Why should marijuana be kept illegal?

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The prohibition of marijuana has always baffled me. Like many people here I come from the US which was a country that was founded on the principles of freedom. However, so many goddamn times we have had our freedoms infringed on, even from the beginning of our country. Right now the biggest freedom being infringed on is the right to use substances on your own body that will only cause potential harm to oneself, the most notorious case being marijuana. So I was wondering, considering this is blatantly un-American how can any American want it to remain illegal? This is not meant to patronize or bash anyone who does want it to stall illegal, I am just trying to understand your reasoning for thinking the government should take away our freedoms.

Also, as you can tell this is more directed at the US viewers, however if your from another country and you want to voice your opinion you are more than welcome, we are a part of an international community after all.

Marijuana was legal to use (and was considered an entirely acceptable drug) from the mid 1850's to the early 1900's in the colonies.

The reason it became a concern and was regulated was because of the rampant abuse. As in, it was initially legal and then was made illegal because of how much damage it was doing, along with Opium. Interestingly, even though California was the first state to re-legalize it, back in the 1900's, California was the first state to have Cannabis listed as a poison.

Anywho, I would ask you the inverse. Why legalize it? Why is self-harm frowned upon when done with razors, but it's a-okay when done with alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana? Why is it so hard to follow a law that's meant to protect citizens, especially when disobeying it will get you jail time?

Is it that hard to say 'No' to drugs? Serious question. What makes the very temporary high worth the many permanent risks?

Also, I find it kind of sad that you think marijuana being illegal is the greatest affront to freedom in the US when we still have things like the Patriot Act.

Kopikatsu:
Snip

Now, I'm by no means an expert on the topic, but here's my viewpoint on this stuff.

It's not really the government's place to determine what a person does with their own body. Assuming that the actions of a person do not hurt anyone else or their property, there should be no reason to ban said actions. If a person wants to smoke marijuana, alright, let them smoke it. They want to drink? Hey, good for them, let 'em buy alcohol. Someone wants to do some target shooting, alright, they shell out for a gun and some bullets.

Keep in mind what I said earlier about the "doing no harm to others or their property". For this reason, you need good education on these matters. Continue to give people an unbiased view on the effects of these things-- alcohol, tobacco, marijuana. And try to keep them from harmful behaviors-- cutting themselves, shooting people, etc.

Kopikatsu:
Also, I find it kind of sad that you think marijuana being illegal is the greatest affront to freedom in the US when we still have things like the Patriot Act.

But yeah, also this. Marijuana legalization is hardly the biggest problem.

(As a PS, first time posting in R&P. Let me know if I screwed up any information or such here.)

afroebob:
The prohibition of marijuana has always baffled me. Like many people here I come from the US which was a country that was founded on the principles of freedom. However, so many goddamn times we have had our freedoms infringed on, even from the beginning of our country. Right now the biggest freedom being infringed on is the right to use substances on your own body that will only cause potential harm to oneself, the most notorious case being marijuana. So I was wondering, considering this is blatantly un-American how can any American want it to remain illegal? This is not meant to patronize or bash anyone who does want it to stall illegal, I am just trying to understand your reasoning for thinking the government should take away our freedoms.

Anyone that thinks recreational drugs only affect the user is at minimum blind. I am against such drugs, marijuana included, for exactly the same reasons I am against suicide (for healthy individuals at any rate). Because what a person chooses to do to themselves has a HUGE impact on others.

By the way, stop throwing the word "rights" around where it does not belong. People debate all the time about how far certain rights extend and in what situations, but the "right to use substances" has never been on the table.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of chemically induced (ie: fake) happiness!

Also, THIS is the greatest threat to personal freedoms in the modern age? THIS!?

Heronblade:

afroebob:
The prohibition of marijuana has always baffled me. Like many people here I come from the US which was a country that was founded on the principles of freedom. However, so many goddamn times we have had our freedoms infringed on, even from the beginning of our country. Right now the biggest freedom being infringed on is the right to use substances on your own body that will only cause potential harm to oneself, the most notorious case being marijuana. So I was wondering, considering this is blatantly un-American how can any American want it to remain illegal? This is not meant to patronize or bash anyone who does want it to stall illegal, I am just trying to understand your reasoning for thinking the government should take away our freedoms.

Anyone that thinks recreational drugs only affect the user is at minimum blind. I am against such drugs, marijuana included, for exactly the same reasons I am against suicide (for healthy individuals at any rate). Because what a person chooses to do to themselves has a HUGE impact on others.

By the way, stop throwing the word "rights" around where it does not belong. People debate all the time about how far certain rights extend and in what situations, but the "right to use substances" has never been on the table.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of chemically induced (ie: fake) happiness!

Also, THIS is the greatest threat to personal freedoms in the modern age? THIS!?

So what legal sanctions should be done against them, and in the case of suicide, how should we mutilate the corpse?

GunsmithKitten:

So what legal sanctions should be done against them, and in the case of suicide, how should we mutilate the corpse?

Strawman much? He asked for "my" opinion on the prohibition of marijuana, I gave it.

To be perfectly frank, I'm actually leaning towards carefully controlled legalization, but only because the current status quo gives power to drug smugglers, not because I find the practice any less disgusting than my post above implies.

To any who's against legalizing this or any other drug, I have to ask why. Why would anyone care that another human being is doing something harmful to their body of [b]their own free will.[\b] Its a waste of everyone's time to have this law and enforce it. Just make it legal and let the people be happy.

Marijuana is a destructive vice. The solution isn't legalization, but the institution of capital punishment as the result of possession convictions.

vonmanstein:
Marijuana is a destructive vice. The solution isn't legalization, but the institution of capital punishment as the result of possession convictions.

Feel free to live in Gaza and most of other Islamic states that implement such laws.

Verbatim:

vonmanstein:
Marijuana is a destructive vice. The solution isn't legalization, but the institution of capital punishment as the result of possession convictions.

Feel free to live in Gaza and most of other Islamic states that implement such laws.

"sir, it seems our sarcasm sensors have been jammed......."

vonmanstein:

Verbatim:

vonmanstein:
Marijuana is a destructive vice. The solution isn't legalization, but the institution of capital punishment as the result of possession convictions.

Feel free to live in Gaza and most of other Islamic states that implement such laws.

"sir, it seems our sarcasm sensors have been jammed......."

Too early for sarcasm!

Shadowstar38:
To any who's against legalizing this or any other drug, I have to ask why. Why would anyone care that another human being is doing something harmful to their body of [b]their own free will.[\b] Its a waste of everyone's time to have this law and enforce it. Just make it legal and let the people be happy.

and unproductive, and getting sick enough to drain the healthcare system, and leaving behind friends and family who have little more than a husk in place of the person they once knew...

Like I said before, it is not just a matter of one person doing something to themselves.

Heronblade:

Shadowstar38:
To any who's against legalizing this or any other drug, I have to ask why. Why would anyone care that another human being is doing something harmful to their body of [b]their own free will.[\b] Its a waste of everyone's time to have this law and enforce it. Just make it legal and let the people be happy.

and unproductive, and getting sick enough to drain the healthcare system, and leaving behind friends and family who have little more than a husk in place of the person they once knew...

Like I said before, it is not just a matter of one person doing something to themselves.

Unproductive- I can show you plenty of pot smokers who work just as hard as the rest of us.

Getting sick- In weed's case, no more than your average smoker. And people who use know what they're getting themselves into.

Family and Friends- That last part sounded like an extreme case. If it got that far, they should get help the same as an alcoholic would.

vonmanstein:
Marijuana is a destructive vice. The solution isn't legalization, but the institution of capital punishment as the result of possession convictions.

You serious?

I mean, truly?

For one thing, are you prepared to completely overhaul not just the law on the subject but also willing to put up with the mountains of appeals processing inherent in death pentalty cases? I don't think we got enough paper in the western hemisphere to cover it....

vonmanstein:

Verbatim:

vonmanstein:
Marijuana is a destructive vice. The solution isn't legalization, but the institution of capital punishment as the result of possession convictions.

Feel free to live in Gaza and most of other Islamic states that implement such laws.

"sir, it seems our sarcasm sensors have been jammed......."

Jack, I live in a country where nationally syndicated talk show hosts can call for the death penalty for gay sex in one segment, and followed by a call to completely abolish the republic and install a randomly chosen monarchy in the name of making a righteous nation.

There is NOTHING that sounds extreme enough for me anymore to automatically think that it's sarcasm.

Shadowstar38:

Getting sick- In weed's case, no more than your average smoker.

That's a terrible argument and you should feel bad for using it.

Guns are legal and those kill people! Let's legalize everything because they're not as bad/equal to guns!

Besides, here's another good reason to keep it illegal: Aside from the whole history lesson I mentioned earlier, Alaska experimented with legalizing the drug in the 70's. Marijuana use more than doubled immediately afterward while worker productivity and school performance dropped sharply state-wide, forcing them to re-criminalize it in the 90's because cannabis was costing them a lot more money than taxing it was bringing in, among other things.

They keep giving Americans the chance to prove that they can handle themselves responsibly, but all they prove is that they don't do responsibility. Americans can't be trusted with marijuana, and so it should stay banned.

Edit: In other words, Templars were right and Assassins are a bunch of assholes.

Marijuana prohibition has always seemed crazy to me. The supposed intent of the laws is to protect the user, but the punishment the laws carry have a much more serious impact-prison, incarceration with actual dangerous criminals, impact on the victim's emloyability, etc.- on a user's life than marijuana ever could.

Kopikatsu:

Shadowstar38:

Getting sick- In weed's case, no more than your average smoker.

That's a terrible argument and you should feel bad for using it.

Guns are legal and those kill people! Let's legalize everything because they're not as bad/equal to guns!

Besides, here's another good reason to keep it illegal: Aside from the whole history lesson I mentioned earlier, Alaska experimented with legalizing the drug in the 70's. Marijuana use more than doubled immediately afterward while worker productivity and school performance dropped sharply state-wide, forcing them to re-criminalize it in the 90's because cannabis was costing them a lot more money than taxing it was bringing in, among other things.

They keep giving Americans the chance to prove that they can handle themselves responsibly, but all they prove is that they don't do responsibility. Americans can't be trusted with marijuana, and so it should stay banned.

Edit: In other words, Templars were right and Assassins are a bunch of assholes.

Hard to believe. Citation, please.

Leadfinger:

Kopikatsu:

Shadowstar38:

Getting sick- In weed's case, no more than your average smoker.

That's a terrible argument and you should feel bad for using it.

Guns are legal and those kill people! Let's legalize everything because they're not as bad/equal to guns!

Besides, here's another good reason to keep it illegal: Aside from the whole history lesson I mentioned earlier, Alaska experimented with legalizing the drug in the 70's. Marijuana use more than doubled immediately afterward while worker productivity and school performance dropped sharply state-wide, forcing them to re-criminalize it in the 90's because cannabis was costing them a lot more money than taxing it was bringing in, among other things.

They keep giving Americans the chance to prove that they can handle themselves responsibly, but all they prove is that they don't do responsibility. Americans can't be trusted with marijuana, and so it should stay banned.

Edit: In other words, Templars were right and Assassins are a bunch of assholes.

Hard to believe. Citation, please.

First non-wiki link: http://www.cnbc.com/id/36267217/Legalizing_Marijuana_Not_Worth_the_Costs

Here's another citation for something that I didn't say but should have. ~50% of marijuana used for recreation is being home grown, which isn't likely to change even if it's legalized. In fact, it might even increase a bit since the material needed to grow it would become more widespread.

It would be easier if people were to just stop breaking the law in the first place. Is a few minutes of high worth the jail time? Serious question that has yet to be answered. The potheads are still criminals regardless of whether or not marijuana is harmful. Protip: You don't change laws by breaking them repeatedly.

Kopikatsu:
Protip: You don't change laws by breaking them repeatedly.

Talk to Gandhi, worked pretty well for him for a time.

That CNBC article was written by the former head of the DEA. Certainly a knowledgeable source, but hardly an unbiased one. It's kind of stupid as well since it asserts that it has no medical use. It's got several medical uses, just none that are currently recognized by the state.

Furthermore, there's no citation of that Alaska statistic. He just says it completely unsupported. Finally, I can't even find a name for the author of the article. I don't even know if the author was head of the DEA, he could be pretty much anyone.

I'd like to say that legalization is probably not the best idea, but decriminalizing small amounts for personal use has less risk and keeps the prisons notably emptier.

You ask if the few minutes of high is worth the jail time, I pose the same question. Is the jail time worth the few minutes of high? Is it honestly worth it to have to support those people for months to years at a time for a smoking a little pot?

Heroinblade:
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of chemically induced (ie: fake) happiness!

All happiness is derived from chemicals.

Heroinblade:
and unproductive, and getting sick enough to drain the healthcare system, and leaving behind friends and family who have little more than a husk in place of the person they once knew...

How many pot smokers do actually you know?

I know my children will probably try drugs.

I would prefer they bought them from a pharmacist/doctor than a drug dealer.

Kopikatsu:
Why legalize it?

After decades of drug prohibition, and trillions of dollars enforcing it, there are still millions of people using drugs every day.

What do you think will change to stop these people breaking the law (by using drugs)?

US prisons cost US$60 billion per year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_rate#Effects

Over 12% of prisoners in US jails are there for marijuana offenses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Drugs#Arrests_and_incarceration

So the US could save US$7.2 bill per year on prisons if it legalized marijuana.

This doesn't even factoring in the savings from not enforcing and prosecuting marijuana laws (police and court time).

Alcohol generates US$5.6 bill in tax a year.

http://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/2010/07/05/how-much-is-the-government-making-off-of-alcohol/

Assuming the US could tax marijuana to a similar extent, we are generating over US$12 billion.

That pays for a lot of health care and rehabilitation.

Kopikatsu:

Leadfinger:

Kopikatsu:

That's a terrible argument and you should feel bad for using it.

Guns are legal and those kill people! Let's legalize everything because they're not as bad/equal to guns!

Besides, here's another good reason to keep it illegal: Aside from the whole history lesson I mentioned earlier, Alaska experimented with legalizing the drug in the 70's. Marijuana use more than doubled immediately afterward while worker productivity and school performance dropped sharply state-wide, forcing them to re-criminalize it in the 90's because cannabis was costing them a lot more money than taxing it was bringing in, among other things.

They keep giving Americans the chance to prove that they can handle themselves responsibly, but all they prove is that they don't do responsibility. Americans can't be trusted with marijuana, and so it should stay banned.

Edit: In other words, Templars were right and Assassins are a bunch of assholes.

Hard to believe. Citation, please.

First non-wiki link: http://www.cnbc.com/id/36267217/Legalizing_Marijuana_Not_Worth_the_Costs

Here's another citation for something that I didn't say but should have. ~50% of marijuana used for recreation is being home grown, which isn't likely to change even if it's legalized. In fact, it might even increase a bit since the material needed to grow it would become more widespread.

It would be easier if people were to just stop breaking the law in the first place. Is a few minutes of high worth the jail time? Serious question that has yet to be answered. The potheads are still criminals regardless of whether or not marijuana is harmful. Protip: You don't change laws by breaking them repeatedly.

Thanks for the cite. However, there are some problems. The first problem is that your source, an anonymous writer who claims to be a former head of the DEA, isn't credible. More problematic still, the source doesn't even substantiate your claims. You say that after legalization, marijuana use doubled, but your source only says that marijuana use among teens increased to twice the national average. It's not the same thing at all. Also, the source doesn't say what marijuana use was before legalization, so you can't even say a big increase in use occurred. You also claim that worker productivity and school performance dropped sharply after legalization, but your source doesn't say this.

It's comfortable to the bourgeois state to have laws against commonplace things. It enables the law to be utilized to destroy the lives of whoever makes things difficult for the state.

WouldYouKindly:

You ask if the few minutes of high is worth the jail time, I pose the same question. Is the jail time worth the few minutes of high? Is it honestly worth it to have to support those people for months to years at a time for a smoking a little pot?

Yes. The law says that is the punishment, and so that is what is just. Here's the thing: All laws are 100% arbitrary. The punishment for littering could be immediately execution just as easily as rape could be punished by charging the violator with $0.50. You could be punished for keeping ice cream in your back pocket (This is actually against the law in one state).

However, by living in the country, you've already agreed to the Social Contract. The law is 100% in the right and if you break the law, you are 100% in the wrong. You're free to criticize and argue against the law, and you can even push to get the law changed. But up until the point when the law is changed, breaking the law for any reason (There are exception clauses built into certain laws, by the way) means that you've broken the social contract, and as such, you submit to any punishment brought against you as being reasonable and just. Not only that, but you lose the privileges on having any say on what is done with the laws because you've proven that you do not have the self-control, sense of personal responsibility, nor are you a well adjusted member of society.

This is actually how our legal system is set up. Felons lose the right to vote, among other things.

So to recap, you're allowed to argue against laws. You're allowed to try and get them changed. But in the meantime, you cannot break the law.

TechNoFear:

US prisons cost US$60 billion per year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_rate#Effects

Over 12% of prisoners in US jails are there for marijuana offenses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Drugs#Arrests_and_incarceration

So the US could save US$7.2 bill per year on prisons if it legalized marijuana.

This doesn't even factoring in the savings from not enforcing and prosecuting marijuana laws (police and court time).

Alcohol generates US$5.6 bill in tax a year.

http://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/2010/07/05/how-much-is-the-government-making-off-of-alcohol/

Assuming the US could tax marijuana to a similar extent, we are generating over US$12 billion.

That pays for a lot of health care and rehabilitation.

The fact that people are idiots and many of them have no self control or sense of personal responsibility isn't a good enough reason to either decriminalize or legalize marijuana. They need to learn how to be functioning members of society somehow.

Besides, I already gave the 50%~ of marijuana is home grown statistic. Most people don't have a bathtub full of bootleg booze anymore. I'll get back to this in the next response:

Leadfinger:

Thanks for the cite. However, there are some problems. The first problem is that your source, an anonymous writer who claims to be a former head of the DEA, isn't credible. More problematic still, the source doesn't even substantiate your claims. You say that after legalization, marijuana use doubled, but your source only says that marijuana use among teens increased to twice the national average. It's not the same thing at all. Also, the source doesn't say what marijuana use was before legalization, so you can't even say a big increase in use occurred. You also claim that worker productivity and school performance dropped sharply after legalization, but your source doesn't say this.

Very well, let me put it this way. I already went over the marijuana use in the 1850-1900's, so I'll just focus on the 1970's. Alaska did inarguably legalize around 1970. It lasted for 20 years before being banned again. Since only 20 years passed, that means that many people who voted for it originally also voted against it later. If the substance was not harmful, then what would the point in that be?

Legalization has been tried before, and it's ended up being restricted soon afterwards. Again, Americans just don't have the self-control needed to be trusted to moderate themselves. (I'm pressed for time, so I'll look into Alaska's statistics between 1970 and 1990 a bit more closely when I get back from this meeting)

Kopikatsu:

Leadfinger:

Thanks for the cite. However, there are some problems. The first problem is that your source, an anonymous writer who claims to be a former head of the DEA, isn't credible. More problematic still, the source doesn't even substantiate your claims. You say that after legalization, marijuana use doubled, but your source only says that marijuana use among teens increased to twice the national average. It's not the same thing at all. Also, the source doesn't say what marijuana use was before legalization, so you can't even say a big increase in use occurred. You also claim that worker productivity and school performance dropped sharply after legalization, but your source doesn't say this.

Very well, let me put it this way. I already went over the marijuana use in the 1850-1900's, so I'll just focus on the 1970's. Alaska did inarguably legalize around 1970. It lasted for 20 years before being banned again. Since only 20 years passed, that means that many people who voted for it originally also voted against it later. If the substance was not harmful, then what would the point in that be?

Legalization has been tried before, and it's ended up being restricted soon afterwards. Again, Americans just don't have the self-control needed to be trusted to moderate themselves. (I'm pressed for time, so I'll look into Alaska's statistics between 1970 and 1990 a bit more closely when I get back from this meeting)

You're combining two logical fallacies here, the Bandwagon Fallacy and the False Cause Fallacy. Just because voters in Alaska voted to re-criminalize marijuana doesn't prove that marijuana is harmful. It doesn't even prove the voters of Alaska thought it was harmful.

I am surprised this wasn't posted earlier!

I think the outlawing of pot has a limited time left. We already know alcohol is likely worse. And it has calories.

Pot does make you get the munchies, which potentially will lead one to eat more calories than if they just drank 3 martinis and called it a night.

Reginald:

Heroinblade:
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of chemically induced (ie: fake) happiness!

All happiness is derived from chemicals.

The specific medium the brain uses to trigger feeling is utterly beside the point, real feelings are derived from real activities and events. A healthy mind seeks happiness in life, not through a needle.

Reginald:

Heroinblade:
and unproductive, and getting sick enough to drain the healthcare system, and leaving behind friends and family who have little more than a husk in place of the person they once knew...

How many pot smokers do actually you know?

Enough to feel confident in my words.

One was an unrepentant addict. His usage was heavy enough that he might as well have been a bedridden vegetable for all of the interaction with the world he had.

As for the others, who had the habit relatively under control, we could always tell when they had been smoking, because they were utterly useless for any kind of detailed work or intelligent conversation.

One in particular is smarter than myself, he intended to become a nuclear engineer, and had the skills to pull it off. The stress in that curriculum is however incredibly high, and he eventually turned to weed to deal with it. Never caught, but he failed every single one of his courses that semester. Right now he's stuck trying to figure out how to pay back two years worth of wasted loans while flipping burgers. An incredible waste of potential.(Actually, come to think of it, I'm not even sure if he managed to land the fast food job he was applying for last we heard from him.)

By the way, any particular reason for editing my moniker? Or did you just think it was amusing?

I probably wouldn't be so opposed to pot legalization if either 1) It didn't smell so goddamn bad that it gives me a headache, or 2) People would just smoke it somewhere private. Unfortunately neither of these seem to be the case.

Yes, I'm sure that most potheads smoke it where they won't bother anyone else, but every group has its' complete shitheads, and I guarentee that as soon as it's legalized you'll hardly be able to go anywhere in the bloody city without that horrible smell following you.

Personally, what I don't get is why anyone would want to impair their brain functions.

Also, since I like arguing with people, some justifications for pot legalization that annoy me:

1) It's better for you than alcohol!
Misleading. It's less bad for you than alcohol. Besides, that's not an argument for allowing pot, it's an argument for banning alcohol.

2) It has medical applications!
Except that you don't want it for medical reasons. Let's not pretend you're advocating legalization for the case of people with incurable, painful illnesses. You just want to get high.

3) I just want to get high!
If more people just said this I'd probably have more respect for the movement as a whole.

Heronblade:

Shadowstar38:
To any who's against legalizing this or any other drug, I have to ask why. Why would anyone care that another human being is doing something harmful to their body of [b]their own free will.[\b] Its a waste of everyone's time to have this law and enforce it. Just make it legal and let the people be happy.

and unproductive, and getting sick enough to drain the healthcare system, and leaving behind friends and family who have little more than a husk in place of the person they once knew...

[quote="Heronblade" post="528.395353.16058867"]Enough to feel confident in my words.

One was an unrepentant addict. His usage was heavy enough that he might as well have been a bedridden vegetable for all of the interaction with the world he had.

As for the others, even those that had the habit under control, we could always tell when they had been smoking, because they were utterly useless for any kind of detailed work or intelligent conversation.

By the way, any particular reason for editing my moniker? Or did you just think it was amusing?

You know, I was on the verge of writing one or two paragraphs on how I know oh so many stoners who are responsible and productive members of society, but then I realized my personal experience doesn't really mean shit. Not more than yours anyway, and yours doesn't mean much either.

We can't really talk about this and reach a conclusion without some sort of solid evidence to back our points up. Until then, it seems to be down to chance. You say all potheads you know became drooling morons with 2 braincells left, while my experience has been a polar oppossite.

I'm inviting you to post something to back up your standpoint - maybe a study that looks at how marijuana users compare to non users in terms of employment or whatever - not with the aim of ridiculing you, but because I'm genuinly interested in the results and I can't find shit. Maybe you know something I don't. If you do, please share it.

Otherwise I'll just back out of this thread again since it won't go anywhere, just two sides saying "Well, all the stoners I know are..." over and over again.

Saladfork:
I probably wouldn't be so opposed to pot legalization if either 1) It didn't smell so goddamn bad that it gives me a headache, or 2) People would just smoke it somewhere private. Unfortunately neither of these seem to be the case.

Yes, I'm sure that most potheads smoke it where they won't bother anyone else, but every group has its' complete shitheads, and I guarentee that as soon as it's legalized you'll hardly be able to go anywhere in the bloody city without that horrible smell following you.

Personally, what I don't get is why anyone would want to impair their brain functions.

Also, since I like arguing with people, some justifications for pot legalization that annoy me:

1) It's better for you than alcohol!
Misleading. It's less bad for you than alcohol. Besides, that's not an argument for allowing pot, it's an argument for banning alcohol.

2) It has medical applications!
Except that you don't want it for medical reasons. Let's not pretend you're advocating legalization for the case of people with incurable, painful illnesses. You just want to get high.

3) I just want to get high!
If more people just said this I'd probably have more respect for the movement as a whole.

With all due respect, I think theres more important benefits and drawbacks to legalization than you occasionally having to smell the stuff while walking down the street.

If you want me to, I could talk about these benefits and drawbacks, but I'm 99% sure you've heard it before. (No, my arguments don't boil down to "Alcohol is way worse", don't worry.)

Kopikatsu:

Shadowstar38:

Getting sick- In weed's case, no more than your average smoker.

That's a terrible argument and you should feel bad for using it.

Guns are legal and those kill people! Let's legalize everything because they're not as bad/equal to guns!

It's the perfect argument because there's no logic behind going to jail for a bag of week when the guy next to me has a carton of cigarets.

But okay, on it's own standing, weed has side effects. But clearly not enough to make people want to stop. You should stop forcing them to stop if that's the case.

And Alaska, just one state 40 years ago. Time to try again.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

With all due respect, I think theres more important benefits and drawbacks to legalization than you occasionally having to smell the stuff while walking down the street.

If you want me to, I could talk about these benefits and drawbacks, but I'm 99% sure you've heard it before. (No, my arguments don't boil down to "Alcohol is way worse", don't worry.)

Yes, there are a large number of other reasons for and against, but the OP asked for why anyone would would be against it, and since I'm never going to touch the stuff, that's the biggest thing that affects me personally.

Now I could talk about luncg cancer and demotivation and whatnot, but then the counterargumenet would be some variation on "What right do you have to tell me what I should do with my life", and I suppose I don't really have one.

I may be biased, I admit. My sister is basically the definitive example of every negative stereotype there is against pot smokers, and my anecdotal evidence is really niether here nor there, but I fail to see how pot can have anything but a negative influence on anyone's life.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

You know, I was on the verge of writing one or two paragraphs on how I know oh so many stoners who are responsible and productive members of society, but then I realized my personal experience doesn't really mean shit. Not more than yours anyway, and yours doesn't mean much either.

We can't really talk about this and reach a conclusion without some sort of solid evidence to back our points up. Until then, it seems to be down to chance. You say all potheads you know became drooling morons with 2 braincells left, while my experience has been a polar oppossite.

I'm inviting you to post something to back up your standpoint - maybe a study that looks at how marijuana users compare to non users in terms of employment or whatever - not with the aim of ridiculing you, but because I'm genuinly interested in the results and I can't find shit. Maybe you know something I don't. If you do, please share it.

Otherwise I'll just back out of this thread again since it won't go anywhere, just two sides saying "Well, all the stoners I know are..." over and over again.

Only one pothead I know is a heavy enough user to meet that description, the rest just get knocked down a peg or two from normal. The thing is, mental function is critical for myself and my peers at the moment, and that peg or two is a killer.

As for proof, google can do wonders sometimes

http://www.theroadout.org/drug_information/marijuana/effects_of_heavy_marijuana_use_on_learning_and_social_behavior.html
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-abuse/how-does-marijuana-use-affect-school-work-social-life

Couple salient points:
-"research has shown that marijuana's adverse impact on memory and learning can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the Drug wear off"
-"Students who smoke marijuana get lower grades and are less likely to graduate from high school, compared with their non-smoking peers"
-"marijuana users reported that use of the drug impaired several important measures of life achievement including cognitive abilities, career status, social life, and physical and mental health"
-"Several studies associate workers' marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers' compensation claims, and job turnover"
-"a study among postal workers found that employees who tested positive for marijuana on a pre-employment urine drug test had 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries, and a 75-percent increase in absenteeism compared with those who tested negative for marijuana use"

Saladfork:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

With all due respect, I think theres more important benefits and drawbacks to legalization than you occasionally having to smell the stuff while walking down the street.

If you want me to, I could talk about these benefits and drawbacks, but I'm 99% sure you've heard it before. (No, my arguments don't boil down to "Alcohol is way worse", don't worry.)

Yes, there are a large number of other reasons for and against, but the OP asked for why anyone would would be against it, and since I'm never going to touch the stuff, that's the biggest thing that affects me personally.

Now I could talk about luncg cancer and demotivation and whatnot, but then the counterargumenet would be some variation on "What right do you have to tell me what I should do with my life", and I suppose I don't really have one.

I may be biased, I admit. My sister is basically the definitive example of every negative stereotype there is against pot smokers, and my anecdotal evidence is really niether here nor there, but I fail to see how pot can have anything but a negative influence on anyone's life.

Well, actually my reasons for standing behind legalization are more logical than ideological, at least I like to think they are.

Saying someone should be able to decide what they can and can't do with their body has a nice ring to it, but I find the other side of things to be much more interesting, the "practical" side, if you will. What it boils down to for me is this: criminalization has no benefits as far as I can see. Lets pretend for a second that I was convinced marijuana was the worst thing to ever happen to humanity - I think I'd still want the stuff legalized. It being illegal doesn't stop many people from smoking it, it just doesn't happen. Going up to a dealer or finding one is only marginally harder than walking into a store to buy something, and getting it on the illegal path adds a ton of drawbacks on top of the already existant health risks. Here in Germany we have people weighing down the stuff with a whole arsenal of harmful things, ranging from hairspray to deodrant to shards of glass. I've heard of it happening in Britain frequently too, it is not exclusive to this country. If you're concerned about potheads and their ruined lungs costing the state money, you should be concerned about this trend too.

So much for the whole lung cancer thing, but what about all the minors? Well, I'm willing to bet that it's harder for a youngster to acquire the stuff in a country where it is legally sold in stores than in Germany now. Of course you'll get older guys buying the stuff for underage friends, or shopkeepers who sell it to teenagers anyway. But is the assumption that shopkeepers will generally be more reluctant to sell to minors than some dealer who's already deep in criminal circles anyway really all that ridiculous?

And on top of all of that, you have the whole gang crime thing going on. This really isn't specific to marijuana though. To be honest I have no idea how much violence marijuana causes in terms of dealers fighting for ground or product, and I won't try to pull something out of my ass. But imagine for a moment that the US legalized, say, for example, cocaine. How do you think that would effect the situation in Mexico? I'm sure the violence would drop off by a considerable margin. This is the part of my argument I'm least sure and least educated on though, so again, if anyone rejects this theory, please let me know why.

Goes for my entire post really, but whatever.

Heronblade:
Only one pothead I know is a heavy enough user to meet that description, the rest just get knocked down a peg or two from normal. The thing is, mental function is critical for myself and my peers at the moment, and that peg or two is a killer.

As for proof, google can do wonders sometimes

http://www.theroadout.org/drug_information/marijuana/effects_of_heavy_marijuana_use_on_learning_and_social_behavior.html
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-abuse/how-does-marijuana-use-affect-school-work-social-life

Couple salient points:
-"research has shown that marijuana's adverse impact on memory and learning can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the Drug wear off"
-"Students who smoke marijuana get lower grades and are less likely to graduate from high school, compared with their non-smoking peers"
-"marijuana users reported that use of the drug impaired several important measures of life achievement including cognitive abilities, career status, social life, and physical and mental health"
-"Several studies associate workers' marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers' compensation claims, and job turnover"
-"a study among postal workers found that employees who tested positive for marijuana on a pre-employment urine drug test had 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries, and a 75-percent increase in absenteeism compared with those who tested negative for marijuana use"

I can't help but doubt those two sources - one is trying to sell me some sort of drug to help me kick my addiction, while the other is government run, and we all know how much the government looooves marijuana. (Have they stopped ranting on about the whole "It kills braincells" thing?)

Also, to tackle the bit about work accidents - could it be that some stoners simply go to work while UTI, which would obviously raise the likelyhood of accidents during that time? It's no secret that you shouldn't operate heavy machinery while stoned, I feel it's not a compelling argument against marijuana though. The responsibility for this is with the worker, not the drug.

Despite that I don't have a hard time believing good parts of that, especially the things that are specific to young users. There must be some legitimacy to half of what they are saying.

Either way, if you feel like it you can check out the upper part of my post, in which I specify why I'm for legalization no matter what.

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