Sign in to follow this  
SIdeways

Yes or No: Legalize Marijuana?

Recommended Posts

SIdeways

OK, so my speech class is having a debate this upcoming week on legalizing marijuana. I would like to get SFO's opinion on the topic. I would like to see some valid points for both sides of the debate, as well as counter arguements.

Why should we legalize weed, or why should we not legalize weed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Shaper

I'm actually in favor of the legalization of all drugs, but at the same time I can sort of understand why you wouldn't want something like Cocaine or Heroine in the neighborhood. With marijuana, however, I don't even know what the argument is. It doesn't kill you, it doesn't cause any more health problems than legalized vices (tobacco, alcohol, etc) and it has medicinal properties that other drugs could deliver side effects for.

It also puts hundreds of people in prison needlessly which costs the government money which could easily be used for something far more important in this day and age. We are spending far too much time on a pointless drug war that doesn't benefit society and only spawns more black market activities and gangs.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneUnder

With marijuana, however, I don't even know what the argument is. It doesn't kill you, it doesn't cause any more health problems than legalized vices (tobacco, alcohol, etc) and it has medicinal properties that other drugs could deliver side effects for.

Now while I am still unsure of my stance on this issue, I have to say that we haven't seen any adverse medical effects because no one is going to admit that they have used the drug; studies cannot be conducted while fear of legal prosecution exists among the participants.

In other news;

28659643.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harlow

Course. It doesn't really cause more damage than other stuff, has been publicly used in the past and may have something good coming from it, and if it doesn't, it's still less damaging than tobacco

Maybe one day, the world will go the way of Uruguay.

Other thing. Hemp plants can also be used for many other things, such as textiles and paper production.

And if someone is that much of a mental midget to say that they might consume those products, say to them it's like craving meat and eating your leather jacket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drasiana

Now while I am still unsure of my stance on this issue, I have to say that we haven't seen any adverse medical effects because no one is going to admit that they have used the drug; studies cannot be conducted while fear of legal prosecution exists among the participants.

...what?

You know they don't do these studies by just asking random potheads if they get any side effects, right? And that marijuana is actually legal in several places in the world? Including places in the US provided they have a prescription for medical marijuana?

The fact that "medical marijuana" is even a thing should be pretty telling that, yes, science knows what the hell it's talking about when it publishes studies on drugs.

Everyone else has basically said all there is to say. The likely benefits of it far outweigh the cons, the cons are still nowhere near severe as those attributed to completely legal drugs and alcohol, and the plant is extremely multi-purpose in its non-drug form.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PsyMuffin

Marijuana should be legalized to an extent, and I also fully agree with Zero on this as well, in fact we've had this

conversation recently. Anyway, the extent that I'm referring to is that it should not be used such as alcohol

shouldn't be used while driving. There's always a time and place for Marijuana, even now, when It is still

Illegal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dr. Orange

I say Legalize marijuana. We (America) puts too much time and money to stop the drug trade when if we just could legalize it and tax it. Maybe the world will be a little more ... fun. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thu'um

I think the there isn't much point in keeping it illegal, people who really want it are gonna get it. But the government and society should continue to discourage use of it, and other drugs for that matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mjakob42

I agree with Shaper that drugs in general should be legalized. It's up for debate, but I feel that if drugs were legal and conveniently available, there would be less drug-related death since their addiction would be easier to keep under control. I feel that with America's ever-so aspiring economy, it would improve the economy a decent amount if drugs were legalized. For one, tax the hell out of whatever substance is being legalized. Also by legalization of said substance, more jobs will become available for producing and manufacturing it. Not to mention that crime would be reduced like no other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fana McCloud

It should be legal - the only real reason it's illegal is because some racist dudes back in the mists of time wanted to have an excuse to harass/arrest Mexicans, because they in particular used it a lot. A similar thing happened with opium and Chinese people. Then we pretended it was just as bad as any of the hard drugs that were causing real problems because we didn't know any better, and now there's more of an incentive to KEEP it illegal so that the DEA can continue to exist and get funding. You'd be amazed (or maybe not) how much someone will resist having to change career fields because they're obsolete.

The arguments about its safety compared to most other drugs are already covered by everyone. I will mention though that there are many scientific studies of marijuana, contrary to what someone here said, so it's effects are pretty well known. Nobody in the history of the world has ODed on it, it usually mellows you out rather than makes you angry (like booze), and like any of the stuff that's already legal we should be leaving its proper use up to personal responsibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LoneWolf

This is a really big issue in Washington state right now. They've got commercials with soccer moms who support this stuff. And I find it hilarious.

But yeah, I'm supporting of it. It's so easy to get hold of anyways, why not just sin tax the shit out of it and make a ton of money. That's what they did with private liquor sales here in Washington. Over 50% tax once it all adds up. You can already get legal Marijuana prescribed to you in California within 3 hours for reasons you pretty much make up (read an article on this a while ago). I'd just say let your local hispanic drug dealer make his cash, and let the repercussions of your decision be up to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Faisul

Okay! Here's a few points! I'm not in top form today so please excuse appeals to emotion, strawmen arguments, and lack of sources here.

Cannabis prohibition is a contributing cause to cartel violence in Mexico. These people skin people alive and dunk them in barrels of acid for a lark. It gives violent criminal organizations a large chunk of income, as it being an illegal substance and all, they can step in as distributors and grow the stuff on an industrial scale whereas people who are not gun-toting lunatics can't, generally - and no amount of DEA 'seizures' will curb their activities. The only real way to cut that profit, and a significant portion of their resources with it, is to legalize.

The draconic and outright lunatic way people - mostly teenagers or young people - have been persecuted for as little as carrying a blunt in their pocket, a misdemeanor at worst, jailed, and had their chances at getting into college or jobs thrown out the window - is disgusting. A huge portion of people currently in jail have been put there through the 'war on drugs' - mind you, a drug with a far less negative effect than alcohol or nicotine - not that the people running the jails or helping to build them will mind, this is where their money comes from. This impacts minorities especially hard, because no one seems to care if 'just another stoner kid from the ghetto' is put into the meat grinder that is the prison system.

The reason why so few studies are being actively talked about is because the government has outlawed the use of cannabis in clinical studies to determine whether or not it's addictive, harmful, etc etc. Those studies that have been conducted despite this all points to the fact that smoking a joint is about as harmful as inhaling some leaf smoke, which is impressively less lethal than a puff of a cigarette. If someone brings up the study they did where a bunch of monkeys died, remind them that they perished because the government funded researchers pretty much pumped nothing but cannabis smoke into their lungs. They died of asphyxiation, not cannabis inhalation.

The prohibition is pretty much in a losing battle at this point. Decriminalization has already taken place in several states and while total legalization is not on the federal table at all, it's being brought up constantly on the state-level. While federal law will likely trump whatever state-level legislation in support of legalization takes place, this state of affairs can't go on forever. It's being realized that cannabis is a far less damaging alternative than some of the other drugs out there - meth, heroin, cocaine - which can be cheaper than hash or weed, depending on region. If legalized and taxed like any other legal substance, it will bring in revenue that can be used on far more productive things than a DEA that manufactures its proof and goes after impoverished citizens in order to bump its numbers for more sweet government subsidies. Oh, and DEA expenditures are pretty huge. Legalization will slash those considerably. Would be pretty prudent, especially during an economic crisis!

Ironically a stumbling block to this process has been that certain growers - some of them suppliers to licensed dispensaries - persuade their customers (dispensaries or street purchasers) to vote *against* legalization initiatives. Why? Because if it were legal, these in-house growers would lose their profit as companies with far larger production capabilities would corner their markets.

The current lack of understanding and unwillingness *to* understand is largely because of ancient propaganda initiatives like Reefer Madness and a complete blackout on intelligent discussion on the matter, and a consistent refusal to discuss cannabis as a substance *not* on the same level as the more damaging drugs. This has had lasting effects on entire generations of Americans and people all over the world. So, to baby boomers especially, people who push for legalization and discuss the benefits of doing so are reduced to being dumb stoner college kids at best and rapacious, unstable dope fiends at worst who work to destroy the core values of American society (and are possibly socialists) in their eyes. In my country, everyone just assumes that "cannabis, like any other drug, will cause you to be addicted and will destroy you/everyone around you/society/my lawn gnome collection in a fit of narcotic-induced rage" unless you've already smoked it, which is one third of the population at this point.

In short, it's Fucked Up and Bullshit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SIdeways

There are some really thought out and good answers to this question... I appreciate all the view points. All of them have been for making it legal.. Does anyone have any view points on why it should NOT be legal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thu'um

Sure, In a perfect world no one would do drugs right? I'm sure with the out right legalization of it we would see an increase of use. Maybe that doesn't out way the down sides but its still there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Arashikage

The entire war that we have on drugs is bullshit. We should be able to do with our own lives what we will. Without fear of the cops busting down your door to arrest you for possession of pot or something, there should be much less of this sneaking around and shit. We're not seeing these substances for what we can. We're not seeing them as ways to generate revenue and build the economy back up. If a pothead wants to buy pot at a drugstore, let them, and tax the shit out of the pot like we do with cigarettes. Make it an extremely expensive habit to keep up and you'll be both discouraging the use, and gathering money to use on important things like security, or creating jobs, or maybe even working on paying back that deficit that's in the trillions.

Drugs aren't good for you, no, but you shouldn't make something illegal because it kills you when used irresponsibly. Heroin, Cocaine, even Oxycontin and Morphine are all deadly if used incorrectly or irresponsibly. Morphine is used in medicine, Oxycontin IS a medicine, a perscription drug mind you, Procaine(Which is in the same family of Cocaine) is used for numbing your gums in dental work, Heroin is like Morphine, which was used in medicine, and Heroin itself was used in medicine as well. These are all drugs that are or were commonly seen in hospitals and sometimes drugstores. I believe the easiest to get a hold of on that list is Oxycontin, which also has less restrictions on it. In any case, they could all be deadly, even more deadly than pot. Keeping these drugs off the streets is actually what's keeping them on the streets. Think of it, there wouldn't be any need for drug dealers if you didn't need to go to one in a back alley just to get your fix for the week or month or day or whatever. You'd just walk down to the drug store, buy yourself some weed, go home, and that would be the end of it.

I personally don't do mind altering substances. I don't like them at all, but I have heard a lot in my city about drugs and back alley deals and all those. They're not good, frankly, they're scary, and the best way to do away with them is make them legally available in some kind of pharmacy or store like cigarettes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simon

Honestly, I don't see why it isn't legalized yet. Yes, it can be addictive and it can ruin lives and your body, but so can alcohol and caffeine. Banning it only drives up demand, which drives up crime because the only suppliers are criminals. It happened during the '20s with Prohibition. Instead of simply giving up alcohol and being "dry", a lot of people would go to speakeasies and drink bathtub gin and moonshine, which was filthy and even worse than regular beer or gin, similar to how homegrown marijuana is laced with even worse substances and is very different from medicinal marijuana. Organized crime rates soared as a result. The Netherlands has legalized marijuana, and so far there haven't been any real negative effects directly caused by marijuana. In fact, IIRC, the number of marijuana addicts and marijuana-related crimes is significantly lower than in other countries. Most teens who smoke pot really only do it because it's illegal and "rebellious". Take away that illegality, and all you're left with a fairly light drug that may cause hallucinations and strange feelings. It is nowhere near as dangerous or damaging as cocaine, LSD, or bath salts (and I'm sure you all remember that story a few months ago about the dude who was high on bath salts and ate a guy's face off). Yes, it's still dangerous, and can do terrible things to your body, but so can alcohol. I'm not advocating the use of it, but simply the legalization of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Faisul

AFAIK the whole 'laced with a mysterious substance' weed is either something you pay more for if you actually want it or what truly sadistic dealers (with no desire for repeat customers) will do. It's a bit of an urban legend that 'street' weed is somehow more dangerous or containing strange, alien drugs in it. It can be of lower quality than 'medical' cannabis (the distinction is not as large as you think), sure, but it's not like the stuff you get in dispensaries are so much more different than on the street. Distributors will sometimes supply both. It's a pretty informal market.

As for addiction, the distinction is made between chemical addiction, which is when your body needs more of X substance to keep going (nicotine and heroin is infamous in this regard) and dependency, which is when you've done a pleasurable thing and your mind wants you to do it again (videogames, chocolate, junk food, et cetera ad infinitum). Evidence strongly supports the assertion that THC, the active chemical in cannabis, belongs to the latter category. Honestly the worst thing about smoking weed is that you're inhaling burning plant matter and ingesting a central nerve stimulant, though as far as stimulants go THC isn't exactly mind-blowing. You get a buzz, you think up crazy ideas, and then you get hungry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jesseboyd7

As of everything I've read from this topic, pretty much agree with all. Legalize it and have the federal government stay out of the drug wars that are possibly making profits off of it near the border of Mexico & U.S. Remember in history the prohibition of alcohol in the early 1900s? The crime rate went up from the results of nationalizing alcohol and there were boot legging to black markets keeping the sales alive.

Me personally I think its no good either to practice it. However other individuals who desire to practice smoking it should have their civil rights to do it. If you know you are not suppose to do it, don't do it! We don't need to rely on the State to tell us how to live our lives but our personal beliefs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sroberson

I'm sure it has been stated somewhere above, but I might have missed it...

But frankly, when we end up imprisoning ridiculous amounts of people who commit victim-less and relatively harmless offenses, I think the worst crime is the money wasted and these so called "criminals" facing disproportional hard jail time (oh but that depends on who you are of course - "OH HOW ORIGNAL! I LOVE ARTISTS LIEKE DIS?!") where they are likely turned into hardened criminals and more likely to be a repeat offender, especially in American society. I'm tired of the posers like Lady Gaga getting away with pretending to be bad ass to sell records on account of this stupid drug as much as I am sick of the billions upon billions of dollars thrown down the pockets of private companies who would love nothing more than to imprison more people for their own gain. Sure, it will be abused when it is initially legalized, society will crumble a bit as it comes to accept a new norm, but really its better pulling a bit of tax revenue from it and regulating it than to just throw people in jail. As Faisul suggested, perhaps it could have further reaching effects than simply lowering the incarceration levels, it could lower gang crimes since they are now deprived of another illicit means of making money. Lower incarceration, lower crime, less money spent on jails and police...why ladies and gentlemen I think I found ourselves a proper way of reducing our deficit by a few billion!!

Now as far as the medical impact it imparts on its users...I can't really say. I have had a roommate who was as straight laced as you could be get into gratuitous amounts of marijuana and alcohol and he quickly lost his marbles and dropped out of college (whether this due to alcohol or not I am unsure). On the other then of the spectrum I have seen some of my friends use it on occasion and it didn't change a thing about them - just as eccentric and brilliant as they usually are. The beneficial side effects going for marijuana are dubious but worthy of research (that sadly will not be allowed because I will join Faisul on the conspiracy side, suggesting that corporate prisons lobby to make it so).

As far as my grammar...GRAMMAR NAZIS! SEEK AND DESTROY!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BIade

Well, it looks like there's no reason not to legalize it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Faisul

So in conclusion

SrwXe.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BIade

Weed is now 100%(on the state level) legal in Washington and Colorado, as of today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
manthony_Higgs

Yup, come on up north and hang with manthony if you wanna toke it up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drasiana

Everyone here is already speculating on BC following suit, thanks to our Washington neighbor's example. Woo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DoctorAllosaurus

Whether they legalize it or not, I'll still be spending about half an hour of my precious online gaming time waiting for them to smoke a bowl in the middle of a game... =/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this