Our Unique American Ability to Turn Everything Into a Conundrum

Good grief:

But a legal haze still engulfed pot smokers Thursday, when possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults become legal, though growing and selling it remains a crime.

Initiative 502, passed last month by Washington voters, legalized recreational marijuana use starting December 6, but it will take a year before there are rules for growing and selling it.

“It begs the question, if they can’t buy it through a medical marijuana shop, which only people with a prescription and medical marijuana license can, how do they get it?” Washington State Liquor Control Board spokesman Brian Smith said Wednesday.

Growing and selling marijuana will still be prosecuted as a felony, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg told CNN.

Read more: Marijuana advocates hope to rise from ‘prohibition’

“So I’m not sure where you’re suppose to get it,” Satterberg said. “If you stumble across some on the street or it falls from the sky, then you can have it. Otherwise, you are part of a criminal chain of distribution.”

Until the state takes over managing marijuana sales, the black market will thrive as it meets consumer demands, Satterberg said.

This is what we get for decades of waging war on a god damned weed. Just legalize growing it and selling it and then tax the shit out of it. It’s so easy to grow that it shouldn’t cost more than a bag of peas, which gives a lot of room for taxation.

218 replies
  1. 1
    PWL says:

    Yep, we’re good at making really hard what other countries can do easily. Gay marriage and universal health care come to mind.

    Maybe that’s why so many Red-State types hate “Europeans.” Because they make us look stupid.

  2. 2
    Maude says:

    I can see the Republicans in Congress lining up to pass a legalize pot bill. Just as I can see Republicans praising getting rid of the Bush Tax Cut.

  3. 3
    HW3 says:

    Expect the feds to keep this limbo bar in place for as long as they can.

  4. 4
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Yep, but does the new law mention looking at it. Even when they set the rules on growing and selling, prosecutors will go after you for having its image burned on your retina.

  5. 5
    SatanicPanic says:

    It’s coming, it’s just taking a long time

  6. 6
    Argive says:

    Hey, isn’t this how alcohol was regulated during Prohibition? If memory serves, you could legally possess, but not manufacture, transport or sell, spirituous liquors.

  7. 7
    taylormattd says:

    That article is ludicrous. Go read the Seattle Times for some non-stupid reporting.

    The law that was passed includes a process by which sales will become legal. It isn’t happening overnight, however, which is hardly surprising unless you are an asshole that reports for CNN.

    Our liquor control board is coming up with rules and regulations regarding many things, including becoming licensed to grow and licensed to sell. All of this stuff is necessary, otherwise the State won’t be able to collect taxes.

  8. 8
    Punchy says:

    “If you stumble across some on the street or it falls from the sky

    Sounds like he’s advocating weed-based manhole covers (puts a whole new twist to the word “pothole”) and helicopter drops every Monday.

  9. 9
    schrodinger's cat says:

    OT: Unrelated to pot. I have made this request before, a thread to discuss the movie Lincoln. I have been reading TNC’s posts, they are interesting but I am curious to find out what BJers think about the movie.

    ETA: Tunch told me tell you that he wants catnip. Now.

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    It’s a big mess. Can you see the IRS just standing by as people start making a profit from selling marijuana? And what about putting those profits into bank accounts? Isn’t that called ”money laundering”?

  11. 11
    KG says:

    this is easy… I’m going to sell you this plastic bag, here, for $20. any “contents” are yours too, free of charge.

  12. 12
    Dork says:

    Just legalize growing it and selling it and then tax the shit out of it

    Which will drive it underground once again. Ever see a rich stoner? No you havent.

  13. 13
    Felonius Monk says:

    Look at the history of the “mary jane” laws; they were racially motivated — aimed directly at blacks and browns. Why do you think anything is going to change anytime soon?

  14. 14
    dr. bloor says:

    @MattF: Wait for the wingnut meme about the IRS wanting to hire 100,000 new agents to blanket Washington Square Park in search of dime bag sales to tax.

  15. 15
    Chris says:

    Just legalize growing it and selling it and then tax the shit out of it.

    When you compare the efforts of the anti-smoking campaigns to marginalize tobacco by regulating it to death while keeping it legal, with the guns-and-jackboots approach of the anti-drug campaign, you’d think someone would eventually notice that one of these things worked better.

    I mean, I know there are tons of people turning huge profits out of the war on drugs who have no interest in seeing it ended, but you’d think the rank-and-file John Q. Citizens of the right would notice. Heck, they’re the ones who think private enterprise is such a delicate flower that any regulation at all will kill it. You’d think they’d have faith in the government’s ability to kill the narcotics market that way.

    (Unless, of course, the war on drugs isn’t about drugs so much as watching cops imprison and beat people in the inner cities, and the minor drug offenses are just a pretext. Oh, it is? Ah, that explains quite a bit).

  16. 16

    @Dork:

    That is silly. The taxes on cigarettes haven’t driven them “underground” now have they?

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This Satterberg fellow really wants to have his head on top of Burning Man, doesn’t he?

  18. 18
    KG says:

    @Dork: I grew up in Orange County California, I’ve seen a metric shitton of them. First when they were growing up and then once they grew up.

    Oh, and taxing the shit out of cigarettes and alcohol haven’t pushed them underground

  19. 19
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Dork: We don’t see rich stoners because they have a house to stay in.

  20. 20
    Yutsano says:

    @taylormattd: Until we get another stupid initiative to privatise the whole industry and the price jacks up through the roof. You can bet RJ Reynolds wants them some sweet sweet marijuana cash.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    I mean, I know there are tons of people turning huge profits out of the war on drugs who have no interest in seeing it ended, but you’d think the rank-and-file John Q. Citizens of the right would notice.

    The “rank-and-file John Q. Citizens of the right” are sacks of cretinous pig shit who should be disposed of in creative ways.

  22. 22
    Gretchen says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I second the motion on the Lincoln thread.
    And weed? So easy to grow, that once it’s growing it’s hard to eradicate. I went to college with a guy from Iowa who said the feds planted weed there during WWII when they couldn’t get jute from the Phillipines, and despite decades of eradication efforts, it still grew wild there.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @taylormattd:

    That article is ludicrous. Go read the Seattle Times for some non-stupid reporting.

    Well, CNN is trying to reach the Faux Noize demographic, that eats, drinks and breathes concentrated stupid, so naturally their reporting on this is going to be non-non-stupid.

  24. 24
    Goblue72 says:

    @Yutsano: That sounds like the final season of Weeds.

  25. 25
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The “rank-and-file John Q. Citizens of the right” are sacks of cretinous pig shit

    No matter how much I may know this, on an intellectual level, I continue to be staggered by just how deep the cretinous “thought” process goes.

  26. 26
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I had marijuana fall out of the sky and land on me once. It was incredible and it’s how I knew God wanted me to smoke dope.

  27. 27
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Dork: I’ve never seen Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg or Dr Dre in person, but I’m pretty sure they actually exist.

    ETA Cheech and Chong, Willie Nelson come to mind too

  28. 28
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I have made this request before, a thread to discuss the movie Lincoln. I have been reading TNC’s posts, they are interesting but I am curious to find out what BJers think about the movie.

    I’m Chris and I approve this message.

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    You can legally posses only an ounce.

    Jesus they make this law so that the Feds can haul you off no matter what. Ever grow a plant? Even a small one yields more than 4 oz of trimmed bud. The bigger ones can give you over a lb (or 2). I have a similar dilemma. I have a 215 card so can grow here in Cali and have done so the last couple years. After this years harvest I had way too much bagged stash on my hands & started giving friends 1/4 lb bags of last years stuff I still had. Mind you, it may sound like I’m bitching but I’m not. It is nice to play Santa Claus early. But still, under Washington’s laws I’d still be in Felony trouble.

  30. 30
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Why not offer the Congressional Republicans a deal? Legalize pot and tax the shit out of it and if the revenues reach a certain point it could trigger a tax cut down the road.

    Call it the “Tax Dirty Hippies NOT Virtuous Job Creators” Bill.

  31. 31
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Ever see a rich stoner? No you havent.

    @Dork: Sorry your life experiences have been so stunted. Most stoners I know are middle or upper middle class folks.

  32. 32
    Redshift says:

    Does this mean that the classic “it’s not mine, a friend just asked me to hold it” will now actually work? It’s not buying or selling…

  33. 33
    PeakVT says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: That’s nothing. Have you ever been hit by bales of cocaine?

  34. 34
    jharp says:

    I remember asking a taxi driver in Sydney Australia about gun and marijuana laws.

    He first went into getting caught with a gun was big trouble and rarely happened. Then he went on slowly and still thinking he said I believe you are allowed to grow 3 marijuana plants for personal use.

    Somebody has their laws ass backwards and I don’t think it’s the Aussies.

  35. 35
    Scott de B. says:

    Under Prohibition, it was not illegal to consume alcohol, just to buy and sell it.

    That aside, legalization of drugs is the biggest mistake this country has made in the last 50 years.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    This is what we get for decades of waging war on a god damned weed.

    This will all work itself out. I then look forward to all the anti-smoking fanatics seeking to pass laws making it illegal to smoke weed in apartments, restaurants, public parks, etc.

    Oh, the humanity.

    Just legalize growing it and selling it and then tax the shit out of it. It’s so easy to grow that it shouldn’t cost more than a bag of peas, which gives a lot of room for taxation.

    Many alcohol products are cheap to produce. Got nothing to do with the ultimate price.

  37. 37
    quannlace says:

    & started giving friends 1/4 lb bags of last years stuff I still had.

    Ummm, talk about a unique stocking stuffer!

  38. 38
    Schlemizel says:

    @taylormattd:

    Didn’t WA just get rid of state control booze distribution? Wouldn’t that have been a good way to handle this . . . now that its too late & they gave away the tools

  39. 39
    NonyNony says:

    @Dork:

    Ever see a rich stoner? No you havent.

    Considering that most of the stoners I knew in college were kids whose parents were footing the bill for them to go to school? Let me think on that one.

    And the comparisons to alcohol and tobacco are dead on. There actually is a black market for tax free alcohol and tobacco, but it’s small and it isn’t like the market for illegal narcotics because there’s a ceiling to the amount of money that crooks can make off the stuff.

    Pot will do just fine on the open market. If people are willing to pay ridiculous prices for cigarettes, I can’t imagine they won’t also be willing to pay ridiculous prices for weed.

  40. 40
    Yutsano says:

    @Goblue72: If you think Costco is gonna let go of another lucrative market opportunity I got a bridge in Tacoma to sell you. Marijuana legalisation will be a goldmine for cigarette companies if they can get control of the market.

  41. 41
    NonyNony says:

    @Brachiator:

    I then look forward to all the anti-smoking fanatics seeking to pass laws making it illegal to smoke weed in apartments, restaurants, public parks, etc.

    Anywhere where it’s already illegal to smoke tobacco in public it should probably also be illegal to smoke weed. Do we really need new laws for that? Wouldn’t it already be covered?

  42. 42
    Schlemizel says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: @KG:

    Yeah, actually it has in some places. The mob runs trucks from cheap states and puts NYC tax stamps on the goods. There are occasional prosecutions when they get luck enough to catch someone.

  43. 43
    KG says:

    @NonyNony: it’d probably require a one line omnibudsman type law “all provisions of this Code that refer to ‘tobacco products’ shall be amended to state ‘tobacco and marijuana products’ and go local professional/college sports team”

  44. 44
    greennotGreen says:

    It’s so easy to grow that any idiot can grow it, and therefore it should be decriminalized, not legalized. I hate to see the profit motive spur the likes of RJ Reynolds to sell the coolness factor of something that is not harmless when over-used. Live in a small apartment and don’t have room to grow a five foot plant under lights? Ask a buddy to grow some for you, and you’ll pay for the pizza. Besides, gardening is a good hobby; more people should take it up.

  45. 45
    Schlemizel says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    You sir are a genius!

  46. 46
    Schlemizel says:

    @kindness:

    Any openings on your friends list? You can crash on my sofa any time! 8-{D

  47. 47
    Napoleon says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Between the cluelessness of some of the commentators there and that moron Kate Masur (hey Kate, the movie is not about abolitionist, its about Lincoln, hence the title “Lincoln” and not “The Abolitionist” – that is why Speilberg licensed “Team of Rivals” and not Fredrick Douglass’ biography) I have been trying not to check in over there.

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:

    @Argive:

    If memory serves, you could legally possess, but not manufacture, transport or sell, spirituous liquors.

    For beverage purposes. Alcohol was legal for a variety of other purposes, e.g. medicinal, industrial, sacramental, etc. So alcohol was legal with a prescription. A few of the old wineries and distilleries managed to stay in business through that loophole.

  49. 49
    PurpleGirl says:

    @taylormattd: I can understand the need for the regulations on growing and selling the marijuana. Why not hold off on making it legal to smoke until after you have the regulations in place?

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    @NonyNony:

    Anywhere where it’s already illegal to smoke tobacco in public it should probably also be illegal to smoke weed. Do we really need new laws for that? Wouldn’t it already be covered?

    Don’t know. I don’t know if these laws cover only tobacco and tobacco products. Also, what is the point of legalizing marijuana if it cannot be smoked anywhere?

    Aside from hash brownies, of course. And here I would imagine that the Puritans will seek to outlaw the fumes from anyplace that baked weed.

  51. 51
    jheartney says:

    @Yutsano:

    You can bet RJ Reynolds wants them some sweet sweet marijuana cash.

    I understand they’ve had contingency marketing plans in place for years to sell branded pot, just waiting for the legalities to be sorted out.

    The War On (Some) Drugs was distilled Stupid from beginning to end. Let’s take a public health problem (addiction) and criminalize it! Next up: three year sentences for getting prostate cancer!

  52. 52
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    John Cole @ Top:

    It’s so easy to grow that it shouldn’t cost more than a bag of peas …

    That sounds suspiciously like the voice of experience.

    .

  53. 53
    Napoleon says:

    wtf, why am I in moderation!!!!

  54. 54
    kindness says:

    @Schlemizel: Maybe we need to organize another N. Cal Balloon Juice ‘Meet up’.

    Well, it doesn’t suck but I refuse to sell anything. Don’t want the money nor the ill karma. Giving it away is better.

  55. 55
    Steve Finlay says:

    I think that ending prohibition is like taking your foot out of a bear trap. The best thing would be to not put it in there in the first place. But if it IS in, then taking it out does not instantly resolve everything. There’s quite a bit of surgery, medication and rehab required before the foot can be close to healthy again.

  56. 56
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Punchy:

    or it falls from the sky

    Excuse me Chairman Bernanke, I was wondering if you weren’t planning on using your helicopter, might I borrow it for a while?

    After all, it’s what Lincoln would done.

  57. 57
    Ben Lehman says:

    Just legalize growing it and selling it and then tax the shit out of it.

    This is what WA state is doing. The law gives the Liquor Control Board (a state agency assigned to control and tax the sale of alcohol) one year to write laws restricting and taxing the production, transport, and sale of marijuana. So by this time next year you’ll see over-the-counter sale and farming regulations.

    Would you rather have some half-ass regulations crapped out in a month? I wouldn’t.

  58. 58
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    He’p me, Obiwan, I been modereratered!

    (And I have no idea why. The moderated post is incredibly innocuous.)

    .

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Also, what is the point of legalizing marijuana if it cannot be smoked anywhere?

    You can’t drink alcohol anywhere you please, and you can’t smoke cigarettes anywhere you please, so why should marijuana get a magical exemption?

    ETA: People who talk about the marijuana heaven that is Amsterdam don’t seem to realize that it’s restricted to home use and specialized cafes — you can’t walk down the street smokin’ a doobie any more than you could walk down a public street in the US with an open beer in your hand.

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    @Napoleon: I don’t know, I’m in moderation too, for no reason that I can glean. Maybe it’s the word peas?

    ETA: Nope, it’s not peas. That posted fine. Maybe bag?

    ETA2: Nope, not bag. I am perplexed.

  61. 61
    Lahru says:

    when it was illegal to have less than an ounce, no one cared where it came from!

    Now? Where are they gettin’ all of this here pot?

    Well, it ain’t WalMart

  62. 62
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Roger Moore: My all-time favourite Prohibition story was about a California mail-order “grape juice” supplier. The grape juice came with extremely detailed instructions on what the buyer ABSOLUTELY MUST NOT DO with the product, lest it turn into wine.

  63. 63
    taylormattd says:

    @Schlemizel: They got rid of the State directly owning liquor stores.

    And that wouldn’t help here.

    The purpose of what is going on now, is to be able to actually keep track of and tax growing and/or selling.

    That’s not an issue with booze.

  64. 64
    Tim C says:

    I’ll throw in that here in Oregon, as a High School teacher, we really have the worst of both worlds at the moment. I’ve got no problem with adult use, but the medical marijuana laws here are so ridiculously lax that I’d rather see a state monopoly on production and full legalization. What we have now is a stupid stupid wink and a nudge law where a few doctors write their little permission slips and then everybody is allowed to grow their own. Then the kids have open access to it frequently with the encouragement of their parents. I kid you not, it’s now easier for kids to get weed in this state than booze. And I know there’s an inevitable group that always will get a hold of it, but we should be willing to at least put the same level of effort in as we do with alcohol to keep it away from the youngins.

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Lurking Canadian:

    My all-time favourite Prohibition story was about a California mail-order “grape juice” supplier.

    Ah, Prohibition. When Orson Welles was heard to say, “We will only serve wine before it’s time — due to legal restrictions.”

    .

  66. 66
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Dork:

    Ever see a rich stoner?

    I sure have. They smoke the best shit, too.

  67. 67
    JGabriel says:

    @Tim C:

    … it’s now easier for kids to get weed in this state than booze … we should be willing to at least put the same level of effort in as we do with alcohol to keep it away from the youngins.

    Seriously, kids these days know nothing about the hardships of tracking down and paying a bum to buy liquor for ya!

    .

  68. 68
    General Stuck says:

    or it falls from the sky, then you can have it.

    Where else would reefer come from? Scratches head.

  69. 69
    NonyNony says:

    @Brachiator:

    Don’t know. I don’t know if these laws cover only tobacco and tobacco products.

    I dunno either. But I imagine they’ll be quickly amended since second hand marijuana smoke has some obvious side effects that will meddle with the DUI laws.

    Also, what is the point of legalizing marijuana if it cannot be smoked anywhere?

    Smoke it at home and at parties. And I imagine that “weed bars” will open up if allowed.

    Right now in Ohio you aren’t allowed to smoke in a restaurant or bar. You aren’t allowed to smoke in offices. You aren’t allowed to smoke in public buildings (including college dorms). These are … not issues anymore for the most part. I can’t imagine that restricting weed in the same way would cause any outrage.

    ETA: Or more to the point – what @Mnemosyne said.

  70. 70
    kindness says:

    OMG. The New Zealand ASPCA is teaching dogs to drive cars so they can be adopted better. Funny:

    You have to see this.

  71. 71
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Yutsano:

    You can bet RJ Reynolds wants them some sweet sweet marijuana cash.

    Some friends up in Washington have told me that the hippies there are already freaking out about Monsanto wanting to sell GMO weed.

    Fuckin’ hippies.

  72. 72
    zzyzx says:

    @Brachiator: It can be smoked in your house, in your backyard, and – to some degree (cops would prefer not and you might get a ticket but not likely) – at public events.

    WA always does things incrementally. This is better than what was. If there are problems, we’ll change the law again. That’s how we got same sex marriage over the course of a few years without really any drama.

  73. 73
    the Conster says:

    OT, but this broke my heart. Funny how there aren’t any climate change deniers living on sea level islands in the middle of the ocean.

  74. 74
    Roger Moore says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Why not hold off on making it legal to smoke until after you have the regulations in place?

    My guess is that they’re continuing the option of prosecution for growing and selling so that the industry doesn’t immediately turn into the wild west, but the same argument doesn’t hold for users who happen to have a small amount for personal consumption.

  75. 75
    👽 Martin says:

    @Dork:

    Which will drive it underground once again. Ever see a rich stoner? No you havent.

    Like it did with alcohol and tobacco, both heavily taxed.

    Oh, wait…

  76. 76
    JustAnotherBob says:

    Worry not about smoking in public.

    People will sell most excellent brownies.

  77. 77
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Napoleon: Yes I find TNC’s comments section rather pedantic, good two shoes and rather annoying, in general. So I haven’t really waded into the comments.

  78. 78
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    kindness:

    OMG. The New Zealand ASPCA is teaching dogs to drive cars …

    I see someone has started tokin’ early.

    .

  79. 79
    Tim C says:

    @JGabriel:

    Freaking exactly! I know you are joking but the point is that we do make at least some effort to keep the booze out of the hands of a 14 year old. Oregon makes LESS effort on pot than it does alcohol at the moment. Legalization would make it MORE difficult for underage kids to get it at the moment.

  80. 80
    Dork says:

    @KG: Cigs and booze were never illegal to begin with (post-prohibition). Therefore, there’s no distribution channels for those to go underground, AND no easy way for people to make their own beer and wine. So taxes or not, those 2 examples stay legal for those reasons.

    With pot, the underground channels have all been optimized. You slap a 25 or 40% tax on pot, and users will get it the old way, avoiding these ridiculous taxes.

  81. 81
    👽 Martin says:

    @Tim C:

    Legalization would make it MORE difficult for underage kids to get it at the moment.

    Right. I mean, one benefit of having a free market profit driven plutocracy is that you can rely on the free market profit driven plutocracy to protect its own interests. So long as you tie penalties to underage access that cuts into their distribution or profits, the market itself will put effort in to enforce the rules. They’ll push that line as far as they can, but they will definitely have an additive value over an invisible to the market alternative.

    Now the road from legal weed to corporate weed will take a bit, but once it does, it gets easy from there. The corporations will demand and put money behind eliminating their cross-border competition just like they do now with smuggling of other commodities, and they’ll (grudgingly) support programs to limit underage access and so on, just like they do now with alcohol and tobacco. They would rather not, but if the incentives are structured right, they’ll go along with it and put money in on solving a social problem that there are insufficient tax dollars to fix.

  82. 82
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Dork: So your worst case scenario is that we won’t get as much revenue as we’d like?

  83. 83
    Tim C says:

    @👽 Martin:

    In which I nod along in total agreement. I’m convinced at this point that this would be the least bad option. Hardly a ringing endorsement, but that’s where we are at.

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    RE: Also, what is the point of legalizing marijuana if it cannot be smoked anywhere?

    You can’t drink alcohol anywhere you please, and you can’t smoke cigarettes anywhere you please, so why should marijuana get a magical exemption?

    Laws legalizing marijuana will bump up against laws prohibiting smoking anywhere. There are laws that say that a person cannot smoke cigarettes in his or her apartment. How would that impact an individual who wants to smoke pot? How about for medical purposes?

    The groovy haze over the over-turning of anti-marijuana laws may hit the puritanical zeal to prohibit smoking. Granted that the anti-cigarette people are trying to protect people from carcinogens, but I suspect that the zeal will expand to cover weed. Just speculating.

    ETA: People who talk about the marijuana heaven that is Amsterdam don’t seem to realize that it’s restricted to home use and specialized cafes—you can’t walk down the street smokin’ a doobie any more than you could walk down a public street in the US with an open beer in your hand.

    I suspect that weed cafes would be illegal in California even if pot were legal, because of environmental and clean air laws. I can buy a beer at a Lakers game (OK, I had 3). Would I be able to buy a joint if pot were legal? Could I smoke it at my seat? I cannot smoke a cigarette in the arena. Or outside the arena.

    @zzyzx: thanks for the info on the current WA rules.

    I’m waiting for the anti-smoke people to get fired up.

  85. 85
    Cassidy says:

    @👽 Martin: I would be interested in watching RJ Reynolds hire Blackwater mercenaries to take out the cartels. This could be a win for everyone.

    @Dork: I think you’re overhtinking it. While you as a dealer may not want to pay taxs on it, you’ll be paying quite a bit in increased prices to the illicit suppliers as they’re distribution base is made smaller by people opting to go the legal route. You pay one way or another. Best bet is to grow your owna nd pay the taxes.

  86. 86
    Cassidy says:

    Granted that the anti-cigarette people are trying to protect people from carcinogens, themselves from having their noses sullied by smoke

    FTFY

  87. 87
    Amir Khalid says:

    @kindness:
    “Fifi is neutered, microchipped and she has a current driver’s license!” Hmm. I’m just not feeling it, y’know?

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NonyNony:

    I can’t imagine that restricting weed in the same way would cause any outrage.

    There’s a reason we call most libertarians “pot-smoking Republicans.” Any restrictions of any kind on smoking marijuana anywhere will be the worst kind of jack-booted thuggery by the government in the history of the universe. Libertarians will earnestly explain that they should be allowed to smoke marijuana in restaurants because marijuana smoke is not as harmful as tobacco smoke, so they should be exempt from anti-smoking laws. Etc.

  89. 89
    👽 Martin says:

    @Dork:

    Therefore, there’s no distribution channels for those to go underground, AND no easy way for people to make their own beer and wine. So taxes or not, those 2 examples stay legal for those reasons.

    That’s not true. Illegal alcohol is easy to produce. There’s even a whole fucking TV show about it. Even here in SoCal there are people making it – I’ve got some Mexican-American bathtub tequila in my cupboard, proudly made in Santa Ana. It’s pretty damn good for tequila (generally don’t care for tequila, but it was a gift).

    And there’s a not-small illegal tobacco trade mostly built around tax arbitrage. It pales in size to the legal market, and pales in size to the illegal pot market, but there’s a real market in there. There was an al Qaeda cell in NY that was funding itself by buying cigarettes in (I think) Canada where taxes are low and reselling them in NY at market prices where taxes are higher and pocketing the difference. Lots of organized crime relies on cigarette smuggling for funds.

    And within the illegal pot market you still have an arbitrage market – where it’s cheaper/safer to grow it outside the US and smuggle it in vs. growing it in the US. Look at the cost of setting up a grow house in the US, compared to growing on the side of a hill in the middle of Mexico and getting it across the border. Make the cost to produce it in the US lower, and that will slow down if not stop altogether. Now, you’re going to replace the smuggling problem with a different set of problems, but they’re at least problems in our jurisdiction to solve and problems we can build economic incentives around – like taxation, profits, etc.

  90. 90
    Dork says:

    @Cassidy: That’s a good point. More production = less cost in theory. I still think the gov’t would overshoot the optimal tax by a lot and keep many people buying “illegal” product to avoid such markup.

  91. 91
    Xenos says:

    @Argive:

    Hey, isn’t this how alcohol was regulated during Prohibition? If memory serves, you could legally possess, but not manufacture, transport or sell, spirituous liquors

    Some wineries had to resort to selling people concentrated grape juice, a barrel, and a little package of yeast. Legal, but not very efficient.

  92. 92
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Dork:

    Which will drive it underground once again. Ever see a rich stoner? No you havent.

    What nonsense! You don’t think there’s a tax on pot now? It’s called “the price of doing something highly illegal.” Legitimate pot growers will be able to pay taxes and still mark up their prices to many times the production cost and STILL sell for less than illegal pot dealers are charging for what is essentially a weed capable of growing abundantly in most environments.

  93. 93
    Cassidy says:

    @Dork: I think that’ll be true, but only for a little bit. The option of not going to jail will be pretty enticing to growers and dealers, especially when WA cracks down hard on those growers and dealers who didn’t register/ get the tax stamp/ whatever it is they’re planning.

  94. 94
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    TPM, Mitch McConnell Filibusters His Own Bill:

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wanted to prove on Thursday that Democrats don’t have the votes to weaken Congress’ authority on the debt limit. Instead they called his bluff, and he ended up filibustering his own bill.
    __
    The legislation, modeled on a proposal McConnell offered last year as a “last-choice option” to avert a U.S. debt default, would permit the president to unilaterally lift the debt ceiling unless Congress mustered a two-thirds majority to stop him.
    __
    McConnell brought up the legislation Thursday morning. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) initially objected, seemingly proving the Republican leader’s point that it cannot pass the Senate. But then Reid ran it by his members and, in the afternoon, agreed to hold that same vote. This time it was McConnell who objected.
    __
    “The Republican leader objects to his own idea,” Reid declared on the floor. “So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill.”

    Jackass.

    .

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I suspect that weed cafes would be illegal in California even if pot were legal, because of environmental and clean air laws.

    What, they don’t have cigar lounges in your neck of the woods? You must not get out much. There’s at least two in Pasadena, and I know of one in Long Beach that’s been there for years. If cigar lounges are legal, marijuana cafes would fall under the same regulations.

    I can buy a beer at a Lakers game (OK, I had 3). Would I be able to buy a joint if pot were legal? Could I smoke it at my seat? I cannot smoke a cigarette in the arena. Or outside the arena.

    And this kind of assholery is what led to anti-smoking laws in the first place. Sure, you’re blowing smoke in the faces of other people and inconveniencing them (not to mention forcing them to partake of a drug they may not want to partake in), but goddamn it, it’s your civil right to force everyone else around you to inhale your smoke!

    There’s a fucking smoking section at Staples Center. Stop being a lazy asshole and go fucking use it instead of insisting that you should be given special privileges because you’re smoking a joint and not a cigarette.

  96. 96
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Libertarians will earnestly explain that they should be allowed to smoke marijuana in restaurants because marijuana smoke is not as harmful as tobacco smoke, so they should be exempt from anti-smoking laws. Etc.

    But fuck them. Seriously. Someone will always register an objection to something. That’s not interesting. What’s interesting is if they have the political power to codify that objection. Does anyone honestly believe that parents worried about their kids getting a contact high at Applebees aren’t going to thoroughly kick the shit out of the libertarians on this issue?

    Further, they won’t make that argument because it completely works against them. People will be so outraged at marijuana smoke around their kids that places that don’t currently ban tobacco will wind up banning both specifically because of the argument that the tobacco is, healthwise, even worse. They won’t raise the issue because they’ll wind up in even worse shape than they are now.

  97. 97
    burnspbesq says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Some friends up in Washington have told me that the hippies there are already freaking out about Monsanto wanting to sell GMO weed.

    Which is especially funny since what they smoke is already GMO. How do these idiots think it came to pass that the dope that is available today is orders of magnitude stronger than what was available in the 1970s? Protip: selective breeding = GMO.

  98. 98
    kindness says:

    Go ahead. Make fun of me cause the ‘dogs drive’ video. I picked it up over at Ezra Klein’s WaPo link so I’m not that nuts. And no, no smoking as of yet today. I’m on a computer working in a Finance Dept all day. Can’t do that loaded. These days I hardly smoke at all any more. A couple rips when I get home and that is usually it. Cheech & Chong I ain’t (any longer). All bets are off for my Furthur New Years Eve show though.

  99. 99
    Chris says:

    @Cassidy:

    I would be interested in watching RJ Reynolds hire Blackwater mercenaries to take out the cartels. This could be a win for everyone.

    Our preferred solution and that of the local right wing elites seems to be hiring the cartels as mercenaries.

    See also the contras’ drug ties and the number of years we turned a blind eye to Noriega’s activities.

    Or the AUC, the right-wing paramilitary supported by Colombian elites, which if memory serves was made up in large part of former members of the Medellin and Cali cartels, after we and the Colombians broke their back.

  100. 100
    shortstop says:

    Is pot smoke less harmful than tobacco smoke? Been hearing people say this for 30 years and never bothered to check it out, but it always sounded like complete bullshit based on wishful thinking. Is there peer-reviewed science on this?

  101. 101

    @JGabriel:
    OT but I’m liking the bits I’m hearing about filibuster reform.

    Reid’s plan seems to take most of the ‘secretness’ out of the process (no secret holds, force an actual filibuster that will end up on CSPAN for attack ads later, etc), which appears to have enraged McConnell and the other Republicans.

    IMO, McConnell has just given Reid more ammo: “See, kids? He just filibustered his own damned Bill” is about as soundbite/optics-friendly a framing as Reid’s ever going to get on the subject.

  102. 102
    JGabriel says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Which is especially funny since what they smoke is already GMO. … Protip: selective breeding = GMO.

    Cute, but inaccurate. GMO is direct genetic manipulation by insertion of desired genes or deletion of undesired genes.

    Selective breeding doesn’t involve gene insertions or deletions, it just involves mating plants with desired traits.

    .

  103. 103
    Cassidy says:

    @Chris: They stop being friends once they cut into profit margins.

  104. 104
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    IMO, McConnell has just given Reid more ammo …

    McConnell does seem to have shot himself in his own foot this time.

    .

  105. 105
    Cassidy says:

    @shortstop: I think it’s accurate the same way that drinking drain cleaner is less harmful than drinking hydrochloric acid. That’s the impression that I get.

  106. 106
    shortstop says:

    @Cassidy: That was about my take on it.

  107. 107
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    kindness:

    Go ahead. Make fun of me cause the ‘dogs drive’ video. I picked it up over at Ezra Klein’s WaPo link so I’m not that nuts.

    Heh. If not you, then the guy who’s teaching them sure is.

    .

  108. 108
    Chris says:

    @Cassidy:

    Almighty dollar uber alles.

  109. 109
    lacp says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: McConnell’s bill sort of made sense. That’s why he had no choice but to filibuster it.

  110. 110
    👽 Martin says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Protip: selective breeding = GMO

    Errrr… kinda.

    There’s cross-breeding species that we generally all feel is safe because nature is self-reinforcing and wouldn’t allow cross-breeding to go too far astray. Evolution is a slow process even when you’re gaming the system with modern science.

    GMO also means glow it the dark dogs, which I think we can probably agree leaps over the self-reinforcing evolutionary chasm and goes from ‘natural selection’ to just ‘creation’.

    I’m not GMO-phobic, but there’s a pretty broad spectrum on this issue and a lot to take serious issue with – including the stuff Monsanto is doing. That they patent it and then sue the shit out of anyone who accidentally winds up in possession of their DNA doesn’t help the case for GMO.

  111. 111
    Hill Dweller says:

    OT: I see that hypocrite they call a governor in NJ has refused to set up an insurance exchange for Obamacare. The people in NJ have to pay the price for Christie’s pandering to the wingnuts.

    Of course, the federal government was just great when Christie wanted money for the post-Sandy cleanup.

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @shortstop:

    IIRC, marijuana does not have carcinogens like tobacco does, but it still causes problems with asthma, COPD, and other breathing issues.

    So less harmful in that it does not directly cause cancer (as far as anyone knows), but it still ain’t good for you to deliberately inhale any kind of smoke and particulates into your lungs.

  113. 113
    Yutsano says:

    @shortstop: We’ll have to check with the University of Mississippi. They have the only legal pot grove in the US and they do study its effects. I find this deliciously ironic.

  114. 114
    Redshift says:

    @Dork:

    Cigs and booze were never illegal to begin with (post-prohibition). Therefore, there’s no distribution channels for those to go underground, AND no easy way for people to make their own beer and wine. So taxes or not, those 2 examples stay legal for those reasons.

    You might want to look up the origins of NASCAR some time.

  115. 115
    Brachiator says:

    @Dork:

    Cigs and booze were never illegal to begin with (post-prohibition). Therefore, there’s no distribution channels for those to go underground, AND no easy way for people to make their own beer and wine. So taxes or not, those 2 examples stay legal for those reasons.

    Moonshiners have always been around, and beer and wine ain’t hard to make. It’s more that when you want to get your buzz on, it’s just easier to go to the store than to whip up your own batch. Especially if you like to indulge.

    There are all kinds of distribution channels for illegal cigarettes. I remember college kids who would buy ciggies (or claim to) at Indian reservations and re-sell them they got back to school. The idea was to be able to buy goods that didn’t have the extra taxes slapped on them.

    Hell, some dopes try to buy illegal gasoline.

    With pot, the underground channels have all been optimized. You slap a 25 or 40% tax on pot, and users will get it the old way, avoiding these ridiculous taxes.

    Maybe. Depends on how high the tax is, and how easy it is to buy dope when you want it as opposed to taking the extra time to get it in the underground market.

  116. 116
    KG says:

    @👽 Martin:

    but they’re at least problems in our jurisdiction to solve and problems we can build economic incentives around – like taxation, profits, etc.

    Liberals in favor of profits? HA! That’s rich! We all know this is some secret Obami sushallllist Kenyan Muslim turrist plot. They’re trying to get real Murkins all hopped up on the reefer madness so they can take our guns (and tikourjeeebs)! We’re on to you, you sneaky LIEbrul!

    (it’s been so long since I’ve seen the trolls, I just couldn’t help it… and yes, I’m well aware of the fact that I’m going to hell, now I’m just looking for company)

  117. 117
    Zifnab25 says:

    @JGabriel:

    Selective breeding doesn’t involve gene insertions or deletions, it just involves mating plants with desired traits.

    Which results in… the addition of desirable gene combinations or deletion of undesirable gene combinations from child planets. :-p

    It’s the difference between grabbing a pair of dice to carefully set them box-cars face up and rolling the dice a bunch of times until you get both sixes showing.

    @👽 Martin: hits it best

    I’m not GMO-phobic, but there’s a pretty broad spectrum on this issue and a lot to take serious issue with – including the stuff Monsanto is doing. That they patent it and then sue the shit out of anyone who accidentally winds up in possession of their DNA doesn’t help the case for GMO.

    It’s not genetic modification that bothers intelligent people nearly so much as all the legal spill-over. Although, I suppose its also worth mentioning the value of species diversity. GMOs tend to be so selectively breed (and occasionally flat-out sterile), which means you are putting quite a few eggs in one basket the next time a new variant of corn-mold or swine-flu rolls through town.

  118. 118
    👽 Martin says:

    @shortstop:

    Is pot smoke less harmful than tobacco smoke?

    Sorta.

    The problem with a clear answer is that the tobacco smoke we’re talking about contains additives. Much of the nicotine that addicts you is added, for example – so the addictiveness is fairly artificial. Further, most people don’t smoke the equivalent of 20 joints (equivalent to a pack of cigs) per day.

    Per cigarette, marijuana is more damaging to your lungs than tobacco is, by a fairly wide margin. But because of the amount of tobacco most people smoke, marijuana smokers are less likely to do damage to their lungs. And, of course, you don’t have to even smoke it. So if you smoked a pack of joints per day, you’d be much more likely to develop emphysema, etc.

    Marijuana does appear to have fewer carcinogens overall than tobacco (particularly with the additives) so even if you did consume the same quantity, you’d be less likely to develop cancer.

    So it’s ‘better’, for varying definitions of ‘better’. My guess is if most typical cigarette smokers turned into typical joint smokers, overall we’d be better off. But if any non-smokers turned into pot smokers, that’d make things worse. So, are we enlarging the pie with these policies, or shifting it. That matters. And I don’t think anyone knows how the public will react to changing policies on this issue.

  119. 119
    Paul in NC says:

    If I was king of the world, here’s what I’d do: Legalize growing operations of no more than 2 plants at any time. Period. No tax. No commercial growing operations, hence not a lot of profit.

    People who smoke pot would very quickly learn how to grow good weed at home in small spaces, indoors or out. You can grow a lot of pot in two plants, and you could probably have two or even three growing seasons under lights. That translates to at least a couple pounds of smokeable buds annually. Smoker/growers would have a surplus, but not enough to get rich on. Those not inclined to grow would have no trouble getting it from their buddies who grow it. Pot plants would be like tomato plants. You couldn’t give the stuff away. (You ever tried to get rid of your backyard tomatoes in August?)

    The black market would dry up. People would stop dying in Mexico. American justice system dollars would be freed up for violent criminals. Corporations couldn’t capture the market. What’s not to like? It’s not gonna happen.

  120. 120
    KG says:

    @Mnemosyne: I fully support the concept of Pot Lounges. Speaking of, I kinda miss going to cigar lounges… the Long Beach one you’re talking about, that the one on Second Street?

  121. 121
    Roger Moore says:

    @shortstop:
    Any kind of smoke is going to be fairly nasty just because of all the unburned and partially burned crap in it. Where pot will have a big advantage is from other means of administration. It turns out that nicotine itself is a potent carcinogen and has systemic effects, so using tobacco in any form increases your chances of getting all kinds of cancer, though more at the site of administration because of the high local concentration. The same thing is not true of the active components of pot, so those pot brownies should be relatively harmless.

  122. 122
    artem1s says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    been waiting for a Lincoln thread too.

  123. 123
    Zifnab says:

    @👽 Martin: I think public pot smoking would be banned just because of the skunky smell. Especially with all the regular cigarette bans in effect, I have a hard time believing anyone would be eager to go back to the 70s-era “Everything smells like piss and balls” way of life.

  124. 124
    Joel says:

    @Mnemosyne: Reading through the thread, I agree with this comment most of all.

  125. 125
    Joel says:

    @Mnemosyne: Reading through the thread, I agree with this comment most of all.

  126. 126
    👽 Martin says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I see that hypocrite they call a governor in NJ has refused to set up an insurance exchange for Obamacare. The people in NJ have to pay the price for Christie’s pandering to the wingnuts.

    You know what would be a handy name for a national insurance exchange?

    “Public Option”

    Let the GOP governors refuse to build state exchanges. That provision was there for their benefit because of states rights and arguments that the needs of Oklahoma would be radically different than the needs of New Jersey. If they all want to dig in their heels and take the national exchange, stop discouraging them!

  127. 127
    Joel says:

    @burnspbesq: There is actually a meaningful difference in GMOs and selective breeding; in the first case, the mutagenesis is artificial/introduced and in the second case the mutagenesis is natural/random. I write this as someone who doesn’t give a fuck about GMOs generally, save for the ill-designed GMOs that have unintended consequences (i.e. the BT expressing plants that select for insect resistance).

  128. 128
    Sly says:

    @Dork:

    With pot, the underground channels have all been optimized. You slap a 25 or 40% tax on pot, and users will get it the old way, avoiding these ridiculous taxes.

    The price reduction from growing marijuana using industrial agriculture would more the compensate for a 25% or 40% (or even a 100%) excise markup.

    Cannabis is a well acclimated plant genus that requires comparatively little in land or labor costs to produce. It’s not just the illegality of sale that makes it expensive, it’s the illegality of production. If industrial hemp production is any kind of guidepost, cannabis could be grown for under 50 cents a pound using modern agricultural techniques. That’s even high grade cannabis that can currently sell for multiple thousands of dollars per pound, depending on your region.

    Even if you account for the costs associated with delivering that wholesale product to retail markets in consumption ready form, the markup needed to maintain the current price of marijuana would be astronomical, perhaps dwarfed only by the markup on bottled water. Much more than current excises on tobacco and alcohol (the highest wholesale excise on tobacco is 25% in MA), by multiple orders of magnitude.

  129. 129
    👽 Martin says:

    @Zifnab25:

    which means you are putting quite a few eggs in one basket the next time a new variant of corn-mold or swine-flu rolls through town.

    And added to that, the response to that disease variant will be to GMO it as well. When you decide you can apply GMO to every problem, you wind up with Joan Rivers’ face.

  130. 130
    Brachiator says:

    @👽 Martin:

    There’s cross-breeding species that we generally all feel is safe because nature is self-reinforcing and wouldn’t allow cross-breeding to go too far astray.

    This is not a scientifically meaningful statement. Nature is not “self-reinforcing” and there ain’t no such thing as “going too far.”

    GMO also means glow it the dark dogs, which I think we can probably agree leaps over the self-reinforcing evolutionary chasm and goes from ‘natural selection’ to just ‘creation’.

    Humans have selectively bred animals and plants as much for our pleasure as for anything “useful.” And sometimes this has resulted in harmful traits being produced in the pets that we claim to love. And none of this has ever had anything to do with natural selection.

    @Mnemosyne:

    IIRC, marijuana does not have carcinogens like tobacco does, but it still causes problems with asthma, COPD, and other breathing issues.

    Chimney sweeps used to get testicular cancer. The products of the combustion of wood created carcinogens. This will have to be investigated more with respect to marijuana. You are right about asthma and other conditions.

  131. 131
    JustAnotherBob says:

    Some random stuff.

    One does not have to smoke pot to get the effect. You can avoid any respiratory problems by going the food route.

    Weed is very easy to grow. On an agricultural basis it would cost less than $1/pound for a bud/leaf chop. Bud would be more expensive, say $10/pound if field grown and machine trimmed. But perhaps not that much if the leaf was sold separately.

    Start any tax very low and keep it there until the underground infrastructure goes extinct. Then start raising it as a revenue producer.

    Of all our recreational drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, pot seems to be by far the least problematic both for the user and for the innocent bystander. I’m saying that as someone who has almost been killed twice by drunk drivers.

    And I would guess most of us have encountered a belligerent drunk at some point in our lives.

  132. 132
    dexwood says:

    @Yutsano: In 1973, during the Watergate hearings, I was paid to smoke pot at St. Elizabeth’s hospital in D.C. It was grown at U Miss and came packaged in plain white packs closely resembling packages of unfiltered Camels.It was very good. Tests related to memory and other cognitive tests were administered to us after we were stoned. During the down time we watched the hearings and laughed our asses off.

  133. 133
    Joel says:

    @shortstop: I think it’s mostly wishful thinking. Burning aerosol in your lungs is bad, period. The thing working for pot is that users smoke a lot less of it and that it lacks the weird additives found in most cigarrettes (not that omitting additives makes American Spirits any healthier).

  134. 134
    imonlylurking says:

    @Yutsano: I’m at work so I can’t do a search on this right now, but a few years ago my roommate looked into this. I don’t remember the exact ratio, but it’s something like: One in 1000 pot smokers will have a problem with it. Of those that have a problem with it, approx 1 in 100 will develop a form of psychosis. (And before anybody accuses me of anti-drug hysteria, let me point out that I was married to somebody who clearly had a problem with it. I don’t know if I would call it psychosis, but he definitely had a personality change for the worse.) If you google cannabis psychosis you might find the details.

  135. 135
    Yutsano says:

    @👽 Martin: GEHA for everyone! Blue Cross will lose their shit over that.

  136. 136
    gwangung says:

    @Joel:

    There is actually a meaningful difference in GMOs and selective breeding; in the first case, the mutagenesis is artificial/introduced and in the second case the mutagenesis is natural/random.

    To be pedantic, the selection of traits is also artificial and non-random.

  137. 137
    👽 Martin says:

    @Zifnab: It really will depend on the state. Californians have had such broad smoking bans in place for so long that we’ve become really sensitive to the smell – to the degree that I can tell (in winter) if a car ahead of me has a smoker just from the bit smell leaking out of their car and leaking into mine through the recirc – even with windows up in both cars. So yeah, it won’t fly here, but non-smokers in many other free smoking states have had their sense of smell around smoke so assaulted that I bet they hardly notice pot smell. They may not mind it being public – at least based on that argument. My guess is they’d be more inclined to ban it for other reasons.

    If you put it to San Francisco and North Carolina residents, you’d probably get the same outcome for completely different reasons.

  138. 138
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Brachiator:

    This will have to be investigated more with respect to marijuana.

    I don’t want to come across as pro-pot. I’m not an advocate, but I am for legalization.

    That said, there is probably no more researched recreational drug than marijuana. Enormous amounts of money has been poured into research looking for a health problem that could be used to justify the drug laws.

    I remember back in the Nixon era when someone announced that they had discovered a lethal dose of THC in mice. A couple of us in the lab ran the numbers. Turns out that one would have to smoke a 50 pound bale of leaf in less than an hour.

    Every since the ’60s science has been looking for the big flaw. It might be there, but it sure hasn’t been found after a lot of looking.

  139. 139
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Protip: selective breeding = GMO.

    Oh yeah, but I have found that it is fundamentally impossible to explain this to a hippie. They really start to sound like creationists if you get into that discussion.

  140. 140
    kindness says:

    Couple factoids from N. Cal.

    Legal pot in the clubs is more expensive than the stuff on the street, but it is typically better. That and when you have 30 different kinds of bud, 10 kinds of hash & 3 or 4 kinds of oil to choose from it is kinda like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for heads.

    Vaporizors. The Volcano is the best. Use a vaporizor and you won’t get lung cancer.

    It doesn’t matter what the state law says, there will always be some town somewhere in the state where the local police still think it’s sweet to fuck with the druggies.

  141. 141
    Joel says:

    @gwangung: That doesn’t change the basic truth of my statement: the mutagenesis itself is still random.

    Biologists do this all the time in non-mammal studies. You can take a plate of yeast or a colony of flies and expose them to radiation or chemical mutagen (you *could* do this with mice and primates, but IACUC and others will be very pissed at you). This will make lots of mutations, but you have no control over them. On the other hand, you can selectively introduce mutations through a process called homologous recombination. There are other ways to do this, too, and collectively these processes are called genetic engineering. GMOs are the result of genetic engineering.

  142. 142
    👽 Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    This is not a scientifically meaningful statement. Nature is not “self-reinforcing” and there ain’t no such thing as “going too far.”

    Try cross breeding a cauliflower with a panda without resorting to DNA extraction. Hell, try cross breeding a dog and a cat.

    The bits – they don’t go together. And even when they might go together, if they aren’t sufficiently genetically similar, you get nothing. We take that (even if it’s not true) as an indication that we can’t go too far wrong through selective breeding. I didn’t intend it to be a scientifically meaningful statement – it’s a culturally meaningful one. If you manage to cross breed a dog and a cat we’ll view it as fascinating. If you combine dog and cat DNA and get the same creature, we’ll view it as an abomination. We have an inherent trust that natural selection is, well, natural.

    But not only do we have no problem putting cat DNA in dogs, we have no problem putting cauliflower DNA in pandas (or jellyfish DNA in dogs). Getting there through any cross-breeding process would take you millennia. We have something of a rational reason to reject these things – at the very least, a natural process demands patience and not getting ahead of yourself toooo far.

  143. 143
    Paul in KY says:

    I think you’re supposed to locate a patch & then help yourself. That should be fun.

  144. 144
    Roger Moore says:

    @Zifnab25:

    GMOs tend to be so selectively breed (and occasionally flat-out sterile), which means you are putting quite a few eggs in one basket the next time a new variant of corn-mold or swine-flu rolls through town.

    This is true of any kind of agriculture that involves growing a single strain of something over a large area. It wasn’t genetic engineering that made the Irish potato crop vulnerable to potato blight or European wine grapes vulnerable to phylloxera. Any kind of big monoculture is vulnerable to disease.

  145. 145
    JustAnotherBob says:

    I live in the middle of growing. It’s doing terrible things to our community, bringing in some really crappy people and causing long term community members to exit.

    The profits are extraordinary. A modest sized greenhouse operation or growing indoors in a convert house can bring hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    We’re seeing stuff we never had before, home invasions and murders surrounding product and cash.

    It’s clear that the police and federal officials cannot keep drugs out of circulation. They can’t anywhere. I was in China soon after Mao died and even then I was offered drugs for sale a couple of times in two weeks.

    Legalize it. If there are health problems then educate and treat. Use tax revenue to provide the funds.

    And if that turns out to work then go on to the next least harmful illegal drug. Treat drugs as a recreational option and possible health issue, not a source of easy money. Easy money attracts the nastiest type of folks.

  146. 146
    Paul in KY says:

    @Scott de B.: I would have to say Vietnam trumps it. Not by a lot, but it trumps.

  147. 147
    Li says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Plant geneticist here; GMO specifically refers to organisms that have had exogenous (i.e. from unrelated species)DNA introduced via the techniques of molecular biology. Selective breeding does not produce lateral gene transfer. For instance, the Glyphosate (RoundUp) resistance gene came from a bacteria. You cannot breed a bacterium with a corn plant.

    The only difference between selective breeding (some hybridization methods aside) and natural evolution is the source of the selection. By your standard every organism on Earth would be GMO, and that’s ridiculous.

  148. 148
    Soonergrunt says:

    I had a root canal today. Yay for good dental and health insurance. I feel like shit.
    That is all.

  149. 149
    Schlemizel says:

    @kindness:

    NoCal does me no good – my ancestors were ‘settlers’ The got to MN & decided “Eh, this is good enough I suppose” and settled for it.

    I was just being funny – you are very nice to your friends though

  150. 150
    👽 Martin says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    I had a root canal today. Yay for good dental and health insurance. I feel like shit.

    You’d feel a million times more like shit if you didn’t get the root canal.

    Yay for insurance, indeed.

  151. 151
    StringOnAStick says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    taylormattd: I can understand the need for the regulations on growing and selling the marijuana. Why not hold off on making it legal to smoke until after you have the regulations in place?

    I live in Colorado, which also passed essentially the same bill (by a larger margin than we voted for Obama, so it was an issue the non-Mitt and non-Obama voters could get behind apparently). What is happening here is that municipalities are now putting together bans on opening legal pot shops until the state legislature has time to create the necessary legal framework. The state legislature will probably do the same thing when they meet again, but the governor has made it clear that while he personally opposes the law, he will not stand in the way of the will of the people.

    I have no doubt that some of the cities have plans to NEVER allow any shops within their jurisdiction, but Boulder has gone this route and they will certainly have all the shops that are legally allowed as soon as the state makes the rules; Greeley probably won’t because their high hispanic population makes for a more effective old white guy old guard that is still and forever interested in stomping on hispanics.

    The way our legal pot ballot initiative was written and sold to the public was exactly what Cole outlines: make it legal and tax the shit out of it, specifically to support schools. Truly, when I signed the petition to get it on the ballot I thought it had a snowball’s chance of even getting on the ballot, much less passing if it did.

    The state and the governor have sent a formal letter to theh US DOJ to ask how they will treat this issue in CO since the (moronic) federal laws are still in place, but so far there has been no response from the feds. The Obama administration would be best served IMHO by just plain ignoring the whole thing here and seeing how it goes once the thing goes live. Sweeping in with the DEA in SWAT suits will be really, really unpopular here. Obviously, no national level politician would have a job if they advocated for legalization, though that was true of gay marriage advocacy not long ago so maybe things will change quicker than we think

    The War on Drugs: war lost, deal with it police/feds/authoritarians.

  152. 152
    Schlemizel says:

    @taylormattd:

    I don’t know, seem like they would have the processes in place to control distribution. Maybe I don’t understand their role but thats the way it sounded to me

  153. 153
    Misterpuff says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sorry, people here in Zaandam smoke it openly all the time. I’ve seen toking in the park and on the main shopping street, and if you look down on the sidewalks, you’ll see roaches along with the usual gum wrappers and cig butts.
    Yeah, they are slightly stricter with the tourists in Amsterdam but in a working class town like this, its accepted behavior. Hell, I’ve seen people doing right in front of the cops.
    And don’t get me started about the various social strata that frequent the coffeshops to pick up a gram or two: (hint: all of them).

  154. 154

    “So I’m not sure where you’re suppose to get it,” Satterberg said. “If you stumble across some on the street or it falls from the sky, then you can have it. Otherwise, you are part of a criminal chain of distribution.”

    That’s pretty much the current state of medical marijuana in Montana. Under the new rules, a licensed “provider” (grower) not only is limited by how many plants he can grow and how many people he can give it to, he is also prohibited from receiving reimbursement for it. In short: a grower has to give it away, free.

  155. 155
    Seanly says:

    My current employer (HQ’d in Denver with offices in WA (& everywhere else too)) just implemented a new random drug screening process. Our regional business line manager (based out of Seattle) was in to talk about a few things and the obtuse wording of our new policy was brought up. Since pot is still outlawed by federal law, it will not be permissible for employees to have it in their system even if living in CO or WA. The guy sounded a little hurt when explaining that.

  156. 156
    burnspbesq says:

    @JGabriel:

    Selective breeding doesn’t involve gene insertions or deletions, it just involves mating plants with desired traits.

    Distinction without a difference. Either way, you end up with a plant that didn’t previously exist.

  157. 157
    geg6 says:

    @Dork:

    Yes, I have. Lots and lots of them. The biggest stoners I know are wealthy. Or at least, comfortable. That’s how they get away with it. Just ask Andrew Sullivan.

  158. 158

    @Yutsano: privatise the whole industry and the price jacks up through the roof.

    Let’s see, would you like to pay high prices for this product and use it legally, or would you like to pay lower prices and risk jail time? That’s pretty easy for me.

    @greennotGreen: It’s so easy to grow that any idiot can grow it, and therefore it should be decriminalized, not legalized.

    That makes no sense at all.

  159. 159
    John says:

    Isn’t the biggest issue here that anybody who applies for a license to grow pot will be guilty of a felony under federal law?

    How can a state government, in good conscience, license anyone to sell marijuana when they know that they are licensing someone to commit a federal crime?

    I don’t see how you can have a state level legalization campaign that means anything so long as the whole thing is dependent on the forbearance of the federal government.

  160. 160
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @Dork: Rich kids are the biggest stoners going.

  161. 161
    Goblue72 says:

    @Yutsano: Jesus ahole. I was agreeing with you.

  162. 162
    Brachiator says:

    @👽 Martin:

    If you combine dog and cat DNA and get the same creature, we’ll view it as an abomination. We have an inherent trust that natural selection is, well, natural.

    What we might prefer has got nothing to do with natural selection.

    And what the worst wingnuts consider to be “abominations” should alert you to how dangerous it is to confuse “culturally meaningful” with “scientifically meaningful” or with how evolution actually operates.

    @JustAnotherBob:

    there is probably no more researched recreational drug than marijuana. Enormous amounts of money has been poured into research looking for a health problem that could be used to justify the drug laws.

    And yet, marijuana continues to be classified as a dangerous drug despite the absence of research to support this conclusion. I did some very light research years ago for a class on contemporary ethical issues, and I seemed to see stuff that suggested that some of the pot research was about as meaningful as government research into paranormal activity, and that potentially interesting avenues for research were deliberately stifled because of the politics of the war on drugs. So, a fair amount of money thrown at research, yes; quality of research, not sure.

    And I also tend to be strongly pro-legalization. I got no axe to grind here, but am cautious about health and related issues. I can’t wait for someone in Washington to start going on about second hand pot smoke.

  163. 163
    LanceThruster says:

    I’ve always said that the proof that the “War on Drugs” is a fraud is that drugs cannot be kept out of our prison system, yet they still try a police state mentality against the public at large.

  164. 164
    Yutsano says:

    @Brachiator: Washington already has pretty strict smoking laws so I’m sure that will apply under those. I can’t imagine exceptions being made for pot smokers although it may take some law re-wordings.

  165. 165

    @NonyNony: Anywhere where it’s already illegal to smoke tobacco in public it should probably also be illegal to smoke weed. Do we really need new laws for that? Wouldn’t it already be covered?

    Here’s how it’s handled in the “Montana Clean Indoor Air Act,” which concerns smoking bans:

    50-40-103. Definitions. (8) “Smoking” or “to smoke” includes the act of lighting, smoking, or carrying a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or any smokable product, including marijuana intended for medical use as provided for in Title 50, chapter 46.

    Then the rest of the act just talks about “smoking.” So that should be all it takes. With the “any smokable product” phrase, I think they have their bases covered, even without the explicit mention of MM.

  166. 166
    geg6 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Funny, but it could happen. A bale of it washed up in my sister’s backyard when she lived in Jensen Beach, FL. We had a field day with that. Must have been about 50 pounds or so of it. Jamaican, by the look and taste of it. Mmmmmmmm.

  167. 167
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    So they’ve legalized pot. Great. Pretty sure employers aren’t going to ignore those positive drug tests. So the only ones baking gotta be those with jobs that dont test, or those who dont care about getting fired from their job. Cant see a lot of normal people in either of those two catagories.

  168. 168
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ETA: People who talk about the marijuana heaven that is Amsterdam don’t seem to realize that it’s restricted to home use and specialized cafes—you can’t walk down the street smokin’ a doobie any more than you could walk down a public street in the US with an open beer in your hand.

    There is some interesting stuff going on in the Netherlands related to this. There has been a battle over the implementation of a new law that would limit coffeehouses to those with membership (and you have to live in the country to become a member). It has been implemented in other parts of the country while Amsterdam fights it. In those areas, they have found that it does decrease the drug tourism that the border regions were complaining about but it also led to an increase in gang-like activity and street crime as well as an increase in marijuana use by youth.

    From what I understand the latest compromise seems to be that each city/region will have some flexibility in creating the requirements for coffeehouse membership and Amsterdam is going to take the approach that anyone staying the in city temporarily will be considered to be “living there” for the purposes of getting a membership card.

  169. 169
    japa21 says:

    @John: The DOJ, as a result of the referendums, has basically come out and said that, in those states where it is legal, they will only prosecute the Federal law if the violation takes place on Federal land.

  170. 170
    trollhattan says:

    Q: How might you get the NRA to back pot legalization?
    A: By having some shootouts between armed Patriots and armed Pot-Ninjas.

    Wayne LaPierre’s woody is going to last more than four hours when he reads this.

    On the day marijuana became legal in Washington, two masked intruders were killed at a luxury home near Puyallup where marijuana was being grown, the Pierce County sheriff’s office said.
    __
    The homeowner called just before 8 a.m. Thursday to report a break-in and then called back a few minutes later to say shots were fired, said spokesman Ed Troyer.
    __
    A deputy arrived minutes later and found two men dead on the floor of a six-car garage where marijuana was growing in the loft.
    __
    “Dark clothing, hoodies, bandanas over their faces, handguns at their feet,” Troyer said. They also wore backpacks.
    __
    The house appeared to be the scene of a shootout.
    __
    “Bullet holes through the house, windows, and marijuana leaves in the garage,” he said.
    __
    The 35-year-old homeowner and a 9-year-old boy who was inside at the time are unharmed. The man is being detained, at least for investigation of an illegal marijuana growing operation, Troyer said.

    Let’s see, suburban pot-grow, dad armed to the hilt, 9-YO boy in the house…what could possibly go wrong?

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/.....intruders/

  171. 171
    Brachiator says:

    @John:

    How can a state government, in good conscience, license anyone to sell marijuana when they know that they are licensing someone to commit a federal crime?
    __
    I don’t see how you can have a state level legalization campaign that means anything so long as the whole thing is dependent on the forbearance of the federal government.

    Agree that this is a problem.

    Also, do these new laws say anything about domestic vs foreign cultivation of pot? Could people who grow marijuana in Mexico legally sell it in the states that have legalized marijuana?

  172. 172
    geg6 says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    So no one who drinks alcohol has a job either? Because you can be tested for that, too. And you can be fired from your job for drinking while working, too.

    And I don’t know what jobs you are familiar with, but I don’t know many people who get drug tested on the job unless they just got the job and have to pass one to start or they work in jobs at our local nuke plant or the railroad or drive a bus or something. Most jobs don’t drug test, at least not regularly. And pretty much everyone I know who is tested knows how to prepare for it.

  173. 173
    StringOnAStick says:

    @John:

    John Says:

    Isn’t the biggest issue here that anybody who applies for a license to grow pot will be guilty of a felony under federal law?

    How can a state government, in good conscience, license anyone to sell marijuana when they know that they are licensing someone to commit a federal crime?

    I don’t see how you can have a state level legalization campaign that means anything so long as the whole thing is dependent on the forbearance of the federal government.

    Well, now, that’s the issue, isn’t it? That’s what our political leaders in Colorado are asking for guidance on from the feds, and are getting no response.

    As to how a state government can or can not in good conscience, license someone to do something that is a federal crime, the real issue is how the only damned way drug laws related to pot are ever going to change is from pressure at the state level via the voters. Which is what Colorado and Washington state did (Oregon would have but their ballot initiative was written like a Cheech and Chong lucid waking dream). State’s rights, bitchez.

    National-level politicians are not willing to die on this particular hill since it guarantees a loss at their next electoral contest and provides them with not much in return, so if we da people want this changed, then it is going to come directly from voters via ballot initiatives, period. The good news is pressure from the voters puts the state officials in difficult positions, which then pushes them to try to get out of difficult positions by lobbying/petitioning the feds. At some point logic and self interest will prevail.

    I can’t believe I care about this issue at all, really; I don’t smoke pot currently and I have no burning desire to. I do however have a desire to quit spending tax dollars to ruin the lives of those who do. Yeah I smoked plenty in the 2 years between high school and starting college, but it was the 1970’s and everybody except the Young Rethuglicans smoked. Once I got interested in my college studies I pretty much quit and I’m still in that spot now. I may have had a toke or two over the last decade or two, but I’d rather have the old ditch weed I used to smoke so one hit wouldn’t send me to Mars. I did have half a medical pot chocolate bar which was not only tasty but a very nice, oh I feel all tingly and happy high. Now there’s the way to imbibe, ad if it were legal I’d do that since I’d rather eat a chocolate carbohydrate than an alcohol carbohydrate (and liver slapfest)!

    One 1980’s DARE-impressed friend of mine is totally anti-pot, is very vocal about “pot users are losers”, has a wealth of incorrect anti-pot ‘facts’, and yet tells me she drank hard and heavy in college but never wanted to feel “out of control” so she never smoked in college. Funny, I smoked a ton of weed and never felt out of control back then, but excess alcohol has been the single greatest cause of feeling “out of control” in my life (other than legal anesthetics administered by an MD), and also the main reason for my understanding of how fellow ladies end up date-raped. High on pot, I was able say no and mean it, high on alcohol was where shit got far too real when I was in my 20’s; I doubt that has changed for current 20 year olds.

    Study after study shows that the social ills related to alcohol abuse far, far outweigh that of pot smoking and yet alcohol is an accepted, even celebrated part of western culture. We’ve already proven that alcohol prohibition doesn’t work; it’s time to recognize that pot prohibition doesn’t either. In addition, the misery this inflicts in pot growing regions of Central and South America makes legalization a humanitarian issue, period. I see it as a tax payer issue as well; keeping pot growers and smokers in jail takes money that could be much better spent on other community needs.

  174. 174
    trollhattan says:

    @geg6:
    Having worked places where employees in critical functions (operate machinery, drive, etc.) are subject to random testing, I expect that will not change. Drinking is legal, pot is/isn’t legal, depending on locale, but it’s an employers’ prerogative and/or responsibility to oversee their employees’ safe actions on the job.

    I’m not up to speed on THC’s lag time in the body. I vaguely recall it being fat-soluble and if that’s the case, it probably stays in the system a long time and implicitly, will be “verboten” for anybody subject to random testing for safety reasons.

  175. 175
    👽 Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    Also, do these new laws say anything about domestic vs foreign cultivation of pot? Could people who grow marijuana in Mexico legally sell it in the states that have legalized marijuana?

    What does it matter where it’s grown? It’s illegal to transport it. Once it arrives in-state it exists. Would the feds prosecute if it was caught in transport – no question. Would they prosecute because it came from Mexico? If they could prove it came from Mexico, then the transport issue is clear, no? So how do they prove it came from Mexico unless they can prove the transport?

    So, the answer would be yes, they can sell it, but they broke the law getting it there, and if that can be established, then it doesn’t matter if they’re selling it legally or not. No?

  176. 176
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Misterpuff:

    Well, don’t try that with an otherwise perfectly legal beer here in the US, or you will get your ass arrested.

  177. 177
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What, they don’t have cigar lounges in your neck of the woods? You must not get out much. There’s at least two in Pasadena, and I know of one in Long Beach that’s been there for years. If cigar lounges are legal, marijuana cafes would fall under the same regulations.

    Yeah, there are cigar lounges, special glass rooms within a cigar shop. And more out in the open hookah places. And people are even trying to shut these places down.

    There’s a fucking smoking section at Staples Center. Stop being a lazy asshole and go fucking use it instead of insisting that you should be given special privileges because you’re smoking a joint and not a cigarette.

    You need to relax.

    I don’t smoke anything. And unless I had a real need for medical marijuana, I am not anticipating a burning need to smoke pot. I have merely been noting that the anti-smoking Puritans will inevitably collide with pot smokers as pot legalization expands. Pot smokers are used to lighting up anywhere. I look forward to seeing how trying to shunt them to special rooms works out.

    And keep in mind that the current special smoking sections exist in the context of attempts to ban all cigarette smoking. Pot legalization is happening in the context of attempts to expand people’s ability to toke up.

  178. 178
    Mnemosyne says:

    It does kind of surprise me how many pro-legalization people seem to be against putting the same restrictions on pot that we do on alcohol or tobacco (restrict by age and location, only allow people with licenses to sell it, etc.)

    We don’t have to come up with a whole new frickin’ protocol, people. Treat it like tobacco and alcohol. You wanted it to be treated as normal, and now you’re whining because we’re proposing that it be treated like the other addictive substances that are already legal.

  179. 179
    👽 Martin says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    Well, now, that’s the issue, isn’t it? That’s what our political leaders in Colorado are asking for guidance on from the feds, and are getting no response.

    What response can they give? Under federal law, the answer isn’t in question. Obama could have the DEA move marijuana down on the drug schedule, so at least it’s no longer completely illegal to produce, allowing licenses to be issued legally – then they could give an answer of how they would allow those licenses to be issued – even if it’s ‘at the discretion of the states’.

    Granted Congress may well stick their head into it if that happens. So, depending on what outcome everyone is seeking, the method by which that answer is given matters. If Congress feels Obama overreached they may smack him back just for the hell of it. If Congress is sympathetic in any way to the will of state voters, they may craft legislation to reconcile these issues.

    In the meantime we have an uneasy jurisdictional dilemma. Hardly our first, though. Immigration is marinating in such dilemmas.

  180. 180
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I have merely been noting that the anti-smoking Puritans will inevitably collide with pot smokers as pot legalization expands. Pot smokers are used to lighting up anywhere.

    Sorry, but if they want societal acceptance of their habit, they’re going to have to act like adults and accept social limits like everyone else. Whininess gets you nowhere, and you’ll have to come up with a better rationale than, “But when it was illegal I did it all the time!”

  181. 181
    👽 Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    And people are even trying to shut these places down.

    Not trying very hard. We’ve got one in the mall here in Irvine. Only Disneyland and hospitals would be more controversial places to have one.

  182. 182
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Whininess gets you nowhere, and you’ll have to come up with a better rationale than, “But when it was illegal I did it all the time!”

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting they’ll win this, regardless of the degree of their whining. Brachiator isn’t defending pot smoking being more acceptable. He’s merely ruminating as to what the dynamics are going to look like when legalization runs into other laws. It’s an interesting thought – at the very same time states are limiting where you can smoke, they’re simultaneously expanding what you can smoke. These trends seem at odds with each other, but I’d argue that they reinforce each other. As tobacco smoking becomes increasingly ‘me in my space alone’ the argument to restrain what you smoke while in that private space gets harder to make. Colorado and Washington both have relatively strict anti-smoking laws. California has very strict laws and came reasonably close to passing legalization in 2010.

  183. 183
    MattR says:

    @Brachiator:

    Pot smokers are used to lighting up anywhere.

    I really have to move out to California if things have changed this much. In my experience, pot smokers may try to furtively light up anywhere (and even that is an exaggeration), but that is because there is no acceptable place for them to do it.

  184. 184
    Mnemosyne says:

    @KG:

    The cigar lounge I’m thinking of is on Second Street, but I haven’t been to downtown Long Beach in at least 6 years, so I have no idea whether it’s still there.

  185. 185
    Maude says:

    @trollhattan:
    Corporate retail reserves the right to random drug test. It’s in the tiny fine print before they hire you. They also take no responsibility if there is a false positive.

  186. 186
    Brachiator says:

    @👽 Martin:

    So, the answer would be yes, they can sell it, but they broke the law getting it there, and if that can be established, then it doesn’t matter if they’re selling it legally or not. No?

    Yeah, it matters. Legalizing marijuana increases the potential market for organized crime. It’s an inevitable side effect. As with other issues I’ve noted, I look forward to seeing how legalization works out.

    BTW, in California, the feds are seeking to wipe out medical marijuana dispenseries by having the IRS disallow all their business deductions. Again, it is going to be interesting to see how the feds react to the state legalization efforts.

  187. 187
    MattR says:

    @Brachiator:

    Legalizing marijuana increases the potential market for organized crime. It’s an inevitable side effect.

    Yet in the Netherlands they are finding that reducing legal access to marijuana has increased organized crime.

  188. 188
    TenguPhule says:

    It’s so easy to grow that it shouldn’t cost more than a bag of peas, which gives a lot of room for taxation.

    Have you seen what a bag of peas costs these days?

    Food inflation!

  189. 189
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @trollhattan:

    I’m not up to speed on THC’s lag time in the body. I vaguely recall it being fat-soluble and if that’s the case, it probably stays in the system a long time and implicitly, will be “verboten” for anybody subject to random testing for safety reasons.

    Not so. The fat soluble molecules aren’t THC. They’re a byproduct of THC breaking down. Since they don’t fit the “get high” receptors in the brain, they have no mental effect. They released from fat gradually over many weeks and simply get filtered out by the kidneys. This means that urine tests can detect marijuana use for a month or so, but nobody is getting high off of a buzz stored in their fat.

    It’s a pretty ridiculous test. Cocaine, meth and LSD are pretty much undetectable very shortly after the effect is gone, but a single joint can be detected three weeks after it’s smoked. Yup, let’s make it easy to fire stoners (and occasional weed smokers) while letting a crack-fiend pass if they can go a whole 12 hours without smoking rocks. Brilliant system we have here.

    A lot of employees are switching to mouth-swab tests. These only will only detect pot or other drug use within a few days, which is fairer, I suppose.

    Of course, drug testing for any job that doesn’t involve heavy machinery is pretty ridiculous. Is it really a problem if a grocery store night stocker uses part of his minimum wage to get high every morning when he gets off? If some poor office drone chooses to spend his recreation time high instead of drunk, why should anyone care? It’s stupid.

    If mistakes on your job will kill people, then fine. Pot use when not on duty is no danger, but it’s still reasonable to restrict its use. (As long as alcohol is also restricted, seeing as it’s far, far more likely to have lingering effects.) Otherwise, why not just detect drug use the old fashioned way: pay fucking attention to how your employees act. It’s not rocket science to tell when somebody is stoned or tweaking. Anything else is just treating everybody like a crook for no reason.

    I’ll believe we live in a free society when employers can’t force people to produce bodily fluids for testing on demand on pain of losing their livelihoods.

  190. 190
    trollhattan says:

    @MattR:
    Methihnks that observation requires facts not in evidence, at least the parts of California I haunt. In any case, smoking restrictions will quite simply remain smoking restrictions, regardless of the “what” being smoked. Not in the workplace? Check. Not in public spaces? Check. Not within ‘N’ feet of the entrance to a building? Check.

    Cigar bars and the like require engineering controls to protect employees from the smoke. There’s no escape via having the workers sign a health waiver, or somesuch.

    I guarantee any longtime Californian visiting another state or country is flabbergasted at the apparent increase in smokers and public spaces where one can smoke. We’re not going to water down our smoking laws (many of which are set at the city and county level) to accommodate pot.

  191. 191

    @Mnemosyne: It does kind of surprise me how many pro-legalization people seem to be against putting the same restrictions on pot that we do on alcohol or tobacco (restrict by age and location, only allow people with licenses to sell it, etc.)

    That would surprise me, too; I obviously don’t talk to the same pro-legalization people as you. (I don’t talk to many, fwiw.)

    My man Jon Masterson, formerly of Montana NORML, used to say that when asking people “How should pot be treated, legally,” the most common answer was “pretty much like beer.” Which implies the same restrictions you refer to.

  192. 192
    TenguPhule says:

    I then look forward to all the anti-smoking fanatics seeking to pass laws making it illegal to smoke weed in apartments, restaurants, public parks, etc.

    I hope that was made in sarcasm, because I LIKE my lungs not going out of control from an allergen. And if I have to Stand my Ground to save my lungs from some jerk with a lit bud, so be it.

  193. 193
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yeah, it matters. Legalizing marijuana increases the potential market for organized crime. It’s an inevitable side effect. As with other issues I’ve noted, I look forward to seeing how legalization works out.

    This doesn’t make sense. Right now the potential market for marijuana is almost completely controlled by organized crime, with the only exceptions being a handful of legal growers and sellers in a few states (though they’re all still breaking the federal crimes, so they’re pretty much organized crime as well). Right now most people who want marijuana can get it without a huge amount of trouble. If it was legalized, organized crime would face more competition for a more or less steady demand. Seems to me organized crime would grow weaker.

    Also, a lot of smaller operations would go legit if given the chance. A fair amount of the organized crime surrounding marijuana production and distribution is non-violent and isolated from other producers and sellers. They’re just farmers and salespeople, except they don’t pay tax on their income.

  194. 194
    trollhattan says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:

    I’ll believe we live in a free society when employers can’t force people to produce bodily fluids for testing on demand on pain of losing their livelihoods.

    Probably not any time soon.

    Returning to my question. Is the science settled on measuring THC/THC byproducts in the blood (or?) based on measurable effects on motor skills and mental acuity? Employers are going to need definitive benchmarks, because short of that I guarantee they’ll have a zero tolerance policy due to potential liability. Whether a state has legalized it is not going to be taken into account, at least for folks in select jobs.

  195. 195
    👽 Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yeah, it matters. Legalizing marijuana increases the potential market for organized crime.

    Wait, what? How can legalization increase the potential illegal market from what is already a completely illegal market. Do you not think that organized crime is currently involved in marijuana transport/sales? Who the hell are the Zetas, then?

    The illegal tobacco market in the US is estimated to be about $1B. The illegal booze market is much smaller. The current illegal marijuana market is estimated to be in the ballpark of $20B in the US. Even if we leave a $5B organized crime market behind, it’d be a hell of a lot better than it is now.

  196. 196
    Brachiator says:

    @MattR:

    RE: Pot smokers are used to lighting up anywhere.

    I really have to move out to California if things have changed this much. In my experience, pot smokers may try to furtively light up anywhere (and even that is an exaggeration), but that is because there is no acceptable place for them to do it.

    I have seen people toke up on their front porches. Depends on the neighborhood and local community standards.

    In a recent public radio piece about medical marijuana shops, people in the neighborhoods where some of these shops are located claimed that they saw the person who was prescribed pot pass the bag to friends in the car and everyone toked up as they drove away.

    @👽 Martin:

    RE: And people are even trying to shut these places down.

    Not trying very hard. We’ve got one in the mall here in Irvine. Only Disneyland and hospitals would be more controversial places to have one.

    Efforts obviously vary. And as I have noted, I just don’t see tons of pot smokers accepting the idea that they might not be able to smoke at home, but would have to seek out hermetically sealed glass cages in order to get their buzz on.

    semi OT: I wonder if there will be any pot enhanced Hobbit parties this December 14 in Washington and elsewhere where pot is legal. The movie is set to unspool (or the digital equivalent) on 4,000 screens. Party on, dudesses.

  197. 197
    👽 Martin says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Have you seen what a bag of peas costs these days?

    Common peas are pretty cheap, but have you priced those pink himalayan peas? Woo! It’s only a matter of time before we have Civet pot, for discriminating tastes.

  198. 198
    MattR says:

    @Brachiator: That’s not really lighting up anywhere. That’s lighting up in places where smoking a cigarette is currently acceptable (or subject to the same community standards).

    EDIT:

    And as I have noted, I just don’t see tons of pot smokers accepting the idea that they might not be able to smoke at home, but would have to seek out hermetically sealed glass cages in order to get their buzz on.

    Wait! What? Are you not allowed to smoke cigarettes in your home in California? If so, wow? I guess I am not moving out there (and I am not a smoker). If not, why would pot be held to a higher standard and why should pot smokers accept that?

  199. 199
    TenguPhule says:

    If it was legalized, organized crime would face more competition for a more or less steady demand. Seems to me organized crime would grow weaker.

    But in normal business, the controlling monopoly typically is not allowed to beat competition to death in the literal sense.

  200. 200
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @Brachiator: I’m not gonna try to google it from work (they monitor our online escapades, here), but I’m thinkin’ there are exemptions for licensed growers. The law is not half-baked, as it were – it’s pretty solid legislation, and it’s backers were able to get the finances to air ads explaining the law, while there was really no organized opposition to it.

    For those asking, the law explicity keeps in place existing code prohibiting its use in public places.

    And the taxation WA state is seeking to place on the legal bud is aimed at matching existing (black) market prices. So, if you’re a current user thinking about ditching your old supplier for the greater variety in a legal store, you shouldn’t notice much of a price difference.

  201. 201
    👽 Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    And as I have noted, I just don’t see tons of pot smokers accepting the idea that they might not be able to smoke at home, but would have to seek out hermetically sealed glass cages in order to get their buzz on.

    I think it’s a different motivation. Tobacco smokers get annoyed at the lack of convenience because they’re addicted to the stuff and feel the need to smoke right-the-fuck-now! I don’t think that applies to pot users. In my experience they have no specific motivation to light up at the mall – smoking for them is far more recreational and situational than compulsive. That said, there will be a legitimate effort around bars, concert venues, things like that. Generally places where smoking laws are already finding accommodations. And it’ll really be up to those establishments to decide if they’re okay with the liability of enabling people to become altered, so I think it’s going to land in the intersection between alcohol permits and smoking ordinances – which is a pretty narrow band – and probably a pretty reasonable one. They’re already paying out the ass for insurance against both fire and personal injury, so tossing the tokers in probably won’t matter much economically.

  202. 202
    MCA1 says:

    @NonyNony: This is exactly right. That’s how a market grows for a newly legalized product. At first all the current growers will be excited about their newfound legitimacy and go into business. Some of them will figure out how to scale up, and eventually any stigma attached to being a pot producer that bigger corporate interests feel will fade away and they’ll start to compete. At some point, the market will dramatically change when some of those larger companies can bring economies of scale into the picture and we’ll have a mass-produced product with modern and national distribution, marketing and branding behind it. A certain blandness and uniformity will likely set in, and there will emerge a niche, more high-end market for differentiated, unique product. Humboldt County will become the Napa County of the pot world, with cult growers able to charge prices similar to what they could during prohibition. But the mass producers will commoditize and we’ll all eventually be able to buy an ounce of pretty decent stuff at the store for 1/10 of what you’d pay now. Consumer demand will explode, because unlike the alcohol Prohibition, when everyone had liquor in their house and knew of a few speakeasies and 75% of the adult population still consumed, very few people regularly smoke pot now who might if it were fully legal, because they’re terrified of the draconian penalties for getting caught and the militarized DEA. So, yes, the tax revenue potential is huge. There would be some moonshiners/bootleggers, to be sure, but it would likely be a very small market because of the ready availability of the legal product and small margins for bootleggers. The only real minimizing factor on gov’t revenue from taxation might be that, compared to distilling your own alcohol, growing a few hemp plants in your backyard is incredibly easy. So you might find that, without a functioning DEA raiding everyone’s gardens, it becomes common practice for everyone south of Indianapolis or so to grow whatever they might want themselves, outside of any market.

  203. 203
    trollhattan says:

    @MattR:

    Wait! What? Are you not allowed to smoke cigarettes in your home in California? If so, wow? I guess I am not moving out there (and I am not a smoker). If not, why would pot be held to a higher standard and why should pot smokers accept that

    No laws regarding that, that I know of. Some multifamily housing forbids it, however. Every crappy apartment I lived in (all of them) had either porous walls or HVAC systems that would circulate the smoke into my place, or at least the stench. By now I’ll guess it’s been banned in, say, the $4M/unit Nob Hill co-ops.

  204. 204
    👽 Martin says:

    @trollhattan: Remember, you can’t smoke in your car if there’s a minor present here in CA. That’s getting pretty close to the mark.

  205. 205
    MattR says:

    @trollhattan: That was kinda what I figured, but didn’t want to assume and too lazy to google. I think pretty much every pot smoker assumes that places that are currently “no smoking” for tobacco will remain so for marijuana. I’d also guess that their adherence to those restrictions won’t be any worse than that of tobacco smokers (and may be better for the reason that Martin mentioned above)

  206. 206
    👽 Martin says:

    @MattR: Except that the medical marijuana angle throws an interesting twist to all of this. You can’t generally tell people they can’t medicate themselves. So, by opening the door to the prescriptions rather than just doing proper legalization, states and municipalities may have neutered their own ability to control where and when it’s used.

  207. 207
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Paul in NC:

    Legalize growing operations of no more than 2 plants at any time. Period.

    Every grower would break that law. Every one. Not because they’re all greedy bumper croppers, but because it’s virtually impossible to grow marijuana under that restriction.

    Weed should be legalized without arbitrary feel-good regulations.

  208. 208
    MattR says:

    @👽 Martin: Good point, though I wonder if exceptions can be made when there are multiple methods of medicating yourself (smoking, eating, lip balms, etc). At worst, I would imagine it would require giving a reasonable accomodation to take their medication rather than giving someone carte blanche to light up anywhere just because it is for medicinal reasons.

    I ran out of time earlier when trying to edit a comment to say that I am opposed to those people who use the medical marijuana laws to get pot for recreational purposes. Full legalization is logical and practical and it should be pushed, but using medical marijuana as a back door just harms the medical marijuana effort in other states and prevents people who will see real medicinal benefits from getting their hands on it.

  209. 209
    Brachiator says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Wait, what? How can legalization increase the potential illegal market from what is already a completely illegal market.

    You’re joking, right?

    It’s a series of simple questions. What is the current demand for marijuana in Washington? Will that demand increase? How will that demand be satisfied? What portion of that demand will be satisfied by organized crime?

    One of the things that has me thinking about this is how the Dutch had to rein in their pot cafes. From a May 2012 news story:

    Enforcement of a new law banning all but Dutch residents from pot coffee shops has started in southern cities in the Netherlands, where drug-related organized crime became one of the main drivers of the new regulations. Roadside signs put up by authorities across the south now bluntly warn visitors, “New Rules, No Drugs,’’ with at least one cafe shut down by police for serving foreigners and several others closing voluntarily in protest of the tourist ban.
    __
    But for global bohemia, what truly matters is the second phase of the plan: On Jan. 1, the ban is scheduled to go into effect across the rest of the country, including for the 250 cannabis cafes of Amsterdam.

    Again, I am just curious as to how this part of the legalization experiment is going to work out. I got no particular beef for or against legalization.

  210. 210
    MattR says:

    @Brachiator: And there is already push back from some mayors in those southern areas saying it is not working as well as research showing the same.

    EDIT: It’s also worth noting that that drug related organized crime was people buying it in bulk in border towns and bringing it across to Germany or Belgium for sale which is not something the US would really face if they legalized pot at a federal level.

  211. 211
    👽 Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    You’re joking, right?
    It’s a series of simple questions. What is the current demand for marijuana in Washington? Will that demand increase? How will that demand be satisfied? What portion of that demand will be satisfied by organized crime?

    No, I’m not joking. The current illegal market is huge. And not just huge in some submarket like Nevada, but huge-in-every-high-school-in-America-huge. It’s genuinely huge, and it’s largely run by organized crime now – either large or small.

    You would need to show that the $20B illegal market, once you legalize a large swath of it and reduce that, would need to actually grow the illegal side from where it is now. Economically, I don’t think that’s possible. We spend as much on pot as we do on pet food. Almost as much as we do on pizza. We spend a lot of money on those things. In order for your thesis to be correct, we’d need to shift whatever demand exists in the illegal market into the illegal one, and then put all of that revenue back into the illegal market for some other reason (just to keep the illegal market the size that it is) and then increase that some more. I don’t think we’re going to do that. Illegal markets almost never exceed the size of the legals ones above them, so you’re suggesting that we more than double our current spending on pot – which would move it up the size of the combined alcohol (beer, wine, spirits) market in the US.

    Seriously, does anyone think we’d spend as much on pot as we do on booze and not get the kind of corporate protection for pot companies that we do for alcohol retailers, distributors and producers?

  212. 212
    trollhattan says:

    @MattR:

    Yeah, I simply don’t foresee this phase of legalization/decriminalization as difficult or complicated. Existing smoking laws can go foreward as is. It just doesn’t seem more complex than that.

    At the risk of sounding like the get offa my lawn brigade, there’s no parallel between a cigarette habit (a true addiction in the medical sense) and a pot habit. But I’ll also speculate it will take a generation of longer before somebody can light up a joint in the huddled smokers’ circle next to the typical office building and have everybody consider it completely normal. Things change slowly in corporate America, which is why we don’t have more Fortune 500 CEOs with neck tattoos.

  213. 213
    Lojasmo says:

    @Dork:

    Eh. If i could buy legally, I would. Even at a, say 15% tax, legalization would still bring the cost down below the current non taxed rate.

    You can see this in medical dispensary costs. Costs in dispensaries are about 65% OF RETAIL COSTS.

  214. 214
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    Most rental agreements in California are non-smoking, but no one’s banning people from smoking in homes that they own. (Condos may be a different matter, but that’s up to the co-op board, I guess.)

    I think it was Calabasas that tried to ban all smoking, everywhere, at any time within city limits, even on private property, but it got struck down pretty quickly.

  215. 215
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne: San Rafael banned smoking in multi-family units – even condos. It’s not an association rule – it’s a city ordinance.

  216. 216
    Nunya says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    People who talk about the marijuana heaven that is Amsterdam don’t seem to realize that it’s restricted to home use and specialized cafes—you can’t walk down the street smokin’ a doobie any more than you could walk down a public street in the US with an open beer in your hand.

    Perhaps that’s true in the tourist areas of Amsterdam, but people were smoking it quite openly in the little neighborhood in which I last stayed. Maybe that’s technically illegal (?), but I routinely saw police officers walking right by groups of people sharing a joint and not even bat an eye. Also, many places in the US don’t have open container laws. My little town of Hood River is one example, so this fact isn’t exclusive to notorious party locales like New Orleans or Las Vegas.

  217. 217
    PJ says:

    @Tim C: When I was in high school (a few decades ago), it was always easier to get weed than to get booze, because a pot dealer was never going to card you.

  218. 218
    J R in WV says:

    I see some confusion about the medical effects of smoking pot and the damage it may (or may not) cause to the lungs. Google is your friend – it locates many scary stories about lung damage (that seem to be all scare and little research) and just as many stories about research that shows very little negative effect to one’s lungs.

    One story is in Time magazineublication, not a famous rockin’ mag for DFHs:

    http://healthland.time.com/201.....ng-damage/

    And here is another from the LA Time, also not famous for DFHs:

    http://articles.latimes.com/20.....a-20120111

    The research itself was published in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) very much not a DFH type of publication!

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