Is it time to legalize Marijuana?

Hardly a day passes without a report of someone being “busted” (who came up with this foul term that dismantles the English language?) here in Vicksburg. Nationwide, the problem of enforcement costs taxpayers billions. A number of online sites exist that promote legalization, including the following:

 

This report shows that marijuana legalization — replacing prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation — would save $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods. If, however, marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol or tobacco, it might generate as much as $6.2 billion annually.

http://economics.about.com/od/incometaxestaxcuts/a/legalize_pot.htm

 

The following report emphasizes the harm that legal “drugs” cause to society as compared to that of marijuana:

 

ANNUAL AMERICAN DEATHS CAUSED BY DRUGS

TOBACCO …………………… 400,000
ALCOHOL …………………… 100,000
ALL LEGAL DRUGS ……………. 20,000
ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS ………….. 15,000
CAFFEINE ………………….. 2,000
ASPIRIN …………………… 500
MARIJUANA …………………. 0
—————————————-
Source: United States government…
National Institute on Drug Abuse,
Bureau of Mortality Statistics 

http://www.legalizationofmarijuana.com/

 Has the Republican party committed itself to legalization? The Republican Party has a new voter registration project in Fresno. It involves luring people to sign a LEGALIZE MARIJUANA petition and then re-registering them as Republicans.

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/08/03/18294421.php

 

Even Milton Friedman is behind the effort to legalize marijuana:

 

Milton Friedman: Legalize It!

http://www.forbes.com/2005/06/02/cz_qh_0602pot.html

 

Another site discusses the medicinal value of marijuana and the Netherlands’ successful policy towards the drug:

http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/factsmyths/

 

Critics point to the harm that marijuana imposes on society, especially the effect of impairment on a person’s ability to function normally. The effects on health are discussed on several sites, including:

 

Marijuana: more harm than good:

http://www.vch.ca/living/smoking/mho_marijuana.htm

 

The Health Effects of Marijuana:

http://alcoholism.about.com/od/pot/a/effects.htm

 

We in Vicksburg would obviously be affected by any changes to the laws regarding marijuana, though it is unclear to what extent. Let’s have your opinion. If marijuana were legalized, what changes do you think we would see? Would legalized marijuana be a positive or a negative for our community?

 

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Published in: on September 27, 2007 at 9:04 am  Comments (12)  

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  1. Changes would be sweeping in my opinion. What would city and counties do say if the marijuana is used for medical reasons? In some cases there has been issues over this where patients used marijuana for medical reasons. But such a change would raddle this small society’s social status quo. Also it would generate arguements over the pros and cons on the issue. But say if the change is madated across all 50 states. A change like this would run into resisant etc. Interesting topic too. On the subject of tobbacco would u beleive someone got arrested over having cigarettes from this state. U see Tennessee has passed a law where its a felon to have cigarettes and that has cause state locals to come into this buy cigarettes. Just heard it over the Jay and Dave show on 1490 AM.

  2. I don’t think it should be legalized. There are too many risks involved not only to the person using it, but to others. It impairs the person’s abilities to do normal tasks which can endangers others. It causes memory loss, impairs judgment, and causes lack of coordination just for starters. Alcohol kills enough people from drunk driving. Give them legalized marijuana and watch the traffic deaths escalate.

    I know a girl who smoked it and thought the black bathroom rug was a giant spider and woke up everyone in the house terrified! She ended up in the emergency room thinking something was trying to kill her. People hallucinate and imagine all sorts of things. How can that be good for you?

    The long term damage to their lungs is irreversible. It damages their immune system making them more suseptible to disease and does more damage to their lungs than regular cigarettes. We already know it increases the heart rate which causes low blood pressure which in turn leads to more heart attacks.

    I think the republicans have lost their minds. They are in favor of polluting our air, destroying our natural habitats, killing off the last of many endangered species and now they want to legalize a drug which will cause more health problems and possibly kill more people. I can’t believe I “was” a republican.

  3. If you’re not a Republican (I ain’t either, but I sure as H… ain’t no Dumbocrat), then who are we gonna vote for???

  4. I’m for legalizing it and, in regards to the law, treating the substance the same way we do alcohol. Law enforcement could then concentrate on real crimes instead of wasting time chasing pot smokers and their suppliers. Would there be those who abuse the substance? Of course. But we went down this road with prohibition in the thirties, when the laws produced gangs and criminals and rampant crime. Legalizing marijuana would probably cut the crime rate in this country by a third or more.

  5. I have no clue who I am going to vote for. Maybe that Ron fellow you mentioned. I never have gotten to listen to all of that video you sent and now I can’t find the site. I heard part of it and it was pretty good.

    I’m no Dumbocrat either..maybe I’ll become a Libertarian….I don’t know what they think, but it can’t be worse than the other two.

  6. Take a look at Ron Paul’s site here…

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/

    You can access the video as well as other info.

    Like I said, I don’t know if he has a chance, but he’s about our only hope.

  7. Dude!

    Not only marijuana but also we should legalize all illegal drugs.

    I know this is extreme, but the reality of usage overwhelms the rationale on criminalization of drugs. If all the drugs currently deemed illegal were made legal the following scenario could be realized:

    1.) First we would remove from society the wealthy class of gangsters (ala Capone) we have created. By nature gangsters are evil and they prey upon those least able to defend themselves.
    2.) Secondly the huge and costly burden upon our prison and legal system would chronologically reduce itself.
    3.) The petty crimes associated with drug use will reduce because the users will have options available to support or cease their usage.
    3.) The money created by government controlled distribution centers could be used to support:
    A.) Rehabilitation centers. Get the people off their addiction and return them to society.
    B.) It will increase the amount of tax collected and reduce our personal burden.
    C.) It will be used to market the harmful effects of drug use to our young and current users.

    Imagine our young will no longer have the attraction of being counter culture by drug use. Drug lords will be eliminated. People with addiction will have unlimited resources to overcome their addiction. Over time this scenario will effectively reduce drug usage and be self-supportive.

    The same laws that apply to alcohol will apply to drugs. Anyone driving under the influence will still be charged with DUI and face mandatory rehab. Look at this one area as an example of effective marketing. When I was young it was not uncommon to see people driving around drinking a beer. If stopped by the police they were encouraged to drive home or escorted home if the police addressed it at all. Now the thought of driving under the influence of alcohol is on a par with robbing a bank. That perception changed because of the strong effort by MADD and others to bring the issue to the forefront and get the laws changed and enforced. We can use the same approach on drugs. Effective marketing so people can make an intelligent choice to use or not use.

    There will always be that element of society that insists upon drug use. Always has been in every civilization and village. We need to realize our species is what it is and remove the insanity of the current approach to our unfortunate natural tendency.

    I am not a user of any drug other than an occasional drink and regrettably a cigar from time to time. I even avoid aspirin or cold medicine thinking it is better for my body to allow natural healing. When I am older and my body can no longer provide the needed chemicals to sustain it I want the pharmaceuticals to be effective.

    My position on the solution to drug usage is from the history of prohibition and the effect it had upon our society. The well intended actions of our government created a culture ripe with gangsters and criminals and addicts. Our current approach and laws to drug usage are having the same effect.

  8. David, you are 100% correct!

  9. i think that marijuana should be legalized. its really not that bad for you. besides, the government could sell it and make money off of it by taxing it. if their so worried about people abusing it like people do alcohol, then put some restictions. like no driving under the influence, and you can only have so much in your system at a time. it helps w/ cancer and its better than smoking cigs. you only have a high feeling for a couple of hours and then it wears off. and it doesnt really kill your brain cells like people says it does. so just make this process easy and legalize it and then the government can make more money.

  10. Right on, Heather!

  11. I so agree with David & Heather.

    I really like David’s suggestion. One thing to note if we were to legalize all of the illegal drugs imagine the money saved by all of the tax payers by eliminating over 90% of the arrests. Our jails wouldn’t be as full and we would have more jobs available due to the need of more rehab facilities.

  12. Great Blog with alot of sites of intrest thanks for sharing….

    You should go to my blog and vote in my poll about this very issue…

    Thanks,
    DaisyPunk


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