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Is drug legalisation worse than the status quo?

first_imgStuff co.nz 15 March 2019Family First Comment:  Excellent article. A reality check! “Gangs will continue to supply 24/7 home delivery tax-free with free samples of harder drugs. But it will be worse than that. Replacing the war on drugs with a war on marijuana tax cheats will mean gangs will continue to supply most of the market tax-free, including to teenagers with offers of harder drugs but the police will have less incentive to chase down what is now a grey market rather than a black market. Do not underestimate the entrepreneurial ingenuity of criminals.”#PeopleBeforeProfitsOPINION: Never let a bunch of anti-capitalists design a legal market for cannabis.Their consuming hatred of Big Marijuana and the profit motive would create such an ineffectual legal market that the gangs will still supply most of the marijuana along with offers of free samples of harder drugs that even voters will work out how awful the legal model is and vote it down at the coming referendum.The Greens and the Drug Foundation not only want to decriminalise marijuana, they want to legalise it with government controls on who can supply,  and checks on quality. They seem to want to limit access to social supply and consumer co-ops so that Big Marijuana is kept out of the market. No for-profit supply seems to be their ideal.The Greens seem to want to imitate the monumental screwup in Canada. Not only did Canada forget to legalise production before supply, so they ran out of inventory within a week, but each province decided for itself how marijuana was to be legally sold.One province chose a government monopoly. Others allowed private retailers but they had to have a clean record and pay tens of thousands of dollars in annual registration fees.Most of the current marijuana dealers in Canada did not qualify and already had an established network of customers so they stayed in business offering tax-free marijuana. American states also continue to have black markets in marijuana.What the Greens will set up is a legal supply that is hopeless at competing with existing gang suppliers. The legal shops will be so far away from schools and other sensitive locations, open 9-to-5 in a remote warehouse district, paying a living wage that they will end up asking for a bailout from Shane Jones’ Regional Growth Fund because they attracted so few customers.Gangs will continue to supply 24/7 home delivery tax-free with free samples of harder drugs. But it will be worse than that.Replacing the war on drugs with a war on marijuana tax cheats will mean gangs will continue to supply most of the market tax-free, including to teenagers with offers of harder drugs but the police will have less incentive to chase down what is now a grey market rather than a black market.Do not underestimate the entrepreneurial ingenuity of criminals. Some UN bureaucrats had a cunning plan; occasionally hold a lawful sale of previously confiscated ivory to collapse the price of poached ivory and drive the poachers out of business.Elephant poaching soared because criminals worked out that they could pass off their illegal ivory as legally acquired and sell it to people who otherwise would not buy it, much less show it off to their friends because it was illegally obtained. A large market in counterfeit legal ivory developed in China and other places off the back of an earnest attempt to collapse the price of illegal ivory.I’m a recovering libertarian. I support decriminalisation because if adults want to get high, more fool them as long as they do not harm others. But I know that argument will never sell at a referendum.The reason dope-smoking-on-Saturday-night successful middle-class parents oppose decriminalisation is that when they are feuding with their kids over bad grades, they still want to tell them that marijuana is illegal. They want that argument in their back pocket because they know that, unlike themselves, more than a few mates drifted off into a cloud of dope at university and failed.They want every possible persuasive tactic available to them to stop their kids going the same way.The best argument for decriminalisation that will work at a referendum is that it pushes gangs out of the supply chain so kids will not be offered samples of harder drugs. That pragmatic argument and better-quality control could win a majority.Right now, the maximum penalty is three months for possession of marijuana. Three were sent to prison last year for possession of marijuana as their lead offence for their sentencing. Another 15 were sent to prison for possession of harder drugs, which carries a maximum of six months. A good guess is most were gang members on the receiving end of well-deserved police harassment.As the illegal trade is offering samples of harder drugs and supplying teenagers, the rationale for suppressing the illegal trade is stronger. Penalties for illegal supply and even marijuana possession through an illegal supplier might have to increase after legalisation.Colorado quickly found it had to regulate marijuana packaging strictly because little kids thought edible marijuana was a lolly and ended up at the emergency department.If advocates of legalisation want a legal market that drives the gangs out of marijuana supply, the Greens and others on the Left will have to swallow a big dead rat and embrace capitalism.Big Marijuana might end up developing an app that ensures that adults and only adults buy marijuana delivered by Uber Eats. Marijuana legalisation will be full of the unexpected.* Jim Rose blogs at Utopiayouarestandinginit.comhttps://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/111279052/is-drug-legalisation-worse-than-the-status-quoKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Career nears end for Zack Mahoney, junior college walk-on turned late-season contender

first_imgLOUISVILLE, Ky. — Zack Mahoney didn’t make his first start under center until the end of the 11th grade. He was asked to become the backup quarterback that year at Lyons Township (Illinois) High School only because other quarterbacks had quit or gotten injured. Mahoney had what he called an “OK,” high school career in which he started only one season and received zero FBS offers.Yet Mahoney has started nine games over the past three seasons as Syracuse’s backup. With starter Eric Dungey’s propensity to get injured late in the year, Mahoney has gone from high-school backup to Syracuse walk-on to the guy the Orange has entrusted with its offense at the end of the past three seasons.Mahoney, a 6-foot-2 senior, has turned in pedestrian performances throughout his career, mostly against conference teams in unfavorable conditions. Saturday was the latest segment, a 56-10 loss at Louisville (7-4, 4-4 Atlantic Coast). Mahoney earned his ninth start for SU (4-7, 2-5) and finished 5-for-15 with two interceptions and 49 passing yards. In the second quarter, he was replaced by third-string QB Rex Culpepper.Given the circumstances, Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said Mahoney has “been a major contributor,” and “someone people from Syracuse will always remember.” Mahoney didn’t get recruited by Syracuse. He didn’t earn a scholarship right away, yet he came to become one of the more important players in the program over the past three seasons.“It’s been one hell of a ride,” Mahoney said after SU’s loss to the Cardinals, dropping Mahoney’s career record as a starter to 1-8. “Had an OK high school career. Coming here, I had very little expectation, and everything I’ve accomplished, I look back and take it all in.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMahoney has had a lot to take in. In high school, he mostly played receiver and defensive back. He received a handful of Division II and FCS offers, as well as Big 10 walk-on spots, but he “was adamant he would get to a Power conference school,” his father, Rick, said.Mahoney felt the best way he could eventually get there was via junior college. He ended up about 15 miles from where he grew up in Chicago suburbs, at the College of DuPage, where he redshirted as a freshman because he was inexperienced and underdeveloped, DuPage head coach Matt Foster said.“But he never ever stopped believing,” Foster said. “He knew he wanted to play big time as a QB. He was very raw first. He wasn’t as ready as we thought he needed to be. He took that whole year to practice on the scout team and came back the next year. He completely transformed our team.”His redshirt freshman year, 2014, Mahoney, a team captain, threw for 1,943 yards and was named a Top 20 National Junior College Athletic Association quarterback. After the season, he met with Foster about his transfer options. Foster put him in touch with several FCS schools, he said. Mahoney declined all of them. His eyes were set on Power 5, the dream he had all of his life.“I said there are some options (in FCS) and he told me that’s not what he’s looking for,” Foster said. “My mouth dropped. He said, ‘Coach, I want to play at the highest level.’ That’s when I called his dad and asked him to make sure. I said, ‘I just want to make sure we’ll on the same page.’ And his dad said, ‘That’s what he wants to do, coach.’ He turned down 1-AA scholarships.”Foster was incredulous, but he knew who to call. He graduated from an Illinois high school with Tim Lester, who was Syracuse’s offensive coordinator then. Foster said he told Lester over the phone that Mahoney could play at SU’s level. Lester knew he was going to enter spring practice that January with only three quarterbacks, Foster said. He trusted Foster.On Christmas Eve 2014, Mahoney said, while sitting on his cousin’s couch, he received a call from Syracuse asking him to come for the spring 2015 semester. Days later, he applied to the university. Within three weeks, he had sent over his DuPage transcripts and been accepted to Syracuse, only about two days before he would need to arrive on campus to start football on Jan. 3.“I truly remember having only about 48 hours to get him cleared on the academic side, accepted to the university, to driving out to Syracuse to join a meeting at noon on a Saturday,” his father, Rick, said.Mahoney arrived at Syracuse in January 2015 as a walk-on. He was the fifth-string QB. When starter Terrel Hunt went down with a career-ending injury in the first quarter of the first game that fall, Mahoney was added to SU’s travel roster. His path to the Syracuse pocket accelerated from there. Dungey suffered an injury in Week 3 against Central Michigan. Mahoney’s name was called.The next week, he earned his first career start, against then-No. 8 LSU, keeping the Orange competitive with the Tigers in a 35-25 loss. He started four games that season, including the last three. Against Boston College in the 2015 season finale, Mahoney threw a touchdown pass in SU’s victory to send off then-head coach Scott Shafer. In his 2015 starts against LSU and then-No. 1 Clemson, the Orange lost by only 10 in each game and Mahoney threw for a combined 234 yards and three touchdowns. In August 2016, new head coach Dino Babers awarded him a scholarship. Facebook Twitter Google+ “From walk-on, look where he’s at right now,” said Syracuse senior offensive lineman Jamar McGloster. “Whenever I see him, when I’m having a bad day, I get on with the day. There’s no excuse to keep on having a bad day, because Zack never quit.”Last week in a loss to Wake Forest, Mahoney’s first start since a year ago at Pittsburgh, he threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns — in the first half alone. He threw two interceptions and went only 11-of-25 over the final 30 minutes, but he had reaffirmed that he is capable of holding his own for SU. Entering Saturday in Louisville, Mahoney averaged 412 passing yards per game and threw for eight TDs and ran for two others over his past two starts.Mahoney’s career will end soon. On Saturday, he may have started his last game. Throughout much of his football life, he was overlooked, doubted and unproven, yet he stitched together a career he hopes is an inspiration for junior college players. He grew from walk-on to a temporary starter, and he is the president of Syracuse’s Uplifting Athletes chapter, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading awareness about rare diseases.“A lot of coaches said I’d never be able to make it, to try a different level or to maybe not even think about football,” Mahoney said. “When you hear that, it pushes you to go reach out and get the goal. A lot of people probably thought I was crazy saying no to FCS schools. Even those who supported me said, ‘You know, you might never play a snap there.’ And I said, ‘That’s fine. I see a goal that I want and I’m going to go take it.’” Commentscenter_img Published on November 18, 2017 at 10:10 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img read more

Column: Andretti digs deep to honor family at Indianapolis

first_img Associated Press Television News SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT LIVE TV First Published: 18th August, 2020 10:17 IST FOLLOW UScenter_img Last Updated: 18th August, 2020 10:17 IST Column: Andretti Digs Deep To Honor Family At Indianapolis Fresh off one of the biggest moments of his career, Marco Andretti headed to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse for a small celebration with friends and teammates WATCH US LIVE Fresh off one of the biggest moments of his career, Marco Andretti headed to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse for a small celebration with friends and teammates.Another diner at the Indianapolis landmark said, “Go get ‘em Marco” as he passed by their table. His guests raised a glass to Andretti for “laying down a fat one” in a tribute to the late Dan Wheldon, who used that expression to describe big qualifying laps.Andretti did just that, seizing the first Indianapolis 500 pole in 33 years for motorsports’ most famous family . His grandfather, Mario, won the last Andretti pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when Marco was just two months old.Earning the right to lead the field to green in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is a worthy resume highlight in itself. But what Andretti did will forever be a defining moment for a beleaguered driver.Three of his Andretti Autosport teammates had failed to show the speed the team knows is in the cars and five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon had just topped the leaderboard. Andretti was the final driver to qualify. It was hot and a slight wind swirled around the empty speedway, conditions that should have slowed his effort.With a confidence he has struggled to show in recent years, Andretti ripped four laps around the 2.5-mile oval — wide-open on the gas, fast and fearless in pursuit of his own moment of glory at Indy.“On the last lap, I knew it was either all or nothing,” Andretti told The Associated Press on Monday at the speedway in the shadow of its famed Pagoda. “I was either not going to finish or the run was going to be very good. I had to dig deep for that, reach for the next level.”His run was wildly celebrated by his fellow competitors — even Dixon said he was rooting for Andretti — as well as his celebrity friends. He counts comedian Kevin Hart and entertainers Ludacris and Ice-T as close friends; he took a congratulatory call from “Ice while we were on the way to dinner.”“He’s such a great guy and a good friend,” Dixon said. “To see him get a pole position at Indianapolis — I know what that means to him and especially his family.”Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the Andretti family playground. Mario Andretti won the Indy 500 only once, in 1969, and five Andrettis are a combined 1-for-74 when it comes to winning the most important race on the IndyCar calendar every year. It’s earned the family the notorious “Andretti Curse,” which Marco insists they don’t believe is real.“We don’t believe in it as a family,” he told AP. “We’ve been really blessed around here and we are unscathed as far as being in race cars. This is a dangerous thing we do and we are all healthy. It’s hard to say we’re cursed. This place can bury your confidence and it can also make you.”Now 33, Marco has been at Indy his whole life and his favorite memories, he said, were days spent at the old Speedway Motel turning laps on the balcony on a toy car as his grandfather, father, uncle and cousin fine-tuned their race cars.He wants nothing more than to break that so-called curse, which began for him as a rookie in 2006 when Sam Hornish Jr. passed him right before the finish line. Marco finished second, his father Michael finished third and it was the first of 14 consecutive years of Indy 500 heartbreak for Marco.He is not over that loss, bitterly noting that 15 years later he is still defending why he was so angry in defeat. The race that hurts the most was actually last year when he ran a tribute 50th anniversary paint scheme of his grandfather’s win, a time-consuming effort that his sister tirelessly put together. Radical changes made to his car were a disaster and Andretti plummeted to the back of the field at the start of the race. He finished 26th, his worst finish in 10 years.“I mean it was just, it was a nightmare. It was totally embarrassing,” Andretti said. “It’s one of those times where I was wanted to crawl under a rock.”Andretti recognizes that his statistics — two wins in 240 starts over 15 seasons, his last victory way back in 2011 — open him to criticism. Fans have mocked his lack of success, accused him of keeping his job only because his dad owns the team and suggested he’s not worthy of a seat in IndyCar.It used to bother him. But Andretti has grown up in this series; he was just 19 his rookie year and teammates with series greats Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Bryan Herta, who now calls his races. He has learned to stop worrying about the chatter.Now he’s a favorite to win the race that means everything to his family, an enormous amount of pressure that could potentially mentally drain Andretti before Sunday’s race. To clear his head, he planned to head to a family cabin in the Pocono mountains before he’s returns to the track Friday.“It’s just about being chill and trying to not stress,” Andretti said. “I can do that there because it’s an all-wood log cabin and you get there and it’s like everything’s cool, everything is going to be alright.”Image credits: AP Written Bylast_img read more