Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Discuss events that have an impact on you and the world today. A home for honest, serious, and open discussion.

Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States

Yes, completely legal to everyone
25
27%
Yes but with restrictions
30
33%
No, not at all
36
39%
None of the above
1
1%
 
Total votes : 92

Unread postby _Zhuge_Jin_ » Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:55 am

in my opinion, marijuana is still a drug. it causes car accidents and even death. "medicinall" marijuana is like usefull heroin to me. think of what happened in china with opium. or in switzerland. i really think that legalizing marijuana in any form would be a very bad decision. think of the dwi's that take lives every year, some of those are marijuana, do we want to encourage that? i think its a decision way out of our hands, but in my opinion, if it makes a person unable to perform simple actions, than it should be illeagal.
User avatar
_Zhuge_Jin_
Assistant
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:07 pm
Location: Left

Unread postby Erdrick » Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:14 pm

_Zhuge_Jin_ wrote:in my opinion, marijuana is still a drug. it causes car accidents and even death. "medicinall" marijuana is like usefull heroin to me. think of what happened in china with opium. or in switzerland. i really think that legalizing marijuana in any form would be a very bad decision. think of the dwi's that take lives every year, some of those are marijuana, do we want to encourage that? i think its a decision way out of our hands, but in my opinion, if it makes a person unable to perform simple actions, than it should be illeagal.


Off the bat, DWI is specifically alcohol- Driving While Intoxicated; DUI, Driving Under the Influence, can be non-alcoholic... (At least by the laws in my state- think that's the standard overall, but it could vary from state to state)

But, its a double-standard; alcohol, which impairs fair greater, is legal and often encouraged by the "powers that be", but marijuana isn't? And why is that, really...? Oh, that's right- big business to be made in alcohol, and its a business that doesn't want competition...
Erdrick
Sage
 
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 6:54 pm

Unread postby BobPalindrome » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:55 am

I firmly believe marijuana should be legalized. Compared to drugs that are already legal, such as alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is virtually harmless. I know that some people in this thread have already related stories about loved ones being hurt and even killed due to marijuana use, and I extend my sympathies and understanding, but when faced with the facts, one can see the obvious boons to making marijuana legal.

Look at alcohol. When people drink, they do damage to their liver. They become loud and obnoxious and tend to get into fights. Personally, when I drink, I tend to get depressed. Marijuana, on the other hand, makes you become mellow and content with life. You're more likely to plop down in a bean bag, munch on Cheetos and watch Sealab 2021 or Aqua Teen Hunger Force rather than start looking for a face you don't like. At frat parties, I see alkies getting into brawls, picking fights and weeping like little girls to their best friends. The potheads, however, keep to themselves, usually passing out on a couch while listening to Pink Floyd albums on a loop. I used to be Risk Manager at my fraternity (the officer in charge of making sure things are safe -- the house not burning down, sorority girls not getting harrassed, things like that) and I often said my job would be a lot easier if people got high rather than got drunk. In high school, I had a friend get killed in a car wreck by a drunk driver.

I've also had friends drop out of college because alcohol made them stupid (or, in some cases, stupider). That's because alcohol has toxins that attack and kill brain cells. THC, though, the chemical in pot that gets you high, only "tickles" brain cells. I don't think it's an accident that famous people like Jimi Hendrix who were known for smoking pot still managed to keep their wits and be creative while famous people known for getting drunk like Elvis slowly went into a deepening spiral of becoming worse and worse. As the De La Soul song goes, you can "smoke trees and still remain clever." I've yet to meet a clever alcoholic though.

I'm not saying marijuana doesn't impair judgment. You obviously shouldn't drive or do anything that requires full concentration, especially when other people's lives are at risk. But I honestly believe getting drunk gives you confidence enough to do those things while weed makes you apathetic and unwilling to get up to get the remote, much less anything else.

They key word here is moderation. People should know when enough is enough. Drugs like alcohol and tobacco are legal because the government (rightfully) assumes that a person should be intelligent and self-aware enough to know that if you abuse those substances, you're going to seriously mess up your life. I also assume that the government realizes that human beings need drugs -- our society is so pressurized that a lot of people need to guard themselves against it. For some people, they find relief in their family or in their religion. Some people, though, need booze or pills or herbs to help them out. Look at what happened in the 1920s when alcohol was made illegal. It became common for people to become bootleggers and smugglers. Eventually, the government had to come to terms with the fact that there is an inherent desire within civilized society to self-medicate. It's not nice or pretty or something we like to talk about, but it's the truth.

But unfortunately, they haven't allowed marijuana into that realm of "acceptable vices." If they did, the advantages would be enormous.

First off, if marijuana was taxed like alcohol and cigarettes are, the government would make money hand over fist along with the corporations. Impoverished states like my own Oklahoma would have a new "cash crop" to profit from. Crime would go down in huge numbers because criminals wouldn't be the providers anymore.

And I also believe marijuana use would go down, not up. One of the appeals of smoking pot is to rebel against authority, which is why so many teenagers start doing it. If old people were smoking pot legally, do you think teens would still see it as "cool"? Young people would still do it, of course, but with the taboo of smoking weed gone, it wouldn't be such a popular drug among people who want to be seen as "outsiders" or "rebels".

Also, consider how much money the American government spends on locking up potheads and marijuana dealers. Do I really care if my next door neighbor is smoking weed in the privacy of his home? Do I really care if some AIDS patient is toking up to relieve some of the pain? So why is my money helping put these people in jail? That's money that should be going to things like education and social welfare, not breaking up stoner parties.

If marijuana is so harmless, some people ask, then why was it ever made illegal in the first place? I actually heard a story about this, and I'll share it with you now...

Marijuana itself consists of the leaves and buds of the plant known as Cannabis sativa or simply cannabis. While the leaves and buds can be smoked to get you high, the plant has other uses as well. The tough fiber of the plant is known as hemp, and has many textile uses. In the 18th and 19th centuries, hemp was used in the United States to make paper, rope and even clothes. Many of our Founding Fathers grew hemp in their plantations.

Then, in 1937, marijuana became illegal. Why? Millionaire businessman William Randolph Hearst (the real life "Citizen Kane") held interest in DuPont Inc., which manufactured textiles using cotton, wool, and linen. Hemp at that time had yet to be fully exploited as a means of making textiles, but there was a great deal of speculation that hemp would soon overtake cotton and wool were it ever to be used to its full potential.

Suddenly, there were editorials in Heart's many popular news rags, all giving testimony about how terrible and awful marijuana was. Added to this were the orations made by American "drug czar" Henry Anslinger, who said that marijuana "makes darkies feel equal to white men" and said marijuana would make white women want to sleep with African-American men. Anslinger was even the one to introduce "marijuana" as the popular name for the drug, hoping that the Mexican-derived word would be associated with the increasing number of Mexican immigrants coming into the America (which was scaring the bejeezus out of all the xenophobic, openly racist white Americans).

Here is a link to a anti-marijuana propaganda poster used by the American government in the 1930s and 1940s: http://en.wikipedia.org/upload/0/0e/Marahuana_warning.png

When it was pretty much proven as fact by scientists that marijuana does not make you want to go on a killing spree, Anslinger changed his story, saying that marijuana would make young American men become pacifists, and thus would not fight in any wars. At any rate, Hearst and Anslinger got what they wanted and marijuana is now illegal to have or use.

This is the truth, folks. There is nothing in marijuana that is worse that alcohol and tobacco. If anything, marijuana is "better" than those two popular and legal drugs. The reason why marijuana has remained illegal for so long is because no one bothers to ask the meaningful question... Why is it illegal?
"It is largely left to [Life's] own natural bodily perfection, and she has no special need to resort to artificial coloring and powdering to look beautiful." - Takeda Shingen, on his deathbed
User avatar
BobPalindrome
Apprentice
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:56 am
Location: Now on waivers

Unread postby Lionheart » Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:44 am

I think that marijuana should be made legal, yes--but with obvious restrictions. I mean, look at Amsterdam: they've had it legal for a couple years now, and not only is their crime rate down because of it, but also the use of illegal drugs (heroin, cocaine, meth) is down.

Again, as Bob above pointed out, it would be a great thing for the government to cash in on as well. I think that once the government realizes these things, and does away with its own misconceptions, then we will see the legalization of marijuana in our lifetime.
The wise person, then, views history as a set of lessons to be learned, choices and ramifications to be considered to be considered and discussed, and mistakes that should nevert again be made.

Princess Irulan, Dune: The Battle of Corrin
Lionheart
Tyro
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:38 am

ehh...

Unread postby Waking Dragon » Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:57 pm

Well...dats a major issue in da U.S b cause all da potheadz want dat marijuana 2 b legal...I would have 2 say dat if they want 2 smoke marijuana legally...den they should go 2 another country where itz legal...not here in da U.S...PeAcE
"Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water." r.i.p legend...

Bruce Lee
User avatar
Waking Dragon
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1512
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:20 pm
Location: "Where the sun don't shine when she gone."

Unread postby didier » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:11 am

Burn the stuff! Burn it all!!

Or just use it to make clothes. Hemp is really comfy.

But hey, you don't have to listen to me, I'm the one who wants to illegalise alcohol and cigarettes... ahh! what a wonderful world that would be.

But really, if they're going let people smoke cigarrettes (which will kill you!), they might as well let them smoke marriage-u-ana.

Anyway, I spose in the end it doesn't matter at all. If they want to poison themselves to death, go ahead. Natural selection will change the world hopefully.

I just don't want to be exposed to it. At least make smoking in ALL PUBLIC PLACES illegal, and I would be happy to make mow legal.
Guan Yu once said "I do not fear death, it is but my journey home". That comforts me for the distant future, but I want to stay and play Three Kingdoms games.
User avatar
didier
Scholar
 
Posts: 350
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 2:40 am

Unread postby Iain » Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:15 am

didier wrote:Anyway, I spose in the end it doesn't matter at all. If they want to poison themselves to death, go ahead. Natural selection will change the world hopefully.

I just don't want to be exposed to it. At least make smoking in ALL PUBLIC PLACES illegal, and I would be happy to make mow legal.
Agreed I dont need my senses stimulated with that junk in the air.

And mellow people may seem harmless but put them behind the wheel of a car and they are just as impaired as a drunk, they may be laid back but their reaction time will be affected. Smoking cigaretes may give you cancer but at least they dont alter your perception like weed does.
User avatar
Iain
Lord of Nanchang
 
Posts: 4753
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 7:55 am
Location: Lost in the fun world of Vana'diel.

Unread postby Mei Zhen » Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:28 pm

Lionheart wrote:I mean, look at Amsterdam: they've had it legal for a couple years now, and not only is their crime rate down because of it, but also the use of illegal drugs (heroin, cocaine, meth) is down.

Be careful when making correlations, because jsut because two things are happening at the same time, they do not indicate causality. In the US, for example, ice cream sales are 35% higher in the summertime. Murder is also up during the summertime. Does that mean that iced cream causes murder? I would certainly argue that having a Klondike bar doesn't make you have murderous tendencies :).

BobPalindrome posted a very good post on the topic. However, my chief complaint about the drug is the same as Akroma's and didier's: I don't want to add another drug to the air which I have to share with everybody else. It's bad enough that people smoke in public places, but there have been moves, especially in restaurants, to curb down on the use of cigarettes indoors, where it is hard for smoke to escape. Furthermore, I agree with Akroma that cigarettes don't alter perception like marijuana does, which can be dangerous in situations such as driving (which cigarettes don't).
"In a modern culture
My friend you must be careful
They've a million ways to kill you

In this dangerous world
There’s an art to growing old
Taking chances
Magic happens"
- Garbage, Breaking Up the Girl
User avatar
Mei Zhen
Lost in Quotation
 
Posts: 1361
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 11:24 pm
Location: NYC/CT

Unread postby HieiTheDarknessDragon » Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:56 pm

I fear that legalizing marijuana will cause the use of illegal drugs to skyrocket. Once people strart on marijuana they tend to gravatate towards other much more harmful drugs. Drugs that no one can even start to talk about being okay, such as cocaine, heroine, exstacy, date-rape drugs of all kinds, acid, and so on. This is a bad thing for America, and I think it wont help anything but just cause more illegal drugs to be sold and used.
If i say it, I say it/ then i want it DONE. Cause im King of the Ages.

"Cutting down the enemies is the way of strategy, and there is not need for many refinments in it."
HieiTheDarknessDragon
Changshi
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:24 am
Location: Most likely in computer class, using the school comps to go on SoSZ, again.

Unread postby Humble Fisherman » Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:36 pm

HieiTheDarknessDragon wrote:I fear that legalizing marijuana will cause the use of illegal drugs to skyrocket. Once people strart on marijuana they tend to gravatate towards other much more harmful drugs. Drugs that no one can even start to talk about being okay, such as cocaine, heroine, exstacy, date-rape drugs of all kinds, acid, and so on. This is a bad thing for America, and I think it wont help anything but just cause more illegal drugs to be sold and used.


I'm really not sure that I agree with the entire 'gateway drug' idea. As BobPalindrome noted, we already allow alcohol. However, nobody ever seems to make the case that Alcohol is a gateway drug...

Personally, I've seen alcohol get people into all kinds of trouble. I've done some pretty dumbassed things because of it myself.

I have yet to smoke pot and say: jeeze, I could really go for some smack right now!

As comedian Bill Maher put it: "I've heard of people who get drunk and beat their wife. I've never heard of anyone who smoked pot and beat their wife - maybe they smoke pot and forget to beat their wife, but that's about it."

I'm still on the fence about legalization, though I have to say there are some pretty convincing arguments for it like the report I posted in this thread a while back.

If Marijuana is a step towards harder drug use (and, as I say, I think the jury is still out on that one) then it may have to do with its illegality. Once you've crossed that line into illegal drug use, it may seem easier to go further.
"He who thinks he has no faults has one"
User avatar
Humble Fisherman
Langzhong
 
Posts: 581
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 4:33 pm
Location: Ottawa, Ontario - Canada

PreviousNext

Return to Current Affairs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved