We're just ignorant.* I'm sorry, but that's my opinion after reviewing the Channel 8 tapes of the Denver City Council Safety Committee meeting (Aug 15) and the subsequent Legislative meeting (Aug 20). (Aside: This is the kind of work that Lisa Jones of the short-lived blog DearDenver used to do. Lisa ... come back, we need you. I'm not sure I can stomach it!) Regarding the Lowest Priority Marijuana Initiative, here's what City Council President Michael B. Hancock had to say last Monday, Aug 20.
"...and for someone to come out and call us closed-minded bigots, is absolutely, flies in the face of the values and integrity these people carry every day to serve the people of Denver. But it also, I think, goes to speak to the kind of character that the people who propose, who are supporting, at least, are starting this initiative, not the people who signed the petition, but the initiators of this process, carry with them every day."Man, what are you saying? City Council members are full of high values and integrity and the initiators of this initiative are what ... come on, just spit it out.
"I just want to issue a challenge to those who are pushing this initiative. I hope that you will go down, to places that you've probably never been before, and spend time with the children who have been neglected abandoned and left behind by drug-addicted parents, who today we as a society are responsible for caring for. The only thing they want, is for the option to be loved, and if you just follow the trends or the pattern of their parents and their addiction, I would almost guarantee you'll find that this marijuana which is a gateway drug to their current addiction, lead them to harsher addictions. That is why I stand on against this sort of initiative. I've seen it first hand, experienced it first hand with family members, and I've seen it in communities where children and their livelihoods have been absolutely devastated...by drugs. And so I'm absolutely opposed to the use of drugs."OMG, here we go again with the long-since repudiated GATEWAY DRUG theory. Smoke reefer and you'll soon be smoking crack, you know, as in cause and effect. From Wikipedia:
"In December 2002, a study by RAND regarding the cannabis gateway theory was published in the British journal Addiction, a peer-reviewed scientific publication. "We've shown that the marijuana gateway effect is not the best explanation for the link between marijuana use and the use of harder drugs," said Andrew Morral, associate director of RAND's Public Safety and Justice unit and lead author of the study. "An alternative, simpler and more compelling explanation accounts for the pattern of drug use you see in this country, without resort to any gateway effects. While the gateway theory has enjoyed popular acceptance, scientists have always had their doubts. Our study shows that these doubts are justified."See Hancock for yourself: *Please note: Saying someone is ignorant is not to say that they are stupid. I'm merely saying that they are uninformed, or ignorant, of the facts. Outdated prohibitionist arguments like "gateway drug", no matter what your individual anecdotal experience may be, have been disproven by the facts. Council members should take care to educate themselves as to the facts before they announce that they are going to educate the public at the upcoming hearing, lest they appear ignorant.