This article has been discussed at length in the comments here by those who hang out on the couch, but I was slow to get around to reading it — to be honest, I didn’t feel very excited about slogging through it. But I finally took a look:
The Real Dangers of Marijuana by Jonathan P. Caulkins in National Affairs.
Caulkins is part of a fairly tight group of drug policy pundits “in the academy” who, over the years, have claimed a middle ground by regularly condemning both sides in the drug policy debate, even if they had to invent straw men to “balance” the sides. Because of this, over the years, I have often referred to them as “intellectually dishonest” — the one insult that seems to aggravate them the most. It’s likely that part of the reason for their false middle positioning is pragmatic, as it helps give them consulting cred for opportunities with RAND, AEI, etc.
Here’s a great example in Caulkins’ piece of blatant faulty comparison:
Choosing prohibition means choosing black markets; choosing legalization means choosing greater drug dependence. It is trite but true: A country can choose what kind of drug problem it wants, but it cannot choose not to have a drug problem.
They’ve written books together, articles together, etc., and, while they do have their disagreements from time to time, you can usually count on them to stand together in their balanced opposition to both prohibition and any real opposition to prohibition, as well as the impossible demand to have the answers to all possible future questions about legalization before making significant changes in policy (as Mark Kleiman positively approves over at The Reality-based Community).
Another thing they seem to share is a strong (some might even say fascistic) nanny-state approach to policy when it comes to any kind of recreational drug. They will invariably identify a minority of the population who, for one reason or another (reasons they tend to avoid discussing at length) have a dysfunctional relationship with that drug, and then decide that policy should dictate extreme restrictions for the entire population (not just the affected population).
For example, Caulkins specifically notes that “marijuana is, for the most part, not directly harmful to third parties” and “its health harms are, for the most part, minor.” For most people, that would be a sure indication that any restriction should be very narrowly tailored. And now, of course, that legalization is inevitable, Caulkins no longer objects per se, but instead suggests that marijuana should be, as Kleiman suggests “tolerated grudgingly.” Caulkins approvingly notes “That means allowing adults access to some legally produced supply, hopefully on liberal enough terms to undermine the black market, but with restraints and hoops for users and suppliers to jump through that will be seen as features of the regulatory regime, not wrinkles to be ironed out.” Never a thought of narrowly tailoring any solution to specifically dealing with those who have a problem with marijuana. Instead, all users and suppliers are to have difficulty under Caulkins’ thinking.
This is bad policy. And just like prohibition, it involves using a sledge hammer instead of really addressing any actual problems.
Here’s a bit in the article I found rather humorous:
With the exception of the Drug Enforcement Administration, most opposition comes not from government but from non-profit groups like National Families in Action, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, the Institute for Behavioral Health, and the Hudson Institute. The governmental heavyweight, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is quick to point out marijuana’s dangers but even quicker to disavow having any official position on policy questions like legalization or decriminalization.
That really downplays governmental opposition. First of all, the DEA is huge. Second, there is the matter of all the rest of law enforcement in the country, which has been, to a large extent, bribed by the federal government to toe the anti-legalization line. Then there are agencies like the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service that have gotten in the way of state legalization efforts, the U.S. attorneys, Congress, the military… Yeah, not much governmental opposition there.
Now, let’s get to the title that I put on this post:
“It is clear we would all be better off if Jonathan P. Caulkins did not exist.”
What a horrible statement! I’m sure that Jonathan has family and friends who love him very much and the notion that they’d be better off if he didn’t exist is offensive. Why would I even consider making such a statement just because I disagree with a small impact that he has in this world? Why not just oppose those specific points without completely negating any value that he might have as a human being?
The purpose of the title of the post was to draw attention to Caulkin’s statement:
“It is clear we would all be better off if marijuana did not exist.”
In this one statement, he betrays any sense of intellectual honesty.
Who is he to decide that the entire world would be better off without the existence of marijuana just because he has identified a small subset of the population who deal with it dysfunctionally? What kind of arrogance is that?
For many people, marijuana is a valuable and wonderful thing with which they have a fully functional relationship (much as Jonathan’s friends and family may have with him). To deny or ignore that is to completely miss the boat in developing actual legitimate public policy.
By making this statement, Caulkins has shown that he’s not interested in good public policy, but rather, like a petulant child, imposing a particular viewpoint on everyone.
Bravo, that is simply -outstanding- retirement apparently suits your writing chops, Most Excellent!
â€œIt is clear we would all be better off if marijuana did not exist.â€
I didn’t have the patience to wade through the whole article.
How can he ignore the possible benefit that a cancer cure may be discovered within the plant, since some of its molecules have already been proven to kill cancer cells.
For just that one possible benefit, (let alone, myriad others), that comment of his, …
It’s one of those ‘how big can stupid possibly be’ questions.
Macaulay gets around that easily — he simply doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of “The medical ruse”.
So medical benefits are absolutely non-existent, but let’s not completely rule out the possibility of “lethal overdose” because it “is almost unknown” … “Almost no one using exclusively marijuana has died by single-drug acute overdose.”
“intellectually honest marijuana-policy analysis” at it’s finest! It can be honestly stated that, although they contain high concentrations of stupidity and dishonesty (this ain’t your father’s propaganda), “almost” nobody who reads Macaulay’s words of “wisdom” will die from it. Here’s some more:
Sure, and if one wishes to “describe, more dangerously” caffeine, one could refer to it as “a temptation commodity with habituating tendencies” as well. This is ALL he can point to in the “harms” category, so wouldn’t it be reasonable to treat caffeine as something other than an “ordinary commodity” too? Lie-man doesn’t imbibe in caffeine, so obviously he should administer coffee and tea licenses to the rest of us so that we don’t fall into the dependency trap! Like every good Witch Hunt, it’s justified by the notion that “Those who know what’s best for us must rise and save us from ourselves!”
That was a very moving video.
10 months ago z3dsdead wrote:
Moving Video. I saw what you did there! ;>)
That’s it in a nutshell. Both sides abhor individual liberty because it decentralizes power, which they each want concentrated and under their control. It’s an addiction that wreaks vast collateral damage on ourselves and our planet.
I guess it really is worth tearing some arguments apart limb by limb.
Another more excellent example Pete.
Nicely done Sir!
Jonathan P. Caulkins writes as if he were standing in a puddle up to his knees in ick-factor. Marijuana smoking is one of those icky things people do, like sex, or burping, so Caulkins dredges up all the negative muck thatâ€™s been thrown at cannabis by sadomoralists and politicians to explain the repulsive feelings coming from his reptilian cortexâ€”the icky part of the human brain. He may not even believe he has a reptilian cortex, since reptiles are so icky. Valid science seems to be icky to Caulkins as well. People who canâ€™t handle yuck tend to get labeled conservative.
Caulkins knows the logic in marijuana legalization, but the aura of stoner repugnance keeps tugging away at his reasoning. So he remains stuck in one spot, unable to make a decision, or take a different track to a specific decision or goal, always demanding a totalitarian response by government to anything marijuana-related to counter the awful images swirling in his head.
Or I could be wrong.
They just sit in dark corners
cursing the light,
Bible in their lap,
The flag wrapped around them,
pulling wings off of flies.
I see Jonathan Caulkins is pushing the myth of Cannabis addiction, let me roll on the floor and laugh
Oh 2 downvotes ha downvote me again, i will stand on the opinion Cannabis Addiction does not exist
Alcohol addiction can result in seizures, cold turkey and even death so tell me if Cannabis is addictive why is it being debunked
Or is it Bridget Klotz and Randy Philbrick who started raging like assylum patients when their so-called propaganda on Cannabis Addiction was literally debunked
Alex. addiction exists, just not with cannabis, It’s a red herring. While prohibition is the root cause of most of the harm. Being a slave to a drug is real and until prohibition ends, it is a harmful deadly practice. It’s not the same as overdosing to death on cannabis. That is a myth. Adrenaline junkies are addicted to dangerous practices and yet they do survive because they limit conditions that would cause harm. Modern Evel Knievel’s doing back flips with dirt bikes would probably be more fearful and tragic if it was prohibited and the DEA made brakes and helmets illegal.
My point is addiction is not the cause of harm. Prohibition is. Addiction is a buzzword that people fear because it has been turned into a buzzword to cause fear. To make people believe little Johnny can be minding his own business just kicking cans walking down the street and this drug can reach out and grab him and make him addicted. Then addicted becomes the evil part of the drug that makes the bad guys rich kidnapping the souls of poor innocent kids.
The same as psychological addiction as an addiction lite. Or craving. But that’s not as scary as “addicted”. But, the harm is still prohibition. We are addicted to air and water but they only do harm when we abuse them or get abused from the prohibition enforcement or alternative adulteration’s on the streets. People would act exactly the same if we prohibited water. Look at Flint. Gangsters could inflate the prices causing people to steal or mug others. Fake dirty water that doesn’t show up on piss tests but leaes you brain dead.
I imagine that is why you got the down votes. The real tragedy is that it is all unnecessary and preventable if we just stop treating people like products.
Exactly how influential is Mr. Caulkins for the war on drugs staying strong? We all know millions of lives are imprisoned for drugs, with diminished hope, finances, health and opportunities . . . added to the many who are harmed due to the fact drugs are on the black market, which increases the dangers of drugs and no hemp jobs and cannabis medicines. And my personal pet peeve is how much death drug money can finance. I know people who received shrapnel in their bellies from bombs bought from drug money and drug money keeps war opened so wealthy contract workers can buy sub-contractors from Dubai who buy sub-contract workers from India to work on bases in war zones for little to nothing pay and long hours. With so much destruction to millions of lives at trillions of dollars (cause and effect), Maybe the World would have been better off if Caulkin did not exist. Only a few people love him and are positively affected by him, but countless millions are far more negatively affected by anyone who is not gung-ho for ending the War on Drugs 100%. There are more people who have died/imprisoned by the drug war that were or are loved.
Isn’t Mr. C a professor at Mellon? And didn’t Andrew Mellon help Anslinger?
Caulkins and the rest of his circle jerk team (Kleiman, Humphries, etc.) claim to be engaging in evidence-based analysis, weighing the costs and benefits of drug policy. However, a huge cost of drug prohibition is the lost pleasure of the drug experience. Of course it’s not easy to quantify, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. As is nicely pointed out in this post, the value that pleasure is often just written off as worthless.
They often classify that as hedonism and hence sinful/immoral or something like that, Then they’ll mumble some nonsense statistic about a ‘loss of productivity’…
Which in a world where so much of our actual physical production/manufacturing is automated with robots or clever machines. And added to the fact that office jobs started dwindling away with the first decent PC’s & software packages like ‘Microsoft Office’ became ubiquitous – removing untold numbers of office personnel – who simply aren’t needed anymore.
I would strongly argue that the turn of the late 19th-to-early-20th century concept of “Productivity” has seriously lost it’s worth.
*[I edited out huge overly serious Sub-Rantit, aka ‘rabbit chasing’ diatribe here. I decided instead to go with a healthy dose of snark, for the sake of levity.]*
You know what – I’ll bet this guy and his colleagues won’t admit that they’re ALL hopelessly, Addicted!
To what some would have you believe are totally harmless (and possibly necessary to live – or so they’ll claim) = Food & Water… that’s right food AND water, they’re Poly-Addicts!
They will deny it of course, but that’s how it goes with those types… We’ve all seen their kind before.
The many “shifty” Professors of being-better-than-you, or worse those with PhD’s of smug-moral-superiority, I know its sad, but we must do something to help these people who just won’t help themselves.
Macaulay should be OT… Prohibition Pornography
How many rags are going to keep letting the damn cats drag these caulky critters into peoples homes?
Oh, they really are scrapping the bottom of the barrel.
National Affairs, Inc.
The organization has previously published both The National Interest and The Public Interest. The organization was run by Irving Kristol,(Father Neocon) and featured board members such as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick, and author Charles Murray.(Bell Curve, John J. DiIulio Jr. Manhattan Institute, CIA Think Tank to Head Bush Religion Initiative ) In 2001 The National Interest was taken over by a partnership between the Nixon Center and Hollinger International; The Public Interest ceased publication in 2005.
Better, but Strange Google News
Via the Marijuana Majority twitter account: that leads toâ€¦
Itâ€™s a civil rights issue
Drug WarRant – â€ŽJan 12, 2016â€Ž
If Joe Biden had not helped write and enact the 1998 Re-Authorization Act that requires the drug war bureaucrats to lie about the dangers and medical efficacy of marijuana would his son still be alive because cannabis could have saved him or he may …
which is actually from claygooding January 13, 2016
How do disgraced neocons thrive? Bloody Bill’s on the masthead. They take care of their own.
More google news
It is clear we would all be better off if Jonathan P. Caulkins did not exist.
Hemp strains may be legal in Kansas future
I like how Caulkins describes the stark difference between marijuana users and alcohol users.
“…Most people who use marijuana do so with the express purpose of getting intoxicated, whereas many people drink occasionally just to quench their thirst or to complement their dinner.”
I’m surprised that Caulkins forgot to mention that most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers.
He could have also mentiond that their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use, or that marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.
And he could have topped it off by informing the reader that reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.
Yeah, I love how all marijuana use is described as illicitly used for “the express purpose of getting intoxicated” and most alcohol use described as benign usages such as quenching thirst and complementing dinner. Doesn’t he know that marijuana complements the enjoyment of eating too (and music, and sex, and a whole lot more), and neither one quenches thirst — in fact both do the opposite?
“Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have
a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist.”
~ Richard Milhouse Nixon Lied about Ganja
Meeting with Nixon and HR ‘Bob’ Haldeman
Oval Office Conversation: 505-4
May 26, 1971, Time: 10:03 am – 11:35 am
RN: “Now, this is one thing I want. I want a Goddamn strong statement on marijuana. Can I get that out of this sonofabitching, uh, Domestic Council?”
RN: “I mean one on marijuana that just tears the ass out of them. I see another thing in the news summary this morning about it. You know it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob, what is the matter with them? I suppose it’s because most of them are psychiatrists, you know, there’s so many, all the greatest psychiatrists are Jewish. By God we are going to hit the marijuana thing, and I want to hit it right square in the puss, I want to find a way of putting more on that. More [ unintelligible ] work with somebody else with this.”
HRH: “Mm hmm, yep.”
RN: “I want to hit it, against legalizing and all that sort of thing.”
Continued: The President met with Arthur G. (Art) Linkletter and DeVan L. Shumway; Oliver F. (“Ollie”) AtkinsOval Office Conversation No. 500-17
May 18, 1971, 12:16 pm – 12:35 pm
RN: “I was asked about marijuana –”
AL: “You should know this –”
RN: “– two weeks ago in, uh, California, the, what do you say about this, I said well, we’re going to have a commission report, I said, [unintelligible] can be very clear, whatever it says, I’m against legalizing.”
RN: “I said, now, as far as penalties are concerned, that’s something else, they should of course be uniform but we, I’m against legalizing, period. I think you’ve got to draw the line on the damn thing because–”
AL: “That’s right. That’s right.”
He Changed His Mind About Marijuana Laws. Why?
January 8, 2015 The Marijuana Debate by Roger A. Roffman
I was just an average middle-American as far as drug abuse was concerned, knew nothing more about it than most people, and launched out into a series of lectures in which I made a lot of statements that I later regrettedâ€¦. I spent a lot of time with kids who were smoking pot. I didnâ€™t read about it from some clinical viewpoint, or some statistical angle. I went out and was with the kids. . . . They thought that the tremendous criminal sanction of a felony against pot was a most unfair thing and helped to promote the so-called generation gap. . . . And to send a kid to jail and cause him to be a felon, it didnâ€™t make sense, and so the kids didnâ€™t buy it. So in spite of the fact that they all knew what the laws were and the arrests were mounting up into the hundreds, and hundreds of thousands across the country, and doubling almost every year, they went right ahead and tried pot because they didnâ€™t believe what they were hearing.
Bernie Sanders files bill to legalize marijuana
They tried to warn them…
If Bernie wasn’t married, they would claim a trifectaâ€¦
So Why Do Democrats Defend Nixon’s Drug War?
Last night during the debate Hillary Clinton said we should reform the drug war and treat drug addiction as a health issue and invest more money in “drug courts” so fewer people would go to prison right out of the ONDCP playbook.
Drug courts are a safety valve that keeps people with money from going to prison. You must have a hired attorney and be able to afford court costs and rehab fees to be sent to a drug court,,,so drug courts do not lower the numbers of minorities and poor that will continue to fill our prisons.
Second and not least,,if drug addiction is a health issue why are cops and courts even involved?? If diabetes is caused by too many cheeseburgers then when can we expect the cops to start arresting obese people because they are endangering themselves???
Hillary Clinton doesn’t intend on stopping the flow of inmates going into one of her biggest campaign donors when one of their executives is managing her campaign.
Time did an after the debate poll:
Bernie’s only loss was over gun control and it wouldn’t have been if people had actually checked out his voting record instead of listening to Hillary’s false claims on his support for the NRA.
Dem Debate: Sanders Blasts Mass Incarceration
Marijuana Does Not Make You Stupid After All
I overall agree, Pete, but I’m unconvinced there’s intellect in this case.
The case against Certain Drug Prohibition (CDP) is a spectacular and undeniable slam-dunk, based upon the whole truth (and nothing but).
By any rationale, there’s no way CDP is constitutional (the blatantly illegally redefined Commerce Clause still atrociously stretched to condone the war on some drugs — so illegally negates the Supremacy Clause against state/local “anti-drug” laws — be lawfully damned).
Law enforcement is factually not enforcing law, but engaged in widespread treasonous sanctioned thuggery in the “land of the free” by any true intellectual assessment.
There’s not one shred of concrete evidence proving CDP is effective at all. We don’t even have a “drug-free” prison system, so the notion of a “drug-free” America (in whole or part) is demonstrably insane — not intellectual.
There’s concrete evidence proving taxpayers spend (actually waste) many billions of precious dollars annually to uphold CDP, which obviously unintellectually continues with the proposed complex judicial “alteration”.
There’s concrete evidence proving CDP is literally horribly mass destructive. Millions of non-violent lives have been ruined to varying degrees (including deadly ones) by what can only be described (without exaggeration) as idiotic evil.
At least in the case of cannabis, the fact is there’s no conclusive science proving any harm from moderate cannabis use (moderate simply covering all use without objectively proven harm), so at least Cannabis Prohibition is scientifically unwarranted. Converting suggestive research (actually obviously junk science) into tough-talking affirmations is the real harm here.
Proponents for CDP literally can’t sustain a single point in their favor. They’re completely vulnerable in the court of public opinion (the true highest court of the land), and the Internet (e.g. via us) — where persistent communication defies abusive reasoning — has proven key in wearing down the CDP behemoth with ample work still sadly remaining.
There’s nothing to righteously compromise here, but the need to thrust critically logically hard at this obvious evil (via actual intellect) to literally save millions of non-violent (actually innocent) lives.
“Choosing prohibition means choosing black markets; choosing legalization means choosing greater drug dependence. It is trite but true: A country can choose what kind of drug problem it wants, but it cannot choose not to have a drug problem.”
That must assume CDP works at all, which by any concrete measure — it doesn’t, so I see dishonesty (nonetheless the guise of “cleverly” building a selfish career out of blatant reason abuse at serious mass detriment), but I don’t see intellect.
Logic actually concludes that most people simply don’t need to use drugs, because their stress signature fits comfortably enough with oligarchical insistence. The best logic is market saturation has occurred, despite CDP.
Ending CDP isn’t about increasing drug use (or actually importantly, drug abuse).
Ending CDP is about ironically ending drug prohibition addiction (demonstrably the real drug problem) — a massive judicial construct built purely upon lies and effective thievery forming the macrocosm of the stereotypical heroin addict lying and stealing to get a fix. Drug prohibition abuse is massively enabled by the mainstream media via their addiction to impressive looking tragedy (their fix coming usually from law enforcement).
The pathetically missing idea that proper education in the information age won’t be a factor in guiding people towards or away from certain technologies (e.g. drugs) is not an exercise of intellect, but an excessively popular tool of fools.
Drug use is all about stress (from fun through healing).
Society still largely refuses to address the real problem — unhealthy stress — because defeatism (the ‘We are all stressed out, so get over it’ idiocy) is excessively embraced in this monstrous case.
Balance is stability. Anything solely contributing to your balance (including drug use) is completely positive.
Without a balance between a healthy work and relaxation ethic in this idiotic ‘work is productive, relaxation is not’ experience, that’s the logical source of mass unhealthy stress, so the source of drug (and any other form of) abuse.
Balance in this ‘there is no free lunch’ reality is also inevitable (mainstream scientifically speaking), so full payment for mass atrocity inevitably rests upon the foolish shoulders of beneficiaries of this gross (inter)national scam, so pitying them (while defending against their reckless and selfish mass destruction) is logically the sole exercise of intellect in this case.
Wickard v. Filburn in the early 1940’s is the basis of the Controlled Substances Act.
A chicken farmer during WWII wanted to grow wheat to feed his chickens. The court said if everybody did it, it would interfere with interstate commerce.
A chicken farmer in WWII growing wheat to feed his chickens is the reason why people can be put in prison for life for their involvement with cannabis. Makes sense to me.
Same B.S. was used in (April) Raich v. Gonzales.
It’s all part of the Living Constitution that’s amenable actually via vagueness and legal precedence to bypass the need for a constitutional amendment.
That’s the truest problem of this issue, because the integrity of our Constitution to protect “We the people” from abusive law (obviously why our Constitution exists, at least according to prominent American history and common sense) has been muddied by self-interests for over two centuries to excessive weakness.
The result is severely abusive law (e.g. Certain Drug Prohibition) — too much of it bypassing the judicially disarmed amendment nine logically judicially recognizing our fundamental rights (e.g. the unalienable right to liberty, which logically only means the right is limited by the right itself, so cannot be infringed upon by the too-often easily manipulated public, nor our “public servants”).
Wickard v. Filburn is not the ultimate base of this judicial “reasoning”.
From the Wikipedia entry for “The switch in time that saved nine”…
“Through the 1935â€“36 terms, Roberts had been the deciding vote in several 5â€“4 decisions invalidating New Deal legislation, casting his vote with the ‘conservative’ bloc of the bench, the so-called ‘Four Horsemen’. This ‘conservative’ wing of the bench is viewed to have been in opposition to the ‘liberal Three Musketeers’. Justice Roberts and Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, the remaining two justices, were the center swing votes.”
“Roosevelt also believed that because of the overwhelming support that had been shown for the New Deal in his re-election, Hughes was able to persuade Roberts to no longer base his votes on his own political beliefs and side with him during future votes on New Deal related policies. In one of his notes from 1936, Hughes wrote that Roosevelt’s re-election forced the court to depart from ‘its fortress in public opinion.'”
“The ruling also marked the end of the Lochner era, a forty-year period in which the Supreme Court often struck down legislation that regulated business activity.”
We obviously could go crazy focusing further upon the ultimate base into (and earlier than) the Lochner era, but the point is sound.
Abusive leadership has bypassed any concrete limits against oligarchical power and asserted itself in wild subjectivity (based often, if not always, upon dominating politics, so not necessarily justice) involving constitutional interpretation.
The tumultuous bid for power in the oligarchy usually shapes law — public safety too often merely a guise leveraged to strengthen that selfish bid.
Our fundamental rights have no true leverage, which can only be described as a broad and deep act of treason (by pre-American conservatives across the political spectrum) spanning our nation’s entire duration with supportive momentum ripping our society apart due to wild subjectivity (complex political pressures shaking our rule-of-law at serious national risk).
Political momentum instead defines liberty for each of us.
In other words, you don’t have an unalienable right to liberty — despite that truth to be held self-evident.
You’re only free to do whatever the oligarchy allows you to do (as too often defined by their desire to maintain power against public safety — e.g. Certain Drug Prohibition).
The current solution is political momentum to define liberty (e.g. dominating political leftism towards complexly regulating cannabis legality).
If anyone reading this is happy with that, then so be it (you’re obviously entitled to your opinion).
However, I understand the logical and critical need to prevent abusive law upfront to preserve judicial and societal integrity, so I leverage this serious issue involving certain drugs to reveal the demonstration of the undeniable horrors of that abuse (millions of non-violent lives ruined to varying degrees for several decades and counting).
My solution is scientific constitutionalism (bringing the scientific method to form objective language for objective — i.e. fair, so just — law), as fundamentally and even fairly complexly defined in project Liberty Shield.
Pingback: Drug Abuse Intellect | Spirit Wave Journal
“It is clear we would all be better off if marijuana did not exist.â€
“It is clear we would all be better off if the needless, human created problems surrounding marijuana did not exist.â€
There you go Jonathan, I fixed it for you.
I wonder what Jonathon does for a buzz? I’m guessing it has something to do with ligatures and gas masks…
Hey Pete, I just wanted to say thanks for posting this. I had much the same reaction as you when I first saw the link to Caulkins’ article at RBC — Oh boy, yet another propaganda piece to slog through. And there’s so much bunk there to debunk, which we knew to expect, considering the source.
But the article was just SO GLARINGLY DISHONEST that I thought it important to expose that dishonesty as much as possible, especially given that the author made so much mention of “intellectually honest marijuana-policy analysis” as if the mere assertion somehow showed that his own analysis exhibited such attributes. Your front-page post on the subject will attract much more attention than mentions from the couch on other posts ever could. And now we can expose the deliberately misleading propaganda point-by-point in comments to a post about the article, which of course one can’t do at the site where it was originally posted, and can maybe only marginally do at RBC (and here’s why that’s not worth the effort):
Note RBC’s last standing frequent dissenter Brett Bellmore’s conclusion at the link:
How utterly and transparently lame. Cheer up, Brett, maybe he’ll promote you to 3/5 of an RBC commenter once you’re emancipated. Sheesh!
Intellectual honesty and intellectual cowardice are completely incompatible. But if there’s one thing propagandists require, it’s the suppression of informed dissent.
Oh yeah, that website. I remember coming across that website shortly before dissenting comments were banned. There were interesting topics discussed amd I enjoyed it, but once real discussion disappeared, it just felt like reading a blog in North Korea (so I imagine). Now Dear Leader makes a post, everyone agrees, and the winner is the one that can suck up the most.
However, that website can still be enjoyable if you read the old pages through the wayback machine. For example, check out this old post with you and Pete posting in the comments:
Coincidentally, the post is also about honesty in the legalization debate. It’s another example of the bizzaro world they exist in.
Yeah, those were the days. It’s funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Never could get an answer when challenging one of them to provide an example in evidence of one of their specious claims. (Check out my exchange with Harrumphreys at your link).
I really love the irony of the title of their new commenting system: Intense Debate. I LOL every time I see it. There hasn’t been a singe “intense debate” over there since they enacted their informed dissent suppression policy, it’s all mutual handjobs now (and a little bit of slapping their gimp Brett around a bit before they re-insert his ball-gag).
Glad to see Pete maintaining his usual level of civility and intellectual honesty. I suppose if you can’t engage in actual debate it’s just easier to wish that the people who disagree with you were dead. And if you can’t rebut their actual arguments, just pretend they said something else and rebut that. Oh, and calling them fascists always helps. All good, clean fun.
For anyone curious about what Caulkins and I actually think about cannabis policy, as opposed to Guither’s paranoid fantasies, here’s a link:
Two full chapters of our Marijuana Legalization book (Chs. 6 and 7) are devoted to the benefits of cannabis use, medical and non-medical. There’s also a long discussion in Ch. 11 of why both pleasure and liberty ought to count as benefits.
“Third, even on those rare occasions where Kleiman does not endorse prohibitionist policy, his analysis is infused with a prohibitionist morality. In his often superb chapter on marijuana, his evidence forces him to consider alternatives. Yet he is reluctant at every turn. He brings himself to admit that the costs of the current prohibition (e.g. each year 350 000 arrests and up to 10 billion dollars in enforcement costs and lost revenue) are probably too great for the ‘benefits’ received. But he still conceives of the alleged deterrent value of prohibition as a benefit, and again implies that he believes marijuana use is in itself somehow ‘bad’.”
â€”Prohibitionism in Drug Policy Discourse by Craig Reinarman, University of California, Santa Cruz,
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DRUG POLICY, 1994. VOL 5 NO 2.
“He also bases his support for prohibition on the fact that the criminal justice system does not do a good enough job of preventing drug-related crime. Most informed observers, however, trace many of the problems in our criminal justice system to the burden and corruption placed on it by narcotics prohibition. Finally, I would note that even Mr. Kleiman realizes that only a small percentage of the population develops abuse problems with any specific drug and that we do not know what makes a given person have an abuse problem with a given drug. Why then does he recommend a nationwide policy that is oppressive, impersonal, and ineffective? ”
â€”Mark Thornton, Auburn University.
A Review of Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results, 1992.
“Thereâ€™s one problem with legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis at the state level: It canâ€™t be done. The federal Controlled Substances Act makes it a felony to grow or sell cannabis. California can repeal its own marijuana laws, leaving enforcement to the feds. But it canâ€™t legalize a federal felony. Therefore, any grower or seller paying California taxes on marijuana sales or filing pot-related California regulatory paperwork would be confessing, in writing, to multiple federal crimes. And that wonâ€™t happen.”
â€”Mark Kleiman, LA Times, 2010.
“D.A.R.E. is a wonderful tool for police-community relations, particularly, in poor neighborhoods. Getting poor kids to meet a police officer, and getting a police officer to meet poor kids, on a civil, friendly basis, is a wonderful thing to do. Police officers love it, and police departments love it, and neighborhoods love it, and kids love it and parents love it and everybody loves it.” â€”Mark Kleiman 1997
â€œIâ€™ve been going around the country trying to convince people that knowing the unsatisfactory results of marijuana prohibition doesnâ€™t prove that any specific implementation of legal marijuana will turn out to be an improvement.â€ â€”Mark Kleiman, 2013
Didn’t even read the whole post to get the explanation of the title. Good job, Mark. Thanks for visiting.
Say what you like about Markie but at least he is consistent and predictable.
How hilarious! That was my impression also: Mark Kleiman read the title, and thought, “What a horrible statement! [that is] offensive!”, etc.
And he just stopped reading. So he missed Pete’s witty rebuttal. By doing that, Mark, ironically, proved Pete’s point again…
Maybe “trap” is too strong a word, but Mark certainly seemed to step right into it. Pete’s proposal was a most mild and modest one.
Sorry I thumbs up you. But let’s pretend for one moment cannabis and the other illegal drugs are in fact illegal. The War on Drugs is worldwide and America is a leading culprit in her being so. With that said: based on the fact drugs are illegal and sold illegally by criminals, do you agree with law enforcement going after criminals? Do cops go after criminals? If so, then why do we let our Military go after the drug cartels in Afghanistan and those financed by the drug cartels (Arabic and Pashto speaking gangs)? Society tends to view terrorism as a criminal element/thing, while society tended to view the NVA or VC or even the Japanese Army to belong to a foreign enemy military. Is it OK to allow American police officers to not do their job within the United States when legal precedents set forth by the DEA (globetrotters) proves that American Law Enforcement and American Law Enforcement only should have been the ones to head over to the Middle East and not our military since it’s the job of the soldier to engage in wars, not dismantle criminal elements and drug cartels who go by the name Al Qaeda and the Taliban. I know a young man brainwashed to volunteer for his country after 9/11 to go and fight drug money and he died instead of going to school to become a scientist like his father and grandfather (Who too was brainwashed to serve his country after Pearl Harbor when the Japanese Military attacked a U.S. Territory) before him . . . so I’m not sure if science is a logical reason to keep drugs illegal, especially when there are no valid reasons for prohibition but arbitrary definitions and reasons. Arbitrary is my new favorite word after spending some time on Jacques Derrida ‘Of Grammatology’ and how much he realizes that the written language is arbitrary to the phonetic language. You can buy this book off Amazon too, which is much better than the one you are selling, which doesn’t seem to stop criminals from using drug money. I’ll tell you something that isn’t arbitrary, but factual: You and your friend Caulkin paid taxes for those American soldiers to fight drug money. Paying taxes which comes from your lifestyle(s) to support me and my research on the War on Drugs in Iraq where my conclusion was ‘Legalize it all to reduce organized crime and their various and negative effects’. If you did not agree with me, then why do you keep on paying for me and my research? You don’t keep going back to a restaurant that you absolutely hate–which serves you all the wrong food and cold, while paying for it. But you still keep on paying me. So, why don’t you be a good lad and just confess you are wrong and we are right. But then again, your ideas are based on arbitrariness and not logic or reason.
“And if you canâ€™t rebut their actual arguments,…”
Alright Mark, lets discuss this very simple, definitive statement by Jonathan;
â€œIt is clear we would all be better off if marijuana did not exist.â€
Since he mentions “we” and “all” here;
I assume this would include AIDS patients who use/used cannabis to stimulate their appetites to at least partially alleviate the effects of wasting syndrome?
I assume this would include those children with intractable epilepsy who see their seizures reduced markedly with CBD?
I assume this would include those cancer patients who have sworn that cannabis is substantially more beneficial than traditional anti-nausea medications?
And on and on and on. Jonathan’s over reaching statement is intellectually lazy at best and much more in line with being just plain stupid.
By the way, why are you standing up for Jonathan? Isn’t he a big enough boy to discuss things on his own? Or, like you, would he not take the time to read Pete’s full post to understand the title?
Actually, I am pretty sure he has seen it. He is the type of guy who feeds his own name into google on a regular basis. And if memory doesn’t fail, I do believe he has commented here more than once in the past. So, it’s a pretty sure bet he’s seen this already, and has passed on the opportunity to defend his position. That is the essence of intellectual dishonesty. It’s his bread and butter.
He also fails to explain why prohibition has never made a dent in the availability of drugs. Or why ruining people’s lives, families and future prospects serves the greater societal good. Instead Marky-mark and his ilk like to pretend that a marijuana arrest isn’t a life destroying event, that it isn’t a big thing.
Hey Mark. Big alert, pay attention: Marijuana has never killed a single person. Marijuana prohibition has killed a veritable shitload of people. It has broken up families, it has killed innocent people and family pets, and it costs us BILLIONS in maintaining the prisons and the tainted justice system. It has stretched the original Commerce clause to absurd lengths.
You make a nice buck from prohibition and the prohibitionists who hire you to conslut (not a typo) with them. Go F*ck yourself.
Oh paleeeze. Mark you’re paranoid of others smoking pot. Now that’s paranoid. After the claim that it is of minor consequences. Pete pointing it out has no bearing on fear or cowardice as someone afraid of others practices. That have nothing to do with third parties as you also claim. Control freaks are paranoid too. Or the age old description of prohibidiots being deathly afraid someone somewhere will be having fun without ever reading your book that is simply a destruction of innocent trees to print it on. Wow, I just realized you are a parasite of the hippies and stoners. Without them to blame, you wouldn’t exist.
Thanks for the belly-laugh, Mark, it earned you a thumbs-up from me. Glad to see you maintaining your usual level of hypocrisy.
Whoosh! Way to miss the entire point of the title. I’ll try to explain it to you in your own language: I suppose if one can’t control other people’s use of a largely beneficial plant that exposes them to mild risk it’s just easier to wish that it didn’t exist. So you see, that headline, and his explanation of it near the end of the post was Pete “engaging in actual debate”.
Did you even read any of the post? There are several instances where “actual arguments” are cited word-for-word and rebutted, as opposed to your comment in which you redirect us to look at “something else” in two other documents and “just pretend” arguments found therein are the real “actual arguments” we’re discussing, just so that you can claim they weren’t honestly engaged. The dishonesty of the arguments made in the article, as posted in National Affairs, is the subject here. It’s nice that you want to defend your friend’s broader views found in other publications, but none of that can change the deliberately misleading nature of the article being discussed.
Try not to take everything so personal. Pete criticized “a strong (some might even say fascistic) nanny-state approach to policy”. Real name-calling looks like this. BTW: The argument between you and Pete at the link above is pretty much settled now by CO, WA, OR, and AK, with more to come. One of you was right and the other turned out to be wrong. How well have your expert prognostications held up?
Lookout! Here comes Big Publishing to push their wares! This guy’s relentless with his Joe-Cameltoe-esque advertising campaign every time he visits here. How can we resist? Sorry Mark, your target market doesn’t seem to be well represented here on the couch.
One more thing I’ve got to agree with Pete on:
Speaking of which, enjoying that fancy new Manhattan apartment? Knowing the right people and saying the right things are how the “good life” is so often “earned”, are they not?
No truer verse has ever been penned about Kleiman and co:
Mark spams his new book. Quality.
yeah… I noticed that. A drive-by book ad!
“intellectual honesty”? I think you really do NOT understand the meaning of those words, as you most certainly do not have a bit of that in you.
Legal Marijuana: What the First Official Report Says
As of the one-year anniversary of the first legal shop opening in July, the state had secured $70 million in tax revenue out of $257 million in sales. Thatâ€™s all money that, had the law not been implemented, wouldâ€™ve gone to the black and grey markets.
So, while the WSIPP report has left us without much to go on, itâ€™s still fairly clear the passing and execution of I-502 in Washington has not been a disaster. In fact, it seems to be going pretty well. But thereâ€™s still room for improvement.
Take a weed break at work. It’s allowed!
CannaBall Run Supports Veterans Treating War Trauma with Cannabis
Marijuana News â€@MMJAlert Jan 15
Study: Weed Doesn’t Affect Your IQ, but Tobacco Might
Bernie Sanders Sweeps Online Polls
After Winning the Last Democratic Debate of 2015
How is it that the University that Mr. Caulkin teaches at could also be home to Dr. John Forbes Nash? But then again, beautiful cities do have their slums and down in outs who live on the streets–talking to themselves . . . heaven can be described by it’s opposite, hell.
Thar ya go… That’d be it mon… The Motive. The means to the end. The agenda. Tool of the trade. Along with reprogramming/rehabing people. Degradation, intimidation, segregation, stigmatizing, demonizing, and humiliation, shunning, expulsion, forfeitures, confiscations, military weapons of mass destruction. Please bartering, gag rules, 3 strikes and mandatory minimums with MaxCap contracts. Prohibiting competition for fat pharma, booze, fossil fools crude, the wars and subsidies to maintain them. Steel, coal, fracking, plastic, chemical cotton, factory farms, dairy and factory fish. Gluten and trans fat free. Bloated LEO budgets, wasted time and taxes. Corruption, adulteration’s and zealot draconian methods. Kicked out of homes, driving suspended, fired for doing a good job with stupid piss failing the test. Politicians and Policy Excerpts, with no one teaching the ECS in any Med Schools. Based on the lies and pseudoscience, political whims to block research and falsify what has been established. Trillion dollar bullshit. OiNkDeCePtion a NIDAtion into the Spirit of America and DEAth of Liberty.
New Zealand Government is being taken to court via a Lawsuit over its refusal to allow medical access to a 5 year old child with a inoperable cancer, Peter Bowtie Dunne has already said last year on Alex Renton who died of a coma in Wellington Hospital that it does not set a precedent for anyone to get access another person who also needs Cannabis Oil is Helen Kelly who has terminal cancer, Cannabis Oil aka Rick Simpson Oil is listed as a Class B substance because of the lobbying efforts from the D.E.A, Fat Pharma, Fat Booze, Fat Tobacco via ‘special payments’ to Parliament in New Zealand
And the New Zealand gov wonders why people hate them:
I have tweeted over 27 thousand articles related to the drug war and issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana. I am not bragging but making the point that I am no dummy about the issues, information and facts. I do read the articles I tweet.
I managed finally to slog through Jonathan P. Caulkin’s article referenced here by Pete. What an irritating read. All manner of fact and fiction intertwined into a hopeless mess of intellectual bloat and smoke.
The only paranoid fantasies I detect are the use of the words “dangers” and “harm” in the same sentence with the word “marijuana”, and not having those words describing the damage done to the society by the federal government and its drug war. Its just not appropriate.
Redefining harm from marijuana is what was done by the government itself via Anslinger and Nixon. Zero annual deaths from overdose should be a good enough statistic to end the debate. All other discussions are lies, embellishments and smoke.
Hearing Caulkins say â€œIt is clear we would all be better off if marijuana did not existâ€ is a kick in the teeth to a marijuana patient like myself who has no hope of extending his life span beyond the medical expectations of 2-3 years without the cancer killing qualities of marijuana.
To me when I read â€œIt is clear we would all be better off if marijuana did not existâ€, I think I hear Caulkins say “its better if you pot users were just dead”
Mr. Klieman, I’m curious why you think we would give a shit about what you or Caulkins think.
Too me, you guys are a joke until your reality-based bubble wakes up to the “evidence-based” medical science behind the cannabis plant.
Where does the role of the endocannabinoid system fit into your thinking? If you want rational drug policy discussion into the risk-versus-benefits of cannabis legalization, try adding some intelligent and in-depth information about the ECS.
It might actually give you the “taint” of legitimacy you seem to crave.
How big does the body-count need to be to wake you people up?
BTW Mark, I used to make it a hobby to check on the reality-based community site looking for that “one time” I might see some real science on the endocannabinoid system. After a few years of that game, I got bored and decided you’re weren’t serious after all.
Like darkcycle said, a Conslut.
Can John Hopkins get patent-protected Sandoz LSD from Switzerland?
After much reflection and navel gazing I’ve come to the opinion that the sycophants of prohibition need to adopt a mascot. Does everybody recall the pushmepullyou from Dr. Dolittle? I’m not nominating that particular animal but the one that was invented thanks to government sponsored research. It looks exactly like a pushmepullyou only it has the ass ends of two horses instead of the heads of two alpacas. Its most impressive talent is going nowhere fast.
Also, in regards to the title here – and Caulkinâ€™s perceived clarity: “It is clear we would all be better off if marijuana did not exist.”
from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woozle_effect :
The “Back of the Envelope Calculation” crew seems to favor reasoning by woozle when it isn’t too obvious. Which shows more restraint than other drug warrior propaganda, which seems to go full woozle.
I miss bot!
No, Pete, I read the whole ugly mess of a post. Your headline says what it says, and what it says is fugly. There’s no valid comparison between wishing an artifact didn’t exist (don’t you wish that about nuclear weapons? about cigarettes?) and wishing that a person didn’t exist. And your half-witty “explanation” explains nothing. If you were a decent human being, you’d realize you’d done something stupid and apologize. But you aren’t, so you won’t.
How in the world would you know what a “decent human being” would do? Prof. Kleiman, you’re a total fucking hypocritical asshole, a true dictionary picture worthy example of a total waste of oxygen.
It’s odd to see Mark get this angry over a post on the internet when you consider that he and Caulkins advocate a very violent form of paternalism. We aren’t talking about “nudging” social policies here. Do they really sit around and wonder why people hate them? You guys aren’t going door to door asking for people to voluntarily join your drug abstinence only club. You want to force your values onto unwilling people. You want to hurt people you find offensive. Of course people will hate you for that. I mean you’re kind of a prick – you really don’t see it?
It is clear Mark believes his blog is better off where informed dissent does not exist.
Dude, I’m embarrassed for you. Intellectual cowardice is no way to go through life.
Hey, I think Pete’s post title is offensive to all correct thinking people; offensive – just as offensive as when this man suggested cannibalism, in 1729:
Pete pointedly showed the absurdity (and arrogance of) Jonathan P. Caulkins assertion: “It is clear we would all be better off if marijuana did not exist.”
Pete made a classic modest proposal.
Caulkins’ statement was shown to be absurd.
Pete batted back a zinger, and Mark fell right for it. Although I’d have thought for sure Mark would have recognized it…
He would if he were half as intelligent as he believes himself to be.
What I’m wondering is if The Professor actually has noticed that his posts don’t get censored from this forum, like the posts of people who disagree with the little crybaby and/or the crybaby’s friends when posted on the crybaby’s forum?
Pete Guither owns a pair. Johnny Caulkin’s on the other hand is missing his “artifacts” if he ever actually claimed ownership in the first place.
Not sure which is worse, groveling by a supposed-academic or the fact that Johnny’s apparently too devastated to reply on his own behalf.
Dung-warriors don’t make a superior breed of troll, just less interesting and boring than the regular schmucks.
Incremental or just mental?
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Caulkins sounds like one of those people who think Reefer Madness is a documentary and he probably has a shrine to Harry J. Anslinger in his mancave.
Reefer Madness was originally financed by a church group and made as a documentary type propaganda exploitation drama drug addiction film. Until the early 1970s, redicsovered as a semi funny stoner cult flick.
Problem is Caulkins and his ilk think Cheech and Chong also make documentaries.
Attracted by the title and totally agree with author’s opinion that we cant say the world will be better off if marijuana doesn’t exist just like we can’t say the family and friends of Jonathan would be better off without him. Everything has two sides-good and bad, which is true of drug discovery and developmentt. They bring good at first and then gradually, the drawbacks appear. But we just can’t stop make use of it because of its bad influence while it can be controlled.