The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.
The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.

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Two Cents @twocents

@jlriggs57aol-com I am for the legalization of marijuana. This video was filmed before the pot shops open. The beginning of the story said “tomorrow pot shops will start selling weed.” This has been my main argument against weed, that people doing it are already doing it. It’s easy to get, the black market was very strong. Now, we can tax that market, and stop spending so much money to combat the illegal market. Parents need to play a stronger role in their kids lives . For example the kid that got dozens of tickets, why didn’t his parents send him to rehab? He is under 18 they could have sent him to so many different places to get off of it and learn the risks of it. Alcohol is much worse, and it is legal. Of course because weed’s effects aren’t as strong as alcohol kids think they can do it whenever they want such as in the video they are going to school high. I think the teachers are right to suspend and expel them. Kids need to learn the lesson of the fact that their are consequences to your actions. If you get caught high at school you’re going to suffer the consequences and hopefully learn from your actions.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@twocents

Now that it will be easier to get from the shops, it will also be easier for the kids to get it, all be it illegally. The lazy layabouts that want pot, but don’t work will still sell pot, illegally, at a profit, to whoever will buy it and who’s going to buy it from a street dealer? Not those who can get it legally. It will have to be bought by those who can’t get it legally, those who are under age.

Time will tell, I guess, but I still see this as a peek at things to come and it will only get worse.

Don’t count on the parents to do much about it, they haven’t done anything about teen alcoholism, pregnancy, or violence. Haven’t you heard, parents are more interested in being buddies with their kids instead of real parents.

Sorry, will stand by what I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the things yet unseen.

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Derrek @dbollus

@jlriggs57aol-com
@twocents

I am for the legalization of all drugs. Prohibition simply does not work. It’s regressive policy. Your issue seems to be with poor parenting and misinformation as opposed to legalization itself. The addictive properties of marijuana are obviously going to be inflated especially when combining it with users that are of high school age. Don’t get me wrong, drug use among teens is an issue. What effect does legalization have on this? Only time will tell, but I was in high school before the word legalization was on anyone’s mind and I can’t even begin to explain how widespread marijuana use was then. I honestly can’t imagine any significant negative to legalization.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@dbollus
@twocents

Derrek, thank you, thank you, thank you. You just made one of my points for me. You said, “Only time will tell, but I was in high school before the word legalization was on anyone’s mind and I can’t even begin to explain how widespread marijuana use was then.”

You can’t even explain how widespread it was then, just think about how, what you saw, will expand by a thousand times now that any pinhead with a little cash can just walk into a shop and buy it legally, walk around with it and sell as much as he can, to as many kids as he can, and make a hefty little profit to continue to feed his own habit. If the cops stop him, they can’t do a thing because it’s legal for him to have, unless they catch him in the act of selling it to a minor.

You think you saw some widespread use when you were in high school, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

I still stand by what I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the things yet unseen.

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Derrek @dbollus

@jlriggs57aol-com

My point was that not even the ridiculous fear mongering of pot use could deter minors from using it, so what’s the harm in making it legal? I completely fail to see how legalization’s positives will outweigh the negatives. Just look what happened when alcohol prohibition ended. What it all comes down to is the simple fact that weed just isn’t a big deal and we’ve ruined past generation’s mindset on the drug through fear, misinformation, and the threat of prison.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@dbollus
@twocents

I agree with a statement you made. You said, “I completely fail to see how legalization’s positives will outweigh the negatives.”

I too, can not see how the positives of legalization will outweigh the negatives. The negatives will be much larger than the positives. I could not agree more.

Let’s talk about the other iceberg in the water. Once, or if, marijuana is legalized, what will be the next drug to be legalized and the next, and the next, and the next, until they are all legal and you have a nation of crack-heads.

To believe all drugs won’t be legalized, is to believe a politician when he says he would never take our guns away he just wants all of them registered for no reason. Yeah, right.

Still sticking to what I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the things yet unseen.

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Derrek @dbollus

@jlriggs57aol-com

I apologize for my mistake. I fail to see how the negatives will outweigh the positives. We should absolutely legalize all drugs. Your critique on human drug habit is entirely baseless and arbitrary. Drugs are illegal and carry stiff consequences, yet they are still widely used and incredibly accessible. Prohibition has done nothing to curb this. If you believe current drug policy works, I’d love to hear your reasoning for it. Maybe it’s time for a different approach… one that ignores the fear mongering and misinformation and instead focuses on discussion and understanding.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@dbollus
@twocents

You are absolutely right our drug laws are inefficient and nearly useless, however I would never suggest that they carry stiff consequences. That statement is almost hilarious in the saying. Our drug enforcement is way too lenient.

These drug pushers and dealers sell to anyone that has the money including kids. I would suggest that if they are caught in the act that the death penalty should be as soon as possible, arrest, trial, execution. If it had been that way a long time ago we wouldn’t have the rampant use of drugs in this country that you spoke about.

Don’t give these dealers a slap on the wrist with a couple of years behind bars, that’s useless.

The idea that you think that people don’t get addicted to drugs, then commit crimes to get the money to feed their habit is totally baseless and arbitrary.

Here is an excerpt from the link below.

“In 2002 about a quarter of convicted property and drug offenders in local jails had committed their crimes to get money for drugs, compared to 5% of violent and public order offenders. Among state prisoners in 2004 the pattern was similar, with property (30%) and drug offenders (26%) more likely to commit their crimes for drug money than
violent (10%) and public-order offenders (7%). In federal prisons property offenders (11%) were less than half as likely as drug offenders (25%)to report drug money as a motive in their offenses.”

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dcf.pdf

I noticed that you made no comment on my earlier comment about other, harder drugs becoming legalized somewhere down the road. Do you think that would be a good idea also?

Cheap meth and cheap crack. That’s what this country needs to grow and be a strong self-reliant nation.

Didn’t the ill-fated 60’s teach us anything? Did we learn nothing from the failed philosophies of Timothy Leary? Are those that are too young to remember either, doomed to repeat the same mistakes?

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@dbollus

My apologies you in fact did comment on my statement. You said, ” We should absolutely legalize all drugs.”

I can’t help but wonder do you feel this way, for your own desires or that this would be best for our country?

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Derrek @dbollus

@jlriggs57aol-com

The fact that you think prison sentences are too lenient for what are mostly victimless crimes is insane. Sales and distribution are a different matter but going to jail simply for possession is wildly antiquated. Why not treat this the same way as alcohol? I don’t support the death penalty and I certainly would never consider it for the sale and distribution of drugs.

Your example of drug addicts committing crimes in order to gain more drug money has little to nothing to do with legalization. You are assuming that legalization will lead a number of unintended consequences yet there’s plenty of evidence against this notion. I would urge you to check out the following research on Portugal here: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/greenwald_whitepaper.pdf

As it states “In almost every category of drug, and for drug usage overall, the lifetime prevalence rates in the predecriminalization era of the 1990s
were higher than the postdecriminalization rates.”

It’s a bit long, but it is absolutely worth checking out.

I feel we should legalize all drugs not for my own desires but because I believe it really is truly best for this country. If heroin were made legal and carried no legal consequences in terms of possession or use, there is absolutely no way that I would use heroin. Not even once. Why? Because I know it will kill me, much like everyone else that doesn’t currently use the drug. Same goes for a number of other dangerous drugs. With how accessible illicit substances are it seems to me that everyone that wants to do those type of harder drugs have already been introduced to them or are already addicted. It’s time we stop wasting billions and billions of dollars on a war that has no victory to be achieved.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@dbollus

I thought you had something there for a minute. If you watch this video even the street addicts know that the decriminalization was all a political move. They said that not much had changed since before the decriminalization to now. The country’s economy is failing and there was talk about this was just a way to get the disaster, the politicians had made of things off the minds of the citizens. In other words if they can keep them high they won’t have to worry about them complaining about how poor they are. Nice. They had to set up a government funded drug counseling system (like rehab) which will soon lose it’s funding. Then they will go back to just being street junkies.

If someone who has been drinking comes to my door I ask them to go away until they sober up. No harm, no fowl, I just don’t want it around me or my family.

In the spirit of cooperation, if they legalize drugs, marijuana, meth, coke, whatever, I will say little. If someone comes to my door who is wiped out on ANY drug, I will ask them to leave. If they do not leave my premises immediately, I will assume that my life or the lives of my family members are in danger and respond accordingly.

That, to me, would seem a fair trade-off.

You have way more faith in people than I do. Something bad, is something bad, legalizing or decriminalizing a bad thing does not make it a good thing, not even if you look at it with your head tilted and one eye squinted.

As with anything, you have the right in this country to see anything the way you want to, well, for now anyway and I respect your right to believe that drugs are a good thing.

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Derrek @dbollus

@jlriggs57aol-com

The video you posted is from 2001. That’s the same year in which Portugal decriminalized all drugs. The research I posted is from 2008 if I’m not mistaken. I have a hard time considering this video viable due to that fact.

I admire your hardline approach to self defense and I commend you on your commitment to defending your family. That’s absolutely a fair trade off. No one is telling you that you can’t defend yourself.

I don’t believe drugs are a good thing. I never said they were. But there are certainly some that are far less harmful (alcohol, marijuana). What I don’t believe in is sending people to jail and ruining their lives simply because they decided they want to put substance x into their bodies. That’s not a crime, that’s a health issue and it should be treated as such.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@dbollus

I guess I’m kind of old school, when someone tries so hard to justify something, it is generally because they think something is a good thing. So you don’t believe drugs are good but you want people to get them legally, in greater abundance, so they can use them more often?

I feel like we have hammered this one as much as need be. I will end my part with this and then you can add what you want to say to end it.

The information on this link from the National Institute on Drug Abuse was updated just a few months ago in January, so the information is current.

Here are a few excerpts from the link below.

{Is Marijuana Addictive?

Contrary to common belief, marijuana is addictive. Estimates from research suggest that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number increases among those who start young (to about 17 percent, or 1 in 6) and among people who use marijuana daily (to 25-50 percent).

Long-term marijuana users trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms including irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which can make it difficult to abstain. Behavioral interventions, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational incentives (i.e., providing vouchers for goods or services to patients who remain abstinent) have proven to be effective in treating marijuana addiction. Although no medications are currently available, recent discoveries about the workings of the endocannabinoid system offer promise for the development of medications to ease withdrawal, block the intoxicating effects of marijuana, and prevent relapse.}

and

{How Does Marijuana Affect a User’s Life?

Research shows marijuana may cause problems in daily life or make a person’s existing problems worse. Heavy marijuana users generally report lower life satisfaction, poorer mental and physical health, more relationship problems, and less academic and career success compared to non-marijuana-using peers. For example, marijuana use is associated with a higher likelihood of dropping out of school. Several studies also associate workers’ marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers’ compensation claims, and job turnover.}

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

Marijuana isn’t a harmless drug, you may not think it is, but millions think it is harmless and that’s why it is growing in use. What is being toted as a social drug, has the opposite effect.

I am, and probably always will be anti-drug. It not only does harm to the user but also to many more who don’t use them and has absolutely no beneficial qualities to make it worth fighting for.

Even though you and I did not agree on much of anything, I still want to thank you for the discussion, after all how enjoyable is a conversation if two people are just agreeing with each other.

You can have the last word.

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Derrek @dbollus

@jlriggs57aol-com

It is not my responsibility, nor the State’s to decide whether or not someone can use a drug.

Marijuana addiction is a very rare thing. Alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine addictions yield far worse consequences, yet all three drugs are legal. Those “withdrawal” symptoms described sound far less impeding than the common cold. In my honest opinion, I have done a decent amount of research on the topic and it seems to me that these addictive properties are simply hyperbole. They exist, but in a fashion that’s difficult to seriously consider. I stand by the view that marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol. It’s almost factual at this point.

Much like with any other drug, there are going to be consequences when it is abused. Unfortunately, I have a hard time believing the research provided. Was this all simply observational? Or do they have scientific proof that the chemical compounds in marijuana prompt the user to drop out of school? The data is simply far, far too vague to be taken seriously. The article speaks of associations between marijuana use and these negative consequences but fails to provide proof beyond that. Hard evidence, this is not. Again, this is another argument for legalization. These drugs should be free to access not only for personal use, but so we can better understand them from a scientific standpoint. Understanding is always better than legislating with fear.

For me, the cause is just if the people are being denied a freedom. No man sitting behind a desk should be able to tell people what they can and can’t put inside their bodies. It’s their own personal responsibility to know the facts, weigh the consequences, and participate in drug use in a way that will not affect those around them. There was a time in this country where there was an emphasis on personal responsibility, I think we need to return to that time.

I enjoyed our discussion as well.

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Two Cents @twocents

I haven’t had time to go through all of your comments and reply but I found this article and thought both of you would find it interesting, and related to this topic.

http://www.salisburypost.com/article/20140228/SP01/140229652/1016

@dbollus @jlriggs57aol-com

Will fully respond later.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@twocents

To me, your link just shows what I’ve been saying. Even before it gets legalized in NC and other states, people are hearing about how there’s no threat to this drug, it’ non addictive, etc. So they become complacent about it.

Listen, as Derreck has been saying we should not regulate what a person puts in their body, to an extent I can agree with that, but when your right to do something interferes with someone else’s rights then what?

For instance, motorcycles with no mufflers or extremely loud exhaust comes roaring through a neighborhood. The guy riding the motorcycle says “I don’t care if it’s annoying, I don’t care if it startles someone, I don’t care if babies in buggies, being pushed by their mom’s, get scared and start crying, it’s not about them it’s about me and my rights.”

Where do we draw the line on protecting one persons rights without ignoring the rights of another?

If there was some way to be sure that the folks who wanted to wreck their lives with this junk would stay inside and out of sight out of mind, it would make the pill easier to swallow, but having been around drinkers and dope heads I doubt we will ever see that.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@twocents
@dbollus

I wasn’t quite sure what the point was in this video. Was it to say that we are getting even more complacent about marijuana or that marijuana does have a use medically, for those who are sick?

If it’s the first, I agree.

If it’s the second, I also agree. There are different diseases that medical marijuana is helpful with. Just like painkillers and antibiotics, medical marijuana may be very useful and anyone who has a need should be able to get a prescription for it. The prescription would tell how many times a day it should be used, how much each time and how much the person is allowed in a given time, like 30 days, etc.

I’m told morphine is a great pain-killer, but the doctors are very careful on how much a patient receives because it is extremely addictive. It is intended as a medicine not a pleasure drug.

Until something better can be discovered, I have no problem with medical marijuana, to patients with a prescription.

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kimberly @ladylibertarian

The fact that ANYTHING in excess is bad for you and can be habit forming makes the fact that some teenager is claiming to be a weed addict something that is really not an issue. If people are worried about the problems of addiction they should be more focused on the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA, which recently pushed through a drug that is 10x more powerful than vicodin with no aspirin (to help with liver failure associated with long term pain med usage).

In the first month of marijuana legalization in Colorado taxes brought in $3.5 million in tax revenue. If people want to smoke pot either for medicinal or recreational use that should be up to them. Some guy saying he’s a recovering weed addict is not representative of the entire population, just like alcoholics do not represent 100% of the American population that consume alcohol.

http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2014/03/10/first-month-of-marijuana-taxes/6257687/

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@ladylibertarian

All I can say is that if you think this is going to be a good thing, then more power to you. I will repeat what I said to Derreck. If they come to my door having enjoyed their new found freedom of drug use, I will feel my life is in danger and will utilize my 2nd Amendment right and protect myself, with a clear conscience. No quarter given. I do not and will not trust a someone wiped out on drugs.

Hope some poor dope head doesn’t make the mistake of running out of gas and walking up on my porch looking for help. It would be a last sad day for one burnout.

He exercises his rights, I exercise mine, and all is well in the land.

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DanF @danfagan

I agree that legalizing pot is a double edged sword but the fact of the matter is, the only reason pot is a “gateway drug” is because it is illegal. By purchasing pot from some guy/ kid you are introduced to an underground circle. For instance, you go to purchase weed and at that same time a coke/ pill dealer is there as well. You are unintentionally introduced to an entirely new underground. I have witnessed it time and time again.
Another reason I am pro pot – tax revenue
Another reason I am pro pot – removing millions from the hands of local/ national drug dealers
Another reason I am pro pot – a simple possession can ruin any likely hood of getting a job that someone would otherwise be highly qualified for

Why I am against pot – it makes you lazy (FACT)
Why I am against pot – daily use IS mentally NOT physically addicting in the sense that if you smoke a week+ and stop you will have trouble falling asleep/ eat less although that passes within days

The pros outweigh the cons… It will be there regardless.

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Moselle Timless @mosellegold

@jlriggs57aol-com

I wanted to laugh so hard about that video. kids-teens, adults been using mj. This video makes it seem like this epidemic is just now happening. Mj is not a problem and never has been. If teens use this as an excuse for not graduating or slacking in life, then that was a problem before the mj smoking started. The kid in the video is on more than just mj. Mj doesnt make you shake like that.

THC makes you high , hungry, then sleepy. CBD which is another chemical in mj has healing effects. its a relaxant and that is all

September 15, 2014

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@twocents
@ladylibertarian
@danfagan
@mosellegold

You know it never ceases to amaze me that people can look at the majority of our twenty somethings and younger and think that they will not use this as an excuse to do nothing but lay around and do nothing but smoke pot. The majority of this age group has already been told that they don’t have to work, they are entitled. They have been taught not to worry about anything, their benevolent government will provide them with everything they need, not that there aren’t exceptions to this, but the number of “entitled” lay-abouts is steadily growing. Those of you that don’t see this are extreme optimists.

I have been working construction for nearly 30 years and the majority of the people I work with are like me, gray-haired and grizzled. We have a few young newbies, but very few. Why should they come out and work when they can get what they want without lifting a finger? As a side note, the young ones we do get are covered with tattoos and I mean covered, face and all, or they have so many piercings they look like they fell face first into a tackle box, which is a hazard in itself in construction. They never last long, the work is hard.

Now they are going to be told, not only will their food, shelter, clothes, healthcare, cell phone, and much more, will be provided, now they can get all that and lay around there tax payer furnished home and smoke pot all day. Yep, you folks are extreme optimists.

Moving on, what about the states that do not want pot, or any other drugs legalized in their state? We already had a problem with pot coming in from South America, now they will have to worry about the easy access of getting it from a U.S. source. There have already been incidents of pot being smuggled out of Colorado to other states. Shouldn’t Colorado have to take steps to stop the smuggling from their state? Well, of course, they aren’t. As with everything else, no one is taking responsibility for their actions. They legalized it, made it easy to get, know that the states around them have not legalized it, yet they do nothing to stop it from being smuggled into those other states and beyond.

Does anyone think that our government is benevolent? Does anyone think that it is not in the best interest of our government to have as many citizens as possible using drugs? Why wouldn’t they?

If they stop drug testing for construction workers, how many lives will be lost because of it? I WILL NOT get on a 40′ scaffold with some hophead who could get me killed. If it comes down to my life or his, I will through his butt off the scaffold, and I am far from being the only construction worker that feels this way.

Most of this discussion is opinion, because the full effect of legalizing pot has not raised it’s ugly head….yet. Having said that, the next few lines of my comment will be dedicated to, what I believe will be the positives to legalized marijuana.

Time will tell my friends, time will tell.

September 21, 2014

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@twocents
@ladylibertarian
@danfagan
@mosellegold

Here is a new turn of events on the Colorado marijuana front as they just keep stacking up.

Now the welfare recipients are using their EBT cards to buy marijuana. Not only do they get paid to sit on their duffs and get “free” money, free to them not us, but now they can use “our” money to buy pot and stay high.

Oh yes, Colorado making marijuana legal has turned out to be a great thing.

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/welfare-for-weed-use-your-ebt-card-for-pot-in-colorado-and-washington-courtesy-of-the-american-taxpayer/

http://visiontoamerica.com/16568/colorado-to-accept-ebt-cards-for-marijuana-from-welfare-recipients/

http://theurbandaily.com/2014/01/23/colorado-approves-use-of-ebt-benefits-at-marijuana-shops/

http://hotair.com/archives/2015/02/08/colorado-dems-blocking-ban-of-ebt-cards-in-pot-shops/

I didn’t want to use just one link so no one would think it was just some random site saying this. If this isn’t enough feel free to google it for yourselves.

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Moselle Timless @mosellegold

@jlriggs57aol-com

them spending cash assistance on mj doesnt hurt anyones pockets. Our gov will tax us either way. They take to many expensive vacations not to tax us. This is just another blind fold conversation they us talking about.

medical plants has been around of years, mj isnt the only plant that gets you high. Theres legal plants such as st johns wort, ACRB, wild dagga, etc. the problem with mj is that the gov cant tax it or control it well enough so they make this huge problem. its just a plant for relaxation. to control muscle spasms or pain. I would rather them spend cash assistance on mj vs going to a dr and getting chemical drugs that has 50 side effects.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@twocents
@ladylibertarian
@danfagan
@mosellegold

So your idea Moselle, is to just keep giving these folks OUR money. To let them take OUR money and lay around and get high while the rest of us work our butts off to earn a living.

To you, the right thing to do is to give money to someone who isn’t working, let them spend it on a drug that has a history of making a person lethargic and lazy, which will increase their unwillingness to get out and find a job.

By your way of thinking, they’re already doing nothing, why not reward them for not working by putting them on a 24/7, 365 day party.

How long will it be before those who are working, being industrious, and contributing to our society, see what’s going on around them and say, “Hey, why should I work?” Why shouldn’t I enjoy myself like these other people?” “I’ll just quit working, start drawing my welfare and spend my time laying around getting high.”

Is this really the kind of society you want to see us turn into?

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