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An Unhappy Ending To The Drug War?
The American Interest ^ | July 11, 2011 | Walter Russell Mead

Posted on 07/11/2011 4:48:05 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued

The Drug War, with an impact stretching far beyond the inner cities, is one of America’s worst policies. It costs billions we don’t have; it promotes the growth of transnational criminal gangs and supports large black markets in money and arms that terrorists as well as drug lords can use; if fills the prisons and it hasn’t stopped either the use of existing illegal drugs or the development of new ones. Furthermore, as a Cato Institute paper estimates that legalizing and taxing drugs would yield more than $80 billion a year in savings and new revenue. (Something tells me that even the hardiest Tea Partiers might see their way to a hefty excise tax on heroin and cocaine.)

What we are doing now isn’t working. My old CFR colleague and Coast Guard official Steve Flynn used to say that if terrorists wanted to smuggle a nuclear warhead into the United States their best bet would be to hide it in a shipment of cocaine. Since our interdiction rate is so low, the bomb would have an excellent chance of getting through.

(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.the-american-interest.com ...


TOPICS: Issues
KEYWORDS: warondrugs

1 posted on 07/11/2011 4:48:08 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
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To: rabscuttle385; 2ndDivisionVet; MissesBush; bamahead; Extremely Extreme Extremist; traviskicks; ...

On so many occasions (the gold standard, the war on drugs, the Patriot Act), I and others had dismissed Libertarian concerns about their long term effects. But time has proven them right. Even if I disagree with what Libertarians propose, my days of dismissing them are over.


2 posted on 07/11/2011 4:51:00 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Illegal aliens collect welfare checks that Americans won't collect)
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To: Clintonfatigued

Prohibition failed miserably once before in this country... the only lasting effect of it was to give us organized crime.

Why anyone in their right mind would expect the same thing to succeed is beyond all logic.

Its akin to those who keep trying socialism over and over again and again, thinking this time it’ll be different.


3 posted on 07/11/2011 4:53:47 PM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour (With The Resistance...)
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To: Clintonfatigued

William Buckley…

June 29, 2004, 12:07 p.m.

Conservatives pride themselves on resisting change, which is as it should be. But intelligent deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth and moral fanaticism, as when conservatives simply decline to look up from dogma because the effort to raise their heads and reconsider is too great. The laws aren’t exactly indefensible, because practically nothing is, and the thunderers who tell us to stay the course can always find one man or woman who, having taken marijuana, moved on to severe mental disorder. But that argument, to quote myself, is on the order of saying that every rapist began by masturbating.

General rules based on individual victims are unwise. And although there is a perfectly respectable case against using marijuana, the penalties imposed on those who reject that case, or who give way to weakness of resolution, are very difficult to defend. If all our laws were paradigmatic, imagine what we would do to anyone caught lighting a cigarette, or drinking a beer. Or — exulting in life in the paradigm — committing adultery. Send them all to


4 posted on 07/11/2011 4:56:14 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: KDD

Guantanamo?


5 posted on 07/11/2011 4:57:56 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

Drugs aren’t the real problem, they’re only a symptom of the real crisis. The fact of the matter is that too many Americans want to get high, and value that far more than being productive members of society. America needs some soul-searching to do, the kind that doesn’t involve psychoactive drugs.


6 posted on 07/11/2011 4:59:43 PM PDT by Shadow44
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To: Clintonfatigued
Drug law reform is slowly moving forward and with the right safeguards it could be a good thing. But the underclass and its problems will still be with us and in some ways the urban situation could be worse under the new policies than it is now.

This is the prospect no matter what happens or does not happen in re the drug laws. The inner city will decline. Things will get worse there. That is a necessary result of welfare and affirmative action and all the other ways we give inner city people the illusion of a free ride. That itself gives those people the idea that wealth is not earned or created but only stolen and hoarded and they "don't got none."

7 posted on 07/11/2011 5:04:16 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: Clintonfatigued
On so many occasions (the gold standard, the war on drugs, the Patriot Act), I and others had dismissed Libertarian concerns about their long term effects. But time has proven them right. Even if I disagree with what Libertarians propose, my days of dismissing them are over.

I'm a libertarian. I do not do drugs. I drink almost never, maybe once or twice a year.

But I wish drugs were legal and the government was out of the picture altogether. Because, once you give the government the right to tell you what you can put in your body, you've given them the right to do so many other things.

The right to tell you to lose weight. The right to tell you what you can and can't eat. The right to tell you when and where and how often to exercise.

Which is exactly what the government now does, every day. And that's just a start.

There is no limit to what the government can force you to do if you give up the right to control your body.

Many so-called conservatives call libertarians dopers. Some probably are, as are some conservatives and some liberals.

None of that changes the hard fact that drug warriors can't have it both ways. It's childish to think that when you give away power to the government, it will never be used against you.

The government uses the same power drug warriors gave up to tell the rest of us what to do. They use the same power to do no-knock-raids, shoot unarmed homeowners, do warrant-less searches, shoot family pets, and militarize local police forces.

8 posted on 07/11/2011 5:04:16 PM PDT by mountainbunny
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To: arthurus

Yes 70 to 75% illegitimate births in the black population is a predictor of even worse times ahead.

The “Great Society” has wrecked the black family structure in less than two generations.

A topic which Obama and the MSM refuse to mention.


9 posted on 07/11/2011 5:06:55 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: The Magical Mischief Tour
Prohibition failed miserably once before in this country...

The relationship between thousands of years of Western Civilization and beer and wine, and liqueurs and Scotch, is entirely different from the Black/Hispanic/Hippie/Addict, drug use that popped up in the last 60 years among some lower class Americans.

One is a fundamental part of Western culture, entertainment, socializing, health, and daily life and dining, and the other is getting stoned and zoning on the couch, like they do in places like the Arab world and the exotic and bizarre East.

Trying to erase alcohol in the West, is even much worse and more impossible than it would be to take away cannabis, among the cannibis based peoples, like the Arabs.

10 posted on 07/11/2011 5:14:25 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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To: Clintonfatigued

It’s time to end the War on (Some) Drugs NOW.


11 posted on 07/11/2011 5:15:59 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus ("Armed forces abroad are of little value unless there is prudent counsel at home." - Cicero)
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To: Shadow44

The lack of honesty in the pro legalization argument isn’t real helpful either. The “millions in prison for drugs” cannard is a good place to start. I’d like to see some hard data on how many people are in prison for drug possession alone. (excluding parolees, people who happened to have drugs on them when they were arrested for other crimes, and people arrested for crimes while using drugs)

I’m not even strictly opposed to marijuana legalization but think the utopian fantasy needs to be gone from the argument. After all, the guy who killed 7 people in Grand Rapids Michigan the other night was on drugs (coke or meth) and he wasn’t about to go seeking treatment regardless of whether it was legal or not.

I do find a certain poetic justice in the medical marijuana dispensers who quickly figure out that legal marijuana will put them out of business and act accordingly. There have also been a few stories about dispensary owners going to city councils in hopes of eliminating competition through restrictive ordinances.


12 posted on 07/11/2011 5:18:21 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: ansel12
One is a fundamental part of Western culture, entertainment, socializing, health, and daily life and dining

That's not what the prohibitionists were spouting when they outlawed the consumption of alcohol during the Volstead Act.

How To Put An End To Drug Users

13 posted on 07/11/2011 5:22:38 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

legalize and tax rape, murder, child molestation and kiddie porn while you are at it


14 posted on 07/11/2011 5:24:38 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: KDD

I imagine they weren’t, and now we have it confirmed that the daily use of alcohol is recommended for health.


15 posted on 07/11/2011 5:25:55 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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To: Clintonfatigued

we need to end those prohibitions on murder and rape, the prisons are full and that is enough proof to show we can never defeat it.

Legal it,

Amnesty for All American criminals.


16 posted on 07/11/2011 5:26:05 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: ansel12
Center Disease Control

Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States (1) and is associated with multiple adverse health consequences, including liver cirrhosis, various cancers, unintentional injuries, and violence.

To analyze alcohol-related health impacts, CDC estimated the number of alcohol-attributable deaths (AADs) and years of potential life lost (YPLLs) in the United States during 2001. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that approximately 75,766 AADs and 2.3 million YPLLs, or approximately 30 years of life lost on average per AAD, were attributable to excessive alcohol use.

These results emphasize the importance of adopting effective strategies* to reduce excessive drinking, including increasing alcohol excise taxes and screening for alcohol misuse in clinical settings.

17 posted on 07/11/2011 5:33:59 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: cripplecreek

I agree with you. By its nature, it is not a safe industry to work in. Yet, all these supply based strategies only go so far and are expensive, libertarians are correct that operations like Plan Colombia are not cheap. However, that doesn’t mean we just abdicate responsibility, we need to create a society that is hostile to drug abuse and its excesses so that demand plummets.

Anyone can look at Pop Culture today and see that this is clearly not the case, and in fact it just feeds into the drug culture. As someone under 30, I’ve encountered my fair share of drug users, a lot of them just simply have nothing to live for. They’re bored, nihilistic, have dysfunctional upbringings and it reflects on their behavior. Simply decriminalizing drugs or DEA funding isn’t going to solve a serious and complex social problem.


18 posted on 07/11/2011 5:35:01 PM PDT by Shadow44
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To: KDD

Excess is bad, eating kills countless Americans, if you want to ban alcohol, feel free to go after that.


19 posted on 07/11/2011 5:38:23 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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I mow and mow and the weeds and grass in my lawn keep growing. I can never defeat it.

I should just surrender and give up my kids to lyme disease.


20 posted on 07/11/2011 5:42:47 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: ansel12
Excess is bad, eating kills countless Americans

At present it is estimated that marijuana's LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.

In practical terms, marijuana cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity.

21 posted on 07/11/2011 5:43:05 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: Shadow44
Simply decriminalizing drugs or DEA funding isn’t going to solve a serious and complex social problem

Exactly. I would rather treat drug users than imprison them but the simple fact is that most are on their way to jail in the first place.

Back when I smoked pot I was arrested once and was fined and put on probation for 6 months. I never once saw anyone go to jail for possession alone. I even know of a guy arrested with manufacturing marijuana for sale (Police said a street value of $100,000). Since he was otherwise clean he didn't go to prison but he did get a 10 year suspended sentence, probation and big fines.
22 posted on 07/11/2011 5:43:20 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: cripplecreek

(1980-2009 - Total, marijuana and drug arrests by year) Although the intent of a ‘War on Drugs’ may have been to target drug smugglers and ‘King Pins,’ over half (51.6%) of the 1,663,582 total 2009 arrests for drug abuse violations were for marijuana — a calculated total of 858,408. Of those, an estimated 758,593 people (45.6%) were arrested for marijuana possession alone. By contrast in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses, of which 646,042 were for possession alone.

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Marijuana#Share


23 posted on 07/11/2011 5:50:52 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: KDD

Push your robot creating drugs to someone else, the danger of pot isn’t that it has been killing Arabs for thousands of years, it is that it has destroyed them as a people, that applies to the other Cannabis based peoples in the pot part of the world.

When teens start using pot, you can tell because the pot pod goes off, and he suddenly becomes just like the other pothead kids.


24 posted on 07/11/2011 5:51:15 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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To: GeronL
The extent of your stupidity is amazing. Rape, murder and other crimes that cause harm to people from other people are in no way comparable to drug, cigs or alcohol use that harms only the person using them. If I were to use an addictive drug I would not be doing harm to others, killing, raping or beating on someone does do harm to others.

The fact that your brain is so twisted by the desire to control what other people put in their bodies is an indication of a serious mental illness, closely related to liberalism, and in fact is one of the symptoms of liberalism. You don't want to have drugs illegal because they harm people, you want them to be illegal because you believe them to be morally wrong.

legalizing drugs would cure a lot of murders and rapes and especially armed robberies, this is plain for anyone who has an IQ over 20 but you, and other moralizing idiots on fR, refuse to believe it or to see the harm the war on drugs has done to our society.

25 posted on 07/11/2011 5:51:46 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

Oh please. Legalize drugs is evidence of moral failure to the nth degree.


26 posted on 07/11/2011 6:00:08 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: ansel12

Just more of the same anecdotal drug warrior freedom fearing BS we are used to hearing. Keep your liberal nanny State ideas...and wait for your ox to be gored.

It took a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw booze.

Cannibus was outlawed by a liberal Supreme Court that used the same line of reasoning to permit abortion on demand. Are you so blind to the fact that the law of unintended consequences is so at play in this debate.


27 posted on 07/11/2011 6:03:31 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: GeronL

You are certainly not the arbiter of our national or personal code of morality...thank God.


28 posted on 07/11/2011 6:06:33 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: KDD

Remember to use brightly colored packaging to appeal to the youth market in your drug poisoning business.


29 posted on 07/11/2011 6:09:59 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: GeronL

Kiss my ass.


30 posted on 07/11/2011 6:11:43 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: KDD

Sorry pal, pushing dope and decadence is the left’s agenda, not the right’s.

The sixties wasn’t a conservative revolution.

Peace out, my stoner brother, don’t let the pigs bust your game man.


31 posted on 07/11/2011 6:12:27 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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To: ansel12
Your fear of the long dead “Hippy Movement” is humorous in a kind of retrograde way.
32 posted on 07/11/2011 6:23:47 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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Endorsement deals from Tony the Tiger! “KDD Brand Uppers: They’re great!!”

“Winnie the Pooh Bear recommends you try KDD’s Big Green World brownies to get some sleep tonight! It’s the cure for sleeplessness”


33 posted on 07/11/2011 6:29:09 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: ansel12


34 posted on 07/11/2011 6:29:37 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: KDD

You only show your ignorance with that analysis, you really, really, do not know me.


35 posted on 07/11/2011 6:37:17 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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To: ansel12

You imputed a “60’s liberal mindset” to me in your post above. If you want a high level of debate...then YOU keep the strictly personal insults out of it. After all, you really, really, do not know me.


36 posted on 07/11/2011 6:43:56 PM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
The problem with the "drug war" is the fradulent claim of authority via the New Deal "substantial effects" Commerce Clause.

You can tell who doesn't give a rat's ass about that or the unintended consequences. They're the ones that will only talk about the drugs.

37 posted on 07/11/2011 6:53:50 PM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: KDD

I didn’t put a mindset on you, I pointed out that you support the left’s agenda, and you guys have made incredible gains in 50 years of destroying America, but you want more.

Pushing dope is a fundamental part of being liberal, let it all hang out baby.


38 posted on 07/11/2011 7:35:07 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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To: GeronL

Horse sh**. Drugs were legal in this country once and we had no more addicts per one hundred thousand then we do now. BTW, alcohol is a drug and the country hasn’t collapsed because it is legal. As I said, you are not concerned with people hurting themselves you are concerned that you won’t be able to control what other people do. You are a typical moralizing control freak. This country, and others, would have far less crime if drugs were legalized, any fool can see that except for fools like you.


39 posted on 07/11/2011 7:44:27 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59
would have far less crime if drugs were legalized

If we legalized all crime, then we would have no crimes at all.

40 posted on 07/11/2011 7:53:24 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: Clintonfatigued
"and it hasn’t stopped either the use of existing illegal drugs or the development of new ones"

Hasn't even slowed it down, even though it has destroyed thousands of lives needlessly. Maybe millions.

Drug Warriors are enemies of liberty and would have jailed George Washington for growing hemp. For 25 years.

I've had it with them and their kind.

41 posted on 07/11/2011 8:34:56 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: GeronL
"legalize and tax rape, murder, child molestation and kiddie porn while you are at it"

Only an idiot would equate smoking a joint to the above violent crimes.

Do you believe the crimes to be equivalent? Do you believe we jail those who smoke pot?

42 posted on 07/11/2011 8:48:56 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Clintonfatigued
t legalizing and taxing drugs

I do always find it a little amusing when Libertarians discover something they think should be taxed.

43 posted on 07/11/2011 11:23:48 PM PDT by eclecticEel (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: 7/4/1776 - 3/21/2010)
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To: ansel12
And I point out that YOU adhere to the far leftist extremes of political thought because you accept the same legal reasoning that made cannabis illegal, but which also reasoned that abortion on demand was legal. Are you so intractable that I need to explain how the bastardizing of the commerce clause of our Constitution by our courts has done more to create the kind of State that you rail against then someone smoking pot could ever do. Your stance is the liberal stance. It is not the Constitution that you want to conserve. You are the enemy of freedom and I hunt wannabe warrior wolfs as you call yourself on your homepage...who think it is their job to protect the “sheep” as you so plainly think of others in the writings on your homepage. Many fascist pelts hanging in my barn.
44 posted on 07/12/2011 5:01:09 AM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: KDD

Metaphorically speaking of course.


45 posted on 07/12/2011 5:05:19 AM PDT by KDD (When the government boot is on your neck, it matters not whether it is the right boot or the left.)
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To: KDD

One of the effects that the drugs have on you guys is that you start seeing straight America as fascists and bad guys.

I hope you get some intervention before it is too late.


46 posted on 07/12/2011 7:16:46 AM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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To: KDD

I was waiting for someone to blurt out that kind of clap-trap, about how harmless marijuana is as a habit!

Reefer CAN make you insane - really!

Marijuana / Cannabis and Schizophrenia
http://www.schizophrenia.com/prevention/streetdrugs.html


47 posted on 07/26/2011 8:00:37 PM PDT by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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To: Shadow44

Excellent analysis!

Where there is no vision, the people perish
Proverbs 29:18


48 posted on 10/20/2011 5:32:56 PM PDT by Valin
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