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Author Topic: Legalize It!  (Read 13115 times)

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Brentai

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2008, 05:25:34 PM »

I'm really all for that.  Pot tax.  You want to dissuade people from imbibing the ganja, for whatever reason?  Fine.  Tax the motherfucking shit out of it.  It's a non-necessity (well, except for those people who are actually taking it as a prescription) so the gov is pretty much in the clear to say, "If you want to smoke you're going to have to give us money up front."  Less oppressive than going around trying to catch people doing it and fining them.

I honestly think the stuff is utter bullshit and only popular because it's illegal, so I could care less if the feds tried to bilk people for it.
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Thad

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2008, 08:31:47 PM »

It might help if you only respond to Thad, and reply to his entire post line-by-line.

I think Constantine and Brent's thorough trouncing of the "gateway drug" claim needs attention too.
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Spaco

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2008, 10:11:35 PM »

Lordy, this is why I was seeing if I was going to have to argue by myself or not. Get ready for tl;dr

The first question should be- what would be the effects? Legalizing pot would create several possible benefits: decriminalizing relatively non-deviant behavior, reducing drug cartel and smuggling activity, freeing up the police and the courts, possibly creating domestic jobs and bringing in tax revenue, etc.

Disadvantages of legalization may include: increased levels of addiction and use, easier access to minors, corporate control of industry, continuation of drug crime activity, increased usage and pushing of other drugs, lowering of employment rates, lowering of academic achievement rates, etc.

Can we be sure the actual outcome will be more positive than negative?

First, I suppose I should start off by saying I donít have strong issue against all illegal pot usage and think there are varying degrees of users. I for the most part dislike daily users and potheads, and donít have much of a problem with occasional users. I, however, base most of my objections of legalizing it out of the fear of it creating even more abusers than there are already, not to mention the increased availability toward children. I of course donít believe everyone who used it would become an addict, but I feel itís at least as comparably debilitating as alcohol abuse in many instances.

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.

Iím speaking less about cognitive damage and more about the effects while under the influence. Also, if there actually is a gateway effect and the user has used more than just pot, there is a good chance of cognitive damage from the other substances.

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?

I have years of personal observation, to start with. While it may not be chemically addictive, pot users tend to develop a cycle of use that is hard to break free from. Potheads in particular seem to base their daily routine on maintaining a regular high. This is somewhat socially created, as they tend to stick together and form social circles thereby maintaining desire for participation and companionship. Legalization may impact this to a degree and reduce necessity for groups with better availability, but unlikely since people tend to enjoy vices together rather than by themselves.

As for gateway drugs, I have met very few marijuana users who havenít been users of other substances. Most people that like to get fucked up arenít too choosy on the means, and often experiment with pills, mushrooms, acid, etc. in pursuit of a high. Experimentation often results in at least infrequent usage of other drugs. Legalization wonít make other illegal drugs go away, and will probably make the demand greater for some with an overall increase in acceptance of psychotropic drug usage.

As for stifling ability, this really only applies to heavy users in a manner comparable to alcohol abuse. People with abusive tendencies in general arenít focused on their overall success.

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.

I donít argue itís much different from alcohol, really. Just because it is similar to an already problematic substance doesnít mean a similar one should be introduced out of fairness. Like I said, there is some argument to banning alcohol and tobacco entirely, but I just donít see it realistically ever happening. On the other hand, legalization of marijuana is preventable, thus worth debating.

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.

Is it a growing market? Yes. Does the vast majority of revenue from beer sales go to big business? Yes. (Thanks, Google) My argument is that cheap, convenient, and well-marketed products trump specialty products when it comes to general use.

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.

Iím just not understanding how small-scale production will be truly controlled when made legal. OSHA and the FDA have enough trouble as it is policing mass manufactured products; trying to inspect home-grower operations would be a nightmare. If the restrictions were tight enough for production to be realistically oversee-able, it would probably mean Mom and Pop would have to go into business with many others to have an operation with enough manpower and capital to run a proper operation.

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.

If the demand is still there and the goods are profitable, wouldnít illegally smuggled goods still continue to flow? Most cartels outside the United States operate in countries where marijuana is also illegal. Just because it becomes legal here, doesnít mean they all of a sudden start playing by the rules. Also, if it does hit their wallets by legalizing marijuana, wouldnít cartels and gangs be more desperate and motivated to push other drugs instead to make up for their losses?
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TA

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2008, 11:00:39 PM »

I have years of personal observation, to start with. While it may not be chemically addictive, WoW users tend to develop a cycle of use that is hard to break free from. WoW players in particular seem to base their daily routine on maintaining a regular raid schedule. This is somewhat socially created, as they tend to stick together and form social circles thereby maintaining desire for participation and companionship. Legalization may impact this to a degree and reduce necessity for groups with better availability, but unlikely since people tend to enjoy vices together rather than by themselves.

How is this a specific fault of marijuana, rather than "any enjoyable behavior"?  Of course people are going to structure their lives, to some degree, around time spent doing fun things.  "Behavioral addiction" is, on its face, a bullshit reason for anything.  Can you explain how this is a quality of marijuana in specific, and go on to demonstrate why it's a cause for action?

Quote
As for gateway drugs, I have met very few marijuana users who havenít been users of other substances. Most people that like to get fucked up arenít too choosy on the means, and often experiment with pills, mushrooms, acid, etc. in pursuit of a high. Experimentation often results in at least infrequent usage of other drugs. Legalization wonít make other illegal drugs go away, and will probably make the demand greater for some with an overall increase in acceptance of psychotropic drug usage.

Any data suggesting that's in any way a gateway effect of marijuana, as was asked?  As opposed to, say, people drawn to chemical highs tending to do so indiscriminately, or the whole "acceptance of skirting the law" thing that was mentioned at some length earlier?  This story of the habits of potheads you've known reeks of "fallacy of causation"?

Hell, any actual facts at all?  As Thad is so fond of saying, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
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Thad

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2008, 11:24:41 PM »

addiction

You're going to have to back this up with SOMETHING.  Especially given the "How is this different from alcohol or tobacco?" question.  Because those are drugs that most definitely cause physical dependency.

easier access to minors, corporate control of industry, continuation of drug crime activity, increased usage and pushing of other drugs, lowering of employment rates, lowering of academic achievement rates, etc.

I'm seeing a whole lot of conjecture there, and again, not a whole lot that draws any distinction from alcohol.

You're going to have to back up the "increased usage and pushing of other drugs", the "lowering of employment rates, lowering of academic achievement rates", and pretty much everything you just said.  Again, it sounds like you're spouting stereotypes rather than saying anything supportable.

Can we be sure the actual outcome will be more positive than negative?

That's a bullshit question.  Can we be sure the actual outcome will be more negative than positive?

First, I suppose I should start off by saying I donít have strong issue against all illegal pot usage and think there are varying degrees of users. I for the most part dislike daily users and potheads, and donít have much of a problem with occasional users. I, however, base most of my objections of legalizing it out of the fear of it creating even more abusers than there are already, not to mention the increased availability toward children. I of course donít believe everyone who used it would become an addict, but I feel itís at least as comparably debilitating as alcohol abuse in many instances.

This is not the "let's talk about our feelings" forum.  Back it up with something.

Alcohol creates physical dependency and alcoholism is strongly associated with violent behavior.  Neither of these is true with marijuana.

Iím speaking less about cognitive damage and more about the effects while under the influence.

I think you've got a pretty good idea what my response is going to be here by now.

Also, if there actually is a gateway effect and the user has used more than just pot, there is a good chance of cognitive damage from the other substances.

And if smoking pot gives you tits, then that's a whole other problem.

But it doesn't.  That's a myth.  Like the "gateway drug" claim.  Which you still have yet to produce a shred of evidence in support of.  Because there isn't any.

I have years of personal observation, to start with.

Are you fucking SERIOUS?  You're putting up a personal anecdote against scientific study?

Not even going to respond to the "Here is what my HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC personal observation has told me" claim.  Facts or GTFO.

I donít argue itís much different from alcohol, really. Just because it is similar to an already problematic substance doesnít mean a similar one should be introduced out of fairness.

Of course it does.  You can't just illegalize things you don't like for arbitrary reasons.  The law is about standards and, yes, about fairness -- at least ideally.  If you apply a different set of standards to different circumstances, there needs to be a rational reason for it.

Like I said, there is some argument to banning alcohol and tobacco entirely

I think at this point you're being intentionally obtuse.  We tried banning alcohol.  Remember how that worked out?

On the other hand, legalization of marijuana is preventable, thus worth debating.

So your argument is "We should hold marijuana to a different standard than substances that are at least as bad simply because we can"?

Is it a growing market? Yes. Does the vast majority of revenue from beer sales go to big business? Yes. (Thanks, Google) My argument is that cheap, convenient, and well-marketed products trump specialty products when it comes to general use.

Okay, so that's your argument.  Care to tell me what your point is?

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

Iím just not understanding how small-scale production will be truly controlled when made legal.

And you're straight back into dodging the point that IT'S NOT CONTROLLED NOW.  AT ALL.

If the demand is still there and the goods are profitable, wouldnít illegally smuggled goods still continue to flow? Most cartels outside the United States operate in countries where marijuana is also illegal. Just because it becomes legal here, doesnít mean they all of a sudden start playing by the rules.

I'm sorry, you just swung from "Mass-produced marijuana would take up such a huge segment of the market as to make all other operations irrelevant" to "There would continue to be a huge trade in black-market marijuana" so fast I got whiplash.  Can you at least make your conjecture-based hypotheticals consistent?

Also, if it does hit their wallets by legalizing marijuana, wouldnít cartels and gangs be more desperate and motivated to push other drugs instead to make up for their losses?

Who are these cartels you're thinking of who deal exclusively in marijuana and have no interest in any other kind of drug?

Seriously, cite a source in your next post.  Some kind of quantifiable data.  When you're hovering over the "Post" button, ask yourself if you've included any actual verifiable facts in it (beyond pseudo-relevant data like your "more people buy Budweiser than Fat Tire" link above).  If the answer is "no", then don't click it.
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JDigital

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2008, 11:36:30 PM »

Suppose they "legalize it" tomorrow. You have two main issues. First, the drug dealers already have the infrastructure and experience necessary to capitalize on the new market, and that money may go to fund more crime. Second, you have gang raids on legal farms, stealing what's now a very valuable and openly grown crop.

Medical use in particular, I see no problem with. Several illegal drugs are already prescribed as medication, including meth (in the US as Desoxyn) and heroin (in the US as diamorphine). There are unwanted side-effects including addiction, but the same can be said of many prescribed medicines.
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Brentai

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2008, 11:46:21 PM »

...I think the types of crime related to marijuana are hilariously exaggerated.  The kind of person who sells weed is more likely to be your overly-friendly next-door neighbor, not a twitchy Nicaraguan commando.
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Doom

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #47 on: December 17, 2008, 11:46:39 PM »

Quote
Second, you have gang raids on legal farms, stealing what's now a very valuable and openly grown crop.

Do you have even the faintest idea how the anything in the real world actually operates?

Quote
and that money may go to fund more crime.

Imagining a diagram where every single marijuana dealer in the world throws his money(along an arrow) towards the word "Crime."
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Arc

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #48 on: December 17, 2008, 11:57:10 PM »

Suppose they "legalize it" tomorrow.

A years long rollout, even on a State - By - State basis, is far more likely.

Still, I'll play your game you rogue.


You have two main issues. First, the drug dealers already have the infrastructure and experience necessary to capitalize on the new market, and that money may go to fund more crime.

The industry itself would be ripped out from under them, just as alcohol had been from organized crime. Street dealers are no match for multi-billion dollar ad agencies (who've had marketing strategies written up for decades now), and availability from behind the counter of any local grocer.


Second, you have gang raids on legal farms, stealing what's now a very valuable and openly grown crop.

... Because tobacco farms and breweries are under constant attack. The supply would be as plentiful as it is today, and honestly, marijuana stopped becoming a difficult commodity to find in the late-70's.


There are unwanted side-effects including addiction, but the same can be said of many prescribed medicines.

And further said of alcohol and nicotine, which carry higher addiction rates.
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SCD

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #49 on: December 18, 2008, 12:01:21 AM »

First off, JD, while I respect most of what you have to say, you are right out to lunch.  Weed is a fucking weed.  It takes less skill to grow than a Norfolk Pine.  

Where I live, people plant them in the ditches of highways and come back when it's time to bud.  

weed.

The taxation of it is a hard concept at the beginning, but eventually the "gangsters" will turn to making the stuff to selling it to the lazy people who don't have the effort to run a distillery...  I mean potted plant.

If you want relevant material, look at any of your major beer or sour mash producers post-prohibition.  They can tell the story then I can fathom.  

However, to be honest Weed sales and exports are a big part of organized crime, with emphasis on the export side of the house.  While this fear is what's keeping people from turning over overtly, a lot of the official conclusions are..  well not logical.  

(also, smoking or supporting those who produce or use weed is a chargeable offense under Canadian Law and I do not personally smoke the stuff or support those who openly do..)]

Oh, Arc beat me to it.  Yay.
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Arc

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #50 on: December 18, 2008, 12:12:13 AM »

chargeable offense

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrbaedigfWY

You are all now the Micheal Jordans of Crack Cookers.

BRB FBI
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Detonator

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2008, 12:14:50 AM »

The taxation of it is a hard concept at the beginning, but eventually the "gangsters" will turn to making the stuff to selling it to the lazy people who don't have the effort to run a distillery...  I mean potted plant.

Maybe at first, but once the corps get manufacturing underway I think we'll see weed sold at 7/11 for dirt cheap.  Once every convenience store sells it, there'd be no point in selling weed you grew yourself any more than there would be selling tobacco you grew.  People would grow their own for personal use and sharing with friends to save a buck, but I don't see individuals getting any money at all without going through vendors.
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Transportation

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2008, 07:38:26 AM »

I don't really like hopping on bandwagons but there are a few points that weren't addressed:

Most cartels outside the United States operate in countries where marijuana is also illegal. Just because it becomes legal here, doesnít mean they all of a sudden start playing by the rules.

The illegalization of marijuana in foreign countries is a a direct consequence of U.S. policy  (FPIF). South American countries are frequently faced with the dilemma of draconian anti-drug enforcement or no aid money.

Drug Policy Alliance Network
Quote
A recent report by Human Rights Watch found that while drug use is consistent across all racial groups, Blacks and Latinos are far more likely to be arrested and prosecuted and given long sentences for drug offenses. Blacks constitute 13 percent of all drug users, but 35 percent of those arrested for drug possession, 55 percent of persons convicted, and 74 percent of people sent to prison.(1) Nationally, Latinos comprise almost half of those arrested for marijuana offenses(2) and Native Americans comprise almost 2/3 of those prosecuted for criminal offenses in federal courts.(3)

Let's not forget how such laws make institutional racism super easy. Also note the higher conviction rates. White suburbanite? Don't do it again! Poor, destitute black person? TO JAIL WITH YOU.

And to show the scale the problem:
Change the Climate
Quote
We bear some three quarters of a million arrests for marijuana each year in the United States and about 135,000 persons are currently in prison after being convicted of either a state felony or federal marijuana offense. This is a costly exercise at more than $7 billion per year.
This even contributes such fun things as prison overcrowding too! Huzzah.
---

Anyway, I always felt that the regulation (vs. criminalization) of cocaine makes for a more interesting debate. It is actually harmful and yet the societal problems cause by its illegality are very, very large. Also it's turned Columbia into a war zone. Similar, more difficult, arguments could be made for various opiates.
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JDigital

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2008, 09:05:39 AM »

Welp, shows what I know about the marijuana industry. :nyoro~n:

Can I blame movies and the government?
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Arc

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2008, 09:12:25 AM »

Absolutely.

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Brentai

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2008, 10:36:17 AM »

See, no, that's the problem right there.

Marijuana is not cocaine.

All of the criminalization arguments seem to assume that it is.
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Arc

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2008, 10:58:40 AM »

Exactly, leading impressionable folks outside The Know to assume the entire drug trade to be a non-stop orgy of violence. (link: Cocaine Cowboys Documentary)

Thus, when the myths of marijuana are personally debunked by these impressionable folks through their own private usage, the gateway opens, as they then believe they've been lied to regarding the trade as a whole.

Vicious.
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Thad

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #57 on: December 18, 2008, 11:22:48 AM »

Suppose they "legalize it" tomorrow. [...] you have gang raids on legal farms, stealing what's now a very valuable and openly grown crop.

I'm having a lot of trouble following this reasoning.

"People aren't gang-raiding medical marijuana farms NOW in a situation where it's a tightly-controlled substance and a rare, much-sought commodity, but if you legalized it and made it openly available, they'd totally have an incentive to start!"

A lot of the "con" arguments I'm seeing in this thread seem to ignore the facts that 1. marijuana is currently illegal and 2. lots and lots of people still grow, import, buy, sell, and smoke it.

I guess the fact that the "con" reasoning seems to rely on increasingly absurd hypothetical situations probably speaks for itself.
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Transportation

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #58 on: December 18, 2008, 03:39:10 PM »

See, no, that's the problem right there.

Marijuana is not cocaine.

All of the criminalization arguments seem to assume that it is.

I never said it was? I just brought it up because we're talking about drug policy and marijuana is pretty much a 'no duh'. Cocaine is actually dangerous and the criminal element involved far worse, thus making room for actual debate.

Treating all illegal drugs the same is silly of course. But, cocaine is also comically popular and has been banned since 1914 in the U.S. Current policy isn't exactly effective.

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Arc

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Re: Legalize It!
« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2009, 11:41:20 PM »

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6c7_1232290490

You are all now the Micheal Jordans of Caffeine Cookers.
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