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abachler
06-02-2008, 06:33 AM
This was inspired by the smoking poll. Whether or not you personally use or agree with use, do you think marijuana should be legalized in the U.S.

If you don't live in the US then I suppose this doesnt apply to you.

Elysia
06-02-2008, 06:37 AM
It matters not where you live. Drugs should never be legal.
They are a danger to the ones who inject it and a danger to everyone around, as well.

indigo0086
06-02-2008, 06:39 AM
Inject marijuana?

There's actually a senator who proposes to legalize it in small uses, he claimed it to be, "Jail for serious criminals act". I don't use it personally so I don't care, just an interesting tidbit.

Yarin
06-02-2008, 07:03 AM
I can't say this with absolute certainly, but just from what I've seen, an alcoholic is more likely to endanger other people than cannabis addict is.
So yes. Either that or excessive uses of alcohol should become illegal, and you know it never will.

zacs7
06-02-2008, 07:09 AM
> Either that or excessive uses of alcohol should become illegal, and you know it never will.
It is, well at least in Australia being drunk in public is against the law. And from what I've seen on Cops it also is in America?

Elysia
06-02-2008, 07:19 AM
So yes. Either that or excessive uses of alcohol should become illegal, and you know it never will.

I can't say I agree.
Alcohol is simply not forbidden because they can't do it (or it would be a very bad thing™).
Alcohol is deeply rooted in the society TODAY, so they can't just make it illegal. It would lots of bad effects.
However, dugs are illegal today and therefore it would only hurt society to make them legal. You know it will.
Alcohol, smoking and drugs should all be forbidden and we can only hope that it will be one day when people stop doing it.

Don't open the cage to the beast. Instead lock the beast inside and toss out the key.

CornedBee
06-02-2008, 07:21 AM
I personally consider marijuana less dangerous than alcohol, and less annoying than normal cigarettes (because it's consumed in far smaller quantities), though I consume nothing of the kind.

That said, I know that excessive marijuana use can mess up a life pretty good. The person simply becomes too lethargic to do anything.

matsp
06-02-2008, 07:26 AM
Of course, in America, in the early part of last century, they did try to forbid alcohol. I think you'll find that this only lead to criminals getting rich. Whether that is an argument for legalizing drugs, or the non-criminalization of alcohol, or something else, I'm not quite sure.

In Sweden, they had a system or rationing on alcohol (in fact only applied to distilled spirits) for a few decades (1917-1955). For those that can read (or find translation), there is a Swedish Wiki article here: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motbok

There is no evidence that this led to less alcoholism in Sweden, but some say that people would "buy their ration whether they needed to or not" (just like "spending the budget just because you never know if you get it next year or not").

--
Mats

laserlight
06-02-2008, 07:26 AM
less annoying than normal cigarettes (because it's consumed in far smaller quantities)
Wouldn't making its consumption legal encourage its consumption?

CornedBee
06-02-2008, 07:30 AM
Wouldn't making its consumption legal encourage its consumption?

To a point. But the nature of cannabis makes me doubt that usage would go up significantly. It's not the kind of stuff that you casually smoke. Also, it's pretty cheap already, because it's so easy to cultivate.

indigo0086
06-02-2008, 07:32 AM
Elysia, they did at one time outlaw alcohol, and it refined organized crime in the US. Drugs are already illegal and tied to organized crime as it is.

Excessive alcohol is not illegal unless a person is behind the wheel, though it can be detrimental to your health or even deadly.

Smoking tobacco can cause cancer and is filled with things humans don't want to breathe on a daily basis and it's legal.

The only reason is because smoking and alcohol have been advertised as the cool thing to do from movies to tv news (like in the 50s).

Neo1
06-02-2008, 09:22 AM
They are a danger to the ones who inject it

I don't need the law to tell me what is dangerous and what isn't, if i want to run a risk, i should be free to do so. Forbidding something just because it is risky, is just plain old totalitarianism.

GanglyLamb
06-02-2008, 09:44 AM
I live in Belgium so to get acces to this kind of drugs is easy since you can just take your car, one hour later you are in the Netherlands and you can buy your goodies...

Anyhow the law in belgium concerning this kind of drugs can be found here http://www.belgium.be/nl/gezondheid/gezond_leven/drugs_en_verslaving/cannabis/

In short it states that selling it is prohibited but having it with you is allowed (maximum 3 grams) as long as you are over 18, dont cause trouble in public because of it and the use is not problematic... You can be prosecuted if you are under the influence and then drive for instance, or you are growing it at home or being a traficker of the substance.

So my opinion about this is that it can be legalised as long as its under control (as it is in belgium). I categorize this drug along with alcohol (dangerous if used in the wrong ways under the wrong circumstances).

But since im not a US citizen I didnt vote anything :).

Mario F.
06-02-2008, 09:48 AM
Marijuana is already legal in certain countries. What you are not allowed is to cultivate it past a certain amount *shrug*. Other countries have it legalized for medical purposes only. It's quiet an acceptable drug in most circumstances and far less dangerous than cigarettes.

Meanwhile the consumption of heavy drugs is not illegal on most western countries (if not all). What is illegal is distribution. The rules go to such oddities as arresting someone from carrying weed and at the same time create inject houses, government sponsored, in order to give support to heroin and other hard drugs addicts. They don't supply drugs, but they create a place where someone can "safely" inject himself.

brewbuck
06-02-2008, 09:51 AM
However, dugs are illegal today and therefore it would only hurt society to make them legal. You know it will.

I'm not seeing the logical connections in this argument. It's illegal because it hurts people, and it hurts people because... it's illegal? Can you please relate an anecdote or other bit of experience that makes you believe that cannabis is harmful? "It's illegal so it's bad" is not an argument.


Alcohol, smoking and drugs should all be forbidden and we can only hope that it will be one day when people stop doing it.

Because the best world is a world that's locked down, where people's decisions are made for them, and Elysia's opinion is the only valid one?

But I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since you've expressed similar opinions in the past, like banning people from living in areas where natural disasters occur (in other words, the entire planet)

mike_g
06-02-2008, 10:28 AM
IMO it should be fully legalized and taxed. Not only would it save a fortune on policing, court costs and keeping people in jail, but the government would be able to make money from it in the same way they do with tobbacco and alcohol. It does have its drawbacks as in it makes people lazy and can cause paranoia for people that overdo it, but in general its far less harmful smoking and drinking. Its also less addictive, which tends to be the main factor used in the classification of drugs. I think criminalizing it is unfair as people that smoke green generally arent arent causing problems for other people, so it should be a matter of personal choice.

twomers
06-02-2008, 10:59 AM
I've never taken any illegal drugs so I can't give an informed insight into this, from the viewpoint of a consumer. However, I've been around those who have been smoking it (and a lot at that). And there's a clear and decisive difference (from my experiences), of someone who's very drunk and very high. The latter having more control over themselves and decisions than the former. I don't know what someone who has smoked more than they could handle would act like, but someone who has drunk more than they can handle is very messy.

Salem
06-02-2008, 11:03 AM
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1017
Like banning anything ever solved anything.
Tried it before, it didn't work then and the so-called "war on drugs" is just as bone-headed.

At best, you have a very expensive stale-mate.

I agree with mike_g. There are "good" (aka taxed, with known quality standards) drugs such as alcohol and there are "bad" (aka, untaxed, provided by criminals, with no quality standards) drugs.

Alcohol by the way kills 18000 (http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Health/2007/12/31/41_percent_of_road_deaths_alcohol-related/6957/) people a year, but no-one gives a hoot because it's always or two at a time.
Tobacco also kills in large numbers, again only one or two at a time.

The only thing which should be criminalised is your inability to use your drug of choice responsibly. If you kill someone whilst DUI, you're in the clink for a nice stretch, but no-one goes round suggesting banning cars or alcohol as the solution to the problem.

Plus, how you kill someone should have no bearing on the sentence. Unlike in the UK where killing someone whilst drunk can get you a remarkably light sentence (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/7138712.stm).

Elysia
06-02-2008, 11:33 AM
I'm not seeing the logical connections in this argument. It's illegal because it hurts people, and it hurts people because... it's illegal? Can you please relate an anecdote or other bit of experience that makes you believe that cannabis is harmful? "It's illegal so it's bad" is not an argument.
If it wasn't illegal, more would use, which would mean more accidents and bad effects happening in the society.


Because the best world is a world that's locked down, where people's decisions are made for them, and Elysia's opinion is the only valid one?

But I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since you've expressed similar opinions in the past, like banning people from living in areas where natural disasters occur (in other words, the entire planet)
Indeed?
I beg you to think. There are idiots born in the society. If they drink and drive cars are they only affected? Or are others? In effect: because they do things, they hurt OTHERS who are INNOCENT.
There will always be those kind of people, and in effect, making it illegal would most likely reduce this type of occurrence.
I'm basing the opinion on that it benefits the society more in general, fewer accidents and less resources to catch such people, than if it were legal.

This is how I see it. Feel free to disagree.


IMO it should be fully legalized and taxed. Not only would it save a fortune on policing, court costs and keeping people in jail, but the government would be able to make money from it in the same way they do with tobbacco and alcohol.
But then again, what expenses would it cause to clean up the mess some people do? To keep bigger and more checks, to hospitalize people hurt by those?
It has an effect on society too, even if it brings in more income. It can bring more misery and death, as well as accidents, too.


It does have its drawbacks as in it makes people lazy and can cause paranoia for people that overdo it, but in general its far less harmful smoking and drinking. Its also less addictive, which tends to be the main factor used in the classification of drugs. I think criminalizing it is unfair as people that smoke green generally arent arent causing problems for other people, so it should be a matter of personal choice.
I do agree, but as a society, they must think of a middle line between which is acceptable and what isn't.
If it hurts more to have it legalized, then unfortunately, they must think of the whole society first.

brewbuck
06-02-2008, 12:25 PM
If it wasn't illegal, more would use, which would mean more accidents and bad effects happening in the society.

This makes no sense. What does the legal status of something have to do with the number of people who desire it? Do you think there is a horde of people waiting in the wings for the moment cannabis is legalized, at which point they're suddenly going to start smoking it? People who've never used it before?

Looking out for the general well-being of society is a noble cause. One of the most important things in society, I think, is personal freedom and responsibility. Eliminating our ability to make our own decisions doesn't improve society, it turns it into a bunch of robots who can't make ethical or moral decisions without guidance from the government.

If the only thing stopping you from getting wasted and getting behind the wheel is a law, then you have failed to develop a sense of personal ethics.

SlyMaelstrom
06-02-2008, 12:38 PM
This makes no sense. What does the legal status of something have to do with the number of people who desire it? Do you think there is a horde of people waiting in the wings for the moment cannabis is legalized, at which point they're suddenly going to start smoking it? People who've never used it before?Well, now that's just silly... to say that the legalization won't increase the number of users of the drug is just rediculous. You're going to tell me that every person curious about the drug is willing to break the law to try it? You're going to tell me that the increase in Canada of people polling that they use marajuana since its been legalized is in direct proportion of the number of people too ashamed to admit they commit a vice every now and then?

I personally am on the side of legalizing the drug, because as others said it can be a major tax gain for the government. They could even do the same thing they do with cigarettes by putting a hard cap on the minimum price that you could sell the drug for. It causes less harm to yourself than cigarettes or alcohol and it causes less harm to others than alcohol (and cigarettes depending on where you stand with the second-hand smoke facts). However, I think it would be silly to admit that, if legalized, then the volume of marajuana users in the country wouldn't increase... it's also silly to say that the users wouldn't be smoking it more often. If you were to find these to be truths, then I'd have to completely go against my initial point because I think it wouldn't be such a hot ticket for the government if the market for the drug didn't grow significantly.

brewbuck
06-02-2008, 12:44 PM
Well, now that's just silly... to say that the legalization won't increase the number of users of the drug is just rediculous. You're going to tell me that every person curious about the drug is willing to break the law to try it? You're going to tell me that the increase in Canada of people polling that they use marajuana since its been legalized is in direct proportion of the number of people too ashamed to admit they commit a vice every now and then?

If people are responsible enough to obey the law, even if they disagree with it, why do you think those people will suddenly become irresponsible if it were legalized? Clearly, these people value the law, and social order. Do you think a little bit of pot is going to change them into irresponsible sociopaths?

And if you actually thought that legalization would lead to increased social disorder, why do you claim to be pro-legalization?

Mario F.
06-02-2008, 12:45 PM
Eventually drugs will be legalized across the world. A huge step was already taken in decriminalizing usage. Production and distribution will also eventually be legalized as the economical argument becomes increasingly more powerful. Currently a huge government untaped economy worth billions of dollars is being ran by drug lords. Crime pays, much like it did during the Prohibition. And much like in those days, crime came to stay and no manner of law enforcement will change that.

I have no opinion either way, I'm afraid. I never gave it much thought. Sometimes I too think it can be dangerous. But hearing brewbuck makes me feel a little better. On the other hand, decriminalizing drugs may be a huge step in guaranteeing more active and responsible government support in treatment. It will probably also help in the creation of a new brand of drug consumers that, because they are no longer pariahs, social outcasts, will feel less immersed in this world and less hard pressed to become irreversible addicts.

Fordy
06-02-2008, 12:49 PM
Yes it should be legalised. And in some cases, use of it should be compulsory...

Mario F.
06-02-2008, 12:52 PM
However, I think it would be silly to admit that, if legalized, then the volume of marajuana users in the country wouldn't increase...

Marijuana is legal over here and the number of consumers hasn't increased. In fact it keeps declining. The reason it does has nothing to do with legalization, mind you. But with educational values that have thankfully risen along with a more general conscious mind about the issues of soft drugs.

Marijuana is really not a problem. It never was. It's not even more dangerous than pain killers or anti-depressives that every day kill someone in the world. There are in my opinion, better reasons to look at the issue of legalization than looking at the possibility of usage increasing or decreasing, as marijuana legalization seems to have proved at least over here.

laserlight
06-02-2008, 12:55 PM
Marijuana is legal over here and the number of consumers hasn't increased. In fact it keeps declining. The reason it does has nothing to do with legalization, mind you. But with educational values that have thankfully risen along with a more general conscious mind about the issues of soft drugs.
Well, SlyMaelstrom forgot the ceteris paribus.

SlyMaelstrom
06-02-2008, 01:02 PM
If people are responsible enough to obey the law, even if they disagree with it, why do you think those people will suddenly become irresponsible if it were legalized? Clearly, these people value the law, and social order. Do you think a little bit of pot is going to change them into irresponsible sociopaths?

And if you actually thought that legalization would lead to increased social disorder, why do you claim to be pro-legalization?When did I say that smoking marajuana is irresponsible or a social disorder? Breaking the law is irresponsible... and you'd have to be mad to say that there aren't law-abiding citizens that have a personal interest in experimenting with marijuana but refuse because they are, in fact, law-abiding. You'd have to be mad to say that there aren't people that wouldn't consider trying the drug if they knew that it was, in fact, legal and safe. What about something else... let's say prostitution. There is one place in this country where prostitution is legalized: Las Vegas, Nevada. Now, while prostitution is prevelant all through-out the country... it would be grossly wrong to say there aren't people who have admittedly gone to Las Vegas simply to be with a prostitute knowing very well that they could get the same services illegally near their home. Hell, you can even tally up the number of people who take a trip up to Canada to smoke pot... there are 1000s of people yearly that make that trip for that very reason. Many of those people are not regular pot-smokers in the states, because most people who have smoked marijuana in the US know the limited risk in getting caught and would never bother with the extra expense.

I could really pull up a ton of other examples of this. Even with prohibition there was an immediate decrease in the consumption of alcohol simply because some people did not want to break the law.

Thantos
06-02-2008, 01:03 PM
Do you think there is a horde of people waiting in the wings for the moment cannabis is legalized, at which point they're suddenly going to start smoking it? People who've never used it before?
I would suspect that if pot was legalized tomorrow we would see a jump in the number of users. There are a lot of people who won't try it because of the legal status that would like to try it. There would be some who would abuse it and some who wouldn't. I would also suspect that over time that spike would level off as the novality wore off.

I would favor a review of all drug classifications to see if there is a need to keep the bans.

SlyMaelstrom
06-02-2008, 01:08 PM
Well, SlyMaelstrom forgot the ceteris paribus.Well, of course, you'd have to assume there are no obscure factors that would disinterest the consumer like a rediculous increase in price or significant decrease in quality... however, I don't see what logic anyone could consider that would say simply legalizing something would reduce the interest of the consumer and therefor decrease the volume of consumers or even leave it the same.

In response to Thantos, I agree... if legalized, there would certainly be an immediate spike in consumption as people satisfy their curiousity and attempt to follow the crowd. Eventually this spike would level off and the number of users would die down, however, I couldn't say it would get back down to where it is before it is illegal as some of the new consumers from that spike would surely wish to continue the habit. I think the real key in the matter would lay on the commercial and financial industry on how they react to hiring marijuana users. Surely, if the drug was legal but it was shown that many employers had problems with hiring marijuana users, then the number of users would decrease.

Mario F.
06-02-2008, 01:12 PM
I honestly don't see what's the problem in an increase of consumption. How exactly is that a bad thing if it was to be legalized in the first place?

In other words, how can an increase or decrease in consumption can be an argument pro or in favor, Sly? You seem to be looking at this from the whole wrong POV. If there is an opinion that consumption will increase and this is seen as bad then you can agree that a priori you are against legalization. Because you wouldn't ever agree to legalize something you consider bad.

SlyMaelstrom
06-02-2008, 01:20 PM
I honestly don't see what's the problem in an increase of consumption. How exactly is that a bad thing if it was to be legalized in the first place?

In other words, how can an increase or decrease in consumption can be an argument pro or in favor, Sly? You seem to be looking at this from the whole wrong POV. If there is an opinion that consumption will increase and this is seen as bad then you can agree that a priori you are against legalization. Because you wouldn't ever agree to legalize something you consider bad.What? Who said an increase in consumption was a problem? I was countering brewbuck's statement (or really a leading question) which implied that it was wrong to assume that the legalization of a vice would increase the consumption of that vice. I was simply providing evidence of the opposite. Legalization, ceteris paribus, increases consumption. I think my examples, if properly reasearched by those who are interested, will support this. However, I don't know where you got the idea that I was saying this is a good or bad thing. Really, I'm just playing devil's advocate here, as I haven't found all of the pro-legalization arguments to be very strong, thus far. No offense. :)

Mario F.
06-02-2008, 01:36 PM
Probably my bad. I got that impression. However allow me to comment on this....


Legalization, ceteris paribus, increases consumption.

I've read your examples and I'm still not convinced. If anything I'll go by Thantos comments on this in that it may, as a result of the novelty, but will decline to the usual levels once it wears off.

There are many other factors at stake that would also have a saying. Legalization will force the government to take a more active role with prevention and awareness campaigns plus real investment in treatment clinics (something that I believe, much like in here, over there in US is mostly privately controlled). On the other hand, opening the society to the "dangers" of legal drugs will spur the debate and the awareness level further and will help a more conscious unbiased debate that can only benefit those who aren't there yet or are currently entry level consumers.

I could go on... maybe the above reads like a wish list. But I'm not sure so sure as you seem to be Sly. If anything your point didn't get an expression over here.

Anyways, off to buy a computer. Keep debating.

Elysia
06-02-2008, 01:39 PM
Isn't it the idea of forbidding something to decrease its use or consumption? They know they cannot entirely stop it, but it give a message to everyone that they'll not allow it.
So of course consumption increases if it were to become legal. Drug lords can even operate legally and sell to a much broader group of people.
And it's not so much about the single individual, but the needs of many. If the consumption increases, then so does the accidents or effects they have on other people.
We know there are people who drive while drunk. Sometimes they may be drinking somewhere and hope they can get home before they're caught in the act by driving.
But what if we banned alcohol in the first place? Then they couldn't go somewhere and drink before driving home, thus less accidents. Drunk people jeopardize other peoples' safety and not just their own.

This is what's so dangerous is legalizing drugs.
Some are responsible and will never hurt others. Some are stupid and jeopardize other's lives. Some do it on purpose.

So there must be a line between freedom and what we may not do. And someone or some people just have to draw the line. My opinion is that we can live without drugs.

Thantos
06-02-2008, 02:03 PM
If certain drugs were legalized I think we'd see a decrease in crime associated with the production and distribution of those drugs.


But what if we banned alcohol in the first place? Then they couldn't go somewhere and drink before driving home, thus less accidents.
Unfortunate for you, history doesn't support that statement.


Elysia, by your logic we had better ban cell phones because people can use them to do all sort of bad things. Just using a cell phone while driving can increase the chance of an accident.

Elysia
06-02-2008, 02:05 PM
Elysia, by your logic we had better ban cell phones because people can use them to do all sort of bad things. Just using a cell phone while driving can increase the chance of an accident.

No, as I did mention, there's a fine line between accepted and not accepted.
I fit cell phones into the category where it should be legal.
Everything has ups and downs and therefore must be considered.

mike_g
06-02-2008, 02:06 PM
So of course consumption increases if it were to become legal. Drug lords can even operate legally and sell to a much broader group of people.
And it's not so much about the single individual, but the needs of many. If the consumption increases, then so does the accidents or effects they have on other people.
You really are clueless arent you. The reason "drug lords" exist, along with drug related crime is because drugs are illegal and from that theres a huge amount of money to be made. If it were legalized and taxed these are the people that would be losing out.

As for accidents and this huge amount of mess you think is going to arise, again, its completely misguided. Theres plenty of messy incidents involving alcohol (as you may have witnessed if you are allowed out at night). But thats alcohol. Stoned people don't go around throwing up, starting fights, acting obscene and throwing tantrums for no reason at all. Out of all drugs alcohol has definitely got one of the worst effects on behavior.

Elysia
06-02-2008, 02:12 PM
You really are clueless arent you. The reason "drug lords" exist, along with drug related crime is because drugs are illegal and from that theres a huge amount of money to be made. If it were legalized and taxed these are the people that would be losing out.
Really? What if they can sell more, and for less risk?
There's another side of the argument.
There's no telling which side it will take.


As for accidents and this huge amount of mess you think is going to arise, again, its completely misguided. Theres plenty of messy incidents involving alcohol (as you may have witnessed if you are allowed out at night). But thats alcohol. Stoned people don't go around throwing up, starting fights, acting obscene and throwing tantrums for no reason at all. Out of all drugs alcohol has definitely got one of the worst effects on behavior.
This kind of amplifies my argument against drugs. A similar effect may build up on drugs, you know. But then again, maybe not. We cannot predict what will happen, but it might happen. And that's what politicians will argue, because they look at both sides of the coin.
I am also worried that the a similar effect to alcohol will arise, and that's why I vote against it.
(Btw, I am old enough to be allowed out at night, HOWEVER, I do not drink, I do not go to pubs, and I absolutely detest alcohol.)

Thantos
06-02-2008, 02:13 PM
No, as I did mention, there's a fine line between accepted and not accepted.
I fit cell phones into the category where it should be legal.
Everything has ups and downs and therefore must be considered.

So causing an accident because you are talking on a cell phone is ok but causing an accident because you are in altered state of mind isn't? Cell phones are ok even though one could use them to do some very bad things (annoying others on the train and/or being used as a trigger to blow the train up) but getting high is evil?

mike_g
06-02-2008, 02:16 PM
Really? What if they can sell more, and for less risk?
There's another side of the argument.
There's no telling which side it will take.
Then it will be a legal business with competition that pays tax. Would you call someone that owns a pub a drug lord?


This kind of amplifies my argument against drugs. A similar effect may build up on drugs, you know. But then again, maybe not. We cannot predict what will happen, but it might happen. And that's what politicians will argue, because they look at both sides of the coin.
I am also worried that the a similar effect to alcohol will arise, and that's why I vote against it.
(Btw, I am old enough to be allowed out at night, HOWEVER, I do not drink, I do not go to pubs, and I absolutely detest alcohol.)
The problem is that you dont understand anything about the drug you are talking about. You think people inject it o_O

Caffeine is a drug, should that be banned?

robwhit
06-02-2008, 02:26 PM
Why would you want to tax marijuana? If it was legalized, why shouldn't they be able to buy/sell it unencumbered?

Elysia
06-02-2008, 02:27 PM
So causing an accident because you are talking on a cell phone is ok but causing an accident because you are in altered state of mind isn't? Cell phones are ok even though one could use them to do some very bad things (annoying others on the train and/or being used as a trigger to blow the train up) but getting high is evil?
From the standpoint as I see it, that seems to be the case.
Others may not agree, but it's how I formulate my view and opinion on the matter.


The problem is that you dont understand anything about the drug you are talking about. You think people inject it o_O
Well, whatever they do with it. It was banned for a reason.


Caffeine is a drug, should that be banned?
I don't think it has such severe effects as other things, so it may be on the other side of the argument - allowed, because of freedom.

SlyMaelstrom
06-02-2008, 02:32 PM
I've read your examples and I'm still not convinced. If anything I'll go by Thantos comments on this in that it may, as a result of the novelty, but will decline to the usual levels once it wears off.That's because I didn't really back my comments up with statistics and never planned to... I'm simply leaving that for the interested reader to do on their own. I have nothing to gain by winning this debate, so I can't really be bothered to pull the statistics that I know I've seen in the past that support my examples. I wouldn't even want to bother those that are not so interested by posting the long post required to back up those examples.

I agreed with Thantos, as well, if you recall. His point was very similar to what I was making. It would cause an immediate spike from law-abiding people that are curious about the drug and then the spike would eventually drop back down... however to say that it would go back down to where it was (there for, not increasing the number of users) would imply that either all people who are curious but have yet to try the drug will not stick with it... or that there will be other circumstances (perhaps a really, really good anti-drug campaign *snicker*) that will pull the numbers of regular smokers down enough that it will offset the new consumers. Not impossible, and I'm sure the declining number of smokers in Portugal support that, however, I'm sure there is plenty of statistics that support the likely case being that there is be some sort of increase in users.

Another thing that should be considered would be the incorporation of the newly legalized drug in other products. Imagine your regular cigarette companies now releasing a new line of spilffs (tobacco cigarettes with a small amount of marijuana). Certainly you would find some kind of niche in the cigarette smoking community that would rather smoke a spliff than just a regular cigarette on occasions. Oh, oh... what about Kellogg's Marijuan-Os Brand Cereal? Surely you can see the market-ability of such items.

robwhit
06-02-2008, 02:34 PM
Well, whatever they do with it. It was banned for a reason.What was that reason? Do you know, or are you just tooting someone else's horn?

brewbuck
06-02-2008, 02:37 PM
Well, whatever they do with it. It was banned for a reason.

Frightening sort of logic... "If it's illegal, it must be wrong." "If he was arrested, he must be guilty."

At any rate, if you actually employ some effort and look into the historical reasons why cannabis was made illegal (and if you are unwilling to, you don't deserve to participate in these discussions) you should learn a few interesting things.

Salem
06-02-2008, 02:52 PM
> But what if we banned alcohol in the first place?
Did prohibition teach you anything?
Banning it just attracts criminals and sky-high prices to offset the consequences of getting caught.

One immediate effect of legalisation would be addicts could get help without being persecuted (or prosecuted). A stable price would mean they wouldn't have to resort to mugging and burglary (which accounts for a hell of a lot of low-level crime) to gain the funds to feed their habit.
The production cost of say cocaine is about the same as sugar, but the street price has absolutely no comparison. Where's all that extra money coming from (theft, muggings), and where is it going (pockets of criminals and terrorists). What part of that chain has any benefit to the wider society?


Proper establishments (like bars serving alcohol) where you could take your drug using safe and clean equipment would be available, where you could just strap yourself in for the duration of the trip. No risk of disease from infected needles, and no danger of accidental overdose because you change supplier and the hit is now 100x purer than you're used to.

Yes, that's right folks. As part of the bargain for legalisation, the govt. can also describe the legal ways in which you can use it. So some drugs would reqire proper licenced and regulated premises. I don't want to see crack-heads roaming the streets anymore than anyone else does, but if they want to go to a properly licenced premises for a few hours, then good luck to them.


> Drug lords can even operate legally and sell to a much broader group of people.
Yes, they're called "companies". They employ people and pay taxes. They also ensure that the product is delivered in regulated amounts for a consistent price.

> Who said an increase in consumption was a problem?
I just see an opportunity for governments to raise more taxes through the vices of other people so I can pay less. Fixing the damage smoking does (in health care) costs less than the tax revenues generated by smokers' over their lifetime. Sure most of them end up in hospital, but by and large it's a short stay (one way or another).
Now if the UK govt. had the stones to allow the police to directly invoice the drinks industry for all the extra man-power deployed on a Saturday night, then that too would be a big bonus.

The only way to control the level of consumption is through education (not legislation). Using drug receipts to fund such education is one way of managing the demand side of the problem. Tobacco use in the west has been falling for a good while now by keeping up the message about it's effects.

> If certain drugs were legalized I think we'd see a decrease in crime associated with the production and distribution of those drugs.
Yeah, all the way down to zero in fact. Are there any gun-toting drinks barons left in the US?
If the product is legal, then it follows production and supply is legal as well.

Thantos
06-02-2008, 02:54 PM
Why would you want to tax marijuana? If it was legalized, why shouldn't they be able to buy/sell it unencumbered?

Why not? We tax beer and tobacco so why not pot? Hell we tax most goods.


It was banned for a reason.
And what if the reason for it being banned was because it was considered a drug only Mexican used and we wanted to oppress them? Would that be a valid reason for keeping it banned? (Note: No idea if the reason I just used is historically accurate or not)

Thantos
06-02-2008, 03:01 PM
> If certain drugs were legalized I think we'd see a decrease in crime associated with the production and distribution of those drugs.
Yeah, all the way down to zero in fact. Are there any gun-toting drinks barons left in the US?
If the product is legal, then it follows production and supply is legal as well.

I don't think we'd see the crimes disappear for a good while. I actually wouldn't be surprised to see a spike in violent crime immediately following a ban lift. Some people stand to lose quite a lot of money so I could see them fight to maintain control of it. Over time it would decrease as they moved onto other forms of controlled substances.

Interesting thought: I wonder how much drug suppliers (the illegal kind) pay out in bribes (aka "contributions") to politicians to maintain the bans on certain drugs?

robwhit
06-02-2008, 03:16 PM
Why not? We tax beer and tobacco so why not pot? Hell we tax most goods.Taxing something just for uniformity is a good way to turn things to pot (pun intended).

Besides, since when is "why not?" a good reason to tax things?

SlyMaelstrom
06-02-2008, 03:17 PM
Interesting thought: I wonder how much drug suppliers (the illegal kind) pay out in bribes (aka "contributions") to politicians to maintain the bans on certain drugs?Not as much as the drug suppliers (legal kind) pay out in bribes (aka "contributions") to politicians to keep the bans off certain drugs? Would you think they contribute more than Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis or any other similar company to the campaigns in this years election in the USA? These aren't all US companies I named.

mike_g
06-02-2008, 03:27 PM
Interesting thought: I wonder how much drug suppliers (the illegal kind) pay out in bribes (aka "contributions") to politicians to maintain the bans on certain drugs?
I don't think they pay anything for that; its more like how much they pay to launder their money.


Taxing something just for uniformity is a good way to turn things to pot (pun intended).
Taxing drugs is a good way to discourage excessive use. It also adds an extra motivator for people that want to give up a habit.