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ETpro's avatar

Marijuana -- If legal would/do you use it, and how?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) April 8th, 2013

Perhaps I should rephrase that question. It’s probably not “If” but “When”. For the first time since polling began in the late 60s, US public opinion has shifted dramatically and now the majority of Americans say marijuana should be legalized and taxed. Looking at the trends in the polling from the 60s till today, it does not look like that trend is going to reverse itself. Support for legalization is likely to continue to grow.

There are two primary potential benefits of legalization that might be driving that increase in support. One is the rather widespread human interest in getting high. People that want that “benefit” would like it to be legal. The other is a new sin tax to raise revenues. Those that wouldn’t use pot no matter what might support legalization so somebody else, who will use it, can carry a bigger chunk of the tax burden to keep the country running smoothly. What’s your position. If pot is legalized, will you use it? If so, how? If not, do you still support legalization because you’d like to tax the schmucks who will use it?

Let’s set one red herring aside before launching into this discussion. MJ’s critics rightly point out that breeding for higher THC has produced super-pot that’s nothing like what baby boomers may remember from the drug-crazed 60s. While true, that’s neither here nor there. If an intoxicant is more powerful, you simply use less of it to get the desired effect. A dedicated drinker can consume a whole six pack of 12 ounce beers in a single evening. That’s 72 ounces of beer, or 2¼ quarts. If they drank 2¼ quarts of Everclear (190 proof grain alcohol) in the same time span, they would not awaken the next morning. Moderating intake based on potency is something we’ve been doing since we first learned to distil alcohol.

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79 Answers

Seek's avatar

I’ve never tried the stuff. If it were legal, I might, once, just for the experience.

I wouldn’t smoke it, though. The concept of smoking repulses me. It would have to be in edibles. Maybe one of @Coloma’s Happy Brownies.

zenvelo's avatar

I smoked quite a bit when I was younger, and I believe it should be legalized. But I have a substance abuse problem, and can’t take alcohol or any mind altering substances, so I would not use it if it were legal.

ragingloli's avatar

Nope.
Alcohol and Cigarettes are legal, and I do not use either of those.

whitenoise's avatar

Marihuana is legal in Holland, where I lived. I tried it, but am not charmed of it.

So…. No.

jaytkay's avatar

I tried it and grew bored of it when I was young, 30 years ago. I wouldn’t start again.

But I would look forward to two huge benefits unmentioned above:
1) We wouldn’t have to imprison millions of people and waste law enforcement resources on pot smokers
2) It would remove a huge source of revenue from gangs, which hopefully would help Mexico calm down a bit

Judi's avatar

I think it should be legal but I wouldn’t use it. Been there, done that.
The only way I might change my mind is if I got glaucoma or something.

JLeslie's avatar

I have always supported legalizing MJ. I would not try it, except if I were very ill and it worked wonders for nauseau or some other medical condition. I am one of those people whose phobia is vomiting, it is at the top of my dread list. I would look at it as a drug like any other drug, prescribed, OTC, or grown out in a garden. I pretty much never do drugs or drink alcohol for some sort of buzz, so I have no curiosity or desire to “use” pot for recreation.

woodcutter's avatar

Probably not. There are to many things I like to do that require sobriety. Even long after the high is gone, if a person is a chronic user the “dumb” effects will still be there. Just because a stoner can’t feel it or ever admit to it, does not mean they are not affected.

Judi's avatar

@woodcutter, its been nearly 40 years for me and I still suffer from “the dumb effects.”
My memory is horrible and my sense of time is distorted.

majorrich's avatar

I probably would not use marijuana. I already don’t drink so it’s not a great leap to not smoke. Besides, I’m all creeped out after watching ‘reefer madness’. :D

ucme's avatar

Nah, the only thing I need to artificially get high on his helium, makes you sound like those Disney chipmunks, before their balls dropped.

woodcutter's avatar

@Judi Ha! Me too, so really I don’t need to aggravate the situation!

janbb's avatar

And how!

syz's avatar

Nah, it doesn’t do anything for me except make me eat too much.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Sure, it’s pretty popular in our college town.

woodcutter's avatar

@KNOWITALL And meth? How do those two work together?

wildpotato's avatar

Absolutely. Legalization status is a large factor in my decision of where to move next, this summer: it’s down to CO or CA. I use it medicinally for maintenance of my GAD and IBS and recreationally in the evenings. What this means in practice is that I only take a hit every hour or so during the day, and smoke to get high at night and on weekends. I am excited that soon I’ll be able to obtain medical pot called CBG I’ve only smoked a few times before in CA that gives the body high but little to no head high – should make studying much easier.

On the flip side, the tax rate they are considering for legal weed in CO is 38% – pretty hefty! I’d probably still try to go the legal route because I’d want to get that specially bred weed and also because I dislike being labeled a criminal – but I’m certain that such a high rate will keep the black market going strong. I’m worried that the rates they’re aiming for will be rejected by voters, which would leave the legal pot program unfunded – not an auspicious beginning. I’d much rather we paid too much to begin with (and it remains to be seen, of course, whether we think 38% is “too much”) than that we regulate it poorly and have prohibition re-instituted.

@woodcutter, initial response: That seems like quite a claim. May I request a look at the studies/articles you have based your opinion on? The ones I have read – for example, this article – incline me toward the opposite opinion, that marijuana’s effect on the brain’s active processes is temporary.

nikipedia's avatar

I’m not interested in using it but I certainly think it should be legalized. The crime and violence involved with growing and distributing it illegally can and should be eradicated.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@woodcutter Dude, didn’t you learn anything from Elvis? Sometime to come up and something to go back down.

bolwerk's avatar

I don’t see what I gain from using it, having tried it and decided I don’t enjoy it. Setting aside the delusional stupidity of the war on drugs, the major benefits to legalization probably are medical – and those are pretty compelling.

Either way, I would like the choice available to me.

woodcutter's avatar

@wildpotato I have known quite a few potheads in my day and all I can say is, if they were smarter for it, they were sure hiding it some way.

bkcunningham's avatar

Are you a narc? Why do you want to know?

rojo's avatar

Yes,

sure got rid of that sinus headache that I had for two days running

@woodcutter really don’t know about your personal situation but I would guess you might be surprised at the number of secretive potheads you actually know. There are a lot of users out there who manage to function at a high (pun not intended) level in society.

serenade's avatar

From what I understand, the increased potency of modern day varieties has a lot to do with it’s criminalization, which drove growers indoors. To escape surveillance and grow indoors, they needed plant varieties that would mature at shorter heights, and so crossbreeding solve that problem and also engendered stronger varieties. If growing were decriminalized, then there’s nothing stopping the market from going back to good ol’ grass.

I recently had a somewhat significant channeling/spirit guide type experience in the course of smoking some medicinally raised herb, and I’ve also had multiple instances where a small bump/mass on my arm has diminished and/or disappeared the next day, so I would be inclined to repeat usage for those reasons. I think it’s effects are therapeutic.

woodcutter's avatar

@rojo I did some work for a prominent local radio personality. At his home, and I sort of suspected but didn’t think much about it. My son came out a few days to help and he told me “he’s a toker.” I’m like ,no way? but maybe. Then one day he came over and holy shit. It was all over him. He’s a nice guy and paid on time so it’s no big deal to me. I think there are people who don’t handle it well and let it define them so much they always have crap jobs and low money most the time and spend what little they have on weed. If you have a profession that allows or at least won’t kill a career because of it then you are ok. This guy was making way too much money for that radio station I’m sure for it to be a reason to get rid of him for that. Still even people like that have to careful with it. It will always have a stigma attached even if it is legal someday.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@rojo A LOT of high functioning mj proponents will never say a word until it’s legal. I’m talking lawyers, police officers, those in the medical profession, etc…we even had a mayor that everyone knew was into it.

woodcutter's avatar

@KNOWITALL Where do you think cops get theirs?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@woodcutter I’ve heard they get it from people they know, like everyone else, and a few people have told me that it gets taken at a traffic stop, then miraculously lost when it’s court time. I don’t know much about it really, but I hear things.

woodcutter's avatar

You hear things?

I hear things too

bkcunningham's avatar

That’s some good stuff if you are hearing things.

Plucky's avatar

I think it should be legalized. I don’t think I would use it though. Been there, done that. I used to have a drug problem, so it wouldn’t be a good idea for me. I do not drink alcohol ether.
But who knows, maybe one of Coloma’s happy brownies would be nice a couple times a year.

bkcunningham's avatar

I wish it was decriminalized. I’m not for legalization.

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes it should be legalised and yes I would use it. I do now very, very occasionally. I see it as being no worse than having a glass of wine.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@woodcutter @bkcunningham Our cops were visiting a prostitute on company time with the squad car parked outside her apt.

I’m a live and let live person. People are going to smoke or shoot or whatever regardless of whether it’s legal or not. If it’s legal we can tax it and people can buy it like a packs of cigs, no big deal.

woodcutter's avatar

Hell, make prostitution legal too.

bkcunningham's avatar

That’s why I don’t want it legalized, @KNOWITALL. Live and let live. That means don’t control me and don’t tax every inch of my life. How much do you think it would cost if the government got involved?

woodcutter's avatar

Pot will someday be at least decriminalized most places but if we legalize any of that hard stuff we will be in some shit as a country.

woodcutter's avatar

If the govt got involved I predict it will be cheaper because the free market will then be in force. What would screw that up would be if there were to be regulations requiring a signature each time.

whitenoise's avatar

Why don’t you guys come live in Holland? Or are you afraid of a little rain?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bkcunningham They tax alcohol and cigarettes here, quite a bit. I hear one pack in New York is over $10 for premium blend, cray cray.

@woodcutter After all the child molesters and rapists and murderers are off the streets, we may have the luxury of going after non-violent offences.

@whitenoise I would love to but who would sponsor an American?! lol, j/k

whitenoise's avatar

We all love Americans. :)

rojo's avatar

@whitenoise fried or broiled?

woodcutter's avatar

@KNOWITALL Premium blend? What is that. Not gasoline right?

woodcutter's avatar

@whitenoise Rain? What is this rain you speak of?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@woodcutter You know, like Marlboro’s or Newports.

whitenoise's avatar

@woodcutter depending on what you smoke, it can be anything you want.

woodcutter's avatar

@whitenoise boobies maybe?

Yetanotheruser's avatar

It’s legal here in CO, not only to use, but also to grow a few plants “for personal use”. Can anyone say “barter?”

snapdragon24's avatar

Legal/not legal – I’ve used it. Welcome to Europe!
Its been a good friend of mine, but we only meet during exams, and after our time is up, I reward myself with a nice pepperoniiii pizza!

livelaughlove21's avatar

No. Never tried it and never will, legal or not. I don’t need to rely on substances or a high to enjoy my life. My entire family smokes, so I have pretty negative feelings about it in general.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I hope it is legalized – just so pot heads have nothing to talk about ever again.

Carinaponcho's avatar

I would definately use it if it was legalized. I see no harm in it for recreational use ever now and then, but I don’t think it would be an everyday thing for me. If it became less of a big taboo thing then maybe my family wouldn’t freak out if they found out. And it would ensure that the ingredients of it are pure.

dontmindme's avatar

Heck ya. It helps me sleep and comforts my migraines and menstrual cramps. I hate feeling like a criminal because I like to smoke something that grows out of the ground.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

If it were legal I would use it in the most efficient way to reduce my chronic pain.

ETpro's avatar

Wow, I am overwhelmed by the number of responses. I won’t bore you with an individual reply to each. What I will say is that it’s pretty clear from the replies above that the sky won’t fall and Refer Madness won’t break out if it’s legalized. The majority still won’t use it.

@whitenoise and other Europeans noting that it is legal where you are. That’s what I meant to cover in the word “do” in the question itself. “If legal would/do you use it”.

To all those in US states that have decriminalized or legalized it, it’s still a Federal crime. Legalization has to be real or you’re just imagining you’re on the right side of the law, and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@ETpro Thank you for pointing that out. It’s amazing how many people seem to think state law trumps federal law. Quite the opposite.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro If you look at Q’s about alcohol you will find that an unusually high number of jellies don’t drink, and that is legal. I don’t think we are a typical crossection of America. I know the Q is open to the world, but if we take into account just the Americans who answer, I would say we are not a valid random sample to draw conclusions from.

Aster's avatar

No; I wouldnt use it unless it really helped an illness I might develop. In that case I certainly would. But until then, I could not stand to be a hypocrite by doing something that I hate because I believe it was the gateway drug to some family members destroying their lives. I mean, really. An old woman sitting around puffing away on weed seems so ridiculous.

mattbrowne's avatar

Only if I had a painful chronic disease.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Here’s some legalization-of-marijuana-related humor if anyone is interested:

Marijuana – The Gentlemen’s Rant
Foamy – Drugs in Your Head

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Aster Actually in our area, a lot of older people use it for medicinal purposes. I know a person who finally tried it before he died from painful pancreatic cancer and it helped him alot. Rather than being ridiculous, for a lot of people, it’s miraculous.

Aster's avatar

Yes; as I stated I wouldnt hesitate to use it if it helped an illness I might develop.

rojo's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Thanks, I thoroughly enjoyed them both!

Paradox25's avatar

I don’t feel that the legal status of cannabis would have much of an effect on people who already have strong opinions about the substance. People who already enjoy smoking marijuana aren’t going to change their habits and those who already look down upon the drug aren’t going to want anything to do with it. I’m yet to hear a nonuser claim “hey buddy I’d smoke that joint with you if it was legal to do so”. You either like weed or you don’t regardless of legal status. Also I don’t think most people on fluther have a very good opinion of weed (or those who use it) despite the majority of users on here claiming that they want the substance decriminalized.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Paradox25 I tend to think of it as a plant with medicinal qualities, much like the old days herbal remedies used throughout history. Some people use it for stress, some for pain, some to stimulate appetite or creativity.

I have a high opinion of the studies I’ve seen on it and the results I’ve seen in humans using it for non-recreational purposes, especially seizure control (since my husband has epilepsy). For that reason, decrimilization is logical and necessary, so the medicinal qualities can be explored without fear of charges.

I’ll re-iterate, when all the child molesters and rapists and gangbangers are off the street, we may have the luxury of worrying about a plant that actually helps people, and the many products and recipes hemp produces as well (like paper that would save our trees!)

woodcutter's avatar

and some people just need to be really fucked up

rojo's avatar

and some people don’t “need” it, they just “want” it.

I probably fall into the latter category.

rojo's avatar

“Yours is not to reason why….”

What do you mean @woodcutter? Why do they want it?
Because it feels good and does no harm to others.
(Hey, this is a twofer answer because if what you are asking is why I fall into the latter category, the answer is still the same!)

woodcutter's avatar

@rojo I was replying to your reply of mine, quote: “and some people just need to be really fucked up”. Do you mean you want it not because you need to be fucked up, rather you want to be fucked up.

Why is that? Are you covering up some kind of hurt?

rojo's avatar

I go round and round with a good friend about the difference between “wants” and “needs” and from this experience I know that some people do not, or cannot, understand the difference.

But, No, sometimes I just “want” to be stoned. I want to look at things from a different perspective, I find that extremely interesting. I do not “need” to be and it may be months between the times that I do it.

While my wife cannot stand the thought of hallucinogens, I think they are fascinating. She says that she has enough problems dealing with reality. And I respect that but for me the ability to see, hear and experience things that I do not normally do is simply a different phase of reality and I utillize whatever way I have to access this.

It brings me pleasure, without hurting or bothering others.

To answer your other question if I was covering up anything, and I don’t believe I am, I would have to say it was boredom.

ETpro's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I’d hate to see someone we know and love here get a nasty reminder from the DEA.

@JLeslie Good point. Fluther isn’t anything close to a representative sample. If you want social Q&A with a representative sample, try Yahoo! Answers.

@Aster & @KNOWITALL I can’t fathom why we would jail people for using an herbal remedy they need when it’s been used for so long. Oh wait, yes I can. Big Pharma is part of the corporate cabal that now owns the government.

@Paradox25 That could well be. I like the high. I’d occasionally use it if it were legal. I do not use it because it is illegal. But I may be the exception that proves the rule.

@woodcutter I’m with @rojo on this. If you don’t want to do it, that’s fine. Just don’t impose your personal values on others when it serves no societal purpose.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro “Just don’t impose your personal values on others when it serves no societal purpose”.

I find that comment almost fascinating.

PM me please so you can tell me my personal values in relation to societal purpose. That is a real brain load even for you.

just in case I’m not aware of them~

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter No need for a PM. I am speaking in general about society imposing it’s values on individuals, not you specifically. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

Here’s a former police chief and now head of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) explaining my position clearly.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ETpro Big Pharma sucks and at my recent annual dr visit, my dr even told me how fed up with them he was interrupting his day, taking time from patients, bringing suitcase loads of pills to try to sell him on…it’s ridiculous. We agree on something, woo hoo!

ETpro's avatar

@KNOWITALL Proof that miracles are possible. :-)

And you’re quite right. A great deal if this has to do with what’s currently under patent and lucrative to a particular Big Pharma retailer.

Paradox25's avatar

@ETpro Seriously, I’ve never heard of a nonuser that I know/knew of tell me that they don’t use because it’s illegal, or a person who wants to use it not do so because it’s illegal. We obviously don’t know each other personally except through online exchanges over the years, but if I would count that I’ll just say that you would be the first.

@KNOWITALL Be careful with criticizing ‘Big Pharma’ on fluther. They’ll be calling you a conspiracy theorist next, lol.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 It’s a big wold out there, and it takes a heap of people to make a heap of people. I have no idea how many other people share my attitude about it, but I’d be willing to bet I’m not alone.

Seek's avatar

@Paradox25

I may or may not fall under that. I’m a “try anything once” type, but I also don’t eff around with risk. As mentioned above, I’d try edibles if they were legal. But I have a small son, and I figure at least one person in the house should remain legal at all times. I know the foster system too well to be willing to risk it.

ETpro's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr All my kids are grown, and Spoony THE Cat doesn’t broach much fussing over in here neediest hour. Also, I am totally with you on edible. Smoke doesn’t belong in my lungs. That fact is abundantly clear to me.

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