Putting Americans to Work

Following the President’s recent speech at Lehigh University, a “bold” student suggested that the President consider some unconventional tactics to help "stimulate" the economy. These suggestions involved the issues surrounding Marijuana, Prostitution, and Gambling. I would like to be bold also, to propose two solutions that not only would put American’s back to work, it would also help solve some social problems that have not been adequately addressed. Also, in a recent article in San Diego City Beat, December 9, 2009, The Front Lines, After-burn, there was a paragraph to the effect that the [U.S. Attorney’s Office] said “there is no such thing as medical marijuana under federal law.” This statement is disingenuous at best. The government has been growing some of the finest weed for about 50 years now. See: http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/18/government.marijuana.garden/index.html Up until around 1992, the government was supplying medical marijuana to those who applied. There may still be a few patients receiving it. A man named Robert Randall, who was suffering from glaucoma, allegedly received enough marijuana through this program to allow him to smoke 10 joints a day for 21 years.

My solutions would also enable the existing framework of our judicial system to have the tools that they need to deal with the criminal side of the issue.

What got me thinking about this was an article in Sunday's San Diego Union-Tribune, December 6, 2009, B1, "Medical marijuana dispensaries on city agenda", and would like to offer my two cents worth on the way this would be done in a perfect world. Probably some of my ideas are fairly idealistic, or otherwise unworkable, but maybe they will "plant a seed" that will bear fruit in these discussions. If I use somewhat colorful words, please excuse me. It helps me think. Please pass these comments/ideas to the President’s job recovery task force, and any staffers that are working on the job recovery issue.

For reference on the technicalities of cultivating marijuana, you can refer to: Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible. This is an impressive and weighty tome of 500+ pages.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/187882323X/

(1) The first thing is, if we are going to prescribe marijuana as a medicine, then treat it like a regulated drug. The controls in place for patients prescribed pain relievers, such as Oxycontin should apply to patients being prescribed Marijuana/THC. Shut down those prescription mills that have been set up solely to issue Medical Marijuana ID cards. I think that a reputable doctor of medicine, seeing a patient during the normal course of their practice, could make the decision, based on medical necessity, and efficacy to write a prescription for Marijuana or THC pills, just as easily as for any other drug. The prescription could then be brought to one of my newly proposed, Government and State regulated, Comfort Care Facilities.

(2) Where would this marijuana come from? I think that it is obscene and a middle finger salute to have these current collectives running around offering Rainbow Blue or whatever else they dream up. It is not a candy store. I live down the street from what I perceive to be a drug den masquerading as a collective. The medical professionals and scientific community can get their heads together and decide what percentage of THC should be considered "adequate" to do whatever it is claimed that marijuana does (I know, increase appetite, etc). Then you genetically engineer a strain of cannabis that grows the same, every time. And you give it a name. Medical Marijuana, XX% potency. Lab certified.

(3) Now, once you have this, you let the government grow it. They already do this already, you know? The National Institutes of Health, through a subsidiary, has been growing marijuana for research purposes for almost 1/2 a century. Until 1992, they were providing "prescription strength" marijuana to patients who applied and were accepted into the program. California is blessed to have Lemoore, CA, a beautiful place, in the middle of nowhere. There are hundreds and thousands of acres of government owned cotton fields surrounding NAS Lemoore. Grow it there. If not, I am sure that there are huge industrial complexes that are empty and looking for tenants. Do it hydroponically. You may not see my ulterior motive here, but everything that I am talking about is also a job stimulus package to put the states and the population back to work.

(4) Now, on to those "Comfort Care Facilities". Regulate them. (Sorry, no more “Free Joint Sundays [with donation]”} Treat them like child molesters. Not near schools. Not near child care centers. Put them in a commercial area. License them. Business Licenses. Non-Profit Status. Department of Health Certifications. Police Permits. Fire Marshall inspections. The facility must be secure, with controlled access, surveillance systems, and silent alarm monitoring. Why should they be any different than any other legal business? The owner and all workers must be background checked and fingerprinted. All of their members/customers must be positively identified and reported on a monthly basis (prescription / issue logs). The works. If they want to use their supply of legally obtained, government tested, Cannabis to make brownies, for those that cannot use the product in any other way, then more power to them. They could be set up like an AIC (Ambulatory Infusion Unit), with Recliners and mood music, and videos).

(5) Now, how do you get the legally produced drug to the legally operated business? The business has to provide a roster of authorized paying members. They get a ration, so many "shares" based on the number of members of the "collective". Secure private transport (armored vehicles). Put them to work, too. I saw this when I visited Abu Dhabi, UAE. If you want liquor, you have to register for a permit. Then you call the local Spinney's market (like 7-11) and order your $3.50 bottle of Tanqueray. Then they have an armored car, with a security guard, deliver it to your residence. Very simple, and once again, put people to work, as well as establish a paper trail.

(6) Now, how do we avoid the temptation of robberies, etc? By reducing the amounts on hand, and the allure of the stock (no more cute nicknames). Also, if we are treating this as medicine, then healthcare insurance or Medi-Cal should pay for it. Do as much of the payments as possible on line or via direct deposit. No, or limited, cash transactions. Issue pre-paid debit cards to be used only at these facilities. If they are lost or stolen, they are not valid anywhere else.

(7) Now, once this is all done, and we have figured out how to do this (I know it sounds difficult, but this is a lot easier than the Healthcare debate going on right now), you close down and prosecute all of these who are doing this illegally. Go after the Drug dealers, Smugglers, and the addicted. Provide a diversion program to treat first time offenders (users). But throw the book at them if they are recidivists Look! More work/jobs for the police, courts, lawyers, and the prison systems. Huge fines mean more fire pits for the rest of us.

(8) Lastly, establish a hotline for the operators of these establishments to report fraud. Make them, and the prescribing physicians, liable for prescription abuse or prescription shoppers, with appropriate penalties for violators.

The real option, if it hasn’t yet dawned on you, dear reader, is that the “medical marijuana” portion of this debate has been refined by me down to…wait for it… put the medical marijuana in a pharmacy, where it belongs. No need for Medical Cannabis Collectives.

What about recreational users? I will spend very little time on this. This could be handled like firearm permits, or wine making permits. Years ago I purchased a home wine making kit. In the kit was a form to register with the government (and pay a tax), and in return receive a permit to make up to 200 gallons of wine in my kitchen. Same thing. Home Marijuana Cultivation Permits. Pay a fee. Get fingerprinted and background checked. Grow up to 12 plants for personal use. No sales. The applications could be done online, or the forms included in the growing kits that will become very popular. More jobs. Yippee!

Now, forgetting any of the moral debates for the moment. Prostitution. The oldest profession. (Senators are the second oldest). Do the same thing for the most part as I outlined above. The differences would be that now the government gets a new tax stream. No brothels. Independent women, sole - proprietor, licensed professionals. Allow them to advertise. Establish a certification program. Massage Therapy as a pre-requisite. This will give our institutions of higher learning a bigger base of students, and once again, more income and jobs. You can get professional business figures, like Heidi Fleiss to instruct on the business aspects of doing this type of work. They would have to follow all of the business permitting requirements that I outlined previously, including law enforcement registration and background checks. This would also include health training, and hygiene. Provide mental health screenings. They would also have to be medically checked and drug-tested on a regular basis. Use of condoms and other protection would be mandatory, like Porn Stars are required to do (I mean Adult Entertainers). Failure to do so could result in suspension/revocation of their license. Then, clean up the streets and all of the pimps, and unlicensed street walkers. Diversion programs, education, and other assistance as required. Jobs for some. Relief for others. Win-Win.

Improving the economy and putting Americans back to work has a social cost. But I believe that it would be worth it. You will probably find that you could implement all or most of these suggestions using currently established institutions. History has shown that prohibition is always a poor solution. Do what is right, put people to work, create new jobs, and collect the additional tax revenue.

Comments

JamesStacy Dec. 11, 2009 @ 5:20 p.m.

How big do you want our government? That is way too much Big Brother for me. You really want us all to work for Uncle Sam? hwo about all articals are written by the department of writing and then picked up by the dept. of delivery to take it to the dept. of article editing and then picked up again by the dept. dilvery to the dpet of printing who ....

Way to much.

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JamesStacy Dec. 11, 2009 @ 5:22 p.m.

I forgot to send mine to the Dept. of spell checking. opps

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cloud9driver Dec. 11, 2009 @ 9:54 p.m.

James, I can see that you are a little cloudy. I stated that all (or most) of my proposals could be implemented using infrastructure already in place. No more "Big Brother" than already exists. The same office that approves home wine making permits would approve home growing permits. Private sector transport companies can transport the drug. City and State Governments would manage these businesses just like they do all of the legal ones now. Insurance would pay the bills. Limo drivers will deliver clients to their newly legal escorts business establishment. Nothing not to like here.

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PistolPete Dec. 11, 2009 @ 11:05 p.m.

Genesis 1:29 New American Translation

Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you."

NO regulation!!! Government or otherwise!

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cloud9driver Dec. 12, 2009 @ 9:25 a.m.

@PistolPete: To some degree I agree. However, grapes & grains are currently regulated by the government, depending on the use that they are put to. The same regulations can apply to the Marijuana plant. Grow it for hemp all you want. If you want to use it medicinally, then get a permit. I believe that it is a fair and workable solution.

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PistolPete Dec. 12, 2009 @ 9:33 a.m.

Any grapes or grains that I grow in my own backyard are not regulated by the government. ;-D

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SDaniels Dec. 12, 2009 @ 10:56 a.m.

"Limo drivers will deliver clients to their newly legal escorts business establishment. Nothing not to like here."

Did I read this wrong-- are we still talking about grapes & grains, or another of "god's" gifts subject to strict regulation? ;)

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wm97 Dec. 12, 2009 @ 4:51 p.m.

(1) The first thing is, if we are going to prescribe marijuana as a medicine, then treat it like a regulated drug.

If that's what you want to do then put it in the proper category. Aspirin and Tylenol kill about 3,000 people per year, as opposed to none for marijuana. How much justification does a doctor need to recommend a drug that is safer than aspirin?

"(2) Where would this marijuana come from? I think that it is obscene and a middle finger salute to have these current collectives running around offering Rainbow Blue or whatever else they dream up. It is not a candy store. I live down the street from what I perceive to be a drug den masquerading as a collective. The medical professionals and scientific community can get their heads together and decide what percentage of THC should be considered "adequate" to do whatever it is claimed that marijuana does (I know, increase appetite, etc). Then you genetically engineer a strain of cannabis that grows the same, every time. And you give it a name. Medical Marijuana, XX% potency. Lab certified."

Sorry, that doesn't work. The patients themselves report that different strains have different effects and there is no earthly reason to require them to stick to one. Besides, that ship has already sailed. Marijuana is California's largest cash crop. And you think you are going to magically reduce it all to one strain? You are dreaming.

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wm97 Dec. 12, 2009 @ 4:51 p.m.

"3) Now, once you have this, you let the government grow it."

Uuuuh, right. And expect the same results if the government had a monopoly on beer and only made one kind.

" They already do this already, you know? The National Institutes of Health, through a subsidiary, has been growing marijuana for research purposes for almost 1/2 a century. Until 1992, they were providing "prescription strength" marijuana to patients who applied and were accepted into the program."

No, actually, it isn't prescription strength. It is the stuff they get accidentally from what was originally intended as a hemp crop. If you talk to any of the people who actually receive this government stuff they will tell you that it is about as crappy as weed gets. (Which is just what you would expect from a government operation.)

" California is blessed to have Lemoore, CA, a beautiful place, in the middle of nowhere. There are hundreds and thousands of acres of government owned cotton fields surrounding NAS Lemoore. Grow it there. If not, I am sure that there are huge industrial complexes that are empty and looking for tenants. Do it hydroponically. You may not see my ulterior motive here, but everything that I am talking about is also a job stimulus package to put the states and the population back to work."

I am with you there. It would boost California farm production by about 50 percent at a time when the Central Valley is in big economic problems. It would be the biggest bonanza to hit California since the Gold Rush -- see http://MarijuanaBusinessNews.com But that is based on it becoming an industry just like wine or beer. Your plan wouldn't allow that.

"(4) Now, on to those "Comfort Care Facilities". Regulate them. (Sorry, no more “Free Joint Sundays [with donation]”} Treat them like child molesters. Not near schools. Not near child care centers. Put them in a commercial area. License them. Business Licenses. Non-Profit Status. Department of Health Certifications. Police Permits. Fire Marshall inspections. The facility must be secure, with controlled access, surveillance systems, and silent alarm monitoring. Why should they be any different than any other legal business? "

They shouldn't be any different than any other legal business. So why do you propose a lot of rules that would make them much more tightly regulated than liquor stores?

"The owner and all workers must be background checked and fingerprinted."

Like a liquor license. No problem there.

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wm97 Dec. 12, 2009 @ 4:52 p.m.

" All of their members/customers must be positively identified and reported on a monthly basis (prescription / issue logs)."

Sorry, you just went off the deep end again. Medical records are private by law. Not possible, and not a good idea, even if it was. Alcohol causes far more problems in society than all the illegal drugs combined. Are you proposing this routine for alcohol, too?

"(5) Now, how do you get the legally produced drug to the legally operated business? The business has to provide a roster of authorized paying members."

Sorry, that would be forbidden by medical privacy laws. Although we note your strong desire to have the government intrude in people's lives for no good purpose.

" They get a ration, so many "shares" based on the number of members of the "collective". Secure private transport (armored vehicles). Put them to work, too."

Sorry, there is already a system in place that works pretty well for deliveries and it doesn't require any of this.

" I saw this when I visited Abu Dhabi, UAE."

Yeah, like we want to remake our country into Muslin theocracy.

" If you want liquor, you have to register for a permit. Then you call the local Spinney's market (like 7-11) and order your $3.50 bottle of Tanqueray. Then they have an armored car, with a security guard, deliver it to your residence. Very simple, and once again, put people to work, as well as establish a paper trail."

Yeah, I can't imagine why that wouldn't work out here in the US. All we need is one more giant government agency to keep track of everyone who wants to drink a glass of wine. That ought to be an instant success.

"6) Now, how do we avoid the temptation of robberies, etc?"

1) legalize it so the price goes down and there isn't so much temptation and; 2) let the free market take care of it. Anyone who lets themselves be robbed too many times isn't going to remain in business.

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wm97 Dec. 12, 2009 @ 4:53 p.m.

"(7) Now, once this is all done, and we have figured out how to do this (I know it sounds difficult, but this is a lot easier than the Healthcare debate going on right now),"

Sad to say, but your real problem is that you actually don't know anything about the subject. Really.

" you close down and prosecute all of these who are doing this illegally. Go after the Drug dealers, Smugglers, and the addicted."

If you legalize it like beer, then the drug dealers and smugglers will take care of themselves. See our experience with Al Capone. As for the addicted, you aren't really talking about marijuana there. If you want to go after addiction problems, start with alcohol and tobacco. Those two drugs kill more people every year than all the people killed by all the illegal drugs combined in the last several decades.

" Provide a diversion program to treat first time offenders (users). But throw the book at them if they are recidivists Look! More work/jobs for the police, courts, lawyers, and the prison systems. Huge fines mean more fire pits for the rest of us."

Yeah, never mind that throwing the book at them the second time doesn't accomplish anything. Drug abuse problems are driven largely by anxiety-related issues so you propose throwing them in jail which will only worsen those issues. Stupid idea.

But it would be a stupid idea for anothe reason, too. California is currently under Federal court order to release one-third of all prison inmates. You don't have the room to lock up all the violent criminals and now you want to make the prisons even bigger for repeat pot smokers.

Like I said, you really don't have a clue what you are talking about, do you?

"(8) Lastly, establish a hotline for the operators of these establishments to report fraud. Make them, and the prescribing physicians, liable for prescription abuse or prescription shoppers, with appropriate penalties for violators."

Uuuuuh, yeah. Like the police have time to chase around after someone who purchased more marijuana than you thought they should. Just FYI, the US Government sends each of its patients six pounds per year. So "abuse" would mean that they would have to be purchasing something more than a half pound a month -- two ounces a week.

Like I said, you have no clue what you are talking about. I will give you some references so you can come up to date.

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wm97 Dec. 12, 2009 @ 4:54 p.m.

Ok, some required reading for anyone who wants to offer an opinion.

First, the short history of the marijuana laws at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/whiteb1.htm This is funny and fascinating.

Licit and Illicit Drugs at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm The best overall review of the subject ever written. If you haven’t read this book, then you simply don’t know the subject.

The Drug Hang-Up at http://druglibrary.org/special/king/dhu/dhumenu.htm This is another excellent history of the subject.

Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer This is a collection of the full text of every major government commission report on the drug laws from around the world over the last 100 years. They all reached similar conclusions.

The drug laws were the product of ignorance and nonsense. In the US – which has driven worldwide drug prohibition for more than fifty years – the laws were the result of racism and lunacy so stupid that it just makes people laugh today.

Marijuana was originally outlawed for two major reasons. The first was because “All Mexicans are crazy and marijuana is what makes them crazy.” The second was the fear that heroin addiction would lead to the use of marijuana – exactly the opposite of the modern “gateway” idea.

Only two doctors testified before Congress for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The representative of the American Medical Association testified that marijuana was not a dangerous drug and there was no reason for the law. See the full transcripts of the hearings for the MTA at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/taxact.htm

The only other doctor was Dr. James Munch. His sole claim to fame was that he had injected marijuana directly into the brains of 300 dogs, and two of them died. When they asked him what he concluded from this, he said he didn’t know. He also testified in court, under oath, that marijuana could make your fangs grow six inches long and drip with blood, and that it could turn you into a bat.

Dr. Munch was the only doctor in the US who thought that marijuana should be illegal so he was appointed US Official Expert on marijuana, where he served for 25 years.

That is just one example of the lunacy. There is far more than that in the history of these laws. Anyone who currently supports these laws simply hasn’t read the most basic research on the subject.

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cloud9driver Dec. 12, 2009 @ 6:53 p.m.

First, to PistolPete: re: Any grapes or grains that I grow in my own backyard are not regulated by the government. ;-D" Correct. Until you try to ferment them. Then they are.

Second, to SDaniels: re: "Did I read this wrong-- are we still talking about grapes & grains, or another of "god's" gifts subject to strict regulation? ;)" The "other gift". I was responding to the last part of my proposal. :-)

Third, to wm97: re: ALL. Great way to open the debate. Just call me stupid. Way to go. How about I call you a son of a camel, and then try to rebut your opinion? Would you listen. No, just like I am not going to address your polarized point of view. The purpose of a debate is to offer your case, and then have some offer evidence in support of their side. That is how a civil discussion happens, and that is what needs to happen to get this country back on track. Right now, Washington has come to a standstill and we all pay the price. Just like the Healthcare debate, neither side is going to get everything that they want, but to suggest options for open and fair discussion is a step in the right direction.

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David Dodd Dec. 12, 2009 @ 7:10 p.m.

"Until you try to ferment them. Then they are."

Actually, in most States, you can make all of the wine and hooch you want to, you just can't sell it.

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PistolPete Dec. 12, 2009 @ 8:45 p.m.

Thanks refried for making my point. :-D

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SDaniels Dec. 13, 2009 @ 2:50 a.m.

"Third, to wm97: re: ALL. Great way to open the debate. Just call me stupid. Way to go. How about I call you a son of a camel, and then try to rebut your opinion? Would you listen. No, just like I am not going to address your polarized point of view."

cloud9driver, wm97 did not call you stupid--just a few of your ideas, and s/he did start a civilized discussion, taking the time to address each one of your points with painstaking attention to detail. I can't imagine why you don't find enough response here for a reasonable debate. Sure, wm97 may not be open to all of your points, but that happens within reasonable debate. So far, I am finding wm97's rebuttals against your idea of large government regulation of marijuana to be logical and very strong. Give me an alternate view to consider? :)

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RGIVENS Dec. 13, 2009 @ 8:38 a.m.

cloud9driver loses all credibility when he compares marijuana with Oxycontin. Oxycontin is a dangerous drug that has caused many deaths from recreational use and prescription use. Marijuana, on the other hand, has never caused a death in recorded history. It is in an entirely different category from Oxycontin and opiate drugs.

The fact is that there is no other effective drug that does not cause injury and death.

Therefore calls to regulate marijuana the same way as really dangerous drugs is pure ignorance or insanity, take your pick.

cloud9driver wrote: (1) The first thing is, if we are going to prescribe marijuana as a medicine, then treat it like a regulated drug. The controls in place for patients prescribed pain relievers, such as Oxycontin should apply to patients being prescribed /THC.

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cloud9driver Dec. 13, 2009 @ 10:05 a.m.

To RefriedGringo and PistolPete: re your comments: "Actually, in most States, you can make all of the wine and hooch you want to, you just can't sell it."

You are both misinformed Winemaking and other fermenting uses of foodstuffs that the Creator bestowed on us are regulated at the Federal Level. Now, I will admit that the last time I made wine was pre-1979. In 1979 the Feds removed the requirement for home wine making for personal use as long as it is under 200 gallons. Once you go over that, you have to pay taxes. So, the States have little to do with it, and, no, legally you cannot make as much as you want. (27CFR24.75)

Now, in furtherance of rational debate, THC is a drug. Oxycontin is a drug. I consider it reasonable that there be controls placed on both. If you want to smoke burning organic matter, that is your business. If you are doing it for the benefit of the drug contained in the burning matter, than that is another issue. Why do the advocates of marijuana useage feel that they are above the law and feel that regulating the use of marijuana, just like the current regulation of tobacco is an off-limit topic? I understand that marijuana appears to be less of a threat than other drugs, but we regulate the use of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, including aspirin. I think that we could all agree that there should be reasonable restrictions as far as age and quantity restrictions, and also managing the availability of lab tested product with known composition. Just like other consumer products.

This link leads to what I perceive to be a fairly balanced article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_i...

I would also hope that you would agree that the current system in place is being abused, and is not helping the cause of those who want to take responsible steps to legalizing this, or any other product. It is an image thing. You need to get the bad apples out of medicinal product provider segment as a first step. I believe that bringing it out of the closet and imposing reasonable regulation is the way to go for now.

As far as some of the personal attacks on my comments that were posted by wm97 (i.e. "Stupid idea"): it is practically impossible to debate with individuals that are so fanatical and driven by their cause, that unless you’re with totally with them, you’re against them.

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wm97 Dec. 13, 2009 @ 1:56 p.m.

"As far as some of the personal attacks on my comments that were posted by wm97 (i.e. "Stupid idea"): it is practically impossible to debate with individuals that are so fanatical and driven by their cause, that unless you’re with totally with them, you’re against them."

Tell you what. I have already posted links to my web site, which happens to be the largest online collection of research on the history of marijuana regulation. I base my opinions on that, and I provided you with links where you could read up on what has and has not worked before.

You said: "The purpose of a debate is to offer your case, and then have some offer evidence in support of their side."

OK. I have offered mine, which was the basis of my opinion. Now let's see yours. Let's start with something simple, like your idea that you could reduce the hundreds of varieties of marijuana now available if the government produced only one variety and declared it to be the only one legal. As I read the history, there is no chance that would succeed. Would you care to show me some sterling examples of where that sort of thing actually worked?

Face it, the reason you are pissed is because I said that you don't know anything about the subject (not that you were stupid -- different), and I was able to prove it. If that's not the case, then respond to the points I made.

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wm97 Dec. 15, 2009 @ 6:17 p.m.

"Why do the advocates of marijuana useage feel that they are above the law and feel that regulating the use of marijuana, just like the current regulation of tobacco is an off-limit topic?"

You obviously have not talked with any of the leaders of the major reform organization, nor looked at their platforms. I am acquainted with every one of them an I can tell you that this statement is not true of any of them. They are All campaigning for reasonable regulations, like alcohol or tobacco.

"I understand that marijuana appears to be less of a threat than other drugs, but we regulate the use of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, including aspirin. I think that we could all agree that there should be reasonable restrictions as far as age and quantity restrictions, and also managing the availability of lab tested product with known composition. Just like other consumer products."

You are confused. It is the prohibitionists who oppose that, not the legalizers.

"This link leads to what I perceive to be a fairly balanced article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_i..."

Perhaps. But what you overlooked is that the drug laws never had anything to do with health issues. If health issues were the real issue then there would be mandatory minimums on possession of cheeseburgers. Read the history of the laws I posted.

"I would also hope that you would agree that the current system in place is being abused,"

You have absolutely no good evidence of that , simply beause medical records are private. But there is good research on that, compiled by a doctor, but it doesn't agree with you.

Besides, how much justification does a doctor need to recommend a drug that is safer than aspirin? What busness is it of yours why someone takes it?

" and is not helping the cause of those who want to take responsible steps to legalizing this, or any other product."

Actually, it is. The opening up of the market is responsible for much of the movement toward legalization now.

"It is an image thing. You need to get the bad apples out of medicinal product provider segment as a first step."

Yeah, good luck on that mission, Don Quixote. As soon as you can work up a cheap portable meter that will accurately measure how much pain someone feels, then we are good to go.

" I believe that bringing it out of the closet and imposing reasonable regulation is the way to go for now."

I got news for you. You aren't arguing with the reform movement. You are singing their song.

"As far as some of the personal attacks on my comments that were posted by wm97 (i.e. "Stupid idea"): it is practically impossible to debate with individuals that are so fanatical and driven by their cause, that unless you’re with totally with them, you’re against them."

Tell you what. Learn to learn from people who have done far more research than you have. Read the links I posted.

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cloud9driver Dec. 16, 2009 @ 9:03 a.m.

For proof that some aspects of this issue, and that better regulation and government intervention may be reasonable, and also precarious support for my previous statement that Marijuana = Oxycontin, from a social, crime, and economic viewpoint is not so far-fetched, see links below:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/dec/16/knife-wielding-man-robs-drugstore-hillcrest/

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/nov/25/police-arrest-3-in-medical-marijuana-robbery/?imw=Y

Without stronger regulations and mechanisms to control access to only legal users of any drug, and concurrent social programs to treat substance abusers, then this type of thing will keep happening. Just to remind everyone reading comment #21 or so, is that fixing the economy / putting people to work was the whole purpose of my original post. I could really care less whether you get to smoke pot, or not. I care that there is a way to do this, in a structured way, that can put people back to work, increase the tax base, and improve society by giving law enforcement the tools to go after the criminals, while minimizing the hassle to law-abiding citizens. Idealistic, yes.

Now, as to the argument that the government could not reinvent the wheel (make a better plant). First of all, THC is THC. There are not different flavors. If you want a plant that has zero THC, and one that can be sold in the form of dried up plant matter, and flavored, and tailored with the addition of additives, it already exists. It is called tobacco. Buy all you want.

I saw a segment on 60 Minutes on Sunday that had to do with growing human parts in dishes. If science can grow an ear, or a bladder, or a kidney, they can take "stem cell" equivalents from whatever hybrid marijuana plant that you like and duplicate it. Whether you let the Government operate the farms, or whether you allow private business to do it, I want it regulated, from a crime and public safety standpoint. Again, there is nothing wrong with this idea. It just grates on the sensitivities of certain individuals. That is why we live in a Democracy. We each can have differing points of view, but until tradeoffs are made towards furtherance of a common goal, then gridlock ensues. I know that in someone's perfect world, they could grow acres of pot on their rooftop with no regulation, and in other's perfect worlds, there would be plant burnings of the worse type, and more jails built. I think that we can agree to meet somewhere in the middle and that it would benefit all, not just a select few.

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Maassive Dec. 17, 2009 @ 10:12 a.m.

This is Dave Maass from CityBeat. I don't think my line was disingenous, though, perhaps it would have been more clear had I specified that medical cannabis is not a criminal defense, though that should be obvious within the context of the story. That said, the piece you describe does not acknowledge that marijuana has medicinal values in the eyes of the federal government, rather that on some level they are investigating the possibilities.

Also, please refer to us as CityBeat, one word.

Dave

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