Will Washington State leegalizeetmon?

August 10, 2012

From here we learn that WA voters are to consider Initiative 502 which would legalize marijuana. For recreational purposes.

Seems to be the same deal as the initiative that failed to pass muster with voters in our dope smokingist, weed growingist and reputably most individual “thing” friendly state of California.

Perhaps the good folks of WA will see it differently.

In my estimation the hook for this (tax money to balance the state budget) poses the same Catch22 which hung the proposition in Cali. Dope smokers don’t like the idea of Marlboro Green becoming the only provider. They fear “regulation and taxation” means corporate profits and no more home growing. Or perhaps that corporatizing and commodifying the product would leave them in a situation similar to the beer industry in the US before microbrews came roaring back. whichever way it went, I think it was a segment of *dope fans*, ironically enough, that doomed the California effort.

It will be interesting to see if the WA folks who like the kinde learn from the prior example and line up in support. (and can be bothered to vote, naturally)

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No Responses Yet to “Will Washington State leegalizeetmon?”

  1. becca Says:

    CA has that reputation, aye. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pass in WA before it passes in CA. For one thing, it’s harder to muster up fear about Mexican drug dealers in WA, since it’s not a border state. Plus, the conservatives I know from CA are much more intense than those I know from WA. Maybe they feel more threatened in CA? It’s not just “how liberal your liberals are” when it comes to getting this stuff passed…

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  2. Joseph Says:

    I am always confused as to why the main point is not harm reduction. I think that it is true beyond any reasonable debate that the use of Marijuana impairs function and has long term adverse health outcomes. But these concerns are present with alcohol, too.

    But being placed into a state or federal prison has both social and financial costs as well. Broken families leading to poorer outcomes for children. Exposure to prison violence. A lifetime reduction in employment opportunities.

    I see these as unfortunate tradeoffs for violent crime. But I wonder if the sweet spot on this issue isn’t something less draconian than our current laws?

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  3. Isabel Says:

    “and has long term adverse health outcomes”

    like what, genius? Lets see your sources. For most users there are none, now compare that to alcohol. Yes, it’s harm reduction if people switch from alcohol to cannabis, absolutely.

    The sweet spot is full legalization and finding other ways to fund law enforcement.

    Everybody chime in with your “opinions”! It’s make shit up day on the Drugmonkey blog.

    Funny, DM should be in a LEADERSHIP role here, not sitting back getting drunk and watching what the “good folks of WA” do.

    Hey DM, if you are going to report why not discuss ALL the initiatives?

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  4. drugmonkey Says:

    What public policy expertise do I have that tells you I should be in a “LEADERSHIP” role, Isabel?

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  5. Joseph Says:

    @Isabel: I am not going to comment on the relative importance of adverse outcomes with cannabis smoking (to name one delivery method) relative to other substances. But here are a few case-control studies on pubmed:

    Berthiller J, Straif K, Boniol M, Voirin N, Benhaïm-Luzon V, Ayoub WB, Dari I, Laouamri S, Hamdi-Cherif M, Bartal M, Ayed FB, Sasco AJ. Cannabis smoking and risk of lung cancer in men: a pooled analysis of three studies in Maghreb. J Thorac Oncol. 2008 Dec;3(12):1398-403.

    Aldington S, Harwood M, Cox B, Weatherall M, Beckert L, Hansell A, Pritchard A, Robinson G, Beasley R; Cannabis and Respiratory Disease Research Group. Cannabis use and risk of lung cancer: a case-control study. Eur Respir J. 2008 Feb;31(2):280-6.

    Voirin N, Berthiller J, Benhaïm-Luzon V, Boniol M, Straif K, Ayoub WB, Ayed FB, Sasco AJ.Risk of lung cancer and past use of cannabis in Tunisia. J Thorac Oncol. 2006 Jul;1(6):577-9.

    Yes, most users will not get lung cancer. But that is also true of tobacco smoking, ad we don’t consider these adverse lung cancer events to be unimportant.

    For more general adverse events consider:

    Jouanjus E, Leymarie F, Tubery M, Lapeyre-Mestre M. Cannabis-related hospitalizations: unexpected serious events identified through hospital databases.Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 May;71(5):758-65.

    So I don’t consider the position that cannabis is associated with potential adverse drug effects to be controversial. Heck, even benign drugs like aspirin are associated with serious side effects (bleeds, in this case).

    Now, it is also the case there there is evidence of efficacy:

    Martín-Sánchez E, Furukawa TA, Taylor J, Martin JL. Systematic review and meta-analysis of cannabis treatment for chronic pain. Pain Med. 2009 Nov;10(8):1353-68.

    So for medical users there is a serious discussion to be had. We don’t ban codeine use for pain just because of abuse potential.

    So the real question (for me as a public health person) is what is the best way to mitigate adverse outcomes. In that view, I think it is bad to either pretend that the drug has no benefits, to understate harm and to overstate harm. It’s a tricky problem without a lot of good answers.

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  6. Isabel Says:

    We have already discussed the lung cancer studies- I am not going down that road again.

    Once again, the long term adverse effects are pretty much non-existent for moderate users, and low in studies of heavy users. Many benefits have come to light as well.

    And alcohol is way, way worse. WAY worse as a matter of fact. WAY worse. Am i getting through yet? If you care about people why is that “irrelevant” (quoting DM here)

    Cannabis does not have to be harmless. There are no tough decisions to make.

    If you think that no one should ever use any drug, than maybe you should consider moving to another planet. At the very least, acknowledge that THAT is your issue. Maybe you are against premarital sex also. Good luck with that.

    ” It’s a tricky problem without a lot of good answers.”

    Only when you are mired in the current inhumane insanity.

    “So I don’t consider the position that cannabis is associated with potential adverse drug effects to be controversial. Heck, even benign drugs like aspirin are associated with serious side effects (bleeds, in this case). ”

    This we know. All the “serious” problems with cannabis are conjectural even after decades of scrutiny and thousands of years of use by hundreds of millions of people.

    Your impressive list is far from conclusive when one actually looks at the details. For example “Jouanjus E, Leymarie F, Tubery M, Lapeyre-Mestre M. Cannabis-related hospitalizations: unexpected serious events identified through hospital databases.Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 May;71(5):758-65. ” It is tedious to go through this confusing paper only to find that one dramatic finding after another was based on circumstantial evidence (the person used cannabis and had no other risk factors), or they inhaled some toxin from the pipe, etc etc. Very different from the abstract. Again the bar is *not* perfect safety, which does not exist.

    The point ya’ll keep missing is that the relative harm is far less with cannabis than alcohol, tobacco, meth, and prescription drugs of all kinds. the only reason that you cannot focus on this fact is that you are brainwashed. There is no other explanation!

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  7. Isabel Says:

    @Isabel: I am not going to comment on the relative importance of adverse outcomes with cannabis smoking (to name one delivery method) relative to other substances.

    Just noticed this.

    You too! LOL. “I cannot comment on that” Yep, you, DM, leonhart, Nora, and the idiot czar- what is it with you people? Admit it already!

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  8. Joseph Says:

    “We have already discussed the lung cancer studies”

    We have? When? You might have had this discussion with other people but not with me.

    “All the “serious” problems with cannabis are conjectural even after decades of scrutiny and thousands of years of use by hundreds of millions of people.”

    I would note, for the record, that making a substance illegal greatly complicates the serious study of adverse effects. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    The part that I find the most astonishing is that this is a fairly centrist position (harm reduction and balancing of risks/benefits). Are you so desperate for opponents that you attack people who are mostly on your side? The substance does not need to be magically free of adverse effects to be legal. And it would be pretty magical if it had NO possible side effects. Heck, not even peanut butter makes that test.

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  9. Isabel Says:

    “We have? When? You might have had this discussion with other people but not with me. ”

    On the blog.

    ” Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. ”

    It has been illegal for too long, but only a tiny percentage of the time it has been in use. What’s yer point? That making it legal again would make it easier to study? Good point. I have said this here on the blog many times.

    ” Are you so desperate for opponents that you attack people who are mostly on your side? ”

    Yeah, I’m just a troll out on a desperate search for opponents. Gives me a real thrill. 🙂

    ” The substance does not need to be magically free of adverse effects to be legal. And it would be pretty magical if it had NO possible side effects. Heck, not even peanut butter makes that test.”

    Then we are in COMPLETE agreement. Case closed. No more reservations. Just say it. It should not be illegal. SAY ITTTTT!!!!!

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  10. Isabel Says:

    Joseph: The problem is that you think there needs to be a discussion, a tortuously arrived at solution, an unfortunate compromise etc. The reality is various commissions have already looked at the total evidence, repeatedly over the years, including all the harms to society you mentioned (and greatly underestimated) and have recommended legalization or (under pressure) decriminalization. No justification for prohibition is ever found. Then the recommendations are immediately forgotten and we are back to square one, mainly because of lobbyists of law enforcement, alcohol industry and so on. This is madness! (doing the same thing over and over). It is also disturbing that DM and colleagues appear to be totally ignorant of this repeating history.

    We know it isn’t totally harmless – so what? I’ve said to Drugmonkey many times that I support his research. And it will be much easier without this tragic nightmare called prohibition. Why can’t you accept the conclusion that the prohibition is not warranted? Something is truly fucked up when the govt’s own commissions recommend legalization and the govt steps up prohibition! And why won’t you, DM, Leonhart, Czar-guy and the others discuss the comparable harms? The onus is on you guys at this point.

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  11. Grumble Says:

    “Are you so desperate for opponents that you attack people who are mostly on your side?”

    Isabel has a history of doing that. Thinking, discussing and arguing are not, in her view, necessary when it comes to MJ legalization. DOING is the only thing that will satisfy her, ’cause she thinks we’ve thunk, discussed and argued enough, already.

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  12. drugmonkey Says:

    Joseph-

    I agree with you that the best way forward is by acknowledging the demonstrated harms of cannabis. Continued denial of those harms is unlikely to get the rational middle on board with your (Isabel’s) desired outcome.

    It is interesting that the WA initiative puts in a threshold for driving, not sure if Cali’s included this(?). This is the kind of thing I mean. Unfortunately there are fewer accident stats w/ THC levels to rely upon (compared with alcohol), but the approach is the right one. I’d like to see it deal with dependence, of course. Perhaps by locking out some portion of the tax revenue for addiction services. Should there be a THC content limit or series of scaled tax levels (like alcohol)? Perhaps.

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  13. Isabel Says:

    “cause she thinks we’ve thunk, discussed and argued enough, already.’

    grumble is apparently so brain damaged, or perhaps brainwashed, that he cannot fathom the difference between the opinion of an anonymous stranger on the internet and the conclusions and recommendations of multiple government-appointed commissions.

    ” Continued denial of those harms is unlikely to get the rational middle on board with your (Isabel’s) desired outcome. ”

    do you see black helicopters, too DM? For the nth time WHO are these “deniers”?

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  14. Isabel Says:

    “But I wonder if the sweet spot on this issue isn’t something less draconian than our current laws?”

    Sorry for snapping at you, Joseph, but this sentence is what upset me about your comment. Exactly what are you suggesting here? Only “less” draconian?

    I got a bad vibe from czar-guy also – he’s dropping hints of a change also. “legalization is not on the table” but “throwing people in jail is not the answer” …he talked about “not having the resources to handle the ensuing social problems” as if we were unleashing a horrible plague upon the populace. I fear the worst.

    Some of the recent reforms, initially encouraging, are leaving a bad taste because the police state and law enforcement financial support elements are left intact. For example Chicago where cops still give people tickets (apparently a concession to unions/lobbyists) or Uruguay where people are supposed to register their use with authorities.

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  15. Grumble Says:

    “grumble is apparently so brain damaged”

    You see? And I’m a huge fan of legalization! Maybe the brain damage explains that.

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  16. Isabel Says:

    Grumble: And **I’m** a huge fan of legalization!

    Yes, Grumble, it’s all about you.

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  17. Grumble Says:

    Doh, my post was about you, Isabel, and your penchant for pissing off even those who tend to agree with you.

    My multiple decades on this planet have taught me that such a strategy is rarely productive. But, whatever floats your boat.

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  18. Isabel Says:

    Grumble, What you and DM aren’t getting is that you don’t agree with me at all.

    My position is that we need to move the argument up to a new level.

    It is 2012 and the question is: why can’t our society seem to end prohibition, even though its own specially-appointed commissions have repeatedly recommended doing so?

    By bickering over particular papers or setting up straw men like “legaleezeit types” you are ignoring history and avoiding this critical question.

    The damage done because the advice of the special panels was ignored decades ago is incalculable. Yet you want me to be grateful that you and czar guy are now considering throwing legalization advocates a few crumbs?

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  19. Isabel Says:

    And then, of course, the next step is to figure out how to end the prohibition once and for all. how do we deal with the police unions? Many think it is impossible. That is scary. Since you are a “big legalization fan” Grumble, maybe you have some suggestions as to how we can realistically move forward?

    DM seems to think that the problem is MM advocates whose motivations are not pure enough, or legaleezeit types who say the plant is magical and harmless. The first may have a grain of truth but is a trivial consideration and there is no more doubt that some people are receiving medical relief, and the second seems to be a figment of his imagination.

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  20. Grumble Says:

    “maybe you have some suggestions as to how we can realistically move forward?”

    Well, let’s see, Isabel, how about we start with pissing off everyone who agrees with us? Yeah, that’s it. We could go onto blogs and start accusing everyone in sight who doesn’t hew exactly to the line we want. That’s it. We’ll accuse them of… of… well, it doesn’t matter what. We’ll just accuse them until they start screaming with us.

    Or we could get things done the way, say, gay marriage is getting done: by constant advocacy, explaining, demonstrating, volunteering, donating, etc, etc. Things don’t happen overnight that way, but they happen eventually.

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  21. drugmonkey Says:

    The California initiative contained a statement that pot was harmless Isabel. It goes far beyond nutter comments on my blog.

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  22. Isabel Says:

    Can you post a link or a quote, please?

    Also to your assertion that it failed because of “dope fans”?

    I know for a fact that the police unions in CA donated millions to fight it. Now why would they do that, when everyone claims it will save them money?

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  23. Isabel Says:

    No one has been saying that on your blog either, at least not to my knowledge. and I do pay attention to these threads usually. 🙂

    Please tell us who made the claim on the blog also. As you know one of the reasons I am so pissed off is that you falsely claim that I said it!

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  24. Isabel Says:

    “Or we could get things done the way, say, gay marriage is getting done: by constant advocacy, explaining, demonstrating, volunteering, donating, etc, etc. Things don’t happen overnight that way, but they happen eventually.”

    This is how you change the tide of public opinion. In the case of cannabis prohibition, public opinion is not the problem. The problem is the government itself, police unions and alcohol industry lobbyists. The majority already approves and an overwhelming majority (>75%) wants the medical dispenseries left alone. Many of the remainder are just worried because of the scare stories or have technical reservations as DM alluded to. There are no virulent anti-pot groups.

    Another problem with your analogy is 800,000 people were not arrested, denied student loans, jailed, etc for being gay and wanting to get married last year.

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  25. Isabel Says:

    Here’s why the CA initiative did not pass (DM and becca’s idle speculations notwithstanding):

    The #1 reason is:

    “1.) Police Unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal drug war grants to finance their budget. In March, we published a story revealing that a police union lobbyist in California coordinated the effort to defeat Prop 19, a ballot measure in 2010 to legalize marijuana, while helping his police department clients collect tens of millions in federal marijuana-eradication grants. And it’s not just in California. Federal lobbying disclosures show that other police union lobbyists have pushed for stiffer penalties for marijuana-related crimes nationwide. ”

    Yes, it’s all about a desperate, ruthless competition for federal grants; maybe DM has some familiarity with this topic.

    “5.) Prison Guard Unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars just like for-profit prison companies. In 2008, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association spent a whopping $1 million to defeat a measure that would have “reduced sentences and parole times for nonviolent drug offenders while emphasizing drug treatment over prison.””

    Numbers 2,3, and 4 are Private Prisons Corporations, Alcohol and Beer Companies, and Pharmaceutical Corporations. See the article for explanations and links.

    http://www.republicreport.org/2012/marijuana-lobby-illegal/

    A March 8, 2012 Mother Jones article discussed the failed CA initiative in detail:

    “The lobbyist who helped kill California’s Proposition 19, the 2010 ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana, has constructed an entire business model around keeping pot illegal. While fighting against the proposed law, lobbyist John Lovell accepted nearly $400,000 from a wide array of police unions, some of which he also represented in attempting to steer millions of federal dollars toward California’s marijuana suppression programs.”

    Full story at http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/pot-legalization-foe-war-drugs

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  26. Isabel Says:

    Okay, not answering me again. Here’s the first part of the CA proposition in question:

    A. Findings

    1. California’s laws criminalizing cannabis (marijuana) have failed and need to be reformed. Despite spending decades arresting millions of non-violent cannabis consumers, we have failed to control cannabis or reduce its availability.

    2. According to surveys, roughly 100 million Americans (around 1/3 of the country’s population) acknowledge that they have used cannabis, 15 million of those Americans having consumed cannabis in the last month. Cannabis consumption is simply a fact of life for a large percentage of Americans.

    3. Despite having some of the strictest cannabis laws in the world, the United States has the largest number of cannabis consumers. The percentage of our citizens who consume cannabis is double that of the percentage of people who consume cannabis in the Netherlands, a country where the selling and adult possession of cannabis is allowed.

    4. According to The National Research Council’s recent study of the 11 U.S. states where cannabis is currently decriminalized, there is little apparent relationship between severity of sanctions and the rate of consumption.

    5. Cannabis has fewer harmful effects than either alcohol or cigarettes, which are both legal for adult consumption. Cannabis is not physically addictive, does not have long term toxic effects on the body, and does not cause its consumers to become violent.

    6. There is an estimated $15 billion in illegal cannabis transactions in California each year. Taxing and regulating cannabis, like we do with alcohol and cigarettes, will generate billions of dollars in annual revenues for California to fund what matters most to Californians: jobs, health care, schools and libraries, roads, and more.

    7. California wastes millions of dollars a year targeting, arresting, trying, convicting, and imprisoning non-violent citizens for cannabis related offenses. This money would be better used to combat violent crimes and gangs.

    8. The illegality of cannabis enables for the continuation of an out-of-control criminal market, which in turn spawns other illegal and often violent activities. Establishing legal, regulated sales outlets would put dangerous street dealers out of business.

    Google to see the full text;every time I post links my comments go into moderation (as did the one I just posted on the real reason why the 2010 CA initiative failed).

    Okay, so we see #5 is probably where you disagree, DM? Okay let’s parse it:

    “5. Cannabis has fewer harmful effects than either alcohol or cigarettes, which are both legal for adult consumption. ”

    So you were wrong. It does not assert that cannabis is harmless. It says that it has fewer harmful effects than alcohol or cigarettes, which is correct.

    “Cannabis is not physically addictive, does not have long term toxic effects on the body,”

    I can see where, from your point of view as a researcher, you have valid disagreement with this statement. It is believed by many who are not as cutting edge as you perhaps, that the addiction some users appear to have to cannabis is phsycological, because the common experience (and I have to agree with this although I also respect your views) that there are not serious physical symptoms when stopping after regular use, even when there is a desire to keep using.

    The other disagreement is the long term effects. We recently went over the latest lung cancer research – still unconclusive after all these years. Some studies show a connection (only in heavy users though) and many do not. We do know it does not destroy your liver, lead to heart disease or diabetes etc. So again I would generally agree with this one, though you would not, even though the evidence supporting your view isn’t strong.

    So we have a fairly minor disagreement over a small part of the rationale for the proposition.

    “and does not cause its consumers to become violent.”

    I think we can all agree that it does not cause users to become violent.

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  27. drugmonkey Says:

    Part 5 has the lies Isabel.

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  28. Isabel Says:

    “Part 5 has the lies Isabel.”

    I just said #5 was the item you had disagreement with. I then parsed it out. That’s your only response? “Part 5 has the lies Isabel” ?!

    By the way, the largest physicians group in CA, the California Medical Association, supports full legalization of cannabis. They announced this in 2011 and did not take a position on the earlier measure.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/15/local/la-me-doctors-marijuana-20111016

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  29. Lee Says:

    Didn’t DM just discuss part of why #5 was false recently here? http://scientopia.org/blogs/drugmonkey/2012/06/27/wait-for-the-tox-results-msm/
    That’s just anecdotal evidence, though. To get back to Joseph’s comment way up above “But I wonder if the sweet spot on this issue isn’t something less draconian than our current laws?” countries like Portugal have “decriminalized” pot (along with heroin, cocaine etc) at quantaties for individual use and haven’t shown any adverse effects (e.g. drug tourism, increased usage rate, etc.).
    http://www.cato.org/publications/white-paper/drug-decriminalization-portugal-lessons-creating-fair-successful-drug-policies
    However, pot is still illegal, there is just no longer a punitive penalty (read: prison sentence) associated with individual use (dealing etc. is still a criminal offence).

    I agree with Isabel, in principle, that punitive penalties for individual consumption need to be reevaluated. However, our country is not willing to invest in a robust rehabilitation structure to treat people addicted to drugs and until that occurs I cannot support anything other than prohibition.

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  30. drugmonkey Says:

    Isabel I make it very clear which irons I have in this fire and which I do not. It is hardly my fault if you continually forget that or have some mental block which makes it impossible for you to grasp this simple reality.

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  31. Isabel Says:

    “That’s just anecdotal evidence, though. ”

    LMAO.

    To summarize:

    DM said: “…whichever way it went, I think it was a segment of *dope fans*, ironically enough, that doomed the California effort. ”

    In response I provided copious evidence that the measure was actually doomed because of the extraordinary efforts of law enforcement and prison unions, and prison, alcohol & drug industry lobbyists.

    DM then stated : “The California initiative contained a statement that pot was harmless Isabel.”

    I then proved that the initiative actually said that pot caused *fewer harmful effects* than alcohol and tobacco, which is uncontroversially true.

    So DM responds:
    “Isabel I make it very clear which irons I have in this fire and which I do not. It is hardly my fault if you continually forget that or have some mental block which makes it impossible for you to grasp this simple reality.”

    Huh?????

    I don’t even know what that means. And really, why the freak out over any disagreement? is an initiative such as this one going to permanently set health policy? Is it even going to have any effect at all on funding for facilities for treating addicts? As the article about the CMA points out, legalization will allow us to learn more. You can keep arguing that cannabis satisfies definitions of physical addiction. Exactly what is your problem?

    Meanwhile, DM, earlier you said:

    “Joseph-

    I agree with you that the best way forward is by acknowledging the demonstrated harms of cannabis. Continued denial of those harms is unlikely to get the rational middle on board with your (Isabel’s) desired outcome. ”

    Exactly who is this “rational middle” you speak of in this comment?

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  32. drugmonkey Says:

    See Isabel,

    What part of “I think” and “in my estimation” has escaped you? Do you see any linking scientific info in this particular *policy focused* post? No?

    Like

  33. Isabel Says:

    But what you said was wrong, and I proved it, so you can at least admit it. And yes, it is important and significant because as always you are casting aspersions on those trying to overturn the prohibition, and letting the powerful forces that are preventing them from doing so off the hook. They aren’t even on your radar screen!

    Like

  34. drugmonkey Says:

    Isabel,

    You haven’t proved anything. The notion that police are against legalization is a dog-bites-man story. It can be assumed a priori and explains little. My sources report negligible advertising on the initiative in Cali- which was in and of itself kind of surprising to me.

    But the good part is that, if true, it means the vote should be thought of as reflecting opinion less contaminated by any propaganda imbalance, right?

    Like

  35. Isabel Says:

    “The notion that police are against legalization is a dog-bites-man story. It can be assumed a priori and explains little.”

    Bullshit. it explains everything.

    ” My sources report negligible advertising on the initiativ”

    Your sources eh? So what did they do with the money?

    “But the good part is that, if true, it means the vote should be thought of as reflecting opinion less contaminated by any propaganda imbalance, right?”

    If what is true? What are you talking about?

    Like

  36. Isabel Says:

    Lovely link, Asshole. So you want to STEP things up eh? Yeah, that’ll go over real well. More “detection” not more invasive testing???? How unpopular in high school does a person have to be to get this desperate and vengeful?

    “(b) the underground market would be eliminated with marijuana legalization. Both of those assumptions are huge leaps that don’t stand up to our experience with our already two legal drugs—alcohol and tobacco. ”

    LOL There is a big underground market in cigarettes and alcohol?

    “Alaska recriminalized because voters there wanted that to happen. They didn’t like the effect of decriminalization on their state. ”

    A scrap of evidence please??????

    “That said, I don’t think many people are in favor—and I am not—of locking up people smoking small amounts of marijuana. That isn’t happening anywhere. One notable exception is New York City where they impose 24-hour detentions for public use and selling as part of their broken windows approach to crime control.”

    yes the cops tell them to empty their pockets and then arrest them for carrying it openly. It’s a wonderful system!

    ” Other independent research has shown that the risk of arrest for each “joint,” or cannabis cigarette, smoked is about 1 arrest for every 12,000 joints.’
    Hahahahahahah

    “legalization would result in lower cannabis prices, and thus increases in use (” No doesn’t follow. These are science based?

    ” So that means we’d have to have more prisons, more police, and more regulation costs under legalization—especially since few people are in prison or jail solely for marijuana use.”

    Unbelievable!!!

    “We’ll still need a black market for underage marijuana,”

    A black market would continue just to reach minors?

    “and that “legalizing cannabis in California would not dramatically reduce the drug revenues collected by Mexican drug trafficking organizations from sales to the United States.”[4]”

    Switching to CA, nice, we need to elimate prohibition in the whole country.

    “—about 1 in 11 people who ever smoke marijuana are addicted;”

    ridiculous statement!

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  37. Isabel Says:

    I second this comment on AB blog:

    AdamAugust 15, 2012 2:58 PM

    I know it’s a bit cliché but, given some of this comments, I would have asked whether he thinks alcohol and tobacco should – pragmatism aside – be legal. Is there any question of personal liberty and enjoyment or would he happily prohibit alcohol if it were only used by a minority or was only discovered today? Huge respect for any official who’d give that an honest answer!

    Like

  38. Isabel Says:

    Sabet answers:

    “Adam, as for your alcohol comment — no I do not believe alcohol should be illegal but that is based purely on cultural reasons (alcohol has been used by the masses for thousands of years in a very widespread fashion as opposed to any of the current illegal drugs)”

    Wrong. We have been over this. he is ignorant about history. he should be thrown out to the curb with Psycho Czar.

    More from this asocial, lunatic nerd:

    “I just don’t see the cartels throwing up their hands and saying “OK, it’s legalized. We’re out of the game now. Let’s get into the ice cream business.””

    Well maybe that we aren’t all in a tizzy about people using cannabis we can direct more resources this problem which was CREATED by prohibition.

    “Meanwhile, we arrest a million fewer times for illegal drugs (1.6 million/year). Legal alcohol costs us money with regards to crime and regulation. I think that is a big consideration in this whole debate that we rarely hear about. So that means we’d have to have more prisons, more police, and more regulation costs under legalization—especially since few people are in prison or jail solely for marijuana use.”

    People using cannabis are more law abiding in general than those who drink and cause trouble. This is some sick shit you’ve linked to DM.

    “Dirk HansonAugust 15, 2012 4:10 PM

    One of Sabet’s interesting points for me concerns his notion that legalizers don’t factor in the actual cost of that legalization, comparing it to the enormous costs of alcohol enforcement. It’s not all just tax money in the public hopper.” (Dirk)

    I am so sick of the comparison to alcohol! People high on cannabis tend to stay put, avoid driving, and interact peacefully with other human beings. It is not going to cost as much as alcohol to control.

    Regarding the constant barrage of “nobody’s in jail for using” here is a good comment which was illustrated by the link I posted recently about the young mother who got a 12-year sentence for selling $31 to an undercover cop:

    onlyforlulzAugust 17, 2012 12:57 PM

    There needs to be serious discussion about the ‘using’ and ‘selling’. In legal terms, the possession of anything more than 1 joint can legally be classified as ‘intent to distribute’ and consider a felony. This arbitrary standard is applied arbitrarly, yea I said that. ‘Intent to distribute’ is a felony and this charge is disproportionally attached to poor whites and minorities. There is an inherit racial and socioeconomic bias to marijuana prosecution and incarcerration. This is not taken into consideration when discussion ‘possession’ arrests.
    Reply

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  39. Isabel Says:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/ns/msnbc_tv-hardball_with_chris_matthews/#47067016

    While watching this it occurred to me that Sabet is referring to all cannabis users as addicts. Whenever someone says we need to force treatment on people instead of jail this is what they mean.

    Further, it makes no sense. If those in jail, according to Sabet, are dealers, why would THEY be forced into treatment? It is those who are arrested for USE who would be. But most are not addicts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We should make alcohol illegal also. Why not? And make all users go to treatment programs for their addiction.

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  40. drugmonkey Says:

    Whenever someone says we need to force treatment on people instead of jail this is what they mean.

    No it doesn’t. I don’t suppose you happen to know any judges that have to actually make these decisions? I do as it happens. Some of them do work very hard to figure out who needs addiction treatment, who needs criminal treatment (and before you get all huffy, I didn’t invent this) and who needs both.

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  41. Isabel Says:

    A judge is going to decide who needs addiction treatment?

    And how does this person end up before a judge in the first place? Because they were apprehended for possession?

    How the fuck would that be progressive in any way?

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  42. Isabel Says:

    Behind all of this bullshit is a pure dose of prudery and shock that people would want to use drugs. Shock and disapproval i.e. we only let alcohol squeeze through because it has a long cultural history otherwise we’d ban that too. But for now the alcohol, which has unfortunately been grandfather in, is using so many resources we can’t afford any other drugs, sorry. It is only from this pathetically close-minded view of life that someone can suggest that instead of putting users in jail we need to force them into treatment.

    Like

  43. Isabel Says:

    “…no I do not believe alcohol should be illegal but that is based purely on cultural reasons (alcohol has been used by the masses for thousands of years in a very widespread fashion as opposed to any of the current illegal drugs)””

    Come on, admit it DM.Don’t be a crybaby-tattletale and run off to the twitters and complain that I am crazy.

    In your ideal world no one would use drugs ever, except as prescribed by a doctor. Admit it already! Sabet just did.

    When you and your colleagues party it up in the bars at your upcoming conference in new Orleans you will all be engaging in something that is just plain wrong. In an ideal world each and every one of the participants in these events should be hauled before a judge who will decide whether they need to get treatment.

    All use = abuse. Just as Nora said, as I complained months ago.

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  44. […] why is this interesting? Well, as we've covered in the past the notion of conditional probability of dependence is a key […]

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