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(Economist)   Legalizing marijuana in the US could, in short, deal a blow to Mexico's traffickers of a magnitude that no current policy has got close to achieving   (economist.com) divider line 187
    More: Obvious, United States, American Election, fixed costs, social costs, drug traffickers, Sinaloa, economic cost, wholesale prices  
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2844 clicks; posted to Politics » on 04 Nov 2012 at 12:25 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-04 04:01:26 PM

slayer199: StoneColdAtheist: slayer199: Over 50% of the 2 million people that are in prison are there for drug-related offenses.

That's simply not true. According to Drug War Facts, of the 1,556,441 persons in Federal and State prisons in recent years, less than 22% are in for drug offenses of ANY kind.

As of 2010:
Federal Prison system - 211k total inmates, 108k for drug-related offenses
State Prisons - 1.4 million total, 280k for drug-related offenses.

Sorry, I should have clarified Federal. That's still nearly 400k people we lock up for drug-related offenses. So the DEA, ATF, and local task forces aside, we're spending $20 billion dollars a year (at $50k that it costs to house each prisoner/year) to incarcerate people for drug-related offenses. That number excludes County Jails.

Not to mention how the "War on Drugs" has allowed the government to erode our civil liberties in order to fight the war.

Don't even get me started on Drug Forfeiture laws.


See also - Prison Labor just a few threads up.
 
2012-11-04 04:30:37 PM

smitty04: Bocasio: When you see a fight break out at a baseball game
How many here think "those guys must be high"

Pot makes you lazy, dumb and fat

Booze does a lot worse, to people, to families, and on the highways

From what I have seen of pot smokers, they would hit the brakes 5 seconds after going through a red light.


What's your argument here? That somehow legalizing weed would make it legal to drive stoned??? What's next? "If we legalize weed, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO FREELY SMOKE IT!!"
 
2012-11-04 04:31:17 PM

albuquerquehalsey: Cigarettes are legal, and smuggling them for tax evasion purposes is a big business. How would pot be any different?


How many smokers get their cigarettes on the black market? How many people continued to drink bathtub gin after prohibition was repealed?

Sure, there are black market smokes and moonshine, but the consumption of tobacco and alcohol is overwhelmingly above-board and taxed. How would pot be any different?
 
2012-11-04 04:36:20 PM

smitty04: Bocasio: When you see a fight break out at a baseball game
How many here think "those guys must be high"

Pot makes you lazy, dumb and fat

Booze does a lot worse, to people, to families, and on the highways

From what I have seen of pot smokers, they would hit the brakes 5 seconds after going through a red light.


I can only conclude that you haven't seen much of pot smokers. People who smoke pot regularly show little if any difference in reaction times. Sure, being high can be a distraction, much like eating or playing around with the radio, but it is in no way comparable to alcohol or other drugs. People who haven't smoked pot very often, however, are dangerous as hell behind the wheel.
 
2012-11-04 04:44:50 PM

dirtyeffinhippie: Not sure if anyone has posted links or not (I'm too high and lazy to read all the posts), but the ASA is having its day in court. Arguments for rescheduling pot are being heard as we speak, for the first time in decades:

Link



Finally, a plaintiff with standing (veteran on MM denied access to VA services specifically due to MM's Schedule I status). Sorry, DEA; it's in the judiciary's hands now.

/not sorry at all
 
2012-11-04 04:55:34 PM

angrymacface: xanadian: Bye-bye lawyers and DA's and so on.

This, really, is the sticking point. Considering lawyers make up a large part of the legislative branch, they're not going to enact a law that would cut down their numbers...


How many former criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors are in the legislature? I'm guessing a pretty low percentage.
 
2012-11-04 04:56:25 PM

ZAZ: Bob gets a 10% commission on the $200,000 forfeiture.


oddculture.com

/hot
smiling bob whistles all the way to jail
 
2012-11-04 05:11:03 PM
Don't they have lobbyists in Washington? Oh right, the private prison system does that for them.
 
2012-11-04 05:20:44 PM

slayer199: StoneColdAtheist: slayer199: Over 50% of the 2 million people that are in prison are there for drug-related offenses.

That's simply not true. According to Drug War Facts, of the 1,556,441 persons in Federal and State prisons in recent years, less than 22% are in for drug offenses of ANY kind.

As of 2010:
Federal Prison system - 211k total inmates, 108k for drug-related offenses
State Prisons - 1.4 million total, 280k for drug-related offenses.

Sorry, I should have clarified Federal. That's still nearly 400k people we lock up for drug-related offenses. So the DEA, ATF, and local task forces aside, we're spending $20 billion dollars a year (at $50k that it costs to house each prisoner/year) to incarcerate people for drug-related offenses. That number excludes County Jails.

Not to mention how the "War on Drugs" has allowed the government to erode our civil liberties in order to fight the war.

Don't even get me started on Drug Forfeiture laws.


Okay, I agree with you on the politics of drug laws, but if you meant Federal prisoners, you shouldn't have said 2 million prisoners. If you meant 2 million prisoners, you shouldn't have claimed half were in for drugs. Accuracy is a key to reasoned discussion of drugs laws.
 
2012-11-04 05:23:10 PM

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


Shhhhh, they don't want to talk about that. Legalizing drugs only has positive scenarios
 
2012-11-04 05:32:49 PM

flucto: Duh.

 
2012-11-04 05:56:34 PM

Bontesla: I'm okay with an increase in usage. In fact - we shouldn't be jailing people for offenses related to drug addiction and drug use. I'm actually in favor of legalizing all drug use and turning the saved money into free and accessible rehab centers for dependent people.

/that's just assuming you're correct in claiming prohibition is an effective deterrant
//which there are many studies that say prohibition contributes to usage and not deters from usage


Meh, even the studies that claim prohibition instigates usage only believe it causes usage at some point in their lives, sudden legalization would take all the people who have smoked once, or smoke once a year when they go to Jamaica, or things like that and have them smoking the same way people who drink go to bars. Maybe less users if you count their entire lifetime, but definitely more users based on "who's smoking right now" because, well, it suddenly becomes so much easier.
 
2012-11-04 06:04:00 PM

Hoban Washburne: Vodka Zombie: Destroying cartels is the absolute LAST thing the DEA wants.

Here's your answer, folks. Move along.


Hm, there is a question.

I cannot get into the headspace of believing that ANYONE greedy/corrupt enough to WANT to keep the cartels and the drug war going would be willing to stick around long enough to climb the ranks of the DEA. I instead believe anyone involved is either a True Believer in authoritarian methods and outlawing marijuana "Because it's bad," or dumb enough to be manipulated by the lobbyists of the private prison industry.

Essentially I believe the DEA is stupid instead of evil. So the question that raises is: that better or worse?
 
2012-11-04 06:07:43 PM

dr_blasto: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses

If we took away the employers' right to control what we imbibe in on our own private time, this too would go away. It's just as silly as cannabis prohibition.

Medical marijuana still gets people fired for popping on a test; it would be nice if it were rescheduled and covered under ADA. Until there's a need to determine actual MJ intoxication, simply establishing that a user smoked recently wrecks most of these legalization routes as employers and the government are content with the current testing schemes.

In CO, their "regulate marijuana like alcohol" amendment has problems with OUI limits, primarily if (pretending the amendment passed) one legally got high on a Saturday night, then was pulled over on the way to work Monday morning they could be busted for OUI as their THC metabolite level could be high enough to exceed the limit even though they are no longer under the effects of the drug.


I heard about this. Apparently no one's been able to get DEA approval to study the THC levels that correspond to impairment.
 
2012-11-04 06:15:59 PM

Jim_Tressel's_O-Face: As much as I agree with the merits of marijuana legalization...



If we legalize, who is going to supply the demand?


I don't know, all those nurseries outside Boulder that mysteriously took down their signs and put up security lights after medical marijuana was passed could help. Not to mention all the individuals buying from the dozens of growing supply stores in the county.

\Unlike what I've heard about CA, when we did medical marijuana, we provided for growing, too. All the commercial growers have to get local permits, but obviously that hasn't been a problem everywhere.
 
2012-11-04 06:20:13 PM

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Lionel Mandrake: Toots de la Footsjelly: Conversely a lot of money is used to combat the evil weed that could be used to fight these real demons. Maybe reverse the curse and make alcohol illegal and pot legal. I'd much rather meet a stoned driver than a drunk one on the road or anywhere for that matter. I've never heard of a Dr. prescribing alcohol for anything.

It was actually quite common at one time. During prohibition.


Just a historical tidbit, from when Churchill was being treated after an auto accident in NYC.


8 ounces of hard liquor? Nice minimum.
 
2012-11-04 06:23:29 PM

Toots de la Footsjelly: Conversely a lot of money is used to combat the evil weed that could be used to fight these real demons. Maybe reverse the curse and make alcohol illegal and pot legal. I'd much rather meet a stoned driver than a drunk one on the road or anywhere for that matter. I've never heard of a Dr. prescribing alcohol for anything.


My husband was once told he should drink a beer a day to control a benign essential tremor. Seems to work. Lactating women also still get told to drink a Guinness.
 
2012-11-04 06:39:17 PM
Nov 2nd 2012, 21:20 by T.W. | MEXICO CITY

this story should SOOO have been filed 5 hrs earlier
 
2012-11-04 06:57:52 PM

TheBigJerk: Hoban Washburne: Vodka Zombie: Destroying cartels is the absolute LAST thing the DEA wants.

Here's your answer, folks. Move along.

Hm, there is a question.

I cannot get into the headspace of believing that ANYONE greedy/corrupt enough to WANT to keep the cartels and the drug war going would be willing to stick around long enough to climb the ranks of the DEA. I instead believe anyone involved is either a True Believer in authoritarian methods and outlawing marijuana "Because it's bad," or dumb enough to be manipulated by the lobbyists of the private prison industry.

Essentially I believe the DEA is stupid instead of evil. So the question that raises is: that better or worse?


I'll go with stupid, too. With a heaping helping of bureaucratic inertia to help things along.
 
2012-11-04 07:21:51 PM
Legalizing marijuana in the US could, in short, lead to increased cocaine, methamphetamine, and other hard drug trafficking.

Supply and demand. Demand drops for Mexican weed, they start pushing different things for the love of money and the fact their supply lines opened up as marijuana trafficking declines.

mlkshk.com
 
2012-11-04 07:22:51 PM

slayer199: I think there are a couple things that need to be established. First, when it comes to marijuana is what are the levels of intoxication. Pot stays in your system for quite a long time even after the high wears off. Second, how can you test quickly and unobtrusively (i.e. not blood or hair samples) for actually being high and not having residual THC in your system.


How about by using a coordination and responsiveness test that doesn't rely on an arbitrary number that has different meaning for different people? If a person can pass a test showing satisfactory reflexes and responses to questions then they are not high.
 
2012-11-04 07:59:55 PM

StrangeQ: slayer199: I think there are a couple things that need to be established. First, when it comes to marijuana is what are the levels of intoxication. Pot stays in your system for quite a long time even after the high wears off. Second, how can you test quickly and unobtrusively (i.e. not blood or hair samples) for actually being high and not having residual THC in your system.

How about by using a coordination and responsiveness test that doesn't rely on an arbitrary number that has different meaning for different people? If a person can pass a test showing satisfactory reflexes and responses to questions then they are not high.


California law enforcement and courts use the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST), which evaluate of the subject's appearance and condition, ability to follow instructions, as well as balance and coordination. AFAIK there is no "residual THC" test or anything like that used here.
 
kab
2012-11-04 08:37:17 PM
Guess they must of pulled this from the "well, no shiat" or "prohibition taught us nothing" files.
 
kab
2012-11-04 08:41:19 PM

Elandriel: I wonder if it's more people using, or more people that were already using now saying so because there are no legal repercussions? That would be a tough study,


I'm wondering how many would-be users are actually deterred by the legal status of their drug of choice?
I'll wager it's somewhere in the neighborhood of zero point zero.

We seem to have this national fear that drug legalization will turn our populous into a track mark riddled horde of zombies. (sort of how alcohol legalization turned us all into irresponsible drunks.. or not.). Until you get rid of that mindset, I don't see much ever getting done about things.
 
2012-11-04 09:08:16 PM
No shiat, Sherlock?
 
2012-11-04 09:44:22 PM

Endive Wombat: drug related car accidents


You know how i know you've never smoked pot?
 
2012-11-04 09:47:26 PM
As someone who just voted to legalize pot in Oregon, I'm getting a...a...snack.
 
2012-11-04 10:15:31 PM

smitty04:

From what I have seen of pot smokers, they would hit the brakes 5 seconds after going through a red light.


They're still better than the cyclists, at least the stoners stop.
 
2012-11-04 10:34:15 PM
Endive Wombat I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?

Well, the National Highway Safety Admin. conducted a series of `effect on driving' experiments/studies in the early `90's

Marijuana's effects on driving performance were compared to those of many other drugs. It was concluded that THC's effects after doses up to 300 micrograms per kilogram never exceed alcohol's at BAC's of 0.08 g%; and, were in no way unusual compared to many medicinal drugs'. Yet THC's effects differ qualitatively from many other drugs, especially alcohol. Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution, at least in experiments. Another way THC seems to differ qualitatively from many other drugs is that the former's users seem better able to compensate for its adverse effects while driving under the influence...

Finally, the relation between driving impairment following marijuana smoking and plasma concentrations of THC and THC-COOH is discussed. It appears not possible to conclude anything about a driver's impairment on the basis of his/her plasma concentrations of THC and THC-COOH determined in a single sample.


From: (big file): http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/25000/25800/25867/DOT-HS-808-078.pdf

In the early `80's I interviewed RN's/MD's who were working in the three ER's in town. When asked about how many individuals that they could recall who'd been examined/treated for conditions attributable to marijuana ALONE, none could give an example. However, I was regaled with plenty of ethanol related horrors. State of Missouri maintains no Stats on how many individuals are diagnosed with a condition attributable to marijuana alone, nor does any law enforcement entity maintain stats on accidents attributable to marijuana alone (certainly makes it easy to inflate nonexistent figures).
 
2012-11-04 11:38:57 PM
It'd also destroy the Libertarian Party. Maybe a quarter of the membership truly cares about issues other than getting baked.
 
2012-11-04 11:41:37 PM

RandyRick: As a less-government, more-liberties republican, I will support any law, no matter how expensive or repressive, as long as it stops consenting adults from doing what they want behind closed doors

/conservative logic


funny, those are gat00s exact views while I want every drug on earth legalized.
 
2012-11-04 11:46:04 PM

cmb53208: smitty04:

From what I have seen of pot smokers, they would hit the brakes 5 seconds after going through a red light.

They're still better than the cyclists, at least the stoners stop.


www.bionicdisco.com

"Hey, man, how's my drivin?
 
2012-11-05 12:10:16 AM

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


I know I'm late to the party but there have been a number of studies on driving and weed, many of which see no difference between moderately stoned people and drug-free drivers. Most of them show a significantly decreased risk for unsafe driving relative to people who use other drugs or alcohol.

Link

From one of the studies: "The study investigated the circumstances of each accident to assess which drivers were at fault or culpable. Drivers testing positive for marijuana were found to have no greater culpability than drug-free drivers. In every age group, alcohol was the drug most strongly associated with crash culpability. Cocaine users also showed higher crash culpability, especially in the age range of 21-40.

Significantly, marijuana-using drivers aged 41 to 60 were statistically less likely to be at fault for accidents than drug-free drivers. Similar results have been suggested in other studies, perhaps because marijuana-using drivers tend to slow down."
 
2012-11-05 01:12:31 AM

StoneColdAtheist: StrangeQ: slayer199: I think there are a couple things that need to be established. First, when it comes to marijuana is what are the levels of intoxication. Pot stays in your system for quite a long time even after the high wears off. Second, how can you test quickly and unobtrusively (i.e. not blood or hair samples) for actually being high and not having residual THC in your system.

How about by using a coordination and responsiveness test that doesn't rely on an arbitrary number that has different meaning for different people? If a person can pass a test showing satisfactory reflexes and responses to questions then they are not high.

California law enforcement and courts use the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST), which evaluate of the subject's appearance and condition, ability to follow instructions, as well as balance and coordination. AFAIK there is no "residual THC" test or anything like that used here.


Hey now

How dare you use a tool we have had at our disposal for generations to counteract an anti-prohibition talking point?

The judgement calls cops are allowed to make every day, I think them being able to administer a sobriety test is well within even their limited abilities.
 
2012-11-05 02:12:11 AM

smitty04: Bocasio: When you see a fight break out at a baseball game
How many here think "those guys must be high"

Pot makes you lazy, dumb and fat

Booze does a lot worse, to people, to families, and on the highways

From what I have seen of pot smokers, they would hit the brakes 5 seconds after going through a red light.


A study that was linked on fark a while back showed stoners are better than drunks at driving (though still worse than anyone NOT intoxicated) because weed makes you cautious (to outright paranoid) while alcohol makes you confident despite being chemically incompetent.
 
2012-11-05 03:36:09 AM
What frustrates me is attempting to eliminate the drug problem makes things worse.
 
2012-11-05 12:27:59 PM

MurphyMurphy: StoneColdAtheist: California law enforcement and courts use the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST), which evaluate of the subject's appearance and condition, ability to follow instructions, as well as balance and coordination. AFAIK there is no "residual THC" test or anything like that used here.

Hey now

How dare you use a tool we have had at our disposal for generations to counteract an anti-prohibition talking point?

The judgement calls cops are allowed to make every day, I think them being able to administer a sobriety test is well within even their limited abilities.


Yup, odd as it may seem, merely being 'under the influence' of pot is not grounds in Cali for a DUI. The subject has to exhibit specific physical traits. It all came about in a moment of LEO and judicial clarity several years ago when a medical mj user was pulled over by CHP for an unrelated offense. The cop saw the open baggie of pot in the car and asked the driver if he'd been smoking, to which the driver replied yes. That led to confiscating the pot and administering a FST, which the driver passed without issue. CHP still pressed DUI charges, all of which ended up in the California Supreme Court.

The CSC ruled that state law protected the guy's possession and use of the pot (since he had a valid mmj card), which the CHP had no authority to usurp. So long as the subject passed the FST the mere use of pot was no more a cause for arrest and seizure than was a driver who was below .08 BAC and who passed the FST. No harm: no foul.

The CSC also forced the CHP to return the guy's pot. :)

/ya rly!
 
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