People Didn't Stop Drinking Booze During Prohibition...


Faith in humanity...slipping...away...le sigh...

Faith in humanity...slipping...away...le sigh...

People DID stop drinking during Prohibition. Alcohol consumption didn't rise, it fell. A lot. Getting your facts upside down doesn't help your argument.

"We find that alcohol consumption fell sharply at the beginning of Prohibition, to approximately 30 percent of its pre-Prohibition level. During the next several years, however, alcohol consumption increased sharply, to about 60-70 percent of its pre-Prohibition level."
People DID stop drinking during Prohibition. Alcohol consumption didn't rise, it fell. A lot. Getting your facts upside down doesn't help your argument.

"We find that alcohol consumption fell sharply at the beginning of Prohibition, to approximately 30 percent of its pre-Prohibition level. During the next several years, however, alcohol consumption increased sharply, to about 60-70 percent of its pre-Prohibition level."
People DID stop drinking during Prohibition. Alcohol consumption didn't rise, it fell. A lot. Getting your facts upside down doesn't help your argument.

"We find that alcohol consumption fell sharply at the beginning of Prohibition, to approximately 30 percent of its pre-Prohibition level. During the next several years, however, alcohol consumption increased sharply, to about 60-70 percent of its pre-Prohibition level."
@3-Aren't the long term consequences more relevent to our current sitch?
You really have to wonder why the American people want to be so deluded on this issue? It's like they know prohibition will never be successful and only leads to more violence and expense, but like to be told lies that make them hope differently. If only we could build enough jails and hire enough police, their thinking goes, we can win.
If that where true, in other nations like mexico where pot and other drugs have been legalized there wouldn't be so much bloodshed. The families of those who have died due drugs know the reality, if drugs are not fought, lawlessness like the one we see in other countries will rule here.
Oh, fuck, it's back.
@8:"nations like mexico where pot and other drugs have been legalized there wouldn't be so much bloodshed."

Uhm, bloodshed caused by competition for control of the USA illegal pot market. D-U-H.
I agree with your last sentence. Nothing good has come from giving dirtbags a license to print money.

Around here, fireman find growing operations more often than the DEA. Get pot production out of the cities and parks to rural farms, then regulate and tax it—just like alcohol (I'm refraining from all caps here).

I realize it's a more labor intensive crop to get to market than tobacco or avocados, but they also need to let prices go WAY down, giving zero incentive for anyone to grow at home beyond hobbyists or people do so for person need. There's dispensaries on every corner here, and I still here people say "why the fuck would you go to a clinic? It's the same shit but way more expensive."
But, but . . . Jayzus said "don't do drugs." Didn't he?
@8: Loveschild, you moronic troll, pot isn't legalized in Mexico. Possession of 5 grams or less for personal use is either legal or decriminalized (articles are unclear). Cannabis still can't be sold legally, nor grown, since a single cannabis plant produces substantially more than that, which makes the law largely irrelevant to drug-related murders, which are primarily committed by suppliers, not by simple users.
Well I say anything that works for pit bulls must work for pot, and vice versa.
Alcohol consumption may have gone up, but it was virtually eliminated from rural areas. Since the prohibition movement originated in rural America (another example of rubes trying to control what EVERYONE does), I'm sure it suited those fuckers just fine.
@15: what rural areas? Certainly not the south, where a still in every holler became the norm.

@8: the example you're really looking for is Portugal. That's the best current example we currently have of what a post-prohibition framework might resemble. And by every measure -- including violence -- prohibition related drug harm has fallen dramatically.
On the other hand, my ex-boyfriend showed a decrease in lameness when he stopped smoking pot.
hi LC.
long time no see
People Haven't Stopped Being Attacked By Dogs...

...despite the production, distribution, and sale of Pit Bulls. In fact, in some areas with breed bans, dog bite incidents have risen. And people aren't going to stop getting attacked by dogs despite breed bans. If we want to stop people from keeping dangerous dogs and prevent people from being bitten by them, we're going to have to change the way we regulate dog ownership. Going on a stupid, credulous anti-Pit Bull campaign isn't going to end dog attacks.

Etc, etc, etc.

Sorry, Dan, but while I actually agree with you that pot should be legalized, you've lost all credibility regarding stupid credulousness due to your idiotic anti-Pit Bull campaign.
People didn't stop committing murder even when it was made illegal.
No doubt, if society removed the naughty thrill that accompanies murder (because the murderer knows he is breaking the law) murder would stop.
when will we learn?...

Have any stats on that?
The ironic thing is that either Minneapolis or her sister city St. Paul was a safe haven -- by law -- for criminals during prohibition, so long as they behaved themselves while they were there.
@19 - Pitbulls aren't weed, they're cocaine.
People haven't stopped bashing gays even though we made it a Hate Crime (oooh- just saying Hate Crime gives me shivers...)
If we just declared open season on homosexuals surely the bigots would get it out of their system eventually, or give up because their arms were tired, or cause their knuckles were so bloody they couldn't go on.
Guilt-tripping homophobes isn't going to end the violence.
The blame for the violence obviously rests with the misguided busy-bodies who outlawed gay bashing.
@20: Like so many trolls, you seem incapable of recognizing what arguments are being made. There is an argument that some people make that legalization would reduce drug use, but that is not the argument being made here. The argument here is that all black markets inevitably produce violence, and therefore only those practices which are inherently highly injurious to non-participants should be criminalized. Murder is such a practice. Cannabis consumption is not. You are a moron.
@23 - Pit Bulls aren't cocaine, they're dogs.
@24: Again, you are missing the point. Gay-bashing is inherently violent, as it is violence. Cannabis production, sale, purchase, and consumption are not. Violence associated with gay-bashing is inherent to gay-bashing, while violence associated with cannabis is inherent to black markets, and therefore can be eliminated by making the cannabis market a legal one.
@16, moonshine was never the norm in any part of the South, and nationwide, even in cities, Prohibition was quite successful at its goal of drastically reducing alcohol consumption. But apparently everything you folks know about history is culled from b-movies about speakeasies or something.

That doesn't mean that pot prohibition is a good idea. It does, however, suggest that removing it would have some significant negative, as well as positive, effects. To pretend otherwise is silly. Consumption would almost certainly increase, more people would become dependent, and I have no doubt that a great increase in the lameness @17 refers to.

@16, Portugal isn't really a good comparison, because Portugal is not generally speaking in the grips of dozens of howling addictions like the US is. Their society was pretty well-ordered before legalization, as it is after it. Not so the good ol' USA. Prohibition does indeed "work", to the extent that it keeps some number, probably low, but not insignificant, of greedy face-stuffing appetite machines from going off the rails with the stuff.

The question is, will the other benefits outweigh the inevitable social costs? I think it's pretty obvious that they would. But pretending that those costs don't exist at all is dumb.
@26: Good thing you warned me in time - I was just about to head down to the animal shelter with a razor, a mirror, and a straw. That would have been awkward.
People haven't stopped raping women even though it is against the law.
Forbidden fruit is the sweetest, eh?
Obviously it is counter productive to deny men sex with any woman they choose.
If do-gooders want to blame someone they should blame the clowns who made rape illegal. Or maybe the women who get raped. Yeah, blame the women. But for cying out loud leave the rapists out of it.
@20 darn that old -1th amendment that outlawed murder! The colonies were so freakin serene before that.
Pinto: I won't go schizo, will I?
Jennings: It's a distinct possibility.
It's always going to be smart to vote no on drugs --

until it isn't.

I believe/hope that the time draws near.
Let us guess, Dan-
you were stoned
when you did your prohibition research.
@21 keshmeshi: stats on what, my stills claim or Portugal?

If Portugal, unfortunately I don't have a handy link to the most recent info that was just presented at a conference in Liverpool two weeks ago as it's at work and I'm at home, but see:…


@30: Have you ever considered actually reading replies, as opposed to just posting an endless string of sarcasms that are off-topic by virtue of mocking a different argument from the one being made here.

@Dan: I propose the 30 and any subsequent comments along the same line be deleted, as the repeated variations on the same theme, with no attempt to account for criticisms of that theme, are a clear mark of a troll.
@3: for a slightly different view see:…

And I'm not sure the article you initially cite, which is fairly dated at this point (1991), really contradicts what Dan says anyway. Sure consumption, dropped significantly in the first year or so. It dropped until efficient black markets developed to replace the previous production and distribution chains.

For another example see what happened to consumption patterns following the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914.
@25, but all of the people who now control the marijuana trade are violent criminals, and the suggestion that they will disappear upon legalization, or turn to peaceful means, is ridiculous.

The violence of the drug trade is not primarily directed at the agents of prohibition; it's directed at competing elements of the drug trade. Essentially, it's different Mexican drug cartels, at least one of which is controlled or at least aided by the government, the army, or both, fighting over control. Upon legalization, that situation still exists.

This is the paradox: prohibition can create the crime syndicates, but legalization cannot get rid of them. The Mafia in the US, which got a huge boost from liquor prohibition, did not disappear in 1933; it got much, much stronger. They had their seed money for expansion. It took another fifty years for them to lose their grip.

You can't put the genie back in the bottle.
@28 here are some interesting statistics for you that aren't from a B movie

"According to the Cato Institute, based on deaths per 100,000 users, "tobacco kills 650, alcohol 150, heroin 80, and cocaine 4."


"Just as alcohol deaths skyrocketed during Prohibition, drug deaths increased after criminalization, since illegal drugs are not subject to orderly regulation for purity and safety. But the largest number of deaths is due to drug criminalization itself. More than 1,600 murders occur every year by drug dealers who take advantage of the profit opportunities afforded by drug criminalization."

from here…

and yes, I think all drugs should be legalized as well as prostitution. This then allows for oversight and taxation.

Your still claim.

Everything I've seen suggests that Fnarf is right on the money. It was extremely difficult to get your hands on alcohol (unless you made it yourself) outside of urban areas during Prohibition.

And anecdotes from Faulkner books don't count.
@38: You are certainly correct that legalization will not make the cartels disappear. But it will, in the long run, weaken them. When people can choose to purchase non-cartel pot, and be sure that's actually what they're getting, a lot of them will. Moreover, cartel violence directed at law-abiding merchants will be much more likely to be reported to the police than cartel violence against other cartels, for obvious reasons. But perhaps the biggest impact that legalization would have on the cartels, at least in the short term, is to encourage homegrowing - I would much rather grow my own than pay market price, even without the cartels, but I'm not willing to risk getting busted for a felony when where I live, simple possession isn't even a misdemeanor, but a mere violation. And I'm hardly the only one in that situation. Factor in all the people who'll be buying from friends who homegrow, or from friends of friends, and there will be a real shift away from large-scale distribution generally. That will change, of course, as legitimate operations get up and running, but the short-term consequences alone will be significant in terms of the cartels' ability to maintain themselves. And, like the mafia, they may shift to other rackets - already they do a fair amount of non-drug-related kidnapping. But denying them their current primary revenue stream can't help but be injurious to them.
Anybody in Sensible Washington would agree with this.

Want to stop kids doing MJ? Legalize it.
@28 fnarf: "apparently everything you folks know about history is culled from b-movies about speakeasies or something." I was gonna let that slide as over-the-top hyperbole is what makes you so gosh darn lovable. When folks are actually engaging with you in civil discourse, however, maybe you could dial back the condescension just tad.
@44, I'm sorry. That was not directed at you. It was directed, now that I think about it, at Dan -- who, like a large number of commenters on the topic but with even more assurance than is usual, continually assert that ten minutes after pot is legalized paradise will ensue. Cf. also everyone's least-favorite dipshit @43. But yeah, you're right, I'm being overly condescending, as not all points of view are equally deserving of it.

@42, I dunno. Yes, some people will grow their own. But growing is a pain in the ass. It will exist on a hobbyist level, like people who brew their own beer or make their own wine. What's going to happen for the vast majority of people who smoke legal pot is that they will buy it from large corporations who invest in expensive marketing campaigns -- like beer and wine and liquor and cigarettes. I don't know a lot of people who grow their own tobacco; do you?

@40, no credible person seriously believes that pot is completely harmless for everyone. There are a shitload of negative consequences of pot usage for some people, not everyone. Like most things, some people can handle it, some can't. At the very least, pot tends to make some people stupid, lifeless, and dull. And it is an addictive substance for some. Arguing about whether it's worse than alcohol or not is beside the point.

I think pot legalization is inevitable, and I think it will be a beneficial thing for the most part, but it will have broad consequences, some of which are going to be ugly.

For one thing, I hear a lot about the cost of funneling millions of impoverished African-American youth into the criminal justice system, never to be released, and that is indeed an appalling toll. But it's not like all those kids are going to get legal jobs selling legal weed in the same way they are currently used by the illegal drug trade. Obviously they will be better off without jailhouse experience and criminal records. But they aren't magically going to be transformed into citizens. And yes, we'll save a ton of money on wasted criminal justice -- but that money won't magically create jobs instead. A great deal of it will be presumably spent on wasted addiction recovery services instead.
Dan, the next time you put scare quotes around the word liberal in reference to R.T. Rybak, at least know first what you're talking about. Unlike you, I personally know R.T. Rybak. We haven't talked in a few years — I knew him years before he ran for the mayoralty — but I would advance the reason why he's managed to get through two terms in one of the most left-leaning cities in the U.S. is because he's quite, as you Americans call it, liberal. He makes McGinn look moderate by comparison.

Fnarf, the more I read from you, the more I know I'd like you. Your GIS-fu blows me away (I've only gone through a methods-GIS course taught by an incompetent prof, so most of what I know around ESRI is from my own dorking around). But your cultural history command is right up the alley of the very kind of scholarly research I love delving into (i.e., assessment rolls, municipal maps, historic photography, official documents, city archives, etc.). The main difference is that your strength appears to be U.S. cities, and for me, Canadian cities. Wanna get beers the next time I'm in Seattle? :)

Lovestrolling: I'm not welcoming you back.
@41: Don't have ready cites re stills. In defense, as the article cited by fnarf notes: "accurate data on alcohol consumption during Prohibition do not exist." That's much less true today than it was in 1991, but it still applies.

I'll admit that much of my view is colored by traveling extensively in the south in the 70s and from an oral history project I was part of in 1978 with older southerners about Prohibition and it seemed like everyone mentioned ready access to booze.

And I know you didn't want anecdotes, but for two very amusing ones see:…

Troll. One thing. Violence from marijuana is indirect. The act of purchasing marijuana is victimless in and of itself. You keep equating the purchase and cultivation of a plant to direct, violent acts on one's person. Your analogies are all inherently flawed.

Here is a more appropriate analogy.
Did you know that in some countries, it's illegal to have sex before marriage? Has legalizing consensual, premarital sex in the privacy of one's own home decreased the number of people bumping uglies on a Friday night (or whenever)?

How about alcohol? Pornography (featuring adults)? Subversive literature? Open criticism of Christianity? Those are all things about which you could be asking your question.

Now I believe it would be in your own best interest to either educate and enlighten yourself or to politely fuck off.
#26: and messy.
Stills mostly existed in the south.

it wasn't because they had corn or other ingredients - it was because they still hated the fact that blacks had the vote and their taxes allowed them to go to school. And that they'd been whupped six ways to Sunday.

Mind you, the whole crazy legs thing was a northern craze, caused by a lack of proper ingredients.

Prohibition == Epic Fail.
@50: you are such a flippin' tool. You are not helping out in any way, shape or form. Jesus.
I do often wonder, though, if the sale and possession of marijuana became legal, what would the cartels do? I mean, they are well organized machines, bearing some resemblance to a major corporation and some resemblance to terrorist organizations, in terms of their organizational structure. I have a difficult time seeing them simply fading away if their major (if not main) source of revenue dries up. They already are branching into other types of crimes, and I do wonder where their attention would turn in the absence the illegal marijuana trade Given how large the U.S. marijuana market is, I don't know what its sudden absence would do compared with, say, the experience in Portugal.

I have no interest in marijuana myself, but I do often wonder if the people who buy it think about where it comes from and whether they might be supporting cartels... Even if I DID want it and I DID support legalization, I could not buy it from such a group...

@37: gnossos, the date of a peer-reviewed article is not the rubric by which one can determine the validity or continuing relevance of that article. Subsequent peer review countering an antecedent scholarly work is really the only way to contradict or, more severely, discredit that antecedent. In that sense, it works a lot like the law.

That said, I browsed through said 1991 article (yes, I have access). In the conclusion, this block quote was particularly useful to read:

Claims either that consumption during Prohibition increased significantly or that it fell to a small fraction of previous usage can be patently rejected. Changes in consumption during Prohibition were modest given the change in price. This suggests that legal deterrents had little effect on limiting consumption outside of their effect on price. Social pressure and respect for the law did not go far in reducing consumption during Prohibition. We speculate that this is likely to be true as well with illegal drugs today, and therefore claims based on such arguments exaggerate the extent to which drug consumption would increase upon legalization (Miron and Zwiebel 1991, 246).
The bible says there are herbs that the 'prudent man' would not ignore!
@45, re @40: It's sort of a shame this cannot really be made into a quantitative model for analysis, but my post-grad colleague from the polysci department said something to me (over beers, of course) that really left me pausing for contemplation.

Paraphrased, "The daily pot user is not affected much by cannabis in terms of physical health, intellectual development, or impairment of function — exception being that high tar in lungs could get to be a problem later on. Rather, it's that the emotional-relational maturity of the daily pot smoker is stunted: the age at which the daily pot smoker began smoking regularly is the emotional age at which they remain permanently stuck."

Thinking back to people I've known — including girlfriends — who fit the daily user bill, my reaction to her was something along the lines of my jaw hitting the table in an absolute reaction of eureka, of giving definition and context to the je ne sais quoi I could never quite put my finger on as the great annoyance to socially or emotionally dealing with lifetime daily users.
@54: The bible was not peer-reviewed before it was published.
@46, I'm thrilled that my GIS-fu excites you, but I dunno what that means, and I've never heard of ESRI. But, uh, yeah, those are the things I love; my favorite way to while away an afternoon is to transcribe old newspapers or city directories. Beers, sure, though I'd rather have wine or hard liquor. Beer is so bloating! Facebook me! BFF!

@47, I'm not denying the existence of stills, just that everyone had one or knew one. It's the same sort of monotheistic idea that leads to people assuming that everybody plays the blues. A hell of a lot of middle class folks in the South listened to classical music and bought their liquor, if any, discreetly from the pharmacist's brother. Most Southerners then and now are not hill people. It's exciting folk history (the best kind), but it's not the whole story.

@51, you don't say! I think what's most infuriating about Will's posts is that they resemble the ramblings of a once-thoughtful man in the late stages of alcoholic brain damage. It's as if he simply can't remember how his possibly once true or relevant cliched arguments go anymore, leaving an endless series of fluffed chances and inanities. He's also forgotten how to cover his offensive prejudices. Reading Will in Seattle is like seeing your grandma with Alzheimer's in her underwear.

Which is more aggravating than plain stupidity, because one is niggled by fear that this too will happen to oneself someday.
@57: "Beer" in this context signifies any liquid in a social setting — at least how I use it in this context. A decent tequila would work fine, as would a very dry, chilled white.

ESRI == the company that produces ArcMap/ArcGIS/etc. The UI for their software is absolute total shit (and clearly not a single UI product manager is on their payroll), but it's what a lot of people use to generate data-rich geographical information systems (GIS) maps. GIS-fu, extending "kung-fu" in word play. I was mostly referring to the map the other day denoting all the off-shore sites in the Gulf of Mexico. I presumed you had generated it with ArcMap or AutoCAD or similar.

And I'm not on the Facebook. Or the Twitter. But I am on another social networking service which I'm aware you also use. I'll add you soon.
the cartel thing and the seed money for the mob thing fnarf brought up is very unsettling imo, and likewise so is the fact that the u.s. weapons going south into the the same hands of the criminals/cartels who are often with the mexican govt fighting for control over the northern bound drug routes.

legalization would at least somewhat alter that feedback loop.
"Reading Will in Seattle is like seeing your grandma with Alzheimer's in her underwear."

...but not nearly as hot.
Nah, that's not nearly a grotesque enough image. I'm not gonna go there, though.
@58, that map wasn't mine. It was awesome, though.
@53 Telsa: oh I wasn't questioning the article or saying it wasn't relevant based on its age (hell I regularly cite articles decades older than that). All I was trying to imply was that there been a fair bit of research re Prohibition since then.

As this thread shows, the "what does Prohibition teach us" garners a lot of attention, with drug policy reformers trying to milk it for all its worth. As a result there has been more recent work trying to mine what little data there are.

And yes the block quote you include is useful. Especially this sentence: "We speculate that this is likely to be true as well with illegal drugs today, and therefore claims based on such arguments exaggerate the extent to which drug consumption would increase upon legalization." And this is a great example of where follow-up research bears out earlier work, as pretty much every example we have of legalization/decriminalization has shown this to be true.

"People aren't going to stop smoking pot today despite pot prohibition."
People Didn't Stop Drinking Booze During Prohibition...........
Minneapolis resident, here. Just wrote to the guy and said basically what you said.
Late to the party as usual but the main point of the ending-pot-prohibition argument has been missed so far. Dan didn't say it verbatim but; pot prohibition causes more harm than good.
As long as morality laws, poverty, and discrimination exist there will always be an available pool of people willing to exploit the black markets. So, why foster a black market based on a commodity that humans have been using since before the dawn of recorded time?
And yes, it is stupid to blame the consumption of what is arguably the first human agricultural product for violence that is clearly the result of a very recent prohibition.

Will pot legalization cause a wave of peace, love, and magic to spread across North America, no, duh, of course not.
Does pot prohibition stop young beautiful white girls from listening to jazz, having sex with blacks or mexicans (or, shudder black mexicans!!!) and jumping out of windows thinking that they can fly? no, duh, of course not.
Does pot prohibition stop selfish, boring, immature assholes from being selfish, boring, immature assholes? no, duh, of course not.
Do most people even like to smoke pot once they've tried it?
no, duh, of course not.
Does pot prohibition produce any measurable positive effects for society?
"Does pot prohibition stop selfish, boring, immature assholes from being selfish, boring, immature assholes? no, duh, of course not."

sorry Dan.....
@67: "No, duh" is a product of fear.
@64: But that's not the main point; it's merely a condition that is required for the main point to hold. If prohibition caused use to be entirely eliminated, then there would be no black market, and no black market-associated murders. But because prohibition does not cause use to be entirely eliminated, there is a black market, and there are black market-associated murders, and in the case of cannabis, the damage resulting from prohibition is greater than any level of damage that might plausibly result from any increase in use that might accompany legalization.
@69: He asked me to forcibly insert the lifeline exercise card into my anus!
@67, are you suggesting that marijuana is the oldest agricultural product? Because that's exactly the kind of ridiculousness that whoo whoo potheads seem to be more prone to than non-users.
One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to the ongoing open season on hippies, commies, and non-whites in the war on drugs. Cops get good performance reviews for shooting fish in a barrel. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. Behold, it’s all good. When Eve ate the apple, she knew a good apple, and an evil prohibition. Canadian Marc Emery is being extradited to prison for helping American farmers reduce U. S. demand for Mexican pot.

The CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) reincarnates Al Capone, endangers homeland security, and throws good money after bad. Fiscal policy burns tax dollars to root out the number-one cash crop in the land, instead of taxing sales. Society rejected the plague of prohibition, but it mutated. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment.

Nixon passed the CSA on the false assurance that the Schafer Commission would later justify criminalizing his enemies, but he underestimated Schafer’s integrity. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA shut down research, and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use. Former U.K. chief drugs advisor Prof. Nutt was sacked for revealing that non-smoked cannabis intake is scientifically healthy.

The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership or an act of Congress to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. God’s children’s free exercise of religious liberty may include entheogen sacraments to mediate communion with their maker.

Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

Common-law holds that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers undersigned that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration. Liberty is prerequisite for tracking drug-use intentions and outcomes.
@73: tl;dr
You're one of those "spiritualist" hipsters, aren't you?
@72 No, I'm not suggesting, I'm flat out saying it "arguably" is. I don't know what the first was and no one does but marijuana is among the oldest human cultivars, do you have some secret proof that it's not? Have you written an as yet unpublished paper on the definitive first ag product?
@9, assuming you didn't mean the pot argument:
@26 - Pit bulls aren't dogs. They're unpredictable, murderous killer penis extensions.
@75 - Hey, um, pretty sure its easy to argue that people would cultivate food plants first. And early cultivators would probably go for the more fibrous strains of cannabis (for fabrics and cords) before seeking out the plants with the most "hairs" (where most of the THC is).

By the way, I am for legalization, and I do occasionally smoke pot.
Marijuana legalization is going to be on the ballot in California (where I live) this November:

I really really really really hope it passes.