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It's the Chronic - what? - Polls of Zobgy!
March 17, 2006 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Nearly Half of Americans want to let states legally regulate and tax marijuana the way they do liquor and gambling.
Zogby International will pimp there services to just about anyone these days, including NORML for a poll on American's attitudes towards pot. According to the poll 65% of 18-29 year olds and 50% of 50-64 year-olds are cool with weed being legal and controlled like booze. The former slackers of Generation X, 30-49 year-olds, oppose it by 58% and the geezers over 65 oppose it by only 52%.

The pool shows some interesting generational attitudes. Is the 30-49 age group still following Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" mantra or is this the attitude of parents worried about their kids? I thought these folks were supposed to be the slacker generation, and now they're the strongest opponents to legalization.
posted by DragonBoy (130 comments total)

 
I would like to see the actual questions and possible answers.
posted by Gyan at 8:46 AM on March 17, 2006


Oh lord the tags!
posted by rxrfrx at 8:47 AM on March 17, 2006


i hate the hypocrisy about marijuana.
so many people do smoke (i'm in montreal).
i hope we do legalize it soon but with the conservatives now
i heard they wanted to stop the advances liberals made
(with the help of Bloc Pot founder Marc-Boris St-Maurice).
so it might have to wait for the Quebec Secession :D.
posted by zenzizi at 8:48 AM on March 17, 2006


I thought all you geezers did coke in the eighties, not pot.
posted by billysumday at 8:48 AM on March 17, 2006


Maybe it's from all the pot the "slackers" smoked back in the dizzay. So they know better. I know I smoked my fair share and if I could do it all over again, I would've smoked a lot less. Like anything else, it's best in moderation. I'm still on the fence on exactly how "legal" it should be or not be, so I dunno.
posted by Witty at 8:48 AM on March 17, 2006


Smoking a joint when you get home after work is the regular practice of millions and millions--it's the equivalent a cocktail was in the 50s. I doubt tho, we'll ever see legalization--there's been too much demonization of it as a drug, and then there's the ongoing general smoking demonization.
posted by amberglow at 8:48 AM on March 17, 2006


Were they polling people who happened to not be working during the day?
posted by dios at 8:49 AM on March 17, 2006


MetaFilter: People who happen to not be working during the day
posted by rxrfrx at 8:51 AM on March 17, 2006


As bill Hicks said (I think), it may be that it's a coincidence that the more likely a drug is to make you realize how fucked you are that the more likely it is that it's illegal... but maybe not.

I don't have strong hopes for legalization in North America in the coming generation.
posted by illovich at 8:52 AM on March 17, 2006


Marijuana has caused problems for me - it keeps taking money from my bank account every week or so...
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 8:55 AM on March 17, 2006


The Death Dealers don't want it legalized because it would stop war.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:56 AM on March 17, 2006


the more likely a drug is to make you realize how fucked you are that the more likely it is that it's illegal

Funny idea, but I'd hardly say that bong hits lead to revolutionary thought. (Other than thinking up new and novel ways to smoke pot).

Sometimes I wonder if NORML is a front for the snack food industry. Think about it, people.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 8:58 AM on March 17, 2006


I'm not really surprised... compared to the age brackets of smokers that I've been exposed to that'd jive pretty well. I don't ever imagine legalization happening in my lifetime though, I mean really... the US governments priority has nothing to do with the will of the people, and that's been made very clear. They'll sell you premanufactured death in convenient 20 packs and they'll numb your mind through pharmaceuticals, but god forbid you get intoxicated off a natural plant substance you filthy hippy bastards.
posted by prostyle at 9:01 AM on March 17, 2006


I can see the feverish money-grubbers in the state legislation getting excited about this. It will only take one state and the rest will fall like dominos. Look at how legalized gambling swept the nation. First it was off-shore and river boats and then it was state lotteries. Are there any states that don't have a lottery now?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:03 AM on March 17, 2006


The former slackers of Generation X, 30-49 year-olds, oppose it by 58%

Maybe this is because that's the demographic for pot dealers that don't want to be put out of business.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:03 AM on March 17, 2006


I'm a parent in that "slacker" demographic. If someone came around to me with a poll like that, I would be less than likely to give my honest opinion for this reason: my kids are in American public schools, so they go through the DARE program. In this program, the children are advised that if they suspect drug activity from anyone, they should alert the police.

If I answer this questionnaire honestly, and it ends up with any privacy leaks at all, I could be looked at askance for advocating legal marijuana. The War on Drugs has made it not at all unusual for casual marijuana users to serve ridiculously long sentences.

You don't want to risk losing your kid over something like that. In the ever more paranoid and draconian world of narcotics law, it's a real worry.
posted by Hamadryad at 9:03 AM on March 17, 2006


I think my main concern I have with outright legalization (I don't have kids by the way), I'm not so sure the American culture can handle it. I don't know what I mean by that exactly, which is why I'm still trying to owrk out my opinion on the issue. How's that for being vague?
posted by Witty at 9:04 AM on March 17, 2006


maybe the 30-49 demo is the one that has the most teenage children at the moment?
posted by poppo at 9:04 AM on March 17, 2006


Let's see:

Cocaine - Makes you feel super, omnipotent, extatic... until it starts to wear off, then opposite.
Methanphedamine - makes you feel mean, distracted, parinoid... increases as it wears off.
Alchohol - makes people feel stupid, mean... tired when it wears off.
Marijuana - Makes you feel happy, distracted, lazy... Hungry when it wears off.
Mushrooms/LSD - Makes you feel not-self, introspective, happy... Distracted as it wears off.

They all have their own time and place, and it's called COLLEGE.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 9:08 AM on March 17, 2006


Meth is doing a lot to rehabilitate Pot's rep.

Go, Meth!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:08 AM on March 17, 2006


30-49 year-olds, oppose it by 58%

This is the demographic that remembers buying lids of Mexican ditch weed and has watched with amazement while private enterprise has produced stuff like this (Warning: Not Safe Outside Holland). We don't want the government to do anything to our reefer except leave it alone.
posted by three blind mice at 9:13 AM on March 17, 2006


People we have an epidemic of obesidy in this country. Legalizing pot would be throwing fuel on the fire!!!
posted by delmoi at 9:15 AM on March 17, 2006


I mean obesity.
posted by delmoi at 9:15 AM on March 17, 2006


Witty: "I'm not so sure the American culture can handle it. I don't know what I mean by that exactly..."

Uhh, great. You should just keep that to yourself, because if you looked at the hard facts on the physiological effects of cannabis you'd realize how ignorant this statement is. Similarly, this is nothing more than the veiled attitude that we are not mature enough to handle what goes in our bodies and it needs to be dictated for us. If that's the way you think, it has nothing to do with marijuana and everything to do with control. If you legalized pot tomorrow the US would not go spinning out into orbit, the economy would not crash and (as dios presumes) we would not have a nation sitting at home waiting around to take surveys (between bong hits, of course) to fill their newfound jobless free time.

shnoz-gobblin: "They all have their own time and place, and it's called COLLEGE."


Seeing as how this poll has to do with legislation, that's a fairly reductive and inane comment to make. Assuming you believe it, what does that even say about your view of our culture? At the supposed highest point of your education you will also find the crossroads to expanding your mind through illegal narcotics, and that's where it should stay? Fuck that noise.
posted by prostyle at 9:18 AM on March 17, 2006


In moderation, weed is simply a fun recreational drug. Just like alcohol. And just like alcohol, its not for everyone.

Full legalization would move the profit from criminal organizations to governmental ones. I'm sure we could use the billions the industry makes in places such as education or the medical system. I believe its a real misconception that legalizing it would have any negative effect on society. Here in Vancouver, nearly half the people I know smoke and there are no social issues that I am aware of. Besides, it is easy to get, legalizing it isn't going to make it that much more accessible to those that want it.
posted by Trakker at 9:18 AM on March 17, 2006


I don't smoke (often) anymore but, from an economic standpoint, legalization is a win-win for the government and the populace. Revenue off taxes for the "Man" and legal privatization creating "true" competitive marketplaces. As it stands, most people have one dealer they can go to and (s)he charges whatever (s)he wants. The moral issue is where legalization gets sidetracked.

On preview, what trakker said, minus the Vancouver part because we all know they're just a bunch of pot-head hippies, anyway. Kidding, kidding. :-)

"it's the equivalent a cocktail was in the 50s." Heh, and here I thought a cocktail is the equivalent of a cocktail in the 50s.


posted by redsnare at 9:23 AM on March 17, 2006


From the NORML website:
"Marijuana is already the third most popular recreational drug in America, despite harsh laws against its use. Millions of Americans smoke it responsibly. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it."

Yeah! Since lotsamillions of people leech mp3s & movies off the internet, our public policies should reflect that.
Hey, I kind of like that arguement, as much of a stretch as it may be. :-)

I must have been hanging around the wrong potheads, because the ones I knew before turned into shiftless losers. A couple even got to the point where they couldn't get out of bed without taking bong hits. On the flip side, I don't know anybody that needs alcohol to function. But the potheads? Man, take away their pot and it's like you've just halved their o2 supply.
Your experiences may vary.
posted by drstein at 9:24 AM on March 17, 2006


I realize you were snarking DragonBoy, but is it a crime for Zogby to, ya know, do what he does to make a living (I guess it's run by two brothers, but you get my drift)? He runs a polling company--that's what they do. The John Birch society could hire them if they wanted to ask people if America took a wrong turn when women and blacks were given the right to vote.

That said, if you really want perspective on how messed up the war on drugs has become in America, talk to a cop in an urban area. I know for a fact that in DC, marijuana possesion is already something you'll never be prosecuted for (arrested, maybe, but let out quickly). The reason why isn't because of lax enforcement so much as the legal system--the courts are overworked as it is and simply can't handle the strain. In parts of America, we already have de facto decriminalization, but no one wants to admit it.

If there's ever going to be movement on this, it has to come out of state houses--I'm actually kind of surprised California hasn't passed some sort of legalization bill, but the challenges to medical marijuana are probably more significant right now. And it's far too easy for any politician to scream about saving "the children," but I think it'll change over time. Maybe I'd toke again if it did.
posted by bardic at 9:25 AM on March 17, 2006


There is no profitable tax on something that is mass produced for pennies to the ounce anywhere in the nation. I think people are projecting tobacco here, which actually does have a limited growing region and can actually be monopolized without anti-trust laws. Marijuana has no such value added, it can't be cornered, and it's outlawed because it hasn't been deemed beneficial and can't be controlled for profit. The main benefit of decriminalizing it would be to end importation and save billions on incarceration and police cost, which some would say is separate lobby against it. The other benefit is farmers utilizing hemp again for biomass and fiber production. I think it has been shown that teens generally sniff more glue and become more addicted to alcohol and pain pills in the absence in marijuana.
posted by Brian B. at 9:28 AM on March 17, 2006


drstein, have you ever spent time with shiftless alcoholics? They're actually more likely to die because of their habit, or crash into a mini-van or schoolbus.

That said, I'm shocked that no one has mentioned SCIENCE!
posted by bardic at 9:29 AM on March 17, 2006


I would count as a Gen-X guy. No kids. I live in Canada where I believe something like 60% of people have smoked marijuana. I really hate the ways the laws are selectively enforced, yet I have seen too many friends smoke themselves retarded or are using weed to fill some other void in their life - and the weed isn't really making their lives better.

Now, I know people who have been hassled by the cops for having weed but never charged or even ticketed. I know from lawyer friends these cases do exist.

A small fine would be okay, but with our lousy cops continually demanding more resources it would quickly grow. The decrim bill that was proposed in Canada was actually a step back in terms of pot smoker's rights, so maybe the status quo is not so bad.

Personally if I was charge, I would lean on the prosecutors to see that these charges are hard to make stick and hope people stopped talking about it.
posted by Deep Dish at 9:33 AM on March 17, 2006


On the flip side, I don't know anybody that needs alcohol to function. But the potheads? Man, take away their pot and it's like you've just halved their o2 supply.
Your experiences may vary.


Uh, OK. So you don't know any alcoholics, but you know some people addicted to marijuana. How completely unhelpful to this discussion.
posted by rxrfrx at 9:34 AM on March 17, 2006


*coughs*

I'm sorry. What were we talking about? Dude, I totally love this song.

Interesting meta-analysis of the government's own drug war data is available here.

Having spent more than four thousand dollars and thirty days in the county jail for possession of 3 grams of marijuana, I would like to see it legalized, taxed, and regulated, so I can open the Bitter Old Pot Store and Ice Cream Shop.

Of course, I live in Alabama, so this will never happen.

<img src="http://www.norml.org/images/legal/statelaws/taxstamps/AL_taxstamp.jpg">
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:37 AM on March 17, 2006


Dammit, image worked fine on preview.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:37 AM on March 17, 2006


With the projected revenues we just might be able to start affording a real national health care system. Kucinich has a plan.

(note: I'm not a Kucinich fan, but quick searching yielded a lot of crap when I was trying to find 'cost of national health care.' The link has some interesting numbers - I'd love to see others. )
posted by TeamBilly at 9:38 AM on March 17, 2006


Uhh, great. You should just keep that to yourself, because if you looked at the hard facts on the physiological effects of cannabis you'd realize how ignorant this statement is.

Right, right... don't voice an opinion unless it's the same as yours. Got it. Look, you can't say that legalization of pot is a carved-in-stone, non-debatable topic. So get over yourself. I just know how the American cutlure takes things to excess and exploits anything it can get it's hands on. Whether that's an actual problem or not if for you to decide. It concerns me.
posted by Witty at 9:45 AM on March 17, 2006


Anyone remember the Nevada vote? Meausure 9 on the Nevada 2002 ballot would have legalized 3 oz or less of marijuana. It failed with 61% of voters saying NO.

If this poll is accurate, where did that 61% no vote come from?
posted by Potsy at 9:47 AM on March 17, 2006


Potsy, RTFA. Especially the last part about religious affiliation.
posted by rxrfrx at 9:48 AM on March 17, 2006


On the flip side, I don't know anybody that needs alcohol to function.

You need to get out more often.
posted by three blind mice at 9:51 AM on March 17, 2006


anyone else think they should legalize everything?
posted by teishu at 9:53 AM on March 17, 2006


Witty writes I just know how the American culture takes things to excess and exploits anything it can get its hands on.

True, but you advance this as a hypothetical. I'd say it's already a reality, and that legalization of soft drugs couldn't possibly make things worse in terms of the number of addicts out there. I think the same is true for herion and meth, but legalizing/decriming pot would be an interesting start for longer-term decisions (I'd also argue that heroin is legal in the US, if you're of a certain income bracket and have a private doctor--just ask Rush Limbaugh).
posted by bardic at 9:56 AM on March 17, 2006


I think the funniest argument for legalization is the "everybody's doing it so it should be legal" argument. FWIW, I don't really care if it's legalized or not. But If people really want it legalized, they should probably move past the "come on man, everybody's doing it" thing. It's so 8th grade, and it's exactly what all the after school specials told us the "druggies" would say. (not to mention that it doesn't hold water as a legal or policy argument - lots of people break law X, so law X should be repealed? Please.)
posted by JekPorkins at 9:57 AM on March 17, 2006


Witty: "Right, right... don't voice an opinion unless it's the same as yours. Got it. Look, you can't say that legalization of pot is a carved-in-stone, non-debatable topic. So get over yourself.

I didn't say anything of the sort, but thanks for your cavalier attitude that completely ignores the facts in light of my disagreement. Carry on.

I just know how the American culture takes things to excess and exploits anything it can get it's hands on. Whether that's an actual problem or not if for you to decide. It concerns me."


Whether it's a problem or not is for me to decide? No, that's exactly the point - someone already has made that decision, and you are advocating the idea that criminalization is the de facto position to work against, not from. I think you're the one who needs to get over yourself and stop working with fuzzy terms regarding what America as a culture "can handle" or "takes to excess". Similar to all of these replies about people who had friends that were "lost" to marijuana or turned into shiftless zombies, it has no place in intelligent discussion and is pointlessly anecdotal.
posted by prostyle at 9:57 AM on March 17, 2006


Ironic. I don’t smoke dope, but I do favor its legalization; I do oppose legalized gambling however.
I don’t think there is any question which is the more destructive behavior. Gambling preys on the people least able to cope with it.

“...because the ones I knew before turned into shiftless losers.”

Weird. All the potheads I knew became aerospace engineers. One of them has a doctorate in material science. To be fair only one of them makes more money than me (owns his own computer firm).
So yeah, experiances vary. It’s a matter of psychological addiction. The only thing that concerns me with legalization is that kids might find a more destructive way to rebel and be countercultural. On the other hand, perhaps they’ll do something more creative. I don’t know.
But it seems to me, given the numbers, that this is the norm and it is being restricted only by ideologues. While I agree that in some cases (online piracy, etc) the law must be upheld no matter how many people are doing it, this seems more akin to the moralizing around alcohol prohibition in the 20s.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:00 AM on March 17, 2006


JekPorkins, could you please illustrate your straw-man with what someone here has actually said?
posted by bardic at 10:02 AM on March 17, 2006


the law must be upheld no matter how many people are doing it

What? You don't mean this.

What if 80% of the population is doing it (whatever it is)? 99%?

There is some violation rate after which it is absurd to continue to enforce any particular law. What that rate might be for any particular violation is another matter.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:05 AM on March 17, 2006


I didn't say anything of the sort, but thanks for your cavalier attitude that completely ignores the facts in light of my disagreement. Carry on.

You told me to that I should keep my opinion to myself. Whatever, I'm certainly not going to argue with you about it.

I'm open o the idea of legalization, I'm just not sure as to what level. Again, my concerns are cultural, not legal per se. I'm not comfortable with the glorification of anything, at least in the way the American culture does... sex, violence, drugs, money, etc.

The only thing that concerns me with legalization is that kids might find a more destructive way to rebel and be countercultural.

Now we're getting somewhere.
posted by Witty at 10:06 AM on March 17, 2006


All comments regarding pot-smokers who have smoked themselves into oblivion fail to address the issue of availability. If they have access to that much pot now, how does its legality change anything? If close to half the population are able to buy it now, how does keeping it illegal change the dynamic of overuse?
Seems to me that the issue of alcoholism or "potism" is one of psychological drive. If all drugs were made legal there would be an increase in the number of drug addicts. But my guess (yes, purely a guess) is that it would be offset by a decrease in the number of alcoholics. An addictive personality will seek out a means of self-medication one way or another. Jailing them for their specific choice seems stupid to me.
posted by johngumbo at 10:10 AM on March 17, 2006


...um...I can't remember what I was going to say...nevermind.
posted by wsg at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2006


Stupid hippy potheads.

The Eighteenth Amendment is protecting us from ourselves.
posted by orthogonality at 10:15 AM on March 17, 2006


Jailing them for their specific choice seems stupid to me.

"You know, it's a funny thing—every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it's because most of them are psychiatrists." --Richard Nixon
posted by rxrfrx at 10:16 AM on March 17, 2006


That title just broke my brain.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 10:18 AM on March 17, 2006


If they have access to that much pot now, how does its legality change anything?

The difference would be in the degree to which it would produce revenue for the governmental authority that taxed it.

I've always thought there was a cogent case to be made for legalizing the sale of marijuana and perhaps distributing it in "state stores" like we do booze here in Pennsylvania. Would bring the producers above-ground as well (literally, too), and free up a hell of a lot of money that now goes to drug enforcement.

All of this said, a very close family member has smoked dope at least twice a day for the past 20 years. And he could be the dude in that old anti-drug commercial - "Did you look for a job today?" 36-year-old slacker/stoners are pretty pathetic - but I can't say we'd have MORE of them by legalizing dope. They'd just find it easier, and maybe more cost-effective, to get their herb.
posted by kgasmart at 10:21 AM on March 17, 2006


Why is it that people would rather believe that pot smoking causes laziness, hard drug use, and schizophrenia then believe that laziness, hard drug use, and schizophrenia lead to pot smoking?

Most arguments for marijuana prohibition rest on a single logical fallacy. Once people realize that correlation does not prove causation, we may begin to see some reform in this area.

(and isn't anyone here going to quote SCIENCE?)
posted by Afroblanco at 10:21 AM on March 17, 2006


If people want to smoke themselves stupid, what do I care?

It is not my obligation to pay to make sure they spend their money and time wisely.

Additionally, is organized crime in favor of legalization? Make a wild guess.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:24 AM on March 17, 2006


Why is it that people would rather believe that pot smoking causes laziness, hard drug use, and schizophrenia then believe that laziness, hard drug use, and schizophrenia lead to pot smoking?

What's the point? It's not as if one is better than the other.
posted by Witty at 10:25 AM on March 17, 2006


rxrfrx: I did RTFA. It makes no mention of the Nevada vote.

Even taking the data on religious affiliation into account, the vote result still seems skewed against, given the religious makeup of Nevada (20% say they are non-religious). The result should have been more like 50/50 instead of 61/39.
posted by Potsy at 10:28 AM on March 17, 2006


Why is it that people would rather believe that pot smoking causes laziness, hard drug use, and schizophrenia then believe that laziness, hard drug use, and schizophrenia lead to pot smoking?

What's the point? It's not as if one is better than the other.


That doesn't make any sense.

You mean if schizophrenics use pot to self-medicate (as I often hear claimed), that's not a better situation than if pot leads to higher schizophrenia rates?

In the first situation, there would be no impact on schizophrenia rates, in the second they would be higher due to pot use. The second is clearly a worse situation.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:33 AM on March 17, 2006


I'm not comfortable with the glorification of anything
posted by Witty at 10:06 AM PST on March 17


Except for war; that shit is tight, brah.

I think the funniest argument for legalization is the "everybody's doing it so it should be legal" argument.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:57 AM PST on March 17


Jek, sometimes you are really stupid. The argument is not that "lots of people do it so we should ignore the law," it's that a huge number of American citizens, from rich to poor, from the unemployed to CEOs, smoke marijuana on a regular basis and yet the Republic stands. The only way in which pot has a deleterious effect is in enforcement of the ridiculous laws that make it a crime to possess a plant that makes you a little goofy.

Alcohol and tobacco are both far far more dangerous than marijuana, and in the case of alcohol, it's actually dangerous to people who aren't using it. Every driven in a city after the bars just closed? It's scary as hell.

I know that a lot of you Republicans need Daddy to tell you what to do and what not to do, and a lot of you Democrats need Mommy to keep you from touching the hot stove, but there are a lot of us who are doing just fine without law enforcement checking in on us every five minutes to make sure we're being good little citizens.

Note: I do not smoke marijuana.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:34 AM on March 17, 2006


the one serious pothead I've known burned an inheritance — about $20,000 — on what (I hope) must have been very good weed over the course of a year and a half or so. He was on his way to a history degree and a career in state Democratic politics at the time.

Now he works a sales job in Texas and has tried on more than one occasion to convince me of the brilliance of Ann Coulter.

For that reason alone, I'm on the fence.
posted by Vetinari at 10:35 AM on March 17, 2006


“What if 80% of the population is doing it (whatever it is)? 99%?”

Forgive the informality in my speech. Within reason obviously. There is certainly a violation rate after which it is absurd to continue to enforce any particular law - but the corollary is that at some point a society can become lawless if it habitually refuses to acknowlege a certain degree of order. I’d argue that point is equally obvious (goes back to Hobbes), which is why I assumed I wouldn’t have to argue it.

The law should not restrict society unless there is a manifest danger or inherent damage in the act or acts ancillary to it and that should be in proportion to the degree to which society values the act - so enforcement isn’t causing more damage than the act itself. (’Damage’ can include intrusion on individual liberties, etc).
So alcohol - destructive, but people really really want it. Putting everyone in jail who drinks would bankrupt the law enforcement system.
Not letting, say, native americans practice religion using peyote - not everyone does it, but drawing a hard line as to what is acceptable religious practice could damage society more than it helps it. So, ok.
Online theft - lots of people doing it, but it is still property theft, not an established (or establishable) practice in a society, and therefore should be enforced (with the caviat that if indeed enough people are doing it the way business is done should change in response).
Gambling I think causes more destruction than it’s worth and isn’t a legitimate societal more, but many people do it, so that too is a bit of a judgement call. (I keep thinking of the hotels in Vegas like the big stone heads on Easter Island - some societal practices are horrifically self destructive). But gambling is still somewhat constrained by the law - I’m not happy, but I’m not omniscient either so perhaps the upside does outweigh the damage.

But in matters such as cannibalism, human scapegoating, or other things that could conceivably be (and have been) socially acceptable (unlike, say, random murder, property theft, etc.) there is no question the rule of law should be employed to stop such things from gaining ground.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:35 AM on March 17, 2006


With all this talk about legislating morality and harm analysis, someone should make a post about the classic legal moralism debate.
posted by dios at 10:38 AM on March 17, 2006


Thanks johngumbo. Making something illegal does not mean that those who want it are not going to get it. It is an illusion to think that keeping it illegal is somehow keeping people from using it.
posted by Trakker at 10:39 AM on March 17, 2006


All of this said, a very close family member has smoked dope at least twice a day for the past 20 years. And he could be the dude in that old anti-drug commercial - "Did you look for a job today?" 36-year-old slacker/stoners are pretty pathetic - but I can't say we'd have MORE of them by legalizing dope.

Some people use guns to commit crimes. Solution: outlaw guns. Some people drink to excess. Solution: outlaw alcohol. Some people overeat and drain medical resources when they can't get themselves out of bed. Solution: outlaw Zagnuts. Folks, some of your uncles or cousins or kids are going to be lazy or unmotivated regardless of the drugs available to them. MORE LAWS! is not the solution to everything.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:40 AM on March 17, 2006


That doesn't make any sense.

You're right, what HE/SHE said doesn't make sense. I still don't understand the point. I don't have a problem with a crazy smoking pot to feel better and keep his shit in a pile. But to suggest that laziness and hard drug use MAY lead to pot smoking (and that it's better than the former in the suggestion) doesn't make sense. What's the point? Laziness leads to pot smoking, not pot smoking leads to laziness... ok. And? Now the person smokes pot and isn't lazy? Somehow I doubt it. A hard drug user smokes pot? Wow. No surprise there. What does that have to do with the idea that "smoking pot leads to harder drugs" (which I don't agree with)? No matter how you look at it, you end up with lazy people and hard drug users smoking pot. Who cares how they got there.

I just don't understand the over comparison of what Afroblanco is trying to suggest.
posted by Witty at 10:40 AM on March 17, 2006


Except for war; that shit is tight, brah.

You said that, not me. Fuck off.
posted by Witty at 10:41 AM on March 17, 2006


Effects of legalisation: In 1999 marihuana in the Netherlands had 8.5 % THC, in 2005 that was 20 %. Percentages of THC in haschisch get up to 40 % according to the police.
The effect is attributed to the application of agricultural science by major scale growers.

Maybe an effect to expect when legalizing marihuana.

There was some discussion by the ministry of Justice wether these percentages make marihuana a hard-drug instead of a soft-drug.

couldn't find a quote in english
posted by jouke at 10:42 AM on March 17, 2006


You mean if schizophrenics use pot to self-medicate (as I often hear claimed), that's not a better situation than if pot leads to higher schizophrenia rates?

There are a lot of things that schizophrenics shouldn't do. They probably shouldn't drive cars, either. Does that mean we should outlaw driving?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:43 AM on March 17, 2006


gambling is still somewhat constrained by the law - I’m not happy, but I’m not omniscient either so perhaps the upside does outweigh the damage.

I would submit the possibility that it is partial abolishment of things like gambling that causes the real harm. Partial legalization amounts to state subsidy of one industry participant over another: if you are allowed to run a few poker tables in your basement without paying 5-6 digit licensing fees, will people still go to the boats?

Unless abolition is complete, some parties will profit immensely because taxes pay for the suppression of the competition.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:44 AM on March 17, 2006


Why is it that people would rather believe that pot smoking causes laziness, hard drug use, and schizophrenia then believe that laziness, hard drug use, and schizophrenia lead to pot smoking?

What's the point? It's not as if one is better than the other.


Witty, that's kind of silly. What I'm saying is that schizophrenics will be schizophrenics, lazy people will be lazy, and crackheads will be crackheads, all regardless of marijuana and its legal status. It's been shown time and again that people are more then happy to replace one crutch with another. Thus, marijuana is not the problem.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:47 AM on March 17, 2006


What's the point? Laziness leads to pot smoking, not pot smoking leads to laziness... ok. And? Now the person smokes pot and isn't lazy? Somehow I doubt it.

???

What the hell are you talking about?

We are looking at a correlation. One possibility is that objectively negative A leads to B, where B is something we have the possibility of legislating, while A is not. The other possibilities are that B leads to A, or that they are spuriously correlated (in which case no action should be taken.)

If A leads to B, then legislating B will have no effect on A.
If B leads to A, the legislating B will have an effect on A.

Now, if A is schizophrenia and B is pot, do you understand why it makes a difference?
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:48 AM on March 17, 2006


Effects of legalisation: In 1999 marihuana in the Netherlands had 8.5 % THC, in 2005 that was 20 %. Percentages of THC in haschisch get up to 40 % according to the police.
The effect is attributed to the application of agricultural science by major scale growers.


Growing for mass consumption is still illegal in the Netherlands. It is not regulated. Just as alcohol content is regulated, THC levels could also be regulated.
posted by Trakker at 10:48 AM on March 17, 2006


You said that, not me. Fuck off.
posted by Witty at 10:41 AM PST on March 17


You seemed pretty stoked about war here, including the thought that "half a billion dollars worth of Tomahawks" was the right way to do it.

Yet somehow decriminalizing marijuana is something that we should avoid because we might not be able to handle it, according to the non-existent data you supplied. Interesting priorities.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:00 AM on March 17, 2006


Now, if A is schizophrenia and B is pot, do you understand why it makes a difference?

Yes, I understand that difference... and with variables it is certainly clear (as it would be with most topics).

But referring to what Afroblanco said specifically.... which was (in short) "why do people prefer to think pot smoking leads to laziness and not laziness leads to pot smoking". For me, it doesn't make sense to consider the latter, unless it's laziness that you're trying to "fix"... because laziness leads to lots of things. Schizophrenics primary concern is not whether smoking pot is a good thing.

Some people, maybe most, who opposed legalization see more harm coming out of smoking pot, than good... and I'm not so sure I would disagree with that. So I don't understand what purpose it serves to propose that hard drug use may lead to smoking pot. Great! It may leads to excessive gargling. But gargling isn't the issue... hard drug use is.
posted by Witty at 11:02 AM on March 17, 2006


If hard drug use leads to excessive gargling, we will not be able to reduce the incidence of hard drug use by a costly campaign on gargling.

The reason someone would propose that excessive gargling does not lead to hard drug use would be because they wish to avoid such a campaign, since they believe it will be unfruitful.

If you would like to legislate against excessive gargling for (or pot) for some other reasons, that could still be reasonable.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:08 AM on March 17, 2006


Optimus Chyme... blow me. One has nothing to do with the other.

What I'm saying is that schizophrenics will be schizophrenics, lazy people will be lazy, and crackheads will be crackheads, all regardless of marijuana and its legal status.

I understand that. But you can't deny that a previously un-lazy person may become more lazy due to smoking pot.
posted by Witty at 11:09 AM on March 17, 2006


Potsy, That Nevada law was really badly written (typical stuff - no protection for medical use, etc), and even those (like myself) who would like it legalized, didnt vote for it. I dont smoke personally, and havent for years, but if we (any state, that is) are going to legalize it, I say tax the bejeezus out of it, like tobacco.
posted by elendil71 at 11:12 AM on March 17, 2006


blow me
posted by Witty at 11:09 AM PST on March 17


I had forgotten how substantive your arguments have gotten lately; well done.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:12 AM on March 17, 2006


Seriously, shut the fuck up. There's nothing to argue with you about. You questioned my concern for "glorification" by pointing to a 3-year old post about the war. Blow me... and that's all I got for you.
posted by Witty at 11:16 AM on March 17, 2006


On the flip side, I don't know anybody that needs alcohol to function.

This is asinine, even for anecdotal evidence.

Drstein, you know some burnouts. Congratulations. We all do. I know some sad old men who can't get out of bed without taking a tug off a bottle of bourbon.

The only difference between alcohol dependancy and marijuana dependancy is the health effect each has, and in that department alcohol is the clear loser. Liver damage, heart disease, diabetes...great Christ. A night of heavy drinking is like eating a crate of 80-proof Twinkies. Which, come to think of it, sounds pretty great. But I digress.

It's my right as (get the Sousa ready) an American -- but really, as a human being -- to put whatever I choose into my body. Government has no place whatsoever legislating what goes into my mouth or veins. And that's that.

But I must admit an alterior motive here. My home state of Kentucky would stand to benefit greatly by the legalization of marijuana, from a grower's perspective. It might be enough to convince me to move back. Also, it would make my three vices -- Camel Lights, bourbon, and pot -- all homegrown, which would give a comfy nostalgia to my debauchery. Why, everybody wins. If by everybody, you mean me.
posted by ford and the prefects at 11:19 AM on March 17, 2006


...damn it, ulterior motive. ULTERIOR motive.
posted by ford and the prefects at 11:20 AM on March 17, 2006


OK, guys. Have a bong hit and calm down.
posted by telstar at 11:21 AM on March 17, 2006


(Last comment before leaving the thread alone for a while, I promise!)

Witty:

Although the three situations that I listed (schizophrenia, hard drug use, a life of laziness) have often been correlated with pot use, nobody has ever conclusively proven them to be the result of pot use.

schizophrenia - It is often theorized that schizophrenics smoke pot because they feel that it helps them control their symptoms.

hard drug use - Sure, chances are a crackhead smoked pot before they tried crack. There's also a good chance that they tried alcohol or caffeine before they tried pot. Does that mean we should outlaw alcohol and caffeine?

laziness - This one is my favorite. Sure, when you're high, you won't be too motivated to be productive and get things done. That's why most pot smokers only smoke in their free time, when it won't interfere with their other activities. Someone who dedicates all their time and money to potsmoking has some other big problem in their life that has nothing to do with pot. Maybe they're depressed. Maybe they're just unmotivated. Who knows? Still, the problem here isn't the marijuana.

I'm not saying that I think that pot is good for you or anything. It's not. No recreational drug is that I know of, and that includes the legal ones. However, I think that every adult should have the right to decide what they want to put in their body.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:22 AM on March 17, 2006


a little SCIENCE regarding the long term effects of pot smoking. might surprise you.
posted by christy at 11:22 AM on March 17, 2006


That lots of people smoke pot isn't a very persuasive argument that it should be legalized, but it's definitely not the only one. I think it adds some weight to the other arguments in favour of legalization.

Enforcement of the current laws against posession and distribution isn't very effective.

Enforcement of the current laws is very costly.

The current laws permit the posession and distribution of other harmful and addictive drugs.

So the current laws are ineffective, expensive, and hypocritical. I think that's a pretty good basis for saying they should be changed. The next step is arguing why legalization is the change that should be made.

Other people have mentioned taxation, quality control, and depriving organized crime of revenue, as good reasons for legalization. I agree with all these and feel that there are probably more.

It'd be great to see some more points for and against without the usual mudslinging and tired generalizations that always happen when discussing legalization.

But now I must run to class. Have a good day everyone.
posted by benign at 11:30 AM on March 17, 2006


I understand that. But you can't deny that a previously un-lazy person may become more lazy due to smoking pot.

Um. Ok. By the same measure, you can't deny that a previously un-lazy person may become more lazy due to poor weather, World of Warcraft, lower alfalfa crop yields, whatever other factor you like.

Somehow I don't think "hrm, but it might make you lazy" goes very far towards justifying thousands of people doing hard prison time for smoking a plant. What fucked up priorities you have, indeed.
posted by blackberet at 11:31 AM on March 17, 2006


I officially change my opinion about what the funniest argument for legalization is. It is no longer Optimus Chyme's argument that "a huge number of American citizens, from rich to poor, from the unemployed to CEOs, smoke marijuana on a regular basis and yet the Republic stands." (and yes, Optimus, I'm stupid enough to notice when you change what I said in the very quote you seek to discredit me with and then tell me that the 'real' argument is substantially the same as what I said it was).

The funniest one is now ford and the prefects' argument that "Government has no place whatsoever legislating what goes into my mouth or veins."

Yes, ford, you're right that there should be no regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, of agriculture or of food of any kind. Clearly your home-grown stash has made you wise.

Oh, and did you just confess to growing pot in your home on a public internet forum? Smart. Or did you mean that your Camel Lights and bourbon are home grown?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:33 AM on March 17, 2006


Although the three situations that I listed (schizophrenia, hard drug use, a life of laziness) have often been correlated with pot use, nobody has ever conclusively proven them to be the result of pot use.

Agreed, but it's reasonable to think that's it's certainly possible... at least where laziness and other drug use are concerned.

schizophrenia - It is often theorized that schizophrenics smoke pot because they feel that it helps them control their symptoms.

Excellent... and I say hook 'em up with as much weed as they need.

hard drug use - Sure, chances are a crackhead smoked pot before they tried crack. There's also a good chance that they tried alcohol or caffeine before they tried pot. Does that mean we should outlaw alcohol and caffeine?

No, we shouldn't. But again, it's worth investigating to what extent pot smoking may or may not lead to harder drugs. For me, I would have never tried acid or 'shrooms (which represent the extent of my drug use beyond pot) had I not smoked pot first (for a couple of years).

Maybe they're depressed. Maybe they're just unmotivated. Who knows? Still, the problem here isn't the marijuana.

No, but weed isn't helping either and possibly serves to make it worse... not that that's a good reason to keep illegal. But smoking weed, certainly in excess definitely causes most people to be more lazy, procrastinate, confuse their priorities and so forth. Not all, but many. Laziness is definitely a symptom of smoking pot.

However, I think that every adult should have the right to decide what they want to put in their body.

As do I... within certain parameters.
posted by Witty at 11:35 AM on March 17, 2006


Eh, I'm 35. I have kids. I didn't do drugs, but not because of the "Just Say No" stuff -- it was because of my parents. And I'm cool with weed being legal and controlled like I'm cool with liquor being legal and controlled -- which is to say, it should be controlled more than liquor is now, with harsher penalties for drunk driving and similar crimes.
posted by davejay at 11:38 AM on March 17, 2006


Somehow I don't think "hrm, but it might make you lazy" goes very far towards justifying thousands of people doing hard prison time for smoking a plant. What fucked up priorities you have, indeed.

Jesus Christ... stop twisting shit around just so you have someone to pick on. My concerns for the legalization of weed have nothing to do with my opinions of how pot smokers are sentenced, nor have I even addressed that topic in this thread. so stop making shit up. If you want to know, yea, it's fucked up how much time someone can spend in jail for smoking or possessing a a reasonable amount of pot. OK?

I'm happy to be the guy that doesn't think straight up legalization is the best move so we can all have something to talk about. But stop putting words in my mouth.
posted by Witty at 11:41 AM on March 17, 2006


JekPorkins, the threatening internet tough-guy meeting was yesterday, down the hall at free republic. Sorry you missed the memo.

Also, are you equating pharma standards with drug enforcement? Because you'd be wrong and misleading to do so. Many pro-legalization folks would be more than happy to have marijuana decriminalized and then regulated and taxed by the Federal government. As someone mentioned, you could even go as far as to regulate THC levels if you wanted. Straw-man once again--it's getting pretty tired.
posted by bardic at 11:45 AM on March 17, 2006


bardic, I'm glad you knew where the meeting was. I didn't get your memo about it. But I thought the first rule of threatening internet tough-guy club was "never talk about threatening internet tough-guy club." I think you may be in trouble now.

Also, are you equating pharma standards with drug enforcement?

Nope. That's why the argument that pot should be legal because the government has no right to regulate anything that goes into a person's body is funny (and stupid).
posted by JekPorkins at 11:48 AM on March 17, 2006


Jek, your argument is so facetious that I have trouble imagining it isn't purposefully so. There is a substantial difference between the government requiring QC on products and approving them for sale to consumers (ie: regulating the seller and their product), and actually telling me what I can or cannot put into my own mouth or veins. That is an issue of bodily autonomy, which I would naively expect to be a pretty fundamental principle in a state founded upon individual liberty. Apparently not.

The government utterly enriches the black market, and empowers scores of petty (and not so petty) criminals, by refusing to apply just this kind of regulation upon marijuana. I think most smokers would welcome such regulation (particularly those who have occasionally discovered an unpleasant surprise cut into their dime bags).
posted by blackberet at 11:48 AM on March 17, 2006


Setting arguments for and against "legalization" aside for a moment...does anyone here really think that jailing pot smokers is a) effective, b) right or c) rehabilitive?

Find me a 19 year old mixed up kid, or one who's merely experimenting and got caught -- and I guarantee that jailing them and/or making them ineligible for college grant money will only amplify any detrimental effects.

Find me a thirty year old busted and jailed for weed and I'll show you a pointless waste of tax dollars, and possibly a family ruined. A prison stint and a criminal record is far more ruinous to a person than smoking a joint in the garage every night.
posted by edverb at 11:50 AM on March 17, 2006


Besides, it is easy to get, legalizing it isn't going to make it that much more accessible to those that want it.

Yeah? You holding? Hook me up? Be cool dude.
posted by Bonzai at 11:58 AM on March 17, 2006


Setting arguments for and against "legalization" aside for a moment...does anyone here really think that jailing pot smokers is a) effective, b) right or c) rehabilitive?

I doubt it, no. I don't.
posted by Witty at 11:58 AM on March 17, 2006



No, we shouldn't. But again, it's worth investigating to what extent pot smoking may or may not lead to harder drugs.


I imagine that the fact that, currently, one must visit a dealer (who may also deal in harder stuff) to obtain pot may have something to do with it leading to harder drug use in some cases.
posted by kayjay at 11:58 AM on March 17, 2006


Jesus Christ, what an asshole.
posted by bardic at 11:59 AM on March 17, 2006


C'mon. I didn't visit a "dealer". I had some frat boy come over to the apartment once in a while... and he wasn't the same guy I bought acid from later on.
posted by Witty at 12:00 PM on March 17, 2006


How shall we, the rank and file citizens of the US, free ourselves from the deathgrip of the Daddy/Mommy State and its various War on <noun>s? We can begin with a substantive, honest discussion about personal responsibility, acknowledging that it is the essential complement to the freedom we claim to embody. Freedom without responsibility cannot be sustained. Arguments over legalizing or criminalizing this or that substance or practice are really irrelevant. What's at issue is whether you want to build a society, and therefore a government, that respects your personal sovereignty. To do that, you have to own up to some great responsibility for yourself.

Disclosure: I'm a libertarian with strong anarchist tendencies who believes that every "drug" should be "legal".
posted by oncogenesis at 12:08 PM on March 17, 2006


“someone should make a post about the classic legal moralism debate.”
posted by dios

Yeah. If only we had a lawyer around.
*grin*

“...some parties will profit immensely because taxes pay for the suppression of the competition...” - sonofsamiam

Agreed. Not to mention the corruption it breeds.
...of course I’m from Cook County. The corruption here is pervasive, but fortunately, not banal. It’s thrilling.
(doesn’t mean I’m happy with it, but it is exciting)

“Yes, ford, you're right that there should be no regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, of agriculture or of food of any kind.”

Nice dodging of the word ‘choose.’ Why burden ourselves with nuance?

You kids with your gargling. First it’s Scope, Plax, then the next thing you know you’re on the hard stuff: Listerine - two, three times a day. Then your breath is so fresh and minty your mouth shimmers like a desert highway. You think gargling is a joke? I was driving around with a bottle Cepacol in my hand gargling through a school zone when I hit bottom. I was pushing oral hygene on kids who didn’t even have their permenant teeth yet. Then it’s flossing, brushing, three different kinds of toothpaste, plus whiteners and you’re strung out on flouride half the time.
My family had to hold an intervention before I went off to dental college.

Thank God I started smoking pot and stopped taking points too literally.

/note: I don’t smoke anything. I’d do THC if it was in brownie form, but that’s just too much damn work for me.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:09 PM on March 17, 2006


It has always seemed to me that the only sense in which pot smoking acts a "gateway" drug, is that you often have to associate with a criminal element to obtain it, one sometimes interested in moving more hazardous products with better margins.

The 'gateway' argument has always annoyed me, since it is a convenient logical circle for its proponents. The very criminalization of marijuana opens the door up to 101 other dangers for naive young people seeking it. Not some inherent property of the plant, but rather an inherent side-effect of idiotic laws.
posted by blackberet at 12:13 PM on March 17, 2006


I can see more reasons to make alcohol illegal than to make pot illegal -- and I'm a man who likes his beer. When's the last time you heard about a stoner getting high and shooting his wife?

I can see good reasons to keep meth, heroine, & LSD illegal, but not pot.

FWIW, I don't care about smoking weed, myself; I just call 'em like I see 'em.
posted by LordSludge at 12:14 PM on March 17, 2006


Just out of curiosity, which U.S. jurisdictions, if any, have criminal statutes that provide for incarceration of a person convicted of smoking pot? And I'm looking for statutes here. Which jurisdiction in the U.S., if any, provide for incarceration of someone convicted of possession, without any regard to the amount possessed?

And does anyone have any evidence, even anecdotal, of anyone in the U.S. being sent to prison just for smoking pot? People often talk about people being sent to prison for smoking pot, but is that true? Can anyone cite something to support that?
posted by JekPorkins at 12:16 PM on March 17, 2006


There is an almost 100% correlation between herioin addiction and earlier marijuana use.
There is a VERY low correlation between marijuana use and later heroin addiction.
There is a very high correlation between teenage binge drinking and later heroin addiction.
Addicts find the drugs they need, when they need them. Making self-medication a moral and legal offense makes it much harder to treat. Making self-medication a medical issue rather than a moral or legal issue would help a hell of a lot more people who clearly need help.
posted by johngumbo at 12:18 PM on March 17, 2006


LordSludge: I can see good reasons to keep meth, heroine, & LSD illegal, but not pot.

Please name three. I'm especially curious about your thoughts on about LSD.
posted by oncogenesis at 12:32 PM on March 17, 2006


*Sigh* You can't win a price war with a drug dealer.

The fundamental flaw of all our Drug Enforcement policies are rooted in basic economics. NOT morals.

Let me give you a recent example.

A few years back a couple of California legislators came up with a no-brainer campaign platform. Both tough on crime, anti-corporate, pro-healthcare, fiscally conservative, and seemingly humanitarian. What was it? It was to make California State Prisons non-smoking. Anti-big tobacco. Not coddling criminals. Save on insurance rates. Improve inmate health. Seem like a GREAT idea. Moral. Practical. Simple.

Ok.

So here is what happened. I don't know if was instituted in ALL prisons but where it was instituted an entirely NEW criminal class was enriched and entrenched OVER-FUCKING NIGHT.

You understand that criminals IN prison can already get heroin and crack. ILLEGAL controlled substances. Right? At a mark-up that makes the risk to mule it in completely worthwhile, right? It is simply too tempting for underpaid guards and contractors in the prisons to either participate in or NOT turn a blind eye to.

So what happens when you have readily available, addictive, legal substances... already treated as underground tender in prisons... suddenly worth 100X more?

Inmates in these facilities ended up smoking MORE... or at least hoarding more smokes. Paying more for them. And enriching the gangs that controlled the traffic of them.

And people were getting killed over smokes.

Appreciate the irony?

So understand something. Creating this blackmarket economy - over vague ideas of social morals - is a loosing proposition.

What we are doing is creating the next generation of ghettoized Kennedy's - similar to what the opium trade did for the fine upstanding Boston families in the 1800's who dealt dope to China. Only WORSE. Becuase this NEW generation will be outside the value spectrum of our society. They won't be white. They will have guns. And they will be pissed off. And they will be rich. Perhaps you have hear of the narco-syndicates that ran much of South America?
posted by tkchrist at 12:38 PM on March 17, 2006


Clarification:

Person who smokes pot does not equal pothead, no more then a person who drinks is an alcoholic.
posted by iamck at 12:43 PM on March 17, 2006


jouke, during Prohibition in the United States and Canada, people drank hard alcohol instead of beer. Same thing with THC %. Legalization would result in low-THC marijuana being easier to find.
posted by angrybeaver at 12:59 PM on March 17, 2006


pot makes me throw up.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:17 PM on March 17, 2006


PS. My argument above SHOULD appeal to the Conservaties in the crowd more than anybody. If there are any real Conservaties (Big "C") actually left in this country.
posted by tkchrist at 1:49 PM on March 17, 2006


Back in the day, I had been smoking about an ounce every two weeks. That was when I was holding down two jobs, taking three classes at university and playing tennis about 6 to 8 hours a week. I even quit smoking cigarettes by replacing it with cannabis - it took an ounce and three days. Your results may vary.

And most of the people I know who smoke pot aren't dimwitted and lazy. They don't use the word "dude" as a two to three syllable expletive, either. But I also realize that stereotypes are fun and easy.

Regarding the illegality of cannabis in general, I've stated my opinion before and right now I'm too lazy to articulate a new one.
posted by effwerd at 1:57 PM on March 17, 2006


If this ever happens, it'll be for one reason - to pay off the Idiot-King's massive deficits. Just think: if he doesn't get you killed somehow before leaving office, you may have him to thank for the day you can sit on your couch and smoke one up without looking over your shoulder.
posted by trondant at 2:15 PM on March 17, 2006


I always love these discussions on the internets in which all of those who actually smoke on a regular or semi-regular basis can't participate in the conversation in an honest manner because they can't simply say that they smoke and how much or how often. Notice how those who advocate for legalisation in these discussion are almost always at pains to point out that they personally do not smoke. It's a real pity. We have an open open issue in this country about legalization in which those most directly effected are in fact muzzled from participating in the discussion. Bravo to the poster above mentioning kids and DARE. As long as all of us cannot participate in such discussions this nonsense will go on and on.
posted by filchyboy at 3:03 PM on March 17, 2006


I always love these discussions on the internets in which all of those who actually smoke on a regular or semi-regular basis can't participate in the conversation in an honest manner because they can't simply say that they smoke and how much or how often.

We can say it*, just not in the context of this debate.

And you are right. It is sad that an open discussion cannot be had about this issue. Announcing to the public in the US that you smoke weed could cost you your job, your marriage, your kids, your house, your education and even your freedom.

*I don't smoke anymore specifically due to an ex who wants the custody situation to change.
posted by DragonBoy at 3:10 PM on March 17, 2006


"You can't win a price war with a drug dealer."

...which is why the whole gun thing started happening.

I don't know anyone else's reasons for stating that the don't smoke dope. Not knowing them I'll have to take them at their word.
For myself, I learned about lung cancer early as a kid. Lost some family. So I don't smoke anything at all.

I'd be happy to try some hash brownies. I have eaten a bunch of THC laced stuff. Most particularly at Dead shows.
'Course that was a bit back.
The mellow really isn't for me tho. My drugs are adrenaline and endogenous opioids.
Matter of time before we outlaw those I suppose.
Or counter them THX-1138 or Brave New World Style.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:38 PM on March 17, 2006


And you are right. It is sad that an open discussion cannot be had about this issue. Announcing to the public in the US that you smoke weed could cost you your job, your marriage, your kids, your house, your education and even your freedom.

I completely agree with you, and not that I would do it myself - the way to legalize marijuana is to have all of us who have tried it go down to the police station and confess.
posted by Deep Dish at 4:50 PM on March 17, 2006


Well the thread has shifted to analysis of the numbers to the typical no-brainer debate on legalization.

What surprised me, about the link is simply the numbers involved. Sure, overall, it's not a majority in all demographic groups. But it's pretty damned close. A significant proportion of the population of the US wants pot legal. Enough of a proportion that, given the low voter turn out you see, it's a realistic proposition. Yet it's still not an issue that can seriously be addressed by politicians. It's still all about the drug war...don't mention legalization...save our kids. Why would they keep up this level of bullshit if they know a significant amount votes would be behind drug law reform?
posted by Jimbob at 8:16 PM on March 17, 2006


I strongly believe marijuana should be illegal. It instills in our children a strong distrust of the goverment,
posted by afu at 8:19 PM on March 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Jimbob : "Enough of a proportion that, given the low voter turn out you see, it's a realistic proposition."

The poll is of likely voters, so that's taken care of.

"It's still all about the drug war...don't mention legalization...save our kids."

The ONDCP chief John Walters says, "Illegal drugs are inherently dangerous, corrupting and incompatible with health and freedom.". Hard to bring up legalization in such an atmosphere.

"Why would they keep up this level of bullshit if they know a significant amount votes would be behind drug law reform?"

Because issues are weighted when deciding voting preferences. How many, besides a small group of libertarians and users, would base their vote on the legalization stance?
posted by Gyan at 8:47 PM on March 17, 2006


Wait a minute - could Marijuana solve terrorism?
posted by iamck at 1:38 AM on March 18, 2006


Yeah! Since lotsamillions of people leech mp3s & movies off the internet, our public policies should reflect that.
Hey, I kind of like that arguement, as much of a stretch as it may be. :-)


Actually, there was a time that laws WERE changed to reflect what the population was doing.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:36 AM on March 18, 2006


the way to legalize marijuana is to have all of us who have tried it go down to the police station and confess.
posted by Deep Dish at 4:50 PM PST on March 17


That's actually a hell of an idea, and as such, would never happen.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:47 AM on March 18, 2006


I strongly believe marijuana should be illegal. It instills in our children a strong distrust of the goverment,
posted by afu at 8:19 PM PST on March 17 [!]


So does the internet. Via lanugage.

Best ban language!
posted by rough ashlar at 8:51 AM on March 18, 2006


Actually, there was a time that laws WERE changed to reflect what the population was doing.

Now laws are changed to reflect corporate business wishes.
posted by telstar at 10:13 AM on March 18, 2006


pot makes me throw up.

Pot stopped me from throwing up. But then I was using it to control stress.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:40 PM on March 18, 2006


pot makes me throw up.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:17 PM PST on March 17 [!]


I have, in my travels, met a few of your kind before. It makes me weep inwardly.

Disclaimer: I am high right now.
posted by nonmerci at 9:06 PM on March 18, 2006


Jek asked: Which jurisdiction in the U.S., if any, provide for incarceration of someone convicted of possession, without any regard to the amount possessed?

And does anyone have any evidence, even anecdotal, of anyone in the U.S. being sent to prison just for smoking pot? People often talk about people being sent to prison for smoking pot, but is that true? Can anyone cite something to support that?


I did thirty days in the Shelby County Jail in Columbiana Alabama just last year, not for SMOKING pot, but for being in possession of slightly more than 3 grams of pot. I think you are splitting hairs: if you manage to swallow the roach before the cop finds it, no charges. If you don't, you're charged with possession.

My sentence was 120/30, meaning a mandatory 30 days in jail, with the prospect of doing an additional 90 days if I failed to pay off all the fines ($1700.00) complete the brainwashing classes (54 sessions at $12 a pop, $648.00), and submit to mandatory drug tests (so far, 20 or so at $25 per, an additional $500). Plus the $1000.00 I paid my attorney. Plus the $20 PER DAY "residence fee" for being in jail.

So there's your anecdotal evidence.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:12 PM on March 18, 2006


And does anyone have any evidence, even anecdotal, of anyone in the U.S. being sent to prison just for smoking pot? People often talk about people being sent to prison for smoking pot, but is that true? Can anyone cite something to support that?

Sometimes I think you live on the moon, my friend. People go to jail for simple possession all the time.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:55 AM on March 19, 2006


And most of the people I know who smoke pot aren't dimwitted and lazy. They don't use the word "dude" as a two to three syllable expletive, either.

Awesome... totally tubular man.

But I also realize that stereotypes are fun and easy.

No easier than the arguments made by... "EXCEPTION MAN", prepared to strike down generally accepted knowns with obvious anecdotal exceptions. Thanks Exception Man.
posted by Witty at 5:11 AM on March 20, 2006


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