Bil Browning

Should marijuana be legal?

Filed By Bil Browning | March 25, 2008 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: dope smoking, legal marijuana, marijuana, pot smokers, wacky weed

So here's an open thread for today. My post about Barney Frank's upcoming legislation to legalize small amounts of weed for personal use sparked some interesting conversation in the comments sections.

I'm curious. Most of the commenters supported legalizing pot. What do you think? Should marijuana be legalized?

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Yes. There's a lot of tax money the feds and states are missing out on. Growers in other countries won't be hunted by our DEA agents. A lot of man power and our tax money will be used for DEA to tackle other drug problems. It's truly a win/win situation.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | March 25, 2008 11:01 AM

Bill, I managed to gloss over your first post concerning Barney Frank's proposal on marijuana, and when I linked to it I saw that only a small percentage of responders expressed an opinion concerning the measure itself, but quickly became an extension of (1) whether Barney Frank himself has any redeedming value, social or otherwise, to the GLBT community and (2) the whole tran-inclusive ENDA debate. Perhaps this time around the focus will be more on the merits of the issue itself, and a little exercise of the editorial function as to sticking with the topic at hand might nudge that along.

I would personally favor the decriminalization of "small amounts" of the drug, although I really have not familarity with what that term ought to mean. Perhaps it might have more of a context if only "small amounts" of alcohol could be defined and there were a parallel restriction.

Note that I used the term "decriminilization" rather than the term "legalization" above, because for many purposes that distinction is all important.

Having sampled the weed only three times in my liftime, and not really all that impressed with the results, I have no real personal dog in this fight. I'm having enough trouble defining wha's a "small amount" of Internet addiction.

Perhaps this time around the focus will be more on the merits of the issue itself

Exactly the reason why I started a separate thread, Don. Great minds think alike! Since yesterday's post mentioned the Barney, I assumed it would be, frankly, heavy with Barney criticisms.

This one, however, should hopefully remain free of that topic and focus on the actual dope issue. After all, if anyone wants to talk about Barney Frank, there's still the old post with a continuing comment thread.

Of course marijuana should be legal, unless you also believe that Prohibition should have never ended. I'm not going to get into a detailed point by point, but suffice it to say that pot is certainly no more riskier to one's health, or debilitating in it's effects than alcohol. In addition, I can tell you from personal experience that alcohol is far more of a gateway drug than pot can or will ever be.

Not only all that, but pot has been shown to have valid medical uses as a pain reliever and much more. Also, the incidents of social ills directly linked to alcohol (drunk driving, domestic abuse, etc.) are far greater than those linked to pot.

It's also important to remember why pot is illegal in the first place as well. It was made illegal in 1938 when the famous publisher William Randolph Hearst used his influence in Congress to push that law through because he believed it was detrimental to the profitability of of his tobacco holdings. There was no moral crusade, no deep concern for lives afflicted, yadda, was just a rich, politically-connected industrialist who used his influence to get pot made illegal so he could (presumably) become even richer and more powerful.

Pot laws make no sense socially or politically either. In addition to the jail space and time and effort of the judicial system spend in prosecuting and detaining offenders, legal pot, grown for what it actually costs to produce and then taxed up to at or near its present price levels, has been shown to be able to generate enough tax revenue to wipe out the federal deficit within a few years.

Where's the drawback? If we, as a society, can deal with the legality of alcohol, we certainly can and will be able to deal with legal pot.

As the Dark Lord says, it's a no-brainer for me.

Legalization of marijuana is long overdue. The knee-jerk reaction of many folks to the drug is unfounded and short-sighted. Alcohol causes far more deaths every year and it's own prohibition was disastrous and thankfully over.

Our stupid drug policies can cause an otherwise-productive person to be barred from receiving financial aid due to a single non-violent drug conviction. Meanwhile the merits of marijuana for medicinal use have been well-documented, yet it's far too difficult to obtain for those who need it. And those who seek it for recreational or medical use are frequently forced to deal with shady people. It's annoying to sniff around for bud of unknown quality with shady strangers when one should be able to walk in a store and buy a pack of smokes of a guaranteed quality. Not that I know anything about such frustrations. ;)

I think we'll see full gay marriage rights before marijuana legalization.

Decriminalization, not legalization.

Recreational drugs are stupid, but current drug policy is nearly as stupid.

Yeah, legalize or decriminalize. While I keep on hearing that there's a distinction, I haven't read what it is. I guess I could google....

But, seriously, small amount would probably be a good restriction, defined as a certain weight. I'd hate to see it develop into what the tobacco industry is, and I'm saying that as someone who hates the tobacco industry for what it's become.

Abso-fuckin-lutely! Then I can open my bakery without worrying about government harassment.

Legalize - as long as folks can grow their own besides the corporate product that will arise. Like homebewing or making ones own wine.

It's been decades,so I have no personal dog in this fight.


"All the dude ever wanted... was his rug back."

What's the difference between decriminalization and legalizing pot?

If we say it's legal for personal use, what's the magic number between "personal use" and "running a drug cartel"?