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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

OTP - Jan 2013: Jewish Journal:E1: An error in baseball and Mideast politics

Tripon Posted: January 02, 2013 at 02:48 PM | 2805 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ot, politics

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   1501. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 17, 2013 at 04:21 AM (#4348824)
Well, this is a contradiction. Which is it, that Obama doesn't give a #### or won't vote on the issue, or that we have 'always' known what his position is. You can assume what his position is, but this is the first time during his presidency that he decided to give real credence to gun control. He held back after the Giffords event in early 2011, he held back after Aurora, and he only decided to take the issue seriously after Newton. That certainly suggests he had to be convinced at least that it was 'viable' to pursue gun control legislation.

There's no contradiction at all. I mocked Obama for supporting the Chicago gun ban that kept law-abiding citizens from owning firearms, I mocked Obama for voting "present" on a bill that created tougher penalties for criminals, and I mocked today's executive orders, which were little more than an excuse for a photo op with a bunch of little kids he allegedly cares so much about.

Nothing Obama has done thus far will make life tougher for criminals or reduce the odds of another Aurora or Newtown, and nothing he's done has been the least bit courageous. The only reason "[h]e held back after the Giffords event in early 2011, [and] he held back after Aurora" was because he was up for reelection in 2012 and knew that anti-gun talk could cost him reelection. Thus far, the entirety of Obama's record on guns — just like with Wall Street — shows him to be tough on law-abiding people and soft on criminals.
   1502. RollingWave Posted: January 17, 2013 at 05:17 AM (#4348828)
to be fair, if he went after Fort hood or Sheik temple there would have been predictable secret muslim shitstorm, likewise with George Tiller, while Aurora kinda happened while he was fighting for Reelection so that was a pretty damn bad time to make serious moves.

I'll say this again, I think this current move is pretty pointless, unless he's just baiting the GOP / NRA to respond like crazies (which I guess is possible.) practically it doesn't do much, while politically it just feed the troll / fuel the fire so to speak.

To really do something serious, and having a good chance to make it actually happen politically, Obama should try to play some GOP agendas against the issue, for example, generally focus that the State should be allowed to do the regulation (to whatever extend or the lack there of) and the Fed would only be in charge of matters that would clearly concern cross state / region transfer of guns. (journey laws, basic declaration of guns when crossing into different states, or at least a proof of residence for no regulation states etc.. )

This plays into the GOP's general claim of preference to give states the power, and also it allows GOP controlled States to essentially abolish any regulation as they see fit. but at the same time allow places like Newton to ban guns completely if they want.
   1503. steagles Posted: January 17, 2013 at 06:17 AM (#4348830)
generally focus that the State should be allowed to do the regulation
that would not likely turn out very well because, while the influx of corporate money has yet to produce dividends for republicans in national races, it has proven to be quite positive in state and local races.

specifically:
24 Republican-controlled governments
12 Democratic-controlled governments
3 Democratic Governor/Republican-controlled Legislature
4 Republican Governor/Democratic-controlled Legislature
1 Independent Governor/Democratic-controlled Legislature
1 Republican Governor/Split Legislature
4 Democratic Governor/Split Legislature
1 Republican Governor/Non-partisan Legislature (Nebraska)
50 Total
if you're counting, that is 30/19/1 R/D/I in the governors house, and 27/17/6 R/D/split in legislatures.

and yes, i am specifically referring to the influence of citizens united. for reference, prior to the ruling of that case being declared (january 2009), the above numbers were:

17 Democratic-controlled governments
9 Republican-controlled governments
5 Democratic Governor/Republican-controlled Legislature
10 Republican Governor/Democratic-controlled Legislature
6 Democratic Governor/Split Legislature
2 Republican Governor/Split Legislature
1 Officially nonpartisan (Nebraska)
50 Total
28/21/1 D/R/I in the governors house and 27/14/9 D/R/split in legislatures.


basically, the joke "generic republican ahead of obama in polls; republicans still searching for generic republican" is more reality that fiction. if you people weren't so objectionably retarded, you probably could have fulfilled karl rove's dream of a permanent republican majority.
   1504. Lassus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:50 AM (#4348833)
Not true at all. "Present" was a gutless vote and "no" would have been dumb, but I would have given him credit for voting "yes."

Right. Of course.
   1505. Lassus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:38 AM (#4348841)
I'll clarify - you supported the referenced gun limit in Chicago? Because if not, I'm instead to believe that you would have not said a word any of the "yes" votes, including Obama's. For a vote you didn't support.
   1506. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4348852)
So ...

Joe is mocking President Obama for a single vote taken out of context that he took 14 years ago. There are dozens of reasons why he could have voted yes, present, or no - tactical, philisophical, whatever and there were many votes over the years, but this one vote is the one that shows Obama's true character. Please. When you are scrabbling for votes from 1999 you are really reaching.

Obama's EO are likely not very significant. So what? You do what you can, politically and so on. He can't spend his whole presidency on it, he can't do much without Congress, so he is doing what he can. Maybe he should have acted earlier, but such is life there are only so many hours in the day and it is a big world the President has to deal with.

Leave it to the states? I am sure that will work out.

   1507. Publius Publicola Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:18 AM (#4348854)
There's no contradiction at all. I mocked Obama for supporting the Chicago gun ban that kept law-abiding citizens from owning firearms,


I'm continuously amused by this phrase being used over and over again by the pro-gun, NRA-supporting populace- "law-abiding citizens". If you press them on the meaning of the 2nd amendment, however, they will insist it was put in to allow citizens to protect themselves against the tyranny of the state. And they go all Rambo on you when gun control legislation is mentioned that will limit the types of firearms they are allowed to own. So they're law-abiding, but only until the law changes to something they don't like. Then they threaten to kill anybody who might challenge them to obey the law.

   1508. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4348878)
On the new Jim Crow, I understand the impulse but I don't think it's useful. Jim Crow signified not general prejudice or divergent outcomes but a particular regime. If we make it into a synonym for vague racism or white supremacy, we lose the ability to say what was specific about the Jim Crow system. I think we live in a system where there are hugely divergent outcomes for racial groups and a fair amount of racial prejudice, as well as a great deal of legacy costs as long-past policies continue to have consequences. But I don't think we live in Jim Crow.


I'm sympathetic, and, yes, it can be overdone, but I refer to the very specific use of law, and drug laws in particular, to disempower and disenfranchise millions (literally) of blacks, who end up legally and financially crippled as a result.

I also think it's impossible to argue that the disparity in drug sentencing laws is unintentional.
   1509. zonk Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4348918)
Hilarious...

...and you have to admit, besides being perhaps the nation's worst currently serving governor, Rick Scott looks like he's right out of central casting when the script calls some non-speaking imp of the devil.
   1510. GregD Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4348936)
I'm sympathetic, and, yes, it can be overdone, but I refer to the very specific use of law, and drug laws in particular, to disempower and disenfranchise millions (literally) of blacks, who end up legally and financially crippled as a result.

I also think it's impossible to argue that the disparity in drug sentencing laws is unintentional.
But laws that disproportionally affect black people aren't what made Jim Crow Jim Crow. The problem is making Jim Crow a synonym for "bad," which not only diminishes our ability to diagnose problems but also solutions. It also risks trivializing the past. Grim as some of our present situations are, people were fighting in the early 20th century against something much more precise and entrenched.

I loathe our drug laws, but am not at all sure that you can make such a clear case about how they came about and what their original intentions were. It's not only possible but commonplace among scholars to talk about the ironies and unexpected outcomes of the last 40 years of drug legislation. Even scholars who denounce the drugs laws' impact as deeply racist point to some of the strange origin stories, some of which literally have nothing to do with race (some aimed at hippies directly, some emerging from penal reform groups that literally couldn't imagine cocaine's spread.)

Jim Crow, by contrast, was fully explicit in its goals and methods. And there is a categorical difference between a legal system premised explicitly upon excluding people from birth from access to certain conditions of citizenship, and what we have now. It isn't the difference between bad and good or wrong and right, but it's an important difference. The methods for organizing people against the present system have to be different than they were against Jim Crow, because it's a different system. And the method for reaching the average public have to be different because it violates a different set of norms than Jim Crow did. And the solution has to be different because it has to address different problems.
   1511. Tilden Katz Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4349047)
The "Obama voted against not allowing people to shoot up schools" thing is getting a lot of play among the loonies. Which right wing media kingpin started it?
   1512. Morty Causa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4349061)

The Drug War is mostly the result of the Hippie War, which began as cultural versus counter-cultural, and which many still won't give up on because they see it as giving in to values antithetical to theirs.

No one gave a #### much about drugs and enforcing drug laws until the late '60s (those damn Boomers), as long as it was kept underground or in the underclass--"in its place," out of the mainstream. In fact, this was most evident in Jim Crow country. As long as those damn "n...ers" stayed in their place and did that stuff on their side of town and away from mainstream whites, they could have at it. In many places in the South, those kinds of laws, as well violence and criminality between themselves that goes along with booze and drugs, was ramrodded by black police on the ground (whose bosses, yes, ultimately was white authority). It was with Civil Rights that white authority got involved in those law enforcement activities on a hands-on basis. White cops during Jim Crow let black cops handle black lawbreakers, unless they came over into the white part of town. When you think about, it really simplified law enforcement, not to mention how hard it would be for whites to infiltrate black communities for those purposes.

So, yes, it's not just a drug war; it's people still fighting the Hippie wars. Race is for the most part tangential to that. (Vietnam also played a big part. Many who served first used pot and other drugs there.) At a certain point, even in the Jim Crow South, the white underclass and the black underclass bled into each other, and as Civil Rights movement had its effect, this interaction increased, but it wasn't a race issue per se.

Moreover, you can't say that simply because more blacks are in jail than whites due to drug law violations means that enforcement is racist, unless you never get beyond disparate impact. It may be that blacks do more of it--do more illegal drugs. It may be they have bigger rap sheets, thus resulting in more jail time. It may be blacks do it in places and in ways that make it easier to catch them. There can be legitimate reasons for a disparate impact.

Yes, our drug laws are a mess. But is that because of drug crime law or because drug use became and is a mess because of proliferation. If it's the latter, I can't see how decriminalization is going to magically solve that--certainly not cheaply. Indeed, the Drug Truce may be more expensive than the drug war. It doesn't follow at all that decriminalizing drug use is necessarily going to make things less of a mess. Just because something isn't illegal doesn't mean you should be doing it, and if you do it, there will be blow back. Too many people have the exact opposite notion, and decriminalizing drug use will nurture and foster that. We are not about to get free of the deep dark woods on this.
   1513. Ron J2 Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4349125)
Some statistics I find interesting in this Guardian piece on Obama XO

Selected quoting:

Concern about mental illness as a factor in gun violence is the most effective direction for legislation, but not for the reasons most people think. Those suffering from mental illness are far more likely to be a victim of violence than a perpetrator, by a ratio of 25:3. One of the factors that make that number so high? The leading outcome of gun violence in the United States isn't homicide, it's suicide. Over 50% of all deaths by firearms are suicides; another 3% are accidents.

Little later:

Yet a gun in the home increases the risk for intimate partner homicide fivefold.

And:

Only a small percentage of those purchasing guns buy them with the intent of committing suicide, and studies show that gun-owning households are no more prone to mental illness than the rest of the population – they just have guns. Even adjusted across region, employment status, alcohol consumption and economic status, families with guns in their homes are no more likely to have a mentally ill member than families without a gun in their home – but they are five times more likely to lose someone to suicide.

(And yes the piece could have used a good editor. Still interesting)
   1514. zonk Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4349130)
A little catnip to Harveys...

All signs point to the 'Hastert Rule' going the way of the dodo...

Already, Boehner's had to breach it twice -- once for the cliff deal, then again on the Sandy package.

The thing is - under Hastert/(Hastert-as-the-public-face-for-Tom-Delay), they had both the carrot and the stick at their disposal.

With earmarks essentially gone - there's no longer a carrot, and with even leadership a bit frightened about challenges on the flank, the stick isn't particularly effective anymore either.

Boehner's already rewon his gavel - given that I don't see the Dems taking back the House in 2014, the question is probably whether he wants to basically build a 'legacy' in the Tip O'Neil sense, or, a 'legacy' in the Newt Gingrich sense.... There's some risk to him in 2014 if he goes the O'Neil route, but there's also risk if he pursues the Gingrich route.

   1515. CrosbyBird Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4349151)
Yes, actually, when you make it sound like people are routinely doing 7 years of hard time merely for possessing a joint but you can't name any examples, it does negate the point. (And "spending" wasn't the topic.)

I didn't get the impression that anyone was saying it was "routine." That it is even possible under the law is a problem; that Oklahoma law is on the books. Still, let's change it to "I don't want to be fined $1000, and have a felony conviction, and lose my license for six months for smoking a joint in a park." Isn't that itself enough excess in terms of crime and reasonable punishment?

And if spending wasn't the topic, it sure as hell should be. The federal government is spending over $20 billion prosecuting the War on Drugs, which is over eighty times the deficit. Here's a citation for the spending:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/2012-national-drug-control-strategy

It's nice that we're finally spending more on prevention and treatment than enforcement, at least, but that's still a monstrous amount of money. Nearly $3.5B was spent on keeping 200,000+ drug offenders in prison. About 1 in 8 of those are marijuana offenders. Many of them are not simple personal-use possession cases, but every single one of those offenses stem from criminalization. There is no government strategy that is more wasteful than the War on Drugs; it is the least harmful place to cut; it should be the simplest bi-partisan issue.

Bear in mind that this is just federal spending; states themselves spend a ton of money on their own versions of prohibition.
   1516. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4349156)
Obama's EO are likely not very significant. So what? You do what you can, politically and so on


The complaint is that Obama was grandstanding, yes? That the EOs were very limited in practical application - yay, we're going to appoint an ATF Director! - and merely done for the theater of the moment? Well of course they were done for the theater. That's what politics *is.*

People from the right complaining that Obama was just grandstanding are really complaining "I don't like that this politician I don't like used his political podium to promote political outcomes that I don't like but that seem popular with people who like that politician that I don't like."

Good lord, children.
   1517. spike Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4349160)
All signs point to the 'Hastert Rule' going the way of the dodo...

Already, Boehner's had to breach it twice -- once for the cliff deal, then again on the Sandy package.


That was what I was getting at about a gerrymandered house being ultimately a bad thing for the GOP. Enough of their caucus will have no interest in compromise - even among themselves - to the point where the Speakership is nearly useless to them, because anything remotely capable of passing the Senate, let alone surviving a veto, will have to be done with Democratic votes. They will get the blame for choosing intransigence over governance, and no credit for anything that actually does get done.
   1518. CrosbyBird Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4349165)
Yes, our drug laws are a mess. But is that because of drug crime law or because drug use became and is a mess because of proliferation. If it's the latter, I can't see how decriminalization is going to magically solve that--certainly not cheaply. Indeed, the Drug Truce may be more expensive than the drug war.

Assuming for the sake of argument that it "may" be more expensive, we know that what we're doing now doesn't work. It doesn't prevent drug use from being common among citizens, it costs a lot of money, and it is incredibly damaging to our human capital.

Decriminalization is not a magic solution to the primary unsolvable problem: drugs make people feel good, and people will often make poor decisions pursuing things that make them feel good. We still have the ability to enforce the laws when those poor decisions result in criminal behavior or civil damages without criminalizing the drug use itself.
   1519. Ron J2 Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4349169)
Highly paid developer outsources own job

Amusing one. Guy got paid ~250K per year and actually hired somebody in China to do his work. Did a great job too. But caused a panic because they thought their network had been compromised.
   1520. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4349177)
No one gave a #### much about drugs and enforcing drug laws until the late '60s (those damn Boomers), as long as it was kept underground or in the underclass--"in its place," out of the mainstream.


"I don't want it near schools -- I don't want it sold to children! That's an infamia. In my city,

we would keep the traffic in the dark people -- the colored. They're animals anyway, so let

them lose their souls."
   1521. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4349178)
The federal government is spending over $20 billion prosecuting the War on Drugs, which is over eighty times the deficit.


?
   1522. BrianBrianson Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4349203)

Decriminalization is not a magic solution to the primary unsolvable problem: drugs make people feel good, and people will often make poor decisions pursuing things that make them feel good. We still have the ability to enforce the laws when those poor decisions result in criminal behavior or civil damages without criminalizing the drug use itself.


Decriminilization is absolute rubbish; the only viable solution is outright legalization, exactly the way alcohol prohibition was solved. Decriminalization still results in the revenue going to organized crime. Not paying to keep pot smokers in jail saves a lot, but not paying to go after dealers, not paying to jail dealers, but just making it the same as working at the liquor store; it's the only way.
   1523. zonk Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4349208)
Amusing one. Guy got paid ~250K per year and actually hired somebody in China to do his work. Did a great job too. But caused a panic because they thought their network had been compromised.



That. is. awesome.
   1524. zonk Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4349216)
We touched on this previously - and of course, people understand that this is how things work -- but chalk this up as something you generally want to avoid putting down on paper...
   1525. Morty Causa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4349258)
I'm not sure that with legalization we won't simply be trading one set of problems for another. think through what legalization of drugs all entails, and think, too, that legalization will have the effect of encouraging more use, thus more problems that come with use of drugs (just as it is with alcohol).

If you want to compare it with alcohol prohibition, fine. That was a mess, but the use of alcohol now is a mess. There are many problems costing much money associated with our use of alcohol as it is. (BTW, alcohol consumption went down during prohibition—now that I’m advocating a return to it. My point is it’s not that simple of a social cause and effect, and we might want to tread as if on eggs.) If the point is that, well, we can't stop it, so we just as soon make it legal, okay. But, think what that all means; think if you are really getting rid of problems or just creating new ones. I doubt that anything will be gained, in saving money or misery.

Which drugs will be legal? All?

Just some? Just pot? Then we're back to the equivalency caterwauling of some as to that, just as the pot legal enthusiasts do now—only then it will said about all sorts of crap.

FDA oversight?

Commercial regulations wrt manufacturing and distributing and retailing?

Lawsuits in civil courts?

Medical treatment for addiction and abuse? Right now, many get treatment through that criminal court system, treatment they couldn’t otherwise afford. What happens with legalization?

Right now most DUIs involved alcohol. How will this affect that and what will be the cost (consider the burden and cost on the legal system of that, too). Right now, drunk drivers aren't whining that drug users aren't being tested for DUIs routinely. How long you think that will last with legalization?

Right now with cigarettes and booze, we have a lot of underage use. What's going to happen with drugs being legal? More or less of that?

Right now most of the classic violent crimes are done under the direct influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or indirectly by addicts/alcoholics. What do you think encouraging more of it will do. We're already a nation of guns, booze, and drugs, and this will make more of that.

To a large extent, too many of us comprise a nation of locust-eaters. Legalization encourages more of the same. In fact, there’s a whiny justifying aspect to the whole thing. Drug addiction is woefully underestimated as a destructive force. The problem is just people want to do it because it makes them feel good. The problem is also that they abuse it, often to the point of addiction, often whether it still makes them feel good or not. Legalization is not going to ameliorate that. It's going to make that worse.

But I have no doubt that it’s coming, so we’ll see. We'll see how much it solves our problems
   1526. Morty Causa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4349284)
"Lotus" eaters.
   1527. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4349300)

The Burwells were among the “First Families” in the Colony of Virginia. They also happened to own several plantations — and slaves.

So naturally the GOP would host lawmakers eager to learn about “successful communication with minorities and women” in a room named for those plantations.

Naturally.


Link
   1528. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 17, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4349359)
There goes the boom

Jon Stewart has a pretty good segment last night on the gun controversy.
   1529. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 17, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4349369)
Good points in #1525, Morty. The one thing we should do is to eliminate penalties for pot possession or non-commercial growth, which can begin with non-enforcement of the existing laws against them. It's when the marketers get a hold of legalization that the law of unintended consequences might start to emerge with a vengeance.
   1530. formerly dp Posted: January 17, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4349384)
I agree, Morty raises really important questions in #1526. Just a couple of quick responses:
FDA oversight?

Pretty much one the biggest benefits of the policy change, IMO.
Medical treatment for addiction and abuseRight nowmany get treatment through that criminal court systemtreatment they couldn’t otherwise affordWhat happens with legalization
In my ideal world: a lot of the tax revenue generated gets allocated to the inevitable negatives effects of legalization. And a lot of those negative effects are tied to which categories of drugs you legalize. There is no doubt in my mind that legal meth will have some seriously bad outcomes. But I don't think that's necessarily a reason to keep it outlawed.

There are no easy answers to these questions, but that's not a good reason to keep the abomination that is the status quo.


   1531. Morty Causa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4349390)
Jeez, I wish I could delete 1525 and start over. That's what you get when you want to post but don't have much time to post--typos and solecisms.

See 1528's link, though, and what Jon Stewart shows happened with gun laws and ATF enforcement. You don't think that's going to happen with drug laws?
   1532. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4349398)
Commercial regulations wrt manufacturing and distributing and retailing?


Why not, and why is this some sort of obstacle? Just about every consumer product is regulated, certainly alcohol and tobacco, the most analogous to other drugs.

Lawsuits in civil courts?


Meaning what exactly?

Right now most DUIs involved alcohol. How will this affect that and what will be the cost (consider the burden and cost on the legal system of that, too). Right now, drunk drivers aren't whining that drug users aren't being tested for DUIs routinely. How long you think that will last with legalization?


This one is a biggie, and frankly I don't have an answer. OTOH, I'm not a big fan of a hard number being the difference between jail and go merrily on your way like BAC. Maybe Cops and prosecutors may have to prove impairment (oh, the horror).

Right now with cigarettes and booze, we have a lot of underage use. What's going to happen with drugs being legal? More or less of that?


I don't see this as a big deal. How many kids are out there saying "I won't use pot, but if it were legal for adults I would." Yeah, with legalization, access may be easier. But there's plenty of kids who smoke and drink now. The ones who want pot now can get it just as easy as they can get beer.




   1533. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 17, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4349415)
Commercial regulations wrt manufacturing and distributing and retailing?


Why not, and why is this some sort of obstacle? Just about every consumer product is regulated, certainly alcohol and tobacco, the most analogous to other drugs.

But you have to distinguish between decriminalization and full legalization. With the former, the ones who are using now won't be risking a jail sentence due to some arbitrary enforcement of a largely ignored law, and it's hard to see anything wrong with that.

But with full legalization you're going to see branding, marketing and wholesale distribution, which is going to accomplish two things: Make a lot of people rich, or in the case of the existing tobacco companies who would likely dominate the market, even richer; and create an entire new class of users. Unless, of course, you think that branding and advertising doesn't create overall demand for a product.
   1534. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4349425)
But with full legalization you're going to see branding, marketing and wholesale distribution, which is going to accomplish two things: Make a lot of people rich, or in the case of the existing tobacco companies who would likely dominate the market, even richer; and create an entire new class of users. Unless, of course, you think that branding and advertising doesn't create overall demand for a product.


But what's the difference between RJ Reynolds, Inbev, and say Tyson or Hormel? Every consumable product is dominated by a few big corps.
   1535. spike Posted: January 17, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4349435)
But with full legalization you're going to see branding, marketing and wholesale distribution,

This is most certainly not the case in The Netherlands, and I don't know why it would be here. There are no commercial trade names allowed or advertising. There isn't even retail packaging.
   1536. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4349466)
I just had this thought pop in my head but wont drug companies also come up with pills that will have the HTC them so you wont have to smoke? Also going back a few posts, how do we limit lawsuits because it seems like every damn day there is an ambulance chaser on the tv trying to solicit business for some drug that came out which is now supposedly causing side effects?
   1537. Morty Causa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4349474)
Why not, and why is this some sort of obstacle? Just about every consumer product is regulated, certainly alcohol and tobacco, the most analogous to other drugs.


Yes, and it costs money to do that. Bureaucracies are needed, with bureaucrats, agents, and experts. The ATF is right now woefully undermanned as it is. People are breaking the law as it is.

Meaning what exactly?


Sell by the pack. One at the time. What about black marketers? Can they be resold? Can you grow it (make it—again, is it just pot?) yourself? Can you sell it to a buddy next door? How much scientific vetting will go into this before turning the products loose? What’s the dosage? Just let the market settle it? If you go only by the vetting by companies, like we did with cigarettes, will they be subject to litigation?

Does the FDA get involved? How much will its budget increase?

Insurance coverage?

Then the problem with addiction is not solved by making drugs legal. Au contraire. What do you do about that? There’s not a cost to that?

Will it be sold by the pack? If it is legal, what are the legal rights of the various parties impinged upon by the products and their users? How much of a guarantee will be required of manufacturers, distributors, sellers? What is a good safe product? How do we know that? Tests? What if it turns out to harm some people at certain dosages?

Too, again, what drug products are we talking about? Pot? Cocaine? Heroin? Amphetamines? Drugs that now require prescriptions—will that be done away with? If not, why not? What’s the excuse not to set them free?

If law enforcement doesn’t test someone at the site of a possible criminal violation, can they be liable if down the road something untoward takes place?

How much added equipment, bureaucracy, enforcement and medical, are we talking about here?

We’re trying everything now to get people to stop smoking—which is hard with a product that is both very addictive and legal? How’s that worked through the years? What’s been the cost? Why won’t we be in the same predicament as to drugs?

If you don’t think people don’t do things because they are afraid of jail, and will try something if there is no negative reinforcement and it is represented as “good”—well, I can’t fathom that.

But, then, I don’t see drugs as “good”. And they should not be promoted as such. But how do you stop that? Go back through history and review ads for booze and cigarettes. And I know that many people who the drugs made feel good came to regret their foray into that realm of delightful experimentation. You’re not as strong and as masterful as you think you are in dealing with something like drugs. No one is.

It seems as if we would be encouraging people to play Russian roulette.

A lot of people, a lot of kids, don’t do drugs, and they don’t do it because they are afraid to. You’ll have taken away that disincentive as well. Both the fear of the drug and the fear of society’s censure will be gone. I don’t like it. It’s a quantum leap.

Yes, the present system is mess. But if it is such a mess, if the legal system is so outrageous as it applies to drugs, so harmful iniquitous, the question to consider is, why do people do it, and continue to do it? That should tell you something about the power of that feel good feeling that leads to addiction. People don’t do certain things because they are afraid of the consequences—when they continue to do it despite the consequences, they should tell you something about them and about the nature of what they are doing. The problem isn’t just a legal one—and the solution won’t be solved by legal, anymore than the problems associated with alcohol went away with Repeal.

I just think a lot of people have some very Pollyannaish mindsets.

This is most certainly not the case in The Netherlands, and I don't know why it would be here. There are no commercial trade names allowed or advertising. There isn't even retail packaging.


What, they just show up with a wheelbarrow and a shovel? The Netherlands? Is that how it’s going to be? We’re going to have pot parlors and drug emporiums? I don’t see that in this cowboy country of ours. Right now, you or I can buy all the booze or cigarettes we want? If it’s not like that with drugs, then it’s just a variant control system.

Besides, the Netherlands does not have a constitution that guarantees free speech. Corporations are not “persons”. If it’s legalization, I don’t know if you can keep Phillip Morris from coming out with a Marlboro High, and R.J. Reynolds meeting that competition with a Camel Hemp Hump.

And that’s just for pot. Why doesn’t the argument for legalization apply to other drugs? To all drugs?

But like I say, we’ll see.

This is not going to be pretty, I feel.
   1538. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4349476)
I just had this thought pop in my head but wont drug companies also come up with pills that will have the HTC them so you wont have to smoke?


Doubtful. The culture of pot is a smoker's culture. You're no more likely to replace that with a pill than you are to replace cigarette smoking with a nicotine patch.
   1539. spike Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4349477)
You buy booze for onsite consumption at a specialty retailer, with very different and specific rules than the hardware store or the gift shop. Or it may be that as a function of legalization, there are no retail onsite consumption facilities permitted. We sell plenty of legal generic drugs through drugstores. Why could marijuana not be distributed the same way? I am unsure of my own position in re legalization, but the idea that it is a given that pot will be sold like Pop-Tarts is just not credible.
   1540. Morty Causa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4349480)
Of course, the proponents of legalization are right. It isn't pretty now. Sometimes. though, there are no good alternatives. It's a matter of choosing your poison. Looking at it just from a political and philosophical perspective ignores a lot.
   1541. Morty Causa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4349481)
1539:

Already, you've did a U-turn on Freedom Road. We're back to policing it. And, again, what's the rationale for restricting it to pot that doesn't apply to pot?

Why isn't it credible? Cigarettes and booze are sold like Pop Tarts, and they get into the hands as it is of people who shouldn't be eating those kind of Pop Tarts. In fact, there are people who shouldn't be eating real Pop Tarts. We aren't the free agent we like to pretend we are.
   1542. spike Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:51 PM (#4349493)
Cigarettes and booze are sold like Pop Tarts

Ever get carded for Pop Tarts? Or have to apply for specific licenses to sell them? You may argue, and I would agree, that cigs and booze don't have enough curtailment from sale. But it's disingenuous to suggest a product without nearly the cultural acceptance that cigarettes and booze have will be treated the same way. Just the differences between cigs and booze have become quite significant, as the public views have shifted. If by some miracle pot was legalized tomorrow, there is a massive, pot-specific, Won't Somebody Think Of The Children brigade that will instantly mobilize and tirelessly work to limit it's public sale and consumption.
   1543. zenbitz Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4349495)
They already have prescription THC pills. I believe chemopatients can get them as anti-nausea meds.

Is it actually illegal to huff paint (or other aresols)? I don't think it is. It sure as hell is dangerous. So is snorting drano or bath salts.

There are many, many states where alcohol purchase is controlled and regulated by the State government. Also, Canada. This is irritating to those of us in states with drive-thru liquor stores, but really it's not like it's impossible to get drunk. You cannot sell alcohol in a bar without a license.

I am in favor of legalizing all (YES ALL) recreational drugs. This shouldn't be surprising as I am in favor of legalizing grenade launchers as well.
But they can be regulated and legalized as well.

I think full drug legalization works best with a national health system where the state drug distributor can look you up in the database to see if you are an addict. Or they could refuse service to you. Also it could be priced by it's relative danger.

I suppose it could be sold on the black market by third parties... but this doesn't happen much with schapps.

EDIT: Snorts of coke all around...
   1544. formerly dp Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4349511)
So is snorting drano or bath salts.
Man, if I worked in the bath salt industry I would be pissed at all of this bad press. No one is turning into a deranged flesh-eater because of bath salts. The bath salts people are getting high off of are labelled that to skirt legal restrictions. But they don't really have anything in common with the salt people put in their bath tubs when they want a nicely-scented soak.

==
Of course, the proponents of legalization are right. It isn't pretty now. Sometimes. though, there are no good alternatives. It's a matter of choosing your poison. Looking at it just from a political and philosophical perspective ignores a lot.
Again, I think all of the questions you raise are excellent ones, but they're questions, not answers. And the current situation is so deplorable, for so many reasons, that all options should at least be on the table. There is a way to make drug consumption legal and more safe while still actively discouraging it.
   1545. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:22 PM (#4349517)
Yes, and it costs money to do that. Bureaucracies are needed, with bureaucrats, agents, and experts. The ATF is right now woefully undermanned as it is. People are breaking the law as it is.


The only law breaking is people selling black market items with no tax stamps. I'm not losing any sleep over that.

Sell by the pack. One at the time. What about black marketers? Can they be resold? Can you grow it (make it—again, is it just pot?) yourself? Can you sell it to a buddy next door? How much scientific vetting will go into this before turning the products loose? What’s the dosage? Just let the market settle it? If you go only by the vetting by companies, like we did with cigarettes, will they be subject to litigation?


I don't know. What's the guarantee and dosage on a pack of Tyson chicken legs? As for selling, regulate it like any other food or drug sale. I can make my own beer but it's illegal to sell it. Yeah, nobody is going to bust me for selling a six pack to my neighbor, but if I open a brew house with out proper licensing...

I don't know why you are making this so complicated, other than trying to bolster a position.

   1546. Steve Treder Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:26 PM (#4349519)
A lot of people, a lot of kids, don’t do drugs, and they don’t do it because they are afraid to.

To the extent that this is true, it's a really bad reason to not do drugs. The correct reason to not do drugs is that you don't want to do drugs. A really bad reason to not do drugs is that you'd like to, but you're threatened with criminal sanction. Reasons don't get much worse.
   1547. Steve Treder Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4349522)
It isn't complicated at all. The Netherlands has managed it just fine for decades. So will Washington and Colorado begin to now, and hopefully soon so will many, many other states.

We have real problems in this world. The consequences of legalized weed are nowhere near among them.
   1548. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:36 PM (#4349525)
Chris Christie, going off the reservation again:


Blunt-speaking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, thought to be eyeing a 2016 run for the Republican presidential nomination, blasted an NRA ad that mentions President Barack Obama's daughters as "reprehensible" and warned it "demeans" the powerful gun-rights group.

"To talk about the president’s children, or any public officer’s children, who have—not by their own choice, but by requirement—to have protection, and to use that somehow to try to make a political point is reprehensible," Christie said.

"The president doesn’t have a choice, and his children don’t have a choice, of whether they’re going to be protected or not," the governor said. "It’s awful to bring public figures' children into the political debate. They don’t deserve to be there."

He added that "for any of us who are public figures, you see that kind of ad, and you cringe, you cringe."
   1549. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4349529)
I'm not a big fan of a hard number being the difference between jail and go merrily on your way like BAC. Maybe Cops and prosecutors may have to prove impairment (oh, the horror).

No legislature is going to pass a statute making it more difficult to get convictions, especially on ticky-tacky crimes like driving at .08 (with no other evidence of impairment).
Too much money in it, think of the children, etc.
   1550. Steve Treder Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:43 PM (#4349530)
One just wishes it wasn't just Chris Christie speaking the obvious truth, but also the Mitch McConnells and John Boehners of the world. Oh well.
   1551. formerly dp Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:45 PM (#4349533)
It isn't complicated at all. The Netherlands has managed it just fine for decades.
The Dutch are having some problems with their arrangement currently, but that's largely a result of the incongruence between their their laws and the rest of Europe/the world.

I did not know this.
   1552. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:47 PM (#4349534)
No legislature is going to pass a statute making it more difficult to get convictions, especially on ticky-tacky crimes like driving at .08 (with no other evidence of impairment).
Too much money in it, think of the children, etc.


I understand that. BAC laws aren't going away. But it would be a damned shame if the absence of any equivalent BAC test for other drugs made that the sticking point for eliminating the pointless and costly war on drugs.
   1553. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4349537)
Man, if I worked in the bath salt industry I would be pissed at all of this bad press.

Eh. The Christians survived angel dust.
   1554. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:55 PM (#4349538)
Driverless cars are no longer the domain of science fiction.

Auto manufacturers such as Audi AG NSU.XE +1.19% and Toyota Motor Co. 7203.TO +2.26% are beginning to roll out advanced prototypes of vehicles that can drive themselves, adopting new technologies like self-parking, lane-departure correction and collision avoidance.

The idea of driverless cars has been around for decades. What's changed is that the advanced computers and sensors needed to make this technology work is cheaper and more accessible.


this is gonna be great
   1555. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 17, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4349539)
I understand that. BAC laws aren't going away. But it would be a damned shame if the absence of any equivalent BAC test for other drugs made that the sticking point for eliminating the pointless and costly war on drugs.

Oh, I'm fairly confident the invisible hand of the market will come up with an equivalent test for pot, within about 5 minutes of legalization.
If it's like the BAC breath machines, it'll be
- small
- portable
- often wildly inaccurate
- built with proprietary software no defense attorney will be allowed to examine
- impressively science-y displays (percentages! digital readouts!)

The relevant statutes governing blood THC level will make no attempt to distinguish among individual body chemistries, and the "legal limit" will have no scientific basis.

EDIT: and the "driverless car" will have no effect on DUI laws whatsoever. Too much state money tied up in those E-Z convictions. So you'll still have to be in the driver's seat, sober, even if you're literally never required to touch the wheel in a typical trip.
   1556. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4349540)
EDIT: and the "driverless car" will have no effect on DUI laws whatsoever. Too much state money tied up in those E-Z convictions. So you'll still have to be in the driver's seat, sober, even if you're literally never required to touch the wheel in a typical trip.


I know. Just like speeding laws. "Let's change the limit here from 45 to 35 for no goddamned reason, and rack up the $250 tickets as fast as the officers can write them."
   1557. Publius Publicola Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:26 PM (#4349545)
One just wishes it wasn't just Chris Christie speaking the obvious truth, but also the Mitch McConnells and John Boehners of the world. Oh well.


Not a chance.
   1558. RollingWave Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4349577)

that would not likely turn out very well because, while the influx of corporate money has yet to produce dividends for republicans in national races, it has proven to be quite positive in state and local races.


I don't see how this matters. for one thing, this current status is not going to be permanent, just like the Dem isn't going to hold the Presidency forever , the whole point of the concept of making individual region legislate (and actually have a framework in place so that it can work) is to let each region address their need locally and also be less controversial to change in the future.

There are going to be places in the US where guns make total sense. meanwhile, when politics is brought out back into the local level, partisanship often revert back to you know... actual local interest. case in point of the recent Repulican in the NE slamming their party on the whole Sandy thing, when the interest actually directly effect their local more than anything else, then party doctrine on the national level is thrown out the window, this holds true on the other end as well, case in point Montana.



   1559. RollingWave Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4349579)
I would also like to point out that only 44 individuals have been POTUS, 4 of them died in gun assassination, and about twice as many survived domestic attempts (not even counting attempts by foreign agents abroad) . that's a casualty rate higher than the allied forces had on Omaha beach, or marginally less than German army casualty in WW2, just to give you an idea.

   1560. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4349586)
only 44 individuals have been POTUS, 4 of them died in gun assassination, and about twice as many survived domestic attempts


Attempts:

FDR
Ford
Reagan
Bush I (or does that fall under foreign agents?)

who else?
   1561. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM (#4349593)
Jackson was the subject of an attempted shooting, as was Teddy Roosevelt, although that attempt was made after he'd left office and was campaigning again (unsuccessfully) for the Progressive Party. Somebody tried to bring a firearm into a Nixon event in the 1970s, but I don't know if that counts as an attempted shooting. There have been several other serious plots that didn't involve guns also.
   1562. Mefisto Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM (#4349594)
Jackson. I can't recall any others OTTOMH.

Edit: Coke to T.F.B.
   1563. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:15 PM (#4349595)
as was Teddy Roosevelt, although that attempt was made after he'd left office and was campaigning again (unsuccessfully) for the Progressive Party


Yeah, I know about that but since he wasn't prez it doesn't count. Jackson was a duel, no?

edit: And FWIW, Bush I was out of office, and FDR wasn't in office yet.
   1564. Morty Causa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4349602)
I don't know if it fits the parameters you've establish, but two attempts were made against Truman. And how can we forget Gerald Ford and Squeaky Fromme. Or Bill Clinton:

Assassinations, attempts, and plots
   1565. Morty Causa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:27 PM (#4349604)
Jackson was the first president who was the subject of an attempt. The guy tried to shoot him twice, both times the pistols misfired and Jackson proceeded to beat the #### out of the would-be assassin. People had to pull Jackson off him.
   1566. CrosbyBird Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4349616)
The federal government is spending over $20 billion prosecuting the War on Drugs, which is over eighty times the deficit.

Wow, that was silly. I don't know where that number even came from. Let's pretend that "over eighty times" is really "a little more than 2%."
   1567. Mefisto Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:24 AM (#4349624)
I'm pretty sure FDR was the target in one while he was president. A bullet hit the mayor of Chicago IIRC.
   1568. CrosbyBird Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM (#4349628)
But you have to distinguish between decriminalization and full legalization. With the former, the ones who are using now won't be risking a jail sentence due to some arbitrary enforcement of a largely ignored law, and it's hard to see anything wrong with that.

Having laws that exist but are ignored definitely undermines respect for the authority of law. If something isn't bad enough to bother enforcing, why bother to make it illegal at all?

But, then, I don’t see drugs as “good”. And they should not be promoted as such. But how do you stop that? Go back through history and review ads for booze and cigarettes. And I know that many people who the drugs made feel good came to regret their foray into that realm of delightful experimentation. You’re not as strong and as masterful as you think you are in dealing with something like drugs. No one is.

First of all, lots of people are. I know doctors and lawyers and teachers, all highly effective professionals, who use drugs recreationally. Plenty of people are capable of handling their vices.

Also, I do see drugs as good. Euphoria is its own reward, and a legitimate desire to indulge so long as it is done responsibly. Who are you to tell someone else how to manage their own downtime when they're not affecting you at all? Because some people are grossly irresponsible, the rest of us can't enjoy something that is perfectly safe for us?

Drugs don't need to be promoted as anything. They're mood-enhancers and pleasure-inducers. Just leave people alone until they do something worth bothering them for.
   1569. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:44 AM (#4349633)
While in Argentina, there was an attempt on Hoover that was thwarted.

I recall (reading about) the incident where people were shot while Truman was at the Blair House (during WH renovation) in an apparent attempt stopped short, plus wasn't he mailed some sort of explosives which were countered at the WH mailroom?

Francisco Duran did shoot at the Oval Office windows from the street (Clinton was in the WH at the time) I guess this was a full court attempt but nevertheless an attempt. Robert Pickett tried the same thing when W. was in office.
   1570. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4349634)
I'm pretty sure FDR was the target in one while he was president. A bullet hit the mayor of Chicago IIRC.


President Elect.
   1571. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 01:21 AM (#4349644)
Drugs don't need to be promoted as anything. They're mood-enhancers and pleasure-inducers. Just leave people alone until they do something worth bothering them for.


Haven't you heard? Drugs are bad, mmmkay?
   1572. zenbitz Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:06 AM (#4349654)
On the assassination of President Garfield...

English Bob: Well there's a dignity in royalty. A majesty that precludes the likelihood of assassination. If you were to point a pistol at a king or a queen your hands would shakes as though palsied.
Barber: Oh I wouldn't point no pistol at nobody sir.
English Bob: Well that's a wise policy-- But if you did. I can assure you, if you did, that the sight of royalty would cause you to dismiss all thoughts of bloodshed and you would stand... how shall I put it? In awe. Now, a president... well I mean...
English Bob: Why not shoot a president?
   1573. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:11 AM (#4349655)
[But with full legalization you're going to see branding, marketing and wholesale distribution, which is going to accomplish two things: Make a lot of people rich, or in the case of the existing tobacco companies who would likely dominate the market, even richer; and create an entire new class of users. Unless, of course, you think that branding and advertising doesn't create overall demand for a product.

But what's the difference between RJ Reynolds, Inbev, and say Tyson or Hormel? Every consumable product is dominated by a few big corps.


There's no difference at all, which is fine if you want to see pot promoted and sold like hot dogs or chicken. Personally I'm not so fine with that. I'd much prefer just getting rid of criminal sanctions for personal use.

-------------------------------------------------------------

But with full legalization you're going to see branding, marketing and wholesale distribution,

This is most certainly not the case in The Netherlands, and I don't know why it would be here. There are no commercial trade names allowed or advertising. There isn't even retail packaging.


I think you have a lot more faith in our ability to keep commercial trade names or advertising out than I do, given the Supreme Court's slavish devotion to commercial "free speech".

-------------------------------------------------------------

But you have to distinguish between decriminalization and full legalization. With the former, the ones who are using now won't be risking a jail sentence due to some arbitrary enforcement of a largely ignored law, and it's hard to see anything wrong with that.

Having laws that exist but are ignored definitely undermines respect for the authority of law. If something isn't bad enough to bother enforcing, why bother to make it illegal at all?


You can remove all criminal penalties for usage while retaining the laws against distribution, and treat small scale distribution as a misdemeanor equivalent to a traffic violation. My two bottom lines are removing the arbitrary criminal prosecutions of individual users, while at the same time making sure that we don't start seeing competing brands of pot fighting for market share, with the inevitable effect of increasing the overall market for it.
   1574. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 18, 2013 at 03:09 AM (#4349664)
Formerly DP is worse than Hitler.

Other than that I have nothing to add to the discussion.
   1575. BrianBrianson Posted: January 18, 2013 at 03:12 AM (#4349665)
With legalization, I really meant only pot, and treat it exactly as alcohol. They're basically equivalent. Alcohol has problems, but I don't see what you can do better. The problems you solve are really only organised crime, keeping it out of the hands of minors (not 100%, but it's a lot easier for a sixteen year old to get a joint than a beer), and getting tax revenue out of it. But those are some pretty good problems to solve.
   1576. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 03:27 AM (#4349667)
In these times of deplorable conspiracy theories and despicable "truthers", it's comforting to find an honest example of plain, simple, good-old-fashioned crazy!


The country’s leaders are busy debating gun control following the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., but Suzanne Somers says we should be looking at something else as a contributing factor: diet.

Somers told HuffPost Live Thursday that she feels diet and household toxins may have ‘electrified’ Adam Lanza’s brain.

‘Everybody’s looking at guns — I look at it and go, ‘what is the diet of that guy who went nuts? What toxins was he exposed to? What kind of household cleaners are they using?” Somers told HuffPost Live’s Nancy Redd.
   1577. CrosbyBird Posted: January 18, 2013 at 03:58 AM (#4349669)
My two bottom lines are removing the arbitrary criminal prosecutions of individual users, while at the same time making sure that we don't start seeing competing brands of pot fighting for market share, with the inevitable effect of increasing the overall market for it.

I don't see why you're worried about that second thing. Marijuana is not tobacco. It's not really addictive and it's not really very dangerous. Even if there's a crazy explosion in consumption, is it really that terrible?

   1578. asdf1234 Posted: January 18, 2013 at 07:24 AM (#4349675)
One just wishes it wasn't just Chris Christie speaking the obvious truth, but also the Mitch McConnells and John Boehners of the world. Oh well.


Why? Did Christie finally condemn Obama for the illegal drone campaign that's killed hundreds of innocent children, including two Americans? Or was he just trying to score some political capital in an effort to appease "moderates" who approve of the murder of children as long as it's sanctioned by team-blue thugs?

Shaming Obama is an American pastime that we should all encourage, regardless of whether it originat the ACLU or the NRA.
   1579. Lassus Posted: January 18, 2013 at 07:30 AM (#4349676)
Why? Did Christie finally condemn Obama for the illegal drone campaign that's killed hundreds of innocent children, including two Americans?

No, but as the NY Times did, I'm sure you won't give THEM a hard time any more.


Shaming Obama is an American pastime that we should all encourage, regardless of whether it comes from the ACLU or the NRA.

ODS. Faith is powerful.
   1580. formerly dp Posted: January 18, 2013 at 07:47 AM (#4349678)
Formerly DP is worse than Hitler.
In what sense? Bowling? Painting?

I think my facial hair's better, but there's probably an era adjustment that needs to be taken into account.
   1581. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:49 AM (#4349690)
With legalization, I really meant only pot, and treat it exactly as alcohol. They're basically equivalent. Alcohol has problems, but I don't see what you can do better. The problems you solve are really only organised crime, keeping it out of the hands of minors (not 100%, but it's a lot easier for a sixteen year old to get a joint than a beer), and getting tax revenue out of it. But those are some pretty good problems to solve.

I look at pot as pretty much equivalent to gambling. It's something that's too widespread and (on a certain level) harmless to waste any resources fighting, especially with draconian criminal laws, but it's also not something I'd particularly want the government to lend positive encouragement to in any way. All that's been accomplished with state-sponsored and state-licensed gambling is to create a whole new class of problem gamblers who would never have been there without that encouragement, and I can see exactly the same thing happening with pot. There are few corporate entities any sleazier than casinos and tobacco companies, and I can't see any reason whatever to present the latter with the same sort of cash cow we've already given to the former.

------------------------------------------------

My two bottom lines are removing the arbitrary criminal prosecutions of individual users, while at the same time making sure that we don't start seeing competing brands of pot fighting for market share, with the inevitable effect of increasing the overall market for it.

I don't see why you're worried about that second thing. Marijuana is not tobacco. It's not really addictive and it's not really very dangerous. Even if there's a crazy explosion in consumption, is it really that terrible?


Why encourage it? Who benefits---and what's the benefit---in going beyond simple decriminalization?
   1582. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 18, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4349698)
I would like to thank whoever first mentioned to me long ago that when you ignore the commenter who breaks the page, the page is fixed.

In unrelated news I have no idea what formerly_dp has said on this page, but next page I promise to stop ignoring them.
   1583. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 18, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4349701)
It is both true that Obama could use some shaming for some of the acts of his administration AND that bringing his children into a discussion is morally reprehensible.

And I had no idea that being president was more dangerous than landing at Omaha beach during D-Day. Makes sense, but I never thought of it that way. Reason #5326 that I never want (nor will I attain) the presidency.
   1584. BrianBrianson Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4349723)
Who benefits---and what's the benefit---in going beyond simple decriminalization?


Legalization means the profits go to legal workers, companies, etc. Decriminalization means the profits still go to organized crime. (Plus, tax money, but the former is my main concern).
   1585. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4349735)
Here's a nice tidbit for all you who were bullish on the Arab Spring and Egyptian "democracy".

Egyptian court sentences Christian family to 15 years for converting from Islam


http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/16/egyptian-court-sentences-entire-family-to-15-years-for-converting-to/

   1586. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4349746)
Here's a nice tidbit for all you who were bullish on the Arab Spring and Egyptian "democracy".


Did you know that not all nations have laws identical to the United States? In most of eastern Europe you can't deny the Holocaust happened, even if you complain about "free speech." In Israel, they don't even let Palestinians vote. It's almost like you're holding one subset of "less than what we would expect in America" countries to a different standard...
   1587. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4349756)
Did you know that not all nations have laws identical to the United States? In most of eastern Europe you can't deny the Holocaust happened, even if you complain about "free speech." In Israel, they don't even let Palestinians vote. It's almost like you're holding one subset of "less than what we would expect in America" countries to a different standard...

All I'm pointing out is that Egyptian Christians now have substantially less freedom and safety than they did under the allegedly despotic Mubarek. Democracy is not a good thing if the people elect totalitarian thugs.

And are you seriously comparing not being able to vote to being sent to prison for 15 years for practicing a religion? I mean, under that comparison, American women in 1915 were just as repressed as the zeks in the Gulag.
   1588. Ron J2 Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4349758)
Incidentally for those who believe in the eyeball test for steroid use.

Lance Armstrong admitted to using steroids (in addition to EPO etc)

Testosterone doesn't surprise me. He mentioned in his playboy interview that his cancer treatments had left him with a low testosterone level and that brittle bones were a concern.

   1589. CrosbyBird Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4349766)
Who benefits---and what's the benefit---in going beyond simple decriminalization?

Legalization means the profits go to legal workers, companies, etc. Decriminalization means the profits still go to organized crime. (Plus, tax money, but the former is my main concern).

Also, if a substance is completely legal, an employer is far less likely to require a negative test as a condition of employment. This is especially significant for pot, which potentially remains in the system for months after intoxication. A friend of mine was a regular smoker and failed a (home, fortunately) test sixty days after his last use. If we're truly treating pot like alcohol, then a Saturday night indulgence shouldn't have any effect on your employability on Monday. Or your fitness to fly a plane on Monday.

Pot is essentially decriminalized in California and New York, but a minor-league baseball player can still get a 50-day fine with a failed drug test. If it's legal, that policy could be much more effectively challenged.
   1590. spike Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4349769)
   1591. BrianBrianson Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4349779)
If Israel doesn't let Palastinians vote, it's funny that Palastinian political parties like Balad get so many seats.

(Or do you mean Israel doesn't let Palastinians vote the way America doesn't let Canadians vote? I suppose Canadians living in Britain do get to vote in British elections.)
   1592. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4349784)
Who benefits---and what's the benefit---in going beyond simple decriminalization?

Legalization means the profits go to legal workers, companies, etc. Decriminalization means the profits still go to organized crime. (Plus, tax money, but the former is my main concern).


If we decriminalize possession and prosecute large scale distribution, you remove the worst aspect of our current policy, which is making users into criminals, while at the same time keeping the overall user base at its current level. Anything beyond that simply enables the creation of a whole new market of users.

I suspect the real split here is between those who see that as a cause for concern and those who don't. There's absolutely nothing in decriminalization that hurts current users or stops any current non-user from smoking pot, but beyond that, who exactly are we trying to help?

Put it this way: Which do you think represents a better solution, our current "system", but with the threat of arrests or fines removed from smoking pot, or a mimicking of the system that's currently in place for cigarettes?
   1593. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4349795)
I suppose Canadians living in Britain do get to vote in British elections

I get to vote in municipal elections, but not for an MP. Or so the registar dude who came to my door last year says.
   1594. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4349798)
Also, if a substance is completely legal, an employer is far less likely to require a negative test as a condition of employment. This is especially significant for pot, which potentially remains in the system for months after intoxication. A friend of mine was a regular smoker and failed a (home, fortunately) test sixty days after his last use. If we're truly treating pot like alcohol, then a Saturday night indulgence shouldn't have any effect on your employability on Monday. Or your fitness to fly a plane on Monday.

Pot is essentially decriminalized in California and New York, but a minor-league baseball player can still get a 50-day fine with a failed drug test. If it's legal, that policy could be much more effectively challenged.


If a private company wants to require a drug test as a condition for employment, I can't see why that's any particular concern of the government. If such policies wind up costing employers valuable employees, the market will penalize the company.

Plus, I strongly suspect that with decriminalization, we're likely to see less indiscriminate drug testing, and more likely to see it focused on employees whose patterns of behavior indicate an actual drug problem that would affect their job performance. I find it hard to believe that there's no correlation between the state's attitude towards users and the attitudes of many employers.

   1595. BrianBrianson Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4349805)
Who can vote in the UK

That's not what the electoral commission claims. But I am not a barristor or solicitor.
   1596. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4349806)
Cross dressing priest dealing meth

Who doesn't like a story about a cross dressing priest who would have sex in the rectory and also sold meth?


   1597. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4349813)
That's not what the electoral commission claims. But I am not a barristor or solicitor.

I'd probably go by that. The guy I talked to didn't seem like he was especially well-informed (despite the fact that informing me of my voting rights/duties was essentially his job).

Luckily I'm of the "I wouldn't presume to advise Her Majesty on how to run her government" political persuasion, so I probably wouldn't have voted anyway.
   1598. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4349817)
...Or a mimicking of the system that's currently in place for cigarettes?
I'll be fine with this as long as a marijuana distributor picks up the sponsorship of NASCAR.
   1599. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4349826)
All I'm pointing out is that Egyptian Christians now have substantially less freedom and safety than they did under the allegedly despotic Mubarek. Democracy is not a good thing if the people elect totalitarian thugs.


Using one example out of context to suggest A is better/worse than B is a bit out there. I have no idea if Egypt is "more free" now than before, but it would take some definitions and an actual examination of criteria and not X happened therefor.

However, even if your assertion is completely and uncritically true I disagree with the premise. Slavery was a fact during much of the US history, but that does not mean that Democracy is bad or that our early leaders were "totalitarian thugs" and neither does the genocidal things the US did to Native Americans (spreading small pox on purpose, taking children away from their natural parents, and so on).

That does not mean I endorse how Egyptian Christians are being treated (according to your assertion - for myself I have no idea how they are treated) any more than I would have endorsed the US treatment of Blacks, Native Americans, or the Japanese during WWII, but none of that means what you seem to be claiming it does.

It does mean that people are flawed, freedom and justice wneed to be fought for, and worked for, in any government. It is not an indictment of either the Arab Spring or the US revolution though - that would be silly.
   1600. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4349836)
Using one example out of context to suggest A is better/worse than B is a bit out there. I have no idea if Egypt is "more free" now than before, but it would take some definitions and an actual examination of criteria and not X happened therefor.

However, even if your assertion is completely and uncritically true I disagree with the premise. Slavery was a fact during much of the US history, but that does not mean that Democracy is bad or that our early leaders were "totalitarian thugs" and neither does the genocidal things the US did to Native Americans (spreading small pox on purpose, taking children away from their natural parents, and so on).

That does not mean I endorse how Egyptian Christians are being treated (according to your assertion - for myself I have no idea how they are treated) any more than I would have endorsed the US treatment of Blacks, Native Americans, or the Japanese during WWII, but none of that means what you seem to be claiming it does.

It does mean that people are flawed, freedom and justice wneed to be fought for, and worked for, in any government. It is not an indictment of either the Arab Spring or the US revolution though - that would be silly.


You miss the point.

Despite its flaws, early American Gov't was a movement towards more liberty. It wasn't perfect, but it was better than what came before.

The current ruling parties in Egypt explicitly favor less liberty. They support Sharia based law; which is quite frankly monsterous.

There is simply no comparison between a system that is actively attempting to advance liberty, even if it has serious flaws in that area, and one that is actively trying to surpress liberty.
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