Pot Heads

One of the stranger developments in the last twenty years has been the slow semi-legalization of marijuana. Some states have gone down the “medical marijuana” road while others have legalized it. Federal law has not changed, with regards to marijuana, but the enforcement has changed. In theory this should result in an irreconcilable conflict, but so far the Feds have cooperated with the states to avoid problems. Jeff Sessions has indicated that’s about to change, but a year in and there has been no change.

One interesting side effect of legalization is there are now for-profit businesses catering to potheads. That means there is a lobbying group representing their interests in state capitals and in Washington. The Sessions move to re-impose Federal law on states that have legalized weed, may mean Congress moves to fix the law. Regardless of how you feel about legalizing drugs, these sorts of conflicts are intolerable. The most likely solution is to get the Feds out of the retail side of drugs, and leave them to do interdiction.

A consequence of this process that no one has considered is the precedent. Usually, Federal law forces changes in state laws. That’s been the way Progressives have undermined personal liberty and imposed all sorts of madness on the people. The most recent example is homosexual marriage. In this case, states have eroded the legitimacy of the Federal government and may force the Feds to follow the lead of states. The Left is trying something similar with immigration. It’s a defense in depth strategy.

There’s been enough time to evaluate the claims from libertarians about crime and drug prohibition. Initially, Colorado experienced a slight drop in crime, but then they experienced a sharp uptick in crime. As is always the case, the potheads will say the rise in crime is unrelated, but the prohibitionists will counter with the same point about the initial drop in crime. The reality is, drug prohibition was never a factor in street crime. A drug taker is not going to alter his behavior, just because he can buy his drugs from a legal retailer.

Similarly, the administrative costs of prohibition will never change, even with legalization, for the simple reason government never shrinks. We could wipe all of the laws off the books tomorrow, meaning nothing is illegal, and we would still have the same number of cops, judges, lawyers, a prison guards. It’s one of the many things libertarians don’t understand about society. Government does not grow because it is attempting to meet a need. Government grows because it can. Government never needs a reason.

The movement to legalize marijuana is providing a real world test of claims about habitual use of cannabis. We now have lots of people consuming THC through a range of methods. Smoking anything will have deleterious effects on cardiovascular health, but what about eating THC-lace gummy bears? Of course, legalization means a much wider range of users too. While getting weed has not been difficult for a long time, it still meant dealing with criminals and some people fear that more than effects of drug taking.

This very large genetic study links habitual marijuana use with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A study in New Zealand a few years ago showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an ongoing marijuana use disorder lost an average of 8 IQ points between ages 13 and 38. The National Institutes of Health are doing a major longitudinal study, tracking a large sample of young Americans from late childhood to early adulthood to track the effects of long term marijuana use.

We could very well discover that drug legalization is a disaster for public health. People have instinctively believed that taking mind altering drugs is bad for a person in the long run. There’s a reason that every culture has had rules about things like alcohol. People may not have understood the biology of these substances, but they assumed that anything that alters perception should be used in moderation. As we know with alcohol, legalization means moderation is impossible to enforce. We have a lot of drunks.

We also have a lot of ways of dealing with drunks. Where the written law ends, the unwritten laws begin. American society has lots of unwritten rules for mitigating the effects of legal alcohol. Those unwritten rules have not yet materialized with regards to legalized weed. Can an employer refuse to hire someone who is a casual user of cannabis? Can we develop a test to know if someone is too impaired to operate a motor vehicle? If marijuana legalization is going to go forward, the culture will change in response.

Another wrinkle is that no society has ever had to confront the immediate, widespread distribution of mind altering drugs. Imagine lots of smart chemists getting into the synthetic drug business and Amazon taking over the logistics from the ghetto rats. That’s been the result in Colorado, where clever marketers and creative inventors have produced a wide range of THC delivery vehicles. Imagine what happens when Big Pharma gets into the business. We could quickly be swamped with drugs and drug takers.

None of this argues for or against legalization. At present time, there is no right answer on that question. It is a question of trade-offs. Societies normally have work through these by trial and error. It is what federalism is supposed to do in America. Fifty states can sort through the issues, learning from one another until arriving at a regime that works for their particular situation. Right now, the public strongly favors legalization, so that’s the way to bet. For Washington, this is an easy one. It means doing less to get more votes.

130 thoughts on “Pot Heads

  1. It would be pretty slick if Sessions tried to enforce, and Democrats carry a legalization bill out of pure petulant politics. Win-win!

  2. Every dirt bag druggy thief will still be a druggy dirt bag thief. Where you’ll see the differences will be in the plea bargain. They’ll still break into their neighbor’s house to steal, rob, or beat them up because they thought they were in the wrong house.

    They’ll still beat their wives and kids and drive high as hell. Because they’re dirt bags. What you will see is more use by folks who used to be much more sporadic about it. Guys that would partake at a party can now buy all week.

    I was against legalization because I saw it up close and saw and still see no up side to legalization.

  3. Drug warriors are the conservative version of cultural marxism.

    Their fantasy of Making People Better will not stop as they subvert democratic capitalism everywhere.

    A century’s worth of gains will be destroyed lest they ever own up to the wreckage, the real consequences of their fanatic support for the octopus of a government racket.

    Half the economy is money laundering, the other half is compliance.
    Mayberry is so very far away.

  4. Another great effect is the decimation of employment. We discovered meth and Mexican labor after the ranks of the formerly employed Americans were wiped out by insurance rationing.

    Suddenly Americans weren’t good enough anymore. Meth washes out with water.

    We’ve saved so much money that we can’t even afford insurance now!

  5. The thing about weed is that it isn’t a social drug. It’s something for individuals to do to feel a little goofy by themselves while the consume entertainment media. We’ll see more loneliness which is already a plague.

    Also, there is no point of the stuff except the mild intoxication (putting aside a small medical benefit to some people).

    We are seeing the loss of the idea that living a sober life is important in itself.

  6. I was all for legalization (let people damage themselves however they wish, so long as they do so where it doesn’t harm others) until I learned that the big money behind the legalization push comes from Soros via his Open Society.

    Anything the Soros social engine is pushing this hard is not for the benefit of Western civilization.

    Also, an acquaintance related how it’s been going in Portland, Oregon since newer, more powerful forms of weed hit the market: there’s been a sharp uptick in a weird sort of body dysphoria, especially among young people, where they feel like some body part is not theirs, and cut it off. When they arrive at the emergency room sans fingers, toes, or penis (yes, really), the only drug in their systems is pot.

    I suspect it’s just doing a more-extreme form of what we already know the old pot does, by exposing existing mental instabilities and removing any inhibitions regarding same.

    • “I was all for legalization (let people damage themselves however they wish, so long as they do so where it doesn’t harm others) until I learned that the big money behind the legalization push comes from Soros via his Open Society.”

      Yup. Our ruling classes would love it if we were stoned and stupid on the couch.

  7. Given all the nasty drugs — that aren’t cannabis — out there now, worrying about weed is a little misplaced. The studies (at least before now) have been corrupted by the government pushing to have them always show bad results. But there is one huge test that wasn’t corrupted; and that is real life. Tens of millions of people have tried cannabis with 0 ill effects. By all means educate people about things, but don’t try and create a new problem out of nothing — we have plenty of real problems to work on.

  8. Next thing ya know conservatives will say they want smaller government.

    Translation:
    They want to hold the pistol now

  9. I think you’re getting a bit far afield here Z-Man. I agree that we don’t need a large population of drugged out people wandering around the public square, but guess what? In my part of the country we’ve got that already – its just people hooked on opioids and black tar heroin.

    While the push for wide-spread pain management and the marketing push from companies like PurduePharma likely shoulder significant blame, the lack of non-addictive alternatives also play a part. While THC and related molecules are the psychoactive ingredients and what are sought after for recreational use, the cannabidol compounds have shown initial promise for pain relief and anxiety treatment (among others) without the psychoactive effects or addiction.

    In political terms, I view this assertion of the states’ prerogative in setting out the laws governing the population to be both beneficial for the Dissident Right and for the country as a whole. First, it shuts down claims by the Progs that any call for “State’s Rights” was a dogwhistle for Wallace-style racist policies. (I remember being called a racist by a proto-Blue Hair because I argued for more autonomy in deciding social policy at the state level about a decade ago…)

    Second, just as the incorporation of genetics and evolutionary theory have been useful in understanding why differing populations act the way they do, we need to continue to push market-based approaches in within the political sphere. That includes allowing/encouraging states to compete against one another in social, regulatory, and economic policies.

    This view may just be a bit of libertarian dirt that remains behind my ears, but I think the continued growth of this movement relies upon empirical evidence that our world view is supported by the facts on the ground.

  10. It’s been 60 years since I read Brave New World, and perhaps it’s better to be serene and not know how sausage is made

  11. In terms of immediacy and severity, the pandemic availability of synthetic opoids is a much bigger problem (and how many of these mega-problems can we attack at one time?). At the root, these kinds of self-destructive behaviors are largely enabled by the extreme affluence of our modern society. For example, if drug-related impairment got you killed quickly, the problem would be self-regulating. Conversely, many governmental safety nets mitigate the potential negatives by offering endless welfare benefits when you get near the bottom. Cigarettes and coffee are also addicting. Where do you draw the line on telling people how to live their lives?

  12. NUTLESS Sessions – got “put on notice” immediately, probably by a contingent of Sick Chaney’s int’l “wet-worker brigade” – “he be done”/in line, just like his predecessors. NUTH’N gunna change.

  13. Hmmmm. Rather disappointed with you on this issue, Zman. Would have rather you titled it something like: “BigPharma opiate dead and wigging-out psychotropic drug mass murders”. Now really, which class of “druggies” are more dangerous/”deleterious” to society? And what about the young boys being prescribed such things a Ritalin to chemically “lobotomize” their creative “hyper-activity”?

    • Tru dat. Opiates crowd out pot discussions, or should at this point. Should prescriptions be required?

  14. All else being equal, I would support the libertarian position. You do your thing, I’ll do mine, and everybody minds their own damn business.

    Unfortunately, my observation has been that matters never rest there. “Live and let live” is not the prevailing ethic, it’s “that which is not prohibited is mandatory”.

    With abortion, you wound up with it being subsidized with tax dollars. “My body, my choice!” quickly evolved into “My body, my choice, your wallet!”. Gay marriage results in cake bakers getting involved in costly and destructive lawsuits.

    If drugs are legalized, do not say I didn’t warn you when the mayor of New York City leads the Junkie Pride Parade through Times Square, anti-discrimination laws are passed preventing employers from not hiring drug users or firing people who are stoned on the job (it’s a violation of their human rights!), and you have a movement demanding Purple Hearts for heroin addicts – “Soldiers bleed when they get shot, we bleed when we shoot up! It’s eeeeeequal!”.

    Every time I’ve heard an argument that starts with, “I’m only hurting myself! It’s my own business!”, it winds up becoming mine and the public’s business whether we want to be involved or not. So my response is, “Good! Let’s keep it illegal and give you an incentive for making sure you keep it your business!”.

    Now, I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, and I loves me some drugs as much as any of God’s children, but I’m not about to support so much as the liberalization of the parking regulations until the last leftist has been frog-marched into the gas chamber. When you give them an inch, they take a mile, every time!

    • And, like everything else, if you let one degenerate out of the closet, ya gotta let them all out. Eg, it started out with queers wanting the privacy of their own bedrooms – now they want access (and control) to the classrooms, the bathrooms, the boardrooms and the courtrooms. As do the pedos, the trannies, and the otherkins.

      It will go the same way with drugs. We legalized pot… well, why not crack? Why not LSD?

      • Legalization of LSD and other hallucinogens is coming. May be a while and recreational use may never be legalized, but the therapeutic benefits are too good to pass up. A lot of work is already being done with MDMA and psilocybin to treat PTSD, depression, addiction, and other mental conditions.

        • The fools don’t see that if a lack of spirituality is what is killing our society then there are certain drugs that might help people connect to a higher purpose. If one lumps them all together as mind-altering and bad then one is a fool.

          Sobriety is just the state of mind that optimizes sexual reproduction.

      • I have hard time, in some ways, seeing any difference between the right and the left.

        Maybe righties could actually push back, directly, on the lefties some time?
        And leave us innocent bystanders out of your doctrinal, interdenominational wars.

  15. Your mention of government never shrinking kind of plays into Colorado’s legal weed. situation.

    Most states with legal pot including California are a little leery of it for a great many reasons but Colorado went all in because the weed revenue was the money they big spenders in Denver had been lusting for

    The funny thing is they may never be able to spend it even if the Feds make it legal

    You see back in 1992 a little thing called TABOR was passed which really constrained spending levels, not only can they not tax, they can’t spend or borrow more and while they were able to repeal a portion of the bill tied to recessions (it was called the ratchet) they have never been able to repeal the law entirely

    So the state is sitting on 50+ million in revenue it can never spend even if the Feds allow it.

    Whatever the case the law was very effective and if the small government types got power and were able to amend the Constitution the first thing they should do is include language that requires all entities to control spending in a similar manner.

    No big spending states permitted

    That is the only way the government can be kept small, the U Sis required by law to have a balanced budget and keep spending within limited boundaries

    This won’t stop trying to palm law off on uncountable foreign bodies by treaty or from creating administrative law though. Those would require a different tact

    • $50 million is pocket change for state governments. They’re just lucky to have their heads above water.

      • They have billions in cash, hiding behind “but budget!” excuses.
        A budget can be changed with a pencil eraser.

    • Long time Colorado resident here (leaving soon though). Your comment contains numerous inaccuracies about TABOR and its effects, including the ratchet effect. Taxes can be raised, but it requires voter approval. Voters have approved tax increases on numerous occasions at the state level and regularly do so at the local level.

      MJ was legalized in Colorado by way of a ballot proposal, not through legislative action. Virtually the entire political class in both parties opposed the ballot proposal.

      Colorado’s budget for 2018 is $28.5 billion. I believe MJ tax revenue for 2017 was $200 million–barely a drop in the budget bucket. Also, the state only reports tax revenue; it does not itemize the cost of operating the regulatory and enforcement regime. The Colorado Department of Revenue has an entire division dedicated to licensing, inspection, and enforcement which I suspect costs $50MM-$100MM per year to operate. Net revenue is drastically lower than reported gross revenue.

  16. Long time Colorado resident here. Not a user, but was involved in the business as an investor a few years ago. I can answer a lot of the questions raised by commenters here, but don’t have time today. I will try to post some comments tonight or tomorrow.

    By any objective measure, legalization has been an epic failure in Colorado. I was never an advocate for legalization, but having been involved in the industry and watched what has transpired in Colorado I am opposed to it now.

      • Yes, since 6 plants at home- law for about 20 years now?- didn’t have much impact. Hard to walk this cat back to 1935.

    • I have lived in Colorado since 1996. It used to be a very conservative state. It is AWFUL now. I saw a bumper sticker today, “STOP MOVING INTO COLORADO.” Please let me tell you some of the things I have seen in Denver/suburbs of Denver:

      1. GREAT increase in homeless/indigent, and toleration of same.
      2. Many more people are “supportive” of marijuana and argue that it is harmless.
      3. Every 3 or 4 months some house blows up because people are doing something like cooking pot oil or something.
      4. 8,000 people move into this state EVERY MONTH; most of them young and kinda of stupid-looking. Saw a couple in their pajamas yesterday at 10 am. at my King Soopers — in a very (used to be) conservative suburb.
      5. I just went to work for a business that is very busy this time of year. The number of people in their 20’s and 30’s coming in to purchase our product/service that are terribly, terribly high and “out of it” is really astounding. I would say 2 out of 3 customers cannot grasp–cannot grasp, I say, what “income” or “expenses” means. This is true!!! They just stare at me and say, “I just can’t get my mind around it.” Can you guess what business this is?

  17. Have no dog in this fight. Survived the sex, drugs and rock and roll of the 80s and have chose to abstain from booze and drugs in my “older years” 🙂

    If somebody wants to get all smoked out more power to them. There’s a terrible amount of stress & anxiety in today’s society . It’s no wonder most people would rather get comfortably numb.

    But more to the Z man’s point. The separation of state and federal government is interesting one.

    For example as state civil servants we are forbidden to use marijuana despite what the state laws may say. Federal law prohibits it. Translation ? “no medical marijuana for you” 🙂

    Same thing with operating a commercial vehicle. Everyone is drug tested now before employment and then randomly tested for the length of their employment.

    Would rather see states come up with their own common sense laws then hand any more power over to the feds

    P,S. The conspiracy theorist in me sees the fact you forfeit your firearms license if you choose to consume medical marijuana. A docile and unarmed society is much easier to control. A subject for another day for another day perhaps 😉

  18. Attending high school from 1977 to 1981 in the midst of the SoCal Pot Apocalypse* and being a petty competitive guy, it made a my life a lot easier as most of my competition went from straight A’s to B’s and C’s.

    On the other hand, as I’ve reconnected with many of them over the years, I’ve noticed that most of them are doing pretty well in life. Of course it’s not likely that I will ever reconnect with the ones who went from dope to the harder stuff, is it?

    * It wasn’t a matter of finding the stuff, but rather of turning the unending bounty of reefer down. Hell, when the two most popular AOR stations (KMET and KLOS) were doing nothing but extolling the virtues of pot, not smoking it was true rebellion.

  19. DOJ op-ed in the Oregonian

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/01/us_attorney_a_call_for_transpa.html

    From the article:

    Oregon has a massive marijuana overproduction problem. In 2017 alone, postal agents in Oregon seized 2,644 pounds of marijuana in outbound parcels and over $1.2 million in cash. For comparison, postal agents in Colorado seized just 984 pounds of marijuana during a four-year period beginning in 2013.

    Overproduction creates a powerful profit incentive, driving product from both state-licensed and unlicensed marijuana producers into black and gray markets across the country. This lucrative supply attracts cartels and other criminal networks into Oregon and in turn brings money laundering, violence, and environmental degradation.

    A survey of recent federal cases in Oregon illustrates alarming trends: in the last six months, federal agents and port police have seized over $1 million in cash linked to marijuana transactions passing through Portland International Airport; law enforcement partners from 16 states have reported marijuana seizures from Oregon. In the first half of 2017, in-state production of butane hash oil resulted in six separate lab explosions. And police and sheriff deputies regularly encounter vehicles with hundreds of pounds of marijuana on highways heading out of state.

  20. Oregon went *CRAZY* with the Pot craze. A few things happened.

    2 to 3 * more pot shops opened than local demand can support.

    Growers on steroids. This is why Sessions did what he did IMO. If your only market is the state of Oregon and you’re growing enough to meet the needs of the country…

    What happens next?

    Prices crash

    The Mexican drug gangs get involved & illegal shipments across state borders starts in earnest. This, in particular, has the DOJ’s attention.

    • Then legalize it nationwide, watch the prices crash and, bang, no more Mexican drug gangs.

      We’re not having a lot of problem with Satori, Jack Daniels and Coors gangs battling it out in the streets for a share of the lucrative alcohol trade.

      • With that in mind, let’s legalize every damned mind-altering drug, set up shop in the malls and every street corner. Make it available in schools and mandatory for all brain surgeons. Yeah…That’s the ticket! Brilliant.

        • I’m all in favor of the first part — legalizing every mind-altering drug.

          The rest is hysterical hyperbole.

          Just as we don’t sell alcohol or cigarettes to kids, there’s no reason we’d sell other drugs to kids.

          And “mandatory for brain surgeons.” We don’t let brain surgeons operate drunk. There are serious penalties for doing so. Why would we treat any other legal mind-altering substance differently?

          • What proved to be far more popular than Bayer’s 1895 invention, heroin, for mild pain relief?

            Bayer aspirin, introduced in 1898.
            People aren’t stupid. Mild works best.
            Most people want a sip, not a fifth.

        • Legal substances can be controlled to some degree unlike illegal ones.

          In fact it can be hard for qualifying adults to legally get booze at times with ID checks and all.

          probably would work the same with some drugs though not old school weed or the like

          And yes sometimes kids get into mom and dads liquor cabinet , oh well

          Legal drug sold by licensed dealers with maybe some harm mitigation thrown in (Opium OK, Fentaynl not, Benzedrine not Meth and so on) might enable us to reduce the effects of drugs on the populace.

          Now sure it might not in which case you make it illegal again.

          The thing is modern life kind of sucks, a lot of people want a lift, an out whatever. Whether they get it in safe amounts or in unsafe amounts needs to be part of policy because no matter what the States does up to turning the further into an open air prison they are going to get high

        • A decade ago if you told me that two states would fully legalize marijuana, I don’t know if I would have believed you. The Overton Window moves. I think odds are pretty fair of getting those 51 senators within the next couple decades.

          • Nine States and D.C. have legal recreational weed

            That’s 18 senate votes roughly right there and in less than a few decades, heck maybe a few years I suspect the Federal prohibition will be lifted leaving it too States to decide

            This is the Constitutionally correct way to do this anyway and while I think the super intense modern shit is bad news, its a States rights or an individual matter not a Federal one

        • The same odds that they will tire of a government-created profit percentage of 10,000%.

          Why do people think this racket was created, for gosh sakes?

          Because alcohol was reconstituted, properly, Constitutionally- unlike this ever growing legal sector.
          The Government class needs to keep that under-the-table money flowing for it’s under-the-table activities.

      • I have to watch every moment for the heavily armed wino gangs and the rampaging tobacco addicts.

        At least the psych med types restrict themselves to murdering their kids, shooting up schools, or running for Congress.

    • Oh and combine legal weed, openness to indigents moving in en masse, giving them free tents and the freedom to put them up anywhere they want is a disaster on steroids.

      A friend yesterday posted a picture of someone crapping in the middle of the street. What a gorgeous shot that was.

      For Z… he may or may not be happy to know that since we legalized Pot, car thefts in Portland are now #2 in the country behind Lagos on the Chesapeake. They have more than DOUBLED in less than 2 years.

      • If the welfare state is the reason you don’t want to legalize pot — and that’s a reasonable objection — the answer is to also attack the welfare state. A lot of our problems trace their way back to the welfare state.

        • True but automation created the welfare state.

          Automation, computers all that lowers the value of a lot of labor below the threshold many people can live on pushing the welfare state

          This isn’t a new thing though, the Pyramids were basically a make work project

          Long and short, modern society is an efficiency trap and you are either going to pay for welfare, make work , share work or live in a third world country

          And note we’ve started down the 3rd world path US infrastructure is dying do to lack of investment because our social model and wage structure doesn’t support higher taxes. Throw in poverty, homelessness and immigration and your society is screwed

          The choice is pretty stark, foreigners out and wages up, welfare state and mediocrity or shit-hole

          Choose wisely

  21. Folks, all I can offer up is my own personal experience having been an enthusiastic consumer of cannabis since ’69 (Nixon was in office and Led Zeppelin released their first album). Through it all, I have evaded law enforcement, attained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, married a fine woman (also an enthusiastic cannabis fan) and raised up two fine young honest & hard-working men, had a 30 year professional technical career, own all my property outright, have no debt and sufficient assets to provide for the remainder of our lives and have anarcho-capitalist political leanings.

    The amount of naiveté and propaganda fed bigotry in the article and in these comments is not surprising but it is disheartening. It’s a plant, after all, and THC/CBD *has* *no* LD (Lethal Dose) despite what you’ve heard. From my own experience (that I value more than everyone else’s combined) all these “studies” and hearsay regarding cannabis are truly some of the finest bullshit to be found anywhere. History will not be kind to the prohibitionists and hitting people over the head, throwing them in a cage and taking all their shit because they have a plant will in time be held in the same social and scientific esteem as bloodletting to cure disease …

    • Leave it to Zman to post one word about pot for a genuine 68’er hippy to rear his ugly head and start bragging about his degenerate, privileged lifestyle and his cultural-Marxist education. Given a substantial portion of the reason for West’s fall into deep decline can be laid at you and your brethren’s feet I’m surprised you have the gall to talk about history. Believe me, should this county ever fall into your fantasy of libertarian anarchy as you hope head thumpings and cages will be the least of your concerns.

    • Don’t worry, the clucking grannies are going to get collectivism right some day, just as soon as they put the right people in charge.

      This is a certainty, as they are without sin.

    • Based on my experience in the business you are definitely the exception, not the rule. Stoners start out smoking pot on a limited basis, then on a daily basis, then move to doing dabs to get a more concentrated high, then it’s on to cocaine and other drugs. Virtually all the users I met in the business were heavy coke users.

      Kudos to you for sticking to MJ.

    • Sorry, but this is atypical. I live in the Emerald Triangle and cannabis is a big problem. A PubMed search of “Cannabis cognitive dysfunction” turned up 3600 articles. Potheads usually orient their lives around getting high. Legalizing it here has only made our neighborhoods staging areas for interstate marijuana trafficking and the accompanying home-invasion robberies and shootings. Also, potheads and pot-dealers always know where to get the harder stuff.

  22. I used to be of the “legalize it all and let god sort them out” opinion.

    Not so much anymore for a variety of reasons. The number one reason is that the drug war is a proxy for the strict social control found in the old jim crow laws. As such, the War on Some Drugs is used to incarcerate and socially neuter great numbers of people whose murderous and otherwise violently felonious ways plague the rest of us. Many times leos can not get witnesses to murders to talk, so the wosd is used to lock suspected murderers away for a few years on easier to prove drhg charges. Sure, getting them a short drop hanging is the ideal solution, but a years long stint in prison helps.

    If you doubt the wosd is a proxy for jim crow, think about the timing and rhetoric behind the great uptick in the wosd as well as the law and order rhetoric. And which groups have outrageous rates of violent crime.

    Whites who take it in the face from the wosd are collateral damage. The targetted approach is no longer allowed so we must by necessity use the shotgun approach.

    • Roo;
      I agree with your drift. IF law enforcement is about protecting the community, then police drug busts are an effective counter-strategy against gang-banger witness intimidation/murder, etc. As employed, the case for the prosecution depends on physical evidence only, not on vulnerable eye-witness testimony. For example, the police dash cam records you wearing the gang colors jacket, records baggies being removed from your pocket, crime lab reports that the contents are drugs, etc., etc.

      Result: One actual or potential killer is off the streets, at least temporarily, albeit at high cost. But if you think that human perfection is just around the corner with just a few more tweaks of enlightened social engineering, this sub-rosa program is simply intolerable, despite the fact that the perp himself provided all the elements of the criminal case.

      If, OTOH, you believe that HBD means that some fraction of every age cohort born throughout history are going to be ‘devil-spawn’, regardless, then a reasonable course of action is to effectively remove them once they self-identify by their conduct, operating within reasonable social/legal norms. That this is a never-ending process is not an indictment of it. It is just a fact of (human) nature, however much we might wish otherwise. Human perfection is not within the gift of man: Human protection can be.

  23. This is one of those issues where the solution, if there is one, will have to be complex and multidisciplinary. As a recovering (thankfully sober now) alcoholic, I can say from personal experience that there’s no such thing as a “harmless” mind altering substance. Science seems to indicate that marijuana use is overall less harmful than other substances, but really there’s no concrete distinction that we can draw between the other recreational drugs and pot and alcohol once legalization happens. Why are booze, weed and tobacco considered “better” than cocaine, heroin and psilocybin? All of those things are potentially very unhealthy, addictive, and socially harmful.

    Some people favor the “harm reduction” approach, which focuses on reducing the overall impact to both society and the individual through various treatment programs and soforth. Methadone clinics came out of this idea, for example. I’m not sure I really buy that this is ultimately a good long term strategy, because as anyone with firsthand experience with addiction can tell you, there is really no such thing as middle ground when it comes to this stuff. On the other hand, the prohibition-focused policies that we’ve pursued for several decades now have produced international criminal organizations of unprecedented wealth and power with almost incalculable attendant costs to society.

    I’ve seen it suggested in various circles that maladaptive behaviors like drug abuse are simply an irreversible consequence of the sheer scale of modern human societies. There was a study done in the 70’s on mice populations that lends some validity to this theory: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1644264/pdf/procrsmed00338-0007.pdf. If that’s true, then we may not come up with a workable solution, at least not in any of our lifetimes. That’s a rather gloomy thought.

    • Some people can drink normally, some of us can’t. The same is true of most intoxicants, but in any case the government has no business telling people what they can put in their bodies. Let Darwin and God sort them out.

  24. I am personally curious to see how the Fed/State conflicts are resolved with marijuana. DOT, FAA, USCG all require mandatory testing for those of us in the transportation industries. (I’ve been under a continuous testing regimen since 1988). Lots of the younger guys who work for me in the USMM roll the dice a lot in their off time, particularly the ones from the West Coast, CO and FL. They rely on timing and obfuscation via various drinks/supplements not to get caught. The big players in offshore O&G have all gone to hair tests which seem to catch everyone. Personally I don’t care what you do in your off time, as long as you can do your job safely. Unfortunately, the methods for ensuring that are flawed.

    • Advice to my son when he had to get his TWICs card and start the process of getting a MM credential is simply, “don’t”. So far has only been pee in a cup, but for DoD facilities where he may work on internship and certain vessels for cadet cruises, they might do hair. Thankfully takes after Dad and is more of a beer and whisky aficionado. Personally by senior year of college was in a random testing regimen for a sport that lasted till 30 so just stopped and never picked the stuff up again. Actually couldn’t even take cold medicines or anything else without physician clearance.

  25. It doesn’t matter whether the Cult behaves lawlessly in the states until USgov follows, or the reverse. It’s the Cult either way.

  26. There will be, in fact there is now, a caste system in employment. Jobs involving operating heavy equipment, or driving, actually any job which carries the possibility of death or dismemberment if a worker is impaired will be closed to potheads. Child care, elder care, the sorts of things which touch on health and safety. Insurance rates would see to this.

  27. As someone with three small children, the gummy bear thing concerns me. I could see some punk slipping my kid a THC gummy bear. The kid, thinking he can fly, decides it’s a good idea to jump off the roof. Children reflexively dislike the taste of alcohol, so they’re not inclined to go near it like they would a gummy bear.

  28. Using intoxicants of one sort or another is a characteristic of virtually all human societies as far back as you care to go. On the scale of harm to the user, pot is to alcohol as a cap gun is to a tank. If the prissy school marms can be held at bay, pot use will be assimilated into our culture with not much impact. The far greater danger comes from well-meaning totalitarians who want to protect us from ourselves.

  29. One interesting thing is that white people use drugs at a much higher rate than People of Color

    Why are whites so weak willed and decadent?

    • Liberalism, atheism and atomization affect mostly whites. Going against human nature produces a lot of dysfunctions. And drugs ease the pain

      • The Great Drug Epidemic has as much validity as Global Warming and pretty much the same people supporting both delusions.

      • Good analysis, somebody. I wonder though, in what proportion the drug use is driven by pain avoidance v. thrill seeking.

    • Probably for reasons that link up with the higher suicide rate of whites recently. Whites have been told they have all this privilege, yet they have experienced stagnant wages and have seen more and more depictions of themselves in TV and advertising in unflattering ways. Many younger whites (Gen X and younger) have failed to match the career achievements of their parents. Older ones have perhaps been laid off and the only work they can find is cashiering at Family Dollar. POC are often used to not working or taking whatever job is available no matter how lowly, so there’s less stigma. Also I think whites correctly perceive that they *were* at the top of the pyramid not all that long ago, and they’ve been rolling down in status.

    • Actually, different drugs have different percentages of racial use. For instance, there is a larger percentage of Whites that do meth, but a larger percentage of blacks use Coke. Anyway, here is a survey from 2008 that shows your premise is inaccurate.

      http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/ethnicity-and-substance-abuse/

      “The 2008 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse conducted in the United States reported that drug use was most prevalent amongst those who reported as identifying with two or more ethnic groups. This was 14.7 per cent of total population followed by African Americans (10 per cent), American Indians/Alaskan Natives (9.5 per cent), White Americans(8.2 per cent), Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders (7.3 per cent), Hispanics (6.2 per cent) and the lowest report amongst Asian Americans (3.6 per cent). Evidence from the United Kingdom suggests that drug abuse is lowest amongst those who identify with a minority ethnic group. Similar data was reported for the UK as for the USA with the highest reported ethnic group for drug users being those who identified as mixed ethnicity.”

      • It was a masterful troll. If he had presented the data fairly, his target audience would have triggered “fnord rayciss fnord” filters and rejected it out of hand.

        But, the blatant lie being so acceptable, “hey wait!” occurs post-filtering. A nice load of cogdis gets delivered!

        • Of course he could be an idiot too lost in his Narrative to see it from the outside. That’s good too.

    • I don’t know where you get your statistics Willis, but any clown knows that’s bogus. The first place to go to find drugs in any city is where the PEOCS live

  30. I’ve long said that Big Pharma will be getting around to making real-life Soma here soon. It’s all in place: Slap a DSM-VI diagnosis down — “Ghetto Affective Disorder” or some such — slap a government subsidy over it, and boom, there’s your People’s Tranq. What are we up to, depression-wise? 45% of the under-50 population (and probably close to 80% of career women?) Ditto Adderall and Ritalin for young boys. Loosen the enforcement to pot levels, and you’ve got a nice docile population. Sounds like conspirazoid nonsense, but show me how we’re not heading there at warp speed…

    • The sharp increase in progressivism and drug use are tied together. George Soros is a strong proponent/contributor to pot legalization. The millennial generation was significantly drugged during their school years. Remember attention deficit disorder? Every marijuana user I have known well was addicted to it and significantly incompetent. Legalization of mind altering drugs will not end well.

      • Hearsay is wonderful isn’t it? Most of the heads I’ve known were very competent and high achievers, often with a great work ethic. I suspect set and setting is a factor.

        • Please elaborate. What do you consider a “head”? How often did they consume? I agree with you, if the “head” is a casual user. However, if they start out with the wake-up joint, then a post breakfast joint, then a pre-lunch joint, followed by a post-lunch joint, then a tea time joint, then a post dinner joint, then several pre-bedtime joints, I would say their life revolves around pot and they won’t be competent, high achievers, or have a great work ethic. Anyway, that’s my experience.

          • I’d consider someone a “Head” if their drug of choice was grass rather than alcohol. I’ve known people who could smoke an ounce of hash shared among a few friends and then carry on a fairly normal life. The productive and normal smokers I’ve known didn’t smoke constantly but a couple of times a day, however, the quality was mind-bogling _ much stronger than the funky mexican of the old days.
            In the distant past when I smoked dope, I had a top secret clearance and worked at, and occasionally ran, a government research installation, and got excellent performance reviews. Hardly addled by any standards.

        • Is this said by a marijuana user who doesn’t know the difference between addled and normal behavior?

  31. With the widespread use of marijuana, we ought to begin seeing the lung cancer and heart disease rates rise sharply among users. The psycho-active ingredients (nicotine and cannabis) differ in the two drugs, but the combustion products, tars and particles, that are the disease-causing agents are the same.

    • I wonder how much consumption has moved from smoking to vaping, chewables, lozenges, etc. These new delivery mechanism allow for a more custom experience, so they have become popular. There’s also the fact that they don’t require inhaling burning material.

      • Part of the choice of route of delivery is the speed and intensity of the experience. Fastest absorption is via the respiratory system. That’s one reason for the development of smokeable cocaine and meth. The rush from IV drugs may be more intense because you get the full dose all at once, rather than requiring multiple hits to reach the same level. IV use is irrelevant to cannabis use, at least at this time. Topical absorption, sublingual/buccal, and rectal are all faster than oral consumption. And the longer it takes to reach pharmacological level, the longer it will last. Brownies and topical preps may be preferred methods, due to no noticeable odor, ability to function in public, and longer duration of action.

      • Vaping has taken a huge share of the market from smoking, both for health reasons and because there’s virtually no detectable odor from vaping. The edibles and infused drinks markets remain niche markets.

    • While the combistion particles are the same, a large amount of cardiovascular disease, as opposed to lung disease, is from the nicotine. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, among other things.

      • Nope. The contribution of nicotine to cardiovascular disease is small with weak associations.

        http://www.bernd-mayer.com/nicotine-cardiovascular-function-heart-blood-vessels/

        Summary
        Nicotine affects cardiovascular function mainly by activating the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increased heart rate and, possibly, constriction of peripheral blood vessels. These effects are mild and usually well tolerated. There is no convincing evidence that chronic administration of nicotine causes hypertension.

        In addition to its effects on the autonomic nervous system, nicotine was shown to cause dysfunction of endothelial cells, a pathology considered as a key trigger of thrombotic events leading to serious cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and stroke. However, randomized clinical studies did not provide evidence for a considerable cardiovascular risk associated with long-term nicotine administration.

        Since nicotine therapy is recommended to smokers with high cardiovascular risk, there is no reason to question the benefit of switching from tobacco smoking to nicotine containing electronic cigarettes. However, variability of clinical data doesn’t allow to exclude a residual risk with certainty. If you wish to be on the safe side, complete avoidance of nicotine should be your choice.

  32. From the stand point of all this morality/Natural Law/libertarianism/conservatism that a lot of us like to talk about, the only fundamental principle of social norms is that every human is entitled to agency over his own life.

    People are entitled to wreck their minds and bodies with drugs, including alcohol, if they so choose.

    There is no guarantee in the real world that all one’s choices will result in happy endings.

    • But who is going to pay for the social consequences of all these idlers laying about and out of their nut? Do we increase the tax take for those that are not consuming and abusing their minds and bodies?

      • I’m a 1905 man myself like EndOfPatience, but you have hit on the problem. The entire nation first has to accept the consequences of what liberty actually means but more than half the nation wants complete freedom with incomplete liberty.

        • This is where we are headed IMHOThe marijuana addled users will cause more welfare being doled out to them. When they have chemically destroyed their brains and demand that someone else pay for their ‘counseling’ sessions, their daily upkeep, their well being, the democrats will taks our tax money and ‘invest’ in the druggies rehab. Americans will pay a heavy cost for legalizing that crap. The slippery slope beckons.

      • Staple of libertarian crackpots to gloss over their choices having any consequences outside of themselves – ‘happy endings’ indeed.

        • You responded to things I didn’t write. Is that due to lack of reading comprehension or intellectual honesty? It’s a staple of statists of any stripe that they can’r engage in any discussion without sneers and name calling. The behavior is evidence of their intellectual bankruptcy.

          • “You responded to things I didn’t write.”

            I thought that would have been obvious. However, I see you circled back to the subject and finally confirmed your support for the progressive agenda in your reply to another user, so thanks.

      • Ideally, the only answer I care about is “not government.” So long as my tax dollars aren’t being confiscated to pay for “social consequences” then whoever is agitated about the social consequences is welcome to pay for them (even me, should I so decide).

      • Why should ANYONE pay to rescue anyone from the consequences of what they do to themselves?

        I’m willing to pay for public health measures to prevent those choices affecting others in the form of disease.

        I’d support paying them to get sterilized.

        I’d support taking their children into a safer environment.

        But the War on Drugs has been a dismal complete failure. It is premised on the notion that somehow or another we can not only protect people from the consequences of their bad decisions, but that we have some moral obligation to do so. I reject that completely.

        If there aren’t enough resources available from private charities to help the, they can starve in the streets.

  33. You should see the dispensaries that cropped up in Reno in well under a year. They located in prime real estate areas usually new construction and as smooth and gleaming as any high end shop or hotel. Where exactly did the capital come from for that?

    Another thing Z, correct me of I’m wrong, but someone who works in this “industry” told me that the Feds currently prohibit them from opening bank accounts, so these high tech Four Seasons like dispensaries still deal in cash.

    • I don’t know how that works. My guess is the law is never enforced. It’s simply impossible to tell a bank account of Fred’s Hardware from Fred’s Pot House, without lots of details.

      • The banks actually are required and expected to document the source of every dollar deposited into any checking, savings, or investment account. With blockchain technology, money movements will be tracked on a moment-to-moment basis.

        The banks are also expected/required to reject any deposits or activity associated with marijuana. Pot is still a cash business for that reason, and probably the mechanism for a huge amount of money laundering right now.

      • The dispensaries in CO are very diligent about following the law on this one. Margins are thin and a RICO charge would be game over.

        it is technically a cash business and some dispensaries only accept cash. Most however skirt the issue by having an ATM inside the store or doing a cash-back type transaction for an amount rounded up from the customer’s purchase price and the customer is given back his change. So if you buy a $23 can of edibles, they’ll do a $25 cash withdrawal and you get $2 back along with your pot.

        There is some sort of permit required for the dispensaries to be allowed to do this and they really don’t want to lose it.

      • In Colorado federally insured banks won’t accept cash from a business which is holds a MJ license, so the dispensary entity operated in cash and paid taxes in cash, much to the chagrin of the Department of Revenue and the IRS. (I was once in the office of a dispensary owner on distribution day in which he collected a large shoe box stuffed full of cash.)

        Banks will accept cash from the owners of the business so when the dispensary owner takes his/her distribution from the business the banks were happy to deposit those funds in his/her account. Also, a lot of MJ businesses set up one or more separate related companies (i.e., management companies, real estate companies, IP licensing companies) which the dispensary paid “fees” to wash the cash into a legitimate operating company.

        I’m no longer involved in the business so I don’t know what effect Sessions’ saber rattling has had on capital formation. A few years ago there was almost an infinite amount of capital available for the business, no small amount of which was coming from shady LLCs in New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Mexico. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the origins of those funds.

    • One little irony. Saw a long form piece on one of the first dispensaries that opened in Colorado and had basic problems getting bank accounts and more importantly credit card clearing arrangements. Hence tons of cash. All the otherwise, peace loving hippies in the place were well enough armed to re-take Cuba.

    • Colorado here. Pot profits stay in cash or hard assets and cannot be put into banks, ergo, the recent rise in real estate prices in Colorado. Buying houses/land is the easiest way for them to “bank.”

  34. I thought highly of AG Sessions until he became AG. He seems to be a regular guy in a group of guys. Separate him for leadership and strong, even handed application of the law, he follows from behind. For the AG, the pot thing is a useless sidebar. The first action needed is a new AG. The DOJ and FBI are in flames. Priorities please Mr. AG. Whoever you are. Best regards everyone.

    • Maybe there is something else going on with our AG. The story in this country, in the last few decades, has been to look the other way when something wrong is going on. Illegal immigration, drug use, and the weird version of “civil rights” that plague us today. The “Russian Dossier” stuff and illegal wire taps, too. Perhaps enforcement of the Federal marijuana laws is part and parcel of returning us to some sort of more consistently applied rule of law. I am thinking especially in terms of immigration. Another aspect to it is that if the country doesn’t like the law, then change it, don’t just ignore it. Get back to the more normally applied set of rules under which our republic is supposed to operate. Get rid of that “I have a pen and a phone” crap.

    • Overall I would give Sessions a ‘C’. He’s done nothing to drain the swamp in the DoJ that we can see.

      But he gets an ‘A’ for taking Trump’s promise we go back to a being a rule of law country seriously.

      If you don’t like the laws change them, but don’t stop enforcing them just because you don’t like them.

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