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Marjuana: Legal or Not? (open thread)

I’ve usually considered myself “libertarian” in most regards. I used to think that it was alright if people wanted to smoke pot. “Let people make their own choice,” I used to think. However, I have changed my position and feel strongly that marijuana should be tightly regulated, and available only to people who truly need it — for example, it helps people with glaucoma and it eases the nausea for people undergoing chemotherapy. Pharmacists could have control of the drug and, if the doctors and pain specialists make an effort, they can dispense it to those who actually need it, and try to ensure that excessive amounts aren’t sold. (There is a P.S. note at the end of this post.)

The state where I live recently passed a law that permits people to smoke marijuana legally. I voted against the law. Also, I recall, when Mitt Romney was running for the presidency, I hoped he would enforce the federal ban on smoking marijuana. Let me tell you why:

First, tonight I checked out an article, “Colo. lawmakers consider new standards for driving under influence of marijuana.” A state senator told a Denver reporter at the city’s Fox affiliate station,

“Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, the marijuana industry needs to do the same with friends don’t let friends drive high because it’s every bit as dangerous.” …

None of our drivers under the influence aced the simulator, but that’s why Officer Mark Ashby says any impairment should keep you off the road.

“It doesn`t matter what the chemical is. If the impairment is from drugs or alcohol, you’re breaking the law,” Ashby says.

Some people I’ve known casually in the past use marijuana regularly. One woman in particular gets so stoned that she can hardly stand up. One day, she wanted to drive me in my car. I told her, “No way.” She used to come over to watch television programs with me. Nearly every single time, her head would nod forward and she’d fall asleep. Besides marijuana, she also uses a number of prescription drugs. (Before we go further, be assured that I have nothing to do with this woman. Besides, she plans to move soon, and I sure hope she does.)

One man who lived near her told me that he had to often enter her apartment and pick her up off the floor. She regularly passes out from the effects of the drugs and marijuana. Yes, I have reported this to the appropriate authorities, but no one has done anything about it to the best of my knowledge. Nor has the apartment complex where we both live. They know that active drug users live here. Supposedly, they run criminal background checks on all applicants. I suspect that 1) they don’t run the background checks and simply pocket the money, or 2) they do run the background checks and don’t care. Besides, I discovered recently, most criminal background checks only apply to the previous TWO years.

Me? I have never liked marijuana. I remember that many moons ago, when I was in college, I’d go to parties where people smoked marijuana, and I hated being around people when they were stoned.

I believe marijuana has become increasingly stronger, supplemented with god knows how many other drugs — to enhance the effects, and to get people addicted to using it.

One person who tried marijuana a few years ago told me that they felt like “a mummy in King Tut’s tomb.” He said that he couldn’t concentrate on his TV or even converse with other friends.

Clearly, this kind of marijuana poses a serious threat to other motorists and their communities. The excessive use of marijuana also places a large burden on local law enforcement officers.

Here’s another story that sent a chill down my spine. An apartment manager where I used to live told me that a tenant had spray-painted the side of her small car. So, to get back at him, she called the local police. She said that when he opened the door, he had a crack pipe in his hand. I laughed at first, then it dawned on me that she KNEW he was smoking crack.

So, wherever you live, be cautious. Lock your doors and windows. It’s a drag. Trust me, I know. I love fresh air and like to have my windows open, especially in the summer. But, every single time I leave my home, I will need to make sure that all the windows and doors are locked. (I’ve also taken other measures to ensure my safety, and would be interested in hearing your advice about ways that we all can stay safe.)

But on the highways? How can we possibly know who’s high on pot or crack or drunk? So far, I’ve been very lucky. I doubt there’s any easy solution to the problem. Even if we make all substances illegal, people — as we all know — will find a way to make their own concoctions. (Remember “moonshine” during Prohibition?) And I know of people who grow pot out in a large forest near where I live.

So, for now, I drive slowly, and I keep plenty of distance between my car and others’ cars. Sometimes drivers get angry, and pass me. So what, I say? Let them drive over the speed limit. I just hope that they don’t kill somebody someday. They probably have. I don’t drive often enough to know. I mostly drive about 10 to 20 miles, and will likely use a van service or ride along with a careful driver who has a large, safe car (with all the airbags). My little car? It’s a sitting duck. I don’t have side airbags. Again, I’ve been very lucky. But, who knows … one of these days I may get involved in a major collision and be seriously injured or die. (One of my “wish list” items is to buy a larger car with a full set of air bags.)

Speaking of airbags, how do we know if those airbags have been installed properly and will work in case of a collision? The next time I see my mechanic, I am going to ask her to check them out.

My car was made by Dodge. Within two to three years after the car was purchased, the tires began blowing out — usually on a small two-lane highway. I eventually got all the tires replaced, and those tires are still in excellent condition, my mechanic told me. However, just to be sure, I am going to “pepper her with questions” about my tires. I am NOT an expert on cars. All I know is how to turn the car on and roll the windows up and down. But I DO regularly take my car in for maintenance since I want that car to keep running.

Well, few of us are bona fide auto mechanics. The mechanic I go to is excellent. Earlier in her life, she was a race car driver. Since then, she, her husband and son have run a successful auto repair shop. Based on her life experiences, I trust her judgment on such matters.

My point in telling you about my tires is that I realize that Dodge makes these cars as cheaply as possible. Obviously, they didn’t care if my tires blew out (which really pisses me off). That’s why I want my air bags also checked out.

Maybe some of you can suggest the kinds of cars we all should buy when we can. Sometimes, I wish I had gotten one of those old cars — they’re large but they’re easier to maintain since they don’t run on computers. The sole drawbacks are that they consume more gasoline and, best I know, none have airbags.

Well, with Obama as president, more and more states will probably legalize the use of marijuana and I predict that there will be little enforcement of the federal laws against the use of marijuana.

  • APO_AE_09173

    If you are against smoking cigarettes you have to oppose pot. Both are carcenogenic, both stink, and both are stupid.
    After that I will tell you the following…I would rather deal with a pot head than a drunk. Alcohol use is just as retarded (I do mean developmentally delayed) as smoking. Putting poisons in your body is just plain dumb.

  • HELENK2
  • MG6
  • HELENK2

    per Fox news

    Michigan governor signed right to work law

    • DianaLC

      Yea!!!

  • foxyladi14

    great articleBronwyn’

  • Deapster

    Where is your proof pot helps glaucoma. That was the biggest fraud of them all. There was a single study done on four people who did not even have glaucoma and only carefully calibrated doses of prescription active ingredient THC was used. At one does it lowered non-pathologic eye pressure for only four hours. At a higher does it actually raised eye pressure. is this your proof pot is good for glaucoma?

    But this level of total junk science was used to pass the California medical pot laws letting people toke up with any unregulated use and level of intoxicants as “medical” use. No doctor would seriously prescribe anything smoked as “medicine”. Please.

    Buyers remorse big time out here. Medical pot was just a gateway device to reach the final goal of the Sperling and George Soros crowd – fully legal pot on demand in this state and the nation.

    How often does a doctor write a prescription for hourly alcohol use and let the patient decide what amount and proof? And there you have it.

  • HELENK2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_F3oev06i0&list=SP85933DBA7E52B5B6

    watch the whole video, part on union uprising in Michigan and part with information on pot

  • getfitnow

    How about eliminating the entire mess. They only reasons Democrats are screaming now is because of 2014 elections. Whenever I calm down from the disastrous election, I get angry all over again reading daily what these fools are doing.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/11/dems-join-in-calling-for-delay-to-obamacare-medical-device-tax/

    • DianaLC

      They should talk with NP now that they’ve had time to read part of it.

  • getfitnow

    Three years . . . don´t bet on it. Tax and spend dems NEVER give up a dime. Obamacare will be a disaster just like its name sake.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57558392/health-care-law-surprise-$63-per-person-fee-for-three-years/

  • HELENK2

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/12/11/report-obama-to-open-direct-talks-with-iran-plan-to-shut-israel-out/

    backtrack to open direct talks with iran, plan to shut Israel out.

    If negotiation does not work says he will use military options.

    talks to send trainers to syrian militia, and provide air cover , now this.

    this guy is determined to start WW3, how much are his owners going to make out of it??

    • HELENK2

      BTW
      anyone heard from code pink lately??????

  • akaPatience

    I support cannabis legalization IN THEORY. But I’m not naive enough to think there won’t be downsides. While I hope it’ll result in a lot less drug-related crime, I have no illusions about a possible increase in substance abuse, DUI, workplace problems, negative impact on health and families, etc.

    It’s very likely more legislation will need to be enacted to deal with the downsides as well as practical issues involving cultivation, distribution and law enforcement. These are early days and WA and CO will be valuable laboratories that other states considering legalization can learn from. If drug-related crime doesn’t go down and/or downsides become unmanageable and costly, all bets are off.

  • HELENK2

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/12/11/uaw-boss-thanks-our-sisters-in-planned-parenthood-for-supporting-union-temper-tantrum-in-michigan/

    what does planned parenthood have to do with working unions? these unions do not produce kids

    • Hokma

      they are both socialists

  • HELENK2
    • Hokma

      What does Jesse Jackson’s cause have to do with Unions? Wouldn’t right to work result in greater employment opportunities for african americans? particularly younger ones?

      • HELENK2

        If the younger african americans got a chance to make better lives for themselves, why would they need jesse jackson. this man makes a damn good living off causing uproars

        • MG6

          Amen!

          The AA community would be best served if they encouraged their children in pursuing education. Stop focusing on racism and hatred toward whitey.

          The Dem. party elites encourages the aforementioned in order to stay in power.

  • HELENK2

    tz tweeted:

    As protesters move toward building where Michigan governor has offices, state police in riot gear form human wall – @ChrisGautz

  • HELENK2
  • HELENK2

    Muslim Brotherhood will attend Egypt’s unity talks called for by army, Brotherhood spokesman says – @Reuters

  • HELENK2

    Michigan lawmakers approve right-to-work bill for private employees, 58-52 – from broadcast

  • MG6

    Obamanomics in action in California…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-11/-822-000-worker-shows-california-leads-u-s-pay-giveaway.html

    Didn’t Obama have a history of drugs abuse? Marijuana and Cocaine? How about those parties at the White House..eh?

  • MG6

    Obamanomics in action in California…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-11/-822-000-worker-shows-california-leads-u-s-pay-giveaway.html

    Didn’t Obama have a history of drugs abuse? Marijuana and Cocaine? How about those parties at the White House..eh?

  • HELENK2

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/12/11/michigan-democrats-warn-there-will-be-blood-over-right-to-work-law/#disqus_thread

    Michigan democrats warn there will be blood over right to work law

    let me understand this, people who took an oath to uphold the law and represent ALL the people of their state are making threats against the people of their state that are not union members?

    • HELENK2

      tz tweeted:

      The Rev. Jesse Jackson is on the Capitol steps in front of the #righttowork protesters. Can hear the crowd cheering loudly from inside.

      • HELENK2

        Union workers tear down tent used by right-to-work supporters outside Michigan Capitol; mounted police pushing crowd back – @shawnwindsor

      • http://twitter.com/jbjdjbjd jbjd

        Funny story…

        Years ago, I was one of 2 student senators from my school chosen to visit D.C. as part of a nationwide student lobbying day. We were all assembled on the stairs of the Capital, awaiting the arrival of Jessie Jackson, the ‘keynote’ speaker for the jump-off lobbying.

        I ranted to those seated around me, how much I hated Jessie Jackson. I rattled off a litany of offenses: Operation PUSH; Martin Luther King’s ‘blood’ on his clothes; NY Jews as “Hymies” from “Hymietown.”

        Just then, Jackson’s entourage pulled up. He exited the car, and began jogging up the stairs, a la ‘Rocky,’ meandering through the hundreds of students seated haphazardly throughout the stairs.

        Suddenly, he spied me and, made a beeline to where I was seated. He leaned over, picked up my hand, and clasped both of his hands around it. ‘Hey, how are you, nice to see you!’

        I swear to God.

        He jogged away; and my fellow students, flabbergasted, now burst into amazed laughter.

        True story.

        • MG6

          So that is what “Hymie and Hymie town means…Jews.
          A quote from Jackson…
          “That’s all Hymie wants to talk about, is Israel; every time you go to Hymietown, that’s all they want to talk about.” – Jesse Jackson
          AND he is allowed to get away with this.

          • http://twitter.com/jbjdjbjd jbjd

            Know when he said this? In In 1984, when he was running for President. Milton Coleman, the Washington Post reporter who broke the story, is black. His life was threatened.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/frenzy/jackson.htm

          • KenoshaMarge

            In the lib reality bigotry from one of the oppressed isn’t bigotry at all. Just a victim releasing his angry about his “oppression”.

            Without the “race” industry Jesse Jackson is nothing and he knows it. Therefore he preys on those who he pretends to represent ala Al Sharpton. Two peas in a race-baiting pod.

        • Hokma

          And to this day you are still watching your back because he knows who you are and where you live :)

          • http://twitter.com/jbjdjbjd jbjd

            I had never met him!

    • KenoshaMarge

      Welcome to what Wisconsin went through in 2010. Union thugs and their enablers. Solidarity is evidently more important that their oath to protect and serve.

    • getfitnow

      …and teachers call in sick to protest. yeah, the children are so important.

      http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/18046

  • Deapster

    We are an open pot town with up to 20 retail store fronts that had been permitted and in the process of opening for of course “medicinal” purposes only – a lot of sick people apparently in this seaside So Calif town of 85,000. We fought. We protested and finally got the city council to limit them to four.

    Slick MDs would come in to town for the weekends to set up ” medical consultations” shops which consisted of paying the doc $125 and checking off their alleged “serious medical complaint” on a form and then get their authorization card immediately handed to them. These medical “consultations would be conducted in groups as large as 20 all in the same room.

    The dopesters would designate the pot shop owner as their “primary care giver” and the city streets and highways would then be put in peril as the out of town “seriously ill” would light up in the shop parking lots and then hit the road driving away with their “medicine”wafting around them.

    So guess what happened, all of them are now gone because pot-heads running businesses are just plain lousy (substitute stupid, intoxicated) business people who couldn’t get their business act together or control their own business decisions to operate within the law and city guidelines.

    Hiding massive amounts of cash in styrofoam chests in the back room was imprudent when raided. Turning back rooms into massive grow houses with 24/7 grow lights exceeded any expectations for legitimate approved use. You get the picture.

    While we more prudent (substitute prudish if you like) tried to regulate them from the outside, they failed far more spectacularly from within as retail store fronts.

    However, the totally unregulated under-ground mobile delivery system apparently is alive and well so the dopesters are still getting high, dropping out and disabusing their discretionary income and mental health while allowing crime to flourish in our own backyards.

    One does need to be existential about this — why do so many people need to get high so often. We have failed to deal with the high social costs of alcohol abuse and we are not even close to dealing with them with more accessible pot.

    Sure maybe only 10-25% of pot and alcohol users create the social problems, but we don’t have good social safety nets in place to capture that 10-25% percent, why take a chance on doubling this with freely accessible pot as well as alcohol?

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      I’m just curious as to what town in California that you live in. I am also in California, but the medical marijuana infrastructure seems to be pretty low profile in the places that I visit. I’d like to see what appears from your description to be the pot capital of California looks like.

      • Deapster

        Check out weed.com or other similar websites to get the Frommers Guide to easy pot in CA. Like I said, all of our store fronts have now closed down. But it was the Wild West for far too long in this down ….which shall remain nameless at this time. No sense advertising the stupidity of progressive city councils attempt to appear “compassionate” and sending the rest of us to hell in a hand basket as we had to live next to these scummy operations.

  • HELENK2
  • HELENK2
  • HELENK2
  • POdVet

    People constantly try to say that smoking marijuana is no worse than drinking a beer. BULLSHIT! I don’t even drink and the stupidity of that argument is obvious. If I was to have a beer, it would not get my kids drunk, can you say the same with smoking marijuana? Contact High isn’t a mythical thing! Then add in the simple fact, that marijuana has been genetically altered to increase the THC in it to (depending on the variety) be 10 to 100 times the natural amount. That’s before you even get to the shit that has been laced with other drugs. It is only because of celebrities that it has started to become “socially” acceptable. Now if what they wanted to do was to responsibly legalize marijuana bars where people could go smoke a little bit, then leave I might be ok with it. But that is not what they want. They think they should be able to toke it up, whenever where ever they want. Honestly could you imagine that? How many people would die because people were under the influence before thousands of new regulations had to be enforced. Regulations that would strangle economic growth and add to already insane medical expenses.

    And just for those who try to say that marijuana doesn’t cause brain damage, I’d just point to Roseanne Barr and Bill Maher.

    Now just for Brownwyn. Volvo is consistently one of the safest cars built.

    • HELENK2

      went to 3 funerals in one night because teens were smoking pot and hit a railroad abuttment doing 85mph. Saying how sorry for their loss to their families is something i never want to repeat.

      Pot impairs judgement. there is mountains of proof of that

      • Deapster

        Studies show it takes 30 days before pot leave the system and restores former mental functioning. A daily pot smoker or even a recreational week-end smoker is therefore chronically impaired 24/7 of every day of the month.

        Pot is not harmless. It makes you stupid and studies now show you stay that way, the more you use. And yeah, so does alcohol but alcohol at least leaves the system faster and makes you violently sick if you abuse it. Pot on the other hand only makes you think you want more.

        • Hokma

          I was a meth addict many years ago when I was younger. A drug is a drug is a drug. Only a phsycian should be able to prescribe a drug including legal ones.

          You are absolutely right about marijuana and its real effects.

  • HELENK2

    the tobacco industry was regulated and taxed. who grows the pot and how much will it be taxed???
    Will advertizing be banned?? Any age limit on who can buy it? will insurance be higher for pot smokers, like it is for tobacco smokers?
    What about companies that require drug testing, will that be legal and can they take the smoker out of service for failing the drug test?

  • HELENK2

    thegatewaypundit.com/2012/12/obamacare-fee-of-63-per-person-will-begin-in-2014/

    obamacare fee of $63 per person will begin in 2014

  • Hokma

    And I guess should start to expect to get this kind of weather forecasting soon:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=D1uaw3WIOlc

    • HELENK2

      one of my favorite

  • elizabethrc

    Yesterday I read that Chrysler is rehiring all of the former employees who were fired for smoking pot and drinking on their lunch hours.
    This is utter insanity. I tried to send an email to Chrysler but their site is very difficult to use and I believe they consciously don’t want to hear from people. I succeeded (I thought) in sending the email only to get a rejected email response of some sort back.
    Do you want to ride in a Chrysler product put together by anyone who is high or impaired by alcohol? It may only be one bolt or one belt or one small piece left off, but if it means you may be in or cause an accident because of it or worse, die, is that okay because it is somehow acceptable for these execs with poor judgment to jeopardize our lives? I don’t think so.
    We are ruled by morons, it seems and in the name of some sort of weird ‘equality’, the only thing this newly ‘leveled’ playing field is doing is making us all losers.
    I only have this one life and I’ll be damned if I am going to put it in anyone’s hands but my own. Even if it inconveniences me I’ll not ride in a Chrysler product. I do not trust them.

    • HELENK2

      federal arbitrator made Chrysler take them back. Claiming they were on their own time while getting high or drunk

      • elizabethrc

        It really makes me have even less confidence in anything federal! Morons clearing the way for more morons.
        Heaven forbid they should have a concern about the safety of the product they are turning out. Chrysler should be in court suing over this. This is really going to damage their brand in the long run. It’s going to take accidents and possibly fatalities resulting in lawsuits against Chrysler and, while I don’t know if an individual can sue a government agency, perhaps a lawsuit against the government agency.

  • getfitnow
  • getfitnow

    One senses that this administration´s
    definition of security is reassuring the world that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2012/12/10/Benghazi-Source-Unarmed

  • HARP2

    I think the whole country has gone to pot.

  • buzzlatte3

    Well, in WA there’s already been the first murders/homicides over pot. The 35 year old grower was defending his son, property, and way over the limit pot growing operation from to alleged robbers. And so it goes.

    • KenoshaMarge

      What I can’t understand is how people who think you are some kind of criminal if you smoke a cigarette somehow think it’s just dandy to smoke marijuana. Where is the logic? Oh wait, I’m talking about liberals. Never mind.

      • buzzlatte3

        I know! I don’t see WA really rolling over and just looking the other way on stoned driving either. It will just end up as more regulation on everyone regardless of being a partaker or not. *sigh*

        • KenoshaMarge

          Liberal WA doesn’t care about more regulation. In fact they thrive on it. More jobs for government workers doncha know.
          And if the conservatives don’t go along then they will lose the votes of the “young and hip and stoned”.

          Given the dysfunction of this government it is all so predictible.

          • buzzlatte3

            You’ve got that right!

  • http://www.missmalevolent.com/ Miss Malevolent

    Well, Obama seems to be going after dispensaries…

    Personally, I think it should be legal, not cause I don’t think it’s harmful. I hate weed and what it does to people with the passion of a thousand suns…but I look at it this way…

    I don’t believe in the government telling me I can’t drink a 32 oz soda.

    I don’t believe in the government telling me what I should do with my body in regards to children.

    I don’t believe in the government telling me what I can smoke or not smoke.

    And if conservatives would embrace libertarian ideals, they could bash Obama over the head with this state’s rights issue.

    • DianaLC

      I’m with you on this. I don’t like smoking at all. If we are going to ban smoking marijuana, why not ban nicotine cigarettes? They impact the general public negatively just as much, if not more.
      Here in CO, we did first legalize medical marijuana. I do understand its use for medical reason, so why don’t they make licensed PHARMACIES sell it? Instead, all these shady medical marijuana stores have sprung up and all kinds of people are carrying around their cards allowing them to purchase it and use it, cards provided by shady “doctors” making big profits on providing people cards.
      Then they go a step further and allow recreational pot smoking under certain limitations–blah, blah, blah–as if people will really follow the limitations and as if the police will have time to deal with all the infractions.
      News this week featured a story about marijuana brownies (I am sick of all these kids trying to re-create the flower child decade) making people sick at our state’s most communist-leaning university.
      But, you are right, I voted no, but I knew it would pass. And the most conservative think tank in the state suggested letting it pass for just the reason you cite–we can always find agreement with the left on this when or if the feds come after us about it. (Believe it or not, they put the “right” to smoke pot into our state constitution. The most successful states’ right issue ever. Sad that our country has come to this.