December 2, 2012

Medical marijuana smokers unsurprisingly unclear on concept

From the Los Angeles Daily News:
Survey: One in 7 of state's nighttime drivers under the influence of drugs 
By Susan Abram, Staff Writer

Sometimes, they come through DUI checkpoints smoking a joint. 
"They'll say, I've got a medical card," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy Sgt. Philip Brooks, of the drivers who get stopped. 
"And we'll say, that doesn't matter. Smoke that at home and don't drive." 
While they don't all come through checkpoints smoking marijuana, an increased number of motorists are getting caught driving drugged. It's happening at DUI checkpoints on curved roads through Malibu's canyons and it's happening across the state. 
"Half of those caught are impaired due to drugs," said Brooks of the Malibu/Lost Hills Station. 
"It's hard to say, but the biggest problem right now is medical marijuana," he added. "People seem to think it's a legal substance."

A teacher in the Inland Empire emailed me that quite a few of his failing students tell him that smoking dope is good for them, because: "It's medicine."

In general, sophisticated libertarian concepts (such as, oh, "Just because the government legalizes it doesn't mean you should do it") don't work that well for minors with 2 digit IQs and heads full of THC.

111 comments:

Skeptical Economist said...

In short

"In general, sophisticated libertarian concepts ... don't work all that well"

I_Affe said...

Steve,

I've always viewed marijuana legalization through a cost benefit analysis. To me the costs of prohibiting marijuana, e.g. the billions spent over the years on the war of drugs, the deadly no-knock police raids, crazy prison time for minor offenses, all far outweigh the benefits (i.e. with legal weed some people will drive high and some people will waste their lives smoking up).

It doesn't make fiscal or social policy sense to ban marijuana.

Mr. Mcgranor said...

Pot-head propaganda... What a marketing ploy and niche they had.

2Degrees said...

In a previous life in England, I had a lean patch between university posts and I worked in the library/computer room of the local sink school for a couple of months. Drug abuse was rampant. What I soon realised is that the use of soft drugs in moderation doesn't have too serious an effect on people who are intelligent and switched on. But there are a hell of alot of people out there who find daily life a real struggle just because they're not very smart. Recreational abuse of soft drugs is all it takes to push that kind of person over the edge.

Incidentally, the teachers in that school have been caught sharing porn with their students in class and the overpaid idiot of a head mistress is linked to Common Purpose.

For those of you who don't know, Common Purpose is a recently established liberal freemasonry that it attempting to subvert the state sector in Britain. Its members undertake to ensure that only fellow believers be employed and that the schools, social services etc always follow the correct political line. They also have a concept called "leading beyond authority". This means interfering in areas outside their responsibility to ensure that a leftist agenda be pursued.

Skeptical Economist said...

I_Affe,

What are the costs of drug-addled populace? Even a tiny shift in labor force participation pays for a lot of enforcement.

Do you really think Singapore would be better off with China's 19th century level of addiction? Would China?

Of course, the same points can be made with respect to alcohol. Indeed, they were made during prohibition.

What has changed is the growth of the welfare state and the development of super-addictive drugs (think crack, ice, etc. not marijuana). Western civilization has had thousands of years to develop (with only partial success) control mechanisms to deal with alcohol.

kurt9 said...

What are the costs of drug-addled populace?

The costs of a drug-addled population are miniscule compare to the costs of the war on drugs, police raids, and excessive prison sentences.

I say this as someone who not only does not do drugs like Marijuana, but actually considers Marijuana to be quite damaging to the brain (long term Marijuana use damages short-term memory).

I do not like the police and the state having the kind of power that they do because of drug prohibition, no matter what the cost of drug addiction is. I consider government, in general, to be a FAR, FAR greater threat to my freedom than all of the drug addicts of the world put together.

Tyranny has always been far more damaging than anarchy.

Hunsdon said...

Oh, it's not the speed really so much, I just wish I hadn't drunk all that cough syrup this morning.

Stripes, 1981.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

In general, sophisticated libertarian concepts (such as, oh, "Just because the government legalizes it doesn't mean you should do it") don't work that well for minors with 2 digit IQs and heads full of THC.

"Life is tough. But, it's tougher when you're stupid."
-- (Apparently mis-)attributed to John Wayne

Sluggo said...

I would never trust the opinion of a cop. This sounds like one of those BS stories that cops would spout to justify their mistreatment of people they don't approve of. "Stoners are so stupid....."

In my college days, I smoked quite a bit of pot. While it did negatively affect my grades and my attitude, I thought it was preferable to other recreational drugs like alcohol which had far worse side effects.

slumber_j said...

@Hunsdon: funny, yesterday I was thinking of this line from the same scene:

"Ma'am, I'm sure there are a lot of ways I've gone that you haven't."

Bill said...

When I was a teen it was a lot easier to get pot than booze, because dealers didn't check IDs. If you want to keep it out of the hands of minors, I think legalization and regulation would do a better job of it that the status quo.

Dutch kids smoke less than Americans, which might surprise people who have been to Amsterdam, but it's a fact.

The Dutch are cracking down on pot again, but mainly because of the problem of foreigners coming to Amsterdam to stock up. For natives, it isn't really much of an issue.

BTW, marijuana is essentially legal in most of Asia. It's technically illegal in China, for example, but I saw enormous fields of pot with huge buds the size of footballs while traveling through Central China in a largely Muslim area, and nobody seemed to care. The stuff just grows everywhere.

Here's a typical scene from Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

Peter Hitchens @ the Daily Mail is the only writer i know who goes into the danger of cannabis use- it exacerbates mental illness permanently reduces iq and memory capacity of teens - and its hurts the poorest people the most..

2Degrees said...

The sceptical economist says:

"Tyranny has always been far more damaging than anarchy".

I could not disagree more. When people grow tired of anarchy, they accept tyranny. Thay was why the Roman Republic was replaced by the Caesars.

Also, if a large proportion of the population is doped up, the effect on the economy and general quality of life will be considerable.

Junkies are not mild, they are unpredictable and untrustworthy. They can go off like a bomb when you least expect it.

Disgruntled said...

The good news is that we should be able get some empirical data as marijuana will be legal for consumer use in Washington and Colorado within a year. My guess is that legalization is a good idea and will have very few social costs as compared to the current situation in California. California has essentially decriminalized use (now a $100 fine) and kept growing and distribution illegal in order to preserve the obscene profits of the cartels and funding for the fascist police state goons.

From my past experience teaching high school, I tend to think marijuana is more addictive than its advocates admit. Pot-head high school students are obsessed with weed in an unhealthy way, and talk about little else. The dumber ones will seriously argue it is some sort of health food even though most of them have the working memory of a chair.

Matt said...

In general, sophisticated libertarian concepts (such as, oh, "Just because the government legalizes it doesn't mean you should do it") don't work that well for minors with 2 digit IQs and heads full of THC.

So on one hand we get more dumb stoners. On the other, a catastrophically expensive constitution-destroying drug war ends.

I'd take that deal.

panjoomby said...

it's best to err on the side of freedom, even if 2-digit types can't handle it. especially good to err on the side of freedom with things like pot that won't make 2-digiters violent. i note that the skeptical economist above basically said (paraphrased) "freedom doesn't work well." freedom is an ugly mistress. but without her, you'd be jacking off.

Anonymous said...

What were the effects of legalizing pot in Holland?

Kaz said...

I hope you're not implying keeping Marijuana criminalized like it is now is a good idea.

Huge waste of money, government growth in the worst spheres, and for what? A drug less harmful than alcohol.

Full disclosure: I don't do any drugs.

Anonymous said...

A teacher in the Inland Empire emailed me that quite a few of his failing students tell him that smoking dope is good for them, because: "It's medicine."

Nice anecdote.

Maybe you would like a study instead.

Here's the write-up if some of your commentators are a little lazy.

Anonymous said...

A little off-topic, but does anyone here know about the quality of the information at Schizophrenia.com?

They're a Soros outfit, but they are pretty adamant that marijuana use is often strongly implicated in the onset of schizophrenia in teens and young adults.

Let's! said...

Using marijuana already makes you unemployable in pee-obsessed corporate America and government; isn't losing the chance at one of those glorious workajobs punishment enough?

Or do the cops need to come around and crack heads to REALLY teach you a lesson, you little punk, about the wonderful Dilbert life that you're recklessly throwing away?

BTW, the coolest Greater Alpha / natural I've ever met was a major marijuana connoisseur.

Anonymous said...

"Tyranny has always been far more damaging than anarchy"

I strongly disagree with that. The vast majority of the people who think they'd prefer anarchy have never had any responsibility in their lives, have never employed or supervised anyone, have never raised kids. These are insubstantial, deeply irrelevant people. If you've ever tried to accomplish anything difficult, you will find their mindset childish.

And sure, it's possible to invent scenarios where the search for order goes too far, or where order is misunderstood. But rough generalizations, rules of thumb are useful in life. The generalization quoted above is stupid. I think it's useful to go through life with the opposite generalization in mind.

The word tyranny has negative connotations. And order, the word I used above, has positive ones. The honesty of a discussion is furthered by the use of emotionally-neutral words. If I had more time on my hands right now, I'd try to find one.

Dahinda said...

"In general, sophisticated libertarian concepts (such as, oh, "Just because the government legalizes it doesn't mean you should do it") don't work that well for minors with 2 digit IQs and heads full of THC."

They do it no matter the reason. Libertarians just gave them a new excuse. It doesn't mean that a person smoking pot in their own home is a criminal. Just as a person drinking a six pack of Budweiser in their own home is not a criminal. If they drive or are intoxicated in public, then they are breaking a law.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see stats on cannabis usage broken down by IQ. Anyone who thinks only people with double-digit IQs smoke weed obviously didn't go to a very good university.

Anonymous said...

But do you really think it's gonna stop at weed. Coke and crack make proles violent that's the next step. That's why gay marriage was such a great deal for the gays like they give a crap about the dangers of polygamy.

Anonymous said...

"So on one hand we get more dumb stoners. On the other, a catastrophically expensive constitution-destroying drug war ends."

Nothing is more expensive than stupidity. Intelligence is actually what separates us from wild animals. You're talking about tens of millions of naive youngsters becoming dumber, essentially less human, forever, as if that's no big deal.

I'm sure that the drug war has rescued huge amounts of human potential. If it didn't, why would leftists hate it so much? If drugs weren't the worst (i.e. the most seductive) kind of poison, why would leftists glamorize them so much? Do leftists normally glamorize healthy things?

The same question can be asked about porn and homo sex.

I've seen the argument that banning doesn't work, that it does nothing to decrease the incidence of whatever is banned. If leftists really thought that, why would they demonize banning as the most tyrannical thing in the Universe? If banning didn't work, they wouldn't care about it either way. But they do. Most likely because they assume that it decreases the incidence of whatever is being banned. As do I.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know of accurate stats of drug use by race? I've heard that blacks and hispanics report less use of illicit drugs than American whites. How accurate are these self-report surveys?

ED

Anonymous said...

Strong link between cannabis use in adolescents and development of schizophrenia. Massive costs for society. This is not known is US?

Anonymous said...

"Pot-head high school students are obsessed with weed in an unhealthy way, and talk about little else."

In the early 60s I was talking to a Berkeley professor of psychology and asked him what he thought was the chief side effect of pot on students. He said, "They can't stop talking about it." He was serious.

Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium had a US/World elite feeding 'borloi' to numb the US proles in their hopeless 'Welfare Islands'. Borloi being the perfect 'sit and watch TV all day' drug.

Anonymous said...

So on one hand we get more dumb stoners. On the other, a catastrophically expensive constitution-destroying drug war ends.
Why is pot a problem now and wasnt' say, in the 1950s?

I reject the idea that because a law is not enforceable that it should be repealed- that's the same argument behind illegal immigration.

Pot use is widespread because the baby boomer elite want it that way.

Come on, we all read stories of the police showing up in 15 minutes when a guy in England sent a 'racist' email, of the 500+ page FBI report of black guy who shot up the company he was fire from (for stealing beer) , the FBI removes a bathroom door from a stall in Columbia because a student scrawled a swastika and they need to analyize it at the crime lab..

I could go on, and on.. .. our elite are focused on, and what law enforcement focused on other agendas.

Anonymous said...

What I soon realised is that the use of soft drugs in moderation doesn't have too serious an effect on people who are intelligent and switched on
not true, it exacerbates paranoia, mental illiness, depression, etc.

Anonymous said...

things like pot that won't make 2-digiters violent.
Nearly every mass shooter in the past 20 years has been a pot head.

Anonymous said...

2 degrees has it right. the more "legalized medicinal pot" makes stoners driving, the more cops scanning all license plates, red light cameras, and surveillance drones the non-stupid of us will have to have intruding in our lives. we'll get tyranny out of it, no doubt.

But the moral issue is real, too. modern THC is so potent that it is as hallucinogenic as lsd for most brains, and it pushes the marginal over the edge. they can't cope with holding down a job, postponing child conceiving and rearing until marriage, etc. it's immoral to condemn the marginal that way. libertarianism only "works" if no on ever produces offspring--and libertarians aren't really for state coercion into sterilization, are they?

the marginal need help to function in a society that does precious little reinforcing of time honored western civ.

jody said...

this is actually the main reason i think marijuana should stay illegal. because when you make it legal, then hundreds of thousands of potheads are just going to start smoking everywhere, 24 hours a day. "Like hey, it's legal, man." not only is it tremendously annoying, but they all start to drive high too.

obviously there is the intellectual appeal that a drug which is only mildly damaging, done by responsible adults in private, is something other intelligent adults probably don't want to make illegal society wide. alcohol is mildly damaging, tobacco moderately damaging, and those are allowed in the US.

but the average person is dumb and irresponsible, so libertarian ideas just don't work in the real world. certainly, libertarian ideas are 100% incompatible with NAM populations.

marijuana was legal at one time in the US, and society wasn't going crazy due to it. but, the strains of marijuana which have been developed since then are a lot more potent, plus, the demographics of the nation have changed.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

In recent weeks I've started using it on a nightly basis. It's very relaxing. After a stressful 12-hour day, and combined with evening cocktails and codeine pills, it produces a very pleasant effect.

The individual effect seems to vary. Some young men I know use it in the morning to pump themselves up in the office after an early morning spent surfing.

I would say up to 90% of the chaps who work in my asset management firm are users. And from what I've heard from other firms in the investment banking and real estate fields, marijuana usage is rampant there, too, including a couple of Newport Beach companies whose names are regularly in top-shelf news. You would recognise them if I named them.

I know of one successful investment banker in Newport Beach who is currently battling his compliance department over plans to start his own medical marijuana dispensary facility on the side.

Is marijuana use worse (more harmful) than wine abuse, caffeine consumption, or escort (whore) usage? I'm not sure. In many cases there are other, harder drugs at work, which I won't get into here.

It's the proliferation of escort use amongst local professionals that really has me interested. The tales I could tell...

Anonymous said...

If legalization works, we should see scofflaw nostalgia among pot users for the days of copping an illegal smile. See: Spider Robinson. In the tradition of moonshine stories about Junior Johnson, Manly Wade Wellman's blockade stories, Johnny Appleseed's cider or Mencken on the Men who are He of the Rum Fleet.

If legalization is a ghastly failure, it's liable to be remembered the way Egypt and China remember legal opium: with blood hatred for the evil poisoners in high places. Those THC eyedroppers look like a date rapist's dream.

jody said...

my rough estimate is that legalization will probably be a net negative effect for the nation. it's worth it to keep spending the money every year on law enforcement to keep marijuana "mildly" illegal. today, the police will still look the other way most of the time if they catch you with a small amount for personal use.

changing this, so that there are giant mountains of laboratory produced super powered THC packets available at every wal-mart for 9.99, is not a good idea in my estimation. combine that with the EBT cards which flood wal-mart on the 1st and 15th of every month and you end up with a permanently drug addicted underclass which the government PAYS to get high every month. i'm always open to discussion on the topic, of course.

other substances should definitely be kept illegal. i won't entertain arguments that legalizing meth is a good idea, for instance. the DEA and state police agencies have actually been waging a successful campaign for decades against many hard drugs. that's the thing the "drug war is a total waste of time" guys never seem to acknowledge.

one thing that's interesting is how some politicians are starting to move the US in the opposite direction on another substance: sugar. sugar is unregulated, and now some politicians are moving towards regulating it. sugar ingestion rates have skyrocketed, and the US is on the precipice of entering an era where sugar is going to cause a lot more long term health problems than alcohol or tobacco. the diabetes rate, in conjucntion with a population which is almost half mestizos and africans, will be a health care "challenge". i say "challenge" because most of their diabetes treatments will be paid for by taking money from middle class and upper class europeans, and giving it to the vibrant diabetes patients via obamacare.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have always thought the acronym NORML said it all.

Skeptical Economist said...

2Degrees said...

"Tyranny has always been far more damaging than anarchy".

Actually that was kurt9's comment, not mine. He was responding to my prior post.

The notion that vast savings are available from legalization would appear to be far-fetched. See "The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration" (http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/incarceration-2010-06.pdf). Quote

"We calculate that a reduction by one-half in the incarceration rate of non-violent offenders would lower correctional expenditures by $16.9 billion per year and return the U.S. to about the same incarceration rate we had in 1993"

Of course, there also savings from lower police and court costs.

Conversely, a 1% reduction in labor force participation would cost roughly $150 billion (really more given the druggies inevitably end up on welfare).

This is actually a broader point. You can't combine drug legalization (more generally radical individualism) and the welfare state and still expect a functioning society. A corollary is that one person's freedom (to use drugs) ends up as another person's oppression (via taxation).

Anonymous said...

2Degrees said:

"I could not disagree more. When people grow tired of anarchy, they accept tyranny."

So let's cut out the middleman and proceed straight to tyranny then?

Anonymous said...

Dutch kids smoke less than Americans, which might surprise people who have been to Amsterdam, but it's a fact.

The Dutch are cracking down on pot again, but mainly because of the problem of foreigners coming to Amsterdam to stock up. For natives, it isn't really much of an issue.


Also Amsterdam is a one-off, the rest of the Netherlands isnt the same. Its a nice city but once you leave and go elsewhere in the country you realise its still tainted with the 3rd world and all sorts of unsavory characters who have congregated there for drugs n hookers.

As you drive towards the city you see the browning of the pedestrians and the graffiti on the walls increase - the reverse as you drive away.

In fact much like any other city in a white country.

Anonymous said...

When were Libertarians and reality on speaking terms? I must have missed it.

Glaivester said...

Combine legalized pit with programs offering a year of free pot in return for a vasectomy/tubal ligation. It would obviously require us to become less squeamish about letting people make permanent or semi-permanent decisions about their reproductive organs (but if we allow abortion on demand, why not sterilization on demand?) but I see nothing but good effects.

Anonymous said...

"In general, sophisticated libertarian concepts (such as, oh, "Just because the government legalizes it doesn't mean you should do it") don't work that well for minors with 2 digit IQs and heads full of THC."

So? What is the worry? Do you think these 2 digit IQ kids were going to do something more worthwhile than get high? Like what?

Talk to a cop instead of teachers. A smoker is better to deal with than a drunk.

No disrespect iSteve but you're getting a little long in the tooth. You've lost the gay marriage battle and you've lost the marijuana legalization battle. No one under 35 worries about this stuff.

Anonymous said...

Two issues are conflated here- drug war and eugenics. Because we can't have the latter, we need the former, I'm guessing.

Tom in Va said...

Why is the choice always legalization or John Law kicking down someone's door and killing their puppies? Can I pick Hidden Answer C?

Anonymous said...

a more eloquent response came from Paul Rahe tonight, on ricochet. he said:
Liberty requires a responsible citizenry. and the sexual revolution (very much like the drug culture, which was and is its doppelganger) promotes irresponsibility of every kind. It promotes dependence, and it fosters an ethos in which those who exercise the virtues fostered by the market are punished for doing so and in which those who live for the present are rewarded...the libertinism that some libertarians ostentatiously embrace provides the growth in the administrative entitlements state with its impetus. if to be a libertarian is to embrace sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, then libertarians are proponents --whether witting or not--of the soft despotism that threatens to engulf us.

desert lady said...

what I find so amusing is how the GOP and Dem activist voter base see themselves as above and superior to everyone else...separate and above the masses.

actually, the more closely one identifies with a party, the more idiotic and propagandized they are....

Anonymous said...

'libertarian ideas are 100% incompatible with NAM populations.'...

Right, and the existing war on drugs has been so nice.

What do you think the alternative is? Would you prefer abolition of alcohol? Cause drunks is the next thing.

Libertarians are often idealistic idiots - Fair enough, conservatives are just as bad though, thinking the government can perfect people against their will.

David Davenport said...

In recent weeks I've started using it on a nightly basis. It's very relaxing. After a stressful 12-hour day, and combined with evening cocktails and codeine pills, it produces a very pleasant effect.

You have a serious substance abuse problem. Codeine pills ... so-o-o sophisticated.

...

I would say up to 90% of the chaps who work in my asset management firm are users.

What is your asset management firm, chap? A Raymond James office in a downmarket strip shoppping center?

... And from what I've heard from other firms in the investment banking and real estate fields, marijuana usage is rampant there, too ...

In other words, a bank teller and a real estate Barbie saleslady in that same seedy shopping center.

... including a couple of Newport Beach companies whose names are regularly in top-shelf news. You would recognise them if I named them.

You're saying that Bill Gross smokes dope? Be a daring chap. Go ahead and name these top shelf firms, my good man.

//////////////////////

....So? What is the worry? Do you think these 2 digit IQ kids were going to do something more worthwhile than get high? Like what?

...

No disrespect iSteve but you're getting a little long in the tooth. You've lost the gay marriage battle and you've lost the marijuana legalization battle. No one under 35 worries about this stuff. ....


You are part of Mitt Romney's 47 per cent and you will probably remain part of the 47 per cent all your life, loser.

FredR said...

Patrick Cockburn (of the Cockburn/Waughs you've mentioned before) just published a piece up on the association between marijuana use and schizophrenia. He believes it made his son schizophrenic.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/is-this-the-tobacco-moment-for-cannabis-8349054.html

FredR said...

Patrick Cockburn (of the Cockburn/Waughs you've mentioned before) just published a piece on the association between marijuana use and schizophrenia. He believes it made his son schizophrenic.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/is-this-the-tobacco-moment-for-cannabis-8349054.html

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

DD ~ I seem to have hit a sensitive nerve. Go pick up my fax, while you're at it.

Whiskey said...

I think on balance we need to keep Marijuana illegal.

Alcohol can ruin a person's life ... in months or years. Drugs can do it in weeks. [Women are more vulnerable to becoming alcoholics than men, with lower bodyweight and less resistance to alcoholism.]

Depending on social cohesion and repression EVEN AMONG WHITES is a pipe dream given our radical individualism and expressionism. Feminism, gay marriage, gays in the military, sexual libertinism, are not markers of a WHITES being able to successfully repress socially (always the better way) bad uses of substances.

And now we are talking of a state that is majority Hispanic, and a US that is pretty much majority non-White in functional ways already.

The prospects of legalization, plus social repression minimizing bad behavior is nil.

We HAVE seen among middle class White men (women are more responsible than men and generally do this less) a reduction in Drunk Driving through vigorous enforcement, and continual social messages. But that's it. It required the stick of having a lot to lose, ans social stigma on medium-high earners.

Anonymous said...

one thing that's interesting is how some politicians are starting to move the US in the opposite direction on another substance: sugar. sugar is unregulated, and now some politicians are moving towards regulating it. sugar ingestion rates have skyrocketed, and the US is on the precipice of entering an era where sugar is going to cause a lot more long term health problems than alcohol or tobacco.


Yeah, that's because there's barely anything available at the supermarket that isn't full of high fructose corn syrup, xanthan gum, and other such fun stuff. It's not like anyone's having trouble buying food that doesn't have weed in it.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 5:59 PM said: Coke and crack make proles violent that's the next step.

Hunsdon replied: Dear sir, kindly take your "prole" talk elsewhere. It not only conflicts with Mr. Sailer's citizenism philosophy, but it annoys me intensely.

To paraphrase the propagandist, when I hear someone using the term "prole" I want to reach, not for my Browning, but for my Louisville Slugger.

The current meme floating about the ethersphere---"Everyone makes fun of the redneck until the zombie apocalypse"----is to my mind a restatement of the sentiments expressed by Rudyard Kipling lo! these many years ago in his poem "Tommy."

(And actually, it would have been interesting if that had been the subject of the Who's rock opera, eh wot?)

Come on, you know the lines!

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

You DO know the lines, right? I mean, a member of the cognitive elite, looking down on the proles, you DO know the lines. Right?

It's easy to mock the proles, until your toilet backs up, or a tire blows out, or you start to wonder, "Hey, where DOES arugula come from?"

I'll cannibalize Kipling somewhat:

Yes, makin' mock o' proles that provide you all you eat
Is cheaper than their wages, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' revilin' ignorant workers, what lack your education
Only divides and destroys
The House that is our Nation.

Hunsdon said...

David Davenport said: You are part of Mitt Romney's 47 per cent and you will probably remain part of the 47 per cent all your life, loser.

Hunsdon replied: As an examplar of class and tact, my good sir, you are an epic fail.

Geoff Matthews said...

If you have a libertarian drug policy, you need to have a libertarian welfare policy.

Derek Brown said...

Is a fan of Mencken really the best person to go off in a defense of proles? I despise Mencken precisely because he is disdainfully of people simply for being poor and stupid. i despise people for doing stupid things. Really I think this comes down to your Mencken quote on Puritanism (which is basically cribbed from Shaw to begin with). You see anti drug supporters as hating fun when what we really hate is indulgence and sloth.


It conflicts with citizenism but corresponds perfectly with HBD which would seem to suggest the inconsistency is with those who would advocate both. Also your Kipling example is pretty inappropriate because using HBD rather than citizenist principles Anglosphere armies have always had quite rigorous screening processes for admittance. I personally take my negative view of Kipling from Chesterton so I understand your populist sentiments but really think your objections are misplaced. I was using prole more in the bread and circuses sense as opposed to the Marxist sense. Paternalism is a dirty word these days but the working class of Kipling's day did benefit from an elite that laid down helpful markers as to the correct behavior. Better that than our current elite which praises indulgence while practicing discipline.

Anonymous said...

"No disrespect iSteve but you're getting a little long in the tooth. You've lost the gay marriage battle and you've lost the marijuana legalization battle. No one under 35 worries about this stuff. ....

You are part of Mitt Romney's 47 per cent and you will probably remain part of the 47 per cent all your life, loser."

You tie yourself to a guy who just lost the election. Who's the loser?

Orlando Gibbons said...

sugar ingestion rates have skyrocketed, and the US is on the precipice of entering an era where sugar is going to cause a lot more long term health problems than alcohol or tobacco.

This is wrong. Consumption of added sugars has decreased in the last 15 years, and as a percent of total calories, is slightly lower than in 1970.

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-availability-(per-capita)-data-system.aspx

(see Loss Adjusted Food Availability - "Calories" and "Sugar and Sweeteners (added)")

Also, there is no evidence that eating sugar causes or contributes to any disease. A few people (Lustig et al) have taken some rat studies out of context, while ignoring many studies suggesting that it has protective effects.

I wouldn't be surprised if they taxed it. Sucrophobia is of a piece with liberal ideology - made from lies, sponsored by nefarious busybodies, imposed by government policy, sheepishly heeded by nice white people.

Anonymous said...

If you have a libertarian drug policy, you need to have a libertarian welfare policy.

Friend of mine would often argue that it was his right to ingest whatever exciting chemicals he wanted, he put this specifically in libertarian terms. Fine. But he also felt that people had rights to state medical care to relieve/kick drug habits.

Something didnt add up.

Anonymous said...

The current meme floating about the ethersphere---"Everyone makes fun of the redneck until the zombie apocalypse"----is to my mind a restatement of the sentiments expressed by Rudyard Kipling lo! these many years ago in his poem "Tommy."

In Dawn of the Dead the main protagonists look with distaste at the red necks blasting zombies. They are somehow better then the horrid rednecks. Yet the rednecks are winning the war.

Anonymous said...

No one under 35 worries about this stuff.

People under 35 eventually become over 35, then they worry about it.

The gay marriage thing is not over yet by a long way. Naked abuse of political/judicial power coupled with an insistence that theres nothing to see here doesnt mean there isnt anything to see.

Anonymous said...

I think my boss smokes pot...

He's really not a great guy and not as on top of things as he'd let on...

oh, well, must be my double digit IQ that I'm working for him...

2Degrees said...

People always seem to think that Holland is the living embodiment of liberal virtues.

Holland is a seriously weird place and I wouldn't take any of the data coming out of the place at face value. The place is a strange cross between a Calvinist Church and a brothel.

For a start, vast chunks of it are Islamic and I seriously doubt the Dutch state knows what's going on there.

It is also a Calvinist country and many Dutch are surprisingly devout.

The Dutch also have hypocrisy down to an art form. They will tell you how egalitarian the place is, but a short bike ride in the Hague will take you from hellish slums around Hollands Spoor to Wassenaar and Scheveningen where the posh people live. No one has a greater capacity to lie to himself than a Dutchman.

The Dutch will tell you that they have solved all the social problems of the world through their liberalism and moral superiority, but it isn't true.

With the rise of Islam, the appearance of Geert Wilders on the scene, Holland is a very worried and nervous society. Looking around the place, I always found it hard to believe their drugs policy has been the success they claimed. Mind you, I now live in NZ and I have not been there in 7 years.

SF said...

Anonymous said: Maybe you would like a study instead.

Here's the write-up if some of your commentators are a little lazy.

That study only studied rates of usage. However, this study, which is linked to on the same page,
http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/mind_brain/marijuana/
shows that marijuana use does increase brain damage, which is what Steve's teacher friend was talking about

Anonymous said...

Levels of tobacco and alcohol consumption express themselves in the rate of lung cancer and liver cirhosis in an obvious way, but the rising levels of the consumption of marijuana has had zero effect on the prevalence of schizophrenia ... and the traffic safety has gone in good direction in the states with medical marijuana programs. Supposedly because marijuana is a substitute good for alcohol, and taking cannabis instead of alcohol in risk demographics ( young men) lessens reckless driving. Just the stats, Ma'am ...



Anonymous said...

Observed rate of schizzophrenia is slightly elevated with pot smokers, but there is much more pronounced elevation amongst the tobacco smokers ... maybe 80-90% of schizophrenics smoke tobacco. Which doesn't mean cigarettes cause schizzophrenia...

David said...

The most adamant inhalers seem to be those twentysomethings whose synapses are a little too active - THC is their natural self-medication.

Bluntly, and not to raise the ol' bugaboo: out of dozens of Jews in this age group whom I've met in almost every region of the USA over the past quarter-century, I've never known one who didn't have his choice of backup networks - nor one who was noticeably harmed physiologically by the stuff. It seemed to keep them sane, like Marlboros do for West Virginia proles.

Other demographics, in my experience, are plainly enstupidated by the same (or a similar) commitment to weed.

Re. Mencken: he would be amused by the fear of ubiquitous puritanism implied by comments like "I am for marijuana legalization, BUT I SWEAR I HAVE NEVER USED POT MYSELF." (The fear is that the average Americanus will accuse dissenters of special pleading and actual criminality before ever considering the merits of the case.)

Uh, I, of course, have not sucked so much as a single spliff. Just thought I should make that clear. Now unsquint your eye and put down the pitchfork, okay?

Michael Ard said...

No one saw this coming! A shocking, unintended consequence.

The war on drugs was always aimed at the more dangerous stuff, cocaine and heroin. The feds crack down on mj too because the traffickers tend to smuggle all three. In the states, mj enforcement has always been discretionary.

Michael Ard said...

No one saw any of this coming!!

We will have to learn all over again why we made mj illegal in the first place.

Voters are getting buyers remorse all over the country on medicinal marijuana.

War on drugs was always aimed principally at cocaine and heroin. Marijuana has been treated as a secondary concern.

FWG said...

The whole pot as medicine thing reminds me of a movie I watched just yesterday called "Holy Rollers." It's about Hasidic Jews who get involved in an ecstasy ring, and they were first sold on the idea of getting involved by being told they were importing "medicine from Europe." Not a bad movie, and it stars Jesse Eisenberg from "The Social Network" fame.

Hunsdon said...

Derek Brown said: You see anti drug supporters as hating fun when what we really hate is indulgence and sloth.

Hunsdon replied: I commented on the use of the word prole, not on what I consider appropriate policy on pot use.

Derek Brown said: It conflicts with citizenism but corresponds perfectly with HBD which would seem to suggest the inconsistency is with those who would advocate both.

Hunsdon said: HBD is a theory that attempts to describe the world as it is; citizenism is a theory that attempts to describe the policies one should adopt. Perhaps I am simply not mentally agile enough to see the inconsistency.

Could you develop the perceived inconsistency further?

Derek Brown said: Also your Kipling example is pretty inappropriate because using HBD rather than citizenist principles Anglosphere armies have always had quite rigorous screening processes for admittance.

Hunsdon replied: As Wellesely said about his Peninsular army: "I don't know what effect they will have on the enemy, but they terrify me." That army was famously composed of the scum and gutter sweepings of England, hastily cobbled together.

It did, it is true, include many of the best and the brightest (or the great and the good), but they did not turn up their noses at including the "lower orders".

I read and enjoy Mencken, yet I do not agree with many of his positions. He was a gifted writer, which does not imply that he was infallible. John Lennon was a gifted musician, yet I should prefer not to adopt his socio-political philosophies.

A large part of my objection to the term prole is the implicit, sneering disdain I see in it. Proletarian, or proletariat, do not bother me in the same way, and if you intended it in the more descriptive, Roman, original sense (i.e., non-landholding citizens), I withdraw my objection.

I do not object to paternalism. As the famous socio-political thinker Stan Lee wrote, with great power comes great responsibility, and the responsibility-dodging "Am I my brother's keeper" was from the fratricidal Cain. I strongly support the concept of noblesse oblige, and mourn its death among our elites.

I always rather thought that noblesse oblige was at the heart of citizenism, but perhaps I am mistaken.

In recapitulation, then, I believe in HBD, or the theory that different groups of people have different skills, aptitudes and abilities, and citizenism, which affirms that "true patriots and idealists are willing to make sacrifices for the overall good of their fellow American citizens rather than for the advantage of either six billion foreigners or of the special interests within our own country." (Sailer, 2006)

NOTA said...

Perhaps this would be a good place for that whole "laboratory of democracy" thing to work. Let states that want to legalize marijuana, and other states keep it illegal. Keep the feds out of the matter entirely. Then we can see how it works out, and also, different states with different history, culture, and demographics can do things differently.

A future in which pot is legal and gay marriage recognized in Washington, but not in Texas, may very well be a better future all-around, in terms of well being of everyone, than either one where both are illegal everywhere or are legal everywhere. Further, if legal pot in Washington causes a lot of disruption and trouble, then the other states can watch and make better decisions. On the other hand, if this doesn't seem to cause a lot of trouble in Washington, that's also useful information for other states.

It seems to me that the two big parties have become way too hostile to federalism and local varation. Instead of having every state law and action overruled or imposed by the feds, I suspect we'll be better off if the states get to decide for themselves.

FWIW, I'm in favor of legalizing pot and recognizing gay marriage. But I could be wrong about both of those, and at any rate, people ought to have some right to decide what rules they and their communities live under. Better to let each state decide what to do than to impose one answer from on high, whether that's keeping pot illegal or legalizing it.

The biggest barrier to this is the willingness of the supreme court and the executive branch to basically decide what laws the states should have. Any remotely controversial law passed by a state can expect a set of court challenges, and will often turn out to be unconstitutional. And the feds can and do interfere in local decisions all the time, as with raiding medical marijuana dispensaries.

NOTA said...

Tom in VA:

True. It's possible to have drug laws without no-knock warrants for small-time drug dealers, without hassling pain patients lest someone get too much painkiller, without running paramilitary forces in foreign countries, without big mandatory minimum sentences for crack possession, etc. To my mind, decriminalizing pot is one step in that policy--pot is relatively harmless, as opposed to crack or meth.

My guess is that the war on drugs is fought as it is now, not because anyone has carefully thought through the tradeoffs being made, but because this is how the turf wars between local and federal drug cops worked out, this is what paid off for the political goals of various legislators and prosecutors and judges, etc.

Anonymous said...

Any doofus who refers to himself in the third person and talks like someone who got lost on his way to the LARP shouldn't critique anyone about anything ever.

Fernandinande said...

Sluggo said...
"I would never trust the opinion of a cop."

Nobody should, since they're consistently dishonest on these - and most other - issues.

- nowhere in the article did they actually claim that there are more traffic accidents, etc.

- nowhere in the article did they list any negative effects on driving caused by drug use (the negative effects of alcohol are well known; the negative effects of other drugs weren't mentioned).

- it's well known that some drugs improve driving performance: caffeine, nicotine, various amphetamines, ritalin, etc.

- in experienced users, marijuana doesn't impair driving performance to any measurable extent: this is the big issue that they're obfuscating.

Dutch Boy said...

Addled marijuana smokers? Nahhh!

Dutch Boy said...

Simple solution: decriminalize drug use as Portugal has done. Drug users are put in rehab, not prison. Drug sellers are put in the slammer.

Conatus said...

I would rather have people smoke pot and drive, than drink and drive. If you are crawling along at forty mph, mesmerized by the glare of the street lights on the steering wheel, that is a little better than blinking in an alcoholic haze at eighty mph.

The main thing long term pot use does is sap ambition. Why do anything when your immediate environment is soooo fascinating, man. I think it was Andre Malraux who called pot the "insolent multiplier of all things." Yeah all things but ambition.

Anonymous said...

""We will have to learn all over again why we made mj illegal in the first place."

Because a bunch of suceptible boobs watched Reefer Madness?

Anonymous said...

The police side of the War on Drugs is a pain, but insurance companies cause the real class divide between white-collar workers (anyone who doesn't face physical risk at work) and Joe forktruck driver. Guy in an office smokes chronic, maybe his productivity slips, maybe he's less ambitious, maybe his risk of going on the schiz rises. He's probably not fired. Joe trucker smokes chronic, sooner or later his forktruck hits something and they test his pee. He's fired. Full stop. Insurance companies insist.
Legal pot or no, insurance actuaries will stick with this.

panjoomby said...

marijuana does not make anyone schizophrenic. male schizophrenics usually have their first psychotic break between ages 18-21. smoking pot can set it off, but when it does, the person was already pre-set to be schizophrenic. biology almost always trumps environment, no matter what the media say.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 7:29 AM said: Any doofus who refers to himself in the third person and talks like someone who got lost on his way to the LARP shouldn't critique anyone about anything ever.

Hunsdon responded: Yeah, I was never a Bob Dole fan either.

Anonymous said...

why is it libertarians like @ Reason mag are always for , gay rights, legalized drugs, open borders.. but ahem never mention getting rid of Afirmative action, 'anti discrimination ' laws, and pushig for freedom of association? because they are not 'libertarians' they are stealth liberals

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of chemicals that trump biology, every poison for example. MPTPcauses Parkinson's disease and prions cause Mad Cow Disease and, who knows, maybe Alzheimer's. I not really sure how to categorize a prion; animal, vegetable or mineral?

Sometimes, even the best and brightest are blind to what's bad for them.

jody said...

"This is wrong."

this data

1) doesn't account for age. it's just everybody in the US thrown together. yeah, baby boomers people drink less coke than teenagers. let's see some data on how much coke teenagers actually drink.

2) is missing. check the beverages file and there is no data after 2003. the gallons of soft drinks ingested has been steady between 45 and 49 gallons per person per year for 20 years - but old people drink less, so it's the youngest generation keeping the average number up.

hennce the war against soda. kids are drinking 1 or 2 cans of this stuff every day now, and they weren't 15 years ago.

my brother is involved in this subject at the national level and is considering quitting his professional sports coaching job to work for the US federal government on reducing the bodyweight and increasing the fitness levels of public school students in the US. this would be a total waste of time, but the government will pay him to do it, and he cares about it. shrug. it's like the teach for america thing.

when measuring the weight of incoming students, what they have found is that the body mass of incoming classes has gone up almost 1 pound per year for over a decade. although the rate of increase has slowed down, and the kids aren't getting 1 pound heavier per year per class on average anymore. but they're still getting heavier.

the people who point the finger at soda and video games are exactly correct. the US has a generation of school age kids who are growing up drinking coke every day and not exercising or playing sports. you can't get those video game controllers out of their hands. meanwhile, school districts are cutting back gym class, deciding it's not a core part of public education anymore, and hey, they're having enough trouble with the basic stuff like math and english anyway, so let's dump gym, cut those programs and teachers and save some salary and school day time on that stuff.

jody said...

"Also, there is no evidence that eating sugar causes or contributes to any disease"

ok, now i know i can ignore you. at absolute minimum it causes tooth decay. but anybody who understands sports science knows that high rates of sugar intake over time does cause other diseases. it absolutely, positively leads directly to diabetic conditions in the body. without a doubt. there isn't even the slightest argument about this by people who study type 2 diabetes. a normal adult can move into, and out of, diabetic conditions based on their sugar consumption. the various sugars humans eat are not the only factor in adult onset diabates, but they're a huge one. they can come from starches too, like all the wheat americans consume.

then there's the damage sugars do to your pancreas over time.

2010 US study, sugar ingestion from soft drinks increases rate of pancreas cancer by 87%

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/02/08/idUSN07113352
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/178470.php

2006 swedish study, sugar ingestion from soft drinks increases rate of pancreas cancer by 90%

http://www.naturalnews.com/021031_sugar_carbonated_drinks.html

2010 UCLA study on what pancreatic cancer cells like to eat, glucose or fructose

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/02/AR2010080204793.html
http://blog.aicr.org/2010/08/04/glucose-fructose-and-the-alarming-pancreatic-cancer-news/

pancreas cancer cells like fructose. you know, like high fructose corn syrup. which is in all that soda. it's less interested in glucose, the stuff which muscles use for the ATP cycle.

pancreatic cancer is, of course, the most deadly kind of cancer, with survival rates below 10%. the main problem being detection. you don't know until it's too late. this is why jack andraka's new pancreatic cancer test was so important.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh kayyyy uncle Steve!

What else should we give up to please our Puritan masters?

Anonymous said...

The drug cartels are the last ones on earth who want to see drugs legalized.

Hunsdon said...

jody:

Bro, you're right about the sugar/HFCS. We are KILLING ourselves with that stuff.

Anonymous said...

"People under 35 eventually become over 35, then they worry about it."

If you're over 35 and you're worrying about other people enjoying a little MJ, or a couple gay dudes getting married, you are living a pathetic life. I'm serious - get out of your mom's basement.

Anonymous said...

I smoked quite a bit of pot from sixth grade until about sophomore year of high school and I have no fond memories of getting high. I really can't describe the sensation. When I smoked a lot I got paranoid and I felt like my ears were under water, but I can't explain the allure. I quit because, in a state of confusion, I destroyed a piece of property which I mistakenly thought was discarded garbage. It was a precious toy of a child. I wish I could have made amends, but I had to run away because I would have had to confess to being stoned to explain such an absurd act. It haunts me to this day.

My question for pot smokers is, what is the allure? I have used the drug and I couldn't explain it if you put a gun to my head.

Anonymous said...

"This is actually a broader point. You can't combine drug legalization (more generally radical individualism) and the welfare state and still expect a functioning society"

Now combine that with Friedman's remark that you can't combine a welfare state and open immigration.

Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

"Pot made my kid schizo" is the new "vaccines made my kid autistic."

Orlando Gibbons said...

jody,

The kids are getting fat because they're eating too much. If the calories come from sugar, that doesn't mean sugar is bad for you, it means overeating while being sedentary is bad for you.

Fructose in physiologic doses doesn't impair glycemic control or insulin sensitivity. In fact, it improves them slightly. The literature on this subject is robust.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11134101
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3618627
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8433075
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2527132

Fructose induces more carbohydrate oxidation and thermogenesis than glucose, especially in obese persons.

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/58/5/766S.abstract

Starches contribute more to hyperglycemia than sucrose does, though the good health of millions of rice-eaters around the world tends to exonerate 'glucotoxicity' as a cause of disease. The oxidative and inflammatory stress (ROS and NF-kappaB binding) which are induced by glucose, are not induced by orange juice or fructose. Fructose itself may have an antioxidant effect by increasing uric acid, which is associated with greater longevity.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17384340
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6532339

Large doses of fructose (around the 95th percentile of consumption) are said to affect blood lipids, but HDL is often increased, so the net effect is unclear.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1550068

"LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol were stable during the fructose-diet period, there were downward trends in each during the starch diet. ... The final values for fasting serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol during the fructose diet were higher by 9.0% and 11.0%, respectively, than the corresponding values during the starch diet. Because both serum LDL and HDL cholesterol declined during the starch diet, the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol was little changed and there were no significant differences between the study diets in this ratio. "

The stuff about pancreatic cancer is just stupid media hype. While a relative risk of 2.0 seems significant to a layman, it does not argue for causality. Contrast with tobacco smoking, which increases the risk of lung cancer over 20 times. And as they found no association between cancer and fruit juice, the sugar is unlikely to be the causal factor.

Anonymous said...

"why is it libertarians like @ Reason mag are always for , gay rights, legalized drugs, open borders.. but ahem never mention getting rid of Afirmative action, 'anti discrimination ' laws, and pushig for freedom of association? because they are not 'libertarians' they are stealth liberals'

True, according to Han-hermann Hoppe the true libertarian must be a radical and uncompromising conservative.

You can't be a Libertarian without discrimination.

Hoppe says the Libertarian movement attracted a large amount of abnormal followers who wanted their lifestyle validated.

Anonymous said...

"If you're over 35 and you're worrying about other people enjoying a little MJ, or a couple gay dudes getting married, you are living a pathetic life"

I never understood people who have to drink or take other drugs to have fun, but I have no problem with pot being legal since anybody can get it anyway.

Anonymous said...

"Pot made my kid schizo" is the new "vaccines made my kid autistic."

And alcohol and tobacco turned my parents into violent hypocritical Nazis.

Padishah said...

Finally, a pot thread.

I could not disagree more. When people grow tired of anarchy, they accept tyranny. Thay was why the Roman Republic was replaced by the Caesars.

The Roman Republic was by no means anarchy.

I'm sure that the drug war has rescued huge amounts of human potential.

That's not the point. Smart people don't like government, or any other form of authority, to stick a gun to their heads to follow laws designed to keep dummies from busing themselves.

If it didn't, why would leftists hate it so much?

Like Swedish ultra-leftist politician Anita Gradin, who set up some of the toughest anti-drug laws in the western world?

If drugs weren't the worst (i.e. the most seductive) kind of poison, why would leftists glamorize them so much? Do leftists normally glamorize healthy things?

This isn't even a left-right issue anyway. What about alcohol and tobacco, some of the deadliest and most addictive poisons ever made legal? I don't see leftists glamourizing these, either. And there is always fluoride

What a world this is. You can go to jail for smoking a joint once a week, or partaking of entheogens once in a lifetime. I guess the puritans are afraid the demons will drag your soul (and mine) straight to hell. Yet alcohol and tobacco are fully legal, and you have to take special measures to avoid exposure to fluoride and mercury.

Anonymous said...

The kids are getting fat because they're eating too much. If the calories come from sugar, that doesn't mean sugar is bad for you, it means overeating while being sedentary is bad for you.

If any dietary component is to blame for modern obesity, it is fat not sugar.

Anonymous said...

The real question is, does pot make you stupid? This article says it does.

A loss of 8 iq points is no trivial matter. Do you think any other recreational drug use, except huffing paint, has such an adverse impact on intellect?

2Degrees said...

Padishah. The later Roman Republic was warcked by decades of Civil War. Caesar and Augustus offered the prospect of peace.

Anonymous said...

Legal pot or no, insurance actuaries will stick with this.

And so they should. A true libertarian supports both the right of a person to smoke pot, and the right of an insurance company to treat a pot-smoker as they deserve.

Anonymous said...

The real question is, does pot
make you stupid? This article says it does.


This is what the article says:

The eight-point drop in IQ was found in subjects who started smoking in adolescence and persisted in "habitual smoking" - that is, using cannabis at least four days per week - in three or more of the five study waves.

Even if the article is true, it says nothing about 35-year-olds smoking cannabis once every two weeks.

Do you think any other recreational drug use, except huffing paint, has such an adverse impact on intellect?

Alcohol and tobacco used in sufficient quantities are not exactly brain tonics either.

Padishah said...

PART 1

The history of THE WAR ON CERTAIN DRUGS deserves close scrutiny. Key items are the Harrison Act, the Hearst-Dupont-Anslinger mafia, movies such as REEFER MADNESS, and coexistence with the 19th century temperance movement and alcohol prohibition. A long long time ago, in an era of Western history that neocons and many other so-called conservatives wish never existed, all drugs were legal, and most were widely used by all segments of society. Even the all-powerful Catholic church, despite its negative view on intoxication, never used force to impose prohibition on anyone. (Check out something called the Good Friday LSD Experiment, and compare the reactions of the Catholic and Protestant churches.)

Alcohol is not an entheogen. It was never used as a sacrament by anybody or in culture. Recreational alcohol is just booze, in the same way that narcotics are just junk. Both have legitimate medical uses, of course.

Most likely it was not moralism (religious or secular) that killed off entheogens in western society, but class distinctions. Peasants had their herbs, hemp, and mushrooms. They also had their alcohol, but that was expensive, and didn't grow freely. The higher classes drank more and "drugged" less. Alcohol, especially in the form on hard liquor, was the first "industrial" drug, and mass production and upward mobility made it more available to the poor. Why bother taking the time to look for herbs and spices like a filthy peasant, when you could work in a factory, buy booze, and drink like a lord?

Catholic Southern Europe had its wine, not to mention high genetic alcohol resistance combined with responsible drinking traditions. Northern Europe did not. Its peasants, farmers, and urban workers bore the brunt of cheap industrial liquor. Beer, and even worse, hard liquor - the manly drinks of Ultime Thule - lack the protective flavonoids and antioxidants of wine. The seeds of the first anti-drug backlash sprouted in the Protestant churches of the nineteenth century.

The early Temperance movements were driven by women disgusted at (male) alcoholic violence, as well as liberal Protestants. They joined forces with the anti-narcotic movement of post-Civil-War America. This may come as a surprise, but conservatives at the time had few bad feelings about alcohol, and secretly liked its morale-boosting effects. Patriotism in a bottle. Alcohol was an "ennationogen" rather than an an entheogen. It boosted what Leary would call the Second Circuit of the brain, dealing with territorial and political emotions. Of course, soldiers couldn't fight well while drunk, and drunken factory functionaries worked poorly. The politicians, generals, and factory owners decided the best solution was to forbid drunkenness on-duty, but let the boys get all juiced up on their own time.

Tobacco is somewhat like alcohol, but much less psychoactive. Nobody knew, or much less was concerned about the bad effects of tobacco in 1900, but it was big business just like booze. Hemp and psychedelic herbs, despite their millenia-long presence in Western society, never were big business. They could easily have been, given the chance. Critics of psychedelics sometimes call them "psychotomimetic", or psychosis inducing. I could say that alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, pep pills, and nearly all psychoactive prescription drugs are neurotomimetic.

Padishah said...

PART 2

Skip ahead to the World War I era Harrison Act, and the alcohol prohibition that followed. Already the PTTB made two groups of drugs illegal. Alcohol prohibition helped make cannabis popular among middle-class white Americans as a recreational rather than medicinal drug. What was really bad from the point of view of the corrupt Hearst-Dupont-Anslinger mafia, was that these pot-heads didn't go back to drinking like "normal people should" when alcohol was re-legalized. The HDA cabal's hatred of hemp had an economic basis; protection of their monopoly on expensive wood-based paper and synthetic materials. Being against the psychedelic properties of cannabis was a side effect.

The long-supressed interest in entheogens returned in the 1960s. (How's that for the RETURN OF THE REPRESSED, Dr. Freud?) It was the synthetic LSD that helped hemp and other herbs make a comeback. Conservatives, and more than a few straight liberals, used the massive machinery created by suffragettes and other proto-feminists a century ago to deal with the DRUG PROBLEM. The War on Drugs found a new target, and kept on going, crushing more and more freedoms in the name of health, sanity, salvation, and self-righteousness.

Cail Corishev said...

"If any dietary component is to blame for modern obesity, it is fat not sugar."

Thanks for visiting us from 1977 to share that bit of wisdom, Senator.

NOTA said...

Obligatory Onion Story