Lawyer Says Drug War Needs Major Changes 

  Lawyer Says Drug War Needs Major Changes 

Posted by CN Staff on September 17, 2005 at 06:50:15 PT
By Brian Kelly 
Source: South Whidbey Record 

Washington -- America’s war on drugs has failed, and the United States should take a new approach to illegal drugs other than throwing drug users in jail, said Roger Goodman, director of the King County Bar Association’s Drug Policy Project.In a speech Thursday to the League of Women Voters of South Whidbey Island, Goodman presented the outline for a new legal framework to handle drugs.
The plan focuses on getting treatment for drug users, and includes suggestions such as retail sales of marijuana at state shops and dispensaries for addicts of drugs like heroin.“The war on drugs is a failure. It’s actually fundamentally flawed,” Goodman said.Punishment has not decreased the use of drugs.“And if you try to clamp down at the source, it just pops up everywhere else. There’s an unrelenting demand for the substances,” he said.Much work has been, and should be, focused on prevention. But Goodman said the just-say-no approach doesn’t work.“Our kids see through that,” he said. “They see drug use at home and on TV. We’re not in a drug-free society and kids know this.”Talking about a new approach to America’s drug problem is controversial, Goodman admitted.“In the drug area, we kind of keep running into a moralistic, ideological barrier. And so we continue to punish those who take drugs and lock them up.”Goodman has worked full-time studying drug issues in recent years as leader of the King County Bar Association’s Drug Policy Project.He recalled how a task force of professionals in law, from judges to attorneys, gathered to review America’s drug laws and policies. The coalition has since grown to include numerous other professionals from the law, medical and social services fields.“There’s no hidden agenda. We’re not a front for fringy, pony-tailed pot smokers,” Goodman said.“We have legitimate objectives to reduce crime, to improve health, to protect children and to save money.”Goodman touched on the reasons why some drugs today are illegal, and others aren’t.Often, drugs were made illegal because of the people who were using them, he said.Coffee use was punishable by death in some cultures in the 1500s. Coffee made people more talkative, and the ruling class got worried when people started talking about the government.“This is the history of prohibition, as we have taken substances to alter our state of mind, we become dangerous to the powers that be,” he said.His group’s study on the issue, Goodman said, led to the conclusion that a prohibition against drugs just doesn’t work.But that doesn’t mean a blind eye should be turned to drug addiction, he added.Instead, the degree of state control over a psychoactive substance should reflect the degree of risk of problematic use and harm on society from each drug. A state commission should be convened to review how drugs can be regulated.Laws already exist to hold people accountable for their behavior, he said, like laws against impaired driving. Still, the bar association’s drug project has set limits on how drugs should be supplied to users.“We’re not talking about going to Bartell’s and picking up your heroin,” he added. As it currently exists, the war on drugs can’t be won.“We’ve already surrendered. We’ve surrendered control of these dangerous substances to violent criminal enterprises,” Goodman said.As soon as one is stopped, another sprouts up to take its place.What’s needed, he said, is a new legal framework.“Marijuana needs to be regulated. It’s crying out for regulation,” Goodman said.He said marijuana could be suppled to users through private producers or medical co-ops, at a minimum, and perhaps through retail sales at state stores.“That gets me scared,” Goodman said. “Because then there’s too much availability.”Even so, marijuana is already too easy for children to get.More discussion needs to take place before a regulatory scheme can be created.“We’re just string to talk about this. We don’t have the flesh on the bones yet,” he said.Meanwhile, Goodman said, work continues to find ways where law enforcement can work with drug users to intervene before arrests so addicts can get treatment. The opportunities for drug users to get help fall away after they are brought into the criminal justice system.For example, just offering drug treatment referral information during drug arrests in Great Britain has show to be successful in getting addicts to seek help.Changing the approach to illegal drugs is highly controversial.“However, the political culture changes,” Goodman said, adding that five years ago, treatment rather than jail was a radical idea.“Somebody needs to lead. Somebody needs to keep pushing the envelope,” Goodman said.Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley said he was encouraged by talk about increased prevention efforts and treatment options, but said he has to enforce drug laws that are already on the books.The number-one drug problem in Island County is alcohol use, Hawley said.He added that he had only been to one domestic violence case in his entire law enforcement career where both people were sober.“Alcohol is huge,” Hawley said.Complete Title: Lawyer Says Drug War Needs Major Changes Attorney Says Source: South Whidbey Record (WA)Author:  Brian Kelly Published: September 17, 2005Copyright: 2005 South Whidbey RecordContact: editor southwhidbeyrecord.comWebsite: Justice Archives 

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Comment #36 posted by rchandar on September 18, 2005 at 20:46:02 PT:
my solution
legalize cannabis,
free all prisoners,
and offer free treatment to addicts.--rchandar
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Comment #35 posted by Hope on September 17, 2005 at 18:01:35 PT
E_Johnson, comment 22
"Can I believe it?"I sure can! It sounds exactly like what happens when one of my sisters gets to drinking. It's horrible. "Diggin up bones"...ranting over all the injustices that I and everyone else have wrought on her...especially me...since I'm the only one who will listen to her when she gets like that. I get told up one side and down the other what an awful person I am and have always been and how stupid and worthless I am. I learned early on that it's a big mistake to even try and defend myself against her accusations. I just listen. It doesn't even pay to try to apoligize for wrongs she feels I've done. It only makes it worse if I do, because then she will accuse me...and everyone else in the world who might apologize for something, of being insincere and refusing to accept that I'm awful. She flat out refuses my apology and gets madder than ever. It's awful. It can go on for hours and long as there is alcohol to fuel the "fire".I used to think she was letting out real feelings, but over time and with careful observation of the things she was ranting about, I finally came to learn that the abuse she was letting fly was really something the alcohol consumption was causing. Thankfully, she was able to realize it for herself and accept that anymore than a couple of light drinks would turn her into a monster. She says in hindsight that she can now see how alcohol use destroyed her marriage. Her husband and she drank on weekends and fought like demons out of hell. Only looking back, years after, did she realize that it was the drinking that was causing them both to get mean and verbally abuse each other. It's so obvious to her now she can't imagine that they couldn't see what was happening when it was happening. They'd get along all week then start drinking at the weekend and fight horrendously the entire weekend...until they both couldn't stand each other anymore. They would have probably been fine if they had left off the alcohol.Of course, alcohol doesn't effect everyone that way. Not me, for sure, but I think it causes that more than people realize and I can only hope they come to realize what is really causing it and learn to avoid it before they destroy their relationships with all the people they really care about and their lives and health along with those relationships.
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Comment #34 posted by runruff on September 17, 2005 at 16:32:55 PT:
Yes. That's it but I haven't been able to access it from
Paul's website for quite some time. I will call him and ask
if his server is up and running or what? I saw Paul here 
in So. Oregon a few weeks ago. He is a busy man helping many sick people get their medicine. Paul works tirelessly
for a great and noble cause. Enjoy!Namaste
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Comment #33 posted by goneposthole on September 17, 2005 at 16:16:45 PT
Who hasn't tried cannabis?
Alcoholics that I know and have known now for over thirty years are dried out and on the wagon. They do actively seek cannabis for some relief.Alcohol has darn near killed them and they have been lucky not to have killed anyone because of their drinking.Not so with cannabis. So, yes, it is time to legalize cannabis. Will it happen?Not yet, but there is plenty of it around to be had.It's the 'Land of the Free' and the 'Home of the Brave.' So, no, you can't smoke it legally. It's the 'law.'I broke the law today, though; I smoked a bowl or two of some purdy darn good cheebah. I'll do it again sometime. Smoking reefer is fun.I also drank three beers today. That's legal. Someday, I'll understand it all. If I end up in hell, well, that's ok.If Pat Robertson can serve God and Mammon both, so can I."Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. The hell I can't! Look at the Reverand Pat Robertson. And He is as happy as a pig in s**t." - Kurt Vonnegut 
Kurt Vonnegut
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Comment #32 posted by runderwo on September 17, 2005 at 15:40:50 PT
Is this the correct one?
Let My People Grow
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Comment #31 posted by runruff on September 17, 2005 at 13:47:16 PT:
Send me a mailing address and postage and I will send it to you.
I am runruff Or Jerry Sisson P.O. box 775 Cave Junction, Or. 97523 I'll send you as many as you want
if you will give them away. Educate, legalize, freedom first. "Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it".
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Comment #30 posted by Toker00 on September 17, 2005 at 13:18:18 PT
DVD runruff
How can I get one?Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 13:04:13 PT
I don't remember what you said but I remember a separation in music between those that drank and those that were more like hippies. I hope this makes sense.
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 13:00:01 PT
I'm glad you like CNews. That made me smile.
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Comment #27 posted by Dankhank on September 17, 2005 at 12:51:43 PT
Drinkin' n smokin'
Back in the sixties, R Crumb posited perfectly by having Fearless Frank offer this gem to readers in an alacrious manner:Hey Kids, Remember! "Smokin' dope and drinking beer is like pissing in the wind!"Coincidently, that was about the same time I eschewed alcohol for a decade or so. I still believe it ...
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Comment #26 posted by knowhemp on September 17, 2005 at 12:46:05 PT
abuse and healing
alcohol is no doubt the most dangerous drug i can think of. There may be drugs that will hurt you more, but alcohol will having you hurting others and it's so older brother has been an alcoholic for decades, but he has finally seemed to leave it alone. he's a ganja smoker at heart, and extrememly compassionate and kind. but when he gets lonely (he's also schizophrenic) he tends to get caught up with other lonely acoholics and that's when TSHTF. he's had sooo many chances, and has really blown it, almost everytime due to alcohol. the only time i think alcohol didn't ruin his chances it was meth. he finally kicked meth when his life spiralled out of control and he lost everything and almost his life. he moved back east to live with me, my younger brother and our parents and got back to normal, only later to find alcohol again. if ganja were legal he would be able to do the only thing he's ever really wanted to do, and that's grow herb and play music. it would help him stay out of trouble and keep him from getting depressed in the first.thanks FoM for your site! It's the highlight of my day:)
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Comment #25 posted by runruff on September 17, 2005 at 12:23:47 PT:
Unnecessary spending will be cut?
What the -----. Who is our government to be spending tax payers money unnecessarily anyway? I think this remark is very telling. I pay local and state taxes. I do not, will not pay fed taxes. Fed taxes go toward depleting forest, killing people in forign lands and here at home. Fed funds 
support a war on American people in the name of drugs.
Fed tax money is stolen by the billions by people entrusted to manage it. No I do not, will not pay fed taxes!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #24 posted by E_Johnson on September 17, 2005 at 11:53:13 PT
Another thing I realized
Drinking and growing pot don't go together, beause it's better to be sober when you put your babies to bed at night and wake them up in the morning, and that really cuts into the partying possibilities.
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Comment #23 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on September 17, 2005 at 11:03:00 PT
Alcohol and cannabis use rates
Legally available cannabis will decrease alcohol consumption in this country, but it won't stop it. There are all kinds of people - among them alcoholics, as well as people who plain prefer alcohol to cannabis. There is also a large segment of the population who right now have to pass a urinalysis for whatever reason and are forced to choose either alcohol or total sobriety. There are entire industries full of people who are forced to make the "drunk or sober" choice and many of them would choose cannabis over being drunk if given the option, but right now refuse to choose cannabis over their job security or passing their probation.
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Comment #22 posted by E_Johnson on September 17, 2005 at 10:40:47 PT
Hope I think it's about trauma
Both my sister and I came from the same violently dysfunctional parents.When she drinks, she becomes completely bound up in ancient history. She gets into a 100% traumatic state. It's like that traumatic state is part of her addiction. It doesn't relieve her misery, it turns her misery into an alter of worship almost.With pot, I get past that traumatic state. I can remember all the happy moments I had as a child, in between the awful ones. The bad memories don't crowd out the good memories, it's all there and I can be happy if I want to be happy. When she's drinking, she perceives my healed state as a kind of treachery. A denial of the truth that should make both of us miserable all day every day. Then she starts cussing me out for using medical marijuana! Can you believe it? Drunken verbal abuse is no fun.I think some dynamic like that has a lot to do with why the law enforcement types are so dedicated to hating on marijuana users.Cops tend to have trauma, and they tend to abuse alcohol. And they tend to have enormous resentments against marijuana users.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 10:18:25 PT
It's good to see you. Thank you for the article. I archived it.
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Comment #20 posted by puff_tuff on September 17, 2005 at 10:02:27 PT
Jonathan Magbie
Saturday, September 17, 2005Justice for a 'Death of Neglect'
Washington Post
By Colbert I. King
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Comment #19 posted by E_Johnson on September 17, 2005 at 09:44:43 PT
The alcoholocracy?
Sometimes it feels like that's the system we're living under now.There's a fifty foot tall pink vodka bottle billboard on Sunset Blvd. It's all lit up every night and it looks so beautiful and inviting. It makes vodka look like paradise.I feel like spraying some confrontational slogan on it every time I drive by.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 09:42:18 PT
For me even having one beer is not acceptable. If I drank one beer I woud drink a 24 case in one day. I don't like alcohol and never did but if I drank any at all that's what would happen to me. I know that seems odd but it's the truth.
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on September 17, 2005 at 09:37:51 PT
I said, "It might all boil down to just having a weak stomach and a tendency to headaches that protects some of us from the trap of alcoholism. I wonder if alcoholism might not have some relation to the cannabinoid receptors or a shortage of cannabinoids."Maybe what all that actually "boils down to" is that some of us are just way more sensitive to the real "poison" that does lurk in alcohol.I have learned, to my great chagrin, that I'm very sensitive to the "poison" element that resides in Levaquin. Maybe that sensitivity to "poison" is what has protected me from alcohol and likely protects others like me as well.Alcoholism does run in my family. I guess, luckily, I missed the gene that is responsible for the tendency to it...or even more the gene that "recognizes" alcohol as poison.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 09:35:35 PT
Bush Said
Unnecessary spending will be cut. That's a great idea. I can't believe I'm agreeing with him. Legalize Cannabis and take the money and use it for fixing the cities that have been destroyed by Katrina.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on September 17, 2005 at 09:26:09 PT
I so hope, for your sake, as well as hers, that your sister gets a handle on the drinking problem. There seems to be something in some people's makeup that allows alcohol to get that hold on them. While others of us couldn't be alcoholics if we wanted to. (I actually tried to be one, once. I was miserable with no apparent remedy, and wanted to cover myself in that "protective" coat of distance that alcohol can sometimes least before you get sick. I'd fix myself a drink then forget and leave it sitting somewhere after I'd had a sip or two. When I'd remember that I was going to be an alcoholic to deal with the misery...I'd then discover my forgotten drink...gone watery or flat. It just didn't draw me back to it.) In thinking about all the alcoholics I've known, they seem to have been trying to drown some sort of misery they were experiencing. Alcohol seems to drag you down to some deep, dark place where the original misery is just supplanted by another sort of misery...although it's darker and they seem to crave that darkness. Marijuana, on the other hand, can lift your spirits above those dark places and let you see beauty and light where you might not have noticed it before. It DOES often make problems easier to deal with because you can rise above them, spiritually, and sort of look down at them and see them and untangle them from a better viewing perspective...instead of being smothered under them in a self induced cloud of darkness. Instead of sinking into some dark dream, cannabis can seemingly impart the will to overcome what has been overwhelming us.It might all boil down to just having a weak stomach and a tendency to headaches that protects some of us from the trap of alcoholism. I wonder if alcoholism might not have some relation to the cannabinoid receptors or a shortage of cannabinoids.Anyway, I'm so hoping...and yes...praying that your sister has the power to overcome the power of the bottle in her life before it kills her.Also, to everyone, Muleskinner, posting over at DrugWarRant, shared this interesting bit of historical writing.
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Comment #14 posted by potpal on September 17, 2005 at 09:18:51 PT
lol. Your account reminded of a book, Budding T.Corgahassen Boyle (sp?). I'll check out your video, thanks.Hey, check out Aloha Joe...come out to the islands, mon, South Pacific ones...for a lil' Jawaiian. Good stuff, it'll take you there.Aloha, bruddas.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 09:15:21 PT
That's great. I hope many people get to see it.
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Comment #12 posted by runruff on September 17, 2005 at 09:07:13 PT:
"Let My People Grow"
My video is now available on line at, In the movies search type in the title and it will come up. You can download it. 
Jack Herrer said it is the first movie of it's kind.
Many have said it is the most informative movie ever made on the subject of hemp/cannabis.
I am poor. I made the video for $10.000. and a lot of sweat.
The money came from a successful harvest I had during the first Bush Drug war. I lived like a guerilla farmer that summer in the woods. Diving into thickets whenever a chopper flew over. I had to weave the limbs of the plants
into surrounding foliage to blend it in. I chased out deer, hid from bears, battled gophers and held my breath as deer hunters passed within yards of my patch. It was war.
I am in the video several times. See if you can pick me out.
Hope you all enjoy but more please pass it around. I've shone it to my conservative friends and realitives and it does change perspectives and minds. I now also have dvd for those who want them. FREE!Namaste
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 08:36:22 PT
Cultural Differences
Oh yes I agree. I wanted something new and different then the country club scene that I was raised in and Cannabis fit that bill so well. Talking about things that are important and getting to know each other was so nice. The cannabis culture was way different then the alcohol scene.
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Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on September 17, 2005 at 08:32:25 PT
Maybe it's a cultural difference FoM
I remember when I was in high school, the drinkers would have parties with loud music and excitement and crazy wild things happening that everyone would talk about at school like it was cool.The pot users would sit in a basement and light up and put on some great music like Boz Scaggs Loan Me a Dime or BB King Live at Cook County Jail or Allman Bros. Mountain Jam or even Miles Davis BItches Brew.And just sit there and become completely absorbed by this great world class, soulful, emotionally complex and technically brilliant music.It's like there are two different cultures. The drinkers could use pot too but still they act like drinkers and had wild parties that got out of control. The marijuana users might grab a beer or glass of wine occasionally but still they basically acted like marijuana users and sat in the basement absorbing great music.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 08:19:00 PT

Thanks EJ
Last night we listened to the NPR interview with Neil Young and it was excellent. It's worth a listen if you have a chance. I love Neil Young's values. When they asked him about WGMM he said he had no idea where it came from. He called it a hymnal. Check out the interview if you are interested. WGMM is inspired and I believe it comes from some other place then earth.
Neil Young: Prairie Wind
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 08:14:37 PT

I'm So Sorry EJ
I hope your sister makes it. Oh demon alcohol. Now they advertise hard liquor on tv and make it look so sexy. Maybe we should see a commercial after the night is over for the people drinking too. Heads in toilets. Waking up in a strange place and not remembering what went on. Cannabis doesn't do that to anyone ever.
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Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on September 17, 2005 at 08:11:45 PT

FoM Prairie Wind reviewed in LA Times
Roger Hilburn gave it four stars. Here's an excerpt from his review:********************************The highlight is the spiritually minded "When God Made Me," a song about higher ideals and brotherhood that may be his "Imagine." Joined by the Fisk University Jubilee Choir, Young sings:Was he thinkin' about my countryOr the color of my skin?Was he thinkin' about my religionAnd the way I worshipped him?Did he create just me in his imageOr every living thing?When God made me.If Bob Dylan has been for years our best guide to exploring the complexities of human experience, Young may be the songwriter who expresses most eloquently the simple ties that bind us all.
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Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on September 17, 2005 at 08:09:06 PT

My sister called last night FoM
She just got out of detox for alcohol again. Thank God. She latched onto vodka when she was a teenager, like it was mother's milk. I wasn't sure she'd have the strength to try to quit again, but she found it.She disappeared last week and I was praying that it because she checked herself into detox. And my prayers were answered.The TV show The O.C. is doing an alcohol story. The family's perky blonde mom always had a wine glass in her hand. Last season they had her switch that for a vodka bottle. Now she's a hard core alkie, and they're trying to deal with that. They got her into rehab at the end of last season.But now, as often happens, the mom made a friend in rehab who is even more messed up than she is, and next week I think the two of them are going to end up on a major drinking binge together.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 07:58:02 PT

Thanks EJ
I also have a really hard time with alcohol. I have seen it really mess people up and some die. Why don't they talk about alcohol as a drug issue. I don't mean make it illegal but at least put an emphasis of the long term effects of heavy alcohol use?
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Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on September 17, 2005 at 07:54:16 PT

Alcohol has a strong grip on journalism too
It's long been called "a drinking profession".An LA Times columnist dd a column on the poor homeless people on Skid Row. He used the words "drugs" about ten times in the story. He didn't use the word "alcohol" even once. Even though Skid Row is famous for alcoholism, and the people who live there can afford vodka better than they can afford crack.I wrote the guy a letter asking whether he avoided mentioning alcohol because he was an alcohol user himself.I told him I had a family member who landed on Skid Row and it was all about vodka, the cheap kind, not the expensive designer vodka they advertise in 50 foot high billboards on Sunset Blvd.No reply.Alcohol users are in charge of drug prohibition. Think about it. All of their shame and guilt is being taken out on drug users, that's the score as I read it.
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on September 17, 2005 at 07:46:25 PT

Potpal that's wishful thinking
The alcohol users are a determined bunch. It's harder than you think to get an alcohol user to stop using alcohol. Just giving them pot won't do it.After all, alcohol legal, despite how much damage it causes. That is a sign of just how addictive it is.The alcoholics caused so much trouble when it was banned, they had no choice but to make it legal again.But slcohol users carry a lot of shame inside, typically.And that sense of shame over their own drug is what they PROJECT onto marijuana users.WE have to be punished for THEIR sense of shame and guilt over alcohol.Alcohol has a grip over this society that is so powerful, I don't know what could possibly interrupt it.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 17, 2005 at 07:38:15 PT

I Saw a TV Program
I watched a documentary on Meth the other evening. I really have a problem with Meth. To me it is dangerous and when I saw children being taken out of homes during raids it upset me. Why do people think it is ok to have those dangerous chemicals in their home around children? Why aren't there commercials about the dangers of Meth on TV? I have only seen commercials about Cannabis. The people looked totally burnt out. I know if I was a child I would be so upset if my parents did Meth because how erratic they get.
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on September 17, 2005 at 07:27:37 PT

Cannabis effect on alcohol use...
...would be HUGE also. Imagine the working man pausing for a puff prior to coming home on a tuesday rather than stopping at the local watering hole. He might then stop at a Happy Harry's and spring for a bag of Snickers to share with his better half and kids...Imagine.
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