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Sorry, but you can not have it both ways.

As several states have had voting measures pass and legalize pot smoking, and the Feds have still not come down like a ton of bricks on the tokers, there still remains some unsolved big issues. True, the fact that the Feds are not respecting the will of the people when states vote to legalize pot, is problematic, but it is far from the biggest issue IMO.

I believe MJ is here to stay, so now we better take a good look at the laws to protect those of us that are not going to be stoned out of our heads and are out there sharing everything with these people, just like we have for those consuming alcohol. I am not knocking tokers or drinkers. I don’t do drugs, but I have been known to drink occasionally. So I am quite familiar with the rules around drinking. Drinkers hate these rules, and it looks like tokers also hate the idea of strong rules.

(Reuters) – A judge on Friday rejected a request by a medical marijuana user to block Washington state from enforcing tougher “stoned driving” rules after it became one of the first U.S. states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Washington state voters last month approved marijuana legalization by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, making the state, along with Colorado, the first in the country to legalize recreational pot use.

Can’t say I am surprised, but I think this is a fight they need to lose. I am sure most tokers want to be thought of as responsible people, but there is a reason we can not ignore that we are inundated with such movies as “Harold and Kumar do whatever”, “Cheech and Chong so and so”, or a plethora of other film glorifying being stoned. As I mentioned long ago, I suspect that the nanny state is not going to let them do whatever they want because toking does cause impairment. Personally I would be content with laws that basically allow people wronged by anyone that causes harm while intoxicated to collect harsh damages, easily, with possible prison time for serial abusers, and then have the government keep to itself, but that’s never going to happen with the nanny staters. The only indentured servitude that the nanny state will tolerate these days is when people are serfs to it.

Then there is the subject of employment. Drug use currently, with a very few exceptions, is not something any employer allows. Legalization is certain to bring a lot of problems to employers.

DENVER (AP) — Pot may be legal, but workers may want to check with their boss first before they grab the pipe or joint during off hours.

Businesses in Washington state, where the drug is legal, and Colorado, where it will be by January, are trying to figure out how to deal with employees who use it on their own time and then fail a drug test.

It is another uncertainty that has come with pot legalization as many ask how the laws will affect them.

While I believe there are professions where being blasted out of your head won’t make a difference or harm anyone, the fact remains that the majority of jobs are going to suffer or be highly risky if done by high people. I certainly won’t like the DMV worker to be high when I am there, but I am not sure that is going to make the horrid DMV experience any worse. But if I have to share the road with stoned truck drivers, or for that matter, any kind of drivers, I think my rights are going to be violated, sooner than later. I certainly don’t want my dentist or doctor lit, either. The list of professionals or even menial workers that will introduce risk of degraded performance is going to be long, and I believe that if employers are going to be forced to provide jobs, they should be allowed to demand and enforce rules around how competent their employee needs to be. Dealing with a stoned kid at Subway might be cute the first couple of times. But when I need to wait 25 minutes for the drooler to make a sammich, and he has to try it a couple of times, I think I am going to stop frequenting that establishment.

My personal feeling is that the tokers have no clue how disappointed they are going to be when they realize they can not be blitzed all day long and hold jobs. Then again, Team Blue might consider this new demographic a valuable voter block once they are on welfare, so all is not lost. I don’t think the tokers are going to be quoting the famous Spacoli “Dude! Let’s party.” line, but are far more likely to be quoting the line by the tubby guy in Deliverance when the red necks got their hands on em. I am afraid that the people that think they won and they can light up with impunity are going to be hitting a few really nasty road bumps, still. This is going to be fun to watch. Or maybe not.

15 comments

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  1. Seattle Outcast says:

    My own job is FAA regulated and my employer has a world-wide drug policy that prohibits just about everything other than casual social drinking, so all these little laws don’t affect me much. Not that I had any desire to get stoned, but one of my buddies pointed out that the constant nerve pain I take opiates for on a daily basis might be better served with “medical” bong tokes…

    For the state of WA what I find amusing is that the state just got out of the liquor business (sorta) after being able to rake in millions of $$$/year by oppressing private enterprise in the name of protecting us from ourselves, and now it’s setting itself up to to the same with selling weed. I think that the lure of tax dollars being reaped for the state to make up budget shortfalls (instead of spending less and not making the state a horrid place to do business) was the major driver behind legalization, not any desire to let people get stoned a little on the weekends without being hassled. It will also save the state a shitload of cash to not arrest, prosecute and incarcerate losers people that just want a few bong hits after work.

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  2. TxAg94 says:

    I have felt for as long as I can remember that pot will be legal (really legal) when the politicians and their biggest contributors figure out how to make money off of it. Not a minute sooner. No wonder, then, that I see the states getting into the process and fat cats like a big Microsoft guy starting a weed selling business across Washington.

    The thing that rightly inhibits it, though, is that there’s just not a good way to objectively measure impairment as there is with alcohol. True, everyone handles their liquor a little different but by and large there has been enough research to establish a reasonable range and a solid way to measure it. There’s just no such thing, as far as I know, for pot or other drgs. We could rely on field sobriety tests but we all know the cops abuse those regularly. Pot will never be widely accepted until there’s a way to quantify the impairment we all are getting focused on now.

    I love that Washington has become a pothead mecca. More power to them. Convenience stores must be swimming in cash. I think the luster will fade pretty fast when prices for their weed go through the roof, quality goes through the floor, and the only ones getting rich are the already rich. Let’s see how much they love their precious weed then.

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  3. hist_ed says:

    One wrinkle in the law is that right now it is legal to posses up to an oz of pot, but it is not legal to sell it. The state will spend the next year figuring out the regulations on how to set up pot stores.

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  4. Seattle Outcast says:

    Ah, but you can grow over a dozen plants for “personal use”, and the DA stopped prosecuting for possession the day after the election. Basically it all means that your average low-end warehouse monkey or assembly line dink can stop wasting time hiding his small grow operation and not worry about getting hassled while he tokes up every night after work.

    With any luck this means that the operating budgets for the local jails and court system will go down as 90% of their arrests go away, and the rate of tax increases might slow down incrementally. And I might finally get a reprieve from getting a jury duty summons every 18 to 24 months like clockwork…

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  5. AlexInCT says:

    One wrinkle in the law is that right now it is legal to posses up to an oz of pot, but it is not legal to sell it. The state will spend the next year figuring out the regulations on how to set up pot stores.

    That’s because the state intends to be the sole supplier and reap the windfall. Drug lords, step asside, the state is now going to run the show. Watch these fuckers make even the Mexican cartels look like nice organizations by the end.

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  6. ilovecress says:

    When I was back in the UK I was involved in a campaign for the Department for Transport around drug driving. The brief I was given was that the instances of drug driving had skyrocketed – even as the penalties for getting caught had gone up.

    Through the research we found that the reason was that the general public (users and non users) just didn’t think that Drug driving was a big deal. People had got their heads round the fact that drink driving wrecks lives (although everyone thinks that they personally can hold their drink) but with Drugs, people seem to think that it makes you less dangerous a driver. Even when presented with evidence of a drug related incident, people assumed that the person had been drinking as well.

    The other thing we found was that nearly everyone who identified themselves as a pot smoker was convinced that they’d never get caught because ‘the police can’t tell’.

    We came up with a campaign that basically told people that driving on the roads was a privilege and not a right, and those that don’t have respect enough for others don’t deserve to share the roads with them. It got canned – I think mainly because the tagline involved the phrase “Don’t be a f**king idiot.” But hey you gotta try and be shocking. Poosh – dunno if you remember the drug driving ads with the big eyes? That’s what we ended up with. Actually quite a successful campaign.

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  7. TxAg94 says:

    That’s because the state intends to be the sole supplier and reap the windfall. Drug lords, step asside, the state is now going to run the show. Watch these fuckers make even the Mexican cartels look like nice organizations by the end.

    I’ve been saying it for years. As soon as they find a way to make money and corner the market we will see movement in legalization. They will not only be the sole providers they will find ways to absolutely DESTROY any perceived competition and take any sensible regulation on impairment to absurd and oppressive levels. Enjoy it while oyu can, folks, because once they kick in the boundaries on how “legal” it all is you will likely think back fondly to the days of buying form that guy Eric in the neighborhood.

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  8. HARLEY says:

    Enjoy it while oyu can, folks, because once they kick in the boundaries on how “legal” it all is you will likely think back fondly to the days of buying form that guy Eric in the neighborhood.

    ugh?
    you are not in my area are ya?

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  9. Seattle Outcast says:

    Just to point out what a joke drug laws are, about three years ago at a sushi joint we were discussing this very topic and I stated that I could procure a bag of weed that night if I actually wanted to. I asked Tony if he had any connections, and he said that since he quite smoking 30 years ago he didn’t have a number, but he could ask the gay couple that lived in the apartment next door to him and get me some that night, and my buddy Rich stopped for a moment and said “We’re in Lake City? I can have it delivered right here to the sushi bar in thirty minutes with one phone call.”

    None of us actually smoke weed, but that’s how easy it is to get it.

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  10. hist_ed says:

    And I might finally get a reprieve from getting a jury duty summons every 18 to 24 months like clockwork…

    Do you? I’ve lived in King County since 1996 and have never got one. I actually want to serve on jury once in my life. I am registered to vote so am not sure why.

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  11. hist_ed says:

    That’s because the state intends to be the sole supplier and reap the windfall. Drug lords, step asside, the state is now going to run the show. Watch these fuckers make even the Mexican cartels look like nice organizations by the end.

    Not true. The state might want to, but the law allows privately owned stores (lots of VC money coming to Washington right now).

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  12. Biggie G says:

    Watch these fuckers make even the Mexican cartels look like nice organizations by the end.

    I have to disagree. The government can’t even run a bookie joint. The employees will be unionized. The dispensaries will be 30,000 SF buildings with more maintenance employees than dealers. They will be running a deficit in 3 years.

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  13. Seattle Outcast says:

    I’ve lived in King County since 1994, and between the various overlapping jurisdictions I’ve been called about a dozen times for County and City jury duty. Sat once as an alternate and generally get excluded from sitting as I won’t go along with such things as civil incarceration after sentence has been served, or I’m too white, too old, wrong education (they hate engineers – they don’t like to be led to conclusions), have too many guns, martial arts background, been robbed….

    What they really want in a jury is a group of people that don’t think much for themselves, have never even heard of the concept of “jury nullification”, expect the police to always tell the truth, and will end up doing whatever the prosecutor wants them to. The defense really isn’t that much better – they are looking for someone that has been in trouble so often that they’ll excuse just about any behavior due to circumstances, or someone that can’t tell when they are being lied to.

    All in all, the term “justice system” is an oxymoron – when you get to a courthouse nobody gives a shit about justice or even the truth. All they seem to care about is just churning you through and seeing how much time you serve and fines you pay. You are no longer a person to either side, you’re just a case number. People that know how to manipulate the system and set it upon others via lies are common, and once you are tagged by that system it becomes ever easier to manipulate against you. Frequently, the people that are supposed to protect the public from such abuses are the ones that engage in them, and then there are the stupid laws enacted in the name of shrieking politics to contend with….

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  14. Argive says:

    None of us actually smoke weed, but that’s how easy it is to get it.

    Absolutely. It often makes me laugh how drug warriors say that we need to crack down on drugs to make them harder for kids to get. Man, please. Talk to pretty much anybody under 21; they’ll tell you that getting weed (or any illegal drug, really) is way easier than getting beer.

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  15. grady says:

    While I believe there are professions where being blasted out of your head won’t make a difference or harm anyone, the fact remains that the majority of jobs are going to suffer or be highly risky if done by high people.

    I can’t think that anyone is proposing that it’s OK to be high at your job. Too much beer or too many prescription pills, you may get fired. Same goes with the driving laws. There may be plenty of stoners & drunks that don’t want to drive straight/sober, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to put up with it. DUI laws were supposed to get us on the path to labeling & prosecuting impairment. It should not matter the cause. Injury that has you on constant muscle relaxers? Geezer with so many meds that the combinations make the world look like 3D without the glasses? Extremely distraught due to a custody battle or loss of a loved one? Been up for 3 days studying for finals and now are driving the 3 hour trip home after your last one? None of these folks should be on the road. The type of dope shouldn’t matter. How to get this correct legally? Different states have different success rates, but it shouldn’t be difficult to show impairment to drive. Govt needs to stop having to prove what the reason for impairment is.

    I’m hoping the states do figure out how to do this properly. Right now is not really showing it. De-criminalizing and allowing residents to grow their own is a nice touch on personal liberty, but how does that help the states? Tax & regulate. Let Coors and Jack Daniels-type companies take on the hassle of production, distribution, sales & liability and let the govt take a piece. Just like alcohol and cigarettes, every economy will keep the revenue stream.

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