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Gone to Pot
The Weekly Standard ^ | October 2, 2010 | Matt Labash

Posted on 10/16/2010 9:34:39 PM PDT by sinanju

It would be easy to assume that all new entrants into the industry are coming to it in bad faith. Not so, I learn from my classmates back at school. There are guys like Bob Nead, a cable-contractor from Ohio who admits he smokes about a quarter of an ounce a week for his shot knee, as he prefers that to popping Vicodin—it helps him sleep. He wants to become a caregiver to his terminally ill aunt and to provide a better living for his two children.

But, he says, after he gets certified, he’s not giving any to friends, and is going to find genuinely sick patients. “I don’t want to break any kind of laws. I want to be totally legit,” he says, even if he thinks it’s foolish to criminalize pot. “It’s not like I’m going to go out and shoot people ’cause I smoked a joint. You’re too lazy to pick up the gun.” (I hear some version of this defense a couple of dozen times over the course of my stay, and it’s probably true, for the most part. Though it’s worth noting that, according to crime statistics kept by the ADAM II law-enforcement database, more people arrested for violent crimes tested positive for marijuana than for any other drug—meaning Bob is wrong that everybody on weed is as peace-loving as he is. At the very least, he owes an apology to heroin and cocaine users.)

Then there’s gray-haired Dave, who is 58, lost his job over a year ago as a general manager of a plastic recycling company, and got into this not knowing if he could go back to work. The last time he smoked pot “was a little, in college.” He doesn’t like it—“it makes me paranoid.” But if this takes off, he’ll run his business “like a Boy Scout.” After all, he’s a pillar of his community, sits on boards, and used to be the head usher at his church. He has a reputation to think about—which is why he’s not telling anyone he’s here.

There’s Bulldog, a 32-year-old Oklahoma City native, so named because he trains dogs. The only time he ever smoked pot was “three or four times in high school after the beer was gone. And I got sick.” He now has bad knees from laying tile and working dogs, and can’t make ends meet even with his college-degree-holding wife, so he’s looking to start over. Lately, he’s been reduced to delivering pizzas to support his family, a job he had in high school, except he made more money back then because “people still tipped.”

There’s Anastasia (“That’s a pretty fake name,” I compliment. “Thank you,” she responds). Anastasia is a sunshiny black woman who wears bright pastel Sunday-morning clothes to class. I tell her she looks like a church lady. “That’s because I am,” she says. She’s actually a reverend’s wife, and is such an innocent, she’s never smoked a cigarette. “We don’t even drink,” she says. “The closest we come is a virgin strawberry daiquiri.”

She and her husband are good Christians, and she only wants really sick patients who are also good Christians. “So that they know they’re buying Christian marijuana?” I ask, somewhat smartly. But Anastasia will not be deterred. She understands people will be cynical. She’s cynical herself, in some ways. But “life has changed for us.” In the last few years, with their family restaurant folding and her caretaker job about to come to an end, they’ve lost the majority of their income and need a new lifeline. So she plans on making marijuana-laced edibles for terminally ill patients. She and her husband prayed over it, and found peace because it’s now legal. Still, she’s not telling anyone, and worries that it looks like “we’re becoming dope dealers. We’re just looking to help others, and ourselves at the same time.”

Not everyone’s quite so innocent. Stoney D (fake name) lost his job as an autoworker about a year ago, and says, “When my boss handed me my pink slip, I smiled.” He was tired “of being strapped to a machine inside of a shop.” Now he says he can do what he loves.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Michigan; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: drugs; libertarians; marijuana; medicalmarijuana; michigan; ohio; weed; wod
This is one of the saddest articles I've read in the Weekly Standard. Matt Labash injects plenty of his gonzo journalist humor into the fertile topic. But the overall tone is one one of sickening pathos. All these mostly-decent people reduced to growing and peddling pot to survive in the ruins of Michigan like WWI vets selling apples on the streets of Depression America.

November 2nd can't come fast enough for me.

1 posted on 10/16/2010 9:34:41 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: sinanju

Good people keep breathing

don’t sell the devil weed

God will see us all through this valley of the shadow of death keep believing


2 posted on 10/16/2010 9:46:49 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys)
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To: sinanju
In California, for instance, pot is a $17 billion-a-year industry (the state’s most lucrative crop), and could become much bigger if Prop. 19 passes in November, legalizing limited possession and growth for all individuals, and allowing for taxation.

For the times, they are a changin.'

3 posted on 10/17/2010 12:00:06 AM PDT by TChad
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To: yldstrk

I fail to see what is wrong with marijuana. My wife and I are educated (2 masters and a doctorate between us), have good jobs, never had a run in with the law (outside of a speeding ticket), go to church regularly, and *GASP* smoke marijuana from time to time with our friends.

Guess what? Nothing bad has happened and the world did not come caving in around us. At worst, we ate more food than we should have in one sitting and maybe laughed at some ridiculous things we might not otherwise have laughed at.


4 posted on 10/17/2010 1:19:07 AM PDT by vivalaoink
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To: TChad
For the times, they are a changin.'

unfortunately, part of that change is a huge interest by the SEIU and Ag unions in governing said industry

5 posted on 10/17/2010 1:33:33 AM PDT by blueplum
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To: vivalaoink
You're not everybody.

My neighbor inherited a million dollars, and buys and smokes daily. Ive never seen him outdoors, and we live in a Summer Paradise. When Winter comes, he goes to Mexico and does the same thing. (Nothing).

:(

6 posted on 10/17/2010 2:03:00 AM PDT by Does so
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To: Does so

That’s why I quit smoking years ago. Guess I like being functional. People used to live with minor aches and pains. I know I do and I don’t need vicodan or pot fir my shot knees or ankles.

Seems to me that this was all about creating another union.


7 posted on 10/17/2010 4:36:55 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Does so; vivalaoink; cripplecreek
“Stoners” often become that way because they are lonely and it's a good drug to forget about the loneliness/distrust that plagues our society. The problem is compounded because they are often too afraid to smoke outside and be arrested. This further stunts their social skills.

I happen to know of a new invention in progress that allows people to convert hemp into the same form, appearance and smell as a standard cig. It's so good, you can smoke next to a cop.

The “stoners” that are trying the system now go out and socialize without being arrested or discriminated against for their intoxicant of choice. Just like the drunks crowding bars, concerts and clubs. Some people just can't stand drinking. With more friends, they spend less time sitting home smoking.

8 posted on 10/17/2010 5:56:45 AM PDT by varyouga (Obama doesn't care about white people!)
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To: Does so

Twas’ inherited money that destroyed your neighbor, not the Demon Weed.


9 posted on 10/17/2010 7:00:43 AM PDT by sinanju
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To: sinanju; varyouga; vivalaoink; cripplecreek
Twas’ inherited money that destroyed your neighbor, not the Demon Weed

T'wernt. ;)

He had a lawn-maintenance job at a local golf course. He has been away "on disability" for about ten years. Who's paying for that?

Who's insurance is paying for the Oxygen that he is on now?

:(

There is no smoke that is healthy.

10 posted on 10/17/2010 8:26:22 AM PDT by Does so
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To: Does so

I just don’t buy the excuses and I say that as someone who smoked pot for 20 years. I don’t care about the idiots who claim to be uncomfortable with all the problems in the world. Escaping is not the way to deal with it.

Most of all, stupid comments from drug sodden morons who think they’ve discovered some great truth is quite simply idiocy.


11 posted on 10/17/2010 8:32:20 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: vivalaoink

>>never had a run in with the law

Evidently only because you never got caught.

Besides smoking dope, what other illegal activities would you like to proudly put on display?


12 posted on 10/17/2010 12:09:12 PM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: LomanBill

Well, it’s not really a serious crime in this area. Anything under an ounce is a small ticket..something like $60. In fact, a speeding ticket costs far more.

Have you ever driven over the speed limit without being caught?


13 posted on 10/17/2010 1:40:44 PM PDT by vivalaoink
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To: LomanBill

Every day on my drive to work I go upwards to 60-68 MPH on a 55 MPH highway. One day, I even neglected to use my right turn signal to indicate I was getting off the County Line Road exit!

I’m a rebel and I’ll never change!!!!!


14 posted on 10/17/2010 10:21:28 PM PDT by Nate505
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To: vivalaoink

Just wait, any moment now you’ll start listening to negro jazz music and raping white women!!


15 posted on 10/17/2010 10:23:06 PM PDT by Nate505
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To: vivalaoink; Nate505

>>Well, it’s not really a serious crime

Right. Everybody does it. It’s not really “serious”.

How’s that logic working out for the 100-700 Trillion dollars worth of derivative a$$paper presently floating in the global economic pond?

Lying about income on “Liar Loans” wasn’t really a “serious” lie, right? After all, “everybody” was doing it and nobody’s been thrown in jail for it... yet... right?

A Republic is a system, of government characterized by the Rule of Law; When the law fails, the Republic fails...

Do I get to cancel your health insurance when you’re wheezing through an O2 tube - or are the rest of us in the pool stuck paying for/bailing out your smoking stupidity?


16 posted on 10/18/2010 8:29:57 AM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: Does so

He should learn to cook with it then.


17 posted on 10/18/2010 9:50:06 AM PDT by stuartcr (When politicians politicize issues, aren't they just doing their job?)
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To: LomanBill
Right. Everybody does it. It’s not really “serious”.

Hey, you got something right! Then again, you followed it up with a few strawmen, but at least the first part was accurate.

And sure, you can cancel my health insurance if I'm wheezing thru an oxygen tube. At least if I can cancel your policy if the transfats you eat contribute to your future heart disease or if you break a leg cleaning out your gutters.

18 posted on 10/18/2010 12:48:44 PM PDT by Nate505
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To: LomanBill

It doesn’t have to be smoked. I imagine if it were legally available and could be grown in one’s yard, then there would be a lot more people using it in food. I don’t believe there have been many studies made on the affects of eating marijuana, have there? It would probably be like eating a salad.


19 posted on 10/18/2010 1:34:03 PM PDT by stuartcr (When politicians politicize issues, aren't they just doing their job?)
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To: LomanBill

You are comparing apples and oranges here...and doing a very poor job of it.

First of all, I meant it’s not a serious crime in the sense that jay-walking and/or loitering is not a serious criminal offense. In my area, possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is a small fine (less than some parking tickets) with no court appearance necessary. And guess what? Civil society still exists and anarchy has not ensued as a result of such laws.

And in terms of the rule of law, some laws have to be broken in order to, eventually, bring about some sort of effective change in the current legal system. I can think of numerous examples of this being done throughout our nation’s history - from tea parties, to bus seating, etc.

Should people break unjust laws? Absolutely. And throwing someone into a cell for a substantial portion of their life for mere possession of a plant that was, at one time, an integral part of this country’s agricultural industry should be classified as one of those unjust laws.

And finally, given that we are not even regular smokers, I’m not too worried about our lung capacity or other potential related problems. Secondly, between the salaries my wife and I make, I don’t think we will be needing to be ‘bailed out’ by anyone for our ‘smoking stupidity.’


20 posted on 10/18/2010 1:46:34 PM PDT by vivalaoink
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To: vivalaoink
[And in terms of the rule of law, some laws have to be broken in order to, eventually, bring about some sort of effective change in the current legal system]
Saul Alinsky's Luciferian "revolutionary" misfits likely agree with you.  Never let a good crisis go to waste and all that.
 
Certainly the predators in the mortgage / financial industry will appreciate your contributions toward further stupefying their prey.

["And finally, given that we are not even regular smokers,"]
Illegal drug use doesn't have to be "regular" in order to invoke the penalties whereby one is excluded from Law Enforcement, Military Clearance, or other venues where TRUST is of value.
 
 
Like most libertardian pot-heads, you've confused Liberty with the Fatal Liberality presently manifesting itself within the systemic, subversive, corruption of American institutions - Financial, Military, Religious, Social...
 
What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.
 
It's a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and is divided into four basic stages.
 
The first stage being "demoralization"....
---KGB Defector Yuri Bezmenov
Soviet Subversion of the Free Press (Ideological subversion, Destabilization, CRISIS - and the KGB)
NO SALE.

21 posted on 10/18/2010 5:52:21 PM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: stuartcr
[I don’t believe there have been many studies made on the affects of eating marijuana]
 
Regardless of intake method, the studies that should be cause for concern are those which investigate the relation between THC's pharmacology and that of psychosis.
 
Unleashing such a tempting false-Utopian crutch within a society already teetering on the edge of systemic insanity...
2. The next stage is destabilization....
 
This time, subverter does not care about your ideas and the patterns of your consumption.  Whether you eat junk food and get fat and flabby doesn't matter any more.
[snip]

3. The next stage of course is crisis...
 
---KGB Defector Yuri Bezmenov
Soviet Subversion of the Free Press (Ideological subversion, Destabilization, CRISIS - and the KGB)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2095202/posts
 
Are we there yet? 
 
At least the financial infrastructure was relatively intact during the time when Charlie Manson and his self-directing crew were doing what they did...   And what happens when Anarchistic pot-heads get the munchies - and there's nothing "growing" on the supermarket shelves anymore?
 
The Horror....
 
My dad was a Cop in '68.    That's why we had a Victory Garden, and firearms.

22 posted on 10/18/2010 6:27:33 PM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: LomanBill

I’m really not the least bit worried about unleashing such a tempting false-Utopian crutch within a society already teetering on the edge of systemic insanity.


23 posted on 10/19/2010 6:05:16 AM PDT by stuartcr (When politicians politicize issues, aren't they just doing their job?)
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