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One Non-Pot Smoker to the Rest: Why Marijuana being Illegal has a Negative Impact on Us All

Updated on August 28, 2015
Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin is a non-user who is fascinated by the ins and outs of the ongoing marijuana legalization process.

If you’ve managed to passively or actively ignore every legitimate study done on the effects of marijuana, have ignored that it has been found to be non-habit forming, safe, and in a few cases even medicinally viable, then this article is for you, because I’m not going to focus on those statistics here, if for no other reason than they are readily available everywhere.

In fact, if you’re my target audience, you’re like me and don’t even want to smoke pot, so what do those stats matter anyhow?

What is the Cost of Keeping Marijuana Illegal?
What is the Cost of Keeping Marijuana Illegal? | Source

Why I Chose not to be a Pot Smoker Back then:

As to why you might not want to “partake,” there are a variety of reasons. Personally, the fact that it is illegal kept me away from marijuana until my early 20s. I did go ahead and experiment twice in college. I didn’t care for it.

For many that don’t care for this weed, the reason noted is that it causes paranoia. With me that wasn't the case. I had a distaste for the stuff because the high was so insignificant in comparison to other substances like tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. At that time in my life I wanted to PARTAY, and here was pot, providing a weak, mellow high when I was wanting to get revved up to the max or down on the ground effed up.

What fun was a substance that could only get you so high regardless of how much you used to someone wanting to push the outer limits? On top of that, it was expensive and illegal. Back then the choice to not use pot wound up being an easy one for me.

Question

Have you ever smoked pot?

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Why I Choose not to Smoke Pot Now

Opposed to the young me, nowadays my reasoning for not smoking pot is much more straight-laced than its not being able to provide an epic high. Gone from my life entirely is tobacco. I still “tie one on” on occasion with the definition of tying one on having changed from getting passed out drunk every weekend to drinking a six pack of beer and hanging out with friends a couple of times a year. I still drink caffeine a few times a week, but I try to consume as little as possible, and I sure don’t use pot.

So what’s changed? I’m older and have a body that I now realize is not immortal. But perhaps even a bigger reason, I have a baby to take care of now. There isn’t time to get passed out drunk, a parent jittery on caffeine all the time does not make good decisions for baby, and I figure I owe my little one at least 18 years of father time before I go and get riddled with cancer.

In addition, I live in a state where pot is still very much illegal. I don’t need to spend the most important years of my child’s life behind bars. Beyond the legality issue, would using marijuana make me a bad parent? I really don’t think so, at least not anymore than the parent who enjoys the occasional glass of wine or espresso.

Legal or Not, Marijuana is Big Business.
Legal or Not, Marijuana is Big Business. | Source

The Cost of Keeping Marijuana Illegal

But whether you are by the book and believe anything that feels good is a sin or are still brainwashed into thinking pot is a dangerous substance in league with heroin and cocaine or like so many, lack the ability for a thought process as involved as empathy, the whole “it doesn’t affect me because I don’t use it” mentality, then I have something to show you. It does affect you, very negatively.

According to DrugSense.org, the U.S. federal government spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 billion a year on the war against drugs. In addition, local governments spend about $25 billion a year. This works out to well over a thousand dollars a year that every man, woman and child in the U.S. has to pay toward The War on Drugs.

But the financial burden doesn’t even begin to slow down there. The average cost to house a prisoner per year, according to the Office of the Federal Register, is just under $30,000. According to DrugWarFacts.org there are in excess of 300,000 inmates in the State and Federal Prison Systems primarily for drug related charges. In addition, people behind bars don’t just cost to house, they also are not part of the workforce, so there is an additional cost there.

And still there’s more! Havoscope.com estimates that the U.S. black market pulls in somewhere around $41 billion a year in profits from marijuana, much of which goes outside of the U.S. and almost all of which goes untaxed.

And what about this War on Terror? Forbes magazine estimates the tally for The War on Terrorism to currently be in the neighborhood of $1.7 trillion. Though not directly, the illegality of marijuana does factor into this number. Drug trade often involves U.S. guns and money going across the border to support unknown entities. In addition, this drug trade complicates and thus increases the cost of monitoring the border. It’s hard to estimate how much of The War on Terror goes to marijuana, but the number is palpable.

What about money that could be made from the legal sale of marijuana? HuffPost.com reports that if all 50 U.S. states legalized marijuana there would be over a $3 billion windfall in taxes alone. According to the same site, the economy would be infused with another $14 billion in profits. On top of this, the legalization of hemp would also be a tremendous boon to the economy because of its usefulness in industry.

People are Stubborn when it comes to Changing Ideals.
People are Stubborn when it comes to Changing Ideals. | Source

Closing Thoughts

There are still even more costs to keeping Marijuana illegal, but I think I’ve done enough to make my point. No, legalizing pot would not end The War on Drugs or the money it takes to run it, but it would put a huge dent in the price tag. One of the best lessons my parents taught me was the importance of choosing your battles. Meth amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, etc., this is bad stuff. Than there’s marijuana, arguably safer than a McDonald’s burger. It doesn’t make sense. It’s a tremendous waste to include Pot in the war when we could be focusing on the garbage that is really dangerous.

One thing I like to do when I consider a controversial topic is pretend I’m a space alien having come down to earth for the first time. My brain devoid of all the alliances, underlying belief systems, and other nonsense that so often clouds our judgment, a just the facts type of analysis. When I do, I always come to the same conclusion: Legalize it!

Opinion

Do you feel marijuana should be illegal?

See results

I was brought up with the same propaganda as most everyone else, that marijuana was a scourge on society. And I feel bad for people who have devoted their whole lives to fighting marijuana under this assumption, whole careers spent upholding the law and incarcerating people for trafficking this substance all in the name of keeping us safe, and they truly believe it; heck I believed for the longest time. How hard, impossible even, it must be for these folks to be honest with themselves and admit the whole thing has been a sham.

But I digress. What do people really care about? Money! What’s the final bill for keeping marijuana illegal? Estimates vary, but when all factors are considered, the sum arrived at is always in the trillions.

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    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 16 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Great article. I think it should be legal across the country. There are much worse substances.

      Namaste

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 18 months ago from Oklahoma

      Alexis: thanks so much for the feedback.

    • Alexis Cogwell profile image

      Ashley Cogdill 19 months ago from Indiana/Chicagoland

      Great points, Larry. I agree that it should be legalized. As for the kids, they're out there right now drinking and smoking cigarettes if they want to and can find a way. It wouldn't be (and isn't) any different with pot. I don't like it, but it's always been that way. I don't let my child drink caffeine, and that's probably confusing to him, but then again... childhood is confusing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the issue and making others think about it. :)

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 20 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi Larry, I agree with you why it should be legal, I just hate to see kids smoke it, but I do believe we should be able to get it for any medical reason that it could help.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 20 months ago

      I have read, though I do not know whether it is true, that marijuana was made illegal because hemp was such a useful material that nylon ropes could not find a place in the market. Money again. Hemp can also be made into cloth.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 22 months ago from Oklahoma

      Rock NJ: as far as everything I've looked at, alcohol comes out more harmful than pot and tobacco comes out way more harmful than pot, unquestionably.

      It just isn't logical. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment.

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 22 months ago from New Jersey

      I feel the same way. Not a pot smoker, but I think it's absurd to spend so much money trying to stamp out a plant anyone can grow. I think the ulterior motive for keeping pot illegal is becausethe powerful alcohol and tabacco lobbies have a vested interest in keeping their competition at bay.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Joan: No matter how you look at it, I can't see the wisdom of it being illegal either.

    • Joan King profile image

      Joan King 2 years ago

      Never cared to smoke pot and never did but I would like to know that if I ever needed it for medical reasons that it would be available. I also never saw the wisdom of it being illegal for so many years when alcohol is legal and cause way more problems.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 2 years ago from Southeastern U.S.

      I was re-checking. The jury is still out. The docs are not in agreement. I can tell you this, from experience, THC dopers drive really slow on highways. They can be a traffic hazard, but boozers too. Even worse - the boozers tend to zigzag. But we can 'criminalize' doping and driving. But eating brownies at home before/during a PARTAY? I think not. Never have eaten those, but am not against said consumption.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      JG: the only long term effects I've ever seen substantiated are in users whose brains are still developing, hence the importance of age restrictions.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 2 years ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Good hub, but I have only one concern. Marijuana is certainly safer to use, especially the various liquid forms, un-smoked, and I agree with decriminalization, but... as it turns out (read several recent medical studies) that the substance 'may' cause long term brain problems. Just as the use of alcohol (guilty) can damage liver, etc., so does marijuana, with long term use. But PARTAY only use? Personally, I've never "inhaled".

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Lolly: thanks so much for the thoughtful comments.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 2 years ago from Washington KS

      I've never smoked pot but one of the smartest, most productive people I ever knew smoked two joints a day and made no secret of it. I am in favor of medicinal cannabis because I've seen its beneficial effect first hand. Interesting hub, well done.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Shyron: thanks for dropping by.

      Smoke is a carcinogen whether it is a cigarette, joint, or campfire. That said, the smoke from smoking marijuana has been found to be far less carcinogenic than tobacco, and cigarettes generally aren't smoked like cigarettes, in that it is an occasional indulgence, not a constant one.

      On top of that, if you use pot, there is positively no reason to smoke it. It can be vaped or ingested in a number of ways. Unlike tobacco, the marijuana itself has not been linked to cancer in any way despite extensive research.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Larry, I don't know if marijuana has a medicinal purpose or not. I have read that it does, and if it does then it should be sold like all other prescription drugs, but you give us a lot of food for thought here.

      I can't imagine why people want to get high just for the sake of getting high, and give money to the drug LORDS, then watch what you just paid for go up in smoke.

      When I was a child, my cousin and I tried our first (and for me the) cigarette, stolen from our grandfather. I was so sick I could not stand and it was so hard to breath after one puff. I was unable to run from my grandfather, so I got switched. My cousin our ran our grandfather, and she became a smoker, and she died of cancer.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

      a thorough survey

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Catherine: thanks for chiming in on this topic. I also enjoy hearing your opinion on things.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I don't spoke marijuana for the same reason I don't drink alcohol much. as I got older I found my body couldn't handle it. Actually, I never much liked pot, it was too hard to control. No effect ...and then POW. I always knew when to stop with alcohol. Once I got a buzz, I stopped.

      Nonetheless, I'm in favor of legalization for the same reasons as yu are. The costs of it remaining illegal are too high.

      Nice work.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Randy: I think I remember reading about this. Amazing how the wealthy force themselves successful by controlling the laws.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Read about how the original Marijuana Stamp Act was passed if you want to be enlightened a bit about things work here in our country. Hearst wanted MJ made illegal because he owned thousands--if not millions--of acres of pulp wood forests which would be useless to him because hemp made a better and cheaper paper. And newspaper was his game.

      DuPont wanted to make MJ illegal because he was trying to get government contracts for his nylon rope and hemp rope was competing with his invention. Greed? No question about it.

      The whole thing was a joke in terms of the legislation and there were many lies told by our elected officials to get the act passed. Yep, just like things are passed in this day and time. :o

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Tillson Titan: no matter what you think about pot, it comes down to "choosing battles" as you said.

      This is a stupid battle to fight.

      Thanks so much for the comments.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Brad: I know that often we are at odds with each a other on many topics, but regarding this one, we are in agreement.

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comments.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Nadine: great points.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Kalinin: you bring up hemp, which is a wonderfully useful industrial product that for some odd reason was lumped in with pot. It would be humorous if it wasn't so dang destructive.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      It's time this country, like ourselves, learns to pick it's battles. This is certainly not worth all the money that is poured into it, not to mention the years in jail some poor kid or adult, gets for having a small quantity of marijuana.

      Time to move on.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      Larry

      It has been proven with alcohol that making it legal, not only got revenue for the government, it had tighter controls on it then when it was illegal.

      When prohibition was in force, any one could drink alcohol. But when it became legal, the laws were put into place limiting those who could drink alcohol. There was no drinking on Sundays in most states, and there was more control on the quality of the alcohol.

      The same mechanism can be applied to MJ, as we know that making it illegal doesn't stop people from smoking it or eating it.

      Making it legal would also reduce the criminal element that is there current supplier now. The reduction in the criminal element alone is worth it to make it legal.

      I never smoked tobacco, and I never experienced MJ in any form.

      Alcohol and Tobacco are legal and they are in the same league as MJ, so the same laws that limit their use can be applied for MJ.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I have never been attracted to smoke anything that would influence my perceptions one why or another, unless it is for a medical reason that I might try it. I know that you can buy marijuana or several other drugs legally in Holland and that has NOT in any way made any difference. I say people who want to escape this life will find a way legal or illegal. It's the high prices people earn from selling drugs that creates the problems. It feeds people's addiction to greed, and Power over others.

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana ZK 2 years ago from California

      Although I don't partake anymore, I am all for the safe use of marijuana and especially HEMP which for some moronic reason got lumped together with its THC cousin when it has a myriad of incredibly beneficial uses. Super informative article Larry, lets hope for a full decriminalization!!

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Lol. I hit a nerve. Thanks so much for dropping by.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Trans-fat and similar substances were available because of the - how shall I put this delicately? - dunderheads at the FDA. Don't get me started on that one. I wrote three hubs on Interviews with a FDA Spokesperson and I still hold the agency in low esteem.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Dr BJ: I appreciate the response. The jury is still out on McDonalds and marijuana, but I feel an argument can be made.

      But what if we compare Pot to trans-fat, a substance that was legal for years before they, more or less, took it of the market?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      This is a very thoughtful, well-written article, Larry, and I agree that pot, grass, weed (whatever we may label it) should be legalized in all the states ... and taxed. That would bring in needed revenue and help decrease our prison population of those involved in the marijuana trade - not the hard drugs.

      I'm not too sure about your comparison though to the safety of a McDonald's burger - the jury is still out on that one. ;)

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Flourish Anyway: all evidence indicates it is a highly regulatible substance. Even if everybody just grew their own, the savings to our society would be tremendous.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      It all comes down to money. As long as we can tax and regulate, I don't see the difference between this and other substances.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Ana: Thanks for the comments.

      Even if you're against marijuana, as you indicated, it's Going to be a lot more effective to regulate and educate than keep it illegal.

      As for your acquaintance and his bought with the runs, I hadn't heard of that happening before, but I think the brownies are derived by extracting an oil from the plant. I'm guessing that there was probably enough oil that it made it run through him. Funny anecdote:-)

    • Ana Kolomeka profile image

      Ana Kolomeka 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      You have some good points here. Sure, marijuana is a gateway drug, but legalizing it would take away the mystique, so most likely fewer kids would be using it. Most important of all is education. I know someone who got a megadose of it through eating a cookie, and it made him VERY sick (it was coming out both ends). That cured him from ever trying it again.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Randy: it is important that we do our best to regulate minors from using, because when minds are developing, the use of mind altering drugs like marijuana, nicotine, alcohol, etc have the potential to have more profound negative effects than they do on adults.

      That's why it is such a good thing they were able to engineer a marijuana that doesn't make you high. It can be used to treat children with seizures with less of a chance of side effects.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Larry, I can personally attest to the difference in potency, as well as, the many different effects of pot today compared to when I first tried it over 40 years ago. It affects different people in different ways.

      I can smoke a doobie and do expert crossword puzzles in ink. But that's just me. :) I agree it should be regulated much as alcohol and cigs with minors prohibited from acquiring any of them,

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Dawn: you are far too kind. Thanks for the compliment.

      One of the reasons I wrote the article is because I think it is really important for people that don't smoke pot but still understand it's stupid for it to be illegal, to stand up and be heard.

      Surely if the people who don't even have a vested interest in it are saying it's stupid for it to be illegal, it will help the cause.

    • DawnMSamora profile image

      DawnM Samora 2 years ago from Akron, Ohio

      Hey Larry,

      I once again enjoyed your hub! I have told many of my friends of your hub "I Don't Want to be a Drug Addict Anymore", and go on to say how that was one of the best articles I have ever read.

      This article had my attention also. I have the same thoughts on the legalization on marijuana as you do. I have also tried marijuana and do not care for it. I say that I do not smoke pot but I condone and promote it. :)

      I am not a weed smoker, but do believe legalization of marijuana could be a benefit to the state which chooses to do so. Thank you for another well written, interesting hub. -Dawn

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Randy: What I tried was over a decade and a half ago. I've been told that the potency of marijuana has been increased since then.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Alicia: Thanks so much for chiming in. As much as anything, it is the question of does marijuana being illegal make sense, and any way you look at it, I just can't see it being made justifiable.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Shauna: lol. I think it has a lot to do with when they're getting high. If they're getting high on their own time, I can't see that marijuana is a problem, even for managers. If they're toking up at work, yeah, problems will ensue. Same goes for alcohol, too.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I've smoked pot all my life and it hasn't interfered with anything I wanted to do. Now I have bad glaucoma and my doc says--privately of course--it's very good for relieving the pressure caused by the disease.

      I don't know what kind of pot you've tried but I guarantee it must have been rather weak if you didn't get a strong buzz from it or have trouble not laughing yourself to death. LOL!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another thought provoking hub, Larry. I think you've made some very valid points. We should definitely choose our battles. We need to concentrate our efforts on fighting other drugs that have such a devastating effect on people.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Not when all the managers are getting high, too! :-)

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Mel: I'm so glad you brought up the gateway concept. That is my exact conclusion. When you do something that is illegal, other illegal activities are present.

      Anything that feels good has the potential to lead to other feel good stuff, but as a legal substance I just don't see marijuana as a very effective gateway drug, stoners tending to be pretty content and all.

      The other debate is the effect on the efficiency of our workforce. Alcohol abuse makes you hungover and sick and can kill you. Tobacco tends to kill folks, and tobacco addicts tend to be less efficient workers because they need frequent breaks to restore their high.

      To my knowledge pot produces none of these problems, so can it really have that negative of an effect on the workforce?

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Great stuff. Seems we have a lot in common. First of all, tying one on these days doesn't go much farther than a six pack before I fall asleep. Secondly, although I was definitely a party animal who could throw down brewskis with the best of them, I stayed away from marijuana. It actually frightened me, because the people I saw smoking it in high school turned into giggling rats.

      I agree with you on all counts. It is too expensive not to legalize marijuana. The only possible argument I could make against it is that it is a "gateway drug," but thinking this through, the only reason that it is a gateway drug is that in its current illegal status you have to go to extremely sketchy types to get it. These sketchies are always willing to drag out new products from among their various wares to get the marijuana buyers to try.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Shauna: lol, I knew what you meant. We all get tripped up by the typo bug from time to time.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I should have proofed before submitting. I meant to say stoners are no less likely to stop buying pot than smokers are cigarettes in spite of the rising costs.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Shauna: wonderful points. Pot is as much a problem in this country because we make it a problem as anything.

      When we basically say you can't work a good job because you've got caught smoking pot before, we are manufacturing a huge problem based entirely in fiction.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Buildreps: I really appreciate your comments. It is very helpful to look at other countries and see if it worked. And it did, like you said, as much due to open mindedness and tolerance as anything else.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I think it should be legalized and not just for medicinal purposes. Pot doesn't have the potential to kill you, but cigarettes do and they're legal - and taxed hugely. Why not do the same for pot? Stoners are no less likely to buy it than smokers are cigarettes in spite of the rising costs.

      Another issue I have with marijuana being illegal is it can get in the way of someone finding a good job if they have an arrest on their record. Today's employment applications no longer ask if you've ever been arrested and convicted of a felony. They simply ask if you've ever been arrested. If you have a pot charge under your belt, many times potential employers consider that a strike against you and the job opportunity disappears. To me, smoking pot is nothing compared to having a criminal background.

      Legalize pot and watch the unemployment rate drop.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Great issue, Larry. I agree with your points, and you're surely right. I smoked pot a few times when I was between 16 and 24, but it made me always feel sick after a few puffs. Personally, I don't like to smoke it, but I like the smell whenever I pass a few pot smokers.

      I think it should be discussed more openly without too much dogma's. In my country it is legalized up to a certain extend. Can someone say something bad about my country? It's one of the most prosperous, social and wealthy countries. That's not because of the (almost) free pot, but more or less, by the tolerant attitude towards many things. About 25% of the people in the Netherlands, between 15 and 64, use Marijuana once in a while.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Martha: I couldn't agree more. Thanks for stopping by.

    • HealthbyMartha profile image

      Martha Montour 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Excellent article. I agree that marijuana needs to be legalized across all the states. I'm from CO and know how much revenue legalization of marijuana has brought. Enough of overcrowding prisons with marijuana offenders.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Temptor: thanks for the thoughtful comments. I agree. Whether you define it as a vice or not, it is a silly thing in and of itself to send people to prison for.

      In a supposedly free society, we should leave the decision concerning marginal substances like pot to the adult individual.

    • temptor94 profile image

      Universal writer 2 years ago

      Due to its known medicinal value (and I have heard it is helpful for reducing pain in cancer patients), it is unfair to categorize pot along with the really dangerous drugs like meth.

      Legalizing it will certainly bring the prices down, its insane to jail people in possession of marijuana, when there are bigger people of society far greater crimes happening in the drug trading world.

      I never tried weed but always wanted to, purely out of curiosity. One thing I didn't know until now is that its 'high' effects are lesser than that of alcohol. Now I feel far less inclined :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Bill: I couldn't agree with you more. It's a priorities matter.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Giovanna: thanks so much for the thoughtful comments.

      Food for thought, unlike tobacco, marijuana has very legitimate medicinal values.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've smoked it twice. Didn't like it. Here in Washington it's legal. To make it illegal is totally illogical to me considering the damage it causes, or should I say "lack of damage?" We really need to get our priorities straight in this country and start worrying about important matters.

    • Larry Rankin profile image
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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Paul: we won't be doing a complete 180 with our kids. We'll just be moving marijuana from the category of drugs they should never do: meth, crack, heroin, etc. to the list of drugs they will as adults have the chance to choose for themselves whether or not they use: alcohol and tobacco. I also predict it will wind up being the least harmful of the 3.

      The confusion of kids and culture shock of some adults, like you said, will make for some real interesting dinner conversations.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 2 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I'm by no means an expert in this, but I've heard that once Colorado legalized it, states like California, Washington and Oregon started feeling the economic impact in ways they didn't necesarily predict. I think I read Colorado universities had a surge in applicants.

      It's now legal in Washington. I believe Oregon and California will legalize it shortly.

      The one thing that concerns me is how confusing it is for kids. The anti-drug education is really strong in our schools. My kids are completely mythed when they see someone smoke cigarettes. Now, if pot is legal and accessible, I think that while it makes a lot of sense and I'd likely vote for it, I do believe the transitional period could be one that is most difficult for kids.

      A friend went to visit his folks in Colorado. One the table from his straight-laced dad was a pipe and some pot oil. It was a bit of a shock.

      I think the period of legalizing will be more shocking than we can anticipate, but I hope you're right that the economic benefit is significant.

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      Giovanna Sanguinetti 2 years ago from London UK

      It's certainly a money spinning thing! I teach my kid that people who buy illegal drugs are actually supporting people who are into the worse kind of greed possible. Kids have to look beyond the 'highs' and, in order to fight off peer group pressure, they need to have a real reason to say 'no' to all kinds of drugs - starting with tobacco - and the reason is that they don't want to line the pockets of the so called 'drug barons'. Voted up this hub.