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‘Legalization’ is coming into focus

We’re just days away from the first legal recreational sales in Colorado. Many are projecting shortages of product to begin with (not surprising as there will certainly be a beginning surge as a kind of celebration of the new status). It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. City of Denver has even put out a map of retail stores.

One of the things that has come from all the discussions about legalization in Washington and Colorado is perhaps a better understanding of the word “legalize” on the part of the general public.

There have been understandable concerns about reformers using the “L” word in past years because the prohibitionists painted it as an extreme, so that many in the public thought that legalization meant anarchy.

Now that they’ve seen the exhaustive (and exhausting) debates over how to regulate legal cannabis, it seems to me that they’re understanding that legal doesn’t necessarily mean unregulated.

This will help in future polls regarding public views on legalization, not only of cannabis, but as we move to legalizing other substances (for which public support in the past has been anemic).

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37 comments to ‘Legalization’ is coming into focus

  • Malc

    Excellent thoughts, Pete!

    Well-liked Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  • Servetus

    I wouldn’t rule out anarchy altogether. The discussions we have here on the couch fit nicely with Noam Chomsky’s methods, which he described in a current article as characterized by anarcho-syndicalism:

    Rudolf Rocker…described anarchism in general as not a specific set of beliefs that provides particular answers to all the questions that can arise, but rather what he called ‘a general tendency in the history of humanity’ which aims to inquire into the nature of social, economic, political structures to detect structures of hierarchy and domination and to challenge them to demonstrate their legitimacy. They are not self-justified and if they cannot defend their legitimacy on some plausible grounds then to dismantle them and reconstruct then from below. And to do this in the context of the existing society, developing alternative institutions that are more free and more just in the hope of moving on to a world of free associations of workers’ communities controlling their own institutions, their own fate in association with one another of various kinds of federal arrangements and so on. That is the basic thrust of anarchism. Altogether it is my view and of anarcho-syndicalism in particular which is designed for complex industrial societies.—Noam Chomsky

    Anarcho-syndicalism would apply to marijuana and other drug legalizations, where federal authority over human behavior is overtaken by citizens and states and replaced with an autonomous marketing system, one that regulates and protects citizens without the need or use of severely limiting or dominating institutions, or overbroad criminal sanctions targeting otherwise law abiding people.

    Current federal authority on recreational and mind-supplemental drugs is rife with superstitions and an anachronistic colonialist aggression in what is supposed to be a post-colonial era. It’s a system that prevents itself from being found out, and it requires anarcho-syndicalism to cut the Gordian knot.

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  • claygooding

    If CO or WA can figure out how to allow “coffee shops” a very telling statistic could be seen by Spring Break,,what impact will the fog over both states have on Myrtle Beach and the half dozen run to the sun beaches that have dominated SB for decades?
    We are talking possible millions of dollars in tourist trade unseen if they can quit listening to the beach community’s Chamber of Commerce lobbyist force keeping marijuana from being treated like alcohol.
    I think CO and WA are fixing to open up the “greed” level required to make changes.

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  • darkcycle

    S’ ’bout time. Think of all the talking points the prohibs stand to lose…. It will increase youth use…. it will be sold in gas stations and seven elevens. Advertisers and merchants will target kids, it will cause a rash of deaths on the roads…and on and on. No random murders (a la Anslinger, circa 1937) No nation of people too passive to fight (a la Anslinger, circa 1947). No man teats (still not fully convinced this is a bad thing), no epidemic of schizophrenia….all soon to be obvious to all but the most isolated cave dweller.
    And medical uses…who’d have thought there would be so MANY of them (well, us… but really, who else?)?
    One almost feels sorry for Kevvie (BTW, he’s been pretty quiet these last couple of weeks). Almost.

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    • Nunavut Tripper

      Yes, clean livin’ Kevvie has been quiet as of late but here are two juicy quotes from him in this article.

      http://news.yahoo.com/first-state-licensed-marijuana-retailers-open-january-1-121942452–sector.html

      Like “There will still need to be a black market to serve people who are ineligible to buy on a legal market, especially kids,” Sabet said. “It’s almost the worst of both worlds.”

      He won’t admit that clean good quality legal cannabis priced and managed properly could easily wipe out the black market. Would I buy wine from some sketchy guy in an alleyway or from the Liquor Board of Ontario’s clean modern store with friendly female cashiers ?

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      • fallibilist

        He won’t admit that clean good quality legal cannabis priced and managed properly could easily wipe out the black market.

        Let’s not get cocky. I really think that Colorado is about to grab defeat out of the jaws of victory. Why? It’s their stubborn refusal to Keep It Simple, Stupid.

        Their stupid regulations ensure that their will be an initial shortage. Meanwhile, their foot-dragging on granting license and mandatory co-location and vertical integration seems to indicate that marijuana availability (compared to demand) might not increase.

        Will this mean mild price increases? If there are price increases, that’s good for the Black Market.

        We should also expect to hear stories of awful law enforcement harassment coming from the non-Colorado sides of the interstate.

        I used to think that Washington state was going to have the stupider of the two states’ regs but now I’m convinced Colorado will take the cake.

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  • darkcycle

    Hey Allan….going to have a calendar this year? The one I’ve currently got is almost out of days!

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    • allan

      well… it’s like this… no.

      I definitely got some tasty images of my humble crop but not enough to do a calendar. That and the site I’m using (for calendats, cards etc, RedBubble) pays their software developers way too much and they’ve once again ‘improved’ the site to the point I can no longer upload, make calendars or edit my content (tho sites like Amazon always work for me, it’s like they actually want my money). The curse of an old man with an old computer.

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      • Windy

        My hubby (age 70) just bought himself a computer, his very first. He has used mine occasionally, mostly for his photos and to visit Harley sites and the like. Now he’s really getting into surfing the web, following his own interests. He’s not into social media though, the most he wants to do in that area is to email some of his best photos to his friends and occasionally to a family member. Anyway, he got a great HP laptop for less than $500. My daughter gave my granddaughter (who had her laptop stolen in Melbourne, just days before she was scheduled to came home) a new Surface for less than $300 and it will do almost everything my Surface Pro will do, just has less RAM and not as much battery time. Maybe you might want to check out prices and models, you might find a new computer would be a good thing.

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        • claygooding

          If he is like me he has to await a windfall for purchases outside living expenses,,like a VA travel check if you let them build up for the year and get it all at once,,,my newest I bought through Dell purchase plan and will do again when it is paid for,,a new computer every three years keeps you gizmoed and “Windowed” out with really good hand me down units for Christmas gifts to all those clammering lil children hollering “me next”.

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      • darkcycle

        That’s a damn shame. Guess I’ll have to put this one away until 2019, when it will be usable again…

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        • Rick Steeb

          I’ve got my 1969 calendar in my wallet already!

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        • allan

          yeah, being a single dad, a smot poking activist one at that, makes survival paramount over like-to-have stuff. While prehistoric, I’m proud to have done all I’ve done riding this dinosaur thru all my battles w/ WODbeast.

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  • C.E.

    I saw Patrick Kennedy on MSNBC today in full-panic mode, spouting apocalyptic predictions about the disaster that awaits us all in Colorado. This must be a very trying time for him.

    Well-liked Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

    • Windy

      Oh dear, I feel so sorry for him. Not! Ha ha. They (the prohibitches) are getting what they deserve for a change.

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    • strayan

      Oh no, people can now buy cannabis from a store that declares tax and checks ID as opposed to from some shady character who home delivers.

      CHAOS!

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      • strayan

        and they’ll have to pay their employees an honest wage and won’t be able to hire children or arm them and rival cannabis growers won’t be gunned down on street corners because killing someone would be bad for business and the police, because they won’t be spread so thinly frisking blacks. will actually have the time to investigate properly.

        ABSOLUTE CHAOS!

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      • strayan

        How will society survive if people are allowed to dig up another type of plant and eat it!!!

        WE ARE DOOMED!

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      • Duncan20903

        I can get home delivery?

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    • B. Snow

      Yeah, I saw that too!

      Oh, it wasn’t about “S.A.M.” – it was more like “SAD”…
      its about 7 mins – that’s well worth watching. If only to see Craig asking questions and watch Pat trying to back-peddle & in the process contradict himself on/about something Pat had just said 2 or 3 sentences ago (He did it repeatedly)

      OR, Pat would agree with Craig – acknowledging things most people know (or believe) to be factual…

      Example: Marijuana isn’t particularly harmful or dangerous, Unless you put it into the hands of an ‘intellectually challenged’ person like say = Patrick Kennedy (IMHO = You can tell he’s a panic-attack just waiting to happen at the drop of a hat.)

      Paying mind to the marijuana ‘experiment’

      Craig repeatedly gives him just enough rope to hang himself (so to speak), He doesn’t interrupt/challenge a few of the TOTALLY absurd statements like – “We’ll have to monitor the unintended consequences… we’ll have to watch the facts on the ground, are there greater hospitalizations amongst kids…”

      That’s where I would have stopped him – but Craig just stopped and let Pat ‘give away the store’ – thru feats of circular logic as well as making it clear that they’re hoping they can make these negative/’scary’, “unintended consequences” – as self-fulfilling as possible.

      They’re going to sit and play ‘hall monitor’ – ‘take names in class’ whenever the teacher leaves the room.

      The Prohibs are just praying that they can compile a large enough number of “exceptions to the rule” – most likely they’ll be anecdotal… And then use that to somehow(?) justify that their stack of “Doom Statistics” = outweighs the time, the money spent, & lives lost and/or harmed by Prohibition/Jail/Involuntary Rehab, & mandatory 12-Step program attendance as a condition of probation/parole, etc.

      There’s only one quibble with that tack – We’ve been having that debate already, and as Craig said, “The People (aka = voters) have already spoken!

      Kennedy really confused himself at one point, So he just tried to stick in all his standard arguments, or rather Nora & Kev’s.
      Then Pat goes into his ‘magic hat’ and pulls the 1 meaningful ‘rabbit’ aka contribution to SAM.
      The old cliche = “I was/am an Addict (which is this “Disease” that I’m powerless to overcome) – So, I know better than all of you.”
      ‘Cause someday after the sky falls – Nora, Kev, & I = we are all gonna be able to say “I told you so” – that seems to be where they’re at now.

      So, its *Rooting for Failure* in Colorado & Washington, and any other states where Voters have the nerve to say/believe that they can make their own decisions better than we can do it for them!

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      • darkcycle

        He does a good “Chicken Little” impression, doesn’t he?
        “The SKY is falling, the SKY is falling!”
        Sounds like their strategy is now to delay rather than prevent legalization. Sure Pat, the voters are going to “wait and see”. Nearly every State will have marijuana on the ballot somewhere next year. That a long enough wait for you?

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      • Uncle Albert's Nephew

        Some of the staff were like Pat Kennedy when I was in rehab over 20 years ago. Ex junkies who projected their own past behavior on anyone who had ever used any drug at all. God help anyone who tried to say that their own experience didn’t conform to the junkie narrative. Those guys would jump down his throat with both feet.

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  • DdC

    ‘Legalization’ is coming into focus,
    except for third world states.

    Russ Belville ‏@RadicalRuss
    More drinkers are diagnosed w/psychosis (36.7%) than alcoholism (29.3%) or cirrhosis (25.1%) http://rad-r.us/19t56Y4 But pot’s the loco weed?

    Using Pot To Save Brains!

    The Symptoms, Side Effects or
    Collateral Damage of Incremental Retardation.

    Medical Marijuana Activists Arrested In Alabama;
    Bond Set At $1 Million

    “Our youth can not understand why society chooses to criminalize a behavior with so little visible ill effect or adverse social impact… These young people have jumped the fence and found no cliff. And the disrespect for the possession laws fosters a disrespect for laws and the system in general… On top of this is the distinct impression among the youth that some police may use the marihuana laws to arrest people they don’t like for other reasons, whether it be their politics, their hair style or their ethnic background.” “Federal and state laws (should) be changed to no longer make it a crime to possess marijuana for private use.” ; “State laws should make the public use of marijuana a criminal offense punishable by a $100 fine. Under federal law, marijuana smoked in public would merely be subject to seizure.”
    ; President Richard M. Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
    “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding” March 1972

    When leaders act contrary to conscience

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  • Howard

    There have been understandable concerns about reformers using the “L” word in past years because the prohibitionists painted it as an extreme, so that many in the public thought that legalization meant anarchy. (Pete)

    I attended the First International Symposium of Electronic Art in Holland in the fall of 1988. Although centered in Utrecht there were exhibits in other cities. I also intended to spend some time in Amsterdam. When friends of mine learned where I was going they were the usual wink/nod comments about “coffee shops”. But one friend called with bit of a warning, “They tolerate certain things over there, be careful since you never know what you’re going to encounter”. I brushed that comment aside because I really wanted to experience “what ever I was going to encounter”. When I stepped off the train in Amsterdam I briefly felt a tinge of apprehension. Was I about to wander through streets of drug and sex fueled anarchy? Or European gentility? Or a mixture of both? The answer came soon enough. Since tourist season was largely over the city was returned to the residents. It was calm and gentile but still alive and fun. The coffee shops I frequented were away from the city center and were mostly occupied by Amsterdam residents (I did walk into The Bulldog in downtown Amsterdam, and walked out). Since I’m tall and one Dutch woman described me as having a “European face” I blended in with the locals well enough. So, was I in the midst of drug fueled anarchy? No, far from it. The coffee shop vibe I experienced was low key and relaxed. The occasional burst of rowdiness usually came from the few tourists still visiting (re: young Americans). But a quick glance from the bartenders and those of us at the bar quieted those neophytes down.

    One experience I had that really struck me was this: One late afternoon my friend and I were sitting in a coffee shop near the front window. A woman, probably in her early sixties, rode up on her bike. She was dressed like one of my old aunts, conservative librarian-style, very neat and proper. She walked in and stood at the end of the bar with her change purse held at breast level. The bartender walked over to her and there was a brief quiet discussion. Money changed hands and the bartender handed over a small bag of buds which the woman tucked into her purse. As the woman turned to leave she noticed I was looking at her and she smiled and we nodded. She got on her bike and slowly rode off.

    That’s when I realized that’s how it should be. No SWAT raid, no face pushed down on the pavement. No fear. Certainly no anarchy. That the Dutch “got it”. Just a quiet exchange between a customer and a business. And that we in the US could “get it” too — once the lies of the nattering, nay saying prohibitionists began to lose their grip. And now it’s actually happening, a good 25 years after my Amsterdam visit. A little late IMHO, but happening nonetheless.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    I’ve read a lot of posts made by the dingbats who’ve spent their lives terrified of “drugs” speculating on the impending mayhem in Colorado and Washington (as if mayhem can be scheduled, blah.) But what I haven’t heard is predictions of the mayhem that the idiot prohibitionists themselves may produce. On this side of the table we know that the idiot prohibitionists are in a state of utter panic and when people panic they do some of the most stupid things imaginable. We also know that the average prohibitionist is dumber than a prime rib dinner at a vegetarian conference. It appears to me that everyone is expecting stupidity from our side of the debate and the ignoring how likely it is to come from idiot prohibitionists. Has everyone forgotten that they used fire bombs on Montana dispensaries in late 2010, early 2011?

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    • Plant Down Babylon

      HEY! I like prime rib. I’m also married to a vegetarian with vegan parents. I’m sooooo confused…..

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Do you eat meat in front of the participants at a conference? I’ve always thought that Miss Manners would consider that to be very impolite.

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    • strayan

      Idiot prohibitionists?

      I think you mean prohibIDIOTs Duncan.

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      • kaptinemo

        But that would be simply redundant, in a Mark Twain fashion:‘Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

        A prohib, by supporting the illogically indefensible, is by definition an idiot. A stooge who serves the very same banksters that serve the cartels. They are the ‘useful idiots’ who maintain the machinery that is bringing about the very social ills they bemoan.

        It’s like the old saying about the Nazi Germany ‘baby carriage’ factory worker who secretly swipes all the parts he needs to make one and when he assembles it he finds he has a machine gun, not a stroller. That’s the prohibs; perpetually clueless as to what role they actually serve.

        The prohibs are largely unaware of their true status as puppets in a Punch-and-Judy show, controlled by the same puppeteer as the cartels, hopelessly entangled with the very people they say they want to destroy, part-and-parcel of the very system they say they want to smash. Even though that system creates casualties amongst their own, like a battered wife, they continue to support that same system.

        So, in this case, given what most reformers know and what most prohibs refuse to believe, despite the evidence, yes, the prohibs can genuinely and forthrightly be described as idiots. Highly useful ones, but idiots, nonetheless.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Say, does anyone think that a comments column underneath a story about the impending re-legalization of commerce in recreational cannabis can go over 100,000 comments? People are posting comments under “10 things to know about nation’s first recreational marijuana shops in Colorado” that by the time I finish a copy and paste response it’s already 200 comments deep.

    Almost 12,500 comments in less than 6 hours and it’s Sunday afternoon! I’m intent on launching every piece of boilerplate ever produced here in Duncan20903 land to help promote that goal.

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  • DdC

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta ‏@drsanjaygupta
    More than 137,000 lives in this country are claimed by #stroke every year – what you need to know: http://ow.ly/rQY4P

    Extracts from cannabis could help reduce brain damage in stroke victims, according to new research.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/126181.stm

    Pharmos Close To Stroke Compound
    http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/9/thread9163.shtml

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