Putting America Back To Work

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: 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.
— December 16, 2009 9:03 a.m.

Putting America Back To Work

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. 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.
— December 13, 2009 10:05 a.m.

"Jesus is the ONLY reason for the season" Billboard

So far, every response to my observation has apparantly missed the mark. I am totally for honoring the birth of Jesus and his message. However, the sign, in my opinion, in one word, "ONLY" eradicates the message that Jesus brought with his birth, and also marginalizes others. Inclusion was the message. I do not care if you are Pagan, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, or one of a hundred different types of Christian. Jesus welcomed the beggar. The leper. The prostitute. The thief. The Pharisee. The Samaritan. He said to love your neighbor. To honor your mother and father. All things that we should be doing everyday of the year. To quote God (as George Burns): Jesus was my son. Buddha was my son. Mohammed, Moses, you, the man who said there was no room at the inn, was my son. The divine truth is not in a building or a book or a story. The heart is the temple wherein all truth resides. The billboard misconstrues the real meaning of Christmas and that is what I am commenting about. Look to your own souls, not mine. Before you read or comment further, I would like to recommend a really meaningful book. "Finding Your Religion" by Rev. Scotty McLennan. He writes on the spiritual mountain that we are all climbing. The mountain of many paths. Some rocky. Some smooth. Yet we are all climbing the same mountain, and ultimately, all converge at the very top, as sages of all religions have told us from the very beginning. Doesn't matter if you are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Bahais, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. See you at the top. Just a further history lesson, Many "Christmas" traditions began hundreds of years before Christ was born. The Puritans (and others), forbade their members from celebrating Christmas because it was considered a pagan holiday. The Christmas tree is derived from several solstice traditions. The Romans decked their halls with garlands of laurel and placed candles in live trees. In Scandinavia, they hung apples from evergreen trees. The practice of exchanging gifts at a winter celebration is also pre-Christian and is from the Roman Saturnalia. Mistletoe, and kissing under it is from an ancient Druid custom at the winter solstice. The Scandinavian solstice traditions of Yuletide celebrated the return of the sun. One of their traditions was the Yule log. It was supposed to burn for twelve days. From this comes the twelve days of Christmas. So, if you are celebrating any of the western traditions of Christmas this year, remember that you are actually enjoying the rituals and activities of several ancient religions whose traditions have been "borrowed" or supplanted, by the Christians over the years for the celebration of the birth of Christ.
— December 11, 2009 9:45 p.m.