Somebody show me some place where price has dropped?!...yet supply and potency continue to increase, while price drops.
Somebody show me some place where price has dropped?!...yet supply and potency continue to increase, while price drops.
So why should we consider legalizing it? Well, because when young people experience marijuana, they imagine that the falsehoods they were told about it apply to crack, methamphetamine, oxycontin, and heroin as well. That’s the real way that marijuana is a “gateway drug.”
I have been saying this for years.
It is not a "harmless" drug, but it is, by no means, the evil demon that anti-MJ proponents would have you believe. It is not evil, and it does have applications.
In a world where we are innundated with synthetically engineered anti-depression and pain suppressant pharmeceuticals, to keep outlawing this, EVEN ON A MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION BASIS, is insane.
So, I would not recommend this for minors, or anyone who really does not NEED it, but I will not say it will ruin your life either (unless abused in a manner similar to other legal substances). But all this crap going on is... well.... CRAP!
'Legal Weed' is just beer, but Feds want to cap sales
The bottle-top slogan of a brewer with a head for business in Weed, Calif., draws a warning from U.S. drug watchdogs. All he's pushing is a respectable local enterprise, backers say.
By Eric Bailey
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 29, 2008
WEED, CALIF. -- — This town is in a tempest over a bottle top.
The federal government is telling the owner of a small brewery here that the pun he's placed on caps of his Weed Ales crosses a line.
"Try Legal Weed," the caps joke.
The U.S. Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau says those three little words allude to marijuana use.
Vaune Dillmann, owner of Mt. Shasta Brewing Co., says he was just trying to grab attention for his beers and this tough-luck place in the morning shadow of Mt. Shasta.
But in the two months since he received a warning, the 61-year-old brewer has found himself in a David-vs.-Goliath struggle, cast as the little guy.
The bureau's bureaucrats have told Dillmann he needs to stop using the "Try Legal Weed" bottle caps. If he doesn't, he could risk fines or sanctions. His worst fear: being forced out of business.
A balding former cop turned saloon owner and then master brewer, Dillmann isn't one to back down.
"This is ludicrous, bizarre, like meeting Big Brother face-to-face," he grumbled recently. "Forget freedom of speech and the 1st Amendment. They are the regulatory gods, a judge and jury all rolled into one. This is a life-or-death issue for my business."
Besides, he said, the town itself was named for a man, not a plant. Abner Weed was a lumber baron who served as a state senator from these parts a century ago.
Officials at the tax and trade bureau say they have no desire to run Dillmann out of the brewing business, insult the residents of Weed or sully the memory of its founding father.
But the agency does intend to keep an eye out for alcoholic beverage labels violating the regulatory rules, said Art Resnick, a federal spokesman.
Dillmann's label faux pas, Resnick said, was twofold: "We consider it to be a drug reference, and find it to be false and misleading to the consumer in terms of what may or may not be the properties contained within that product," Resnick said.
Folks in Weed -- population 3,000 -- know whom they're rooting for.
"It's just plain goofy to me the federal government is making so much of a fuss over this," said Mayor Chuck Sutton. "I can sort of understand their point, but it all seems a little overboard."
"Government is keeping us safe from bottle caps," mocked the headline above an editorial in the Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding, an hour's drive south down Interstate 5.
"Let's get real," the editorial concluded, "anyone old enough to legally buy a six-pack . . . is mature enough not to be dragged into a life of drug-addled debauchery by a message on the bottle cap."
Siskiyou County Supervisor Michael Kobseff also came to Dillmann's defense, saying the town was proud of the brewer and his accomplishments, including the economic stimulus his business had brought to an area still recovering from the timber industry's decline.
On the bottle caps in question, "Try Legal Weed" is surrounded by the slogan "A Friend in Weed Is a Friend Indeed." To Dillmann's supporters, that spells civic boosterism, not drug pushing.
Not that weed isn't being pushed inside the city limits.
Weed has a tradition of exploiting the double-entendre of its name. A pithy placard on the way out of town announces "Temporarily Out of Weed." Gas stations sell "High on Weed" T-shirts. (The town, after all, is at an elevation of 3,500 feet.)
Though the town is no counterculture haven, the metal entry arch downtown is something of a stoner stopover. Summer days find traveling pot aficionados playfully posing for snapshots under the archway's sign, "WEED."
Dillmann, whose family has deep roots in the community, helped erect that sign in 1988 and is quick to note he has never inhaled the illegal stuff. His wife is a longtime grade-school teacher whose forebears homesteaded in the 1880s. His grown son is a firefighter.
Still, he's happy to tap into cheeky reefer references to win a sliver of market share in a bruising business. His bottled brews include Shastafarian Porter (a wink and a nod to Rastafarians) and Mountain High IPA.
Since he began brewing five years ago in an abandoned former creamery, Dillmann has built a business with half a dozen employees, a tasting room with carved-wood bar, a growing distribution reach all over the Golden State and a blossoming reputation for tasty microbrews.
So far, more than 400,000 beer bottles have proudly worn the "Try Legal Weed" caps.
Regulators caught up with the caps in February, as Dillmann was seeking label approval for his Lemurian Golden Lager. They issued a rejection sheet citing several typeface technicalities and one deal breaker: the words "Try Legal Weed."
So far, no one has ordered Dillmann to recall any previously capped bottles. But he recently took delivery of another 400,000 caps. If they can't be used, he'll be out $10,000. That's no small change for a small business like his.
The controversy has, via the Internet, raised the ire of beer lovers all over. Dillmann has received more than 1,000 letters, e-mails and phone calls, almost all in support. He's also tapped his local congressman, Rep. Wally Herger (R-Chico), and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who pressed regulators.
Dillmann has appealed, with a decision expected by Sunday. He vows not to cave, and expects a long, expensive legal battle if need be. He says he just wants to keep his caps and not lose his shirt.
What irks him most, he says -- even more than the feds' lack of a funny bone -- is what he considers a double standard.
While stomping on him, Dillmann says, the government treats Budweiser with kid gloves, despite the fact that "This Bud's for You" also could be mistaken for marijuana slang.
"They sell Bud. We sell Weed," he said. "What's the difference?"
Copyright 2008 Los Angeles Times
Never been to Weed, but I and countless others have had my picture taken in front of the sign entering Stoner, Colorado.About $50/oz., I'd say.Originally Posted by LA Times
The Perils of Potent Pot
Is better marijuana really worse for you?
Jacob Sullum | June 18, 2008
According to federal drug czar John Walters, the marijuana available in the United States is better than ever. Well, that's not quite the way he put it, but it's closer to the truth.
Last week, as part of its ongoing effort to convince baby boomers that today's "Pot 2.0" is much more dangerous than the stuff they smoked when they were young, Walters' Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced that "levels of THC—the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—have reached the highest-ever amounts since scientific analysis of the drug began in the late 1970s." The University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project reports that the average THC content of the seized marijuana it tests was 8.1 percent last year, up from 3.2 percent in 1983.
That increase is much less dramatic than the one Walters alleged a few years ago. In a 2002 San Francisco Chronicle op-ed piece, he asserted that "the potency of available marijuana has not merely 'doubled,' but increased as much as 30 times" since 1974, when "the average THC content of marijuana was less than 1 percent."
Since 1 percent is the threshold at which experimental subjects can detect a psychoactive effect, if Walters were right it would mean that people who smoked pot in the mid-'70s, when marijuana was even more popular than it is today, typically did not get high as a result. This rather implausible claim is based on a small, nonrepresentative sample of low-quality marijuana that probably degraded in storage.
Worse, to get his impressive 30-to-1 ratio, Walters compared the weakest pot of the '70s to the strongest pot of this decade. As a review of research on marijuana potency in the July 2008 issue of the journal Addiction notes, "There is enormous variation in potency, within a given year, from sample to sample," such that "cannabis users may be exposed to greater variation of cannabis potency in a single year...than over years or decades."
Even when the ONDCP is comparing annual averages, it's not clear that the government's samples, which depend on whose marijuana law enforcement agencies happen to seize, are comparable from year to year or representative of the U.S. market. Still, it's likely that average THC content has increased significantly during the last couple of decades as growers have become more adept at meeting the demands of increasingly discriminating consumers. The question is why Walters thinks that's a bad thing.
With stronger pot, people can smoke less to achieve the same effect, thereby reducing their exposure to combustion products, the most serious health risk associated with marijuana consumption. Yet the ONDCP inexplicably warns that higher THC levels could mean "an increased risk" of "respiratory problems."
It also trots out warnings about reefer madness reminiscent of anti-drug propaganda from the 1930s, conflating correlation (between heavy pot smoking and depression, for example) with causation. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, worries that stronger pot might be more addictive, although she concedes that "more research is needed to establish this link between higher THC potency and higher addiction risk."
By contrast, the Australian scientists who wrote the Addiction article say "more research is needed to determine whether increased potency...translates to harm for users." Unlike our government, they are open to the possibility that the link Volkow seeks to establish does not in fact exist.
To bolster the idea that marijuana is more addictive today, the ONDCP notes that "16.1% of drug treatment admissions [in 2006] were for marijuana as the primary drug of abuse," compared to "6% in 1992." But referrals from the criminal justice system account for three-fifths of these treatment admissions, and marijuana arrests have increased by more than 150 percent since 1990.
By arresting people for marijuana possession and forcing them into treatment, the government shows why it has to arrest people for marijuana possession. That's our self-justifying drug policy in a nutshell.
© Copyright 2008 by Creators Syndicate Inc.
Just Another Drug War Rant
(By Kevin Carson, Thursday, July 17th, 2008)
When I tell people in meatspace conversations that I’m opposed to drug prohibition, I frequently get a look of utter astonishment: “You mean people ought to just be able to take crack, or meth, or whatever, whenever they feel like it?”
Well, the point is they can already do that right now. If you look at countries like the Netherlands, where pot is for all intents and purposes legal, and private possession and use of the hard stuff is virtually decriminalized, the actual rates of drug use are probably at or below those in the United States.
So essentially, we’ve allowed our country to be taken over by gangs and organized crime syndicates fighting to control the black markets in illegal drugs. We’ve created lawless, militarized police forces that view us as an occupied enemy, sadistic bastards who taser people in diabetic comas to death for “resisting arrest,” and murder 92-year-old women in their sleep in botched SWAT team raids. We’ve gutted the due process provisions of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, which are now kept around mainly as examples of good penmanship. We’ve got the highest rate of incarceration in the entire world–greater than Communist China–and a massive prison-industrial complex using slave labor. We are literally at the mercy of beasts of prey in SS chic uniforms. We’ve corrupted our society to the core. And we’ve done it all for nothing.
The corruption of our society includes turning the cops themselves into the biggest criminal gangs of all, under the corrupting influence of all that drug money. Only the cops’ approach to gang warfare involves building a petty empire of planted evidence, jailhouse snitches, entrapment, plea extortion, and civil forfeiture.
The biggest fans of Prohibition were the bootleggers–probably even more than the Baptists, who served as their useful idiots.
Today, most people would probably be amazed at how much of the leading “drug warrior” politicians’ campaign funds consist of laundered money from the drug cartels. As Larry Gambone says,
One thing the illegal drug trade is good for is raising lots and lots of cash. And the biggest organized criminals of them all are probably the shadow warriors of the CIA, using the international drug trade to raise money for criminals and terrorists in the employ of the United States government.The point has to be made that whether the figure is $100 billion or $400 billion it is a lot of money and the gangs cannot account for more than a fraction of it. The rest has to be somewhere else and the most likely set of suspects are the people who are already handling billions of dollars such as the offshore money laundries connected to “legitimate” financial institutions or the folks who already have a history of involvement in high-level drug trafficking, namely the CIA….
….The people most vociferous in their support for the so-called War on Drugs are the people, or are associates of the people, who profit from the drug trade at the higher levels.
Originally Posted by MonaOriginally Posted by Kevin Carson
I don't know about a 100% allowance of private drug use, especially when some drugs, like Crack and PCP can have substantial effects on not only the user, but those around them.
I do, however, agree that the blacklisting of so many substances has made more than a pretty penny for those that traffic it, and those that are supposed to prevent it (but have chosen otherwise).
So how do you curb usage to get the most effective result? Make everything perscription (which can be abused, but is still cheaper than a street corner AND can be monitored if done correctly) or just legalize it like NyQuil and Sudafed?
How is it a federal function to "curb usage?"
The tenuous legal justification for regulating drugs at all is completely derived from Congress' ability to regulate interstate commerce i.e. to prohibit protectionist policies between the States and facilitate free unhindered trade among them.
Why was the 18th Ammendment passed if a federal dictat could have accomplished the same thing?
The drug war is an abomination. Good hearted people who wish to prevent people from ruining their lives with drugs shouldn't align themselves with unbridled government authority that ruins lives while enriching and empowering a ravenous police state.
Nothing justifies tyranny -- not even good intentions.
Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
US diplomat, lawyer, orator, & politician (1782 - 1852)
Not really. The ability to regulate on these substances also goes for public safety. Like I said, certain substances can be a danger to people around you as well as those on the substance. As such, some steps might be seen as appropriate in making them less of a danger to those around them.The tenuous legal justification for regulating drugs at all is completely derived from Congress' ability to regulate interstate commerce i.e. to prohibit protectionist policies between the States and facilitate free unhindered trade among them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eightee...s_ConstitutionWhy was the 18th Ammendment passed if a federal dictat could have accomplished the same thing?
Not all of us are history majors JK. If you wanted to say Prohibition, it would have been nice if you did so.
I believe the Amendment was looking for more than a curbing of the substance, but more of a unified federal standard. They wanted to set the record strait across the board.
By the way, forgive my ignorance, but isn't the whole drug thing regulated by the FDA now? I am not sure, I know enforcement is by other agencies, but I thought regulation was the FDA (which did not get its own backbone until after Prohibition).
You are lumping everything together. I do believe that much of it is ill conceived, but some of it still remains valid.The drug war is an abomination. Good hearted people who wish to prevent people from ruining their lives with drugs shouldn't align themselves with unbridled government authority that ruins lives while enriching and empowering a ravenous police state.
I do not want Jr. to be able to pick up a joint, a lude, or a rock at the corner convenience store on the way to school.
Is that an exaggeration? Yes, but total decriminalization of all substances and relinquishment of any regulation will get you similar situations.
Thus my inference to the previously questioned "curbed". Some highly addictive and socially destructive substances should be watched and regulated. But they should also keep in mind, the surest way to kill a profit is to make it too expensive to do it "illegally" and too cheap to get it through approved channels.
You let people grow weed in their back yards, you will find it awfully hard to make money on it in Washington Square.
Regulation over prohibition.
I know where you are coming from JK, but it is hard to agree with you when you take such a unilaterally extreme position on all substances.Nothing justifies tyranny -- not even good intentions.
I know the current code does not work, but again, I do not want Meth to be easily obtained by whoever is looking for it.
I guess the bottom line is, you make it too hard and the wrong people make a profit.
You make it too easy and some people may end up getting hurt.
And that brings back my question. What level of regulation would be easily maintained, ruin the profit margin for illicit dealers/manufacturers AND limit the universal exposure of people like youth to substances that could prove very harmful to anyone, let alone someone who thinks that "just one hit" won't hurt them?
Alcohol is legal and regulated (and taxed). What's wrong with that model?Yes, but total decriminalization of all substances and relinquishment of any regulation will get you similar situations.
Packaging with certified purity, strength, etc. would cut down on deaths for sure.Some highly addictive and socially destructive substances should be watched and regulated.
I don't know where you found that I hold a "unilaterally extreme position."I know where you are coming from JK, but it is hard to agree with you when you take such a unilaterally extreme position on all substances.
But isn't it "easily obtained by whoever is looking for it" now?I know the current code does not work, but again, I do not want Meth to be easily obtained by whoever is looking for it.
By their own negligence, not by DEA busting down the wrong door or gang wars in the streets.I guess the bottom line is, you make it too hard and the wrong people make a profit.
You make it too easy and some people may end up getting hurt.
Not from anyplace I have seen in Hoboken, or any of the 'Burbs.
You can't say that complete legalization will not make it more readily available. Wait, you did!
Alcohol is still illegal:Alcohol is legal and regulated (and taxed). What's wrong with that model?
For certain professions
That is what I meant when I said "curbed".
I agree with you there, but it is still hard to say that things like Crack and PCP can be taken in any "healthy" dose. Heroin is also kind of tough, but low doses of things like Coke and other MILDER stimulants might actually not be that bad....Packaging with certified purity, strength, etc. would cut down on deaths for sure.
Because I mention drugs like Crack Cocaine and you still call for complete removal of all laws making "drugs" illegal. If that was not your intent, that was what it was coming off like.I don't know where you found that I hold a "unilaterally extreme position."
I am not 100% against you on this JK. I just do not think that 100% legalization would make for a good situation.
Kind of like the "Free market" advocates crying for complete deregulation to stimulate development etc etc. SOME regulation is needed to keep people driving on one side of the street.
No, it isn't. Not for someone who has not found it to begin with and made a contact. Not everywhere is as easily serviced as NYC. The harder you make the first step, the less likely an adolescent will try it.But isn't it "easily obtained by whoever is looking for it" now?
Hell, something as simple and "natural" as a porn mag was very hard for me to get when I was 16! I know it has gotten easier with the internet, and so have things like drugs, but I hope you get my point.
I am not calling for the same regulations we have now, but saying that getting cocaine in suburbia is as easy as picking up a quart of milk is a little off.
It is not impossible, that is for sure, but it is not as easy as you keep making it sound.
Not really. I agree negligence is one contributing factor, but blaming all societies ills on regulation and enforcement is not 100% fair.By their own negligence, not by DEA busting down the wrong door or gang wars in the streets.
Absolutes simply do not work. They never do. Totalitarian rule and an iron fist will breed many ills, but complete anarchy never lasts long enough before pack rule starts and people start making their own regulations involving life, conduct, and everything else.
I am not saying that removing all drug restrictions will lead to Anarchy in the streets, although it is phrased that way. All I am saying is that the laws need to be re-written to make the entire trade less profitable. More regulated, less forbidden will make it hard for cartels to make a buck.
So your complete argument revolves around the premise that if drugs were more available, their use would go up....but saying that getting cocaine in suburbia is as easy as picking up a quart of milk is a little off.
It is not impossible, that is for sure, but it is not as easy as you keep making it sound.
If thats so, prove the point. Show me some data that supply drives demand.
What makes you think that stores would jump at the chance to sell the more noxious drugs anyway. Wouldn't there be local ordinances like liquor laws etc?
Would your licenced and regulated local purveyor have an incentive to start a neighborhood crack epidemic -- especially if it would threaten his lucrative pot business?
In 1993 in the City of Boston I purchased some weed from a dealer with one of these stickers on it. This guy was very intelligent and enterprising and asked questions; Are you a cop? Is this for you? Is this your money? Stolen money? How old are you? Have you smoked weed before? He had different grades and different prices. He was as on-the-up-and-up as one could be, a real businessman successfully serving a demand. He's probably serving a mandatory sentence in some federal prison now.
I am not a link monkey!
Are you saying that use does not go down when it is made harder to obtain?
I have always found that, for most things, making it a pain in the butt to obtain works better than forbidding it. Odd that a permitted inconvenience is less desirable in some cases than something that is forbidden.
You think that could come mainly from the thrill of trying something illegal? Like the aformentioned skin mags. Seeing one when I was younger was more than just the obvious sexual angle. It was against the law. My heart was going a mile a minute before I even cracked it open.
You say there is no thrill commesurate with any other forbidden act?
Possible, but on a job you don't draw a bunch of lines on a plan and hope the contractor will use the sizes that will work.What makes you think that stores would jump at the chance to sell the more noxious drugs anyway. Wouldn't there be local ordinances like liquor laws etc?
A lot of times you put in a "whoops" clause, like a minimum size, or number of studs, etc. Local ordinances work well for a lot of things, but something like this needs a base to work off of. We all know that one state forbidding something just gets people to cross state lines to get it.
You are mixing situations.Would your licenced and regulated local purveyor have an incentive to start a neighborhood crack epidemic -- especially if it would threaten his lucrative pot business?
1. Anyone can grow pot. Hell, the stuff is called "weed" for a reason! So that is the first fallacy in that statement. Pot will probably never be very profitable if made legal.
2. You are saying that someone who sells one thing will be the one contemplating selling the other. You know that will probably not be the case. What usually happens is competition. You will not have, for arguments sake, a Weed War where every horticulturally minded natural food store and pharmacy will try to underprice the other. One will start selling vials of the cheapest, most addictive substance known on the streets in quite some time and others would be severely tempted to follow suit.
Will all of them? No. But the example is getting a bit distended, persuing that line of logic will just get us into too many "What if"s.
Wow, I really admire him.In 1993 in the City of Boston I purchased some weed from a dealer with one of these stickers on it. This guy was very intelligent and enterprising and asked questions; Are you a cop? Is this for you? Is this your money? Stolen money? How old are you? Have you smoked weed before? He had different grades and different prices.
Siting one guy who may have wanted to do things differently, in a still illegal trade, does nothing for the argument.
Would he be well suited in a country/area where it was legalized? Yes. I think that if it were legalized, traders like that would be welcomed in teh same vein as small-time Microbrews are now.
Just keep in mind JK, I have never said I oppose the legalization of pot. Personally, I have never tried it, but I do not see it as a major threat in any vein (pun NOT intended) and substances like this would be preferred over other OTC and perscription antidepressants, sedatives/etc.
If only it did not STINK so much!!!
Maybe, but again, it has nothing to do with what we are talking about. He was an up-and-up drug dealer. It was a relatively innocuous substance he was selling and I do not approve of where the line has been drawn, but he chose to step over it.He was as on-the-up-and-up as one could be, a real businessman successfully serving a demand. He's probably serving a mandatory sentence in some federal prison now.
When a person asks you if you are a cop before he sells you something, chances are he knows what side he is standing on, no matter how good his intensions or buisness practice might be.....
I think we understand each other on this. It is probably just a degree of lean on the issue. I am not disagreeing with your basic premise, but the problem is you can't say that things like Crack will cause no harm and noone would ever sell it if it was legalized. We have no real solid numbers showing what regulation could do for or against it, but common sense says making something less convenient has a tendency to curb its use.
Example. Cookies. Put cookies in front of you at the computer while you are working/playing/posting. See how many you eat.
Now put them over in the kitchen and only get one each time you get up to get one. Chances are, you will eat less if you have to get up every time to get one.
Direct analogy? Hell no! But an example of how simple inconvenience curbs usage!
Whatever. I am out of cookies at work!
And I thought that wa a short answer!!