Tuesday 27 November 2012

Cannabis Users: Stop With The Smug, Already

When viewing articles about smoking - particularly at the Guardian, funnily enough - I've always found it quite baffling to see some of the most vitriolic anti-smoking commenters are avid fans of cannabis.

The only possible justification I can see for their stance is that they are either:

a) Pretty pissed off that tobacco is legal and cannabis isn't.

b) Under the impression that their drug is 'cool' but tobacco no longer is.

or c) Supremely confident that state-funded bansturbators will leave them alone.

Well, it looks like that last one could be off up the swanee, according to the Indy.
Is this the 'tobacco moment' for cannabis?
For cannabis it is the "tobacco moment". The long-suspected link between consuming cannabis and developing schizophrenia has been repeatedly confirmed by recent studies. Observers say that for cannabis the present moment is similar to that half a century ago when scientific proof of a connection between smoking tobacco and cancer became so strong that no serious doctor or scientist could deny it.
What a bummer, man.

This is just the first of what the Indy declares will be a 'four-part series' too, so there is a long way to go yet on this. If correct in their conclusions, it could be the beginning of the end for the more enlightened thinking of jurisdictions such as Portugal, Mexico and - more recently - Colorado and Washington.

At time of writing, the comment count just rocketed past the 1,000 mark, many of which are tokers stupidly pointing the finger at alcohol as being more harmful ... as if that is going to help them.

Perhaps, then, it's timely to yet again quote Crampton's inspired words from 2010.
It's like a bunch of folks on the scaffolds complaining that the other guy's noose isn't quite tight enough. Y'all might instead direct your attention to the hangman sometime and try helping each other cut those ropes.
You see, the only way cannabis users are going to help themselves is by rejecting the state's assumed legitimacy for interfering unduly in the voluntary consumption of any product, whether healthy or unhealthy. Prohibition never works, we know that. But - as John Stuart Mill once said - each measure against tobacco, alcohol, fast food, salt, sugar (the munchies, anyone?) or any other popular substance "for the sole purpose of making them more difficult to be obtained, is a measure differing only in degree from their entire prohibition.".

How cannabis users think that calling for more prohibition of legal products will somehow make government legalise the sale and regulation of cannabis is anybody's guess.

I sometimes tire of repeating it, but unless you're prepared to defend all liberties - as I do, incidentally, for any potheads reading - against the collective arseholes who want to restrict them, stop bleating when someone sets out to demonise your particular preference.


Curmudgeon said...

If cannabis was legal and sold commercially, does anyone think that Guardianistas wouldn't be howling for it to be severely restricted?

As far as I'm concerned, when cannabis advocates start using "alcohol is worse" as a main plank of their argument they forfeit all sympathy.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Well, precisely.

I wouldn't say 'all sympathy' myself. I still believe cannabis should be legalised and the country would be better off if it was, but they certainly don't help their case IMO.

Jay said...

Yeah! Stop bleating sheep, is my point! They are coming for everyone.

Also, I think you should have linked to or embedded the picture on my blog of the girl in stockings hitting a bong. Just because. Not because it necessarily fits in with any of the above.

Lysistrata Eleftheria said...

Well, I’m going to quote from a blog article I wrote earlier today as I think it's apposite. No, I won’t link, because that would be rude and not bloggy etiquette and it stands by itself. But for info, it was about shisha bars in the uk - and about an article supporting them in a well-known ‘libertarian’ magazine.

One of the comments in that magazine?

“Oh come on! Why do you have to choose this bit of freedom to defend!?! Big government is encroaching our our (sic) freedom and you decide to take a stand ON SHISHA? Why do you have to choose something that induces cancer? Oh sure its (sic) better than cigarettes but that doesn’t mean its (sic) good.
If you’re going to attack big government can’t you defend something worth the
effort like freedom of the press or do an article about the Rotherham case.”

Hmm. With liberty-loving ‘friends’ like that, coupled with some of the pro-cannabis users you mention, I do often wonder who is the enemy, and whether these people are completely stupid?

They don’t get it, do they?

Smoker said...

I'm going to Amsterdam next week. I'll smoke one for you DP.

Carl said...

"many of which are tokers stupidly pointing the finger at alcohol as being more harmful ... as if that is going to help them."

Stupidly? Well, they're correct, aren't they?! Last time I checked anyway.

You think it's "stupid" in what sense? Tactically? Rhetorically?

The number of "potheads" who call for the prohibition of other substances must be tiny, why are you getting so worked up about it? The cannabis smokers I know are peaceful, gentle people. They are hobbit-like. How nice of you to take the piss out of them now that you reckon they have a higher chance of developing a mental illness.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I knew it wouldn't take long till someone missed the point.

Firstly, I wouldn't trust the Indy's revelations at all. We've seen enough junk science from these people to last a lifetime.

You obviously do though, since you're easily sold on the alcohol guff. They are stupid because they are implicitly saying that it's OK to attack 'dangerous' products like alcohol. So how can then complain when the same forces bear down on their own benign enjoyment. Tactically, it's like putting a gun to their own heads.

If they agree that the state must stop people drinking, smoking, eating unhealthy food etc, then just stop arguing for legalisation of cannabis which I agree should be legalised. Bold just to make that clear.

I don't care about how tiny the number of potheads there are attacking other substances, just that their idiotic stance is harming the chances of the hobbit-like people.

They're plain fucking daft for granting the state powers over anyone's lives and choices. Clear enough now?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Watch the entrance steps if you're on the strong stuff in certain places. Gives me the willies every time, that. ;)

SteveW said...

I'll almost guarantee I've ploughed more alcohol, weed and any number of phenethylamines and assorted psychotropic and/or hallucinagenic chemicals, plants and fungi than you, yet it seems to have not affected my faculties to the point that I couldn't understand the basis of Dick's post.

If you are happy to attack anybody's freedom to put whatever they damn well please into their body, then you are on very rocky ground both ethically and morally to object when your drug of choice is similarly attacked by others.

Equally, if supporting any form of state intervention in any of these cases, one would have to be naive in the extreme to then be surprised when the same state apparatus was turned on oneself.

SteveW said...

Bugger, should have refreshed before replying :-)

c777 said...

Fist they came for the, well they came for the tokers first?

Then they came for the smokers.

Then they came for the drinkers.

The gastronomes.

The deniers.

The enlightened?

Then, ha ha ha aha the tokers again.

The intelligentsia, oh hang on they control them now, they do as they are told, or they are fakes, no wonder they all talk utter 18K shit.

etc. etc. etc.



Dick_Puddlecote said...

Just to make it absolutely plain for those who don't drop by much. I am against all prohibition of mild stimulants. Of which, cannabis is just one.

The state has no right to interfere since they are only empowered by our taxes to arrange themselves around how we choose to live our lives.

So people might get crazy on weed. So what? Still nothing to do with the state even if true (which I very much doubt).

The point of this article was to poke fun at the highly irresponsible morons who seem to think that pointing fingers at tobacco and alcohol is going to force MPs to think "You know what? We should legalise cannabis!".

It's not a one in/one out thing with modern politicians. They don't ban one thing and legalise another. The ratchet only goes one way.

Anyone who is stupid enough to attack alcohol or smoking in the hope that MPs will legalise (or even decriminalise) cannabis is an enemy of the cause, not a help.

What the.... said...

This is a comment posted to the article:

Va. official pitches mandatory anti-smoking classes

Submitted by gomerpopeye on Sun, 11/25/2012 at 5:32 pm.
And what's wrong with that? You support the choice to smoke cigarettes right? Other than a source of revenue, why should tobacco be legal? It does absolutely nothing but cause cancer. It doesn't even get you high.

Marijuana on the other hand, has both medicinal and recreational benefits.
In fact, every study against marijuana is either junk science or has provided inconclusive results like the latest one that says my IQ will drop in 3 years. With more objectional studies being performed, marijuana is proving to be relatively harmless.

You may think that because pot is already illegal, it should remain so, but why? Marijuana prohibition is an unjust law that was enacted on unethical reasons.

Curmudgeon said...

Hmm, the point of the OP rather comprehensively proved there, I think.

Curmudgeon said...

Yes, I'm thinking of one particular individual. However, while intellectually I agree with you, given the all-too-common attitude of cannabis advocates to alcohol and tobacco (and other aspects of lifestyle freedom) it's something for which I can't really summon up any enthusiasm.

Plus, as I've written before, legalising cannabis but subjecting it to the same taxation, restriction and demonisation as tobacco might not overall be much of an improvement for its users.

nisakiman said...

"...I am against all prohibition of mild stimulants...

You undermine your argument there DP. Why only "mild" stimulants. And who is to be the judge of what is "mild" and what is not? Would you class cocaine as a mild stimulant? (I would, but Those-Who-Would-Control-Us wouldn't). And how about opium? I was an habituée of opium dens around various parts of Asia some decades ago, and I would class opium as a very mild (if somewhat addictive) stimulant. Others (usually those with no knowledge of the substance other that what they've been told) class it as highly dangerous. And even if a stimulant is not "mild", why the hell should anybody have the right to tell me whether or not I can put it in my body?

The thrust of your argument is that you condemn the illegality of pot, and decry potheads for pointing at alcohol as being a "worse" drug, which is a commendable and sensible attitude. However, if you truly believe that we should be able to make our own choices about what we imbibe, then you can't cherry-pick from the available stimulants what should be allowed(?) and what should not, on the basis of them being "mild", which is entirely subjective anyway.

To my mind, all drugs should be legal, without exception. It's the only way all the problems associated with drugs and their use will be ameliorated.

JonathanBagley said...

Quel bummeur, if you are Joey Barton.

John Davidson said...

It appears the nazis simply want to stereotype all of us as addicts even the coffee drinkers, Leaving starbucks as a dealers haven for abother stimulant!

John Davidson said...

I smiled and seductively winked this morning at my wife,I was quickly charged with spousal abuse after the nannys caught it on camera in a private home area where children were present!

Sound rediculous so did smoking bans 10 years ago.

John Davidson said...

Guest thats exactly why it will fail,sooner or later they will be comming for themselves and not even realise it!

Dick_Puddlecote said...

What if I consider all recreational drugs to be mild stimulants? ;)

Re: Opium. It's interesting that the drugs the public consider most dangerous (eg heroin, cocaine) were created by the medical community to pacify the ban of widely-used (and far milder) opium IIRC.

Jason said...

A lot of the politicians quick to ban outdoor tobacco smoking in SF, CA with up to $500 fines for the crime of outdoor smoking were some of the same politicians constantly pushing for total legalization of marijuana. The marijuana crops of NorCal provide the number one revenue making industry in some NorCal counties and that is another reason why in NorCal you find a lot of advocates dead set against legal tobacco smoking but in huge support of marijuana legalization. The tobacco crops and revenues that used to go to southeastern US states and located tobacco companies would then all be going to NorCal located growing and marijuana companies. So for NorCal, there is also an economic reason - but it's all couched behind pseudo-scientific babblings about SHS and anti-tobacco propaganda, to bad mouth one in the favor of uplifting the other.

Curmudgeon said...

I don't claim to be any sort of expert on illegal drugs, but this does to my mind raise something of a moral dilemma with respect to some so-called "hard drugs" if their use is not likely to be "manageable" and the likelihood of adverse effects is very high. For example loads of kids gaily trying LSD and a large proportion ending up like Peter Green or Syd Barrett.

nisakiman said...

Yes there are risks involved with taking drugs, just as there are risks involved in drinking alcohol, smoking, driving, mountaineering etc. The key to it all lies in providing truthful information. That would be far more effective than prohibition.

Peter Green and Syd Barrett were casualties, as were others, but many, many more (myself included) consumed industrial quantities of LSD back in the 60s with no ill effect. And what's more to the point, we did so despite the fact it was illegal.

I do understand your reservations, but let's admit it, prohibition isn't working anyway. It never has and it never will. In fact, it's throwing up far more problems than it's solving, which was entirely predictable. It is irrelevant whether it is booze, drugs or fags, people will always be able to get what they want, regardless. It's simple supply and demand.

It's time for a rethink. Unfortunately, the prohibitionists control both politicians and media, and their adherence to patently counterproductive dogma is unshakeable, so we won't see a change for the better anytime soon.