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Mr. Prager, You are Wrong on Marijuana
Townhall.com ^ | March 18, 2013 | Bruce Bialosky

Posted on 03/18/2013 7:39:49 AM PDT by Kaslin

In his column of March 12, 2013, my beloved friend wrote on the issue of legalized marijuana in the state of Colorado. On his radio show, he justifiably bemoaned readers of his column who had written comments questioning his sanity and their relationship over this one issue despite years of being Prager groupies. I will not do any of that. But for only the second time in our long relationship, Mr. Prager, you are dead wrong on a topic … but I still love you.

We Baby Boomers grew up in a generation where marijuana made the jump from the dark corners of jazz clubs to mainstream culture. We were advised to stay away from the dangerous herb by silly movies like Reefer Madness. We were forewarned that marijuana was a gateway drug to things like cocaine and heroin (crystal meth was not topical then). Yet despite all these warnings, the use of marijuana spread and people were not seeing the ugly warnings come true.

Then President Nixon appointed a commission chaired by Raymond P. Shafer to look at the exploding use of illicit drugs in America. The commission came back with a simple conclusion – stop prosecuting the use of marijuana and employ other methods to dissuade people from partaking. This would free up resources to pursue dangerous drugs like heroin and cocaine. That was 1972 and President Nixon told his commission to jump in a lake.

Forty years later we are still confronting the same issues. The field has changed due to new designer drugs and the in-vogue use of legal medications in illegal manners. Yet there is the old, standby marijuana exhibiting the same innocuous effects. The only difference is the partial legalization of its use across the country because of its proven medicinal benefits. And in the 40 years since Nixon blew the chance to advance the issue of drug use in our society, we found out marijuana is just as dangerous as The Shafer commission found it – which is not really.

First we must accept the fact that the ingesting of anything in excess can lead one to destroy their lives. And you can certainly find multiple examples of malingerers excessively using marijuana. The question in those cases becomes is the marijuana the cause or effect? This society has endured the widespread use of marijuana for almost 50 years and the instances of problems from use of marijuana are miniscule.

Mr. Prager starts his column by analyzing the effects upon the culture in Colorado in the short three months since legalization. He falls into the same trap as the journalists he cites. How can you possibly analyze the effects of the new law after such a short period of time? Is it really shocking to see some people flocking to the use because of the change in legal status? How different is this than people flocking to the hot new restaurant? How do we know that the entire usage might not become passé? To even discuss what is going on with the change in law reeks of premature evaluation. We wrote a column two months ago endorsing the experimentation of such laws at the state level. Let’s give these laws a chance as that is the purpose of federalization.

Mr. Prager then lurches into comparing the use of tobacco products to marijuana. His righteous indignation against the anti-tobacco forces remains totally justifiable. In fact, their war against tobacco at times staggers the imagination. Except for the statement that some people would endorse the use of marijuana yet deplore the use of tobacco products is fair, but his commentary is of little relevance.

The real comparison has been and is between alcohol and marijuana. There is no doubt to a large part of our society that marijuana use is safer and better for the society than alcohol. You don’t hear of people going into a marijuana rage. You don’t hear of two dudes duking it out after toking up in a barroom brawl. You don’t hear of husbands lighting up and then going home and beating their wives and children. We do hear of happy drunks, but we certainly hear more about the unhappy ones. The worst effect of marijuana use remains dry mouth, excessive giggling and mass consumption of nacho cheese Doritos.

Sure there are irresponsible people who drive after partaking too much, but is that anything different than alcohol or all the other illicit and licit drugs being improperly used? To this Mr. Prager states “Legalizing marijuana is foolish because it leads to far more use of the drug and the availability of ever more potent forms.” Unfortunately, this is wrong on so many levels. We don’t have any idea whether usage will really remain higher in the future or whether the new legalized marijuana will replace the use of alcohol or the misuse of legal medications. If the latter happens that would be a good thing. As for the potency, legalization will standardize the potency and allow customers to know what they are smoking which can only also be a good thing. Apparently, Mr. Prager did not stop in a marijuana store during his world travels to Amsterdam. My friends using medical marijuana in California tell me for the first time in their lives they know what they are buying.

Dennis, my beloved friend, you should sit back, take a puff off one of your pipes and wait for the real results of the experiment in the legalization of marijuana. If three years from now driving in Colorado is like being in bumper cars at the County Fair then we will know we made a mistake and the other 48 states will say no way. I am putting my money on Mr. Shafer and the fact we should have done this 40 years ago.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: cannabis; dennisprager; drugs; drugwar; federalism; marijuana; narcotics; warondrugs; wod; wodlist; wosd
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1 posted on 03/18/2013 7:39:49 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Mr. Prager states “Legalizing marijuana is foolish because it leads to far more use of the drug and the availability of ever more potent forms.” Unfortunately, this is wrong on so many levels. We don’t have any idea whether usage will really remain higher in the future or whether the new legalized marijuana will replace the use of alcohol or the misuse of legal medications. If the latter happens that would be a good thing. As for the potency, legalization will standardize the potency and allow customers to know what they are smoking which can only also be a good thing. Apparently, Mr. Prager did not stop in a marijuana store during his world travels to Amsterdam. My friends using medical marijuana in California tell me for the first time in their lives they know what they are buying.

Excellent rebuttal to just one of Prager's idiocies - others are found in responses to Prager's screed at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2996034/posts.

2 posted on 03/18/2013 7:50:11 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: Kaslin

Considerate liberals are always willing to take time off from their anti-tobacco ranting to explain why legalizing dope is a good thing.


3 posted on 03/18/2013 7:50:15 AM PDT by Iron Munro (I miss America, don't you?)
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To: Kaslin

“Reefer Madness” from 1936”? I think it’s theater run was over well before 1966.


4 posted on 03/18/2013 7:51:35 AM PDT by ansel12 (" I would not be in the United States Senate if it wasn’t for Sarah Palin " Cruz said.)
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To: Kaslin

I have to agree. Dispense with the hysteria and see what happens.


5 posted on 03/18/2013 7:53:02 AM PDT by refermech
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To: Iron Munro

See what happens when you get too many liberal California transplants in your state (or others gor that matter? They’re like a virus that’s never satisfied by spreading their infection to just one host.


6 posted on 03/18/2013 7:54:15 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: ansel12

Reefer Madness in the 60s was shown for its comedic value catering to the pro-marijuana group.


7 posted on 03/18/2013 7:55:38 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
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To: jsanders2001

Colorado will rue the day of legalization.


8 posted on 03/18/2013 7:56:41 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
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To: ansel12
We were advised to stay away from the dangerous herb by silly movies like Reefer Madness.

That is a statndard canard, but I imagine that people whose brains have been damaged by pot actually believe they saw that movie in their high school health class.

9 posted on 03/18/2013 7:59:33 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?)
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To: Jeff Chandler
 t
10 posted on 03/18/2013 8:00:48 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?)
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To: Kaslin

Way past time to drop the persecution. We’ve got much bigger fish to fry!


11 posted on 03/18/2013 8:00:51 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: Jeff Chandler
... people whose brains have been damaged by pot...

Uh, pardon me, but BULLCRAP !

12 posted on 03/18/2013 8:04:28 AM PDT by jimt (Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.)
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To: Kaslin
the use of marijuana spread and people were not seeing the ugly warnings come true.

Guy needs to let go of that bong. My kids teach skiing with dozens of ski and snowboard instructors in their teens and 20s. They tell me you can always tell which ones are on weed—they tend to be sloppy, aimless, and mentally slow on the uptake. What's really sad, they say, is when you can see the same kid—a teenager—seem to "shrink" psychologically and physically from year to year, instead of growing bigger and brighter.

My observation of my fellow Baby Boomers was similar. Habitual users I knew seemed to lose focus and self-discipline. A lot of narcissism and depression, with bad effects on work and marriage. There's probably some self-selection going on here, too—with people inclined to those problems more attracted to getting high.

13 posted on 03/18/2013 8:06:11 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
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To: ansel12
It was shown at my grade school as serious drug education. I'm 58.
14 posted on 03/18/2013 8:16:23 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: Kaslin

Glad to see someone still understands federalism. FReepers who support prosecution of cannabis users wouldn’t be so annoying if they would at least acknowledge that the interstate commerce clause gives the fedguv no power to outlaw the intrastate use.


15 posted on 03/18/2013 8:16:36 AM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: Kaslin

There’s a very good reason why they call it ‘DOPE’.


16 posted on 03/18/2013 8:18:08 AM PDT by Hoodat (I stand with Rand.)
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To: Hoodat

And users Dopers


17 posted on 03/18/2013 8:25:34 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Hoodat

It is dope. We have a bunch of baby boomers so passive they let hordes of illegal aliens and leftists take over their country without raising up to stop it. They lack the passion of their parents who fought to save this country. Their parents didnt smoke pot.


18 posted on 03/18/2013 8:32:08 AM PDT by amihow
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To: SamuraiScot
“They tell me you can always tell which ones are on weed—they tend to be sloppy, aimless, and mentally slow on the uptake.”

If you can tell (or smell), then those are the idiot smokers.

Many intelligent, very successful people consume it and you would never guess. They typically vaporize it so there is no lung damage or lingering smell. A seasoned smoker will also usually not have the typical red eyes.

It's no different than a glass of wine or beer after work. Obviously SOME people get carried away but we shouldn't restrict freedom for all because of some idiots.

19 posted on 03/18/2013 9:01:39 AM PDT by varyouga
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To: Kaslin

Marijuana was a gateway drug to stupidity Ca and Co are proven test cases.
Slackers dead beats and other losers love the stuff,they are to stupid to fix problems so they just hang out in utopia land.


20 posted on 03/18/2013 9:01:53 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Vaduz
Dopers have a stereotype...and it fits..what this law does is make it easier for kids to get it...and for the all day long crowd to get more of it....the smoke before school or work..then more at lunch..and afterward too...can´t be straight ever in their minds....and there are many of them....I know a few...zoned out all of the time..it does affect them..the stereotype....
21 posted on 03/18/2013 9:09:55 AM PDT by Youngman542012
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To: The_Media_never_lie
>"Colorado will rue the day of legalization."

Our Nation Rues the day of prohibition.

22 posted on 03/18/2013 9:14:13 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Key words... ‘I imagine...”


23 posted on 03/18/2013 9:29:46 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: varyouga

If we held to those standards, then those who drink wine with dinner should be held to the same level as the wino on the street.


24 posted on 03/18/2013 9:31:57 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: CrazyIvan

That must have been an unusual school.


25 posted on 03/18/2013 9:46:51 AM PDT by ansel12 (" I would not be in the United States Senate if it wasn’t for Sarah Palin " Cruz said.)
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To: autumnraine

Dude!


26 posted on 03/18/2013 9:47:02 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?)
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To: Kaslin
We were advised to stay away from the dangerous herb by silly movies like Reefer Madness.

Reefer Madness was made by the same man who made Maniac (later billed as Sex Maniac) and bought Freaks from MGM.

You weaken your argument by treating the films of Dwain Esper and Don Sonney etc. as principled indictments of depravity. They were exploitation filmmakers (one step away from carnival barker) showing glimpses of t!ts and a$$ with "moral" lessons to be learned by the roadshow audiences. They even screened sex ed films to segregated audiences (complete with birth of a baby sequences) and pumped noxious fumes so that patrons could "see" the "shocked" and "nauseous" audiences who'd witnessed their overhyped bits of four walled entertainment.

27 posted on 03/18/2013 9:49:35 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: Kaslin; Revolting cat!

Iceberg Slim must’ve been wrong on marijuana too. He said it made his prostitutes too lazy to go to work.


28 posted on 03/18/2013 9:50:33 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: ansel12
“Reefer Madness” from 1936”? I think it’s theater run was over well before 1966.

It was from the 1930s. And Esper tried to litigate when some people were screening his film for midnight screenings without paying him. He also got crapped on by MGM who now claim that they merely "leased" him Freaks (they threw the negative in the ocean, and now release HIS edited version with HIS "warning" screen roll tacked on to theatrical and home video releases).

29 posted on 03/18/2013 9:56:01 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: Youngman542012

From the Elmore Leonard film Jackie Brown:

You smoke too much of that shit, that shits gonna rob you of your ambition...

Not if your ambition is to get high and watch TV...


30 posted on 03/18/2013 9:57:46 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?)
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To: Kaslin
Prager is right but his reasoning is weak.

As our society spirals downward into wider tolerance and defence of every form of sexual immorality, infanticide, drug use the citizenry bemoans the dishonesty and lawlessness of the institutions of church, government, academia and news media, yet many, like the “free to use drugs is freedom” crowd cannot see the connection between the two, action and result.

31 posted on 03/18/2013 9:58:18 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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We were forewarned that marijuana was a gateway drug to things like cocaine and heroin

Is there a study that quantifies how many people use cocaine before any other substances?

And without legalizing cocaine and heroin, there will still be illicit drug trade.

Even with legal alcohol sales, there are still home distillers who face tax revenuers.

32 posted on 03/18/2013 9:59:09 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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Then President Nixon appointed a commission chaired by Raymond P. Shafer to look at the exploding use of illicit drugs in America. The commission came back with a simple conclusion – stop prosecuting the use of marijuana and employ other methods to dissuade people from partaking.

(A) the culture CELEBRATES its use.

(B) why dissuade use if there are no health implications, drains on productivity, or other negative effects? It's like abortion, right? Just some dead tissue, no shame in doing it.

Meanwhile MAAD seeks neo-prohibition of alcohol (and has been since the 1980s) and smoking nazis/lawyers/states have targeted tobacco for big financial shakedowns for decades as well.

A bit late to think that pot or anything else can be legalized without total restriction, prohibition on its actual use. Employers can even prohibit employees from smoking tobacco in their non-working hours. Would doping be akin to homosexuality? A lifestyle choice above such discrimination?

33 posted on 03/18/2013 10:04:16 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: count-your-change

There is no work ethic anymore.

Gimme gimme gimmes want it all. Without cost.

Going to be $20,000,000,000,000 in debt with no one wanting to “pay their share”.


34 posted on 03/18/2013 10:06:34 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise

Although I’ve never bothered with it, I did know that it was popular among dopers.


35 posted on 03/18/2013 10:08:43 AM PDT by ansel12 (" I would not be in the United States Senate if it wasn’t for Sarah Palin " Cruz said.)
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To: ansel12

I know some people in the school system. Maybe I can find out if it’s still in their film library!


36 posted on 03/18/2013 10:13:57 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: varyouga

If it’s the same why not just stay legal and have a glass of wine?


37 posted on 03/18/2013 10:15:50 AM PDT by Monty22002
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To: CrazyIvan

Could be, but it has the sound of being something more connected to an individual, like, perhaps the principle came across it and thought that it would make an impression on the kids, I would be surprised if it was district wide, or was shown annually for class after class.


38 posted on 03/18/2013 10:28:52 AM PDT by ansel12 (" I would not be in the United States Senate if it wasn’t for Sarah Palin " Cruz said.)
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To: rawcatslyentist

It is not a harmless drug......


39 posted on 03/18/2013 10:43:27 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
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To: varyouga
“They tell me you can always tell which ones are on weed—they tend to be sloppy, aimless, and mentally slow on the uptake.” If you can tell (or smell), then those are the idiot smokers.

Many intelligent, very successful people consume it and you would never guess.

Just curious: How many do you know who are married (i.e., to someone of the opposite sex), go to church, and have more than two children?

40 posted on 03/18/2013 10:48:37 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
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To: a fool in paradise
Is there a study that quantifies how many people use cocaine before any other substances?

The gateway claim is nonsense - research shows that the correlation between earlier marijuana use and later use of other drugs can be explained by a "common-factor" model, that is, a third factor that causes both results, such as individuals' opportunities and unique propensities to use drugs, or more broadly a social or psychological predisposition towards anti-social behavior. (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB6010/index1.html, http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/hors253.pdf)

Also note that the same sort of correlation between earlier marijuana and later harder drugs also exists between earlier alcohol and tobacco and later illegal drugs - so if marijuana is a "gateway" so are alcohol and tobacco.

And without legalizing cocaine and heroin, there will still be illicit drug trade.

But quite a lot less - which would be a good thing.

Even with legal alcohol sales, there are still home distillers who face tax revenuers.

How many? Are they anywhere near the problem that the illegal marijuana trade is?

41 posted on 03/18/2013 12:16:12 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: The_Media_never_lie; rawcatslyentist
It is not a harmless drug......

Neither are alcohol or tobacco. Should we ban them?

42 posted on 03/18/2013 12:18:01 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Cocaine use is pretty high (if you’ll pardon the expression) among the bar scene. And plenty seem to know girls who will put out for nose candy.

Legalize it. End all of the underground traffic if that’s the excuse.


43 posted on 03/18/2013 12:21:19 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise
Legalize it. End all of the underground traffic

Amen!

44 posted on 03/18/2013 12:30:44 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: refermech
I have to agree. Dispense with the hysteria and see what happens.

And if it turns out to be a total disaster, as drug use was in China in the 19th century, how do you plan to indemnify us for taking your bad advice?

Or do you plan on saying "we" a lot?

45 posted on 03/18/2013 12:33:16 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Dunno ‘bout that, but I have been forced to the conclusion that the “War on some Drugs” is a bigger threat to life, liberty, and property than the drugs and druggies.


46 posted on 03/18/2013 12:35:08 PM PDT by Little Ray (Waiting for the return of the Gods of the Copybook Headings.)
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To: lentulusgracchus
And if it turns out to be a total disaster, as drug use was in China in the 19th century

That was opium. Contrary to what John Walters told you, there is a difference.

Marijuana was legal for most of this nation's history and there was no "disaster."

47 posted on 03/18/2013 12:35:20 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: Little Ray
I have been forced to the conclusion that the “War on some Drugs” is a bigger threat to life, liberty, and property than the drugs and druggies.

My hat's off to you for your willingness to learn from experience - something too many "conservatives" are dead set against doing.

48 posted on 03/18/2013 12:36:48 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: Kaslin

Gay marriage and pot legalization. Brought to by the mindless libertarians. Bunch of cave ins. If pot was legal in 1776 we never would have driven out the British.


49 posted on 03/18/2013 2:04:29 PM PDT by dennisw (too much of a good thing is a bad thing --- Joe Pine)
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To: Monty22002
“If it’s the same why not just stay legal and have a glass of wine?”

It is legal in several states.

Some people just hate alcohol and prefer hemp. Unlike alcohol, hemp can be consumed in many different ways and grown by anyone.

Unlike alcohol, hemp is 100% nontoxic when consumed without smoke. There has never been any damage or death recorded from hemp. Even under impossible experimental conditions using purified compounds not found in nature. Basically, you couldn't hurt yourself with hemp if you tried.

With alcohol it is very possible to die from poisoning or withdrawal. Alcohol abuse causes 100% PROVEN IRREVERSIBLE brain and liver damage! Alcohol abuse is far more damaging than hemp abuse, yet it remains legal.

A big part of hemp prohibition is that the ease of production threatens the alcohol market (and taxes). If it was legal, some people would simply grow a plant in their yard and stop buying alcohol.

Every person is different and should have the freedom to choose.

50 posted on 03/18/2013 2:11:12 PM PDT by varyouga
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