Your thoughts on pot and the law?

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legalize it!!!!!!!! or at least decriminalize it.

I've seen ample evidence that smoking pot makes you stupid. And I've seen more convincing evidence that attempting to eradicate it makes you even more stupid. The argument in favor of eradication is that getting rid of pot breaks the progression to more powerful and dangerous drugs. But of course, the enforcement program only serves to keep the distribution system under the radar, and therefore bonds pot even more closely with the "heavy" drugs. Thus we pay tax dollars for a program which is intrinsically self-defeating. We might just as well make bad weather illegal.

On the other hand, alcohol is worse and legal, imagine that.

Yeah, let's legalize it and destroy the minds of another generation....

Criminalization of drug use has swelled our prisons to the breaking point. The result is periodic legislative and judicial contortions to adjust sentencing in ways that produce over-crowded prisons and jails with revolving-doors. Meanwhile, old-fashioned law enforcement directed to non-drug related crimes must compete for funds and resources. We all suffer. We need to match criminalization with serious prevention and treatment...something we don't want to pay for as a society. We'ld rather pay billions for prisons than less for prevention and treatment. Crazy.

As soon as they find out a way to tax it, it will be legal just like alcohol.

Today's weed is much stronger than 25 yrs ago, it no longer is a stepping stone drug, it is a hard drug. Scares me to think what it does to a teenager.

Legal or not, you will be tested before employment, after an on the job accident, and after committing a violent crime.

My friend the daily pot smoker was a printing press operator, one day he stuck his hand into a running press while doing a routine maintenance proceedure.

This drug must be used in extreme moderation.

I think it should be legalized. I think we are spending a lot of money on court costs, and inprisonment. It would save us a lot of money. I also think it isnt very harmful, and should be allowed in your home, just like alcohol. My parents did it when they were younger, quit as they got older, and it didnt effect them at all.

If somebody wants to take a plant that's naturally occurring in nature and smoke it, that's their business. It's their body, and their business. Why pot is illegal is beyond me. I'm not even a pot smoker (and I'm sure the anti-pot people will say "Well, that's exactly why you're so ill informed and wrong!") but I just don't see why the government thinks it has the right to regulate what *naturally occuring plants in nature* that people can and can't smoke. Meanwhile, alcohol is legal? And this makes sense.......why exactly? Alcohol destroys your liver, your brain and your body in general with long term heavy use, and it's directly responsible for drunk driving accidents that result in deaths, as well as impairing people so they make poor decisions, who then maybe even get involved in brawls and domestic violence incidents that wouldn't have happened if they were sober. I mean, the list of the negative physical and behavioral repercussions of alcohol go on and on and on, yet it's legal and pot isn't? Hanh?

With the power the "cultivated" versions of pot have, they are dangerous. Yeah, let's let the teachers smoke the potent suff in the break room, and see how you, the parent, likes it. How could you tell they are up on the stuff. Or the plant worker in a medical facitity, or your garage mechanic replacing your brakes. Yeah, bring it on you thoughtless dolts

Imagine if someone was smoking near the captain and first officer of your flight out of CHO to Charlotte.

Could the autopilot handle it? Could the the crew stop eating and chuckling during the entire flight- if it lasted that long.............

Stronger than 25 years ago? Much stronger!! No comparison to what was available for 15 bucks back then. Should NOT be made legal.

Ummmm.... skip, wouldn't the smoke alarm go off if someone was smoking in a plane's cockpit?

Ummm.... dumber than me, shouldn't we then make alcohol illegal since teachers can legally purchase alcohol?

Ummmm.... skinny, couldn't your friend just be a not very bright person? People who don't smoke pot have had workplace accidents. Should we illegalize stupidity?

Ummm.... t-money, you know that alcohol kills brain cells, right?

Be nice if someone formed a cogent argument for the criminalization of marijuana. Certainly haven't seen any on this forum...

I agree with booo. I don't smoke it and I rarely drink. Alchohol was banned during prohibition and see what problems that caused. The only reason it isn't legal is because it can be grown at home. If tobacco was just as easy to be grown and processed then there would be tax evasion issue, the same as with home made liquer. Tobacco is manipulated and chemicals are added to keep people addicted. It causes lung cancer and more deaths than the use of marijuana. Alchohol causes fights, drunk driving accidents and accidents at work. Marijuana causes malaise, sleep and and happiness of not caring. Who has witnessed a stoner wanting to fight. Decriminalize marijuana would take millions of dollars from drug cartels and keep the money spent on it in the US. If you want to drink excessively or use other drugs and it affects your work then you would never work for me or around me. If you want public assistance then you should be required to take tests to show that you aren't using anything. It's not a disease, its a choice.

@ Meanwhile: One of the reasons for the absence of a cogent argument for criminalizing pot is that no such argument can be credibly advanced. It is not enough that something be proven as "bad." The laws against it must also be enforceable, and must have the general result of actually controlling the bad behavior. Neither of these conditions exist with respect to pot.

This is not to say decriminalizing something therefore confers an official blessing on it, either. An accident while driving while under the influence, for example, carries a much stiffer penalty than one which arises from some more innocuous cause. Here, the emphasis is where it belongs - on the actual harmful behavior itself which manifestly resulted in injury or damage. Chasing down 2 bit dealers on street corners won't contribute much to the sober driving initiative. But heavy financial penalties and loss of a license will at least clearly identify the wrong act and perhaps remove the danger from the roads.

Some behaviors are best achieved as a matter of personal choice. Talk to me about the relatively harmless impact of dope and you're preaching to the choir, when it comes a medical assessment. I don't think it holds a candle to the destructive potential of abusive drinking. I choose not to smoke pot because it makes me stupid, sometimes gives me a sense of paranoia, and sometimes involves potential association with people whose company I don't prefer, including some parasites who seek to profit from someone else's addiction. More trouble than it's worth. It would be the same, for me, if the stuff was legal.

THC accumulates in the fatty tissues of our bodies, frequent users can be stoned days after heavy usage by simply exerting themselves and metabolizing fat.

Ken while your assertion about it being stored by fat cells is correct, the rest of it is not. Heavy users need more thc to be released in their system to feel any sort of effect. Please do not just say things without any reasonable evidence.

No doubt, there's negative side effects of pot, however, again, it makes no sense why alcohol is legal when it's just as detrimental. Any negative effects people can think to say about pot could also be said for alcohol. And then some. Alcohol is actually worse because it affects the organs, and many times results in violent/antagonistic behavior. Show me a violent pot head. :D

I say, if it's a naturally occuring plant, then the government has no right to make that decision for you, especially when something like alcohol is legal. Because why is it okay to ferment or distill naturally occuring plants such as potatoes, sugar cane, grapes, agave plants, etc. which result in intoxication and body degeneration, but not to smoke some rolled up leaves? *Why is one resulting mental impairment better than the other?*

If it's manufactured in labs and filled with synethetic chemicals or dangerous additives in order to refine it (ie, heroin, meth, crack, etc.) then that's a potentially different story. Though, I'm still mostly of the school of thought that grown adults are responsible for their own selves. But the reason I'm a little more questioning about hard, manufactured and refined street drugs is because kids do get mixed up in it.

Ultimately there is no way to completely police drugs and alcohol. There is no way to completely protect every child out there who may find themselves being exposed to these substances, whether naturally occuring plant, or otherwise. So I think a compromise should be made, where the focus lies on the hard, manufactured street drugs. Forget the rest. It's a waste of time and resources.

"Feeling" an effect and "Having" an effect are two different things.

Booooo, Im not sure you realize that today's Hooch is a hard drug.

@ Ken Jamme

As hard as meth, heroin or crack? I think not. No matter how much it's been genetically modfied to increase its THC levels, it's still a plant that you're smoking. A far cry from the roach and rat powder that strung out people are often times playing with thinking its a real drug, or the meth rocks they're smoking which are made using lithium from batteries, sulfuric acid, drain cleaner, paint thinner, ammonium nitrate, and who knows what else. If you can't see the difference between a pot plant and what goes on in a meth lab, then I don't know what to tell you.

Booooo, Let me paint a little scenario for you to make my point.
Location: Daytona beach florida
Event: Spring break for the years 1987, 1988, 1989

A young college student under the influence of booz and pot (tested and found during post mortem) attempts to climb from balcony to balcony of a beachfront hotel and falls to the pavement below.

I only know of these events because I lived there during those years and read about them in the paper.

Something made the person believe they were superman.

That really must have been Superman if it took falling off of a balcony three years in a row to do him in.

@ Ken Jamme - Your response isn't good enough to justify that pot is worse than something like crack, meth or heroin. You're skipping over my point and offering up lame anecdotes that feebily try to prove that pot is somehow in the same league as hard street drugs manufactured in labs. It's not.

Furthermore, alcohol alone can cause a person to climb around on a balcony during spring break thinking they're superman. People drunk on alcohol do worse things than that on a regular basis. And alcohol is legal.

And I hate to be snarky, but man alive what's with the attempt at drama in the way you wrote your post? ;D Location: Event: with dates, and then writing about the event using the present tense to try to better paint the dramatic picture in people's minds. (versus using the past tense, which registers to the brain as something that already happened and therefore is no big deal.) Come on man. Seriously. Fail! :D

Well you don't have to get so snippy about it

While I'll agree that I don't want a pilot or truck driver smoking pot, or drinking vodka either, most job testing is pointless. I don't care if the clerk at Home Depot burns one at home. Everyone seems to assume that legal cannabis would have people sparking up at work. No more likely than drunk at work.

Stronger pot only means you smoke less to achieve the buzz, it is not a hard drug in any sense of the term.

I first smoked marijuana on Main Street Ch'ville, cruising in a new 67 Camaro convertible using one of those long clay pipes they used to sell at the Monticello gift shop. Now 44 years later I still smoke daily, own an ad agency and produce TV shows for a cable network. Sure screwed up my life, didn't it.

What is interesting is the way people in these comments are throwing around "cocaine" and "meth" as if these drugs are not "worse" than marijuana. Ironically, the DEA seems to agree: cocaine and methamphetamine can both be legally prescribed by doctors. Yes, you can look it up yourself, both drugs are Schedule II, whereas marijuana remains Schedule I (illegal under all circumstances). Methamphetamine is even prescribed to schoolchildren as a treatment for ADHD.

JSGeare mentioned arguments for marijuana prohibition. Those arguments were given in the 1920s and 30s, and they can be summarized as follows: white women who smoke marijuana will want to have sex with black men; black men who smoke marijuana will become rapists; Mexicans will corrupt young white men with marijuana; marijuana fuels jazz music; marijuana turns people into homicidal maniacs. Yes, those are the arguments that were made in favor of marijuana prohibition, both before congress and in respected newspapers like The New York Times.

To be fair, marijuana is not the only drug to be so ridiculously demonized, nor was it the first. In the 1910s, it was cocaine, and the arguments were even more absurd, with The New York Times going as far as to print a story that claimed that a black man who used cocaine would not stop attacking a white cop even after being shot in the heart. Indeed, the "black men on drugs will become maniacs" meme is pervasive in the history of drug prohibition: cocaine, marijuana, crack cocaine, PCP, etc.

Of course, it is not just racism that has motivated drug prohibition. Yes, the War on Drugs led to a rise in paramilitary operations within the United States, but even at the turn of the 20th century, drugs were being used as an excuse for increasing police power. In response to concerns about black men using cocaine, southern police departments began issuing higher caliber firearms to police officers. Drugs have been used as a pretext for abolishing the separation of powers that our government is built on: the Controlled Substances Act grants the Attorney General's office the power to make drugs illegal without any democratic process -- power that has been exercised twice in the past twelve months! There are even paramilitary drug squads that area self-funded, paying their own salaries and equipment costs with the proceeds from drug arrests. Even our entertainment is not safe: the Clinton administration was caught using primetime TV shows as a platform for drug propaganda, going as far as to demand modifications to scripts.

Lest anyone think that this has been productive, it has not been productive at all. The United States has more prisoners than any other country in the entire world, even China, and that is not just "per capita," that is more prisoners, period. It is not terribly hard to buy contraband drugs, except that those drugs are completely unregulated and the people who sell them do not care about the age of their customers (compare with alcohol or tobacco). Drug propaganda has done more to stop people from using recreational drugs than drug prohibition, but it has left those people who do choose to use drugs with little information on how to do so safely.

We need a new approach to drug policy, one that is based on what is best for our democratic society.

There is only one reason to legalize, the war against it is draining our resources. But I think that legalization will only increase the cost of health care by increased usage of an already widely used inhalant drug.
Don't dismiss the effect of this powerful drug on youth who are too inexperienced to use it responsibly.

"meanwhile"- I think I meant the second hand smoke in the smoking area of an airport, perhaps outside, in a restaurant, etc- but that is for you to decide.

How would one get this past the FDA? If the government legalizes it and someone suffers unfortunate effects, litigious members of society will be likely to sue the government. I can easily envision such a lawsuit being winnable.

Boo, what television network did you get your legal training from?

The war on drugs is one of the most ridiculous and most expensive operations our government has undergone for decades. No matter how hard they try or how much money they spent, there will always be marijuana its as simple as that. Narrow minded people hear the word marijuana and immediately relate it to cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin, without truly knowing the effects of through plant. A close friend and daily pot smoker for 20 years went to a health clinic to get tested for any damage to his body from 20 years of the habit and the physicians found zero physical or mental damage to his body. As for legalization of course it would solve our economic disaster and cut down on absurd arrests and imprisionments but our issues at hand is our government, they will have a tough time legalizing because they don't want to admit they were wrong about pot in the first place. When the world finally wakes and realizes that marijuana isn't remotely close to the same category as those other drugs it will be legalized, its not a question of will pot be legalized, its a question of when.