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Obama: Pot no more dangerous than alcohol

Rating:
4.66667/5,
  1. ZenobiaSky
    20777.jpg President Obama says marijuana use is no more dangerous than alcohol, though he regards it as a bad habit he hopes his children will avoid.

    "As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,'' he said in a magazine interview. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

    He said marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.''

    "It's not something I encourage, and I've told my daughters I think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy," he said.

    Obama made his remarks in a series of interviews with The New Yorker, which published a story about the conversations in its Jan. 27 issue and on its website.

    Marijuana remains illegal to possess or sell under federal law, although Colorado and Washington have adopted state laws making it legal to possess and use small amounts. A number of states have decriminalized the weed and authorized it for medical uses.

    Obama said he was troubled by the disproportionate arrests and imprisonment of minorities on marijuana charges.

    "Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do," he said. "And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.

    "We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing,'' he said.

    He said legalizations of marijuana in Colorado and Washington are important experiments "because it's important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished."

    At the same time, Obama said legalization is no panacea for social problems and the experiment with legalization in those two states "is going to be, I think, a challenge.''

    Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project in Denver, which advocates for legalization, said Obama's remarks underscore the need for reconsidering federal and state marijuana prohibitions.

    "The first step to improving our nation's marijuana policy is admitting that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Now that he has recognized that laws jailing adults for using marijuana are inappropriate, it is time to amend for those errors and adopt a more fact-based marijuana policy,'' Tvert said.

    "Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is far less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and to society. Marijuana is less toxic and less addictive than alcohol, and it does not contribute to violent and aggressive behavior like alcohol does,'' he added. "Our laws should be based on the facts, and it's a fact that marijuana is much safer than alcohol."

    Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, hailed the president's comments and said his description of the Colorado and Washington moves as important "really puts the wind in the sails of the movement to end marijuana prohibition.''


    USA TODAY 7:32 p.m. EST January 19, 2014
    http://www.13wmaz.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/19/obama-pot-alcohol/4651059/

Comments

  1. Alfa
    Well there is a landmark statement: US President declares marijuana health risks benign.

    I wonder if this forecasts the federal legalization of cannabis.
  2. EndlessKnight
    Don't count on it. Unfortunately it would take an act of congress to do that and there's no way that's going to happen anytime soon.

    What most likely will happen is that more states will go the route of Colorado and Washington, I could see Alaska and Oregon doing that as soon as this year. The attorney general 's office has already said they won't prosecute personal possession cases in states where it's legal thereby rendering the federal law mostly moot in those places.

    What I think you'll most likely see is as many as 20 "blue" states will legalize it in the next decade or so with most of the "red" states keeping it illegal.

    The one wild card is if the supreme court finds a way to get involved.
  3. JustKeepSwimmin
    The President earned 1,000,000+ cool points in my book today. This is all over the news today. The debates that all of these news pundants are having with eachother are just amusing.

    I agree that Federal legalization/decriminalization of marijuana is not going to happen any time soon. But this is certainly a large step in the right direction nonetheless.
  4. bluenarrative
    There seems to be an across-the-board consensus emerging. Politically, this issue is not a Left vs Right thing, nor is it a Republican vs Democrat thing.

    An awful lot of people on the Left imagine that it is primarily the Republicans who oppose legalization. However, the National Review (America's most prestigious Conservative publication, founded by William F. Buckley) has supported legalization for decades now-- going back to the late 60s.

    The entire Libertarian wing of the Republican Party (which represents a sizable chunk of the party-- and is growing fast) is passionately in favor of legalization and no less passionately opposed the the entire "War on Drugs" mindset and policies. Important think tanks on the Right have been spewing forth policy papers advocating legalization for decades, as well. The Heritage Foundation (the most important Conservative think tank in America) has consistently put forth brilliant position papers advocating legalization, since its inception as a think tank. To be sure, there have always been some people at Heritage on the opposite side of this issue, and a few of the papers coming from these people have been published by Heritage, so as to create an impression of balance and fairness. But it is impossible to escape the impression that Heritage is, for the most part, squarely in the midst of the legalization camp.

    It is very important to note that there are no Libertarians in the Democratic Party-- the Democrats are statists.

    Sure, there are a lot of stoners among the Democrats. But there is no ideological basis with which these people could mount a coherent ideological argument in favor of legalization. Statists are all about government control. Statists are all about imposing restrictions and controls on people "for their own good." The idea that the Democrats would ever entrust people with the right to make their own decisions about these things flies in the face of the DNA of the Democratic party.

    Obviously, there are statists among the ranks of Republicans-- these are termed "paleo-cons" by the rank and file. Reagan was one. Romney is one. Boehner is one. But their power within the Republican party is dissolving as fast as the Wicked Witch from the West melted after having water thrown on her.

    What is called "The Tea Party" is actually a coalition of three large umbrella groups, and each of these is, in turn, a coalition of smaller groups organized geographically. All three of these larger umbrella groups are in favor of legalization, though this issue is not a priority for any of them.

    Again, it is important to note: there are some statists in the Republican party, but they are being driven out of positions of power within the party at an accelerating pace; there are no Libertarians in the Democratic party.

    Opposition to legalization has come (and continues to come) from two primary source in America: Evangelicals and the Catholic Church.

    Within the Republican party, Evangelicals have long exercised power that was not commensurate with their numbers. Among those who are registered as members of the Republican party, self-identified Evangelicals are a minority. In fact, most Evangelicals are registered Democrats. While they do not occupy positions of power within the Democratic party, their voting patterns very much influence the positions that Democrats take on various issues.

    The overwhelming majority of Catholics in America today are registered Democrats. This has been the case since the early 19th century. The majority of self-identified Evangelicals registered as Democrats is huge. Things are not often as they seem to be.

    I'm just ruminating on these things because so many people seem to be woefully ignorant of the forces at work which shape American politics. Many people buy into ridiculous stereotypes concerning these two parties; many people assume that the various media-concocted caricatures of the parties are a real picture of who these people are. The actual character and composition of these two parties is actually much more complex, subtle, and nuanced than most people understand.

    Which brings me to my main point: say whatever you want about the ineptitude of Obama (any sober-minded person would have to admit that his administration has been massively inept in many, many, many ways), the simple.fact of the matter is that the man displays, at times, breathtaking political brilliance.

    Note: in an effort to push his own party towards legalization-- against ferocious rank and file opposition from Evangelical and Catholic Democrats-- he has framed the debate in terms of race, rather than the relative hazards that may or may be associated with weed! By thus framing the debate in these terms, he may be able to, once and for all, silence Evangelical and Catholic opposition to legalization within his own party, since these two groups see racism (and it's various subtle expressions) as being a paramount issue that America must address.

    I am fascinated watching this political drama unfold.
  5. bluenarrative
    There seems to be an across-the-board consensus emerging. Politically, this issue is a Left vs Right thing, nor is it a Republican vs Democrat thing.

    An awful lot of people on the Left imagine that it is primarily the Republicans who oppose legalization. However, the National Review (America's most prestigious Conservative publication, founded by William F. Buckley) has supported legalization for decades now-- going back to the late 60s. The entire Libertarian wing of the Republican Party-- which represents a sizable chunk of the party-- and is growing fast) is passionately in favor of legalization and no less passionately opposed the the entire "War on Drugs" mindset and policies. Important think tanks on the Right have been spewing forth policy papers advocating legalization for decades, as well. The Heritage Foundation (the most important Conservative think tank in America) has consistently put forth brilliant position papers advocating legalization, since their inception. To be sure, there have always been some people at Heritage on the opposite side of this issue, and a few of the papers coming from these people have been published by Heritage, so as to create an impression of balance and fairness. But it is impossible to escape the impression that Heritage is, for the most part, squarely in the midst of the legalization camp.

    It is very important to note that there are no Libertarians in the Democratic Party-- the Democrats are statists.

    Sure, there are a lot of stoners among the Democrats. But there is no ideological basis with which these people could mount a coherent ideological argument in favor of legalization. Statists are all about government control. Statists are all about imposing restrictions and controls on people "for their own good." The idea that the Democrats would ever entrust people with the right to make their own decisions about these things flies in the face of the DNA of the Democratic party.

    Obviously, there are statists among the ranks of Republicans-- these are termed "paleo-cons" by the rank and file. Reagan was one. Romney is one. Boehner is one. But their power within the Republican party is dissolving as fast as the Wicked Witch from the West melted after having water thrown on her. What is called "The Tea Party" is actually a coalition of three large umbrella groups, and each of these is, in turn, a coalition of smaller groups organized geographically. All three of these larger umbrella groups is in favor of legalization, though this issue is not a priority for any of them.

    Again, it is important to note: there are some statists in the Republican party, but they are being driven out of positions of power within the party at an accelerating pace; there are no Libertarians in the Democratic party.

    Opposition to legalization come from two primary source in America: Evangelicals and the Catholic Church.

    Within the Republican party, Evangelicals have long exercised power that was not commensurate with their numbers. Among those who are registered as members of the Republican party, self-identified Evangelicals are a minority. In fact, most Evangelicals are registered Democrats. While they do not occupy positions of power within the Democratic party, their voting patterns very much influence the positions that Democrats take on various issues.

    The overwhelming majority of Catholics in America today are registered Democrats. This has been the case since the early 19th century.

    I'm just ruminating on these things because so many people seem to be woefully ignorant of the forces at work which shape American politics. Many people buy into ridiculous stereotypes concerning these two parties; many people assume that the various media-concocted caricatures of the parties are a real picture of who these people are. The actual character and composition of these two parties is actually much more complex, subtle, and nuanced than most people understand.

    Which brings me to my main point: say whatever you want about the ineptitude of Obama (any sober-minded person would have to admit that his administration has been massively inept in many, many, many ways), the simple.fact of the matter is that the man displays, at times, breathtaking political brilliance.

    Note: in an effort to push his own party towards legalization-- against ferocious rank and file opposition from Evangelical and Catholic Democrats-- he has framed the debate in terms of race, rather than the relative hazards that may or may be associated with weed! By thus framing the debate in these terms, he may be able to, once and for all, silence Evangelical and Catholic opposition to legalization within his own party, since these two groups see racism (and it's various subtle expressions) as being a paramount issue that America must address.

    I am fascinated watching this political drama unfold.
  6. Booty love
    its not any more dangerous than alcohol!!! IMO, Its much less dangerous than alcohol! Some day they won't even compare the 2 when it comes to dangerous, or even overall negative effects, on the human body or society n general
  7. kumar420
    I can see it, five hundred years from now
    A: "Hey man, it says here that cannabis used to be considered more dangerous than alcohol!"
    B: "Damn, they must have been really backward in those times"
    A: "HOLY SHIT LOOK AT THIS! It says black people didn't even have rights until the nineteen-sixties!"
    B: "Well those racist fuckers were just plain dumb then"
    A: "Jesus, they used to circumcise women in muslim countries..."
    B: "What in the fuck! I can't even... Get the time machine, its time to kick some ass"

    Back on topic, about goddamn time. I wish i could have seen the looks on the faces of all the anti-drug hypocrites as they sat there with a glass of wine in hand
  8. idfma
    bluenarrative, you make some very interesting (and sweeping) statements in your post, that do not comport with my understanding. First off, can you please provide me with information about the Heritage Foundation and where they have come down in favor of legalization? Here is what I found:

    http://www.heritage.org/research/re...ing-marijuana-why-citizens-should-just-say-no

    Maybe they have changed their position, and I was just too lazy to dig for it, but, at the very least, they came out against it pretty strongly right there.

    It is also interesting how you parse the Republican party into so many subtle and precise subgroups, but lump all democrats into the statist camp. Personally, I don't think you can call Geithner a statist--he would leave all economics to the invisible hand, if it was up to him, from what I can tell--as long as he's shaking the invisible hand, right? Just like all those libertarians you seem to like so much, since I'm guessing you are excluding the Socialist Libertarians from your sweeping statements.

    What point are you making when you say that the Democratic party has no Libertarians in it--is that supposed to make them guilty of something? More to the point, you note how subtle and nuanced both parties are, providing some detail about the Republican nuances, but I must have missed where you did the same for the Democratic party.

    Finally, the Democrats have no monopoly on trying to control people's behavior and 'knowing what's good for them', unless of course, you think that legislating reproductive rights (or the lack thereof) is somehow different than whatever it is you are accusing the Democrats of--you know like Texas and it's abortion laws, and the Republicans adamant opposition to requiring employers to provide birth control as part of their health plans. Evangelical? Maybe, but Republican is what it looks like when the votes are taken.
  9. bluenarrative
    IDFMA,

    I was hoping that my post would not cause the thread to devolve into a Democrat vs Republican debate. But maybe I worded my post in such a way as to lead people to believe that I was slamming the Democrats on this issue, while praising the Republicans.

    I was merely trying to point out that the Republicans have had traction on this issue going back almost 65 years-- and that support for legalization has always been considered a respectable position in Republican circles, because of their foundational ideological precepts. This does not mean a lot of Republicans have opposed legalization-- obviously, they have. But it does mean that the Republicans were the pioneers on this issue, and nobody was ever driven out of the Republican party for holding such views.

    Compare and contrast, if you will, the purges of the "wets" from the ranks of the Democrats in the era of the Volstead Act (prohibition) and how the Democratic party has, until very recently, been the bulwark of opposition to legalization. I was unaware that anybody disputes this.

    All of the primary and most important measures prohibiting the use of drugs of any sort were enacted by the Democrats. All were vigorously opposed by the Republicans, on ideological grounds having to do with the illegitimacy of any government action obstructing personal liberty. I can't believe that anybody would make a serious attempt to argue with these undisputed historical facts.

    The simple fact of the matter is that there has never been a Libertarian wing of the Democratic party, nor even a scintilla of such a movement in Democratic ranks.

    Libertarians have always constituted a huge body within the Republican party, going back to their evolution out of the old Whig party. Beyond the very proximate issues of slavery and abolition, the very reason that the Republican party came into existence was because Whig ideology could not accommodate Libertarian principles of liberty. These were principles that most (all?) abolitionists deemed essential to mount an effective opposition to slavery. I know of no reputable historian (even including such Marxist historians as Eric Foner) who dispute this.

    I had the privilege of studying under Professor Foner at Columbia. And he said (on numerous occasions to the followers of Mark Rudd, et al) that the idea of a "socialist libertarian" was an oxymoron, as well as being a transparently dishonest attempt to gussy up socialism with a thin veneer of intellectual respectability. Such intellectual respectability has always, to one degree or another, eluded Marxism from the mid-19th century onwards.

    The last time that I talked to him, shortly before his death, Eric Foner dismissed the most-current crop of "socialist libertarians" as being indistinguishable from the original Bolsheviks. And he then went on to say that the Bolsheviks were as diametrically opposed to any sort of libertarian ideals as it is possible to be.

    Remember: Eric Foner was one of the 4 or 5 most respected Marxist thinkers in America. He was no Republican apologist.

    I am not a historian. I'll defer to the late Professor Foner on the subject of "socialist libertarians."

    McPherson, in his monumental and authoritative history of the genesis of the Republican party, underscores this essential feature of the Republican party. He emphasizes the libertarian instincts that give birth to the Republican party again and again and again, throughout his masterpiece. And he was a Democrat! There is nothing at all partisan in repeating something that nobody disputes.

    To assert that the Democrats are not, first and foremost, statists is a very dicey proposition, in my opinion. How do you explain Jim Crow laws as being anything but an attempt to coerce and disenfranchise African Americans via a statist agenda? How do you explain the 19th and early 20th century "progressive" movement as being anything other than an attempt to impose a statist solution to the problems of those times? How do you explain the New Deal or the Great Society as being anything but statism writ large?

    Also, please note: Teddy Roosevelt (a "progressive Republican" and a widely successful politician) was expelled from the Republican party with the same fervor that Joe McCarthy and David Duke were expelled in more recent times. The Republicans may have many faults, but they are much better about getting rid of people who do not understand basic liberty than the Democrats have ever been. Remember: Huey Long was a Democrat-- and he is still revered in the Democratic Party. If he had not been shot, he was clearly poised to become America's first overt dictator, Sean Penn's loathsome revisionism notwithstanding.

    Yes, both parties are home to assholes and self-righteous prigs who have nothing better to do than to interfere in the private lives of individuals. Yes, there have been an incredible array of jerks who have cloaked their twisted agendas under the banner of "conservatism." But, Republicans are famous for constantly re-reading Edmund Burke. And it is not hard to discern that the posturing of fools like Mitt Romney does not measure up to Burke's conservative principles.

    I'll try to dig up some good Heritage papers on the subject of legalization when I have time.

    Again, my primary purpose with my original comment was simply to praise Obama for hitting upon a way to make legalization palatable to rank and file Democrats. By equating criminalization with racism, I suspect that he is going to gain much more support within his own party than it would with any other approach. That's all.

    Please, let me know if you need or want further clarification on any of the points that I am making here.
  10. bluenarrative
    Just for the record: I am neither a Libertarian, nor a Republican.

    I am a New Yorker.

    I will always stick up for the underdog. I don't like bullies or busybodies of any sort. I think we should all live and let live-- and treat each other with respect-- just as we all seemed to do in the New York of my childhood.

    I don't give a rat's ass who occupies the White House. You'll never find me marching under anybody's banner.

    And anybody-- be they a government or an individual-- who messes with me and tries to encroach on my God-given rights and freedoms does so at their own peril.
  11. jazzyj9
    The republican party has changed over the years. Interestingly, Fredrick Douglass was a republican, but the party is so vastly different now. Quite frankly, I think the party has gone insane (just watch Fox News!) and wants to take us all into "the rapture" the end of the world.

    They have been called the party of NO because that's all they do is say NO to everything, except war of course. The tea party is even more extreme; they wanted to secede from the union. Which I really wouldn't have a problem with actually because I detest their twisted politics.

    Sure, not all republicans are this way, but the party by and large is very regressive and in my opinion would never support legalization of marijuana.

    The democratic party has become much more conservative over the years, unfortunately, but would be much more supportive of legalization of marijuana. At least there is some "breathing room" among democrats. And some are very progressive in their way of thought.

    I was really glad to hear Obama say that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and talk about the factor of race in prosecution of drug crimes, which needs to be addressed.
  12. bluenarrative
    Jazzy,

    With all due respect, you should read what I wrote in my several comments above.

    My entire thesis is that the essential DNA of the Republican party has not changed since the inception of the party. More than this, the Democrats have always been statists, seeking to impose their agenda through the coercive power of government. This agenda has included Prohibition. Which was resisted by the Republicans. And all major legislation criminalizing drugs.

    The Republicans, whatever other faults they may have, consistently and vigorously opposed these statist policies. As a matter of ideology. Because of the party's DNA, as it were.

    This was true in the decades leading up to the Civil War (the Democrats were the party of slavery-- protection of slavery was a plank in every Democratic platform from the days of Jefferson, up to 1865), it was true as the Democrats imposed Jim Crow laws following the Civil War, it was true as the Democrats promoted "manifest destiny" and worked aggressively to establish an overseas empire (Cuba, the Philippines, etc.), it was true throughout the early 20th century as people like Wilson promoted an overtly statist agenda, and it has remained true throughout each and every Democratic administration since then, with the possible exception of JFKs brief tenure in office.

    I fail to see what is regressive about taking a stand for individual liberty and freedom. Nor do I see anything particularly "progressive" about the consistent efforts of the Democrats to curtail these liberties, so as to ram their "solutions" down the throats of the American people "for their own good."

    You have obviously bought into an absurd caricature of the Tea Party (Homophobes! Racists! Misogynists! Christianists! Fascists!) that simply does not comport with reality. It is rank propaganda, of the worst sort, comparable to the sort of stuff Joseph Goebels used to spew forth about "the Jews." I can only feel sorry for anybody who is so ignorant or ungrounded or unbalanced that they might not recognize this stuff for what it is.

    There is some really good academic writing on the history of-- and the techniques and dynamics of-- propaganda throughout modern history. You might want to take a look at some of this stuff, sometime. Starting in WWI ("the Great War")-- with the Liberal Party in England and the Democrats in the US, the art of modern propaganda was refined to a high art. The Nazis and the Soviets merely deployed the play book devised by Wilson and his "progressive" team. Both the Nazis and the Soviets openly acknowledged their debt of gratitude to Wilson in this regard. This is history-- not opinion.

    I don't watch any TV if I can help it. But the few times that I have ever seen Fox News, I will concede that it looked more like Barnum and Bailey than any sort of a "news" program. But MSNBC, by any and all academic definitions of "propoganda," qualifies as pure, undiluted, intentional lies designed to dupe people into lining up mindlessly with a political agenda.

    I would recommend that you do some independent research into these matters. Don't take my word for anything-- go do some research, learn as much as you can about the history of the Democratic party, and then make up your own mind.

    There is a reason why people talk about the Democratic machine, but never talk about a Republican machine. Have you ever thought about why this might be? It's worth considering.

    Again, I have no skin in this game. I don't really care about any of this shit. But anybody who does not recognize the Democrats for who they are must be blind, in my opinion. They were the party of genocide against the Indians (Jackson), the party of slavery, the party of Jim Crow, the party of "manifest destiny," the party of overseas imperialism, the party of Prohibition, the party that criminalized drugs, the party that interred Japanese-Americans in WWII, the party that resisted Civil Rights in the 60s (every vote against the two major civil rights bills were from Democrats, every vote for these bills were cast by Republicans, which sort of flies in the face of the myth that Republicans are racists, I think), and the party that is now trying to force and coerce everybody to conform with a health care law that nobody wanted in the first place and has now proved to be a complete fiasco.

    Two points determine a line. Several points will determine a direction. From the earliest days of the American experiment, the Democrats have been describing a direction that points in the exact opposite direction from the basic principles-- liberty and freedom-- upon which America was founded. How anybody can fail to see this baffles me.

    If you like taking orders, then stick with the Democrats. If you believe that the needs of the state should supercede the rights of individuals, then stick with the Democrats. If you like feeling all warm and fuzzy after some bravura display of political theatre, then stick with the Democrats.

    But, if you are somebody who respects the inherent dignity and worth of the individual, then you might want to look at the facts that define the Democrats. Because those facts will reveal that-- as a party; as an amalgamation of various ideas and instincts-- the Democrats most assuredly do not share these beliefs with you.

    You don't have to be a Republican-- or a conservative, or a libertarian, or anything else-- to see the Democrats for who they really are. You just have to be willing to think for yourself and be prepared to deal with the truth; you just have to be willing to come to grips with what you really and truly believe, in your heart of hearts.
  13. idfma
    Blue, you will note, I didn't come down on one side or the other. I simply pointed out that you made some very sweeping statements without much to back them up, and they are not consistent with the information we have about legalization right now. Your longer post to follow it up does nothing to clarify, and it's extremely disingenuous to pretend that southern Democrats who enacted Jim Crow laws are comparable to the Democrats who elected the first black president.

    That doesn't sound like a simple red herring to me, it just sounds like bullshit. I know a lot of black folks (including the mother of my children and her whole family), nary a one is on welfare or a Republican. In fact, in the circles I used to frequent I was the only white motherfucker there, and there weren't any Republicans in those circles. I wonder why--maybe you can enlighten me. Based on what I've seen of your posts, those wouldn't be the circles you run in, so you might want to reflect on that before you go back to Jim Crow and Japanese internment. Why don't we deal with the here and now?

    We are talking about a Democratic president who is publicly saying he will instruct the Department of Justice to leave the legalization states alone (I don't remember Bush taking a similar position on medical marijuana in CA, et. al.). In fact, I can't think of a federally placed Republican to do the same off the top of my head, but I don't follow that shit like I used to, because it just depresses me, so feel free to set me straight, if I missed one who did embrace legalization publicly. You're right this isn't a political debate, so let's get back to the thrust of the thread--Obama accepting legalization.

    The fact of the matter is that Colorado is currently controlled by Democrats--House, Senate, and Governor, and Ted Cruz (whether or not you regard him as a statist, he is Republican) has been very clear he would send the DEA into Washington and Colorado were he to take office. I believe Washington state is controlled by Dems too, but their Senate is Republican.

    Consequently, your statements, as I indicated, do not comport with my understanding of the current state of affairs, up to and including the readily available information about the Heritage Foundation's position on legalization. Whether or not in 'Republican circles' it has been acceptable to support legalization, I can't think of any that took it as a position when running for office in the last 20 years, can you? Roy Romer's son, a Dem, included it in his platform in Colorado several years ago, when pushing for legalization of medical marijuana.

    If you're going to lecture everyone about how things are, it should be consistent with the facts, and the facts are that Democratic states with Democratic Houses, Governors and Senates are where legalization came first, and a Democratic president is the first to publicly accept legalization and take some (albeit small) steps to allow it.
  14. bluenarrative
    I can think of lots of Republicans who have supported legalization: Pete Dupont, Ron Paul, Ron Johnson, Jack Kemp, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Buckley, Lowell Wicker, and Lincoln Chaffee are just a few names that pop into my head without much thought. Some, like Schwarzenegger and Johnson, have been somewhat disingenuous about their position, trying to play both sides of the fence. Others, like Paul, Dupont, Buckley, and Weicker were more forthright about their positions.

    Ted Cruz is a Roman Catholic from Texas-- the state with the largest percentage of Evangelicals in the country. What do you expect from him? Does he have any more chance of becoming the standard - bearer for the Republicans than Rick Santorum did? I do not think so.

    Obviously, some Republicans oppose legalization. To argue otherwise would be idiotic. But the names above are not bit-players or marginal characters within the Republican party. Note how many of them were candidates for president.

    Some Democrats-- like the crew in CO-- are very lately converted to the cause. And in the two states where this is taking place the Democrats are up to their eyes in deep political trouble. In CO, they are doing whatever they can to stave off a resounding defeat in the next election. In CO there is no large population of African-Americans. The Latino community has been milked dry for votes. The only demographic left to the Democrats in CO where they might find the votes that they need to stave off defeat are stoners.

    Another way of phrasing this is: the Democrats need to energize young people who would otherwise be completely apathetic about the upcoming election.

    Call me cynical, if you will. But if you think that the Democratic machine in CO simply woke up one day and suddenly "saw the light," then I would advise you to seriously consider joining the recovery crowd here on DF!

    They came up with this only after they looked at irrefutable polling evidence that they are going to get their clocks cleaned in the next election.

    A couple of weeks looking at polling data out of WA shows something very similar at work. A predominantly white state, suffering miserably under Obama's economic policies, in which there is no other demographic for the Democrats to turn to except young middle class white kids. Who just happen to enjoy their ganja.

    Heritage-- like the Tea Party-- is an umbrella group. Democratic politics is always top down. Republican politics is always bottom up. Up until recently, when Jim Demint took the helm, Heritage was a kind of clearing house for policy papers written by an array of small grass-roots political groups arranged geographically, like the Civitas Institute and other such groups. So, what actually constituted a "Heritage position" was always somewhat vague and confusing. Until recently, Heritage saw it's primary function as a vehicle to get these papers into the hands of those who could use them. The sorts of policies that they publicly identified with-- for fundraising purposes and to maintain their prestige and clout within conservative circles-- were invariably things calculated to not ruffle conservative feathers. So a lot of their prominently public stuff in the pre-Demint era looks like conservatism-lite or some awful platitudes cooked up by Hallmark and the Readers Digest.

    So, I am not trying to be evasive here, but I am trying to clarify things a bit, as far as Heritage goes. Nobody disputes that Heritage did major work on behalf of Republicans who have opposed the "War on Drugs," since it's inception. They have helped every conservative who has been working to rescind these Prohibition-like policies. They have never said that the subject was off-limits, or that to hold such beliefs somehow put one beyond the pale of true conservatism. They have done that with other crack-pot ideas, such as the idiocy of Pat Buchanan. And they were the major force behind expelling Buchanan from the Republican party. So they do not shy away from controversy. But opposition to criminalization has never been considered a crack-pot idea in Republican circles, any more than opposition to Prohibition was considered off limits years ago.

    Republicans take great pride in their vigorous opposition to Prohibition. Have you ever noticed that at the Al Smith dinner, all of the attendees are Republicans, except for whatever Democratic president is in office when the dinner is held? Have you ever thought about who Al Smith was?
  15. bluenarrative
    I want to keep this friendly and light. Like you, I can be lazy sometimes! :) And I don't want to go chasing after any. more citation than I have to... if you don't mind, can we both just shoot from the hip as we have a friendly discussion here? :)

    I hope that you realize that I am.largely playing the devil's advocate here. Because I like to do that sometimes. And I think it's good to make people think. But, please, let's not take any of this too seriously! I made my first comment to praise Obama and to remark on his political ingenuity on this issue. And look where we've gotten!

    I'm having fun. I hope that you are also!
  16. bluenarrative
    The reasons why Blacks are overwhelmingly Democrats is an interesting object for study. But it's late now. Can I try to systematically address your questions on this-- and other things that I have skimmed over lightly here-- tomorrow? I'm not shying away from you or running away. I'm just tired. :)
  17. idfma
    Blue, what's really interesting is that you are ascribing behavior to Democrats that is clearly manifest in both parties. There are far too many sweeping generalizations and inaccuracies in your posts for me to reasonably address, so I'll take a different tack:

    As I recall, and contrary to your assertions, Kennedy before he was assassinated championed the Civil Rights Act that passed in 1964, and Lyndon Johnson worked to assure it's passage, largely using Kennedy's assassination as the oratory tool. Did history change while I wasn't looking and make those two presidents Republicans? Nope--at least not so far.

    On the other side of that, Strom Thurmond became a Republican in 1964 due to his opposition of the Civil Rights Act--didn't he? So I'm completely confused by the points you're making regarding this Act--you seem completely incorrect, but maybe I'm missing something. Matter of fact, Republicans had issues with the Act, such as equal access to public facilities and whatnot, didn't they? You keep telling everyone else to do their research, you might need to do some of your own.

    Even if you are correct about the original DNA of the Republican party, it has been perverted and inbred by the religious zealots, Tea Party idiots, and clueless Libertarians you laud. They don't even do the pretending you describe: they have declared outright war on the poor, with their refusal to fund SNAP and jobless benefits, or support a minimum wage that would help people get off public support.

    In spite of the Republican stereotype of the lazy piece of shit who doesn't want to work (there's some propaganda for your ass, all the way back to 'Welfare Mothers' paying for vodka with food stamps), most people on welfare or public support are either elderly, have jobs or ARE CHILDREN. Basically, the Republicans, your champions of the American Dream and opportunity, have declared war on poor children and working people. Huh, that sure is a head-scratcher with all the freedom and liberty you're spouting above--aren't kids the ones who should have the right to pursue all that freedom and personal liberty? Apparently not if they need some assistance to eat. Romney's 47% comment is a perfect, laconic case in point. Oh yeah, he's a statist, so he doesn't count, right?

    Here's a link--it's not the Heritage Foundation, but...

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3677

    Speaking of homework--do some on the Affordable Care Act, please. It's largely fucked up because the Republicans insisted they would throw another 'close the government tantrum' if we went with single payor, so fuck that noise too. Oh, and I didn't see where you mentioned anything about the Republican governors sabotaging the law of the land, and refusing to implement the Act in their states--they don't have anything to do with its problems, right?

    Besides, I'd like you to explain to me how saving a man from dying is any different than saving him from and putting out the fire at his house. If basic health care isn't a human right, what is--again, especially for children, whose parents may not be able to afford health care because they're too busying buying food?

    As I recall, Joseph McCarthy was a Republican, wasn't he? So, it's all about personal freedom, unless you have different political beliefs than what Mr. McCarthy thinks is appropriate? Where does that fit into their DNA hardwired for freedom, liberty and personal choice? I could definitely go on (and on, and on), but let's just suffice it to say that a close look at the Republican party will easily confirm it is as corrupt, imposing, paternalistic and 'statist' as the Democrats, so give me a fucking break. You singling out the Democrats is absurd.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled program:

    Whether the Democratic pols are getting on board to get the votes or not, the fact of the matter is it was the Democratic voters who got the marijuana bills passed--the liberals. Especially in Colorado, home of superchurches and evangelicals like Ted Haggard, who smoked meth, fucked a gay man, all the while decrying the evils of drugs and homosexuality. I'm quite familiar with Colorado politics, and the reason the Dems are likely to get their asses handed to them is they forgot who the fuck lives in Colorado, and passed some ineffective and pointless gun control legislation last session. Dumbasses. Even weed won't save them from that, because in Colorado, Republicans and Democrats alike love their guns, and the Dems didn't do their homework either, apparently. Oh, and Governor Hickenlooper is just pretending to be a Democrat by the way.

    You dismiss the Republicans like Cruz (no, not him personally) and Nancy Reagan, who denounce drugs as fringe evangelicals, who don't represent the Republican party? Hardly, last I checked George W. was one too (while wiping the cocaine off his nose)--they're everywhere--they're the who's who of the fucking party, and that's definitely who's electing them--especially at the state level, so I have no idea what point you're making about Cruz. They are the Republican party, the people you mention Ron Paul, et. al. are the exceptions, not the rule.

    The only accurate thing you said was that politics, regardless of donkey or elephant is about accruing power for oneself and the groups that funded one's run for office. Other than that, I don't recognize the parties as you describe them because, even though they're both fucking us, the Republicans are fucking the most vulnerable among us the hardest.
  18. jazzyj9
    I agree idfma, Ron Paul is the exception not the rule. There maybe more republicans like him out there, but most of them who have any influence are the socially conservative intrusive types that try to limit women's access to abortion. They are the ones like Rush Limbaugh, obnoxious, homophobic, borderline racist, and definitely not going to want to legalize weed.

    I don't particularly care for the democrats as political party, because I think they have gotten way too conservative (foreign policy and environmental policy in particular ), but in general, they have supported gay marriage and legalization of marijuana and other social issues that most contemporary republicans never would.
  19. idfma
    True dat, jazzyj.

    Gay marriage is a great example of another place where Republicans, who allegedly have liberty infused in their DNA, show their true colors. You go ahead and pursue your happiness in the American tradition, as long as your happiness doesn't involve dating or marrying someone of the same gender because that will just destroy the whole fabric of our society.
  20. bluenarrative
    IDFMA,

    Sorry that I did not get back on the thread sooner. Earlier today, I wrote a lengthy reply to your last comments the other night. But then accidentally deleted them! I was using my phone-- not a good idea when trying to write something long and complex!

    You're right-- I do make sweeping generalizations, much more than I should. But, I am trying to make general points. So forgive me if I get unduly sloppy at times.

    Joe McCarthy was drummed out of the Republican party. Strom Thurmond never should have been allowed in. And lots of people in the Republican party fought long and hard against his being allowed to self-identify as a Republican.

    Several Johnson historians (Goodwin among others-- and she even fucked the guy!) have said that the Civil Rights Act was pushed by LBJ because he sensed political difficulties ahead with his signature legislative agenda. He wanted to accomplish two things: shore up support among northern Democratic uber-liberals (Lowenstein, Koch, Mondale, etc. who viewed LBJ as a redneck) and consolidate support in the Black community, which also distrusted him. Personally, I think attributing this much cynicism to LBJ is unwarranted. I think he was basically a decent guy. A hard-nosed pol, to be sure. But decent and principled.

    You are right that their are major buffoons in both parties.

    I do not think something like single payer is necessarily a bad idea. But blaming the failure to pass such a law on the Republicans overlooks major opposition with the ranks of the Democrats. The failures of Obamacare cannot be blamed on Republicans either-- the Democrats had all three branches of government and could have passed anything they wanted, so long as they all got on the same page. Instead of a coherent reform bill, they came up with a 2500 page contraption. Which just doesn't work. It was inexcusable ineptitude.

    I am not an apologist for Republicans. I just like to balance things out a bit.

    My main thesis has not been addressed by you-- the Democrats have always been the party of government solutions to all problems; progressives more so than most Democrats. The prohibitionist tendencies of the Democratic party flow from this. And they are the party that has enacted every prohibitionist piece of legislation in our history-- from.alcohol to the criminalization of drugs...

    What did you think of my political analysis of CO and WA? Do you have an alternative explanation for their very sudden about face on Drugs in these two states? Note where the next move to legalize will come: Maine! Again, a white state with Democrats about to get their clocks cleaned in the next election.

    It's late and I am tired. So, I'll cut this short for now and try to pick it up again tomorrow, if that's okay.

    You might be interested to learn that my immediate family, like yours, is bi-racial. So I am looking forward to tossing out a few provocative theories about monolithic support for the Democrats in the Black community! :)

    I live in NC... In Durham, to be precise. And I spend most of my time in NC in a part of Durham called Walltown... Not a white face for miles around here! :)

    Sorry that this is brief and full of more sweeping generalizations-- I seem to incorrigible! :)
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