Pothead prohibitionists

One of the curious creatures that we’ve never really talked about here, is one that sometimes shows up in comment threads (or, more often, message boards) that I like to call “pothead prohibitionist.” You know the ones… “hey man, I can get all the pot I want, so don’t legalize it, you’ll just mess things up and have to pay taxes and stuff.”

Of course, they’re ignoring all the destructive aspects of prohibition, but as long as their pot is flowing freely, they don’t care.

Attached to the recent Paul Armentano article I mentioned were two rather extreme cases of this species.

nico1950 wrote on 01/10/2010 07:25:50 PM:
I’ll wager money marbles or cowshit that in the days of bath tub gin and speakeasys when alcohol was illegal people were much happier then todays mostly miserable drinkers. Legalize weed and it will take all the fun out of it. The government has a way of ruining things.

Well, yes, the government does have a way of ruining things (take a look at the drug war). Bath tub gin? Really? Those were the good old days, huh? Must have grown up on the Dukes of Hazard, Beverly Hillbillies and The Real McCoys.

thomasgee wrote on 01/10/2010 08:04:36 PM:
Legalizing marijuana is the worst idea of all. What are you legalizing when it becomes an arrestable crime when you can be arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance? Alcohol and marijuana checkpoints couldn’t be too far behind. Imagine having to pay the same exorbitant fines and hassle as a drunk driver only the arrest was for marijuana used while operating a vehicle. The government and police agencies are drooling over the legalization of pot.

OK, that’s mostly incoherent (and apparently he thinks that marijuana smoking is only to be done while driving a car), but I can assure you that police agencies are not drooling over the legalization of pot. Legalization of pot to them means a likely dramatic loss of grant funding (not to mention loss of seizure funding).

These are fringe elements, I realize, but I’ve always been curious about them. Are they actually pot dealers without enough ambition to go into legitimate businesses once it’s legalized? Interestingly, despite the fact that they favor prohibition, they tend to fit the stereotype that prohibitionists like to use to paint drug policy reformers.

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24 Responses to Pothead prohibitionists

  1. Jon Doe says:

    Yeah, I’ve met these types before. They’re usually still in high school or are white and rich and thus have never feared arrest.

  2. Tony Aroma says:

    I think some of these “pothead prohibitionists” are indeed profiting in some way from prohibition, but they are probably not the ones making these comments. No mystery. They are just stoners who don’t give a shit. They have their weed, so what’s the big deal whether it’s legal or not. They’re the ones that prohibitionists see as the typical smoker, unfortunately. We’d all be better off if these people just stayed home, got stoned, and kept their mouths shut. It’s just too bad that some of them know how to use a computer.

  3. claygooding says:

    With all the evidence coming in,regarding the dispensaries in Ca and Co,if more people don’t grow their own than what is happening now in either state,there won’t be any reduction of the black market and criminal element involved in marijuana now.
    We already know that our legislators have a learning curve that looks like the horizon and with their usual greed and need for more tax dollars to spend,we can expect exorbitant taxes and fees to be connected with legal marijuana,and using the present “dispensaries” and their pricing of “medical marijuana” as an example,big business will try to keep the profit margin
    where it is right now,being able to produce a pound of marijuana for less than $30 outside and selling it for
    as much or more than the street prices now. It is just good business and apparently most Americans would rather pay the present price of marijuana than grow their own,or their wouldn’t be so many dispensaries
    now with more opening daily.
    I find it hard to believe that so many people are willing to pay $50 for 1/8 ounce of marijuana,and I don’t care how good it is. It is just proof that most people are so lazy,they would crap in the bed rather than walk to the bathroom,if someone else had to clean up the mess,and our country is full of people with more dollars than sense.

  4. Maria says:

    I think there are those who want it decriminalized but not only available as a drug; so that one can buy it and grow it for personal use, not only for medicinal use.

    I also believe that the vast majority of users would prefer to go to a store and buy it like they buy wine and beer rather than grow it themselves. It’s a convenience/time spent thing.

    The people who would end up growing would either be the entrepreneurs and/or those who truly love the plant itself. I always liken it to home brewers and wine makers versus big brewers versus local/seasonal breweries. Home and micro people love the craft and the time spent getting the result not just getting drunk and making a quick buck.

    I feel that most pothead prohibitionists are people who enjoy getting stoned and think along the lines of “as long as I can get my pot or make a buck, screw everything else”. these are people with no imagination to move beyond back alley deals and dirty pockets, these are people that don’t want this shit taxed.

    Until one of them gives a coherent argument for their status quo position, I’ll have to keep thinking that.

    The only half coherent argument I’ve heard is that organized crime will have another legitimate revenue source if pot is legalized. That they will NOT give up control easily and might even lead to increased violence and crime, at least in the short term. I feel that this is a straw man argument. Organized crime already has all sorts of legitimate revenue sources from a vast buffet of legal industries.

    At least with pot decriminalized, law enforcement resources could be freed from dealing with petty possession and small scale grow ops and be able to deal with fraud, intimidation, bribery, blackmail and money laundering. Maybe they might even find the time to deal with rapes, child abuse and murders.

    Frankly, law enforcement will always have it’s hands full whether pot is legal or not. They just have to remove themselves from the current war on drugs funding teat to see that. And that’s the difficult part.

  5. Maria says:

    Actually I also wonder if there’s cross section of PPs, mostly younger males, that see the whole thing as a romanticized cops & robbers game. They want to be the rebel without a cause, so to speak, and if this stuff is legalized or even decriminalized, they loose that huge part of their identity. It would make for an interesting sociological study.

    • Pete says:

      Excellent point. There is something about pot being an instrument of rebellion that could lose some of its “thrill” to some by being legal.

      There were some reports in Amsterdam that young people, seeing old people toke up legally in coffee shops, found pot to be less interesting.

  6. Just me says:

    Hummm….I think this type of pothead prohib is just worried they will lose the profit in many cases. Its the greed factor, fill their pockets at the cost of others ruin lives or lost lives. Apparently this people could careless whether freedom suffers also, theirs or ours. Sounds like Thomasgee doesnt understand that if cops can prove you are high behind the wheel NOW , you will be charged for it. Also sounds like he needs to step away from the bong for a while, too much of anything is a bad thing guy.

    No I think I’ll go with legalization. I dont smoke now,but rest asured, when it is legal, I will be growing with the idea of making fine wine. To be enjoyed in moderation. Who knows, maybe even grow to help those sick who need at a affordable price.

    My main reason for this is restoring freedom, I dont like living in a police state because of others moral values. Those kind of ‘Morals’ are communist in nature. Go dominate somewhere else.

  7. Just me says:

    On Nico1950’s comment. Bath tub gin? Sorry buddy but, one of the reasons I dont smoke now is because at one point in my life I ran into laced cannabis. I dont like then Idea of playing russia roulett. You never know where cannabis comes from.

  8. Bruce says:

    you provideth
    please legalizeth

  9. DdC says:

    I was wondering?
    Guest Drug WarRant Archives
    Wednesday, December 3, 2003

    Why I Support Marijuana Prohibition?

  10. RichieRich says:

    No smoker with any shred of decency would want to see other smokers, or sellers, jailed or arrested for these ‘ offenses’. It is selfish in the extreme to whine about legalization; freedom is a must and too many have fought too hard and done way too much time in prisons and jails to give up..now or ever. We will and must win.

    Civilization cannot advance unless arcane and stupid counterproductive laws are forever done away with and the People allowed to determine their own fates and destinies as long as they harm no other. That is the only acceptable terms for living with authority and when authority contravenes the trust we place in them, as in our corrupt and cowardly political representatives,then we must change the system from within, politically, and that is happeneing now.

    It is a sad fact that it usually takes some drastic reality to get change going; lack of funds is the root cause of many changes rather than any attitudinal adjustment. In times of excess, the winds of change are stifled much easier, it seems.

    In any event, ignore those who whine about our efforts and understand that any substance as varied and unique as cannabis is always going to attract a few types that do not typify the majority of us at all. As long as they do not get to speak for us they will never be more than an ambarrassment, like the crazy auntie in the cellar.

  11. Ian says:

    Some people see prohibition as some sort of stimulus plan. The way they see it, illegal drugs pump money into the economy. To some extent they are right. The government spends a lot of money hiring cops and buying guns in order to destroy some percentage of drugs. This drives up the prices on the end consumer but do not substantially increase the cost of production, this creates artificially high profits. Since the product is now very valuable, the drug dealers must protect it with guns because the police wont. In the markets for cocaine and heroin this typically means paying gangsters to sell the drugs and fight other gangsters for control of territory. However all these people going out and buying guns supports the producers of guns (as well as the police buying guns). Add the profits of the prison system and the wages paid to prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys and you have a lot of money being spent and boosting the economy. If war is a good stimulus so is the drug war.

    But war is not good for the economy. It’s simply not a good stimulus. Every dollar spent prosecuting the drug war came from a tax payer who would have used the money on something else. If an 1/8th that now costs 50 dollars would cost 10 dollars should it be legal then that is 40 dollars that could have been spent on something the consumer wanted. This could mean a vaporizer, snack food, more pot, a big screen t.v., healthcare or donations to charity. In other words the money would go to productive, or at the very least delicious things. Instead under status quo it goes to pay for gangsters, bullets, prosecutors, and prisons. This is a perfect example of Bastiat’s broken window fallacy at work. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

  12. TheGanjaGuru says:

    Hmm…I’ll take legal over illegal any day. A DUI is a much more minor infraction in comparison with possession of a schedule I drug in terms of the detrimental impact the charge will have on the individual. DUI means at worse that one might spend a few days in jail and have their license suspended, possession, even minor, will bar you from getting money for school, getting a job, and even a place to live. This is very foolish.

  13. DavesNotHere says:

    rena, I don’t think GanjaGuru was saying DUI is ok. I think he was saying the government treats DUIs less harshly than having marijuana and that they should be treating DUIs as more serious than marijuana. No one should drive if they are impaired and putting others in danger.

    In the realm of the bizarreness of Pothead Prohibitionists, how about Black Democrats being anti-Irish and calling white Democrats “Massa” and “Cracker Boy”?


    It’s beyond me how to explain why there are Pothead prohibitionists, but I see disconnects like that all over the place.

  14. fidelity says:

    Pothead Prohibitionists is one funny intersection of interests between drug dealers and cops. I convinced one dealer and one grower to become advocates of ending the drug war with the offer of open-market profits.

  15. Duncan says:

    I want to offer Law Enforcement the promise that they’re funding won’t be cut by one cent if they’d quit supporting prohibition. Let them sit around drinking coffee and eating donuts. Let inflation and attrition take care of that problem. Of course we could try to insist they go out and catch some real criminals, but that might be more doable once prohibition is eliminated.

  16. Duncan says:

    “Sorry buddy but, one of the reasons I dont smoke now is because at one point in my life I ran into laced cannabis. I dont like then Idea of playing russia roulett. You never know where cannabis comes from.”

    I guess you’ve never grown your own. You’d know exactly what was in it then. If you’re in Oakland, and have a med card, you can buy cannabis from the Harborside Collective, which tests samples using GCMS for impurities. Tomorrow night I get to meet Steve DeAngelo, who runs Harborside, and I’m going to see how hard it will be to bring such testing to DC. Though I’m more concerned with pesticide and fungus contamination that about it being laced with other drugs.

  17. Just me says:

    No I dont live in a compassionate state. If I were to grow then get caught, the nazis would throw me in a cage and let out a few murders and pedifiles just to do so. It just sickens me how anyone that is pro canabis is treated as a desease to be destroyed. In the midwest, thats what they do, destroy you. One arrest keeps you from employment, drivers lisence,housing, on and on. If you are paying child support and cant get a job, then what? They come put you in jail for not paying? My distain for those who think this is good for our country is large. We all live in a police state that enforces their morallity on us all. LOL morality. Too many use that word as a cover for their own agendas. This country has become so immoral and corrupt in the treatment of the people, it will collapse if not changed.

    Duncan, be happy you live in a compassionate state. At least you have that going for you.

  18. Osborne Perry Anderson says:

    Never thought I’d see the day! Someone nuttier then the ‘Joe Six-Pack’ prohibitionists that punish us with tradition because it’s socially acceptable!

  19. Dreau Preau says:

    I’ve found that the fact someone like me has little benefit from the legalization of marijuana only strengthens the ethos of my argument. It’s a good thing if one is a good enough person to continue to promote legalization.

  20. Osborne Perry Anderson says:

    @Dreau, Thanks for the support and you may be right about improved credibility but I think ‘freedom’, or the lack thereof, affects us all more then you may realize because… “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” Thomas Paine

  21. Ian says:

    I just had a thought. The next time some one tells me that “weed being illegal makes it so much more exciting”, I’ll tell them I’d be happy to have an exemption just for them in the repeal: people like them would be able to register with the government, and if a cop ever caught them smoking they could go to jail, as long as they were willing to pay the government the up to the 50,000 dollars a year it would cost to imprison them. But the rest of us would rather not spend our money making their lives exciting.

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