What Weigel Said

This may be the best piece Dave Wiegel has ever written.

I know I’ve ranted about this before, but Marcus and Brooks are just echoing the same bullshit kids my age heard about pot when they were growing up from D.A.R.E., which may have been the most ineffective organization ever. As I have said before, going into schools and telling kids that if they smoke pot they are going to kill their family or jump out of windows or become a bum is a great strategy if you believe in fear appeals. The problem is it takes exactly one joint and a few kids smoking said joint, experiencing a mild euphoric high and listening to Frampton Comes Alive while guzzling Jolt and playing D&D to figure out that everyone in authority is completely and totally full of shit.

The other thing that drives me crazy about this “debate,” such that it is, is that no one ever discusses why people smoke pot. Here is a pro-tip- they smoke pot for the same reason damned near every Senator is knocking back a couple scotches in a posh DC restaurant. It feels good. It relaxes them. It helps them unwind. And it’s safer than scotch. And if we weren’t a society of insane busybodies and godbotherers, weed would be CHEAPER than scotch by a wide margin. It is, after all, a weed. The shit grows wild like crazy in downstate WV to the point that the National Guard hires soldiers in the summer to go down state on weed eradication missions. There’s money well spent.

Just idiocy all around, and kudo’s to Weigel for point that out.

256 replies
  1. 1
    Aji says:

    Seven minutes, dude. That’s gotta be a record.

  2. 2
    hilts says:

    David Brooks: Been There. Done That.
    h/t http://www.vanityfair.com/onli.....eed-column

  3. 3
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Aji: Nah, there have been simul-posts aplenty.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I think he means record separation.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    Look, everyone knows that sufficiently heavy pot use leads to what might be called ‘cognitive issues’. But sufficiently heavy FILL BLANK SPACE HERE use generally leads to worse. Pot is probably the least bad, least addictive high you can get. And who knows, listening those theme-and-variations ragas on a sitar might actually be educational.

  6. 6
    Jay C says:

    At least in your school, you probably didn’t have to watch dated ’50s-era “drug education” films (in 1968) featuring fresh-faced teengirls in ponytails turned into raddled drug addicts and whores through “experimenting” with “marihuana” provided by sleazy swarthies in dirty trenchcoats – not quite Reefer Madness, but scarcely more sophisticated in message.

    Oh, and the “dope discs” which the teacher/coach was supposed to burn for us to familiarize ourselves with the evil odor of the Devil’s Weed? They were made of alfalfa, I think: smelled like it, and got a hearty round of laughter from the class, who even as juniors, knew WAY better….

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    is a great strategy if you believe in fear appeals.

    We have an entire political party that is based on that philosophy.

  8. 8
    mclaren says:

    Cole misunderstands the true purpose of the so-called War On Drugs. As law professor Michelle Alexander has pointed out in her book “The New Jim Crow,” today’s anti-drug laws are just another way of oppressing and disenfranchising and politically marginalizing the black community now that actual Jim Crow laws have become unfashionable.

    Do the math: 80% of drug users are white, yet 80% of the people convicted for drug crimes are black.


    Three guesses.

  9. 9

    The cops in my part of the world are increasingly charging people with felonies rather than a misdemeanor possession charge, doesn’t matter how much pot the person has they are tacking on the “possession with intent to sell and deliver” bit which bumps the crime up to a felony. They are doing this with no fucking evidence whatsoever, and are getting away with it on a regular basis, it is totally ruining people’s lives. By the time the charges get to the DA’s office the ADA handling the case knows that they have no chance of prosecuting this bullshit and are offering a misdemeanor plea, but the fact is that the person charged has a felony charge on their record, even if it was pled down to a misdemeanor. A lot of job applications ask the question “have you ever been charged with a felony” not have you ever been convicted, but if you have ever been charged. This bullshit is absolutely ruining people’s lives because the cops have a hard on for prosecuting black kids. It is infuriating. I see it every single day.

  10. 10
    cathyx says:

    RT @AdamSerwer What we have now is system where pot is all but legal for wealthy & white- illegal for everyone else.
    Except in Colorado and Washington.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The problem is it takes exactly one joint and a few kids smoking said joint, experiencing a mild euphoric high and listening to Frampton Comes Alive while guzzling Jolt and playing to figure out that everyone in authority is completely and totally full of shit.

    (emphasis mine)


    It frankly undermines efforts to educate kids about the SERIOUS drugs, like alcohol, nicotine, heroin, meth, unfettered rapacious capitalism, and monotheism.

  12. 12
    Alexandra says:

    smoking said joint, experiencing a mild euphoric high and listening to Frampton Comes Alive while guzzling Jolt and playing D&D

    Hehe. Although in our case, it was Brian Eno, instant coffee and AD&D. Over 30 years later, have still got my nice set of d20s and all the others, just to remind me of those days.

    Playing D&D can be great when you’re high, DMing not so much.

  13. 13
    cathyx says:

    From a comment from Brook’s column:
    This first-person confession of casual pot smoking is designed to make us think that everyone is equally susceptible to temptations, and equally capable of brushing them aside to develop passions for science and literature and enlargements of the heart. But nothing demonstrates more clearly the tone-deafness of Brooks and his like-minded conservative friends who think that everyone starts out on equal footing. This is a favorite theme of Mr. Brooks: People of Quality rise to the top, while lesser sorts wallow in a despair of their own making. He argued once that it’s pointless to pour money into poor (“chaotic”) neighborhoods, because People of Quality would rise above their lowly station without such help, while the rest would flounder no matter how much public money was wasted on them.

    Instead of mollycoddling the disadvantaged by making jobs available, or raising the minimum wage or providing better schools in poor neighborhoods, Brooks thinks the role of government should be to enforce conservative moral values.

    See what happens when stoners grow up to write columns in the Times? Kids, please, don’t smoke!

  14. 14
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    You want pathetic? 20 hours ago England had Australia at 5 for 97 and it looked like they might salvage a test from this debacle. Then Brad Haddin and Steve Smith went on a rampage, Australia ended up with 326 and England now sits at 5 for thirty-fucking-two. This is a death march.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Three guesses.

    First two don’t count.

  16. 16
    MattF says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Are those ‘points’ in some ‘game’ you’re referring to?

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    England shouldn’t have smoked pot.

  18. 18
    mclaren says:


    Rise of the military-police-prison-surveillance-torture complex. It’s now such a big part of the U.S. economy that’s it’s self-sustaining.

  19. 19
    FourTen says:

    You know what concerns me, legitimately? Stoned drivers.

  20. 20
    Rachel in Portland says:

    And that’s why we called D.A.R.E. “Drugs Are Really Excellent.”

  21. 21

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): You know as a proud English woman I wish I understood just a smigen of what you just wrote, but I have to admit, in my deepest shame, that I have no idea what you are talking about. Apart from taking score in friendly matches when I was serving at RNAS Solent during the 70s, I have never, and will never, understand cricket.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Charlie Pierce* also had some Things To Say about the interchangeable Brooks/Marcus columns today.

    *Saving Anne Laurie the trouble of linking

  23. 23
    greennotGreen says:

    @MattF: He might be talking about cricket.
    Or he might be high.

  24. 24
    Ben Franklin says:

    The shit grows wild like crazy in downstate WV

    Last I heard that would be rope-grade, not dope-grade, but 1/2 ton of females might give you a few trichomes. Better to rely on State-run Pot Emporiums so they can get the margin percentage, as well as the applicable, future additional taxes once the State gets a taste of the market.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    Honestly, what we really need is a much better way of screening people to figure out if they have tendencies towards addiction. Yes, yes, “nanny state,” “government controlling our minds,” “people should be allowed to kill themselves with drugs and alcohol of their own free will,” wevs. If you are a person with addictive tendencies, your “free will” will do you no fucking good whatsoever if you start drinking or doing drugs, because your own brain is willing to try and kill you to get more of it.

    It makes a hell of a lot more sense to try and identify ahead of time the people who are more likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol and give them extra assistance than it does to let them find out the hard way that they are powerless over them and then throw them in jail for it.

  26. 26
    Gex says:

    @greennotGreen: Could be both.

  27. 27
    Helen says:

    The shit grows wild like crazy in downstate WV to the point that the National Guard hires soldiers in the summer to go down state on weed eradication missions.

    Uh, really? I don’t believe you. Can you be more specific? I mean super specific, like exactly where does this free, unregulated, did I say free? weed grow? I think I need a road trip to WV to confirm this. ; )

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:


    This bullshit is absolutely ruining people’s lives because the cops have a hard on for prosecuting black kids.

    Which is, of course, absolutely crazy because the point of making drugs illegal is that it’s supposed to be protecting people. So we’re ruining people’s lives in the name of the war on drugs, the purpose of which is to prevent people from ruining their lives with drugs. It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Cole misunderstands

    Yanno* what? I don’t think Cole misunderstands a fucking thing. I think Cole is just fine in his understanding.

    Happy New Year, Mac.

    * h/t Mnemosyne

  30. 30
    Cassidy says:

    My oldest asked if I had ever done drugs. It threw me for a loop as I had assumed my wife had these conversations; she gets the girls, I get the boy. So, I told her yes, which surprised her. I told her it was fun, I don’t regret it, and I don’t advise doing it whole you have something to lose, like a job, etc. Easy conversation.

  31. 31
    cathyx says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, and then we need a device that people must hook up to themselves that tells them when they’ve hit their legal limits and then cuts them off from having any more.

  32. 32
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    David? Hi this is Dave Wiegel, just following up on a column you wrote about marijuana.

    Dave’s not here, man.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:


    in my deepest shame, that I have no idea what you are talking about.

    The fifth Ashes test. Australia are up 4-0, and England are folding badly enough that it looks like it’s going to be an Aussie whitewash.

  34. 34
    Botsplainer says:


    Thanks to the state’s proof-of-citizenship law for new voters, Kansas currently has a backlog of 19,000 people who signed up to vote last year but have had their registrations frozen because they did not provide documentary proof of U.S. citizenship. Last year, Kobach began making preparations for the state to have a two-tier voting system, where voters who did not provide proof-of-citizenship would only be allowed to vote in federal elections.

    According to The Kansas City Star, Kobach now wants to check the list of 19,000 frozen voters against records kept at the state health department. The process would determine which people on the list have Kansas birth certificates, one of several documents accepted as proof-of-citizenship. Kobach’s office would be notified when matches are found.

    “This, in my view, is good government,” Kobach told the Star.

    But the new plan would mean that voters born in Kansas will benefit more from the rules than voters born in another state — a point Kobach conceded to the Star.

    “It’s an extra service but it’s not something that would amount to a violation of equal protection of law,” he said.

    It’s a genuine shame that RWNJs aren’t at a genuine risk of a violent campaign of assassinations and car bombings. It might make them more circumspect.

  35. 35
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Matt Taibbi’s piece on this was excellent also.

  36. 36
    greennotGreen says:

    @cathyx: In my experience, when you’ve had too much marijuana, you just pass out. You don’t choke on your own vomit or get alcohol poisoning – you just pass out. Evidence: really good Colombian circa 1970.

  37. 37
    Tom Scudder says:

    Josh Barro has some quality trolling going on on the subject.

  38. 38
    Heliopause says:

    Just idiocy all around

    Yeah, no kidding. I found a couple of links to other bullshit Brooks has written on the subject here and here.

  39. 39
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Watched Gattaca recently I assume?

  40. 40
    Amir Khalid says:

    Cricket is to you British what baseball is to Americans: a spectator sport, painfully tedious by design, elevated to the status of popular obsession, much to the mystification of those not obsessed (like you and me).

  41. 41
    Elizabelle says:

    I lived on military bases as a teenager.

    We got movies about psychotic young soldiers taking drugs (LSD!) and then breaking mirrors and, I guess, putting their eyes out with the shards.

    Thus putting themselves out of commission for military service, but I’m not sure that was the point of the videos.

    Memorable, though.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:


    That probably would have helped when my dad came home drunk and started screaming fights with my mom that sent us all fleeing from the house. Nothing more fun than coming home at 12:00 am and finding your mom standing in the driveway crying because dad is drunk again.

    Oh, wait, sorry, you thought that you were being sarcastic. After all, we know that alcoholics never ruin their lives or the lives of anyone around them, amirite?

  43. 43
    cathyx says:

    @greennotGreen: And in my experience, when you smoke and drive, the worst offense you commit is driving too slowly.

  44. 44
    TriassicSands says:

    And it’s safer than scotch.

    I seriously doubt if either scotch or marijuana poses much of a threat if consumed in moderation. However, if both are consumed responsibly, I’ve got to think that taking smoke into one’s lungs is worse for human health than drinking a small quantity of scotch. Switch your drink to red wine, maintain the moderation, and now, I’ve got to think that the alcohol is much better for human health than smoking marijuana.

    Full disclosure: I have never smoked anything. I live in Washington State and voted for legalizing marijuana. I’ve never liked any “hard” liquor, and despite trying, I never developed a taste for wine. Because of some medication I take, I haven’t had a drink of alcohol in well over a decade. I once enjoyed certain ales, especially some brewed by Belgium monks, but it’s been so long since I had a beer, I can barely remember what one tastes like. (I do remember that Coors tastes like piss and Chimay is delicious.) I also voted to make medical marijuana available and I’ve tried it (edible form), but got no help for my condition.

    In short, I have no reason to favor alcohol over marijuana or vice versa. However, just like I wouldn’t want to try to dissuade young people from smoking marijuana by making ridiculous claims about its dangers, neither would I tell them that smoking marijuana is utterly harmless.

  45. 45
    cathyx says:

    @Mnemosyne: I was being sarcastic, but my point was that your point was totally idiotic and useless since there is no way that could ever happen.

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:


    Did you notice that the lead character of Gattaca put his entire crew at risk? If he has a sudden heart seizure and dies, the entire crew dies. I guess that’s what the sequel would be — entire crew slowly freezes to death in space because asshole faked his medical records and then died.

  47. 47
    Malraux says:

    @FourTen: the simplistic description I’ve heard is that a regular driver sees a stop sign, stops and continues on his way; a drunk driver misses the sign and goes through the intersection at 80 mph; and the stoned driver stops at the sign and waits for it to turn green.

  48. 48
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    @Jay C: in my school 1968, the demo trays came back up to the front with a few extra joints. Ha!

  49. 49
    Mnemosyne says:


    Why could it never happen? We already know there’s a genetic link for alcoholism. We already have screening tests for other mental health issues. Why would it be impossible to figure out a way to screen people and let them know that they could potentially develop an addiction problem, so they might want to be careful?

  50. 50
    tybee says:

    as to smoking weed, that ain’t the only way.
    the gummint (and i don’t know if it was the feds or the california gummint) made an excellent small spherical gel capsule (marinol?) that would allow one to put one under your tongue, walk down the beach and 15 minutes later find yourself conversing with the fiddler crabs.

    or so a friend told me…

  51. 51
    IowaOldLady says:

    I don’t get the enthusiasm for telling other people what to do when they’re not hurting anyone else.

    @FourTen: Personally, I worry more about drivers on the cell phone.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    I guess that ‘Thought Leader’ column by Brooks was really an announcement of his entry into the genre of self-satire.

    I eagerly await his candid and thoughtful column on ‘self-abuse’ and subtle moral and social decay it induces that only persons of his quality can detect, and had the moral strength to overcome.

    No, I won’t read that either (are you effing kidding me?), but the unself-satirical riffs of Weigel and Weiner and similar will be fun.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    A baseball game usually lasts for only 3 hours.

    On the other hand, baseball doesn’t break for tea.

  54. 54
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh goody, we can argue about the disease and biological model.

  55. 55

    @Roger Moore:

    Yeah I know it is the ashes, and I know it is important, but I have no fucking clue about the scoring. I have never understood the scoring, even back when I was scoring the matches back at RNAS Lee on Solent on Wednesday afternoon games. Back then our games were easy, each batter could score no more than 10, at which point I had to yell out to the batter that they were at 9, so they knew that their next run made them “out” so to speak. Did I ever mention that Prince Andrew told me he would never ask me to marry him at one of those games? Damn I really miss those silly drunken afternoons.

  56. 56
    KyCole says:

    My kid got caught by the cops in our east-bumfuck town with weed in the car. I had to accompany her to a court ordered program. I couldn’t fucking believe it when they actually showed Reefer Madness- WTF. As Pure Prairie League told me in college- “Its better with a joint than with a drink”.

  57. 57
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: That had never occurred to me. No shit.

  58. 58
    Elizabelle says:


    I thought Mnemosyne made an excellent point.

    Not every kid who smokes pot is going to be “reefer madness” and not every kid who sneaks a drink is going to land in the gutter, a hopeless alcoholic, BUT there are people who are genetically and psychologically prone to substance abuse, and it would be great to be able to figure out who they are.

    The problem is not so much the drug as the void that some people have that make them susceptible to overuse.

    Marijuana is not the gateway drug to meth, but it can be for some people. It would be nice to catch them early, for their sakes.

    That’s what I took from Mnemosyne’s post.

  59. 59
    WereBear says:

    Also, different people react in different ways, and just as some like scotch and some like red wine, people can find cannabis to be a mild relaxant which agrees with them, while other “relaxants” do not.

    Some people can have a slice of cake and go six months without another slice of cake. If I have cake in the house, I eat it until it’s gone. This is bad for my health.

    Respecting other people’s strength and weaknesses seems like a fine thing for society. Righties hate that, too.

  60. 60
    MikeJ says:


    You know what concerns me, legitimately? Stoned drivers.

    It should concern you. That’s why it’s illegal to drive impaired, not matter what is causing it. It’s already illegal to drive stoned, just like it’s illegal to drive drunk. We still sell alcohol.

    It’s also illegal to drive impaired by prescription drugs.

  61. 61
    Liberty60 says:

    What makes Borok’s argument so galling is that he buries tiny flecks of valid ideas under a mountain of horseshit.
    The idea that government and laws can help shape culture and mores?
    Why yes, yes they can.

    Such as, governmental laws can demonstrate our belief in the dignity of the human individual, the sanctity of labor, the full and equal value of all persons.\
    By putting labor on an equal footing with capital;
    By acheiving a blind justice where the poor are equally empowered as the rich;
    By making access to education and healthcare as effortless as driving on the freeway.

    If Brooks didn’t exist, Dickens would have had to invent him- his preening aristocracy and contempt for the lessers make his occasional references to morality all the more disgusting.

  62. 62
    cathyx says:

    @Mnemosyne: So you think there could ever be a law that everyone gets tested for the potential tendency to be an alcoholic or drug addict, and it would be flawless enough that everyone would believe the outcomes and there wouldn’t be false positives, and then enforce the prohibition? I’m laughing at this as I type, it’s so idiotic.

  63. 63
    greennotGreen says:

    @cathyx: I certainly wouldn’t recommend driving stoned, but I had a memorable experience with the above-mentioned Colombian.
    We had intended to smoke some pleasant, but less intense Jamaican, but being already slightly stoned, got mixed up and took a couple of tokes of Colombian before starting the drive into town. (1970, remember – way before MADD.) I swear to FSM a BABY crawled off the curb toward the path of our car! A baby! Luckily, mom came to scoop it up, plus we were probably going 15 mph, so we had plenty of time to stop, but how many times does a baby crawl out into a city street?

    So, see, smoking and driving is a bad combination because it causes the rest of reality to go a little bit whompy-jawed.

  64. 64
    jl says:

    @tybee: A pfhshaw. You can toast the herb in a fry pan until it starts to smoke a little, and then put in all sorts of recipes and eat it. Is what you do, if you don’t want the health hazards of smoking dried but slightly damp vegetation.

    Well, that’s what friends tell me, anyway. I mean, how would I know…?

    High lasts a lot longer, so better schedule half day (edit: from what FRIENDS HAVE TOLD ME!) for no driving, running machinery or sharp instruments. But is that any worse than rich old white fart booze hounds have to deal with (the ones that are responsible, that is)?

  65. 65
    scav says:

    All the whimpering about what consuming weed might do to the brains of the precious children and our ability to compete with the Chinese and not a thought spared concerning how not consuming enough proper food might do the same. Not to mention the impact of insisting on vetting all educational subjects from a LCD Minority Biblicist Fundamentalist viewpoint might impact our ability to compete with that dreaded threat.

  66. 66
    Persia says:

    @Mnemosyne: The sad thing is it’s not that hard. We know a lot of them already and most of them aren’t genetic. Shitty parenting, early childhood trauma, all that crap. And the David Brooks of the world have zero desire to do a damn thing to improve systems to stop kids from sliding into the shit.

    (Though there does seem to be a link between heavy marijuana use and an uptick in schitzophrenia, so if your kid has any kind of family history, don’t let them smoke pot, ffs. And don’t drive stoned either, I don’t care if you’re driving slower, it still fucks up your reflexes.)

  67. 67
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    In the summers of 1961 and 1962, I was resident in Frances Willard Hall at Northwestern University (because my family then lived in Evanston, I had to live at home as a commuter during the normal academic year, apropos of nothing). Frances Willard was a noted Prohibitionist, suffragist, and temperance reformer.

    From about my second day in residence, June 1961, the irony of that was rich.

    Now I’m wondering whether some university of the future will name their residence halls after David Brooks and Ruth Marcus.

  68. 68
    ruemara says:

    @Elizabelle: As a child of an alcoholic, I’ve always operated with an eye open to the possibility that there could be a tendency to addictive behaviours. Not a probability, but a possibility. I’ve known many people who have very sober parents who could have benefited from such an approach to possible addictions.

  69. 69
    Dead Ernest (Thought Wrangler) says:

    listening to Frampton Comes Alive while guzzling Jolt and playing D&D to figure out that everyone

    You have never caused me to think of myself as that much older than you John, er, Johnny.

    Not that I mind …much.
    Just feeling a wee bit more alone. Appropriate I suppose, becoming an Old and all.

    Please just make sure all the Fentanyl patches are on good and tight, and the Aura Borealis is in bloom, before sending my ice floe off to my personal Valhalla. Thx.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:


    Some people are alcoholics, and some people have drinking problems. People who are genuine alcoholics don’t seem to have a “stop” button for anything they get enthusiastic about.

    As I’ve mentioned before, after my friend in recovery stopped drinking, she decided to get healthy and become a vegetarian. Then she became a vegan. Then she became an anorexic. Because the underlying problem wasn’t the booze, the underlying problem is that she doesn’t have a natural “stop” button to tell her when she’s taken something too far, and that can be something unhealthy (like booze) or something healthy (like being a vegetarian).

    That’s the tendency we need to be screening for.

  71. 71
    Elizabelle says:


    Where did she say that?

    Although it would be nice to have guidance counselors and teachers and caring adults who care and can or might intervene. It takes a village.

    I don’t think the idea was mandated peeing in a cup.

  72. 72
    FourTen says:


    I always get a joke like that when I ask that question.

    I can’t say I seen many people I know hurt by drunk drivers but the guy I used to play badminton with in gym class would be walking right now. Watching him roll by in a motorized wheelchair wasn’t funny.

  73. 73
    Cassidy says:

    @cathyx: Actually, and this is kind of funny, the med home concept that’s the in thing in primary care these days has a number of different screenings that have to be done, with the metrics as a percentage of patient population. So they do diabetes screenings, heart health screenings, mental health screenings….

    Keep laughing asshole. This kind of thing is already done and doesn’t require any laws.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:


    (Raises hand.)

    I do drink on occasion. Sometimes, I’ll have two drinks in a row. But that’s a very, very rare occurrence, because I am a little paranoid that I will spiral out of control if I don’t monitor myself.

  75. 75
    KyCole says:

    In my experience, driving while slightly stoned is only bad if you are partaking of something that you are unused to. Otherwise, you drive carefully and don’t give a crap if some asshole cuts you off.

  76. 76
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Prince Andrew told me he would never ask me to marry him

    I think you’re better off.

    Edit: He hasn’t aged well.

  77. 77
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Maybe so. Maybe that’s why, after 30 years of running wide open, the shrink said I wasn’t an alcoholic.

  78. 78
    jl says:

    @cathyx: Idiotic is a bit harsh, but I agree with you. There is a small part of the population that appears to be genetically inclined to become madly medically addicted to anti-decongestant nasal inhalers.

    I might be one of them. After a particularly bad case of congestion from flu, I sniffed one up repeatedly for a week, then I had this… longing… for a day or two.

    There are a gazillion things you’d have to test for. Better to spend the effort on good tests for driving impaired from various substances (and I think booze is the only substance easily tested for right now).

  79. 79
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: If as a by-product of that research, they discover some peoples’ Mute Button, the team would be shoo-ins for several Nobels, minimum.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:


    Enforce what prohibition? Go back and read what I said. I said that people should be screened for alcoholic tendencies and then counseled on them.

    I guess we should go back to the dark ages before addiction was medically treated and just throw alcoholics in insane asylums to dry out — after all, giving people information and tools is just like fascism!

  81. 81
    MikeJ says:

    @KyCole: Bullshit. Your reaction times are shit while stoned. It is unsafe.

  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:

    I had a friend (late teens) who ended up in the hospital because she was driving so slowly when she was stoned that she got rear-ended. But that’s the only pot-related accident I ever personally knew of.

    It’s not like we have Mothers Against Toked Driving out there.

  83. 83
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    The problem is it takes exactly one joint and a few kids smoking said joint, experiencing a mild euphoric high and listening to Frampton Comes Alive while guzzling Jolt and playing D&D to figure out that everyone in authority is completely and totally full of shit.

    Frampton Comes Alive?

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:


    There are a gazillion things you’d have to test for.

    Not really. Most of the research shows that people with addictive personalities aren’t very choosy about what they get addicted to. True alcoholics are perfectly happy to switch their addiction to gambling, or shopping, even if they stop drinking.

    It’s the addictive personality that’s the underlying problem. The substance or behavior chosen is a matter of taste.

  85. 85
    greennotGreen says:

    @cathyx: There’s a big difference between genetic counseling and eugenics. Same thing with any technology we might one day develop that would tell us if Joe Blow has an increased risk for prostate cancer or addiction. For the prostate cancer one might prescribe (not mandate) more frequent screenings; for the addiction it might be more diligent self-monitoring of his own behavior or maybe he might choose complete sobriety, but it would be his choice.

  86. 86
    KyCole says:

    @MikeJ: You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  87. 87
    Anne Laurie says:


    Do the math: 80% of drug users are white, yet 80% of the people convicted for drug crimes are black.

    Was Haldeman the CREEPster who bragged that (paraphrasing) “We couldn’t make it illegal for Negros and college kids to vote just because they’d vote for Democrats, but we realized that if we made marijuana possession a felony, it’d be mostly Negros and college kids who got arrested, and felons can’t vote”?

  88. 88
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: But the ramifications of the behaviors in relation to the community are certainly different, no? I guess you could run someone over rushing to the mall.

  89. 89
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Or religion. The only thing worse than a born again evangelical is one with an “I used to be a sinner” story.

  90. 90
    Cassidy says:

    @KyCole: No one here is going to pat you in the back for driving while impaired often enough to have a forceful opinion about it.

  91. 91
    Baud says:


    True alcoholics are perfectly happy to switch their addiction to gambling, or shopping

    Or Balloon Juice!!

  92. 92
    Anne Laurie says:


  93. 93
    MikeJ says:

    @KyCole: Yes I do. I have been stoned. I know that your reaction times are shit when you are stoned. That’s a pretty uncontroversial statement.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:


    It’s bad for the community for anyone to drive drunk, but it would be helpful if there was a way to separate the “mere” problem drinkers from the true alcoholics so everyone could get the right treatment.

  95. 95
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: My point was that the other addictions are far less harmful to “society”.

  96. 96
    raven says:

    Buckeyes dodged bullet # 2. Hey mclaren, fuck you.

  97. 97
    gogol's wife says:


    I was waiting for someone to say that. :)

  98. 98
    Anne Laurie says:


    I guess we should go back to the dark ages before addiction was medically treated and just throw alcoholics in insane asylums to dry out — after all, giving people information and tools is just like fascism!

    No, but “testing everybody” to “identify the potential problem personalities” has a baaaaad political history. That power will be misused, sometimes with the best intentions (if they’re genetically addition-prone, the kindest thing is to prohibit them from ever doing anything that might be addictive!), but mostly NOT.

    It is not, in the Liberal tradition, in anybody’s best interests to make the state the arbiter of “good mental health”. Leave that for the right-wing Authoritarians!

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:


    Depends on who you’re counting as “society.” It was pretty harmful for my nephew to have his father sell his Playstation for gambling money.

    Which, again, is my point: there are people who gamble too much, and there are people who have addictive personalities who don’t have a “stop” button to tell them, Hey, maybe stealing my kid’s Christmas gifts and selling them because I’m totally going to win the Lotto this time is a bad idea.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Then let’s stop screening kids for learning disabilities. After all, those have a bad history of being used against minority kids who end up being put in special education classes, so kids with dyslexia and ADHD should just struggle along without any assistance in case those screenings get used incorrectly.

    (Edited to include link)

  101. 101
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: ok, I give up

  102. 102
    Dead Ernest (Thought Wrangler) says:


    There is a small part of the population that appears to be genetically inclined to become madly medically addicted to anti-decongestant nasal inhalers.

    In all seriousness (Sigh. Not what I prefer to come to BJ for), the product Afrin (spray decongestant) does cause rebound congestion, after initially relieving the congestion.

    No predisposition, beyond a desire to breathe, is required to cause the user to use and use and use.
    Afrin certainly works but one needs to taper off, and expect some residual congestion you just have to accept and live through.

    /resignedly acknowledges medical degree.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:


    I think we’re just arguing different things.

  104. 104
    hilts says:

    Shorter David Brooks – Roll Away the Dew

  105. 105
  106. 106
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: No need to argue with anyone. This kind of thing is already being done and with measurable success. As soon as the medical community can figure out how to implement something like that and advise appropriate counseling/ courses of action, it’ll be added as another preventative care measure. The state has nothing to do with it.

  107. 107
    Cassidy says:

    @KyCole: Your welcome. Don’t drive while inebriated. It’s an asshole thing to do.

  108. 108
    Suzanne says:

    @Dead Ernest (Thought Wrangler): I still have scars in my nose from using Afrin for months on end, then being switched to Rhinocort, resulting in massive nosebleeds. All. I. Wanted. Was. To. BREEEEEATHE. Lord, it was hell.

    Irony: I got a medal in DARE when I was in sixth grade. That did not stop me from getting fucked up on a regular basis. I’m actually not a big fan of weed, because it makes me feel dumb, and if I wanted to feel dumb, I’d vote Republican. I prefer harder stuff but I am too much of a grownup to do it. Haven’t done anything stronger than weed in fifteen years.

  109. 109
    raven says:

    @Cassidy: People get fucked up because it feels good. The notion that giving them information that getting fucked up is dangerous to them will help them to not get fucked up seems to be a stretch.

  110. 110
    Roger Moore says:

    The scoring is pretty simple. The team at bat tries to score runs while the team that’s bowling tries to take wickets. So the score is just the number of wickets vs. the number of runs. When England is at 5 for 61 at lunch (where they are at the time I write this) it means they’ve scored 61 runs while Australia have taken 5 wickets. Meanwhile, Australia managed to score 326 in their innings. That’s obviously bad for England, since the best batsmen generally bat first. If they’ve only managed 61 runs while losing their 5 best batsmen, their chances of making up their 265 run deficit before losing another 5 wickets look pretty slim.

  111. 111
    raven says:

    @Suzanne: Some peruvian marching powder might clear things up.

  112. 112
    magurakurin says:

    figure out that everyone in authority is completely and totally full of shit

    Isn’t this exactly why pot is illegal? I mean, I used to smoke a lot and this was always the conclusion we came to. It’s the only one that makes sense.

    but, I think in short order California is going to follow Washington and Colorado and then Vermont, New York…and the World (insert Dean Scream here)

  113. 113
    MikeJ says:

    @KyCole: Except nobody ever made any statement about which was worse. They’re both bad. People who say that driving stoned is fine are idiots.

  114. 114
    raven says:

    Looks like a track meet at the Orange Bowl.

  115. 115
    Hill Dweller says:

    This post is an excuse to link a funny Louis CK bit about smoking pot with 20 year olds.

  116. 116
    Cassidy says:

    @raven: that’s a little simplistic. Sure, it feels good, but there are a variety of reasons behind the need to get fucked up, which is another matter entirely. If it’s measurable that young, white males in the South that fulfill a certain demographic are more likely to use meth, then what would be the damage done in targeting that demographic with those facts and provide access to some sort of intervention before the various factors that will influence their drug use come to that conclusion? Addiction isn’t a simple disease process.

  117. 117
    Jim, Foolish LIteralist says:

    @Mnemosyne: True alcoholics are perfectly happy to switch their addiction to gambling, or shopping, even if they stop drink

    Or brush-cutting or bible reading.

    eemom mention that renegade apostrophe yet?

  118. 118
    SatanicPanic says:

    @magurakurin: But you might trust authority figures if they had said something like “yeah, it’s fun but don’t do it too often or you’ll become a boring nerd”.

  119. 119
    Dead Ernest (Thought Wrangler) says:



    So we screen everyone by whether they use Afrin appropriately or not.

    We will even be able to tell which 6th grader who medals in DARE will end up scarred and doped up.

    Suzanne, I think you’ve provided the key to ‘clear up’ the debate!

    /with modest apologies to the earnest debaters* above.
    *No relation

  120. 120
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne: Look, half the commentors here either have/had those “addiction issues” or grew up suffering because their relatives did. I say this as the daughter of an untreated bipolar and an alcoholic: It is not the government’s business to be testing people for their potential to become a burden on society. As Cole says, be honest with kids about the effects of all the locally common intoxicants — including twinkies & potato chips, not to mention dating crazies/criminals because being in an abusive relationship is also a major trip. But once you start decreeing who is or isn’t guilty of PreCrime, even assuming your tests are perfect (which they won’t be), sooner or later there’s an administration that starts locking people up for BadThought. (Hey, why not sterilize people with ‘the alcoholism gene’ to prevent the inevitable horrors they’d perpetrate on their offspring? It’s just scientific!)

    Everybody has the right to do stupid things. If they abuse that right by committing acts that have immediate potential for harming others — driving drunk, breastfeeding while intoxicated, spousal abuse — then they lose those rights. Letting one’s inner Authoritarian run free in the vain hope that you can prevent Bad Things by enforcing a sufficiently scientific series of standards is not going to succeed, but the attempt will ruin lots of otherwise unproblematic lives in the meantime.

    In a perfect world, my parents wouldn’t have chosen to inflict their combination of neurodifference and religious insanity on their kids. And if I could time-travel back to the early 1950s and convince them not to marry each other, and preferably not to have kids with other people either, I’d certainly work on convincing them that “God will give you the number of kids you deserve” is not a logical form of birth control. But I’m glad they (and I) grew up in a country where they couldn’t be refused the right to get married and have kids they’d raise to the best of their abilities, and that’s where your “we should test everyone, it’s our duty” inevitably leads.

  121. 121
    jl says:

    @Dead Ernest (Thought Wrangler): I was under doctor’s care, and had some inhaled steroid stuuf (fluticasone or something like that). So, no rebound.

    I’ve read that spray and inhaler decongestants are addictive in some people, and that has nothing to do with nasal or sinus congestion. Just did a literature search, but just found case reports going back 40 years or so.

    I remember reading a review about it, but I can’t find anything now. Probably don’t know enough about the specific drug names to do a good search.

  122. 122
    WereBear says:

    @SatanicPanic: There isn’t a American authority figure anywhere who would dare to be honest with children and teens; there’s always plenty of fundies who are ready to bring the hammer down.

    Look at what happened to Joycelyn Elders, Surgeon General who told the truth about masturbation. The shrieking could be heard from space… and she lost her job.

    For telling the truth.

  123. 123
    Cassidy says:

    @Dead Ernest (Thought Wrangler): IIRC, Afrin shouldn’t be used more than 3 days. After that it has a rebound affect.

  124. 124
    raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: And people ask me why I never had kids!

  125. 125
    raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: And while you are here, what’s the deal with the calendars?

  126. 126
    Baud says:


    Cole used the money for weed!

  127. 127
    Cassidy says:

    @WereBear: I’ve been honest with my teen. Go read my first comment.

    @Anne Laurie: Too much hyperbole. Seriously, badthought? A little drama queenish.

  128. 128
    Cermet says:

    @Amir Khalid: There is a fundamental difference between the two sports – some cricket games can actually take days, some baseball games only seam too … .

  129. 129
    Baud says:

    Speaking of being high.

    Republican Sen. Rand Paul says he is filing a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration over the data-collection policies of the National Security Agency. And on his website, he’s urging Americans to join the lawsuit, in his words, “to stop Barack Obama’s NSA from snooping on the American people.”
    . . . .
    Paul says the lead lawyer in the suit is Virginia’s former attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli.

  130. 130
    Keith G says:

    I am glad that criminal sanctions are being removed from the use of pot. The war on drugs was/is extremely wasteful, disruptive, and harmful to so many.

    Now we are going to have to gear up to find positive ways to deal with what certainly will be an increase in the chronic use of marijuana for children in their teen years. There will be negative consequences. I hope we get in front of them.

  131. 131
    raven says:

    SAN FRANCISCO — California’s $324 million Mega Millions jackpot winner Steve Tran had a 3 a.m. epiphany earlier this week that spurred him from sleep and had him fumbling through a pile of lottery tickets on top of his dresser.

    “I remembered, I think I went to San Jose,” the Northern California delivery driver told state lottery officials, who had publicized that the winning ticket was purchased at a gift shop in that city.

    Tran checked his tickets, and the winner was “just sitting in my house, on top of my drawer.”

    After hugs from family, Tran phoned his boss.

    “I’m really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever,” Tran remembered.

  132. 132
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @WereBear: She lost her job because Great Democratic Statesman and Savior Bill Clinton didn’t have the stones to have her back.

  133. 133
    MikeJ says:

    @Baud: Having a sitting senator as the lead plaintiff in a case against the president sounds like a great way to get a judge to tell you to go fuck yourself.

  134. 134
    Baud says:


    I’ll be curious to see what Paul actually asks for in his complaint. So far, he’s been quite timid about proposing anything specific and preferring to speak in broad terms.

  135. 135
    WereBear says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Indeed, and I was highly disappointed. He should be an abject lesson in how giving in to bullies just makes them bully, more.

  136. 136
    Baud says:


    He’s living my dream.

  137. 137

    @Anne Laurie:

    It’s kind of amazing to me how many people hear “screening and counseling” and hear OMG JACKBOOTED THUGS ARE COMING TO ARREST ME!!

    Did the government drag you to your last mammogram and forcibly shove your tit into the machine? Calm the fuck down.

  138. 138
    Aji says:

    @Anne Laurie: THIS.

    Hell, I can just imagine what would happen to us. Indians? Both with families rife with addictions (in the case of one of my sisters and one of his brothers, fatally so)? I’m one of the few who escaped it entirely; he didn’t, but is sober now more than a quarter-century.

    So the government should decide that I need addiction testing? And then . . .what? Bar me from ever having a beer or a glass of wine? For my own good? ‘Cause, you know, the government doing shit for our own good has worked out so well for us Indians, lo, these many centuries.

  139. 139
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Cassidy: Yeah, Debate Society queens can have that effect on me. I stand by my argument, though.

  140. 140
    Aji says:

    @raven: And also THIS.

  141. 141
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): What’s even funnier is that twice now I’ve shown where this kind of thing is already happening, with great success in preventative care, and it’s being ignored to jump right to the jackbooted thugs. Somehow, the state isn’t involved, but oh well.

  142. 142
    Anne Laurie says:


    what’s the deal with the calendars?

    The graphic designer who generously volunteered to do the calendar ran into some personal problems. Last I heard, she was working with Cole to pass the partially-finished project to another volunteer. I really, sincerely hope to have better news soon!

  143. 143
    raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: That’s cool, I just wondered.

  144. 144
    srv says:

    If you Coloradans are going to be toking up all the time, you need to learn a lesson from your sober Mormon cousins in Utah.

    Slower traffic keep right.

  145. 145
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Really letting your born-and-bred inner Republican run loose tonight, aren’t you?

  146. 146


    I’ll ask you what I asked Anne Laurie here: since screenings for learning disabilities lead to more minority kids being put into special ed, should we stop doing those screenings and let dyslexic or ADHD kids struggle through as best they can because finding out who has LD is problematic?

    (And both you and Anne Laurie seem to have missed the fact that I was meeting cathyx’s hyperbole with my own hyperbole.  Somehow “screening and counseling” has turned into JACKBOOTED THUGS KICKING IN MY DOOR! and I’m not really sure how.)

  147. 147
    Cassidy says:

    @Anne Laurie: You’re welcome to, but you’re wrong. Not saying that to be a dick, but you’re immediately jumping to “ZOMG! GOVT”. You’ve easily jumped multiple levels of screening and counseling that have nothing to do with the state. And we already do this for children re: obesity, healthy habits, etc. Adding potential drug abuse isn’t a great stretch. State still not involved.

  148. 148
    Eric U. says:

    the reason marijuana is illegal involves punching hippies, all the way down

  149. 149

    @Anne Laurie:

    Yes, those evil Republicans, calling for mental health screenings and counseling. What will those fiends think up next?

    And you still haven’t answered my question at #99: since screenings for learning disabilities like dyslexia and ADHD have been abused, don’t we need to stop those as well?

  150. 150
    jl says:

    Going to be a tidal wave of hypocritical old (in spirit if not in years) fogeys.

    Tina Brown: Legal Pot Will Make U.S. ‘Less Able To Compete With Chinese’

    “…legal weed contributes to us being a fatter, dumber, sleepier nation even less able to compete with the Chinese”


    Quote is from a twit she twitter tweeted.

    Edit: I guess mass consumption of illegal weed would not be as bad. Obviously.

  151. 151
    Aji says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I only skim when the threads get to this point.

    But there is zero way I would support mandatory (or even “strongly suggested,” which becomes de facto mandatory for insurance purposes, etc.) screening, which is what the exchanges between the two of you seemed to suggest was under discussion.

    I’m not weighing in wholly for or against either of you. But this strikes me as a very dominant-culture approach to managing addiction, and such things are downright dangerous for folks like us.

  152. 152
    raven says:

    @jl: She probably said “sort of. . .”.

  153. 153
    raven says:

    @Aji: This conversation is played out.

  154. 154
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    And you still haven’t answered my question at #99: since screenings for learning disabilities like dyslexia and ADHD have been abused, don’t we need to stop those as well?

    You’re not asking legitimate questions, you’re trying to win on debate points.

    And Cassidy is encouraging you because he likes MMA.

  155. 155
    mclaren says:


    Mnemosyne is reliably regurgitating long-debunked myths about addiction that most scientists have abandoned.

    I put up a long reply to Mnemosyne debunking her claimed but (naturally) it’s trapped in moderation. Too many links to peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    But just take a look at a couple of basic articles that completely explode Mnemosyne pervasively false claims about addiction;’

    “Marijuana as a gateway drug: the myth that will not die,” TIME magazine, 29 October 2010.

    “Bruce Alexander’s Rat Park: a ratty paradise that challenges our assumptions about addiction,” Cory Doctorow, 16 September 2013.

    Wikipedia entry for behavioral psychologist Bruce K. Alexander.

    The Rat Park experiments, published in psychopharmacology journals in the late 1970s and early 1980s, flatly contradicted the dominant view of addiction in their day. They quickly disappeared from view, having evoked only negative responses in the mainstream press and journals. Lauren Slater’s controversial psychology book, Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century[5] helped to bring them back to public attention in 2005. These experiments are now widely known and cited.

    The Rat Park experiments were among the first to show the error in the once dominant myth that certain drugs, particularly the opiates, convert all or most users into drug addicts. In the 1970s, this myth was said to be demonstrated by the high consumption of opiates and stimulants of rats isolated in specially modified Skinner Boxes that allowed drug self-administration. Alexander and his colleagues demonstrated experimentally that rats isolated in cages of about the same size as Skinner Boxes consume far more morphine than rats that are socially housed in Rat Park.[6] Subsequent research has confirmed that social housing reduces drug intake in rats[7] and that the dominant myth was wrong both for rats and for human beings.[8] Nonetheless, the myth is still embedded in popular culture.

    Source: wikipedia article for Bruce K. Alexander, op. cit.

    Everything Mnemosyne says about addiction is wrong, wrong, completely wrong, flatly wrong, disproven by statistics of drug usage and debunked by behavioral experiments with animals.

    Exactly as you’d expect for a paid astroturfer like Mnemosyne.

    Once again, let me quote from the 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences:

    Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana — usually before they are of legal age.

    In the sense that marijuana use typically precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use, it is indeed a “gateway” drug. But because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common, and is rarely the first, “gateway” to illicit drug use. There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.

    Fact: the vast majority (> 90%) of people who use drugs, including narcotics, do not become addicted.

    Fact: there is no verifiable causal link between marijuana use and subsequent usage of any narcotic.

    Fact: long-term marijuana use produces far less physiological harm than long-term alcohol use.

    Fact: addiction is a social problem, not a problem of individual physiology or brain chemistry, as the Alexander rat part experiment shows. Rats that displayed compulsive consumption of cocaine-laced water in a crowded unpleasant environment immediately stopped consuming the cocaine-laced water and resumed drinking regular water when placed in a stimulating environment with plenty of open space.

    Mnemosyne’s ignorant and pervasively false post suggests that drug addiction is a matter of brain chemistry or genetics when science has shown that it is clearly and provably not. Animal experiments show that addiction is a social and environmental problem. Addiction behavior among rats and mice disappears when the environment is changed. This is not controversial; it is now widely known and cited as a basic result in the behavioral sciences.

  156. 156
    Baud says:


    Of all the things that harm our ability to compete with the Chinese, legal pot is pretty low on the list.

  157. 157
    srv says:

    Is there a more PC word for creeping anger among the aged, like, er… John McCain, for example?

  158. 158
    Anne Laurie says:


    This conversation is played out.


  159. 159
    Baud says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    So throw up a new thread, AL.

  160. 160
    raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: But just as I say that Mr Grumpy jumps up and confirms what I thought! Damn strange world we be livin in today.

    Bucks better get it together or they is gonna get run.

  161. 161
    gwangung says:

    @Anne Laurie: Sorry, I don’t think it’s a good point.

    In all likelihood, it’s going to be a part of your preventative health care screening, just like diabetes screening and prostate cancer screening.

    Nothing you’ve said makes any differentiation between the various types of screening that ARE out there and this type of screening.

  162. 162
    mclaren says:


    Sorry, but Mnemosyne has succeeded in getting this entire discussion completely off track. The scientific evidence shows clearly that drug is not genetic, it’s a social and environmental effect.

    The Alexander rat part experiments clearly demonstrate this.

    There cannot be any “test” for a person’s “propensity to addiction” because the entire premise of such a test is based on junk science. It would be like a ‘test” for “propensity to violence among black people.” Black ghettos exhibit increased violent because of poverty and a rotten environment. You see exactly the same elevated violence in white communities like Flint Michigan when the GM plant there closes and poverty skyrockets and the tax base plummets and the community turns into an impoverished hellhole.

    Mnemosyne is vomiting out long-disproven myths about drug addiction. Everything she says is nonsense. Pay no attention to it.

  163. 163
    Cassidy says:

    @Anne Laurie: Well, I do love MMA, especially WMMA. But, no, I actually love preventative medicine. The reality is that most of our disease processes happen because of poor habits we learn as children combined with genetics, what your primary care provider calls family history. It’s no secret that living “Southern” makes you more likely to have diabetes, COPD, and all sorts of cardiac shit. What we’ve learned is that early intervention in children is having a noticeable effect in the adoption of healthy eating and lifestyle habits. It doesn’t take a genius to go a bit further and make teens aware of the common traits found in their demographic that lead to drug use, ex: white southern males in rural areas. You can pinpoint demographics and provide opportunities for counseling and behavior alterations that lead to healthier lifestyles, including smarter choices with drugs and alcohol. This happens in doctors’ offices every day all over the country, no state involvement necessary.

  164. 164
    gwangung says:

    @mclaren: Actually, as usual, you’re overly broad in interpeting both the research and Mnemosyne’s point.

    There are considerable current research that treats genetic basis for addiction as a viable research topic (it’s far from debunked).

  165. 165
    MikeJ says:

    I don’t know who the color guy is on the Mizzou game, but I wish somebody would remove several of his organs and use them as a gag on him.

  166. 166


    I’m not weighing in wholly for or against either of you. But this strikes me as a very dominant-culture approach to managing addiction, and such things are downright dangerous for folks like us.

    Okay, here’s another example:  I am at high risk for breast cancer, because my mother died young of it. Should the government not advise my doctor to tell me about my high risk and recommend that I get screened for it because that’s unwarranted government interference?

    Again, I’m not getting where the jackbooted thugs come through the door of the doctor’s office when the doctor says, Okay, let’s do a quick screening for possible addictive tendencies just like s/he currently does a depression screening.

    @Anne Laurie:

    Then have John ban me again if you can’t stand reading my comments.  In fact, go ahead and ban me yourself if the fact that I post here bothers you so much.

  167. 167
    MattR says:

    Haven’t read the comments yet, so someone else may have posted this link already. Don’t forward it to Marcus or Brooks. Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization

    “We told everyone this would happen,” says Peter Swindon, president and CEO of local brewer MolsonCoors. “Marijuana is a deadly hardcore drug that causes addiction and destroys lives.

    “When was the last time you heard of someone overdosing on beer? All these pro-marijuana groups should be ashamed of themselves. The victims’ blood is on their hands.”

  168. 168
    raven says:

    @MattR: That link is fucked.

  169. 169
    Cassidy says:

    @gwangung: I don’t think anyone said what was being “debunked”.

  170. 170
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Baud: Yeah, you’re right, so I did.

    Wanna count seconds until the inevitable “she ran away, in terror of my MIGHTY LOGIC!!!” comment?

  171. 171
    mclaren says:

    The scientific evidence against drug addiciton as a “genetic” or “moral” defect in indivduals is not restricted to the Alexander rat park experiments. A 1995 World Health Organization report on cocaine addiction confirms the Alexander rat park results, but for humans.

    One line of research in which Alexander played a key role was actively suppressed by the United States government. Early in the 1990s the World Health Organization (WHO) organized the largest study on cocaine use ever undertaken. Profiles of cocaine use were gathered from 21 cities located in 19 countries all over the world. Alexander was selected as the principal investigator for the Vancouver site. The WHO announced publication of the results of the global study in a press release in 1995.[13]

    However, an American representative in the World Health Assembly effectively banned publication, apparently because the study seemed to contradict the dominant myth of addicting drugs, as applied to cocaine. Part of the study’s findings were “that occasional cocaine use does not typically lead to severe or even minor physical or social problems.” In the sixth meeting of the B committee the US representative threatened that “If WHO activities relating to drugs failed to reinforce proven drug control approaches, funds for the relevant programs should be curtailed”. This led to the WHO decision to postpone publication. The study has not been published officially but is available on the Internet.

    Source: Wikipedia article on Bruce K. Alexander, op. cit.

    Multiple lines of scientific evidence converge on the conclusion that drug addiction is not genetic and is not the result of individual “moral depravity,” but is environmental and social in origin.

    The U.S. government of course refuses to admit this, since it is a conclusion which renders useless and pointless America’s current counterproductive and self-destructive anti-drug policy. Vast numbers of people in the U.S. govenrment make vast amounts of money from America’s ill-conceived and counterproductive so-called “War on Drugs,” and a realistic drug policy (legalization combined with treatment + change of environment for people who abuse drugs) would be both politically inconvenient (i.e., it would involve giving money to poor people to improve their surroundings as well as spending lots of cash to eliminate ghettos, improve inner city schools, provide decent-paying jobs for minorities like blacks and undocumented immigrants) and would take lots of cash away from boondoggles like the DEA.

    Short version?

    As far as drug addiction is concerned, the U.S. government is at war with reality, and reality is winning. But, as with our endless unwinnable war in Afghanistan, we’re not going to let that deter us.

  172. 172
    gwangung says:

    @Cassidy: Well, true. I very much think what Mnemosyne is talking about, AL is talking about and others are talking about are distinctly different (we all know mclaren only rarely impinges on this plane of reality).

  173. 173
    Baud says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Thanks. Glad the Blizzard didn’t keep you down.

  174. 174
    Cassidy says:

    @gwangung: I agree.

  175. 175
    Anne Laurie says:


    It doesn’t take a genius to go a bit further and make teens aware of the common traits found in their demographic that lead to drug use, ex: white southern males in rural areas. You can pinpoint demographics and provide opportunities for counseling and behavior alterations that lead to healthier lifestyles, including smarter choices with drugs and alcohol. This happens in doctors’ offices every day all over the country, no state involvement necessary.

    That, I’d have no problem with.

    Although you do run into the ‘overscreening’ issue, where the medical practice has a strong fiscal incentive to set up a stand-alone facility where patients with insurance can be milked subjected to a barrage of repeat just-in-case testing with really, really high reimbursement rates…

  176. 176
    MattR says:

    @raven: Dammit, missed my chance to edit while reading the rest of the comments. corrected link (I hope)

    @Cassidy: Pretty much. None of mclaren’s links debunk the idea of a genetic component to addiction. That is compleletely separate from the idea that all drug users are addicts or that drug use leads to addiction, which is what mclaren’s links seem to discuss (from what I can tell. I am not slogging through all of it in fine detail)

  177. 177
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Then have John ban me again if you can’t stand reading my comments. In fact, go ahead and ban me yourself if the fact that I post here bothers you so much.

    I’ve never banned you, and I personally doubt Cole has either.

  178. 178
    Cassidy says:

    @Anne Laurie: I’ve been saying the same thing the whole time.

  179. 179
    Cassidy says:

    @MattR: The weird part is she keeps bringing up the moral failing thing, which no one here has said.

  180. 180
    Joel says:

    Nas and hanging out at a prospect hill, but basically the same thing.

  181. 181
    Mike in NC says:

    For 2014, our shitty local paper has added opinion pieces by Jennifer Rubin, David Brooks, and David Limbaugh. We are not worthy of such wingnut tripe.

  182. 182
    Mutaman says:

    “Frampton Comes Alive”? Then I say ban reefer for causing bad taste!

  183. 183
    mclaren says:


    There are considerable current research that treats genetic basis for addiction as a viable research topic (it’s far from debunked).

    You’re spouting junk science. Provide links to the peer-reviewed scientific journal articles showing hard evidence for a gene for addiction, or stand revealed as a liar.

    The plain hard fact about these alleged “genetic predisposition” research papers is that the vast majority of ’em wind up being retracted. They’re based on bad statistics and amount of junk science.

    See “Gene Tests: Too Unreliable For Insurance?

    What you and Mnemosyne and many others seem to fail to grasp is that breast cancer is a disease while drug addiction is a complex behavior. The two are entirely different.

    There is no equation twixt a disease like squamous cell carcinoma, or Hodgkins lymphoma, and a complex behavior like “propensity to drug addiction.”

    [1] “Propensity to addiction” cannot be quantified. We have no objective test for that behavior. Whereas a disease like squamous cell carcinoma is precisely quanitifiable — the signature proteins in this kind of cancer show up in the blood and can reliably be detected and measured.

    [2] Human behavior is complex, and dependent on environment as well as genetics. It is typically not possible to disentangle environment from genetics in such a way as to precisely quanitfy the contribution of each in some complex human behavior because this would require something implausible, like creating an entire society of cloned humans in a different environment and comparing them with the original people in a different environment. That’s obviously not possible. It is, by contrast, quite possible to observe the incidence of cancer in people with and without certain genetic markers, and we can draw quantitative conclusions from that data.

    [3] The characterization of human behavior is subjective and depends on an observer’s biases. The incidence of diseases like cancer is not subjective — if the disease shows up, the symptoms are clear and the protein markers will appear in the blood tests.

    The article I cited above gets at these problems, albeit in he limited fashion of discussing interaction of epigenetics and genetics — which is to say, the role of environment in triggering certain genes which otherwise would lie dormant and not produce disease:

    The rub is that for a genetic test result to be used in assessing insurance risk, it should translate into a specific numerical increase in risk – not a broad range as is often the case at present.

    Conventional risk assessment draws on actuarial data – information collected by insurance companies on actual deaths and disabilities due to various conditions. Where there are no statistics available – as is the case with disorders diagnosed by predictive genetic tests – insurers must rely on scientific studies. However, actuaries acknowledge that here, the evidence is open to interpretation.

    “There are no actuarial statistics [for genetic tests], there is only an actuarial interpretation of the medical research data,” says Alan Doble, an actuary with the Australian unit of reinsurance giant Munich RE and spokesman for the Australian Institute of Actuaries.

  184. 184
    Corner Stone says:

    @gwangung: Stand revealed as a liar!

  185. 185
    burnspbesq says:

    If you hadn’t ruined your brain with dope you might remember that, crux of the biscuit or not, there’s no apostrophe in “kudos.”

  186. 186
    mclaren says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Don’t ban Mnemosyne. Paid astroturfers like her are wonderfully illustrative of the junkthink and vacuous non-arguments used against liberal progressives who have actual facts and logic at their command.

    Mnemosyne regularly goes down like the Hindenberg when faced with the peer-reviewed scientific literature and the available statistical data. It’s good for everyone to see how badly astroturfers like Mnemosyne do when faced with objective reality. If there’s anything America needs in its public policy right, it’s hard cold objective data-driven pragmatism. Look at the facts, assess the evidence, apply Occam’s razor, and draw the appropriate conclusions. If that means our current public policy is mistaken or counterproductive, then we change it.

    If we can just continue to steer the discussion back to reality and the hard evidence, Democrats will win.

  187. 187
    Roger Moore says:


    I’ll be curious to see what Paul actually asks for in his complaint.

    I doubt there’s ever going to be a complaint. They will always be just a little short on cash to pay the lawyers, but if his fellow plaintiffs can just chip in some money to pay all the legal fees, they’ll be filing real soon now.

  188. 188


    “Propensity to addiction” cannot be quantified. We have no objective test for that behavior.

    That’s my point:  we need to have a screening test for that behavior, because — and this will blow your mind — what I’ve been saying the whole time is that not everyone who uses drugs will become an addict. In fact, only a small percentage of the population will do so, and a genetic link has been found through alcoholics.

    If we can identify people with that specific genetic tendency before they become addicted to something, we don’t have to worry about anyone else’s drug or alcohol use unless they get themselves into actual legal trouble by driving while impaired, getting into a domestic dispute, etc.

    But apparently having your doctor walk you through a 10-question screening at an appointment means JACKBOOTED THUGS ARE GOING TO KILL US ALL!1!

  189. 189
    Corner Stone says:

    Anyone who tells me they want to essentially “pre-test” or “pre-screen” for any condition under the sun better have a lifetime of helping the poor sub-Saharan populations.
    Otherwise, they are just dudebros and/or dudebras.

  190. 190
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I have my heart doctor on speed dial because it may kill me that Capt Mnemo and Capt Dudebro/Poor Ride or Die have mindmelded in this thread.

  191. 191
    JGabriel says:

    @gogol’s wife: It had to be said.

  192. 192
    Cassidy says:

    @Corner Stone: Wow! You obviously haven’t been to a medical provider in the last ten years. Considering your little drinking problem, you might want to go see one. Just some friendly advice. Early intervention is key.

  193. 193
    MattR says:

    @mclaren: And once again, the article you link to does not debunk the person you are responding to. All your article showed is that the scientific process is continuing and that there are still questions and concerns about the accuracy or usefulness of genetic testing. However the fact that there are concerns about the application of genetic testing in one industry does not prove that there is not “considerable current research that treats genetic basis for addiction as a viable research topic”.

  194. 194

    @Anne Laurie:

    I’ve never banned you, and I personally doubt Cole has either.

    Believe what you want, but Cole admitted he did it. Why do you think I’m always posting from my iPhone at home? He has my home IP blocked.

  195. 195
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Yeah, one hundred years ago Progressives got concerned about testing for mental incapacity and we got Buck v. Bell. A bit of squeamishness about the idea of testing for non-physical tendencies isn’t without some rational basis.

  196. 196
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Are you saying that such screening should be mandated by the government?

  197. 197
    Corner Stone says:

    @kc: I don’t think, at this point, she actually knows anymore what she is advocating for.

  198. 198
    Elizabelle says:


    Just shut up.

    Mnemosyne is not a paid astroturfer. She is an intelligent and frequent commenter who made a suggestion that some people here disagreed with. That is all.

    Get over yourself.

  199. 199
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cassidy: Which drinking problem is that, Bulliet?

  200. 200
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elizabelle: GFY
    How’s that for your anti BS labeling shit you were talking earlier?

  201. 201
    Cassidy says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, that would be a brand.

  202. 202
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Link?

  203. 203


    Mclaren usually responds to what zie thinks I said rather than what I actually said. For the record, I was not advocating genetic testing at all, more of a behavioral/family history screening.

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Despite how some people chose to interpret one hyperbolic response I made to someone else’s hyperbolic response, I’m advocating a doctor’s screening like the kind they do to figure out if someone might be at risk for depression, but we don’t have the right behavioral markers in place right now to know the right screening questions to ask.

    Still, I think it would be very, very helpful for us as a society to have a way to screen and inform people that they could be at risk for developing an addiction. But, as with all health screenings, what the patient decided to do with that information would be up to them.


    We mandate other mental health screenings — IIRC, under PPACA your insurance company has to pay for your depression screening. But, again, this would be something between you and your doctor, not something reported to the Bureau of Jackbooted Thugs so they can come take your kids away in case you develop a gambling addiction at some point in the future.

    It’s a mental health screening, not a We Immediately Sterilize You and All Your Relatives screening.

  204. 204
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cassidy: Sink don’t care, fool!

  205. 205
    Elizabelle says:


    You can pinpoint demographics and provide opportunities for counseling and behavior alterations that lead to healthier lifestyles, including smarter choices with drugs and alcohol. This happens in doctors’ offices every day all over the country, no state involvement necessary.

    Wasn’t that possibly what Mnemosyne was suggesting?

    I hate seeing the pile-on here. I didn’t like seeing someone called a “hater” on an earlier thread, and I don’t like another being called a “paid astroturfer” on this one.

    @Corner Stone: And now I’m supposed to GFM? Right.

  206. 206
    Cassidy says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh boy. You’re already drunk.

  207. 207
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Cole admitted he did it

    Did he? Or did he just get tired of reiterating that he hadn’t done so every time you insisted that THIS TIME FOR SURE YOU COULD TELL!!!! ?

  208. 208
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elizabelle: No. But I find your earlier calls to not label people interesting when you do it to people who disagree with a position you hold.

  209. 209
    Cassidy says:

    @Elizabelle: That’s exactly what she was saying; I was agreeing with her. Kneejerk people are kneejerk and assholes are assholes.

  210. 210
    Cassidy says:

    @Elizabelle: And just ignore CS. He gets drunk, tries to pick a fight, and saves the really vile behavior for women.

  211. 211
    Keith P says:

    Someone’s gotta tell Scarborough that no matter how hip he thinks his glasses are, no matter how much Just For Men goes in his hair, no matter what he dresses like, he’s still lame as fuck that is, in the eyes of the prize demographic, old as fuck.
    Speaking of old as fuck, what the hell is up with “experiencing a mild euphoric high and listening to Frampton Comes Alive while guzzling Jolt and playing D&D”??!? If a stoner is going to listen to music from pre-90s, it’s gonna be “Legend”.

  212. 212
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cassidy: Poor thing. You’re the one always begging people to tell you reviews for their alcohol.
    I find it interesting, and incredibly hypocritical when you try to label other commenters here.

    But, that’s what right wing authoritarians like you do. So, meh.

  213. 213
    Cassidy says:

    @Corner Stone: Don’t be so defensive drunky. You really should make an appt, though. One can make lifestyle changes at any age.

  214. 214
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    But you’re still not getting it. If we have no objective test for addictive behaviour, then how can we possibly quantify it? And if we cannot quantify addictive behaviour, of what possible use can it be to test for alleged genetic predisposition to such behavior, since we cannot then in any reliable objective way link the results of the alleged gene test to the observed behaviour?

    It is a matter of Bayes’ Theorem. In order to reliably objectively predict the outcome of a medical test we need three pieces of information:

    A) The number of people with the disease with a positive result on the test, which we’ll call X;

    B) The number of people without the disease and with a positive result on that test, which we’ll call Y;

    C) The number of people who get the disease in the general population, which we’ll call Z.

    Let us take a concrete example. Suppose that 1% of women at age forty who participate in routine screening have breast cancer. 80% of women with breast cancer will get positive mammographies. 9.6% of women without breast cancer will also get positive mammographies. A woman in this age group had a positive mammography in a routine screening. What is the probability that she actually has breast cancer?

    After the mammography, the women can be divided into four groups:

    Group A: 80 women with breast cancer, and a positive mammography.
    Group B: 20 women with breast cancer, and a negative mammography.
    Group C: 950 women without breast cancer, and a positive mammography.
    Group D: 8,950 women without breast cancer, and a negative mammography.

    Bayes’ Theorem will tell us the actual likelihood that a woman who scores positive on the mammography actually has cancer, and it will tell us reliably in ways can be measured against the actual statistics (assuming that the incidence of breast cancer in the general population exhibits a normal, which is to say a Gaussian, distribution. If it is another type of distribution such as the Weibull distribution or the Poisson distribution, we can correct for that, assuming that we know what kind of statistical distribution the disease exhibits amongst the general population).

    The answer to the concrete example above is 7.8% = 80/(80 + 950). That is, if a doctor administers a mammography of 10,000 patients, then out of 1030 positive results for cancer, 80 of the women who score positive on the test for cancer will actually have it. (And now you know why mammographies are controversial.)

    But in order to apply Bayes’ Theorem, we absolutely must have those 3 crucial pieces of information. We cannot make do with only two of them, or only one.

    But as you yourself have admitted, we cannot get one of those crucial pieces of information required because “propensity for drug addiction” cannot be quantified.

    Game, set and match.

    Without applying Bayes’ Theorem we can make no reliable claims about the actual likelihood of addiction in the target population. Without such claims, the entire project of genetic testing falls apart.

  215. 215
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cassidy: Pobrecito. Even with your steroid shrunken balls you can probably still spread more bile over this thread.
    Please God, let your wife and children have a safe out.

  216. 216
    Origuy says:

    That story from the Daily Current is a hoax. The Rocky Mountain News ceased publication in 2009.

    “Colorado is reconsidering its decision to legalize recreational pot following the deaths of dozens due to marijuana overdoses,” read the spoof story by DailyCurrant.com, which attributed the death toll to the Rocky Mountain News, the Denver daily newspaper that closed in 2009.

    The Daily Current website’s “About” section states: “Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.”

  217. 217
    Cassidy says:

    @Corner Stone: Never done steroids. Not my thing. I’ll have my religious friends pray for you to get over your addictions.

  218. 218
    MattR says:

    @Origuy: That was the whole fun. I was curious to see what blogs or MSM sources would pick it up as real. I wouldn’t have been shocked to see an idiot like Brooks or Marcus or one of the Fox News hosts fall for it.

    (EDIT: I thought that it was obvious enough satire that the people here would figure it out on their own)

  219. 219
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cassidy: Oh yeah. I know you got it.

    @Corner Stone: I was getting after someone for calling someone he/she did not agree with a paid astroturfer. THAT would be labeling, would it not?

  220. 220
    WereBear says:

    @Origuy: I figured it was. In the world of psychoactive substances, pot is rather singular in that there is no lethal dose. In normal, self-administered situations, one falls asleep, and the dosage stops.

  221. 221
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Still, I think it would be very, very helpful for us as a society to have a way to screen and inform people that they could be at risk for developing an addiction.

    And I think it would be very, very helpful for us as a society to have a way to screen and inform people that they could be at risk for losing lots of money in the stock market. Or at risk for marrying badly and getting taken to the cleaners in a divorce in a way that will wreck their childrens’ lives. Or at risk for getting scammed by a con artist. Or at risk for going outside with their ferkakta dog and smashing their shoulder so badly on the icy sidewalk that they need massive surgery.

    But there is no likelihood that any such tests will ever be developed. Because these are all complex human behaviours and we cannot quantify them.

    You’re asking for a magic pony. There is no such thing. It’s a typical American folly, one of our greatest pathologies, a delusional misplaced faith that we can develop some magic test or some hi-tech machine or some complex software program or some amazing new piece of digital hardware that will somehow let us control or predict the complexity of human behaviour reliably. It’s David Petraeus’ failed surge in Afghanistan, it’s Karl Rove’s failed “strategy for a generation of Republican dominance in American politics.”

  222. 222
    mclaren says:


    Or, as the joke goes, the only way to die from marijuana is if a bale of it falls on you and breaks your neck.

  223. 223
    KyCole says:

    I haven’t read the last hundred comments or so. But I just want to say- people who have never smoked pot should read Andrew Sullivan’s threads about totally normal people who smoke and have lives. Pot smokers are usually not junkies or losers or crazy dangerous drivers, no matter what idiots say. Now I’m done trying to explain that as a college graduate, mother and business owner- I’m not some crazy junkie. Just a person who used to smoke pot and never hurt anybody. Except maybe the people who were hurt because marijuana is illegal.

  224. 224
    burnspbesq says:


    If we can just continue to steer the discussion back to reality and the hard evidence …

    That would leave no role for you.

  225. 225
    Cassidy says:

    @KyCole: No one has said or thinks that.

  226. 226
    mclaren says:


    After having cited 10 different peer-reviewed scientific journal articles on addiction as well as the 1995 World Health Organization report on cocaine addiction based on data from 26 different countries, not to mention giving a specific example of Bayes’ Theorem applied to statistical evidence, my contribution in citing the evidence is clear.

    And since the obvious lie you just told is your sole addition to this conversation, your role in this debate is equally clear.

  227. 227
    Petorado says:

    As a resident of pot’s ground zero, let me tell you that legalization day is just like the day after marriage rights are granted for gays: a portion of the public is at home happier than the day before, doing now what they were always doing — only legally. And the rest of the population continues on with their everyday lives. We just now have some additional business revenue legally entering the community, along with the attendant tax dollars, and a little more understanding of parts of our population that had to secretively conduct their affairs because they were afraid of getting busted.

  228. 228
    PIGL says:

    @raven: only works for the first gram or so, and then only for a the first few (dozen) times. There’s a reason why serious abusers turn to injectable or smokable forms.

  229. 229
    eemom says:


    Go jerk off to McCardle again, you self-righteous piece of shit.

    Oh excuse me….”tap her ass.”

    Seriously the most self-aware thing you’ve ever said.

  230. 230
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Contrary to mclaren (who seems to be (along with some others) trolling you here tonight), it seems obvious to me that some people are more biologically susceptible to drug addiction (or at least use to excess) than others.

    A quick story: A high school friend told a story about the time he tried crack during the “OMG, crack is destroying the world so we have to throw users in prison for decades” days. He was with some people, someone pulled out a pipe, and he joined in. He had a couple of puffs and that was enough for him, but he said there was a girl there who took one hit and it was as if a switch flipped. She *really* wanted more. He was startled by it, and said he never touched it again.

    Drugs don’t affect everyone the same way.

    We know that most people who drink don’t get blindingly drunk or drink a case of beer in 3 hours. But some do. There is a biological component (that can and probably does vary in strength). Having physicians screen for that and let people know the results makes sense in a public-health context. (Results of the screenings can and should be protected under confidentiality rules.) This isn’t complicated.

    Just because we don’t have a reliable biological marker for a tendency to drug or alcohol addiction or over-use doesn’t mean that we never will or that we shouldn’t continue to look for such things.

    My $0.02.


  231. 231
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: Thanks. I will be afraid to sleep tonight lest that image intrude.

  232. 232
    eemom says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Did he? Or did he just get tired of reiterating that he hadn’t done so every time you insisted that THIS TIME FOR SURE YOU COULD TELL!!!! ?

    Or….did it just get SO very frustrating that your own little “banhammers” couldn’t be made to stick, Queen “off with her head” wannabe?

  233. 233
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: That’s how I plan to have the talk.

  234. 234
    mclaren says:

    Historians of homosexuality will judge much twentieth-century “science” harshly when they come to reflect on the prejudice, myth, and downright dishonesty that litter modern academic research on sexuality. Take, for example, the lugubrious statements of-once respected investigators. Here is Sandor Feldman, a well-known psychotherapist, in 1956:

    It is the consensus of many contemporary psychoanalytic workers that permanent homosexuals, like all perverts, are neurotics.[1]

    Or consider the remarks of the respected criminologist Herbert Hendin:

    Homosexuality, crime, and drug and alcohol abuse appear to be barometers of social stress… Criminals help produce other criminals, drug abusers other drug abusers, and homosexuals other homosexuals.[2]

    The notion of the homosexual as a deeply disturbed deviant in need of treatment was the orthodoxy until only recently.

    Source: “Is homosexuality inherited?” Richard Horton (editor of The Lancet), The New York Review of Books, 1995.

    Homosexuality was considered a disease in 1956. It isn’t considered a disease today.

    The changes in the DSM (diagnostic and statistical manual) used by physicians over the last 60 years illustrate the problems with defining something as vague as “propensity to addiction.”

    Suppose someone like pizza and eats a lot of it — is that a “propensity to addiction”?

    Or suppose someone goes through a divorce and starts drinking heavily — is that a “propensity to addiction”? What if the person stops drinking after a couple of months? Is it still a “propensity to addiction”?

    Or how about if some guy is a serial womanizer — is that a “propensity to addiction”? Or what if a girl has a couple of a boyfriends at the same time who don’t know about each other — is she a “sex addict” and does that means she has a “propensity to addiction”?

    Or what if a woman is intensely serious about her career and determined to climb the corporate ladder and make lots of money — does she have a “money addiction” or a “career addiction”? Is that a “propensity to addiction”?

    Suppose someone does well at their job and has a happy family life but constantly loses money at risky investments — is that a gambling addiction? And is that person demonstrating a “propensity to addiction”?

    It should be clearly evidence that nailing down something as nebulous as a “propensity to addiction” just can’t be quantified. That means we can’t define it, and as a result we can’t test for it. It’s like trying to develop a genetic test to determine people who will be “good husbands” or “good employees” or “reliable friends.”

  235. 235
    mclaren says:


    Contrary to mclaren (who seems to be (along with some others) trolling you here tonight), it seems obvious to me that some people are more biologically susceptible to drug addiction (or at least use to excess) than others.

    The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”

    Please cite peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, or GTFO.

  236. 236
    mclaren says:

    To see just how offensive and grotesquely invalid this reasoning is, compare this statement

    Contrary to mclaren (who seems to be (along with some others) trolling you here tonight), it seems obvious to me that some people are more biologically susceptible to drug addiction (or at least use to excess) than others.

    to this statement:

    Contrary to mclaren (who seems to be (along with some others) trolling you here tonight), it seems obvious to me that blacks are more biologically susceptible to violent behavior (or at least use violence to excess) than other groups.

    Or to this statement:

    Contrary to mclaren (who seems to be (along with some others) trolling you here tonight), it seems obvious to me that Jews are more biologically susceptible to greed (or at least acquiring excess money) than other groups.

  237. 237
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @mclaren: Your mind is made up, so my providing cites for you is pointless. But for kicks, you might want to reread some of the quotes you’ve already provided in this thread and think about them a little more – they don’t say what you seem to think they say.

    Before I leave for the night, I recommend to you an interesting book on Boltzmann. Your methods of argument fit with some of Boltzmann’s antagonists of that time, and not in a good way…



  238. 238
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    But for kicks, you might want to reread some of the quotes you’ve already provided in this thread and think about them a little more – they don’t say what you seem to think they say.

    They seldom do.

  239. 239
    mclaren says:


    Your mind is made up, so my providing cites for you is pointless.

    TRANSLATION: “I have no facts, so I’ll use McCarthy-style smears instead.”


    What a surprise.

    Meanwhile, here are some more citations:

    Slater, L. (2005). Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. ISBN 0-393-32655-1
    Alexander, B.K., Beyerstein, B.L., Hadaway, P.F. & Coambs, R.B. (1981). The effects of early and later colony housing on oral ingestion of morphine in rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, & Behavior, 15, 571-576.
    Bozarth, M.A., Murray, A., and Wise, R.A. (1989).Influence of housing conditions on the acquisition of intravenous heroin and cocaine self-administration in rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 33, 903-907
    Ahmed, S.H. Validation Crisis in Animal Models of Drug Addiction: Beyond Non-disordered Drug Use toward Drug Addiction, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 35, 2010, 172–184; Shewan, D., & Dalgarno, P. (2005). Low levels of negative health and social outcomes among non-treatment heroin users in Glasgow (Scotland): Evidence for controlled heroin use? British Journal of Health Psychology, 10, 33-48.
    Alexander, B.K. and Schweighofer, A.R.F. Redefining “Addiction”. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 29, 1988, 151-163.

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    Suzanne says:

    Jesus. Apparently everyone had their cornflakes pissed in tonight. And maclaren is as charming and informative as ever. Happy new year.

  241. 241
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: I had leftover Christmas cookies and green tea for breakfast. No urine involved.

  242. 242
    Suzanne says:

    I also had pee-free Christmas cookies for breakfast. I may do the same tomorrow. Breakfast of champions.

  243. 243
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Not everyone who disagrees with you is liar. There are differences of opinion, honest mistakes of fact, differences in interpretation of acknowledged fact, misinterpretations of what someone wrote, and a metric shit ton of other things. The reason people think you are dismiss you is because you appear incapable of acknowledging my initial statement. And because you behave like an asshole much of the time.

  244. 244
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Would have been better without the typos.

  245. 245
    Ken_L says:

    Brooks is just giving his new puppy his first day outside – Moral Ecology, sired by Moral Hazard. Look for the book soon – he’s been busy writing one.

  246. 246
    SatanicPanic says:

    @mclaren: Oh boy that’s a lot of crap right there.

  247. 247
    jayboat says:

    Wake and bake, people!

  248. 248

    The problem is it takes exactly one joint and a few kids smoking said joint, experiencing a mild euphoric high and listening to Frampton Comes Alive while guzzling Jolt and playing D&D to figure out that everyone in authority is completely and totally full of shit.

    It was Rush 2112, Coca-Cola and dirt bikes, but yeah, that about tore it.

  249. 249
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Good morning!

    @mclaren: Oh, well then, since you asked nicely, sweetie, here you go.

    Maybe start with this one. Read it slowly, though, because we know you’re excitable and can miss nuance if you’re not careful. We wouldn’t want that, would we?

    http://www.annualreviews.org/d.....Code=psych (123 cites)

    Annual Review of Psychology
    Vol. 53: 435-462 (Volume publication date February 2002)
    DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135142

    John C. Crabbe
    Portland Alcohol Research Center, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University, and VA Medical Center, Portland, Oregon; e-mail: crabbe@ohsu.edu

    FULL-TEXT| PDFPDF (200 KB)| Permissions | Reprints
    Citation: PubMed| Web of Science ®| Download| Email notification|
    Web of Science ®: Related Records ®| Times Cited: 123


    Even the most extreme environmentalists along the nature-nurture continuum in psychology now acknowledge that genes often contribute to individual differences in behavior. Behavioral traits are complex, reflecting the aggregate effects of many genes. These genetic effects are interactive, inter se and with the environments in which they are expressed. Human studies of addictive behaviors have clearly implicated both environmental and genetic influences. This review selects drug dependence as a paradigmatic addiction, and further, concentrates on the extensive literature with genetic animal models. Both traditional studies with inbred strains and selected lines and studies exploiting the new molecularly based technologies of the genomics era are discussed. Future directions for further contribution of animal models studies to our understanding of the brain dysregulations characteristic of addictions are identified.

    Unfortunately, it’s $32 to buy the full paper.

    Questions? Dr. Crabbe might be able to help if you ask nicely.

    Hugs and smooches to you too, dearie. Have a great new year!


  250. 250
    SnarkyShark says:

    I am.
    And you are not in charge of what anyone does in here.
    Take your authoritarian mindset and shove it up your ass.
    You and those like you are the problem.
    Assholes on cell phones kill, stoners do not

  251. 251
    Cassidy says:

    @SnarkyShark: Don’t drive while inebriated. It’s an asshole thing to do. If you are, you deserve to die in a fiery car accident. Shove that up your ass.

  252. 252
    sparrow says:

    @Anne Laurie: Agree 100%. This kind of authoritarianism in liberals makes me want to scream.

  253. 253
    Cassidy says:

    @sparrow: Fortunately, no one was suggesting that.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Hill Dweller: Best thing about this thread was the link to Louis CK.

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    Shortstop says:


    People who are genuine alcoholics don’t seem to have a “stop” button for anything they get enthusiastic about.

    Um, no. This whimsical thought is completely unsupported by the body of science on addiction. In fact, it’s heard most frequently from people (not suggesting you are one) who are strongly invested in convincing themselves that they, or someone they care about, are not addicts.

  256. 256
    Zen Who says:

    @MikeJ: Bruce Lee – cannabis – reaction times…

Comments are closed.