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risadr
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 2:53:49 PM

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I'm curious:

What are everyone's thoughts on the legalization of marijuana? Think

I'll reserve my own feelings until I've seen what can of worms I'm opening, here...

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
mediagod2004
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:19:19 PM

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I cannot think of anything smarter. No different than the regulations regarding prostitution outside of Las Vegas where the women who CHOOSE to make thousands a week, are tested reguarly for STD's, are protected, everyone wins if that is their personal choice to do what they want with their own bodies. I am a firm believer in government controlled growth and sales of marijuana and other 'drugs'. If a pharmaceutical company can sell Marinol, I should be able to grow a God given plant that grows naturally without synthetics and can be picked and smoked and used medicinally or recreationally. We can drink beer and alcohol at sporting events but NO SMOKING cigs or pot or any other drug even though beer and the like is one of the most destructive things on this planet when done to drunkeness. That's why we have screaming idiots who start fights over soccer and football games or whatever, domestic violence often tied to drinking, etc., but you never hear of some riot of pot smokers. The worst they would do is possibly overeat Cheetos and pass out...LOL. Yes, there are downsides to Pot as with ANYTHING, like Aspirin. Take too many, you die. Should we make it illegal too? I think if I am having an anxiety attack, i should be able to write my name and have it logged at the pharmacy and get 10 Xanax or the like for my need at that time and have this log cross connected with all other pharmacies, easy to do by the way, and people would be able to help THEMSELVES, doctors wouldn't be overloaded, nor would emergency rooms for pain when we can go get Tylenol 3 or 4, or even a few Vicodin until we can get to our physician or whatever. We are treated like babies in this country by doctors and drug companies who pay politicians to keep everything just like it is so the right people are still making all the money. Well, that's my two cents.

High up above [br]
Aliens hover [br]
Making home movies for the folks back home [br]
Of all these weird creatures [br]
Who lock up their spirits [br]
Drill holes in theirselves & Live for the Secrets[p]

- Thom Yorke of RadioHead
Luftmarque
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:26:56 PM

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If you want to restrict the discussion to marijuana, then I doubt anyone will be able to make a persuasive argument against its legalization. It's a mild intoxicant with some valid medical use and far less addictive than alcohol or nicotine. It's already practically legal in my home state Colorado.

My thoughts/feelings on the broader issue are that making (some) drug use/addiction a criminal rather than medical/social concern does nobody any good, does not reduce the demand for use of the drug, and directs money and power to organized crime and terrorists while wasting money pursuing, arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating people who have committed no offense against anybody other than, arguably, themselves.


p.s. Bonus Question: If you could, with a magic wand, make any single drug harmless and inexpensive, which would it be and why? For me there would be no question whatsoever, it would have to be nicotine. Other than the facts that cigarettes are deadly (and, for a recovered throat cancer patient like me, monumentally stupid!), expensive, and smelly I would smoke a pack or so a day with great pleasure. I know of no other drug with so many virtues to recommend it: (1) smoking enforces breaks in one's activities, pauses for calm reflection and contemplation which, in the current era of indoor smoking prohibitions, are necessarily pauses taken in the great outdoors, where, in rainy or sunny weather, one enjoys sweet solitude or the company of other friendly smokers (2) smoking gives the brain exquisitely titrated shots of dopamine, enhancing brain function while providing a comforting reward, a reward for doing nothing more strenuous or taxing than being able to light a cigarette and inhale (3) gives you something to do with your hands (4) and something to do with your mouth (5) is a form of playing with fire.

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
Isaac Samuel
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 5:55:53 PM

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Except for the smell I have nothing against marijuana.I am sure it will improve after it is legalized and ready to go public.
arthbard
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:09:57 PM

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I'd tend to agree that the war on drugs hasn't done much to curb the availability of narcotics, but has allowed criminals to siphon easy money from potheads. It seems like it would be more constructive to try to regulate drug sales as a non-illegal industry.

And, marijuana, in particular, is pretty tame as far as drugs go. I wonder if part of the public's reticence to legalize it is mostly due to the fact that its supporters are, well, potheads, and it's a little hard to take them seriously. (I'm not a pothead, by the way, but I do look like one, so I don't know that my opinion helps the cause.)
Gwen
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:51:35 PM

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Luftmarque wrote:
(3) gives you something to do with your hands (4) and something to do with your mouth (5) is a form of playing with fire.


Hahahaha, I like that. Applause

“I could tell you my adventures—beginning from this morning,” said Alice a little timidly: “but it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” ~ Lewis Carroll
Christine
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 10:57:45 PM

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Does it cause cancer like cigarettes?

I am carrying my heart~I am carrying my rhythm~I am carrying my prayers~But you can't kill my spirit~It's soaring and strong (Paula Cole's Me Lyrics)***We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We ARE spirtual beings having a human experience.(T.deChardin)***There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. (Albert Einstein)



Luftmarque
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 11:39:29 PM

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Christine wrote:
Does it cause cancer like cigarettes?

Last time I checked, there were some studies suggesting an increased risk of lung cancer with regular smoking of marijuana. As opposed to the three or four hundred additives found in tobacco cigarettes, most marijuana is a simpler product, and a lot of the additives are as or more carcinogenic than the tobacco leaves and paper, so that is one factor that might make marijuana less of a cancer risk than regular cigarettes. Of course that could all change with legalization and commercialization—and another new element in the mix is the recent decision to put tobacco products under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration in the US, which will probably mandate a reduction in the additives. (When I smoked, for about a year, I mostly bought Sherman and American Spirit which are additive-free. Health-food cigarettes?)

This could start another topic—whether society can or has gone too far in the direction of assuming that anything which has a bad effect on health should be banned as much as possible. There's a sort of illusion that death can be cheated, and that that's somehow the highest goal. But isn't an enjoyable life inevitably one in which one uses oneself up in some way or another? Are we not, ourselves, consumables?


}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
grammargeek
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 2:05:27 AM

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Luftmarque wrote:
This could start another topic—whether society can or has gone too far in the direction of assuming that anything which has a bad effect on health should be banned as much as possible. There's a sort of illusion that death can be cheated, and that that's somehow the highest goal. But isn't an enjoyable life inevitably one in which one uses oneself up in some way or another? Are we not, ourselves, consumables?

In some ways it seems like we have gone too far in that direction, and in others, not far enough. I realize that you are talking about "anything" that is unhealthy, and that could include behaviors, foods, environments, etc., but I'll limit my comments to medication and other medical treatments. There is not a medicine in existence that does not have side effects. What may make a person healthier in one aspect may cause unhealthy, or at least unpleasant, results in other aspects. The question always is, "What is the cost / benefit ratio?" When it comes to radiation, most of us tend to think that exposure to it should be avoided. And generally speaking, that would be right. But the use of radiation as a treatment for some cancers is considered highly acceptable despite the horrendous side effects on healthy body tissues. As a survivor of throat cancer, perhaps you'd like to comment further.
Luftmarque
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 2:27:05 AM

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grammargeek wrote:
The question always is, "What is the cost / benefit ratio?" When it comes to radiation, most of us tend to think that exposure to it should be avoided. And generally speaking, that would be right. But the use of radiation as a treatment for some cancers is considered highly acceptable despite the horrendous side effects on healthy body tissues. As a survivor of throat cancer, perhaps you'd like to comment further.

I am always amused when they drape me with a lead apron at the dentist's office to protect me from the X-ray camera's radiation, given that I spent six weeks getting zapped by photons and electrons thousands of times more energetic. After the radiation treatments my beard from the ends of the sideburn area down to the goatee zone stopped growing altogether (which saves a lot of time shaving!) When I asked my oncologist about this he said that that is how they know the machine was turned on. Ha! Cancer treatment is an extreme case of cost/benefit since the treatment puts the patient on the edge of being poisoned, with the small differential between fast-growing and mature cells providing the leverage to arrest the disease.

But the whole idea (this time I didn't even consider notion—yay, I have learned something!) of using cost-benefit analysis to guide one's entire life (not that that was your suggestion) seems to be part of that false goal of limitless health, survival, deathlessness I want to discredit. Bob Dylan wrote about people who see themselves as nothing more than "something they invest in." Yuck! A final quote from Ani DiFranco (Swandive), "I've got a better thing to do than survive."


}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
rluna
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 9:36:31 AM

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If marijuana were legalized then that would mean the government would have to admit they were wrong. Whistle

"Words form the thread on which we string our experiences." - Aldous Leonard Huxley
Luftmarque
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 9:43:02 AM

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rluna wrote:
If marijuana were legalized then that would mean the government would have to admit they were wrong. Whistle

d'oh! D'oh! Or, maybe they could just blame the previous unenlightened administration(s)?

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
rluna
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 10:07:21 AM

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"Marijuana should not only be legal...it should be mandatory." - Bill Hicks Applause

"Words form the thread on which we string our experiences." - Aldous Leonard Huxley
Rhondish
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:03:56 PM
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Marajuana was extremely close to being "decriminalized" in the early Carter administration.
Then came "The War on Drugs".

Though I would like to see it legalized, our country has spent far too much money on the "War on Drugs" for this to ever become a reality, but there is so much talk about it's decriminalization that I think this is highly probable. Massachusetts just did this and it is on the ballot in New Hampshire every to every other year.

I prefer the concept of decriminalization because, quite frankly, if it is a legalized substance, businesses such as BIG TOBACCO, would have a hand in it and you can bet the chemicals added to cigarettes to make them even more addicitive will start showing up in marajuana. I know legalization would allow the product to be taxed and therefore generating much needed income for our country, but releasing marajuana offenders that are in jail and those currently awaiting trail, could save lots of money. Also, fines could be levied on those who do not follow the established guidelines, creating income.
fred
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:26:56 PM

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More taxable produce.

"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it." Festus
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 8:32:16 AM
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We already legalize alcohol and in many states gambling is legal - all states if one counts the stock market. Plus cigarettes and bad food that causes obesity and ...


MiTziGo
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 10:31:47 AM

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One of the greatest failures of our medical/legal system that I've heard about in a while relates to the case of a patient in need of a kidney transplant who was denied a place on the organ waiting list because he smoked medicinal marijuana that was legally prescribed by a medical professional. He ultimately died while fighting the decision. (Read about the case here.)

Also, just this week the owner of a California medicinal marijuana dispensary was sentenced to a year in federal prison, even though medicinal marijuana was legalized in California and he had "applied for a business license, joined the chamber of commerce, consulted with attorneys and called the DEA before opening his medical marijuana dispensary" (ABC News article). Authorities even went to his shop undercover to try and get him to sell the drug without a proper prescription, but he never agreed and never violated state law. Because he was being prosecuted in federal court, he could not even mention the fact that state law permits the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Are we living in the Dark Ages? Why do lawmakers refuse to see reason when it comes to marijuana, or at the very least, medicinal marijuana?
Richard
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 2:20:35 PM
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Legalizing marijuana would be a mistake.
Luftmarque
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 2:24:28 PM

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Richard wrote:
Legalizing marijuana would be a mistake.

…because?

p.s. hey fred, is that a picture of The Kinkster? One of my favorite authors of all time.

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
fred
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4:14:09 PM

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Luftmarque wrote:

p.s. hey fred, is that a picture of The Kinkster? One of my favorite authors of all time.


That is indeed the big "Kink" in our culture.

"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it." Festus
risadr
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 11:08:29 AM

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Richard wrote:
Legalizing marijuana would be a mistake.


May I ask why you feel this way?

I realize that I still haven't offered my own point of view on this subject, and I will (eventually), I'm just very curious to see how others feel, first.

It would seem that the overwhelming sentiment on this thread is that it should be legalized, for a variety of reasons, and since you are the only person who has stated otherwise, Richard, I'm interested to hear your point of view.

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
early_apex
Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 4:07:42 PM

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risadr wrote:
Richard wrote:
Legalizing marijuana would be a mistake.


May I ask why you feel this way?

I realize that I still haven't offered my own point of view on this subject, and I will (eventually), I'm just very curious to see how others feel, first.

It would seem that the overwhelming sentiment on this thread is that it should be legalized, for a variety of reasons, and since you are the only person who has stated otherwise, Richard, I'm interested to hear your point of view.


I don't know why Richard feels/thinks that way, but I agree with him. I was initially whelmed at the number of positive responses to this question, but now I am over it.

As I understand it, the points for decriminalization are:
1) marijuana is only mildly intoxicating
2) prohibition did not work with alcohol, which is now legal, with restrictions
3) the war on drugs has been nothing but a huge sinkhole for money
4) um...oh, man, what was that other thing? Brick wall

1) I am against putting more drivers on the highway with impaired reflexes than already are, and legalization would effect this. The roadside tests for THC are not as simple as they are for alcohol.
2) Alcoholic has been part of human history as long as yeast has been around. I have no justification for drinking alcohol, but I can say that I have never felt that I needed a "hit" of alcohol just to think straight or to "be myself".
3) The war on drugs has reduced the sheer volume of heroin and cocaine being brought into the US. The toll on human lives would have been much worse without this effort.
4) A drug that makes you stupider while it is making you feel smarter. Who wouldn't want that?

Like it or not, that is how I feel about it. Speak to the hand

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
fred
Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 4:40:35 PM

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early_apex wrote:
risadr wrote:
[quote=Richard]Legalizing marijuana would be a mistake.


whelmed

As I understand it, the points for criminalization are:
4) um...oh, man, what was that other thing? Brick wall



Bingo!




"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it." Festus
Luftmarque
Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 4:46:46 PM

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early_apex wrote:

I don't know why Richard feels/thinks that way, but I agree with him. I was initially whelmed at the number of positive responses to this question, but now I am over it.

As I understand it, the points for decriminalization are:
1) marijuana is only mildly intoxicating
2) prohibition did not work with alcohol, which is now legal, with restrictions
3) the war on drugs has been nothing but a huge sinkhole for money
4) um...oh, man, what was that other thing? Brick wall

1) I am against putting more drivers on the highway with impaired reflexes than already are, and legalization would effect this. The roadside tests for THC are not as simple as they are for alcohol.
2) Alcoholic has been part of human history as long as yeast has been around. I have no justification for drinking alcohol, but I can say that I have never felt that I needed a "hit" of alcohol just to think straight or to "be myself".
3) The war on drugs has reduced the sheer volume of heroin and cocaine being brought into the US. The toll on human lives would have been much worse without this effort.
4) A drug that makes you stupider while it is making you feel smarter. Who wouldn't want that?

Like it or not, that is how I feel about it. Speak to the hand


A funny post making valid points I don't agree with. This is why I keep coming back to the Forums! My comments on the args against drug legalization (I have paraphrased your arguments and don't mean to say that those paraphrases are in any way accurate or fair representations of your thinking—the paraphrases emphasize aspects of the arguments I want to question):

(1) "Legalization of any drug increases the number of drivers impaired by that drug." I'm with you on the desirability of minimizing the number of impaired drivers, but favor doing this in a way that focuses on impaired driving directly rather than forbidding something to all citizens because some of them abuse that thing. To preserve human rights and dignity we should punish behavior not any sort of trait, tendency, or hypothetical predilection to illegal behavior. (I am aware of the structural equivalence of this argument to the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" one. Not happy about it, but there it is. I'll have to live with it and maybe rethink gun control.)

(2) "People have been drinking for a long time and I'm not addicted." But there are scads of alcoholics with exactly that need for a hit of alcohol to feel normal. Alcohol is not exempt from, and in fact is a prime example of, the tendency towards drug addiction in the human body. Why should it be privileged in our laws?

(3) "Any reduction in the sheer volume of available drugs is worth any price paid." This paraphrase is almost certainly not one you would agree with, but the "toll on human lives" is not simply the cost to addicted people and those they affect, it must also account for the diversion of money into organized crime, the costs of incarceration of people guilty of nothing more than purchase and consumption of drugs, and the costs of the "drug war" itself. If, say, all currently illegal drugs were legalized, the increase in the number of addicts would be minimal (IMHO based on the experiences of other countries) while the savings in all the other areas I mention would be great.

(4) "Who wouldn't want a drug that made you feel smarter while making you stupider?" Well, we already have one of those legalized. It works just as well on desirability. Beer Goggles anyone?


}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
early_apex
Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009 9:43:24 AM

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Luftmarque wrote:
early_apex wrote:

I don't know why Richard feels/thinks that way, but I agree with him. I was initially whelmed at the number of positive responses to this question, but now I am over it.

As I understand it, the points for decriminalization are:
1) marijuana is only mildly intoxicating
2) prohibition did not work with alcohol, which is now legal, with restrictions
3) the war on drugs has been nothing but a huge sinkhole for money
4) um...oh, man, what was that other thing? Brick wall

1) I am against putting more drivers on the highway with impaired reflexes than already are, and legalization would effect this. The roadside tests for THC are not as simple as they are for alcohol.
2) Alcoholic has been part of human history as long as yeast has been around. I have no justification for drinking alcohol, but I can say that I have never felt that I needed a "hit" of alcohol just to think straight or to "be myself".
3) The war on drugs has reduced the sheer volume of heroin and cocaine being brought into the US. The toll on human lives would have been much worse without this effort.
4) A drug that makes you stupider while it is making you feel smarter. Who wouldn't want that?

Like it or not, that is how I feel about it. Speak to the hand


A funny post making valid points I don't agree with. This is why I keep coming back to the Forums! My comments on the args against drug legalization (I have paraphrased your arguments and don't mean to say that those paraphrases are in any way accurate or fair representations of your thinking—the paraphrases emphasize aspects of the arguments I want to question):

(1) "Legalization of any drug increases the number of drivers impaired by that drug." I'm with you on the desirability of minimizing the number of impaired drivers, but favor doing this in a way that focuses on impaired driving directly rather than forbidding something to all citizens because some of them abuse that thing. To preserve human rights and dignity we should punish behavior not any sort of trait, tendency, or hypothetical predilection to illegal behavior. (I am aware of the structural equivalence of this argument to the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" one. Not happy about it, but there it is. I'll have to live with it and maybe rethink gun control.)

(2) "People have been drinking for a long time and I'm not addicted." But there are scads of alcoholics with exactly that need for a hit of alcohol to feel normal. Alcohol is not exempt from, and in fact is a prime example of, the tendency towards drug addiction in the human body. Why should it be privileged in our laws?

(3) "Any reduction in the sheer volume of available drugs is worth any price paid." This paraphrase is almost certainly not one you would agree with, but the "toll on human lives" is not simply the cost to addicted people and those they affect, it must also account for the diversion of money into organized crime, the costs of incarceration of people guilty of nothing more than purchase and consumption of drugs, and the costs of the "drug war" itself. If, say, all currently illegal drugs were legalized, the increase in the number of addicts would be minimal (IMHO based on the experiences of other countries) while the savings in all the other areas I mention would be great.

(4) "Who wouldn't want a drug that made you feel smarter while making you stupider?" Well, we already have one of those legalized. It works just as well on desirability. Beer Goggles anyone?


Mark, you might sway me to your side on this one, more due to the weakness of my arguments than the strength of yours. In random order:

4) Alcohol impairs judgement and in smaller doses, makes you feel cleverer. In larger doses, it degrades motor skills. THC alters your judgement and makes you feel insightful. In larger doses, it instills paranoia.

1) Because of #4, alcohol is a greater threat on the highway. Fortunately, it is easier to detect.

2) Because the history of alcohol use is as old as mankind, it is unlikely to go away. The addiction factor is very real, but it is not universal. Heroin, nicotine and to a lesser extent, cocaine are addictive to everyone. This is the point at which I can begin to appreciate an argument for legalization of THC products. Just to separate it from the truly dangerous ones.

3) This one is difficult for me to talk about. My observation here is that any reduction in availability results in a reduction in quality and an increase in cost of street drugs. This can result in making it harder for the marginally addicted or not-so-well-connected to continue their habit.

Marijuana is considered to be a "gateway" drug to more dangerous substances. Perhaps it is our laws that lump them all together. With reasonable restrictions, maybe the impact on society of legal marijuana would be minimal. My concern is with the argument (straw man, anyone?) that "prohibition doesn't work, so let's legalize everything". This is where the cost to society becomes too great. And no, I am not impressed with the countries that have legalized heroin.

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
Luftmarque
Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:54:29 AM

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early_apex wrote:

Mark, you might sway me to your side on this one, more due to the weakness of my arguments than the strength of yours. In random order:

4) Alcohol impairs judgement and in smaller doses, makes you feel cleverer. In larger doses, it degrades motor skills. THC alters your judgement and makes you feel insightful. In larger doses, it instills paranoia.

1) Because of #4, alcohol is a greater threat on the highway. Fortunately, it is easier to detect.

2) Because the history of alcohol use is as old as mankind, it is unlikely to go away. The addiction factor is very real, but it is not universal. Heroin, nicotine and to a lesser extent, cocaine are addictive to everyone. This is the point at which I can begin to appreciate an argument for legalization of THC products. Just to separate it from the truly dangerous ones.

3) This one is difficult for me to talk about. My observation here is that any reduction in availability results in a reduction in quality and an increase in cost of street drugs. This can result in making it harder for the marginally addicted or not-so-well-connected to continue their habit.

Marijuana is considered to be a "gateway" drug to more dangerous substances. Perhaps it is our laws that lump them all together. With reasonable restrictions, maybe the impact on society of legal marijuana would be minimal. My concern is with the argument (straw man, anyone?) that "prohibition doesn't work, so let's legalize everything". This is where the cost to society becomes too great. And no, I am not impressed with the countries that have legalized heroin.

OK, but then I get to be persuaded by your arguments too. Your characterizations of the effects of alcohol and THC are dead-on (or so I understand), and I can't deny that nicotine, opiates, and cocaine are more universally addictive than alcohol (at least for the descendants of Europeans for whom drinking water was a sure route to sickness or death and who consequently developed quite a tolerance for diluted alcohol). Still differ on point (3), where "making it harder for … [the poor] to continue their habit" is likely to increase the cost to society in crime and suffering. I don't know of any evidence in favor of the "gateway" theory but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist somewhere. And the last thing I read about the legal heroin program in Amsterdam did not paint a very pretty picture either.

The principle I would continue to argue for is that addiction and drugs are best understood and controlled when considered a medical/social problem rather than a criminal one. Just because I believe that that is true.


}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
early_apex
Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009 1:11:49 PM

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Luftmarque wrote:
OK, but then I get to be persuaded by your arguments too. Your characterizations of the effects of alcohol and THC are dead-on (or so I understand), and I can't deny that nicotine, opiates, and cocaine are more universally addictive than alcohol (at least for the descendants of Europeans for whom drinking water was a sure route to sickness or death and who consequently developed quite a tolerance for diluted alcohol). Still differ on point (3), where "making it harder for … [the poor] to continue their habit" is likely to increase the cost to society in crime and suffering. I don't know of any evidence in favor of the "gateway" theory but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist somewhere. And the last thing I read about the legal heroin program in Amsterdam did not paint a very pretty picture either.

The principle I would continue to argue for is that addiction and drugs are best understood and controlled when considered a medical/social problem rather than a criminal one. Just because I believe that that is true.


So we agree that alcohol and THC are not universally addictive, and as such, are less of a drain on society as narcotics are. At that, you can make a case that THC is less disruptive to civilization that alcohol. I just personally don't want to be around it (anymore).

3) What I was trying to tell you without telling you is that without the concerted efforts made during the RMN administration to reduce drug trafficking, I probably would not be alive today. So we are no longer talking hypotheticals here.

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
Luftmarque
Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009 3:34:32 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

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Location: Pau, Aquitaine, France
early_apex wrote:

So we agree that alcohol and THC are not universally addictive, and as such, are less of a drain on society as narcotics are. At that, you can make a case that THC is less disruptive to civilization that alcohol. I just personally don't want to be around it (anymore).

3) What I was trying to tell you without telling you is that without the concerted efforts made during the RMN administration to reduce drug trafficking, I probably would not be alive today. So we are no longer talking hypotheticals here.

Sorry to hear that, but glad you made it. And it's good to be reminded that we are talking about various types and levels of human suffering, it's not entirely a discussion about abstractions.

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
early_apex
Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:42:56 PM

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Location: Spindletop, Texas, United States
Luftmarque wrote:
Sorry to hear that, but glad you made it. And it's good to be reminded that we are talking about various types and levels of human suffering, it's not entirely a discussion about abstractions.


Thank you. I still don't know if I will be able to forgive you for making me reverse my position on this! d'oh!

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
Ketardously
Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009 6:09:44 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/13/2009
Posts: 68
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Location: Sweden
It's funny how the public opinion can be so different in one country, compared to another.

If this question was asked in Sweden, you'd get 90% posts wanting to keep it the way it is--in Sweden, both use and possession of Marijuana being illegal. The ones being pro legalization would be 99% youths, all from "lower class" working homes. In Sweden, educated people don't use drugs like that, oddly enough they go for the heavier stuff when in need of something, like Cocaine.
I don't mean this as a way of telling all of you in the US that you're lower class if you like Marijuana (OF COURSE NOT!), I just like to point out the difference in prejudice and public opinion in our countries.

My own thoughts on this aren't very well thought through. After meeting a lot of people high on Marijuana or meeting old friends that have used it for years, I'd tend to agree with the public opinion in Sweden. I don't think we need another drug making us feel more clever when we're actually being more stupid (as early_apex wrote).
rokosan
Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009 7:25:47 PM
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Joined: 6/21/2009
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Location: United States
Whether you class legalization of drugs and or alcohol as a morality issue the United States has suffered through the Prohibition Era where we outlawed alcohol and managed to create the largest most well financed criminal organization in human history. The sins of this mistake was partially rectified in 1932 with the repeal of the Volstead Act, but left us with the well financed organization that now is even more well financed with our drug problem.

It has purchased the clergy, which is always looking for funds for apparent eleemosynary activities which often have the ancillary action of providing the clergy with a lavish life-style. Politicians that seek permanent job security in what they euphemistically call public service, but have a deep and abiding love of being served first in line for just about anything and need the adoration they think indigenous to their titles will keep legislation from making any common sense as it is more profitable to them to retain those laws that they are well aware that neither punishment, no matter how severe, nor containment is possible when legislating morality. There is too much money to be made in sin and the politicians as well as the clergy has no reservations about abolishment of the status quo.

fred
Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2009 9:35:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2009
Posts: 1,475
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Location: United States
rokosan wrote:
Whether you class legalization of drugs and or alcohol as a morality issue the United States has suffered through the Prohibition Era where we outlawed alcohol and managed to create the largest most well financed criminal organization in human history. The sins of this mistake was partially rectified in 1932 with the repeal of the Volstead Act, but left us with the well financed organization that now is even more well financed with our drug problem.

It has purchased the clergy, which is always looking for funds for apparent eleemosynary activities which often have the ancillary action of providing the clergy with a lavish life-style. Politicians that seek permanent job security in what they euphemistically call public service, but have a deep and abiding love of being served first in line for just about anything and need the adoration they think indigenous to their titles will keep legislation from making any common sense as it is more profitable to them to retain those laws that they are well aware that neither punishment, no matter how severe, nor containment is possible when legislating morality. There is too much money to be made in sin and the politicians as well as the clergy has no reservations about abolishment of the status quo.



Which makes me think of the joke about a priest, minister, and rabbi...

"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it." Festus
risadr
Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:41:28 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,155
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Location: PA, United States
More fuel for the fire:

There's a song by British rapper The Streets (Michael Skinner) that specifically highlights the differences in the behavior of people under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, "Irony of It All."

Irony of It All video

And these are the lyrics, for those who are curious:

[Drinker]
Hello, Hello
My name's Terry and I'm a law-abider
There's nothing I like more than getting fired up on beer
And when the weekend's here
I exercise my right to get paralytic and fight
Good bloke fairly
But I get well leery when geezers look at me funny
Bounce 'em round like bunnies
I'm likely to cause mischief
Good clean grief you must believe
And I ain't no thief, law-abiding and all, all legal
And who cares about my liver when it feels good?
What you need is some real manhood
Rasher, Rasher, burning cash up
Putting people's backs up
Public disorder, I'll give you public disorder
I down eight pints and run all over the place
Spit in the face of an officer
See if that bothers ya
'Cause I never broke a law in my life
Some day I'm gonna settle down with a wife
Come on lads let's have another fight

[Marijuana Smoker]
Um, Hello
My name's Tim and I'm a criminal
In the eyes of society I need to be in jail
For the choice of herbs I inhale
This ain't no wholesale operation
Just a few eighths and some Playstation's my vocation
I pose a threat to the nation
And down at the station the police hold no patience
Let's talk space and time
I like to get deep sometimes
And think about Einstein and Carl Jung
And old Kung Fu movies I like to see
Pass the hydrator please
Yeah, I'm floating on thin air
Going to Amsterdam in the New Year - top gear there
'Cause I take pride in my hobby
Home-made bongs using my engineering degree
"Dear leaders, please legalize weed for these reasons."

[Drinker]
Like I was saying to him
I told him, "F**k with me and you won't live."
So I smacked him in the head and downed another Carling
Bada Bada Bing
For the lad's like, mad fight
His face a sad sight, Vodka and Snake Bite
Going on like a right geez
He's a twat!
Shouldn't have looked at me like that
Anyway, I'm an upstanding citizen
If a war came along I'd be on the front line with 'em
Can't stand crime either, them hooligans on heroin
Drugs and criminals
Those thugs are the pinnacle of the downfall of society
I've got all the anger pent up inside of me

[Marijuana Smoker]
You know, I don't see why I should be the criminal
How can something with no recorded fatalities be illegal?
And how many deaths are there per year from alcohol?
I just completed Gran Turismo on the hardest setting
We pose no threat on my setee
Ooh the pizza's here, will someone let him in please?
We didn't order chicken
Not a problem, we'll pick it out
I doubt they meant to mess us about
After all we're all adults, not louts
As I was saying, we're friendly peaceful people
We're not the ones out there causing trouble
We just sit in this hazy bubble with our quarters
Discussing how beautiful Gail Porter is
MTV, BBC 2, Channel 4 is on until six in the morning
Then at six in the morning the sun dawns and it's my bedtime

[Drinker]
Causing trouble?!
Your stinking rabble boys
Saying I'm the lad who's spoiling it
You're on drugs
It really bugs me when people try and tell me I'm a thug
Just for getting drunk
I like getting drunk
'Cause I'm an upstanding citizen
If a war came along I'd be on the front line with 'em

[Marijuana Smoker]
Now Terry, you're repeating yourself
But that's okay, drunk people can't help that
A chemical reaction happening inside your brain causes you to forget what you're saying

[Drinker]
What?
I know exactly what I'm saying
I'm perfectly sane
You stinking student lame-o
Go get a job and stop robbing us of our taxes

[Marijuana Smoker]
Um, well actually according to research
Government funding for further education pales in insignificance
When compared to how much they spend on repairing leery drunk people at the weekend
In casualty wards all over the land

[Drinker]
Why you cheeky little swine, come here!
I'm gonna batter ya!
Come here!


So, I'm curious:
What does everyone think about the differences in the behavior of individuals under the influence and how does it strengthen/weaken your argument (or the other side's)?

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
fred
Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:53:12 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2009
Posts: 1,475
Neurons: 4,457
Location: United States
I know that someone who drinks alot can be physically and emotionally dangerous, sober.
This media will not allow me to go into more detail.

"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it." Festus
valenarwen
Posted: Monday, June 29, 2009 2:02:42 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/30/2009
Posts: 325
Neurons: 1,025
Location: Uruguay
I love the streets!






"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too" - Voltaire
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