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Print 51 comment(s) - last by SandmanWN.. on Nov 24 at 10:41 AM

Government-built Google mashup sends a mixed message

Attempts by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to make a point about California-legal medical-marijuana dispensaries went horribly wrong earlier this month, when the office’s official “Pushing Back” blog published a Google Maps mash-up supplying the public with a map of downtown San Francisco’s marijuana dispensaries.

The mash-up was originally built to make a point -- San Francisco is so saturated by medical-marijuana dispensaries that they exceed the number of Starbucks coffee shops in the city’s downtown area.

Both San Francisco city officials and the San Francisco Chronicle are questioning the federal governments sources, however. One city official told City Insider that the data presented was “extremely incorrect.”

“I don’t know how they got that,” he added.

According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, there are only 24 dispensaries in San Francisco in possession of the necessary permits, or trying to apply for them.

Even the ONDCP’s assessment of Starbucks locations is incorrect, said Starbucks spokeswoman Vivian Doan. The map should have listed 71 locations, when it instead listed 66.

In a follow-up post, the ONDCP implies that it gathered its data from publicly-available search engine listings. “It's hard to be exact,” reads the post, “but based on publicly available info on search engines, we believe that there are more listings for pot dispensaries in SF than there are Starbucks.”

The post, authored by ONDCP spokesman Rafeal Lamaitre, then acknowledges statistics from the SF Department of Public Health, before noting that the number of “registered pot clubs” in San Francisco still exceeds the number of Taco Bells (18), Middle Schools (14), and district police stations (14).

“Simple Google searches will find far more pot establishments in the San Francisco area. Some of these even offer delivery services,” the post reads, including a link to one such service.

The original version of the mashup listed a total of 98 dispensaries. When questioned about the source of its data, the ONDCP provided a list of 74 dispensaries and revised its map to show 71. Officials say the removed entries consisted of “alternative-medicine-type” shops whose marijuana offerings could not be confirmed.

Wired’s Threat Level notes that ONDCP was previously caught producing fake news broadcasts in 2005.



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Does this surprise anyone?
By FITCamaro on 11/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By arazok on 11/20/2008 9:50:30 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
As far as marijuana, as much as I am against it, I see it being legalized some day.


I’ve never understood why it’s republicans that are always opposed to legalizing pot. This is the party that’s supposed to be against government involvement in our lives. I think that if they droped their obsession about some law and order issues, you would see more of them getting elected.

As a Canadian, your laws seem totally surreal to me. You can buy a beer at a gas station (I can only buy Beer by the case at government run stores with horrible hours), but a joint will get you locked up for 25 years.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/20/2008 10:01:37 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
This is the party that's supposed to be against the government involvement in our lives


You, my friend have the Republican party badly confused with the Libertarian party.

With only a few die-hard conservative Republican stalwarts left in Congress (mostly older), within a couple decades the Republican party will be totally owned by the neo-conservatives, ala Bush/Cheney.

Neoconservative != Conservative
in any way. Neoconservatives support intrusive government on selective topics -- abortion, gay marriage, drug policy. They also support big deficit spending -- corporate tax breaks ("trickle down"), trade incentives, and large military budgets. Whereas conservatism tends to isolationist foreign policy, preferring to stay out of others' messes, Neoconservatism seeks to police the world.

Neoconservatism is probably closest to militaristic/religious nationalism in philosophy, and is sadly in control of the Republican party today.

True conservatives -- those who advocate small government and minimal involvement -- are left with fewer choices by the year as they are forced to choose between Democrats and Liberals, two equally un-conservative parties, or a fringe party that will never garner enough votes to win elections.

My regrets go out to you true conservatives.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By arazok on 11/20/2008 10:40:40 AM , Rating: 5
For once Jason, I have to say you are correct. I’m searching for the conservative of the past, and not the one of today.

I guess I’m advocating that the Republicans return to their roots. It’s too bad Ron Paul has no personality.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By FITCamaro on 11/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By FITCamaro on 11/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By ChickenMcTest on 11/20/2008 1:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
You are way over estimating the money spent on Health and Human Services. For 2007 we spent about 1.6 Trillion on what I would describe as "social" programs and 1.3 Trillion on military and national security programs.

http://photos.webridestv.com/datastore/images/user...

The problem with military deficit spending is that it does not produce any thing. My federal grant (social program) helped me get through college, and get a career in accounting. However my friends M-16 and combat training (defense spending) which he used in Iraq got him a job as a cashier now that he is back in the States.

Also there is good deficit spending and bad deficit spending. The government can run a deficit if it creating new infrastructure. Infrastructure is an investment, it should create returns. The government can not use a deficit to finance it's military. A large standing army does not create any return on its investment.

If we are to follow the example of Regan, Bush I, or Bush II, then republicans love deficit spending.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By FITCamaro on 11/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By knowyourenemy on 11/20/2008 5:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
"As far as gay marriage, its been between a man and a women since time began. I see no reason to change that."

In the sense that it is a religiously defined term, I agree. Whatever the religious says can and can't happen, so be it. Leave it to the religion. However, in United States law, I must sincerely disagree. This war of semantics has brought up some of the most ridiculous bigotry I have ever heard. Goes to show that I didn't grow up during the civil movements through the 50s to 70s.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 11/21/2008 1:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see how you're equating an opposition to gay marriage with bigotry. I may be legally barred from marriage to another man, but I'm likewise prevented from marrying an underage child, a farm animal, or a length of rubber tubing. Are those laws bigotry as well?

It's important to understand what this struggle is really about. Gay couples already have the right to live together, and to file domestic partnerships that grant them nearly all the rights of a married couple. What do they lack? Primarily, nothing but the ability to force employers who offer health-care benefits to traditional couples to extend those benefits to them.

Of course, many employers already choose to do this anyway. Personally, as a citizen of a supposedly free country, I favor the free choice option myself.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By NullSubroutine on 11/23/2008 7:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
An underage child, farm animal, or length of rubber tubing cannot consent to marriage.

Thats besides the point of the equal protection clause in the constitution, which states much be applied equally to everyone, and you cannot discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, gender, religion, etc...


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 11/23/2008 3:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
You've misinterpreted that clause. The right being extended here is that of a man and a woman to enjoin in marriage. The 14th Amendment states that right must be extended to all people, i.e. a gay man must still be allowed to marry a woman, and a lesbian still has the right to marry a man.

It does not, however, generate new rights in itself, such as the right for two men, gay or not, to marry each other.


By NullSubroutine on 11/24/2008 4:34:31 AM , Rating: 2
No, that is not true. Until there is an amendment to the US constitution that states marriage is between a man and a woman the 14th provides someone has the right to marry a man or a woman regardless of their own sex. Man+woman is a social custom not law. (except states that passed law, but are most likely unconstitutional)


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By wordsworm on 11/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Aarnando on 11/21/2008 1:24:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
As far as gay marriage, its been between a man and a women since time began.


A gay marriage...between a man and a woman...

Anyway, I know what you meant, so I'll quit harrasing you on that point. However, I think you have some facts wrong. Marriage has not been around since time began. Marriage is a concept invented by humans, and represents little more than a business deal no matter how much flowery language, fancy clothes, and delightful foods you throw into the mix. In the sense of a business deal, why should anyone care if it's the combination of a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman?

I think what you're mistaking marriage with is procreation. Where humans are involved, procreation does irrefutably require a man and a woman. But no one is trying to redefine the laws of procreation, so what exactly is the problem?


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 11/21/2008 3:05:59 PM , Rating: 4
> "In the sense of a business deal, why should anyone care if it's the combination of a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman?"

Because a traditional marriage formalizes a union where both partners are capable not only of procreation, but of raising their biological offspring in a two-parent household, an arrangement that has substantial benefits for society. The conception and rearing of children has been the basis not just of marriage, but of society itself since the earliest days of protohistory. For the same reason we (in most states, at least) make marriage easy, but divorce difficult-- social stability.

And before you say it-- yes, I'm aware of a few "studies" which purport to suggest that a gay couple can raise children as well as a traditional one. I think we all realize such studies are utter nonsense, designed only to prove a foregone conclusion. The issue has nothing to do with "gayness", but the simple fact that the optimum environment for children is when they have a biological connection to both parents. In other words, the situation for which millions of years of evolution has shaped us.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Aarnando on 11/21/2008 5:55:30 PM , Rating: 3
I can wholeheartedly agree that traditional marriage does have benefits to society in the forms you state, but, if that is your reasoning as to why gay marriage should remain illegal, then what you are proposing is a form of punishment for gay couples who wish to be married. Since they won't create and rear children, they aren't allowed to marry.

Rather than punish citizens, I'd prefer to grant them a right which would possibly create a beneficial union between two people. Unless you want to argue that a satisfied citizen free from discrimination is not beneficial to society?


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 11/21/2008 8:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
> "as to why gay marriage should remain illegal..."

First allow me to correct you. Gay marriage is not "illegal". No gay couples are being jailed or subject to any criminal penalties. They're allowed to have a union, but the State simply refuses to recognize it. A subtle, but critical distinction.

> "Since they won't create and rear children, they aren't allowed to marry"

If I refuse to have children, I am denied the writeoff of a dependent. If I refuse to buy a hybrid car, I am denied the tax credit for such. No difference in either case. The State chooses to reward certain behaviors. Gay couples are not being punished in any way -- they're simply not receiving the reward that a traditional couple does.

Given recent demographic statistics, I believe such a benefit doesn't go nearly far enough to rewarding child rearing. Within 30 years or so, we're going to be forced to issue far larger bonsues to those couples who both choose to have children, and to bring up them properly. The hardworking, well-educated segment of society is not having nearly enough offspring to even maintain their own numbers, much less enlarge them.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Aarnando on 11/21/2008 10:13:02 PM , Rating: 3
You got me on the illegal bit. I mispoke. Touche!

quote:
If I refuse to have children, I am denied the writeoff of a dependent. If I refuse to buy a hybrid car, I am denied the tax credit for such. No difference in either case. The State chooses to reward certain behaviors. Gay couples are not being punished in any way -- they're simply not receiving the reward that a traditional couple does.

You're veering from the topic of marriage, to the topic of dependents. You are not required to have a dependent to be married, nor are you required to be married to claim a dependent (child or otherwise). So it really isn't here or there concerning why a gay coupled isn't allowed to be a legally recognized married couple.

I'm also curious to your stance on heterosexual couples who get married or are already married, but for whatever reason are unable to conceive a child. In this regard, how do they differ from a homosexual couple in your definition of marriage as...

quote:
a traditional marriage formalizes a union where both partners are capable not only of procreation, but of raising their biological offspring in a two-parent household


Heterosexual couples unable to conceive are not barred from being legally recognized as married, yet they don't meet the same portion of your criteria as a gay couple. I'm not trying to trick you with this one, but would honestly like to understand how you can justify allowing marriage in one instance yet bar it in the other simply on the basis of heterosexual versus homosexual if it's mainly, as you stated, about child rearing.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 11/21/2008 11:06:49 PM , Rating: 1
> "You're veering from the topic of marriage"

Veering? No, I'm demonstrating a parallel case, with relevance to the point at hand.

> "You are not required to have a dependent to be married"

It's nearly impossible to write a law to perfectly compel the desired behavior. The home ownership writeoff is given to encourage equity building-- yet a homeowner who destroys their equity through bad choices still receives the credit.
The hybrid auto tax credit is given to reduce gas consumption-- yet a person who buys a hybrid but burns even more gas than they did before, still receives it.

A married couple in one household has lower expenses than two people living apart-- yet they pay less taxes, not more. Why? If one discounts the encouragement of child rearing, granting a tax benefit from marriage is utterly ludicrous. So why should a gay couple be rewarded for what is, from a procreational perspective, counterproductive behaviour?

Now one can certainly argue that a couple without children shouldn't receive the benefit either. However, statistics tells us that most couples presently without children will eventually have them. Even should they be sterile, future medical advances may well change that.

I believe the tax laws will ultimately have to be rewritten to do just what you suggest -- reward only those who have children, rather than those who simply get married. In that case, this entire debate itself becomes moot.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Aarnando on 11/21/2008 11:31:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Now one can certainly argue that a couple without children shouldn't receive the benefit either. However, statistics tells us that most couples presently without children will eventually have them. Even should they be sterile, future medical advances may well change that.


By that same logic, I guess we can also hypothetically predict that future medical advancements may allow homosexual couples to conceive. Now I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but I use it to show that both avenues of hypothesis are flawed. It is ridiculous to base current marriage laws around possible future medical advancements which may allow conception where it is impossible now.

Even when accepting your theory of medical advancements, we're still left with a loophole which doesn't account for heterosexual couples who marry and simply choose to not conceive.

Furthermore, I don't believe the real issue over gay marriage is whether a gay couple can conceive or not. I believe for most opposition is based on bigotry. I'm not accusing you of this. If your stance is based on the inability of a gay couple to conceive, well I can't argue whether or not it is possible (obviously it isn't), but I am inclined to disagree that it is a reasonable basis for what constitutes a marriage. Especially when compared to benefits granted to heterosexual couples who either cannot now, or do not ever want to conceive

It's been interesting debating this with you, but obviosuly we both have our own opinions and will not be swayed. Rather than continue the back and forth, I'll simply hold my opinion until the issue arises in my state.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 11/22/2008 1:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
> "is ridiculous to base current marriage laws around possible future medical advancements "

Now you're just being silly. Current law is based around the fact that the vast majority of married couples eventually have children. Every single one? No, but 95% or more do.

What percentage of gay couples currently conceive and rear their children? Zero. Zip. Zilch. None whatsoever.

> "I believe for most opposition is based on bigotry"

Could be. It's also entirely irrelevant. Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation not to free slaves at all, but simply impair the South's ability to wage war, and to belp the North win. Does that magically make the law itself wrong?


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Aarnando on 11/22/2008 2:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
Alright. You've lured me back for one more go round...

quote:
Now you're just being silly. Current law is based around the fact that the vast majority of married couples eventually have children. Every single one? No, but 95% or more do.

No, I'm not being silly. You countered my question of married couples who are unable to conceive by stating that they will probably be able to conceive in the future due to medical advancements. I countered by stating that basing a current law on possible advancements in the future is ridiculous. I stand by that claim. If you want to rescind your previous statement and begin discussing the present as basis for law, as you've done, I welcome that as it is more rational. However, your change in argument does not render my rebuttal silly.

quote:
What percentage of gay couples currently conceive and rear their children? Zero. Zip. Zilch. None whatsoever.

This is true. I admitted as much in my last post. Please refer to that post if you're curious as to how I feel this should or should not relate to marriage laws.

quote:
Could be. It's also entirely irrelevant. Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation not to free slaves at all, but simply impair the South's ability to wage war, and to belp the North win. Does that magically make the law itself wrong?

I don't know enough about that period in history, or the machinations behind Lincoln's descision to pass this law, to agree or disagree with your claim. Luckily for me, I'm not arguing for or against the Emancipation Proclamation.

I will, however, disagree that opposition to gay marriage based on bigotry is irrelevent. Anyone is allowed to harbor prejudice on a personal level. It's the right of any free person. When that bigotry leads to decisions which effect the rights and priveleges of a segment of the population on a state or national level, then I have a problem. If a bigotted mindset is the driving force which leads to the granting or rescinding of rights, then yes, I would say it is wrong.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Aarnando on 11/21/2008 6:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
The more I think about it, the more outrageous the child rearing line of reasoning seems to me. What if a heterosexual couple cannot conceive (do to age, health problems, etc.)? Should they not be allowed a marriage license, or should they have theirs revoked if already married?

The fact is we let such couples marry indiscriminately because it is acceptable. Despite the fact that their marriage will not bring about the benefits to society you described. Certainly such a couple could adopt, but, as they do not have a biological link to the adopted child, it is not the optimum situation you described.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 11/22/2008 5:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "The more I think about it, the more outrageous the child rearing line of reasoning seems to me. "

With all due respect, I fear you lack the historical perspective to properly appreciate this aspect. Our laws and historical traditions of marriage, divorce, inheritance, and even criminal codes of law exist for the sole reason of creating a stable, self-perpetuating society. That means the conception, protection, and raising of children. Everything, from our ancient customs of chastity to the notion of "women and children first" from a sinking ship derives from this one, all-encompassing goal. Nothing matters more about the children.

Any society at all, no matter how rich, powerful, and well-educated will vanish in the blink of a historical eye, should it forget this one important fact. Fail to have and raise two or more children, and you've lost the genetic lottery.

Why are couples who cannot conceive allowed to marry? Quite simply, because the laws date from a period in which we couldn't possibly know a person was sterile until **after** they were married and spent years attempting to have children. QED. End of proof.

Should we update those laws, so that only couples who actually conceive children receive a tax benefit? Based on current demographic statistics, I believe we'll be forced to drastically, radically increase the benefits of parenthood within the next half-century or so, or face our own extinction.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By grcunning on 11/23/2008 6:18:01 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Alcohol is not physically addicting as many drugs are


I can't believe that there is still people left in the world who think that alcohol isn't physically addictive...
You ever hear of the DT's? Far worse than getting off of crack.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By SandmanWN on 11/24/2008 10:41:27 AM , Rating: 2
No its not physically addictive. Alcoholism is classified as a mental disease. Other than making you pee a lot and ruining your kidneys the adverse effects stop when you stop drinking.

On the other hand taking harder drugs like crack leads to physical withdrawal conditions and physical discomfort after you stop taking them. You body develops a dependency on drugs that does not exist in alcohol.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By FITCamaro on 11/20/2008 12:25:59 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
corporate tax breaks ("trickle down")


Oh and last I checked, you favor massive government subsidies to make solar and wind attempt to compete with coal and nuclear (which they still don't do).


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By homerdog on 11/21/2008 12:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
6 yourself!

And for the record I almost never agree with you :)


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By FITCamaro on 11/20/2008 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
I will agree that our drug laws need a bit of overhaul. As does our definition of sexual predator. Sleeping with your 15 year old girlfriend when you're 17 should not make you a sex offender. Laws vary state to state, but that doesn't make it right.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By bohhad on 11/20/2008 10:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
i think i can explain why pot remains illegal here. the 'war on drugs' (aka war on american citizens) is big money. hard drug users (stuff like cocaine, crack, heroin) probably account for a very small percentage of all drug users, and the american public would not tolerate paying so much in taxes to fund the war on drugs for such a small portion of the population. therefore, marijuana remains illegal, to scare everybody into thinking the drug problem is ginormous, and keep the tax dollars flowing


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 11/21/2008 9:01:49 PM , Rating: 3
> "I’ve never understood why it’s republicans that are always opposed to legalizing pot. "

I don't see many Democrats standing up for legalized pot, either. Still, in very general terms:

Economic freedom: Republicans.
Personal freedom: Democrats.
Both economic and personal freedom: Libertarian.
Neither economic nor personal freedom: Statism (Fascism/Communism, etc).


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By robinthakur on 11/20/2008 11:06:27 AM , Rating: 2
Would you rather have a liberal society or one which tramples all over your rights? If you were gay, would you rather live in SF or, say, Texas? I'm sure you are intelligent enough to empathize beyond your own experience.

I find it pretty ludicrous and alarming just how many catastrophic laws have been passed in the US with zero opposition to limit your freedom, like the Patriot Act 1 and 2 and the DMCA as well as that other one where your mp3 players can be seized at the borders. Its all very V for Vendetta...

Re the documentary, maybe they meant in the non-monetary sense they are all equal. 1 middle class lol.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By MozeeToby on 11/20/2008 1:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite zero opposition. My Senator not only submitted several ammendments to limit the scope and power of the act, he was also the only Senator to vote against it (even after his ammendments had passed).

Yay for Wisconsin, home of the only senator who could step back and say "wait a minute, that just isn't right" even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. It's weird, Wisconsin isn't even that Liberal but it somehow has the most liberal member of the senate as it's senior senator.


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Xavitar on 11/20/2008 9:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
V for Vendetta? It's very Nineteen Eighty-Four.

As a true conservative, I find myself aligned more with the Libertarian party than the 'Republican' party these days. Who could have predicted that the party of Lincoln would end up taking us closer to 'oligarchical collectivism' than we've ever been..?


RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By FITCamaro on 11/21/2008 8:32:39 AM , Rating: 2
I go the better way and align myself with no party. I'd vote for a member of the Democrat party if they were a conservative. Unfortunately I have yet to see one. I would've been happy to cast my vote for Ron Paul. Maybe one day, a real conservative like him will have a true shot at winning. But with our media and many people caring more about what "free" sh*t a candidate will give them, I don't see it happening.


Marijuana Prohibition is a Joke
By Methusela on 11/20/2008 9:08:24 AM , Rating: 3
Marijuana just isn't a dangerous drug for adults. It's not technically a narcotic (even though it's scheduled as one), not physically addictive, and the biggest harm comes in the form of ingestation - smoking.

Why does the federal government continue to spend billions on a losing battle to fight marijuana, and when did states lose the ability to police themselves as their residents see fit? (that's mostly sarcasm)

Surely the tax revenue from controlled sales of it would help the national coffers.




RE: Marijuana Prohibition is a Joke
By robinthakur on 11/20/2008 10:52:20 AM , Rating: 2
What about the research that states that it increases paranoia and incidences of mental illness in some people? I knew people at college who started out really fine, normal people, who smoked loads of it and became freakishly paranoid. The fact that when I hypothetically tried it, I vomited then passed out within 2 minutes clearly doesn't make it dangerous either. The UK government is spending a colossal amount on tv adverts that speak of the damage which marijuana can do.

I would hesitate to say this was harmless if regularly taken unless you can cite a medical authority which states this. You could say that the same effects occur with alcohol abuse however, so I think the obsession with pot in the US is a bit nuts compared to Europe's stance on it. Its refreshing to see a US City deploy some moderate common sense in the case of this and gay unions which undermines the commonly held international view that America is ruled by small-minded, right-wing religious nuts like Dubya/Palin. Or used to be, at any rate.


RE: Marijuana Prohibition is a Joke
By arazok on 11/20/2008 11:41:51 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
What about the research that states that it increases paranoia and incidences of mental illness in some people? I knew people at college who started out really fine, normal people, who smoked loads of it and became freakishly paranoid.


As a former college pot head, I can attest to that. I smoked 4-8 joints a day for a solid 4 years between the ages of 18-22. I became socialy withdrawn, somewhat paranoid, and couldn’t sleep unless I burned a joint before bed. I had a difficult time concentrating, and even holding conversations. I had one friend who was “a bit off” compared to most people, but otherwise normal in high-school. By 25 he had become a hermit, and couldn’t handle being out of his house for more than a few hours at a time. He was on numerous anti-depressants. He recently quit and now leads a more balanced lifestyle and needs no medication.

I also have friends who still smoke pot every day, and seem completely normal. It clearly effects different people differently.

Legalization advocates don’t like to talk about anything that doesn’t further their goals, and foes only like to focus on the negatives. I don’t see why we can’t just accept that pot Cleary a healthy thing, but it isn’t going to destroy society either. Clearly, making criminals out of marijuana users is doing more harm than good.


RE: Marijuana Prohibition is a Joke
By gramboh on 11/20/2008 12:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
See this is where your political ideology has to come into play. The examples you have given, people chose to abuse marijuana and it negatively affected their lives, just as if someone decided to drink 8 beers a day, it would probably ruin their lives (and health).

I think the rational approach with a substance that is not harmful (if treated with respect) is to allow people the freedom of choice while also providing truthful education. The lame drug war scare tactics are detected as false by rational thinkers and thus discredited and ineffective.

The American's "war on drugs" is a disgusting waste of money and misallocation of funds. It's sad to think of lives ruined by people going to jail for weed possession, what a joke.

Oh and FITCamaro, you actually listen to O'Reily? Pathetic. Ignorant losers like that ruined the Republican party and ruined their chances of running the country for quite a while.

signed - a Libertarian Canadian.


By FITCamaro on 11/20/2008 12:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
No I don't watch the OReily show or listen to him. I just happened to see the clip I mentioned. Yes he says some stupid sh*t sometimes. But I don't disagree with him all the time either.


By Bioniccrackmonk on 11/20/2008 11:46:12 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
What about the research that states that it increases paranoia and incidences of mental illness in some people?


What about the studies and trials that show patients having a better quality of life during major health issues, cancer treatments being one of them.

quote:
The fact that when I hypothetically tried it, I vomited then passed out within 2 minutes clearly doesn't make it dangerous either.


When I hypothetically tried cigarettes, I turned green and threw up as well. Only those are legal for some reason and also serve no benefit in life.

quote:
I knew people at college who started out really fine, normal people, who smoked loads of it and became freakishly paranoid.


I know people from college who smoke a lot as well that graduated and have successful careers, that still smoke to this day, albeit not as much as in college. Engineers, physical therapists and accountants are some of them.

quote:
I would hesitate to say this was harmless if regularly taken unless you can cite a medical authority which states this.


As you also state, alcohol is readily available and ruins numerous lives every year. There is rock hard proof that alcohol contributes to deaths, beatings, fights, aggressiveness and all sorts of other issues, and yet, it is still legal.

quote:
so I think the obsession with pot in the US is a bit nuts compared to Europe's stance on it.


I don't know what Europe's stance is, but ours is ridiculous.

quote:
Its refreshing to see a US City deploy some moderate common sense in the case of this and gay unions which undermines the commonly held international view that America is ruled by small-minded, right-wing religious nuts like Dubya/Palin. Or used to be, at any rate.


I yearn for the day that politicians just care about improving the quality of life for everyone and leaving their personal agenda at home.


By brickd007 on 11/21/2008 2:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
Of course they're paranoid....they're paranoid because the man is going to come raid their stash and toss them in jail.


RE: Marijuana Prohibition is a Joke
By FITCamaro on 11/20/2008 12:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
I love it how whenever it comes to drugs, its always "STATES RIGHTS!". But then when it comes to abortion, gay marriage, and a whole bunch of other conservative issues, its always "WE'LL FIGHT THIS IN COURT!".

Honestly, if a majority vote in a state allows marijuana to become legal, I would not fight it. I might not agree with it, but I would not say it was wrong. The people would have spoken. But any time liberals don't get their way through the vote of the people, they go running off to the courts.


RE: Marijuana Prohibition is a Joke
By gramboh on 11/20/2008 1:18:57 PM , Rating: 3
Both on all those issues the question is should individuals be free to decide for themselves versus state regulation. A real/classical conservative would agree with a social liberal in that it should be individual choice.

It's really sad that somehow ignorant religious zealotry and ruined the right wing in North America.


By wordsworm on 11/20/2008 10:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I love it how whenever it comes to drugs, its always "STATES RIGHTS!". But then when it comes to abortion, gay marriage, and a whole bunch of other conservative issues, its always "WE'LL FIGHT THIS IN COURT!".


It's about not being discriminated against. If gay people want to get married, then they should have that right just like anyone else. It's just like going to court back in the day to allow blacks and whites to get married. Even if a majority of Americans don't like that idea, it's still discrimination against people who are in love with each other.

If you had a debilitating disease or condition which only marijuana was helping to any degree, and there are tons of testimonials to the effect, then I'm pretty sure you would seek out any avenue you could to alleviate those symptoms/pain. As the list of ailments that can be helped by MJ are increased, and the number of people it helps increases, it's inevitable that it will, as the miracle drug that it is, become legalized for the ill. Unfortunately, there are four huge industries that profit from it, not counting the criminal organizations: the police, the prisons, the legal processing (lawyers, judges, etc), these are thousands who make their living off of the drug war. Lastly, there's the pharmaceuticals who stand to lose billions of dollars in revenue if people find that a non-patentable plant (sans genetic modification) becomes legal to the point where their drugs are abandoned in favor of MJ. Considering the big money against MJ, I'll still be surprised to see it legalized in my lifetime. Let's see what Obama does with it.

Those of you who are interested in the amazing things that are being revealed in studies of the plant and the people that it's helping can check out 420magazine.com .


By BladeVenom on 11/20/2008 9:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
The medical arguments are pointless. It's a power issue. You need to read 1984 to understand why marijuana is illegal.
quote:
The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.


Doctor...
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/20/2008 8:50:19 AM , Rating: 5
I got this strange leg ache.




wow
By on 11/20/2008 7:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
next stop: san fransisco!




This news just in
By Suomynona on 11/20/2008 9:02:53 PM , Rating: 2
This news just in:
Your government is lying to you.
It's what they do best. Damn Propagandists.




Clubs
By Rinaun on 11/24/2008 2:11:24 AM , Rating: 2
I find it surprising that there are so MANY clubs. I think someone might be telling a tall tale, or including people whom they SUSPECT are clubs. Last time I checked, there are only 15-20 clubs MAX in SF. Hell, the only one I go to is a foot from a fire dept.




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