Is this a good idea?
It was made legal in Colorado and Washington State. This is a social and legal and health issue.
It is estimated that the state will gain revenue from taxing this consumer product.
Where do you stand?
I favor legalizing marijuana. It is already legal in my state, Oregon.
Recent polling shows most people support legalization, including about half of Republicans.
Yes, it does have some negative social and health effects, but so do alcohol and tobacco.
Sessions, a Republican dinosaur, just gave the green light for the feds to go after pot in states where it is legal. If the feds follow through, they will only add to the unpopularity of this already very unpopular administration.
I have nothing against this from a personal perspective. I would not partake even if it is legalized. That is the beauty of our system. We have states rights which allow your state to experiment and determine if this is something we want as a society. I would not go as far to compare it to alcohol. We have been thru prohibition and have a history with illegalizing a product that most law abiding people want. That is not clear in the case of pot smoking. I do worry about public safety. In the case of alcohol, we have breathilizer tests for drivers. What do we do to stop drivers under the influence?
The safety factor is what bothers me. Whether driving, working or playing I definitely don't want to be next to somebody bombed out on a mind altering drug. Including alcohol.
I would have withheld these laws until we figured out how to test and control usage during activities that can and will harm others.
In California, whether cannabis is legal or not, you're still likely to be driving next to someone who may have smoked or drank, anyway. This is more of a power grab by local cities and counties, so they're able to collect tax revenue and cash in.
There are plenty of companies in California trying to create some type of DWI tool to measure THC levels in a driver's system.
Here in WA:
1. Pot related DUIs have risen over the last three years (confirmed after blood testing). The shops throughout King County are robbed a lot due to the banking issues they still have.
2. WA State Patrol has also scaled back DUI enforcement since August (no idea why, might be a budget issue. Also, understaffing.)
3. Overall pot usage is up, particularly in high schools
4. We have at least 3 shops in my town, in two of the neighborhoods quality of life has gone down. More reckless driving, vagrancy, etc. It's common to see potheads banging on the door of a bank after its closed (I witnessed this, sadly, over the summer as my ATM is next to a pot shop). I noticed a rise in accidents on one of our main roads in and out of town. Can't say if its pot related, but there is a shop along the main drag.
5. I had my new car totaled in September by a kid who claimed he fell asleep at the wheel because he worked all night. Took him at his word, but still wonder.
Note: I strongly supported med marijuana (and still do), but not sure the widespread usage of recreational pot helps anybody.
Thanks for the personal story. It is anecdotes that may give a total perspective on the legalization effect. My guess is it will affect public policy over time...say 25 years or so. A generation would have to experience this to determine if the effects are positive negative or neutral.
Quite simply, the laws for marijuana and alcohol should be the same. If anything, the laws prohibiting alcohol consumption should be more strict based on the health outcomes.
I don’t feel really strongly about it either way so I’ve always sided in favour of legalization. I think the additional tax revenue and less strain on the legal system for pretty minor pot-related crimes is enough to swing it that way for me.
And I have absolutely nothing to back this up but I do wonder if teens/young adults who want to experiment have access to pot if tobacco use might go down? That would potentially be a huge positive but of course like I said I’m not sure that would actually be the case.
The state needs money - we all agree to that. But is it reasonable to use a small portion of the population to support the state's needs (or simple wants, for that matter) rather than the entire population? We charge enormous taxes for alcohol and tobacco, for instance, with that tax money going into general funding rather than for alcohol or tobacco needs - is that reasonable, or should we be taxing everyone for that new park, the capital renovation we want or the 4th of July celebration we put on?
Session indicted today that Federal tolerance of state legalization is going to be withdrawn,
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