California to vote on legalizing marijuana

The November election will be interesting for all kinds of reasons.  Among them is that Californians will vote on legalizing marijuana.  Not just medical marijuana, legalizing the personal possession and growth of the weed.  It also gives cities and counties the local option of taxing and regulating the sales, which would, I gather, permit commercial sales.  And right now, the polls look like the proposal will pass, though it will probably be a close vote.  See  California Marijuana Initiative Lead Narrows, Poll Finds | StoptheDrugWar.org.

Also, if California does legalize the drug, Mexico is likely to follow in the hopes of stopping the bloody drug wars by making the traffic legit.

What do you think about this? If it passes, what do you think will be the effect? (A boost in California tourism? The rest of the country will follow suit? Reefer madness? California will elect movie stars as governor, be unable to balance its budget, and its state government will be oblivious to reality?)

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    the war on drugs as failed by every measure.

    people who hate drugs are disturbed by this fact. Prohibition simply does not work. we proved that in the 30s. it only creates nasty side effects, like the mafia.

    This does not legalize distribution as a free-for-all. This will need to be regulated and taxed exactly like liquor is.

    And there will probably need to be distinctions made between drugs. the drug alcohol for example is probably in about the same class as marijuana and should be regulated in the same way.

    other drugs like ecstacy need to be tested further to see what the harms are. Now alot of impure drugs are being distributed, but the former head of the brittish drug commission said that ecstacy is a pretty safe drug. We will let science decide how that needs to play out.

    as for the harder drugs like heroin and meth and cocaine… tax and regulate. some will still insist on killing themselves with the stuff. we should not think society can stop this, but society can sort of put a lid on the collateral damage of all that. That is the best society can do actually. there is no 100% solution to the effects of sin.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    the war on drugs as failed by every measure.

    people who hate drugs are disturbed by this fact. Prohibition simply does not work. we proved that in the 30s. it only creates nasty side effects, like the mafia.

    This does not legalize distribution as a free-for-all. This will need to be regulated and taxed exactly like liquor is.

    And there will probably need to be distinctions made between drugs. the drug alcohol for example is probably in about the same class as marijuana and should be regulated in the same way.

    other drugs like ecstacy need to be tested further to see what the harms are. Now alot of impure drugs are being distributed, but the former head of the brittish drug commission said that ecstacy is a pretty safe drug. We will let science decide how that needs to play out.

    as for the harder drugs like heroin and meth and cocaine… tax and regulate. some will still insist on killing themselves with the stuff. we should not think society can stop this, but society can sort of put a lid on the collateral damage of all that. That is the best society can do actually. there is no 100% solution to the effects of sin.

  • Pete

    There’s something very appealing about the idea of something that I’m not likely to buy being taxed.
    Now if we could just legalize pot, tax it, and drop the taxes on gasoline – wow! Welfare state in reverse – the poor performers subsidizing the productive.

  • Pete

    There’s something very appealing about the idea of something that I’m not likely to buy being taxed.
    Now if we could just legalize pot, tax it, and drop the taxes on gasoline – wow! Welfare state in reverse – the poor performers subsidizing the productive.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    1. I have no problems with legalized marijuana. Good points, fws.
    2. I suspect this has more to do paying debt than anything else.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    1. I have no problems with legalized marijuana. Good points, fws.
    2. I suspect this has more to do paying debt than anything else.

  • Winston Smith

    I have mixed feelings. As a Christian, I understand the link between mind-altering drugs (marijuana is a mild one) and the spirit world. The word translated as “witchcraft” in Galatians 5:20 is “pharmakeia,” from which we derive the word “pharmacy,” suggesting the role of drugs in opening the door to the occult. If marijuana does not always perform that function, it can be a gateway drug to harder substances.

    Also, I understand that there is no simple test for marijauana intoxication. The cops can’t easily breathalize someone who is clearly driving (a car, or maybe a freight train) stoned.

    Those objections aside, I have to agree with fws that the War on (Some) Drugs is an even worse problem. The erosion of the Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure, and the paramilitary home invasions by police looking for drugs, are a serious threat to our liberties. You can read about many instances of SWAT raids gone horribly wrong (often at the wrong address), all because someone might have a little bit of 420 lying around. Is that the kind of freedom our forefathers fought World War II to preserve?

    Let’s not forget that marijuana was not illegal until 1936, when the barrel-smashing agents rendered idle by Prohibition needed a new enemy to justify their existence. All of a sudden you had films like “Reefer Madness” that suggested a puff of marijuana will turn a nice young man into a crazed dope fiend. (Later generations of college students laughed themselves silly at such obvious propaganda.)

    In short, I can’t really endorse marijuana use, but I’m even more offended by government’s using the war on drugs as a way to increase its power and decrease our liberties.

  • Winston Smith

    I have mixed feelings. As a Christian, I understand the link between mind-altering drugs (marijuana is a mild one) and the spirit world. The word translated as “witchcraft” in Galatians 5:20 is “pharmakeia,” from which we derive the word “pharmacy,” suggesting the role of drugs in opening the door to the occult. If marijuana does not always perform that function, it can be a gateway drug to harder substances.

    Also, I understand that there is no simple test for marijauana intoxication. The cops can’t easily breathalize someone who is clearly driving (a car, or maybe a freight train) stoned.

    Those objections aside, I have to agree with fws that the War on (Some) Drugs is an even worse problem. The erosion of the Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure, and the paramilitary home invasions by police looking for drugs, are a serious threat to our liberties. You can read about many instances of SWAT raids gone horribly wrong (often at the wrong address), all because someone might have a little bit of 420 lying around. Is that the kind of freedom our forefathers fought World War II to preserve?

    Let’s not forget that marijuana was not illegal until 1936, when the barrel-smashing agents rendered idle by Prohibition needed a new enemy to justify their existence. All of a sudden you had films like “Reefer Madness” that suggested a puff of marijuana will turn a nice young man into a crazed dope fiend. (Later generations of college students laughed themselves silly at such obvious propaganda.)

    In short, I can’t really endorse marijuana use, but I’m even more offended by government’s using the war on drugs as a way to increase its power and decrease our liberties.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Given that the big money is in cocaine, would it help Mexico’s drug wars at all–never mind the reality that nearly half of dope demand lies outside of California. (just kidding about that last “statistic”….)

    I wouldn’t mind legalizing marijuana if….we had good roadside tests for being stoned. I actually told my late mother that if smoking the stuff worked better than Marinol, go for it. I’m pretty sure she stuck with Marinol.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Given that the big money is in cocaine, would it help Mexico’s drug wars at all–never mind the reality that nearly half of dope demand lies outside of California. (just kidding about that last “statistic”….)

    I wouldn’t mind legalizing marijuana if….we had good roadside tests for being stoned. I actually told my late mother that if smoking the stuff worked better than Marinol, go for it. I’m pretty sure she stuck with Marinol.

  • Joe

    The real issue will be what the federal gov’t does in response. It was not too long ago that the feds busted the already legal medical pot distributors. The Obama administration ended this practice (rightly so too), but will they continue the policy of non-enforcement of federal laws criminalizing pot if California expands legalization beyond medicinal weed? That will be the interesting thing to watch. It will be a test of federalism.

  • Joe

    The real issue will be what the federal gov’t does in response. It was not too long ago that the feds busted the already legal medical pot distributors. The Obama administration ended this practice (rightly so too), but will they continue the policy of non-enforcement of federal laws criminalizing pot if California expands legalization beyond medicinal weed? That will be the interesting thing to watch. It will be a test of federalism.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    pete @2

    your point is well taken. there is something perverse about the govt desperately dependent on revenue production through law enforcement. the “punishment” for not putting quarters into the parking meter and then the punishment for being late in payment is unjust.

    In los angeles the SAME small group of families has run the towing and impound yard for years. what they charge for “rent” for storing your impounded vehicle etc is also pretty absurd and unjust….

    ditto the sin taxes on cigarettes etc.

    revenue for the govt should not be dependent on these things. ditto also the sinful idea of the government lotteries. This is just wrong. and ditto the idea of supporting indian sovreignty just so they can operate casinos and raise revenue in that fashion…. and on and on. blah blah blah

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    pete @2

    your point is well taken. there is something perverse about the govt desperately dependent on revenue production through law enforcement. the “punishment” for not putting quarters into the parking meter and then the punishment for being late in payment is unjust.

    In los angeles the SAME small group of families has run the towing and impound yard for years. what they charge for “rent” for storing your impounded vehicle etc is also pretty absurd and unjust….

    ditto the sin taxes on cigarettes etc.

    revenue for the govt should not be dependent on these things. ditto also the sinful idea of the government lotteries. This is just wrong. and ditto the idea of supporting indian sovreignty just so they can operate casinos and raise revenue in that fashion…. and on and on. blah blah blah

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m with fws on this topic.

    Even if one does not take a “radical” position advocating the deregulation or legalization of all illicit substances, it’s difficult to make a case for the prohibition of marijuana: it’s less dangerous than either alcohol or cigarettes.

    Anyway, as others have noted, the War on Drugs is an abject failure. It has overflowed our prisons with folks on petty drug charges, spawned a literal war (with all its attendant bloodshed, ruined families, and property destruction) in our urban communities, consumed billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars (with nothing demonstrable to show for it), and, in general, failed. America is still the largest consumer of narcotics, etc., and thus their illegality has made their market a place of violence and political instability across the world (would Colombia, Afghanistan, and Mexico be such hellish places if we weren’t waging a war on drugs?).

    In any case, like Winston, I can’t endorse the use of marijuana (though its abuse can’t be more harmful than alcohol abuse), but there has to be a better way to discourage its abuse in our national community–if that is even a desirable end.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m with fws on this topic.

    Even if one does not take a “radical” position advocating the deregulation or legalization of all illicit substances, it’s difficult to make a case for the prohibition of marijuana: it’s less dangerous than either alcohol or cigarettes.

    Anyway, as others have noted, the War on Drugs is an abject failure. It has overflowed our prisons with folks on petty drug charges, spawned a literal war (with all its attendant bloodshed, ruined families, and property destruction) in our urban communities, consumed billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars (with nothing demonstrable to show for it), and, in general, failed. America is still the largest consumer of narcotics, etc., and thus their illegality has made their market a place of violence and political instability across the world (would Colombia, Afghanistan, and Mexico be such hellish places if we weren’t waging a war on drugs?).

    In any case, like Winston, I can’t endorse the use of marijuana (though its abuse can’t be more harmful than alcohol abuse), but there has to be a better way to discourage its abuse in our national community–if that is even a desirable end.

  • sandi

    I live in Santa Cruz California. We have already voted down this measure more than once; but you can see the tide turning. In this horrid economy, one of the most thriving businesses locally is the hydroponics gardening business. This suggests that an unprecedented number of citizens are “growing their own”. In my redwood forest neighborhood of 35 homes, I know of five neighbors who smoke pot daily. And it may surprise you to know they are all in their 60’s. I don’t like the idea, but it seems that perhaps the time has come. Weekly the newspaper reports of pot growers found while the police or fireman are tending to other situation. I think that it is safe to say, that in my area the users are outnumbering the law enforcement available to deal with the situation. So the question really becomes, do we want to spend more money on trying to clamp down, and how much is enough?

  • sandi

    I live in Santa Cruz California. We have already voted down this measure more than once; but you can see the tide turning. In this horrid economy, one of the most thriving businesses locally is the hydroponics gardening business. This suggests that an unprecedented number of citizens are “growing their own”. In my redwood forest neighborhood of 35 homes, I know of five neighbors who smoke pot daily. And it may surprise you to know they are all in their 60’s. I don’t like the idea, but it seems that perhaps the time has come. Weekly the newspaper reports of pot growers found while the police or fireman are tending to other situation. I think that it is safe to say, that in my area the users are outnumbering the law enforcement available to deal with the situation. So the question really becomes, do we want to spend more money on trying to clamp down, and how much is enough?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinatus @8

    I neither endorse nor unendorse use of marijuana. Just like alcohol.

    It is a good gift of God to be used for the good. It can and should be received with thanksgiving, just like sex, food, love, money, power and all those other things that are such very valuable gifts that they are the ones most often abused.

    It can be used as a medicine to cure nausea for those who are ill, to stimulate appetite for those who are wasting away, and to improve the quality of life of the ill and the healthy alike, if used in moderation. Like all things. And it can be used in that way.

    Ask anyone in Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous. Alcohol is without doubt THE gateway drug for those with addictive tendencies. Pot can be as well. But neither pot nor alchohol are gateways to addiction for most folks, anymore than sex-while-standing-up lead to the sin of dancing for anyone but conservative baptists.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinatus @8

    I neither endorse nor unendorse use of marijuana. Just like alcohol.

    It is a good gift of God to be used for the good. It can and should be received with thanksgiving, just like sex, food, love, money, power and all those other things that are such very valuable gifts that they are the ones most often abused.

    It can be used as a medicine to cure nausea for those who are ill, to stimulate appetite for those who are wasting away, and to improve the quality of life of the ill and the healthy alike, if used in moderation. Like all things. And it can be used in that way.

    Ask anyone in Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous. Alcohol is without doubt THE gateway drug for those with addictive tendencies. Pot can be as well. But neither pot nor alchohol are gateways to addiction for most folks, anymore than sex-while-standing-up lead to the sin of dancing for anyone but conservative baptists.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: I agree with you, though I would be hard-pressed to demonstrate how heroin, for instance, can be enjoyed in moderation.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: I agree with you, though I would be hard-pressed to demonstrate how heroin, for instance, can be enjoyed in moderation.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 11

    we should let science decide that rather than law enforcement. I agree that heroin, along with cocaine and methamphetaine and vicodin etc etc have medical uses, but probably need to be controlled substances, at least as holland does, where the govt alone can sell the stuff in a restricted and controlled setting. I am not sure the govt can actually try to prohibit even heroin for those determined to use that poison. So then the aim should be to minimize collateral damage, like theft and violence to get the money to buy the stuff.

    But even this collateral damage cannot be eliminated. Government is best when it realized it is only really a bandaid solution and not a panacea for anything.

    I used to use a very mild form of heroine (tincture of opium ) to stop diarrhea. Morphine (heroin) drips can improve quality of life even though they shorten it for those in alot of physical pain. But then of course you know all that and that is not your point. We don´t disagree at all.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 11

    we should let science decide that rather than law enforcement. I agree that heroin, along with cocaine and methamphetaine and vicodin etc etc have medical uses, but probably need to be controlled substances, at least as holland does, where the govt alone can sell the stuff in a restricted and controlled setting. I am not sure the govt can actually try to prohibit even heroin for those determined to use that poison. So then the aim should be to minimize collateral damage, like theft and violence to get the money to buy the stuff.

    But even this collateral damage cannot be eliminated. Government is best when it realized it is only really a bandaid solution and not a panacea for anything.

    I used to use a very mild form of heroine (tincture of opium ) to stop diarrhea. Morphine (heroin) drips can improve quality of life even though they shorten it for those in alot of physical pain. But then of course you know all that and that is not your point. We don´t disagree at all.

  • Tom Hering

    Moderation in all things, including moderation. Engaging in immoderation, from time to time, is one of the spices of life. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Moderation in all things, including moderation. Engaging in immoderation, from time to time, is one of the spices of life. :-)

  • Winston Smith

    Marijuana is not addictive (at least not in the same way that alcohol is) and death by overdose is unheard of (in stark contrast to alcohol). Of course, the alcohol producers have deep pockets and powerful lobbyists, so their product remains legal.

    I have never understood why neither Big Tobacco nor Big Pharmaceuticals do not want to get in on a legalized pot market. It seems like it would be right up their alley. Grow it legally, test it for purity and quality, slap a heavy tax on it and try to make sure it is sold to those of legal age, and make a ton of money off it.

  • Winston Smith

    Marijuana is not addictive (at least not in the same way that alcohol is) and death by overdose is unheard of (in stark contrast to alcohol). Of course, the alcohol producers have deep pockets and powerful lobbyists, so their product remains legal.

    I have never understood why neither Big Tobacco nor Big Pharmaceuticals do not want to get in on a legalized pot market. It seems like it would be right up their alley. Grow it legally, test it for purity and quality, slap a heavy tax on it and try to make sure it is sold to those of legal age, and make a ton of money off it.

  • Randall

    So at the same time the anti-obesity crowd is trying to decrease snack food consumption, others are trying to legalize marijuana?

  • Randall

    So at the same time the anti-obesity crowd is trying to decrease snack food consumption, others are trying to legalize marijuana?

  • http://www.uath-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Perhaps it will now be harder to buy a joint than it is a six pack of beer when you are a teenager? Just a thought.
    Sandi, I am not at all surprised that the regular smokers of Marijuana in your neighborhood are over 60. Not at all.

  • http://www.uath-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Perhaps it will now be harder to buy a joint than it is a six pack of beer when you are a teenager? Just a thought.
    Sandi, I am not at all surprised that the regular smokers of Marijuana in your neighborhood are over 60. Not at all.

  • DonS

    This is silliness, because of the conflict with federal laws. California already has a medical marijuana law, and local governments all over the state continually harass and shut down the marijuana collective dispensaries that appear in various communities on the basis of that conflict with federal law and the fact that they don’t have to provide for such dispensaries in their zoning laws. This proposition, which probably has a decent chance of passage in this state, will be unenforceable because of that conflict. It will be interesting to see if anyone challenges the proposition in federal court, in which case it will likely be nullified.

  • DonS

    This is silliness, because of the conflict with federal laws. California already has a medical marijuana law, and local governments all over the state continually harass and shut down the marijuana collective dispensaries that appear in various communities on the basis of that conflict with federal law and the fact that they don’t have to provide for such dispensaries in their zoning laws. This proposition, which probably has a decent chance of passage in this state, will be unenforceable because of that conflict. It will be interesting to see if anyone challenges the proposition in federal court, in which case it will likely be nullified.

  • Joe

    DonS – I am thinking that the provision allowing people to grow pot for their own consumption might survive and give the Supremes a great case to limit (or overturn) Wickard.

    I would also think that it might also be an interesting 9th and 10th amendment case. Is there really a rational argument that the people did not retain the right to medicate themselves in the manner they saw fit? At the time of the founding, most people were not going to see a doctor, they were growing the plants that they thought could be used as medicine and using them how they saw fit. Seems like a non-enumerated reserved power to me.

  • Joe

    DonS – I am thinking that the provision allowing people to grow pot for their own consumption might survive and give the Supremes a great case to limit (or overturn) Wickard.

    I would also think that it might also be an interesting 9th and 10th amendment case. Is there really a rational argument that the people did not retain the right to medicate themselves in the manner they saw fit? At the time of the founding, most people were not going to see a doctor, they were growing the plants that they thought could be used as medicine and using them how they saw fit. Seems like a non-enumerated reserved power to me.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    The problem with Prop 19 is that it was written by those who have already profited from the Medical marijuana business, and while ‘legalizing’ pot it protects the interests and the profit streams of it’s sponsors. Ironically, most people already in the ‘Industry’ are voting against the measure. Several prominent law enforcement officials have started a smear campaign against the measure, with LA County Sheriff Lee Baca calling medical marijuana a sham and claiming that the Cartels are deeply entrenched in the medical marijuana industry. Prop 19 has an uphill battle.
    I recently wrote a blog post on medical marijuana in the church over at New Ref Press.

    http://www.newreformationpress.com/blog/2009/12/18/this-buds-for-you-if-youre-sick-medical-marijuana-in-the-church/

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    The problem with Prop 19 is that it was written by those who have already profited from the Medical marijuana business, and while ‘legalizing’ pot it protects the interests and the profit streams of it’s sponsors. Ironically, most people already in the ‘Industry’ are voting against the measure. Several prominent law enforcement officials have started a smear campaign against the measure, with LA County Sheriff Lee Baca calling medical marijuana a sham and claiming that the Cartels are deeply entrenched in the medical marijuana industry. Prop 19 has an uphill battle.
    I recently wrote a blog post on medical marijuana in the church over at New Ref Press.

    http://www.newreformationpress.com/blog/2009/12/18/this-buds-for-you-if-youre-sick-medical-marijuana-in-the-church/

  • molloaggie

    I don’t think the war on drugs is lost any more than the war on fornification, abortion, and all sorts of other sinful acts we Christians are fighting against normalization. A whole bunch of people bought the lie that it wasn’t a “bad drug” like cocaine and now the reason they are now growing it themselves is to feed their non-existant addiction. They’re like a person addicted to hydrocodone, needing it just to be “normal” thoughout the day.

    I would endorse the feds relaxing the standards so that marijuana can be studied for medical purposes. A couple of studies have connected marijuana use to the increase in mental illness in our society, especially schizophrenia. I’d like to see more on that aspect too.

  • molloaggie

    I don’t think the war on drugs is lost any more than the war on fornification, abortion, and all sorts of other sinful acts we Christians are fighting against normalization. A whole bunch of people bought the lie that it wasn’t a “bad drug” like cocaine and now the reason they are now growing it themselves is to feed their non-existant addiction. They’re like a person addicted to hydrocodone, needing it just to be “normal” thoughout the day.

    I would endorse the feds relaxing the standards so that marijuana can be studied for medical purposes. A couple of studies have connected marijuana use to the increase in mental illness in our society, especially schizophrenia. I’d like to see more on that aspect too.

  • DonS

    I am sympathetic to the federalism arguments, of course, and have no great love for the so-called “war on drugs”. However, only very limited provisions of this proposition and others like it would survive such a scrutiny. Those include, of course, cases where the pot is grown and consumed solely within CA and where one grows it solely for one’s personal consumption. But Prop. 215, much more narrowly drawn than Prop. 19, has been on the books for years, and I’ve never seen a cogent defense of it made on federalism grounds. Perhaps that’s because its defenders are too high to think cogently :-)

    More likely, it’s because the statists in CA will never make a federalism argument, for fear of its potential destructive effect on their socialist “utopia”. Let’s not forget, they weren’t willing to defend Proposition 8 and CA’s right to define marriage for itself, even after a federal judge in MA specifically affirmed their right to do so!

    For this reason, I made my comment @ 16. It is unadulterated silliness, and will inevitably gravely disappoint those users expecting to be able to grow and smoke freely.

  • DonS

    I am sympathetic to the federalism arguments, of course, and have no great love for the so-called “war on drugs”. However, only very limited provisions of this proposition and others like it would survive such a scrutiny. Those include, of course, cases where the pot is grown and consumed solely within CA and where one grows it solely for one’s personal consumption. But Prop. 215, much more narrowly drawn than Prop. 19, has been on the books for years, and I’ve never seen a cogent defense of it made on federalism grounds. Perhaps that’s because its defenders are too high to think cogently :-)

    More likely, it’s because the statists in CA will never make a federalism argument, for fear of its potential destructive effect on their socialist “utopia”. Let’s not forget, they weren’t willing to defend Proposition 8 and CA’s right to define marriage for itself, even after a federal judge in MA specifically affirmed their right to do so!

    For this reason, I made my comment @ 16. It is unadulterated silliness, and will inevitably gravely disappoint those users expecting to be able to grow and smoke freely.

  • DonS

    I am sympathetic to the federalism arguments, of course, and have no great love for the so-called “war on drugs”. However, only very limited provisions of this proposition and others like it would survive such a scrutiny. Those include, of course, cases where the pot is grown and consumed solely within CA and where one grows it solely for one’s personal consumption. But Prop. 215, much more narrowly drawn than Prop. 19, has been on the books for years, and I’ve never seen a cogent defense of it made on federalism grounds. Perhaps that’s because its defenders are too stoned to think cogently :-)

    More likely, it’s because the statists in CA will never make a federalism argument, for fear of its potential destructive effect on their soci@list “utopia”. Let’s not forget, they weren’t willing to defend Proposition 8 and CA’s right to define marriage for itself, even after a federal judge in MA specifically affirmed their right to do so!

    For this reason, I made my comment @ 16. It is unadulterated silliness, and will inevitably gravely disappoint those stoners expecting to be able to grow and smoke freely.

  • DonS

    I am sympathetic to the federalism arguments, of course, and have no great love for the so-called “war on drugs”. However, only very limited provisions of this proposition and others like it would survive such a scrutiny. Those include, of course, cases where the pot is grown and consumed solely within CA and where one grows it solely for one’s personal consumption. But Prop. 215, much more narrowly drawn than Prop. 19, has been on the books for years, and I’ve never seen a cogent defense of it made on federalism grounds. Perhaps that’s because its defenders are too stoned to think cogently :-)

    More likely, it’s because the statists in CA will never make a federalism argument, for fear of its potential destructive effect on their soci@list “utopia”. Let’s not forget, they weren’t willing to defend Proposition 8 and CA’s right to define marriage for itself, even after a federal judge in MA specifically affirmed their right to do so!

    For this reason, I made my comment @ 16. It is unadulterated silliness, and will inevitably gravely disappoint those stoners expecting to be able to grow and smoke freely.

  • kerner

    Wow. I have so many random thoughts on this subject.

    1) There is no really reliable roadside test for alcohol intoxication. To me, any kind of breath test is suspect. The only really good test for alcohol content is to draw blood and test it directly. Even then, what we have is a standardized (by the federal government under the threat of denying any deviating state federal transportation funds) percentage of blood alcohol content (0.08%) that is presumed to impair a person’s ability to drive. In reality, the actual degree of impairment imposed by 0.08% blood alcohol content varies between individuals. In Wisconsin, having ANY level of a controlled substance in your blood stream is considered conclusive proof of impairment, which is nonsense. But they find it through blood tests.

    2. There is no logical reason why we should have so many pain medications made from the opium poppy, but none made from the marijuana plant. But any medications made from marijuana should be treated and dispensed like real medications. Which means: just as we don’t let people who need opiates for pain grow poppies in their back yards and smoke as much as they want whenever they want, so should we treat medical marijuana. It should be processed into some form that can result in standardized doses (like a tablet or something) and a fixed number of doses should be prescribed by a physician for a fixed period of time. This would not eliminate abuse anymore than it eliminates abuse of any other prescription drug. But it would reduce abuse somewhat. Of course, it would also take a lot of the fun out of marijuana consumption, and the big drug companies would be making all the money from it, so the counter culture cache would be lost.

    3) If marijuana ever becomes legal entirely, the politics surrounding it will change completely. Again, marijuana distribution would become like alcohol and tobacco distribution; it would be taxed and regulated and would be distributed by big corporations with advertising budgets and lobbyists. This would take all the fun out of it for the liberals. And it would be only a matter of tme until the trial lawyers discover that (SURPRISE!!!) inhaling smoke is bad for you and will shorten your life. The big tobacco companies (who would probably take over the marijuana business) would find themselves being sued again by weed smokers with damaged respiratory systems, all claiming that the dangers of inhaling smoke were unknown to them and covered up by the evil capitalists. Republicans (if they are still being wooed by the big tobacco lobbyists) will defend the big companies right to sell a legal product, as the liberals raise the taxes on MJ and severely restrict the places it can be smoked. I actually hope I live to see this occur, it will be that hilariously ironic. :)

  • kerner

    Wow. I have so many random thoughts on this subject.

    1) There is no really reliable roadside test for alcohol intoxication. To me, any kind of breath test is suspect. The only really good test for alcohol content is to draw blood and test it directly. Even then, what we have is a standardized (by the federal government under the threat of denying any deviating state federal transportation funds) percentage of blood alcohol content (0.08%) that is presumed to impair a person’s ability to drive. In reality, the actual degree of impairment imposed by 0.08% blood alcohol content varies between individuals. In Wisconsin, having ANY level of a controlled substance in your blood stream is considered conclusive proof of impairment, which is nonsense. But they find it through blood tests.

    2. There is no logical reason why we should have so many pain medications made from the opium poppy, but none made from the marijuana plant. But any medications made from marijuana should be treated and dispensed like real medications. Which means: just as we don’t let people who need opiates for pain grow poppies in their back yards and smoke as much as they want whenever they want, so should we treat medical marijuana. It should be processed into some form that can result in standardized doses (like a tablet or something) and a fixed number of doses should be prescribed by a physician for a fixed period of time. This would not eliminate abuse anymore than it eliminates abuse of any other prescription drug. But it would reduce abuse somewhat. Of course, it would also take a lot of the fun out of marijuana consumption, and the big drug companies would be making all the money from it, so the counter culture cache would be lost.

    3) If marijuana ever becomes legal entirely, the politics surrounding it will change completely. Again, marijuana distribution would become like alcohol and tobacco distribution; it would be taxed and regulated and would be distributed by big corporations with advertising budgets and lobbyists. This would take all the fun out of it for the liberals. And it would be only a matter of tme until the trial lawyers discover that (SURPRISE!!!) inhaling smoke is bad for you and will shorten your life. The big tobacco companies (who would probably take over the marijuana business) would find themselves being sued again by weed smokers with damaged respiratory systems, all claiming that the dangers of inhaling smoke were unknown to them and covered up by the evil capitalists. Republicans (if they are still being wooed by the big tobacco lobbyists) will defend the big companies right to sell a legal product, as the liberals raise the taxes on MJ and severely restrict the places it can be smoked. I actually hope I live to see this occur, it will be that hilariously ironic. :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Regarding weed as a “gateway” drug, it occurs to me that this may be due in large part to the fact that, in order to currently obtain weed, you have to become familiar with the drug world. You have to locate a dealer, buy and possess the drug, all while avoiding the law’s eye. And, of course, once you’ve done all that, what you’re going to find out is that weed doesn’t kill you and isn’t any worse for you than a cigarette (which you almost certainly smoke, anyhow). Having become used to the ways of the drug world, you are likely to wonder what other drugs aren’t all that bad for you, either.

    DonS, I can’t help but notice that, not unlike the “statists in CA”, you seem to have a variable relationship with federalism, supporting it mainly when it supports your opinions in other areas (you certainly weren’t a fan of it regarding same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, nor do you appear thrilled with it here).

    Kerner (@21), you seem less well informed in this thread than usual. There are “pain medications … made from the [weed] plant”, and someone already referred to it: Marinol, a registered trademark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals for what is otherwise known as tetrahydrocannabinol. But, as has been noted by others here, some people dispute the effectiveness of these tablets compared to smoking the plant’s leaves. And while I can’t speak to the biochemistry involved, it does appear that weed is at least cheaper.

    What’s more, your third point seems to miss that, according to Veith’s link, the proposition would “allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest”. Sure, not everyone would have the space or ability to do this, but this would likely make weed like tobacco or alcohol. It would be legal to make your own, but you could also purchase it from the industrial suppliers. Pretty certain the liberal stoners you keep referring to would grow their own, much as they might grow their own vegetables.

    (“Weed” isn’t my preferred term, but the more technical one seems to send my comment into the spam queue.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Regarding weed as a “gateway” drug, it occurs to me that this may be due in large part to the fact that, in order to currently obtain weed, you have to become familiar with the drug world. You have to locate a dealer, buy and possess the drug, all while avoiding the law’s eye. And, of course, once you’ve done all that, what you’re going to find out is that weed doesn’t kill you and isn’t any worse for you than a cigarette (which you almost certainly smoke, anyhow). Having become used to the ways of the drug world, you are likely to wonder what other drugs aren’t all that bad for you, either.

    DonS, I can’t help but notice that, not unlike the “statists in CA”, you seem to have a variable relationship with federalism, supporting it mainly when it supports your opinions in other areas (you certainly weren’t a fan of it regarding same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, nor do you appear thrilled with it here).

    Kerner (@21), you seem less well informed in this thread than usual. There are “pain medications … made from the [weed] plant”, and someone already referred to it: Marinol, a registered trademark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals for what is otherwise known as tetrahydrocannabinol. But, as has been noted by others here, some people dispute the effectiveness of these tablets compared to smoking the plant’s leaves. And while I can’t speak to the biochemistry involved, it does appear that weed is at least cheaper.

    What’s more, your third point seems to miss that, according to Veith’s link, the proposition would “allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest”. Sure, not everyone would have the space or ability to do this, but this would likely make weed like tobacco or alcohol. It would be legal to make your own, but you could also purchase it from the industrial suppliers. Pretty certain the liberal stoners you keep referring to would grow their own, much as they might grow their own vegetables.

    (“Weed” isn’t my preferred term, but the more technical one seems to send my comment into the spam queue.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Regarding marijµana (henceforth referred to as MJ to try to get this comment through the spam queue) as a “gateway” drµg, it occurs to me that this may be due in large part to the fact that, in order to currently obtain MJ, you have to become familiar with the drµg world. You have to locate a dealer, buy and possess the drµg, all while avoiding the law’s eye. And, of course, once you’ve done all that, what you’re going to find out is that MJ doesn’t kill you and isn’t any worse for you than a cigarette (which you almost certainly smoke, anyhow). Having become used to the ways of the drµg world, you are likely to wonder what other drµgs aren’t all that bad for you, either.

    DonS, I can’t help but notice that, not unlike the “statists in CA”, you seem to have a variable relationship with federalism, supporting it mainly when it supports your opinions in other areas (you certainly weren’t a fan of it regarding same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, nor do you appear thrilled with it here).

    Kerner (@21), you seem less well informed in this thread than usual. There are “pain medications … made from the [MJ] plant”, and someone already referred to it: Marinol, a registered trademark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals for what is otherwise known as tetr@hydrocann@binol. But, as has been noted by others here, some people dispute the effectiveness of these tablets compared to smoking the plant’s leaves. And while I can’t speak to the biochemistry involved, it does appear that MJ is at least cheaper.

    What’s more, your third point seems to miss that, according to Veith’s link, the proposition would “allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest”. Sure, not everyone would have the space or ability to do this, but this would likely make MJ like tobacco or alcohol. It would be legal to make your own, but you could also purchase it from the industrial suppliers. Pretty certain the liberal $toners you keep referring to would grow their own, much as they might grow their own vegetables.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Regarding marijµana (henceforth referred to as MJ to try to get this comment through the spam queue) as a “gateway” drµg, it occurs to me that this may be due in large part to the fact that, in order to currently obtain MJ, you have to become familiar with the drµg world. You have to locate a dealer, buy and possess the drµg, all while avoiding the law’s eye. And, of course, once you’ve done all that, what you’re going to find out is that MJ doesn’t kill you and isn’t any worse for you than a cigarette (which you almost certainly smoke, anyhow). Having become used to the ways of the drµg world, you are likely to wonder what other drµgs aren’t all that bad for you, either.

    DonS, I can’t help but notice that, not unlike the “statists in CA”, you seem to have a variable relationship with federalism, supporting it mainly when it supports your opinions in other areas (you certainly weren’t a fan of it regarding same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, nor do you appear thrilled with it here).

    Kerner (@21), you seem less well informed in this thread than usual. There are “pain medications … made from the [MJ] plant”, and someone already referred to it: Marinol, a registered trademark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals for what is otherwise known as tetr@hydrocann@binol. But, as has been noted by others here, some people dispute the effectiveness of these tablets compared to smoking the plant’s leaves. And while I can’t speak to the biochemistry involved, it does appear that MJ is at least cheaper.

    What’s more, your third point seems to miss that, according to Veith’s link, the proposition would “allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest”. Sure, not everyone would have the space or ability to do this, but this would likely make MJ like tobacco or alcohol. It would be legal to make your own, but you could also purchase it from the industrial suppliers. Pretty certain the liberal $toners you keep referring to would grow their own, much as they might grow their own vegetables.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Regarding marijµana (henceforth referred to as MJ to try to get this comment through the spam queue) as a “gateway” drµg, it occurs to me that this may be due in large part to the fact that, in order to currently obtain MJ, you have to become familiar with the drµg world. You have to locate a dealer, buy and possess the drµg, all while avoiding the law’s eye. And, of course, once you’ve done all that, what you’re going to find out is that MJ doesn’t kill you and isn’t any worse for you than a cigarette (which you almost certainly smoke, anyhow). Having become used to the ways of the drµg world, you are likely to wonder what other drµgs aren’t all that bad for you, either.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Regarding marijµana (henceforth referred to as MJ to try to get this comment through the spam queue) as a “gateway” drµg, it occurs to me that this may be due in large part to the fact that, in order to currently obtain MJ, you have to become familiar with the drµg world. You have to locate a dealer, buy and possess the drµg, all while avoiding the law’s eye. And, of course, once you’ve done all that, what you’re going to find out is that MJ doesn’t kill you and isn’t any worse for you than a cigarette (which you almost certainly smoke, anyhow). Having become used to the ways of the drµg world, you are likely to wonder what other drµgs aren’t all that bad for you, either.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS, I can’t help but notice that, not unlike the “statists in CA”, you seem to have a variable relationship with federalism, supporting it mainly when it supports your opinions in other areas (you certainly weren’t a fan of it regarding same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, nor do you appear thrilled with it here).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS, I can’t help but notice that, not unlike the “statists in CA”, you seem to have a variable relationship with federalism, supporting it mainly when it supports your opinions in other areas (you certainly weren’t a fan of it regarding same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, nor do you appear thrilled with it here).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@21), you seem less well informed in this thread than usual. There are “pain medications … made from the [MJ] plant”, and someone already referred to it: M@rinol, a registered trademark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals for what is otherwise known as tetr@hydrocann@binol. But, as has been noted by others here, some people dispute the effectiveness of these tablets compared to smoking the plant’s leaves. And while I can’t speak to the biochemistry involved, it does appear that MJ is at least cheaper.

    What’s more, your third point seems to miss that, according to Veith’s link, the proposition would “allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest”. Sure, not everyone would have the space or ability to do this, but this would likely make MJ like tobacco or alcohol. It would be legal to make your own, but you could also purchase it from the industrial suppliers. Pretty certain the liberal $toners you keep referring to would grow their own, much as they might grow their own vegetables.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@21), you seem less well informed in this thread than usual. There are “pain medications … made from the [MJ] plant”, and someone already referred to it: M@rinol, a registered trademark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals for what is otherwise known as tetr@hydrocann@binol. But, as has been noted by others here, some people dispute the effectiveness of these tablets compared to smoking the plant’s leaves. And while I can’t speak to the biochemistry involved, it does appear that MJ is at least cheaper.

    What’s more, your third point seems to miss that, according to Veith’s link, the proposition would “allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest”. Sure, not everyone would have the space or ability to do this, but this would likely make MJ like tobacco or alcohol. It would be legal to make your own, but you could also purchase it from the industrial suppliers. Pretty certain the liberal $toners you keep referring to would grow their own, much as they might grow their own vegetables.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@21), you seem less well informed in this thread than usual. There are “pain medic@tions … made from the [MJ] plant”, and someone already referred to it: M@rinol, a registered trademark of Solvay Ph@rm@ceuticals for what is otherwise known as tetr@hydrocann@binol. But, as has been noted by others here, some people dispute the effectiveness of these tablets compared to smoking the plant’s leaves. And while I can’t speak to the biochemistry involved, it does appear that MJ is at least cheaper.

    What’s more, your third point seems to miss that, according to Veith’s link, the proposition would “allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest”. Sure, not everyone would have the space or ability to do this, but this would likely make MJ like tob@cco or alcohol. It would be legal to make your own, but you could also purchase it from the industrial suppliers. Pretty certain the liberal $toners you keep referring to would grow their own, much as they might grow their own vegetables.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@21), you seem less well informed in this thread than usual. There are “pain medic@tions … made from the [MJ] plant”, and someone already referred to it: M@rinol, a registered trademark of Solvay Ph@rm@ceuticals for what is otherwise known as tetr@hydrocann@binol. But, as has been noted by others here, some people dispute the effectiveness of these tablets compared to smoking the plant’s leaves. And while I can’t speak to the biochemistry involved, it does appear that MJ is at least cheaper.

    What’s more, your third point seems to miss that, according to Veith’s link, the proposition would “allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest”. Sure, not everyone would have the space or ability to do this, but this would likely make MJ like tob@cco or alcohol. It would be legal to make your own, but you could also purchase it from the industrial suppliers. Pretty certain the liberal $toners you keep referring to would grow their own, much as they might grow their own vegetables.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Holy cow, I had to butcher my own comments to get them to avoid the spam queue! Not sure which of the words I ultimately altered were the ones triggering the software, but my apologies for looking less than literate!

    And, should Veith ever approve the dozen other comments I attempted, my apologies for the apparent repetitiveness.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Holy cow, I had to butcher my own comments to get them to avoid the spam queue! Not sure which of the words I ultimately altered were the ones triggering the software, but my apologies for looking less than literate!

    And, should Veith ever approve the dozen other comments I attempted, my apologies for the apparent repetitiveness.

  • Winston Smith

    The $p@m filter is having a field day today.

    S()c1alism

  • Winston Smith

    The $p@m filter is having a field day today.

    S()c1alism

  • DonS

    tODD @ 23:

    No, to the contrary, I consistently support principles of federalism. As you well know, from our past discussions, I considered the federal judge’s reliance on federalism in the MA cases to be a fraud, because the issue was a federal program. While I believe the existence of the federal program is dubious under principles of federalism, if we are to concede the existence of the program, then I think we have to also concede the federal government’s right to define terms for the sole purpose of administering that program. What was amusing, in a sad kind of way, was the fact that those supporting gay marriage completely threw over their new found love for federalism a bare few weeks later when they celebrated Judge Walker’s complete abrogation of CA’s right to define marriage. Now THAT was an excellent example of a “variable relationship with federalism”.

    As for the present case, I never said I didn’t support a state’s right to determine drug policy solely within its own borders. I actually support that policy. I just don’t think we are going to advance that cause with this proposition, because our state government is unwilling to advance the right arguments, even with respect to the much more limited Proposition 215 already on the books. So, adding this additional broader proposition will just create more confusion and chaos for law enforcement and for MJ users and providers.

    What I would like to see is a principled support of Proposition 215 by CA on the basis of federalism. Then, once that has occurred, we can pass more such laws, if that is the will of the people. As for the particular merits of Proposition 19, I have not yet studied it sufficiently to have an opinion.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 23:

    No, to the contrary, I consistently support principles of federalism. As you well know, from our past discussions, I considered the federal judge’s reliance on federalism in the MA cases to be a fraud, because the issue was a federal program. While I believe the existence of the federal program is dubious under principles of federalism, if we are to concede the existence of the program, then I think we have to also concede the federal government’s right to define terms for the sole purpose of administering that program. What was amusing, in a sad kind of way, was the fact that those supporting gay marriage completely threw over their new found love for federalism a bare few weeks later when they celebrated Judge Walker’s complete abrogation of CA’s right to define marriage. Now THAT was an excellent example of a “variable relationship with federalism”.

    As for the present case, I never said I didn’t support a state’s right to determine drug policy solely within its own borders. I actually support that policy. I just don’t think we are going to advance that cause with this proposition, because our state government is unwilling to advance the right arguments, even with respect to the much more limited Proposition 215 already on the books. So, adding this additional broader proposition will just create more confusion and chaos for law enforcement and for MJ users and providers.

    What I would like to see is a principled support of Proposition 215 by CA on the basis of federalism. Then, once that has occurred, we can pass more such laws, if that is the will of the people. As for the particular merits of Proposition 19, I have not yet studied it sufficiently to have an opinion.

  • DonS

    I also have several substantially duplicate comments to #20 in the spam filter, although “stoner” is apparently OK :-)

  • DonS

    I also have several substantially duplicate comments to #20 in the spam filter, although “stoner” is apparently OK :-)

  • kerner

    Well, tODD I stand corrected (and will studiously ignore your snarky tone) except that marinol is a synthetic, which I assume means that it is not processed from plants but rather manufactured.

    As to my other predictions, I have history on my side. While it is perfectly legal to grow one’s own tobacco and roll cigarettes, almost nobody does that. It is rare for anyone to roll their own from purchased tobacco. And even though “home brew” and “moonshine” were popular during prohibition, making one’s own beverage alcohol is limited to a very small group of hobbyists (and maybe a few hillbillies) today.

    Trust me, if MJ were as legal (and as taxed and regulated) as alcohol and tobacco, the economic forces that have led to the mass production and distribution of the latter two would work on the MJ market as well. Price and access would make the difference. The food market does the same thing. I don’t care how much better quality you can get from an organic farmer, the vast majority of food products are purchased from supermarkets and produced by agri-business. If it is legal, “blunts” will be right there in the stores next to the other cigars, and that’s where people will buy them.

    And the big comnpanies will be who gets sued when it studies start to show that breathing smoke makes you sick.

  • kerner

    Well, tODD I stand corrected (and will studiously ignore your snarky tone) except that marinol is a synthetic, which I assume means that it is not processed from plants but rather manufactured.

    As to my other predictions, I have history on my side. While it is perfectly legal to grow one’s own tobacco and roll cigarettes, almost nobody does that. It is rare for anyone to roll their own from purchased tobacco. And even though “home brew” and “moonshine” were popular during prohibition, making one’s own beverage alcohol is limited to a very small group of hobbyists (and maybe a few hillbillies) today.

    Trust me, if MJ were as legal (and as taxed and regulated) as alcohol and tobacco, the economic forces that have led to the mass production and distribution of the latter two would work on the MJ market as well. Price and access would make the difference. The food market does the same thing. I don’t care how much better quality you can get from an organic farmer, the vast majority of food products are purchased from supermarkets and produced by agri-business. If it is legal, “blunts” will be right there in the stores next to the other cigars, and that’s where people will buy them.

    And the big comnpanies will be who gets sued when it studies start to show that breathing smoke makes you sick.

  • bunnycatch3r

    If I’m not mistaken the Lutheran church emloys the use of alcohol in some of it’s services. If MJ is legalized can you think of any way its use could enhance current worship practices?

  • bunnycatch3r

    If I’m not mistaken the Lutheran church emloys the use of alcohol in some of it’s services. If MJ is legalized can you think of any way its use could enhance current worship practices?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@27), I guess I don’t get your argument here — no doubt in part because I don’t live in California. What, exactly, is wrong with Prop. 215? Is it not having its intended effects? Or only somewhat? What does California need to argue (and in what venue) in order for things to go right?

    Kerner (@29), I wasn’t trying to be “snarky”. And I stand corrected as well — you are correct that Marinol is synthetic.

    “While it is perfectly legal to grow one’s own tobacco and roll cigarettes, almost nobody does that. It is rare for anyone to roll their own from purchased tobacco. … Making one’s own beverage alcohol is limited to a very small group of hobbyists.” What can I say? We have very different experiences. As to your first claim, Google appears to offer over 8,000,000 results on a query for “how to grow tobacco”[1]. I don’t know anyone who grows it, personally, but nor do I know a lot of smokers. And I don’t think you’d call it “rare” to see someone rolling their own on a bus or at a bus stop in Portland. This seems especially popular among the poor. As for homebrewers, I guess you’d argue I just happen to know a lot of people in that “very small group”!

    As such, I imagine that a post-legalization California would be similar, with plenty of (taxed and regulated) industrial product for people with no interest or ability to make their own joints, as well as plenty of people making their own, whether for financial or other reasons. I don’t see why the bans on smoking wouldn’t also apply equally to marijuana smoke. And, unless these future industrial reefer manufacturers lie and cover up their own research on the dangers of smoking marijuana, or make dubious claims about their products, I don’t foresee them being the subject of costly lawsuits.

    [1]google.com/search?q=how+to+grow+tobacco

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@27), I guess I don’t get your argument here — no doubt in part because I don’t live in California. What, exactly, is wrong with Prop. 215? Is it not having its intended effects? Or only somewhat? What does California need to argue (and in what venue) in order for things to go right?

    Kerner (@29), I wasn’t trying to be “snarky”. And I stand corrected as well — you are correct that Marinol is synthetic.

    “While it is perfectly legal to grow one’s own tobacco and roll cigarettes, almost nobody does that. It is rare for anyone to roll their own from purchased tobacco. … Making one’s own beverage alcohol is limited to a very small group of hobbyists.” What can I say? We have very different experiences. As to your first claim, Google appears to offer over 8,000,000 results on a query for “how to grow tobacco”[1]. I don’t know anyone who grows it, personally, but nor do I know a lot of smokers. And I don’t think you’d call it “rare” to see someone rolling their own on a bus or at a bus stop in Portland. This seems especially popular among the poor. As for homebrewers, I guess you’d argue I just happen to know a lot of people in that “very small group”!

    As such, I imagine that a post-legalization California would be similar, with plenty of (taxed and regulated) industrial product for people with no interest or ability to make their own joints, as well as plenty of people making their own, whether for financial or other reasons. I don’t see why the bans on smoking wouldn’t also apply equally to marijuana smoke. And, unless these future industrial reefer manufacturers lie and cover up their own research on the dangers of smoking marijuana, or make dubious claims about their products, I don’t foresee them being the subject of costly lawsuits.

    [1]google.com/search?q=how+to+grow+tobacco

  • Winston Smith

    Joe @ 17:

    Much as I would love to see Wickard v. Filburn overturned by the Supreme Court, I’m not holding my breath. (Wickard is a 1942 decision in which the Court held that a farmer’s decision to withhold some of his grain from the market for his own use involved interstate commerce, and was thus subject to federal regulation.)

    The Supreme Court relied on the Wickard precdent in Gonzalez v. raich in 2005. In Raich the Court held that medical MJ grown, sold, and consumed entirely within the state of California was subject to federal regulation under the Commerce Clause.

    One day soon the Court will probably have to decide on the constitutionality of penalizing people who don’t purchase health insurance (if Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s suit against the controversial Obamacare requirement is allowed to go to trial). The Supremes may not want to limit or overturn Wickard (or Raich) if they intend to uphold Obamacare in a year or two.

    Joe, as you also mentioend @ 7, this will be an interesting test of federalism. As Kalifornia goes, so goes the nation, and legalization there may be a bellweather of a national trend to come. The feds will fight tooth and nail against having a major state go against their policy. There will be intense pressure brought to bear on the state government behind the scenes to shut Prop 19 down by any means necessary.

    Soshulism

  • Winston Smith

    Joe @ 17:

    Much as I would love to see Wickard v. Filburn overturned by the Supreme Court, I’m not holding my breath. (Wickard is a 1942 decision in which the Court held that a farmer’s decision to withhold some of his grain from the market for his own use involved interstate commerce, and was thus subject to federal regulation.)

    The Supreme Court relied on the Wickard precdent in Gonzalez v. raich in 2005. In Raich the Court held that medical MJ grown, sold, and consumed entirely within the state of California was subject to federal regulation under the Commerce Clause.

    One day soon the Court will probably have to decide on the constitutionality of penalizing people who don’t purchase health insurance (if Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s suit against the controversial Obamacare requirement is allowed to go to trial). The Supremes may not want to limit or overturn Wickard (or Raich) if they intend to uphold Obamacare in a year or two.

    Joe, as you also mentioend @ 7, this will be an interesting test of federalism. As Kalifornia goes, so goes the nation, and legalization there may be a bellweather of a national trend to come. The feds will fight tooth and nail against having a major state go against their policy. There will be intense pressure brought to bear on the state government behind the scenes to shut Prop 19 down by any means necessary.

    Soshulism

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bunnycatch3r (@30), you do realize that alcohol is actually mentioned numerous times in the Bible, yes? And that such is the reason for its inclusion in Christian worship — Jesus’ command to “do this in remembrance of me” clearly refers to wine.

    Where is marijuana mentioned in the Bible? Why would it become part of the worship service, if the currently-legal tobacco has not yet found its way into the same?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bunnycatch3r (@30), you do realize that alcohol is actually mentioned numerous times in the Bible, yes? And that such is the reason for its inclusion in Christian worship — Jesus’ command to “do this in remembrance of me” clearly refers to wine.

    Where is marijuana mentioned in the Bible? Why would it become part of the worship service, if the currently-legal tobacco has not yet found its way into the same?

  • Winston Smith

    “I smoke my pipe and worship God” — J.S. bach, a noted Lutheran

  • Winston Smith

    “I smoke my pipe and worship God” — J.S. bach, a noted Lutheran

  • bunnycatch3r

    tODD @30 -”clearly refers to wine” – the words of institution clearly refer to “the cup”. But I’m not suggesting that MJ be smoked during worship – but instead be used as incense perhaps, a symbol of the Holy Spirit maybe.
    Something used as an aid to help the stubborn and stiff necked become confessional.

  • bunnycatch3r

    tODD @30 -”clearly refers to wine” – the words of institution clearly refer to “the cup”. But I’m not suggesting that MJ be smoked during worship – but instead be used as incense perhaps, a symbol of the Holy Spirit maybe.
    Something used as an aid to help the stubborn and stiff necked become confessional.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 31: No problem — it’s understandable that an OR resident wouldn’t be particularly familiar with this CA issue. I explained a bit above @16, but basically there is no uniformity in enforcement of Prop 215. Some jurisdictions ignore violation of federal law by MJ collectives and med MJ users, so that Prop 215 is alive and well, while others ignore 215 on the basis of conflicting federal law. Sometimes jurisdictions abruptly switch their enforcement posture, as LA has done this year, when it decided that its zoning laws only allowed 40 some odd collectives in the entire city, forcing the abrupt closure of several hundred others. Many jurisdictions just use their zoning laws to completely exclude collectives, under the rationale that they are not required to zone for things that are prohibited by federal law.

    So, my main point is that it would be silly to broaden state permissiveness on MJ until the underlying conflict between state and federal law has been resolved. Prop 215 provides a very adequate vehicle for this resolution, so there is no need for Prop 19, which would further confuse the legal status of MJ for millions of affected residents.

    As for Joe’s point about federalism, I am sympathetic to this argument, as I noted above, but Winston is absolutely right @ 32 that recent Supreme Court precedent does not bode well for this argument. Hopefully, the tide will turn on federalism in the future.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 31: No problem — it’s understandable that an OR resident wouldn’t be particularly familiar with this CA issue. I explained a bit above @16, but basically there is no uniformity in enforcement of Prop 215. Some jurisdictions ignore violation of federal law by MJ collectives and med MJ users, so that Prop 215 is alive and well, while others ignore 215 on the basis of conflicting federal law. Sometimes jurisdictions abruptly switch their enforcement posture, as LA has done this year, when it decided that its zoning laws only allowed 40 some odd collectives in the entire city, forcing the abrupt closure of several hundred others. Many jurisdictions just use their zoning laws to completely exclude collectives, under the rationale that they are not required to zone for things that are prohibited by federal law.

    So, my main point is that it would be silly to broaden state permissiveness on MJ until the underlying conflict between state and federal law has been resolved. Prop 215 provides a very adequate vehicle for this resolution, so there is no need for Prop 19, which would further confuse the legal status of MJ for millions of affected residents.

    As for Joe’s point about federalism, I am sympathetic to this argument, as I noted above, but Winston is absolutely right @ 32 that recent Supreme Court precedent does not bode well for this argument. Hopefully, the tide will turn on federalism in the future.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@36), what do you mean when you say that “Prop 215 provides a very adequate vehicle for this resolution” between state and federal drug laws? Are you saying that Prop 215 is that “vehicle”, or that it contains it?

    Also, you say that Prop 19 “would further confuse the legal status of MJ for millions of affected residents”. It seems to me that could be a good thing, or at least its intent, no? The legal status of medical marijuana is, as you explain, not at all settled across California. But then, there are not as many people that would qualify for medical marijuana as there are people who would simply like to smoke it for whatever reason. By broadening the number of people affected, isn’t it more likely that the contrast between state and federal laws would come to a head? After all, wouldn’t you agree that this needs to come to a head, that this tension needs to be resolved?

    Not that it’s guaranteed to come out the right way, but I’m not sure you can say that Prop 19 has no merit, even according to your own arguments.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@36), what do you mean when you say that “Prop 215 provides a very adequate vehicle for this resolution” between state and federal drug laws? Are you saying that Prop 215 is that “vehicle”, or that it contains it?

    Also, you say that Prop 19 “would further confuse the legal status of MJ for millions of affected residents”. It seems to me that could be a good thing, or at least its intent, no? The legal status of medical marijuana is, as you explain, not at all settled across California. But then, there are not as many people that would qualify for medical marijuana as there are people who would simply like to smoke it for whatever reason. By broadening the number of people affected, isn’t it more likely that the contrast between state and federal laws would come to a head? After all, wouldn’t you agree that this needs to come to a head, that this tension needs to be resolved?

    Not that it’s guaranteed to come out the right way, but I’m not sure you can say that Prop 19 has no merit, even according to your own arguments.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 37: What I mean is that Prop 215 permits behavior which violates federal law, and thus adequately sets up the conflict which would permit resolution of the issue under appropriate case or controversy standards. Thus, Prop 215 is a perfectly adequate vehicle for pursuing a court holding that federal drug laws, insofar as they regulate behavior which is entirely contained within the borders of a single state, is unconstitutional under the 9th/10th amendments. Alternatively, it sets up an adequate conflict for pressuring federal legislators to modify federal law without resort to the courts. What is nice about Prop 215 is that it presents sympathetic facts, by limiting MJ usage to medical purposes. When you are trying to change law, it is important to have sympathetic facts.

    On the other hand, passage of Prop 19 would bring recreational MJ users into the picture — not so sympathetic. This might actually work against the interests of those who would like to see some level of legalization of MJ. Furthermore, it would bring many more people into the status of federal lawbreakers, some of whom would assume that they were using legally because of passage of the proposition. There is nothing worse for one’s financial and mental well being than being caught in the criminal justice system for years on end, and potentially being exposed to criminal penalties.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 37: What I mean is that Prop 215 permits behavior which violates federal law, and thus adequately sets up the conflict which would permit resolution of the issue under appropriate case or controversy standards. Thus, Prop 215 is a perfectly adequate vehicle for pursuing a court holding that federal drug laws, insofar as they regulate behavior which is entirely contained within the borders of a single state, is unconstitutional under the 9th/10th amendments. Alternatively, it sets up an adequate conflict for pressuring federal legislators to modify federal law without resort to the courts. What is nice about Prop 215 is that it presents sympathetic facts, by limiting MJ usage to medical purposes. When you are trying to change law, it is important to have sympathetic facts.

    On the other hand, passage of Prop 19 would bring recreational MJ users into the picture — not so sympathetic. This might actually work against the interests of those who would like to see some level of legalization of MJ. Furthermore, it would bring many more people into the status of federal lawbreakers, some of whom would assume that they were using legally because of passage of the proposition. There is nothing worse for one’s financial and mental well being than being caught in the criminal justice system for years on end, and potentially being exposed to criminal penalties.

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    Alright, I read through the comments and pretty much everyone was in favor of legalization of MJ and/or decrying the war on drugs as a failure.

    Lately, I have been studying and preaching through the book of Revelation. One theme that I have noticed is the increase and perseverance of wickedness throughout the book until the day of judgment. Also, the harlot, Babylon the great, which is a city, offers all manner of pleasures to people–from immorality to materialism–you name it. I believe a day is coming when people will not legally refuse themselves any type of pleasure.

    That said, I believe legalizing MJ would be morally wrong.
    Rev. 18:4 …“Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins”

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    Alright, I read through the comments and pretty much everyone was in favor of legalization of MJ and/or decrying the war on drugs as a failure.

    Lately, I have been studying and preaching through the book of Revelation. One theme that I have noticed is the increase and perseverance of wickedness throughout the book until the day of judgment. Also, the harlot, Babylon the great, which is a city, offers all manner of pleasures to people–from immorality to materialism–you name it. I believe a day is coming when people will not legally refuse themselves any type of pleasure.

    That said, I believe legalizing MJ would be morally wrong.
    Rev. 18:4 …“Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    barry d bishop. @ 44

    what about drinking alcohol and pictures of women in underwear in the sears roebuck catalog? watching tv and movies? playing cards? Is God opposed to something merely because it feels good to do?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    barry d bishop. @ 44

    what about drinking alcohol and pictures of women in underwear in the sears roebuck catalog? watching tv and movies? playing cards? Is God opposed to something merely because it feels good to do?

  • kerner

    tODD @36:

    Sorry amigo. I must be in a bad mood, seeing snark where none is intended.

    But I still think it is a good idea to examine the politics of this. When I was a teenager in the late 60′s-early 70′s, liberals (almost without exception) smoked cigarettes. People who didn’t smoke were usually “social conservative” types who also opposed card playing, drinking, dancing, TV, etc. (as fws says above). In those days it was the “moral majority” types that were quoting all the statistics about the dangers of tobacco. Liberals, on the other hand, managed to push through policies that established student smoking lounges in some high schools.

    This began to change in the late 80′s when the tobacco companies began supporting the Republican party financially, while at the same time the civil plaintiff’s bar started supporting the democrats. The result was that by the 90′s the Democrats were using the plaintiff’s bar to punish, and get money from, the tobacco companies, while at the same time restricting and taxing them. And the likes of Jerry Falwell was defending the tobacco companies publicly, while conservatives were jumping on the cigar revival bandwagon, and proclaiming that adults should be able to do what they want with their bodies.

    I am suggesting that this is a function of money and politics, not a serious moral or public health debate. The Republicans are all too happy to declare “war” on something, as long as it is used and distributed on a black market by people Republicans don’t like. But if big business ever embraces MJ (which would be inevitable if it became legal) Republicans will discover that all their rhetoric now used to defend tobacco use can be applied to MJ. And the Democrats, for their part, have been happy to push for the legalization of MJ while it is distributed on the black market by people they perceive as leaning democrat. But if big business embraces MJ, the Democrats will try to hurt the business community by trying to regulate, tax and litigate that segment of the business community into unprofitability, just as they did to the tobacco industry. Or, they will pull out their new weapon; they will limit tobacco (and MJ if it is a product of big business) users’ access to health care until they quit.

    It is naive to suggest that a company has to do something deceptive or dishonest to get sued over a “dangerous product”. Lawsuits are filed all the time against companies who didn’t realize the dangers of the products they sold, or who considered those dangers to be so obvious that anyone would see them. And big verdicts mean big fees for the civil plaintiff’s bar, which in turn means big contributions to the Democrats.

    This is not to say that the Republicans aren’t equally cynical. A lot of the things they do are for similar reasons. Anyway, you get the point. If MJ ever becomes a big moneymaker for Republicans, the Democrats will attack it with the same fervor they have in favor of it now.

  • kerner

    tODD @36:

    Sorry amigo. I must be in a bad mood, seeing snark where none is intended.

    But I still think it is a good idea to examine the politics of this. When I was a teenager in the late 60′s-early 70′s, liberals (almost without exception) smoked cigarettes. People who didn’t smoke were usually “social conservative” types who also opposed card playing, drinking, dancing, TV, etc. (as fws says above). In those days it was the “moral majority” types that were quoting all the statistics about the dangers of tobacco. Liberals, on the other hand, managed to push through policies that established student smoking lounges in some high schools.

    This began to change in the late 80′s when the tobacco companies began supporting the Republican party financially, while at the same time the civil plaintiff’s bar started supporting the democrats. The result was that by the 90′s the Democrats were using the plaintiff’s bar to punish, and get money from, the tobacco companies, while at the same time restricting and taxing them. And the likes of Jerry Falwell was defending the tobacco companies publicly, while conservatives were jumping on the cigar revival bandwagon, and proclaiming that adults should be able to do what they want with their bodies.

    I am suggesting that this is a function of money and politics, not a serious moral or public health debate. The Republicans are all too happy to declare “war” on something, as long as it is used and distributed on a black market by people Republicans don’t like. But if big business ever embraces MJ (which would be inevitable if it became legal) Republicans will discover that all their rhetoric now used to defend tobacco use can be applied to MJ. And the Democrats, for their part, have been happy to push for the legalization of MJ while it is distributed on the black market by people they perceive as leaning democrat. But if big business embraces MJ, the Democrats will try to hurt the business community by trying to regulate, tax and litigate that segment of the business community into unprofitability, just as they did to the tobacco industry. Or, they will pull out their new weapon; they will limit tobacco (and MJ if it is a product of big business) users’ access to health care until they quit.

    It is naive to suggest that a company has to do something deceptive or dishonest to get sued over a “dangerous product”. Lawsuits are filed all the time against companies who didn’t realize the dangers of the products they sold, or who considered those dangers to be so obvious that anyone would see them. And big verdicts mean big fees for the civil plaintiff’s bar, which in turn means big contributions to the Democrats.

    This is not to say that the Republicans aren’t equally cynical. A lot of the things they do are for similar reasons. Anyway, you get the point. If MJ ever becomes a big moneymaker for Republicans, the Democrats will attack it with the same fervor they have in favor of it now.

  • Winston Smith

    Barry D. Bishop @ 44:

    This is the difficulty that comes from wearing two hats — Christian and citizen — two different vocations, if you will.

    For the reasons I stated earlier (drugs as gateway to the occult), as a Christian, I cannot endorse the use of marijuana or other drugs. As a citizen of a free and constitutional Republic, I also understand that not everything that is sinful has to be a crime. As a small government libertarian, I understand that every law passed means another excuse for the SWAT team to smash into your house and shoot your dog, thinking they were at the address next door. There are many things that the Bible frowns on — divorce, lending with interest, Buddhism — that the secular law permits.

    Actually, I suspect the rise of the drug culture in America is a sign of the approaching end times.

  • Winston Smith

    Barry D. Bishop @ 44:

    This is the difficulty that comes from wearing two hats — Christian and citizen — two different vocations, if you will.

    For the reasons I stated earlier (drugs as gateway to the occult), as a Christian, I cannot endorse the use of marijuana or other drugs. As a citizen of a free and constitutional Republic, I also understand that not everything that is sinful has to be a crime. As a small government libertarian, I understand that every law passed means another excuse for the SWAT team to smash into your house and shoot your dog, thinking they were at the address next door. There are many things that the Bible frowns on — divorce, lending with interest, Buddhism — that the secular law permits.

    Actually, I suspect the rise of the drug culture in America is a sign of the approaching end times.

  • Cincinnatus

    Barry@44: Why, exactly, is MJ “immoral”? Kerner’s response to you jumps far ahead of itself by assuming that your scriptural interpretation is correct. But I’m not so certain that it is. Care to expand a bit?

  • Cincinnatus

    Barry@44: Why, exactly, is MJ “immoral”? Kerner’s response to you jumps far ahead of itself by assuming that your scriptural interpretation is correct. But I’m not so certain that it is. Care to expand a bit?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    winston @ 47

    ” (drugs as gateway to the occult), ”

    Compare this to what our Lord did. It is easy to forget that alcohol is fully a drug. “Wine makes the heart merry”. It is a mind altering substance this says. And this phrase in the bible does not seem to be a disapproving one does it about that part of alcoholic consumtion?

    Jesus created this drug in huge quantities and a certain wedding where people had already consumed huge quantities.

    There are biblical metaphors about this drug such as “new wine in old wineskins” that prove we are talking booze and not just grape juice (fermentation in the production of alcohol stretches the pig stomach used as wineskin, so using old wineskin for new wine will burst the sin this means), and finally, as the m0st sacred of acts in the church, Or Lord commands us to partake of a drug every sunday in church.

    So Winston, break this down for me more please biblically….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    winston @ 47

    ” (drugs as gateway to the occult), ”

    Compare this to what our Lord did. It is easy to forget that alcohol is fully a drug. “Wine makes the heart merry”. It is a mind altering substance this says. And this phrase in the bible does not seem to be a disapproving one does it about that part of alcoholic consumtion?

    Jesus created this drug in huge quantities and a certain wedding where people had already consumed huge quantities.

    There are biblical metaphors about this drug such as “new wine in old wineskins” that prove we are talking booze and not just grape juice (fermentation in the production of alcohol stretches the pig stomach used as wineskin, so using old wineskin for new wine will burst the sin this means), and finally, as the m0st sacred of acts in the church, Or Lord commands us to partake of a drug every sunday in church.

    So Winston, break this down for me more please biblically….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    correction “will burst the sKin this means…”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    correction “will burst the sKin this means…”

  • Winston Smith

    fws,

    John 2 has tobe problematical for the teetotalers. Jesus caused six large waterpots to be filled with water, which He then converted into wine. Furthermore, He apparently did so when the guests had already gone through the first batch of wine (John 2:10). Jesus, who was without sin, did not deliver an indignant sermon about the evils of drunkenness and send the drinkers home; he opened up the new keg. Furthermore, I think you will find that the word used in the Greek text (“oinos”) is the same word used in Ephesians 5:18 (“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”). From the context it appears that the wedding revelers were not drinking Welch’s Grape Juice.

    Clearly, excessive drinking is a bad thing. Alcohol abuse and addiction has ruined many lives, and it is easy to understand why many good people (Christian and otherwise) have reacted strongly against it. That is not the Bible’s position, of course.

    Paul advises Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake, I Tim. 5:23. Of course, in those days, wine was more sanitary than water, and the custom in the ancient world was to dilute wine with water.

    The bottom line is that while the Babdists might want the Bible to condemn all alcohol use in no uncertain terms, it does not do that. The text of the Bible allows the believer a certain amount of liberty, requiring discretion and grace to keep him from abusing both his liberty and alcohol.

  • Winston Smith

    fws,

    John 2 has tobe problematical for the teetotalers. Jesus caused six large waterpots to be filled with water, which He then converted into wine. Furthermore, He apparently did so when the guests had already gone through the first batch of wine (John 2:10). Jesus, who was without sin, did not deliver an indignant sermon about the evils of drunkenness and send the drinkers home; he opened up the new keg. Furthermore, I think you will find that the word used in the Greek text (“oinos”) is the same word used in Ephesians 5:18 (“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”). From the context it appears that the wedding revelers were not drinking Welch’s Grape Juice.

    Clearly, excessive drinking is a bad thing. Alcohol abuse and addiction has ruined many lives, and it is easy to understand why many good people (Christian and otherwise) have reacted strongly against it. That is not the Bible’s position, of course.

    Paul advises Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake, I Tim. 5:23. Of course, in those days, wine was more sanitary than water, and the custom in the ancient world was to dilute wine with water.

    The bottom line is that while the Babdists might want the Bible to condemn all alcohol use in no uncertain terms, it does not do that. The text of the Bible allows the believer a certain amount of liberty, requiring discretion and grace to keep him from abusing both his liberty and alcohol.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    winston @51

    I was homing in on where you said…

    “For the reasons I stated earlier (drugs as gateway to the occult), as a Christian, I cannot endorse the use of marijuana or other drugs. ”

    Alcohol is clearly a drug. and a mind altering one at that. So I don´t see the consistency in your position is what I was trying to say.

    Your apology for the drug alchohol by the way was elegant.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    winston @51

    I was homing in on where you said…

    “For the reasons I stated earlier (drugs as gateway to the occult), as a Christian, I cannot endorse the use of marijuana or other drugs. ”

    Alcohol is clearly a drug. and a mind altering one at that. So I don´t see the consistency in your position is what I was trying to say.

    Your apology for the drug alchohol by the way was elegant.

  • Winston Smith

    fws,

    Not all drugs are created equal. As I mentioned @ 4, the word translated “witchcraft” in Galatians 5:20 is “pharmakeia,” the same Greek root from which we derive “pharmacy.” The word suggests that psychedelic drugs were involved in pagan worship. Indeed, certain tribes of Indians use peyote buttons or psilocibe mushrooms for exactly that purpose — to put themselves in touch with the spirit realm, to open their mind to dimensions that we normally (thanks to our Creator’s good design) do not see. In the Near East where Paul wrote it was probably some other plant or chemical.

    That is why blood-washed, redeemed Christians who rightly abhor and detest the occult should be extrremely careful of dabbling in chemicals of that type.

    Alcohol is a different story. As noted @ 51, the Bible cannot honestly be read to condemn its use in moderation. However (as Scripture also warns), it can make you do crazy and stupid things if you drink enough of it. “Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things,” Proverbs 23:33. But even a bottle of Wild Irish Rose will not cause the same quality of hallucinations as mescaline, LSD or PCP. (Or so I’m told, anyway.)

    The best advice is not to rely on chemicals to get you through life, but to be filled with the Spirit who is the limitless Source of the greatest Joy.

  • Winston Smith

    fws,

    Not all drugs are created equal. As I mentioned @ 4, the word translated “witchcraft” in Galatians 5:20 is “pharmakeia,” the same Greek root from which we derive “pharmacy.” The word suggests that psychedelic drugs were involved in pagan worship. Indeed, certain tribes of Indians use peyote buttons or psilocibe mushrooms for exactly that purpose — to put themselves in touch with the spirit realm, to open their mind to dimensions that we normally (thanks to our Creator’s good design) do not see. In the Near East where Paul wrote it was probably some other plant or chemical.

    That is why blood-washed, redeemed Christians who rightly abhor and detest the occult should be extrremely careful of dabbling in chemicals of that type.

    Alcohol is a different story. As noted @ 51, the Bible cannot honestly be read to condemn its use in moderation. However (as Scripture also warns), it can make you do crazy and stupid things if you drink enough of it. “Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things,” Proverbs 23:33. But even a bottle of Wild Irish Rose will not cause the same quality of hallucinations as mescaline, LSD or PCP. (Or so I’m told, anyway.)

    The best advice is not to rely on chemicals to get you through life, but to be filled with the Spirit who is the limitless Source of the greatest Joy.

  • DonS

    Barry @ 44: I believe it is constitutionally wrong for the federal government to legislate against behavior that occurs entirely within the borders of a single state and does not substantially impact a specific federal responsibility, such as national security. For this reason, I think federal drug laws, to the extent they prohibit the growth and consumption of MJ within a single state, are unconstitutional (unfortunately, as of now, the Supreme Court is not as enlightened as me on this issue :-)) So, my arguments above are largely directed to this federalism issue.

    I cannot agree, necessarily, that each and every usage of MJ is morally wrong, though I believe at least habitual usage probably is, because it is poor stewardship of both the time and body God has given us. But this is an issue that should be decided, primarily, within each state. If you believe legalization is morally wrong, and you live in CA, then by all means you should vote against Proposition 19, for example.

    In general, I don’t think it is the responsibility of the secular state to legislate against every type of vice which potentially could be used in a sinful way by sinful man. That leads to moral judgments which I don’t want secular leaders making (largely because some of them will be flawed and may bounce back on those of us of faith), and also to a serious misallocation and abuse of police power.

  • DonS

    Barry @ 44: I believe it is constitutionally wrong for the federal government to legislate against behavior that occurs entirely within the borders of a single state and does not substantially impact a specific federal responsibility, such as national security. For this reason, I think federal drug laws, to the extent they prohibit the growth and consumption of MJ within a single state, are unconstitutional (unfortunately, as of now, the Supreme Court is not as enlightened as me on this issue :-)) So, my arguments above are largely directed to this federalism issue.

    I cannot agree, necessarily, that each and every usage of MJ is morally wrong, though I believe at least habitual usage probably is, because it is poor stewardship of both the time and body God has given us. But this is an issue that should be decided, primarily, within each state. If you believe legalization is morally wrong, and you live in CA, then by all means you should vote against Proposition 19, for example.

    In general, I don’t think it is the responsibility of the secular state to legislate against every type of vice which potentially could be used in a sinful way by sinful man. That leads to moral judgments which I don’t want secular leaders making (largely because some of them will be flawed and may bounce back on those of us of faith), and also to a serious misallocation and abuse of police power.

  • http://jen-lehmann.livejournal.com Jen

    I’d just like to add a bit of defense of my home state in reply to the line “California will elect movie stars as governor, be unable to balance its budget, and its state government will be oblivious to reality?” The last time we elected a movie star as a governor, the nation elected him as president soon after, and many people who are opposed to what California is currently doing were pretty happy with his presidency.

  • http://jen-lehmann.livejournal.com Jen

    I’d just like to add a bit of defense of my home state in reply to the line “California will elect movie stars as governor, be unable to balance its budget, and its state government will be oblivious to reality?” The last time we elected a movie star as a governor, the nation elected him as president soon after, and many people who are opposed to what California is currently doing were pretty happy with his presidency.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jen (@54), you might want to keep up more with current events in your home state. Or did I miss something and Schwarzenegger somehow became President? :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jen (@54), you might want to keep up more with current events in your home state. Or did I miss something and Schwarzenegger somehow became President? :)

  • Pingback: Prop 19: California’s Home-Grown Reefer Madness – Newsweek « Talesfromthelou's Blog

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