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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Was Legalizing Medical Marijuana a Mistake?

Posted by on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Man, remember when we passed a cascade of medical marijuana initiatives in the 1990s, normalizing pot and building support for full legalization? That was great. Most Americans now support legalizing pot. And—even better—genuinely sick people in 17 states can hold down a meal without being sentenced to prison. But now that Initiative 502 threatens to legalize marijuana in Washington State, medical marijuana entrepreneurs have arrived on the scene (taking advantage of those laws we passed) and are the leading force to stop legalization. Their No On I-502 PAC, their magazines, their dispensaries, and their authorization clinics are braying that legalizing pot will lead to more arrests and that legalization's regulations will hurt patients. In the last 24 hours, more than a dozen misinformed people have contacted me with complaints that if they can only possess an ounce of pot, if medical marijuana patients aren't allowed to drive high, and if folks have to pay taxes at stores, well then, it's not legalization. Hogshit.

Lots of legal commodities are highly regulated! Do these medical marijuana advocates also believe that, say, tightly controlled tobacco is illegal? Corn, petroleum, gin—are those things illegal because they're taxed? If this was actually about reducing the number of patient arrests, they'd want to legalize marijuana by passing I-502. That would finally provide arrest protection for patients in possession, which they don't have now. But this isn't about policy—or patients—for a lot of these industry folks.

Watch this incredible video from 4Evergreen Group, one of the leading anti-legalization campaigners, which runs a business writing authorizations for people with ostensibly debilitating conditions:

They look real sick dancing around and smoking Swisher cigars stuffed with weed, don't they? "We are here to have fun," one of the guys in the video says. "Have you signed up?" This is one reason that nobody with half a brain takes the "medical" patients' opposed to legalization seriously.

First, they look to me like the most indulgent stoners of all—an embarrassment and liability to the actually sick people who need pot to hold down a meal or manage pain. Second, they seem largely concerned that they might have to—the injustice, the horror—meet regulatory standards and pay taxes.

Look, there's nothing wrong with non-sick people getting high. But the medical-pot industry leaders are taking advantage of a two-tier system: You can use pot with impunity if you pay into their system. If you pay for an authorization and patronize their dispensaries, you're safe. Everyone else? Everyone who doesn't pay up or is too ethical to fake an illness can be prosecuted for pot. And then those same businesses are using their profits to, you know, oppose legalization and make sure their lucrative system remains intact. The people running these pot business are largely white and wealthy, and they have nothing to lose. They're apparently fine letting cops lock up lots of poor black and Latino people for pot as long as "patients"—many of whom aren't actually sick, it must be said—can keep paying up. If I-502 fails, it's because of the medical pot industry's greed and selfishness. These industry interests may be a necessary byproduct of compassion for the genuinely sick, and medical pot laws weren't a mistake—they're probably a necessary step to legalizing marijuana. But they're also the biggest obstacle to progress.

 

Comments (56) RSS

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1
I think that legal, medical, pot, helped to move the drug out of the no-go tabu-tabu category, its spiritual Schedule One.
Posted by Gerald Fnord on October 30, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
2
Thank you for taking on the weed lobby on this issue. I worked for several years as a prosecutor and CONSTANTLY dealt with the entitled, whiny and downright dangerous medical pot users who felt that they were entitled to get stoned and get behind the wheel. As a matter of policy our office wouldn't even charge a driving while stoned case unless the driving pattern put people at substantial risk. And I got tired of dealing with assholes who would drive in the wrong lane, run a red light, side-swipe a parked car and then think their prescription card made everything ok. I'm excited about the idea of legalization and would smoke if it were legal. But just like I don't pound a few beers and go pick up the kids from school, I'm not about to smoke a bowl and run to the grocery store. And anyone who does either of those things should end up exactly where they belong, in a courtroom sitting across the aisle from me.
Posted by Dernin29 on October 30, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
Knat 3
Wait, people with no vested financial interest are saying that if they have to pay tax on pot, and if they can get cited for a DUI while stoned, then it's not considered fully legal? Wat? I must be missing something, because it takes about a half second's consideration to start spotting holes in that logic.
Posted by Knat on October 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
pfffter 4
Well, if 502 goes down, those assholes are on their own. I'll never support another damn thing coming out of the medical marijuana community. Consider that bridge burned, motherfuckers.
Posted by pfffter on October 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
5
I think #1 is closer to the truth. The biggest hurdle 502 faces is parents who are rightfully concerned about making it easier than it already is for their teenagers to get pot.
Posted by jackseattle on October 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM · Report this
6
@5 "parents who are rightfully concerned about making it easier than it already is for their teenagers to get pot."

Rightfully?

Rightfully, as in, it is right for parents to be concerned about anything to do with their teenagers?

...or do you mean rightfully, as in, people engaged in the illicit trafficking of drugs are somehow more trustworthy than the government, especially when it comes to honoring societal taboos against providing potentially dangerous substances to minors?
Posted by Concerned Parent For I-502 on October 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
NaFun 7
@5 - and the best argument to use on those rightfully concerned parents is that high schoolers now use marijuana more than they use tobacco.

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on October 30, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
brandon 8
I'd rather my teenager smoke pot than drink, and booze is more freely available than ever.
Posted by brandon on October 30, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
GhostDog 9
The problem I have seen is that cannabis activists have moved the bar. Back in the 60-70s when the last legalization push failed two tactics were agreed upon, medical and treating cannabis like alcohol. However, since then many activists, almost exclusively on the west coast, have started to want legalization to mean no regulation or taxation.

@4. I feel the same way. It's why I haven't supported anything related to Cali since prop 19.
Posted by GhostDog on October 30, 2012 at 3:29 PM · Report this
More, I Say! 10
I like to get stoned, but I also like to have an appetite. You can be both a medical patient and a reg'lar old pot head, yea?
Posted by More, I Say! on October 30, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 11
@4 Well, we've got another week to find out. But your comment points out something, that the MMJ crowd has made a huge mistake by being against 502. They've made a lot of enemies that would normally be their allies. This is the most common-sense approach, which takes into consideration all aspects of society, not just the stoners. If it fails, doesn't matter why, the MMJ crowd are going to get the blame for it.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on October 30, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 12
Money eventually changes (and corrupts) almost everything. We all need some. We all want some. But what happens to successful people who get financially comfortable? All of a sudden, they want it all. And will become the biggest shitheels in the world in order to get it all (or at least way, way more than they need). It's like all those hedge fund managers on Wall Street. It isn't macho enough to have 4 mansions. They gotta have 9 or 12.
Posted by Bauhaus I on October 30, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
COMTE 13
I know so goddamned many people with MMJ cards who, many by their own admission, got it on the flimsiest of pretexts, and simply so that they could get stoned; not to treat pain, or stimulate appetite, or any of the other valid reasons people use MMJ.

Granted, most of them are voting in favor of legalization, but it simply shows the blatant hypocrisy of the MMJ industry: they KNOW they're signing up people with no legitimate medical condition requiring their services; they KNOW these people are smoking ONLY for recreational purposes; and they KNOW they would be up Shit Creek if the Feds cared to pursue it. They also know they could lose a lot of their business to competitors if pot were legalized, AND that part of their extremely healthy profit-margin would have to go to pay requisite taxes, which don't exist under the current paradigm.

So, what's their strategy? To scare both legitimate MMJ users and card-carrying recreational users into voting against the Initiative, in order to maintain the status-quo, and thus continue their virtual monopoly on semi-legal sales, which in turn forces other recreational users to either continue risking arrest by purchasing via the black-market, or to capitulate and fake a qualifying "illness" in order to join one of their "clubs" on their terms and at their prices.

It's bullshit, and they know it...
Posted by COMTE on October 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
14
“When anybody preaches disunity, tries to put one of us against the other, through class warfare, race hatred, or religious intolerance, you know that person seeks to ROB US of our freedom,and DESTROY our very lives...and YOU know what to do about it!”
-John Q Public-

i don't know about you, but I'm not fighting for the right of government to tax pot. I'm not fighting for the right of city councilmembers to license their friends to start large scale grows and then say "we have too many" and deny other kids the permit and strip them of their chance at making their dreams come true while making a corner and a monopoly on the cannabis industry for their friends. I'm not fighting for the right to compromise my principles and my values in regards to my "privledge" to drive, especially when it is a compromise with the enemy.

You might be for all those things, but in my opinion, I-502 isn't what I'm fighting for. It's just another compromise with the enemy like prop 19 was. Do we do it? Sure why not. But be prepared for the battle, cause it really isn't exactly what I'm fighting for, and there is plenty of stuff in there to allow for massive corruptio and stumblingblocks.

Legalization consists of my right to possess and cultivate cannabis on my own private property. That's my freedom. That's what I'm fighting for.
Posted by JeffL on October 30, 2012 at 6:05 PM · Report this
wilbur@work 15
jeffL, put down the joint for 5 seconds, and back away from the computer. Call your mom down from upstairs, and have her finally boot you out of the house -- you're 47 years old, for Fuck's sake!

Nobody's listening to you (except for me), and if you're on Slog (which you are), you haven't made enough money from the "movement" to truly drop out.

Time to get a real job, buddy. Part-time cab driver ain't gonna pay the rent (when you get the boot, and actually have to pay rent).
Posted by wilbur@work on October 30, 2012 at 8:12 PM · Report this
16
@11 @4 You are absolutely right, and if this fails, there will be political ramifications for the medical marijuana users and industry. This is how I see this right now (roughly):

50% Favor 502, despite the warts.
45% Oppose 502 because they oppose legalization.
4% Oppose 502 because of the DUI provision.
1%, Oppose 502 because of some other provision.

Now for the fun part. In general:

60% Favor a DUI provision (of some sort) for marijuana.
40% Oppose a DUI provision.

Those numbers are probably conservative (it is probably above 70%). Notice that those numbers are completely consistent with the first set of numbers. If this thing fails, it will be primarily because of the general opposition. It is how we ended up with George W. Bush -- mostly it was because lots of people voted for Bush, but it also because a handful of people in Florida (and New Hampshire) voted for Nader. But I digress. What does all this mean:

If 502 fails, expect the legislature to pass a DUI law pretty quickly. After all, there is no reason to make an exception for a medical patient. If I have a prescription for really strong pain killers, it doesn't mean I can take them and then operate heavy machinery or a motor vehicle. The same is true for cannabis. Will liberals (like Holden or the rest of the Stranger staff) come to the aid of those patients who want to drive while stoned? Of course not. They have little reason to. Not only are they angry, but it eliminates one of the reasons for opposition. Let the legislature pass the DUI provision, then try and pass 502 again, this time with no DUI provision (since it wouldn't be needed).
Posted by Ross on October 30, 2012 at 8:24 PM · Report this
17
@16: "then try and pass 502 again".

And wait four more years? No thanks. Every analysis done on voting trends re legalization to date shows that presidential election years are pretty much our only hope of getting a measure passed. You need elections with the largest turnouts to stand a chance. Maybe the math changes as acceptance for legalization grows, but I doubt we're there yet. No one with any credibility would run another initiative here until 2016.

And, in line with that: what, and flush all the money that was spent this year down the toilet? I-502 has garnered more support and $$ than any other legalization measure to date. If 502 fails due to our small home-grown group of pinheads, I don't see anyway any of the big players in reform come back here. And I don't blame them. If I'm Ethan Nadelmann or Peter Lewis and 502 fails, I'm out of Washington.

And, as #4, aptly points out: there are too many bridges that have been burnt here. If Dawdy, Hiatt, Sarich or Steinborn thinks that anyone in the national reform movement is going to even return their phone calls if they kill 502 -- let alone give them $ -- they need to put down the fucking bong.
Posted by gnossos on October 30, 2012 at 9:09 PM · Report this
18
@17 -- Good Point. But regardless of what the pro-legalization forces do, it is highly likely that the legislature will pass a DUI provision if 502 fails. That is my larger point. There will be very little opposition to it. Most of the people who oppose legalization will support the DUI provision (I'm sure many of those are surprised their is no specified limit right now). Many of the people who support 502 will support the DUI limit whether out of spite, political tactics or simply because they think it is a good idea.
Posted by Ross on October 30, 2012 at 9:36 PM · Report this
19
@Dominic -- Another excellent post. The medical marijuana situation is a mess. I think you have covered this, but it would be nice if you covered it some more. For example, it would be worthwhile to interview doctors and nurses and ask them about what it is like to prescribe cannabis. It is very difficult. To begin with, there is very little literature for the patient. What type of marijuana should one take for a particular ailment (something high in THC or CBD)? Where should you get it? If I'm not mistaken, health care providers are not allowed to recommend particular dispensaries. The Stranger provides a great guide, but medical practitioners are likely to shy away from it. They don't want to recommend a publication that contains lots of swear words and scantily clad men and women for fear of offending the patient. One of the best local magazines is called DOPE. This just doesn't fly with a provider who is afraid of what a board might think of his or her recommendation.

That is the really frustrating part. There are sleazy medical providers out there who are all too happy to prescribe cannabis for every ailment under the sun. At the same time, those who have recently realized that marijuana can provide great relief struggle with fear and lack of information.
Posted by Ross on October 30, 2012 at 9:50 PM · Report this
watchout5 20
As someone who's been too ethical to fake an illness to a NOT DOCTOR you really speak for me on this issue. I-502 looks promising. I'm about to turn my ballot in.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on October 30, 2012 at 10:56 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 21
@20 Thank you.

@14 You demonstrate perfectly why legalization never gets anywhere. You're a fanatic. An 'all-or-nothing' extremist that will immediately turn on his potential allies at every minor setback. You're not "fighting," you're pouting because you don't live in a perfect world.

Well, big whoop. This world involves compromise, and being thankful for what we have. If you want to improve it, it won't happen overnight. You've got to work for the long-haul, take what you can get & keep going. Every major moral enlightenment & breakthrough came after years of working for it. Hey, I'd love all those things you write about. That's why I voted YES. Because it's sets the stage for it to happen.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on October 31, 2012 at 12:08 AM · Report this
22
"Medical marijuana" is a sham. After 502 is defeated, we should repeal "medical marijuana."
Posted by Mister G on October 31, 2012 at 1:07 AM · Report this
23
@14: So you've got yours, fuck everyone else? Okay, but that's not the attitude that's going to open up weed for legalization. I-502 is.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on October 31, 2012 at 8:01 AM · Report this
24

From: Barry, John W [mailto:JohnW.Barry@seattle.gov] Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 10:15 AM
To: Art Way
Subject: Lining up support for I-502 in Seattle
Hi Art,
Here in brief is the process we've undergone in Seattle to get our elected officials onboard with legalization. Let me know if you've got any questions.
In February and March of 2011, one of our state Reps, Mary Lou Dickerson, sponsored a bill in the state legislature that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adult use. Large parts of the bill were vetoed by Gov. Gregoire, but the proposal morphed into Initiative 502, which has the same goals and is on our November ballot. By lining up support for Rep. Dickerson's bill, local journalist Dominic Holden essentially got every member of our delegation as well as our council to endorse 502. Below are the articles in chronological order, followed by my assessments.
Some background on local opinion.
Pete's editorial.
Seattle Times endorses Dickerson's bill.
Getting Mary Lou Dickerson's bill out of committee.
1
Holden follows up on the story.
Bothers Tim Burgess into endorsing legalization. Gets Bruce Harrell to agree.
Writes an article summing it all up.
Moves on to the state legislature.
Calls out those who don't respond.
David Frockt lags behind, gets phone calls. Holden sums it up again.
As you can see, there was already nontrivial public support for a new approach to marijuana in Washington, which has (we believe) held steady. I don't know the numbers for Colorado, but I think this was part of why Holden was so successful-he had a readership which already agreed with him, in part because the Seattle Stranger, for which Holden is news editor, has been a consistent advocate of drug policy reform. Additionally, our editorially libertarian mainstream paper, The Seattle Times, endorsed Rep. Dickerson's bill, giving legalization a kind of mainstream exposure it might not otherwise have had.
Holden's main tactic for changing opinions is to exert political pressure by taking advantage of the Stranger's vocal, opinionated core readership, and not shutting up so that the readers weren't able to move on to other issues. Stranger readers of the sort likely to call their state reps are generally possessed of strong opinions, but are suspicious of traditional political structures. Holden took advantage of the Stranger's often partisan and progressive editorial line, and he didn't bother to play the role of an "objective" journalist. For about two weeks, he was effectively a lobbyist for a particular legislative effort.
It seems that most members of the City Council, and eventually most members of the legislative delegation, didn't need prompting. When they did, Holden again made use of partisan headlines ("Who in Seattle thinks that the sale and trafficking of marijuana should remain in the hands of an illegal market?") and exerted pressure through his readers by directly telling them to call certain officials. At least some of them did, and he continued to bombard the most reluctant members to come around to his views.
Holden's effort was successful because enough people regard the Stranger as a reputable (if admittedly biased and countercultural) news source, and not as a pressure group. Had this effort come from Rep. Dickerson's office, or from any of the several pro-legalization groups in Seattle, many of the people who exerted pressure likely would not have. The core Stranger readership has strong opinions but is (like many pro-legalization people) not deeply connected to local politics because they have long seen the political process and the state as their adversaries on this issue. Further, a larger number of people follow the Stranger's news blog than follow a campaign's press releases. What would be a serious grassroots organizing project for a campaign was, to a news blog, a less severe challenge. Holden's cachet as a countercultural voice and an "independent" writer gave him a unique pull with his readership, and his tactics were both blatant (direct calls to action) and effective.
John W. Barry Volunteer
Seattle City Attorney's Office Civil Division
600 4th Avenue, 4th flOOr
P.O. Box 94769
Seattle, WA 98124-4769 Phone: 206-386-4074 FAX: 206-684-8284 JohnW.Barry@seattle.gov
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Posted by Haxo on October 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
25
@14: "i don't know about you, but I'm not fighting for the right of government to tax pot."

I see the Ron Paul asshole brigade is out in force. Nobody's fighting to tax pot. We DO apparently have to fight the morons who don't want it taxed to get it legalized.
Posted by a neverending onslaught of enemies on October 31, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
26
Wow, another manipulative hit-piece from Dom. You are a master at intentional mis-representation. If you were interested in holding the culprits accountable for the likely failure of 502, you should be writing articles slamming the 502 authors for not consulting with the MMJ leaders at all when writing this initiative. We were trying to warn the authors very early on that there would be a massive patient backlash against 502 if the DUI provision was presented like it is. It is not entrepreneurs who are the biggest threat to 502's passage, it's 502 itself! When you write new laws that cause harm and anger your base, you fight a losing battle. If the authors had bothered consulting with any of the MMJ political leaders, we would have helped craft an initiative that patients would be excited about. Too bad for your readers that you prefer slamming your opponents unfairly rather than writing about the truth Dom. Plus, you say that the MMJ establishments are the reason 502 is failing, but where is the campaign to prove your point? Less than $10,000 has been raised against 502. The only organized official opposition comes from a crazy dude with no financing and little knowledge of how to win campaigns. If you are trying to tell me that this somehow is responsible for taking down a campaign with $5 million in funding, you are talking crazy. The leaders in MMJ are PRO legalization and most of us have fought in favor of other proposals. The REASON 502 is failing is because it was written terribly and when patients and regular users of cannabis read it on their own with no input from the pro or no side, about 80% of them turn against it. You are trying to incriminate innocent people just to avoid having to put any responsibility for this mess on the people who created it. Are there uncool players in MMJ? Of course. Does it represent everyone or even a majority? No. To say MMJ providers are against legalization in general is a straight up lie. It's as I said on KUOW back in August. This initiative's bad provisions were going to spread themselves and threaten the campaign. They have indeed spread themselves, because people are reading the initiative and freaking out at what it says. It's that simple. Also, let's look at incentive. Why would people who want more business (collective garden access points) oppose an initiative that could result in gobs more business out of greed? Your arguments fall flat on their face in the eyes of people who know the truth. It's a sad day whether this passed or fails. Either way, we will have a lot of work to do after the election on cannabis laws and it would be wise to be bringing people together for the future struggles rather than burning yet more bridges within the community.
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Posted by Ezra Eickmeyer on October 31, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
27
BTW, that video from 4E was, I agree, atrocious. You are right to criticize these kinds of representations of MMJ. I will agree with you here, Dom. Not a good image at all.
Posted by Ezra Eickmeyer on October 31, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
28
Just an FYI.. that video may be from people that work with 4E.. but its not a video promoting the clinic or medical cannabis authorizations.. its a commercial for the t-shirt company made.. I didn't see anywhere in that video promoting medical clinics.. t-shirts are for everyone.. not just people that are sick!
Posted by Nate J on October 31, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
29
It is funny to see Ezra Eichmeyer touting I-502 now, since he was recently burned for trying to raise $400,000 to oppose I-502 on behalf of an unregistered "trade group"

The only thing that Ezra is a leader in is creative scams to defraud the community, as anyone who reviews the PDC filings of the various front groups he has employed for the last few years can see.

Also, Ezra was a member of the failed Safe Access Alliance, which fired his cohort, Phil Dawdy, at their first press conference.

Sounds like sour grapes from a busted scammer to me.
Posted by Haxo on October 31, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
30
Another important point to report is that there is no problem with current law in regards to cannabis and impaired driving. Nobody is arguing that stoned driving is ok, but we do recognize that there is already sufficient law in place to bust you for driving impaired! 502's provision is not about addressing a real problem, it's there to assuage the fears of people who don't know about current law. There is currently no "stoned driver" problem to fix, there is a public perception issue.
Posted by Ezra Eickmeyer on October 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
31
??? I've been consistently opposed to 502 since Feb. Not sure where you think I've changed position? You clearly didn't read my post! LOL
Posted by Ezra Eickmeyer on October 31, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
32
wow, you people are eating this bullshit up aren't you? as a true medical patient for extreme and constant pain in my knee that is held together by nothing but scar tissue I WAKE UP in the morning SOBER and have more than 5ng per milliliter of blood! aka this law passes I'm ALWAYS going to be guilty of DUI! I don't want to drive high, I want to be able to DRIVE! I used to like you stranger, but attacking patients because you support a terrible bill is deplorable. If you guys want real information on this bill look to the REAL newspapers. The Stranger is nothing more than a shitty opinion blog anymore!
Posted by JunglistMassiff on October 31, 2012 at 3:22 PM · Report this
33
I don't understand how the Medical Marijuana Dispensaries would oppose the movement. Medicinal Marijuana is one thing and Recreational Marijuana is another and yes Industrial Hemp even another completely different industry all together.

Medical Marijuana would be forced to become more specific within a legalized system. In other words some serious research will need to occur that will eventually result into designer strains being created for specific conditions. If anything, it would become TRUE MEDICINE and will have factual evidence supporting each claim. Only under a legal system would the Medicinal market be able to do the research to launch it into the next phase. Patients would rather want to have customized medicine than a general approach to their condition.

I agree with the author of this article...it's time to allow it.

For more info on marijuana just check out my group at www.facebook.com/TheMD411

Thanks and keep the movement going!
Posted by JeandreGerber on October 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM · Report this
34
@32: "I WAKE UP in the morning SOBER and have more than 5ng per milliliter of blood"

This only measures active metabolites. Take your "personal anecdotes" and shove them.
Posted by MM shills need to stop bullshitting on October 31, 2012 at 6:14 PM · Report this
35
"We do recognize that there is already sufficient law in place to bust you for driving impaired!"

This gives you more protections than you currently have, which supports 0ng in your bloodstream.
Posted by keep making shit up, MM shills on October 31, 2012 at 6:18 PM · Report this
36
Dom you certainly are a busy guy these days aren't you. Again; 4e is a marketing company built for a post legalization era, it's why our brand leans towards the mainstream. We have a magazine, its called PDA. We have a shirt company, its called 4eMade. We have an 800 number that you can call if you are someone who is looking to be put in touch with a medical professional that might be able to help.

If you guys took half the time to consult with us (and the members we represent) that you've taken to attack us with smear campaigns 502 would be passing with flying colors. Instead you decided to attack every aspect of this industry and paint us as the poster children for what you're shrinking (and I mean fast) cheer squad has decided is the problem. Its not the problem however, as a pro-legalization organization we have done to forward this cause then you will ever be able to do from your small post on capital hill. We have touched hundreds of thousands of people with the message that they can come out of hiding and partaking in something that the Washington State voters passed.

Why do you hate us Dom? All we asked was that the patients voice was heard in the debate and all you have done is everything in your power to belittle us and drag us through the mud. Where does the anger come from? Did we abuse you somehow? Now that you are no longer a reporter, but rather a full fledged politician is this a strategy of design or necessity? I was under the impression that 502 was going to pass with flying colors so why are you still bothering all of us with these right-wing tactics?

Its as pathetic as your fake Gonzo-style first person journalism. Seriously brother, this whole debate is just a lot better off without you. You've caused NAW considerably more damage than you've helped. Don't be confused by the few hundred people reading your daily slog, the entire patient community (and there's about 400,000 of us) knows exactly who you are and is likely voting no because of you. What's more, I know tons and tons of people who have told me personally that the way you have attacked us is so asinine that it must speak to something the effort in general. Speak it does Dom, and self-destruct you have.

When I have people telling me they are going back to popping pills post 502 so that they can drive 'legally' worries me. I thought we were trying to take this thing the other way, but bad laws have all sorts of unintended consequences.
More...
Posted by doeberman on October 31, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this
37
If you pretend that 502 is going to clear out the jails one more time Im calling MITT Romney on you. Less than 1% of the jails are filled with minorities who are in there for POSSESSING LESS THAN AN OUNCE. Its a hot load of BULLSHIT bro, you know it, we know it.. stop lying to people. However, having an authorization has helped this cause out significantly DOM, of course you know that already though because you're a well researched journalist.

Real legalization would reduce prison populations.. this one will increase it with 'stoned' drivers with multiple DUIs. I'd be willing to bet my last dollar on it.
Posted by doeberman on October 31, 2012 at 7:54 PM · Report this
38
@37: I'll take that bet. Ten to one, your favor. You're completely full of shit.
Posted by gnossos on October 31, 2012 at 8:51 PM · Report this
39
Done ssos.. Ill take those odds all day. If you're naive enough to think people go to jail for possessing less than an ounce then you're certainly naive enough to take the bait on that one. Introduce me to one person who sat in jail for longer than a weekend for possessing less than an ounce and Ill introduce you to 10 that have done 3-6 months in jail for a third DUI offense. Use your logic, thats what it's there for..
Posted by doeberman on October 31, 2012 at 10:55 PM · Report this
40
In Seattle right now its just a ticket that hardly ever gets written. What are we even gaining? We certainly are giving up a lot for it.
Posted by doeberman on October 31, 2012 at 11:09 PM · Report this
41
@39 & 40:

you said: "Real legalization would reduce prison populations.. this one will increase it with 'stoned' drivers with multiple DUIs. I'd be willing to bet my last dollar on it. "

That's my bet buddy. If one year after passage of 502 the prison population increases due to cannabis related DUIs you win. If it doesn't, you lose. How much are you willing to put up?

In fact, how bout a side bet: there will be no statistically significant increase in cannabis related DUIs if 502 passes. Set your price buddy.

Posted by gnossos on November 1, 2012 at 1:47 AM · Report this
42
"Why do you hate us Dom? All we asked was that the patients voice was heard in the debate"

And we don't care, because MM is not being affected by I-502. Your entitled demands have nothing to do with this, fuck off.
Posted by everyone deserves these rights on November 1, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
43
"When I have people telling me they are going back to popping pills post 502 so that they can drive 'legally' worries me."

They'll get arrested for DWI whether they're popping pills or driving massively stoned. It's not Dom's fault that you're miseducating people on what the law currently prohibits. Of course ,it's also not Dom's fault that you don't know the laws of the state either.
Posted by you are not entitled to make things up on November 1, 2012 at 8:21 AM · Report this
44
Actually, # 39, the state is expecting millions in new revenues from new DUI convictions with 502. They are literally anticipating thousands of new DUI convictions. The DUI concerns are real. You may still choose to support 502, but people are not being paranoid. Current law works just fine to convict someone of driving stoned, so these newly anticipated convictions will include many people who are not actually impaired when driving. That's the whole problem.
Posted by Ezra Eickmeyer on November 1, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 45
@44, Ezra, do you actually have any sources to back up that claim?
Posted by Akbar Fazil on November 1, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
Bonefish 46
45: I'm guessing his/her "sources" are the same studies that a guy named "seandr" kept bringing up in another thread in order to argue that lots of people are above the proposed 5 ng/mL limit a day after getting high, and therefore could be busted while sober. A quick glance at those very studies reveal that these people are misreading them. Either they forget to convert the units from "plasma THC" to "whole blood THC," or they're including metabolites instead of just active THC, or they're pointing out that THC was found to be "still present" and dishonestly implying that this means it was still present in amounts above 5 ng/mL. Once converted to the units specified in the law (ng/mL of active, whole-blood THC), it turns out that none of the studies show anyone above that limit while sober.

Usually when this is pointed out to them, they either cite a "doctor friend" who totally swears by their claim, or an article/blog post that is not primary scientific literature (and that often makes the same conversion mistakes they make), or they insist that one day a sober person will "probably" be above that limit, or they revert to conspiracy theories about cartoon villain DEA agents twirling their mustaches in anticipation of all the arrests they plan to make by luring people into feeling safe with weed once I-502 passes.

Conveniently, they don't account for the fact that these DEA villains could just make those arrests NOW. They can arrest you for less than an ounce RIGHT NOW. If an ounce is too low a limit, that's a reason to pass additional measures raising that limit AFTER 502 PASSES. It's not a reason to vote against I-502.

In the end, the anti-502 people are in two different groups: dispensary profiteers who fear the competition that will come from increased legalization, and so-called pot activists who put more importance in appearing "more radical than thou" than in actual progress, so they can't "in good conscience" support anything that falls short of allowing people to drive around stoned and toss out bags of weed at parades with pounds and pounds of it in their trunk.

To the dispensary profiteers: if your business depends on prohibition to thrive, GOOD RIDDANCE.

To the pseudo-activists who can't let go of their simplistic "all or nothing" mentality: watch fewer movies. Progress isn't always glorious. Sometimes it lies in a boring law that opens doors for further progress, and sometimes it requires working within the US Government despite your insistence that it's "the enemy." Good luck drafting a law that doesn't somehow involve the government that you're drafting that law for.
More...
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on November 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 47
@45- This guy totally told him that and that guy was like totally in with the cops who were talking to this chick who works for the Governor at this event that was downtown. It's totally legit.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on November 1, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
48
It's not just slimy, rich, monied MMJ people that want to oppose this law. I voted no on 502 as a MMJ user b/c the price of pot and quality of pot is sure to go down for me as a Seattle consumer of marijuana if 502 passes and the feds bust clinics. I understand if you like in Spokane this might be good for you, but since the passage of this law will increase the price of my marijuana as a Seattle consumer, I voted no.

By the way, have fun getting arrested, having to bail yourself out, and possibly getting charged with resisting arrest if you get caught with a bag still. No charges will be brought likely eventually but have fun in jail for a night anyway.
Posted by PanWhale on November 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
49
The difference between what 502 does and a measure that actually legalized pot (ie taking all language relating to marijuana completely out of the criminal code as if it was water) is significant.
It's a nuance that so many people are failing to recognize, and I'm sick of 502 supporters suggesting the only one's voting against it are stupid republicans or money-hungry MMJ drug dealers.

Consider if you get stopped with marijuana, and you are an 19 year old black person. Far from being some free ticket to not be harassed now, and some gateway to a new era in civil rights (as the Stranger so tiringly is yelling at us over and over) you will still be fucked with. Why?

The law still say that Marijuana is explicitly illegal in virtually all of its forms. The presumption will be that you are in possession of marijuana so you are a criminal. Later the cops will have to prove that you had over an ounce, but they will arrest and detain you for anything close to an ounce. By the way, if you're sharing a joint with your friend it can be charged still with dealing. If you don't think cops will continue to fuck with marijuana users as a pretext for any possible thing you are naive.
Posted by PanWhale on November 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
50
@45 and @46 you are wrong. The problem with the per se limit is that people can get be pulled over and giving a DUI even if they are driving showing ZERO signs of impairment. You may correctly feel that people shouldn't be driving above this level even if they seem capable of it. However this doesn't negate the fact that these people, heretofore left alone, stoned, behind the wheel - because they can pull it off - will now be arrested. You might view this as a good thing. but I view it as unprecedented ability for law enforcement to bust people who quite literally are doing nothing wrong. When you can give someone a DUI who is physically driving perfectly according to the law, you will necessarily expand the number of DUI arrests. The backlash will be tremendous. Because, again, this dosn't legalize marijuana, it shifts the battle lines. It will still be the pretext law enforcement uses, as it is now, to wage war on the citizenry.
Posted by PanWhale on November 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 51
@48- I like your "I've got mine, fuck you." attitude.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on November 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 52
@48-50, how exactly will the price go up? How exactly is an officer going to demand a DUI blood test if there is no probable cause of impairment?
Posted by Akbar Fazil on November 2, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
Bonefish 53
PanWhale:

1) How will the legalization of up to an oz of smokeable weed (plus larger amounts of edible and liquid marijuana) lead to dispensaries being raided more?

2) How will weed still be illegal in "virtually all its forms" when the law will allow pretty generous amounts of smokeable (1 oz), edible (16 oz), AND liquid (72 oz) marijuana for personal use? If your problem is the mere fact that there ARE limits, then why would you vote for the status quo (in which the limit is 0 oz smokeable, 0 oz edible, and 0 oz liquid)?

3) How would this law's passage magically make cops more likely to pull someone over and declare that they need to take a sobriety test if they're showing no signs of impairment?

4) Why should we believe your predictions that cops are more likely to arrest you for having under an ounce of weed when that becomes legal than they are now when it's illegal?

You use a lot of scary terminology, like cops having a pretext to "wage war on the citizenry," but you don't seem to have any actual explanation for exactly how the passage of I-502 would actually lead to those things. We're supposed to just believe that "lots of bad stuff will happen" because you say so. If I wanted to lower my own rationale to your level, I could declare that if I-502 fails, cops will arrest people for having ibuprofen in their car and China will invade. Sorry, but panicked declarations aren't good enough. That type of stunt might work on the Truther crowd, but not elsewhere.

In the end, your only realistic argument is that if someone IS driving above the DUI limit, they'll get charged with a DUI no matter how "well" they were driving. Aw, shucks! For one thing, you argue this as though people can currently get away with driving while high, which is false. For another thing, you're basing this on some hypothetical scenario where someone is pulled over under suspicion of intoxication AND is above the legal limit, yet is unimpaired: an extremely unlikely scenario, especially since the DUI limit is based on the best available studies on THC level vs. impairment. Third, there are only two ways around that issue anyway: 1) Have absolutely no limit and allow people to drive as stoned as they want (not a good idea), or 2) Leave it entirely up to cops' subjective judgment to decide if someone is high or not (also not a good idea, since cops will be WAY less permissive than the proposed DUI limit). Last, this is the current approach with ALL DUI laws; they establish an amount based on what causes intoxication and prosecute based on that. Why should weed be the one exception?

In a nutshell, the law takes things that cops can CURRENTLY arrest you for (possession under an ounce; THC levels below 5ng/mL) and makes them LEGAL. If you want to whine that the 1 oz limit isn't enough, or that the DUI limit is too low, that's fine (it's still not a reason to vote against I-502, but it's logical to whine about). But pretending that it will lead to more arrests is like saying that a higher speed limit will lead to cops giving out more tickets to people who aren't speeding. It's perfect nonsense.
More...
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on November 2, 2012 at 3:55 PM · Report this
54
@53: The answer to all of them is the very Republican "fuck you, i've got MINE."
Posted by pretend hippies campaign just like Rs on November 2, 2012 at 6:44 PM · Report this
55
I love it when stoners try to argue against each other.
Posted by Mister G on November 2, 2012 at 11:30 PM · Report this
Bonefish 56
55: If you're so much more intelligent, care to weigh in? Or are overdone pothead stereotypes the most complicated concept you can comprehend?
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on November 4, 2012 at 7:57 PM · Report this

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