Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 420

 

shutterstock_114904339If I know anything about Ricochet members, it’s that you love your weed. Half of you are probably baked right now. I can’t attend a member meetup without tripping over at least a dozen bongs and hookahs. (I don’t know how Peter Robinson gets the smell out of his fair-trade hemp poncho.)

So, happy 4/20, man. For that tiny minority of non-weedheads on Ricochet, today’s the unofficial holiday for marijuana and those who love it. The date is a reference to 4:20, which was the time of day a group of smokers called The Waldos would blaze up in 1971:

The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time. The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase “4:20 Louis.” Multiple failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply “4:20”, which ultimately evolved into a codeword that the teens used to mean marijuana-smoking in general. Mike Edison says that Steven Hager of High Times was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to “mind-boggling, cult like extremes” and “suppressing” all other stories about the origin of the term.

Hager wrote “Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?” in which he called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis. He attributes the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers, who were also linked to the city of San Rafael.

Lots of Grateful Dead fans like drugs? I learn something new every day.

Marijuana is now having a larger impact on American culture due to the legalization efforts in Colorado, Washington state, and the District of Columbia. Prominent politicians in both parties are calling for the easing of restrictions and, at the very least, a decriminalization of cannabis.

Wired magazine put together an interesting video on the state of marijuana in the U.S:

I’ve never been a fan of weed and traditionally cared little about its legalization. I don’t smoke and none of my friends did either (that I knew of), so why bother changing the law? Booze is already legal; do we really need another substance to lower productivity in this lousy economy?

Admittedly, much of my opposition to weed was a cultural thing. I hate Phish concerts, dreadlocks on white guys, and Seth Rogen movies. And don’t get me started on the stomach-churning smell. Sorry hippies, but if you want to escape reality for a few hours, down a tumbler of scotch since that’s my drug of choice.

As I’ve gotten more libertarian over the years, I realized I was a big, fat hypocrite on the issue. I don’t use tobacco, eat kale or listen to Maroon 5, but I don’t want any of them outlawed except Maroon 5. Who am I to use the power of the state against people who like to smoke weed?

What does Ricochet think about the stuff? Should it be legalized, decriminalized or kept completely illegal? Has your viewpoint changed over the past few years?

There are 95 comments.

  1. Petty Boozswha Member

    I think Congress made a big mistake when we repealed prohibition – I definitely agree it should have been repealed but they should have retained the right to regulate or prohibit any advertising of intoxicants for commercial purposes. I have no problem with live and let live, but am going to hate the marketing that is going to accompany this new product.

    • #1
    • April 20, 2015, at 4:29 PM PDT
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  2. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    It should remain completely illegal. Marijuana is for losers. Always has been, always will be.

    • #2
    • April 20, 2015, at 4:38 PM PDT
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  3. Fred Cole Member

    What the hell is kale?

    • #3
    • April 20, 2015, at 4:39 PM PDT
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  4. Fred Cole Member

    Mike LaRoche:It should remain completely illegal. Marijuana is for losers. Always has been, always will be.

    I know. That’s how I feel about beer.

    • #4
    • April 20, 2015, at 4:40 PM PDT
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  5. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Never touched the stuff my entire life. Had exposure as a kid a couple times. Dedicated SoCon, but, I voted (in Colorado) to legalize it and I know several other abstaining SoCons who voted to legalize for, what I consider to be, very legitimate reasons (as a matter of justice, to close the gateway, etc.)

    Now, what do I think about pot?

    I think it’s destructive with habitual use and in certain forms (I now wish we had separated “edibles” from “smokable” when deciding the Colorado law). I tell my kids it makes people stupid and unmotivated, so don’t do it.

    I think the state is likely to screw up the market by overtaxing pot, creating the incentive for a black market (which puts us right back where we were with people buying from criminals who are strongly motivated to hook buyers on something stronger and more expensive — opening the gateway again).

    I think edibles are a bad idea leading to bad trips due to poor feedback mechanism caused by the delayed effect of ingesting pot rather than smoking it.

    I also wish a market for “heirloom” pot (organically grown!) with much lower THC levels would develop.

    “Now kids will get their hands on it” is a lousy argument against legalization as kids have always gotten their hands on it (even kids from good families — even people I know /bites knuckles), and it’s still illegal for kids to consume pot to this day.

    I’d like to see enforcement come down hard on illegal use (public pot smoking on 4/20) and especially on adults who supply it to minors.

    I feel bad for the border towns in Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming who are finding their police enforcement expenses dramatically increased by people crossing into Colorado and coming back with a legally purchased (in Colorado) but illegally possessed substance in those states. I wish this could be resolved without involving the feds (SCOTUS), but I don’t see how.

    Public policy is hard.

    • #5
    • April 20, 2015, at 4:51 PM PDT
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  6. Hammer, The Member

    hah – you just reminded me that if I want to go down to the legal weed store (less than a mile from my office), I should probably just wait until tomorrow.

    Couldn’t agree more about guys with dreds (frankly, I don’t generally like them on black dudes, either) and maroon 5.

    I’ll be really interested to see how crime stats change in the states w/ legal vs. the states with illegal. And in the meantime, I’ll consider myself still not a hypocrite for being perfectly fine with weed while remaining staunchly opposed to the legalization of things like meth and heroin. With cocaine I’m on the fence. I’m having the kind of week where it would really come in handy! ;)

    • #6
    • April 20, 2015, at 4:53 PM PDT
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  7. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I hate dreadlocks. Period.

    • #7
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:00 PM PDT
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  8. Cow Girl Thatcher

    Here’s the thing about grass, weed, dope, marijuana….I watched, up close, someone who smoked it every day for about 14 years. Also during that time, he held down a job, brought in an income, was promoted and lived his life. However…when he decided he didn’t want to be a doper anymore at age 28, he realized that his personality was pretty much in a suspended state. He discovered (in rehab) that he needed to work through all the angst that most adults had dealt with during their teen years. He realized that, even though he’d functioned in the world, life had gone on around him while he sat on the couch, stoned. He had made no personal progress.

    This is the story he tells teenagers who ask him about his past: Yes, you can get along in life while smoking a joint every night. But you won’t get very far.

    Whether or not to legalize it? It’s no more intoxicating than alcohol, and probably less addictive. But, seriously…alcohol is a scourge–physically and socially.

    The only two good reasons I can think of for legalization:

    • eliminate jail time for a stupid, petty offense
    • decrease the profits for the Mexican cartels
    • #8
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:00 PM PDT
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  9. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Petty Boozswha:I think Congress made a big mistake when we repealed prohibition – I definitely agree it should have been repealed but they should have retained the right to regulate or prohibit any advertising of intoxicants for commercial purposes. I have no problem with live and let live, but am going to hate the marketing that is going to accompany this new product.

    As opposed to the marketing that already exists? Just because it doesn’t necessarily mention the product, that doesn’t mean the product isn’t being endorsed.

    Honestly? In the same way as I’d like to see marijuana being sold by big corporations because the reactions would be hilarious (bonus points if it’s a tobacco company) I also kinda want to see an ad campaign for it.

    • #9
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:08 PM PDT
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  10. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I had a hookah in college back in the 1960s. I only used it to smoke pipe tobacco. I’m still bitter.

    • #10
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:11 PM PDT
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  11. Fred Cole Member

    Western Chauvinist:Never touched the stuff my entire life.

    You’re not really missing anything.

    • #11
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:12 PM PDT
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  12. Fred Cole Member

    Western Chauvinist:I think edibles are a bad idea leading to bad trips due to poor feedback mechanism caused by the delayed effect of ingesting pot rather than smoking it.

    If you eat too much rum cake it can literally kill you, would you ban that too?

    Some people can have a bad time with edibles, but only if you’re a nimrod like Maureen Dowd. (And you can bet she won’t do that again.) But it won’t kill you. Alcohol overdoses kill people. There were 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths last year in the US.

    ZERO people die from marijuana overdoses.

    You’re absolutely right to steer your kids away from marijuana though. Marijuana consumption while your brain is still forming can screw some things up.

    • #12
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:18 PM PDT
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  13. Concretevol Thatcher

    Fred, you are going to hell over that beer comment my friend…. :)

    • #13
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:30 PM PDT
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  14. Profile Photo Member

    I’ve never heard a credible argument for why alcohol should be legal while marijuana should not be.

    The bottom line for me is that it’s a free country, and if that means anything, it’s got to mean broad freedom to make bad choices. This isn’t a limitless principle, but marijuana usage simply doesn’t come close to exceeding what limits there should be.

    • #14
    • April 20, 2015, at 5:48 PM PDT
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  15. PHCheese Member

    We have spent the last thirty years trying to stamp out tobacco use because of physical health reasons. It would seem to me the “other” weed has both physical and mental health consequences. Yes , history does repeat itself.

    • #15
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:06 PM PDT
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  16. Fred Cole Member

    PHCheese:We have spent the last thirty years trying to stamp out tobacco use because of physical health reasons. It would seem to me the “other” weed has both physical and mental health consequences. Yes , history does repeat itself.

    People don’t consume them the same way. It’s kinda apples to oranges.

    Even heavy pot smokers don’t chain smoke pot.

    • #16
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:08 PM PDT
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  17. Fred Cole Member

    Concretevol:Fred, you are going to hell over that beer comment my friend…. :)

    I know. But it’s true. I know way too many people who have wasted their lives due to beer.

    (I also know adults who can responsibly enjoy it without a problem.)

    • #17
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:10 PM PDT
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  18. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fred Cole:

    Western Chauvinist:I think edibles are a bad idea leading to bad trips due to poor feedback mechanism caused by the delayed effect of ingesting pot rather than smoking it.

    If you eat too much rum cake it can literally kill you, would you ban that too?

    Some people can have a bad time with edibles, but only if you’re a nimrod like Maureen Dowd. (And you can bet she won’t do that again.) But it won’t kill you. Alcohol overdoses kill people. There were 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths last year in the US.

    ZERO people die from marijuana overdoses.

    You’re absolutely right to steer your kids away from marijuana though. Marijuana consumption while your brain is still forming can screw some things up.

    Nah, it’s not about stupid people doing things stupidly. It’s about leaving your weed candy laying around where your toddler picks it up and pops it in his mouth.

    — okay, maybe it is about stupid people. But, I think selling pot-laced candy bars and cookies is a whole ‘nother category from smoking products. I wish we’d limit legal sales to smoking products.

    *Note: It’s the only good data point I heard from Bill Bennett in his C-SPAN interview with Jonah Goldberg. There are parents showing up in emergency rooms and pediatrician offices with little kids who’ve been sickened by consuming pot.

    • #18
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:23 PM PDT
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  19. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Whether it’s legal or not is kind of a useless premise. You can buy it if you want it, easily. That it’s legal in some places just gives you more choice.

    There’s something to be said that by legalizing it, it opens up the door to wider usage, and I think that’s true. I also think that like most things that are taboo, they become more desirable (especially to young people) simply because you can’t have it.

    The thing you can’t have becomes the thing you will go well out of your way now to acquire.

    That said, a lot of the arguments that “beer is X, weed is Y, so it’s different”, are really just cute ways of disguising the fact that pot, like alcohol and other drugs, is a drug, and it changes your perception of reality, big, small, good or bad. It does.

    Like most drugs, a little now and again shouldn’t be a big deal. But many of these substances are addictive, physically, and psychologically – and essentially, those two things are the Twin Towers of addiction. They go hand in hand. And once the addiction sets in, even if the person is high functioning, it is a flat-out addiction – with all the lovely connotations found therein.

    So toke up – enjoy. Keep in mind, though, that there’s usually a price to be paid down the line for everything we do, even with the best and mildest of intentions. To casually bat away this reality on a website does not make it less real.

    • #19
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:33 PM PDT
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  20. HeartofFLA Inactive

    Dude. (Nods head in affirmation)

    • #20
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:34 PM PDT
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  21. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dave’s not here, man.

    • #21
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:46 PM PDT
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  22. Fred Cole Member

    Western Chauvinist:Nah, it’s not about stupid people doing things stupidly. It’s about leaving your weed candy laying around where your toddler picks it up and pops it in his mouth.

    – okay, maybe it is about stupid people. But, I think selling pot-laced candy bars and cookies is a whole ‘nother category from smoking products. I wish we’d limit legal sales to smoking products.

    *Note: It’s the only good data point I heard from Bill Bennett in his C-SPAN interview with Jonah Goldberg. There are parents showing up in emergency rooms and pediatrician offices with little kids who’ve been sickened by consuming pot.

    Toddlers accidentally ingest cigarette butts and alcohol too. Responsible parenting means keeping stuff away from kids.

    And, not for nothing, but why shouldn’t I, as an adult who has no kids, be forbidden?

    And, WC, you’re falling into that prohibitionist trap again. People have been making pot brownies for decades. It’s not hard to do. You could ban selling them, but people would still make and share them. Banning them would mean police raiding kitchens of suspected “criminals” for cooking the wrong thing.

    Would you ban rum cake too?

    • #22
    • April 20, 2015, at 6:48 PM PDT
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  23. LunaticRex Inactive

    I could expand on it at some length, but suffice to say I’m in the ‘decriminalize it and let people be’ camp. If that isn’t a camp yet, I’ll pitch a tent and roll a fat one (unless it’s against the law, of course).

    • #23
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:11 PM PDT
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  24. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The major problem with decriminalization is this:

    IF you are going to compare weed and booze then treat them exactly the same. Not as they are possessed but how they manufactured and labled. That means strict testing of the THC is in the product one is using, just as alcohol levels are clearly marked on wine and spirits and strictly controlled on beer.

    • #24
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:13 PM PDT
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  25. Fred Cole Member

    EJHill:The major problem with decriminalization is this:

    IF you are going to compare weed and booze then treat them exactly the same. Not as they are possessed but how they manufactured and labled. That means strict testing of the THC is in the product one is using, just as alcohol levels are clearly marked on wine and spirits and strictly controlled on beer.

    Are you okay with that requirement for alcohol?

    Frankly, I see it as a legacy of Prohibition.

    • #25
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:22 PM PDT
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  26. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fred Cole:Are you okay with that requirement for alcohol?

    Absolutely. Because people base rational decisions on it.

    Someone who is out knows that they can handle ‘X’ beers or ‘Y’ glasses of wine. They don’t think and don’t want to think “OK, my weight is ‘X’ and you’ve fed me “Y” ounces of wine and the alcohol content on the first 8 ounces was “A” and it was “B” on the next 12…” etc., etc.

    Don’t ask people to do math. Some aren’t all that hot with the present setup!

    • #26
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:29 PM PDT
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  27. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    I hate marijuana to the core of my being, and I find it extremely hard to have any respect for potheads. I have to force myself to consider them fellow citizens. It’s the perfect drug for making ideal slaves – mindless and weak-willed. I generally try to stay away from drug legalization discussions because it is hard for me to approach it rationally. I honestly don’t care if this makes me a horrible statist monster.

    • #27
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:38 PM PDT
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  28. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dave’s not here, man.

    • #28
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:50 PM PDT
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  29. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    OmegaPaladin: I honestly don’t care if this makes me a horrible statist monster.

    A man that good needs an avatar as good as his name!

    OP

    • #29
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:54 PM PDT
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  30. Tommy De Seno Contributor

    Legalize all of it, but tie the ability to receive welfare benefits to testing negative for it. That way you get to do what you want, and I don’t have to pay for the loss of your productivity.

    Like that will ever happen.

    • #30
    • April 20, 2015, at 7:59 PM PDT
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