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Keith Humphreys' Child Pornography Business...

… argument is one of the more ridiculous ones that I’ve heard.

Keith Humphreys, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, discussed the potential consequences of legalizing marijuana.

Here’s the kicker:

Q: What about the argument that taxing marijuana will provide fiscally strapped cities and states with much-needed revenue?

Humphreys: I am not sympathetic with that argument, either on the values front or on just straight economics. If as a society we’ve decided that if it makes revenue we’re for it, why are we wasting time with cannabis? We should be legalizing child pornography and human trafficking. There’s lots of awful things that raise money, and that doesn’t make them right. The idea that we can make a buck here, and therefore it’s the right thing to do for kids in California … I think that’s morally bankrupt.

I really get tired of these jerks/liars who act like the whole tax revenue argument has been made in a vacuum. Nobody who supports legalization has ever said that tax revenue is the only reason to legalize, and it’s disingenuous to say the least to make that implication. And to compare it to child pornography and human trafficking? Now that’s morally bankrupt. It’s also intellectually dishonest, and seeing a professor make such a statement offends the educator in me.

But then again, he’s being paid to be… disingenuous. According to his bio at Stanford:

He is currently on leave from Stanford while he serves as Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Update: It appears now that his bio is out of date. He apparently has returned to Stanford. So that eliminates that excuse.

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39 comments to Keith Humphreys’ Child Pornography Business…

  • perhaps someone can send Mr Harrumphries an email, inviting him to come sit on the couch and discuss (defend!) his sado-moralist pap. A professor? Really? You want to go there Keith? Really?

    Really? I mean c’mon…

  • Dante

    Sigh.

    How many more shrill versions of “Save the Children!!!” do we have to put up with?

    Is that the best the prohibs can do?

    Pathetic.

  • Maria

    Ideally, a healthy thriving society (none -really- exist) is one that is constantly in flux in a changing world. It weighs the benefits and drawbacks of the rules governing its functions; it analyzes and changes its policies and processes. It does so through the individuals that compose it.

    The professor is, for all intents and purposes, using the hysterics of the “won’t somebody think of the children” argument, his is just clad in some ivory panels.

  • Maria

    Hah Dante, I took too long to post. A select few talking points that get repeated over and over with new dressing. It’s… disheartening sometimes.

  • the brain-dead are proud of and often wield their flaccid rebuttal of “well we might as well legalize murder rape robbery child exploitation”, not able to rub two brain cells together to be able to understand the difference between malum en se vs. malum prohibitum and the notion of consensual vs unwilling participants/victims. These idiots should have their vote discounted due to intellectual bankruptcy.

  • divadab

    Humphries makes his living as part of Prohibition, Inc. His corrupt sponsors include the ONDCP, which pays him to dress up their lies with some academic authority.

    The obvious false logic of his argument is disgraceful and reflects badly on Stanford – how did this dissembler obtain a tenured position?

  • Nz

    Update: It appears now that his bio is out of date. He apparently has returned to Stanford. So that eliminates that excuse.

    No doubt he used his service with the ONDCP to bend a few arms to take him back at Stanford. He probly threatened to accuse some of his esteemed colleagues of smoking marijuana and distribution of kiddie porn.

  • Ziggy

    it’s irresponsible journalism to not edit that statement out…

  • ezrydn

    Anyone notice how he mixed cannabis with other unassociated subjects, under the banner of “awful things?”

    I’m glad I finished college before all this stupidity took over. I feel for ya, Pete, having to put up with these sorts “on the job.”

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Herbal Vaporizers, Mary Jane. Mary Jane said: 🙂 Keith Humphreys' Child Pornography Business…: … of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford Univ… http://bit.ly/dAMN0Q […]

  • Cliff

    “If as a society we’ve decided that if it makes revenue we’re for it, why are we wasting time with cannabis? We should be legalizing child pornography and human trafficking. There’s lots of awful things that raise money, and that doesn’t make them right.”

    WTF?? Notice that the prohibitionists almost always “break spades” and bring out the murder, rape, child pron and human trafficking trump cards that are like calling someone racist. It’s like asking someone if they have stopped beating thier wife.

    This guy was educated at Stanford? My regard for that institution just took a nose dive. Weak argument. His argument includes taking someone else’s liberties, he said it not us. That is where thier minds are really at. Yeah dude, child pron and human trafficking are exactly like the voluntary exchange of cannabis for money.

  • Cliff

    Sorry jhelion, I didn’t see your post, but what you said too.

  • strayan

    Funny, I thought we were taxing cannabis for the same reason we’re taxing tobacco. It deters young people from using the stuff.

    Nice try Keith.

  • Just me.

    Lets see, tax cannabis/make it legal and save billions …not to mention restoring our civil rights and tearing down the police state….or

    Keep it illegal, spend(waste) billions with no hope of an end in sight, continue the police state and destroying our rights as a free people.

    Gee, even a non-proffessor like me can figure that out.

    Education doesnt mean your smart. Just trained…as Keith seems to be.

  • Nutcases alive and well in Canada;
    Our very own version of Dubya lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBFBp0VyEB4&feature=related

  • if marijuana is made legal, bus drivers and airplane pilots trafficking in humans, arms, kiddie porn, ivory and blood diamonds will be crashing into day care centers, retirement homes, hospitals and schools while getting married to pianos and horses.

  • Ed Dunkle

    Stanford has Humphreys.
    UCLA has Kleiman.
    Berkeley has John Yoo.

    And those are supposed to be good schools.

    *adjusts tin foil hat*

  • nt109

    tobacco and alcohol kill ZERO people every year?
    It’s fucking amazing!
    But this marijuana(no deaths ) is dangerous…. True story… pfffft.
    What la la land do these idiots come from?

  • Scott

    Standard prohibitionist strategy.

    Demonize marijuana to a degree making it easy to equate with child pornography.

    Then, in the greatest context possible, proclaim the need to defend the public, collecting a lot of power allowing for a more dominating context to work with down the road.

    One of the main things I learned is being right is never enough. Presenting right is also necessary, if change is desired.

    Prohibitionists unfortunately are the masters of presenting right, which is why the Controlled Substances Act still exists.

    They abuse their credibility as community leaders to make reckless statements about marijuana’s so-called harm (perhaps shining their “narrow spotlight” on extreme cases of marijuana abuse to project the illusion of harm in moderate use), knowing most people will never scrutinize those statements.

    They also demonize their opponents in preparation for any such scrutiny that emerges.

    It worked “brilliantly” for decades since the mainstream media let them get away with it, but now the Internet comes along, and the people who are actually right can organize and globally communicate. That communication naturally challenges mainstream media credibility, resulting in leaders of our movement having more mainstream media presence to compensate.

    Our remaining move is to defeat the masters at their own game of presenting right.

    Strong emphasis is not enough. Please read that last sentence repeatedly until it is the dominating thought in your mind on this issue.

    I still believe that we have a lot of work to do on this front.

    One thing standing out is the apparent failure to recognize that we have been demonized (i.e. because we know we are right, we mistakenly believe such credibility naturally presents itself when we are debating the issue), always making our defensive stance an advantage for the prohibitionists.

    Prohibitionist credibility (even if only publicly perceived) is essential to them, and challenging it should always be our number one goal.

    While we challenge it here (thank you Pete for all that you have done in this regard), we need to do so in the greatest context possible (e.g. when any of us occupy the same stage during a mainstream media discussion).

    Prohibitionists are very weak when it comes to defending their credibility on this issue, because they literally do not have a single sustainable point for sustaining the CSA.

    There is no solid evidence supporting their position.

    In California, we should be publicly pointing out that, prior to medical marijuana being legalized in 1996, prohibitionists proclaimed disaster would happen.

    We should put them on the spot, challenging them to solidly prove that disaster (or any of the other many ones they proclaimed would happen upon weakening drug laws) happened.

    Then take their lying response and go after it in a composed manner, exposing their fraudulent nature (e.g. questionable studies are not solid evidence).

    It does not come down to us being right.

    It comes down to us defeating the illusion that they are right.

    We can either wait for our credibility to naturally grow in the public eye (as it clearly is), or we can bypass our credibility question by getting prohibitionists to discredit themselves.

    I think it is much easier to defeat the illusion that they are right than it is to publicly prove we are right.

    Defeat that illusion and the house of cards will come crashing down (the war on some drugs comes to fairly instant end).

  • claygooding

    Guilt by association is the only propaganda they have left
    Pete,after billions of dollars spent on harm studies and
    “educational programs” based on lies.
    But we are winning,I saw a mainstream news actor say marijuana legalization without snickering or turning it into pot humor.

  • Just me.

    Theres a tide coming. I see it everyday on all fronts. The Idea that the government is the only voice ,the only power, the only way is changing. As SCOTT above said, they are discrediting themselves. Their lies no longer hold up in the light of truth. The internet has done great damage to their illusion…on all fronts. Government its self is “on trial”. Its not just the Obama administration or the Bush or clinton , Bush ect, its government as a whole. All it does. Very little it does is for the good of society and is starting to be seen for what it is, A LIE.

    I have hope this start will keep growing, then maybe we can leave this “Federal Democracy”. I have hope we can dismantle this lie and return to the REPUBLIC this country is supposed to be.

    TEAR DOWN THE WALL!!

  • ezrydn

    @Scott,

    Google “Is It Always Right To Be Right.” You’ll love it. I saw it originally at the theaters as a short film and later got a copy of the verbage.

  • daksya

    Keith Humphreys is now an invited poster at “The Reality-Based Community”, and in a comment to his introductory post, Mark Kleiman had this to say,

    Drug War Rant is precisely the sort of “Saudi” site Keith describes. Its purpose is to stir up hatred and to spread disinformation; after all, ranting is not the usual mode of civil and rational discourse. The intolerance for any deviation from the anti-prohibition party line is absolute.

    and

    arguing with the Ranters is like trying to teach a pig to whistle: it wastes your time, and annoys the pig.

    I guess this rules out a smoke-out if Prop 19 passes.

  • strayan

    Sorry, I meant ‘Podcast’.

    He says his greatest fear is the creation of “another giant corporation that makes money by getting people addicted”.

    Newsflash: there is already a giant industry getting people addicted (and I’m not talking about prescription drugs, coffee, tobacco or alcohol). I’m talking about the people who sell meth, crack and heroin illegally (gangsters and other assorted miscreants), who don’t pay tax, who don’t comply with product safety standards, who don’t affix health warnings, who never ask for ID and who use murder & thuggery to settle disputes and annihilate competition.

    Keith’s worst fear, it seems, is having to deal a bunch of whiny tobbaco industry type lobby groups.

  • strayan

    Oh and what’s next. Legalising Mexicans? We may as well legalise child pornography and rape.

  • it’s easy to take pot shots from afar… wander on in Mr Harrumphries. We’re polite, educated and we sharpen our teeth regularly. If your a prof at Stanford why worry? You could treat us like the Life of Brian’s Black Knight, right? I’m sure all the years that you prohibs have been demonstrating how successful Prohibition II is (subtitled: If We Don’t Get it Right This Time, We’re Not Giving Up, Prohibition III, the Sequel). Heck, I’m a blue collar guy with no college degrees but I’ll give ya a go. Remember you’re the asshat that compared legalizing cannabis to child porn and human trafficking. Which leaves little doubt about who has their head up their proverbial… eh?

  • Servetus

    When Keith Humphreys signed his latest prohibition contract, he probably believed himself to be just another academic selling his soul to the drug war, like so many before him.

    But thanks to the Internet, the ‘Keith Humphreys’ of the world are guaranteed that their academic and public reputations will be immediately ridiculed by a veritable riptide of net-savvy people who are primary sources of information on drugs and their socioeconomic effects. Humphreys obviously doesn’t like that, and he will like it a lot less now that he’s been tarred with child porn.

    Mr. Humphreys’ major handicap is that his knowledge of the drug war originates as a single, outside, drug-free observer looking in. That makes him a secondary source of information on drug lore, which means his subsequent statements about cannabis prohibition are circumstantial. Wrong, in other words.

  • kaptinemo

    Dammit, no point in my commenting. You’ve all nailed it down solidly at all the corners.

    I’m too slow. Must be gettin’ old…

  • Scott

    “I saw a mainstream news actor say marijuana legalization without snickering or turning it into pot humor.”

    We are definitely winning.

    I comment fairly often at the Wall Street Journal online, primarily about why Republicans should be leading the way against the CSA (making it clear that the “New Deal version” of our Commerce Clause is the sole “constitutional” basis for the CSA).

    When I started, ‘common commenters’ there were fighting back, and now they simply do not participate in the discussion for better and worse.

    There are a fair number of relevant articles at the WSJ site, especially about Mexico, making the opportunity to weigh in fairly frequent.

    More and more of the public are getting it, and I still contend the CSA’s end is not an if, but a when, the latter being defined (at least in part) due to our efforts.

    The worst thing (best thing for us) the prohibitionists can do now is communicate at all. As claygooding said, “Guilt by association is the only propaganda they have left”, noting it was all they ever had (e.g. drug abuse is not proven to be caused by the drug abused).

    As our nation’s true “elite” class (the “intelligent” and “powerful”, whoever they naturally are across the political spectrum) realize that “druggies” are not the only victims of the CSA, they will increasingly publicly criticize such idiotic prohibitionist claims instead of allowing them to thrive.

    If Republicans fail to repeal ObamaCare, then they are going to learn a very harsh lesson when the 2005 ruling of Gonzales v. Raich is rock solid legal precedence supporting anything Congress passes (including Cap and Trade, if that comes to pass).

    I still believe that a strong Republican swing in our favor will expedite the end of the CSA.

    Addressing Republicans is a much easier goal for us, considering the message is no longer about proving the benefit or safety of recreational drugs, or convincing them that the collateral damage or financial cost due to the war on some drugs is more damaging than drug abuse, but about the legal battering ram used by liberals/progressives in the ‘war on capitalism’ against our written national foundation, a similar war to the war on drugs.

    Proponents for the ‘war on capitalism’ demonize the private sector and support blanket laws negatively affecting all business owners (even the ones doing nothing but helping our economy) to go after ‘capitalism abuse’.

    The result is literally tens of thousands of pages of regulations all “constitutionally” grounded in the “New Deal version” of our Commerce Clause, giving our public servants virtually unlimited power.

    “Reefer madness” and “Capitalism madness” are the same unethical thing.

    Our movement is perfectly in tune with our written national foundation.

    That means the law is firmly on our side, not the prohibitionists’ dominated by people who took an oath to uphold that law.

    @ezrydn

    Thank you for guiding me to that film. I will check it out as soon as I can.

  • well, i visited the “reality based community” and found pretty much what i expected: kleiman and his cabal of circle-jerking sycophants.

    [better put a spit-take guard on your monitor and keyboard for this: “oh mark, your book is just the most splendid thing since the discovery of silk.” “oh pooh, pooh, richard you have brought your unerring brilliance to an otherwise banal arena which has been bereft of magnificence lo these many years”]

    the absolute best thing those of us in drug law reform can do about kleiman and his new buddy is to ignore them. they aren’t saying one damn thing that the rest of the prohibitionists have been saying over and over again for decades.

    none of them makes policy — and frankly i doubt they “influence” it in the least either given that the policy in place is something they already agree with.

    it’s more important it discuss these issues with our moms and neighbors than with kleiman and the other insufferable jackasses of his ilk.

  • Tim

    Here’s a classic screed from the government-controlled Ottawa Sun which is them demolished by the libertarian Western Standard.

  • Maria

    I’m only familiar in passing with the two men mentioned above (Mr. Kleiman and Mr. Humphreys.) After googleing their exchange on RBC I’ll only say one thing about them. It is awesome to know that they are on this here internet to mansplain Reality to us all.

    Brian bennet said it best above and it needs repeating; while occasionally enlightening and useful, there is very little to be gained in engaging the professional explainers, debaters and commentators, even more so when the exchange is held backstage and in dusty lounges.

    It also seems that there is pretty much zero to be gained from reacting to them if you’re not a professional explainer, debater or commentator yourself – you know, one of the ‘common folk’ they exaplain to. Mostly it’s an energy sucking adventure. Even though there is something to be said about poking fun and poking with sticks, and just poking holes in general.

    Anyways, after spending time swimming in the words of professionals and politicians I occasionally find myself forgetting that despite being cloaked in the language of the prohibs, people in my life have legitimate concerns, fears, and worries which have precious little to do with politics, debate rhetoric or statistical one upmanship. More and more people crave real information and not op/ed pieces, fear mongering or government “public awareness campaigns.”

    So, yes, thank you brian, you’re right our families, our friends and our communities need to be engaged with and conversed with. That can not be stressed enough. They also need to be listened to and addressed on their concerns about legalization, decriminalization and regulation, about cannabis, legal drugs, illegal drugs, treatment, addiction, medicinal marijuana and the laws, and about the negatives and positives of it all.

    All sides have legitimate negatives and positives; it’s just so tiring to wade through the hysteria and lies. No wonder most people don’t want to. So it’s up to all the regular people to keep a rational, factual and also heartfelt (not everything is about facts) discussion going in order for this hellish situation to change.

  • Just me.

    “Drug War Rant is precisely the sort of “Saudi” site Keith describes. Its purpose is to stir up hatred and to spread disinformation; after all, {ranting is not the usual mode of civil and rational discourse. The intolerance for any deviation from the anti-prohibition party line is absolute.”}

    We can have all the civil and rational discourse they/we want but, it does no good, so we must RANT , YELL , SCREAM IF NEED BE ! They will never see the error of prohibition . Good thing the internet has MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of veiwers to speak to.Thats why “We will be victorious!”

  • thanks maria — that’s a big part of why i’ve spent the past decade churning out pictures of the government’s data: to make it quite easy to comprehend what is really going on.

  • Calimann

    OK, so why is legalizing child porn the first thing that comes to his mind? I dont see the relationship.

  • Rob

    Few if any of the comments pillaging Dr. H engage with his basic claim against the revenue generating platitude of the pro-marijuana legalization mob. Rather, for the most part the comments have simply demonized Dr. H, proving as one would suspect that the unruly mob is just that, and perhaps lacks the higher cognitive functions of complex reasoning needed for understanding complex issues, such as ethics and morality and public policy. Lacking such abilities, we would expect ad hominem attacks – the typical foaming at the mouth stuff.

    Generally speaking, any brain subjected to a pleasure substance will form a positive opinion of the substance due to the ways that dopamine and (sometimes) increased heart rate affect the valuation complexes of the brain. A “positive” sign is furnished by the brain to the mind. But as the mind is dependent on the brain, often the mind simply goes along with the valuation uncriticly. The uncritical nature of the evaluation may be made more uncritical if varioius negative emotional states such as anxieties are placated by the substance, which in the case of marijuana they are.

    “I like it, therfore I should have it”, which is the mantra of the pro-marijuana mob, is infantile – that is how we expect infants to act based on our observations of infants. With maturity we are expected (in all cultures)to think matters through and perhaps say no to instant gratifications especially when such may lead, often slowly, to long term harm, or when they have no real value with regards increasing societal prosperity – with marijuana and tobacco assets just go up in smoke.

    The anxiety-quieting aspect of marijuana requires some maturity to consider – is it better to temporarily make anxiety go away, or to srutinize the anxiety to discover it’s source and then form a plan to mitigate the anxiety? Obviously the infantile choice is to prefer instant gratification, sudden and temporary relief from anxiety, rather than to do the often difficult work of introspection and then formulating a plan and executing such, the goal of the plan often taking months or several years to achieve.
    Further suspicion is to be cast upon marijuana use when free, non-polluting meditation can bring about the same or greater relief from anxiety. Meditation is not arduous, but can be difficult to learn as it requires letting go of thinking. With marijuana, thinking is redirected away from the subject of anxiety, however the subject and cause of the anxiety remain, iuncriticaly unresolved. With meditation the source of the anxiety will be revealed, and the reduction of anxiety through the meditative practice will enable better focus towards a plan to resolve/solve.