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Why marijuana isn’t at the bottom of the list

President Obama:

“Let’s put it in perspective,” Obama said in response. “Young people, I understand this is important to you, but you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace, maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana.”

That, of course, completely misses the point regarding what “thinking about marijuana” actually is about.

Tom Angell:

“But he should think again about how important this issue is. On average, there’s a marijuana possession arrest in the U.S. about every minute. Billions of dollars are wasted on enforcing prohibition laws that don’t stop anyone from using marijuana but do ruin people’s lives with damaging criminal records.”

Lee Rosenberg (via Twitter):

No, marijuana legalization is not the most important issue for young people to care about, but government incompetence on the issue has a very negative and very real impact on the perception that government is capable of solving more serious problems.

“Thinking about marijuana” is about more than getting high.

It’s about systemic police corruption. It’s about a failed criminal justice system that fuels situations like Ferguson. It’s about tens of thousands dead in Mexico. It’s about failed foreign policy. It’s about using bad laws to control a population and deny them basic rights. It’s about perversion of our Constitution. It’s about financial self-interest trumping science and reason.

Marijuana most definitely isn’t at the bottom of the list.

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81 comments to Why marijuana isn’t at the bottom of the list

  • Crut

    Perspective.

    Things look a lot different from an ivory tower. You can’t tell that the base is covered in crimson.

    • kaptinemo

      Air gets thin up there. Oxy percentage drops. Starts to affect the thinking, people get slap-happy and stupid. (I’ve been in a hyperbaric chamber thanks to flight training, so I know whereof I speak.)

      And that dried, processed angel manure they seem to be fond of is unhealthy to sniff, they should lay off that stuff, it causes brain damage to mere mortals…which, despite what they think from residing in that tower, they still are.

      It’s an ivory tower, not Mt. Olympus. A point you endlessly have to remind them of.

  • Will

    “Young people…maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana.” [The President of the United States of America].

    Okay, let’s consider the concentric rings of insanity that emanate from “marijuana”. Of the millions of examples, lets take a look at a relatively minor example like this one;

    ——————–

    Virginia school suspends an 11-year-old for one year over a leaf that wasn’t marijuana

    http://tinyurl.com/lmhq6o2

    From the article;

    “It doesn’t matter if your son or daughter brings a real pot leaf to school, or if he brings something that looks like a pot leaf — okra, tomato, maple, buckeye, etc. If your kid calls it marijuana as a joke, or if another kid thinks it might be marijuana, that’s grounds for expulsion.”

    And;

    “The Bedford sixth-grader has been allowed to return to school starting today. But he has to attend a different school, separate from his former friends and peers, and he’s still under strict probation until this September. The terms of his original suspension letter state that he’ll be searched for drugs at the beginning and end of every school day until his probation is over.” [emphasis added]

    ——————-

    So, the 11-year-old will be searched for drugs for bringing a leaf — that was NOT marijuana — to school.

    THIS example of governmental/institutional insanity is what “young people” should be thinking about, Mr President.

  • Matthew Meyer

    Thanks for this…it’s tiring to hear that marijuana is unimportant compared to other issues.

    It’s a version of “you only care about this because of your private predilections.” Super-wack.

    (BTW, Pete, you have an extra article in your penultimate graf: “a using bad laws.”)

  • Goblet

    “Young people, I understand this is important to you, but you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace,”

    Wouldn’t all of those “higher priority” items be improved, at least somewhat, by eliminating cannabis prohibition?

    • jean valjean

      “War and peace,” Hmmm, I wonder how that could be connected to “thinking about marijuana?”
      Obviously they are separate concepts in Choom’s head.

      • Common Science

        “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

    • Hemp, as we all know, grows at a phenomenal rate and is an excellent carbon and radiation sink. It removes carbon from the atmosphere, as well as radiation!
      So yeah, legalization is part of stopping climate change and other man-made environmental disasters.
      Jobs and the economy? Colorado is booming with thousands of new jobs and 70 billion+ in tax revenue that they now have to figure out how to spend.
      War and peace? Well it’s been mentioned above but I second that: cannabis makes one peaceful. Prohibition is responsible for widespread violence and wars.
      Does Obama presume to tell others what they should be thinking about? President of our minds he is not!

  • DonDig

    .
    And regarding marijuana and consequently some very basic human rights, (like being allowed to ingest a non-toxic substance without them freaking out and making us war criminals), there is this very real thing called, if they can’t get this right, (and everyone knows they can’t get it right, and they’ve been showing us so expertly that they can’t or won’t get it right for most of our lifetimes), and really, it is a relatively simple concept that they are completely mismangling; how on earth are we expected to think they are going to be getting any of these more complicated things right, … ever.

    That’s why this is a big important question. It you screw up so grandly on some really pretty simple things, making them as bad as possible, how are we expected to believe that anything else that matters can be handled with our, the people’s, best interests in mind?
    And they mostly don’t get it. They don’t want to get it. Obama doesn’t get it, and he most of all should get it, because he’s lived it. (palm to forehead) Duuuuhhhh.

    • lombar

      Along the same idea, given the resistance to this simple thing, imagine the resistance to changing the big nasty things driving the criminal economic system.

  • Frank W.

    Obama, Grassley, and Feinsteinn, the original Power Trio of constipated statism.

    • DdC

      I think switching obama with Joe Biden would be more accurate as drug worrier prohibitionists. Obama has no guts but isn’t foaming at the mouth in fear of pot as much as he fears critique on being soft.

      • B. Snow

        I must concur, he’s no drug warrior. BUT, is also less than eager to bring upon the extra *title* of hippie loving – weed legalizer to the current list he’s already accumulated… (fairly or not).

        One more thing he’ll never hear the end of, Just think about the incessant demonization he gets over the ACA… OMG, making sure people have access to health care, How dare he even consider such a thing!

        Now, think how the idiots in the peanut-gallery would say if he tried to legalize marijuana – even if only for medical use.
        “He wants to give away free *medicinal weed* to all his liberal commie/socialist/minority followers!”

        And the inevitable – “Well of course – you let a N***** become president and you just knew he was gonna legalize weed for all his friends (insert Anslinger list here) = Negroes, Hispanics, jazz musicians, and entertainers… Wouldn’t you just know it…”

        I get not wanting that to be one a few things that people remember about him, aka as part of his ‘presidential legacy’ – AND, I still contend that if he tried to actively make it happen the resistance would’ve been that much stronger.

        Do you think people like Rand Paul and the new “Conservatarians” would be where they are on this NOW, if he’d pushed for it in his first term? I think not…

        Anything he touches they want & often do go outta their way to piss on (metaphorically) as it is = just to spite him!

        As much as I hate it, what he said in this interview – and how he said it = may just be the BEST he can do to change the status quo…

        And then, Let = Rand Paul, Corey Booker and the Republicans that hate paying for the war on weed (more than they want weed users in jail or otherwise ostracized).

        Let them change/void the Federal law (with the added ass-coverage statement of = “But, not in my conservative, god-fearin’ State/County/Locality” – *laboratories of democracy*, “States Rights”, yada-yada…

        I suspect that Barry O’s *general ambivalence* on this may the best shot we’ve got at the moment.

  • BossIlluminati

    Fastest growing industry in America? Legal Marijuana, coming to your town soon….#1 crop in California and LEGAL in ALL west coast states, #$$$GrowsOnTrees

    27 states and the DOC allow marijuana, a majority of America….but not 1 southern state, lol, NOT 1!!!…nobody denies freedom like the south

    remembering OBAMA will soon be at the bottom of the list…thanks for very little

  • Servetus

    On the scale of criticality to nations’ and citizens’ interests, I place the drug war at the top of the list.

    Problems with the economy, jobs, warring nations and hopes for peace, are ubiquitous in the United States, and aren’t going to disappear anytime soon. The nation will continue to survive those kinds of problems, as it has in the past.

    In contrast, we are poised to make the drug war go away within our own era. By understanding and documenting it, we can make it go away forever, and with it the inquisitorial law enforcement methods it reawakened. These same inquisitorial law enforcement methods can and do destroy nations, as anyone familiar with the decline and fall of the Spanish Empire can attest.

  • kaptinemo

    I wish the Dem ‘leadership’ (that couldn’t lead people with Crohn’s Disease to the shitehouse) could hear my laughter.

    This is more proof we’re winning. They know we’re the majority, but still think they can get away without acknowledging it PUBLICLY. That’s why we’re getting this line. And you can bet it was Party-approved, so we’ll hear more of this bilge.

    Nothing he says can deter the fact that the electorate is changing and it wants cannabis legal again. More delusional political machine thinking…and now condescension. From those who need us to survive as a Party. Any crazier stunts, and it’s rubber-room time.

    A political bitch-slap for this effrontery is in order. Him and the Dems. Time for some political BBQ…with Dem Party rumps, duly tenderized by public kicking, supplied for the pork roast.

    This crap is a gambit to defuse what happened with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. They believe they can finesse us. Idiots.

    Hit back hard, and let them know they better knock off the condescension, or lose 2016.

    We really are “Mad as Hell, and we’re not gonna take it anymore!”.

    And, as you can so sweetly remind them, as you pound on their effin’ desks that we are The Majority, now; we don’t have to take their shite, anymore.

    And we won’t, either. And if we have to prove that in 2016, that’s fine with us, too.

    • kaptinemo

      This is another delaying tactic, trying to force us to untie their damn Gordian Knot, when all we have to do is cut through it.

      We don’t have to justify ourselves and our position to them anymore. We don’t have to jump through their version of flaming hoops pseudoscientific studies that amount to high-priced, tortured exercises in creative writing, or run through their muddy legislative trenches full of illegal last-minute obstacles.

      Cut through the bull to the chase: We want it legal again, they have make it so, or we’ll get someone else who will. It’s OUR litmus test, not theirs; fail it, and they kiss that political career goodbye.

      Think about this, and let it sink in. For four decades we’ve been poked with an increasingly short, sharp and dirty-ended stick held by the prohibs and their enablers, the pols. So many of us, yours truly, included, have lost so much to these monsters.

      When we reached the social and political majority, that stick changed ownership.

      Look down. It’s in your dominant hand, now, whichever that one is.

      No, that’s not an illusion; that is your dried blood on the end of it. It’s that very same stick.

      You own that stick, now. It’s yours.

      So…whatcha gonna do with it?

  • N.T. Greene

    Let’s run it down, guys and gals!

    Climate change: Hemp could help with that, and its sister cannabis seems to come with that package. Turns out, everything about this stuff is renewable and useful.

    Economy: Because spending money to fight something people want is so much more efficient than taxing and regulating it. With laws and such.

    Jobs: …legal markets create jobs, ya dingus.

    War: Because rivers of blood abroad and domestically are preferable to…

    Peace: I don’t know too many stoners who get into fistfights.

    • Goblet

      on the “WAR” bit:
      It’s called the War on Drugs. A war against our own citizens. Right there in the name of the operation – War on Drugs. To say that we are not concerned about war is ludicrous. It is a war against American Citizens for cripes sake – of course we are concerned about war.
      Also, some folks argue that we are engaged in wars in the middle east largely because of their oil. If that is true, then wouldn’t domestic production of renewable hemp for fuel impact the reliance and importance upon foreign oil, thereby reducing our political interest (aka WAR) in that region?

      • n.t. greene

        Some historians would argue (as would I) that war as we know it now exists for economic reasons. Oil might be a part of the equation, but the big market is in weapons technologies. If you want to keep getting defense contracts, there best be some war going on, preferably a war that is almost liked by the populace.

        If anything, many of the casualties we see in the social systems domestically and abroad are just collateral damage from larger but less obvious problems.

  • Matthew Meyer

    The Nor Cal county where I live produces somewhere north of $100 millions’ worth of cannabis per year.

    In 2011 the Board of Supervisors restricted gardens to a max of 360 square feet; last year, they completely banned outdoor cultivation.

    Local discourse about the issue focuses on perceptions of fraudulent enrichment and generalized criminality, bolstering a classist narrative of the Thin Blue Line that turns out to support the same old Good Ol’ Boys network, in which pastor Supes in bed with law enforcement preach the evils of Dibble Weed.

    Around here, it’s not possible to think about politics and the economy without thinking about cannabis policy.

  • Irie

    Oh Capt., but how you make me laugh!!

    I couldn’t agree more with Pete and the rest of you 110%, it isn’t all about ‘getting high’, please spare me. If, just if, as being an old, did-it-in-his-youth stoner, as Obama seems to have been in that pic of him in his panama hat at about the age of 18, he should realize ganga makes one have deep thoughts on subjects, whether it be how you are going to go about re-doing your resume to finding a better job in the work force, to constructing a rebuilt motor in your manual ’67 fastback Mustang, to the down falls of this failed drug war. All of you, yes pretty much all of you who have commented on this have hit on the nail head.

    And I like how he addresses the people who he thinks he is addressing ( I appreciate the compliment, but it won’t get him anywhere)”Young people, I understand this is important to you, but you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace, maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana.”
    I just had to go clean the specks to see if I read that right, like we are not thinking about it, and once again, there are some of us (just speaking for myself here, so don’t think I am trying to offend any one here on the couch, mates!)are getting long in the tooth, and yes when the times I allow my self the benefits of being stoned, and that is about 5-6 times a week, in the evenings, after my classes (yes, back at college for the 3rd time, going up the ladder), I think about all of these things the President has said, and really, its not brain surgery to see how interconnected all this with the drug war is.
    With war: at present war in Mexico, as I see it, cartel against general population. Its also helping to fund a lot of the terrorist activities in the Middle East.
    Climate Change: Goggle it, marijuana releases more Oxygen, and takes in more carbon dioxide than other plant species out there, which is very beneficial to our environment, and helps to regenerated minerals and nutrients in the soil it is grown in, aiding in fighting against man’s destruction on earth.
    Jobs: Well, I think after seeing how successful Colorado has helping with the creating jobs, not to mention all those other 35 states that have legal medical cannabis, they too have created job, can’t quote the figures, but I know its all positive when talking about the job market.
    Peace: That says it all, peace, just think about it in conjunction with ending the war on drugs…..peace.

    So, smuck Obama, I have thought of this, and it is all connected, it branches out way more than in the ways I have suggested. So I have a suggestion….sit down, get high and just think on for, oh I don’t know, a few hours, just think, work it out and just see if it is ‘all about getting high’.

    • hwillow123

      Funny all of this rhetoric on the positivity of marijuana use (and production) from someone apparently too stoned to proof read or to run spell check. Actually, not even spell check would have caught the plethora of butcherings you slayed upon the English language in your post. Thank you for the laugh … I’ll be sure and “goggle” more positive side effects of drug use here real soon.

      • actually hwillow I think attitude matters more here than does one’s writing abilities. I see you prefer Prohibitionist poop-flinging over actual discussion… indicating your level of cognitive abilities.

        • hwillow123

          Interesting take on the fact I was referring to cognitive abilities to begin with …

        • Crut

          No, you were referring to grammar. You are dismissing an entire point of view because you think the author is stoned.

          This isn’t a published novel here, it’s a blog comment. A positive, exuberant one. YOU are the one who is bringing negativity.

          Now, anything relevant to say?

        • kaptinemo

          I swear I’ve seen this before. Wait, wait, it will come to me.

          (Snaps fingers) Oh, yes, The Trojan Rabbit!

          And, if you need help, we’re ‘The French’.

        • kaptinemo

          I don’t normally like to quote myself, but…chess move predicted:

          “This is more proof we’re winning. They know we’re the majority, but still think they can get away without acknowledging it PUBLICLY. That’s why we’re getting this line. And you can bet it was Party-approved, so we’ll hear more of this bilge.”

          And, right on queue, as part of an expected propagamnda front, we get the odd rare prohib, daring to beard the lions in their den.

          “Nothing he (Obama) says can deter the fact that the electorate is changing and it wants cannabis legal again. More delusional political machine thinking…and now condescension. From those who need us to survive as a Party. Any crazier stunts, and it’s rubber-room time.”

          So predictable. The prohib’s version of Operation Bodenplatte…and equally doomed. The resulting backlash – to any party – could prove devastating to it.

          Piss off the social, and therefore, political majority, and that’s generally what happens.

          We’re through playing your games, prohib. And we don’t have to, since ownership of the game board changed hands when we went past 50% in support of re-legalization. It’s now our gameboard…and our game.

          Your presence here was expected. I figured there would be a last-ditch propaganda effort on the part of this Administration (which, all circumstantial evidence would point to a covert effort on its behalf to maintain prohibition in the face of rising public discontent with it) and it would require President Choom to finally blow his own cover, revealing to every reformer apologist for his actions that he was always against reform. Again, chess move anticipated. Your inevitable checkmate is unavoidable.

          Your side lost an entire generation with DARE lies. We gained it by telling them the truth. And they’ve been voting that truth into policy, re-legalizing State by State.

          As the old Klingon proverb goes, “Only a fool fights in a burning house!” Cannabis prohibition’s house is engulfed in a 4-alarm blaze…and we’ve brought lots of petrol. For, as a more modern classic put it, …We don’t need no water; let the MFer burn! Burn, MFer, burn!”

          If you are a masochist, stick around; given what you represent has hurt a lot of people here, I believe we can accommodate you.

      • Irie

        Hark, I think I just heard an asshole fart…….no, just another idiotic Prohibitionist who is soooo perfect that thinks their shit don’t stink. I may not be an English major perfectionist as yourself, but at least I am not a bully!! Love to all, yes even you, cockroach hwillow…..happy trails loser! Love ya!

        • Haddie Willow

          Not a bully … Just stating the obvious. Happy trails to you, too. By the way … Name calling is bullying. Something I did not reduce myself to.

        • Crut

          Laughing AT someone, mocking them, is bullying.

          What’s obvious is that you came here to destruct, not construct.

      • Matthew Meyer

        “Slayed upon,” huh?

        Look, being a stoner has exactly nothing to do with spelling and grammar ability.

        See, you proved it on one side, and I on the other!

        • Haddie Willow

          “Slayed” is actually a word. You have proven nothing.

        • David Hart

          (Reply to Haddie Willow, because the nesting doesn’t allow me to reply directly)

          I think that ‘slain’ is the more common past tense form in this context, but in either case, it doesn’t take ‘upon’. You can slay something, but you can’t ‘slay upon’ something, unless this is an idiom in a dialect I’m unfamiliar with. You may be confusing it with the expression ‘prey upon’?

        • Haddie Willow

          Haters gonna hate?

  • darkcycle

    Nope. Sorry. It’s priority number one here, Mr. President. As the proud parent of two African American boys, I am very aware that the number one obstacle to their reaching a healthy, productive and employed adulthood are our DRUG LAWS.
    As an African American man and a parent, you have to be cognizant of this as well. Shame on you, and I call Bullshit. There is NOTHING more important.

  • claygooding

    We are spending billions enforcing marijuana laws and arresting someone every minute for marijuana,,I know Obama got away with his marijuana use but I can’t believe he wants his children to be exposed to the same risks.

    Or any young person to have their life destroyed for a plant that he knows first hand is benign compared to the legal recreational drugs being pushed on America.

  • Analog

    Marijuana legalization is the ONLY example of reducing government in my lifetime. Funny thing is that it is being done by citizens, and with heavy resistance from politicians and government. As a libertarian minded citizen, if this is the only reduction of government I can get, I’ll take it. This is an extremely important issue.

  • Servetus

    Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore’s son has been arrested in Troy, Alabama, and charged with possession of marijuana.

    You may recall Chief Justice Roy Moore is famous for a publicity stunt in which he commissioned the construction of a 2400 kg granite monument featuring his selected version of the Ten Commandments and deposited it in the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Building, despite orders from a federal judge to remove it. Roy Moore lost his judgeship for being stubborn about his rock, but was reinstated as Alabama’s chief justice by Alabama voters in 2012. Moore has run for Alabama governor, and has aspired to the U.S. presidency.

    Young Caleb Moore (24) addressed the marijuana charges on his Facebook page:

    March 16, 2015 — “This is nothing more than a prime example of how media and crooked police officers and critics of my dad try to not only destroy his career for what he stands for but will go as far as trying to destroy his family,” he wrote. “I am not a drug user as the drug test taken today will show. As for the malicious possession charges, justice will be served.”[…]

    “I’ve done nothing more than any other college kids,” he told AL.com “Because of who I am, it gets blown out of proportion. Since then I’ve got in a closer walk with the Lord. Whatever anyone says about me, it doesn’t bother me. The people who know me and know what’s true can really see what’s going on here and see through critics of my dad.”

    Court records show that, in 2013, Moore pleaded guilty to drug-related charges in St. Clair County and was sentenced to probation. In 2011, he was arrested and charged with drug possession and driving under the influence in Etowah County. He applied to be treated as a youthful offender.

    Caleb needs to talk to his dad and Barry Obama about the harms of marijuana arrests. Perhaps Judge Moore could haul in a giant marijuana bush in a 2400 kg granite planter and stash it in the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court. The publicity would be outstanding.

  • thelbert

    barry needs to vaporize some paka lolo and do some thinking of his own. he might find that his priorities need adjusting. i hear he’s into beer nowdays, so i’ll just ignore his drunken ravings.

  • Daren

    The federal government is spending more then $238 billion a year on the costs associated with substance abuse/use, but drug reformers have been saying the cost associated with the ‘war on drugs’ is astronomical. According to drug reformers we spend less then $40 billion a year, including state and local governments. The federal government alone spends less then $15 billion a year fighting against drugs, but spends $238 billion a year (probably much more now) on cleaning up the mess associated with drug use. We are spending 6 times more a year on cleaning up the mess then we ever spent in a single year on ‘the drug war’.

    http://www.casacolumbia.org/newsroom/press-releases/2009-shoveling-up-2

    • Will

      “We are spending 6 times more a year on cleaning up the mess then we ever spent in a single year on ‘the drug war’.”

      —————

      Since the “cleaning up the mess” part is a direct result of ‘the drug war’, then it seems like you’re suggesting the war on drugs has failed and should be de-funded. Yes? In doing so, we would see the numbers drop with respect to those ending up in court ordered prevention and treatment programs who don’t really belong there. That would help reduce the “cleaning up the mess” costs. Sounds good to me. Am I interpreting your comment correctly?

      BTW, according to the link you provide, I notice the founder and chairman emeritus of CASA is Joseph A. Califano, Jr. He’s also the author of “How To Raise Drug-Free Kids”. And being a former federal government bureaucrat, it’s at least somewhat likely he’s peddling the same ‘drug war drivel’ that has cost so much and damaged so much more (again those ‘cleaning up the mess’ costs). And it’s worth mentioning that ‘raising drug-free kids’ is a practical impossibility. Not to mention demonizing a lot of adults in the process who are inevitably swept up in the collateral madness of this utopian ‘drug free’ world concept.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Hogwash. Prohibitionists use “accounting” practices that would make Bernie Madoff blush with envy. Take the schlock CDC “analysis” of the costs of drinking alcohol which the CDC says is $223.5 billion in 2006 constant dollars. Nobody ever bothers to mention that over $160 billion of that so called cost is “lost” productivity. The basic presumption is that a drunk wouldn’t be unproductive if he weren’t a drunk. That’s utter hogwash, and if you don’t know that your opinion is worthless.

      Other “accounting” frauds practiced by the prohibitionist parasites include SWAG estimates of “increased” health care cost which count only the actual costs incurred in another set of highly specious presumptions, but fail to acknowledge that some huge percentage of lifetime medical care (90%?) are incurred in the last two weeks of life. Dying isn’t cheap for anyone. My sainted mother racked up over $250,000 in medical/hospice bills in the last two weeks of her life. That despite the fact that we basically just let her die in accordance with her wishes. My dad cost over $1/2 a million but it took 7 years for him to die of Alzheimer’s in 2002. Those costs were just about all nursing home bills. I wonder if you can imagine my delight in learning that cannabis would likely have made his exit from our world at minimum much less painful. My parents were teetotalers, exercised regularly and were almost fanatical about their diets for the last 25 years of their lives. Yet you prohibitionist confidence artists seem to think that people who are addicts would incur no medical costs if only they weren’t addicts. At least according to your confidence artist “accounting” practices.

      Go peddle your bullshit somewhere else. We’re not innumerate in this forum, and most of us understand that a balance sheet has two sides. Sure, there are people who can be fooled all of the time but they rarely visit this blog.

      You people make me want to puke my guts out.

    • darkcycle

      Crapola in a can. How much of those “costs” are actually the hidden costs of prohibition? I’d wager 75-90%. Hospital and OD costs go away with a decent harm reduction program. Property crimes, possession crimes and generally most drug inspired crimes of aquisition go away as well. Law enforcement and court administration costs, involuntary treatment costs..all of ’em, gone.
      Peddle that BS somewhere else, preferably somewhere people can’t ADD. Your math skills suck.

    • MajadGilligan

      Is any drug more dangerous than the ever shrinking minority of parasitic, prohibitionist, freeloaders who are guilty of turning the federal, state and local governments into a gargantuan organized crime syndicate, interested only in protecting its own corrupt interests?

    • Matthew Meyer

      That’s not an article–it’s a press release from CASA about its own publication.

      Its main purpose seems to have been angling for ACA dollars for CASA-type “treatment” approaches.

      And it’s terminally vague about exactly what all those “hidden” costs turn out to be. It’s a large red flag that tobacco and alcohol–which are excluded from the category “drug” when it’s convenient–are included here.

      For those not paying attention, those are the two most harmful drugs there are.

  • House of cards

    Ya’all, Italy just legalized .. seriously ..

      • Tony Aroma

        NOT seriously. Some Italian senators signed a “motion” to legalize cannabis. That’s it. It’s really just a suggestion for future action. At some point in the future that motion may convince people to write actual legislation, which would then have to be voted on. But for now, they’re just talking about it.

  • Mr_Alex

    If Obama is proven wrong, it can be simply be done than said, make him approach the Israeli Government on Cannabis research and he will find out Israel is light years ahead on Cannabis research

  • The Shocking Finding From the DOJ’s Ferguson Report That Nobody Has Noticed
    http://tinyurl.com/l7yxozf

    “In Ferguson — a city with a population of 21,000 — 16,000 people have outstanding arrest warrants, meaning that they are currently actively wanted by the police.”

    “It’s hard to believe, but the Ferguson police department’s massive deliberate racism only represents one of its problems. The DOJ report shows not just a racist criminal justice system, but one in which the very act of being alive has been made a crime, and in which nearly every resident is wanted by the law at every moment of every day.”

    When one of the most commonly used substances in America is public enemy number one, THE PUBLIC IS ENEMY #1. We can all be Ferguson.

    Climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace all pale in importance to the drug war, the one war I take very personal.

  • n.t. greene

    Is it just me, or has the couch been crowded lately?

  • kaptinemo

    Somewhere, Peter McWilliams, Jonathan Magbie and all those other de facto martyrs, killed by a refusal to allow for medical use while in the grip of the Beast, are raising their middle fingers at their Earthly tormentors.

    May much worse than such a salute await the prohibs at the end of their journeys. They have so much to atone for.

    • I just stopped in for that very mention Kap… was thinking that as good as all the responses have been (here and elsewwweb) the best response (imho) is the litany.

      Donald Scott, Peter McWilliams, Patrick Dorismond, Kathryn Johnston… etc, etc, ad nauseum, ad (sadly) infinitum

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      If there is an afterlife I submit that all of these thuds! are the work of Jack Herer. Nah, I don’t believe it but for some obscure reason it makes me sad that after 40 years wandering in the wilderness trying to get his people home and then dying within sight of the promised land. Oh wait, that was Moses, my bad. I always get those two guys mixed up. But you have to admit that there’s a very strong resemblance between them.

  • Daniel Williams

    Fuck Obama.

  • claygooding

    Italy’s Congress has bipartisan support of legalization and a motion to legalize country wide is waiting to be signed in,,,as our government still postures to slow legalization other countries are going ahead with their policy changes,,expect Spain to be next or Morocco.

    Marijuana Legalization In Italy: Motion To Legalize Cannabis Receives Bi-Partisan Support

    http://tinyurl.com/o4kqc8o

    Lawmakers in Italy have taken a bold stance on marijuana legalization, signing a motion Monday to legalize cannabis across the country, according to the ANSA news agency. The proposal, introduced by Sen. Benedetto Della Vedova, was backed by 60 politicians, mostly from the ruling center-left Democratic Party but with some support from the right. Della Vedova himself, a senator who also serves as the deputy foreign minister, was a longtime member of Italy’s small but influential Radical Party, which has campaigned since the 1970s to liberalize marijuana laws.

    “It is a bipartisan proposition from members of the parliament of different political backgrounds,” Della Vedova told reporters, according to The Weed Blog. “This shows that even in Italy, a pragmatic approach, based on a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, is now increasingly popular in the political and cultural debate, not only outside but also inside the parliament.” The proposal hasn’t been turned into a bill yet, but Della Vedova promised it will be soon.

  • Thank you mr president for telling us what we should be thinking about.
    Now it’s our turn to tell you what you should do!
    White House comment line: 2024561111

  • strayan

    They soooooooo don’t want to have to deal with this because it entails actual political risk as opposed to what they’re used to: political theatre.

  • Servetus

    BBC has a point-counterpoint piece that features four opinions regarding drug legalization. The two counterpoints to drug legalization are delusional, as one would expect.

    David Murray, former chief scientist at the ONDCP, believes cocaine interdiction in parts of South America has shown real progress, and he cites Colombia as a success story. Success stories may differ. The estimated 343,000 people killed so far in the Colombian drug enforcement scam, including many innocent indigenous people, don’t get to comment about their successes.

    Dr. Peter Reuter, a public policy professor at the University of Maryland, acknowledges a shift to harm reduction policies involving drug consumption, but then veers off into a bad analogy between marijuana and lotteries, in which he concludes: “You cannot with a straight face say that marijuana legalisation won’t lead to more marijuana dependence.

    Professor Peter Reuter is wrong. I was able to look at myself in a mirror and say with a straight face: “Legalization won’t lead to more marijuana dependence.” I can do that because the drug laws are so ineffective they’ve allowed marijuana consumption to stabilize, just as if it were legal.

    • Crut

      None of the arguments were especially strong there.

      The war [on drugs] itself is at a draw

      On the success/failure scale, we are nowhere near a draw. Go peddle this to Kev kev, he’s the only one who’ll listen to that.

      Our recommendation is regulation for everything. That’s what Portugal did.

      *sigh*
      That’s not what Portugal did, but that is the better path.

      A 75% reduction in the productive capacity of Colombian cocaine was achieved … that then resulted in a more than 45% drop in the prevalence rate of cocaine use in the United States on the streets

      LOL, wtf? How to deceive with statistics indeed.

  • NorCalNative

    Mr. President, it takes some large balls to tell kids to think about climate change when you’re peddling an “All of the Above Energy Strategy.”

    Stop being a pawn of Oil Qaeda!

  • DdC

    slip slidin away…

    Israel: Legalization Goes Mainstream

    Over 60 Italian Lawmakers Sign Motion to Legalize Cannabis

    Ireland May Be the Next Country to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

    Has the war on drugs been lost? BBC News
    Across the world, drug laws are being relaxed, from Uruguay to Portugal, Jamaica and the Czech Republic.

    The day after St Phatty’s Day
    This hangover is brutal,
    today is going to suck!
    …Said no pothead ever.

    Can Weed Get Rid Of Alcohol Hangovers?

  • claygooding

    I was cleaning out some cobwebs and thought “why on earth do they worry so much about anything being mind altering?” and I finally got it,,the people with enough snap to realize everything we take into our bodies and minds is mind altering are so accustomed to it we don’t realize it is happening.
    We become sensitized to it because we think all day long and our minds are always being altered from can till can’t.
    Apparently prohibitionist don’t think enough to have a mind altering thought so it worries them..

  • Francis

    You go over to your neighbor’s house to get back the step-ladder he borrowed six weeks ago and never returned. And your neighbor says, “that ladder should be way at the bottom of things you’re worried about — I also still have your leaf blower and your lawnmower.” Well, yeah, you’re an asshole. Now go get my step-ladder. But yes, Obama, you and the rest of government are screwing this country over in a whole slew of ways, some of which may be even more harmful than your continuing the farce of cannabis prohibition. But … so what? That doesn’t change the fact that cannabis prohibition is an asinine policy. By definition, there’s only ever one most important issue (not that you’ll ever get universal agreement on what that issue is). Does that mean that efforts to address all other issues should cease, because after all, they’re not as important as X?

    And it seems to me that this whole argument that cannabis legalization isn’t an important issue worth focusing on could be turned around on the prohibitionists very easily. Here’s what Obama should have said: “Drug warriors, I understand that the power and money you derive from cannabis prohibition are important to you, but the government’s limited resources should be spent addressing issues like climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace — not terrorizing innocent people over a plant.” And finally, if you think the cannabis legalization debate is a distraction from the “real issues,” then for God’s sake let’s get the inevitable out of the way and legalize already so we can all focus on some of the issues that are actually difficult.

  • DdC

    How much longer? Soon we will know…

    ☛ For first time, the Senate will consider legalizing medical marijuana

    ☛ Senate Proposal Would Legalize Medical Marijuana

    ☛ Barbara Boxer and Dean Heller Back Federal Legalization of Medical Marijuana in States That Allow It

    ☛ End the federal prohibition of medical marijuana
    ? Reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II
    ? Allow states to import CBD
    ☛ Allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana dispensaries
    ☛ Eliminate the Public Health Service Review obstacle for marijuana research
    ☛ End the NIDA monopoly on marijuana research
    ☛ Allow VA physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients

    …This bill that we are introducing seeks to right decades worth of wrong

    ☛ “Seeks to right” by leaving it a scheduled substance? A less than reality, good for some if Fat Pharma doles it out. Sched2 requires a triplicate order between physician and pharmacy.

    …and end unnecessary marijuana laws.

    ☛ But continue to persecute citizens with “necessary” laws? Synergy obtained by whole plant high cbd extractions could be grown anywhere. Again maintaining control with Fat Pharma. The remaining items are all good “Band Aids” that would not be necessary if Science dictated policy and removed cannabis in all natural forms as a controlled substance. continued @ Un-Illegalize it!

    So Predictable…

    ☛ AMA Ends 72-Year Policy: Ganja is Medicine November 10, 2009

    ☛ DdC November 28, 2009
    Vested Ignorance will always lie and cheat to maintain their dysfunctional profits. If left to the Politikan ConPromisers, as I suspect. The AMA would lower it to a schedule#2 and permit Big Pharma to control it. Barthy and Bayer and Boosh’s Ely Lilly won’t give up profits to Homegrown. The only solution is to overturn the Controlled Substance Act for the bold face lie it is

    ☛ DdC October 31, 2010
    Like using Barthwell/Bayers Sativex by lowering buds to a schedule#2 narcotic. Leaving Pot, Hemp and RxGanja prohibited for future profit and keeping cannabis products off the market shelf.

    ☛ Michele M. Leonhart (Lying Heart) December 31, 2010
    Lowering to a schedule#2 will only open sublingual sprays like satevex and bayer. Leaving Hemp, RxGanja and Ganja outlawed. Prohibition is a lie agreed upon. Why perpetuate it or ConPromise on truth?

    ☛ Is The DEA Legalizing THC? February 2, 2010
    So, in other words, if a pharmaceutical product contains THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would be a legal commodity. But if you or I possessed THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would remain an illegal commodity.

    Wait, it gets even more absurd.

    Since the cannabis plant itself will remain illegal under federal law, then from whom precisely could Big Pharma legally obtain their soon-to-be legal THC extracts? There’s only one answer: The federal government’s lone legally licensed marijuana cultivator, The University of Mississippi at Oxford, which already has the licensing agreements with the pharmaceutical industry in hand.

    ☛ Big Pharma Set to Take Over Medical Marijuana Market April 21, 2011

    continued So Predictable…

  • New Poll Smashes Previous Record: 61 Percent Of Americans Want Marijuana Legalization
    http://tinyurl.com/n3bdjwh

    Poll: 61 Percent Of Americans Want Marijuana Legalization, Smashing Previous Records
    http://tinyurl.com/kbg4dtp

    Survey Finds Strong Majority In Support Of Marijuana Legalization And Decriminalization
    http://tinyurl.com/nycqtbg

    Are we clear yet?

  • kaptinemo

    With all the hints, you’d think they’d get the message, but they still think they can ignore the majority of the population. The Big Money Boys behind the scenes still think the pols in their pockets can withstand the growing popular pressure for legalization behind the dam they built to hold back progress (and our freedoms) on this issue.

    Fools.

    Notice something about Obama’s tone? It’s not the tone you take when you have the upper hand. It’s the tone you take when your bargaining position has shifted negatively, but you don’t want to divulge how weak it’s gotten.

    The implication is that we’re too stupid to see that, and will accede to his view of reality…which bears no resemblance to reality.

    They still don’t get it: WE’VE STOPPED LISTENING TO THEM. We’re going ahead with re-legalization, anyway, regardless of party stances. This issue has gone beyond their control, and some of them know it, but most pols think they can still get away with such standard prohib policy maneuvers like obfuscation and foot dragging, just like ‘the good ol’ days’.

    The formerly immovable object of drug prohibition is facing the irresistible force of popular sentiment, public opinion…and political activism. The money-grubbing special interests that have hidden in the faux moral superiority ‘cover’ of the political ‘tall grass’ that prohibition has afforded them are seeing their cover thinning day by day.

    What this is doing is causing the inevitable clash between the now clearly identifiable special interests intent upon negating the vote, and the popular political will being expressed democratically. It’s getting that naked, that raw, and on that field, we can’t help but win, for the pol has to put up or shut up.

    A pol will be forced to turn to the special interest and say, “Sorry, boys, but all that money you gave me to retard progress on this issue for so long is now useless; the people want cannabis legal again, and I can’t go against that without showing just how much in your pocket I was. I have to vote for it, or they just might do more to me than hand me a pink slip for effing with the democratic process.”

    It’s that simple. The masquerade is over, the special interests behind prohibition are facing having their political-system-corrupting masks ripped from their faces. In doing so, they risk more than opprobrium.

    Their only hope are the pols who owe them the most. But, to save their careers, the pols will have to accede to the public will on this issue. Checkmate has already happened; the last moves will be pure kabuki.

    Obama and company are looking at that chessboard in frustrated confusion, realizing it’s no longer theirs, and are probably wondering why all his 11th dimension chess moves have been beaten by a downright protean ploy like this.

    Simple: The prohibs and their enablers wiped themselves with our democracy, and now, our democracy is going to wipe itself with them. What comes around, goes around.

  • DonDig

    .
    Our President wants us to get involved in things that don’t directly immediately affect us, (and appear relatively and largely out of our control and sphere of influence), rather than things (we can influence) that directly affect us and our loved ones.

    Perhaps that’s the game of diversion played in many arenas? Obama’s comment to the young people, to worry about concepts that are more remote (and harder to fix) than those that might affect your life directly attempts that.

    I was always told that charity begins at home. So should our focus.

    Focusing on the biggest possible picture dis-empowers everyone, simply because it is overwhelming. I guess that’s the point. Obama is faced with a congress/legislature that can’t be dealt with, and he wants all of us to feel like we’re in the same position. Dissatisfaction is blunted that way, the status quo can just keep rolling along unimpeded, and perhaps it is hoped we can be pacified into continuously being more patient, as we do our time and wait for Godot.

    Many have, and obviously there are numerous encouragements to consume the kool-aid, but I’m not buying it.

  • Mr_Alex

    I notice straight inc aka partnership for a drug free America is pumping propaganda 24/7 to stop legalization

    • kaptinemo

      Perhaps because they sense the change in their political fortunes could include a change in financial ones. And I don’t just mean loss of business through a severe reduction in taxpayer-funded, court-remanded cases.

      The only reason why many of them are not in prison for their crimes against Humanity is that political cover I keep talking about. (The Semblers are in the Real Power’s political hierarchy.)

      Lose that cover, and they lose that protection against future social and political retribution. Cannabis re-legalization represents losing that cover, as it represents the conflict between the hidden power behind prohibition versus that of the people in their numbers, expressing their will democratically.

      A conflict the latter will win, for to deny that expression is to confirm the suspicion that politics was always a rigged game…and then there’s no reason to play by the crooked rules of such an equally crooked game.

      So, yes, the DrugWarriors are doing all they can to impede us, often with our own money, for a reason that hits much closer to home than ideology, or even wallets. They know that, with this sea-change on the electorate’s part, someday they may be held to account for their crimes. For these crimes affect every American’s rights, and must be addressed.

      Someday, the name of some hapless American town may bear the same distinction for DrugWarriors as Nuremberg did for the Nazis…and for the same reasons. The public must know the fullest extant to which our freedoms and liberties, so loudly championed to the world, were nullified the moment some crooked cop said he smelled weed, or made a drug dog alert falsely.

      We need a Church Committee with teeth, one that will have legal consequences for lying under oath. This poison tree of authoritarianism on the part of public servants, using the DrugWar as cover to accrete powers to themselves the Founders never intended them to have, must be torn out or it will grow back to bedevil future generations.

      And that’s what they fear…and have good reason to.

      • Mr_Alex

        I have seen PDFA (Partnership for a Drug Free America) use children or youths to start groups like MMYV (Marijuana/Cannabis makes you violent) the group mentioned is started by PDFA on FB, mention Straight Inc and the criminal activities of Melvin and Betty Sembler they’ll block you on the second time but on the first time they will try to play the they are not connected trick

        • DdC

          These are cyborgs invented at area 51 while all of the tea toddling UFOers were distracting attention. Now they troll to “sabet”age reform that would jeopardize their powers to forfeit your home or confiscate your cash and cars and kids. They run on vinegar and urine so their facial expressions are always sour as their dispositions. Now you know what happens to all of those piss samples. They have no components to express emotions or compassion. They simply go about trashing science and intimidating people with guilt if they don’t surrender. Since they are a unit that also includes the majority of Congress and SCOTUS. Legislating profits has become easier. Filling cages with insubordinates and people advocating the use of cannabis in all natural forms. Brainwashing or perverting kids to grow up and join SqWAT. The DARE Youth program teaches kids how to shoot puppies without remorse just like the adult SWAT. Snitching on big brother and why does uncle george smell like burnt rags, oh that was then. Now it smells like skunks. Kids can set up sick people better than adults and get little or no pay. So remember to never get too close without a lead apron. Gamma rays they fart are a bitch.

          Slick PDFA Lies
          http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/420

          The Assassins of Youth: DARE † FRCn PDFA
          http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/505

          Calvina Fay Prohibition Inc.
          http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1556

          Cover-Ups, Prevarications, Subversions & Sabotage
          http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1653

          GOP Mogul Behind Drug Rehab ‘Torture’ Centers
          http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/448

  • Haddie Willow

    I don’t know why I can’t reply directly to DdC but it probably doesn’t matter since it seems everyone has dropped the topic. I’m sure, off course, it has nothing to do with marijuana effecting one’s focus or interest for that matter. Wtf? Teaches kids how to shoot puppies?? Is everyone on this site is too stoned to protest a statement like that? How incredibly messed up are you people?

    • darkcycle

      DdC’s hyperbole upsets you? That’s a bit sensitive, isn’t it? Prohibition has long made claims far more absurd. “One puff turned me into a bat…” And that was in actual congressional testimony. Marijuana makes people violently insane? Harry Anslinger’s go to diatribe.
      Wanna know what makes people murderers? Try SWAT. Just have a look at the “Drug War Victim’s” page, the link is on the left. The victims just keep on coming.
      DdC’s hyperbole is not only justified, it’s mild.

      • DdC

        Thanks bro. My employers try to splain how to be nice when I address assholes and idiots doing harm to patients, but its not their fault because rules are rules crap. Economics causing allergies and unnecessary torment. Geeks writing rules without a clue to the task, just bottom line dwellers. DEA limiting dosages or efficiency experts cutting hospital staff. For profit on misery they create. The drug war puts it in the faces of everyone and they don’t like to be embarrassed by their meanness. Dumbed down Americans afraid to insult but not cause pain if it meant getting them an illegal substance or repramanded. Dumbed down Americans work cheap and don’t question authority. Like I said, endoCannabinoid deficiency. Those treating their own kids the same way. Pitiful.

    • DdC

      Bob Dylan The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI-K-lxDsZk

      Haddie Willow
      April 3, 2015 at 9:49 pm · Reply
      ☛ I don’t know why I can’t reply directly to DdC but it probably doesn’t matter since it seems everyone has dropped the topic

      You can reply all you want Haddie. I don’t use the email much anymore since twits and faces.

      ☛ I’m sure, off course, it has nothing to do with marijuana effecting one’s focus or interest for that matter. Wtf?

      Or it could be that I ignore trolls passing judgement for lack of their own awareness in WTF is going on around them. Poestic license and free speech seem to be on my side to write what I pretty much damn well please. DARE is nothing but recrutement for future sabeteurs sams and child molesters like Mel Sambler and Calvina. Not a far stretch from reality where SWAth raids shoot dogs to something a like mindset would include in a DARE training manual. Hitler Youth League had nothing on the results of Daryl Gates and SWAT or Daryl Gates and DARE.

      Teaches kids how to shoot puppies??

      Ganjawar Puppycide
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/385
      ☛ Puppycide in Fulton, MO
      — just another in a long line of dead dogs resulting from a small marijuana bust.Salt ☛ Lake police shoot, kill two dogs in drug bust
      ☛ Raw Video: Columbia,
      MO Police Bust Open Door And Shoot Family Dogs During Drug Raid
      ☛ Mayor’s Dogs Killed During Drug Bust
      ☛ Mayor’s Family Terrorized, Dogs Killed, in Drug Bust Mix-up
      ☛ Law Enforcement: Video
      SWAT Team Killing Dogs in Front of Child During Pot Raid Stirs Outrage
      ☛ Cowardly Drug Cops Kill Dogs during low-level pot bust
      ☛ Dog killed in drug bust
      – Thursday, April 19, 2012 | Fostoria Review
      ☛ A Fostoria family is upset over what they say was the unjust killing of their dog by police
      ☛ Sheriffs Threaten to Kill Paraplegic Man’s Dog in Marijuana Bust
      ☛ Shoot first, kill the Mayor’s dogs – ask later
      ☛ Marijuana Raid Caught On Tape (Dogs Shot) – YouTube
      ☛ SWAT Team Kills Dog With Child Present,
      Arrest Father In Misdemeanor Marijuana Bust
      ☛ Albany Cop Attacked by Dog, Shot by Deputy During Drug Bust
      ☛ Police BUST INTO Family’s Home
      & KILL THEIR DOGS DURING DRUG RAID
      ☛ Botched Drug Bust for POT!!! Wake Up America!
      Who’s safe from the brutal tactics of the zero-tolerance drug war? No one, apparently. During the raid they killed the mayor’s two Labrador retrievers. In the ensuing investigation, it was discovered that the police did not even possess a no knock warrent

      DAREyl SWAT Gates, LAPDog Perversions.
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/565
      Got SqWAT?
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1775