Legality of cannabis

  • Thread starter nitsuj
  • Start date

About pot in "personal" quantities (like 24grams or whatever)

  • Marijuana should be legal & controlled like alcohol/tobacoo

    Votes: 78 73.6%
  • Marijuana should be legal & open market

    Votes: 15 14.2%
  • Marijuan should be illegal with fines as punishment (misdemeanor)

    Votes: 7 6.6%
  • Marijuan should be illegal with jail as punishment

    Votes: 6 5.7%

  • Total voters
    106
  • #26
OmCheeto
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Never much cared for the stuff, nor had any use for it(knocks on wood), but as Zooby stated, it's readily available to nearly everyone. Might as well regulate and tax it.

Anyone know how to get a hold of Andre?
Drug policy of the Netherlands
The drug policy of the Netherlands officially has four major objectives:

1. To prevent recreational drug use and to treat and rehabilitate recreational drug users.
2. To reduce harm to users.
3. To diminish public nuisance by drug users (the disturbance of public order and safety in the neighbourhood).
4. To combat the production and trafficking of recreational drugs.
I trust his judgment.
 
  • #28
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You've both hit on something quite key here. It's not just that there's a lot of drug X that should be taken into account but the ease in which drug X can be made and the ease in which the method to make it can be proliferated.

This is why alcohol prohibition fails, it's one of the easiest recreational drugs to make (we've been doing it for thousands of years). For negligible amounts of money one can buy a home brew kit and the same could be said for cannabis.
Alcohol is very easy, yes. When I was in high school ( a Catholic boarding school) some of the kids used to buy jugs of apple cider and let it ferment a couple weeks. In the same way, some small percentage of pot people grow their own pot supply.

The majority don't do this because the quality of commercial alcohol products is so much better, and it's so much less trouble to buy pot from a dealer than grow it yourself. Government approved, commercially grown and packaged pot would surely be every pot smoker's preferred source.

Your info about the drugs being made in China was very interesting. It was the first I'd heard of this. Humans are infinitely clever in getting around obstacles.
 
  • #29
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1
I think the real issue behind drugs in the USA is the the fact that there is so much drug related crime in places like Mexico. Because these drugs are illegal, the people who want to make money off of them must be illegal too, and since they are illegal, why not just go all-out and kill people, etc.

I think if we made better marijuana regulation here in the USA, it would have a good impact on places where there is a lot of drug trafficking. Which would include places in the USA, ofc.
 
  • #30
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Society wastes money on any number of things. I'm much more concerned with state and federal laws contradicting each other and people's lives being pointlessly ruined.
I'm not content about those aspects either, I just don't know enough about how state vs federal works to say anything of interest.
 
  • #31
Ryan_m_b
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Well, marijuana is currently illegal, so you're right to say that people don't currently have the legal right to smoke marijuana.
Just like the government shouldn't have the right to put "in god we trust" on our currency. But they do it anyway.
I kind of agree with Hobin here, even though I appreciate Evo's point that this is an American forum with predominantly American users sometimes (especially when you are directly responding to someone) it would at least be polite to acknowledge the country specificity of your comment.
And if you don't think people should have complete freedom to do as they choose to their own bodies, then do you think the laws will really save people from themselves?
Yes. Not in all cases obviously, but in many I do think that having the law in place saves people from the consequences of their actions. Some obvious examples would be making it illegal to climb electric pylons or speed at 200mph down a country lane etc.
Isn't suicide illegal? How many times do you think the illegality of suicide has been the only reason someone didn't kill themselves?
In the UK and the US suicide is no longer a crime (historically it was in the UK because it was seen as a crime against god). Regardless we seem to be talking cross purposes here, I'm not being absolutist and saying that all laws against what people do with their own lives are good and I'm not interested in getting into a discussion of what laws are, what aren't and what now-legal acts need laws. My point is that it is not good to allow total personal freedom in private.
 
  • #32
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Why should those people be allowed to dictate what other people are allowed to do? It's a rights issue. People have the right to smoke, just like they have the right to drink.
Do they also have the right to infringe on my rights?

So I am with the majority voters here: marijuana should be legal, but it should be controlled because every person isn't responsible enough to manage safe use themselves.
I am in the minority then, because people will still have access to marijuana, possibly even more than they do now, and just because safeguards are in place, doesn't mean those irresponsible people won't break them. Happens with cigarettes and children, alcohol, prescription pills, etc...
 
  • #34
JonDE
I'm not sure of the situation in the United States but in the United Kingdom we've got an ongoing problem with "legal highs" that entered the public arena about four years ago (thus existed long before). Essentially a group of people take the chemical formula for a known drug like MDMA, modify it slightly, email their design to a chemical company in China, import several kilos and then sell them for several times the amount. The reason this is legal is because they are labelled and marketed as plant fertilizer when in actual fact they are nothing but and the shops/websites that sell them rely on word of mouth from users in the know. From then on it takes months for anyone in a position of authority to realise that a specific product is being used recreationally and months more for it to work it's way through government as a ban. By that time new slightly tweaked molecules have been designed and shipped in.
We have the same problem here in the US, only it is marketed as incense. It also (here at least) does not only rely on word of mouth, it is sold in smoke shops, with this information you could easily walk in and figure out what it is being sold for, even if the name has changed.
 
  • #36
turbo
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We could do the same with other drugs such as cocaine.

I highly disagree with making this stuff legal to save a nickle and dime.
How about to stifle profits enjoyed by the Mexican drug cartels and greatly reduce violence on our border?
 
  • #37
Ivan Seeking
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It will be interesting to see which choice society makes here - personal choice vs control. For example, there is definitely movement towards full legalization of pot. At the same time, trans fats have been banned in some cities. And arguments are already being made that sugar should be regulated like a drug. In this and other ways I see opposing idealogies building momentum. And ultimately I think this will all boil down to the cost of health care.

Based on what I see, I think there is a fundamental choice that we will be making on various fronts over time: Does society have a right to demand that we live a so-called healthy lifestyle - due to the cost of health care and the burden it places on society - or do we have the right to make our own choices, be they good or bad ones?

I've seen this coming for a very long time and firmly believe that legalization of all drugs, with heavy taxation according to the real financial cost to society for poor lifestyle choices, is the only acceptable solution that preserves liberty fundamentally. The taxes should apply to all "unhealthy" lifestyle choices where possible; for example, for the purchase of alcohol and other drugs, sugary products and other unhealthy foods, equipment for dangerous activies, and even dangerous choices of transportation, like motorcycles. Otherwise, I think we will find ourselves being told how to live right down to our choice of foods for dinner; all based on the "cost to society". I'll even predict that your smart toilet will one day be reporting to your employer and insurance company, and they in turn will effectively dictate how you live, if we choose control over personal choice.

It doesn't really matter to me. By the time this all plays out I'll probably be dead. But I suspect that many of our younger members will find that our choices here will have a huge impact on their lives.
 
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  • #39
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Legalize and regulate pot to save billions of dollars a year.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/...rijuana-could-save-137-billion_n_1441194.html
From your link:

WASHINGTON -- The federal government could save as much $13.7 billion annually if it were to legalize marijuana, according to a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron.

More than half of the savings, $7.7 billion, would come from not having to enforce the current prohibitions against the drug, while an additional $6 billion per year would come from taxing marijuana at rates similar to tobacco and alcohol. Since the paper was first published in 2005, more than 300 economists, including three Nobel laureates, have signed a petition to call attention to the work and initiate a debate among people on both sides of the issue.
 
  • #40
6,265
1,280
It will be interesting to see which choice society makes here - personal choice vs control. For example, there is definitely movement towards full legalization of pot. At the same time, trans fats have been banned in some cities. And arguments are already being made that sugar should be regulated like a drug. In this and other ways I see opposing idealogies building momentum. And ultimately I think this will all boil down to the cost of health care.

Based on what I see, I think there is a fundamental choice that we will be making on various fronts over time: Does society have a right to demand that we live a so-called healthy lifestyle - due to the cost of health care and the burden it places on society - or do we have the right to make our own choices, be they good or bad ones?

I've seen this coming for a very long time and firmly believe that legalization of all drugs, with heavy taxation according to the real financial cost to society for poor lifestyle choices, is the only acceptable solution that preserves liberty fundamentally. The taxes should apply to all "unhealthy" lifestyle choices where possible; for example, for the purchase of alcohol and other drugs, sugary products and other unhealthy foods, equipment for dangerous activies, and even dangerous choices of transportation, like motorcycles. Otherwise, I think we will find ourselves being told how to live right down to our choice of foods for dinner; all based on the "cost to society". I'll even predict that your smart toilet will one day be reporting to your employer and insurance company, and they in turn will effectively dictate how you live, if we choose control over personal choice.

It doesn't really matter to me. By the time this all plays out I'll probably be dead. But I suspect that many of our younger members will find that our choices here will have a huge impact on their lives.
I'm skeptical that healthy lifestyles end up costing society less. My grandmother (mother's side) didn't smoke or drink or do anything more risky than driving. She lived to be 103. The last ten years of her life, though, she required constant care. She broke both hips in her early 90's and the hip replacements and therapy, and her in home caregivers, were all paid for by Medicare, etc. At the same time, she was receiving Social Security for being retired.

Everyone wears out in the end and the healthier their lifestyle the longer they last and the longer social programs must take care of them after they retire. Being generally healthier they are more likely to survive things that would kill others, but, having survived, require a lot of care. No matter how long you live in good health your death will be preceded by a long period of decline during which you need more and more care.
 
  • #41
Ivan Seeking
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I'm skeptical that healthy lifestyles end up costing society less.
Typically, lost productivity, fewer productive years, and greater health care costs at a younger age, are the issues cited.

I think it depends on the specific sin in question. For example, if you choose to ride motorcycles and end up a paraplegic as a result, you are definitely a burden on society.
 
  • #42
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Like cover it in explosives and blow themselves up in a public area? Your initial reaction will be to argue that they're doing harm to others person/property so it's an exception. To which I will retort, the effects of drug use transcend your body. Usage is coupled to the black market and interpersonal relationships and second hand health issues.
The black market isn't an intrinsic problem with marijuana. The black market is only a problem because of the illegality of marijuana. That's a problem caused by the illegality of marijuana, not solved by it.

Interpersonal relationships could be affected by marijuana use, but in what way? The same way cigarette use affects interpersonal relationships? Or is this another problem caused by the illegality of marijuana?

Second hand health issues are only a problem if you smoke it around other people. Just like swinging my arms out to the side is only a second hand health issue if I do it near other people. Neither of those activities are necessarily done in the presence of other people.
While marijauna is one of those with less impact, it still has some impact and there are users who don't care about those impacts. For instance, marijuana can have negative effects on developing brains, but some users will smoke around their children anyway (the same people who would smoke cigarettes around their children... and are still allowed to under current laws!)
And playing Wii Bowling near children can be harmful too, but that's no reason to say Wii Bowling infringes on other people's rights.
So I am with the majority voters here: marijuana should be legal, but it should be controlled because every person isn't responsible enough to manage safe use themselves.
I agree, but just like alcohol, we just have to trust people won't do it around children. People are allowed to drink in their homes and we trust that they won't let their children drink it. So with marijuana, we just have to trust that they won't smoke it around their children.
So regulated in that you should probably be a certain age to buy it, and you shouldn't be allowed to smoke it while operating machinery, but other than that, it should be treated like alcohol.
I kind of agree with Hobin here, even though I appreciate Evo's point that this is an American forum with predominantly American users sometimes (especially when you are directly responding to someone) it would at least be polite to acknowledge the country specificity of your comment.
I don't think it's necessary. Realistically, most will know which country I'm talking about, but even if they don't, it's an irrelevant fact to the point that I'm making. A country is putting "in god we trust" on currency. I just used it as an analogy, so whichever country is doing it is irrelevant to the point.
In the UK and the US suicide is no longer a crime (historically it was in the UK because it was seen as a crime against god). Regardless we seem to be talking cross purposes here, I'm not being absolutist and saying that all laws against what people do with their own lives are good and I'm not interested in getting into a discussion of what laws are, what aren't and what now-legal acts need laws. My point is that it is not good to allow total personal freedom in private.
Why is your opinion that we shouldn't allow total personal freedom in private?
Do they also have the right to infringe on my rights?
No. People have a right to do as they please as long as it doesn't infringe on other people's rights, within reason.
 
  • #43
D H
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I think it depends on the specific sin in question. For example, if you choose to ride motorcycles and end up a paraplegic as a result, you are definitely a burden on society.
It depends on how one rides a motorcycle. A person who rides responsibly by wearing a helmet is quite likely to end up a paraplegic as a result of an accident. Those who love that feel of the wind flowing past their unhelmeted head are more likely to die from an accident than they are to survive. Cost to society: Lots of money for a helmeted rider, one casket for an unhelmeted rider. (There is a slight risk to society that an unhelmeted rider will survive and cost a bundle, but this is more than compensated by the drastically increased likelihood of immediate death.) Helmets save lives, but they don't save money. Contrast that to seatbelts. Seatbelts save lives and save money. The insurance industry hasn't been nearly as aggressive with regard to pursuing helmet laws compared to seatbelt laws.
 
  • #44
Alfi


Yes, the two on the same day seems fitting from a culture perspective :smile:

just joking, all environmentalists aren't hippies, but all hippies are environmentalists.
Earth Day ? Wrong date. afaik.

April 22 2012


Happy earth day. :)
 
  • #45
Evo
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Earth Day ? Wrong date. afaik.

April 22 2012


Happy earth day. :)
That was my error, he was responding to me.
 
  • #46
Ryan_m_b
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Why is your opinion that we shouldn't allow total personal freedom in private?
I thought I'd already explained this: just because something happens in private doesn't mean it stays "in private." I've given examples above regarding drug use, I'm not sure what you aren't understanding.
 
  • #47
Pythagorean
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The black market isn't an intrinsic problem with marijuana. The black market is only a problem because of the illegality of marijuana. That's a problem caused by the illegality of marijuana, not solved by it.
The point was that there are irresponsible users so it should be regulated. Some users don't care where their money is going. Some people, in general, aren't aware of the far-reaching consequence of their own actions. And then there's also those that just don't care. These are the two reasons for criminal law.

Interpersonal relationships could be affected by marijuana use, but in what way? The same way cigarette use affects interpersonal relationships? Or is this another problem caused by the illegality of marijuana?
Yes; for instance, illegal activities puts family in danger and takes time away from them. That people are willing to take this risk is another indicator that people are irresponsible.

Second hand health issues are only a problem if you smoke it around other people. Just like swinging my arms out to the side is only a second hand health issue if I do it near other people. Neither of those activities are necessarily done in the presence of other people.
Smoke is more elusive than rigid bodies. When you smoke a lot in the same place, ash and residue builds up. In the case of cigarettes, for instance, even if you don't smoke in your house, your children could have up to about 4x the nicotine levels in their blood as children of non-smoking households.

Whether such low nicotine levels (or alleged thc levels) cause significant effects is still an open question. Either way, it's definitely a respiratory hazard. Part of the regulation would be making people aware of this.

And playing Wii Bowling near children can be harmful too, but that's no reason to say Wii Bowling infringes on other people's rights.
that's your second non-sequitor...

I agree, but just like alcohol, we just have to trust people won't do it around children.
:confused:

With alcohol, we have laws that strictly forbid watching your children drunk or giving your children alcohol. These laws are enforced! We don't just trust people (but we can't violate their privacy either). In Alaska, we make whole village go dry for too many domestic alcohol violations. The impact isn't taken lightly.
 
  • #48
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I thought I'd already explained this: just because something happens in private doesn't mean it stays "in private." I've given examples above regarding drug use, I'm not sure what you aren't understanding.
Your examples described a situation that wasn't private. Like smoking around children. If other people are around, that's not really private.
Yes; for instance, illegal activities puts family in danger and takes time away from them. That people are willing to take this risk is another indicator that people are irresponsible.
True, but again, that's not an intrinsic problem with marijuana itself.
Smoke is more elusive than rigid bodies. When you smoke a lot in the same place, ash and residue builds up. In the case of cigarettes, for instance, even if you don't smoke in your house, your children could have up to about 4x the nicotine levels in their blood as children of non-smoking households.

Whether such low nicotine levels (or alleged thc levels) cause significant effects is still an open question. Either way, it's definitely a respiratory hazard. Part of the regulation would be making people aware of this.
That's true, but if people smoked outside, like my parents did, then I never had to breathe cigarette smoke.
that's your second non-sequitor...
I don't know how it's a non-sequitor, or why it's the second one. Could you elaborate?
With alcohol, we have laws that strictly forbid watching your children drunk or giving your children alcohol. These laws are enforced! We don't just trust people (but we can't violate their privacy either). In Alaska, we make whole village go dry for too many domestic alcohol violations. The impact isn't taken lightly.
We trust them when they're in private, otherwise the law wouldn't allow them to even have alcohol in their house.
 
  • #49
Ryan_m_b
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Your examples described a situation that wasn't private. Like smoking around children. If other people are around, that's not really private.
I don't think being solely alone is a reasonable definition of private, it certainly isn't a legal one. If I and a select group of friends are in my private property then we are "in private." If we were outside then we would be on public property.

Regardless that doesn't really alter the point of what I was saying. We can modify the example to be a person who faces peer-pressure in their life and goes back to their private property alone to make a poor decision (because they are not necessarily in full possession of the facts). This poor decision made and conducted alone on private property then still has far reaching effects. Just because something happens in private doesn't mean the effects remain private.

I think their is a contradicton in your beliefs leroy. On the one hand you agree that people should have freedom up until they infringe others (with reasonable argument as to whether or not certain infringements are justified e.g. freedom of speech vs freedom from offence) yet on the other you seem to think that anything in private is justified without acknowledging that the effects of things that happen in private aren't necessarily contained.
 
  • #50
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For example, if you choose to ride motorcycles and end up a paraplegic as a result, you are definitely a burden on society.
In ottawa, a couple years ago, some fairly renowned "brain" doctor/surgeon was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.

An employee at my work found this out, through networks developed while caring for her son who has a sever brain injury.

Her concern was losing this local doctor with remarkable abilities in the "brain" field.

For me it raises the question; The doctor being so important to society, was he being irresponsible engaging in dangerous activities? (probably better asked as; Is the doctor responsible for the care of others.)

Just one of those neat food for thought moral dilemmas. Eastern / Western points of view on this "moral dilemma" would maybe be split, the individual or the whole.


But my point, there is nothing to base an argument for "healthy lifestyle choices" reduce the tax burden on society. the context is far to dynamic to argue strictly for one side (money/tax).

I think "culture" is the only way to try & "curb" these morally grey areas, not black 'n white laws.

EDIT: just want to clarify, I am in favor of higher tax on unhealthy products. This is independent of the choice to buy them, similar to the brain surgeon & his motorcycle; I imagine his motor vehicle insurance reflected the added risk of commuting with a motorcycle..
 
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