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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tipping Point for Pot

From Reason TV.

Posted by Richard Anderson on August 15, 2010 | Permalink


[Insert Any Conservative Name Here]: This is bullshit! This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. I don't trust any of these "studies". What about all the other studies (which I will not cite) that prove that marijuana is a super-dangerous psychotropic, insanity-inducing drug that has a super-bad social impact?

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-08-15 12:20:21 PM

Tipping point for pot? Gee, do I give my dealer 10% or 15%?

Posted by: ebt | 2010-08-15 12:24:08 PM

Mike, that's not really fair. There is a large cohort of pro-legalization conservatives. The NRO has been against the WOD for years.

Posted by: Cytotoxic | 2010-08-15 1:05:21 PM


That may be true, but there's an army of people who'll show up in this thread in due course to prove the thrust of my point.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-08-15 1:26:15 PM

I agree Mike
These people will come out and say we need leviathon to save us from ourselves, but if we dont cooperate leviathon will through us in jail.

Posted by: don b | 2010-08-15 4:57:40 PM

Mike, the fact that someone who calls himself a Tory shows up on the blog does not in itself prove anything; that’s one of the biggest fallacies I’ve seen you commit. Your entire post is ad hominem and really is beneath you.

Secondly, let’s look at past experience. For years we’ve been listening to grey-haired baby boomers tell us that the moment for pot has come, and it’s still illegal in all states and provinces. While California may talk about legalizing and taxing (which is a far from certain venture for reasons I have already listed exhaustively), the dialogue in Canada leans more towards decriminalization for possession and stiff sentences for traffickers. Marijuana’s most famous poster boy is now begging for Net time in an American jail, and his extradition met with far less protest than his supporters had promised.

What I’m saying is that we’ve seen this before. This guy isn’t bringing anything new to the debate; he harps on the same old “drug war” talking points everyone does. He does not push for studies by the FDA, which is what a reputable physician would do if he wanted to make marijuana’s medicinal credentials unassailable. (To his credit, he does call for therapeutic research, but to his discredit, he seems unwilling to wait for the results.) Instead, he resorts to the same back-door tactics such as “safer than alcohol” most pot advocates use. It’s the same populist approach to science that the global warmers use.

These “conversing trajectories” may indeed bring about changes to the law, but the point is, those changes will be for the wrong reasons. You don’t give up on something because it's hard. It’s irresponsible to prescribe a drug that has not gone through the same approval process that every other drug must go through. And let’s be honest—the only reason pot is getting this attention at all is because the baby boomers, who were the first to smoke it in such unprecedented numbers, are now calling the shots and this is one more avenue for them to chase down their long-lost youth. They don’t want to give up pot, because then they’d have to face getting old.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-15 7:44:31 PM

Very true Mike and the first poster to prove your point is...... Well at least its Shane he usually starts off not completely insane like ZEB and 419.

So by back door tactic Shane are you saying that that MJ is less or more safe than alcohol? It is hard to tell from your statement. Also clarify what you mean by safe. Do you take into account: number of deaths directly associated with use (alcohol poisoning/MJ overdoses), health effects of long term use/abuse, affects on the body/mind of long term abusers/users when detoxifying, comparable addictiveness of both drugs, etc.

The changes are not because the current "something" is hard it is because it is wrong (for reasons myself and others have listed extensively).

I do agree with your point that a lot of baby boomers use MJ. However, the amount of young adults that use is also high.

I like the statement in the clip about how the only studies being done (by governments in N.America I am assuming he means) are trying to find the problems with Mj and not to find any benefits. Tough to make any meaningful policy decisions when you are funding only the research you hope will support your ideology.

Posted by: Bret | 2010-08-15 8:55:10 PM

There is a new conflict arising over the ballot measure to legalize pot in California. The Chamber of Commerce is claiming that the ballot measure allows workers to come to work stoned and continue to light up at work. Others say that this measure doesn't allow for that. Additional parties are saying that the ballot measure allows for smoking at work but that it can later be amended. What is the libertarian position on this? Can a business ban people from coming to work stoned? Can a landlord use marijuana use as a right not to sell to a prospective tenant? Is a person's constitutional rights being violated if a business requires him not to smoke on the job? If marijuana is harmless, can a dope smoker sue to be allowed to work with heavy equipment? Talk about a real hornet's nest!

Posted by: Jim | 2010-08-15 9:54:59 PM

Bret, what I mean is that pot advocates claim that what they want is respect for their pharmaceutical of choice, but the methods they employ don’t ring true, if that is their strategy. They circulate outrageous claims, from pot being safer than soda pop to pot curing cancer, and everything in between. They are trying the "medical marijuana" back door, even though pot has not been approved for any medicinal use by the FDA (and it was in fact doctors that decertified it in 1942). Now that the Golden State is hard up for cash, they try another manoeuvre, the “tax and spend” trick, again making fabulous claims about profits in the billions, neglecting meanwhile to explain how it is that people already used to breaking the law for a useless product would magically start respecting it if the only reward for doing so was to pay more for the privilege.

As I said, it doesn’t ring true. The methodology is all wrong. All those three “converging trajectories” prove is that pot advocates have been pulling out all the stops, flinging anything and everything they can at the establishment in the hope that something will stick long enough to pass a law. All so they’ll be able to get stoned without having to worry about cops spoiling the fun.

Let us talk plainly—the reason that many people (weakly) support marijuana legalization is because they think it doesn’t work, not because they think it’s wrong. Most people, in Canada especially, are not libertarians. Furthermore, marijuana use is always highest among the young. The difference is that other generations gave it up it as they matured, whereas the boomers have as reluctant to do so as they have been to grow up at all.

Finally, the properties of cannabis have long been known, and the reasons that doctors delisted it in 1942 are still in evidence today, namely anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, intoxication, and unknown and possibly damaging effects on the endrocine system. These doctors had no reason to lie, whereas pot activists like this doctor have every reason to lie, and they’re doing it. If marijuana cures cancer, why are the baby boomers getting it at higher rates than any generation that came before?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-15 10:58:10 PM

Working night shift so bear with me.

First you did not answer my question. Is Mj more or less safe than alcohol and what are you using to define safe.

Next if it works for people medically for whatever symptom whats the harm (especially for chronic or fatal conditions)? You have stated before that there could be medical reasons for use and the government is supporting it so its ok. I agree test away but why are the only studies the government sponsoring ones that are looking for problems with it (like links to mental illness)?
I have never stated it cured cancer or was even good for people but personal health (as you have stated before) should not be a mandate the government should enforce.

The "tax and spend" trick? Do you honestly think that even with a minor tax the government will not make money by legalizing it? Alcohol and tobacco are legal but most people don't make/grow their own (even with ridiculous taxes) but they have that option. So it can be inferred that a large portion of MJ users will purchase theirs from the corner store paying tax. Plus the cost of enforcing marijuana laws will be saved, insurance costs will go down by moving grow ops into proper buildings or fields etc. Also providing a larger supply of the product, with lower production costs and increased competition will result in lower prices. So no legalizing it would not be a "tax and spend trick".

If something doesn't work it usually means you are doing it wrong. You stated in your post that baby boomers use MJ as well as young adults. So all of these people that use it think its wrong? As far as libertarianism goes I think a lot more Canadians lean that way (especially in Alberta) than you are giving credit for they just don't know what to call it. Ask around how many people want larger government and less personal freedoms.
The properties you list are "unknown"as you state, unproven, minor, rare or exactly what the user is looking for. So doctors that hate pot had no reason to lie but doctors that like it/indifferent to it have every reason to? Its like the uproar in the states about the judge who vetoed the gay marriage vote in California. Some are saying hes biased because hes gay so who do they want to make the decision? Someone whos not.

Posted by: Bret | 2010-08-16 5:16:48 AM

1. First of all, Bret, your question was what back-door tactics they were using; the way it was worded it looked like the old marijuana/alcohol canard was part of that question. Secondly, if you define “safe” as “what percentage of regular users come to a bad end,” I’d say alcohol is safer. One-fifth of beer drinkers do not end up on heroin or crack, I’ll tell you that.

2. If that’s to be your only standard of measuring the safety and efficacy of a drug, we may as well go back to the 19th-century tinctures of laudanum and other booze- or opium-laced swill they sold unsuspecting customers. Ditto the fabulous elixir sold by the traveling medicine man. Any of these preparations could soothe your symptoms, at least temporarily. But they had real and serious side effects and did nothing to treat the underlying pathology. More is expected of modern medicine than this kind of besotted bliss and the nightmare of addiction. That’s the harm.

3. How do we know those are the only kind of studies underway? Because this guy says so? Let me know if he offers to sell you aluminum siding. Marijuana testing for therapeutic purposes is well advanced in other countries, but so far, all the great “discoveries” seem to be coming from maverick physicians like this one. And I never said you claimed it cured cancer; only that this was one of the numerous lies being circulated by the legalization crowd at large.

4. Yes, I honestly believe it will not make money for the government, for the simple reason that people already used to a lifetime of breaking the law are not going to stop just for the privilege of paying more for the same product. Maybe a worse product, given the stories about government-grown and –licensed weed. It’s just one more bureaucracy to resent—and subvert. And since there will still be such a thing as illegal (unlicensed and untaxed) marijuana, I expect very little to change. And it’s a trick because it’s not an argument for legalization; it’s just one more carrot they like to dangle. And surprise, surprise, California is stupid enough to be first to fall for it.

5. Yes, we are doing it wrong. Drug dealers and smugglers and the corrupt officials who protect them are not strung up on the gallows. In many cases they receive no jail time at all. This is also not an argument for legalization; only an argument that less is being done than could be.

6. No, those people don’t think it smoking pot is wrong, but that doesn’t make it right. Contributing to crime is never right, no matter how many people manage to convince themselves that it’s really the lawman’s fault that they chose to break the law. Argumentum ad populum is no argument at all.

7. If Albertans lean toward libertarian why do they overwhelmingly support the political party that soundly rejected libertarians from its camp? Ask around how many Alberta want Medicare dissolved.

8. What the user is looking for is irrelevant. You’ve trapped yourself by approaching the issue from the perspective of a recreational user while at the same time insisting that the drug has genuine medicinal value and that the side effects are “rare.” And what proof have you that those doctors in 1942 hated pot?

9. The judge who vetoed Proposition 8 is gay? That puts a whole new spin on the matter. Let’s face it—gays are one of the most notoriously political identity groups on the planet. AIDS would not be the political football it is today if it did not target mostly gays, not when far more people die of cancer—a disease that is in many cases not even preventable. Also, the whole gay marriage thing based on “equality” is a crock, when the true issue is the definition of marriage, which has been the same throughout history: union between a man and a woman. Let those who argue for gay marriage on the basis of equality also argue for union between mother and son, or brother and sister, or father and daughter, or child and adult, for such people are also equally the beneficiaries of “equality.”

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-16 6:44:06 AM

Re: 7: We both know that your question would only be significant if Albertans were aware of the Manning Centre get-together, and followed that particular brouhaha. But they're not and they didn't.

The claim is usually that Albertans have libertarian tendencies, not that they self-identify as libertarian (they might just call themselves conservatives, like Barry Goldwater or Ron Paul do in the U.S., both of whom are better described as libertarian.

The current popularity of the Wildrose Alliance weighs in support of this claim, especially since Danielle Smith does not shy away from calling herself a libertarian, nor from her past as a libertarian activist working on property rights issues.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2010-08-16 7:18:08 AM

P.M., I think the current popularity of the Wild Rose Alliance has less to do with Albertan libertarian tendencies and more to do with what frankly amounts to disgust and outrage over Premier Stelmach's policies.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-16 7:46:02 AM

In my life ive met airline pilots , lawyers , judges , police officers, doctors and clergy, they all have one thing in common they use cannabis. It dosnt matter what the law says people will use it, only the mentally ill consider prohibition good for this country.

Posted by: don b | 2010-08-16 9:25:40 AM

You know airline pilots who use cannabis? I call bullshit. Lawyers and judges, I'll buy. The fact that some people are willing to break the law is no excuse for not having the law; using that logic, we'd repeal all laws, because all laws are broken. And funny you should mention the mentally ill, because virtually every pot smoker who's ever been on this board writes like one of them.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-16 10:41:56 AM

Imagine if we had Shane Matthews for Prime Minister, our country would fall into civil war, there would be gun battles with police everyday, he would have our troops return to Canada where they would start killing Canadian citizens . The foreign press would ask him whats going on he would say"my people love me whats left of them"

Posted by: don b | 2010-08-16 11:46:09 AM

Actually, Don, there wouldn't be any of that. Because unlike the Mexicans, I don't tolerate corruption. Answer me this, smart guy: If the "drug war" causes violence, why isn't the US seeing the same type of violence Mexico is? I have yet to hear an explanation for this. Of course, an intelligent person, in approaching this question, would ask not what is the same (the illegality of drugs), but what is different (rampant corruption Mexico versus much less in the U.S.). That's an intelligent person, mind you. Funny how all the doctors, lawyers, judges, airline pilots, and intellectuals can't quite manage it.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-16 12:55:11 PM

"...In my life ive met airline pilots , lawyers , judges , police officers, doctors and clergy, they all have one thing in common they use cannabis. It dosnt matter what the law says people will use it, only the mentally ill consider prohibition good for this country...."

Doth say don b

airline pilots who would risk losing their high paying career to smoke joints? Unlikely, the aircraft pilots I know won't even drink any alcohol ever just to keep at their personal best- using cannabis is not an option.

Lawyers Judges Police officers..

even lawyers who's main business is to defend pot cases do not use pot, if they ever were caught they would be drummed out of their profession.It is not worth it for them to be stoners and uh,, forget stuff. maybe you know stoner lawyers don..I don;t doubt that for a minute

Police officers... I know who smoked joints when they were teens gave it up completely to become cops..they face random drug testing-- why would they risk their $50k plus year salary and generous pension for a bit of weed ? Most cops know enough to really watch their alcohol intake

Judges...thats a bit of a reach don..you know judges? I mean socially who pass you joints, not just judges you do business with when you appear in front of them facing charges??

Clergy-- you know anybody at all in the clergy and of them, you know the pot smokers and they are all on your side ? That's really special don..

and on top of this---all your fantastic social network of alpha societal secret wipeheads you are a psychiatrist qualified to make online mental diagnostic assessment..

that's beyond wonderful don. I am not sure what four letter word to insert here, but when I am, I will let you know.

Posted by: 419 | 2010-08-16 1:18:22 PM


Libertarians are very much in favour of property rights. I can't imagine a libertarian in favour of forcing employers to accept their employees coming to work stoned.

Posted by: Charles | 2010-08-16 1:28:29 PM

I can see a judge making such a ruling, however, Charles.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-16 1:52:11 PM

leave all that to don..
he probably knows stoner legislators

Posted by: 419 | 2010-08-16 3:14:10 PM

Slim Shane needs to refresh himself on the meaning of ad hominem.

Shane Racks up far more fallacies per paragraph than anybody at this blog so he should not criticize Mike or anybody, when this is all he has to present. Almost everything he believes is fallacy and almost all is rooted in opinion and nothing else but opinion

Posted by: Shaneskin | 2010-08-17 8:46:39 AM

You know, the weird thing about the points/opinions Shane raises is ,, well, like it or lump it that's whats actually happening out there beyond bong range

The Wipeheads and their endlessly alternative society fictions require the entire planet to do an immediate 180 degree turn in social policy direction to accomplish any of these muddy visions of drug liberation. What's the chance of any of this World Beat Pot Revolution stuff actually happening? Based on 70 years of successful prohibition.. probably _zero chance.

time to hiss " Curses! foiled again "

Posted by: 419 | 2010-08-17 9:33:51 AM

    Slim Shane needs to refresh himself on the meaning of ad hominem.

Um...screeched the poser whose sole reason for being here is to slag someone else?

Shane Racks up far more fallacies per paragraph than anybody at this blog so he should not criticize Mike or anybody, when this is all he has to present. Almost everything he believes is fallacy and almost all is rooted in opinion and nothing else but opinion

And what do you call this? I'll take my palm of victory now, please.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-17 9:55:13 AM

1) Shane, you used the term back door tactic of alcohol being safer than Mj. I was asking which you considered safer and why.

So you are saying the reason you feel Mj is not safe is that some hard drug users have used Mj in the past? In other words the gateway effect which you have even stated before cannot be proven. Anything else?

2) Have you read the side effects of other commonly prescribed drugs? Starting with death and working there way down from there. I think a little anxiety from smoking MJ may be worth it if it helps someone. Besides if people know the risks of what they are taking what right do you or I have to tell them not to?

3) Have you heard of any government sponsored studies on it? The only one I have even heard of is the one the conservatives are sponsoring to try and find links between smoking MJ in youth and mental illness.

4) Much like alcohol has stayed underground after prohibition was ended? You can even make your own most people just don't bother, even with the high taxes on it. As for product quality have you looked at the variety of beer available? Right from keg bottoms to premium stuff, there seems to be a market for it all. If they even make 1 dollar off of it that is more than they are making right now, not to mention the amount saved in enforcement, etc.

5) Yes yes Shane I know kill em all right. Maybe we could just put everyone in prison then no laws would ever get broken.

6) But you think its wrong so that makes it wrong? The act of using Mj is a victimless "crime". What makes it criminal, involves criminals in it and gives the proceeds to criminals is prohibition. Its against the law so its wrong doesn't work for people with reasoning capabilities out of elementary school.

7) The leader of the new up and coming provincial party is a libertarian. Ask around alberta about defense of property/personal rights, large government, transfer payments, unions, responsibility for ones actions etc. A lot of conservative and libertarian values. The medicare example is a poor one because medicare proponents have somehow managed to equate being Canadian with medicare. It is more about perception than actual facts.

8) You stated a list of effects. I was simply stating that some of those effects are the reason people use it. So yes it does have a bearing on the issue. You are trying to say your list of effects is bad I am stating that some aren't, others are not proven, others are very rare, minor or unknow.

9) I don't know if he is gay or not, I know there was some talk about his history on the news. Besides the issue isn't about gays its about the system. "That guy ain't the same as me he shouldn't be able to make that decision hes bias". You state that this doctor isn't qualified to have input because he has a different opinion than you and that is the issue.

Posted by: Bret | 2010-08-18 7:39:32 PM

Great argument Bret- you remind us that marijuana is not a good thing to applaud and approve. Nobody needs them, everybody can live well without them, especially since the pot black market sustains international criminal activity. If the best thing going for pot is "it's less harmful than alcohol" fine = human society does not welcome the burden of additional dangers at this time. Not one we vote into reality

The simplest and most effective way way to stop the drug war would be for wipeheads to stop using marijuana..They don't need pot, or anybodys apology for their bad choices.

Posted by: 419 | 2010-08-19 7:17:30 AM


1. A back door, in this context, is a sneaky way in. I don’t need (and did not use) a back door, because alcohol is already “in.” Alcohol use is broadly accepted by society; pot use isn’t, especially outside BC.

2. I have. They are prescribed by a health professional on those occasions where the likely benefit outweighs the likely risk. That’s why you need a prescription in the first place. Medical marijuana = another back door. Hemp cloth is a third, and…well, it’s quite a list, isn’t it?

3. So absence of proof is now proof, is it? What is this conspiracy-theory claptrap? Many countries are doing research into medical marijuana, notably in Europe. In one famous case, one group of UK scientists stopped research when their results indicated marijuana may induce psychosis in a minority of susceptible patients, deeming it “irresponsible” to proceed further. And medical marijuana proponents don’t help their reputation or their cause by ignoring the law and using whenever they damned well feel like, lack of proof be damned.

4. Here we go again with the alcohol thing; it’s quite the talking point for you, isn’t it? Moreover, alcohol smuggling is alive and well, especially in the east and south, thanks in large part to the extortionate taxes they put on it. And that’s on a product that doesn’t stink up a building from cellar to attic.

5. Arithmetically speaking, fewer would be doing it, which is the objective. I know any suggestion of discipline or punishment give you hives, but there are few options when it comes to the pathologically troublesome and downright evil.

6. Feeding organized crime rather than giving up a completely useless product is certainly wrong. And pot smokers are quite happy to do that. What does that say about their ability to tell right from wrong, Bret? Some people’s reasoning ability may surpass the average grade school student, but pot smokers do not qualify if the best they can do is “I want it so fuck the world.”

7. “Up and coming” provincial party, eh? I presume you’re talking about Alberta and its Wild Rose Party? If that’s the case, it might be prudent to see how much of its support survives Ed Stelmach leaving the Conservative leadership, which is likely. And why no libertarians at the federal level? As for Medicare, don’t delude yourself. Nobody of ANY political stripe is going to dump Medicare as long as medical bills in the U.S. routinely top five figures.

8. Then those people have no business trying to get it legalized as a “medicine,” because to them it’s not a medicine; it’s a party favour. Abuse of ANY drug is irresponsible. As is bankrolling organized crime. The fact that a lot of people would do it anyway doesn’t mean the law is bad; it just means that there are a lot of murderously selfish people. You never heard me say there weren’t.

9. It’s not a question of family values, or shouldn’t be. Rather it’s a simple matter of meaning. Marriage is culturally normalized and defined throughout history as one man and (usually) one woman. What gays have is something else. It resembles marriage but it isn’t, any more than your brother becomes your sister just because someone says so. People who advocate for gay marriage on the grounds of equality cannot oppose against marriage between sister and brother, father and daughter, mother and son, or for that matter, brother/brother, sister/sister, father/son, mother/daughter, and be consistent, but something tells me most of them would anyway. Let’s not kid each other—gays are among the most intensely politicized of all demographics. To maintain otherwise is to deny reality. But then, that’s the sort of thing pot users excel at, isn’t it? They want reality to go away, and when it won’t, they make it go away, albeit temporarily, rather than face it.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-19 12:34:45 PM

1) I understand the concept of backdoor tactic. You used the term. I was asking if facts behind this "back door tactic" were false. You didn't answer the questions "Is alcohol safer than Mj" and "and what are the factors you are using to determine the term safe".

2)Good so you agree that MJ can be a viable prescribed medicine.

3)Sorry I didn't add in N.A governments in this post as well. I assumed that since we were discussing it before that it could be inferred. So I named the one study by N.A governments... It is not a conspiracy theory. The government is spending its money in a way that it sees as advancing its moral ideals.
And that small scale study you are referring to was using the injection of synthetic THC not regular cannabis. But you already knew that.

4) Yes it is. I know you missed it but the point is if prohibition was ended even if they made $1 in taxes that is more than they are making now. Plus the savings on enforcing the prohibition.

5)Well we can leave this point at that. Kill everyone that breaks any law no matter how harmless.

6)Once again the point eludes you. The act of smoking Mj is harmless. Because someones choices of where to purchase it are limited under prohibition that is a reason to make it illegal? Sounds like you just have to provide people with a better source to purchase it from. So if I purchased it from the government supply would that make it ok? No illegal blood money there right?

Posted by: bret | 2010-08-20 6:10:38 PM

1. Which back-door tactic? We have so many. However, the use of back-door tactics, even if based on technical truths, is itself a lie: Most people who want pot legalized do not intend to use it as medicine, or see it as a safer alternative to alcohol, or to make dresses out of it.

2. I didn’t say that, did I? You really are quite good at pulling conclusions out of nothingness. We were talking about prescription drugs in general. Now all of a sudden we were talking specifically about marijuana. Another sneaky back-door tactic.

3. Actually, North American governments have done several studies, some of which indicate that marijuana has potential in certain medical treatments. Your statement that they have done only “negative” tests is yet another lie.

4. Bret, if you’re reduced to making the “if even one” argument, you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Government could save even more money by not enforcing anything. This is not an argument. You’re not disputing that pot users are criminals; you’re just asserting that they’re not the worst. Some defence!

5. I never said that either. You really do love lying through your teeth, don’t you? And you wonder why pot advocates have such crappy credibility in polite society.

6. Smoking anything is NOT harmless. Stinking up the entire apartment block is NOT harmless. (It’s not a major harm, but it’s a harm.) Don’t whinge about “limited choices.” You have the choice not to buy marijuana, period. Marijuana smokers will have to make a lot of modifications to their behaviour before they lose their loser image. They have all the bad associations with tobacco smokers, with the stink, the stoning, and the scruffiness aside. And that’s before we even consider the criminal aspect.

P.S. Don’t end a question with “right.” It makes it look like you have a chip on your shoulder. Another contributor to pot smokers’ image problem.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-20 6:33:18 PM

1) Quit trying to change the subject. My original questions were "Which is safer MJ or alcohol" and "what are you basing your definition of safe on"

2)We were talking about the side effects of commonly prescribed drugs and how they are worse than Medical Mjs side effects. Like Death for example. To quote you (on prescribed drugs) "They are prescribed by a health professional on those occasions where the likely benefit outweighs the likely risk. That’s why you need a prescription in the first place." I came to the logical conclusion that if it was prescribed for a legitimate illness and the benefits outweigh the risks you accept that medical mj prescriptions should be acceptable. Also, you have stated in previous discussions that if it is prescribed by a doctor for a legitimate illness then you are fine with it.

3) I have not heard of them. Sources/links please.

4) Logically they will make more. I am merely saying that if they make the absolute minimum mathematically possible the net income/savings will be better than under the current system. I don't dispute (and never have)the fact that Mj users are breaking the law. That is the basis of the whole MJ in Canada discussion isn't it? And yes I do think the government should stop enforcing all victimless crimes and concentrate on real ones. Concentrating on what essentially is a personal/public health issue is a waste of time and money.

5)First of all you are constantly advocating for capital punishment for everyone that disobeys the government/breaks any law. For example in this thread alone you have suggested hanging public officials guilty of corruption, drug dealers and drug smugglers.

6)What a person chooses to do to their own body is and should be beyond the scope of government regulation. We don't regulate fat peoples food intake, people are allowed to smoke tobacco,etc. Besides you have stated numerous times the health of the actual smoker is of no concern. Oh good now your getting into the "it stinks and I don't like it" crap again. Curry is not illegal and to most North Americans it stinks. A whole floor in an apartment building can reak from it, peoples clothes and car. Are we going to make all items that have strong smells illegal? Who gets to decide which smells are bad and therefore should be illegal? You?
There are limited choices if you are purchasing Mj. Unlike alcohol and tobacco which can be purchased legally from a store there is no legal option for a recreational Mj user. The question is why?

P.S Actually try answering the questions. When you avoid doing so it makes you look like you don't know what you are talking about and are hoping you can twist the conversation off on a tangent.


8) Good argument Shane. That product has two uses but you are only allowed to advocate for one? Yes ABUSE of any drug is irresponsible but the USE of any drug is not necessarily irresponsible.

9)Point is now way off topic. I get it you hate people that are different than you. Here is the gist of the topic "Besides the issue isn't about gays its about the system. "That guy ain't the same as me he shouldn't be able to make that decision hes bias". You state that this doctor isn't qualified to have input because he has a different opinion than you and that is the issue."

Posted by: bret | 2010-08-22 5:17:41 PM


1. Quit trying to evade my point, which is that the arguments of pot legalizers are not intellectually honest and focus around ultimately irrelevant (and often manufactured) talking points. But to address your question directly, if we define “safe” as “less likely to produce a bad end,” then alcohol is unquestionably safer, statistically speaking. Between 2/3 to 3/4 of the population drinks, and only about 10% of those suffer any ill effects from it. But everyone who smokes anything is damaging his lungs, and about 20% of those who smoke pot will ultimately move on to something else. So no, pot is not safer, even if its LD50 is higher. But you pretend not to understand that. You focus like a laser on the LD50 and ignore everything else, because the LD50 is the one bright spot you have.

2. Well, Bret, I’ve been prescribed several “commonly prescribed” drugs and not one of them got me stoned. Or made me paranoid. Or killed me. (Here we go with the LD50 again.) As for the risk/benefit analysis, of course it applies to marijuana too; it applies to anything. However, marijuana has not been approved for medicinal use. In fact, it was once approved but then denigrated by the medical establishment, and today it is mostly maverick physicians like the one in the video that prescribe it. It doesn’t help medical pot’s cause that most of its proponents, like said doctor, have a faintly dishonest and unprofessional aspect, more akin to a used-car salesman than a physician. That’s not rational, but half of politics is understanding that the packaging is at least as important as the message. And pot’s packaging currently stinks as much as the drug itself.

3. Sources/links for your government studies “designed to prove that pot is dangerous.” Dares go first. Keep in mind you will be expected to prove that was their motive, as that point it central to your argument. To simply list the study’s name will not be satisfactory.

4. Like the LD50 talking point, Bret, the “if we made more money” argument focuses on a single datum, dismissing the rest as unimportant. The situation will be better only things are better overall than the current state, not if we simply excel in just one to the detriment of all others. But you pretend not to understand that either. As for “victimless crimes,” there is mostly no such thing. And I certainly am not going to place the task of deciding what constitutes a victim in the hands of people who have already indicated a willingness to bankroll organized crime. I doubt many other Canadians would either, if they thought about it.

5. I advocated capital punishment for drug dealers, drug smugglers, gangsters, and corrupt officials. Not for simple possession. Not for shoplifting. Not for speeding. You simply chose to make that assumption because it fits in better with your idea of what someone who opposes legalizing drugs must be like in the head. Either that, or you have simply lied again. Neither is a credit to you.

6a. No, it shouldn’t. There, see how easy it is to give an unsubstantiated opinion? You can sit there and type, “A should do B” until the cows come home, perfectly easily. Also as easily, I can counter with, “Yes it should.” Who is proven correct by such an exchange? Neither. You’re expected to prove your assertions, not just appeal to some obscure political philosophy and consider your case made; that is thinking of the type that brought on the Scopes Monkey Trial. But more to the point, when you’re crafting policy on which behaviours are sanctioned and which are not, you have to take into account the affect of such behaviours on society as a whole. By and large, laws exist to prevent individuals from becoming a danger or a nuisance to others; if only the perpetrator is affected, by and large no one cares. And while curry smells strongly, usually it’s not bad enough to warrant complaints to the police. The stink of pot is in quite a different category. Even in tolerant California they find themselves having to deal with it. You can play the “A equals B” argument, e.g. “pot equals alcohol” and “pot equals curry” game all you like, but the actual stats don’t bear you out.

6b. The fact that there are limited choices when purchasing pot does not justify you making the illegal choice. There you go again, complaining that your illegal actions are forced upon you by The Man. You are not entitled to unfettered access to anything your heart desires. This is the whole problem with the libertarian philosophy; it acknowledges neither “us” nor “them”; it acknowledges only “I.” Only if you are getting everything you want, whenever you want it, is all right with the world. And if not, it’s always someone else’s fault. It’s the reasoning of a four-year-old.

8. This ties back into question 1; the fact that most of those who want pot legalized, and use reasons such as medicine or industry or increased taxed revenue to justify the decision, don’t want it legalized for that reason. Pot is already available with a prescription in Canada, although professionally speaking it should not be because it is not approved by Health Canada. (We can thank judges who think they’re doctors for that one; just lately they’re also convinced they’re international diplomats, but that’s another subject.) But that’s not enough for you, is it?

9. I didn’t even mention the California gay debate in my last post; why are you including it again? So you can get off a lame shot? I never said this doctor wasn’t qualified simply because of the opinion he held. In fact, this whole paragraph is disjointed and difficult to follow, not least because you’ve got unclosed quotes, so it’s hard to tell where your commentary leaves off and the “quote” begins. This is exactly what I meant when I said pot’s biggest problem is its own advocates; they are not the least bit shy about being walking advertisements of the more questionable effects of their chosen plant.

By the way, I’m not the one ascribing hateful motives to everyone who disagrees with me, so perhaps the one with hate issues is you.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-22 6:12:36 PM

1) We were not discussing your "point". You originally made a statement about how discussing the danger Mj presents compared to a legalized substance (alcohol) should not be talked about and was a back door tactic. I asked you if you actually thought the point " that alcohol is less safe than Mj" was true and "what do you base the definition of safe on".

Now on to the actual point. So you don't consider death a bad end? Not one person in the world, ever has died as a direct result of smoking Mj. While one person a week in the united states dies as a direct result of alcohol poisoning. http://www.alcohol-information.com/.
What about being addicted to a substance? Here is a chart showing that alcohol is more addictive than MJ (you may also note that every item on the graph has more severe effects with alcohol than MJ).
Or perhaps a bad end could mean any number of health related problems or death? 60% of people that commit suicide had been drinking heavily before
while 1 in 25 deaths in total world wide can be contributed to alcohol.

So it would appear alcohol is very dangerous while Mj not so much. At least you try and use the unproven boogey man "the gateway effect" to base your decision on.

2) Ahhhh anecdotal evidence, very persuasive Shane. Isn't it you who rails against this type of thing in discussions? So since you did not experience any of the side effects of some prescription you apparently had that means they must put all those side effects on the commercials and pill bottles for no reason? Health Canada grants access to Mj for medical reasons here is the link.

3) ok so you are not going to provide any facts to back up your statements I am used to it by now. I stated I had not heard of any, you stated Oh there is some and I asked what they were. So the one study I referred to was this one
On this point alcohol has a 4 times greater risk of causing the same effect.
Do you need proof that the current government has an anti drug agenda? Perhaps you can just read any government statement about drugs. I also participated in a discussion on my MP's (conservative) page and his one and only statement to the discussion group was "Bret, our government has no intention to introduce legislation that would legalize drugs, including marijuana. Period.". That is not part of a statement or one of many statements it is the full and only one he made on the topic. So it would appear that no matter what evidence is put forth they have already set there policy according to there ideology. Exactly the point I made.

4) I agree there are many more beneficial effects to legalizing than just money. That is why there are separate points in our discussion. This one was discussing the financial benefits that would result from legalization. But I guess you don't want to talk about it.

Mostly no such thing as a victimless crime? Way to be vague. Maybe you can explain how the actual act of someone smoking Mj in their living room is not a victimless crime?

5) Yes I know Shane in this thread they are the only people you said you wanted killed. I even wrote that in my statement. In most discussions you are involved in on this site you constantly advocate for killing people who break the law.

6)a) I like how you rail about unsubstantiated opinions and then proceed to fill the rest of your statement with them. Perhaps the reason people don't call the police for a curry smell is a) they are reasonable people or b) curry is not illegal so there is nothing the police could/would do. I can't believe you are still using the "it smells bad so it should be illegal" argument though.

6)b)When purchasing MJ the ONLY choice is the illegal choice and that is the point.

8) I am glad you can read minds. But really, because a product has more than one use you are only allowed to advocate for one? It may not be the main reason but they are still valid reasons.

9) Wow shane. If you noticed the previous posts went to (6) because I didn't have time to respond to all of the points. So the last one I responded to your latest post as well as the previously unaddressed points.

So other than his opinion why do you think he is unqualified? Because he is a university professor? Because he is a psychiatrist? Because he has served on the faculty of several medical schools? or because he wrote a book? He really seems less qualified than you or I.

Your right Shane you just advocate the removal of their personal rights or their death. But I guess I am the one who is full of hate.

Posted by: bret | 2010-08-23 9:22:46 PM

1. Stop faking, Bret. I have stated repeatedly that my beef is the intellectual dishonesty of trying to peddle marijuana as a tax boon or medicine when the intended use is to abuse it. And enough with the LD50 already; it makes you sound like a broken record. Why don't you ever talk about the crackheads or junkies who died from complications of drug addiction who started on grass? One in five potheads switch to that stuff.

2. It is more evidence than you offered, which was zero. In any case, you're not a medical professional, and have demonstrated no medical or pharmacological competence that may have been acquired through other means, so it looks a little foolish for you to be second-guessing the efficacy versus risk of approved drugs. Fess up--you're just pissed because your drug of choice isn't on the list. And the only reason that Health Canada provides access to marijuana is because some judges who fancied themselves doctors ordered them to.

3. What about this, which describes a federally funded research program into the medicinal effects of marijuana? You didn't look very hard, did you Bret? Also, you didn't get your "alcohol has a four-times greater risk" stat from this link, so where did you get it? The comments at the bottom, that say that pot is safer than water?

4a. The financial benefits you assume would result from legalization. Here we go again with the tunnel vision; you don't look beyond your immediate purpose. You have no idea what the social and medical ramifications of increased pot use would have, and frankly you don't care. You're far too busy having a good time.

4b. Unlike you, Bret, I don't see things in terms of absolute black and white; unlike you, I have sufficient apparatus for cerebration to comprehend and quantify the grey. I suppose that's why they call it "grey matter." And there's no immediate harm that comes from someone building nuclear bombs in his living room, either. Attempting to isolate the act of smoking from all the attendant acts is an unconvincing piece of sophistry. It's not going to work, Bret; most people are not so simple in their thinking.

5. You also wrote that I advocated capital punishment for everyone who broke any law. That was a lie, Bret. One of many. Once again, the 1-bit thinking, capable of acknowledging only a zero or a one, with nothing in between. Talk about polarized.

6a. Or perhaps they find the smell of pot more disagreeable. But of course, no smoker of any kind can smell his own stuff, even if everyone else can. And the smell is just one strike against pot of many such strikes. But once again, the 1-bit brain blinks like an idiot light, a zero or a one, nothing in between.

6b. There is also the choice not to purchase at all. Here you do not even rise to your usual binary mode of thinking; you simply default to pot and no legal, social, or ethical price is to high for you to have it. Especially when it's others who pay the piper.

8. Medicinal marijuana, if ever proved to be more than a pipe dream, would be a valid reason for pot to be available with a prescription. It would not be a valid reason to buy it over the counter for recreational use. Ditto industrial hemp, which isn't worth smoking anyway.

9a. You have all the time in the world, Bret; in case you haven't noticed, we're alone on this thread, and you just keep coming back for more, trucking out the same talking points you've trucked out on every other pot thread to date.

9b. Who are we talking about here? The judge in the gay marriage case, or the snake-oil salesman in the video? I reiterate, I never said the doctor was unqualified. I said only that he was a maverick, and that he didn't look the part. But you just keep saying so over and over again as though you lack the ability to process new information.

You have no intrinsic right to smoke pot, so there is no right to remove. And here we go again, harping on how Shane wants to bathe the world in its own blood. These hallucinations of yours are really getting rather tiresome. Find a new supplier, already.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-23 10:07:24 PM

1) I may sound like a broken record but only because you continue to not answer the questions put to you and try and spin the conversation off on tangents. You made a statement about how Mj being safer than alcohol is a back door tactic. I asked you if the statement "Mj is safer than alcohol was true" and for you to "define what facts you used to determine the meaning of safe". After multiple attempts to spin the conversation you finally made some vague bad ends statement followed by the unproven gateway theory. I then gave you proof of how alcohol is more dangerous and you come back with an attempt at spinning the conversation off and the same unproven gateway theory. So who is really faking?
I will consider the point that alcohol is more dangerous than Mj conceded. Unless you have some actual proof to back up your statements or refute that which I have given.

2)This point was about medical MJ and its side effects. I stated that some legal prescription pills have considerably worse side effects than MJ. Like Death for example. Some people find it helpful for treating symptoms of disease and some doctors prescribe it. What kind of evidence do you want exactly? Would you like me to parade a list of commonly prescribed drugs with worse side effects than Mj (which you stated were Quote"namely anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, intoxication, and unknown and possibly damaging effects on the endrocine system").

3) Thanks for the link. It does fit into the parameters of the discussion and I have not seen this before. However, a couple of things. 1) it was brought into affect by the liberals in 1999 and was discontinued about 8 months after the conservatives came into power.

Here is the link showing the higher risk for alcohol users than MJ users to experience psychotic experiences.

4)a) Since legalization has not yet happened here what else can we do but look at the relevant information and make assumptions? MJ is a huge untaxed underground economy in Canada. To say that no money would be made by taxing it is a lie. The savings from not chasing/prosecuting people involved in MJ would be huge. Which could then be used for health programs or chasing real criminals committing real crimes. Besides finding MJ is fairly easy now and most people have no trouble getting a hold of any. So it is highly unlikely that the number of people using or amount used will be changing that dramatically. What exactly are you assuming would be the bad scenario if it was legalized?

4)b) You don't see things in terms of black and white? Ha ha good one. Anyway, glad you agree that the actual act of smoking Mj is victimless. So if the actual act causes no harm to others why should it remain illegal? The fact that it is illegal is what attaches most of the negative aspects to it.

5) On this thread alone you have advocated for 3 separate types of lawbreakers to die. You write on hundreds if not thousands of threads and I have read some of them. This is not the only set of lawbreakers or people you have stated you want killed (your solution to prison overcrowding is capital punishment)but ok Shane I will humour you. It was an over generalization when I said your solution was to kill them all. You don't want all people who break the law to die. Just most of them. You got me.

6)a)Yes Shane I know it smells so it should be illegal. Thanks for clearing this up.

b)Yes but people do choose to purchase it always have always will. The point is the only option for those who choose to buy it is to do so illegally unlike similar or worse drugs such as alcohol or tobacco.

8)So you agree medical MJ if proven to be safe and effective for helping with a medical condition should be available to those with a prescription. Good so we agree on this point.

9)a) What I meant was I had started typing and did not have time to finish so I posted what I had. Its a discussion Shane and as hard as it may be to believe I don't mind having it. Even with you. I bring out many of the same points because I believe them valid and you have not yet produced any counter points that have persuaded me otherwise.

b)I was referring to the Doctor who is in the video. Sorry looking back it was a little unclear after the topic got sidetracked with the gay marriage thing. You are saying he is wrong, infer he is lying and make vague references that he is not a reputable physician. You label him as a pot smoker and then proceed to disparage pot smokers throughout your posts. So to me that means you think either he is unqualified or the people that certified him are.

Posted by: bret | 2010-08-24 12:54:32 AM

1a. You're the spinner, Bret, not me. First it's about prescription drugs in general, then it's suddenly about pot in particular. Your entire mode of arguing is designed to allow you to weave in these talking points as often as possible, over and over again. I have answered EVERY question, many more then once. You asked me to define what I meant by "safe" and I did. But your ears were not open to hear.

2. Yes, but you didn't list any, nor did you compare those side effects with the consequences of doing nothing. You accuse me of vague statements and then try to get away with this? Hilarious. Yes, some examples would be nice.

3. You haven't seen it before because you weren't looking for it. That was the result of a ten-second detour to Google; more thorough research would certainly unearth much more, both in this country and others. Even if it was recently discontinued, it ran for years. Medical marijuana research is ongoing.

4a. The assumptions made by the purveyors of the "marijuana economy" are notoriously fantasy-ridden. They estimate that marijuana is worth billions. Almost as preposterous as those estimates are the spread; they're off by an order of magnitude or more. And I never said they wouldn't make money by taxing it; what I said was there may be unforeseen consequences that will ultimately cost much more, and you have not and will not even consider the possibility of those.

4b. Once again, unwarranted assumption. I said no IMMEDIATE harm. And as I said, you can't excise that one act from all the rest just because it fits your definition of "victimless" crime; the sum total of marijuana-related consequences must be taken together.

5. Wow! Three whole types, huh? It's a good thing for your argument that we only have three laws in Canada. Oh, wait...

6a. No backtracking, Bret. You have long maintained that the smell of pot ought not to be a factor simply because other, legal products have strong smells too. Now all of a sudden it's all about my inadequacies again. It always comes back to that, doesn't it? Don't assume, Bret; doing it well requires an apparatus for cerebration unpickled by pot.

6b. But me no buts. People have always chosen to break any law that stands between them and what they want. That doesn't mean the law is a bad one. This is an argument for nothing.

8. I agree cannabinoid-derived medicines should be made available, preferably delivered by a more clinical, less health-harming method than smoking, IF they are found to be safe and have medical value. It's pretty hard for a doctor to seriously argue that smoking is the best way to administer a drug. An asthma-type inhaler makes more sense.

9a. I will NEVER convince you otherwise, Bret, because smoking pot, or the acceptance thereof, is not just a decision you've taken based on information you've received; it's part of your identity. You've made an emotional investment in it and will cling to it, though infants drown in lakes of blood.

9b. I'm saying he doesn't LOOK reputable, and that his beliefs are not shared by most of his peers, which is the definition of a "maverick." His aspect is most odd for a physician, as noted. Also, I NEVER said he was a pot smoker. You are lying again. You can't help yourself, can you? Self-discipline: another attribute pot smokers stereotypically lack.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-24 7:06:27 AM

The criminally insane , always wanting to impose themselves on other, hating people that have never done them harm.

Posted by: don b | 2010-08-24 9:11:45 AM

Criminally insane have committed criminal acts, Don. That I leave to you and the other potheads; you do it so well, and without a shred of remorse.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-24 11:39:45 AM

Oh Dear.

Another conumdrum for the CRAP'ers.

'Legal experts debate jail for fetal alcohol offenders.'

'Law group calls for decriminalization for those with brain disorder.'

'Federal and provincial justice ministers plan this fall to tackle the issue of whether people with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or FAS who commit crimes belong in jail.'

'Justice Minister Rob Nicholson told Canadian lawyers that the treatment of FAS offenders is a 'huge problem in our system' and it will be on the agenda for a meeting in October with his provincial counterparts.'

CRAPer Nicholson was responding to a resolution passed recently by the Canadian Bar Association, which effectively calls for decriminalization of FAS offenders because deterrence does not work when brain disabilities are occuring.

FAS is a brain and central nervous system disorders caused by a mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Damage includes impaired mental functioning, memory problems, impaired judgement and inabilty to control impulses and understand the consequences of actions.

The CBA is calling for increased funding of programs that replace criminalizing FAS offenders and to amend the Criminal Code to 'accomodate the disability of those with FASD.'

What to do, what to do??

Spend @ 9 Billion $$ on imprisoning non violent Canadian Cannabis Imbibers or spend some of that ear marked Canadian Taxpayer $$ on For Profit USA Style Prison Imported Gulags, on treating another group of people who have been devastated by Alcohol, in this case, the FAS'ers.

5,000 Canadians die each year, directly from the usage of Alcohol. Tens of thousands also suffer from the carnage of Alcohol, as illustarted by the plight of the FAS'ers.

Please Mr. Harper.

End your War on Some Drugs. Help save Canadians who are being devastated by this most insidious of Drugs.


'I get high with a little help from my friends.'

Stephen Harper.

Can you feel the Rapture?

Posted by: jeff franklin | 2010-08-24 1:00:15 PM

You know, it amuses me no end that people are constantly wringing their hands over the cost of incarcerating offenders. The death penalty and flogging are both cheaper and more effective. So perhaps those who bewail new prison construction should consider the alternatives.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-24 1:51:45 PM

So when will this wonderful safe zero death healing but recreational pot stuff going to be legal in Canada?Huh? Huh? A $50 bet will convince the haters how wrong we are..Go ahead, make a non violent gesture and put your money down ..make Stevie Harper regret everything he ever did to offend you and at the same time
make an easy $50

A recent phone survey of Haters says no way in 2011...even on the heels of the California miracle of legal pot we believe is their ambitious and freedom loving state Prop 19..

So money/mouth you know the drill.. even though I have been stiffed by every wipehead I ever betted against and won after their deadline for victory passed on any number of pot liberation items..I feel in my heart that the new kinder more astute wipeheads will be decent and play fair..

$50- no Pizzas or symbolic prizes,
this is about real money & real liberty

Posted by: Robert Bruce | 2010-08-24 7:51:31 PM

Wow a whole page and you managed to say nothing but personal insults and spin. You fail to refute anything I stated. I will try again. If you would just answer the questions instead of insulting, spinning or avoiding this wouldn't go on for pages.

1) Yes Shane, eventually you did state what you believe is safe. I then refuted the "facts" you used to base this on and provided many more showing that the effects from alcohol are worse. Now you refuse to talk to the point instead (once again)you try and spin it into something else.
So I am going to change the question a little:
Would a reasonable person whom looked at the information provide determine Mj is safer than alcohol and why?

2) I agreed with your side effects for the most part. Remember this? "The properties you list are "unknown" as you state, unproven, minor, rare or exactly what the user is looking for".
Not disputing many of them although you list them all as negative and others might not. The gateway effect of course is the unproven one. This point was about currently legal prescription medications having worse side effects than Medical Mj.
So would a reasonable person conclude that some current commonly prescribed medications have worse side effects than Medical MJ?

3) I look for all information. Why would I not be interested in studies to do with Mj if I feel that they will support my point of view? I just didn't happen to see that one. Also it helps reinforce the point that the current government is shutting down any funding for studies that may show benefits for MJ. And that it has an anti drug ideology that does not want any facts to dispute their train of thought.
So currently the only Mj funding that is being funded by the conservative government is trying to prove up a link between MJ and psychosis.

4)a)Good so you agree that the government will make money by taxing it.
Now what are the unforeseen drastic circumstances that will cause the downfall of society if it is legalized like alcohol, tobacco, gambling, etc.
Here is a link saying it is about a 19 billion dollar a year business in Canada (it uses references by DEA and economists)

b)So no immediate harm except maybe health consequences to the user. You don't care about the health of a MJ smoker and the government currently does not regulate if people take care of their bodies. Therefore as an isolated act it is victimless in the eyes of everyone. So once again if the person purchased it from a store/government department/legal farmer who obtains the product from a legal/reputable source what would be the Mj related consequences as you put it?

5) On one thread over a couple days. How long have you been writing on here Shane? Oh here is another one on this thread just posted by you "You know, it amuses me no end that people are constantly wringing their hands over the cost of incarcerating offenders. The death penalty and flogging are both cheaper and more effective." So just kill or flog them all I guess would have been a more fair statement by me.

6) I still feel that way I am not backtracking. I understand you think it stinks and that you feel that is a reason it should be illegal. It is obvious that you believe that that because some people find a smell to be strong it should be illegal. But only ones that ..... I don't know how you are determining which strong smells should be illegal. The statement was meant to be sarcastic as you are being deliberately thick on the subject.
Please share with me how you determine which smells should be illegal?

6)b) Worse drugs can be legally obtained. The rate of crime associated with those products is a fraction of that with MJ. If people were able to purchase from legal sources it can be inferred that the crime associate with it will also be less.

8) Good. There are many ways to use mj that does not involve smoking. Such as eating or using a vapourizer. Most people smoke because its not always practical to have a brownie in their pocket.

9)a) You could if you provide actual facts and/or reasonable arguments. But you don't. It may surprise you but I don't really smoke it. It is more of a personal rights issue for me.

b)I see so you are not attacking is credentials and knowledge of the issue you are attacking how he looks and that he doesn't agree with the government stance on the subject?

Posted by: bret | 2010-08-24 8:55:36 PM

Nothing but personal insults and spin, Bret? This from the guy who accuses me of wanting double-parkers dead? Do you suppose just for once, you could get through an entire post without telling a filthy lie?

1. You refuted nothing; you merely offered your own opinion as to what constitutes "safe." You offer impressive-sounding numbers, but no per-capita numbers, which is the ultimate test of how dangerous something really is. And it really is hard to argue that fewer people who smoke pot come to grief as a result of it than people who drink alcohol. That about a fifth of pot smokers eventually graduate to the heavy stuff is indisputable; at issue is the exact mechanism, which technically fascinating though it may be, is ultimately irrelevant. It's the results that count.

2. Bret, virtually EVERY person on this board who admits to smoking pot demonstrates one or more of the following: bad spelling, bad grammar, poor comprehension, poor memory, lack of insight, weak deductive reasoning skills, narcissism, emotional immaturity, and contempt/hostility for authority and/or mainstream society. I realize that's anecdotal, but most of the people on this board also drink, and in my experience that's a far less reliable predictor of all of the above. Don't tell me there's no side effects. We hear over and over again about all the "judges, lawyers, doctors, airline pilots, engineers" and so on that use pot, but where are they all?

3. No, you do not look for all information. I'm prepared to believe you will at least look at data when it's offered to you, but the fact that you were unable to locate what I found after ten seconds on Google is pretty convincing proof you did not actually look. Also, pot has been illegal in this country since 1925, so blaming it all on the Harper administration, or worse, on the United States, is disingenuous. It's also irrelevant, because pharmaceutical companies get their drugs approved by Health Canada all the time without government funding. They pay for their own studies. Marc Emery would have done well to do the same, instead of footing the bill for 420 parties.

4a. Will they generate revenue by taxing it? Of course. The point, which you refuse to understand, is whether they'll still be out ahead when the smoke clears and all the others tables are added up. Activists don't have to consider such interdisciplinary math, but governments do. And here is a link saying that such estimates are useless, offering quotes from organizations like NORML.

4b. Don't harp on your carefully constructed talking points, Bret. It makes you look like a shyster. I am not interested only in immediate harm, and only you say that only immediate harm is important. I, and people of sense, including conscientious policymakers, take the long view. Your interest is much more circumscribed, beginning and ending with the fact that you want it and have been told you can't have it.

5. Don't be so modest. You've been at it a lot longer than a couple of days. And unlike you, I comment on subjects other than pot. And no, it wouldn't be a fair statement because I didn't advocate those things; I merely point them out as the logical alternatives to incarceration, and to highlight the fact that those who condemn incarceration have not even thought about the alternatives. Thinking appears to play very little role in Leftist thought; it's all about what makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside.

6a. Is "changing the subject" better? How about "laying a smoke screen"? Or how about, "The fact that it stinks is but one of many factors to consider in determining its illegality"? On its own, the stink wouldn't amount to much. In combination with the other factors, though, it helps clinch the deal. It also highlights how inconsiderate pot smokers are of other people, which again is part of their ongoing image problem.

6b. So the logic here is, "There's already drug-related trouble in the world, so by all means, let's add more"? All this arguments proves is that you're ready to throw more fuel on a fire you already say is burning. How twisted is that? Remember what I was saying about poor reasoning skills?

8. And joints are more convenient than pills?

9a. No, I couldn't, because for you, this isn't about facts. It's about how you feel. For you this is much more than a simple decision based on evidence; it's a lifestyle and a whole way of thinking. Emotion can overcome logic, but the reverse is not true.

9b. No, I'm attacking his opinion. You can have credentials up the ying-yang and still be wrong. Just because you have an M.Sc. and Ph.D. doesn't mean you can't fall for a load of B.S. It's not so much his looks, as his entire aspect. Let's just say I would not buy a used car from this man.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-24 9:30:48 PM

Who the heck is Robert Bruce whom posted my betting offer? that was an official 419 offer,
who is this Robert Bruce muscling in my retirement fund?

Posted by: 419 | 2010-08-24 9:47:54 PM

1) So you don't want to answer the question again I guess?
Any reasonable person would consider not dying, not being addicted, not suffering a wide variety of health effects safe. Yes I provide impressive numbers while you provide nothing but an unproven gateway effect. Correlation does not prove causation. Here is a link to the gateway effect.
I am not getting into it because both you and I know it is not true and you are just grasping at the last straw.

2) Not going to answer this one either?
Have you read any of Zeb or 419s posts? Come on Shane really? And I never said there were no side effects. The ones you listed were unproven, untrue, uncommon, mild or the reason people were smoking it.

3)I am not blaming it all on the Harper government.Currently they are in power and are pushing an anti drug agenda. Are you saying they don't have one? So what you have proven here is that there was some research happening but the current government has essentially shut it all down. Thanks.

4)a) I understand the point but you have offered no proof of these devastating consequences that will befall us and now have finally admitted that they will make money by taxing it. Which is really common sense not sure why you couldn't/wouldn't do it before. I agree that it is strictly a best guess estimate when trying to determine the amount but pretty much everyone agrees that it would be significant.

4)b) So not going to answer this one either?
Once again what are these long term catastrophic consequences you keep vaguely referring to?

5) Semantics. The last resort for most a continuing one for you.

6)a)Good so you admit that the smell when held on its own merits "the stink doesn't amount to much" when determining its illegality. So we have determined that alcohol is more dangerous, less addictive, has less severe side effects than some commonly prescribed drugs, the government would make money by taxing it and the actual act of smoking it is victimless. So I guess we agree the smell angle is standing on its own and meaningless.

6)b) No the argument here is that the prohibition of Mj is causing all of the crime associated with it and worse drugs are currently not prohibited. Especially evident when you compare it to legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco.

8) How many dealers have Mj pills? But it is still good to hear that you feel Mj should be available medically.

9)a)You haven't even really tried to produce facts. You do exactly what you accuse MJ activists of doing. "flinging anything and everything they can in the hope that something will stick".
b) I get it. You have a gut feeling about anyone that advocates for MJ.

Posted by: bret | 2010-08-24 11:46:40 PM

$ 50.... how about it?

Posted by: 419 | 2010-08-24 11:56:36 PM

1a. No; five or six times is enough. And any reasonable person would consider an icepick lobotomy to be unsafe, despite the fact that it meets the criteria you laid out. It doesn't affect your health; it doesn't make you addicted (and may cure one); and it doesn't kill you. Who here would rather have a lobotomy than a beer? Anyone???

1b. Correlation suggests causation, and is more than you have on your side. The effect exists; the dispute is over why it does, not whether it does. Sorry, but I don't accept "facts" from any web site whose domain name is an attitude.

2. What are you babbling about? We've been discussing side effects ad nauseum. The side effects YOU list are also rare, uncommon, mild, or unproven. When fifty people out of a million have side effects, that's rare. But it's enough to pull a prescription med from the shelves in some cases.

3. Well, that only makes every government since 1925. But you harbour a special hate for the Tories, don't you? And I notice you very carefully avoided discussing the fact that studies can be privately funded.

4. This is unbelievable. You've spent this entire debate avoiding answers, yet you can do nothing but harp and harp that I've been avoiding answers. You dodge, you bob and weave, you deny, and you falsely accuse. I don't have to offer proof that smoking pot makes you stupid, Bret. Or that it often leads to a lifetime of drug addiction. Others have done that before me. But you hide behind the "correlation isn't causation" dodge without coming up with anything better.

5. You mean like the difference between a cap gun and a nuclear bomb is semantics? I can see why your 1-bit brain would classify them the same: "Well, they both make a bang, right?"

6a. But I don't hold the smell to its own merits, Bret. Look around you. No one but dopeheads is buying your divide-and-conquer approach. Sorry, but there's no a la carte approach to considering the effects of something. It's a package deal. And the package is rotten. The shitty wrap job is just the icing on the cake.

6b. No, that's not your argument. We're discussing the relative harm done by both drugs, which you contend is less than pot (debatable), and which you want to ADD to that you say is already done by alcohol. That is the end result of what you're saying. There's no escaping that fact.

8. How difficult is it to grind it up and compress it? If it can be compressed into bricks, it can be compressed into tablets. Making tablets would be even easier with hash oil.

9. If my description of your position is inaccurate, Bret, why then, simply tell us how. Proving wrong is more convincing than declaring wrong, and since you alone know ALL the facts, you're in a unique position to do so. But you're not confident of pulling that off, are you? You "get" nothing. You just view everything through the lens of a hemp-headed scofflaw. Remember what I saw about contempt for authority?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-25 6:36:06 AM

Cannabis produces effects that are not welcome,three generations of humans have seen fit to prohibit it via their democratically elected governments.Widespread ilicit Cannabis use has spawned a vast dangerous and murderous black market, all for a weed that nobody really needs.
Why would anyone want to, strive to, struggle to insist normal straight people to legalise regulate and distribute this vice ? Most people do not want cannabis legalized, nobody appreciates the negative impact of diminished ability due to cannabis use by youth & vehicle drivers.
Drug Cannabis has some limited medicinal use and non drug hemp cannabis has good industrial potential= but the marijuana wipeheads and the black market they embrace, and the lawlessness they support are all bad news.

There is nobody alive today who lived in a time where it was legal to use marijuana, so they did not lose any rights to be stoned. Vice pot is illegal all over the world. Normal people do not welcome it and at best barely tolerate it's use by others. The world would be better off without the cannabis habit -marijuana is an annoying vice: it smells bad and presents a fire hazard.
It's drawbacks far outweigh any perceived benefit.

Sweets for the sweet- dope for the dopes

Posted by: 419 | 2010-08-25 7:51:54 AM

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