Success in the Media

To all those who want to make marijuana legal…

Dear readers: CannaCentral is a website advocating the legalization of marijuana (link below).  An author criticized our post on the dangers of marijuana and suggested that an editorial in the Los Angeles Times written by the Office on National Drug Control Policy was authored by us on their behalf (untrue).

The point of our rebuttal is that people who advocate the legalization of marijuana would better serve their cause if they did not engage in distortion. Citizens throughout the country must make decisions as to legalization or the lessening of criminal sanctions for the personal use of marijuana.  They need straight-foward information to make informed decisions, not mindless advocacy.

Crime in America.Net.

Hi Aaron

I guess this is a rebuttal to a rebuttal. You made reference to our post in http://crimeinamerica.net regarding our article alleging that people do stupid things while high on marijuana and you alleged that it was written by staff at the National Office of Drug Control Policy. See http://cannacentral.com/news/a-rebuttal-to-crime-in-americas-anti-marijuana-commentary/comment-page-1/#comment-324.

Silly allegation. We do not know anyone at that office let alone write it in collusion. I’m sure that an e-mail to us or a call to them would have straightened that issue out.

We remain astounded that people on your side of the issue simply cannot admit the harm marijuana may cause and the refusal to admit that there is considerable evidence of marijuana’s connection to crime and a wide variety of social ills.

Wouldn’t your cause be better served by truth and honesty? What is so terrible in admitting that reasonable people want to know all the facts before they make decision as to legalization?

Are you so insecure as to your position that everything becomes a distortion? Are you so lose with your journalistic ethics that you would make a claim of authorship without checking the facts first?

If the pro-marijuana side cannot engage in a reasoned debate then let us tell you how to get people to support your side: don’t lie, hold yourself to ethical statements, admit the truth and let the public decide.

What is so terrible in having a reasoned discussion? What is so wrong in letting the American people decide?

Lots of states have approved activities that are perceived to be harmful and the personal use of marijuana might be one of them. But it will never happen unless advocates are willing to have an honest debate.

As to perceived inconsistencies as to our desire for no arrests/prosecutions/incarcerations for personal possession of marijuana and legalization (the criminal justice system has greater priorities considering massive budget cuts)  it’s simple: legalization approves a behavior that may bring a lot of harm to a lot of people.

Your site  (http://cannacentral.com/) expresses strong approval for a proposition that makes possession of marijuana a fineable offense but does not make it legal and you accuse us of inconsistencies?

To all those who want to make marijuana legal, please understand that you may win your cause. Just be honest within the confines of the debate.  

If you listen to folks like Aaron, it won’t happen. It’s that simple.

Best, Adam Smith and the contributors to Crime in America.Net.

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Comments

  1. marvin nubwaxer says:

    California prop. 19 looks like it’s going down in defeat. Come on. It takes more than just getting on the ballot, like massive fund raising and advertising. Were the proponents too stoned to realize they needed to sell prop. 19 like nothing’s ever been sold before?

    • Hi Marvin: Thanks for writing. We weren’t concerned. Massive numbers of Americans have first-hand experience using marijuana and they understand the dangers. It’s not that marijuana is some kind of “killer drug” but it’s still massively addictive in the wrong hands. People understand this and regardless as to prior use, they don’t want to see it legalized. But proponents did themselves a disfavor by downplaying the dangers. If they were upfront about the negatives they would have been able to create a credible campaign. States have approved a wide array of actions deemed dangerous (i.e., motorcycle riding without helmets). Motorcycle proponents won the right to do this not by underplaying the dangers but advocating personal choice. Marijuana proponents, through their instance that the dangers didn’t exist, became their own worst enemies.
      Adam and the staff at Crime in America.Net.

  2. Quentin Deeds says:

    Your article is titled, “To all those who want to make marijuana legal…”, so I guess you are talking to me. I too, wish people would stop distorting the truth. I also wish people would stop generalizing, leaving important information, ignoring facts and research that doesn’t help their cause, and straight up lying. I for one, value the opinions and actions of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson more than Harry Anslinger. I for one don’t laugh at friends, family, and strangers with cancer simply because it profits me to lie. I don’t look at the millions of Americans who have had their freedoms taken away by being arrested and prosecuted and say, “Well we should be locking up more Americans for doing something that doesn’t kill anyone.” I don’t look at the billions of dollars America has already thrown down the toilet and think, “I need to lie about this issue more. I’ll accuse people who are informed and choose not to be ignorant of distorting the issue.” I don’t use circular arguments starting with a conclusion and using that conclusion to prove that I was right. I sincerely wish you at this website would take heed. I battle with alcoholism and it’s very difficult for me to not just go to the store right now and get a 12 pack of a substance which any way you look at it, is more dangerous and harmful than cannibis. But I have to tell you that reading and hearing people straight up lie about the issue of cannibis legalization makes my blood boil.

  3. First, I apologize for confusing your comments about the LA Times piece written by former members of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (and quotation of that article, which is likely what lead to the confusion) in my original post. That was an oversight on my part, though a “call to” either office might have cleared that up, you should admit that your own representation of that piece could be easily misunderstood.

    The rest of your rebuttal attempts to paint me as someone who uses distortion in order to promote the legalization of marijuana. First, I am not “CannaCentral.com.” I am a principal writer here, but I am not the website’s owner nor do I set the website’s policy. My opinion piece, which CannaCentral.com published, was a rebuttal of your own distorted view of “crime” and “law.”

    Most of the studies to which you seemed to be referring which correlate crime and marijuana use are obviously biased studies. Mainly because the mere possession of marijuana in most of the U.S. is a “crime” so it becomes obvious that those who use it regularly are more likely to become “criminals” for doing so. Beyond that, though, the cartels which produce, move, and sell much of the marijuana in this country and that are responsible for most of the violence associated with it are doing so for one reason: prohibition means money to them. Remove the prohibition and their profit incentive goes with it. Just as it did with alcohol’s prohibition last century.

    By any assessment, the two attempts at prohibition in this country have both failed to eradicate anything and both, in fact, gave rise to criminal cartels who made their riches through the prohibitions themselves.

    As for my assertion that the difference between cannabis, religion, alcohol, et al is entirely in perception, you had no response. You also had no response for my contention that marijuana’s prohibition and the Drug War that it is involved with has worse consequences for this nation than does its legalization – even assuming your view that it will create numerous “societal ills” is correct.

    Again, as I originally stated and to which you had no response, what was this nation built upon? What core values created what we call the United States of America? What are the core values that make up the American people? According to the founding documents of this nation, those values are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. They are the right to be a free people, to do as we wish so long as we bring no harm to others.

    Once more, you cite “considerable evidence” supporting the idea that marijuana is harmful. Like anything around us, including Aspartame, sugar, chocolate, soda pop, alcohol, television, and thousands upon thousands of other things, marijuana can be harmful if overused. So do we outlaw everything that could possibly be harmful “for the collective good” (as you put it)? Do we create not just a War on (some) Drugs, but instead a full-on War on Everything and outlaw everything that could possibly “harm” us?

    Do we just dump the idea of personal liberty and individual freedoms altogether and start up our own 1984-style world instead? Or do we decide to allow some personal responsibility into the mix and maybe begin reversing some of the Nanny State laws we have been collecting and begin letting people make up their own minds again and paying the consequences for their wrong actions?

    So far, I have seen little argument from you over whether legalizing cannabis would reduce crime and eliminate most of the problems associated with marijuana’s role in the drug war. In fact, you partially agreed with that assessment by inference when you said you wanted possession legalized.

    I am not a marijuana user myself, but I have used it in the past and I know many who use it regularly now or have in the past. I have yet to meet anyone who was anything more than annoying while high on pot. On the other hand, I have also met many who profit heartily from the prohibition of marijuana – people on both sides of the legal fence, mind you – and do so with criminal glee. I have also known people who have had their lives literally destroyed because they grew a plant in their closet, had a bag in their car, or just met up with the wrong dealer at the wrong time.

    According to your assessment, those losses are worth it, though, because marijuana has some vague (and drug-war-tied) “societal ills” associated with it.

    Yes, some people shouldn’t smoke pot. Some people might have a problem with its use. You know what? Some people have a problem with alcohol, some people can’t eat peanuts, and some people are diabetic and can’t eat candy bars. Most of them manage just fine by avoiding that which they’ve learned they can’t handle. Interestingly, of the list above, the only thing that’s never killed anyone directly is marijuana. The one thing the Crime in America staff can’t stand to see legalized.

    So who’s distorting what, again?

    • Hi Aaron: This is a much better response than your last; it places reasonable arguments before the public.

      Marijuana may be legalized. Voters throughout the country have approved an endless array of acts deemed potentially harmful. Whether you ride your motorcycle without a helmet or smoke or drink alcohol or carry a gun, voters agreed to legalize all cited and more.

      Our principal objection is the lack of an objective debate. There’s not a pot user in this country who has not seen first-hand the damage that marijuana can cause either in themselves or their friends.

      The research cited in Crime in America.Net is statistical in nature; it simply documents the connection to crime or treatment admissions or accidents. It takes no position as to the legalization of marijuana and the marijuana statistics are simply one of many cited.

      Organized crime engaged in the growing or importation of marijuana is also engage in other acts. They will not go away simply because marijuana is legal. We would have to decriminalize every drug and every vice for that to occur. There is no benefit for the legalization of marijuana.

      Americans want freedoms to do things that have negative statistical backing. The data on guns seems clear that guns in the home have a greater statistical chance or harming a family member than a bad guy that invades yet the right to carry guns now exists in 35 states.

      The arguments of gun proponents are very similar to yours. That’s neither good nor bad; voters simply choose to ignore the data and approve gun rights.

      Personal use of marijuana may be approved in similar fashion but we warn proponents that claims that marijuana is not harmful will doom your cause.

      Marijuana is a powerful drug that’s statistically connected to a wide array of acts that if legalized will create immense harm for our society and create social burdens that states cannot afford. It’s impossible to look at the data and not come to that conclusion.

      As to arrests, we have consistently stated that people should not be arrested for personal use. The criminal justice system has mote important things to do.

      But arrests are happening because marijuana is being used while driving or during criminal acts. Any officer who arrests solely for possession is creating more harm than good.

      So let’s leave it up to voters. Let’s place objective data before them without all the silly rhetoric and distortion and let them decide.

      We’ve approved many acts that carry social consequences. Marijuana may be one of them. Just agree to place money for safeguards (similar to gambling and counseling for destructive gambling) in place to help the many who will need it.

      More importantly, if approved, create social pressure for responsible use in the same way we approach drinking and driving.

      Best, Adam.

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