Coleman’s press secretary responds to marijuana open letter

June 27th, 2007 – 5:25 PM by D.J. Tice

LeRoy Coleman, Press Secretary for Senator Norm Coleman, has issued the following statement in response to an open letter on a website criticizing Coleman’s position on marijuana policy in light of his own use of the drug while in college:

“There’s nothing normal about NORML, but, that’s really not the point. It is a well known fact that years ago, as a college student, he smoked marijuana. Years later, with the hindsight of maturity, he realizes that it was a dangerous time in his life and could well have had seriously negative consequences on his health and on those around him.

“The impact of drugs today — the level of poisons in marijuana on the streets today — and drugs like crack and meth — are killing our children and destroying communities. The adults who lead NORML today should be joining the Senator, and those who now know the dangers of drugs, to do the responsible thing to prevent legalization of drugs of any kind that could harm the lives and future of our children.”

23 Responses to "Coleman’s press secretary responds to marijuana open letter"

Bill Prendergast says:

June 27th, 2007 at 6:32 pm

Moral: Don’t smoke pot, kids. You might end up as the conservative GOP Senator for Minnesota.

parthian says:

June 27th, 2007 at 7:59 pm

“you might end up as a conservative” GOoPer senator.

Ha-ha, and then it’s a trifle embarrassing! Ah well, hypocrisy is the GOoPer stock in trade.

Cash N. Carey says:

June 27th, 2007 at 8:02 pm

Maybe the dems should smoke a bit more – they might not be so angry all the time.

john sherman says:

June 27th, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Why do you think they call him dope?

Bill Prendergast says:

June 27th, 2007 at 9:33 pm

The problem with Norm smoking pot is, as we all know, that it inevitably leads to harder stuff. He starts out smoking joints and burning incense to get the smell out, and then before you know it he’s into the harder, mind-altering stuff, like cocaine, LSD, being Bush’s Election Campaign Chief in Minnesota…

It’s clear that Norm’s head is in a very bad place as a result of his druggie days. Who knows how far he could have gone, if he hadn’t have messed with that s–t. He might have turned himself into something useful. What a waste of a human being.

O.T. says:

June 27th, 2007 at 10:05 pm

Bill thinks Norm is waste of a human being……hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahaaha… ooh, that hurt I laughed so hard. Maybe they should cover Obama’s cocaine use some more.

Justin C. Adams says:

June 27th, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Having been endorsed by NORML, I take exception with the statement that there’s nothing normal about NORML.

The “level of poisons” quote is very, very misleading. Poison is thought by most to be arsnic, cyanide, something which has an acute effect, essentiall something that can make a person ill.

Dan savage recently pointed out that the best way to measure the dangerousness of a particular drug is to look at the ratio of the effective dose to the lethal dose. He also pointed out that there is no lethal dose of Marijuana, so it is by far the safest drug by this measure, much more so than alcohol.

But back to poisons. As the drug has no lethal dose, the kinds of poisons we’re talking about primarially are carbon monoxide, various substances which are known to California to be carcinogenic, and histimines.

Cigarettes and Alcohol are both much more poisonous, yet legal and (important for my position) taxed. Additionally, mary jane might not be just for glaucoma and chemo anymore. It has been in use in eastern medicine for millenia, and recent research showed it might have an application in treating alzheimers.

And to the last part, that marijuana is destroying our communities and killing our children, this is utter nonsense.

Supply and Demand. It is not the drugs but the prohibition thereof (though dangerous drugs are dangerous) which destroys our communities and kills our children.

The prohibition requires those who trade in marijuana to be anti-social by definition. A market will exist whenever there is supply and demand. By forcing the market underground, you remove 1) state sanctioned protection of property, 2) merchants of good charachter and 3) the ability to levy an excise tax by which to offset the costs to society.

Finally, Prendergast, the argument that marijuana always leads to harder stuff (without regards to whether Sen. Colman should’ve layed off the LSD) is a textbook example of how statistics can be used to prove anything.

The data that “proves” this point is that if you ask an addict of a hard drug if they’ve smoked pot, they say yes, 60% or so for speed and coke, 85-90 for psychedilic drugs.

However, if you were to ask these same people whether they had eaten iced cream, you would realize that ice cream causes heroin addiction.

Justin C. Adams says:

June 27th, 2007 at 10:24 pm

I would be interested to know whether a Sen. Franken would be more realistic about the drug problems our nation has.

parthian says:

June 28th, 2007 at 8:24 am

Thanks for the info, justin.

And I’m fairly sure Bill is being sarcastic and satirical with his “waste” riff on the absurdities and hokum of the conservative drug “war”, which of course is lost on law n’ order literalists like OT.

Les says:

June 28th, 2007 at 11:36 am

“the absurdities and hokum of the conservative drug “war””
—-
As usual, parthian spouts his rightophobic half truths.

While the term “War on Drugs” may have first been used by Nixon, it was Johnson, a true blue defeatocrat, who built the army for the “War”

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/cron/

O.T. says:

June 29th, 2007 at 9:46 am

Parthian on the other hand is a waste of a human being.

erickhighum says:

June 29th, 2007 at 11:39 am

The main problem with the candidates running for office, and in office, in this case as Senator from Minnesota, is the blatant hypocrisy of their position statements vs their historical use of marijuana. And the people can see right through the hypocrisy. Their are plenty of reasons to support reform of marijuana laws including saving millions of dollars by reducing the number of nonviolent offenders in our jails, thereby freeing up resources to allow our police and courts to work harder on arresting and incarcerating truly violent criminals; and growing the plant for its oxygen to combat carbon emission levels, for its seeds to make oil, for its fiber to make textiles, and for its therpeutic effects on cancer patients. Marijuana was not always illegal in this country, in fact its history is a great example of powerful special interests passing a law to preserve their industries (oil, textiles, pharmaceticals). So the politicians running for the Senate should be honest with us about their use of marijuana, and visionary in calling for its re-legalization.

pizann0 says:

June 29th, 2007 at 12:40 pm

Well, well, well–if it is not Justin Adams of the Boulder, CO,–President of NORML of Boulder.

First of al there is nothing NORML about you. I remember when Colorado was voting on the possession of a small amount of marijuana when I was out in Boulder. In addition, you were one of the cheerleaders going to the high schools around Boulder talking about the legalization of marijuana.

Second, who is Dan savage, who recently pointed out “that the best way to measure the dangerousness of a particular drug is to look at the ratio of the effective dose to the lethal dose”? The Savage person that you mentioned said “…that there is no lethal does of marijuana, so it is by far the safest drug by this measure, much more than alcohol; a drug that “does not have a lethal dose” does not make it by far the safest drug.

Marijuana users experience the same health problems as tobacco smokers, such as bronchitis, emphysema, and bronchial asthma. Smoking weed does impair sensory imagery, create rapidly fluctuating emotions, a flight of fragmentary thoughts with disturbed associations, an altered sense of self-identity, impaired memory, and a dulling of attention despite an illusion of heightened insight. High doses may result in image distortion, a loss of personal identity, and fantasies and hallucinations. That is from the THC.

Your comment that “marijuana is destroying our communities and killing our children is utter nonsense” is rotted trash coming from the thoughts of a self-righteous, self-absorbed memory impaired rotted brain.

Your right about the supply and demand issue. Nevertheless, do you really think that a drug dealer is going to be cost effective in just growing small quantities of marijuana? The drug dealer does not enjoy smuggling large amounts of marijuana form Mexico. It is about profit. The drug dealer knows about supply and demand as you do, but you cover-up the fact that the Mexican drug cartels (aside from growing weed), grow large fields of pot to be distributed in smaller legal amounts the US. How do you think the pot fields are fertilized in Mexico? The pot fields are fertilized with the blood of innocent people who get in the way of the supply and demand of weed.

Your comment that “prohibition requires those who trade in marijuana to be antisocial by definition” is a result of your impaired judgment. Being antisocial does not mean you are breaking the law. When drug distributors buy the “product” to be distributed in smaller amounts, they carry large amounts of cash. When you carry large amounts of cash for these “transactions,” the distributor/buyer carries a gun, more than likely a gun that is not registered. If the deal goes bad, there is shooting. How many drug deals have gone bad where innocent people have been shot and killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time?

In addition, synthetic THC, also known under the substance name dronabinol, is available as a prescription drug (under the trade name Marinol) in several countries including the U.S., The Netherlands, and Germany. In the United States, Marinol is a Schedule III drug, available by prescription, considered to be non-narcotic and to have a low risk of physical or mental dependence. Efforts to get cannabis rescheduled as analogous to Marinol have not succeeded thus far, though a 2002 petition has been accepted by the DEA.

Lastly, you are debating the effects about the consumption of the “product.” What about its production, and distribution fatalities? I don’t know in recent years where someone was killed producing/distributing alcohol or cigarettes?

Go back to Boulder.

Jay says:

June 29th, 2007 at 1:46 pm

erickhighum: “The main problem with the candidates running for office, and in office, in this case as Senator from Minnesota, is the blatant hypocrisy of their position statements vs their historical use of marijuana. And the people can see right through the hypocrisy.”

I consider this to be a matter of growing up, not hipocracy. I stole candy from a store when I was a little kid (my mom made me bring it back and apologize). That doesn’t constitute any hipocracy on my part when I voice my favor of laws today against theft. In college I was foolish enough to get tagged for a DUI. That doesn’t mean that I should somehow be in favor of driving under the influence today, or not supporting penalties for those who do. Who among us with children would advocate that they do everything that we did when we were teenagers? We grew up, we (hopefully) know better now. No hipocracy there.

If he was routinely sitting down to a fish bowl of blow every Saturday night right now, that would be a different scenerio.

O.T. says:

June 29th, 2007 at 2:13 pm

EXCELLENT POST JAY!!

Justin C. Adams says:

June 29th, 2007 at 5:31 pm

My goodness…

In the first place, I am not the Justin Adams to whom you refer. I have been to boulder, but only for the amount of time it took to drive through.

It borders on defamation for you to call me a cheerleader in schools for marijuana legalization – basically you’re charging me in the court of public opinion with the same offense as Socrates – corruption of the young.

That’s really not necessary, the personal attack.

Dan Savage has a syndicated love and sex advise column out of Seattle, which is carried in the City Pages. You really haven’t heard of Savage Love?

I was paraphrasing what Mr. Savage said, and did not indicate it was a direct quotation. You can probably find the actual quote if you look for it. It was 6/21/07.

The people who read this blog took health class, by and large. Only a very stupid person could conclude that it is healthy to incinirate a substance and inhale the smoke. I did not say that it was healthy. You have misconstrued my words – in no way have I advocated marijuana use. I have only argued for more sound public policy.

You are very angry, which leads me to conclude that you may have been effected by a drug related crime. I am sorry if this is the case. I do not mean to be insensitive.

You can really use blood to fertilize Marijuana?

You make my point for me. Gambling should not be prohibited because it is a huge incentive which creates organized crime. The trade in alcohol is not dominated by Al Capone types these days. Violent gangsters should be locked up for being violent gangsters.

Being anti-social doesn’t mean breaking the law, but breaking the law means being anti-social.

Again you make my point. The state sanctioned protection of property – did you read that part? That means that the police aren’t going to help you and you must help yourself. If you remove the prohibition and restore civil protection, then drug deals won’t go bad as they will simply be sales.

I am not a doctor, but I know that there are synthetics which are available and are becoming available. There would be more if it were not for LBJ and Nixon.

Well, there is the odd fatality in the production and distribution of many commodities, buildings, coal, transportation, many areas. And again, as I said above, my central point in the original post, the fatalities are a result of the markets being forced underground.

We know this as a fact as a result of the prohibition of Alcohol. Lots of fatalities while it was illegal. None after. You yourself say.

Again, only passed through Boulder between Estes Park and Glacier National. Sorry, wrong guy. But thanks for the complements.

A little help, Mr. Tice, perhaps?

“rotted trash coming from the thoughts of a self-righteous, self-absorbed memory impaired rotted brain. ”

Not really civil.

“you were one of the cheerleaders going to the high schools around Boulder talking about the legalization of marijuana.”

As I say, corrupting the youth, come on.

“is a result of your impaired judgment.”

I’m basically being defamed as a result of mistaken identity in a public forum.

Justin C. Adams says:

June 29th, 2007 at 5:37 pm

I have a long response in moderation, but I must say, I do not take too kindly. I am not the person you say I am, have not done the things you say I have, and while your post was substantitive, it was not so much civil, and certainly not good humored.

So, while I retain my civility, I too have lost my good humor.

Justin C. Adams says:

June 29th, 2007 at 6:02 pm

A little help, Mr. Tice, perhaps?

“rotted trash coming from the thoughts of a self-righteous, self-absorbed memory impaired rotted brain. ”

Not really civil.

“you were one of the cheerleaders going to the high schools around Boulder talking about the legalization of marijuana.”

As I say, corrupting the youth, come on.

“is a result of your impaired judgment.”

I’m basically being defamed as a result of mistaken identity in a public forum.

Justin C. Adams says:

June 29th, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Ok, can’t get it through the filter. I guess I’ll wait. It’s double posted as I edited to take out big words like defamation… but it didn’t help. Might be the reference to the column in the city pages.

pizann0 says:

June 29th, 2007 at 7:46 pm

Justin C. Adams
Candidate for State Representative District 58a Minnesota
November 2006 General Election

Candidate Profile: “I’m running because I’m fed up with politicians who talk about family values but deliver nothing of value to regular families.”

Make sure you tell your regular kids about the wonderful effects of weed.

D.J. Tice says:

June 29th, 2007 at 11:44 pm

The rebuttal post Justic C. refers to above has now reached this thread. And as noted in a subsequent post, I have removed several comments that constituted personal attacks with no compensating substance. I urge all commenters to debate vigorously but respectfully.

Justin C. Adams says:

June 30th, 2007 at 8:56 am

I’m not sure of your point, there. My son will be educated about the dangers of pot, and cigarettes, and alcohol, and driving and of being impolite.

My quote (thanks by the way) is a statement about regressive taxation and the waste of the 2005 session on subjects like gay marriage, while in the end all that happened was a baseball stadium for Mr. Pohlad’s family.

My position is that instead of this, the legislature should return something of value, such as healthcare, education, or public safety to regular families.

As the prohibition of marijuana undermines public safety for the reasons I argued above and which you have not bothered to rebut, I do not think the prohibition returns values to Minnesota families. Additionally, the revenue we could capture from taxing this substance could be used to return some value (we could finance universal single payer healthcare with the revenue) to our families.

Additionally, the prohibition is very expensive in terms of enforcement and corrections budgets. This bleeds away existing tax revenue from other programs which would help regular families. We could even fund drug abuse prevention and rehabilition programs with this money…

This is not the same as saying marijuana use is valuable to regular families.

All I’m saying is that the current policy doesn’t work. It was known that it wouldn’t work when it was enacted. Its results have been horrible. Politicians who talk about family values, Norm, for example, trot out this war on drugs and pretend it helps our families, and this just is not true.

If you’d like to advocate the opposite point, I’d invite you to do so. Since you seemingly can’t, though, you’ve taken it on yourself to attack me personally, to challenege my credibility, in a hope to discredit the arguement by shooting the messanger.

Even if you succeeded at this, my points would still be valid.

Justin C. Adams says:

June 30th, 2007 at 9:52 am

Robert, are you by any chance related to the Muppets guy?

This is a place where open-minded critical thinkers of all political persuasions encounter information and arguments that both support and challenge their preconceptions. The goal is not to eliminate differences but to narrow and clarify them. We begin with a bedrock agreement that the search for insight and clarity is important, serious - and fun.

We ask commenters to be civil and substantive and, if possible, good humored. We reserve the right to delete comments that disregard this request.

Follow The Big Question on Twitter Do you use Twitter? Follow The Big Question.