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March 01, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

Nothing Says Unity Like Marijuana

  • by: Colorado Pols

Democrats are holding a “unity rally” for gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter today at Noon at the State Capitol. Coincidentally, Mason “Can I Buy a Vowel” Tvert will hold a press conference to kick off the SAFER efforts to get a marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot. It’s kind of like the 60’s, man.


24 thoughts on “Nothing Says Unity Like Marijuana

  1. You know, I support the legalization of Marijuana.  But I will be voting “no” on this issue in November (if, God forbid, it gets on the ballot) based on the lie campaign that SAFER is using.

  2. Coloradem,

    What specifically is SAFER’s “lie campaign?”  Here’s the pitch I see on their website:Adults should be able to choose something less harmful than alcoholDenver voters’ will is being thwarted by state law

    Personally, I think the ridiculous amount of tax dollars Colorado spends to lock up these non-violent offenders is the strongest argument. But their Denver campaign succeeded when I thought it had no chance, so I’m willing to give Tvert & Co. the benefit of the doubt.

  3. I would like to see Marijuana legalized, but I agree with ColoradoDem. During the Denver campaign they had signs all over the place that said something like “Vote for 100 to make Denver safer.” That was completely misleading, because there was no mention anywhere on the sign as to what 100 really was about. If they would have put “legalize marijuana” even in small type somewhere I would have been fine with it, but that kind of campaigning is shady.

  4. “Lie” may be a strong word.  Making marijuana legal will not make Colorado “safer”.  I don’t accept the premise.  If folks want a “safer” alternative to alcohol, then choose iced tea, milk shakes, coffee or soda.

    If “safer” wants to concentrate on what they see as the evils of alcohol, then they should by trying to make it illegal (which I would not support)–their diversionary tactics do not work with me. 

    Their argument is based on a false premise–sort of like saying that cancer is better than AIDS.

  5. Lie may be a strong word.  Let’s be honest, marijuana is not “safe” when used recreationally.  Alcohol is not “safe” when used recreationally–but alcohol is not the issue here.

    If Tvert is so intent on making Colorado “Safer” then he should keep the emphasis on alcohol and try to get it made illegal (which I would not support either).  But to try to say that marijuana should be legal because it is “safer” than alcohol is disengenuous at best and an outright lie at worst.  It is a bit like saying that cancer is better than AIDS.

  6. I agree wiht the sentiments about the shady campaigning SAFER has done in the past. However I hope they get on the ballot for only one reason: it gets younger people voting.

    In the 2005 election Denver saw a huge increase on the number of people under age 23 who voted. As an election judge I have seen many elections where the youngest voter in the precinct I work was in their late 20’s. One municipal election, when I was 35, I was the youngest person to vote in the precinct. I was very very pleased to see the younger folks voting last fall and if it takes a “pot law” to get them there, then so be it. Now if only that civil responsibility will stick with them after this election!

  7. While I agree that using the advertising slogan of “Make Colorado Safer” is a bit shady, it seems strange to me that you would alter your own vote on the issue for that reason. Its not like you are electing a politician, and you need to be concerned with his credibiblity. You are voting on an issue. If you support that issue, then support it.

    Also, you say you support the legilization of marijuana, but then say that neither alcohol or marijuana is safe when used recreationally. Why would you support marijuana’s legilization if you indeed feel that way?

    Finally, you’re wrong. When either alcohol or marijuana is used responsibly and recreationally, it’s perfectly safe. If we are looking to prohibit the use of anything, it should be cigarettes. There is something that is completely unsafe.

  8. Aaron,

    I support its legalization because I have a strong libertarian streak in me.  The whole “my body my choice” thing–if I want to destroy my liver with alcohol, its mine, I can; if I want to fry my brain cells with marijuana, its mine, I can.  I also believe it “thins the heard” and is Darwinism at its finest. 

    BTW, Marijuana has many times the cancer causing ingredients compared to cigarettes.

  9. Coloradem,

    I see your point.  Although I agree that pot smoking is probably a safer activity than drinking, it really stretches it to pitch legalization as making the state safer overall.  SAFER’s approach also implies that pot or booze are the only two choices, when I personally find a nice hike or a nap in the hammock to be better than either.

    Again, I’d prefer an economic argument.  I think libertarians and fiscal conservatives might receive that better as well.

    It’s early, so perhaps their marketing approach will change yet.  But if the initiative makes the ballot and passes, I consider that progress, so I’m not inclined to vote no over my tactical disagreement.

  10. I support its legalization because I have a strong libertarian streak in me.  The whole “my body my choice” thing–if I want to destroy my liver with alcohol, its mine, I can; if I want to fry my brain cells with marijuana, its mine, I can.  I also believe it “thins the heard” and is Darwinism at its finest. 

    BTW, Marijuana has many times the cancer causing ingredients compared to cigarettes.

  11. Even the pro legalization group NORML admits marijuana is not safe.  Research shows it causes precancerous cells in the lungs (Tashkin studies, UCLA) and a Harvard study shows a significant increase in heart attacks among users. Colorado Dem is right, marijuana has four times the carcinogens as cigarettes, and the smoke is generally held in the lungs longer.  That said, I also have that Libertarian streak.  Besides, I’m looking forward to the State vs Fed showdown in the Supreme Court if it’s legalized.

  12. I am glad to see folks discussing this issue here, as the ultimate purpose of the SAFER campaign is to educate the public about the facts regarding marijuana and stimulate debate concerning the efficacy of marijuana prohibition.

  13. Please go ahead and legalize marijuana… the latest liberal issue.

    Though I can’t wait to hear all fo you scream as soon as it gets subjected to your “sin” taxes.

    Guess that ref c coffer can keep growing and growing.

  14. Some slightly interesting stats:

    In a 1990 report, the National Transportation Safety Board studied 182 fatal truck accidents. It found that 12.5% of the accidents were caused by drivers using marijuana.

    A New England Journal of Medicine report on drivers without alcohol in their systems who were stopped by police for reckless driving found that 45% had marijuana and 25% had cocaine in their systems.

    I bend to the liberal side as well but do not understand the appeal of legalizing mj.

    As far as getting young people interested in politics… if this is what it takes, DW, we’re failing the youth of our country miserably.

  15. Those statistics show nothing. No one is suggesting making it legal to drive under the influence of drugs. Responsible users shouldn’t be prohibited, because others are unable to act responsibly.

    If marijuana is legalized, more people aren’t going to be driving under the influence. The people who do it now are going to continue, and the people who don’t drive under the influence aren’t going to suddenly lose their morals. Legal or illegial, criminals and addicts will get ahold of it. Don’t restrict marijuana for reponsible, law abiding citizens.

  16. Safe from what:  Those stats represent use while the drug is illegal, so the laws don’t seem to prevent this kind of thing.  Driving while impaired will still be illegal, as with alcohol.  If someone drives impaired, I want them arrested, if they are bonging out in their own home, eating Fritos, and taking a nap, I’m not sure why I should care.  The cost of arresting, prosecuting, jailing, and monitoring potheads and fighting a losing war on marijuana use is too high.

  17. Hey, “can I buy a vowel,” right on!  The campaign really has stimulated a debate.  If people talk about this enough, they are bound to come to the conclusion that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol.  Putting the direct health issues aside, the truth is that many people who are drunk get violent and hurt other people.  What the heck is so scary about an adult using marijuana?  Good point.  And your kinda cute, too.  😉

    And let me say this to “Safe from what”: Yes, if you support politics as is, you have failed the youth of this country miserably.  Don’t be surprised by what DW said, think about it.  Many of today’s youth are completely turned off by the Democratic Party (and the GOP, for that matter).  The fact that Democrats have obediently — and completely — supported the war on marijuana users is just one of the reasons.  The SAFER campaign is doing something that actually makes sense and could have a real impact on their lives (eventually)!  Should they be excited instead by calls of “Health Care for All!”  Sounds nice, but is it really going to happen.

  18. Okay.  Well, I disagree with all three of you but thanks for your comments.  I am in my twenties myself, work with those afflicted with all sorts of abuse issues and could spend weeks spouting statistics and relaying stories but the abundance of substantive debate that would take place is, in my opinion, ill supported in a blog forum.  But, in  my limited spare time, I look forward to following your comments on this issue on CP.

  19. Let me relate a recent anecdote, because it’s my first experience with medical marijuana.

    A friend’s aunt has been suffering from chemotherapy in NW Colorado.  She was very old, and her cancer prognosis was poor.  She was in constant pain and couldn’t eat.  The only concoction that doctors could come up with to ease the pain would basically make her comatose for a day.  And she knew there weren’t many days left, and didn’t want to spend them drugged out and asleep.

    My friend asked me if I could procure some pot cookies or brownies, because her aunt had actually asked about it.  (A shocking thing to hear from a frail, 90-year-old Republican.)  It took some asking around, but I got six cookies for her.

    Apparently they helped a lot.  She died last Wednesday, but she had several lucid days without excessive discomfort before that, and actually ate some food for a change.

    I know this isn’t directly germane to SAFER’s proposal.  But it’s another case where Colorado voted for something (med-pot) that has in practice been thwarted by state and federal officials.  Perhaps SAFER’s proposal will finally clue our leaders in that we want our tax dollars spent on more important enforcement issues.

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