Idiotic question #2 - why no drug paraphenalia questions in GQ?

Before you read on, please note that I’m massively ignorant on this topic – and I have no interest in and drug related material…

Given that we can ask questions on a wide swath of quasi-legal activities in GQ, why do threads like today’s “how does a bong work” thread get whacked so quickly…it’s a legitimate question, and certainly seems to fit within the “don’t be a jerk” guidelines…

My guess would be because it’s related to an illegal activity. (I mean, c’mon … why else are you going to build a bong?) :wink: I think this is the reason that many of the Napster threads got closed as well. Now, if the Chicago Reader were situated in Amsterdam, there probably wouldn’t be any problems with bong-threads. But as it stands, it’s all up to the moderator’s discretion.

And what do you mean by “quasi-legal” activities? :confused:

I didn’t close it just because of the “bong” topic. It was quickly degenerating into insults, too.

In general, we don’t allow information which is primarily intended to make it easier for people to break the law. Knowing how to build a bong will make it easier for people to break the drug laws, and serves little or no other purpose. Knowing how to easily swap MP3 files makes it easier for people to break the copyright laws, and again serves little other purpose. By contrast: Telling someone how to use a computer makes it easier for them to crack systems, but it also serves plenty of other legitimate purposes, so it’s allowed. Telling folks how an atomic bomb works doesn’t serve any legitimate purposes, but it also doesn’t really make it any easier to build an atomic bomb, so that’s also OK.

This is a particular annoyance and a problem for us dating back to our earliest days.

There’s always some braindead that thinks we’re about drugs. “You said DOPE, man.” That kind of thing.

This has become such a pain in the butt that we tend to really get snappy at people that don’t bother to read anything on the site, but just jump in and start talking about how much they love drugs or where can I find a dealer or what’s this or how do I do that or how do I fool the drug test at work or any of the myriad of questions and problems posed to us by the illegal substance using community.

There might well be sites for these folks, but it’s not here.

There’s other things that we don’t endorse here as well, but we’re not so testy about them. For example, we recently removed a listing for a Weird Earl when we discovered that the site had information on how to build your own pyrotechnics. Now, sure, you can run right out and get that information for yourself if you have a mind to, it’s available in any public library and no doubt a web search would even bring it up for you. But we’re not going to facilitate it for you.

We are all about dispelling ignorance. But some things are better learned elsewhere. Get your information off the street corner like the rest of us did!

Just kidding, but I hope you get the point.

The Straight Dope and by extension The Chicago Reader are not in the habit of endorsing or recommending activities that are illegal, unlawful, or criminal. This cuts across discussion of many topics and lots of things in this big nasty old world and that’s the way it goes.

your humble TubaDiva

You might want to keep a close eye on that Cecil Adams character, who in the past has posted a recipe for marijuana brownies, and also discussed how to keep aphids off your marijuana plants.

“You might want to keep a close eye on that Cecil Adams character, who in the past has posted
a recipe for marijuana brownies, and also discussed how to keep aphids off your marijuana

Brilliant. But bear in mind, that Cecil can & does write things that we cannot.

Plus, it’s annoying when the big people refer to ‘drugs’ as being an illegal topic. Instead of properly referring to ‘illegal drugs’ as a no-no topic. Makes you wonder what they are smoking? :slight_smile:

The Bong thing is silly. In Monterey, California, USA, they have a head shop with ‘We have Bongs’ written right on the front window.

Uptight ol’ KC has head shops on every corner, too, handy, but you get kicked out if you call them anything other than a “tobacco smoking accessory”.