Because elite potheads love their weed, nobody has the guts to stand in their way, and consequences be damned.
The CNN story describes a new study that suggests that smoking a lot of pot, especially if you are young, makes you dumber.
It’s not conclusive, of course. Research seldom is. It also doesn’t matter, since a combination of relentless pro-stoner advocacy, resulting contempt for the law and the fact that a disproportionate number of minorities and poor are getting caught with the drug and going to jail—making the prohibition itself racist in today’s “race trumps everything” political culture—has assured that marijuana will join tobacco, alcohol and legalized gambling as socially destructive—but lucrative! Profits! Taxes! Yum Yum!—forces in our society. Lives will be ruined, shattered and lost, real costs in money and productivity will be huge, and little positive will be gained in exchange.
It just seems so obvious that we should know how harmful these kinds of things are before we legalize them, and not start looking into it after the horse is gone, the genie is out and Pandora’s Box is open and lying on the floor.
It just seems dumb to…Hey! Wait a minute…
108 thoughts on “Prediction: Stories Like This Will Be Compared To “Reefer Madness””
We’ve disagreed on this before, and probably will again, but I want to take special issue with: “It just seems so obvious that we should know how harmful these kinds of things are before we legalize them”.
Although ‘these kind of things’ is vague enough to give the statement a little wiggle room, the idea that we need to know the exact health ramifications of anything before it’s sold on the market is extreme bordering on crazy. Cholesterol kills. Should we do special studies for eggs and cheese, and pull those items from the shelf until we have scientific consensus? Cheese and eggs are staples though! Well ok. How about water bottles made with BPA plastic? Nicotine gum? Regular gum for that matter? Aspartame? We take our health into our hands on a daily basis, I think you’re asking for pot to get special treatment.
Of course, all health aspects of food and other consumables can never be known. However, we demand that extensive tests be performed on new drugs before they are placed on the market, even on a prescription basis. We test food additives. Here is a known drug—though not fully studied—that we know has dubious health and behavioral consequences—that’s why it’s illegal. It’s illegality inhibited study, except for the “let’s prove pot is wonderful!” variety, shot through with researcher bias. Thsi new study might have areverse bias, but the fact remains: the danger is already significant, and may be worse than many thought. The time to find out isn’t after its too late and we have reduced the median IQ to 83 because it makes libertarians happy (and perhaps more libertarians.)
Of course it should get special treatment. You’re using a rather blatant reverse slippery slope rationalization.
All those other things mentioned have some value. People smoke pot for one reason – to get high. At the very least it belongs in the same category with alcohol and tobacco, neither of which has any value beyond mood alteration. I think Jack said it best when he said (paraphrase) that it’s bad enough to have 2 drugs in the system that can’t be prohibited, to add a third just does more damage.
That is not true for medical marijuana.
It wasn’t made illegal because of dubious health effects. Think about it. We’re arguing about those now and we have 100 years more information than they did. Criminalization was part of a puritanical movement to criminalize anything mind altering, which included alcohol. These were the same people who put out scientific ‘facts’ like if you drank alcohol and sweat it out, you could become flammable.
I know where you stand on alcohol, and at least you’re consistent, I just can’t bring myself to agree. I don’t see a rational reason for pot to be given different treatment than alcohol, aspartame, or McDonald’s fries.
When you identify how many families have broken up, children screwed up, car crashed caused, workplace disasters created, and lifetime addicts created by aspertame–seriously?—and fries, let me know.
Ah, yes, I remember all those fries junkies litering the alleys, and that time I inadvertently stumbled across the hidden fries as my mother lay in a stupor with the stove on and my baby sister playing with lives.
By the way, mental impairment IS a health problem, and “puritanism” has nothing to do with it. At all.
The amazing thing to me isn’t that pro weed activists make such silly arguments to justify their pleasant highs, but that so many intelligent people nod passively.
No one is saying aspartame can’t have harmful side effects, and yes, we all know eating badly can cause all kinds of problems. What neither of those things will produce is the consumer staggering, hallucinating, and endangering others. You want to do whatever you want, ok, but don’t you crowd me in the process.
You realize we’re talking about pot, right? You do this on this subject for some reason I just can’t fathom and dial the rhetoric up to 11. The last time we discussed this was on the study that a number (and I’m sorry, I can’t remember the number for the life of me, I think it was in the low double digits) of people involved in fatalities also had TCH, and I remember pointing out that the numbers don’t support the support the supposition that pot causes accidents. The number of auto accidents has actually gone down as the prevalence of THC has increased. The only thing the study proved is that more people are smoking.
I don’t understand where you come from on this. There is between very little and zero actual evidence that smoking marijuana leads to a fraction of what you seem to think it does. Part of that is a direct result of our lack of unbiased study on the substance, and part of that is the misinformation routinely pulled out. People still think alcohol actually kills brain cells… It doesn’t. It kills liver cells, not that that’s any better, but these temperance era myths have no scientific basis in fact. I need the science to believe the claims.
HT, you are out of your depth, and sinking. Read this about alcohol and the brain. And when you have as much experience with alcoholics and alcohol abuse (they are different, die you know that?) and the treatment of sufferers,we can talk.
To begin with, having spent waaaaay too much time with stoned people, if the only effect was to place people in a useless state and cost them money to do so, that would be justification enough to ban the crap. If it doesn’t makes you directly stupid over time (my anecdotal experience supports that finding, though), it makes you stupider than you would have been by using all the wasted time stoned by doing things and learning things. We have two ruinous legal drugs that costs the economy billions. Pot will be one more. The fact that it might be the least harmful of them—yet to be determines—doesn’t impress me one bit.
Right, I’ve now read that study, and perhaps I have a reading comprehension problem, could you please point out the section that says that alcohol kills brain cells? The closest I think that report got was that alcohol might retard the brains ability to grow new cells. I want to point out that in the context of the temperance movement, they could not possibly know that because science at the time assumed that the number of brain stem cells was fixed in early development. Even if you want to call growth retardation “killing”, this development is what amounts to scientific luck. They didn’t know it at the time.
And while I might not have the same experiences that you have, you don’t know that I haven’t had the same experiences and come out with different conclusions. But more, that argument is fallacious, it assumes that people who don’t share your exact experiences don’t have legitimate views. I liken it to when Suey Park was being interviewed by Josh Zepp, and she told him that because he was a white male, he couldn’t possibly understand racism or sexism. It’s a bad argument. On the flip side, you say that you have had bad experiences with people around you consuming. Is it possible that those bad experiences are biasing you? I don’t do drugs.I probably have friends that do, but I don’t know which ones. I don’t have a dog in this race. I do know, however, that there are people serving life sentences for recreational pot use. We need to have this conversation.
Did I ever say alcohol “kills brain cells”? I might have; If I did, I was using the term as a stand-in for “causes harm to the brain.” What’s your hang up? OK, it doesn’t kill brain cells, it “may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care. And even moderate drinking leads to short–term impairment, as shown by extensive research on the impact of drinking on driving.” Who cares whether or not all the brain cells are alive if they aren’t working right? Your first paragraph makes no sense to me, and I don’t know why you wrote it.
I don’t think advocating polluting society further with another addictive, health and cognition-harming drug that will disproportionately harm the poor, blacks, and kids while costing billions in escalating social costs isn’t a legitimate view. It’s legitimate. I know how people get there, although most of the roads are selfish, irresponsible and illogical in my view. But its legitimate. We WILL be sorry, as a society, but that means that the view is just horribly WRONG, not that its illegitimate. I hate the position, just as I hate drugs. But it’s legitimate.
I wrote it because the articles seemed to me a direct response to my assertion that the temperance movement lied about the effects of alcohol on the brain. In fact, looking at my previous comment, and then your comment, the only previous reference to alcohol’s effects on the brain was: “People still think alcohol actually kills brain cells… It doesn’t. It kills liver cells, not that that’s any better, but these temperance era myths have no scientific basis in fact. I need the science to believe the claims.” I have no idea why else you would include that study. I think you’re being deliberately obtuse.
I just don’t think it’s as damaging as you make it out to be. There isn’t any evidence of it. When you look at other countries where marijuana is legal and plentiful, and they haven’t exploded in potheads and poverty, it puts your position on the ropes. I don’t understand why you think the way you do. I’m sorry.
What does the temperance movement have to do with anything, HB? Watch Ken Burns’ documentary about Prohibition: the main objection to liquor abuse is that it was tearing families apart. Your apologia for alcohol, which is beyond question a public health disaster by any measure, destroys any credibility your rationalizations for pot legalization must have.
I am completely open changing my views in response to a persusive argument for legalizing pot. I have never heard one that isn’t ethically or logically flawed, or intellectually dishonest.
The temperance movement is relevant to this conversation, because there are a lot of parallels between it and the anti-marijuana movement. Both substances are mind altering substances with health risks. Both substances were made illegal, both with made up science. The reason that prohibition was repealed was that it didn’t work and it was damaging society more than the actual product was. I mean… Kinda like marijuana. I’m not saying that it’s a direct apples to apples comparison, but your absolute refusal to even admit the obvious on this subject blows my mind.
Although I generally support legalization (Which I’m sure is completely shocking to you 😉 ) I wouldn’t have been opposed to getting the federal government to loosen up restrictions on researching it first. Unfortunately, they consistently made it incredibly difficult to legally acquire marijuana for testing purposes. The irrational fear of it at the federal level was met with an irrational embrace of it on the personal level for a lot of people. The opposite of a stupid idea is not automatically intelligent. I have to admit that upon realizing that the government lied to me about the negative consequences of it’s use I became more suspicious of government motives in general. I was smart enough not to assume that they were automatically wrong about everything they said about the other drugs though. I wish I could say the same for all of the people I knew who tried it in high school.
What research was done was a mixed bag. Dumber… is not surprising to me at all, and I recall seeing long term effects on short term memory. OTOH, it’s associated with no change in lung cancer and decreases in other cancer, it seems to work as a treatment for PTSD, glaucoma, nausea, and a number of other things. The classification of it as a Schedule 1 drug was never really justifiable.
I still think it will be less destructive than gambling or alcohol, but I have a bit of personal bias against the former. On the latter, all I have is my observations of people who abuse each substance, and I’ll take a pothead any day.
Not exactly. You lumped it in with alcohol and gambling, which is what I was respond to. I don’t think it is even close to similar in effect, on both type and scale. I think saying A is not as bad as B and C is a perfectly legitimate response to someone else saying A is just like B and C. I didn’t try to justify legalization on those grounds, so it’s not an ethical rationalization. Sounds like I was heading that way though, so I understand why #22 came to mind
In hindsight, I think I read more into your lumping them together than was appropriate. Specifically, all you suggested was that all of them were socially destructive in some fashion, not that they were alike in their level of destruction.
Thanks, and that is what I was asserting. The three are all significantly different from pot.
Pot is more like hitting yourself over the head with a hammer for fun.
I’ve no doubt that further studies will support this one. I always felt like my cognitive faculties were dulled, and my level of motivation decreased, for a good while after smoking that stuff when I was young and invinsible, and dabbled a bit. I have to admit, it’s GREAT for sex, though not as great as mushrooms or 2C-B (okay, I dabbled more than a bit). Maybe it’s not too bad in true moderation (like once a month or so), but then, who knows. We are a long way away from having much more than a superficial and tenuous grasp of how the mind works, and especially how chemicals affect it long-term. If I could do it all over again, I would choose to abstain. Then there is the risk of non-organic but psychological problems. I used to like DMT, regarded as physically harmless because it is endogenous to the brains of most mammals, but arguably the substance that induces the most powerful hallucinogenic states by far. Put it this way; DMT compares to LSD like 190 proof rum compares to warm milk with a couple drops of brandy. There is nothing more profound than a DMT trip, and nothing with the potential to cause the sort of hellish agony of raw terror that it can. It’s easily the most profound experience a human can have, but it changes you. It’s a lot like combat in that regard. It changes you forever, and you can’t un-see and un-learn. It can leave you struggling with a lot more questions than answers, and you’ll find yourself longing for that blissful ignorance and innocence you once took for granted. It’s gaining popularity, and that worries me. It is NOT a recreational drug, and if you don’t give it the respect it’s due, you’ll likely find yourself paying a heavy psychic price. Also,hallucinogens can kindle latent psychiatric issues, especially schizophrenia. So, from a public health standpoint, I understand the need to keep these things illegal, and unquestionably for minors. On the other hand, I have libertarian leanings, and feel that there’s already plenty of ways we can legally harm ourselves if we wish. I’d also prefer we move in a more permissive direction on activities that are not too morally or ethically questionable, rather than slowly becoming accustomed to relinquishing freedoms, the way we are now. Nonetheless, I’m much more concerned with protecting the 1st,2nd, and 4th amendments, as well as state sovereignty, than I am with stuff like this. The elite potheads are rearranging the deck chairs.
Hey Jack, here are my thoughts on legalization (for the record, I have never done drugs, I don’t even drink):
The government should not be able to tell me what I can and cannot ingest/smoke/etc. Doing marijuana by itself does not infringe upon the rights of others, therefore I feel that it should be legal. Alcohol inhibits you just as much, if not more than alcohol, and when one doesn’t do too much marijuana, similar to alcohol, the effect is minimal on things like coordination. I’m well aware of the effect pot has on the brain, but if I want to inhibit my cognitive ability for the sake of feeling good, I should be able to as long as it doesn’t negatively effect others.
If you look at the situation from a purely economic perspective, the decriminalization of drugs helps the cartels. With licensed, trustworthy dispensaries selling, the cartel is out of business. Legalization greatly reduces drug-related violence in this way.
Legalizing pot also makes smoking safer. When buying from a dealer, one has no idea if it has been laced. Licensed establishments get rid of this risk. Also, pot will no longer be a gateway drug because of a lack of dealers. The reason pot is a gateway drug is because you get it from the same guy who sells the more intense stuff.
I’d like to know your thoughts on these things.
I’m stopping at this: “The government should not be able to tell me what I can and cannot ingest/smoke/etc. Doing marijuana by itself does not infringe upon the rights of others, therefore I feel that it should be legal.”
When you live in a cave, and my taxes don’t have to pay for your unemployment, food stamps and medical care, when you have no spouse or children who depend on you, and when no employers rely on your full acuity, then I agree with you.
Otherwise, this is familiar, absurd, self-serving crap. We have a mutually supportive society, and that society has a legitimate interest in prohibited people from harming others by harming themselves. It’s not a victimless crime, like most libertarian victimless crimes.
The unemployment benefits thing is a whole other argument. I think your logic here is a bit flawed. What makes you think that people who smoke are like this? Only a portion of smokers are like this (just like how their is a portion of alcohol consumers who are dependent on the government. Most users carry out normal lives and are self-sufficient.
So what? I’ll stipulate that. Again, so what? If your argument is liberty, swell, sign a statement that society is not responsible for any harm that comes to you, your family or your business as a result of abusing pot. Make sure your family and everyone who depends on them sign it to. Better yet, don’t have a family, since you can’t be trustworthy by definition. And make sure everyone who might be harmed if you come to work stoned—like, oh, the DC bus driver who wrecked my car last month, for example—also agree.
Yeah, but society doesn’t draw that line anywhere else. If someone wants to put metal spikes in their head and permanently tattoo their skin red so they look like they devil, they’re just as much a drag on society. If someone eats themselves up to 1500 pounds and get disability, they’re still a drag on society. If someone thinks that ramping a jet ski from one ditch to the next sounds like fun and gets hit by a truck and lives, they’re still a drain on society. We generally let people do stupid, debilitating things.
They’re fucking stupid things to do. They’re going to be taking some form of welfare eventually. I’m not saying what you’re saying isn’t legitimate, I’m not saying it isn’t damaging (although I disagree on scale), I just don’t see why THIS is what you’re opposed to.
Actually, this in a lot of ways mirrors Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary drinks. Obesity and diabetes kill almost as many Americans as cigarettes, from any objective measure, sugary drinks are doing more harm than pot ever could. The difference is that pot is currently illegal, and sugary drinks aren’t.
You’re right on this Humble. There is nothing that anybody could say that would change Jack’s mind. But that’s okay, this issue is moving toward legality. It’s silly to fight about it.
He is wrong, you are wrong,Beth, and we will pay a horrible price, in money and lives, for this needlessly reckless cultural shift. Oh, goody, Beth—it’s being legalized anyway, so why argue? Yes, that’s why gambling addiction is epidemic, and poor people are using their public assistance to play the slots: it’s the tide of history! I argued against that too—but hey, it’s a victimless crime!Who’s hurt? Personal liberty!Let’s have the state selling all sorts of toxic behaviors, and profiting! (Besides, those stoned citizens are easier to con.)
Nobody has ever demonstrated one positive aspect of the government encouraging more people to get stoned, which is what legalization is. Would you rather your kids getting stoned, or reading a book? Studying? Watching a play? Building something? Thinking? Planning? Exercising? Actually interacting with another human being while coherent? Using the money to save, give to charity, invest? Thinking, without being impaired?
There are some quadrants of the liberal/progressive package that border on suicidal from a societal viewpoint, and this is one of them. Maybe even the worst of them. But by all means, though, lets find out!
Look …. I don’t smoke pot, I agree it is bad, so leave that alone.
As for gambling … I voted against gambling in MD, and was outvoted; personally, I think it is a cancer. But it is not my job to enforce morality on other people, so this issue doesn’t keep me up at night. This is one of the ways I lean more Libertarian than Democrat.
Heck, look at the State lottery systems. Every single study shows that the millions in revenue come from poor people who can’t afford to be playing in the first place.
Here is the question though. Collectively, the States earn millions (billions?) off of legalized gambling, mostly subsidized by the underprivileged. But for the lotteries, do you really think that these same people would put that money into interest-bearing accounts? I think the answer to that is “no.” So why not take those revenues and apply it to State initiatives?
This brings me back to pot. It’s happening, whether we like it or not. It’s hard to argue that there isn’t a ton of good that would happen if we stop wasting tax payer resources on enforcing these laws, and imprisoning offenders of these laws. And pot already ruins families! If you go to prison on a drug charge, it affects you and your family’s finances for the rest of your life.
Leave this alone and continue to reinvest in education and treatment, not punishment.
I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed in your logic. This comment is filled with rhetorical fallacies.
By legalizing, the government is not encouraging people to smoke. Does the fact that alcohol is legal mean that the gov. wants me to drink?
And why do you think that just because pot is legalized, kids will do that instead of other activities? If legalized, pot will be no more accessible to minors than it is now. In fact, it will be less accessible because there will be less dealers.
The law’s critical role between the public and encouraged/sanctioned conduct is well-recognized and clear. Tobacco was never illegal. When the government says that kids can’t smoke, the message is sent that it is wrong, unhealthy, and kids shouldn’t do it. Regulation of alcohol is the same. Law is morality, not merely saying what can and can’t be done but why: right and wrong. And when a government, which is the official moral voice of society, says conduct that was once illegal—wrong—is now legal, it means government, like it or not, is saying that the conduct it once disapproved of is now approved—right. Advocates of drug legalization deny this ancient role of law because it’s devastating to their argument.
If you don’t comprehend the connection between law, culture and morality, you really shouldn’t advocate legalizing anything. You are playing with fire without understanding how powerful fire is.
But we do understand EXACTLY how powerful the fire is. There are countries where marijuana has been legal for generations. They haven’t fallen apart. None of your doomsaying as backed up by evidence or fact. The best you can hold on to are anecdotes. That’s not healthy science.
“It’s not the worst thing.” They haven’t “fallen apart.” Yes, I’ll concede they haven’t fallen apart. They haven’t been as successful, productive or creative as the US, either. Your argument is ridiculous. What proof is needed that the nation would be richer, healthier and more productive without, for example, 17 million alcoholics? You know, hard statistics aren’t needed to come to obvious conclusions. the fewer citizens impairing themselves with drugs, the better off the society is.
If you need proof for that, you are nonsensical and intellectually dishonest. I don’t really care if we will be 1% worse or 20% worse—we’ll be worse. In the absence of any tangible positive benefits other than more people saying, “hey, man, wow, que pasa?” and reaching the desired Gruber apathy scale level, that’s plenty.
Jack, it is parents and education that are making the difference here, not Government. When I look at my grandparents and great-uncles/aunts, all of them smoked and drank way too much (we have alcoholics in our family too). Then I look at my parents’ generation and fewer of them abuse alcohol/smoke, and now, in my generation, I can’t point to one friend that smokes or has a serious problem with alcohol. This has nothing to do with the law. Education — through schools, parents, and government initiatives (but not laws) is the way to address these ills.
There is a BIG difference between 1% worse and 20% worse. You should care.
Arguing that because pot does SOME harm, regardless of how much, means that it should be banned requires you, if you want to be intellectually consistent, to get behind Bloomberg’s sugary drink ban. Sugary drinks cause health problems, they do harm, whether it’s 1% or 20%, right?
False, false, false analogy. This is your crazy cholesterol comparison, and sorry, it is very lame. Drinking a big sugary drink now and then because one is thirsty, needs hydration or need a treat is in no way similar to getting stoned. Nobody smokes pot for the taste. There is no difference between banning a coke and banning potato chips. You ban all junk food, then you ban meat…this is a slope with no stops. Banning drugs that have no benefits, likely ling term consequences, are addictive (at least psychologically) and anti-social, and that impair judgment is no slippery slope at all.
“There is a BIG difference between 1% worse and 20% worse. You should care.”
Huh? Is 1% of children raped acceptable? No. If there is something with no utility that can be banned to stop that 1%, then ban it. My passion to ban it is no greater if the number is 20%. Once the acceptable (as in unavoidable) damage level has been passed, the number doesn’t matter. The conduct is harmful, so stop it.
But isn’t this closely analogous to the “if only one child is saved”argument for severe gun control legislation, especially since the utility of firearms is a heated point of contention? The gun control nuts are wrong, of course, but many would fall back on “provide for the general welfare” to support both this and all of their nanny’state crap like welfare, social security, the New Deal, and obamacare. Could you be accused of the same sort of misapplication? No snark in this at all; I’m genuinely interested in learning how you would counter such an argument. I come here to learn.
“Drinking a big sugary drink now and then because one is thirsty, needs hydration or need a treat is in no way similar to getting stoned. Nobody smokes pot for the taste.” “Banning drugs that have no benefits, likely ling term consequences, are addictive (at least psychologically) and anti-social, and that impair judgment is no slippery slope at all.”
Could just as easily be:
“Smoking a big blunt because one has a headache, wants to relax, or needs a treat is in no way similar to drinking yourself obese. Nobody drinks Coke for the health benefits.” “Banning sugary drinks that have no benefits, likely long term consequences, are addictive (at least psychologically) cause overweightness and social issues is no slippery slope at all.”
And still be 100% true. Weird.
There is very little difference, they are destructive products that people want. Who cares what they taste like? That’s got to be the dumbest fallacy you’ve brought out yet.
“Huh? Is 1% of children raped acceptable? No. If there is something with no utility that can be banned to stop that 1%, then ban it.”
Did you really just compare smoking a joint to raping a child. Really. Insane. But more than that, what utility do you think sugary drinks serves? If you say “it tastes good and people want to do it” I agree! The people who smoke pot think it does too. That is SO subjective it hardly bears mention. You are being intellectually dishonest.
I have to disagree with you emphatically on that. Law is not morality. And government is not the official moral voice of society. A list of things that you can’t do is not where we get morality from. As a matter of fact, there are lots of laws that are immoral. And why do you think that using marijuana is immoral? Also you’re forgetting that pot was legal in The States for a a very long time.
Morality is, in fact, values enforced by authority: laws, codes, commandments. You can’t “disagree,” that’s what morality is. Other sources will define ethics and morality differently. This is a common and well-accepted definition, and when we use the term here, that’s what it means.
Government is the expression of the values and cultural mandates of society. I’m not bickering over it. That is one of government’s functions, and perhaps more in the US than in any other nation, since our founding document is based on ethical values.
That is a powerful argument. I find it distressing that we’re dispensing with so much of the fabric of this country, so quickly. I think I’ll have to examine things like this both more closely, and more broadly (big picture). I genuinely fear for my children, at the rate we’re going. It’s realizing the reckless nature of the rampant institutional destruction accelerating of late that keeps my libertarianism in check, and shifts me more towards the conservative view.
Illogical argument. Just as fallacious, in fact just a different flavor, of the “wrong side of history” argument.
It’s kissing cousin is the “people are going to do it anyway” argument, which is debunked simply by saying, “Ok, people are going to murder and steal anyway, so why bother making that illegal”.
I think you’re too biased on this issue, Jack. Just because pot is legal doesn’t mean that everybody will show up to work stoned.
That’s not my only argument, please reread my initial comment.
How many pot users have you come into contact with? You have such little evidence to say that the lives of people who abuse pot are in shambles. Pot users are rarely like this, you are referring to users of more hardcore drugs such as meth or heroin, etc.
I agree with all of the conditions stated except the ones about spouses, children, and employers. I believe unemployment, food stamps, etc should be done away with or at a minimum, very limited and highly conditional. Family business is family business, and employers are free to regulate conditions of employment. Fortunately, marijuana metabolites can be quickly, reliably, and cheaply detected by reagent kits.
My grandmother had medical marijuana to help with her severe eye cataract problems and that preserved her vision for almost a couple decades. It wasn’t smoking for a high but another kind of formulation. I know they are getting looser about those prescriptions for non-physical problems, but that doesn’t deny it had a great effect. She would have lost her vision. I could agree that it should be checked carefully, but some problems are orphans that have no better treatments.
But conflating medical issues with those to smoke themselves dumb and dumber not quite the same even if it is the same item. While there are other pain meds, morphine is addictive and still used.
Medicine is medicine. That’s a different issue.
After sitting through a presentation on ‘medical marijuana’, I noticed some problems with the pro-pot arguments.
Marinol has been legal in all 50 states for years. It is currently the same schedule as codeine cough syrup. It is pharmaceutically pure and has controlled doses. Users complain the high isn’t as good as with smoked pot. There is very little need for medicinal weed because medicinal THC was already legal (but only for legitimate treatment of ailments).
Although marijuana has medicinal uses, it isn’t very good at any one of them. The current leading medications work better. It seems mainly of use if the patient has severe side effects or allergic reactions to the leading medicines.
It seems that all the studies on adverse mental illness and lowered IQ effects of marijuana have found them. The results were always explained away with ‘socioeconomic factors’. That means they claim that poor people are dumber than rich people and blacks are dumber than whites. It also rests on the idea that dumb people are a lot more likely than smart people to use pot. These conclusions also all depend on the idea that people who will become bipolar use marijuana at a higher rate than those who won’t. If you feel comfortable with that type of data analysis, light ’em up, I guess.
In a few years, I wonder who people are going to sue for damages?
I’ll direct them to Scott, Beth, and H.T…..among others.
My understanding (although I don’t claim to be an expert) is that these studies may be bogus because the people who turn to pot in the first place are doing so to treat a variety of problems ranging from mental illness to inherited abuse disorders.
At this point, I’m willing to concede that any study may be bogus.
No researcher would make these sorts of claims with such obvious confounding variables. There are a great number of statistical tools and standards that would have to be applied before getting the “peer-reviewed, scholarly research” stamp.
If a doctor ever tells you that you have a cataract, tell him or her “ah no, I have rinkin continental”
Has anyone considered the reason that some progressives want it legalized is that such drugs offer the poor an escape from the misery they endure being willing sycophants of politicians that promise to provide for them.
Is it all possible that politicians want to keep the poor drugged so they can keep them from really revolting, with the side benefit of getting taxes from them that they would otherwise be able to avoid through abstention. There is nothing a politician fears more than an alert and thoughtful voter.
Like the Soma in Brave New World, or the victory gin in 1984.
Wow, and I thought I was cynical.
All very likely, with the addition of the fact that most progressives aren’t really concerned with alleviating the misery of the poor, as much as they’re concerned with the validation and adulation they get from appearing to care. Also throw in the mix that the poor are needed as clientele for social workers and such, these fields being predominantly manned by progressives.
Now we know that young baseball star Oscar Taveras was drunk when he crashed his car, killing himself and his 18 year old girlfriend. Just one more of the benefits of open access to destructive recreational drugs..no victims, you know? Taveras was going to be a big, big star, making the Cardinals successful and wealthy. He was going make millions, and make millions of people happy with his brilliant play. Victimless my ass. Sure, let’s add another one.
I believe that driving while intoxicated should be punished much, much more harshly. I see it essentially as some sort of attempted manslaughter or reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. Intoxicated drivers are playing Russian Roulette with the lives of everyone on the road with them. I would not want to be the person that kills my wife and/or kids because they couldn’t be bothered to plan ahead for getting a sober ride.
I think the part of this conversation that often gets left out is the obvious: “What do we do when shit goes bad?” Because it will. I think it’s important to give people as much autonomy as reasonably possible. Apparently Jack and I have different ideas on what that extends to, but perhaps even more important is to make people responsible for their actions.
You own your body. No one should be more interested what happens to it than you. You own your actions, and the consequences of those actions. I think that decriminalizing pot, but criminalizing the living shit out of drug related crime provides a necessary counterbalance of personal autonomy and encouraging responsible behavior.
Criminalize being a lousy father, parent? Being an unengaged student and stoned in classes your parents have given up their retirement for? Accepting your salary but working at 75% because you’re stoned? Criminalized millions of people weakening and degrading society and progress in tiny ways that add up to a permanent anchor? Using pot is per se irresponsible, unless you live alone in a cave. You can’t criminalize everything. You can use the law to draw lines.
Except, as communism showed us, laws that sound good on paper doesn’t always work out so well in practice when you throw people being people into the mix (hence why Prohibition was ultimately repealed).
On my end, I care less about whether commercial selling/cultivation should be legal or not, and more that governments should treat usage more like a public health case rather than the kind of crime that makes it even harder to get the kind of job that doesn’t involve illegal activities.
Breaking any law that one doesn’t have to break tells me, quite accurately, that an individual is irresponsible, doesn’t respect laws, and is willing to break them. It’s really, really, really easy not to get arrested for illegal drug possession. Obey the law, respect the law, have more respect for yourself and others than to amuse yourself by getting stoned.
Wow. What an inconvenience.
While I wouldn’t consider getting stoned a convenience to begin with, what is inconvenient is that the War on Drugs is a large part of the reason why the drug cartels shooting up Mexico have become so powerful to begin with; we’ve basically inadvertently created wonderful profit margins for scoundrels and crooks far worse than some dumb kid who smokes a blunt, and it’s pretty clear that the stick alone isn’t doing much to blunt (heh) the demand side of things, considering that even idiots can figure out how to to secretly buy/sell drugs without getting caught. Like I hinted earlier, if laws seeking to control human behavior always worked the way we’d want them to, the communists would have easily won the ideological Cold War.
There are plenty of laws on the books that are at the very least absurd, and also quite a few that I personally feel it’s not only our right, but our duty to disobey. Here’s a good one; most gun control laws. If I lived in NYC, I would be carrying a concealed weapon,period. First off, no legislator that surrounds himself with a phalanx of armed guards is going to decree from on high that I don’t share his right,his duty, to protect himself and his loved ones. Even if I was a felon, convicted of some completely non-violent crime (I would personally consider theft, drug dealing, and a few other on-the-fence crimes in my definition of violent crime), I would be armed. When you think about it rationally, you’d might as well tell someone they no longer have the right to breathe without permission. I would never register guns, either. There are not only numerous historical exaples, but direct quotes from democrat legislators (hundreds of them)from the last 40 years ago, that make it plain as day that the goal of every gun law is to push us incrementally closer to an outright ban, and that registration is meant as a precursor to eventual confiscation. I’m pretty sure It was Sir Winston that said that a nation of 10,000 laws causes its citizens to lose all respect for the law. He must be turning in his grave seeing how quickly our legislative apparatus churns out 10,000 laws. A person that obeys all laws simply because they’re laws, regardless of their virtues or utility, is a sheep. I just don’t think using drugs at some point makes someone by definition untrustworthy. I was an addict at one point, and I am arguably one of the most trustworthy, responsible, and ethically-centered people that you’re ever likely to meet, though I concede that I was much less responsible while it was going on. Drugs are everywhere, at least partially because criminalization has made it a very lucrative, and dangerous, business. Dangerous because of the easy money to be made by violent low-lifes, and also because of the ridiculous restrictions placed on research. Loosen those restrictions, and I can almost guarantee that you will end up revealing much more deleterious effects for most drugs than not. This would make criminalization much harder to question, easier to swallow, valid information available for those wishing to make an informed decision, and people who choose to do the stuff anyway can’t claim ignorance. As it stands, the government (NIDA) is makink absurd claims that have no basis in fact. Ecstasy (I’m talking about pure MDMA) is said to cause a plethora of problems that have no basis in research. Kids know this, and based on this, they assume that it’s harmless. I firmly believe that it is far from harmless, but until a large number of sound, repeatable studies are done, people will assume, correctly, that liars can’t be trusted. Back to drug users and untrustworthiness. If you drink alcohol, it DOES harm the brain. It can cause things like persistent hydrocephalus, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrom, and others. These are severe, persistent, debilitating problems. Maybe a social drink now and then doesn’t do significant damage, but we have a HUGE problem with alcoholism in this country, and a huge problem wigh alcohol-related fatalities. If you combine alcohol-related accidents with the health issues it causes( liver, brain, and fatal withdrawal), you’re looking at a silent epidemic. Why is this, and the killer of 400,000 a year, tobacco, legal while pot is illegal? We’ve yet to get an answer that stands up to serious scrutiny at this point, but you can read up on the temperance movement, the Harrison Narcotics act, and a man named Harry Anslinger and his relationship with DuPont.
Again addressing breaking the law and responsibility, it has to also be remembered that not every drug abuser is simply a scofflaw looking for cheap thrills. I never touched drugs, nor had any interest in them, until my legs were nearly sawn in two by a medium machine gun in the early 90’s. One bullet shattered my right femur and nearly severed my femoral artery. The other turned the outer part of my left thigh into hamburger. It was the right leg that really hurt. The femur shattering caused all of my thigh muscles to pull my knee about six inches closer to my groin, and all the muscles to knot up. It felt like one of those calf charlie horses time a thousand, and the pain was MADDENING!! I gave myself 3 syrettes of morphine. I had never had a narcotic pain killer before, but I was hooked from the moment my buddies put a traction splint on, relieving the pain, and all that was left was the warm, womb-like embrace of the drug. I was in love, and this began a quest to explore all sorts of other altered states. The opiate thing turned into a persistent struggle of epic proportions, the others not so much. Didn’t really matter much to me at the time. I ended up losing my navy career a few years later due in part to my injuries precipitating further problems down the road, as well as PTSD finally manifesting itself. I then lost my marriage and dissapeared into the woods of New England to get my head together and do battle with my opioid problem. I won, but many others are not made of the heavy-gauge wiring that I am, and need real help. What form that help should take varies. Some probably need to be locked up, but a larger proportion are dual-diagnosis people who need treatment for an underlying issue if they are ever to conquer their drug problems. There is also very compelling evidence that there is a genetic component to ones affinity to certain drugs, especially alcohol and opiates, hence one person having a “meh” reaction to morphine, and another saying “Oh my GOD!! Where have you been all my life?” from the very first dose. I realize we’re “only” talking about pot here, but anyone who uses pot, alcohol, or any mind-altering substance on any but an episodic basis probably has a problem. The jury is still out on most of this stuff, and if you use regularly despite that, you have a problem. I would like to see people use drugs far less than they are, but as I mentioned above, I’m ambivalent on principle, mostly because I have some libertarian leanings, though personally I’m primarily a fiscal and social conservative, but without question I believe much more researc MUST be done, whether we dispense with the laws or not.
Communism sounds good on paper?
If you’re a peasant deep in debt and fuming about how your absentee landlord gets most of the benefits.
Granted, most peasants in China and Russia initially interpreted communism as “we get to own the land we work on and receive outside financial/technical support”, not knowing that outright collectivization was right around the corner.
I said: “criminalizing the living shit out of drug related crime provides a necessary counterbalance of personal autonomy and encouraging responsible behavior.”
And you said: “Criminalize being a lousy father, parent? Being an unengaged student and stoned in classes your parents have given up their retirement for? Accepting your salary but working at 75% because you’re stoned? Criminalized millions of people weakening and degrading society and progress in tiny ways that add up to a permanent anchor?”
Foul. I didn’t mean that and you know it. There are some things that society takes care of outside the legal system. If you show up to work drunk, you get fired. That doesn’t require law, nor should it, and the situation is absolutely parallel with marijuana. If someone abuses their children, regardless of the reason why, then yes, absolutely that’s a legal issue. If someone crashes a car, or kills a person, drunk and stoned is not an excuse, and it never will be. My god Jack. It’s like every iota of your critical thinking ability flies out the window the moment someone mentions pot.
Baloney. My point was, and is, that the worst harm resulting from the conduct doesn’t involve crime. Hence the law is not the remedy for the damaging results of the conduct, which is using the drugs.
It’s not at all specific to you, HB, but on this topic, like encouraging and rewarding illegal immigration, the standard practice of advocates is to designate a slam-dunk ethical conclusion based on balancing values, needs and consequences–and that’s how we decide measure ethicls—as “unreasonable.” Who needs to get stoned? Nobody. What good does it do society? Zero. What harm does it do? Unquantifiable, but not insignificant. Can the law mitigate and minimize the conduct? Sure. Can it stop it? No. So what? Will there be more conduct of this sort if the government approves it or incentivizes it? Sure. There always is. Will government approval lead to social approval? Of course. Think abortion. Will the combination of government approval and social approval lead to more of the harmful conduct? Yes. Will more harm result? Yes. How much?
I don’t want to find out, thanks.
And that’s not logical to you? The only things that will explain that are denial, bias, or stubbornness—since I know you are smart as hell.
I just want to point out the parallels once again with sugary drinks:
“Who needs to drink Coke? Nobody. What good does it do society? Zero. What harm does it do? Unquantifiable, but not insignificant. Can the law mitigate and minimize the conduct? Sure. Can it stop it? No. So what? Will there be more conduct of this sort if the government approves it or incentivizes it? Flown the coop. Will government approval lead to social approval? The question is: Did government DISapproval lead to societal DISapproval. Think Bloomberg. I disagree with you here. Will the combination of government approval and social approval lead to more of the harmful conduct? Maybe. Will more harm result? Yes. How much?”
I’m for decriminalization. Which is actually different than legalization. I understand that there isn’t enough information to make conclusions about marijuana, it very well might be as damaging as you seem to think it is (although the other district where marijuana isn’t illegal makes your claims dubious at best), but we don’t know that. We need research, and as you pointed out, the laws make unbiased peer review work almost impossible. We do know that there are people serving life sentences for possession. That the cost to society of policing what people are allowed to do with their bodies is disastrous. As it has always been. Abortion isn’t ethical. Check. Smoking marijuana isn’t ethical. Sure, so what? I hate abortion, hate it. Gone on record. I think that because there is a second person involved in an abortion per se, it’s worse. Still don’t think it should be illegal.
That’s the last time I am going to tolerate that intellectually indefensible analogy.
Human’s need beverages, water, and the enjoyment of the eating process. It is called life. Every beverage has health risks. Coke is a business that add billions to the economy. The profits from Coke fund jobs and much else with social utility. It funds the arts, schools, and education. Moderate consumption of Coke causes no problems whatsoever. Nor is it normally addictive. I will have a Coke with a pizza, mayby once every two months. It is ethical. It is ethical to drink coke on the job, or while driving. If I get carried away once, and drink too much Coke, my family and workplace are not jeopardized.
Just stop it. If you really cannot see the distinction between a mind-altering drug that removes initiative and mental acuity and Coca-Cola, then I don’t care to continue the discussion, because you are arguing nonsense. Argue why its fine to have more stoned people in schools, the workplace or on the street because its too costly to stop it—that’s the Defeatist’s Dodge—but don’t argue that banning a drug is like banning hamburgers…or Coke.
Now come the euphemisms. “De-criminalization” has the same social effect and sends the same message as legalization, if the matter at hand was illegal.
I agree that there are some very draconian punishments meted out for pot crime. Life in prison? That is absolutely tragic and indefensible. What I don’t get is why you hate abortion, yet still don’t think it should be illegal, unless that second person you mentioned is the father, and not the baby. I strongly believe that abortion is murder, and I’m looking forward to the next time it comes up on this site. I will make the time to destroy all claims that the “fetus” isn’t a human being.
More very compelling points. I love this site!
Here’s my response.
Human’s need beverages, water, and the enjoyment of the eating process. It is called life. (Enjoying life also involves chilling the hell out once in a while. Some people need a joint to do that. That does not make that person an addict. If we are going to trust people not to drink 12 Cokes a day along with 12 super-size fries, then we have to give equal trust to use pot responsibly. Especially since there is a far greater abuse of prescription (a/k/a legal drugs.)
Every beverage has health risks. Coke is a business that add billions to the economy. The profits from Coke fund jobs and much else with social utility. It funds the arts, schools, and education. Moderate consumption of Coke causes no problems whatsoever. (Legalizing pot also would add milions to to the economy and save millions (billions?) on enforcement. Moderate consumption of pot causes no problems whatsoever. )
Nor is it normally addictive. (You are WRONG sir. Caffeine is incredibly addicted and is, in fact, a drug.) I will have a Coke with a pizza, maybe once every two months. (I have about 4 Diet Cokes a day. I’ve tried to quit about a dozen time in my life.) It is ethical. (Arguably not. There is no benefit to drinking Coke other than enjoyment, and the diet versions are even worse for our bodies.) It is ethical to drink coke on the job, or while driving. (Well, depends on the job. My guess is that yoga instructor, artist, writer, etc. it’s perfectly fine.) If I get carried away once, and drink too much Coke, my family and workplace are not jeopardized. (I wouldn’t want a doctor on either a caffeine withdrawal or high to operate on me. How about you?)
This is nanny-state nonsense Jack. I hate gambling, caffeine, sugary drinks, fatty products, tobacco, and drugs. They all do horrible things to society if abused. But the State can’t outlaw it — if it wants to address it head on, they way to go is education and taxes on crappy products.
Well, this certainly completes HT’s fantasy. Caffeine–in chocolate, coffee—is a dangerous drug, like cocaine, alcohol, pot. When you have to make an absurd comparison like that to hold on to an untenable position, it.s in the Lose column. Getting stoned. like getting drunk, is inherent abuse. Unlike Coke, it is abuse the second you use it at all. Society can not function if we encourage citizens to cripple, incapacitate, or diminish themselves.
This is pure arrogance Jack. You don’t seem to be getting much support from any camp re your reasoning. I wonder if you are too emotionally involved to look at this objectively. Where did I mention cocaine? (Although, you do know that the original Coke had it. It was a product deliberately created to be addictive.)
And it is not abuse the second you try it at all. I had a glass of red wine with a meal yesterday. It did not make me drunk at all. Like alcohol, I could take a couple of hits on a joint and not become stoned. (As I recall from younger days.) Sheesh.
Like cocaine and all drugs in which the sole purpose is to get stupid, use is inherently abuse. I did not include using alcohol in that comment: nice shooting down of a straw man. I wrote “Getting stoned, like getting drunk, is inherent abuse.” That is correct. When I have a beer or a glass of wine, I do not get drunk, nor do I want to. Nobody has a joint without intending to get stoned. Fact.
The fact that the same people whose laziness, apathy, and,or passivity regarding the spread of illegal drugs has gotten us to the state where we are about to add a third legal destructive one (OH!! I forgot about CAFFEINE!) are weighing in does not constitute statistical significance, not that I would be impressed if I were the only one seeing straight on this issue.
Here are some counterpoints, not intended to refute your arguments (I don’t think they do), but to clarify. Many people, like myself way back when I used the stuff) prefer to take 1 or 2 “hits” in order to not get completely wrecked, a state many find to be very unpleasant. So on that, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Cocaine is actually a schedule II drug, because it does have a very few legitimate medical uses, but only in a clinical setting. Casual recreational use that doesn’t get out of hand is much more uncommon than casual and occasional use of marijuana, and cocaine has been proven to produce lasting damage in the central nervous system, including persistent, severe qdepression, memory problems,and the types of movement disorders normally associated with phenothiazines (like thorazine), such as tardive dyskinesia. Shitty stuff, best avoided.
So you are saying that a “little stoned” isn’t stoned? Sure, there are grades of stoned, just as there are levels of drunk. But my point is and was that many do not drink liquor to get drunk. Even “not completely wrecked” is still stoned.
Yes. Many people like the feeling of being just slightly intoxicated much, much more than being completely stoned. The two states are both qualitatively and quantitatively different. In this slight state, conversation and thought are barely, if at all, affected. It tends to be a social lubricant, and often brings out an appreciation for humor and debates on philosophy or spirituality. Being completely stoned, on the other hand, seriously distorts cognitive processes, one’s exerience of linear time, the ability to follow conversations, or even the meaning of a single sentence, and often induces severe paranoia. A preference for mild states usually sets in as people get older,much like with alcohol. Then again, some people never grow up. I’m pretty sure I could predict the results of a study looking for a correlation between severe liberalism and severe intoxication.
Yeah, I think I’m going to retire from this thread now. You’re putting words in our mouths. Beth never said that caffeine was as damaging as cocaine, she said it was addictive. This “Well, you said this, so I’m going to extrapolate it to it’s most extreme possible conclusion, and include things you never actually said” type argument, I’d like to this, is something that you’d normally call out.
Yeah, I think I’m going to invite you to do the same, because both you and Beth have put words in MY mouth, while accusing me, falsely, of doing the same to you. Here was my whole post to Beth:
You show me where I suggested, wrote or implied that Beth “said that caffeine was as damaging as cocaine” there. Where is is???? And if you don’t, I would like an apology, because you–and Beth— have been blurring lines throughout this thread while asserting that I am being irrational. Use my actual words to make that pointand I don’t mind, but you didn’t: First Beth claims that I compared using alcohol with using pot, when I really compared USING ALCOHOL TO GET DRUNK to using pot, and then you pull this. Or are you saying that my parenthetical “(OH!! I forgot about CAFFEINE!)” reference somehow suggested that “caffeine was as damaging as cocaine”? To the contrary, it was, as I suspect most readers could surmise, a sarcastic allusion to the fact that you-not me, YOU—compared Coca-Cola to pot, which Beth helpfully tried to defend by inveighing on the horrible addictive dangers of Caffeine.
So yes, please, move on to another topic. Because as with Beth, I like and respect your opinions and analysis, and this exchange is just depressing me and ticking me off.
No way is caffeine as bad as cocaine. You are not going to
destroy significant portions of your CNS, nor go on 4-day benders and give blowjobs for just 1 more hit of coffee.
Spoken like someone who hasn’t had a cup of my pressed extra fine ground hazelnut coffee.
Maybe, but I absolutely draw the line on the blowjobs part.
Just come try the coffee
Not only is it “not as bad” as cocaine, I can’t believe the issue was even raised.
By the way, I’ve been finally proofreading my comments, and in one of our exchanges I said “I’m afraid youre wrong”, sounding like a condescending prick. I swear to God, I’m sure I meant to say “I believe you’re wrong”. Definitely not my style.
It’s still a lot nicer than the way I usually say it…
Yeah, that’s really reaching.
Wow, I was rambling all over the place like a blind, drunk Mr. Magoo with Alzheimer’s in my posts! Sorry. I usually don’t have time to proof- read, so it just ends up being stream-of-conscious babbling. Also, I hope my apology for the “I’m afraid you’re mistaken” got posted. My phone is malfunctioning. It’s not posting some stuff, and its doing this thing where the letters of many of the comments are strung in one vertical line. I’m about this close to giving it a mag of .45 slugs. Very confusing comments section, with the who said what. Sorry if I inadvertently offended anyone, for the most part. Some of you can go scratch.
J/k, j/k !😀
What strawman? Taking a couple of hits off of a joint does not make one stoned, just like a glass of wine does not make one drunk. And the point isn’t to “get stupid,” the point is to relax. So, your FACT is wrong.
Baloney. “Relaxed” is a euphemism for “get a little stoned.” People who have a glass of wine with dinner are not trying to get a little drunk. USING pot is the equivalent of abusing alcohol.
At least where I understand where you’re coming from now. For me, a couple of hits off of a joint is the same relaxation as one feels from a single glass of wine. You are classifying these mental impairments differently whereas I think they are the same thing.
Has there been some mix up of the posts? Beth says earlier:
“Look …. I don’t smoke pot, I agree it is bad, so leave that alone.”
But then she, or someone else says:
“For me, a couple of hits off of a joint is the same relaxation as one feels from a single glass of wine.”
I’m assuming there has been a mix up of the posts. I don’t like the other implication.
Pot is bad. Alcohol is bad. I don’t think either one should be illegal just because they are bad.
That’s clear. It makes no sense, but it’s clear. If conduct is truly bad, it’s the law’s job to say so.
No. That’s the sequence.
Beth has a penchant for easily misinterpreted comments, but in this case I think comment 1 definitively states she does not smoke pot. Comment 2 rather unclearly states that she sees the effects of low level pot smoking to be roughly similar to the effects of low level wine drinking. In which case, the comments aren’t contradictory.
Just a theory.
Who knows, maybe Beth’s definition of “didn’t inhale” is different than yours.
I wonder if that is what happened this time? But what you said did make me question my reading comprehension. After a reread, you are right about her poor wording. It probably would have been better for her to have disclosed that she had used before, but ok, she admits it later on:
“It did not make me drunk at all. Like alcohol, I could take a couple of hits on a joint and not become stoned. (As I recall from younger days.) Sheesh.”
So this statement should have been the same as above, it isn’t, but, at least doesn’t imply that she uses:
“Taking a couple of hits off of a joint does not make one stoned, just like a glass of wine does not make one drunk. And the point isn’t to “get stupid,” the point is to relax.”
But in her last statement she becomes so ambiguous:
“For me, a couple of hits off of a joint is the same relaxation as one feels from a single glass of wine.”
While your explanation still holds, it’s tough for me to believe that this isn’t an accidental admission. I don’t see how the same argument could become so garbled from the first and best argued one.
Well, I have to side with Beth about caffeine being a drug; an addictive, powerful, and sometimes dangerous drug. It doesn’t have the intoxication potential ,in typical doses, as pot or most other drugs, though.
I actually read this on Sunday, but I felt that I should take a step back, look at what was said, let it rattle around in my head and then come back to it later. I also said that I wouldn’t comment on anything else until I had wrote this, which was hard, I think that you may have made a post or two with me in mind. I considered different ways to approach this, and settled on talking about the specific claims made, as opposed to the subject. I think at this point both our positions are clearly defined, and we definitely look at it from opposing positions. But that alone shouldn’t get us as animated as we were. I thought about what I wrote, when I wrote it, what I thought I was replying to and then read what I actually replied to, and I’ve come up with two separate errors that I made.
The first was when I cried foul. In rereading your comment, there is no doubt in my mind that what you said, and meant to say was not what I thought you had said. And so for that I apologize.
The second error I made may have been two-fold. When I accused you of putting word’s in Beth’s mouth, I replied to the wrong comment.
Beth had said, (Your words outside parenthesis)
“Nor is it normally addictive. (You are WRONG sir. Caffeine is incredibly addicted and is, in fact, a drug.) I will have a Coke with a pizza, maybe once every two months. (I have about 4 Diet Cokes a day. I’ve tried to quit about a dozen time in my life.) It is ethical. (Arguably not. There is no benefit to drinking Coke other than enjoyment, and the diet versions are even worse for our bodies.) It is ethical to drink coke on the job, or while driving. (Well, depends on the job. My guess is that yoga instructor, artist, writer, etc. it’s perfectly fine.) If I get carried away once, and drink too much Coke, my family and workplace are not jeopardized. (I wouldn’t want a doctor on either a caffeine withdrawal or high to operate on me. How about you?)”
To which you replied:
““Well, this certainly completes HT’s fantasy. Caffeine–in chocolate, coffee—is a dangerous drug, like cocaine, alcohol, pot. When you have to make an absurd comparison like that to hold on to an untenable position, it.s in the Lose column. Getting stoned. like getting drunk, is inherent abuse.”
My comment was:
“You’re putting words in our mouths. Beth never said that caffeine was as damaging as cocaine, she said it was addictive. This “Well, you said this, so I’m going to extrapolate it to it’s most extreme possible conclusion, and include things you never actually said” type argument, I’d like to this, is something that you’d normally call out.”
I don’t see where Beth referred to Caffeine as dangerous, and I think she was using “drug” in the literal sense, that includes everything from cocaine to Aspirin. The point I think she was making is that caffeine is a recognized addictive stimulant. Because caffeine is addictive, it is the vehicle that makes sugary drinks more damaging than they would be otherwise. Caffeine on its own is of dubious utility, but I don’t think that anyone was trying to make the argument that Caffeine on its own was damaging.
So what I took away from reading your comment was that:
1) In order to complete my fantasy, these assertions would have to be part of my fantasy, and they weren’t. They are ridiculous on their face. Which I took as either extreme hyperbole on something I didn’t say, or a direct shot at my intelligence.
2) No one described caffeine as dangerous on its own, only that it was addictive. This makes the coffee/chocolate/cocaine comparison, as I read it, dishonest.
Having sat down and re-read the conversation, I’m not certain how else I could take it, but I tried to see the other side. There might be an argument that Beth may have actually meant, or could have been read to be saying that Caffeine was a drug in the street sense, but I think this goes back to a statement of assumed intelligence. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, chocolate, and sodas. 90% of Adults consume caffeine daily, and it is almost entirely unregulated in America. The idea that caffeine should be put to the same scrutiny as a schedule I or II narcotic is insane. I really hope that wasn’t what you thought we meant. There also might be an argument that when Beth referred to not wanting a doctor with caffeine withdrawal to operate on her, she may have inferred that caffeine use was dangerous, and I admit I missed that the first time around, but thinking about it, I would reject the assertion on the same grounds. Doctors require steady hands to operate and caffeine, as a stimulant, does cause trembling hands, I’m not sure it’s unreasonable not to expect your doctor to have not taken enough caffeine to cause that. That doesn’t make caffeine as a substance ‘dangerous’, and I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that’s what was meant.
Finally, while this might not be an error per se, I want to recognize an inherent personality flaw in myself. I get invested in my arguments. I’ll move away from points I’ve made when someone says something profound or convincing that I haven’t thought of or thought of that way, but generally when my positions are challenged, and especially when I don’t understand the chain of logic that accompanies those challenges, it frustrates me in a way that I tend to get angry. I’ll speedread and ragetype and often say thing that I might regret saying, even if they aren’t necessarily incorrect. (And as an aside, I’m sincerely sorry Jack, I don’t understand how you’ve arrived at your position. I’ll call that another flaw of mine.)
So I’ll make three apologies here. Three and a half.
I apologize it took me this long to write this. It shouldn’t have.
I apologize for calling you out for something you didn’t actually say in the comment that began with “Foul.”
I apologize for the level of anger and snark I demonstrated, especially in the later posts, it was unworthy.
Finally, I wasn’t sure how to react to your reaction to my assertion that you had put words in my mouth. On one hand, I really want to move past this, but on the other, I’m not entirely certain you didn’t. But then I thought that by the end of the conversation, you might have been just as frustrated as I was, and perhaps thought we’d actually said, or at least inferred what you said we said. I’m going to apologize for the order of my reply, because it very probably caused enough confusion to muddy what was said, which I realize falls short of the apology you asked for, but barring some clarification, I think appropriate.
As an aside, I think there is a direct correlation to my level of frustration, and the occurrence of typos. My god I wrote some of this thread horribly.
That was like the John Holmes of comments. Could this be a record😊
John Holmes…you made me spit coffee on my keyboard. That’s $48.75 you owe me.
I’ll give you my whole computer. It makes me sad. It’s where I pay bills and do homework.
A report on a study that seems to bolster the Libertarian view