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The extreme of Legalization

Kevin Sabet, Patrick Kennedy and Project SAM have been trying to convince the public that there’s a false dichotomy pitting the “simplistic” options of incarceration vs. legalization, when, in fact, there should be some kind of moderate third way between those.

They act like “legalization” is the scary extreme point of chaos and anarchy at the far end of the spectrum (See Zelazny’s “Amber” series “The Courts of Chaos”).

Well, I thought it would be a good idea to see if any other human endeavors were “legal,” and, if so, how that worked. Was it simply a structure-less free-for-all, or was it more complicated? Since marijuana is so desperately dangerous (or rather, is desperately claimed to be dangerous by some), I thought it would really be interesting if I could not only find a legal activity, but one that had some dangers of its own.

I actually found eight substances or activities that are already legal (and there may be more)! That’s right, they’re actually legal and there’s been no attempt to find a third way between legalization and incarceration with them. Yet it turns out that, despite some very real (and not overhyped) dangers, there’s a wide range of regulatory options that are used for these within a non-chaotic, non-anarchic legalization system.

Gasoline. Status: legal. Controls: anyone may purchase and posses; strict regulations on manufacturing, storage and transport. Dangers: Very poisonous (even the fumes) and exposure can cause death; highly inflammatory and can be used as a dangerous weapon.

Aspirin. Status: legal. Controls: anyone may purchase over-the-counter and possess; manufacture and labelling regulations. Dangers: Can lead to internal bleeding, stomach ulcers, kidney disfunction, and death.

Sex. Status: legal. Controls: age and relational limits and cultural restrictions. Dangers: addiction; heartbreak that can lead to suicide; sexually transmitted diseases; children.

Strawberries. Status: legal. Controls: anyone may grow, purchase, or posses; agricultural regulations. Dangers: can cause allergic reaction in some people, leading to life-threatening conditions.

Bungee jumping. Status: legal. Controls: varies by state, including equipment safety regulations and licensing. Dangers: gravity.

Home ownership. Status: legal. Controls: anyone may own a home; detailed building, utility, and zoning regulations; heavily taxed (yet somehow does not result in significant black market). Dangers: termites, freeloading relatives, a lifetime of debt.

Convertibles. Status: legal (despite providing no practical advantage over hard-top cars, while presenting increased dangers). Controls: same as other cars. Dangers: Bugs in your teeth, getting nearly decapitated by your scarf (see Isadora Duncan).

Blog reading. Status: legal. Controls: none. Dangers: can lead to being informed and angry about the state of things.

You may be able to come up with more.

So it turns out that there are quite a number of things that are legal, and that legalization is not some kind of extreme option, but rather an entire range of human experiences, with a variety of options of regulating, controlling, and organizing.

Not only that, but it turns out the so-called “third way” — a means of providing help to those who need it — is actually better able to be realized within the extraordinary range of options that is legalization.

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71 comments to The extreme of Legalization

  • Craig

    Peanut butter. Status: legal. Controls: anyone may purchase or possess; agricultural regulations (sometimes not followed by greedy corporations). Dangers: can cause allergic reaction in some people, leading to life threatening conditions. Can also contain salmonella, also leading to life-threatening conditions.

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  • john

    You forgot about guns.

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  • tensity1

    Zelazny’s Amber series is awesome.

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    • The days of speculative fiction exploded with great authors and thinking. Zelazny (Lord of Light), Ellison, Delaney, Anthony, Heinlein, LeGuin and sooo many more. Dovetailed nicely w/ the beats, hippies and psychedelic times. A lot of good change occurred in the US psyche.

      These folks (SAM, et al) are anachronisms. There is no wizard and this isn’t Oz. Think instead (Young) Frankenstein, townspeople, torches, pitchforks… that’s where this is headed. Figuratively speaking of course. Maybe… but when an identifiable clique wields the whip maliciously and w/o cause… retribution is a bitch. (there’s a rap song in that somewhere)

      Remind me… why IS hemp illegal?

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      • Hope

        Meanness, stupidity, arrogance, and greed?

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      • War Vet

        Don’t forget Margaret Attwood or Dick. Ursula K. LeGuin is awsome as well as you pointed out. Remember in the year 1988, we were told about a 9/11 like event and following war would happen between us and radical Islam in the early days of the 21st Century (Hunter S. Thompson “Generation of Swine”, published in 88′ -documented in 86′: “Year of the Muslim”) and we were told about the 2008 recession in 2003′ though it was documented in 2001 “Kingdom of Fear” by HST as well . . . how the Teens of the 90’s all lived wealthy like Warren Buffet in comparison to the teens of the 2008+ years.

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        • ezrydn

          You guys that like Sci-Fi need to check out the author Darrell Bain. He writes in a unique visual form. I’ve got all his books in my phone. Darrell is a Nam vet.

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    • Windy

      So was Asimov’s I Robot series. Remember, eventually the robots would not allow humans to do ANYTHING dangerous, made every human activity boring due to lack of risk and made life not really worth living.

      I’m looking forward to the movie “Alongside Night”, it is being produced and cast by the author of the book (J. Neil Schulman, who is also one of my FB friends), the perfect story for our time and political situation. Need to reread the book, read it first when it was first released; I want it to be fresh in my mind when I see the movie (and Kevin Sorbo in the lead role, love watching him do anything) and it is just on the shelf to my left (second from the top), here in my personal library of several hundred books (mostly science fiction).

      Other good books that speak to our political situation by a libertarian author — look for any book, especially “The Rainbow Cadenza”, by L. Neil Smith (also a FB friend; reading and participating in the discussions between those two authors is just excellent).

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      • Cliff

        I met L. Neil Smith in person at a Libertarian function in Colorado and read his book “The Probability Broach”. He is da man.

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  • strayan

    Credit cards. Status: Legal. Controls: anyone may purchase or possess; restrictions on deceptive practices etc. Dangers: high interest rates, debt, bankruptcy, relationship conflict, shopping addiction.

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  • N.T. Greene

    I’ve always thought that the real “third way” is actually a well thought out regulatory scheme. What they refer to as “the third way” is only semantically different from the current prohibition scheme — not unlike the way the feds decided to call the “drug war” whatever they call it now.

    Basically the thought process is as such: If we take the same product, repackage it and brand it as something different, maybe we can get people to just keep on buying it.

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  • strayan

    Why is it that I can make a statement like: “same sex sex should be lawful” without having to explain to my audience that I’m not actually arguing that it should be lawful to have same sex sex where ever the heck I feel like and with whomever the heck I feel like. Why is it that when I make this statement I’m not accused of being gay or someone who wants to have sex with other men?

    So why the fuck is it that it I make a statement like: “using cannabis should be lawful” is it usually interpretted as though I think I should be able to use cannabis where ever the fuck I like, whenever the fuck I like and whilst doing what-ever the fuck I like. Why is it that after making this statement am I usually accused of being a deadbeat pot-head who just who just wants to get high (despite the fact I don’t really like the stuff)?

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    • War Vet

      It’s because those people deep down in their hearts and brains believe that the rhetoric behind such ideas as ‘cars should be legal for adults to drive’ also think that legal driving refers to one’s right to drive at top speed inside a mall or house or on icy roads -they don’t understand law and how society can regulate objects for safety and best utilization. Such people who call you ‘pot head’ when you talk about legalization haven’t the real ability to think for themselves. You should feel sorry for them. You will be picking up their societal litter after them when we start cleaning up their mistakes in society. Such people would be happier and more prosperous if they were placed in nursing homes . . . it’s not probable that such people know how to take care of themselves, let alone their children, which can be proven if we can prove that a Drug-War America is facing a serious recession and high unemployment and poverty rate (they created that, hence it’s proof they don’t know how to clothe or feed themselves since they don’t know how to keep America recession free when it has been proven that the war on drugs has cost us $6-8 trillion from law enforcement to millions of denied hemp jobs decades at a time to drug money financed 9/11 to war on Narco-Terror in the Middle East and Africa with hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops fighting drug money). The way they think determines how they function in society and what ills or achievements happen in society. They let harmless drugs like heroin and cocaine be sold by terrorists, cartels and gang bangers –do you really think they know what’s best for themselves or us? They let drug dealing Al Qaeda become heroes in Syria and Libya when it comes to freedom, democracy and human rights. Such people who call you a ‘pot-head’ are a greater threat to America than any drug dealing terrorist or 9/11 hijacker financed by drug money could ever be –they were the ones who allowed drugs to be sold by criminals in the first place . . . that’s proof that people like Kevin and the like would pick a child rapist as a baby sitter, since they picked criminals and terrorists to deal drugs to our kids, which forces all of our young teenage boys and teenage girls to volunteer for the military and go to Afghanistan or Iraq fighting drug money before another drug money 9/11 happens again. A baby sitter who would let a child play with cobras is a loon and a monster –that is exactly what the prohibs do.

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  • Hope

    Ah. Poor Isadora. Just the other evening I was telling a three year old about Ms. Duncan and the beauty, ramifications, and dangers of a long flowing scarf and wheels.

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  • TrebleBass

    I think there is no third way. It depends on the definitions of legalization and prohibition, of course, and under some definitions there is a third way, but my definition is the following: legal means that the default state for an adult is to be allowed to possess and buy from a legal source. Anything not that is prohibition. With legalization, adults who are not allowed to buy from a legal source are exceptions. Prescriptions drugs (under this definition) are prohibited because the adults who are allowed to possess are the exceptions (same for medical marijuana). A decriminalized drug is prohibited because no one is allowed to sell it. There are many varieties of prohibition and many varieties of legalization, but those are the only two options (under this definition).

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    • TrebleBass

      Well actually, i have to add, someone has to be allowed to manufacture it. I wouldn’t call the dutch model legalization (although it depends; I think one is allowed to grow plants in holland in limited quantities, and if one is allowed to sell what one grows, then it is legalization. i’m just not sure one is allowed to sell what one grows, or whether you have to be a licensed coffeshop to be allowed to sell. i also don’t know if a coffeshop is allowed to grow the same amount of plants as individuals and sell the product. If so, whatever they grow would be legal weed, but whatever they buy from the backdoor would be prohibited weed). The heroin program in switzerland is prohibition because those allowed to use it are exceptions. The safe injection site in vancouver is prohibition because one is not allowed to buy from a legal source.

      So anyway, the definition of legalization would be: the default state for an adult is to be allowed to possess and buy from a legal source, and that someone be allowed to manufacture the substance. Anything not that is prohibition.

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      • TrebleBass

        Well, actually, the person or entity which is allowed to manufacture it has to be allowed to sell it. So the definition is: that a chain be allowed from manufacturing to possession (and consumption), and that the person who consumes it not have to be the person who manufactures it (and that the chain include the possibility of sales (if people can only give it to each other for free, then it’s not legalization)).

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        • Peter

          treble bass and windy. we dont have reinvent the wheel to have an effective workable template for regulated legalization. it already exists for all stages of the manufacture distribution sale and possession of alcohol

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      • War Vet

        Dutch law bans coffee shops from growing pot or buying pot to sell at the shops. The pot must be free for them to sell it, but that doesn’t stop someone from technically getting paid for growing coffee shop pot.

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        • TrebleBass

          thanks for the clarification. well, if that’s so, then it is not legal in holland under that definition.

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      • primus

        Legalization AKA FREEDOM

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    • Windy

      Decriminalized SHOULD mean there are NO criminal or civil penalties attached to any aspect of the trade — not to cultivation, nor transport, nor trade/sale/purchase, nor possession, nor use. Anything other than that is not really decriminalization, by definition.

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      • Many reformers distinguish between decriminalization and depenalization. Depenalization means it is no longer a jailable offense. Most states where cannabis is “decriminalized” (under an ounce is a civil fine) have actually depenalized cannabis possession.

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        • Windy

          Except, Oliophiliac, they haven’t depenalized it, either. A fine is a penalty. They’re just using weasel words to conceal and deceive.

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  • pfroehlich2004

    Off topic I know, but anyone have a current count on the number of state legislatures in which legalization bills have been introduced in the current session?

    As of today, I know of the following: HI, ME, PA, and RI.

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  • melvin polatnick

    Cheap dark brown Chinquapin Heroin laced with Bath salts are addicting Chicago`s youngsters. The cashing of mom’s welfare check and food stamps cannot cover the costs of a week’s supply of dope. Kids are tempted to rob their well-armed peddler of his stash, it is kill or be killed and the drug dealer usually wins. Blame it on illegal desperado’s and their 3 buck packet of Chinquapin poison.

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  • CJ

    hey pete, i wanted to say that i agree and i gotta say, at first it just annoyed me but as time has gone on its become a bigger and bigger issue for me to the point now where its one of the forefront deals for me in my mind and thoughts – the “third way” LOL. Holy cow man. That is bad news. I think that, successful implementation of “third way” rhetoric into the social stratosphere is dangerous. I think you’re completely correct about the “third way” and you’ve said alot about it. You’ve said alot about it and there’s alot to read from you and others about the “third way” that someone new to reform may get a little confused or overwhelmed.

    Forgive me if im mistaken please, and also correct me too but if i may just simplify it a tiny bit (again correct me if im wrong) but to me the “third way” and from what i gather reading you everyday, i think the “third way” is just a new coat of paint on a broken down car. You know, I think the “third way” is just another way of saying more of the same. Is that too simplistic?

    You know, I think this is an important time for people like us. I think so because of the historic highs in polls, the obvious situatoins in Washington & Colorado. I think these are important times that if this movement doesn’t capitalize on it, we’ll one day look back at a moment lost.

    I know for so many of us, definitely myself, I find myself everyday wanting to do more for reform. I want to finish up my daily routine and immediately go someplace where I can do something to contribute to the end of the war on drugs. I know so many of us feel the same and can get a little frustrated not being able to directly help the cause.

    So it may be a bit difficult to realize that this is a critical time for us and we’ve gotta capitalize. Even during the times of status quo there is only so much any of us can do so it’s definitely understandable to be confounded and frustrated when a moment of opportunity arises and for us, who don’t have blogs, a big audience, a big bank account, we wanna do something but dont know what.

    I think that the most important thing to do is to just try to keep the message strong, try to talk to and effect as many people as possible.

    I know that may bring a response of “like what” or “like how” well ill tell you what I do. I know alot of people have different personality and or may think its foolish but whatever.

    Ok so im not into fame and all that bogus crap but one of the few people that i am in awe of, has, lucky for me, become something of an acquiantence. “Dr. Heroin” Francis Moraes. He wrote several books including one very special to me called “The Heroin User’s Handbook” (which, shockingly to me, having bought it for like 20 bucks so many years ago, I see online being sold for hundreds of dollars.) Anyway, at one point in my life one of my homeless periods i had literally nothing. nothing but the clothes i was wearing. my belongings had vanished after a landlord became aware of an abandoned building me and some junkie colleagues were squatting. We set about our daily routine, leaving the abandoned, condemned, rat, roach and asbestos infested dillapidated flop in the morning to beg and hustle for cash and eventually drive off withdrawals and feel better. When we came back that night we saw in the distance police cars and other vehicles. The abandoned house was across the street from a bunch of nice, middle class houses so I can only figure one of the residents saw us and called the cops.

    Not long after I got seperated from my colleagues and was going solo. That day I’d had the book, The Heroin User’s Handbook in my back pocket. I knew there would be a period where one of my colleagues would be running around the streets hustling people for money while me and the others waited in the train station so I took the book from my bag to read while we waited. Well for quite some time that book was my only companion and pillow and took on a bit of a symbol for me.

    The cover of the book is someone injecting their vein and the book/author title. Actually, my copy means so much to me that I’ve had various friends, dealers, role models, autograph the front and back inner sleeves so they’ll never be forgotten, dead or alive.

    Anyway so I was born in Portland, Oregon have lived all over the world as a nomad junkie but I grew up and the years collectively add up the most with NYC as my home. I always wind up back here and my family is here. That being said, during my daily routines sometimes I bring the book out with me and what I like to do is find people going about their day. I drop the book nearby them without them looking. The sound/little commotion usually has their attention and theyll turn around or whatever and theyll see me and ill smile and say “hello. here, you dropped this.” and pick up the book and show them.

    Sometimes this can be quite hilarious actually. If the person is an ignorant prohibitionist as does happen sometimes it can get a little confrontational but it’s always funny. I tell them there’s nothing to be ashamed about with the book. I remember one really awkward fat white business suit dude. This guy must have had absolutely zero social abilities. He reminded me of someone with a severe case of asburgers syndrome. This dude had massive cheeks and several chins. He looked like his business suit was barely holding on at the seems. Clearly the man was a food addict. I believe that many obese people would become fabulous pot smokers/dope shooters/etc but are too cowardly to question the status quo. This dude got beet red in the face and his cheeks shook like earthquake tremors. He spat all over me as he denied the book being his.

    But sometimes it leads to conversation. For me the book thing is alot of fun, especially after getting high but there’s a less silly and better, if awkward, way to go about it. I think that it’s important to talk to people.

    Let’s think for a sec about Nixon standing up for the “silent majority.” Well I really wonder about that. But I dont wonder about it today because the “silent majority” is on our side now. That’s why I mentioned the polls earlier. Thats why I mention taking advantage of these times. It would be a shame to see the polls continue to rise in our favor only to one day shrink and eventually come back to a prohibition majority while we failed. So the “silent majority” is now our “silent majority” and I think we need to change it from “silent” to “not silent.” I think education and discussion is one of the most important things that needs to be done and I do believe we need to take an active part in this. No matter how socially awkward.

    Give you an example. One time on a train in Manhattan I’ve got a long commute back home after seeing The Man (it was actually the WoMan that day but i digress.) So I’m sitting, partial nod. There’s only a long local line for that commute so we’re stopping for pick ups/drop offs every few blocks. Whatever. So we do a stop and a young guy, maybe my age (27) little younger even perhaps, comes and sits next to me. So we’re going along. I have 2 ipods actually. Both have totally different music. 1 is extremely old, early model which was a present from an ex GF when she was my gf many years ago on x-mas or my b.day, idk. The other is a nice one and it was actually a community ipod when I was in a certain homeless group. One of us had a laptop and we put so much diverse music on there and the rule was each day we rotated who would be allowed to use it. The reason it is mine now is because one by one they each either died, got arrested or never returned to our communal home, disappearing. Did they get clean? decide to go solo? IDK. I was the last one left and that’s how it’s mine now. But anyway so sometimes I switch from one to the other. I did that and in the process this young man began chatting me up. He was extremely nice. At first glance, he looked like an average, cubicle typical 21st century man. I do not look like that at all. It was awkward at first but soon it was totally fluid. This absolute straner began chatting me up about music, life, everything. Not that long after his stop came and he graciously said goodbye but not before telling me that he was apart of an organization and that I should check it out, kindly reminding me that I should do so “if I wanted to” with the utmost respect and courtesy. He gave me his card. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    You know, go to your local mall, go wherever, you may find vets or servicepersons on leave whatever. They make no bones about approaching complete strangers to talk to them. True it’s recruitment but still. This is exactly what that guy on the train did with me. I am a buddhist but I’m tolerant of all religions. I didnt join, never looked into it and never saw that guy again but he definitely left a good impression on me and I liked him alot. I think that we need to consider doing something like this. I think it’s important. I think that if we did this we could achieve alot. You never know who you may be speaking to and what they may be capable of. You know, so many people only know what they read in the mainstream press, mainstream internet, the court of public opinion and they may not be inclined to give two pieces of poopy woopy about us or the war on drugs. However, this may only be because they just never had a reason to care. Never cared about drugs, never thought about drug users. Maybe bringing the conversation to them could open their minds to consider the atrocities going on around the world. Simple beyond low level users being executed for capitol offenses. I mean, maybe we could have a bigger, stronger community and have more voices and bodies and these people would become great friends and allies but without having someone engage them about the matter, they may never even think about it and just “fall in line” with the status quo.

    And that makes me wonder about this: Kevin Sabeet, the people in that Rolling Stone article. I just don’t get it. I don’t. I know its hard sometimes to really understand an opposing opinion on a given view – yeah. But I just cannot get them. It’s not like they’re in some fortified compound shunning the whole world spewing their BS and everything. Sabeet himself has been engaged on national TV by Ethan Nadelmann. He’s been exposed to Pete over here. I don’t understand how he or any of them can hear what we say, see the facts and nevertheless dig their heels in and back something so evil, so cruel, so destructive.

    The only way I can see it is if they’re being paid to. They get paid to and so thats why. They may know its wrong, they may secretly know it but its their only way to pay for their home and everything so they just push the prohibition forward. I dont think it’s that way for Pat Kennedy – I think in his case it’s just a matter of a humiliated, embarassed, destroyed politician who is a professional con artist and liar and is trying to resurrect his career. He seems to me one of the dumbest human beings in modern society. I think in his case he is just mentally and morally broke and corrupt and out of his mind. I dont think it’s that way for his allies though. I wonder if these people are just down right evil. I don’t see how you could ever support the persecution of fellow human beings especially when approached as often and publicly as Sabeet and others are and despite being exposed to the facts, they stand fast with their resolve to continue hurting so many. Are they just evil? Is that it?

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    • War Vet

      You are right about the 3rd way analogy: it is like a new paint job or a new Pepsi can with the same old recipe. Yes, these people are evil. Don’t think ‘concern for the children’ is an excuse to murder millions of people in Narco-Wars. The War on Drugs affects non-drug users far more than if affects drug users . . . the next time you read about 9/11 -ask yourself: how many of those people who died were drug users? How many of those Algerian Hostages did drugs? How many of the young children in Darfur did drugs? How many children in Iraq did drugs? The drug war affects more non-drug users than drug users, which is why it has to be stopped. I bet Iraq (fighting drug money) has affected more U.S. soldiers who only fought for one year, than heroin, opiates and drug laws have affected you for your whole life -your life is simple and in the lap of luxury in comparison to being in a wheel chair from a drug money bomb. At least drug offenders get 3 hots and a cot and healthcare while in jail, unlike the millions of unemployed Americans who are out of work because of no hemp jobs and the economic strain the war on drugs in Iraq and Afghanistan has caused us. Let us re-read some old Hunter S. Thompson books: ‘Generation of Swine’ and ‘Hey Rube’. In 1986, we knew the war on terror would happen in the early 2000’s and a recession would occure becuase of the war (from Hunter S. Thompson’s predictions himself).

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      • War Vet

        Sorry, ‘Kingdom of Fear’ not ‘Hay Rube’. We knew about the 2008 Recession in 2003 -though the 2008 recession was first documented in 2001 by Hunter S. Thompson.

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        They didn’t give Dana Beale any free health care in Iowa. They actually furloughed him from prison so they didn’t have to pay the bill. Once he recovered they tossed him back into the pokey.

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        • War Vet

          That sounds like something a weasel of a government would do to the aging activist. To break him monetarily through court costs and then to make him pay for his own health costs is so wrong. What ever happen to ‘respecting our elders’?

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  • Speaking of science (or really any) fiction — it’s a good example of nearly nonexistent regulation despite potentially dangerous content. Also, if there is such a subgenre as “drug war themed sci-fi”, “Yellow Snow” by Charles Stross should be the defining short story. It’s as good and clever as the first two sentences promise: “Sometimes you have to make speed not haste. I made
    twenty kilos and moved it fast.”

    Read it here for free: http://www.charlesstross.blogspot.com/2010/05/yellow-snow-charles-stross.html

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    • William Gibson (http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/) bridges the drugs-as-part-of-life gap in a jacked-in high tech future w/ immaculate style. This guy rocks.

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    • Cliff

      I think the the “Firefly” movie “Serenity” is another good story about the dangers of government knowing what’s best for us by attempting to create a perfect, harmonious society with chemistry. Kind of a perverse prohibition of peoples’ right to feel angry or sad or happy. So the people just laid down and died or became insane reavers.

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    • Duncan20903

      Don’t be a naughty Eskimo!

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  • War Vet

    Kevin Sabet must have a mental illness. I bet we can us his very own arguments against him. Of all the dangerous substances/activities on your list, you didn’t mention the most dangerous legal one out there: cars. Cars are far more likely to kill people than two joggers accidentally jogging into each other. We let parents put children in cars and then we let parents risk their life and their child’s life . . . we allow adults to risk property damage by allowing them to drive. We let ourselves put other lives in danger because we don’t want to be late or we are angry about something. We should force Kevin to focus on cars and why cars should be outlawed according to his very own words (yes, deep down Kevin and the lot believe cars should be outlawed because we have proof car crashes exist). Or why cars are legal, yet chopped full of dangers we see every day. Heroin is harmless in comparison to a speeding Hummer . . . crack hasn’t killed one soul in comparison to Chevy . . . LSD makes you fly safer and slower than any Lexus known to man . . . everyone of us would rather watch our children turn into methheads than to see them mowed down by a Mazda . . . at least meth heads can recover a lot faster than a D.O.A. can. What happens if we let millions of people drive at the same time? Chaos right –one million vehicle deaths in America every day right? Let’s force old Kevin to chop up the fine grains that make driving in America safe enough for it to be still legal and then force his reasoning and logic to claim that he believes all and himself should not have access to cars –just like we shouldn’t have access to legal drugs. Shame on Kevin for telling non-drug users they don’t need to drive to work –what a hypocrite . . . I bet he owns a car –hypocrite.

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  • claygooding

    My idea of legalization includes the ability to grow your own,,just as with beer or wine,,as long as you are not selling marijuana to anyone or buying marijuana from anyone besides licensed outlets then you are within the law.
    The ability to grow your own is a very necessary check valve on the pricing and taxing of marijuana,,it will keep the greed of politicians from underwriting the “green market”.

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  • Klay

    I find the “Third way” so dishonest. Forcing people into rehab seems like that is what the drug courts have been doing for a long time. Currently, we have: in jail (advocated by less but seems like the social conservative position), forced rehab (advocated by the left as an alternative to jail), decriminalized (though production stays criminalized – advocated by few who fear legalization), and legalization (which is controlled production and distribution – advocated by more and more recognizing the failures of the past).

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  • Servetus

    Horse Riding. Status: legal. Controls: anyone may ride a horse. Dangers: “78,279 people visited the emergency room in 2007 as a result of horse riding related injuries. Head injuries comprised about 15-percent, or 11,759 of these visits (NEISS data 2007), and are the number one reason for hospital admissions and the leading cause of death. The annual incidence of horse riding related head injuries is likely higher that the NEISS 2007 figure due to the fact that less severe head injuries may be treated at physician’s offices or an urgent care center, or self-treated and so are never included in the statistics. Concussions account for about 5-percent of emergency room visits, a figure that is more than double that for other major sports. Over 100 deaths per year are estimated to result from equestrian related activities, with 10-20 times as many head injuries occurring for each fatality.”

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    • Peter

      don’t forget the “horse-riding gateway syndrome” which inevitably leads these unfortunate addicts to engage in donkey sex

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    • Duncan20903

      .
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      The guy who played Superman in the 1980s was killed in a horseback riding incident. Even worse was the fact that he spent years as a quadriplegic before finally succumbing to his injuries.

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      • Cliff

        Christopher Reeves is the guy you are thinking of.

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        • Duncan20903

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          I wasn’t sure that everyone knew that his injuries were fatal because it took so long for him to die after the event. There’s no mistake though, horseback riding killed Mr. Reeves.

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  • Call off war on drugs, leader of Guatemala tells the west

    Otto Pérez Molina says regulated narcotics market must be introduced to forestall threat to democracy from drug cartels

    http://tinyurl.com/awqve6s

    This might make Obama’s top 3 list yet for important issues to be handled.

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  • I think the most hazardous thing I have done is helping heroin addicted individuals to kick. Which is why I assume these fellows want to keep kicking up such a fuss over marijuana- they wouldn’t want to actually have to work for a living.

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  • auggie

    hazardous how?

    Also hemlock, morning glory and crysanthimums are all very poisonous but legal.

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    • Sorry didn’t want to be long winded. Was some rough cold turkeys in some earlier times.

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    • Duncan20903

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      auggie, people die from withdrawals in cases of severe addiction. While I’m not sure if opioids withdrawal carries that risk, drinking alcohol and barbiturates withdrawal most certainly do.

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      • Peter

        Opiate/-oid withdrawal, while very uncomfortable, is not life-threatening, unlike acute alcohol withdrawal which can induce seizures and heart/lung stoppage

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        • Peter, opioid withdrawal can be fatal, though deaths are rare and usually occur in people with already compromised health. Every year there are a small handful of deaths that occur in people undergoing withdrawal while incarcerated. Opiate withdrawal is not usually fatal, but it is incorrect to say it is never fatal.

          Here is one case of a heroin withdrawal occurring in a jail that refutes the notion that no one ever dies from heroin withdrawal (there are numerous others)
          Family Sues Pennsylvania Jail over Heroin Withdrawal Death

          A Lawsuit filed over another death:
          Lawsuit over Withdrawal Death

          Even in those cases where it is not fatal, it is painful enough to be considered torture and inhumane, especially when there are medications (methadone, buprenorphine, clonodine) that surpress the worst symptoms.

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  • Cliff

    Something as simple and life sustaining as good ol’ water can kill if too much of it is consumed. “…dilutional hyponatremia, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions… Thanks Wikipedia!

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  • strayan

    Playing football puts you at risk of head injury.

    The prohibitionist solution to this problem would be simple:

    Reclassify every type of sporting activity as a Schedule 1 (prohibited) Sport, football excepted.

    If people are going to engage in a sporting activity they should only have one option (the most popular one).

    Giving people permission to play other sports would crazy. Imagine the problems with head injury if it were lawful to engage in lacrosse, field hockey and baseball?

    We have enough of a problem with football related head injury. Why would we add to the problem by giving people permission to play all these other sports?

    According to a Prof. Mark Kleiman, other types of sporting activity should only be lawful if they pass a cost/benefit test. He warns that “some people may decide to play more than one sport” and says that if other sports were lawful “people who weren’t interested in playing football may be attracted to games like ice hockey and thereby expose themselves to risk for the very first time”. He argues that we should focus on reducing injury sustained by football players before we consider legalising other types of sport.

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    • darkcycle

      BWAH-HA-HA!

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      • strayan

        I had another paragraph that got cut off:

        Some say games like baseball should be legal, but a recent incident during a clandestine match should give us cause for concern. Late last week eyewitness and frightened local, Kevin Sabet, says he spotted a gang of youths hitting a stone around the park with a fence paling. “It was chilling to behold” he said, “there were no rules, not safety gear – it was total chaos”. Kevin said he spent the entire match cowering behind a tree (but not before dialling 911) to avoid being struck down during what he describes as a ‘dangerous recreational sport’. Tragically, before police arrived to break up the riot, one the juvenile scofflaws was hit by the stone and permanently blinded.

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  • […] The extreme of Legalization Yet it turns out that, despite some very real (and not overhyped) dangers, there's a wide range of regulatory options that are used for these within a non-chaotic, non-anarchic legalization system. …. like Kevin and the like would pick a child rapist … Read more on Drug WarRant […]

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  • Matthew Meyer

    In their _Drug Control in a Free Society_, Grinspoon and Bakalar use the examples of mountaineering and chainsaws.

    Both are dangerous, and people have been killed using chainsaws and climbing mountains–every year, in fact, more die.

    The thing is, people value what they get from mountain-climbing and from working with chainsaws. “Recreational” drug use is not given the same kind of consensus value.

    Maybe even now we are in need of unabashed Ginsbergs declaring “Pot is fun!”

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  • Duncan20903

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    Whenever confronted by a prohibitionist trying to peddle the nonsense that “the LAW is LAW (blah, blah blah) I like to point out that kowtowing to unjust laws is not the American way or tradition. True Americans break unjust laws until their changed and this tradition dates back to day one, 7/4/1776 when 56 old white men committed high treason by signing the Declaration of Independence.

    Today we celebrate the life of another true American who was known to break the unjust laws which were designed to keep a particular segment of our society as second class citizens. I was only 7 the day that Martin Luther King was assassinated but I still vividly recall that day, and my subsequent confusion over it and the riots that ensued in the aftermath of that event.

    Anyway, here’s a quote from Rev. King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail which he penned on the 16th of April, 1963:

    /snip/
    …when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”–then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

    Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
    /snip/

    Letter from the Birmingham Jail

    Some might ask, “how can you compare “drugs” to segregation?” My response is, “how can you not?” But for today I’m not interested in waxing philosophical on this issue. My interest today is to fête a true American who was willing to give everything, indeed even his very life in pursuit of making our society a better place for everyone. So from the bottom of my heart I say “thank you Rev. King.”

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  • Duncan20903

    Wow, who’da thunk that the Wisconsin anti-discrimination law was so all encompassing?

    Race, Color, National Origin and Ancestry

    /snip/
    The law covers all employers, employment agencies, licensing agencies and unions. Employers may not legally discriminate because of a person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, sex, disability, arrest or conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation, military status and use or nonuse of lawful products away from work.
    /snip/

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  • Marijuana is legal in North Korea and there is no evidence of it being a gateway drug because cocaine carries the death penalty.

    We don’t need to be that extreme in the U.S. but you get the idea.

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