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The PJ Tatler

by
Rick Moran

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July 27, 2014 - 6:31 am

The New York Times has given the pot-legalization movement a huge boost by coming out in an editorial today advocating for the repeal of federal marijuana laws.

We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.

There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.

We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.

But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law.

The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.

There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the “Reefer Madness” images of murder, rape and suicide.

There are legitimate concerns about marijuana on the development of adolescent brains. For that reason, we advocate the prohibition of sales to people under 21.

There has been far less research on the effects of pot on the body and brain than there has been on alcohol and tobacco. The evidence, for instance, that pot smoking can lead to an decrease in the production of serotonin – a brain chemical associated with mood and depression — is pretty well established. There is impact on memory, mostly long-term memory, as well as lingering effects on the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

The problem with the idea of “moderate use” is that the government defines “moderate” as smoking pot 3 to 8 times a month. It’s pretty obvious no one on the Times editorial board is smoking weed these days. Most pot smokers I’ve ever known — myself included — got high 3 or 4 times a week.

Then there’s the Colorado experiment with the jury still out regarding legalized pot’s effect on society. Taken together, the Times, in my opinion, is jumping the gun on national legalization, or decriminalization. What’s the rush? Let’s see how things work out in Colorado before we start debating the future of marijuana in America.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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Top Rated Comments   
We know what 40 years of the drug wars has produced: The near destruction of the 4th amendment, police militarization, the mass murder of the cartels in Mexico and Central America, the highest rate of imprisonment in the 1st world, drug gangs having daily shootouts in the inner city. And there is no victory in sight. Drugs are cheaper and more available than they have ever been.

The Drug War has failed. I'm willing to see how another approach works. I'm sure it could be worse, but is it really likely?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Former marine here - until YOU can adequately justify the billions of dollars wasted on the war on drugs and the overpopulation of prisons with petty drug offenders, then maybe you should "shut up", because you don't seem like you'll be anymore receptive to one's ideas than you are a reliable predictor of the future. I also remember how gun violence was guaranteed to skyrocket after states legalized concealed carry. How's that working out?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
A note for all of you who support immediate legalization of pot (and/or other drugs):

1. When you stop pretending that there will be no increase in usage;
2. When you stop pretending that there will be no increase in traffic accidents, etc.;
3. When you stop pretending that the present mess of laws on alcohol justify legalization of other drugs;
4. When you stop pretending that alcohol is NO different than other drugs;
5. When you stop pretending that the drug cartels will automatically wither and die;
6. When you can present a rational plan to deal with the increase in usage;
7. When you can present a rational plan to deal with the increase in traffic accidents, etc.;
8. When you can present a rational plan to enable employers to make sure their employees are not impaired while at work;
9. When you can present a rational plan to ensure that more and younger children will not be sucked into being a stoner;


THEN come talk to me. I'll be very receptive to your ideas. Our present mess needs to be fixed.

Until then, shut up. You are just a stoner who wants to toke up more often, not a patriot who is trying to solve a real problem.


17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (36)
All Comments   (36)
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Want to know what I hate?

I go home after a day at work and break out the Noilly Prat vermouth and Beefeaters Gin, shake shake shake, shake shake shake, pour it into a frosty martini glass and top it off with a lemon twist. Then I pull up my favorite news sites and, darn, those potheads in Colorado are at it again, legalizing weed, turning us into Hippie Nation.

Darn.

Then I finish my martini and, hey, for some reason that's just not much of a buzz tonight, let's browse the bourbons over here... Hmmm... I had Wild Turkey last night... Old Granddad is maybe a little too peppery for my mood... Aha! How about a nice, smooth and highly-wheated tumbler of Weller's Special Reserve? Mmmmm. Back to the news... What!? Some drugged-out libruls wanna legalize pot to combat chemotherapy-induced nausea?!?! What is thisz world coming to? Jusst say noooo!!!!! That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I think Aquinas said that. Now where's that durn cigar?

We're in a mizrable state when people need drugs to cope with dayly life. One thing leads to another and be... four to long, all those dopeheads will be using heroine and crack and smack and getting shot up by BATF... They should get hi on reality instead.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Americans have no idea the History of Hemp and by association the History of Cannabis. The bible, was printed on Hemp for almost two thousand years. The Gutenberg and king James bible, all written on Hemp. The rights of man, Commen sense, and age of reason, all written on Hemp. The original drafts of the Declaration of independence were written on Hemp, the copies housed in the Rotunda however are written on parchment.
over 80% of all paper before 1880 was made from Hemp, as were majority of rope, shampoo, and even fuel.
The history of Cannabis and Hemp are intertwined although they are not the same product. Making Cannabis illegal also applied to Hemp, therefore allowing paper and chemical, clothing and pharmaceutical companies to establish their industries as they could not compete with the Superior Hemp plant.
The Hysteria surrounding Cannabis is ridiculous, as several family members use it for their health issues including MS and effects of Chemo. So unless your family members use it as last resort please educate yourself.
In meantime keep the Hysteria private.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you have a point?

Other than demonstrating the bad effects of weed on the intellect, I mean.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"There has been far less research on the effects of pot on the body and brain than there has been on alcohol and tobacco."

Beg to differ, the experiment has been going on for more than 70 years since big government and crony capitalist made it illegal. Hemp Cannabis went underground and millions have been smoking it, and to my knowledge no body has died from smoking pot.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not only has no one died; they've made it to the top of their professions, whether in physical or intellectual exertion. Cf. Michael Phelps, Clarence Thomas, and Douglas Ginsburg -- well, except for Ginsburg. Anthony Kennedy got that seat instead, and we were saved from Stoner Nation!
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Congratulations George Soros.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
We know what 40 years of the drug wars has produced: The near destruction of the 4th amendment, police militarization, the mass murder of the cartels in Mexico and Central America, the highest rate of imprisonment in the 1st world, drug gangs having daily shootouts in the inner city. And there is no victory in sight. Drugs are cheaper and more available than they have ever been.

The Drug War has failed. I'm willing to see how another approach works. I'm sure it could be worse, but is it really likely?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm willing to see how another approach works.

Tell me what it is.

And don't just say, "Legalize it all and let the chips fall where they may."

The chips will be human lives.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Drug War has failed. I'm willing to see how another approach works.

Agreed. So, let's see your rational plan for something better. I'm open.


"I'm sure it could be worse, but is it really likely?"


We are currently enduring the results of that "thinking" in the political realm.


How's that working for you?


17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Aren't those things benefits to the social interest?
Heaven forbid we should return to the godless immorality of 1936.
National Marijuana Tax Act, 1937: 10,000% tax (!) 1 million growers bankrupted.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is already well-advanced here in Massachusetts. Apparently it's already been through several Legislative Committees, with an "approved" stamp at each turn.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't the Gray Lady the napkin that the stoner world has always hid beneath?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank a lot NYT and Rick Moran. Now we'll need to find some other excuse to criminalize and lock up young black men. Baggy pants maybe? Bad music? I'm sure we'll find something.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Am not buying this is a racist issue. It does seem to be a drug that appeals more to males than females.

Are we about to enter a new "war on drugs", who gets to profit from the distribution of pot in the US. Should get pretty exciting, can the government "out thug" the current distributors? Since Obama does not believe in border security, how long is it going to take for the cartels to move to the states that legalize it?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
A note for all of you who support immediate legalization of pot (and/or other drugs):

1. When you stop pretending that there will be no increase in usage;
2. When you stop pretending that there will be no increase in traffic accidents, etc.;
3. When you stop pretending that the present mess of laws on alcohol justify legalization of other drugs;
4. When you stop pretending that alcohol is NO different than other drugs;
5. When you stop pretending that the drug cartels will automatically wither and die;
6. When you can present a rational plan to deal with the increase in usage;
7. When you can present a rational plan to deal with the increase in traffic accidents, etc.;
8. When you can present a rational plan to enable employers to make sure their employees are not impaired while at work;
9. When you can present a rational plan to ensure that more and younger children will not be sucked into being a stoner;


THEN come talk to me. I'll be very receptive to your ideas. Our present mess needs to be fixed.

Until then, shut up. You are just a stoner who wants to toke up more often, not a patriot who is trying to solve a real problem.


17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Until then, shut up. You are just a stoner who wants to toke up..."

I take it you are not in favor of a return to alcohol prohibition, ...because, well, you are a drunkard who just wants to drink more, ...and is oblivious to the traffic accidents caused by drunk driving, ...and will deny that there was a huge upsurge in drinking after Prohibition's repeal (...I forget, was there?...), ...and that the mafia became more powerful or remained just as destructive after repeal (...is that right?...)

You know, I don't think you'll be receptive to any reasoned argument. You are just another big-state, mommy-knows-best, welfare state conservative, who thinks that a virtuous, sober, and healthy citizenry can be created by government coercion.

But, here's something we should consider: Just how much of a problem was drug abuse (the use of opiates or cannabis, for instance) in America and Britain in the 19th century at a time when such substances were legal and available? (...No, not China, where, paradoxically, it was illegal... ...But, why did the Chinese take to it the way they did, and Americans and Britons not so much in spite of its legality and availability?... Hint: cultural degeneracy is less a product of bad government policy, then the other way around --the government's policies are more a product of the kind of culture in existence. In other words, it is folly to think you can make people more prosperous or more virtuous by state coercion.)
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey, I know, lets outlaw alcohol! It hits every one of your points. . . what could go wrong?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
So tell us, WHY were some common medicines under a Federal ban, unConstitutionally?
Immediately after Prohibition was Constitutionally ended?

Ya know, those armed wino gangs are outta control, 'specially when they're wacked out on few hits of nicotine!
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Markv, I do believe you have been living in a cave or are just naive. I could sit here and tell you the story but I won't. Read the book "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" and then maybe you will see the truth. Until then look around many of the people you do business with have probably been or is a marijuana smoker and functioning very nicely and I might add love this country. That would make them a Patriot, markyv!
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's hear your rational plan for changing things.


All I hear from the "legalize it" crowd is a litany of genuine and not-so-genuine reasons that our current situation is not acceptable.


I agree it's not.


Let's see a rational plan for changing it. A thoughtful plan for changing it. Something more sensible, more adult than just ignoring all the problems and throwing open the floodgates as if that will be just magically wonderful.

I'm waiting.

I'm pretty sure holding my breath would not be a good idea.


17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
The solution is already in affect. The states have voted yes to the legal use of hemp cannabis. Colorado and Washington will be the experiment we can all watch. What is needed is the TRUTH in reporting the facts. Americans have been lied to for over 70 years about the effects of hemp cannabis. Many lives have been destroyed because of the law enforcement money making machine. Its time Americans see that hemp cannabis is not the devil and we will not lose our youth or our will to succeed.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
A "rational plan" would be to legalize ALL aspects of the drug trade: the production, wholesale and retail distribution (with a very modest, low tax, with ALL revenue initially going to revenue enforcement, and then, eventually, once revenue enforcement is up and running, directing a portion of it to addiction treatment centers), ...as well as legalizing possession and consumption.

The stated practical goal (utilitarian justification) being that of eliminating the black market in its production and distribution. This is the aspect that enriches the ruthless cartels and petty street-thug dealers. To drain the swamp, so to speak. (When alcohol distilleries and distributors have conflicts with each other, they don't resolve them through shootings and the kidnapping and torturing of distrusted couriers, do they? And, their sales add to the revenues of the government.)

But, what we have right now, is PARTIAL legalization of consumption along with some permitted yet restricted retailing of marijuana (...and I guess some small, specially-licensed grow operations?). Have any big farmers (industrial agriculture) taken up the cultivation of marijuana? Have any big Ag or big Pharma companies taken up the wholesale distribution of the product? ...No? Then who is STILL providing the bulk of the marijuana that is being distributed and consumed? This PARTIAL legalization may actually be making things worse, what with all of these baby-boomers taking up the habit again in retirement --sometimes at government expense ("medical marijuana"? ...will Medicare or state agency equivalents cover this?...). If big Ag isn't going to produce and wholesale this marijuana, then I assume the cartels will remain in business and become, perhaps, even more prosperous than before.

This is kind of like Grey Davis's phony "de-regulation" of California's electricity generating and distribution industry, in which local companies like PG&E were tied hand-and-foot when it came to purchasing power, which led to the Enron scandal, which led to the Leftists decrying "de-regulation" and putting back the old controls on electric power generation and distribution. This is a very old trick to blame "market forces" for the consequences of bad government policy.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not a stoner and don't smoke. However, as I see it, legalization IS an alternative to a decades-old approach that has cost us billions and has not worked. I would ask you to do the same thing you asked of others in your comments... Be a patriot and come up with an alternative to legalization if you don't think that's the answer. Be a part of the solution.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Former marine here - until YOU can adequately justify the billions of dollars wasted on the war on drugs and the overpopulation of prisons with petty drug offenders, then maybe you should "shut up", because you don't seem like you'll be anymore receptive to one's ideas than you are a reliable predictor of the future. I also remember how gun violence was guaranteed to skyrocket after states legalized concealed carry. How's that working out?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Concealed carry- best comment ever.

"There's too much freedom! How could you trust Americans with g-g-guns! Anarchy!"
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Get back to me when you have a real solution to the problem that doesn't take things worse.

17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Considering you have exactly zero data to support your notion that things will get worse, and also taking into consideration that, based on the tone of your rants, there is likely no solution that would satisfy you, I'll not waste my time. We will just continue to to lock people up that are otherwise no danger to society and then based on their criminal record become unhireable. That way we can continue to add people to the "burden on society" column and you and I can continue to subsidize their burdensome existence. That way, at least YOU can feel good about locking up those no good hippies that threaten the world by smoking dope in their basements before watching Family Guy.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Try me.

I have yet to see anyone in the legalization crowd who is willing to honestly look at the issue and discuss it rationally.

I'm still waiting.

17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're going to wait forever, Mark. jm323 took a good stab at it & you give him no credit. No one who supports legalization can come up with a solution that you'd accept simply because you don't support legalization.

If legalization does sweep the country (it will, count on it, as it's just a matter of time), employers are hardly going to change their no-tolerance policies against showing up to work under the influence. I would imagine though that they will have to 86 their screening drug tests for THC on incoming & already-hired employees.

If the repeal of prohibition serves as any sort of guide, the legalization of marijuana will have little effect on the patterns of usage that exist already. It certainly will have a deleterious effect on the black market, a good thing to my mind.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"jm323 took a good stab at it"

No he didn't. Not even close. He just said "legalize all of it". He made ZERO attempt to discuss the ramifications of it. He made ZERO attempt to talk about the problems, and propose solutions.

That's not a solution. That's a disaster. That's "Hope & Change" kind of 'thinking'.

You can't just change something this fundamental overnight. Societal behavior & patterns have inertia. Trying to do a 180 in a Ferrari at 100 mph is a bad plan. Trying it in a loaded truck is suicide.

17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"No he didn't......."

Sure he did, just not to your satisfaction just like I predicted ISMW above. Legalize it, tax it & hobble the black market.

One thing is for certain; the drug war is not working nor will it ever work. Again, count on the legalization of marijuana to become a reality all across the country no matter what arguments you, I or anyone else may have to pose against it. As for the rest of the drugs out there, only time will tell.......
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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