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Reefer is Worth Getting Mad About
Globe and Mail ^ | August 5, 2006 | Antonio Maria Costa

Posted on 08/06/2006 6:04:24 AM PDT by Wolfie

Reefer is Worth Getting Mad About

Vienna -- Supporters of the legalization of cannabis would have us believe that it is a gentle, harmless substance that gives you little more than a sense of mellow euphoria.

Sellers of the world's most popular illicit drug know better. Trawl through websites offering cannabis seeds for sale and you will find brand names such as Armageddon, AK-47 and White Widow. "This will put you in pieces, then reduce you to rubble -- maybe quicksand if you go too far," one seller boasts. This is much closer to the truth.

In Canada, as in most parts of the world, cannabis is by far the drug of choice. An estimated 4 per cent of the world's adult population -- that's about 162 million people -- consume cannabis at least once a year, more than all other illicit drugs combined.

Does that matter? I firmly believe it does, because the cannabis now in circulation (like Canada's BC Bud) is many times more powerful than the weed that today's aging baby boomers smoked in college. The characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.

Evidence of the damage to mental health caused by cannabis use -- from loss of concentration to paranoia, aggressiveness and outright psychosis -- is mounting and cannot be ignored. Emergency room admissions involving cannabis are rising, as is demand for rehabilitation treatment. These health problems are increasingly being seen in young people.

North America is the world's largest cannabis market and most of its cannabis is homegrown. The U.S. market alone has been valued at more than $10-billion. As Canadians are starting to discover, a market that size inevitably attracts organized crime. So cannabis is a security threat as well as a health risk.

Amid all the libertarian talk about the right of the individual to engage in dangerous practices, provided no one else gets hurt, certain key facts are easily forgotten.

Firstly, cannabis is a dangerous drug, not just to the individuals who use it. People who drive under the influence of cannabis put others at risk. Would even the most ardent supporter of legalization want to fly in an aircraft whose pilot used cannabis?

Secondly, drug control works. More than a century of universally accepted restrictions on heroin and cocaine have prevented what would otherwise have been a pandemic. Global levels of drug addiction -- think of the opium dens of the 19th century -- have dropped dramatically in the past 100 years. In the past 10 years or so, they have remained stable.

Cannabis is the weakest link in the international effort to contain the global drugs problem. In theory, it's a controlled substance. In practice, it's running rampant. It grows under the most varied conditions in many countries, a high-yielding plant that can be grown indoors. This makes supply control difficult.

But we can tackle demand, particularly among the young. That need not mean sending them to jail. Young people caught in possession of cannabis could be treated in much the same way as those arrested for drunk driving: fined, required to attend classes on the dangers of drug use and threatened with loss of their driving licence for repeat offences. Prison would be a last resort. Schools and universities should apply zero tolerance.

National policies on cannabis vary and sometimes change from one year to the next. The experience of countries that were more tolerant of cannabis use is ambiguous and not persuasive. The distinction between "soft" and "hard" drugs is, at best, artificial, especially with such a damaging psycho-active substance as modern-day cannabis. Even some advocates of cannabis as a "soft" drug are now reconsidering as they observe the devastating health consequences of abuse.

Canada was a pioneer in introducing systematic anti-smoking policies, which are now being copied around the world. Their success demonstrates that preventive measures can help to change attitudes. Similar policies are needed to prevent cannabis use getting completely out of control.

Let's draw the right conclusions. Cannabis is dangerous. We ignore it at our peril.

Antonio Maria Costa is executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: 1mercurypoison; 1paranoia; 1sexdysfunction; 1tokeovertheline; 54andhighisasinine; bongbrigade; bonghitparade; bongripper; bsfromthewodzealots; callingspicoli; dealerzthread; dontbogartthatjoint; doofus; dopercrushondope; dopercrushonleroy; dopercrushonleroyaka; dopercrushonwoddie; floodingmorgues; foilthewindows; gatewaydrug; gottabeajoke; growup; heisloaded; imhighrightnow; itzmedicinemyass; knowyourleroy; leroyknowshisrights; libertarians; lies; marijuana; mrleroybait; mulespeak; munchies; oneleroyovertheline; potheads; potmakesyoustupid; reefermadness; seanpennwannabes; sundaymorninghumor; sweetleaf; theyreeverywhere; userstakeoverthread; warondrugs; watchtheman; watchthewindows; weednotstoopitmaker; wod; woddiecrushonleroy; wodlist; zotthedealers
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1 posted on 08/06/2006 6:04:24 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie

lol


2 posted on 08/06/2006 6:05:16 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: Wolfie

Speaking as an aging baby boomer, I never thought I'd be nostalgic over a $20 baggie of Mexican.


3 posted on 08/06/2006 6:06:43 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Laughing out loud, out loud, out loud, out loud, out loud!!)
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To: Wolfie

Who wrote this piece - Count Floyd?

SCTV Flashback - "Monster Chiller Horror Theater".

"Scary, huh, kids?"


4 posted on 08/06/2006 6:08:11 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Genocide is the highest sacrament of socialism.)
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To: Wolfie

Yep. All the advertising hype is gospel, and all the cannabis out there is hydroponically grown superweed. Got it.


5 posted on 08/06/2006 6:08:59 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Wolfie
'"This will put you in pieces, then reduce you to rubble -- maybe quicksand if you go too far," one seller boasts. This is much closer to the truth.'

This starting statement is utter bullshit. I didn't bother to read any further.

6 posted on 08/06/2006 6:09:02 AM PDT by Joe Brower (The Constitution defines Conservatism. *NRA*)
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To: Wolfie

Antonio Maria Costa? Gender identity crisis.


7 posted on 08/06/2006 6:13:55 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Wolfie
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
8 posted on 08/06/2006 6:13:59 AM PDT by digger48
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To: Joe Brower

It's goofy stoner ad copy. As an aside, the "AK-47" this U.N. stooge mentions is not, as one would think, named after the weapon, but for the flowering time (47 days give or take) and heritage (Alaskan). No rubble, no quicksand. The fact that the seed banks make up names for their stock is not surprising. The fact that they hype it with ad-copy isn't either.


9 posted on 08/06/2006 6:15:29 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: robertpaulsen

Still, you should see him on the back 9 at Augusta.


10 posted on 08/06/2006 6:16:17 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: digger48

Okay... Wait, what did you ask?


11 posted on 08/06/2006 6:16:56 AM PDT by toomuchcoffee
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To: Wolfie

> The distinction between "soft" and "hard" drugs is, at best, artificial, especially with such a damaging psycho-active substance as modern-day cannabis. Even some advocates of cannabis as a "soft" drug are now reconsidering as they observe the devastating health consequences of abuse.

Why is it that fanatic drug haters always ridicule themselves by showing an absolute lack of knowledge about the subject? Not that I recommend getting high on dutch killer everyday for everyone, but devastating health consequences...do these people want to be taken serious?


12 posted on 08/06/2006 6:17:26 AM PDT by Schweinhund
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To: Wolfie
Secondly, drug control works.

Yeah, right.

More than a century of universally accepted restrictions on heroin and cocaine have prevented what would otherwise have been a pandemic.

< whiney voice > "It would be so much worse if we didn't have 'drug control'." < off whiney >

This is the same "It woulda been worse.." excuse liberals use for everything they try to fix. If demonrats get control and gas goes to six bucks...

13 posted on 08/06/2006 6:21:40 AM PDT by CPOSharky (MSM - Live hizbozo = fierce fighter. Dead hizbozo = innocent civilian.)
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To: Joe Brower
Go to The Pukka Seed Company and scroll down to their description of G12 Skunk.
14 posted on 08/06/2006 6:21:55 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen

(I should have added, "Then click on 'Add to My Cart'", but that probably goes without saying.)


15 posted on 08/06/2006 6:25:35 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Wolfie; Ken H
The characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.

Sheer idiocy. Just for starters, nobody has ever fatally overdosed on even the strongest marijuana.

North America is the world's largest cannabis market and most of its cannabis is homegrown. The U.S. market alone has been valued at more than $10-billion. As Canadians are starting to discover, a market that size inevitably attracts organized crime. So cannabis is a security threat as well as a health risk.

No, LAWS AGAINST cannabis are a security threat. When the drug alcohol was illegal, that market attracted organized crime.

People who drive under the influence of cannabis put others at risk.

People who drive under the influence of alcohol put others at risk ... is that sufficient reason to ban that drug?

Global levels of drug addiction -- think of the opium dens of the 19th century -- have dropped dramatically in the past 100 years.

Actually, Ken H has shown that drug addiction is higher in war-on-drug meccas like Singapore than it is in the USA.

16 posted on 08/06/2006 6:31:33 AM PDT by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Wolfie

With the name Antonio Maria, I doubt they'd let him within 100' of Augusta National.


17 posted on 08/06/2006 6:34:06 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Wolfie
North America is the world's largest cannabis market and most of its cannabis is homegrown. The U.S. market alone has been valued at more than $10-billion. As Canadians are starting to discover, a market that size inevitably attracts organized crime. So cannabis is a security threat as well as a health risk.

It is a security threat and a magnet to crime precisely because it is illegal. Duh.

18 posted on 08/06/2006 6:34:16 AM PDT by dirtboy (Why does Israel take border security seriously but we do not, when Islamists wish us both harm?)
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To: robertpaulsen; Joe Brower
The BS part is "This is much closer to the truth." Does the author also firmly believe that Axe body spray will make women swarm all over him?
19 posted on 08/06/2006 6:34:19 AM PDT by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: dirtboy
Great minds think alike.
20 posted on 08/06/2006 6:36:53 AM PDT by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Know your rights
> Sheer idiocy. Just for starters, nobody has ever fatally overdosed on even the strongest marijuana.

Actually, just last year two dutch dock workers got hit by a falling crate containing 1 ton of Jack Herer. They probably were the first to die from weed overdose, but can you safely say they were the last?

21 posted on 08/06/2006 6:37:01 AM PDT by Schweinhund
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To: T Minus Four
Speaking as an aging baby boomer, I never thought I'd be nostalgic over a $20 baggie of Mexican.

We must be from the same era.

My friends and I would pitch in $5 apiece and get a lid fo $20.

Once in awhile, we could scrape together the $40 for a bag of *gasp* Columbian.

22 posted on 08/06/2006 6:41:37 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: Know your rights; Ken H
"Just for starters, nobody has ever fatally overdosed on even the strongest marijuana"

Would you call "fatally overdosing" a characteristic of a drug? I guess so. Yet you favor the legalization of heroin.

"Actually, Ken H has shown that drug addiction is higher in war-on-drug meccas like Singapore than it is in the USA."

KenH being the foremost expert on the subject, or a way for you to make a claim without taking responsibility for it? The latter, I'm guessing.

KenH is comparing two different cultures and claiming significance. That's like saying saki use in Japan is higher than in the U.S. because of Japanese laws.

23 posted on 08/06/2006 6:43:19 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: headsonpikes
Who wrote this piece - Count Floyd?

It was written by someone who obviously has never done a bong hit.

24 posted on 08/06/2006 6:47:45 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: Know your rights
So you're saying it's closer to the truth that G12 Skunk "is a gentle, harmless substance that gives you little more than a sense of mellow euphoria"?

You know that.

25 posted on 08/06/2006 6:48:10 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
So you're saying it's closer to the truth that G12 Skunk "is a gentle, harmless substance that gives you little more than a sense of mellow euphoria"?

Dosage is of course irrelevant. The "worst case scenario" is the baseline, and it only gets worse from there.

26 posted on 08/06/2006 6:51:53 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: robertpaulsen; Ken H
Would you call "fatally overdosing" a characteristic of a drug?

I'd call the (im)possibility of producing a fatal overdose a characteristic of a drug.

I guess so. Yet you favor the legalization of heroin.

How is that relevant to the author's moronic claim that "The characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs, such as cocaine and heroin"? Do you agree with that claim?

Actually, Ken H has shown that drug addiction is higher in war-on-drug meccas like Singapore than it is in the USA.

KenH being the foremost expert on the subject, or a way for you to make a claim without taking responsibility for it?

Ken H having collected and presented the data. (Doesn't make him the "foremost" expert ... but more so than either of us.)

KenH is comparing two different cultures and claiming significance.

I think Ken H is pointing out that cross-cultural evidence does not support the idea that "drug control works." But unlike you, I don't presume to put words in Ken H's mouth.

27 posted on 08/06/2006 6:52:05 AM PDT by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: T Minus Four

Dirt Weed Man!! Now, for nostalgia, how about $35 for a 5 finger lid of the Columbian......dat wuz sweeeet!


28 posted on 08/06/2006 6:52:37 AM PDT by jrg
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To: robertpaulsen
Go to The Pukka Seed Company and scroll down to their description of G12 Skunk. if you'd like the DEA to be going through your garbage and tapping your phone line for the next two years... :)
29 posted on 08/06/2006 6:53:29 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: Wolfie

This one brought out the usual freeper suspects and marijuana users. LOL.


30 posted on 08/06/2006 6:54:26 AM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: Wolfie

Gosh , I guess the BC & Amsterdam pot smokers must be flooding the emergency rooms & morgues, smoking all that powerful weed.

What? Their not? I did hear that piazza delivery orders are up in both locations!


31 posted on 08/06/2006 6:54:35 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: robertpaulsen
So you're saying it's closer to the truth that G12 Skunk "is a gentle, harmless substance that gives you little more than a sense of mellow euphoria"?

I'm saying that I'm confident that "This will put you in pieces, then reduce you to rubble -- maybe quicksand if you go too far" is laughable hype, not a basis for a sound pro-pot-ban argument.

32 posted on 08/06/2006 6:54:40 AM PDT by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Drew68
You were probably going to post more but forgot what it was...
33 posted on 08/06/2006 6:54:41 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: sgtbono2002
This one brought out the usual freeper suspects

Naw ... A CA Guy hasn't chimed in yet to proclaim the article's brilliance.

and marijuana users.

Which of the posters to this thread are marijuana users, and how do you know? Or are you just smearing advocates of liberty?

34 posted on 08/06/2006 6:57:09 AM PDT by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: AmericaUnited
You were probably going to post more but forgot what it was...

Have anything to say about the article, or are you just here to insult people?

35 posted on 08/06/2006 6:58:27 AM PDT by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: sgtbono2002

UN bureaucrats claiming the sky is falling get their due.


36 posted on 08/06/2006 6:59:20 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Know your rights

It was a joke. Please go take a GIANT toke on your bong and mellow out. Loosen the wedgie up a few notches also.


37 posted on 08/06/2006 7:02:19 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: Skooz

As my husband says, it's pathetic that at our age, when we talk about offering our guests some great Colombian after dinner.... it's just coffee. :)


38 posted on 08/06/2006 7:02:20 AM PDT by linda_22003
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To: Know your rights
"I'd call the (im)possibility of producing a fatal overdose a characteristic of a drug."

Which might be significant if the author stated, "The characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs, such as cocaine and heroin."

Go away.

"I think Ken H is pointing out that cross-cultural evidence does not support the idea that "drug control works."

How do you conclude that from "drug addiction is higher"? Drug control in Singapore could very well be working, just that drug addiction in Singapore is higher than in the U.S.

Heroin addiction is higher in Baltimore than in Chicago. What does that have to do with our drug control laws?

39 posted on 08/06/2006 7:04:52 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Know your rights

P.S. No one authorized you to be Thread Nanny Cop. When I feel I need a little 'scold' nipping at my ankles, I'll ping you. Till then, butt out!


40 posted on 08/06/2006 7:08:46 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: robertpaulsen
Which might be significant if the author stated, "The characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs, such as cocaine and heroin."

What characteristic of cannabis that was different from cocaine or heroin is now the same?

41 posted on 08/06/2006 7:08:58 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Mister Da

42 posted on 08/06/2006 7:10:12 AM PDT by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: Know your rights
The author is saying the legalization advocates' hype that marijuana "is a gentle, harmless substance that gives you little more than a sense of mellow euphoria" is equally laughable.

And that if one were to look at both statements, the truth would be found closer to the G12 Skunk ad.

43 posted on 08/06/2006 7:12:50 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Know your rights

You just demolished her argument, and it didn't take you too many words to do it. Common sense is much less common these days. Thanks.


44 posted on 08/06/2006 7:14:13 AM PDT by soupcon
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To: robertpaulsen
How do you conclude that from "drug addiction is higher"? Drug control in Singapore could very well be working, just that drug addiction in Singapore is higher than in the U.S.

That's always a good point on most any subject. People tend to think in absolute terms when they should be thinking in relative terms, i.e. would we have "more or less" of something, not, do we "have or not have" something.

45 posted on 08/06/2006 7:17:13 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: tacticalogic
"What characteristic of cannabis that was different from cocaine or heroin is now the same?"

None that I'm aware of.

Now, if you really meant to ask, "What characteristic of cannabis that was different from cocaine or heroin is now no longer that different, the author said today's marijuana is many times more powerful than it used to be.

Did you miss that part?

46 posted on 08/06/2006 7:21:30 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Know your rights
Sheer idiocy. Just for starters, nobody has ever fatally overdosed on even the strongest marijuana.

Yes but has anyone ever died from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of the strongest marijuana? Be honest! Thousands have over the years.

And then there are the unexplored consequences like does pot use by parents lead to Attention Deficit Disorder in their children, we all know that Pot tends to influence a person's ability to concentrate on tasks, isn't it possible then that the effects are causing a whole generation of children that suffer from ADD?

47 posted on 08/06/2006 7:28:20 AM PDT by usmcobra (Hey Stand, who's standing in Lee Circle?)
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To: T Minus Four

"Speaking as an aging baby boomer, I never thought I'd be nostalgic over a $20 baggie of Mexican."

You paid $20?? That's way too much. :)


48 posted on 08/06/2006 7:28:37 AM PDT by dljordan
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To: Wolfie

"Sellers of the world's most popular illicit drug know better. Trawl through websites offering cannabis seeds for sale and you will find brand names such as Armageddon, AK-47 and White Widow. "This will put you in pieces, then reduce you to rubble -- maybe quicksand if you go too far," one seller boasts. This is much closer to the truth."

"Evidence of the damage to mental health caused by cannabis use -- from loss of concentration to paranoia, aggressiveness and outright psychosis -- is mounting and cannot be ignored."

They left out the part about it making your white daughters sleep with negros....


49 posted on 08/06/2006 7:31:53 AM PDT by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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To: Schweinhund

"Why is it that fanatic drug haters always ridicule themselves by showing an absolute lack of knowledge about the subject?"

It makes me wonder about their true motives. I don't think any of the drug warriors really give a damn whether "dopeheads" live or die so the incentive to interfere has to be religious, monetary or some kind of malicious authoritarianism.


50 posted on 08/06/2006 7:32:24 AM PDT by dljordan
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