Pot in Colorado

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 31, 2013 7:17 PM GMT
    Recreational pot becomes legal in Colorado tomorrow.
    Any predictions?
    I have no idea how this will roll (pun intended).
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 31, 2013 7:34 PM GMT
    Lucky them!
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 31, 2013 8:13 PM GMT
    Yeah, I predict it won't make any significant difference in terms of the drug's use. That is to say, I don't think the drug laws in this country serve to prevent drug usage. That's the way such laws are packaged and sold by politicians but even a cursory glance at the history of illicit drug use in this country makes it quite clear they're worse than ineffective. (All of which should cause an intelligent observer to question what might be the *real* underlying reasons for keeping drugs, especially pot, illegal.)

    I've smoked pot off and on since I was 19 years old. Yes, it is a drug. Yes I've tried others, too. No, it hasn't hindered my overall health or well being and has not lead to 'hard drug' use. From a harm-reduction POV, it should never have been placed in the schedule 1 category along with opiates, etc. That it was (and how it came to be done) says far more about the duplicitous nature of our government than about the drug itself.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 31, 2013 9:12 PM GMT
    Since I know most of you guys won't click the link provided in context above, I want to share this (somewhat abbreviated and annotated by me) section of the tale as told by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law, USC Law School in a Speech to the 1995 California Judges Association annual conference:

    The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

    Now, first again, does everybody see the date, 1937? You may have thought that we have had a national marijuana prohibition for a very long time. Frankly, we haven't.

    The marijuana prohibition is part and parcel of that era which is now being rejected rather generally -- the New Deal era in Washington in the late 30s.

    Number two, you know, don't you, that whenever Congress is going to pass a law, they hold hearings. And you have seen these hearings. The hearings can be extremely voluminous, they go on and on, they have days and days of hearings. Well, may I say, that the hearings on the national marijuana prohibition were very brief indeed. The hearings on the national marijuana prohibition lasted one hour, on each of two mornings and since the hearings were so brief I can tell you almost exactly what was said to support the national marijuana prohibition.

    …You want to know how brief the hearings were on the national marijuana prohibition?

    When we asked at the Library of Congress for a copy of the hearings, to the shock of the Library of Congress, none could be found. We went "What?" It took them four months to finally honor our request because -- are you ready for this? -- the hearings were so brief that the volume had slid down inside the side shelf of the bookcase and was so thin it had slid right down to the bottom inside the bookshelf. That's how brief they were. Are you ready for this? They had to break the bookshelf open because it had slid down inside.

    There were three bodies of testimony at the hearings on the national marijuana prohibition.

    The first testimony came from Commissioner Harry Anslinger (with close family ties to the DuPont's and the Mellon's--MikeW), the newly named Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Now, I think some of you know that in the late 20s and early 30s in this country there were two Federal police agencies created, the FBI and the FBN -- the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

    In our book, I talk at great length about how different the history of these two organizations really are. But, the two organizations, the FBI and the FBN had some surface similarities and one of them was that a single individual headed each of them for a very long time. In the case of the FBI, it was J. Edgar Hoover, and in the case of the FBN it was Harry Anslinger, who was the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 until 1962.

    Commissioner Anslinger gave the Government testimony and I will quote him directly. By the way, he was not working from a text that he had written. He was working from a text that had been written for him by a District Attorney in New Orleans, a guy named Stanley. Reading directly from Mr. Stanley's work, Commissioner Anslinger told the Congressmen at the hearings, and I quote, "Marihuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death." That was the Government testimony to support the marijuana prohibition from the Commissioner.

    The next body of testimony -- remember all of this took a total of two hours -- uh .. You understand what the idea was, don't you? The idea was to prohibit the cultivation of hemp in America. You all know, because there has been some initiative here in California, that hemp has other uses than its euphoriant use. For one, hemp has always been used to make rope. Number two, the resins of the hemp plant are used as bases for paints and varnishes (thus the DuPont, hydrocarbon oil, interest--MikeW). And, finally, the seeds of the hemp plant are widely used in bird seed. Since these industries were going to be affected the next body of testimony came from the industrial spokesmen who represented these industries.

    The first person was the rope guy. The rope guy told a fascinating story -- it really is fascinating -- the growth of a hemp to make rope was a principle cash crop right where I am from, Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland at the time of the Revolutionary War. But, said the rope guy, by about 1820 it got cheaper to import the hemp we needed to make rope from the Far East and so now in 1937 we don't grow any more hemp to make rope in this country -- it isn't needed anymore.

    /snip 4 paragraphs of history/

    But, the rope people didn't care. The paint and varnish people said "We can use something else." And, of the industrial spokesmen, only the birdseed people balked. The birdseed people were the ones who balked and the birdseed person was asked, "Couldn't you use some other seed?"

    These are all, by the way, direct quotes from the hearings. The answer the birdseed guy gave was, "No, Congressman, we couldn't. We have never found another seed that makes a birds coat so lustrous or makes them sing so much."

    So, on the ground that the birdseed people needed it -- did you know that the birdseed people both got and kept an exemption from the Marihuana Tax Act right through this very day for so-called "denatured seeds"?

    In any event, there was Anslinger's testimony, there was the industrial testimony -- there was only one body of testimony left at these brief hearings and it was medical.

    There were two pieces of medical evidence introduced with regard to the marijuana prohibition.

    The first came from a pharmacologist at Temple University who claimed that he had injected the active ingredient in marihuana into the brains of 300 dogs, and two of those dogs had died. When asked by the Congressmen, and I quote, "Doctor, did you choose dogs for the similarity of their reactions to that of humans?" The answer of the pharmacologist was, "I wouldn't know, I am not a dog psychologist."

    Well, the active ingredient in marijuana was first synthesized in a laboratory in Holland after World War II. So what it was this pharmacologist injected into these dogs we will never know, but it almost certainly was not the active ingredient in marijuana.

    The other piece of medical testimony came from a man named Dr. William C. Woodward. Dr. Woodward was both a lawyer and a doctor and he was Chief Counsel to the American Medical Association. Dr. Woodward came to testify at the behest of the American Medical Association saying, and I quote, "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marihuana is a dangerous drug."

    What's amazing is not whether that's true or not. What's amazing is what the Congressmen then said to him. Immediately upon his saying, and I quote again, "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marihuana is a dangerous drug.", one of the Congressmen said, "Doctor, if you can't say something good about what we are trying to do, why don't you go home?"

    That's an exact quote. The next Congressman said, "Doctor, if you haven't got something better to say than that, we are sick of hearing you."

    Now, the interesting question for us is not about the medical evidence. The most fascinating question is: why was this legal counsel to the most prestigious group of doctors in the United States treated in such a high-handed way? And the answer makes a principle thesis of my work -- and that is -- you've seen it, you've been living it the last ten years. The history of drugs in this country perfectly mirrors the history of this country.

    To be continued...

  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 31, 2013 9:24 PM GMT

    So look at the date -- 1937 -- what's going on in this country? Well, a lot of things, but the number one thing was that, in 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt was reelected in the largest landslide election in this country's history till then. He brought with him two Democrats for every Republican, all, or almost all of them pledged to that package of economic and social reform legislation we today call the New Deal.

    And, did you know that the American Medical Association, from 1932, straight through 1937, had systematically opposed every single piece of New Deal legislation. So that, by 1937, this committee, heavily made up of New Deal Democrats is simply sick of hearing them: "Doctor, if you can't say something good about what we are trying to do, why don't you go home?"

    So, over the objection of the American Medical Association, the bill passed out of committee and on to the floor of Congress. Now, some of you may think that the debate on the floor of Congress was more extensive on the marijuana prohibition. It wasn't. It lasted one minute and thirty-two seconds by my count and, as such, I will give it to you verbatim.

    The entire debate on the national marijuana prohibition was as follows -- and, by the way, if you had grown up in Washington, DC as I had you would appreciate this date. Are you ready? The bill was brought on to the floor of the House of Representatives -- there never was any Senate debate on it not one word -- 5:45 Friday afternoon, August 20. Now, in pre-air-conditioning Washington, who was on the floor of the House? Who was on the floor of the House? Not very many people.

    Speaker Sam Rayburn called for the bill to be passed on "tellers". Does everyone know "tellers"? Did you know that for the vast bulk of legislation in this country, there is not a recorded vote. It is simply, more people walk past this point than walk past that point and it passes -- it's called "tellers". They were getting ready to pass this thing on tellers without discussion and without a recorded vote when one of the few Republicans left in Congress, a guy from upstate New York, stood up and asked two questions, which constituted the entire debate on the national marijuana prohibition.

    "Mr. Speaker, what is this bill about?"

    To which Speaker Rayburn replied, "I don't know. It has something to do with a thing called marihuana. I think it's a narcotic of some kind."

    Undaunted, the guy from Upstate New York asked a second question, which was as important to the Republicans as it was unimportant to the Democrats. "Mr. Speaker, does the American Medical Association support this bill?"

    In one of the most remarkable things I have ever found in any research, a guy who was on the committee, and who later went on to become a Supreme Court Justice, stood up and -- do you remember? The AMA guy was named William C. Woodward -- a member of the committee who had supported the bill leaped to his feet and he said, "Their Doctor Wentworth came down here. They support this bill 100 percent." It wasn't true, but it was good enough for the Republicans. They sat down and the bill passed on tellers, without a recorded vote.

    In the Senate there never was any debate or a recorded vote, and the bill went to President Roosevelt's desk and he signed it and we had the national marijuana prohibition.

  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 31, 2013 9:43 PM GMT
    Now, as if all that isn't bad enough, lets jump 33 years to 1970.

    Prior to this marijuana prohibition was basically an extension of the 1914 Harrison Tax Act, which allowed doctors to prescribe opiates through purchasing a taxed stamp but provided considerable fines (taxes) for anyone possessing them without the tax stamp. The above mentioned marijuana Tax Act of 1937 didn’t outlaw hemp cultivation but made it unprofitable in favor of the wood-pulp paper industry (Hearst family, et. al.) and the hydrocarbon oil industry (DuPont, Mellon and Rockefeller families, et. al.)

    In 1970, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, temporarily labeling marijuana a "Schedule I substance" -- a flatly illegal drug with no approved medical purposes…

    But Congress acknowledged that it did not know enough about marijuana to permanently relegate it to Schedule I, and so they created a presidential commission to review the research and recommend a long-term strategy. President Nixon got to appoint the bulk of the commissioners. Not surprisingly, he loaded it with drug warriors. Nixon appointed Raymond Shafer, former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania, as Chairman. As a former prosecutor, Shafer had a "law and order," drug warrior reputation. Nixon also appointed nine Commissioners, including the dean of a law school, the head of a mental health hospital, and a retired Chicago police captain. Along with the Nixon appointees, two senators and two congressmen from each party served on the Commission.

    The Shafer Commission -- officially known as the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse -- took its job seriously. They launched fifty research projects, polled the public and members of the criminal justice community, and took thousands of pages of testimony. Their work is still the most comprehensive review of marijuana ever conducted by the federal government.

    After reviewing all the evidence, these drug warriors were forced to come to a different conclusion than they had at first expected. Rather than harshly condemning marijuana, they started talking about legalization. When Nixon heard such talk, he quickly denounced the Commission -- months before it issued its report.


    But in the end, the Shafer Commission issued a report that tried to correct the "extensive degree of misinformation," to "demythologize" and "desymbolize" marijuana. They reported finding that marijuana did not cause crime or aggression, lead to harder drug use or create significant biochemical, mental or physical abnormalities. They concluded: "Marihuana's relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it."

    The most important recommendation of the Commission was the decriminalization of possession or non-profit transfer of marijuana. Decriminalization meant there would be no punishment -- criminal or civil -- under state or federal law.

    Nixon reacted strongly to the report. In a recorded conversation on March 21, the day before the Commission released its report, Nixon said, "We need, and I use the word 'all out war,' on all fronts ... we have to attack on all fronts." Nixon and his advisors went on to plan a speech about why he opposed marijuana legalization, and proposed that he do "a drug thing every week" during the 1972 presidential election year. Nixon wanted a "Goddamn strong statement about marijuana ... that just tears the ass out of them." ...

    The above from This Source.

    Thus, the reasons marijuana was initially prohibited (despite the hysteria the public was sold), had to do with controlling immigrant populations (specifically Mexican in South West states, the first to make laws against it), competing commodities interests (specifically fiber and oil), and was eventually placed in Schedule 1, having NOTHING to do with science or public health and everything to do with economics and political agendas.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Jan 01, 2014 12:39 AM GMT
    I predict the rest of the states will follow suit once they realize how much money they can make. It all comes down to money, in the end.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 01, 2014 2:35 AM GMT
    Bunjamon saidI predict the rest of the states will follow suit once they realize how much money they can make. It all comes down to money, in the end.

    You're right that it's all about money but it is more complicated than potential revenues for States through taxation.

    According to the the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, with 18.9 million users, marijuana constitutes nearly 80% of current illicit drug use_*_. In fiscal year 2012, 24.5 BILLION taxpayer dollars were spent by the federal government "to reduce drug use and its consequences" in the US. The president is requesting a 3.7% increase in spending for FY 2014 over FY 2012_*_.

    Doing a little math here, with about 19 million US pot smokers constituting about 80% of all illicit drug use, we have about 24 million illicit drug users overall. That works out to an annual tax expenditure of about $1040 per user. But if you make pot legal, thus eliminating 80% of the justification for the "war on drugs" budget, the sum shoots up to about $5000 per user. A figure far more difficult for the bean counters to justify.

    Plus, you have to consider where these billions are being spent (who is making money off keeping pot illegal). As is apparent from this official graph, "Domestic Law Enforcement" gets the largest slice of the pie, "Treatment" coming in second, domestic and international "Interdiction" coming in 3rd & 4th, with "Prevention" getting only 5%.


    It should be obvious from this graph alone that PREVENTION OF DRUG ABUSE (regardless of the drug of choice) IS THE LEAST OF THE GOVERNMENT'S CONCERN.

    Couple the "war on drugs" budget and the "criminal industrial complex" (state and private run prisons, federal and state law enforcement and judiciary complex), not to mention the inflated sums reaped by trans-national organized crime (an estimated $400+ BILLION a year black market that can be used to buy politicians or bury them), the international banking system that launders all that money -- and what you have is a perfect shit storm of deeply interconnected interests PREVENTING marijuana from being legalized at the federal level.
  • TDSmoove

    Posts: 129

    Jan 09, 2014 11:42 PM GMT
    Unfortunately almost every city in the state is going overboard in blocking, restricting, over taxing, and over regulating weed. Only 5 cities in the whole state allow dispensaries. The airport has banned it from the property, you cannot smoke it in public,(liquor and cigarettes.. no problem) Even if you have a medical license you cannot travel with it, can still be fired for having it or testing positive. Oxycontin and all other pharma drugs that have killed people (Heath, Whitney, Michael) you can have as much of that as you want. So if the gov't ever gets out of the way then this will work.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 07, 2014 2:29 PM GMT
    After a month of pot being legal in Colorado, have there been *any* negative repercussions *anywhere*?
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Feb 07, 2014 5:55 PM GMT
    JohnSpotter saidAfter a month of pot being legal in Colorado, have there been *any* negative repercussions *anywhere*?

    The grocery stores ran out of chips.
  • Import

    Posts: 7165

    Feb 07, 2014 6:04 PM GMT
    JohnSpotter saidAfter a month of pot being legal in Colorado, have there been *any* negative repercussions *anywhere*?

    I heard god was extremely upset and is punishing Colorado with a cold snap!
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Feb 07, 2014 6:07 PM GMT
    Import said
    JohnSpotter saidAfter a month of pot being legal in Colorado, have there been *any* negative repercussions *anywhere*?

    I heard god was extremely upset and is punishing Colorado with a cold snap!

    I thought He only did that when there was too much gay sex.

    The republicans lied!
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Feb 07, 2014 7:30 PM GMT
    FRANKHOMESTEADER saidBy the comments ,most of you are hooked .Now I got to deal with pot heads behind the wheel on there way to the gym ?

    You already do. icon_rolleyes.gif