The ballot title and submission clause numbered Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution asked:

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning marijuana, and, in connection therewith, providing for the regulation of marijuana;

permitting a person twenty-one years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana;

providing for

A recent comment led me to one of my first ever posts, one about the Gateway Theory of drug use. For those unaware of the fallacy, it goes like this: many/most/almost all hard drug users started with softer drugs like marijuana, therefore marijuana causes harder drug use. It is the gateway to cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, etc.

My post concluded with:

Let’s ignore for now the refutation that a higher percentage of cocaine and heroin addicts consumed alcohol than marijuana, and we all “know” that alcohol use does not cause cocaine or heroin addiction… (since many readers, like me, are occasional alcohol consumers who have never tried cocaine or heroin)

Continue Reading Both Missing And Getting The Point: The Gateway Theory

The Drug Policy Alliance released a paper last week, “Healing a Broken System: Veterans Battling Addiction and Incarceration”. One of several recommendations:

State and federal governments must modify sentencing statutes and improve court ordered drug diversion programs to better treat – rather than criminalize and incarcerate – veterans who commit non-violent drug related crimes.

Continue Reading Veterans In Prison For Non-Violent Drug Offenses

From the San Francisco Chronicle article “Report: Pot use, arrests rising in California”:

Marijuana arrests in California are increasing faster than the nationwide rate, and African Americans are being booked for pot-related crimes much more often than whites, a new report says.

But despite the rise in arrests and in the seizure of marijuana plants, use of pot in California has increased slightly, said the report, part of a nationwide study released Thursday by a Virginia researcher.

Isn’t arresting folks for marijuana possession supposed to discourage use?

Continue Reading Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Criminal lawyer Thomas Gallagher writes about a case, Minnesota v. Peck, decided by his state’s Supreme Court which overruled a trial court’s determination that including the bong water as a “mixture” used to calculate the weight of methamphetamine possessed by a defendant would be “unjust”.

The difference in the weight of the meth alone vs. the weight including the bong water (approximately 37 grams) raised the offense to a first degree drug felony punishable by a maximum of 30 years, and if I have my Minnesota law right, and I very well might not, a minimum sentence of 87 months, or 7 years and 3 months. Assume the defendant would be probation eligible otherwise, and you Yankee lawyers can write in to tell me I’m wrong.

Continue Reading Everything’s Bigger In Texas

I’m about halfway through “This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History Of Getting High In America” by Ryan Grim which chronicles America’s centuries old love/hate relationship with various intoxicants (short version: the people seem to love, the legislators hate).

Then this gem from Drug WarRant, an op-ed piece from 99 years ago in a San Francisco newspaper:

Continue Reading Severely Repressive Legislation Unable To Stop Use Of Narcotics