Is America ready for legalized Marijuana?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by SaberSlinger, Jul 9, 2002.

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  1. SaberSlinger Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2001
    star 4
    Article here.

    CARSON CITY, Nev., July 9 ? Voters in Nevada, which up until last year had the nation?s strictest marijuana law, will decide in November whether to let adults legally possess small amounts of pot. State officials said Tuesday that a petition drive to put the measure on the ballot had narrowly succeeded with about 75,000 valid signatures.
    UNDER THE PROPOSAL, marijuana would be sold in state-licensed shops and taxed like cigarettes and other tobacco products. A distribution system would also be set up to provide low-cost pot for medical uses.
    To become law, the change needs voter approval this year and in 2004. But whether it could ever actually take effect is unclear. Federal law bans marijuana possession, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that states cannot make exceptions for medical use.
    The new proposal would let adults have up to three ounces of marijuana. Driving under the influence would still be illegal, as would using marijuana in public places.
    ?The success of our petition drive provides solid evidence that most Nevadans think it?s a waste of their tax dollars to arrest people for small amounts of marijuana,? said Billy Rogers of Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement.
    Law enforcement groups in Nevada are expected to oppose the ballot measure.
    ?Three ounces is quite a bit,? said Lt. Stan Olsen, lobbyist for the Las Vegas police. ?If we legalize it, what is next? A lot of people don?t use drugs now because they are illegal and they stand to lose in their personal or professional lives if they use.?
    Until last year, puffing on a single marijuana cigarette in Nevada was a felony punishable by a year or more behind bars. But the stiff penalties were rarely imposed. Lawmakers have since made possession of less than an ounce a misdemeanor.
    In 2000, Nevada voters approved the use of medical marijuana.



    OK, first of all, I am a recreational pot smoker, but this isn't a "Hey man, I need to move to Nevada so I can smoke weeeed, man" post. If I wanted that, I would've posted this in YJCC. Rather, I would like some intelligent discussion on whether or not America is finally ready to legalize marijuana. There are many good things that could come from this.

    First of all, it would be a huge source of income for the US government. Not just in the processing and sale of marijuana, but in all the products that can be made from the actual plant itself. Rope, clothing, paper, and many other products can be made from hemp and it would be cheaper and more eco-friendly than using trees to manufacture the very same products. Also, trees take much, much longer to replenish. The government could also make money on taxing the sale of marijuana much like we tax liquor and tobacco.

    As far as more indirect advantages of legalization, our prison systems would be less crowded and we would save millions that are now spent to charge, try, and imprison those arrested for possession without the intent to deliver. We could better use these funds to fight drugs that pose a real threat to the well-being of our citizens like crack, meth, and cocaine.

    Shall we take a look at the physical side-effects of marijuana use? Simply put, there really are none. Sure, it makes you a bit lazy and it does indeed affect short-term memory. However, these are only temporary side effects and they subside once the user is clean for only a couple days. Compare these with substances which are currently legal and accepted by our society - alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol can cause liver and kidney damage, as well as deterioration of the nerves after extended abuse. It also causes more fatal traffic accidents than anything else. Tobacco can cause lung cancer if smoked (mostly due to the additives that are put in, but I digress), and mouth and throat cancer if used orally (smokeless tobacco).

    I think the benefits to legalized usage of marijuana in the privacy of your own home
  2. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    I am actually for legalizing all forms of drugs. Place an age limit for the different types, have them regulated by the government so that you are sure of what you are purchasing, and all proceeds go to support drug rehab centers. Make the druggies pay for their own treatment, not those of us smart enough to stay clean.
  3. Miin_Bodenna Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 3
    Im against all forms of legalized drugs. I think alcohal and tobacco prodects should be made illegal. You might have seen this commercial in the US...but bassically the message is drugs support terrorism. Its bad enough with drunk drivers on the streets...but now imagine the streets with HIGH drivers. Accident deaths would take a leap if marijuan (sp?) was legalized.
  4. Amazing Admiral Ackbar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 1999
    star 3
    There are many advantages, I agree, but a big problem is that if it were legal it would surely begin to leak to lower age groups so that it would be very easy for kids to access it. All it takes is one 19 year old to buy some legally and turn around and sell it to some middle schoolers for quite a profit. Not really a problem to me, if kids want to get stoned it's fine by me, but it could cause a major problem at public schools. Or a least a distraction. More weed on campus, more stoners dropping out, it would just cause a lot of problems. But it also solves a lot of problems in providing a major source of income for the government by taxing it and by not overcrowding prisons. Tough call. I say no, America is not ready. But you never know until you try.
  5. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    You might have seen this commercial in the US...but bassically the message is drugs support terrorism.

    But legalized drugs wouldn't since the terrorsists (and organized crime and gangs) would be eliminated from the equation. Legalizing drugs (especially one as popular as marijuana) would strike a huge financial blow to these organizations. In the 20 seconds it would take to sign the legislation, more damage would be done to drug dealers than the entire 20 odd year War on Drugs ever did.
  6. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    Seeing how prohibition was SO successful, I can see why many would want to keep drugs illegal. It is better the way it is now, because kids can't get drugs at all under the present system.
  7. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    In the 20 seconds it would take to sign the legislation, more damage would be done to drug dealers than the entire 20 odd year War on Drugs ever did.

    Sshhhh. Common sense isn't allowed here.

    In all seriousness, that's absolutely true.
  8. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    And imagine the money that we would save.
  9. Coolguy4522 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    In the 20 seconds it would take to sign the legislation, more damage would be done to drug dealers than the entire 20 odd year War on Drugs ever did.

    I won't disagree with this statement. However, I will simply point out the fact that it is not "The War on Drug Dealers" but rather the "War on Drugs."

    In state courts, nearly 90% of the people are there because of drugs or it's affects on their actions.

    By legalizing drugs you will have a sharp increase in the use of them. Then when everybody is having a good time getting high on crack, you will see what will happen to this country.
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    By legalizing drugs you will have a sharp increase in the use of them

    Nope. You'd see a decrease, if anything. The forbidden aspect would be at least partially removed, and everything would be brought to the surface.
  11. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    "In state courts, nearly 90% of the people are there because of drugs"

    Well, if drugs were legal, you wouldn't have people in jail for drugs, because they wouldn't be against the law.
  12. darth_boy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2001
    star 7
    Well i dont think it had a terrible affect in the Netherlands did it. It helped people learn how to copntrol themselves
  13. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    Everybody knows that drugs are bad, Mkay? Making them legal will reduce crime, thus reducing the load on the US judicial system.
  14. JediOverlord Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2000
    star 5
    I don't know what to think,but all I know is if marijuana is legalized,sales of black lights and Bob Marley posters would go up,as well as having High Times being available on magazine racks alongside Time and Newsweek. Not to mention movies like Half Baked would lose their outlaw glamour.
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I don't think that legalizing MJ would offer any kind of benefits like you are proposing, but lets look at your arguements:

    1) (eliminating drug arrests would free up the criminal justice system)-this is not true as illustrated by your own opening statement. Right now, pot use is decriminalized anyway. You say quite clearly that nobody gets a stiff sentence for this in NV. Therefore, legalizing 3oz would have little impact on the jails. This would only matter if you were talking about harder drugs, which is clearly not an issue.

    2) (think of all the money the government could collect, such as taxes.) Again, this statement is pure speculation. Right now, Illinois looses 583 million dollars for regular tobacco illiness costs, and this is one state. Add lost productivity and health care costs for increased MJ use, and it would be safe to say you could approach the billion dollar mark. Do you really think a state could make a billion dollars selling hemp shirts?

    3) In the year 200, it was estimated by the APA that 1 out of every 5 people in America had a problem with alcohol. 10% of people could be diagnosed as alcoholics. Legalize another substance, and what do you think the effect would be?

    You could say that medically, pot is no different than tobacco or alcohol, But those other substances are bad enough. Stop thinking about what is cool, and start looking at the hard facts.

    Maybe we don't need to arrest everyone that has some MJ, but I don't see this as a big problem now.
  16. Darth_Omega Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    I thought Marijuana was already legal :confused:

    ....


    Oh we're talking about USA... Nevermind :p


    Look legalizing Marijuana is not harmfull. I live in the country where it's legal I haven't seen anything bad happen...

    Although there is one problem...

    foreigners...

    A lot of people come here just to buy drugs and that causes most of the problems.
    If Nebraska is going to legalized I hope that the other states will follow Nebraska

    About the addicted part... Well people learned to control it
  17. Lessa Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2002
    star 1
    I think a lot of this question depends on what PART of America we're talking about here. It's a very heterogeneous place, ya know. :)

    In places where it's already decriminalized, I don't see that it would have any terrible effect.

    On the other hand, in places where everybody is really repressed and all of the people insist on regulating each other's behvior....not a chance.

    My idea about drugs:

    Legalize them all. Set the age limit at 18. (Ideally, it should be a bit younger, but it ain't gonna happen.) However, make legislation declaring that drug use is legal only if one has a license to use the drug.
    Obtaining such a license would cost a couple thousand dollars, or however much it cost to rehabilitate an addict.

    Also, this should be something like a driver's license. Make them all take a written tests about the effects of the particular drug they wish to obtain a license for. Also, make them sign a document affirming that they know they will be hauled into court for any illegal acts they commit while under the influence.

    Oh, and tax the hell out of all these drugs. Good source of revenue.

    So, the idea is, get everyone who is genetically suseptible to these drugs hooked as early as possible, so they'll remove themselves from the gene pool and the next generation will be far less suseptible and so forth.

    Thus concludes my rather callous theories on the nature of drug users. :D
  18. Riku Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 1
    Marijuana-smokers can knock themselves out. I wanted to legalize the world-wide-suicide, but Bush didn't let me. :D

    I'm not an American, but I've heard that there are 25 million marijuana-smokers who go to work regulary and live a normal life. I think that could be possible, marijuana is considered as a drug only because it's illegal. If it'd be legalized, it wouldn't be a drug more than cigarettes, alcohol or coffee.
  19. KaineDamo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
    Did you guys know that the main reason marijuana was made illigal in the first place was so white people could have another way of controlling minorities? And did you guys know that for a very long time marijuana was blamed for all sorts of things? Ranging from uncontrollable emotions to insanity and murder. The reality is marijuana is less harmful than alchohol and tobaco. And unlike tobaco, there are actually benifets to using marijuana. The only reason its still illigal is to please those whos heads are still stuck in the past on the whole issue.
  20. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    Did you guys know that the main reason marijuana was made illigal in the first place was so white people could have another way of controlling minorities?

    PPOR

  21. KaineDamo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
  22. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    Post Proof or Retract. It is used when people make blanket statements that seem to lack veracity.
  23. TeeBee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 3
    By legalizing drugs you will have a sharp increase in the use of them

    Nope. You'd see a decrease, if anything. The forbidden aspect would be at least partially removed, and everything would be brought to the surface.


    That is just not logical. People don't do drugs because of the 'forbidden aspect', they do them because they like to get high. How can making something more easily accessible cause people to have MORE control? ?[face_plain] That very argument was used by my druggie ex-husband once, to coerce me into buying coke for him. He was going out of his way to hang with people who had coke in order to partake of it, and said "you know, if we just kept some of our own in the house, I'd probably do it less". Yeah, riiiiight. So I bought some. $50 dollars and 24 hours later, it was all gone. But he got to be high for a whole day straight on his very own coke! Woo-hoo!

  24. DESERTJEDI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2001
    star 4
    Then when everybody is having a good time getting high on crack

    Crack Is not marijuana,

    I for one think its funny how on TV you can see a commercial preaching against marijuana and how dangerous it is. then the next is a beer commercial showing young adults or some sort of comedic animal, having a good time with beer.

    First off I have had my share of both (beer and pot) and I can honestly say alchohol is by far more dangerous than pot.

    I could list cases, but I haven't got the time, so I'll give an example. How many people have died from alchohol compared to marijuana? Well there has never been a case of somebody dieing from smoking pot.

    second How many women and children are beaten every year by abusive alchoholic freaks? and how many by pot smokers?

    I guess what I'm saying is that pot is far less a problem than alchohol but, alchohol is so accepted in the US. Why not use the money to fight pot and use it against more serious drug like heroin and cocaine.

    And lets not forget 10 times more adults in this country are hooked on pain pills, than pot, oh yeah and pot is not addictive.

    ok ok you say its a gateway drug? That maybe true, but I think a kid who would smoke pot would have smoked cigarettes and drank alchohol way before smoking pot.

    The only thing pot leads to is junk food. :p
  25. DESERTJEDI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2001
    star 4
    He was going out of his way to hang with people who had coke in order to partake of it

    TeeBee of course he was, Coke is highly addictive, unlike pot. People that I knew that did other crap like coke and crystal, were pathetic freaks almost doing anything and spending any amount to get a little bit of crap.

    I've seen people injur them selves just to get a presriction of lortabs.
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