What's Acceptable on AskMe When It Comes to Crime? January 31, 2010 6:39 PM   Subscribe

AskMe Questions About Crimes

I am wondering what is appropriate when it comes to asking how to commit crimes on AskMe. The FAQ says this:

"Common reasons for thread removal are chatfilter questions, open-ended hypothetical questions, rants posing as questions, questions asking how to do things that are illegal or borderline illegal.."

However, I came across this post today. The poster is asking how best to manufacture THC laced food to sell to others. This is clearly not for medicinal use and is seriously criminal in most places.

When I pointed the criminal nature of this question out my comment was deleted, while other commenters go into detail on, basically, how best to illegally manufacture and sell drugs.

In regard to a similar post, jessamyn says:

"...To us, it's the difference between "what could happen if I did X?" and "Help me break the law by doing X"..."

To me, this Weed Party post is pretty clearly, "Help me break the law," and not about possible outcomes. Am I crazy here?
posted by Menthol to Etiquette/Policy at 6:39 PM (204 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

It's anonymous and marijuana use isn't illegal in all countries. So how do you know that they are breaking the law?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:42 PM on January 31, 2010 [21 favorites]


How to you know that's it's illegal where the poster is?
posted by amro at 6:43 PM on January 31, 2010


Asking "how could I best kill my roommate without being detected?" is asking something that is illegal pretty much anywhere. Asking "how can I infuse food with a substance that is legal in many places", particularly when the asker has not indicated where this is going on, is rather a different story.
posted by tocts at 6:43 PM on January 31, 2010


is seriously criminal in most places.

It's criminal in some places. We don't know where the OP lives. In the US it's getting less criminal all the time. And, at some level, he or she is not asking how to sell weed or how to buy weed [things that are more problematic in more locations] but basically good ways to cook with it. Which is AOK as far as we're concerned. Pot is illegal in some places and not in others.

There's no good reason to shut down questions just because something's illegal where the MeFi servers are. If AskMe became a total hang out for pot growers, cooks and dealers, we might change our tune, but speaking just for myself, I have no problem with pot generally and do not feel that the rare question about it is a threat to the site or morality of other MeFites.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:45 PM on January 31, 2010 [19 favorites]


Dittoing Jessamyn, many of the laws in the US and Canada have to do with growing or selling - and even then it's certain amounts - and we don't know where the poster is posting from , etc.
posted by The Whelk at 6:48 PM on January 31, 2010


Criminal crimes are more of an issue than civil crimes (copyright infringement say). Nevertheless, now that the country is poised to legalize dope and commercialize nuclear fusion perhaps some leeway is in order.
posted by caddis at 6:51 PM on January 31, 2010


seriously criminal

Maybe vaguely illegal, but often underenforced? I think this description of weed brownies for personal use is seriously mischaracterized.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 6:53 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


ARE YOU HIGH??
posted by gman at 6:56 PM on January 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is clearly not for medicinal use and is seriously criminal in most places.

And in other places, it's humorously criminal. Generally places where they smoke a lot of pot, but still, relax! Try the hummus!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:56 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


These are all bullshit answers. If it were really a case of "well, we don't know it's illegal where the poster lives" then the question related to this post would have been allowed to stand.
posted by logicpunk at 7:00 PM on January 31, 2010


wait. marijuana is criminal?

but seriously. You're starting a MeTa to whine about a culinary question asking for recipes with cannabis, recipes which will be prepared in order to raise a little money for Haiti? Don't be douchebag, man. You sound like you're trying to *catch* someone breaking the rules. If you must, just fiamo.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:02 PM on January 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


and an addendum: even if this were an illegal activity where the OP is hosting the party, this is clearly not a question about "how do I break the law."
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:06 PM on January 31, 2010


Logicpunk: marijuana consumption is non-criminal in many more places than software piracy.

There have been a few efforts, recently, to show where mefites are posting from. Two of the most-mefited nations are Australia and Canada - each of which toe the US line on software piracy, but have a fair bit more wiggle-room when it comes to cannabickies.
posted by pompomtom at 7:08 PM on January 31, 2010


Why do you care, really?
posted by floam at 7:09 PM on January 31, 2010 [10 favorites]


Back in the day, I cooked over a q.p. into a single batch of brownies, ate like 6 of them, then loaded up the CD changer and passed out to Eno's Ambient boxed set. I'll give some money to Haiti now just for that.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:10 PM on January 31, 2010 [20 favorites]


Logicpunk: marijuana consumption is non-criminal in many more places than software piracy.

Yeah, plus that poster pretty much acknowledged that it was illegal in his question.
posted by amro at 7:10 PM on January 31, 2010


How do you know party attendants don't possess valid medicinal MJ recommendations? Showing up to thread-crap does no one any favors.
posted by porn in the woods at 7:11 PM on January 31, 2010


In which countries is software piracy legal?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:12 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


In what country is marijuana not illegal?
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:13 PM on January 31, 2010


The piracy stuff is also another topic that legally we don't care about so much, but have more of the "this is quasi-legal and could cause trouble for the site" And so at some level we've drawn some lines that may seem arbitrary but we can explain them fairly well and they've been pretty consistently applied since the get-go. To restate

- general questions about drugs, usually okay
- questions about how to buy/sell drugs, not okay
- questions about getting drugs via foreign pharmacies, dicey but usually okay
- revenge/suicide questions, not okay
- questions about getting stuff that costs money, only for free via pirating [eg warez, serial numbers, bittorenting recent movies] not okay
- general questions about how pirating or bittorent works, okay
- questions about circumventing DMCA, not okay [but we're flexible, depends how you ask, but we'd prefer people not use AskMe for this]
- give me a password, serial, login, invite questions, not okay
- questions about how to commit other non-victimless crimes, not okay

The FAQ is intended to be a guideline that outlines sort of broad strokes of what is and is not okay. I really don't see cooking with weed to be a "help me break to law" question, though I can see how to some people it looks that way. Our basic approach is permissive on drug questions generally, tighter on piracy questions mainly because there are other places to get that info and we don't want to be a go-to place for pirating/warez info.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:13 PM on January 31, 2010 [7 favorites]



In what country is marijuana not illegal?


HAMBURGER.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:15 PM on January 31, 2010


HOW DOES DO CRIME?

they need to do way instain criminul> who kill their viktims. it was on the new this mroing a criminul in ar who had kill immigrant shopkeeper. they are taking the boddy back to new york too lady to rest my pary are with the extended family who rely on chrilden for subsistence ; i am truley sorry for your lots
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:16 PM on January 31, 2010 [7 favorites]


Jaltcoh, I was asking a serious question. Do you have an answer or did you just want to be a smartass?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:17 PM on January 31, 2010


And I did! What the hell are we griping about here now?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:18 PM on January 31, 2010


Sealand, for one.
posted by floam at 7:19 PM on January 31, 2010


Jaltcoh, I was asking a serious question. Do you have an answer or did you just want to be a smartass?

Whaaaa????
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:19 PM on January 31, 2010


In what country is marijuana not illegal?

HAMBURGER.


No, I wasn't being sarcastic. In what country is marijuana not illegal?
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:20 PM on January 31, 2010


Jaltcoh, I was asking a serious question. Do you have an answer or did you just want to be a smartass?

Ok, let us please not start the weed legal or not argument here. Nothing good will come of it. Plus I'm out of popcorn.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:20 PM on January 31, 2010


California cheeseburger anyone?
posted by fire&wings at 7:22 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lutoslowski, what are you talking about? I was asking in which countries is software piracy legal? It's a serious and genuine question.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:22 PM on January 31, 2010


No, I wasn't being sarcastic. In what country is marijuana not illegal?

Dude; this is a complex conversation that address a lot of legal nuances (i.e. decriminalize v. illegal v. medical etc etc). Here's an *oK* map that addresses your question.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:23 PM on January 31, 2010


Ok, let us please not start the weed legal or not argument here.

Well, people were trying to counter this post by suggesting that marijuana actually is legal in many countries. I'm just trying to clarify if this is really true. I don't see what's wrong with this given the context of someone criticizing a marijuana question for being about something illegal and people responding that marijuana is legal in many places. Is it legal in many places?
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:24 PM on January 31, 2010


If you sawed some pictures of jessamyn and cortex, you'd quickly qomprehend why the qannabis qs are qopacetic.
posted by dgaicun at 7:25 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude; this is a complex conversation that address a lot of legal nuances (i.e. decriminalize v. illegal v. medical etc etc). Here's an *oK* map that addresses your question.

Nope, that's not a map that addresses my question.

Also, decriminalization vs. illegal is not complex. If it's only been decriminalized, it hasn't been made legal.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:26 PM on January 31, 2010


What kinda butter you using on that popcorn Lutoslawski?
posted by The Whelk at 7:26 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ayup.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:26 PM on January 31, 2010


Hey Jaltcoh, I found this so hopefully that can shed some light on your question.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:27 PM on January 31, 2010


In what country is marijuana not illegal?

Cannabis / Marijuana Legal Status by Country - Interactive World Map
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:29 PM on January 31, 2010


Or, think of the question like this:

"Hi, I'm running a charity funrasier where the theme is alcohol-based foods. Not just Coq Au Van or flambe' stuff, but more like brandy-chocolate squares and "Martini" ice-cream and the like. What can I make at home for a small group that has the bang of spirits without too much fuss?"

Totally fine here in New York (for *this* part of the century) , not so much in Morocco, and unthinkable in Iran.
posted by The Whelk at 7:30 PM on January 31, 2010 [11 favorites]


OK, so, it's apparently illegal everywhere.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:30 PM on January 31, 2010


What kinda butter you using on that popcorn Lutoslawski?

Shit, man, I wondered why my popcorn was green. damn, you know me too well. Alas, I will now simply sit back and enjoy.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:30 PM on January 31, 2010


Possessing marijuana may be illegal in the poster's jurisdiction. Selling marijuana, even for charitable purposes, is almost certainly illegal in the poster's jurisdiction.

I find it unlikely that cooking with marijuana is specifically illegal in any jurisdiction.

(Yet another instance where an AskMe poster shoots themself in the foot giving unnecessary information. Keep it simple, people!)
posted by a young man in spats at 7:30 PM on January 31, 2010


I was gonna snark in Metalk, but then I got high.
posted by nola at 7:31 PM on January 31, 2010 [10 favorites]


Totally fine here in New York (for *this* part of the century) , not so much in Morocco, and unthinkable in Iran.

Don't underestimate the boozing that goes on behind closed doors in Iran.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:32 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, I wasn't being sarcastic. In what country is marijuana not illegal?

Just off the top of my head, in practice: Portugal, Uruguay, the Netherlands, one State and one Territory of Australia, some portions of Canada (sorry guys, I'm sure someone will have a better answer for that).
posted by pompomtom at 7:33 PM on January 31, 2010


which is to say, global site, laws are different, everything people said before yadda yadda yadda.
posted by The Whelk at 7:34 PM on January 31, 2010


Just to be clear, I'm not criticizing the line that's been drawn about what's kosher for asking questions - generally the mods come down on the right side of history on these things. I think glib answers like "well, it *could* be legal *somewhere*" don't really clear things up, since there're immediate counter-examples. I'm a lot happier with Jessamyn's explanation of the heuristic that's in place rather than a general deflection of the question.


And as to the issue of where piracy is legal, an apposite wikipedia quote:

"Depending on the country, in some cases, software piracy might become legal and encouraged. As a dispute between Iran and USA over membership in WTO, and subsequent blocking of Iran's attempts at full-membership in the organization by the USA, has led Iran to encourage US software piracy. Subsequently, there has been a surge in Iranian "warez" and "crackz" websites, as unlike other countries, the Iranian laws do not forbid hosting them inside Iran."

posted by logicpunk at 7:34 PM on January 31, 2010


Burhanistan, since we're talking about legal reality (not never no!) and actual permissiveness (just don't be obvious/no one enforces), I think I stands.
posted by The Whelk at 7:35 PM on January 31, 2010


it*
posted by The Whelk at 7:35 PM on January 31, 2010


Here's an *oK* map that addresses your question.

I just realized I fucked up the link. I was attempting to link to this map that Mary already linked to. Damn this green popcorn.

posted by Lutoslawski at 7:41 PM on January 31, 2010


There are degrees of illegality. Where I live, the consequence of possession of marijuana is basically equivalent to a parking fine (and in reality, law enforcement doesn't even care). Do you think the mods should be deleting "What's the best time of day to get away with not feeding the meter?" questions? That's a bit different, I think, from "How do I kill my roommate and not get caught?"
posted by axiom at 7:41 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Menthol: “AskMe Questions About Crimes”

okay

What is the worst possible crime that anybody could commit?

Is it true that, if you do the crime, you should do the time?

Do you think prison should be a crime deterrent by making an example of prisoners, or do you think it should reform them so they don't do crimes any more?

Is the Blood Brothers' 2004 hardcore disc Crimes really as good as everybody says it is?
posted by koeselitz at 7:43 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, if the poster's in the US, then in a growing number of states police wouldn't take the time out of their day to write up the (relatively cheap) ticket that would be these kids' only legal punishment (barring there being a huge amount of weed/one of the participants being on probation). If they're in Denver, I believe that what they're doing is entirely legal. And if they're in California and have club cards, it's close enough to legal that you can't tell the difference without squinting. Maybe under Bush they'd risk DEA agents raiding their party, but change you can believe in, etc.

In other words: Stop being so paranoid, man.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:48 PM on January 31, 2010


What is the worst possible crime that anybody could commit?

Post a contentious MetaTalk thread and then walk away from your computer
posted by chinston at 7:49 PM on January 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't think you can legitimately say that marijuana isn't illegal in some portions of Canada. It is a matter of criminal law, which is federal jurisdiction. Now it's possible that particular provincial Courts of Appeal have held those laws to be unconstitutional, but a quick perusing implies that no, not really. More to the point, I have a hard time saying that a provincial court of appeal is authoritative until the supreme court agrees, or at least declines to take the case.

Enforcement of the drug laws may vary across the country. That variation will almost certainly be rich v. poor & urban v. rural, and not geographical. I've lived in midsized cities in 4 time zones, enforcement's always been roughly the same, on the 'don't traffic and don't make a scene and we'll ignore you' level.

But Canada, the law is still criminal.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:50 PM on January 31, 2010


Welcome to metafilter, Menthol. This is going to be one of those times that you learn the minutiae about metafilter the hard way. Everyone goes through it. Just grab a joint...oops, I meant a stiff drink, and ride through it. Good luck, and welcome.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:04 PM on January 31, 2010


Jaltcoh: “In what country is marijuana not illegal? ... No, I wasn't being sarcastic. In what country is marijuana not illegal? ... I'm just trying to clarify if this is really true. I don't see what's wrong with this given the context of someone criticizing a marijuana question for being about something illegal and people responding that marijuana is legal in many places. Is it legal in many places?... Also, decriminalization vs. illegal is not complex. If it's only been decriminalized, it hasn't been made legal.”

...

“OK, so, it's apparently illegal everywhere.”

Well, whatever the case may be, Jaltcoh, I have a feeling marijuana's certainly not legal in the repressive backwater nation where you must reside, considering that apparently they've forbidden you from using Google.
posted by koeselitz at 8:04 PM on January 31, 2010 [9 favorites]


is anyone getting hurt?

unlikely.

are the folks involved adults?

likely.

in that case, who cares?
posted by batmonkey at 8:07 PM on January 31, 2010


On Land remains one of the best pieces of work ever recorded*. Just wonderful. Forget about all this silly to and fro here and queue it up.

1. "Lizard Point"
2. "The Lost Day"
3. "Tal Coat"
4. "Shadow"
5. "Lantern Marsh"
6. "Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills)"
7. "A Clearing"
8. "Dunwich Beach, Autumn, 1960"

*Not my opinion, actual objective fact.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:16 PM on January 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


YAY LOOPHOLES
posted by dhammond at 8:20 PM on January 31, 2010

“... I have never heard this album. I never will. I have better things to do such as misting my Begonias or playing Eno's MUSIC FOR PIZZERIAS to my Goldfish to wean him off his Valium habit. Music is all worthless garbage as obselete as a lorgnette at a destruction derby in 'south' carolina. I never listen to music and neither do the Mekons. They make it instead...”
– Lester Bangs, liner notes for The Mekons Story (1982)


(worth it just for the Eno joke)
posted by koeselitz at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2010 [10 favorites]


I don't know how these people got holes in their loops or why
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2010


[limke]
posted by koeselitz at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2010




(Oh, and Burhanistan: On Land is one of my favorite records, but even it is not as good, I think, as Discreet Music, particularly the first side.)
posted by koeselitz at 8:23 PM on January 31, 2010


Menthol, it kind of stinks you made this post and then escaped to someplace comfortable. Nearly two hours and sixty comments later, there's not a single reply from you answering any questions, clarifying your position, or anything.
posted by floam at 8:24 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


(What is neat is playing Neroli really loud. It's meant to be a quiet piece that can border between pleasant sleepiness and more active meditation. But there are all kinds of neat oscillating sounds going on beneath that basic tune that really paint intricately overlaid sonic pictures when they are explored at a much higher volume.)
posted by Burhanistan at 8:27 PM on January 31, 2010


Just wait until you can bittorrent weed grown from patented seed stock over stolen WiFi on your second generation iPad clone!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:27 PM on January 31, 2010


Then the terrorists etc.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:28 PM on January 31, 2010


then the terrorists chill out?
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


patented seed stock

ADM owns the patent on weed too? Man, those guys are in it to win it. ADM are the terrorists we are referring to, right?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:35 PM on January 31, 2010


In Denver there's Ganja Gourmet, a sit-down restaurant that serves dishes laced with cannabis. Some MeFite's apparent disapproval notwithstanding, marijauana use is becoming more & more culturally accepted in the US every day.
posted by scalefree at 8:45 PM on January 31, 2010


Then the terrorists jam the fuck out.

with the Ewoks
posted by pompomtom at 8:47 PM on January 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, a proposition to outright legalize (and tax and regulate) cannabis will be on the ballot this November in California, home to 12% of the US population. Pot may be actually legal here in a bit over 10 months' time, as opposed to just de facto legal.

Guess who's going door-to-door canvassing in her neighborhood this summer.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:51 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Marijuana is legal in my building.
posted by philip-random at 8:56 PM on January 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


[click for flashback]
posted by Burhanistan at 9:01 PM on January 31, 2010


Music for Pizzerias is a brilliant album. It's like My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, only with Sinatra and Louis Prima samples instead of all the African diasporic religious music and whatnot. I'd be listening to it right now if it weren't for the slight problem that technically there isn't any such thing because I made it up.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:05 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pot may be actually legal here in a bit over 10 months' time, as opposed to just de facto legal.

There you bleached beach weasels go again, underestimating Mormon power.
posted by dgaicun at 9:07 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am all for questions about weed being allowed, and I am all for it and all drugs being legal.

But the questions says this:

I'm organizing a charity dinner party and donating a percentage of the profits to Haiti. Except the food will all be composed of weed butter/oil/ect.

So essentially we're talking about taking money for drugs which is a) not too legal in very many places and b) maybe just possibly not the kind of help people taking donations for Haiti want?

Also, "a percentage??" As in, a percentage less than 100?
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:08 PM on January 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think a part of the problem is that people may not be properly informed about the nature of this whole situation.

First of all, what is being described in the post in question is not simple posession of some marijuana. What is talked about are concentrated derivative products of marijuana (butter, oil, etc.). These items are treated more seriously in the eyes of the law. Furthermore, the post author is talking about distributing these products to people for money (what happens to the money afterward is of little consequence).

This is very important. In my state, getting caught smoking a little marijuana is not even a crime, it is a violation (the difference between a crime and a violation is that you cannot go to jail for a crime. Think speeding ticket). Not a big deal. However, manufacture and distribution of the items described in the post are felonies. Meaning, go to prison for years.

I am not aware of any state where these activities are not felonies. There are, of course, medical marijuana laws in various places that create exceptions, but unless this person is licensed to distribute this stuff and all the people attending have prescriptions...

I am not an expert in international law, but my understanding is many other countries also prohibit selling/manufacturing marijuana and related/derivative items. There very well be more places where such activity is legal than I thought. However, there are some places in the world where rape is legal. Does that justify a question about how best to commit rape?

Regardless of how you feel about marijuana and if it should or should not be illegal is not the issue. What I feel is the issue is that Metafilter policy is unclear. What is written in the FAQ is that illegal and even quasi-illegal posts are not acceptable, when in fact these discussion evidently are sometimes okay when it comes to some topics. That is fine; run your website however you feel. However, if you are charging people to join your community, I think the description of that community should be made very clear and unambiguous.
posted by Menthol at 9:09 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I could go on about Bleached Beach Weasels Ripped My Flesh. That's just a crucial recording in those parallel universes where it happens to exist.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:11 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, a proposition to outright legalize (and tax and regulate) cannabis will be on the ballot this November in California

And even if this passes (which I seriously doubt, given that the conservative part of the electorate is all jazzed up for this election and the liberals are kind of "meh"), it will still be illegal, because federal law trumps state law. It's nice that Obama has chosen to call off the federal dogs, but he is only president for six more years at the most.

I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be if I was a distributor anyway, paying state taxes on all my weed sales and then sitting back to see what the IRS does about it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:12 PM on January 31, 2010


However, if you are charging people to join your community, I think the description of that community should be made very clear and unambiguous.

Okay. I reread the FAQ. The two places where it talks about illegality are

"Some types of questions may not be approved such as illegal, repetitive, trollish, ranty, unanswerable or obvious questions..."

and

"Common reasons for thread removal are chatfilter questions, open-ended hypothetical questions, rants posing as questions, questions asking how to do things that are illegal or borderline illegal, questions about suicide, questions about how to get revenge..."

So, I don't want to be too hair-splitting and I do take your point Menthol, but to me this sounds like what we're doing is saying "we might remove your question about doing something illegal" and takes no stance on whether questions about things which are illegal are ever going to be okay. That is a topic that comes up every now and then in MeTa and we do talk about it then.

We could add something to the faq that basically said "Hey there's an AskMe on a topic that I think is illegal or immoral or unethical that hasn't been deleted!" and expand upon that more, but I don't usually feel that this is a topic that is unclear to most people. Our general approach is "you are an adult and responsible for knowing the laws in your jurisdiction [unless you are asking about them] and probably know when something is okay or not according to your personal moral compass."

We know that drug questions do make some people feel weird and not okay, and while that's not optimal we're okay with that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:32 PM on January 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


"This is very important. In my state, getting caught smoking a little marijuana is not even a crime, it is a violation (the difference between a crime and a violation is that you cannot go to jail for a crime. Think speeding ticket). Not a big deal. However, manufacture and distribution of the items described in the post are felonies. Meaning, go to prison for years."

Then you should definitely not have a Haiti pot party.

"However, if you are charging people to join your community, I think the description of that community should be made very clear and unambiguous."

Do you need me to paypal you $5 along with an explanation that part of what makes MeFi work is that members are trusted to be bright enough to cope with ambiguity and to not act like fucking narcs?
posted by klangklangston at 9:37 PM on January 31, 2010 [31 favorites]


You could Paypal me $5 and I'll spend it on weed beer. Then everybody wins! Especially me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:43 PM on January 31, 2010


Mameshiba
posted by Damn That Television at 9:52 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


"However, if you are charging people to join your community, I think the description of that community should be made very clear and unambiguous."

But, why does it need to be more granular than it is? It's fine how it is. We're adults. We can reason and make decisions and take responsibility. That's really as far as it needs to go. If you feel uncomfortable being around that type of environment, then this might not be the right place for you.
posted by batmonkey at 9:53 PM on January 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


Menthol: “I am not an expert in international law, but my understanding is many other countries also prohibit selling/manufacturing marijuana and related/derivative items. There very well be more places where such activity is legal than I thought. However, there are some places in the world where rape is legal. Does that justify a question about how best to commit rape?”

Whoa there - there's no reason to deploy the nuclear option, is there? Why bring rape into this? No big deal, and I know what ypu meant - just seems kinda inflammatory.

“Regardless of how you feel about marijuana and if it should or should not be illegal is not the issue. What I feel is the issue is that Metafilter policy is unclear. What is written in the FAQ is that illegal and even quasi-illegal posts are not acceptable, when in fact these discussion evidently are sometimes okay when it comes to some topics. That is fine; run your website however you feel. However, if you are charging people to join your community, I think the description of that community should be made very clear and unambiguous.”

With all due respect, the FAQ is quite clear on this, and does not say that illegal or borderline-illegal posts won't be approved. It says in fact that illegality is a common reason for thread removal and may lead to non-approval of anonymous questions. It's perfectly straightforward on this; I think you've misread it.
posted by koeselitz at 10:02 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, for a start, there's a pretty significant difference between activities that are conventionally illegal but not necessarily immoral—like marijuana in many jurisdictions today in general, or alcohol during U.S. prohibition in the 1920s—and something like rape which is inherently immoral, in addition to being illegal in many (but I guess not all, according to your link) places. I don't even know why you would go to Defcon 1 like that.
posted by chinston at 10:18 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Huh, that map of the legality of cannabis is interesting. I'm not too surprised that the UK and France are more conservative than their neighbours and that cannabis is illegal there. Nor is the illegality in Austria a surprise. But Sweden, Norway and Danmark?! I always thought that they are culturally similar to the Netherlands and North-Germany. Guess not.
posted by joost de vries at 10:25 PM on January 31, 2010


MaryDellamorte, there are many countries in which software piracy is either not addressed in the law or it is not at all prosecuted, the most extreme example of which would be China. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why software piracy questions are shut down using US mores regarding intellectual property. An anonymous asker looking for a cracked version of something could very well be doing something that people in their country would never consider shady at all.
posted by ignignokt at 10:32 PM on January 31, 2010


jesus christ.

had the OP not mentioned that they'll be collecting money, would you still have posted this callout? i read it as a simple "yo, what's some good ways to my wizeed in my fizood." nothing more, nothing less. some users here have that information and they're answering the question.

why are you clinging to this? it's got to be more than because you want a clear delineation on the rules. the rules, er, guidelines are a bit fluid in this corner of MetaFilter. community standards and what not. MeFi is somewhat cool with weed.

MeFi is not somewhat cool with ridiculous rape analogies. at least i'm not. be cool.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:58 PM on January 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know how these people got holes in their loops or why

But don't loops, like, have to have holes? Isn't that kind of the definition of a loop, the bit that goes around a hole? Can you have a loop without a hole?

As for the post, I actually actively dislike marijuana and it's ilk for a variety of thought out scientific and less rational personal reasons and tend to quietly frown upon those who use it. Yet I still see no problem with this question or with the stance that metafilter in general takes on illegal activity questions overall. I like that we don't have inflexible hard lined rules (except the no spamming one) but much-argued about and well considered, sometimes moveable guidelines. I think it's a big strength here, part of the reason why the community continues to grow and allows the place to include/deal with all kinds of things, even those I don't personally like a great deal.
posted by shelleycat at 11:05 PM on January 31, 2010


Can you have a loop without a hole?

shelleycat just blew my mind.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:07 PM on January 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


I had been considering asking a question concerning how one goes about finding a dealer in a town one is unfamiliar with. (For a friend, for a special occasion.) I don't normally partake in illegal substances, so I thought the insight of the community would be valuable. My understanding was that the illegality clause in the FAQ was mainly to protect the site; if you were asking a question that could bring legal action against Metafilter, it would obviously be problematic.

Was I being too liberal with the guideline? Would my question be over the line?
posted by team lowkey at 11:23 PM on January 31, 2010


joost de vries: “Huh, that map of the legality of cannabis is interesting. I'm not too surprised that the UK and France are more conservative than their neighbours and that cannabis is illegal there. Nor is the illegality in Austria a surprise. But Sweden, Norway and Danmark?! I always thought that they are culturally similar to the Netherlands and North-Germany. Guess not.”

(Psst: you will get more shades of grey and interesting variation if you peruse Wikipedia's handy map and accompanying chart entitled "Legality of cannabis by country." It's missing fewer countries, anyway, and has better descriptions.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:33 PM on January 31, 2010


I think a part of the problem is that people may not be properly informed about the nature of this whole situation.

Apparently you, for starters, because cooking with weed isn't concentrated anything. It's usually a dilution and less potent per measure of weight due to the fatty substrate to which the THC is bonded.

The main point of cooking with weed is that you don't have to smoke it. Not that it gets you higher. It's not more dangerous nor potent. It just lasts longer and a lower intensity and you don't have to smoke.

Also: What are you, a narc?

No, seriously. Your $5 admission fee doesn't buy you any liability. You're not MeFi's lawyers, nor a mod. If the mods that actually run the site posted an anonymous question - you may assume that it has indeed met the standards outlined. We discuss and link to more controversial things here all the time.

However. You're cool, I'm cool, everybody is cool because we just accidentally stumbled on to the greatest thing I've ever heard of since pot pancakes.

Pot popcorn. A little garlic pot-butter, some crumbled parmesan and oregano. Holy shit. It's like watching someone accidentally discover fire, sliced bread or digital watches.

I like saying pot. Pot! Pot! Pot!
posted by loquacious at 11:44 PM on January 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


The main point of cooking with weed is that you don't have to smoke it. Not that it gets you higher.

false dichotomy

The main point of cooking is that you don't have to smoke it and it gets you higher than god.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:51 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


The main point of cooking with weed is that you don't have to smoke it. Not that it gets you higher. It's not more dangerous nor potent.

Umm, this couldn't be more wrong. Eating THC is by far the most potent way to ingest it, to the point of inducing a coma-like stupor if too much is ingested. It won't kill you but it will "wipe you out" and has lead more than one stoner to the emergency room. The key when cooking it is to use "shake" (weaker marijuana) and, when it comes to eating it, being very careful of how much you actually eat, bearing in mind that it can take as long as 2-3 hours for the full potency to hit.

Hunter S Thompson, were he still with us, would back me up on this. He was on the record as saying eating marijuana was the single most unpleasant drug related experience he ever had.
posted by philip-random at 11:59 PM on January 31, 2010


Menthol, I know you mean well, or think you mean well, but really. You don't have to be wringing your hands over this.

Also: Nobody likes a narc. Nobody.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:02 AM on February 1, 2010


To correct my own typo...

(the difference between a crime and a violation is that you cannot go to jail for a crime. Think speeding ticket).

That is the opposite of what I meant, violations are what you can't go to jail for, they just incur fines.

Additionally, I want to thank jessamyn specifically. I appreciate your prompt and even-handed responses, and you do make a good point about the interpretation of the wording of the FAQ:

"So, I don't want to be too hair-splitting and I do take your point Menthol, but to me this sounds like what we're doing is saying "we might remove your question about doing something illegal" and takes no stance on whether questions about things which are illegal are ever going to be okay. That is a topic that comes up every now and then in MeTa and we do talk about it then."

That's fine, my whole argument is based on splitting hairs. I guess I am somewhat passionate about this because I work in law enforcement and strict, techincal interpretations of the law are what I do all day.

It is frightening to me when people take something very lightly which could land them in prison for years and ruin lives. Right or wrong, it is still important to know what the law is. If people want to advocate legalization of marijuana (or whatever) that is awesome; I encourage people to learn about how law is made (and unmade) and fight for what they believe in. But, until the day comes when this kind of stuff is universally legal, it makes me feel anxious for people who so casually act as if it's no big deal and are really taking a huge risk. Thus, I was frustrated when a situation came up where the discussion of doing something illegal went unchecked, but commentary about how it was criminal was deleted. I will go forward with an augmented perspective on what is and isn't okay on AskMe.

Additionally, I apologize if I offended anyone with the "legality of rape" parallel I made, it was not my intention to hurt anyone, just make a point. It was inflammatory, though, so I'm sorry.

Thanks to all who contributed, I personally consider the matter closed.
posted by Menthol at 12:05 AM on February 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Menthol, I know you mean well, or think you mean well, but really. You don't have to be wringing your hands over this.

Also: Nobody likes a narc. Nobody.


Um, that's kind of what I am. :P
posted by Menthol at 12:06 AM on February 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


HOLY SHIT HE'S ONTO US

FLUSH THE STASH MAN I'LL DISTRACT HIM
posted by graventy at 12:23 AM on February 1, 2010


Rape is a pretty ridiculous comparison, and if you think someone smoking pot is even CLOSE to the equivalent of someone committing rape I'd like you to please leave the law enforcement community.
posted by graventy at 12:26 AM on February 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dave's not here, man.
posted by Jofus at 12:36 AM on February 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Rape is a pretty ridiculous comparison, and if you think someone smoking pot is even CLOSE to the equivalent of someone committing rape I'd like you to please leave the law enforcement community.

Oh? Where I am, rape in the first degree is a class A felony. That means the maximum punishment is 20 years in prison, or a fine of $375,000.00, or both.

Having a little pot seems like no big deal, right? However, growing a little pot plant without a medical permit (aka manufacturing)? Class A felony. Making a THC containing food (manufacturing)? Class A felony. Selling pot? Class A felony (or Class B, depends on the circumstances. That's still 10 years in prison though).

What the OP in the thread I am talking about has proposed, in my state, carries the same potential punishment as if he committed rape. This is why I freak out.

"...and if you think someone smoking pot is even CLOSE to the equivalent of someone committing rape..."

It doesn't matter what I think! I am not sworn to uphold "what I think." I have to follow what the law says, and the law says manufacture and distribution of marijuana and related drugs is serious business. My personal feelings on the matter have nothing to do with what will happen if this dude gets caught selling pot laced food to people, which is that his life is destroyed.
posted by Menthol at 1:07 AM on February 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


He just apologized, graventy.
posted by koeselitz at 1:08 AM on February 1, 2010


Whoops. Heh.
posted by koeselitz at 1:09 AM on February 1, 2010


Hunter S Thompson, were he still with us, would back me up on this. He was on the record as saying eating marijuana was the single most unpleasant drug related experience he ever had.

That's because he was a lightweight.
posted by loquacious at 1:14 AM on February 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


If dope or copyright violations freak you out this is probably going to be an uncomfortable venue for you.
posted by caddis at 1:15 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Menthol: “What the OP in the thread I am talking about has proposed, in my state, carries the same potential punishment as if he committed rape. This is why I freak out.”

Yikes. That doesn't make me freak out at the poster, or at Metafilter; that makes me freak out at the law. But I'm sure that's not mutually exclusive, and I take your point. It's only that the law on that point is really, really mismanaged, it seems; – I get the feeling you feel the same way; but that, like many law enforcement people, you seem to have a true appreciation that few of us have of the importance and power of law as law regardless of how we feel about it. (I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing; it would be nice if more people understood that.)

“My personal feelings on the matter have nothing to do with what will happen if this dude gets caught selling pot laced food to people, which is that his life is destroyed.”

Well, again, you're assuming that he's (a) in a state with laws similar or identical to yours, and (b) in a community that will choose to enforce those laws directly in that way.

Also, I know you haven't necessarily touched on this point, but the purpose of the metafilter guidelines is also not primarily to protect users from hurting themselves, either by breaking the law or through other means. I think the guidelines on this point exist to help metafilter stay in the right place on these discussions; namely, to prevent us from becoming an obvious, legally-culpable party to crime. And I don't think this question puts us in that position.

In my state, Colorado, it's becoming easier every day to be a medical-marijuana patient or cultivator. I suspect that this will continue throughout the country. I appreciate that you're concerned that people aren't noticing that we haven't progressed all the way to legalization in certain areas geographically; but it seems just as true to say that it seems to be a nationwide trend. I'm looking forward, in a few years, to a time when you won't have to trouble with this sort of thing as part of your job.
posted by koeselitz at 1:23 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I kind of wonder how Menthol framed his/her remarks originally because my general experience has been that, when judiciously and non-judgmentally delivered, "cautionary note" type asides in questions usually get a pass. I think there are two observations in Menthol's comments - that the production of any kind of extract of a drug can bump you from possession to manufacturing, and the more obvious but still valid point that the scenario described could be legally interpreted as sale - that could merit inclusion in the discussion, even though they are off the exact topic of "recipes that take a lot of oil" (as are a large percentage of the answers).

Menthol, you sound like a narc or a cop in the way you framed this MeTa, but as the discussion has progressed you've come to sound progressively more like a human being, and a little of that goes a long way, so if your honest concern is to educate people about their potential liability, you might find you can accomplish that goal with a lighter touch.

That question kind of made me frown a little because the person just came off to me as inexperienced (describing the idea as having the food "all... composed" of dosed food and talking about people getting "a lot" so they can get the most "bang for their buck." It may be true that the purpose of the guidelines is "not primarily to protect users from hurting themselves" but I don't know that decent advice along those lines needs to be excluded either. People are awfully quick to jump on the very premise that the Asker could be risking serious legal liability with both feet, which I also don't think is necessary. What seems like a bit of a lark turning into a bad night with the popo isn't exactly a hypothetical. As a person who took some awful chances as a callow youth, and ran at times with a still tougher crowd, and ultimately moved on to a life of retiring and unstoned respectability, I tend to think people are going to do what they're going to do... but coming from the perspective I do I saw more than a couple friends sent up and when you're on the wrong side of that shit it's no joke.
posted by nanojath at 2:24 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dope of all sorts is legal where I am. It's not a geographic thing, because I move around pretty much all the time. My leadership in the church along with the ability to fold space creates a de facto extra national zone around me regardless of political boundaries, encompassing the room I occupy. When outdoors the field extends maybe 2-3 meters out, even further when in a discreet or semi-enclosed space.

I am not sure exactly whether or not this field penetrates out to my brothers and sisters via our Internet connection but worth I try, I say. If the Man is ever giving you trouble for smoking a doobie, just tell them that you are with me, and that I said it's cool.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:43 AM on February 1, 2010 [15 favorites]


However. You're cool, I'm cool, everybody is cool [...]

I like saying pot. Pot! Pot! Pot!


Pol Pot, however, was totally uncool.
posted by Ritchie at 3:02 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


koeselitz: Also, I know you haven't necessarily touched on this point, but the purpose of the metafilter guidelines is also not primarily to protect users from hurting themselves, either by breaking the law or through other means. I think the guidelines on this point exist to help metafilter stay in the right place on these discussions; namely, to prevent us from becoming an obvious, legally-culpable party to crime. And I don't think this question puts us in that position.

Metafilter strikes me as a place where people come together to entertain and educate each other for no other reason than just to be nice. It would make me sad if people coming here ended up in trouble when it could have been prevented in some way; a big part of me wants to actively step in on this kind of stuff to make things safe.

I don't mean to get up on a high horse or be preachy to people, and I also don't mean to toot my own horn or make out like I am better than anyone; I am not. But, I feel like being part of a community is caring for the people in that community, and sometimes taking care of your community means voicing an unpopular point, even if they disregard it, just so you know they fully appreciate all the aspects of the matter.

The existence of that discussion, lacking the counterpoint of the dangers made explicit, bothered me. However, if it doesn't bother anyone else, i guess it is my problem alone.
posted by Menthol at 3:15 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


nanojath:I kind of wonder how Menthol framed his/her remarks originally because my general experience has been that, when judiciously and non-judgmentally delivered, "cautionary note" type asides in questions usually get a pass.

To be fair, it was not gentle, part of it went something like, "Essentially you are asking how best to organize a large drug deal, but it is 'okay' becase some of your profits are going to charity. If you are really interested in helping people, I suggest a legal fund-raiser." I think I led in with something else, but I forget. Half the problem was probably the tone.
posted by Menthol at 3:21 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Menthol, you sound like a narc or a cop in the way you framed this MeTa, but as the discussion has progressed you've come to sound progressively more like a human being...

And believe it or not, narcs and cops are actually human beings too. :)
posted by Menthol at 3:25 AM on February 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Menthol

Is your handle after the type of tobacco cigarette?
posted by telstar at 3:25 AM on February 1, 2010


Is your handle after the type of tobacco cigarette?

Yes, I smoked a pack a day for 10 years before I quit, but the name stuck. I wish I had never started.
posted by Menthol at 3:44 AM on February 1, 2010


Menthol: “The existence of that discussion, lacking the counterpoint of the dangers made explicit, bothered me. However, if it doesn't bother anyone else, i guess it is my problem alone... To be fair, it was not gentle, part of it went something like, ‘Essentially you are asking how best to organize a large drug deal, but it is 'okay' becase some of your profits are going to charity. If you are really interested in helping people, I suggest a legal fund-raiser.’ I think I led in with something else, but I forget. Half the problem was probably the tone.”

Well, at the very least, I do want to encourage you to provide that counterpoint. You're uniquely equipped to do so, after all. The only caveat, of course, is that explicitly avoiding moral judgments in these things works best. Not that it's wrong to express moral judgements, or even that those judgments themselves aren't valid; I merely notice that people get very fussy and upset, especially concerning things like this, when moral judgments come into play.

But, like I said, I want to encourage you to give your input anyway. Brief comments like "by the way, for your information: in lots of states, this is highly illegal and can get you into big trouble, including X and Y and Z; use your own good judgment" can add that perspective when it's lacking, as long as they're just brief notes and don't turn everybody attention toward something else. And sometimes it's very good to have that from somebody who knows.
posted by koeselitz at 3:55 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]




I'm betting it was the tone of the comment rather than it's content that got it deleted, then. Warning people that penalties might be harsher than they think (or linking to information about penalties in places that might be relevant to the asker) isn't a problem. Telling people the entire basis of their question is wrong is a little higher on the difficulty scale and requires more tact. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it :)
posted by harriet vane at 3:59 AM on February 1, 2010


a big part of me wants to actively step in on this kind of stuff to make things safe

That's what I love so much about spending a lot of my social capital in an online community: people that think like this are physically distant from me.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:02 AM on February 1, 2010 [10 favorites]


Regardless of how you feel about marijuana and if it should or should not be illegal is not the issue. What I feel is the issue is that Metafilter policy is unclear. What is written in the FAQ is that illegal and even quasi-illegal posts are not acceptable, when in fact these discussion evidently are sometimes okay when it comes to some topics. That is fine; run your website however you feel. However, if you are charging people to join your community, I think the description of that community should be made very clear and unambiguous.
posted by Menthol at 9:09 PM on January 31


I don't think you're going to like it here, to be honest. This is not really a place where authoritarians feel welcome, and based on the facts that a) you don't like that the rules aren't set in stone and b) you actually give a shit about someone making pot brownies, I think you probably fall into that group.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:03 AM on February 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Kettle sucked, too.
posted by fleacircus at 4:04 AM on February 1, 2010


Also: Nobody likes a narc. Nobody.

Um, that's kind of what I am. :P
posted by Menthol at 12:06 AM on February 1


Missed this. You know, part of what I was going to say is that the only people who actually want pot to stay illegal are politicians looking for easy votes for their "Tough on Crime, All Crime, Even Made-Up Crime" stance, correctional officers, shareholders in private prison companies like CCA, and narcotics officers. And there you have it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:09 AM on February 1, 2010


That departed MeFite who thought this place blind to the importance of class may have been onto something.
posted by hawthorne at 4:35 AM on February 1, 2010


"not so much in Morocco"

Actually, now I have an idea for my next party in Morocco. There's a reason why Guerrouane Rouge and mahia (fig liquor) are so popular.
posted by HopperFan at 4:39 AM on February 1, 2010


And believe it or not, narcs and cops are actually human beings too. :)

Sort of. Some of them.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:49 AM on February 1, 2010


Just teasing menthol.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:49 AM on February 1, 2010


team lowkey wrote: I had been considering asking a question concerning how one goes about finding a dealer in a town one is unfamiliar with.

This isn't a good askme question. Instead, try asking at the next meetup.
posted by ryanrs at 4:59 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the mods' answer doesn't seem intellectually consistent you, pretend it was instead, "Because we said so" - since that's how you perceive it, and since it amounts to the same thing.

Then smoke a joint because you desperately need to relax.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:35 AM on February 1, 2010


>That departed MeFite who thought this place blind to the importance of class may have been onto something.

Hawthorne, I'm not sure what you're getting at, here. However, I do wonder if you mean to suggest that the overwhelming scorn directed herein at someone who balks at open discussion of a marijuana (bake) sale reflects the dominance of a particular class position on Metafilter -- a position so damned comfortable that we simply can't understand why others might worry about being implicated in discussions about breaking the law.

I mean, I understand that in this case, the guy has "outed" himself as a narc and therefore his worry about breaking the law is merely a reflection of his "authoritarian" nature. But, you know, a lot of people worry about conversations like this because they feel like they'd be screwed if they got caught associating with such. (Hmm, wonder if someone who's a narcotics officer might have that worry?) (Hmm, wonder if anyone who's not white-upper-middle-class-privileged might also feel that worry a bit more than I do?)

I really don't care who bakes and sales what for whom. But the knee-jerk contempt and self-righteousness can grow wearying, no? And a little troubling, after a while...
posted by artemisia at 5:38 AM on February 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


All these narc and now authoritarian comments are coming off like a bunch of reactionary immature insults. Seriously? Obviously, pot use and the legality of the drug is apparently supported by the vocal majority here on Metafilter, but disagreement with it either from a legal or personal perspective doesn't call for stupid comments like these.
posted by Atreides at 6:20 AM on February 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


For what it's worth, Menthol, I think your responses in this conversation have been totally classy.
posted by prefpara at 6:22 AM on February 1, 2010 [20 favorites]


*plays piano with increasing freneticism*
posted by shakespeherian at 6:25 AM on February 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


For what it's worth, Menthol, I think your responses in this conversation have been totally classy.

I more or less agree. The only crime here is US-centrism, which is to be expected from a new USer.
posted by DU at 6:35 AM on February 1, 2010


Agreeing with prefpara about the classy responses.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 6:39 AM on February 1, 2010


The key when cooking it is to use "shake" (weaker marijuana)

I think you mean shwag. Shake is not weaker marijuana, it's the loose crumbs at the bottom of the bag.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:42 AM on February 1, 2010


Metafilter strikes me as a place where people come together to entertain and educate each other for no other reason than just to be nice.

No. People CAN be nice here, but thats not the reasoning behind participation here; its mostly for the FREE dissemination of information and discussion.

It would make me sad if people coming here ended up in trouble when it could have been prevented in some way; a big part of me wants to actively step in on this kind of stuff to make things safe

Thanks, but I think we all understand what drugs are.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:43 AM on February 1, 2010


the only people who actually want pot to stay illegal are politicians

Fonely! There are significant segments of certain ghetto communities that see legalization as making it easier for their children to become users.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:51 AM on February 1, 2010


I think I know what the problem is.

Menthol's alignment is Lawful Good, whereas Metafilter is either Neutral Good or maybe even a little Chaotic Good.

It's like oil and water, man. oil and water.
posted by shmegegge at 6:55 AM on February 1, 2010 [13 favorites]


MetaFilter's avatar of sweet reason has arrived.
posted by gman at 6:59 AM on February 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


*casts Know Alignment*
posted by The Whelk at 7:00 AM on February 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


There are significant segments of certain ghetto communities that see legalization as making it easier for their children to become users.

Um. What?
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:05 AM on February 1, 2010


Not that it's wrong to express moral judgements

I see what you did there.
posted by Partial Law at 7:10 AM on February 1, 2010


My only problem with that question is that I got the sense that the inclusion of pot would not be revealed to the participants. That it would be a surprise to them. That would not be cool at all.
posted by yesster at 7:14 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why do they call it pot? Why not kettle?
posted by anniecat at 7:21 AM on February 1, 2010


My only problem with that question is that I got the sense that the inclusion of pot would not be revealed to the participants. That it would be a surprise to them. That would not be cool at all.

I think that's the main selling point. Though, like DrJimmy above, I'd be curious as to how much of a percentage from the "profits" will be going to the charity. Though, that's not central to the question or the debate here.
posted by Atreides at 7:22 AM on February 1, 2010


Dear Askme, what can I do with all this Sudafed?
posted by electroboy at 7:29 AM on February 1, 2010


It took me a while to cotton onto what Menthol was on about, but it turns out that he's on about the same thing that worries me, all the time:

Menthol: It is frightening to me when people take something very lightly which could land them in prison for years and ruin lives. Right or wrong, it is still important to know what the law is. If people want to advocate legalization of marijuana (or whatever) that is awesome; I encourage people to learn about how law is made (and unmade) and fight for what they believe in. But, until the day comes when this kind of stuff is universally legal, it makes me feel anxious for people who so casually act as if it's no big deal and are really taking a huge risk. Thus, I was frustrated when a situation came up where the discussion of doing something illegal went unchecked, but commentary about how it was criminal was deleted. I will go forward with an augmented perspective on what is and isn't okay on AskMe.

I both love it and hate it the way MeFi (for one) and tons of pop culture - hip hop videos, stoner movies, etc, can make it seem like growing/having/trading/smoking a little weed is no big deal. The problem is that, whatever the actual law is, anywhere, enforcement is highly subjective, varying by the possessor's socioeconomic or ethnic group and the enforcer's personal convictions. I looked at the map linked by MaryDellamorte and thought - nofuckingway Mississippi and North Carolina are genuinely decriminalized. I know, for example, I would not like to be a sagging, unlaced AF1's-wearing brown-skinned 22-year-old holding weed in either of those states when it came time to explain to the officer that marijuana is decriminalized.

But that's me knowing that - age 40, college-degreed, white, and aware of the human nature of law enforcement. the trouble is, our kids out here in BFE, they watch the videos and movies made in California and because they're young and goofy, they think the law is the same everywhere. they find out the hard way that a trifling amount of a trivial drug is the end of your education (can't get student loans or grants) and possibly your career.

Menthol, I appreciate your position, on the one hand, because it's true that the law hasn't caught up to what the culture already knows - that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and should be left to adults to decide whether/how to use it. Once the majority of people figure out that the law is lying, the law becomes unenforceable and the enforcers untrustworthy.

OTOH, you and others in your position are part of the problem because you know better, but you keep taking the money and arresting people you know are not endangering anyone. you know there are better things law enforcement could be doing to protect the community, but drug users are easy collars and look good on teevee. if you really want to help, grow up and turn your focus to real crimes - unequal enforcement of existing laws.
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:29 AM on February 1, 2010 [11 favorites]


Dear Askme, what can I do with all this Sudafed?
posted by electroboy at 10:29 AM on February 1 [+] [!]


well, you can use it to entrap Asian convenience store owners who don't understand all the subtleties of colloquial english.

you'll get a big bonus with all those collars.
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:32 AM on February 1, 2010




And believe it or not, narcs and cops are actually human beings too. :)

Sorry, not to be a dick about it, my main point being the Voice of the Authorities frequently does not garner a friendly response hereabouts, as is easy to see in this thread. My perspective is that relevance is a big gray are of AskMe responses: whether an answer tangential to a question (but perhaps containing useful information) will stick around probably has a lot to do with whether it picks up a lot of flags from other users.
posted by nanojath at 7:49 AM on February 1, 2010


toodleydoodley, honestly we do not have any real idea what position Menthol is in. I think I'm as against the War on Drugs as anyone, but I think the drug war rhetoric here could come down a notch.
posted by nanojath at 7:55 AM on February 1, 2010


joost de vries writes "Huh, that map of the legality of cannabis is interesting. I'm not too surprised that the UK and France are more conservative than their neighbours and that cannabis is illegal there. Nor is the illegality in Austria a surprise. But Sweden, Norway and Danmark?! I always thought that they are culturally similar to the Netherlands and North-Germany. Guess not."

Forget that; anyone on the ground in Brazil that can confirm "The possession of any drug in Brazil, for personal consumption, entails a warning, community service and education on the effects of drug use. The same applies for the planting and/or preparation of small amounts of any drug." Or is it just for first offenses?

artemisia writes "I mean, I understand that in this case, the guy has 'outed' himself as a narc and therefore his worry about breaking the law is merely a reflection of his 'authoritarian' nature. But, you know, a lot of people worry about conversations like this because they feel like they'd be screwed if they got caught associating with such. (Hmm, wonder if someone who's a narcotics officer might have that worry?) (Hmm, wonder if anyone who's not white-upper-middle-class-privileged might also feel that worry a bit more than I do?)"

If you're worried about the appearance of reading mere discussions of marijuana use (or say copyright infringement) on the internet Metafilter unfortunately isn't going to be for you.
posted by Mitheral at 7:55 AM on February 1, 2010


toodleydoodley, honestly we do not have any real idea what position Menthol is in. I think I'm as against the War on Drugs as anyone, but I think the drug war rhetoric here could come down a notch.

yep, you're right. I was basing my point on his/her having outed him/herself as a "narc".

But then, I don't know if s/he's the one in, say, Maclenny, following little Susie in her box Honda and arresting her for the couple of flakes of "substance" on the floor mat that could have come in on somebody's shoe, or if s/he's the one in Ybor who sees Mikey smoking a joint out there on 7th Ave in front of God and everybody, and tells him, "Put that away and quit being an asshole or I'll have to write you a ticket."

so, Menthol, if you're the former, I think you're part of the problem. if you're the latter, I thank you for doing the hard work in this crappy situation in which we all find ourselves.

besides, Menthol brought the drug war rhetoric in with the whole "don't you people know pots are illegal "? thing.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:20 AM on February 1, 2010


Guys, I have a confession to make. Sometimes I ask what products I should buy online on AskMe, and I intend to purchase those items without paying sales tax. Is this a bannable offense, or can I make it up somehow?
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:28 AM on February 1, 2010


Just a quick late response for Menthol: the problem with the comment I remember removing was, yes, largely one of tone. A gentle heads-up kind of comment about stuff to keep in mind re: a potentially questionable activity is usually okay, but if it comes off as combative or needlessly strident that's often not so cool.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:35 AM on February 1, 2010


Menthol: I am not aware of any state where these activities are not felonies. There are, of course, medical marijuana laws in various places that create exceptions, but unless this person is licensed to distribute this stuff and all the people attending have prescriptions...

I guess you missed my first posting of it so I'll say it again: In Denver there's Ganja Gourmet, a sit-down restaurant that serves dishes laced with cannabis. Dunno what their policy on who to serve is but presumably it's acceptable to local law enforcement.
posted by scalefree at 8:36 AM on February 1, 2010


In Denver there's Ganja Gourmet, a sit-down restaurant that serves dishes laced with cannabis. Dunno what their policy on who to serve is but presumably it's acceptable to local law enforcement.

Sure, that's in, like, throw a rock to the Bonnie Brae area, of course nobody's getting arrested there. Do they have a sister restaurant in Five Points? didn't think so.

note, Scalefree, I'm not saying you're wrong - I'm saying the law's interpreted unequally in your favor, and that's my grief with culture and the law.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:41 AM on February 1, 2010


By that link, it's important to note that Ganja Gourmet isn't just a "sit down restaurant," as you're representing it to be. It's a medical marijuana distributor who has taken a creative way of doing that distribution. From your link, "All patrons at the Ganja Gourmet must show a medical marijuana card that proves they have a doctor's permission to use pot for some kind of malady."

So obviously, it's not falling on the wrong side of law enforcement because it's operating within the medical marijuana law requirements. This isn't a case of police looking the other way.
posted by Atreides at 8:46 AM on February 1, 2010


Really, the idea of a entirely pot laced dinner party is just a terrible idea. I predict half of the guests end up zombified and the other half in the fetal position.
posted by electroboy at 8:51 AM on February 1, 2010


I predict half of the guests end up zombified and the other half in the fetal position.

why would you say that?! @_@
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:11 AM on February 1, 2010


Pol Pot, however, was totally uncool.

But helluva lot of fun to sing to.
posted by squeak at 9:12 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, in all seriousness I would have only one of the food items be laced, so that people can still eat all they want without continually dosing themselves. If you make pot brownies, make sure there's other food in the house.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:13 AM on February 1, 2010


why would you say that?! @_@

Experience.
posted by electroboy at 9:39 AM on February 1, 2010


why would you say that?! @_@

Experience.


are...are you fucking with me? (makes paranoid eyes thing @_@ again)

I have to go to bed
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:56 AM on February 1, 2010


I have to follow what the law says

Bummer.

Aren't things like oral sex still technically illegal under old sodomy laws in a lot of places? Not enforced, of course, but still on the books?

Things like this are why I obey good laws, bend the inconvenient, and ignore the stupid ones.

And generally try to not get caught.
posted by quin at 9:59 AM on February 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


I just wanted to say...

Does that justify a question about how best to commit rape?

LOOK AT HOW SLIPPERY MY SLOPE IS! SO SLIPPREY! YOU MUST BAN ALL QUESTIONS!
posted by GuyZero at 9:59 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, now I'm hungry. Pass the pot popcorn.
posted by loquacious at 10:03 AM on February 1, 2010


It has somehow mysteriously disappeared when we where playing Civ 4.
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 AM on February 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


man, that is amazing. you somehow channeled 90% of my college experience with that one civ reference.
posted by shmegegge at 10:24 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


LOOK AT HOW SLIPPERY MY SLOPE IS! SO SLIPPREY!

GOOD LORD THIS HILL IS COATED WITH HASH OIL!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:32 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Woah, did someone say the Mekons. Sorry, I totally spaced.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:33 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


GOOD LORD THIS HILL IS COATED WITH HASH OIL!

Big Stoned Cannaboid Mountain?
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 AM on February 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


quin said:
"Things like this are why I obey good laws, bend the inconvenient, and ignore the stupid ones. "

...and for the last two, you also vote conscientiously to encourage adjustment of the laws to better reflect the evolving mores of society, right? You don't just blow 'em off and sit back, right?
posted by batmonkey at 10:38 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huh. Big Rock Candy Mountain has an unexpected last verse.
posted by electroboy at 10:47 AM on February 1, 2010


Has anyone linked to the how to dispose of a body AskMe yet?

Creepiest. Answer. Ever.
posted by loquacious at 11:29 AM on February 1, 2010


you also vote conscientiously to encourage adjustment of the laws to better reflect the evolving mores of society, right?

Well sure, it's a critical component to the betterment of society. But as hard as I try, for safety reasons, I don't think they are going to up the speed limit to 85 on the interstate, much like they aren't likely to ever legalize personal thermonuclear weaponry.

As I said, some I bend, some I break.
posted by quin at 11:38 AM on February 1, 2010


I am probably the "man" but holy shit I hope no one gets stopped driving home and gives that guys info to the police in exchange for a suspended sentence for a third DUI. All high and nervous and telling them what they want to hear until the cops think they got the biggest distributor in the county and dress up in some meth-bust riot-style gear and storm his gramma's house while this dude is napping in front of Wheel of Fortune.

(True story!)
posted by kathrineg at 11:48 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I work on changing the marijuana laws in my state, and I appreciate what Menthol is saying in this thread.

One of the biggest obstacles to ending the war on drugs is people who disagree with it but think that either it's not so bad, or that it will never be ended. Based on Menthol's description of the laws in his state, we may live in the same state. There's a lot of news coverage of medical cannabis access here, often with joking headlines and implications that anyone can get legal access. The reality is that thousands of people are arrested for marijuana possession here every year. Marijuana arrests here are increasing, and have continued to go up since Prop 215 passed. I have a friend currently serving federal time for marijuana possession.

Trust me, I want personal use to be legal in this state, but it isn't yet, and people can and do get arrested all the time here. The fact that many of us on Metafilter think the current laws are stupid doesn't actually serve as a defense in court.

As a bonus link, meet the good folks at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:53 AM on February 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Huh. Big Rock Candy Mountain has an unexpected last verse.

Crazy. I'd love to hear a recording of the full, un-sanitized version.
posted by Caduceus at 12:00 PM on February 1, 2010


Aren't things like oral sex still technically illegal under old sodomy laws in a lot of places?

Also, if you give blowjobs to raise money for Haiti but keep some of the profits, it's technically prostitution.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:04 PM on February 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Crazy. I'd love to hear a recording of the full, un-sanitized version.

Me too, but I'm guessing neither Burl Ives nor Tex Ritter recorded one.
posted by electroboy at 12:10 PM on February 1, 2010


One of the biggest obstacles to ending the war on drugs is people who disagree with it but think that either it's not so bad, or that it will never be ended.

I had an old room-mate who was a daily toker but he nevertheless always argued in favor of keeping the laws as they were. His rationale: why should my kids have an easier time of it than I did?

Proof that marijuana causes brain damage?
posted by philip-random at 12:35 PM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


> For what it's worth, Menthol, I think your responses in this conversation have been totally classy.

Seconded. Stick around and keep being helpful.

Also, since the Mekons have been mentioned in this thread, I am contractually obligated to state for the record that I love the Mekons, who helped keep me sane during the Reagan years.
posted by languagehat at 12:44 PM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why do they call it pot? Why not kettle?

Racism. Because the kettle is black.
posted by qvantamon at 2:10 PM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]




quin: noted!

Menthol: the difference between your first response in that thread and your participation here is remarkable & enlightening. Welcome.
posted by batmonkey at 2:24 PM on February 1, 2010


I had been considering asking a question concerning how one goes about finding a dealer in a town one is unfamiliar with.

Phrase your question like this: "I have a minor character in a novel I'm writing who moves to an unfamiliar town and needs to find a pot dealer. I know nothing about that world, so can anyone tell me what sorts of things this character might do to help him find a dealer in a city where he doesn't know anyone?"

That little loop with a hole in it works pretty good around here.
posted by mediareport at 3:26 PM on February 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


That little loop with a hole in it works pretty good around here.

Until people started ruining it. Nowadays you have to get creative. Say you're writing a play about a movie about a writer writing about someone who is in an unfamiliar town and needs to find a pot dealer.

On the other hand, the potheads who might have had a useful answer will be lost by the fourth word in that sentence.
posted by qvantamon at 4:00 PM on February 1, 2010


>: Also, if you give blowjobs to raise money for Haiti but keep some of the profits, it's technically prostitution.

But if you whack their ass with a riding crop while they're dressed like a Shriner, it's perfectly OK.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:32 PM on February 1, 2010


Nevertheless, now that the country is poised to legalize dope and commercialize nuclear fusion perhaps some leeway is in order.

Which country? Republic of Awesomistan? United Awesome Emirates? Union of Awesome Soviet Republics?
posted by Mister_A at 5:27 PM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


commercialized nuclear fusion is already a reality if you know where to look for it.
posted by qvantamon at 6:19 PM on February 1, 2010


"Drugs have done good things for us. If you don't think they have, then take all your records and CD's and tapes and burn them, because all those musicians who made that music? Real fucking high."

Bill Hicks is telling the truth here. I therefore suggest that we start banning any reference to any musician or writer or artist who ever used drugs, because discussion of that stuff is clearly encouraging or condoning illicit drug use, and won't somebody think of the children?

Also, anyone who admits to having ever taken drugs here should obviously be banned. Do we really want those criminals in our midst? I don't think so. While we don't actually have the power to lock them up personally, we can at least deliver a good moral shunning.

And why stop with illicit drugs? Cigarettes and alcohol kill far more people than the illicits every year. It would be hypocritical to victimize people who use illicits and allow those who encourage the use of booze and fags. Jessamyn and Cortex should be issued with cattle prods that they take to meet-ups, and every time they see someone drinking or smoking, they should mete out a swift application of the clue stick.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:11 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just went down the YouTube rabbit hole after googling for the "Dave's not here, man." reference. There's this hilarious bit right at the end of this youtube clip from the show "Dinah & Friends":

Dinah: There are some people who would question whether or not your material is off-color.
Chong: The good thing about our material is you can take it both ways.
Dinah: You can?
Chong: Either you get it or you don't.

Cheech's laugh and reaction suggest it wasn't a scripted moment. Wish I still had that old Big Bamboo vinyl.
posted by funkiwan at 1:09 AM on February 2, 2010


I don't think you're going to like it here, to be honest. This is not really a place where authoritarians feel welcome, and based on the facts that a) you don't like that the rules aren't set in stone and b) you actually give a shit about someone making pot brownies, I think you probably fall into that group.
posted by Optimus Chyme


Is there some sort of prize for the most dickish post of the year? Because this pre-emptive "fuck off, we don't like your kind around here" piece must be the early front runner for the year.
posted by rodgerd at 2:16 AM on February 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is there some sort of prize for the most dickish post of the year? Because this pre-emptive "fuck off, we don't like your kind around here" piece must be the early front runner for the year.
posted by rodgerd at 2:16 AM on February 2


I didn't say "fuck off, we don't like your kind around here." I noted that he would not feel welcome.

After being a member for two months, with fewer than 40 total comments, he posted a thread that accuses MeFi, its mods, and its members of being part of a criminal conspiracy.

"I am wondering what is appropriate when it comes to asking how to commit crimes on AskMe. "
"When I pointed the criminal nature of this question out my comment was deleted, while other commenters go into detail on, basically, how best to illegally manufacture and sell drugs."

It's exactly parallel to the thread in which GiveWell defender Phil Cubeta* came storming into MeTa demanding to get answers on why MeFi was invading other sites and bullying them. Cubeta wrongly insisted that MeFi has a certain unsavory culture, and further insisted that Matt, cortex, and jessamyn immediately change that culture. It's far ruder than anything I said.

*I removed a piece here; anyone who wants a further description is free to MeMail me.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:32 AM on February 2, 2010


Even though it was against the grain, menthol's defense of his question (when he finally came back and explained), was actually rather eloquent and I found myself quite swayed that asking about selling baked pot yummies is substantially different than asking how to bake pot yummies. I was even gonna give it a favorite.

Then I got to "However, if you are charging people to join your community, I think the description of that community should be made very clear and unambiguous." and I thought, "fuck that guy".
posted by the bricabrac man at 7:39 AM on February 2, 2010


After being a member for two months, with fewer than 40 total comments, he posted a thread that accuses MeFi, its mods, and its members of being part of a criminal conspiracy.

This is a bit of a gross exaggeration.

It's exactly parallel to the thread in which GiveWell defender Phil Cubeta* came storming into MeTa demanding to get answers on why MeFi was invading other sites and bullying them. Cubeta wrongly insisted that MeFi has a certain unsavory culture, and further insisted that Matt, cortex, and jessamyn immediately change that culture. It's far ruder than anything I said.

It's nothing like that crazy Christmas time interlude concerning GiveWell and Cubeta. I couldn't even figure out half the time if Cubeta was posting or if it was his sado-masochistic satire self.

While we don't know where the OP of the AskMe was located, in some jurisdictions it is a crime and Menthol was simply concerned about the assistance of the crime. It was done in good faith and he pretty much presented himself well and as level headed in the process when the hordes descended upon him.

However, calling the dude an "authoritarian" simply because he's law enforcement and suggested more clear rules is rather juvenile. People have been asking for clear rules on certain things for ages, and I suppose with regard to his 40 posts, Metafilter needs to come up with some nice rules on how many posts and time spent with an account (lurking doesn't count!) before members are given any due consideration to what they've said.
posted by Atreides at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


While we don't know where the OP of the AskMe was located, in some jurisdictions it is a crime and Menthol was simply concerned about the assistance of the crime.

Let me rephrase that as, "concerned about the assistance of a possibly crime."
posted by Atreides at 10:32 AM on February 2, 2010


Eating THC is by far the most potent way to ingest it

You lie.

I just bought a turkey pot pie at the supermarket, and it didn't even give me a buzz.

Or is it because turkey pot doesn't work on humans?
posted by qvantamon at 12:55 PM on February 2, 2010


So this is what this thread is about, now.
posted by The Whelk


Ever been to a Funkadelic concert? There's always a 5 minute drum solo in the middle, and the whole band leaves the stage. I wonder why they do that. They play a lot faster after that, too.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:38 PM on February 14, 2010


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