High Time For Medical Marijuana?

Carl Addison Swanson is freelance writer in Westport.  Preparing for a magazine article, he conducted an interview that he wanted to share with “06880” readers.

Carl is examining the Connecticut State Senate’s attempts to legalize medical marijuana, as well as decriminalize its possession.  Previous attempts in 2007 and 2009 failed, but Governor Dannel Malloy has pledged his support.

Toni Boucher, who represents parts of Westport, is an ardent opponent.  She led the 2009 filibuster that defeated passage.

The name of the woman Carl interviewed has been changed at her request.

“My granddaughter made me some marijuana Rice Krispies treats.  Quite honestly, I was afraid to eat them,” she explains.  We are sitting in her dark den, in a split level off Cross Highway.

“I thought some police would come crashing through the door and arrest me.”

“Norma” is an artist, activist, mother of 2, grandmother of 4, and ex-wife of a famous Westport producer.  She is also a cancer survivor.

“When I first realized something was wrong, my stomach swelled up like I was pregnant.  It was horribly frightening,” Norma says.  “Of course, they operated and got most of it.  Ovaries.  But I had to go through nearly a year of chemotherapy.”

Norma is fragile, and I am afraid to ask her age.  She has liver spots on her hands, which shake repeatedly.  For some reason, this makes me nervous.  My prepared questions are virtually abandoned as a result.

“The chemotherapy was dreadful,” she continues without being asked.  “I couldn’t keep anything down.  It was like a terrible case of the flu.  And just when you started to feel good, you had to have another round of the damn stuff.”  She seems shocked by her own use of the word “damn.” She smiles.

I tell her I am writing an article about medical marijuana in Connecticut.  I say that bills have been submitted to the State Senate since 2007, but have failed.  The new governor has promised to back any new attempts.  Westport’s senator is strongly opposed.

“Well, I did eat finally eat those Rice Krispies treats, and I will tell you it helped,” she says.

“By my 3rd round of chemo I was ready to try anything.  It nearly cured my nausea, and I slept better too.  I started baking them myself.  The key is to melt the grass in with the butter.”

Norma stiffens in her antique straight back chair with this confession.  She is of the “Great Generation,” and still obedient to the rules of that culture.  The use of illegal drugs makes her uncomfortable.

“But I did keep using it.  I mean, why wouldn’t I?  My daughter got me some and it helped.  It got me through the god-awful drugs and made me feel almost human.”

I tell her one fear:  that the use of marijuana may lead to other addictions.

“Oh poppycock,” she actually says, sitting straight up.  Her eyes focus for the 1st time in our session.

“I have one glass of sherry every evening, and that’s it.  I never had any interest in those treats after I got better.  I’m more dependent on my sleep medication than those things.”  Her eyes twinkle for a second.  I can see that she was beautiful when she was young.

“You don’t have any on you, do you?” she asks, crossing her legs.

States marked in red have legalized medical marijuana. Those in blue have legislation pending.

149 responses to “High Time For Medical Marijuana?

  1. Pissed Off Baby Boomer

    I belief marijuana should be legalized totally, not just for medical use. I have had several friends and family with cancer and other medical problems that smoking pot has helped them get through the very
    painful process used during attempts to cure them or to make them comfortable as they come to the end of their life. Give me a break, The pharmaceutical companies own the politicans. Legalize it, American farmers grow it, and then tax it. If the politican are not smart enough to realize the win win of this, then they should not be in office. If politican have had drug problems in their own family then be a better parent. It all goes back to Canpaign Financing Issues, it is a must for politican to start thinking about the PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY not THEIR PARTY or the corporations that owns them.

  2. Vote & Toke !
    They should hand out pot permission slips when you go to the polls. Then the politicians would listen. This is a perfect example of how TOTALLY not up to speed [no pun] some of our elected leaders are.
    More later after I puff a little. GO CARL ! Where can we read your article ?

  3. Back Ass-Wards

    But(t), but(t), but(t)… cigarettes are LEGAL…look at all the benefits they offer !!! What this country needs is a stronger marijuana lobby (to rival that of the tobacco lobby)…

    Potheads and cancer patients unite !

    (Full disclosure: I do not partake – and hope never to have a medical reason to need it – just a low tolerance for bureaucratic stupidity & hypocrisy).

    • Hey BA-W [ love it 🙂 ],
      Please join me, Dan, & the Dude for an intro to cannabis. We need your voice, and Dude claims to have da best… great combo.

    • You realize the innate hilarity of the phrase “stronger marijuana lobby” don’t you? I can see the SNL skit now….

      But yes I am in favor of legalization (and taxation!).

  4. The Dude Abides

    I can only attest to pot helping my erectile dysfunction. The little blue pills only give you 4 hours worth of satisfaction, you know? But in all candor, you can get up to 1-5 years in prison for possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana in Connecticut. Time to change the laws!!

  5. Marsha McGee, R.N.

    I have seen the use marijuana help with victims of multiple sclerosis and heard of its great success with glaucoma patients. Its effects on nausea with chemotherapy are varied according to dosage and the individual. I am glad “Norma” found relief. From my experience, marijuana helps many patients and should be legalized.

  6. “Even if one takes the reefer madness allegation of prohibitonists at face value, marijuana prohibiton has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.” William F. Buckley

  7. There’s no valid argument against medical marijuana. None.

    • Pot can be addictive and lead to hard drugs. I don’t think it helps with any illnesses but just gets you stoned.

      • Richard Lawrence Stein

        Sorry Janice but you are completely narrow minded and short sighted. If we as a society can drink booze and keep it together for the most part, I think we can work with pot. There is no correlated proof that pot is a stepping stone to harder drugs. As is there no proof if you start with beer or wine you might start doing harder alcohol. But let’s paint a picture you are suffering from cancer. You start therapy that hurts more than the cancer. You loose your hair, your weight, your appetite, and life as you know it is completely unbearable. Then you smoke or some how eat a medically issued bit of cannabis and that enables you to live a whole lot better. I know I rather spend time behind bars to better my families existence for them to suffer. Now Janice how do you feel about masturbation? Will that lead to hard core porn or just blindness.

      • The Dude Abides

        Right on, Richard!!!! Jeez, I am actually beginning to like you. And of course, if wacking the ole Johnson does lead to blindness, we all can always smoke a joint as the light goes dim.

        • Richard Lawrence Stein

          Thanks dude

          • Back Ass-Wards

            AMEN.

            Sorry to break it to ya, Janice, but me thinks you are a victim of “Reefer Madness”
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reefer_Madness
            and other mindless propaganda.

            SO, it appears we have reached a quorum…
            at least here, in “The World According to Dan.”
            ******************************************
            Well then, while we are at it: let’s legalize PROSTITUTION.

            Right ?

            Seriously.

            Let’s face it: whoever is gonna do it, is gonna do it:
            drugs, sex, booze, cigarettes…

            AND
            just THINK of all the (tax) income the government could generate:
            we could finally close these terrible budget deficits (federal AND state)…

            AND
            shut down pimps who subjugate women,
            reduce STD’s by requiring inspections and certifications…

            PLUS (this is BIG):
            even the POLITICIANS can benefit:
            NO MORE SCANDALS !

            Cuz it’s LEGAL.

            (Ahhhhh, I can hear Eliot sighing…)

            SO, Toni: are ya ready for this ???

            PS. Apologies for goin’ “off topic,” but again:
            bureaucracy + hypocrisy = some of my PET PEEVES.

            PPS. Gotta luv those religious-freedom seeking Puritans,
            BUT after almost 400 years, it IS time to let go…

        • Not slow. Not Fast. Half-Ass

          Halelujah!!! Thanks BAW! A voice of reason. Now if our state senator is listening, we actually might change these social mores that stifle every aspect of our society and culture. You want to stop something? Try the wars!

  8. 870,000 sit in American prisons because of marijuana possession.
    @$33,000 a year cost per prisoner. You can do the math.

    • Just under $30 Billion… peanuts.

    • Don't sugar coat this

      My guess is that most of those 870,000 prisoners aren’t in there for marijuana alone. The marijuana conviction is no doubt coupled with another crime.

  9. It has amazing results with my mother’s glaucoma. Thanks for the article.

  10. Yes!

  11. Does Toni Boucher represent her constituency? What is her reasoning for being against it. Sugar is probably a bigger threat to our well being than pot. There are more Americans hooked on sugar than pot and we have more
    obese people in this country than pot smokers. Sugar is more addictive than pot. Why has she not banned sugar?

  12. If the RTM can ban plastic bags, the RTM can permit pot, right? Suppose Westport charged $500 bucks for a Concierge Pot Possession License. You could also purchase an upgrade ($750) to carry a “Get Out of Jail Free” card (in case you get busted on the road). Give it to the officer and he drives you home.
    This is a huge win / win. Do the math…

  13. Carl Addison Swanson

    Thank you to Dan Woog and the commentators for their time and words. My agent is still trying to find a home for the article. The finished piece will also include interviews with a 52 year old man fighting multiple sclerosis with the aid of marijuana and a 25 year old Iraq War veteran attempting to lower his post stress sydnrome-anxiety with grass. In addition, an interview will be conducted with a woman who has spent 8 years in jail as a result of possession charges. If you should have stories of similar nature, I would be most interested to hear them at carladdisonswanson@yahoo.com.

  14. It seems odd that they haven’t found the “key ingredient” and turned it into a pill (or inhalant?). I don’t support smoking on any level, tobacky or wacky. I understand the Prohibition/Taxation argument, and support it for other misdemeanors, but not for putting carcinogens into anyone’s lungs. Probably one of my more unexpected peeves.

    • Laz, they actually do sell pills, edibles, bath products (even!) in states where medical marijauana is available.

  15. The Dude Abides

    It is not good for your lungs. No question. Much like “Super Size Me,” a documentary was made about a guy who smoked for 30 straight days. Interesting enough, his lung capacity for oxygen conversion was not much changed but he did gain 8 pounds. Otherwise, including his mental capacity, was unchanged. But Laz, you can always put it in brownies or treats like “Norma” here.

  16. The argument is old…Legalization is a must…The state needs the tax money, and to free up the jail cells (reserve them for violent criminals)
    I would really like to learn more about Senator Bouchers objection. Does anybody have anymore info on her stance?

    • I can’t cite the source for this, but I am told that in 2009 Toni Boucher said: “My concern is the health and the safety of the people in our state. I have been surrounded by too many families and classmates of my children who have been touched by drug addiction. It has caused so much pain and suffering. I think we should have a drug-free zone around our state.”

      There is also an article in this week’s Fairfield County Weekly on the move to legalize medical marijuana in Connecticut (as well as decriminalizing possession of small amounts). Here’s the link: http://www.fairfieldweekly.com/news/featured-news/time-to-decriminalize-pot-in-connecticut-034589

  17. Boucher is a Roman Catholic Republican from Wilton. She also has said, “If we are so vitriolic about tobacco use, what is the difference with marijuana?”

    • I’m a Roman Catholic Republican from Westport. What’s your point?

      • Gee, I don’t know. The Roman Catholic church still preaches abstinence as the only form of birth control and two of the leading GOP presidential candidates for 2012 don’t believe in evolution. I guess that is my point.

        • So nothing to do with the point being discussed.

          • Sure it does. Both intitutions are, as the kids like to say, “jacked up” or out of touch. You can’t deal with the issue of marijuana if you are still dealing with the complexities of the 60’s — abortion, cigarette smoking and whether the kids should say the pledge of allegiance before class. Boucher and her kind need to move forward to the 21st century.

          • If she was a Muslim would you have made the same comment?

          • Now that is off point. But at least some Muslims are dealing with their present woes instead of belaboring their soiled past as do the Catholics and Republicans. I mean Roe v.Wade was in ’72. Move on. Really.

          • It is not off point. You would not have made a peep if it wasn’t “safe,” politically correct even, to criticize Sen. Boucher’s Catholic faith, and you still have no rationale for why it has anything to do with her position on marijuana. Because it doesn’t. You talk about moving into the 21st century, but you sound like those who campaigned against JFK in 1960 out of the fear that the Pope would be running the country if a Catholic was elected President.

          • The Dude Abides

            Hardly. Senator Boucher’s views on medical marijuana and its decriminalization are as outdated as the beliefs of the Catholic Church and the Republican party on many social issues. You tied the link. I supplied the shoelaces. Big JFK, RFK, EMK fan by the way.

          • Again, how wonderfully safe to bash Catholics, even though there is no evidence of any linkage between Sen. Boucher’s faith and her position on marijuana. You sound no different from those who insist Obama is a Muslim. Religious persecution is alive and well on the American Left. The most intolerant people on earth.

          • No, the good Senator’s beliefs probably have more to do with the fact that she is a Republican AND a Catholic than your focus of simply religion. I worked and voted for Obama. I don’t see the Conservative Right concerned with the plight of the poor, uneducated, gay or immigrants. I don’t find that very tolerant. And left, right, whatever. I am an independent who cares deeply for the unfortunate including those suffering from cancer.

          • I don’t care if you go after someone for being a republican that is fair game. I think attacking someone on the basis of their religion is vile and un-American.

          • Instead of whining about Boucher why not take your complaints to the man in the WH? He could legalize MJ. Why no criticism of leadership in DC? Not politically correct?

          • Mary Jane is a state issue. Much like gay marriage and our misguided educational system. An executive order would not do it and the House is full of Bouchers. Full of ethics until they get got with an intern.

          • MJ is not a state issue any more than abortion is a state issue. If the feds prohibit the sale and use of MJ, then it doesn’t matter what the folks in Hartford do. If the Feds choose to enforce the law, the user and seller will not be protected by the state law. Face it, lefties just don’t want to demand from their leaders the courage to do the right thing.

        • Thank you. I guess we don’t have to mention the thousands of young children that the leaders of your Catholic Church molested and then tried to cover up. I guess that is Un-American to discuss. Enuff said. It is getting too personal and I respect your views too much to go there.

        • And every Democrat candidate has bought into the MMGW hoax.

  18. You asked about Senator Boucher’s position…

    Here’s what Toni said to me last year [see date] when I emailed her about drinking & pot:

    On Feb 20, 2010, at 8:01 PM, Sen. Boucher, Toni wrote:

    “Well Tom , you could probably convince me of the 18 year old drinking issue since that is the age of maturity for marriage and the military. But pot – that will take some mighty tough convincing. I have studied this issue for some time and have serious reservations- all health related. I will take you up on a social meeting to discuss this further, however. After all, the men in uniform have my respect, my gratitude and my allegiance.
    Toni

    I have always appreciated her candor and prompt response to any email.

    Dude, Rich, Dan… wanna schedule a social meeting ?

    • Richard Lawrence Stein

      Wouldn’t that be great….;-)

    • The Dude Abides

      Do I have to wear my dress blues????

    • Only problem with the Senator’s hypothetical concession. Connecticut and many states lowered the drinking age in the late 70’s to disastrous results. Connecticut raised the age to 21 in three legislative steps: ’82,’83 & ’85. The Senator seems to be stuck in the past.

  19. Lemme know when a 18 year old high school student driving high ends up crashing then all you marijuana supporters will look like real idiots.

    • As opposed to the 18 year old driving drunk now and crashing? Statistics show that pot induced auto accidents are far less than those involving alcohol or even prescription drugs or even “texting” while driving. Most “stoners” don’t even want to drive.

    • Richard Lawrence Stein

      I guess I am just an idiot… Because I’m sure there are plenty of 18, 19, and so on driving stoned, drunk, on prescription, and many other things that could do a number on you. We are talking about medical pot… Let’s take a poll of the kids in 10-12 and college that are using drugs prescribed to people with add/ADHD illegally… We are not a perfect society, but we are supposedly humane… Medical pot is helping the ill live in a more humane way.

  20. Whether marijuana is legal or illegal, there would be driving accidents (marijuana related and not). If alcohol was illegal, do you think there would be no drunk driving? Don’t think so..

  21. To suggest that marijuana leads to harder drugs (an argument I don’t accept) and that should be a reason to oppose medical marijuana very little sense. The position is equal parts ignorant and cruel. Honestly, do you think that even MATTERS in the case of seriously ill people who’d benefit from marijuana?
    And when we’re talking about medical marijuana, we’re not talking about 18-year-old drivers getting high.
    Got any VALID arguments against medical marijuana? No, I didn’t think so.

    • It appears that Obama has some arguments against medical MJ. Maybe you should get on his case. No? I didn’t think so. If you are serious about legalizaing MJ for whatever purpose, you need to take your case to DC.

  22. I have taken a lot of crap for what I said but don’t think studies show that marijuana actually works. . . . Medical marijuana is also just a stepping stone to making it legal . . . Anyone can get a prescription in California now . . .
    Bunch of potheads. . . I agree with the senator . . .CT should be a drug free zone.

    • Richard Lawrence Stein

      You have earned your crap Janice…. You have picked a fight without having facts or valid points to back up your argument… If you talk out your ass you are going to be accused of being gassy and in this case what you say stinks

      • In fact the Obama administration has stated that there is no evidemce that MJ provides any medicinal benefits. But that should not be the issue, the issue is personal freedom. You should have the right to smoke whatever you want, and the right to ingest whatever crap you want, be it drugs or food. Uncle Sap should just butt out.

  23. I’ve been a medical cannabis provider since 2001 when there were three people in LA doing this and it takes tremendous brains and balls to pull this off.
    It was a hard fought battle which we won. I am from Westport, grew up on cross highway and bayberry and have lost two sisters to cancer.
    I am sure the reactionary idiots whose minds are made up and don’t want to be confused with facts might go to IACM-med.org. It’s a www site for doctors and clinicians in GERMANY, no politics involved.
    Wether you like it or not, you’re body has cannabis receptors already in it. Why not go visit some cancer patients who use MMJ and some MS patients who use it out here then make up your mind to DENY proven medical relief to seriously ill patients. The term ‘pothead’ when used in this context is the same as ‘JEW’ in 1940’s germany, you freaks. Ever see your family melt from cancer, I have. Needless suffering in this country is WORSE than jail.

  24. The Dude Abides

    Derek: Bravo and thanks for the insight. Janice is speaking from fear and ignorance as most who oppose the use of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, there has not been enough enlightenment, including those who represent us in Hartford. Still don’t know how the legalization did not pass in California, however. Mormon money, I suspect.
    Any relation to Peter? Played Little League with his son way back in the 50’s here.

    • Your man Obama could legalize MJ with the stroke of a pen. Slick had 8 years and he never touched the issue. The Dems controlled the House and the Senate for 4 years, why didn’t Pelosi and Reid touch the issue? Why has not one Democrat president proposed ending the War on Drugs? A War that is waged disproportionately against young minority men.

      • The Dude Abides

        Political hot potato. Boucher will feel the wrath, whether deserved or not. She has been too vocal and with 60% of residents in favor, she will take the hit and return to her “non-profit” efforts that entails sharing pillows with corporate America.

        • Well I see it clearly. Why just MJ? The issue isn’t public opinion, which is only properly measured at the ballot box or in the marketplace. The issue is the limits of government control of individual freedoms. The left restricts individual freedom and then whine when they find it uncomfortable; hypocrisy.

          • The Dude Abides

            Well, I don’t. I just disregard the restrictions. Sort of like taking a right on the red light when there is a sign there. But the bottom line is going to be money. When the politicians realize that they can make some serious tax revenue on the sale of the drug, there goes the issues of freedom and limited government, whatever hat you may wear.

        • You haven’t read Downs yet I’ll guess, but you may still be aware of the Arrow paradox. 60% of citizens may favor the legalization of medical MJ, but how high does that issue rank on the list of all issues across all constituents?

          • The Dude Abides

            Nah, I haven’t even got Downs yet. Back ordered on Amazon. I am sure “MJ” ranks very low because any one can get it if they want these days. Thus, a low priority on the political ledger although still volatile. The Mormons didn’t spend 50 million to defeat it in CA for nothing. I disagree with you on minority issue because MJ has always been a middle class drug. The guys on the street don’t want to push it. The profit margin is too low and not nearly as addictive.

          • The guys on the street have a new drug to push; tobacco. They buy the cigs by the van load in low tax regimes and sell them in high tax regimes; arbitrage. The prohibition on the use of MJ is symptomatic of unwarrented government restrictions of personal freedom. The minority issue comes into play as a consequence of the War on Drugs. MJ is a target of the War on drugs, but just one target. We need to end the War on Drugs as well as the two wars in the ME.

  25. To Senator Boucher’s credit, she stated a clear position, gave her reasoning, and yet STILL offered to LISTEN. I may not agree with her position, but I think she’s head n shoulders above those who won’t give a reason or won’t listen. And who knows, after she reads Dan’s blog, she might just…

  26. Dear Dude, yes Peter DeVries was my father. Must’ve been my older brother Jon to whom you refer. The term ‘legalization’ is rife with illusion. Before I ramble on I do have years of experience from American University in DC and my degree is Law and Society from the School of Government and Public Admistration. Did some legal training and have grown MMJ for 9 years and have been paying taxes on it since 2001. Trimmers in Humboldt get 20$ an hour to trim plants. Think I’m kidding?? Hemp houses in BC are ZERO carbon producers. 2 Hectares of industrial cannabis will eat C02 in the air. Let’s all grow up at once and keep the rest of the world from laughing at us. There is no comedy in cancer.

  27. The Dude Abides

    Our fathers were close and admire your Dad’s writing. Went the legal route too via Texas. Sold out: Corporate law. Back here five years. Good for you in the agriculture department. In connnection with the topic at hand, UCONN had the opportunity to be the “public” farmer of marijuana as well as the sole distributor. They turned the other way. You think that would have worked? To actually have a designated producer??? Tax money for sure.

  28. Those who support the legalization of MJ are by and large hypocrites. Their libertarianism runs only so far. Why not legalize all drugs? Why not end the War on Drugs? Why allow the government to control smoking? The only reason so many here favor the legalization of MJ is because it is accepted wisdom on the left. The hypocrisy has a more powerful aroma than does the MJ.

  29. The Dude Abides

    Interesting enough, David Stockman of the Reagan years has actually proposed the legalization of all drugs to eliminate the need for guns that inevitably are involved in their purchase. However, the initial subject here was medical marijuana and its aid to those suffering. 60% of Connecticut residents support such a law and the decriminalization that would save law enforcement (some 4% of all arrest involve pot) along the judiciary, millions of bucks. Call it libertarian if you must select a label but seems simply common sense to me. I don’t see the hypocrisy at all.

  30. Obama has spoken. I can’t wait for a million outraged citizens to show up in DC to demand Obama do the right thing. When pigs fly?

    The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy website says smoking marijuana “is not considered modern medicine.” It says the drug has a high potential for abuse, the smoke can be as harmful as cigarettes, and it has not been proven effective under the standards of the Food and Drug Administration.

    The Justice Department does not usually prosecute medical-marijuana users, but officials of other federal agencies say they are required to treat pot as an illegal drug.

    “We’re charged with enforcing federal law,” says Border Patrol spokeswoman Kelly Ivahnenko.

    Landlords “may exercise discretion” in deciding whether to evict tenants who use medical marijuana, says Helen Kanovsky, general counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. New Mexico HUD administrator Mandy Griego says HUD’s policy is that pot, “for medicinal purposes or not,” is prohibited at HUD-subsidized properties, and termination for possession “must be applied consistently for all tenants

  31. If we legalize marijuana we would’ve wasted all our money spent on the War on Drugs…we already complain enough about wasteful spending so take your hypocritical ways and smoke it in your bowl.

    • Sunk costs are sunk. Why waste more money on the fruitless War on drugs? The place to lobby for change is DC, not Hartford.

    • Don’t admit a mistake? … keep forging ahead deeper into the swamp? My friend, you need a reefer to chill, see the flip side, feel the love 🙂

  32. The Dude Abides

    You seem to be arguing with me when we agree. I agree with Stockman: all drugs should be legalized. One way to do away with the problem of guns as well. The War on Drugs has been a dismal failure (like the War on Poverty and the War on Terror). But from one who seems to shoot from the right side of the aisle (now that they all sit together,it is hard to differentiate), I would think that you would endorse the withdrawal of government into our private lives regarding marijuana legalization? Abortion has alway been a state issue with the’72 Supreme Court ruling making it a federal mandate via the 14th equal protection clause. BTW the tobacco companies already have copywright on the most common names of marijuana. Once the legislators figure out they can make some big bucks (to spend away), they will jump on the bandwagon. Money leads the way. Free market baby!!

    • Once the SCOTUS handed down Roe, abortion was no longer a state issue. The Feds regulate the use of MJ still. If they choose to arrest you for the use of MJ, irrespective of its purpose, they can. The state laws will not protect you. Why focus on the states and not DC? Obama should be forced to do the right thing. If he does not, the threat of criminal prosecution remains irrespective of what transpires in Hartford. Why are those on the left so reluctant to confront their man. BTW I sit with the Libertarians. And yes, the tobacco companies have been ready to bring forth their MJ product lines for decades. Good for them.

      • The Dude Abides

        True on Roe but many of these issues lie with the states including
        gay marriage, bibles in town halls etc. I think that is fine for they
        will make more progress on such issues than the dysfunctional federal government. You know Ears ain’t gonna touch this issue even though he did inhale unlike Bubba. I am really a Liberal Republican at heart.

  33. “Dude” how has the war on terror been a fail?

    • Hey, are you really Larry King ?

    • The Dude Abides

      Where is Osama???? The War on Terror created a mideastern
      clusterf&*# with trillions down the drain in Iraq for a so-called
      democracy and Afganistan is an endless war. Now we got every
      mideasterner on FACEBOOK checking for the schedule of riots
      that day and the price of gas will hit 4 bucks before Memorial Day.
      Back at home here, they have created such a mismash of agencies
      that their little “war rooms” are so ineffective that it takes a Times
      Square cabbie to notice that a van is sitting there with a bomb and
      a guy with Fruit of the Loom bomb underwear lands in Detroit. For the
      price of our so-called “War on Terror”, we could have given everybody Medicare.

      • DearDude, Derek is beginning to like you and your attitude. Please send me an email of who you are, complete anonymity will prevail. derek90291@msn.com Then you must fly to Humboldt County CA and I will personally show you the golden path to pain relief and complete harmony. I will then come back to CT and grow for the state.
        There are t-shirts here on the venice Boardwalk of The Dude Abides with Jeff Bridges face on it. Where do I send one to you??

  34. There is a reason this country hasn’t had a terrorist attack against it in 9 years. Get your facts straight.

  35. The Dude Abides

    What was Tuscon?

  36. The Dude Abides

    Sorry, a postscript. About 3,800 died in the 911 tragedy. But
    about 100,000, including 5,000 U.S. soldiers, have died in
    our resulting War on Terror. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions,
    none of those 100,000 were responsbile for 911.

  37. Don't sugar coat this

    Question: Does Marijuana Lead to the Use of Other Drugs?
    Answer: It could. Long-term studies of high school students and their patterns of drug use show that very few young people use other illegal drugs without first trying marijuana.

    For example, the risk of using cocaine is 104 times greater for those who have tried marijuana than for those who have never tried it. Using marijuana puts children and teens in contact with people who are users and sellers of other drugs. So there is more of a risk that a marijuana user will be exposed to and urged to try more drugs.

    To better determine this risk, scientists are examining the possibility that long-term marijuana use may create changes in the brain that make a person more at risk of becoming addicted to other drugs, such as alcohol or cocaine. While not all young people who use marijuana go on to use other drugs, further research is needed to predict who will be at greatest risk.

    • You have got to be kidding me “sugar coat”. Could you please cite your references to scientists because most are bought an sold like rats. They get money to produce results in line with corporate interests.
      You sound like a DEA idiot whose sole purpose is to increase a budget request.
      You need to leave Fairfield County and see the real world.
      What difference does any of it make to a seriously ill patient?
      IACM-med.org. You can’t change facts. Actually maybe YOU could you moron.

      • Your quarrel is with the “scientists” at Obama’s FDA. They claim MJ provides no proven medical benefits. So if you want to get worked up, call the FDA and see if anyone answers.

      • Don't sugar coat this

        The source is About.com.

    • The Dude Abides

      Sugar Coat: Have you tried marijuana?? Be honest now. I ain’t gonna jump down your throat. Your views should be respected but I would like an answer, please.

  38. You actually call Tuscon a terrorist attack? Wow you really are ignorant.

  39. How many successful terrorist attacks have been carried out in the United States? We intercept multiple terrorist plots that even you (yeah you) don’t even hear about. Now we have Egypt which is now about to be taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood so what you want to just give up now? Is it a fail? You need the War on Terror more than ever now because you know where Al Quaeda formed….yeah Egypt. Don’t call it a fail especially during this time when the world especially in the Middle East is very vulnerable. But yeah you’re right let’s just leave that area vulnerable really smart.

    • What is going on in the ME is not our concern. You might be confusing cause and effect. If we had not butted in to the affairs of these countries long ago, we might not be the target of ME terrorists now. Tuscon was not a terrorist attack, but Fort Hood was certainly. We should bring our troops home now, and let the people of the ME sort out their own problems.

  40. The Dude Abides

    Hey: Please don’t use personal attacks. I don’t use them with you. The new civility, you know? Tuscon, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, the D.C. shooter. You name them. They certainly are terrorists to me and well within the definition promulgated by Homeland Security. You don’t have to wear a scarf around your head to be terrorist. Ask the residents of Oklahoma City. Certainly, increased budgetry expenditures have caught potential foreign attacks but that happened after the ’93 attack on the Twin Towers as well. And there was certainly advanced intelligence on the 911 attack too but ’43 took a long summer vacation and ignored much of it. Today, there are countless “war rooms” around America that are fed intelligence from thousands of cameras. In Maryland, cops on motorcycles take pictures of license plates to produce data banks. Reason: one of the 911 terrorist pilots was stopped for a routine traffic the night before the attack. The intelligence gathering is substantial and expensive. And as pointed out above, with the Times Square incident and others, it has actually been private citizens that have tipped off the police more times than not. The “ME” is a disaster waiting to happen and our presence has created a World of Terror. But “Al Quaeda” is in Pakistan/Yemen and not Egypt now but Isreal sure is concerned about Egypt and is not afraid to push the button. So, I ask you “Hey” is the Middle East and the United States safer now after nearly ten years into the War on Terror? I don’t think so.

  41. Don't sugar coat this

    Civility? I got called a moran and an idiot for copying and pasting something from About.com.

  42. The Dude Abides

    I apologize for that. Not me. Tough crowd though. You gonna answer my question?

  43. How is the middle east not our problem? By you saying we should let it “sort out its problems” is something I would expect from someone competing to become Miss America. Fun fact: they don’t know how to do that and the fact is that those who do know how to organize themselves are called terrorists. And DUDE the ME needs our presence there because its a hotbed for terrorist. Yeah no kidding its not in Egypt anymore but it certainly is looking like another hotbed for Al Quaeda, have you seen the news? Like it or not the United States needs to intervene in order to protect itself and frankly if you’re not supportive of it then that’s the greatest insult to our country.

    • Clearly you have a problem with concepts like “cause” and “effect”. Why do you suppose the US has a problem with terrorists? Try and figure that one out before you jump to conclusions. Thus far we have butted in where we are not wanted and alienated just about every one. Moreover, we now have a president who can’t run a two car funeral much less foreign policy in the ME. Finally, what makes you think that we have any chance of bringing about a better solution than that reached by the people in the ME? In case you have not been paying attention over the last 60 years or so, the people of the ME appear to like killing and maiming each other, so why should we stop them? It is none of our business.

  44. The Dude Abides

    Hey, I am not arguing our presence there. Matter of fact, I think historians will look at “W” and applaud his entrance into Iraq. My original supposition was a response to your question: why is the War on Terror a failure? And my answer (however lengthly, sorry) dealt with such. I think Afganistan is a winless endless war although the CIA drone attacks (stepped up by Obama) have been successful. I think 3 trillion dollars and 100,000 lives was to costly a price on Iraq especially considering what our economy is today. But I agree with you: a presence is needed. Yet, in this day of technological warfare and high tech intelligence, do we really need ground troops? My belief is that the War on Terror has been a failure, not because it wasn’t needed but in the avenues the goverment/military have utilized. And I don’t think the litmus test of “we haven’t been attacked in 9 years” is an accurate barometer of it success.

  45. Da Feds banned K-2 & Spice today. Damn! Like the old Spice.

  46. Spice?

  47. Synthetic marijuana. “Bad stuff” according the FDA. Booted a kid from Annapolis for taking it. Zero drug tolerance there. Attention!

  48. The people of the ME are killing each other because there is this thing called revolution. Hey wow interesting how revolution helped form America amazing concept. Now our job is to prevent those revolutions from turing over into the hands of terrorists. George Washington proposed isolationism in his farewell address as President but its too late for that now and we have to go with it. And Dude you make a valid point in saying that Afghanistan is winless because I feel it is only preventive strategies taking over the plan there now.

    • The people of the ME are killing each other because they have chosen to do so. Revolutions in Cuba, Russia, China, and many other countries have set the foundation for totalitarianism. If that is what the people of the ME want, we should not be surprised nor should we interfere. It is none of our business, and our current president does not have the skill set necessary to make things turn out well.

  49. The Dude Abides

    I am glad we agree on something. I don’t think anyone, with the possible exception of Anonymous here, is advocating isolationsim. I do think you will see a large decrease in the number of troops in Afganistan this summer ’11. The advances in drones, blimps and the like, make it unnecessary for the 120,000 of soldiers and Marines we have there now. The battle is really between the Taliban and Afgan Military. The latter needs to step up. As to your initial point of revolution, I concur that it is an interesting phenomenon and well overdue but cautious, as you seem to be, as to its final outcome.

    • I think you are missing the larger picture. In a perfect world, the US could interfere in the ME and produce outcomes that further our interests. Unfortunately, we lack the leadership required to bring about that happy outcome. So we send our troops in harm’s way to no avail, and we blither on about support for democracy, where there is no fertile ground for democracy. Thus far, all we have produced with our efforts in the ME over the last 60 years is hostility towards the US and American casualties. As to your infatuation with technology, I don’t think it can reach the strategic ends you seek. At a tactical level, the technology might be suitable for bringing about small victories, but not at the strategic level. The last time technology was effective at a strategic level was when Harry nuked Japan.

      • The Dude Abides

        Since when has the foreign policy of the United States been anything but jacked up??? When a pilot from a F-18 can talk to a foot soldier and tell him that he can see a guy on the roof with a rifle and then takes him out, it is time to get the ground troops out. Since when have we had anything but small victories?? Jeez, the invasion of Kuwait and bombing of Bagdad was small compared with Hiroshima. Bring the troops home and drone them to death from Nebraska.

        • Why? What do you hope to accomplish? It is unlikely such actions will change the outcome.

          • The Dude Abides

            Good point. The only rational explanation of our presence in Afganistan is that it is a good vantage point to keep an eye on the Pakistanians and curtail a war with India. It appears that this blog is receiving friendly fire and despite our interesting exchange is no longer a safe harbor for intellectual volleyball. Instead, it shall be left to those who care to debate the quality of restaurants. I knew DeVries shouldn’t have called the woman a “moron.”

          • If you have another venue you think is more appropriate, then let’s hear about it.

          • The Dude Abides

            We could start our own blog? Email is the most likely choice. Let me ponder and will mail the address. Hardly a snob, I bore easily. The reactionaries with tunnel vision here are boring me.

  50. Dan,
    This is getting ridiculous and petty. Please lock this thread.
    Thank you.

    • I would love to. But just as the Supreme Court decided yesterday that Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church have a right to protest at soldiers’ funerals, this thread will remain open to any and all comments on medical marijuana, and tangential issues. Feel free to ignore it if you wish.

      • The Supreme Court might be more aligned with America if they all smoked a joint once in a while [trying to get back on point. ha ha ha]. It’s kinda scary out there in “Middle America.” And those idiots [the protesters] are really sick MF’s. What calms me down is my sincere belief in KARMA, or, as Sir Isaac Newton postulated: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

      • Dan,
        Are you saying if you lock this thread, the Supreme Court will notice??

        I’m all for free speech, as long as it’s relevent and rational.

        • Well, the Phelps’ speech is neither relevant nor rational. But it’s legal.

        • “relevent” “rational” Who gets to decide? You? BTW the First Amendment protects the irrelevent and the irrational as well; otherwise what is the point of the amendment. This is Dan’s blog. He can restrict posts as he sees fit without restricting First Amendment rights. We can all go set up our own blogs if we disagree with Dan’s approach.

        • Derek DeVries

          No, what he is saying is it’s a blog for opinions which if you knew anything about the constitution he could get sued for first ammendment violation for shutting down, you un-believeably anus brained idiot.
          You are all for free speech as long as you agree with it, is what you mean you assrocket.

      • The Dude Abides

        Gee, Professor, it is nice to be lumped together with some wackos who protest at a funeral. I am sure anonymous, Veteran, Hey, and the rest of the frequent commentators here do as well. If you would “love” to shut it down, do so.

        • I guess my reply was inartful. I was trying to say that I would love to shut down comments that are off-target, or sometimes ad hominem (to use a phrase frequently heard here) — but I don’t do so simply because that’s my preference. I do value everyone’s right to be heard here, even when the topic strays far from the original post. I have heard people tell me that they have stopped reading comments here, because they don’t like so much sniping at each other, and because they feel the original ideas get “hijacked” (a word I’ve heard more than once). They ask me to close the thread — and I don’t. I will continue to provide a voice for everyone to be heard — again and again.

  51. The Dude Abides

    I am not sure why a discussion of the Middle East is so annoying to Ironic? Perhaps because she or he does not have a soldier over there?? The Phelps’ decision is interesting but the facts are misconstrued. First, there was no evidence that the soldier was gay and the protestors, with their ugly and gross signs, did have a permit and did obey the law by staying 1,000 feet away from the church. The case was a civil action by the father of the dead soldier for 5 million dollars against the church for “intentional infliction of mental duress” under the “impact rule” of civil common law. But the father could barely see the top of the signs and did not see a videotape of the farce until some 30 days later. The case should have never gone to the Supreme Court and the 8-2 decision basically said that unprotected speech should be protected. Duh. Certainly Professor Woog has the right to “shut down” the comments here but why would he??? If the purpose of his blog is to make people think, why would you stop such intercourse? I think Ironic should take a course in free speech, smoke a joint and pick a new call name. Talk about controlling.

  52. I just feel in a period of war, freedom of speech against our soldiers (which some soldiers may not agree with the war) should be restricted. We need to maintain nationalism. Political parties make this country strong as they challenge one another but as a nation we should support those sacrificing their lives for us no matter what party you support.

  53. The Dude Abides

    Bravo Hey! But the vast majority of Americans mouth the words but do little. A person on unemployement (not maximum) makes more than an E-5 in combat in Afganistan. Military families had to resort to Food Banks for their Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Sad. As to the first amendment issue raised, I don’t think you can turn it off and on or make it applicable at certain times to certain individuals. It is a fundamental freedom of this great nation.