Posts Tagged ‘Marijuana’
2. We need more drivers driving under the influence. (Marijuana has been proven to impair drivers in the same way as alcohol intoxication; reducing eye-motor response time and degrading both mental alertness and critical judgment.)
3. Having marijuana drugstores in our neighborhood will make it more attractive. (To pot heads at least. Citizens in California are complaining about the affect of legal marijuana stores on their property values.)
4. It is the ethnic right of Hispanics to smoke pot. (The Vasquez Institute points out that in California more Hispanics are arrested for pot than Whites, proving it is cultural. Is that also why there are more Hispanic gangs than white gangs?)
5. It’s only fair. (Dispensing pot legally fits the concept of redistribution of wealth; now anyone could support the habit, not just rich people.)
6. We need more loss of productivity in workers. (Those smoking pot have been clinically proven to lose the ability to focus or concentrate for several hours after usage. They are also more likely to miss work due to respiratory illness.)
7. We need more mental illness. (Long term use of pot has been clinically proven to impair judgment, cause memory loss, and increase the likelihood of developing mental disorders such as schizophrenia and personality disorders.)
8. We really need one more “medication” that isn’t nearly as effective as current prescription and OTC pain relievers and nausea medications. (Current available, low cost medications are more effective than pot. They are also controlled by FDA for effectiveness, quality, and safety.)
9. Everybody knows alternative medical is better than that administered by doctors, pharmacists, and other licensed medical practitioners. (Every medical association in Arizona is opposed to legalizing marijuana.)
10. We don’t need no stinkin’ cops telling us what to do. (Every law enforcement and legal association is opposed to legalizing marijuana.)
+++Bonus reason: Socialist George Soros and the liberal establishment left are the biggest supporters of legalizing pot.
Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who donates often to liberal causes, made the donation Tuesday, the same day the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by him, “Why I Support Legal Marijuana.” Californians already are voting on the proposal, known as Proposition 19, in early voting.
Soros’ $1 million contribution to the Drug Policy Alliance dwarfs all previous contributions, particularly of the “no” side, and will allow the alliance to put ads on the air in the final days. The No on Proposition 19 campaign has relied on free media and not aired any ads, although the California Chamber of Commerce is spending $250,000 on radio ads urging a “no” vote.
“How much pot can a million dollars buy?” Tim Rosales, campaign manager for the No on Proposition 19 campaign (NoOnProposition19.com), wrote. “… If we don’t raise enough money right now, recreational marijuana will be coming to your workplace, schools, and highways — just in time for Thanksgiving. Remember: every 45 minutes someone is killed by a drunk driver. How often will someone be killed by a stoned driver?”
If Prop 19 passes, California would become the first state to legalize the growth, sale and use of recreational marijuana. Individuals would be able to grow their own marijuana in an area not larger than 25 square feet and possess up to one ounce of it. Local governments would be able to tax it; the state would not collect any money.
Three new polls on Oct. 26 showed Proposition 19 trailing, but there are indications that the race may be tighter than some polls show. That’s because the polls in which voters talk to an actual person show a significant lead for Prop 19 opponents, while computer automated polls that tell voters to press their keypad indicate a toss-up race. Voters may be less likely to tell a stranger on the phone they support marijuana legalization. That seemed to be the case in the latest batch of polls, in which two computer polls — by Public Policy Polling and SurveyUSA — showed Prop 19 losing narrowly, 48-45 percent and 46-44 percent, while a Suffolk University poll that used live interviewers showed Prop 19 losing handily, 55-40 percent. Two polls in recent days that used live interviewers showed Prop 19 losing by 5 and 12 points.
Meanwhile, the Fresno Bee has questioned the claims of a Yes on Prop 19 television ad featuring San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, an outspoken supporter of marijuana legalization. In the 30-second ad, McNamara claims the “war against marijuana has failed” and he says legalizing it will “allow police to focus on violent crimes, and put drug cartels out of business.” The ad, the Bee said, “cites disputed details as facts.”
“U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the government will ‘vigorously enforce’ federal marijuana laws in California if Proposition 19 passes,” the Bee wrote. “He noted that any retail establishment selling recreational pot would be admitting to a federal crime by the very act of paying taxes. A Rand Corp. study said legalization of marijuana in California would do little to cripple Mexican drug cartels. Rand researchers said there was only one highly unlikely scenario for hurting the cartels — if massive numbers of Californians and pot-seeking tourists begin smuggling Golden State weed across the United States.”
Although McNamara touts his law enforcement expertise, the Fresno Bee notes Prop 19 “is opposed by all major police groups, including the California Police Chiefs Association and the California Narcotics Officers Association.”
Chris Clark, pastor of East Clairemont Southern Baptist Church in San Diego, opposes Prop 19 and says biblical commandments not to get drunk, as found in Ephesians 5:18, apply to marijuana.
“Setting aside the debate on the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes for another discussion, there is only one objective for the recreational use of marijuana,” Clark told Baptist Press. “That is to get high, stoned, loaded, baked or otherwise impaired. It is to alter one’s consciousness to a level that is not safe — for others as well as oneself.
“Paul urged the believer to ‘be filled with the Spirit.’ … Now when one has the opportunity to fill up the very core of your being with the real reason for living, why would anyone want to fill his body and mind with funny-smelling smoke that merely masks over the empty promises of this world?”
Opponents of Prop 19 warn its passage would:
– ban pre-employment marijuana testing, which could impact the public by affecting bus companies, airlines and other public transportation. The text of Prop 19 says employers can take action on employees only if it can be proven an individual’s pot smoking “impairs job performance.”
– allow workplace marijuana smoking breaks.
– increase the number of drugged drivers on the road. Prop 19 forbids the consumption of marijuana by drivers while the car “is being operated” but permits marijuana consumption before a person drives. There is no alcohol-type breathalyzer test for marijuana. Also, passengers would be allowed to smoke pot while the car is moving.
– create a black market for cheaper marijuana.
– allow residents to grow marijuana plants in their back or front yards, all with the protection of state law. An individual’s marijuana crop must be no bigger than 25 square feet.
– increase drug trafficking elsewhere, particularly into other states where marijuana is not legal.
– increase the amount of in-state crime and necessary law enforcement. Police officers opposed to Prop 19 say that as the number of marijuana users increases, crime by those under the influence will increase.
– increase the number of teen users. After Alaska’s Supreme Court ruled in 1975 that individual possession of marijuana was legal, teen use of pot rose to more than twice the national average, despite the fact teens still were prohibited under law to smoke it. This year, the federal government’s annual National Survey of Drug Use and Health showed that teen marijuana usage was up in 2009, with 7.3 percent of teens (ages 12-17) saying they had used marijuana in the past month, compared to 6.7 percent in 2008. The report also said the overall drug usage rate was up — a stat it said was driven largely by an increase in marijuana usage.
The case of Ed Rosenthal, the East Bay medical marijuana grower who escaped a heavy federal jail sentence earlier this month, suggests one rationale for legalizing pot: It comforts the sick and dying. The case of corporate tycoon Peter B. Lewis suggests another — one that involves many more people.
Lewis, who stepped down in 2001 after 36 years as CEO of Progressive Insurance, is widely admired as a hard-driving, innovative executive who transformed his company from a tiny player into the nation’s third-largest auto insurer — “a prodigiously growing, solidly successful stock market standout,” as Fortune magazine put it. Originally specializing in coverage for high-risk drivers, an area where it quickly became a leader, Progressive later moved into other types of auto insurance, making a name for itself through direct sales, candid price comparisons, and fast claims service. Between 1990 and 1999, the company had compounded growth of more than 23 percent, compared to an industry average of less than 5 percent. Progressive was the first insurer with a Web site and the first to sell policies online, pioneering forays that paid off dramatically. Its revenues jumped from $3.5 billion in 1996 to $9.3 billion in 2002.
Lewis, the man who accomplished all this, remains Progressive’s chairman and owns more than a tenth of the company’s shares, making him a billionaire. Observers call him a perfectionist, “an extraordinary businessman,” and “an absolutist about untiring effort.” They also call him “a functioning pothead.”
Although he declined to comment on the question while he was CEO, friends said Lewis was a regular marijuana smoker. In 2000, these reports were confirmed in a very public way: Lewis was arrested for marijuana and hashish possession at the Auckland, New Zealand, airport. The authorities released him after he made a donation to a local drug rehabilitation center. The next year, when he was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about his financial support for drug policy reform, he observed, “My personal experience lets me understand and have a view of the relative effects of some of these substances. ”
With his remarkable record of achievement, Lewis does not quite fit the pothead stereotype promoted in taxpayer-funded public service announcements: the lazy, stupid loser who can’t get it together.
A knowledge engineer in his early 30s who smokes marijuana about once a week summed up the official message this way: “Pot will destroy your life, and you’ll end up sitting in a room, not caring about anything, watching TV, unemployed and broke.”
Most marijuana users do not become billionaires, of course, but neither do most of them lead empty, unproductive lives. As misleading as it may be to hold Peter Lewis’ career up as an example of what marijuana can do, it is equally misleading to cite users who never amount to anything as evidence of the drug’s effects. The typical pot smoker lies somewhere between these two extremes.
Yet it’s the failures who spring to mind when people think about marijuana, mainly because they’re conspicuous. They call attention to themselves through excessive, ostentatious indulgence that gets them into trouble at school and work. Responsible users, by contrast, have something to lose and therefore tend to be circumspect.
As a pot-smoking MBA in his mid-30s put it, “If I had to staple it to my resume, I wouldn’t get any jobs.” Others worry about losing professional licenses or about negative reactions from relatives or acquaintances. The upshot is that the most noticeable pot smokers, who tend to be the most dysfunctional, are the ones who come to represent the whole class in the public mind. Well-adjusted, high-achieving pot smokers tend to keep their drug use private, so they’re not even recognized as marijuana users — unless, like Peter Lewis, they happen to get arrested.
More generally, people who use illegal drugs in a controlled, inconspicuous way are not inclined to stand up and announce the fact. Prohibition renders them invisible, because they fear the legal, social and economic consequences of speaking up. The illegal drug users who register with the general public are the ones who get into trouble or make a nuisance of themselves.
We see the drug users who get hauled away by the police, who nod off in doorways and on park benches, who beg on the street or break into cars. We do not see the drug users who hold down a job, pay the rent or the mortgage, and support a family. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, people naturally assume that most illegal drug users are like the ones they notice, who are apt to be the least discreet and the most anti-social. This is like assuming that the wino passed out in the gutter is a typical drin
By Nicole Belle
Rep. Barney Frank said he plans to file a bill to legalize “small amounts” of marijuana.
Frank announced his plans late Friday on the HBO show “Real Time,” hosted by Bill Maher.
“I’m going to file a bill as soon as we go back to remove all federal penalties for the possession or use of small amounts of marijuana,” Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, told Maher.
Frank didn’t define “small amounts.” Efforts to reach Frank on Saturday were not immediately successful.
Frank said he’d filed a similar bill in the Massachusetts Legislature in the 1970s, but hasn’t tried since he was elected to Congress.
“I finally got to the point where I think I can get away with it,” he said.
Frank said he thinks “its time for the politicians in this one to catch up to the public. The notion that you lock people up for smoking marijuana is pretty silly.”
I am totally for legalization of marijuana, but I have to differ with Frank on this: to think that at this time with this administration that you could get away with a bill legalizing pot actually is what sounds silly.