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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Attorney plans pot petition

Friday, June 24, 2011

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Attorney Frank Shoemaker of Holbrook submitted petition language earlier this month to the Nebraska Secretary of State's office that intends to legalize the use of marijuana.

The object of the petition, according to its submitted language, is to amend the Nebraska Constitution to remove all laws regulating the private, noncommercial use of cannabis, also known as marijuana, and to regulate all commercial uses. It seeks to place the initiative on the ballot for the November 2012 election.

Shoemaker is listed as the sole sponsor of the initiative, known as the Nebraska Marijuana Legalization Initiative. It would amend the Constitution of Nebraska to read that the state shall make no law regarding the private, non-commercial growing, harvesting, transfer and consumption of the naturally grown cannabis plant.

It also would require the state enact a fair method of regulation and taxation pertaining to commercial growing and consumption.

To get a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot, Shoemaker would need to collect valid signatures from 10 percent of the registered voters. In 2008 that number was more than 112,000 signatures.

Shoemaker, who formerly lived in McCook, was an unsuccessful candidate for Legislature in 2006.


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That ought to go over like a turd in a punch bowl. I'm sure the usuals will pen the parts of their name that they can still remember on his piece of paper. I know that what I am writing is a strong opinion and there are functioning individuals in society who smoke it daily and no one is the wiser, but I'm still not sure what the benefits are.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Fri, Jun 24, 2011, at 2:25 PM

Do it! I have always thought it was ignorant not to legalize and tax it.

-- Posted by plainsman on Fri, Jun 24, 2011, at 6:10 PM

it would be one less crime that isn't much of a crime - it's no worse than legalizing alcohol. actually , it's no worse than legalizing tobacco. come to think of it , it is no worse than legalizing politicians who want to engage in fruitless wars at a great cost of lives and money. why would anyone have a special worry about marijuana?

-- Posted by bob s on Fri, Jun 24, 2011, at 7:36 PM

Why does someone always have to present an opposition with a rather rude comment. Why do you oppose legalization. Here are some of the benefits on a medical level. On March 17 the National Cancer Institute released a study which showed that in introduction of THC (the ingredient in Marijuana which gives user the high) shrinks tumors. An uproar of a political nature behind the scences caused the NCI to rewrite the study, much to some severe oppostion at NCI! The goverment has done studies on this issue dating back to the early 70's and has refused act on them. Please look up a gentleman named Rick Simpson on the internet. His web site is phoenixtear.ca or you can watch his "Run From The Cure" video on you tube. He has done dramatic things with people and terminal cancer! Do a search on a gentleman named Irvin Rosenfeld. Ir Irvin gets a canister of pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes from the federal goverment once a month and would not be alive without this medicine. There was a Nebraska Woman in the program which Irvin is in until here death. She was a glaucoma patient! 13 people got in this program untill our goverment shut it down, even though it was saving people. The FDA has information on Irvin, who has been in the program since the early 80's, but refuses to study it! I know a person with Crohn's disease who says he would be dead without it, so does his Mother. I have met Cancer, AIDS, cronic pain, glaucoma, RA and a list of other ailments that benefit from medical marijuana. Many have gotten off of prescription narcotics with it. For most of these people the drugs or the horrible side effects did not work for them. Death to prescription drugs now outnumbers deaths to all illegal drugs combined. It is very sad that all of the press is on those who have recomendations that shouldn't and not all of the success stories. It is a wonderful thing for many sick people. There is much more to say on the medical issue, but lets talk legalization issues. Our goverment has spent over 1 trillion dollar since Richard Nixon declared "The War On Drugs"! Marijuana use was about has not gone down in this time! What we have done is manage to make the drug cartels of Mexico very powerful and ruthless. Al Capone became righ during Alcohol prohibition, but these people are much more violent. Juarez Mexico is the most dangerous place on the planet, thanks to our policy. Over 40,000 people have been murdered in Mexico since their president declared war on drugs. Many people are fleeing to our country and how can you blame these people who fear for their lives. If you don't think this is a problem in our country, maybe you should ask jailers in Omaha or Lincoln or may Lexington it they see people with a MS 13 tatoo on them? Their are many powerful groups who lobby huge amounts of money to keep marijuana illegal. Maybe you should research exactly who help fund the "Partnership For A Drug Free America"! Pharmacuetical companies spend huge amount on our politicians to get their agenda followed, they do not want a cheaper competitor. It is all about greed and profit. Are there some who use this substance that act irresponsible? Of course there are. Do they deserve to be thrown in jail? Do you want your tax dollars spent in this type of law enforcement when violent criminals need to be locked up. See what the people at LEAP (law enforcement against prohibition) say about the subject, they have a web site. We can use our money on better things like education! Maybe if we quit eliminating things like fine arts we would give our youth more constructive things to do. In Amesterdam where it is virtually legal to smoke marijuana in private, teen use has gone way down! Their goverment took the fun out of it. Portugal has had some very positive luck with and alternative approach as well. You don't have to like the "Pot Smokers", but common sense says we are approaching this the wrong way!!!

-- Posted by Nebraska Common Sense on Sat, Jun 25, 2011, at 9:34 AM

So you are offended by my bathroom humor, I apologize. You make a convincing argument. If only marijuana was an innocent substance, it might just work out. The problem is, marijuana in and of itself is not all that nummy. One must ADD crap to it, right? I have seen whole pastures full of the stuff (grown privately of course) but no one was smoking it. Probably not the best argument there.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Sat, Jun 25, 2011, at 9:21 PM

I am not offended, but this is probably the most mis-understood substance in history. I have heard so many things that are just plain and simply untrue. By a pasture full I can only think that you are talking about hemp which grows wild all over this part of the state. It is as close to medical or recreational marijuana as a john boat is to a battleship. Hemp is a tremendous product and we import 2/3 of a billion dollars worth of it from Canada and China each year. The first draft of the US constitution was on hemp paper and William Randolf Hearst was a big part in marijuana becoming illegal in 1937 as he owned major interest in paper for his newspaper. Eliminate the compitition. Henry Ford made a car mostly out of hemp and intended it to run on hemp bio-fuel. A much higher quality fuel than ethanol! George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both were hemp farmers and Ben Franklin had a hemp mill. There is also much more on the medical end, but why would it be so bad to use cannabis on things like, yes ADD, than things like ritalin. I am not saying it works for everyone, but I have met people who became suicidal on ritalin, very sad. I can not say that there would be no problems if legal, there is no doubt that alcohol causes problems. Just think of the problems that alcohol had during prohibition. It made organized crime rich and powerful. Think what that would be like today. Our prohibition policy has created a slaghter in Mexico and it is showing up here now! Maybe everyone should check out the kidnapping rate in Phoenix! The ATF had been caught selling weapons to the cartel and the stories of corruption are frightening. We spend many of our Nebraska tax dollars on a fight we are not going to win. Why do we send people to prison who are otherwise good citizens. Most have never been in any other trouble with the law and are not violent criminals. Any violent criminal should be prosicuted. How many prisons do we have in this state now. The goverment has a patent on marijuana as well. Check out patent #6630507! Also check out mymedicinethebook.com . You can find a book that will tell a lot of what is going on by a man who would not be alive without medical marijuana. I think it is time for the truth to be told and a honest conversation about this issue. Honest on both sides of the issue. I am going to be starting a documentary film on medical marijuana in 2 weeks and hope to be done in early fall. It will show real people in this state and the challenges they face for their health. These people have found a non-toxic and non-narcotic substance that works for them and are forced to do it outside of the law. I will also be showing people in Colorado who can do it legally and how it works for them. It is very amazing to be able to get their medicine, but the right medicine as different strains work better for different people. I would be more than happy to get anyone a copy of this when we are done with it. You can email to pat@nomlne.org . Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this, education on this subject is a good thing for everyone. There are many on both sides of the issue who really don't know the truth!

-- Posted by Nebraska Common Sense on Sun, Jun 26, 2011, at 12:04 AM

Nebraska Common Sense,

I am suspicious of anyone that touts the benefits of medical marijuana and then throws in 'hemp as a valuable fiber' with a smattering of 'legalizing drugs would lower violent crime'. Just my opinion. If you are going to argue for medical marijuana try not to throw all your propaganda in one basket. The sticky situation with marijuana is only made worse by the propaganda on both sides. Make sure to include some of the negative effects of marijuana use in your documentary. (increased risk of COPD and other non cancerous lung disease, immune suppression, the effects on cognition etc....) Between the Reefer Madness crowd and the Pot is wonderful crowd there is never going to be a clear answer, so the status quo will continue.

I would be more impressed by someone that would push for medical marijuana and in the same breath push for the use of immediate testing devices (some exist, some probably need to be created) and call for the same penaties to be applied for drunk driving and "high" driving. Just my 2 cents.

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Sun, Jun 26, 2011, at 12:30 AM

Hemp was thrown in to answer a previous comment on the pastures around here. I do believe that medical and legalization for recrational use are two completely different topics and should be handled as such, my opinion of course. Tried to split up my thoughts in my comments. There would always be some sort of risk to smoking anything I would guess, you obviously know of the research that shows that cancer is not one of them for this substance. It can be vaporized or made into an edible or capsule to eliminate this problem. As far as immune suppression, I believe this to be a myth. Going to reasearch by DR. Joycelyn Elders, former US Surgeon General and research done at San Francisco General Hospital on AIDS patients. It without doubt can have some short term memory issues that go with the euforic effects or the "high". These are short term and when the effects wear off so does this issue. The driving issue is a very perplexing issue to say the least. I do not support anyone driving if they are impaired, be it alcohol or "high". Now in Montana they are making the driving issue as part of their attack on medical marijuana. The statistics there and in California just do not show a rise after medical marijuana was put into effect. Are there still people who would be too "high" or "medicated" to drive, I would say yes. I would also say there are people on pain killers that are probably everybit as big a concern, if not more. So where does the right answer lie here, not sure but I think that is a something for discussion. The idea is for sick people to improve the quality of their lives and do so in a safe manner for everyone. I became involved in this issue after losing a dear friend to liver cancer knowing that this could have, at the very least, made his life much better his last year as he suffered horribly. I will say it is nice to have thoughts that are well thought out and not just ill willed attacks! I think it is time for a truthful discussion on both sides.

-- Posted by Nebraska Common Sense on Sun, Jun 26, 2011, at 9:40 AM

Nebraska Common Sense,

I don't doubt that you think that some of the "bad" effects of marijuana are a myth. Thats because of the propaganda. I hope you do more research on your documentary than you have now. :)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/201...

Feel free to poke around the site if you are thinking "phaugh Sir Didymus is just spouting the MAN's words" I have found it to be pretty honest.

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Sun, Jun 26, 2011, at 11:44 AM

I'm not 100% sold on Medical Marijuana just yet. Part of that is that lack of scientific research as use as a medicine.

Does it show promise? Yes.

Has it helped people all ready? Anecdotal, It seems to have.

Do I think there's a lot of people are having it recommended to them that probably don't need it? Yes.

I do think it's easier to solve potential by legalizing than having it on the black market.

Portugal has decriminalized all drugs for users and it's seemed to have lowered drug use and HIV/Aids from dirty needles. http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...

That article also echos a CNBC documentary called Marijuana USA that first aired last year.

Not sure if it'd work here but its food for thought.

-- Posted by npwinder on Sun, Jun 26, 2011, at 9:44 PM

Okay, I admit my first post was written purely with emotion and with little thought. This has turned toward being a legitimate discussion. Based on what I've said about tobacco, I do see the side of it that could be used for taxation and employment. I also recognize the fact that if it is no longer against the law, it won't be such a big deal. As I recall, 3.2% beer was legal for 18 y/o's in 1978 or so. It wasn't such a big deal for those individuals to get drunk and party. Let's look at the flip side of the coin. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong N.C.S., but doesn't marijuana have more carcinogens than cigarette smoke? At one time, doctors prescribed cigarettes to cure disease as well (see the movie "The King's Speech" where they told him that smoking would relax his throat and cure his stuttering). I am also looking at the "driving high" portion of the issue too. It IS illegal to be under the influence of narcotics and be behind the wheel and I believe that includes pain relievers. I just don't think it gets caught as often. How do we keep people from abusing it?

The other problem I have with the substance, is that it has been called a "gateway" drug. Keep in mind, I am listening to counter arguments after this post, so feel free to lay into me. I have very firsthand experience (as you say you've seen cancer cured) with someone who became addicted to it, stopped, and then started another drug and attributed that use to marijuana. That person is no longer with us.

Thanks for the clarification on "hemp" in the pasture versus "sticky icky" that Snoop Dogg touts in his songs. Like I said, I'm willing to listen, but I still think the stuff is illegal for a reason, albeit likely a frivolous one when compared to alcohol and tobacco from the business side.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Mon, Jun 27, 2011, at 10:12 AM

being an idiot is a gateway to drug abuse. one drug is never a gateway to another drug.

-- Posted by bob s on Mon, Jun 27, 2011, at 2:26 PM

It is very nice to have a resonable discussion about this topic, bravo to all! Let me see if I can address some of the issues here, I will surely miss some. Please watch Rick Simpson's "Run From The Cure". It can be watched in 10 minute clips on you tube or on Rick's web site at phoenixtears.ca . I would also be able to give those who really are curious the information on DVD format for free. Let me know at pat@normlne.org. Rick uses an oil made from cannabis and it has nothing to do with smoking it. Here is a link from webmd, on the carcinogen issue, http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/news/20... . I would think that is a fairly imapartial web site on this issue. It is sad that our goverment has made researching the issue very difficult. There is a goverment run growing facility in Mississippi watched over by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Without the approval of NIDA you don't get research marijuana from their facility, and they will not approve anyone who is trying to show anything that is beneficial, only what harm it might cause. The Dr. who oversees the facility has his hands involved in the generic marinol product. Both make me scratch my head, although that is where the 4 remaining patients, who get goverment grown marijuana once a month, get it from there. The product is not of the quality that is required (information from one of the patients!). There was movement to open another facility in New England which the DEA seemed to refuse to approve, over the recomendation of a judge. Marijuana also remains on schedule one of drugs, meaning that it has no medical use what so ever. So doing research and getting the proper quality product is hampered very badly. The FDA has almost 30 years of data on some of its goverment patients, including some very extensive medical reviews of the patients done in Missoula Montana, yet refused to pursue the material. My friend who passed away from cancer was not able to use marijuana at all when he was sick, he was on a transplant list and would have been kicked of the list for failing a drug test, even though marijuana would not be of any harm to his condition and could have helped him, at the very least feel better. I think quality of life is a very important issue, specially for gravely sick individuals. There has been research that doesn't support the gateway claim. I would think if we are going there, alcohol or tobacco are nuch more so. I am not sure I have ever met someone who did marijuana recreationally before alcohol, there might be a few out there. Many medical groups are supporting the use of medical marijuana for use under certain conditions, including the AMA. The AMA also objected in 1937 when it became illegal. It was made illegal for several reasons. The Hearst family and their newspaper interests were geared up for paper pulp and had the means to spin a slant in their papers. The Dupont's had come out with plastic, I believe, and didn't want compitition. It also had a racial slant with the people from Mexico and other minorities. It was pushed by a guy named Harry Anslinger and pushed through without much debate. Yes, things must have been like that way back when too. During world war 2 farmer were asked to grow hemp again when there was a metal shortage (watch the video "Hemp For Victory", can be seen on you tube). I guess when you look medical or hemp or probably recreational, there are many very rich and deep pocketed people who don't want to share the wealth or control. Do some people get a recomendation much too easy? I would say yes, but you always seem to hear about that and not the stories of the extremely ill or cronic sufferer who it helps.

-- Posted by Nebraska Common Sense on Mon, Jun 27, 2011, at 4:01 PM

I guess you get an opinion too, don't you bob s. Basically you're saying its a character flaw that someone should become addicted to something?

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Mon, Jun 27, 2011, at 6:04 PM

Nebraska Common Sense,

Please, check out some of the articles on WWW.sciencedaily.com The WebMD article you linked is from 2006. Research changes quickly, especially in a hot button item such as this. Don't pick the "good" articles and resarch and ignore the "bad" articles and research. To do so and to give a number of non-medical reasons to legalize Cannabis is a common tactic of addicts that just want to get high and justify their usage. I am not saying that is what you are doing, but if you really are advocating for medical use of Cannabinoids you should know your stuff. You muddy the waters otherwise, and even reasonable people will suspect your intentions.

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Mon, Jun 27, 2011, at 10:45 PM

One beer or one glass of wine, or one cocktail is metabolized out of the human body in one hour (on an average). Cannabis takes more than two weeks to flush out of the system.

I guess I would hate having to fly on a commercial jet with a guy who was lighting up "legal" doobies just an hour before.

I would also hate to draw the surgeon for my daughters emergency appendectomy who was just "toking" a few.

Hey - it's legal (hypothetically), right?

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 10:22 AM
Response by Bruce Baker:
I am still trying to metabolize that piece of Hubba-bubba I swallowed in fourth grade...

Sir

You are picking all of the bad research and ignoring the good, am I wrong there? I take the cancer causing research with a grain of salt to say the least. Here is why. I have already stated why some of the research against can be poor. Just the quality of material alone is questionable. If it was a real credible cancer issue, wouldn't it have been all over the news? There are many who don't want to see it used for medical who would be all over that one. Why would the National Cancer Institute have come out with a pro-cannabis study on March 17 of this year, here is a short overview and you can probably find the research from here http://coloradoindependent.com/81475/fir... . There are a bunch of medical groups that would be all over it as well and I haven't seen anything about this from them. I also have seen very much research on the effects of the introduction of thc to cancer cells. Some of that goes back to goverment studies from the early 70's. This is stricktly about medical on this part. Most of the other research you mentions, I can find total contradictions. Might some be relevent, well maybe, maybe not. I am not even going to address the addict comment. We were talking medical weren't we? I have tryed to answer everything very honest, and have done a lot of research. IF you don't agree that doesn't make me wrong. What I do know without a doubt. I know people who are alive or able to live a much better life with the use of cannabis. Most have tried the medical avenue as far as they could, this helps them more, in some cases they are alive when they wouldn't be otherwise. In Colorado where it is legal, it is regulated and those sick people don't have to fight the system along with their illness issues. I don't think that can be discounted by anyone. They have found a medicine that works for them and some don't want them to use it. Almost every pharmacuetical drug has side effects, sometimes they are scarier that what you have to begin with. Most of these people don't want those side effects. I do not think it should be done without consideration and caution, that would be irresponible to even think. Have you checked out the links I mentioned? I have tried to answer your questions and comments of the other side of the issue, yet I muddy the water for doing this? I am not trying to muddy anthing! If I support what I believe in, even if I present a good agruement and data, I am misleading reasonable people with my intentions? Since when was being as honest as possible mis-leading reasonable people?

-- Posted by Nebraska Common Sense on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 7:55 PM

Honestly - I didn't see where Frank was trying to legalize pot for the ill. I didn't read the bill, but then again, I'm not sure Frank is so philanthropic as to champion the plight of cancer and aids victims.

Maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe he wants to remove infringement to clear the way for more hearty partying.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 9:23 PM

Frank's bill is for legalization. There is work being done for a medical marijuana bill which would be completely seperate. In my opinion, they are seperate issues, and should be considered as such.

-- Posted by Nebraska Common Sense on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 10:16 PM

Nebraska Common Sense,

Not at all. If you would look on ScienceDaily you would find many positive articles. I don't know you or your motivations, but the fact that you are telling me that I am only picking the bad articles without using my own cited post to prove me wrong( from which you could make the argument on the merits of medical Cannabis use as well) Tilts me to the opinion that you are just talking about legalizing marijuana for its own sake and not for any of the reasons you claim to be championing. Good luck with it, but in my opinon at least you have shown your intentions. For all your 'anti-cancer' benifits, you are dismissing all other articles. I never said that some of the research didn't show promise on its anti-cancer properties. I talked about non-cancer issues. I really feel that you are just trying to legalize pot for its own sake. Your myriad reasonings behind why it should be legal, your links advocating for straight legalization. If you are not trying to, you are succeding in obscuring the issue you claim to be trying to support. If you want to legalize marijuana because it is a natural thing and all humanity should be able to benefit from ALL its effects, well be honest about it. Don't spout "MEDICAL MARIJUANA SHOULD BE OKAY" and use non medical marijuana sources and arguments. That is all I am saying. People that do that are as dishonest in playing thier propaganda as an all weekend showing of Reefer Madness.

You do realize that the distilation of alcohol was cutting edge MEDICAL technology. See? Propaganda is easy, if you are really going to tackle the cause of medical marijuana you have to be honest! Ignoring or trying to downplay the negative qualities isn't being honest. Just as ignoring some of the apparent benifits of Cannabinoids while playing up the negative aspects of Cannabis is dishonest.

Personally, if they legalized all Marijuana use tomorrow I wouldn't freak out. But I would not advocate for its legalization in any way. It is folks that think this way that you seem to be trying to reach. But, if you are dishonest, it riles me up, and I will fight you and prove you wrong. Good luck with everything.

Sir D.

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 10:36 PM

NCS - I could actually endorse the research and study of marijuana as a medicine. Various benefits can reasonably be seen.

I am, however, vehemently opposed to the legalization of marijuauna for the general public consumption the way that alcohol and tobacco are now legal for the public consumption.

Since Mr. Shoemaker doesn't make the distinction in his initiative, I would heartily endorse everyone say "NO" to Mr. Shoemakers petition.

-- Posted by Mickel on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 8:40 AM

Riddle me this, and please correct me if I am wrong because I have done no research at this point, but if it is the THC in the substance that helps people, wouldn't it be possible to isolate that particular substance and provide it to people in pill or injectable form? I may be an idiot and am willing to admit it if I am, but the reason we smoke things is to get whatever that smoke carries quickly into our bloodstream and thus into our pleasure receptors/cells. If we don't need the smoke or the particular plant and could use a pill, why haven't we yet? Again, I am no scientist and I didn't study pharmacology. I am also aware of Mickel's argument with regard to the length of time it takes the body to metabolize the substance. I would think that a factor as well. Sir Didymus, thanks for your input as well. I have learned a lot from reading all of this.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 9:49 AM

I think this is going to be very difficult to pass in Nebraska but is a step in the right direction. Most people probably have an outdated point of view on this subject and from some of the comments above it looks like i'm right. I had a friend die of cancer years ago and they gave him Marinol (synthetic THC in pill form). He still went out a illegally bought Marijuana to deal with his pain. When someone close to you can testify you quickly develop a much different point of view. With Marinol you need a Scientist in a lab to make the drug, with Marijuana anyone who can bake cookies can make it into a food, drink, balm, oil or just plain smoke it. Another misconception people have is that they think you HAVE to smoke it.That simply isn't true. And besides who cares if people use it for medicine. Why is that such a problem? Well it's because of the corruption that can come with it like people getting it with a prescription and then selling it. Ya that happens but it happens already with it being illegal. Will it make it easier to get? Maybe. But it's not hard now TRUST ME! What convinced me was my friend and the fact that it has never caused me any harm and that you cannot overdose on it. In fact more people overdose on aspirin than most illegal drugs combined a year. So don't tell me it's for the safety of our kids. Our kids are already getting it from drug dealers who don't ask for ID's and are exposing them to worse drugs in the mean time. State after state it's being legalized and it's for a reason. Because the American people aren't stupid and they see past the lies we've been taught all our lives. It's only a matter of time!

-- Posted by adam1124 on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 11:22 AM

adam1124 - since you seem to have some experience in this area...is it true that the plants grown now are much more powerful than the plants grown in days of yore?

Also - would you happen to have something in the way of evidence to back up your claim that there are more annual OD's of aspirin than that of most illegal drugs?

And finally; just because something is legal, does that make it right?

-- Posted by Mickel on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 1:00 PM

After reading these arguments, I have yet to see a valid point to why marijuana is SOO bad. Not pointing any fingers at those who have posted comments on here but to me it seems like a lot of people want to argue weather its right or wrong to legalize it just so they can have something to argue about. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion but common give it up.

It is true that plants grown now are more powerful than they used to be. But its like technology in a way, considering that everything has evolved drastically. I mean cell phones are more powerful now then they were, same with vehicles, or your kitchen appliances, your television, your toothbrush, your clothing, etc.. Perscriptions are becoming so much more powerful that they are making people more sick then they were. Cigarettes have more chemicals in them than tabacoo, and of course alcohol is much stronger . Really, almost anything you come across these days is going to be bigger, better, stronger, or more powerful then it was in the years prior, so why wouldnt one think that the same would go for pot? Thats just how life goes.

There are many documentaries about the history of marijuana that state the good, the bad, and the ugly. It proves how the coffee you drink every morning or the asprin you take for your headache or the perscription pills your doctor gives you are worse for you than pot. If it werent for any of which being legal then those who FREQUENTLY use them would be considered addicts and frowned upon by society. HMMM.....

I have come to notice that majority of those who are "anti-legalization" seem to be those who spend many nights at the bar drinking until they forget their name, jump behind the wheel of their car and put not only their life but other lives in danger. Once again, Im not pointing fingers but seriously how is alcohol LEGAL and in most cases looked at as if its a better substance then marijuana? There are hundreds of thousands fatalitys each year for drinking and driving but there has yet to be one case for a "high on pot" and driving fatality.

Stereotypically a "pothead" has been made out to be a lazy bum who wont amount to anything in life. The funny thing is that in all the years Ive been around and the many places Ive lived I have come to know many of those people, some of which were very young and some of which were well into their 60's and 70's. What Im trying to get at is all of them are very successful indivduals. The best part is on any day of the week one would have no idea what they do behind close doors and are not catagorized as a marijuana user in any way, shape, or form.

Basically, many would be astonished by how many friends, family, or collegues in each and every community are marijuana users.

Obviosly there are many worse LEGAL substances out there these days but they go on unrecognized solely because they are LEGAL. And yes just because it may or may not become legalized doesnt make it right, its still a drug. But really and truly how is it going to affect your day to day life wheather the law changes or not???????????

-- Posted by red1234 on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 3:29 PM

I will give my two cents to your questions Mikel. First of all some of the marijuana grown today is very potent, but you should know some things about it. There are 2 basic kinds of marijuana, Sativa and indicate (might not have spelled them both right). They act a little differently and they are cross bred. There are other things in them like canabanoid and CDB's. Some have a high thc content, (that would be the stuff that would be considered potent by the average person, or in many cases the media)some have higher canabanoid levels. There is work going on to breed strains that are high in CDB's. It all depends on what kind of condition you have and other factors to what you might need. IF you buy it off the street, you basically get what is available. Some may not really be what is best for you! In a dispensary you would see a wide range of strains with different names, this is why.

I have been able to talk at length with a couple of workers in a dispensary. It is pretty inspiring when you hear about what being legal does for some very sick people. There are those who probably should have a recomendation, but they told me they have very few patients under the age of 35. That being said, you can probably guess which ones get the press coverage. It is very regulated and most of the dispensaries and care givers go to great lengths to do things the right way. Are there some that are involved for all of the wrong reasons, well I think you would be foolish to not believe that. I do think from what I have seen they are few and far between, but get most of the news time. Most serve sick to very sick people and care about them very, very much!

I don't know the number on asprin overdoses, but it is more than you would think, will put it up if I find it. I do know the total of deaths to pharmacueticals now outnumbers the total of deaths to all illegal drugs combined. The data is out there, will try to find that as well.

Now for marinol, it is basically a synthetic thc pill, which has been covered. It is thc and nothing else. It works for some people and very little or not at all for others I have spoken to. For those it works for, most don't like how it makes them feel. It is pure thc so you can get very "high" from it. It is the active ingredient from marijuana that makes high after all. It doesn't have any of the other things in it that were discussed in previous posts. I would say for those it works for, that is great. If your doctor and you think it is the best thing you should go that route. For many it doesn't work as well or at all. It is very expensive! A friend of mine (who was on it for cancer) told me 1200 to 1300 a month. I have read elsewhere 600 to 700, so either way it is costly. IF you can't afford that or don't have excellent health insurance what would you do?? You can also control your dosage if you vaporize or smoke (marijuana), much easier as well as get much, much faster results. Would you rather suffer for 30 to 45 minutes for relief or several minutes? Can you see why some companies would be very against marijuana? Not because of the patients, but their bottom line. Maybe I am wrong there, but it sure makes me wonder.

There is work going on for a medical marijuana petition!

I also don't want a Doctor or pilot high while doing there job. I don't want them an hour after a cold beer either. WHen urine testing came out it was very inaccurate. It is much better now. There are things like saliva testing that need more work, but they test impairment at the current time. I would think if that was worked on it might work well for alcohol, you could test for both at the same time.

If it is legal does it make it right? I can't anwer that for anyone else! I don't think everyone should go out and smoke one if it is legal, just like I don't think everyone should run out and drink. It should be a personal choice and if you can do it responsibly it should be your choice. Alchohol prohibition was a disaster and did not work. We still have problems with alcohol issues, but nothing compared to what it would be, or was, during prohibition. Marijuana prohibition is causing some of the same problems.

-- Posted by Nebraska Common Sense on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 5:06 PM

There are many things you said, red1234, but I'm going to pick on one small one, just for giggles. Can you tell me how "alcohol is much stronger"?

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 8:30 PM

Where do I sign the petition?

-- Posted by Sbuhrma on Sat, Jul 2, 2011, at 1:22 PM

Thanks NCS for your response - You make a good case for medical use of cannabis; it indeed seems unfortunate that this petition isn't really concerned about helping the ill per se. I think the approach of use for the general public is very widely debatable. It seems I remember one of the reasons not to legalize was that it affects different people at different levels. That may have something to do with variations of street "quality" or it may have to do with cannabis altering ones state of mind. But then again, so does alcohol? I may have to look into that aspect further.

red1234 makes some very strong points, most of which I believe are made out of strong emotion. I don't see how he can construe that the "anti-pot" crowd on this thread are consistent and wanton bar hoppers who then make it a point to endanger society by driving while inebriated. Got some proof red? Speaking of proof...care to parse with a little more detail your claim of how alcohol is stronger now than it ever has been? How is the 40 proof of today stronger than the 40 proof of, say, fifty years ago?

-- Posted by Mickel on Mon, Jul 4, 2011, at 9:19 PM

I see that no one has responded to Mickel's post. Although the questions were not directed at me I will attempt to answer them, and provide my opinion on the topic.

Marijuana affects people different ways because of quality differences and body weight differences. The same can be said about all drugs and medications. Alcohol is an easy one to explain because people are most familiar with it, but the same explanation would apply to anything. Marijuana quality varies just the same as alcohol. The effects of a double shot of 80 proof crown will effect the same person differently than a double shot of 151 proof Bacardi. There is more alcohol in the double shot of Bacardi than in the crown. The problem with marijuana is quality varies significantly. Every time you buy a bottle of crown you know how much alcohol is in it and what to expect with the amount that gets drank, with marijuana the percentage of cannabinoids per ounce varies from purchase to purchase. Second is weight. That double shot of crown will affect someone who is 200 lbs less than someone who weighs 92 lbs. Finally people build tolerance to substances. The shot of crown will have different effects on someone who drinks regularly than someone who rarely drinks. All of these variables make it difficult to compare one persons experience to another. However the one difference I would like to point out is that no one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana.

I also have no idea how red1234 can determine the anti pot people on this thread have alcohol problems unless he knows them all personally.

Under the topic of endangering people while driving intoxicated that applies to every substance. It is never a good idea to operate a motor vehicle or machinery under the influence of anything.

I don't think his point was that 40 proof now is stronger than 40 proof 50 years ago. That is impossible. I think what he means is that the distilling process has evolved and higher concentrations of alcohol ( higher proofs ) are now available. It is my option that marijuana strength has not increased much, just availability of higher potency has increased due to increased demand.

I have a few other points I would like to make unrelated to Mickel's post.

The gateway drug theory is unfounded. The fact that some people are more prone to experimenting substances than others and marijuana is usually the first one they try because it is easiest to get. Usually easier than alcohol.

Marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol. Some people use alcohol responsibly and have no issues. Others use in excess and it complicates their lives. If we have the freedom to choose to drink, we should have the freedom to choose to use marijuana.

In regards to the negative health effects of marijuana, most are related to the smoking not the actual marijuana. Inhaling something that is burning is not good for you. I think any prudent person can determine that without a scientific study. Marijuana can be used in much healthier and safer ways than smoking. Vaporizing and eating are good examples. I think that smoking is the most popular because it is the easiest to conceal. A small pipe or a rolled marijuana cigarette is easy to hide, compared to a vaporizer machine or a large pan of marijuana brownies.

The final point I would like to make is about the money. The profit margin on marijuana is huge. The street price of 1/8 of an ounce of marijuana is $60. To the farmers that may read that is $245,760 per bushel. The cost to produce cant be anywhere near that, so it is obvious someone is making a lot of money. Usually it is someone we don't want to support.(ie gangs or cartels) That is money farmers could make or government could collect in taxes.

-- Posted by repairguy on Wed, Jul 13, 2011, at 3:22 AM

With all due respect, repairguy, the strongest proof ever available would be 200 proof, which would be 100% alcohol, which could not be consumed.

Grain alcohol or Everclear is 90% alcohol and has been around long before I was ever aware of it.

Of course alcohol will affect different people differently, and it's not just because of body weight. There are genetic dispositions that affect people in various ways in the reaction to alcohol. Some of the dispositions genetically render a person an alcoholic after their first drink, some may never be alcoholics. And this is with a substance that is easily manufactured to standards that ensure consistency.

Marijuana growers would be hard pressed to find and maintain this consistency. This is one reason why I'm against the legalization of pot for the sake of recreational use. Like we need another rogue element like that pervading society.

-- Posted by Mickel on Wed, Jul 13, 2011, at 10:08 PM

Mickel:

I agree entirely. I'm not an idiot. I know that the strongest proof available is 200 or 100% ethanol. I also knew that everclear was around long before I was aware of it, but that was significantly less than 50 years ago. I wasn't stating that alcoholic beverages have increased in alcohol content, because I don't know, I haven't been around long enough to know what was going on 50 years ago and the history of alcohol hasn't been something I have researched very much. I was just trying to find a rational explanation for his statement.

I am not sure what the point is you are trying to make about people being affected differently. I assumed the statement was about the variety of reactions people have to marijuana. Some people are a little relaxed and some people are so inebriated they cant function. That can be explained mostly by different potency and different body weight. If you want to make the argument of addiction, the same still applies. Some people are genetically predisposed to addiction, and it doesn't matter if it alcohol or marijuana.

Marijuana can be produced to very close concentrations consistently. The difference between the potency is mostly about the genetics of the plant. There are several different species. Just the same as a burpee tomato and a cherry tomato are very different, but they are both tomatoes. If all is grown is one strain the results will be very similar for each plant. Even more comparable is tobacco. There are a lot of different strains of tobacco, all with different flavors and nicotine content. I am not advocating for tobacco, but is a valid point that just because a product cannot be exactly produced exactly the same, doesn't mean it is not marketable.

I also have a few questions. You stated

"Like we need another rogue element like that pervading society."

When you say "another rogue element" is the first one you are referring to alcohol?

If so then would you support the proibition of alcohol? Why or Why not?

Do you feel like people should just accept and appreciate the vices they can indulge and feel privileged that they can even do those things?

Do you believe that people have the right to choose what they want to do, so long as they aren't harming anyone else?

Do you feel that the legalization of marijuana would cause a downfall of society or diminish quality of life for most Nebraskans?

Do you think that the legalization of marijuana would take money from the gangs and drug cartels?

I humbly await your reply

-- Posted by repairguy on Thu, Jul 14, 2011, at 1:06 AM

Repairguy,

I have a question for you. Are you advocating straight up legalization? Or medical use only?

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Thu, Jul 14, 2011, at 10:09 PM

I would support both. I would rather see full legalization.

-- Posted by repairguy on Thu, Jul 14, 2011, at 10:59 PM

repairguy - you said that cannabis CAN be grown with consistency regarding effects. I would agree as long as you are talking about one family of plants and how it affects one person. You yourself said that a persons body weight (I would go further and offer body type, size and even gender) would act as a maverick element to consistent effects. Genetic pre-disposition is another wild card that, even if the marijuana plants were exactly the same, could very well affect a wide variety of people differently. Exactly how are you going to regulate that upon the legalization of marijuana?

I've also stated in earlier posts that the effects of marijuana last longer in the human body than does alcohol, as alcohol can be metabolized. Therein lies another problem to legalizing pot. One hour after a brain surgeon has a beer; he can perform an emergency surgery. Can he do the same with pot?

I am not a proponent of alcohol prohibition - not because my lifestyle would personally suffer, but because it's already been tried in the US with disastrous results. Learn from history - not repeat it.

"Do you feel like people should just accept and appreciate the vices they can indulge and feel privileged that they can even do those things?"

We have freedoms in this country. The freedom that we enjoy springs from the structure of laws that guide and protect our society. Certain people place themselves as an intermediary between freedom and anarchy in order to protect that freedom - the sacrifice made is for us to continue our American way of life - so yes, I would say "enjoy what you have". But I also say that even if you don't believe in God, the Ten Commandments is an awfully good code to live by.

"Do you believe that people have the right to choose what they want to do, so long as they aren't harming anyone else?"

I believe that with freedom comes the responsibility of vigilance and also accountability for our actions. You have posed a very vague question that poses as a logic trap. Is a woman who is pregnant harming her child if she chooses to smoke and drink? Science tells us yes. Is she free to do that? The law tells us yes. Is what she's doing wrong? I think so, but that is really up to her to discover and then wrangle with the consequences, isn't it? The fact is - marijuana at this point is illegal. The laws are set up to punish breaking these laws with a certain level of punishment. Is the punishment too harsh? Maybe, but then again, if you know the consequences of what you are doing, and you go ahead with the risk - then you should by all means be held accountable to your actions. Nobody out there thinks that smoking pot is legal, so nobody should pitch a fit for having to pay the price for breaking the law.

"Do you feel that the legalization of marijuana would cause a downfall of society or diminish quality of life for most Nebraskans?"

I don't know, however, I'm not willing to trash through two generations of young Nebraskans to find out. And then when we DO find out firsthand that pot is bad (hypothetically speaking...) how easy is it going to be to repeal the law?

"Do you think that the legalization of marijuana would take money from the gangs and drug cartels?"

I think gangs and drug cartels are going to make their money regardless of what Nebraska does. Making an illegal activity legal doesn't lessen the impact on peoples lives. Gambling ruins peoples lives by robbing them of income. The Las Vegas mob was replaced by "legal" corporations. The reins of power changed hands, but people are still going bankrupt from losing their tuckus at the casino. Look at the cigarette black market in New York because of high taxes...you think honest boy scout types are involved in that?

Legalizing cannabils for the purpose of medication...I'm willing. Legalizing pot for recreational use...leave it be.

-- Posted by Mickel on Sat, Jul 16, 2011, at 2:13 PM


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