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De-criminalizing or legalizing marijuana?(18 posts)

De-criminalizing or legalizing marijuana?Wayne
Oct 23, 2002 7:16 AM
What do folks think of this? This seems to be in the news more and more, I heard a debate on NPR not too long ago, and the fact that Canada seems to be moving toward decriminalization seems to have the anti-drug govt. folks in an up-roar.
What's your opinion based on? Personal experience, media info. or something else?
I'm for it but not hopeful it will happen, the govt. seems to have gone so far down the path of lumping Marijuana in with harder drugs that it can't backtrack without looking foolish.
Nevada's voting on that; you should hear the hysteriacory
Oct 23, 2002 8:25 AM
Decriminalization of up to 3 ounces of pot is on the Nevada ballot this year, and BOY, has it got the rednecks cranked up. Our Nazi District Attorney has said publicly, several times, that "all people" who favor it are part of an international cabal funded by the drug cartels. It's just such ridiculous BS that you'd laugh out loud, if people weren't buying it.
I haven't smoked dope since college in the '70s, but I'm going to vote for it just to try to force some perspective into the debate. There are legitimate arguments against it, certainly, but they're no more valid than those against tobacco or alcohol, which we embrace and from which we profit.
Meanwhile, the arguments that ARE being used against it, like the "international cabal" thing, are just so foolish I can't support them. We're spending tens of billions of dollars to fight a substance that does much less harm than Marlboro cigarettes. As for the claim that you help fund terrorism when you buy dope...what are you doing when you drive your SUV to work on Saudi gas?
Having said that, though, I wish it were ONE ounce instead of three. Three ounces is a great big ol' bag o' weed....
you could roll a 'big bob marley' joint with 3oz for sure (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 23, 2002 8:42 AM
Rednecks?Wayne
Oct 23, 2002 8:59 AM
Up in arms because they are for it or against it? Where I come from that's who was into it!
Keep in mind western rednecks are different than the southern varietyKristin
Oct 23, 2002 9:59 AM
My father is a redneck. He grew up on a farm in Kalispell, Montana. They had horses and goats and chickens, and they killed their own dinner. They didn't have indoor hot water or a bath tub. School through grade 8 was conducted in a one room schoolhouse. Today, my father believes that downtown Ticonderoga is a city, and he owns a hat that reads, "Welcome to New York, now go home." In the yard are parked no less than two Alice Bell Charmers, one 1975 Ford F350, one newer F150 and two rusted out Corbear bodies. The last time I went home for Christmas, I found my father remodeling. The bathroom had no walls. (I drove into the "city" and took a room for the week.) That, my friend, is a western redneck...basically a farmer or a hick who doesn't require many amenities.

When I was joking with a black friend from Tennesee and called my father a redneck she took offense. To her a redneck was something entirely different.
Nevada needs strong incentives to attract residents.Sintesi
Oct 23, 2002 12:16 PM
Gambling, prostitution, 24 hour boozing, no state taxes and now pot! Man, is that bad out there? I lived in Mesquite for a year, I'd have to say yeah.
The war on drugs is not workingColnagoFE
Oct 23, 2002 8:40 AM
I mean the last two presidents have all but admitted they used pot and in the case of George W cocaine. It's probably fairly rare for a kid to get through high school these days without ever smoking pot at least once. Anyone who has smoked pot knows it is no more dangerous than alcohol--and possibly less dangerous. How many times have you heard of some stoned guy beating someone up at the bar? They are probably at home ordering a Dominos Pizza instead and listening to Frank Zappa on the stereo. It's all political at this point. Alcohol and tobacco lobbies as well as pharmaceutical co.s are likely dead against pot being legalized--it would cut into their profit margins.
I wonder if Dorito's lobbies for legalized MarijuanaKristin
Oct 23, 2002 9:48 AM
LOL. It would be interesting to see pot being sold at the local grocery store.

I think the real issued here isn't drugs, or abortion or assualt weapons...the real issue is CHOICE. How much power should our government (for the people, and by the people) have to limit individual choice? This will always be a plaguing question in the minds of a democratic/republican socieity. A government that doesn't limit the rights of its people looks exquisitly utopian until the first murder is committed. Then what to do? Where is the line drawn around choice? We can't just allow people to go around killing each other, right? So we make murder illegal. Then we write all these rules around it to define what it is and what it isn't. Then the whole thing just gets messy and entire professions rise up around it because it takes longer to understand it than most people have time for.

So how much control is too much? I don't really know the answer. All I know is this. I smoked pot in high school. I had fun doing so for the most part. Did it screw me up--perhaps. Or perhaps this is just normal for me. We'll never really know, will we? Either way, the fact that it was illegal didn't stop me from doing it. What eventually stopped me from doing it was that I didn't want to give over control of my mind--and by extention, my future--to something called cannibis.
Good idea, but not overnightStampertje
Oct 23, 2002 8:42 AM
The de-criminalization of marijuana in the Netherlands has been (in my opinion) a huge success except perhaps for the hordes of German, English and French tourists it attracts. I certainly don't believe marijuana is more harmful than smoking or drinking, but there's also a danger in that - because it's "safe", it's easy to convince yourself that it's no big deal to skip school and get stoned. Education and common sense are very important - I've known people to drop out of school, not necessarily because of the drug but because of the "mellow" scene at the coffeeshops (which is where you can purchase and smoke pot in the NL). Playing pool was just that much more relaxing than doing calc.

Still, it's hard to argue with the numbers - drug use in the Netherlands is no higher and in many cases lower than in other western nations, and has in fact been decreasing over the past decade; smoking marijuana does not make the transition to harder stuff more likely; and liberalisation certainly beats locking up every other teenager for 5 years behind bars for what's essentially not a crime nor harmful to either society or the individual (didn't Carter say something like that once - the penalty for using drugs should never exceed the harm the drug will do by itself?). "Just say no" just doesn't work - perhaps "just ask why?" would be a better approach.
So yes, I'm all for it (and for complete legalisation in the NL) but it takes time. There has to be a sort of culture of accepting/understanding marijuana, much like alcohol and tobacco. As one Dutch politician put it, "Our biggest success is that we have made pot boring.". I believe that this can happen in the US - it's slowly starting to happen in France, Germany, Switzerland and Canada. It starts with small agressive advocacy groups but eventually sensible people will pick up the message and open the discussion. Ease into it. In the meantime, keep fighting because otherwise it's never going to happen.

Disclaimer: I did not study for this, I have no background or education in either pharmacology or politics, so these are my personal amateur impressions :)
Isn't pot "technically" still illegal in NL?ColnagoFE
Oct 23, 2002 8:46 AM
I heard that the government taxes it but it is still technically illegal to sell pot there--though everyone does it.
Utterly confusingStampertje
Oct 23, 2002 9:01 AM
Not you, but the situation. There's a FAQ on the web page of the ministry of foreign affairs:
http://www.minbuza.nl/default.asp?CMS_ITEM=MBZ454508
You are correct - it's condoned not legal... nmjose_Tex_mex
Oct 23, 2002 9:03 AM
What's the difference b/t pot and cigarettes?fbg111
Oct 24, 2002 6:19 PM
We now know that cigarettes cause cancer and other physical maladies, to those who smoke them and to those unfortunate enough to breath too much second-hand smoke. Doesn't smoking pot do the same?

Also, funny how conservative politicians tend to support the right of tobacco companies to sell cigarettes, but are against pot legalization, while liberal politicians tend to support pot legalization but want to sue the butts off cigarette companies.
Actually no...Wayne
Oct 25, 2002 3:01 AM
according to the piece I heard on NPR marijuana smoking actually doesn't lead to increased rates of lung cancer, a fact that was not refuted by the Drug Czar. I don't know if this is correct or uncontroversial but it seems very conterintuative that inhaling smoke of anykind wouldn't lead to lung cancer. Potential health risks is actually one of the reasons I stopped smoking on a regular basis. You would have to look to Jamaica or Europe for studies since the US govt. makes it very hard to do research on narcotics, I imagine especially so if what you might show runs counter to their policies.
Pot's more fun and makes your breath smell like dorito'sKristin
Oct 25, 2002 5:11 AM
Intead of cigarette yuck. I also don't think it has the same addictive properties. Is marijuana chemically addictive at all?
maybe psychologically addictiveColnagoFE
Oct 25, 2002 6:34 AM
I dont think it's physically addictive like cigs and stuff like heroin. I think in moderation it's pretty safe stuff. The ingredient that gets you stoned is THC and as far as I know there is no known toxic dose of it. That said, it can make you pretty lethargic and stupid if you abuse it. It's not really to productive to sit around stoned watching Andy Griffith reruns all day long.
Well...Wayne
Oct 25, 2002 7:30 AM
I would say I had a bad habit. Two or 3 sessions most days for a year or two. And when I decided to quit (or at least cut down), the only thing I really noticed was that I got major insomnia. Makes sense, your system is use to a depressent all the time and now you've removed it. I would say I didn't have any cravings beyond missing doing something I was used to doing and enjoyed. BTW, I was also a full time student at this time and getting up at 3am to work until 8 or so at UPS, so I've never been one to buy into the pot makes you lazy and lethargic arguement. I was also splitting my sleeping up into a morning and night session which probably didn't help with insomnia.
Legal - sooner the better.Eager Beagle
Oct 25, 2002 5:57 AM
I hate people who take drugs. Like for instance Customs Officials.

Joke.

Which is why I partularly hate the usual Fri/Sat scene in just about any town in the UK where all the p2ssed-up idiots who have spend their entire week's wages on nasty lager and worse start fighting and pissing everywhere, before smashing the place up.

If they were safely bombed out on puff on the floor, we'd be better off.