Friday’s “Should Marijuana Be Made Legal?” Debate

To start the debate off, let’s look at the stupid, which, unshockingly, comes from Russ Belville at the Huffington Post. Russ is a National Organization for the Reform Of Marijuana Laws, as well as the host of the NORML Show Live. And, yes, his picture at the HuffPuff Post does look exactly like the stereotypical pot smoker: If “Cops Don’t Make Laws, They Just Enforce Them,” Why Are Police Opposing Marijuana Legalization?

Since fourteen states have legalized the use of cannabis for sick and disabled people we here at NORML have reported on numerous stories of medical users harassed, arrested, and jailed by police. We have also reported on healthy adults in all fifty states whose lives are turned upside down by an arrest, sometimes losing student loans, jobs, children, pets, dignity, property, and freedom over a single joint, seed, or even a cannabis stem. When we and others bring up these insane injustices to the police who are making these arrests, we often hear the platitude that “cops don’t make the laws, we just enforce the laws.”

So why do we consistently see representatives of law enforcement opposing medical marijuana, marijuana decriminalization, and marijuana legalization efforts in state legislatures?

Well, Russ, buuuuuuudy, it could be because police officers are allowed to speak their minds in this wonderful democracy (yes, I know, it is a Republic) our Forefathers bled for. It could be that law enforcement sees things happening in the real world with mary jane smokers that people who are doped to the gills, sitting on their couches, listening to Yes while playing Gears of War do not see.

Russ does bring an interesting amount of stats, polls, and figures to the debate, in effect, telling the police that they are wrong and should not be allowed to have those opinions. And this does beg the question, should loco weed be made completely legal? Not just for medical use, but, for all use, with, of course, the same type of controls and regulations that we have for alcohol and even prescription medicines.

On one hand, people will say that it is much easier to grow at home, so it will not be fully controlled, and tax revenue (yes, we would tax it) would decline. Of course, people can also make beer, wine, and hard liquor at home, and what is the quality control on that, much less lost revenue?

We can also look at the potential short term memory and motor function loss while high, and there are still no satisfactory studies which can discuss the long term effects of smoking ganja. Alcohol is legal, and we do know the health risks in both the short and long term, which are considerably worse than giggleweed, particularly when we throw in those pesky physiological and psychological addictions, something not present for sativa.

Personally, I couldn’t care less. I don’t smoke it. I have back in boarding school, where you couldn’t get away with drinking, but, haven’t touched it since. I found it to be boring (just for transparency, I do not drink that much, either, and do not drugs.) That said, my view of American Conservative theory, also known as Classica Liberalism, tells me that if it doesn’t affect me negatively, why should I care if it is legal and people smoke it? As long as I am not being subjected to the smoke, and to people who reek of hemp (and, yes, those of you who smoke it, you do stink. Try using a hit towel, and change your clothes before going out), no skin off my nose.

There are all sorts of arguments for and against legalization, but, to break it down, what is your opinion?

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU

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6 Responses to “Friday’s “Should Marijuana Be Made Legal?” Debate”

  1. vegofish says:

    Hit Towel?

  2. Kevin says:

    The question we should be asking is, if it were legalized, would consumption increase? Are there people who WANT to smoke pot, but don’t because it’s illegal?

    I suspect that the answer to both questions is ‘no’. That’s why I support legalizing it, and taxing the crap out of the hippie weed smokers. Could be wrong though. Does anyone know if we consume more alcohol than we did in the 20s when it was illegal?

  3. You take a towel, preferably white or brown, then blow the smoke into it, that way it isn’t blowing about in the air.

    Brown to hid the smoke stains on the towel, white to see how dark brown and lip shaped you can make the stain 🙂

  4. Dark-Star says:

    “Does anyone know if we consume more alcohol than we did in the 20s when it was illegal?”

    While I don’t have hard numbers off the bat…

    When it was legal you could produce huge quantities and advertise product completely ‘in the open’. It would seem that bathtub gin, jury-rigged stills and word-of-mouth wouldn’t have a prayer of competing.

  5. Kevin says:

    Great point, Dark Star. But here are a couple of others that kind of counter it. When prohibition started, wine and beer consumption dropped to almost zero. Since alcohol was illegal, it made fiscal sense to concentrate it into as much as possible, to lessen the amount needed to be moved, and lower the chance of getting busted.

    Likewise, when cocaine was legal, it was never sold in concentrated crystal form, and also not in ‘crack’ form. It’s most prominent form was its fairly innocuous use in Coca Cola. The same rules applied, and prohibition made it much more concentrated and powerful (and now life/soul-destroying).

    I’ve heard that weed is much more powerful than it was when I was a kid (I smoked it, but didn’t like it at all). My point is, if pot were legalized, would ‘light’ versions of it become available, much like beer and wine are ‘light’ whiskey, or cocaine laced Coca Cola is a ‘light’ version of smoking crack?

    Because that would probably be a good thing. If you’re an alchy, crackhead or stoner, I mean.

    For the record, stoners annoy the crap out of me, so please don’t think I’m a fan of marijuana.

  6. vegofish says:

    Just when you think you have heard everything…:)

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