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Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:32 PM

Who will say, “I just want to smoke it”?

http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2019387073_ramseycolumnmarijuanaxml.html?cmpid=2628

Editorial columnist Bruce Ramsey writes for the Seattle Times:

A few weeks ago, I smoked it for the first time in 20 years. It was a quiet happening. I lounged by a campfire, entranced by the flames. Bugs gathered on the firewood, spooked by the smoke and heat. Some jumped to safety and some jumped into the flames. I pondered this for quite a while.

Afterward I thought, Why is this illegal? To protect the children? No children were present. And I am 61 years old. Why should I be subject to the laws for children?

The public concern over children is overdone. In the current “liberal” regime of marijuana for use as medicine, dispensaries are not allowed within 1,000 feet of a school or playground. It is a stupid rule. Within two blocks of my house a 7-Eleven dispenses tobacco, wine and beer directly across the street from a park with play structures and ballfields. There is no problem for children. The 7-Eleven does not entice the children to buy cigarettes and beer. They buy Slurpees.

Is addiction the problem? I know addiction; I was addicted to cigarettes. Marijuana is not like that. The few people who continue to argue otherwise all seem to be in anti-drug work. They are making a living from prohibition, and they are seeing the worst cases. Their world is not representative and their view is not fair.


Hopefully state initiatives in Washington and Colorado can start this nation on a saner path regarding marijuana policy at the Federal level. Vote to legalize.

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Reply Who will say, “I just want to smoke it”? (Original post)
RainDog Oct 2012 OP
cthulu2016 Oct 2012 #1
Fumesucker Oct 2012 #2
HopeHoops Oct 2012 #3
former-republican Oct 2012 #4
99Forever Oct 2012 #5
Panasonic Oct 2012 #6
porphyrian Oct 2012 #7
Ganja Ninja Oct 2012 #8
DevonRex Oct 2012 #9
OnionPatch Oct 2012 #37
not an iSheeple Oct 2012 #10
RainDog Oct 2012 #17
MineralMan Oct 2012 #11
RainDog Oct 2012 #14
MineralMan Oct 2012 #16
RainDog Oct 2012 #19
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 #24
eridani Oct 2012 #32
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 #23
SalviaBlue Oct 2012 #12
Retrograde Oct 2012 #13
RebelOne Oct 2012 #15
Autumn Oct 2012 #20
Bigmack Oct 2012 #21
yardwork Oct 2012 #18
MADem Oct 2012 #26
DiverDave Oct 2012 #30
eridani Oct 2012 #33
mike_c Oct 2012 #22
Mr.Bill Oct 2012 #25
Scootaloo Oct 2012 #27
RainDog Oct 2012 #28
Scootaloo Oct 2012 #35
RainDog Oct 2012 #38
regnaD kciN Oct 2012 #29
RainDog Oct 2012 #34
tama Oct 2012 #36
tama Oct 2012 #31

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:34 PM

1. Yes. Being sick doesn't give you novel Rights

People are entitled to consume what they want with or without a note from the principal.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 01:39 PM

2. You must be this high to ride this ride..

Oh, wait..

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 02:39 PM

3. I do. Ever see a stoned mosquito? It's funny.

 

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 02:40 PM

4. Nanny state

 

both parties responsible

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 02:44 PM

5. A saner path indeed.

But making pot smokers criminals has worked out so well.


(That is, if you are in the imprison for profit RACKET.)

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 02:45 PM

6. Colorado has Amendment 64 up, and it's leading by a margin of 60%

 

and not going away.

This is one big issue that President Obama has to face and has to do it right - in other words, remove cannabis from Schedule I listing.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 02:47 PM

7. . n/t

 

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 02:50 PM

8. I just want to smoke it.

And buy it at a reasonable price in a convenient lawful retail setting just like I can buy liquor and without the exposure to other less desirable parts of the drug culture like coke, crack, meth or illegal prescription drugs.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 02:54 PM

9. I have a MMJ license.

I got it for migraines. Through a DUer I might have found a way to figure out which variety would work for me.

In other words, one that won't make me violently ill or so hyped up that it feels like my heart is gonna claw its way out of my chest and drag me out the front door.

If I do find one I enjoy I'll be happy to stand up and say I just want to smoke it.

So far I'm just workin on not going back to the original dispensary and putting the fear of God in the woman who sold me the first 2 kinds.

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Response to DevonRex (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 09:16 AM

37. I've had one for three years now for migraines.

I get migraines once or twice a week. I have prescription drugs that help the spike-in-the-eye headache part but I still get some nausea and neck/shoulder cramping. Marijuana helps that part. I also notice that sometimes the drugs make me sluggish and tired and marijuana, sativas especially, will perk me up and make me feel alive again. (Sativas can make you feel "up" and for some people possibly even anxious, so, maybe you'd be better with indicas, which have a more relaxing effect.)

That said, I also enjoy marijuana recreationally (yes, I just want to smoke it) and think it should be legalized like wine. It's absolutely ridiculous that such a mild drug is illegal. I get more intoxicated drinking a few beers.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 03:10 PM

10. I agree with most of what he said. It's hypocritical to designate one substance as fine

 

and the other off-limits. However, it makes me furious when there is the inevitable argument about the addictive aspect of pot. While I personally experience what the author says (that nicotine seems physically addictive and not pot), I know that it's not that cut and dried. I know someone who gets ill when she cannot light up. She has been smoking the stuff since age 14 and is in her late 40s. It hasn't done her any favors in life.

THC lodges into fat cells and stays there far longer than detoxing from alchohol, cigs, caffeine and yes, even heroin. The reason for dramatic detox is because it leaves the system so quickly that it throws the body into disarray. The fact that pot is not like that does not make it benign. There are people who 'wake and bake' every day. There are people who raise kids and drive whilst stoned. It's still addictive in its own way and should never be taken lightly or compared to other drugs.

But we do need to stop with the criminalization of all substances. I wouldn't sell them at 7/11, though. Have industrial areas (where strip clubs and peep shows are common) be where they sell all this crap (including alchohol!).

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Response to not an iSheeple (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:00 PM

17. psychological addiction can occur with many things

that's not the same as physical addiction.

the truth remains that marijuana is less physically addictive than coffee and many other legal substances. the fact is that THC metabolizes within fat cells and is slowly released isn't indicative of its harmful qualities.

I don't doubt that you know someone who has a dependence on a substance - but this is the exception rather than the rule for marijuana. The stats for addiction are far below those of any other illegal substance, as well as some legal ones.

I'm sorry for your friend, but the reality is that marijuana does not display the same addictive quality as many other substances that are currently legal. If marijuana were legal, your friend could go to the public library and attend meetings to help with such an addiction - actually, your friend could do that now, too.

In either case, I learned long ago that a rehabilitative rather than punishment model is the way to go to help others with problems.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 03:17 PM

11. Lots of people would say that, and they do smoke it.

I used to, but quit in 1974 because the cost had gotten too high. It was illegal then, too, but was in very, very wide use in the central coast California town where I lived. Nobody got arrested for smoking it. People who weren't careful selling it occasionally got arrested, but I don't remember anyone being arrested just for smoking a joint, and people smoked it in public all the time. The local District Attorney made it known to local law enforcement that there would be no prosecutions for simple possession or use in small quantities. So the cops just ignored it. Even when a local supplier got arrested, charges were plea bargained down to misdemeanors.

That was then. Since then, I've lost touch with the community of people who use it recreationally. I assume they're still smoking it in large numbers. I imagine that, in most places, having a joint isn't likely to get you thrown in jail any more now than it did then in most parts of the country. I know there are states where it's taken more seriously, of course, but there are lots of places where casual recreational use isn't very risky in terms of law enforcement.

I'm not seeing any momentum out there for legalizing recreational use. Certainly not in Minnesota, where smoking it is pretty popular. Medical marijuana, yes. There's a push to make that use legal, but it's struggling in many places, and the Federal Government isn't all that interested in legalizing even that.

Still, If I wanted to smoke it, which I don't, I'm very sure I could call a couple of people and find some quickly. Some of my friends, and even relatives smoke it, and I have a 20 year old niece who definitely smokes it. I'm sure she could hook me up if I wanted to. And I wouldn't worry for even a minute about the cops breaking down my door. I wouldn't smoke it in public, and not in my car, either. But, I could smoke it again if I wanted, with just about the same concern as I used to have, which was none at all.

Legalizing recreational use is going to be tough to sell. It's just too easy to say no for so many people, and too easy to smoke it if you want to without fearing the cops.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 08:51 PM

14. Legalization is winning in the polls in Colorado

Legalization is on the ballot there.

Colorado has more "libertarian" conservatives than religious right conservatives - and that's why many people think legalization will happen there this November.

So, there is momentum out there for legalizing recreational use.

The momentum for legalization has existed since the mid-1990s when California and Arizona (tho AZ legislators overturned the vote... how democratic) legalized medical marijuana.

Since then medical marijuana has become legal in at least 16 states - nearly half the population of the U.S. - and with the legalization of medical marijuana, people have seen that all the scare stories are not true.

Since medical marijuana has been legalized in so many states, Americans have overwhelmingly moved from support for prohibition to support for legalization - first with medical marijuana - polling at 70% in favor for years, and, this year, for the first time, a majority of Americans polled in favor of legal recreational marijuana.

So, you may not see the momentum, but it's there.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 08:57 PM

16. We'll see. In the meantime,

people who just want to smoke it will continue to just smoke it. They've been doing that for decades. That was my point.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:04 PM

19. Not really

some people will not use marijuana even when it can be helpful for them, medically, b/c it is illegal - because their positions in life make this a difficult thing to do.

I was responding to your claim that you saw no momentum. When I read up on the way public opinion has shifted on this issue - it's pretty amazing.

The only thing keeping marijuana illegal at this point is the pork for certain agencies w/i the govt, the private prision industry, and legislators who kowtow to them.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #14)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 03:40 AM

24. Legalization is polling even stronger in Washington with I-502.

It's up around 58% in the latest polls.

They have $4 million to burn on last minute TV ads, and no organized opposition.

They have a tremendously impressive list of endorsers, including two former US Attorneys, the sheriff of King County, the Children's Alliance (!), and the Republican US Senate candidate (but not Democrat Maria Cantwell--boo).

Legalization is all but certain to win in Washington, and could well win in Colorado. It's also on the ballot in Oregon, where's it's running under 50%, but where there's a large undecided vote.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #24)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 06:08 AM

32. Both the incumbent King Co. sherriff and his challenger are fighting over who is most behind--

--legalizing pot!

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 03:36 AM

23. But more than 800,000 people got arrested for pot last year.

Ninety percent of them for simple possession.

I can't be too sanguine about that.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 04:10 PM

12. I just want to smoke it.

There, I said it. I couldn't agree more. I am a 57 year old woman who recently smoked (just for the hell of it) after 30 years. It was lovely. I wish I could do it again. Legally.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 05:09 PM

13. I don't want to smoke it

I don't think it will help my chronic cough, but if you do that's ok with me (just not in my house, as the smell lingers) But I wouldn't mind growing some plants: they're supposed to be drought tolerant.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 08:56 PM

15. I do not either. I smoked it years ago,

but have no desire to smoke it now. But I do believe it should be legalized. I think it would be the first step in combating the drug wars.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:06 PM

20. It's great on food.

I like it on my salads.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:08 PM

21. You might want to vaporize it... or eat it.. much better IMHO... nt

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:02 PM

18. I resent that I can't grow it.

Marijuana is a beautiful plant. It used to be recommended for planting fast-growing screens. It is a lovely bright green and smells great on a warm summer day. Why is it now illegal to grow a plant that was a part of many gardens 100 years ago? Stupid laws.

I should be able to grow a few opium poppies for personal use, too. And magic mushrooms. It's ludicrous that the government is telling me that I can't grow plants in my garden that humans cultivated for thousands of years.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #18)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 03:52 AM

26. It is a common ornamental plant in southwest Asia (Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan)...

It's also a weed over there, too...

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Response to MADem (Reply #26)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:28 AM

30. Hell, it's a weed here.

I started driving my truck cross county in 1993.
Going across I-40 in Arkansas I looked over in the ditch at those tallish plants, after several miles I noticed the shape of the leaves.
Turns out its hemp that got away in the 30's and 40's.
Very low THC, and if the cops saw you taking it, they would hassle you (per a truck stop waitress).
But too much to cut/spray down, so they just let it grow.
I was gob smacked when I realized what it was.

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Response to DiverDave (Reply #30)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 06:09 AM

33. Often used by unscrupulous dealers in that part of the country--

--to cut their stashes of more potent stuff and still charge the same.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 01:03 AM

22. I just smoked it....

eom

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 03:47 AM

25. I prefer to eat it.

I've been bad enough to my lungs during my half century on this planet. I quit smoking ten years ago.

I make some cookies that will melt your mind.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 03:55 AM

27. This has always bugged me about pro-legalization arguments.

They always focus on the "super magical plant that does everything EXCEPT get you high" shit. It's all about making butter from the seeds and paper fro mthe stems, but never mention of getting THC from the buds.

And I think that's a large reason why legalization keeps stalling, becuase a bunch of bleary-eyed peopel who smell like nag champa are pretending htye have zero interest in getting high, as if getting high were this terrible forbidden thing that must not be mentioned ever. By distracting from the main use of the stuff, all that goes is empower the pro-arrest crowd.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #27)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 04:07 AM

28. well, other than the stereotype

about the bleary-eyed people who smell...

the reason that this issue went through medical issues to get beyond the propaganda is because the issue was thought settled during the Carter administration until some people in govt. offices were caught with other illegal substances. Even Ronald Reagan was in favor of legalization until he sought the national nomination for prez.

then the AIDS epidemic hit - and hit hard in California. The medical uses of marijuana were important in easing the suffering of AIDS patients and this radicalized a lot of people who could care less about whether or not mj is legal or not - parents growing mj in their backyards to help their children with AIDS, that sort of thing.

There's more than one issue here. The industrial uses of hemp grade cannabis, the medical uses, and the recreational uses. We're a nation with a lot of puritans. And a lot of racists. The mj laws were based upon racism and they continue to work as "dog whistles" for those who dislike Hispanics, blacks and hippies - Nixon's old enemies list redux.

It's easier to get people to pay attention when you mention health or industry, rather than pleasure.

I think the point of the editorial is that the guy isn't and will not be a bleary-eyed stereotype - b/c this stereotype isn't representative of the issue.

ymmv.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #28)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 08:00 AM

35. I live in a community of nothing but smokers

And my findings indicate "reek of nag champa" is pretty accurate

My point is... most of the people pushing for legalization are doing so because they want to get high without getting arrested. And as far as i can figure, that's a perfectly rational argument on its own. However, it's an argument that almost never gets used. There's not much "I'm an adult, and if I want to forget what time it is and think my idea for a Rob Schneider movie is the best thing ever, I'm allowed to do so!" in the discourse.

Instead, they argue about everything except the obvious. And to me that comes off like when a child is trying to justify some purchase from their parents; "No really mom, I need this computer so I can do my homework better, and make a penpal in Finland, and email Aunt Suzy and... what? World of Warcraft? Never heard of it!"

What this does is perpetuate the notion that getting high is "taboo." It's so bad that even marijuana advocates don't want to talk about it, see?!

Arguing from an agricultural standpoint is moot; there's nothing that marijuana can do that hemp cannot, after all. except get you high.

Arguing from a medical standpoint, well, doesn't that just encourage research into chemical isolates to be delivered in pill form on prescription, rather than legalizing marijuana?

We want marijuana legal because the notion of being arrested for getting high or for owning a plant is fucking ludicrous. it's time people grow up and just take that position rather than trying to excuse their advocacy.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #35)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 12:01 PM

38. Again, there are multiple reasons

the AG issue isn't moot b/c hemp is illegal b/c mj is illegal. it's all classified under the same schedule.

medical uses at this time include whole marijuana in suspension used as a nasal spray b/c people have found that whole plant cannabindoids work better on many things than isolating particular ones... i.e. people want CBD with their THC for arthritis or IBS. Other potential uses for more serious illnesses would surely include things that wouldn't be consumed like an herb - and research on those things is stymied by the illegal status and scheduling of marijuana - so, yeah, that matters too.

My stepmother would not use marijuana when she was going through chemo b/c it was illegal.

I want marijuana legal for a host of reasons, not just one. The larger point, to me, is that the legal status is absurd no matter what - but, yes, included in those absurdities is the reality that marijuana is safer than alcohol - so why can't people have a choice?

The current situation puts people at risk for the many, many jobs that drug test for no good reason. People who work in certain industries cannot admit they use marijuana because it would put their livlihoods in jeopardy - so what I was trying to get at is that there are people who do use marijuana who do not fit the stereotype but who do not think they can simply say it.

This is why the stoner stereotypes annoy me. I know many people who would not fit anyone's idea of a stoner, who are high achievers, who work in demanding and responsible jobs every day - and because of the laws we have - it's not safe for them and others like them to speak up.

If you really care about this issue in terms of personal freedoms, it might be useful if people didn't perpetuate stereotypes and recognize that the world exists beyond their neighborhoods.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:13 AM

29. What makes this interesting...

...is that Ramsey is the conservative columnist at the Times.



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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #29)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 06:55 AM

34. that IS interesting

I wonder what the political percentage is, for liberals, when conservatives speak in favor of an issue... when does it become "safe" to move forward on an issue because the issue is bipartisan?

Arkansas has an initiative on their ballot, too.

http://www.mpp.org/states/arkansas/

There are now 17 states (plus Washington, D.C.) with medical marijuana laws, but none in the American South. That could all change this November. When Arkansas voters head to the polls to vote for president, they’ll also be asked whether the state should become the 18th to allow seriously ill patients to use marijuana to treat their symptoms.

With support from MPP, activists with Arkansans for Compassionate Care were able to collect over 100,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify the initiative for the ballot. Medical marijuana foes sued to try to block the initiative in court, but the Arkansas Supreme Court rejected the challenge in September, clearing the way for the question to be put to voters.


It will be a good thing when the first state in the south changes their law - that's the only region in the nation that hasn't initiated mmj law in at least one state.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #34)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 08:47 AM

36. Map

 



United States cannabis laws.
light green - States with medical cannabis laws
States with decriminalization laws
dark green - States with both

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 05:59 AM

31. kr

 

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