General Question

YARNLADY's avatar

Do you have to participate in illegal activities to change the law?

Asked by YARNLADY (42121points) April 22nd, 2009

I am against participating in illegal activities, yet in favor of legalizing drugs. Do you believe that it is OK to use illegal drugs, or would it be better to wait until the law changes?

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114 Answers

La_chica_gomela's avatar

sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet! I prompted a question! My lifelong dream of inducing intellectual curiosity in others has been realized!

btko's avatar

If you want to change a law the best way is to lobby your local representative, get on the news, make petitions, start a movement. I don’t think getting high as an act of defiance helps.

kenmc's avatar

Not necessarily, but it definitely helps.

Ivan's avatar

No. If you want a law changed, do something to change it. Simply breaking the law solves nothing.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

From my point of view, I wouldn’t say it’s the only way, but I would say it’s often the most efficient way. If you look at the Civil Rights movement: the sit-ins, Rosa Parks, the freedom rides, those things really made an impact. Not letters that old white guys didn’t even look at before throwing them in the garbage.

I think it’s naive to believe that just going through “organized channels” will get results for something so controversial.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

No, a lot of times making a ruckuss takes you away from being more effective. I support the legalization of some current illegal drugs but feel no need to be out in the streets shouting about it.

cak's avatar

@La_chica_gomela congrats on inspiring a question!

@YARNLADY- I think it’s unrealistic to expect people to stop using them, now. They been around for centuries. I think it’s a little of both. I think it does take the past and present users, along with non-users to work together on this particular issue.

Funny….my husband and I were just talking about this today. Both of us are non-users; however, we both feel that it should be (pot) legalized.

Ivan's avatar

@La_chica_gomela

There’s a difference between protesting and simply breaking the law because you think it’s wrong. If a bunch of African American’s simply tried to sit in white restaurants randomly, that wouldn’t have solved anything. It was the actual organization and movement that did it. Going 60 in a 55 or smoking a joint in your basement is not going to accomplish anything.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@Ivan: I never said that it would. I said only what I said.

DREW_R's avatar

Some times civil disobedience gets the final point across. ;)

cak's avatar

@Ivan – I don’t think there should be a “smoke-in”; however, maybe the very occasional user could be proof that there is a possibility to use and function, without posing a danger.

I don’t know that right answer, but I wouldn’t dismiss the idea, completely.

YARNLADY's avatar

@DREW_R I knew it, YOU’RE a pinko-commie, liberal

arnbev959's avatar

No, it isn’t always necessary to break the law in order to change it. Sometimes civil disobedience is the most effective way of changing laws. The Civil Rights movement wouldn’t have been nearly so successful as it was if no one had broken the law.

But this question is really about drugs. In the case of illegal drug use, it isn’t necessary to use drugs in order to support/lobby for the legalization of them. But I do think that generally speaking, people who support the legalization of drugs won’t look down on those who use them for ‘breaking the law.’ (But if no one used drugs, I doubt there would be such a push to legalize them.)

My morals may not always align to those of the state, but I don’t mind breaking certain laws so long as I’m not breaking my own moral code.

tinyfaery's avatar

If all drugs were made legal tomorrow, would you suddenly start doing heroine? Just because it is illegal does not mean that it’s wrong. Likewise, things that are currently legal are not necessarily positive. If you want to smoke some dope, just do it. If you don’t, don’t. No need to fuss over legality.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I do think it’s interesting that some of the people we, as a society, consider to be ultra-successful are well-known to have smoked pot, such as Barack Obama and Michael Phelps. Clearly it never held them back from achieving their dreams or anything…

I feel like that common knowledge does help in changing people’s attitudes toward pot, and eventually laws.

DREW_R's avatar

@YARNLADY Nope, just an educated moderate where pot is concerned. ;)

cak's avatar

@tinyfaery – Oh…my opinion is solely based on pot. I know it’s a slippery slope, but I am very against any other drug being legalized.

I think a lot of mine comes from running into cancer patients that could be prescribed marijuana, but wouldn’t use it because, essentially, it was against the law. (they looked at the federal law against drugs, not exceptions made for medical use.) The pain and suffering was incredible, yet they were really firm in the belief that it was an illegal drug and that it was against their beliefs to break laws – and have to face any religious ramifications.

DREW_R's avatar

@YARNLADY Besides, it is only illegal if ya get caught. >:)

YARNLADY's avatar

@DREW_R Educated moderates do not advocate civil disobedience

SeventhSense's avatar

Well I think it’s clear that people are doing drugs and these are the ones who really want to change the laws but the only problem is that after they get the munchies and head to Dairy Queen they forget what they were lobbying. :)

YARNLADY's avatar

@tinyfaery Whee, a whole new question – I’m at my limit for today-When is it OK to pick and choose which laws you want to obey and which ones you don’t want to obey?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@SeventhSense: Right, just like how Michael Phelps forgot to go to the Olympics because he was too busy smoking pot at Dairy Queen…Oh Wait!

arnbev959's avatar

@YARNLADY: I consider myself an educated moderate. I advocate civil disobedience.

cak's avatar

@SeventhSense Great. Now I want Diary Queen. On another thread, we’re discussing fried cheese, now ice cream. AAAHHH!

tinyfaery's avatar

I follow the laws of a higher power: me. Man’s laws are not my concern; my conscience is.

YARNLADY's avatar

@petethepothead Civil action is one thing. Civil disobedience is another. Civil action only requires that you wish to force whatever issue into prominence by whatever legal means possible. I can’t think of a scenario where that’s not a positive thing. Civil disobedience, on the other hand, assumes that you feel you are so right, and the majority so wrong, that an immediate and illegal response is required. That’s not an impossible scenario. And when you pursue such a scenario you have to be pretty sure the positive effect is going to be greater than the inevitable blowback. If it isn’t you’ll do yourself a disservice to the cause you intend to promote.

YARNLADY's avatar

@tinyfaery “I’ll let my conscience be my guide.” You may want to do what’s right, yet have little understanding of how the conscience works. You may have a “weak” consciences, unlearned and without the understanding to realize what is really right or wrong. What if your “conscience” is actually a mis fire in your brain, or ineffective thinking brought about by a chemical imbalance? Man’s laws are a very useful guide, in most cases.

cwilbur's avatar

I’m a fan of civil disobedience. If you think the law is unjust, it’s acceptable to break it—as long as you’re willing to face the consequences for breaking it.

This means that, if you don’t approve of drug laws, you are free to sell and buy drugs, and use whatever drugs you like, so long as you accept the consequences when you get caught. Unfortunately, there are a lot of “activists” who attempt to evade the consequences, which is entirely missing the point.

YARNLADY's avatar

@cwilbur Can you accept that the “activists” are actually trying to change the law using lawful means?

arnbev959's avatar

Civil Action and Civil Disobedience are not opposed to each other. They are merely different routes. I think Civil Disobedience is more direct, but should only be used in cases of extreme injustice, not as a solution.

I don’t think it is wrong to refuse to do something that you yourself find morally wrong; rather I think it would be wrong not to refuse.

Civil Disobedience is not the only reason someone would break the law either. When I smoke pot, I don’t consider myself to be practicing civil disobedience, rather, I’m doing something that I enjoy, which happens to be illegal.

If I were to show up at a legalization rally with a joint in my hand, I would get arrested, and it wouldn’t help the cause. On that point I agree with you. But there are times when openly defying the law would make sense. Think Civil Rights movement and conscious objectors, think Gandhi and Thoreau.

I place my moral standard on a higher plane that the law, as @tinyfaery said. My moral standard is based largely on the harm principle. I am comfortable breaking laws that do not endanger or harm another person, even if the state declares them illegal.

SeventhSense's avatar

Whatever floats your boat but stoners are stoners and you guys know it. Just be honest.

arnbev959's avatar

Ahem. I said:^^ “When I smoke pot, I don’t consider myself to be practicing civil disobedience, rather, I’m doing something that I enjoy, which happens to be illegal.” —I don’t know how much more honest you want me to be. :P

YARNLADY's avatar

@petethepothead Exactly what every amoral person says. “Your laws don’t apply to me”, I will do as I see fit.

Allie's avatar

I think he clearly acknowledged that it’s illegal activity which means the laws do apply to him, he just doesn’t mind. I’m doing something that I enjoy, which happens to be illegal.

arnbev959's avatar

@YARNLADY: I hold my moral beliefs very dearly. I am most certainly not “amoral.” I fail to see how adhering to a philosophy of autonomy makes one amoral.

If you want to call me ‘amoral’ after reading my responses above, you’re also calling quite a few famous moral philosophers, the libertarian party, and a good number of Americans and Flutherites “amoral.”

Suppose the government mandated that all children under the age of four be killed, and not killing a child would lead to imprisonment. Would it be amoral to disobey the law, in favor for my own moral standard? I don’t think so. Do you?

tinyfaery's avatar

What does morality have to do with it? I thought we were talking legality. Suddenly, smoking pot is immoral?

jlm11f's avatar

Do you have to participate in illegal activities to change the law? – Have to? No. Can it help sometimes? Absolutely.

Do you believe that it is OK to use illegal drugs, or would it be better to wait until the law changes? – Depends on the drug. Cocaine/Heroine should remain illegal, and I don’t think anyone should smoke them. Marijuana is a different deal. I think that we aren’t little children and the “law” isn’t an all knowing parent. I believe in proven facts and research. So far, no peer reviewed research seems to think that MJ does much or more harm to the body than alcohol. In fact, most will agree that alcohol and tobacco are a lot more harmful. Keeping these facts in mind, I do not see any viable reason to keep one illegal while the others legal. The only possibility is politics at play. As such, I do not think people need to subscribe to a law without just reason. If there is a reason for it to be illegal, present it and prove it. If not, make it legal. Until that happens, MJ smokers do not need to put their habit on hold while alcoholics continue to enjoy their drinks and smokers continue to smoke their cigs. It’s simply not fair.

In such a case, I think it is more than okay for the person to continue smoking pot – legal or not. The law, after all, isn’t even one agreed to by all nations. The fact that it is legal in some western, equivalent nations proves that there isn’t a major harm being caused by it. What makes the law of one nation better than the other? The whole thing is highly subjective and relative, IMO.

Also, just to be clear, like you @YARNLADY, I support the legalization of marijuana, yet I do not smoke or drink and hence, have no hidden bias. In general, I believe in being a law abiding citizen but that doesn’t mean I turn off my brain and follow whatever the constitution says blindly. Following anything blindly (be it law or religion) is very dangerous.

Ivan's avatar

@PnL

“I do not see any viable reason to keep one illegal while the others legal.”

Agreed. They should all be illegal.

jlm11f's avatar

@Ivan – I think we’ll save the discussion of that proposition for another thread.

Ivan's avatar

This isn’t about following anything blindly. This is about understanding and accepting the institutional processes in place. We vote for representatives; Those representatives pass laws in our interest; If we disagree with the laws they pass, we attempt to change them via electing new representatives, ballot proposals, persuading the current representatives, etc. It is irresponsible, counterintuitive, and counterproductive to simply break the laws you disagree with.

YARNLADY's avatar

@petethepothead I do not respond to nonsense straw-man set ups (“Suppose the government mandated”), however, I will apologize for bringing the ‘amoral’ concept up. While it is true that they use the same excuse, your definition of doing what you want does not mean the same thing.

arnbev959's avatar

@Ivan: In the United States, we live in a constitutional, democratic republic. Simply because the majority votes for people to write their laws, it doesn’t necessarily mean those laws are right or just. Even if 98 percent of the population believes something is right or wrong, that doesn’t make it so. (I agree that most of the time the vast majority is right, but simply having a representational government does not mean all laws will be just.)

jlm11f's avatar

@Ivan – Thanks for the history review. You didn’t affront or counter my main points, so I don’t see how I can continue this discussion with what you wrote. All I will say is that when a policy is corrupt or made because of corrupt reasons, and has been proven so repeatedly through unbiased scientific studies, then that policy is not longer considered legitimate by the common man.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@YARNLADY: What about suppose the government mandated that you were only 3/5ths of a person. Would it be wrong or immoral to consider yourself a whole person?

YARNLADY's avatar

@Ivan thank you. That is the point I as trying to make.

TaoSan's avatar

and of course those chosen representatives will do exactly what we want and is in our best interest.

Years of effective and impartial law making by the US Government have proven that again and again.

C’mon gimme a break….

arnbev959's avatar

My argument is only a straw man if I misrepresented your position. I believed your position was that it was wrong to disobey a law by virtue of it’s being a law. If this was an incorrect interpretation I apologize.

YARNLADY's avatar

@petethepothead It is a strawman because no such law is or would be made.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@YARNLADY: Then what about the question that I posed? That’s straight out of the history books. Okay, well I linked wikipedia, but if you have a US history book, it’s bound to be in there.

arnbev959's avatar

How about a law requiring you to report any Jews to the authorities?

The fact is there are plenty of atrocious laws that have been on the books at one time or another. And it took more than standing on the corner with a sign to change those laws.

TaoSan's avatar

If we don’t draw such analogies, we open the door to blind acceptance. What if is a major factor in political decision making processes.

Lurve Pete…

El_Cadejo's avatar

Who am i harming when i smoke weed? No one. Absofuckingloutly no one. Why cant i choose what i want to do with my body as long as its done in a responsible manner and doesnt endanger or harm any others?

Smoking marijuana is a victimless crime.

cwilbur's avatar

@YARNLADY: There are activists who are working to change the law, and there are “activists” who complain about the law but do very little about it.

If you’re going to break the law and call it civil disobedience, you have to be willing to accept the punishment. If you’re not willing to accept the punishment, and you’re going to do things like cheat on drug tests to attempt to avoid it, you’re not an activist, you’re an idiot.

Judi's avatar

@uberbatman ; Tell that to the little girl who was raped and killed as a result of the drug wars in Juarez. Our demand for drugs is killing people all over the world, but especially here in North America.
If drugs were legal we could regulate and tax the crap out of them. When their illegal consumption funds a violent criminal enterprise.

kenmc's avatar

@Judi Drug wars (and the subsequent crimes from them) are a result of illegalization.

If drugs were legal, there would be no ‘drug wars’.

tinyfaery's avatar

See Kholberg’s stages of moral development. Some of you are stuck at 4 & 5. I’d post a link, but I’m on my phone.

When I speak of following my conscience or following the higher power of me, I am speaking of number 6.

wundayatta's avatar

If the law is wrong, break it. Better yet, have a lot of people break it at the same time, and you all get arrested. Get publicity. Show how wrong the law is. Demonstrate the harm.

Or you can break it in secret, if you truly believe you are in the right. Society is not always right, and some laws are really, really wrong. Sometimes it is immoral to follow laws (like when they cause harm—anti-sodomy laws, anti-medical marijuana laws, etc, etc).

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Judi if drugs were legal there would be no drug wars.
Just sayin.

edit: oh damn boots already said that lol.

Judi's avatar

I agree they should be legalized, I just don’t think we should contribute to the criminal enterprise while they’re not legal.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Judi i buy most of my pot from people who grow it in my town. Im not funding terrorism, im funding a man with a green thumb. :)

cwilbur's avatar

@tinyfaery: Claiming that people who disagree with you are less morally developed is a rather asinine way to score points in an argument.

tinyfaery's avatar

@cwilbur Calling someone asinine is a great way to get a point accross, as well. I’m totally done with you.

I’ll say what I please and you can just ignore it, the way I do you when you say idiotic things. I just laught at you and move on my way. I suggest you do the same.

SeventhSense's avatar

@La_chica_gomela
Comparing marijuana legalization to slavery is quite a thin argument.

SeventhSense's avatar

@petethepothead
Comparing marijuana laws which control a damaging substance to Fascism is also a pretty thin argument

El_Cadejo's avatar

@SeventhSense not really. The point of both was there are many laws that have been passed that are complete bullshit. Marijuana is just another one of them.

DREW_R's avatar

@SeventhSense Where did you hear that pot is a damaging substance? May I implore you to read The Emperor Has No Cloths? Go to NORML.org and American for Safe Access websites too. Pot and hemp do so much more good than the rest of our natural, renewable resorces. You can build homes, make/grow a very viable medicine, make textiles, rope, fuel, plastic, food, and the list goes on and on. Did you know they are using pot to clean up Chernoble and that 1/4 acre of 4 foot plants create more O2 than a 100 acre plot of old growth trees?

Ivan's avatar

@petethepothead

“In the United States, we live in a constitutional, democratic republic. Simply because the majority votes for people to write their laws, it doesn’t necessarily mean those laws are right or just. Even if 98 percent of the population believes something is right or wrong, that doesn’t make it so.”

Yes, I understand and agree completely. That was not my implication. I was saying that, in the institution we live in, it is more sensible to advocate change via institutional processes rather than simply breaking the laws you disagree with. If you think that pot should be legalized, that’s fine, but you’re not a freedom fighter if you just get high with some friends in a basement somewhere. I will say that I think it’s irresponsible to simply break laws that you don’t like, but I don’t think you should just be blindly following the law no matter what, as if it was the moral authority.

@PnL

My comment was not directed at you. Your argument mainly focused on the notion that marijuana is less harmful than tobacco products and alcohol. I agreed with this, I just disagreed with your conclusion.

@TaoSan

No, the representatives won’t always pass laws in our best interest. But when they don’t, we should address that issue within the institution rather than outside of it.

@uberbatman

If marijuana has no effect on the body, then why do people smoke it? If it alters the state of the mind, that has potential for danger. The role of a government is to protect its citizens from danger, whether that danger is internal or external.

DREW_R's avatar

@Ivan We have had this discussion before and it will end the same as before I am sure. It isn’t any of the governments business what I to or with my body as long as I am not hurting anyone else. Just as it isn’t the governments place to tell me to wear a seat belt or helmet. That is every adults personal responsability, THE RIGHT TO MAKE OUR OWN CHOICES RIGHT OR WRONG!

YARNLADY's avatar

@DREW_R You said it yourself “as long as I am not hurting anyone else” and “personal responsibility”. There is plenty of proof that there is harm, you just don’t want to admit it, and if all adults did indeed act in a personally responsible manner, we wouldn’t need any laws, would we.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Ivan I still ask you who am i actually harming? If the government is sooooooo concerned about protecting its citizens why is their a McDonalds on every other corner? Im sure i can do a lot more damage to my body eating there than i do smoking pot. The government needs to mind their own business, if what i do affects no one other than myself, piss off.

YARNLADY's avatar

@uberbatman OK, you didn’t ask me, this time, but I have two comments here: l)the reasoning that the government does not regulate one bad thing (McDonald’s)therefore it shouldn’t regulate another does not make sense. 2)marijuana is against the law, so it isn’t relevant whether it causes harm or not.

If you disagree with the law, use the proper channels to get it changed.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@YARNLADY as pointed out above there have been plenty of stupid laws over the years. We shouldnt blindly follow everything our government tells us to.

arnbev959's avatar

@tinyfaery I thought the same thing last night in regards to Kholberg. For god’s sake people, you’re allowed to think for yourself every now and then.

@SeventhSense and @Ivan: Would you please go back and actually read what I wrote up there? I said specifically that I’m not a freedom fighter “if I just get high with some friends in a basement.” There is a difference between civil disobedience and mere disregard for a stupid law.

My reference to the holocaust had nothing to do with marijuana. I was talking broadly about the principle of not following an unjust law.

Ivan's avatar

@uberbatman

I would argue with the notion that marijuana causes no harm. Things like McDonalds probably should be regulated, but until eating a cheese burger gets you high, the situation isn’t analogous.

@petethepothead

So what does civil disobedience entail in this situation?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Ivan again, aside from possibly myself, who am i harming? No one. Ok piss off then.

arnbev959's avatar

@Ivan: In what situation? The illegality of marijuana? As the government in this case is not asking you to do something against your fellow man, or prohibiting you from helping him, merely prohibiting you from doing something, I do not think civil disobedience is called for.

YARNLADY's avatar

@uberbatman What part of “use the proper channels to get it changed” = “blindly follow everything? The legal means to bring about change requires actually following the proper procedures, rather than simply ignoring the law, and/or complaining about it.

Ivan's avatar

@uberbatman

I could contend with that as well. But for the sake of argument, let’s presume that your marijuana use only harms you. Aren’t you a citizen? Isn’t it the government’s duty to protect you?

@petethepothead

So what are you calling for? You agree that simply breaking the law will solve nothing but claim that civil disobedience is not necessary. What is your course of action, then?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@YARNLADY i am a member of NORML i write to congress, i write to my local representatives. I use the proper channels, but just because its still illegal doesnt mean im going to just accept it and not do something that i truly feel in my heart isnt wrong.

@Ivan Im not a child and i dont need big brother looking over my shoulder watching every little thing i do. I can take care of myself.

Ivan's avatar

@uberbatman

Apparently you can’t, since you admit to doing something that harms you.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Ivan My body my choice. I am a responsible adult and as such should be allowed to choose what substances if any i put into my body. I take full responsibilty for any and all reprocussions of said actions. I dont see the issue.

arnbev959's avatar

@Ivan: Different situations. If my government wants me to harm my fellow man, I will refuse. That would be civil disobedience.
If my government tells me I can’t smoke pot, we’ll, I think that’s a dumb law, and I will do what I can to get that changed through legal channels. But since I can justify it myself, I’ll do it anyway. I don’t care if I break the law as long as I’m not violation my own moral standard.

And my government’s job is to protect me from foreign threats, and corporate dishonesty, harmful criminals, etc. Not from myself.

DREW_R's avatar

@YARNLADY Proof that there is harm with pot? I wanna see that. Just don’t make it a US gov study due to the fact that they are a bunch of biased bullshit. Also, read the last sentence carefully. My life is mine to do with as I choose. The frigging government has no right to tell me when to wipe my ass as you and Ivan would submit to if it was passed into law. Screw that.

Response moderated
tinyfaery's avatar

I’m shocked and dismayed by what I am reading here. I cannot understand how a free individual (And you are entirely free, you are sovereign.) can just give up their autonomy for the precarious safety of a corrupt government.

I do not care about the law. I don’t kill people because killing people is wrong, not because it is against the law. I stop at red lights because it is in my best interest, not because it is illegal. I don’t follow any worldly laws. It just so happens that many of my personal beliefs and actions correspond to many laws, but many don’t, and so I do as I see fit; who, what, when, where, why—I decide.

And for the record:
I have an MA.
I work and pay taxes.
I recycle.
I care for animals.
I spent much of my 20s and early 30s counseling and being a case manager for adolescents with psychological and behavioral problems.

I am not a n’er-do-well. Did anyone even read about Kholberg?

edit:: And every few weeks or so I like to smoke a big fatty. Awww…Yeeeaaah.

arnbev959's avatar

@DREW_R: True dat. If you guys want to respond to my arguments, fine. But it doesn’t seem like you’re actually reading what I’m putting out there. I’m done arguing.

DREW_R's avatar

@tinyfaery Wasn’t it Ben Franklin that stated that, “Those who give up freedoms to be safe do not deserve freedom”?

Describes Yarnlady and Ivan to a tee.

Response moderated
tinyfaery's avatar

I’m not out to call anyone anything. I just really cannot believe that people actually think this way. I thought that I had met every kind of person there is. I’ve known drag queens and nuns, criminals and activists, people of all colors and ages, genders, sexualities and religions. But, I have officially been taken aback by this new experience. Sigh.

DREW_R's avatar

@tinyfaery Me too and I was just as shocked at wis.dm when they came on there.

Ivan's avatar

@DREW_R

I honestly lost count of how many ad hominem attacks, inconsistencies, and hypocritical statements there were in your last batch of comments. You seriously just blamed me for “escalating things into rants” during a 5-comment tirade in which you did nothing but call people names make accusations about their character, all while contributing absolutely nothing to this conversation.

@petethepothead

I didn’t realize this was an argument. I have honestly been attempting to figure out exactly what you are trying to say (hence the questions of that nature). So for you to say that I am “not reading” what you are saying is rather confusing. From my re-reading of this thread, it appears as though the only coherent idea you have put forth so far is that you smoke pot because you like it. I don’t think anyone was denying that. We are talking about changing laws here.

@uberbatman

“I am a responsible adult and as such should be allowed to choose what substances if any i put into my body.”

Does Not Compute

What you choose to put in your body will determine whether or not you are a responsible adult.

DREW_R's avatar

@Ivan A person can not contribute anything to you in these “discussions”. You refuse to let people be and do what they are. You have no concept of personal responsability. It has to be a collective thing with you and no room for an individual way of life. I belong to no collective and that is pure American spirit. I can work as a team member but past that I am me, an individual with my own thoughts on what is right and wrong that you shall never be deep enough to understand. If a gov runs things they are always right is a pure bunch of bull crap kid. Nothing is cut and dry in this world.

kenmc's avatar

@Ivan Drug legalization would benefit more than harm.

It would create jobs, take the place of the black market drug trade (which in itself would reduce innumerable horrifying crimes), and severely cut back on the number of people in the prison industrial complex.

EDIT: Also, it would give chance for an actual educational “education” about the substances and not put medical researchers in jail for doing work with these substances.

Ivan's avatar

@DREW_R

“If a gov runs things they are always right is a pure bunch of bull crap kid.”

Straw man. The notion that change should come from within institutional boundaries is obviously not the same thing as accepting whatever the government says as truth by default.

@boots

Reforming current drug/economic/prison policies would solve all of those problems and still prevent people from getting high.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Ivan there is nothing that can be done to prevent people from getting high.

DREW_R's avatar

@Ivan But you are silly enough to think the changes will come from inside those institutional boudaries. They won’t make the changes we want or need without an outside push boy. Sometimes it takes a hard push too. Not just keeping within their box.

kenmc's avatar

@Ivan How would you feel about the illegalization of house-hold cleaners? People use those to get high. And they use those because of drugs being illegal and poor education about drugs.

Basically, it comes down to what @uberbatman said. People will always find ways to get high. And the more legislation/poor education to demonize the already known and well-researched substances will just cause people to do more and more dangerous things to get high.

We’d be far better off educating and helping people use drugs responsibly.

arnbev959's avatar

Dude, people have been getting high since the dawn of time.

DREW_R's avatar

@YARNLADY Yep, the victims are the users, growers and dealers. All the more reason to decriminalize it. ;)

YARNLADY's avatar

I have stated over and over that I am in favor of legalizing drugs, especially marijuana. It is the “breaking the law” part that I am against.

YARNLADY's avatar

@uberbatman did you even look at the link? If you can’t think of any reasons for following the laws of the land, I can’t help you.

tinyfaery's avatar

sigh, shake head

El_Cadejo's avatar

@YARNLADY so you only follow the laws out of fear of punishment? Not because you feel its the right thing to do?

arnbev959's avatar

@YARNLADY: I think of the law pragmatically—it is definately something that needs to be considered— because there are real consequences for getting caught breaking the law. However, I do not consult the law when determining what is right and what is wrong. I decide that.

DREW_R's avatar

The only way to change some laws is civil disobedience and if enough are educated, Jury Nullification. The powers that be do not listen to the populace, except for what they want to hear. The only way to beat them is to overwhelm them with the law they are trying to enforce.

Jeruba's avatar

It’s KOHLberg. And his stages were based solely on observation of men. Which is why Carol Gilligan wrote In a Different Voice. Not that this has anything to do with marijuana, but it does have to do with moral development.

tinyfaery's avatar

Oh no. I spelled something wrong. I must go flog myself.

cwilbur's avatar

Having finally looked up Kohlberg, it seems to me that from the outside, it’s very difficult to distinguish from stage 2 (self-orientation, “what’s in it for me”) versus stage 5 or 6.

Frankly, some of the people in this thread claiming to operate under moral principles that are higher than any laws really seem to be looking out primarily for number one and using Kohlberg and his theory of moral development to justify it while sneering at their interlocutors.

justus2's avatar

No it doesn’t change it, but I still smoke MJ

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