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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?

Note: ThinkProgress redirects all accesses of their pages and will attach tracking numbers. I have made sure that those are not in the URLs.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by darnkitten on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:27PM (4 children)

    by darnkitten (1912) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:27PM (#474113)

    Personally, I feel obligated to vote, but what I would really like to see is the possibility of a "Vote Against." Not a vote cast for the opponent of a candidate (which is what I usually do), but a straight, -1 vote against a particular candidate. Or, even less likely to be implemented, a "None of the Above" vote that splits my one negative vote amongst all of the candidates for a particular office.

    That could allow for protest votes without requiring me to vote for the lesser evil, so to speak.

    Maybe it could require a minimum threshold for total votes below which no one can take office, triggering a new election. Of course, that would lengthen the campaign season, which would be almost worse...

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  • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:38PM (3 children)

    by edIII (791) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:38PM (#474126)

    I'm down for that. I'm not lazy, just disillusioned with the voting process itself.

    If I did have the option to vote something like, "No, you all suck", I would be at the voting booths every single time. As it stands, my only way to tell them the true depths of my disapproval is to actually pick up the telephone and call them.

    Which I do.

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by darnkitten on Friday March 03 2017, @02:31AM (2 children)

      by darnkitten (1912) on Friday March 03 2017, @02:31AM (#474226)

      As it stands, my only way to tell them the true depths of my disapproval is to actually pick up the telephone and call them.

      And I vote, but I don't call --I guess that between the two of us we make one active citizen. :)

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by edIII on Friday March 03 2017, @07:43PM (1 child)

        by edIII (791) on Friday March 03 2017, @07:43PM (#474526)

        That's fine, but I wish you engaged in the follow through and hounded the fuck out of your candidate day and night. I'm not going to ever vote for a candidate again. I'll vote on measures, or initiatives that make sense. Otherwise, it's all a rigged game, and "my" player was cheated out the game anyways. I don't play in rigged games. I play to destroy the playing field of a rigged game underneath the players that are doing it.

        I didn't vote for Hillary. I voted for Trump to *not win*. There is a huge difference between the two.

        I'm done with voting. It takes energy away from resisting in every way, shape, and form that I can. What frustrates me is that people believe voting is actually resisting, when it's only the dancing with devil in the pale moonlight.

        When you show up at their offices screaming, when you surround their homes and their families, when you make sure that their phone systems are slammed 24/7, when you shutdown streets with thousands of protestors, when you use your wallet to not support the Establishment, when you hack and dox the fuck out them to bring sunlight to the cockroaches.... that's resisting.

        Anything else is playing their game, and they own every aspect of the playing field. They make the rules selling the delusion that we were involved in their creation. There is simply no hope of winning whatsoever. They made sure of that. Which is why we show up and attempt to thwart every single one of their goals of initiatives. Resistance is all we have.... until that blossoms into civil war. At that point, we will find true and meaningful change and the possibility of returning back to an America that is truly for the people and by the people.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Saturday March 04 2017, @03:19AM

          by darnkitten (1912) on Saturday March 04 2017, @03:19AM (#474751)

          You make a good point.

          Maybe voting should be the startpoint of the process, and maybe the followthrough is what provides meaning to the vote, especially if you stand in opposition.

          My question would be, how do you engage with your elected officials in a meaningful way, one that will bring some sort of constructive progress, or at least will result in him or her listening in a serious way?

          Because, and forgive me my saying it, but the strategy of constant attack you laid out in your comment, while emotionally satisfying, seems to me to be more likely to cause anger and retrenchment, which would result in the reinforcing of those things you are protesting out of sheer contrariness.

          Protests bring out the fact that you are frustrated, yes, but, judging from the comments that I am hearing around me (I live in strong Trump supporter country, oh my, do I ever), your protests are viewed with bemusement ("I don't know what they're protesting about"); looked down on with revulsion ("in my day, people were more polite"), or seen with satisfaction or glee ("well, now they know how we feel", "now we've got a bit of our own back"). They don't get it, and, because you don't have a channel to communicate directly with them in their silos, you have very little chance of changing their votes--and They Do Vote.

          And chivaree/charivari, while once an effective tactic, in this age of sound-cancelling technologies and insulation, has been reduced to a memory of wedding rituals of a time long past, at least in my town. :)

          -

          So--Given that some sort of action is necessary to bring meaning to my vote, what do you do that's been effective? Do you ever actually get to talk to your congresscritters (or their staffers) directly/one-on-one? Do you write letters or emails, or do petitions? Do you attend legislative sessions or town hall forums? Do you work with any organizations (also, are they effective)? My professional organizations and a couple of other organizations with which I am affiliated do lobbying, but it mostly consists of asking us to forward form letters, and, besides the fact that blockquotes rarely reflect my thoughts and concerns, pre-written material has always seemed to me to be readily ignorable.