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About the notion of cyclical support for legalization

Kevin Sabet has an recent interview with German Lopez in VOX. Most of it is the usual stuff he peddles, like wanting to somehow reduce some of the harmful effects of prohibition while keeping marijuana illegal, bemoaning the greed involved in commercial legalization while completely ignoring the overwhelming greed of prohibition forces. At one point in the interview, Kevin indulges in a bit of wishful thinking…

There’s no doubt that there’s some truth to the momentum for legalization that has grown in the past 10 years or so.

But I think what goes up must also come down. I think these things come in cycles. In the 1970s, we had the exact same thing happen with support for legalization. Maybe not as much as we have now, but we did see a dramatic change from the 1950s to the 1970s — in the same way you’ve seen a change from the 1990s to the 2010s. And that reversed for all sorts of reasons after the 1970s. It might reverse this time, but it might not.

I don’t think he believes it, either, but it’s an interesting point to disuss.

Jacob Sullum addresses it in Anti-Pot Activist on Support for Legalization: ‘What Goes Up Must Come Down’ and crunches some of the numbers to show that the pattern is closer to natural dips in an overall movement rather than cycles.

I have a few more thoughts on this…

First, when the dip in support happened in the 1970s, there was a whole lot going on – reaction to the various youth movements of the time, the Vietnam War, and the beginning of culture wars. I think the reduction in support for legalization had less to do with marijuana than it did with other factors.

Today is a much different time, and marijuana is no longer associated in the minds of the population with one cultural group that can be separated and demonized.

Also, in the 1970s, the government had a much greater control over the dissemination of information to the population, so when the drug war was ratcheted up, their propaganda had very little organized countering (except in specialized populations). And at that time, the media and other institutions were even more likely to support the official government line without question. This allowed for the creation of an atmosphere where even the discussion of legalization was considered some kind of antisocial and dangerous behavior.

Despite this, the anti-legalization forces were still only able to effect a temporary drop in support for legalization.

Today, of course, the dynamics are drastically different. The internet and unlimited means of information distribution have made suppression of information pretty much impossible. Reformers have a legitimate voice that can be heard, even over the full might of the federal government.

Now, might there be dips? Of course.

With major change, there is likely to be temporary shifts in public opinion up and down. As we see legalization expand, there’s always the potential for a tiny minority of stupid people making a public spectacle of themselves, which could cause a temporary blowback. But that’ll quickly settle out.

You could conceivably make a case that there will be some scientific discovery that will change public opinion about marijuana, but that is extremely unlikely. Prohibitionists have tried time and time again using junk science to try to derail support, always unsuccessfully. And we know enough about cannabis to be pretty certain that there is no as-yet-undiscovered danger of any significance.

There will always be those who oppose legalization. But the idea of a cycle that will leave legalization support marginalized once again — just a pipe dream.

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47 comments to About the notion of cyclical support for legalization

  • joe minella

    As a long-time witness to the WOD, I agree with your assessment, Pete. I would add another element and that is the growing realization that cannabis and also MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD do indeed have valuable medical uses. The investigation of these drugs in this context is barely starting, having been prohibited for 50 years or whatever. I think this will grow and will have a huge impact, eventually, on their acceptance. But Cannabis is here to stay this time. Too many people have become aware of the emperors nudity! Not that we should slack our efforts. Fight on,Party on.

  • Frank W.

    The drug testing industry is not going to disappear with any legalization that we get. I see it getting stronger as Sabet Inc. ratchets up propaganda like “It could be anywhere! Protect your company/sports team…” If pot ever gets recriminalized it’ll be in a quiet back door way from well-funded villains. I say go after the drug testing industry.

  • QuaxMercy

    Kevin wasn’t even around in the 70’s, so for him to characterize
    then as “the same exact thing as now” marks one more set of things about which he is completely wrong. Prohibs will never see their turn come back around because the science is and forever will be on our side: research will open up, proof of efficacy will become ubiquitous & folks will begin to wonder how such a hideous scam could have ever been perpetrated.

  • darkcycle

    Agreed,but if I can step in and steal some of the Kap’n’s thunder, we have the cohort effect working strongly in our favor. In the 1970’s the segment of the population with direct knowledge of the truths of cannabis was fairly discreet….it was mostly confined to young people, and since then time has changed that drastically.
    Nothing is gonna put the generational toothpaste back in that tube.

    • DdC

      Was fairly discreet? No, we were censored by programmed news. High Times came around 72 if memory serves and by Carter I think everyone assumed it was over. Then they sold out. No blame. Most I believe was out of survival. Still a choice, the same as plea bargain rehabilitation or prison. There was a lull during Rayguns, but never once was I out of dope. In central FL of all places. Before DARE brainwashing the 70’s was not as it became later. As I’ve said before. Even the cops were ambiguous while the CSA as being formed. The reason I stopped selling was after being busted 4 times and never arrested. So the danger is still there, not cyclic as sabetage claims. But Obama has done nothing and the next goober in chief could be a Raygun clone. Doubtful it will go back to unreachable since the latest medicinal research, although that is heading to the Fat Pharmas reclassifying it schedule#2. Leaving stoners another prohibition to contend with. The medicinal properties were well known before Nixon and that didn’t stop them. Now Kochroaches have maxcap contracts for profit prisons. Califony rehab asylums and pisstasters getting rich. Same fossil fools, wood, cotton and food not dealing with hemp competition. So while I hope and see potential this time around. I will never think it is a sure thing again.

      We had a large body pushing it. New York Times full page ads and even LIFE mag. How much longer? Soon we will know…
      http://www.drugwarrant.com/2015/03/friday-thread/comment-page-1/#comment-264080

      Marijuana: the law vs. 12 million people
      Life magazine Oct 31, 1969. 25-35
      https://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_magazine1.shtml

      • darkcycle

        DdC, “fairly discreet” in this context means: small and confined to a small demographic.

        • DdC

          DC look at the pictures if the words bother you. Yuppies toking in NY, field parties in the burbs. Maybe you were a geek left out of it like many of the prohibitches. Discreet 12 million and again only quiet due to censorship 80’s it became discreet. 70’s Animal House, SNL, Cheech and Chong, Head Shops and an explosion of rock bars and arena concerts. Pink Floyd opened the civic arena roof and a mushroom cloud formed above us as part of the show. Nothing discreet about Humble Pie 30 days in the hole and J Geils wammer jammer. Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull were not discreet either. We were not discreet. We owned the fucking place. The majority tried to become us from clothing to hair styles. Especially during the war protest years. We made Nixon a Buffoon and no weekend party was without pot. Ford and Carter was all openly discussed, used, sold and bought. I agree the discreet sheep majority who voted Nixon in eventually drove us underground, especially after Rayguns became more the norm. With McGovern rallies selling out, I forget the bands, plenty of pot. McGovern political correctness kept him from endorsing it but most of his base was all for legalization along with access to abortions, the environment, women’s rights and gay rights. Continued civil rights. Then they all went their own way and Ganja got pushed aside by the politically correct. Discreet is a fake state of mind believing you’re being polite when you are only being afraid to speak the truth. Like tact, nice but never precise. No, we were not discreet by a long shot. Just silenced by the politically correct cowards and prohibition profiteers… ever since.

      • darkcycle

        I should also point out that the Life magazine cover article was an outlier, and there was no storm of like minded editorials. Now WE have the press, or most of it. Now Bill O’Reilly and his ilk are the outliers.
        Witness the Seattle Times editorial position and how radical it would have seemed twenty or thirty years ago.

        • DdC

          Seattle Times position is not freedom from persecution, it’s appeasing the loudest until they don’t have to appease anymore. They are prohibitionists and still print bias journalism the same as the other corporate owned rags. (no storm of like minded editorials.) Of coarse not, no bullshit like today either. You want to hear its ok and alls well and that seems enough even if its neurotic castles built in the clouds. Desparation, especially by the sick. That’s censorship, not us being discreet. — “The Limits of the Criminal Sanction,” by Herbert Packer, 1968. Leary overturned the MTA in 69. Woodfuckingstock had a half a million strong. 71 May Day rallies had the best deals I’ve ever got outside of homegrown. Including the dispensaries nowadays.

          Now we don’t have shit except a lot more pc articles about fluff or continued bigotry. Patting each other on the backs as if its nearly over is naive. The internet opened it up to the people, not the status quo, reformers think we need to ass kiss for progress. No dude, this is not a political issue highly paid reform groups try to make it. It’s more of a product sold, making prohibidiots a fortune. The law is no different today than the 70’s, Obama ain’t done shit. We talk like its about over and they continue jailing us in most places, even where it is quasi legal. This is not about civil rights or fair trade or health, its about profits. As long as it is you can wave your legalize flag all day and nothing will change because the system you play in is crooked.

          Only the people have potential to change the system and half or more are getting paychecks from it so don’t hold your breath. If you have to have a legal joint to smoke, you’ll have to leave the planet. I don’t believe anyone can outlaw a plant so I’ve never taken the law seriously. Since I don’t sell it they have nothing to fear. So unless I’m reckless or don’t have the money to pay for it, I suspect my criminal record will stay clean and I will continue as I have with a fine underground supply with inconvenience and less of a menu. As long as states are temporarily left alone I’ll sample their wares and smile a lot as I have been. Speak out, discrete is not how we do things in America, outside of political correctness. I admit my brashness is probably one of the reasons the sheep are not joining. But not the main reason, that’s survival or a fantasy that it is freedom.

          “All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.”

          “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”
          From Benito Mussolini contributing to the “London Sunday Express,” December 8, 1935

        • Servetus

          Regarding Benito Mussolini and “seeing paradise as hell” via propaganda, Mussolini began as a journalist and a socialist before being kicked out of the Italian Socialist party, and then becoming a fascist. Marxist-style socialists believe the human mind is infinitely malleable, that people can be made to see black as white.

          Without this belief, Marxist theory is unworkable if there indeed exists an innate human nature, one that ultimately counters state propaganda and its inhuman and inhumane demands. That’s why even today Marxists, some types of socialists, and certain religious types, despise sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists who study and reveal innate human nature, and who rightly predict people can and will resist propaganda—as people are observed doing all the time. Déclassé intellectuals within a society always pose a grave threat to state propagandists in this regard.

          BTW, Walter Audisio, who used the name “Colonel Valerio”, and who used a machine-gun to kill Mussolini on 28 April 1945—Audisio was a Marxist socialist.

        • DdC

          Without this belief, Marxist theory is unworkable
          Without this belief, Religious theory is unworkable
          Without this belief, Democracy theory is unworkable
          Without this belief, Freedom and Liberty theory is unworkable.

          Meet TV and the dumbing down of America. Programmed news printing what they deem as fit. Bury medicinal research or lie about dangers its all a means. serving an end the same as socialists, fascists and republican democrats. It is desecration to obtain something that standing on its own couldn’t obtain. Ganja is not in that category and needs no ribbons or fancy buzzwords and phraseology to sell it. It sells itself if left alone to do what it can do.

          Mussolini also had plenty of American fascists backing him. Socialist Party is fascist, the same as Lenin and Marx. Not social. Its state corporatism that is not social, its profit or power to obtain profit. I agree the socialists are no different in the way they incorporate policy. The guvmint takes more money implementing programs than the program gets to assist those in need. Strings making it, at least for me, harder work than getting a job. Same so called socialist environmentalists getting corporations fined so politicians can reap the bennies, but not much towards the victims living downstream from the Koch plants dumping waste into the river. Semantics manipulated over the ages still leaves them or us. Besides Mussolini wasn’t known when he was a journalist. Not until he got the trains arriving on time. Regardless of how or how many victims left in the wake. Rockefeller did the same inculcating fossil fools busses sabotaging the trolly systems. As his booze prohibition put Fords ethanol cars off the market. Or outlawing a superior plant that is still competition to the modern fascists/socialists whatever.

          From Whom Did the Fascists Get Support?
          http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1625
          Italian fascism and German Nazism had their admirers within the U.S. business community and the corporate owned press. Bankers, publishers, and industrialists, including the likes of Henry Ford, traveled to Rome and Berlin to pay homage, receive medals, and strike profitable deals. Many did their utmost to advance the Nazi war effort, sharing military industrial secrets and engaging in secret transactions with the Nazi government, even after the United States entered the war. During the 1920s and early 1930s, major publications like Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, Saturday Evening Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Christian Science Monitor hailed Mussolini as the man who rescued Italy from anarchy and radicalism.

        • DdC

          A corporate state legislating profits or state corporatism reaping profits for the state all ends the same. Fascism or Socialism. PC tries to make out like republicans are fascists and democrats are socialists and that game does succeed in diverting attention from reality. It divides and perpetuates the same policy or drug wars or prohibition or police actions around the globe. The media serves the same as it did for Hitler.

          “The masses have little time to think. And how incredible is the willingness of modern man to believe.”

          “Another weapon I discovered early was the power of the printed word to sway souls to me. The newspaper was soon my gun, my flag – a thing with a soul that could mirror my own.”
          Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini together in the heyday of 1930s fascism.

      • darkcycle

        DdC, discreet doesn’t mean quiet. Those entities you mention all are made up of the same discreet (there’s that unfamiliar context again, but cohort, which would mean almost the same thing doesn’t really work here) demographic (Cheech and Chong, Pink Floyd fans, SNL,et al). Young people and hippies. They were easily marginalized because of that. That’s all I’m sayin’. Can’t marginalize the mainstream, and we are the mainstream now.

        • DdC

          dəˈskrēt/
          careful and circumspect in one’s speech or actions, especially in order to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage.

          dəˈskrēt/ is not truth, its used car salesmen selling lemons.

          We are not even close to the mainstream dude. We are only selling out, mostly for profit or compassion but it is not even close to “legal” Your grasp of the obvious so called “mainstream” of the 70’s is not a reference for your argument. Not then or today, nothing has changed. Hippies got hair cuts and became wine slurping stock brokers. Of coarse we were not the mainstream or are we now. We have a majority who say it should be legal. Cheap talk. They also vote democrat and republican or the offshoots and it all goes into the black hole of political correctness and obscurity. Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’ I’m sitting here just contemplatin’ I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation. Handful of senators don’t pass legislation. And marches alone can’t bring integration. When human respect is disintegratin’. This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’. On purpose dude.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfZVu0alU0I

        • darkcycle

          Further down in the meanings, DdC. Also can mean small or contained. We’re no longer small, nor contained. Nothing you’ve said contradicts my original post. WTH. When there’s no argument, why argue? Should have recalled the futility of reasoning with a wolf in a green jumpsuit.

        • DdC

          dc says Further down in the meanings, DdC. Also can mean small or contained.

          Mine says intentionally unobtrusive. Exactly the same as politically correct compromise on reality. We were not discrete and our small numbers ratio of the total population proves it. It also proves discretion on the part of reform groups hasn’t done shit except get them steady work for 40 years. I appreciate the info they get that is out of our reach but not what they do with that info. Your appeasement makes deals with the laws of physics just to pass quasi laws that are as weak as fog in a windstorm. Cannabis is or it isn’t, Politics has no business dictating Science so what are you afraid of? Pissing off Nazi wannabes? Not getting a compromise passed as the states outside of CA have? Or CA will have if the descretions try to limit or set up conditions to outsell the underground. Meanwhile giving state cops jurisdiction they don’t have now and the feds don’t have the budget to stop. Ganja is not a threat or a menace and is safer than legal substances and still the democrats compromise and the republicans seem proud of their ignorance. Same as the religionists with myth and fairy tales as the base of their entire existence. So be as desecrate and compromising as you wish and I’ll be as obnoxious and true as I can be. There is absolutely no reason Ganja should be kept from the people outside of profits for hundreds of multinational corporation subsidiaries of the ten main corporations. All fearing cannabis in all natural forms and this is not the message of the media today, yesterday or tomorrow. Here is who you are pleading with and begging for mercy while they laugh all the way to the banksters.

          http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/10-Corporations-Control-What-We-Eat.png

    • kaptinemo

      Steal all you want, I don’t have a copyright on logic. 🙂

      But DdC is right; how else could the 1974 discovery of a cannabis-based possible cure for cancer be hidden except with massive assistance to the Gub’mint from the corp-rat-ly controlled L/MSM?

      How can you bury such an earthshakingly important study without leaving much of a trace? One, exactly (holding up index finger) one mention on the nightly news…and then official and social silence for 25 years, until Manuel Guzman in Madrid, Spain ‘discovers’ it, only to be told by US reformers that we found it in 1974.)

      The journalist that answers the question may well win both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize.

      Too many are of the belief that the US cannot keep secrets. The opposite is true, as illustrated by the Snowden revelations, which would never have been made public, otherwise, probably not for decades, like Operation NORTHWOODS was, buried in the National Archives. When the Elite want it kept ‘discrete’, it usually is kept discrete…unless someone records them in secret, and then the cat is out of the bag.

      And lest anyone think this is wild speculation, I offer one of the conspirator’s own words, on another matter, but it illustrates the level of coordination that has to exist.

      The traditional media has always served more as blinkers on a horse than a means to inform and educate. But the Old horses that happily wore them are being put down by the Grim Reaper, and the young ones coming up are refusing to wear them. They can see the wider world, thanks to the Internet, and know what the purpose of the blinkers are. And they don’t want to be the prohib’s – or anyone’s – draft animals, either.

      • DdC

        The results of Kap’t’ post on tumor research squashed…

        List of brain tumor patients who died due to gossip.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_brain_tumor_patients

        These are the victims families and loved ones we need to get pissed and yell it from the rooftops.

        “As someone who spent 35 years wearing a police uniform, I’ve come to believe that hundreds of thousands of law-enforcement officers commit felony perjury every year testifying about drug arrests.”
        – Joseph McNamara, former San Jose Chief of Police

        If “cops don’t make laws, they just enforce them”,
        why are police opposing marijuana?

        Rayguns entire hogwash just say no brain damage bullshit was just accepted, as it is today.

        The Hype: Brain Damage in Dead Monkeys
        http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/625/
        The Heath Monkey study was actually a study in animal asphyxiation and carbon monoxide poisoning. The Heath “Voodoo” Research methodology, Rhesus monkeys were strapped into a chair and then strapped into gas masks and given the equivalent of 63 Colombian strength joints in “five minutes, thru the gas masks” losing no smoke. The monkeys were suffocating! The “Great Communicator” told the national press, “The most reliable scientific sources say permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana.” (L.A. Times.)

        Listen to Sanja

        “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that. I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t look far enough. … I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis. Tolerance is a real problem in existing medications: People are likely to overdose from a prescription drug every 19 minutes, but I couldn’t come across one case of a marijuana overdose. I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance [a category of dangerous drugs] because of sound scientific proof. They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true,”
        ~ Sanjay Gupta

        New York Nine Year Old Girl With Dravet Syndrome Dies Without Medical Marijuana

        Marijuana Stops Child’s Severe Seizures

        “From time to time, I say that the suppression of medical marijuana is murder. This is not quite correct. It is actually mass murder. It has caused the deaths of countless thousands of people.”
        ~ the Financial Times Limited, 1998

        This is not anything short of genocide and being descrete is just what they require to keep it that way. Trying to replace right and wrong with political legal and illicit keeps the wheels spinning and the tire salesman in business.

        • Hope

          Ddc, you have a gift for finding relevant things and sharing them. I want you to know, I do appreciate it.

      • Hope

        I’ve always said Kaptinemo has a gift.

        He makes you see.

  • Servetus

    I think the debate is over. Illicit drug laws throughout the world are under attack, not just in the U.S. We’re not going back to the prohibition of yesteryear, or even 500 years ago. Momentum has given us the tipping point. Examples are everywhere.

    For instance, Big Marijuana has arrived, but it’s not the Madison Avenue or Wall Street BS predicted by Sabet and other critics of the cannabis industry. The first mega-grow operations are set to emerge on North American Indian reservations:

    March 19, 2015 — One California tribe has started work on a $10 million medical marijuana greenhouse that is set to open this month, making it the first tribe to grow and manufacture medical marijuana on tribal land.

    Bear said operating a medical marijuana operation would be a natural fit for the Maliseet tribe, whose cultural traditions include smoking herbs. And other Maliseet tribes in Canada have already started producing marijuana for commercial use — Colorado Springs, CO-based OmniCare Health Solutions has an agreement with a tribe in Canada to build a medical marijuana facility on 1,000 acres of the reservation.

    The Pinoleville Pomo Nation in California’s Mendocino County is currently building the 100,000-square-foot greenhouse on its reservation using money contributed by FoxBarry Farms, a company that helps tribes with economic development projects, and with consulting help from United Cannabis, according to Indian County Today.

    I’m really hoping Kevin will attack the Indian Nations for entering into the pot business bigtime. That would make prohibitionists the new 7th Cavalry, and Kevin Sabet the new General Custer.

  • Nunavut Tripper

    Even here in little old Canukistan the legalization momentum is accelerating fast.
    Look at the support our own 420 Toronto celebrations are getting with a caste of thousands.

    http://www.pot.tv/video/2015/03/20/420-Toronto-2015-Monday-April-20th-2015-Yonge-Dundas-Square

    These folks are not going to loose interest in cannabis law reform anytime soon Kevin.

  • Hip to be Triangled

    I’d rather see the Koch brothers make 95% of all the legal pot money than to see illegal drug money and drug prohibition laws create violence and victims. As activist citizens, we at least have greater power in influencing/regulating the legal Koch empire than we do the illicit coke (etc) empire. Koch is sifted through laws influenced by us, while illegal coke is sifted with bullets, corruption, rape, terrorism, war, recession, theft, coercion etc.

  • Will

    .
    .

    To Whom It May Concern (especially you, Kevin Sabet),

    Hello! It’s different this time — by several orders of magnitude.

    Signed,

    Everybody else

  • If you graph the support for re-legalizing cannabis over time you can detect some very clear trends. Draw a straight line connecting successive highs. Draw another line connecting successive lows in public support for re-legalization. You will see a clear band within which public opinion wavers. Two almost-parallel lines comprise that band and both lines are clearly trending up. The 2014 poll that measured public support for re-legalizing cannabis at 51% touches but does not cross the bottom of this band. On the contrary, it confirms the trend, and now even the low end of the range is above 50%.

    We will be free.

  • Mallam

    As you say, the dips are clearly the result of other factors. The culture wars began earlier, imo, but obviously the strongest connection in The Present Olds’ minds to marijuana are DFH’s and their anti-Vietnam activism, and to the Olds before those Olds to minority communities.

    The current attachment to Vietnam era politics is similar, in general, to how we see the Democratic Party’s elites in how many of them (not all) view the leftist elements in the party: they’re shaped by the politics of their time, and they see this as “bad politics” because McGovern went down in flames despite being one of the best presidential candidates this country has ever seen. Add on to the fact that Mr. “Law and Order” Nixon destroyed McGovern in the election, and we have these positions joined at the hip.

    And so, the dominant Elite Opinion in the Democratic Party is still driven in large part by the backlash of that era. Many of them will be in denial about the Drug War for the rest of their political lives. Note that I focused on the Democratic Party’s opinions here, that of the official national party and their King Makers, not necessarily its voting base (which polling shows overwhelmingly favors it). However, this explains the slow-walking of the leaders and pols themselves.

    I think the “surge” in approval of marijuana has the internet to thank. But what held it back from happening sooner was definitely the culture war, Vietnam, and the election of Richard Nixon (both for the association of George McGovern’s loss, and Nixon’s championing of Law and Order). However, this time, the genie ain’t going back in the bottle, baby.

    PS: Not that McGovern advocated the legalization of marijuana, in fact campaign operatives vehemently denied it (much to the disappointment of many of his supporters). But the mere association is there in people’s minds.

  • The modern change in opinion on marijuana can be explained by one major thing – the internet. The legalizers put forth a strategy to make the complete research available on the internet where everyone could read it. The specific purpose was to dominate the argument on the internet, which would inevitably lead to the domination of the argument in the media.

    If Mr. Sabet thinks that this is a cyclical thing, the first thing he could do to prove it would be to go on the internet and win the argument in the internet forums. He doesn’t even try to do that, so there is no possibility he really believes what he says.

    • Matthew Meyer

      Yes, Internet.

      But First Hand Experience also counts for a lot.

      My grandmother was a teenager in Texas in the 1930s, and when I was in my 20s she told me that she had always opposed cannabis prohibition because she knew the reefer from running around with musicians back then.

      She was an outlier for her generation, but what younger person doesn’t have either her own experiences to reflect on, or at least a bunch of friends whose lives were not ruined by partaking of the herb?

      That experience / generational thing is probably at least as important as the internet. The fact that ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms are not currently being considered for the same reforms as cannabis seems to support this notion.

    • DdC

      I couldn’t agree more Cliff, and Thank You for your huge contribution in having a Library for us to use. Since the 90’s Cannabis.com days. But even though we have swayed public opinion. It’s still not taken as it is. Physics, not opinion. Public opinion shouldn’t matter anymore than debating gravity. Politics is the same as who writes the history books, an agreed upon lie. Or whatever is necessary as a means to an end. In this case perpetuating the war and the war profits. As proof you are correct and the powers that be are liars. Look at all of the bills Feinstein and Hatch and other rabid prohibitionists have dreamed up to silence the internet of cannabis. This past net neutrality “win” over corporations leaves it with the FCC who also programs TV “ethics and morals” and as CBS said, we bring you the news fit to print. Determined by the same prohibitionists.

      There have been so, so many red flags flapping and our own vested interests keep us checking our shoes for stains. Walk right by the little girl reducing her seizures and the other one who was kept from the same remedy and died. Don’t even wince at the life sentences for what many of them used and know about. People have to give a shit. How can you save a race of idiots? I think more and more that humans are destined for extinction when they keep having babies for the pope and rabbi when half of the babies are starving now. When forfeiture and confiscations and bloated budgets, tanks and weapons of mass destruction are the incentives to save the children is a giant red flag slapping us in the face.

      Thanks again, I appreciate it. Anyone curious would. That too I see as a part of endoCannabinoid Deficiency from 100 years of forced abstinence. Larger fear centers and dull minds. Forcing trust in the only possible salvation, Authoritah! The tool has become the tinker. Be Well…

      Now They’re Coming For The 1st?
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/634
      They want to ██████ the Internet
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1834
      Internet Free Speech Goes on Trial
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/490
      Diane Feinstein – the best argument for term limits
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/373
      Making War On Free Speech! S. 486/H.R. 2987 Passes

      “Several generations of high school students have grown up ignoring and disbelieving everything they’ve heard from government and police about drugs, including information that was factual and valid, because they discovered for themselves that most of what has been taught to them was simply not true.”
      Ann Shulgin, PhD, Therapist and Author, Lafayette, CA,
      at the DPF Conference, November 1996

    • Hope

      Thank you, Mr. Schaffer, for all you have done.

  • Freeman

    O.T.

    Our old friend Lie-Man has posted another doozy!

    While admitting that “Prohibition is a disaster in terms of illicit markets and law enforcement”, he can’t seem to avoid tilting at his favorite windmill: “the results of allowing cannabis to be pushed the way alcohol is pushed are likely to be disastrous” because he’s “worried about the bad consequences of commercialization”.

    Yeah, right. To hear him tell it, pot’s a complete disaster unless we handle access to it very carefully, while anyone can plainly see that vain attempts to limit access by adults to a beneficial herb are causing these disasters, and anyone can study the “consequences of commercialization” in those places that have allowed it instead of concern-trolling about what might happen if it is allowed.

    But the thing that really gets me riled is his ever-present insistence on painting medical marijuana as fraudulent in the face of overwhelmingly clear and convincing evidence to the contrary:

    Twenty years ago, the anti-pot forces made the historic blunder of resisting the development of cannabis-based medications, leaving the political field clear for the “medical marijuana” bamboozlement.

    I blame the Mark (k)Liemans of this world for the proliferation of the sort of unimaginably cruel attitude that compels people to narc out a mom doing whatever it takes to alleviate her son’s extreme suffering, putting her at risk of incarceration and her son at risk of suicide, all because the “experts” say mj in any form is extremely dangerous (potentially “disastrous”, even), especially for children, and mmj is a fraud.

    • kaptinemo

      I have to chuckle about Kevvie’s latest spin. He’s really reaching, now. He’s stepped in it, this time. He refuses to acknowledge the role of Gub’mint as a special interest. A role he still plays with relish.

      Prohibition is all about History. The past truly is prologue. And the past of cannabis prohibition in this country is quite clear.

      When you look at the cycles he mentions, you also see something else: as the public awareness of cannabis in society rises across the decades, you also see a legislative reaction in the form of increasing severity of the laws forbidding it.

      Across the decades, as more of the public becomes ever more exposed to it, and consequently learns it has been lied to about it, the laws get ever more Draconian, and the propaganda gets louder. The result is irritation of the body politics’ sensibilities, aided by actuarial winnowing of cannabis-‘naive’ voters combined with being replaced by those with accurate information concerning cannabis.

      The mindset, the ignorant, Gub’mint-trusting, authoritarian, inherently punitive zeitgeist of the previous electorate regarding support for prohibition, is changing to one of knowledge and a desire to change the laws thanks to that knowledge.

      Thus the rise in increasing support for dismantling the laws via re-legalization. THOSE FOR WHOM THE DRUGWAR WAS OSTENSIBLY FOUGHT DON’T WANT IT. They don’t want a DrugWar they didn’t ask for. Not when it represents a gun, paid for with their taxes, held to their head just because they want to smoke or eat their intoxicants, not drink them.

      As always, Kevvie’s got it backwards. It’s not support for cannabis re-legalization that’s cyclic; it’s support for prohibition that’s cyclic. And with each cycle of Gub’mint rapacity and viciousness in prosecuting its prohibition, that causes dwindling support for it.

      And it’s Kevvie and his friends who are to blame for that.

  • CarolDuhart2

    What’s also different now? 40 years of millions having direct experience-and the fact that after 40 years they still can’t find one thing about pot that is truly terrible. There’s a hard core of smokers that have been imbibing for about 40 years or so, and the medical profession hasn’t had anything noticeable come up. Back in 1975 (1935 being a corresponding 40 years), the experience wasn’t there about the long-term effects. There wasn’t the big network of organizations that lobbies and fought back. Now we know better.

    Also the internet-people can simply share their experience without censorship of any kind-and the evidence and stories have also added up as well to a mountain that can no longer be denied-pot just isn’t the terrible thing that Anslinger said it was.

    • Will

      “What’s also different now? 40 years of millions having direct experience-and the fact that after 40 years they still can’t find one thing about pot that is truly terrible.”

      ——————-

      Exactly right. And what Kevin Sabet simply can’t grasp is that the prohibition propaganda machine — of which he has been a part for much of his young life — has lost control of the narrative. When I first smoked cannabis in the early 70’s, my parents were convinced by the propaganda machine because there was no other information (and maybe they just wanted to believe it). And just a few years earlier in the late 60’s my father’s skin would crawl any time ‘hippies’ appeared on the evening news. I remember watching news segments with him featuring “long haired dope smokers” protesting the Vietnam war and his face would just turn beet red with anger. Really, it was “long hair” and “marijuana” that was completely unraveling the country.

      Fast forward just a few years later and I’m caught with marijuana by my parents. The looks on their faces when they had a talk with me about it was a combination of extreme disappointment and abject fear. Fear that all my chromosomes were broken, that my brain was surely damaged, that I’d probably end up in a nursing home before my 20th birthday as a drug damaged non-functioning shell of a human. Top that off with the fact that they later learned that I’d also experimented with LSD, mescaline and psilocybin. I wouldn’t doubt at some point my father turned to my mother and said something like, “Get the shovel, we might as well dig his grave in the backyard right now”.

      But a bizarre and strange thing happened: I finished high school with honors and completed bachelor’s and master’s college degrees with honors as well — all the while smoking cannabis, sometimes often, but mostly occasionally (personally, I find this honors stuff quite meaningless, but my parents sure were ‘proud’).

      Now, my parents and I have never had a conversation of how I miraculously survived the ravages of cannabis use. How in the hell did I manage to grasp the ridiculous complexities of my current profession with a brain ruined by the Devil’s Lettuce? I sometimes wonder if they’ve had discussions over the years regarding government lies about cannabis, questioning what they were told by the Nixon administration and every lying administration since. I suspect, though, they’ve just decided to conveniently and disingenuously ‘forget about it’.

      There is nothing at all remarkable about the above description of my life NOT ruined by cannabis. Because versions of the same story, better told and more interesting, have been lived by millions of other people.

      Yes, all those living and breathing laboratories have thoroughly debunked the lies that Kevin Sabet and his ilk still think they can peddle like its 1972. Which begs the question: whose brain is functioning sub-optimally?

  • IanMcDuff

    “Potential tax revenue will only cover about 15 percent of the collateral costs to our community: increased drug treatment, emergency room visits, crime, traffic accidents and school “dropouts.”

    More nonsense like that here

    • Mongo

      Here’s a doozy out of my neck of the woods http://on.app.com/1GI5aEx

      “Imagine a world in which tourists visit Monmouth County towns like Asbury Park not for the beaches and historic boardwalk, but to get stoned on super potent “legal” marijuana. Homeless young people flocking to our area to do drugs without fear of repercussions. Stores in downtown Red Bank or Freehold offering an array of pot-laced products like candy bars and ice cream which not only lure adult users, but are also quite appealing to children.

      In this world, hospitals like Jersey Shore University Medical Center or Monmouth Medical Center would likely treat the increasing number of patients suffering from marijuana intoxication as well as the children admitted to the intensive care units after ingesting their parents’ pot-infused candy.”

      I love the use of scare quotes around legal.

      • kaptinemo

        Judging from that screed, it’s time to take her car keys, check if she’s off her meds, and find her a ‘home’.

        They still don’t understand. WE ARE NOT LISTENING. We’ve heard it all before; some of us, literally, decades ago.

        It means nothing to those it is aimed at. Charlie Brown’s adults going “Whawh whawh whah-whawh!”. Off-the-air radio static. Semantic nulls. Tuned out the moment it’s heard.

        They still think they can use the same old playbooks. I feel embarrassed for them.

      • primus

        No comments either. Chicken shit.

    • Will

      IanMcDuff, from the link you provide;

      —————–

      Says Derek M. Siegle;

      “THC is stored in our fatty cells. Since our brains are 99 percent fat, the THC causes these cell walls to expand and become very thick, which decreases their ability to transmit and receive data between nerve cells.”

      ———-

      Well, I was going to get all snarky on Mr. Siegle’s quote. But I’m so in awe of his unrivaled ignorance that I can only read it over and over again and marvel. Long. Slow. Clap.

      Seriously Mr. Siegel, this is a gem I’ll not soon forget. Thanks so much.

      • kaptinemo

        Evidently, Mr. Siegle’s cortex is…‘thick’…without benefit of cannabis. He should definitely abstain if he believes what he has said.

        In turn, I believe we have found a new way to measure the irrationality of prohibs, the way physicists do subatomic particles, like their ‘charm’ or ‘spin’.

        Just as we now have ‘sabetage’ for highly articulate flim-flammery, we can now add the ‘siegle’ to denote the basic unit amount of pseudoscience spouted by prohibitionists. Or would you prefer the term ‘volkow’?

        Sorry, can’t use ‘Lysenkoism’; it fits, but it’s not exact enough for this intelligence-insulting rubbish. If Siegle had bothered to do some homework, he would have learned cannabis’s nerve ending protective qualities, the ones that are so vital and useful to MS victims, are the same qualities that the Israelis are studying as nerve agent antidotes.

        They are all reading from an ONDCP/DEA playbook. Whose ‘science’ is provided by people like Volkow and then peddled by people like Kevvie, to science ignorant LE organs, who then spout this nonsense verbatim.

        (Sounds like something some clowns wearing hammers-and-sickles wanted to make us do, huh? ‘The Party Line’.)

        They still don’t understand, no matter how many times we cross our arms over our chests and our faces take on the ‘Yeah, sure, riiiight’ look of annoyance.

        We know (stuffy pedantic bureaucrat’s voice) “It’s not your father’s marijuana!”, because we made it that way, you goofs! Deliberate, intentional product improvement, destroying one of the basic premises of prohibition: improving quality and supply while under a prohibition regime that did everything it could to make that impossible. According to prohib canon, that’s not supposed to happen. One of the myriad unintentional(?) consequences of the idiocy of prohibition.

        An idiocy we, the social and political majority, will no longer tolerate. And that’s what they just don’t get.

        • darkcycle

          “we can now add the ‘siegle’ to denote the basic unit amount of pseudoscience spouted by prohibitionists. Or would you prefer the term ‘volkow’?”
          If I may, Kap’n?
          Seems to me the “Volkow” and the “Siegle” are actually two different, complimentary units of measurement. Siegle units could denote degrees of misunderstanding of the science, while Volkows are units of disemblance and deliberate misuse. That way they can be expressed as a fraction thusly: V/S, that could be applied usefully to many prohibitionist talking points. Since they often deliberately misunderstand the science in pursuit of disembling, the raw number derived could be used as well. Like so: (V/S)= K. K can be designated the Klieman number. Then we can say that article has a Klieman number of 3 and a Volkow-Siegle number of 9/3. That conveys quite a lot of information….

  • I think the idea of “cyclical support” is what Kevin Sabet must convince himself of to justify continuing talking at all. If it wasn’t for the press’s idea that there must be a “con” side with the “pro” side, I don’t think anyone would be paying attention to his rants and babbles anymore.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Poor Kev-Kev. I guess he must not play poker. The old chestnut goes that if you’re playing a game of poker and don’t know who the patsy is, it’s you. But I must admit that I never thought that I would ever quote Dr. Bobby with a shit eating grin on my face.“These guys are in a full-court press coming at you from every angle,” says [Dr. Bobby] DuPont, 78, who runs the small, Rockville-based Institute for Behavior and Health. He sounds exasperated. “They have a bench 1,000 people deep. . . . We’ve got Kevin Sabet.” Somebody has to be left holding the bag when a scam blows up. Kev-Kev is the designated bag holder.

    Anyway, I think that Kev-Kev is getting that stuff about the ’70s support from people on our side of the table. Indeed, we were certain that cannabis was going to be decrimmed. Decrimmed, not re-legalized. I don’t recall anyone even dreaming of a regulated retail distribution chain in 1979. Go dig up Jimmy Carter and see what he said about the issue…up to an ounce decrimmed at the Federal level was all that he backed. It’s not like he was scared of political controversy either. Mr. Carter did pardon a couple of hundred “draft dodgers” and was instrumental in getting involuntary conscription into the military relegated to the dust bin of history. Now that had to have gotten the establishment types knickers in a knot. What am I saying, “had to have gotten”…sheesh, I was there. It most certainly did do that.

    I have made a list of the differences between the late 1970s and today. The fact that we believed it inevitable in the 1970s is irrelevant. The fact is that we were clueless. At least in my circle the only reason we believed it inevitable was because the prohibition of cannabis is frackin’ goofy. Our mistake was believing that public policy needs to make sense, or that logic will win the day quickly.

    One of the things that is different (by several orders of magnitude) is that in 1979 nobody thought that establishing a retail supply chain was even remotely possible.
    Why did I pick 1979? Because it’s generally accepted that it was the year when the highest number of people who chose to enjoy cannabis happened. It also happened to be my first year as a dedicated fan of cannabis. So what was different? In no particular order and including but not necessarily limited to:

    In 1979 we didn’t have four States and a nation’s capital that re-legalized in 1976 and 1978 by popular vote.
    There were no foreign countries which had de jure re-legalized.
    We didn’t have any foreign countries calling out the UN or withdrawing from the Single Convention Treaty of 1961.
    We never saw a City file suit against the Feds because the City wanted them to back off that city’s authorized cannabis vendors.
    We didn’t have a Nation’s Capital with a legislative body telling Congress to go jump in a lake.
    We didn’t have more than 100,000 dead bodies on the southern border.
    We didn’t have a police agency handing out free Doritos at a pro cannabis gathering
    We didn’t have pro cannabis gatherings which were attended by crowds numbering into the 6 figures.
    We didn’t have an another three and one half DECADES of this epic failure of public policy.
    We didn’t have more than 33% supporting re-legalization. We almost hit 60% in November of 2012 briefly. The highest figure in a nationwide poll for public support for re-legalization in the late 1970s was just under 33%.
    We didn’t have any practical State level medicinal cannabis patient protection laws.
    We didn’t have any State authorized medicinal cannabis storefronts.
    We didn’t have any State authorized recreational cannabis storefronts.
    We didn’t have the Internet so we couldn’t do what we’re doing right here and now.
    We didn’t have a loyal opposition run by Ren & Stimpy.
    We did have a bunch of baby boomers building their nests to start raising their children.
    We didn’t have a bunch of baby boomers who’s children were grown and moved away from home.
    We’d never seen anything like New York City Council Issues Formal Call for Decriminalizing and Legalizing Marijuana

    Did I leave anything out? I’m certain that I did but also certain that I have established beyond any reasonable doubt that things are different now. Very different indeed.

    But speaking of Stimpy, she sure hasn’t been showing up to work at SAM. Is there oxycodone in the Kennedy compound nowadays?

  • Mr_Alex

    Does it surprise anyone that Straight Inc aka Partnership for a drug free America is using children to start up Anti Cannabis groups like Cannabis/Marijuana Makes You Violent, I believe it is time to investigate if Straight Inc aka Partnership for a Drug Free America and other anti cannabis groups are using cult tactics