Doper Math (Ye Olde Englande Editione)

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From Rogier van Bakel at Nobody's Business, who's commenting on a story in the Brit paper The Guardian claiming 30,000 UK residents die annually from smoking pot:

The most amusing quote in the Guardian article comes from prof. John Henry, one of the editorial's co-authors:

Even if the number of deaths attributable to cannabis smoking turned out to be a fraction of the 30,000 we believe could be possible, cannabis smoking would still be described as a major health hazard.

You follow? So even if what these medical mercenaries say is blatantly ridiculous (which it is), by their own admission they'll still insist that it's right. They've made up their minds, and that's that, and damn the facts.

In war, truth is usually the first casualty. Drug wars, clearly, are no exception.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: End it, Don't Mend it

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  1. The day is coming that vast numbers of people will no longer believe stupid shit like this.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to restate my position that opposition to prohibition is THE libertarian issue at this time…

  2. Warren — I was pondering this very thing this morning — the future where people will cease to believe bullshit.

    What had me thinking was: I was reading a column where a guy was talking about which players a certain baseball team should keep, which should be traded, etc. All his opinion.

    When it struck me: how different an honest opinion sounds, when read, vs how a biased, spun or agenda-based opinion sounds. The sports guy had no axe to grind, and his writing was plain, simple, and transparent.

    I believe people have a biological ability to tell the difference between truth and bullshit. At some point, enough congitive dissonance will build up, and people will begin to reject the paradigm of agenda-driven spin. Course, given the biological trait of believing what reinforces what we belive is in our own self interest, this could take awhile to override.

  3. I would not be surprised to find out that everyone involved in writing this article is an out of control alcaholic with many serious emotional problems. I’ve given up on thinking that it is the ostensibly sober religious right (and left, religious or otherwise) who make up and spread this bizarre nonsense.

    Who’s paying these people to say this foolishness?

  4. I wouldn’t be surprided if they were all 5 joint a day potheads.

    With big mortgages and kids in college, of course.

    When the Cato Foundation or Institutie for Justice can pay the same amount to the same number of poeple to tell the truth about prohibition as the government does to tell lies about it, then we might begin to have honest discussions about drug harm reduction.

    What did that chick on Alice always say? When Pigs fly?

  5. Even if smoking pot did kill 30,000 — or a million — Brits per year, that’s not justification for government stopping people from doing it. We let people voluntarily use cigarettes and cars — two legal items that not only kill tons of people, but from which the government profits immensely. Perhaps eventually the government will decide that pot is just too lucrative a business to stay out of.

  6. The anti-drug folks won’t be admitting how wrong they’ve been and the entrenched anti-drug industry (drug testing clinics, DEA, cops, etc.) won’t close up shop without a fight to the death. They also have a lot of money=lobbyists=laws.

  7. The British government wants to reclassify marijuana from level C to level B (more restrictive, higher penalties for possession, etc). This is just part of the propaganda barrage leading up to the push for the legislation. Expect to see more such nonsense from conservartive British newspapers as the debate continues.

  8. “Even the 23 pot deaths the CDC found over the 20-year period seem iffy, cause-of-death-wise, as marijuana itself is so supremely non-toxic you’d have to smoke tens of thousands of joints in a few hours to get a fatal overdose.”

    Sounds like my kind of party..

  9. I hope the drug war continues indefinitely. If it ended, those liberty-minded folks on the Hill would have to look for a new field of employment for the warriors. I’d rather have the devil I know.

  10. Actually, I just got back from vacationing in the U.K. and if 30,000 Brits croaked a year from smoking pot (or anything else for that matter), that’d be fucking sweet.

  11. Luke,

    The vacation went well, I take it? 🙂

  12. I performed at the London Comedy Store with the introduction by the MC that I was a) American and b)recently discharged from the American Marines. Yeah, thanks a lot, you pie and mash scarfing, cockny rhyming slang dbag.

    No more than two words get out of my mouth before this huge group of drunk shitheads decide to yell “Yank!!!!Yank!!” through my entire set.

    If their teeth hadn’t already fallen out their ossified mouths, I swear to Christ I would’ve jarred them loose with a few haymakers.

    The Brits, in my opinion, have a very particular talent for making you feel like an outsider. More so, in my experience at least, than the French or the Germans and we don’t even speak the same language.

  13. I don’t think that there is any doubt that fewer and fewer people are believing what the drug nazis want us to believe about marijuana. This is by no means scientific but I have noticed how much the drug nazis position is openly mocked in popular culture. There is a muscial based on the movie Reefer Madness, The David Cappelle Show on Comedy Central, The 70’s Show, the movie HAlf Baked, etc. It goes all they back to the granddaddy of them all: Cheech and Chong.
    These media are businesses that don’t make any money selling ideas that are repugnant to media consumers. For example, you’ll likely never see a tv show or musical glorifying the Man-Boy Love Association becuase most of us agree that this is sick and would choose not to consume such media. That marijuana is fun and it its danger so overhyped that it is easy comedy must be a concept that consumers are willing to choose to consume.
    Thus, it seems to me, that because there is more and more mocking going on, it is because people understand (or at least find not objectionable) the drug nazis are full of shit.

  14. I find it curious that so many intelligent people can waste their time championing the childish pursuit of pot smoking.

  15. Gomer,

    At least with respect to weed. My liberal and conservative friends, all of whom support at least the decriminalization of marijuana, still think I’m nuts if I start putting images in their mind of CVS selling smack and cocaine. Even my cokehead friends.

  16. brooks,

    So how do you feel about billions of tax dollars being spent annually to stop a childish pursuit? Oh I’m sorry: I meant trying and failing to stop a childish pursuit.

  17. Phocion,I think it’s ridiculous.I also think that smoking pot is equally ridiculous.For the record I’ve probably smoked a ton of pot in my lifetime

  18. Brooks–

    You probably find it curious because you’re a moron. Smart people have no difficulty comprehending why it’s important.

  19. I find it curious that so many intelligent people can waste their time championing the childish pursuit of pot smoking.

    I find it curious that the land of the free, the model of democracy, can have 25% of the world prison population, much of which came on since the step up on the war on drugs. Even worse, how can America allow for a persons property be seized and liqiudated before trial, children forcibly removed from their homes and thrusted upon the public to be taken care of, and everyone of us must piss in a cup to prove our innocence? Its more mind blowing than what any drug can do for you! Reality sucks, stop the bus and let me off….

  20. I’m not a moron Luke,I’m an adult.

  21. Brooks–

    You’re an adult who apparently doesn’t run spell/grammar checking programs. Try using that space bar, big guy.

  22. brooks,

    You don’t have to champion use of a drug to champion its legality. Personally, whether the government lets me set fire to some leaf, the smoke of which makes me feel goofy, is not the most important issue in my life. What pisses me off is the seemingly arbitrary power taken away from individuals to decide what goes in their bodies, for pure paternalistic reasons. I don’t approve of the lifestyle of someone who does nothing but sit around and smoke pot all day, but I will certainly protect someone’s right to live that way.

    The fact that this fight over the leaf that makes me feel goofy costs a ton of my money and a ton of lives (thanks to government intervention) elevates the issue from being perhaps childish to being one worth talking about.

  23. “I also think that smoking pot is … ridiculous. For the record I’ve probably smoked a ton of pot in my lifetime.”

    Well, speaking as one whom has smoked perhaps ten pounds of pot over two and a half decades. (And adds to the total every week) You might have had a more positive experience with pot if you hadn’t smoked the whole ton during the two and a half years you were in college.

  24. I find it curious that so many intelligent people can waste their time championing the childish pursuit of pot smoking.

    How is pot smoking any more childish than drinking beer? The lack of an age limit?

  25. It’s totally disgusting …

    Adult Correctional Populations by Category,
    1980, 1995 and 2003

    …………1980…….1995…….2003
    Prison……319,598….1,078,545..1,387,269
    Probation…1,118,097..3,090,626..4,073,987
    Parole……220,436….700,174….774,588
    Jail……..182,288….507,234….691,301
    Total…….1,840,419..5,376,579..6,927,145

    DOJ and GAO sources

    QFMC, cos. V

  26. brooks,

    Choking the chicken is also childish, but no one discusses it on this board (too often) because you can sit at home and do it all day without fear of going to jail, having your property seized without due process, and having you children taken by the state and placed in torture camps, namely foster care.

    It’s also racist in origin as a way of keeping the spooks and greasers out of town or shipping them off when the harvest is over.

    It also corrupts politicians and cops because the black market money is unbelievable, and so it is unlikely it will be become legal in the next 40 years because of all the drug dealers supporting prohibition.

    And worst of all it makes people stop respecting the government and our laws, because if the US government can continue to state facts about the consequences of marijuana which fly in the face of reality for at least 100 million US citizens (based on numbers of pot smokers estimated by studies for the past forty years) then what else is it lying about?

    So I’d have to say your ostrich approach is truly the childish one, amigo. A sign of being an adult is the ability to face up to unpleasant truths.

  27. Chuck: Did you mean to imply that the dear old Ganurdia was an instance of a conservative newspaper? It’s the most right-on, politically-correct, too-left-for-New-Labour, tendentious-rag-masquerading-as-a-serious-newspaper you could find anywhere.

    That’s not to say the actually-conservative newspapers won’t pile on, of course. Obsessions make strange bedfellows.

  28. It’s the most right-on, politically-correct, too-left-for-New-Labour, tendentious-rag-masquerading-as-a-serious-newspaper you could find anywhere.

    You beat me to it.

    I’m constantly amazed that people consider the WOD a “conservative” enterprize.

    The Left needs to save you from the pressures of an alienating society.

    The Right needs to save society from the evil you.

  29. I’m constantly amazed that people consider the WOD a “conservative” enterprize.

    Nixon and Reagan are still too recent in the pot smokers mind. A few Republicans loved to toss out the old “soft on drugs” label against their democratic opponents. Along with mandatory minimums, drug testing, and the racial bias in the drug war, one cannot help but remember that conservatives had just as much, if not more, to do with today’s WoD. However, it does suprise a few to see the incarceration rate during the Clinton years.

    I am not saying Republicans are anti-drug zealots willing to sacrafice your young, I’m just saying… 🙂

  30. I see no real distinction between the Right’s and Left’s positions on the WoD – both advocate draonian suppressive tactics and horrific penalties for both drug users and vendors. One of the most depressing interviews I’ve ever read was with a declining Thurgood Marshall, the champion of civil rights, ranting about drugs and the need to throw the maximum number of people into jail.

    The idiotic pseudo-extrapolation in the Guardian article epitomizes everything I despise about the scientific/medical establshment. So many scientists and medical professionals make a great show of being “impartial” researchers, but in reality they’re grant whores, prostituting themselves to TPTB in order to secure next year’s appropriations.

  31. Didn’t the increase in the prison population also coincide with the privatization of prisons, i.e., creating a profit motive for higher incarceration rates and the further criminalisation of harmless activities?

  32. Brianr–

    Ah, yes. Well, I could go into Gunnels mode and say,”I NEVER said the Guardian is conservative. In fact, the word Guardian never even appears in my post, so you should learn to read, you moronic twit.” But the truth is, you are absolutely right, and I screwed up. My Londoner mother-in-law is probably writing me out of her will this very moment.

  33. s.a.m. at 07:03 PM

    I probably should have written:

    “I’m constantly amazed that people consider the WOD a[n exclusively] “conservative” enterprize.”

    Orthodox at 05:05 AM

    Indeed, I confess I have always thought that “prison privatization” was one of the goofier “privatization” ideas. It has led to all sorts of abuses, but I doubt that it is solely responsible for the intesified WOD.

    I also think it’s is also mislabelled. It should more properly be called “contracting out”.

  34. Chuck:
    Thank you for your candour, and you would have been quite within your rights (personals perhaps excepted). I made the (il)logical leap because I was in the mood to sound off on the Guardian, rather than wanting to nit-pick your post.

    MarkB: I LOVE “grant whores”!

  35. Brianr–

    I was just attempting to parody a famous (ex-?) Hit & Run commenter, and didn’t intend any insult to you. My apologies if it came across that way.

  36. I believe people have a biological ability to tell the difference between truth and bullshit.

    If this were true, no politician would ever get elected and no man under the age of 35 would ever get laid.

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