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Author Topic: Legalize It!  (Read 13116 times)

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Thad

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2008, 12:20:23 PM »

Doesn't work, as it's federal from what I recall.

Right; the federal government has much as said "We don't care WHAT the law is in California" and arrested people for growing medical marijuana.  The SCOTUS has upheld this tactic.  (Ever notice how the Republican Party is such a champion of states' rights up until states start disagreeing with their platform?)

That hasn't really stopped California, though (and my recollection of the case in question was the California judge fined the grower $1 and made him spend one night in jail).

Robert Anton Wilson was the first person in Santa Cruz to receive medical marijuana (for his postpolio; he was wheelchair-bound and in extreme pain for the last few years of his life) and commented that he'd been involved in a lot of civil disobedience over the years but this was the first time he'd actually had a city mayor standing beside him doing the same.

So yes, on paper it's a federal law and it doesn't matter what laws the states pass.  But in practice, the more states start standing up to the federal government, the harder it's going to be to cling to current law.
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Detonator

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2008, 04:18:28 PM »

As stated in the Government 2.0 thread, the top question in the Open For Questions section was about legalization.

Quote
Q: "Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"

And the answer is...

Quote
A: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

 ::(: Oh.
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Kazz

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2008, 04:22:12 PM »

he didn't say anything about cannabis, though!
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Arc

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2008, 04:24:38 PM »

Sure sure, President-Elect Obama may not favor legalization, but wait until President-Emperor Obama makes a ruling!

Appreciate the non-bullshit answer, but some lip service would have been swell.
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Kazz

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2008, 05:22:09 PM »

The long version of the answer is, no, Obama doesn't want to create millions of jobs, he wants you to starve to death.
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Spaco

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2008, 11:03:17 PM »

Am I the only one here that doesn't support general-use legalization?
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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2008, 11:05:32 PM »

Quiet, you hippie.
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Thad

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2008, 11:35:51 PM »

Quote
A: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

Which is probably why they should have started with the medical marijuana question.

Am I the only one here that doesn't support general-use legalization?

No, but you ARE the first person to actually get the new "guidelines" thread directly quoted at him.

DO NOT:
  • say something controversial and then refuse to back it up
You disagree with everybody else in the thread?  Hey, great.  Some sort of explanation WHY instead of just a single sentence stating that you disagree would be nice.

Here, let me get you started three days ago in the third post in the thread:

If anybody can give me an objective reason marijuana should be illegal that does not also apply to alcohol and/or tobacco, well, that'd be a first.
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Burrito Al Pastor

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2008, 12:07:12 AM »

Devil's advocate: it could be a real honest question.
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Brentai

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2008, 12:46:13 AM »

If anybody can give me an objective reason marijuana should be illegal that does not also apply to alcohol and/or tobacco, well, that'd be a first.

Let's see if this works.

Making marijuana illegal doesn't really promote violence.  You could argue that it promotes it as a gateway to illegal abusing substances that do cause gang and cartel violence, but that's a tenuous link; point is you don't see people shooting each other over pot that often, since it can be pretty much grown in a coffee cup when it really comes down to it.

That said, historically the main reason Prohibition didn't take is because of the huge amount of crime it generated.  If the mafia hadn't sprung up as a result, liquor would probably be illegal to this day.

Tobacco can't be outlawed because Phillip-Morris would never let that happen.  End of story.

So basically, our freedom-loving government would ban marijuana, alcohol and tobacco if it could; in the latter two cases their hands are tied, but not in the first, so they went ahead with it.

...

That of course doesn't work as a particularly good argument, and that's because it's not a very good comparison to begin with.  Banning alcohol and tobacco are justified, since drunk violence/driving and second-hand smoke are actual issues.  On the other hand, marijuana-related deaths are incredibly rare and almost exclusively first-party (numbers - although I somewhat suspect their total veracity, it should give you an idea of the scale we're dealing with).  As a safety issue the stuff is less justified to be banned than, say, plastic bags.
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Spaco

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2008, 10:37:27 AM »

Yeesh, it was just a exploratory question to see if I had any backup, in case I felt like jumping into the middle of this circle-jerk.

When I look at legalization, I only see problems and setbacks.

Prohibitions just don't work in the US. We are too individualistic to allow the government to take away any of our already allowed vices, at least altogether. I hate cigarettes and agree with public smoking bans, but I could never see them being outlawed entirely, even though they 100% are guaranteed to kill you. People are just stupid like that. I'm glad they've outlawed trans fats, as it's not necessary, does nothing but harm people, and doesn't really change anyone's lifestyle by removing it. So yeah, we're stuck with the vices we have already and probably will never be able to do away with them.

Why then, would we want to make the problem worse? Legalizing marijuana would only add another way to deteriorate America and lower the collective health and IQ of the country. Marijuana is behaviorally addictive, a gateway drug, and makes many (not all) people pretty ineffective at reaching their full potential socially and academically. What would legalizing it do for us on a world-standing level? Many historians and political scientists already predict us losing our status in the next 20-30 years. Would marijuana slow or exacerbate this process?

This idea of legalization helping individuals is completely ridiculous. How would the home-grown farmer be able to compete with the research and marketing advantages of big business? Do quality tobacco and micro brews really compete with corporate entities? Plus, home-grown has no quality control. Who's to say Rufus didn't accidentally leave pesticides on his batch or throw in a bit of fake shit to pad his earnings? Sure, market forces would weed (hur hur) out bad apples, but it's the same situation we have now with good dealers and bad dealers, and pot smokers still get screwed occasionally.

What about smuggled in goods from Central and South America? Would these all disappear after legalization, or increase? Did the War on Drugs create the problems with drug cartels and violence? Will the violence disappear when marijuana is legal, or increase? To keep the market from being flooded with cheap goods, I assume we'd have to impose tariffs or an embargo on marijuana to allow North American companies time to compete. If not, wouldn't corporate entities just buy up existing foreign producers and sell to the US, thereby defeating any major benefit domestic production would provide? If we did impose tariffs, we would have to secure our borders or they would be meaningless.
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Royal☭

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2008, 11:15:39 AM »

Yeesh, it was just a exploratory question to see if I had any backup, in case I felt like jumping into the middle of this circle-jerk.

Fair enough, but honestly your first post should have been this one.  Don't "test the waters" and expect not to get snapped at.

Quote
When I look at legalization, I only see problems and setbacks.

Prohibitions just don't work in the US. We are too individualistic to allow the government to take away any of our already allowed vices, at least altogether. I hate cigarettes and agree with public smoking bans, but I could never see them being outlawed entirely, even though they 100% are guaranteed to kill you. People are just stupid like that. I'm glad they've outlawed trans fats, as it's not necessary, does nothing but harm people, and doesn't really change anyone's lifestyle by removing it. So yeah, we're stuck with the vices we have already and probably will never be able to do away with them.

Wait, so you spend the first part of your argument saying prohibition sucks but then support it anyway because why not?

Quote
Why then, would we want to make the problem worse? Legalizing marijuana would only add another way to deteriorate America and lower the collective health and IQ of the country. Marijuana is behaviorally addictive, a gateway drug, and makes many (not all) people pretty ineffective at reaching their full potential socially and academically. What would legalizing it do for us on a world-standing level? Many historians and political scientists already predict us losing our status in the next 20-30 years. Would marijuana slow or exacerbate this process?

Not really a case.  Marijuana isn't as addictive nor is the gateway drug everyone claims.  Simply put, marijuana does not alter brain chemistry like alcohol or nicotine, and does not create the same level of dependence on it.  Marijuana also does not make you stupid or lazy.  While stupid or lazy people may use marijuana, it's merely coincidence, not cause.

Quote
This idea of legalization helping individuals is completely ridiculous. How would the home-grown farmer be able to compete with the research and marketing advantages of big business?  Do quality tobacco and micro brews really compete with corporate entities?
He doesn't have to.  The home-grown farmer isn't trying for dominance in the market place, he's trying to make a profit to keep himself alive while delivering a product to a local group.  It's the fault of big business if they try anti-competitive tactics to eliminate him.

Quote
Plus, home-grown has no quality control. Who's to say Rufus didn't accidentally leave pesticides on his batch or throw in a bit of fake shit to pad his earnings? Sure, market forces would weed (hur hur) out bad apples, but it's the same situation we have now with good dealers and bad dealers, and pot smokers still get screwed occasionally.

 :strawman:
Big business is just as susceptible to faulty quality control as small farms.  Government regulations on quality tend to be broad, encompassing small business as much as big business, so a careless farmer wouldn't be able to get away with more.  Also, one could probably make the case that it's easier for a local, home-grown farmer to control the quality of a small field than a big company to control vast acres of product.

Quote
What about smuggled in goods from Central and South America? Would these all disappear after legalization, or increase?
Would you rather buy an illegally smuggled product of dubious quality for a marked up price from a criminal or from some guy on the streetfrom a government regulated and taxed industry?

 

Quote
Did the War on Drugs create the problems with drug cartels and violence? Will the violence disappear when marijuana is legal, or increase?

How big of a problem is the market and booze bootlegging these days, Space?

Misha

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2008, 11:24:53 AM »

Standardization and mass production lead to on average cheaper and higher quality products. Quality control issues with small producers/growers are much more easily addressed when you have a form of legal redress to appeal to. If you smoke week that has pesticides in it and get sick right now, you can't exactly go to the police or to a lawyer and sue the guy who sold you the stuff.

The potential for violence in black market transactions and endeavours is always higher than it is when you're doing things aboveboard and legally. Similar to the issues with quality control, you can't exactly enforce contracts having to with marijuana in any way other than violently. If you pay someone and they fail to deliver your weed, what are you to do but threaten violence? On the other hand, if you're buying your weed at a storefront, such problems go away.

several of your points make assumptions that I don't think are justified and/or relevant. Why do you care about our national standing? I certainly don't think it's a goal that most people are concerned with. You say that we'd have to close borders to prevent our markets from being flooded with cheap goods. Why? We already have tons of cheap goods of all varieties from other countries.

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Brentai

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2008, 11:54:04 AM »

Marijuana is behaviorally addictive, a gateway drug, and makes many (not all) people pretty ineffective at reaching their full potential socially and academically.

First part's been addressed, second part I've never bought into.  I simply do not believe that the sorts of people that form addictive habits with marijuana would not do the same if the substance were truly unavailable; they'd just blow themselves up with alcohol, opium, hard drugs, internet, porn, or all sorts of much nastier shit instead.  Marijuana doesn't make people dumber so much as make dumb people more transparent.  It's sort of like how Bridget doesn't actually make you gay, but oh nevermind this is a dumb joke to make in the middle of a pot discussion.

Quote
Plus, home-grown has no quality control. Who's to say Rufus didn't accidentally leave pesticides on his batch or throw in a bit of fake shit to pad his earnings?

Well... the FDA, probably.  If it were, you know, legal.

Not really a case.  Marijuana isn't as addictive nor is the gateway drug everyone claims.

As the article itself points out, it is a gateway drug because it is illegal.

Right now marijuana use conditions the user to accept the practice of disobeying the law in a low-risk environment (which can double as an argument for making marijuana penalties much harsher, but there are considerable problems with doing that).  It's the same theory as the one that drives most of the security and law enforcement industry - you want to have a wide chasm between how easy it is to do something legal and how hard it is to do something illegal, effectively creating a harsh "barrier of entry" into illegal practices.  You can only do so much against the master criminals, but if there's no simple way to "ease into" crime and gradually build experience until one's a master, then you can greatly reduce the amount of crime you can't deal with.

Quote
While stupid or lazy people may use marijuana, it's merely coincidence, not cause.

Right exactly, although I wouldn't call it coincidence.  More like putting the effect before the cause.

several of your points make assumptions that I don't think are justified and/or relevant. Why do you care about our national standing? I certainly don't think it's a goal that most people are concerned with.

Not at all irrelevant to those making the decision.  Whether the two things are actually connected is a matter of debate, and unfortunately there are some difficulties in measuring such a thing scientifically.  Areas of higher average education and income are definitely linked to higher rates of marijuana abuse, but then again that's because most of them have colleges.
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TA

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2008, 12:04:50 PM »

National standing in what way, though?  Relative to who?  Canada?  Holland?
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Thad

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2008, 01:38:03 PM »

Legalizing marijuana would only add another way to deteriorate America and lower the collective health and IQ of the country.

In what way, exactly?

As far as damage to the respiratory system, pot reduces lung capacity more than tobacco but isn't carcinogenic.

As far as IQ, there's no evidence that pot does any kind of cognitive damage, unless smoked during puberty.  Given that nobody here is actually advocating legalizing it for the under-18 crowd, that's moot to this conversation.

Marijuana is behaviorally addictive, a gateway drug, and makes many (not all) people pretty ineffective at reaching their full potential socially and academically.

Do you have any facts to back up any of those claims?

What would legalizing it do for us on a world-standing level? Many historians and political scientists already predict us losing our status in the next 20-30 years. Would marijuana slow or exacerbate this process?

This rhetorical question falls under the "how is that any different from alcohol?" header.

So does the last one, really.

Do quality tobacco and micro brews really compete with corporate entities?

Anheuser-Busch just got bought out by a Belgian company and has since released a craft beer in an attempt to appeal to that rapidly-growing market.  This is the sort of thing you find out when you use Google instead of just begging a question.

Plus, home-grown has no quality control. Who's to say Rufus didn't accidentally leave pesticides on his batch or throw in a bit of fake shit to pad his earnings? Sure, market forces would weed (hur hur) out bad apples, but it's the same situation we have now with good dealers and bad dealers, and pot smokers still get screwed occasionally.

So, uh, you're saying we shouldn't do it because it would have the same problem you acknowledge it already has.

What about smuggled in goods from Central and South America? Would these all disappear after legalization, or increase? Did the War on Drugs create the problems with drug cartels and violence?

It certainly exacerbated them.

Will the violence disappear when marijuana is legal, or increase?

False choice.

It sounds to me like you're just parroting a bunch of Reagan Administration propaganda and haven't actually done any research into the subject at all.  But if we're going to play the "ask an oversimplified, black-and-white question" game, here's one for you: do you believe our prisons should continue to be packed with nonviolent offenders whose crime was the consumption of a chemical that, in objective terms, is no more dangerous than chemicals that are legal and regulated?
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Spaco

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2008, 02:14:24 PM »

I'll respond more in detail later, but as to your last point: Did I ever say I supported jail time for minor possession charges?
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Thad

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2008, 04:04:25 PM »

No, you just blamed pot-smokers for lowering the collective IQ of the country and harming our standing in the world, and said that its use shouldn't be legal.
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sei

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2008, 04:28:14 PM »

He could be into fining them instead.
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Detonator

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2008, 04:51:20 PM »

He could be into fining them instead.

That seems like a first step: making all pot possession offenses into small fines with no jail time.  It would save a lot of money with less jail space taken and revenue from fines.  However, it would seem that more money would be earned with taxation of legally sold pot with the bonus of freeing up law enforcement to pursue more serious crimes.

Spaco, I applaud your willingness to take on an argument here, but I caution you if you think you can get away with responding to choice quotes while ignoring others (I know you haven't done this yet, thus it is only a caution).  It might help if you only respond to Thad, and reply to his entire post line-by-line.  I don't mean to have you ignore everyone else, but it would help avoid the "you never responded to THIS" post since Thad is very thorough.
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