Mitt Romney

And You Should See How He Treats Caffeine Users

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I don't think there's a way to embed it, but click the picture below and you'll find video of Mitt Romney dissing Clayton Holton, a wheelchair-bound medical marijuana activist.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2007/10/07/romney.confronted.cnn


Some people say Romney lacks a common touch, but I don't see it.

Here's the video from Holton's friend. Steve Chapman touched on this issue yesterday; more reason on medical marijuana here.

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  1. Romney just looks plain evil here. I wonder how the media will react.

  2. what an evil monkey Romney is

  3. He is not in favor of medical marijuana. I don’t agree with his position…that doesn’t make him evil.

  4. I’d say using the power of office to prolong peoples suffering for the sake of pandering to established special interests counts as evil.

  5. It’s his complete lack of empathy for the guy with MS. If you can decide that someone’s suffering doesn’t matter (not in a “we need to do SOMETHING!” kind of way) because their voluntarily chosen relief from that suffering doesn’t fit in with your world view and policy prescriptions, then you are probably at least a little evil.

  6. Can anyone provide a synopsis of the video for those of us who are video-impaired?

  7. It’s a shame the video ended before Romney pushed the guy off the stage on his way out.

  8. Sure thing, Jake. Romney unzips his pants and says “You wanna smoke something? Smoke this, cripple!”

  9. Baseball Glove Romney is hier.

    Randolph Carter:

    an article of interest for you: “Former Middlebury College president wants to lower drinking age”
    hier

  10. In Holland, marijuana has been legalized since the 80s, medical marijuana has been legalized since the 90s. Sure, a lot of youngsters try marijuana, but hardly anyone becomes addicted. Why? Because, you’re considered a loser, immature or silly if you do. It’s a cultural thing. It’s probably not different in the US.

    It has been researched many times. France takes a hard stance against marijuana and hard drugs has on average many more junks and abusers. If Romney does not acknowledge scientific research, he is clearly dishonest and, quite frankly, exploiting people’s fears.

    The war on drugs isn’t working. It’s criminalizing people for self chosen behaviour.
    Even Pat Buchanan approves of medical marijuana. Isn’t he the most hardcore conservative in the Western world? If Pat says it’s okay, well, it’s okay.

    Btw, my father died of MS and he never smoked or used medical marijuana. So, not all patients need it, yet they do often do feel a lot better if they do. If politicians choose to let them suffer, just because public opinion is against it, they’re not the kind of leaders you should be looking for.

  11. Jake – a guy in a wheelchair decribed symptoms of his illness & asked a very uncomfortable Romney if the Guv would lock up him and his doctor for prescribing mm. Romney stated that he wasn’t in favor of mm and walked away. The guy taking the video pressed him further, but Romney just repeated that he wasn’t in favor of mm.

  12. Romney is listening to a guy in a wheelchair who says he’s extremely sick (apparently MS? I didn’t catch it in the vid) and most of his doctors agree that he’s living proof that medical marijuana is a valid form of treatment. He also specifically states that synthetic THC or whatever makes him sick and causes him to vomit. He asks Romney point-blank if he and his doctors would be arrested under a Romney administration. Romney simply says “I’m not–I’m not in–I’m not in favor of medical marijuana” and rudely walks away while the guy is still speaking to him, then continues to evade anything more concrete while someone else (the camera man or someone behind him) points out that he didn’t actually answer the question. But from the exchange, it’s pretty clear the answer is “yes.”

  13. Aah Johnny Mac and his crusade to lower the drinking age! I love it! The new president sucks royally. JM actually offered to team up with UVM and pick up the highway funding the state would have lost from lowering the drinking age, but UVM backed out at the last minute. Pussies!

  14. But seriously, Jake…

    An 80-lb dude with muscular dystrophy asks Romney if he will arrest him and his doctors for medical pot. Romney waves him off with something to the effect of “you’ve got pills for that” to which the guy tries to tell him don’t stay down (that whole puking thing). Romney then ignores the guy and starts shaking hands with other people. Someone behind the camera says “Aren’t you going to answer his question” to which Romney says “blah blah” without doing it.

    I think I got that right.

  15. Does this mean that we can bury that “Compassionate Conservativism” canard at last?

  16. that’s one of the most serious attacks against Reagan back when…

    and it would make sense in vermont, with, like, nearly one interstate 🙂

  17. Damn, I gotta hit preview. But I didn’t want all that typing to be for noth

  18. Thanks for the descriptions of the video! I was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and while I’m not (yet) wheelchair-bound, I very well might be at some point in the next eight years.

    I, therefore, hereby declare Mitt Romney a giant douchebag of the first order. If he’s willing to cause unnecessary suffering in order to preserve his poll numbers, fuck him, and add him to the list of people I probably shouldn’t be allowed to come within arm’s reach of.

  19. *Stands proudly next to Jake.

    All the best to You, Sir!

  20. I…I…I’m not in favor of Mitt Romney.

  21. Jake, since you brought it up, does MS give you pain? I was under the impression that the whole problem with MS is that you don’t feel ANYTHING, including pain and any other sensory stimuli. In which case, MM might take your mind off of your unfortunate situation, but would be incorrectly prescribed for MS.

  22. I’m a little pissed at the guy in the wheelchair for dissing recreational marijuana use.

  23. Oh, and Romney’s a douchebag like you said.

  24. “I’d say using the power of office to prolong peoples suffering for the sake of pandering to established special interests counts as evil.”

    Why are you bringing up welfare?

  25. Wow, what a prick. That’s all that I can say about that.

  26. Romney unzips his pants and says “You wanna smoke something? Smoke this, cripple!”

    I needed that early morning chuckle.

    The war on drugs is EVIL any way you look at it. Romney’s dis might not be “evil” per se, but the mindset behind it is, as anyone who pauses to actually think about the issue will soon realize.

  27. I liked the linked Glenn Beck video where he trashes Ron Paul. Especially the part where Beck says that he’s more libertarian than anything else. Keep telling yourself that, homeboy.

  28. My MS isn’t particularly advanced at the moment, so I don’t have any need for medical marijuana — obviously, I’ll be very happy if I never get to that stage.

    That said, pain often does come with MS, as does numbness. It’s a roll of the dice, because MS is, in a nutshell, your immune system going all TSA on you and attacking your own nervous system. The symptoms vary depending on where the overactive immune cells decide to attack.

    I have a varied and intriguing array of symptoms, but one of the first was nigh-incapacitating pain in my legs when getting out of a car or up from a chair (even if I’d just sat down minutes before). Now that’s relented, and it’s pretty minor, though it’s now accompanied by stiffness (MS symptoms tend to do that — they come on strong at first, then back off somewhat without actually ever going away).

    I also (and at the same time) have sensations of numbness in my legs — the two are not mutually exclusive. It’s not total numbness (I can still feel it if you were to pinch me, for example), but sensations are dampened.

    (I’ll spare you the litany of the other obnoxious symptoms, since that’s not within the scope of the question.)

    Anyhow, the Wikipedia article has some good information on the disease if you want to learn about it from a more coherent source. 🙂

  29. If the chemical compounds in marijuana work that well (better than existing alternatives), then extract them and make pills, ointment, etc. But smoking it? No, sorry, that simply will not fly. Smoking marijuana slowly eats away at your frontal cortex and has been shown to cause emphysema. Claiming ‘no side effects’ is just ignorant. There is no need to legalize smoking marijuana/cannabis for any reason. The politicians may dodge this because the people in pain are right in front of them, but that is no time to buckle under pressure… even if you are a douchebag.

  30. Smoking marijuana slowly eats away at your frontal cortex and has been shown to cause emphysema.

    I don’t think this is true. Got a link?

  31. many people who use medical MJ use a vaporizer, which eliminates the carcinogens from burning plant material. So no dice on the “these people just want to smoke j’s” front.

  32. and yes, where did you hear the frontal cortex thing? I don’t know if that’s true…

  33. Mitt Romney: Ass

  34. Jake,

    Best wishes–I hope they can effectively arrest the progression of the disease for you or, better yet, find a cure in the next few years.

  35. gaijin : that does make him evil…without inciting the godwin’s law enforcers…the euphemistic marketing of merely “disagreeing on policy” does not automatically mean that the position of the person you disagree with is in any way reasonable. To pretend otherwise is newspeak logic.

    The ENTIRE drug war is about enriching the big time drug smugglers and prison owners, stopping the uppity startup competitors and keeping prices artificially elevated. It has horribly stunted the civility of many developing countries and been a prime tool with which to erode American rights…It helps emprsion 2 million americans(a higher percentage than any nation, news flash: imprisonment is just as bad as SLAVERY)….not to mention it is a good old fashioned waste of tax money…that makes anyone defending the drug war a jerk..anyone attacking the kid in the wheel chair over medical marijuana is worse, just pure evil.

  36. Also, using a vaporizer (or smoking) apparently allows the marijuana to begin working immediately (it’s a *really* fast way into the bloodstream), and it’s easier to control dosage. When you’re experiencing pain, waiting for a pill to enter the bloodstream is far less effective, and it’s totally ludicrous when using it to try and control nausea.

  37. I like how Romney offers up “ahh, but have you tried the synthetic dope?”…

    I dont know how people can philosophically reconcile the idea that pills made in a factory are somehow inherently “good” in a way that shit that you roll up and smoke can’t be. Meaning, we allow doctors to proscribe shit that makes people REALLY fucked up and can be very dangerous and life threatening, but when it’s something harmless that also (coincidentally) is widely used recreationally, we need to put our foot down and stop the spread of this scourge. My buddy glen who died of Leukemia took those Marinol pills (THC) during chemo and agreed that they sucked ass. They made him woozy and nauseous, and he’d end up smoking grass anyway to keep food down.

    Another thing about Romney that was lame as hell is that he never even makes any attempt to explain to this poor bastard *why* he opposes it, and why his position makes sense. Im not sure he does have a reason that he can explain rationally. I mean you’d think he should make an effort to win this guy as a voter. But he’s like, “Oh? That regulated-weed thing? Get out of here with that mess, crippled hippy”

    My brother who’s schizophrenic has been on every kind of med you can imagine, and he’s suffered huge shifts in weight, his ability to focus, ability to sleep, etc. It’s like pharma-torture. Finally they got him on clozoril/clozipene and it worked like a charm. Only downside is that it destroys white blood cells and he needs to get checked every week to see that he doesnt suddenly die from athletes foot or something.

    My point is, the pharmacy game is totally scattershot and subjective for a wide variety of conditions…what works for some doesnt work for others. Doctors should be able to proscribe what they see actually helps the patient. I dont understand the objection to this stuff other than politicians see it as a slippery slope to legalization/regulation of something they’ve been demonizing for decades

  38. *looking over at someone who defends the drug war*

    JERK JERK JERK. NEENER NEENER.

  39. He needs “Just for Men” for those grey spots on the sides of his head, cause he looks way too much like J. Jameson from Spider Man.

  40. MrClean :

    your arrognace is sick…if you don’t like someone’s health decisions then call him an idiot, shout insults at complain to his employer, but if you march into his house and point a gun in his face or taser him to stick him in a prison then your a dangerous jerk, if you support others in doing it then your a coward and a jerk.

    that beign said he said he pukes the pills up…maybe he is lying, maying he wants a gradual lobotomy, or maybe he is dying in one year and it will take twenty to rot his brain…why not let him worry about it…it appears he has drawn a sorry enough lottery pick in this world and it doesn’t help anyone for you to kick in his door and taser his ass.

  41. I think for most establishment folks it’s the last gasp of the culture war. Drugs are the one issue where the political establishment/conservatives have won in the culture war. People are by and large cool with integration, gay people, naughty TV, and foreigners. But many if not most adults have a fear of drugs as some sort of external demon that can come in and turn a good person to evil. But that would mean they have medieval attitudes towards substances… but whatever.

  42. I liked the linked Glenn Beck video where he trashes Ron Paul. Especially the part where Beck says that he’s more libertarian than anything else. Keep telling yourself that, homeboy.

    I had never seen Beck before, but watching him reminded me of a great quote from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: “WOW, that’s an annoying sound that he makes.”

  43. Mitt Romney is a total douchebag.

    But to be fair, I feel a little guilty about this video. The MedMJ movement would benefit more from research and intellectual discussion.

    This tactic reminds me of something Code Pink or MADD would do. It sure tugs the heartstrings, but there’s little else Romney could do in that situation.

    Let me repeat that I think Romney is a douchebag and I’m not defending him by any means, but we all know he’s against MedMJ, and this was a low blow.

    Let me also add that I am a MJ connoisseur, of the recreational variety…

  44. Thanks for the well-wishes, guys… I must point out that, annoying as MS is, it’s a cakewalk compared to some other diseases — muscular dystrophy, for example.

    If Clayton Holton needs to piss on a crucifix and eat a puppy after snorting cocaine off of the ass of a high-priced call-girl in order to control pain, I say go for it.

  45. Smoking marijuana slowly eats away at your frontal cortex and has been shown to cause emphysema.

    Thats new. Frontal cortex?

    The only thing I can find on this thats not from Teh Government is the following =

    However, recent evidence suggests that there are few, if any, irreversible effects of THC on known brain chemistry. Ali and colleagues (1989) administered various doses of THC to rats for 90 days and then assessed several brain neurotransmitter systems 24 hours or two months after the last drug dose. Examination of dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, GABA, benzodiazepine and opioid neurotransmitter systems revealed that no significant changes occurred. A larger study with both rats and monkeys examined receptor binding of the above neurotransmitters and the tissue levels of monoamines and their metabolites (Ali et al, 1991). No significant irreversible changes were demonstrated in the rats chronically treated with THC. Monkeys exposed to a chronic treatment of marijuana smoke for one year and then sacrificed after a seven-month recovery period were found to have no changes in neurotransmitter concentration in caudate, frontal cortex, hypothalamus, or brainstem regions. The authors concluded that there are no significant irreversible alterations in major neuromodulator pathways in the rat and monkey brain following long-term exposure to the active compounds in marijuana.

    Pretty comprehensive review.

    http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wcms/Publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubs-drug-cannab2-ch75.htm

    I’ve had a number of EEGs, FWIW (I like to look at the pretty colors in my brain)… and the docs can never find anything screwy in there at all. Seriously. We keep looking though.

  46. If Clayton Holton needs to piss on a crucifix and eat a puppy after snorting cocaine off of the ass of a high-priced call-girl in order to control pain, I say go for it.

    All right, all right already. I’ll invite him to my next party.

  47. American Psycholical Association:
    http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun01/cogcentral.html
    Neuropsychiatric Imaging Research Laboratory
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10772599&dopt=AbstractPlus

    A few news and other Internets tidbits (never to be trusted fully):
    http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/04/reefer_madness_.html
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,269256,00.html
    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s777336.htm

    Unfortunately, sometimes these studies are difficult do to the complexity of individual test case’s drug habits; and I’m certainly not leaning on any sort of ‘gateway’ B.S. However, these studies are not rare and are too intriguing to ignore.
    True, the occasional recreational use may not cause you to shoot someone, support terrorism, or turn you into a ‘burnout’ or ‘loser’; but I’m just saying that supporting a ‘harmless’ POV is baseless.
    I have faith in our medical community to derive treatments for MS, etc. that may indeed come from THC or some other sort of cannibinoid derivative, but smoking it is NOT the answer. I feel your pain, I have chronic pain daily. But I cannot support legislation allowing smoking of marijuana, only for our R&D to come up with a much better solution once it is much more difficult to enforce a repeal of said legislation, especially if the common user (medically or not) simply does not understand the sometimes permanent effects of smoking this drug.

  48. As far as Glenn Beck goes, he could have been a lot worse. He did point out 5 points that Beck’s audience would agree with.

    Also, those 5 points are basically the focus of tonight’s debate. I don’t know if Beck knows it, but I think he accidentally gave Dr. Paul good publicity…

  49. Jake,

    My Mother-in-law was diagnosed with MS as a young woman. Doctors told her not to have children and so on. She didn’t listen, had two healthy babies, raised them and worked full-time until she couldn’t anymore, around the time my wife was in her early teens. She doesn’t walk anymore, but zips around on her electric scooter and leads a full life. She’ll turn 60 next week. I hope your story finds you living as rich a life as she’s had.

  50. MrClean – one of your linked studies talk about addiction to drugs in general. Since alcohol is more addictive than marijuana, are you in favor a re-criminalizing it?

    Another study purported to show a link between marijuana use and schizophrenia. Like other studies showing links between marijuana (or any drugs) and behavioral / emotional problems, I have to wonder if they have causation reversed. I suspect people with behavioral / emotional are more likely to use drugs rather than the drugs causing these problems in otherwise healthy individuals.

  51. I’m sorry if you mistook me as being arrogant, I am simply trying to take an unbiased position. I am not saying whether people should or should not smoke marijuana. I am in nearly constant pain, and I understand the desire to seek treatment when the medical community has failed us. I’m an American, I was born FREE, do whatever you want so long as your freedoms do not limit the freedoms of others. Smoke all you want, so long as the smoke does not affect those around you and as long as that choice does not involve crime, etc.

  52. I dont know how people can philosophically reconcile the idea that pills made in a factory are somehow inherently “good” in a way that shit that you roll up and smoke can’t be.

    Along those lines, I seriously doubt taht there is any advantage in using OxyContin over heroin for severe pain relief. Of course there is a monetary benefit to the patent holders of OxyContin, but that’s both obvious and problematic.

  53. I found this on Boortz.com.
    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” —C.S. Lewis

  54. Wow, my hate for Mitt Romney knows no bounds. Just ignored the FUCK out of that guy. Terrible.

  55. Romney comes off as a complete, well, prick. He obviously cares more about winning than principles. The guy who asked the question is forced into the position of breaking the law in order to stay alive.

  56. MrClean – no, I just wanted to point out that alcohol is a more deleterious drug than marijuana. Since you appeared to be supporting the status quo in regards to pot laws, I wanted to clarify.

    I don’t think smoking pot comes without consequences. I do think that those consequences are minor, especially in regard to people who are merely occassional users. I also think that many people who claim that it has serious negative effects are basing that assumption on users who had previous problems possibly exacerbated by marijuana use. FWIW, I quit using illegal drugs many years ago.

    I’m sorry about your pain. I hope you can find worthwhile treatment.

  57. OxyCotin is legal and regulated, so you know your getting good stuff…

  58. Mr. Clean:

    Why should you care how someone ingests it?

    Do you want tobacco smoking outlawed?

  59. If Romney does not acknowledge scientific research, he is clearly dishonest and, quite frankly, exploiting people’s fears.

    IOW, a politician.

    But I cannot support legislation allowing smoking of marijuana, only for our R&D to come up with a much better solution once it is much more difficult to enforce a repeal of said legislation

    The same reasoning applies to any drug with an unpleasant side effect. I.e. almost every drug. In the vast majority of cases the drug you can take today is worth more than the drug you might have when the FDA gets around to approving it.

    especially if the common user (medically or not) simply does not understand the sometimes permanent effects of smoking this drug.

    But some of these common users do understand the permanent effects of not smoking; i.e. death.

    I have faith in our medical community to derive treatments for MS, etc. that may indeed come from THC or some other sort of cannibinoid derivative, but smoking it is NOT the answer.

    I have faith that the government who prohibits the growing of non-cannibinoid hemp for clothing will make damn sure that no treatments even remotely involving THC or some other sort of cannibinoid derivative are ever proposed, much less approved.

  60. I think the general public has shown that it cannot be trusted with tobacco (second hand smoke), alcohol (abuse, car accidents), marijuana (car accidents, illegal activity brings multiple effects, Some of which can be alleviated by changing the law restricting its use; I have not known many pot users to go around in a craze beating their children, normally they just giggle and fall asleep with a bag of chips), or even prescription or OTC drugs (abuse, at-home creation of much worse drugs).
    However, there are those that can and do act responsibly with some or all of the above for medical or recreational use. Perhaps technology (automatic cars, for example) could alleviate a large number of my concerns, but not all (abuse). For some drugs, i.e. tobacco & marijuana, if the smoke could be contained such that the second-hand is not a problem (i.e. I can’t think of any second-hand alcohol problems at the moment), then let it be the same as alcohol laws. However, the smoke is not contained, and both of those remain a problem (legalizing marijuana would only greatly exacerbate this problem).
    As far as the medical effects, I am hoping that these studies can be proven wrong. I am hoping that marijuana can be proven (or altered) to be harmless, because then perhaps we could all relax a little and enjoy some pain-free recreational use. But Until Then: I would prefer to err on the side of caution.

  61. Clayton Holton

    Get your paws off my dope, you damn dirty ape!

  62. Mr Clean, there are any number of harmful things that aren’t on your list. Guns and automobiles come readily to mind. You can’t make the world a 100% totally harmless place & it’s folly to try.

  63. I guess we better outlaw the automobile and power generation plants since I’ve heard their second hand smoke causes this thing called smog which is bad for the childrens.

    Second hand alcohol problems = wife beating, bar fights, hooking up with unattractive partners, liver disease, etc. Let’s outlaw that stuff.

  64. Caffeine is not an issue for Mormans.

    I forget the details, but I believe it is actually hot drinks that are taboo.

  65. Rhywun, Agreed. I like guns, I have many. And I have a car, just one though. Each are tools which, when used properly, seem to make life more enjoyable. Medical marijuana (if it can be proven harmless) is a tool which, when used properly, seems to make life more enjoyable for its users. However, unlike marijuana, I have not read many studies showing guns and automobiles to have detrimental medical effects (let’s set aside for now the illegal activities associated with all three).
    Pills, ointments, etc. often [if not always] have negative side effects in some form. So as I said, I am in favor of seeking alternative treatments when the medical community has and will continue to fail us. So please, do me, yourself, those suffering, and all of us a favor: keep researching this particular issue. If for no other reason than mounting controversy and medical trials and research studies that completely contradict one another, this issue obviously needs a solution. And no politician, Especially this douchebag, is going to come up with the correct answer on his own.

  66. MrClean, you realize that the vast majority of people who use marijuana, like the vast majority of people who use alcohol, do so responsibly?

    Why would you not support legislation that allows sick people to use the only medicine they’ve found that works for them? Continuing the research is well and good, but there are people who could grow their own medicine (knowing full well it’s side-effects), but can’t for fear of going to jail.

    Have you heard of Peter McWilliams? Pot was the only thing that controlled his nausea. But when the feds threatened him with prison and the loss of his parents’ house if he tested positive for marijuana, he choked to death on his vomit because he couldn’t control his nausea.

    Your position supports government action like that, I think.

  67. I’ll add that the feds who killed McWilliams, like you, said it was fine if he took pot pills. Of course, he couldn’t keep them down.

    Look, if a person says they know what works for them and they’re aware of the risks (prescription medication kills 100,000 people a year, btw; do you actually think people in pain smoking pot are going to do worse than that?), what right does the government have to say, “We know what’s best for you and you’re not allowed to be pain-free in a way we don’t approve of.”

  68. I am not saying I am definitely against MM, or recreational use for that matter. I have no moral objection to it, and I am certainly not leaning toward the government telling people what to do. But from what I have read repeatedly, the long term effects of smoking marijuana are pretty bad, bad enough to never get approved. If those can be cleaned up or those studies can be proven wrong, then I am all for it. There are alternatives to smoking MM though, for example, suppositories and inhalers. Some work for certain individuals, some not. Some studies have shown that the THC itself is the largest problem, not the smoking. If that is the case, there are instances where it could still be allowed, i.e. someone with 10 years to live won’t care about damage that takes 30 years to appear like smoking. So with strong controls and restrictions on use, I too believe this could be legalized, assuming that research shows the side effects to be within a manageable scope.
    What I do NOT want to see is the daily use that I far too often see in daily life. I’m willing to accept that the majority of alcoholics do not cause accidents, and the majority of marijuana users just sit at home and eat Twinkies. But the non-majority is not ‘non’ enough. I do not attend concerts anymore because of the frequent contact-highs. I would have to wait in the parking lot for it to wear off before I would feel comfortable enough to be a responsible driver; that is NOT responsible marijuana use. Just because you are outside does not make it responsible. Smokers, tobacco or otherwise, cause a similar problem. If the smoke can be contained, and the users are not permitted to drive, operate machinery, etc., then fine; let them do whatever they want. Hash bar? Sure, IF the effects are proven to be not much worse than cigarettes or alcohol. BUT, they cannot be allowed to get behind the wheel. Alcohol is bad enough, so I do not see the sense in legalizing yet one more thing that currently is minimized in collateral damage.

    The issue that I lean toward the most is limiting the freedoms of the rest of us. There are only Three rights: Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness; the rest are just gravy. And remember, the right to Life trumps the rest.

  69. I think you contradict yourself, MrClean.

    I am not saying I am definitely against MM, or recreational use for that matter. I have no moral objection to it, and I am certainly not leaning toward the government telling people what to do.

    And then you say:

    What I do NOT want to see is the daily use that I far too often see in daily life.

    and

    Alcohol is bad enough, so I do not see the sense in legalizing yet one more thing that currently is minimized in collateral damage.

    So, you DO lean towards the government telling people what to do, as long as it’s something you, personally, don’t care for.

    It’s already illegal to drive under the influence of drugs (as we agree it should be).

    We agree that doing things that affect the lives/health of other people should be regulated. But you’re going one step beyond that and saying that people who don’t hurt others should be threatened with prison for using drugs responsibly because some people don’t use them responsibly.

    This is exactly the same philosophy used by people who want to take away your guns because so many people use guns irresponsibly. Your reasoning is EXACTLY the same.

    In terms of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, none of those concepts should allow the government to prevent me from doing to myself whatever I’d like. Unless, of course, you believe that the government owns our bodies.

  70. …the long term effects of smoking marijuana are pretty bad, bad enough to never get approved.

    If these are the studies you linked to above, I really didn’t see anything that horrible.

    I am currently on a drug that will take 15-20 years off the end of my lifespan. If I don’t take it, I will die much sooner than that. It is far more toxic than marijuana, but I need it to live. I am luckier than those who need mm in the sense that it is an “approved” drug, despite its deleterious effects.

  71. For anyone interested in embedding, YouTube has the encounter here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY6UTnS6Z-A

  72. Seriously, what else could he have said? “I’m against mmj, but I’ll make sure you get away with it.”?

  73. Again, I think perhaps I am not explaining my POV clearly enough, as is difficult with a complicated issue like this. When I said, “What I do NOT want to see is the daily use that I far too often see in daily life,” I wasn’t referring to what I do or do not like, I feel you should be able to do whatever you want to your own body (short of what might be considered less than sane). What I was referring to was what I went on to describe as irresponsible behavior (spelled out vaguely in the legal sense). If every time you took a drink (at a bar or in public), you splashed some into the mouth of others around you, there would be legal consequences. The laws surrounding second-hand smoke are pretty vague in most cases and are slowly being ironed out. I used the word ‘irresponsible’ behavior to depict those situations where having a lit joint out in public or in a restaurant or bar or wherever causes the air breathed in by those around to be toxic. This is illegal in the event that it takes away from the right to Life of those around you, but again, the laws stating that are quite vague currently. Perhaps I should have linked that sentence a little more clearly.
    If marijuana is proven to be very harmful, as I have read but am hoping to be disproven, then it should illegal, similar to crack, cocaine, etc. I’m not against it if it is not much worse than alcohol or smoking; if those long-term effects are publicized and put on the label, etc. before people use it, then they understand the dangers, and that’s their problem if they don’t care about their own bodies. So if medically it’s proven to be not much worse than alcohol, but eases people’s pain, great.
    As far as responsible use goes, that’s a separate concern about the right to Life, not a personal preference. Drunk driving, second-hand smoke (tobacco or otherwise), etc. are problems that need to be solved before we go adding another legal-but-problematic substance to the board, that’s what I’m saying. I don’t think alcohol, tobacco, or guns should be taken away (in fact I’ve already said marijuana laws could be made similar to alcohol laws) from responsible people. But I think it would be senseless to legalize it until the issues with the medical effects and the rules and effects of second-hand contact-high-causing smoke can be dealt with in a reasonable manner.

  74. Mr. Clean look up the research by Donald Tashkin. The DEA used his research to claim that ganja caused cancer.

    Here is something from his most recent work.

    Marijuana Smoking Does Not Cause Lung Cancer, UCLA Expert Dr. Tashkin Concludes
    Protective Effect “Not Unreasonable”
    (Note: California NORML has long warned that marijuana smoking might cause lung cancer. We have accordingly advised consumers to use “smoke reduction” techniques such as vaporizers and oral consumption. Our warning has been based on the best scientific research of leading experts on smoking, such as Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA. We are happy to report that in his latest study, Dr. Tashkin has found no evidence of lung cancer in longterm marijuana smokers. This does not mean that marijuana smoke does not have ill effects: other studies have clearly demonstrated that marijuana smokers suffer a higher rate of bronchitis and respiratory infections. Marijuana smoking could also be linked to cancers in the throat and neck; evidence on this is inconclusive. – D. Gieringer, Cal NORML)

    Report by Fred Gardner – C-Notes June 29, 2005
    Marijuana smoking -“even heavy longterm use”- does not cause cancer of the lung, upper airways, or esophagus, Dr. Donald Tashkin reported at this year’s meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society.

    Coming from Tashkin, this conclusion had extra significance for the assembled drug-company and university-based scientists (most of whom get funding from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse). Over the years, Tashkin’s lab at UCLA has produced irrefutable evidence of the damage that marijuana smoke wreaks on bronchial tissue. With NIDA’s support, Tashkin and colleagues have identified the potent carcinogens in marijuana smoke, biopsied and made photomicrographs of pre-malignant cells, and studied the molecular changes occurring within them. It is Tashkin’s research that the Drug Czar’s office cites in ads linking marijuana to lung cancer. Tashkin himself has long believed in a causal relationship, despite a study in which Stephen Sidney examined the files of 64,000 Kaiser patients and found that marijuana users didn’t develop lung cancer at a higher rate or die earlier than non-users. Of five smaller studies on the question, only two -involving a total of about 300 patients- concluded that marijuana smoking causes lung cancer. Tashkin decided to settle the question by conducting a large, population-based, case-controlled study.”Our major hypothesis,” he told the ICRS, “was that heavy, longterm use of marijuana will increase the risk of lung and upper-airways cancers.”

    The Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance program provided Tashkin’s team with the names of 1,209 L.A. residents aged 59 or younger with cancer (611 lung, 403 oral/pharyngeal, 90 laryngeal, 108 esophageal). Interviewers collected extensive lifetime histories of marijuana, tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, and data on diet, occupational exposures, family history of cancer, and various “socio-demographic factors.” Exposure to marijuana was measured in joint years (joints per day x years that number smoked). Controls were found based on age, gender and neighborhood. Among them, 46% had never used marijuana, 31% had used for less than one joint year, 12% had used for 1-10 j-yrs, 5% had used 10-30 j-yrs, 2% had used for 30-60 j-yrs, and 3% had used for more than 60 j-yrs. Tashkin controlled for tobacco use and calculated the relative risk of marijuana use resulting in lung and upper airways cancers. A relative risk ratio of .72 means that for every 100 non-users who get lung cancer, only 72 people who smoke get lung cancer. All the odds ratios in Tashkin?s study turned out to be less than one! Compared with subjects who had used less than one joint year, the estimated odds ratios for lung cancer were .78 for 1-10 j-yrs [according to the abstract book and .66 according to notes from the talk] .74 for 10-30 j-yrs; .85 for 30-60 j-yrs; and 0.81 for more than 60 j-yrs. The estimated odds ratios for oral/pharyngeal cancers were 0.92 for 1-10 j-yrs; 0.89 for 10-30 j-yrs; 0.81 for 30-60 j-yrs; and 1.0 for more than 60 j-yrs. “Similar, though less precise results were obtained for the other cancer sites,” Tashkin reported. “We found absolutely no suggestion of a dose response.” The data on tobacco use, as expected, revealed “a very potent effect and a clear dose-response relationship -a 21-fold greater risk of developing lung cancer if you smoke more than two packs a day.” Similarly high odds obtained for oral/pharyngeal cancer, laryngeal cancer and esophageal cancer. “So, in summary” Tashkin concluded, “we failed to observe a positive association of marijuana use and other potential confounders.”

    There was time for only one question, said the moderator, and San Francisco oncologist Donald Abrams, M.D., was already at the microphone: “You don’t see any positive correlation, but in at least one category, it almost looked like there was a negative correlation, i.e., a protective effect. Could you comment on that?” [Abrams was referring to Tashkin?s lung-cancer-only data for marijuana-only smokers in 1-10 j-yrs category.] “Yes,” said Tashkin. “The odds ratios are less than one almost consistently, and in one category that relationship was significant, but I think that it would be difficult to extract from these data the conclusion that marijuana is protective against lung cancer. But that is not an unreasonable hypothesis.”

  75. Seriously, what else could he have said? “I’m against mmj, but I’ll make sure you get away with it.”?

    Romney was asked if the sick man and his doctors would be arrested under a Romney administration for using medical marijuana. So, he could have answered that question, instead of walking away like the cowardly little bitch he is.

  76. MrClean is a t-tr-tra-troll

  77. MrClean,

    Again, you contradict yourself.

    First you say

    I feel you should be able to do whatever you want to your own body (short of what might be considered less than sane)

    We’ll leave out the issue of who gets to consider what’s “sane” or “less than sane” as there are many people who believe owning many guns is “less than sane.”

    Then you say:

    If marijuana is proven to be very harmful, as I have read but am hoping to be disproven, then it should illegal, similar to crack, cocaine, etc. I’m not against it if it is not much worse than alcohol or smoking; if those long-term effects are publicized and put on the label, etc. before people use it, then they understand the dangers, and that’s their problem if they don’t care about their own bodies.

    First of all, what makes you think that alcohol and tobacco are less dangerous than cocaine or heroin? There’s no evidence to suggest that they are. Legally prescribed drugs alone kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined.

    I think you contradict yourself so much partly because you think it’s a complicated issue, when it’s really not. Either you own your body or you don’t. If you do, it should be legal to do whatever you want to do to it as long as that doesn’t affect the health/well-being of others. You can make a good argument that the government should protect you from getting high from other people’s smoke or from people operating heavy machinery under the influence of any drug at all. But you can’t make a reasonable argument that the government should protect you from doing things to your own body in the privacy of your own home.

  78. James, excellent find. I will certainly take this and some others that I have found into account. They do state, however, “Tashkin’s lab at UCLA has produced irrefutable evidence of the damage that marijuana smoke wreaks on bronchial tissue.” This concerns me, particularly if this damage leads to emphysema. However, I would certainly take cases of chronic treatable bronchitis over the lung cancer route.
    Also, what about the claims about damage to the frontal cortex? I know I have read that nicotine (not necessary unaltered natural tobacco consumption) and alcohol each causes permanent chemistry changes in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. But long-term effects are a result of long-term choices, a choice freely made by those who understand the dangers (and by those who don’t). If marijuana only affects users over the long term not much worse than alcohol, then I don’t really see the difference.
    However, I am still very concerned about the second-hand smoke problem. Second-hand smoke from tobacco products is one thing, causing damage over long-term exposure that can take many years to show up, but contact highs are a near-term problem. Not merely an annoyance, but a danger especially to those who do not know or understand the dangers of such, which could lead to accidents and other poor judgement related problems.

  79. Les, I wasn’t contradicting myself regarding personal harm; I was saying there is a limit before such self-inflicted harm should be considered insane. I intentionally did not delve into the definition of sanity or where that limit should be placed. And I am not saying that alcohol and tobacco are less harmful than marijuana, cocaine, etc. I was giving them as examples of illegal drugs. You seem to be extrapolating quite a bit from text that simply is not there. If you have questions about what I say, I suggest you ask, rather than assume as I have been quite generous in implying that I may not be very good at accurately expressing my point of view in this manner. As well, I am not a scholar in medicine, I am forming my own point of view based on what I’ve read; the best thing you can do it present further information such as James has done, rather than point out contradictions which may simply be misunderstandings.

  80. OK Mrclean I get it you are trolling. Dohh

  81. Well, trolling or not, I think the issue has not been discussed enough. Any issue that a douchebag politician walks away from obviously needs attention. If marijuana users really want to legalize the drug for medicinal or recreational uses, they are going to have to come up with better arguments than “he’s a douchebag” and “let ’em eat dope!”
    I honestly am in nearly constant pain due to spinal injuries and am on the constant lookout for better solutions; currently I have found that massage therapy and chiropractic work for me. I feel for those with MS and MD and others that have yet to find a sustainable recourse for what ails them. I wish you the best.
    Seriously, I would like more information from both sides of the argument. No, I am not Mr. Clean, but my voice is heard; I can take what you send me on to those whose voices are heard even more. My email, though technically a ‘junkmail’ account, is valid; feel free to send further articles and questions.

  82. I, therefore, hereby declare Mitt Romney a giant douchebag of the first order. If he’s willing to cause unnecessary suffering in order to preserve his poll numbers, fuck him, and add him to the list of people I probably shouldn’t be allowed to come within arm’s reach of.

    Jake — I don’t think this is about poll numbers. Mitt Romney is an authoritarian Mormon — he has a religious conviction that drugs are wrong, and thinks it is right to use government to cut down on drug use. I thoroughly disagree with his belief that Mormon doctrine favors such a view of government — reading Mormon scripture about the role of agency seems to rebut that premise IMO — but I do believe Romney is sincere in those beliefs.

    Attack him for the wrongheaded policy, but I think it’s wrong to imply he’s insincere, at least on this issue, and doing this for the polls.

    Sorry to hear about your illness.

  83. Hey MrClean… Wanna get high?

    Sounds like a dumb question at first, but suppose for a moment that the authoritarian society you promote deems that the best treatment for your pain is smoking pot, and also deems that massage therapy and chiropractic are dangerous and prohibits your access to them under threat of violent force.

    Would you seek black market treatment that works, or settle for what the nanny state decided is best for you?

    Just something to ponder… Good luck with your condition.

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