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View Diary: Senate Judiciary chair Pat Leahy floats federal marijuana legalization (181 comments)

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  •  Then I'm definitely right in saying... (23+ / 0-)
    Myself, I call it a step forward.
    Interesting times ahead of us. I know big-moneyed interests are going to weigh in before it's all said and done. But for the meantime, not only will people now have access to marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use but every curious grad student with access to a chem lab will be analyzing and exploring the plant's potential.

    I hope legislation like Colorado's and Washington state's grows and spreads... well, like a weed. lol

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:56:36 PM PST

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    •  And the big money interests (7+ / 0-)

      Will want it legal. Totally legal. They know it will be a huge business, and they have a leg up. They'll be able to get licenses to grow and sell wholesale, and the current illegal dealers won't. They have the distribution networks, all legal, and the illegal dealers don't.

      The big money isn't stupid, and they're not ideologues. They see money. They'll want in, and they get in if there are procedures for large scale growing and distribution, not if it winds up that everybody has a pot plant.

      Some people will, but growing any plant that you want to harvest and/or is valuable takes some effort. Not a lot, but more than a lot of people want to deal with. They'd be happy to be able to stop by a store and buy what they want.

      Maybe, just maybe, the Feds will start seeing the drug war the same way they came to see prohibition - a losing battle that's costing way, way, WAY too much money and resources.

      •  Eventually, they will... (3+ / 0-)
        And the big money interests (4+ / 0-)

        Will want it legal. Totally legal.

        But as far as corporate support goes, there are many more aspects to legalization of marijuana to consider than just recreational use. And the development and marketability of all those aspects will force corporations to reverse, retool and reinvent the processes and manufacturing infrastructure of all their various product lines, likely made obsolete in the very near future as more and more funded research reveals the mostly still untapped potential of this plant. We already know that with hemp, we can make rope, cloth fabric, paper, certain types of oil and even foodstuffs, just to name a few.

        Add all that to recreational and medicinal uses for the plant and the possibilities are literally endless.

        But considering the fact that most CEOs of large corporations are politically conservative and the very meaning of "conservative" is resistance to change don't count on corporations coming out for legalization right away.

        There's no doubt that marijuana's going to change the world in the 21st Century. Now we just have to drag the plutocrats outta the 20th.

        And you can bet they'll go kickin' & screamin' all the way.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:22:06 AM PST

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        •  Of course (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DoctorWho, markthshark

          as soon as the big companies figure out how they can make money, they'll be the ones pushing for legalization.

          Just like the alternate energy technologies. The big reason they haven't been more widely adopted, especially for transportation, is because the big energy companies haven't figured out how they can make money.

          As soon as they get that part worked out (and you know they're working on it, they're not totally ignorant) you'll see a lot more options in vehicles.

          My thought is they're trying to figure out how to manufacture reasonably priced, easy to refill or swap, fuel cells. Once they have that done in a way that gets hooked up like a the tank on a gas grill, it would be dead easy to sell it to the general public. Refueling would take minutes, be no more expensive than gasoline, and readily available.

          Yes, it's easy to plug in an electric, but charging takes hours. Not helpful if you're driving a long distance and need to go more than 50 mi in a day.

          But if you could just swap a tank... anybody can do that, and it doesn't take 8 hrs.

    •  tobacco giants are already set to go (5+ / 0-)

      Heard a discussion recently on Thom Hartmann's show about how the tobacco companies have preemptively positioned themselves for entry into the marijuana market. they stand to make billions.
      Marley brand is already copyrighted, over the objections of the Bob Marley estate.
      'nuff said.

      Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything - Malcolm X via Skindred

      by kamarvt on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:49:05 AM PST

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      •  Not to rain on your parade, (5+ / 0-)

        but I've been hearing this for forty years.  

        I don't doubt it, actually -- it does stand to reason that those in the position to profit most from reformed marijuana laws would be champing at the bit for reform.  And maybe they even are, but it plainly hasn't been enough to get them to mount a full-court lobbying press for it.  Or, at the very least, not a successful one.  

        •  Allow me.... (6+ / 0-)

          ...to thank you for saying "champing."  If I had a dollar for every time I've ground my teeth in frustration when someone says "chomping at the bit," I'd be able to buy several good books.

          Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

          by WarrenS on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:02:18 AM PST

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        •  oh. it's no parade (3+ / 0-)

          I have no love for the tobacco industry, and don't for a minute think they will be at the tip of the spear on this divisive (for now) issue. I wouldn't want Philip Morris to be the face of marijuana reform, and would expect NORML feels the same way.
          They are merely positioning themsleves to make a truckload of money once the legal issues are resolved and their corporate risk is minimized. The tobacco industry will do nothing to reform our laws, and nothing to speed up that reform. But they will be there to dilute the THC content, add carcinogens and addictive substances, and sully the names of every pot-smoking icon you can think of. Count on that.

          Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything - Malcolm X via Skindred

          by kamarvt on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:33:19 AM PST

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          •  I don't doubt any of that, either, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WarrenS, MichaelNY

            but if they really stand to reap immense profits from legalization, then it doesn't follow that they'd stand idly by while others wrangle out the legal issues.  It not only doesn't follow, it doesn't make sense.  A nation where legalized marijuana is controlled lock, stock and barrel by the tobacco industry is only one possible outcome of reform, and (if I'm any judge) not even particularly one of the likelier ones.  By logic, the tobacco companies have every motive to push for a brand of reform which gives them the most control, and they ought to be doing that.  But they're not, at least not visibly.  Why not?  

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