Pot Politics -- NBA compared to NFL
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 072007 to 072307,
updated 040209)


Compilation on posts, replies, and responses to
replies made on July 20-23, 2007, along with
an update posted April 2, 2009:

---
July 19, 2007

by Paul Armentano and Mark Stepnoski
  http://reason.com/news/show/121497.html
---

Excerpts [with inserts, not part of originating
article, included in brackets]:

... it seems that the sports world—and the
NFL in particular—is fixated on pot.

This spring the 'big story' was that three of
the NFL's top draft picks ... admitted exper-
imenting with marijuana while in college.

[The revelations, supposedly made in con-
fidence, no longer will be part of the NFL's
so-called 'confidential' interview questions.]

...

In reaction to the media's salvo, spokesmen
for the NFL commented that the players' past
pot use is a reflection upon their "character."

NFL officials declined to comment on why
the league tests specifically for pot-a non-
performance enhancing substance-but fails
to screen for known athletic enhancing agents
like human growth hormone.

[The NFL, just a part of the U.S. government's
demonization of drugs efforts, primarily focus
being to create an enemy that promotes the
suspension of freedom and liberty in the name
of a so-called 'greater good' -- tied closely to
promotion of authoritarianism, hierarchical con-
trol of human behavior, religion, ruining human
lives, and acting as if having a tight ass and
kissing the butts of those in power is what
life should be (and, in fact, has become in
America to a great degree these days) about.]

Earlier this summer, beleaguered Miami Dol-
phins running back Ricky Williams sparked
a similar media maelstrom when he failed an
NFL drug test for marijuana. Already having
sat out multiple seasons as punishment for
his off-field pot use—Williams claims he
smokes marijuana to overcome social anxi-
ety—the former NFL rushing champion likely
faces another long, possibly lifetime, dismis-
sal from professional football.

According to the US government, approxi-
mately 40 percent of the US population over
age 12—that's some 94 million Americans—
admit they've smoked pot.

...

The New York Times once estimated that
70 percent of NBA players smoke marijuana.
(Unlike the NFL, the NBA doesn't suspend
players for pot.)

...

It's time for the sports world to admit a dirty
little secret: professional athletics are, and
have long been, awash in intoxicants.

The Colorado Rockies play baseball at Coors
Field. Athletes celebrate playoff wins by dous-
ing one another with champagne. For over a
decade, some of women's tennis most presti-
gious events were sponsored by Virginia Slims.
Ditto for NASCAR, which until 2003 had many
of its biggest races subsidized by Winston
cigarettes.

There isn't a child alive who watched pro foot-
ball during the 1980s that doesn't know that
Miller Lite beer "tastes great" and is "less filling."

[The NFL, among the most hypocritical when
it comes to alcohol, enriching itself in large
measure off of alcohol profits gained from
promotion of alcohol during NFL games, yet
'banning alcohol' from its flights and from
NFL-sponsored events, by act of the com-
mish, recently.]

...

Paul Armentano is the senior policy analyst for
NORML and the NORML Foundation in Wash-
ington, DC.

Mark Stepnoski is a five-time NFL Pro-Bowler
who won two Super Bowl championships with
the Dallas Cowboys (1993, 1994). He retired
from the NFL in 2001 and now serves on
NORML's Advisory Board.

--- end excerpts --

- - -

In reply to posters who responded:

>> If you were to take the money that is spent on pot now and
>> put half towards taxes, we would be able to fund a war on
>> really really bad drugs like heroin or speed

> [...]
>
> Meth is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world.. It
> kills 100 percent more people than pot, which barely kills
> anyone. In fact, I am willing to say tylenol kills more people
> than pot.. which is true.. Tylenol is disasterous to the organs
> if taken too long.


- - -
March 24, 2007
  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17760130/
- - -

Excerpts:

... used three factors to determine the
harm associated with any drug:

  o the physical harm to the user,

  o the drug's potential for addiction,

  and

  o the impact on society of drug use.

The researchers asked two groups of
experts — psychiatrists specializing in
addiction and legal or police officials
with scientific or medical expertise —
to assign scores to 20 different drugs ...

Most dangerous drugs

Research recently published in the medical
journal The Lancet rates the most dangerous
drugs (starting with the worst) as follows:

  1. Heroin
  2. Cocaine
  3. Barbiturates (sedatives)
  4. Street methadone (opioid)
  5. Alcohol

  6. Ketamine (anesthetic)
  7. Benzodiazepines (sedatives)
  8. Amphetamine ("speed")
  9. Tobacco
10. Buprenorphine (opioid)

11. Cannabis
12. Solvents
13. 4-methylthioamphetamine (amphetamine derivative)
14. LSD
15. Methylphenidate (i.e. Ritalin®)

16. Anabolic steroids
17. GHB ("date-rape drug")
18. Ecstasy
19. Alkyl nitrates (nitrite inhalants, "poppers")
20. Khat (plant-derived stimulant)

- - -
  http://stopthedrugwar.org/home
- - -

Excerpts:

...

Clinton Promises to End Federal Raids
on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Posted in Chronicle Blog by Scott Morgan
on Wed, 07/18/2007 - 8:13pm

Hillary Clinton continues to get the drug
policy questions right:

During a visit to Manchester, New Hampshire
on July 13, Len Epstein of Granite Staters for
Medical Marijuana told the senator and presi-
dential candidate: "Twelve states allow med-
ical marijuana, but the Bush administrations
continues to raid patients."

Clinton replied: "Yes, I know. It's terrible."

"Would you stop the federal raids?" Epstein
asked.

"Yes, I will," she responded firmly. [MPP]

As I've said before, it's exciting to hear the
democratic front-runner taking the right posi-
tions on our issues. Clinton has now pledged
to fight racial profiling, reform the crack/pow-
der sentencing disparity, promote treatment
instead of incarceration, and now vows to
end the federal war on medical marijuana
patients and providers.

...

Showtime's "In Pot We Trust" is a Must-see

Posted in Chronicle Blog by Scott Morgan
on Wed, 07/18/2007 - 4:31pm

Wow, man. There's lots of heady nugs in
this movie. Just pack your favorite bong,
zap some popcorn, and get ready for the
ride of your life.

Actually, no. In Pot We Trust doesn't make
you want to smoke pot. It will make you want
to give all your pot to Jacqueline Patterson.
Jacqueline has celebral palsy, which mani-
fests itself most notably in the form of a
severe stutter.

When she uses medical marijuana, Jacque-
line can speak much more quickly and clearly,
because the drug relieves her muscle ten-
sion. The difference is so obvious, I don’t
know how anyone could watch this and say
marijuana isn't medicine.

...

The film is invaluable because patients them-
selves make the best spokespeople for med-
ical marijuana. The ulterior motives so often
attributed to the medical marijuana legalization
effort become irrelevant here, as we meet the
actual people whose health and wellbeing lies
at the center of this controversy.

...

- - - end excerpts - - -

- - -

In reply to a poster who responded:

> Methamphetamine is more wide spread and also is
> extremely dangerous in its making process. In one
> apartment where there was a meth lab... everyone in
> the apartment tested possitive for the drug.. children,
> old people, etc...
>
> Meth is simply dangerous and in no way should be
> legalized.
>
> Tobacco and Alcohol kill far more people than any
> drug on the streets though...and anything that can
> alter a person enough to act out in public should not
> be legalized.. LSD should not be legalized...

When one is assessing risk, one must
take into account the fact that drug pro-
hibition is in effect, and has been in
effect for a long period of time.

The result? Part of the result is outlined
by you above. Other results include a
dramatic increase in the prison popula-
tion, most of which has occurred due to
imprisonment of drug *users*.

For a comprehensive look at the issue
of drug prohibition, it would be wise to
take a look at how alcohol prohibition
failed in the U.S.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_in_the_United_States

Excerpt:

A quote from a letter, written in 1932,
by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a wealthy
industrialist states,

   "When Prohibition was introduced,
   I hoped that it would be widely
   supported by public opinion and
   the day would soon come when
   the evil effects of alcohol would
   be recognised. I have slowly and
   reluctantly come to believe that
   this has not been the result.

   Instead, drinking has generally
   increased; the speakeasy has
   replaced the saloon; a vast army
   of lawbreakers has appeared;
   many of our best citizens have
   openly ignored Prohibition;
   respect for the law has been
   greatly lessened; and crime
   has increased to a level never
   seen before."

- - - end excerpt - - -

Then, consider the following:

Arguments for and against drug prohibition
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arguments_for_and_against_drug_prohibition

- - -

In reply to a poster who responded:

> Your argument technically doesnt work because the drugs
> causing the most death at this current time are drugs that
> are legal.

The Lancet, a medical journal, lists
alcohol at 5, tobacco at 9, cannabis
at 11, and meth at 13. The argument
you made says meth is bad, meth
is prohibited (along with almost every
drug on that top 20 list), and prohibi-
tion resulted in the situation you men-
tioned.

Your argument fails to take into account
that alcohol prohibition failed, and drug
prohibition has been yet another disaster
on many levels.

Another flaw in your argument is the
assumption that drugs 'neath prohibition
are the same potency/risk as drugs
'neath legal distribution. They're not.

- - -

In reply to a poster who responded:

> By all means, legalize weed and some other less lethal
> drugs... but do not legalize meth. We should be grateful
> enough that its killing as few people as possible as it is...

Why is it listed as less harmful than
alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis by
the Lancet?

You do realize that water can kill
you. Rare, that, but it can happen,
so don't over-drink that legal sub-
stance. Use caution when ingest-
and/or mixing any drug with other
drugs, legal or not, especially if
any of the drugs are street drugs
of an unregulated nature.

- - -

In reply to a poster who responded:

> Meth is one of those things. The war against Meth needs to
> be reformated. Simple as that.

Reformatted?

Some meth facts:

  o It's available as a prescription drug,
     Desoxyn and Desoxyn Gradumet,
     used to treat Attention Deficit Hyper-
     activity Disorder (ADHD) and obesity
     after other diets or medications or
     procedures have failed

  o Amphetamines have a long history
     of use, perhaps going back 50,000
     years *

  o In World War II, both Axis and Allied
     troops were habitually fed ampheta-
     mine tablets, estimated dispensing
     running into hundreds of millions of
     tablets *

  o From 1966 to 1969, the U.S. Army
     dispensed more amphetamines
     than all the combined forces of
     Great Britain and the U.S. in World
     War II *

  o Intravenous injection of ampheta-
     mine was used in the 1960s as a
     treatment for heroin addiction *

* Encyclopedia of Psychoactive
   Substances, by Richard Rudgley

- - -

In reply to a poster who responded:

> Your facts are silly at best.

Amphetamines are ranked as 8th riskiest,
meth as 13th riskiest, yet that 8th riskiest
drug was pushed like candy to the military
during WWII and the Vietnam war. Puts
the lie to the notion that the U.S. govern-
ment has any moral standing whatsoever
when it comes to their drug war.

That war, by the way, is a war on us, all
Americans, and the prisoners of war are
those drug users unfortunate enough to
end up having their lives destroyed by
devastating prison sentences, and in the
worst cases, having their lives taken by
cops or by the war on the streets *caused*
by drug prohibition.

- - -

In reply to a poster who responded:

> Cocaine is used in medicine but over-all the
> street drug known as crank and meth is
> extremely deadly and even if you were
> to make it legal for people to buy at the
> grocery store it would become just as
> deadly.


So, of the top 20, you're for prohibition
of _?_ and legality of _?_.

> Not only that it is hazardous to the health of
> people and people around it.

Prohibition worsens the problems where
adults are concerned. You've mentioned
decriminalization for users. Do you intend
to have the drugs they use be unregulated
and illegal? Wouldn't it be wiser to have
them regulated, taxed, and distributed in
a controlled manner, legally, along with
education on the risks and benefits in-
volved?

- - -

In reply to a poster who responded:

> Drugs are ASTOUNDINGLY safe to use,
> that is why so many people use them!

Addendum: One final comment added on
April 2, 2009:

Only proper usage of any substance offers
the potential for gain. Paint, for example,
useful when used properly, dangerous if
used improperly. Insecticides, well, the
ones that don't harm the environment, a
net gain, the ones that do, many of them
have been legitimately banned. Alcohol
and drugs, little is said by the drug war
types about the gains they provide, -but-
loads of propaganda are pushed about
the abuse of such substances.

Cigarettes, can be addictive. I didn't get
addicted to them when I dabbled with
their usage. Pot, when I dabbled with
that, I was surprised that its effect was
so innocuous. Alcohol, before my pre-
scription for antidepressants in 2005,
it was the primary reason I stayed alive.
It brought me tremendous relief from
life-long depression. I use much less,
now, simply because after taking the
antidepressants that worked, I no
longer suffer from depression.

Other drugs, legal and illegal, there is
valuable information on the web about
them, and the greatest risk, now, is
due to the drug war on the American
people, the unregulated distribution
of those drugs, the criminal environ-
ment entailed in the distribution of
those drugs, the insane and unjust
imprisonment of the users of those
drugs.

Drug prohibition, end it.

Drugs, regulate and distribute them.

Patrick Henry quote : "Give me liberty,
or give me death", should inspire us
to find a much better way of dealing
with usage of substances than we
have to-date.

- - -