I just teamed up with women’s lib writer Barbara Walker and Dr. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School to publish on Kindle Pot Stories and Atheist Essays 

One piece, “Pot Story,” offers a very persuasive polemic for legalization and at the same time shows some of the misery and suffering that unwise laws have caused over the decades.  One section describes Harry Anslinger, the founder and first commissioner of the Prohibition Movement, as a conspicuous bigot and inarguable moron. 

Ms. Walker, in her inimitable style, writes of the abuses of religion over the centuries and the mistreatment of women, mostly due to original sin.

Also included is a podcast of Dr. Grinspoon where he categorically states there is no physical damage to the body at all.  He tells the story of how he first turned on, exhorted by none other than Carl Sagan on a cruise to a conference in Europe. 

If you’re interested in marijuana, either medically or recreationally, this is a must read so you’ll know what you’re doing or talking about.  Lot’s to discuss, n’est-ce pas?  


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You're doing it again, Richard. Making something up out of whole cloth, with no basis in reality, and then promoting it as truth. You state I sent innocent kids to a life of iron bars. Not once did I ever do that, but you didn't bother to find out before making that false and scurrilous accusation once again. As before, reality has no bearing on your narrative. The more emotion, histrionics, and baseless invective, the more inflated your sense of having a monopoly on truth and justice becomes. Quite frankly, it's gone from blatant and distorted stereotyping, for which you have already apologized, to blatant dishonesty, for which no apology is acceptable.

Are you related to Sky Masterson?  I don't know how old you are but it's a good trivia question.

I have a theory on you statement above.  Just after Lester and I published the podcast, interest in medical mj skyrocketed.  Last I heard the radio show had garnered over 5000 hits and that was month ago.  

Who knows?  Quien sabe.  Lester is charming and certainly know his science as an M.D. and dean. How can anyone not have a change of heart when they listen and learn that Carl Sagan turned Lester on during a cruise to Europe?  I believe Sagan was the greatest educator of he modern age, as important as Erasmus in the Middle Ages. Lester once told me he wrote Cosmos high on mj.  

Aldous Huxley was certainly ahead of his time.  He wrote Brave New World fifteen years before Orwell's masterpiece.

Sky Masterson. Who's that? I'm related to Fat Bastardson.

Sky God, you're right about hemp. My grandfather grew it for the government during the war. I can never remember if it was the first t or second.
Hemp would cut into the profits of big oil, which, we all know, is in bed with our government. It's a damned shame it all comes down to money and politics.
If someone doesn't get a grip on this we're all doomed. Including the very rich because even they can't live without clean water and air.

Hemp cultivation is legal in state law, in Colorado, Oregon, California, Kentucky, Vermont, Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota and Maine. 

federal bill legalizing pilot hemp cultivation in those states was recently passed. 

I was able to buy hemp seeds on Amazon without any problem.  As a way to try to get over my marijuana allergy :) 

One thing that's nice about hemp is that marijuana plants in hemp fields won't be noticeable :)

Good to know Luara.

our benevolent rulers see fit to give us another form of SOMA? And in the most liberal states? hmmm.  People have been waking up the past few decades, atheism is on the rise, people aren't listening to the corporate news anymore (at least the younger demographics); now they want to "give us" our freedom back?

We do live in a democracy though.  The progress on marijuana has mostly been from voter initiatives.  The general disapproval of drug users and drugs caused drug prohibition. 

People are still pretty thoroughly indoctrinated on the subject.  Drug users are a convenient scapegoat, and they have a very negative stereotype of them. 

I asked a question about marijuana chemistry on a Usenet chemistry group years ago.  All I got was people bashing me.  All I had done was to ask a question, and they "knew" all about me as a marijuana user.  They "knew" I was far beneath them in some way. 

Laura, thanks for the vignette about old times.  I found the part interesting about the cop NOT arresting you because his partner wasn’t there.

The cop threw it all into the grass, telling us we were really lucky his partner wasn't there because otherwise he would have to arrest us, and all those drugs would mean years of jail time

Shows how arbitrary and superficial the justice system is.  If that cop was in a nasty mood, let’s say he had an argument with his wife at breakfast; your life would have taken a turn toward hell, the penal system.

Justice shouldn’t be a matter of luck, but right and wrong. 

To Pat, how do you feel about this country having over two million prison inmates?  More than Communist China, more than the rest of the world combined!  What an insult to reason and humanity.  I’m glad this unnecessary suffering so many people isn’t on my conscience.  

  If that cop was in a nasty mood, let’s say he had an argument with his wife at breakfast; your life would have taken a turn toward hell, the penal system.

Maybe he'd been directed to do that by the prosecutor. He was trying to scare us with the talk about his partner.

Yes, it was all very colorful, interesting and sometimes profound.  I would be using marijuana if I weren't allergic to it. 

Richard, prosecutor's often have to follow the laws. Period. That's the major problem with the three strikes laws. They allow no compromise. They're bullshit imho.
I do agree with a good deal of what you say and I'm an advocate of legalization. What an adult does in private, with the standard provisions of doing no harm, should not be up for debate.
That being said, having followed the exchanges between you and Pat, you seemed to come off as harsh and judgemental of one person for the actions of a collective profession.

prosecutor's often have to follow the laws

This is probably true.  That's why I'm curious how a prosecutor deals with being against the drug war.  How do they cope in their own minds? 

Probably being a prosecutor does mean having to seek prison time for things that to someone opposed to drug prohibition, aren't crimes at all.  Such as growing a lot of marijuana.  Or, as I said, being a smalltime marijuana dealer who treats their clients well.

If I try to imagine being in this situation, it seems brutal.  To cope mentally, I imagine prosecutors might have to turn off their empathy for the victim.  Or judge them as "riffraff". 

I don't feel judgmental about it, but this is a situation I haven't been in and I'm curious about what it does to people in it. 

I've encountered police in the drug enforcement situation.  But you don't get to ask this kind of question when they're doing their job.  They're there to intimidate and exert force.  So I'm curious about what it's like on their side. 

You could look at it in a positive way also.  In one of the Stephen Donaldson Covenant novels, there was a passage that stuck with me forever.  Something like "Only the powerless are innocent.  To be powerful is to be guilty.  Only the damned are saved".  Prosecutors also do a lot of good.  As Pat pointed out to us. 

But I wonder how he and prosecutors in general feel about the victimizing by prosecution of people who haven't really done anything wrong.

Prosecutors and judges see the HUGE role of drug prohibition in our criminal justice system.  They see all the drug-related murders and drug-related crimes.  The courts are clogged with such cases.  They SEE the downside of drug prohibition for themselves.  So what does it feel like to be a reluctant Drug Warrior? 

My social psych professor at NYU, Phillip Zimbardo, devoted this career to these questions.  He wrote the back page promo for my Mirror Reversal and plugged his own The Lucifer Effect.  The authoritarian personality has a way of categorizing behavior.  They weren’t prosecuting innocent people they were doing their job.  The killer is the third precept of the principle, that which makes any evil possible, the belief they were doing “for a greater good.” 




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