For all of you who vote to legalize recreational marijuana, what happens in the following years is your fault.

//  I have several updates at the bottom, in case you've read this post in its early stages. Please scroll down for those updates. Please do read the infantile comments as well, which prove my point of who we're dealing with. Keep in mind these are the more innocuous comments. Also, please do visit this website's resource page to see videos, etc. on what really happens when pot is legalized. Before you send me a message to try to "educate" me, please understand how I research, and don't leave a comment if you aren't going to use your real name. Thank you. //




Does the above graphic leave any questions? Think that title is blunt enough?

Good.

It's true.

When you decide to vote yes on Measure 3 here in North Dakota in the 2018 election, the results over the coming decades to our state's health, culture, kids, and safety is your fault. You made that decision. You own it. You don't get to cry over traffic deaths, mourn the rising healthcare costs, or anything else. You wanted it. You got it.

A few months ago, a family who was traveling around to educate people on sex trafficking issues made a bold statement in the seminar I attended: If you watch any form of pornography, you are helping children and teens be sex trafficked and sexually abused. I could almost feel people bristle around me, because we don't like to be confronted with the reality of our "private" behavior on the public world.

The family made it clear that it didn't matter whether you watched that specific kind of pornography or not; the nature of the business and the reality of who was in many of the online videos was that child/teen sex trafficking is tightly connected. When you fuel the market for porn by watching it, you fuel the market for child sex trafficking.

When you vote for more legal drugs, you are responsible for all the negative that comes following that. It's your fault.

Think it isn't?

When you spend your money on alcohol, cigarettes, or marijuana, you don't spend it on your family. I am in a job where I get frequent requests from people for money for rent, utilities, gas, and food. I can't tell you how many times I see them smoking in their car before coming in, smelling like an ashtray or bottle of vodka, and telling me how they just don't have enough money to pay for heat for their kids. They had enough to buy cigs and beer, but not pay the utility bill. Do you think adding legal marijuana is going to make that situation better? No!

"That's their problem."

No, it isn't. Taxes, donations, organizations, and other entities are pulling in money to deal with these issues, so it ends up being your problem. It's your money being used to keep the heat on instead of fixing the highways. It's your money feeding kids who go hungry instead of improving infrastructure. It's your money paying high hospital bills so that people who can't pay for the medical issues that result from marijuana use end up in the ER. It's your neighbor, your child's friend, your family member.

It's your problem, too.

Let's look at some of the justifications I've seen for voting yes on Measure 3. This is for all of those arrogant SOBs who keep telling me to "educate myself" (as if that is a valid debate rejoinder) whenever I express a negative opinion of Measure 3 on social media, people who seem to think they have the reached the magic pinnacle of knowledge and any disagreement surely must be based out of ignorance.

"This will help the state's economy, and it will be a great business opportunity for small business."


Sure.

Because agriculture already tends to benefit the small farm and grower. /sarcasm

Big multinational corporations have been prepping for nationwide legalization for a long time. They have everything in place to start scooping up billions. They aren't doing that to help the mom-and-pop dispensary down the road, or Farmer Joe. They are in it to make money for themselves. If you don't like how they've handled the land, prices, the small businessperson, etc. in regards to current agriculture and business, I don't see why you're buying into this fairy tale that pot will be different.

Regarding the economic boost to the state, keep reading. You'll see that in other states, there has been increased economic input (though also an increased black market in California, oddly, because high taxes drive a black market); however, the increase in GDP has been negligible, and that increases costs in other areas to deal with the side effects of legalized pot have been high. But here's the thing, regarding the economic boost: do you want your state to have an economic boost from people buying a drug? People consume that drug in your state. What are the costs post-consumption? (High, as you'll see.)

Who is it that really benefits? Who is it that really sees the payout from legalized recreational marijuana?

Doesn't it make anyone else a bit nervous when you start to dig into the where the money is coming from that has, in recent years, been pushing marijuana use on this nation? Follow the money! Who is it that wants the people of this nation baked and bleary, escaping from reality, in need of something to make them less anxious?

It's billionaires, PAC, politicians, and corporations. If you don't like Big Oil, Big Banking, Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Big Government, and Big Agriculture, why in the heck are you OK with this? It's the same thing!

"It's not as bad as alcohol or opiods, and they're legal!"


Don't freak out, but big alcohol is already gearing up for pot versions. That dog don't hunt, because if you thought we had a drinking problem before (and this state does), it's gonna get real good someday. Alcohol and THC! Whee!

When I hear people say that "opiods and alcohol are just as bad or worse" as a justification, I completely understand the insane political and social climate in our nation, because that argument, in which you list two destructive substances as a justification for bringing in more, is completely illogical and evidence of stupidity beyond belief. People seem to think that adding another legal drug to the mix is some kind of improvement? As you'll read below, modern marijuana isn't innocuous. It's strong and getting stronger. It's just as bad.

North Dakota has a serious problem with alcohol abuse. We all know it. We also have a lot of underage drinking. We have a lot of meth and drug abuse. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't have a DUI in their background.

Do you really think a state with those known problems is going to handle marijuana well? Do you actually think putting another drug on the pile will do anything but make it worse? Do you think adolescents won't get their hands on pot? As you'll read below, they do in other states, in greater numbers. Do you like the idea of some kid bringing an edible to school and giving it to your kid?

Do you really think this state (and others) is populated with a people that knows how to control themselves when it comes to mood-altering drugs? It sure doesn't appear so, does it? All the statistics show we are a binge-drinking state in which we self-medicate to excess. Not restraint. Excess. We have classic northern latitude depression issues; the last thing we need are more legally obtained drugs.

"I'm a Libertarian blah blah blah."


One of the golden spikes in the libertarian railroad is legalizing drugs, especially pot. (The other spike is legalizing prostitution.) It gets sold with something like this:

"What adults do is their business. It isn't hurting anyone. It helps the economy. It's all about the market."

[I'd just posit the idea that what passes for an adult today isn't what would pass for one in yesteryear, so I don't know if using "adulthood" as any standard is a real solid. People who have coined a phrase of "adulting" are not adults. They're more like modern Lennie Smalls.]

Some Libertarians too often either have zero conscience or an inability to think they should care or are responsible for anything or anyone but self. Go back and read that story at the start of this post. I will say it again: when you help feed and sustain a market, you are responsible for the human beings that market pushes through its meat grinder. You might not believe in God, but regardless, you get to stand in front of Him someday and explain your actions. Market forces don't move Him, but compassion does.

You consume porn, you are responsible for sustaining the sex trafficking market. You vote for recreational pot, you are directly responsible for the ensuing damage in the coming decades. Sometimes we aren't able to know what every buying choice or investment leads to, but when we are able to know, we are then responsible for what we choose to do next.

For those of you who think you can do whatever you want as an adult with zero effect on anyone else ever, whether you do it in the privacy of your own home or not, go read John Donne's poem (presented in the modern language version, just in case you smoked some pot and can't parse the olde Englysh version):

'No Man is an Island'

No man is an island entire of itself; every man 
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; 
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe 
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as 
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine 
own were; any man's death diminishes me, 
because I am involved in mankind. 
And therefore never send to know for whom 
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. 

Then read the section in this blog post about the impact recreational marijuana has had on the Colorado healthcare system, and tell me again how it doesn't affect anyone else. When you hurt yourself, you hurt those you love and who love you. You are not an island. Your personal and private choices are never just that.

I'm not sure how these kinds of libertarians do it. Do they not see the pits people fall into? Do they not care? Do they sit in a nice safe house, never spooning up soup or gathering coats or paying the heat bill for a family in which the parents have made decisions to imbibe in "legal" fun and it has hurt those around them? Are these parents' freedom of choice less noble than those who don't struggle? Do children, who have no say, not matter until they do, when it comes to adult freedom to choose? Do they think they have no responsibility for greater society? Do they think it's all the economy stupid, and that the market is the sole great determiner of who lives and how? Can they not mix the reality of personal responsibility with compassion? How seared is their conscience, that they would choose personal pleasure knowing others will be destroyed? And, should they fall into a pit after losing control of these pleasures, do they expect other libertarians to come to their aid or kick them to the curb and quote John Locke or Friedrich Hayek over their miserable bodies?

Go read Ecclesiastes, Libertarians, and spare us all the misery you'd unleash in your pursuit for meaning.

Liberty that is self-centered is not liberty. It's the start of a destructive inward vortex that will eat you and those around you alive. Re-read your highlighted Ayn Rand book and despise the lesser of these if you will, but a truly free society isn't made up of self-centered bastards looking out for their personal good instead of the greater good. People have to live with their choices, but we can, as a just and good society, reduce the number of destructive choices that are easily made available if it is our power to do so. This nation would never have gotten off the ground if our founding fathers weren't attuned to the idea of self-sacrifice (i.e. not getting everything they wanted) instead of self-satisfaction.

Press a group of libertarians hard enough and you'll find out who is truly interested in liberty for the betterment of humanity, and those who just want a legal whorehouse next door.

"The state legislature didn't work fast enough with the medical marijuana so I'll just vote this in instead."




That is the mentality of a child, voting as payback.

Yes, medical marijuana was voted in two years ago...in the midst of the busy legislative session and the pipeline protest and the remnants of a drought. The legislature meets every two years, so maybe you should pressure them to deal with it in the upcoming session, the first once since the mid-session election, instead of throwing the doors wide open to all marijuana. Wouldn't that make more sense instead of pouting and crying that "we didn't get stuff as fast as we wanted!!!!!"

I mean, you would vote in a badly written law for something that will do great harm, just because lawmakers didn't work to your desired speed?

But wait. It gets better. One of the guys who sponsored this measure has this to say to someone who noted that measure 3 is badly written:



So let me get this straight.

These guys say we need to pass this because the legislature didn't do their job with the medical marijuana measure, but they acknowledge this current measure is one that needs work and that's the point, because once it's passed the legislature can clean it up. Would this be the same legislature you think didn't do its job last time? And these guys are in the legislature, the one that didn't do its job? And 7 years - "I do believe" -- what kind of vaguery is this? If you didn't like the speed and results from the last medical marijuana measure, why are you buying into this?

Sort of sounds like "we have to pass the healthcare bill to see what's in it." Didn't work out so great, did it?

YOU DON'T PASS SHODDY LAWS WITH THE PROMISE TO FIX THEM LATER. Somewhere in legalize recreational land, we have lots of carts in front of horses with their drivers crying for greater speed limits.

Measure 3 is so poorly written, creating a mess for law enforcement, drug dog costs (they'll have to be retired across the state), courts, exemptions from current smoking laws (really? you want some guy sparking up next to you so you can get that kind of secondhand smoke when a dude with a cigarette has to go stand out in the middle of the street practically?) -- for that alone, measure 3 should be burned to the ground in a thick haze and fail. I didn't argue those points in detail today, however, because I'm against Measure 3 for more than sloppy legal mess it is, but because I'm against what it stands for completely. However, even for those of you who support legalized recreational marijuana, you should not vote for such a badly written measure.

If this is the citizenry we have, and how the electorate thinks, we deserve the slide into oblivion that this nation is experiencing.

"Marijuana is harmless! Marijuana is actually for better health!"


False.

Lest you think that marijuana is some organic delightful healthy plant to consume, like wheat grass or kale (which I would support making illegal), keep in mind that modern marijuana is often full of heavy metals and fungus. In 2014, the state of Washington rejected about 13% of marijuana after testing it for e coli, salmonella, and yeast mold. Microbial contamination is rampant. Not all states do this testing, and the law that is slopping its way toward the next election here in North Dakota has little concern for such things.

But that's not even the main concern. Let's talk THC levels.

50 years ago, pot had a much lower level of THC, the chemical that produces the feelings of euphoria when consumed. However, in recent decades, specific effort to increase THC through plant breeding, specialized soils, and other techniques have increased the THC levels and made modern pot quite potent.

Yes, modern marijuana is more potent than back in the Woodstock era. A 2016 study based on over 38,000 samples between 1995 and 2015 revealed that THC went from 4% in 1995 to over 12% by 2015. CBD dropped from .28% to .15%.

That's a problem. Why?

Because CBD oil is one of health reasons people support recreational marijuana, but the reality is that modern marijuana growers are on a curve not for the CBD, but for the THC, the mind-altering substance. According to the Smithsonian, "breeding for more powerful marijuana has led to the virtual absence of cannabidol (CBD), a compound being investigated for treatments to a range of ills, from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s."

The ratio over the years of that study for THC:CBD went from 14x to 80x. Most modern strains are in the 20% realm in regards to THC, while others are pushing past 30%. This is double and triple the level found in marijuana in the 1980s! The Netherlands, home to legal marijuana for years, is concerned enough about the dangers of increasing THC and its effects on the brain and the user that they are considering placing anything over 15% in the LSD/Heroin realm of drug classification. There is also a side issue: pot with higher THC sells for a higher price, and that enables...the black market. It is also an incentive for growers to aim for as high a THC level as they can so they get more profit, and not make CBD the goal. There's money in THC, not CBD.

Let's look at some quotes from medical professionals and researchers in a recent article about the reality of modern pot and what they're discovering in Colorado:

Avery, like many others, points out that today’s marijuana is different from what many older folks once smoked: “Today’s marijuana is a potent, highly hallucinogenic drug, so recreational use is fraught with danger. Only a few credible studies have been done (and hardly any with THC above 15 percent), but they provoke concern about the new marijuana. The higher the THC concentration, the higher the likelihood of first episode psychosis and schizophrenia.”

Avery notes, “Heavy marijuana use can damage brain development in youth ages 13 to 18. … Multiple researchers have all come to the same conclusion: the younger the brain, the worse the effects in both the short-term and long-term.”

"Rob Holmes, who has been writing many of our weekly Compassion roundups on the WORLD website, interviewed doctors who are front-row watchers of Colorado’s legalization experiment. Karen Randall, an emergency room doctor in Pueblo, Colo., with a certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine, says THC-boosted marijuana “is causing persistent psychosis and there is no recovery.”

Dr. Randall said the new marijuana is worse than the opioid epidemic because of the long-term unpredictable effects. Some synthetic cannabinoids are marketed as safe or legal alternatives to grown marijuana, but they affect the brain and endanger people even more. She notes that marijuana advocates said legalizing recreational marijuana would have positive economic effects, and it’s true that Colorado’s GDP has expanded by 1 percent because of revenue from legal marijuana sales, but that revenue doesn’t begin to pay the bill for the resulting social toll.

Dr. Ken Finn, a pain medicine specialist in Colorado Springs for 24 years who serves on Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council, sees no evidence that marijuana can help scale down someone’s opioid addiction: He says it’s contributing to Colorado’s opioid epidemic, as a “companion drug.”

If you think that as long as you don't smoke pot, but consume it in other ways, you're still not safe. According to the Smithsonian, there still remains a chemical contaminant issue, as well as extremely high THC issues:

"At the top of that list would be chemical contaminants in products such as concentrates, like the hard, amber-colored Shatter, which contains more than 90 percent THC, LaFrate suggests. Concentrates and edibles (think brownies) make up perhaps half of the current Colorado market. Their makers sometimes suggest that their chosen products are healthier than standard weed because they don’t involve frequent smoking. But some manufacturers employ potentially harmful compounds like butane to strip the plant of most everything but THC." 

So yes, marijuana leads to serious healthcare concerns.

A healthcare provider wrote an editorial into the local newspaper (for which she was predictably savaged by the pro-legal crowd on social media). She did her own research (which those pro-legal savages should have loved and respected, since they keep screeching about us educating ourselves), and discovered some shocking aspects to legalized recreational marijuana. Marijuana use among adolescents in Colorado is now 85% higher than before recreational use was legalized. Yearly emergency room visits related to marijuana also increased, up 52%. Hospitalizations related to marijuana use went up a shocking 148%. Opiod deaths did not decrease in Colorado; they increased 33% after legalization went through. Gosh, it seems like marijuana doesn't solve the opiod problem, but makes it worse. Maybe the idea of a "gateway" or "companion" drug isn't laughable after all. The writer, with her experience in North Dakota healthcare, said this would stretch our already limited healthcare system in this state.

There is also a connection between marijuana use and reduced gray matter in your brain, particularly if you started using as an adolescent. It can also lead to short-term memory problems, and brain damage that resembles schizophrenia. How ironic that we think legalizing marijuana is going to solve health problems! And yes, legalized recreational marijuana does lead to more traffic accidents and death.

So for those of you planning on voting yes on Measure 3 here in North Dakota, think about this. What does measure 3 say about THC levels? Are we ready to accept the expense of now policing the THC levels, microbial and heavy metal contaminants, in plants and pot for sale? That's going to cost this state. Are you going to trust your source is pure and free of this possibly deadly junk? Ready for recalls on pot, and lawsuits?

And for those of you planning on voting yes on Measure 3 because you're pouting that medical marijuana hasn't been successfully integrated by our legislature, does any of what you just read concern you? Do you think the problem with not having medical marijuana is best solved by creating all of these new problems? Wouldn't you rather have very structured medical marijuana laws instead of a free-for-all?

Don't you think the growers and plant breeders are going to continually work to increase the THC levels, like they have been in the recent decade? The old adage that no one has died or been harmed by marijuana is bull, and I just want to let you know that, when all of this happens over time, that's on you. You voted for Measure 3. It is your fault, and I don't want to hear you crying for someone killed in a pot-related traffic accident, or a young person who fries his brain and ends up with permanent psychosis because he got into his parent's stash or accidentally ate an edible. That's your fault. You voted it in. You've just been informed, and if you decide to vote it in, you accept responsibility for the fallout.

"Marijuana is not addictive."


As you just read, modern marijuana is much different, and not all medical professionals would agree with you on the idea that pot isn't addictive. This is especially so since there hasn't been as much study on the increasingly strong THC varieties and what they do to people. Pot smokers develop a tolerance for THC, meaning they are always wanting a higher level. You know what that is sort of like? Addiction. A need for the mind-melting stuff. And there we have the vicious cycle of growers increasing THC for a consumer that needs ever more of it.

At the very best -- this is the best, mind you -- pot doesn't get people to stop using opiods, but serves as a companion or gateway drug. That's what the studies are showing in states that have legalized recreational pot.

You know what is addictive?

Not facing reality and dealing with problems in life. Defense mechanisms are habits, i.e. addictive. Spending money you don't have on things you don't need that aren't even all that good for you in an effort to not face what's going on in your life -- that doesn't make for a healthy society and culture.

This is already a medicated nation. People are drinking and vaping and smoking and huffing and shooting up and filling prescriptions to fit in, avoid facing problems, "unwind" after what others would call a regular day at work, and in every way avoid emotional pain. Marijuana is not something you use to get a clear head and face into the wind of your problems and deal with them. It's for avoidance.

Do you think we need more people who have to medicate in yet another way to avoid dealing with the problems in their life?

Additionally, if you have any family member that have any problems with alcohol or drug abuse, you have no business voting to legalize marijuana and adding another numbing drug to the pile. Yes, usage does increase when something is made legal. Sometimes a thing being against the law is -- surprise! -- a good deterrent for use.

I'm not even going to go into the spiritual aspects of mind altering and hallucinogenic drugs, because people today think we're all biology, all molecules and chemicals, oblivious to the spiritual. But for those of you with spiritual inclinations, you do not want more mind-altering drugs easily available. Ask any recovering drug addict whether or not they heard voices when they were using. Do we need more people walking around hearing voices?

"What happened in Colorado and Washington won't happen here in North Dakota because our culture is different."


Think this can't happen here? Why? Because we're North Dakotans and we have a special work ethic and unique culture?

No.

We used to. The generation currently in their seventies and up had a unique culture, one of self-control and self-denial, saving up money and making do after having experienced the Great Depression directly or being raised by parents that had.

No, what we have now, as with elsewhere in this country, is a growing monoculture in which the entire nation ponied up to the raw sewage pipe that Hollywood and the Internet sent out, and we have 350 million people that think and believe and behave pretty much the same. We are a rancid culture that lacks self-control, delay of gratification, and any sense or even understanding of the value of self-denial. We want and demand our personal pleasure, we want to do what is easy and feels good, and we don't want anyone to dare say "please don't do that, for the benefit of the larger culture." We think shallowly and come up with illogical reasons to justify this behavior. We are selfish, narcissistic, looking out for number one, self-centered, erroneously believe we are self-reliant -- and in the throes of ever increasing national suicide rates and loneliness. Self is a lonely friend to rely on.

Colorado and Washington have shocking numbers of homeless. I openly cried when, on my most recent visit to Denver, I barely recognized the place. I hadn't been there since before pot was legalized, and I was shocked to see the increased levels of homelessness, the almost piles of humanity with bloodshot and glassy eyes and dull stares just sitting around downtown or sprawled out in the park and grassy area in front of the state capitol. They had to bring in portable trailers to serve as restrooms and park them along the berm downtown because of the number of people "not hurting anyone" and "making their own choices" needed that facility lest the place turn into a San Francisco turd pile.

You can't tell me that isn't a waste of humanity, and that their personal choices weren't hurting anyone. They're hurting their families, their friends, and the rest of society who could have used their unique gifts if they weren't strung out on the pavement instead. To see the potential baked away into an motionless lump on the ground, sprawled across the sidewalk and dirt, waiting for the priests to finish setting up the tables so they could get a free lunch in the shadow of the Colorado state capitol -- that's not the purpose of mankind. That's not liberty. That's debasement and bondage and a waste of a human being.

If you are naive enough to think that legalized recreational pot won't have a similar effect here in this rural state over time, you're foolish. For one thing, you'll definitely bring people to the state from surrounding regions to get pot. Secondly, we already have an increasing issue with homelessness and panhandling in the cities in this state. Anyone who has lived in Bismarck for the past decade can attest to the change in the place, the increase in those things, and the effect increasing drug use has had on this community.

This place is not the same, and this state will not be the same.

Don't you believe for one moment that we have some special culture up here, that our work ethic and self-reliance will save us from the fates of other states. The disappearance of that former culture is evident and sad. My parent's culture is unrecognizable in this current one. I cannot believe the number of adults -- educators! leaders! -- I see using lame excuses for why marijuana should be legal for recreational purposes. They self contagion has spread to every corner of this state.

I have seen former teachers of mine -- older adults, in other words -- as well as 20-something teacher aids in local schools advocating for recreational marijuana for these kinds of reasons. These are the people who taught or are teaching our kids! They are the ones who are supposed to be helping them learn, giving them a chance for a productive life. And they are online, publicly saying that pot is no big deal. I have screenshots. Kids are seeing this. How in the world will you tell them to not drink, and not use drugs, if you are all over Facebook insisting that recreational marijuana is no problem?

"Well, whatever. I don't care," I hear some saying, being all nonchalant and cool and down with whatever new personal freedom the libertarians say is a must. Your apathy is disgusting. Care. Stand for something. Make it less easy for people to self-medicate and isolate. We need people with clear minds in this nation, not baked.

"Marijuana related arrests will decrease."


Well duh. We could also remove people's lungs, and say that lung cancer rates will decrease. Did nothing about the cancer, but diddled with the data in a roundabout way.

This is like making murder or some other crime legal and saying it solves the problem of putting people in jail. You know what solves the problem of people going to jail? Helping them to stop breaking the law and respect the law. Getting to the core problem in their life that is causing them to abuse drugs. That kind of thing.

The lawmaker who said he helped with the measure said in a Facebook comment that he'd rather not see his grandchildren get put in jail for having marijuana on their person.

I'd rather my nephews and nieces didn't have marijuana on them at all, and if they do, face the legal ramifications in the hopes that they would not do it again. I don't want my family using pot, and if the laws help deter them from it, I think that's a win. If they aren't deterred, then that's how punishment works.

As long as marijuana isn't federally legal, people are going to flunk drug tests and lose jobs even if it is legal in the state. Talk to folks in the aviation industry in Colorado, and how hard it is to keep airplane mechanics. But since marijuana stays in the system a while (from 1 - 30 days, depending on dose), how do we regulate and test making sure pilots and mechanics and drivers aren't under the influence? Fly the friendly skies, indeed, but at least some North Dakota lawmaker's grandkids won't have a police record.

----

Whether or not recreational marijuana passes in this election or not, I have no doubt in a decade it'll be everywhere. This is because people today are most interested in pleasing and focusing on self.

But that doesn't mean you have to help it along. Push back.

When you vote to legalize yet another mind-altering drug, the ramifications for future generations is on you. If you vote yes on Measure 3, I don't want you hear you cry about your child or grandchild who became addicted to drugs, moved on to other drugs, lacks motivation, or exhibits health problems a decade or two down the road when people start to realize (like with cigarettes) the real dangers of regular marijuana use. I don't want my tax money paying for their medical care, their special education classes because they damaged their brain and can't learn -- I don't want to hear it. You voted for Measure 3. It's on you. The deaths, costs, and damage to real human bodies and souls in no way are outweighed by some economic numbers.

You're telling me it's harmless, no one will get hurt. It's all on you.

For the record, I'll never vote for it. No matter what the results of the election are, I am not responsible for what those of you who voted to support Measure 3 did. If you have any questions, see the super complicated graphic at the top of this post.

For your edification:

  1. The Green Rush Begins
  2. Pot In The Bottle
  3. Going To Pot
  4. Joint Ventures
  5. Smoke Signals 

-----------------

UPDATE, SAME DAY, TWO HOURS LATER I KID YOU NOT:


This is basically every debate conversation on this topic, ever.

Random social media dude: "Educate yourself, anti-measure 3 person."

Me: "Here are links to studies, data, medical personnel quotes, and more."

RSMD: "That's opinion. It's meant to scare people who don't do their own research."

Me: "You mean, people like me, who educated themselves and did their own research?"

RSMD: "What I meant was educate yourself and do research and if you come to my conclusion, I'll agree you did that but otherwise you're just publishing opinions."

Me: "I literally have facts based on studies, data, and medical findings."

RSMD: "Your facts don't count. Go get more better facts. Go get my facts."

Like a study of over 38,000 samples? A doctor in Colorado with training specific to cannabis? What? Must I get all my research from High Times in order for your little mind to not explode?

Calm down. Go light up your doobie, dude. Thought you guys were gonna be so laid back. Never said it was all facts. Said there was factual data to support my opinion in it. I'll not apologize for the crazy idea of stating an opinion, sharing the data and facts that support that opinion, and mixing in some philosophical questions to make you think. THAT'S WHAT DEBATING ADULTS DO.

So let's say we have a study that says 45% of people will die if X happens. There's also a study that says there's only a 1% chance of death if X happens. The guy who is in favor of X will tout the latter study, and the one opposed will hold up the former. I'm sitting in the audience listening to the debate. What do I do?

The source of the study matters, but studies often conflict with each other. It's the nature of a study. So we place bets. I place a bet on the former, thinking that, in a worse case scenario where the study is completely off, nothing changes. But if it's right, I just saved a bunch of people who might have died. If you place your bet on the latter, worst case scenario is a high death rate.

I don't just have studies in this post. I have references to legal issues currently under way in frickin' free-for-all Amsterdam! They probably know a little about pot, you think? I have links to medical personnel and what they've seen and experience in Colorado after several years of recreational use. I have links to researchers who undeniably show THC is increasing. I have the knowledge that the market moves where the money is and the money is not on health (CBD) but in THC, i.e. ever higher THC is where we're headed.

Random Social Media Dude can scream about "educate yourself" and "get different facts" all he wants, but I placed my bets on preserving as much healthy human life as possible, and again: the ramifications and results of passing Measure 3 are not on me.

UPDATE, BECAUSE THE GIFT KEEPS GIVING:

As you read the exchange below, please note how very little of it, until the end, actually addresses the content of this post, and is instead, a debate on debating and whether or not I did any research. When he does finally get to some sort of proof (exciting!) he...agrees with what I said in the post (bummer).


On whatever issue, we all have an opinion. It is truly rare when we don't have an opinion. However, when you tell people to "educate themselves" you have to understand that education is a two way street, and they might educate themselves right into an opinion you don't like.

I wasn't a supporter of medical marijuana. I'm not crazy about how some states have implemented it. But after research, I can see value in CBD. That is totally not what Measure 3 is ultimately about, not one bit. As Measure 3 supporter Joel clearly acknowledges, Measure 3 is about recreational marijuana, which is about higher THC. As the data and research show, higher THC is where the danger lies. This measure has nothing to do with the health benefits of CBD. Thank you, Joel, for your help today.

UPDATE 2: TRANSLATION

I was made aware of this tonight, a classic example of a group of people trying to control the message:



Apparently something went out in the mail regarding Measure 3. I didn't see it, so I don't know what was in it, but it clearly wasn't supporting Measure 3 based on what this guy is saying.

Let me help translate what he said for you to continue to prove my point about how these people seem to think it is a lack of understanding, education, or ability to "construe" that makes us against Measure 3.

"Much of their content is misconstrued to create fear." = I can't say what they said in the flyer was false because it wasn't and I don't want legal trouble, but I'm going to subtly suggest that it was, and also patronize you and suggest that you just can't understand and decide for yourself and do research for yourself without talking to pro-Measure 3 me because of your fearful lizard brains.

Please note: he doesn't say that the flyer contained any false information, but is simply suggesting you might "misconstrue" it. That matters.

"Message me with any questions you may have on Measure 3 so you can make a truly objective decision." = Let me tell you all the positives and why everything about Measure 3 is roses and then you can make the objective decision to vote yes because surely that's the only truly objective decision you can really make. Any other decision is you, reacting out of fear, from information that you didn't comprehend correctly and instead, misconstrued.

Please note: his version of coming to an objective decision is not reading the anti-measure 3 material, but to talk to a pro-measure 3 person. He doesn't say "decide for yourself."

It's just like jolly Joel above: if you don't support Measure 3, it is because you're fearful, you don't have the right facts, and you just can't understand the Measure correctly without us explaining it to you in favorable terms.

You know what? Shove off. I haven't misconstrued anything. Neither have other people who aren't in support of this. We've done research, and you don't like it if it doesn't align with your talking points.

UPDATE OCT 24, 2018:

Apparently this blog post got shared a lot. On Facebook, I see little frowny or mocking faces as a reaction. Wowee, that's gonna keep me up at night. There has been good positive response, too, but I want to again point out how the supporters of Measure 3 behave online and how they try to knuckle under any response they don't like, and, most importantly, how they really can't dispute the negative information being put out there about the measure.

So this is what they do.

  • They attack the messenger. I am still seeing people say that I, or my blog post, am a crock of shit, idiot, uniformed, uneducated, blah blah blah. Call me and my work every name you'd like. I'm indifferent. You are still not addressing the REAL FACTS AND DATA that is presented here. You are not addressing the REAL FACTS AND EXTRAPOLATIONS the vote no organization is putting out in their material. In fact, as you see above, you know they aren't necessarily wrong so the best you can say is "what they said could be misconstrued" which is like saying "what they said isn't wrong, but we don't want you to come to that conclusion because it isn't helpful to our cause."
  • They try to use fear to silence people. I have seen repeatedly someone gently speak up in a comments section saying they don't support Measure 3 only to be attacked in outrageous and junior high manner by Measure 3 supporters. They call them names, say they're stupid, and provide very little data other than "educate yourself" or "get informed." They pile on and the person goes away. This is the online mob we have seen in recent years, active and childish as ever. You are simply trying to shout down and put fear of online attacks into the messenger. That says a lot about the people who really want this measure to pass, and should, in itself, bring question to the measure. This is like a religious fervor for them, the way they gang up and attack, the same names and people saying the same fact-lite comments online. It's funny, in a way, because they keep saying those of us against the measure are fearmongers, but these are people who are literally attacking others online in a mob fashion and creating silence from the stress and fear of that. They are literally creating fear in people regarding speaking out against Measure 3, so they remain silent. I'm not afraid of an internet mob and whatever name calling they come up with. A little protest a couple of years ago helped with that. So I'm not going to shut up. And I encourage others to speak up, too, because right now it's all pro-Measure 3 people talking, attacking anyone who dares say no to Measure 3.
  • They paint a picture of sunshine and roses. Supporters are using every internet meme and emotional ploy to get people to stop thinking and vote emotionally, even though they say that anyone against Measure 3 is all about instilling fear. I have seen people using veterans with PTSD, sick kids, the American flag with a pot leaf where the stars should go, grandma with Parkinson's, and more, as if the only solution to this litany of problems is recreational pot. There are other solutions, but they won't allow you to think that. Additionally, they are absolutely unable to even acknowledge that there could be anything at all wrong with what happens after the crappy Measure 3 law goes into effect. Does anyone really think that all their claims that NOTHING negative will happen if Measure 3 goes through is even a legitimate stance? Really? And that's why I again repeat: If you vote for Measure 3 and we start to see the problems arise that people said would arise, IT IS YOUR FAULT. You don't get to complain, cry, and whine about the legislature not fixing up the law well, about the rising healthcare costs, law enforcement issues, crime increases, traffic accidents and death, increase in other drug use, your next door neighbor growing pot and the people flocking to your street, youth pot abuse -- none of it. You get to say nothing. You bought the lie, and it is on you. I'm in an online community group, which seems to tend toward the younger generation (that's at least the most vocal segment). They lean heavily towards recreational pot, it seems. They also bitch and moan a lot about people stealing vehicles, stuff from yards, breaking into cars, unfriendly or slow-moving service in various businesses, drunk driving, etc. I can't wait to have the ability, when things start happening because of increased pot use, to say "did you vote for Measure 3, because if you did, suck it up."
P.S. I happen to know of a church who had to take down a "Vote Yes On Measure 3" sign that someone stuck on their property without asking. So that's the kind of people we're dealing with, apparently. In their fervor and pot righteousness, they are real respecters of property and the law.

UPDATE OCT 25, 2018:

To the folks sending me random and unsolicited messages saying I'm "inciting false fear" in North Dakotans and would I please just let them ask me some questions and talk to me so I can be educated -- quit already. Let me reiterate: I DID PLENTY OF RESEARCH, THIS IS THE CONCLUSION I CAME TO, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO ADD TO WHAT I ALREADY READ.

People. I write for clients for a living on broad topics that I have to research to understand. I wrote a 500-page book that required research and talking to people. I AM NOT UNFAMILIAR WITH HOW TO RESEARCH. Joe Blow from Fast-Food-R-Us in Minot, North Dakota isn't going to tell me anything I haven't heard. Please stop. You absolutely must stop thinking it is a lack of research or some ignorance that makes people come to a decision you don't like. That's really small-minded of you and says a tremendous amount about you. We disagree, and I'm going to write about my opinions as you all have done non-stop, sometimes cruelly, for months all over the web. End of story.

P.S. Seriously, stop putting up your signs in places you haven't got permission. I'm hearing more and more from people seeing them where they weren't allowed to be. Is this the super restrained law-abiding crowd behind this legal recreational pot movement that's putting their signs where they don't have permission? If you can't even follow the law for property rights and sign placement, wowee.

See this crumpled up piece of trash? This is one of MANY signs that was placed on private property without their permission. They're all over state property and other places they didn't ask to put them. This is illegal. Great start to your "legalize pot" campaign push, by putting up signage illegally.

UPDATE, OCT 27, 2018:

For a predictive list of known problems beyond what I've listed above, let's not leave out:

  • Marijuana grow operations have a serious skunky reek, and you won't like it being grown where you live.
  • You will see insurance costs go up, including health and auto, to deal with the various things mentioned in the original blog post. That's yet another way how yeah, you'll be paying for it. You can't say it doesn't hurt anyone. You will be paying more.
  • Law enforcement budgets are going to go up, not down. Drug dogs will have to be retired, and if they can't afford replacements, they won't have them to use to find other drugs that this state is awash in.
  • Listened to a truck driver today who was talking about the concern the industry has with drivers who will be failing their UA tests and losing their jobs. Like I noted above, just because it might be legal in a state doesn't mean your job still won't allow it. It will impact the industry that already needs drivers to meet shipping needs.
UPDATE OCT 28, 2018:

A reader shared an interesting article written about what has really happened in Colorado after recreational legalization went through. Let's look at some interesting quotes:

"Colorado has seen an increase in marijuana related traffic deaths, poison control calls, and emergency room visits. The marijuana black market has increased in Colorado, not decreased. And, numerous Colorado marijuana regulators have been indicted for corruption.

In 2012, we were promised funds from marijuana taxes would benefit our communities, particularly schools. Dr. Harry Bull, the Superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools, one of the largest school districts in the state, said, "So far, the only thing that the legalization of marijuana has brought to our schools has been marijuana."

In fiscal year 2016, marijuana tax revenue resulted in $156,701,018. The total tax revenue for Colorado was $13,327,123,798, making marijuana only 1.18% of the state's total tax revenue. The cost of marijuana legalization in public awareness campaigns, law enforcement, healthcare treatment, addiction recovery, and preventative work is an unknown cost to date.

[...]

According to the Colorado Department of Public Safety, arrests in Colorado of black and Latino youth for marijuana possession have increased 58% and 29% respectively after legalization. This means that Black and Latino youth are being arrested more for marijuana possession after it became legal.


Furthermore, a vast majority of Colorado's marijuana businesses are concentrated in neighborhoods of color. Leaders from these communities, many of whom initially voted to legalize recreational marijuana, often speak out about the negative impacts of these businesses.

[...]

Studies that found "college students with access to recreational cannabis on average earn worse grades and fail classes at a higher rate." Getting off marijuana especially helped lower performing students who were at risk of dropping out. Since legalizing marijuana, Colorado's youth marijuana use rate is the highest in the nation, 74% higher than the national average, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Report. This is having terribly negative effects on the education of our youth.

What proponents promise fails to happen, and just about everything those of who are warning others about legalizing recreational marijuana...happens. Are you just promoting fear if you are pointing to a state with stricter laws that what Measure 3 would be, and noting its stats and data and the real results, and then talking about the damage? Maybe, after seeing what happened to Colorado, you should be afraid.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 9, 2018:

So in the days following the failure of Measure 3, the local Facebook groups have been filled with ranting and rage against the people who voted against it, with others chiming in that they think legalized pot is a great idea but the measure was written poorly. The folks who wrote the measure have stated repeatedly in the news they are going to try again for the 2020 election.

I've heard from two people in just the past day who have been on the receiving end of telemarketing/survey calls from the marijuana crowd, making it clear they are trying to find a way to word the next measure in a way that would pass.

One man described them as being very aggressive and calling him multiple times to the point where he asked if they would leave him alone. He said they started the call out with what seemed like harmless and general political questions before it suddenly went into marijuana this and that. So, if you receive a call like his, expect a similar format and that they will repeatedly call you even if you ask them to stop. That was that man's experience.

A woman described her experience as such, on a Facebook post:

"I just got a call from Quantel Research (Ogden, UT) for a survey about the recreational marijuana measure that failed in North Dakota.

The survey is quite lengthy and very poorly written. It appears that there is a plan to rewrite the measure to make it more palatable to the voters of ND. They think that if the money were used for schools, roads, etc. that we would vote in favor of legalizing pot.

This is just my "heads up" for ND friends. I did answer the questions (as best as I could) to discourage those who want to try again......

(It is likely that the person writing the questions was using something when they created the survey - "one more question" was actually three more....)"

I hope to share some screenshots in the coming days so you get an idea of how pro-pot people handled themselves online after the election, and how some revealed that a main reason they wanted Measure 3 was to clear their criminal records.

----------

COMMENTING RULES:
Before you leave a comment, be aware that because some of you can't handle commenting with decency, you now MUST use your real name or a handle in which people can click through and see your real identity. If you can't put your name to it like I did, you don't get to say anything here.

Comments

  1. So basically you are anti-personal freedom?

    Why don't you and your fellow-soccer moms take you bubble-wrapped kids and make a new country where you can all sip wine and act like you aren't drug-users and we AMERICANS will stay here in AMERICA and promote freedom.

    It's so pathetic you are so afraid of a harmless little plant. I bet you've never taken drag off a joint in your life. It might do you a little good and you can chill with this hysterical nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have kids. I'm an American. I don't like wine. Anything else?

      Delete
  2. You are not a real American. You are an American by accident of birth only and a traitor because you oppose the concepts of individual rights and freedom. You should renounce your American citizenship and relocate to a nation more consistent with your philosophical beliefs such as a religious theocracy or Soviet-style dictatorship where the government dictates to people how to live. Please leave and get your filthy religion and your filthy hands out of other people's private lives, family affairs, living rooms, and bedrooms!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By all means, please keep responding and astounding me with your clarity in thinking and firm grasp of hyperbole-filled history. You are doing a good job illustrating what I described. However, I would encourage you to grow a pair and actually use your real name as you lecture me about being a real American, Soviet-style dictatorship, theocracy, filthy religion, bedrooms and so forth. Because I don't really take anyone seriously if they're lecturing me on the finer points of freedom while too chicken to use his real name.

      And oh. I didn't have to publish your comment, but despite my Soviet-style dictatorship tendencies and traitorous accidental birth, I went ahead and did so. Mainly because you're a ranting intellectual lightweight who paints a pretty good picture of some of the people I describe in my post.

      Let me suggest something, Mr. Mensa: I am absolutely in understanding of America, its history, and the right for me to speak out freely and to vote and to worship as I wish. You, on the other hand, don't use your real name and target people you don't agree with using completely inane comments that do exactly what I describe: attack the messenger and do nothing to address the specific points.

      Yawn.

      Delete
    2. Oh. FYI. You'll need to use your real name from here on out.

      Delete
  3. Thank you Julie. I found this very educational. Can I quote you on discussions I have with other people? You word things so much better than I can. I worry it is such an uphill battle but one we need to fight. Thanks Jodie Sagaser

    ReplyDelete
  4. As I'm from the Netherlands, I know its not all doom and gloom when it comes to marijuana (I understand that alcohol and cigarettes have problems as does weed) but I didn't think you were being doom and gloom, I thought you were taking a responsible look at the problem. If alcohol causes problems then weed will likely too.
    I feel the lack of education on various things in the US is a real problem too: lack of sex education, drugs.
    I can see how a comparison of the US to the Netherlands would be a hard one in terms of a case study that the legalisation of weed being a good idea to do with different cultural and educational environments.

    I'm astounded at the 'you're not a real american' 'freeedom' crap you're getting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've not spent time in the Netherlands (just passed through), but been to Germany many times. The culture in Europe *is* different than the U.S. I'm not saying one is better or worse, but just that it is different. It's likely a fair point that saying "just because X happens in Europe and it's fine and the studies show Y happens doesn't mean it'll work that way in the U.S."

      Drinking is a problem here in North Dakota. I don't care for alcohol, but I can see the difference in what I saw in Germany than here. I don't think people are even aware of how much revolves around alcohol because it's so ingrained in the culture, with alcohol jokes, binge drinking, drinking to get drunk--far too many social activities have this alcohol aspect to it that is so foundational that without alcohol I'm not sure some people would be able to even socialize--so I agree: if alcohol causes a problem, marijuana will too. I'm looking at the comments I'm receiving, and too many are from a kind of raging rather thoughtless bunch who, if they can't control their response to people they disagree with, I don't see them making moderate use of legal or illegal drugs and substances.

      Delete

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