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Old 11-15-2004, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Reasons why marijuana should not be legalized/decriminalized

A little BG info...

I had to pick a topic for a debate paper, this was going to be done in groups of four. Half for and half against on the issue. I chose Legalizing marijuana on a whim thinking it would be the easiest thing to argue for, low and behold so did everyone in the group. We drew straws and here I am wondering:

Is there any good reasons why marijuana should continue to be illegal?

I keep trying to come up with ideas, I did some research and I got nothing. I am in desperate need of help and afraid I'm going to have to BS my way through. Which is really going to suck because my arguments, as of now, have no foundation.

Please, help me


P.s. I know there are many other posts on this subject, but I couldn't really find anyone who had a good argument against it. Everyone seemed to be thinking logically, like myself.

Last edited by Xiangsu; 11-15-2004 at 12:26 PM.. Reason: wanted to add something
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It would definitely put some of our pharmaceutical companies out of business. Of course it would create a different source of economy. It would also be a revenue loss for law enforcement, no more fines and fewer asset seizures. Smoking anything has its adverse health effects--the counter argument being vaporizers or that people would just eat it if it were plentiful enough.

Almost every argument against it from anti-drug NGOs and GOs is completely baseless or easy to counter. You drew a bad straw.
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think i posted this before, but i think it's a pretty coherant argument against the legalization of drugs. There are a good 5 or 6 links at the bottom as well

http://www.gargaro.com/drugs.html
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"It would definitely put some of our pharmaceutical companies out of business."

Aside from the fact that it most definately would not, it's amazing that you think this is a good thing.
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The link that matthew provided is pretty funny. Goes into talking about "crack babies" and LSD Flashbacks... people getting raped, etc.

"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...."

Aaaaaaanyway... you'll find that most arguments against legalization of it are either incredibly extreme, flat out uninformed, or based on some random generalization (ie "Drugs cause violent behavior".. while at the same time these exact same people also claim video games and movies cause violence [extreme]). You could just as easily rape someone or murder someone when drunk, or sober.

You damage your body just as much (if not less) than someone addicted to cigarettes.

This is one thing where I've actually sat and thought about for a while, "Is there any leigitimate reason for marijuana to be illegal?"

I haven't found one, nor have I found a single person who can provide one that simultaneously doesn't sound like a hypocrite (for example, "No see, alcohol is different because..").. that is, unless the person also thought tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, aspirin, etc.. should be illegal as well.
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Last edited by Stompy; 11-15-2004 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That site seems to talk about hardcore drugs more than marijuana. These are some of my reasons that marijuana should and will remain illegal:

First, when you're high, you have less cognitive ability. You don't do your job as well, you can't drive as well, and you're less alert in general.

Second, at least the way they're packed now, people can be affected by second-hand smoke. If people are allowed to smoke pot in public, it will affect others who want nothing to do with it.

Finally, it's not culturally acceptable. Unlike tobacco and alcohol, smoking marijuana is widely discouraged by the public, so they would never vote for it to be legal, and neither would those in public office. I'm sorry, but our culture dictates the legal system in which we live, so if you want to light up, move to a different country (or stop).
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A position you could take, which I find interesting and persuasive, is that the illegality of marijuana, and all drugs for that matter, helps sustain prices for people subsidizing their income.

I wonder how people understand the extent of drug dealing as a second job. Not to party with the proceeds, although not to say that doesn't occur, but as an actual revenue source to pay the rent.

It would also remove counter-culture elements to drug use/abuse. In so far as one recognizes implicit challenges to the political/economic structures of capitalism via drug use, one might be resistant to undermining whatever power might be mineable. That is, don't defuse street-level angst and resistance.

But then that idea ought to be tempered with the realization that such use might reproduce one's economic and social situation (and possibly oppression).


Of course, another suitable argument is whether the government should allow drug abuse on a moral level. That is, do we have a social responsibility to protect citizens from abusing their personal bodies and/or disseminating a nihilistic attitude to others.

hmm, my advisor, Elliot Currie, writes that drug laws wouldn't do much for crime if we reduced penalties. That's a very glib synopsis of his position, but I'm about to run. If you pick up "Crime and Punishment in America" or actually I think "Reckoning" addresses this question head on.

Keep in mind that both he and I believe that drug abuse/crime can be reduced by addressing impoverishment head on. Reducing drug penalties is necessary due to how draconian they currently are, but we both feel that such action in itself would only be treating the symptom rather than the cause. So you could address the underlying aspect of the issue, that decreasing penalties is expected to decrease crime. Would it really? Only in the official record, but not in the area where it really counts--overall. That's my best short answer. If you have any questions especially after you read either of those two books (they are written for popular consumption, BTW), ask me some Q's.

Here's a link to an interview I just googled real quick:

http://www.pbs.org/fmc/interviews/currie.htm
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Old 11-15-2004, 01:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by matthew330
I think i posted this before, but i think it's a pretty coherant argument against the legalization of drugs. There are a good 5 or 6 links at the bottom as well
I don't think much of that article. It doesn't really discuss anything in depth, it just sets up some straw men and knocks them down. It doesn't talk about any of the intelligent plans for drug legalization, it just sort of assumes that everything would become a free-for-all. I don't think anyone is proposing legalization without any sort of regulation whatsoever (which the article discusses briefly as a bad thing, and then goes on to argue that they will end up being too regulated!)

There are some good sources out there for some intelligent arguments against legalization, however. I'll see if I can look up some of the sources I used when writing papers about this when I get home.

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Old 11-15-2004, 01:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by matthew330
"It would definitely put some of our pharmaceutical companies out of business."

Aside from the fact that it most definately would not, it's amazing that you think this is a good thing.
How did you come to the conclusion that's what he was implying?

Seems to me he was answering the question--which is what negative effects would legalization cause?
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Old 11-15-2004, 01:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't think marijuana should not be legalized (confusing sentences rock!), but I can throw out a few ideas why it shouldn't..
  • Alcohol is already legal, and while it is a damaging substance, I think pot being legal would result in a lot of people using both at the same time. Right now, it's easy to get beer, and also legal. But if you want to drink beer, and smoke pot, you have to go more out of your way to smoke pot, and also risk breaking the law.
  • It could open the door to the legalization of other, harder drugs.
  • It would cause a lot of dealers to have to find real jobs as a result of their current jobs becoming defunct. Is this a bad thing? For the economy, maybe not; for the dealers, definitely.
  • It's an irreversible decision, and if there are regrets about legalizing it after the fact, it's going to be very hard to undo the law after it's been enacted.
  • Pot is reasonably easy to get now. If legalized, it would be even easier for those under the legal age to get a hold of it. I personally think if a kid wants pot, he will find a way to get pot, but the argument could be made that by legalizing the drug, it will become much more accessible to everyone, including underagers.
  • If pot was legalized it could give our country a bad image globally. But again, I am not sure about that. From what I understand, pot is legal in Holland, and there aren't negative feelings about that country based on the fact that pot is legal there.

Again, if I had to chose, I would probably be in favor of pot being legalized, primarily because I don't care, don't use, and thus don't see the point in it not being legal. However, it's much harder to defend its illegality, than it is to preach for its legalization.

I had to take part in a similiar debate during one of my first semester speech classes, and I took the side against legalization. I'll tell you right now. You will not win a debate over marijuana before a class of students aged 18-24, regardless of how much you prepared and how well you performed. Our professor issued extra points to the group that won based on class votes, and as you can imagine, me and my partner weren't seeing any extra points.

It's harder to take the side against legalization, harder to find valid arguments, and much harder to convince others that it shouldn't be legalized, because pot is one of those things that is practiced by many, regardless of the legality. It's become a social norm, much like alcohol (but not at the same level, yet), and you probably won't convince people that it should remain an illegal substance.

As I look over my arguments above, they are weak and easy to refute. And they are honestly the best I could come up with. It's just a tough side to take, and I wish you luck. It's also tough to debate against your true feelings. I was in the same boat as you, we drew straws and despite my partner and I supporting the legalization of marijuana, we had to take the side against it.

It's much easier to debate about issues you are passionate about, and on the proper side, because otherwise the whole thing seems "fake," because you aren't truly arguing your point, but instead presenting your case as a formality that you don't necessarily agree with.

However, that can't be helped, so you just have to accept it and get the information as best you can. Again, I consider my arguments above to be valid (except for the dealer job loss one, that was satire), but they are also going to be very easy for the opposition to shoot down.

Ideally some of the other posters here can provide some better arguments for you, but I really think the debate over marijuana legalization is one that starts skewed in favor from the getgo.

Take care, and good luck.
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Old 11-15-2004, 02:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 11-15-2004, 03:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthew330
"It would definitely put some of our pharmaceutical companies out of business."

Aside from the fact that it most definately would not, it's amazing that you think this is a good thing.
First of all I was providing that example as a bad effect of marijuana legalization. Secondly do you honestly think that if people could cheaply and legally grow something in their backyard that would replace so many of the drugs they pay exorbitant fees for at the pharmacy that they would still choose the pharmacy? Pain-relief, nausea, loss of appetite, depression, insomnia, etc. these are illnesses that marijuana can be used to treat. Many of these are where pharmaceutical companies make their bread and butter. If you don't think drug corporations are behind the continuing prohibition of marijuana you're ill-informed and naieve.
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Old 11-15-2004, 03:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks for the help guys. Funny thing, today I went to my grandma's today and asked her and my grandpa about it. They were totally against it, they brought up a few arguments that I thought were intersting: if a soon-to-be mother uses marijuana the baby can be messed up, marijuana makes people go crazy, it damages brain cells, and they told me to tell my class that my granparents just don't like it.

**edit**
All of the above could have been applied to alcohol. So they weren't a whole lot of help, but everyone here has. I liked the link that was against the legalization for drugs, I didn't read it enough but from what I saw it did seem like most of it applied to the harder substances out there. After reading further down I found that I may have jumped to conclusions and I am thankful for whoever posted the link.
**/edit**

There were a few good arguments above, I especially like the one about second-hand smoke. Because that kind of a smoke is going to mess you up then your typical cigarette smoke.

Last edited by Xiangsu; 11-15-2004 at 08:44 PM..
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Old 11-15-2004, 03:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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One thing i have read in "Aint' nobody's business if you do" about why the gov't fights viciously to keep drugs illegal is that there is a huge portion of our economy based on keeping them illegal. the DEA, local law enforcement, etc, creates millions of dollars in jobs, entire agencies, etc that are dedicated to just keeping the flow of drugs down...

Now, the main problem is that marijuana barely makes a dent in the market of what these agencies normally fight against on a national level. Local law enforcement normally takes care of marijuana in most cases, sooo...

It really is hard to defend why marijuana is still illegal when alcohol/cigarettes are perfectly fine...
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Old 11-15-2004, 05:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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"If you don't think drug corporations are behind the continuing prohibition of marijuana you're ill-informed and naieve."

As smooth pointed out, i read your initial post the wrong way, sorry bout that. I understand now that you were providing that as an example of a bad effect of legalization. I also stand by my contention that it wouldn't be an effect period.

I work with drug companies on a daily basis. I manage cancer research studies, so i see all of the above symptoms at levels you couldn't comprehend unless you were in the field i am. If there is one person here jumping the bandwagon that your philosophy provides, it is you. You my friend are ill-informed and naieve. If i thought you would hear what i had to say, i'd actually waste my time and explain myself further.

I would suggest to Xiangsu, that he could pretty much bank on this sort of naievete "Aaaaaaanyway... you'll find that most arguments against legalization of it are either incredibly extreme, flat out uninformed, or based on some random generalization", from his opposition. As such he's got a pretty easy debate ahead of him. The links i provided addressed the legalization of drugs in general, many of which are applicable to marijuana in particular. Those links were for Xiangsu's benefit and not stompy's. Some of the points he could use for the purposes he was looking for, some couldn't. He'd apparantly rather use his grandmother.

I've never used this term out of spite, but i don't believe i've ever seen a more obvious thoughtless "straw-man" than this one...

""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...."

I wasn't here to debate the legalization of marijuana, i posted to give Xiangsu some arguments against it. Daily i am more and more convinced there is a large population of liberals that have completely gone off the deep end.

Most typically conservative viewpoints are written off as "extreme, uninformed, and extreme generalizations", until liberals can approach them for what they are, i feel confident you guys will continue to remain the angry bitter loosers (in the political sense, not personally) that you were in the last year. I saw it coming with your approach to gay marriage, iraq, etc etc etc etc.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by matthew330
I've never used this term out of spite, but i don't believe i've ever seen a more obvious thoughtless "straw-man" than this one...

""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...."
Matthew, I don't know if you thought that was stompy's position, but he was quoting that from the article you posted.

It's within the question regarding whether drug use only harms the individual.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i realize that. Again i posted that article, and pointed to other links, because the thread starter requested arguments against the legalization of marijuana. Perhaps i misunderstand the definition of strawman, as i've gathered the meaning from it's usage on this forum, but isn't it minimizing the overall point by attacking a minute point, or exaggerating a point and attacking that interpretation.

Whatever, i was trying to offer some help to Xiangsu, though i'm not sure he really wanted it.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by matthew330
Most typically conservative viewpoints are written off as "extreme, uninformed, and extreme generalizations", until liberals can approach them for what they are, i feel confident you guys will continue to remain the angry bitter loosers (in the political sense, not personally) that you were in the last year. I saw it coming with your approach to gay marriage, iraq, etc etc etc etc.
It wasn't any offense to you, but the article you posted was full of contradictions and weaknesses for the intended purpose, that's all. The guy's gonna need STRENGTH in his position to defend marijuana being illegal, so lumping it with extreme hard drugs like PCP, crack, heroin, and LSD won't help his position. Those drugs are totally not even in the same league as marijuana. Not even CLOSE.

I'm just saying, if it's supposed to be for a debate paper, you want substance to it, not just random facts with nothing to back them up.

For instance:

Quote:
His Attorney General, Janet Reno, criticized minimum mandatory jail sentences for drug crimes.
They fail to explain why this is bad. You could refute this with a million and one arguments. A strong one being: you get more time in jail for drug related matters as opposed to something like RAPE. Why should a person get so many years in prison for putting a drug in his body as opposed to someone who physically assaulted and traumatized another person?

Earlier statements recognize tobacco and alcohol and being legal and regulated. One could refute back, "Why are they legal, but marijuana is not?"

Or even the whole "Tell that to a woman who was raped by a man on PCP" thing.. because people get raped whether the attacker is sober or not. It's not like there's an epidemic of PCP users raping random women.

Quote:
Legal PCP isn't going to make a person less violent than illegally purchased PCP.
This is assuming all PCP users are violent psychopaths.. which will bring up (somewhere) a rebuttal on use and misuse of a drug.

See what I'm saying about the generalizations? You can't do that when you have a debate. You COULD, but not if you want to appear intelligent.

Quote:
even if drugs are legalized, there will still be a black market for them
This is based off of what, exactly? Alcohol and tobacco are legal. Are there black markets for them? Sure, people get semi-trucks and take cigarettes from virginia to NYC, but it's not like it's a big problem that the country is dealing with. "Damn, we should outlaw cigarettes and alcohol because of the black market surrounding them." There's probably isolated incidents, not much beyond that.

As for jobs needing it to remain illegal.. like the DEA, etc.. that's ridiculous. The amount of people they catch compared to the amount of people they DON'T catch is nothing. I don't know what the exact statistic is, but let's just say that for every one person who gets caught, there are many many more who don't and never will. Imagine actually being able to TAX those who purchase it. It would pretty much cancel out the "economic loss" of legalizing..

I mean, I COULD go on and on and on with this article. All I'm stating is... it was extreme ("Tell that to a woman who is raped by her boyfriend while he was high on PCP."), misinformed, and weak (items posted above).

Now, unless his position in the debate isn't supposed to be THAT strong, the article won't do much good.

Grondar hit the nail on the head - there really isn't a cogent argument as to why marijuana should remain illegal. I've had debates with the best of people on this and I have yet to see ONE valid argument for it that can't be applied to something else that's perfectly legal and controlled already.
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Last edited by Stompy; 11-15-2004 at 06:43 PM..
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stompy
Grondar hit the nail on the head - there really isn't a cogent argument as to why marijuana should remain illegal. I've had debates with the best of people on this and I have yet to see ONE valid argument for it that can't be applied to something else that's perfectly legal and controlled already.
And right here, you come so very close to the one argument that I could see succeeding: alcohol ideally should be made illegal, too, for the dangerous effects they have. But prohibition showed the impracticality of alcohol criminalization. Thus, the difference between criminalizing alcohol and criminalizing marijuana is that the former is still feasible. Perhaps if alcohol was closer to being the taboo that marijuana is (and I'm aware that it's not a complete taboo by any stretch of the imagination), it would still be feasible to criminalize alcohol as well. But it's still possible for marijuana, and the dangers (physical and psychological) of marijuana justify it.

(For the record, I support marijuana legalization.)
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Also, the laws against marijuana use may be far from perfectly enforced, but they're enforced well enough to make use of the substance a significantly bigger taboo than alcohol. And although I ultimately support legalization, I do consider this a good thing; there are many people that would otherwise be using pot that are much better off without it.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I think the better arguement if you can manipulate the question would be to look at supporting decriminalizing pot other than legalizing it. That way the issue becomes more subjective from those enforcing it ( police handing out tickets for set allowable amounts) other than objectively ( police arresting one,court, jail, criminal record, assfucked etc,..)

I would suggest starting a thread in the Canada forum or just goggling ---Canada- pot decriminalization, Marijuana, Supreme Court etc,...you should find a whack of stuff there since Canada is looking to decriminalize (studying the notion right now) pot even though Big Brother Dubya is, through American Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci, threatening to shut down the border if such ammendments are made to CANADIAN LAW.

I think it's the vast amount of pot, not to mention the superb quality of such, that is the reason that Democrats want to come to Canada. It isn't Dubya, that's an excuse. It's the pot. And probably because the chances of getting shot are almost non existent providing one isn't dressed up as a deer or moose during hunting season.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:48 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Contradictions for the intended purpose i don't see, weaknesses for the intended purpose i do. He's free to take what he wants for his purposes. I didn't feel that i needed to do that for him.

"t's not like there's an epidemic of PCP users raping random women."

I think you're answering the wrong question. Is there an epidemic of PCP users involved in illegal activity (aside from the legality of drugs in question). Relative to non-users, I would bet "yes" though i don't have the statistics on hand. I'm going out on a limb here, but i'm assuming you'd agree. Especially since you seemed to acknowledge there is a problem inherant in drug use by the following statement " which will bring up (somewhere) a rebuttal on use and misuse of a drug." (i.e. - those who are commiting drug crimes, aren't using the drug properly) Who's problem is it then to teach the use and misuse of drug use, and who's problem is it to deal with the negative effects of it's legalization. I see your argument as incomplete. You seem to be saying that are government has no business applying laws to drugs we can and cannot do. How do you avoid negative societal effects of no drug laws? Teach the proper "uses and misuses", of a particular drug. Being that it will inevitably fall on the government shoulders to address these negative effects, there can only be one answer...it is the governments responsibility to teach the "uses and misuses."

"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. "

These are points i think he could use. As she was saying, if illicit drugs are legalized, they will more than likely be government regulated. They will be prescription. Medical reasons for legalization of marijuana are always cited. Are you arguing marijuana should be prescription, in which case you can drop the tax revenue argument as prescription drugs aren't taxed, or are you arguing people should be free to smoke marijuana at the slightest hint of nausea. Your average nausea sufferer isn't fighting for the right to buy a quarter, we all know who is.

The fact remains, there will be societal effects from it's legalization, as there are with alcohol.

That was nothing but a rant which i refuse to reread, so please forgive any repitious points, misspellings, etc.

Don't forget that there were other links at the bottom of the page Xiang, and i'm sure a shitload of others googled. In the world of the internet, there's no excuse for relying on grandmom's take.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:50 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Second, at least the way they're packed now, people can be affected by second-hand smoke. If people are allowed to smoke pot in public, it will affect others who want nothing to do with it.
ive been in many a hotbox with friends and family (i dont smoke) and have yet to get a contact high by it, so i dont know how much second hand smoke has to do with anything, even cigaretes
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:52 PM   #24 (permalink)
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come to think of it...i don't think any drugs are taxed. So both argument might have their place, you can't argue both at the same time: medical benefits/tax revenue.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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There's quite a hefty tax on cigarettes.

I know some alcohols have a tax depending on where you live.

So it really is entirely possible for them to say, "Pack of joints? Ok, $20. $15 of that is tax." ...and I'm sure most people would be okay with that.

I'm sure it has its place somewhere in the medicinal world, but I've never really been a firm advocate for medicinal use: I personally want it legal for recreational use.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:10 PM   #26 (permalink)
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As said by one of my professors, a former state trooper, "The only difference between a drunk driver nad a stoned driver is that you don't have to worry about the stoned one puking on you when you arrest him."

There is no roadside test to determine how much THC is in someone's bloodstream, how severely they're impaired by smoking. The only way to tell if someone's been smoking and driving is to arrest people and hold them until a test comes back. The other options are to let them go (which can endanger lives of others) or to arrest and assume intoxication for anyone with any amount of pot or paraphernaila in the car. This either gives the police not enough power, or excessive authority in the case of suspected stoned drivers.

How about jobs? Would you want a stoner teaching your kids? Would you want to risk having the guy operating a wrecking ball at a construction site high at work? What about that cop who was pulling people over for being stoned? If pot is legal, government agencies can't prohibit employees from using it, only from doing so while on the job. If someone is still high and goes to work thinking they're fine, it's a problem, especially when they're the ones who are protecting us. Same with firefighters; if they're stoned, they're going to stand on your front lawn gawking at the dancing, swirling pools of light instead of putting water on them. Then there's truckers. They've got huge-ass trucks carrying goods to points of sale, a lot of them aren't the world's greatest drivers in the first place, and then add teh effects of pot smoke. If they do make it to their destinations safely, I can just imagine the results, "You made it here safely, but where the hell did all the boxes of Twinkies go?"

Draw out the previous paragraph until it includes every occupation whose members need to be level-headed and alert for their jobs, and you've got some of the strongest arguments you can come up with.

Just so you all know, I'm pro-legalization.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:12 PM   #27 (permalink)
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if the government generates revenue on it's legalizatin, then does it not have an obligation to spend that revenue on the implications of it's use? i don't know one recreational pot user (and i know a boatload, in fact i'm hard pressed to think of one i don't), who have problems (or any sort of worry) keeping their habit with the current laws in place.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:20 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I have no interest in the legalization of this substance. I see no good in it. If that becomes an unrealistic position, given the demand for it by its user base, so be it. I'd prefer a non-alcoholic society as well. The user base for that substance evidently will not stand for this. So be it. I'm not interested in making social policy. I do, however, have definite views on these matters.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:38 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthew330
if the government generates revenue on it's legalizatin, then does it not have an obligation to spend that revenue on the implications of it's use?
I'm sure it could be divvied up. I'm no economic expert or anything, so I really couldn't vouch for how well it'd work. All I know is it'd be something valid to tax the hell out of. They could basically say, "OK, you want this legalized? Most of what you pay on it will be tax then."

Quote:
i don't know one recreational pot user (and i know a boatload, in fact i'm hard pressed to think of one i don't), who have problems (or any sort of worry) keeping their habit with the current laws in place.
Very good point, but I think the whole decriminalization rebuttal can come into play here: Is it right for someone to be jailed for their use (however small) of this substance if there are others equally, if not more, powerful and harmful available to consume? Is it right to deny someone their liberty and freedom because of a substance they chose to put in their own body?

It's one thing if the government was adamant about making tobacco and alcohol illegal, but they aren't. Hell, there are tons of others to fall in the same category, for example, caffeine. Why not make that illegal?

And Art, the majority has spoken for the consumption of relatively harmful (if used in minute amounts) substances, but I know from your other posts and how you speak about mind manipulation: hasn't the same been done here? Our whole lives we've been told how marijuana is evil, it's the bane of all productivity, etc, yet the other substances they allow you to consume are JUST as harmful *if* abused.

I'm sure many others would like to see tobacco and alcohol banned, but that won't happen anytime soon. So why all the public misinformation about marijuana? It's not like we're talking about legalizing heroin or cocaine.

It truly is baffling.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:41 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthew330
if the government generates revenue on it's legalizatin, then does it not have an obligation to spend that revenue on the implications of it's use?
I'm sure it could be divvied up. I'm no economic expert or anything, so I really couldn't vouch for how well it'd work. All I know is it'd be something valid to tax the hell out of. They could basically say, "OK, you want this legalized? Most of what you pay on it will be tax then."

Quote:
i don't know one recreational pot user (and i know a boatload, in fact i'm hard pressed to think of one i don't), who have problems (or any sort of worry) keeping their habit with the current laws in place.
Very good point, but I think the whole decriminalization rebuttal can come into play here: Is it right for someone to be jailed for their use (however small) of this substance if there are others equally, if not more, powerful and harmful available to consume? Is it right to deny someone their liberty and freedom because of a substance they chose to put in their own body?

It's one thing if the government was adamant about making tobacco and alcohol illegal, but they aren't. Hell, there are tons of others to fall in the same category, for example, caffeine. Why not make that illegal?

And Art, the majority has spoken for the consumption of relatively harmful (if used in minute amounts) substances, but I know from your other posts and how you speak about mind manipulation: hasn't the same been done here? Our whole lives we've been told how marijuana is evil, it's the bane of all productivity, etc, yet the other substances they allow you to consume are JUST as harmful *if* abused.

Most people use these substances just fine without having it affect others. Yes, we have a problem with drunk driving, and there are laws for that. There are laws against showing up for work intoxicated. Aside from that, most everyone can cope with having these substances legal. If you follow the laws, then how is there a problem? There isn't an epidemic where people are just going mad, drinking case after case of beer going on a drunken rampage, is there?

I'm sure many others would like to see tobacco and alcohol banned, but that won't happen anytime soon. So why all the public misinformation about marijuana? It's not like we're talking about legalizing heroin or cocaine.

It truly is baffling.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:46 PM   #31 (permalink)
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One last thing....there is an outrageous tax on cigarettes (not quite as outrageous as the one you suggested on marijuana stompy) which is justified by it's health considerations. It is completely overstepping the boundries of government to suggest (as people here seem to), that not only is there minimal health considerations to marijuana's use, in fact multiple health benefits, that it should be taxed so heavily.

Tell me how i'm mistaken in interpreting the argument to be: the government should encourage drug use to subsidize schools, homelessness, etc etc.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:58 PM   #32 (permalink)
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No, what I'm saying is... if people want it legalized, then they have to pay a price - that price being a tax. That way the goverment gets an incentive to legalize it, while those who want it legalize have peace of mind in knowing they won't be arrested for such an insignificant (and for the most part, harmless) act.

I'm not saying the government should ENCOURAGE drug use. I never once said that, nor did I ever say there aren't any health risks. It's more like.. the government shouldn't be so harsh towards those who use it. There are health risks to pretty much all drugs we're allowed to consume. They are significantly less, of course, compared to one who smokes a pack or two of cigarettes a day or one who comes home and drinks a whole case of beer. Sure, there will be those who have problems controlling their use, but you'll have that anyway.


Like I said above: alcohol is legal now.. does our country have a serious problem where people go on these rampages.. where workers show up to work drunk, teachers drunk etc?

I'm simply saying that they could impose a tax for those who choose to use it. I'm sure if the govt wanted to, they could slap a $5 tax on any bottle of booze 75 proof and up. Tax would go toward whatever. It's not encouraging alcohol consumption if they did so.

I'm not 100% sure on how taxes are collected then spent, but I highly doubt they say, "Ok, these taxes came from cigarettes, so those are being used for anti-smoking ads". I'm sure it all goes to one place, then is split off according to whatever budget is set aside.. just like your income taxes. You pay federal and state tax, that tax goes to whatever they see fit: schools, roads, etc.

That argument is for those who claim it would disrupt our income. I'm saying for every person who gets arrested and pays fines, there are many many more who aren't. The government's incentive is to tax those people and pull in quite an income, but at the same time you WOULD get rid of marijuana dealers.. just like bootleggers were done for when prohibition ended.
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Last edited by Stompy; 11-15-2004 at 09:06 PM..
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Old 11-15-2004, 11:03 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Here's a site with some resources on it - I'm not sure whether it is biased one way or another, but it seems to have some works on both sides of the debate:

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/index.htm

Here's a short one that certainly follows your chosen argument:

http://www.drugwatch.org/Against%20L...of%20Drugs.htm

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Old 11-15-2004, 11:28 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Thank you all so much. I knew the TFP would come through for me. When I first started brainstorming for this I was thinking, "shit". I was thinking shit because I felt like I had no argument, but some people on this board gave some really good arguments and directed me to where I can find more information.

Thanks a ton, everyone.

P.s. that comment above about my grandparents, I just posted that mainly because I thought it was funny. It's just weird how misinformed people can be about it and just how conservative my grandparents can be.
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Old 11-16-2004, 07:31 AM   #35 (permalink)
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My grandma's a Massachusettes liberal. It's my parents who are the crazy conservatives.
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:50 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthew330
"If you don't think drug corporations are behind the continuing prohibition of marijuana you're ill-informed and naieve."

I work with drug companies on a daily basis. I manage cancer research studies, so i see all of the above symptoms at levels you couldn't comprehend unless you were in the field i am. If there is one person here jumping the bandwagon that your philosophy provides, it is you. You my friend are ill-informed and naieve. If i thought you would hear what i had to say, i'd actually waste my time and explain myself further.
You do of course realize that marijuana is one of the only drugs effective against the side effects of chemotherapy. If you're unwilling or unable to continue debate I take that as a consession of defeat.

Honestly, how could you not see the the legalization of marijuana as being a revolutionary move with dire consequences for much of the pharmaceutical industry?

Take insomnia for example: prescription medication ambien costs about $5 per pill, with everyday use that's about $1825 per year. Growing a year's worth of marijuana for everyday use would cost about $50 for fertilizer, seed, etc. Marijuana might not be right for everyone, but an extra $1775 per year in you pocket can be mighty tempting.

If posting here and entering into the discussion is such a waste of your time, then please do not bother.
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Old 11-16-2004, 02:43 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I did my sophmore term paper on that subject...but from the other end. But I did find a good book in my local library called Legalization: A modern debate. It had a lot of good imput so if you can find it, check it out.

Also this site was in my resource page

http://www.globalchange.com/drugs/TADChapter5.htm

So I hope this helps you.
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Old 11-21-2004, 12:18 AM   #38 (permalink)
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i look at it like this....
1) going from what i've observed, an overwhelming majority of people living in any part of the modernized world needs something to help them unwind at the end of the day or on their day off. something that lets them transcend the trapped feeling their life can give them... especially if they have a stressful or exhausting job.

2) any of these crutches or drugs or whatever you want to call them can wreck or end the lives of any one around the people abusing them.

3)this harm can be measured in degrees from unhealthy physiological side effects to psychotic episodes to impaired/dangerous driving.

so right there, i can see the reason why marijuana should be legal. while
eating lots of takeout food, settling for a bad job, and being happy bored are negative things to see linked up with it, they are nowhere near the same stratosphere of the effects of drinking... i just think the pot smoker is going to be much less likely to beat the shit out of his wife or wrap his car around a tree.

legalization would also be good from an economic standpoint for anyone but the alcohol and tobacco companies. it would be quite empowering for a lot of lower class and poverty stricken people could grow their own high instead of constantly enslaving themselves for their weekly alottment of beer and cigarettes.

the point of our jails being crowded is a good one too. a huge chunk of our population is working for less than third world wages in prison sweat shops around the country while thousands of really violent offenders are released too early for their crime because of prison overcrowding..... the relief to be had from releasing all the marijuana offenders is more mindblowing than a magic brownie at a phish concert.
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Old 11-22-2004, 02:02 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSelfDestruct
How about jobs? Would you want a stoner teaching your kids? Would you want to risk having the guy operating a wrecking ball at a construction site high at work? What about that cop who was pulling people over for being stoned? If pot is legal, government agencies can't prohibit employees from using it, only from doing so while on the job. If someone is still high and goes to work thinking they're fine, it's a problem, especially when they're the ones who are protecting us. Same with firefighters; if they're stoned, they're going to stand on your front lawn gawking at the dancing, swirling pools of light instead of putting water on them. Then there's truckers. They've got huge-ass trucks carrying goods to points of sale, a lot of them aren't the world's greatest drivers in the first place, and then add teh effects of pot smoke. If they do make it to their destinations safely, I can just imagine the results, "You made it here safely, but where the hell did all the boxes of Twinkies go?"
Problem with this argument is that it applies to alcohol as well, and that's perfectly legal.

The more I think about it, the more I can't think of any reason why pot is illegal. I wonder what George Bush would say about the issue.

Maybe you should switch the argument and argue for alcohol to be made illegal as well.
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