Saturday, February 28, 2009

Glenn Beck: Giggling Stoner

This is the reason it's taken an economic crisis for the idea of legalizing cannabis to be taken seriously: because many of the movements opponents can not be taken so, and until they start treating it like a legitimate issue the debate can not happen. Glenn Beck uses every blatant exaggeration and stereotypical assumption (notice that he offers no real facts or scientific evidence to back up his claims, just knowing smirks and little laughs) he can muster to try and prove his point that cannabis is inherently "bad" and that the current economic crisis is just a smokescreen for degenerate lobbyists and stoners who want to destroy society and eat potato chips all day. Also, watch the clip with this observation in mind:

Which of these two comes across as though he’s high on pot? It’s not the one arguing for legalization.

Jesus. This guy's a Libertarian in the same way I'm a Socialist: a few of the tenets of the philosophy sound like good ideas but neither of us would ever really qualify as such. Plus I always take what militant former alcoholics and addicts say about substance abuse with a very large grain of salt. The mindset that because they couldn't control themselves, therefore the use of these substances is uncontrollable is self-centered at best and delusional at worst.


Intrepid Californio said...

I don't know what to think about that dude. The host. At least he let him speak. As far as the issue at hand, I am not so sure that legalizing pot is the best idea at this time.For one thing, it would still be illegal federally speaking. Also, It's not the lack of revenue from would be pot taxation that is the issue here. It's the fucking morons running our state. Tax on pot would just be more money squandered. Furthermore, they would have to create more bureaucracy in order to regulate it which would be more people doing the minimum amount of work for max pay on the pot smoker's dime. I guess.

JBW said...

Beck is a douche IC but let me address your concerns:

-President Obama made a promise during the campaign to stop all federal drug raids of medical cannabis dispensaries. Whether he upholds this promise and how that translates to broad legalization remains to be seen.

-Agreed, morons are running our state but I'm not sure if the best response is to just throw up our hands and not explore other possible revenue streams.

-Regulation would follow the example now set by alcohol and tobacco producers and vendors. To suggest that this would just be more lazy fucks goldbricking on our dime is a bit too cynical, in my opinion. I'm no fan of government but it is at times necessary. Do you expect private industry to ensure that our food, water, air and drugs are safe? And while you decide how to answer that question, here's a peanut butter sandwich with spinach and tomatoes served on a lead painted Chinese toy.

Intrepid Californio said...

Thanks for addressing JBW.

Yes I do understand the Administration's stated view on the dispensaries, and it will be interesting to see how that is "translated" to full blown legalization.

I am not saying that we should not consider it, I am just saying that I don't think that now is the time. I concede that this the opportunity to strike if all that you care about is marijuana legalization, but I think that it would be premature as far as the overall well being of the state and ultimately the country. If we start taking the steps toward drug legalization, we need to be willing and able to put rehabilitation and preventive measures in place. Although I like pot and I think that it should be legal. I don't buy that it is harmless. "Marijuana! it's a special kind of stupid." I know that there is not going to be a pandemic of marijuana related health issues, but I just don't think it is good for most people. So an infrastructure in an effort to detour and help addicts needs to be in place before legalization. It's your choice to smoke herb,but it's you right to be informed.

Now coming from a business point of view, it would make sense to go for it right now. I mean think about it. It would be a pretty good idea to encourage pot use on behalf of vendors and well, the State. After all, this is an untapped revenue source. Extreme? Yes. Plausible? definitely. Although there are restrictions in place to keep the alcohol and tobacco companies from pushing to certain demographics, I think it's a joke. They get their message to everyone loud and clear.

As far as regulation goes, I am down for regulation and government in general. I agree that it needs to be there. To a certain extent anyway. I do have some issues with the regulatory systems that are in place to deal with alcohol and tobacco, but as they say that is a topic for a different day. So, I still believe that in our state the people that would be collecting that money would indeed be squandering it. The way things are set up right now, it is too easy to pass laws that would manipulate the system and put the revenue stream into the pockets of crooks instead of into California's coffers. And being that we will indeed be taxed, it's at your and my expense. I just think that we need to fix some other problems before we tackle the issue of full on marijuana legalization. That's all. For now anyway.

JBW said...

IC, it now looks like Obama meant what he said about ending the raids on dispensaries but again, we'll see how that affects overall legalization efforts.

The main thrust of your argument seems to be that legalizing now for economic reasons would be a waste of time because our system is inefficient and run by corrupt bureaucrats. I agree with that assessment of our state government but if we had to wait until our government was being run smoothly by honest men of integrity before we enacted any meaningful legislation nothing would ever get done because that day will never come. But just the same, knowing that that day will never come should not prevent us from striving for better government and enacting legislation that makes sense from economic, ethical and legal standpoints.

As far as rehabilitation efforts, we already have a massive rehabilitation network in place for all manner of substances that could be easily expanded to address any rises (I wouldn't anticipate them to be very steep) in addiction caused by the increased usage that will likely occur after legalization, and this expansion could be financed with the revenue freed up by the decreased pressure on our law enforcement and legal systems that legalization would accomplish.

Drug addiction is something that should be dealt with as a health issue rather than a criminal act. I know that I myself have never claimed that cannabis use is harmless and I don't think that any reputable medical professional or legalization advocate would claim this either. The overall legalization argument is that any additional deleterious health/societal effects incurred would be minimal when compared with the harm prohibition and draconian drug laws have inflicted on millions of Americans through jail/prison time, legal costs, lost employment, broken families and destroyed lives.

You're right to insist that people should be properly informed about the risks of cannabis use but I would add that they should also be properly informed about the benefits as well. We don't live in a black or white world and cannabis has its good and bad points, just as almost every other substance we choose to put into our bodies has theirs but the sheer amount of misinformation churned out by governmental agencies and pro-prohibition lobbies has been staggering in its scope and deceptiveness. The demonization of this plant has been the official policy of the federal government for many decades now despite many of their own studies proving this message to be false. As I wrote in the post, this is a debate that we need to have but it can not occur until everyone on the panel starts acting like honest adults.

The main caveat I would include here is that legalization has to be done extremely carefully and methodically. Deciding exactly what actions would and would not be legal, who can dispense the drug and how this is to be done, where and how it will be consumed, what health regulations must be in place, how taxation would occur, whether people will be allowed to grow their own; these are all questions that must be discussed and ultimately answered before the task of legalization can commence in earnest and the reason I say that it must be done very carefully and methodically is because if it is not the legalization movement will most likely be set back decades as a result of any failures in this process.

I don't think that it will be easy and I do agree that we have more pressing issues at hand but I would at least like to see the idea being taken seriously and the current economic climate seems to have had a sobering effect on many people who in the past were opposed to even considering legalization as a possibility for the future. I'm also not arguing for instantaneous legalization but rather that we at least start having an honest discussion. For too long now sincere and concerned citizens have been making reasoned and rational arguments for why cannabis legalization should occur only to be summarily dismissed by idiots like Beck who can't address the topic without resorting to brownie jokes and Cheech and Chong impressions. Now that the grown ups are back in charge of the White House maybe we'll see a trickle down effect on society; a type of voodoo intellectualism, if you will. Time will tell, I suppose.