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Old 03-16-2004, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Legalize Marijuana?

I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death before... but I haven't been around in a while so here goes.

Is there anybody out there who thinks that marijuana should remain illegal, it seems that everybody I talk to, mostly mid 20s, thinks that pot is no big deal... even the conservatives I talk to. It seems that alot of conservatives are taking a more libertarian approach... "if it doesn't affect me, why should I care."

Maybe its an age thing, perhaps pot will be legalized as the younger more pro-legalization crowd replaces the old line of thinking... just a theory.
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Old 03-16-2004, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by galadrium

Maybe its an age thing, perhaps pot will be legalized as the younger more pro-legalization crowd replaces the old line of thinking... just a theory.
I have wondered about this as well. I can't think of any young people I know who are for continued prohibition. When the young generation grows up and takes its place in the seats of the government, mabye the prohibition will finally be recognized as the miserable failure that it is and be tossed out the window as it should be.
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Old 03-16-2004, 01:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, the war on drugs is a huge waste of time and money... with the millions saved by not trying to enforce unenforceable drug laws we could provide... or at least heavily subsidize health care.
Under which scenario do you think people would be better off with?
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Old 03-16-2004, 01:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Until the government can set up a way to tax the hell out of illegal drugs in order to legalize them, pot and other drugs will probably remain criminalized.
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Old 03-16-2004, 01:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well legalizing drugs would have have two positive effects.

First, ending the wasteful spending of agencies like the DEA. For those of you worried about lost jobs, the DEA could become a sort of regulatory agency, much like the ATF.

Second, we could sell the drugs legally and hense tax the hell out of them... even a 100% tax an pot would still make it cheaper and safer than buying from some shady drug dealer. We could use hemp to make clothes and save trees, and also employ a bunch of new workers.

Keep in mind the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are printed on hemp... kinda interesting.
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Old 03-16-2004, 01:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, but what of the billions of dollars the U.S. Government makes in its support of drug trafficking? What of the lost tobacco fields here in the US, when people switch to pot? Won't this just create an even bigger trade deficit? Our stoners are already accustomed to weed from South of the Border!

Do we really need more legal ways to get high? Aren't we supposed to be cultivating more hard work and ambition? (This isn't to suggest all stoners have little ambition, but if you don't already, it definitely won't inspire you to work hard)
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Old 03-16-2004, 01:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Legalizing drugs might cause some laziness: if drugs are legalized and become cheaper users wont have to work as much to afford them.

Im not saying smoking anything is a good idea, I just think that the resources of our country would be better spent funding health care and education. The thought that I am paying for a campiagn based on misinformation and fear doesn't make me happy.
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Old 03-16-2004, 02:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tomservo
Do we really need more legal ways to get high? Aren't we supposed to be cultivating more hard work and ambition? (This isn't to suggest all stoners have little ambition, but if you don't already, it definitely won't inspire you to work hard)
Its not the government's role to tell us what we can or can't do in order to create a more productive nation. The only justifications I can think of for the government to restrict personal choice in this area is that :

a) The drug is highly addictive and thus doesn't give you a real chance to exercise personal freedom.
b) Use of the drug causes you to do serious harm to others in society/seriously damage their ability to exercise their own freedom
c) The drug is so obviously dangreous that no rational person would take it

Beyond these the government can certainly regulate how they are sold, tax them, inform the public about the dangers of them and so on, but an outright ban (or taking any of the afore mentioned measures to such an extreme that it effectivly creates an outright ban) is an encrochment of government on personal liberty. I don't think any of these apply to pot, so I say legalize it!
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well since this has evolved to a legalize MJ/drugs thread.. I'll go ahead and repost this comment on I made on a previous thread.. something people usually dont think about in the drug debate:

http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/faqs/faq_drugpolicy.htm



Quote:


Most drug policy reform organizations take a harm reduction position against the war on drugs. They oppose the drug war because it (drug prohibition) causes more social harm than the drugs themselves. This is a consequentialist approach to the issue – one that debates the relative harms of drugs versus the relative harms of drug prohibition.


We believe that this harm debate is not only impossible to resolve (how exactly does one quantify the harm of a heroin overdose versus the harm of over-crowding prisons or corrupt police officers?), the debate structure may actually produce its own sort of harm because it encourages bad science about drugs and drug policy. Framing the debate and policy analysis in terms of harm encourages the government to exaggerate the harm associated with drug use, and to deny that some drug use may present little or no harm. (One example is, medical marijuana, which the federal government will not acknowledge has any medicinal value because such a acknowledgement would detract from its larger argument that marijuana is an inherently harmful drug that must be outlawed.) Additionally, we are concerned that a harm reduction approach to drug policy leaves open the possibility of future, more efficient (less harmful) forms of prohibition.


Most importantly, critiquing the drug war by focusing exclusively on its consequences ignores the character of drug prohibition – and its character is flawed._

We seek to add this -- otherwise unaddressed -- component to the national debate over drug policy.


How is the CCLE’s approach to drug policy different?


The CCLE’s focus is on protecting the unlimited potential of the human mind, and we maintain that criminal drug prohibition infringes on the inalienable right to freedom of thought. We maintain that the war on drugs is not a war on pills, powders, and plants, anymore than the earlier governmental efforts to ban books or to censor publications was a war on paper and ink. These are wars against thinking certain ways, and for this reason we maintain that criminal drug prohibition is unconstitutional cognitive censorship, and inconsistent with the basic values and freedoms upon with the United States was founded. So long as a person does not endanger others, the CCLE maintains that the government lacks the constitutional authority to punish the person simply for self-determining his or her own cognitive processes.
I have to agree 100% with their stance. It should never be a question of "what is better for society". This is about your own freedom of thought and mind. The government is overreaching its constitutional power by throwing you in jail for using certain chemicals to alter your consciousness. Its as rediculous as throwing someone in jail for drinking caffinated beverages to wake themselves up. "Whats good for society" should never be the question when personal freedoms are involved. Thats what the Bill of Rights is there to protect.
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Old 03-16-2004, 09:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by sprocket
[BIt should never be a question of "what is better for society". [/B]
I agree with you up to a point. We should not allow people to engage in behavior that seriously effects the rights of others or generally causes them to do so. So if it can be shown that people on crack binges generally start murdering people and stealing TVs, outlawing crack is ok. However, I can't see how this applies to pot.

A second point is that with addictive drugs it is not always a mater of freedom of choice. Once someone is addicted, they do not have the freedom to choose to become not-addicted, or at least have a much reduced freedom to choose this (as a smoker who recently promised his girlfriend he'd quit, I can attest to this). So I think a legitimate argument can be made that anti-drug laws are necessary to keep people from, in a moment of weakness, or peer pressure, or whatever, letting one bad choice take away most of there freedom for the rest of their lives. I think this argument can be taken too far, but I do believe it applies with highly addictive drugs, particularly those that you can become addicted to in a few uses. Obviously, however, it does not apply to pot.

So go ganja
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Old 03-16-2004, 09:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally posted by sprocket
It should never be a question of "what is better for society". This is about your own freedom of thought and mind.
Why can't it be a question of both one's freedom and what's best for society?
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I think the problem is the views on legalization are so polarized.

Look at cigarettes and alcohol. These have been legal (except for a few years) in western society for a hell of a long time yet we still have troubles with them. We don't fully know how to help alcoholics properly. We have trouble figuring out how to protect the majority without infringing on the rights of the individual.

If it were legalized, some people would still abuse it just like they abuse cigarettes and alcohol now. These people would slip through the cracks because of the old polarizing opinions. Many legalizers would, in their triumph pretend that nobody was suffering; while many prohibitionists would petulantly cross their arms and declare that, "ït's your problem now hippies!"

It would take a lot of cooperative effort and clearheadedness to make smoking a joint just like going to the pub for a quiet drink.
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally posted by smooth
Why can't it be a question of both one's freedom and what's best for society?
You can, but ultimately the rights of the individual should be considered first. At least thats how its supposed to work in America.

Quote:
Originally posted by Macheath
I think the problem is the views on legalization are so polarized.

Look at cigarettes and alcohol. These have been legal (except for a few years) in western society for a hell of a long time yet we still have troubles with them. We don't fully know how to help alcoholics properly. We have trouble figuring out how to protect the majority without infringing on the rights of the individual.

If it were legalized, some people would still abuse it just like they abuse cigarettes and alcohol now. These people would slip through the cracks because of the old polarizing opinions. Many legalizers would, in their triumph pretend that nobody was suffering;


Well right now its the legislators and law enforcement who pretend no one is suffering every time they make a drug bust and congragulate themselves for keeping someone from getting high for a night. We're in the same boat we are in now, legal or not legal. At least if drugs are legal we will probably have less people in jail, and those who choose to use a drug responsibly have the freedom to do so.

Quote:
while many prohibitionists would petulantly cross their arms and declare that, "ït's your problem now hippies!"

It would take a lot of cooperative effort and clearheadedness to make smoking a joint just like going to the pub for a quiet drink.
The problem exists even while drugs are illegal. Everywhere you go.. people are high. Next time you go out to eat.. guess what? People in the resteraunt are high. Next time you go to a movie.. there are people there who are high. And guess what.. when alcohol prohibition was in affect, you could go to a party.. and guess what? People were probably drunk.

I havnt heard anyone make a rational argument as to why tobacco and alcohol should be legal and other "recreational chemicals" should be illegal. If someone can make that argument here, please do. I would like to hear that side of the debate.
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Last edited by sprocket; 03-17-2004 at 02:07 AM..
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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i'm for legislation, especially here in britain, where it's only been illegal for less that 75 years, and only then to appease the dickwads in europe.
i don't think complete legislation is the way though, something like amsterdam coffee shops is a good idea, you can buy stuff, smoke it in a good enviroment, but it's your own risk if you take stuff out. the government can make a lot of money from taxes, and since most of the healthcare problems asociated with it are already covered by our good friends alcohol and tobbacco (which if invented know, would sure as hell be illegal), there isn't a major shot in the arm for the NHS.

yes, i know it's not a concise argument, but it covers my main views.
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Just to clarify sprocket; I never suggested we continue with prohibition. My point was against some of the rhetoric that often feels as if it's promoting legalization as an ultimate end in itself (problem solved, let's all go home) rather than a single step on the difficult path towards western society having a sensible and mature relationship with the substances that alter brain chemistry.
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:42 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Ahh I miss understood. Thanks for the clarification
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Old 03-17-2004, 07:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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It seems this post has evolved from being a legalize marijuana thread to being a legalize all drugs thread. While I personally think all illegal drugs should be legalized. I don't think that this can be achieved under the current political climate.

I believe that making psychoactive chemicals illegal goes against the liberal tradition of thinkers such as John Stuart Mill, who greatly influenced our founding fathers. It also goes against our freedom to control our own thoughts. If people want to take chemicals that couse them to think in a different way they should be allowed to do so, as long as they are not harming anybody else in the process.

I do not think anybody wants to live under the constant suspicion of the thought police.
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
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the criminalization of narcotics in the united states has a long and compicated history, which sets perspective for this conintuing modern debate.

without getting longwinded, and respecting that there are miriad perspectives one could take to interpret that history, here is a one summary that has a good degree of popular acceptance:

it may surprise some people to know that the distribution of almost all narcotics was uncontrolled in the united states until only recently. in the 19th and early 20th centuries, opiates like morphine and heroin and even cocaine were widely available in so-called 'patent' medicines that were sold by travelling salesmen and elsewhere. people could even buy syringes and shooting works from the sears catalog.

there was a national drug problem, where frontier mothers became addicts and actually killed their children by giving them 'sleeping tonics' which were basically pure morphine. this was recognized and the federal government stepped in to create regulatory agencies and procedures at the insistence of the medical community, which was already trying to regulate itself through the formation of professional societies. this lobbying effectively created a huge sector with complicated and expensive means of drug development, distribution, and legalization: the modern pharmaceutical industry, the AMA and FDA.

despite any legitimate health concern, a great deal of the crackdown on narcotics has always been racially motivated. for example, opium dens were brought to the american west with the asian migration, and local governments cracked down on opium to contain and control asian settlements. in the american south, marijuna was a black drug, and white men didn't like it because, among other reasons, when a black man was high, he was less fearful and would look a white man in the eye.

people are sometimes suprised to learn that colonial american settlers cultivated hemp for many reasons, and smoked marijuna for it's narcotic effect. the planting journals of mount vernon and monticello show that experimental agriculturalists washington and jefferson were separating cannibis plants by sex, harvesting buds, and noting the effects of increasing potency by selective breeding, grafting and other horticultural controls. tobacco pipe smoking in colonial culture was more similar to marijuana smoking than it is to how we smoke cigarettes and pipes today. they smoked potent leaves for the nicotine rush and shared pipes at taverns, breaking off small portions of the stem as they were used communally. they adopted this practice from native americans and eventually adapted and refined it. the spaniards are responsible for inventing cigars which eventually led to more accessible cigarettes.

the eventual criminalization of marijuna was in no small part due to the multi media campaign efforts of william randolph hearst, who tapped into the fears and racism of the emerging american middle class. he used his newspaper empire to push public opinion and force policy as well as using the emerging medium of film to create movies like "refer madness" - which now are cult classics. it is suggested that his real motivation was to prevent the use of hemp as alternative source of paper production, since hearst's holdings of timber and paper mills were so substantial that he held an effective monopoly on the production of newsprint during the period when newspapers were the dominant mass medium.

governments were also involved in protecting their national trade interests. the british empire owned the opium trade and expanded strategically to maximize it. when its control eroded , it sought to supress it. this practice mirrors the british suppression of the slave trade to spanish colonies in the early 19th century to re-establish the competitive advantage to its own sugar producing economies.

it has always been about money. the history channel did an amazing series called "Illegal Drugs & How They Got That Way" a while back. certain episodes of it can be watched online at this link: http://www.pot-tv.net/archive/shows/...howse-770.html
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:04 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't really like the idea of legalizing drugs. I think the article below aritulates most of the reasons behind that thinking than i could, so........(sorry for the length)
Quote:
It seems as if the cry of "legalize drugs!" is being heard everywhere from liberals as well as conservatives. Some people argue that legalizing drugs is the only way to "win" the drug war. I agree that drug enforcement does place a burden on us. Economic resources are used up that could be used elsewhere. But the consequences of legalizing drugs would make an already large problem completely out of control. If one examines the arguments behind drug legalization, it becomes apparent that legalizing drugs won't solve any of our Nation's drug problems.
I do want to clarify one thing: I will agree that some of the tactics being used in the drug war are ineffectual and misplaced. I often read about cases where government agents barge into an individual's house (and sometimes the wrong house!) to arrest an individual drug user whose only crime was to ingest an illegal drug, while drug lords who are bringing millions of dollars worth of drugs into our country are ignored. I believe that we need to focus more on educating children on the dangers of drugs and keeping the drug dealers from bringing the drugs into the country in the first place. I am more concerned with drug dealers who sell the drugs than the person who buys them, and I am more concerned about people who are under the influence of drugs such as PCP than those who are smoking pot in the privacy of their own home. However, just because some of the effort may be misplaced, that does not mean we should throw in the towel and make all currently illegal drugs legal. Re-focus our efforts, yes. Eliminate our efforts, no.

Argument 1: "But taking drugs is an individual's choice...."

This is the main argument, especially from my fellow conservatives - that individuals have the right to do as they see fit, as long as they do not harm anyone else. They choose to put the drugs inside their body, and they have the right to make that choice, without government interference. In theory, I understand this argument - I think there is presently too much government, and our present government limits individuals' rights too much with many inappropriate laws and regulations. But the argument regarding an individual's rights has two major flaws.


First, we don't have the right to do anything we want with our body. Can I walk down the street naked? Can I say what I want anywhere I want? (if you said "yes" to the last question, try yelling "hijack" on a plane and get back to me.) The point is, we can't do anything we want with our body. If drugs ever become legal, be prepared to see me walk around topless - after all, men can do it. Which is more harmful - me walking around with no shirt or me shooting up with crack? I'll be damned if people are allowed to shoot up with drugs and I have to wear a top on a blazing hot day in the summer!

Many people have emailed me with the assumption that I use the example about walking around topless because I am a prude, or because I think going around topless is disgusting, or, as one person put it, I am caught up in "body-hating Christian dogma." This shows that they missed the point entirely. The point I was trying to make was that an act that is completely NATURAL is not allowed, and thus showing that we are not free to do what we want with our own body. I in fact think it's silly that women and men have different rules about whether they can wear a top or not, yet I don't hear as many people complaining about that. So, please don't email me telling me that I must hate my body.

In addition to people not being able to do "whatever they want" with their bodies, drugs do NOT just hurt the person who chooses to use them.

For instance - I am sure people have heard about flashbacks from LSD. So, let's people stay inside in their own home and take LSD - that can't hurt anyone - right? After all, it's in their private home - right? LSD can cause flashbacks years after taking the drug, at any time. Is that person going to have a flashback while sitting at home - or while driving? Or while operating machinery? If that person has a flashback while driving the bus and an accident results, will people be so quick to say that the bus driver's "choice" to take LSD didn't hurt anyone else?

People and their rights don’t exist in a vacuum. The notion that drugs only hurt the people who use them is very shallow and illogical. One needs to look beyond themselves and look at the entire picture, and it becomes obvious that drugs have drastic effects on MANY people besides those who use them. For instance, according to a 1994 Newsweek report on child abuse, "Drugs now suffuse 80 percent of the caseload; sexual and physical assaults that once taxed the imagination are now common." It is also estimated that 100,000 babies a year are born addicted to cocaine. I don't think these babies chose to take these drugs.

Don't tell me that drugs only hurt the user - Tell that to a crack baby. Tell that to a woman who is raped by her boyfriend while he was high on PCP. Or tell that to the six year old that is raped by that same guy....Tell that to the taxpayers who will be paying out the wazoo for higher insurance rates, more taxes for drug rehabilitation programs, and more money for court cases due to the increased number of drug related offenses.

Please don't tell me that drugs hurt only the person who chooses to use them - that's not true.

In addition, if taking heroin or cocaine is an individual's "choice", then isn't also their "choice" to take any other drug they wish? With this in mind, what are we going to do about all the drugs that are available by prescription only? Let's say someone wanted to take a prescription diet pill, such as "Phen-Fen" (phentermine and fenfluramine). First, one needs a prescription, and a doctor won't prescribe the drug unless he/she deems it necessary. Secondly, this drug has now been removed from the market due to dangerous side effects. However, heroin, and cocaine, for example, have dangerous side effects too. How can we prohibit drugs because of side effects and then allow people to take cocaine? If people know the side effects of a drug, isn't it their "choice" whether not to take it?

Why should I have to go to a doctor and get justification for a medication, whether it be an antibiotic or Tylenol with Codeine, when other people can take heroin whenever they choose? How are we going to justify the need for prescriptions for medications which are much less harmful when people can get crack at any time? Why can't I take a powerful prescription diet pill (I don't take these - this is an example) whenever I want, without a prescription, if people can shoot up on heroin?

I can't see how we can force people to get prescriptions for other medications when they can get "hard drugs" whenever they like. So, in other words, we either have to eliminate the need for prescriptions for all drugs, and allow "banned" drugs, such as Phen-Fen, or we're going to have safer drugs harder to get than the more dangerous drugs.

Argument 2: "Legalizing Drugs will Mean Less Government."

"But you're a conservative!" people complain. "How can you support the government regulation of a substance?! I thought you wanted LESS government!"

Strangely enough, people think that somehow the government will step aside and not be involved in the drug issue if they were legal - but that is a fantasy world. Government is all over the tobacco and alcohol industry - do people really think they won't be involved in drug regulation? Let's be realistic for a minute:

1. New laws for minors. If cigarettes and alcohol cannot be sold to minors, can anyone realistically say that drugs will not be restricted from minors? So, there will be new laws regulating the selling to minors for each and every drug that is legalized.

2. Lawsuits - I'm sure everyone is aware of all the lawsuits being brought against the tobacco industry...take a guess how many lawsuits will be brought up for drugs.....notice all the regulation and laws surrounding cigarettes? Legal drugs means MORE LAWS, MORE REGULATION AND MORE GOVERNMENT, higher taxes and higher insurance rates.

3. Campaign corruption: The tobacco industry owns many politicians now - can you imagine the drug industry? We'd have politicians selling out to the drug companies instead of tobacco companies. And if one is tempted to argue that the government already is selling out to the drug lords - well, think how much that would increase if it could be done legally.

4. Do people really think that drugs will not be taxed? They will - in fact it is the tax FROM the drugs that is proposed to pay for all the new drug rehabilitation programs that will be put in place. (a little more on that shortly)

Legal drugs will be regulated by the government, just as alcohol is, and thus, this government controlled item will have lots of OUR TAX dollars poured into it. Even proponents of drug legalization, such as Nobel economist Milton Freedman and the conservative William F. Buckley admit that the government will play a significant role in legal drug regulation. Legalizing will not make us free. Instead, it will make us drones dependent on government largeness for property and happiness.

Now, many say "But I don't like the government regulating other things either! I don't think they should regulate drugs or anything else!" Well, I'm certainly not one for government sticking it's nose in everywhere. If I did, I'd be a Democrat. However, legalizing drugs is NOT going to magically change the government. Legal drugs aren't going to get the government out of everything. If you want to change the government, then work on that first. Legalizing drugs will not work magic on our government - that has to be done separately. If the government is not changed prior to drug legalization, then legalized drugs will lead to more government.

Many times, when I bring up the point that increased drug use also means more tax payer funded rehabilitation programs, the response is "No - there should be no programs - they should have to pay for it themselves."

Well, wait a second...if this is true then the same will have to be done for people who are sick because of other self-induced problems, such as eating disorders (after all, no one is MAKING these bulimic people throw up) people with lung cancer (after all they CHOSE to smoke) people who have drinking related problems (after all, they CHOSE to drink) people with weight problems (after all they CHOSE to overeat) people with joint problems from running (they CHOSE to run)...do we really want that?

Argument 3: "The Drug War isn't Working..We need to try something else."

Well, the Drug War was working....and then we elected Bill Clinton as President. We can win the drug war without resorting to legalization, as shown by the consistent decrease in drug use from 1979 and 1992. However, under Bill Clinton, the drug use rate among youth aged 12-17 has increased 106 percent and marijuana use among young people has increased 141 percent. ("Preliminary Estimates from the 1995 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse," U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 8/96)

Now, I am not suggesting that Bill Clinton bears full responsibility for drug increase. Personal and parental responsibility is a must, and Clinton can't "make" people use drugs. But let's look at what Clinton did to the "War on drugs."

In 1993 and 1994, President Clinton made seven addresses to the Nation; none mentioned illegal drugs. The President's 1993 presidential papers reveal 13 references to illegal drugs in a total 1,628 presidential statements, addresses, and interviews. Of 1,742 presidential statements and other utterances in 1994, illegal drugs were mentioned only 11 times. ("National Drug Policy: A Review of the Status of the Drug War," House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, H.Rept. 104-486, 3/19/96)

When Clinton took office in 1992, he slashed the White House Office of Drug Control Policy by 80% and cut the number of drug enforcement - agents and their training.

His National Security Council dropped the war on drugs from THIRD priority to last - 29th out of 29. (Star Tribune, 2/14/93)

His Attorney General, Janet Reno, criticized minimum mandatory jail sentences for drug crimes.

His Surgeon General, Joycelyn Elders, called for studying the legalization of drugs.

Between 1993 and 1994, the number of aircraft and ships devoted to drug interdiction was cut in half.

Even other Democrats have voiced concern on Clinton's non-existent drug policies. Congressman Charles Rangel pointed out, "I've been in Congress over two decades, and I have never, never, never found any administration that’s been so silent on this great challenge (illegal drugs) to the American people."

Argument 4: "Legalizing Drugs Will Reduce Crime.."

Crime will also not be reduced by drug legalization. Studies show a correlation between drug use and crime - violent crimes such as homicides, assaults and domestic violence. Why is this? It's quite simple - drugs cause violent behavior.

Has anyone considered that the reason that people committed a crime was because they were ON drugs in the first place - legal or not? That they weren't necessarily committing a crime to get illegal drugs, but the drugs themselves caused a violent behavior (which would not magically go away if the drugs were legal) which lead them to committing a crime - something that would not have happened if they had not TAKEN drugs? In actuality, crime will rise when drugs are legal because more people will be taking drugs. Crime is high in high-drug use areas not because people are committing a crime to get drugs, but the influence of the drugs made them more inclined to commit a crime. For instance:

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (7/6/94) reports that cocaine use is linked to high rates of homicide in New York City and that "homicide victims may have provoked violence through irritability, paranoid thinking or verbal and physical aggression which are known to be pharmacologic effects of cocaine."

Data from the National Institute of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice) Drug Use Forecasting (DUF) program underscore the crime-drugs link. Of a sample of males arrested in 23 U.S. cities in 1993, the percent testing positive for at least one drug in the DUF survey ranged from 54% in Omaha to 81% in Chicago. Among female arrestees, the percent testing positive for any drug in 20 cities ranged from 42% in San Antonio to 83% in Manhattan.

The violent behavior caused by drugs won't magically stop because the drugs are legal. Legal PCP isn't going to make a person less violent than illegally purchased PCP. So, crimes committed because of drugs will increase as the number of drug users increase with the legalization of drugs. The psychopathic behavior that drugs cause will not somehow magically stop because drugs are legal.

Legalization proponents ignore the fact that the people committing violent crimes are career criminals who will not stop their illegal activities once drugs are legalized; they will instead seek new sources of illicit revenue.

I am not denying that some of the present crime is due to the profit motive behind illegal drugs. I admit that causes crime. However, if drugs were legal, not only would there be an increased crime rate due to the increased number of people who were taking drugs, but there would still be a "black market" and profit motive, which brings me to my next point..The Black Market.

Many argue that the element of profit would be eliminated. If drugs were legal, it is suggested that they would be sold at regulated government stores. Or according to economist Milton Friedman, at "ordinary retail outlets." Other legalizers say that drugs would be given out to the poor addicts who could not afford them.

William F. Buckley believes prices would be low enough to wipe out the black market. Buyers would, however, be heavily taxed to pay for drug education programs and rehabilitation centers.

Yet the tax would make it possible for criminals to undercut the official price and continue to rake in profits. So then what does the government do? Make prices so low that a second-grader with a few pennies can afford it and leave them no revenue for the proposed program? And think about this: drug related crimes are the highest where crack is the cheapest.

In addition to the official price being undercut, there are drugs that even most legalizers agree are too dangerous to make legal, such as crack and PCP. So guess what! Unless we legalize crack, PCP, and heroin, the black market will still exist for the more dangerous drugs. Now, let me stress this again - even if drugs are legalized, there will still be a black market for them. I stress this because people continue to write to me wailing "But legal drugs will get rid of the black market!" The black market argument is old, unfounded, and not logical. And even if legalization eliminated the black market, does this mean we legalize everything to avoid a black market? Let's legalize stealing - after all, then these poor robbers won't have to sneak around, and possible harm someone out of fright. See, we can cut down on deaths by legalizing robbery! Sound silly? Exactly.

Argument 5: "Legalizing Drugs will take the thrill out of Drugs and people won't use them."

Past experience shows that this isn't true. Did alcohol use decrease when it was legalized? No. When abortion became legal, did abortions decrease? No. When an action becomes legal, the number of people carrying out that action increases. Drugs are not different.

In addition, unless the most harmful and addictive drugs such as crack and heroin are made legal, people will still be drawn to these "black market" drugs.

How about young children and teenagers? They won't be able to purchase drugs, just as they can't purchase alcohol. Pushers would then concentrate on young people, and how will they learn to say no to pushers when they see their parents getting high with the consent of the government? Legalization would create a large group of new drug users - children.

The drug war is long and difficult and sometimes seems hopeless but we shouldn't just give up. As William Bennet, a strong fighter in the drug war states, "Imagine if, in the darkest days of 1940, Winston Churchill had rallied the West by saying, 'This war looks hopeless, and besides, it costs too much. Hitler can't be THAT bad. Let's surrender and see what happens.'" This is essentially what legalizers suggest. With all the other problems we face, it seems absurd to legalize something that in turn could destroy us.
http://www.gargaro.com/drugs.html
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Equating weed along with crack and opiates is ridiculous and only shows the bias of some of the posters.

It's the slippery slope thing...you smoke a joint and you'll end up killing babies and raping your mother
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:16 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Though some of the points admittedly apply best to the harder drugs, the others are specifically relevant to all illegal substances and as such appropriate for this thread. Don't really get how offering a different viewpoint is "biased". Thee was no slippery slope thing.
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Old 03-17-2004, 03:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally posted by sprocket
You can, but ultimately the rights of the individual should be considered first. At least thats how its supposed to work in America.
My point is that the two ideas, society's interest and personal freedom, don't have to be contradictory. Even in your reply you conceptualize them as things that might not match (one is more important than the other).

The article posted claimed that we shouldn't take a harm reduction stance because it detracts from the personal freedom issue. I disagree. I can believe in and promote a harm reductionist approach for the good of society, while you can believe in and promote a personal freedom agenda. Neither one should take precedence--they compliment each other and attempt to reach the same objective.
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:07 PM   #24 (permalink)
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If legalized, users would grow thier own pot. There would be hardly any tax revenue.

Also, any politician that even mentioned legalization of pot (even if he thought the mic was off or something) would get blasted by the media.

Its never gonna happen .
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:48 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 89transam
If legalized, users would grow thier own pot. There would be hardly any tax revenue.
I definately agree! I'm currently stoned and would really like to grow some nice marijuana plants.
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Old 03-18-2004, 03:35 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 89transam
If legalized, users would grow thier own pot. There would be hardly any tax revenue.

Also, any politician that even mentioned legalization of pot (even if he thought the mic was off or something) would get blasted by the media.

Its never gonna happen .
actually, you'd be suprised how hard it is to get a super strong set of skunk all the time, plants take a while to grow, and while your waiting for stuff to grow, you gota smoke something.
it's like brewing your own beer/wine, people do it, but not everyone who drinks.
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Old 03-18-2004, 09:06 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 89transam
If legalized, users would grow thier own pot. There would be hardly any tax revenue.

Also, any politician that even mentioned legalization of pot (even if he thought the mic was off or something) would get blasted by the media.

Its never gonna happen .
New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has gone public in favor of legalization.
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Old 03-19-2004, 05:25 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I'm not sure. I tried it once and didn't really like it, and I think that people should be able to do what they want. On the other hand, wiht no way to tell how much THC is in someone's blood, or how impaired they are, I'd be worried about someone running me over after discovering just how shiny and amusing his hood ornament is. As my politics professor (military, ex-cop) said, "The only difference between a drunk driver and a stoned driver is that you don't have to worry about a stoned guy puking on you while you pat him down and cuff him."
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Old 03-25-2004, 04:37 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Actually 9/10 people pulled over under the influance of marijuana are drunk as well ill try to find the article and post it.
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Old 03-25-2004, 10:55 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Legalizing drugs would reduce violent crime by eliminating the black market and violent culture associated with drug trafficking (sp?)
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Old 03-26-2004, 08:21 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
If drugs ever become legal, be prepared to see me walk around topless - after all, men can do it. Which is more harmful - me walking around with no shirt or me shooting up with crack? I'll be damned if people are allowed to shoot up with drugs and I have to wear a top on a blazing hot day in the summer!
Strangely, topless females when not intended to incite lust are legal in many states and countries. And based off exactly the arguements she gave.

Quote:
Please don't tell me that drugs hurt only the person who chooses to use them - that's not true.
Quote:
Please don't tell me that having a baby hurts only the person who chooses to have the baby - that's not true.
Babies grow up to be murderers. Having a baby should be illegal.

Quote:
Why should I have to go to a doctor and get justification for a medication, whether it be an antibiotic or Tylenol with Codeine, when other people can take heroin whenever they choose?
You won't. If heroin is made legal, you won't have to get a perscription.

Of course, they could select which recrational pharmacuticals are availiable without percription. Right now, there are 3 which are approved for recrational use: nicotine, alchohol and caffene.

Just extend the list.

Quote:
2. Lawsuits - I'm sure everyone is aware of all the lawsuits being brought against the tobacco industry
The grounds of these lawsuits where that the tobacco industry claimed that their product was not harmful and not addictive, dispite the fact they knew otherwise, in order to sell more product.

Quote:
And if one is tempted to argue that the government already is selling out to the drug lords - well, think how much that would increase if it could be done legally.
Drug lords whose livelyhood relies on corrupt police, judges, and the existance of prohibition are one type of person.

Drug lords who report to shareholders are another type of person.

Hey look, its an orange, not an apple!

Quote:
Instead, it will make us drones dependent on government largeness for property and happiness.
As opposed to being drones dependant on criminal largeness for happiness. Which is what addicts are.

The government taxing something, and the government forming paramilitary operations and attacking its own citizens in a full blown war, are once again apples and oranges.

The use of taxes is not the same as the use of gunboats, destroyers and fighter jets.

What percentage of the drug war fights against mary jane?

Quote:
Yet the tax would make it possible for criminals to undercut the official price and continue to rake in profits.
Smugglers who undercut government prices do not kill judges in order to keep their profits.

Take a look at the size of the organized crime networks that feeds off drugs. Where do they get most of their money? Do you want large international organized crime organizations?

Quote:
Did alcohol use decrease when it was legalized? No.
Did alchohol related deaths decrease when it was legalized?
Did alchohol related government corruption decrease when it was legalized?

Quote:
If legalized, users would grow thier own pot. There would be hardly any tax revenue.
Hobbyists and poor pot smokers would grow their own pot.

Most people have better things to do with their life than spend it building a pot growing op. =)
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