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November 12, 2012 - 9:16am

Today's Poll: Should marijuana be legalized in NYS for medical use?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Doug Yeomans
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If everyone could grow their own without restriction, the pot trade would die and the cops could stop having their time wasted (I said wasted....*beavis laugh*) on pot busts and concentrate on actual crime.

Somehow, I just don't think the state will pass any legislation in favor of relaxing marijuana laws without first trying to figure out how to profit from it. That's how NY treats its citizens, like a commodity to be profited from.

Doug Yeomans
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The state wants to either tax you for something or fine you for something. One way or another, someone or some entity will be the pot dealer in this state.

bud prevost
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New York also looks at prisons as a job promoting entity. If pot was legal, look at all the prison guards and lawyers who would be out of work. The corrections union isn't about to let that happen.

John Roach
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Bud,
Non of the unions that represent prison employees has come out against legalizing marijuana

The biggest lobby against closing prisons has been the local businesses in the area they are located.

And marijuana is not the drug that has resulted in all that many state prisoners. It is the hard drugs

Doug Yeomans
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The hard drugs only cause problems because of their illegality. They're expensive so people rob and steal to get what they want. PORTUGAL, PORTUGAL, PORTUGAL! They have a template in place to model drug laws after. Treatment is always a better solution for drugs than prison. I'd rather see a junky have access to cheap, clean drugs than to have them supporting an illicit drug trade. I know it's not that simple, but there's got to be a better way than treating drug abusers like criminals.

bud prevost
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John, there are PLENTY of inmates in prison in NYS on pot charges. I personally know 2 young men who are doing years in prison. Granted, hard drug dealers also make up a share of the prison population, but there are many with only pot possession charges in our prisons.
And I agree that the communities also are fighting to keep their prisons open. But it shouldn't be done just to save jobs, sorry.

mike nixon
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I am not for MaryJane. But I wanted to look and see if there are any crime stats related to legal MJ. I was about 10 pages in before I found any hard stats. Earlier pages all indicatated lower crime rates, however mostly opinion or op-ed pieces from a variety news agencies. Very curious!

Dave Olsen
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All that aside. Not allowing marijuana to be prescribed by a doctor for someone's ailment is ridiculous.

John Roach
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Bud,
When someone gets big time for marijuana, it's for selling, possession of really large amounts that show intent to sell,or it's along with other charges.

mike nixon
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I would think there are enough prescribable drugs out there to help. I always thought the excuse "we need it for Medical condition" was just that, an excuse. I don't know now?

Doug Yeomans
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I've known people that have smoked pot for decades. They're people you would never suspect and they hold respectable, professional jobs. They've raised their family and simply do not fit the "pot head" stereotype.

I'm pretty sure the gateway drug hypothesis was long ago debunked.

mike nixon
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Did anyone else se all the MJ arrests over the weekend. LOL?

C. M. Barons
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Marijuana will not be legalized anytime soon. There is no ground-swell in this state equivalent to that in Colorado or Oregon. The people that Doug cites enjoy their joints in the security of their home and have no burning desire to out themselves by politicizing their little secret. The folks Bud cites are mostly urban minorities who don't inspire politicians to veer from SOP drug policy (or any other policy). Attitudes like those projected by Mike are most often echoed by state legislators. When Hawley announces that he is aligned with public opinion and will vote against legalizing marijuana- just think back to Howard's picture of Genesee Republican Headquarters this past election, and you can see ALL of his drug policy experts in one room. Until a broad surge of opinion (similar to gay marriage advocacy) signals that legalizing marijuana would be politically expedient, there is no chance of changing NYS drug policy. Additionally, as dependent as NY is on federal coffers, it should be assumed that legalizing marijuana in defiance of federal drug law would have negative financial repercussions. Unless one is driving under the influence of, selling or growing it among the neighbor's corn rows; marijuana in NY is (for all intents and purposes) decriminalized.

mike nixon
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Take a look at the update on the poll. It appears like there could be a mandate. huh. Im still not for it, just fascinated. One could assume there is alot of pot smoking in Genesee County.

Doug Yeomans
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Mike, MJ is the #2 cash crop in NY state. Just watch the helicopters flying over Genesee county in the fall. They're not out there for practice flights! Genesee and Wyoming counties are 2 of the largest agricultural centers in western NY and possibly in the state. It only makes sense that cannabis crops might have a stronghold in both counties. When the corn is planted, so is the pot under the cover of darkness.

http://norml.org/legal/item/new-york-top-10-cash-crops

Doug Yeomans
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Nobody I know would insult the cabbage by rolling it in rice paper...that is so 1960's and 70's. Vaporizing or glass is the preferred method of partaking.

MJ has been decriminalized in NY state, a long time ago, but the laws make no sense. They're contradictory at best. Up to 7/8ths of an ounce can be possessed by an individual but they can still have it taken away and fined for having it. Where the geniuses came up with 7/8ths of an ounce, I have no clue. So, if people are at a party and the cops show up, as long as everyone only has up to 7/8ths of an ounce, the fine will probably be $100 each, but if one person is caught with 8 ounces or more, they're pretty much screwed with a felony.

The law makes no sense at all. Where is one supposed to GET that amount of pot except for coming from a larger pile of it? Throwing people into jail or prison for pot is just absurd. It's like throwing a person into jail for possessing a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey. It's pot, no matter how much of it there is. An ounce or a bale, it's still just pot.

http://norml.org/laws/penalties/item/new-york-penalties-2

Doug Yeomans
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And there you have it, folks. Presenting facts often gets the messengers balls cut off. It's exactly why this state and country are in the dire straits that they are. The moral majority has no common sense, it seems.

Howard B. Owens
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My problem with medical marijuana is it encourages disrespect for the law. "I have back pain," (wink, wink) "so I can get a prescription for marijuana."

It's a law that encourages people to lie.

And it creates a class of lobbyist who will perpetually fight against legalizing marijuana because it would hurt their clients.

Mike, not everybody who support legalizing marijuana smokes it. That's like saying everybody who believes we should bomb Iran wants to fight in combat.

There are philosophical choices.

I've not the least interested in marijuana.

However, I simply cannot fathom the mindset that thinks "I can tell other people how to live their lives." If my neighbor wants to smoke pot, what business is it of mine?

Prohibition breeds extra crime and unnecessary government expense.

To me, if you're a conservative and you support criminalized marijuana, you are violating the most basic tenants of conservative philosophy. You are supporting big government and you are supporting government intrusion into private lives.

C. M. Barons
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I agree with you 100%, Doug. The thumbs-up/thumbs-down feature is sophomoric and jejune. It facilitates a kind of drive-by shooting response that (especially thumbs-down) contributes nil to the discussion. Disagreement isn't the issue. How does one interpret thumbs-down? Is it a personal jab? Does it indicate a fallacious argument? Who the hell knows! Anonymous detraction is likely responsible for the disappearance of a multitude of people who USED to post quite regularly.

Jay Terkel
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There is really only one thing, in my mind, that keeps it from being legal. There has to be a way to test how high a driver is on the spot.
Something similar to a Breathalyzer test needs to be invented first. Technology is not there yet, but it's only a matter of time before equipment similar to the kind that attaches to the end of your finger, and measures the oxygen in your blood at the hospital. Someday, a portable device will be able to measure all the chemicals in your system. Then the law makers will make decisions on how high you can be and still drive.
I agree with the above comments somewhat. Yes a movement must push hard for it. I do not think it is similar to gay rights. Gay rights issues were more moral and discrimination issues , and not the same as the legal issue of pot. As a straight male, that believes in minority rights and non- discrimination, I feel that everyone deserves the rights that have not been given to same sex relationships. As a non pot smoker, I do not feel strongly about helping others to have the right to smoke pot.

Doug Yeomans
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That's just about as poetic as it can get, Howard. Well said and thought out.

C. M. Barons
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Jay, my comparison between gay marriage and legal marijuana was limited to comparing the organized efforts to enact either, ie: number of lobbying groups advocating within NYS. Colorado had previously legislated medical marijuana and the same intense effort propelled blanket legalization. That level of organized effort (though it did exist for gay marriage in NYS) to legalize marijuana does not exist in NYS. EG: Cuomo was a driving force behind gay marriage; he has indicated he does not support medical marijuana.

david spaulding
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nys makes too much money with the current MJ laws.nys predicts how much money it will make in fines before a law is enacted.i remember reading in the paper how much money nys could make if it enacted a hands free only cell phone while driving law..they know it's human nature to want to answer a phone call,this is a win-win for nys,they tax you on ownership of a phone,in several different ways,and they fine you if you are using the phone while driving....only reason i'm in this part of country,is my kids.when the last of them move out of nys,i'll be right behind them,paying a toll to use the road..

Jay Terkel
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C.M..... I realize what you were saying, I am just saying that more non gay people support gay rights than non pot smokers that support pot smoker's rights.

David, You don't think they get more tax on MJ if it was sold and taxed like cigarettes?

david spaulding
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jay,people a lot smarter than me may know a way to tax MJ,i don't have any ideas on how a government could tax it.
the so called "tax" issue is just a way to try and swing the non-user to the side of legalization.
i'm one to think that we ALL pay enough in taxes.no one should have to pay more in taxes than they are now.no one,not the so called"rich",not the poor,not the middle class,not the beer drinker,not the cigarette smoker,not the wine drinker,no one,go ahead and legalize but forget about any more taxes.

Howard B. Owens
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I think you're right.

I always find it a bit ironic when libertarians use the "tax it" argument.

Also, how do you tax "grow your own."

It's so easy to grow oneself, why buy it, especially if it's taxed?

I think at the end of the day, the most sound argument is the conservative/libertarian argument: People should be free to live their own lives as they see fit with minimal government interference.

Jay Terkel
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I'm not saying it will be taxed right away.
Look at the history of alcohol and cigarets. People traded for tobacco, and rolled their own. People made their own booze. In time buying both became the norm, and it was taxed. In time, long after it is legalized, people will go to the store and buy a package of joints, just like a pack of cigarets or a 6 pack of beer.

Mark Brudz
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The tax argument is just lame, I am sorry. The only true arguement is that of civil liberty.

That said it isn't an issue I am going to fight for and certainly one that I will not fight against. It really doesn't matter what the states decide, federal law supercedes state law. Unless it becomes a national election issue, it simply doesn't matter.

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