Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Maureen Dowd Discusses Marijuana Candy

Dowd is a hard left New York Times columnist -- and her experience with marijuana candy in Colorado is very sobering.  Some of the comments echo her experience -- that marijuana is not the wonderful, risk-free alternative to alcohol that a whole generation of journalists has encouraged people to believe:
The column also increases my unease about widening access to marijuana _ and there is no doubt that legalization will make the drug more widely available. Do we really need another stupifying substance to take the edge off reality? After the long battle to marginalize smoking cigarettes, why encourage another health risk? Of course, marijuana will always be readily available, legalized or not. Of course, alcohol does far more damage. But these, to me, are hardly arguments in favour of legalizing marijuana. They should be cautions.
Of course, there are gobs of comments by people saying that Dowd was being stupid by taking this without spending some time researching the risks first.  We all know that most adults (and nearly all teenagers) do that level of research before they start smoking pot, drinking, or any of those other "cool" things that they do!

UPDATE: One of the comments apparently came in from 1970.  Very, very few people are in prison for marijuana possession -- and as I have pointed out before, it is usually because this was a plea bargain down from some much more serious crime.

The same commenter thought that it was unfair that someone would be banned from joining the military for life for a marijuana conviction.  Again: this isn't 1970.  The U.S. Army's list of disqualifiers is really not like that:

  • You have an initial court conviction or other adverse disposition for sale, distribution, or trafficking (including “intent to”) of cannabis (marijuana), or any other controlled substance.
  • You have a history of chronic cannabis (marijuana) use or psychological cannabis dependence (as defined in AR 40–501)...
  • You have convictions or other adverse dispositions for 5 or more misdemeanors that occurred preceding application for enlistment.
  • You have a conviction/OAD of two or more separate charges of possession of any illegal drugs/drug paraphernalia within 3 years preceding application for enlistment.
If you have a marijuana addiction problem, or you have a conviction for trafficking, or you have two or more charges of possession in the last three years, you aren't going to be able to join the military.  But possession is not a lifetime disqualifier.

10 comments:

Billy Oblivion said...

So lesse, she travelled to a strange place and took a psychoactive substance alone without doing an research.

And it's the *substance* that's the problem?

I don't think Marijuana is **safe**, but I think it's got a lot less problems for people than Alcohol does (at least at effective doses. 8 ounces of 3.2 beer is not an effective dose).

Nothing is safe at stupid doses.

Old school (pre-halal) cough medicine does some interesting things if you take 16x the recommended does.

16 glasses of cheap red wine might very well kill you, especially as a "novice".

16 cigarettes smoked back to back, well, I don't think a "novice" could do that, and there were effects from smoking even one or two too fast.

We now have 2 experiments running to see how Marijuana legalization works in the US. Let's hope that the anal fissures...I mean politicians in other states look past the tax revenue and give these experiments 5 or 10 years to play out.

Josh said...

Gun shops have similar issues, and have reacted by providing useful instruction and information to users. I'm not sure why this sort of legalization should be any different to you.

Clayton Cramer said...

The problem here is that if an important opinion former at the national level is this clueless, what is the state of the average teenager?

Bill said...

Teenagers can't legally buy this just like Alcohol.

Do you really think putting people in jail or permanently crippling there ability to get a job, serve in the military etc. is better then allowing some people be stupid?

Clayton Cramer said...

Yes, and teenagers aren't getting alcohol now.

This isn't 1970. How many people do you think are going to jail for marijuana possession? It's vanishingly small.

Is the military rejecting people for marijuana possession convictions?

Clayton Cramer said...

Bill: don't believe everything the potheads tell you. The Army has a list of disqualifiers, and it does not appear that a conviction for marijuana possession is a problem:

"You have an initial court conviction or other adverse disposition for sale, distribution, or trafficking (including “intent to”) of cannabis (marijuana), or any other controlled substance.
You have a history of chronic cannabis (marijuana) use or psychological cannabis dependence (as defined in AR 40–501)."

Clayton Cramer said...

or:

"You have a conviction/OAD of two or more separate charges of possession of any illegal drugs/drug paraphernalia within 3 years preceding application for enlistment."

Not a lifetime ban.

Josh said...

The problem here is that if an important opinion former at the national level is this clueless...
To apply the same metaphor, would you trust her to take apart -- or even handle -- a loaded GLOCK without putting a hole into something or someone? I'll give her points for at least /admitting/ to the stupid mistake, but national opinion former and clued in seem to be rather disjoint sets.

((I'm /also/ not very sold on using the presence of a plea bargain as evidence of deeper crimes. That's certainly the case in some situations, but I'd need more evidence to know whether it's 100% or 10%.))

Clayton Cramer said...

I would say that if a person who is obviously of above average intelligence (as much as her opinions infuriate me) is this clueless, it does not give me confidence in the ability of teenagers to make sensible decisions on appropriate dosing of marijuana. They also demonstrate that they aren't very good on this with alcohol, where there is a set of cultural expectations present. And yes, teens aren't supposed to buy marijuana in Colorado, just like they aren't supposed to buy alcohol.

My guess is that if you handed Maureen Dowd a loaded Glock she would be so terrified of it that she would not even try to unload it. Because we do a good job of letting people know that handguns are, you know, dangerous. The media have spent a couple of decades promoting the false idea that marijuana is nearly risk-free. It isn't. At least there is some general awareness that alcohol is hazardous, although many teens and young adults act as though those hazards only apply to someone else.

I am not sold on use of plea bargains either. I would prefer to see them go away completely. If you don't have a strong enough case to take this trial, maybe you shouldn't. If a prosecutor is using a plea bargain to clear his backlog, it means that some people are probably taking the plea bargain for the wrong reasons.

Kirk Parker said...

Clayton, sorry: the average teenager (who if he/she gets *any* news at all, gets it from Stewart/Colbert) is NOT less informed than Dowd. Being uninformed beats being seriously misinformed by ideology any way of the week. And I don't give a bit of credence to any "intelligence" she might have, on the basis of "none are so blind as those who will not see".