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Marijuana Legalization


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#61
Hamtaro
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I wouldn't mind if drugs (at least marijuana) were to be legalized with regulations such as:
-Sold exclusively by the government (others can be arrested) with maybe a 10-15% tax
-Must be 19 to use (to try to keep it out of high schools, but lol that won't be followed)
-Cannot be consumed in public places
-A person causing a public disturbance (outside their own property, of course) while under the influence of drugs can be arrested for public intoxication
-Cannot drive a motor vehicle on public roads while under the influence of drugs (maybe not for pot, IDK how that affects a person)
-Companies still have the right to drug test and dismiss employees on drugs (maybe not for pot, so long as the employee isn't high while working)

Some benefits?
-Tax revenue (maybe to start paying off that national debt?)
-Severely damage the drug cartels' power in Mexico (and American gangs)
-Fewer people in prison leads to less of a burden on the tax payers
-A person has less of a chance of being introduced to a more dangerous drug by a drug dealer, since they wouldn't have to visit one anymore

I wouldn't personally want to try drugs, but whatever. Live your life the way you want to; you're the only one that has to die when it's time for you to die, so it doesn't affect me one bit (Jimi Hendrix :thumbup:).
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#62
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I wouldn't mind if drugs (at least marijuana) were to be legalized with regulations such as:
-Sold exclusively by the government (others can be arrested) with maybe a 10-15% tax
-Must be 19 to use (to try to keep it out of high schools, but lol that won't be followed)
-Cannot be consumed in public places
-A person causing a public disturbance (outside their own property, of course) while under the influence of drugs can be arrested for public intoxication
-Cannot drive a motor vehicle on public roads while under the influence of drugs (maybe not for pot, IDK how that affects a person)
-Companies still have the right to drug test and dismiss employees on drugs (maybe not for pot, so long as the employee isn't high while working)

Some benefits?
-Tax revenue (maybe to start paying off that national debt?)
-Severely damage the drug cartels' power in Mexico (and American gangs)
-Fewer people in prison leads to less of a burden on the tax payers
-A person has less of a chance of being introduced to a more dangerous drug by a drug dealer, since they wouldn't have to visit one anymore

I wouldn't personally want to try drugs, but whatever. Live your life the way you want to; you're the only one that has to die when it's time for you to die, so it doesn't affect me one bit (Jimi Hendrix :thumbup:).


Very nice post. Well thought out.
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#63
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I wouldn't mind if drugs (at least marijuana) were to be legalized with regulations such as:
-Sold exclusively by the government (others can be arrested) with maybe a 10-15% tax
-Must be 19 to use (to try to keep it out of high schools, but lol that won't be followed)
-Cannot be consumed in public places
-A person causing a public disturbance (outside their own property, of course) while under the influence of drugs can be arrested for public intoxication
-Cannot drive a motor vehicle on public roads while under the influence of drugs (maybe not for pot, IDK how that affects a person)
-Companies still have the right to drug test and dismiss employees on drugs (maybe not for pot, so long as the employee isn't high while working)

Some benefits?
-Tax revenue (maybe to start paying off that national debt?)
-Severely damage the drug cartels' power in Mexico (and American gangs)
-Fewer people in prison leads to less of a burden on the tax payers
-A person has less of a chance of being introduced to a more dangerous drug by a drug dealer, since they wouldn't have to visit one anymore

- I don't like the idea of the government being the only ones to sell it, as it is not the case with other drugs that are legal (alcohol, nicotine, pharmaceuticals.)
- I think it should be up to the country's government, and should be encouraged to be the same age as other forms of drug consumption that impose age requirements.
- I don't know where you live, but my country has areas that are alcohol-free zones, which ban the consumption (not sure about possession) of alcohol in those areas, it should also be the same with other drugs.
- I agree wholeheartedly with this one.
- Another good one, and should include cannabis.
- It should be dependant on the line of work. I'm all for keeping drugs out of the systems of pilots, truck drivers, heavy machinery operators and military personnel on rotation, but otherwise see no issue within reason.

For the benefits, you've forgotten the health benefits some give to people (such as pain relief from cannabis and PTSD relief from ecstasy) along with reduced gang-related violence.

I wouldn't personally want to try drugs, but whatever. Live your life the way you want to; you're the only one that has to die when it's time for you to die, so it doesn't affect me one bit (Jimi Hendrix :thumbup:).

I have a lot more respect for you for that.

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#64
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I realise the axioms of this debate change depending on whether you live in a country that has a largely private healthcare sector (the US), a public healthcare sector (the UK), or a mixture of both (Australia), but as a British citizen, I am not convinced that 'freedom to do things that don't harm other people' extends to consuming marijuana.

There are detrimental effects of taking cannibis, just as there are with any drug. If you want to pretend this drug is harmless, then be my guest, you're only deluding yourself and anyone stupid enough to believe you. Like it or not, these effects have to be dealt with by someone--namely the NHS--at considerable expense to the taxpayer. Far from the argument of whether spending public expenditure on your lifestyle choice is actually causing harm to other people, it raises serious questions about what the NHS is actually there for.

If I choose to decline a bus or a taxi to my local hospital when I have a minor injury which barely necessitates a trip to A&E, and the local paramedic service (rightly) refuses me an ambulance for such a frivolous journey, but then I see someone being treated for schizophrenia after taking a drug they knew and accepted might cause them severe harm, where's the justice there? Why have I no more right to choose an ambulance than someone else has a right to choose an illness-inducing lifestyle and get their treatment paid for it? A right of choice, by definition, cannot extend to some patients but not others.

Not convinced by that one? OK then. There are hundreds of cancer patients across the country who lack access to new drugs which are available to private healthcare providers such as BUPA because, simply put, the government can't afford them. They are generally few and far between and the problem isn't half as bad as the private sector-gloating Daily Mail would have us believe but, regardless, those patients lack free access at the point of need to drugs which would provide the best prognosis possible. No one chooses cancer, people do choose to take drugs. Ethically, is it right that we allocate and prioritise resources to patients who have not accepted a lifestyle they knew might cause them harm?

As someone who lives in a country that prides itself on being able to provide free healthcare at the point of need regardless of the patient's ability to pay for it, I cannot support the legalisation of a lifestyle that is wholly chosen by the individual under the pretense that that same healthcare provider will bail them out if it all goes wrong. It cannot be justified ethically, either in relation to other patients or the taxpayer, and frankly I'm not willing to waste vast resources and many hours of healthcare professionals' time in the interests of 'freedom'.

That is not what the NHS is there for.

#65
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I realise the axioms of this debate change depending on whether you live in a country that has a largely private healthcare sector (the US), a public healthcare sector (the UK), or a mixture of both (Australia), but as a British citizen, I am not convinced that 'freedom to do things that don't harm other people' extends to consuming marijuana.

There are detrimental effects of taking cannibis, just as there are with any drug. If you want to pretend this drug is harmless, then be my guest, you're only deluding yourself and anyone stupid enough to believe you. Like it or not, these effects have to be dealt with by someone--namely the NHS--at considerable expense to the taxpayer. Far from the argument of whether spending public expenditure on your lifestyle choice is actually causing harm to other people, it raises serious questions about what the NHS is actually there for.

If I choose to decline a bus or a taxi to my local hospital when I have a minor injury which barely necessitates a trip to A&E, and the local paramedic service (rightly) refuses me an ambulance for such a frivolous journey, but then I see someone being treated for schizophrenia after taking a drug they knew and accepted might cause them severe harm, where's the justice there? Why have I no more right to choose an ambulance than someone else has a right to choose an illness-inducing lifestyle and get their treatment paid for it? A right of choice, by definition, cannot extend to some patients but not others.

Not convinced by that one? OK then. There are hundreds of cancer patients across the country who lack access to new drugs which are available to private healthcare providers such as BUPA because, simply put, the government can't afford them. They are generally few and far between and the problem isn't half as bad as the private sector-gloating Daily Mail would have us believe but, regardless, those patients lack free access at the point of need to drugs which would provide the best prognosis possible. No one chooses cancer, people do choose to take drugs. Ethically, is it right that we allocate and prioritise resources to patients who have not accepted a lifestyle they knew might cause them harm?

As someone who lives in a country that prides itself on being able to provide free healthcare at the point of need regardless of the patient's ability to pay for it, I cannot support the legalisation of a lifestyle that is wholly chosen by the individual under the pretense that that same healthcare provider will bail them out if it all goes wrong. It cannot be justified ethically, either in relation to other patients or the taxpayer, and frankly I'm not willing to waste vast resources and many hours of healthcare professionals' time in the interests of 'freedom'.

That is not what the NHS is there for.

Why aren't you campaigning against idiots who injure themselves doing something that common sense dictates was a bad idea, such a jumping from one moving car to another and missing? Or people who ingest too much of one of the many currently legal but questionably more dangerous drugs? One could also argue that they are paying for it through their taxes in the cases of public healthcare, and through the fees of their healthcare fund in the case of private healthcare.

I earlier posted a link to a report on the effects of cannabis on cancer, yet you oppose the legalisation of it? I find it completely unethical to tell people that something that has been shown to help people suffering from cancer that it has no benefits whatsoever and is extremely harmful and addictive.

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#66
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Did I say it was addictive? No I don't think I did.

I'll match your cancer and raise you schizophrenia, too. There have also been numerous campaigns by the NHS in spite of alcohol and tobacco's legality to remove people from alcoholism, binge drinking and smoking.

If there's something here that's inconsistent with cannibis remaining illegal then please highlight it. If cannibis does have medicinal benefits, then that's for the BNF and NICE to decide and also for GPs to prescribe, but let's not pretend that most people who smoke cannibis do so to relieve cancer.

#67
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Did I say it was addictive? No I don't think I did.

I'll match your cancer and raise you schizophrenia, too. There have also been numerous campaigns by the NHS in spite of alcohol and tobacco's legality to remove people from alcoholism, binge drinking and smoking.

If there's something here that's inconsistent with cannibis remaining illegal then please highlight it. If cannibis does have medicinal benefits, then that's for the BNF and NICE to decide and also for GPs to prescribe, but let's not pretend that most people who smoke cannibis do so to relieve cancer.



*cannabis

Why don't you just say "regulate pot but increase healthcare costs/taxes on those who use it"?
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#68
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Oh wow, minor spelling mistake. Nice one!

A) You can't regulate something or take taxes from something that is illegal. If you're taxing someone, they have every right to declare whatever they're being taxed for as 'legal'.
B) Where does the slippery slope end? Fat people? Cancer as a result of sunbeds?
C) Such an approach doesn't differentiate between recreational and medicinal uses of cannAbis. The BMA has mixed feelings about its medicinal uses but it categorically rejects the legality of recreational drug use.

#69
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Oh wow, minor spelling mistake. Nice one!

A) You can't regulate something or take taxes from something that is illegal. If you're taxing someone, they have every right to declare whatever they're being taxed for as 'legal'.
B) Where does the slippery slope end? Fat people? Cancer as a result of sunbeds?
C) Such an approach doesn't differentiate between recreational and medicinal uses of cannAbis. The BMA has mixed feelings about its medicinal uses but it categorically rejects the legality of recreational drug use.


Firstly, I was just making sure you didn't come off as ignorant or dumb. Thanks for insulting me and being sarcastic about that.

Second, I meant why don't you just say that pot should be legalized but that those using it should have increased taxes for it? And in reference to item b, both of those should incur higher healthcare costs for those people.
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#70
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Did I say it was addictive? No I don't think I did.

I'll match your cancer and raise you schizophrenia, too. There have also been numerous campaigns by the NHS in spite of alcohol and tobacco's legality to remove people from alcoholism, binge drinking and smoking.

If there's something here that's inconsistent with cannibis remaining illegal then please highlight it. If cannibis does have medicinal benefits, then that's for the BNF and NICE to decide and also for GPs to prescribe, but let's not pretend that most people who smoke cannibis do so to relieve cancer.

I know that cannabis can help aggravate schizophrenia, it did that to my friend many years before I met him. Many pharmaceuticals harm people on prescriptions, yet I don't see people campaigning to outlaw them to the extent that cannabis currently is.

I never once said that the majority do, but why is that important?

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#71
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Died...


Anyway, in response to Ginger Warrior, marijuana has only been shown to bring on schizophrenia in people who already had it lying dormant. Basically, they would have had it anyway, just later.
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#72
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The epic bump wasn't needed but I have saved this for when the opportunity arose:

http://www.cracked.c...-arent-helping/

5 arguments that don't help:

#5.Taxing it Will Save the Economy!

This one seems to be the dominant argument ever since the economy went to [cabbage]. "Legalize it and tax it! With all the money we'll save from enforcement and all the tax money we'll take in, it'll balance the budget!" And no, I'm not exaggerating the claims -- here's one of the more articulate articles that literally says marijuana would "save the economy."


He cites some pretty big numbers. "Full legalization would bring in [...] $6.2bn annually if it were taxed at rates similar to those on alcohol and tobacco." Man, that's a lot! But when you put that up beside the total taxes collected in 2010 ($2.1 trillion) and the current national debt ($14.4 trillion), the dent it makes is comparable to trying to change the orbit of the Sun by shooting it with your BB gun.
There's no doubt that legalization would create some jobs and bring in some tax revenue. But it's a drop in the bucket, and when you start presenting that drop with titles like (as in the wake of the Prop 19 legalization movement in California last year) "Save California: Legalize Marijuana" and "To Save California, Legalize Pot", it makes it sound like you have no [bleep]ing idea what you are talking about. In fact, it makes it sound like a bunch of young stoners making [cabbage] up, and that gives opponents an excuse to dismiss everything else you're saying.

It's the same when the advocates say that we'd be able to "fix the budget" by eliminating the cost of marijuana-related law enforcement, based on this insane idea that once the drug is legal, we'd no longer need any of that. As if the country would suddenly turn into a free-for-all, grow-your-own, weedathon where there are no regulations or restrictions on its production, and yet everyone would just volunteer to report and pay the $50 per ounce tax out of a sense of civic duty. Why? Because people prefer to do things the legal way? That's true... because they fear going to jail. Which means you still [bleep]ing have to pay for cops to investigate and arrest people who use unauthorized pot.

This is what opponents were trying to explain during the California legalization debate, that you're going to need a [cabbage]load of new regulations to figure out just exactly what activity you're legalizing, and what happens to the people who violate the new laws. Do you get the FDA involved in regulating the THC content? So then you need somebody enforcing those regulations, right? And to go after the stronger, black market stuff? Then we'd still have DUI arrests to deal with, and figuring out what weed does to your health insurance premiums, etc.

Oh, wait, it'll create jobs? Well, why didn't you say so? We totally overlooked that part!
Again, let me make clear that whether it's legalized or not, my life doesn't change. I couldn't give less of a [cabbage]. It's the dishonesty of the arguments themselves, and the way you're absolutely bludgeoned with these on the internet, that I find infuriating. And none piss me off more than...




#4.We Need it for Cancer Patients! And to Make Paper!

This is a tactic used by almost every advocate I've ever met. See, they don't want to legalize pot because they want to smoke it and get high. No, they're only concerned on behalf of cancer patients. And they'll have martyrs they can pull out as examples, like that guy who was fired for using medical marijuana on the job. That's what legalization is really about, right, TokeOfTheTown.com?

This is usually lumped in with the general defense that "Hemp can be used for lots of things! You can make paper out of it. Clothing. Rope." Hell, marijuana was only made illegal because the traditional paper industry was afraid superior hemp would take over, right, website that has "420" in the URL?
I hear both arguments from friends constantly, and not a goddamn [bleep]ing one of them has cancer. None of them has ever had a need for, nor owned a rope. And before they started reading "facts" off of a pro-weed website, not one of them thought twice about the paper industry. It's a [cabbage], back-door argument. And, again, it makes everything they say seem invalid -- the same as when states that do legalize for medicinal use immediately see half of the patients use it, not for cancer, but mysterious "chronic pain" or "stress relief." In other words, they lie so they can get medicinal weed, not caring that it makes the entire campaign seem like a lie.

Yep, you're a far less healthy person without marijuana. It is the only medication that can treat your obviously debilitating disease.
People want to get high, and I just wish they'd come out and say it. Of all the arguments I've ever heard, I've never had a solitary person step up and just say with unmasked honesty, "I want to get stoned without the fear of being arrested." Which is ironic to me because it's the only argument I've ever heard that makes sense. It's the only one that's even remotely logical.
Putting up this front that weed is a magical cure for all things economic not only requires you to bend the truth beyond recognition, but makes it seem like you're admitting that simply wanting to get high is not a valid reason to make it legal. In fact, the cancer patients who do in fact benefit from it wind up becoming the victims of your [cabbage]. When a perfectly healthy guy with dreadlocks and cannabis leaf t-shirts stands up next to the cancer patient and pretends the interests of the cancer patient are all he has in mind, it makes it look like both of them are full of [cabbage].


#3.It's Good for You!

So the picture I'm starting to get is that pot advocates saw the government's old, ridiculous anti-weed propaganda that grossly exaggerated the harm of the drug and decided that the best way to combat that was to simply tell equally silly lies in the opposite direction. So in my lifetime I've seen the argument go from "pot isn't as bad as other illegal drugs" to "it doesn't hurt you" to literally saying weed is "good for you." You know, like it's Vitamin C or calcium.


Hell, he's doing those other people a favor by giving them a contact health boost!
For instance, when various studies showed that THC might slow the growth of some tumors (while making others grow faster), all of the studies pointed out that they got their results by injecting the chemical and not getting lab rats to smoke joints (a pretty major [bleep]ing difference). Yet, pot advocates immediately took those results and translated them into endless headlines asserting that smoking weed "cures cancer." Never mind that all of these studies on the positive side effects of TCH and other chemicals in cannabis go way the [bleep] out of their way to tell you that this does not mean that smoking weed will cure your cancer.

That's because on the whole, breathing smoke of any kind, is not good for you. And with pot, you're inhaling smoke into your lungs and holding it there for a long time, and that's going to damage the tissue. In fact, just three joints a day do as much damage to the lungs as twenty cigarettes. We can be fair and cite this study saying there is no connection between cancer and smoking marijuana. Though we could also cite the studies that have found the opposite to be true.
But even if we take cancer off the table, there are a whole host of negative effects we can list. Right after smoking, the average heart rate increases between 20% to 100%, and that effect can last up to three hours -- your risk of heart attack shoots up fivefold within the first hour of using. If you have anxiety disorders, there's even more bad news. It's being found more and more that modern pot can actually cause panic attacks, and is a high risk for triggering an already existing condition. In the still-growing brains of younger smokers, it can stunt basic emotional development and promote paranoia. And just on the whole, users are far more likely to come down with illnesses and miss work than non-users. One of the biggest debates right now is whether younger users are at higher risk for the emergence of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia.com cites 30 studies that show a connection.

But again, I'm not trying to fall back to the government's "one joint will drive you insane" scaremongering. Pot is not as bad as heroin. That isn't my point. But don't go the other way and start acting like the [cabbage] is [bleep]ing broccoli.
It's at this point that someone always brings up...




#2.Alcohol and Tobacco are Worse, and They're Legal!

Yep, booze and cigarettes are pretty [bleep]ing bad for you. Deadly, even, if they're abused. Hell, I had a doctor tell me straight up that if I didn't quit drinking entirely, I'd be dead within the next five years. I've never heard a doctor tell someone that about their weed smoking. Drunk driving and smoking-related lung cancer have literally killed millions.

In fact, here's a not-at-all-[developmentally delayed]ed rebuttal from a legalization advocate in response to a "Foundation for a Drug-Free World" pamphlet that claims pot is more dangerous than alcohol. In case you didn't read that, it's exactly what you'd expect from a site that runs its articles over a background of marijuana leaf gifs, versus a highly generalized and exaggerated claim from an organization that is obviously anti-pot. The argument being, "Pot is worse than booze!" "Nuh-uh, alcohol is worse!"

But here's the thing about that entire debate: It doesn't [bleep]ing matter.
Throwing out death tolls from tobacco smoke, drunk driving and liver disease makes perfect sense as an argument for making those things illegal. It makes zero sense when trying to convince somebody to make pot legal. Don't you understand that "It will kill fewer people than cigarettes!" could apply to [bleep]ing anything? You could pass a law that lets 12 year olds carry concealed guns to school and it'd kill fewer people than drunk driving.


If the argument is that pot is the safer choice, then by that rationale, it's also safer than deep-throating a cactus or mouth-[bleep]ing a rattlesnake. Is someone obligating you to choose between the two? There's not a third option of just not doing either of them? That has baffled me for years, and I still don't understand it. But I've heard it. A lot. As if the legalization of one unhealthy activity obligates us to legalize every single thing that's less lethal than that.
You have to remember that the people who have the power to change these laws are old, rich, stuffy white guys who for the most part don't smoke weed. When they hear rebuttals like this, they're picturing a six year old kid stomping his foot and screaming at his mother, "Why can't I play that game? Jimmy's mom lets him play GTA, and that's way worse!" The end result is still that you're arguing for the right to make things worse than they were before.



#1.It's not Addictive!

Of course, the thing that scares society about any drug, and the thing that makes alcohol and tobacco so deadly, is addiction. This is crucial to any argument for legalization, because you can't talk about "freedom" to use some product if that same product in fact takes away your ability to freely choose to stop using it. You don't hear people at AA meetings sit around and reflect on how awesome it is that they have the freedom to drink.
Here, I have to admit my own personal experience bias -- my brother used to love giving me that "it's not addictive" line as he was lighting up his tenth one-hitter, with four hours of sunlight left in the day. He couldn't go more than a couple of hours without lighting up, but he's probably just an isolated case, right?


It's been suggested that because most users aren't habitual, the majority of people will never develop a severe dependency on pot. Much in the same way that not everyone who drinks will become an alcoholic. In fact, according to that link, about 15% of drinkers will develop a major dependency, as opposed to around 9% of marijuana users.
That's just the statistics for "severe" addictions. They claim that between 10% and 30% of marijuana smokers will at least fall into a minor addiction. Note that neither of those statistics are 0%. You know, the threshold for "not addictive."


This is where my brother loves to bring up our uncle... I'll call him Thundercock Soulpuncher. Uncle Thundercock smoked pot his entire adolescent life during the 1960s and 70s, and when he decided to file away his partying days and join the adult world, he had no problem at all stepping away from weed. But studies from 1983 to present show that the average THC level (the chemical in pot that gives the buzz) back then was about 4%. The same group found that over the last few decades, the seized pot they studied had risen to over 10%, with some plants as high as 30%. It's predicted that in the next five to ten years, that average will reach around 15% before it hits a plateau.
What's that mean? It means you get higher faster, using less of the drug. It also means that younger, inexperienced smokers have a higher chance of addiction than ol' Thundercock because they're smoking stickier [cabbage].
Now, once again, it's widely believed that pot is much easier to quit than smoking, booze, heroin, and just about every other drug out there. But the belief that "it's not addictive" is [cabbage]. Want an easy way to see if you're addicted? Give it up for a year. I have a feeling that would be tough for a lot of you, considering how many can't go one [bleep]ing week without working it into a conversation. It's tough to give up something that you've built your entire personality around.

But just keep in mind: if you want to see a day when the cops won't hassle you for smoking it, you're going to need to be a lot smarter about how you argue the issue, that's all I'm saying.


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#73
Shiny
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I think low level drugs like marijuana, alcohol and nicotine (and a few others) should be legalized, almost purely because it is not the government's responsibility to tell you what you can and cannot put in your body. It is their responsibility to stop you harming others. Out of the aforementioned three, alcohol does this brilliant, whereas nicotine and marijuana do not, aside from perhaps the burden to the health care system (as you pointed out Ginger). However, taxing nicotine at the rate they do in my country more than covers the cost on the healthcare system, and I think that tax should be extended to marijuana, when it becomes legalized.

I would like current smoke laws to stay in place, however, with there being no smoking areas (like there is now) etc.
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#74
rocc0
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When you argue about how taxing it would be good, how it's not actually bad for you, etc. - you're playing right into their hands. They can debate those things. You're using arguments that actually have defensible positions. When you say it's not bad for you, they can argue that. When you say taxing it would help the economy, they can argue that. When you say the government has no business telling me which chemical substances I can or cannot use to control my own body, they can't argue that, because it's the truth.

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#75
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The problem with marijuana is that, unlike alcohol or tobacco, one use is enough to set off some sort of neurological reaction (I've not looked into the science of it) that has severe effects on mental health, sometimes even as bad as schizophrenia.


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#76
magekillr
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I like Cracked, and the arguments he's posing do have some merit. The problem is that not everyone is saying this -- and yeah, he even says "I'm not talking about your average 'I wish pot were legal' kind of guy." But I still couldn't help feeling like he was talking to me, considering I am a very vocal advocate of marijuana legalization.

I also don't make all of those arguments in the way he presented them, but I do make them in some fashion. For example, taxing it will bring in money and save the debt problem. Well, no, it will not save the debt problem -- but it's a god damned campaign slogan, dude. Of course it's not going to make sense in a four to six word phrase. But legalizing and taxing it will do the following:

1.) Remove enormous burdens on the prison system, saving money (the US War on Drugs is the reason we have such a high prison population). No, not everyone in there who's been arrested and put in jail just smoked one joint and got caught. But it's still why we have such a large population -- mixed with the privatization of prisons, of course.

2.) Allows police to focus on actual crime, and removes police officers from the public dole. This removes pension burdens and salaries that needed to be paid.

3.) Court costs; speaks for itself.

4.) improved revenue.

There are more, but that's enough for now. However, of course, you're going to have to increase costs elsewhere...but those costs should already freaking be there to begin with (such as increased funding for rehabilitation centers). The fact that they're not shows how wrong we are when it comes to dealing with this problem. Use might go up, but I haven't seen evidence that this will happen. Use has gone down in general among every demographic in Portugal after they decriminalized it (except for one...which I think was the 18-25, but it only increased modestly). Overall use went down.

In general on costs, it's probably a wash, but we will treat our citizens with more freedom and dignity to do what they want, and not create criminals by throwing people in jail for it. That's worth the cost even if it ends up being more of a burden to the government. Hell, the war is destroying the communities of impoverished Latinos and African Americans.

Cancer patients

I'll admit that most people advocating for marijuana don't have granny in mind when doing so, but it's a fact that it's a pain reliever for beyond cancer victims. It's the only thing that's helped with my back pain due to scoliosis, for example. Anyway, I'll give him this -- but barely.

It's Good for you

Not many people say "it's a cancer cure," but many people DO say that due to the fact that it's illegal and very hard to medically experiment with that not much research has been done. At the very least there should be laxer laws in order to fund more research for it, because it's shown very promising results with regard to tumors. It might amount to nothing, but it sure as hell is better than "homeopathic remedies" that we throw money at which have yielded ZERO (NONE!) NADA in the 40 years we've tried.

Alcohol and Tobacco

This is a call to freedom, so his argument is kinda specious. In a free society it's completely hypocritical to allow smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol to be perfectly legal while simultaneously denying the right to smoke marijuana. We should be expanding freedom, not denying it. Now you might have an argument for heroin on these grounds -- of course I also think that should be legal in the long run -- but not for marijuana.

And actually, it's a very convincing argument to many people (first hand experience).

It's not addictive

Yes, it is addictive, and this annoys me too. The problem is that the addiction is similar to a caffeine addiction. Actually, it's mild compared to that for many people, especially when you begin to withdraw.

Anyway, I know it's Cracked (thus a lot of it is meant to poke fun and be hyperbolic in some instances), but yeah.

--DISCLAIMER: No, I don't smoke marijuana anymore.

#77
Nomrombom
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The problem with marijuana is that, unlike alcohol or tobacco, one use is enough to set off some sort of neurological reaction (I've not looked into the science of it) that has severe effects on mental health, sometimes even as bad as schizophrenia.


It's not quite like that. The only way you'll get schizophrenia from it is if you already had the genetics for it. If you never had a predisposition for it, you can't get it. Marijuana justs brings it on a little earlier.
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#78
magekillr
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The problem with marijuana is that, unlike alcohol or tobacco, one use is enough to set off some sort of neurological reaction (I've not looked into the science of it) that has severe effects on mental health, sometimes even as bad as schizophrenia.


It's not quite like that. The only way you'll get schizophrenia from it is if you already had the genetics for it. If you never had a predisposition for it, you can't get it. Marijuana justs brings it on a little earlier.


Plus:

We consider whether the strength of evidence on the psychological harms of cannabis has changed substantially and discuss the factors that may have influenced recent public discourse and policy decisions. We also consider evidence for other harms of cannabis use and public health implications of preventing cannabis use. We conclude that the strongest evidence of a possible causal relation between cannabis use and schizophrenia emerged more than 20 years ago and that the strength of more recent evidence may have been overstated—for a number of possible reasons. We also conclude that cannabis use is almost certainly harmful, mainly because of its intimate relation to tobacco use. The most rational policy on cannabis from a public health perspective would seem to be one able to achieve the benefit of reduced use in the population while minimizing social and other costs of the policy itself. Prohibition, whatever the sentence tariff associated with it, seems unlikely to fulfil these criteria.


ABSTRACT: How ideology shapes the evidence and the policy: what do we know about cannabis use and what should we do?

Which is another point: even if it's not a particularly good thing (something I'm not necessarily willing to acknowledge), prohibition most definitely isn't, and it's not helping.

#79
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The funniest part about "Legalize it, regulate it, tax the crap out of it" is how the argument ignores the fact that there is an entire black market of people already buying, selling, transporting, etc. They don't care about the law, why do you think they'd start caring once it is legal?

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#80
magekillr
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The funniest part about "Legalize it, regulate it, tax the crap out of it" is how the argument ignores the fact that there is an entire black market of people already buying, selling, transporting, etc. They don't care about the law, why do you think they'd start caring once it is legal?


There's a black market BECAUSE of prohibition. Have you even heard of Al Capone?

Also, you're not a libertarian.




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