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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK. Being this is a open discussion area, I have been thinking alot lately about some issues and would like some polite, constructive points of view from any members that wish to respond. The issues will be somewhat politcal in nature but I'm sure we can all be big boys and girls and in the end I hope to obtain a better perspective on our modern american cutlture. That being said this may be quite lengthy and may scare off some people simply because they don't want to read a whole page of crap, which is understandable. So, first topic, legalization of marijuana. I am a 70's-80's kid, raised in the north woods who had plenty of opportunity to use drugs but outside of the strict, foot in the ass conservative christian based upbringing, I never have or intend to use pot because I don't like the feeling of not having my wits about me, even when using prescription meds after surgery etc. I have known many seemingly good people that use pot both in the past and currently and also some stereotypical idiot dope smokers. Because of the medical marijuana debate, and the changing landscape of the country, I have become more open to this discussion and have a desire to gather more opinion on the subject. I wish to state some questions/ideas starting with- #1 would it make sense to legalize pot for a 1 yr trial period to obtain data on whether it would harm the country further or have no effect whatsoever? #2 Would the legalization relieve some of the pressure off our border patrol and police and make pot not as lucrative a business for illegal cartels to push, thus helping border agents and LEO's? #3 Have the left liberal potheads finally gotten to my brains and warped them to for me even ask this question? Would it really make that much difference as long as the normal rules of alcohol apply to pot (no DUI, no smoking at work etc..). I really look forward to your feedback, and NO I'm not a narc :lol:
 

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I'm a conservative libertarian. I believe that the constitution, and the intent of the founding fathers was to promote liberty for the individual, rather than for the people as a society or group. Therefore, I do not believe that the question should be posed as to whether legalizing pot helps or hurts our society.

In other words, in every case, the needs of the individual should outweigh the needs of the collective. While some may find this notion backwards, and a potentially damaging model for a society, it has been shown through history that what is good for individuals becomes good for the group. However, what is good for the group may not necessarily be good for the individuals. Our Republic was founded on individual liberty, not group liberty.

Using this as a test, I see that the choice to smoke pot is something that should be up to each individual to choose for themselves. If it is not, then other activities are also at risk of being criminalized for similar justifications. Morality cannot be regulated, and the right to make poor choices and to ruin your own life is in fact a freedom we (should) enjoy. If that freedom is removed from us by big brother (under the guise of keeping us safe or whatever), then we are no longer truly free people.

We should always err on the side of liberty. Doing so may occasionally result in negative consequences, but that's simply the effect of living in an imperfect world. Those who would restrict our liberties in an attempt to perfect the world will only lead us towards tyranny.

Let 'em smoke up if they want. It's their choice and their life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jalso, very good points. That's exactlly the kind of feedback I was looking for.
I am not a smoker of regular cigarettes either but I feel the restrictions on such are getting ridiculous and infringing on peoples rights as an individual also. A free republic is not free if laws restrict everything we do although there must be some system of order in some cases I believe.
 

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jalso said:
In other words, in every case, the needs of the individual should outweigh the needs of the collective. While some may find this notion backwards, and a potentially damaging model for a society, it has been shown through history that what is good for individuals becomes good for the group.
While Adam Smith and the lot would be proud of the thought, I'm less than convinced by the logic. Left unrestrained, the pursuit of personal riches and needs leads to abuses. Bhopal, India. Libby, Montana. Just a couple of far reaching examples where greed trumped concern for the environment and those who lived in the area.
 

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I'm not saying there are no limits on individual liberties (which is anarchy) I'm saying that we should always examine whether a liberty should be restricted at the individual, rather than societal level.

The main reason for this is that societies are an abstract notion, a dehumanized construct. People can (and do) make all kinds of assertions that individual liberties should be restricted for the greater good of the society. Using such logic is dangerous, as the 'greater good' is abstract, and subject to the current angle of the political prism.

A reasonable case must be made that it is necessary to restrict an individual liberty, because it's exercise would necessarily encroach on the exercise of another persons liberty. Only then is the restriction of that liberty a just action.

All too often individual liberties are restricted, not because they actually encroach another persons liberty unduly, but because they have the potential to be a general detriment to the society.

My belief, and the beliefs of the founding founders, is that you cannot elevate the needs of the society above the individual, you must elevate the needs of the individual to the society.
 

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Zeus said:
#1 would it make sense to legalize pot for a 1 yr trial period to obtain data on whether it would harm the country further or have no effect whatsoever?

#2 Would the legalization relieve some of the pressure off our border patrol and police and make pot not as lucrative a business for illegal cartels to push, thus helping border agents and LEO's?

#3 Have the left liberal potheads finally gotten to my brains and warped them to for me even ask this question? Would it really make that much difference as long as the normal rules of alcohol apply to pot (no DUI, no smoking at work etc..). I really look forward to your feedback, and NO I'm not a narc :lol:
#1. I don't think a trial period would be best, but maybe a trial area. Give the states the ability to decide for themselves. A clear benefit to me would be taxes. Just like cigarettes and alcohol, this would be taxed and offer a source of revenue...but I have no idea how much.

#2. Maybe. There would be a lot of 2nd and 3rd order effects. Some would be desirable, some undesirable. One thing that I think would be impacted IMO is the prison population. I know states have stiff penalties for drug offenses. If pot is the most used illegal drug (don't know if it is) it would seem logical that legalizing it would result in fewer people in prison, which would seem to reduce expenditures, and coupled with increased revenues from taxes...

#3 I don't think you've warped your brain. I don't think it would make any social difference if it was legal or not. I think people who want to smoke pot are going to. I don't think legalizing it will generate a huge rush for the bong.
 

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Simple answer no, no, yes. Just kidding I dont know that there is a simple answer.
1. States already has a choice so to speak as to how they regulate the use and possession of marijuana. In my state first offense possession is a misdemeanor with a fine. Second offense possession of any amount is a felony no questions asked. As was stated already those that want to smoke will smoke. If they stayed at home kept it private they would probably not get caught.
2. As far as cutting down on work for law enforcement on the street level yeah it would lead to fewer arrests for simple possession but if legalized and taxed the influx of weed from other countries could be dramatically reduced. There is no way the rich and famous would pass up the opprotunity to profit from growing their own and letting product come in from another country cutting into their profits.
There would have to be strict guidlines in regards to the workplace. THC stays in the system for long periods and over time levels can build up. Could the cop on the street who got off at 3pm got high that afternoon come to work the next day carrying a weapon? What about paramedics, ER doctors or a school bus driver remember it is legal with the same restrictions as alcohol. Just something to think about. I dont smoke at all and have never tried weed but have arrested enough people for manufacturing, possesion, sale and anything else that goes along with it to have a pretty good idea how it can cause problems.
3.No they havent gotten to you. Now if you sold a gun to buy a new bong there could be issues. Come over to the dark side we have cookies and lots of ammo.
Disclaimer: If anything is mispelled or gramatically wrong please forgive me it is one of those days.
 

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jjksutton said:
Zeus said:
#1 would it make sense to legalize pot for a 1 yr trial period to obtain data on whether it would harm the country further or have no effect whatsoever?

#2 Would the legalization relieve some of the pressure off our border patrol and police and make pot not as lucrative a business for illegal cartels to push, thus helping border agents and LEO's?

#3 Have the left liberal potheads finally gotten to my brains and warped them to for me even ask this question? Would it really make that much difference as long as the normal rules of alcohol apply to pot (no DUI, no smoking at work etc..). I really look forward to your feedback, and NO I'm not a narc :lol:
#1. I don't think a trial period would be best, but maybe a trial area. Give the states the ability to decide for themselves. A clear benefit to me would be taxes. Just like cigarettes and alcohol, this would be taxed and offer a source of revenue...but I have no idea how much.

#2. Maybe. There would be a lot of 2nd and 3rd order effects. Some would be desirable, some undesirable. One thing that I think would be impacted IMO is the prison population. I know states have stiff penalties for drug offenses. If pot is the most used illegal drug (don't know if it is) it would seem logical that legalizing it would result in fewer people in prison, which would seem to reduce expenditures, and coupled with increased revenues from taxes...

#3 I don't think you've warped your brain. I don't think it would make any social difference if it was legal or not. I think people who want to smoke pot are going to. I don't think legalizing it will generate a huge rush for the bong.
I pretty much agree with jjk's answers to the questions posed.

But I also feel like a previous comment glosses over something important.

jalso said:
I'm a conservative libertarian. I believe that the constitution, and the intent of the founding fathers was to promote liberty for the individual, rather than for the people as a society or group. Therefore, I do not believe that the question should be posed as to whether legalizing pot helps or hurts our society.

In other words, in every case, the needs of the individual should outweigh the needs of the collective. While some may find this notion backwards, and a potentially damaging model for a society, it has been shown through history that what is good for individuals becomes good for the group. However, what is good for the group may not necessarily be good for the individuals. Our Republic was founded on individual liberty, not group liberty.
I personally feel that the intent of the founding fathers of our Constitution were mostly concerned with our right to liberty as a society. Our rights as individuals would be a natural progression of the society. That may be a minor point.

One of the important distinctions I want to point out is that the Constitution is based on the premise of a civil society in the first place. Liberty can not flourish if a community is not civil. That's sort of a prerequisite, if you will. The concept of being civil towards one another is actually based on the precept that the 'unrestrained' rights of the individual take a back seat to the interests or rights of the group as a whole.

The ideals of civil rights and individual rights are actaully conflicting goals, in and of themselves. The founding fathers wisely recognized this, and went to great lengths to preserve both sets of rights, which necessarily involves compromise.

(Sorry for the intrusion into the topic, this is off topic and I don't want to hijack the thread, so I won't respond to this off topic item in this thread. I just get tired of this mixing of rights as if they are interchangable, and suddenly felt the need to clarify for those who may miss this subtle, yet important, distinction. And fwiw, this isn't directed at jalso, it's a point to the general statement only.)
 

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Zeus said:
#2 Would the legalization relieve some of the pressure off our border patrol and police and make pot not as lucrative a business for illegal cartels to push, thus helping border agents and LEO's?
I'd like to preface this by stating that I don't smoke marijuana, but I've studied the potential benefits versus the drawbacks and the original reasons why it was banned, and there doesn't seem to be any logical reason why it should be illegal today. Again, this is coming from a nonsmoker.

But the reason why I specifically highlighted that particular paragraph is because of the parts of the country working towards decriminalizing marijuana and the unintended consequences. California has a "tolerated" stance towards it, working towards legalization. This hasn't really stopped importation from the cartels. In fact, they moved north of the border and now occupy state parks and run illegal growth operations on public land to save costs. [http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1917547,00.html]

This is why I'm sympathetic to people who want legalization of marijuana, but at the same time extremely guarded of the reasons. The people who say if we legalize marijuana it will put the cartels out of business are severely underestimating multi-billion dollar businessmen with none of the ethical qualms of the worst, greediest american corporations. These people aren't going to walk away with their hands in their pockets. I get the feeling they'd just move operations closer to selling locations or move harder drugs and try to get people addicted younger.

I'd like to see some sort of easing of marijuana laws tied to an immigration bill (and none of this amnesty crap, SEND THEM ALL BACK), but it's not going to happen with Chairman Mao in office.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Very good points people. I am however not real simpathetic to people who use and try to say that they were "forced" into it. I have many times in my young and adult life been offered but never really pressured to use. That's just my experience.
 

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One thing to keep in mind is that if California were to legalize pot, it would increase the amount of high quality pot available to the rest of the country, taxing already taxed police forces. That is unless we put up a wall along the California border to keep the dope smoking, gang banging criminal types from infecting the rest of the country.

I'm really starting to like this idea :)
 

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MeridianNW said:
I personally feel that the intent of the founding fathers of our Constitution were mostly concerned with our right to liberty as a society. Our rights as individuals would be a natural progression of the society. That may be a minor point.
That's actually a very important point, and one that was and has been debated extensively.

James Madision said:
It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure. There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority -- that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable. The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority.
The reason I used the paragraph above is to highlight what would occur if you elevate the needs of society above the needs of the individual - creating a will in the community independent of the majority -- that is, of the society itself...a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. In other words, if the needs of society outweigh the needs of the individual, it becomes likely that a small, ruling class gets to dictate the needs and rights of the society as a whole, which will likely infringe the rights of the individuals. Sound at all familiar?

This is, in my humble opinion, the central issue of what has gone wrong in the US. Almost all of the problems we see in our government have their root in the fact that a small minority gets to define what the will and needs of our society is, often in direct opposition to popular opinion. The only way to solve this problem is to recognize that society itself has no will, no needs, no rights, but that those reside wholly with the individual.

The man that gets to define what the needs, rights, and liberties of the society are has the potential to visit tyranny on the individuals within that society.
 

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jalso said:
The man that gets to define what the needs, rights, and liberties of the society are has the potential to visit tyranny on the individuals within that society.
Can the same not be said of the alternative?
 

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The term commonly used is "individual liberties". Collectivism and Libertarian ideology are wholly incompatible. When someone uses the justification of "the greater good", it is almost always someone in a position of authority attempting to force their values on others, or guide policy in a way that benefits them personally, usually to increase their own influence or because it benefits them financially.

This is a debate that should be left to the individual States. In my opinion ( and I've been a Libertarian since it was LAME to claim to be a Libertarian. F**K Glenn Beck, he's NOT a Libertarian!) the Federal Government should have ZERO authority to decide whether someone pulls a completely natural plant from the Earth, especially their own property, whether they eat it, smoke it, or wipe their ass with it. I don't like potheads anymore than I like alcoholics, but the prison system is overbrimming with Marijuana law violators, (many who are hippie types that wouldn't even step on a bug much less harm someone else) while people who are violent felons are paroled early to make room for them.

The issue with the violent cartels is different. The original reason for the Marijuana Laws goes back originally to the Hearst Corporation and the threat that Marijuana and Hemp posed to their monopolistic media empire.

Wikipedia excerpt~
The decision of the United States Congress to pass the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was based on hearings,[19] reports[20] and in part on testimony derived from articles in newspapers owned by William Randolph Hearst, who had significant financial interests in the timber industry, which manufactured his newsprint.[21]

Cannabis activist Jack Herer has researched DuPont and in his 1985 book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Herer concluded DuPont played a large role in the criminalization of cannabis. In 1938, DuPont patented the processes for creating plastics from coal and oil and a new process for creating paper from wood pulp. If hemp had been largely exploited, Herer believes it would have likely been used to make paper and plastic (nylon), and may have hurt DuPont's profits. Andrew Mellon of the Mellon Bank was DuPont's chief financial backer and was also the Secretary of the Treasury under the Hoover administration. Mellon appointed Harry J. Anslinger, who later became his nephew-in-law, as the head of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (FBNDD) and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), where Anslinger stayed until 1962.[22]
There are several issues at play here bigger than the scheme of the discussion, including but not limited to, Marijuanas threat to the the Pharmaceutical industries, the industrial-prison complex, and to a lesser extent the Petroleum and Textile industries, and companies like Monsanto. The mere fact that it can not be regulated and taxed by the Government due to the fact that even a moron can grow a weed.

My personal observation is that it is certainly no more harmful , probably less, than habitual alcohol consumption. I've never seen a bum in an alley smoking weed, it is always the bottle or hard drugs. There has never been one recorded death directly physically caused by the consumption, abuse, or overconsumption of Marijuana. That single fact means that it is safer than 99.9% of available pharmaceutical products.

Addictions to substances that do not produce physical withdrawal symptoms are simply behavioral problems, and should be treated that way. According to surveys I have read two-thirds of all adult Americans have at least tried it once, and I don't believe that the vast majority of Americans are going to become drug crazed zombies because they smoke a cigarette instead of drinking a couple of beers in their homes on a Saturday night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If they ever put mind control drugs in chocolate I am screwed. That is my only addiction :)
 

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elnonio said:
Can the same not be said of the alternative?
No, society cannot impose it's will on the individual, as a society doesn't have a will. It is possible (and common these days) for an individual to impose his will on the society, and thus on all individuals within that society. We call those people tyrants.

When someone makes the claim that society needs this or that, they are misleading you. Society doesn't need anything. Individuals need things. What they actually mean is that they want this or that, but can't justify it on an individual bases, so they raise the argument to the level of society in order to convince others their argument has more merit than it does.

Kind of a deep conversation, me likey!!
 

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The man that gets to define what the needs, rights, and liberties of the society are has the potential to visit tyranny on the individuals within that society.
[\quote]

So then, can it not be said

The man that gets to define what the needs, rights, and liberties of the man has the potential to visit tyranny on the individuals within a society.

The point is, someone will always claim that someone or some group is being tyrannical and is imposing its will on others. There is no solution to this problem, short of splitting the place up by political regions.
 

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You are right, there will always be a problem with how Government operates, as we are inherently flawed beings. We can however attempt to minimize it. Perhaps a concrete example is in order:

The argument was made in California that .50 cal rifles are too dangerous for the average citizen to own, because of their potential destructive power. This argument was made at the society level - in order to better society, and ensure the public good and safety, .50 cal rifles must be banned. A lot of people bought the argument.

However, if you try to make the same argument at the individual level, that .50 cal rifles must be banned because they unduly encroach on the liberty of another individual, the argument falls apart (since to my knowledge no one has actually been harmed by a .50 cal rifle in California). Even if someone had been, would banning the weapons outright achieve a balance of individual liberties? That's a very difficult argument to make.

This is how tyranny is most often visited on the people by the ruling class, by using society as an abstraction so they don't have to prove an actual encroachment of liberty to justify their argument.

Anyways, I seem to have strayed off topic a bit, my apologies to the OP.
 

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This is something I've watched with some interest because it seems so superficial. All discussion of 'the people' etc aside, imho the banning of marajuana was a very calculated and financially motivated move, and Trey offers great information to support this. I never believed 'reefer madness' was a factual movie.

THC may remain in the system longer than alcohol; however, "it can build up" in ones system, what does that mean, if anything? If using that as a argument as to why it shouldn't be legalized , I'd suggest that texting and talking on cellphones don't remain in the body at all, and are responsible for quite a few high profile accidents and loss of life. Also, the long term use of alcohol is clearly notable for causing liver failure and reduced physical resistance to alchohol, and other physical effects. THC is a mentally addicting drug. Alcohol is a physically addicting drug. Lets say you're walking down the street and some criminal runs past and a old cop draws his weapon to stop them. Now lets say the cop is near to off duty, and is twitchy from years of a drink after duty. Do I want to be downrange of that? No way.

But is this any kind of valid reasoning for the topic? I don't think so. It's about as worthwhile as "THC remains in your system for much longer".

Alcohol vs pot being natural? I'd daresay 'fermented liquids' is like someone discovering that the moldy chunky milk from last year actually tasted good and won't kill you. As long as we're keeping the discussion to pot, I don't think naturally occurring has any validity.

Legalizing pot would put a dent in the criminals importing the drug from across the border. Homebrewing beer is popular. Home growing pot would be a problem for illegal pot traffic, I think that's a gimme. Would you deal with the gang, or grow it in your basement? Would the cops have nothing to do in the inner cities? Doubt the gangs would change overnight and the whole hard drug issue will still be there.

My opinion on 'WWCD' or what would california do? :lol: wwcd isn't any basis for any justification of doing anything, ever.

Growing up, I've been able to observe (perhaps even scientifically - ala 'messin with sasquatch' ) drunks and potheads at parties. Drunks are sloppy, rude, laughy, crybabies, beligerent. Alcohol removes inhibitions and is classified as a depressant remember.

The persons I've seen using pot, sat there at a party going 'wow'. My personal experience has been that I've never seen potheads fighting each other over some drug induced affront to thier perceived "insert reason here". In a stereotypical extreme, I'd rather give someone directions to the corner store to buy snacks, then having someone think they really can operate a 2ton vehicle while they're seeing double and vomiting on their shoes.

Going back to the reason in my mind pot was made illegal, was financial. Now until Trey posted his information, I knew you could make quite a few things from hemp, but nylon? Eye opener there. Of course DOW would want it illegal. So would the now legal alcohol manufacturers. If people could smoke some weed growing in thier back yard, they'd sell a lot less 6-packs.

A few months ago, this BBC show had this old lady in england. Raided many many times, but the cops couldn't find her stash. She made chocolates for her own consumption, ate one every day, and didn't feel the physical pains of growing old. Was she a wacked out hippy type? She looked like a typical english grandmother to me, but she self medicated with something like .6grams of THC per day. The drug companies here and probably everywhere crap themselves at the lost profits for their newest patented pain reliever thinking that people could consume a small amount of pot and get the same effects without a laundry list of possible side effects.

Amsterdam classifies pot as a soft drug, and others as 'hard drugs'. I don't see a problem with this. Do I have any personal problem talking with someone who's a known or self proclaimed pothead? No. Do I have a personal problem even telling a crackhead the time of day? You betcha. Discussing the legalization of pot I don't think should have anything to do with other drugs and their prohibition.

Bottom line, are the stated reasons why it's illegal even valid? Compared to alcohol, I don't see how pot can make the world any more evil then it is already. I can see that certain entities would have to come up with new manufacturing or something, or they'd loose money. But doesn't that spectre always loom in a free market?

Are there legitimate reasons why it should be a legalized, uncontrolled substance? I think so. Legitimize it and Tax it is one thing. It's a weed... If you could make paper and nylon and other items from it and not de-forest the country, that doesn't sound too bad either. Would it negatively affect foriegn illegal drug trade? I'd think it would.

orz I dislike long posts..
 
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