Tag: Marijuana

Vape Your High


shutterstock_274257785This may instantly mark me as a hopelessly out-of-it person, but it’s something I didn’t know. From YaleNews: (yeah, yeah, I know, I know)

E-cigarettes not only vaporize nicotine, but they work with marijuana as well, American teenagers are discovering.

Yale University researchers surveyed 3,847 Connecticut high school students and found nearly one in five e-cigarette users also have used the device to vaporize cannabis or byproducts like hash oil, according to a study published Sept. 7 in the journal Pediatrics.

Christie, Pot, and the Rule of Law


shutterstock_133014050As Ricochet member ShellGamer wrote late last year, Colorado and Washington’s (and now Alaska’s) legalization of marijuana has both created and exposed a constitutional mess. In brief, neighboring states are suing the Obama Administration for its policy of turning a blind eye to federal drug laws. Meanwhile, Congress shrugs its shoulders and acts uninterested in either forcing the president to enforce the law, or in repealing or amending it. If elected president Governor Chris Christie says he’ll have none of it:

“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” Christie, a Republican campaigning for the 2016 presidential nomination, said Tuesday during a town-hall meeting at the Salt Hill Pub in Newport, New Hampshire. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.” […]  “That’s lawlessness,” he said. “If you want to change the marijuana laws, go ahead and change the national marijuana laws.”

Christie certainly has an argument, especially on that last point: when confronted with genuinely bad laws, the proper response should always be to repeal or reform. Keeping laws you don’t plan to enforce on the books encourages lawbreaking in general, and invites caprice on the part of enforcement. If one thing unites the entire spectrum of the right, from anarcho-capitalists to NeoCons, it’s the belief that the rule of law matters.

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Observations during our visit to Denver this year:  1. I forgot that marijuana is now a reality out here.  Lately, I’m reminded every time we go out for pizza and see “Options Medical Center” nearby, in the same strip mall. My husband’s parents tell me that’s where you can go get the stuff. The name […]

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The Mainstreaming of Gun Rights


Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 1.33.08 PMYou’ll be forgiven for not appreciating the extent to which gun-rights advocates have enjoyed success comparable to that of same-sex marriage and marijuana decriminalization advocates over the past decade.

With each mass shooting — most recently the racist massacre in Charleston – progressives show a mix of arrogance and disdain: arrogance aboout their own virtue and disdainful of Americans’ exceptional attitude toward guns. But everyone involved knows that when the gun grabbers’ moment in the sun passes, it’s the gun nuts who eventually carry the day.

And they always do.

The Vice Spiral


shutterstock_139513784The beauty of Ricochet is how one thought spawns another, a true ricochet of thoughts bouncing from one member to the next. David Sussman‘s post on Las Vegas got me thinking about the spiraling effects of lawmakers preying on their constituents’ weaknesses in order to wring every last available dollar out of them for, you know, the children.

Nevada has always been the industry leader. When divorce was a complicated procedure in America, Nevada filled the gap. In 1931, the state simplified its divorce laws and reduced its residency requirement to six weeks. They essentially created divorce tourism. By 1940, almost 5% of the total number of divorces filed in the US were in Nevada.

Divorce resorts cropped up everywhere, but especially in Reno. The town’s name became synonymous with the “quickie divorce.” In The Awful Truth (1937), Cary Grant quips, “The road to Reno is paved with suspicions.”



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.

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David Deeble directed me to this story at the Washington Post, which in turn cites Ben Swann’s website. Basically, an 11-year-old student remarked on his mother’s use of cannabis oil during an anti-marijuana presentation at school, after which the boy was seized by CPS and the mother’s home was forcibly searched for illegal drugs.  There […]

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Here is a story of a mother and cannabis activist whose eleven-year-old son spoke up during his DARE program at school about some of the facts the officer was incorrect about. As [Banda] Shona’s son listened to the misinformation given by authorities to his class during the drug education presentation, he courageously spoke up and informed […]

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Why the Export-Import Bank Was My Deal-Breaker


Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 2.54.09 PMOur last poll here at Ricochet asked our members what policy position would be most likely to be a deal-breaker for them if held by a Republican presidential candidate. Despite the fact that there were 10 options, supporting citizenship for illegal aliens nearly commanded a majority (49 percent), with a pro-choice stance on abortion coming in a distant second (24 percent). All of the other options were in the single digits, with support for NSA surveillance or raising the federal minimum wage tied for third at 6 percent.

I’m apparently way outside of the Ricochet mainstream on this one, as my choice — supporting the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank — garnered only one percent of the vote, tying with marijuana legalization and sending U.S. troops to fight ISIS for dead last. Now, I can anticipate the response that some of you will have, because I heard it in a few private conversations about this survey: how on earth could you prioritize Ex-Im over the life of the unborn or combatting terrorism? Well, I don’t. But let me offer you a theory: which issue is most important to you shouldn’t necessarily be the same as which one is most disqualifying.

Let me explain: I knocked four of the 10 issues out of contention from the start because they don’t bother me. As a Republican with a conservatarian bent, I’m basically fine with marijuana legalization and gay marriage, although I wish both would be handled at the state level rather than through the non-enforcement of federal law or activism from the federal judiciary, respectively. I’m also largely (though not entirely) unbothered by NSA surveillance and pretty set on the idea that dealing effectively with ISIS will eventually necessitate some sort of American presence on the ground.

The Costs of Prohibition


shutterstock_177594347Continuing on today’s theme of prohibition, a common and very reasonable argument made by prohibitionists is to point to all the dangers, criminality, and immorality associated with proscribed activities and ask whether society should invite more of them. The implication is that these problems are intrinsic to the activity itself and should further tip the scales toward prohibition.

Examples abound. Consider Bill Bennett & Robert White’s point in Going to Pot that modern marijuana is more potent than ever before; dangerously so, they say. Regarding a different kind of vice, prostitution opponents have, of late, focused their attention on the dangers and exploitation women and girls face, to the point that the trade is sometimes presented as being nearly synonymous with human trafficking.

While we can stipulate that intoxicants and the selling of sex are more likely to be fraught than other industries, prohibition — or regulations equivalent to it — can have the simultaneous effect of reducing consumption (at least a little) while making what consumption remains even more dangerous than before. As Milton Friedman argued nearly 40 years ago, increasing a drug’s potency increases its portability, something highly desired in contraband. Analogously, consider both how much easier it is to smuggle whisky into a party than a full case of beer and how much more potentially dangerous the former is.

Let’s Just Criminalize Prohibition


imageAs marijuana legalization and decriminalization gains traction nationwide — DC this morning, as well as Alaska, the first red state to decriminalize — I can’t help but feel that it is inevitable that my own home state of New Jersey will follow suit sooner rather than later. Although New Jersey can, at times, feel like living in a liberty hinterland, the state’s blueish nature should, at least theoretically, lead to gains on the civil liberties front. Nonetheless, we still find that our politicians rely upon old saws in constructing their political positions on the intoxicant.

For instance, take the claim that marijuana is a gateway drug that will lead to a general decline of society. Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth) is putting together an anti-legalization activist group. Its platform will include arguments relating to “health and incarceration statistics about marijuana users, and questions about additional costs that might be incurred as a result of legalization.”

I’m certain the assemblywoman means well, but, frankly, the tide of facts and history moves against her efforts. Without having the benefit of really being able to parse her incipient group’s position, it seems hard to believe that legalized marijuana will do anything but dry up a significant portion of the criminal trafficking in our state and nation. Thus, at the outset, a major social cost related to enforcing prohibition disappears — if not overnight, then very quickly.

Will California (Once Again) Fear the Reefer?


On Tuesday, and with little fanfare (maybe that’s because smoke has a hard time wafting down from the Last Frontier to the Lower 48), Alaska became just the third state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana use. Oregon and Washington D.C. also approved recreational marijuana last year, joining Colorado and Washington State, which broke ground in 2012. D.C.’s law will likely go into effect by week’s end. Oregon law won’t change until later this year.

Voters approved the notion by a 52%-48% margin, but left it to lawmakers to work out the kinks in allowing adults to legally partake in the herb in private places. And under the category of can’t smoke ‘em if you don’t got ‘em: it’ll be a while before Alaskans will be making a purchase.

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MARIJUANA AND PLASTIC BAGS Most of us are old enough to remember when plastic grocery bags were legal but not marijuana. If envy really is the only deadly sin which does not provide even temporary pleasure, then it’s my unhappy lot to look on as Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington (state and District) legalize recreational marijuana […]

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The Sky Hasn’t Fallen On Colorado’s Roads


25 SouthWhen Washington State and Colorado voters legalized marijuana in 2012, many worried that the decision would lead to mayhem on the Evergreen and Centennial states’ roadways.

The good thing about experimentation, however, is that you get results.  As the adviser to Washington’s state-appointed board overseeing the implementation put it, the repeals offer a chance for the nation to learn about the effects of legalization:

If Washington does this right, we’ll learn something. If they do it in some sensible way and it crashes and burns—the system doesn’t work at all, we get a massive increase in use by minors, carnage on our highways—then we’ve also learned something about the cannabis-legalization experiment that the next person might learn from.

Dubio about Rubio


shutterstock_180970304I’m asking a lot of my politicians, I know, but I don’t really care about what they did in their youth or whether they were absolute straight arrows. In fact, I prefer that they had at least a little bit of a rebel streak in their teens. They didn’t have to get great grades in high school either. 

But I do expect them to have a certain level of common sense and an ability to address silly notions, and here is where Marco Rubio has shown some incompetence.

Rubio explained that his decision not to answer the question [of whether he’s ever used marijuana] goes back to an encounter he had after publishing his memoir, “American Son.” In the book, Rubio reveals that he was not a disciplined student in his youth and had a 2.1 GPA in high school.