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Monday, February 16, 2009

California to free 55,000 inmates because of budget woes

California, suffering from a major budget deficit, may be forced to release a third of their prison population by 2012. According to The Independent:

Federal judges ruled last week that California's 33 adult jails have become so overcrowded that they violate the constitutional rights of inmates, subjecting them to "cruel and unusual" punishment that is causing at least one death a month. Just over a third of the state's 158,000 prisoners must be set free by 2012 to ensure that basic healthcare is provided to those who remain behind, the judges said. The majority will go through early release and parole schemes.

Critics are concerned that this move will endanger the public, and California's attorney general, Jerry Brown, has already said that the state plans on appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court.

One suggestion that California may take seriously is to ease the war on drugs, especially when it comes to the war on marijuana. By not incarcerating pot smokers, releasing non-violent marijuana-related "criminals," and essentially decriminalizing marijuana, the state would immediately see significant savings.

An analysis by California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) suggests that the state of California could save between 1.5 to 2.5 billion dollars per year merely by legalizing marijuana. According to the analysis, California could realize the following revenues and savings:

- An excise tax of $1 per half-gram joint of marijuana would raise about $1 billion per year, as much as the current excise tax on cigarettes.
- Retail sales on the legal market would range from $3 - $5 billion, generating another $250 - 400 million in sales taxes.
- Legalization would save over $156 million in law enforcement costs for arrest, prosecution, trial and imprisonment of marijuana offenders. Intrusive CAMP helicopter surveillance would also be eliminated.
- Based on experience with the cigarette tax, total revenues of $1.5 - $2.5 billion might be realized.
- Based on experience with the wine industry, the total economic activity generated by legal marijuana could be nearly three times as great as retail sales, around $8 - $13 billion. Amsterdam-style coffeehouses would generate jobs and tourism. If the marijuana industry were just one-third the size of the wine industry, it would generate 50,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in wages, along with additional income and business tax revenues for the state.
- Industrial hemp could also become a major business, comparable to the $3.4 billion cotton industry in California.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on February 16, 2009 in Marijuana reform | Permalink

Comments

Doesn't California have a gun ban in effect?
They could reduce crime considerably simply by lifting the ban. Communities of wide open gun ownership by law abiding citizens are statistically safer.

Posted by: JC | 2009-02-16 7:59:10 AM


P.M., I'm beginning to think you see everything through the lens of the "war on drugs." California is actually one of the most lenient states when it comes to marijuana, with a typical user caught with a small amount of dope being handed a moderate fine and no jail time (according to MarijuanaHydro.com). Most people serving multiyear prison terms for drug offences are smugglers and dealers of hard drugs, who are usually VERY violent and not the sort of person you want back on the street.

If California wants to save money, they can start making inmates pay for their incarceration. If they can't pay, they can work. Of course, they wouldn't have this problem at all if they'd start executing three-time losers.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 8:22:11 AM


P.S. I haven't seen the jails myself, but they'd have to be pretty damn crowded to be more cramped than the dormitory "bullpens" to which military recruits willingly subject themselves, with a remarkably low death rate I might add (which I *have* seen myself.) :-)

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 8:57:11 AM


The marijuana industry has already produced thousands of jobs and it's wealth generating ability is already benefiting the state.

The only thing it's not doing is including the vampires in Sacramento in the profits. And that is as it should be. We don't need more government drug dealers. We already have millions of them in Pharmacies all over the country pedaling the chemical elixirs for far too much money. Just watch the expensive ads they pay for nightly on just about every TV network.

If California releases 55,000 inmates onto the streets, no one will even notice it.

Yes, California is that bad.

Posted by: Momar Throckmorton | 2009-02-16 9:11:40 AM


If you look through my posts, Shane, and categorize them, you'll see that only about 10 per cent of my posts are about marijuana. It's just that, whenever I post about marijuana, you pay a lot of attention to it, and when I post about, say, the so-called "stimulus" package, or the Conservative Party and their conservatism, or freedom of expression, or gun freedom, or a hundred other things, you don't pay as much attention.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-02-16 9:22:46 AM


Its true isn't it PM? If you guys at the WS post about lost civil liberties or corrupt political practices you don't get a lot of response. But if you post about marijuana or Ron Paul, people come out of the woodwork...
Strange world we live in.

Posted by: JC | 2009-02-16 9:36:23 AM


100% full legalization for harmless marijuana.

Listen up, America. Stop being stupid.

fairminded

Posted by: fairminded | 2009-02-16 9:37:41 AM


I won't believe it till I see Judge Judy say its so

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-16 9:51:26 AM


Momar wrote: "The marijuana industry has already produced thousands of jobs and it's wealth generating ability is already benefiting the state."

Since it's the "vampires in Sacramento" who pay for such things as transportation initiatives, education, and other such non-essentials, what exactly do you mean that it is "benefiting the state"? By the way, dope pusher, dope smuggler, dope chemist, dope enforcer, and cop briber are not considered jobs, so aside from narcs and prison guards, where are these "thousands of jobs" you mention?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 9:55:50 AM


EXACTLY ten percent, P.M.? I find that hard to believe, besides which your estimate looks a little optimistic. As for your other posts, I generally post only on blogs about which I have both knowledge and hold strong opinions. Since the stimulus package is uncharted territory (much more so than the nascent trade war, against which history firmly argues), I don't write much about it. I respond to HRC and civil liberties issues very strongly. I've also made my views on Harper's conservatives clear--yes, they've displeased their core voters, but at the risk of invoking your ire by stating the obvious yet again, it was that or let the Bloc run things. Did they make the wrong choice from a national welfare perspective, P.M.? But I digress.

The marijuana ticket is something that you especially of the main bloggers push, perhaps more so than any other, including Matthew. And hitching dope legalization to the issue of Californian prisons overflowing with dangerous inmates (the vast majority of which are NOT in there for simple possession) is simply a stretch too far. Next you'll be telling us that legalizing dope will erase the current economic downturn, fund a bridge from England to France, and eliminate world hunger, all without any significant downside.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 10:02:19 AM


Fairminded wrote: "100% full legalization for harmless marijuana."

Very well, I agree. Now off you go and develop a harmless strain of marijuana. If you can take out the stink, too, so much the better.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 10:04:08 AM


With full legalization and agricultural production the price would collapse and much of the benefit would likely be eaten up in resulting price subsidies as laissez-faire is an extremely foreign term in California.

De-Warehousing of non-violent "criminals" would certainly be a good first step.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-02-16 10:14:11 AM


I think the Western Standard is cool because it allows all views here, whereas the mdia with advertising don't, we hear crap- either wussy stoner whining about uncool straight people waging a losing war against the weed of wisdom -or- hysterical corn fed van drivin' parents in fear of drugs enslaving their children to doped up robots and eroding their property values

and then theres the keyboard scientists with thinly disguised agendas who share Wicipedia version of just about everything. still its all entertainment-

at least nobody erraces or bans dissenters here to drug liberation like the Emery people do.. yes, they do.. so don't say they don't.

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-16 10:20:42 AM


Momar, I htink you are right that California would hardly notice 55,000 inmates being released. I think it is less because california is "that bad" though, and more because the state makes most criminals in the first place.

Look at any new legislation. The day before, you are free to do something. But do that something the day after legislation, and you are a criminal.

Shane, making inmates work is an interesting idea. I like it. But one reason why it will NEVER work, is becuase unions will object to the competition.

Posted by: TM | 2009-02-16 10:28:14 AM


"...*about* 10 per cent" (emphasis added). I don't know where you got your "EXACTLY 10 per cent" from.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-02-16 10:30:16 AM


Unions aren't doing too well just now, TM. In the 1930s, the terrible conditions actually provided impetus to the union movement; it was seen as a way to improve the wretched conditions of the unskilled worker. However, many people today, faced with a similar economic problem, now hold unions and their intransigence to be a big part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. Most likely this depression will hasten the already well-underway departure of the labour union as we know it.

As for the state creating criminals, that is untrue. Virtually everyone who breaks the law knows they are breaking it, so the fact that the state makes laws is no excuse. It is the individual who chooses to break them, thus making himself a criminal.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 11:06:31 AM


Are you reduced to haggling what constitutes ten percent, P.M.? Is your position so weak that it is so easily derailed?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 11:07:17 AM


Shane, that may be true, but where does the law come from? There is a difference between the law and legislation. Legislation says you cannot speed. The law says you can go 10km/hour over and not get a ticket.

Legislators make legislation. Some legislation is bizarre and stupid.

"Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!"
From http://www.constitution.org/law/bastiat.htm

My guess is you have already read The Law, but I have put in the above link just in case.

Posted by: TM | 2009-02-16 11:33:30 AM


Your definition of the law as described by an 18th-century French political philosopher is a matter of opinion only, TM. By definition the law is legislation. Statute. In common-law systems it also consists of precedent, or previous court rulings (which can be just as inane as some legislation).

Some laws are indeed inane. However, is it any less inane to snort crack or smoke weed, even if there were no penalty at all?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 12:06:19 PM


Shane, law is not always the same as legislation. It doesn't matter how old the opinion is. Murder is one where the law and legislation are the same. Everyone agrees it is wrong.

Where legislation is out of touch, it cannot be enforced and eventually becomes only legislation and not the law.

Legislation will never say it is lawful to go 10k over the speed limit. The laws is is lawful.

I'll bet if I researched it, I would find many laws that are not enforced because they cannot be enforced. That is the difference between the law and legislation.

Posted by: TM | 2009-02-16 12:28:51 PM


Shane, how could you even make snorting cocain and smoking weed seem like the same 'evil'. Cocain is harmful. The pot plant is harmless. Why do you say it's not? Where is your proof? What scientific or medical surveys do you draw from? Cuz i have studies showing that 'marijuana' isn't as bad as people portray it to be. Nobody dies from just smoking too much weed, but it's not that way for hard drugs, like alcohol and tobacco. And about sending the wrong message, alcohol and tobacco are 'overrated' while harmless pot is attacked by media, journalists, and dumbass alike.

Posted by: redman32 | 2009-02-16 1:01:24 PM


If pot was legal, and if it was legislation, then it wouldn't be illegal. To you it might seem strange to have laws of the sort, but if you look at history and the facts, it's better off to legalize and control.

Posted by: redman32 | 2009-02-16 1:05:40 PM


If you want to see what happens when drugs get out of control, look at what is happening in Mexico right now. One city had 200 murders in January.

California should have found more cost-efficient ways to house its prisoners. I suggest the method used by Sheriff Joe Arapaho of Phoenix, Arizona - tents out in the countryside, barbed wire, gruel for every meal. No frills. Druggies deserve far worse.

Imagine the benefits to the ammunition and rope industries drug AND gun legalization would have. Nothing beats dangling druggies doing their little air dances, or buried in shallow graves. So much wasted potential.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-02-16 1:47:57 PM


Shane, please re-read our dispute. The only issue here is whether I said "EXACTLY 10 per cent" or "*about* 10 per cent." Nothing hinges on this, no conclusion can be drawn about marijuana policy, merely the amount of posts I put up about marijuana.

Jesus.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-02-16 3:58:31 PM


TM,

1. I did not say abusing dope and crack was morally wrong; I said it was inane. It’s morally wrong in the sense that it’s irresponsible and likely to lead to criminal behaviour on the part of the user (above and beyond possession of a controlled substance, that is), but drug abuse in itself does not constitute moral turpitude.

2. All laws can always be enforced; it’s a question of what degree of enforcement is necessary. In your statement that “legislation is not the law,” you have “law” confused with “justice.” What is law is not always justice. But there’s nothing unjust about putting reasonable controls on substances that have been shown to have serious social consequences.

3. And I’ll bet if you researched it, you’d find out why drugs were restricted in the first place. That would likely be more illuminating than playing legal shell games.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 4:56:24 PM


Redman32 wrote: “Shane, how could you even make snorting cocain and smoking weed seem like the same 'evil'. Cocain is harmful. The pot plant is harmless.”

Numerous studies have shown that heavy pot use is NOT harmless. It affects cognition, short-term memory, hormone balance, and is a potent mood alterer and hallucinogen. It also causes paranoia in some people, which is why it was removed by the pharmacopeia BY DOCTORS in 1942. To say nothing of the fact that smoking it is very damaging to the lungs and that the second-hand tobacco smoke that everyone is freaking out over nowadays can’t hold a candle to second-hand cannabis smoke.

Redman32 wrote: “Why do you say it's not? Where is your proof? What scientific or medical surveys do you draw from? Cuz i have studies showing that 'marijuana' isn't as bad as people portray it to be.”

First you say it’s harmless; now you pull back and say it’s just “not as bad.” You can’t even keep your own story straight. There have been numerous studies done over the last seventy years, most coming down on the “against” side to varying degrees; it would be impossible to list them all. And am I the only one noticing that the “scientific” rehabilitation of marijuana is occurring at just the time when the baby boomers, the first generation to smoke it in quantity, are the mainstay of most policy centres and labs?

Redman32 wrote: “Nobody dies from just smoking too much weed, but it's not that way for hard drugs, like alcohol and tobacco.”

According to one study, smoking a joint a day for a year damages your lungs more than smoking two packs of cigarettes a day for 11 years. In other studies the disparity is not so high but still startling. Moreover, you can drink without getting drunk. Just try to smoke pot without getting stoned.

Redman32 wrote: “And about sending the wrong message, alcohol and tobacco are 'overrated' while harmless pot is attacked by media, journalists, and dumbass alike.”

This is opinion, not fact. Opinions are forbidden in debate unless presented as such.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 5:04:59 PM


Redman wrote: “1. If pot was legal, and if it was legislation, then it wouldn't be illegal.”

1. And if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle. Next.

2. We tried legalizing and controlling in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was an unmitigated disaster with harder drugs, and practically nobody smoked marijuana in 1937. From these facts we can conclude either of two things: a) There is no past experience to go by; or b) There is past experience to go by, and it’s all bad. Even liberal countries like Amsterdam are quietly tightening drug laws.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 5:07:38 PM


Are you still harping on the 10 percent thing, P.M.?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 5:08:39 PM


Ever lived in California? Here are some thoughts from someone who lived in that nut house. 1.) Legalizing marijuana means crap because they don't make a real effort to go after pot. Heck, I wish they would try going after hard drugs. Anyone on this post, support the radicals in San Francisco who support legalizing small amounts of heroin and coke?
2.) Speed up executions. There has been a temporary hold on executions as a lawsuit goes forward. Virtually all legal experts expect the lawsuit to lose.
3.) Take JC's advice and drop the ridiculous gun laws in California. They have the tightest gun control laws in the U.S. but the crime rates of L.A. and San Francisco are high.
4.) Who cares if the criminals are living in overcrowded conditions? This is prison not the Holiday Inn. Their time in prison is supposed to stink.
5.) Secure the border with Mexico. There are large number of prisoners(I heard like 25%) that are not citizens or legal residents of the United States.
6.) Schwarznegger ran as a fiscal conservative but once in office gave into the unions and Democrats in the state legislatures. What the state needs is a Republican legislaure and a true conservative Republican governor. These candidates should publicly sign a balanced budget pledge. They should pledge to end teacher tenure(currently 2 years gets you tenure). They should pledge that any spending increase should be less than the rate of inflation. Also, they should promise to put the national guard on the border. Finally, they should revise the gun laws and allow for Castle Doctrine law.

Posted by: Jason | 2009-02-16 6:39:25 PM


Shane, there ia a huge difference between law and legislation. Law is the spontaneous order that results mainly from customs. Legislation is a planned order created by human institutions such legislatures.

These definitions can be argued to be sure. But the way we do things based on spontaneous order, such as driving 10k over the limit, which would be called "law" by some of the heavy weight economists, can be called anything you like. The result is the same.

It is thre legislation that should scare us. Legilators can dream up all kinds of things, such as sealtbelt laws, helmet laws, no spitting on the sidewalk laws, etc. They can also dream up new laws based on the flavor of the day that will make criminals tomorrow, of law abiding people of today.

And finally, not all laws can be enforced. It is impossible. Even the Taliban who will cut off your hand for stealing cannot stop all stealing. If a goverment tried to enforce all its "laws" completely, it would soon go broke, or it would fall. You will probably disagree with this but that's ok.

Posted by: TM | 2009-02-16 6:41:54 PM


Those who remark that inmates should be made to work advertise how misinformed they are. The prisons are so overcrowded there are far too few jobs to go around. Inmates want even the most menial jobs, but they have to serve time for years before a job becomes available.

Those who don't care about the U.S. Constitutional requirements and the prison overcrowding should remember that the difference between a family pet and a junk yard dog is the way they are treated. Our communities are safer and we save lots of money when we offer vocational and life skills training and some support to adjust to the "outside" when ex-offenders are released.

Those who don't care about overcrowding should also consider that when our brave soldiers return, many will be incarcerated because of crimes committed due to PTS, Post Traumatic Stress. The conditions in our prisons are especially unfair to them.

In California unreasonably long sentences, routinely denied paroles without justification, the terribly broken parole system itself, prison time replacing mental hospitals, and lack of support when ex-offenders are released makes us less safe and is bankrupting the state.

Posted by: Pray4Peace | 2009-02-16 8:51:30 PM


will there be a reality TV show called

" Guess who just got released? "

where we learn all about the arrest trial and plea to charges..
of a selection of early release candidates... We wonder how many were arrested and jailed for what offenses, and what their record was at time of arrest.. this isn't parole so we don't have to see the rest..

maybe its just so many first time simple pot possession cases
but somehow we doubt that- we imagine, from police records and the media reporting these jailed persons are there for marketing forbidden alkaloids, and other crimes other than doobie hogging- and that this was not their first sleepover at justice junction...

even a website with photos & profiles of early release candidates.. lets see who they are and what they did..
prison reform can and should work both ways-- is early release a great thing for freedom or a disaster for society ?

let the public examine who it is that is being considered for early release and study their record . We have the technology to do this in public,

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-16 9:27:01 PM


TM, I don't know where you got your definition of "law," but it certainly doesn't fit any definition I've read or can find. The fact that one single French philosopher who died 200 years ago had a different take on it does not make your case. There is nothing spontaneous about law. What you describe in your last post is closer to "customs" or "taboos."

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 9:33:43 PM


Pray4Peace,

1. Horseshit. There's gum on the sidewalks needs scraping off, birdshit on statues needs brushing off, potholes need filling, roads need repaving, fields need harvesting, and so on. No shortage of work, only maybe work that can be done inside the walls. No shortage of chains or guns to keep control over the prisoners outside the walls.

2. I was unaware that the U.S. Constitution specified a certain amount of square feet per inmate. The judge's opinion that life in these prisons constitutes cruel and unusual punishment is just that, an opinion. An opinion that would have been laughed out of court a few short decades ago.

3. This is a cynical attempt to drum up sympathy for rapists, murderers, child molesters, pimps, drug pushers and widow-cheating scumbags, by making them morally equivalent with shell-shocked servicemen. PTSD doesn't make you commit crimes, by the way.

4. You're absolutely right. It would be cheaper to execute three-time losers than to incarcerate them for life, and it would solve all your other complaints as well.

Put a band-aid on your heart, Pray4. It's starting to bleed.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-16 9:40:43 PM


Your sympathy to criminals knows no ends! Why don't you just sing "Kumbiya", throw your rose petals around, and let the sane people deal with these issues? Half the problems in the U.S. are because of liberal judges and bleeding heat hippies trying to undermine society. Since the 1960's, you've argued for sensitivity to murders and rapists. Does your coddling of criminals know no end? You tried unsuccessfully to take away our guns. You take away God in the schools. Allowed the murder of 1 million innocent unborns each year(yet coddle criminals). Attempted to shove gay marriage down our throats. Then, you take control of California(Schwarznegger gave into you after 2004 referendum), New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and about 24 other states and turn them into economic messes. Your solution is high taxes at the state level(calling for $14 billion tax increase in CA). At the national level, the Democrat solution is to spend up the wazoo and effectively kill welfare reform. The end result is a higher national debt and a faster path to socialism. The American people are starting to wake up. You lost guns and the justice issue(death penalty, 3 strike, etc). Currently, you are losing the public opinion poll on abortion. Now, people are going to see that outside of class warfare, you have no realistic economic solutions! Better both pass that illegal immigration bill and let ACORN(phony left-wing activist group) continue to register dead or made up people as voters. That's the only chance that Obama and the left have to avoid a 1994 election style ass whomping.

Posted by: Jason | 2009-02-16 9:42:31 PM


Shane: Your point 4 is false. It is more expensive to execute someone than to keep them in prison for life.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-02-16 11:05:59 PM


Jaws,

A minor quibble, which Shane will undoubtedly state more concisely in a moment:

One reason it is more expensive to execute someone is precisely the length of the appeals process, which itself has something to do with lawyers stringing the process out.

The U.S. could execute people more cheaply if the process were streamlined. That's why I'm not sure the higher expense is such a great argument, unless one also argues that a lengthy, convoluted appeals process is itself morally required. Otherwise, one could just advocate making the capital punishment system more efficient.

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-02-16 11:44:58 PM


Yes, that's true, Terrence, but not really relevant. Shane suggested that it would cheaper to execute the criminals. It would not be cheaper. It would be more expensive. The suggestion that we should execute more criminals, plus change the appeals process is a different suggestion from the one Shane made.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-02-16 11:55:54 PM


Jaws,

True, true. But as long as we're evaluating a possible world in which drug offenders are executed on their third strike, we might as well evaluate that same world, in which the appeals process is streamlined.

It's the next logical step in the argument, anyway :-)

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-02-17 12:05:44 AM


You're suffering from tunnel vision again, P.M. I am well aware that it currently costs more to execute a man than to incarcerate him, but unlike the costs of incarceration, which are a physical reality--guards need to be paid, land needs to be bought, walls need to be built--the cost of execution are almost entirely manufactured and can be cut drastically with a stroke of the pen. All you need for the execution itself is a couple metres of rope.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-17 12:40:58 AM


what about the children ?

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-17 8:10:09 AM


What ABOUT the children?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-17 8:24:25 AM



..,. don't young offenders get early release ?- serious crime takes serious study and serious effort and with so much competition, young criminals need mentoring in prison, not winging it on the street

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-17 8:42:00 AM


Actually, executing hardcore criminals would remove another common "progressive" criticism of the penal system: that it turns petty criminals into hardened criminals. It can't, not if the hardened ones from which they'd learn all get the noose.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-17 8:52:20 AM


Shane it appears that you have spent the better part of two days vehemently arguing this article. That is sad.

Furthermore, I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I smoked pot, drank and did every drug you can think of daily. I have been sober some time now and know that I can never successfully drink, or smoke pot in any amount if I want to stay alive and be happy about it. Having said that, I am certain of the fact that alcohol is far more damaging to society than pot. I see no real problem with legalizing marijuana, ***and using the increased revenues to keep violent criminals in jail***

The only problem is that people who simply speculate from the outside only hear what they want to hear. your opinion about this issue is clearly influenced by your political and social views, and you are entitled to that. I am sure you will attack me later, and that's ok. I know small minded people need to validate themselves by be-littling others.

-Nobody has ever died of a weed overdose or withdrawl. (not one documented death from marijuana overdose in recorded history)
-Thousands of people die every year from tylenol and aspirin.

Let me ask you Shane, how has marijuana ever hurt you or anyone you know, other than getting fined or put in jail for something that although illegal, is hardly hurting anybody?


Posted by: My name is matt and I am sorry that I share any name with Shane | 2009-02-17 11:52:59 AM


My name,

1. Getting personal is the mark of the amateur. It's irrational. It's childish. It's petulant. Most of all it is a defence mechanism, a show of righteous indignation to cover up a weak argument, the way some people resort to aggression to cover up deep-rooted private insecurities. It says more about you than it does about me.

2. I will decide what is sad and what is not. You do not have a lock on what it means to be human.

3a. Given the lack of judgement you have displayed in getting hooked on "every kind of drug I can name," why should I take your judgement that alcohol is more damaging? Unlike you, I can handle my liquor. I don't get mad and hit people when I get drunk; I get philosophical. Your experience doesn't translate to me or, indeed, to most of the ninety percent of people who drink socially but never get hooked.

3b. alcohol doesn't turn people into feral predators in the streets, cracking shorts, stealing cars and bashing into people's homes for their next fix, the way drugs like heroin and cocaine will. You REALLY have to abuse alcohol to reduce yourself to the wino stage. There is no minimum safe amount for heroin and in fact addicts are locked into a cycle of ever-increasing dosages simply to keep withdrawal pains at bay.

4. There's more to the damage a drug does than its LD50. Pot damages higher brain function and lung function; that is beyond dispute. It's also proven to be a gateway drug, something to which you, a former addict of "every drug you can think of" should be able to relate, unless you're one of the few who leapfrogged the soft stuff and got his first high by diving face-first into a barrel of crack.

5. Unlike you, I am not egocentric; I do not have to have something bad happen to me or mine to know that something is bad news generally. As does your willingness to line the pockets of criminals and fund their violent activities just so you can get wasted. You justify blood for drugs, on the grounds that it gives you pleasure, but would probably emphatically denounce blood for oil, if you run anything like true to type. Because with you, as with must druggies, in the end, it's all about you.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-17 12:34:25 PM


P.S. Drugs are illegal so people like you wouldn't do things like this to yourself, and possibly harm others in the process of feeding their habit. Most people with a full set of frontal lobes would have clocked this by now.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-17 12:48:43 PM


please stay on topic my-name-is-doormatt,
save the confessions for the AA meetings-
where it will do everybody some good maybe even you
here we appreciate content..
if you know what that is
then bring it on

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-17 1:04:54 PM


Semantics Shane. I did not mean that I had the dictionary definition. We all benefit from ancient and modern scholars. I have yet to meet someone who is so wise that they cannot learn from either.

Customs and taboos are exactly what I am talking about. Legislation, or laws if you like, can never successfully stop all crimes. Even the most oppressive states have not been able to do that.

I am suggesting that "customs and taboos" are a very powerful deterent. They bring shame upon those who violate them. And in fact, "customs and taboos" overrule legislation in some cases.

Posted by: TM | 2009-02-17 8:59:24 PM


Advertising drugs to kids and teens, through DARE, is not right. That not only encourages them to "Try", and "Investigate", and "Experiment"... but when they realize the lies about marijuana, they assume the rest of the talk about drugs was also a lie, and they try those without fear. (By lies, I am talking about the out-of-context propaganda data, and twisted statistics also.)

LEAP.cc
(Law enforcement against prohibition)

NORML.org
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It's all smoke and mirrors. However, kids and teens like magic, they are not scared of it. Curiosity killed the cat, and we have to keep emptying the litter box until the cat dies.

The drug problem can be stopped, as soon as we stop making it the problem. We place kids and teens into dealers hands, when we tell them that is the only place to get this mystery item, which they can't have. They will have it, because they can't.

If it was perceived as medicine, and they were informed that their abuse is the reason why people who need it, are suffering, and can not have it... You would have better luck getting them not to abuse it. (Though, they may still try it, and tell you about it, if it was not illegal, and did not have to hide at the dealers house while they use it. You CAN fix what you SEE is a problem. You CAN'T fix what you can't SEE. They are still doing it, just out of your sight.)

Posted by: JasonD | 2009-02-17 9:37:56 PM



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