SWRVs Hate Truth

Harris County DA Devon Anderson, in response to President Obama’s comment that marijuana isn’t more dangerous than alcohol, “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer,” issued a press release.

She begins:

I adamantly disagree with the President.

Whether and how she disagrees with the President has nothing to do with whether he is correct. Let’s see her argument.

She continues:

According to a 2012 Drug Use and Health survey, marijuana is the number one drug that citizens over the age of 12 are addicted to or abuse.

Untrue. Here‘s the survey. Marijuana is the number one illicit drug that citizens over the age of 12 use. The survey didn’t address addiction. “Are addicted to or” is empty language; Anderson might as well have said, “marijuana is the number one drug that citizens over the age of 12 kill for or abuse.”

How many people use (or abuse) a drug has nothing to do with how dangerous it is, but if it did then alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine would all be more dangerous than marijuana, and the President would be right.

The negative effects of marijuana use on a developing brain can be permanent,

I suspect that this is true. The same is true of alcohol.

and our President is recklessly giving what amounts to parental permission to our most impressionable citizens to break the law.

Huh? Is the President her daddy? Isn’t it parents’ job to give parental permission, and to teach their children to do what’s best for them?

Marijuana is creating deadly situations right here in Harris County.

Really? Give one example.

I welcome the President to come to Houston to review the same Capital Murder cases I did just last week that were the result of marijuana drug deals.

Ah. She’s talking about the case in which cartel hitmen allegedly killed an informant who was transporting marijuana for the DEA—none of which could have happened if marijuana were legal.

Maybe then he will see that the most effective way to keep our law-abiding citizens safe is to obey all laws that our legislators put on the books at our State Capitol.

That’s a non sequitur. The guy killed by the cartel hitmen was not a “law-abiding citizen.” He was a dope trafficker, though he had DEA permission, that particular day, to possess marijuana. And he wasn’t killed because he was not obeying the law—he had government permission—but because he was legally—indeed, at the behest of government agents—transporting something that happens to be illegal.

Another, more reasonable, takeaway from that case might be that a more effective way to keep our law-abiding citizens safe is to legalize marijuana. The murder of a DEA-sponsored drug trafficker is an excellent argument for putting the DEA out of the marijuana business.

I am acutely aware of the high price society pays for the misuse of alcohol.

And yet alcohol is not illegal.

This is not a debate about whether alcohol or marijuana is more dangerous.

Actually, it is. She said that she adamantly disagreed with the President’s statement that marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol. Now she’s giving up on the argument?

The President’s comments notwithstanding, marijuana is illegal under the Texas Penal Code, and we vigorously prosecute drug possession and alcohol related offenses in Harris County.

Ah. Regardless of whether marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, she says, marijuana is illegal and alcohol is not. So she is giving up on the argument.

For authoritarians, “it’s illegal” is the end of an argument—”is” trumps “ought.” For libertarians, it’s not even an argument—”is” has nothing to do with “ought.” Most people, I think, are somewhere in between: they give some moral weight to the fact that something is illegal—”is” suggests “ought”—but they still will consider why. “It’s no more dangerous than alcohol” is an argument for marijuana to be treated the same as alcohol. Reasonable people might consider that and decide that alcohol should be criminalized (again), or that marijuana should be decriminalized.
But the Scared White Republican Voters whom Anderson hopes will elect her in November are the authoritarians. They are afraid because people like Anderson tell them to be afraid, and then they vote the way that people like Anderson tell them will make them safer. If someone tells them, “this is the law,” they don’t ask, “okay; should it be”; they assume that the law is right, and look for someone to enforce that law. So Anderson, already huckstering for votes, instead of telling the truth (that Obama is probably right) and engaging in a meaningful discussion of what this should mean to Texas drug laws, simply tells those SWRVs—very few of whom will be hauling weed for the DEA—to be afraid of marijuana, and to vote for her because she will keep them safe from danger.

16 responses to “SWRVs Hate Truth”

  1. Kim Ogg must have Anderson fearing for her job. Anderson just drew a line in the sand.
    From the Houston Chronicle, Kim Ogg, in response to Anderson’s press release:

    Ogg, the former director of the city of Houston’s anti-gang task force and former executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston has concluded – after 26 years in public safety work – that tougher marijuana enforcement isn’t what people want.
    “They want to be safe. They want our focus and attention on the dangerous criminals,” she said. “There aren’t enough resources in Harris County nor is it fair to make people lose their jobs over minor offenses like possession of marijuana in small quantities.”

  2. I would hazard a guess that the good DA also sponsors draconian sex offender registries using the exact same logic, while pandering to the exact same crowd. Just wait until she goes after Seven-11 Big Gulps.

    I would posit one thought concerning the legalization of mar­i­juana; the $500 an ounce bag of today is a totally different animal from the $15 lid from the early 70’s, which just gave you the giggles and a sudden urge to eat Greek carry-out. Today’s wowie-zowie would stop a mule. (So I heard) 🙂 Ric

    • Ric, while it is true that today’s average concentration of THC in pot is much higher than it was 40-50 years ago, that is a good thing – not bad. Instead of having to smoke an eight of that ounce to get high as hell and tear up your lungs, you can smoke half a gram of today’s high quality bud for the same effect. Not to mention today’s vaporizers spare your lungs considerably.

      Strains today can be composed of as much as 25% or more THC as opposed to the cheap schwag of yesteryear as low as 2%. However, the average “BC Bud”, “Beesters”, “KB”, or whatever you want to call it is 10-12% THC compared to your “$15 lid” back in the 70’s which was probably 4-8% THC. Not all that much of a difference. Yes, there are crazy potent strains out today, but the “average weed” is not all that much different than it was 30 or 40 years ago.

      I used to be a connoisseur of the green years ago and hope to be again one day in the near future should it become legal again. Being an actual adult with a bong on my coffee table would just make me really, really sad.

    • Ric increased drug potency is yet another wonderful side-effect of prohibition.
      During alcohol prohibition, potent distilled likker became much more popular.
      The more concentrated forms are easier to smuggle, and command premiums in the market because their quantity is less–leading to lower sentences due to the retarded weight-based punishment scales.

      Witness today’s move to fentanyl-laced heroin; fentanyl is more than ten times as potent.

  3. Experiment:

    Place living tissue into a jar containing alcohol, wait one month, examine under microscope.

    Place living tissue into jar containing marijuana, wait one month, examine under microscope.

    Which one was more damaging to living tissue?

  4. @Nalora: try the same experiment with sunlight, and you’d learn that people can’t survive outdoors.

    @Ric Moore: I’ve heard that during the prohibition, the ratio of liquor to beer sold was much higher than now. If something’s illegal, you want concentration, not quality.
    (See also crack vs. coke, though that’s far less clear cut).

  5. I’d like to congratulate Devon on her contacts at the Houston Chronicle. Never before have I seen an article so completely evaporated into thin air as did the one at the Chronicle. With reader’s comments flowing against Anderson at a ratio of 30-1, she had the article removed, deleted, and vanquished to someplace where it can’t even be found in the form of a cached’ version. My guess is that her press release didn’t quite go the way she planned: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Harris-Co-DA-criticizes-Obama-s-remarks-on-pot-5159823.php%2C

  6. The War on drugs has been a war on the poor and on minorities. The war on drugs is a complete failure. But it has created a new form of slavery. As a result of the war on drugs one in three black men are incarcerated or on some form of supervision.

    Texas May wish to stick its head in the dirt but the rest of society is moving forward. Possession of marijuana is being legalized across this Country.
    The Presidents comments were in direct response to others States long overdue ‘ legalization of marihuana.

    In the 20s an Anti- weed propaganda film was made. It was called ” Reefer Madness”. Those who smoked weed were depicted as addicts with no sense of morality. About 10 years ago, Showtime did a remake that was very funny. My kid brother, Andy Fickman directed it. In the film my brother mocked the ridiculous notions that weed made people murderous zombies.

    Arguments that possession of marijuana for personal use is dangerous are ridiculous. Probably half the DAOs smoked weed when they were younger. I doubt it did them much harm.

    The real harm is from the laws criminalizing possession of marijuana. We take otherwise law-abiding citizens and we arrest them for smoking weed. We waste taxpayer dollars locking them up.
    We waste valuable court time litigating small weed cases. Worse, we stick young people with criminal convictions for conduct that should not be criminal.

    I understand a DA pronouncing they will enforce the law. But the law needs to change. Possession of small amounts of marijuana needs to be legalized.

    Texas has been redneck long enough. Let’s try a bit of enlightened thinking for a change. That would be novel.

    Robb Fickman

    • “The War on drugs has been a war on the poor and on minori­ties.”

      I’d follow that up with the point that it has been a war FOR the cities. The war on the poor and minorities was in part about reclaiming the “inner-city” for the rich, white constituency. If you look at population statistics across the nation, that war is largely being won: urban centers are becoming whiter, richer, more educated, etc, and the poor and minorities and generally being pushed into the suburbs.

      It’s no coincidence that we are now finally seeing some small relaxation in the drug war in certain areas. The war can be toned down because it is largely won.

  7. Hey, would you let up on whitey? (P.S. As a homeboy, I’m proud of the State of Washington, and not just for their football team) Cannabis trafficking is still a death penalty offense in China, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Singapore. It’s still illegal in Nigeria, Turkey, Chile, Cuba, and six dozen others. While Texas is a lodestar state for cracker culture fear-mongering, there’s nothing particularly Caucasian about ignorance.

  8. Mark….Excellent breakdown of her comments. It is sad that people in authority neglect the facts and spout such falsehood as did Devon Anderson.

  9. But but but but MARK what about the chiiiiiiiiiildrennnn, and don’t you care about your saaaaaaafety?

    Because she does. And she’s going to protect the shit out of you.

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