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View Diary: Marijuana: Why decriminalization alone won't work (51 comments)

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  •  I beg to differ. (1+ / 0-)
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    ssundstoel

    I'm all for marijuana use as therapy, in situations where data supports its effectiveness and safety. However, legalization for casual/recreational use is simply a bad idea. Evidence regarding damage to lungs from marijuana smoke is clear and convincing. Given the huge numbers of folks I treat with emphysema, and the ghastly suffering they endure, this is simply a show-stopper.

    I mean, seriously. How many teens and twenty-somethings are going to invest in a fancy vaporizer unit instead of just buying a bag of weed, some rolling paper and lighting up?

    We have enough social problems already without encouraging people to take up another consumption habit.

    •  "simply a bad idea" (1+ / 0-)
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      YoyogiBear

      I think that since it's use will continue forever either above ground or under is the question. Those that want it can find it now. It may be a bit harder than running to the corner store but not much. So that being fact, why arrest 800,000 people a yr for a victimless crime ? It costs 40,000 dollars a yr to keep someone in prison for what is a control issue, all the while putting those same people in risk of beatings, rape, even death from violent criminals.

      A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded" -Abraham Lincoln

      by SmileySam on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 06:50:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're missing my point. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm all for decriminalizing, ending all prosecution and stopping the lunacy of regarding marijuana sale/possession as a crime equivalent to B&E or assault. The evidence of decades of delusional law enforcement are very clear on this subject.

        However, decriminalization is not the same thing as legalization and encouragement of marijuana use. We need a whole lot more unbiased data before we declare it 'safe'; just like any other consumer product, the burden of proof must be biased toward safety.

        •  Legalization won't "add" to any habit. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YoyogiBear

          Studies after Prohibition showed a temporary spike in use right after legalization - the civically timid, who wouldn't give in to their curiosity when it was illegal - but overall rate of use changed little.

          In other words, almost everybody who would smoke it, is smoking it.

          There will always self-medicating members of society. Is there really no difference, if they reach for a pint of Cabin Still, an eigth, or a deck of Camels? Even the substance-dependent would benefit from, and deserve, the choice of a better crutch.

          I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

          by labradog on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:12:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  you are missing the point (1+ / 0-)
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          YoyogiBear

          Every one who wants to smoke or use cannabis. is already using cannabis. Its everywhere and no one is going to stop it. So instead of criminalizing whole segments of society. Legislation, regulation, education, rehabilitation are the only sane solutions.
          This solution turns it into a medical problem and not a criminal one.

          Oh , about collecting data to verify safety. Think about this One million regular users in the us have been smoking hard since the sixties. I would challenge anyone to find the ONE(if it exists) documented case of permanent damage done by cannabis consumption.

          May there be peace on earth and may it begin with me

          by lazbumm on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:16:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Why don't we criminalize tobacco and legalize (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lazbumm

      weed then?  Tobacco kills far more people.  I'm with Smiley Sam on this... what about if we only make it legal to EAT marijuana... then would it be OK?  There'd be no lung damage, after all...

      And no, I don't think your laziness argument holds any water, either.  the list of successful people who have smoked is extensive (Bill Gates, Arnold, Bloomberg, Clinton, Obama, etc.)  Certainly you can find alcoholics who are not only unsuccessful, they're violent to boot.

      I understand where you're coming from but fail to see how keeping the drug cartels in business (as medical marijuana-only systems do) serves a  purpose.  The fact of the matter is, millions of smokers are out there and we aren't taxing them and the fact that it's illegal means that VERY unsavory characters run the business and it's completely unregulated.

      I don't think your arguments stand up to scrutiny.  Feel free to disabuse me of my notions.

      American overseas? Request your ballot at www.VoteFromAbroad.org

      by YoyogiBear on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 08:00:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's actually pretty simple. (0+ / 0-)
        1. The major driver of 'drug cartels' is in fact criminalization. If you stop arresting people for possession with intent to sell, you eliminate the huge 'risk premium' that funds the organized crime element involved. Marijuana is such a bulky and relatively low-profit product compared to cocaine or heroin that it's already not very attractive to established criminal enterprises.
        1. I absolutely agree that marijuana is far less socially detrimental than alcohol, as the latter fuels an astonishingly high percentage of violent crime. It also currently causes far fewer pulmonary deaths than tobacco, in part of course simply because it's criminalized so consumption is somewhat constrained. But these are not compelling arguments for legalized sale and widespread consumption. Prohibition was a miserable failure for alcohol, and it would be for tobacco as well. But strenuous efforts to discourage and stigmatize consumption of tobacco are public health imperatives. Until I see overwhelming evidence that regular marijuana smoking is safe, posing no risk to peoples' lungs, I regard advocacy for legalizing marijuana use as irresponsible at best.

        I take care of a number of 'casual' marijuana users with serious obstructive lung disease and no other cause. I pointedly tell them that I have no moral or legalistic issue with their marijuana use at all. My problem is that it's ruining their lungs.

        •  When it's RE-LEGALIZED.... (1+ / 0-)
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          YoyogiBear

          I personally will be growing it and processing it for use in my food, but also making tinctures out of it. There are so many ways to get benefit from cannabis, not everyone who smokes pot now wants to always (and only) smoke it. Sure, I like smoking joints, but when its legal, I'll be using it to get high in different ways. Others will too.

          Peace thru hemp / hemp for life!

          by Boudicia Dark on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:05:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  How do you feel about cooking with mj? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YoyogiBear

          One way to enjoy without inhaling, and if done right, works well.

          It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

          by sboucher on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:21:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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