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QotD: Marijuana

Question: Should Marijuana be legalized?

My Answer: I don't smoke it, and I wouldn't regardless of whether it was legalized or not. So, for me, I don't care.

I must then ask myself how it might affect the people with whom I associate. Many of my friends admit to occasional and sometimes daily marijuana use. Some of them are lazy, some of them get the munchies, and none of them are burnouts. So, honestly, very little would change with my friends, except that they might do pot more outside of the "privacy" of their homes.

Now, then, the question turns to the people that aren't my friends. The clerk at the grocery store. The woman making telemarketing calls. My apartment complex groundsman. Who cares if they smoke pot? Let's mix it up a little bit, though: the person doing 80 MPH beside you on the highway. The person piloting the plane you're on.

I'm not really a fan of any drugs. Occasionally I take an Aleve. That's who I am. Other people take drugs all the time. Most are somewhere in the middle. Would more people do pot if it was legalized? I imagine a small percentage would. What you would see, however, are the people that do pot now doing so in more public places. Currently, most pot smokers seem to do so at home or in other private areas.

Not while flying a Boeing 747.

So, while I favor individual choice and all that, I fear that maintaining a black and white "it's illegal" line is far easier than attempting to initiate, explain, and enforce a grey "it's legal, except when…" policy. Thus, to finally answer the question: no.

And if THC has medical purposes, then surely a legal, prescription drug could be made that mimics the effects of THC, if it hasn't already.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

7 Responses to "QotD: Marijuana"

  1. Erik,

    As to that "black and white 'it's illegal' line", think about alcohol. Would you want the guy beside you on the highway doing 80 drunk? What about the pilot?

    I didn't think so, but it happens anyway. There are laws against drinking and driving/flying, and these fit in the "it's illegal except when..." category.

    We tried banning alcohol for a while; the problem only got worse. Take a look at a nation like the Netherlands, where marijuana isn't exactly legal, but completely tolerated. This means that you can smoke it on the streets and unless you're causing a problem, no one will hassle you about it. The Dutch don't seem to have any more problems with marijuana-related crimes than we do with alcohol today.

  2. True. And part of the reason I posted this question was to take a side, give a few points, and then let everyone tell me why I'm wrong. 🙂

  3. Yes.

    I'm personally against the use of drugs, but the "war on drugs" is a massive failure. All we do is create a whole new class of criminals, throw lots of people in jail unnecessarily, and throw away money on a losing battle. Meanwhile, the demand for drugs doesn't go away. The same people will continue to use drugs whether or not it's legal, and making it legal won't suddenly make more people start using it.

  4. Bah. I think alcohol is far more harmful than pot. (There has been much research on this). I think that by making it legal, the government can benefit from it's sale, and also not waste time fighting it when there are more important drugs to fight.

    That said, I think it should be a controlled legality. In that I mean, something along the lines of alcohol. There needs to be a level of responsibility (assumed or otherwise) before you're allowed to smoke pot, like there is for alcohol.

    Are more people going to do it because it's legal? Yes. I know plenty of people who don't do pot because it's illegal and no other reason. Are these the people we should be worrying about? No. The people we need to worry about are the same people we need to worry about now. The abusers. But this category exists for every drug: tobacco, alcohol, even painkillers, etc.

    By making it legal, you make it 1) taxable, 2) eliminate the vast majority of drug dealers who deal just pot (and that's all they'll deal because it's a low key drug), and 3) make it controlled.

    By controlled, I mean exactly like alcohol. You need to be 21 to smoke it, or buy it. Selling or distributing to a minor is a jail sentence, etc. Stuff like that.

    I see very few disadvantages to legalizing it. The main disadvantage I see, is that you're not going to eliminate it's use, but that wasn't happening anyway.

  5. A lot of teen violence is caused by illegal acquisition of drugs. Legalizing pot may curb a lot of this. Its like smoking: if the kids can do it the same way they can smoke, in theory this type of violence should decrease. Well, that's the theory, anyways. I guess we'll wait to see how it works here (in Canada) over the next few years.

  6. I think people who do drug totally wong I don't care how you put to that therefore its wong to many people get kill by doing drug

  7. A good way eh? I like to flaunt my capacity premise Wanna good joke? Who delivers puppies when the Vet isn't available? The mid woof.