Mar
07
2013

United Nations wants Feds to go after state pot laws.

I keep getting sent this link, God knows why:

A United Nations-based drug agency urged the United States government on Tuesday to challenge the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, saying the state laws violate international drug treaties.

The International Narcotics Control Board made its appeal in an annual drug report. It called on Washington, D.C., to act to “ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory.”

I mean, I’m sure that I don’t know why people might suggest that this would have ever been a topic of more than academic (undergrad) interest to me, ya, you betcha.

More seriously, I suspect that while the Feds are eventually going to go after the two states’ pot laws, it won’t be because of the UN.  If for no other reason than the court cases would stretch out from here to the horizon*; and while it’d be great to see the ACLU link up with the NRA and HRW and Cato to leave burning bags of dog feces on the White House’s step, I suspect that the administration would like to have a somewhat peaceful second term, domestically speaking.

Moe Lane

*We have a lot of UN treaties that don’t take into account the minor problem that there are limitations on what the federal government can tell state governments to actually do; to say nothing of the wrinkle that we can’t change the federal Constitution on a whim.  Besides, in his own way Barack Obama isn’t really all that into the United Nations anyway.  They don’t have anything that he really wants.

14 Comments

  • acat says:

    No offense intended here, Moe, but .. given the nominees and the way Obama’s handled Rand’s stand .. I don’t think President Choom knows *how* to have a peaceful second term, any more than he knows how the economy works, or .. well .. the gun is still his skill list.
    .
    Mew
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    p.s. The U.N. does have one thing Obama wants… Ban Ki Moon’s job sure looks like a better fit for ol’ Choomy.

    • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

      Thermodynamics and heat transfer. His policy on energy and the environment has, at least at times, included things that qualify as falsifiable (in the scientific sense) physical predictions.
      .
      Politicians without a solid background in the hard sciences should take some care to not make falsifiable statements. Weasel words should come easily to politicians, and leaving yourself open that way is sloppy.

  • Doc Holliday says:

    “violates international treaties” lol. Way to go UN, you just got a segment of conservatives to join with the granola eaters.

    • acat says:

      Or a segment of granola-eaters to join with conservatives…
      .
      As our esteemed host has pointed out before, potheads need to wake up and realize that if they really want legalization, they need to convince the GOP, not the Dems.
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      The GOP will respect the will of the majority, and of laws passed properly. Dems won’t .. and given the makeup of the U.N., this bit just confirms that they’re desperate to find some way to stuff the genie back in the .. bong.
      .
      Mew

      • Doc Holliday says:

        to be clear, only some pot heads are granola eaters, just those from Colorado, New Mexico, and the Left Coast. There are also the unheated taco shell eaters, these are less likely to vote en masse, but more likely to vote GOP with the right candidate.

        • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

          I’d suggest that the brain damage of the dope voters is such that if one has a candidate that they would vote for, one should seriously reconsider running that candidate.

          • Doc Holliday says:

            there is a term for that theory, but I can’t pull it up. incorrect inductive reasoning maybe?

            in my humble opinion, you should reserve your greatest disdain for stupidity, not inanimate objects. For alcohol is probably more dangerous than pot when combined with stupidity. If you doubt this, watch a few episodes of Alaska State Troopers.

            Rand Paul 2016

          • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

            a) I don’t dislike the stoners /less/ than I do the substances.
            b) I think there is still some scientific ambiguity about the exact effects of cannaboids on the Human CNS. We’ve effectively had a laboratory for alcohol for ten thousand years, more or less. How exactly it kills people is fairly well established. As is the question of whether peoples who use it tend lose to, and thus get wiped out by, people who don’t. The lab work for later, more narrowly used, more difficult to create and extract substances is significantly less conclusive.
            c) It seems likely to me that many marijuana users voted for Obama thinking that he was mentally normal. I expect voters who are heavy users to have greater difficulty noticing certain types of impaired thinking in politicians. I expect pot users to vote for politicians who have used pot, or who otherwise exhibit impaired thinking in strategy, long term thinking, risk assessment, and various other things of some utility to politics and public policy.
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            It is unlikely that there is error in my thinking here related to confusing things and people.
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            If there is an error, it is most likely in the intuitions about those effects of cannaboids on those applications of intelligence that are extremely difficult to conclusively measure.
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            Impairments to risk assessment have been fairly well established.
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            It is the other things, like long term thinking and strategy, where I intuit issues, and where I might be incorrect.
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            Areas of concern in my methods:
            1) I do not directly sample pot smokers, as I have little tolerance for knowingly personally interacting with such. I figure that the legalization movement will have more pot smokers than the general population. One confounding factor here is that there may be some measures of stupidity associated with choosing to use weed, and choosing to try to legalize weed, that bias the sample, and are not caused by the weed. Another is that my alien premises may excessively penalize the arguments of the legalization movement.
            2) I may be underestimating my craziness.
            3) I may be underestimating the degree to which I am gifted, in terms of thinking. I partly calibrate off myself. If my estimates of normal function are off badly enough, then normal functioning legalization advocates may appear impaired. This can also be a matter of judging a younger group by standards calibrated off of an older group.
            4) Even assuming that my assumptions about impairment are correct, I may be overestimating the exerted selective pressure. By this I mean how often they will pick the stupidest out of a number of options. Or how often a choice worded to appeal to their tendencies, if said tendencies exist, tends to be on the stupider side.
            5) I may be entirely wrong in my observations about the correlation between the increase in use of marijuana, and the apparent increase in stupid decisions by the voters, and particularly offensively stupid politicians and reporters.
            6) I may be incorrect about how easy it is to measure things like long term strategic thinking in intelligence tests.
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            tl dr; Obama was a stoner. Stoners voted for Obama, apparently thinking he was normal to gifted. I think Obama may be impaired. I think candidates that appeal to stoners might tend to be like Obama. I do not think the Stoner demographic is worth doing this.
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            Not to mention the reporters who used or have in the past used pot, who thought Obama was saner than McCain and Romney, who might have never used pot at all.
            .
            My intuition is telling me that there may have been one or two thoughts that I neglected in this. At this time, I’m tired enough, and needing enough to switch to other topics in order to sleep at night, that I don’t care.

      • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

        I’d suggest that expecting pot smokers to wake up and practice sound strategy is like expecting dogs to develop good color distinction and start painting.

        • acat says:

          I didn’t say it was likely, sicsemper.
          .
          I will say, after reading most of your very very long reply to Doc above, that (statistically) you likely are sampling pot smokers *without knowing it*. If you’re not a part of the sub-culture, it’s very good at staying invisible, eh?
          .
          Mew

          • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

            I’m certain I don’t /know/ it. For my own peace of mind, I try to maintain a state of willing ignorance, short of being handed evidence of a level that I can take to the law.

  • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

    To think that there was something that might make me speak in defense of laws legalizing pot.
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    Emotionally, I strongly favor the kill-them-all approach. On net, I tend to favor continued criminalization as an imperfect compromise, less flawed than the possible alternatives that our society might implement.
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    I would never accept the support of this organization, international treaties, or precedents of international law for this cause. This closest I would be willing to come would be to, purely as a joke, suggest that Malaysia’s laws on pot are precedent for adjudicating trials similarly here.
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    A significant point of the United States of America, in the first place, is to be able to tell the rest of the world what it can go do with itself. This is clear in the design intent of the Founding Fathers. This fundamental principle trumps a number of things. Letting entities outside of the United States have strings on it is unacceptable.
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    (Yes, treaty obligations to our allies. We chose those, and we can choose to go back on those. For good or for ill.)
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    As someone deeply and fundamentally opposed to the legalization of pot, the part of the international community behind this can go do something. I do not know what words to put in for something, I think I’ve heard ‘pound sand’ somewhere?

    • acat says:

      Thus proving my statement above – because conservatives will run around trying to change laws they disagree with – unlike Dems who tend to just ignore or selectively enforce ’em.
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      No, I don’t expect most potheads to notice the problem .. but we only needed 400,000 more people in 2012, eh?
      .
      Mew

      • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

        I suspect the pot smokers would rather court the Democrats for selective enforcement and wink wink nudge nudge social approval, than court Republicans for legalization.
        .
        If a minority of pot smokers voting for Romney might have swung things that way, it seems also reasonable to assume that the (probable) existing majority of them swung it towards Obama in the first place.
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        I think the pot faction is a poor investment of political capital for the Republicans.
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        Frankly, I the Democratic Party is probably a better investment of political capital than the Republican party for the pot faction. a) The Democratic Party gets the Pot faction most of what it wants, with little costs that it cares about. b) Getting a comprehensive legalization scheme by way of the Republicans is probably more capital than they can scrape up. Lasting legalization would need to modify several Federal systems, among other things, without screwing things so much that it gets quickly reversed. As screwed up as the Federal situation is, I don’t know that anyone has that sort of political capital. c) de facto by way of messing with enforcement and the legal system, rather than de jure by way of full legalization, hides the costs, which means people have to work harder to be outraged. This means less angry people, and less political capital against one that one has to spend one’s own capital to counter. .
        The down side is continuing costs rather than a larger upfront cost.
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        As an aside, even if we can’t get something sorted out right now, the future may take care of it for us.
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        If the potencies of marijuana continue to rise, we will start getting quasi-experimental data for higher doses over the next few decades.
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        If my mental-impairment-beyond-what-speaker-has-found hypothesis is correct, and noticeable over the 1960-2010 timeframe, it should be more noticeable in that case.
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        If I’m wrong, well, maybe I end up as a bitterer and more angry oldster than I was already likely to be. (I’ve been wrong in the past, am wrong now, and will be wrong in the future. I just really dislike the recreational use of marijuana.)

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