22 comments for “Happy 4/20

  1. Featherstone, QC
    April 20, 2009 at 11:44 am

    ‘Tis a wonderful argument for outlawing alcohol – an object which I do not support – not so persuasive for the purpose of legalizing marijuana.

  2. norbizness
    April 20, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Even though I’m not smoking out today, I put a rolled up towel under the office door in solidarity.

  3. mk
    April 20, 2009 at 11:56 am

    norbizness, it’s a really good thing I wasn’t eating or drinking while reading your comment. Snicker.

  4. April 20, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    A few weeks back I was listening to a medical marijuana debate on NPR and it was interesting how stacked the argument in favor of keeping marijuana illegal is.

    The woman talked about how there is no evidence to suggest that marijuana works better than prescription medications at pain and nausea relief (which she stuck to despite numerous calls from patients, homecare workers, and even a doctor or two). If any drug company was testing a pharmaceutical version of pot to control nausea and pain, they would be all over the airwaves talking about how effective it was in relieving those symptoms. But a naturally growing plant apparently has a different set of rules.

    The woman talked about how we have no field sobriety test that police officers can administer in the event of someone getting behind the wheel while stoned. Despite the fact that the specific terms of this debate was for medical marijuana, which is basically administered to people who are too sick to drive, period, and are often bedridden. Also despite the fact that there are no field sobriety tests for being whacked out on Oxycontin, or morphine, or any other prescription pain relievers that are not currently illegal. But a naturally growing plant apparently has a different set of rules.

    The woman was oh-so-concerned about the problem of children getting their hands on the parents’ medical weed, and using it to get stoned behind the old red-brick schoolhouse, despite the fact that kids are doing just that with legal prescription medications, the abuse of which is significantly more dangerous than the abuse of a naturally growing plant (which apparently has a different set of rules).

    If we allowed marijuana to be legalized in this country and regulated it like we do Alcohol and Tobacco, the drug cartels currently putting Mexico through a meat grinder would be cut off at the knees as demand for their supply would dry up in the face of being able to buy a little local organic.

    We could release all those people of color in prison serving their mandatory minimum sentences for dealing an ounce of pot. With those people out, we might not have to release rapists and murderers quite so early.

    The cashflow for harder drugs and other black market illegal activities would suffer a crippling blow. Instead of buying your dime bag off of the guy who’s also trying to move meth, heroin, and cocaine, you would buy your pot from regulated retailers, who won’t fork over your cash to increase distribution of harder drugs (or worse).

    Yes, there would be problems associated with decriminalizing marijuana–you’d have to be stoned to think otherwise. More employers would feel compelled to utilize drug-testing services, we would have to have a better means of communicating with children about the importance of not using mind-altering substances (whether they be smokable, drinkable, or snortable) while their minds are still developing, and we would have to do more to treat people who need help overcoming addiction. But these costs are nothing compared to the cost of criminalizing marijuana.

  5. April 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    word.

  6. April 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Hey, it’s Norm Stamper! I remember that guy, from when he TEAR GASSED MY WHOLE FAMILY.

    No really, he’s a pretty stand-up guy for a police chief, especially after he fell on his sword for the WTO debacle and went off to be mr. progressive cop.

  7. April 20, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Ah, pot day.

    See, if pot were legal to consume, maybe there’d be fewer pot evangelists trying to cajole me into using pot because it’s like some miracle pain-curing drug…
    [/tangential] :)

  8. COOKIE from the 'D'etroit!
    April 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    HAPPY 4:20 EVERYONE!!!!!!
    Mighty Ponygirl ~ You are on point with your comments!! Don’t have time to elaborate… but I concur!!

  9. Danielle
    April 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I thought it was the 19th, so it totally went right over my head. But yay! Wish I had some to celebrate :/

    I was excited about the bill introduced in the CA congress I believe, that would legalize it and tax it (50$ an ounce i think it is?) But was disappointed when I read that it would legalize for those 21+. Not that I have hopes that it will actually happen, but restricting it to those under 21? REALLY? I was expecting 18.

  10. Jesse
    April 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Happy 20th day of the 4th month. :) I am saving my celebration ’til after work of course.
    Canada has it legal for medicinal purposes but trying to get it prescribed is a joke, my sister has sciatica among other problems and she could be prescribed opiates to help with the pain but prefers to self-medicate with pot (especially since, when eaten or smoked through a vaporizer the damage to her body is pretty minimal to nonexistent, no risk of physical dependency, etc.) She could get it prescribed but none of the doctors she knows are allowed to do that apparently, and of course they don’t know anyone they could refer her to (we are still searching.) Even if she did have a doctor to prescribe, finiding a supplier is extremely difficult. There are compassion clubs on the west coast but the last one in my city was shut down a while ago and the ones in B.C. have their own problems trying to stay open. Most people who do manage to get a prescription have nowhere to get it, save from illegal sources. Ridiculous.
    Fortunately the law enforcement personnel around here don’t seem to care very much, at least in my experience. I don’t get a ticket (it never was decriminalized in Canada for small amounts, despite what so many people including within this country seem to think) but generally unless they think you’re dealing or you have a very large amount they just confiscate/destroy and leave it at that — or unless you were caught doing something else against the law as well.
    I would think that the years of the prohibition on alcohol (we had some in Canadialand too) quite clearly show the problems with trying to make the recreational consumption of alcohol illegal… which is why I think these comparisons of marijuana and alcohol are actually useful in the argument for legalization. After all these years of trial and error over booze, and deciding that we at least trust a portion of the population to consume it recreationally, it just makes no sense to have something like marijuana also be illegal. Looking into the history of marijuana and hemp in the U.S.A. can be a very enlightening experience too.
    Of course, I’m one of those freaky people who thinks we should legalize practically everything, regulate and tax it, focus on harm-reduction over prevention, and so forth. The problem often isn’t from people just using, the problems can often be tied into such things as the drug being illegal, you don’t always know what you’re getting, it’s supporting organized crime, you don’t have a safe way to consume the drug, and others. Addiction is obviously a problem, more so with some types of drugs than others, but I feel this is best taken care of by actually addressing the problem of addiction in individuals rather than trying to prevent everybody from using just in case some will develop a problematic addiction.
    But all of that aside, the recreational consumption of pot IMHO is much less “dangerous” than the recreational consumption of alcohol, and most other drugs besides (illegal, prescription, or whatever.)

  11. April 20, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    But drunks don’t play overly-long bass solos at jazz jams! Only potheads!

    Yeah, it should still be legal, though.

  12. Anne
    April 20, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I think it needs to stay illegal. I don’t feel I should have to risk a severe asthma attack everytime I walk down the street because some people feel the need to get stoned.

  13. April 20, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Amandaw, if I get any more pot evangelists on my blog, I’m blamin’ you because you posted the link. :-P

  14. Tom Foolery
    April 21, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I don’t feel I should have to risk a severe asthma attack everytime I walk down the street because some people feel the need to get stoned.

    I’m not sure that arresting 800,000+ per year for marijuana possession and sale and financing a brewing civil war in Mexico is the ideal solution for this problem.

  15. April 21, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I think it needs to stay illegal. I don’t feel I should have to risk a severe asthma attack everytime I walk down the street because some people feel the need to get stoned.

    Is marijuana smoke more inducing of an asthma attack than cigarettes? I don’t think I should risk lung cancer by inhaling someone else’s cigarette smoke, so I’d be ok with regulating smoking in public places. Problem solved, and no need to keep hundreds of thousands of people in jail to do it.

    Plus that Tom Foolery said.

  16. Roy
    April 21, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Thirded.
    We already have policies in place that allow us to place limits on what we can and can’t do in public spaces. The prohibition on pot has done little to nothing to actually curb usage, and a whole lot to contribute to violent crime. The “War on Drugs” has been an abysmal failure by almost any standard. Unless your goal is “lock up people for relatively minor offenses, waste billions of dollars on enforcement, trial, and incarceration, and create a violent black market and criminal empire specializing in trafficking”. I mean, I guess if those are your goals, well done!

  17. Kristen J.
    April 21, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I think it needs to stay illegal. I don’t feel I should have to risk a severe asthma attack everytime I walk down the street because some people feel the need to get stoned.

    Well, seeing as how I’m currently trying to recover from a severe asthma attack this is particularly funny (alternatively, it may be the steroids and the lightheadedness). As a result, I demand that we remove all grass, flowers and flowering trees…also no industrial cleansers, harsh perfumes, mold, dust mites, trees, cats (even the cute and furry ones that I can’t help but pet even though I know I will swell up like a big puffy balloon), and most especially any variety of rag weed so that I don’t risk another attack.

  18. Danielle
    April 21, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Full disclosure: I don’t blame my schizophrenia on marijuana use, but it certainly played a part in the drug-induced psychosis of my heavy marijuana using ex partner… which in turn played a part in his threats to kill me. I might not be un-biased, but I ain’t using bad science to back mine up.

    Pot and schizophrenia are a baddddd mix

  19. Anne
    April 21, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Actually no, excluding public places doesn’t solve the problem. The are grey areas of what could be a public place. What about private places with public areas? Like say apartment buildings. If someone smokes in their aparment and I’m walking down the hall, then I need to go to the hospital for a breathing treatment.

    I used to have neighbors (who lived in a house actually) who were always getting stoned. There were a lot of people in that house and they all smoked marijuana. There were times that it was so bad I couldn’t even risk going outside to get the mail. And if it were legalized all the more covert users would likely be more blatant about it.

    And I don’t see all the advocates for legalization also calling for free breathing treatments and asthma medications for the severely allergic. Although it doesn’t surprise me. Asthma is a very expensive and potentially deadly condition. I’m not going to apologize for feeling that my right to go to leave my home, trumps their compulsion to get stoned.

  20. Christian
    April 22, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Let’s hear it for 4/20! Althought I personally don’t partake, many of my friends do, and I’ve no problem with it. I celebrated by watching the original “reefer Madness” in all its grainy, fear-mongering glory.

  21. Roy
    April 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Actually no, excluding public places doesn’t solve the problem. The are grey areas of what could be a public place. What about private places with public areas? Like say apartment buildings. If someone smokes in their aparment and I’m walking down the hall, then I need to go to the hospital for a breathing treatment.

    That really sucks. I want to be clear that I’m not being sarcastic or dismissive when I say that it seems like that’s a serious allergy and I can only imagine how frustrating that must be.

    The problem is that, while I recognize how awful that must be, I still don’t see a blanket prohibition as being fair or right to other people. Correct me if I’m wrong, but with such a serious allergy, I’d assume it’s not just tobacco and marijuana smoke that set off your asthma, right? I’d suspect that strong colognes, perfumes, incense, smoke from burned food, dust, strong car exhaust, or even serious pet dander are all problems, too, right?

    I’m not sure what the solution here is, but I still don’t think that blanket bans are fair or right. I understand that your medical condition makes it very important that you live in a completely smoke-free environment, but I also know there are people who get migraines from, say, bright colors, or loud noises, or high-pitched noises, or people who are so allergic to peanuts that even touching things that have come into contact with peanuts can be a problem… I don’t think that the solution to these problems are complete prohibitions on loud music, bright colored paint, or peanuts, though.

    It’s a tough balance to figure out how to balance competing rights, and I’m not remotely sure what the solution here would be. I think that we should basically have the right to do what we want in our own homes, but with such a serious allergy, what happens in someone else’s home might impact your health.

    And I don’t see all the advocates for legalization also calling for free breathing treatments and asthma medications for the severely allergic. Although it doesn’t surprise me. Asthma is a very expensive and potentially deadly condition. I’m not going to apologize for feeling that my right to go to leave my home, trumps their compulsion to get stoned.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m a complete supporter of socialized medicine, so, yeah, I do think that your breathing treatments and asthma medications should be basically free to you.

  22. DrP
    April 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Democratic societies don’t have to justify their laws, they just have to agree on them. [With obvious exceptions for first principles and human rights, etc]
    Whether we allow a recreational activity or not is simply a matter of preference. If the public was asked to vote on a bill to decide whether it should be legal, it’s not as though the people who voted no would be forced to ask “why not?” before their votes were counted.
    There is no over-arching principle or fundamental legal tenet that is impugned, this is just a matter of self-regulation. And if society has decided that marijuana should be illegal, then that’s that. Majority rule. No justification required.

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