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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: 2) by meustrus on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:24PM (2 children)

    by meustrus (4961) on Thursday March 02 2017, @10:24PM (#474154)

    The real problem is that Sanders couldn't run, because him running would have mostly hurt Hillary and there are enough die-hard Hillary supporters to keep him from winning. No high-quality candidate is going to run such a race; Theodore Roosevelt tried in 1908 in the Bull Moose party, which led to the election of Woodrow Wilson who would have lost under any other circumstances.

    The only way to make it work is if you can steal enough voters from both parties. Otherwise, the voters who love their party form a larger fraction of voters than the typical margin of victory. But this isn't going to happen, because the parties do more than just field candidates. They define the debate. Does it really make sense that political opinions around abortion and environmentalism are correlated? What about gun rights and free trade? Financial regulations? Warmongering? Both parties have tied all of these issues together in a very strange way that has made it so that whenever you talk to someone you agree with on one issue, they always agree on a whole bunch of issues as well.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Friday March 03 2017, @01:08PM

    by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @01:08PM (#474342)

    Both parties have tied all of these issues together in a very strange way that has made it so that whenever you talk to someone you agree with on one issue, they always agree on a whole bunch of issues as well.

    There's a reason for that.

    Both major parties basically try to win votes on social issues like gay marriage or religion in schools, while winning donors with economic issues like refusing to renegotiate drug prices. This system keeps the people at each others' throats while the government helps the rich run away with all the money. And they also try to keep conservatives and liberals from interacting too much socially, so that they won't notice all the shared problems and areas of agreement they have.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @06:17AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @06:17AM (#474788)

    Does it really make sense that political opinions around abortion and environmentalism are correlated? What about gun rights and free trade?

    That's how tribalism works. And it isn't just political parties, that's just one manifestation of tribalism. Much of it is that people have to generally agree with each other in order to have trust in each other and societies run on trust because trust really means things like common agreements on implications of words (think of old "indian-giver" insult with its origin in the difference between western and native american understanding of land ownership).

    So anytime you get a group of people dedicated to working together they end up converging on common beliefs. It really puts the lie to this idea of people being pure individuals. As misanthrope myself I wish it were otherwise, but the whole ideal of "rugged individualism" is really more of a pernicious myth than a useful goal for making the world a better place.