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posted by martyb on Saturday October 28 2017, @01:28AM   Printer-friendly
from the next-up?-legalize-pans! dept.

64% of Americans now support the legalization of cannabis, an all-time high since Gallup first asked the question in 1969. Also for the first time, a majority of Republicans (51%) support legalization, up from 42% last year:

As efforts to legalize marijuana at the state level continue to yield successes, public opinion, too, has shifted toward greater support. The Department of Justice under the current Republican administration has been perceived as hostile to state-level legalization. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions could find himself out of step with his own party if the current trends continue. Rank-and-file Republicans' views on the issue have evolved just as Democrats' and independents' have, though Republicans remain least likely to support legalizing pot.

Also at NPR, The Hill, NORML, and Reason.

Related: New Attorney General Claims Legal Weed Drives Violent Crime; Statistics be Damned
4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by a262 on Saturday October 28 2017, @02:33AM (14 children)

    by a262 (6671) on Saturday October 28 2017, @02:33AM (#588524)

    First off, let me say that I am for legalization of cannabis, as well as most any other substance. It is absurd to live in a "free" country that bans certain subsets of chemistry. The right to Pursuit of Happiness is written in our Constitution, yet we find ourselves unable to pursue happiness through chemistry.

    That being said, I have found that prolonged cannabis use deprives the user of certain aspects of their humanity. The greatest loss being that of self-reflection. In my experience, long-term cannabis users fail to see the effects that their habit has on their own lives and those around them. Any criticism of such use is met with wrath and incredulity. As a former friend said, "smoking pot changes the alignment of your internal compass - you begin to believe that you are on track, no matter what it is that you're actually doing."

    Short-term, or sporadic cannabis use, can be incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. It's the long-term, "smoke two joints" mindset that is truly damaging. Sporadic use grants one the true potential of cannabis: a sudden, dramatic shift in perception of both oneself and the world in which one lives. Once that shifts to long-term use, that contrast between normal and stoned no longer exists! A constant state of any mindset does not provide the useful contrast in perception.

    Of course, one should be free to consume any substance, or participate in any lifestyle one chooses, with the disclaimer that said lifestyle does not significantly affect anyone else. If you want to sit around your house and smoke yourself silly every day, go for it! If you're going to smoke yourself silly every damn day, while collecting welfare, or working alongside me as a coworker... well, you should fucking grow up and put the bong down. It comes down to a matter of personal honor, not law. Can you honestly be proud of your life when you're smoking a gram of wax a day?

    What ever happened to honor, anyways?

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Saturday October 28 2017, @03:19AM (9 children)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Saturday October 28 2017, @03:19AM (#588541) Journal

    If you're going to smoke yourself silly every damn day, while collecting welfare, or working alongside me as a coworker... well, you should fucking grow up and put the bong down. It comes down to a matter of personal honor, not law. Can you honestly be proud of your life when you're smoking a gram of wax a day?

    What ever happened to honor, anyways?

    Cannabis isn't the problem, substance abuse is. For example, UK guidelines say that you shouldn't have more than 14 units of alcohol [bbc.com] (6 pints of beer) per week, and some say even that is high. Plenty of people will chug that much on a single Saturday (believe it or not, the guidelines recommend against that), and the ABVs of craft brews have skyrocketed. That 6 pints of beer? 4% ABV to hit 14 units. So it's also the equivalent of roughly 2.5 10% ABV pints.

    This fun study [ias.org.uk] quantifies the "harm" caused by various drugs, and found that alcohol is far worse than cannabis or even heroin. If you look at Figure 4, you can see that most of that harm is a result of car crashes, so if you take that out of the equation then heroin is worse to an individual under a bridge than a bottle of MD 20/20 [bumwine.com]. The study also found that cannabis is "worse" than stuff like ketamine, butane, "khat" [wikipedia.org], goddamn anabolic steroids, LSD, and mushrooms.

    Most societies recognize that there is a responsible level of alcohol use (although close to zero or very few units for heart benefits is recommended). Officially, cannabis is still an evil and incredibly harmful psychoactive gateway drug with no responsible level of use, but people see through that bullshit. On the flip side, some people have blinders on with respect to cannabis use, believing it will cure their cancer or doesn't do any damage ever. Maybe a study or two found an association with a lower chance of cancer but we all know how accurate and precise medical studies tend to be. Put down that coffee!

    As for honor, many people are deeply nihilistic and pleasure-seeking. They just don't care, and why should they? Just reading the slow SoylentNews feed can cause

    --
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    • (Score: 3, Funny) by takyon on Saturday October 28 2017, @03:20AM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Saturday October 28 2017, @03:20AM (#588543) Journal

      Just reading the slow SoylentNews feed can cause

      {#`%${%&`+'${`%&NO CARRIER

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      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday October 28 2017, @04:15AM (6 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @04:15AM (#588562) Journal

      "Cannabis isn't the problem, substance abuse is."

      That, exactly. You mention alcohol. So very many studies, over the course of my life, have demonstrated that a single drink every day leads to the healthiest and longest lives. There is some debate about which drinks are best, with wine and beer being the leading contendors, and strong spirits trailing way behind. But, some health organizations want us to believe that a drink a month might be detrimental. A lot of more recent studies claim that if a woman drinks even a single drink while pregnant, she is guilty of destroying her baby.

      So, with all these crazy agendas being advanced through "studies", how do we even decide what "abuse" is?

      My view is, the average working person who gets a buzz on a Saturday night probably isn't being abusive. Waking up with a hangover is a pretty damned good indication that you're abusing the stuff. Of course, those who wait for the doctor to explain why their livers no longer function probably never shared the same zip code with a clue . . .

      --
      Do political debates really matter? Ask Joe!
      • (Score: 2) by lx on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:28AM (3 children)

        by lx (1915) on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:28AM (#588637)

        So very many studies, over the course of my life, have demonstrated that a single drink every day leads to the healthiest and longest lives.

        Those figures were skewed due to faulty methodology [medicaldaily.com]. Turns out that many non-drinkers in those studies were either ex-alcoholics or people with serious unrelated health problems.

        But don't let the progress of scientific insight keep you from indulging in a little solvent abuse [wikipedia.org].

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @02:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @02:48PM (#588686)

          The other faulty methodology is not separating out by quality of the beverage. I homebrew my own beers and meads and know exactly what's in them and more to the point what is not.

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Saturday October 28 2017, @03:04PM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 28 2017, @03:04PM (#588691) Journal

          From that page, "It seems the verdict is still out on the health effects of moderate drinking."

          Their charts show a reduced health benefit for low and moderate volume drinkers - but the apparent benefit is still in the chart. They go on to show high volume drinkers, who we all know increase the risks for all manner of health problems. Medium volume drinkers (3-4 drinks per day) have moved from just below the line, to just over the line. But, personally, I don't consider 3-4 drinks per day as "medium" or "moderate". One or two drinks per day is what I call "moderate", and if a moderate drinker doesn't bother to drink anything for a day or six, it's no big deal to him. A lot of those who drink 3-4 per day will get cranky if he misses a day. And, that's the whole point of "moderation". Drink a little alcohol, it's good for you. Routinely drinking more than one or two per day indicates some kind of a problem - emotional, psychological, or maybe even physical.

          I wonder why the U of Victoria didn't "adjust" all those studies to separate relatively healthy moderate and heavy drinkers, from said drinkers who have unrelated and/or related serious health problems? Making that distinction would probably move all groups of drinkers (except unhealthy drinkers+) downward on that graph, just a little.

          If U of Vic wants to use only healthy abstainers, then they should seek a similar group of only healthy drinkers to compare them to.

          --
          Do political debates really matter? Ask Joe!
          • (Score: 2) by lx on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:12AM

            by lx (1915) on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:12AM (#588949)

            Lesson learned: Never come between a man and his drink.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:29AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:29AM (#588638)

        >what "abuse" is?

        abuse in this context is equivalent to 'uses it to hide interior difficulties based on the emotions of fear and shame about one's primal negativities, helplessness regarding subjective and irrational inner/interpersonal dynamics and plain old fear of venturing out.' any and all of these can be true, but not all of them need to be true for the cover-up/abuse to become a habit.

        on another level, its a response to the obvious-to-some lies and deception channeled through this thing called culture. there, its desired as a means of social shaping amongst other things.

        but we should really include video-games here and be a bit less materialistic about the concepts if we wanted to look at it as a simple refuge from violence and other people's incompetence/ignorance about life as well.

        realize that anything producing dopamine is incapable of yielding happiness and explore more!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @09:37PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @09:37PM (#588808)

        So far, I have been unable to find risk statistics for drinking neat Ukrainian Tractor Fuel, so I will continue to assume it is safe if mixed with diet coke.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:23AM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Sunday October 29 2017, @10:23AM (#588984) Homepage
      +1 just for the link to bumwine!
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Post-Nihilist on Saturday October 28 2017, @04:03AM (1 child)

    by Post-Nihilist (5672) on Saturday October 28 2017, @04:03AM (#588558)

    Can you honestly be proud of your life when you're smoking a gram of wax a day?

    Yes, yes you can... I use to smoke that much but stopped only cause my lung capacity shrunk and I am not bullish on emphysema...

    When I am sober for more than a week I become a competitive scheming narcicist that use people as if they are things made to be exploited for my benefits but I have an highly paid unionized┬╣ job in higher education that comme with a fat retirement plan, I don't need to participate in that competitive rat race

    And cannabis makes me a better person.
    When I am in my stoned mindset I am helpful, compassionate and I dont engage in workplace politics... i am pretty certain that my coworker preferred me when I smoked a few grams of buds each night than they do now that I am sober and don't give a fuck about them unless I have something to gain by giving a fuck.

    I will probably start using edibles cause I am not proud of my sober self... And I am pretty sure that my wife will soon ask me to drug myself again ... she already did a few years ago after about 6 month of sobriety she says that I got mean and manipulative.

    Sure I could drink to forget that deep inside I am a borderline sociopath (only borderline cause a true sociopath would not be bothered by his narcissism) and let my wife leave me cause she loves my stoner self (yet she hate to take cannabis but love it when I do) or I can use cannabis to be a more "normal" and lovable person....

    1- you can be easily fired in your first 6 years after that I think that I would need to do something outrageous like harassing a student to get fired

    --
    Be like us, be different, be a nihilist!!!
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:10AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:10AM (#588632)

      so higher-ed dude is self-medicating instead of using his urges against himself by way of some self-encounter therapy. rationalized to no end, likely mistakes pleasure for happiness, delusional, alienated in his tower. why am i reading this?? oh ya, to point-out that the things he seeks to repress will find a 3rd and a 4th and a 5th way out cause the impulses rejected will out. and they always do. so.. use the control you claim to have to overcome your nonsense. just go and trade your cover-up and self-diagnosing for dealing with your fears. go sane man.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @11:16AM (#588633)

    > What ever happened to honor, anyways?

    I think the word you're looking for is Integrity. It was traded for idiotic hippy lore by your parents and grand-parents. Its commercially extracted by robotized culture and made into aphrodisiacs for evil-doers everywhere nowadays. If you've got any left, and it sounds like you do because you know the H-word, keep sharp and watch your stash!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28 2017, @08:20PM (#588780)

    What ever happened to honor, anyways?

    Best answered by the good colonel: "...We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline..."