Jan
23
2014

Rick Perry looking at how to stop putting potheads in jail.

It’s a touchy subject, to be sure

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that he’s for the decriminalization of marijuana use — not legalization, but the softening of punishment for marijuana users in the border state.

Perry made the comment during an international panel on drug legalization while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

His spokesman confirmed that Perry is staunchly opposed to legalization of marijuana because of medical issues, but is committed to policies to lower the punishment for its use in order to keep smokers out of jail.

…but I can’t say that I approve of a system that seems designed to take people who have committed a small crime (pot possession) and put them somewhere where they can get intensive training on how to commit large crimes. And let’s be blunt, if you pardon the pun: how much time in jail you get for pot use is going to be dependent on everything from your socioeconomic status to how touchy the cop was that day. I hate to credit HuffPo with anything, but they’re right when it notes we arrest more people for pot possession than we do for violent crimes.  Not trafficking: possession.  Nobody asked me, I know… but I kind of resent our spending time and money going after stuff that I consider to be less urgent than other stuff.

All right, soapbox is no longer in use: besides, maybe I’m wrong. But notice that Perry’s taking a coherent position on the subject.  Barack Obama’s recent remarks seems to be largely focused on the goal of extruding as much ink as possible without committing to anything.

Like he does.

44 Comments

  • BigGator5 says:

    Even the amoral slime pit Amsterdam has had enough. Yet here we are, about to go down their path.
    .
    Whatever. *walks up to the edge of a bottomless pit and holds out his hand for anyone who wants it* Let’s see how far down the rabbit hole goes, shall we?

    • acat says:

      Congress and the red light district is an old comparison, still true though.
      .
      You still have not addresses the question of why the war on some drugs needs to be fought and won (a “surge”) or some peace plan developed.
      .
      The status quo, no matter how much you like it, cannot hold.
      .
      Mew

  • acat says:

    We either need a surge or we need a plan to win the peace; the current status quo of the war on some drugs is a failure, and is having a very corrupting influence on police departments, who are increasingly seeing drug seizure law as a major revenue generator and are, as a result, increasingly disconnected (and more hostile toward) the citizens they’re supposed to be serving.
    .
    Mew

    • BigGator5 says:

      If we decriminalized or legalized marijuana, what’s the arguement to keep other drugs completely illegal?

      • acat says:

        Non-sequitor, Gator. I presume that’s why, rather than defending the current (broken) system, you’ve switched topics.
        .
        Mew

        • BigGator5 says:

          No I haven’t. There is nothing broken about our system, only our morals. This wasn’t a problem until the premissive drug culture came along. But Moe has yet to approve my comment where I actually state my approval for us to move towards the amoral, drugged-addle America we so richly deserve.

          • acat says:

            http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/bottom_line/2013/01/motel-caswell-owner-victorious-over-feds.html?page=all
            .
            The system is *broken*, and it is corrupting police departments.
            .
            Defend it or come up with another way – I did offer “a surge” as an option.
            .
            Asserting that “this is working” is simply bullshit.
            .
            Mew

          • acat says:

            Not sure how well this will come through, but .. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=245447302283118
            .
            The status quo is a problem.
            .
            Mew

          • BigGator5 says:

            So, replacing one sin with another is ok with you? *thumbs up* I’m there dude! I agree with you! Let’s do it!

          • BigGator5 says:

            And a broken system of law enforcement is a one way ticket to vigilantism and anarchy. I don’t see wide-spread vigilantism or anarchy… yet.

          • acat says:

            As for law enforcement, historically that’s never been the only role of the police – and it’s easy to not see things if you have blinders on.
            .
            As for your “sins” bullshit, I would be perfectly happy to trade alcohol for weed .. most stoners don’t turn into arrogant jerks. That *was* what you meant by trading one for another, no?
            .
            Mew

          • BigGator5 says:

            Drunkenness, excessive drinking/smoking/inhailing/pill-popping of intoxicants, is defined in the Bible as a sin.
            .
            Narcotics depress the central nervous system. They work by binding chemically with receptors in a way that blocks the transmission of nerve impulses, thus casuing a chemical dependence on those who take them. Narcotics are not processed anywhere in the body and can stay in for YEARS after ingesting. I have seen first hand what marijuana does to people. They rot from the inside, first rejecting God and then everything else but the drug.
            .
            Alcohol, is not a narcotic and can be process by the liver. I chose alcohol. Excessive drunkenness with alcohol is still a sin.

          • acat says:

            Not that it’s germane, but .. there is no god. There is a lot of simple-minded human pattern-matching and making up fables, down through history .. explaining what they can’t understand matters to some, but there’s nobody behind the curtain.
            .
            Alcohol destroys the liver, and does some very bad things to the brain and nervous system as well, and yet – any 21-year-old can buy a handle and drink until s/he’s puking drunk or worse.
            .
            I notice that you still haven’t defended the status quo particularly effectively.
            .
            Mew

          • Moe_Lane says:

            It catches automatically any comment that has more than two links, sorry.

          • Heftyjo says:

            Sorry but you’re showing that you really lack knowledge about what drugs are how they processed by the body. There are a wide variety of narcotics that have either depressive or stimulative effects on the brain. And some drugs are both a stimulant and a depressive. Alcohol in fact is considered both. Small quantities of alcohol have a stimulative effect on the brain and excessive quantities begin to have depressive effects. And narcotics just don’t strictly block the neural receptors in the brain but instead artificially activate neurons to produce neural transmitters that either activate the neural receptor or block the receptors dependent upon which type of drug is used. Despite the depressive “stoner” moniker attributed to Cannabis it is considered a neural activator. In fact there are more cannabinoid receptors in the body than any other type of receptor.

            And yes, we are throwing good money after bad by waging the failed war on drugs. All that money that is being wasted imprisoning people for pot possession could instead be used to treat people who truly have an addiction problem. Not to mention that people caught with pot are often ordered by the court to go through outpatient rehab therapy. So, we have people are just recreational drug user clogging up a system that detracts resources for those people who really do need help because they are afflicted the brain disease that is substance abuse and addiction.

          • BigGator5 says:

            “Not that it’s germane, but .. there is no god.
            .
            Even when I was an atheist, I thought drugs were evil and should stay illegal. So you can’t use that for your argument.

          • acat says:

            Then you were a lousy atheist, Gator. Drugs are things, like firearms and the internet; it is in the use that one determines relative merit. Von Hohenheim* applies, quite literally, actually.
            .
            No, drugs are not “evil” .. but they can lead to problems. Never said otherwise as I am not an idiot.
            .
            Thing is, where you seem to go awry, Gator, is that drugs are not *unique* in this. Your own good book has a few things to say about alcohol and money and women, and we haven’t had a war against any of those since the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union .. and I’m not sure I’d call the results of that a full-on success.
            .
            You also conveniently misstate this as a “federal or nobody” problem, Gator, which is silly on stilts. If local jurisdictions want to ban the green menace, let them, and let them pay taxes to enforce it, just as Moore, TN** is a dry county.
            .
            The trouble with your approach, Gator, is that the tide is not going to stop in its’ tracks and turn, and while there’s quite an audience to be had by those who claim otherwise, to really be useful requires teaching others to swim or how to construct boats.
            .
            Mew
            .
            .
            .
            * Classical reference: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJub3ciqRjA) ***
            .
            ** Ironically, given the biggest industry in Lynchburg, TN is Jack Daniels
            .
            *** Even deeper classical reference: Paracelsus

          • BigGator5 says:

            “Then you were a lousy atheist, Gator.”
            .
            I would like for the record to show that I’m not the one getting personal here.
            .
            But you’re right. I was already inclined to become a Christian. Is there anything wrong with that?
            .
            “You also conveniently misstate this as a “federal or nobody” problem, Gator, which is silly on stilts.”
            .
            It will be silly your way. We have a problem with South/Central America vs United States when it comes to drugs. You think it will silly if, say for example, Florida builds a wall on the Georgia boarder over drugs?
            .
            And this thread is about drugs, don’t try and change the subject.

          • acat says:

            Why should I care what you believe, Gator? As long as you don’t try to push it on me, it doesn’t affect me .. and doesn’t matter.
            .
            You jump from “the U.S. has a problem with central and south America” to “let’s wall off Florida from Georgia” .. to which I say “Walls don’t do shit without people willing to defend them, but when did Georgia become a hotbed of illegal drug manufacturing?”
            .
            This thread is – per Moe’s initial post – not “about drugs”, but about what the *federal* policy toward pot should be – about what direction the GOP is going to go in based on what Perry, a likely 2016 candidate for the GOP nomination, is saying and doing.
            .
            You have chosen to try to grow it out from there, trying to make it encompass all illegal drugs, making a number of false statements along the way.
            .
            I repeat myself – the war on some drugs needs a change, making it a federal thing hasn’t worked and has had many negative consequences. It either needs a “surge” or it needs a negotiated peace.
            .
            Mew

          • Luke says:

            “Drunkenness, excessive drinking/smoking/inhailing/pill-popping of intoxicants, is defined in the Bible as a sin.” –BG5
            .
            I’m not aware of those verses.
            I know a few that advise against drinking to excess, but not any that call it sinful. (And certainly none about popping pills or smoking joints.)
            Let us take a moment and recall that practicing Jews are *required* to drink to excess once a year by their religion.
            .
            Just because you do not like something does not make it sinful. Otherwise, damnation would await the growers of broccoli.

          • jbird says:

            I am a conservative Christian who has never smoked pot. Putting aside whether or not smoking pot is a sin, saying something is a sin and saying something should be criminalized are 2 different things. I sin all time, doesn’t mean I belong in jail. Sloth is a sin, doesn’t mean we should criminalize watching too much TV. Adultery is a much greater sin than pot. Much more destructive to societal institutions. Doesn’t mean we should jail adulterers. Frankly, I’m pro-legalization, and if I ever caught my son smoking pot, he wouldn’t see the light of day till kingdom come. I don’t think those are mutually exclusive positions.

            Also there is a God. It is preposterous to believe some gasses exploded and we ended up with the milky way, the Sistine chapel, Bacon, viruses, puppies, and Kate Upton.

          • acat says:

            Luke – given Gator’s (false) assertion that alcohol is harmless and narcotics are harmful, he’s most likely riffing on that “body is a temple” meme.
            .
            jbird – you are as entitled to your beliefs, under our legal system, as I am. You choose to see a creator, I choose to see random chance. (and a bit of airbrushing) So long as we respect each others’ right to believe or not, where’s the problem? (I am not an anti-theist, those folks mostly seem to have severely repressed daddy issues)
            .
            Gator – the meme that applies here is the “render unto caesar” one; secular vs. spiritual. Somewhere along the way, the religious right adopted the activist left meme of “making a federal case out of everything” rather than working your asses off at the local level, winning in the marketplace of ideas; most likely because it’s easier to pick up a phone and shout at a congresscritter than it is to make a difference at the local level. Note – not about you *personally*, general statement. If you look at the history, though, your fellow travelers used to win the argument by showing up, not voting. Time to change back to that model, perhaps?
            .
            Mew

          • Luke says:

            I seem to recall burnt offerings being a major focus of a temple.

    • midwestconservative says:

      We need a surge, and I hate to agree with IRA loving douchebag Pete King, but we should label several of the drug cartels Terrorist groups and go hardcore mofo on their bums.

      • acat says:

        I’ve thought that since well before Ton Clancy wrote “Without Remorse” .. the country seems to disagree.
        .
        Mew

  • Phil Smith says:

    I’ve recently reached the conclusion that there are two parties in this country, but they aren’t Democrat and Republican. They’re the parties of “More Government for MY PET ISSUES”, and “Less Government Period”. I’m on the side of less government. More Government advocates are not my allies.

    • BigGator5 says:

      Then you should reject an amoral government and their advocates.

      • acat says:

        Congrats, you got me to read a Red State article.
        .
        Not surprisingly, I did not comment there. Didn’t really see the point, your argument was pretty effectively gutted, stuffed, and mounted on Dan’s wall.
        .
        A government that is big enough to give you everything you want…
        .
        (in your case, keeping the (broken) status quo)
        .
        is big enough to take away everything you have.
        .
        (in your case, whatever sin you like that the left next decides to hate on – smoking, alcohol, fast/large cars, hunting, suntanning, air conditioning, etc. etc.)
        .
        Note that that’s a paraphrased Gerald Ford quote, and ol’ Gerry wasn’t a libertarian.
        .
        Mew

      • Phil Smith says:

        Small government doesn’t mean libertarian. It just means that you understand that big government is going to be abused by somebody, and you aren’t willing to chance that it’s abused by people you disagree with more often than you agree with them.

  • Freddie Sykes says:

    One reason pot is such a gateway drug is because the same criminals who sell pot either sell other drugs or can point you in the direction of criminals who do. One way around this problem is to take the profit margin out of pot wholesalers. Decriminalize the growing of a small number of pot plants as well as the sale of up to one ounce of pot that you have grown yourself or the possession of up to one ounce of pot you did not grow..

    • BigGator5 says:

      Regulations governing pot seems like big government to me.

      • Freddie Sykes says:

        Well, yes but I am talking at the state level and my plan is actually steps away from the current regulatory environment. We can talk complete deregulation after we stop regulating wheat, sugar, peanuts, raisins, etc, etc, etc.

        • BigGator5 says:

          Bigger state government is still bigger state government.

          • acat says:

            Smaller government and other social organs is the root of better society.
            .
            Arguing for continuing the war on some drugs is advocating bigger and more bloaty government, just as surely as advocating for any other new bureaucratic nightmare.
            .
            Mew

          • Freddie Sykes says:

            Yes, but when you dislike what a state is doing, you can vote with your feet. And our Constitution was written so that most of government would occur at the state level.

  • Luke says:

    It is simply a question of property rights.
    Do you own your yourself, or does the government own you?
    If you own yourself, you can put just about anything you want in your body, and the government has nothing to say about it.
    .
    But you may not agree with those first principles, so let’s lay out the cost:benifit.
    All these illegal drugs used to be legal. The level of drug use is higher now that they’re illegal than it was when they were legal.
    Further, anyone who has wanted to take illegal drugs has had the opportunity to do so. The prohibition against their use did not make them more rare.
    This has to be weighed against the War on Drugs costing $51,000,000,000 annually. (And increasing at a rapid rate.) The para-militarization of our police forces. And the erosion of our liberties. Not to mention the thousands of lives ruined because of a few ounces of weed.
    .
    The War on Drugs failed.
    Whatever marginal good it has done is overwhelmed by the harm it has caused.

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