Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government United States News Politics

Marijuana Prosecution Not a High Priority, Says Obama 449

Posted by timothy
from the law-is-an-ass dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "VOA reports that President Obama says it does not make sense for federal authorities to seek prosecution of recreational marijuana users in states where such use is legal. 'As it is, you know, the federal government has a lot to do when it comes to criminal prosecutions,' said Obama during a television interview with ABC's Barbara Walters. 'It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that, under state law, that's legal.' When asked if he supported legalizing marijuana, the president said he was not endorsing that. 'I wouldn't go that far, but what I think is that, at this point, Washington and Colorado, you've seen the voters speak on this issue.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Marijuana Prosecution Not a High Priority, Says Obama

Comments Filter:
  • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:19PM (#42301831) Homepage

    Of course, if the recreational users all started having half a million dollars in property to confiscate, we'd probably see a shift.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:20PM (#42301835)

    Is like trying to nail Jello to a wall.

  • flip flop flip? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaHat (247651) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:22PM (#42301855) Homepage

    So after first de-prioritizing medical marijuana raids in places like California (where they are legal)... only to reprioritize them again... he now flips again about deferring to state based decisions? ...or this is one of his much touted 'evolutions'

    One day I would love to know what he actually believes in... other than political expediency.

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:24PM (#42301871) Journal
    He can't definitely say "I'm not wasting federal resources and money on that shit" because it's still officially illegal at the federal level, and the President is constitutionally bound to follow the laws established by Congress. Congress itself has to make marijuana legal. The executive branch can, however, determine how to prioritize its use of resources, and Obama basically just said he's more worried about actual threats to the country than someone getting high on the couch.

    In other words, if you want pot legal nationwide, you need to write to your Congresscritters about it.
  • by gapagos (1264716) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:24PM (#42301873)

    The U.S. government has better legal things to worry about than a few potheads getting high legally. Perhaps like, for instance, mentally-unstable individuals able to obtain semi-automatic assault riffle, also legally, and killing 28 individuals at a public school. Just sayin'.

  • Dear Mr. President (Score:5, Insightful)

    by istartedi (132515) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:25PM (#42301883) Journal

    Dear Mr. President,

    Apparently you did your share of pot and other drugs in your youth. Somehow, you avoided getting a criminal record. Please explain to us why giving millions of Black men like yourself a criminal record might not be such a good thing. Please tell us if you think you'd be where you are today if you had gotten busted.

    Sincerely,

    A lot of us who are tired of wars on nouns.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:26PM (#42301891)

    Of course, if the recreational users all started having half a million dollars in property to confiscate, we'd probably see a shift.

    Of course, if the recreational users all started having half a million dollars in property to confiscate, we'd probably see a shift.

    Many recreational users already have that much (or more) property.

    Do you think all pot smokers are out of work 20 year olds who live in their parents' basement?

  • by iggymanz (596061) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:29PM (#42301917)

    what planet do you live on? drug possession only (not dealing) is 80% of those imprisoned for drug-related crimes.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:33PM (#42301953) Journal

    Obama can say whatever he wants.
    Until he promulgates policies restraining the DEA and DOJ it's going to be a problem.
    Not to mention the illegality of marijuana screwing up business's relationships with the IRS.

  • by sribe (304414) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:36PM (#42301981)

    Oh, bullshit. His answer was perfectly clear. And the policy is sensible--declaring the war on pot senseless would just fire up the rabid "family-values" far-right lunatic fringe even more, when he's got more important political battles to fight than that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:37PM (#42301989)

    Thus showing that "mentally unstable" or "mentally stable" is useless nattering. These weapons must be banned from private ownership completely.

    There is no justifiable reason for anyone to carry around enough firepower to mow down dozens of people within seconds - certainly not self-defense. You don't see civilians driving tanks or carrying rocket launchers either.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:40PM (#42302009)

    Not just Obama, but Bush2 and Clinton as well.

    When we have the last three Presidents widely known for smoking/taking marijuana and way harsher drugs, doesn't that undermine the entire propaganda about drugs being a dead end once someone takes them? Or hypocritical for all of them to persecute others?

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:45PM (#42302047)
    You are asking the president to justify Congress' inaction, and I doubt he thinks it is justified. As he said, he is bound to enforce the laws they write. He could phrase his opposition more clearly than "de-emphasizing" enforcement, but that would cause a distraction from other more immediate issues.
  • by Uberbah (647458) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:46PM (#42302055)

    ...on same-sex marriage. If our press was as adversarial as it is in England, we might see questions like:

    "Mister President, where do you think you would be in life if you had been convicted for felony drug possession when you were a young man?"

    and

    "Mister President, if your parents had been married when you were conceived, they could have been arrested in half the United States for violating interracial marriage laws. As a former professor of Constitutional Law you know this full well - so how can you, in good conscience, endorse a "states rights" position on same-sex marriage bans?"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:46PM (#42302057)

    The second amendment isn't about defense from other citizens. It's about defense from tyrannical government. Automatic weapons are needed for that.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:49PM (#42302081) Homepage Journal

    One major effect of the war on drugs (it's not a war on pot) is to channel taxpayer money to the prison system, to law enforcement, and to the corporations that make the various tools that law enforcement uses. To the tune, so far, of about a trillion dollars. That is more than enough money to create a whole swath of lobbyists clamoring for more and harsher drug laws. A very large number of people in the prison system are there for something related to drug charges; that has a direct effect on the amount of money going in that direction.

    Then there's the low-hanging candy for politicians to use to pander to the brow-beaten, paranoid parents at vote-collecting time. The whole shooting match is a very big deal, financially speaking, though it isn't exactly all about profit. It supports a lot of jobs, too; just about the entire DEA depends upon the drug war to provide for their paychecks, and that's true for a lot of city cops as well, though most rural shops don't actually have dedicated drug guys, or at least, I hope not. Then there's the prison system, the "rehab" pukes, several generations of psycho-babblers, and on the other side of the coin, the entire alcohol industry which really doesn't want to see a cheaper, more effective, safer high made freely available to the citizens.

    So don't kid yourself about there not being a financial motive here. There is, and it's a significant one.

  • by tnk1 (899206) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:51PM (#42302099)

    He didn't say that, he just said that Federal efforts were pointed at dealers. Busts for possession in "less-than-dealer" quantities are not usually the result of Federal investigations, they're busts based on opportunities like traffic stops, probable cause searches, or other things on the state and local level.

    In other words, stopping state criminalization of pot is going to cut down significantly on people being busted for possession, because you generally get busted for that by the local cops.

    So what Obama is basically saying is: "we're not going to spend money to take over from the local cops now that they can't bust people for legal possession." What it does not mean is that anything is significantly going to change about what the Federal government does. They've never targeted possession, and they still will not. If they bust someone who happens to be in possession, they'll get run into Federal court, but it's usually like getting fined for not wearing a seat belt after they pulled you over for speeding.

  • by demonlapin (527802) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:53PM (#42302115) Homepage Journal
    Of course he can: he's the fucking President, and he can order the Attorney General to stop all prosecution of people who are working entirely within one state and following its laws to the letter while still prosecuting people who are attempting to use the legal status of drugs in one state to allow them to sell in others. If the AG refuses he can be fired summarily. So can every US Attorney, they're all political appointees who serve at the will of the President.

    This is just a copout, utter bullshit. The man could use the existing powers of prosecutorial discretion to do just what I suggested, and he could be quite clear about it: "Barbara, I think the important thing here is not whether marijuana is legalized or not. It's about respecting the priorities of individual states - about federalism. That's an issue that many people in my party have been accused of ignoring in the past. And I know that some people are going to accuse us of all being a bunch of dope-smoking hippies that are only fair-weather federalists, but I want to tell you that I mean this both ways - the federal government is going to respect the people who have chosen to make the consumption of cannabis legal, but it's going to respect the people who continue to believe that a ban is the best policy, too. We're not closing down the DEA. "
  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:58PM (#42302155)
    There are plenty of laws that aren't enforced, and there isn't a constitutional obligation to press charges. A couple of the Republicans running on the policy that there are obscenity laws that weren't being enfroced, and that they would enforce them. The Obama administration could just not bother with those laws like they don't bother with tons of other laws.

    People often have a gross misunderstanding of what the executive branch actually does, but this is actually something that Obama could solve.
  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:01PM (#42302181) Homepage Journal

    I heard what you heard, and I don't get the same takeaway.

    He said they wouldn't go after users. Now look at California: Are they going after users there? No. They're going after dealers, growers, MM dispensaries. Now look at what he said. Did he say that they wouldn't go after dealers, growers, dispensaries? No.

    So does it appear that he's changed position? No.

    Should he change position? Of course. Would it be the right thing to do? Of course. Would it be the politically expedient thing to do, with over 90% of the country still holding on to "pot is teh badz, dur" laws and Washington awash in lobbyists throwing money at everyone in sight to keep drugs illegal? No.

    I don't think this is going to be the big step forward people hope. There's a lot of money at stake here. Over a trillion dollars so far. That money has representation in Washington. So does the alcohol industry. Potheads really don't have any. And then there's the easy pickings of anti-drug rhetoric directed to gullible parents at election time. As with just about everything else in Washington, if you want to predict what they'll do, follow the money, and the power. I think you'll find that it doesn't lead to an end to the drug war, or even that part of it that surrounds marijuana.

  • by sjames (1099) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:01PM (#42302187) Homepage

    Perhaps you should know that the shootings were accomplished using 2 perfectly ordinary pistols. The only rifle mentioned (not an assault rifle) was found in the killer's car unused.

    Quick quiz for you: What characteristics make a weapon a rifle? What makes it an assault rifkle? What makes it semi-automatic? If you had to go look that up, why were you spouting off about them before you knew what you were talking about?

  • by Uberbah (647458) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:02PM (#42302193)

    He can't definitely say "I'm not wasting federal resources and money on that shit"

    But he can say "after scientific review by the FDA, I am moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act" without any action from Congress. Existing law already allows Obama to stop persecuting marijuana users, growers and dealers.

    and the President is constitutionally bound to follow the laws established by Congress.

    Then where are the prosecutions for Bush's wars and torture (something REQUIRED by the U.N. Convention Against Torture, signed by that hippie Ronald Reagan) and fraud committed by the banks? Glennzilla: [guardian.co.uk]

    HSBC, too big to jail, is the new poster child for US two-tiered justice system

    Over the last year, federal investigators found that one of the world's largest banks, HSBC, spent years committing serious crimes, involving money laundering for terrorists; "facilitat[ing] money laundering by Mexican drug cartels"; and "mov[ing] tainted money for Saudi banks tied to terrorist groups". Those investigations uncovered substantial evidence "that senior bank officials were complicit in the illegal activity." As but one example, "an HSBC executive at one point argued that the bank should continue working with the Saudi Al Rajhi bank, which has supported Al Qaeda."

    On Tuesday, not only did the US Justice Department announce that HSBC would not be criminally prosecuted, but outright claimed that the reason is that they are too important, too instrumental to subject them to such disruptions.

    By coincidence, on the very same day that the DOJ announced that HSBC would not be indicted for its multiple money-laundering felonies, the New York Times published a story featuring the harrowing story of an African-American single mother of three who was sentenced to life imprisonment at the age of 27 for a minor drug offense

    Obama constantly makes a mockery of the rule of law. If he's going to ignore it, he could at least do it for non-violent non-criminals as opposed to banks that have stolen millions of homes and government officials that tortured over 100 people to death.

  • Re:flip flop flip? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:04PM (#42302207) Homepage Journal

    Yep, his DAs are prosecuting everyone they can find here in California.

    A friend of mine is a landlord who rents out his land to farmers. One of them was growing weed on his farm without his knowledge.

    So the feds are trying to seize (asset forfeiture) his farm, and all his other assets, too. (Why his other assets? Just because they can try.)

    The worst thing about it (other than the fact the feds are trying to bankrupt someone not involved in the drug trade at all) is that our idiotic Sheriff Mims (who led the "fight", and is trying to bill my friend $100,000 for the police raid that started this) got called before a senate committee, and praised by Senator Feinstein for her efforts.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:07PM (#42302229) Journal

    When we have the last three Presidents widely known for smoking/taking marijuana and way harsher drugs, doesn't that undermine the entire propaganda about drugs being a dead end once someone takes them?

    More likely that it just highlights the vast gulf between Joe Average and children of the privileged class.

    Same actions, wildly different outcomes.

  • by Uberbah (647458) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:08PM (#42302241)

    ...are far more significant than whatever pretty words are coming out of his mouth on any given morning. He also promised to back off state-based medical marijuana, only to prosecute more than 10 dimes the number of medical pot facilities in four years than Bush did in 8.

    Obama is a hypocritical pot smoking, "a little blow" using jackass who has no problem ending the careers of future Obama's by throwing their asses in prison for the same offenses that he committed with gusto when he was a young man.

    And before someone uses the "but he's gotta enforce the laaaaw" excuse, where are the prosecutions of Bush officials that ordered torture and bankers that stole people's homes? Finally, the Controlled Substances Act allows Obama to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III without having to go through Congress, changing it from contraband to regulated drug overnight.

  • by Mitreya (579078) <(mitreya) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:08PM (#42302243)

    What it does not mean is that anything is significantly going to change about what the Federal government does. They've never targeted possession, and they still will not.

    Yes, how kind of them.
    They did, however, raid quite a few legal and law-abiding dispensaries in CA when they felt like it (despite any promises to keep it low priority)

    This sounds like the DMCA move -- we will allow you possession of the [thing] but we will harshly prosecute anyone who manufactures or distributes that [thing] making it difficult to impossible for you to actually get it.

  • by alostpacket (1972110) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:09PM (#42302257) Homepage

    Thus showing that "mentally unstable" or "mentally stable" is useless nattering.

    Please, please do not say this. Improving mental health in this country is preventative while removing guns is mitigating. Both have an equally important role to play in responding to these tragic events. And while mental health gets tossed around by some in the gun debate, it's a different issue, and it should be addressed with as much importance as any gun control debate. This is not an either-or situation. We can take action on both fronts because they are not mutually exclusive. Please don't let EITHER side of this debate use mental health as a dismissive or derogatory tool of their argument, nor let anyone be dismissive of the role it played.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:11PM (#42302269) Homepage Journal

    I haven't scrolled very far down - but so far, it seems that people are missing the single most important part of this news.

    Being arrested for possession is bad. Being jailed is worse. Serving time in the pen is yet worse. But, that's all rather petty, when compared to the people who die during any stage of these processes.

    The "war on drugs" never was a "war on drugs". It has always been a war on American citizens. Your kid, your neighbor, your nutty classmate, your cousin, or the local grocer, it doesn't matter WHO they are. They disapprove of the government's mandate, and they disobey the government. As a result, hundreds, if not thousands, die every year.

    No city, no county, no state, and not even the feds, should have the authority to more or less stop people randomly, then arrest them for possession of a more or less natural substance.

    It's insane, is what it is.

    And, I don't even use the stuff. I don't even use the prescription drugs that I'm given. I don't like drugs, don't want drugs, won't be purchasing any no matter how legal they get. But, my idiot son shouldn't be at risk of spending a decade in prison for doing a dooby.

  • by Mitreya (579078) <(mitreya) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:16PM (#42302301)

    One major effect of the war on drugs (it's not a war on pot) is to channel taxpayer money to the prison system,

    Two words: private prisons
    That should never have been allowed anywhere under any circumstances. A for-profit prison!

    They sign contracts where state guarantees a certain percentage occupation (90%), so it is no surprise when the state works hard to meet that promise

    And now these private prisons are selling prisoner labor at under-$1 an hour rates to make more money. How and why is anyone allowed to profit from prisoner labor?

    Oh, and some phone company makes a killing at 24c/minute phone calls for prisoners...

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:18PM (#42302329)

    As has been pointed out, the 2nd isn't about protecting your home from your neighbor, it's about protecting your country from your government.

    It's not the guns that kill people, it's people that kill people. IIRC in Switzerland people got to take home their assault rifles after their (mandatory) military service. I think they abolished that practice, but I cannot really remember Switzerland turning into a ghetto state with gang wars being the issue du jour. Which is odd, by the logic an assault rifle in the hands of every single citizen should ensure a lot of shooting going on.

    NEITHER is the right way, neither forbidding guns entirely nor handing them out like we have a "guns for toys" program running. Owning a gun entails the responsibility to wield and especially store it safely. Your right is to have it. Your obligation is to keep everyone safe from it. If you cannot uphold the latter, either by choice or by being too stupid or "psychologically unstable", you do not earn the former.

  • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:32PM (#42302459) Journal

    Again, as has been overly proven in the middle east. They are most definitely not needed.

  • by Mitreya (579078) <(mitreya) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:42PM (#42302535)

    There are plenty of laws that aren't enforced, and there isn't a constitutional obligation to press charges. A couple of the Republicans running on the policy that there are obscenity laws that weren't being enfroced, and that they would enforce them.

    There should be a constitutional requirement to press charges on the laws, so that bad laws are regularly purged from the books. There was an anti-sodomy law in Texas until as recently as 2003!

    Not having to press charges means that DAs get to selectively enforce laws against people they do not like and that is terrible

  • by tnk1 (899206) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:44PM (#42302555)

    Well, dispensaries *are* dealers, right?

    Anyway, there's nothing about kindness being involved here. Despite all of the money involved in drug enforcement, there is not enough Federal money for the DEA to be busting kids smoking up behind the school building. In fact, there isn't enough money for the local cops to do it either, they just happen to find most of that stuff while going about their other business. Which is also why your usual upper/middle class pot smoker isn't going to get busted, they don't usually do anything illegal except that and speeding.

    Remember, the Federal government doesn't have to go by what the states say. The states simply make their own laws for themselves which are based on the powers reserved to them in the Constitution. However, if the Federal government makes a law, it's still the law in California unless it covers a power reserved to the states. Yes, California cops will not be able to enforce it, because they derive their authority from state law, but the FBI or DEA derives their authority from the Federal government, and they can still make arrests.

    What the government is doing is drawing a line in the sand. They say they are busting dealers, so they busted dealers. Yes, their response was a bit uneven initially, but I think that's just the sort of thing you have to expect when you have a hardcore anti-drug Federal government start to conflict with a legal state regime. I hope no one went into even the legal pot business with their eyes closed about the outstanding Federal law issues.

    Happily, I think most states will eventually see that pot smoking is no worse for you than cigarette smoking and stop making it into a reason to arrest, imprison, and occasionally shoot people. Once that happens, the Federal government will eventually give up on it. It will just take time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @03:08PM (#42302703)

    No, actually, being President doesn't work like that. That's why there was outrage and an investigation when Bush allegedly fired and hired US Attorneys for political reasons.

    The POTUS actually has very little real power.

  • by noobermin (1950642) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @03:14PM (#42302737) Journal

    But then you'd say he's abusing executive power and not letting congress legalize it as the constitution says.

    I know you've already decided this guy is evil no matter what he does, but at least be happy when he gets things sort of right.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @03:19PM (#42302763) Homepage Journal

    My observations have shown that the upper middle class, "work hard, play hard" group smoke a whole lot of weed. In particular, those in Buisness Administration and Sales. Racecars, sailboats, girlfriends, houses and the lifestyle that comes with that can easily top half a million dollars. If you ignore debt the average American family probably owns close to a quarter million dollars in assets (including their house).

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @03:52PM (#42302953) Homepage

    As a physician, I really don't want Marijuana scheduled as a Schedule III drug (like marinol). I want it either decriminalized or legalized and controlled like (the much more dangerous drug) alcohol. I really don't want to spend my day writing out pot prescriptions - although I understand that one can make a reasonable living in Colorado writing out medical marijuana scripts.

    We already have the framework to deal with popular, dangerous drugs (tobacco and alcohol) that don't involve the medical establishment.

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Saturday December 15, 2012 @04:20PM (#42303091)
    Naw we'll only be fucked when Monsanto starts making GM marijuana seeds and suing people for growing their plants - even if they had no idea said plant was growing on their property...
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @04:56PM (#42303297)

    Except it's not a legal pastime. Passing state laws to "legalize" something that is still illegal under federal law is counterproductive.

    It may not be a complete solution, but it certainly deals with one of the major problems with having state laws against something that you don't actually want to be banned: specifically, the expenditure of state taxpayer funds in policing, prosecuting, and incarcerating people for doing something that you don't actually want to be prohibited. So, incomplete solution I can see. Counterproductive? I don't see that.

    Much better is to send representatives to Washington who will change the federal laws.

    Repealing the state laws against something and electing federal representatives who will work to do so with the federal laws in the same area are not mutually exclusive approaches. In fact, state law changes often are an important part of the way that political pressure gets created to change federal law.

  • Re:flip flop flip? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @04:57PM (#42303305)

    I'm sorry, I missed the GOP shipping thousands of guns to Mexico where that were used to kill hundreds and when questioned about it "executive authority" was used to not answer questions. Also involving a contempt of congress where the local authority refused to press changes on an obviously guilty Holder. Or the cover up of 4 American deaths in Lybia. We can also go back to Clinton selling missle technology to the Chinese for DNC illegal foreign campaign contributions. I could aslo start listing DNC members who illegaly failed to pay taxes: Rangle, Daschle, Geitner, and so on.

    I'm just missing the part where the GOP is more corrupt. I live in reality where I actualy try and hold people responsible for their actions, not giving people passes because I think they might be giving me free stuff.

    I really wish Obama supporters would grow up and stop spouting lies like you are. Things in this country would be much better if you would stand up to corruption instead of ignoring it.

  • by ceriphim (1530579) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:41PM (#42303579)
    Jesus epic Christ I hope you have some sort of data to back that up? You do realize that simply stating something doesn't make it true, right?
  • by pspahn (1175617) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:43PM (#42303597)

    o.O

    ...the vast majority of pot users are unable to make a living for themselves and thus depend on public assistance and petty crime to support themselves and their habit.

    You really have no idea who pot smokers are, do you?

  • by pspahn (1175617) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:56PM (#42303659)

    This is how it works, though.

    Look at the inverse; where states pass new laws prohibiting some new type of behavior... texting and driving for example. Is that counter-productive? Of course it isn't.

    We need more states to be pioneers in repealing antiquated/obsolete laws otherwise those laws may never change. We can't just keep making new laws and more new laws and more new laws or we end up with the legal equivalent of spaghetti code.

    States stepping up and avowing intention to counter federal laws is exactly the opposite of counter-productive.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:59PM (#42303677) Homepage Journal

    I don't think

    There, I condensed your post to its ultimate meaning for you. No need to thank me.

    You, sir, stand as vivid evidence for the need of an intelligence test to enable the voting privilege. I suggest you permanently cease using Faux Newz as your primary information source, take up a great hobby like knitting or perhaps crocheting, and never, ever breed. The nation would owe you a debt of gratitude.

  • by moogla (118134) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:03PM (#42303695) Homepage Journal

    Agreed! And the way alcohol lowers inhibitions, makes individuals anti-social, destroys families, and allows one to forget their problems (instead of confront them), I don't think there's a bar recipe for success in The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks either. I don't know why we ever repealed prohibition!

  • Bad governance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:23PM (#42303785) Homepage Journal

    There was an anti-sodomy law in Texas until as recently as 2003!

    And there are still multiple states with statutes that say atheists cannot serve in various political offices.

    That's just the tip of the iceberg. A great deal of state and federal law (and court decisions) are really, really wrongheaded. Some of it is straight up unauthorized. There are ex post facto laws. The constitution has been relegated to the "who cares" zone. And very little of it will ever get straightened out. That's not what congress or scotus or the executive wants to do, and we have almost zero control over any of them. And the public not only doesn't care, they don't even faintly grasp the problem.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:37PM (#42303859) Journal

    For these reasons the vast majority of pot users are unable to make a living for themselves and thus depend on public assistance and petty crime to support themselves and their habit.

    Bollocks, been smoking the stuff for 35yrs, I'm currently puffing on a joint while sitting in my $0.5M+ beach house. Depending on where you live, up to a third of the people you work with (including your bosses and friends) smoke the stuff, for obvious reasons they're not keen on telling you about it. OTOH: It's true that a lot of teenagers just want to smoke (or drink) themselves into a permanent stupor but teenagers are not fully developed people either physically or mentally. Just take a look at the small crowd in Seattle who turned up at midnight to celebrate the new law coming into effect by lighting up a joint under the space needle, most of them were middle aged, all of them were orderly and polite, nobody was sitting/lying/throwing up in the gutter.

    Also different strains of dope will have different effects on how lethargic you feel, some strains actually wake you up, most notably the stuff Zulu warriors used to ritually smoke before going on the warpath (less notably, the stuff I smoke before doing the housework). Anyway the point of my post is to ask you to stop trying to read the minds of people who smoke, you obviously know nothing about them other than the stereotypes you've seen in the movies and a few real people you know who have confirmed that stereotype with their behavior.

    Ignorance like yours is why the US has 25% of the world's prison population but only 5% of the total population. Running out of heroine will make you break into people's houses, so will alcohol and nicotine (if they were to be added to the prohibition list), these substances are highly addictive and addicts will go to great lengths to obtain them. Dope is no more addictive than coffee, running out does not normally lead to acts of desperation.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @07:50PM (#42304335) Homepage Journal

    No such discussion is required. It is already illegal to hurt, kill, or force others, as well as a whole list of similarly nasty actions, and that's exactly correct. No need for laws that arbitrarily criminalize externalities. If you hurt someone else through a lack of responsible action on your part, you broke the law. Punishment should be in proportion to that harm.

    What you had for lunch or took to relax or whatever should have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

    You don't get a magic pass of no responsibility because you're high, that's all. Poor control while driving? Reckless, goodbye license. Don't care if you were sleepy, answering the phone, solving the fusion problem, or drugged out of your mind. Kill someone in the process? Manslaughter. Unless, of course, we can prove intent. Then it's murder. Etc.

    You wanna drink, drug, meditate, or spin in one place till you're dizzy? I'm entirely good with that. But you're still responsible for your actions. You hurt my family in that state, I'd be all over you. But I'd be all over you if you were straight as an arrow, too. The problem isn't drugs, or drinking. The problem is the harmful act, and the direction of response should be mediated by responsibility, and nothing else.

  • Acts of deperation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @07:59PM (#42304377) Homepage Journal

    Note quite.

    Running out of heroin in an environment where heroin is difficult and expensive to obtain will cause acts of desperation.

    Running out of it in an environment where it costs what it's worth, which is about a penny a hit, won't cause anything but reaching into a pocket and taking another hit.

    The problems with these drugs are caused by the drug war. They're not inherent to the drug.

  • by Dr Max (1696200) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @09:57PM (#42304937)
    It can be counter productive if you change an average joe consumer and worker into a criminal. It's all to easy to seriously fuck some ones life up with courts or jail, and once that has happened they are a lot more likely to turn to real crime for survival.
  • by ehiris (214677) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @12:50AM (#42305639) Homepage

    "the average American family probably owns close to a quarter million dollars in assets (including their house)"

    You must be one of the people that the quarter-millionaire advertising has gotten to. That was BS made up to get people to refinance their homes to take out solid invested money to spend on doodads like boats, race cars, trophy chicks with big fake boobs, over-priced McMansions made out of wood which are nothing more than more liabilities which just increase people's debt.

    Yeah, the average American is probably half a million in debt by now but their doodads seem like assets to the outsiders.

    Weed is probably the only true asset left because it can't be bought on credit.

  • by Genda (560240) <mariet@got.nERDOSet minus math_god> on Sunday December 16, 2012 @05:10AM (#42306203) Journal

    Strangely enough the states that are "hardest on crime" are the hard core Christian/Republican states. The results of the war on crime have been devastating to people of color. Of the quarter million people in state prisons for nonviolent drug related crime, a full 70% are Black or Latino. Worse, once you've been charged with a felony, you loose your right to serve on a jury, your right to vote, to receive welfare, in most cases stay in homeless shelters, receive food stamps, and in a number of states if a felon is lucky enough to find work, the State can and does garnish up to 100% of their wage to make them pay for the cost of their incarceration. In short, these people are marginalized to the point that the only options they have left are crime and return to prison. Moreover, because these people are not included in statistics on poverty, the truth on a number of states grossly under-reports poverty among minorities.

    There was a huge backlash against the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s and in the 70s, the Republicans wooed the Democratic South to the Republican party by creating a means to use the "War on Drugs" as a means to impose massive class control on poorer people of color in the south. One example is that in the 80s the sentences for crack cocaine (a popular drug in poor communities) was differentially prosecuted. Five grams of crack cocaine garnered the same sentence as half a kilogram of powder cocaine and put hundreds of thousands of people of color in prisons over the last 30 years. The process of using the "War on Drugs" as a social tools is well understood and has been the source of tremendous protest and criticism by numerous groups for social justice. The sad fact is that on many fronts, Americans of color are no better off than they were when Martin Luther King struggled for equality, all that's happened is that we've gotten better at burying the bodies and hiding the facts. By the way, this is equally a problem with both parties, Clinton trying to woo the South back from the Republicans did just as much damage, perhaps more, than Reagan did 10 years earlier, and even President Obama have been surprisingly lack luster in his actions to fix the many problems.

    The criminalization of marijuana has always been ludicrous, and based more on the interests of corporations than any value to society. These plants (sativa and indicus) have rich histories as medicinal plants with tremendous capacities to help and heal human suffering, as well as provide recreational pleasure. If we learned nothing from the Great Prohibition, it is that prohibitions profit criminal enterprises and create gross disregard for the law. It is past time to declare the "War on Drugs" a grotesque failure. It is long past time to push back the social injustices associated with this war and the real victims who have been left destitute.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain

Working...