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Medical marijuana: The real stakes
TownHall.com ^ | 12-10-04 | Jeff Jacoby

Posted on 12/17/2004 9:12:14 AM PST by inquest

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To: Blast_Master
War on Drugs that can never win given any scenario....

With the possible exception of turning America into a police state (a scenario some WODdites seem to have no problem with).

401 posted on 12/30/2004 9:38:00 AM PST 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: TKDietz
Obviously, the laws don't matter that much.

Except to those who wind up in jail for using illegal drugs rather than legal drugs.

402 posted on 12/30/2004 9:39:34 AM PST 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: TKDietz
"Why is it that per capita marijuana use is higher in the US than it is in Holland"

So your saying that Holland's culture is just like ours? Why do you insist on comparing our drug use with drug use of different countries?

"Use in states that have decriminalized is about the same as use in states with harsher laws."

Similarly, you continue to make this STUPID comparison between states. The attitude towards drugs in all the states are the same, huh?

I told you before. Give me the usage numbers before and after decriminalization on a state by state basis, then you'll have my attention.

403 posted on 12/30/2004 10:05:32 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Blast_Master
Ah. So your bit about a "non-physically addictive weed whose mild effects include increased appetite and a euphoric feeling" was ... what? A mistake? Not what you really meant?

Here I thought you were just talking about the legalization of harmless little weeds, and making those of us who are against drugs look like uncompromising extremists.

Lo and behold, enter the real extremist who wants to legalize all drugs. You realize this position puts you among maybe .001% of the population who feel this way?

Legalize all drugs and the gangs would go away? In your dreams.

If they wouldn't be selling to minors they'd be exporting our now-legal recreational drugs to every nation on the globe. Oh, that wouldn't be allowed? Who's gonna stop them -- the DEA is no more. Oh, you'd keep the DEA? Better quadruple their numbers -- they've got a big job to do.

"Everyone knows where to get pot or someone who can get it."

True. In every survey, teens say marijuana is easier to get than alcohol.

Yet, teens use alcohol 2:1 over pot. Why is that? Could it be because alcohol is legal (for adults) and therefore has an implied acceptance by society? And you want this for all drugs?

"100s of billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars spent"

The federal government spends about $11 billion per year on the WOD. Half of that money goes for drug treatment and anti-drug advertising and the other half towards border patrol and overseas drug interdiction.

"70% of our prisoners up on drug charges.

Geez. Where do you get your numbers? In the United States we have about 2 million people in jail and prison. Of that 2 million, 450,000 are there on drug charges, primarily for dealing drugs. That's 22%, not 70%.

"Tax it and spend taxes on rehab and education"

Let's tax it the way we do cigarettes. Tax it high and drive the product underground, then use the revenue for the general fund.

404 posted on 12/30/2004 10:37:40 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Know your rights
"nobody on this thread has "posited" that."

One poster did .... wait, that was you, don't you remember? You said, "the ratio could change because of relatively increased use in the lower 48."

Now, weasel out of it by reming us that you said "could" change and "relatively" increased use.

Why do I friggin' bother?

Oh, and keep showing up on these drug threads, MrLeRoy. The more people who know how a banned poster (a banned Soros troll is more descriptive) actually conducts himself, the better.

405 posted on 12/30/2004 10:49:53 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
nobody on this thread has "posited" that.

One poster did .... wait, that was you, don't you remember? You said, "the ratio could change because of relatively increased use in the lower 48."

Now, weasel out of it by reming us that you said "could" change

The only weaseling here is yours; to say "could" is explicitly not to "posit." How long will you attempt to defend your latest dishonesty before you slink away?

406 posted on 12/30/2004 10:56:03 AM PST 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: robertpaulsen
If they wouldn't be selling to minors they'd be exporting our now-legal recreational drugs to every nation on the globe.

Just like the mob gets rich exporting alcohol to dry countries? Peddle your silly fables elsewhere.

True. In every survey, teens say marijuana is easier to get than alcohol.

Yet, teens use alcohol 2:1 over pot. Why is that?

Quite possibly because they prefer its effects.

407 posted on 12/30/2004 10:59:03 AM PST 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
What's with your quotation marks around my word? It describes exactly what you were doing.

Posit (v): to suggest something as a basic fact or principle from which a further idea is formed or developed.

You were .... suggesting something ("could change because") as a basic fact ("relatively increased use in the lower 48") from which a further idea is formed or developed (that would be weak evidence that legalization for Alaskan adults did impact teen use).

In 1988, a survey indicated the Alaskan teen rate was double that of the lower 48. Today, after Alaska recriminalized, the teen rate is about the same.

The only way that does NOT mean that legalization for Alaskan adults had an impact on teen use is if teen use in the lower 48 DOUBLED from 1988 to the present to equal that of Alaska.

Now, if you are not saying that, then shut up. My statement stands.

408 posted on 12/30/2004 12:14:41 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
"So your saying that Holland's culture is just like ours? Why do you insist on comparing our drug use with drug use of different countries?"

The Dutch are different than us, but really not that much. We're both western nations, predominantly white, predominately of Judeo-Christian upbringing. We dress similarly, listen to a lot of the same music and watch a lot of the same TV shows and movies. We live similar lives. The governments are a little different but the average person on the street isn't much different than the average person on the street here.

I insist on comparing different countries because it makes sense to look at how various laws work in other places to get an idea of how they might work here, or an idea of what we could possibly do to make our system work better. That seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

What always gets me is your utter lack of faith in the American people. What makes you think that we are so much more weak and depraved than our European counterparts that if our marijuana laws were is lax as most of theirs that we would all become hardcore potheads? You have so little faith in your fellow countrymen. I think I'd be seriously depressed if I had as little faith in my fellow man as you.

"Similarly, you continue to make this STUPID comparison between states. The attitude towards drugs in all the states are the same, huh?"

You say the comparisons between states are stupid because you are maintaining an indefensible position and the best thing you can think of to do in that situation is be insulting and play other cheap debating tricks. There is absolutely nothing wrong with comparing the laws and marijuana usage rates in the various states. The fact that marijuana use is about the same in states that have decriminalized as it is in states that have not says a lot. If the marijuana was such an enticing drug that everyone would want to do it and the only thing stopping them was the fear of arrest you would think that instead of having less than 10% overall past month marijuana use in all states whether they have decriminalized or not we'd see use numbers upwards of 25%, 50%, or more in states that have decriminalized. Instead, use rates are about the same in states that have decriminalized and those that haven't. Who is making the stupid argument here?

"I told you before. Give me the usage numbers before and after decriminalization on a state by state basis, then you'll have my attention."

This is classic robertpaulsen. You and I both know that there weren't any state by state numbers being collected back in the late seventies when most of the states decriminalized. SAMHSA didn't start breaking the survey down state by state until 1998. In typical robertpualsen fashion, you want to set the rules of the game up such that your opponent cannot possibly win, because you are incapable of defending your position on the merits. If you can play like this and still be proud of yourself when you look in the mirror, fine, but I don't think anyone else is impressed. Anyone that looks into this with half a brain could see that if decriminalization encourages marijuana use as much as you argue that it does we'd see really high use statistics in states like California that have decriminalized. Instead, use in these states is about the same as in other states.

As for getting your attention, that's never going to happen. You aren't someone concerned with the getting to the truth. All you are concerned with is winning the debate, at whatever cost. This is just a game for you and you play to win even if it takes dishonorable means to get to that end. That's why I always get so frustrated with you.
409 posted on 12/30/2004 1:53:59 PM PST by TKDietz
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To: Know your rights
"Except to those who wind up in jail for using illegal drugs rather than legal drugs."

Jail is one thing, and some people do go to jail or even prison for simple possession of marijuana. But what's probably worse is that so many are arrested and lose jobs because they can't bond out or because they have to take off work for court and their employers find out they were arrested for drugs. That most of them are left with lifelong criminal records is probably the worst part about all of this. These criminal records can really limit what a person can do in life. Statistics show that more than half of all adults born from the mid fifties on have at least tried marijuana. It's crazy that a few million out of close to a hundred million get stuck with criminal records that make it harder for them to get ahead in life because they did something when they were younger that probably hurt no one, especially when you consider that most of their contemporaries did the same thing but didn't get caught.
410 posted on 12/30/2004 2:17:03 PM PST by TKDietz
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To: TKDietz
"that we would all become hardcore potheads?"

Not all. With marijuana legalization, I'd say we'd go from 6% to 20%, half of them under 21.

In 1979, when marijuana was illegal, we were over 13%. So I think 20% is a conservative figure under legalization. Maybe 25%.

And for what? What do we, society, get in return? Nada (that's Spanish for bupkis).

Actually, what we'll get is, "If marijuana, why not peyote? Nitrous? Shrooms? LSD? Ecstasy? GHB? Ketamine?

Not that you care. Hell, you probably agree. So, this isn't about marijuana at all, is it?

I"m just not interested in opening up a Pandora's box for no reason. Even with a good reason or two I'd be reluctant. But this is a no brainer.

411 posted on 12/30/2004 2:17:59 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen

Robert I seem to have hit a nerve... is it because you back the current never win, always spend, contributing to crime method? Don't worry, you are right, a lot of people want to keep drugs illegal.. like the crack slinging murderers on the streets. Odd that both my govt. and law enforcement agree with street murderers and drug lords alike. Let me take the time to respond if I may. I have left your comments in quotes.

rp"Ah. So your bit about a "non-physically addictive weed whose mild effects include increased appetite and a euphoric feeling" was ... what? A mistake? Not what you really meant?
Here I thought you were just talking about the legalization of harmless little weeds, and making those of us who are against drugs look like uncompromising extremists."rp

I assume you think marijuana is physically addictive by your quotes? Wrong, it can be psychologically addictive like sugar and food however. It is not a matter of being 'against drugs', society would indeed be better if they never existed, but they are here and will ALWAYS be. Accepting this fact, a fact you understand cannot change regardless of money spend and policy... should we not look for alternative methods for dealing with it? Extremism would be if I advocated the injecting of innocents with drugs against their will, I am only offering an alternative. Snatch the pebble from my hand grasshopper.

rp"Lo and behold, enter the real extremist who wants to legalize all drugs. You realize this position puts you among maybe .001% of the population who feel this way?"rp

I think I dealt with the extremist issue above, no need to keep beating a dead dog. Do you really think that I represent only .001% of opinion? I understand it is not the majority opionion currently, but most people have not given it any thought. Since I am not running for office or trying to be necessarily popular, this does not concern me and does not affect my judgement.

rp"Legalize all drugs and the gangs would go away? In your dreams."rp

Tell me Robert, what would the gangs do in ways of making up the vast quantities of cash they had so easily made prior to drugs becoming legal? Is it in your dream where gangs are just a bunch of hooligans hanging out under an overpass waiting to mug an old lady? You know damn well what I am talking about... gun slinging gangstas that would bust a cap in your ass. They have mo' money and use it to buy the finest in illegal weaponry and for controlling and terrorizing entire neighborhoods. I just can't imagine the Crenshaw Crips sustaining their empire on purse money. No sir, this is not a dream but a distinct reality that modern powerful gangs are completely propped up by the smuggling, distribution and selling of drugs. If you don't think so, then it is you who is dreaming on a white cloud where the clouds are beautiful all the time...

rp"If they wouldn't be selling to minors they'd be exporting our now-legal recreational drugs to every nation on the globe. Oh, that wouldn't be allowed? Who's gonna stop them -- the DEA is no more. Oh, you'd keep the DEA? Better quadruple their numbers -- they've got a big job to do."rp

Where does this logic come from? Why would Columbia bother to ship cocaine to the U.S. for distribution (where it would be made legally) when it already has the means to get drugs to Europe etc.? The DEA guys should be converted to border guards.. and ipso facto.. you now have tight border control btw. If you mean however what about those who would ship U.S. made drugs to other countries... let them worry about it.. not our concern, let thier DEA or whatever inspect or planes and shipments if they like. Also make it a fine punishable by a minimum 20 years in prison for the exportation of drugs for those who are caught passively.

"Everyone knows where to get pot or someone who can get it."

rp"True. In every survey, teens say marijuana is easier to get than alcohol.

Yet, teens use alcohol 2:1 over pot. Why is that? Could it be because alcohol is legal (for adults) and therefore has an implied acceptance by society? And you want this for all drugs?"rp

They do these surveys in high school... Do you think kids are going to say they do drugs on a public form in school? Some do, most do not. I took a survey at school in my math class in front of a PE teacher I respected and lied about not smoking cigareetes. I bet if I took a anonymous survey of every divorced father in front of a police station that I would have amazingly high percentages of men who pay their child support regularly and on time.

"100s of billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars spent"

rp"The federal government spends about $11 billion per year on the WOD. Half of that money goes for drug treatment and anti-drug advertising and the other half towards border patrol and overseas drug interdiction."rp

Yeah.. right. How many people are employed by the Federal govt. just to find or fight drugs? How many extra police are needed because of drugs? Don't we send AWACS and special forces to burn down coca plantations? I dunno, I admit I took that number out of the air, but there is sure more than 11 billion if you look at all the related expenses. I would sure appreciate if it someone could find a true number... I will post if I find one. Lots of money that goes to agencies and state and local govt.s gets tied up with "War on Drugs"

"70% of our prisoners up on drug charges.

rp"Geez. Where do you get your numbers? In the United States we have about 2 million people in jail and prison. Of that 2 million, 450,000 are there on drug charges, primarily for dealing drugs. That's 22%, not 70%."rp

From what I see, about 13% on possession alone, total of 30% from selling... now.. what about the murder rate? Why are one in six young black men murdered? Gangsters are not only locked up for drug possession you know... I should have stipulated 'drug related' Drug-related crime can be considered to include criminal offences in breach of drug legislation, crimes committed under the influence of illicit drugs, crimes committed by users to support their drug habit (mainly acquisitive crime and drug dealing) and systemic crimes committed as part of the functioning of illicit markets (fight for territories, bribing of officials, etc.). Except for drug law offences, routinely available data do not provide information on these categories and, when available, they come from ad hoc local studies and are not suitable for extrapolation.


"Tax it and spend taxes on rehab and education"

rp"Let's tax it the way we do cigarettes. Tax it high and drive the product underground, then use the revenue for the general fund."rp

Now Robert, why would we want to do that? That would go against the whole point right? Honestly Robert, the point is it should be taxed and those revenues earmarked for such programs... not to negate the whole idea.

Thank you, and have a nice day.


412 posted on 12/30/2004 4:07:34 PM PST by Blast_Master
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To: robertpaulsen
Looks like I sold myself short pulling that figure out of my...

Cost of the War on Drugs

$s Billions

 

 


   Year                `89      `90      `91      `92      `93      `94
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------
 1 Stolen              148      154      160      168      176      184
 2 Incarceration        73       80       88       96      104      112
 3 Lost taxes           41       43       45       47       49       51
 4 Construction         20       21       23       25       25       25
 5 Federal War           7       10       12       13       20       25
 6 Extra Welfare        13       14       15       16       17       18
 7 Harrassment          10       11       12       13       14       15
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals              312      333      355      378      405      430

Reagan's 8 years: $1.860 Trillion Bush's 4 years: $1.378 Trillion

Notes

 

  1. Value of goods stolen. These goods are later replaced at additional cost by owner or insurance.
  2. Total for additional police, judges, courtrooms, prosecutors, court costs, maintenance of jails, guards, probation personnel, and the entire police, justice and prison system required to deal with the WoD.
  3. Income taxes associated with perpetrators' lost wages.
  4. Construction of new jail and other facilities to deal with burgeoning case load.
  5. Federal WoD consists of arming and paying interdiction forces along with international efforts to stem flow of drugs.
  6. Extra welfare needed to support families of drug offenders while they are in prison.

413 posted on 12/30/2004 4:17:29 PM PST by Blast_Master
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To: robertpaulsen
"Not all. With marijuana legalization, I'd say we'd go from 6% to 20%, half of them under 21.

In 1979, when marijuana was illegal, we were over 13%. So I think 20% is a conservative figure under legalization. Maybe 25%."

Marijuana use in 1979 was high, but that was it's absolute peak after the whole thing started in the 1960's. The whole "drugs, sex, and rock and roll," thing was in full swing. Things have changed since then, and people are a lot smarter about drugs.

I don't think there is any reason to think that past month use numbers would go up to 25%. Our use numbers are already among the highest in the world with just over 6% of our population reporting past month use of marijuana. This puts us over most countries with much less restrictive marijuana laws, including Holland where you can buy marijuana openly in shops. No country in the world has use rates of 20% or 25%, not even close. Why would you think Americans would be so much more depraved than the rest of the world? Marijuana is not that much fun. Most people who try it don't like it. Most who do like it and continue to smoke it end up getting tired of it and leaving it alone.

As for your comment about half the people who will try marijuana being under 21, I don't know where you are coming up with that wild guess. According to the government numbers, right now only about 30% of those who report past month use are under 21, and that keeps changing as the years go on because the percentage of those over 21 who smoke marijuana keeps growing. The reason it keeps growing is not that so many more over 21 are trying pot, it's just that more and more of the people who came of age before pot started becoming popular are dying off and being replaced by people who have tried it and a tiny fraction of those people still smoke it.

One other thing that is important to note about the numbers of people under 21 who smoke marijuana is that this 30% of total current users is not made up of a bunch of little kids. The biggest part of these people are 18 through 20. While it may be that 30% of those who report current use are under 21, those under 18 only make up 13% of the total number, and those under 16 make up less than 5% of the total number of persons reporting past month use of marijuana in this country. Most of the under 21 crowd smoking pot are college aged young adults, not little kids. And the ratio of young users to older users will continue to shift to older users as more of the people who came of age before marijuana became popular die off, whether marijuana is legalized or not.

There is absolutely no reason to think that if marijuana was made legal for adults that 50% of whatever growth in marijuana use resulted would come from people under 21. For that matter, there is no reason to think that marijuana use in general would go up as much as you think it would.

"Actually, what we'll get is, 'If marijuana, why not peyote? Nitrous? Shrooms? LSD? Ecstasy? GHB? Ketamine?'

Not that you care. Hell, you probably agree. So, this isn't about marijuana at all, is it?"

I don't want those drugs to be legalized. Most of those aren't addictive, so I am not as worried about them as I am drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin, but I still wouldn't want to see them legalized and made more available than they already are. Marijuana is much safer for users than the other drugs you listed. It's also safer for the general public because it isn't nearly as impairing or prone to causing crazy behavior as some of the other drugs you mentioned. Moreover, it is far more available on a national level than those drugs and far more people use marijuana than those drugs. Legalizing marijuana wouldn't increase marijuana availability much. It shouldn't increase availability at all for teens who already report that it is as easy or easier to get marijuana than it is to get beer. These other drugs are more dangerous, and not nearly as easy to come by for most people.

I do not believe that simple possession of these drugs should result in a felony conviction. I don't think that simple possession of a personal use amount of any drug should result in a felony conviction. There is no need for it. Most of the people who fool around with these substances are young and still at that stage where they feel invincible. Most will grow up stop fooling around with drugs. The fact that possession of these substances is a felony does not deter many who are interested in using the drugs. A misdemeanor with fairly certain consequences would be just as much of a deterrent and it wouldn't leave so many with a felony record that will severely limit their ability to succeed in this world.

As for giving you reasons why marijuana should be legalized, I've done that for you before as have so many others, but you aren't interested. So, I won't waste my time going over all of that again.
414 posted on 12/31/2004 9:36:03 AM PST by TKDietz
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To: robertpaulsen
You were .... suggesting something ("could change because") as a basic fact

Wrong; I suggested it as a possible alternative, not a fact ("basic" or otherwise).

In 1988, a survey indicated the Alaskan teen rate was double that of the lower 48. Today, after Alaska recriminalized, the teen rate is about the same.

The only way that does NOT mean that legalization for Alaskan adults had an impact on teen use is if teen use in the lower 48 DOUBLED from 1988 to the present to equal that of Alaska.

That follows only if Alaskan teen use remained steady. (Then there are the methodological problems that TKDietz has so ably explained.)

415 posted on 12/31/2004 12:16:32 PM PST 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
"Wrong; I suggested it as a possible alternative,"

Oh, I see. No basis in fact.

So, basically, you simply pulled that statement out of your a$$, posted it, and called it debate, huh?

This is what we, at FR, call "trolling", MrLeRoy -- people who post just to get a reaction from someone.

Now, either support the basis of your statement, "the ratio could change because of relatively increased use in the lower 48" or I report it as abuse. I told you before, I'm tired of your silly games.

416 posted on 01/01/2005 5:09:06 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: TKDietz
"Why would you think Americans would be so much more depraved than the rest of the world?"

Think? History says we're capable. And, that 13.2% was when marijuana was illegal.

"Things have changed since then, and people are a lot smarter about drugs."

Make the argument when it suits you, TKDietz. You're flexible. Need I remind you that not too long ago you were posting that drug use was increasing?

"As for your comment about half the people who will try ... right now only about 30% of those who report past month use are under 21 ..."

Let's go back to Alaska. Legalize marijuana for adults (in a restrictive manner, to boot) and teen use is double. That 30% becomes 60%. I used a conservative 50%. It's possible, is my point.

"The biggest part of these people are 18 through 20 ..."

Currently. Why do you insist that percentage would remain after legalization? Some older teens, knowing marijuana is legal in a year or two, may wait rather than getting in trouble. Use among 14 to 16-year-olds may explode.

But, for sake of argument, let's go with your numbers. That means the vast majority of those arrested are 18 to 20, yes? Almost all, if you're to be believed. And we both agree that they are not "a bunch of little kids".

My question. How long before there comes the cry (from public defenders like you) to lower the legal marijuana age to 18? That would drastically reduce ..., well, that would drastically reduce what you're trying to drastically reduce today, now wouldn't it?

"I don't want those drugs to be legalized.

YOU don't want. Why am I not reassured?

Legalizing marijuana will make it that much easier to legalize the other soft drugs, whether you want that or not. Similar arguments can be made for those drugs that are/were made for marijuana.

So, to summarize. We legalize marijuana for those 21 and older, followed some time later by reducing the age to 18.

Marijuana use increases, teen use doubles. More are introduced to drugs at an earlier age.

Now, other soft drugs are legalized for 18-year-olds. Use of those drugs increases.

And for what? What have we gained by legalizing these drugs to 18-year-olds?

Besides the obvious -- making your job easier.

417 posted on 01/01/2005 5:57:55 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen

418 posted on 01/01/2005 5:58:09 PM PST by Texaggie79 (Did I just say that?)
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To: robertpaulsen
"Think? History says we're capable. And, that 13.2% was when marijuana was illegal."

So what, that was a whole different time with a different dynamic at work. Things have changed since then. And I'll bring it up again, you haven't seen use going up to 20% or 25% or more in places like Holland where they sell marijuana in shops. It hasn't ever gone anywhere close to that. It's never been anywhere close to that in any of the countries that keep this kind of data. What makes you think that Dutch people or others in places with much less restrictive marijuana laws are so much better able to control themselves when it comes to marijuana than we "weak" Americans?

"Make the argument when it suits you, TKDietz. You're flexible. Need I remind you that not too long ago you were posting that drug use was increasing?"

It has gone up some. That's what it does. It goes up and down with the times. It will always do a little fluctuating. What I was pointing out to you before was that it even goes up when the drug war is cranked up several notches. We can seize more pot and lock up more people than ever but if it's going to go up, it's going to go up. If it's going to go down, it's going to go down. The government has little control over that.

"Let's go back to Alaska. Legalize marijuana for adults (in a restrictive manner, to boot) and teen use is double. That 30% becomes 60%. I used a conservative 50%. It's possible, is my point."

You say teen use doubled based on some survey the University of Alaska did once and compared with SAMHSA's numbers. The survey isn't published anywhere where any one can find it. We have no way of knowing how many people where surveyed, the questions asked, or methods used for collecting the data. We also don't know what the numbers for teen use before and after the survey.

I don't believe that teen use doubled in Alaska. You don't have any proof that it doubled.

"Currently. Why do you insist that percentage would remain after legalization?"

Because it's only going to be legal for adults and we're still going to encourage teens not to use it and punish them if they do, just like we do now. At least where I live, we are much harder on teens than we are adults for marijuana possession, except that they aren't really fined and they don't get left with a criminal record that stays with them through their adult lives. Lot's of them do get sent away to a 45 day treatment program though, and they are put on restrictive probation where they are drug tested. They have to perform community service, make it to school with no unexcused absences, tardies, or disciplinary referrals, and their case goes on and on until they have a couple of good reports at review hearings. Bad reports get them juvi hall or get them sent off for six months to a year at some facility somewhere half way across the state. This wouldn't all just stop happening if marijuana was legalized for adults.

The ratio of young pot smokers to old is going to keep shifting to older people, whether marijuana is legalized or not. The reason for this is simple, a higher and higher percentage of older people are those who came of age after marijuana became popular. Over 50% of those born from about the mid 1950's on have at least tried it according to government statistics. Many born before that have also tried it but the percentage of those who have tried it drops off sharply as we start going back in the years to people born much before that. Hardly any of those born in the 1920's and 1930's or before have ever tried it, and the fact is that each year more and more of these people pass on. Certainly not all of the people who have tried marijuana still smoke it. Only a small percentage do. Nevertheless this causes the percentage of persons over 21 who smoke marijuana to grow each year and tilts the ratio of young to old marijuana smokers toward older people.

"But, for sake of argument, let's go with your numbers. That means the vast majority of those arrested are 18 to 20, yes? Almost all, if you're to be believed."

I didn't say anything about arrests. I don't know what the arrest numbers are. I was only talking about use numbers. If you don't believe me on the use numbers, simply look at the link breaking down marijuana use by detailed age categories I'm going to provide you and do the math yourself.

See table 1.2A: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nhsda/2k3tabs/PDF/Sect1peTabs19to27.pdf

"My question. How long before there comes the cry (from public defenders like you) to lower the legal marijuana age to 18?"

So what if people "cry?" A lot of people want alcohol to be legal for 18 year olds but it isn't happening. And who listens to public defenders anyway? Yea, we public defenders are a powerful force to be reckoned with in the political arena.

"YOU don't want. Why am I not reassured?"

Who cares?

"Legalizing marijuana will make it that much easier to legalize the other soft drugs, whether you want that or not. Similar arguments can be made for those drugs that are/were made for marijuana."

So you think drugs like LSD, ketamine, GHB, and that sort of thing are soft drugs? That puts you in the distinct minority. These drugs are much more dangerous than marijuana. Marijuana doesn't make you lose control of yourself. Marijuana is not addictive like some of the drugs you call soft drugs. Some of these drugs are much riskier for the user and innocent people who might come in contact with people using these drugs. And unlike marijuana, we don't already have millions and millions of people using them regularly and even more millions and millions using them occasionally. Marijuana is already a very common drug, easily available everywhere. These other drugs are not even close to being as available everywhere as marijuana. Making them legal would change that.

I still do not believe that simple possession of these or any other "recreational" drugs should be a felony though. Shoot, huffing paint isn't a felony anywhere I know of but it's much worse than most any other drug out there. Felonies should be reserved for much more serious crimes where people are causing serious harms to others or putting others at serious risk. At a minimum it shouldn't be a felony the first time or two someone gets caught with one of these other drugs. There are plenty of sanctions available for misdemeanors that would act as just as much a deterrent as a felony would, and we wouldn't have so many people out there with criminal records that can really make it hard for them to get ahead in this world just because they went through a wild partying stage in their lives and happened to be unlucky enough to get caught with an unsanctioned drug. An awful lot of decent, productive citizens have fooled around with drugs at one point in their lives.
419 posted on 01/01/2005 8:55:49 PM PST by TKDietz
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To: robertpaulsen; TKDietz

Oops, I meant to say look at Table 1.20A: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nhsda/2k3tabs/PDF/Sect1peTabs19to27.pdf


420 posted on 01/01/2005 8:57:07 PM PST by TKDietz
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To: robertpaulsen
"Currently. Why do you insist that percentage would remain after legalization?"

Rereading this I see that you are talking about the percentage of 18 to 20 year olds smoking marijuana compared to those younger than that. The reason it would stay the same is because 18 to 20 year olds are college aged people. Even if they aren't off in college many are out of the home and even those who are in the home are often given more leeway to stay out and do what they want than younger teens. These are prime partying years. I can sure remember being that age off at college. We threw down. There was always a keg party somewhere. Pot smoke wafted through the halls at the dorms. I went a little too crazy and neglected my studies and by the time I was 19 I had quit school and joined the Army. In the Army I was with a bunch of kids my age too and there wasn't any less partying going on than there was in college. Kids that age are always going to party a lot more on average than younger kids. That's just the way it works out.
421 posted on 01/01/2005 9:14:38 PM PST by TKDietz
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To: robertpaulsen
I have one more comment on Alaska. The survey you talk about was one done by the University of Alaska that was compared to SAMHSA's national numbers. According to SAMHSA, in 1979 14.2% of people 12 to 17 reported past month use of marijuana. In 1988, the year of the University of Alaska survey, SAMHSA reported that 5.4% of those 12 to 17 were past month marijuana users. If it is true (I doubt it) that teen use in Alaska was double the national average, it was 10.8%. This is considerably less than nationwide use by 12 to 17 year olds in 1979. In fact, SAMHSA's numbers for 1985 showed that 10.2% of 12 to 17 year olds smoked pot in the month preceding the 1985 survey. So marijuana use by 12 to 17 year olds nationwide dropped by about half in three years. It could be that Alaska was just a little behind the times. In 1999, nine years after the law change, 10.4% of Alaskans 12 through 17 reported past month marijuana use. By 2002, 9.44% of Alaskans 12 through 17 reported past month use of marijuana, compared to the national average of 8.17%. That's not exactly a huge drop from the 1988 use numbers for people of that demographic. (I know I'm comparing SAMHSA's old numbers with their new ones but if you can compare some college survey with SAMHSA's numbers you've got to give me a little leeway on this.) It doesn't appear that the law change in 1990 brought about any remarkable reduction in marijuana use by teens in Alaska.

See Table 3 for SAMHSA's national past month marijuana statistics from 1979: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/factsht/druguse/#table3

See Table 3b for SAMHSA's 1999 state by state past month marijuana use statistics: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NHSDA/99StateTabs/tables2.htm#3b

See Table A.2 for the 2002 numbers: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k2State/html/appA.htm#taba.2
422 posted on 01/02/2005 12:33:13 AM PST by TKDietz
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To: TKDietz
"And I'll bring it up again, you haven't seen use going up to 20% or 25% or more in places like Holland where they sell marijuana in shops."

And I'll bring it up again. DON'T COMPARE CULTURES. I seem to recall that Holland has a huge problem with underage drinking -- like double ours.

"AMSTERDAM — Dutch teenagers aged 15 and 16 are Europe's heaviest youth drinkers, with 25 percent drinking alcohol more than 10 times per month, according to new research."

The European School Survey on Alcohol and Other Drugs revealed on Tuesday that Dutch teens, boys in particular, drink often and in large quantities. Roughly one third of male teens will consume five or more glasses during each drinking session (binge drinking -- triple ours)."

"The study indicated that due to low drunkenness rates among young Dutch people, drinking alcohol in the Netherlands is a socially acceptable phenomenon and youths have become accustomed to drinking. Schools and parents should be take more responsibility, the report advised."
-- www.expatica.com

Could it be that the Holland youth would rather drink than smoke? And if Holland clamped down on underage drinking, would marijuana use increase?

The culture, the attitude, the laws are different. STOP comparing us to them, if you wish to retain what little credibility you have with me.

(Oh, according to the same article, "The survey found that 18 percent of young Dutch people questioned had smoked a joint in the month preceding the study." Our 12-17 rate is 8.17%.)

423 posted on 01/02/2005 7:38:35 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: TKDietz
"I don't believe that teen use doubled in Alaska."

No, you don't want to believe that teen use doubled in Alaska.

"You don't have any proof that it doubled."

Other than the 1988 University of Alaska survey? Other than the fact that the people closest to the problem, the Alaskan voter, believed the survey and went to the polls to make marijuana illegal again?

Other than that, no.

424 posted on 01/02/2005 7:45:12 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: TKDietz
"I didn't say anything about arrests. I don't know what the arrest numbers are. I was only talking about use numbers."

Well, under your legalization scenario, if 90% of the people illegally using marijuana are in the 18 - 20 age group, I would expect the arrests to reflect that.

"A lot of people want alcohol to be legal for 18 year olds but it isn't happening."

Alcohol was legal for 18-year-olds, so don't give me that "ain't happening" BS.

But my point is that you and others are claiming that marijuana is nowhere near as harmful as alcohol, yes? (Or are you going to back down on that claim now also?). Should be a heck of lot easier to legalize it for 18-year-olds than alcohol.

And what a nice introduction to drugs that would be.

"These drugs are much more dangerous than marijuana."

So? The argument would be that they're less dangerous than alcohol, which is your argument for marijuana legalization (need I remind you?).

So now TKDietz has a sliding scale for legalization? The drug has to be less dangerous than alcohol, but more than just a "little less" dangerous.

You ever get the feeling that there's a TKDietz's world, and then there's the real world?

"I still do not believe that simple possession of these or any other "recreational" drugs should be a felony though."

In how many states is it a felony for first time possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use? Any? What are you talking about?

425 posted on 01/02/2005 8:04:55 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: TKDietz
"This is considerably less than nationwide use by 12 to 17 year olds in 1979."

Yeah, so?

It could very well be that Alaskan teen use in 1979 was 28.4%. Do you know that it wasn't? Do you know what it was?

Yes, overall teen use fell from 1979 to 2002. But, overall teen use bottomed out in 1988-1990 at 5.4% and remained relatively flat for the next 10 years or so while Alaskan teen use continued to fall another 50%.

You're saying that continued free fall was due to a lag? Any other state or states lagging besides Alaska to support that contention?

Just a coincidence that Alaskan teen use fell 50% after making marijuana illegal again while use in the rest of the country remained flat?

I don't buy your "lag" theory. You have nothing to support it. You don't even have a reason why you think it would lag to begin with. Why not lead?

426 posted on 01/02/2005 8:43:38 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Blast_Master
"The DEA guys should be converted to border guards"

Well, there goes that savings, huh?

"If you mean however what about those who would ship U.S. made drugs to other countries... let them worry about it.. not our concern,"

Can they fly over and napalm our poppy fields and our marijuana fields like we currently do to countries that export their drugs to us?

"Also make it a fine punishable by a minimum 20 years in prison for the exportation of drugs ..."

Well, there goes that savings, too.

"From what I see, about 13% on possession alone, total of 30% from selling..."

Where do you "see" those numbers? I have a link to DOJ numbers that show 22% in jail and prison on drug-only convictions.

"Drug-related crime can be considered to include criminal offences in breach of drug legislation, crimes committed under the influence of illicit drugs, crimes committed by users to support their drug habit..."

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Not really honest of you to inflate the numbers by including drug related crime.

Legalize drugs and those related crimes remain. You kill a guy under the influence of PCP and it's still murder if PCP is legal or not -- and you're still going to prison. And ... there goes those savings.

"Honestly Robert, the point is it should be taxed and those revenues earmarked for such programs... not to negate the whole idea."

We were told that the state tax revenue (and the huge court settlements) from cigarettes would go to stop-smoking advertising and clinics. It hasn't. Why would you expect state tax revenue from drugs to be any different?

427 posted on 01/02/2005 9:10:54 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Blast_Master
I don't need to refute that chart. I'm sure the source of it is refutation enough.

Care to provide it?

428 posted on 01/02/2005 9:16:33 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
"Just a coincidence that Alaskan teen use fell 50% after making marijuana illegal again while use in the rest of the country remained flat?"

Where are you getting that it fell 50%? If it really was double the national average for persons 12 to 17 in 1988, it was 10.8% in 1988 because the national average was 5.4%. I've read that it was almost double, if you believe the results of the college survey compared to SAMHSA's number. So even if the college survey was right on the money it probably wasn't even 10.8%. In 1999, it was 10.4%, about the same as it was eleven years prior in 1988, again only if you believe the college survey was an accurate representation of actual marijuana use numbers for Alaskans 12 through 17. It may very well have gone down with the rest of the nation by 1990. As we can see between 1985 and 1988 the national numbers dropped by half and the same could have happened in Alaska, but by 1999 it was back up again. We can't know for sure because the first state by state data appears to have been published by SAMHSA in 1999. Anyway, by 2002 use by Alaskans 12 to 17 was 9.44%. There is zero evidence of anything close to a 50% drop. And even if a 50% drop occurred during the period for which there were no state by state surveys, the rest of the nation saw actually more than a 50% drop in the late 1980's through 1992 and Alaska could have been just following the national trend, albeit just a little late.

If you say the laws passed in Alaska in 1990 reduced teen marijuana use by 50%, you are just making things up. There is no evidence to support that claim. If the college survey done in 1988 produced accurate results that were comparable to SAMHSA's numbers (a big if), then marijuana use by that demographic in Alaska as of 2002, the last time SAMHSA published state by state numbers, was only a little lower than it was back in 1988.
429 posted on 01/02/2005 9:51:32 AM PST by TKDietz
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To: robertpaulsen
"So? The argument would be that they're less dangerous than alcohol[drugs like GHB, ketamine, LSD, peyote, ecstasy, and psilocyben], which is your argument for marijuana legalization (need I remind you?).

So now TKDietz has a sliding scale for legalization? The drug has to be less dangerous than alcohol, but more than just a "little less" dangerous."

I don't think these drugs are less dangerous than alcohol. I don't think marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol either. None of this stuff is good for you. Where marijuana beats alcohol the most is that it doesn't cause as much impairment or cause people to lose control of themselves and do really stupid, harmful things as much as alcohol does. I can really see this in my work when I handle domestic violence cases. Most are cases where some drunk guy beats up on his wife, and I can't tell you how many times I've heard the woman say that the guy never does this except when he gets drunk. I never hear the same said about marijuana. It just doesn't do that to people. It doesn't make them mean and it doesn't turn them into risk takers that do stupid things and cause horrible accidents, certainly nowhere near as much as alcohol does. It is much safer for innocent people, those who aren't smoking it.

I don't think these other drugs compare nearly as favorably to alcohol as marijuana does for those who use them or for innocent people. I don't know much about these other drugs, but I think some of them are fairly addictive, like GHB and possibly ketamine. Man of them can cause a real lack of control in users, making them both dangerous to users and innocent people alike. Many can cause fatal or seriously harmful overdoses. Many can cause serious physical damage to users, including serious brain damage and psychological problems that can cause these people to be a real menace to or at least a real burden on society. They are all much "harder" drugs than marijuana, or even alcohol.

The way drugs compare to alcohol risk wise is only part of the equation. It is also important to look at the size of the market for these drugs, current availability and price, the numbers of people currently using them, the burden on law enforcement and the legal system, and so on. Relatively few people use these drugs compared to the millions who use marijuana. Marijuana is readily available at all times most everywhere in the country. Hardly anyone uses most of these other drugs and none of them are anywhere close to being as available as marijuana. There are places all over America where you wouldn't be able to find some of these drugs if you tried, and in many cases, these things only come around town occasionally. I can recall it being that way with drugs like shrooms and LSD when I was younger. Every once in a while someone might have these drugs, but there was certainly no regular supply available to anyone who wanted to use these drugs. Like alcohol marijuana is already widely available and can be found easily just about anywhere in the country. We rarely ever see people arrested for any of these other drugs you talk about. I don't know that anyone has ever been caught with GHB or ketamine in the county where I work. These other drugs just aren't used by that many people, and in most cases those who do use them only do so once or a few times. This is probably partly because of the health risks involved, but lack of availability undoubtedly plays a big part as well. Legalizing these other drugs would cause a huge increase in availability, and that would undoubtedly lead to a bug increase in use.

One other thing that would cause an increase in use of these drugs is that much more so than marijuana, legalizing them would cause a big increase in the perception of safety in using these drugs. This isn't because somehow because they would be legal they would all of the sudden be safer substances, it would be because if they were legal they would have to be much more pure. As it is if you buy a hit of ecstasy, mescaline, or psilicyben, you have no idea what you are getting. You don't know what kind of impurities or poisons might be in these drugs. You don't know if you are being sold something else instead of these drugs. You might be getting ripped off with talcum powder pressed into pills, or you might be getting a low dose of LSD mixed with speed to approximate ecstasy. You might be getting something really toxic that some idiot didn't cook up right. If these drugs were legal and sold at shops, many who might be afraid to take these drugs because they don't know what they would be getting wouldn't have that holding them back anymore. They wouldn't even have to deal with less than savory people, asking around and going from here to there looking for these drugs and all the while letting more and more people know what they are up to. They could just go down to a nice well lit shop and buy clean drugs, or send a close friend down so they could take their clean drugs without risk of it getting back to people they wouldn't want knowing about it.

Marijuana is different though. It's much easier to find and for the most part what you see is what you get. You are far less likely to get something that is cut with something toxic or get something that isn't what you paid for. You can just look in the bag and smell it. The way it looks is unmistakable. Since it's just plant material you don't have to worry about a bunch of chemicals being in it. Laced marijuana is exceedingly rare because for one you would most likely be able to detect it, and more importantly the things people would lace it with are more expensive than marijuana, so it makes no sense for someone to sell laced marijuana. It might be a little safer "purity" wise if regulated and sold at shops, but as it is there is far less concern about getting what you pay for and not something really harmful than there is with these other drugs. On top of that, since there are so many people who use it it's much easier to get some from people you trust than these other drugs, for which there are far fewer possible sources.

"In how many states is it a felony for first time possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use? Any? What are you talking about?"

I was talking about these other drugs you insist would be legalized if marijuana was legalized. I don't know if first offense possession of marijuana is a felony in any state, but possession of the other drugs you mentioned is a felony in most every state. That makes no sense to me.

It doesn't make any sense to me that a second offense of simple possession of marijuana is treated as a felony in so many states either. The real fact of the matter is that hardly anyone actually quits smoking marijuana just because they were caught once. They don't change their friends and their lifestyles just because they got a misdemeanor marijuana conviction. Most are young people still feeling invincible and most will grow out of their pot smoking phase in time. The problem is that once they get busted once the likelihood that they'll get busted again increases considerably. In small towns like where I work the police know who has been busted and they'll keep an eye on them more than would be the case in a big city. Also, once they get arrested a record is created on the computer and if these guys are stopped for any reason if the police run their names it will come back that they have been arrested for marijuana possession. Then the police are going to try to think of some reason to search them and if they were in a vehicle the vehicle too. They may have been riding with someone else or at someone else's home, but if the police know of their record they'll be looking for more pot. It could be years later but if they find even a tiny amount of pot, it's going to be a felony.

I had a friend in law school who was busted three times for possession from the time he was eighteen till he turned twenty one. He lived in a small town and the same cop busted him all three times. He quit smoking a long time ago and now works for a major law firm doing legal work for Monsanto. Luckily for him, his family had enough money to hire a good lawyer and the judge and the prosecutor in the town where he lived weren't out to nail people for smoking pot so he was able to keep these arrests off his record. If he didn't come from a family with a little money or if was busted in another town where they weren't as understanding about marijuana he wouldn't be where he is today. There are an awful lot of people out there with similar stories who are now contributing members of society. There are also a lot out there who weren't so lucky who can't get good jobs today because of their felony records. There is really no good reason things have to be this way.
430 posted on 01/02/2005 11:33:26 AM PST by TKDietz
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To: robertpaulsen
"Other than the 1988 University of Alaska survey? Other than the fact that the people closest to the problem, the Alaskan voter, believed the survey and went to the polls to make marijuana illegal again?"

The survey didn't show that use had doubled. Apparently the survey results showed use that was almost double that of the national average for persons 12 to 17. The national average for 12 to 17 year olds in 1988 when the University of Alaska did their survey was 5.4%, so I'm guessing that use in Alaska for that demographic must have been 10% or higher. Unfortunately, (and suspiciously I might add) the University of Alaska survey is not available online or in print form so that it can be had through inter-library loan. Anyway, to say that use doubled in Alaska you would have to know the use statistics from before the 1988 survey. You can't produce those numbers. All you can say is that according to what you have read somewhere about some survey the University of Alaska performed in 1988 that was compared to national government statistics for past month use of people 12 through 17, Alaskan teens were apparently using marijuana at almost twice the 5.4% national rate in 1988.
431 posted on 01/02/2005 11:56:59 AM PST by TKDietz
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To: TKDietz
"If you say the laws passed in Alaska in 1990 reduced teen marijuana use by 50%, you are just making things up."

I'm saying the following: In 1988, the University of Alaska did a survey, the result of which showed that Alaskan teens were using marijuana at twice the national average. If the national average was indeed 5.4% in 1988, then that works out to 10.8% for Alaska.

Alaska made marijuana illegal again in 1990. Current surveys show that Alaskan teen use is now about the same as the national average. According to your survey, the 2002 national average is 8.17%; Alaska is 9.44%.

Don't look at this in absolutes. Alaskan teen use was double that of the rest of the nation. Alaska made marijuana illegal. Today, Alaskan teen use is about the same as the rest of the nation. The actual percentages are irrelevent.

Your sole argument is: The University of Alaska was either wrong or was lying. Hey, prove either one and I'm willing to discuss it. Without proof, you're looking just a little silly.

432 posted on 01/02/2005 12:37:30 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: TKDietz
"If he didn't come from a family with a little money or if was busted in another town where they weren't as understanding about marijuana he wouldn't be where he is today."

Never occurred to him to simply stop smoking? Hey, why should he when he has a family with a little money and living in a town where they were understanding.

I'm sure you're telling me this anecdotal story because it's typical of 100% of the people who smoke marijuana. Left alone, they'll all end up working for major law firms. (shudder)

"I don't think these other drugs compare nearly as favorably to alcohol as marijuana does"

For the majority of people who want these drugs, they don't have to. If the basis for legalizing marijuana is that it's "not as dangerous" as alcohol, you've suddenly flung the door wide open to most, if not all, soft drugs.

Now, you can start backpedalling, saying that is goes beyond how dangerous a drug is. How we need to look at other factors such as the size of the market for these drugs, the numbers of people currently using them, etc.

Hey, that's all part of the 1970 CSA, yet you ignored that for marijuana. Oh, but these factors are important for the other soft drugs, huh? Uh-huh. I'm sure all the nitrous legalizers agree.

433 posted on 01/02/2005 12:55:53 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: TKDietz
"The survey didn't show that use had doubled."

Did I say that? (seriously). Marijuana use was double, not had doubled.

The 1988 University of Alaska survey reported that the percentage of Alaskan teens using marijuana was double the national average.

I don't know that the survey covered 12 to 17 -- it could have been 13 to 19. Or 16 to 19. I don't know that they compared it to SAMHSA. Was SAMHSA the only data source out there?

434 posted on 01/02/2005 1:09:28 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
SAMHSA was not the only source. There was also the Monitoring the Future survey surveying seniors in high school and they might have started surveying 8th and 10th graders by that time as well. But the data source the college used for the national numbers was SAMHSA. I know this for a fact. I do not know who the college surveyed though, or how many they surveyed, what questions were asked and how they were asked, and so on.
435 posted on 01/02/2005 1:41:41 PM PST by TKDietz
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To: robertpaulsen
"Never occurred to him to simply stop smoking? Hey, why should he when he has a family with a little money and living in a town where they were understanding."

They don't quit here either where the judges and prosecutors are not at all understanding regardless of how much money you have. They stand there in court and say "yes sir" "no sir" to the judge and walk out talking about what a bunch of b.s. our whole system is. Almost everyone who smokes pot thinks the government has no business telling them they can't smoke pot. Almost all of them think pot should be legal. You don't see the same things with thieves, for instance. You never hear a car thief saying it should be legal to steal cars.

For a lot of these people, smoking pot is part of their lifestyle. Their friends all do it, and it would be hard for them to get away from it if they wanted to. Hardly any of them are just going to up and quit because they got caught. Most will eventually quit, but not because some guy with a badge or some man in a black robe tells them they have to. They quit because they grow up and other pressures of life take precedence over their youthful ways. The same will happen with most of their friends. People start getting married, having kids, careers, and so on, and sitting around getting stoned playing video games all the time is just not compatible with real life and all of the responsibilities that come with it.

"I'm sure you're telling me this anecdotal story because it's typical of 100% of the people who smoke marijuana. Left alone, they'll all end up working for major law firms. (shudder)"

The part about working for major law firms is not typical, but otherwise that's the way it works for most people. Most who smoke pot grow out of that phase in their lives. It's a shame that some of them come out of it stuck with felony or even misdemeanor records that will haunt them for life. Absolutely no good comes out of that policy, but it does cause harm.

"If the basis for legalizing marijuana is that it's "not as dangerous" as alcohol, you've suddenly flung the door wide open to most, if not all, soft drugs."

That's not the basis for legalizing marijuana. It's only one factor out of many.

"Now, you can start backpedalling, saying that is goes beyond how dangerous a drug is."

Who is backpedaling? I never said that the only reason marijuana should be legalized is that it is less dangerous than alcohol.

"I'm sure all the nitrous legalizers agree."

All what nitrous legalizers? Where are all of these nitrous legalizers?

I'm not going to waste my time arguing with you about legalizing these other drugs you call soft drugs. I don't want those other drugs legalized. Most people who think marijuana should be legal have no desire to legalize these other drugs. You aren't going to see any shops opening up selling GHB, LSD, ketamine, ecstasy, and so on, because a majority won't ever go for it. Only a tiny fraction of Americans want to see that happen, compared to around a third or more of Americans who think marijuana should be legal and controlled much like we control alcohol today. The percentage of Americans who feel this way is slowly but surely on the rise, and it's already big enough to give it a real chance of turning into a majority in the foreseeable future. I don't think it we'll ever see the same thing with these other drugs. Shoot, there will be plenty of robertpaulsens out there whining about the fact that we legalized marijuana and they surely wouldn't sit back and let another drugs slip by. And then there will be normal people like me who are satisfied with marijuana being legal but who would rather not open up the door on these more dangerous drugs that hardly anyone uses anyway. Keeping them illegal actually works, not so much at deterring people with fear of the law from using them, but at keeping availability low and making them much less desirable because of the risk of them being unsafe products due to lack of regulatory agencies keeping them pure, and the lack of legal redress for harms caused by "bad stuff."
436 posted on 01/02/2005 7:02:56 PM PST by TKDietz
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To: TKDietz
"You don't see the same things with thieves, for instance."

Of course not. They knowingly broke the law and got caught. They take their punishment like an adult.

Not like the whiny pot smokers. The next time they complain, bitch-slap them and tell them to grow up.

They'd have much more credibility if they championed a change to the current marijuana laws before they got caught not after. How many of your marijuana clients are part of an active grass roots effort to change the marijuana laws in your state or at the federal level?

I rest my case, counselor.

437 posted on 01/03/2005 6:45:57 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
support the basis of your statement, "the ratio could change because of relatively increased use in the lower 48"

Simple arithmetic: if either term in a ratio changes, the ratio itself changes. Product of public schooling, are you?

438 posted on 01/10/2005 10:21:01 AM PST 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
That does support the basis of your statement, "the ratio could change" all right. But, unfortunately, that was not my request.

Again, support the basis of your claim that, "the ratio could change because of relatively increased use in the lower 48". That is, where do you find the basis that the use increased in the lower 48? Just make it up to be argumentative (ie., trolling)?

439 posted on 01/10/2005 11:08:52 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
That does support the basis of your statement, "the ratio could change" all right. But, unfortunately, that was not my request.

I have addressed what I actually said. You can beat your straw men yourself.

440 posted on 01/10/2005 11:14:00 AM PST 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

Wow I just came apon this Site and the thread.

I read all of the first 300 and some of the rest.

I didn't see any Medical Marijuana people.

Well I am one.

I hold a Job. I am over 40.

I have come to eat, smoke and drink Cannabis and Cannabis products.
I use this substance instead of things like Prozac. I came to "Use" Marijuana in 1999 after talking to my Dr.
I "used/experimented" with Marijuana in high shcool but not after.
I now Grow a few plants at home and consume the produce of these plants.

I am open to questions.

Randy


441 posted on 01/13/2005 8:28:35 PM PST by Randy High (Medical Marijuana Person)
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To: everyone

Are there any Medical people here?

I would think the thread can use some input from those who consume cannabis.


Randy


442 posted on 01/14/2005 8:52:42 PM PST by Randy High (Medical Marijuana Person)
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