Locally grown and operated

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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7 Responses

  1. MFarmer says:

    You better be worried about how the state will pay for security keeping potheads out of the stashes. Everyone in Arizona came down with a mysterious pain overnight. “Uh, like, it’s my left hip, man…uh, no, I mean my elbow…uh, whatever, man, just write me some weed, dude.”Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to MFarmer says:

      I’m not gonna pay no taxes on my dank. Plus I don’t want fucking Chuck Schumer getting all up on my nuts if I want to drink coffee with it. Keep weed illegal and unregulated.Report

      • I beg to differ, Barrett. You already pay taxes on the illegality of marijuana by sending your tax dollars to pay for the war on drugs. And while I’m all for a deregulated marijuana market, I’m not willing to do so on the back of a black market which leads also to death, imprisonment, and other atrocities. Legal and regulated is preferable if not ideal.Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to MFarmer says:

      I remember reading once that the average appointment for psychiatric patients to get Prozac prescriptions was about 15 minutes. I’d assume it will be just as easy to get pot once the psychiatric college in the state decides it’s a legitimate medication for psychological disorders- certainly, lots of people already self-medicate with pot.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to MFarmer says:

      “We do not believe that whatever pain you claim to experience is sufficient reason for you to have access to relief. Interstate welfare. General commerce.”Report

  2. As an Arizona resident ED I hope you are quickly trying to come up with an ailment that will qualify you. I haven’t enjoyed any herb in about 8 years but the day it becomes even marginally legal here in KY I am all over it.Report

  3. Chip says:

    http://www.theinductive.com/blog/walking-the-federal-pot-plank-time-for-more-mutiny.htmlWalking the Federal Pot Plank: Time for More Mutiny
    Author: Chip Lyon

    Gwen Florio wrote in the Missoulian on December 19th:

    A funny thing happened on the way to Missoula County District Court last week. Jurors – well, potential jurors, staged a revolt. They took the law into their own hands, as it were, and made it clear they weren’t about to convict anybody for having a couple of buds of marijuana…’

    …The tiny amount of marijuana police found while searching Touray Cornell’s home on April 23 became a huge issue for some members of the jury panel. No, they said, one after the other. No way would they convict somebody for having a 16th of an ounce. In fact, one juror wondered why the county was wasting time and money prosecuting the case at all…

    …“I thought, ‘Geez, I don’t know if we can seat a jury,” said (District Judge Dusty) Deschamps. The judge and former Missoula County attorney said he’s “more or less” convinced that marijuana should be legalized in some form, despite being “much alarmed at what I consider to be rampant abuse of what I think was a well-intentioned initiative”…

    …On Friday (December 17th), (Defendant Touray) Cornell entered an Alford plea, in which he didn’t admit guilt. He briefly held his infant daughter in his manacled hands, and walked smiling out of the courtroom…“A mutiny,” said (Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew) Paul. “Bizarre,”…defense attorney (Martin Elison) called it. In his nearly 30 years as a prosecutor and judge, Deschamps said he’s never seen anything like it.

    Death and Taxes Magazine’s Andrew Belonsky reacted to the story as follows:

    County Attorney Andrew Paul described the jury’s insistence as a “mutiny,” while defense attorney Martin Elison described it as bizarre. Deschamps, however, took a more expansive view, and called the impasse “a reflection of society as a whole on the issue.”

    There’s every indication average Americans are mellowing to the idea of legalizing marijuana. A Gallup survey from October, for example, found that 46% of Americans support legalizing the drug, a two-point increase from last year. And though the AP-CNBC poll from April showed less favorable numbers for legalization — only 33% in favor, while 55% opposed — it showed an overwhelming support for medical marijuana: 60% of Americans think cannabis should be used as part of prescription plan.

    Founding Father and President Thomas Jefferson said:

    I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.

    John Adams said of the juror:

    It is not only his right, but his duty – to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.

    So, the obvious question, ever-looming over our collective heads, why isn’t pot legal? I mean lots of other things are legal, and lots of people seem to want to make pot legal, and I myself can’t seem to come up with much if any reasons not to make pot legal. It’s a real head-scratcher. Marijuana is essentially illegal across all of the United States (except for Breckenridge, Colorado, those rebels); but in many places the drug has been decriminalized to the point that getting caught with an ounce or less of pot is the same as getting a speeding ticket for doing ten miles over.

    You could almost call the war against marijuana the oxymoron of laws: proscriptions against the possession of pot aren’t really much more than symbolic at this point; enforcement of them serves to clog up the courts and costs money and time law enforcement officials could be putting to much more productive use.

    Now fifteen states have passed legislation for the legal use of medical marijuana under the care of a licensed physician for a host of medical conditions, to the joy and elation of many sick patients and the disdain of many politicians.

    A recent Charles S. Johnson article in The Missoulian discusses some of the pushback to the Touray Cornell case mutiny and the effective black market for medical marijuana taking over Montana:

    HELENA – Key members of the 2011 Legislature are determined to impose new regulations on a medical marijuana industry that some believe has reeled out of control in the past year.

    Others are calling for outright repeal of the medical marijuana law enacted by a 2004 ballot measure, which 62 percent of Montanans approved, and one lawmaker wants to put the issue before voters again.

    Repealing Montana’s legislation legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana would be inhuman. According to Tom Daubert, a leading advocate for the 2004 medical marijuana initiative:

    (Repeal) would be disastrous for patients who genuinely use and need the medicine, It would be disastrous for the taxpayers for the state to redefine 25,000 Montanans as criminals. It would be a law enforcement nightmare when budgets are tightened.

    In other words, in the face of changing social norms for marijuana use, it would cost more and more money to defend some antiquated principle like prohibition. While in Montana and parts of Los Angeles and Oakland, exploitation of loopholes in existing statute and loose oversight has been widespread, it’s not like that’s never happened with new legislation before. Exploitation of legislation crafted in good faith doesn’t indicate that that legislation should be repealed so much as it indicates that that legislation should be fixed. There will always be bumps in the road to saner social policy.

    One of those bumps in Missoula county was Jason Christ, a medical marijuana provider. Christ managed a traveling caregiver clinic which would go to different locations and arrange video conferences with doctors who would often provide a prescription for marijuana on the spot via pre-signed medical forms. Ultimately Christ was found to be in violation of existing statute on the proper means of obtaining a prescription for medical marijuana.

    Despite such abuse of new laws permitting medical marijuana, the legalization of marijuana makes sense when the stigma is removed and the facts are bared. So let’s take a look at some facts collected from Drug Sense:

    The U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $500 per second. Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy

    State and local governments spent at least another 25 billion dollars.
    Source: Jeffrey A. Miron & Kathrine Waldock: “The Budgetary Impact of Drug Prohibition,” 2010.

    The DEA’s annual budget for staffing alone is 2.6 billion dollars.

    Today is January 30, 2011. It is 9:04 AM EST at press time, and federal and state governments have already spent $3,457,051,663 so far this year in the War on Drugs. And its working so well. It doesn’t take much of a deep thinker to realize the tax revenues – and I mean huge ones – incomes, and jobs that would go a long way to eliminating our deficit and ailing economy with the legalization of pot. Yet prohibition drags on.

    But all is not lost. After flexing political muscles in fifteen states to push forth legislation on medical weed, Mr. Smith is headed to Washington. A newly formed trade group, the National Cannabis Industry Association, is an organization of sellers, growers, and manufacturers (companies that not only grow pot, but produce THC synthetically) is coming together to promote pot on the Hill.

    The federal government, as usual, is the principle force for obstruction. While fifteen states are telling licensed physicians that it’s okay to dispense pot to their patients who need it, at the same time the good doctors have the federal government threatening to take away their licenses to practice medicine if they do.

    The marijuana issue has been beaten and ultimately tenderized. It’s high time (pardon the pun) we as a country get past old hang-ups and the stigmas of pot-smoking that have been looming over our heads since before the filming of ”Refer Madness”, and just legalize it. We can smooth out the lumps afterwards. I’d even be in favor of the formation of M.A.S.D. (Mothers Against Stoned Drivers), while I don’t think they’d be too busy.Report