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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Decriminalize Marijuana and the Kids will Smoke more and Eventually Vote Democrat

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 28th, 2013

Week in Review

Teenagers typically vote Democrat.  In part because of the liberal bias in our public schools.  And in our colleges.  As well as in the mainstream media.  In Hollywood.  In television.  And the music industry.  These things do a lot to shape the way our kids think.  But there is another reason why our kids become Democrat voters.  Because it is the left that is handing out free birth control.  While their parents say ‘no’ the left says ‘go ahead.  Have fun.’  And then there is the push by the left to decriminalize marijuana.  Something else these kids’ parents say ‘no’ to.  While the left says ‘go ahead.  Have fun.’  Even if it may be harmful to them.  For what’s a few burnt brain cells in exchange for the youth vote (see Pot’s march toward mainstream by Alicia A. Caldwell And Nancy Benac, The Associated Press, posted 7/27/2013 on The Vancouver Sun)?

It is a moment in the U.S. that is rife with contradictions: People are looking more kindly on marijuana even as science reveals more about the drug’s potential dangers, particularly for young people…

Exploration of the potential medical benefit is limited by high U.S. government hurdles to research. Washington policy-makers seem reluctant to deal with any of it.

So we know it’s bad for the children.  But we really don’t know how bad.  For it is the only medicine (medical marijuana) ever allowed without proving the drug through clinical trials.  To make sure the drug works.  And it doesn’t cause irrevocable harm.  No pharmaceutical is allowed this luxury when bringing a new drug to market.  And we know how dangerous cigarettes and alcohol are.  But not marijuana.  No.  That drug we just accept on faith that it will cure us.  Besides just giving us a great high.

Opponents of pot are particularly worried that legalization will result in increased use by young people.

“There’s no real win on this from a political perspective,” says Sabet. “Do you want to be the president that stops a popular cause, especially a cause that’s popular within your own party? Or do you want to be the president that enables youth drug use that will have ramifications down the road?”

If anyone legalizes it will be the left.  Who are always attacking the right for hating children whenever they say we can’t afford to spend any more money.  But smoking pot harms kids.  And the left is okay with that.

“Having a regulated system is the only way to ensure that we’re not ceding control of this popular substance to the criminal market and to black marketeers,” says Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a trade group for legal pot businesses in the U.S. See Change Research, which analyzes the marijuana business, has estimated the national U.S. market for medical marijuana alone at $1.7 billion for 2011 and has projected it could reach $8.9 billion in five years. Overall, marijuana users spend tens of billions of dollars a year on pot, experts believe…

In Washington state, the Liquor Control Board is drawing up rules covering everything from how plants will be grown to how many stores will be allowed. It expects to issue licences for growers and processors in December, and impose 25 per cent taxes three times over – when pot is grown, processed and sold to consumers…

Marijuana advocates in Washington state…have projected the legal pot market could bring the state a half-billion a year in revenue…

Decriminalizing marijuana will make it easier for kids to smoke it.  Because it’s easier to get things that are only illegal for people under a legal age.  As opposed to being completely illegal.  Kids aren’t legally allowed to smoke cigarettes but they do.  In fact, it is fair to say kids smoke more cigarettes than marijuana.  Because cigarettes aren’t completely illegal.  They’re only illegal for kids.

So cities suffering under the crushing costs of their public sectors are looking at a windfall of tax revenue by decriminalizing marijuana.  And don’t seem to have a problem of people spending more of their money on getting high instead of saving for their retirement.  Paying for their kids’ education.  Or putting food on the table.  It was the same thing when cities scrambled to legalize gambling.  Because they wanted the tax revenue.  Despite people gambling away money that they should have spent on their family.  No doubt these cities would be disappointed if more kids didn’t start smoking marijuana.  So that when they grew into adults they would already have a healthy drug habit the city could tax.  To help pay for the crushing costs of their public sectors.

Of course, the states and cities will never see those rosy projections of tax revenue.  Because when they “impose 25 per cent taxes three times over” they will raise the price of legal marijuana so much that it will benefit, not hurt, the black market for marijuana.  Even if the black market price is below the official taxed price.  Why?  Because people smuggling cigarettes from a low-tax state to a high-tax state don’t do the time drug dealers do when caught.  Encouraging more people to sell a legal substance illegally.  To cheat the state out of that tax revenue.  And pot smokers, especially the kids, will turn to the black market for their pot.  Where it will be even more readily available when the growing, transporting and selling of marijuana is no longer illegal.  Like cigarettes.  Which kids have no problem buying.

California steps back California’s experience with medical marijuana offers a window into pitfalls that can come with wider availability of pot.

Dispensaries for medical marijuana have proliferated in the state, and regulation has been lax, prompting a number of cities in the state to ban dispensaries…

In May, the California Supreme Court ruled that cities and counties can ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

A few weeks later, Los Angeles voters approved a ballot measure that limits the number of pot shops in the city to 135, down from an estimated high of about 1,000. By contrast, whitepages. com lists 112 Starbucks in the city…

In 2010, California voters opted against legalizing marijuana for recreational use, drawing the line at medical use.

But Jeffrey Dunn, a Southern California lawyer who has represented cities in pot cases, says that in reality the state’s dispensaries have been operating so loosely that already “it’s really all-access.”

“What we’ve learned is, it is very difficult if not impossible to regulate these facilities,” he said.

The people may have voted for marijuana in California.  But the people didn’t like living in a Cheech and Chong movie surrounded by stoners.  And seeing a pot shop every time they turned around.  Which is the last thing a parent wants.  To have it so much easier for their kids to smoke pot.  Or eat it.

A Denver-area hospital, for example, saw children getting sick after eating treats and other foods made with marijuana in the two years after a 2009 federal policy change led to a surge in medical marijuana use, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics in May. In the preceding four years, the hospital had no such cases.

The Colorado Education Department reported a sharp rise in drugrelated suspensions and expulsions after medical marijuana took off.

“What we’re doing is not working,” says Dr. Christian Thurstone, a psychiatrist whose Denver youth substance abuse treatment centre has seen referrals for marijuana double since September. In addition, he sees young people becoming increasingly reluctant to be treated, arguing that it can’t be bad for them if it’s legal.

You decriminalize marijuana and, of course, kids will see that as an admission from the state that smoking pot can’t be bad for you.  So more kids use the drug.  Ending up in the hospital.  Getting suspended or expelled from school.  Or in drug rehab for a pot addiction.  But the left is okay with this.  Because, after all, it is the right that hates kids.  Whereas the left is the cool uncle that will let their niece and/or nephew smoke a joint.  Which is why the kids love the left.  They are always helping them do things their parents won’t let them do.

Legalization foes Opponents counter with a 2012 study finding that regular use of marijuana during teen years can lead to a long-term drop in IQ, and another study indicating marijuana use can induce and exacerbate psychotic illness in susceptible people. They question the notion that regulating pot will bring in big money, saying revenue estimates are grossly exaggerated…

They warn that baby boomers who draw on their own innocuous experiences with pot are overlooking the much higher potency of today’s marijuana.

In 2009, concentrations of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in pot, averaged close to 10 per cent in marijuana, compared with about four per cent in the 1980s, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

So the left will sacrifice our children for money.  So they can pay for those costly public sectors breaking their budgets.  They won’t take on the public sector unions.  But they will sacrifice our kids.  Because kids don’t pay taxes.  Or vote.  Yet.  But when they do they hope they will remember their cool uncle when in the voting booth.

The baby boomers, who filled the theaters watching Cheech and Chong movies, look back to their days of pot smoking with nostalgia.  Thinking they turned out all right.  And so will the younger generation.  As they anxiously wait for the decriminalization of marijuana so they can buy more.  And smoke more.  Loving the high potency of the new stuff.  Not at all like the stuff they grew up smoking.  Which still fried their brains.  Providing a head start to what dementia will do to them as they reach their golden years.

Kids will on average start smoking at an earlier age.  More of them will smoke because if it’s legal it can’t be bad for you.  And they will be smoking a more potent marijuana than their parents smoked.  Accelerating the damage pot smoking will do to them compared to what it did to their parents.  But the left is okay with that.  Because it is the right that hates the children.  Not the cool uncle.  At least that’s how the youth vote will see it.  Which is all that matters to the left.

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If Marijuana is Legal Kids will buy it off the Internet just as they buy Alcohol off the Internet

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 6th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left has used the heavy hand of government to protect the children.  They’ve taken candy and chips out of school vending machines.  They put vegetables on their lunch plates (which our kids promptly throw away).  They’ve restricted smoking in all public areas.  Placed restrictions on second-hand smoke.  Even on third-hand smoke.  Some have tried to limit the size of soda they can buy.  The kind of toys they can play with.  Even the words they can say in school.  The left has made a police state for our children.  To protect them.  And to make sure they grow up and think correctly.

But they have not brought their jackbooted oppression of our children into one area.  Marijuana.  In their drive to allow medical marijuana—as well as simply decriminalizing marijuana just to get high on—they are strangely quiet when it comes to the children.  For apparently they can protect the children from marijuana just like they can protect them from alcohol (see Concern over teenagers buying alcohol via online shopping posted 7/1/2013 on BBC News Wales).

Young people are increasingly using online supermarket delivery services to buy alcohol, figures show.

A total of 21% of 14-15 year olds questioned for the Alcohol Concern Cymru Wales-wide survey said they had bought alcohol online…

Meanwhile, four out of nine under-age test purchasers working with police in Cardiff bought and received alcohol online in March…

In four of the nine cases (44%), alcohol was handed to the underage test purchasers by delivery drivers with no proof of age requested after agreeing to online terms and conditions when making the purchases.

Canada has medical marijuana.  But their pharmacies don’t want to dispense it.  And doctors don’t want to prescribe it.  As there are no drug studies with marijuana as there is with every other drug.  So they don’t know how to prescribe dosage.  And the pharmacies don’t want a highly demanded drug on site that people will want to steal.  So in Canada if you want your medical marijuana you will have to order it directly from the producer.  By phone.  Or over the Internet.  Making Canadian stoners very, very happy.

Once upon a time selling marijuana was a crime.  Which limited the number of people willing to sell it to kids.  But if it’s not a crime there will be a whole lot of people willing to sell it to kids over the Internet.  Especially when they can say, “They checked the box on the online order form stating they were of legal age.  What more could I have done.  Here’s my wrist.  Please slap it and go on your way.  For business is good and I have more orders to fill.  All of these orders, incidentally, are for adults.  Because they checked the box on the online order form.  So they have to be adults.  I mean, why would anyone lie about their age when buying marijuana?”

Our kids may not be able to play with a toy gun or eat a candy bar in school.  Thanks to the oppressive police state they live in.  Which strangely looks the other way when it comes to marijuana.  Even though it would be safer for our kids to enjoy a candy bar in school than smoking dope that they bought over the Internet.  Why?  Is it just to help them keep the youth vote?  For high school kids and college kids like smoking dope.  And vote Democrat.  Or is it because the left are nothing but a bunch of pot smokers themselves?  Funny for a group of people who have all but legislated cigarette smoking out of existence to have no problem with smoking marijuana.  Either way (the youth vote or their desire to get high) the left clearly have put their own desires above what’s best for our children.  Talk about your selfish bastards.

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Basement Medical Marijuana Growers are Depressing the Street Value of Illegal Marijuana

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 15th, 2013

Week in Review

A common perception is that Canada cares more for her people than America cares for her people.  The Americans put profits before people.  While the Canadians put people before profits.  Which is why Canada has legalized medical marijuana while only a few states in America have.  Because it was something sick Canadians needed.  So because Canada cares for her people (unlike the United States) they made the enlightened decision to legalize medical marijuana.  And it’s worked out swimmingly (see Medical marijuana lets B.C. growers earn thousands on streets posted 6/14/2013 on CBC News).

A B.C. pot grower [Jack] says he and many others are making thousands of dollars every month growing licensed medical marijuana and selling it for illegal distribution on the streets, and there is little police can do to stop it…

Jack says he used to grow his pot illegally and sell it on the Prairies, but that was too risky, so he applied to Health Canada for a Personal Use Production licence.

He filled out a few forms and got a doctor to sign off on a medical condition. The whole process took a half hour he recalls…

But while he’s growing the pot legally, Jack still sells his marijuana to the same middle men he always has and that’s how large amounts of medicinal marijuana end up being sold illegally on the streets, police say…

“Serious organized crime has found a venue that buffers them from law enforcement. They are actively recruiting people to make applications for marijuana licences…

Meanwhile back in his basement, Jack says he actually misses the days when operations like his were illegal because lately so much so-called “legal weed” has spilled onto the street it’s driven down prices.

He used to get almost $3,000 a pound for his bud when he was growing illegally. Now it’s $1,700 pound and falling. Sometimes there’s so much medical marijuana out there he says some growers can’t unload their product.

“It’s going down the tubes because of all these licences. Three years ago you couldn’t have enough of this. Now I know people who have ten pounds from their last crop because they couldn’t sell it. ”

And so Jack pines for the good old days – when what he did was illegal but he made a lot more money doing it.

Imagine that.  Drug dealers lied to their government.  So they could grow marijuana legally in their basement.  So they could sell it illegally on the street.  Even organized crime has taken to recruiting people to become home-growers to feed their criminal networks.  Bet the Canadians didn’t see that coming.

Note the economic lesson here.  Illegal substances are typically low in supply.  Because people can get arrested for supplying them.  Because few people want to risk getting arrested this low supply creates a high demand.  As there are more drug users than the current growers and traffickers of marijuana can supply.  Which would normally bring more suppliers into the marijuana economy.  But not when it’s illegal.  But make it legal and look what happens.  There is an explosion in supply.  Great for the drug user as prices fall.  But bad for the drug dealer as their drugs are worth less and bring in les revenue.

This is what happened during the Roaring Twenties in the United States.  As European farmers left the farm to fight in World War I American farmers stepped in to meet that unfilled demand.  And mechanized their farms to increase their output.  To cash in on that high demand.  But after the war soldiers became farmers again.  And those export markets for American farmers disappeared.  Just as their farms were never producing more with less thanks to their costly mechanization.  As crop prices fell it was good for hungry people as it prevented famine.  But it was bad for farmers.  Who couldn’t service their debt for all of that mechanization they financed.  And began to default en masse.  Causing bank failures in farming communities.  That spread to city banks.  Leading to the great bank runs of the Great Depression.

Interesting what growing pot can teach you.

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Canadian Doctors don’t want to Prescribe Medical Marijuana and Pharmacists don’t want to Dispense It

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 15th, 2013

Week in Review

Americans love Canada when it comes to health care.  And drugs.  Because in Canada they have single-payer health care.  And medical marijuana.  However, while they do have medical marijuana the drug is still illegal unless you have a medical condition.  And a prescription.  Something simpler said than done (see Need medical marijuana? You’ll have to get it by mail by The Canadian Press posted 6/10/2013 on CBC News).

Pharmacists and physicians alike questioned the lack of research into medical marijuana.

In December, the president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Anna Reid, described the proposed marijuana rules as “akin to asking doctors to write prescriptions while blindfolded.”

She said the government was dumping the responsibility for medical marijuana onto doctors.

“Not only does prescribing drugs that haven’t been clinically tested fly in the face of medical training and ethics, but marijuana’s potential benefits and adverse effects have not been rigorously tested…”

“There is little information available on safety, effectiveness, dosage, drug interactions or long-term health risks,” the association said in its letter to Health Canada.

“Pharmacists, physicians and nurse practitioners need evidence-based information to support safe and effective prescribing and dispensing of (medical marijuana).”

The association said it didn’t know how many pharmacies would be willing to participate a revamped system.

“While the distribution process would be regulated, there remains the concern with pharmacists dispensing a product that does not have adequate safety and effectiveness evidence. In addition, the potential security risks to pharmacies due to robberies would need to be considered.”

Apparently marijuana is not everything some would have you believe it is.  While it takes years of studies and clinical trials to bring a new drug onto the market this hasn’t happened with medical marijuana.  They say it has medicinal benefits but unlike EVERY OTHER DRUG brought to market there are no studies showing this.  Which is why doctors don’t want to write prescriptions for it.  For what will they write?  Smoke two-thirds of a joint twice daily?  Take three bong hits daily?  What will people do with the other third of that joint?  Or with the bong after three hits?  Snuff them out and through away the unused portion?  Yeah, like a pot smoker would do that.

Is it medicine?  Well, if it is it is the first one ever that people really want to take.  And look forward to their medicine time.  Which kind of tells us it’s not medicine.  People want it to get high.  Yes, some may actually ameliorate their medical symptoms by using it but the vast majority of people just want to get high.  Which is why pharmacists don’t want to dispense it.  Because having a large quantity of it in their pharmacies will only attract the criminal element.  Who will want to break in and steal it.  So they can sell it to those who want to get high.

At best it’s like taking a shot of bourbon every night for medicinal purposes.  No doctor will want to prescribe that.  Because there are a whole lot of bad things that can follow by having a drink every night.   Especially if someone is on medication that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol.  For which there is a lot of medical research available.  And if there was medical research available on medical marijuana it could very well be just as dangerous in the long run.  Even if people only consume it for medicinal purposes.

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The UFCW wants to unionize Workers at Medical Marijuana Pot Shops

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 9th, 2013

Week in Review

The unions have always advertised that union made was better made.  Because it was safer.  And of higher quality.  For unions look out for the people.  They protect our kids in school.  And demand high safety standards in industry.  They even have a zero tolerance policy on drug use in the workplace.  Large union contracts on big construction projects have mandatory drug testing to hire in.  And have random-random drug tests monthly.  Once a month on some random day at some random time they call workers in to pee in a cup for testing.  That’s how committed the unions are in combating drug use.  So you never would have expected to see something like this (see Insight: Shrinking U.S. labor unions see relief in marijuana industry by Samuel P. Jacobs and Alex Dobuzinskis posted 2/6/2013 on Reuters).

During the last few years, unions, led by the UFCW [United Food and Commercial Workers union], have played an increasingly significant role in campaigns to allow medical marijuana, now legal in California, 17 other states and Washington, D.C…

Union officials acknowledge that their support stems partly from the idea that the marijuana industry could create hundreds of thousands of members at a time when overall union membership is shrinking…

Industry advocates acknowledge that the legal marijuana industry’s potential to produce jobs is difficult to project. One reason: uncertainty over how the U.S. government will deal with an industry whose product is illegal under federal law but increasingly accepted by state laws.

Since Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize marijuana on November 6, President Barack Obama has said his administration will not pursue recreational pot users in those states.

This is interesting.  If the states don’t like a federal law they just ignore it.  If Colorado and Washington can simply ignore a federal law they don’t like then every state that doesn’t like Obamacare should be able to ignore it, too.  If the unions protest states that ignore Obamacare (the unions endorsed Obamacare) and insist that they follow federal law then so should Colorado and Washington.  Who should immediately re-criminalize marijuana under state law.  To match federal law.

By joining a union, marijuana workers could have more sway in pressing for higher pay and benefits such as healthcare…

The retailers there say they are conflicted – grateful for the legitimacy that labor’s involvement could bring their businesses, but worried that the support could undermine the already shaky financial footing of their small operations.

One marijuana business owner in Denver said he considered aligning with the UFCW but eventually backed away. He said he was worried that having a union shop would hurt the value of his business by driving up employment costs…

Eventually, [UFCW’s Rush] helped to persuade enough labor leaders that the same union that organized Hostess bakery workers could represent people who made pot brownies.

High union labor costs just bankrupted Hostess and put them out of business.  So, yeah, marijuana retailers are worried about higher labor costs if their shops unionize.  There’s a reason why there is so little union membership today.  It is very difficult for a business to stay in business with those high union costs.  The very costs that bankrupted General Motors and Chrysler requiring the government bailout.  If they unionize their costs will go up.  As will their prices.  Giving the non-unionized shops a price advantage.  As well as the drug dealer on the street.

In Los Angeles, UFCW Local 770 is pushing a ballot measure that would set zoning and safety standards for medical pot dispensaries. For years, police and residents have complained about the impact that less-than-reputable medical marijuana dispensaries have on some neighborhoods.

Dispensary workers and owners who have aligned themselves with the union say that some competitors undermine prices and security by flouting labor laws and avoiding taxes.

Decriminalizing marijuana is not the panacea they think it is.  First of all no one wants what drugs attract.  Addicts.  And crime.  Shutting down the nonunion shops won’t take care of that problem.  Because the higher prices at the ‘reputable’ drug retailers will only broaden the market for the drug dealers on the street.  Who are also nonunion.  And can sell their marijuana for less than a pot shop with high union labor costs.

Medical marijuana retailers have provided more than medical marijuana.  People wanting marijuana for recreational use had no problem getting a doctor’s prescription.  Including people who bought marijuana and resold it to kids.  Higher retailer prices at ‘reputable’ pot shops are not going to change that.  It will only raise the street value of marijuana.  Making for a prosperous black market.

The UFCW is obviously backing and lobbying for full decriminalization.  So their members can prosper from a rise in drug use.  And addiction.  It is interesting how the Left attacks cigarette smoking.  Even suing Big Tobacco for the harm their addictive product has done to those who smoke.  Yet as evil as cigarette smoking is there is no such outrage over marijuana smoking.  Which they say is not only harmless but medicinal.  Talk about your double standards.

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Canada raising the Price on Medicinal Marijuana on Average 159%

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 15th, 2012

Week in Review

Criminals like high state cigarette taxes.  For it makes for a lucrative business selling cigarettes in a high-tax state that were purchased purchased in a low-tax state.  The higher the tax the bigger the profits in smuggling cigarettes across state borders.  And best of all if you get caught the penalty isn’t that bad.  For cigarettes are legal.  Which causes a problem in those high-tax states.  For when they raise the tax rates drug runners stop running drugs across the border.  And turn to cigarettes.  As they did in Canada during the Nineties.  Illegal drug trafficking went down.  Cigarette smuggling went up.  And tax revenues fell.

And now the Canadians are trying to raise tax revenue again.  Only with a different legal product (see Medicinal marijuana prices in Canada to rise by The Canadian Press posted 12/15/2012 on CBC News).

Those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes in Canada may want to reach for the aspirin when they learn about a pending price increase.

Proposed regulations posted by Health Canada say the price of medical marijuana should rise to $8.80 cents a gram —currently it ranges from $1.80 to $5 a gram…

Currently, those who wish to use medical marijuana must apply for a permit from the government in order to either grow it themselves or buy it from a single government grower.

This was one of the arguments for decriminalizing marijuana.  You could tax it.  And flood the state coffers with new tax revenue.  Or you can do it one better.  Like the Canadians.  Who don’t just tax it.  But they sell it.  And being the only grower in Canada they can charge whatever they want.  Which they appear to be doing.  Raising the price on average 159%.

Hmmm.  A high price?  A legal product?   And a nearby border?  Sounds familiar.  Something tells me that they are not going to collect what they think they are with these price hikes.

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Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensaries attract Drug Addicts and Crime

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 28th, 2012

Week in Review

As if the potheads and college students didn’t have enough troubles.  First it was the Israelis harshing their mellow.  By making a marijuana that does everything medicinally beneficial without getting you high.  And now this.  Soon the potheads and college students will have little reason to get out of bed in the afternoon (see Los Angeles council bans medical marijuana dispensaries by Rory Carroll posted 7/24/2012 on the Guardian).

Los Angeles may soon be off the map as a pot-smoking mecca following a city council vote to ban storefront medical marijuana dispensaries.

The council has voted unanimously in favour of the crackdown after the mayor, the police chief, the city’s attorney office and residents’ groups called for restrictions…

The council decision followed mounting complaints from police and neighbourhood groups that legalisation of medicinal marijuana – which remains legal – spawned seedy stores that peddled weed to recreational users on medical pretexts.

Most were profit-making businesses catering to “healthy young adults” rather than sick people with chronic pain, the LAPD chief, Charlie Beck, said in a letter to the council.

Several council members including Jose Huizar had previously supported the dispensaries but changed their minds after residents complained they attracted drug addicts and crime.

Imagine that.  Healthy young people were buying medical marijuana just to have a good time.  And the proponents of medical marijuana said that wouldn’t happen.

Marijuana enthusiasts in LA are unhappy with these restrictions.  Even those without medical conditions.  Who appear to be using medical marijuana as a backdoor to legalizing marijuana.  The proponents of medical marijuana said that wouldn’t happen, either.

Worse, these marijuana dispensaries were attracting drug users.  And crime.  Because drug users want to buy drugs.  Which takes money.  So drug users steal money to pay for their drugs.  Which apparently hasn’t changed since making marijuana legal to buy in California.  Probably because drug addicts have difficulty in finding a job.  What with their addiction and all.  So they turn to crime to fund their drug needs.  Stealing.  Or prostitution.

So it is easy to understand why people living in the communities with these medical marijuana dispensaries want to close them down.  Because they are in their communities.  People don’t want to live near a bar where people are coming out drunk.  So drunk that they are falling down.  Vomiting.  And urinating in the parking lot.  Or on the streets.  Sure, going to the bar is fun.  But not when that bar is in your neighborhood.  And you have to see the seedier side of fun night after night.  It’s the same with these marijuana dispensaries.  Only it’s worse than public vomiting and urination.  There’re drug addicts.  And crime.  And no one wants that in their neighborhood.

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College Students and Potheads will Curse the Israelis for Harshing their Mellow

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 2nd, 2012

Week in Review

There is good news on the medical marijuana front.  For both Democrats and Republicans.  Who can come to a bipartisan agreement on this once divisive issue.  Why, they may even decriminalize medical marijuana at the federal level.  So people suffering ill health anywhere can have access to the medicinal properties in medical marijuana without politics getting in the way of their healing (see Scientists create pot with no high by Meghan Neal posted 6/2/2012 on the New York Daily News).

Scientists in Israel say they’ve taken the high out of marijuana, creating a strain that doesn’t leave you stoned and even stops the food-craving “munchies.”

The new cannabis could benefit medical patients without the side effects of feeling stoned, AFP reported, citing an article from Israeli newspaper Maariv Daily.

A team at Tikkun Olam, a company in Israel, worked to boost the levels of cannabidiol — the part of the plant used to ease the symptoms of cancer and other diseases — and neutralize the side effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. That’s the part that induces a calm, light-headed feeling.

Isn’t this great news?  Just think of all the trouble this ends for all of those medical marijuana clinics in California.  No more accusations that they’re nothing more than drug dealers.  No one saying that they’re selling drugs and drug paraphernalia with little more than a doctor’s prescription (wink wink) faxed in from places unknown.  By mischievous people gaming the system.  No.  All of these suspicions are now gone.  Because medical marijuana won’t get you high anymore.  Everyone’s a winner. 

Except for those people who were gaming the system.  And those who want to legalize marijuana.  The college students and potheads.  Who vote Democrat in hopes of that day.  Who were hoping medical marijuana was a stepping stone to getting their beloved drug decriminalized.  But thanks to the Israelis this may prove to be a dead end.  So they will not rejoice for the ill who will gain access to this drug.  Instead they’ll curse the Israelis for harshing their mellow.

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LESSONS LEARNED #49: “The ‘tolerant’ are intolerant.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 20th, 2011

Agitate and Instigate – Getting the People to Help the Well-to-Do

There are tolerant people out there.  Independents.  Moderates.  Lots of Democrats.  And, yes, even conservatives.  Even though there are those who demonize conservatives.  And say that they aren’t.  By people who claim to be.  Who are, in fact, not.  Liberals.  That 20% sliver of the population.  Those who benefit greatly from a liberal agenda.  And agenda that greatly burdens the other 80%.  Through higher taxes.  And greater regulation.  Which adds costs to business.  Which results in higher prices.  Fewer jobs.  A poorer population that can’t buy as much stuff.  And a depressed economy.

This 20% lives a privileged life.  College professors, public sector employees, union public school teachers, the mainstream media, liberal politicians (both Republican and Democrat), etc.  People who make a lot of money.  But don’t work a real job.  Like the other 80% of the population.

To live a privileged life requires the other 80% to voluntarily pay for it.  And that’s not easy.  These people can make as much as three times what those in the private sector make.  So they can’t expect much pity.  Because people just don’t pity you if you’re struggling to make two house payments and a boat payment.  Especially when they’re staring foreclosure in the face on their one and only home.  So they need to get our support some other way.  So they agitate.  Instigate.  They like to stir up trouble.  Demonize their opponents.  So no one focuses on just how well they live and how little they work.

Feigning Tolerance to Attract the Single Issue Voters

So they agitate and instigate to get some of that 80% to support them.  They look at single issues that are dear to some people.  Abortion.  Immigration.  Drugs.  Cigarettes.  Birth control.  Fast food.  Sugary beverages.  Health care.  Secularism.  Etc.  Anything they can politicize.  Anything they can use as a wedge to move people from supporting the 80% and to supporting the 20%.

Scare tactics.  Demonization of individuals.  Political correctness.  These are some of their tools.  Things that can help stir up trouble.  Agitate people.  And make them do something that they normally wouldn’t do.  Support their far left agenda.  Because they attach these single issues to their agenda.  These single-issue people may not agree with the far left liberal agenda, but their single issue trumps all.  Much like Congress does when attaching pork to a bill.  They’ll attach bazillions of dollars of outrageous earmarks to a bill entitled ‘it’s time to stop abusing children’.  It’s effective.  Vote for the bill (and the irresponsible spending attached to it).  Or be on the public record for being in favor of abusing children.  Not much of a choice, really.  Especially if you ever plan to run for reelection.

Tolerance.  That’s an especially useful tool.  For painting themselves as enlightened and opened minded.  While painting their opponents as mean, cold, unfeeling and close minded.  And it’s rather ironic.  For their opponents are often far more tolerant than the tolerant, liberal left.

The Dangers of Smoke is Relative.  The Cigarette kind is Bad.  But the Marijuana kind, Surprisingly, Isn’t

Pity the poor cigarette smoker.  He or she can’t get a break anywhere.  They’ve made it criminal to smoke pretty much anywhere but in your own home.  And they’re looking at that, too.  Especially if you have kids.  Pity, too.  Some of my fondest memories are as a child when my aunts and uncles came over to visit.  They smoked and played gin rummy.  While we played.  My cousins.  My brother.  And me.  I’m not a smoker.  But to this day when I get a whiff of cigarette smoke I get this warm feeling of nostalgia wash over me.  But those days are gone.  First they’ll band smoking in your home.  Then gin rummy.  And then probably having aunts and uncles over that could unfavorably influence your kids. 

Cigarette smoke is bad for you.  Second hand smoke is bad for those around you. So they are very intolerant of anyone smoking those foul, detestable cigarettes.  But if you want to spark up a fatty, they’re okay with that.  In fact, they want to decriminalize marijuana.  They’ve already started with ‘medical’ marijuana.  Now there is a thriving market for illegal medical prescriptions for medical marijuana.  And, you know what?  That’s silly.  They’re going to smoke it anyway.  So let’s just decriminalize it completely.  And open cannabis coffee shops like they have in the Netherlands.  Because there ain’t nothing wrong with a little unfiltered marijuana smoke.  Unlike that nasty, foul, vile cigarette smoke.  And if you have a problem with marijuana, why, you’re just intolerant.

What’s a worse Lifestyle Choice than Heroin Addiction?  Eating a McDonald’s Happy Meal

San Francisco is a big gay city.  And by that I mean gay-friendly.  They have a lot of gays and lesbians living there.  And a lot of intravenous drug users.  Therefore, they have a big AIDS problem.  To try and prevent the spread of AIDS they’ve been providing clean syringes to help heroin addicts support their heroin addictions.  They brand anyone opposing this policy as intolerant of the gay community.  The addict community.  Or of drug users and sexually active people in general.

Meanwhile, the city of San Francisco has banned McDonald’s from including toys in their Happy Meals.  Because it encourages children to live an unhealthy lifestyle.  So they’re intolerant of parents letting their kids enjoy an occasional Happy Meal.  While they are tolerant of subsidizing an addict’s addiction.  Even though everyone eating a Happy Meal has not gone on to be obese and suffer from poor health.  While most heroin addicts eventually kill themselves from the drugs they abuse.

Gay Marriage is Beautiful.  While Traditional Marriage is Legalized Rape

And speaking of gays in San Francisco, let’s talk about marriage.  The Left says that we should allow gays to marry each other.  That we are denying them the highest form of happiness known to a loving couple.  Wedded bliss.  And anyone opposing this is just intolerant of the gay community.

 Meanwhile, who was it all these years saying that marriage was nothing more than slavery?  An archaic ceremony that made strong, independent women mere chattel.  Slaves in the kitchen.  Whores in the bedroom.  And legalized rape.  Who was this?  Why, the Left.  The feminists.  They hated the institution of marriage.  Because it relegated women into second class citizenry.  Anyone fighting for such an archaic institution was just intolerant of strong women.  Because marriage is bad.  Unless the people getting married are gay.

You can’t tell a Woman what she can do with her Womb.  But you can Police her Eating and Smoking Habits.

The abortion argument is about empowering women.  Liberals say that without the right to choose women are condemned to second class citizenry as housewives and mothers.  Because they would have no choice.  If they enjoy a little slap and tickle and get pregnant, a woman can’t go on in her life afterward like a man can.  And that ain’t fair.  And anyone who is intolerant of abortion on demand is just being intolerant of feminism.  And wants to confine women to being a slave in the kitchen.  And a whore in the bedroom.  Taking care of a bunch of rotten, screaming kids.  While that bastard of a father goes out and builds a glorious career.

Liberals say a woman is responsible for her womb.  That we should all stay out of it.  It’s her decision.  Her personal property.  Her rules.  No one should have any say whatsoever with what she does with that part of her body.  But every other part of her body is apparently open to regulation.  Telling her that she shouldn’t smoke, eat fast food or drink a sugary drink, why, that’s okay.  They have every right, nay, responsibility, to police her body in those respects.  But not her womb.  There, she has choice. 

Temporary Nativity Scenes on Public Property are Intolerable.  But Permanent Religious Displays on ‘Conquered’ Territory are Okay.

The secular left is very intolerant of any nativity displays on public property for a few weeks around Christmas.  They scream about the separation of church and state.  They argue that if we allow these nativity displays we’re just a step away from antidisestablishmentarianism.

These same people though called anyone who opposed the Muslim community center near Ground Zero intolerant.  Now even though all Muslims aren’t terrorists, the terrorists who crashed into the Twin Towers were Muslim.  And, interestingly, throughout history Muslims have built mosques on conquered territory.  So the terrorists (who happened to be Muslim) would have seen that community center (that included a mosque) near Ground Zero as a symbol of the territory that they, the bad guys, not Muslims in general, conquered.  And this was just the height of insensitivity to those who lost loved ones on 9/11.  But as far as the liberal left is concerned, these people are just being intolerant.  Because that community center that will be there all year long for years and years to come is no big deal.  But the appearance of nativity scenes for a scant few weeks around Christmas, well, that’s just plain offensive.  In intolerable.

We Should Tolerate Attacks on Christianity.  But not Attacks on Islam.

And speaking of religion, remember all that hoopla about those cartoons in the Danish press?  Of the Islamic prophet?  Well, this ignited a firestorm.  That reached all the way to South Park.  In Cartoon Wars Part II the show featured an appearance of the prophet.  But when the episode aired, Comedy Central blacked out the image.  Because they said it would be offensive to Muslims.  The Left applauded this.  For anyone who dared to do such an insensitive thing were obviously Christians showing their intolerance of Islam.

Meanwhile, placing a crucifix in a jar of piss is art.  Making a movie about Christ having a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene is art.  Openly deriding Christians derogatively as ‘God-clingers’ is just free speech.  And perfectly acceptable.  No matter how many Christians are offended.  To the offended the Left simply says, “Get over it.  You intolerant God-clingers.”

Never Let a Crisis go to Waste.  Or an Opportunity.

You get the picture.  America is basically a center-right country.  A nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian values.  And these values still guide many people today.  This is the 80%.  So the 20% attacks these values.  To agitate.  To instigate.  To foment.  They attack Christianity and tell gays that conservatives want to get rid of them.  Meanwhile the religion they say we must be tolerant of openly persecutes gays.  They don’t preach to them that they are morally wrong.  But literally persecute them.  Kill them.  The Left supports this religion and their mosque near Ground Zero.  In New York City.  Where there is a large gay population.  And yet no one sees this disconnect.

Because everything for this 20% is an opportunity.  And when you’re opportunistic (never let a crisis go to waste), you don’t let a thing like philosophical consistency weigh you down.  Look at every issue they stand on and you will probably find a paradox.  Cigarette smoke is bad for you but marijuana smoke is fine.  We shouldn’t eat fast food or drink sugary drinks because they are unhealthy.  But let’s give clean syringes to help our heroin addicts feed their addictions.  Marriage is bad and oppresses.  But gay marriage is a beautiful thing.  Women can choose to have an abortion.  But they can’t choose to have a Big Mac Combo meal and a cigarette.  Christianity can be mocked because it’s ‘not nice’ to gays and women.  But we must respect Islam that persecutes gays and treats women as chattel. 

Here a paradox.  There a paradox.  Everywhere a paradox.  Why, you can say liberalism itself is a paradox.  Because it is both tolerant and intolerant.  Often on the same issue.  It all depends on which way the political wind is blowing at the time.  You see, that’s what happens when you trade philosophy for political expediency.  When you don’t govern but exploit opportunity.  When you see an opportunity to extort money (sue Big Tobacco).  Or just to screw with Big Business (like McDonalds) to show those corporate sons of bitches who really has power.  Or to just stir up the pot, getting people riled up against their Judeo-Christian tradition (gay marriage, abortion, feminism, etc.).  Not to advance a particular philosophy.  But an agenda.  That has but one goal.  To perpetuate their privileged class.

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