Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

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leave a comment as to why/why not Pot should be legal or not

I voted yes because pot has properties that can be beneficial, it makes no sense to me to have Alcohol be legal and pot not. I've never heard of a stoner doing the behavior of a drunk or withdrawal being able to kill you, unlike alcohol.

But most importantly, it's such a large cash crop already, Mexico is fueled by violent drug cartels committing horrific murder and mayhem daily, our national and state forests and parks are littered with drug cartels growing weed, with AK-47s, polluting the land. Weed can be taxed and help with budget deficits. It also can be quality controlled. Legalization can reduce the costs of very obviously ineffective law enforcement, allow them to focus in on destructive drugs (heroin is making a comeback in the U.S.) and most importantly, hopefully reduce the drug cartels power, help secure the border due to cartels not controlling it and hopefully stop the destruction of our natural resources as illegal growing areas.

So, just like prohibition, it makes no sense to me to have pot be illegal.

For the record, I am a very boring, person who does not smoke pot, have no interest in it personally or any mind altering substance for that matter, including booze.

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Why only pot?

Bob,
I know the arguments, but I have some professional background on the subject. Yes, some enjoy pot, just as they enjoy booze, and I have been to places where it can be legally bought and used. Like most substances, illegal substances (and those limited by the controlled substances act but available by prescription) can have their short-term beneficial uses. I used to be able to go into a pharmacy and buy paregoric by signing the book. Medicinal use (e.g., overactive bowels) without the doctor's permission. In some cultures, old folks were traditionally able to smoke cannabis and even opium. It made old age more bearable. Amphetamines? They helped me get through graduate school's grind, and I felt more energetic too.
So why stop with grass?
If you want to see the risk unfettered availability of marijuana can pose, check out the clinical literature -- it does get to the kids when their brains are still developing, just as alcohol does now when they get it from parents' stash.

As for stoners being not impaired like drunks, I can't agree. Try thinking of stoned drivers or pilots. Judgement and perception are affected. I had a nephew who was a pilot, and went flying while stoned -- problem was he couldn't land the aircraft -- good thing he had no passengers, or they might have died with him. The problem with being stoned (like being drunk) is that you often don't know you are.

Sorry for the rant, but I have heard the "pot is okay" argument too many times. Yes, it can be and is very profitable, if you accept the consequences. Heroin? The Vancouver safe injection project has probably prevented some spread of blood-borne disease like HIV/AIDS, and a few overdose deaths, but smoking opium might be even safer. Why not license opium dens and have Coca-cola become "the real thing" once more by adding a little cocaine? Might generate more revenue, but it is not without social costs.

Frank T.

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Frank T.

because the entire country is smoking it anyway

Obviously making it illegal doesn't work and I said in comparison to alcohol, it's not as bad. My reasons are pretty much the same for ending prohibition on the 1930's on alcohol. I've seen plenty of drugs and yes I know all of the issues, but there is alcoholism, gambling addiction and those are both legal.

You won't see me say that on something like heroin or amphetamines, or meth etc.

But bottom line, now going on for 50 years and now also the ages brackets of smokers is now into the 70's....and clearly it's not going away or is making it illegal stopping anyone, all it is doing is making some criminals very powerful.

Advocating for the obvious isn't the same thing as claiming pot is great. I don't do any drugs or alcohol, so obviously I don't think any of this stuff is so great, just being a realist.

I put it on the site because this is the #1 cash crop and projections to solve state budgets are all in the black if it was legalized.

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Heroin & Cocaine are Highly Addictive & Lethal

People cannot function within society once in a cycle of addiction with those drugs or amphetamines, benzodiazepines et all. That same addiction capability simply does not exist with marijuana although I'm sure there are some reefer madness type studies paid for by the prison/police industrial complex which shows just how dangerous it is and helping to ensure their bloated budgets making America safe from stoners.

A slight miscalculation with heroin and you are dead while not the same thing its also possible for a first time user to suddenly die from cocaine use (Len Bias).

There is no really comparison between cocaine or heroin and
marijuana.

The reality is that creating a legal way to obtain
marijuana would eliminate many people from using those much harder lethal drugs because the 'dealer' who carries all of them is taken out of the loop thus less people will be introduced to them.

None of this is a recommendation for smoking marijuana but then again I do not recommend anyone gulp a fifth of gin before driving to work either. Personal responsibilities are still a big part of living in the US.

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don't forget Meth

I've seen people addicted to/high on Meth. It's the ultimate Zombie land, they have no souls left. Every walk through 6th and Market or the lower Tenderloin, there literally was a sea of these walking dead and you can probably find such areas around. I'd like to see them take that drug supply plain out.

I'd like to get these murderous thugs with AK-47s out of the woods too. Literally you had better be damn careful these days even going hiking in US public lands.

You make another good point, by separating out marijuana to be bought and sold in stores and so on, less chance some one is going to be introduced with that "other hot commodity" meth. The stats and data are in on Heroin and cocaine but it would not surprise me to find out Meth is even worse than those two deadly beasts.

I guess Oxycontin (sp?) is mega addictive, very easy to O.D. on as well and this of course is the big pharma latest buzz profit.

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Meth and Money

The drug story gets pretty long and complicated. If you want to focus on cash crops, meth probably gives most leverage in terms of manufacturing cost, also more destructive in terms of social cost. Thus its attraction to really antisocial elements, but it is highly seductive -- when "ice" first appeared (brought in by Asian gangs -- Filipino and Korean mainly, maybe a little over two decades ago) -- it first showed up in Hawaii and California, but was high quality product of industrial labs. Its attraction was performance enhancement and longer duration of action than coke, but then degredation of judgement and physical effects were pretty ugly. Then the cheaper crap that has been around longer (cat, meth, etc.) really wreaked enormous damage as it spread.
I'm with you on this, Bob, but I should warn that these gangs' motivations and firepower are probably more than lone angry citizens can handle.
Pot is getting to be a sideshow, and states have long experimented with policies to treat it as less serious, and I wonder about the effect of unemployment on the attraction of this exotic kind of farming -- but there are certain folks who do not tolerate competition, and they don't use lawyers or anti-trust complaints.
What would be the economic cost of legalizing pot? Of our legal drugs, tobacco is a case in point. I was at a meeting yesterday and the point was made that the medical cost of disease from each $4 pack of cigarettes averages at just over $10. The numbers are rough but credible. I don't have the source and someone may have better numbers, but I found it worth noting.
The economics of drugs are fascinating. For illegal drugs, the cost estimates get tangled up with what can be measured (some studies use mostly criminal justice costs, which might drop with less incarceration) and ignore what is not (violence, family disruption, lost productivity, untreated physical and mental illness). Over a decade ago, I saw a study that compared the cost of methadone treatment to the cost of days in prison, and methadone was the easy winner.
For legalizing pot, what is the cost-benefit? And how much of the cost can we know? I would appreciate seeing any reasoned arguments with numbers (and perhaps policy points).
Frank T.

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Frank T.

well first I think one needs to assume

people will always do them, at least some segment.

Then, what's the real cost of alcohol? While the focus is on smoking continually, it would not surprise me to see alcohol on equal par or worse. Make an interesting blog post but I think a key problem is denial that America loves it's vices, proved by prohibition and of course the U.S. has become much more "in love" with their vices since that time.

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Meth, Oxycontin, Barbituates, etc

Its almost a chemists drug dujour thing going on. There will be something new down the road created that is even more addictive and even more profitable.

Meth has become so pervasive in society that the AMC series Breaking Bad is based on it. I wouldn't doubt there are some real high school chemistry teachers out there in the US making a killing cooking for biker gangs right now.

Money is a powerful motive and the reason that prohibition failed is that there was too much money in the illegal trade due to demand. That gels well with what you say in your other post. The people here are what creates the problem, admit it or not. Without demand there would be no supply.

Clearly legalizing marijuana nationwide will happen in my lifetime which probably means the next 20-30 years. These other harder drugs need to be dealt with through more effective means rather than imprisonment. We are creating hard core criminals from a cross section of society that is either drawn by the money or is genetically easily addicted.

Portugal legalized or decriminalized all drugs some time ago and crime has gone down.

Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?

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Meth & $Money

Here is the down-low on Meth (and any other 'illegal' drug)

1. Like the IRS/Tax code, the 'illegal' drug trade is a lucrative 'business' for your 'hero's in uniform'. The AM talk-Cons use the 'hero' refrain almost as Biblical citation when referring to the 'law' EnForcement community.

2. Legalizing drugs - of all kinds, is the ultimate expression of Liberty - the ability for sovereign individuals to Govern themselves - i.e., the 'Contractual agreements among Men', and 'My rights stop at your nose', and vice/versa.

3. Control Freak-ism, as practiced by our current two-party system, short-circuits the above dynamic by placing a 'nanny'/'proxy'/'middleman' or whatever you would prefer to call it, in the middle of the 'transaction' of Liberty.

Why?

$$$ and to an equal extent, Control.

But you already knew that - at least to some degree.

Until society-at-large has had it's fill of being 'Over-Governed', and wishes to un-hitch itself from BullSh!t 'laws', save for what is Constitutionally Prescribed per our Founding Documents, expect (Much) more of the same crapola along the merry way to a 'Security State'.

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Well, as we all know...

In free markets, self-interest will govern and markets will police themselves. Alan Greenspan taught us that, we don't need no stinkin laws.
Frank T.

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Frank T.

Marijuana is older than

Marijuana is older than mankind . It has been used for thousands of years by many societies the world over . I prefer to smoke it at the end of the day , and after all my responsibilities have been taken of. I find it to be more relaxing than alcohol and with less negative side effects .

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