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This is not that country

… or at least I hope not.

I have for you another ridiculous OpEd, this one from USC Annenberg. Against Marijuana Legalization

This particular OpEd focuses mostly on concerns regarding the inevitable commercialization of marijuana.

As with alcohol, the government will then have a vested interest in its continued distribution and sale in order to maintain the influx of revenue that it will provide. This means that intensive advertising will likely be permitted, leading to the commercialization of the drug and commodification of the culture around it in order to have more mass appeal.

Advertising agencies do not try to promote the consumer’s well being; their job requires them to use all means available to convince people to purchase their product. Just walk around any major city and you will see billboards telling you how drinking will make you cooler and more likeable. I doubt advertisers would have much trouble figuring out ways to make smoking weed seem like a necessary component to enjoy life and have fun.

When did this start being a real argument in this country?

And we’re not just hearing it in student newspaper OpEds.

The essence of this argument is:

Oh, we’re so sorry, but we’re stuck with this horrible First Amendment that lets people try to convince you to do things, so to make it better, we’re going to take away a lot of your other freedoms so you won’t accidentally be convinced to do something that might not be good for you.

When did we vote to make our country some kind of Benign Receivership? And who decided what busybodies were given our custodial responsibility?

I seem to recall that our country was founded on the premise of establishing a government that would secure for us the rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, not one that would paternalistically fit us with a protective coccoon.

It’s bad enough that as a society we’ve become pathetically afraid of terrorists. Are we also going to live life in fear of… advertisers?

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32 comments to This is not that country

  • Matthew Meyer

    “…legalization would … break the chains between producers and consumers in states like California, where it is possible to trace the path of medical marijuana from the consumer to the farmer who grew it in just a couple of steps.”

    What a laugh. Dispensary customers in California have only slightly more certainty where their herb came from and how it was produced than do people who buy it “on the streets.”

    Even CO’s much-vaunted “seed to sale” tracking is more a journalistic trope than a reality.

  • Clone of Judas 337

    I smell an Opportunity, here.
    :rubs hands, grins:

  • Servetus

    If someone is looking for advertising, nothing sells marijuana like news of marijuana busts. Nothing is made more desirable than that which is prohibited by idiots. Nothing makes people want to smoke pot more than stupid anti-drug propaganda distributed by prohibitionists.

    • claygooding

      And what about the money,,does anyone want to work at Micky D’s for minimum wage when they can party all day and make 10 times the money,,hand french fries out the drive-thru to their friends in new cars so they can catch a ride home after work.
      What better ad for a new high paying job than dealers getting busted.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I can’t count the number of times when I’d end up at Denny’s eating a Grand Slam breakfast at because that stupid “this is your brain on drugs” PSA gave me the munchies.

      In the last half of the 1980s there was a local television program called “City Under Siege” which followed and embellished the intrigues of the various “open air” crack market in the District of Columbia. I used to watch that show to find places to buy crack. I also was of the belief that 10-14 days after one of the “open air” market was busted that it had a significantly lowered risk of arrest because the cops were working a new one. I let 10-14 days pass because I thought that the risk of physical injury was enhanced until the new pecking order was established.

  • Any product on the market has abuse potential. How many things should we outlaw out of fear of abuse? How about deadly pharmaceuticals being advertized like they were candy? Sugar?

    Sounds like the author has a beef with advertisers and corporations more than marijuana. Moral behavior in advertising is a subject for Sunday school.

  • Dante

    “Advertising agencies do not try to promote the consumer’s well being; their job requires them to use all means available to convince people to purchase their product. ”

    Hmmmm. So the bottom line is that is bad?

    Isn’t that exactly like Congress, their job is to convince us to use their product, and the bottom line is that the motivation behind all that “advertising” is bad?

    As my son would opine, just sayin’.

    • The ONDCP itself is a perfect example of advertising gone bad. Morality in the form of government is generated from the top down in the case of marijuana, through the use of falsehoods and lies. Truth has no groundings in the office of the drug czar.

      Intelligent thinking on the subject might have one questioning the lies being generated from this office (drug czar) and its influence on this authors opinions.

  • B. Snow

    OT: Mark Kleiman is on “The Cycle” in the ‘GuestSpot’…
    Toure appears to think it’s gonna be good, pre-interview… Along with the rest of them (Krystal, SE, and Ari) it seems, we’ll see how the discussion goes.
    Like most anywhere you see/hear/talk about it = You just can tell some folks are anxious AND not at all afraid to show it!

    And… it’s over before I could finish typing this – I don’t think they didn’t let him get away with too much BS.

    (I’m about to run the DVR back and pay more attention, aka stop typing this time.)
    Hmmm, well they asked questions. He gave some answers about the basic law, and the issues, & he didn’t answer others = basically just re-stated the obvious – ‘how the heck can you make this or that part work.

    ‘Well we’re gonna have to see how to make it work, if we can, and then turn our findings over to WA liquor-board’ = (that’s me paraphrasing). He said some things we all know may be wrong or worked around -like the bit about “can’t use it/consuming it on the premisses, so there won’t be pot bars … strictly a buy it and take it home thing” [I know that already has workarounds].

    And, “they can’t sell it were food is served, but there will be edibles, pot-brownies” (in the same sentence no less)…
    Oh and at the beginning when one of the hosts mentions the (possible?)/potential tax revenues = he added: “I don’t know where you got that study/those figures -anyone who believes there will be that much in tax revenues has been smoking something…” hahaha only without the laugh = just that snarky look.

    You can tell, he knew what the audience/demographic of the show – he didn’t say anything *openly hostile* really = He did add the obligatory: “This won’t be a model for the whole country, because it’s still illegal at the federal level, yadda-yadda-yadda…”

    Not bad, I think he knows he’s on thin ice if he looks to be torpedoing this on purpose, maybe he’s soaking in the reality that the prohibition is truly much worse than any problems/issues caused by legalizing it = I suspect there will be a sizable flock of folks (baby-boomers) ready to “try it again – after ALL these years…”

    After years of fearing it because it was illegal and they were afraid if they smoked some of the new *stronger stuff* -they might- “O.D.” *like the idiots that call 911 on themselves*, or that they’d get caught and have to play salad-chef in jail for a few months/years?
    If everyone went out and got high one week = It could get interesting for abit, but we know the sky won’t fall & we’d save billions of money paying people to track, harass, & lock-up other people for no rational/reasonable benefit to society.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Haven’t those guys ever herd of house cats? It’s a hard thing to come to grips with. It’s less than two years since I finally was able to do so. But the fact of the matter is that we’re never going to see our fellow fans of cannabis speak with one voice or walk in lockstep. I do think that the singular character trait that we do share is a fierce sense of individuality. It does slow down progress no doubt. But it’s also the most significant reason why cannabis prohibition is not sustainable and is such an epic failure of public policy. If we were willing to do as we’re told there never would have been any hippies. We’ve got to play the hand we’re dealt.

  • Not Joe Camel

    .
    .

    So why aren’t there any cigarette ads on TV? Why did the stock car racing powers that be decide to rename the Winston Cup? Does anyone have Joe Camel’s telephone number? I haven’t seen him around for quite a number of years so I’d like to give him a call and see how he’s doing.

    “When did this start being a real argument in this country?”

    It’s a dictionary picture perfect example of the straw man fallacy. It is by definition not a real argument. The prohibitionist manipulates the listener into believing that a false premise is inevitable and then beats the stuffing out of said premise. Hmm, now it appears that it might more accurately be a false dichotomy fallacy. Can it be both at the same time?

    Oh wait, did you mean when did it receive certification from the National Board of Hysterical Rhetoric? Sorry, my bad. But it wasn’t too long after the NBHR certified the Linkletter Rule. I’ve been hearing the argument that the inevitable proliferation of advertising would cause the number of potheads to skyrocket since the 1970s. Sheesh, back then it seemed like everyone thought that Big Tobacco was busy registering brand names as trademarks and buying options on land in Hawaii, Panama and Columbia to grow it.

    Then there’s the one about how Big Merrywanna would start adding chemicals to make it more addictive, just like Big Tobacco did to smoking tobacco decades and decades ago.

    I’m sure that I could make a real long list of NBHR certified absurdities which are regurgitated by prohibitionists as if they were gospel. You can’t ever predict with any certainty what’s going to come out of the mouth of a prohibitionist. But you can count on it being laughably absurd.

    *The Linkletter Rule: Legal drinking alcohol is acceptable because most people drink to not get drunk. The only reason to smoke pot is to get high!

    • Jean Valjean

      In answer to the Linkletter Rule:
      Levels of intoxication for cannabis increase on a steep- curve for a few minutes before reaching a plateau, at which point levels of intoxication/impairment will not increase greatly with further use.
      Alcohol intoxication, on the other hand, is more gradual but has no top limit, short of death.
      Obviously safety does not equal “acceptability” under this rule.

      • Duncan20903

        “Never let the facts get in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric” ~~The motto of the Know Nothing prohibitionist

  • WAR ON THUGS

    I can BenchPress 100 now. Getting there. Grrrrrr

  • “I seem to recall that our country was founded on the premise of establishing a government that would secure for us the rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”

    For over two centuries now, the fact is the “truths to be held self-evident” in the U.S. Declaration of Independence have been blatantly ignored. “We the people” (briefly exposed to such truths at an age when we could not care less about the subject) have instead been conned for decades to find it civilized to allow our public servants to legally define risk to prevent harm before it happens (instead of just punishing people when harm actually occurs).

    There can be no doubt that to legally define risk is to define liberty, obviously opposing our naturally given and unalienable right to liberty.

    Our founding fathers (revolutionaries against the abuse of law) understood that the abuse of law is the worst form of abuse, given its mainly broad scope of destruction. This is why we have a Constitution, the self proclaimed “supreme law of the land” and an unalienable right to liberty (to the extent we realize such right is actually the extent we naturally realize virtually all other rights, including life, pursuit of happiness, free speech, bear arms, etc.)

    American patriotism is so minimized these days, people such as yours truly are raising the aforementioned fundamental facts at the so-called lunatic fringe, dismissed by the selfish and reckless mainstream media leaving the public utterly misinformed.

    Change we actually can believe in is needed. At the very least, such change requires Americans in college/university to engage in serious discussion over the pros and cons of having liberty be unalienable, so those facing adulthood are best prepared to better implement liberty for the societal flexibility (that naturally comes from individual liberty) necessary to adapt to an extremely dynamic reality (like an athlete staying loose for a game).

    This all means that Americans are obligated to rely upon education (not law) to address risk. I believe proponents for any activity (from tackle football to DMT use) should assume the burden of ensuring the public understands the risks of such activity to address the problems resulting from abuse. This approach can be no worse than the un-American prohibition mentality.

    In that spirit, we’re (All Sines) working to secure enough resources to create informational videos and such to educate the public about the risks in cannabis use (understanding proper strain selection, intake methods and amounts, etc.), for example, to prepare for its inevitable legality.

    We can either get liberty right, or we can continue to allow our public servants to, say, irrationally apply the Commerce
    Clause to allow Congress to ban the non-economic possession of a certain plant. To abandon rationality is to abandon interpretation, the sole job of our judicial branch of government, and so to abandon law in the name of utter corruption.

    “We the people” can (and must) do much better.

  • ezrydn

    Pete, Ref your final sentence of this piece. For perspective, last Monday, there were those who ran FROM the blast and some who ran TOWARDS the blast. Do you see the interconnect? I do.

    • Yes, that’s an important point. It means that there’s still hope for us.

      We still act nobly in the moment of tragedy. But in the safety of our living rooms while watching disaster porn 24-7 on the news networks, our society pisses in its pants and eagerly gives up its liberty and its principles out of fear for some statistically insignificant doom.

      • Plant Down Babylon

        The Boston bombings were a gubbmint false flag. It can’t be any more obvious.

        • allan

          I don’a understand… explain, please.

        • Plant Down Babylon

          Allan,
          There’s many articles regarding this subject. A little google time will uncover much. I’m just saying keep your mind open. Many people miss the obvious.

          It seemed like a great excuse to practice martial law. They locked down a city of 1mil for a 19yr old teen? Did you see the ‘army’ rolling thru the streets? They trampled every homeowner’s 4th ammendment rights when they barged into their home GUNS DRAWN. That happened whether the homeowner invited them in or tried to refuse their entry.

          Just a little overkill in my opinion.

          I believe a majority of the ‘terrorist’ attacks are perpetrated by the cia/fbi. Call me crazy, but i don’t trust our gubbmint. Of course, all things with a grain of salt (or bud).
          Allan, I believe you to be very intelligent and I would love to hear your opinion on this subject. (not really drugwarrant material, but somewhat relevant)

          A little history of false flags;

          http://www.infowars.com/a-brief-history-of-false-flag-attacks-or-why-government-loves-state-sponsored-terror/

        • allan

          it may be OT but relevant. If folks don’t like it they vote it down or tell us to quit climbing on the furniture… besides everything is w/in 6º of the drug war.

          I believe in conspiracies just not in conspiracy theories so much. I do believe there are those w/in gummint who aren’t working in our best interest. I don’t believe “the government” is conspiring against us.

          I do believe that the story is just as it played out. A jihadi and his li’l bro. Neither have I heard of (nor have I looked for) any of those citizens whose homes were searched complaining about the searches.

          Back when I was spending more time w/ tribal folk, a lot of my brothers were my age. Some of ’em were VN vets. Some of ’em had been at Wounded Knee. First Nation people know the boot and the bullet, the bottle and the noose… because all were used against them.

          “Them” being who they are makes no matter to my being who I am and doing what I do. I’ve had a blast poking and prodding the beast all along my merry way. Conspiracy theories just aren’t my interest. It’s like fighting ghosts… but I don’t discount what I hear from those digging at those theories.

          I do notice tendencies… and I have noticed some others pointing to the same things you are.

          Trust me mon, my fightin’ days be fadin’. I’ve mixed t’ings up, yah mon. Been like a flea under da collar, yes mon! Now… digging in the garden, dat be my t’ing more and more. Respect mon, Rastafari. Peace for dem babies.

          But you go mon! You go, kick some butt. Come back and tell us some day, while we sit and smoke… and den we laugh… oh lord we LAUGH… we laugh because life is good.

        • Plant Down Babylon

          Allan,
          You’re right. It’s a fine line being aware, active but not obsessive. Life’s short, each day is a blessing and it’s good to focus on positivity and love.

          I’ve been working hard on making my land self sustainable for my family/neighbors. Going big on organic gardening (everything). Tomatoes do very well at my elevation (both kinds, hahaha). Baby lettuce too.

          As long as I can keep my roaming chickens & husky out of the garden, it’s ALL GOOD!!

          The greatest blessing is the intelligent info you and your warriors spew here at the couch. I truly appreciate all the ‘old timer’ knowledge. And I mean that with the utmost respect!

        • allan

          thanks… it makes all those years spent working harder not smarter when I was young worth it!

          and I agree, the couch is a special place w/ some special folks (which explains the short bus parked outside).