Ad Hominen debate, or factual debate?

I have been involved with discussing these issues for 4 years on a regular basis, and 20 years on a personal level ever since getting arrested for cannabis for my first time at age 17, and 2 times after that the last time being when I was 19 years old.  So I have three arrests on my record for cannabis.
My second arrest at age 18 was when I got pulled over driving from St. George Utah, to Provo Utah and I was on I-15 in Nephi Utah. A Utah Highway patrol officer pulled me over, gave me a tough time about damaged equipment because my front bumper had a huge ding in it and my left front fender did too. My headlight was broken, but this was during the day, and my car was completely safe. The cop suspected me of possession of some kind of substance, probably because of my appearance or something. I thought for sure that I had nothing on me. But he was able to find a baggy with one small flake of cannabis in it. He wrote me up for damaged equipment and DWI. When I went to court I took a plea from the prosecutor for a reduced charge of misdemeanor possession, which carried less harsh penalties, but I still lost my license for 6 months and I served 2 months in jail. The alternative would have been 6 months in jail and a loss of my license for a year. So the possession charge was much less consequential.

I have years of history in cannabis usage and legal trouble to back my opinion and my facts.

Ive asked Russ many times “Have you ever been arrested for possession of marijuana” and for the first time tonight Russ answered my question and said “No I have not”.    He has not been arrested for DUID either.   He asked me if I have ever had a field sobriety test in the last ten years, and I have not.  In fact I have never had a field sobriety test, not even when I was charged with DWI in Juab County Utah.  They arrested me without any impairment testing at all!

But sometimes this conversation devolves to “You are a patient against legalization” or “You’re in the I gots mine crowd” (Both coined by Russ Belville). But recently Alison Holcomb of the ACLU started making commentary in the same way Russ Belville often does. She recently said in a press release that “There seems to be industry interests at work (against I-502)”.

So with all of these accusations about “greedy patients” and “industry interests”. What about the side of these debates that is supporting unscientific and unreasonable DUID provisions. What is their angle? Do they have “industry interests”?

I recently posted a story about the ACLU who has been around since 1920 (around the time cannabis prohibition started being realized at state levels), and in over 75 years the ACLU has sat on their hands and have done NOTHING about it. But now all of the sudden after they watched (though they didn’t support) Sensible Washington collect hundreds of thousands of signatures on a shoe-string budget they are all of the sudden interested in supporting some distorted and rather troubling reform law? Why did it take them 75+ years to get in on this?

I have always figured that lawyers have a vested interest in keeping prohibition alive, especially criminal defense lawyers like the ones that pay NORML for a listing in their legal directory and such. These lawyers have a commodity, that is criminal charges against potential clients. Without those criminal charges, these lawyers don’t make money. So the less things that are illegal, the less money they make. That is a fact. When cannabis prohibition ends. Those lawyers who have spent 10’s of thousands of dollars in advertising “your marijuana defense lawyer is waiting” in the phone book and on billboards, etc are looking for a different field of work and their advertising dollars are all of the sudden no longer helping them. Criminal defense lawyers would be CRAZY to want criminal penalties on cannabis to go away. Is that not logical?
Or maybe Russ Belville can explain to me how this will benefit these lawyers when criminal penalties end? What career path will they take, when the career that they have built their life’s work around all of the sudden goes away? What then Russ? How about you Alison Holcomb?

If prohibition ends, lots of lawyers will be getting off the gravy train real quick!

You all can talk about “Industry Interests” but I think you are fooling yourselves if you don’t think people can see through the industry interests on your end.

Whether you are a paid activist, or a paid lawyer you DO have industry interests. Russ is a paid activist, and Alison is a paid lawyer, dems the breaks people.

This is one of Russ’s posts about the self centered interests of the activists in Washington:

NORML SHOW LIVE #860 – Patients Against Pragmatism (I-502)

(if you look at the back and forth during prop19, you will see these kind of things posted on the NORML stash roughly every week for about 6 months, where Russ is constantly calling out patients as greedy)

If we are going to talk about how Russ disses people who make money from cannabis, we should also remember the constant posting about Roger Christie’s “Church of Lighter Wallets”.
Russ was terribly offended that Roger was making money from cannabis, even though Roger has ALWAYS fought for full legalization and has NEVER opposed it to my knowledge.

You may want to use if the NORML website that I linked to is not available.  It is available now, but since Russ is no longer with NORML it may be gone someday.  So is a great place to recall history.

Alison Holcomb was quoted many times talking about the greed of the medical industry:
One example is:

“Sadly, the veto of SB 5073 was applauded by some dispensary operators who, coincidentally, also oppose passage of I-502. These individuals benefit from confusion, fear and patchwork medical marijuana enforcement across the state because the mess perpetuates prohibition’s inflation of cannabis prices and drives patients to a smaller number of surviving businesses. ”
So now we have heard what everyone thinks of the other’s motives.  The point is, we all have motives.  But I think some people’s motives are clearer than others.”

For those who have never been arrested for cannabis.  I am surprised and often very happy that they would support legalization.  But then, is it “Legalization” or is it “New Penalties”?  That is the question.
For reference, my arrest record is public, and I found this on, which is a picture of me from almost 2 decades ago, when I got arrested for cannabis possession.

I haven’t sold cannabis since I was around 20 years old.  I am not a greedy MMJ dispenser as Russ or Alison would have you believe about every I-502 opponent.
I am someone who has ACTUALLY suffered at the wrong end of prohibition.  Not some paid activist!

So if we need to have an ad hominem discussion to satisfy everyone’s need to have a pissing match.  Here is my contribution.

As for the facts.  Kari Boiter did a WONDERFUL job presenting the facts and the ACTUAL langauge of the initiative in this hempfest debate:

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