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Originally published in Tikkun Daily

After six months of legal marijuana in the State of Colorado, crime has decreased significantly and revenue is up, demonstrating just how beneficial legalization can be and just how wrong prohibition proponents who chirped the sky will fall have been.

As Laura Pegram notes, while it's too early in the game to make any definitive conclusions about marijuana legalization, the following data points and trends are significant:

  • According to Uniform Crime Reporting data for Denver, there has been a 10.1% decrease in overall crime from this time last year and a 5.2% drop in violent crime.
  • The state has garnered over 10 million in taxes from retail sales in the first 4 months. The first 40 million of this tax revenue is earmarked for public schools and infrastructure, as well as for youth educational campaigns about substance use.
  • The marijuana industry has developed quickly, generating thousands of new jobs. It is estimated there are currently about 10,000 people directly involved with this industry, with 1,000 to 2,000 gaining employment in the past few months alone.
  • Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who opposed Amendment 64, recently compared Colorado’s economy since legalization to that of other states by noting, “While the rest of the country’s economy is slowly picking back up, we’re thriving here in Colorado.” For example, the demand for commercial real estate has increased drastically, with houses in the state appreciating up to 8.7 percent in the past year alone.
  • By removing criminal penalties for certain marijuana-related offenses, thousands of individuals will avoid the collateral consequences associated with a criminal record. The state is estimated to potentially save $12-40 million over the span of a year simply by ending arrests for marijuana possession.
This last point is particularly important from a both the standpoints of social justice and economics. First, the social justice angle: between 2001-2010, 52 percent of all drug arrests in America were for marijuana, with the vast majority of those arrested holding small amounts of the drug. To give some perspective, in 2010 alone, some 7 million people were arrested for possession, and most of those arrested were black, despite comparable usage statistics between blacks and whites.

Second, the economics angle: according to the ACLU, states spend over $3.5 billion every year enforcing marijuana laws, to say nothing of incarceration expenses, the loss of productive citizens and the damage done to family structures and our social fabric. This is money being wasted on the enforcement of policies that actually harm, rather than benefit, society, as evidenced by what is happening in Colorado.

Bottom line: more states should follow the lead set by Colorado (and Washington State), and I suspect with over 50 percent of Americans favoring legalization, follow they will.

--§--

What Do You Buy For the Children
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, recently published by Oneworld Publications.


Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon, DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform, and Good News.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The legalization issue is political (19+ / 0-)

    Marijuana is America's Next Political Wedge Issue

    Despite their apparent reservation to engage the issue, it’s hard to imagine Democrats staying on the sidelines for too many more election cycles. The party’s base is already on board, with polls showing a clear majority of self-described Democrats in support. Approximately three quarters of Democrats and liberals supported legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington.
    Two thirds of Republicans voted against legalization in Colorado and Washington, where one might expect Republicans be somewhat more amenable than the nation as a whole. It probably doesn’t help that marijuana is closely aligned with the liberal counterculture. It's also possible that many pro-legalization conservatives don't identify as Republicans at all, but instead might be independents.  

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:15:32 PM PDT

    •  apparently Rand Paul is not a republican? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      the glibertarian I Got Mine crowd loves em some crime free marijuana, while many glibs, heh, do profit handsomely from the prohibition...and also fund and work against repeal.

      Red necks, dumb white goons, and gang cartels are the worst growers ruining northern california.

      The Ma and Pa hippie growers are fading.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:34:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hang out with some libertarians (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee

        They are the exception to the other Repugs when it comes to this issue (and many others like prison population, non-interventionism and Pentagon budget, marriage equality, separation of church and state, women's choice, etc.)

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:44:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know, I was being snippy about the ones (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shockwave

          I am bitter about who funded and distracted legalization efforts last time.
          Some are great and well thought out, others either:

          1. really bad and evil

          2. coming around and hopefully enough to vote dem next time.

          depends how that glass of water reads to you :>

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:00:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You know what.. (0+ / 0-)

        Those Ma and Pa hippie growers quadrupled the price of marijuana overnight in the early 70's for reasons unknown...
        If they had just grown for their own use and not gotten so greedy maybe the the criminal element wouldn't have been so interested in moving in on the profits.
        People get nuts about this issue but Ma and Pa have got no one but themselves to blame.

        •  heck no, blame prohibition (0+ / 0-)

          maybe 'High Times' reporting as well as RStone and even mainstream press, especially after the DA for Humboldt announced low to nil enforcement for small amounts, essentially all that spread and people from Europe, Mexico, Russia, even NY (just busted) seen here 'blowing it up.'
            The cal 215 card medical mj initiative got much press as well.

          And there is also the good old boy/local network favoritism as well, where people with huge plots with 5, 10 100' greenhouses and thousands of plants get 'ignored' (except for perhaps the always assumed payoffs and political donations). That's not on the ma and pa small good practices growers and culture, that's local criminal conspiracy.
          Sheriff busting 2-5 a week, 4100 grows id'd with Google earth last year..the math is obvious...and combined with (just) a steep fine and loss of crop and equipment,attys fees,  and maybe some jail time, the risk is still small tho of course significant to the popped.
           That math is even found in LA Times, NYT and tv.

          Before those high publicity events the most publicity  up north was the Orwellian DEA CAMP busts, not something to imply easy money.

          Basically the ma and pa growers still here are involved with the Best Growing Practices movement because the environmental damages are becoming so severe and obvious. The input to the local economy is the largest industry here, said to be a Billion a year..nobody really knows.

          Ma and Pa are long ago, blaming them on all this is kinda meaningless except for having someone to berate at.....not really important except for the Best Growing Practices movement and the widespread contributions to the culture and the environmental movements here on all good levels, generally people we'uns here at dkos would and do love to know.

          And since mobs, greedheads, and various people are growing, MJ is grown all over the country and world wherever possible, houses, warehouses, remote ranches, national forests, game preserves, I think it's a real stretch to blame Ma and Pa hippie Humboldt grower for any or all of that. They certainly didn't invite the Mexican Mafia and the Russian mob and the Bulgarian mob...

          Might as well blame Haile Selassie.

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:22:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The reasons are known... They also quadrupled the (0+ / 0-)

          POTENCY!  Example. I went to my dispensary yesterday where the deal of the day was 4.5 gram eights rather than the normal 3.7 grams, which is a nice deal. But look at this.

          Grape Cookies - 23.42% THC
          Royal Miagi         21.99% THC
          Ingrid                 23.63% THC
          Holy Grail            23.21% THC
          Cashmere           21.79% THC

          They were the ones who changed the weed from Mexican schwag to a primo, Number ONE Smoke. In 1972 someone in Marin County made a calendar where every month had a picture of a different bud. 1972!! I (and a number of people) had never seen a marijuana flower before. Thank the Ma and Pa hippies for that.
          But the potency was never this high, and I go back to 1966 as my first time using Mary Jane. So, we may have quaded the price but isn't it well worth it now? I think yes.

          And the wind whispers Mary...

          by okpkpkp on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:06:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Libertarians ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... are Republicans who like to get laid and smoke dope.

        Thought EVERYBODY knew that.

        OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

        by mstaggerlee on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:55:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's nice to see a state come up with a program... (22+ / 0-)

    that actually expands freedom for a change.

    WTG Colorado!!

    "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

    by markthshark on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:15:58 PM PDT

  •  While I am generally in favor or legalization... (8+ / 0-)

    I wish your diary hadn't skipped over this from one of your links:

    7NEWS found small children continue to get their hands on marijuana, particularly edibles.

    The Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center said, so far this year it's had 19 calls from people reporting pot ingestion by children younger than 5 years old.

    Children's Hospital Colorado said it's treated 11 kids who've ingested edibles marijuana, six of whom have become critically ill.

    I'd much rather see a balanced account than read just thet good news.  If leagalized pot is to become widly accepted we need to learn as we go and keeping it out of the hands of children seems like a good place to start.

    The more you learn, the less you know.

    by quiet in NC on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:16:23 PM PDT

    •  When compared with similar statistics (34+ / 0-)

      for alcohol (actual ingestion and fetal alcohol syndrome), these statistics are miniscule. Hell, just look at the data nationally for toxic ingestion of mouthwash: http://www.aapd.org/...

      Is it a public safety issue now for parents to properly store this product, and learn how to do so? Absolutely. Are 11 children too many? Absolutely. Does it represent a public safety earthquake? No.

      "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

      by David Harris Gershon on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:26:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think all edibles... (19+ / 0-)

      need to be packaged in bland wrappers and sold only in childproof containers. They should also contain potency information, sold only in single serving amounts and contain warnings about the delayed effect.

      •  Good ideas (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        too many people, kbman, Wee Mama

        We are not powerless!! "Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet."– Alice Walker

        by nocynicism on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:06:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Childproof bags? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OrganicChemist

          My favorite dispensary where I buy my pot from, won't let you buy it unless you buy or have a childproof bag. You can bring the same one in but it's required. I think that's a good idea.

          •  I had never heard of a childproof bag... (0+ / 0-)

            but if they are being used and your dispensary demands their use, that is a most excellent thing. I really know little about the Colorado dispensaries. Hopefully since they seem to be limited and well regulated, they will all be professionally run and do sensible things such as this.

            Other states that have medical marijuana allowances seem to have a mixed bag of outlets. Some seem to be rather shaky operations. I hope as the market matures, the weak ones are weeded out by competition and regulation. Yours sounds like a good one in whatever state you live. I hope more become like that!

            •  The place I mainly go to is a local chain (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OrganicChemist

              When you leave their stores, you leave as responsibly as possible. What you do later with it is on you. But they try to make you a knowledgeable and responsible consumer. It's like they know the nation is watching so it behooves them to try to make this work and I think the Denver area shops are doing a good job. But try as they do, you can't prevent stupid people from making bad decisions.

              They also have labels on all their edibles so you know what you're getting. For instance, right now I have a bag of gum drops that clearly say on them in red bold Helvetica letters "10MG THC per piece". If you're wise and new to edibles you take one piece, wait a couple of hours and decide if you want another piece or not.

              In some ways, federal legalization would make things better because it would be better controlled and regulated. Which is better than what they do now federally where they just stick their heads in the sand.

      •  Yes! For some reason people think that eating pot (8+ / 0-)

        is more safe/conservative than smoking it. As far as the drug effect this is bass-ackwards. When someone smokes pot, they are able to gauge the degree to which they are affected within a few minutes. There are also clues based on the taste and aroma as to how potent the smoked cannabis might be. This makes it relatively easy to know when to stop ingesting. The effects when eating take over an hour to begin, and a few hours to fully kick in. And unless there is an extreme amount present, it is difficult by taste alone to determine potency.

        Also, there is no reliable way, aside from testing, to determine how much is appropriate as a serving. This can either be done by assay, or by empirical testing.  There also needs to be an educational effort undertaken to inform the public about the need to consume edibles in an informed and responsible manner. People who drink pretty much know what a serving of alcohol equates to in an evening of drinking. For cannabis, that standardization of what constitutes a serving is still under development. And the ability to adequately inform the public is dependent on that standardization.

        I work with a group who provide medical support services for concerts, festivals, and other entertainment events. One of the more common problems is with people who have eaten pot. When you combine inexperienced consumers with edibles of indeterminate potency there are typically problems. Paranoid thinking and panic attacks are the most common reactions to edible overdoses. And at larger doses, cannabis in indeed an hallucinogen. Managing a situation such as this requires a lot of patience and understanding of the drug's effect, helping the person ride out the experience while reassuring them that it is only a drug effect and that it will go away in time. I suspect this knowledge and expertise regarding edible cannabis is more prevalent among the festival medical support community than in the medical community at large, simply due to rates of occurrence and the necessity of learning how to best provide care.

        Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

        by kbman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:55:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had an awful experience from eating too much of (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, Lilsy, OrganicChemist

          a pot brownie and for that reason I rarely ever smoked it again.  Maybe once every 2 years, now.

          Like any substance (alcohol, caffeine) you have to be careful with it.  There's too much glorification around here---it should absolutely be legal, but sometimes people are afraid to reference the negatives about marijuana because theyr'e afraid it will weaken their case for legalization.

          Hint:  It won't.  Not to reasonable people.

          •  I Ate Too Much Chinese Food (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            imsodizzy, pb3131, TheDudester

            I had to lie down and sleep it off - I felt terrible. I did that a few months ago too. I burned myself on some hot soup, too. And I bit my tongue a few times over the years. But I keep eating it - I must be an addict.

            We must not glorify Chinese food. We must reference its negatives whenever we discuss how little to allow adults the risks of eating it without the threat of jail or very stern controls on that dangerous stuff.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:43:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's just it... (0+ / 0-)

            The "war on drugs" is not run by reasonable people. It's run more like one great big never-ending Koch political ad--take a few people who've had bad experiences and try to make it look like it'll happen to everybody--just like the Koch Bros. "Obamacare will kill us all" ads. Only they'll use it as a reason to keep locking people up, confiscating property and ruining lives, which is a much higher human cost than marijuana ever was.

            Myself, I've smoked pot almost daily for about 15 years and more recently enjoy edibles too. The only bad experience I ever had with marijuana was at a party in 2006 I passed out on a couch and it ruined the party for me. But I can't blame the marijuana, I blame myself. We were smoking strong indica pot sprinkled with indica hash in a huge chrome-colored hookah that was bigger than a bird bath with a bowl bigger than a coffee cup. I kept taking huge hits and more hits than I knew I should have if I wanted to stay awake. It was my fault. Just like most of the "bad" reports come down to issues of personal responsibility and bad judgment.

            •  Denying reality doesn't help things (0+ / 0-)

              Regardless of your personal experiences with eating pot, these episodes are very real. I've provided care in three instances myself, and know folks who have been involved in many more. It's simply the nature of the drug. And what is needed is education and standardization. These things are coming along, but in the meantime, it does no good to try to pretend that these edible overdose incidents aren't happening.

              I am very much pro-legalization. I have been active off and on in the legalization fight for close to 30 years. I've probably smoked the equivalent of 50,000 joints in my lifetime. I'm not commenting about this in an effort to badmouth pot. But rather, I'm trying to be part of the education effort by taking advantage of opportunities such as this diary.

              My special edible is cookies. I have a standard way that I make them. If I want a light buzz that I can go out and do stuff on I eat 1/2 - 1. If I want to be laid-back in the comfy chair enjoying music or movies 1-2 is OK. If I want a nice, long, pain-free sleep I eat 3. I never eat more than 3.

              Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

              by kbman on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:34:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm sure they are real. (0+ / 0-)

                But statistically, how many thousands or possibly millions of people do you think will consume marijuana and have nothing more than a good time? Personally, I have yet to meet even one person out of all the people I've ever known in my lifetime, nor do I even know of someone who knows someone who had any kind of reaction that sent them to the ER from consuming marijuana.

                That isn't to say I don't think they're out there--in certain situations even drinking water could send someone to the ER. In fact, my girlfriend can't even drink milk without getting sick. But the number of cases we've heard about isn't really enough to make the kind of misleading generalization I know will eventually be made.

                The issue I have when hearing stories like this is turning a few isolated cases into a Koch-style propaganda campaign where NIDA/DEA try to make their case for "it's worse than heroin" by exploiting a relatively few isolated cases to try to scare the public back into their idea of throwing people in jail and ruining millions of lives, which did more damage to people than pot ever could.

                The fact is it isn't as dangerous as alcohol, nowhere near as dangerous as tobacco or firearms. If it were, the number we'd be discussing would be 19,000 or more calls to poison control and not 19 in seven months and every person in Colorado and Washington would know someone personally who it sent to the ER. But that isn't true.

                But one thing we can both agree on--it needs to be studies and the NIDA/DEA need to stay out of the picture and stop pulling their "it's worse than heroin" propaganda. For the first time in my life, it looks like full legalization is happening and people like me are being prescribed pot medically. Instead of either side tailoring studies for their argument, wouldn't it be nice to have a full honest, unbiased study of the good and the bad so people could make educated choices?

                Peace.

      •  Just Like Booze (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, we certainly must contain these nontoxic party favors that fewer children are eating than overdose on mouthwash. Because we've been so careful with booze that no children ever drink it.

        Millions of adults must be treated like children because a handful of adults didn't use the most basic common sense.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:41:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see nothing wrong... (0+ / 0-)

          with being careful about the dangers to children. There have only been a few cases of problems so far, but colorful candies are not yet widely available. I think in the future they might well become ubiquitous. Legalization is on the way. I think this is the one benefit of gradual legalization. Problems can be identified and identified and proper regulations can be crafted to address them.

          I know you want no restrictions and a declaration that there are no problems. I'll assume you also support public use. I just disagree with much of that.

          •  No Restrictions (0+ / 0-)

            I never said I want no restrictions. I'm perfectly OK with it being prohibited to minors.

            When are you going to stop being totally wrong about marijuana, its effects, and what people say about it? Your past exhibitions of total BS have earned you only the necessity of being honest, not lying about strawmen and talking like you have some standing to say what should be or shouldn't.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:57:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course I have standing to say... (0+ / 0-)

              just as you do and anyone else who cares to post here.

              We will also always disagree on what you claim is BS that I have certain reservations about.

              •  Standing to Blabber (0+ / 0-)

                You've got sitting to say, like anyone else sitting in front of an Internet keyboard.

                But your posts on marijuana legalization are full of the usual "we need more science" / "be afraid" / "keep the sick and prisoners waiting longer" BS. Yet you continue to post like you have some kind of expertise, when you're wrong - and wrongheaded. You have the same standing as the parade of charlatans blathering in front of Congress and state legislatures to criminalize marijuana.

                And now you're lying on whether I want "no restrictions" on marijuana. You don't have legitimate standing to say even what you just read in an Internet post, let alone the legal fate of people who use marijuana.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 01:32:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

                  I am for legalization with good regulation. If people want to smoke it for recreational or medical reasons, I have no problem. I'm just not ready to say that it is perfectly safe or recommended for everything that ails you or for anyone and everyone to be able to sell it.

      •  I have no children in my house and I find (0+ / 0-)

        packaging hard enough to open as it is. There is no reason to go to such extremes. Just keep it away from kids. Like booze. Like prescription drugs. Like guns and knives. Like Windex and Formula 409. Like the keys to your car, or liquor cabinet. Like porn. Like a hot stove. Like a run-away train. Like an asteroid. Simple.

        And the wind whispers Mary...

        by okpkpkp on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:24:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  so supply statistics for children and alcohol (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eru, mrkvica, FindingMyVoice, Cofcos, tobendaro

      poisoning, in the same period, if you're attempting to be "balanced."

      I have a sneaking suspicion it will be similar -- or more.

    •  agree but it is important to note that there few i (7+ / 0-)

      any cases of MJ poisoning. Unlike alcohol, Tylenol, vitamins and prescription drugs.

      In fact while I share your sentiment about keeping drugs out of children´s reach, I don't believe the author was obligated to include these in this article. Especially since.we don't know what the true numbers of MJ ingestion were prior.

      And I am Kilrain of the 20th Maine. And I damn all gentlemen. Whose only worth is their father's name And the sweat of a workin' man Steve Earle - Dixieland

      by shigeru on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:48:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not to ignore or reduce the seriousness of your... (20+ / 0-)

      comment, I wonder how many of these calls would even be made if marijuana was still illegal? I'd suspect at least some of those calls wouldn't have happened if the parents feared jail. With that in mind, this may be just another indirect benefit of legalization.

    •  How many occurred prior to legalization? (8+ / 0-)

      I don't know. I just think that would be the valid comparison.

      At the same time, what are the numbers for alcohol and household chemicals? Is marijuana poisoning more or less common than other items around the house?

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:05:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Back to the children! Will no one think of the (20+ / 0-)

      CHILDREN! I don't want to go on a rant, but...
      Wow, 19 calls from the hundreds of thousands they get annually (actually they get over 1 million / year). And you know what? Cannabis has no toxicity. Unlike, say, acetaminophen (Tylenol), the number one drug for suicide in the US.
      So what did the the PCC tell them to do about it? Keep the child hydrated? Wait an hour or two and it will pass? How many kids who could die from alcohol poisoning be spared because they used cannabis instead? My g/f had a child come in to her emergency room who was acting strangely, and they tested positive for meth. And meth is ILLEGAL (unless prescribed to 100,000's of kids for ADHD). There were 6,000 alcohol related fatalities for minors in the US. So, they got 11 calls that were non-fatal? That's REALLY BAD NEWS!
      EVERYTHING HAS CONSEQUENCES. There is nothing that you can do, or not do, that does not have some kind of action or reaction. So there is more stoned driving but fatalities have gone down. So maybe marijuana has replaced alcohol and made the roads safer.
      So what's your point? That a kid found something and ate it? That there is a 1 in a 100,000 chance that a child will ingest cannabis? That is what the drug war is about? Protect the children by arresting and incarcerating their parents?  Of all the dangers in the world, cannabis is very, very low, and it took 50 years of propaganda to get people to buy into the hysteria. Some people estimate a trillion dollars have gone into the drug war, how has that aided children?

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:20:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Righteous Fucking Rant! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftykook

        Seriously.

        Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

        by kbman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:59:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Triple reccing desire. nt (0+ / 0-)

        Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

        by tobendaro on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:38:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Right on, bro. (0+ / 0-)

        It pisses me off to that it always comes down to some idiot parents who didn't lock up their stash and their kid got in it so everybody else has to pay the fucking price for it. Or some moron decides to blaze up in the middle of Friday rush hour traffic on Colfax and cause a wreck. So they "save" society from these evils by fascist laws enforced by jackbooted cops with machine guns--throwing people in jail (even if they're not bothering a soul), taking their property, giving them criminal records so they can't find a decent job and end up on welfare, etc.

        I've said it a million times--the human cost of "the war on drugs" has always surpassed the damage caused by the drugs themselves.

    •  Don't forget that Demon Rum (7+ / 0-)

      Here is a link to a CDC report on underage drinking.

      And yet nobody challenges the multi billion dollar alcohol industry. The hackneyed refrain "think of the children" still motivates some people. But CO & WA legalizing marijuana goes beyond making another intoxicant available. It is the first step in ending  the so called the War on Drugs.

    •  LOL. Balanced. Ok. Whatever. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, Cofcos, disconnect the dots

      A generation from now  people are going to look back on a post like that and laugh and laugh and laugh.

      If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

      by DoctorWho on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:13:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Edibles = Hard Liquor (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kbman, FindingMyVoice, Wee Mama

      After the Maureen Dowd incident I think it's clear the maturing of pot statues should include a distinction for edibles. Just like the distinction between beer / wine (fermented beverages) and hard liquor (distilled beverages), the law should distinguish between leaf marijuana and edibles which can be much much stronger. Edibles need to be labeled for their strength per serving size, what that serving size is, and probably have warning labels indicating that edibles take a while to work and have different effects from smoking weed.

      I completely support the legalization movement and don't want to see it derailed by one or two horror stories resulting from kids on brownies or someone OD-ing accidentally like Maureen Dowd.

      There's a difference between a responsible gun owner and one that's been lucky so far.

      by BeerNotWar on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:29:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Drug Education (0+ / 0-)

        Labeling is good. Cigarettes should have ingredients labels, as should liquor, beer and everything else people consume.

        But what's much more effective is drug education. I wasted two hours a week for a few years in school getting "drug education" in the 1970-80s that just taught everyone to say "no", which didn't even work. Drugs aren't for everyone, and unlimited drugs aren't for anyone. Drug education in elementary school has a place, but it should focus on the harm alcohol does and how to recognize drugs and their quantities that are too much for oneself - which might be any for some people.

        Of course that would educate children in critical thinking and safe consumption instead of impulse. The insane Drug War at odds with those practices are just one extreme product of our entire civilization defying them. So I expect the drawdown of Prohibition will still keep Americans too dumb to protect ourselves, while delivering legally binding disclaimers in product packaging the reckless never read.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:50:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is with stupid people, not pot. (0+ / 0-)

        There's nothing wrong with edibles--I enjoy them all the time and have never had a bad experience so far. The only thing as other's have said, smoking it hits you fast. Edibles, however take longer, last longer and feel stronger. People need to understand this.

        The edibles I've seen around Denver have labels on them that clearly state how much THC is in them. Right now, I have a bag of gum drops in my pantry that clearly says 10MG THC per piece. Now, if you're smart and it's your first time with edibles, you eat one piece and see how you feel a few hours later. YOU DON'T EAT THE WHOLE FUCKING BAG AND THEN WHINE ABOUT IT LATER IN THE MEDIA BECAUSE YOU WERE A DUMBASS AND ATE THE WHOLE DAMN THING!!!! Nor do you, with kids in the house, leave your stash laying around where they'll see it and get in it.

        So far, in 100% of the "bad" experiences I've heard about comes down to the ignorance and bad judgment of the people and it's hard to prevent that because we have the same problem with guns, booze, meds, even certain foods. Yet those things will never be illegal.

    •  That's Crime or Revenue? (0+ / 0-)

      This diary is about crime and revenue rates in Colorado. It is not an encyclopedic review of all changes in Colorado perhaps due to legalizing marijuana there. It is not about the pros and cons of legalized marijuana.

      But if you want balance, do you have trends of children eating marijuana that start before legalization? How many children ate marijuana, including the ones who didn't generate calls because it would have brought the cops to where the crimes would include its purchase and possession, not just its mishandling?

      It's entirely possible that fewer children are eating marijuana in Colorado now. Would you mind balancing your preferred subject with actual facts, before insisting that tangentially related diaries balance with the isolated facts you want to talk about?

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:38:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Little-known-fact (14+ / 0-)

    I was a reggae DJ for my local college radio station as an undergraduate.

    "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

    by David Harris Gershon on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:20:16 PM PDT

    •  Bob Marley was the first one to propose it (0+ / 0-)

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:38:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most Famous (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave

        Marley might have done more than anyone else to promote marijuana consumption without criminal consequences, but he was hardly the first. Probably the first was the first person confronted by police accusing them of criminal marijuana acts.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:00:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A buddy of mine had a show at school ... (0+ / 0-)

      One night several of us were listening and noted that he was playing an album side ... very cool, until it got to the end groove and was going KA-THUMP ...... KA-THUMP .....

      A few minutes later a phone call came in. He had inadvertently locked himself out of the studio, and needed a friend of ours who had lockpicking equipment and experience to come to the studio and help him get back in.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:05:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Friends of mine just came back (17+ / 0-)

    from a trip out there.

    For one- it was a business trip- my friend (his wife) went along for the ride.

    Besides soaking in a hot tub, swimming in a pool and skiing all in the same day, what really surprised them was the lack of enthusiasm they noticed from the 'locals'.

    "I think I envisioned a 24 hour party atmosphere" my friend told me.  "But life was going on pretty normal- you would not have known pot was legal if you didn't already know."

    So that kills another myth- that legalized marijuana will 'turn everyone on".

    If you did smoke- now you can.  If you didn't- well- what do you care, right?

    Gee- wish folks thought that way about LGTB, and abortions.  You know- MYOB

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:28:18 PM PDT

    •  I am not sure of your meaning. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrSUSE

      Abortion is legal in the US. Gay marriage is legal in 19 states. Cannabis is "legal" in two states - with very heavy regulations and limitations. So I would say this country is way behind on the drug war issues.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:45:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wouldn't granny be talking about all those (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, grannycarol

        people who oppose abortion and gay marriage?  Of course the country is way behind, yes, it certainly is, on drug issues.

        All she appeared to be saying, to me, was MYOB to all those opposed to all those things.  I checked and cannot find a claim in her comment that the USA in its entirety has resolved the drug war problems.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:08:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course she did not claim that. I am saying (0+ / 0-)

          that this country is way ahead on liberalizing laws discriminating against gays, but ending the failed, violent war on drugs is still a taboo subject. If someone said (and they do all the time) that gays are dangerous to children, it causes an outrage. But talk about cannabis being dangerous to children, you get a somber, sober, responsible response of "Oh yes, it is a problem." Like criminalizing them or sending their parents to prison is not a problem.

          "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

          by shmuelman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:33:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good point... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, shmuelman

            And  there's a huge difference between not being allowed to marry your partner of choice  and having  your  life ruined by law enforcement. Sure, it's a terrible shame that some states still outlaw gay  marriage, but  it doesn't compare to  doing  time and getting stuck with a life-changing criminal record for  smoking flowers.

    •  I've got family down in CO (5+ / 0-)

      and I experienced the same thing when I went and visited. It was the biggest non issue! Wasn't even brought up. And most of my family down there is borderline RWNJ!

      "There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare." ~ Sun Tsu

      by coyote66 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:56:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's a point that I think is really (3+ / 0-)

      underestimated in the debate. I live in Los Angeles, where pot has been functionally legal for the past ten years or so. Technically, it's only "medical" but there are "doctors" who dole out "prescriptions" for $40 each, based entirely on self-reported need, and then with that "script" you can legally buy pot in any of over 1000 commercial outlets, or just have someone deliver it your door.

      But that said, I don't think a visitor to L.A. would notice anything different than how it was beforehand or any other place.

      The fact is very few people decide not to smoke pot because it's illegal. The vast majority have their own perfectly legitimate reasons, and those reasons won't change just because it becomes legal.

      •  I was in LA two months ago.... (0+ / 0-)

        I heard that people either love it or hate it and I loved it and I can't wait to go back in the fall ... I did note the $40 "clinics" on Venice Beach; I heard that the $40 get a one month RX recommendation and that's the "introductory price" and they jump up the price when the patient returns.

  •  Change (17+ / 0-)

    needs to happen at the Federal level, and it needs to happen soon.

    Generations of Americans have at the least suspected. Now they are seeing the proof.

    Uncle Sam has been lying to us all about the pot. All they've ever had is Reefer Madness.
    Grim implications there, and one way to start fixing it is by fixing federal cannabis law.

    All the same this is good news. Thanks David

  •  i would guess that the arrest rate will go (4+ / 0-)

    down further. I would expect something on the order of 25% because MJ arrests are pretty easy, less gang incentive and one less racial profiling tool.

    And I am Kilrain of the 20th Maine. And I damn all gentlemen. Whose only worth is their father's name And the sweat of a workin' man Steve Earle - Dixieland

    by shigeru on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:40:51 PM PDT

  •  This is just what I would have expected... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Josiah Bartlett, too many people

    and it's great news!! Colorado is reaping benefits that will cause all the other states to eventually follow.

    I think there is one statistic wrong in the diary. I'm not sure where you got the 7 million arrested in 2010 for marijuana offenses. For the past many years, it's been less than 1 million per year. Could that 7 million be the total number of arrests from 2001-2010?

  •  Of course, the price of weed is now heading (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee

    to $150/ quarter oz. Up from $150 / oz a year ago.  Gov. Hickenlooper, who made his fortune manufacturing and distributing the most dangerous drug in America, has consistently been against legalization, and told Democratic governors to wait and see (as if any of them had the political guts to support legalization anyway) if there were "unintended consequences" to legalization. Unlike alcohol which is involved in at least 1/3 of violent incidents, and is related to 88,000 deaths annually (according to the CDC). It goes to show you that when you get power, lying and hypocrisy just becomes part of your nature. See Maggie Hassan acting all grownup and responsible and serious with the same drug war hypocrisy.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:56:44 PM PDT

  •  I'm wondering what kind of crime has dropped. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reflectionsv37, mrkvica

    Does it specifically correlate with weed arrests?  What about violent crime, does that specifically correlate with marijuana related violent crime?  I'm just wondering why the drop in the crime rate.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:06:11 PM PDT

    •  guns in the grow house, no cops called (0+ / 0-)

      ..less reason to stop and search, less reasons to smash in the front door and shoot the dig, flash bang the baby crib, and scare the crap out of everybody.

      The other big issue with prohibition is the home invasions, powered by such logic as 'what, you gonna call the cops?' and 'you have guns you stay in jail, no self defense guns for your illegal sales and growing, therefore easy targets'..the general knowledge that basically a gun in the premises carries big time jail and penalties, even a stupid single shot shotgun...so many growers have baseball bats against well armed criminals that target them...therefore used to be easy pickins.

      By removing that illegal aspect of MJ, it is said to remove the attraction..and legitimate business with money in real banks, real security and unafraid to use it, downtown instead of poor or remote addresses, and sometimes mandated security guards all go to decriminalize associated mj crime...that's the theory.

      Home invasion gangs will go back to rich Asian people with cash in the mattress, hard working 'illegal' immigrants and all the other who-can-we-rob-and -survive tropes.

      That's the discussion, real data and real analysis ongoing.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:47:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A big reason for crime related to cannabis in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt

      my area has been the inability to use banks. They seem to be solving that in Colorado, hopefully for the whole nation.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:16:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ya, they've been working thru that issue here (0+ / 0-)

        in WA state too.  I think it's been one of the reasons they still haven't opened up the pot stores here yet.   One is scheduled to open in the next couple weeks here in Vancouver.  

        "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:26:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  People need to come out of the weed closet (12+ / 0-)

    I have suspected that the rapid expansion of gay rights is a direct result of heterosexual people that were a bit homophobic realizing that gay people were not just the guy at the pride parade wearing assless chaps but also men and women that they work with and attend church with and see at the grocery store wearing suits, not that they are not wearing assless chaps occasionally but that is another story.  

    It amazes me that people will post on Facebook funny quips about wine and other alcohol and it is perfectly acceptable for them to talk about how they are going to drink but i never see similar comments about pot.

    I am a closeted pot smoker.  The laws where I live and my employer's policy make it impossible to come out.    I smoke fairly regularly in the rare times when I do not have to work or drive somewhere.  Although a bag of doritos has a fairly short life expectancy around me when I am high, the stereo types generally do not apply to me or my friends that smoke.  Most of us are highly motivated, hard working, and creative.  We laugh our butts off for 30 minutes but then relax and spend quality time with our families and friends.  I have never missed work because I was high the previous night.

    I think we are going to be surprised to find out who smokes when it is finally legalized and socially acceptable.  

  •  2 stupid policies Obama should reverse (8+ / 0-)

    1)End DOJ criminal prosecution for possession or sale of marijuana.

    2) End the embargo on Cuba

    Prosecuting possession of grass or enforcing the Cuban Embargo are both failed policies that the public no longer supports. Obama would help himself and the Dem party if he came out for freedom to use pot and to visit Cuba.

    Cities are good for the environment

    by citydem on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:45:43 PM PDT

    •  Disagree. It's by his tough stance that states (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, tobendaro

      that are serious about MJ are forced toughen their defense. Who seriously thinks Obama is trying to prevent legalization. Despite all the bluster there are two states legalized and I'm betting at least 1 or 2 more before his term is up.

      By making states work harder to legalize he is making them more resistant to future attacks from administrations.

      I mean does anyone really think any states would have reached legalization under Romney or McCain or even Hillary?

      Dude knows what he is doing.

      If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

      by DoctorWho on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:21:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Cheetos factory added a new shift (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    too many people, FindingMyVoice

    There is an endless supply of white men, there has always been a limited number of Human Beings

    by ratprique on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:14:10 PM PDT

  •  Well, Duh! (4+ / 0-)

    We need to legalize hemp too.

    (for those that don't know, hemp is NOT marijuana, though they are related)


    My life is in total anarchy. I’ve lost all respect for my own authoritarianism.

    by glb3 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:04:29 PM PDT

  •  Meanwhile the DEA/NIDA is in FULL SPIN! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, xxdr zombiexx

    I've never seen them this "full spin ahead" before. Quoting "science" that's as tailored to their argument as a GOP pollster, denying any unbiased scientist or any scientist who wants to show benefits of pot. They're clearly afraid legalization will happen if they don't keep up the propaganda.

    •  All of us (0+ / 0-)

      who have experienced relief for a variety of severe medical conditions are ready to roll. The medicinal effects of mj are wide and varied and we are pissed that those who are benefitting are criminals.  The hold on research and the denial of this substance to the sick is the real crime and we aren't going to let the status quo remain.

      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

      by tobendaro on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:55:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Their ass and gravytrain is at stake (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheDudester

      No illegal weed, no cushy job.

      It's that simple.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:32:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is so spot on. (0+ / 0-)

        The REAL "danger" of weed is if it's legalized there will be FAR fewer drug arrests, which leads to firing, department merges, private prison stocks drop as could suppliers of police tactical gear. When you hear them screaming in a panic about legalization like it's an apocalypse, it's theirs!

        My hope is more pols continue not to listen to those people because so far the people who run "the war on drugs" have been just as right about Marijuana as Dick Cheney was about the Iraq War and every bit as corrupt.

  •  On the other hand (2+ / 0-)

    There's a new crime wave in Nebraska, where marijuana possession arrests are way up. Especially in the part of the state where I-70 crosses over from Colorado.

    On the one hand, they probably complain about it. On the other, it's an obvious source of revenue, if not taxes. One of the few ways Republicans can generate additional income without raising "taxes."

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:09:35 AM PDT

  •  We told people this would happen. (0+ / 0-)

    Jesus God Almighty: can a person be any stupider than to CONTINUE to oppose the INEVITABLE RELEGALIZATION of the cannabis plant???

    Well, yeah: you could still work for the DEA or still be a cop and STILL be arresting people for nothing, which makes you a genuine piece of shit.

    The facts are in.

    Evolve.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:07:03 AM PDT

  •  Visualize the savings NATIONALLY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro

    once the US federal government pulls its head out of its ass.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:21:22 AM PDT

  •  Amazing how long this took-CO-Thumbs up (0+ / 0-)

    I was talking about it 40 years ago, after I learned people were getting long prison terms for possession and selling a little. Very few acquaintances of mine, co-workers, family, etc. would consider it. Pot is not a panacea but America, has a long way to go, thanks mostly to good old divisive, obstructionist, staid, puritanical Christianity, and a few other religions.

  •  As elfling and BigAlinWashSt mentioned .... (0+ / 0-)

    banking is still a bit of a problem for those in the MJ business since banks can't accept drug money and the stuff is still illegal on the Federal level (credit card companies also shy way.) This will leave lots of people holding on to lots of cash and it will create opportunities for the wrong type of people.

  •  If you want to know what the war on drugs (0+ / 0-)

    was about check out who owns the private prison systems that were put into place.  George Bush Senior was on the board of the largest private prison system.  I don't think his son has been an angel.
    To me this is the definition of true evil. I am sure that President Bush Senior has convinced himself that he is doing good regarding the drug situation in this country but this kind of lie that he tells himself has caused damage to untold amounts of people. He is profiting on the suffering of others who are arrested for a common weed that is not harmful if ingested.

  •  Correlation does not imply causality. (0+ / 0-)

    And what about the numbers for Washington State?

  •  Locked up for pot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    belinda ridgewood, TheDudester

    "52% of all drug  arrests in the U.S. were for marijuana" that's one of the main reasons why our jails are overfilling.

  •  I was a bit worried on this score ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... only because the stores are 100% cash businesses, which almost INVITE crime (see convenience & liquor stores).

    Also, because of the state/fed legal ambiguities, banks are reluctant to do business with pot stores, so there's the problem of storing the cash (I mean, didja SEE Breaking Bad?), which sometimes leads to different kinds of crime - the white collar stuff is harder to sniff out in the short term.

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:02:24 PM PDT

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