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DoNotKnow's avatar

Can someone present a coherent argument against legalizing marijuana?

Asked by DoNotKnow (3017points) August 24th, 2015

At some point in the near future, we’ll finally legalize marijuana, and we’ll have to live with the fact that we’ve been ruining millions of lives and wasting obscene amounts of money on this absurdity.

While I assumed that almost everyone supports legalization and that the lack of movement in this area is just a matter of enthusiasm and passion, I am apparently wrong. Apparently, just about 50% of people support legalization. This is surprising. Who are these people, and what types of arguments are they using to support their position?

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40 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

An argument:

Mind altering substances that can negatively affect one’s physical and mental health should not be permitted by society and should be illegal to sell or distribute.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Keep in mind that you’ve set the bar rather low. A coherent argument is simply one that makes a basic amount of sense (i.e., does not consist of non sequiturs and is internally consistent), not necessarily one that is particularly good. That said, here is an argument one might coherently give (though I don’t think it works when subjected to scrutiny).

First, someone might try to work the abolitionist’s argument right back at them. The abolitionist argues that marijuana is no worse than—and probably much better than—tobacco. But this merely points out an inconsistency. It does not tell us whether we should legalize marijuana or criminalize tobacco. So perhaps those who think that the government should be in the business of public health ought to say that we should criminalize both. That marijuana is less harmful does not entail that it is harmless (whether physically or psychologically). Marijuana still contains many carcinogens, and it can become a psychological crutch for users even if they are not physically addicted (and psychological addiction is still considered a harm by psychologists). Insofar as it causes harm, then, it can and should be regulated and limited by the government.

Second, marijuana use affects people other than the user. Secondhand smoke can cause various harms and inconveniences beyond just the mere contents of the smoke (that is, the smoke itself might be a problem regardless of what’s in it). Your right to swing your arms ends at the tip of my nose, and your right to expel smoke ends at the entrance to my nostrils. So far, this might only require us to strictly limit where one can smoke marijuana. But such limitations are still well beyond what abolitionists support. Indeed, if you can only smoke in a non-public place where all parties consent (and children cannot consent!), then marijuana is effectively banned from most places in the country. At that point, there is barely a difference between legalization and mere decriminalization. Furthermore, worries about third party effects go beyond just direct effects on health. Insofar as widespread legalization would lead to increased usage (rather than just a safe harbor for current users), there is the effect on health care costs to consider (particularly since those costs have historically been spread among all participants in an insurance regime regardless of whether health care is funded privately or publicly).

Pachy's avatar

@zenvelo, Well said. I could not agree with you more.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@zenvelo @Pachy I won’t deny that the argument is coherent, but do keep in mind what it entails. Since there is no clause about what the overall effect is, you would effectively be committing yourselves to banning a number of psychological drugs as well (since many of them affect people’s health negatively, though often in the name of preventing some even worse condition). Chemotherapy might fall under the axe of your argument, too. And if you did want to make an exception for cases like these, then you’d have to figure out how to get around the fact that marijuana has a number of medicinal uses.

DoNotKnow's avatar

Thanks. I did set the bar low just to spark some conversation.

@SavoirFaire – You cover many of the issues here re: second-hand smoke, which I agree with. And you touch on carcinogens and the users themselves.

But what are people actually arguing when they say that it’s ok for alcohol, fast food, and wood smoke to be legal, but draw the line with pot?

@Pachy – I think @zenvelo was just meeting the “coherent” part of my argument. Do you really support this position? If so, I’d love to hear more. Besides rx medicines that meet this criteria, what is your position on alcohol? Unhealthy food?

josie's avatar

Harming oneself with substances winds up being an expensive social problem instead of too bad for the user.
Make it so the consequences are born solely by the user, and I am all for legalizing anything.

zenvelo's avatar

@SavoirFaire @DoNotKnow I was on a debate team about legalizing marijuana in high school in the 70s, having to argue the anti side.

One question that was raised was,“if you are against marijuana, what about alcohol?”. My response then was, “that is not what we are debating, but we can debat eteh merits of leagl alcohol too.”

I wrote my answer above, and then thought about psychiatric meds, so I added the adverb negatively . If I were Czar to enact such a law, I would defer to the medical community to evaluate the balance between the merits as opposed to the detriments.

talljasperman's avatar

I don’t want second hand smoke. Marijuana or cigarette.

rojo's avatar

Of all the things in the air second hand smoke is probably the least of your worries @talljasperman

jerv's avatar

Many of the people who oppose legalizing marijuana believe that the film Reefer Madness was a documentary, and think that the only people who smoke it are long-haired delinquents who hate God and America. They rarely have a coherent argument against anything.

Of the remainder, many of their arguments are about smoking in general, and they often put marijuana in with cigarettes as environmental hazards greater than the one that led to the extinction of dinosaurs.

The last group was touched on by @zenvelo; they oppose any and all intoxicants. And of the three groups, they are generally the most coherent as they are at least consistent.

@SavoirFaire That sounds more like an argument for outlawing any gasoline or diesel engines than anything to do with smoking, tobacco or otherwise.

@talljasperman If that is a concern, then you will also want to move at least ten miles from any sort of roads, lest your double standard be exposed.

talljasperman's avatar

@jerv I’m working on it. I was fine in Jasper national park. P.s. congrats on 30k

JLeslie's avatar

I support legalizing it; although, I’ll never forget one jelly who said they voted in favor of it, and now after seeing what has happened in their state they seriously reconsider their vote. Also, another jelly who said if you have ever spent time in Amsterdam you might reconsider being in favor of legalization. Those answers at the time made me pause. Law is supposed to protect society at large.

Thing is I just can’t see how it makes sense to have alcohol legal and not pot.

I know for sure I am
In favor of the medical use of pot.

It’s total bullshit in my opinion that MJ doesn’t affect people, or isn’t addictive. The people I have known who toke daily…believe me you know it. You especially know when they haven’t had their hit. That’s a reason to make it illegal (except for medical use) but the same is true about alcohol.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie They live in either Alaska, or some part of WA outside of the SeaTac metro area; like many rural places, Eastern Washington is about as liberal as the Deep South, and flies about as many rebel flags.

As for the addictiveness and affecting people, that confuses me. See, there are plenty of other things that should draw equal outrage from you. Caffeine is a big one; are you in favor of banning coffee and soda except by prescription? Tobacco far moreso; while science has proven beyond all shadow of a doubt that nicotine is both physically and psychologically addictive, such evidence regarding marijuana is either inconclusive, mixed, or outright disproof. But I don’t see you calling for a national ban of tobacco either despite the fact that, unlike marijuana, there have been no proven health benefits.

Looking at the leading health epidemics in the US, I think peopel concerned about society at larger really ought to turn that energy towards legislating food. Between obesity and diabetes, we lose more lives and more productivity and cause more financial damage than even the rare pothead who could smoke out Snoop Dogg. Given the choice between a person who weighs 450 pounds and would go into cardiac arrest if they tried standing up or the guy who prefers buds over Budweiser for relaxing after work, I’ll take the one that can actually work a normal job so long as he doesn’t spark up within 6–8 hours prior to showing up to work.

You don’t seem like you’re in favor of banning tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, red meat, and basically making our future like Demolition Man though, so I am left confused by what appears to be a mild case of cognitive dissonance.

johnpowell's avatar

NO.. Weed has been legal in Oregon since July 1. I have not been bumped by a stoned driver drifting into a crosswalk yet.

No noticeable difference in my life. Alcohol > Texting > Weed

Buttonstc's avatar


The other harmful substances which you list in response to JLeslie are not mind-altering psychoactive substances. That is a critical difference.


I’m not going to try to make a coherent case for being against legalization since I strongly believe that it’s medical use for certain problems should be definitely allowed. This would also facilitate some much needed research (which is currently so difficult because even tho an individual state may legalize it, a lot of the money for research studies is Federally controlled.)

So, right off the bat, there’s an inconsistency.

However, what I will do is answer the part of the question which asks: “Who are these people” (the 50% who are against legalization) and “What are they using to support their position?”

(and I hope it didn’t escape everyone attention at the polling statistics page in the link that over 80% of people support medical usage of MJ.)

So that 30% gain was from the people against total legalization so it’s obvious that a significant portion of the anti-people can be critically thinking.)

So, who are these people?

Well, the first group would be conservatives who are frequently in favor of maintaining the status quo so have little to no motivation to push for broad legalization.

But there is a much larger group of anti-people (including a subset of those with children) who have a pretty compelling argument against broad legalization.

This would be people whose lives have been affected by addiction, either of their own self or a loved one.

The ship has already sailed on alcohol (since the attempt to impose prohibition didn’t work then and certainly won’t now) but they have zero interest in seeing MJ any more freely easy to obtain. This is basically a line in the sand for them. They have firsthand knowledge about the soul destroying effects of addiction.

And, let’s face it, at this point in time, after numerous well conducted studies, there isn’t any doubt left as to the strong genetic links to addiction (whether it’s alcohol, Marijuana, opiods, etc. or a combination of several.)

If you come from a family with an obvious predisposition to addiction, you just don’t have any desire to make ANY addictive substance easier to obtain, plain and simple.

And that group represents a WHOLE LOT of people.

Even tho they recognize that alcohol is more physically and medically harmful than Marijuana, they are realistic enough to know that alcohol will never be illegal again (history and all).

If you are from a family with many addicts down through multiple generations and have children, the last thing you ever want to see is any mind altering substance easier to obtain.

They would likely vote to abolish mandatory minimum sentences because of the incalculable harm that it does (plus it doesn’t work as a deterrent) is becoming more and more obvious every day. However, legalizing MJ is just a “bridge too far”.

So, they are capable enough of critical thinking regarding medical usage and abolishing heinous sentencing (disproportionally affecting black people).

But their own experience surrounding addiction issues has given them a perspective that others don’t have. They are fully aware that Reefer Madness is a crock of sh*t and they know full well that it isn’t just long haired hippies who want to legalize.

But they have personal experience of the harm and danger posed by ANY mind altering substances so there’s just no way that they would ever promote anything making them easier to obtain (especially to children whose brains and critical thinking skills are the MOST adversely affected the younger the age they begin drug use).

So anti-legalization people with addiction genetics in their family are as fully capable of critical thinking as the next guy. But they have a vastly different set of experiences upon which to base their reluctance to legalize.

I am more than fully aware that there are tons of people who can use MJ responsibly without lapsing into addiction and I can understand why they think others are overreacting.

But we all form many of our opinions from our life experience. It should come as no surprise that there are a HUGE number of people whose lives have been totally disrupted by addiction. I don’t know why you’d be surprised that they’re not gladly jumping on the bandwagon to legalize.

In light of their experience and genetics, I think it’s quite logical they would not vote to legalize.

johnpowell's avatar

@Buttonstc :: Do you realize that pretty much everything you just typed has been discredited by actually looking at nations/states that have decriminalized? I read that as Rick Santorium saying gay marriage will lead to a man marring a toaster.

Buttonstc's avatar

Exactly what has been discredited?

And kindly leave Santorum and his homophobia out of this discussion. The guy is an idiot.

But I’m not clear on what precisely you are saying.

And let me clarify what I am saying. For MOST people NOT genetically predisposed to addiction, it really doesn’t matter how easy something is to obtain or not. Legalizing it simply will not turn them into raving out of control addicts.

But that is not true for others (and particularly their children).

In this regard, MJ is just as mentally/psychologicalky addictive as an other psychoactive substance. Just because it’s not as physically addicting as Meth or Crack cocaine does not mean that it’s not addicting for those who are vulnerable.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv Like the jelly above me pointed out, caffeine and tobacco are not the same as pot. Pot and alcohol you will be asked to go to rehab or not able to get a job when you apply. Why? Because they leave the person less able to function well at their job, possibly even a major safety issue for themselves and people around them. Caffeine and tobacco have even been shown to increase work productivity. Not that I am pushing either substance, but comparing them doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not overfocused on addiction, I was talking about become addicted and altered to a point that it affects your daily life in a negative manner.

When I talk about society at large, I’m not talking about whether an individual eats fatty foods, destroys their lungs with smoke, or even drinks themselves to death. I’m talking about how those things affect greater society. So, now we have much stricter laws about drinking and driving, and you can’t smoke in most restaurants around the US. That’s how we protect society. If marijuana is going to erode society or affect people within 20 feet of the smoker, then we will look at laws to curb it’s use when it becomes legal. Like I said, I believe we should decriminalize it, but I found it interesting that jellies who have lived in places where it is legal had changed their minds about it when they lived in it.

Buttonstc's avatar


I had this in the back of my mind to ask you about earlier and it slipped my mind.

In your first response, you mentioned Amsterdam. Could you share in more detail what it was that had your friend saying what she did?

Amsterdam has usually been held up as the “shining city on the hill” regarding legal MJ.

I’ve never been there but wonder if it’s as rosy as it’s being portrayed. Can you share what you know or what your friend told you about the downside? I’m really curious.

JLeslie's avatar

@Buttonstc I wish I could find that Q. I’m pretty sure @jeruba was one of the jellies who mentioned it. She didn’t go into great detail, but that someone she knew (if it was her) told her go to Amsterdam and you’ll think twice about it. I don’t remember the details if there were any given, I just remember it made me pause. I have been in favor of making pot legal since I can remember. I’ve always compared it to the legality of alcohol. I don’t drink or get hi. I’m also in favor of putting the laws back to 18 for alcohol.

I seem to remember @filmfann on that Q too. My search isn’t working if you want to try to search it. There were a few Q’s about it when there were some votes going on in the US regarding MJ.

Buttonstc's avatar

Yeah, Search is pretty crappy for me (to the point where I even asked a Q about it in Meta a short time ago).

But I’ll see what I can dig up about Amsterdam online. Thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ll be interested in what you find.

LostInParadise's avatar

I can’t think of any argument that would not also require abolishing cigarettes or alcohol. Marijuana is not as harmful as cigarettes since it does not contain nicotine and its negative effects are not as harmful as alcohol since, for most people, marijuana has a sedating effect whereas much of the harm caused by alcohol comes from the uncontrollable rage that it induces in many people. How many stories have you heard about alcoholics who abuse their spouses and children? How many such stories about marijuana use have you ever heard of?

JLeslie's avatar

I disagree that alcohol’s biggest problem is rage. Many people are not raging alcoholics. The problem with alcohol is it impairs judgement, when you take it in quickly to excess, and it doesn’t take much, it can kill you. Cigarettes usually have a longer time line. Very few people are having car accidents, cutting off a finger with heavy equipment, making a mistake in surgery or using bad judgement while piloting a plane from smoking a cigarette. Sure alcohol can have a long time line too. It depends on the person’s career and if they are careful with what they are responsible for while drunk or while withdrawing. There are functioning alcoholics. There are surgeons who make sure they drink before surgery so they are steady. There are pilots flying the skies right now who drank before the flight.

It worries me that so many people feel marijuana doesn’t affect their judgement, or their basic ability to function at their fullest and clearest of heads. People who want an occasion hi, that’s one thing, but thinking you can do it daily and it’s a nothing, that’s bullshit. The people around you know, the sober ones, even if you don’t.

LostInParadise's avatar

Anti-rage was a key factor in the Prohibition movement. Many members of the WCTU were suffragettes. They saw alcohol as a woman’s issue, since it resulted in men spending considerable time in saloons and then coming home and abusing family members.

JLeslie's avatar

Years ago abusing your wife was not seen as a bad thing by many parts of our culture. It was promoted in some churches and seen as a way to control women.

zenvelo's avatar

@Buttonstc As a person in long term recovery, your speaking for the opinion of those whose “lives have been touched by addiction” is not accurate.

People in recovery realize that having marijuana legal or not has no effect on usage rates by those who are dependent on it. Marijuana is not physically addictive, but it can be psychologically addictive, as is food, gambling, sex, and exercise. People that are psychologically prone to addiction need to address the underlying causes of their addiction, not blame it on the substance.

People, like me, have taught their children that they are inherently prone to addiction, and the best way to avoid it is abstinence. But we do not condemn marijuana, especially when comparing to alcohol, because it is so much less damaging than booze.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo Would you say food can be addictive?

zenvelo's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, there are people addicted to food. One is addicted to food when one eats beyond the needs of sustenance and enjoyment to the point where it is used to avoid processing one’s feelings.

Buttonstc's avatar


So, if it came up for a vote, can I infer from what you’ve said that you would vote in favor of broad legalization?

Then, so far, you’re the first person I’ve encountered in the recovery community that would.

For me personally, I’m still undecided. I would definitely vote to abolish the mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses. I would also vote in total favor of medical MJ (but since I live in a state where medical use is already legal, it’s currently a moot point unless I move.)

I’m also enough of a realist to know that there is a likelihood that legalization at the federal level will most likely come at some point in the future.

But I just can’t yet get myself to voting yes to legalize. And I don’t know of any others genetically affected who do (other than you).

It would be so nice if all the children of addict families would choose to take their parents advice and stay away from it. Sadly, this is not the case.

My own nephew had to “do his own research” which seriously derailed his life for years. Even tho he had unfavorable genetics on both sides of the family, and was specifically educated about it from childhood, he somehow magically believed he would be exempt. And he wasn’t.

I agree with you that alcohol is more damaging than pot. But I just can’t get behind the idea of making it as easy to get as it is in Amsterdam.

And let’s face it, there aren’t a whole lot of addicts who will be using pot INSTEAD OF alcohol. They want both and anything that gives them the escape from reality which they crave.

And I really can’t buy into the whole “well if pot is illegal alcohol should be also” because that won’t happen. And two wrongs don’t make a right.

Anyhow, perhaps one day I might get there, but for now voting for total legalization is just a bridge too far for me.

rojo's avatar

Is marijuana is a gateway drug a coherent argument?

Buttonstc's avatar

Generally speaking, no. I don’t think it’s a particularly good argument.

I think it depends upon whether someone is in a vulnerable category or not.

Obviously there are tons of people for whom it was not a gateway to anything because they never became addicts.

And there are others for whom their gateway was alcohol.

So saying that MJ is a gateway drug is just too broad a brush to paint with. For some it is, yet for others it isn’t.

LostInParadise's avatar

Marijuana is not a gateway drug. Some people will say that some 90% or so of heroin addicts started out on marijuana, but that is a misleading statement. 100% of heroin addicts breathe air. Does that make O2 a gateway drug? The correct question to ask is what percentage of marijuana users go on to other drugs and, as I recall, the percentage is not that high, probably the same as the percentage of tobacco users who move on to hard drugs.

zenvelo's avatar

@Buttonstc Yes, i would vote for legalization. I voted for Prop 215 to allow medical marijuana in California. Most people I know in recovery also believe in decriminalization, because criminalization has been detrimental to thousands of people, and doesn’t do anything to stop people from using.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo Pretty much they have proven food can be physically addictive, not just psychologically addictive, and I really can’t understand why pot would be any different. I wonder the last time they studied the addictive properties of pot? Or, are people just repeating MJ isn’t addictive from the song that was sung 40 years ago? It’s only recently we know what happens in the brain with food addiction, I don’t feel sure they have looked at the same mechanism for pot.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@DoNotKnow “But what are people actually arguing when they say that it’s ok for alcohol, fast food, and wood smoke to be legal, but draw the line with pot?”

In the case of alcohol, it is actually quite easy to use it with no harm to oneself or others. Our bodies have evolved to process alcohol, and someone who drinks responsibly will have no negative impact on themselves or others. As such, it is perfectly consistent for someone who opposes marijuana legalization to be fine with alcohol (and worry only about alcohol abuse). A similar case could be made for fast food.

Wood smoke might be slightly more complicated, and the hypothetical interlocutor I was originally speaking for could resort to the same strategy of wanting to ban or limit wood fires as well. You want to know about people who don’t take that position, however. In that case, I suppose one might resort to a threshold argument. Marijuana smoke contains many (but not all!) of the same carcinogens as cigarette smoke, and wood smoke contains many (but not all!) of the same carcinogens as marijuana smoke.

But wood smoke is less dangerous than marijuana smoke, which is less dangerous than cigarette smoke. Therefore, it is not incoherent to argue that there is an acceptable level of public risk, and wood smoke falls below that threshold (particularly since wood fires are typically contained or isolated). Such an interlocutor might also argue that trying to elide all three types of smoke involves a slippery slope fallacy. (They would, however, have to present some reasoning in favor of setting the threshold where they think it should be. Here I think they would run into some trouble if they tried to do so in terms of public harm.)

@zenvelo “One question that was raised was,“if you are against marijuana, what about alcohol?”. My response then was, “that is not what we are debating, but we can debate the merits of leagl alcohol too.”

And while that answer works in a formalized debate setting—which is more about rhetoric than logic—it ignores the fact that consistency is crucial to having a coherent argument (which is what we are being asked to provide, even if only for the sake of argument). Thus the question is not only legitimate, but rather important.

“I wrote my answer above, and then thought about psychiatric meds, so I added the adverb negatively.”

Right, but you did not include any clause about the overall effect. That was my point. Psychological drugs can have both negative and positive effects at the same time, but you made a blanket claim about drugs with negative effects (not about drugs whose negative effects outweighed their positive effects). Again, I do not deny that the argument you gave was coherent (and thus answers the question). I was simply pointing out a perhaps unwelcome entailment.

@jerv “That sounds more like an argument for outlawing any gasoline or diesel engines than anything to do with smoking, tobacco or otherwise.”

Read the question again, and then read the beginning of my answer again. We are being asked for coherent arguments, not good arguments; and I explicitly stated that I did not think the argument I was giving was good. I presented it as a response to the question, not as something I personally endorse. In any case, the threshold argument can address those concerns, as could a tradeoff argument regarding the wants and needs of society versus the risks to a society. Again, I don’t think that these arguments actually win out, but it is perfectly possible to stake out a coherent position here.

zenvelo's avatar

@SavoirFaire I was asked by the OP for a coherent argument. My followup was that psych meds be evaluated by medical professionals to determine when the positives outweigh the negatives.

And you have errors in your discussion about smoke. Wood fires have huge particulate sizes, and cause damage to lungs. In California, wood fires are prohibited on days without enough breeze for dispersal.

jerv's avatar

@Buttonstc @JLeslie Let us start with this

Now that I have that off my chest, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are psychoactive.

from Merriam Webster

adjective psy·cho·ac·tive \ˌsī-kō-ˈak-tiv\
Definition of PSYCHOACTIVE
: affecting the mind or behavior <psychoactive drugs>

The difference being that we Americans tolerate (and, is fact, glorify) use of stimulants.

From Wikipedia

“Caffeine (/kæˈfiːn, ˈkæfiːn, ˈkæfiːɪn/) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methylxanthine class of psychoactive drugs.[9] It is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug, but unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world.”” agrees. But lets see what Wikipedia says about nicotine…

“Psychoactive effects

Nicotine’s mood-altering effects are different by report: in particular it is both a stimulant and a relaxant.[14] First causing a release of glucose from the liver and epinephrine (adrenaline) from the adrenal medulla, it causes stimulation. Users report feelings of relaxation, sharpness, calmness, and alertness.[15] Like any stimulant, it may very rarely cause the often uncomfortable neuropsychiatric effect of akathisia. By reducing the appetite and raising the metabolism, some smokers may lose weight as a consequence.[16][17]

When a cigarette is smoked, nicotine-rich blood passes from the lungs to the brain within seven seconds and immediately stimulates the release of many chemical messengers such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, arginine vasopressin, serotonin, dopamine, and beta-endorphin.[18][19] This release of neurotransmitters and hormones is responsible for most of nicotine’s psychoactive effects. Nicotine appears to enhance concentration[20] and memory due to the increase of acetylcholine. It also appears to enhance alertness due to the increases of acetylcholine and norepinephrine. Arousal is raised by the increase of norepinephrine. Pain is reduced by the increases of acetylcholine and beta-endorphin. Anxiety is reduced by the increase of beta-endorphin. Nicotine also extends the duration of positive effects of dopamine[21] and increases sensitivity in brain reward systems.[22] Most cigarettes (in the smoke inhaled) contain 1 to 3 milligrams of nicotine.[23]

I think that that is enough to prove @Buttonstc dead wrong and throws a wrench onto @JLeslie‘s argument.

Also, when we get a few million people who can’t work and wind up running up huge medicaid expenses because they can’t stop scarfing down deep-fried, bacon-wrapped Twinkies, I think it safe to say that obesity and diabetes have a pretty profound effect on society, and it’s not the only thing. IMO, picking on the pot-smokers while giving those that actually DO cause loss of productivity, increased medical expenditures, and all the other things that some claim are solely due to marijuana is, at best, myopic, if not outright biased. You can’t calim you want to solve/prevent issues and then dish on one of the most minor offenders around while giving the ones who actually fit all the bad press a pass!

JLeslie's avatar

Fine. Ban smoking also.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@zenvelo I understand your followup. My response was made to your original comment, which contained no such qualification. And my clarification of that response was also about your original comment after you suggested that there was no need for any qualification. If you are now saying, “I changed my argument, so that problem no longer exists,” then I am happy to grant you that point (and was never arguing otherwise). I was simply responding to your earlier claim that no change or qualification was needed (which is the logical force of emphasizing your use of the word “negatively” in this post).

As for wood smoke, I will point out yet again that I am not endorsing any of the arguments I have presented here, nor do I take them to be factually adequate. The question, as you have already noted yourself, asks for a coherent argument. So I presented what an opponent of marijuana who nevertheless did not want to ban wood smoke might say (after pointing out that they could just go along with banning wood smoke—but @DoNotKnow specifically asked for an attempt at reconciling marijuana prohibition with wood smoke toleration). Note that nowhere did I have my hypothetical interlocutor say that wood smoke is not dangerous, however. I had them discuss the relative dangers, and I had them say that the relative danger should also be weighed against other interests.

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