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posted by martyb on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the smoke-screen? dept.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has introduced a bill (alt) that has been described by Marijuana Majority as the most far-reaching marijuana bill ever filed in either chamber of Congress. It would legalize cannabis federally by removing "marihuana" and tetrahydrocannabinols from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. But it would go much further by withholding money from states with racially or financially disparate arrest and incarceration rates for cannabis-related crimes (effectively all states where cannabis is illegal):

The bill would legalize marijuana at the federal level and withhold federal money for building jails and prisons, along with other funds, from states whose cannabis laws are shown to disproportionately incarcerate minorities.

Under the legislation, federal convictions for marijuana use and possession would be expunged and prisoners serving time for a marijuana offense would be entitled to a sentencing hearing.

Those "aggrieved" by a disproportionate arrest or imprisonment rate would be able to sue, according to the bill. And a Community Reinvestment Fund would be established to "reinvest in communities most affected by the war on drugs" for everything from re-entry programs to public libraries.

Booker says that he will work towards bipartisan support for the bill.

Serious legalization attempt or just advertising for a 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign?


Original Submission

Related Stories

4/20: The Mary Jane Majority 56 comments

Past articles: 201520162017 👀

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come out in support of federal cannabis decriminalization, just in time for 4/20:

The Minority Leader of the Senate is making it official the day before 4/20: He's down with legal weed. In an exclusive interview with VICE News, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed he is putting his name on legislation that he said is aimed at "decriminalizing" marijuana at the federal level. For Schumer, this is a shift. While he has backed medical marijuana and the rights of states to experiment with legal sales of pot, what he is proposing is a seismic shift in federal drug policy.

"Ultimately, it's the right thing to do. Freedom. If smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anybody else, why shouldn't we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?" Schumer said.

The legislation should be available within a week or so, and would remove cannabis (still listed as "Marihuana") from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of Schedule I substances. States would then be free to regulate or continue to prohibit the plant. Cannabis advertising would be regulated as are alcohol and tobacco advertising. (Also at NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and CNBC, as well as Reason taking a shot at Schumer for not doing it sooner.)

A majority of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, including, for the first time, a majority (51%) of Republicans, according to Gallup. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use. 29 states, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico have legalized medical use of cannabis, and another 17 states have legalized the use of cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis became available for recreational purposes in California on January 1.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by AndyTheAbsurd on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:54PM (25 children)

    by AndyTheAbsurd (3958) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:54PM (#547920) Journal

    Serious legalization attempt or just advertising for a 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign?

    No reason it can't be both. There's a lot of support for marijuana legalization, but I'd bet that Booker put the bits about minorities in their specifically so that congresscritters who need to pander to their racist bases can get it removed and be able to point to their actions there and say "See? I'm protecting you from those filthy brown people stealing your tax money!" (Which is neither what's happening nor how they'll phrase it, but it will definitely be what they mean.)

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    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @02:01PM (23 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @02:01PM (#547932)

      "See? I'm protecting you from those filthy brown people stealing your tax money!"

      Or worse, it might make white women sleep with negro men!

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:36PM (22 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:36PM (#547989)

        I think it's very important to remember one of the main reasons that was given to criminalize marijuana in the first place was the claim that MJ would make black men rape white women, and this argument needs to be publicized a lot more. Simply put, anyone who still believes that MJ should be illegal is, by extension, supporting this (obviously racist and ridiculous) claim.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:51PM

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:51PM (#547996) Journal

          the claim that MJ would make black men rape white women

          They must have got it mixed up with el diablito [narconon.org] ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)🚬

          (Some of these combos are tri🅱️🅱️ering me just by reading them.)

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:30PM (1 child)

          by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:30PM (#548014)

          The actual quote from America's original "drug czar", Harry Anslinger:

          There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.

          That makes it clear the fear wasn't rape, it was consensual interracial sex.

          And of course the jazz argument is just plain silly: If MJ was responsible for Louis Armstrong, then I'm all for it.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:24PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:24PM (#548037)

            Ah, sorry, I must have mis-remembered that. Good point.

        • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by tangomargarine on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:43PM (14 children)

          by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:43PM (#548020)

          Simply put, anyone who still believes that MJ should be illegal is, by extension, supporting this (obviously racist and ridiculous) claim.

          Or they just have other reasons. Do you believe anyone who's against affirmative action is a bigot, too? Drop the guilt by association.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:32PM (10 children)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:32PM (#548046)

            Oh bullshit. It's not "guilt by association", the actual reasons given for banning marijuana by Harry Anslinger (thanks to Thexalon for the quote) are:

            There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.

            This is exactly why it was banned in the first place. Therefore, if you support the continued ban, this is exactly the reasoning you're standing for.

            I'll make an analogy: suppose, in a slightly different alternate universe, Germany under Hitler banned coffee and tea, subject to strong criminal penalties, saying that the caffeine caused Aryan women to seek sex with other races, but meanwhile alcohol (esp. beer) stayed perfectly legal. Then of course, Germany loses WWII, and fast-forward to today, and caffeine is still highly illegal in Germany, even though there's zero evidence that caffeine has any serious negative effects (esp. compared to legal alcohol), and modern society doesn't buy into Nazi racism. What, then, is the reason it's still illegal? It must therefore be the original reasons given.

            It's the same with MJ: there's no valid and scientific reason for it to be illegal, so if you support its ban, then you must automatically be a racist. There's no other reason possible. Unless you'd rather admit to being a complete moron, or completely corrupt (i.e. you're profiting from the ban somehow).

            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:21PM (6 children)

              by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:21PM (#548099)

              What the hell? You could support the ban for a completely different reason. If the status quo happens to align with how you want the world to be, you're not going to repeal the law "because their reasoning is wrong" then pass another bill to do the exact same thing "but this time the reasoning is right!" I dunno, maybe *you* would.

              You seem to be saying pragmatism is outlawed in this context.

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
              • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:40PM (1 child)

                by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:40PM (#548104)

                Except there IS no valid reason to support the ban. If you disagree, I'd like to hear the reason, because I've never heard one, other than "it's illegal". The reason it's illegal is because of Anslinger and the anti-marijuana movement which was founded on racist ideas as discussed before, and also (thanks to 'turgid' for this quote):

                Working with a newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, he created hysteria around the impact of cannabis on American youth and proclaimed an invasion of marijuana-smoking Mexican men assaulting white women. The ensuing public anxiety led to the drug being banned. The US then imposed its anti-cannabis stance on other western countries and this was finally imposed on the rest of the world through the first UN convention on narcotic drugs in 1961.

                You have a great point: the law should be repealed because the reasoning is wrong. If there is valid reasoning, then they can pass another bill to do the exact same thing, but with valid reasoning. But since there's no valid reasoning, the new bill won't pass. Yes, *I* would do this, because it's a better way to have public policy. We clearly aren't going to get it legalized easily just because it doesn't make sense to have it criminalized, it costs society a fortune in incarceration and enforcement and lost productivity, etc. etc., so maybe that's the approach: attack the original reasoning used to pass the laws in the first place, and have it repealed on that alone. After that, it'll be much harder to ban it because they'd need a much better reason than "it makes white women have sex with 'Negroes' and entertainers" to actually get the new bill passed. After all, it's generally hard to get new legislation passed, especially if it's controversial, so maybe we really do need a mechanism in government so that laws are repealed if the original arguments for the laws are found to be bogus.

                • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:50PM

                  by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:50PM (#548110)

                  Oh, I'm in favor of legalizing weed, too. I just take issue with your claim that anybody who doesn't agree, automatically holds a specific argument and that makes them a bad person.

                  --
                  "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
              • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:11AM (1 child)

                by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:11AM (#548208) Journal

                I just can't comprehend other people thinking they have right to tell other people how to live their lives when it comes to innocuous behaviors. Obviously I'm not talking about murder, rape, and pillage -- it's OK to tell people they can't harm others -- I'm not talking about all of the victimless crimes out there like smoking pot, which probably has a lower societal cost than horseback riding (broken necks), skiing (broken legs), or mountain biking (shattered shoulders).

                Where do these type of prohibitionist people get off? I don't smoke pot because I don't think it is fun. I know people who do because they enjoy it. BFD. You don't like pot, don't smoke it -- that should be the end of the question. Instead, the prohibitionists have to rob me via taxation for prisons, police, and military actions -- ruin people's lives over bullshit -- create a violent and deadly class of black marketeers -- spawn death through untested impure products making it in to the public's hands ... for what? Because you're a better Puritan than Jeff Sessions? Shove that attitude up your ass and choke to death on it. Fucking Puritans cost us as a society, way too much.

                • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday August 03 2017, @04:01PM

                  by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday August 03 2017, @04:01PM (#548406)

                  For the record, I agree with you.

                  I'm just taking issue with Grisnakh being some sort of arbiter declaring everybody has the same motivation and are therefore evil.

                  --
                  "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
              • (Score: 2) by dry on Thursday August 03 2017, @05:50AM (1 child)

                by dry (223) on Thursday August 03 2017, @05:50AM (#548240) Journal

                There's still the original reason for the ban. It's just too useful. Hearst got it banned due to needing to protect his pulp paper business. They'd just invented a machine to separate the fiber from the rest and hemp is a much better source of cheap paper then wood. There has been a lot of other uses for Marijuana (a word invented to replace hemp because no one would ban such a useful substance). From the high quality oil to the high quality cellulose to the high quality food source in hemp seed to all the medical uses for a plant that is hard to patent. Lots more I'm forgetting such as a handy way to repress minority votes in a land where a criminal record means no vote (no job either).
                Sadly there will always be resistance to something that can fuck up various industries.

                • (Score: 2) by dak664 on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:08PM

                  by dak664 (2433) on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:08PM (#548324)

                  Oil magnates also wanted to eliminate competition from hemp oil (as they had done earlier with ethanol, for long enough to force Ford to make gasoline-only cars). We are paying in many many ways for the greed of those captains of industry.

                  http://www.ozarkia.net/bill/pot/blunderof37.html [ozarkia.net]

            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:58PM (2 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:58PM (#548343) Homepage Journal

              " Therefore, if you support the continued ban, this is exactly the reasoning you're standing for."

              Sorry, but no.

              Gubbermint has had the past 80 years, plus, to brainwash people. Maybe some people are still fearful that their daughter might grow up to want a black man. Maybe. But, there ARE other reasons to oppose the legalization of MJ. The bit of brainwashing that had the most effect on me, personally, was that MJ was a "gateway drug". Literature when I was growing up established as "fact" that people who tried MJ were about 20 zillion times more likely to go on to "hard drugs" as those who never tried cannabis. And, again, personally, I believed that shit.

              As for the original versions of anti-MJ propaganda, I always thought it was corny and stupid, even as a little kid. Well, at least from about age 10. I watched the stupid video, and I thought it was a comedy, FFS.

              I would suggest that you ASK PEOPLE who are opposed to legalization WHY they are opposed. And, I suggest that you take their word, and don't try to read RACISM into every reason you hear.

              All of that said - I voted for the legalization of MJ in Arkansas in the last election. Not because I really "want" to see MJ on the store shelves, but because I'm simply sick of government waging war on my neighbors. Stupid fuckers want to spend their money getting high - that's their business. No need to kick their doors down, kill their dogs, put the kids in the hospital with serious concussions, and jail the parents for decades.

              --
              "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
              • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:28PM (1 child)

                by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:28PM (#548356)

                I would suggest that you ASK PEOPLE who are opposed to legalization WHY they are opposed. And, I suggest that you take their word,

                That would be pretty difficult, because I literally don't know anyone who's opposed to it these days. Yes, a lot of people believed the "gateway drug" BS decades ago, but these days I don't think there's much support for that. I don't know Jeff Sessions personally, so I can't talk to him, and he's really the only person I know of who's still opposed to legalization, though I can gather from the public things he's said is that he ties it to a big surge in violent crime (though this surge is completely fictional), but I can't follow your advice and take him at his word because politicians are infamous for lying and spouting such BS when their real motivation is something else (like supporting industries that bribe them, such as the private prison industry that Sessions likes so much).

                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:48PM

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:48PM (#548367) Homepage Journal

                  Well, I did say "ask people", as opposed to "ask the subhuman lizard people in Washington".

                  --
                  "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
          • (Score: 1, Troll) by aristarchus on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:24PM (2 children)

            by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:24PM (#548071) Journal

            Do you believe anyone who's against affirmative action is a bigot, too?

            Why, yes, I do! Why do you ask, bigot?

            • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:59PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:59PM (#548344)

              typical aristarchus faggotry

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:32PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:32PM (#548075)

          the claim that MJ would make black men rape white women

          Yeah, I guess it's not MJ. Do you know what the actual cause is? Because White men do not rape Black women. There must be a cause right?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @09:31AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @09:31AM (#548277)

            But white men do rape white men. Do you like Gladiator movies, Jimmy? Would you like to see my collection of Wonder Woman comics? It will only take a few minutes . . . No marijuana required. Although, it does help.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:23PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:23PM (#548352) Homepage Journal

            "Because White men do not rape Black women."

            I suspect that you're going for the racist-douchebag angle with that. May I suggest that you read some history? https://duckduckgo.com/html?q=slaves%20raped%20by%20owners [duckduckgo.com] Or, maybe more specifically, https://www.ukessays.com/essays/history/rape-in-american-slavery-system-during-the-antebellum-history-essay.php [ukessays.com]

            Far more recently, was this story - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Jean_Owens [wikipedia.org]

            And, today in America - https://www.forbes.com/sites/shenegotiates/2012/04/25/black-women-sexual-assault-and-the-art-of-resistance/#7be21e8b7469 [forbes.com]

            As for you, and people like you, who claim that a white man wouldn't want a black woman - you are suffering from some severe inadequacy. You're AFRAID of those black women for some reason. And, you're also AFRAID that if white women get themselves some black dick, they'll never want to go back to you, and all your buddies with tiny little needle dicks.

            But, the fact is, a lot of white men will stick their willies into anything that they can hold down long enough to find the damned thing. (Another old joke: What do you call a 13 year old virgin in West Virginia? FAST!) Sheep, cows, horses, old grandmothers, children, just anything with a body temperature.

            And, despite your racism, admit it or not, you KNOW that there are some damned fine looking black women out there. You KNOW IT, but you feel the need to deny it.

            Get over yourself. You're not superior to anyone, anywhere, from any time. Your great-however-many-times-great grandparents wallowed in filth in Europe, and suffered the black plague. And, that's probably why so many white guys fear blacks. You read the stories of the black plague, so you hate black people - you think you'll catch their black.

            TLDR: fuck off and die, you worthless shit.

            --
            "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by turgid on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:38PM

          by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:38PM (#548082) Journal

          From an article by Professor David Nutt in the Guardian [theguardian.com]:

          To enable him [Harry Anslinger] to keep his army of drug enforcers, he created a new drug threat: cannabis, which he called marijuana to make it sound more Mexican. Working with a newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, he created hysteria around the impact of cannabis on American youth and proclaimed an invasion of marijuana-smoking Mexican men assaulting white women. The ensuing public anxiety led to the drug being banned. The US then imposed its anti-cannabis stance on other western countries and this was finally imposed on the rest of the world through the first UN convention on narcotic drugs in 1961.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by RamiK on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:04PM

      by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:04PM (#548029)

      At the rate things are going, it's for 2018.

      --
      compiling...
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @01:07PM (18 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @01:07PM (#547925)

    Great. So federally mandated arrest quotas.

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by takyon on Wednesday August 02 2017, @01:15PM (10 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday August 02 2017, @01:15PM (#547926) Journal

      Eliminate the "crime", and then you don't have to worry about quotas.

      --
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      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:07PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:07PM (#547972) Journal

        But think of the children! [postimg.org]

        --
        I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by slinches on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:19PM (8 children)

        by slinches (5049) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:19PM (#547976)

        That's the intent. Hold federal funds hostage to force the hand of the states into making laws that suit someone in the federal government. Not that I'm opposed to legalization, I just want to point out federal overreach and encroachment on state sovereignty when I see it.

        • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:28PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:28PM (#547985)

          Or you could just arrest everyone that commits the crime, instead of arresting non-whites while letting whites off with a warning. That would work just as well, and not require legalization.

          "Encroaching" on racism and discrimination is just what federal government is supposed to do.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:26PM (2 children)

            by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:26PM (#548040)

            Or you could just arrest everyone that commits the crime, instead of arresting non-whites while letting whites off with a warning.

            If the government started treating white drug users the way they currently treat black drug users, we'd have complete legalization of everything within a couple of months. The disparity in treatment of white drug users is why white people tolerate and even support the "War on Drugs".

            --
            The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
            • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:06PM (1 child)

              by edIII (791) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:06PM (#548136)

              I think you're way off with the white-man-bashing today. Along with some others.

              Not everyone votes. So people like me that don't vote are not expressing anything. At least not officially. Most people can see through the propaganda because they either experimented with it, or are close to somebody that has. It's a different kind of generalization, where people see MJ users as the caricatures in mass media like Dave Chappelle in Half-Baked. That was racially diverse, and some people's take away from that is that MJ makes you a "bad person". Somebody subject to their own desires and living a life of Hedonism. There is the stereotype that stoners are locked into their couch, obviously not at a real job generating to our national GDP.

              So don't discount the religious reasons for being against it. Whether or not they are valid is arguable, but they are very much sourced from religion when Satan and Hedonism is mentioned. I've met plenty people that are/were against it, and it is not based on fear of the Black or Hispanic man.

              I think you are also discounting the massive amount of propaganda surrounding it that affects people's views. It can affect them in ways not related to racial animus. You could be against it from a scientific viewpoint, or the viewpoint of keeping the body pure, etc. The blanket assumption that racial fears and animus simply must be the reason is simplistic.

              Lastly, DO NOT DISCOUNT !!PROFIT!!. There is a large amount of profit involved and I was surprised to hear from many that they were NOT voting for legalization. In California's case I voted AGAINST it. That was because it was a huge giveaway for a few rich people setup in the new regulated environment. Over 60% of growers in Northern California are now STILL ILLEGAL. Not because MJ is illegal, but because they're violating zoning laws and business regulations. No longer DEA, but some state employee entering your business and informing you that you are shut down. Al Capone was taken down because of the IRS, and there are quite a few people now shut out of the legal market.

              It's like rider bills in Congress. The Senator introduces the no-child-left-hungry act, so emotionally loaded it *must* pass, while in the back 10 pages it lists out the pork projects approved with it. Hard to fight against it when the opposition shows a hungry child with Struthers crying through handfuls of cake shoved in her mouth.

              Almost anybody that is making a living off MJ is hesitant for full legalization. It's not hard to understand. A) Do the right thing and legalize. B) Vote no, but still have a house being paid for, food on the table, etc.

              You guys missed many reasons why you could be against it. Not saying they are valid, or ethical, but they are there.

              --
              Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
              • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday August 03 2017, @10:56PM

                by Thexalon (636) on Thursday August 03 2017, @10:56PM (#548514)

                I understand the argument very well: my own state of Ohio recently voted down a legalization bill precisely because it would have been a giveaway to a few friends of the governor who would be the only ones legally allowed to grow and sell. I'm never surprised when politicians are out for a quick buck rather than trying to do what's best for the voters.

                However, the simple fact is that at the policy level, the purpose of the War on Drugs is and has always been to allow the government to go after racial minorities. This is well documented from the 1930's to the 1970's and onwards. And there is a clear understanding from all levels (police, citizens, and others) that when white people are caught with drugs, the punishment is far lighter (or nonexistent) while black people and black men go to jail.

                --
                The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:45PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:45PM (#547993)

          "states rights" ends up looking a lot like china and the further back you go the more it looks the same. Actually the government there is overhauling this system right now so they can behave like a modern superpower.

          That's cool I dig it comrade. They're called red states for a reason.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @09:44PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @09:44PM (#548127)

          I do agree with you that this addendum is just bullshit political games, but making certain drugs illegal across all 50 states (at the federal level) was the initial encroachment on state sovereignty. Simply repeal these laws, as they never should have happened in the first place.

        • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:14AM

          by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:14AM (#548209) Journal

          There is no overreach when the state is free to refuse the money. Most of the prohibition states are net recipients of Federal money anyway. It would be nice for donor states to get a little bit back.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:35PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:35PM (#548360) Homepage Journal

          There's little if anything to "encroach" any longer. I presume that you know about the history of seat belt laws?

          http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-05-13-seatbelts_N.htm [usatoday.com]

          Every state law regarding seat belts was driven by the threat of withholding federal funds. The feds do the same sort of thing in agriculture, business, manufacturing, drugs, and more. They have encroached on damned near everything already - there isn't much room for more encroachment.

          --
          "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Wednesday August 02 2017, @03:38PM (6 children)

      by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 02 2017, @03:38PM (#547957) Homepage Journal

      I'm not sure if quota is the correct term, as it is looking at proportion of arrests by race. I suppose this could turn into a white person quota if historical trends of arresting minorities continues, until the end of the month when someone realizes that federal funding will be lost without more white arrests.

      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @03:51PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @03:51PM (#547963)

        Yeah, what will they do. Let thugs roam the streets or fill jails with innocent people to fullfill the statistics quota?

        withholding money from states with racially or financially disparate arrest and incarceration rates for cannabis-related crimes

        There IS one problem here. If "brown people" commit more drug related crimes then those places can't get funding. A brutal solution is to make brown peoples life so miserable so they leave the state. In essence if the majority of brown people are expelled then mostly white people will get arrested and they can get funding.
        Booker didn't think of that perverted incentive did he? :-)

        Another way is to make the test show that the substance is something else like cocaine. And viola.. arrest rates for cannabis goes down. Magic.

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:25PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:25PM (#547981)

          Yeah, what will they do. Let thugs roam the streets or fill jails with innocent people to fullfill the statistics quota?

          Oh fuck you and the strawman you rode in on.

          racially or financially disparate arrest and incarceration rates for cannabis-related crimes

          As in, if you catch 10 white people and 10 black people using cannabis, but arrest 2 whites and 10 blacks, your arrest rate is racist, to the tune of 5-to-1. If you catch 10 white people and 1000 black people, but arrest 5 whites and 500 blacks, your arrest rate is not discriminatory.

          Do you understand, or do I need smaller words and a few crayon pictures?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:14PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:14PM (#548009)

            It might do some good if you did. Subtle details are hard to fathom after all. So let's just lump the whole thing together, call it a 'sin' and not have to worry about it ever again, right?

          • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:23PM (2 children)

            by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:23PM (#548035)

            And the actual numbers:
            Approximately 12% of white Americans, and 14% of black Americans respond in polls that they've used MJ. That means that there are about 25 million white MJ users, and 7 million black MJ users. So, if the arrests were proportional, we'd expect that about 3.5 times as many white people as black people would be arrested for dope. In fact, about half of the 575,000 arrests for pot were of black people, which means you're about 3-4 times more likely to be caught with dope if you're black.

            And of course, because it's a possession crime, just because there's pot, a cop, and a person being arrested doesn't mean that the person being arrested was the one who brought the pot.

            --
            The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
            • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Entropy on Thursday August 03 2017, @12:30AM (1 child)

              by Entropy (4228) on Thursday August 03 2017, @12:30AM (#548181)

              1 What if black people are worse criminals, and get caught more?
              2 What if black people are caught using marijuana because they were involved in some other crime which they are more likely per capita to commit?(like rape, or murder, or domestic violence)
              3 What if the poll about illegal drug use had one race lie more than the other? I'm pretty sure the percentage of any race trying marijuana in the US is a ton higher than 12-14%.

              • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:17AM

                by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:17AM (#548210) Journal

                1) What if you were an asshole?
                2) What if you were a giant asshole?
                3) What if you were a goatse scale asshole?

  • (Score: 1) by YeaWhatevs on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:50PM

    by YeaWhatevs (5623) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:50PM (#547995)

    FTFY. Now we know it will go nowhere, nothing to see here.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:12PM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:12PM (#548007)

    If Donald Trump isn't full proof that Republicans do not use their brains, then I don't know what is. They run on emotion 100%: Don't take my guns! Blacks are scary and need to be locked up! Mexicans are taking advantage of our country and need to be deported! If you don't work as much as me you deserve nothing!

    There is no time for discourse or realization when you just run on emotion like that. You can't reason with these types of people. They all basically said, I'm pissed that a black guy was president for 8 years, so let's piss those stupid liberals off as much as possible by electing someone who we all know has no place in government, let alone as the president! Haha haha stupid liberals gonna hate this! Hahaha

    Reality has a liberal bias, and they just fucking hate that, they'd rather die than admit it. Wanna talk about emotional snowflakes? They are the definition.

    Stop the drug war, make the world a better place. The stats are already in, the number of hard drug problems goes down with legalization, you don't suddenly have hordes of people overdosing and/or ruining lives. Crime goes down, tax revenue goes up, win fucking win.

    • (Score: 2) by SanityCheck on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:38PM (8 children)

      by SanityCheck (5190) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:38PM (#548083)

      Yeah I know Oxycontin should just be legal. If we made it legal, people would stop dying from overdoses of legal drugs they used to substitute for this illegal one.... Oh wait I got that backwards, Oxycontin is LEGAL and people substitute it with illegal drugs and die in record numbers, FML!

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by urza9814 on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:51PM (5 children)

        by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:51PM (#548148) Journal

        Yeah I know Oxycontin should just be legal. If we made it legal, people would stop dying from overdoses of legal drugs they used to substitute for this illegal one.... Oh wait I got that backwards, Oxycontin is LEGAL and people substitute it with illegal drugs and die in record numbers, FML!

        Seriously? Do you have any understanding of how the US Controlled Substances Act works? People aren't just leaving half a bottle of oxy unused in the cabinet to go seek out heroin. People switch when the oxy is no longer legal -- ie, when their prescription runs out and they can't get another. You can't just go buy this stuff from the corner drugstore, you need a prescription, otherwise it ISN'T legal. What often happens is people get a prescription for a legitimate reason, then they get addicted but whatever injury they had heals so the doctor won't give them any more pills. THAT is when they turn to the black market. If you'd just let them keep taking oxy I highly doubt they'd be switching to anything else.

        Also, consider what it means that they switch to other drugs precisely because they can't get the oxy. It's "legal", but they can't get it! Yet they CAN get the stuff that's illegal! So if you want to stop someone from taking a drug, making it illegal doesn't seem like the best strategy, does it? It's a fine line, but what you want to do is make it sufficiently available so that there's not enough profit in black market sales (including sales of "alternatives"), but keep it sufficiently regulated that you can keep some control over the stuff. Also makes it easier to find and treat addicts and abusers -- a lot more addicts would probably seek treatment if they weren't afraid of being arrested for doing so.

        There's a couple different positions you can take, almost all of which are better than outright prohibition. For more dangerous stuff you probably do want to use something like the current prescription system. You can track who prescribes what to whom, and know if certain doctors are over-prescribing or certain patients are taking too much or too irregularly. But people who have a legitimate need are still able to get it. Plus the addicts can still potentially get it from a doctor, which means they're more likely to TRY to get it from a doctor, which gives the doctor more opportunities for medical intervention and treatment of the addiction. On the other end of the spectrum you've got stuff like cough medicine, where anyone can buy it but they still won't let you buy cases of the stuff because that's a sign that you're probably abusing it in some way. Or maybe you could say the other end of the spectrum is alcohol, where you just have to be old enough to be responsible for the consequences.

        • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:21AM

          by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:21AM (#548211) Journal

          People aren't just leaving half a bottle of oxy unused in the cabinet to go seek out heroin. People switch when the oxy is no longer legal -- ie, when their prescription runs out and they can't get another.

          I had a client who ODed from this exact scenario -- prescription runs out, can't get refill, replaces with heroin, one night took too much and died. A big problem with street drugs is that dosing is difficult because there is no standardization -- one of the reasons to support legalization is that people will know what they are getting and accidental deaths would fall.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @05:22AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @05:22AM (#548238)

          It shouldn't be legal in the first place. Lot of people get addicted because they take that shit thinking since it is legal it must be OK. A lot more shitheads are going to start smoking pot because they think since it's legal it must be OK. You can't ignore the problem got out of hand because of the gateway effect of legal Oxycontin, which was prescribed for EVERYTHING. There is no legitimate reason to take this shit unless you are not gonna make it till end of the week and addiction is not really a long term problem.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @07:13AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @07:13AM (#548252)

            Found the Presbyterian.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @09:40AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @09:40AM (#548278)

            A lot more shitheads are going to start smoking pot because they think since it's legal it must be OK.

            And, then, according to your ill-informed and butt-headed logic, they will "overdose" on pot? Do you know how hard that is to do? Have you ever tried to commit suicide by excessive pot smoking? Aspirin is easier, and aceitomeitophin is way easier to OD on. So, here is an idea. I want you to go home, drink a fifth of Vodka, flavored if that helps you, and then attempt to drink a second, oh, in the space of a hour or so. It's OK, it's legal. Take a handful of Tylenol, too. But at least we will not have to read your idiotic posts on SoylentNews anymore.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:43PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:43PM (#548365) Homepage Journal

          You did leave out a detail. Ocycontin and other drugs are over prescribed by doctors, because of some asinine false statistics spread around by the pharmaceuticals.

          My last ride in an ambulance, I was shot full of morphine. I wasn't in any real pain. Yeah, I hurt a little, but crap, not real pain. The ambulance crew hooked up their tubing and crap, and I was pretty much out of things. Kind of aware, but not really with it - just hanging in there. And, of course, they administered the morphine. Fek, I didn't need a pain reliever, I just needed to see a doctor, who could have made things all better without a potentially addictive drug being administered.

          But, that's what the medical profession does. It dopes people up. If you get addicted, that's your problem not ours.

          --
          "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:54PM (#548151)

        Nah, no self life procreation please. It's actually more proof that no amount of law will fix the drug problem this country and by extension the world currently faces. So just legalize it and use the cash that would have gone to policing pursuits to fund detox and recovery programs.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @06:29AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @06:29AM (#548244)

        You do realize that the illegal drugs are unregulated, right? People have no idea what they actually contain, which often leads to overdoses when some much more powerful drug is mixed in.

  • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:30PM (3 children)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:30PM (#548101)

    This is going to fail.

    It tries to do too much. If it was just a straight up Cannabis legalization attempt it would at least have a very, very, slim chance of passing. I think many states would like to get some of the money places like Colorado is raking in since they legalized it.

    But since it tries to do so much more than that it will be opposed by far more organizations than will support it and is thus doomed to fail.

    I tend to agree that this is more of a PR stunt to get Booker some street cred. Watch for him to announce he is looking into running in 2020 some time soon.

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
    • (Score: 1) by YeaWhatevs on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:41PM

      by YeaWhatevs (5623) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:41PM (#548105)

      It is going to fail because it is proposed by a Democrat. I suppose when you know it has no chance of getting out of committee you don't have to worry about being practical.

    • (Score: 2) by mr_mischief on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:22PM

      by mr_mischief (4884) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:22PM (#548139)

      A sponsored bill is a starting place for negotiation. Nobody ever expects all of a bill to pass as written. By putting in some measures that seem like common sense extensions of the main point he can yield significant ground and still hope for the main points to make it to the floor for a vote.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:25AM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:25AM (#548214) Journal

      I agree it is likely a stunt (Booker is one of the Senators who opposed Bernie's plan to let US Citizens access the global markets like Corps do by purchasing prescription drugs from Canada based on arguments by Pharma which also pays him a ton of money -- yeah, I'm no Booker fan). He probably added just enough surrounding crap to make sure that the bill failed like a typical Democrat who likes to pretend to be all progressive, and will vow to support progressive causes when they have no hope, only to turn Republican (neoliberal) when push comes to shove.

      All that said, if gets it passed, good on him.

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