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Cowboy rides through Lodi, pushing legalization of marijuana

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Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 5:14 am, Wed Sep 15, 2010.

While dressed in a cowboy hat, boots and Wrangler jeans, Howard Wooldridge sits on his one-eyed American Paint horse, Misty. He looks like he could be out of a scene from a Western movie. Instead he is waving down traffic at the intersection Cherokee and Kettleman lanes.

Describing himself as a modern-day Paul Revere, Wooldridge, 59, has taken to the streets on horseback to encourage people to vote for Proposition 19, a statewide initiative to legalize pot.

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  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:34 pm on Sat, Sep 18, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Not very constructive.... the argument is either... yes we should... its not bad.... no we shouldn't... its bad.... Are there any intelligent arguments that lay out a plan of action... If the answer is yes we should... then when, where, how it is done is important... If the answer is no we shouldn’t, then what is the plan to take the economic incentive away from the drug sales.... This seems more like a p*ssing match that an attempt to find solutions.

  • Larry Hamilton posted at 6:20 pm on Thu, Sep 16, 2010.

    Larry Hamilton Posts: 53

    Why would anyone care if I would smoke pot? How long have people been using it 1000 years or so. Lets stop the nonsence and vote it in.

  • Joe Dufour posted at 7:25 am on Wed, Sep 15, 2010.

    Joe Dufour Posts: 2

    The smoking of marijuana does not cause a lot of social problems. The PROHIBITION of marijuana causes a lot of social problems. Getting arrested for marijuana, in most cases, stays with you forever. Having a pipe or bong in most states is still a FELONY! In these states, having a vaporizer is a felony even though it is much MUCH healthier for you than smoking. You are subject to many penalties including loss of license (even if you werent driving while high), loss of student financial aid (as we know, not everyone in college is under 21), loss of your children (because for some strange reason, marijuana use is considered child endangerment), subject to property forfeiture and even loss of public housing (yet getting drunk every night is perfectly fine even though it leads to much more crime and violence than marijuana use).

    These are just a few examples of how PROHIBITION adds to the social costs. Not to mention the fact that when you make a popular substance illegal, you give total control to the black market and they can then sell it at an extremely inflated price without paying any tax whatsoever. These are the same people who are causing a lot of violence at the border and in our neighborhoods. You would see this quickly fall in a legal, regulated market.

    Now im sure you will say "what about the health problems?". My response would be what health problems? There is not a single case of cancer caused by marijuana use in the whole world. In fact, study after study shows that marijuana use has a protective effect against lung, throat, mouth and brain cancers ( im sure you know that from reading the studies i linked to before) Cannabis use also does not cause schizophrenia as seen by this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19560900

    Let's look at societal costs for a moment and i will use a study done by the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal. http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/publications/cannabis/bck/7

    "In terms of costs per user: tobacco-related health costs are over $800 per user, alcohol-related health costs are much lower at $165 per user, and cannabis-related health costs are the lowest at $20 per user. On the enforcement side, costs for cannabis are the highest at $328 per user—94% of social costs for cannabis are linked to enforcement. Enforcement costs per user for alcohol are about half those for cannabis ($153), while enforcement costs for tobacco are very low."

    The vast majority of social problems and costs that you relate with marijuana use are simply a product of prohibition and not from the plant itself.

  • Bud Roberts posted at 5:38 am on Wed, Sep 15, 2010.

    Bud Roberts Posts: 1

    Something you people are totally unaware of is that Howard and Misty are "special." Yes, special. They are both members of the Royal Geographic Society's "Long Riders" group, a very small elite group, at that. You see, these two have walked/rode from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back again. Could you do it? Would you know how?

    Howard, himself, is a retired Narcotics Detective. Being retired and knowing the truth, he's spent the last 4-5 years as a Washington Lobbyist for LEAP and COPS. Are you willing to spend every day roaming the halls of Congress? I doubt it.

    You see, howard (and Misty) believe in their mission and move on it which is more that a lot of people do. Sure, he rides a horse. Misty is his "signature." And Misty? You have to remember, she did all this traveling, even today, with one eye.

    Before you start belittling someone, find out a bit about their credentials. You're blabbering shows your stupidity.

  • Malcolm Kyle posted at 2:47 am on Wed, Sep 15, 2010.

    Malcolm Kyle Posts: 2

    The illegal drug trade is now estimated to be somewhere in the region of $400 billion a year ( equal to the defense budget ). This "former land of the free" arrests 1.5 million of it's citizens a year for drug law violations, half for marijuana alone, The majority of the 2.2 million inmates in the USA are incarcerated because of this insane drug war (Prohibition 2) at a staggering cost to all taxpayers and trauma to their families.

    Prisons have been filled to capacity. Violent criminals, murderers, rapists and child molesters are released early to create space for these so called drug offenders. Half of court trial time and also a huge chunk of police officers time is pointlessly wasted. Enormous untaxed profits from illegal drugs fund multi-national criminal empires which bribe law enforcement authorities and spread corruption faster than a raging bush fire. These laws take violent criminals and turn them into multi-billionaires whilst corrupting even entire countries such as Columbia, Panama, Mexico and Afghanistan. The extreme violence on and south of the border is drug gangs fighting for turf in this lucrative business. The drug laws are also funding the Taliban whose illegal opium profits allow it to buy weapons and pay it's fighters more than $300 a month, compared with the $14 paid to an Afghan policemen.

    The definition of insanity is great folly, madness, extreme senselessness, lunacy. The present drug laws cause all of the above and may therefor be deemed insane.

    There will be many of you who probably fear a theoretical free-for-all, but that overlooks one major point: That's exactly the situation we have at the moment. Sure, there are laws against the possession and sale of these drugs, but they have no impact on actually restricting either one. When we allow such drugs to remain in the criminal market, they finance the activities of street punks, violent gangs, drug lords and terrorists. That's why there is now such an urgent need to legalize, which will not only allow us to properly regulate these substances, but also strip the illegal cartels of their main income.

    So please consider the following very carefully : It wasn't the alcohol that caused the surge in crime and homicide during alcohol prohibition, it was prohibition itself. That's why many of us find it hard to believe that the same thing is not happening now. We clearly have a prohibition fueled violent crime problem. A huge number of these violent crimes are perpetrated by criminal syndicates and gangs who use the proceeds form the sales of illegal substances to further even more of their criminal activities.

    Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare. We have to regulate and we have to do it now!

  • Matthew Lorentzen posted at 12:15 am on Wed, Sep 15, 2010.

    Matthew Lorentzen Posts: 5

    Mr. Dufour:
    I hear your opinion. The bottom line, however, is that marijuana is a drug that causes many social problems to our society everyday. These problems would still be present even if it were legal. Even though there MAY be some limited evidence to show a medical benefit to certain compounds of marijuana, these benefits can easily be realized through the use of legitimate pharmaceuticals that are derived from cannabis. When realized properly (under a doctor's care and with FDA approved pharmaceuticals) there simply is no need at all to smoke marijuana. Additionally, medical use of marijuana is already legal in California (even though even that is not truly medically necessary). But Prop 19 seeks to completely legalize marijuana for anybody that wants to smoke it, such as for pure recreational use and without the smoker having any medical need for marijuana.

  • Joe Dufour posted at 10:44 pm on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Joe Dufour Posts: 2

    @Matthew... those are not "scientific studies"... those are pamphlets from the California Narcotics Officers Association... you know, the people who benefit from marijuana remaining illegal. If you want some REAL science, here you go:


    there is just a small sampling... there are many, MANY more where those came from. regardless of what you might believe, cannabis has been tested a lot. There have been over 22,500 studies on this plant, yet all you can find is a pamphlet from cops? Please learn what a scientific study is Matthew.

    @alice, bigotry and ignorance gets you nowhere...

  • Tracy Matheson posted at 12:39 pm on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Tracy Matheson Posts: 9

    My Cowboy would be at odds as to why this guy is horseback for this purpose. Some things people do.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 11:28 am on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    They're just telling you what you want to hear...

    Actually what I want to hear are alternatives. I have always felt drugs are destructive and do avoid even RX drugs if possible... but I think there should be better solutions to reduce drug dependency and use.... decrease violence and take profit motive out of the equation if possible... I do not know the answer... but I think current system is broken and needs to be fixed... any ideas?

  • Matthew Lorentzen posted at 9:38 am on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Matthew Lorentzen Posts: 5

    Don't believe what the pro-marijuana advocates tell you. They're just telling you what you want to hear. Read the scientific research and look at info such as:
    By the way, if the guy in this article was a cop for 18 years and never received a call with someone complaining about marijuana and the people it destroys, etc..., he's either full of horse manure or he smokes so much dope it's all a hazy memory to him! Marijuana and its effects are destroying lives every day!

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:19 am on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Alice, I have concerns about more “pot heads" as well, but I think it is not good enough to leave it like that. I am not advocating legalization of drugs, but this article does make good points about our society and the consequences of drugs. Do you have any thoughts of a way to take the economic incentive away from drug dealers and how to achieve less violence? I do not have answers. I wish I did

  • Alice Dodson posted at 8:41 am on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Alice Dodson Posts: 20

    Looks like this "cowboy" already smoked this stuff. Yes, by all means legalized this stuff so we can have even more pot heads running around. Just what we need.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:32 am on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    There is a vast array of uses for industrial hemp. Although this is kind of off topic, the public does need to be educated on the uses and the history of industrial hemp. But then this education could be counterintuative. Of the hundreds of hemp species only a handfull get you high. The species that get you high will always fetch more money. And to the average Joe it's hard to tell the difference between industrial hemp and the hemp that get's you high growing out in the field.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:22 am on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Now this is topic worth consideration, thought and contemplation. With the drug control problems and violence resulting, something needs to change. I do not know if this is the answer, but I want to hear more about possible solutions and ideas that would help our society.

  • Jillian Galloway posted at 3:36 am on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Jillian Galloway Posts: 1

    $113 billion is spent on marijuana every year in the U.S., and because of the federal prohibition *every* dollar of it goes straight into the hands of criminals. Far from preventing people from using marijuana, the prohibition instead creates zero legal supply amid massive and unrelenting demand. We are all responsible for the consequences of this policy!

    According to the ONDCP, at least sixty percent of Mexican drug cartel money comes from selling marijuana in the U.S., they protect this revenue by brutally torturing, murdering and dismembering countless innocent people.

    If we can STOP people using marijuana then we need to do so NOW, but if we can't then we must legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults with after-tax prices set too low for the cartels to match. One way or the other, we have to force the cartels out of the marijuana market and eliminate their highly lucrative marijuana incomes - no business can withstand the loss of sixty percent of its revenue!

    To date, the cartels have amassed more than 100,000 "foot soldiers" and operate in 230 U.S. cities, and it's now believed that the cartels are "morphing into, or making common cause with, what would be considered an insurgency" (Secretary of State Clinton, 09/09/2010). The longer the cartels are allowed to exploit the prohibition the more powerful they'll get and the more our own personal security will be put in jeopardy.

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