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Legalizing Marijuana

Last posted Jan 16, 2010 at 06:04AM EST. Added Jan 13, 2010 at 08:07AM EST
24 posts from 12 users

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/politics/Planting-the-Seed-for-Legal-Pot-81222877.html
what is your stance on this subject?
I beileve it should be legalized, it would create extra tax revenue, cut down on gang related crime to some degree, and save tax dollars on fighting drug trafficing (of marijuana). this is to be an intellectual debate. no tomfoolery.
Inb4 he’s a pot smokin liberal hippie
(P.S. I am a conservative republican, who has never smoked a joint or even seen pot before in my life)

Jan 13, 2010 at 08:07AM EST
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Though, if marijuana is legalized, it’d be publicized.

Many people who use cigarettes will flourish to marijuana as their primary stress reliever.

Thus exposing it to new people, students, etc.

Marijuana should only be medically equipped.

Jan 13, 2010 at 09:05AM EST
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I live in Canada, so it’s not as harsh here. But I don’t really care, as long as I don’t see potheads on my lawn at 2:00 in the morning. (True story)

Last edited Jan 13, 2010 at 09:23AM EST
Jan 13, 2010 at 09:23AM EST
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Legalize it. It’s not even as bad as cigarettes or alcohol.
Also, the worst thing that will happen to a marijuana snoker is nothing, literally.

Jan 13, 2010 at 11:50AM EST
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Actually, one of the primary ingredients in pot is a mild form of acid. Prolonged exposure to pot can cause stunted sexual performance, short-term memory loss, etc.

Now it’s not as bad as alcohol (cigarettes I’m not so sure), but still. Why legalize one more thing for kids to get their hands on?

(P.s. Im a long-haired vegetarian from California. Lol)

Last edited Jan 13, 2010 at 02:04PM EST
Jan 13, 2010 at 02:02PM EST
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well people don’tchain smoke marijuana. it’s only a one-hit thing, albeit like most things moderation will not be as bad for you.

Jan 13, 2010 at 02:42PM EST
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@skankin That’s debatable. I’ve met some people.

That said, largely due to my actually having a job in this economy, I don’t.

There are certainly negative effects of smoking it, just like there are negative effects of sitting around a camp fire for too long, or too close. What should be noted is that the effects are not nearly as devastating as those of tobacco or alcohol, which the government allows as a source of revenue (through taxes and ‘big business’).

The fact is, its effects are less detrimental to human functionality than alcohol, and less harmful and addictive than both alcohol and cigarettes.

And as for it being a gateway, I suspect these people have never been drunk, because the susceptibility to pressure and loss of judgment skills dramatically decrease, making alcohol more prone to lead to things than smoking. I’m not studied up on the subject, but I think it’d be an easy argument to make that it’s not so much an issue of it being a gateway, but that the people that use it are already of a mindset that’s flexible enough to accommodate further transgressions. Those people who would, but don’t smoke, because of the legality, are thus less likely to go beyond their new experiences due to the same legal restrictions that currently hold them back.

I know this is a sort of ambiguous post with some antecedent problems, but I’m trying to be delicate given my posting location. Anyway…

Jan 13, 2010 at 03:20PM EST
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Yes, but for someone who believes that cigarettes should not be legal as well, the argument makes no ground.

While the atmostphere is not even nearly ready to get rid of alcohol (as it is glamorized and portraid in the media as popular and fun), cigarettes have greatly been de-glamorized, and are now seen as a generally negative subject in the united states. Because of this, an Anti-Smoking law in the United States would probably be widely supported and well-thought out, unlike the Prohibition act of the 1920’s.

Now I hate government control as much as the next person. Probably more so, in fact. Being a libritarian, I oppose all laws that inhibit personal freedoms and local policy. But… this topic really strains against that, as I see potheads in my community that are a bunch of god-damn no good loafers mooching off the towns resourses, to put it lightly. It’s an epidemic. Maybe I’m biased; in fact, I’m sure I am. But the legality of pot will not help our situation. =/

Last edited Jan 13, 2010 at 03:38PM EST
Jan 13, 2010 at 03:35PM EST
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Canadian here so marijuana is decriminalized but that’s not really my point.

Now during my spiel I may sound ridiculous but bear with me.

Here is what I think.

All illicit drugs should be legalized.

All of them, no exceptions, you just need to be 18 to buy them.

Plus, they are poisonous.

Or more poisonous then usual.

So poisonous that for example: 2 cigarettes in under 24 hours will kill you, simple as that.

I’m not sure how they will get this poisonous but if there is one thing that governments can get behind it’s new ways to kill people. So it’ll happen.

Now, people can enjoy their recreational drug use without wondering whether their drug of choice will kill them or not. They know it will, so they should accept that or die.

Of course, some people will not be happy about all the dead people but hey, you can’t please everyone.

And it’s not like there isn’t a warning. All packages that hold the drugs will give the maximum of the drug you can take before kicking the bucket.

Then, if someone dies, it’s no one’s fault but their own. Unless someone forces them to take it, then that’s murder.

Jan 13, 2010 at 04:24PM EST
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I know the typical pothead. I know the person sitting on the couch all day, munching on stuff and doing nothing. I also know a few very productive people that also happen to smoke weed. Now, are you going to tell the people that get up early in the morning, go for a jog, hold a job, and also enjoy getting high that they can’t, because there are others that sit around doing nothing when they do it? That’s a pretty slippery slope. I mean, you’ve already voiced you thoughts on cigarettes and drinking, but let’s go past that. Let’s delve deeper into the grips of big government control. Our current arguments, if I’m reading this right, are as follows:

Weed:
Moderate health risks. Lessens productivity in many cases. Not glamorous due to critical media, laws, and labeling.

Cigarettes:
Severe health risks. Negligible effects on productivty. Not glamorous due to critical media and emerging laws.

Alcohol:
Severe health risks. Severe effects on both productivity and judgement. Glamorous due to positive media.

Now, I’d like to raise a few points. Cigarettes were once glamorous enough to be in MREs for soldiers, and were even labeled as healthy. Alcohol, on the other hand, was banned, as you pointed out. Look at which of them is doing better, now. Make something the forbidden fruit and see if people that never even bothered before start climbing over one another to get it. Additionally, the worst of the list is the only one that, by your (and most people’s) standards, is all right. Additionally, pot is, of these, by most views, the least destructive. If you decide it should be illegalized just based on the amount of time people spend getting nothing done because of it, what’s next?

Porn and masturbation?

Jan 13, 2010 at 04:25PM EST
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I think there is something important missing in the overall discussion.
When I read that alcohol can cause severe damage to health… sorry wait what ?
It might be an urban legend where I live, but drinking a glass of wine once in a while (I think once a day, maybe once a week) is considered good for your health.

The keyword here is addiction.

I wouldn’t mind some drugs being legalized as well, BUT with a somewhat same vision as Blubber.
Nowadays, the warning signs concerning drugs, smoking or alcoholism are generally seen as jokes, and easily ignored by people. They pretty much don’t care as far as they get their “daily source of stress relief”.

Because we can’t teach everyone to seek in another safer source of stress-relieving material (like videogames, chewing-gums perhaps, that sort of things) the same way we can’t teach everyone on the Net to behave themselves because of the Dickwad theory, the only possibility that remains is to show them the risks right in their faces.

Jan 13, 2010 at 10:38PM EST
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I’m watching Jay Leno as I type this.
He just said somethign about California being really close to legalizing it.
Really, I don’t care either way.

People are going to do it whether it’s legal or not.

Jan 14, 2010 at 01:10AM EST
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Sure, they will, but the heart of the issue is really not whether people should do it or not. Like you said, the law is rarely going to affect that. What’s at hand here is if they should be criminalized for it.

@Tomberry
There’s a slight difference. The studies you’re talking about aren’t urban legends; it’s been said that an occasional glass of wine can have benefits, but that doesn’t make it healthy. I mean, smoking a cigarette is a diet suppressant, but that doesn’t make them healthy. What you have to get down to is where the pros outweigh the cons. In any case, there’s still a fundamental difference. Alcohol is unhealthy by nature. It is a toxin: it’s toxic. That’s why people become intoxicated. The reason people drink it is to poison themselves, and that’s what gives you the effect that drinking does. Its not up for debate whether it’s bad for you or not. It is. In moderation, sure, it won’t kill you, but the negative effects still grossly outweigh any potential benefits it may have. Additionally, the people drinking it for the benefits are heavily outnumbered by those killing themselves with it.

On the other hand, the topic of discussion here is not a toxin. It’s a chemical change whose sole function and intent is not to kill brain cells. The alteration is non-damaging (save to your memory and wallet). It’s also not addictive, any more than say, Pringles. That is to say, the only reason it’s seen as addictive is people like doing things that bring them enjoyment--not because there’s a chemical dependency.

Jan 14, 2010 at 10:03AM EST
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Swallowing any kind of smoke, I don’t care where it can be from, to bring it to lungs (that are more used to filter air in oxygen) is less toxic than drinking a fluid (that stomach can afford to transform) ?

Yes, alcohol kills brain cells, and can also cause cirrhosis for heavy drinkers, but most of the time, alcohol doesn’t cause deaths by itself.
Alcohol causes more deaths when someone drunk takes their car for a ride. That same thing happens with any kind of drugs.

So, when you say:

In moderation, sure, it won’t kill you, but the negative effects still grossly outweigh any potential benefits it may have.

Wait, what ? There are as much benefits and negative effects as to, say, eat junk food.

It’s a chemical change whose sole function and intent is not to kill brain cells. The alteration is non-damaging (save to your memory and wallet). It’s also not addictive, any more than say, Pringles. That is to say, the only reason it’s seen as addictive is people like doing things that bring them enjoyment--not because there’s a chemical dependency.

I’d like you to show me the difference between the amount of people that drink their first bottle of alcohol and then get addicted to it, and the same for any drugs, smoking or not (cigarettes anyone ?).
It’s not as a “popular unchecked thought” as you may think.
How can you be so sure that it doesn’t kill any brain cell in the process when smoking some pot ? How can you be so sure that the alteration is non-damaging ?

There aren’t as much people in the AA as you might think. Cancers aren’t provoked by alcohol alone. The number of death due to alcoholic comas or, say, people who choked to death in their own vomit because of it aren’t that high either.

And also:

Alcohol is unhealthy by nature. It is a toxin: it’s toxic. That’s why people become intoxicated. The reason people drink it is to poison themselves, and that’s what gives you the effect that drinking does.

Enjoyement ? Good taste for a drink ? I’ve never got drunk. I don’t think I drink a lot of alcohol either but …poison myself ? I drink some alcohol because I want to savour their taste, the same way I could drink Ice-tea for that matter, and the same way I hate Coca-cola: their taste.

On the other hand, the topic of discussion here is not a toxin. It’s a chemical change whose sole function and intent is not to kill brain cells. The alteration is non-damaging (save to your memory and wallet). It’s also not addictive, any more than say, Pringles. That is to say, the only reason it’s seen as addictive is people like doing things that bring them enjoyment--not because there’s a chemical dependency.

ANY kind of substance your body absorbs can have bad effects on your health. Why pointing at one more than another ?
That’s a little biased to say that some drugs are “better” (more suitable in that case, I guess) for your health than others.
And yes, every drug can be addictive, that you want it or not.

Last edited Jan 14, 2010 at 05:57PM EST
Jan 14, 2010 at 05:55PM EST
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I’ve already stated the campfire analogy. I know smoke is bad. I’ve been up front about this since the beginning. What I’m saying is it is not, in itself, a poisonous substance.

Liver damage, brain damage, blindness, and accidental deaths like choking on your vomit or getting in a car drunk are not all that uncommon. They are not myths. And, even if your hypothetical situation, that smoking weed may also cause brain damage, it is inarguably less immediate, less devastating, and less of a killer than alcohol is in this (the US) country, and I’d bet loads of money the same is true everywhere else. Even with equal users, in equal measures, I’d bet all my possessions that alcohol is more hazardous recreationally than pot. Trust me, though, having recently graduated from college, my past six years or sohave been in an environment constantly surrounded by people enjoying themselves in whatever manner they please. I’ve seen more than a few people end up in the hospital, and never once because of weed. I’ve seen stomachs pumped, black outs, two deaths due to car crashes, one almost fatal blood alcohol level, more belligerent people than I can count, and all because of alcohol.

And, I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove with the junk food statement. I think, inadvertantly, you may be arguing my point. Yes, junk food is bad for you. But people enjoy it, so it’s legal. What, are you going to outlaw cake because it has less benefits than detriments to the body? Like I said, if that were the case, then you’d be banning almost everything in the nation. So, again, why make marijuana illegal?

And, when you say AA, you mean Alcoholics Anonymous? I’m not sure why that’s part of this conversation, as the number of people seeking help isn’t a statistic that determines how many people abuse alcohol. Hell, I wish there were more people in AA, because the majority of the people that need it, aren’t in it. Still, it’s not relevant to whether pot should be legalized.

As for savoring it, some people like the taste. Sure. I don’t deny that there are some alcohols that are nice with meals and atmospheres. I have never said I DON’T drink. I’ve only been trying to point out that we have something legal that is more dangerous than something illegal. And, for those people that enjoy the taste, great. Go for it. But show me one college kid whose killing Natural Light because he enjoys the taste. Show me one abusive father who enjoys the taste of Bud Lite, and isn’t just using it as an escape. Let’s be honest, the amount of people that drink to get drunk, that is, drink to poison themselves, is OVERWHELMINGLY superior to those that “want to savour [the] taste.”

And, you’re absolutely correct. Any substance you take in can kill you. Breathing too much (hyperventilating) can kill you. Drinking too much water will flush the nutrients from your body ad kill you. But the reason I’m pointing to alcohol is because of how quickly and effortlessly, and in so many ways, it will kill you. Can weed kill you? Maybe, we don’t really know. What we do know is that there sure aren’t a whole lot of confirmed cases where it has rolling in. What there are, however, are metric shit-tons of cases where alcohol has, in whatever way, led to the death of somebody, including those not involved in the drinking. Weed does not do that, and while I haven’t labeled anything as “better” or worse than anything else, I would certainly argue that pot is better than alcohol.

Now, again, I’m not saying alcohol should be illegalized. I’m not saying Pringles or cake should either. I’m saying that, if we have those things, those we know are obviously harmful, then what right do we have to criminalize marijuana and call ourselves a “free nation?”

And, as a bit of insight on who’s arguing here, no, I don’t smoke. I do drink. I am not biased because of what I partake in. I have, however, been around many people that have enjoyed one or both of these things. I’m speaking from my experience and the research I’ve done on the subject (one of my graduate papers was on weed versus alcohol). I work for the government, and, as such, cannot smoke. Would I otherwise? I don’t know. Would I if they decriminalized it? You bet. But that’s not my intent in this--all I’m trying to do ITT is show how ridiculous it is that we have “freedom” that doesn’t allow us to grow, own, or intake a plant. That is, by all standards, fucking ludicrous. If all substances that altered a person’s state were banned, it would be bad, but it would at least make sense. What I’m trying to show is that it is not only bad that we have things illegalized, but the choices we’ve made in doing so don’t make since.

And, one last can of worms before I’m off to bed tonight. There are different ways to take marijuana into the body. Smoking is, obviously, the only one that involves smoke. Baking it, on the other hand, doesn’t. No harm to the lungs. So, why not this? But this still isn’t the point. The point’s in the last paragraph. It doesn’t matter whether it’s harmful or not. What matters is whether or not it makes sense. I have yet to hear an argument ITT or anywhere else that gives good cause to criminalize marijuana.

Jan 14, 2010 at 09:20PM EST
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Excuse me for being an illogical idealist, but I don’t think it’s morally right to make an economy out of something that can harm people.

Yes, I know that just about everything possible in this world has a potential to harm you in someway, and I also know that cigarettes and alcohol are far worse than marijuana.

For me, it is just a matter of principle and, honestly, this whole issue makes me nervous.

(PS: I live in California and this issue will have strong effects on my community)

Jan 15, 2010 at 06:33PM EST
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Essentially.

I do believe there is a possibility, however, that the legalization of marijuana may help those who are addicted to cigarettes, but I fear it will just form a downward spiral of substance abuse.

Jan 15, 2010 at 08:26PM EST
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Legalizing marijuana won’t create many problems.
Marijuana doesn’t kill. (Unless you smoke extreme amounts of it.)
A real statistic showed that marijuana is not a gateway drug.
Marijuana calms down its user, rather then possibly stimulating angry behavior.
When the user isn’t calmed, they may get hyper, but likely not dangerous.

Also, a nice pro is that the Bureau of Narcotics will stop wasting so much damn money.
(By the way, it’s legal in Holland and they have few problems caused by it. And if there are problems, it’s the user’s fault.)

Jan 15, 2010 at 08:41PM EST
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Maybe my post was a case of tl:dr, but I think the idea of making marijuana illegal because it’s “harmful” to the user is like making Chipotle illegal. Eating it makes you feel good, briefly, then you feel like shit until you birth a food baby. It’s rarely healthy and nobody is fighting to have them banned.

Moreover, the US makes money on loads of things. Tobacco: taxed. Alcohol: taxed. Firearms: largely taxed. You know which of these kills more than marijuana? All of them. Let’s move on to untaxed things that are more dangerous than weed: cars, stairs, sporks, half the products painted in China, space heaters, toasters. None of these are illegal.

Like I said, politically, it’s a slippery slope. First, it’s weed, then cigarettes, then we’re in a government regulated safehouse. If it’s dangerous, they’ll illegalize it. That way, you can’t hurt your own damn self.

If you need somebody to criminalize things that are unsafe for you, you should not be making decisions for yourself anyway.

Jan 16, 2010 at 12:10AM EST
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Skeletor-sm

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