Religion

The Christian Science Monitor Continues Its Crusade Against Marijuana

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The Christian Science Monitor is, in many respects, a good newspaper. It has a large team of stellar reporters who know how to get scoops, knows the value of breaking news online, and, contrary to its name, is largely independent of the First Church of Christ, Scientist (save for the one religious article it has run, in honor of founder Mary Baker Eddy, every day since 1908). On the CSM's About page, where it explains its independence from the church Eddy also founded, the editors write, "The idea is that the unblemished truth is freeing (as a fundamental human right); with it, citizens can make informed decisions and take intelligent action, for themselves and for society."

Considering all this, it is very odd that the Monitor's editorial board has not been deposed for the nonsense it writes about drug-law reform.

In 2010, the paper's board ran an editorial titled, "Time to again mobilize against marijuana," in which the writers made the case that casual use of marijuana "can lead to dependency, distort perception, and impair coordination, learning, and memory," and that chronic use has been "linked" to schizophrenia, and suicide. The editorial also misrepresented a RAND study that said marijuana legalization won't completely destroy the cartels. (Not now, it won't. But it would sure as hell reduce their profit margins.) In its conclusion, the 2010 Monitor editorial took the rather slimy course of suggesting that Obama was not just a bad president, but a bad father for not doing more to oppose marijuana legalization efforts:

Barack Obama is widely respected as a family man. His two girls are on the way to teenhood. One in 6 people who start using marijuana as an adolescent becomes addicted. Is he going to simply tell his daughters that, yes, he smoked pot and, well, he hopes they survive the experience if they follow his example?

Or will the president successfully articulate a message – one that helps parents and other caring adults talk to today's youth – by telling his children that rejecting marijuana isn't about his past use, it's about their future. It's about their safety, their clarity of thought, their happiness independent of a drug.

The culture of pot acceptance must be reversed in America. It was turned back after 1979, and that can happen again. But the drug czar can't do it alone. We need the man at the top, and all of the relevant administration players, saying the same thing, and saying it often. What's good for the president's children is good for the country. He must tell us so.

Two years later, the editors of the Monitor have outdone their previous efforts—here they are cheering on dispensary crackdowns; here they are praising the DEA as arbiters of morality and reason—this time by suggesting that Obama is being a bad president for doing more to dissuade legalization efforts abroad than he is in Colorado and Washington state:

During his visit to Central America, Mr. Biden seemed sympathetic to the region's frustration with drug cartels and their violence. He said a debate over legalization is understandable "in societies that don't have the institutional framework and the structure to deal with organized, illicit operations."

Did the vice president mean to imply that the United States does have the "institutional framework" to deal with illicit drug sales? If so, why does marijuana use only rise?

The administration needs to step up and make a strong case against legalization in the US in order to counter a well-financed, well-organized pro-marijuana effort. One argument is that the cartels would actually welcome legalization, in the same way that US casino owners have welcomed state gambling lotteries. To drug dealers, the more addicts the better.

Biden did say a debate in Latin America about legalization would help "lay to rest some of the myths that are associated with the notion of legalization."

How about he and Obama start to challenge those myths in states like Colorado and Washington?

This is nothing short of vile. Not only is Biden wrong about the effects of ending prohibition (Portugal has experienced lower addiction rates since decriminalizing all drugs), but there is zero evidence that cartels want legalization. In fact, it's more likely they—and the politicians they've captured—hate the idea. Prohibition has made Mexico's drug lords insanely wealthy, won countless PRI campaigns, and lined the pockets of politicians and cops on both sides of the border. Full-on legalization across the Americas would cause pot prices to plummet, and diminish the slush funds that finance the cartels' savagery and corruption.  

As for the paper's claim to editorial indepence: The Monitor editorial board's thinking is not just wrong-headed, but mirrors its parent organization's willingness to cite all manner of specters in order to keep from openly espousing its quackish pre-Enlightenment views on medicine and science. The myth, then, is not that repealing marijuana prohibition will save lives and money, but that the editors of the Christian Science Monitor, which was founded by an anti-science charlatan, are in any way qualified to opine about public health. 

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  1. Legalization? That will never happen. There is too much money in it!

    *laughs and takes another hit of scotch*

  2. Don’t mock them becuase they know about Reefer Madness.

  3. One argument is that the cartels would actually welcome legalization, in the same way that US casino ownersbootleggers have welcomed state gambling lotterieslegal liquor stores.

  4. I think you’re asking too much of an editorial board made up of drug eschewing Christian Scientists. You might as well ask Georgetown University to hand out free birth control.

    1. Good article. It is funny that Christian Scientists and the Taliban see themselves as quite different but in reality they are much the same.

  5. One argument is that the cartels would actually welcome legalization, in the same way that US casino owners have welcomed state gambling lotteries. To drug dealers, the more addicts the better.

    I can think of stupid arguments that don’t make sense too. But I never think that they ought to be published in a national newspaper.
    Casinos? Really? Last I checked, they were legal and heavily regulated.

    I have a really hard time imagining that anyone can actually believe this shit.

    1. fwiw, several prominent casino owners have come out strongly against legalizing online poker, etc.

      i know… shocking.

  6. Yo Riggs. You can’t post a pic like that sans alt text.

    1. “The Walking Dead is desperate for ratings”

      1. “The CSM’s vision of a perfect world.”

        1. At least they were not smoking weed.

          1. “Better bleeding, than potheeding.”

            (I’m assuming they would come up with a slogan as stupid as their argument.)

            1. Better bleeding than weeding. And yeah, I am sure they would.

              1. better dead than a pothead..

                1. “They died, so that your children might live.”

                  1. “They died so that your children have to get their weed from a gun-wielding thug in the ghetto instead of from their older siblings at the local weed-mart.”

    2. How about “The Christian Science Monitor wants more of this”

      1. Better than letting them smoke weed.

  7. Why didn’t they just save the column inches and print “you pot heads just want your dope”. It would have been just as compelling an argument. And would have at least had brevity going for it.

  8. This is their position on all medicine. At least they’re consistent.

    1. Seriously, just what the hell is a Christian Scientist? Are they really faith healers?

      1. Basically. I had a teacher in middle school that was a Christian Scientist. I remember her telling us about going home and praying for her sick family member to get well. The entire class thought it was crazy when the family could just give the woman some medicine. And, being middle school boys we mocked her the rest of the day.

      2. No, they believe in the healing power of prayer being more powerful than actual medicine. Praying about your broken leg is vastly superior to having it set and getting a cast.

        They are, in the end, radical dualism taken to its logical extreme. You are always healthy in “God’s reality,” it is only in the illusion of the material world where you are sick.

        1. Wow. That is in one sense true. One day I will die and all of my worldly ills will be gone. But that doesn’t make the ones here any less unpleasant.

          That amazes me about people like this is that they think

          1. that they even have the ability to know what is best for them or others the way an omnipotent God could. You may think it is terrible that Grandma is dying of cancer. God may think that necessary for reasons you will never understand.

          2. That an omnipotent God is restricted to supernatural mechanisms. Maybe that doctor with that medicine is God answering your prayers dumb ass.

          1. John, #2 is basically what I asked my teacher. I was being serious when I asked but she took it as me being a smart ass. I don’t remember what her exact response was, but it wasn’t “wow, what an astute observation.” As a side note, I remember her more for her spectacular rack than her crazy beliefs.

          2. John, #2 is basically what I asked my teacher. I was being serious when I asked but she took it as me being a smart ass. I don’t remember what her exact response was, but it wasn’t “wow, what an astute observation.” As a side note, I remember her more for her spectacular rack than her crazy beliefs.

          3. John, #2 is basically what I asked my teacher. I was being serious when I asked but she took it as me being a smart ass. I don’t remember what her exact response was, but it wasn’t “wow, what an astute observation.” As a side note, I remember her more for her spectacular rack than her crazy beliefs.

          4. CS is interesting in that it came out of the 19th century’s pseudo-scientific craze: Fletcherism, Kellog’s cornflake masturbation cure, homeopathy, seance parties, Tarot readings, and the like.

            1. It was all fun while it lasted Sugar Free.

            2. Sug, It was Dr. Graham and his eponymous crackers that were touted as a “cure” for masturbation. Kellogg was also an anti-sex hysteric but advocated genital mutilation as a cure; not his cereal.

              1. Tonio, via Wikipedia:

                Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the superintendent of The Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan and an Adventist, used these recipes as part of a strict vegetarian regimen for his patients, which also included no alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine. The diet he imposed consisted entirely of bland foods. A follower of Sylvester Graham, the inventor of graham crackers and graham bread, Kellogg believed that spicy or sweet foods would increase passions

                1. there is at least a folk CW that claims that spicy foods enhance the libido. it seems to go along with the latin lover mythology.

                  the mormons agree. i was reading one of their screeds where one of their “prophets” was offering advice to single mormons on how to avoid the sin of masturbation. the advice: everytime you had the urge to masturbate, go down to the refrigerator and gorge yourself on bland foods. seriously. so, apparently to mormons, masturbation is evul, harmful and against God’s Plan ™ but gorging yourself into fatfuckness on bland foods (god forbid you enjoy the food you eat) is perfectly ok.

                  apparently, the whole seven deadly sins thing doesn’t apply to them, because i have seen grossly obese mormons get all apoplectic at the idea of a cup of coffee, but see nothing wrong with eating into obesity and walking around a triple bypass waiting to happen

          5. John, #2 is basically what I asked my teacher. I was being serious when I asked but she took it as me being a smart ass. I don’t remember what her exact response was, but it wasn’t “wow, what an astute observation.” As a side note, I remember her more for her spectacular rack than her crazy beliefs.

            1. Damn, squirrels

              1. Christan Science squirrels

          6. CS is interesting in that it came out of the 19th century’s pseudo-scientific craze: Fletcherism, Kellog’s cornflake masturbation cure, homeopathy, seance parties, Tarot readings, and the like. CS might be the most successful, they still have 1,700 congregations.

            1. The squirrels had a total seizure.

            2. You refer to it as a pseudo-scientific craze, but that’s easy for you to say in hindsight, once things were sorted out empirically. The 19th C. was a time when science moved on to things that could not be observed directly, but required tools such as the microscope, including electromagnetism and electromagnetic radiation, microbiology, particulate radiation, genes, and so on, in addition to a lot of things that were plausible but turned out not to stand up once enough observations were taken, such as N rays and some of the items mentioned above. Then there are features so subtle that even now it’s not always clear whether statistics will sustain them over the long run.

          7. God may think that necessary for reasons you will never understand.

            I’m no expert on the mind of God (nor do I believe anyone else to be), but I think God wants me to toke one up:

            Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. -Genesis 1:29

            Praise His Holy Name!

            1. He very well may.

            2. for FOOD. Thoroughly inspected, heavily regulated, and State rationed, food.

              1. I’m pretty sure some particles go down my asophagus when I smoke.

                1. “feed your head”

            3. Yes, for food…to feed your mind, body and spirit. These people are a bunch of hypocrites when they condemn God’s plant…just saying.

          8. There’s a guy sitting atop the roof of his house, surrounded by rising flood waters. A canoe paddles up and the canoeist offers to take the man to dry ground. But the guy replies, “No Thanks. I’m praying for God to do a miracle.

            A little while later, with ever-rising water, a man rows up in a boat and offers to take the guy to dry land. But the guy replies, “No Thanks. I’m praying for God to do a miracle.

            An hour later, with ever-rising water, a helicopter shows up and the pilot offers to take the guy to dry land. But the guy replies, “No Thanks. I’m praying for God to do a miracle.

            So the water submerges the house, the guy dies and goes to heaven where he says to god, “Hey I though you would answer my prayers and do a miracle. To which God replies, Hey I sent a canoe, a rowboat and a helicopter. What more did you want?”

        2. SF,
          Thanks for explaining it better than I did.

          1. Mine was a more cynical take, so your gentler explanation is welcome for illumination purposes.

            By the way, graham crackers were also a cure for masturbation.

            1. TMI but it didn’t work in my case. I still like graham crakers soaked in milk once in awhile.

      3. The faith healing is what they’re predominately know for. To simplify the belief system, in essence this world is an illusion and the more you align yourself with this knowledge and by extension God the better health and healing you will have.

  9. Not only is Biden wrong about the effects of ending prohibition (Portugal has experienced lower addiction rates since decriminalizing all drugs)

    Drugs are still prohibited in Portugal, genius.

    1. He said “decriminalization”, not “prohibition”, genius. It’s the difference between getting a ticket for an expired parking meter and getting arrested and prosecuted for an expired parking meter. Genius.

      1. Check out the 11th word in my quote. Riggs is using Portugal’s prohibition as an argument for legalization in the US.

        It’s the difference between getting a ticket for an expired parking meter and getting arrested and prosecuted for an expired parking meter.

        According to that logic, the 18th Amendment decriminalized alcohol.

        1. Great. You win 1 internet for being technically correct and being a jerk about it. Happy?

          1. Technically correct is the best kind of correct!

  10. Let me put this in a way that the Christian Science Monitor can understand.

    God created marijuana and if you reject his creation, you’re gonna burn in hell.

    1. Except they’re actually not really big on the fire and brimstone.

  11. “pre-Enlightenment views on medicine and science”
    If only – then there’d be at least some kind of pathetic excuse or historical explanation for outmodedness – institutional inertia or something, a la Catholicism.

    Chrisitan Science is a fully post Enlightenment religion, and it is just about explicitly anti Enlightenment in its dogma.

    No aliens or volcanoes though.

    1. ^ True. It’s relatively modern 19th century transcendentalism on steroids. MEdieval folks may have had the wrong ignorant science and they also were open to the possibility supernatural intervention (ie faith healing) into a real world of cause and effect, but they did believe in physical causation as the nature of illness. CS is the view that all is an illusion including illness. Part of the modern, even early post-modern, philosophies rejecting objective truth.

      1. CS is the view that all is an illusion including illness.

        I thought Hindus had the “reality as we know it is a mutually shared delusion from the ‘real’ reality based on a lack of enlightenment” game on lock for millennia.

        It’s amazing how many so-called Christians want to be pagans, but are too chickenshit to actually follow through.

        1. Christians have always wanted to be pagans. Their whole founding myth is based on various pre-existing pagan myths. And Catholic theology is still pretty pagan when you get down to it, what with all the saints and angels and Mary worship.

          1. Catholic theology is still pretty pagan when you get down to it, what with all the saints and angels and Mary worship.

            Dude, don’t you know anything? That’s VENERATION! Veneration is like, totally and completely different from worship! Sure we have a bunch of statues and icons of our gods saints and angels, but that’s not worship! You have pictures of your family and friends don’t you? And you don’t worship them? Well there you go!

            /Catholic apologia

            1. it’s pretty clear if you study history that catholicism evolved the way it did so it would be more palatable to converts from pagan and polytheistic religions.

              iow, it was smart marketing

  12. One argument is that the cartels would actually welcome legalization, in the same way that US casino owners have welcomed state gambling lotteries. To drug dealers, the more addicts the better.

    PAUSE.

    So slot jockies = poker players = craps players = lottery ticket buyers (or schmucks, as they are otherwise known)?

    It’s a bit like saying dolphins, lions, elephants, and humans are the same thing because they are both mammals. Slot machines are games of pure chance (as arranged by the machines builder), poker is a game of skill, craps is a game of chance and skill, and state lotteries…are an excuse for the state to take your money on dollar at a time.

    1. As to the point about cartels welcoming legalization, that’s a load of shit, unless the CSM would like to point out some notorious bootleggers who made it in the post-prohibition alcohol business. Legalization would increase supply (landowners, freed from the threat of incarceration would cultivate marijuana on their land for sale to others), thus decreasing price, removing the high risk, high reward incentive attached to illicit goods.

      (Fuck you, 900 character limit!)

      1. “(landowners, freed from the threat of incarceration would cultivate marijuana on their land for sale to others”

        Once while waiting for tires to be put on my car, I struck a conversation with an old man who was also waiting for his. Eventually the conversation turned to tobacco. He had been growing tobacco on his farm the way his father, grandfather, greatgrandfather etc had.

        I hate the 900 character limit

        1. One day a bunch of machine gun toting ninjas burst into his house and knocked he and his wife to the floor, cuffed them and hauled them to jail.

          Tobacco is legal but highly regulated ( taxed). MJ would be the same if legalized.

          1. Likely true, but still an improvement over the current state of affairs.

  13. Mike Riggs Continues Its Crusade Against Alt-Text

  14. The Christian Science Monitor only objects to marijuana because somebody told them that it can be used as medicine.

  15. And don’t forget that health insurance companies are forced to pay for treatment by Christian Science “Practitioners” (faith healers). Because to do otherwise would discriminate against CS, or something.

  16. Where was that picture taken?
    It doesn’t look real, more like something from a cheap zombie film.

  17. The Christian Science Monitor is…a good newspaper

    Pretty sure they stopped being a newspaper years ago.

    http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/…..nitor.html

  18. One potential reason for the drop in addiction rates once drugs are legalized is that you now have an easy dependable source for getting them. In a black market, it’s not so easy to get ahold of a drug dealer and buy a little once every 8 months. Numbers change, people move, some are just paranoid, etc. But the end result is that there is much more incentive to buy your drugs on a somewhat regular basis so as to not lose touch with valuable contacts. Last I checked, no one has ever run into that issue with the local pharmacy…

  19. In every single country, not just Portugal, we see huge benefits that come from decrim or legalization. Lower addiction, significantly lower crime and drug related violence. In fact, in Greenwald’s study and presentation video done at Cato, he points out the data showing an correlation between harsher laws and drug related deaths (overdoses).

    To drug dealers, the more addicts *prohibitionists* the better.

    Fixed. Obvious to everyone here, I know. But referring to the study above, there are examples of various cartels sponsoring drug prohibition laws. Part of it also shows the price of raw coca, from the plant, and the gigantic orders of magnitude price hike as it travels through various cartels and to black market. Yet look at countries where it’s legal to have your own coca plants (including some S.American), cheap coca, NO crime, no gang/cartel violence.

  20. I like reading the Christian Science Monitor, but boy are they on the wrong side of the issue if they are interested in real Christian values.

    Prohibition feeds crime that makes war zones in City neighborhoods and disproportionately targets the poor and specifically minorities and Blacks. Where is the Christianity in condoning the wholesale criminalization of American citizens and the slaughter of millions in Latin America?

    That’s not Christian in any book I have ever seen.

  21. The article’s description of the Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, as an “anti-science charlatan” is unrealistic.

    She lived near the start of modern science. Darwin’s ideas were new, and yet she wrote, “May not Darwin be right?” When asked about modern inventions, she said “They seek the finer essences.” She saw scientific progress as helping to go beyond limits.

    But her main interest was in spiritual healing, where she excelled. One of many examples was the hostile journalist who came to interview her. He couldn’t talk because of a long-standing throat issue, but left completely healed.

    Eddy was no fake. And she was far from anti-science. She may be different, but isn’t readily dismissed by thinkers who look into what she did.

  22. The use of marijuana is rampant in other countries even if it’s already prohibited by their law. This kind of issue should be discussed thoroughly not only by the people in the government but also consider the community’s opinion about it. Legalization of marijuana should be done with transparency, its advantages and disadvantages.

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