Move To Legalize MMJ Supported by 2-1 Margin

  Move To Legalize MMJ Supported by 2-1 Margin

Posted by CN Staff on November 01, 2008 at 16:04:51 PT
By Dawson Bell, Free Press Staff Writer 
Source: Detroit Free Press  

MI -- Michigan voters like the idea of decriminalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, backing the measure 61%-30%, the Detroit Free Press/Local 4 Michigan Poll shows. Nine percent said they were undecided about allowing medical marijuana, designated as Proposal 1 on the ballot.Support for Proposal 1 comes from Michiganders of various backgrounds and parts of the state. But it was stronger among younger voters (66%) than older voters (47%), and among Democrats (76%) than Republicans (49%).
The poll is based on telephone interviews with 616 Michiganders who said they are definitely voting in Tuesday’s election. The poll was conducted by Selzer & Co. Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday through Friday. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points. If approved by voters, Michigan would become the 13th state to allow marijuana to be cultivated and used as a medical treatment. Patients with debilitating medical conditions and a doctor’s authorization couldn’t be prosecuted. Marijuana possession would remain illegal under federal law.A coalition of medical and law enforcement organizations that formed in the last month to oppose the proposal says approval would send the wrong signal about society’s attitude toward illegal drugs and make pot more accessible to juveniles. Carrie Roman, a 31-year-old unemployed Detroiter, said she’s not buying that argument. “I think it’s got a lot of benefits,” Roman said. “If kids want pot now, they already know where to get it.”But Carol Menard, 70, of Woodhaven, who voted by absentee ballot, has already said no to the idea. Menard said marijuana isn’t medicine, and that conditions requiring relief from pain or nausea can be treated with approved pharmaceuticals. “We have grandchildren,” Menard said. “Is it going to get to the point where kids can buy marijuana out of vending machines? There will be more crime, more theft. This isn’t a close call.”Matt Resch, spokesman for the opposition group, conceded the anti-Proposal 1 campaign was slow to get under way. But it has been busy in the last month, he said, and is now airing TV commercials, as are backers of medical marijuana. Complete Title: Move To Legalize Medical Marijuana Supported by 2-1 MarginSource: Detroit Free Press (MI)Author: Dawson Bell, Free Press Staff WriterPublished: November 1, 2008Copyright: 2008 Detroit Free PressWebsite: letters freepress.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Stop Arresting Patients Marijuana Relieves Suffering Helps 1 Man Despite Doctor's Verdict 

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Comment #47 posted by Paint with light on November 05, 2008 at 23:29:34 PT
There are thousands of people who use alcohol or other intoxicants instead of cannabis because they are drug tested.These thousands are drug tested because of work, school, or run-ins with the judicial syatem.If cannabis was legal, these thousands would become cannabis consumers.These thousands would join the thousands who do not use because they do not want to break the law. Thousands.Even Millions.Equal with alcohol is all I ask.
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Comment #46 posted by Hope on November 04, 2008 at 11:06:17 PT
Comment 34 Fight_4_Freedom
Great pictures, Fight_4_Freedom. Thank you.Thank you so much for all your hard work. 
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Comment #45 posted by Commonsense on November 04, 2008 at 06:42:53 PT
Paint with light 
I doubt a lot of people switch from alcohol to marijuana. I think most adults who want to try marijuana have already tried it. Most who want to smoke it already smoke it. Most who have tried it who don't smoke it now didn't care for it enough to continue using it. There are probably a small few out there who don't smoke it simply because it is legal. A few of them might switch, but probably more of them would just do both alcohol and pot. If you look at international drug use statistics you see that there are very few countries where they smoke pot as much as we do. Some have per capita use numbers close to ours, but none ever have numbers substantially higher than ours even if they basically allow pot. We have about the harshest laws in the Western world. Many countries have completely decriminalized it. Some allow people to possess it. Some allow people to grow a little. A few even allow small sales of marijuana. Even in the Netherlands where they allow possession and retail sales per capita use is only about half of what it is here, and the Dutch still drink like fish. Per capita alcohol use is a little higher there than it is here. I think there is a natural limit to the percentage of people who will smoke marijuana. In every Western country where they've had several decades of fairly high use what we see is a pattern where marijuana use rises and falls with popular sentiment about the drug. Use fluctuates with the times but it never goes up or down that much if use is already fairly high. There is no country where everyone smokes it. There are none where the majority smoke it. It's always a small minority who continue to smoke it, even if more than half try it. It's just not for everyone and I don't think that will change just because its legal status changes. The laws just don't have that much impact on the percentage of people who will smoke marijuana, especially where marijuana use is already relatively high and it can already be found fairly easily just about everywhere. That's where we are. It's easily available everywhere and relatively cheap on a per buzz basis in most cases. If people don't smoke it it's not because they can't find it or can't ever afford it. In most cases it's not going to be because of the law either. Most heavy pot smokers never get busted even though they'll smoke thousands of times over the course of their lives. It's easy to get away with smoking pot if you are just a little careful, and if you do get caught with a little not much happens to you in most places. These laws just aren't keeping many people from smoking pot. If people want to smoke it the vast majority will smoke it regardless of whether it is legal or not. If we legalized marijuana it wouldn't make that much difference in the percentage of people who smoke it. 
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Comment #44 posted by FoM on November 04, 2008 at 06:38:32 PT
Paint with light 
Obama Wins in Landslide (in Tiny New Hampshire Towns)
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Comment #43 posted by FoM on November 04, 2008 at 05:59:41 PT
Paint with light
That sounds really good to me!
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Comment #41 posted by FoM on November 04, 2008 at 05:50:15 PT

Thank you for the link. What a day. Obama is voting now and his oldest daughter is with him. What a beautiful picture it is. I can only imagine the Party in Chicago tonight. My husband is in Chicago today. I expect he will get stuck in a traffic jam but we don't care! President Barack Obama sounds so darn good to the both of us. I am so proud to be an American today. 
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Comment #40 posted by Paint with light on November 04, 2008 at 00:10:54 PT

Obama Leads
Dixville Notch, New Hampshire has voted and Obama won 15 to 6.This is the first city to vote and has not gone for a democrat since the 1960's when they voted for Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon.Commonsense, on the earlier discussion, I know a lot of people who do not now consume cannabis but who would if it were legal.I think a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons, would switch from alcohol to cannabis..........and that would be a very good thing.I do not have any real disagreement with your point I just think the number of converts to cannabis would be substantially more than you seem to think.The more the merrier.Let's get the law to treat cannabis equal with alcohol for a start.Fire 'em up, we're ready to go.
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Comment #39 posted by fight_4_freedom on November 03, 2008 at 21:10:04 PT

Here's the interview FoM
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Comment #38 posted by FoM on November 03, 2008 at 19:55:59 PT

I didn't know about the interviews. I've enjoyed the Presidental Bash too.
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Comment #37 posted by fight_4_freedom on November 03, 2008 at 19:24:32 PT

I missed the MNF interview
But I'm sure we'll see parts of it on the news.
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Comment #36 posted by fight_4_freedom on November 03, 2008 at 19:22:50 PT

You are welcome
Thanks for turning me on to this two hour SNL special. Hilarious :)I think I already missed Obama and Mccain being interviewed on Monday Night Football. I'll check to see if it's past halftime.
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Comment #35 posted by FoM on November 03, 2008 at 18:42:51 PT

You have made the most of the whole thing! Thank you!
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Comment #34 posted by fight_4_freedom on November 03, 2008 at 18:28:24 PT

Glad to hear your niece's first treatment 
went well FoM. She is certainly in my prayers.Here is a couple of Proposal 1 pics for you. yard sign pic is one of me and my neighbor's front yards. And the other two are of me and a couple of my Hooter girls at the Halloween Bikini Contest. I think I received more attention with my shirt than any of the girls did with their little outfits that night. LOLThis has been so much fun. 
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Comment #33 posted by fight_4_freedom on November 03, 2008 at 18:18:20 PT

I'll have to check that out FoM
Turning it on right after I post this!
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on November 03, 2008 at 15:48:27 PT

I am so darn happy tonight. Tomorrow will mean so much to me when Obama wins. I've never been this hopeful for our future as I am now. I think I soon will really be proud again. My niece got her first chemo treatment today and it went fine. That makes me very happy too.Mama Cass Elliot - New World Coming
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Comment #31 posted by Commonsense on November 03, 2008 at 15:21:32 PT

Obama is definately looking strong. I hope he wins and I hope he sticks to his promise about not wasting federal resources going after medical marijuana in states where it is legal. I'm not looking for him to do anything like legalize marijuana, but if he could call off the dogs a little like he said he would and maybe make some small baby steps within the executive branch that could help the cause that would be appreciated. We'll see how things turn out. 
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Comment #30 posted by The GCW on November 03, 2008 at 14:58:16 PT

When asked, "Do we really need to convince everyone that "kanah bosm" was marijuana? I don't see how it really matters that much"The key word is NEED.No, Earth may re-legalize without needing to do any perticular one thing...I does matter though.If every regular church goer learned right now, that cannabis is kaneh bosm and what exactly that means, it would be re-legalized quickly.Commonsense,You may know but just in case, the knowledge of kaneh bosm has be confirmed by Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1980 and other religious scholars.-0-And realize / remember part of the dilemma is communicating with those Christian women.I see and agree with the point to not force feed this issue, but where the occasion is acceptable... it is important... just don't do any harm.-0-If I'm correct, women / mothers were an important group in ending the original prohibition. They realized prohibition was seriously harming their kids...-0-Also, remember it was not too long ago cannabis was referred to as the devil weed and We have helped change that mistake; what We need to do is continue in that direction, now.-0-And it's not about convincing, "Southern Baptist that God gave us marijuana so we could all sit around and get stoned all the time."We're not trying to convince anyone that.Teaching the Southern Baptist that it's Biblically wrong and immoral to cage their neighbor for drinking a glass of wine and or smoking s few puffs of plant material though is something different.What is more accurate is the need to publicize truth in a manner that people will be thankful for it.I imagine many Christians don't want to offend the Ecologician and when they see the light...What's missing in the equation is truth. Truth is missing because it doesn't serve many different peoples needs, but it is still missing and it effects Us.There is the full spectrum of reasons... clergy that knows about kaneh bosm but doesn't want to..., ignorant clergy that doesn't want to know, clergy that knows and realizes that with the knowledge of kaneh bosm they are less needed / loss of power...The knowledge of kaneh bosm puts a whole lot of pieces together for the benefit / glory of Christ God Our Father.And it's not just the cannabis issue that is being effected; the nasty American habit of killing / murder / war is also covered here. Kaneh bosm helps people communicate with God who through Jesus Christ taught Us to love one another.By extension, to honor The Crist's request to "love one another" in John and 1st John, means We stop caging so many people for other incidences also because by caging humans for things like theft etc. We are not loving, We are punishing.We can direct love toward the thief and have better results than using punishment. How about that growing American incarceration rate???We are requested to love one another not punish one another... War, crime, sin etc... it's not just cannabis.Can there be a right and a wrong way to deliver the truth?Yes.However the truth that is missing should come to light. 
People that know about the Bible and how this issue is related, must speak out.With the right brush strokes; yes.A Christ would do it.To know and not speak out is wrong and impowering the devil. -0-Commonsense, don't get Me wrong; Your line in the sand that You're describing is right on too. And I'm glad You mentioned it. I have gained...And Your time here is important and appreciated.-0-I believe in a couple days, We will be having disscusions like this to regroup so to move foward within the next administration...And the descussion will be different if McCain somehow...
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on November 03, 2008 at 14:15:58 PT

It's show time! Don't forget to take some time and watch NBC at 9 tonight. A 2 hour special Saturday Night Live's Presidential Bash 2008 will be on. It will be great comic relief.
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Comment #28 posted by fight_4_freedom on November 03, 2008 at 13:59:41 PT

It's finally here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The long awaited election is finally upon us. I have been busy putting up fliers and yard signs everywhere imaginable so I haven't had that much time to post. I have the next two days off from work and I am ready to rock!!! Tonight I will put up my remaining yard signs near all of the polling locations in my area. They may get taken down at some point tomorrow, but those early voters who are trying to get it in before work will surely see them. And that is really sad news about Barack's grandmother. How awful.
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Comment #27 posted by Commonsense on November 03, 2008 at 13:48:02 PT

Yeah but, really, what's the point? Do we really need to convince everyone that "kanah bosm" was marijuana? I don't see how it really matters that much. People in Biblical times had more than one wife in many cases and had children with their handmaidens. Polygamy is not legal today though. People on occasion engaged in animal and even human sacrifice. That isn't accepted now. There were many practices that were even encouraged in religious texts that are not legal today. It is interesting that people back in those times might have used cannabis in religious ceremonies, but even if more people start believing that I don't think it really gets us any closer to legalizing marijuana. Is it worth mentioning maybe? Maybe, but it is just a minor point of interest and not something really worth fighting over when you are debating the merits of marijuana legalization with someone, especially if it's going to lead to a big fight over religious doctrine. 
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on November 03, 2008 at 13:37:29 PT

Off Topic: Obama's Grandmother
She passed away. She didn't get to see him win. I am sure she knew that he would win. RIP
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Comment #25 posted by Commonsense on November 03, 2008 at 12:30:31 PT

That's a lot of support from church people for a more humane marijuana law, and they didn't have to change their core religious beliefs to come to the conclusion that Question 2 should pass. Hopefully in the future we'll see a lot more religious leaders coming around and supporting efforts to change our marijuana laws so that they are similar to our alcohol laws. 
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Comment #24 posted by E_Johnson on November 03, 2008 at 12:27:16 PT

There is the micro issue and the macro issue.The micro issue is political lobbying.The macro issue is dealing with the kind of modern paranoia and political correctness that forces people to contest that caneh bosm could be pot when the majority of the rational scientific evidence and the textual evidence and historical evidence points to that being the case.It's the same kind of cultural paranoia that dumbs down science so that most health professional out working in the field of medicine today have no idea what anandamide is or what it does in the brain.You could look at that fact and say -- most experts don't agree that anandamide exists or that marijuana-like chemicals have any fundamental role to play in human biology.But it's just because they're ignorant that they think that way.
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Comment #23 posted by Commonsense on November 03, 2008 at 11:53:00 PT

The "experts" in the field aren't all convinced kaneh bosm was actually cannabis. That is still a minority interpretation. It is interesting and I don't see a problem with pointing out that cannabis was used in one fashion or another in Biblical times. What I was saying is that you don't want to go out there and try to convince some Southern Baptist that God gave us marijuana so we could all sit around and get stoned all the time. I'm just suggesting that people avoid getting too deep into religious doctrine with those they are trying to convince that marijuana should be legal. We don't need to change people's deeply held religious beliefs in order to get them to go along with legalization. There is no point in even going there. If when you are discussing history in a marijuana debate and you feel like you need to point out that some theologists believe that kanah bosm mentioned in the Bible was actually marijuana, that's one thing, but when you really start arguing religious doctrine with people who have deeply held religious beliefs you're probably just going to quickly lose credibility among those you are talking with and upset a lot of people in the process and you definitely won't convince anyone that marijuana should be legal that way. I'm not even saying none of these arguments have any merit. I'm just saying they are unnecessary, unconvincing to most people, and so likely to turn people off that they should be avoided.
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Comment #22 posted by The GCW on November 03, 2008 at 11:46:39 PT

Religious support for decriminalizing cannabis
This concerns Massachusetts more than Michigan but shows religious support for Question 2.-0-With just one day to go until Massachusetts voters vote on an historic initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession, more than 50 religious leaders and a slew of other prominent figures have come out in favor of the measure. The list of endorsers includes:-0-The following organizations and individuals have publicly endorsed the passage of Question 2:...Religious LeadersRev. Jean Alexander, Auburndale 
Rabbi Alan Alpert, Leominster 
Rev. Molly Baskette, Somerville 
Father Richard Beaulieu, Winchester 
Rev. Jim Bronwell, Barre 
Rev. Suzanne Brunnquell, Pittsfield 
Rev. Sarah Buteux, Amherst 
Rev. Dr. Jan Carlsson-Bull, Cohasset 
Rev. Thomas Carlton, Ludlow 
Rev. Stephen Cook 
Father Richard Crowley, Middleboro 
Rev. C. Edward Deyton, Andover 
Father Thomas Dilorenzo, Winthrop 
Rev. Jonathan Drury, Andover 
Rev. Leigh Dry, Hopkinton 
Rev. Kathrene Duhon, Great Barrington 
Rev. Lisa Durkee Abbott, West Brookfield 
Rev. Dr. Dorothy May Emerson, Billerica 
Rev. Marc Fredette, Waltham 
Rev. Tamarack Garlow, Ashley Falls 
Rev. John Gibbons, Bedford 
Rev. Jamie Green, West Groton 
Rev. Edward Hardy, Abington 
Rev. William Hobbs, Athol 
Rev. Dr. Anne Ierardi, Yarmouthport 
Ms. Marion Jansen, Great Barrington 
Rev. David Johnson, Plymouth 
Rev. Bill Leggett, Milford 
Father John Lis, Williamsburg 
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton, Acton 
Rev. Ian Lynch, Brimfield 
Rev. Art McDonald, Essex 
Rabbi Richard Messing, North Easton 
Rev. Stephen Philbrick, Cummington 
Rev. Susie Phoenix, Lee 
Rev. Katherine Reis, Rockport 
Rev. Edmund Robinson, Chatham 
Rev. Ken Sawyer, Wayland 
Rev. Dr. Victor Scalise, Somerville 
Rev. Warren Scamman, Windsor 
Rev. Richard Schlak, Foxboro 
Rev. Stephen Shick, Hudson 
Rev. Judith Smith-Valley, Brewster 
Rev. Paul Sprecher, Hingham 
Rev. C. William Steelman, Nantucket 
Rev. Rachel Tedesco, Taunton 
Rev. Jonathan Tetherly, Chicopee 
Rev. Patricia Tummino, Middleboro 
Rabbi Andrew Vogel, Brookline 
Rev. Vicki Woods, Worcester 
Rev. Dr. Judith Wright, Boylston More than 50 Massachusetts religious leaders from diverse faiths — Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Church of Christ, Congregationalist, Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, and Unitarian Universalist....Many other endorsements are also listed at: Policy Project info
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Comment #21 posted by Commonsense on November 03, 2008 at 11:27:20 PT

I don't know that most regular church going people are really so opposed to marijuana legalization for religious reasons. I think they're just far less likely to have smoked pot themselves than those who don't go to church, so they are more likely to fear it. In fundamentalist churches they are often taught that any use of intoxicants is sinful. Catholics and some protestants are taught that that moderate use of alcohol is okay, but being a drunk is sinful. They're all taught that God wants us to work hard and not be sloths or drunkards or waste cases. They're also taught that we should obey our governments' laws in almost all cases. Some very religious people are going to see smoking marijuana as a sin and believe that it should remain illegal because they basically think all sin should be illegal. We won't change their minds. They're still upset that alcohol prohibition was repealed. I don't think most religious people are that extremist though. Most understand that alcohol prohibition was a mistake. They support marijuana prohibition not so much for religious reasons but because they are afraid of what might happen if it is legalized. They have the same fears non religious people against legalization have. When you look at drug use statistics together with these statistics on attitudes about legalization, you see a really strong correlation between the percentage of a demographic who have tried it and the likelihood that people in that particular demographic will be for legalization. The lower the percentage of a particular demographic who have smoked marijuana, the less likely they are to favor legalization. Those who are more likely to have tried it and maybe still do it some or at least still have friends who do it are much more likely to favor legalization. I think a lot of this is just fear of the unknown. If you've never smoked it and you don't know of people you respect who smoke it you are more likely to be afraid of it. A lot of these people don't recognize that there are a lot of good productive people out there that smoke marijuana. They just hear about the worst case scenarios, the trouble makers that are always getting caught with it, the people into all sorts of other drugs too, and so on. Surely they know and respect some pot smokers, but they don't know these people smoke pot. They don't know much about the drug trade. They haven't thought much about our drug laws or researched the laws and per capita use statistics for various states and countries with different laws. They just need to be educated, and if we can do that we'll see a lot more of them deciding that a legal regulated system would probably be better after all than what we have now. As for women, I think that women just tend to be more careful than men. From childhood little girls tend to be a little more mature and responsible than little boys. As we age we see some of the same thing going on with adult males and females. Guys are more reckless. Women by nature are more reserved. They'll think about having kids and that maternal instinct will kick in. They do worry about their children probably more than men in most cases. They're more likely to worry about having a "pothead" spouse who doesn't get anything done. I think this is just kind of human nature and we see the same thing in countries throughout the world. If you look at drug use statistics from around the world, women are less likely to have tried marijuana than men everywhere and they are even less likely to be current users than men in the same age groups. You see the same thing in countries that are very religious and those with little religion.  On religion, I just pretty much steer clear of it in any sort of debate. I'm not particularly religious myself so I don't know enough about the Bible to really argue about it, and I know that's just dangerous ground to tread on in the first place. You know the old sayings about discussing religion and politics. I'm not going to change anyone's core religious beliefs and I don't really see the need in going there. People can be left with their core religious beliefs and in most cases those beliefs will not absolutely foreclose on the notion that a better system for dealing with marijuana is one where production sales and possession are legal. I'm going to apologize in advance because I'm about to say something bound to upset some people. It is my personal belief that any kind of "weed worshiping" arguments are losers. Whether it's done in a religious context where people are saying God wants us to smoke pot, or just in a general sense where people are overly enthusiastic about marijuana and all the wonderful things it could do these arguments turn a lot of people out in the general public off. Here on a marijuana enthusiast site like this one that sort of thing is fine. Here you are preaching to the choir. But when you get out into the general public and start talking about how marijuana is the most wonderful plant in the world and how it could solve so many of our problems people won't take you seriously. Just follow the marijuana debates on various mainstream or right of center websites out there and you'll see that in most cases people who go that route are quickly written off as "deluded potheads" and they are either ignored or everybody keeps sniping at them. It is important to argue that hemp could be a useful addition in American agriculture, and that marijuana is good for some medical conditions, and that it is nowhere near as harmful or dangerous as drugs like meth and heroin and even maybe alcohol, but you don't want to come off looking like you just worship the plant because really people will not take you seriously if you do that. That's just what I've seen out there. Some of the arguments you'll find on pro-marijuana sites have to be toned down a good bit before you'll be able to get any traction with them out there in the general public, and some should probably be avoided altogether.
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Comment #20 posted by E_Johnson on November 03, 2008 at 11:08:22 PT

Biblical archeaologists like Simcha Jacobovici acknowledge that cannabis probably was the caneh bosm mentioned in the Bible, and they also cite evidence that cannabis was used as a medicine throughout Biblical times, which is to say, from the early Bronze Age until the time of Christ.There is nothing wrong without pointing out that fact and also pointing out that DESPITE the fact that cannabis was widely known and used during this time, cannabis didn't end up on the list of the 613 things that are absolutely forbidden to Jews.That is a legitimate argument that one can make about the history of cannabis and the abnormality of the modern paranoid mythology about this plant.On the other hand, I get the impression that most experts in the field disagree with the Tree of Life hypothesis.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on November 03, 2008 at 10:01:18 PT

I like to make the person I am talking to about reforming marijuana answer a question. I want them to answer should a person who smokes marijuana go to jail. They then need to be the Judge and Jury. It makes people think a little deeper before they answer I've found.
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Comment #18 posted by The GCW on November 03, 2008 at 09:47:12 PT

I hear You & think You're right and at the same time feel like the Christian woman who is against cannabis has a Biblical issue with it that, if addressed in the right way may help. Maybe the regular church going woman is opposed to cannabis regardless...There may be some regular church goers who may be persuaded if they were to learn there is a Biblical reason... that they were not aware of...It would be wise to know when and when not to...The thought that, "that kind of argument hurts us more than it helps" is also a very important consideration not to ignore.Do no harm in everyway...The real issue though is that demographic... may need to be persuaded in order to re-legalize cannabis.Thanks 
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Comment #17 posted by Commonsense on November 03, 2008 at 09:46:45 PT

I think most people would agree with what you just said. While the majority are still against legalization, the polls show that only a small minority of Americans think people should go to jail over smoking marijuana. In fact, over 50% of those polled don't even think it should be treated as a criminal offense that leaves people with a criminal record. We aren't really up against a lot of people that want to put people in jail for smoking weed, what we are up against is an ever shrinking majority who are afraid of legalizing marijuana because they think everyone will start smoking it and the sky will fall in or whatever. A lot of this small minority who really want to nail pot smokers to the wall are hateful jerks who are set in their ways and we won't be able to reach them. The majority of those against legalization can be reached though if we can convince them that what we are doing now doesn't work, that it creates more problems than it solves, and that legalizing marijuana won't create a whole host of new and worse problems. I for one don't think there would be much difference for instance in the percentage of people who smoke pot if it were legal. I think most everyone who really wants to smoke it already smokes it, and the tiny few who are just waiting for it to be legal before they'll mess with it have already proven that they at least have some will power and are basically law abiding citizens, so they aren't likely to be a big problem for us if they do start smoking pot. I like to try to hammer this home. I like to point this out and use data from parts of the country and the world with far less restrictive marijuana laws to help prove the point. I also like to try to point out the fact that many thousands of tons of marijuana are consumed in this country every year despite the best efforts of law enforcement, that Americans consume more marijuana than all other illegal drugs combined and the vast existing networks for marijuana make perfect conduits through organized crime can move other far more dangerous drugs, that it's the backbone of the illegal drugs trade and if we take these many billions of dollars away from organized crime they'll be a shell of what they are today and it will be harder for them to get their hard stuff to end consumers. And of course law abiding tax paying American farmers and businessmen could put all these billions of dollars to use in a lot better ways than organized crime. We don't really have to try to change people's core beliefs in most instances. We don't have to make them like marijuana or want to smoke it. We don't have to convince people that it's good for you or completely harmless. We just need to educate them on the realities of the war on marijuana and marijuana policies in general. Most people know what we are doing isn't really working very well. So all we have to do is chip away at this notion that legalization would be such a terrible alternative to what we have in place now. We just need to plant some seeds and they'll grow. Sooner or later enough people will come around and in many cases their political representatives will start pushing for legalization, which will bring more people to our side, and before long we'll see marijuana legalized.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on November 03, 2008 at 08:22:10 PT

How I Personally Approach MJ Reform
I believe that we need to be kind and tolerant of those who don't think like we do. I use the basic beliefs in a social gospel to explain how I feel. The word compassion has been abused but I believe in compassion. The only people I feel should go to jail are those who hurt another human being. 
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Comment #15 posted by Commonsense on November 03, 2008 at 06:44:56 PT

In my experience biblical arguments for legalizing marijuana beyond just trying to get people to have charitable Christian attitudes toward their fellow man even if they are involved with pot go nowhere and in fact offend a lot of people. Start quoting scripture and try to make the case that God gave us pot and he wants us to smoke it, that it is the tree of life and that sort of thing, and you lose all credibility in most circles and turn a lot of people off. You come off looking like you worship the weed and that just doesn't work well anywhere except maybe among some who are most enthusiastic about marijuana who don't need convincing. You'll never get traction with that type of argument among people that don't smoke marijuana and are afraid of legalization. This is just my opinion from watching and participating in a lot of legalization debates, but I think that kind of argument hurts us more than it helps us and I would avoid going there. I would suggest leaving the finer points of religion to those with deeply held religious beliefs we won't change and don't need to change, and instead try to work on them with logical secular arguments less likely to offend them or scare them away. 
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Comment #14 posted by The GCW on November 03, 2008 at 05:39:01 PT

We all know cannabis should be RE-legalized whether or not it has over 50% approval at the polls... We know that 40+% approval says a lot too...But to answer the ?:How can we can we prevail upon deeply religious Christians to recognize that the war on marijuana is an inhumane costly failure that causes more problems than it solves?Part of the combination of answers in this catagory is to help Christians understand that cannabis is wrong in Biblical Christian terms.Help instill in the Christian mind that the practice of enabling or supporting caging humans is against Jesus Christ... it separates people from the "spirit of truth" as mentioned in John and 1st John... and show how it is Biblically correct to allow people to use cannabis...After all, God said ALL the plants are good on the very 1st page!Expose more of the Biblical writtings that prove cannabis is kaneh bosm.Cannabis is the tree of life: -help expose that reality... Help bring the very last page to light where it tells all of Us the leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. -see Rev. 22:2 "THE SIN OF THE PRIESTS" - see Malachi 1:6-14, the last book of the Old - NASB. Christ indicated He was to expose the works of the devil. Cannabis prohibition is the work of the devil... Put that on the Christian mind and cannabis prohibition ends.Expose failed clergy... Many of the Christian women are products of clergy who don't have the spirit of truth.Another example of clergy that does the work of the devil are the ones who support war, like Iraq for example... And do so from the pulpit.Nobody's calling them on it and it is there and exists to be exposed.What would Jesus do?He would not be on any pulpit preaching to kill and murder in Iraq!He would not be preaching to round up people and cage them for using cannabis.Once the devil separates humans from that spirit of truth, and does so starting on the 1st page of the Bible!!! the devil may have His way everywhere else, which is what We have because then when Christians get to where the teachings of do not kill and murder start -on page 3, Christians are lost.Help Christians understand that there are 2 kinds of Christian.Obedient and disobedient.Help Christians and every one else understand that cannabis prohibition is Anti-Christian.And that is part of the key...Don't just teach this to Christians: teach it to everyone.-0-Cannabis prohibition is the work of the devil.We all have the ability to become Christs and do more than what Jesus did!, -see John 14:12 prohibition isn't just the work of bad politicians, Christian women, discriminators, profiteers, and knuckleheads... it is the work of the devil.It's time to start treating it as such.
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Comment #13 posted by Commonsense on November 02, 2008 at 23:20:35 PT

I agree with most of what you are saying, but I've looked at a lot of polling data and the according to the polls at least the majority of Boomers are actually against legalizing marijuana. The under 25 set is for it. But looking at current and historical data, as people get older they are less likely to want marijuana to be legal even if they were all for it when they were younger. The old folks who came before the Boomers are dead set against legalizing marijuana and have been that way all along. We are making gains in the 50 and older category as these pre-Boomers die off, and that's improving the overall percentage of people who want marijuana legalized. But still probably a little less than 40% of Americans 18 and older want it to be legal if you go from an average of all the available polls. I'm linking you to two different polls. These are both interesting links because they give you historical data on attitudes about marijuana legalization, and they break things down demographically so you can see who is most and least likely to favor it. (2002) (2005)The old people who fear marijuana the most will die off and the attitudes of those who remain are bound to change some as more people who smoke pot or have smoked it retire, but that alone will not get us to the point where more than half of all Americans are for it. We've got a lot of work to do. We have to look beyond age demographics and work on those in other demographic categories less likely to support marijuana legalization to get the numbers up. For instance, according to the 2005 Gallop poll I linked you to only 30% of women support legalization compared to 39% of men. Why are women more afraid of legalization and how do we address these fears to bring more of them on board with us? Are they afraid that their children will all start smoking pot or that their husbands will all become potheads? Those who attend church regularly are far less likely to be for marijuana legalization than those who rarely attend. Jews are far more likely than Christians to be for legalization. How can we can we prevail upon deeply religious Christians to recognize that the war on marijuana is an inhumane costly failure that causes more problems than it solves? Those who identify themselves as liberals are more likely than not for legalization while less than a quarter of those who identify themselves as conservatives are for it. How do we bring more conservatives (who in many cases are religious conservatives) on board? (Suggestion: Keep hammering home that it's Mexicans who profit most from marijuana being illegal, to the tune of billions of dollars a year. That drives them crazy because so many of them are racists and/or at least all bent out of shape over illegal aliens.)When we formulate our legalization arguments that we are going to use when we are blogging on the Internet or whatever we have to think about arguments most likely to resonate with these demographics who tend to be against it. There are some demographic categories that we'll never get above 50%, but a few points here and a few points there will bring the majority in line. If we work hard we'll start seeing the total percentage of people who want marijuana legal grow to over 50%, especially in Western states, and then we'll start seeing federal legislators pushing for legalization like never before as support for it among the voting public grows. That's the key. Politicians have to feel like most of the people they need to vote for them are for it. Otherwise even if in their heart of hearts they believe marijuana should be legalized most won't come out publicly for it.
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Comment #12 posted by kaptinemo on November 02, 2008 at 12:49:22 PT:

E_J, point taken
But when you consider the demographic makeup of the majority of those who oppose cannabis law reform, you find that few amongst mine (so-called 'Boomer') or the following generation are as passionate about maintaining cannabis prohibition as the one prior to mine.Those who favor continuing cannabis prohibition in the following generations can be seen as statistical anomalies. They constitute a minority, and an exceedingly small one at that. I would wager that a sizable proportion of them are the product of authoritarian households in which strict religious beliefs were dominant. Such attributes are more readily seen in the WW2 generation, which experienced the beginnings of social unraveling courtesy of the Great Depression, and viewed the social ferment of the time as being threatening. To such a person, 'order' and anything associated with its furtherance is of paramount importance - and cannabis prohibition is seen by such individuals as being necessary to the maintenance of that social 'order'. Given the enormous degree of political clout that the WW2 generation has wielded in the past, it is not surprising in the least that those members of the cannabis prohibition-favoring statistical minorities in succeeding generations would align themselves to the WW2 generation's efforts to maintain that prohibition. But the original impetus for doing so stemmed from the generation which initiated that prohibition; they told the first lies about cannabis, and seemingly few amongst that generation have sought to undo the damage caused.
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Comment #11 posted by E_Johnson on November 02, 2008 at 10:25:52 PT

Look at the opposition to 5
Jerry Brown made up to look like Kojak, Arnold the Terminator, the alcohol and prison industries -- industries that are pretty much centered around and concerned with a certain old-fashioned approach to the very concept of masculinity.This is so NOT about Grandma. 
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Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on November 02, 2008 at 10:19:17 PT

kaptinemo reconsider the gender perhaps
Legalize when Grandma dies...My grandmother didn't have much political power at all. She lived back in the era when women had the vote but were pretty much encouraged to stay in the kitchen tending the roast when the news was on.I think it's Grandpa, not Grandma, who has been standing with his political power on our necks.
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on November 02, 2008 at 05:12:24 PT

This LTE is a great one. SMOKE DECISION DOES NOT DO ISSUE JUSTICE By David Malmo-Levine My name is David Malmo-Levine. In 2003 I appeared self-represented at the Supreme Court of Canada on "activist cannabis retail" charges similar to those faced by the Holy Smoke staff. Currently I'm a herb museum curator in Vancouver. I have been researching the history and economics of cannabis since 1992. I am an atheist, but I consider cannabis to be the "Tree of Life" referred to in the first chapter of the Old Testament and the last chapter of the New Testament, as well as the "kanneh-bosm" mentioned in Exodus 30:23 in the Hebrew and Aramaic versions of the Old Testament. Exodus 30:23 is part of the list of ingredients of the holy anointing oil, where we get the words "Christ" and "Messiah" from - the "anointed" one ... anointed with holy kannebosm oil. I believe Moses and Jesus used cannabis for insight and for healing the blind ( those with glaucoma ) the lepers ( those with pruritus ) and those possessed by demons ( epilepsy ). Cannabis is a wonderful - almost magical - medicine with the ability to replace many of the over the counter drugs on the market today. To empower humanity with this magical medicine was one of the ultimate goals of the Holy Smoke staff. As well as being a wonderful medicine, cannabis is also the best source of fuel in the plant kingdom. Did you know that you could eventually crank out hemp ethanol for about 15 cents per litre? The science to back that up is found in my article on hemp ethanol, found online. Given Canada's consumption of oil rate is about 2 million barrels per day, and the U.S. consumption of oil rate is about 20 million barrels per day, hemp ethanol stands to be a major industry, if ever the red tape around industrial hemp is removed. A legal hemp ethanol industry would end oil wars, reverse climate change ( through carbon sequestration ) and eliminate oil spills. What stands in the way of using hemp ethanol is the war on cannabis and cannabis users that creates the red tape around industrial hemp. Removing this red tape and helping humanity evolve into sustainable beings is another goal of the staff of Holy Smoke. There are other economic reasons to re-legalize medicinal and social cannabis. Globally, the tobacco industry is worth about $430 billion dollars. Tobacco is grown in radioactive chemical fertilizers. Canadians drink over 240 million litres of alcohol every year, and those living in the U.S. drink over 2.5 billion. 99% of all "recreational"-drug-related deaths are due to alcohol and tobacco. The global pharmaceutical industry is worth over $500 billion per year. Over 100,000 US citizens die every year from synthetic drugs. We could ease the burden on our health care system by getting people to switch from deadly alcohol, tobacco and pills to cannabis - a herb that has never killed anyone. We could save billions every year in health-care costs. Not to mention the billions we waste in limited justice system resources, and the billions of tax dollars currently uncollected. And we could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs farming and gardening. These are all worthy goals that would dramatically change the quality of life of all Canadians for the better. This is the holy mission that these men were on when they were arrested - trying to set an example of how this harmless, helpful herb could be fully taken advantage of. If they are punished, they will be punished for trying to save their world from poisonous drugs and fuels and trying to bring back the tree of life when the world needs it most. To punish them now would be to harm the harmless, given the fact that there are absolutely no victims from their crime. There are no marijuana drunk tanks, no marijuana cancer wards and nobody complaining of harm done to them. Don't harm these harmless, helpful and holy people by taking away their freedom. David Malmo-Levine Vancouver, B.C. Pubdate: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 Source: Nelson Daily News ( CN BC ) 
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Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on November 02, 2008 at 02:21:07 PT:

Generational politics...delayed, but not stopped
"Legalize...when Grandma dies" is something I read once at another site long ago. It pretty much sums up the situation...only the generation after Grandma knows that the lines fed (and uncritically swallowed) by Grannie's generation were lies, and largely from personal experience. And the generation after that is fed up with it all.A few years back, the ONDCP tried this generational tack, a sort of "Grandma knows best" meme. As if that conferred any real authority; ignorance spouted by an elder has no more value than that expressed by a toddler in diapers. The latest generation has grown up with the wonder of the Internet, and have made a search engine into a common verb and adverb in the language ("Google" and "Googled") and as children of the Information Age, can end run around the propaganda and get at the truth...which some DEA Agents over at DEAWatch have bemoaned in the past, seeing their opportunities for propagandizing that generation being overtaken by both technology and a thirst for it stands, we won't have to wait for the last shutter-brained, ignorant curmudgeon to 'shuffle off their mortal coils' before this nation rectifies an historical tragedy. And what's happening in Michigan may be a harbinger of that... 
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Comment #7 posted by goneposthole on November 01, 2008 at 21:58:54 PT

Drug enforcement doesn't work
Prohibition doesn't work.“If kids want pot now, they already know where to get it.”Evidently, prohibition doesn't work at all.People vote to decide how medical cannabis should be regulated. It happened in California.It can happen in Michigan.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 01, 2008 at 19:36:27 PT

Try The Poll for Yourself
 November 1, 2008The latest Free Press-Local 4 Michigan poll results are out, and the numbers look good for supporters of Sen. Barack Obama and medical marijuana legalization, but less so for supporters of relaxing restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.Obama leads Republican John McCain among Michiganders who say they are certain to vote, 53%-37%, according to the poll.Michiganders support Proposal 1, on legalizing medical marijuana, 61%-30%, the poll suggests. Meanwhile, Proposal 2, on stem cell research, still has 51% support -- but that's down from 58% in late September.How would you have voted? A sampling of the poll questions is below.If the election for president were held today, and the candidates were John McCain for the Republicans, Barack Obama for the Democrats, Bob Barr for the Libertarians, and Ralph Nader for the Natural Law party, for whom would you vote? John McCain - 70% / 216 Votes 
Barack Obama - 28% / 86 Votes 
Bob Barr - 1% / 4 Votes 
Ralph Nader - 1% / 2 Votes

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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 01, 2008 at 18:13:44 PT

It's nice to see you!
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Comment #4 posted by RevRayGreen on November 01, 2008 at 17:50:09 PT

fingers crossed 
f_4_f...........much praise for all your efforts.....
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on November 01, 2008 at 17:39:54 PT

Looks good! Looks really good!
Now vote!Good job, people... including you, for sure, Fight_4_Freedom!
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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on November 01, 2008 at 16:20:54 PT

Congrats to Michigan activists
Great job!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 01, 2008 at 16:05:47 PT

Good News
This is so darn exciting. Go Michigan!
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