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The title says it all but in case you missed it, should marijuana be legalized in the United States?
Feel free to discuss other countries as well and their weed policies if you'd like, I'm just not familiar enough with countries outside of mine own and their drug policies.
Regarding the Untied States, I say yes. It should be legalized for several reasons:
- The actually affects of smoking marijuana are less harmfull than alcohol or cigarettes (both of which are very legal).
- Our prisons are filling with people arested on posession charges, while the tax payers pay for people who could have been just sitting in their own homes harming no one to be kept in jail.
- The myth that marijuana is a "gateway drug" to other, harder drugs has been debunked.
- Marijuana is one of the biggest drugs illegally traficked over the Mexican border. Legalizing would lessen the number of who buy from outside the country essentially lessening the horrible border violence we currently have.
- And finally the big one, legalizing and taxing marijuana is a smart way to help stimulate the economy.
Now I know some of my reasons are pretty vague. That's so we don't have a monster first post. I not only want your opinions on the legalization of marijuana, but also feel free to attack my arguments and we can get into a friendly discussion.
I'm living in germany and the fact that Marijuana is illegal is quite ridiculous. Actually those forbidding it are most likely those who never smoked some because they never had any friends...
Ok, back to arguments.
It's not physically addictive, it does not increase the likelyhood of people harming others, it does not have severe side-effects. Actually the likelyhood of getting lung cancer is slightly higher than smoking tobacco to my information but it's beeing consumed way less frequently than cigarettes usually. Specifically for cannabis there are many people who don't like the effects anyways, also I think the risk of minors to consume cannabis would rather drop as there would be less illegal sources and a legal age control.
The amount of money beeing invested into fighting drugs is almost absurd. Some south american countries slowly come to realize that the war on drugs can't_be won. For every dealer, farmer or thug they shoot there will be two others as they won't find other jobs down there anyways, so german SPIEGEL (weekly news magazine) found first comments from gouvernments that they want to start legalising more drugs instead of investing more money and sacrificing more policemen.
I think more drugs than just cannabis should be legalised. In an educated society most people won't touch it anyways as they know about the risks, others will do drugs either way. However, if it's legalised it can be taxed and get age limits and there will be way less deads due to contaminated drugs. Dropping productivity won't happen either, people get fired already when they go to work drunk.
For the current situation in germany: Consuming cannabis isn't a crime, while possessing it is. You see, that's rather a juristic subtlety than an important point. Possession usually doesn't recieve hard punishments, if any at all, at least for those not dealing the stuff.
Right now it doesn't seem like there is any chance of legalisation soon. Politics are slow in this country so I don't expect anything to happen for the next decades.
However, our friendly dutch neighbours are way more tolerant in regards of cannabis although it's officially forbidden as far as I know. Still it's legally buyable in coffee shops and possession of small amounts is legal as well. I know quite a bunch of people driving over to netherlands from time to time solely because of this.
Well, I shouldn't be nagging too much as a german in regards of drugs. US citizens have to be 21 for a beer? Come one, minimal age is 16 over here :P
Last edited by Roflkopt3r; September 15, 2010 at 10:16 PM.
I know a lot of people who at some point smoked marijuana and based on them I wold personally prefered if it wasn't legalized anywhere. These people are always kinda out of it, even when they are not high.
That said, I think it would be a practical solution to the druglord issue and terrorist funding problem around(the problem is that drugs do in fact fund terrorists BTW). Legalizing it would mean mainstream industry would develop the products. That in turn will generate revenues and through taxes benefit society at large. it would also generate jobs which is not all that bad. These companies will have to stick to a series of controls and standards meaning that the side effects of marijuana will likely diminish. Even if they do not diminish, at least consumers would receive a standardized product which would indeed live up the strictest of controls. Basically, I think the substance should be legalized for practical reasons but from a more moral point of view I am kinda against it.
Legalized cannabis would definitly have an age restriction on it, somewhere between 18 and 21 in most countries I'ld guess. The chances of it beeing passed down to younger people should generally not increase. Dealers don't ask for passports, maybe some will reject small boys with high voices as they're obviously not more than 12 years old, but in general age control will be better in legal ways.
For grown-ups, it's basic democracy that everyone may do as he pleases as long as it does not harm the rights of others. Smoking weed does not in my mind.
Those people smoking it more frequently I know mostly are friends of mine as they aren't overly weird and mostly friendly and nice guys. Actually easier to get along with sometimes, and I don't mean that they'ld be apathic or something. Quite ordinary people, just staying more relaxed mostly.
Personally I like it for certain occasions in groups of people... can't understand people smoking it allone, that's really weird even to me. I know the effect differs from person to person but it certainly changes perception in an interesting way. Helps to gain additional perspectives on life in a sense. I think such experiences are very good to have actually. It just shouldn't be overdone.
Last edited by Roflkopt3r; September 20, 2010 at 04:53 AM.
Since we live in a so-called Democracy, I feel people should be able to choose what they what to do to themselves as long as others are not harmed. I would even go as far as legalizing drugs like cocaine and heroin. I hate that people do drugs that are so destructive to their bodies and minds, but its their right to do them as long as they don't harm others in the process. Of course, drugs like meth which can harm a person even if they are only in the house next door and have had no physical contact with the drug should remain illegal.
I never tried marijuana and I don't plan on doing so either. So I don't know the "real" effects on the personal behavior or how the senses of a person are changed, but I am pretty sure, that if marijuana gets legalized more people will start smoking it, because they don't have to be afraid to get arrested anymore. Moreover the people, who already smoke it, will probably smoke more, since it would be easier to get.
Of course it could help to improve the economy, like the tax on tobacco does, but I am not so sure, about the opinion of Rofl, that the amount of children or young adults smoking it will not increase. Since even the now-legal drugs tobacco and alcohol are also smoked and drank by children and young adults, who are far under the age restriction.
There are more reasons, why marijuana shouldn't be leaglized, but that point alone, that more children could start smoking it, and children probably get addicted to it faster than adults, is reason enough for me to not legalize it.
Oh yeah, and in my opinion the only people, who really want it to be legalized are those who smoke it already anyway.
Now I would never encourage people to smoke weed, like I would never encourage them to drink alcohol or use tobacco, but people do it anyway. Why should we continue to throw people in jail and charge them for doing something that is far less harmful than alcohol which is legal? That is why it should be legal, moral stand-points aside.
Hell, I would even advocate more drug awareness programs so that kids understand even better what the REAL affects of drug use are. But throwing people in jail for doing no real crime seems like an intrusion into mine and other people's personal lives that I don't think should occur.
Alcohol is a cultural phenomena. It's part of everyday life to a certain amount, people not drinking any alcohol are rather rare. The effect highly depends on the amount beeing consumed, there's a high variety. The inhibition level even of parents to allow children drinking some is kinda low, and it's beeing purchased alot even in super markets.
Tobacco is kinda common as well and purchasable at automats even, it's also available at many places with weak age control.
If we look at the dutch model, the amount of places where cannabis can be purchased is rather restricted, allowing precise age control. Also testing the shops for their strictness in sticking to the rules is much easier this way. The number of consumers is rather low and the drug has noticable effects, much more than tobacco. Also the dosage is less variable than for alcohol. All of this increases the seriousness adults attribute to it and lower the chance of them passing it down to children.
I myself know several people who were able to purchase cannabis at low age, 14 or 15. Sure thing dealers don't ask for passports. I don't predict the number of children getting their hands on cannabis increasing when it would become legalised. There is a small number now and there will be a small number afterwards.
By the way some numbers from germany:
9 Million out of 82 Million citizens have experience with cannabis. 400.000 show symptions of addiction. Studies show only 2% of people smoking pure cannabis beeing addicted to it (More than 30% for tobacco).
Second not everybody who wants it legalized smoke it, but they see how the the criminals became honorable investors these days, both alcohol beverages, and tobacco were once illegal.
Third there are some people, including higly respetable law makers from what we know in the world the "old guard" that say that even cocaine should be legalized and be controlled as the goverment controls Alcohol.
The thing is that Marihuana these days is seen exactly like Tobaco aNd alcohol were in the 20's and 30's in some countries.
Here a site of an activist group who want lawmakers to legalize the drugs and share the side effecst of smokin tobacco/cigarretes and alcoholic beverages http://www.mjlegal.org/alctob.html
I honestly would love if Marihuana is legelized worldwide at least for terminal patients, the united states is already a step forwards authorizing the sales for a group of people in those conditions.
If Marijuana is legalized in the United States of America for whatever reason, those who are behind bars for marijuana possession charges should be set free. I say no to not legalizing marijuana for all the moral and so-called health reasons. Legalizing marijuana would only create additional problems for local, state and the federal government.
Just remembered the German cabarret artist Volker Pispers' talk about hashish and judgements:
(the headline on youtube is unrelated to the content, it's just a personal comment of the uploader)
"Let's assume you work as a hash dealer. There actually are people who think that hash had been legalised - since the famous judgement of the [German] federal constitutional court - just like there are people who think one wouldn't be allowed to hang up cruzifixes. But the judgement only states that you of course are allowed to hang up cruzifixes, just that you aren't allowed to force me look at one. There's nothing else in it [the judgement]. And hash is still illegal, don't let anyone tell you something different.
The only interesting thing of the judgement was the reason why hash remains illegal - because the judgement only says that it's a possibility to abstain from punishment in cases of own requirements and small amounts, but one cannot plead on it. One day it will be that you may possess small amounts - but you may not buy it, for example. You may only have it - it's hard, but it's supposed to be possible. The interesting part of the judgement only was why hash still remains forbidden, because the causa was this:
The complaint stated that hash is a drug, without question - one can't get physically addicted to it by the way, that's something not the dealers but the doctors say, one can't get physically addicted by pure hash - alcohol is a drug, too, million people in our country are happily addicted to it - 50.000 kick the bucket due to liver cirrhosis every year in our country, a few hundred especially lucky people are beeing driven over by drunks on the streets - we think that's totally fine - The lawsuit asked: Why is hash forbidden, why is alcohol allowed?
I think, spontaneously, that's a damn good question.
Why is one allowed to pick his finger with the index finger, but not with the small finger? Although it's easier to get the other one out again?
Well, I wouldn't know a good response to this, ladies and gentlemen, but fortunatelly we got the federal constitutional court - They studied it. At least the alcohol [*1], as it was exposed later - I myself hadn't gotten to the same result, I admitt it - but the judgement of the federal constitutional court actually states: "Yeah", it states, "that's right, but alcohol isn't primarily drunk to get drunk!". And I myself never would've been able to get on this.
But recently, with 20 glass beer, I reflected about this - Now I realized: It's right, I don't drink alcohol to get drunk! I drink alcohol for the hangover the following morning! And hash simply doesn't give you a hangover! And that's why hash remains illegal and alcohol remains legal.
And as thanks for the intellectual effort of this judgement, the president of the judging chamber was immediately elected to be our federal president. The best to the top.
So, if you as a hash dealer - or whas it you? I don't remember - if you work as a hash dealer and are beeing caught while selling 100g hash, you will be imprisoned for 2 years 6 months without probation - official judgement in Hamburg. That's the same punishment as if you sexually abuse 62 children as an elementary teacher in Leverkusen. How to convert it to 100 gram, I don't remember that.
2 years 6 months for 100g hash - The guy who stabbed a knife into Celec's[*2] back left on probation. Yeah, the judges had loved to imprison him, was in Hamburg as well, but he simply didn't sell hashish to Celec. If they had proven that he had tried to sell the knife to her, then maybe... But simply stab her, that leads to nothing."
*1: "to study alcohol" (den Alkohol studieren) is an ironical phrase for drinking alot of alcohol Germany, don't know if that's common in English language as well.
*2: I don't remember who that person was or how to spell his name right, but it was a prominent law case at that time
Short version/points he makes:
-There is no reasonable distinction between hashish and alcohol which would justify current law situations. Alcohol kills alot of people, even non-participants.
-Current judgements against dealers are obscene compared to others, for example those for violent crimes (selling hashish to a woman gives you a higher sentence than stabbing her)
Last edited by Roflkopt3r; October 14, 2010 at 06:35 AM.
The legalization of Marijuana is the legalization of all drugs including narcotics.
It shouldn't happen...and I disagree with people who say it isn't addictive...health reasons, financial reasons, and the fact that people always want a better experience...in the end marijuana won't be enough, or at least purer stonger stuff will appear, which means further degradation of health and addiction...
I'm a smoker(I mean regular one, not marijuana or other), so maybe my position on health is not so stable...but I've tried out almost every stuff that it's out there and it can be smoked...so I know people who are addicted to marijuana so much that they can't bare a morning without a joint or two...
The thing with alcohol is that the rate of getting addictive is much slower actually is the slowest among the great 3:alcohol, cigs and drugs...and alcohol is not harmful if it's drunk within normal parameters...I don't want to enlist the positive side of beer, wine, gin, strong stuff likealinka(hungarian/romaninan stuff) vodka etc, but they exist, but if somebody demands it I will update this post.
Or course the cheap stuff is just as harmful as cheap marijuana, so please don't come to me with the argument of people drinking cheap stuff and getting wasted...so alcohol has good reasons to stay legal, and so do cigs...the hallucinogen effect and rate of being an addict, and the imminent danger of dying if a joint is not verified are the main reasons for marijuana is and should stay illegal...