Ridiculous arguments that just won’t die

In an absurd OpEd in the Baltimore Sun, Gregory Kline hits us with this old chestnut:

Have we lost the War on Murder as well? If so, should we simply declare our surrender and legalize it? Why is that concept any less absurd than the legalization of drugs because drug use has not stopped?


All right. Once more for those who just can’t seem to get it.

  1. If you don’t know the difference between murder and smoking pot, you’re not getting invited to any of my parties.
  2. Learning that my neighbor is a pot smoker doesn’t make me concerned. Learning that he’s a murderer?…
  3. Here’s the important one. The economics of illicit drugs guarantees that if you take a drug dealer off the street by arresting them, another will take his place. Supply and demand. Taking a murderer off the street doesn’t provide a demand for murderers to replace him. In fact, the economic realities of the black market in drugs is such that aggressive criminalization of drugs actually leads to murder as dealers use violence to protect their profits.
  4. Legalization of drugs reduces violence. Legalization of murder does not.
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36 Responses to Ridiculous arguments that just won’t die

  1. Crut says:

    Whoops! He forgot to disallow comments… All the gainfully employed, technologically adept, drug-aware people are pointing out his ignorance!

  2. Nunavut Tripper says:

    Who is Gregory Kline ? A Google search brings up about 25 with a couple from Maryland.
    What is his stake in continued prohibition ?

    • Howard says:

      Gregory Kline wears plaid shirts with striped pants. And a fanny pack embroidered with ‘Drugs kill, Jesus Saves’. Worse than that he has an AOL email account. But even worse than that he writes stuff like this;

      “A corollary of the “behind closed doors” rationale of drug legalization is the constant refrain of the “failed war on drugs.”‘

      He says this but fails to describe how the “war on drugs has been a success”. Other than that, he’s a swell patriotic American.

      (most of the above is conjecture, except for his AOL email account and his quote about the war on drugs — and likely the fanny pack).

      • Windy says:

        I have an AOL email account as my primary email, too, I’ve had the AOL addy ever since I left Delphi right after Rupert Murdock took it over and trashed it all to hell. My other email account is via Comcast, but I only check it about once or twice a year.

    • John says:

      I read, in the comments for the article, that he was a DUI attorney. How true that is I don’t know.

  3. Jean Valjean says:

    Murder the same as pot consumption? In one sense, Kline is absolutely right… U.S. immigration policy defines three types of crime for which no immigration visa will ever be granted (permanent inadmissability)…murder, torture and, wait for it, any and all “drug crimes” including cannabis possession. This is how far down Alice’s rabbit-hole generations of prohibitionists have taken us. This is why prohib’s like Kline can write such nonsense and not be laughed at by most of his readers.

  4. curmudgeon says:

    Kline is just one more example of marijuana causing brain damage in those who do not use it.

  5. NorCalNative says:

    Pete’s point #1 had me laughing so hard I almost had coffee all over my computer.

    Just to be nice to any simple-minded prohibitionists who might wander this way out of disgust, (Hi Mark and Kevin)please see the work of Donald Tashkin at U.C.L.A.

    Yes, simple-mined prohibitionist, cannabis smoke is terribly carcinogenic. It’s bad and it’s nasty, of that there is no denying.

    However, something very wonderful and miraculous in my opinion happens, even with decades of daily smoking. For some reason the cannabinoids contained within all that nasty smoke PROTECTS folks from getting the same kinds of lung damage as tobacco smokers.

    In fact, instead of being MORE HARMFUL than tobacco, there is a PROTECTIVE effect. See how I put that into capital letters and everything to make it a little easier and gentle for your retribution and punishment seeking eyes?

    Notice I say “PROTECTIVE,” and you say “HARMFUL.” If you’ve bothered to read this far why not destroy what’s left of your sad and mean-spirited idealism and type “cannabis and cancer” into your favorite search engine.

    What you will lean there Mr. Sabet and Mr. Frum and the rest of you, will blow your mind, as we old Nixon-hating hippies used to say. And if you’re smart you’ll start learning about the endocannabinoid system and how you can help push the medical science in this important direction.

    Most folks don’t get it. The endocannibinoid system is not just a player in the body’s attempts at homeostasis, the endocannabinoid system is the CONTROL PANEL. By fighting to keep cannabis illegal you are directly working against the best interests of humanity.

    Other than that, you’re a bunch of swell guys!

    • Howard says:

      I can’t remember where I read it, but the reason tobacco is carcinogenic is because nicotine interferes with apoptosis (programmed cell death). When cells do not die once their useful function is over and they age beyond when they should, mutations can occur. Of course, one form of mutation is cancer. Cannabidiol (CBD) induces apoptosis, not only in healthy cells when their time is correctly up, but also in cancerous cells. This is why cannabis is protective for people who smoke tobacco (though I imagine the protectiveness is contingent on the ratio of cannabis/tobacco consumption). Another rather amazing feature of CBD is its affect on metastasis. Discovered not that many years ago, CBD neutralizes a protein called ld-1. Any time metastasis is occurring, ld-1 is present in abundance. Even more amazing, once CBD neutralizes ld-1, cancer cells revert back to normal cells, they are not killed or poisoned along with nearby healthy cells (observed in cell cultures so far, but very promising nonetheless). CBD, therefore, is non-toxic as opposed to chemotherapy or radiation therapy which are highly toxic.

      OK, I know what I just wrote is well known to the commenters on this site. But I wrote it again anyway to remind myself how amazing the cannabis plant truly is. And as another upside-the-head swipe at the prohibitionists.

      By the way, Pete need not worry that Gregory Kline would accept a party invitation anyway. He long ago learned that “parties are bad places where babies come from”. Gregory, being a mindful fellow, prefers the stork delivery method and has avoided parties his entire life. We are all better off for it.

  6. cave horse says:

    If you don’t know the difference between malum prohibitum and malum in se, you’re just ignorant.

    If you know the difference and act as if there is no difference, you are evil.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Who the heck knew that being a cannabis law reform advocate would lead to understanding so many Latin words? What’s next, Egyptian hieroglyphics?

  7. Servetus says:

    As it’s embraced by Gregory Kline, the prohibition movement encompasses a totalitarian-based ideology and intent. In it we see “…the curious contradiction between the totalitarian movements’ avowed cynical ‘realism’ and their conspicuous disdain for the whole texture of reality.” – Hannah Arendt,The Origins of Totalitarianism, Summer, 1950.

    Ms. Arendt would go further and label Gregory Kline’s nonsense ‘nihilistic relativism’, a kind of collective insanity. She would note his authoritarianism lies in the “disappearance of politics: a form of government that destroys politics, methodically eliminating speaking and acting human beings and attacking the very humanity of first a selected group and then all groups. In this way, totalitarianism makes people superfluous as human beings.” – Cited in Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Why Arendt Matters, (Integrated Publishing Solutions, 2006), pp. 38-39.

    As far as Gregory Kline is concerned, any neutralizing attack on prohibition is an attack upon his beloved totalitarian agenda. Kline is a person driven to eliminate his chosen undesirables by whatever means is convenient, and few means are as convenient as drug enforcement.

  8. N.T. Greene says:

    This harkens back to that old argument that if we were to legalize drugs, the drug cartels would just make their money doing other illegal things like kidnapping, murder, and wanton destruction.

    …this, of course, ignores the fact that such things aren’t inherently profitable, and usually have some sort of ulterior motive (e.g. they didn’t give them money for drugs, ratted them out to the police, etc…). SO, these things don’t really make money in and of themselves. If anything, removing drugs from the equation leaves things like guns… which they already, to our chagrin, have.

    …I’m starting to think the opposition is digging for ways to rationalize their existence, and in finding clay they claim it to be gold in the hopes that no one will bother checking.

    • Paul McClancy says:

      I guess they would simply say that human trafficking and assassination contracts ate profitable, but that’s not what’s being discussed here (not would replacing those with the cannabis trade cut ther losses). I’m not going to pretend the prohibitches have a leg to stand on.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Did you know that ingesting gold will cause brain damage and death just like lead? Silver too. Of course either way it’s a very expensive murder weapon.

      • Windy says:

        You would have to ingest a whole fuck of a lot of silver to die from it. We have a gentleman here in our town who has ingested so much silver over his life that his skin is blue (dc and divadab have probably also encountered or at least seen him at one time or another, and some of you who do not live here may have seen a story on him on TV — he’s somewhat famous for his blue skin), but … he is elderly, at least in his early 80s, perhaps older, and he still looks healthy to me (other than the color of his skin), his body seems fit and strong, he stands and walks tall with a speedy stride, not at all frail. I see him at the grocery store, frequently.

        Did you know that bacteria and viruses cannot survive on silver? I take a small amount of silver colloid spray directly into my throat, daily (about a half teaspoon), to keep cold and flu from taking hold in my body. I seldom ever get any of the colds my grandkids pick up (got one last winter, but I was also under a great deal of stress at the time), and I haven’t had the flu in 49 years. I’m sure my regular use of cannabis and the supplements I take to keep my body healthy overall contributed to being able to avoid those illnesses, but silver is a part of the whole regime.

  9. Jillian Galloway says:

    Murder creates a victim, marijuana-use creates no victims. Or to put it another way, the legalization of murder would legalize the victimization of innocent people while the legalization of marijuana would have zero impact on anybody who doesn’t want to use marijuana. Surely Kline can see that?

    • Duncan20903 says:


      He still hasn’t figured out why there were people getting bent out of shape because they had reserved seating at the back of the bus. He’s examined all of the seats on a standard bus used for public transportation and noticed that all of the seats are identical, front AND rear!

  10. DdC says:

    The difference between smoking pot and murder is you can still get a liver transplant if you murder someone. Not if you use cannabis.

    The Heartlessness of Dying for Prohibition

    Anyone convicted of a felony drug violation will be denied food stamps and certain other federal benefits for life. Rapists and murderers are subject to no such penalties; nor are welfare cheats.

    1996 welfare reform act by Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas
    The federal law makes no tender distinctions between first offenders and career drug dealers, between adolescents and adults. And while children of drug offenders can still get food stamps, when a parent is denied benefits, the children inevitably suffer as well.

    “Marijuana is one of the least toxic substances
    in the whole pharmacopoeia”
    ~ Professor Lester Grinspoon,
    Harvard Medical School, USA

    It is a pretty safe bet if you discover someone has murdered someone, that they won’t be swept under the rug or censored from publishing the findings. Yet they hide discoveries on cancer treatment with cannabis. Is that not murder for all who died for not knowing about it? The list goes on from housing evictions, school evictions. If you kill someone they don’t take your house or car or furniture. If you can claim self defense you can legally kill someone attacking you. Not with cannabis even if the cancer is threatening your life and cannabis can help. I doubt if they can explore your anal cavity for murder. The drug worriers get away with murder every day telling their gossip to legislators keeping these laws enacted. So kiddies remember if you have a choice between smoking pot and killing someone. What are the consequences? With Mandatory Minimum drug guidelines basing sentencing on weight of drugs you can end up doing less jail time for murder. These liars should be in a cage with irate monkey’s throwing feces at them!

    Scientists Re-Re-Re-Discover
    Cannabis Stops Metastasis In Aggressive Cancers!

  11. Malc says:

    “There have been years when I would have been happy just to have a mattress.”

    In the 1970s, Mulica was a member of the notorious Tupamaros guerrilla group, which carried out bank robberies, kidnappings and distributed stolen food and money to the poor. He was shot six times by police six times and spent 14 years in a tough military prison.

    Since becoming president in 2010 he has pushed through liberal policies on same-sex marriage, abortion and legalised cannabis.

    He is fiercely proud of Uruguay’s reputation as one of the safest and least corrupt countries in South America, calling it “an island of refugees in a world of crazy people”.


  12. Jean Valjean says:

    TV chef Nigella Lawson continues to be on trial in London, even though it is her ex-employees who are in the dock for fraud. Their defense seems to be along the lines that Lawson took drugs, so we were entitled to use her credit cards to siphon off nearly a million pounds.

  13. claygooding says:

    I wish there was a war on murder and all violent crimes,,perhaps putting the bounty money from drug busts on violent crimes would lower the 80% unsolved violent crimes committed every day because the police are dedicating most of their resources chasing every puff of smoke.
    That would be more common sense than our government could scrape up with a snow shovel.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Put me down in favor of the war on war!

      Now if we can’t make that work because everyone can’t stop laughing at such an absurdity, I still support a no prisoners taken effort in a war on bugs. Who the heck wouldn’t support annihilation of all the bugs in the world? It also has the advantage of not confusing the sycophants of prohibition too much because the word “bugs” rhymes with the word “drugs” and we all know how easy it is to confuse a sycophant of prohibition.

  14. allan says:

    good lord, I don’t believe I read the whole thing.

    I couldn’t help but get the sense that if Kline’s oped were a meal it would consist of all the old containers in the back of the fridge – the ones with all the food covered w/ crust and multi-hued, fuzzy fungeseses. Barf bags not included…

  15. Counties could be required to create mental health courts after Michigan Senate passes legislation


    “Under the legislation, a mental health court must provide consistent and close monitoring of all participants, periodic and random drug and alcohol testing; periodic assessment of the participant’s progress; and mental health services, substance use services, education, and vocational opportunities.”

    This sounds like drug courts to me. Any thoughts? First I have heard of anything like this. Obnamacare support?

    • Obama care is what I meant to say – I ran out of edit time.

    • DdC says:

      Typical Incremental Retardation leaving the CSA intact. From a state of GOPerverts forcing women to buy GOP Rape Insurance… Just another goofy Missagain GOPerversion. Not even shocking these days. It is on the States to Boycott list as it is. The more they get their way the more see through them. I still say throw the legislators in a cage with irate monkey’s throwing feces on them. The more draconian the sentence, the more violence and threat to cops pulling them over. For a simple possession they now have a reason to avoid the arrest even if it means by violence or trying to out run the cops, endangering bystanders. The over zealous mentalities spewing this propaganda to persecute a group of people they have deemed unworthy of life. All geared to more violence over smoking what usually mellows people out. Just disgusting. If these liars are not put on display as vicious murdering thugs then there is no Justice. What is it with these perverts wanting to rule women’s bodies, anal cavities and everyones lungs? So i guess if I shoot a dozen people I can plead insanity from the pot? Looks like we have been down that road and the drug worriers learned it was more trouble than it was worth.

      ‘After Two Puffs, I Was Turned Into a Bat’
      Anslinger swept all before him for decades, to the extent that his success began to pose its own problems. Admitting to marijuana use became a popular way of avoiding conscription, and murderers cited the brainwashing powers of “an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death” to plead diminished responsibility for their crimes. Their claims were frequently supported by an expert witness, the pharmacologist Dr James Munch, who claimed that “after two puffs on a marijuana cigarette, I was turned into a bat”. Sentences were commuted from death to imprisonment on Munch’s evidence, and Anslinger had to ask him to stop testifying.

      Booth has no axe to grind, and treads a scrupulous path between the claims of anti-drug propaganda and hippie myth, but the weight of evidence finally forces his hand. The politics of cannabis, he concludes, have been driven by a Big Lie of almost Stalinist proportions, which has had a far more detrimental effect on medicine and the hemp fibre industry than on recreational drug consumption.

    • B. Snow says:

      I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest this was posted more in relation to the damn re-hashed gun-control debate & the “Mental Health Aspect” of the shooting(s) = which are admittedly tragic but also not preventable by gun control laws on the books.
      Connecticut has fairly strong laws, then there was the damn thing yesterday in Colorado (AGAIN) – I do wish they’d stop airing these things = so someone other sick-minded/obsessively fascinated person doesn’t get ideas about copycat the incidents – (out of “Nostalgia” for Columbine) OR something equally heinous along those lines.
      They shouldn’t put every shooting that occurs on TV, and certainly not just because it happened at a school.

      Sorry… It’s a sore subject for me. I turned off the damn news yesterday & went to sleep, I refuse to listen to any more “Tragedy Porn” = I’m sick of it and it becomes self-fulfiling

      (The kid in Conn. last year had printed out spreadsheets about serial-shootings & was apparently looking to set a fucked up record.)

      And, sorry but we all know we can’t ban ‘Crazy’ or anything else – aka the prohibition of anything = created the market for contraband at a premium.

      I believe that was the point of the article = Yesterday morning, the news had people talking about how the public polling on support for gun-control laws has gone down since last year. And, some were very unhappy about this…
      I’d bet/guess they’re just pleased as punch now! (At least a few – FWIW, Yes – I am both horribly cynical & jaded.)

      Right now the only ‘crazy’ people that would’ve been stopped fro purchasing a gun (in some states at least) would be “those who had been Adjudicated as being Mentally Ill” – and granted there area number of databases supposedly setup to house these lists of ‘crazy people’ – But, there was difficulty with that because few had been “Adjudicated” as such…

      And there are all sorts of other legal problems with this… Just, HOW = “mentally ill” does one have to be to lose their 2nd Amendment Rights?

      If the Nanny-Staters had their way it would be anyone with a history of depression, scratch that = IF they had THEIR way, they’d just outlaw firearms altogether for non-military persons – or better still, they’d make you go to the local national guard armory to pick up your rifle in case of a national guard deployment…

      OR, they might let you rent rifles at a target range or something – maybe lease them. (Yes, that WAS a totally ignorant suggestion some people made last year.)

      I know there are plenty of people just aching to have “Background Checks For Criminals” Joe Scarborough still won’t shut his damn mouth about it every-time someone mention the subject on Morning Joe. And, the way he says it = “And, we can’t even get background for criminals,“.

      My question to him/them on FB (never addressed of course) was: “So, where is the line for Criminals, and the line for Non-Criminals?” (And, there is a reason it was never answered = that’s because it’s an absurd question.)

      “Criminals” – You know: domestic abusers, pedophiles, drug-users, basically felons…. And there ARE people who would happily expand that list as to be large as legally possible, (Regardless of how absurd it might be legal in a legal context.)

      And it would (likely include most anyone here) unless you’ve NEVER – gotten into any trouble at all, EVER.

      The list of people not allowed to purchase guns would swell like the “No-Fly List” and be just as effective – as in it wouldn’t be anything beyond a hassle for people seriously intent on acquiring a firearm – of an sort…

      Basically = anything short of artillery, mortars, bombs grenades, RPGs. And, you can probably build most of those things MacGyver-style if you really put your mind to it!

      You could get put on the No-firearms list forever = for being caught with a joint, or god forbid – something non-herbal (oh noes!)… Would that be fair or equitable? No, no more than the 17 & 18 year old high-school sweethearts that sleep together before one of them is 18, and the parents of one press charges against the other out of spite, or even something totally unrelated.
      A dispute between the soon to be “in-laws”, OR say – the person arrested for public urination that gets put on a sex offender list because someone saw them peeing.

      I KNOW there are links around here (or The Speakeasy) of stories of people who’ve had basically everything they own seized, acres upon acres of property, cars, homes, cash and anything not cemented into the foundation = everything!
      Because, someone found cannabis plants growing on the property/premises. And all the “Nannies” would be just be aching to throw EVERYONE onto the “No-Guns List” ASAP & “ask questions later”…

      And, I’m 90% certain that IS what that story was about – not “Obamacare” – I’m surprised by all the people who had suggested/supported an ‘individual mandate’ back in the ‘Clinton Years’ = to avoid ‘free-loaders going to the E.R.’ and getting “Free Treatment”…
      Even if they are “poor” and get a subsidy (via Medicaid) it IS cheaper to have them go to a doctor when they first get sick (or even better BEFORE they get sick) – rather than when they’re in need of critical care/almost dead in the E.R.

      Again = I’m sorry for the Semi-OT Rant, I’m just sick of the renewed prejudice, racism, bigotry and people treating other people without healthcare – like they’re Reagan-Era “Welfare Queens”. I grew up hearing that (mostly) urban-myth, and its surprised me to see older family members basically talking “Welfare State” politics. Do some ‘poor folks’ have really nice cars and kinda crumy houses – Yeah sure, But that doesn’t bother me like it does folks older than me. (Heck, they might not have been ‘bent over’ as bad when the housing bubble burst.)

      I’m at the edge of the first Generation that doesn’t agree with this thinking, I believe everyone should be able to see a doctor – for one thing = you help avoid plagues that way, (You might need to look out for hypochondriacs going – wanting to go to a Dr. every other day, maybe?) But, I still don’t get all the spitefulness…
      And the use of the word “Entitlement” like it’s a curse word = unless its an old person’s Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid…

      Because, somehow back in their day – “they earned it” now days people “just expect it”…

      AKA, “These Pesky Kids and their “Sense of Entitlement” (I hate that phrase) even if its accurately used. And they forget that it IS in fact – those same “kids” who are working service industry jobs (for minimum wage plus tips if they’re lucky) – whose FICA money deducted from there checks is paying for all the old folks benefits!

      Yah see, -SOMEHOW- (for them) “Trickle-Down Economics” wasn’t/isn’t the equivalent of getting pissed on for 30+ years – while manufacturing jobs went to shiny new robots (they’re unpaid workers and they’re capital investments to boot!)
      And meanwhile – the rich (often stockholders) got/get obscenely wealthy while the poor often end up homeless, OR they’re 1 paycheck (or emergency) away from being homeless… I’ve known people & had friends that were from both groups = the really wealthy. AND, those in poverty and/or previously homeless – Guess which group most of them were from…

      Sorry, Back – On Topic: Its not “Obamacare” it’s Kev-&-Gil’s “Third Way” crapola = coming to a state near you! But the Nannies will happily put you on the ‘No-Guns background-check list’ – the minute you end up in their new “mental courts” after getting caught with a joint.

  16. Freeman says:

    Heh, thanks for the laugh, Pete. Hilarious op-ed. And the comments there were excellent! But I found it too much hassle to sign up to comment there, so I’ll just leave mine here instead:
    (if anyone that already has an account there wants to re-post it for me, I would be delighted)

    use of marijuana has a demonstrable harmful impact on nonusers

    That is an undeniable fact — just look at the harmful impact it’s had on Gregory Kline’s perception, judgment, and cognitive abilities! Perhaps he would find it beneficial to ponder why the human brain has Cannabinoid receptors, before his completely shrivel up and go permanently dormant.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Why are you people are always thinking about yourself? Why don’t you ever consider my needs and desires?


      Interesting piece of trivia: The Guam lawmakers are debating bill #215 which would allow medicinal cannabis to be used as a medicine.

  17. Windy says:

    There is a far more basic argument than the ones Pete put forth. Murder violates someone else’s unalienable right to life; while someone growing, trading, possessing or using cannabis does not violate anyone’s unalienable rights in any way.

  18. Duncan20903 says:


    Anyone who can’t differentiate between murder/robbery and cannabis is in desperate need of a check up from the neck up. The heck with trying to explain something to the people who have a hollow place in their skulls where most people keep their brain.

    Never try to teach a pig to whistle. It’s just a pointless waste of your time and even worse, it annoys the poor pig.

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