Josh Harkinson at Mother Jones: Marijuana Legalization May Be Unstoppable

On Tuesday, US Attorney General Eric Holder told America to expect a decision “soon” on how he’ll respond to the recent legalization of pot by Colorado and Washington state. To which the rest of the country has basically said, “Whatever, dude.”


It takes continued work on our part, but as the people we have the potential power to make any decision by functionaries in the federal government irrelevant.

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32 Responses to Unstoppable?

  1. Duncan20903 says:


    IMHO yes, unstoppable is an accurate description. I prefer “past the tipping point” but that’s just because when a garbage truck unloads at the landfill they call it tipping. Prohibition is a load of garbage so I think it’s slightly more accurate as well as a heckuva lot more amusing. I know, I know, I’m easily amused especially by myself. No need to remind me, my wife does that job very well.

  2. 300 mph and accelerating says:

    ya know folks… when it’s 60º and getting sunny at 11 am on the first of March here in the People’s Republic of Eugene I can’t help but feel optimistic when articles like this keep rolling down the pike.

    I mean my front door is open, I turned off the pellet stove and heaters, Steve Kimock Band (Eudemonic) is on the stereo, a flock of juncoes is splashing around in the puddles in the driveway… the dogs are chillin’ and I’ve got some Lemon Kush that seems was grown just for these kinda days. sigh…

    If the feds are shell-shocked from WA and CO wait til another 1/2 dozen or so states join the wave.

    As the old saying goes, nanner nanner!

    • 300 mph and accelerating says:

      oh…. and I sent a note to TMZ the other day telling them to lighten up on their pot attitudes. I said that prolly 1/2 their staff does or has smoked weed and that both Barack Obama and Michael Phelps, those 2 whacky potheads, reached the pinnacles in their fields and are/were pot consumers. I added that had they been busted for pot, that woulda never happened.

      In yesterday’s show they showed James Gandolfino and a friend coming out of a Venice dispensary and there was nary a snarky comment in the segment. Don’t know if that’s co-incidents but there it is.

      • kaptinemo says:

        Odd you should mention Michael Phelps. I was just thinking about when the tipping point had been reached, courtesy of the ‘Whatever, dude.” comment.

        For that was in no small part what got the ball rolling: that comment pretty much summed up the attitude of most of the 50-and-under crowd towards the Phelps incident, and was illustrative of the reaction of the vast majority of those under 30. I knew then the shift had taken place…and that cannabis prohibition was doomed.

        • kaptinemo says:

          I don’t normally do this, but I went back a googled some articles about the Phelps incident from DWR back then, and I can’t help but smile.

          The past is truly prologue… You don’t need a freakin’ crystal ball, just a sense of History.

        • Gary Busey says:

          nice snip from brian… “they can’t sink to a new level simply because they have never risen to a level from which it is possible to fall.”

          and to prove the point… give it up for our gal Calvina Fay!

          Calvina in 2000:

          Rep. Mark Souder should be commended for his courageous attempts to expose the medical excuse marijuana scam for what it really is – a campaign to legalize drugs and to promote drug use to our children.

          Calvina in 2003:

          Marijuana, similar to alcohol, decreases inhibitions and impairs basic functions. Numerous studies also suggest that smoked marijuana is associated with increased risk of cancer, lung damage, respiratory disease and poor pregnancy outcomes. In fact, British researchers have found that the tar from one joint contains 50 percent more cancer- causing substances than tobacco, and three joints a day cause the same damage to the lining of the airways as 20 cigarettes. Last but certainly not least, if marijuana isn’t addictive, why is it that 49.2 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 in drug treatment are there because of marijuana?

          In reference to marijuana’s medicinal value, there has never been controversy about the use of purified chemicals in marijuana to treat any illness; however, marijuana cigarettes are not medicine. The false portrayal of smoked marijuana as a helpful medicine has contributed to the increased use of marijuana and other drugs by young people.

          Blumner refers to the 1999 Institute of Medicine report that found marijuana effective in addressing symptoms of nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety. She failed to mention that the same report concluded that, “smoked marijuana is unlikely to be a safe medication for any chronic medical condition.”

          Calvina in 2007:

          Rep. Mark Souder should be commended for his courageous attempts to expose the medical excuse marijuana scam for what it really is – a campaign to legalize drugs and to promote drug use to our children.

          and interestingly, this bit from a 2011 Calvina LTE is her last published piece in MAP’s DrugNews archive:

          As a drug policy expert for more than 25 years, I can tell you that Hawaii is sliding down the same slippery slope as a few states have done.

          For example, in one California city 12 percent of medi-pot cardholders are younger than 21.

          Another alarming example is the number of pot shops that overwhelm cities after this type of legislation is passed. Areas in Colorado and California have more pot shops than McDonalds and Starbucks combined.

          The bottom line is this: Pot shops, or so-called dispensaries, are in business to make money for their owners. They have been tied to organized crime gangs and are often multi-million dollar centers. They are easy marks for criminal activity because of the valuable marijuana crops and large amounts of cash.

        • primus says:

          I have boycotted Kellogg’s ever since then, because of their hypocrisy. I have seen a huge increase in their products in Costco starting shortly after they cut him loose from his contract. I wonder whether others did the same and it had an effect.

      • Fallibilist says:

        Dude, someone needs to do a Saturday Night Live skit of M. Phelps, Carl Sagan, and Al Gore smoking cannabis together. Towards the end, BHO comes in the door (Secret Service in tow) and steals the joint and yells “Intercepted! Choom Gang in effect! What, you surprised?”

        If you don’t get the reference, read David Marraniss’s biography of President Obama.

    • darkcycle says:

      Send some of that nice weather up our way, eh, Allan?

      • 300 mph and accelerating says:

        I just set a fan out on the sidewalk, turned it on high (heh) and faced it north. Let me know if it helps. (now it’s Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills’ Super Session album, good shit I tell ya)

  3. thelbert says:

    i have ripe tomatoes in my back yard and at least one female that wants to flower. this year might be a bumper crop.

  4. claygooding says:

    The tipping point ,IMO,was the memo,,the very first backing away by the Feds. It sent a message not to just us but the rest of the world that change was going to happen and it ain’t our fault the feds threw many millions more dollars trying to patch it up,,even ramping up enforcement against dispensaries backfired on them,,it convinced more that the drug enforcement arm of our government is out of control and they continue to prove it daily.
    Nobody can prove the insanity of prohibition than the people charged with enforcing it. Corruptiomn of the agents souls put them on a path to self destruction.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      I peg the tipping point to have occurred on November 7, 2012. Yes, I do mean the seventh.

  5. TieHash says:

    I was watching some old videos from about a decade ago on the Drug Policy Alliances youtube channel. I was fascinated by how much the debate and the policy has changed since then. I think we are now on an exponential trajectory towards the rationalization of cannabis laws; it will happen and I think sooner than anyone can forecast.

    On a side note, why when guns violence is discussed does no-one suggest the easiest way to eliminate a vast amount of the gun violence. Have regulated sale of all drugs…eliminate the black markets and gun deaths will be reduced dramatically. And in the process the only people that will be put out of work will be jailers, and money launderers.

    • primus says:

      Plus, many people don’t have the ready cash to lay out for a firearm unless it’s needed for ‘business.’ Fewer guns on the street equals fewer gun homicides, more peace in the ‘hood, fewer dads taken away, more good role models etc. etc. etc. It’s all good.

    • Chris says:

      On a side note, why when guns violence is discussed does no-one suggest the easiest way to eliminate a vast amount of the gun violence.

      Because reducing gun violence isn’t the goal; achieving a police state is.

      • kaptinemo says:

        And there it is, short and to-the-point. Been arguing that for years. And the Officer Jack Boots of the world are still in danger of pulling that off. Which is why re-legalization is so important; knock out the cornerstone of the foundation (namely, cannabis) and the whole rotten edifice cannot stand.

        • Legalize It says:

          aye… for decades under federal grants and ‘gifts’ local police have gone from being police to armored military.

          Just like in poker eventually the players have to play their cards and they’re gonna either have to show or fold. (weird how they’re playing w/ our money… *crosses eyes*)

          I just can’t see how they can do anything but fold. If they play their cards somebodies are going to ask what’s w/ all the jokers. That the deck is stacked isn’t an issue any longer… their next step will tell us a lot. The alternative to their folding is ugly. Ugly indeed.

          Japanese Americans would advise against any premature “what are they going to do, round us up and put us in camps?” rhetorical utterings… ditto w/ the indigenous Americanos…

      • thelbert says:

        spot on, chris. the crimes of one person do not justify the punishment of everybody, but that’s what they are trying to sell.

    • strayan says:

      The best explanation of why prohibition leads to violence I have read is in this chapter: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=0hs-8dPDlyEC&lpg=PA307&dq=drug%20prohibition%20corruption&pg=PA316#v=onepage&q&f=false

    • War Vet says:

      And many U.S. Soldiers and Marines as well will be out of work . . . it takes a world full of illegal drugs to fund insurgents, terrorists and to train airplanes to crash into their own buildings. The best way to downsize the DoD budget would be to legalize drugs too . . . The NY Times and Brown University reported that America had spent $3 trillion dollars in one decade for the so called ‘War on Terror’ –all because the DoD was spending $2billion a week to fight drug money, fix or stop drug money funded attacks (like 9/11) and restructure government and civic institutions constantly being corrupted from the inside by drug money. Many CIA agents will be out of work as well . . . a handful of DynCorp pilots will be without work . . . many KBR, Xe and Halliburton folk will be out of work as well if drugs were legalized.

  6. Klay says:

    I am more cautiously optimistic. Too many times I thought surely it will change now – only to be sadly disappointed in the reality of a failed policy that so many seem to make money from.

  7. primus says:

    I am older, crankier and have NO PATIENCE for BS any more. I suspect many of us fit that profile. Such as we are the prohibitionists’ nightmare; we are articulate, intelligent and cranky. No wonder they hesitate. Every time they open their traps we shoot their heads off. Our turn to play whack-a-mole.

  8. One Oat Willie says:

    any Iowanians?

    Official to speak on issues related to legalization of marijuana

    GARNER — A town hall-style meeting on the legalization of marijuana in Iowa will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the Garner-Hayfield/Ventura High School auditorium, 605 Lyon St., Garner.

    The keynote speaker is Dale Woolery, associate director of the Iowa Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.

    He will share information his office has gathered about potential issues surrounding the proposed legalization of marijuana.

    Bills under consideration are currently scheduled for discussion at the Iowa Statehouse on March 7 and 8 in Des Moines.

    The state of Iowa has gathered information from states and communities where marijuana has already been “legalized” in spite of national laws. Using their real-time data and experiences, Iowa is in a better position to shape the legislation for the intended benefits while also working to prevent unexpected and unintended consequences.

    Woolery says his information is relevant to more than parents and educators. Iissues of interest to employers, law enforcement, civic leaders, environmentalists, health care providers and marijuana advocates are also to be considered.

    Woolery joined the Iowa Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy in 1994. As the agency’s associate director, he works with public and private sector leaders at the local, state and federal levels on improving drug control policies and programs.

    The Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy administers federal drug and crime control grants in addition to coordinating drug enforcement policy and substance abuse prevention and treatment efforts throughout Iowa.

    — By Peggy Senzarino

    • claygooding says:

      The last paragraph says it all,,he is in charge of administering the federal grant money for marijuana arrests,,,

    • David L. Marsh Sr. says:

      Alan…. Garner is way up north central Iowa, population 3100. Big time red counties up that way. House district 8 representative sits on public safety committee that killed the house medical bill. “marijuana advocates are also to be considered” yup…. enemies of the state.

      • David L. Marsh Sr. says:

        Here is what the Governors office really thinks…. Posted on KWWL.com by Shelley Russell


        But critics in the Governor’s office say debating the issue sends mixed messages to people, particularly teens.

        “We spend a lot of time trying to educate our youth that drugs are harmful, and they’re not healthy life choices, and they can have some real long-term consequences,” said Steven Lukan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control.

        “When policy makers and people of authority start talking about legalization, it really sends a mixed message to them,” he said.


        All I can say is wow….

        • n.t.greene says:

          Because only telling children one side of the story isn’t already sending them mixed messages.

          The problem with the unbalanced approach is that, well, once it gets tested in the real world and these youths realize that they’ve been lied to wholesale, they will believe that everything you say is suspect. So ardently opposing legalization and insisting upon such one-sided thinking actually diminishes your ability to wage a successful anti-drug campaign — because a good number of people and especially the experimentation-age youths are going to have nothing but contempt for you.

          Funny how, at the end of the day, the best possible approach to discouraging drug use is a regulatory framework and truthful education. Hey, it worked for tobacco, didn’t it? Age restrictions and taxation have actually worked when combined with proper education: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_tobacco_consumption#United_States

          …and tobacco is practically indefensible when compared to cannabis. Funny how this shit works. We have a model that actually serves its purpose and yet a minority of pols have the moxie to just bloody bring it up. We’re talking about a framework with proven efficacy.

        • kaptinemo says:

          Here is the link to the video you mentioned.

          And here is a good tutorial as to how to use HTML to make links to the articles you want people to view. It’s where I learned to do it, and it’s quite good, if a bit verbose.

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