#1 By: Mark Frauenfelder, October 23rd, 2013 16:01
#2 By: Rob, October 23rd, 2013 16:26
#3 By: Kevin Thoman, October 23rd, 2013 16:28
Marijuana is a strange cultural entity. I can't think of anything else that is so widely accepted in most of society, portrayed positively in numerous movies and tv shows, and has legitimate medical applications, and yet carries such massive Federal penalties, with long jail sentences and property seizures.
Alcohol and cigarettes are as detrimental to the public health, if not more so, than marijuana, yet both of those are legally accepted substances.
The only reason that I can see that marijuana is not legalized is that it is much easier to produce than beer, and it would be harder to regulate as a result.
Edit: Ok, If homebrewing is easier, I guess the only reason would be that all the money and property that gets seized is more lucrative for the government than the taxes that could be raised by selling it leagally? (And if thats not true, then I give up)
#4 By: Tim, October 23rd, 2013 16:31
A subsequent Gallup poll showed that 99% of politicians don't give a rat's patootey.
#5 By: Engineer, October 23rd, 2013 16:49
58% are ok with legalization but that doesn't say how strongly they feel about it. I think legalization would be a good thing but I wouldn't automatically support a politician just because they supported legalization. There are many other issues I consider more important when determining who to vote for.
As odd as it sounds, in my career field I find lots of self-described libertarians who are all for legalizing pot but are strongly against marriage equality. Given a choice between the two, I'd rather my gay friends have equality than my 420 friends being able to blaze up. Ideally they'd both win and have freedoms that should belong to all. But all too often we don't get to choose "All of the above". Because of this, the percentage of those who are for legalization isn't the only important factor. The strength of individual support is highly important too.
#6 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, October 23rd, 2013 17:17
Clearly, we cannot let majoritiarian hysteria guide our actions on this matter, unlike pretty much all other matters. For, um. Reasons. Big ones.
#7 By: seyo, October 23rd, 2013 17:18
The Federal Gov. is merely enforcing the Federal laws that are on the books. It's great that individual states are moving ahead with legalization, but for real progress to happen, there needs to be a change to the laws at the Federal level. Congress and Senate critters need to be encouraged to propose legislation to repeal the scheduling of weed as a narcotic, and all the other laws that currently make it illegal at the Federal level.
#8 By: Rob, October 23rd, 2013 17:22
Not easier to produce good stuff. Or so I've heard, anyway.
#9 By: Rob, October 23rd, 2013 17:27
In the same career field, one thing I'm hoping for is that big companies will stop feeling the need to test their employees for the only drug that shows up for more than a few days. It might well take a while, though, even in states where it's legal.
Any libertarian who's opposed to marriage equality can go fuck themselves. The level of hypocrisy that the self-righteous can aspire to is totally mind-boggling.
#10 By: anon, October 23rd, 2013 17:28
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#11 By: Earnestine Browning, October 23rd, 2013 17:32
WE ARE DONE!!!!! with all of it. MJ is just a small sliver of a overwhelming crisis of violent, stupid, power hungry, and greedy government/business. If there was a big lever that could turn the whole thing off I would shut it down without giving it a second thought. Shut it down. Shut it down now. No talk. I'm not listen. It's DONE, DONE, DONE!
#12 By: John Smith, October 23rd, 2013 17:34
All drugs should be legal. From Cannabis to Cocaine, Krokodil to Bath salts. The government has no business dictating what you can and cannot put in your body.
#13 By: Thecorrectline, October 23rd, 2013 18:02
Unfortunately, it does using the same logic that allows for mandatory car insurance and seatbelt use - people get screwed up, go into hospital, and the gov ends up with the bill. Lets say we legalize Krokodil - severely screwed up krok user shows up at hospital - bill is huge - user has no money. So what else can you do? Dump those who can't afford treatment out on the sidewalk to die? Mandate drug use insurance, and hope you don't run into a psychotic bath salt zombie while you're on your lunch break?
#14 By: Espresso, October 23rd, 2013 18:07
Yeah, it's actually much easier to homebrew decent beer than to grow good weed. And homebrewing was illegal in much of North America until relatively recently, too (and maybe still is in some places).
The usual explanation for marijuana's illegality is cultural: back in the reefer-madness days of the 20s and 30s it was mostly smoked by blacks, Mexicans, bohemians and other outsiders, making it a cultural threat and corrupting influence on upstanding white youth.
#15 By: logruszed, October 23rd, 2013 18:18
Offset by the money freed up from no longer enforcing drug laws (ineffectively) or incarcerating users or having a bunch of folks who could contribute to the tax base to a greater extend had they not lost scholarships or job opportunities due to a little light drug use.
Aside from that: You really think folks are going to use dangerous/shitty drugs when there are other options? The reason krokodil even exists is because it's a cheaper substitute and more available than regular heroin. You could just legalize and dispense all narcotics under the FDA and not even tax them and you would still come out ahead financially just by getting rid of the bulk of the apparatus that exists to police drugs.
#16 By: Espresso, October 23rd, 2013 18:27
Well, one of the few if not only major empirical examples we have, Portugal, suggests that if you handle drugs as a social and medical issue rather than a criminal one, you wind up with fewer problems with addiction. And your policing and incarceration costs drop dramatically, leaving plenty for healthcare.
The other thing is that a lot of what you hear about messed-up druggies is either overblown for propaganda purposes, worst-cases held up as cautionary examples, or consequences of the illegal nature of the business (gang violence, adulterated drugs, spread of HIV and hep C, etc.).
It is hard to get one's head around the notion of legalizing "hard" drugs, but ultimately there is far more harm being done by over-the-top drug enforcement, massive incarceration, etc. than consenting adults could ever do to themselves once given access to whatever recreational substances they may want.
#17 By: John Smith, October 23rd, 2013 18:27
By legalizing all recreational drugs, you create a market for cheap, safe, and well understood versions. Krokodil wouldn't see any more use because it would be just as cheap as heroin, or it's more pure counterpart, dexomorphine. Plus, it'd probably severely impact the cartels', saving lives.
#18 By: Rob, October 23rd, 2013 19:30
Yep. I was having this discussion yesterday. The kids today... with their purple drank and fucking god knows what that rots their limbs off.
Wish they could get the X and LSD and Marijuana that were so prevalent as to be free when I was growing up.
#19 By: wingo shackleford, October 23rd, 2013 19:48
Actually, it was mostly William Randolf Hearst, Andrew Mellon, and the DuPont family that pushed Harry J. Anslinger (first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics) and Congress to pass cannabis prohibition. Hearst felt that hemp threatened his timber (paper) monopoly and Mellon (then Secretary of the Treasury) felt it threatened his major investment in nylon (made by DuPont).
Hearst printed fake stories in his newspapers about blacks, Mexicans, etc. acting crazy on Marijuana (a term he basically coined) to stir up public support for Anslinger. Granted, he did play hard into the general overt racism of the time, but the whole thing was mostly his doing. It would likely have never been made completely illegal if it weren't for obscenely rich robber barons in the 1930s worried about their profit margins.
#20 By: Thecorrectline, October 23rd, 2013 20:14
I keep on coming back to the poor girl who smoked the fake weed stuff, and ended up brain damaged. Surely the staunchest anti-drug advocates can learn something about prohibition from that story.
Edit - this http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/17yearold-girl-left-brain-damaged-after-smoking-synthetic-marijuana-8481733.html story, Emily Bauer.
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