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We’re not just getting older. Hopefully, we’re getting smarter.

Megan McArdle, in the Atlantic, follows up on a conversation (across different blogs) by Andrew Sullivan, Tyler Cowen, Kevin Drum and Ilya Somin regarding whether changing attitudes as people age means that marijuana legalization is doomed. Will Pot Become Legal?

Kevin Drum: I know this won’t be much solace to everyone who worked on Prop 19, but…..this isn’t so bad, really. Given the automatic headwind of getting people to vote Yes on anything, the additional headwind of a big Republican turnout, plus the general nervousness that middle class people have about drugs, a loss this small is actually sort of encouraging. All we need to turn this around in a few years is for 4% of voters to change their minds.

Tyler Cowen: I don’t see marijuana climbing the legalization hill, if it can’t make it through current-day California. We’re seeing the high water mark for pot, as aging demographics do not favor the idea.

Andrew Sullivan: That assumes that today’s younger anti-prohibition generation will get pro-prohibition as they age. But is that true? Maybe having kids changes things, but my experience of ageing boomers is that they’re not anti-pot at all.

Ilya Somin: My tentative conclusion is that it’s probably more of a generational effect. This is not just a difference between the very young and the rest. Rather, each successive age group is much more pro-legalization than those older than them. Even 50–64 year olds were 12 points more favorable to Prop 19 than the over-65s.

Megan McArdle: In my experience, the big dividing line is having kids. […]

Before the pot-smoking parents start crawling out of the woodwork to tell me that I’m totally wrong, that there are lots of parents who support legal marijuana–I’m not saying this happens to every single person who has a kid. But in my experience, as the kids approach the teenage years, a lot of parents do suddenly realize they aren’t that interested in legal marijuana any more, and also, that totally unjust 21-year-old drinking age is probably a very good idea. […]

Maybe we have reached the high-water mark of this sort of personal liberty. As the baby boomers age, they will be less interested in directly exercising their right to smoke pot, which means that even if they still support legalization, they will be less motivated on the issue. […]

There’s no particular reason to think that marijuana legalization belongs to the select few notions that actually live to become settled institutions.

It’s a good discussion, and I think a combination of factors are involved here. Yes, as Megan indicates, some people become mommy-and-daddy monsters when they have kids, and it distorts their previous views on just about everything. And I agree with Ilya that generational factors are clearly at play in political views that carry through life.

One thing missing from this discussion is that we, as a people, are getting smarter (or at least better informed). Because of the efforts of groups like LEAP and SSDP and NORML and SAFER and DPA and Stop the Drug War and MPP, and this blog, and all of you, we’re beginning to actually counter the decades of government propaganda and lies.

While there will still be an aging factor, each successive generation knows more of the truth, and is therefore more likely to support reform.

Sure, many parents will still put their concern about the safety of their children ahead of their previous interests in personal liberty and pot-smoking, but now more and more they’ll realize that ending prohibition is what’s needed to safeguard their young.

Legalization is inevitable in becoming a settled institution, not because a majority of the population will necessarily decide they want to be able to smoke pot, but because the alternative is too destructive to society, and we’ll be there to educate the population so they know that truth.

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48 comments to We’re not just getting older. Hopefully, we’re getting smarter.

  • Jason

    This was not passed by the mmj community..There are more dispesary’s than star bucks. Our own people shot this down due to they do not want the public to be able to grow and take away profits

  • Just Legalize It

    the one thing that really upsets me is that cannabis has played a vital role in human history and even in US history yet our public schools dont teach our kids this AT ALL! the only thing kids learn about cannabis is what they hear in DARE and it is pathetic at the very least.

    this needs to change

  • TrebleBass

    I think all we need is a little more time for legalization arguments to really sink in. There really are a lot of people out there who are very fresh to the idea of legalization as a serious issue. That might have been what happened with prop 19 in the last two weeks when polls went down. A lot of people (of all ages) were exposed to the issue in a serious way that they had never really been before, and they heard the arguments and they made sense to them, but when the moment of truth approached, they freaked out and retreated. To someone who is new to the issue, of any age, it takes a little time to really accept (that his/her entire life every single teacher, police officer, politician, “serious person”) has been wildly wrong. Even if you know people who smoke, even if you tried it yourself a couple of times, and even you’ve heard “casually” a million times that it should be legal, it takes some time to put it together ideologically in a serious way.

    And that’s why i’m optimistic. I think prop 19 was a shot in the arm to the process of getting the general population to genuinely consider this.

  • permanentilt

    “As the baby boomers age, they will be less interested in directly exercising their right to smoke pot,”

    Um, LOL?! As they get older they will get sicker, and when the crap the pharmaceutical companies sell them cause more problems than they solve, a 5 minute Google search will provide them the overwhelming “anecdotal” and scientific evidence to tell them that marijuana is much better for their pain, cancer, loss of appetite, ect….ect… They will be more likely to DEMAND their right to smoke pot.

  • Duncan20903

    What is with the irrelevant comparison of dispensaries to Starbucks? If you want to compare the number of dispensaries to the total number of coffee shops you’d have a somewhat relevant comparison but still closer to a straw man argument. You’d also have to figure out how to account for Blue Sky in Oakland, which is a coffee shop up front and a cannabis dispensary in the rear. Would that cancel itself out?

    I ran a phone book search of Oakland coffee shops and got 241. There are 4 dispensaries in Oakland including Blue Sky. Los Angeles returns 982 listings. Even at the high water mark of dispensaries in LA there were less than 600 dispensaries. They’re down to 180 something (?) now. I don’t recall LA closing down any coffee shops though. Don’t let the prohibitionists put words in your mouth.
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    Just Legalize It, the only reason to stop DARE is if we actually want children to use drugs less. Gotta love how that works. Just the total package of non-intuitive conclusions that surround this issue rolled up in one small example. Send them to DARE, end up with more drug users. But we have to do something to protect the chilled wrens.

  • ezrydn

    There are different ways to handle the greedy growers. One is simply to bypass them and head for a state that has possibilities yet no large grow communities. It would seem the growers in CA are on par with the Cartels down south.

    I’m 65. My ideas haven’t changed one bit. I didn’t smoke until I was out of Nam and the Army, headed for Woodstock. Today, I use cannabis to control the PTSD Sambo gave me. Also, I only vaporize (love my little hand-held portable Magic-Flight vap).

    As brought up here, Doolittle’s bombs did little damage in Tokyo, but it was the “message sent” that was important piece of the mission. It’s no longer an uphill battle. We’re now toe to toe, eye to eye with them. Education is the key for the next assault.

    As I understand CA law, around the end of the month, when the total votes are certified, voter statistics will be released. Then, we will have a better idea of what happened. Until then, it’s sheer speculation on everyone’s part.

  • silver serfer

    We must save the children! We need condom thought clouds in case they think bad thoughts. Helmets and kneepads just to go about the house. What about the children! Evil smelly hippie dopesmokers are eager to recruit them.

  • Servetus

    I’ve seen little indication that progressives change when they age. People tend to become set in their ways, whether liberal or conservative. The great physicist Max Planck (1858-1947) is frequently quoted on this subject: “An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: What does happen is that the opponents gradually die out.”

    The good news is the newest voter generation leans in favor of legalization and regulation.

  • darkcycle

    I’ll just post this one, then I gotta run…big morning…
    Pete, I disagree. People’s political opinions sometimes swing some with age. But not as much as alot of people seem to think. And they aren’t very plastic, at some point they seem to drift BACK to the point where they started and sometimes even further toward that pole.
    My own big swing came during the mid eighties…I went from a true believer socialist to a middle of the road democrat…. now I’ve swung back somewhat, though my views have still moderated quite a bit.
    Marijuana is somewhat different because, to me it seems anyway, that the big dividing factor isn’t political orientation, it’s EXPERIENCE. Either people’s experience with pot directly, or through other people in their circle who have used it.
    In 1937 when pot was made illegal, some estimates had only about five percent of the population using it. The majority of americans had never even heard the word marijuana, having only experienced it under the botanical name, Cannabis Indica. Pot was demonized and it worked because the prohibitionist forces had the fear of the unknown on their side. They hood winked the public and told them outrageous, racist lies to further their agendas.
    Through the nineteen sixties and the seventies pot use jumped in popularity. Today nearly everyone has some experience with marijuana. In the case of cancer survivors or other people who have benifited from the medicinal qualties, that experience has been very positive. And every day, more of the myths about pot get put to rest. (dispite the drug czer’s resurrections on a daily basis)
    Also, the “likely voter” demographic plays havoc with this theory, because it’s OLDER voters who vote come hell or high water, younger voters are less committed. When MMJ passed in all of the States that have it, it took multiple election cycles to acheive this, and the demographic of voters in those elections didn’t change all that much.
    Ezzy, have you seen any age distributions in your digging into this Cali election? You know, we were counting on young and first time voters for this, it would be interesting to see if they actually showed up and to what extent.
    I’m a parent now for the second round, I have two grown children. My wife and I have now adopted a two year old African American son, a happy accident that has changed my life unexpectedly and for the better. As the Caucasian father of an African American son……
    I don’t know what the hell to do! At some point he will probably experiment with drugs. What do I tell him about the Police?! About this country; that would like nothing better than to take him permanantly out of the employment market and warehouse him in a prison?
    So, if you’ve ever wondered who this darkcycle asshole is and why he showed up here about two years ago… I now have a VERY personal stake in ending this abomination. I want my youngest son to have the same opportunities to succeed as my eldest, and it ain’t so. I won’t stand for it.

  • Darkcycle, what are you disagreeing with?

  • darkcycle

    The premise that older voters are less likely to vote for legalization, and that as voters age they become less supportive of legalization…and I take issue with the idea that being a parent automatically makes you and arch-conservative. Find a Mom-zilla, or a Dad-zilla…and look back, you’ll find a person who was likely an asshole all along.
    This is from a professional prospective: Personalities are largely very stable.

  • daksya

    I posted with some details about the favorable demographics for eventual pot legalization in the US at the old site, but in short

    1)Within an age cohort (say, 30-45), lifetime pot use prevalence is positively correlated with strength of support for pot legalization.

    2)The reported lifetime prevalence of pot use among those 65+ is markedly low i.e. not just somewhat lower than the successive group say 54-65. At SAMHSA’s site, you can find tables where they estimate the number of first-time pot users by year, and you can see marginal numbers in early 1960s with a decent rate of increase in mid-60s and then finally a high rate of increase in the late 60s. In other words, there’s a distinct difference between those were teenagers or twentysomethings in 1960 and those who were in 1967, as far as pot experience is concerned.

    3)At the polls, the 65+ group comes out to vote in disproportionate numbers. And as it turns out, we are in that twilight period where the 65+ cohort has a distinctly different experience of pot compared to successive generations. That won’t be true in a few years.

    There’s hardly anything here to do with parents becoming protective, or ideological change.

  • darkcycle

    Gotta run, off to Vancouver for a meeting, it’s forty miles away so I’ll be back tonight… have a great day.

  • claygooding

    If I were Richard Lee and had the production,I would start a price war in the m/m industry that if it did not drive many of the “wheeler dealers” out,it would reduce their funds available to fight the next one.

    Sometimes money denied is just as effective as money earned
    in reaching a goal.

    And make no mistake,any initiative that moves the green market into the supply and demand mode will be opposed by
    the growers,dispensaries/dealers and prohibs. And the three stooges in Washington too.

  • claygooding

    daksya,

    I am 61 and most of my life long toking friends are my age
    or younger,few older. I started in 69 and upon arrival back into the US commenced to spread the news as fast as I could.

    Since I was under 21 at the time but out of school,most of the people my age were already married and/or starting families and were less likely to take up a new habit but the single and younger crowd really took off on it.

    Most of us now are looking at our grandchildren and that is why education and myth busting are so important,most of the people in the 50 to 60 age bracket are aware that
    the laws are unjust,the weed isn’t that big of a deal
    and that the WoD is a complete failure.

    All they need to do is see that the only way to really protect their grandchildren from any harm from marijuana
    is to remove the only real danger from marijuana,the law.

  • ummm… I kinda been wondering… is this gonna be another battle of the ballot? Are we going to piss into the wind forever?

    We attack the foundation… that slurry mix of racist xenophobic phabrications that underlies this whole mess. Expose it, flaunt it, dangle it in front of the Prohibs… go after the cancer angle – hiding a cure for cancer??? – and ask loudly “why would they hide what might be a cure for some cancers?”

    It is Prohibition which needs attacking, not cannabis which needs defending! Cannabis has done fine on its own. We can teach about cannabis’ benefits along the way, while we rip the foundations of Prohibition to a shred. Attack the weakest point. An assault on the CSA, DEA and ONDCP is necessary and if some of us are doing initiatives (which obviously some of us will) then we will have a two-pronged attack. A calling out of Droopy Dog Gil and his flock of rabid puppies by his professional anti-Prohibition peers will have an impact. Pot is big news and we need to keep it there for the next two years… if we can’t have all the marbles let’s RE-legalize a state or three or 12.

  • malcolmkyle

    At 54 I appear to be one of the youngest among us, but I do have 3 grandkids and while my youngest daughter, who’s 11, is fairly safe here in the Netherlands, my grandkids are living in the UK, which, thanks to this dreadful scourge of prohibition, is experiencing an epidemic of hard-drug-use of biblical proportions. I have no doubt that things will soon change but my main fear is, how bad must things get before the majority realizes what’s causing all the fucking shit.

    I love and appreciate you all!

  • claygooding

    Droopy dog will be on CNN tonite,4:30 CDT followed by
    Allen St Pierre at 6 pm CDT.

    Confirmed: CNN Goes NORML Tonight
    http://blog.norml.org/2010/11/06/confirmed-cnn-goes-norml-tonight/

    ONDCP protocol will not allow stooge Kerli to debate drug policy live,,,,,imagine that.

  • DdC

    How Pot Friendly Parents Help Sink Legalization By Arun Gupta,
    CN Source: AlterNet November 06, 2010
    Sifting through the failure of Proposition 19, supporters of legalizing marijuana can point to many factors for why it lost 54% to 46%: The fact that young voters, who reportedly supported legalization by a 40 percent margin, did not stampede to the polls; U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s threat to go after “individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law;” and California’s decriminalization, just one month before the vote, of possessing up to one ounce of weed.

  • Rudy Rudeboy

    The first comment from Jason was right on. Too many stand to make too much money on how things are currently. Who would’ve thought that Mary Jane producers would be down with the boring, obsolete status quo.

  • chris

    I wish they would just not have gil on at all.. announce that his organization does not want to play by their debate rules and let us take the stage until they change that.

  • […] Guither has a helpful roundup of reactions to the defeat of Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana under California […]

  • Shap

    Sorry to start a generation war, but as a 24 year old, I have to say the generation that you old folks belong to failed us (drug law reform advocates). The woodstock generation really was an absolute failure with regard to drug policy. The woodstock generation supposedly was the generation of drug experimentation and counterculture when they were young. Where are they now and where have they been on this issue over the last 20 years? I can only hope that my generation who strongly supports ending at the very least marijuana prohibition doesn’t become a bunch of fucking traitors on this issue. I can’t put into words how angry it makes me to watch video of people from that generation who look like they are ready to turn the tide on the moral crusaders, yet years later they either laid down on this issue, did absolutely nothing, or went psycho parent on us.

  • ezrydn

    Shap,

    We’re not all traitors to the issue. I headed to Woodstock just a few months after getting out of the Army which was 3 years after I left Nam. We’re not all slackers so, please, no generalized statements.

    Even with the Woodstockers that are still around today, we were and still are, a minority. There were only approx. 500K of us to begin with. And they all don’t still live in California.

    Broaden your scope a bit.

  • Shap

    Everyone on here is obviously exempt from my above criticism. However, the counterculture has been deemed a “movement.” It’s possible those who deemed it a “movement” were giving it too much credit with regard to its numbers. It’s just disheartening to see those from the movement that is given a lot of screen time in the media when they discuss the 60’s and early 70’s change so little during the last 40 plus years. I can only hope my generation accomplishes more and based on the plethora of information that is available at the click of a mouse, I’m slightly optimistic.

  • Carlyle Moulton

    The question legislators should be asking themselves is this:-

    Is it worth keeping a law on the books when 46% of the voters want it repealed?

    To be workable a law requires overwhelming community support, something that against marijuana does not have.

  • mary james

    hi Shap. aaah, the arrogance of youth. I too am from the Woodstock generation and felt much the same way about my parents generation, you know, the ones who fought a world war to keep us free.(as they used to keep telling us).

    People smoked weed in those days for all the different reasons they do today, some idealistic, mostly not. plus ca change. your friends will drift off in different directions. i’m amazed, looking back from here.(64)

    We were never a movement. Just like minded people gathering together. Our ‘elders and betters’ found that threatening and the press branded us ‘a movement’.
    I’ve spent 40-odd years writing letters and pestering anyone who’ll stand still long enough to hear about the wonders of the hemp plant, particularly its female flowers. This has only really become easy since the mid nineties when the internet started to really take off, before that it was a laborious and time consuming business getting a letter off to a politician and waiting for an answer.
    Keep your optimism Shap, you’ll need it just as we need you now. We’ve fought for a long time and we’re getting old and tired. Doesn’t mean we don’t care, there’s just fewer of us left.
    Your turn now.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Legalize 420, Smokee. Smokee said: We're not just getting older. Hopefully, we're getting smarter.: Tyler Cowen: I don't see marijuana climbing the… http://bit.ly/bvSRvg […]

  • ezrydn

    As my sister, Mary says, it’s “passing the mantle.” Our turn will end soon enough. We may not get to see Prohibition die. But you will. It’s that close.

    It’s not a question of who’s at fault here. It’s “what are you going to do now?” We’re still here to back you up. However, it’s moving into “your fight” now. We’re old. We’re tired. We been at it much longer than we care to say. We’ll back you up as much as we know how.

    Hopefully, you won’t have to “pass the mantle.” The gauntlet’s been thrown down, picked up and used to recently slap the Prohibs in the face. I get the feeling you still think 19 was a loss. In time, you’ll come to see it as we do now. It was NOT a defeat and you’ve got to understand that.

    So, stop bitchin’ ang get to work. Notice the difference between our and your attitudes? We’re not pointing fingers, not giving excuses, not whining because we’ve been at it for 40+ years. We simply continue the fight. I think Mary would agree with me, as would the other “elders” here.

    Hippys weren’t a “movement” but Reform IS. And that’s what YOU’RE involved in now. Make the best of it. We’re counting on you.

  • Bruce

    Resist constant change. Raccoon society has not changed in 1,000 years. They fight, they make up. Fire is the same as it was a million years ago. Watching TV make comic mockery of “Ohh, that couch is sooo 70’s” makes me want to spit. We do not need the constant pressure to open every molecule and discard the past. New improved rules daily,,, Insanity.

  • Shap

    I was disappointed by the 19 loss, no doubt. But it didn’t last very long because I know that it will happen in 2012. I’m optimistic because I can’t think of a single person I know that’s my age that would not vote “yes” in the booth for marijuana legalization even if they are not as outwardly supportive of it as I am. I’m just hoping they don’t go turncoat on us as they start to shit out kids. We shall see.

  • TrebleBass

    The only hope we really have is that the internet will make a gigantic difference, if not in turning older prohibitionists around, at least in raising younger voters in a more informed world. President Carter was openly in favor of decriminalizing marijuana, and even then, the issue didn’t really take off. Stereotyping, prejudice, misinformation, classism, racism, cotton and pharmaceutical industries, and the tobacco/alcohol/pharmaceuticals culture we live in are just extremely powerful. It really is amazing how long they have been able to keep reason at bay. The internet might change all that, though. Terence Mckenna (who died in 2000) was very into the internet, profound culture changes, and 2012. You could say he might have been wrong or crazy, or too much into the aspect of hallucinogens and not in touch with some folks, but he sure as hell gave some interesting lectures:

    On legalizing marijuana:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SAp64OpxCw

    On hope:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iFpw0uIkbo

    These are just two videos that are appropriate to the discussion, but I recommend (if you like trippy stuff about the meaning of life, the fate of humanity, etc.) spending lots of time listening to this guy on youtube.

    BTW, since everyone is talking about their ages, I’m 28.

  • Duncan20903

    Shap, I’d be willing to bet that there’s no cannabis re-legalization initiative on the California ballot in 2012. I think we took enough of a pasting Tuesday that backers will shy away from the job of getting it on the ballot. Nevada excepted because IIRC there’s already been a significant effort working toward getting on the 2012 ballot. I certainly do hope that I’ll be proven wrong.

    There really are a lot more of us 50 and 60 somethings who are lifelong friends of cannabis than you realize. I first tried cannabis on 7/1/1977. The pinnacle of per capita cannabis use in the US was in 1979. When I was first getting high my best friend’s father was also a member of the cannabis culture. 50, bald, this crazy effing lazy eye that started bouncing around and god that was disturbing. He used to revel in coming down to the rec room whenever we’d invite somebody new to hang out. He’d come barreling through the door acting all standard issue dad finding his kid smoking pot. In hindsight I think we were lucky that nobody dropped dead from the shock. They’d be sitting there, puddle forming on the floor under the chair. He’d then grab the bong, take a huge bong hit, “why don’t you ever invite the old man for a hit?” Then he’d aggravate a severe case of cognitive dissonance in our friends just by making small talk to our friends and a minute or two later that eye would go haywire. I damned near barfed when I had my turn.

    Now your patrons have all left you in the red
    Your low rent friends are dead
    This life can be very strange
    All those dayglow freaks who used to paint the face
    They’ve joined the human race
    Some things will never change
    Son you were mistaken
    You are obsolete
    Look at all the white men on the street —Steely Dan “Kid Charlemagne”

    —————————————————————————————————————–

  • Duncan20903

    Ack, I forgot to make my point, which is that even the propagandists recognize the power of the chemical influence of becoming parents. The entire point of the canard that cannabis is 20,000 to 50,000 times more potent than when they were in college is to push those buttons,and to obviate the ‘seen it with their own eyes’ factor. It takes some serious planning to get people to discount their own personal experience and to believe in a lie.

  • Duncan, 54-46 is not a pasting. It’s an almost-won. Flip 4 percentage points and you have it (and you’re likely to get that just in the difference in demographics between a Presidential election year turnout and a mid-term.

  • ezrydn

    Thanks you, Pete, for making my point. 19 didn’t “go down in flames, get a pasting or horribly fail.” None of that happened but some in our ranks have bought into the talking heads version of that Tuesday.

    California may be “a” target in 2012 but I doubt it’ll be “the” target. And no matter where it is, I’ll be there, working my tushy off to find fruition.

    As one gets older, you find that you don’t gather large hopes with it’s “at the will of the People.” You have great wishes that it’ll work but you don’t hit the doldrums when it doesn’t. I tried to take a day off after the election but my mind had already moved on to the “next step.” Maybe it’s the “field grunt” within me.

    When you push past the “poor me” attitude and start looking at the “mechanics” of the election, your eyes begin to light up. As Pete said, “4 percentage point change” is all it would have taken. I’ve always said “Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” Well, it appears it also counts in elections, also.” It tells us the who, how and why for the next engagement.

    Push it but don’t cling to it. You retain your sanity longer that way.

  • Maria

    We can sit around online debating which generation failed whom and pointing fingers, and we can continue to sing to the choir, but we can also take a cold hard look at the stats, at voter turnout and at how prop 19 was marketed to the various groups of voters. There where gaps. Then we get ready for whoever and whatever state is going to make a serious run on the 2012 ballots. It’s only two years.

    So, where were the gaps in 19? Tiny little holes that made up, at minimum, the 4%. Work towards closing the gaps, address the demographics that you’re comfortable addressing but have been so far ignored or not considered worth it. I agree that there is a grand movement now but it’s only a label if smaller groups of people fail to communicate with their audiences.

    So, what is the goal? Legalization. Now let’s translate what that means, not our hopes for what it means, into messages addressing these gaps.

    I suspect the readership on here isn’t as cut and dried as the vocal posters assume (various cultures, age and genders). But the conversation has to get off the internet as well. Each one of us has our own daily lives and spheres of influence to work in. Work it.

  • darkcycle

    There are reasons the word “Campaign” is applied to both politics, and war. The drug war is alive and well, and just because droopy dog says it’s over doesn’t mean we’re done fighting.
    I wonder how many politicians have declared ends to wars still being fought. There was Nixon, with his famous announcement in I think it was ’72 (…Ez, anybody?)that “Our boys are coming home”… Obama with his Striker brigade exit, that took the last combat troops out of Iraq, but left 50,000 advisers and over 100,000 “contractors” (Read Mercenary: I HATE Mercs)
    Well Shap, don’t blame the troops rotating out for the policies that put them in harm’s way, and the situation you find on the ground when you get there. Because when YOU’RE tired and beaten and sore and wondering why the plan didn’t go right, that plane coming to re-supply and bring fresh troops will have some of those very same beaten faces on board, ready to relieve you. And to those people you won’t have to explane WHY you look and smell, or why the plan didn’t go right….because when you have been there and back again you already know.
    So wht do you do? You get up, dust off, and start preparing for the next battle, because it’ll be here before you’re ready, it always is.
    Blaming others doesn’t help.

  • darkcycle

    Just a reminder, and it looks like now’s the time:
    http://www.sensiblewashington.org.
    Aiming for this NEXT election; 2011, and collecting signatures and looking for volunteers right now. So if you’re still talking about 2012, you’re behind the curve.

  • NorCalNative

    I’m not so sure that the public is becoming smarter or more educated on this issue. For example, just for fun, what do you think would be the result if you called every national elected official and asked them this one question:

    Do you know the role played by Harry J. Anslinger in cannabis prohibition?

    Simple question right? But, how many people really know the history of prohibition and the pile of propaganda it was based on?

    And, the idea that older cannabinophiles are inclined to be less politically active in pushing for the end of prohibition, bullshit!

    If you don’t know Harry, you don’t know shit about this problem.

  • DdC

    Anslinger was only the gun, while the 37 tax ax was the bullet it was still fired by the USA! Qaeda American industrialist fascist and continues today by the same corporatist agenda.

    “Suppose you go to Washington and try to get at your government. You will always find that while you are politely listened to, the men really consulted are the big men who have the biggest stakes — the big bankers, the big manufacturers, the big masters of commerce…. Every time it has come to a critical question, these gentlemen have been yielded to, and their demands treated as the demands that should be followed as a matter of course. The government of the United States is a foster child of the special interests.”
    ~ The more things change, the more they stay the same. Back in 1912, when he was running for president, Woodrow Wilson had this to say about democracy in America.

    “Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”
    Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry J. Anslinger, 1948

  • jackl

    Having watched the politics of this since I first became of voting age (1970, when it was lowered to 18), I agree that cannabis is more mainstream and deregulation politically feasible than any other time since the 70s.

    Unfortunately, pot and other drugs became a political whipping boy for both Nixon, Reagan and most of the other politicians since Nixon. While NorCalNative mentions the shadowy Anslinger as the original sin, I’d argue the modern day devils were more Richard Nixon and Nancy Reagan, because their constituency was conservative parents groups and churchy organizations. (Google “nixon”, “jews” and marijuana” to listen to Nixon discuss the matter himself on tape in his bugged office).

    Anyway, we’ve been up against a rip van winkle chill period of repression, during which, BTW, a group of freedom fighters have figured out how to improve the breeding of the plant and grow it clandestinely indoors, in response to the “war on drugs”, and there is a huge, easily accessed and reliable source of legal medical marijuana in several states now.

    At all times in history, such as Prohibition I, people have, as they always have, voted with their feet and ignored legal edicts which they feel are unjust or wrong. At the same time, a lot of boomers and people near them in age have spent the past ten years flogging this issue relentlessly on the internet, where, for the first time, people can network and communicate without being throttled by a press which was often an official media cheerleader of the government effort.

    Since the Clinton years, volunteers at websites like MAPINC.ORG have coordinated a vast letter to the editor writing campaign where thousands of pro-reform letters have been printed. There are reform organizations like DPA and NORML which have assisted with legalization petitions. There are web sites like Pete’s. Many more than the prohibitionists. Reformers totally dominate internet opinion media.

    And yes, on a personal note some of us are parents, but parents who are not automatically conservative mommy/daddy autocrats: we, for instance, are live music fans who took our kids to Dead and Phish concerts and festivals starting at age 11 – 13. But, as someone pointed out upthread, Woodstock Nation has always been a minority, even among our generation. In case it’s not clear, the politics of the past 30 – 40 years has been pretty conservative and strongly anti-marijuana, so the “failure” of Prop. 19 has to be guaged at where we started from and how far we have come in the past 15 years, with Prop 215 and medical marijuana in Cali being the forerunner of the widespread quasi-legalization which exists today.

    While I may not be a typical boomer, I don’t think boomers have anything to apologize to younger voters on this issue. As you age, you will see how hard change is in this country.

  • DdC

    Shap,

    Don’t fret, it’s perfectly normal to be full of shit at your age.
    It doesn’t get much better for us old fucks either,
    cept we can get insurance to pay for the laxatives…

    again, if you don’t vote, don’t bitch about the results.
    1/2 the population can’t vote,
    1/2 of them aren’t even registered.
    1/2 of the registered don’t bother to get off their lazy ass to cast a vote.
    So 1/8th of the people who do vote are split down the middle in partisan politics.
    That means a little more than 1/16th could pass anything…

    Youth Vote Falters Prop. 19 Falls Short
    The measure drew strong support from voters younger than 25, as the campaign had hoped, but those voters did not turn out in unusually high numbers, according to a state exit poll.

    How Pot Friendly Parents Help Sink Legalization
    Sifting through the failure of Proposition 19, supporters of legalizing marijuana can point to many factors for why it lost 54% to 46%: The fact that young voters, who reportedly supported legalization by a 40 percent margin, did not stampede to the polls; U.S.

  • DdC

    I thought about the so called Woodstock generation of baby boomers being the largest group in History. Then about how many actually participated in any counterculture events. The ones bumming joints every weekend never stuck their necks out for anything, let alone with the stigmatizing of Ganja and so called Hippies. About 10% of the population actually bought into the “movement” I thought May Day demonstrations were huge but only 50,000 showed up. It got so commercial and sabotaged with TV Partridge Family and colorful laugh-in psychedelia without the acid or pot. K-Mart selling tye dyes for christ sakes. Woodstock had about a half a million strong. Most more into chicks and getting fucked up than politics. 650,000 showed up at Watkins Glen in 72 for 3 bands. Pushing for a party, but not a political party. it wasn’t a big surprise Ronnie Rayguns got elected after the 70’s. The message music officially died imho, when Grace Slick sang miracles. About as pop as it gets. Most of the so called underground radical groups were filled with narks and undercover cops. I’m sure thats how Clinton started in Berzerkley, then Oxford. I believe Ganja was legal for a short time between Leary overturning the 37 tax ax and Nexxon fabricating the bogus CSA. I was busted several times and never arrested. They just didn’t report it. Watergate made hero’s out of Woodward and Burnstein and headlines never wavered from that red herring. Today the commercial Ganja biz isn’t much different than DuPont or Rockefeller. The big fish swim free and the little fish get eat. This is Fascism and the only weapon we have to fight back is the vote. Maybe. I’m not even positive about that.

    “…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana
    is its effect on the degenerate races.”

    – Harry J. Anslinger – America’s 1st Drug Czar

    Marijuana: the law vs. 12 million people

    Life magazine Oct 31, 1969.jpg

    Think of the message being sent to the kids?

    Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp. While GOP and DMZ continue to bicker over nonsense. Farmers still can’t grow. Instead of safer re-creation, inexpensive FARMaceuticals, and Nutritious Healthy Organic seed and oil, strong soft clothing, linen and paper. Pot, RxGanja and Hemp are Gateways to prison profits and cop-shop bloated budgets. The choice is OPEC Hydrocarbon fossil fuel or Homegrown Carbohydrate Veggie Oil and Filler up with Ethyl-nol. Tuck Fexas! Giants Won!
    Remember the Enrono!

    1936: DuPont obtains a patent license to manufacture synthetic “plastic fibers” from German industrial giant I.G. Farben Corporation. The patent license is obtained as part Germany’s reparation payments to the United States after World War I. A few years later, I.G. Farben manufactures deadly Zyklon-B gas, used in Nazi death camps to murder millions of Jews (along with many homosexuals and drug users). DuPont owned and financed approximately 30% of Hitler’s I.G. Corps, the military-industrial backbone of the fascist Third Reich.

    1937: The year the federal government outlawed cannabis.

    — DuPont patents petrochemical manufacturing processes for making plastics, as well as pollution-heavy sulfate/sulfite processes for producing wood pulp. For the next 50 years, these processes are responsible for 80% of DuPont’s industrial output.

    –In its 1937 Annual Report, DuPont informs stockholders that the company anticipates radical changes from the revenue raising power of government… converted into an instrument for forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization.

  • malcolmkyle

    I’m fairly optimistic as I believe that the end of this moronon may actually be not that far off;

    * The US national debt has increased at an average rate of $3,000,000000 per day since 2006.
    *The unemployment rate has increased by 7300 per day since 2008.
    *The loss of manufacturing jobs has been 1400 per day since 2006.
    *Without the legalized regulation of opium products Afghanistan will continue to be a bottomless pit in which to throw countless billions of tax dollars and wasted American lives.
    *The mayhem in Mexico has deteriorated so badly that it’s bordering on farcical.
    *And in the national press, the Drug War is now routinely referred to as Prohibition and the Drug Warriors as Prohibitionists.

  • Duncan20903

    Hi Pete, I would agree with you that 54-46 standing alone wouldn’t be accurately described as a pasting. (wasn’t it actually 53.8% to 46.2%? Hey, .2 % is a lot of voters in California)

    When I combine that with the debacle in South Dakota, the photo finish in Arizona, and the failure to win enough votes to install a retail distribution chain in Oregon. 54-46 seems a lot closer to pasting than alone. Arizona voters had already previously voted to have medical cannabis, didn’t work out for some technical reason, and now they’re barely above 50% if we get lucky? Medical lost in 2006 in South Dakota 48-52, losing by a margin of almost 2-1 in SD in 2010 doesn’t seem to tell me that we’re ready to enter the promised land. You probably should realize that us old timers probably have a tendency to develop a defeatist attitude. But that would be because of the large number of defeats for this movement. In 1978 and 79 it seemed we had decriminalization of petty possession sewn up. When President Carter endorsed decriminalization of petty possession of cannabis. Then the fuckups from NORML got caught doing cocaine with some of the White House staff and that dashed those dreams against the rocks. There was a brief time in late 1981 early 1982 which seemed hope was starting to look like it could go through and then that Nancy Raygun bitch came out with Just Say No. Perhaps it’s just me but it’s easy for me to turn defeatist. I did a boatload of volunteer work for NORML for the first 3 years of the 1990s and quit doing that in 1993 (1994?) because all I cared about was recreational cannabis and the powers that be in the re-legalization movement decided to back this hare-brained idea (my perception at the time) out of California championed by Dennis Peron which ended up with getting Prop 215 passed into law.

    But point in fact I came to this thread today to say it looks like I’m wrong about no cannabis on the 2012 ballot in CA. Yeson19 sent an email to tell me that they are ready to get to work on it directly. Oh and of course they need money. Their email below.

    Hey, I never knew before today that ‘Just Say NO’ was born in Oakland CA. Also people please remember the public image of cocaine was quite different in the late 1970s. People back then were actually expecting decrim of petty possession of cocaine as well as cannabis.
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    Hi Duncan,

    Prop 19 was defeated at the polls, 54% to 46%. Medical marijuana initiatives in Oregon and South Dakota lost as well, with votes still being counted in Arizona.

    It’s fine to say “we’ll do better next time,” but if “next time” is just more of the same, we’re destined to repeat the same mistakes and suffer the same outcome. And when people are putting their hearts and their money and their time toward ending prohibition, that’s just not good enough.

    If we learned one thing during this election, it’s that the marijuana reform movement needs to embrace the grassroots, to stop preaching, and to start listening. The top-down strategy of the marijuana reform movement up until now has failed, and must not be repeated.

    So we want to hear from you. We want to know how we did in this election, and where you think the marijuana reform movement should go. Can you tell us what you think?

  • Duncan20903

    And yes, on a personal note some of us are parents, but parents who are not automatically conservative mommy/daddy autocrats…

    There is a significant difference between saying it’s very likely that the cohort of people who are parents are going to show significant support for the idea of ending the failed public policy of prohibition, and say that a particular person will vote that way because he’s included in a certain cohort. Any cohort of people with more than a million members is going to have people representing a wide spectrum of ideas.

    “Cheech & Chong were successful performers because stoned people found them to be hilarious” <—correct

    "Man that Duncan is a stoner, so he must like Cheech & Chong" <—incorrect.

    As a matter of fact I do think Cheech and Chong hilarious as do most potheads, but it is invalid to decide that is an accurate representation for no other reason than that I enjoy using cannabis. With a cohort of perhaps 50 million people I can assure you there are a significant number of potheads who absolutely hate C&C and likely 10s of thousands who have never heard of C&C.

    "A mother loves her children without reservation." Almost always true but is still factual that the most likely person to criminally hurt or kill an infant/toddler is Mom herself.

  • warren

    They are blowing smoke up there own ass.