Sunday, April 23, 2006

What Have They Been Smoking?

This is part two of the Times- Standard's coverage of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws' conference in San Francisco. Yesterday's Part 1 focused on Tommy Chong's appearance at the meeting where he gave some of his personal observations on the marijuana wars.

I'll have to admit that, while I enjoy seeing the issue given good coverage in our local paper, I felt that the article looked out of place in the Times- Standard, at least at first glance. It just didn't seem like a fitting subject- that being an out of town conference of pot advocates- for a home town paper.

I think I felt the same way last year when the T-S convered that same conference. I'm glad to see the coverage, though. Wonder how much hate mail the T-S will receive for running that piece?

The T-S isn't the only one dealing with pot today:

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat ran an editorial this morning taking the Food and Drug Administration to task for their recent release of a statement that "no sound scientific studies" support the use of medical marijuana.

I'm not sure I support their conclusion- that we have yet another study on the issue- but I suppose that's what many people would be most comfortable with.

Syndicated columnist, Debra Saunders, had a commentary in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning advocating an end to marijuana prohibition. I like the point she brings up about it being the Greens and Libertarians vs. the Republicans and Democrats, in this fight over prohibition.

With a lopsided battle like that, you would think the prohibition forces would be really taking ground, and they certainly do seem to be at times.

But, seems to me, just from the three articles we've mentioned here (and those being probably just three out of many more that likely were published today) the tide might well be turning against prohibition.

I think more and more people are becoming aware of what a wasted effort these pot wars are.

22 Comments:

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marijuana is a big issue in Humboldt County, so its fitting that the T-S cover the annual NORML conference.

The war on pot is a colossal waste of money. Alcohol inflicts more damage than marijuana ever has. It's not prohibition that makes it that way.

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger Fred said...

"The war on pot is a colossal waste of money. Alcohol inflicts more damage than marijuana ever has. It's not prohibition that makes it that way."

I'm not sure just what you mean by "It's not prohibition that makes it that way.".

 
At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alcohol causes more damage physically and socially than marijuana, and it is not because alcohol is legal. Alcohol is simply more destructive.

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES, IT should be in the local newspaper. It's a big issue here
and becoming more so nationally.
Persons who get some relief by using medical marijuana should
have free and legal access to it!
Sure, we may have a bunch of pot heads along for the ride - but don't punish sick people - they
(pot heads) will get it anyway!
Take a long and hard look at the
benefits of medical use before making any quick judgements. Let's
LEARN about it!!

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Ok. Understood, 11:41

12:01 wrote: "Take a long and hard look at the benefits of medical use before making any quick judgements. Let's LEARN about it!!".

Just to clarify my position:

More research be damned! It is (or at least should be) people's personal business what they eat, drink and smoke, and especially how they deal with medication. They shouldn't need the governments permission.

If someone wants to do research on it to improve knowledge of potential medical uses, have at it. But I don't agree with this, "We'll look into it and, if we think it's ok, we'll ALLOW you to use it..." mentality.

Not saying that's what 12:01 is saying, but a lot of people are.

 
At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on, Fred. You're absolutely on the money.

This reminds me of a great book (with a great title), called in't Nobody's Business If You Do : The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

If pot is ever legalized (and it should be) the price will dive and the clandestine farmers will be s.o.l. There goes the county's economy. Then the politicians will tax it. At least now, those who use it do so without supporting the state. Either way we are screwed.

 
At 2:30 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Pogo wrote: "If pot is ever legalized, the price will dive and the clandestine farmers will be s.o.l....".

It would be a real can of worms and it would be hard to say what would happen, seems to me.

A lot of people would grow their own, and it would seem like that would indeed cause prices to take a big dive. But, a lot of people probably wouldn't grow their own, especially those in the big cities, so they'd likely keep some growers in business.

But, again, if the government tried to tax it, it would create a new illegal black market, just like they've done by placing such high taxes on tobacco. We might end up with a new prohibition, although this one would be where the enforcement would fall under tax laws.

We might end up back at square one, after all is said and done, if they try to treat marijuana like tobacco and liquor, which they'll certainly try to do.

I would think it would be much more of a hassle for someone to grow their own tobacco or homebrew liquor or beer, than grow pot. I don't know that for sure, though.

I suspect a lot more people would find it easier to grow "bootleg" pot, and sell that untaxed, then would be the case with the others.
It would be interesting to see what exactly would happen.

The wild card would be what the price would drop to and then how much taxed pot would cost vs. bootleg. Then, would it be worth it to risk getting caught by the revenuers for sums of money that might be much less than the growers are making today?

Maybe not but it still seems to me there'll end up being some sort of black market.

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger Bill G said...

Legalized pot would trigger the end of the Humboldt Pot Economy. Bootleg growers could not compete with the efficient growing, marketing, and distribution systems of RJ Reynolds, Phillip Morris, etc.

 
At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is (or at least should be) people's personal business what they eat, drink and smoke, and especially how they deal with medication. They shouldn't need the governments permission." fred said. On the surface, this is an OK statement - but looking deeper into the reality of what people eat, drink and smoke...there are many
exceptions such as cigarettes for example! EDUCATION has helped inform thousands about the dangers
and maybe reduce the millions lost
to treating those who never knew
and became a public burden both in dollars and lost work. Also, glad
I don't have to breathe the second
hand smoke of cigarettes or joints.
Yes, there are some heath issue to
confront. IS long term joint smoking dangerous to your health??
Let's take a look (be better informed) at these health
issues and try to help people make
some good decisions. Isn't it going
to cost us sooner or later anyway?Maybe it's better to spend money on research than on CAMP??
I believe medical marijuana is and
can be very useful in helping some
deal with serious medical conditions (pain issues) that most
of us will never know or experience. A good friend uses some
pot to reduce pain when all other meds have failed without experiencing the side
effects of taking too much "pain
medication."

 
At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny that the same people who passionatley make that statement about it being your business what you eat smoke or drink are the ones who are now setting about banning soft drinks and candy bars - first in schools ewhre they can get away with it, tomorrow the world. Classis do as I say not as I do.

That said, i say legalize it and put us all out of this miserable cycle.

But then, I also think if someone wants a Pepsi now and then, that's no crime either.

 
At 4:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are better ways to tax the Pot market than legalize it. Those growers are used to dealing in the black market and will avoid most taxes...

One of the better ways is the Fair Tax (The Fair Tax Book : Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS by Neal Boortz and John Linder )

 
At 5:52 AM, Blogger Pogo said...

anon 8:55: "... reduce the millions lost
to treating those who never knew
and became a public burden both in dollars and lost work."

Health warnings have been on tobacco products since 1964. A society that makes stupidity a "public burden" by subsidizing those who choose to engage in idiotic behavior is circling the bowl.

 
At 6:41 AM, Blogger Fred said...

10:57 wrote: "It's funny that the same people who passionatley make that statement about it being your business what you eat smoke or drink are the ones who are now setting about banning soft drinks and candy bars...".

I don't know about that, as I've never advocated banning anything.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Fred said...

10:57 wrote: "It's funny that the same people who passionatley make that statement about it being your business what you eat smoke or drink are the ones who are now setting about banning soft drinks and candy bars...".

I don't know about that, as I've never advocated banning anything.

 
At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Priestess of Astaroth said...

So Fred since you have never supported banning anything are there certain things you'd ever ban? Say perhaps cannibalizing the homeless and criminals who do nothing but mooch off of society. Would you ban that even though it could be the only true solution if nothing else can be done? Now if you'll excuse me I have to get back to punishing my maid who was homeless and now she has a delightful 8x8 room to sleep in complete with a small toilet and all the bread she can eat.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

"...cannibalizing the homeless and criminals who do nothing but mooch..."

The Leonidas he is a fan of hyperbole, but the priestess' other identity was more fun:o)

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Priestess of Astaroth said...

If I can't molest Nick Bravo I'll have to get my fun elsewhere, and when I say cannabalize I mean after I and my sisters sacrifice them to the Goddess. I have a shrine to Nick...pics of him in classes at HSU, at the coffee shops, etc. I'm still kicking myself for not abducting him!

 
At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Priestess of Astaroth said...

After going over my posts on this blog and buhne's it is apparent to me that I am obsessed with Nick. I love him and have to have him. I have to go to nebraska. Anyone know his physical address? Can't find his number on the web, anyone have it....no. I want him to be surprised to see me. I can't wait to press my lips upon his tender flesh.

 
At 5:21 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

FRED! YOU'VE BEEN SPAMMED!!!

 
At 7:13 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Yes. Easily deleted, though. We'll see if it happens again.

No one here did what I did to a blogger when he finally got fed up and got rid of Word Verification:

The guy announced he'd had it with WV and was getting rid of it. So, right after he did that I posted, "That little blue pill. Cheapest prices anywhere...".

He never commented on it. I was just having some fun.

 
At 4:47 AM, Anonymous Vince said...

The pot wars may seem like a wasted effort, but if enough people speak out in favor of sanity on this issue, perhaps we can have some peace and pass the pipe, openly for a change.

The FDA is talking out of both sides of its mouth. On the one hand, they say that pot has no medicinal value whatsoever, on the other they have been supplying medicinal marijuana to a number of patients, some of them for as long as 23 years!

The Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) Program was started under the Carter administration. It is administered by the FDA. You can read all about it at the Patients Out of Time website. They are a Virginia-based medpot advocacy group (non-profit) who have recently organized the Fourth National Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in Santa Barbara, California.

Co-sponsored by the University of California, San Francisco, and the California Nurses Association, this prestigious conference featured 30 prominent physicians and health professionals. They delivered papers on such subjects as the use of cannabis in palliative care; during pregnancy; to treat AIDS and multiple sclerosis; and the difference between natural and synthetic cannabis.

"How can [marijuana] not be therapeutic,” asked Al Byrne, the chief organizer, “when we are accredited by the A.M.A.?” Along with the American Medical Association, thirteen state nurses association have come out in favor of medicinal marijuana. Most serious health professionals agree. Did the FDA not bother to canvas their opinions, before making such an absurd statement?

I started using medicinal marijuana shortly after I was diagnosed with MS. Montel Williams, another MS sufferer, attended the California conference, and challenged other celebrities to admit to medpot use. “I’m tired of being on the barricades all by myself,” Williams was quoted as saying.

I tried other medications, but pot is the only one that relieves the excruciating pain in my legs. I still walk with a limp, but at least I am able to walk, for now. Once the disease progresses to the stage when I am not able, my spouse is a nurse and she’s my main caregiver. BTW, she heartily approves of my medpot use.

She’s quite a gardener—we’ve been growing our own vegetables for a number of years now. So it was only natural to plant some pot plants in our garden, to insure a pure and steady supply for my medicine. We’re lucky, because we live in a jurisdiction that actually allows medicinal marijuana use.

We get all our gardening advice from a website that is designed to help legal medpot growers. As a result, we switched to a time-release fertilizer, called Heavy Harvest, which has to be applied only 3 times per year, in Spring, Summer, and Fall.

We also use Tarantula and Piranha to colonize our root systems with beneficial fungi and bacteria. This aids in the absorption of all the necessary macro and micro nutrients, to insure a bountiful harvest.

Our pot plants are over my head at harvest time and the buds on them are outstanding. I consider myself lucky. My wife says it’s because she’s got a green thumb, but I know that Advanced Nutrients Medical had a lot to do with it.

 

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