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Local officials snuff legalized marijuana
Google News | December 19, 2002 | Thomas Klett

Posted on 12/20/2002 9:37:03 PM PST by Sparta

Following ballot initiatives in some parts of the country this fall, local authorities and experts agree that any form of legalization or decriminalization of narcotics is a bad idea.

Mary Sloan, prevention supervisor for Northwest Iowa Drug and Alcohol Treatment Unit, had one word to describe the proposals - wrong.

"It normalizes use - it gives society a message that if it's legal then it's normal for people to use," she said. "And we do know that marijuana is addictive. People talk about hard drugs and soft drugs - it is a drug.

"It can cause problems for people physically as well as all the areas that drugs can cause problems with - family, schools," she added. "That's why we make policy around these drugs, because they do cause problems for people."

As far as medicinal purposes, Sloan said marijuana if legalized strictly for that purpose would need to be treated as any other prescription medicine by sharply controlling quantity and frequency of dosages.

Further study to find what part of marijuana is beneficial is important, too.

"Let's use that component because then we can measure the quantity and the frequency and be more specific with dosages," she said.

Efforts to legalize marijuana do not sit well with local law enforcement either.

"We would not support that," Storm Lake Public Safety Director Mark Prosser said of legalization proposals.

"As a government and as a country we have done a very poor job in the legislating, control and enforcement of alcohol and tobacco laws historically," he said. "To bring mind-altering drugs that are deeply interconnected with organized crime and street gang violence onto a public market would be a disaster."

Proponents of the legalization argue that the "war on drugs" has failed to eradicate problems, that those who need treatment for addiction instead face jail time that is expensive to society and does not rehabilitate them, and that marijuana as a drug could be compared to other legal addictive substances such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine

Countries where small amounts of marijuana or other drugs are legal face social service costs seven to eight times higher than those in the United States, Prosser responds.

"That includes many more clinics, treatment centers, social service employees and law enforcement because of the social problems created through the legalization process," he said.

There are higher addiction rates and both higher inpatient and outpatient treatment, he said.

However, treatment should be an option for addicted individuals in the United States.

"Those individuals not involved in sales, but are addicted to drugs I view more as an illness," he said.

Prison should be the answer for those who deal drugs, he said.

"Those individuals who choose to sell and deal drugs are clearly criminals," Prosser said.

Prevention continues to play a role in creating a healthy community, Sloan said. At NWIADTU, she focuses on preventing problems from even starting in the first place - that involves helping people understand why marijuana and other drugs are harmful, she said.

"We don't want this to become a normal pattern of use, that it's okay to use," she said. "It is a drug like other drugs. We need to be aware of the risks and protect what we value."

NWIADTU works with all audiences in its prevention work, focusing on empowering other people to become "effective prevention people," Sloan said.

NWIADTU believes substance abuse prevention is essential for healthy communities.

"We want to help people in our area value prevention and to get the message out that every Iowan is a prevention partner," Sloan said. "Prevention is not only about individuals - it's about families, it's about communities."

NWIADTU works with people to look at low-risk choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

"What we're trying to do is create a community norm around making low-risk choices," she said. "The only low-risk choice when it comes to illegal drugs is abstinence."

Low-risk choices also need to be considered when it comes to alcohol, tobacco, and both over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

"That's why prescription drugs have directions," she said.

At Christmas time, NWIADTU tells people to "celebrate with care," and encourages workplaces suggestions on environmental prevention strategies, such as not providing alcohol for free at a Christmas party and ensuring other non-alcoholic beverages are also available.

Legalization is not something that should happen in the U.S. because marijuana is legal elsewhere in the world, she said.

"It comes back to protecting what we value - do we value the health of a community, do we value that crime is low?" Sloan asked.

Prosser said he has "faith that the good people of Iowa see that it is a mistake for the heartland."

In Storm Lake, the police department has successful support for its prevention efforts.

"We've had unprecedented support for both drug enforcement and drug education," he said.

But it's never-ending job.

"Ironically, last Thursday as we were completing the final D.A.R.E. graduation, simultaneously we were dealing with an active meth lab in the downtown," Prosser said. "It's a never-ending problem."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antigovnerds; drugskill; drugskilledjanis; drugskilledsally; duplicatepost; liberloserians; saybyetohigh; spartaneedsalife; thewodrules
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Solution to the drug war: If it fails, try and try again. Waste some more taxpayer dollars and erode some more Constitutional rights.
1 posted on 12/20/2002 9:37:03 PM PST by Sparta
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To: jmc813
Ping!!!
2 posted on 12/20/2002 9:38:48 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
But the drug war is a great way to buy votes with taxpayer money. Drug cops are glorified welfare recipients IMHO.
3 posted on 12/20/2002 9:39:02 PM PST by weikel
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To: weikel
Yet another benefit of the drug war. I'm sure we can come up with many more benefits of the WOD before the night is over.
4 posted on 12/20/2002 9:40:30 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
Eh every "benefit" has been discussed on FR and probably a thousand other boards and other communications mediums many times. The people are too stupid to end it apparently... democracy sucks.
5 posted on 12/20/2002 9:43:58 PM PST by weikel
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To: Sparta
How is it that cocaine can be legally prescribed, but marijuana can't?
6 posted on 12/20/2002 9:44:23 PM PST by RonF
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To: weikel
"democracy sucks"

Bump!!!! America was not meant to be a democracy, it was a Republic at one time.
7 posted on 12/20/2002 9:47:38 PM PST by Sparta
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To: RonF; Illbay; Kevin Curry; Cultural Jihad
I don't know, I'm sending this to three of FR's Drug War "experts" for their insightful commentary on your question.
8 posted on 12/20/2002 9:49:15 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
So what's your deal? Legal heroin and crack? Meth too?
9 posted on 12/20/2002 9:49:43 PM PST by dennisw
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To: dennisw
"Legal heroin and crack?"

Undecided.

"Meth too?"

No, because the effects of meth make the majority of its users go violent and attack others.
10 posted on 12/20/2002 9:54:26 PM PST by Sparta
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To: dennisw
Dennis your logical and realistic foreignpolicywise... why are you a drug warrior?
11 posted on 12/20/2002 10:04:06 PM PST by weikel
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To: Sparta
Meanwhile in Canada, a new therapeutic/medical marijuana delivery service has started where you can order online: (I got this of the BORQUE website the other day):
LINK
12 posted on 12/20/2002 10:09:08 PM PST by BansheeBill
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To: weikel; Sparta
Dennis your logical and realistic foreignpolicywise... why are you a drug warrior?

Any nation that legalizes narcotics becomes a stupid nation and loses it's will to defend itself. What are narcotics? Is this just about legal marijuana? How about you tell me? Do you favor legal heroin, crack, methedrine etc.?
13 posted on 12/20/2002 10:10:26 PM PST by dennisw
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To: dennisw
Marijuana makes people stupid who don 't value their intelligence and will never apply themselves anyway( generally of course I know a really smart pothead who it doesn't seem to have any f****** effect on, he gets straight A's in all his computer science classes it doesn't seem to make him any dumber). Harder drugs are just a good filter for the gene pool.
14 posted on 12/20/2002 10:13:50 PM PST by weikel
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To: Sparta
The logical conclusion of the libertarian argument is to legalize all drugs, not just marijuana. Plus if drug usage goes up after legalization this is of no concern to them. Since it's all about what an individual chooses to ingest.

Libertarianism goes too far in it's exultation of the individual.
15 posted on 12/20/2002 10:15:37 PM PST by dennisw
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To: weikel
Harder drugs are just a good filter for the gene pool.

And help boost your superiority complex. That's 50% of what libertarianism is all about. An intellectual circle jerk/parlor game designed to elevate the ego of intelligent people.
16 posted on 12/20/2002 10:21:54 PM PST by dennisw
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To: Sparta

What?! You would deny one mellow meth addict his legal fix merely because 99 other meth addicts might be prone to violence?!

17 posted on 12/20/2002 10:23:26 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: dennisw
Well my IQ is only 135 way above average but I wish it were higher. When I have more free time I plan to go some kind of intellectual exercise regimen and see if I can get it up to 150. Why do you give a damn about people stupid enough to kill themselves with heroin etc humanity is better off without them.
18 posted on 12/20/2002 10:25:05 PM PST by weikel
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To: weikel
So much for inalienable rights, eh?


"Harder drugs are just a good filter for the gene pool ...
... and decrease the surplus population."

19 posted on 12/20/2002 10:29:01 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: weikel
Why do you give a damn about people stupid enough to kill themselves with heroin etc humanity is better off without them.

As I have said: Libertarianism is just one long soulless, godless, head in the clouds ego trip.

 

20 posted on 12/20/2002 10:30:55 PM PST by dennisw
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To: Cultural Jihad
I gotta admit thats pretty funny CJ. What can I say im just not a compassionate conservative.
21 posted on 12/20/2002 10:31:46 PM PST by weikel
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To: dennisw; weikel

Isn't that the siren song of all humanist ideologues?

22 posted on 12/20/2002 10:37:25 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Cultural Jihad
Define humanist for me plz.
23 posted on 12/20/2002 10:38:30 PM PST by weikel
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To: weikel

Conservatism is big on justice, which would be thwarted when the liber-statist law mandates the toleration of evil, or dictates that no one may intervene or help anyone who is engaged in the abrogation of inalienable rights.

24 posted on 12/20/2002 11:47:49 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Cultural Jihad
I don't think a libertarian minarchist state( im not an anarcho capitalist I don't think its workable) is going to be too hard on someones family in friends who try to "knock sense" into an addict aqquantiance.
25 posted on 12/20/2002 11:54:02 PM PST by weikel
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To: weikel
"And we do know that marijuana is addictive. People talk about hard drugs and soft drugs - it is a drug.

ROTFLMAO.

Next up, ban poppy-seed bagels. some people can't get enough of 'em, and they make you test positive for opiates.
26 posted on 12/21/2002 12:02:25 AM PST by motzman
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To: dennisw
Any nation that legalizes narcotics becomes a stupid nation and loses it's will to defend itself.

That's an interesting observation. Which nations are you talking about? When has this happened?

Is the U.S. smarter now than it was when basically all drugs were legal?

27 posted on 12/21/2002 12:46:33 AM PST by Imal
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To: Sparta
"It can cause problems for people physically as well as all the areas that drugs can cause problems with - family, schools," she added. "That's why we make policy around these drugs, because they do cause problems for people."

Gee, thanks. I am sure we at FR are all weeping with gratitude for your foresight -- protecting families, schools, protecting us from ourselves.

"The only low-risk choice when it comes to illegal drugs is abstinence."

Same with sex. Are we going to ban that too?

Countries where small amounts of marijuana or other drugs are legal face social service costs seven to eight times higher than those in the United States, Prosser responds.

So it doesn't cost us anything to arrest, prosecute and lock people up? hmmmm...

"To bring mind-altering drugs that are deeply interconnected with organized crime and street gang violence onto a public market would be a disaster."

Because you could cop a dime bag from the state-licensed store, rather than courtesy of your local street gang? Yeah, what a disaster that would be!

28 posted on 12/21/2002 12:47:29 AM PST by pariah
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To: dennisw
Libertarianism goes too far in it's exultation of the individual.

Yep. The good of the many outweighs the good of the few.

Liberty bad, government good.

29 posted on 12/21/2002 12:50:23 AM PST by Imal
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To: dennisw; Imal
What are narcotics?

Basically, opiates. Marijuana is not a narcotic, and its so-called addictive or habit-forming properties can in no way be compared to those of narcotics, or even tobacco, in terms of severity, duration or recidivism rate.

Is this just about legal marijuana?

It should be. Other 'drugs', legal and illegal, need to be debated on their own terms, imo.

Do you favor legal heroin, crack, methedrine etc.?

Take it easy, this is not about turning Main Street into a shooting gallery. It's about whether the known properties (both dangers and benefits) of marijuana justify its continued demonization and persecution. Will legalization result in more or less crime, make law enforcement easier or more difficult? I don't buy blanket pro-drug legalization arguments (Libertarian-style), but on practical grounds, marijuana ought to be treated more like aspirin and less like heroin. Everyday, kids in America are faced with a thousand temptations more serious than legalized marijuana would pose.

30 posted on 12/21/2002 1:04:56 AM PST by pariah
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To: weikel
Define humanist for me plz.

Humanism as a concept or philosophy dates back to the Renaissance. It was an attempt to reconcile the Bible (the religious foundation of the societies in question) with the newly-rediscovered writings of classical civilization. In an attempt to justify the investigation, appreciation, and study of ancient Greek and Roman thought (which, because the ancient writers were not Christian, presented religious difficulties to the more orthodox Renaissance mind), the Renaissance philosophers attempted to "distill" those ideas that both the Bible and the classics had in common. This was done to show that good Christians could study the ancients and appreciate their work without imperilling their soul.

The result of this work was a recognition that the both the Bible and the classics priviledged human freedom and virtue, as defined by Renaissance philosophers. The humanists argued that the classical attempts to encourage virtue were right in method, but wrong in direction (since the ancients didn't know Jesus). Likewise, they asserted that in order to do "good" (to be virtuous), a person must have the opportunity to choose (what they considered "freedom"). In a sense, their argument was that a person forced to tithe at gunpoint was not "virtuous," in that he was not making the choice to do good; rather he was just being forced to simulate the actions of the virtuous. This is what the early humanists meant by "freedom."

Our own founding ideals owe a great debt to the humanists, as their philosophy served as a starting point for the Enlightenment concepts of freedom and Natural Law. But recognize that the early humanists saw the principle goal of their work the reconciliation of the classics with Christianity, so as not to have to jettison the ancients in order to remain Christian (the Bible retained its privileged position.

Over time, the philosophy of humanism underwent sizable changes (many of them the result of Enlightenment philosophies). What is called "secular humanism" developed as an attempt to remove the Bible from its privileged position in humanistic philosophy. Instead of using the common concepts found in the Bible and other philosophies as a way of justifying the continued study of those philosophies, the more modern humanist moves the derived concepts of freedom and virtue to the privileged position, and asserts that all other ideas flow from them. In the secular humanist's conception, the Bible is another example of human virtue because it extolls (in part) human freedom and virtue, rather than, as was the case for the Renaissance humanists when the Bible was the assumed good that humanistic values were judged against. The modern secular humanist would reject those parts of the Bible that did not seem to meet the criteria of humanism (whereas the Renaissance humanist would have been horrified at the very idea).

Simply put, modern humanism is an attept to define the "good" based on universal principles that exist independant of any religious traditions. It's primary focus is on the "here-and-now" (i.e. human concerns), as opposed to spiritual or religious concerns. This was not the goal of the original philosophy, but it is what modern secular humanism has evolved into.

31 posted on 12/21/2002 2:20:05 AM PST by Charles H. (The_r0nin)
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To: Sparta
"Those individuals who choose to sell and deal drugs are clearly criminals," Prosser said.

They do not harm anyone through force or fraud, therefore they are not guilty of anything that can be called a crime.

It's always easy to lie to save your job.

32 posted on 12/21/2002 2:42:29 AM PST by Jonathon Spectre
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To: RonF
Because Marijuana has absolutely no medicinal value whatsoever. None.

Yes, I know there are a few quacks out there who claim it does, but fortunately for the public we actually have a process whereby the medicinal virtues of various substances are put through rigorous testing.

That actually precludes the drug induced fantasies of such quacks.

Remember: "You don't do ANYTHING better on marijuana. You just THINK you do better."

33 posted on 12/21/2002 5:54:30 AM PST by Illbay
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To: Sparta
Countries where small amounts of marijuana or other drugs are legal face social service costs seven to eight times higher than those in the United States, Prosser responds.

Bwahahahah.

And in Africa there are more black people than here. Thus black people cause poverty.

But such logic will never be questioned here, with the WOD jackboots - that will eventually show up on thread.

34 posted on 12/21/2002 6:05:35 AM PST by DAnconia55
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To: DAnconia55
But such logic will never be questioned here,

Indeed. Many times I've seen arguments that essentially reduce to arguing that pot should remain illegal by pointing out that, other than the handful in government research projects, everyone who uses it is a criminal.

35 posted on 12/21/2002 6:23:47 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: Illbay
Remember: "You don't do ANYTHING better on marijuana. You just THINK you do better."

I'm very anti WOD. Having said that, this statement is not only true, but hilarious. Say Ill, was that the voice of experience?

36 posted on 12/21/2002 6:49:02 AM PST by golder
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To: Imal
Any nation that legalizes narcotics becomes a stupid nation and loses it's will to defend itself.

That's an interesting observation. Which nations are you talking about? When has this happened?

Holland. It also allows Islamics to invade it. When you legalize drugs a lot of other things stop mattering too.

37 posted on 12/21/2002 7:10:54 AM PST by dennisw
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To: Sparta
Wow, they made it illegal, eh? Well, looks like no one will be smoking weed in that area again!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

38 posted on 12/21/2002 7:14:12 AM PST by galt-jw
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To: dennisw
When you legalize drugs a lot of other things stop mattering too.

Most examples of the rise of socialism and statism, tyrannies and dictatorships expressly FORBID drugs of all types, except booze, under the penalty of DEATH.

nice try.

39 posted on 12/21/2002 7:16:31 AM PST by galt-jw
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To: pariah; weikel; Imal; Cultural Jihad
 

What are narcotics?

Basically, opiates. Marijuana is not a narcotic, and its so-called addictive or habit-forming properties can in no way be compared to those of narcotics, or even tobacco, in terms of severity, duration or recidivism rate.

ME:
Yes, marijuana is a soft drug that makes your brain soft. It's a bad idea to legalize it. It and hashish are worse than alcohol, the traditional intoxicant for Europeans

Is this just about legal marijuana?

It should be. Other 'drugs', legal and illegal, need to be debated on their own terms, imo.

ME:
That's what YOU say. Hard core libertarians here such as Leroy and tpaine want all drugs legal. Obviously including crack, meth and heroin

Do you favor legal heroin, crack, methedrine etc.?

Take it easy, this is not about turning Main Street into a shooting gallery. 

ME:
Oh yes it is. You cannot deny that some want to legalize all drugs and that if marijuana becomes legal than so will all drugs a few years down the road. BTW> How does Holland treat heroin use these days? Do you know that Netherlands is a major drug distribution center these days? 

It's about whether the known properties (both dangers and benefits) of marijuana justify its continued demonization and persecution. 

ME:
Marijuana does not exist alone. Legalize it and other drugs will become legal. Maybe it's just me but I couldn't stand living next to door to some degenerate heroin, coke or meth user. Bad for your children too.

Will legalization result in more or less crime, make law enforcement easier or more difficult?

ME:
Nope. You will exchange one set of social problems for another. You really want to live in a nation where people puff joints and pull on their hash pipes as they stroll down main street or 5th Avenue? You can do this in some 3rd world nations.

 I don't buy blanket pro-drug legalization arguments (Libertarian-style), but on practical grounds, marijuana ought to be treated more like aspirin and less like heroin. Everyday, kids in America are faced with a thousand temptations more serious than legalized marijuana would pose.

ME:
You really feel comfortable seeing your teenager with crowds of teenagers lighting up joints and hashish pipes as they leave high school for the day?

40 posted on 12/21/2002 7:31:25 AM PST by dennisw
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To: golder
Experience, yes, but of the use of dope by others, not by myself.

Although I grew up in the smokin' 70s, for some reason I was never tempted to partake, even though it was all around me. It just never seemed somehow "right" to me to seek to lose control.

But I did watch others carefully. My dorm-mate in college was in particular a REAL doper. If you can get high on second-hand pot smoke, then I guess I can say I've imbibed.

It was interesting to see, in college in the mid- to late-70s, the dopers, many of whom were absolutely brilliant people, consistently fall short of all reasonable academic expectations. It was just hard for them to be interested in anything except their religion.

41 posted on 12/21/2002 7:32:06 AM PST by Illbay
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To: galt-jw
statism!

BWAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAH!!!!!!!! ......... waahahhahhahahahahhahahhah..............

42 posted on 12/21/2002 7:34:23 AM PST by dennisw
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To: Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; headsonpikes; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; Xenalyte; ...
WOD Ping. Thanks for the heads-up, Sparta.
43 posted on 12/21/2002 9:05:18 AM PST by jmc813
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To: dennisw
Holland. It also allows Islamics to invade it.

Yes, and our banning of drugs has worked wonders along our southern border.
44 posted on 12/21/2002 9:14:50 AM PST by jmc813
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To: Charles H. (The_r0nin)
Thanks for the post. Here's part of the NewAdvent definition of 'humanism':

The chief merit of Italian Humanism, as indeed of Humanism in general, was that it opened up the real sources of ancient culture and drew from these, as a subject of study for its own sake, the classic literature which till then had been used in a merely fragmentary way. Philological and scientific criticism was inaugurated, and historical research advanced. The uncouth Latin of the Scholastics and the monastic writers was replaced by classic elegance. More influential still, but not to good effect, were the religious and moral views of pagan antiquity. Christianity and its ethical system suffered a serious shock. Moral relations, especially marriage, became the subject of ribald jest. In their private lives many Humanists were deficient in moral sense, while the morals of the upper classes degenerated into a pitiable excess of unrestrained individualism. A political expression of the humanistic spirit is "The Prince" (Il Principe) of Niccolo Machiavelli (d. 1527), the gospel of brute force, of contempt for all morality, and of cynical selfishness.
http://www.newadvent.org

45 posted on 12/21/2002 10:40:50 AM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: dennisw
Holland. It also allows Islamics to invade it. When you legalize drugs a lot of other things stop mattering too.

Got any other examples, or is this a one-nation "trend"?

46 posted on 12/21/2002 12:51:51 PM PST by Imal
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To: Illbay
Yes, I know there are a few quacks out there who claim it does, but fortunately for the public we actually have a process whereby the medicinal virtues of various substances are put through rigorous testing.

Yes, but that process does not operate in a political vacumn. In this case, it's been short circuited because of political concerns in the War on Some Drugs. Marijuana is an excellent general-purpose analgesic and appetite activator that has been safely used for millenia. It's cheap, can be administered in multiple forms that patients will accept, and patients find it very simple to determine and adjust an effective dosage.

And, yes, it is psychoactive. So are other drugs that are prescribed. Certain everyday activities like driving, etc., should be limited when you use it, just like hundreds of other drugs.

Are there derivatives of the plant's active agent that could be used? Yes, but why use an expensive commerical pharmaceutical when you can simply ingest an inexpensive plant and get the job done?

The decision to refuse to allow doctors, who are trusted and allowed to prescribe hundreds of other drugs with deleterious effects, not to prescribe this one drug is absurd.

47 posted on 12/21/2002 7:49:15 PM PST by RonF
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To: jmc813
The FREAKS (Feigning Realism Encouraging Absolutism and Knowledge Suppression) are out on this article in force. As full of BS as the article is it needs all of the support they can bring.
48 posted on 12/22/2002 3:00:25 AM PST by philman_36
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To: RonF
Cocaine has been medically proven effective as a local anesthesia to the nose, mouth or throat to allow some types of surgery or examinations without pain. It can be prescribed and used only under doctor's supervision, and applied by spray or cotton swab directly to the area being anesthetized.

If marijuana were found to have some similar medical benefit, I wouldn't have a problem. But don't get your hopes up; I doubt it will be in smoked form.

49 posted on 12/22/2002 9:19:29 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: jmc813
Mary Sloan, prevention supervisor for Northwest Iowa Drug and Alcohol Treatment Unit,and someone that would certainly be looking for another job should court ordered, mandatory treatment for MJ addiction go the way of the dodo had one word to describe the proposals - wrong. Well Duuuuhhhhhh...how could something that takes away her job be right???

Thanks for the ping jmc813 but that is as far as I read.

EBUCK

50 posted on 12/23/2002 8:33:45 AM PST by EBUCK
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