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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: 4, Insightful) by Zz9zZ on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:05PM (24 children)

    by Zz9zZ (1348) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:05PM (#474009)

    Why do the liberals sound so angry? I'll give you a hint, it is not because Hillary lost. It is because there is a very obvious fascist sitting in the top seat of our government and we're not too distracted by #winning #maga to see this reality. All of you supporters, all of you apologists are the worst. You are literally advocating for a fascist police state, all because your sense of self-righteousness is out of control and you don't care how it is satiated. Y'know, all the things you like to hate on liberals for?

    Facts don't matter, truth doesn't matter, only your desire to punish those who disagree with you matters #irony #hypocrisy.

    --
    ~Tilting at windmills~
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  • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:24PM (5 children)

    by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:24PM (#474025)

    tl;dr:

    STIGGINIT!

    this will be the end of us. petty little 'us vs them' wars will reduce us all to a 3rd world hellhole.

    but hey, the conservatives are 'sticking it to us'. their little revenge war; the war that is literally destroying our common culture and freedoms.

    --
    "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:35PM (1 child)

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:35PM (#474039)

      If we're going to have a theocratic authoritarian government, like the conservatives want so much for us, then we might as well have a 3rd-world hellhole to go with it.

      • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:45PM

        by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:45PM (#474135)

        drapes should match the carpet, I guess.

        (lol?)

        --
        "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:53PM (1 child)

      by edIII (791) on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:53PM (#474082)

      All of this is literally why I know there is no future in America for me. I'm too old to fight robots for employment to serve fast food, and I'm incapable of working in a corporate environment without throttling the MBAs till their eyes pop from their sockets. I'm literally shaking with anger when I realize that the workers have less than a living wage, and those hell bound fuckers, somehow justify multiples of a living wage for their corporate contributions that have ruined society, our culture, and our country.

      I've come to decide that life in the middle of Central America's jungles is a better retirement plan for me. In all seriousness, America IS becoming that third world hell hole we snobbishly ridiculed for 100+ years. So why shouldn't I just move to a "third world hell hole" now? A place where I have water, can grow my own *superior* quality food, and crime is non-existent. Not to mention beautiful, not polluted, and you can see the stars? Compare that to a shitty apartment on the bad side of town in a county where the average wage is a fraction of the average rent. I'm confused. Which one is the hell hole? Which one has income inequality? Which one has 8 people owning over 90% of the wealth again?

      There's another article around here about how 7 people apply for every 1 job with a living wage. Do you know what that is? That's the dead canary in the cage warning you that the mine, in a very immediate sense, is no longer capable of supporting life.

      Pretty much like America is no longer capable of supporting its citizens with a land of equal opportunity, freedom, and impartial justice.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:52PM

        by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:52PM (#474140)

        we have more than 7 applying for each job. its more like 10-100 and often can be more.

        but of course, THERE IS A LABOR SHORTAGE. bring in more desis!

        (damn. we all know this is wrong at every level, but those in control put their fingers in their ears and ignore all reason)

        --
        "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
    • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:00PM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:00PM (#474168) Journal

      tl;dr:
      STIGGINIT!

      At first glance I read SIGINT and pictured Trump pressing ctrl-c on the terminal running /bin/America

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:26PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:26PM (#474028)

    That's the defining the characteristic of the alt-right movement.
    They aren't for anything. They are just against everybody they don't like.
    They don't succeed by accomplishing anything, they can only succeed when they fuck up somebody else.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:48PM (#474080)

      cartoon illustration of the hollowness of the alt-right: https://thenib.com/high-steaks [thenib.com]

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:34PM (12 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday March 02 2017, @07:34PM (#474038)

    Some of us liberals are angry at Hillary and the rest of the DNC for getting us into this mess in the first place. Hillary should have gracefully dropped out of the primary race when it became clear how unpopular she was with the both her party and all the swing voters, for the good of the nation, and the DNC should never have pushed her and knifed Bernie in the back.

    This whole situation is all the fault of Hillary, DWS, Podesta, and the rest of the establishment Dems.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:01PM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:01PM (#474057)

      > Hillary should have gracefully dropped out of the primary race when it became clear how unpopular she was with the both her party and all the swing voters

      She won the primary by 4 million votes.
      Its easy to think Sanders would have won the general because its an untestable hypothesis.
      None of his weaknesses were ever exposed to attack by the republicans.
      And its pretty rare for a party to maintain the presidency for 3 terms.

      Besides, the democratic party's problems are more than just the presidency, they are structural. They've lost enormous ground at the state and local level as the republicans relentlessly focused on that through gerrymandering and voter suppression.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:51PM (10 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday March 02 2017, @08:51PM (#474081)

        More Hillary apologism.

        Hillary winning the primary is irrelevant. The primaries don't win you the general election. To win that, you have to get more votes out of all the voters. Only a small fraction of voters vote in the primaries; it's especially bad in states with closed primaries, which actively prevent non-party-faithful from voting. Bernie was a relative outsider, so it's not that surprising that he didn't get quite as many votes, plus with the backstabbing going on by the DNC, they guaranteed it (like scheduling debates at times no one was watching, not having very many debates, etc.). To win the general election, you have to appeal to the majority of voters of all stripes, and that really means winning over the "swing voters". There was ample evidence through polling that Hillary was not well liked, and what's more, there was ample polling evidence that Sanders was significantly more popular among the general electorate than Hillary.

        Bernie's been in politics for decades. Far longer than Hillary in fact. He didn't have all her political baggage, even despite this fact. The only thing they could do is call him "socialist", and make some noises about him buying a middle-class house.

        The Dems lost enormous ground in the last election because people didn't bother to vote, largely because Hillary was so unpopular. Despite the voting population being larger in 2016 than in 2008, there were many millions *fewer* votes cast in the 2016 election than in 2008. That can be squarely blamed on Hillary and the DNC. Obama in 2008 was famous for having high voter turnout and getting younger voters out to vote for him. Hillary was infamous for being extremely unpopular among Millennial voters. So they didn't show up at the polls to vote for her, and then the down-ticket Dems didn't get enough votes either. It's hard to say whether it was apathy, or outright hostility to the Democratic Party due to their anger at how Sanders was treated and their disillusion with the DNC and its perceived corruption.

        Considering that Hillary and Trump were the most unpopular candidates ever to run for President, to claim that Sanders wouldn't have won against Trump, despite clear polling numbers showing Sanders as being far more popular than Hillary among regular voters, is either lunacy or lying apologism.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:25PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:25PM (#474110)

          > Hillary winning the primary is irrelevant.

          Dude you literally brought up the primary yourself.

          > to claim that Sanders wouldn't have won against Trump, despite clear polling numbers showing Sanders as being far more popular than Hillary among regular voters, is either lunacy or lying apologism.

          At that same time polling numbers said a whole bunch of republicans didn't like trump. But by the time the election came around they all jumped on the trump train. You keep doing this thing where you assume the starting conditions define the end conditions as if absolutely nothing would or even could happen in the intervening months. Its simple-minded at best and looks a lot like confirmation bias.

          I would have voted for Sanders myself. I'm just not so foolish as to believe everybody else thinks like me. Its part of growing up.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @01:09PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @01:09PM (#474343)

            Dude you literally brought up the primary yourself.

            ...to claim that she should've dropped out so they could be more likely to win in the general election. Don't be disingenuous. Who knows whether it's true or not, but Sanders was definitely a better candidate, so I wish she had dropped out.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday March 03 2017, @04:34PM (1 child)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 03 2017, @04:34PM (#474422)

            At that same time polling numbers said a whole bunch of republicans didn't like trump. But by the time the election came around they all jumped on the trump train.

            They jumped on the Trump train because the alternative was Hillary, and there was no way in hell they were voting for her. Hitler himself could have run against her and they would have voted for him. Do you seriously not understand this?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @06:38AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @06:38AM (#474794)

              Jesus could have run as a democrat against trump and they still would have voted for trump.
              IF they didn't like Trump they could have abstained. Instead he got like 2 million more than romney did.
              The majority simply don't care about policy all that much, they care about tribe.

              If you haven't figured that out yet, then you are the one who doesn't understand how politics and group dynamics in general works.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:39PM (1 child)

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:39PM (#474127) Journal

          Yes, what you're saying rings true to me. I ripped up my Democratic party registration after it came out they rigged the primary for Hillary. I mean, I knew they had before it came out, because I know how the Clintons play, but the leaked emails confirmed it. I then proceeded to vote for Trump, because he said he was opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and I believed him (a promise subsequently kept), whereas Hillary is a lying sack of shit who can't even tell the truth about having a cold. I also voted anything but Democrat in every other race on the ballot.

          Bernie would have won easily over Trump, because he was speaking to the same economic issues Trump was, was as anti-establishment as Trump was, but was far less scary than Trump for a lot of people.

          But really it's a moot point. Even had Bernie gotten the nomination and beaten Trump, the DNC is so shot through with corrupt failure that it would not have helped him realize his policy agenda. In fact it is so broken, as proven by whom they selected as their new chairman, that it cannot be salvaged.

          Progressives can rally, but they have to do a few things first. First, they have to jettison the DNC. Second, they have to step outside their echo chamber and psycho-linguistic bubble and listen, really listen, to what Trump's supporters and many others are really talking about. They'd quickly realize that materially they're pretty much on the same page as progressives, but they choose different language and metaphors to talk about it. Third, they have to be willing to let go of their own forms of cognitive dissonance (such as, braying about Trump's horrible, stupid, racist wall between Mexico and the US while saying nothing about Israel's wall that has turned Palestinian territory into an open-air prison) and their own linguistic forms and try to actually communicate with others who speak differently. In other words, stop behaving like the people in the Tea Party they spent the last 8 years deriding.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:57PM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:57PM (#474184) Journal

            Agreed. The DNC needs a 45-year enema. They need to get back the spirit they had in 1972 when they ran McGovern. Since that loss, to Dick fucking Nixon of all people (and I use the term lightly), the Democrat party has decided they'd rather sell their soul and win than be correct. And we're all paying for it, all of us. No one speaks for the poor in the major parties now, and no one has since Mr. "it's not illegal if the president does it" Nixon won. ...and when he was given a blanket pardon by Ford, that was the mortal wound. Reagan was Trump before Trump, if you think about it.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:14PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @11:14PM (#474174)

          To win [...] the general election [...], you have to get more votes

          Actually, the Blues did that.[1]
          They still lost the presidency.

          The efforts they made in key Rust Belt states were inadequate.
          You're right that Hillary was absolutely the wrong candidate.
          She (and the Neoliberal class) don't give a shit about the wellbeing of Blue Collar types.
          If you don't have a white collar and multiple college degrees, you simply don't matter to them.[2]

          DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who was reelected in her Florida congressional district, BTW) put personal loyalties above what the Blues needed to win.
          The same with other Blue elites.
          The Blues have been moving ever more toward Plantation Capitalism and a police state (the top right of the political palate) since they lost the presidency in 1972.
          They just refuse to leave Clintonism behind and they will continue to lose.

          When it came time to elect leadership in the 2017 Congress, the Blues there chose Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
          The Establishment Blues just can't bring themselves to break with Neoliberalism.

          [1] The Electoral College is an anachronism (assuming that it was ever justified).
          USA is unique in the world having one of those.
          (All other places on the globe chose winners by a popular vote tally.)

          If the Big 2 parties won't kill off that remnant of Classism and a slave-owning past (and it is clear that they believe it is NOT in their best interest to do that), then the players have to adopt a strategy that at least acknowledges its existence.
          Hillary was claimed to be "experienced", yet she muffed the Electoral College vote.

          [2] Hillary changed her -rhetoric- on TPP, minimum wage, etc., but everyone knew her proclivities.
          A significant number of Trump voters were mostly voting -against- Hillary.
          Like you, I'm pretty sure if it wasn't for the Blues' back-shooting in the primaries, Bernie--especially with a bit of specifics--would have stomped Trump.

          ...and it's a real shame more folks didn't make an effort to discover Jill Stein and her Green New Deal notion.

          polling numbers showing Sanders as being far more popular

          In the future, you will need to chose your polls very carefully.
          Most were an abysmal failure in 2016.

          ...and, hey, you can still abandon the Neoliberals and find candidates who are Worker-friendly.
          Pretty sure you're going to have to leave the Blues behind to do that.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @01:57AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @01:57AM (#474215)

            The Electoral College wouldn't be a bad idea if it weren't for the "winner takes all" system that most states have in place. The Electoral College is analogous to how Congress is made to reflect individual states equally, but give an edge to the ones with more people.

            Democrats succeeded in the same strategies that they always pull against liberal third party candidates. I still can't believe they've gotten away with the illegal shit they've done to suppress votes in the past (especially involving Nader).

        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday March 03 2017, @01:49AM (1 child)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday March 03 2017, @01:49AM (#474214) Journal

          The primaries don't win you the general election. To win that, you have to get more votes out of all the voters.

          Uhh.....she did both.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday March 03 2017, @04:26PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 03 2017, @04:26PM (#474418)

            Not in states that mattered. No matter how much you whine about it, the system we have in this country is the Electoral College system, which gives disproportionate power to smaller states. If you don't run your campaign with a strategy to deal with that fact, you'll lose, just like Hillary did recently, and just like Al Gore did in 2000.

  • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday March 03 2017, @01:34AM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Friday March 03 2017, @01:34AM (#474210) Journal

    Protip: "liberal" and "Democrat" are antonyms, not synonyms. Same is true with progressive or lefty -- these mean the opposite of "Democrat".

  • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday March 03 2017, @01:06PM (1 child)

    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday March 03 2017, @01:06PM (#474341)

    You are literally advocating for a fascist police state

    And people who helped set up the NSA's mass surveillance, the TSA, the Unpatriot Act, and other forms of unconstitutional tyranny helped aid and abet the police state.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:32PM (#474454)

      Oh true, its not like Trump invented fascism. He didn't even start the ball rolling here in the US. However, he is the first president that seems likely to be the first fascist dictator. All others have been constrained by the illusion of our democracy.