tax revenue while reducing police, prison and taxpayer resources – a huge economic boost for any state. Americans sitting in prison for non-violent offenses are not paying income taxes, sales taxes, etc. into the treasuries of the federal, state and local governments.

  31. Google search : Bob Marley and Legalize Marijuana. But he starts off with:
    Cigarette smoking is dangerous. Hazad to your health.
    Does that mean anything to you?

    And of course it does not. Not to America. Smoke em if ya gottem. Vietnam is a good war. Daddy smoked and I will smoke too. Hustlin round Atlanta in my alligator shoes. Smoking is akin to Todd Akin. Smoking is akin to the one child solution in China. Keep the population down. Even if it means that mom and pop go quicker than need be.

    I am warning you humans as an outsider that I have seen similar contrivances in numerous other planets. Condoms are better.

  32. The biggest objector to legalized pot is the privatized prison industry. If pot ever does become legal, I expect the penalties for jaywalking will get a lot stiffer.

  33. Paulette: The ability to predict was a key development in the evolution of the human race. Our ability to look at a set of tracks and predict were the animal that made them might be or observe the behavior of animals and predict when they might gather in a certain place enhanced hunting success, and yes, the ability to predict weather events allowed our ancestors to seek appropriate shelter.

    In all those events, predictions were never anything more than good guesses. Lao Tzu was referring to the type of knowledge that doesn’t require guessing or predicting, like We know the sun will rise in the east. The fact that Squeeky is completely off base has nothing to do with whether or not the act of predicting indicates her lack of knowledge.

  34. Mespo: Good catch. First impressions: If you were sentenced to incarceration in Hawaii, would it be better to remain on the islands or be shipped to the mainland. Depending on your point of view, there is a cruel and unusual aspect involved there somewhere.

    So much involved in our election cycle comes down to timing – timing is everything, as Hal Blaine used to say.

    Another reason for banning money in politics

  35. The New York Times used to be about All The News Fit To Print. They dub Snowden and Greenwald as traitors. They dub W. as a hero. They want you to pay for the email version. They like pot because if you are stoned you are more likely to agree with their pro Koch Brothers propaganda for the Military Industrial Complex. Cocaine is next, then heroin and then herons. Pink flamingos are right around the corner. Some of us remember the good ol days when the New York Times stood up for Daniel Elsberg and fought the Pentagon Papers battle. New York Times. Snowden is a traitor but pot is ok. Jack Mehoff was just named Editor in Chief.

  36. Big govt., Big Pharma, the liquor and wine industry have all been part of keeping cannabis illegal. Big govt. looses control, tax money and jobs. Big Pharma makes no money on people growing their own meds, or buying it legally, for pain, anxiety, chemotherapy nausea, etc. The booze industry knows less alcohol will be consumed. One of the worst politicians on this is Diane Feinstein. One of her largest contributors is the Ca. wine industry. A few years ago, she got passed on a voice vote. doubling the federal penalties for sale of cannabis edibles. Of course it was, “Protecting the children.” Now, I am a strong advocate for the legalization of cannabis. But, I am intellectually honest by nature and profession. There are problems w/ kids eating cannabis brownies, cookies, etc. Edibles are very powerful. It is not fatal like pharmaceuticals that are fatal. But is hallucinogenic which has serious psych ramifications. ER’s is Ca., Colorado, etc. see these cases. There are other issues regarding legalization. It has been scientifically established that cannabis used by adolescents age 15 and younger have retarded brain development. Ages 12-15 is a critical stage in the growth of brain cells and cannabis diminishes that growth. There are other risks. But, any objective assessment of this issue says the risks pale in comparison to the insanity of keeping it illegal. Other illegal drugs, other more serious issues. Cannabis is different. No guy beats their wife, kids, girlfriend on cannabis. They do chronically on booze.

  37. Whether alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, THC, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, amphetamines are legal or not there is demand and that demand will be met.

    It will be met either by criminal enterprises or by honest decent folk. Folk who will not, as a matter of principle, sell to children. The choice seems obvious to me.

    Driving high is a despicable behavior whether high on alcohol, legal medication or THC.

    Some alcoholics take a bottle and take to a motel room, harming only themselves. Some potheads take a pipe to a motel room, harming only themselves. Meanwhile social drinkers have a party and social marijuana users mellow out to cool jazz. Teetotalers enjoy either party, too. It is fun to be around others as they lose their inhibitions.

    No matter what you use, no matter what you do, please be safe.

  38. Another intellectually honest point. The hated tobacco industry is poised to mass produce cannabis smokables. They have purchased remote property in ideal Ca. areas for growing. I discussed the carcinogens previously. That is a concern and can be eliminated w/ the use of vaporizers. A very knowledgeable doc who prescribed me cannabis explained it this way. Cannabis now is exponentially more powerful than it was back in the 60’s. I can take 2, maybe 3 drags and I’m done. Even if you’re a complete stoner, you would smoke the equivalent of 2 tobacco cigs a day. That said, he told his patients to use vaporizers or edibles/drinkables as much as possible. They make vaporizers just like you see for nicotine, specifically for cannabis. This is the last time I’ll say it, the MSM and politicians are WAY behind the public on this issue, as they are on many issues.

  39. This country currently looks like obese fascists…just so you all know. Yeah, that’s the non-pretty picture. You may now think about that, I give you my approval to do so.

  40. George, Absolutely! I worked @ Leavenworth Penitentiary, a maximum security Federal Prison. There are NO 4th amendment rights in prison. But, you can get any drug you desire. The law of where there is demand there will be supply is as true as laws of physics. And then I tell people. You can’t keep drugs out of a Federal prison. Look @ a US map. How could you ever keep it out of this country.

    My eyes were opened when I went to Medellin to adopt our son in Jan 1987, the height of Pablo Escobar’s reign. He ran that country. I had a great conversation w/ a Colombian. He said to me, we grow and process cocaine because you Americans demand it. We grow and export coffee to the US. If you people stop drinking coffee we will stop growing it. Very basic economics. And on the economic front. Guys like Escobar were the most ruthless capitalists in the world. Their enemy were bureaucrats, getting paid by the hour. It was no contest. That is until the brave people of Colombia said, “Enough” and took back their country. It was a bloodbath and it took extreme tactics like the use of Los Pepes. The book, Killing Pablo is a great read if this topic interests you.

  41. http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-colorado-slams-legalized-marijuana-unlike-rand-paul-his-2016-gop-rival-1639408 “What I said is what I believe,” he told reporters who asked him about an April radio interview in which he slammed the new marijuana law. Ignoring data showing Colorado outranking New Jersey on many social and economic metrics, Christie said in that earlier interview that his state is a better place to live because of Colorado’s legal weed.

    “See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado, where there are head shops popping up on every corner, and people flying into your airport just to get high. To me, it’s not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey,” he declared.”

  42. Repubs have as their mantra “fiscal responsibility” It seems to me it is fiscally responsible to legalize marijuana. The number of folks imprisoned because of marijuana laws cost $$$$. It is also “pro-life”. As it is now, when you buy it you have to buy it on the street from an unknown person selling what is essentially an unknown product. Legalizing it reduces court costs, prison costs, and safeguards the health of those who are already using it. There is no way to know how many would use it if it was legalized but I personally doubt people who do not want to be drugged will suddenly say “Hey it’s legal. Now we can party”>
    (Although I am surprised at how this has become a bipartisan issue, for instance in Pa. it was a dem and a rep who introduced legislation to legalize marijuana for medical use.)

  43. SWM, That Christie just won’t go away! I think we need the first Italian president before the first female prez.

  44. RTC, The money to be made on cannabis incarcerations is in Federal Prisons, not state. The BOP currently contracts w/ 14 private prisons, accounting for a small fraction of total incarcerations. I agree private prisons have a vested interest in keeping cannabis illegal, just not that they are #1 on the list.

  45. Appleton said: “I have not been made aware of any information suggesting that we should expect higher rates of marijuana abuse than we presently experience with alcohol.”

    So, marijuana abuse is okay as long as it doesn’t exceed alcohol abuse?

    If tobacco use is discouraged, why set a stage for marijuana use?

    As for a hunch, any thoughts on social issues related to marijuana use, compared to alcohol intoxication? Are we adding passive deadbeats to the mix of violent deadbeats?

    Employer drug testing is huge. Millions of people do not use marijuana because they want to keep their jobs. Will these people revert to marijuana use that was routine for them before testing? With legalization, employers couldn’t test for marijuana anymore then they can test for alcohol now.

  46. The New York Times needs to look over its own gravesites. Here are some figures from a NYC anti tobacco forum:

    Deaths in New York from Smoking:

    Adults who die each year from their own smoking 23,600
    Kids now under 18 and alive in New York who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking 280,000

    Of course these figures are encouraging if you have a strategy of keeping the population over age 50 down. Aging population is a problem Too many granpas out there. So one of the best ways to get kids to smoke is to make it seem so OK. Smoke em if ya gottem. Oh, and watch all those TCM movies about WWII and watch Gene Kelley smoking and coming home from war all glorious. War is good, smoke em if ya gottem. Yah, John Wayne in the movie The Green Berets. Women aren’t ugly if they smoke and stink, and cough when you are trying to have some sex with em. Put up with that Junior because you can get a buzz on. Go to war. Be a hero. Smoke em if ya gottem.

    Went in dumb, come out dumb too. New York Times. All The News That’s Fit To Print.

  47. A lot of granpas out there who smoke get tired of all the criticism. Let me die in peace , they say. So, for all you smoking granpas out there, I have some ammunition for you from Bob Marley and The Wailers:

    Warning – The surgeon general warns
    Cigarette smoking is dangerous… Dangerous
    Hazard to your health
    Does that mean anything to you?

    Then legalize marijuana
    Right here in Jamaica yeah
    Dem say it cure glaucoma yeah
    I’m an a de bush doctor yeah
    So there’ll be no more
    Smokin’ and feeling tense
    When I see dem a com
    I don’t have to jump no fence

    Legalize marijuana
    Down here in jamaica yeah
    Only cure for asthma yeah
    I man a de minister yeah
    So there’ll be no more
    Police brutality
    No more disrespect for humanity

    Legalize marijuana yeah
    Down here in jamaica yeah
    It can build up a failing economy yeah
    Eliminate the slavish mentality

    So there’ll be no more
    Illegal humiliation
    And no more police
    Interrogation

    Legalize marijuana
    Down here in sweet jamaica
    Only cure for glaucoma
    I’m an a de bush doctor yeah

    And there’ll be no more need
    To smoke and hide
    When you know you’re takin’
    A legal ride

    Legalize marijuana
    Down here in Jamaica
    It’s the only cure for glaucoma
    I’m an a de minister…

    -end-

    Play this and join up with the Youth Movement on the pot thing and then you can take some of the heat off for your suicide behavior that is sure to cause your death and perhaps those who smoke second hand around you. Ya, join up with Scotty and push for legalization of pot. Smoke crack if ya gottem.

  48. Nick, you make sense. So, Russia has outlawed GMOs because monsanto and cohorts wouldn’t pay up enough?

  49. Samantha, You probably have a good grasp on how corrupt Chicago politicians are. Well, Russia is Chicago w/ millions of square miles of territory. And, Putin is Blago on steroids and w/ nuclear weapons.

  50. Samantha, No, we’ll have the reforms you desire when we get rid of the duopoly and start firing mortar rounds onto K Street lobby offices.

  51. Samantha, you conjure up ‘what ifs’ but it’s obvious that the current drug situation is harmful to the taxpayer, the recreational drug user, the system at large. Even Mexico saw the light in 2009:

    ‘Mexico enacted a controversial law on Thursday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs while encouraging government-financed treatment for drug dependency free of charge.’

    Pharma creates addictive drugs all the time that are at least under the supervision of a doctor and pharmacists. While they still get in the hands of those not prescribed, isn’t it better to have them legal than illegal? These current US draconian laws and sentences make the situation worse. Want to stop the illegal drug trade? Make drugs legal. At least then there is some oversight and tax dollars could pay for rehabs. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. The drug war is insane…..

    And yes, Nick, both parties are to blame, but the ‘freedom from government’ GOP are the most hypocritical.

  52. Nick, Last I heard the senate judiciary committee voted unanimously on the bill to pass it. Corbett has promised to veto it if it comes to h is desk.
    But then they had to take a vacation because, who cares if their constituents are suffering?

    A new poll released by Franklin & Marshall College found that 84% of Pennsylvania voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana. The poll was released just one day after Republicans in the Senate decided not to bring a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state to a vote before the summer recess begins…..The poll was released as Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Senate failed to bring Senate Bill 1182, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, to a vote before the summer recess.

    The bill was sent to the floor of the Senate for a vote after unanimously clearing the Senate Law & Justice Committee last week on a 9-0 vote.

    http://www.thedailychronic.net/2014/34151/84-support-medical-marijuana-in-pennsylvania-as-senate-takes-summer-vacation-instead-of-action-on-legalization-bill/

    So even when they do the right thing they can’t be counted on to do the right thing.

  53. Blankfien, sure, the current drug situation is bad. No argument there. Lots of things are bad, but we don’t legalize bank robbing. Personally, I don’t care one way or the other about legalizing marijuana use. Im just “what ifing.” That’s what people do. Well, some of us anyway.

  54. Samantha bank robbery has never been legal (unless you own the bank :), while many drugs were and are legal. Yes, ‘what if’ is understandable, but there is much evidence that ‘what is’ is the wrong approach.

    It seems to be this puritanical ideal that if you make drugs illegal and punish the doer that it will deter those who want to take them. That’s not happening since we have full prisons and still have a huge demand for drugs. Extreme punishment for recreational drug use leads to people carrying a felony conviction for the rest of their lives. Jobs are more difficult to get, credit is more difficult to obtain, voting is curtailed, renting a place to stay can be problematic. The after-release punishment list is long and troubling and can be more harmful than the sentence itself.

    The war on drugs has not worked and is not working. It’s time for a much different and dramatic approach to drugs….

  55. Lloyd brings up some of the people who we have been talking about who cannot get a foot up or be in the mainstream. Those who cannot get jobs because of their records end up on the street:;living off the government or feeling choiceless, stealing from others to get what they need.

  56. Well, has anybody thought about what happens when the tort lawsuits start??? Because if it is legal to sell, and enters the stream of commerce, what about the 19 year old who gets addicted to the stuff and flunks out of college??? Or some stoner who gets lung cancer??? Because I predict this is going to happen.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  57. Nick: “Putin is Blago on steroids and w/ nuclear weapons.”

    If that were true, the Packers would have played like a bunch second graders against Da Bears… and Blago would have played quaterback.

  58. Blankfien, you make some good points. I have often felt that substance abuse, along with so many other social problems, is less about regulations or enforcement, more about cultural and moral decay. Some of us have no desire to smoke marijuana, for example, simply because it does not fit our notion of lifestyle. In the same way, some us do not live paycheck to paycheck because that would be an insult to our independence. Or we do not go into debt, or roll over for every new fad and fashion, or join subversives who have zero tolerance for everyone but themselves. And we sure as hell do not want to assign our individual sovereignty to the government, which already has far too much control over the hearts and minds of too many.

    leejcaroll, drunks can’t get jobs either, and the alcohol is already legal. How does legalizing drugs help an addict get a job? In the eyes of the employer, what’s the difference between a DUI or assault conviction and a drug conviction? I do not want to hire an abuser of any substance. They are unreliable, impetuous, selfish, pig headed, troublesome, “prone to drink and when drunk, shoot” (borrowing from Teddy Roosevelt).

  59. “”Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

    Well, has anybody thought about what happens when the tort lawsuits start???””

    Squeeky, I gotta know. Did you look under that robe?

    But I digress.

    You have revealed the essential flaw of dictatorial collectivism, the dictatorship of the proletariat, theocracy and all forms or autocratic government. They simply reward their friends, “victims” and martyrs du jour; change the winners and create an entirely new set of unacceptable conditions that persists until the next revolution.

    They engender unpredictable and unintended consequences.

    By contrast, the freedom through self-reliance that the Founders wrote of and lived in their daily lives allows nature to flawlessly take its course.

    P.S.

    E pluribus unum Latin for “Out of many, one” – Wikipedia.

    Note that the Founders used words and words mean things. Unless you believe the Founders, who established a representative republic, were hypo intelligent, you will read that, consistent with the restricted vote they implemented early on, they deliberately used the word for MANY not the word for ALL. The Founders feared the masses gaining power; the unintended consequences we live with today.

    For example, there is absolutely NO coherence or rationale for government to be in debt or for the “utility of currency” to not be pegged to gold –

    $20 Trillion of debt by the next election cycle???

    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

  60. “…cannot get jobs…”

    Bull pucky. People with records work in assisted living facilities, road construction, body shops, house painting, landscaping and all kinds of jobs, everywhere. Can you say janitor?

    “If you build it, they will come.”

    If you take welfare away, they will get jobs

    quickly, cuz they’ll be really really hungry and really really thirsty

    and they’ll apply at charities if they qualify.

    If you give them free money, they will sit on their aaaaaaapholstered chairs in front of their TV’s and smoke legalized marijuana.

    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

  61. Samantha you seem to make quite a leap, if someone uses drugs then they are an ‘addict” that is not necessarily the case. The point is our jails are filled with people arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana which then gives them a felony possession. If you ae a “drunk” I guess you mean alcoholic? that is not in your record that you must disclose It is a false analogy

  62. (btw most people who drink are not ‘drunks” or alcoholics. Most people who use marijuana, as opposed to addictive drugs like heroin, crack, etc do not become addicts.

  63. leejcaroll, my comment compared addicts to drunks; I never at all meant to imply all drug users and drinkers are addicts and drunks. I might imbibe for a special ocassion, and I am not a drunk.

    I found Lily Hyde’s opinion fascinating. One can make a pretty good argument that Ukraine lost the Crimea because of Western decadence, at least from Russia’s point of view.

    Lily Hyde: Crimea has become the Russian Federation’s graveyard of ideologies
    by Lily Hyde
    July 27, 2014, 10:58 p.m. | Op-ed —
    http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/op-ed/lily-hyde-crimea-has-become-the-russian-federations-graveyard-of-ideologies-358156.html

  64. If the government really cared about us we would all be living in large work camps with constant supervision to protect us from ourselves. We would only be fed food that is good for us and we would be forced to exercise and have daily medical examinations. In order to prevent unhealthy contraband, we would be placed in solitary confinement forever if caught with unhealthy substances.

    Of course, the state needs healthy people able to work hard and efficiently for maximum output of necessary goods. Also, healthy subjects are required to serve as capable fighters for the state’s wars against other states. So, what is good for us as individuals is also good for us collectively, right?

    What a glorious world it would be if government really cared about us. Can’t you just feel the love?

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