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posted by on Thursday March 02 2017, @05:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the ideology-vs-scientific-analysis dept.

The Center for American Progress reports

On [February 27], days after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters to expect stricter enforcement of federal pot law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recycled discredited drug war talking points in remarks of his own.

"I believe it's an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we're seeing real violence around that", Sessions said. "Experts are telling me there's more violence around marijuana than one would think and there's big money involved."

In reality, violent crime rates tend to decrease where marijuana is legalized.

Denver saw a 2.2 percent drop in violent crime rates in the year after the first legal recreational cannabis sales in Colorado. Overall property crime dropped by 8.9 percent [PDF] in the same period there, according to figures from the Drug Policy Alliance. In Washington, violent crime rates dropped by 10 percent [PDF] from 2011 to 2014. Voters legalized recreational marijuana there in 2012.

Medical marijuana laws, which have a longer track record for academics than recreational pot legalization, are also associated with stable or falling violent crime rates. In one 2014 study of the 11 states that legalized medical pot from 1990 to 2006, there was no increase in the seven major categories of violent crime and "some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault."

[...] Elsewhere in his remarks, Sessions unwittingly made the case against treating pot activity like serious crime. "You can't sue somebody for drug debt". he said. "The only way to get your money is through strong-arm tactics, and violence tends to follow that."

Legalizing, regulating, and taxing the sale of marijuana is the surest way to remedying that exact tendency for pot commerce to trigger violent score-settling. Legalization invites pot business into the light, granting cannabusinesses at least partial access to official modes of recourse when they are defrauded.

8 states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana for recreational use.
Ever see anyone use cannabis and become more aggressive rather than more mellow?

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:20PM (7 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:20PM (#474106) Journal

    we don't want to say this, but its true. more than half of america is back-assward, dullard, non-thinking, walking in a haze, thinking that some sky daddy will give their useless lives some meaning. they are sold a bill of goods by their church leaders and it is so ingrained in them, it can't be easily removed.

    That's dismissive, and incorrect. Trump did not win because of the evangelical vote. The evangelical vote preferred Cruz. Trump did not win because of the racist vote. KKK sympathizers are few.

    The balance of Trump's voters voted their pocketbooks. They are the formerly prosperous middle class who got wiped out by NAFTA and could feel the final nail in the coffin coming from the Trans-Pacific Partnership that they knew, just knew, that Hillary would instantly find a reason to support again once the election was over. They wanted somebody to do something about illegal immigrants being brought into the country to suppress wages in many of the sectors they were previously able to make livings in. Another portion wanted to feel good about being American again, after about 30 years of people dumping on the country and watching DC either apologize to or sell them out to. And bound up in all that was a burning desire to flip the bird to the Establishment.

    So I'd caution against smearing those people as, "back-assward, dullard, non-thinking, walking in a haze." It is incorrect and will lead to more error and failure.

    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:48PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:48PM (#474138)

    > The evangelical vote preferred Cruz.

    That is just false.
    During the primaries, the evangelicals still preferred Trump. []

    And it should be no surprise. The evangelicals have always been about racism.

    The Southern Baptist Convention was formed explicitly to support the institution of slavery because the dominant evangelical convention at the time wouldn't have it, so they split off. And then for 150 more years they continued both explicitly and implicitly supporting racism. The last time "religious liberty" was a catch-phrase it was about religious based arguments to resist school desegregation as in Bob Jones University. [] BJ-U forbid interracial dating as recently as 2000.

    It was not until 1995 that the SBC officially denounced racism [] Racism is still the biggest animating factor to evangelicals. If you had spent any time in the south you'd know it to, it oozes from them. They deny it with their words, but their actions say otherwise. Sure they aren't all white devils, some actually do follow Jesus' principles, but most of them pray to an explicitly white jesus. Just listen to runaway1956 if you need an example, he's just barely to the right of mainstream (white) evangelicals.

    > They are the formerly prosperous middle class

    Incorrect. They are the current prosperous middle class that are scared of a brown america. It was not economic anxiety, it was racial anxiety. Trump supporters are richer, not poorer, than average. In fact, the people most likely to support Clinton were those most affected by trade policies.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:53PM (#474141)

      In fact, the people most likely to support Clinton were those most affected by trade policies.

      The Missing Link: []

      And an excerpt:

      Trump's base is not poor whites — it's way more complicated than that

      What Rothwell found was revelatory, to say the least. He finds that individuals who are struggling economically are not more likely to support Trump, nor are people living in areas that have suffered a loss of manufacturing jobs, an influx of immigration, or competition from China. By contrast, people in areas where whites are struggling health-wise, and in terms of intergenerational mobility (and in areas that are very racially segregated), do seem more likely to back Trump.

      Trump supporters are richer, not poorer, than average: For one thing, Rothwell found that both across the overall population and among whites, support for Trump is correlated with higher income, not lower. That’s not surprising; low-income people have always preferred Democrats. But it definitely contradicts the image of Trump as spokesman for the economically struggling.

      Rothwell also found that Trump supporters are no likelier to be unemployed or to have left the workforce. The problem of men dropping out of the labor force doesn’t seem to be a factor behind Trump’s rise.

      "The individual data do not suggest that those who view Trump favorably are confronting abnormally high economic distress, by conventional measures of employment and income," he concludes.

      Nonetheless, Trump supporters tend to be blue-collar and less educated: On the other hand, Rothwell also finds that Trump supporters are more likely to work in blue-collar fields and to have less education. This fact, however, sits uneasily with Trump’s greater support among the wealthy and lower support among the poor, and suggests that his sweet spot is less-educated people in blue-collar fields who are nonetheless doing pretty well economically.

      Trump does well in racially segregated areas: Turning to the geographic data, Rothwell finds that segregated, homogenous white areas are Trump's base of support. "People living in zip codes with disproportionately high shares of white residents are significantly and robustly more likely to view Trump favorably," he writes. "Those living in zip codes with overall diversity that is low relative to their commuting zone are also far more likely to view Trump favorably." Put another way: If you're in the whitest suburb in your area, you're likelier to back Trump.

      Trump doesn’t do well in areas affected by trade or immigration: This is perhaps the most surprising finding. Contact with immigrants seems to reduce one's likelihood of supporting Trump, as areas that are farther from Mexico and with smaller Hispanic populations saw more Trump support.

      Areas with more manufacturing are significantly less likely to support Trump. An increase in the level of manufacturing employment from 2000 to 2007 predicted higher Trump support — which is the opposite of what you'd expect, given the narrative around this campaign. While the finding isn't statistically significant, greater exposure to Chinese imports predicts lower support for Trump, despite his agitation for higher tariffs on the country.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:56AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:56AM (#474270)

      Both poor and rich went for Clinton. Trump grabbed the middle, and happened to end up with a slightly higher average because there are more poor people than rich people.

      Trump support is really high in the social range from "skilled trade" to "STEM BS degree". It's weak above that, and very weak with the poor. Trump voters tend to be people who are doing OK, but with reason to be nervous. The sort of people who may have seen friends and family lose jobs tend to vote for Trump.

      Clinton gets the people on government help and the minimum wage workers. She also gets what you might call the "guilty rich", people who might feel a sort of discomfort in the realization that others are much worse off. These people push up the average education level for Clinton voters, often with doctorates. Also pushing up the education level are people with generally impractical degrees.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:20AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:20AM (#474276)

        Nice theories. Do you have any evidence beyond wishful thinking?

        > Both poor and rich went for Clinton. Trump grabbed the middle,

        Trump got the rich and the white vote. []

        Far from being purely a revolt by poorer whites left behind by globalisation, who did indeed turn out in greater numbers for the Republican candidate than in 2012, Trump’s victory also relied on the support of the middle-class, the better-educated and the well-off.

        Of the one in three Americans who earn less than $50,000 a year, a majority voted for Clinton. A majority of those who earn more backed Trump.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @08:06PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @08:06PM (#474540)

          $50,000 a year is nothing special. If you draw the line there, and call everybody above it rich, then yeah Trump voters are rich. I guess that fits your narrative.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:55AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:55AM (#474783)

            Trump also got the majority vote of people making over $100K, and the vote of people making over $250K and those making over $500K all the way up.
            $50K was just where the break started.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:19PM (#474151)

    I have no account on here, but +1 Insightful, Phoenix.