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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 12-06-2010, 09:54 AM   #121
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:56 AM   #122
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Here is a paper on the economic effect of marijuana prohibition: Costs of Marijuana Prohibition: Economic Analysis I didn't read it so if it is crap, don't kill the messenger.
I didn't read it either so, don't shoot the commentator.

"The report also estimates that marijuana legalization would yield tax revenue of $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like all other goods and $6.2 billion annually if marijuana were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco."

Like many points raised for legalization the above looks only at one variable. It does not look at the increased costs to 'clean up the mess at the back end' - increased the cost of policing, courts, jail, insurance increase, family problems, health problems etc.


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Shouldn't we step back and see why it is illegal in the first place? It was perceived as an addictive, gateway drug with no medical use. All of these claims are questionable. So, we are left with a substance that likely is much like alcohol, you can be impaired when you use it and shouldn't be driving or operating dangerous machinery. Some will use it too much and too often. Is that a reason to destroy people's lives by making users into criminals?
If it is questionable why have few (see previous posts by someone who mentions them) countries legalized it? What do they think that lead them to that conclusion?

It isn't questionable to this guy.
The Surgeon General's Warning on Marijuana
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00001143.htm

The Public Health Service concludes that marijuana has a broad range of psychological and biological effects, many of which are dangerous and harmful to health, and it supports the major conclusion of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:28 AM   #123
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If it is questionable why have few (see previous posts by someone who mentions them) countries legalized it? What do they think that lead them to that conclusion?
Inertia. Look at all the sodomy laws still on the books.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:40 AM   #124
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Inertia. Look at all the sodomy laws still on the books.
Public relations, too. Who wants to be the guy known for making sodomy legal?
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:24 AM   #125
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Public relations, too. Who wants to be the guy known for making sodomy legal?
Ah, yes. Politics... "Read my lips."
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:30 AM   #126
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Inertia. Look at all the sodomy laws still on the books.
Along with long-held notions about "right and wrong" that are either completely indifferent to, or openly hostile to, notions of "cost and benefit."
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:32 AM   #127
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Who wants to be the guy known for making sodomy legal?
If the laws were aggressively enforced, he'd be the most popular politician of all time.

"Vote B.J. today! . . . I'm Ben Johnson and I approved this message."
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:48 AM   #128
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"Vote B.J. today! . . . I'm Ben Johnson and I approved this message."
No that would be repealling the laws against falatio. (Or perhaps cunnilingus?)

I think you mean Ben Franklin....
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:51 AM   #129
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No that would be repealling the laws against falatio. (Or perhaps cunnilingus?)
Included in the definition.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #130
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I think you mean Ben Franklin....
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:03 PM   #131
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Shouldn't we step back and see why it is illegal in the first place?
One might want to google research the name Harry J. Anslinger...
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:16 PM   #132
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I looked at the CDC link that dex posted, and also the Wiki article associated with Anslinger, but was a bit disappointed. There seems to be a lack of a study of MJ effects to the depth of the same on alcohol and tobacco. Apparently, it is because MJ is not legalized while the latter two have been for a long time. So, it's the chicken and the egg. How do we know if we do not "experiment"? No, I mean not personally (which many of us have done), but as a social experiment. The Dutch have, but then someone may say that it was not complete in some aspects, like lack of "supply side management", or being a unilateral policy relative to its neighbors which may skew the results.

How will we ever know?

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In my experience as far as MJ is concerned the personality of the individual is more important than the drug. A few will use the fact of being "stoned" to just drop all inhibitions but most won't. Alcohol seems to cause all users to lose most of their inhibitions.
I am getting more and more curious about the effects of MJ, but never to the point of experimenting on myself I am too old to pick up another vice. Also, the testimonies of past users that I quoted earlier are hair-raising enough that I don't know if any reader would still give it a try. I have never heard of a tobacco user or an alcohol drinker having hallucinations!

But I know about the effects of alcohol, both personally and by observing fellow imbuers.

Yes, we tend to get more convivial and talkative. However, I have not seen any stripping, or groping the opposite sex, or cussing, or doing stupid stunts. If all that was what meant by "losing inhibitions" then, no, we never do that. Maybe I have never been with the wrong crowd. But same as with any other substance, the loss of inhibitions by itself does not mean a crime has been committed.

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Shouldn't we step back and see why it is illegal in the first place? It was perceived as an addictive, gateway drug with no medical use. All of these claims are questionable. So, we are left with a substance that likely is much like alcohol, you can be impaired when you use it and shouldn't be driving or operating dangerous machinery. Some will use it too much and too often. Is that a reason to destroy people's lives by making users into criminals?
About the argument that the responsibility for using MJ should rest with the individuals, that is not any different than that used by the pro gun-ownership group. "MJ does not hurt people. People hurt people." Being a gun owner myself, for self protection as well as recreation, I cannot argue with that. Also, I shall not be a hypocrite and say that if alcohol is taken from me that I would not be very upset.

When it comes to public policy, my libertarian friends claim to have the most coherent philosophy: an individual should be allowed to do what he wants, as long as he does not infringe on someone else's rights. And they mean harder drugs too, not just MJ.

Ah, but should we be only reactive, meaning to punish the offender after the fact, or to be proactive in preventing the offense in happening, e.g. alcohol traffic checkpoints? And then, when the individual abuses theses substances, whether alcohol, MJ, or anything else, are his fellow citizens obligated to help him or his dependents out? Or should we wait until mayhem already occurs to do the cleaning up? Where do we draw the line?

Tobacco does not have the same psychological effects as other substances, yet has been demonized for its effects on health. Yet, even on that basis, I am not convinced that a tobacco user is more costly to society than other diseases. Lung cancer patients do not last long. It's got to be cheaper than what it costs to maintain an Alzheimer's patient, no? Don't we die of something or another eventually? Quick is cheaper than lingering, no? And one time, I read an argument about a person's shortened life having an economic cost due to his reduced productive life, I smiled when wondering if that argument applied to an early retiree who no longer produced. Hey, whose life is it anyway?

I cannot find the answer myself, on a philosophical basis leave alone the more pragmatic question of costs to society on the economical basis. Maybe I should just leave this to other people to figure it out and fight or vote as they wish.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:58 PM   #133
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I am a libertarian and will always go with restricting the power of Government over the lives of it's citizens. As far as I'm concerned so long as a person is supporting himself and is not committing fraud, theft, coercion, or bodily harm on another how one lives should be of no concern to the government.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:08 PM   #134
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just looked at the results and was rather surprised by the numbers in favor of legalizing it... heck if they don't do it soon maybe I will come down with some *cough* *cough* glaucoma *cough*
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:47 AM   #135
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*cough* *cough* glaucoma *cough*
Smooth!
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:22 AM   #136
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Is this a good thing or a bad thing - I'm torn. The kids who smoked would be quiet in school but quickly forget what they were to learn. If the smokers were the trouble makers and poor learners their being quiet would allow those who wanted to learn to do so.


U.S.: More teens smoke marijuana than cigarettes - USATODAY.com
More high school seniors this year used marijuana than smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days, according to government data released Tuesday.
In addition, daily marijuana use increased significantly among eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders, with about one in 16 high school seniors using marijuana daily or near-daily, the annual "Monitoring the Future Survey" found.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:42 PM   #137
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I just read the above article. If MJ is legalized, it may overtake tobacco as the drug of choice. Are there less harmful substances in MJ's smoke than in cigarette smoke?

Well, I hope its psychological effects are truly benign like many posters (users) here said. Still, I don't think anyone knows the effects of a life-long habit of smoking it.

People have always been finding ways to hurt themselves. Where is the balance between the right of someone to self-indulge and the obligation of society to intervene and to pay to help them out once they hurt themselves?

What is the right answer? How will we ever know? I still want to head into the woods and not get involved in controversial issues like this.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:56 PM   #138
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Where is the balance between the right of someone to self-indulge and the obligation of society to intervene and to pay to help them out once they hurt themselves?
The answers will be various. Being a libertarian on this issue, I say that society's rescue efforts, whether or not they are obligations, never justify coercing individuals not to indulge. Pay, don't pay, whatever, but don't use the decision to pay as an excuse to force people to live as you decide they should.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:04 PM   #139
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Totally agree! As long as people do not hurt anyone else, they should be free to do as they wish.

On the other hand, sometimes we cannot afford to allow innocent people to get hurt. For example, I for one never have problems with police occasionally setting up road blocks to check for alcohol impairment of drivers, or for the court to throw the book at drunk drivers.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #140
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I just read the above article. If MJ is legalized, it may overtake tobacco as the drug of choice. Are there less harmful substances in MJ's smoke than in cigarette smoke?
Not really. Smoking anything isn't good for you. However, most people smoke 20-50 times as much tobacco in a day. Also, there are neat devices like vaporizers that allow you to inhale the active ingredient without the smoke. Much healthier (works with tobacco too). Of course, the gov't wants to make them illegal. Can't have someone enjoying themselves without harm. What kind of message would that be sending to the kids?

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Well, I hope its psychological effects are truly benign like many posters (users) here said. Still, I don't think anyone knows the effects of a life-long habit of smoking it.
I do.

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People have always been finding ways to hurt themselves. Where is the balance between the right of someone to self-indulge and the obligation of society to intervene and to pay to help them out once they hurt themselves?

What is the right answer? How will we ever know? I still want to head into the woods and not get involved in controversial issues like this.
Why is this even an issue? Are we really trusting the people who created the tax code and are currently enhancing the medical system to determine what people can put in their bodies? At least any decisions they make will be based on the welfare of the people, and won't be influenced by politics and special interests. Btw, you'd better kiss your jelly donut goodbye, too. They're next.
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