Can Anyone Justify Banning Marijuana?

Seriously is there any logical or sane reason why marijuana should be banned while tobacco and alcohol are legal? After all marijuana poses less of a threat to others than tobacco.

I think the only even remotely compelling argument you can really make against it is the so-called “big marijuana” argument. In the case of tobacco, before the industrial production of cigarettes, tobacco was an infrequently enjoyed treat not unlike marijuana is for many people today. When industrially-made cigarettes emerged, they eventually made tobacco so cheap you could smoke constantly, which is when people really started to get addicted and when the health problems emerged.

If marijuana were made legal overnight, supposedly many of the big tobacco companies already have plans on the shelf to mass produce marijuana cigarettes. If marijuana becomes much cheaper and more accessible (and heavily advertised), the way people use it may change, resulting in health and social problems that do not usually emerge with how marijuana is currently used. I certainly know a few of my friends would be pack a day smokers if you could buy reefers at the 7-11!

But this argument certainly doesn’t go against decriminalization and I suppose you could say that if we as a society are okay with mass-produced tobacco and alcohol we should be okay with mass-produced marijuana too. That tobacco is physically addictive whereas marijuana isn’t is also a non-trivial distinction.

Not sane or logical. It’s pretty much the Republicans. :smiley:

Also, there is the “Gateway Drug” argument, which states that once a person gets a hold of marijuana, after some time, they’ll grow bored of it, and turn to other, more dangerous drugs to get that feel-good rush of endorphines.

But the obvious retort to this is why aren’t tobacco and alcohol (or even caffeine) also gateway drugs? The only thing that makes marijuana more of a gateway drug is that you have to buy it from a drug dealer who can often provide you with harder stuff, which would be moot if you could buy it at 7-11.

Of course, the counter to that is the Gateway People argument, which goes that your weed dealer may deal in other 'harder drugs" and offer you some while you’re there buying weed. Or that a party where there’s weed being smoked is more likely than a party without weed to also have cocaine in the bedroom. It’s the mingling of people who use multiple illegal drugs socially that causes marijuana users to try the “hard stuff”, not boredom with weed.

Joe down at the 7-11 doesn’t have heroin samples to give you when you go by your Marlboro Spliffs.
ETA: Or, what **GreasyJack **said.

There’s really absolutely no reason to ban marijuana at all.

I’m a Republican but I do not believe in prohibiting personal choices as long as they aren’t injurious to society at large.

I think the reasons for marijuana’s continued prohibition are basically:

  1. Often times people that communities and law enforcement don’t take kindly to are pot smokers. What this means is that if they can’t find any other crime to charge them with, when a guy with long hair and ratty clothes is spotted driving around town they can probably wait until he does a rolling stop and bust him for pot possession.

  2. Once it was made illegal, it instantly became the same in many people’s mind as every hard drug. Thus there are high institutional barriers to legalization.

  3. The gateway drug movement of the 1980s happened at a time when many of today’s soccer moms were coming of age, the idea is still prevalent despite it not being particularly supported by any science.

I’d go much further than just marijuana though. Basically anything that naturally occurs as a plant in the wild I don’t think should be very regulated. I think you should be able to buy and sell cannabis, coca and poppy plants of all kinds. They should be totally legal to own, plant, grow, and sell the proceeds at any farmer’s market.

I would be for the totally unregulated sale of other drugs such as LSD, meth, ecstasy and et cetera but the problem with those is you can’t really sell them on the farmer’s market level. Instead they have to be produced by a chemist, and if they aren’t, it’s not ideal to have random jack asses with home chemistry sets creating their own drugs. It leads to environmental problems as well as a product that can kill people due to improper preparation. So unfortunately I can’t get behind a full legalization of the drugs that require some level of chemistry to produce.

I’d be fine with them being made professionally in pharmaceutical labs and sold at pharmacies to anyone who wants them (and isn’t a minor.) The problem is, with hallucinogens and et cetera I’m not sure what pharmaceutical lab would want to be in the business of making them. The liability from lawsuits would be pretty nasty, anytime someone did something foolish while on the drug the company would be in danger of getting sued.

I never said I agreed with that argument. Weed should be treated like most medicines are treated. “Marijuana is not right for everyone. Consult your doctor before beginning an OTC cannabis regimen, to discuss any health risks that may or may not occur from its use.” That kind of thing

“Gateway Drug” is more of a scare tactic than an argument. Some people do harder drugs after doing pot, but it doesn’t follow that there’s a natural progression from pot to cocaine and heroin. That would seem to be more about the people using the drugs than the substances themselves.

For that matter, the evidence that marijuana (or anything else) IS a “gateway drug” is extremely shaky at best. It’s one of those phenomena that lots of the public take as a given while the scientists are still looking at contradictory studies trying to figure out what if anything is happening.

Is driving while stoned as bad as driving while drunk? If you get into an accident, you can be tested if you’ve had something to drink that night. There isn’t a similar test to see if you’ve used marijuana recently. THC can show up for at least a several weeks after smoking.

Very controversial question. So as not to hijack the thread, I’ll just say: some studies say yes, some say no. Most studies don’t empirically or statistically separate just stoned drivers from drunk and stoned drivers.

As I understand it, we do have the technology to do non-invasive acute marijuana intoxication testing through salivaorapocrine sweat glands, but for reasons I don’t understand, they have not been brought to market. Probably because today, we don’t *care *if you’re acutely intoxicated or smoked your last joint 30 days ago - if you test positive to THC metabolites, you’re charged with DWI.

Were marijuana to be made legal, you can be sure they’d find the financial backers to bring acute intoxication test kits to market though.

As for the “gateway drug” argument, it’s pretty well established that more people who smoke pot don’t try harder drugs than do. As for the argument some try to make, “yeah, but all hard drug users started with pot.” Well, perhaps. But almost everyone of them also started out with milk.

As for DWI, the studies I’ve seen from the NTSB seem to indicate that you can be a dangerous driver while stoned, but not as dangerous as when drunk, Apparently Pot makes you more careful (but less skilled, obviously) while alcohol makes you reckless.

You guys aren’t afraid that jazz-playing Negroes hopped-up on the mary jane won’t rape our women and house pets?

Right. The “gateway drug” hypothesis is ridiculous. Not counting alcohol, marijuana is going to be the most easily accessible (in HS and college) and regarded as relatively benign (whether it is or not is up to others). So people who are that type, that want to explore drugs, do so, and it just happens that probably 90% of the time marijuana is the first drug they can get/try (there’s no age limit/ID required to buy weed!)

Pushing the idea that pot is a Gateway drug in this day and age is not Vaioble. Though some politicians base their arguments on it (Acertain someone in particular I won’t mention), as Asustenance it’s not interchangeable with other drugs—pot to heroin is Apples to oranges. While many (most) heroin users may smoke pot, it’s not the pot that caused them to Dellve into harder drugs, it’s a combination of individual personalities, circumstances, and contexts. To try and Compaq all those reasons into a simple ‘pot-did-it’ argument is Crayzy.

IMHO such opposition—the threat of impending disaster if policy X is not followed—is akin to stoking fears with simple pictures of an illegal Alien Ware reasoned objections to a particular immigration policy are lacking.

Early, heavy marijuana use can trigger schizophrenia in some people. Not sure if that would justify banning it, but something to consider.

I think the AMA put an end to this debate when they advocated legalizing it for medical use. At the very least it should, no NEEDS to be changed from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 3 drug.

Well, the one and only time I got stoned on pot, I gave my friend a blow job. So based on that data point I would say that pot leads to gay sex.

:smiley:

Sorry, but it’s usually easy to pick out the stoner. I don’t really care if people smoke pot, but do we really want to make escapism, poop jokes and munchies even more accessible? :smiley: