Legal and Taxable Marijuana a boon for Black Market Drug Trade in Colorado

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 21st, 2014

Week in Review

This past Easter we saw a pot celebration in Denver.  Gathering in a central Denver park to smoke marijuana in public.  Even though doing so is still against the law.  Despite Colorado having decriminalized recreational marijuana.  Not exactly the image Colorado may have wanted.  But they may not mind a little pot tourism.  Especially to buy from their licensed pot shops.  Where pot smokers will pay a hefty tax on their legal marijuana purchases.  Eliminating the illegal drug trade.  And burying the treasury in new tax revenue (see Will Home Grown Marijuana Go the Way of Moonshine? by Caitlin Dickson posted 2/1/2014 on The Daily Beast).

I’d been in the Mile High City a total of 20 minutes before my local friend shattered the image I’d built in my head of a post-Jan. 1 Denver. She is a pot smoker. Why was she not one of the thousands of people I’d seen on TV, waiting in lines that poured out the doors of Denver’s retail marijuana shops? If not on New Year’s Day (that’s not really her style), then at least once in the weeks following the stores’ legal opening?

“I just get my weed from my friend Dave,” she said. “Most of my friends do…”

Maintaining a home grow is as expensive, if not more expensive, as setting one up. Dave says his monthly electricity bill jumps to roughly $600 in the summer, when he has to turn up the air conditioning to keep his plants from wilting, on top of the high cost of constantly running one high-voltage light for every six of his 36 plants (12 more than his red card permits). But the money Dave has put into building his basement greenhouse is nothing compared to the green his plants brings in. The 26-year-old—who now runs the grow by himself—says he makes between $40,000 and $60,000 per year selling his weed. It’s more than enough to live on for only about five to 10 hours worth of work per week.

To clarify, Dave’s livelihood is not legal…

Dave’s risk has yielded extremely lucrative rewards, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down, as his clientele of peers would unsurprisingly prefer to pay $20 to $30 for an eighth of an ounce than the $60 to $80 retail stores are charging. In fact, the dispensaries’ high prices (Colorado charges a 10 percent excess tax on all retail marijuana sales, on top of which Denver tacks a special 3.5 percent pot tax in addition to the general city and state retail taxes of 7.5 percent) are enough to motivate any thrifty green thumb try their hand at growing.

So decriminalizing marijuana does not get rid of the drug black market.  In fact, it has made the black market more lucrative.  As taxes raise the price of legally sold pot it makes black market pot much more attractive to recreational users.  In fact, the higher the taxes the better it will be for the black market drug dealers.  Just like cigarette smuggling into cities with high cigarette taxes is a very lucrative black market business.  As high taxes are a black marketeer’s best friend.

So decriminalizing marijuana won’t be everything they thought it would be.  For the higher cost of legal pot may attract another black marketeer.  From south of the border.  Mexico.  So Colorado may get some more tax revenue.  But they’re going to have to spend a lot of it on battling the same things they were battling when marijuana was still illegal.  With one other problem.  A state full of recreational pot smokers smoking a lot of pot.  And these recreational pot smokers will cause a lot of brain damage that will cost Colorado dearly in health care costs in the years to come.

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Marijuana may be Worse than Alcohol

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 15th, 2014

Week in Review

Walter White could cook the best meth on television.  And he could have had the greatest fake drug empire on TV.  But there was always one part of the drug business that continued to be the source of all of his trouble.  Distribution.  As his distributors all tried to kill him.  Krazy-8.  Tuco.  Gus.  Lydia.  He could cook the meth.  But he couldn’t move it.  Which forced him into dealing with these people who eventually wanted to kill him.  And they would have had Walter not killed them first.

Breaking Bad was only a television show.  But it showed a very difficult part of the drug business.  Distribution.  For you can make or grow all the drugs you want but if you can’t distribute them they won’t make you a dime.  Which is why Walter was forced into dealing with these people.  Because it’s not easy moving illegal drugs.  Even on television.

Colorado has decriminalized marijuana.  And they’ve had medical marijuana and medical marijuana pot shops for awhile.  A legal way to distribute marijuana.  Which may have caught the attention of people in the real drug business (see Colorado Pot Shops Raided By The Feds May Be Shut For Good by Matt Ferner posted 4/15/2014 on Huffington Post).

Four Denver-area medical marijuana businesses may be permanently shuttered after federal officials reportedly probing links with Colombian drug cartels raided the shops in November…

State regulators notified the four shops on April 3 that state licenses to operate as medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities would be denied. The state alleged violations of state code that in some cases stretched back to 2012, according to state Marijuana Enforcement Division documents.

“You have operated the licensed premises in a manner that adversely affects the public health or welfare or the safety of the immediate neighborhoods in which your establishments are located,” the state notice of denial reads…

The Department of Justice has released little about the raids, which came less than two months before Colorado’s legal recreational marijuana shops opened. Federal authorities suggested the businesses may not have complied with guidelines outlined in DOJ’s August memo that assented to the new retail marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington state…

The DOJ guidance says federal authorities will continue to prosecute to prevent:

•The distribution of marijuana to minors;

•Revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;

•The diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states…

An unpleasant development for the ‘pot is no worse than alcohol’ crowd.  For pot does come with a little excess baggage.  A legal pot outlet may provide cover for illegal pot sales.  As the Feds’ raid on these Colorado pot shops would suggest.  But there is yet another unpleasant development for the ‘pot is no worse than alcohol’ crowd.  A study that shows pot may be worse than alcohol (see Casual marijuana use changes brain, new report shows by Kay Lazar posted 4/15/2014 on The Boston Globe).

Young adults who occasionally smoked marijuana show abnormalities in two key areas of their brain related to emotion, motivation and decision making, and the degree of changes appear to be directly related to the number of joints smoked per week, according to a new study by Boston researchers.

Other studies have revealed brain changes among heavy marijuana users, but this research is believed to be the first to demonstrate such abnormalities in young, casual pot smokers.

The scientists did not study whether the changes were linked to corresponding declines in brain function, but say the signs suggest young people might be especially vulnerable because their brains are still developing.

“This is when you are making major decisions in your life, when you are choosing a major, starting a career, making long-lasting friendships and relationships,” said lead author Jodi Gilman, a psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School and a brain scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The findings, to be published Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience, come amid an increased debate about the long-term effects of marijuana, as a growing number of states legalize the drug for medicinal and recreational use.

This is a tough development for Democrats.  Long seen as the cool political party by the young.  Because Democrats are the anti-parents.  When Mom and Dad told their kids to wait until they were in a serious relationship before having sex the Democrats passed out free condoms and provided access to abortion.  And when Mom and Dad told their children to say ‘no’ to drugs like Nancy Reagan the Democrats have been all for relaxing the drug laws.  As the war on drugs was costly and filled our prisons while being ineffective.  So the Democrats have been the party of sex and drugs.  While the Republicans have been the party of their parents.

So of course the young gravitate to the Democrat Party.  As the Democrats support these destructive lifestyles they so enjoy.  But as our kids suffer with STDs, deal with a pregnancy while still high school age and suffer from brain damage from smoking marijuana they may have second thoughts about the cool political party.  For all Mom and Dad wanted was for them to remain healthy and to be successful.  While Democrats appear to facilitate a destructive lifestyle just to win the youth vote.

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Turning People into Potheads is Good for Colorado’s Treasury

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 15th, 2014

Week in Review

First it was alcohol and tobacco.  Getting people hooked on these items to solve all of a state’s funding woes.  Then it was the lottery.  States needed to get their people hooked on gambling to solve all of their school funding needs.  Then it was casino gambling.  Because the lottery alone was taking enough money from the people to solve all of a state’s funding woes.  And now it’s marijuana (see Colorado made $3.5 million in taxes and fees on first month of marijuana sales by Nick Allen posted 3/11/2014 on The Telegraph).

Colorado, the first US state to legalise cannabis for recreational use, made just over $2 million in tax revenue from selling the drug in January, according to its first officially released figures.

The amount was not far behind the $2.7 million the state recouped in excise taxes on alcohol in the same period and is expected to exceed that in subsequent months.

More than $14 million worth of the dug was sold over counters to recreational users in the 30 days after cannabis shops opened on Jan 1…

In Colorado the first $40 million in tax revenue will go towards school construction and Mr Hickenlooper wants additional revenue to be used for projects including anti-drug advertising aimed at children, campaigns against driving under the influence of cannabis, and public health projects.

Another $2 million taken away from the taxpayers.  To add to the $2.7 million from alcohol sales.  On top of what they got from tobacco sales.  And what they got from the lottery.  Each step down this road was supposed to be a cure-all.  But it never was.  For once they got a new tax it wasn’t long before they said they needed yet another new tax.  Because the previous tax just wasn’t adequate to cover their spending.  Which just begs the question.  What are they doing with all of that money?

So we have people dying from lung cancer.  We have people dying from liver disease.  We have people becoming impoverished because they’ve gambled all of their money away.  Now Colorado is going to turn a part of their population into potheads.  Who will suffer the same ailments as tobacco smokers do.  As well as suffering some lost cognitive ability.  And some will end up wards of the state.  Filling hospitals and nursing homes.  Suffering from costly diseases. And yet the state cheers this new money.  And dreams of future revenue as more people pick up this unhealthy and dangerous habit.  Giddy at the thought of every new person lighting a marijuana cigarette for the first time.

The worst thing about the state using these people to fund their out of control spending is the regressive nature of these taxes.  Alcohol, tobacco, the lottery, casino gambling and marijuana hurt the poor the most.  Those who have the least money to spare now have to give more of it to the taxing authority.  The very people these progressive-thinking people are supposed to help.  Who instead use them for their selfish needs.  And don’t care a whit about the lives they destroy.

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Smoking Marijuana may give you Lung Cancer, Heart Disease and Diabetes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

It’s no secret.  You get the munchies after smoking marijuana.  Whether it’s recreational smoking.  Or medical smoking.  Apparently (see Girl Scout sells 117 boxes of cookies outside Green Cross medical marijuana clinic by Heather Saul posted 2/22/2014 on The Independent).

A girl scout has proved it really is “all about location” after selling 117 boxes of cookies from her stand outside The Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary in just two hours.

Thirteen-year-old Danielle Lei set up her cookie stall outside of the clinic in San Francisco and was welcomed by patients and staff.

Danielle sold out of her first batch within 45 minutes, according to the clinic, which is a fully licensed dispensary serving qualified California patients.

The left wants to tax sugary beverages.  They want to take away McDonald’s Happy Meals from our children.  And Michelle Obama wants our kids to eat rabbit food in school because our kids are too fat.  As childhood obesity leads to chronic and costly health problems later in life.  Then there’s the crusade against smoking.  Which they have banned from pretty much everywhere.  As first-hand smoke, second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke will kill you.  For just the whiff of tobacco odor will give you lung cancer.  Yes, the left is very concerned about what we eat, drink and smoke.  Because we apparently don’t know what’s good for us. Or what’s bad.  Thankfully, they do.

Which makes their drive to decriminalize marijuana puzzling to say the least.  They say it’s harmless.  No worse than a cocktail after work each day (though there are some who will say you are an alcoholic if you have a drink every day).  But marijuana causes first-hand smoke, second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke.  Giving marijuana smokers lung cancer.  And if that wasn’t bad enough marijuana also makes people obese.  Because of the munchies.  It’s so bad that people have to buy Girl Scout cookies just after buying their medical marijuana.  Even before they gave themselves a little more lung cancer by smoking it.  And it should be noted that Girl Scout cookies aren’t rabbit food.  No.  They’re the kind of food that tastes good.  And makes our kids obese.

Lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc., are bad.  And we need to change people’s eating, drinking and smoking habits so their poor choices don’t become a burden to society.  Unless you get lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc., from smoking marijuana.  Because smoking marijuana will give you the less deadly and less costly forms of lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.  Apparently.

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Drug Addict chooses Car Theft over Job to pay for Heroin Addiction

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 8th, 2014

Week in Review

Young people, old hippies, college students, liberals, etc., are all rejoicing over the decriminalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington.  Heck, they’d like to go even further.  And decriminalize all drugs.  So they can use whatever they want.  Enjoy whatever high.  As these people want to escape reality by staying high.  Apparently.  It’s so important to these people that President Obama told his Justice Department not to enforce federal drug laws in these states.  Because these are Democrat voters.  And he wants to keep them happy.  So they continue to vote Democrat.  Besides, drugs are a victimless crime.  What’s the worst that can happen (see Man says he stole car to trade for heroin, authorities say by Erika Pesantes posted 2/7/2014 on the Sun Sentinel)?

A man stole a car in Oakland Park and crashed into two vehicles as he fled from deputies Thursday, authorities said. He says he stole the car to trade it for heroin because he was “dope sick,” a Broward sheriff’s report said.

Don’t know if this is the worst that can happen but it’s pretty bad.  This is a problem with escaping reality by staying high all day long.  You won’t be able to hold a job.  Because ‘high’ people are worthless in the workplace.  So even if these ‘high’ people actually got a job their drug use would ultimately get them fired.  Leaving them with a costly drug habit.  And no income.  Hence the turning to crime to support their habit.

Decriminalizing marijuana/all drugs does not make this problem go away.  In fact it only makes it worse.  For they talk about decriminalizing drugs so the government can regulate them.  And tax them.  Just like they do with liquor.  Which, by the way, isn’t free.  To enjoy liquor you first must buy it.  Which requires some source of income.  So drugs will be legal but they will be more costly (thanks to regulations and taxation).  And the readily available supply of drugs (because they are no longer illegal) will encourage people to stay high.  Giving them costly drug habits just as they lose their jobs.  Leaving them little choice but to become a thief (or a prostitute) to raise their drug money.  Which is happening now when all drugs are illegal in most states.  Imagine how that will change when more states decriminalize them.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman was Found Dead Today from an Apparent Drug Overdose

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead today from an apparent drug overdose.  Sad.  Such a great talent.  The characters he brought to life helped us escape from our troubles for a couple of hours.  He could be a bit of a curmudgeon in real life, though.  But a warmth shone through the characters he played.  He worked hard to polish his craft.  And he was a natural.  Likeable.  Even if you didn’t like the movie he was in you enjoyed seeing him in it.  It is so sad that drugs have taken yet another great talent from us (see Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead at 46 by Jenny Depper posted 2/2/2014 on Yahoo! Movies).

Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment on Sunday. He was 46.

The New York City Police Department  confirmed to “The Insider With Yahoo” that the actor was found dead at 12 p.m. ET in his fourth floor apartment in the Greenwich Village of New York City.

While the official cause of death is still unknown at this point, police speculate that he may have died of a drug overdose. The actor was found with a needle in his arm and apparent heroin was found at the scene…

Hoffman had struggled with addiction in the past, but was reportedly clean for 23 years before falling off the wagon in 2012. He most recently checked into rehab in May 2013.

In a 2006 interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Hoffman discussed his earlier drug use dating back to the time after his graduation from New York University’s drama school.

“It was all that [drugs and alcohol], yeah, it was anything I could get my hands on… I liked it all,” Hoffman said. Eventually, he chose to seek treatment. “I went [to rehab], I got sober when I was 22 years old. You get panicked… and I got panicked for my life. It really was just that.”

He also revealed that his drug habit was life-threatening. “I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19 and all of a sudden they’re beautiful and famous and rich. I’m like, ‘Oh my God. I’d be dead.’ You know what I mean? I’d be 19, beautiful, famous and rich. That would be it. I think back at that time. I think if I had the money, that kind of money and stuff. So, yeah [I would have died].”

Every time there is another death caused by a firearm the left screams for new gun control legislation.  But when a great talent dies from a drug overdose you hear no cry from the left for new drug control legislation.  No.  Instead they celebrate Colorado and Washington for decriminalizing recreational marijuana.  Because, as the left says, marijuana is safer than alcohol.

But making marijuana more readily available will only make more kids start using it.  Just as it made out-of-state college applications explode in those two states.  Because these kids want to get high.  And will get high.  For the more readily available marijuana is the more they will get high.  Developing new drug habits.  And then, perhaps, moving on to something stronger.  Like heroin.  Which Hoffman didn’t start with.  But he ended with.  And no doubt more will.  Because while the left calls for new gun control legislation whenever anyone dies by a firearm they have no problem with people developing drug habits.  They even encourage it with pushing for the decriminalization of marijuana for recreational use.  The drug pretty much everyone who ever died from a drug overdose started with.

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British Mother-of-Three dies from Cannabis Poisoning

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 1st, 2014

Week in Review

In the movie Leaving Las Vegas Nicholas Cage’s character, Ben Sanderson, commits suicide by alcohol poisoning.  Cage won the Academy award for his performance.  For his painful, long death was intense.  And painful to watch.  Making death by alcohol wretched to say the least.  For it takes a long time to drink yourself to death.  Unlike death by marijuana (see Mother thought to be first woman in Britain to die from cannabis poisoning by News agencies posted 1/30/2014 on The Telegraph).

A mother-of-three is believed to have become the first woman in Britain to die directly from cannabis poisoning.

Gemma Moss, a 31-year-old churchgoer, collapsed in bed after smoking a cannabis cigarette that led her to have moderate to high levels of the class B drug in her system…

Deaths directly from cannabis are highly unusual. In 2004 a 36-year-old man from Pembrokeshire became the first person in the UK to die from cannabis toxicity…

“Cannabis is know[n] to increase heart rate and blood pressure. Cannabis these days is designed to be much stronger than cannabis used in the sixties to meet demand of users who want a stronger hit.”

Miss Moss, a devout Christian, had frequently used cannabis during her adult life but had stopped for two years before her death last October.

She started using it again to help her sleep after becoming depressed and anxious due to breaking up with her boyfriend.

An inquest heard Miss Moss smoked half a joint a night to help get her to sleep.

Her friend, Zara Hill, said she and Miss Moss smoked about £20-[$32.86] worth of cannabis together in the week before her death.

Miss Hill told police that Miss Moss smoked as much as £60 [$98.58]…worth of the drug a week, although this was disputed by her family…

“She was a healthy 31-year-old woman who had nothing wrong with her.”

Poor Ben Sanderson drank morning, noon and night.  And suffered terrible withdrawals when he wasn’t drinking.  Near the end of his life his hand shook so much he couldn’t sign his name.  Though it was only a movie it portrayed what severe alcoholism can do to you.  Had he only drank like this woman smoked marijuana (only a ‘half portion’ at night) he would not have died the horrible death he died.  But cannabis is growing so strong these days that a ‘half portion’ can kill a healthy 31-year-old woman who’s just trying to relax a little so she can sleep.

So much for the argument that marijuana is safer than alcohol.  And that’s without considering the health effects of that first, second and third-hand smoke in people’s lungs.

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Marijuana is a Gateway to Hash Oil and Exploding Refrigerators

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 12th, 2014

Week in Review

The pro-decriminalize marijuana movement say it’s a harmless drug.  No worse than alcohol.  And that it doesn’t lead to harder drugs.  Well, it leads to at least one harder drug (see Marijuana ‘Hash Oil’ Explodes In Popularity, And Kitchens by Martin Kaste posted 1/10/2014 on npr).

If you think the recent liberalization of marijuana laws around the country is only about smoking leaves and buds, think again. For users younger than 25, “hash oil” is where it’s really at. This concentrated resin of marijuana is creating new public safety headaches — even in places where it’s legal.

There have always been forms of the substance, but the resins available today are much stronger than in years past. That’s due in part to the expertise developed by medical marijuana producers, who have learned how to make more potent versions of the oil…

Users smoke it, vaporize it and sometimes even eat it — those people sometimes refer to themselves as “tar babies.” High Times magazine jokingly implies that honey oil is best for people who already smoke regular pot every day. The stuff is so strong, it can cause less experienced users to throw up.

Some people make the resin at home. You just soak the pot in some kind of chemical solvent, which extracts the resin from the marijuana. Do-it-yourselfers like using butane, which can be purchased at most hardware stores.

The trouble is, solvents can catch fire — and even explode. Last year, the U.S. Fire Administration, a department of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, issued a bulletin warning of an increase in fires involving the production of hash oil.

In Washington state, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012, authorities have noted an uptick in similar incidents. There was an explosion in a building in Seattle on Tuesday, and Verner O’Quinn, a sergeant with the Seattle Police Department’s bomb squad, blames solvents used in the production of hash oil…

He says fires in the Seattle area often come with a particular twist: They start with exploding refrigerators…

Most freezers have a fan, which then circulates the volatile butane fumes into the rest of the refrigerator, “down to where the compressor is,” he explains. “A small spark will set it off, and it generally blows the door off.”

Hash oil is so strong it is recommended only for people who smoke marijuana every day.  As it can make the inexperienced user vomit.  Which means you typically start with marijuana.  And when you master that you step up to the harder drug.  Hash oil.  The same way most heroin or meth addicts started smoking marijuana first before moving up to the harder heroin or meth.  Making marijuana a gateway drug to harder drugs.  Contrary to the pro-decriminalize marijuana movement.

If hash oil is where it’s at for users under 25 that means that they’re probably heavy pot smokers in their teens.  When they are in school.  Or should be in school.  Instead of cutting class to smoke marijuana.  Smoking everyday so they can handle the far stronger hash oil in their early twenties.  As they seek a stronger high after growing bored with just smoking marijuana.

The argument for stricter gun control laws is, of course, to protect the children.  Even if those laws save just one life.  By that logic we should recriminalize marijuana.  Even if it only prevents one more refrigerator from exploding in front of a child.  Of course the left will never do this.  Because relaxing the drug laws will endear the youth voters to the Democrat Party.  Helping them win elections even when they have nothing positive to run on.  So they will attack guns more than marijuana.  Even if marijuana destroys more lives than guns do.

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The Left says Smoking Cigarettes and Drinking Alcohol are bad for you but Smoking Marijuana is OK

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 28th, 2013

Week in Review

You hear it all the time.  Smoking marijuana is no worse than drinking alcohol.  So we should decriminalize it everywhere.  And allow responsible adults smoke marijuana if they choose.  While at the same time they have banned smoking cigarettes just about everywhere outside of your own home.  Because smoking will kill you.  And anyone near you.  Funny how smoking cigarettes will kill you and anyone near you while smoking marijuana is no worse than enjoying a refreshing adult beverage.

What’s even funnier is that as they continue to make statements like smoking marijuana is no worse than drinking alcohol they are ramping up a war on alcohol.  As drinking alcohol is killing people at record numbers (see Raising the price of booze saves lives and money. Scotland is right to try it posted 12/21/2013 on The Economist).

AMONG man’s earliest artefacts are vessels to store and carry booze. Drunk from Stone Age jugs or Etruscan amphoras, fermented sugars have brought cheer for more than 12,000 years. And headaches too: alcohol stokes rage and gloom as well as jollity and dancing. For liberal-minded types, the downsides are a personal matter—we should be free to frolic.

Within limits. Where the harm extends beyond the individual, there is a case for intervention. Global alcohol consumption is stable. But some people are tippling more, in ways that hurt themselves and others (see article).

At stake are not just vomit-drenched streets. Deaths linked to drinking have tripled since 1990; in that time alcohol has gone from the sixth to the third leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The bill lands on everyone, as does booze-fuelled violence. Including lost output, the harm from alcohol costs Europe and America around 1.5% of national income.

The problem is worsening. Across the rich world, a small share of the population consumes a large share of the liquor. One reason is that many young people have upped their intake. More drinkers are also bingeing—even in southern Europe, where alcohol used to be taken mainly with food…

The best way to tackle excessive drinking is to raise prices through taxes levied on a drink’s strength, so that the most harmful drinks are more expensive. The resulting price-rise should cut the consumption of hard-up heavy topers (who are particularly partial to dirt-cheap supermarket booze) and young drinkers, who can afford only what’s cheap…

Public-health laws often require an unpopular move at the start, but new habits and attitudes can take root surprisingly quickly. A ban on smoking in restaurants and pubs seemed outlandish—until New York City introduced one in 2003. Much of the world quickly followed suit. Even diehard liberals like this newspaper, queasy at first about smoking bans, or mandatory crash helmets and seat belts, would hesitate to scrap those regulations now.

We are drinking ourselves to death three times as much as we were in the 1990s.  And one reason why is that young people are drinking more.  In fact many of the binge drinkers are young people.  It is less uncommon to read about a binge-drinking related death on a college campus.  It’s not happening all of the time but there are deaths.  And sexual assaults.

Getting a woman drunk has long been a prelude to sex.  That’s what singles’ bars were for.  Drinking to lower a woman’s inhibitions.  To get her to go home with a strange man for consensual sex.  But at a party on a college campus?  There’s no need to go home.  For there is always a bedroom or a couch or a floor available in a fraternity house, apartment or dorm room.  And young men with raging hormones in a sexualized culture will take advantage of a passed out college coed.  Even doing terrible things to her as she lay unconscious.  Or getting a video of her while she’s still conscious doing things she’d never do sober.  And posting it online.  Causing great pain and suffering for the girl.

Smoking marijuana will be no different than people enjoying alcohol.  So we should decriminalize it.  For what bad thing ever happened from enjoying alcohol?

Marijuana is a young person’s intoxicant.  We’ve all seen the stoner movies where high school teachers have to deal with stoners.  Like Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  And this was when the drug was illegal everywhere in the United States.  Imagine the Jeff Spicolis when the drug is decriminalized everywhere.  While being more potent than ever.  If new habits and new attitudes can take root surprisingly quickly then existing habits and attitudes and law should be just as easy to remain rooted.  Especially for marijuana.  For it combines the reckless abandon of youths to over consume like alcohol.  And the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes.

Would the left sacrifice our young just to get their vote?  Yes.  Of course they will.  And are.  For do you really think they care if these people die after they grow up and begin acting—and voting—responsibly?

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Relying on Technology in lieu of Teaching our Kids to be Responsible Adults

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 30th, 2013

Week in Review

There was an episode of Madmen showing Don Draper spending an afternoon drinking beer while working on a present for his daughter.  Then his wife said he had to go pick up the birthday cake.  He was not happy about this.  But poured himself a drink and left anyway.  Taking his glass of bourbon into the car.  And drinking from this glass while driving.

This is only a television show.  But a television show noted for its accurate portrayal of life in the 1960s.  People drank.  And drove.  With some crawling from their car to their front door because they were too drunk to walk.  And life went on.   Teenagers watched driver’s education films like Red Asphalt.  And still became Don Drapers.  Despite all that gore.  To this day we still drink and drive.  Well, for a little while more, at least (see Auto safety initiative seeks to reduce driver errors by Jerry Hirsch posted 11/29/2013 on the Los Angeles Times).

Auto safety regulators are pushing for new equipment to protect motorists from their biggest threat: themselves.

They’re aiming to keep drunk drivers off the road with the help of onboard technology that immobilizes their cars…

Now NHTSA and a coalition of 17 automakers are working on the so-called Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. The DADDS system uses sensors in the cabin to measure blood-alcohol content by breath or touch to ensure a driver is below the legal 0.08% threshold for impairment…

But some have reservations about these high-tech minders. The restaurant lobby opposes what it sees as an encroaching nanny state. Some analysts predict the equipment could add hundreds of dollars to the cost of each vehicle. And even some car enthusiasts say that imperfect technology could alienate the public it’s supposed to protect.

Jack Nerad, an analyst with auto information company Kelley Blue Book, imagined a scenario in which sensors picked up alcohol on the breath of passengers, preventing the designated driver from getting them home.

“You are reliant on the technology to be 100% perfect or your car doesn’t start,” he said. “That makes people very, very angry…”

Mistaken alcohol readings or faulty seat-belt sensors could put motorists in harm’s way if they’re stranded during emergencies or in remote places.

Where the DADDS system will set the blood alcohol limit could also prove contentious.

NHTSA says it will be the .08% level at which a driver is legally considered impaired, a ceiling that is supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving…

But a slightly higher limit might leave a margin of error that reduces false positives without greatly increasing the frequency of drunk-driving crashes, said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety.

The majority of people who were killed in drunk-driving crashes last year were in collisions in which a driver had double the legal limit, according to NHTSA data…

“We are opposed to mandating this technology on all cars as original equipment,” said Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, a restaurant trade association. “You are not going to solve the drunk-driving problem, which is a small, hard-core population of offenders, by treating everybody like a criminal.”

She said drinkers could find ways to evade the technology. For example, they could quickly throw down some shots and already be on the road by the time their blood-alcohol level crosses the .08% limit.

“And then what is going to happen?” Longwell asked. “If you crash your car and you are well above the legal limit, can you sue the manufacturer? Who has the liability?”

Good point.  Who do you sue?  The bartender for serving the shots?  But why should the bartender worry about a patron’s sobriety when his or her car won’t start if this person is too drunk?  Which would be great for the drinking industry.  No more worries about someone leaving too drunk to drive.  Because the car will determine that.  So while the bartender may have cut them off after 3-4 shots there is no reason to cut them off at all now.  Because their car won’t start if this person is too drunk to drive.  So you can’t really hold the drinking establishment responsible.  For the new technology takes on that responsibility.

So do you sue the car manufacturer?  They’ll blame the American Beverage Institute who lobbied against the 0.08% limit.  Saying that raising it to such a high level (something above 0.08%) that it didn’t detect the drunkenness of the driver until after they started their car and entered traffic.  Will they require a time lapse between the driver’s last drink and the time they can try starting the engine?  A link between the bar’s POS system and the car?  This would be ridiculous.  Add more costs to a car.  And add more technology that can be ‘not perfect’.

What happens if some rowdy men spill a drink on a woman in a bar.  Who then leaves the bar.  But cannot start her car because of the alcohol spilled on her?  And then the rowdy men follow her to the parking lot.  And proceed to smash her windows to get at her.  While she can’t do anything because her car won’t start.  And they rape her.  Who gets sued then?

They used to hang horse thieves in the old West.  Because if you stole a man’s horse you put his life in great danger.  A car is the modern day horse.  Something you depend on getting you home safely.  And it is so reliable that we never imagine it not getting us home.  But now your car may strand you.  Leaving you to the dangers surrounding you.  And it may cause you to abandon your drunken friends to find their own way home.  Because you don’t want to take any chances your car won’t start.  By having their drunken asses in the car with you preventing you from getting home.

Of course it begs the question.  What will they do to protect us from people texting and driving?  Which has surpassed drinking and driving as a greater danger?  Technology that shuts off your engine whenever it detects a cell phone in use?  Imagine someone turning on their cell phone when you’re in a center lane on a limited access expressway.   Shutting off your engine.  And your power steering.  While you desperately make your way to the shoulder during rush hour traffic.

Perhaps we need a little less technology and a little more Red Asphalt.  For many of our problems would go away if we would only teach people to be responsible.  Instead of relying on technology to protect us from the irresponsibility of others.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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