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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 Anal Pumpernickel on Friday March 03 2017, @05:34PM (2 children)

    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday March 03 2017, @05:34PM (#474456)

    We don't live in a democratic system; we have an oligarchy. There is massive bias against third parties, we have a winner-take-all system, and we have a staggering amount of corruption in our government. Most voters vote for 'the lesser of two evils'. You cannot call such a system "democratic" just because you technically can vote; it's barely democratic at all.

    Anyway, there are other ways to make your opinions heard than just by voting. Voting actually does not communicate much, because you're not voting for individual policies, but for an individual who supports many different things that you may or may not support. Many people vote for candidates they mostly disagree with simply because they believe said candidates are the 'lesser evil'. You need to make your opinion heard in other ways if you want it to truly count. You're likely deluding yourself if you think your opinion counts just because you voted, or that someone's opinion doesn't count just because they did not vote.

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  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday March 03 2017, @06:53PM (1 child)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 03 2017, @06:53PM (#474502)

    Voting is the only way to actually *force* your opinion to become policy. All these other "ways to make your opinions heard" do not. You can scream at politicians all you want, but they're perfectly free to ignore you and tell you to take a hike. If you're not even voting for them, and you're not voting against them either, then why should they listen to you? You mean nothing to them, and you have no power over them because you've specifically chosen to not exercise that power.

    Yes, we have a two party system that gives little power to third parties. But there is very little evidence of any actual voting fraud or election fraud. *We* are electing these people into power, willingly. If all the whiners who refuse to vote got together and voted for a third party, that party would have a lot more power (getting over 15% gets you matching funds IIRC), and if enough people voted that way, the third party would get elected. Have you forgotten what happened in Minnesota a while ago? Everyone was so mad at the two incumbent candidates and their parties that they voted for Jesse Ventura, who won in a big surprise. Something a little similar has happened now with Trump. When people are mad and vote against the mainstream candidates, we get outsiders in power. (Of course, with Trump it appears this isn't really a good thing, but time will tell I suppose.) So claiming your vote is useless is obviously stupid, as the Trumpists have proven by getting their guy elected against all expectations.

    In the end, the *only* thing that matters is voting. You can yell at politicians all you want, you can talk to other citizens all you want, but if none of you actually *vote* for what you want, you're not going to get it. So yes, your opinion does not count if you don't vote. If you disagree, feel free to prove how anyone has actually effected real political change without either voting or using violence. In any political system, there are only two ways to effect change: through the mechanisms already set up in the system (i.e., voting, for a nominally democratic system), or by using violence to bypass the existing system (i.e., revolution). None of you are talking about revolution here, so that only leaves voting. (There's also a third option, which is utilizing the judiciary, but none of you are talking about bringing lawsuits against the government either. You're just talking about whining loudly.)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:59AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:59AM (#474784)

      > Voting is the only way to actually *force* your opinion to become policy.

      Geek binary thinking failure mode on display.

      Politics isn't about force, its about persuasion. And all the stuff you denounce as ineffective is how politics actually works when it isn't an extreme edge case. Focus on the general case because that's something you do have the ability to affect.