Robert Bennett: And they call this a recreational drug?

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  • sensible advocate slc, UT
    Oct. 10, 2014 2:00 a.m.

    There is a six month backlog of rape test kits in Utah while the criminal justice system processes hundreds of marijuana possession cases every month.

    Consistently, 70-90% of AARP members polled want legal access to marijuana. The people who have to take the most prescription pills are the fastest growing group calling for legalization while the makers of the pills are paying more than anyone to keep it from them. Top 7 financial supporters of Partnership for Drug Free kids are makers and sellers of pills. Orin Hatch accepted nearly $900,000 from them in 2012.

    More Americans age 30-64 are trying pot now than in their college years. Why are adults using it more? Because it provides better relief and they control the dose. It reduces their alcohol intake and reduces their reliance on dangerous prescription pills.

    Nearly 1 in 5 Californians has tried marijuana for a medical condition. 92% of them said it provided the relief they wanted. JAMA Internal Medicine published in August that states with legal access to marijuana have reduced painkiller overdose deaths by an average of 25%.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    Well The D.N. monitors are at it once again. Anything to keep the uniformed masses in the dark! First. Imagine if Ms. Dowd drank an entire bottle of tequila the first time she tried alcohol. Assure you that she would be begging for that marijuana experience all over again. Second. As a child I remember trying a cigarette for the first time. Couldn't imagine if I would have smoked the entire pack. Third. Marijuana never kept me from earning two Ivy League Degrees and graduating at the top of my class.

    June 10, 2014 8:33 p.m.

    Government has to be pragmatic. In the case of Prohibition and its repeal, we chose the lesser of two evils. Both have negative consequences, but it was the opinion of the American people that legalizing the consumption of alcohol was less damaging to the Republic than trying to prevent it.

    It wouldn't surprise me that we've reached a similar low point with regard to marijuana. The point that ought to be taken from Senator Bennett's column is that if - or when - we do legalize it, we need to put appropriate safeguards in place to minimize the damage it causes, at the very least the unintentional damage.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    June 10, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    I voted for Colorado's pot legalization but I'm not a user, nor do I drink alcohol, but think both should be treated equivalently. But edibles are a legit issue that to sort.

    Consider: alcohol has 3 primary delivery systems: beer, wine, and liquor. Anyone who drinks has a pretty good idea of how much of each it will take to get buzzed, drunk, or black-out wasted. Pot edibles have no such commonly understood 'standard' for routine consumption/effect.

    Yes, they have labels about the amount of active ingredients but practically they are candy bars, truffles, cookies, etc..things we eat as a whole, right?

    It runs counter to our current eating habits to slice a truffle into 8 pieces, eat only 1 of those and then wait an hour to see what happens. For better or worse, Americans are conditioned to be both impatient and glutinous...we'll eat the whole thing in one sitting, like Dowd did.

    Retail edible sales/consumption will standardize, comparable to the beer/wine/liquor spectrum of serving size and potency. Regulations may even require outlandish colors (ex. pink brownies) to allow easy rules to teach kids the differences between good treats and bad.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    June 10, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    It's an argument for strict regulation just like alcohol. You have to get the light of day on drugs, not force them into the shadows.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 10, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    To "LDS Libertarian" actually there are many deaths every year due to marijuana. They are like most deaths due to alcohol. It isn't the drug itself that kills, but the side effects that kill. You have many who die doing dumb things while high, and you have many that die in car accidents.

    To say that marijuana is safe only ignores the fact that when people alter their brain chemistry, they do dumb things. People do enough dumb things when sober, do we really need more people killing themselves and others while high?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 10, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    coleman51: "This is a potentially dangerous drug" the word potential makes all the difference though.
    A gun is potentially dangerous
    A pet is potentially dangerous
    Religion is potentially dangerous

    Get over your self righteous need to control others, the research has been done again and again. When your legal pharmaceuticals are at least as safe as pot, we can discuss "potentially dangerous" otherwise science has proven that
    this plant is not the boogieman you want it to be, sorry but it isn't.
    Some prefer a martini after work to a psychotropic cocktail that is as addicting as heroin, and fully half of this state is on one or 2 of these mommies little helper pills. To each their own I suppose, but don't pop your daily happy pill while talking badly of something God created and gave to man more than 5000 years ago.

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    June 10, 2014 2:08 a.m.

    What astounds me about the pro-marijuana crowd is their consistent ignorance of the research behind this drug. They have an attitude that can only be described as rationalizations mixed with straw-man comparisons. This is a potentially dangerous drug and it causes long-term and accumulative negative affects on one's cognition and personality. It is hard for me to imagine such lemming-like appeal for this drug among liberals but I do agree with them on one point; if they want to destroy themselves, they can choose to do so. What they can't do is to pretend to believe that there is no consequences for their choices.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    June 9, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    O the ideology of it all.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    June 9, 2014 9:27 p.m.

    You're right on, Senator Bennett. We don't need this stuff in our society. We already have enough problems. I wonder if those that support liberalization of drugs would agree that anyone caught driving under the influence of marijuana would have their driving privileges permanently revoked.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 9, 2014 8:28 p.m.

    Marueen tried it, Bob. You should, too. Read the label.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    June 9, 2014 5:15 p.m.


    Here is some Cconstitutional history.

    "Brave sir robin" had nothing to do with the 18th amendment.
    Conservatives had NOTHING to do with the 18th amendment.

    The people behind the 18th amendment were progressives and women, especially mothers.

    The weak willed liberals were the ones the repealed it.

    Not even one generation of our children were raised without alcohol in society.

    So we do not know it would have worked.

    We do know the the principles were correct, the people did not have the will.

    Again the conservative had nothing to do with it, one way or another.

    We do know that in passing the 18th and 21st amendments the constitution was followed and respected.

    It is the liberals and progressives today who are trampling the constitution by not following it or any law. Just look at obamacare or the bergdahl situation. This administration has no love or respect for the law or the constitution.

    Our country would be much better without alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs.

    Perhaps statutory law is not the best way to achieve it,but more education and making it a real negative and uncool thing to partake. But legalizing is worse.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 9, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    No one in his right mind would ever tell us that marijuana is good for us. It may have a medicinal use in a tightly controlled environment, but that drug is not proven safe. Those who tell us that because "they" can handle it, that society should accept it should show the proof that "they" were tested in a tightly supervised "control group" and that doctors proved that marijuana did not alter their ability to function as well as those who did not use marijuana. As for those who play the devil's advocate the use of anything that harms the body or the spirit, do they think that the devil will return that favor on judgement day?

  • LDS Libertarian Farmington, UT
    June 9, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    Hunting is recreational.
    Skiing is recreational.
    Hiking up to Doughnut Falls is recreational.
    Bicycling is recreational.
    Swimming is recreational.

    People die right here in Utah almost daily from recreation.


    FYI --
    Average annual deaths in Utah --

    Legal drugs -- 532
    guns -- 430
    automobiles -- 380

    Marijuana -- ZERO.

    Enough said.

  • MoNoMo Fair Oaks, CA
    June 9, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    This article makes me feel like I'm back in the early 70s in "Health Class" in Idaho.

    They actually showed us the "Reefer Madness" movie as if it were fact.

    I already new the "facts" were absolutely false.

    Prohibition of alcohol and weed is, and has, proven to be a huge waste on tax dollars and a huge detriment to the economy in convictions of users.

    The point of using tobacco and alcohol as a comparison is only to point out the hypocrisy of pot laws.

    I'm not aware of any case of a person dying from a pot overdose.

  • Incite Full Layton, UT
    June 9, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    Stoners love to defend their pot, but like most things they do, they don't think through the implications of their selfish decisions, nor do they consider the health hazards to others. There's been no FDA approval of this drug, just a wellspring of sentiment. And then when mistakes occur, they laugh, or their advice as though it's a legal prescription that everyone should just know. Then again, their priority is getting high, not social responsibility.

  • 4Freedom Columbus, OH
    June 9, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    Hard to believe some of the things I am reading here. "The war on drugs should be illegal." Really? It is amazing to see so many people get defensive over some negative press that marijuana got. As if anyone should be surprised.

    What happened is not the woman's fault and Bennett's article is not a piece of sensationalism. What we have here is a real problem that, as with so many other things in our society, people wish to explain away or justify, usually blaming conservatives as behind the times and out of touch.

    People who indulge in or wish to indulge in such dangerous, criminal activity (yes, dangerous and criminal) LOVE it when such activity is proclaimed to be legal. It all of a sudden becomes "ok." Yet, the nature of the activity has not changed. The damage it does is still as potent or more so because now it considered to be "safe." Supporters of such measures, typically with the loudest, screeching voices, although often not in the majority, are placated but then belittle and even harass anyone with an opposing view.

    Revolting indeed.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    June 9, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    Airnaut are you and "Open Minded Mormon" same person.

    I also noticed you are in Colorado...
    I suspect you are very happy with the laws regarding pot use in your state, so why do you care about Utah?

    On the other hand, I will continue to watch the headlines coming out of Colorado of pot users being involved in shootings, and other mayhem..

    June 9, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    Anything that makes a person hallucinate and alters their mental state is definitely NOT harmless. If there are legit medical uses for marijuana, then doctors should be able to prescribe it, and it should be controlled like strong pain killers are.

    One more point: If you need drugs of any sort (including alcohol) to socially relax or enjoy yourself, you are mentally ill and should seek psychiatric help.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    June 9, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    If you as a consumer ate something that made you sick, it is really your fault. I have no sympathy for this columnist. Pot already exists so the fact that she got some in Colorado is irrelevant, she could have just as easily got it in her home state, which is why the "legalization" question in this op-ed is irrelevant. People can eat too much marijuana legal or illegal.

    Fact is people stuff their faces all day with Fast Food and die from heart related issues. Know what? You have the right to do that. I dont' care about comparisons with alcohol or cigarettes. The merits of Marijuana stand on their own, it should be legal because the war on drugs is immoral. The war on drugs is government overreach.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    June 9, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic,

    Not true (and I am not quite that old anyway). In the late 70s or early 80s I read several articles purporting that cocaine was not addictive. That it was just something to get you high with few side effects.

    Every so many decades an old drug cycles back into vogue. The dangers of yesteryear have been forgotten and the drug now seems redeemed.

    As to history with the plant. At the plant's current strength? And, at what kind of exposure?

    Agreed reference pharmaceuticals. This is just one that comes in plant form. Natural does not equal safe.

  • Herbie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 9, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    I am disappointed in Mr. Bennett and the DesNews for such a sensationalized and misleading article.

    YES, fix the labeling. I can wholeheartedly support that. But to claim that we should by saying things like "That’s how we currently deal with an even LESS DANGEROUS DRUG, TOBACCO" (caps added for emphasis) is just misleading. Mr. Bennett, where is your research or citation pointing to studies that confirm your wildly inaccurate claim.

    Frankly, this article sounds much more like hyperbolized scare tactics than trying to inform the public.

  • dan76 san antonio, TX
    June 9, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    "The dangers of alcohol are much less, since no 6 year old in his right mind would voluntarily down an unlocked liter of gin." --Liberal Larry.

    Suggest further research on this issue. Documented cases have occurred whereby a child has consumed a large quantity of alcohol usually with added sweeteners and colouring.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 9, 2014 11:47 a.m.


    As your post proves, constitutional amendments can be repealed. The 21st amendment needs to be repealed and prohibition returned. That is, unless you can show me what the benefit of alcohol is (i.e. how it makes people smarter, healthier, kinder, or benefits society or the environment in some way).

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 9, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    The liberals are funny. They tell us how safe Marijuana is at the same time that we see more stories about people that are high killing other people. It is called "splash damage". Yes it doesn't kill the user, but the users sure seem to be killing the people around them.

    These are the same liberals who cry for gun control whenever somebody is killed with a gun. Why is it that we should control guns, yet loosen controls on Marijuana? Don't liberals think that murder is bad? Or, do liberals only think murder is bad if it is a gun that was the weapon, and not due to somebody that is high?

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    June 9, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    Bennett's been smoking pot apparently. Ms. Dowd misused marijuana and felt the consequences, yet was still able to dictate her op-ed the following day. In the same week, a young Utah man misused another product for which Mr. Bennett has never advocated restrictive sales and died. He will never see adulthood. Mr. Bennett remained silent on that event, but compelled to echo Ms. Dowd's experience. If one advocates eliminating pot because ignorant consumers overdose and experience discomfort, then please remain consistent and likewise weigh the consequences of unrconstrained gun ownership. To do otherwise is inconsistent and dishonest.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 9, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Seriously --
    This is 2014,
    I felt like I'm reading a review of the 1936 movie "Reefer Madness".

    The only thing missing was the guy playing the piano...

  • sg newhall, CA
    June 9, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    The pot of the 60's is not the same as the pot today. My son was smoking it at least 3 times a day (unbeknownst to us) and he became psychotic and manic. His body cannot handle pot. In his state, he did some really stupid things that almost cost him his freedom, his education, and not one of his so-called friends stayed around. Legalizing pot is the stupidest possible solution. Our lawmakers want to simply for the money. I propose we make every single lawmaker smoke pot 3 times a day for a month and then ask them how they feel.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 9, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin
    San Diego, CA

    Guess what? They should both be illegal.

    10:11 a.m. June 9, 2014


    Guess what?
    You tried that with the 18th Amendment,
    and it was repealed by the 21st Amendment.

    Thanks for trampling the United States Constitution.

    BTW -- I don't drink alcohol, tea, or use tobacco or pot.
    I'm merely defending the Constitution of the United States.

    Conservatives should try that some time.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 9, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    Semi-Strong said: "I recall well when Cocaine was the drug that was harmless."

    Uhhh what? Not since coco cola sold it as brain tonic?

    1.2 grams of pure cocaine will kill an adult vs 5lbs of marijuana smoked in under 5 minutes, good luck.

    5000 years of recored history with this plant, I think the testing phase should be complete.
    Not toxic.
    Doesn't kill brain cells.
    Isn't a gateway.

    Lets evolve already, not every one wants to destroy their body with pharmaceuticals that have more warnings than advantages.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 9, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    I love how the pro-legalization crowd always goes back to the straw man arguments of "well it's better for you than alcohol", as if the laws of the universe require that we must have one or the other. Guess what? They're both bad for you, and neither one has any upside. They should both be illegal. And don't give me the next straw man argument that lots of people will smoke it/drink it anyway so therefore both should be legal. Lots of people commit tax fraud as well but I don't see a big push to make tax fraud legal.

  • elisabeth American Fork, UT
    June 9, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    "Dowd’s experience shows that, in the hands of an unsuspecting person who looks on it as candy bar with a little bit of a kick in it, it can recreate your personality in a deadly way." i think thats a bit of a stretch and relies on fear and shame rather than real data. this would never pass as scientific evidence of these effects. one person, self report. and "deadly"? did someone die?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 9, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    airnaut -

    Fix the labeling,
    Legalize it,
    regulate it,
    and tax it."

    Right on man.

    And if you're ever in a social situation where people are passing around a candy bar, just take a tiny bite.

    Peace out.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    June 9, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    This raises the real concern with edible cannabis, and its not with adult journalists, but with the danger that a child will see a "candy bar" and wolf it down with disastrous results!

    The dangers of alcohol are much less, since no 6 year old in his right mind would voluntarily down an unlocked liter of gin.

    Its almost the exact same situation we have with guns, they are fine with responsible adults, but should be kept out of the reach of children.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 9, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    I can't help but think what a lop-side, agenda ridden article this is.

    Let's do a one-for-one, side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison.

    If she bought a bottle of tequilla,
    and drank the enitre bottle,
    and had a "bad" experience,
    would it even make the news?

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    June 9, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    I recall well when Cocaine was the drug that was harmless.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 9, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    Hasn't it already been unleashed? What about the "War of Drugs" that is killing thousands each year? There are costs to continue prohibition, too. Are the relative costs being weighed, or are we only getting one side of the equation?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 9, 2014 6:37 a.m.

    A. the story is hilarious. Thanks for sharing it.
    B. Marijuana is 10,000 times safer than alcohol.
    Even having a bad "trip",

    All she wanted to do was feel the courdorouy of her jeans,
    and she couldn't even get up to get a drink of water,

    let alone drive a car, full of kids, 90 mph, down the wrong side of the freeway.

    Fix the labeling,
    Legalize it,
    regulate it,
    and tax it.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 9, 2014 6:07 a.m.

    Alcohol is a million times worse than pot, If she had nicotine she would of been sicker than a dog or in the hospital. Prescription drugs is the cause of death more than car accidents. She should of done her research before she wrote or did her experience.