420: who here supports the prohibition of marijuana? And why?

Post number 420! lolZ !!!11111

I figured I’d make this a special occasion by posting a thread about something that I have been curious about, but have never asked about on this board or any other.

The issue here is the legalization of marijuana. But I’m trying to really have an intelligent discussion. There is a tremendous, and very public, desire for the legalization of marijuana, coming from activist groups around the country. There’s also just the fact that…well, a lot of people like to get high. A lot of intellectuals like to do it. A lot of students and academics like to do it. A lot of people that participate in online forums like to do it. Therefore, there is always pro-marijuana reason (and rhetoric) being thrown out. And it seems to me that the widely accepted postion on pot among intelligent people is that it ought to be legal or at least de-criminalized.

What is more rare is to encounter intelligent, non-government related people who are against the legalization of marijuana. The vast majority of public anti-marijuana sentiment is widely acknowledged as government-sponsored hyperbole. You don’t hear a lot of intelligent discussion arguing on the side of keeping marijuana prohibited. However, I think that doesn’t mean there are intelligent people who are against marijuana.

What I want to do with this thread is to hear those people.

I want to hear their perspective. I don’t want to just trash them or tell them how stupid they are. I really want to understand why they believe marijuana should continue to be prohibited.

I know there are plenty of conservatives on this board just as there are plenty of liberals. I want to hear from you conservatives who are against the legalization of marijuana. I’m also curious to hear from conservatives, if there are any, who are FOR the legalization of marijuana. Likewise, are there any who believe themselves to be (socially) liberal, who are against the legalization of pot?

I hope this becomes a good discussion because I really am curious to hear non-rhetorical, well-thought-out arguments against the current marijuana prohibition in America.

Congrats on you 420th post. :stuck_out_tongue:

I doubt you’ll get much of a debate on this here…but you never know. My impression is that most ‘conservatives’ on this board are more libertarians, so they would be FOR legalization even if they don’t use it themselves. Myself, I’d fall into that category (though I don’t think of myself as a ‘conservative’…and, well, when I was younger I did indulge occasionally). Having looked at the evidence I don’t think pot is any more harmful to the public health than alcohol is…probably less in fact. I think the same DUI laws that apply to alcohol could be applied to pot. And the taxes would be helpful.

I’ve seen some good arguments against on the board though from time to time so maybe those folks will come back. I think you’ll be surprised though…the best argument I can remember came from someone considered a ‘liberal’…and a lot of the good arguments I’ve seen for legalization have come from others considered ‘conservatives’.


So Pro Legalization, non users are not welcome?

I do not smoke, I choke on smoke.

But legalize and grow it as a new cash crop.
Tax the hell out of it, it will still be cheaper. Put the Tax money into health care and rehab programs?
Great O[sub]2[/sub] producers, actually might help the environment.
If no dealers, a lot less crime. Save some money on prisoners.
IMHO: More lives ruined by Jail time then Pot smoking

Prohibition worked so well. Lets repeat it on pot. :wink:

I don’t favor the legalization of pot mainly because we (The US) already do pretty crappy job with managing alcohol, and adding one more legal intoxicant into the mix doesn’t seem particularly prudent. Maybe if we we all grownups it might be different story, but pot smokers I have known didn’t strike me as being particularly wise or judicious in their use, and were mainly focusd on getting as wasted as possible.

As an aside I think you are vastly over-estimating the absolute demographic numbers of people who support the legalization of marijuana.

astro, I’d like to hear about your objections to the way the US deals with alcohol, and about the demographics of potheads you know.

Probably so.

I am absolutely for legalization. In fact, to take it further, I am for legalization of all drugs, with two conditions: one, they are sold at market value plus perhaps a small tax on top of it (to get rid of the black market and drive out the crime) and are sold as controlled items at a drugstore, and two, that anybody who purchases should be required to sign a DNR waiver and the hospitals should be required to honor it under threat of substantial fines.

People can do what they want to do as far as I am concerned, but if you buy the stuff and make an informed decision to take it (which can be legally demonstrated by the waiver), if there is an adverse reaction that results in your death that’s a whole bunch of TS for you. I will not subsidize (any more than I do already) saving people from their own stupid decisions.

Important point, but it raises a lot of questions. Do you have any figures or poll numbers on that question? Do you think public opinion on this issue has changed since marijuana was first criminalized in the 1920s? Is this arguably a “right of privacy” issue where the will of the majority should not, necessarily, prevail? Are you going to eat that? Have you ever really looked at your hands? [cough] What were we talking about?

Sorry, no cite handy, but the last professionally done (i.e., nationwide, reported on CNN, etc.) poll I remember seeing on the subject was about two or three years ago. 37% of adults polled supported decriminalization or legalization. That was the highest percentage ever recorded in such a poll, so yes, I would say that the general public perception of marijuana prohibition is (slowly) changing.

But it is prudent to spend tens of billions of dollars locking up people for smoking or growing plants? Is it prudent to let vast fortunes flow into the hands of drug dealers and organized criminal organizations when that money could be generating hefty tax revenues and providing a new source of income for America’s increasingly destitute farmers?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard how much easier it is for minors to get illegal pot than it is for them to get legal alochol, due to the simple fact that drug dealers don’t ask for I.D. Indeed, that was my own experience back when I was in high school.

I assume this DNR waiver policy would also extend to alcohol and tobacco. Would you also extend it to everyone who purchases guns, hang gliders, snowboards, skateboards, skis, and other sporting goods? After all, I don’t want to pay for some jock’s fractured ribcage any more than you want to pay for some junkie’s overdose.

Also, would the people who have their own (or employer-provided) medical insurance, or enough cash to pay for their own treatment out of pocket, be exempt? Would they have to file some paperwork with the government ahead of time to avoid dying on the operating table?

Have you accounted for self-selection?

At the national scale, support for depenalization ranges from 25-40%.

The Alaska ballot, last Nov 2, for alcohol-like legalization, lost by 56 to 44%. When you break it by age and party, the divide is clear:

Democrats - 56% For,
Republicans - 74% Against.

Under 30 - 60% For,
30-45 - 48% For,
46-59 - 43 or 44% For,
Over 60 - 32% For.

It’s just a matter of time.

I am willing to bet Alaska is very demographically different from the rest of the country. Plus with the recent Supreme Court rulings its pretty clear that State law means jack diddly squat compared to Federal law concerning drugs.

I don’t care one way or the other. But the argument I would give against it is that, it’s a drug. It doesn’t seem a healthy stance to take to allow people to self-medicate when at all possible. Tobacco and alcohol were already so ingrained in society back in the day that it wasn’t feasible. If we can get a further drug to not also become ingrained, so far as I view it that’s a good thing. If it becomes ludicrous to fight, then sure. But saying it’s bad “because people are getting thrown in jail!”…what, like they weren’t aware it was illegal?

Also, I would note that illegalization does cut down on usage. Many people go with the idea that legalising will only effect users–but generally I would bet that the base will expand a great deal. And possibly a good deal more with the price dropping. So one thing to determine when doing the math of feasibility is how much of an increase in car accidents you can expect to see start occuring when marijuana is legalised.

:confused: Why not?

Probably none at all. The accident rate might actually go down. Study: http://www.norml.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=125

Contrary study: BBC NEWS | Health | Cannabis increases car-crash risk

I disagree with that because then it should apply to all sort of stupid or even merely dangerous behaviors. No treatment of liver diseases for peple who indulge in alcohol, nor heart bypass or cancer therapy for smokers, no treatment of trauma for drivers who speeded (or maybe to all drivers that can’t prove a compelling reason for driving), nor for people skiing or horseriding, no insulin treatment for obeses, and so on…

Nearly half of Americans try marijuana before graduating high school. There are movies, magazines, books, and songs dedicated to it. Hell, there’s a whole genre of music called “stoner rock.” Numerous star athletes have been either arrested or tested positive for marijuana. Our last presidential election was a race between two former pot smokers. Is that not ingrained enough for you?

I’d also note that recreational marijuana use did not begin to rise in popularity until after the unfounded public hysteria over its use and the resultant prohibition of the drug. Before then, it was pretty much relegated to jazz musicians and Mexican migrant workers.

I can think of a thousand things to which you could apply that spurious reasoning. That doesn’t make criminalization any less morally reprehensible.

Cite? When the Dutch decriminalized cannabis in the '70s, there was a brief spike in usage, but when the novelty wore off, the rates dropped back down to normal.

Probably not much. Multiple studies have determined that experienced pot smokers are hardly a danger on the roads, while inexperienced smokers simply don’t want to drive; they don’t experience the overconfidence and false bravado generally seen in drunk drivers. See this old GQ thread for cites.

Because they’re not doctors.

I was thinking more in terms of when people are mixing their drugs. With marijuana being legalised and cheaper, I would imagine it becoming much more “in” with the party crowd so you’re going to be getting a lot more hormone-induced consumption which holds fewer restrictions and is more concerned with getting wasted instead of enjoying your high.

It’s hard to imagine marijuana becoming any more “in” with the “party crowd” than it is now. The “party crowd” typically uses much harder drugs for its “hormone-induces consumption.” Marijuana is what you use to come down.

Apologies, I started typing “if you look at other social things like prostitution and such, they expand when legalised” and then edited back without paying much attention so it sounded like I was asserting much more. Doing a google, it does appear that numbers generally drop–so the question is whether America’s teens would be the same. Generally, I view America’s teens as being stupider–so I’m not certain I would bet that we would follow the norm. But certainly that’s entirely unfounded.

And that’s good? With a lower price tag, why wouldn’t the usage increase?

You’re talking about people who already are willing to spend substantial sums (and incur legal risk) to consume cocaine, crystal meth, etc. Why would they smoke any more pot than they do now just because it becomes cheaper?

And, in general terms, what would be bad about the usage of marijuana (as distinct from other drugs) increasing? I think we might have a much healthier and more peaceable society if more people spent a lot more of their waking hours in a mellow and contemplative (and easily amused) state.