Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

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Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States

Yes, completely legal to everyone
25
27%
Yes but with restrictions
31
33%
No, not at all
36
39%
None of the above
1
1%
 
Total votes : 93

Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:28 am

Wow, I was for legalizing Marijuana. But after seeing the arguments made here......

I'm not so sure anymore.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby bodidley » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:15 pm

James wrote:Police get paid money to enforce the law. That's rather unlike what is implied by 'police get paid money to put people behind bars'. They don't drop off people off at jail on whatever charges they can imagine just to collect a per-head bounty. Police are human, and there are bad apples among them (thus, it is easy to find examples of truly abhorrent behavior), but to generalize those examples into a representation of the whole is misleading and wrong.

And, actually, people dealing drugs at a high school are in the class of those who *should* get in trouble.


The law is violence. At some point everyone must accept it, and at some point everyone must reject it. People typically accept that if someone commits rape or murder that it is acceptable as a society that we commit violence against people who commit those acts. It's not just a question of "bad apples" in the police. Police are paid to commit violence on behalf of society and sometimes society is not justified in those acts of violence and sometime the nature of violence causes the level of harm to escalate beyond what was desired. When the police firehosed, beat and sicced dogs on civil rights protesters in the 50s and 60s they did so in full observance of the law. In our society when someone breaks the rules we send an armed agent of the law to put them in chains and take away their freedom. If they resist, force escalates from there, to the point where either the police succeed in subduing that person, or that person is killed. That's the bottom line.

If you make a law prohibiting something, especially with harsh punishment, it's serious business. People are going to lose their freedom or be killed. It's not like you're sending them to the principal's office to get a scolding. And let's be clear, imprisonment is a form of extreme violence, and that's why it's recognized as such in our kidnapping laws. The essential difference between imprisonment and slavery is that no one is making a profit, and that's not always the case either. The law is always violence, it always involves some level of brutality, anything else is just sugarcoating.

The question is, are these prohibitions brutal, and do the prohibited actions merit the brutality of the punishment, or should they simply be something which is a matter of personal choice. On the issue of drugs this can be an extremely complicated question.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:28 pm

bodidley wrote:The law is violence. At some point everyone must accept it, and at some point everyone must reject it.


While you dress it up in visceral language to make it appear unpalatable, no we must not reject law and order at all.


It's not like you're sending them to the principal's office to get a scolding.


You're point about serious crimes is taken but to be proportionate and clear we have thousands of laws. A vast majority of these are actually do indeed subject people simply to fines, license restrictions, etc. In many ways, breaking certain laws is very much like being taken to the principals office. You're sent there, you pay a fine or have a privilege taken away (not alluding to freedom here).

And let's be clear, imprisonment is a form of extreme violence, and that's why it's recognized as such in our kidnapping laws.


I think you're stretching the definition of violence here, though I concede you could make some pretty argument to say there is violence in the sense that force is sometimes used to put someone in prison. But much like kidnapping, neither has to utilize force.

The law is always violence, it always involves some level of brutality, anything else is just sugarcoating.


I think you're prerogative here is to use the word violence in a philosophical manner. The enforcement of many laws, especially things such as regulations or ordinances, often involves no actual violence at all. Or, as you mentioned above, often doesn't involve an armed officer.

The question is, are these prohibitions brutal, and do the prohibited actions merit the brutality of the punishment, or should they simply be something which is a matter of personal choice. On the issue of drugs this can be an extremely complicated question.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby James » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:11 pm

bodidley wrote:The law is violence. At some point everyone must accept it, and at some point everyone must reject it. People typically accept that if someone commits rape or murder that it is acceptable as a society that we commit violence against people who commit those acts. It's not just a question of "bad apples" in the police. Police are paid to commit violence on behalf of society and sometimes society is not justified in those acts of violence and sometime the nature of violence causes the level of harm to escalate beyond what was desired. When the police firehosed, beat and sicced dogs on civil rights protesters in the 50s and 60s they did so in full observance of the law. In our society when someone breaks the rules we send an armed agent of the law to put them in chains and take away their freedom. If they resist, force escalates from there, to the point where either the police succeed in subduing that person, or that person is killed. That's the bottom line.

To say that 'police are paid to commit violence' is, I think, an extremely misleading statement. You could say that when a police officer commits violence they have been paid for it, but they are also paid to save a hostage in a bank robbery, and to stop that robbery. But where's the characterization of 'police are paid to serve and protect'? What police are largely paid to do is maintain order in society and to keep people safe. Because the police are a human organization, and because the police are managed by humans, there are going to be mistakes, and instances of terrible things like racism and and greed. But what we must be extremely careful of doing, in this age where we have access to every major transgression of authority which can be put to paper, is that those events absolutely should not be used to pain in the same shade the hundreds of thousands of other police officers working across this country.

Is the system perfect? Absolutely not. But are police violence? Sometimes, but violence doesn't adequately describe them. Police can also be life and security. And are police necessary? I have a hard time entertaining an argument to the contrary. In absence of police what check is to exist against the crimes of people? Certainly not the people.

bodidley wrote:If you make a law prohibiting something, especially with harsh punishment, it's serious business. People are going to lose their freedom or be killed. It's not like you're sending them to the principal's office to get a scolding. And let's be clear, imprisonment is a form of extreme violence, and that's why it's recognized as such in our kidnapping laws. The essential difference between imprisonment and slavery is that no one is making a profit, and that's not always the case either. The law is always violence, it always involves some level of brutality, anything else is just sugarcoating.

I wouldn't call efforts to honestly assess the benefits and faults of the police system 'sugarcoating'. Sugarcoating would be pretending it is free of flaws and that everything is just wonderful. Similarly, the position that it is all awful and just a system of violence is whatever the opposite of sugarcoating might be—poopacking?

Once something becomes illegal it does become serious business. It does lead to loss of freedoms. And sure, loss of life too, but those circumstances are frequently special and born of a range of concerns. The proper approach, I would argue, is to discuss and push for a better idea of what should or should not be a law. Should someone lose their freedom if they're taking the lives of others, or raping children? Absolutely! Should they lose their freedom if they're growing marijuana for personal use and using that marijuana? No, I would say they should not.

The problem isn't the concept of police. The problem is a flawed interpretation of what should or shouldn't be illegal, and the extent to which individual cases of illegality should be weighted and addressed. And there are problems in terms of fairly leveling punishment and assessing guilt for those infractions. You would no sooner ban the concept of law enforcement because there are cases of abuse than you would ban the concept of business because there are cases of businesses exploiting customers.

And, given your stance, it may interest you to hear that people occasionally do profit from imprisonment.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby mrbeate » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:57 am

I'm sorry but I'm going have to stick to cops targeting the young and poor. Minor offense charges dropped into the 90% since NYPD cops only made arrests when necessary. Arrests dropped two thirds dude. That means the vast majority of arrests were made for stupid shit like public urination or drinking. I mean how are offenses like that hurting anyone? Cops have been targeting the wrong people the whole time. Maybe police should you know pay attention to the real offenses. I really hope I don't get put into a chokehold for this. :roll:

Higher the crime rate, means more people employed as cops, and less chance of being laid off. These cops going around arresting people just to bring money in. Kind of world we live in.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:01 pm

mrbeate wrote:I'm sorry but I'm going have to stick to cops targeting the young and poor.


Law enforcement targets people suspected of committing illegal acts.

Minor offense charges dropped into the 90% since NYPD cops only made arrests when necessary. Arrests dropped two thirds dude. That means the vast majority of arrests were made for stupid shit like public urination or drinking.


Personally, I don't think public urination, underage drinking, drug possession, vandalism, and theft are 'stupid shit'. Those are crimes. Just because the NYPD has chosen to renege on their duty to enforce the laws as they're written by legislature does not mean that crime has therefore stopped or there are not still victims.

Also I think you're amalgamating some of the statistics here. I think the amount of citations for traffic violations fell by 94% and arrests in general by 66%


I mean how are offenses like that hurting anyone?


Most citizens don't want their personal or civic property urinated on. As for your second drinking itself isn't a crime, so you're going to be more specific for an answer to be supplied. For instance, it is fairly easy to say how drinking and driving would be harmful (just as an example).

Cops have been targeting the wrong people the whole time. Maybe police should you know pay attention to the real offenses.


I really don't understand this type of logic. Law enforcement isn't paid to focus on 'fake offenses' and 'real offenses'. Law enforcement is duty bound to enforce the laws as they are written. This means an officer is just as duty-bound to pursue a fleeing murder suspect as they are a fleeing petty theft subject.

I really hope I don't get put into a chokehold for this. :roll:


I'm not sure why you would need to fear being put in any kind of danger (from law enforcement) for expressing an opinion on an anonymous internet forum. I assume this was a shallow jab at the Eric Garner debate without actually having to step into the actual debate.

Higher the crime rate, means more people employed as cops, and less chance of being laid off. These cops going around arresting people just to bring money in. Kind of world we live in.


There is no logical reason to assume that we create laws for the prospect or hiring more officers. Furthermore, there's little evidence to indicate that officers are 'going around arresting people just to bring in money'. Also, 'going around' is their job, so to criticize police for actually doing their job is a little inane to me.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby James » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:26 pm

mrbeate wrote:I'm sorry but I'm going have to stick to cops targeting the young and poor. Minor offense charges dropped into the 90% since NYPD cops only made arrests when necessary. Arrests dropped two thirds dude. That means the vast majority of arrests were made for stupid shit like public urination or drinking. I mean how are offenses like that hurting anyone? Cops have been targeting the wrong people the whole time. Maybe police should you know pay attention to the real offenses. I really hope I don't get put into a chokehold for this. :roll:

Those statistics are not representative of the United States. They are representative of a very specific circumstance presently playing out with the NYPD, and even prior to this the NYPD was prone to statistical deviation. And I don't think there's any evidence to support your conclusion about 'stupid shit like public urination or drinking'.

There are problems, but the data you're drawing these conclusions from does not support your claim.

mrbeate wrote:Higher the crime rate, means more people employed as cops, and less chance of being laid off. These cops going around arresting people just to bring money in. Kind of world we live in.

This is another unsubstantiated claim. I'll go so far as to call it absurd.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby mrbeate » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:20 pm

Shikanosuke wrote:There is no logical reason to assume that we create laws for the prospect or hiring more officers. Furthermore, there's little evidence to indicate that officers are 'going around arresting people just to bring in money'. Also, 'going around' is their job, so to criticize police for actually doing their job is a little inane to me.


Officers were told to only arrest people when necessary, arrests plummet 66%. So how many unnecessary arrests were they making then?

Shikanosuke wrote:I'm not sure why you would need to fear being put in any kind of danger (from law enforcement) for expressing an opinion on an anonymous internet forum. I assume this was a shallow jab at the Eric Garner debate without actually having to step into the actual debate.


There's a debate? Why is there even a debate about this? A man is put into a chokehold and dies by a police officer as he screams for his life, while several officers are there watching who simply did not give two fucks.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby James » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:46 pm

mrbeate wrote:Officers were told to only arrest people when necessary, arrests plummet 66%. So how many unnecessary arrests were they making then?

In context: The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has warned its members to put their safety first and not make arrests “unless absolutely necessary.”

'Unnecessary' in the way you're using it is not unnecessary in the way intended. It was a caution for police to avoid unnecessary risks to their life. 'Necessary' would be the likes of far more serious crimes, such as assault, rape, domestic violence. 'Unnecessary' would likely include the likes of collecting on various warrants or other lesser circumstances which can lead to an arrest. And whatever gray area exists in-between. Because some officers scaled back those arrests does not mean they serve no purpose in society.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:45 pm

mrbeate wrote:
Officers were told to only arrest people when necessary, arrests plummet 66%. So how many unnecessary arrests were they making then?


First of all, you didn't really address of any of counters to your other points. Secondly, you should seriously read James's posts with some care. In addition to carelessly making unsourced assertions, you don't seem to be reading what he's saying.



There's a debate? Why is there even a debate about this?


There's an entire thread dedicated to both the ferguson case and the garner case, as well as general policing. I'm not going to rehash everything for you here.

man is put into a chokehold and dies by a police officer as he screams for his life, while several officers are there watching who simply did not give two fucks.
[/quote]

A man was placed into a chokehold, perhaps inappropriately, while actively resisting a lawful arrest.
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