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Digg and Reddit Users Want to Legalize Marijuana

The rise of news aggregator websites like Digg and Reddit has become a surprisingly helpful asset to online activism for drug policy reform. These sites allow participants to submit links with their own description, at which point other users vote to determine which stories make it to the coveted main page. Digg, for example, directs so much traffic from its front page that users have coined the term "digg effect" to describe the inevitable server crash that occurs when Digg links a site with insufficient bandwidth. first experienced "the digg effect" in August with the "Marijuana Dealers Offer Schwarzenegger One Billion Dollars" story. Once linked at Digg, the blog post and accompanying press release generated over 100,000 hits, crashing our server repeatedly for over 12 straight hours. It was a bittersweet triumph since few visitors were actually able to view the content due to website malfunctions (and we couldn't receive donations!). Nonetheless, the message about marijuana policy reform was clearly resonating with a massive new audience.

Between Digg and Reddit, we've now had several stories take off, pulling in unusually high traffic and pushing the drug policy debate beyond the self-selected audience of seasoned reform activists. The rising tide has lifted other boats as well, generating massive attention to Pete Guither's "Why is Marijuana Illegal?" and SSDP's "End the Drug War Draft!" Just last week, a front page Digg hit left Mitt Romney's presidential campaign reeling when video of his rude treatment of a medical marijuana patient went viral.

Perhaps it's not so surprising that the new era of user-generated content and internet video would favor ideas that have for too long been relegated to the fringe by the mainstream press. We're witnessing the burial of the antiquated notion that only anti-drug scare stories will sell, and it's long overdue to say the least. The stigma of the "legalization" label, along with the brute force of the law itself, has silenced so many would-be drug war critics, yet the anonymous and democratized realm of online political debate now rages without regard to the philosophical prejudices of the past.

Of course, winning the vote in an artificial internet democracy isn't going to end the war on drugs. But it certainly proves the demand for balance in the drug war debate. As the mainstream media continues to struggle with even the most basic realities about drugs and the terrible war on their users, the truth has to find a home somewhere.

Update: To my great surprise, this post has made it to the front page of Digg. Imagine that. You can vote for it here. What fun.

Update II: There's 300+ comments on this post over at Digg. I haven't finished reading them, but here's my favorite so far:

Look, from someone who has never smoked anything in their life, I'm fine with legalization, but please don't act like assholes with it like everyone in my damn school does. All they do is brag about it, and its funny because I tell my friends I'd do it if it was legal and they say they would stop doing it if it was.

The "stoner" stereotype is a complete product of the drug's illegality, it's true. If we're sick of rebellious potheads, let us take the wind out of their sails by changing the one law they have the nerve to break, thereby turning them into law-abiding dorks.

United States
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borden's picture

clarification about the 100,000 hits

A word of clarification about the 100,000+ hits on the press release and the accompanying blog post that Scott wrote: That is the number of reads that the pages actually did get, not the number of people who tried to read them. If the server had been upgraded and troubleshooted before the big Digg hit, we would have gotten even more readers from it.

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

Class War


You might be interested in a couple of pieces I have done on the Medical Cartel and the Class War based on a recent set of articles done by Tim Wu at Slate. They just went up late last night.

Treatment vs Recreation


Class War

BTW when is MAP going to get into the Digital Age? It should at least have a separate page to aggregate drug war postings on the 'net. Links and excerpts at minimum.

Privatization...good...for the propertied

MS , I've read you and WU...good stuff...Come to the semi-conclusion that it's an issue of privatization of substances...patents and profits.As it seems through out the rest of the government situation we find ourselves encumberd with. That would explain why Marinol is $chedule III and cannabis, $chedule I. REDGREEN

legalize it

just hurry up and legalize it already...

Stupid Idiots

Or you fucks could just stop doing drugs in the first place. Let me tell how useful my stupid pothead friends are. I need some help. hey ill call my friends. "We're to high and stupid we're just going to sit on the couch and watch the same fucking movies over and over".

Drug reform. Send all the potheads to Canada, Potheads = Useless, Canada = Useless ergo Potheads = Canada.

Problem solved

...and you say the stoners are idiots

Correlation != Causation. Your friends are stupid and lazy, who happen to to smoke pot. I know lots of stupid and lazy people who don't smoke pot. My friends and colleagues are intelligent, successful academics, engineers, professionals and business people, some of whom happen to smoke pot. And when I need help, we smoke a doob and get the job done, because we're not stupid nor lazy.

Guess its all about who you know.

"Your friends are stupid and

"Your friends are stupid and lazy, who happen to to smoke pot."

You, sir, are a poetic genius. I've been looking for the right way to word that for some time and I think that fits perfectly.

And to the original -

Well, this morning I woke up, got stoned before 7am. Took a shower, cleaned the kitchen, smoked some more, fed the cats, got ready for work, left for work, smoked some more, dealt with customers and suppliers all day long, while also cramming two days of programming work in between, and smoked a little more.

Now, honestly, as a stupid lazy pot smoker myself, I gotta take offence to what you are saying here. Your friends are the problem, not the drug. I'm very open with people about my smoking habits, and the only hesitation I have with talking to people about it is the fact that in their head somewhere, a little voice is saying "Just bragging about how much weed he smokes."

I'm not here to fucking impress you, I'm here to live my life how I want.


It hurts your argument when you misuse the forms of "two, to, and too." Also your idea borders on fucking retarded. Using the same theory I can say that all of the black/white/ I have ever come into contact with choose to do something they enjoy rather than help me, so lets just ship them to Canada/Mexico/. Also, have you ever thought that it is just your friends, not anyone who has ever done drugs?
Also, they probably don't like you if you act like this off the series of tubes.

it's all who you know

sounds like you've got some lazy friends. sadly this reflects poorly on you, not so much on people who smoke pot.


RE:Stupid Idiots

I have news for you. People who smoke pot that DO NOT want to help you are NOT your friends. Sure, they may know you and they may let you spend time with them, but your shit fuck attitude about what they do to relax doesn't make you worth helping.

So how about you shut-up, sit down, and think about your attitude.

Now THAT would be a problem solved.

I will out work you any day of the week.

I will smoke plenty.
I know many like me.
What would you know about who does and doesnt.
Your friends are probably just too inbred. I hear things are like that in your town

Someone needs to lay of the sauce.

Judging by the amount of anger you have, I'd imagine you are an alcoholic which by the way is way more of a "hard" drug than marijuana if by hard you mean the amount of intoxication it causes (marijuana has little effect on motor skills while drunk people can barely walk), the toxicity of the drug (marijuana is non-toxic while alcohol can cause death), and it's addictiveness.

I recently graduated college and I know lots of people who are highly motivated and smoke bud and I think your full of shit.

why dont you try it

try it be for you knock it i was a marine loved my job worked hard every day and because of dip shits like you got me out of a childhood dream i know you have your vice in some way if it is cigs drinking or taking some kind of precription or over the counter medication.

Ignorance = useless

Ignorance = useless

do want you want

I say if someone wants to smoke pot and sit on their ass all day then fine, I don't care if pot causes cancer, laziness, impotence or brain damage, if someone ones to do it they should have that right. As long as it doesn't harm third parties than who cares. Oh wait, it's okay to smoke and drink and that's legal. It's also okay to use pharma pot - what's up with that?

Then vote for the right man for President!

Ron Paul for president! It's the only chance that marijuana will be legalized in your lifetime. Period.

The reality of pot

Just like any recreational drug, just do it occasionally for special occasions and enjoy the positive side of it. You can do it with booze, or cigarettes, or coffee, or whatever you're into. Notice how it affects you. Go into it slowly. Realize that if it makes you feel REALLY REALLY good in large doses, then there's going to be a blow back effect.
If you do any of the above mentioned drugs excessively, or for too long, you increase your chances of experiencing the negative side of these drugs. Booze can land you in jail or the hospital. Cigarettes can lead to all sorts of health problems, and pot can lead to mental issues to name a few problems.
The whole point of legalization is to point out to the government that they don't have the right to tell people what they can and cannot put into their bodies, especially when the drug, compared to many legal drugs, is relatively harmless.
Sure some stoners are lazy, dumb, unmotivated, and useless. At the same time some drinkers, are unreliable, hungover, irritable, lethargic, and ineffective, or even loony. Some drinkers end up destroying themselves and others just as cigarette smokers can and do,
Some cigarette smokers, are out of shape, wheezing, coughing, stinky, and edgy, always needing a cigarette after dinner, after sex, after coffee, with coffee etc etc.

People need to educate themselves on the pros and cons of any drug they use and make a decision for themselves and face or even enjoy the consequences of their own actions. And criminalizing a drug like pot while allowing alcohol and cigarettes is an obvious hypocrisy.

Just my opinion.


Daily pot smoking is a drag.

30 years of the old wake and bake is getting old.

wake and bake

Is that your brain telling you to "grow up!" Hell, yes! Abusing your brain for thirty years will get old. Your body knows better than you! Maybe it is your chronic depression, untreated for all of those years, finally taking over! There is help available, if you really want to stop. And I am sure they have many more drugs to offer you for that! Sort of hypocritical, isn't it!

Candidates that will make it happen...

All the people who want to legalize marijuana and other drugs need to vote for a candidate who promises legalization... Mike Gravel! Now that would send a message.


The Mother of all Drugs

There is a very simple reason why our government thinks that it is up to them to decide what morality is and therefore what is "legal" or not. The fact is that we have been paying for democracy for nearly two and a half centuries but have never even come close to having it because our citizens are too ignorant to understand the difference between a democracy and a right wing totalitarian state. Through the use of massive propaganda (which we, the taxpayers, pay for) they have convinced enough people that the job of government is to act like the harsh father figure and "punish" it's citizens instead of serving them. In other words, they are the real addicts and their drug is power and what they do is simply a lame excuse to protect us from democracy and retain all of the real drug for themselves and their friends. They have taken the laws that were ostensibly put in place to defend us from tyranny and used them to systematically render the majority of us second class citizens in perpetuity. Richard.

Found this website from digg!!

I love how the internet makes it so easy for everyone to communicate, albeit that may or may not always be a good thing!!

a fucked up law

i blam it on the ignorent government. i smoke weed every day, do good in school and dnt get into trouble with the law yet i still face one day getting cought with pot. now tell me if its okay that a positive contributer to society should have to face that. no and that needs to be changed.

Who still smokes up?

Here's something interesting - the Women on the Web are asking their audience if they still smoke pot. Vote - it's time to weigh in...

legalizing marijuana

just legalize it every one is getting thier ass high of it.

What should it matter?

If people want to smoke pot all day, I believe that as long as they adhere to the similar laws of "alcohol consumption", it shouldn't be a problem. After all, just because some people smoke "irresponsibly" or aren't "motivated" doesn't mean it is because of marijuana. It's called knowing your limitations and being responsible. Anyone can abuse anything, whether it is legal or not. If you drink and drive, isn't that considered illegal, and have the possibility of killing others? You know the warning, you know should know how responsible of a person you are, I can clearly state without having to bring up the statistics, that Beer and Tobacco kill people every year. How many deaths have been accounted for on the behalf of marijuana?

Besides, I think it's time to exercise some of those "freedoms" we often talk about, don't you? After all, seems to me people have lost the will power to stand up and have a back bone about their opinions these days. Aren't we supposed to vote and be a part of our society? Or should we just let the system hold our hands and make all of our decisions for us?

Seriously, don't just argue from one point of view, but look around. Besides the fact that it has benefits, marijuana is not lethal, and does not hurt anyone no one near as much as alcohol or tobacco. Sure you might get sleepy, tired, short-term memory loss or even the munchies, but really. If people choose to smoke it, that should be their choice, just like smoking and drinking. Legalize it, tax the shit out of it, put the CAUTION: and WARNING: signs on the packages, and sell them. It might actually even help the economy.


İRC :/server


There is marijuana related deaths, just do not understand why they don't record them.(cases of people dying from pot due to allergy attacks, look it up you be suprised.) Anyways they should just legalize it already so people would just shut the fuck up already, and to the guy who said its not addicting, it can be if you are a dumbass, anything in general can be addicting if you have no fucking self control. By the looks of it though,if it was legalize it would probably help the economy considering almost every friend i hang out with smokes everyday.

I think anyone who smokes

I think anyone who smokes pot smokes it for their own reason, and if it makes them lazy they shouldn't smoke it, or tell them to smoke AFTER they get things done. You would be surprised if you knew who actually smoked marijuana frequently, let alone trying it once. Not only are there medical benefits from marijuana, there is a chance of pulling ourselves out of our so called "recession". Not even Legalizing, but decriminalizing Marijuana in the United States would earn billions upon billions of dollars[if not trillions], and free up plenty of space in county jails. Jails of which are holding prisoners for 3 months, because they had a joint and couldn't afford an attorney/bond.

Then there is the talk about the industrialization of Hemp. You can make anything from diesel fuel [which burns safer for our environment], to hemp based clothing which are more resistant to UV rays from the sunlight. It is absolutely ridiculous that we don't already do this.

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