Obama on Marijuana Legalization: ‘It’s Important for It to Go Forward’

Reasoning based in biased criminal justice system

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President Obama has some pretty liberal views on the decriminalization of marijuana, and voiced his support for Colorado and Washington’s legalization of the drug in a long and wide-ranging interview in the New Yorker, published Sunday.

On the two states that have legalized pot, Obama said that “it’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”

His reasoning: “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do … And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”

The President hasn’t publicly made any statements about legalizing marijuana nationwide.

You can read the rest of the interview here

333 comments
jimmydean
jimmydean

I believe we should either legalize marijuana completely or ban smoking in general, Meaning closing down all cigarette companies. In all fairness why allow cigarette smokers to kill them self faster with poisons in their cigarette but ban people from smoking a harmless plant Without added stuff like tar or ethinal ext like a CIG? And I know I know I'm probably going to upset some cigarette addicts out their but honestly I don't care

AnonymousGenius
AnonymousGenius

Who here has heard of Margaret Mead, the American anthropologist?


alexwinchester87
alexwinchester87

Okay you do realize that with the Marijuana legalization that the economy could be boosted by millions of dollars by taxing it and we could possibly pay off China. So which would you prefer? Remain in debt for the next centaury to all of the countries we own or have it legalized and become one of the more wealther countries because didn't you know that Amsterdam is one of the richer countries because of Marijuana

saraporter
saraporter

that's ridiculous!!!! NO STATE SHOULD HAVE WEED LEGALIZED, Obama you are a good president but I feel as though you are just doing this to get underclass people back on your side after you pissed them off with Obama Care. Imagine the world with the legalization of weed, teenagers and younger kids are already smoking and skipping school to smoke, making it legal would be worse, and I know because I use to be one of those deliquents. this is unjust ! Weed id not just a plant, it is A DRUG!  a chemically induced plants that puts one out their right state of mind. come on now.

AngelKathy
AngelKathy

I believe it should be legal in NEWYORK !!!!!!!LEGALIZE RECREATIONAL 18 AND UP.

: Obama on Marijuana Legalization: 'It's Important for It to Go Forward' | TIME.com

AngelKathy
AngelKathy

Legal marijuana liquor & ciggs kill!

tartansailor
tartansailor

That the country is going to pot never had a better meaning

alsacia07
alsacia07

It's good to legalize marijuana. there just has to be a follow-up law (for adults and medication use only) 

valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

IN CAPS FOR THE ELDERLY.....DEFEND THE WEAK.....KNIGHT TEMPLARS.....


THANKS FOR THE CORRECTION.....MY FRIEND.....STEVE MILLER BAND IT WAS.....NOT THE J GEILS BAND......WAS I STONED WITH BARRY?????.....HENCE THE MISTAKE?.....LOL....LOL....LOL


VALENTINE, COMEDIAN....LOL

valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

IN CAPS FOR THE ELDERLY......DEFEND THE WEAK.....KNIGHT TEMPLARS....


THANK YOU FOR THE CORRECTION MY FRIEND........STEVE MILLER BAND IT WAS.....NOT THE J GEILS BAND,,,,,,WAS I STONED WITH BARRY????......LOL....LOL....LOL


VALENTINE....COMEDIAN....LOL....

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

On MLK Day, there was something ironic and disappointing about the first black U.S. President holding forth on the legalization of weed. With all the tumult in this world, and the huge issues affecting our own country, this is the best the O-Man could do? Basically, it all came down to, let's get black men out of prison. So when this happens, what will they do?

sacredh
sacredh

Marijuana is a gateway drug. First it was pot, then I moved on to coffee and cigarettes. I'm drinking coffee and having a morning cigarette now. I quit smoking weed almost 30 years ago, but coffee and cigarettes are here to stay. Pray for me.

malcolmkyle16
malcolmkyle16

An appeal to all Prohibitionists:


Most of us know that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high—no matter what. So why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists, and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future.  


Why do you wish to continue with a policy that has proven itself to be a poison in the veins of our once so "proud & free" nation? Even if you cannot bear the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, I, or any government can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and trillions of dollars on this dangerous farce; Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. Do you actually believe you may personally have something to lose If we were to begin basing our drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies?  


Maybe you're a police officer, a prison guard, or a local/national politician. Possibly you're scared of losing employment, overtime pay, the many kickbacks, and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid, and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard-skinned gunstocks? 


Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem! 


Prohibition prevents regulation: legalize, regulate, and tax!

LOUISaboutIT
LOUISaboutIT

IN ALL HONESTY. check me on facebook im ripped I  have six pack abs. im nothing but motivated to excel and be great in life as a mater of FACT I want to be a Navy S.E.A.L because my dad was in 911... my mom had her divorce and all but instead of being sepressed I smoked marijuana and it done nothing but good for me. IM 18, IM a NEW YORKER. I believe it should be legal in NEWYORK son as well as the rest of the country. I eat, and sleep with it, if im not working out on it. done no harm to anyone LEGALIZE RECREATIONAL 18 AND UP. look me up on facebook im LOUIS RICHARDS.  suffolk

valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

IN CAPS ......FOR THE ELDERLY.......DEFEND THE WEAK......KNIGHT TEMPLARS


OBAMA LEGALIZING MARIJUANA..........NO SURPRISE HERE......CONSIDERING THAT BARRY WAS A "DOPER, A SMOKER, AND A MIDNIGHT TOKER"........JUST LIKE THE SONG OF THE J. GEILS BAND GOES.......SOON.....HE WILL BE LEGALIZING COCAINE TOO.......SINCE HE ALSO LIKED TO SNORT A LOT OF COKE.....BARRY.....WAS ALSO A COKEHEAD.....BY HIS OWN ADMISSION IN HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY......."DREAMS FROM MY FATHER".........DID I GET THE BOOK RIGHT....WELL......LOL.....LOL.....


VALENTINE, COMEDIAN.......LOL.....LOL

Duncan_20903
Duncan_20903

People might want to consider the fact that American youth use of cannabis is near a 30 year high, while youth use of drinking alcohol is at 30 year low.
http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/files/Teen-Marijuana-Use-Up-Drinking-Down.html

Then there's also the fact that when compared to 36 European countries:

...only Iceland has a lower rate of use than American youth for both drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco.

...only France and Monaco have higher youth use rates of cannabis than American youth. France has close to or perhaps even the most draconian penalties for cannabis in the bunch.

For the rest of the popular substances on the naughty lists no country has higher youth use rates than American youth. None of the 36 countries are even close. We are #1.
http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/files/Drinking-Alcohol-Smoking-Tobacco-and-Drug-Use-among-US-and-European-Teens-Compared.html"

I really would like an answer: What about the children? Don't the prohibitionist parasites and their sycophants care about the children? If that were true why in the world would they insist on the continud embrace policies which are proven failures and reject those which have been proven effective?

twas4kids
twas4kids

Find someone to run who is capable of standing up to the marijuana lobby and who puts our kids first. Normalizing 

cannabis through legalization and commercialization is the wrong way to go. The market currently is an underage market and that is a problem that legalization will not solve. We need to put kids first and center and protect them until they are at the age of legal consent. How does legalization do that ? It doesn't. 

Duncan_20903
Duncan_20903

Well, everyone that's read this comments column should learn their lesson; you just can't fool a prohibitionist. Well, that is unless you dress up a fatherly, scientist looking guy in a lab coat and have him deliver the propaganda in a somber tone of authoritative gravitas. Then you can get them to fall for just about anything you can possibly imagine.

GreenGrin
GreenGrin

First applaud the citizens and state of Colorado for taking the first step,  It's obvious from all comments that the MYAN shift has occurred as seen with public and political support of cannabis tested for impurities be available to adults from a safe secure facility while money collected stays stateside.  This is coming from a staunch republican that does not use medicinal cannabis, however, consume the nutritional hemp seed/protein on a daily basis since the DEA allowed it  into the US in 2004.  

malcolmkyle16
malcolmkyle16

Neurotics build castles in the sky, psychotics live in them; the concept of a "Drug-Free Society" is a neurotic fantasy and Prohibition's ills are the very product of this psychotic delusion. It is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare. if you support it then you're either ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, corrupt, or criminally insane. 

CandisCulpepper
CandisCulpepper

@jimmydean I agree. Smoked marijuana for the first time at age 16, smoked manufactured tobacco product for the first time at age 19.  Quit smoking marijuana easily after years of daily use but I still cannot quit the manufactered tobacco product (cigars).  As much as I hate smoking the cigars, I just cannot quit, I'm highly addicted and was never truly addicted to marijuana.  The legal manufactered smokes seem to be much more harmful than the marijuana.  There's no health benefits in cigs and they are hell to quit.

xx.mkkl
xx.mkkl

Amsterdam is a city not a country. And it is not legalized but tolerated

CandisCulpepper
CandisCulpepper

@saraporter Its a plant. I just can't get over the fact that our government is able to arrest/fine/harass people over a plant.  I don't think any government should have that type of control, to ban a plan, any plant.

SethAllenJamesBurns
SethAllenJamesBurns

@saraporter You're saying that kids will skip class to smoke pot? I got news for you ... they already do that! So legalizing pot isn't going to make a difference at all! 

ReneAvenant
ReneAvenant

@saraporter I hope you are trolling and don't believe the brainless bigotry you have just vented

viokand
viokand

It's only black men in prison for selling or using pot, right? Colorado and other states trying to legalize recreational pot use must all be black men states.

bijanthehero
bijanthehero

You have an addictive personality. You're the type of person that easily gets hooked on things. But better caffeine than some prescription drugs. However tobacco isn't bad for you. If rather have marijuana than tobacco any day. And caffeine isn't much better for you either. Nor alcohol . Nothing is good for you nowadays.

jmt13
jmt13

@valentine.godoflove I might take your rant more seriously if you had your facts straight...the Steve Miller Band performed "The Joker", not J. Geils Band

JessiWaldron
JessiWaldron

@twas4kids Kids first??? I think we owe our adults the same level of consideration thank you.. Freedom from unjust laws, such as marijuana prohibition is the right lesson.

jmt13
jmt13

@twas4kids Unless you feel the same for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and prescription drugs, you are speaking hypocritically.

GreenGrin
GreenGrin

@twas4kids What? You are right in that the market is "underage"; due to prohibition.   Ending prohibition will take cannabis off the street and put it where "adults" can have access.  The fear of ending prohibition is from 75 years of propaganda.    Applaud the citizens and state of Colorado for taking the first step.

GreenGrin
GreenGrin

@twas4kids How does prohibition protect kids?  The fact is prohibition has made it easy for children to access cannabis.  Ending prohibition has public safety written all over it.  Cannabis that has been tested for impurities, adult only purchase, cannabis removed from the illicit market, and money collected staying stateside while tax collected goes toward education.  The fear of ending prohibition is the same propaganda spewed for 75 years.  Take note from the respectful citizens and law enforcement of Colorado.  To answer who puts our kids first, it's "Parents".

HGE
HGE

@twas4kids"How does prohibition do that? It doesn't" There, fixed it.

Duncan_20903
Duncan_20903

@twas4kidsOne of the very best parts of watching the ongoing process of re-legalization of cannabis is getting to watch the sycophants of prohibition being marginalized into irrelevance. 


The one and only thing that the prohibitionists worry about when it comes to "the children" is maintaining their value as political pawns and their use in making the hysterical rhetoric of the prohibitionist even more hysterical.

EricT1
EricT1

@twas4kids If inmates can get drugs in a "controlled environment" then surely nothing can be done to stop kids from having access to them. Your options are to either not have children or to do your best to help them make informed decisions.

Duncan_20903
Duncan_20903

@GreenGrinthe only reason that the DEA "allows" it is because of the Court order to do so.

davea0511
davea0511

@malcolmkyle16 


There you go ... name calling, character assassination ... impugn, impugn!, innuendo, half-truths, paint the opposition like a bunch a religious extremes, just don't venture in to the fact that the AMA just reiterated their stance against it. 


The truth of the matter is that it is you who is behaving as if these things are black and white by saying there should be no law.  Most of the arguments for legalization are just modified from same reasons for removing speed limits.  Yet speed limits exist and for a good reason.


Things are gray ... freedoms are lost with every law.  Should we do away with the seatbelt law?  Deathrate dropped 50%, but we are all inconvenienced by the law, and what right does another have to tell you what you can do with your life?  


In short, it's not as black/white as you make it and the opposition is not as stupid as you pretend.  You've only shown how little you've thought about the issue and those who think differently than yourself.


JimHeffner
JimHeffner

@Duncan_20903@twas4kids,  Duncan, best  comment of the day, that's discounting MalcolmKyle's comments,  he somehow maintains a high level of creativity and energy, day in and day out. .   Repeal prohibition- not original but that's the objective.

Duncan_20903
Duncan_20903

@EricT1There are exactly 2 States which make cannabis an age restricted product. Here's a clue: both States have a professional football team playin in the upcoming Super Bowl.


These people are only pretending to care about "the children".  If they actually cared they wouldn't continue an epic failure in public policy which finds the rate of  American youth choosing to enjoy cannabis at or near 30 year highs.

scooter3211
scooter3211

@davea0511

The righteous indignation prohibitionists feel when people correctly call them out for their rank hypocrisy and malevolence is quite evil. You are the ones that support draconian laws that ruin people's lives (arresting or fined constitutes a disruption of the person’s life). You are the ones who support the State's profligate policies against cannabis. You are the ones who ostracize responsible adults who choose to partake in a demonstratively safer drug than alcohol in their free time. You are the ones who spew egregious lies to support said policies and bigotry. You are the ones who haughtily dismiss evidence proving to the contrary. Using the AMA as your defense for ruining people’s lives, which has no qualms allowing doctors to prescribe pain medications that are akin to heroin, is a specious reason to maintain cannabis’ illegality. The AMA does not condone the use of tobacco either. Why do you not crusade to make tobacco illegal?

Furthermore, the poster above impugning the absurdities of cannabis prohibition demonstrates they are not a sycophantic shill for the status quo. They are able to use adeptly the internet to disabuse the populace of the lies and hyperbole the parasitic prohibitionists spew. Proponents of cannabis legalization are no longer allowing the prohibitionists and their allies to lie with impunity.   

In this case, yes, the situation is black and white: the seat belt driver can die if they crash; the cannabis consumer is not going to die if they smoke too much. Irresponsible cannabis consumers are far less of a threat to society because of the infrequency and relatively mild negative consequences of abuse vis–à–vis the costs accrued on society from both alcohol and tobacco. You are right about one thing, however: the prohibitionists are not stupid, they are repugnant, often hypocritical, imperious, bigoted, and evil individuals and organizations that desire to impinge on the liberties of others.


EricT1
EricT1

@davea0511@malcolmkyle16 Horrible analogy. People don't go to jail for speeding (well not usually and if they do its because they were being reckless) or for not wearing their seatbelts. It is asinine to put people in jail for marijuana. Prohibition does not have a positive effect whatsoever and there is no legitimate reason to think that it was ever the best approach. Additionally, people should have the freedom to decide whether or not they get high. I don't think it requires any justification.

Lebow-Ski
Lebow-Ski

@davea0511@malcolmkyle16

There is nothing gray about the costs to society stemming from prohibition.

Where are the benefits? Most people now realize the cost was far, far too high.

Duncan_20903
Duncan_20903

@scooter3211, just how many times do I have to tell you that it's just plain cruel to torment the sycophants of prohibition with facts and logic? It gives them conniption fits and leaves them even more confused than normal.

scooter3211
scooter3211

@davea0511  More citation


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11219366        The study itself qualifies its assertions.

http://www.workforcesafety.com/safety/sops/SubstanceAbuseTraining.pdf     This study includes drugs in general not only marijuana.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm

http://www.alternet.org/story/151776/debunking_the_myth_of_a_link_between_marijuana_and_mental_illness

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporizer_(cannabis)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1853086/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070515151145.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_consumption

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-503823_162-4844665.html

http://coedmagazine.com/2011/02/02/the-10-smartest-pot-smokers-on-the-planet-cool-enough-to-admit-it/

http://www.forbes.com/2005/06/02/cz_qh_0602pot.html

http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/entertainment/2009/10/29/celebrities-stars-who-smoke-pot-marijuana/#slide=4    

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/sting-calls-for-legalisation-of-marijuana-20100402-rinr.html

http://www.complex.com/sports/2012/02/the-25-greatest-stoner-athletes-of-all-time

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_the_United_States#Marijuana_Tax_Act_.281937.29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marihuana_Tax_Act_of_1937

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Guardia_Committee

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reefer_Madness

http://www.hempology.org/ALL%20HISTORY%20ARTICLES.HTML/1961%3B%20ANSLINGER%20MURDERERS.html

http://books.google.com/books?id=r9wPbxMAG8cC&pg=PA24#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/lag/lagmenu.htm

scooter3211
scooter3211

@davea0511  

Here is citation:

Here is a recent peer-reviewed Study proving that Marijuana is not linked with Long Term Cognitive Impairment:

Amy M. Schreiner of the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Florida recently led a study that looked at 33 existing meta-analyses of cognitive impairment experienced by heavy cannabis users. Schreiner was unable to provide evidence of long-lasting impairment. Specifically, the participants demonstrated no significant cognitive deficiencies once the intoxication period ended. Additionally, Schreiner found no symptoms of impairment in the individuals who had abstained for 25 days. In conclusion she said, "These results fail to support the idea that heavy cannabis use may result in long-term, persistent effects on neuropsychological functioning."

Reference:

Schreiner, A. M., Dunn, M. E. (2012). residual effects of cannabis use on neurocognitive performance after prolonged abstinence: A meta-analysis. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0029117

http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/12/10/harvard-marijuana-doesnt-cause-schizophrenia/63148.html

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=large-study-finds-no-link

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130923143638.htm

http://www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/9/1/4

http://cannabinergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/JNMD_distress_coping_and_drug_law_medical_cannabis_Aggarwal_et_al_2013.pdf

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/184/2/110.full

http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_science3.shtml

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2009/09/02/cannabis-schizophrenia.html

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/biomarker-could-diagnose-ptsd

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/carl-sagan-marijuana_n_3367112.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/11/study-claims-marijuana-tied-to-lower-bladder-cancer-risk/2153019/

http://www.abstractsonline.com/Plan/ViewAbstract.aspx?mID=3086&sKey=3e3df4f9-a49f-40e7-a260-ccc3c54e0125&cKey=c7c6690d-3e5e-438e-9de4-d6f67a0703fb&mKey=9b2d28e7-24a0-466f-a3c9-07c21f6e9bc9

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002934313002003

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/12/19/should-teenagers-get-high-instead-of-drunk/marijuana-is-far-less-toxic-than-alcohol-or-cocaine

http://cannabisfakta.swecan.org/08-zi-mo.pdf

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20030701/heavy-marijuana-use-doesnt-damage-brain

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729.html

http://www.drugscience.org/dl/dl_comparison.html

http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_media7.shtml

http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/nc/ncmenu.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/oct/15/decriminalise-drug-use-say-experts?newsfeed=true      Not only about Marijuana, but can be applied to it.

http://www.pitt.edu/~ugr/Hrych2.pdf

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57456999-10391704/medical-marijua

http://healthland.time.com/2012/06/14/10-reasons-to-revisit-marijuana-policy-now/#new-uses-for-medical-marijuana

http://www.mamacoca.org/docs_de_base/Debate_despenalizacion_Colombia/Nadelmann_National_Review_Article_with_Footnotes.pdf

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1104848



BillGriggs
BillGriggs

@davea0511 This prohibition isn't really much different than the prohibition of alcohol. In both instances we were trying to prohibit something that is just too popular to ban. Our experiment with alcohol prohibition was a short one. At first alcohol consumption did drop quite a bit, but then organized crime exploded onto the scene and by the end of that 13 year experiment we had almost as many drinking as before.  We had all the same costs from alcohol abuse, plus the enormous financial and societal costs of a failed prohibition of a popular product.


We're in the same boat with marijuana prohibition now. Marijuana is too popular to ban. We hit the point a few years ago that according to federal drug use survey data over half of all American adults under the age of 65 had smoked marijuana. We're not talking about a tiny percentage of Americans.  That's over half of all American adults who came of age since pot use took off in this country. We blow billions of dollars every year trying in vain to keep up this ban, but decades later, billions and billions of dollars later, we haven't even put a dent in the supply or demand for marijuana.  All we are doing is wasting fortunes we don't have to waste, enriching organized crime, and we're causing every problem caused by our failed experiment with alcohol prohibition and more.  At least Al Capone and the other booze sellers of the day weren't offering their customers meth and cocaine and heroin and all that. 


It is time to stop this insanity and regulate this entirely unregulated multi-billion dollar industry. You want control over it? Government would have far more control over it if it was regulated.  We're doing far more harm than good keeping up the status quo. The sooner we legalize and regulate, the better for us all. 

davea0511
davea0511

@Lebow-Ski@davea0511@malcolmkyle16

"Prohibition" or prohibition?  They're two different things.  We're not talking about alcohol.  If you want to know the upsides of prohibiting marijuana don't ask me (or a politician for that matter).  Ask the experts:

Ask the AMA, who's against legalization for health reasons.  Ask the APA, who's against it for psychological and social reasons,  Ask Michael Bloomberg, who's against it for crime reasons.

Besides, you've just proven exactly what I was saying.  You think the world is painted in black and white.  That makes you just as fanatical and purist as the religious nuts you hate  (and I hate a lot of their stands too, but at least I understand there are no absolutes).  You never answered my questions.  There is a price for every law ... with alcohol the cost was too much, nobody argues that.  The price for criminalizing cocaine and heroin is not as high because so relatively few use it and the benefit outweighs or do you think we should legalize that too?

Cling to your absolutes (and apparently popular opinion now ... seems you're campaign is winning) if you must.  On this I'll hang with the experts.