I absolutely think marijuana should be legalized, but before I go throwing out my why's and when's, I wanted to respond to some of the statements I've just lurked through.
At 7/22/09 11:34 AM, jAk88 wrote:
[...] making everyone who drinks alcohol and thinks marijuana is so bad and dangerous a hypocrite.
I don't agree. It simply makes them ill-informed. You're lumping alcohol users together the same way the ignorant 'anti-marijuana' crowd lumps pot users together. Substance addiction and abuse is a serious issue and it's dangerous to a differing degree depending on the substance. For alcohol, the effects are rather obvious and pronounced. For marijuana, it's the same deal. Really though, it all comes down to this: moderation is the tell-tale sign of responsible use, regardless of the drug involved.
At 7/22/09 11:49 AM, RubberTrucky wrote:
I still feel that I can drink alcohol for the taste of it and can only use marijuana to get high.
How do you explain the invention of devices that employ water-filtration, vaporization, etc.? How do you explain people's tendency to roll marijuana instead of using methods that "waste" less smoke? How do you explain the thousands of different strains, hybrids, quality level, etc. present in the marijuana world? The fact is: even people who don't smoke the shit can identify the pungent odor it produces. There's a taste there, and it's different for different strains and different smoking methods.
You can smoke marijuana for taste... it just isn't accessible enough (thanks to it's illegality) for the lay person to do so.
At 7/22/09 08:10 PM, Elfer wrote:
A better idea would be to put a price cap on these drugs that would allow large, economical producers to turn a profit, but not smaller illegitimate operations.
I don't think that's the best way to go with marijuana. I think it'd be far better to foster a sense of community with the trade. Laws should encourage small-time mom/pop businesses cultivating and selling. I don't want to buy pot from 'Kappy's pot farm,' I want to buy pot from 'Aunt Jane's Fine Strains and other wares'. Incidentally, your suggestions at capping the price would ultimately benefit the small-timers much more than the large-scale operations. Why? The cost of moving product all over the country with a cap in the retail price of the substance you're moving would essentially cripple the business. Small-timers, however, have basically negligible costs associated with it. They could maintain a small greenhouse producing only 50-100 plants, a larger production in their backyard garden during the growing season, and the only costs for transportation would be the same ones incurred driving to and from work every day.
At 7/23/09 02:07 AM, Psychophobia wrote:
I believe that if people are going to be stupid, America deserves to profit off of them.
That makes you an asshole as well as I can figure. Not to mention one of those stupid people you're apparently decrying. America doesn't profit from stupidity in any sense. No, America profits from education and hard-work. There is a tendency among heavy marijuana users to become apathetic and do little when it comes to societally productive endeavors, but establishing a marijuana trade would likely nullify that greatly.
Now then, I think marijuana should be legalized, as stated. I know MA has recently submitted a bill for the legalization and taxation of marijuana, and I know that California has something in the works for their state, which is severely strapped for cash. I hope marijuana is legalized. When the decriminalization question was brought up in the past election, MA voters passed the measure overwhelmingly in favor of decriminalization. Weed did better here than Obama did, and he CRUSHED McCain here in MA (obviously).
They should stiffen enforcement for impairment-related unlawfulness, however. Not criminal repercussions, but rehabilitation efforts should be increased. Honestly, I think drugs should be treated like a license to drive is. Recreational drugs are a privilege, not a right. The same way people take driving school classes they should have to take classes to learn about marijuana and it's effects. Once they've passed the state certified test, they have a license to buy and consume. If they're abusing their license to buy to provide it to those without a license to consume: they're stripped of their license to buy (but not to consume themselves). If they're abusing their license to consume by using at work, using while driving (... even though I don't really believe marijuana effects judgment behind the wheel much at all, personal anecdote below), etc. then they lose their license to consume as well.
Compared to underage drinking, how often do you witness or hear about underage driving? Exactly. A licensing system for consumers makes a lot of sense. Personally, I don't mind a little bureaucracy when it comes to things like that. ESPECIALLY compared to prohibition. And if it keeps irresponsible users off the stuff (in public) even remotely as well as current license laws do, then I'm happy. If you're on your own property, or in your own home, however, you should be allowed to do as you please. Same as you can have your 13 year old behind the wheel of your car up and down your driveway and parents can give their underage children a drink in the privacy of their own home you should be able to consume, grow, whatever your own shit on your own property.
Anecdote time: driving down a local backroad with two passengers in the car in an old 240 wagon, stoned out of my fucking mind (all of us). I'm doing 5-10 over the 25 mph speed limit. A deer leaps out in front of the car and I lock up the brakes IMMEDIATELY, still maintaining the presence of mind to steer slight left in order to avoid hitting the deer. I kiss the poor thing's hide with my bumper as the weight of the car sets back from the stop. Stopping distance at that speed is 51 ft, according to this, so I somehow managed to view a deer entering the roadway from the woods, understand that I was about to hit the deer, and slam on my brakes fast enough to reach a dead stop in at least 52 feet, all heavily under the influence of marijuana.