03-26-2010 09:21 PM
Right well this is a mixed issue. It involves laws, the most use of our penal system, health care, and culture. And no where on here has their been a serious discussion of the subject from either side.
So to start opening Pandora's box a article that popped up thurs
Calif. voters could legalize pot in Nov. election
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When California voters head to the polls in November, they will decide whether the state will make history again — this time by legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults.
The state was the first to legalize medicinal marijuana use, with voters passing it in 1996. Since then, 14 states have followed California's lead, even though marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
"This is a watershed moment in the decades-long struggle to end failed marijuana prohibition in this country," said Stephen Gutwillig, California director for the Drug Policy Alliance. "We really can't overstate the significance of Californians being the first to have the opportunity to end this public policy disaster."
California is not alone in the push to expand legal use of marijuana. Legislators in Rhode Island, another state hit hard by the economic downturn, are considering a plan to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less by anyone 18 or older.
A proposal to legalize the sale and use of marijuana in Washington was recently defeated in that state's legislature, though lawmakers there did expand the pool of medical professionals that could prescribe the drug for medicinal use.
And a group in Nevada is pushing an initiative that marks the state's fourth attempt in a decade to legalize the drug.
The California secretary of state's office certified the initiative for the general election ballot Wednesday after it was determined that supporters had gathered enough valid signatures.
The initiative would allow those 21 years and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, enough to roll dozens of marijuana cigarettes. Residents also could grow their own crop of the plant in gardens measuring up to 25 square feet.
The proposal would ban users from ingesting marijuana in public or smoking it while minors are present. It also would make it illegal to possess the drug on school grounds or drive while under its influence.
Local governments would decide whether to permit and tax marijuana sales.
Proponents of the measure say legalizing marijuana could save the state $200 million a year by reducing public safety costs. At the same time, it could generate tax revenue for local governments.
A Field Poll taken in April found a slim majority of California voters supported legalizing and taxing marijuana to help bridge the state budget deficit.
Those who grow and sell it illegally fear legalization would drive down the price and force them to compete against corporate marijuana cultivators.
Other opponents view marijuana as a "gateway drug" that, when used by young people, could lead them to try other, harder drugs. They worry that legalization would persuade more people to try it, worsening the nation's drug culture.
"We are quite concerned that by legalizing marijuana, it will definitely lower the perception of risk, and we will see youth use go through the roof," said Aimee Hendle, a spokeswoman for Californians for Drug Free Youth.
The initiative is the second proposal to qualify for the November ballot. The other is an $11.1 billion water bond measure championed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state Legislature.
Which camp do you fall into? Think this is a bad idea or...?
03-31-2010 10:45 PM
My opinions are very mixed, TB. If the drug in question was the marijuana that most of my friends in college grew on their windowsill, I wouldn't have any problems with it. But I'm told that the drug is no longer the benign stuff of the 60's, and that gives me much cause for concern.
I will be surprised if it passses. The lure for the Californians, I think, is the idea that they could tax it and thereby make up for their appalling budget deficits. But then they would simply be trading in the need for drug police for tax police, as I highly doubt homeowners are going to charge their friends tax on sales of their produce.
The other thing that bothers me is the fact that people in California don't seem bothered by the fact the drug is most often smoked, hurting the lungs just as much as cigarettes, if not more.
That said, it would be great if people traded in their habits of cocaine and speed for pot, as far as I'm concerned. Pot generally makes people hungry and silly, whereas the other two just make people more mean and narcissistic. I'm guessing, though, that the drugs appeal to different kinds of people and that no trade-off will occur.
03-31-2010 10:54 PM
Wow no one else has an opinion on this?!
Since you asked, TB.
Personally, I tend not to respond to miniscule effort, minimal substance posting. I mean, I read a substantial amount of news on my own. I don’t really get excited by people blankly re-posting news articles at me, without contributing even a token piece of original thought or consideration. Or even just offering one’s own opinion before soliciting others'.
IDK, I always feel like such OPs kind of scream, “Yo! I’d love to see a discussion on this topic, I just don’t want to do any of the work. So why doesn’t someone else do it for me.”
My response is usually, no thanks. Followed by silence.
Normally I wouldn't bother explaining as much. But I didn't want there to be a presumption that just because I don't respond to minimal effort article posting, I don't have opinions about the topics.
04-05-2010 04:16 AM
That's a pity, RTA, because I know you are a Greenwald fan, and I know he's done some really great coverage on Spain's decriminalization policy and how its shown a net benefit. Do you think when you revisit this thread that you might be willing to post some links? I had them bookmarked, but a recent death in my computer family has left me without a lot of former resources.
As to the whole "it's not my pot or my generation's pot" argument, you're right. Cultivation has elevated THC levels from the baseline that many parents experienced in the 1960s. However, that argument is basically a progressive prohibitionist argument. It's a moved-goalpost version from "all pot is bad" to, "Well, the grown-ups who said it wasn't bad don't realize that it wasn't bad for them, but it's bad now." It's lazy. More often than not, it's proffered as a conservative adaptation to changing data meant to return to the same conclusion.
Chemically speaking, the jury is still out on THC. There was a panicky Danish study about seven years ago that suggested it radically denuded brain function and led to emotional instability, but the study hasn't been repeated. There are just as many other studies out there that suggest it can minimize radical dopamine swings, and others that say it induces it. Of course, alcohol can do the same thing, and it's sold without question, even in intensities like Bacardi 151. There's a lot of pot hypocrisy out there that's hard to reconcile with the addictions and depredations we already consider normative.
Also, for the record, I do not smoke pot, so please don't think this a personal advocacy. I always found my college buddies on it to be more annoying than endearing, and it made me feel gross the few times I gave it a shot.
04-05-2010 01:35 PM
I tried it twice back in college in the 70's, and both times I hated the experience. The first time, I think the stuff was laced with something -- I had an hallucinogenic experience coupled with the urge to jump off a balcony but left me with enough control to resist it. The time distortion effect of the drug, though, meant that it seemed like hours before the effects wore off. I vividly remember watching the clock, the hands of which never seemed to move.
The second time wasn't so bad, but it wasn't pleasant, either. It took three days before my lungs felt normal again from the burning.
This is clearly not the drug of choice for me. It didn't make me happy or silly. It depressed me, instead. My Type-A ex-husband, though, was enjoyable when under the influence. His normal angry disposition turned into silliness, giving me a nice respite from conflict.
I've always wondered how much of the so-called enjoyment of the drug came from the mere fact that it was "forbidden fruit". I also wonder if making it legal will impact on the enticement issue.
04-05-2010 05:44 PM - edited 04-05-2010 05:44 PM
Yea, your potted plant or your macrame potted-plant hanger could be marijuanna- I think this is the core of the marijuanna conundrum and also the fact and we continnue to associate the 1960's with marijuanna use.
04-13-2010 03:57 AM
I'm starting to think tiggerbear is doing a sociological study on how we respond to current events lol j/p.
Drug legalization-- right....
From what I've gathered from news and talking to people is that drugs are legal. You can't go to the gas station and buy a joint, but you can certainly walk into your doctors office with a sprained ankle and they'll give you a narcotic pain killer. The problem isn't about legalizing pot it's the epidemic of prescription pain pill abuse. hydrocodone and oxycodone are opiates A.K.A heroin. People are worried about their kids smoking pot when they should be more concerned with them getting into the medicine cabinet.
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the reason why they won't legalize marijuana because of the fact that the gov't can't make money off it? I mean sure they say drugs are bad and this and that but seriously if they can't profit off it why approve it?
whew...okay I'm done before I go off on an even longer tangent. Sorry!
04-13-2010 06:34 PM
I find it rather ironic that California, home of the first city in the world to ban smoking cigarettes in all public places (San Luis Obismo) is now the home of the first state in the US which is trying to legalize marijuana, which delivers more tar and carbon monoxide to the lungs when smoked. It doesn't make sense to me.
04-14-2010 01:38 AM
The ban was originally sold to Californians as a public- and employee-safety issue, not as a measure designed to preserve the lung tissue of smokers. It was deemed fundamentally unjust and unduly harmful to subject an employee to personal health damage unrelated to their jobs. For instance, while there are necessary hazards to a job whose description involves disposing of hazardous chemicals, carrying food to someone's table shouldn't require the attendant damage of inhaling the smoke emanating from the end of someone's burning cigarettes (which is unfiltered and thus worse for you). Similarly, non-smokers shouldn't be obliged to inhale the ambient detritus from their co-workers just because their cubicle neighbor needs a smoke for inspiration to strike, etc.
So far as I can tell, there isn't any workplace in California that allows smoking marijuana in it at all. In this case, the public safety concerns are still being met and in the same spirit.
Also, just as sort of related things:
1. The jury's still out on the filtering effectiveness of various pot accessories. There just aren't a lot of "hard science" studies on them.
2. Whatever the concentration of harmful chemicals in a joint, I think just about anybody would be pretty astounded to find a single person who sat at a bar and sucked down 12 J's in a single sitting — even assuming anyone can do that in a public establishment anywhere in California — but I and countless others will smoke well over a half a pack of cigarettes during a single bar visit. Multiply that by the number of smokers in a single bar that allows smoking, multiply by hours of operation, then do some calculus over how the frequency of lighting up increases as you approach the Last Call limit, and that's a lot of smoke.
04-14-2010 01:02 PM
So you are suggesting, perhaps, that the mindset there is one of "We think people have the right to put smoke in their own lungs (with or without THC) but not anyone else's"?
Playing devil's advocate -- Is there any consideration of how this might affect health care costs in the future? Seems to me that we are gradually reaching that point where even hurting yourself heath-wise can have financial repercussions for all the rest of us down the line. It doesn't seem like a wise idea to give people the idea that smoking weed is a "government approved" thing to do-- too many folks, I think, would read that as some kind of endorsement that there are no negative health consequences.
I think I'd feel better about this if they got rid of the smoking part and just tried to legalize THC, like they have nicotine (in patches, lozenges, and so forth) , but that would not be economical either, because then people would have to purchase it, as opposed to simply growing it themselves.
04-14-2010 03:27 PM
Living in WI, we just embraced the smoking ban in bars and seperate enclosed smoking sections in restaurants. I do believe now they are trying to ban smoking outside but that might have been a rumor.
I think health care providers are trying to move people into a preventative type of medicine. (Nutrition, exercise, etc) Many diseases now a days can be prevented which is why they are trying to take this approach. As to selling just THC they do sell pill forms of THC one of them being Marinol and I have also heard of drinks carrying THC.
Taking the smoking aspect out of pot, I don't think people view it any different than alcohol, but can they really be compared? Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Prohibition started because of people spending their hard earned paychecks on boose, and is pot an epidemic like that was? Maybe I'm bringing a bad point, but whether legalizing it or not people are still gonna buy it and use it, right? Which makes you think why people really want to legalize it, right?
04-14-2010 04:21 PM
What I meant when I said "legalize THC", but said it badly, was more in the way of making it accessible to everyone without need for a prescription, like alcohol and nicotine patches.
I had the impression that Prohibition got its greatest push from the fact that many Protestant denominations of the times (e.g. Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, and more) believed that consumption of alcohol was a personal sin. They also believed that banning alcohol would somehow end all the evils of the world, and churches celebrated when Prohibition became law.
I can't find a source for this, but I saw a documentary once about laws criminalizing marijuana use, and if I recall this correctly, such laws passed because at the time the main users of the drug were African Americans and Mexican Americans. Wikipedia, though, gives a good case for big companies like DuPont having a vested interest in banning the growing of hemp as they had patents for producing paper and plastic from other materials, and widespread cultivation of hemp, which could also be used for making paper and plastics, would have cut into their own profits. Apparently, our need for coal, oil, and trees would have been greatly reduced had these laws not been passed.
04-15-2010 03:29 PM
The Federal government restricts the use and production of Cannibis. Cannibis is also seen by some as the source of conflict between eastern and western political ideologies. What say you?
04-15-2010 04:06 PM
chad wrote, in part:
Cannibis is also seen by some as the source of conflict between eastern and western political ideologies. What say you?
Are you referring to Eastern vs Western US STATES, or world countries?
04-15-2010 04:22 PM
Ummm... I was under the impression that the Cold War was the result of tensions between Communist and non-Communist idealogies. I didn't know there was a connection to Cannabis. Why don't you tell us about it?
04-15-2010 11:20 PM
I'm with Psychee on that one, I was taught in school that the cold war sprung up after WWII when communism was flurishing throughout the world and we Americans were so terrified we began the witch hunt for commies. Unless there's some conspiracy theory you'd like to share I'm all ears!
04-16-2010 03:10 PM - edited 04-16-2010 03:18 PM
Concern over marijuana use and "anti-communist" thought appeared in our history roughly about the same time. I think someone already mentioned another Wikipedia article and the DuPont Co. Cannabis is a commodity whose trade is restricted in our country and in "communist" countries as well. But other trade issues were also at the heart of the "cold war", sometimes thought of as a war over ideologies- to some extent I agree with that sentiment.
I'm not sure this gives you the answer you were looking for...
04-16-2010 03:50 PM
They may have appeared around the same time but I'm not sure if they were related at least not in a major way. The 'cold war' was a war over ideologies: communism vs. democracy and because of those ideas and the fear of spreading communism by funding it, the USA was cautious in trading with communist countries.