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OfflineLothar121
Marijuanaactivist
Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 105
Loc: Texas
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana
    #2975825 - 08/07/04 05:30 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

If you haven't it guessed it yet, I'm for the regulation and sale of marijuana to adults. Marijuana was once legal in the United States with very little problems surrounding the drug. It is safe to say that marijuana poses no real threat to society in comparison to any other drug, whether legal or not. I must make it clear, that my persuasive appeal is being made on the basis that marijuana sales should be legal for adults, never for children under the age of 21 years.

Starting with the cost and effects of prohibition, and moving towards the actual negative health consequences surrounding cannabis, I will take you through a broad educational appeal to open your eyes for the need to legalize marijuana.

Let us begin.

Despite a popular trend to think people aren?t arrested for marijuana charges, they are, and it comes with a price. The costs of prohibition are extremely significant, just as alcohol prohibition was. In the 20's alcohol prohibition rendered prominent gangsters such as Al Capone. Today's prohibition is no different fueling criminal organizations to the point of luxury.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, there were over 720,000 marijuana related arrests made in 2001, 88% were for just mere possession. This is more than all violent crimes combined. Incarceration charges for 1 year averages around 25,000 dollars. This along with court and other legal fees constitutes a huge price tag. In fact, according to figures from the U.S. National Drug Control Strategy and FBI related arrest figures, the total price tag is estimated to be around 12 billion dollars annually. This money could be redirected to education, treatment, or other public services.

Despite what our elected officials wish us to believe, marijuana prohibition does not make us safe. A marijuana arrest can take nearly 3 to 4 hours (half a shift) according to the co founder and former president of the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs, the largest police organization in that state. This could be time spent that police could be using to look for violent criminals. There are currently over 2 million incarcerated inmates in the United States. This is more than all of Europe combined, and more than any single country has produced in the world including China and the Russia. Nearly 50% of these inmates are there for drug related offenses. Due to overcrowding, often times we allow murderers and rapists out early to make room for a non-violent marijuana offender. Prisoners regularly use marijuana in maximum-security prisons. It is ridiculous to think we can prohibit it from every square mile of this country when we can?t even keep it out of our prison system.

Just as many people believe that marijuana prohibition protects us, a diminishing quantity of people still believes in the ?Reefer madness? phobia.

It may surprise you, but since 1988, the amount of Americans supporting the legalization of marijuana has doubled from 20% to 40% according to a 2002 scientific poll commissioned by Time/CNN. This shows us that people are catching on to the reality of marijuana, which simply said has a relatively low amount of consequence compared to what we render in the law enforcement community. As former US President Jimmy Carter acknowledged: "Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this clearer than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use."

Marijuana is relatively safe in comparison to that of alcohol and tobacco, our two regulated drugs. Upon case review, the Administrative Law Judge of the DEA, Francis Young noted in 1988 cannabis to be one of the safest drugs known to man. In fact, in the entire history of medical literature for the last one thousand years, there is not a single recorded death from a marijuana overdose. Compare that with 7,600 overdoses related to over the counter medications such as aspirin on a yearly basis.

What about the gateway effect we all heard about in 5th grade? Scare tactics by the government, not scientific data. According to an exhaustive study by the Institute of Medicine "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs." Well over 72 million Americans have used marijuana, but of them only 1 in 120 go on to be regular users of cocaine, the 4th most popular illicit drug in the United States. In addition to the previous evidence cited, The World Health Organization noted the effects of prohibition in its March 1998 study, when it stated that "exposure to other drugs when purchasing cannabis on the black market, increases the opportunity to use other illicit drugs." So what we have here is the gateway theory being complete myth. There is no scientific basis for a casual relationship between the psychoactive effects of marijuana and the progression to harder drug abuse, but an effect of exposure to harder drugs because of prohibition itself. Legalizing marijuana would separate the market from harder drugs, completely eliminating any symptom of this so called gateway effect. Other research completed by the prominent Rand Research Institute and the Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs have also rejected the gateway effect.

Prohibitionists charge that 60% of the teenagers are in rehab for marijuana. To respond, the National Institute of Medicine cited marijuana?s dependency level was lower than that of alcohol or tobacco citing a 9% rate of dependence on cannabis, a 15% on alcohol, and a 32% dependence rate on nicotine. The 60% figure of teens being referred to treatment can be directly dispelled. According to the DASIS (Drug and Alcohol Services Information System),"over half (54 percent) of all adolescent marijuana admissions are through the criminal justice system. (Referrals from schools and substance abuse providers comprise another 22 percent of all admissions). In other words, teenagers are there for treatment to avoid jail time or juvenile detention, not because they are addicted to marijuana.

Although brain damage is certainly mentioned more often than not, it is also over emphasized in every aspect. For example a recent publication in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, they reviewed 15 previous studies of marijuana?s long-term effects. Surprisingly, researchers found very little long term impairment from smokers compared to non smokers based on all of this research combined. In fact, the researchers specifically stated that the impairment from marijuana was less than that of alcohol, other illegal drugs, or prescription medications affecting the brain.

Cancer resulting from marijuana smokers is also in question. For instance, a prominent American researcher has been featured in the media has stated in the last 30 to 40 years of the marijuana epidemic, we still have not scene evidence of cancer resulting from the inhalation of marijuana smoke although chronic bronchitis can be a result. In addition the Institute of Medicine has rejected the threat of cancer, citing that no evidence currently in existence can result in a conclusion that it does.

Legalization would bring in tax revenue, would prevent children from obtaining the drug with I.D. checks, and would secure our personal liberties.

Children are more likely to get a hold of marijuana than beer according to distinguished surveys. In addition, keep in mind marijuana advertisement would be banned, driving while under the influence banned, and finally public intoxication would still be prohibited under legalization. Remember legalization is just another word for regulation.

There is no better time than now to get this done.

Everyone needs to spread the word. Legalization would free up police time, bring in revenue, bolster the economy, and restore freedom to adults. This issue is important to each of us whether we smoke or not. I encourage you all to join the Marijuana Policy Project. Do not hesitate to write your elected officials when it is free. The science surrounding marijuana points to legalization, as well as logic. Don't let fear blind you to the truth.


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OfflineLothar121
Marijuanaactivist
Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 105
Loc: Texas
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: Lothar121]
    #2975827 - 08/07/04 05:31 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I realize the most of you if not all of you on these boards favors marijuana legalization.

I decided to post this for your use to convince others to support legalization. I wrote this article to be directed to prohibitionists.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: Lothar121]
    #2975836 - 08/07/04 05:33 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

All my friends support marijuana legalization. What's been more difficult for me is convincing them why we need to legalize all drugs.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleDieCommie
El Guapo
Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 27,904
Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: Lothar121]
    #2975837 - 08/07/04 05:33 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Maybe you should go post it on a cop or christian message board then?  Im already convinced  :wexican:


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InvisibleDieCommie
El Guapo
Registered: 12/11/03
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: silversoul7]
    #2975848 - 08/07/04 05:37 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

By all drugs you mean illegal drugs and prescription drugs? I always kinda thought the FDA should give warnings and educate instead of regulate...not sure how that would work though... antibiotics abuse is a real threat.


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OfflineLothar121
Marijuanaactivist
Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 105
Loc: Texas
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: DieCommie]
    #2975861 - 08/07/04 05:43 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Perscribing drugs is a form of legalization


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OfflineBarbi
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Registered: 04/22/02
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: DieCommie]
    #2975992 - 08/07/04 06:29 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

DieCommie said:
By all drugs you mean illegal drugs and prescription drugs? I always kinda thought the FDA should give warnings and educate instead of regulate...not sure how that would work though... antibiotics abuse is a real threat.




improper use of antibiotics is actually a pretty big threat overall to human health, yes.

I'm pro education and pro harm reduction. I am howver, anti legalizing EVERYTHING. People as a mass are idiots when making decisions about their own well being. They love (as a mass) to do things like go out and just eat and drink things that they KNOW are killing them, KNOW are addictive, and KNOW can possibly lead to damage to themselves and to others.

Yet still, we do it.

human nature is a bitch. Rules usually come into place in order to stop what was perceived at one point, a real threat.

Anyone who thinks meth should be legal and just educated on, needs to pick up a nice long term meth habit for a while then report back when sober.


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Offlinedeafpanda
Stranger
Registered: 05/07/04
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: Barbi]
    #2976008 - 08/07/04 06:34 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Meth/heroin/crack addicts should be sold maintenance doses to stop them going out and committing crime to fund their habits, while being educated and advised to quit.

In my opinion. I think most things should be legal, and the most addictive drugs should be prescribed to hardcore addicts.


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OfflineBarbi
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: deafpanda]
    #2976011 - 08/07/04 06:36 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

prescribed is not the same thing as a drug free for all.

when I used the term legalize I meant in a fashion making it legal for anyone, in need or not, to gain said drugs/medication.

IMO drugs are like weapons. If you give a gun to an idiot he's sure to shoot his foot off, and probably knock out his neighbors eye with the red rider bb gun he got for xmas.


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: Barbi]
    #2976017 - 08/07/04 06:38 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Oh I see. Yeah, I agree.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Registered: 10/10/02
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: Barbi]
    #2976194 - 08/07/04 07:42 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

mndfreeze said:
Anyone who thinks meth should be legal and just educated on, needs to pick up a nice long term meth habit for a while then report back when sober.



I would never do meth, but I think that those who choose to do so should not be locked up for their choice. What's wrong with that? Most people who want to do meth can get it anyway, so making it legal probably wouldn't have much effect on how many people do it.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflinePhred
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Registered: 10/19/00
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: Barbi]
    #2976530 - 08/07/04 10:02 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

mndfreeze writes:

I am howver, anti legalizing EVERYTHING. People as a mass are idiots when making decisions about their own well being. They love (as a mass) to do things like go out and just eat and drink things that they KNOW are killing them, KNOW are addictive, and KNOW can possibly lead to damage to themselves and to others.

You do realize (I hope) that you are using exactly the same argument as those who oppose legalizing pot and entheogens. You say pot and entheogens are okay, but some other drugs are not okay. They say booze and caffeine and nicotine are okay, but pot and entheogens are not. Neither of you are employing principles to bolster your positions.

In principle, it is nobody's business (especially government) what you choose to munch. Booze, pot, shrooms, cigs, meth, coke, smack. Who cares if some (or even all) of them prove harmful -- to you. That's your business. Hell, eating nothing but Twinkies and Big Macs is harmful to you. Who cares? Not me.

If you prefer meth to shrooms it makes no damned difference to anyone other than yourself -- unless your actions while on meth involve the initiation of physical force against others, at which point the government has the right (and the obligation) to involve themselves in your life. But if you initiate force against others even while not on meth, the government has the same obligation. The motivation for your transgression is quite literally irrelevant. If you beat the snot out of someone you perceive to be gay because you're cranking or because you hate gays it makes no damned difference either to the damaged gay or to the court of law deciding your fate. What matters is what you did, not why you did it.

Explain to us, please, why some video gaming nut who likes to go on five day speed binges so he can play Doom 3 for 100 hours straight -- never leaving his house -- should be denied his freedom for doing something that harms no one else? What is the philosophical principle which justifies such an intervention?

pinky


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OfflineTasty_Smurf_House
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: silversoul7]
    #2979129 - 08/08/04 09:14 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I agree. I also have no desire to do meth, but I know that if I wanted to find some it sure as hell wouldn't take me long to track some down. I'm sure if instead of being told not to do it, if people were more educated about this shitty substance which some people still choose to take, less people overall would be taking it.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: A persuasive appeal to legalize marijuana [Re: silversoul7]
    #2979620 - 08/09/04 12:23 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

It would be nice to legalize all drugs, hell, I'm all for it, but that's not going to happen for a long time. A good step is to start off legalizing the more harmless, nonaddictive ones (no drug is completely harmless of course, and neither is any food.)

But there is Pinky's argument, who's to say what drugs are harmful and harmless. I would say that a harmless drug is not physically addictive and can be used safely in moderation. Ironically, the three most popular legal drugs, caffeine, tobacco and alcohol, don't fit these criteria, and LSD does, yet LSD I cannot see LSD being legalized in the US within the next couple centuries

So I guess we'll have to start with marijuana and go from there


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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