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View Poll Results: Should possession and use of Marijuana be legal for adults?
Yes, it should be legal 230 68.05%
Sort of, only for medicinal use as prescribed by a physician 24 7.10%
No, but the penalty for possession of small amounts should be minor and not involve jail time 40 11.83%
No, throw the book at 'em. 12 3.55%
Yes, but only for small amounts. 32 9.47%
Voters: 338. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-02-2010, 06:40 PM   #81
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Interesting article on Portugal. They even decriminalize hard drugs.
Portugal ... in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine...
Under Portugal's new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.
If the article mentioned what they did with drug suppliers, I must have missed it. I am all for helping drug addicts instead of throwing them in jail. But in order to take away the lucrative business of selling drugs, we have to provide for a cheaper source. Selling "good quality" hard drugs out of state-owned stores for whoever wants it? And simultaneously requiring them to set up an appointment with a psychologist?

Or perhaps we do not have to. Pot is easy for people to grow, obviously. I guess other drugs can easily become DYI, just like people brewing their own beer... I remember reading about how heroin is prepared from opium, which comes from the poppy plant, and it is not that hard, as I vaguely remember.

It would be an interesting social experiment.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:57 PM   #82
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Or perhaps we do not have to. Pot is easy for people to grow, obviously. I guess other drugs can easily become DYI, just like people brewing their own beer... I remember reading about how heroin is prepared from opium, which comes from the poppy plant, and it is not that hard, as I vaguely remember.

It would be an interesting social experiment.
I do recall during my college years during the more liberal 70's that more than a few of my dorm neighbors had some strange looking plants with long green leaves growing in open view on their window sills.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:27 AM   #83
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Now that I get more interested in this subject, I did a bit of research and found that although MJ use has been decriminalized in many countries, producing and selling it is still a serious offense in every country. Why is that? And how would having a restricted supply bring down prices and various crimes associated with the supply chain?

Then, I read through a previous thread with a poll on MJ use, found a link on Amsterdam MJ tolerance, which I then followed through. I found this poster who said selling pot was still illegal.
Rogier { 10.06.09 at 3:50 am }
I am Dutch and growing weed is just as illegal here as anywhere else. But the cops use a Ďsee throught the fingers policyí when it comes to small amounds of marijuna. It is legal to sell weed in a coffeeshop, but it is illegal to supply a coffeeshop. Thatís where the problem liesÖ.the supplying of coffeeshops is an illegal criminal business with a lot of violence. Thatís how stupid our law is.
The above excerpt was from here: Netherlands to Close Prisons: Not Enough Criminals ó MPP Blog

In addition, I also found on the same thread that Amsterdam started to become a drug tourism spot, causing problems that they did not anticipate. As of late 2009, there were talks about restricting the sales of MJ to only Dutch citizens.

We visited Amsterdam a few years ago. We did walk through the red-light district, but did not bother to check out the MJ coffee shops to see what it was all about.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:33 AM   #84
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I voted "Sort of, only for medicinal use as prescribed by a physician". I do not think we are ready yet as a society to legalize mj.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:19 AM   #85
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The "war on drugs" has been going on my entire adult life. And as far as I can see, it has been an abject failure ....
If the objective is to eliminate them from our society, yes.

The cynic in me says that if they were not illegal, our two political parties would have no reason to exist. It is a gimmick to get us to re-elect them.

Don't mind me; I come from Ken Kesey's state.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:49 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Now that I get more interested in this subject, I did a bit of research and found that although MJ use has been decriminalized in many countries, producing and selling it is still a serious offense in every country. Why is that? And how would having a restricted supply bring down prices and various crimes associated with the supply chain?
Agreed. The supply chain HAS to be addressed. It's insane to allow these criminal organizations become so rich and powerful. You hear numbers like $10 billion flowing to the cartels in Northern Mexico. How many countries can afford to fight this with numbers like that?

I'm not clear on exactly how much of that trade is MJ versus other harder drugs - the border busts around here seem to be dominated by MJ, although other drugs are found. It does seem like a "grow for personal use" even without legalizing a supply chain could drastically cut imports and remove a huge money source for the bad guys south of the border.

Audrey
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:50 PM   #87
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Anyone check out beer prices lately?
Duh.......yeah.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:34 PM   #88
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It looks to me as if loose Marijuana policies in the city of Amsterdam result in very high levels of usage, and strict policies in the rest of the country account for a much lower level of usage.

The Dutch are even considering limiting sales to Dutch residents only. According to one coffee shop employee, 99% of the customers are tourists and this will shut down the industry. On your next trip to Amsterdam you may find yourself limited to coffee in the coffee shop.
(My italics)

Pretty much all you've shown here is that people are coming to Amsterdam - with most of them, I'll bet, not coming from other parts of the Netherlands - to get high. That doesn't make it a Dutch public health problem.

I have no problem believing that it's healthier to not smoke marijuana, than to smoke it. However, most of the available evidence seems to show that that goes, redoubled in spades with sugar on top, for alcohol and tobacco. Most arguments against this double standard come down to circular reasoning based on the fact that pot is already illegal.

Dicslosure: like 73ss454, I have never smoked anything. Inserting things into one's orifices is perhaps negotiable, but not if they're on fire.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:16 PM   #89
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Well the results of this poll is fairly predictable considering the age of many of the voters (teenagers in the 1960s and 1970s).

But I am sure none of you inhaled!

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Old 12-03-2010, 05:21 PM   #90
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Well the results of this poll is fairly predictable considering the age of many of the voters (teenagers in the 1960s and 1970s).
And your point is?
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:11 PM   #91
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Agreed. The supply chain HAS to be addressed.
I am getting drawn more and more into this. Now, how was supply side addressed in Proposition 19 in California that was just defeated 54%/46%?

I just read it and yes, individuals would be allowed to grow for personal consumption in a space of 25 sq.ft. Commercial operations would be allowed and taxed. See California Proposition 19 (2010) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

Although Proposition 19 would maintain existing laws against interstate or international transportation of cannabis, the following scenario is certain to happen. Drug trafficking would then occur from California to other states and even foreign countries with tighter control. Unless there is a countrywide and worldwide legalization of MJ allowing it to be offered over the counter like tobacco and alcohol, there is always a price differential between locales, and drug trafficking will ensue.

Legalization of MJ will cause some new problems. One can argue that these new problems are less harmful and costly than the existing ones, but we cannot say that there would be no negative side effects. I am sure there had been a debate on this in California prior to the election, but again I have not been too interested to follow it.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:10 AM   #92
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Pretty much all you've shown here is that people are coming to Amsterdam - with most of them, I'll bet, not coming from other parts of the Netherlands - to get high. That doesn't make it a Dutch public health problem.
I almost didnít include that quote because I was concerned that it would confuse the point I wanted to make. My bad, as the youngsters say these days.

So, to clarify, I will point out that the quotation was from a coffee shop employee who was probably freaking out about losing his job. Now, it also probably indicates that there are a number of tourists causing problems and weed smoking is involved. (From what I have read about the tourist ban, drunk Brits partaking in weed holidays are especially vexing after they add a little cannabis to the booze, and the Amsterdamers are fed up with the trashed Inselaffen and their shenanigans.)

The more reasoned assessment may be that found in the UNODC report that states the excessively high percentage of Amsterdamers that use Ganja is, to re-quote myself,
Quote:
ďÖmuch higher in Amsterdam (almost 3 times more) than in the rest of the country...Furthermore, in Amsterdam marijuana consumption is well above EU averages - and these figures do not count the tourists. (final emphasis added)
My point being, that while the UNDOC report calls it a health issue, it does point out that it is Amsterdamers who are far outpuffing their fellow Dutchmen.

Just to be honest, I really donít give a rodentís rump about the public health issue that weed poses for the Dutch.

My point was just to draw attention to how the Dutch feel about the current state of gedoogbeleid (tolerance).

I do that whenever someone points out how their tour of Amsterdamís red-light district and coffee-shops proved that gedoogbeleid works and the Nederlanders are happy in their utopia on the canals. Iím just pointing out the fact that the Dutch have played around with legalized prostitution, decriminalized drugs, and a host of other concepts (like squatting) for several decades - and they have decided itís time to roll it all back. It seems necessary to point this out because I donít want to see us change our public policies based on myths and untruths.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:59 PM   #93
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As I had never been that interested in MJ or personally know anyone who was a user, and as this subject of legalization will come up in the poll again, I am sure, I decided to learn a bit more about it.

Users keep saying that MJ is safe, but is it? I will try to compare it to other substances that I know about: tobacco and alcohol.

I was seriously drunk to the point of throwing up twice in my life before passing out. But I learned pretty quick my limits. On a few occasions, perhaps less than a dozen times, I had alcohol to the point of impairment, meaning I knew I would be a danger to myself or others if I drove. Most of those drinking occasions were at home. When I was not, I knew to wait it out until I was surer of myself.

I was also a former cigarette smoker. I started to smoke when I was 16, and only quit nearly 8 years ago. I did not chain smoke, and usually smoked 1/3 of a pack a day.

Now, same as most people, I do not care that much if people indulge in substance abuse in their privacy. I also do not care about the health effects. When do we start banning sugar? Soft drinks? The damn bacon?

So, it is the potential danger to the public that I worry about. So, I read past threads (shown on top of this present thread), and the following were what I found.

Quote:
Yes, I did a lot of biking both recreational and commuting.
This reminds me a funny story. I was at a party on Manhattan westside and of course, joints were being passed around. When I finally left the party at about 3 AM, I was feeling rather mellow (yellow). I got on my bicycle and headed towards Central Park. Biking and being high (on anything just doesn't mix). I didn't like my lack of concern about the passing cars. When I entered the park, I started feeling a bit paranoid as the park was empty and closed with only imaged boogie men lurking about. In order to bring me down from my high, I began to scream like a raving lunatic. I figured that the screaming would increase my adrenaline as well as scare off any hidden mugger. Just imagine a 6' guy riding a bike, doing 15+ mph and screaming. Glad there were no cops around. When I finally exited the park, the screaming apparently worked. I was paying a lot more attention to the limited passing traffic. I missed the high though. Some nice memories.
Quote:
Yep, I think I had my first panic attack on pot. :P My brain could not interput the tachycardia as a side effect from the pot. Sooo, major PA ensued. Needless to say, that experience resulted in subsequent panic attacks (brain mis-wired?) in my life without drugs as a trigger.

And I have found these testaments about the effects of ingesting MJ vs smoking it.

Quote:
Try some brownies sometime. You might like it.
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If my memory is correct brownies don't give you that immediate high but a slower build up, kind of like a time released pill. It's also a slower down.
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Amen to that. Once, many years ago, I was in Amsterdam for a long weekend alone. I planned a day of museum hopping, and about 10AM stopped into a coffeehouse for a pastry and coffee. It was licensed to sell magic brownies, so I had one. Tasty, but no buzz. Oh well. It wasn't too much of a rip-off. Another museum, engrossing, missed lunch. Another coffee shop, another magic brownie.

Ut-oh! Hashish.

I was so stoned that I couldn't figure out how to get back to my hotel. I would take out my tourist map, figure out where I was and my route back to the hotel, and by the time I had the map folded and back in my pocket I had forgotten. I must have looked at that d@mned map 20 times in three blocks.

I spent the first part of the night talking to Jesus on the porcelain telephone, and the second half of the night trying to take my pulse because I was completely paranoid and convinced that I was going to die of heart or respiratory failure. Couldn't count, divide or multiply either. Don't recall if I ever got a reliable figure.

Never again.
So, MJ effects can be pretty bad. Is it worse than alcohol? Same as with alcohol, it appears to depend on the individual. When I got drunk, I got mellowed out and just wanted to go to sleep. I have seen other drunks get violent. It is probably the same with MJ.

But what I find curious is that while MJ is seemingly gaining acceptance, tobacco is getting demonized. Has anyone seen any evidence of nicotine impairment causing car crashes or public disorderly conducts?

If MJ is going to be legalized, is there an easy way to test to see if a bus driver, or an airline pilot is under its influence? How about something similar to sobriety tests for drivers being pulled over?
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:29 PM   #94
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]If MJ is going to be legalized, is there an easy way to test to see if a bus driver, or an airline pilot is under its influence? How about something similar to sobriety tests for drivers being pulled over?
I can't speak to the rest, but I did ask a friend who's a senior highway patrol officer about this. They'll do a standardized field sobriety test (one leg stand, walk and turn, horizontal gaze nystagmus test), and maybe the balance and finger to nose test. This will spot a 'Driving While Impaired' case, and failure is sufficient to take you off the road, just like failing a breathalyzer test for alcohol.

The officer is going to report seeing an erratic driver, who behaved in a manner showing evidence of impairment, who failed the field sobriety test. Since he might not smell alcohol, the officer will probably skip the field PBA test, and the driver will be getting a chemical blood or urine test.

It's pretty much the same drill they go through for a DWI on painkillers, narcotics, or other non-alcoholic impairment.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:11 PM   #95
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As most people, I have little contact with the justice system and law enforcement. While serving as as a criminal trial juror earlier this year for more than an entire month, I had to go to the downtown Superior Court. There, I discovered that there were so many DUI cases that they had a separate building just for those cases.

In the local news, I often read such news as how an impaired driver plowed into a car at a red light, killing its passengers. Or recently, about another drunk driver going down the wrong side of a divided road, killing an entire family he ran into. Such human misery caused by true idiots! What do we do with those?

It is so sad. In a couple of years, when my son finishes college and is on his own, I may just have to move up to my boondock home to live out the rest of my life in peace and quiet.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:21 PM   #96
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If MJ is going to be legalized, is there an easy way to test to see if a bus driver, or an airline pilot is under its influence? How about something similar to sobriety tests for drivers being pulled over?
There are simple urine test to determine if THC is in your bloodstream but there are no limits set (like alcohol) to determine if one was impaired. THC can stay in your bloodstream for up to one month or more so even if someone failed the test it's not an indicator that one was impaired. If it was legalized certain jobs may still have to take a zero tolerance approach.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:39 PM   #97
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As most people, I have little contact with the justice system and law enforcement. While serving as as a criminal trial juror earlier this year for more than an entire month, I had to go to the downtown Superior Court. There, I discovered that there were so many DUI cases that they had a separate building just for those cases.

In the local news, I often read such news as how an impaired driver plowed into a car at a red light, killing its passengers. Or recently, about another drunk driver going down the wrong side of a divided road, killing an entire family he ran into. Such human misery caused by true idiots! What do we do with those?

It is so sad. In a couple of years, when my son finishes college and is on his own, I may just have to move up to my boondock home to live out the rest of my life in peace and quiet.
Fatalities from drunk driving has been going down from 1982 - 60% to 37% of deaths. So there is room to grow if MJ is legalized.

If it is legalized I just want to hear those that wanted it legalized say the 'War on Impaired Drivers' has been going on as long as I've been alive and it is lost. Look at the death and injuries on the road, the cost, and the number of people in jail. We have to do something!


Drunk driving statistics


CDC - Motor Vehicle Safety: Impaired Driving

Every day, 32 people in the United States die, in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 45 minutes.1 The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.2 But there are effective measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from alcohol-impaired driving. How big is the problem?

  • In 2008, 11,773 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (32%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.1
  • Of the 1,347 traffic fatalities among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2008, about one out of every six (16%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.1
  • Of the 216 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2008, about half (99) were riding in the vehicle with the with the alcohol-impaired driver.1
  • In 2008, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.3 That's less than one percent of the 159 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.4
  • Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.5
Who is most at risk?

  • Young people:
    • At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than for older people.6
    • Among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08 % or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2008, more than one out of every 3 were between 21 and 24 years of age (34%). The next two largest groups were ages 25 to 34 (31%) and 35 to 44 (25%).1
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:07 AM   #98
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Fatalities from drunk driving has been going down from 1982 - 60% to 37% of deaths. So there is room to grow if MJ is legalized.

If it is legalized I just want to hear those that wanted it legalized say the 'War on Impaired Drivers' has been going on as long as I've been alive and it is lost. Look at the death and injuries on the road, the cost, and the number of people in jail. We have to do something!
I think you are raising a false bogeyman. You are undoubtedly correct that MJ related crashes would increase with legalization. An outfit named druglibrary.org reports that currently in the US 1.1% of traffic fatalities show MJ in the blood (vs 58% alchohol) So, if we decriminalized, lets assume MJ use tripled (per Leonides' UN study of Amsterdam). That would mean ~3% of traffic fatalities would involve MJ. I believe the appropriate way to deal with a risk like that is anti high/drunk driving campaigns like those that have reduced drunk driving.

Is avoiding the relatively small increase in traffic danger from MJ use worth the current impact of the war on drugs (read Audrey's posts)? If so, how could you possibly not demand a return to prohibition of alcohol?
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:58 AM   #99
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This is probably going to surprise some but, in 1977 or 78 Car and Driver magazine did a comparison test on people driving under the influence of both alcohol and MJ. They found that those under the influence of MJ were far less dangerous than those that had been drinking. In fact, there was almost no deleterious affect from MJ.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:27 AM   #100
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This is probably going to surprise some but, in 1977 or 78 Car and Driver magazine did a comparison test on people driving under the influence of both alcohol and MJ. They found that those under the influence of MJ were far less dangerous than those that had been drinking. In fact, there was almost no deleterious affect from MJ.
YMMV
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