Odds and Ends

I’m heading to Columbia (not Colombia) for the 2009 Missouri NORML/SSDP Conference. I’ll try to do some blogging there when I get a chance.
“bullet” Good editorial by the Daily Iowan (University of Iowa): Marijuana legalization would create jobs, government income

Most politicians have now become accustomed to advocating for the development of green jobs, but almost none of them have yet been willing to consider how a radical change in national and state drug policy could help create some of the greenest jobs imaginable by facilitating the creation of a new marijuana industry. While it is true that such a major change in government policy toward marijuana cultivation, distribution, and consumption would be (extremely) politically difficult to accomplish, it is time for serious people to start considering how to best go about advocating for just such a radical shift. […]
Some may argue that the societal cost of legalizing marijuana consumption would outweigh any benefits obtained from increased tax revenues, but such arguments are almost always based on misinformation. There simply aren‰t any good data to suggest that moderate marijuana consumption is really any worse for people than is using currently legal substances such as tobacco.

“bullet” Study Suggests MPP Was Right: Lying to Kids Doesn‰t Work

Translation: If you tell kids that smoking marijuana will turn them into heroin addicts, and then they try marijuana and no such thing happens, real-world experience will pulverize the propaganda every time. Or, as the researchers explain it:

‹When threatened outcomes are experienced as less severe than anticipated, intentions to engage in threatened behavior may be amplified.Š

“bullet” Some fun… Speaking of pork and bongs

It turns out that Americans are not particularly upset that Michael Phelps, after spending six hours a day in the pool every day for the past 10 years training to become the greatest Olympic champion in history, might want to kick back and smoke a little pot. No doubt, with all that time in the pool, Phelps missed those helpful public service announcements that used to run during Saturday morning cartoons, graphically warning that drug use inevitably leads to criminal behavior, destroys families and, if I remember correctly, fries eggs. […]
Like the press, Kellogg’s may have also misjudged the public mood. Irate at the company’s decision to drop Phelps, pot smokers by the thousands have inundated the Kellogg’s consumer hotline with phone calls, angrily demanding to know when that pizza they ordered is going to arrive.
Meanwhile, representatives from groups such as the Marijuana Policy Project and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws have gone on record indicating that they plan to organize a boycott of Kellogg’s products, “just as soon as we finish watching this ‘Gilligan’s Island’ marathon on Nick at Nite.”

“bullet” Via Lawson in comments: Official: Mexican drug turf wars have led to surge in violence
…except this time, some common sense is at least presented:

Robert Pastor, a Latin America national security adviser for President Carter in the late 1970s, calls the problem in Mexico “even worse than Chicago during the Prohibition era.”
He said a solution similar to what ended that violence is needed now.
“What worked in the U.S. was not Eliot Ness,” he said, referring to the federal agent famous for fighting gangsters in 1920s and ’30s. “It was the repeal of Prohibition.”

Nice, but catch the follow-up by Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia, executive secretary for the National System for Public Safety:

Rubido is diplomatic, saying decriminalizing drugs is a “terribly sensible” approach that has received much thought. But he’s not buying it.
“This has become a world of globalization,” he said. “Globalization has many virtues, but some errors. I can’t conceive that one part of the world would decriminalize drugs because it would become a paradise for drug use. It might bring down violence, but there would be social damage.”

Huh? Let’s analyze that. On one hand, you have a presumed drug use paradise. On the other hand you have violence. Is this really a difficult choice?

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