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August 14, 2009 - 9:55pm

Pot Should Be Legal

posted by Sean Valdes in marijuanna, drug laws.

The Stuttering Conservative says...

If you know anything about me, you know I'm a nerd.  While I can bullshit my way through anything, I would really rather be socially isolated.  I've never had a cigarette, never been drunk, no drugs, no pot, nothing!  So, coming from me, this is going to sound a little odd.

I think marijuanna should be legalized.  No, not because it would make most every show on Comedy Central funny.  No, not because I think that a half-baked laugh is sexy in a girl - but because it's not the government's right to control our choices.  Yes, I suppose that you can make an argument, then, that all drugs should be legalized - heroine, LSD, what else is there - Nyquil - everything.  And, while I personally can't go that far, I can definitely see the argument.

Adults, as defined over and over again by law (17, 18, 21, 25, 29) should be able to make the choice to smoke or not to smoke, regardless of what leaf they decide to smoke. 

With all of that being said...I'm also a huge proponent of user based taxes/fees.  People that smoke cigarettes should pay more in taxes because they are generally more prone to illness, higher medical costs, and more government subsidized health care. (Medicaid, Medicare).  To the same effect, pot smokers are more apt to suffer physical ailments because their doped up.  Tax the stoners!  Think of all the money the government can have then?  Maybe the rest of us can even get a tax break?  Probably not, but at least the kids can have $400 for school supplies instead of $200 - see - I'm always thinking of others :)  More support for my proposal below:

  1. Creates more jobs for illegal immigrants - who knows more about picking crops and drug marketing than this group?
  2. Creates more opportunities for the arts community - impressionist bong making could be the next Michelangelo.
  3. Finally gives farmers a crop that they wouldn't need government subsidizations for.
  4. Creates a new Airwick Air Freshener Aroma - Candied Cannibis

I think my point has been made.  Increased government income + decreased law enforcement expenses + clueless pot smoking hippy liberals = the answer to all of our problems.

C D
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Unfortunately, as human history proves with a frightening and disturbing consistency, what should happen doesn't always happen even if it is the right, intelligent, or correct thing to do. Then again, if everyone always did the good thing or always made the right choice, humanity would turn into a Terry Goodkind novel which is just plain wrong.
Anthony Timberlake
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This is an endless fight. Pot does nothing more to you than alcohol, but for some reason we fight it. Alcohol was fought, and it was overturned. The main reason for pot being illegal was due to hemp being used for fuel, and as normal the oil conglomerates didn't like it. Therefore, they made hemp seed illegal (and the leaf of the plant). Religions/cultures have used it for many many years, only recently has it been cracked down as it has.
Anthony Timberlake
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I do want to say that the racist comment made about the illegal immigrants is a bit ridiculous.
David Dodge
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I'm never a fan of the government controlling every aspect of our lives. However, the risk of lung cancer is greater with pot than with tobacco. That risk/choice is something that people need to decide for themselves.
C D
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Yeah, I'm with Anthony on that racist comment. That was a bit uncalled for.
Sean Valdes
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I'm so happy that the word racist was used. First - the definition: –noun 1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. 2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination. 3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races. I didn't see any of those criteria in my post - I think we get confused and use the term 'racist' to freely. I think we're so caught up in fighting for our political side that we've lost our sense of humor. After all, God forbid you are labeled a racist - you really can't fight that, right? (I won't mention how this is the #1 tactic of the Obama administration - disagree with us and you're racist.) Oh, and for the record - have you looked at my last name? Go ahead, take a look, I'll wait. Valdes - was Valdez, but when my immigrant great grandparents first came to America, they changed the last letter on some names to help differentiate all of the Valdez-es. Not racism, just humor.
Bea McManis
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Are all liberals hippies; pot smokers; and clueless? Are you saying that conservatives are more clued in; don't touch pot; and wouldn't hand a flower to another, in peace? I'm considered, by many on this board as a liberal. I never embraced the hippy generation; never smoked pot; rarely have a drink, and I believe that I am relatively clued in. That said, I will proudly wear a liberal label any day.
John Roach
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I don't think many of the "hippies" would have approved of the amount of government control over our lives that our modern liberals of today want.
Jeff Allen
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It would be hard to compare marijuana to tobacco since marijuana is a social drug. Most people smoke marijuana to gain the effect, much like alcohol consumption. Yes, there are the exceptions of hard use due to addiction, but for the casual drinker, pot smoker, it is a social activity. You can smoke a pack of cigarettes and have no cognitive impairment. A few drinks or joints and that's a whole different story. The following is from a PRO-marijuana website: Myth: Marijuana Impairs Memory and Cognition. Under the influence of marijuana, people are unable to think rationally and intelligently. Chronic marijuana use causes permanent mental impairment. Fact: Marijuana produces immediate, temporary changes in thoughts, perceptions, and information processing. The cognitive process most clearly affected by marijuana is short-term memory. In laboratory studies, subjects under the influence of marijuana have no trouble remembering things they learned previously. However, they display diminished capacity to learn and recall new information. This diminishment only lasts for the duration of the intoxication. There is no convincing evidence that heavy long-term marijuana use permanently impairs memory or other cognitive functions. Let's give the benefit of the doubt on long term effect (which is questionable at best since I am a certified drug tester and levels of THC remain in a persons system exponentially longer than any other drug) and just look at immediate effect. If marijuana were legal, and assuming that a good amount of it's use were in social situations, would you like to be on the road with even more people in this state "immediate, temporary changes in thoughts, perceptions, and information processing."? If marijuana became mainstream, can you imagine how much worse the quality of graduates our high schools and colleges would be turning out when kids are taking tests after a night of pot smoking? "The cognitive process most clearly affected by marijuana is short-term memory." Yes, I know it already goes on, but I am talking about largscale use once it has been legalized. I am all for less government control, but just because we can make a buck off of it, we shouldn't at the expense of more injuries and/or lives and brains lost.
George Richardson
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"However, the risk of lung cancer is greater with pot than with tobacco." What? Where did you get that info? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR200605...
Howard B. Owens
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Jeff, just because some people might smoke pot and then drive is no justification for possession and consumption of marijuana to be illegal. The activity of driving under the influence should be illegal, and certainly it should be a crime to be under the influence and cause an accident, but it violates the principles of personal responsibility and personal freedom to regulate an activity (such as smoking pot at home without leaving) that does nobody else any harm. Only at that point where the activity ceases to be responsible, such as getting behind the wheel while under the influence, should it become an issue of larger societal concern (the role of the government). Everything up and to that action is a personal choice and is the business of nobody except the person making the choice, and/or perhaps friends and family. As for students smoking, that's either their own personal choice and responsibility or the responsibility of a parent or supervising adult. It's not the government's business, nor yours nor mine. As for Sean's crack about illegal-immigrants -- frankly, didn't sink in before moving this post to the home page. It is borderline and I can see how some people might be offended. It is a sterotype built along racial lines. Sean says it's humor, and we've all scene Mexicans and other minority classes on Comedy Central making jokes that rely on racial and gender sterotypes. I accept Sean's explanation and I'm not interested in playing thought police and over-regulating every aspect of speech. There's certainly blatant expressions of racism or intolerance that won't be allowed, but I'll fall on the side of free expression on this one.
Mark Potwora
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Howard i agree with you on the illegal immigrants.Sean was just trying to poke a little fun at the situation..The government even admits that if it wasn't for illegal immigrants the farmers would have a hard time getting all their crops picked....Lighten up all.....If alcohol is legal than pot should be legal...Then we wouldn't have to hear state troopers flying over head looking for pot plants.........I've seen barroom fights...but never pot party fights...
Jeff Allen
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"Jeff, just because some people might smoke pot and then drive is no justification for possession and consumption of marijuana to be illegal." My point was this, it is reasonable to assume that if marijuana were legal, instances of use and driving would increase, therefore why move it from the illegal to the legal and endanger more people just to collect more tax dollars? It is also reasonable to assume that if marijuana were legal, more teens would use it. It is simply an availability issue. You say that home use harms nobody. Using that argument, all drugs can be safely consumed at home and therfore cocaine, herine, meth, and all drugs should be legal and only controlled to the extent that individuals drive while under the influence. I honestly struggle with the issue based soley on the paradox of legal consumption of alcohol. The effects of and desire for alcohol and marijuana are very similiar so to justify alcohol while villifying marijuana is at it's core, hypocrisy. But if I have to err, it would be on the side of potential victims of unnecessary legalization
bud prevost
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The effects of and desire for alcohol and marijuana are very similiar I would like to dispute this statement. If you look at 100 drunks and 100 stoners, I guarantee the drunks have more societal issues than the potheads. Alcohol has a propensity to make people mean and aggressive, while I can honestly say I've never seen that from a smoker. JMO
Jeff Allen
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The short term effects of both alcohol and marijuana are impaired judgement, altered perceptions and decreased reaction time, I said nothing about the effects on ones personality. For the most part people don't smoke marijuana in large quantities simply because of the cost and availability. Alcohol is relatively inexpensive and legal therefore lends itself much more to excess consumption (hence the agressivenes you refer to and bar fights Mark alluded to) Alcohol by category is a depressant. Casual drinkers are not as a whole "mean and aggressive". Comparing the personality affect of excessive drinkers to casual pot smokers is statistically invalid. Side by side comparison of casual drinkers and casual pot smokers would likely yield similiar results.
Stephanie Armstrong
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If you legalize marijuana, tax and sell it under the same restrictions of alcohol, what is the problem? Make it illegal for minors under 21, illegal to smoke and drive, illegal to smoke in public places, illegal to smoke and care for children, illegal to smoke and go to work, etc. Marijuana has been labeled many things it is not and studies have shown it is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco and in some, even less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Considering the national debt we are in, which I believe is somewhere in the ballpark of 11 trillion dollars, something has got to give. I say that something should be the substance that has been wrongly convicted a "drug," and is used by a significant amount of the population without serious side effects. Check out this website for a more comprehensive examination of the legalization of marijuana: http://www.wallstreetnewscast.com/news/oped/legalizemarijuana.htm. Considering the tax dollars to be collected, the jobs created (hydroponics labs, packaging and sales), the lessened amounts of monies wasted "busting" harmless, silly stoners, I'd say we might see a significant change in that debt pretty quickly. Taxation and selling alone would contribute $660 million to the federal government annually. Besides, if the whole country crumbles into a bunch of spaced out, hungry, giggling fools, we can always make it illegal again. ps. I know quite a few stoner students who manage to make President's List every semester... don't believe everything you hear.
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@George, the article you linked just confirmed what David said. "In addition, Tashkin said, previous studies found that marijuana tar has 50 percent higher concentrations of chemicals linked to cancer than tobacco cigarette tar."
Jeff Allen
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"Make it illegal for minors under 21, illegal to smoke and drive, illegal to smoke in public places, illegal to smoke and care for children, illegal to smoke and go to work, etc." None of this has prevented tens of thousands of alcohol related deaths each year and not just on the road but dangerous behaviors while under the influence and alcohol poisoning. This is possible because of the ease of access, lack of stigma, and cheap cost of alcohol. Legalizing marijuana would make it easire to access, remove the stigma and make it cheaper to obtain. Outside of the tax benefit argument, and the "stoners are harmless" argument, no one has provided a compelling reason why our country would be better off with the legalization of marijuana. The general concensus today has been that the additional deaths, injuries and families torn apart are worth the boost to the economy and tax base.
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"Outside of the tax benefit argument, and the "stoners are harmless" argument, no one has provided a compelling reason why our country would be better off with the legalization of marijuana." You forgot to include medicinal uses. In all honesty, marijuana is a harmless drug and making it illegal in the first place was a stupid move. "The general concensus today has been that the additional deaths, injuries and families torn apart are worth the boost to the economy and tax base." No one has died or been injured from smoking marijuana. The economy and tax base boost would be well worth the "families torn apart". The only families that would end up torn apart would be the overly strict ones that are completely clueless about marijuana. Regardless, Jeff, I would urge you to stop posting. That comment pretty much ruined any credibility or reputation you had on the subject. It's pretty well known that marijuana can't kill you.
Mark Potwora
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Jeff said Outside of the tax benefit argument, and the "stoners are harmless" argument, no one has provided a compelling reason why our country would be better off with the legalization of marijuana. The reason why we would be better off with the legalization it that this is a free country and it would be one less law on the books for the government to hassle us all with..Think of all the law enforcement and money that is spent trying to stop people from using it.. Why do we have gambling,,,because we can tax it...Is our country better off because of gambling..It is called freedom of choice..
George Richardson
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@George, the article you linked just confirmed what David said. "In addition, Tashkin said, previous studies found that marijuana tar has 50 percent higher concentrations of chemicals linked to cancer than tobacco cigarette tar." Continue reading Chris and ther next line says: While no association between marijuana smoking and cancer was found, the study findings, presented to the American Thoracic Society International Conference this week, did find a 20-fold increase in lung cancer among people who smoked two or more packs of cigarettes a day.
C D
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Previous studies (as in more than one) found that marijuana has higher concentrations of cancer causing chemicals than tobacco. One study (as in just one) found the opposite. Which are you going to believe?
Jeff Allen
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Chris, I would urge you to keep posting since you expose the difference between people who research their responses and those who just shoot from the hip. I never implied that the deaths or injuries were from smoking marijuana, I clearly stated that they would be due to driving under the influence and wreckless behavior while intoxicated. As far as the families torn apart, have you never been exposed to a family undone by addiction to alcohol, drugs, or gambling. When addiction grips an individual, careers, marriages and friendships often never recover. Releasing another addictive substance into mainstream society will tear families apart. Do some research before you impune the credibility of others. "No one has died or been injured from smoking marijuana." I challenge you to back that statement up with any sort of credible evidence.
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Sean you raise a good point. Marijuana is all nature. Most drugs today have poison added to them to make them more effective or addictive. Under the NYS Law it is already illegal to drive under influence of drugs. Marijuana is probably the less hazardous drug out there. The medical field already uses it for some of their patients. I agree with that pot is really when you think about no more dangerous then alcohol. Technically they label alcohol as a drug. Would the legalization of marijuana cost more for medical care then the taxes collected from it? As far as illegal immigrants being a racist term, BS! It is a term used to describe citizens of another country who enter another country illegally and unofficially. So Chris and Anthony, where do you see a description of another race?
John Woodworth JR
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Jeff I like your point! Until we as a society agree on the pluses and minuses before we make a decision, then this will be an "endless debate".
David Dodge
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Sean, words have both denotative (dictionary) and connotative (implied) meanings. Your comment was considered racist because of the cultural norms by which the connotative meaning the word is perceived. By the way, I constantly try to explain this to people and they NEVER understand. Your intentions do not matter in the slightest. What matters is the perception of others. In their minds it becomes true and you either have to change that perception (hard to do) or change the initial incident.
George Richardson
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Chris, Doctors used to recommend certain brands of cigarettes. I believe the latest and most extensive studies to date. It helps when clinical studies aren't biased toward achieving a preconceived conclusion, as many are. I don't think anyone should smoke pot unless they want to. Same with booze, cigarettes, fastfood and meat. Hey, maybe I'm a Libertarian too. Hell no, I'm a Williecrat. Long live Willie.
David Dodge
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http://www.wallstreetnewscast.com/news/oped/legalizemarijuana.htm Sometimes, people fail to understand fine distinctions. The above link is NOT a study. Case studies come from peer reviewed journal articles that are usually published by a university press. For instance, "Psychology Today" or "The American Journal of Forensic Science" are journals in which one could find studies. The above link is information that anyone could have written from any source and no documentation is provided. If I cited this in my Healthy Living course in college I would get an F because it isn't a reliable source of information.
Howard B. Owens
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Jeff, the country is always better when there is greater freedom than less. The best case for legalizing marijuana is that there is no reason to have it illegal. To use it or not use it should be an individual choice for which the government plays no legitimate role. FWIW: I'm not a marijuana user and if it were legal, I would have no interest in it. So this isn't me seeking some sort of personal benefit. To me this is about freedom and what's right. First and foremost. The tax/revenue benefits, the decrease in crime (a class of criminals, dealers, would be completely eliminated, and the ripple effect of their illegal activity would diminish with it), the cost savings, are pluses, but not the main reason itself.
George Richardson
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Never discuss pot, sexual preference or religion with anyone over 30. No, make that don't ask don't tell better known as STFU. I'll try to follow my own advice whenever I'm in Redneckyville again, also known as Barvaria, NY. Hahaha, JK NOT. I still love y'all though. I got cash for a clunker today and a brand new car for $9999. Thanks for helping me out guys. Obama, I wish he was my momma, cause I have a place in my heart for him too.
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This is my first blog that I've posted on the Batavian. I have a non-local blog site also that I post on, and I've been doing that for about 2 years. I've also started a vlog (video blog) to have more fun with editing and accentuating my view points. I've posted a little over 200 blogs or vlogs with most of them being on topics WAY more edgier (is that a word?)than this topic. I'm very very surprised at the reaction that I received today. I'm not sure if the comments posted here are representative of the entire county/area, or just pundits that blog on open forum sites. (Um, I think that might be me too.) Anyways, I'm amazed at how so many people focused on my reference to illegal aliens. Almost as many posts on that topic as on the legalization of pot. As of right now, there are more posts on the illegals than on the 100-year old, the Fireman's Boot Collection, the SADD carwash, the County Legislature meeting, and the Care-A-Van story. I'm glad that David Dodge posted, because his post is 100% correct. You can try to explain why you find my comment (or similar comments) offensive - and the end result is - I won't get it - and you won't get my reasons. Yet, we still try to change each others' minds. I often make fun of other issues in my blog - I think it helps to mix things up a little and keep the reader thinking. My hope is that some of the readers found it thought provoking and just a little bit mildly entertaining. Thanks for the posts
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Sean, where's your vlog? And where else do you blog? You should post those links to your profile.

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