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Friday, March 2, 2012

Are Stoners Throwing Patients Under the Bus?

Posted by on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Yesterday we ran a guest post by the campaign trying to stop Initiative 502, and if they're successful, they'll block the best shot any state has ever had at legalizing and taxing marijuana. That opposition campaign is led by medical marijuana patients who want to drive with more than 5ng/mL of active THC in their blood and are afraid of getting DUI convictions if I-502 passes. In the comment thread, some of those medical pot activists claim that stoners supporting I-502 simply want to indulge in getting high at the expense of pot patients' liberty to drive.

In comments, NORML's Russ Belville responds:

"And this is what we get in return. You make us the sacrificial lambs now so you can have a little bit of smoke in your pocket."

Yup, that's it. You're a patient, therefore arrest and incarceration and ruining your life over cannabis is unjust. But we're just stoners trying to "have a good time legally", so what the hell, arrest another 10, 20, 30, 40,000 of us before another shot at legalization comes around.

I guess we're the sacrificial lambs so you can continue to have 24 ounces, 15 plants, pot boutiques, smoke pot all damn day, and when a cop pulls you over, suspects you of impairment, gives you a field sobriety test you fail, arrests you for DUI, takes a blood sample you submit to or he gets a warrant for, which registers at >5ng, you'll have a slim defense for your DUI charge, after you pay your lawyer $10,000.

And if you want to play the "slaughterhouse", "morally corrupt", "heinous of crimes" card, take a trip with me to Juarez, Mexico sometime. Explain to the mother of a teenager slaughtered by morally corrupt weed barons why you voted to forestall US progress on ending the prohibition that supplies the funds for their most heinous of crimes.

I have lost my patience for patients. Yeah, yeah, you're sick and disabled, sorry to hear it, but while you and other states' medical marijuana patients have been largely left alone while smoking copious amounts of weed, 13 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana and 50,000 Mexicans have been murdered (10% of them beheaded / tortured) and left in the streets with banners taunting law enforcement. Juarez's entire 2,600 man police force just had to move out of their homes and into a highly secured hotel with their families because of drug gang assassinations that killed five cops as they came home from work to their families.

Resent name calling all you like. Rationalize it any way you choose. Shout your legalizer bona fides from the highest rooftop. But come November, there are three choices:

Vote YES on I-502 to begin the end of prohibition, along with NORML, MPP, SSDP, and DPA

Vote NO on I-502 to continue prohibition, along with ONDCP, DEA, Washington Sheriffs, and Mexican drug gangs

Don't vote.

 

Comments (97) RSS

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Baconcat 1
Driving is a civil right, eh? Oh, okay.
Posted by Baconcat on March 2, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
2
I'm a middle class white guy in Seattle. If I wanted some weed I could get a prescription no problem and buy what I wanted. Or I could just call any number of people I know that sell. The risk of my getting caught, getting prosecuted, and facing anything other than a fine or some community service is pretty damn remote.

But yet we have a number of people in jail in this state for doing just that. The difference being almost entirely race and income.

That's why I am voting yes.

Posted by giffy on March 2, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 3
The pot users are fighting the pot users in a battle over legalizing pot usage.

*facepalm*
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 2, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
4
@2, I agree. Make it available to all. I don't want to have to get an illegitimate medical license. It seems disingenuous. Though, having a nice, safe, and legitimate setting in which to purchase it would be nice. Stoners gonna stone!
Posted by jns on March 2, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
ams_ 5
They're not throwing pot patients under the bus, they're throwing them onto the bus.
Posted by ams_ on March 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 6
Colorado, which may also legalize pot this fall, is considering zero tolerance legislation. And you know what? I'm mostly pretty cool with that. Driving isn't a right. You get to choose—be stoned or drive. Works for me.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on March 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
pfffter 7
Oh no, another 502 post today. I'm not going to get shit done today either.
Posted by pfffter on March 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 8
This argument has made me realize that embracing medical marijuana was a strategic mistake for the cause of legalization. We've created a gray market, which is basically the same thing as a black market, but with lobbyists.

I'm thoroughly disgusted with the medical marijuana community in this state right now.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 2, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
wilbur@work 9
Nip the dumb, circular arguments IN THE BUD. YOTE YES.
Posted by wilbur@work on March 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
10
Medical pot users that I know don't like to drive stoned anyway.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on March 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 11
@6 Aren't there existing DUI laws that cover driving while stoned anyhow? It's not just alcohol that impairs, of course.

People are getting really uptight about a bogus problem. Stoners are already driving, and not causing massive pileups when doing so. Cop pulls you over, the car stinks of weed, and you can't answer simple questions = DUI.
Posted by Sir Vic on March 2, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 12
@8,
That's going to happen anyway.

Not long after pot is fully legalized, it'll start to turn into every other legal drug out there. Little "mom & pop" growers will disappear, big corporations will patent and trademark the hell out of every variety of pot they can, and thousands of pot lobbyists will descend on D.C. to do to the pot industry what they did to the pharmaceutical industry. My guess is the price will actually go up, and people will be busted more for growing it without its corporate owner's permission. Sort of like Monsanto and their patenting of corn seed. You can't just grow corn in your own yard anymore without paying royalties to a mega-corporation. I think the same will happen with marijuana. yay capitalism.

Legalizing it will have far reaching consequences beyond simply being able to carry it around with you.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
13
@12: Since we're doomed anyway, wouldn't it be better to pass the initiative and have slightly postponed new and interesting doom than to have the currently existing drug war doom, which we know for sure sucks?
Posted by SLCamper on March 2, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
14
I can still get organic heirloom corn seed and not have to pay Monsanto anything.
Posted by pox on March 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 15
Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word 'no'.
Posted by Westlake, son! on March 2, 2012 at 1:07 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 16
@12--Maybe. But between a hypothetical future corporatist dystopia and a very real and present police state, I will chose the former every time.

Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 17
Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of legalizing pot and other drugs and ending this idiotic drug war. I'm just a pessimist, that's all.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
18
This isn't journalism, it's sensationalism.
Posted by NurseMimi on March 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 19
@17- I find no fault in pessimism. Particularly that of the informed variety.

Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 2, 2012 at 2:15 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 20
@18-Actually, it's opinion piece. Much like the anti-502 one that they published here yesterday.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 2, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
21
#11 Sir Vic says "People are getting really uptight about a bogus problem. Stoners are already driving, and not causing massive pileups when doing so. Cop pulls you over, the car stinks of weed, and you can't answer simple questions = DUI."

PRECISELY. We have a DUI law now. It works. It does not need to be changed. NAW justifies the unnecessary change in I-502 with one excuse and one excuse only: We must win at all costs.

I-502's "arbitrary, unnecessary and unscientific DUI proposal = CHEAP POLITICAL PLOY!
Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 2:25 PM · Report this
NaFun 22
@21 - Soooo, you're in favor of continuing to lock of 10,000 regular marijuana users each year because you fear something that isn't gonna be a problem for 99.9% of the state's marijuana users?

Patients Against I-502's "Continue arresting 10,000 users a year!" counterproposal = COMPLETELY FUCKING INSANE
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 2, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Dr Gil Mobley, MD 23
Regular users of cannabis, at least on a daily basis, will stay positive for active THC at the 5 ng cut off for DAYS after ceasing use!!! IT IS A PROVEN FACT!

Slam the cannabis patients and try to change the debate as you like, but the science here has strong implications for the recreational user as well.

You cannot argue with the science! There are MANY recreational users that will not be able to drive in Washington state ........even days after use.

The scientific literature is replete with such convincing studies. There are those on this post today would object to the same rational conclusion from these studies, so I've conducted my own follow up on doctor-approved medical cannabis patients wanting to know about their levels. REGULAR USERS that have abstained (observed) for just over 48 hours were noted to have levels around 5. (a mean of 4.7ng/ml to be exact.)

Dare ANYONE suggest that it's cool to label a regular user of cannabis "impaired" after two full days after using?

OF COURSE NOT!

Remember, impairment is a clinical finding. NOT A NUMBER!

Posted by Dr Gil Mobley, MD on March 2, 2012 at 3:05 PM · Report this
Baconcat 24
@21: As opposed to the lucrative political ploy offered by professionals that make the majority of their pay off of continued prohibition, people that would lose out if marijuana were OTC.
Posted by Baconcat on March 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Baconcat 25
If you're not impaired why would you get pulled over and be subjected to a drug test?
Posted by Baconcat on March 2, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
26
"Vote NO on I-502 to continue prohibition, along with ONDCP, DEA, Washington Sheriffs, and Mexican drug gangs"

Haha, i find this funny when russ says were siding with the drug czar, cops and etc when were against i502 when its the DRUG CZAR and law enforcement that has been calling for a national per se policy, which i502 will help towards greatly.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 2, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
27
@23- Please provide the link to your peer reviewed study (that's not on an anti 502 website), because the one I saw Dominic post on a February 24th slog was rather convincing in stating THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

Also, does anybody know what the current law is for getting busted while driving stoned is? I can't find anything on ze webz and I'm wondering what exactly would be different (other than the lack of a defense)... I had a buddy who got busted for possession after getting pulled over in a suburb (that shit hole on the eastside of the water which will remain nameless) and had to spend a night in jail..... For fucking possession of an eighth of bud. Are the 502 penalties that much worse?

Just curious....

Posted by wafflemaker on March 2, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
28
Baconcat, they'll use any probable cause. Taillight out, failed to yield, whatever.

Not everyone against 502 is a patient.
Many of the people against 502 worked hard the past two years for a full legalization initiative.
We support removing all civil & criminal penalties for cannabis possession, manufacture, distribution, etc.

Sensible Washington will continue to support true cannabis legalization, no matter which way 502 plays out.
Posted by zeruty on March 2, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
Shini 29
@28:

No one is forced to take a sobriety test unless the officer who pulls you over has a reasonable cause to believe you are impaired, and even then you can ask for a lawyer to come over.

My folks got pulled over for an alleged improper lane passing and another time when they were looking for a vehicle the same make as ours for some incident, neither time were we ever subjected to a test.

My aunt wasn't subjected to one for speeding either. You're assuming every stop = drug test, which is very time consuming - Cops, corrupt, hick or honest don't like to waste time.
Posted by Shini on March 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
NaFun 30
Shout all you want, Gil. It only makes you look more foolish. You are forgetting that this is not science, this is politics. The initiative found in polling that more than 60% of respondents were more likely to vote in favor if there were a DUI provision.
So add one. Best we could get was 5ng, too much resistance from those in power (law enforcement) for 8ng. Take our lumps and move on.
Add a portion that legalizes and taxes commercial sales. Now there's a good fiscal reason to support it, seeing our state budget.
Make it a petition to the legislature so we can maybe make the legislature act to improve it or write their own. Not likely in either case, the legislature isn't gonna take the time and risk, so we do the best we can get support for. And that's what happened.
Time it to hit the ballot in 2012 when 4 other major electoral events will be happening as well (Governor, President, Attorney General, and same sex marriage).
Wait out the loonies and profiteers, keep hammering the message to the soccer moms via endorsements by mayors, former law enforcement major papers, and popular, tame, personalities (love ya Rick Steves!).
FUCKING WIN.

@28 - tail light out is not probable cause.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 2, 2012 at 3:53 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 31
I'm still going through the scientific literature on this. It is hardly "replete" with examples of whole blood THC concentrations above the proposed legal limit days after smoking.

Here is one (sorry I cannot link to full text...subscriptions, etc.)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21836…

10 adult regular cannabis smokers. WHOLE BLOOD THC levels (and lots of other things) measured 1 and six hours after smoking. At 1 hour, the mean THC in whole blood was 10 ng/ml (range 3.3-25). At 6 hours, the mean was 1.4 ng/ml (range LOQ-7.4). ("LOQ" = "limit of quantitation").

So, a couple of people would have been over the limit at 6 hours. Most would not. And extrapolating their elimination rates out--even very conservatively--none would the next day.

This is peer-reviewed, published research.

I will put up more as I find it.

Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 2, 2012 at 3:55 PM · Report this
Dr Gil Mobley, MD 32
@ 25 INDICATIONS FOR A DRUG TEST?

GREAT QUESTION, Baconcat. (If you are not impaired why would you get pulled over and be subjected to a drug test?) Answer:

Yes, there must be a reason for an officer to ask for a blood test indeed. HOWEVER, an accident is a good reason. Probably forgetting to signal a turn is as well. So is an officer seeing or smelling cannabis. Other reasons are very subjective and easily manufactured.

While it's legal to posses, it's not legal to use and drive. If an officer sees cannabis in the car, s/he can imagine or fabricate enough indications to justify demanding tests. With the new law, it's shooting fish in a barrel. What cop could resist, especially if it's a longhair or a minority?

Additionally there's the issue that if 502 passes an individual won't be able to challenge a field sobriety test in court due to disabilities that effected the testing or additional factors such as high heels and sub freezing temps causing the subject to shiver uncontrollably.
EACH OF THESE EXAMPLES ARE REAL LIFE CONTEMPORARY and ON GOING CASES. Currently, these cannabis users have that defense. If 502 passes, they are nailed on a number alone and NOT objective impairment findings. They cannot mount a defense.

Seasoned defense attorneys agree: "502 is a clear reflection of the inadequacies of the folks promoting this law. This is what happens when people that don't understand the criminal justice system try to tinker with it."

Hope that helps.

Respectfully,

Gil Mobley, MD
"No on i502", Officer & Spokesperson coordinator
Fellow, American College of American Physicians
Diplomate, American Board of Emergency Medicine

More...
Posted by Dr Gil Mobley, MD on March 2, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
NaFun 33
@31 - SEE! You're throwing that one dude under the bus!
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 2, 2012 at 4:05 PM · Report this
34
@23 and 32 has convinced me if I need a legal opinion I should just ask my doctor. Preferably one who favors exclamation points and all-caps.
Posted by gloomy gus on March 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
Dr Gil Mobley, MD 35
@31

I remain convinced that significant numbers of regular cannabis users will stay around 5 ng for a couple of days after ceasing use. I've seen it for myself!

How strong was the cannabis used in that study and on a regular basis by the regular users, BleedingHeartLibertarian?

Clearly, that could be an issue if the cannabis used in WA state by my patients is any better than what the NIH supplies. You think?

Are you sure you are comparing apples to apples. I'm not! My results and those of the studies I showed you yesterday are convincing to me, sir.

Indeed, not all regular users of cannabis will stay positive for days. MANY will and that is the main reason that I am vehemently opposed to 502. This is a terribly, terribly strong conviction that I have and know as the truth!

Thanks again though.
(I'd like to correspond with you BHL on a more confidential manner if possible. Please consider emailing me at drgilmobley@gmail.com. Maybe we can hold a journal club and go through these studies critically together. You have a lot to offer it seems and maybe can offer guidance to clarify future issues.)

Respectfully,

Gil Mobley, MD

Posted by Dr Gil Mobley, MD on March 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
36
I don't see how the DUI component will be really enforceable against a savvy stoner. Reading 502, it does not appear there is an 'open container' provision against MJ products. Existing and proposed laws also provide an affirmative defence for anyone that can state that they tested positive due to actions that they undertook after operating the vechicle.

So, keep a couple of cookies in the car (MJ or not) eat one while in the car providing your information to the officer = basis for affirmative defence?
Posted by Action Slacks on March 2, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
37
NAW and NORML chose this battle, not patients. No one asked us, they ignored us. No one wanted to work with the patients to make sure no one was harmed with this initiative. Now you accuse us of creating a division that we had nothing to do with. Patients want protections. Many of us have fought long and hard for legalization. And this is how we are treated.

Fine. Game on.
Posted by NurseMimi on March 2, 2012 at 4:25 PM · Report this
38
Sorry Gil, but as someone pointed out on yesterday's slog, having a 12 pack of beer sitting in your trunk does not give the police adequate evidence of intoxication (which is more or less what you're implying with the "bag of weed" scenario).... As far as getting in an accident or driving recklessly, this should go without saying but apparently it doesn't: YOU SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO SOBRIETY TESTS IF YOU ARE ACTING IN A RECKLESS MANNER. And as far as your claim about folks being over the ng limit days after smoking, I've only seen bleedingheartlibertarian come up with any scientific research done on the subject (still waiting for proof of your claims).

As of yesterday I was on the fence about the issue, but especially after reading all of your posts I think I'm going pro-502. There seems to be a lot of rational points being made from pro 502 folks, and so far all i've seen from the anti-502ers is a bunch of unsubstantiated scare tactics. No offense, but I think you'd have more people on your side if you just kept quiet.
Posted by wafflemaker on March 2, 2012 at 4:29 PM · Report this
NaFun 39
@32
"While it's legal to posses, it's not legal to use and drive. If an officer sees cannabis in the car, s/he can imagine or fabricate enough indications to justify demanding tests. With the new law, it's shooting fish in a barrel. What cop could resist, especially if it's a longhair or a minority?"

This, this is your actual argument. You are actually worried about profiling. Not the limit per se, not the science of marijuana intoxication or metabolism or whole blood THC content, because this isn't science. This is injustice in the criminal justice system. This is unjust harassment for looks or race or whatever. You are disingenuously using the DUI provision as your reason for fighting this initiative when your real fear is profiling. And I am telling you now that there is no better way to fight that than to normalize and legalize possession and demand our rights in front of the law.

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 2, 2012 at 4:31 PM · Report this
NaFun 40
@37 Good luck getting volunteers and donations for your new Sensible WA initiative Mimi. I doubt I'll be out canvassing for signatures, I seem to have better things to do.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 2, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
41
I will vote Yes!
Posted by Etidorhpa on March 2, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this
pfffter 42
Yeah, fuck off Mimi.
Posted by pfffter on March 2, 2012 at 6:46 PM · Report this
Dr Gil Mobley, MD 43
Please see the exact scientigic abstracts I'm relying on, in addition to my own patient
scenarios in my testimony in Olympia found at www.patientsagainsti502.org
Here you will see the scientists' own words in summary and NOT
have to rely on lay interpretations as above.

Thanks,
Gil Mobley, MD
Posted by Dr Gil Mobley, MD on March 2, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this
pfffter 44
@37 This whole thing just pisses me off. Your fucking holier than thou martyr attitude, the whole bit. The fact is that we voted to give that group rights for medical marijuana when legalization wasn't possible, and now we're saying tens of thousands of us are not willing to go to jail any longer so you or your patients can still get high and drive. I imagine the reason those organizations didn't come to you is because you're so fucking unreasonable. Instead of standing with us for legalization now that it is within reach, you stand against the people who voted for you or your patients to get access to medical marijuana in the first place, with your self-serving twist of the published peer-reviewed literature, talking down to the general public (posting a definition is generally considered to be a dick move), and then patting your fucking self on the back for doing so.

So yeah, fuck off.
Posted by pfffter on March 2, 2012 at 6:56 PM · Report this
Cydney 45
pfffter you're losing your cool, and not making your side look good.

We're not the only ones fighting against per se limits. To argue that the per se limit is worth the 1 ounce decrim is one argument, but to argue that per se DUIC policies aren't completely unscientific and unethical.....that just doesn't make any sense and makes you seem like you're grasping.

Please check out some of the following links for more information:

http://www.patientsagainsti502.org/resou…

http://www.patientsagainsti502.org/media…

http://norml.org/pdf_files/MMIG_Workgrou…

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/201…

http://www.thejointblog.com/naw-dui-limi…

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…
Posted by Cydney on March 2, 2012 at 7:15 PM · Report this
pfffter 46
I'm not losing it. I've voting yes because I can see through the lies and misinformation and mischaracterization of the evidence youre spreading. Am I angry you're spreading it? Yes, most definitely.
Posted by pfffter on March 2, 2012 at 8:25 PM · Report this
NaFun 47
@45: I'm not arguing the per se limit in the DUID provision. I'm arguing that it is not this horrible thing that will get scores of patients arrested for DUI who otherwise wouldn't have been.

So far the argument against 502 has been that this limit will cause rampant profiling of mmj patients and activists, and therefore we should continue arresting 10000 users a year for the foreseeable future until something magic happens and Washington voters accept that hardcore stoners should be allowed to smoke blunts while driving.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 2, 2012 at 8:26 PM · Report this
AnthonyM 48
"I have lost my patience for patients. Yeah, yeah, you're sick and disabled, sorry to hear it, but while you and other states' medical marijuana patients have been largely left alone while smoking copious amounts of weed, 13 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana and 50,000 Mexicans have been murdered (10% of them beheaded / tortured) and left in the streets with banners taunting law enforcement. Juarez's entire 2,600 man police force just had to move out of their homes and into a highly secured hotel with their families because of drug gang assassinations that killed five cops as they came home from work to their families."

This is callous to patients (and ignores the fact that many recreational users oppose it as well), many of which are so adamantly against the per se DUID because of groups like NORML, the organization Russ Bellevue works for. Beyond this, it's a massive stretch to try to assume, under any means, that I-502 would stop Mexican cartels and the massive profit that prohibition hands them. Remember, with possession of an ounce decriminalized with no legal market to buy it (for clear preemption reasons), and with the growth of even a single plant still being just as illegal as before, where do you think the average recreational smoker is going to purchase their "legal" ounce? The black market of course.
Posted by AnthonyM on March 2, 2012 at 8:33 PM · Report this
AnthonyM 49
Belville*
Posted by AnthonyM on March 2, 2012 at 8:44 PM · Report this
50
sir vic thats the main probleem is that our system now WORKS!!!! we dont need to change it to a law that marijuana reformers have fought in oppositing for years. to assume that this is being fought against because of profit or just by the medical community so so naive.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 2, 2012 at 8:47 PM · Report this
51
As someone said on another post, it's clear now that creating a profitable "medical marijuana" grey market was a tactical mistake, because now we have a group of people who have a vested interested in protecting their profit margin by making sure that no legitimate pot legalization proposal can ever pass.

Sure, they will claim they are for legalization, but they know that complete and total decriminalization will never happen, so they can claim to support a legalization initiative that will never get enough signatures to get on the ballot, let alone pass. They can wallow in the complete purity of their position while raking in the "medical marijuana" profits and ignoring all the wider effects of the drug war.

They get to be self righteous and rake in the profits at the same time. While their "medical marijuana" patients get all the pot their want.

Nice work if you can get it.
Posted by SLCamper on March 2, 2012 at 9:30 PM · Report this
52
slccamper your stereotypes are nothing but. im not a patient nor do i profit from prohibition. i gave $150 to prop 19. i would be excited for 502 if not for the duid provision which many have tried to stop from becoming law in many states for a long time.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 2, 2012 at 9:35 PM · Report this
53
I am a patient. I do not have a collective or dispensary or anything, and I receive no profits from anything or anyone except my retirement account, (which was established well before I ever became a patient). My only interest this year is in protecting what patients have and not allowing their rights to slip away for someone else's casual fun.
That's too bad, because before I-502 I fully intended to work towards real and full legalization. But first, HARM NO ONE!
Posted by NurseMimi on March 2, 2012 at 9:50 PM · Report this
54
@47 "we should continue arresting 10000 users a year"

Tell me, of those arrests, how many will I-502 stop? Because I'm thinking your numbers are WAY off. See, most arrests are for more than an ounce, and I-502 is not going to stop ANY of those arrests, is it?

And yeah, I know you want me to show you the numbers, but I'm asking you to verify to me that those 10,000 people arrested live in the state of Washington and were all busted with under an ounce. You can't do it.
Posted by NurseMimi on March 2, 2012 at 9:54 PM · Report this
55
I detect a strong flavor of "I got mine, the hell with y'all" in the last three posts.
Posted by SLCamper on March 2, 2012 at 10:33 PM · Report this
56
Just for the record, all the people in prison on pot charges probably wouldn't agree with you that keeping the current system "harms no one". Just because you are making the grey market system work for you doesn't mean it's the best system.
Posted by SLCamper on March 2, 2012 at 10:35 PM · Report this
NaFun 57
@54: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=marijuana+arrests+w…

1st link:
http://www.drugscience.org/States/WA/WA.…

1st page:
"There were 16,473 arrests for marijuana offenses in Washington in 2007..."

further down the 1st page:
"Marijuana possession arrests accounted for 90% of all marijuana arrests in Washington during 2007. ... There were 14,766 arrests for marijuana possession in Washington in 2007, and 1,707 arrests for marijuana sale."

3rd page:
"There were 290,650 arrests in Washington in 2006.  There were 14,434 marijuana arrests that year, accounting for 4.97% of all arrests in Washington for 2006.  Consequently, according to this percentage basis method of estimation, marijuana arrests cost $169.39 million in Washington for 2006."

The Republicans just took over the State Senate and are ramming their social services-slashing budget down our throats. This initiative dedicates nearly half of the tax revenue it generates to Basic Health.

Go away Mimi.

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 2, 2012 at 10:40 PM · Report this
58
slcamper rethink your argument. i502 only effects 1 ounce and almost no one at least not in this state and on a nonviolent charge will be in prison for any considerable length of time for possesing less than an ounce. its having 40 grams or more where you get a felony and prison time and 502 does nothing about it
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 2, 2012 at 11:26 PM · Report this
59
that's a moot point and would show a lack of understanding if you think we'll ever see a dollar of that money (premption!!!!!).
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 2, 2012 at 11:33 PM · Report this
60
@the people worried about apocalyptic amouts of DUID arrests after 502,

How often are you being pulled over? I personally have only been pulled over once in the last 3 yrs. I rolled through a stop light and was given a warning. It was evening-ish on a saturday night, my wife was in the passenger seat and in the back we had groceries which included a case of beer. The officer asked me if I had been drinking, I told him no, he gave me a warning and i was on my way. Point is don't drive like an asshat and more than likely you wont get pulled over. All these doomdsay like prophecies of rampant roadside bloodtests and DUI arrests seem like nothing more than scare tactics.
Posted by BNelson0403 on March 3, 2012 at 9:27 AM · Report this
61
not at all bnelson. it doesnt happen much now because cops dont have the crazy legal weapon theyd have with a per se limit.

also, dont say roadsite bloodtests wont happen: http://ohmygov.com/blogs/general_news/ar…
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 3, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 3, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 63
Your rights to drive a car and endanger others ended when you got a medical prescription.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on March 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
64
actually will it didn't. most medical cannabis patients can drive absolutely fine several hours after smoking and not even our law enforcement has called for a change to our dui cannabis laws. right now the law is that a cop must be able to show impairment in court. since most arent impaired, most dont get green duis. however, i 502 is changing it for everyone, without public consent and with a number decided by some politicians not science.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
Posted by NurseMimi on March 3, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
GhostDog 66
Ok, two things.

First, wow, Russ. Just. Wow. I am impressed.

Second, for the six hundredth and twenty seven thousanth time. This is why cannabis will never be legal in any sense in my lifetime. On the pro-side, it looks really, REALLY bad that you can't even get all the pot smokers on your side. On the anti-side, you do realize that every argument you are making can be made for alcohol, right(people who drink a whole lot constantly have a high blood alcohol level and some drinkers can drink just fine while drunk because they have a high tolerance)? Good job, everyone!
Posted by GhostDog on March 4, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Report this
67
@23, Dr Gil, I can't help but wonder how much money you would lose if your patients didn't have to come to you for a prescription.
Posted by Root on March 5, 2012 at 7:39 AM · Report this
68
Dr. Gil Mobley,
You have not provided any citation or documentation for your initial claim of "Regular users of cannabis, at least on a daily basis, will stay positive for active THC at the 5 ng cut off for DAYS after ceasing use!!! IT IS A PROVEN FACT!"

I have read peer reviewed, scientific studies that directly refute your claim, such as the one that Bleedingheartlibertarian posted.

Until/unless you can provide any peer reviewed, scientific study/research that has data to back up your claim, nothing you post on here will be credible, doctor.
Can you please provide the necessary documentation to back up your initial claim, or if not then just STFU.

Oh yeah, and please make a note to self that using multiple exclamation points and all caps does NOT make you appear professional, or knowledgeable to what you're discussing.

Josh S.
Posted by Schimberg on March 5, 2012 at 7:44 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 69
@64: "most medical cannabis patients can drive absolutely fine several hours after smoking"

Then they will after I-502.

@55: Glorious Libertopia!
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 5, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
70
Is $750 per ounce a reasonable price for medical marijuana patients to pay when the state is done taxing and taxing and taxing, every stage of growing and delivery of their medicine? This and five other substantial reasons to not support I-502 come November, in the March 2012 issue of Northwest Leaf: http://issuu.com/nwleaf/docs/march2012?m…
Posted by no on 502 on March 5, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
northwestleafmagazine 71
Is $750 per ounce a reasonable price for medical marijuana patients to pay when the state is done taxing and taxing and taxing, every stage of growing and delivery of their medicine? This and five other substantial reasons to not support I-502 come November, in the March 2012 issue of Northwest Leaf: http://issuu.com/nwleaf/docs/march2012?m…
Posted by northwestleafmagazine http://facebook.com/nwleaf on March 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM · Report this
northwestleafmagazine 72
Is $750 per ounce a reasonable price for medical marijuana patients to pay when the state is done taxing and taxing and taxing, every stage of growing and delivery of their medicine? This and five other substantial reasons to not support I-502 come November, in the March 2012 issue of Northwest Leaf: http://issuu.com/nwleaf/docs/march2012?m…
Posted by northwestleafmagazine http://facebook.com/nwleaf on March 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 73
@72: So, what are you estimates of 750/oz based on? I'm not clicking through to your website to find out.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
northwestleafmagazine 74
@73, the state will mandate that wholesale growers granted these new distribution licenses sell their medicine for a minimum price of $444 per ounce. There will be 25 percent tax on top of this, and then at the access point, secondary level, there will be still, yet another 25 percent tax on top of that. Once you factor in any profit margin for the access point, the prices will be about 300-400 more per ounce than they are currently for the state's qualified medical marijuana patients. But again 73, more information is available http://issuu.com/nwleaf/docs/march2012?m…
Posted by northwestleafmagazine http://facebook.com/nwleaf on March 5, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 75
"the state will mandate that wholesale growers granted these new distribution licenses sell their medicine for a minimum price of $444 per ounce."

Can you cite where this is stated in I-502?
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 5, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 76
Because I don't see any minimum pricing listed in http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/init…
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 5, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
schmacky 77
I swear, reading some of the comments from the anti-502 people here makes me wonder if you read the original post. The point is that while the new law isn't perfect, and may even be rather flawed, IT'S WAY, WAY BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE for every single person in the world who doesn't currently sell pot or have a medical license to smoke. People are getting arrested, shot, killed, because of pot prohibition. This is a chance to take a giant step toward ending that, and you're bitching about high prices and getting busted for a lousy DUID? Do you not see how out of whack that is? Do you not understand that certain compromises need to be made to get the general public and the powers that be on board? Can you be rational and have perspective about something besides your own self-interest?
Posted by schmacky on March 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Jaymz 78
@77 - glad I read some and skimmed some and made it to the end (for me, anyway). Thanks for summing this up for me - I agree.
Posted by Jaymz on March 5, 2012 at 4:07 PM · Report this
NotSpicoli 79
@73

Please back up your claim that NAW has released a $444 per ounce figure.
Posted by NotSpicoli http://disqus.com/notspicoli/ on March 5, 2012 at 4:47 PM · Report this
MythicFox 80
First, I have to ask -- Did Belville smoke that strawman after he built it?

I'm all for legalization (and also accept that with legalization will come continued conflict between the government and guys who will want to sell pot without having to pay taxes -- just like there was after the alcohol Prohibition), but attitudes like that are one of the reasons why it's so hard to legalize. Because I hate to break it to people but there are a lot of recreational users who just want to get away with driving while high. And the pro-legalization crowd needs a better response than "We're not all like that."
Posted by MythicFox on March 5, 2012 at 6:04 PM · Report this
NaFun 81
@70, 71, 72, 74 - Dammit, take Steve Sarich's argument somewhere else, as it's entirely out to lunch. Also, Russ already destroyed that fantasy of Steve's over on NORML's blog a couple weeks ago. Basically, no one will buy that weed if that's the price, and so legit growers/distributors/sellers will have to compete with the possibility of a black market, driving price down.

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 5, 2012 at 6:06 PM · Report this
82
81: I love how these assholes have been reduced to lying to "prove" their points. Tellling that the ones they're targeting their FUD to are the medical market.
Posted by what a disgrace these "activists" and "professionals" are on March 5, 2012 at 6:54 PM · Report this
Eastpike 83
I'm glad to see the pro-502 crowd out in force here. Down with paranoia! Legalize it finally!
Posted by Eastpike on March 5, 2012 at 10:56 PM · Report this
AnthonyM 84
schmacky what makes you assume it's better than the alternative? the thousands of arrest that are cited would change are false statistics because theres no way to tell how many of those are from over one ounce possession which i502 does nothing to change. ive also been talking with some others who made the point that a majority of cannabis arrests also happen at traffic stops, which clearly i502 actually worsens since if a cop finds bud on you, no matter the amount you can damn well bet theyll use that as probably cause to give you a blood test to see if they can nab you with a duid. and since 502 has no language changing probable cause law theyll have full authority.

NOT better than it is now.
Posted by AnthonyM on March 5, 2012 at 11:40 PM · Report this
AnthonyM 85
Schmacky what makes you assume it's better than the alternative? The thousands of arrest that are cited that would change under Initiative 502 are false statistics, as there is no way to tell how many of those are from over one ounce possession which I-502 does nothing to change. I've also been talking with some others who made the point that a majority of cannabis arrests happen at traffic stops, which clearly I-502 actually worsen, since if a cop finds bud on you, no matter the amount, you can damn well bet they'll use that as probable cause to give you a blood test to see if they can nab you with a DUID. And since I-502 has no language changing probable cause law they'll have full authority.

This is NOT better than it is now when you consider the ramifications of our state adopting a per se limit, and what kind of victory that would be to the White House/Drug Czar who want a per se policy on the national level.

The Seattle Weekly had a great, in-depth 7 page article on this issue that everyone here should read: http://www.seattleweekly.com/2012-03-07/…. It's quite unbiased, but is a great educational piece on the dangers and benefits of this initiative (which is what most of us hope to achieve, making voters aware of what they're voting for, as it's not being presented as what it really is).
Posted by AnthonyM on March 5, 2012 at 11:49 PM · Report this
86
There's a simple solution here: don't drive while high and you won't get in trouble. I'm sorry. I know you think you're not impaired, but when you drive high you endanger all of us.
Posted by ML77 on March 6, 2012 at 7:04 AM · Report this
87
@84: Anthony wrote, "the thousands of arrest that are cited would change are false statistics because theres no way to tell how many of those are from over one ounce possession"

In order to avoid arrest, those people need to take caution to either 1) refrain from carrying more than one ounce (which would prevent them from being guilty of something that is now a crime, but would be lawful after enactment of I-502 as law), or 2) carry their cannabis in locked, opaque containers (which would prevent police from having reason to suspect that someone was carrying more than the legal amount).

"ive also been talking with some others who made the point that a majority of cannabis arrests also happen at traffic stops." I don't doubt that. If it's accurate, then those who want to evaluate the likely outcomes of I-502 would be well off to verify it. "Records requested and received by _____ reveal that..." would be much more persuasive than, "I talked with unnamed people who say that..."

"if a cop finds bud on you, no matter the amount you can damn well bet theyll use that as probably cause to give you a blood test" I bet not. Surely you meant to refer to a hypothetical situation in which one is found in posession of cannabis *while driving a vehicle*. I'm quite confident that being found behind the wheel with a wine bottle or a six-pack in the back seat doesn't provide legal justification for demanding tests for alcohol intoxication. If the container is open, then it might. Solution: Carry alcohol and cannabis in sealed containers while driving. Or put them in the trunk. Or put them in an opaque bag.

There are good arguments on both sides of this issue. These are not mong them.
Posted by Phil M http://https://twitter.com/pmocek on March 6, 2012 at 7:46 AM · Report this
NaFun 88
@84/85 - Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that there's some percentage of those 14k annual marijuana possession arrests that are for more than an ounce. Fuck it, let's say that fully half of them are for possessing more than an ounce. Remember that these are not for sales, that's a separate 1500 people each year. So, half of 14k is 7000. Fuck it, let's halve it again to 3500. You're ok with arresting 3500 marijuana users a year?
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
AnthonyM 89
Hi Phil: I first want to say that I greatly respect the work you've done in the community. It's a shame we're on opposite sides of this argument, but I think it's become clear that there are good arguments on either side: it just comes down to what we feel one ounce decrim is worth. Personally, I think that it's not worth instituting a per se DUID limit (that, once again, even when looking beyond the "it'll nab sober drivers" argument, is still a policy our Drug Czar wants on a national level).

NaFun, absolutely not, which is why I've spent so much of my waking time trying to end cannabis prohibition for the past couple years - I think it's a travesty. That being said, I think that it's much more of a tragedy in the face of felony charges that truly haunt, potentially forever, the lives of those involved (remember, I-502 does nothing to change the fact that if you possess more than 50% of their "legal" amount: you committed a felony with the same maximum sentence as 3rd degree rape). Those charged with misdemeanor possession charges (the 1 ounce that I-502 is decriminalizing) have to go through a lot of unnecessary hassle, and in many (if not most) instances will have their lives altered quite negatively. However, there are still certain areas, especially in King County, where amount under an ounce won't lead to prosecution either way.

That being said, I certainly won't argue that 1 ounce decrim, by itself, is something we shouldn't do for the time being until we can bring a more effective way to end prohibition. However, the primary question is whether or not it's worth the strict liability limit. Those of us who oppose I-502 clearly say no. For one, being hit with a DUID is in most cases more severe on a person's record than a minor possession charge (and a per se limit WILL nab sober drivers, there's no other reason why groups like NORML would have, and would be (Colorado) putting such resources into stopping it). Will the number of arrests for DUIDs under I-502 top the amount of simple possession charges that won't take place? That's yet to be seen, and not an argument I can make with a ton of confidence (for obvious I-can't-tell-the-future reasons).

However, at least in my eyes, you have to look at the fact that the per se mandate will have direct consequences reaching far beyond Washington State (and you must remember that even with the 1 ounce decrim cops will still make arrests based on public display (many cannabis arrests start from this), passing a joint to a friend which would still be a felony, being in constructive possession of 2 ounces if you and a friend have an ounce each in your car, etc.). If I-502 passes it will push other reform efforts into assuming they must introduce a similar per se limit, giving a huge amount of ammo, from WITHIN the cannabis community, to the Drug Czar and the White House who will see it as a huge sign that they can shove a national per se limit down our throat and get away with it (something that reform groups have feared, and fought against for a long time).
More...
Posted by AnthonyM on March 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 90
@89: Have you ever considered that there would be MUCH less of a reason to hoard with consistent, retail availability? It's not like you've got to put any effort into re-upping.

"For one, being hit with a DUID"

Which is already happening NOW.

"passing a joint to a friend which would still be a felony"

Which already exists NOW.

So vote for something better AS WELL. Your "fits my needs good enough, I've got mine" reliance on the black/grey market helps nobody.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 6, 2012 at 1:10 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 91
" they can shove a national per se limit "

@89: Yet another "important" argument against I-502 based on fearmongering and having nothing to do with reality.

They haven't created a nationwide BAC limit, they're not going to do this.

And if they do it, there's nothing to prevent them from doing it with your "perfect" legislation, so stop being an ass about unrelated theoreticals.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 6, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
92
your saying were being an ass when you clearly you just dont get the situation and clearly know nothing about law. you say duids are happening now...yep...but a cop must prove impairment not catch them on a limit which even supporters of 502 agee is ridiculous and is ridiculous to take away our defense in court.

it also is happening now when it comes to getting in trouble for passing a joint but how stupid does a group have to be to legalize something but not allow you to hand it to a friend who can quote unquote legally have it as well??? how stupid of a law is this?/ and its entrapment because people wont realize if it passes that quote unquote legal means being in a circle passing a bowl is a felony.

also, the drug czar does want a per se policy for america so stop pretending like youre not siding with them.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 6, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
93
@89: Anthony, I'm *barely* on the other side of the argument. This is a compromise, and my opinion of whether it, as a whole, will be a net positive has shifted just a bit in the past week from "I'm on the fence, and my opinion shifts depending on with whom I've most recently discussed the matter," to "I support it with some reservations." It doesn't do enough, and it panders to both the uninformed and the fear mongering prohibitionists.

Regardless of my own opinion, I very much wish that people on both sides would cut the crap. It's dishonest to say that people don't get DUIs for cannabis now (as was said at the New Approach Washington victory party a few weeks ago after their petition signatures were certified), and it's dishonest to say that I-502 is decriminalization rather than legalization (as Anthony wrote here today).

For those who don't follow drug policy: In this context, legalization means to change the law in such a manner that something that was previously unlawful is lawful, and decriminalization means to change the law such that an unlawful activity that was previously a criminal offense (i.e., a misdemeanor or a felony) is a civil infraction (like a parking ticket).

I-502 would not move possession of an ounce of dried cannabis flowers by adults from criminal to civil; it would make such *completely lawful*. If this is enacted as law, it will be absolutely, completely, legal for adults to possess an ounce of cannabis (not to mention 16oz of hash oil and some similarly crazy amount of hashish) in Washington. I can hardly wait to see that day. It will be a tiny crack in the wall of our horribly unjust prison industrial complex. I want to bring that wall down, and this is an entirely logical first step in that direction.

I predict the following will happen after we pass this in November: The sky will not come crashing down. Our state will have a big showdown with the federal government (which gives the policy wonk in me goosebumps). Other states will follow us, and in a few years, we'll all lessen the restrictions even more. In the meantime, some medical users will continue to drive safely with more than 5 ng/ml of active THC in their blood, and the vast marority those who have the sense to refrain from smoking in the car and store their medicine discretely won't have any more trouble with police than they have now. 20-year-olds will learn to be at least as discete as they are with alcohol. Some cops will use sight or scent of cannabis as probable cause for searches, fewer of them for requesting blood tests, and fewer than that as probable cause to get a judge to sign off on a warrant to *force* a blood draw (which they can do now). Those cops be smacked down as soon as people stand up to them and fight it in court. Cops who truly want to serve and protect will move on to more important things.

It would be wonderful if all the resources currently devoted to fighting this initiative (which is likely to pass with or without pot activists' support) would instead go into preparing to recognize and neutralize the police misconduct that is likely to follow.
More...
Posted by Phil M http://https://twitter.com/pmocek on March 6, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 94
@92: "a cop must prove impairment"

And he can, what's your point? There is currently NO acceptable limit for drugs in your body.

@92: "also, the drug czar does want a per se policy for america "

Then he'll have it whether I-502 passes or not.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 96
@95: I don't see it as analogous, but regardless, I don't find it realistic to assume that there will be MORE freedom granted to pot-smokers than users of alcohol.

If anything, I could imagine otherwise supportive people voting it DOWN out of protest.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 6, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
97
Has anyone here actually read the 69 page intiative? This is NOT legalizing marijuana. 502 puts marijuana in a tightlyu regulated box that makes it very difficult to grow, process, or sell marijuana in the state. AND the authorities in control are the state liquor board, one of the more corrupted parts of our government. You have to be kidding me, and the proponents are blaming the people that do not want to be put in a TIGHT box if it does not pass. Vote NO on 502 and Yes on 1223! 1223 is the real step forward in legalizing marijuana for all of us.
Posted by American Patriot on April 4, 2012 at 6:45 PM · Report this

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