Should Marijuana be legalized?

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  1. dcbrown2000 profile image60
    dcbrown2000posted 15 years ago

    Should the United States Government legalize marijuana?  What do you think?

    1. flifla profile image61
      fliflaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Taxing it would be next to impossible, as all plants grown would be impossible to regulate! You can't tax what you cannot find.

      De criminalizing it would be the best option. It practically is in some areas, or the laws against it are not strictly enforced.
      The State of Texas passed a law that any amount under 4 OZ (a quarter lb.!) is a misdemeanor, at the officer's discretion. Personally, constables in Texas ( at least in my experiences in Houston TX) don't want to bother with writing a ticket for someone who has a small amount of marijuana for personal use. This law was passed 09/01/07 along with the "Castle and Keep Doctrine" otherwise known as the "Make My Day" law.
      Another occasion in Southern California, I was stopped for a minor traffic violation and a joint was in plain view in my ashtray. The officer asked if he could "throw that away" and I said yes, albeit grudgingly. No ticket, nothing. I was let go with a warning. See? Not enforced.

    2. profile image52
      microsatposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Not at all. It should not be mentioned at all rather it should be completely abolished ok?

    3. eswar profile image60
      eswarposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Not only in United States but All over the World - a big NO

    4. spiderpam profile image75
      spiderpamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I don't use it, but I think it should be legalized and they should tax it and make money to help our economy.

    5. fortunerep profile image70
      fortunerepposted 14 years agoin reply to this


    6. Chumsandchubs profile image60
      Chumsandchubsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yes! because its a herb and a natural form af drug!

    7. marcs profile image59
      marcsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yes. I don't care about the tax issue and I don't care about comparing to other products because I think something has to be based on own it's merits. The basic question is this does the right to choose your own lifestyle outweigh the risks involved?For marijuana I say yes. Are there risks involved, let's be honest, yes there are.Are they significant enough on the whole to warrant outlawing it, I don't believe so. End of story, it doesn't matter what other products are legal, just because another item is legal doesn't mean it should be legal.

      1. Kelsey Tallis profile image64
        Kelsey Tallisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with this, well-stated.

    8. profile image0
      awwstahposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I do think that marijuana should be leagalized only becaue cigarettes which are legal harmful and not only to the person who inhales it but to those they are around. BUt like alcohol only marijuana should be able to be used by responsible people since it does affect the mind as oppose to cigarettes...

  2. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 15 years ago


  3. lady luck profile image69
    lady luckposted 15 years ago


    1. Mark Knowles profile image59
      Mark Knowlesposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      That's the problem right there. They can't tax it. How do you tax a plant that you can grow anywhere?

      1. lady luck profile image69
        lady luckposted 15 years agoin reply to this

        Im sure they can find a way to tax some of it.

        Some is better than none, right? Right.

        It should be LEGAL ANYWAY because its a damn plant.

      2. profile image49
        savwig7posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Umm, you can grow tobacco anywhere!!! It is taxed. So what was your point again?

        1. Mark Knowles profile image59
          Mark Knowlesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Gosh did you join just to ask that dumb question?

          I guess if you do not understand how much tobacco you need to grow to be able to make your own cigarettes, compared to how many marijuana plants you need to make your own joints....

          Let me know when you are growing enough tobacco on a windowsill in Manhattan. lol

      3. zuk1 profile image61
        zuk1posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Agreed, and that is exactly why I think they will never do it. The only way they could successfully do it is to decriminalize it in certain areas and make it a tourist attraction - but I don't think that would make enough money to make it worthwhile.

        The government is all about money.

      4. sunforged profile image73
        sunforgedposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Alcohol can be made by anyone, that tax seems to work fine..home brewing is legal up to a certain volume, why couldnt home growing follow similar rules

        oops taht has been pointed out multiple times throughout teh thread

        - Im a fan, legalize, standardize, tax and prescribe. It wont change much, but it will make the country money rather than spend money on courts,cops jails and paperwork

        1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
          GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          EXCELLENT points.

          Personally, our tax money is being wasted on housing a bunch of people for doing a lot of "illegal" things. The Fed likes to tell you what you can and can't do because it doesn't believe that we're adults.

          ...of course, in a world where our biggest show is American Idol and The Real Housewives of OC...


  4. gamergirl profile image88
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    I say yes. 

    It will make smoking weed less attractive to the masses.  Keeping mind and body altering "drugs" illegal only makes them cooler to people who want to find ways to rebel.

  5. Misha profile image65
    Mishaposted 15 years ago

    Should we all sign a petition? And prepare for a jail time? wink

  6. Earl S. Wynn profile image81
    Earl S. Wynnposted 15 years ago

    I wrote an essay on this years ago, but I can't find it for the life of me, haha. smile

    Basically if we wanted to tax and regulate it, the pharmaceutical companies that would be responsible for making the product would have to produce a safer, higher quality, and more direct-approach than what people on the street would, and/or offer it for cheaper.

    If we're talking about legalization like alcohol is legal, then that's a whole other ballgame, though I think, just as with booze, it could be sold and taxed. I mean, plenty of people make their own hooch, and if they know what they're doing, it's better than what's mass produced and available on the market, but most people don't care enough about that to bother. Why go through all the trouble of raising the plant and doing... whatever it is that needs to be done to get it to produce a high-quality product when you could just go down to the store and get what you need pre-packaged and prepared for a fraction of the cost. People are lazy, and therein lies the opening for taxation.

    I mean seriously, tomatoes are plants. If they put a tax on tomatoes tomorrow, do you think everyone would just grow their own?

  7. topstuff profile image61
    topstuffposted 15 years ago

    Whyn't.It must be considered by the up coming govt of the US and mustbe one of the top priorities.I hope so.It willbe profitable though not healthwise.

    1. Jewels profile image82
      Jewelsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Good point, considering the US is reliant on consumer debt to produce it's main source of revenue, maybe getting into full-on marijuana products will get the US out of trouble.  Finally a good reason to produce hemp products.  Geez, it just may be environmentally friendly too.

      This one's a hot potato, always has been.  I'm all for hemp products - it makes lots of sense considering cotton production is a law unto itself.

      But smoking the stuff - sorry can't go for it.  Not that I've not had a go, I have.  But I've seen the long term effects - not pretty hmm

  8. Marian Swift profile image61
    Marian Swiftposted 14 years ago

    It would be difficult at best to tax grow-it-yourselfers, but the flip side is that law enforcement would be freed to concentrate on serious crimes.  Prisons would likely see a population decrease; feeding, sheltering and guarding prisoners eats up a lot of tax money.

    I'd be surprised if somebody didn't come up with a more potent variety (or several of them), and those could be regulated and taxed.

    Behaviors (not simple possession) can be regulated at least as well as alcohol is now -- socially as well as judicially.  For example, once upon a time it was pretty common for workers to get sloshed at lunch.   Today that's a big social no-no.

    I can also see a pure, standardized extract of the active component, THC, being used in strictly-by-prescription medications.

  9. VioletSun profile image79
    VioletSunposted 14 years ago

    I only smoked pot once in my life and nothing happened, no buzz or giggles, LOL!  but my vote is yes. Like Gamegirl observes,  if it becomes legal there will be less attraction to the drugs.. its all psychological.

    1. Sterling Sage profile image61
      Sterling Sageposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      (sorry for the digression, but...) That's a common thing; I had to smoke it 3 times before it worked.  I don't know why.

      1. VioletSun profile image79
        VioletSunposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Interesting... but I  wasn't drawn to try again, even if my co-workers smoked it,  because in my family we have had addiction.

    2. flread45 profile image64
      flread45posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      wrong those who start useing drugs work their way up the chain to the good stuff..

      1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
        GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Hope thats a joke, 'cause that's certainly not generally the case. Granted, someone can have an addictive personality (you may have seen them in AA!) or they'll go through a tough time and fall into a bad crowd.

        But to merely suggest that any drug user "works their way up" is a falsehood. Narcotics, hallucinogenics, and psychoactives are three distinctly different things and they affect different people in different ways. Its like trying to compare apples to oranges.


  10. profile image0
    Poppa Bluesposted 14 years ago

    Yes! And not just marijuana either but all drugs! Why? Because by making these drugs illegal we actually promote their use! How can that be you ask? Think about how free markets work and how people behave in a free market system. As long as there is a demand for drugs and a profit can be made satisfying that demand there will be a drug trade. Look at how much money this country has spent combating this problem. But where has this money gone? It's gone into the construction of prisons, aid to foreign countries where the drugs are produced, hiring cops, prosecutors, judges, the military the list goes on and on! We've spent billions attacking the production side of the problem and on enforcement jailing people for possession and ruining the live of what might otherwise be productive people and turning them into lifetime criminals because of their felony record. Making drugs illegal does nothing to limit the demand but does everything to make the trade in drugs profitable. The prices of drugs reflect the risks involved in importing them into the country. Prices include the costs associated with the bribes and corruption necessary to bypass enforcement. If drugs were legal they would become so inexpensive that criminals wouldn't bother trading in them. Farmers that make a living growing poppy or marijuana would switch to other crops that are more profitable. Now the billions we spend in aid and enforcement could be redirected to education and other programs aimed at reducing demand further.  Of course we would never eradicate the drug problem completely, but there would certainly be less crime associated with drugs if they were legal and taxpayers would enjoy a huge savings!

  11. Traveling Nani profile image59
    Traveling Naniposted 14 years ago

    I agree it should be legal, but take it outside - it stinks.  And how do you keep it away from children in public places? ie: restaurants and bars, airport.  Things would need to be worked out, but  that can be done.
    I'm not a smoker but it might be a time when I actually like second hand smoke! 


  12. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 14 years ago

    Yes like marijuana bars. But there are too many industries dependent upon its illegally, like prison and DEA and parts of the ruling class, the paper industry, for it ever to become legal. Notice the states removed from washington can get partial legality, but that's it. Mexico partially legalized it, but the US put
    on the pressure to put an end to that.

  13. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 14 years ago

    legalizing it takes half the fun out of it. lol  smile  no but seriously, of course legalize it already!

  14. Christoph Reilly profile image68
    Christoph Reillyposted 14 years ago

    Many people have already spoken eloquently in this thread so I'll defer to their insight, that is, those that are pro-legalization. To some extent, I think what Poppa says is true, and paraglider too. But that aside, their is no legitimate reason to have marajuana against the law. Their justifications don't stand up to reality. And they use it's illegality to get away with so many other things like seizure of property. Legalize Now!

    1. Paraglider profile image89
      Paragliderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      That's strange, because I haven't said anything yet, on this thread. But I suppose I should, now, so you can agree with me prophetically wink

      It should be legalised, but for me, I still prefer beer!

      1. Christoph Reilly profile image68
        Christoph Reillyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        That IS strange. You were just here last night.

  15. Shadesbreath profile image81
    Shadesbreathposted 14 years ago

    There is no reason to not make it legal.  Prohibition created criminal wealth and this ridiculous ban has done the same.   Gazillions of money wasted on law enforcement time and energy to stop people from driving too slow and being non-violently pinned to their couches watching reruns of House.  It's mindboggling.  I don't even smoke pot (well, since college in the late 80's) and I see how unfathomably stupid this "issue" is.  It's like our government doesn't even look around at reality at all.

    There are so many economic reasons to stop siphoning money to Mexican drug cartels I can't even list them, and frankly, if I have to listen to one more doctor tell me, "Dude, why don't you stop drinking and I'll write you a prescription for pot, it's so much more healthy," I'm going to scream. (Good luck getting me to stop drinking, btw, I'm just saying, doctors are all for pot apparently... I've had three doctors say that to me over the last few years).  (You do know that doctors study the human body and figure out what's good and bad, right?).  (They are wrong about booze though, judgmental bastards.)

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Oh god give a stoner more credit than that!'s more like Roseanne. lol smile

      Anyone remember the DARE program?  Do they still teach that?

      1. Kika Rose profile image68
        Kika Roseposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        They did when I was in middle school, back in the early 2000's. I hated that bullcrap with a passion.

        The long term effects of marijuana, or at least, the ones they teach kids about (such as holes that make your brain look like swiss cheese), don't happen nearly as fast as they're advertised in our schools, nor to the extent of which they're shown unless a person smokes pot every day for 10-20 years. One joint or bowl once a month isn't going to cause the Swiss Cheese Phenomena. One joint or bowl doesn't mean you'll be addicted for life and you'll die a vegetable. One joint or bowl won't change you so radically within the next 24 hours that your friends are going to think you're a completely different person.

        Ah, how the media has grown conservative.

        Marijuana is a depressant, just like alcohol. Except, unlike alcohol, it doesn't cause liver disease or failure, and it doesn't make you vomit up everything you ate within the past 6 hours because you had too much of it. In all honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing kids with ADHD put on weed to calm those rambunctious brains and bodies down!

  16. laflat7 profile image39
    laflat7posted 14 years ago

    I have no anything against marihuana. But its distribution should be in any case under the control, i mean not strict control wink but some kind of control must exist any way.
    Btw we can sign petition here big_smile _

  17. anime_nanet profile image60
    anime_nanetposted 14 years ago

    For medicinal purposes only

  18. SparklingJewel profile image67
    SparklingJewelposted 14 years ago

    Any substance that is chemically mind altering is a threat to humanity. There has not been and probably never will be  thoroughly complete research done on the effects of most substances. And besides that, Because EVERY human being is finitely different in their chemistry and in their environment, as well as their spiritual makeup, wholistically speaking, it can never be concretely determined how any substance will specifically affect the individual, let alone the masses.

    Marijuana is addictive and that is reason enough to not make it legal.

    1. E J profile image60
      E Jposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      That's the first comment I've read here that I can agree with. It definately does cause problems pyschologically and that has been proven. It is most damaging to the adolesent as the brain is immature, it can cause serious manic depression in the worst case scenario.

      1. Misha profile image65
        Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Actually, water can cause serious health problems if taken in too much quantities. Does this mean we should ban water, too? Let alone hundreds if not thousands over-the-counter drugs, as knol mentioned...

        1. E J profile image60
          E Jposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah why not I can survive on alcohol no probs wink

          1. Kika Rose profile image68
            Kika Roseposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            What do you think early Europeans did? tongue The water wasn't safe to drink, so they drank themselves silly.

    2. Bob Cedar profile image59
      Bob Cedarposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Marijuana is habit forming, not addictive. Big difference there.

      I'm sorry but that is not true. Do you know how many people smoke pot now? Not just your stereotypical dreadlocked dropout, but actuall pillars of society. Everyone that already smokes would keep smoking, just not freaking out when someone knocks on the door while they are high. I mean honestly there is more than 5 people smoking pot these days. I don't understand why everyone thinks society would crumble.

  19. Misha profile image65
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    Jewel, not that I am a big expert in marijuana, but based of what I learned recently, from the people I tend to believe, it is NOT addictive biologically. Neither is LSD, btw. Or mushrooms, for that matter smile

  20. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 14 years ago

    "And besides that, Because EVERY human being is finitely different in their chemistry and in their environment, as well as their spiritual makeup, wholistically speaking, it can never be concretely determined how any substance will specifically affect the individual, let alone the masses." So how many pharmasuetical drugs have you taken? Marijuana is not
    physically addictive as cigarettes or alcohol, but can be psychologically addictive. It can cause problems with certain individuals, but nothing like problems caused with
    Alcohol or cigarettes, some harder drugs and some pharmasueticals. Notice the people most against it have never tried it. Represents an attitude of intolerance me thinks.

  21. steimmanbernard profile image61
    steimmanbernardposted 14 years ago

    probably the government thinking for some outcomes if they will goin to legalize the marijuana. there are some people abusing it and that would be a big problem of the government if ever. i admit that is useful drugs and also an alternative for pain medicines.

  22. TravelMonkey profile image60
    TravelMonkeyposted 14 years ago

    Cannabis is not recognised as a lone cause for mental health problems, it merely increases your chance of becoming mentally ill. Ask any mental health professional and they will tell you the same.

    It should be used for medical purposes only.

  23. rosie2305 profile image61
    rosie2305posted 14 years ago

    If people smoke it for relaxation in moderate amounts then its okay but taken in excess can be really damaging mentally. I have a brother who has never smoked cigarettes and rarely drinks alcohol but indulges in marijuana frequently. When I say frequently, I mean he literally chain-smokes the stuff. I have seem him transformed over the years from a bright bubbly funny personality to a depressed psychotic who can no longer hold down a job and has no interest in his children. His only topic of conversation is, yes, you guessed it. People say it's not addictive but I'm not so sure because he  certainly cannot live without it.
    I used to have a liberal view on this subject but now that I have witnessed, first hand, the devastating effects it can have on a person and their family, I really feel that people need to be made aware of the dangers

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image92
      Rochelle Frankposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I have never been acquainted with it, personally, or in my friends or family, but it sounds similar to alcohol. Some people may be able to moderate, others can't.
      We saw what prohibition did in illegal activity and mob control, but alcohol has a deep cultural roots. Marajuana doesn't, do we need another addiction problem?

    2. Lisa HW profile image63
      Lisa HWposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Rosie and Rochelle), I agree with both of you.  Rosie, I've known people who let their school grades slip - never to "come back" - as a result of thinking smoking weed is "what everyone does".  Rochelle, I agree that we don't need to essentially condone yet another problem like alcohol.  I don't believe in setting up laws/policies based on "people are going to do it anyway".  That's not leadership.

      I'm not a big fan of stuff of that makes people "silly" and "dopey" anyway.  I don't want to (as my mother used to call it) "muck up my clear head" - and just as its obnoxious to be the only one sober at a party, it's equally unappealing to have be around people who use drugs to either relax or have a good time.

      Then, as Rosie mentioned, there is often the hypocrisy of people making a "big stink" over cigarette smoking and all its dangers and problems "for the world" - but who think the smoke from weed is fine, and that a drug that "mucks up your head" (even briefly) is "superior" to one (nicotine" that at least doesn't do that.  (I'm not defending smoking - only point out that there can be hypocrisy when it comes to what "vice" is fashionable.)

      I don't think kids should be put in prison for smoking weed; but I don't think buying into the "oh, it's completely harmless" or "oh, it's better than cigarettes or alcohol" thinking is great either.  When kids start getting so they're "entertaining themselves" by using weed, it almost doesn't matter whether it's physically addictive or not.  There's a whole mindset that starts to take place, and they can be "swept away" into something that isn't good at all.  As for adults, I just think they should "grow up and stop doing stupid stuff" (particularly if they're parents).  I know it's corny to say these days, and I know I've been in a minority since my friends all "loved" smoking weed back in early 70's; but I think there's something to be said for knowing how to relax and/or have fun without needing the assistance of a substance.

      With the big push toward eliminating cigarette smoking it makes no sense to now decide to encourage weed smoking.  Either we're a "feel free to be stupid" society or we're not.  Since it appears that we are not, it's just inconsistent to think we ought to break a rule for something that, in its own ways, is worse than cigarette smoking and, at least in some situations, has the potential of posing more dramatic and immediate dangers to others than just second-hand smoke.  (An example is stoned kids in cars or unattended babies with stoned parents.)  I know that in some circumstances, and for some people, a little dope smoking isn't a big deal and is their business.  The trouble is for that minority there is a far greater majority for whom making weed legal would just introduce a whole new set of horrible problems into individual lives and society.  Like Rosie, I'm someone who has had experience watching more than one person "turn into someone else" - so while I usually try not to be judgmental about what people do, I just think smoking weed isn't the "harmless fun" a lot of people think it is.

      1. Bob Cedar profile image59
        Bob Cedarposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        What about stoned kids in cars? There are actual tests by universities, big ones like harvard and the other ivy-ish like, that show smoking marijuana doesn't take away from the driving ability. In fact marijuana users show more caution while driving than most sober people (too stoned to text/eat/drink while driving - worst case scenario is the stoner is fumbling with the radio more trying to find that one station that plays the Pink Floyd power hour). And unattended babies while the parents are stoned? If the parents are gonna neglect their kids, it's because they are neglectful. If they weren't getting high, there would be another reason they weren't caring for the kids. And if a parent wants to get high, they have the right, when a child goes to sleep the parents should have the right to step out or into a designated room and puff on a joint if they want. It no different than a parent having some beers after they put Junior to bed.

        again I don't think weed anything to do with that. whatever change they took, that change was building up. at most weed clouded their inhibition so they could go through with whatever they were wanting to change in/with their lives. and also this point of smoke, second hand smoke, smoke in the air, smoke on the water (had to it sorry). but you can eat weed also. so yes weed is 100% safer than cigs if that is your method of ingestion. everyone knocks weed cause it's illegal.

  24. washingtonson profile image60
    washingtonsonposted 14 years ago

    Yes-hurry up and legalize it!
    hmmm....a black president....a German doctor accidentally cures marijuana?'s time has finally come!

  25. AEvans profile image75
    AEvansposted 14 years ago

    If it were legal everyone would be high and nothing would get accomplished as there are many who cannot control alcohol or prescribed narcotics for that matter , I have seen to much when I was working in the ER at the beginning of my career, so I am going to have to say no.sad

  26. Bob Cedar profile image59
    Bob Cedarposted 14 years ago

    Oh yeah and one more thing

    "That's the problem right there. They can't tax it. How do you tax a plant that you can grow anywhere?"

    You can grow pot anywhere, but it takes skills and knowledge to grow good quality pot, plus it takes a while to get the actual harvest. I think the business would still thrive, because Johnny Toke Lately would want something to smoke while waiting for his harvest, or realizes that he only knows enough to grow dirt and he wants something better.

  27. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 14 years ago

    "If it were legal everyone would be high and nothing would get accomplished as there are many who cannot control alcohol or prescribed narcotics for that matter"
    Probably one of the main reasons it is illegal. It encourages real conservatism, because when stoned people tend to enjoy things as they are, and don't feel the need necessarily to replace things with something new engendering the capitalist economy.
    But in any event it is legal in Spain and usage has not increased.

  28. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 14 years ago

    I wish I had some right now.

    Just kidding.

    No I'm not.

    1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
      GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      We'll have to get together sometime. wink Haha. just kidding. No, I'm not.

      As for the legalization of drugs....this is such a tricky topic. Our media is filled with bad representations of drug users, and the good ones get drowned out or bashed and run away with their tails between their legs. (Like Michael Phelps.)

      In the end, its not a good idea to tell people what they can and cannot put in their bodies. But its a good idea to tell them what to expect if they abuse it.

      I find it funny that (from what I know, anyway) alcohol is treated with such respect in many countries (UK, Mexico, etc.) and its become ingrained in their cultures often for the better.

      I'd love to legalize every drug, but I'm not stupid. However, pot has proven to be effective for many things and not only is it valuable for medicinal use, it also leaves less affect on the body than cigarettes or alcohol.

      Ever heard of a stoner getting into a car wreck? Oh, I'm sure they have at some time. But generally speaking you'll never hear "the driver was high on cannabis..." its always "the driver was drinking and high on [other drug]"

      This again, proves a very well to learn point--us Americans, and people in general, just don't know how to moderate our consumption.



      1. Bob Cedar profile image59
        Bob Cedarposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        and lets not forget it's industrial qualities.

        1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
          GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Haha, good point. Hemp is Pimp!

      2. Sufidreamer profile image80
        Sufidreamerposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Generique - the UK has some serious problems with drinking now, and the drinking culture is out of control.

        The Mediterranean countries and France are better, though - everybody drinks, but few take it to excess - apart from exiled Englishmen wink

        1. JamaGenee profile image80
          JamaGeneeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          hahaha, Sufi!

          The biggest roadblock to legalization is MISinformation.  Just the other day I had to straighten out a friend (who only smoked pot once) who claimed it's addictive, same as alcohol.  Had she ever researched it?  Of course not...was only repeating what she'd heard from others who don't use it and never have.

          1. earnestshub profile image84
            earnestshubposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            When my son was ten he went online and found out about drugs as he did not believe what he was taught at school.He was very annoyed to be told a lot of rubbish by his teacher that was not credible to many of his classmates either. Kids are smart, until stupid adults stop telling them reefer madness stories we have very little credibility when we warn them against any drugs.

            1. JamaGenee profile image80
              JamaGeneeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              So true!

          2. sunforged profile image73
            sunforgedposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            "In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing." — Mark Twain

  29. cindyvine profile image73
    cindyvineposted 14 years ago

    In countries where it is legal, like Spain and the Netherlands, their society hasn't crumbled.  The same people who smoked it before now smoke it legally.  And, as there's no longer the danger of getting caught attraction to smoking it, I think less people smoke it than before.  Whether it's legal or not, people who want to smoke it will smoke it.  So why not just make it legal, and many school kids won't bother to do it because it's legal.

    1. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Cindy, what are you holding in your photo???????

  30. earnestshub profile image84
    earnestshubposted 14 years ago

    I have nothing against marijuana, but there are some logistic problems with legalization, so I think decriminalizing it across all states would be a good start.

  31. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    JamaGenee, nobody needs to research it to see what happens when a kid (or anyone else) starts spending too much time using it; and nobody has to research anything to know that once something becomes legal more people feel freer to do it.   The question doesn't have to be how weed compares to all the other "bad stuff" in the world.  Each "bad thing" should be addressed separately.

    There has always been misuse of drugs; but it hasn't been a widespread problem among the general population until recent history.  Many people remember when the only "mainstream" problem was alcohol abuse (with or without addiction).  People who have watched loved ones make a big mess of their lives/futures (especially parents who have watched their once vibrant kids turn into "different people"), just because they spend too much time smoking weed, don't need research to see/feel the awfulness of it.

    I don't dispute that a lot of people can harmlessly smoke their weed to relax or get goofy (or whatever) without consequences (although there always remains future discoveries about possible physical consequences; people used to think smoking cigarettes was fine too).  I just don't think the wish of those people should take precedence over the widespread consequences to society in general.  (As far as I'm concerned, there are a lot of prescription and OTC drugs that ought to be made illegal too, for one reason or another.)  I just don't think "wanting to relax" or "wanting to get silly" is good enough reason to legalize weed.   People who don't see the problem that smoking dope has caused throughout society are the ones who need to do some research.

  32. Bob Cedar profile image59
    Bob Cedarposted 14 years ago

    What problems has smoking "dope" caused society? Anything crime related is only due to the underground market created by the legal status of crime. I like bold statements such as "People who don't see the problem that smoking dope has caused throughout society are the ones who need to do some research", yet no examples or proof of said problem. And what mess of their lives do people make smoking weed? I've seeing many a panhandler begging for change to score crack, coke, or heroin, but I've never seen or heard about some teenage runaway going down on a trucker for that one hit off of a joint. I think these people who's lives went in the crapper due to pot just had a crappy life, dug a hole they couldn't get out of and used pot as a scapegoat.

    1. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      For many creative people, much of our best work is done under the influence of weed.

      Sadly, a joint = automatic jail time in this part of Greece, so I do not take the risk. sad

  33. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    I realize there is a difference between legalizing dope smoking for adults and legalizing it for teenagers.  I know, too, some teenagers will outgrown using marijuana once they get past their teens.  Without going over all the ways that smoking can ultimately end up being harmless to anyone, I want to address what happens when it isn't.

    An awful lot of parents have seen their kids go from "vibrant" (or at least "non-dopey") kids to being kids who seem to become obsessed with smoking.  They find their fellow smoking friends, and build a little world around smoking, and other less-than-constructive thinking/activities.  Kids who once were "just part of the mainstream" among peers can turn into "fringe kids".  Once they're too obviously "fringe kids" the "regular kids" don't want to be bothered with them any more.

    Science knows that the brain is not completely developed until early- to mid- twenties.  Whether or not smoking dope has any effect on that brain development is not something I can say for the purposes of this debate, here.  Maybe science knows it has no effect. Maybe it is believed to destroy brain cells.  Maybe science doesn't yet know enough.  What is well known, though, is that kids who spend their youth doped up miss out on a lot of social/intellectual growth that takes place in the teen years.  So, one problem is that a lot of people get to their twenties and beyond, without ever having the chance to develop socially/intellectually to their optimum potential.  "Intellectually" isn't just about who gets 700's in the SAT's.  There are parts of brain development that are not associated with how well people can do academically.

    Some of these people will drift away from smoking dope once they grow up.  Others won't.  Still others will find that, for the, marijuana was that "gateway" drug.  So, you'll have the people who wouldn't have become drug addicts (and sometimes dangers to other people, if they're using when working) if it weren't for weed.  Then you'll have some adults (users but not addicts of anything) who will have kids.  Those adults will either be parents who hide their casual use from their kids; or who set the example that adult life cannot be lived happily without casual smoking.  Rather than encourage their children to find ways to enjoy life without using anything, they'll send the message that keeping a clear head and having healthy habits is not important.  Without further digging up every possible smaller way that widespread use of something like marijuana (or, yes, alcohol) detracts from the level of thinking/maturity and other positive of aspects, let's think about those kids who got swept permanently away in their teen years:

    The adult world sends the message that things like smoking weed and drinking alcohol are for grown-ups.  It sends the message that it's unrealistic to think people can live without "mucking up their clear heads (as my mother used to call it).  Teens want to be grown up, and they want to do "what everybody else does".  The happier ones want to be cool, and the sadder ones want to escape.  (Heck, it isn't even cool among my generation - Baby Boomers - to be against marijuana, let alone today's kids.)  In any case, you have the adult world setting the guidelines for what "adults do" (if you legalize marijuana); so that's going to contribute to yet more kids aiming to do it.    As with so many other things, it's the kids who are most emotionally fragile who are more likely to be at risk; but among teens, an awful lot of them are "emotionally fragile" (especially these days).

    So, without even talking about the adults who could make healthier/wiser/more mature use of their recreational time, or adults who neglect their children because they get a little too "taken" with smoking; legalizing marijuana would essentially make it "equal" to drinking in the adult world (and in what teens see as "what adults do").  Essentially, it would be harder to send them the message that smoking, like drinking, isn't the greatest way to "relax"; or that smoking weed, like smoking cigarettes, isn't the greatest thing for health.

    People who don't have kids, or who don't care about what happens to society's kids in general, aren't going to see any of this reasoning as reason not to legalize marijuana.  People who realize, though, that today's kids turn into tomorrow's adults, may at least see the potential for problems in tomorrow's adult society.

    Having not nearly addressed the problems, I'm just saying that the main problem is the thinking that marijuana is harmless.  It isn't always harmless.  In fact, much of the time, it's not - any more than cigarettes are harmless or alcohol is harmless.  A lot of cigarette smokers don't get sick.   A lot of drinkers don't get sick or become alcoholics.  On the whole, though, both substances detract from the wellness of society.  Both destroy a lot of lives too.  Why legalize yet another one?  I don't think you call something "harmless" just because everyone doesn't become physiologically addicted.  There is psychological addiction, but even if nobody gets addicted in any way these substances aren't good for society on the whole. 

    If I wanted to post on here the awful stories of some of the people I've known (and known of) who have had their lives/future and sometimes health seriously damaged because they, as kids, thought marijuana was harmless, I could list them.  I don't want to humiliate people (some of whom ended up dropping out of school, becoming drug addicts, living in poverty with brain damage, and living on SSI).  One not very close to me example was the boy who used to deliver my newspapers and seemed like such a "regular" kid; and who nows lives as I've described and has become so mentally ill he sings at the top of his lungs downtown, as he goes around bumming money for another joint.  He's about 38 now.  His heartbroken mother no longer knows about the mess he has become because she has since developed Alzheimer's Disease.  His elderly father, however, has been left alone to try to figure out how to help him.

    He may be an extreme example, but he's not, by any means, a particularly rare one.  Less extreme situations aren't a whole lot better, at least in terms of "is this good for society on the whole?"  Just the thinking that smoking marijuana (other than for medical reasons) is such an important thing it needs to be legalized is, as far as I'm concerned, an indication that society has come to value the use of this stuff far more than any society ought to value any mood-altering or smokeable substance.  That, alone, tells us that our society values getting high more than having a policy of doing what's healthiest (which is not smoking or drinking anything for recreational or relaxation purposes).  Without the legalization of marijuana, society has already been "damaged" in its thinking, when it comes to what's healthiest.

    Should people have a right to do what's not healthy?  Sure.  At the same time, should laws be changed because some people think they ought to be able to do whatever they feel like doing without regard for what legalization is likely to potentially do across other segments of society?  I don't happen to think so.

    1. Bob Cedar profile image59
      Bob Cedarposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Are you sure it's just weed the paper boy was doing? Are you sure there was nothing wrong with him? I've never heard of anyone going crazy from weed alone. And I mean as far as kids dropping out of society and what not, that's is just anti-social behaivor that the kid has on their own. I was 15 smoking, got good grades in school, was very social and about once a month me and my best fried would play golf with his dad, who was a State's Attorney in Florida. Went on to college, got a degree and work in the field I went to college for. I don't think setting a law saying it's ok for adults to do will push kids towards it. If anything it will take away the rebellion that a lot of children associate with pot. Kids need real information not scare tactics about going crazy. SMOKING WEED WILL MAKE YOU CRAZY. *puff puff* I'm not crazy, I feel fine. If they over exaggerated about weed, maybe they are making up stuff about heroin/cocaine/crack/meth. That's where the experimentation towards harder drugs comes in. One other thing about the paper boy, this turn for the worse didn't happen over night. Did anyone stop to ask him what was going on in his life? You know health, mental abilities aside, what it boils down to is that if I want to do something "dangerous" whether it's smoking a joint or juggling tennis balls that are on fire while balancing on a chainsaw blade, I know what the consequences are and I still go with it. It's my body and I should have the right to do that. The part that is real messed up is that between smoking and juggling flaming chainsaw tennis balls, the 2nd option is more dangerous than the first, but the first option is the one that will have cops kicking in my door.

  34. Lady Guinevere profile image73
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    Sorry that I just got here and I have only read the topic, but my thoughts are to leglize everything and give the power back to the people as to what they put in their own bodies.  Teach people about their bodies.


  35. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
    GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years ago

    Don't want to do a bunch of quoting..but I'll reply to some stuff in a paragraphic format. smile

    Its sad that DARE and other things like it tell our kids outright lies. If you don't believe it, you've never been in the program. They'll propagate these lies until it becomes like a new version of "Sex Madness" or what not have you.

    Marijuana is not addictive, and like I've previously stated, when used in moderation its a safe and relatively (and if you've cancer or tumors, actually good for you!) harmless psychoactive.

    The problem is, as someone mentioned about the UK drinking (I thought you guys were better than us! wink ) is again..moderation. America's the fattest nation on the planet. Because of....lack of moderation.

    No wonder our government wants to be our parents.



    1. Lady Guinevere profile image73
      Lady Guinevereposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I got  a problem with why American's are fat----look at the commercials and what they are showing and there is subliminal messages on that.  Want to go on a diet--they will show you diets--but what they are showing you makes you more hungry then you were before you ever seent he commercial--for diets!  We have to get real and in touch with our OWN bodies.  Stop letting others tell us what she should and shouldn't be doing and putting in them.  I have never seen so many food commercials in my life as there have been since the surgeonce of diets and how Fat people are.  They are fat because of the commercials not in spite of them.

      1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
        GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this always have clear, and great points. smile

        I personally don't eat much, but I've a bit of a pudgy belly. I reckon I'll do situps religously, like I used to,

        Diets, especially "fad diets" are generally bad for you. I remember my parents were drinking this powdery thing for like two meals a day..I forget what it was called, but they were all into it for years!

        Apparently, though I've never tried to substantiate it, the guy who invented this method of dieting died....from complications of said diet.

        Our society today is waaaaay too concious about how it looks. While this can always be good, its generally, again, used for the bad. I remember reading this Time Life book or some other just FILLED with old newspapers from the 1800s. The perfect woman then would be someone considered a "plus" size now. Pssha.



        1. Lady Guinevere profile image73
          Lady Guinevereposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Exactly!  I don't know about anyone else but the Twiggy look went out in the early 70's.  It wasn't healthy!  It still isn't healthy.  There aren't as many people who are grossly overwheight.  For one it gives them a guilt complex and for another it teaches other to look at the outward person and not what the person really is about.  It goes along the same lines and blacks and whites and how the president is one or the other and also religions.  Are we so hung up on what a person looks like on the outside that we fail to really know the true person?  This world is going nuts!  We will never end war with these kinds of things going on.
          Going back to the Mary Jane's the same --pitting each against the other and not know the true person.  I never smoked period, but that does make me againbst anyone who does.  It also doesn't make me want to go out and tell others what they should and shouldn't be doing and want control over everyne else---seems to me they have the problem of controlling something in their lives and projects it onto others......a bit of psychology there ya know!

          1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
            GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            I suppose you're right on all accounts!

            Though, if we legalize MJ, we'll have to watch out for the munchie monster. wink


            1. Lady Guinevere profile image73
              Lady Guinevereposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              LOL LOL LOL

  36. Lady Guinevere profile image73
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    ""Having not nearly addressed the problems, I'm just saying that the main problem is the thinking that marijuana is harmless.  It isn't always harmless.  In fact, much of the time, it's not - any more than cigarettes are harmless or alcohol is harmless.  A lot of cigarette smokers don't get sick.   A lot of drinkers don't get sick or become alcoholics.  On the whole, though, both substances detract from the wellness of society.  Both destroy a lot of lives too.  Why legalize yet another one?  I don't think you call something "harmless" just because everyone doesn't become physiologically addicted.  There is psychological addiction, but even if nobody gets addicted in any way these substances aren't good for society on the whole.  ""

    Religion is harmful and is a big control-freak---wanna make that illegal??

    Yes, find out what makes the person tick or do what they are doing, not how they are coping.  Religion and society are all just dealing with the symptoms and not the root causes.  Find the root causes first then deal with the may be surprised at what you find.  We have stopped learning aobut our bodies and how they work and let others tell us what we should and shouldn't be doing with them and what we should be putting in them---for the almighty Dollar!

  37. Misha profile image65
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    IMHO nothing should be illegal that does not directly harm others.

  38. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    I think people over-estimate the "rebellion factor" in smoking.  While kids usually know their parents/teachers wouldn't approve, I don't think that's what drives them to smoke.  I think it's more that "everyone does it", and they don't want "old fashioned" people to "impose their ideas" on them.

    I don't dispute that the world is full of people like you, who only smoked occasionally and didn't get into trouble.  If the world weren't so full of people like you, there wouldn't be so many people who think smoking is harmless.

    The boy I mentioned started smoking with his pals (and alone) because he, I guess, thought it was the cool thing to do.  He got more and more "in deep" with the buddies who also smoked, and for a while a lot of them started to slip in school.  He wasn't a kid who could afford to do too much slipping, so he ended up with major school problems and dropping out.  Kids like he was are often immature, but immaturity tends to go with being young for a lot of people.  So, a lot of his buddies kind of dragged their underachieving selves to graduation (with varying degrees of promise in their future); but he (and a lot of others like him) dropped out and found himself taking awful jobs for little money.  He was still young, and smoking more and more, so he'd end up quitting jobs and fighting with parents because of it.  From there, he left home and got himself into yet more problems.  I don't know exactly what, if anything else (or even only alcohol) he got into; but he ended up with serious mental problems and in rehab a few times.  I really believe, based on knowing him and his parents, that the only problem he started out having as a little boy was being kind of "not cool" and wanting to fit in.  Granted, in all likelihood, marijuana, alone, did not cause him to have mental breakdowns or even (if he did this) to dabble in harder drugs.

    He'd get through rehab and get some gas station job (or a couple of them), and seem to be doing ok for a while.  Then he'd start with the smoking again - and from there, it would go downhill.  Each time, and as he got older and older, it just seemed to get worse than before.

    I'm fairly certain, though, that if marijuana hadn't been in the picture when he was too young and too insecure, his whole life would have been different.  He's only one example (but the not only example I, alone, have).  There are "zillions" of people like him.  In fact, there are people who can slip into "too much interest" in smoking at college age, or older.

    Even kids thought to be "smart kids" can be idiots.  Example:  I was a "smart enough" girl.  Yet, I was 14 and waiting for the school bus on a cold day.  A 16-year-old neighbor girl I'd always admired offered me a ride.  I had always admired her because she had great hair and clothes.  She was a new driver, in her Plymouth Valiant, and she was smoking as she drove.  Well, I was just so impressed with how cool she was.  I actually thought, "I'm going to smoke like she does as soon as I'm old enough to drive."  (Insane, one would think, right?) I loved the "grown-up-ness" of her pocketbook, with the pack of cigarettes sticking out of the top.  I just honestly thought she was so grown-up and cool.  So, in another couple of years, when I was driving, I actually smoked too!   I liked the neat little package, the nifty lighter, and all the "cool, grown-up-ness" of it all.  I wasn't smoking in rebellion of my non-smoking parents.  I was smoking because I had admired someone and wanted to be like her.  Not long after that (honest to God) a girl younger than I was started to "copy" me, and even smoked the brand I smoked at the time.  It's what a lot of kids do.  Today, it all just seems so bizarre and nuts to me - but, boy, I had some other kind of wacko thinking at the time.  I wasn't a kid who had emotional problems or trouble in school or with my parents. Believe it or not, I was perfectly normal.

    I don't think people are going to drop dead from smoking, or turn into homeless addicts, either.  I do think people should have a right to take their own health risks (in general).  I just remember how hard it was (and sometimes often still is) to be someone who doesn't think marijuana is a great thing, and doesn't find it appealing, when so many other people jumped on the bandwagon and thought it was so cool, back when I was just out of high school.  I'm a real oddball among my Baby Boom peers even today.  Back when I was 19 or so, it took tremendous social grace and sureness of myself to find ways to avoid smoking marijuana when it was "everywhere". 

    In spite of the thing with the neighbor-girl, I was otherwise a pretty sensible and solid person.  Even with that, I found it difficult.  To me, today's kids are that much more removed from the kind of thinking that my parents raised me with; and I can't help but think a lot of them would find it close to impossible to be one of the only ones who "stand out from the crowd" and don't smoke.

    In general, I just don't see the benefits of legalization worth the cost that I really think society, in general, will risk - and maybe pay.

    1. Lady Guinevere profile image73
      Lady Guinevereposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      It totally falls on him.  He has the choices to make and no one else can make them for him.  Self responisbility.  You cannot blame those who got through and did smoke and things like that.  It is all a personal choice...period.  Was he taught that his choices would be his alone and he would have to deal with those consequences on his own....I doubt it.  People want to blame things on everyone else for their own self-gratification.  Religions do it, governments do it and people like yourself do it.  The big question is WHY do those who want to control others NEED to Control them.  Is it something that one lacks in themselves so they feel they must have control over others?

  39. Bob Cedar profile image59
    Bob Cedarposted 14 years ago

    "I don't dispute that the world is full of people like you, who only smoked occasionally and didn't get into trouble.  If the world weren't so full of people like you, there wouldn't be so many people who think smoking is harmless." 

    LOL, I was smoking a half ounce a week. I would smoke right after school, usually on the way home. But no matter how high I got I knew I still had to have my homework and stuff done, so I kept my priorities straight. It's like Lady Guinevere said, it all comes down to Self responisbility and knowing how to keep your priorities straight. Also if the world is so full of people like me that smoke and doesn't get into trouble, doesn't that mean that pot actually isn't that bad after all. If the smoking, but still gets by type of people are majority, doesn't that mean there was probably something else that lead the smoking and life went downhill lives to go downhill?

    1. Lisa HW profile image63
      Lisa HWposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Bob, I've seen that things aren't always that simple.  I was a kid who would skip my homework just enough, but knew to how to draw the line on myself when it came to my grades.  A lot of other homework skippers either didn't know where to draw the line, or thought they did but were wrong.  My argument is not that smoking pot "is that bad", by itself.  I think it does have a higher tendency (just like alcohol does) to have a higher number of "peripheral" issues that can turn it into a bigger problem, regardless of how "sound" or "mature" many people are.  It's not a simple risk like, say, jumping out of airplanes is.   To me, that's what makes it a trickier thing to judge.

      I don't think it's safe to say that because the majority of users don't get into problems that those who do had some other "issue" going on (or at least going on at the time they began smoking).  Situations change (and the younger people are, the more fluid their situations sometimes are).  Maybe if that same kid I mentioned had not started smoking as young as he did, and instead got himself to high school graduation, there wouldn't have been the fights with his parents over the grades; and there wouldn't have been the dropping out of school.  Maybe, too, if he and others like him couldn't have gotten pot so easily he would have been forced to find something else to entertain himself with.

      It has nothing to do with drugs, but I, myself, have found myself in situations where I think, "How on Earth did I find myself here, when I've always been someone who makes all the right choices, and aims to do what is right?"  I've actually discovered that some of those right choices have actually not worked out very well, even though anyone who considered them would have agreed that the choices were the right one.

      Before cigarette smoking became the "major, unpopular" thing it has become today, I think a lot of people would have told you that it was because they were "acceptable" and legal (years ago) that they felt free to smoke.  Today, people are discouraged from smoking - and for good reason.  I have a friend who has been through some terrible things.  She's a smoker and can't quit, because she says if she doesn't smoke all the thoughts she can't bear to think come flooding into her head.  She began smoking decades ago, so her choice didn't seem that bad back then.  Today, she's dealing with choosing between smoking and dealing with thoughts of the son she lost (among other things).  When she decided to start smoking she probably planned to quit, the way a lot of other young people planned to.  Life got in the way to the point where she knows its her responsibility that she smokes (and yet, someone who understands psychological/physiological issues may know that she's more at the mercy of the cigarettes than even she thinks).  Someone used to social drinking may start to drink more if horrible things go on his life.  Again, it can be a matter of "bad choice" or "feeling like he wants to kill himself because it's all so unbearable". 

      The person who isn't already a smoker or social drinker isn't all that likely to turn to these things when/if life gets unbearable (although they may, if they get desperate enough).  People who already do them may be naturally inclined to let things get out of hand. 

      I once did a special feature on teen suicide; and one of the experts I interviewed talked about how sometimes it's one drug or another than lowers a person's inhibitions (that would otherwise stop him from making a drastic move).

      Another point about "being ok" is that when I was kid my friends enjoyed smoking pot.  I didn't.  I honestly don't think I was any more "ok" than they were.  ("Stuffier", maybe - but not more ok   smile  )

      It's sometimes easier to believe that everyone else's problem are "their own stupid fault" or their own weakness.  When we believe that we can feel immune to the problems that stare us in the face.  We don't get to feel self-righteous either. 

      While I'm not sure that the degree of my concerns about pot is right, I know they're based on enough reality that they are at least valid.  One thing I am sure of, though, is that so many problems have several factors at their roots; that it isn't always easy to sort out, or prevent, that "perfect storm" that can happen to any one person, at any given time.  My father used to say, "The only way you can be 100% sure you'll never be an alcoholic is not to drink at all." 

      When any of the "peripheral" problems start showing up around use of either alcohol or smoking pot, they aren't usually confined to the person who uses the substance.  It's all just so messy, I can't come around to feeling comfortable with the idea of legalizing pot.

  40. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    People can look at things different ways.  I don't see not wanting something I see as a problem legal as wanting to control anybody else.  I see their wanting to impose the problems that legalization could cause in society on me and on others.  The point is, I don't think disagreeing about something really means one party wants to control the other.  Sure, everybody wants to see things the way they think they should be.  That's understandable - but, really, at least for me, it has nothing to do with wanting to control anyone else. 

    As far as responsibility goes, sure - it's people's own responsibility once they're adults.  I don't think it's necessarily correct to play all the responsibility for stupid choices on kids under 25.  The prefrontal cortex is not finished maturing until early to mid twenties.  How people think can be affected by that.  Personally, if I had my way, there are other things - perfectly good things - I don't think people under 25 should making judgements about.

    Yes, everyone is responsible for his own choices - but first, I think, people need to get to complete maturity before anyone trusts them to always make the right choices.  Second, I don't think it's a terrible thing to hope that the adults of the world set healthy examples for the younger people of the world.  I don't necessarily think the "because I want to do whatever I want to do" kind of thinking lends itself to considering the broader picture.  Others can obviously disagree with my concerns that legalization won't offer benefits that outweigh negative consequences across society as a whole.  Not only do I respect others' opinions, but part of me agrees with a lot of them (at least up to the point where we decide whether we are for or against legalization).

    Your remark, "People want to blame things on everyone else for their own self-gratification." is an odd one to me; because in spite of my frequent wish to have a good time, or my ongoing need wish to get some relief from the days' stresses, I'm not the one who indulges in "self-gratification".   Again, I don't happen to give a rat's bottom who wants to smoke.  It just comes down to my own reasons for thinking legalization isn't the smartest idea.

    Do parents tell their kids they're responsible for their choices, and that there are consequences?  Most do.  Here's the deal with kids:  They don't believe anything bad will happen to them because they're young; and sometimes while their parents are telling them one thing, the rest of the world tells them their parents are old fashioned, controlling, and generally not "enlightened".  Parents can talk and talk, and kids will think, "Well, just because Freddy got in trouble; that doesn't mean I will."  Well, you know what?  Freddy's parents told him him the same thing, and he didn't listen either - because he was a kid.

    I would take the responsibility thing just a step farther than you do.  I'd say that we aren't just responsible for ourselves and what we do.  We also have some responsibility to making the judgments we think are best for society.  Do I care if Freddy smokes?  Not really.  Can I stop Freddy from smoking too much or too young?  No.  Still, do I want to condone something (legalization) that I think may well make for a whole lot more "problem Freddies" in the world?  I can't.  Am I wrong in my concerns about increasing society's problems?  Maybe.  Still, do I want to support laws that will take that risk; only to discover once things are far worse, "oops - turned out I was right in the beginning"? 

    In my state they lowered the drinking age to 18, out of the reasoning that people now use with the legalizing pot argument.  Drunk driving accidents and tragedies went up; and everyone went, "oops - turns out that didn't work out well".  The age was raised to 21 again.

    I've already said I'm open to the idea that I could be wrong about any possible, awful, consequences to society.  I don't get why people on the other side of the argument are not equally open to possibility that they may be wrong too.  When it comes to this kind of issue, we just go with what we happen to believe.  I don't accuse you of wanting to force your dope on me.  At the same time, you shouldn't accuse me of caring whether you want to smoke your head off or not.  I don't.  To me, this isn't a matter of individual preferences.  It's a matter of what any of us thinks is right within the context of the larger picture - not just our little selves.  We do things like vote for president, based on what we think will be right for the country (or at least we should).  This is the same kind of thing.  If someone can show me 100% proof that what concerns me is not correct, then maybe I'd change my thinking - but nobody can give me that guarantee.  So in the meantime, my opinion is based on the general "reputation" that using recreational marijuana has earned itself; and that is that even if it is truly harmless (and maybe even healthy) for a lot of people, it is also associated with a lot of really negative consequences for a lot of others.

    It's really easy to just blame everyone for any problems they get into; but anyone, with any up-close-and-personal exposure to the kinds of things that make anyone make a bad choice about anything, usually starts to see that all is not as simple as that in life.  Ask the person with so much unbearable tragedy in his life he takes just that one drink to get some relief from the mental pain, rather than, say, giving in to the urge to "do something drastic".  Or ask the parents who knew their kid may be particularly vulnerable to following peers, but who knew, too, that it would be child abuse to keep him in the house and away from all other kids.

    Ask any parent with a lively little five-year-old if they think, "Gee, I hope this bright, lively, happy, little child grows up and smokes dope and assumes it isn't a health risk; or else decides to take it."  My "stand" on legalization isn't about trying to control anyone.  It's about hoping the world in which other people's little children grow up is the healthiest one.  It's also about wanting "the world" not to always be working against the parents who want for their children what I wanted for mine.

    I don't care if someone wants to think I'm a "crazy person" for having my concerns about legalization, even if I don't think they're a crazy person for having the other point of view.  I can tell you, though, that I'm pretty far removed from all religions and people who "think like religious people"; and I know I have no wish to control anybody.  My views are based on having lived x amount of time in this world, and seen x amount of things occur.  It's that simple.

  41. waynet profile image67
    waynetposted 14 years ago

    I'm not sure about legalizing dope or canabis as it makes you quite paranoid if you are a long term smoker of this weed, the very fact of it could lead to more harder drugs and drugs just seem rather shite to me anyway, totally useless!!

    Living in the world of drugs and all the people around you growing up like I did with drugs and allsorts of filth was just a way of life, sure I've tried it, but it didn't do anything for me except burn my throat

  42. Bob Cedar profile image59
    Bob Cedarposted 14 years ago

    But what about the states that have legalized pot and are doing fine? The biggest problem those states are having, is the federal government ignoring what the people determined would be best for them. I just seen that you are from Mass. What kind of negative impact has the decriminalization of marijuana had on Massachusetts?

    1. Lisa HW profile image63
      Lisa HWposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Bob, decriminalizing is different from "making legal".  This is something that only occurred with the most recent election; so even if I had access to statistics or other pertinent information, I think it's too soon to tell whether there is any negative impact from decriminalizing.  I don't have a strong feelings about decriminalizing.

      LadyG, I can't speak for others who share my views; but I do know I don't care who does what; and, again, it has nothing to do with trying to control anyone. I, personally, have no trouble with self-control; so if I were to "project" - you can guess what I'd be projecting.  It's just about the simple belief, again, that I don't think the advantages of legalizing pot outweigh the potential disadvantages.

      This is one of those topics on which there is so often not point-by-point debate; but which, instead, invites attacks on people who have the opposing views.  Imagining some psychological "flaw" in the people with the opposing view is not debating, valid point by valid point.  I believe that's because I presented valid points and a reasoned argument; but that people on "the other side" are not willing to even consider the possibility that the opposite views may actually be reasonable.

      I usually (up until recently) stay away from controversial topics, but over time it has become clear that there is always one side that tends to "attack" (even if politely, and I'm not saying everyone on this thread has done that, at all); and another side that holds an unpopular view and is sometimes afraid to just state it.

      I don't see discussion/debate as people being being pitted against one another.  I just see it as communication and - yes - debate.   Here's what I compare the pot question to: 

      Suppose the medical profession comes out and states that someone smoking three cigarettes a week for, say, a year doesn't have a very high risk of developing the problems that life-long, pack-a-day smokers do.  Even with that, a lot of people just don't want to be around cigarette smoke.   Suppose there's a giant office building with 4000 employees, most of whom work in cubicles.  Suppose the law then changes to allow allow those employees, who "feel like" having their three cigarettes a week to, smoke in their cubicles.  Imagine that, say, 3500 of them (a majority) "feel like" smoking, even if the the rest of the people see that 3500 x 3 cigarettes a week is one load of second-hand smoke (even if it's distributed over the course of the week).  At this point, other people are, in fact, at risk if such a thing were to occur (even if the three cigarettes aren't going to pose that high a risk. 

      There is, as far as I can see, no difference in this imaginary situation than with the real situation of some people wanting pot legal (across the whole society) so that they can feel free to smoke it once in a while.  Can you measure the exact hazards to the 500 people who have to live with having all that smoking introduced into their work day?  Not necessarily.  Would it be healthier if the smoking didn't take place in that shared workplace?  No doubt about it.

      I, personally, am not a big fan of the government telling people what to do in their personal lives; but I also wouldn't be a fan of all those 3500 fellow employees who decide to disregard what I see as healthiest for me, and smoke their three cigarettes a week (at any given time during any given 8-hour workday).  Do they have a right to attempt to control the quality of my workplace, just because they're the majority?  Some would say they don't, and that's why the government steps in and tells people they can't smoke cigarettes in some places.  What's so special about pot that a similar policy (in the interest of even a slightly increased risk of negative fallout in society) is all that unreasonable?

      It would be interesting to see the opposite side of this "debate" made without skipping addressing the valid points here, and without jumping to conclusions about the thinking of everyone who has an opposing view.

      Well, it's a rainy day here in decriminalized Massachusetts; and I've spent a ton of time "debating", just because I didn't have much else to do today.  Obviously, I've pretty much said all there is to say from "this side" of the "debate"; and obviously, a "meeting of the minds" isn't likely to happen on this issue.  So, signing off on this issue (much to a lot of people's delight, I'm guessing  smile  ).

      1. Lady Guinevere profile image73
        Lady Guinevereposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Well that was long.  I didn't attack anyone, I was merely bringing another side ot the issue to mind or in the open.
        So you feel that legalizing something that seems to be good is the answer.  You think that we will have a choice?  You don't know the government all too well.  They found some other substances very harmful for people and yet they passed it--Aspartame.  Then on the other hand something that really would help those who are suffering from pain--they will stop that in the bud.  Go figure!

        Edit:  It's about money and control.

        1. Sufidreamer profile image80
          Sufidreamerposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Hi Lisa

          That is quite a weak analogy - There is a lot of difference in the two situations. Smokers sitting in office cubicles, exposing others to smoke, is a lot different from somebody sitting in their home with a joint. In terms of the fallout to society, the Dutch have suffered no problems with their liberal policies.

          Certainly, the issue is complex, and needs discussing properly. Whilst I disagree with you, I appreciate the fact that you have researched the topic fully and made a reasoned opinion, rather than repeating soundbites.

          It is one of those debates where there is no black and white - most of us are in the middle somewhere. smile

          1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
            GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            Hey, Sulfi points out something I need to say, too. Thanks for your healthy research, Lisa. smile

            Soundbites do suck. I've done probably a grand total of three hours of hardcore research, so I'm not the most informed. But y'all know me and my oppinionation. wink


  43. Bob Cedar profile image59
    Bob Cedarposted 14 years ago

    Good get out of here narc! Nah I'm just kidding tongue It's cool debating with you. Nobody's hating you for having your view.

  44. Colebabie profile image60
    Colebabieposted 14 years ago

    Do you think legalizing marijuana will have a negative effect on America's obesity problem? smile

  45. Dame Scribe profile image59
    Dame Scribeposted 14 years ago

    I would prefer not. Ever talk to somebody all high on pot? lol they have intelligence of a starfish tongue lol

    1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
      GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      No, no, have several different stoners. Your inexperienced one..yeah, they can be slow and dumb.

      Here's a primer:

      wink from Half Baked.

  46. profile image0
    Neon Sign Fanposted 14 years ago

    What about drunk people? When someone is super-drunk, they aren't exactly Einstein. Yet alcohol is perfectly legal. Besides a lot of smart people get high. The guy who discovered DNA was tripping on acid!

  47. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    A day later, and I'm popping back for a quick scan of what's here. 

    Bob, thanks for the non-hateful words.  I'm too much a big, giant, "chicken", to ever be a narc.  I guess my main point - in all that posting - is that I was hoping a lot of people would realize that people who (if faced with choosing to vote for, or not vote for, legalizing pot) may just be weighing what they see are the concerns and benefits - and not really caring about what other people do with or without any changes in the law.  It's just that simple question, "If you vote, which way will you vote?"

    It's kind of like if someone offered (even forced on me) the choice of either a piece of pecan pie or apple pie.  I may like both.  I may not love either.  I may hate both.  To whatever degree I like or don't like each type, I'm faced with the simple choice of either apple or pecan.  Chances are I'll go with my "gut" at any given time, particularly since both apples and pecan both have their "pro's".

    Colebabie, I think it could go either way.  People would either start eating to alleviate their stress (more obese people); or else they'd stop a lot of the snacking that's going on now (in which case, fewer obese people).     smile

    Neon Sign Fan, most people aren't big fans of a lot of the stuff that alcohol causes in society.  We've already got whatever problems that brings.  That's why a lot of people don't want to ask for what they think will be yet one more set of similar things by changing the laws.

    Alcohol is, and always (apparently) has, played such a "big role" in society; it would be very difficult for most of us to imagine the following, but:  Imagine if alcohol and cigarettes had never been "invented/discovered" in the world; and imagine us all being born into that world.  If we're honest, we have to admit it would have been a healthier, better, world.  We can't put that horse back in the barn at this stage in history (apparently); although people are trying to do just that when it comes to cigarette smoking.  The "pot horse" may be out of the barn at this point, too, but because it isn't legal maybe it's sometimes nasty cousins haven't yet made their way out of that barn.  (Oops - I can't believe I thought I could keep a "quickie return" post brief.   smile  )

  48. SoManyPaths profile image60
    SoManyPathsposted 14 years ago

    Why not?

    There are many hallucenagenic (sp?) OTC drugs that can impair driving, make you drowsy that are legal. Ridiculous to put these people in prisons for 7+ years for 2 or 3rd offenses AND taxpayers pay for this cra..

    make it more expensive than cigarettes with a nice tax and see how it  goes.....only problem is people growing it in their homes and some other difficult situations.

    1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
      GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Diphenhydramine, diphenhydrinate, Robitussin (the original...) ahh, not that I would know. ;P

      Know Yourself and Your Limits.

  49. SweetiePie profile image83
    SweetiePieposted 14 years ago

    If it were legalized it would put an end to a lot of law enforcement issues.  I on the other hand could care less as I have never smoked it and never plan to do so.

    1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
      GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yup yup, same with Lita's comment.

      Mary jane and (*gasp!*) prostitution make up so many of the needlessly jailed "criminals."

      We've what? Something like 25% of our population in jail? Hello???


      1. SweetiePie profile image83
        SweetiePieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Just imagine all the taxpayer dollars we could save?  However, I do not see legalization in the near future.  I know some are really mad about it, but I am not going to rail over it.  Of course those who feel strongly about it should because maybe some day their voices will be heard.

        1. GeneriqueMedia profile image59
          GeneriqueMediaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Meh, I'm with ya there. I'm in Cali..problem solved for me. wink Haha..actually, more and more local communities around the country are basically saying "Yeah, we got people that smoke pot, but this dood shooting up dope and smoking crack is a bigger issue." So they've basically have made it a slap on the wrist...however million slaps you get, it don't affect you one bit.


          1. SweetiePie profile image83
            SweetiePieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            I live in California too, so I have basically heard the same things.

        2. profile image0
          Leta Sposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          H*ll, Sweetie, they are MAKING money off of our jailed and fined population in Arizona.

          You know that movie Raising Arizona and the cops, etc. in it--being a cop being a 'good job' here?  Well, its ALL true.  And I'm not kidding!

  50. profile image0
    Leta Sposted 14 years ago

    Of course it should be legalized.  It is a much less harmful drug than alcohol.  The only reason it is illegal is because law enforcemnt infrastructure, jobs, government concerns, etc. have been built up around it. 

    There are 'interests' in keeping it illegal, in other words.


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