INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to BobKat's Lair ®

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A lair is a home; A castle; A burrow; A haven; a place where one should feel safe. To ensure our safety especially in one's lair, we have laws. And some laws cause more harm than good!

This is a good place. There's lots to see and do. It's apolitical while providing non-partisan news about politics, which we can't escape.

Check out my aquarium and feed the fish; check out my post(s), my favorite media list and the many links to websites that promote what I feel is important.

Time for the awakening...

That is what my goal is here... to present topics which highlight the plight of people. Why, 2000 years after Caesar Augustus, are we still a people being hurt? With all our advancements in technology, medicine, communications, why are we a people still being hurt? Human nature hasn't changed much, but that doesn't mean it isn't time now for that to happen, and it is undoubtedly happening - hard to see however. This blog is part of that change and a witness to it.

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My blog is dedicated to my family, friends, mentors, and all others whom I am grateful to, and love(d).

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The links I post here, sites like the ASPCA, NORML and LEAP, do not sponsor me. I am personally supporting these sites by posting their links. The links are genuine, and will bring you to the real place. I'd recommend that if you like a site that you've linked to from here, or from another blog or website, please verify the site is legitimate prior to providing personal information or money.

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NOTE: Nothing included in my Blog is intended to advocate behavior illicit in nature, or in violation of man-made laws where harm to a living person, animal or the environment is involved. Person's under 17 probably shouldn't be here, though there is far worse out there. Just saying.


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Bobkat's Lair ® : ©2009-2014

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CURRENT RESCUE OF THE MONTH: AVAAS: Elephants..https://secure.avaaz.org/en/hours_to_save_elephants_usa/?cwOwQbb
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September 05, 2014

THE BASIC, REAL LIFE FACTS ABOUT MARIJUANA

Over time, my empirical understanding of marijuana has sharpened to a near point of total clarity. With legalization for both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana in two states now, and persons over 21 buying marijuana, it rather sucks for the rest of us, given that in a recent post I highlighted how in many states law enforcement has increased it's arrest rate of marijuana offenders. The fact remains... within the United States of America marijuana is legal for use in at least two states as long as your 21 or older. The City of Portland Maine also legalized possession of 2 ounces of marijuana by adults and the State of Maine will vote on legalization in 2014. I believe it's likely to become a reality, as it should - Maine is the Vacation Land in the northeast.

With these facts, although I may have tackled the topics previously, I've realized what is not being said, and that is what exactly does marijuana do to me? Why would I use it and why is it suddenly safer than alcohol?

First off, what about the fact that it makes some people paranoid?

Lets start with some pics I've collected from free sources on the internet (if not free to use please let me know):







 Would you want your ten year old child smoking marijuana?

None are what I'd call relatively relevant - all are fantasy of sorts. The "No To Drugs", without drugs our society would be mostly dead. And to have a picture with assorted illicit drugs together is a generalization, and they don't measure up. As for marijuana and children, the legal age recommended is 21, like alcohol, so like alcohol, safeguards are in place.

Lets take the last question first. Why are some people paranoid when smoking marijuana?

1) If your parents and you were subject to arrest as in committing a violent crime, wouldn't you be paranoid? Yes, I know that is a cliche by now, but the truth is, science. There was a study i watched a couple of years ago in which a woman volunteered to be a subject in an experiment. She was injected with pure THC. And guess what... she became extremely withdrawn, paranoid and very uncomfortable. Why? Because that is what pure THC does. The marijuana plant however contains many other cannabinoids.  The most important is Cannabidiol (CBD). It doesn't get you high. What it does is it balances the effects of the THC, making one mellow and relaxed. It can stop seizures. But it alone, just like THC alone isn't the answer. And that's why the whole plant, the flowers in particular are useful and beneficial. A pharmaceutical cannot replace the plant.

2) Why are people arrested for marijuana if it's not dangerous?

Good question, terrible answer: Or should I say a logical answer that prohibitionists don't want to hear? Marijuana was made illegal in 1937 as a knee jerk reaction in Washington. There was no scientific basis for making it illegal, only fantasies. I've already covered all that in previous posts.

It was President Nixon in 1970 - 71 that caused the real harm. He began the War on Drugs with marijuana as the centerpiece of his idea. Ironically several states had begun reducing penalties for marijuana around that time... NY for one.

Nixon and then First Wife Nancy Reagan solidified opposition and fear of marijuana... the "stepping stone drug" - which is fiction.

People are arrested for the same reason people were arrested as witches in the 1600's. It's also a way to enforce conformity within the society.

3) What if I have marijuana available to me but I can't handle the feelings?

Give it a break. Bear in mind marijuana has a tendency to draw one's inner-self out. That can be difficult to deal with during early use. Eventually, the hope would be dealing with those feelings, seeking mental heath visits, and getting one's act together would be achieved. Marijuana is meditative... it's not an intoxicant. That's why artists in particular enjoy it.

4) I really think buying marijuana from the "black market" is harming me - I have no choice in what I buy, no knowledge of it's purity, and since it's always different, I end up stuck with something that's not quite what I want. 

So true... Imagine buying tomatoes on the black market,? In England during the 1600's this was a fact. Tomatoes are red like the devil. Sir Walter Raleigh was incarcerated for possession of tomatoes. Hard to find the story, but it's true.

For persons with medical conditions the black market can be especially bad. It may yield no benefits or only marginal benefits - that's not useful if you're using it to alleviate a medical condition; though on occasion one scores what works; but wow, that's America and it's political views about medicine!

5) I feel really shy when using marijuana.

Of course you may feel shy. There seems to be a common misconception that using marijuana is like using alcohol, or even tobacco (as a social enhancer and relaxing). The later is a completely different plant altogether, one that does have serious carcinogenic properties, is seriously addictive and has zero medical value - rather sounds like a Schedule One drug now, doesn't it? 

Marijuana, since it's more a meditative "drug", one which can bring one's subconscious feelings to the surface, may bring to the surface one's feelings of shyness. Again, seek mental health assistance or lay off the pot for awhile if you can't find a way to cope with being shy. Unlike alcohol, marijuana doesn't cause one to feel uninhibited, but rather the opposite. It has a tendency to make one much more cautious and if by nature you're shy it only goes to reason you may feel more of the shyness while using it. Overtime the hope would be to work through those feelings, cannabis can be enlightening and helpful.

6) I heard President Obama once used marijuana... how did he become President?

Yes, I was taught as a young person that "marijuana use would destroy my mind". It didn't. Quite the opposite in fact.

And yes, President Obama is reputed to have been a "Guru of Marijuana". 

This article by the NY Times puts things into a perspective that answers your question:



The book, by David Maraniss of The Washington Post, suggests one can be young, as the President was then, and still be President of the United States. "As a young man growing up in Hawaii, President Obama frequently smoked marijuana with a group of friends..." he says in his book.

Available at Amazon.com


Fact is... marijuana doesn't make one intoxicated, it's nothing like alcohol or tobacco and it's best if like tomatoes you're able to grow your own, to do what you want and need. 

The fact is that President Nixon, by enacting the Scheduling Act and creating the DEA, created a Catch-22. It's similar to research into stem-cells. Federal law bans such research, at least with federal grants. But it also stigmatizes such research as forbidden. The established fact the federal government stands on regarding research into benefits of marijuana is that there are none. Period. End of story. Go away...

What makes the whole thing so ludicrous is it obviously isn't working. It is making the US a better place. It doesn't protect children when their parents are hauled away. When guns are drawn and pointed and the police are supposed to be there to protect them.

It simply doesn't make sense for thousands of reasons, but simply put, if a person with PTSD feels relief why is that unacceptable?  Ban aspirin? It can cause ulcers.

Facts are marijuana is not for everyone, but then that goes for peanut butter too. And during early use, subconscious feelings may rise to one's surface... there mostly to observe, though hard to know at the time, don't let it scare you - it's a reflection of you. Not as in a drug that reduces inhibitions, but rather as a "drug" that that heightens self-awareness.

The human body itself manufactures cannabinoids... there are receptors throughout the human body and they act like lubricants, killing off cancer cells, letting the brain process things more intimately.

Heck... theories it lowers IQ... why is it pre-marijuana I was like a C student in HS, a C student in college my first two years and then after using marijuana my GPA gradually grew, until my final years at a med school when I graduated, magna cum lauda, with a 3.9 GPA?

The final fact is, like with alcohol prohibition, the White House should move fast and legalize marijuana. De-Schedule it as an herb, which by law isn't restricted. Imagine going to jail for dandelions in your yard - which can be made into a tasty wine. 


This is the future and it's better than the past:

AlterNET Link: http://www.alternet.org/drugs/8-exotic-marijuana-infused-delectables-put-simple-pot-brownies-shame?akid=12202.1116370.x2noAF&rd=1&src=newsletter1018096&t=8

7) What about the chidren?

Dumb question as there's plenty worse out there than marijuana.

August 30, 2014

THE TRUE STORY OF GERMAINE ECHO

Her real name was Diane, but what does that matter? What matters is the story, the memories are important to me, still today. Especially today as I will be turning 60 within a week and I met Germaine back in the mid 1970s.

It is very difficult to describe what it was like back in 1975 when I was around 21 years old. Things didn't turn out like I had expected, not at all. In fact, it wasn't until about a year earlier that I got a clue as to my future.

I feel like a broken record, one not really broken, when I remind my readers I was clueless until I got stoned on marijuana. That first time was an epiphany for me and I wasted no time at all in pursuing the opportunities suddenly felt compelled to achieve - you know how they say "it's good to chase your dreams"? Fact is I didn't know I even had dreams. Waking ones, that is.

I moved away from home, got a job at the local community college as a custodian; was nearly finished earning a college degree, but put it on hold; sold my 1969 Ford Mustang - to a high-school bully, who totaled it within a week of buying it from me. I took walks through the forest called the 100 acre lot, part of the community college and enchanted. I began to write a lot, eventually majoring in English and getting a BA.

My mother more or less had a psychological break-down at the new me... and after existing the public school system and years of being bullied, I didn't need my mother taking over that role when I was entering my twenties, but she did.

How does this relate to Germaine? Oh, it does. Germaine was forbidden fruit. Germaine was older than me, though not by much. I was 23 and she was 26. She wore a brown leather vest, seemed French, had short brown hair and a slender figure. She was both tough and vulnerable. A student at the college whom I met one day in the college cafeteria.

But first, my daily routine, which varied somewhat.

I worked the 3 - 11 shift at the college - working at the Fine Arts Center as "the custodian". I cleaned the top floor and half of the basement floor and did all the building maintenance and technical work. After work I would hit the bars - being on a bicycle limited my range, and I usually favored a bar called "The Puzzle Lounge".  I always carried a 6 x 9 inch notebook with me and often wrote, having a beer and what we called pizza subs, that I have found no where else and I simply loved them. I went home between 12 and 2 AM, slept until 9 AM, and was up. My first stop was generally the college cafeteria.

This was my routine between late 1974 and 1978. I met Germaine sometime around 1977. I was sitting in the cafeteria reading and she stopped at my table where I was alone. I looked up mesmerized by her appearance: exotic, French, tough, soft, attractive, slender, tomboyish, mature, focused. On my eyes as he said, "what striking blue eyes you have".

Did I mention her brown leather vest? I asked her if she'd like to join me and she said yes. I was delighted. The conversation that ensued was not what I expected. I remember we talked about books - she was well read and smart. I asked her what she was taking at the college, what her major was? She answered, "Register Nurse".

I was surprised, but said, "wow, that's intensive".

She said, "yes, it is rather".

"How'd you choose that major?" I asked.

She didn't answer right away. She was silent. Then she turned to me and said, "I plan to kill myself and want to learn exactly how."

Stunned? I was. I took it it in stride and I said, " I sure hope not".

We did become friends and we helped each other a lot. It seems like a lot of time passed but it didn't really. Although having sex with her was a mutually known desire and we would joke about it, it seemed it would never happen.

Until a Friday night in December 1977, I was alone in the FACE building and there was a loud knock on one of the 4 locked doors. I answered the door and it was Germaine, standing in the doorway with snow falling and melting as it touched her. I looked at her and she looked at me. She asked, "do you want to fuck?"

Yeah we did, and it was great sex, in one of the college classrooms with a couch. A memorable experience, to say the least. It wasn't meant to be just a one nighter. But it turned out that way.

At the time I was literally being driven out of town. My mother was in melt-down and my continued work as what she saw as a janitor in town, who had illicit sex with women was more than she could handle. My father told me, "the town isn't big enough for both of you - you should move".

I lost touch with Germaine and moved to Arizona in June of 1979. It was a disaster... a long story involving my mother. I ended up moving back home for about 9 months and then back out on my own.

Although Germaine may have thought I'd forgotten her, I hadn't. I found out she worked nights and went to visit her. I found her behind the counter, said "Hi, I've missed you". Yes, after all that time perhaps that sounds lame but life got in the way, it literally did.

There is much about life and the human condition that puzzle me. But coincidence is one thing that puzzles me the most.

When I said Hi she said hi in return, but then said, "I'm going to kill myself tonight".

I begged her not to of course, apologizing for being absent, giving her my phone number, come over and we'll talk... you wonder what to say? You wonder if you should call 911? Grab her and haul her home?

Turning 60 in a few days this relationship still haunts me. She did kill herself that following morning. I was left standing there with questions as I am still today.

Turning 60 is but a number and at 60 the things going for you are knowing how things work. But turning 60 carries memories. The most deeply rooted is that there is still time as long as there is life. Yes, I have my memories but I have a future too.

Have a Good Labor Day...

August 18, 2014

COMMON FACTS, QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS REGARDING MARIJUANA

Who said, "It's the best of times, the worst of times"? I could look it up, easily. The year is 2014 and it's the dawn of the computer age. The World Wide Web is a reality - almost like a spiritual Universal Knowledge - the idea being that we are all connected to a cosmic consciousness, where knowledge can be tapped into with one's mind, not to mention since before birth we are taking in cognitive experiences - just imagine all you've experienced since before birth... how little of it is actually consciously available at this moment? How much there is hidden in your mind - that alone is beyond comprehension, but it's there, in your brain.

From an evolutionary point of view it's been human destiny... unavoidable; just a matter of time. It's both miraculous, yet catastrophic - as knowledge is power, and until the WWW knowledge was a rather intimidating pursuit unless you had money and time. Now simply requires those special words typed into a browser window. Just consider for a bit where we are today and where we were just 50 years ago? 25 years ago? 5 years ago?

For many thousands of years humankind has survived by forming groups and "gangs", societies, and governments. It's a toss up as to which ancient government of the many was the most successful, however, I'd have to go with Rome, ending with the death of Caesar Augustus, Son of Caesar the Great.

Stories were originally handed down as verbal stories/anecdotes, then writing was invented, then suddenly in the 19th century audio recordings, then in the 20th century, came radio, then television... yet throughout time we have "listened"... literally listened  Always pretty much in the dark, dependent on leadership; those with knowledge.

When our forefathers saw a people "governed for the people, by the people", I doubt they realized what knowledge common people would acquire.

I'm amazed at the progress we're experiencing in America to reform marijuana laws for example, and end prohibition. It's odd or ironic that it happens along with rights and freedom for homosexuals. Both are simply Life choices, things about ourselves we discover that we do, that make our life better. In America the ability to do that is written into our US Constitution and our Bill Of Rights.



President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation may not have stunned the world, but it did stun many in the US. Especially many wealthy, prominent persons who vowed to undo it, much like Obamacare - or our current form of nationalized health Insurance.

The Emancipation Proclamation Act freed Blacks, but that didn't necessarily mean society changed a whole lot. And with wealthy prominent persons doing backroom deals, with politics involved, you can bet things happening under the tables. The biggest change? The US Federal Reserve. Money and Control of the populous.

WIKIPEDIA LINK: The Emancipation Proclamation was issued January 1, 1863. Although implicitly granted authority by Congress, Lincoln used his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, "as a necessary war measure" as the basis of the proclamation, rather than the equivalent of a statute enacted by Congress or a constitutional amendment.It is as much of a modern day invention as there is, although I'm sure similar practices have occurred in countless societies.

By 1910, the powers to BE were meeting secretively at Jekyll Island in NC. Their goal was to control the flow of money. WIKILINK:

"Planning of the Federal Reserve System
At the end of November 1910, Senator Nelson W. Aldrich and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department A. Piatt Andrew, and five of the country's leading financiers (Frank Vanderlip, Henry P. Davison, Charles D. Norton, Benjamin Strong, and Paul Warburg) arrived at the Jekyll Island Club to discuss monetary policy and the banking system..."

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Where previously money was controlled by banks, by people, now it was controlled by the federal government.

The federal government, for all it's good intentions, is controlled by special interests, the majority of which we don't know about until someone like Jack Bower , oops, I meant Edward Snowden, spills the beans... Without the internet it could not have happened, so unless the internet becomes a controlled technology, knowledge is in the hands of the people.

Which says nothing about how this power is being used. For the most part, for Gay rights, Climate change and animal rights and protection reform, and ending marijuana prohibition, the internet has been a great success. But it's obvious those in government move at a snails pace. If at all. Why marijuana remains a Federal Schedule One drug is beyond my comprehension. The truth is out there... as obvious as a tree you could walk into.

But what makes continued persecution of marijuana worse is it disproportionately targets minorities.

Recent news has pretty much outed marijuana as a plant worthy of throwing people in prison, breaking up families and casting a big letter M on their chest when they go for a job interview.It pretty much says marijuana is okay. I know that sounds weird - after more than 75 years of fictional horror stories, but it's okay. Relax.


The New York Times, considered the #1 news agency in the nation, who in the 1960's warned people about the legalization of marijuana have now come about 180 degrees:

"Repeal Prohibition, Again" By THE EDITORIAL BOARD": "It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana..."

If that's not enough to get people thinking, and hoping...

Consider:

Study: Arrests For Marijuana Offenses Increasing In Many States - Yes, it appears there is a correlation between recent years of legalization of marijuana and increased arrests by law enforcement.

22 States have legalized medical use of marijuana and two states have legalized recreational use to adults 21 or older. That's half the US.

And the irony is, the most drug arrests nation-wide are still for marijuana... sure the premise is public health and safety and marijuana is gingerly mixed in with hard drugs such as meth, heroin and Oxycontin; however it is statistically, scientifically a fact that, marijuana is none of those. It is a naturally growing plant with far less of the harmful effects popularly cast about, as well as less dangerous than legally available substances or pharmaceuticals. Although for some people cannabis feels addictive, there is actually very little physical addition (as defined by any serious symptoms of withdrawal), with sometimes strong psychological addiction. The significance of these distinctions if we compare marijuana to tobacco, the former may be difficult to part mentally from, but unlike the latter drug, there aren't the physical withdrawal symptoms that make tobacco so difficult to quit..  

The current plight for adults and freedom of choice for their "drug of choice", didn't occur in 1937, as thought. That was ruled unconstitutional in the early 1960's. That's when the "Tax-Act" and the propaganda machine began running, and marijuana as the bogey-man was begun, but a leaning to a full scale assault against Americans really didn't begin until money began to lose value in the mid-1960s. And it wasn't because of hippies, free love or Vietnam. The tipping point was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The same year we went off from the silver (standard) for lower denomination coinage and gold became legal to own again after decades of being illegal.

The Federal Reserve bank was the branch of government that provided the impetus to cause the tipping point to tip...  It was the Emancipation Proclamation's knee jerk reaction all over again.

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Marijuana was legal for growing or purchasing in the US until November 1937.  It was used mostly as a medicinal plant, listing in the US Pharmacopedia until 1940. It's scientific name is cannabis and the two forms that are popular are cannabis sativa and indica. The latter is the one with the most THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). There are other natural chemicals in cannabis that make it medicinal and valuable, not to mention the industrial uses for cannabis, called hemp in that case.


Marijuana is now legal in two states in the US for adults 21 and older. That is a fact.

Despite legalization in various states for medical use beginning in the early 1990's,  the war on marijuana seems without end. Being an advocate for decriminalization and repeal of laws directed towards marijuana almost makes one seem fanatical. Fantastical? Out of touch with reality. Yet here we are today... and all the polls indicate over 50% of Americans approve legalization of marijuana. Yet the federal government is hardly budging, though some promising compromise has been offered.

A lot of attention is still directed towards use of marijuana by those under 21. In fact, such concerns has effectively trumped legal use for adults, as was recently made apparent from a speech given by Florida's governor, Jeb Bush:

"(CNN) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced his opposition Thursday to an overwhelmingly popular proposal that would legalize medical marijuana..."

"Family friendly states"... Where does such rhetoric emanate from? Most of the world is a den of evil... whatever evil is to you. The US is no exception. "Family Friendly" is a joke. People are thrown in jail, fined large amounts of money and forever scarred so a state can say they are "Family friendly". You throw fathers and Mothers in prison and that is friendly???

The real question seems to be what exactly are the effects of marijuana on the mind and body of a person under 21?

The answer: It's profound and perhaps troubling! I know, you thought I might say it would be disturbing, disastrous, crippling.

First, we need to understand virtually no studies have actually been done conclusively nor have results been common as to the effects of marijuana on those under 21. Also, federal law prohibits such studies or research without express approval from the NIH.

Second; any evidence of adverse behavior by persons under 21 is pretty much anecdotal. He says, she says, he says...

When I was 16 I came very close to dying of alcohol poisoning. I drank too much. In health class the danger was marijuana, not alcohol back then. Today, it is still probably marijuana is more dangerous as schools receive federal funding.

At 16 after I smoked marijuana for the first time while on a family vacation. Nothing happened other than I drank too much alcohol again, but not enough to die this time. No, it's common that the first time use of marijuana will have no effect. Partly that's because all animals have THC receptors throughout their body, not just in the brain. Our bodies produce natural cannabinoids, natural THC chemicals that lubricate the mind and body, relieve stress, help one forget bad days and trauma.

The first time a person uses marijuana likely the endo-cannabinoids don't register with a body used to regulating it's own personal manufacturing process.

Now the second time was quite different. As I was under age 21 this should be of interest to prohibitionists looking to make examples of below 21 users.

Disclosure: I was 19 in 1973... it was legal for me to smoke tobacco and to drink alcohol.

By now you should all know the story... hanging out with two childhood friends late afternoon on a Summer's night, and one friend offers a marijuana; a first and I'm terrified. I'm a prohibitionist at that point in time. The propaganda had been reinforced into my head.

But I took my friend up on his offer and I'm really glad I did.

So what happened that I'm glad it happened?

I laughed like I'd never laughed before; and you know what they say, "laughter is the best medicine".

So was that life threatening? "No".

What else happened?

Well, I kind of stopped. I stopped and looked around. It was like the first time in my life I did that. Until then I was running errands. I was focused on expectations. To be honest, I didn't know I existed.

Is that bad?

It could be.

See, I remembered a book I read when i was 8. My Aunt Helen gave it to me. It was by Ray Bradbury, "R Is For Rocket", a short story within called "Frost and Fire".

I remembered that book and my future formed. A future that happened to be in total opposition to what my parents had in mind for me. I didn't live home when the plan took over... I moved out quickly. I got a job as a custodian at the local community college, nights, in the Fine Arts building where all the artists and writers were.

Because of that one decision that night using marijuana with my two friends, my life took a different turn. I have forever felt blessed by the turn, but it was alienating.

Now I'm not advocating exactly that marijuana be considered for legalization for those under 21, though I think honestly the age of 18 ought to be considered as one can use tobacco at that age.

No, I'm advocating precisely that over 21 is a no-brainer for legalization. Well, maybe 18 would be more realistic.

Questions about how marijuana affects a persons brain... you're surrounded by the answer as millions of people use it regularly and any number of them interact with you on a daily basis.

President Obama recently said he's ashamed of his days when he was younger using marijuana. Yet he boasts about his White House beer! Not that he explains why he was ashamed, being an alleged guru of marijuana according to several well known histories of the President, he's ashamed maybe because according to federal law he should be like many others who have been arrested for marijuana, and now can't find a job due to prejudice against "drug users"; almost 50% of those with a record for a marijuana arrest.

And by doing so as a nation what have we accomplished exactly?

A more logical, humane way to consider the future:

http://www.regulatingcannabis.com/