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Joker94's avatar

Where do you stand on marijuana legalization?

Asked by Joker94 (8143 points ) January 10th, 2012

It seems to have been a while since this question was asked on Fluther. If you’ve answered before, do you still hold the same position? If not, is there anything in particular that has influenced your stance on the subject? Moreover, how do you feel about medicinal marijuana being legal, or would you prefer it to be “decriminalized”? Feel free to weigh in!

I am highly in favor of legalization, medicinal or otherwise. I’d prefer medicinal legalization, as it seems to be more beneficial. The homework I’ve done supports the idea; I can’t imagine why it shouldn’t be medicinally available for those who are in need of it.

Also, let’s try not to let this turn into a flame war, shall we?

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85 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Well, since almost every single piece of evidence points to it only helping damn near everyone…..

elbanditoroso's avatar

It should never have been made illegal. It should be legalized now. It should be taxed and regulated like liquor.

All of the money that goes to DARE and apprehension, to say nothing of prisons, should be spent on education and safety (and quality control).

The war against drugs has been a scam for 40 years to make law enforcement richer.

By the way I am not now and have never been a marijuana user. I have no persoanl horse in the race except to save zillions of wasted dollars and millions of lives.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Legalize it all… Pot, LSD, Meth, CrackSmackWack, Heroine… e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g

btw… I don’t do drugs.

jazmina88's avatar

legalize it…...tax it…...NOW

cookieman's avatar

I strongly believe it must be compared to alcohol. In doing so, IMHO, it leaves you with only two choices:
1) Outlaw alcohol
2) Legalize marijuana

Well we already tried option 1, and we know how well that turned out. Therefore, if we’re honest with ourselves…it’s gotta be option two.

everephebe's avatar

I recline and say, “Yes, let’s smoke that shit.”

bkcunningham's avatar

What would you think the price would be if you taxed it like cigarettes?

Symbeline's avatar

Take me to your dealer.

Heh. Alien jokes. I say legalize it. I bet the government would make so much cash too, seeing on how many users there actually are. I wonder why it’s not being done. Alcohol is way worse and ruins so many lives, yet that’s legal, so why not weed? It may have some slightly nefarious factors, but nowhere near as some of the legal shit out there. For what it’s worth, people turning out shitty because of weed would probbaly not hijack legal shit that makes people shitty when it comes to comparison.
Weed is probably illegal because people would be too stoned to wage war, haha. One might argue that this is done for the good of the people, but considering that booze and tobacco are not illegal, I highly doubt that. Some substances have been a part of man’s culture for centuries so that explains their free use, but eh…that doesn’t seem to fit in too well with why weed is illegal. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t smoke and drive. How’s that so complicated?

Blackberry's avatar

@bkcunningham Do you think that’s going to stop most people?

Joker94's avatar

@elbanditoroso I agree, I think the amount of money spent on it’s persecution is a colossal waste.
@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Not sure if serious…?
@bkcunningham Brings up a really good point..but like @Blackberry said, I don’t think that would deter many people.
@Symbeline The medicinal pot business rakes in cash. In California alone, the medical pot business rakes in money in the tens of billions..

elbanditoroso's avatar

@bkcunningham – no clue about pricing, because I’m not a user, I have no idea what street pricing is. What does marijuana go for in Denver or in California?

Whatever the going rate is, it would be lower. And the quality would be higher in every state but Colorado and California (and maybe Oregon, I forget) because the quality would be state regulated, measured, and certified.

Remember “state liquor stores” were (are) cash cows for the states after prohibition? Why not do the same thing now?

bkcunningham's avatar

The added tax might slow some smokers down, @Blackberry. I don’t think it would stop the illegal sale. I would imagine people would still buy pot from their normal supplier if it became legal and was taxed making the price even higher.

Symbeline's avatar

@Joker94 Yeah, but imagine recreational use. Medicinal pot is also outlawed in a lot of places, too though…or rather, ’‘discontinued’’ lol.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m not opposed to decriminalization without the legalization and added taxes and penalties.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I am for full legalization.

Judi's avatar

Legalize it and tax the crap out of it. It will save jail and prison expense and raise revenue at the same time. Sounds like a great way to reduce the deficit.

jaytkay's avatar

I am torn.

On one hand, I know the “war on drugs” is a horrible drain on society, creating an underclass of people who are needlessly stamped as “criminal”. And if they are eventually released from the prison-industrial complex, they are shunted into the underclass where petty crime is the most rational path to survival. And we spend billions and billions of dollars policing harmless activities.

On the other hand, I don’t want even more stoned morons looking at me and saying, “ummmm WUT?”

bkcunningham's avatar

I imagine there would still be penalties, @Judi. For instance, there would be a legal amount you could possess, legal limit for operating a motor vehicle, etc. And penalties for breaking these laws.

Charles's avatar

I asked my pastor what he thought and he said it should be illegal; therefore I think it should be illegal.

bkcunningham's avatar

If it sells for, what, $300 to $400 an ounce for good weed? Do you think the price would come down before the added taxes?

Mariah's avatar

I do not believe victimless crimes should be crimes, so I am for it. Especially because it would probably cut down majorly on drug cartel violence, which is a lot more destructive than stoned people.

For medicinal purposes especially, I feel very strongly that it should be legalized. I sure know that bowel surgery patients could benefit. When your symptoms are pain and lack of appetite, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Yet in the current state of affairs, my doctor was starting to talk about putting a feeding tube down my throat. A little weed is not only the more pleasant option, it is a much cheaper treatment. Probably less dangerous too.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

We need new industry too… The hemp industry would give all textiles a run for their money.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Let’s say that it sells for $400/ounce (no idea how accurate that is)

Take away the risk pricing and the insurance and all of that overhead and it’s probably $325/oz.

Add in competition in a free market, and you’re down to $225 /oz retail with some specials and closeout sales.

Factor in the higher quality, add $25/oz

So my guess – and this is just a guess – is that what costs $400 now would cost $250 if legalized.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It shouldn’t be any more expensive than any tobacco product.

And the grow your own crowd would stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit for the economy. Prices would be very very low.

bkcunningham's avatar

It wouldn’t be a free market though, @elbanditoroso. It would be total government control.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

To think that someone has the right to tell me what kind of seed that I can put into the ground is just absolutely insane.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think marijuana should be legalized, it should be placed on the same basis as alcohol. It should be subject to the same taxes & age restrictions. Marijuana has been shown to have much less adverse effects on the human body than alcohol does, it does not make sense for alcohol to be legal & for marijuana to not be legal.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“it should be placed on the same basis as alcohol”

Then it should be growable in your own back yard just like home brew beer.

bkcunningham's avatar

It should be growable in your own backyard, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies. Leave the government control out.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@bkcunningham – same as alcohol. I can go into any liquor store in the US and buy whatever whiskey I want at whatever price the market will bear.

The government gets its taxes no matter what.

If I want to go to Joe’s Cheap Booze and buy a fifth for $12.00, the USG gets its 32%.

If I want to go to Woodrow’s Whiskey Wonderland and pay $19.00, the USG still gets its 32%.

No difference.

TexasDude's avatar

It should be as legal as the green grass below our feet and the trees overhead. It’s a plant. I’ve always beleived this. I don’t even support taxing it. Just let it grow and let people use as they wish.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yeah that’s what I said @bk.

But Monsanto would probably squash that.

I’m with @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard 100%

deni's avatar

@bkcunningham It’s legal here and is cheaper to get at a dispensary now than it was when I was buying off a dealer. Better weed too by a mile.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Anyone should be able to grow and sell it just like cup cakes. Grow your own tax free. Grow your own and give it away free. Grow your own and sell it with a retail license that gets taxed like all other sales.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

And that goes for all other drugs too… all of them. I can buy rat poison and model glue… but I can’t buy mushrooms?

bkcunningham's avatar

How much do you pay out of your own pocket, @deni?

Joker94's avatar

I’m with @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard. In a total legalization scenario, I’d say to hell with taxes.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I don’t see what’s wrong with allowing people to grow it on their own, but taxing it if they feel the need to let someone else grow it and sell it to them from behind a counter. Seems pretty free market to me.

zenvelo's avatar

I think it should be legalized. I would do it the same way as the California medical clinics do it now, just expand their customer base to anyone over 18. Same supply source as they use now. Just tax the whole production chain, and allow for state inspection.

filmfann's avatar

Where do I stand on legalizing marijuana?
It was legalized in California for medical use. That availablity has been taken advantage of, and it puts the entire program in jeopardy. It appears the facilities that sell it are more interested in making money, and distributing pot, than keeping it legal and following the law.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I hate the stuff, but I think it is the basic biological right of every human to put whatsoever they choose into their bodies as long as it doesn’t directly hurt anyone else.

That is not to say that it should be legal to do certain activities under pot, much like with alcohol.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@filmfann Is that an argument for or against legalization? I’d rather see the medical availability remain than make everyone suffer just because some people were breaking a law that’s stupid in the first place.

tinyfaery's avatar

Thumbs up!

tranquilsea's avatar

I think it should be legalized and while we’re at it legalize prostitution as well. I’m not a fan of telling anyone what they can or cannot do with their own bodies.

jrpowell's avatar

I can make my own beer in my bedroom and it is totally legal. But, I don’t since my time is expensive and it is easier to run to 7/11 for a half-rack.

Growing good weed indoors isn’t easy or cheap (it helped me pay for college). Just like beer. Some people would grow their own but most people would happily pay a tax for the ease of picking some up at the corner store.

digitalimpression's avatar

I’m against it. Anyone who really wants it can get it anyway. As it is only the really stupid potheads get caught.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression Well, I’ve got a whole list for you if we’re going to start locking people up just for being stupid.

digitalimpression's avatar

@SavoirFaire Congratulations? Lock em up!

Personally, I think marijuana is abused as a “medicinal” treatment. For the people that really, truly, need it for medical reasons that’s great… but its clearly quite popular.. so either everyone is hurting pretty badly from some mysterious ailment that only effects block heads or people just smoke it, eat it, breathe it.. whatever.. to get high. For me (and again, lest I fall under the standard attack), this is just my opinion, but I think people who smoke pot (who aren’t doing so for legitimate medicinal reasons) are a little dense. So sue me.

Sunny2's avatar

Legalize it and tax it like cigarettes are taxed.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression What I was objecting to was the notion that people some how deserve to go to prison for being stupid. I think the law against marijuana is ridiculous. Even if the people who smoke pot for non-medical reasons are a little dense, they have the right to be dense. I think people who get drunk at bars every night are a little dense, but I’m not looking to bring back Prohibition.

digitalimpression's avatar

@SavoirFaire So… who exactly does go to prison? The smart ones?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression How about smart and stupid have nothing to do with it? I’d prefer we figure out which laws are reasonable, which ones are not, repeal the unreasonable laws, and only imprison those who break the reasonable ones.

digitalimpression's avatar

@SavoirFaire If you had to guess, what percentage of the pro-weed vote would come from people who use it?

smilingheart1's avatar

I am trying to see what Rick Steves sees about it. He seems to have the vision that it should be legalized much to the chagrin of his Lutheran pastor.

deni's avatar

@bkcunningham Last time I bought I paid 11/gram for middle shelf. Top shelf is 13/gram.

judochop's avatar

A couple of things:
1. I stand close to however is passing it to me.
2. Legalization is the right answer.
3. Legalization works for everyone, even folks who dislike it. Think paper, fuel, oil, lotions, foods, packaging, etc…
4. You do know that it was only made illegal because of the paper industry right? Check it out.

Bellatrix's avatar

Totally for legalising the use (and growing) of marijuana. Prohibition does not work. Use all the money spent trying to police its use on something useful.

downtide's avatar

I don’t use weed (any more) but I’m still in favour of legalizing it. Regulation and taxes, just like with cigarettes. Based on my experiences in the Netherlands, I would anticipate the cost per joint to be about the same as a cigar.

picante's avatar

I’m pro legalization. And though I was a college student in the 70s (at a very liberal university), I’ve actually never smoked pot or otherwise consumed it. But I look forward to doing so in my dotage; and I’m hopeful that a vibrant marijuana industry revives our global economy ;-) Far out!

Keep_on_running's avatar

I’ve never smoked anything, but I still say legalise it.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Honestly, I don’t care about the health/economic benefits. The state should never have to tell me what I am allowed to do with my body. While you’re at it, dismantle the DEA as well.
Also, I’ve met plenty of sober idiots IRL. In fact, last semester, the only person I can tolerate was a pothead. Not everyone who smokes pot is stupid.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Michael_Huntington some of the most intelligent people I know smoke pot.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@tranquilsea – that proves nothing. One person does not prove a universal case.

Pot and intelligence are not causal – one does not lead to another. They are sometimes coincidental.

tranquilsea's avatar

@elbanditoroso did I say I was trying to prove a universal case????

Leanne1986's avatar

I don’t care either way to be honest. I will say that I hate the idea that a lot of money is wasted on maintaining this law and punishing people that are caught with marijuana. It seems like a waste to me although, I can’t say I know exactly how much of the tax payers money is spent on, what seems to me like such a minor issue. On the other hand, if you know something is illegal and you get caught with it then you are a dumbass and I have no sympathy regardless of whether you think it should be legal or not.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression A high percentage, I imagine. As a person who does not use it and doesn’t even drink alcohol, however, I think the arguments for legalization are compelling. Thus I do not find that point particularly relevant. Maybe some people got to the right place for the wrong reasons, and that’s certainly something worth correcting (why you believe is just as important as what you believe). But that doesn’t reflect on me or my conclusion.

MilkyWay's avatar

Quite honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is about, and why people are so thick. I mean, they keep on having debates about it again and again and again and never come to a solution. The truth is, people are gonna smoke it whether it’s legal or not. You can’t stop that. So why not just legalise it and make some money in the process? Simple really.

judochop's avatar

I see that most of the replies have to do with intelligence and drug use. I have close friends who use drugs and most I do not agree with. Please, let me label their career next to their drug of choice and you tell me who is the most intelligent.

Criminal Defense Lawyer- Pot (daily user)
Tax Lawyer- Pot (casual user)
Music Law Lawyer- Pot (daily user), Cocaine (daily user), Alcohol (daily user).
Acupuncturist who studied in China for 18 years- Pot (daily user).
Teacher, grade school- Pot (daily user).
Teacher, high school- Pot (daily user), Alcohol (casual user).
Professor, Painting- Pot (personal grower and daily user), Alcohol (casual user), Prescription Pills (casual user).
Brain Surgeon- Pot (casual user), he will not touch alcohol.
Police Officer- Medical Marijuana Card Holder and daily user.
Realtor- Pot (daily user).
Craft Bartender- Pot (daily user), Alcohol (casual user).
Hot Rod Mechanic and Engine Builder- Pot (daily user), Alcohol (casual user).
Mechanical Engineer, this guy has built and designed something huge (I can’t say what because he is a personal friend and it would give his identity away)- Pot (daily user), Alcohol (casual user), Cocaine (casual user), Prescription Pills (casual user), Opiates (casual user).

I could keep going, all day long. My point is that you cannot associate intelligence or career path or schooling with drug use. Drug use happens on all levels all the time and to overlook it and single out one drug that absolutely has no bad side effects when casually used is moronic and asinine. To believe something is bad just because you have been told so by the government makes you no more intelligent than anyone else who turns their cheek and stubbornly saying “well enough.” People whom abuse Prescription Pills because of pain are no better than those who abuse Heroin on the streets. Placing drugs upon tiers and then saying one is bad but one is good is contradicting. Everything abused is bad, whether that be caffeine and sinus medicine mixed together, 5 hour energy drinks, donuts, meat, sugar, etc….Casual use is not going to kill anyone. Drugs are only illegal so that the government can control who uses them and where they are sold. It is all part of the bigger picture and those incapable of seeing this picture should probably stay away from relaxing their brains a little bit and get to focusing on some intelligent answers other than, Oh well, it’s just bad.
I dislike all drugs with the exception of Marijuana and while I may be an advocate for it, I am not standing on the corner dressed as a leaf with a legalize it sign. Legalization of drugs makes sense on so many levels, number one being the number of drug related crimes. This alone is reason a plenty to destroy the “war on drugs.”

linguaphile's avatar

I’ve read several articles about marijuana being drug involved in 80% of violence done by the drug cartels. That means all the other drugs take up 20%.

With that in mind, legalize and save lives.

I don’t use drugs, and except for three trials, I have never used drugs, but did go to NORML rallies while in college.

@judochop I agree with you completely but want to add one more thing. There’s no way to predict whether anyone will become destructively addicted to anything (sex, porn, Wii, XBox, gambling, the Internet, exercise, work, and/or drugs, etc.) People who have a grip on their lives will figure out how to enjoy functional and recreational use of all things, and manage their stability. I think that, generally, the ones who become addicted to any form of escapism would have found one way or another to ‘escape’ regardless of whether it was pot or not.

The difficulty is when the addiction of anything (see list above) becomes a vacuum that sucks everyone in, including destructive pot use. And addictions are impossible to predict, regulate or govern.

judochop's avatar

thank you.

digitalimpression's avatar

@judochop I find it impossible to believe that that is your coterie. Either way, I’m not saying there aren’t anomalies. Vincent van Gogh was a brilliant artist, but he was also bat-shit crazy.

So yes, it would be illogical to assume that everyone who uses drugs is as dumb as a box of hair. I just happen to believe that it’s quite a large number in comparison to non drug users. I could make a huge list of incredibly intelligent and prolific people who are drug free. It doesn’t prove anything.

And again, this is my opinion. Clearly I’m very outnumbered on fluther. I’m ok with that.

ddude1116's avatar

I’m totally for decriminalization, because I think people should have the capability to do it, and any drug for that matter, without any limiting side-effects, since mankind has been doing it for centuries anyways, but full-blown legalization is too complicated to be worthwhile. There are just too many strains to regulate, and it isn’t like it’s harmless, it’s just that there hasn’t been enough interest in the subject to properly research it yet, not to mention how smoking in general is bad for you. However, knowing those risks and completely disregarding them is a right I think everybody should have without risk of arrest.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression But even without @judochop‘s answer, you still haven’t answered my question of why smart or stupid should have anything to do with it.

And as we’ve covered before, everything here is our opinion. That’s not a defense. Defend your premises or abandon them.

Leanne1986's avatar

@judochop I am not disagreeing with you that you can’t link intelligence (or lack of) to drug use. However, I would be more interested to know how they perform in those roles (and other day to day activities) whilst using daily and when they started using. I am sure you will say that they perform their jobs very efficiently and I am happy to believe that’s true because I do not know them and I assume you have no reason to lie. Basically, what I am saying is, just because they are intelligent enough to have qualified for those careers doesn’t mean that the drug use hasn’t affected their ability to do the jobs to the best of their ability. If they have always been smoking pot or taking cocaine, even before they qualified then, it probably hasn’t made any difference. If, however, they started using after they qualified then sure, they were smart enough to get to where they are but how is their performance now?!

I have no opinion either way so I am really just playing devil’s advocate here, I haven’t researched whether drug use kills brain cells or not and, frankly, if it does and you want to kill your brain cells then I don’t care. My point is, just because someone is smart enough to be a qualified lawyer (for example), doesn’t mean that their performance is at its best when they are using.

digitalimpression's avatar

@SavoirFaire Please don’t take it personally, but you are far too caustic for me to continue “speaking” with. It’s just bad mental feng shui . Your last statement is all the evidence I need that further interaction would be a waste of time.

Good luck in your discussion everybody. =)

judochop's avatar

@digitalimpression “entire coterie.” No sir, just an example of folks I either work with or friends that I am in contact with. I do also have friends that work as bartenders, waitresses, shoe store, cooks, dj’s and bike mechanics that also use marijuana. I was just picking the ones out that I felt would be associated with intelligence by default of job status which honestly I felt like an ass for doing but….Some often assume intelligence with social status. I was just trying to show (and I think that I did) that the assimilation between pot use and level of career path achievements could not really be equated to each other. I too could create a list of non-smokers however seeing as how I smoke and I am open about it, my friends list tends to be more of the “birds of a feather flock together” type thing. I don’t know if you are really even out numbered here on Fluther. I just think that us functioning marijuana users tend to become a little soapbox(ish) when asked why it should be legalized. I do not care about smoking in public, I probably never would. I just don’t like that I have to purchase my marijuana illegally and I dislike that I could potentially be in trouble if pulled over sober for having a couple of grams on me. I think it is bullshit.
@Leanne1986 I agree with you and honestly I could not give you a real honest answer as to how most of these folks perform at their jobs. I know that they have jobs and they have worked hard to get there.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression If asking you to actually give reasons for your assertions is “caustic,” then I am guilty as charged. Forgive me for thinking that this was a forum for discussion and debate rather than a place to trade sound bites.

Leanne1986's avatar

@judochop Thank you for your honesty. I assume they are still in these jobs and so probably peform at an acceptable enough level in order to not have been fired at the very least.

EverRose11's avatar

I say legalize it.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

It should be legalized. It should have never been made illegal. Last night during the presidential debates, Ron Paul said that we need to stop the war on drugs. How many times have I said the same, and got the same reaction that he got – dead silence and blank stares.

Then when the shock wore off, someone started spouting about how even now there are dealers on the corners of every street, handing out drugs, and all the crime and violence attributed to drugs, and how stopping the war on drugs would make all hell break loose.

Don’t people understand that the illegality of drugs is what is fueling the criminal activity surrounding drugs? Has no one ever studied the criminal activity and violence that prohibition caused?

We have spent billions of dollars and manpower chasing drug dealers and users around the country for over a century, and it hasn’t made one drop of difference. Every person, kid or adult, in this country who wants a fix can go out and get one right now.

Okay, I have said my piece.

bea2345's avatar

Legalize it. Good people should not die in the effort to interdict it. (At the same time, make sure to discourage mass production by the tobacco companies.) It is the illegality that makes it so profitable. Think about it. Before I was born (I am 68) marijuana was legal in Trinidad and Tobago. Most of the time, smokers were people having a puff after a day’s work. Sales were confined to licenced smoke shops, and many farmers grew a little ganja to sell. Then the Americans occupied the military base at Chaguaramas; and in 1939 (I think) we made ganja illegal. Now it is a multi-million business. Our prisons are full to overflowing. People are murdered for a few pounds of the weed. That is too high a price.

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