Former Labor Secretary with a Labor Day Message

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich was in a discussion at Reddit. Jonathan Moormann reports:

As happens whenever a political debate is exposed to the internet for too long, the discussion eventually turned to pot. Reich commented that, if he could repeal one U.S. regulation, it would be to legalize marijuana. He also mentions that, while at Oxford with fellow grad student Bill Clinton, they “didn’t inhale together.” This isn’t that surprising, considering Reich has supported legalization before, but it’s pretty funny to imagine him and Slick Willy lighting up together.

This labor day, Americans all over will celebrate by drinking alcohol, but those who celebrate with cannabis may face punitive drug tests at their job.

Legalizing marijuana should be on the list of Labor Day accomplishments, along with the 40-hour work week, weekends, safe working conditions, and health insurance.

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17 Responses to Former Labor Secretary with a Labor Day Message

  1. Duncan20903 says:

    Say Pete, didn’t you hear that it’s been verified that Mr. Clinton didn’t inhale, but not because he was trying to not get high and be polite, but because Alice B Toklas was a very popular girl at Oxford at that time?

    He still gets an F for spin doctoring the day he said it. I do think that’s one of those things that sounds ever so smart in your head, but makes people say “d’oh!” when it’s actually said out loud.

    The image of Mr. Reich with 75 cents or whatever it was in change in a glass jar and railing in favor of raising the minimum wage and rattling the jar to show what a pittance the proposed increase in the minimum wage actually amounted to is forever burned into my brain.

  2. Elaine says:

    I want apresident that not only inhales, but drinks the bongwater!

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Now that’s disgusting. I did that on a dare in high school. Eeee-yick. It did get me wasted though. Not wasted enough to repeat, but there you go.

      • Steve says:

        I didn’t know that using a bong was so wasteful!

        • Duncan20903 says:

          California NORML funded some peer reviewed studies and found that bongs remove more THC/CBD than it removes nasties and the bong came in dead last for the ratio of cannabinoids:nasties. The vaporizer of course came in head and shoulders above other delivery methods that require inhaling, then small pipes using single hit, the joint, which also lost 65% of the desired cannabinoids to the side stream with bongs bringing up the rear.

          I admit I doubt I would have considered this research true had it been sponsored by big addiction or law enforcement.

          I still maintain that Dale Geiringer is a flipping magician to be able to get NIDA to provide GI weed to CaNORML for purposes of research. If he’s not a magician he must have pictures of a drunken John Walters partying in a barn with farm animals. I’d like to tell Mr. Walters that it wouldn’t cause me to lose an iota of respect for the kind of man that he is were I to find out he’s interested in goats for sexual purposes. OK, ok, that’s disingenuous, one must first have an iota of respect for a person before he can lose it.

  3. JDV says:

    Clinton, Bush and Obama all used illegal drugs.
    Wow, what losers! If they hadn’t used drugs maybe they would have made something of themselves.

  4. Just Legalize It says:

    All the government has to do to create jobs is remove the federal prohibition of cannabis. It wouldn’t even cost a single penny to create tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of not only jobs, but careers.

  5. Servetus says:

    When the majority of laws against drug use and trafficking no longer withstand scrutiny, it’s time to link drugs to something having a momentum and a reputation that the public still fears.

    Organized crime and terrorism fit the requirements and will probably be around for some time, thanks to the bungling of numerous corrupt governments. The mighty plan is to equate fear of terrorism with drug use. Of course, even if there existed a foolproof plan, prohibitionists would still fool themselves into failing.

    Failure is written into the script. Hannah Arendt, author of the classic Origins of Totalitarianism, noted that organized crime existed to supply the wealthy with socially proscribed vices they enjoy and can naturally afford. The ‘mob’ as she called it, took on all the attributes of the wealthy people they served in this capacity, so that there was really little to distinguish an Al Capone from a J.D. Rockefeller. She used the word ‘mob’ to describe both gangsters and predatory corporatists.

    Recognizing the need of vice-with-impunity for the well-to-do, the poor must be denied the things the affluent can afford, otherwise the distinction between rich and poor is blurred and the rich can no longer feel rich anymore. That would make prohibition a type of class war in at least one of its aspects. It also explains how someone like George W. Bush could get busted in his youth for cocaine possession and yet not be prosecuted.

    The UNODC is the designated international arbiter of the scheme. They’re getting $34.3 million from the U.S. to preserve the status quo, not to eliminate illicit drug use.

  6. Servetus says:

    Sorry, I posted this on the wrong topic heading, this should have been an UNODC piece. Definitely need to get the edit working again.

  7. Logic says:

    The economic problem with prohibition, as apparently some learned, and some didn’t with our 1920’s prohibition, is the money laundering schemes that come with it. Any business that launders money is able to play with the prices of the services that they provide. Another words, if the barber across the street is laundering money, they can charge 3 bucks to their clients if they want, while the legitimate barber must charge 10 in order to stay afloat and not go bankrupt. Herein lies the problem. More and more clients will go to the money launderer because of their better prices. The legitimate barber goes out of business… But here’s the Catch 22. The Drug Lord who owns the money laundering barbers, construction companies, mechanics, pharmacies, trucking companies (the list goes on and on) has inadvertently shut down a money making business that probably had employees that were using their hard earned money to pay for marijuana from that same drug dealer. Now what? The Employee lost his job cause his employer shut down. They have no more money and have to go on Welfare. The Drug Dealer in turn, has basically unemployed his income-generating client. Now in order for the drug dealer to continue to make good money, he must take out his competitors, or expand to a new city. You can only go so far with prohibition, until the town goes bankrupt because of artificially inflated income (money laundering schemes.) There is a time limit to how far prohibition can go without ruining the local economy. This is what probably happened before the great depression. But we never really identified it’s actual roots. The root was probably the prohibition of Alcohol. And today, the root of the economic disasters, is probably the prohibition of drugs, especially marijuana (which accounts for more than 70% of all drug transactions) Can you imagine what it would be like for you to lose 70% of your salary all of a sudden? You would have to sell your house, your car, and live under government subsidy. Apply the same logic to cartels. Take away 70% of their income, and they won’t have money to buy guns, bribe police and law enforcement, pay for their yachts, their planes, and all the other logistical stuff they need to pay for in order to sell their drugs in the US. Wake up. Use your logic.

    • malc says:

      Welcome to Prohibition & the Crash

      “In hindsight, it is amazing that so many economists and historians were able to look back on prohibition, the Crash and the Depression without noticing the causal links between them–assuming they coexisted by the sheerest of coincidence. Back then the connection between prohibition and the economy was asserted daily and hotly debated”

      • Duncan20903 says:

        The “Long” Depression which commenced around 1873 and persisted until approaching the turn of the 20th Century was a far, far more devastating affair than The “Great” Depression. The Great depression simply got more press. IIRC the first prohibition law was passed in 1875 or 1876 in San Francisco which outlawed opium dens in order to get rid of the Chinese. Prohibition may in fact be an exacerbating event but it’s hardly a required element.

        The something that all major economic calamities in the US and other fiscally sophisticated economies is that they’ve all been precipitated by what the Wall Street geniuses like to call “moral hazard” which basically describes a mob mentality of unfettered greed combined with an overabundance of investors/lenders with more money than common sense. Leading up to the Long Depression was a mania over railroads which may have been even more significantly extreme than the Internet mania of the 1990s. The real estate mania in the first decade of the 21st Century didn’t hold a candle to the past manias but it was far more damaging because it was an engineered mania designed to buy government regulators time to fix the damage caused by the Internet mania. By all rights this country should have been in a whopper of an economic hole starting in 2001 but Mr. Greenspan was able to forestall the day of reckoning until 2008. We’ll never know if he would have succeeded absent the pillaging of the US Treasury by the Dork President and his faithful ward Dick. The bottom line is too much money was lent and then a black swan event changes everything and the money geniuses are caught with their pants down and their collective head stuck up their collective ass. If the frog is surprised when stung by the scorpion then the frog is a moron.

        Personally I believe that “moral hazard” is a totally incorrect descriptor of what happened. The financially sophisticated are hardly arbiters of anything moral. I don’t think they can even define the word correctly as a general rule of thumb. But that is in the nature of the beast.

        “Own nothing. Control everything.” ~ J.D. Rockefeller

      • DdC says:

        Before booze prohibition farmers distilled their own tractor fuel from last years crop remnants. After prohibition they had to buy gas or diesel from Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. Capone was the red herring everybody knows. Same shuck and jive bait and switch while the planet watched Watergate the Controlled Substance Act was fabricated including medicinal cannabis and hemp never outlawed by the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.

        Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp.

  8. DdC says:

    FDA Approves Study of Cannabis for PTSD
    The long-maligned field of U.S. medical cannabis research took a step forward with the formal government approval of a study on the efficacy of marijuana to treat chronic post-traumatic stress disorder in war veterans.

    Dr. Rick Doblin, executive director of the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in Santa Cruz, Calif., said today in an interview that the Food and Drug Administration on April 28 approved MAPS’ protocol for a study of smoked and vaporized marijuana use for symptoms of PTSD.

    Medical Cannabis Potency Testing Project
    From the Bulletin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
    MAPS – Volume 9 Number 3 Autumn 1999 – pp. 20-22
    Updated Nov. 2002
    In an effort to cast light in this obscure area, a research project was undertaken by a group of us, including researchers, growers, and medical cannabis buyers’ clubs, with support from California NORML and MAPS, to analyze samples of medical cannabis from various patients’ cooperatives and providers around the country. This effort proved to be a lesson in the difficulties and uncertainties of cannabis research in a society where freedom of pharmacological research has been stifled by an effectively totalitarian drug bureaucracy.

    Dale Gieringer, Cal NORML Director

    MAPS is currently seeking regulatory approval to conduct a study of smoked and/or vaporized marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in veterans of war.

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